23 August 2010

"Evangelicals" and Atheists Together

BioLogos takes their complaint against Al Mohler to Huffpo
by Phil Johnson



ast month several regular contributors over at the BioLogos blog wrote a series of posts exploring the question "How Should BioLogos Respond to Dr. Albert Mohler's Critique?"

That question was prompted by Dr. Mohler's June 19 message titled "Why Does the Universe Look So Old?" at this year's Orlando Ligonier Conference. Dr. Mohler took a position that is at odds with the central canon of the BioLogos credo. BioLogos most certainly needed to respond. The question was, How?

Evidently, the gentlemen at BioLogos have finally settled on their best strategy for replying to Dr. Mohler: Publish something at the Huffington Post accusing Dr. Mohler of dishonesty.

To paraphrase one of my Facebook friends: Even if they really do believe the abusive ad hominem argument they are making against Al Mohler, that's an interesting strategy. Let's air our differences at this bastion of secular humanism, and we'll invite some of the giants of discernment over at Huffpo to sort it out for us in their combox.

Dr. Karl Giberson, vice president of BioLogos, wrote the Huffington piece. The case he makes against Dr. Mohler has basically one point. Here it is: In his Ligonier lecture, Dr. Mohler claimed that Charles Darwin had a pretty good idea about what kind of "evidence" he was looking for before he ever boarded the Beagle; he was already sympathetic to evolutionary theory, and he was already hostile to biblical authority.

Not so, Dr. Giberson says. Darwin was a devout Christian and a creationist when he first set off on the Beagle. Giberson claims Darwin's very first doubts about the reliability of Scripture-as-history came as he collected his samples and observed and analyzed the biological evidence. Dr. Giberson evidently would have us believe Darwin was a typical evangelical until an honest inquiry into the scientific evidence forced him to take a more enlightened position.

I'm admittedly no Darwin scholar, but I do know for a fact that the only version of "Christianity" he ever adhered to was by no means evangelical. He was a product of that Unitarian intellectualism that dominated the established church in Georgian times. According to an 1887 article by Robert Schindler (published in Charles Spurgeon's magazine, The Sword and the Trowel):
If anyone wishes to know where the tadpole of Darwinism was hatched, we could point him to the pew of the old chapel in High Street, Shrewsbury, where Mr. Darwin, his father, and we believe his father's father, received their religious training. The chapel was built for Mr. Talents, an ejected minister [i.e., a Puritan who dissented from the established church order]; but for very many years full-blown Socinianism has been taught there. (Emphasis added.)

Furthermore, Darwin was enthralled with natural theology and (like BioLogos) held the truth-claims of Scripture to be less reliable and less authoritative than "scientific proofs." That was what prompted his interest in science to begun with. And—as Dr. Giberson himself notes in an earlier open letter to Dr. Mohler—"[Darwin] was a devotee of William Paley."

Perhaps the most succinct summary of William Paley's religious convictions comes to us from Sir Leslie Stephen, a younger contemporary of Paley's. Stephen was a respected English author and an Anglican clergyman. He described William Paley as "Socinian in all but name."

Given BioLogos's own theological trajectory (I'm thinking particularly of their dismissive attitude toward key doctrines like biblical authority and original sin), they may not recognize Socinianism—or its close cousins, Unitarianism, Deism, and theological liberalism—as anti-Christian worldviews. But Dr. Mohler certainly understands that those ideas are hostile to Scripture and antithetical to every major stream of historic Christian faith.

In other words, Dr. Mohler undoubtedly disagrees with Dr. Giberson's assessment of Darwin. As difficult as this may be for Dr. Giberson to receive and as hurtful as it may be to his academic ego, Dr. Mohler no doubt found Dr. Giberson's book Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution unpersuasive.

But as far as Dr. Giberson is concerned, the only possible explanation for Dr. Mohler's statement about Darwin is that Mohler simply doesn't care about truth. Giberson insists Dr. Mohler is a deliberate, cold-hearted, shameless liar.

I'm not exaggerating. Giberson loaded his Huffington article with just about every accusation and insult space would allow. He stops just short of making Mohler out to be a felon. Giberson alleges that Mohler "does not seem to care about the truth and seems quite content to simply make stuff up when it serves his purpose." "Perhaps [Mohler's] only real encounter with Saving Darwin was an instruction to an assistant to 'find something in Giberson's book that I can ridicule in my speech.'" "Mohler perhaps, is being a 'faith fibber,' something I have been guilty of, although not on this scale." "I am disappointed to realize that [skeptic Michael] Shermer, who repudiated his faith, has more respect for the truth than Al Mohler, who views himself as a caretaker of a faith that I share."

Really?

Because in the very next sentence, Giberson goes on to assert that "religious belief is complex and full of mystery, paradox, and contradiction" (emphasis added). That is tantamount to saying faith is an absurdity. I'm fairly confident Dr. Mohler would not view himself as a caretaker of that sort of faith. It's not true faith at all by any biblical standard; it's classic existential and neo-orthodox nonsense.

But anyway, let me get to the thing that chafes me most about BioLogos's answer to their own question, "How Should BioLogos Respond to Dr. Albert Mohler's Critique?"

My answer would have been, "Address the biblical and theological points he made." Dr. Mohler gave several clear doctrinal arguments to show why the peculiar brand of cosmological deism being touted by the BioLogos crew is incompatible with sound doctrine and hostile to a high view of Scripture. Their campaign is destructive to foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, starting with the authority of Scripture and the doctrine of original sin.

The theological case Dr. Mohler made was compelling. Until BioLogos responds to it, I'll stand by what I have said all along: They cannot be serious when they claim they are interested in bringing science and faith together. Indeed, they are steering people into the same spiritual blind alley that ultimately caused Darwin to abandon theism altogether. And the skeptical blogosphere is full of spiritual casualties who are living (and dying) illustrations of what happens when half-hearted faith hits that dead end.

Phil's signature

199 comments:

dan said...

boom! very well said, phil.

biologos has hit an iceberg yet they still seem to think their position is unsinkable. instead of truly inspecting and working on the holes in their theology they remain infatuated with the superficial glory of their doomed ship.

Andreas said...

Both the tone and arguments in this blogpost completely triumphs the huff-post.

Mike said...

"Because in the very next sentence, Giberson goes on to assert that "religious belief is complex and full of mystery, paradox, and contradiction" (emphasis added)—tantamount to saying faith is an absurdity. I'm fairly confident Dr. Mohler would not view himself as a caretaker of that sort of faith.

You hit the nail on the head there! The "faith" of this sort is an absurdity. Everything I've read from BioLogos makes me think of Revelation 3:16. I'd rather sit down to dinner with Dawkins and Hitchens than any of the Darwinists at BioLogos.

J♥Yce said...

From John MacArthur's telecast yesterday ~ transcript:
http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/42-250

The idea is clear, if you're in the wrong religion, you're going to be condemned. If you're a purveyor of the wrong religion, you're going to receive a far-greater suffering and damnation in hell. They're dangerous, be warned. They're hypocrites, they're worthy of condemnation. Compassion...yes, gospel, give them the gospel, pray for their salvation, have a sad heart, but in the end, we have nothing to learn from false teachers and false religions. And they must know that they are under sentence of divine condemnation. They must know for their sake and the sake of those who need to be protected from them. Let's pray.

Wonder what such folks would do with Levitt/Schroeder?

Bruce said...

Phil,

I'm not sure Giberson's point was that Darwin was an evangelical before he set sail, but that he was not biased towards evolution from the start.

I think to resolve this particular issue, Dr. Mohler's specific claims are going to need to be addressed, not just a demonstration that Darwin wasn't an orthodox evangelical.

DJP said...

Gosh, what an ugly move on their part. Such whiners.

D'you think that Karl Giberson (PhD!) is a graduate of the Jehoshaphat School of Evangelism (2 Chronicles 18:3)?

Well-done as usual, Phil.

Zaphon said...

"Ugly" is what it denegrates to when they don't have an answer, just an emotional response to the TRUTH.

I'm thankful to God for the collective brilliance of Team Pyro.

Fire Departments everywhere-Be On Full Alert!

Robert said...

I think this can be chalked up to one of two things, or maybe even a combination of the two:

1) Suppressing the truth (a la Romans 1)

2) Laziness (which runs rampant these days)

Either Giberson knows the roots of Darwin's theology and didn't care to share them or he is too lazy to research them. I think that people can even suppress the truth because of their laziness.

There is no excuse for this...if people want to stand firm in their convictions, they better be sure that the basis for their convictions is solid. Especially when they go around throwing out their beliefs for people to follow. Anybody looking to be a teacher of theology in any sense really needs to look at the warnings for teachers throughout the Bible. They should also learn what the Bible says about cozying up with the world.

"'If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.'" (John 15:19)

"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." (James 3:1)

"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility towards God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)

bou2010 said...

Wow.

Kinda sad that they would do that. I definitely disagree with that strategy.

I'm a big Al Mohler fan, except for his Manhattan snafu.

Rob Bailey said...

I read the HUPO article yesterday. Another disturbing thing about it is that Giberson seems to exalt the concept of "lost religion." It sounds like Darwin deserting his "faith" is to be admired. It is like some kind of reverse universe. Where truth is a lie and good is bad, and the smart people are fools.

donsands said...

"Dr. Giberson evidently would have us believe Darwin was a typical evangelical until an honest inquiry into the scientific evidence forced him to take a more enlightened position.... He was a product of that Unitarian intellectualism."

Giberson must be a great admirer of Darwin.

Even if Darwin professed he was an evangelical Christian before he discovered his new theory, the fact that he turned his back on the Scrptures, the truth of Christ, and God, proves he was not a genuine believer, at all.

His faith would have been in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-2).

What an incredible article here. Dr. Mohler surely will be encouraged and blessed to have such a good brother and friend to speak up for him.

Frank Rue said...

@Phil... Great post. This is a reminder of the constant and unnecessary drop to ad hominem that so many "non-fundamentalists" (as they tend to label themselves) resort to when having what was supposed to be an intelligent discussion.

I don't know if it matters which side anyone is on—the moment a person resorts to insulting and discrediting on subjective hyperboles I start getting irritated.

I think, regardless of the timeline of Darwin's unknowable synapses, it's quite a minor point in the grand scheme of either argument. I think your point of the "dead end" of an alley of theism is more appropriate: why bother accepting any truth from the Bible if you can't accept that the Bible is truth?

Ugh. God save us all.

Thanks again for a great read!
Frank

Good Shepherd Weekly said...

What better way to toady up to the secular left than to write a condescending/insulting article about Al Mohler and YE Creationism.

That's Mclaren's game too...play sycophant to the secularist by belittling the people they hate--"fellow"(and I use that word in the loosest possible way) Christians.

They think that this will earn them standing and respect in the world. In reality it simply means that they are useful idiots.

GW said...

What is a combox?

olan strickland said...

Phil: "How Should BioLogos Respond to Dr. Albert Mohler's Critique?"

My answer would have been, "Address the biblical and theological points he made."


Ad hominem and red herring are the preferred trails!

Pta-herald said...

I have never understood liberals. They study to attack the very thing they are studying.
Normally just to make a name for them. One liberal in South Africa once defended herself by saying the faith must evolve and grow and cannot stay saying the same things, over and over again, just in other words.
They always offer open debate and dialogue, but when they whipped in public, they resort to play ground tactics.
You know, I think, I will call my Big Brother to sort out this one.

DJP said...

Good Shepherd Weekly - exactly right.

And, as we've observed, it doesn't really get them respect. It just signals to God-haters that Biologos has begun the (to them) necessary journey in the right direction. They'll simply wait for them to complete that journey.

Robert said...

Things haven't changed much in 2,000 years. That's the same attacks that the Pharisees used on Jesus. They couldn't attack His teaching or His miracles, so they just tried to attack Him. They said He casted out demons by the power of Satan...they said He was a liar and blasphemer, although they could never prove it. Sadly, a broad majority buy into the lies because they are unwilling to spend the time learning the truth.

stratagem said...

combox - shorthand blogger buzzword for "comment box"

It makes me angry to think of how Dr. Mohler is being maligned for his faithfulness, by people who profess to be Christians. This must be a knot in the pit of his stomach - may God comfort him in knowing that his persecution is for the greatest cause of all.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Giberson wrote of Mohler that he does not seem to care about the truth and seems quite content to simply make stuff up when it serves his purpose.

Look, I can handle someone from BioLogos making a case against a conservative evangelical, even in strong terms. But the above is absolutely outrageous. To accuse a brother with this broad brush? That Mohler doesn't care about truth? And is quite content just to make stuff up? This is shameful, disrespectful, given Mohler's long record.

Disagree about interpretations, and state your position. But such a slur is beyond the pale...

David said...

Is the following an accurate statement?

"Darwin did not embark upon the Beagle having no preconceptions of what exactly he was looking for or having no theory of how life emerged in all of its diversity, fecundity, and specialization. Darwin left on his expedition to prove the theory of evolution."

Mike said...

Many thanks to you, Phil!

I found the HuffPo article quite disheartening. I trust Dr. Mohler, but I know little of Darwin's personal life. I'm grateful for your clarification on the issue and for calling Dr. Giberson out on his lack of tact for using ad hom argumentation through a secular medium to address a conflict with a 'fellow' christian.

Word verification: surehott

Phil Johnson said...

David:

One of the specific goals of the Beagle voyage was to find evidence supporting Charles Lyell's theory of geological uniformitarianism.

"Lyell's interpretation of geologic change as the steady accumulation of minute changes over enormously long spans of time was a powerful influence on the young Charles Darwin. Lyell asked Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, to search for erratic boulders on the survey voyage of the Beagle, and just before it set out FitzRoy gave Darwin Volume 1 of the first edition of Lyell's Principles. When the Beagle made its first stop ashore at St Jago, Darwin found rock formations which seen 'through Lyell's eyes' gave him a revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island, an insight he applied throughout his travels."

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The theological case Dr. Mohler made was compelling. Until BioLogos responds to it, I'll stand by what I have said all along: They cannot be serious when they claim they are interested in bringing science and faith together. Indeed, they are steering people into the same spiritual blind alley that ultimately caused Darwin to abandon theism altogether."

The Father of Lies is pleased with the work that BioLogos is doing.

David said...

Phil,

Charles Lyell's theory of geological uniformitarianism is not a theory of evolution. It may be a geological theory which supports an old earth, but it has little to do with biology. To the extent that one could label Lyell in 1831, I think it would be most accurate to call him an old earth creationist.

In addition, Captain Fitzroy was an ardent creationist until the day he died. Doesn't seem likely that Fitzroy would lead an expedition designed to "prove the theory of evolution".

So, again, is the Mohler statement accurate?

Steve Gentry said...

From Darwin's autobiography:

After having spent two sessions in Edinburgh, my father perceived, or he heard from my sisters, that I did not like the thought of being a physician, so he proposed that I should become a clergyman. He was very properly vehement against my turning into an idle sporting man, which then seemed my probable destination. I asked for some time to consider, as from what little I had heard or thought on the subject I had scruples about declaring my belief in all the dogmas of the Church of England; though otherwise I liked the thought of being a country clergyman. Accordingly I read with care 'Pearson on the Creed,' and a few other books on divinity; and as I did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word in the Bible, I soon persuaded myself that our Creed must be fully accepted.

Solameanie said...

Hmmm. "Biologos has hit an iceberg." Wonder if they'll sing "Nearer My God to Thee" as the ship sinks?

DJP said...

Maybe "Nearer, my blob, to thee"?

LeeC said...

In that Charles Darwin was not, and never had been a regenerate Christian then there should be absolutley no doubt that he was predisposed to support evolution and deny Chritianity well before the voyage of the Beagle.

It is the most "natural" path for ther unbeliever.

I see no reason for debate.

LeeC said...

Steve Gentry,
Are you saying that we should take Caesars "de Bello Gallico" or the works of Herodotus and Thucidides literally and accurate as well?

Darwin would not be the first to put a slant on things to give his current view more veracity. Look rather to where he learned what he called Christianity.

Phil Johnson said...

David: "So, again, is the Mohler statement accurate"

It's certainly more accurate than any of Giberson's statements about Mohler.

And it comes miles closer to the truth about Darwin than Giberson's portral of Darwin as a pious Christian who believed in creation by divine fiat and was totally caught off guard by the biological evidence he discovered on his voyage.

How would Mohler state his point or qualify it if he were writing a journal article as opposed to making a point in passing during a message to lay people? I guess we'll have to see what Dr. Mohler himself says about that.

But it's no fair holding him to a level of precision BioLogos's principle contributors don't even follow. If something like this can be cited as definitive "proof" that someone doesn't give a hang about the truth but just makes stuff up out of thin air, let's apply that standard to BioLogos too, shall we? Giberson's statements about Mohler would already consign him to the Bald-Faced Liar category. Shall we apply the standard to other BioLogos writers as well, and see how they fare?

The point is, this sort of tactic on BioLogos's part is over-the-top inappropriate, regardless of how Dr. Mohler might explain or qualify his statement. Nitpicking about whether Mohler should have said "uniformitarianism" instead of "evolution" isn't going to make the BioLogos strategy look any better.

If you don't get that, I can't help you.

LeeC said...

And again, even if Mr. Mohler was in error, there is a vast difference between being wrong, and being a liar.

David said...

LeeC,

"There should be absolutley no doubt that he was predisposed to support evolution and deny Chritianity well before the voyage of the Beagle."

You are confusing the question of Darwin's Christianity (or lack thereof) with the question of what he thought about evolution in 1831. You say "no doubt", but you offer no evidence.

"Darwin would not be the first to put a slant on things to give his current view more veracity."

So, you're best response is that Darwin was a liar?

Phil,

Now all we're arguing about is tone. Who's ruder? Who's more wrong? If someone fails to correct an error, is it fair to call him a liar? But these aren't the question that I asked.

Nothing that you said about BioLogos or Giberson changes the fact that Mohler's statement is inaccurate. Whether or not Giberson's description of Darwin is accurate or not, Mohler is still quite inaccurate, and this was something that Giberson correctly pointed out.

Everyday Mommy said...

I'm sure that Dr. Mohler is more than accustomed to this sort of treatment from the world. I pray for him, and all the men of God who stand up for Truth daily.

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you." John 15:18

Phil Johnson said...

Steve Gentry:

That section from Darwin's bio describes his state of mind during his student years; not what he was thinking when he joined the Beagle voyage.

Furthermore, I continually encounter atheists who purposely exaggerate about how piously they "believed" before undergoing a de-conversion. It makes them sound so much more credible.

Notice on that very page of Darwin's autobiography, he is complaining about "how fiercely I have been attacked by the orthodox." It bolsters his case to exaggerate how "orthodox" he himself was during his student years.

It is nevertheless a fact that the preaching he grew up under and regularly sat under as a student was Socinian and skeptical. If he really believed the literal truth of Scripture as thoroughly as he claimed years later, isn't it remarkable that he never actually worshiped on a regular basis with a congregation who shared such a simple faith?

BrettR said...

Just got done listening to Dr. Mohler's message at this year's Ligonier conference again. I advise everyone to give it a new listen and then read the Huffpo article and the combox bile.

Careful thinking vs. careless slinging in its finest hour...

Great post, Phil, as always.

stratagem said...

Darwin left on the Beagle to impartially sniff out the truth between the Bible and Naturalism? That dog won't hunt.

David said...

"If you don't get that, I can't help you."

All I'm asking for is some recognition that Mohler made a mistake. I don't understand why Mohler is so reluctant to say "ooops".

David said...

"Darwin left on the Beagle to impartially sniff out the truth between the Bible and Naturalism? That dog won't hunt."

Who made this argument? My impression is that Darwin went on the Beagle because he wanted an adventure. He liked exploring the natural world, he didn't particularly know what to do with himself and he didn't want to grow up. Going around the world collecting stuff beat working for a living.

stratagem said...

David - get BioLogos to go first, they've got more to "oops" about.

stratagem said...

Who made this argument?

BioLogos, apparently.

LeeC said...

David,

That he was not a Christian is all the evidence in the world that he was predisposed to believe in evolution and discard christianity.

Th non christian is predisposed believe ANYTHING rather than the truth of the Bible.

Simple hamartology.

There is more than enough proof of this in Scripture.

Fred Butler said...

he is complaining about "how fiercely I have been attacked by the orthodox."

Sounds like he was something of a protoemergent. Read this kind of complaint on a daily basis in the combox at GTY during the Genesis series.

David said...

1. The Gollum graphic is a perfect choice to illustrate BioLogos. Maybe even Saruman. 2. Mohler is no stranger to insult for anyone having followed the Baptist battles the past 20 yrs. He may even welcome Giverson's invectives compared to the other Sarumans on the moderate/liberal side of Baptist life. You know who you are.

Phil Johnson said...

David: "Now all we're arguing about is tone. Who's ruder?"

Sure. Everyone here knows what a stickler I am for a treacly "tone."

Incidentally, I did not--and would not--stipulate that Dr. Mohler's statement was "inaccurate" in the sense Giberson and you are trying to suggest. I'll wait to hear Dr. Mohler's own exegesis of it. In the meantime, the actual point Dr. Mohler was making is certainly a valid one: Darwin was hardly a pious biblical literalist when he set out on his quest to study natural theology. It wasn't evidence for fiat creation he was seeking, but the very opposite.

Will you or BioLogos ever engage the real points Mohler made in that message? I'd still love to see that.

James Joyce said...

Charles Darwin was influenced by his grandfather Erasmus, who penned an evolutionary work titled "Zoönomia".
He was also an admirer of uniformitarian geoligist Charles Lyell who wrote "Principles of Geology". Charles took the first volume with him on the Beagle.
See the following link at http://creation.com/darwin-and-lyell for more details.

David said...

LeeC,

Still no evidence to support the Mohler statement in question.

Phil,

"I did not--and would not--stipulate that Dr. Mohler's statement was "inaccurate" in the sense Giberson and you are trying to suggest."


I'm not sure what you mean by "in the sense Giberson and you are trying to suggest." Mohler said "Darwin left on his expedition to prove the theory of evolution." This is inaccurate. If you don't like the fact that Giberson focuses on this mistake in the HuffPo piece, well, ok, I understand that. If you think that Giberson should worry about his own mistakes, I understand that, too. But Mohler's statement is still inaccurate.

So, I see that everyone just want to worry about Giberson's errors and not their own. Everyone makes mistakes. So, why not correct the mistakes and move on? Then it would be a lot easier to move on to the "real points."

donsands said...

Excellent info from James Joyce.

That plate of spaghetti made me think of this, when I read the hidden phrase:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDXSXkYoM5Y&feature=related

Robert said...

David,

Go read the link that James Joyce posted...I think you'll find it enlightening. I am thinking that Mohler actually did his homework before putting forth such statements as he did. I'm not here to boast about him, but he reads a handful of books each week...thus I am sure that he finds time to do the research he needs to before he prepares, writes, and speaks about any subject.

Meanwhile, when I read your comments, I see a lot of the regurgitated arguments that others have put forth to justify "theistic evolution". Maybe you're just more enlightened than the rest of us, though. That is what the age of enlightenment was all about, right? And that is what spurred the reasoning that lead the world to the philosophy of evolution in the first place.

David said...

"Go read the link that James Joyce posted."

Go read the several full-length biographies of Darwin that I have read. You think that Mohler has read even one serious Darwin biography?

So what's JJ's argument? Darwin knew that some in England had ideas about evolution? No kidding. Does this mean the Darwin set out on the Beagle to prove evolution? No.

Mr. Fosi said...

Hard to be believe that David's been allowed to keep this going as long as he has; the classic defense attorney tactic of putting the victim on trial.

Rather than discuss the obvious and egregious error and bad form which is the subject of this post, he chooses instead to focus on literalized and nuanced equivocation of a single statement made by Dr. Mohler.

Breathtaking the unabashed double-standard and personal hypocrisy he is willing to show up in himself. If only he would be a literalistic and nuanced in all facets of his worldview, one wonders where it would lead him.

I usually enjoy David's forays into the combox here but I am fairly annoyed by this obvious and inelegant trolling run.

Dr. Mohler's been out in public for a long time... I would hope that a half-baked hatchet job in a rag like the huffpo wouldn't set him back too far. His work stands on it's own, making it easy to defend.

Steve Gentry said...

Robert: I read the link that James Joyce provided. In it, I find the following statement, Judging from letters and scientific notes written while on the Beagle voyage, it seems clear that Darwin had not been inclined towards evolutionary thinking prior to 1836.

The voyage of the Beagle began in 1831. Consequently, Mohler's statement is in error.

As for engaging the "real" points of Mohler's message, as Phil suggests, I've read Mohler's message and was unimpressed. All of his points have been addressed and answered time and time again. He brought nothing new to the table. Everything he said was a rehash of the same old tired arguments for young earth creationism.

David said...

"Rather than discuss the obvious and egregious error and bad form which is the subject of this post, he chooses instead to focus on literalized and nuanced equivocation of a single statement made by Dr. Mohler."

Literalized and nuanced equivocation of a single statement? Huh?

Perhaps I misundestood, but I thought that this post was, at least in part, about the article at HuffPo. I went to HuffPo and saw that Giberson focused on Mohler's error. All I'm saying is that, yes, Mohler made a mistake. On this point, Giberson is correct. Is this too hard to acknowledge? Is your hatred for the man and BioLogos so great that you can't acknowledge that he is at least correct on this one point? How do Giberson's errors excuse Mohler's errors?

There would be no need to go on and on if someone could just say "oops".

Robert said...

Steve,

Really...you read the whole paper and that is what you clinged to? Let's see...I guess Darwin wouldn't have been smart enough to keep his notes and records straight so as to hide any presuppositions he may have had, right? Did you skip over the history of his family and his activity in various student councils?

Let me offer you another tidbit to read:

http://www.parentcompany.com/csrc/cdagenda.htm

Although I am sure you will find a way to take a small sliver of that and try to use it to go against the rest of the article.

Joshua Cookingham said...

Oops.

:)

There, can we stop now?
Hmm, did a bit of checking and it seems that Darwin was more interested in observation as a whole, rather than proving something.
However, He WAS under unitarian thinking for most of his life, so I doubt that his theology was as solid as BioLogos is making out. Furthermore, Darwin was also influenced by evolutionary theory as put forth by Lyell, who was NOT a creationist by any means.
So, yeah, maybe Mohler should have said 'Oops' but Biologos should have said THAT instead of what they did.

Mike said...

Well I've personally only read a few half-length biographies, but I've learned one thing from this discussion: We are all now pros at net-speak! My interwebz debate vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds!

"combox", "ad hom", "trolling run", "huffpo", "blob" and "the".

Teampyro has helped me become a 133t debater of combox theology!

Ruth said...

I have to be honest: I do not think this is one of your better articles.
The comment on Paley being a Socinian is absurd, especially in light of the fact Paley looked at nature for elements of design on purpose, in order to try and argue for the existence of a God. He was a well known apologist and strongly argued against atheism. You found one guy who thought this about him; meanwhile there are many points to be found in his favour.

But, more to the point, what I consider to be the most important problem barely received any attention, aside from a sarcastic barb.
Why did BioLogos feel the need to publish an article at the Huffington Post? Bastion of secular humanism, sure. But think about the ramifications of this. Why couldn't they just write whatever they felt they needed to say and posted it at their own website? Or better yet, if they feel Mohler is in error, follow Matthew 18 and deal with him directly, and in private. It is a major problem when self-professed Christians turn to the world as the vent for their issues. The fact that they published at the Huffington Post, rather than dealing with Mohler's article either directly or via their own website says far more about their spiritual standing than their actual argument does.
Consider what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:1 "If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?" In the following verses, Paul makes a strong case for the fact that such behaviour is not only a sin, but brings shame to the Body of Christ.

There is actually a major spiritual priblem with BioLogos' behavior, and it reaches far beyond any contention they may have regarding Darwin.

Stefan said...

1 Corinthians 6 came to mind for me, too, more so than the question of the validity or invalidity of the underlying complaint.

The fact that this dispute was posted to a secular publication—well beyond the pale for intramural disputes—belies BioLogos' professed Christianness.

Stefan said...

It would be tantamount to an agnostic professing to reject theism, and writing a guest post on this blog to air his beefs about something Christopher Hitchens said.

RFB said...

Thanks Phil, thoughtful and well written as always.

We are praying for your health and back. Thanks for your gracious servous to God' people.

Johnny Dialectic said...

David, I think Mohler may indeed have made a mistake. Does that justify Giberson saying that Mohler does not care about the truth and seems quite content to simply make stuff up? Why assume, and make public, the worst?

RealityCheck said...

Let’s assume that Mohler did make a mistake (and I’m not saying he did) does that equate to a guy like Shermer having more respect for the truth than Mohler? Come on. And the points made about BioLogos going to The Huffington Post instead of Mohler are right on.

At what point does one start to think that The Huffington Post and BioLogos is a match made in heav… ah… hel… well… never mind.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Is there Moral Equivalency between Albert Mohler/TeamPyro and BioLogos/HuffPo?

Is it right and fair and good to say: "A pox on both your houses!"

Sir Aaron said...

Some here would have us believe the article at HuffPo was primarily a response to Mohler's "error" about Darwin's intention when embarking on the Beagle. As if that was the great divide between Biologos and Mohler.

The point of the article is to fan hatred and contempt in a vain attempt to discredit a man who has great influence among those of us who hold to the true Christian faith.

I think the article's a good thing. I prefer for the enemy to make the battle lines clearer.

Tom Chantry said...

Al Mohler doesn't need me to defend him.

That said, it is common to use the word "evolution" in Christian circles as a figure of speech (I think properly a synecdoche, but I'm not sure that's it) for the entire complex of naturalistic explanations regarding physical origins. This complex involves naturalistic cosmology and geology - neither of which have anything to do with "evolution" as it is strictly defined. Nevertheless, it would not be unusual to use the word "evolution" as follows: "Evolution teaches that the universe originated in a Big Bang and that strata of rocks require millions of years to form." It isn't strictly accurate in a scientific sense; neither is it a lie. The word "evolution" is used here in the place of the rather clunky phrase "naturalistic explanations of origin."

Now if Darwin already believed in a naturalistic theory of geology and held that it invalidated the Biblical account of creation, and if he went out to investigate biology along the same naturalistic lines, it would make sense to say he was already committed to "evolution" before he began. In fact, you could say he already accepted "evolution's" explanation of rocks and was in search of a corresponding naturalistic explanation of biological diversity.

As Phil said above, he wasn't writing in a scholarly journal. The context may explain the use of the word "evolution."

Caleb Kolstad said...

Great post!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Sir Aaron: "I prefer for the enemy to make the battle lines clearer."

An interesting preference. Does anyone oppose this preference? Or is everyone okay with it?

The battle lines are within Christendom. The battle lines are a civil war. Between theistic evolutionists who support Biologos and its efforts and the anti-theistic evolutionists who support Albert Mohler and TeamPyro.

Anyone believe that such a division and such a battle is a scandal for the Bride of Christ? That it betrays the call to unity amongst Christians?

That Albert Mohler and TeamPyro is fomenting sinful disunity and division in the Body of Christ?

Or that the price of purity and faithfulness occasions and warrants such internal wars and (hinted at) charges of "heresy hunting" or "spineless compromising"?

Do you have the stomach and spine for a civil war within Christendom? Can you be a white blood cell fighting off an internal cancer? Or do you think that diagnoses of an internal cancer are overblown and exaggerated?

James Joyce said...

Did Darwin board the Beagle with the intention of proving evolution?
Maybe...maybe not.

Did he board the Beagle with a long age and evolutionary bias?
The biographical evidence says yes.

Joey Phillips said...

Tom Chantry's explanation is one of several plausible ones...and everyone knows it. (That isn't said to slight Tom's comment, it was very well written.)

Phil is exactly right...BioLogos knows it will never win this battle by addressing the biblical arguments Mohler presented. So what do you do when you can't address someone's argument? Why you attack the person instead of the argument of course!

This will roll off Mohler like water off a ducks back.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Why you attack the person instead of the argument of course!"

BioLogos making an ad hominem argument against Albert Mohler?

Who woulda thunk it?

Do you have the stomach and spine for a civil war within Christendom? Can you be a white blood cell fighting off an internal cancer? Or do you think that diagnoses of an internal cancer are overblown and exaggerated?

DJP said...

A faceless, anonymous commenter prodding everyone else to bold action and confrontation so he can watch.

Only on the intrawebs.

Frank Turk said...

David:

Accusing Al Mohler of not reading books is like accusing Obama of not smoking cigarettes. It's implausible at best -- my suggestion is that you think about who you're talking about. Mohler's personal library is encyclopedic, and if you pull a random book off the shelf, he can tell you what the main argument is and whether or not he found it compelling and why.

I'll bet he has at least one decent biography of Darwin on his shelf.

That said, it's an easy thing to gage Darwin's theological disposition: list his papers written on theology (private and published). Since that list is somewhat vacant, you can therefore list his papers (private and published) on ethics, science,and biological origins. If among those you can find any defenses of Biblical cosmology -- even roughly-deistic cosmology/origins -- then please continue.

It's strange that a man who was on a journey from the singularly most-evident interreptation of Genesis in his day to rank materialistic biological theory never actually write much on his earliest beliefs -- and wrote volumes over decades for what you are representing as his end point.

Don't you think? What do you think about that?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Ad hominem instead of addressing the argument.

DJP said...

...because that's what you really want to watch: argument.

So, what's your actual name, TUAD? What church do you attend? What's your role in that church?

LeeC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LeeC said...

Look to your own noms de guerre TUAD.

There is a not so small amount of irony in it.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I'm a member of the invisible Body of Christ.

I'm a lay servant in the local church.

Having said all that, perhaps it's really you who are deeply interested in starting and watching arguments.

David said...

Phil,

"I'll bet he has at least one decent biography of Darwin on his shelf."

Well, he doesn't seem to have read it. If you can find some direct evidence for example, something in Darwin's words), that says that "Darwin left on his expedition to prove the theory of evolution", I'll look at it. Otherwise, all you (and Mohler) have is essentially unsupported speculation. Can anyone show me any full-length biography by any well-trained historian in which the historian draws the conclusion that "Darwin left on his expedition to prove the theory of evolution"?


Tom,

So, your argument is that Mohler doesn't know the meaning of the word "evolution" and/or uses the word incorrectly. So, he's not a liar, he's just misinformed. Well, that's better than being a liar, but still, I would think that Mohler would like to be well-informed, and what's the harm in clarifying or correcting mistakes.

RC,

"Let’s assume that Mohler did make a mistake (and I’m not saying he did)."

Oh, just say that he did and be done with it.

JD,

"David, I think Mohler may indeed have made a mistake."

Thank you.

Now, as to the broader question of who stinketh the most...

I think that if you accuse someone of heresy (and worse) and if you accuse someone of working with Satan, then the accused is going to get angry. And they're going to look for any mistake, any opening, any way to fire back and to shower you with garbage.

I think that if you accuse someone of scientific ignorance and/or working to drive Christians out with an insistence that the Earth is 6000 years old, then the accused is going to get angry. And they're going to look for any mistake, any opening, any way to shower you with garbage.

And when the theological food fight is over, everyone will be covered in mashed potatoes and rotten eggs. At least, in these modern times, no one gets burned at the stake.

donsands said...

"This will roll off Mohler like water off a ducks back."

Ya think. I wich I had that kind of disposition when others criticize me.

I sometimes get angry, and other times feel castdown. I guess it's the way God put my personality together.

I still pray for Dr. Mohler to be encouraged and strong through all this. Amen.

David said...

"Did he board the Beagle with a long age and evolutionary bias?
The biographical evidence says yes."

A long age bias? Yes. An evolutionary bias? No. That's what the evidence says.

DJP said...

Weak, lame, and cowardly, TUAD.

The folks you egg on are all participants. Their names and information are all out there.

You're a Monday morning quarterback. Or, worse, someone in the stands at the Colisseum, calling for blood. Your MO is to put two together and get them to fight, as you spectate and comment.

So, what's your actual name? What local church?

Failing that, name one person in ANY of the blogs you spectate who knows your actual personal info.

David said...

Well, TUAD, it looks like you've drawn the Eye of Mordor. Good luck.

DJP said...

Ooh, if a commiserating pout from David the Unteachable Troll doesn't make you stop and think, I'm sure nothing I could do would succeed.

David said...

Pout?

No, no, you misunderstand! I'm laughing!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"Weak, lame, and cowardly, TUAD."

Quarrelsome. Not only that, but instigating and agitating for a quarrel.

"Ooh, if a commiserating pout from David the Unteachable Troll"

Thanks for showcasing your MO. Not a godly witness.

DJP said...

More dodging. So, what's your actual name? What local church?

Failing that, name one person in ANY of the blogs you spectate who knows your actual personal info.

What if this became your price of admission to what you regard as the show, here?

It wouldn't stand out to me so much were it not for your MO, detailed above.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DJP said...

Direct answer, TUAD.

DJP said...

Supplement: "nobody knows who I am, and I am unwilling to tell anyone" would count as a direct answer.

Just no more dodging.

RealityCheck said...

TruthUnites,

"Oh, just say that he did and be done with it."

No... that's what a troll would do just to cause an argument and it's what you do. Notice the connection? You argue for argument sake… just like “David”.

You come in here and read a great post and some really great comments and then find something to nit-pick at just so you can get a rise out of people. I think it’s pathetic.

Dan wrote this in another post the other day:

“we aim at meaningful conversations for grown-up, or folks who want to be grown-ups.”

I find myself in the later camp to be quite honest and I find people like you interfering with that goal.

Honestly, don’t you have anything better to do?

Phil Johnson said...

Ruth: "The comment on Paley being a Socinian is absurd, especially in light of the fact Paley looked at nature for elements of design on purpose, in order to try and argue for the existence of a God. He was a well known apologist and strongly argued against atheism. You found one guy who thought this about him; meanwhile there are many points to be found in his favour."

Well, Socinianism isn't atheism, so I'm not sure why you think the charge of Socinianism is "absurd" just because Paley was an apologist for theism. It would be absurd to suggest that belief in God automatically rules out Socinian principles. In the mid- to late 18th century, Socinian ministers were a dime a dozen in the Anglican Church (New England churches were overrun by them, too).

There is a long-standing debate--going back to Paley's own lifetime--about whether he was Socinian, Unitarian, or what. Two facts are clear: 1) His doctrinal convictions were ambiguous enough to provoke that debate while he was still active in ministry, and 2) He had lots of Unitarian comrades and ardent supporters. That's really all one needs to make the point I made: Darwin's initial fondness for Paley's teleological argument is hardly sufficient to establish the claim that Darwin was a Christian.

Incidentally, I have exactly the same concern about many in the "Intelligent Design" community today. Theism isn't Christianity, and it's possible to be an articulate defender of ID and yet reject most of the fundamental truths of Christianity. Christians ought to bear that in mind before we make heroes out of too many apologists for ID.

donsands said...

"Christians ought to bear that in mind before we make heroes out of too many apologists for ID."

Yep. I sometimes bring a guy like Ben Stein into the good guy camp. Not that I can't like someone like Ben more-so than Richard Dawkins, but I need to pray for them both to come to Christ for the remission of their sins.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

@Ruth,

Paley was a deist, if anything; nevertheless, a "theist" at some level.

@Phil Johnson,

Why jab ID? Do you think there is any place for scientific endeavor that is situated within a Christian worldview?

This is interesting, because theistic evolutionists want to affirm the possibility that I ask for; and you seem to want to deny it by your point here. And I think that both groups (biologos and "creation science") represent the polar extremes on the same continuum --- viz. they both operate out of a false dualism that doesn't think about reality christologically (i.e. which grounds epistemology and its grammar in the ontology of God's life as disclosed in the hypostatic UNION of the man from Nazareth). To me, it seems, that you are throwing apples at apple growers (and vice versa) while you're posturing in way that would make it "appear" that you're throwing oranges.

Phil Johnson said...

evangelicalcalvinist: "Why jab ID?"

What did I say that you disagree with? Do you think belief in ID does automatically make a person a Christian?

That wasn't a jab at ID; it was a word of caution to Christians who tend to assume to much when someone professes belief in God. LOTS of religious people, pro-lifers, and conservative republicans are actually hostile to the truth of Christ. Christians tend to forget that.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

@Phil Johnson,

So to be clear, what I'm saying: is that I agree that BioLogos is errant/wrong in their approach; but in the same way so is "Creation Science" (which in some ways could be construed as an oxymoron). I don't see Creation Science (vs. the label of YEC) actually preserving the perscipuity of Scipture or the Gospel; and that is because it speaks out of and from the same rationalist dualist categories that BioLogos is operating out of. In short, I see BioLogos as emphasizing "creation" Science, and **Creation Science** (i.e. Pyros) emphasizing Creation "science." Neither approach notice how both of these distinct disciplines should be inseparably related to each other --- or grounded in Creator/creature distinction emphasized by the homoousion and hypostatic union, analogically, in Jesus Christ.

"Science" is a distinct discipline, as is "Theology" (the Queen of the "sciences"); each discipline as a distinct object of consideration imposes (upon us) its own categories and shape. The fact that "nature/grace" (which is really under discussion between you and BioLogos) is inseparably related, in Christ, should shape this discussion; not a false assertion that just because the "semantics" are different (which is the difference I see between you and BioLogos) that then the framework is too.

In my mind, both approaches represent sub-Christian methods; even though your's has historically been associated with "orthodox Christianity" (at least proximate to its "Fundamentalist" heritage).

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

Phil J.,

It seemed like a jab to me. I see your point was more "simple" than I took it; disregard some of my comment back to you (the one I just made).

round.tuit said...

Does BioLogos deny the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Johnny Dialectic said...

And they're going to look for any mistake, any opening, any way to shower you with garbage.

So I guess your direct answer is Yes, Giberson's throwing slanderous garbage at Mohler was justified.

Um, okay...

David said...

JD,

Justified? Well, I guess that depends on how much garbage is thrown at you first. You did get the bit about how the garbage tossing was mutual, yes? (Also depends a bit on how one defines "slanderous".)

I honestly don't know if it's justified, and that really wasn't the point of my comment. My point was that I do know that this sort of thing is inevitable. Each side accuses the other of nasty things, and everyone ends up covered in, um, glory. Good show!

Frank Turk said...

tuit:

Not yet. But let's ask them about what they think about the status of homosexuality as a sin.

Anyone?

Frank Turk said...

waitaminit -- TUaD only wants to see a fight?

Like about the MD?

And everything else?

Wow. This thread just paid off big-time for me personally.

(-:

DJP said...

Frank, I would quote someone who disagrees with you, prod you to respond to it, and stand back to watch — but I just don't have the time.

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

PS: Sorry about the duplicate posts. Not sure what happened

Ruth said...

Weird, and now it's not there at all. I'll try posting it again, in chunks, in case it was too long.

You say: "Well, Socinianism isn't atheism, so I'm not sure why you think the charge of Socinianism is "absurd" just because Paley was an apologist for theism."
I never said Socinianism was atheism. I said: "You found one guy who thought this about him; meanwhile there are many points to be found in his favour."
Let's look at what you said that prompted my comment: "Perhaps the most succinct summary of William Paley's religious convictions comes to us from Sir Leslie Stephen"
Is that truly a succint, and TRUTHFULLY succinct, description of Paley's views?

In any case, it is interesting to me that you chose to focus on my initial comment on Paley rather than what I said was BY FAR the biggest problem here. Let me repeat it. Hopefully I can highlight the real issue and how serious it actually is.

Ruth said...

"What I consider to be the most important problem barely received any attention, aside from a sarcastic barb.
Why did BioLogos feel the need to publish an article at the Huffington Post?... Why couldn't they just write whatever they felt they needed to say and posted it at their own website? Or better yet, if they feel Mohler is in error, follow Matthew 18 and deal with him directly, and in private. It is a MAJOR problem when self-professed Christians turn to the world as the vent for their issues. The fact that they published at the Huffington Post... says far more about their spiritual standing than their actual argument does.
Consider what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:1 "If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?" In the following verses, Paul makes a strong case for the fact that such behaviour is not only a sin, but brings shame to the Body of Christ."

When Christians go to the world to air their grievances, we bring in unbelievers to judge us, something they have absolutely no business doing. Who cares what an unbeliever thinks about the disagreement between Mohler and those at BioLogos? Their opinion is not a bit relevant. Worse, as Pauls says in verse 7, "The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already." While it's true we are not speaking of lawsuits, the argument still holds. One group (BioLogos) does not want to be "wronged" by another (Mohler) and rather than being the more spiritual Christian and taking the insult, they go to the world. Paul specifically asks "Why not rather be wronged?" How is this sort of behaviour from BioLogos Christlike? Jesus was wrongfully accused and insulted, and yet in the heart of a servant, took it! Meanwhile, professing believers cannot even come to a quiet agreement. No, they go to the world and say "Look at what he said about us!" That is a disgrace, and brings shame to the collective Body of Christ.
Furthermore, if one holds to the view (as I do) that ones view of the Creation of the world is indicative of one's view of such serious issues as sin and salvation, then it is an even BIGGER disgrace to bring in an unbeliever! What does an unbeliever have to say about salvation? Precisely nothing!

Ruth said...

So, to sum up, the collective opinion on Darwin, creation, evolution etc... of those at BioLogos is a drop in the bucket compared to the overall issue of going to an unbeliever over spiritual matters. This ought to be a cautionary tale for all believers.
Going to the world is something we must NOT do.

Tom Chantry said...

David, I wrote: ...it is common to use the word "evolution" in Christian circles as a figure of speech (I think properly a synecdoche, but I'm not sure that's it) for the entire complex of naturalistic explanations regarding physical origins...

To which you answered:So, your argument is that Mohler doesn't know the meaning of the word "evolution" and/or uses the word incorrectly.

See, David, you have written too much on this blog to get away with this comment. Your comments demonstrate a comprehension of basic communication, so I just know that you didn't miss the nuance in my statement. Your comment is so far from what I wrote that it is only open to two interpretations. And since we know you aren't actually stupid, all that's left is that you must be willfully misrepresenting what I wrote.

I shouldn't really waste the time writing this, but maybe it will help someone else understand what Dan means when he says "troll." And who knows - it might help you. Next time you wonder why you are known here as the "unteachable troll" or why commenters (myself included) routinely ignore you, you can refer to this. Read what I actually said, and how you recast it for your own purposes. I know you'll understand.

DJP said...

Yup.

Unteachable troll =

1. No adiaphoron too trivial to beat to death; and

2. No error glaring enough to admit and retract; and

3. No counterpoint too obvious to deny or gainsay.

donsands said...

Yet he [Giberson] does not conceal his frustration—on theological as well as scientific grounds—with the rubbish of scientific creationism, which has climbed onto the radar screens of American intellectual culture only as a bad joke. Giberson's sarcasm, however honestly come by, may cause the book to alienate an evangelical audience it might otherwise engage." -Publishers Weekly

This is an odd review, I thought, of Giberson's book, "Saving Darwin".

I understand how atheists honor and admire Darwin, and even celebrate his birthday, but should a Christian, like Giberson admire this man, who has brought into the world such a doctrine that dismisses the Word of God: The only truth for mankind.

Or perhaps Giberson doesn't admire Darwin, but has remorse for what this man did, and his tragic end of dying without Christ.

David said...

"All that's left is that you must be willfully misrepresenting what I wrote."

Willfully misrepresenting what you wrote? How? I said that what you are saying is that Mohler doesn't know the meaning of the word "evolution" and/or uses the word incorrectly. Maybe he knows the meaning of the word, but your argument provides no support for this, because at a minimum, he is using the term incorrectly.

If one is talking about Darwin, and what Darwin is doing as a budding scientist, then one is using the word in the context of science. In science, the word "evolution" has a specific meaning. It refers to changes in species over time, common descent, etc. It doesn't refer to old earth geology. What's wrong with expecting Mohler to use the word properly and accurately if he's going to talk about the type of science that Darwin was or was not doing?

So, you're saying that Mohler is using the word in some obscure and coded way as a figure of speech that's designed just for his audience? Frankly, I've never heard of the defintion of evolution that you provided. I understand what you're saying, but this type of sloppiness and inaccuracy with respect to scientific language is precisely what leads to confusion and misunderstanding and accusations. You would expect me to use the terminology of theology correctly, so it seems reasonable to expect Mohler to use the terminology of science correctly.

There's an easy way to avoid confusion. Use the word in a correct and accurate way. If you're going to do science or talk about science, use the language of science correctly. If expecting that folks will use a scientific term correctly when they are discussing science makes me a troll, well, so be it.

David said...

DJP,

Unteachable? Projection?

DJP said...

< ding! >

"Alex, that's 'How do you say "I know you are, but what am I?", while trying to sound like you're over twelve?'"

Coram Deo said...

It sounds like the BioLogos team would fit nicely within the sub-group identified by Christian Smith as "actually [only] tenuously Christian in any sense that is seriously connected to the actual historical Christian tradition, but is rather substantially morphed into Christianity's misbegotten step-cousin, Christian Moralistic Therapeutic Deism."

But based upon their ineffectual fulminating fullisade against Al Mohler they've transgressed their one inviolable moral imperative: Be nice to people.

Plainly Dr. Al Mohler and Dr. Karl Giberson don't possess or profess the same type of faith, and based upon the content of the "conversation of their lives" insofar as it is visible in the public eye, one of them has a defective, demonic faith a la James 2:19.

In Christ,
CD

Sir Aaron said...

I'm obviously ignoring TUAD partly because I'm just waiting to see if EvangelicalCalvinist can use hypostatic union in three posts in a row. Because if I were criticizing two sentences of a Phil Johnson post warning about equating ID with Christianity, I'd certainly start with the hypostatic union.

DJP said...

...and a sidelong reference to volume 17 of the untranslated works of Otto von Kleinenknichter, from the 16th century, is always appropriate.

Coram Deo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Coram Deo said...

I just noticed something.

The acronym for the title of Phil's article (Evangelicals and Atheists Together) is "EAT", an obvious play on the syncretistic/ecumenical feint known as "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT).

We could reasonably extend the selfsame wordplay to the "Manhattan Declaration" (MD), and label the BioLogos HuffPo article as the "HuffPo Declaration" (HD).

Now here's where the lab work begins, if we invert the acronym for the "HuffPo Declaration" (HD), split its genome sequence, and then splice it with the "Evangelicals and Atheists Together" (EAT) sequence we obtain the acronym "DEATH".

I wore my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring out on that one.

I'm in town all week. No really, I am.

In Him,
CD

And for the haters, no I'm not invoking Ego eimi as a predicate to deny my derivative existence.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

Sir Aaron said:

. . . Because if I were criticizing two sentences of a Phil Johnson post warning about equating ID with Christianity, I'd certainly start with the hypostatic union.

Go read Thomas F. Torrance's: Ground And Grammar Of Theology: Consonance Between Theology and Science, and then get back to me :-).

Sir Aaron said...

Or I could just literally run around in circles. It probably has about as much to do with Phil's point but I'd actually benefit more from the exercise.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

Sir Aaron,

What's the pretension for?

Just to clarify, a bit further; I hold to creationism, just not "Creation Science."

As far as the hypostatic union and Phil's post: I thought Phil's post was talking about an ideology known as atheism, and how atheism and BioLogos are now bed-fellows --- apparently. Phil is speaking about a certain kind of philosophical framework and motivation that would allow for this; I am also noting a certain kind of philosophical/epistemological commitment on Phil's approach that is unfortunately at odds with what I think constitutes the ground for a Christ centered epistemology which avoids the usual dualisms that pits nature against grace. In other words I think Phil's critique could ironically be a "self-critique."

But there's way too much to this; that's why I recommended that book --- I thought Christians were supposed to be people of the "truth," checking to see if what is asserted is "so." I still don't understand why you're mocking Aaron. That kind of Christianity might get some "play" here; but certainly not in the halls of Heaven.

Robert said...

I am reminding myself of Frank's reminders about feeding trolls last week. And seeing the comment thread tonight, I think I'm going to say that to myself every time I look at this blog.

That said, it is clear to me that if you really look at Darwin's upbringing and history (not just reading the nice biographies of how great he was), you can see that any theology he espoused was very liberal. Look at his family to start with...then his associates. One thing that is abundantly clear to me is that he was very deceptive so as to keep the "right people" on his side. He is such a good deceiver that he even has people fooled hundreds of years later! Just remember who has been a deceiver from the beginning...

RealityCheck said...

I have to admit Robert, there are times when I find feeding the trolls amusing, kind of along the lines of feeding some animals at the zoo. However… today… not so much. Maybe it had to do with enough real strife going on in my life elsewhere or I think it had to do with just how good the post was and the immediate comments that followed being so good as well. I remember actually thinking that as I read along… and then… the nonsense started. I’m not talking about reasonable discussion or even disagreement, that’s fine, but the obvious efforts to just cause problems. Anyway, I need to follow Frank’s advice as well.

Your comment about Darwin is right on as well especially where you say, “Just remember who has been a deceiver from the beginning...”. I made a similar remark myself a day or so ago… I think in the Jim Wallis thread over on Dan’s blog. I guess great minds think alike ;-).

Highland Host said...

One should note that Darwin's Dad left the Unitarians for the Anglicans on the grounds that the Unitarians were less respectable. Social climbing meant going to a nice moralistic Anglican church, and leaving the Dissenters behind.

Darwin's interest in a clerical career is also quite compatible with the old figure of the Clerical amateur scientist - who read the Prayer-Book on Sundays, preached a little moral homily and married, buried and Christened his parishoners, while spending much of his time on his scientific pursuits. Undoubtedly Darwin was a self-professed Christian, but one wonders what that actually meant. It is significant that he was never associated with the fiercely Evangelical congregation of St. Alkmund's, Shrewsbury.

His father went to St. Chad's, Shrewsbury. His mother remained with the Unitarians.

Mike said...

I thought Christians were supposed to be people of the "truth,"

I see what you did there.

Mr. Fosi said...

Is that pastor Gervais Nicholas Edward Charmley?! :o Good to see you on the blog sir!

Robert said...

RC,

At least this is nothing in comparison to the tomfoolery that we witnessed over the cartoon a couple of weeks ago. I'm almost tempted to go look at that post and see if anybody commented after the last one you posted... almost .

Tom Chantry said...

Robert,

Oh, do you want to argue about that again? I was tempted to go over there and try to sneak in and post "Last!"

I would start debating it again, but my word verification is "notruble" and I think that blogger is warning me not to cause any more truble, or trouble, as the case may be.

David said...

Well, after all the talk about feeding or not feeding trolls is set aside, what do we have?

Unless one is going to use a special, coded definition of “evolution” understood only by fundamentalists, I don’t see any evidence that Mohler is correct in saying that Darwin went on the Beagle to prove evolution. And if Mohler is did use the special, coded and non-scientific definition, then the best you can say is that he is sloppy and prone to create confusion. Of course, he could have cleared up this misunderstanding, but apparently, he chose not to do this.

I see many folks arguing that Darwin was a liberal Christian or indifferent Christian, but it’s a non sequitur to then conclude that this means that he set out on the Beagle to prove evolution. Today, you may be able to link liberal or indifferent Christian with acceptance of evolution, but not in 1831. It’s important to keep historical context in mind. At that time, the typical liberal or indifferent Christian was still very much of a creationist bent, and while Darwin may have been an indifferent Christian, his favorite teachers were “liberal Christian” William Paley (via books), the botanist Henslow (Anglican priest) and the geologist Sedgwick (Anglican priest). In fact, right before signing on with the Beagle, Darwin had been in the field geologizing with Sedgwick. To say the least, these are not men who would have likely to order Darwin to go prove evolution.

Further evidence against the “Darwin wanted to prove evolution” is provided by what Darwin didn’t do when he collected finches on the Galapagos Islands. He didn’t keep track of which specimens can from which islands, a piece of information that is important evidence of evolution. He bungled the finch collections precisely because he was NOT thinking like an evolutionary biologist.

So, what other arguments were offered?

Darwin sought respectability? Yes, he did. And that is an argument AGAINST Mohler’s claim, because in 1831, evolution was a DIS-reputable idea. Look at how long it took Darwin to publish his idea. It’s pretty clear that he was concerned about the way in which his idea would hurt his reputation. In 1831, the respectable way to think is to think like a creationist.

Darwin was a liar and deceiver? Ad hom, no evidence for it, fails to understand the mindset of a 19th century English gentleman. See desire for respectability above.

Robert said...

Tom,

I certainly didn't have you in mind when I said tomfoolery (no pun intended)...I respect your opinions and how you expressed yourself. I was thinking more along the extremes of that conversation.

Robert said...

Dan,

I think you hit the nail on the head with the unteachable tag. There is a name for that, too...pride.

David said...

Forget about the ad homs, just address the arguments and/or evidence. Want to know how to make a troll go away? Make good arguments.

Tom Chantry said...

Actually, Tomfoolery would be a good blogger name - I should see if it's taken.

Robert said...

David,

I listed an ariticle you could go read, but you won't. Of course, you'd automatically disagree with it, too, and not give it any real attention. Which gets back to being unteachable. You're stuck on defending Darwin's supposed Christian beliefs to your dying breath, which leaves us at an impasse. So let's just leave it at that.

Phil said...

No. There is only one thing that can make a troll go away and that is to call for his personal dedication and service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In my experience demanding repentance from them personally is the only medicine.

So David, let's hear your oath of fealty to Jesus, and I would ask TUAD the same but he has fled naked in terror like Mark in the garden.

DJP said...

David the Unteachable Troll, with characteristic tone-deafness to irony, said: Want to know how to make a troll go away? Make good arguments.

Of course, the calling-card of the troll is that he is deaf to "good arguments," and never acknowledges that anything countering his obsession rises to that description.

See above and passim, each entry under this particular "David."

David said...

Robert,

I read the article. I believed that I've addressed the points raised by the article. If there is a point that you think that I haven't addressed, I'd be glad to take a look at it.

DJP,

"Of course, the calling-card of the troll is that he is deaf to "good arguments," and never acknowledges that anything countering his obsession rises to that description."

Care to give me an example of where you acknowledged anything that countered one of your arguments?

Phil,

"No. There is only one thing that can make a troll go away and that is to call for his personal dedication and service to the Lord Jesus Christ."

Um, I'm not sure how this is going to make me go away.

David said...

Robert,

One other thing. I think that you need to read my comments more closely. I'm NOT trying to "defend Darwin's supposed Christian beliefs". That was NEVER my point. My point was and always has been that Mohler's statement about Darwin's goals in 1831 was inaccurate. That's it. That's been my only point. Re-read my comments and you'll see this.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sir Aaron said...

EvangelicalCalvinist:

I'd answer your accusations about my tone, but I'm still busy running around in circles after your last post so I don't really have time.

DJP said...

TUAD, this thread's had enough of your chest-puffing.

Your next published comment here will be a direct answer to my questions, above.

(See my comments from 2:05 PM, August 23, 2010 to 2:23 PM, August 23, 2010 for clarification.)

Sir Aaron said...

So you haven't watched the Al Mohler lecture and don't know anything about Darwin's history. You only came here for the food, right?

Mike said...

In all fairness, the candied ad hominem with butter is delicious!

donsands said...

"My point was and always has been that Mohler's statement about Darwin's goals in 1831 was inaccurate. That's it."

Let's say Al Mohler says, "I was off on my study here."

But everything else would still stand firm, wouldn't it.

Especially the tragic end of Darwin, and all the thousnads of people he has hoodwinked and deceived.

Darwinism is a false doctrine that has caused many souls to be misguided, and so his condemnation is greater for his ungodly doctrine.

Dr. Mohler takes false teachings to heart, and this was his heart, I'm sure, to expose Darwinism as the evil it is.

Giberson seems to embraces Darwin, and his teaching.

Do you agree David?

David said...

"Let's say Al Mohler says, "I was off on my study here."

Thank you. It would be better coming directly from Mohler, but I'll take it.

Mike said...

You know, someone told me that there was a large, beautiful forest around here, but this one little tree that doesn't look quite right is just so unbelievably distracting. I know I should go into the forest and find out the truth, but I think I'd rather camp right here and assume the rest of the forest is as messed up as this one little tree...

David said...

Donsands,

I'll get to the second part of your comment in a bit.

David said...

“Giberson seems to embraces Darwin, and his teaching.”

I don’t know Giberson, and I have no association with BioLogos. So if you going to connect him via some sort of transitive-associative principle to the misguided Darwin-is-evil notion, and, I guess, conclude that Giberson is therefore evil…well, it seems to me that you should ask him directly about what he embraces.

“Darwinism is a false doctrine that has caused many souls to be misguided, and so his condemnation is greater for his ungodly doctrine. Dr. Mohler takes false teachings to heart, and this was his heart, I'm sure, to expose Darwinism as the evil it is.”

I have no idea what you are going on about here. What on earth do you mean by Darwinism? I know about a theory of evolution by natural selection that Darwin researched, formulated and presented to the world, but I don’t understand the rest of this.

Darwin was just Darwin. He wasn't and isn't an -ism, at least not in the sense that you seem to mean when you say "Darwinism". He had a theory about how the natural world works, just like other scientists have theories about how the natural world works. I don’t understand about the “tragic end”, and there is zero evidence that Darwin was trying to hoodwink and deceive anyone. Zero evidence. Darwin thought species shared a common ancestor, he gathered evidence to support his theory, he said this is how he thought the world works. I don’t remember reading about any evil plan. As far as I can tell, Darwin was a rather gentle and retiring fellow and rather uninterested in leading an ungodly and evil movement.

Scientific theories are just theories about how the world works. They are no more good or evil than the natural world itself. What matters is simply this … are they accurate or not? If they are, if the world woks as the theory says it works, then that’s just the way it is. And if the world works in such a way that it creates problems for us, well, that’s just the way it is, too. It doesn’t matter if you’ve conclude that a given theory is “ungodly” or not, if the theory is accurate, then it’s accurate. If I’m dying of a Strept A blood infection, I might find germ theory to be an evil, horrible thing with disastrous personal consequences. But that doesn’t change the reality of germ theory, the pathogens in my blood don’t care that I want the world to be different, and I’m not going to condemn the evils of Pasteurism or Kochism.

donsands said...

"..I guess, conclude that Giberson is therefore evil…well, it seems to me that you should ask him directly about what he embraces."

That's your conclusion, not mine. You're putting words in my mouth, aren't you.
I would love to talk with him.
May the Lord give me the chance to, I hope.

"What on earth do you mean by Darwinism?"

Just a word I saw when I was reading up on Darwin at Wikipedia. Maybe you need to go there and straighten them out.

"I don’t understand about the “tragic end"

He died an unbeliever, and so he is to be judged for his sins, without the forgiveness found only in Christ the Lord.
And his condemnation will be even greater:

"My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment."-James 3:1

"As far as I can tell, Darwin was a rather gentle and retiring fellow and rather uninterested in leading an ungodly and evil movement."

Surely no false teacher thinks he is evil. And so they deceive themselves as well.
Paul the Apostle tells us:

"..even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds."

"Scientific theories are just theories"

I wish that were the case with 'evolution'. This world has swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, I'm afraid,--and also the Church, which is very sad--,as the one truth of how humans came to exist.
That is the lie that says there is no God, and so it is "ungodly", and it has been a great hindrance to the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.

Giberson and Biologos want to say evolution is how God created all things.
The Bible doesn't allow for this foolish doctrine.

Are there those who struggle with all of this? Sure.

However, and this is a concrete however, Christ died, as the Holy Word foretold, and rose from the dead on the third day as the Scriptures teach, and so Jesus Christ has all authority, and we need to seek Him, and look to Him for all truth, for He is the Truth.

Been nice chatting.

David said...

So, Darwin is Satan's servant? Sigh. And that why they say that religion is a science stopper.

"The Bible doesn't allow for this foolish doctrine."

Again, religion as science stopper. Evolution isn't a religious doctrine. It's just a theory about how the world works. Maybe it's right and maybe it's wrong, but what the Bible has to say about isn't really relevant to its accuracy. You gotta test it on its own merits, just like we test gravity and germ theory. If life is the product of evolution, then that's the way it is, Bible or no Bible.

Joshua Cookingham said...

Technically David, ANY unbeliever is Satan's servant, as he is the prince of this world according to the Bible, so I don't think Donsands was meaning anything malicious by it.
The fact is, regardless of your stance on evolution, it IS incompatible with the teachings of Genesis 1 and 2. Again, we could go in circles over whether or not Evolution is 'correct' or 'incorrect' But the point here is theological and philosophical one, not scientific. I've never been impressed with any of evolution's 'origin stories' anyway.

Johnny Dialectic said...

I honestly don't know if it's justified, and that really wasn't the point of my comment.

Thank you. It was the point of my comment, and if you "honestly don't know" if Giberson's broad brush was justified, you have nothing more to add.

It seems to me, in this exchange, especially against a respected brother Christian who has not had such accusations substantiated against him, the burden is on the accuser, Giberson. As far as I can see, the "garbage" (accusations of lying, making stuff up) came only from one side.

donsands said...

"Again, religion as science stopper."

Nope. The Bible speaks on its own. It is God's truth, and a treasure for us, whom are created in the image of God. And science is science.

Jesus rose from the dead after three days. Science would say this is impossible.

"So, Darwin is Satan's servant? Sigh."

It is sad indeed.

But we are all children of God's wrath, unless God's mercy is received, and we trust that Christ died and rose from the dead, for the forgiveness of our sins. I have thousands of sins against God and my fellowman. God has forgiven me in Christ's blood and broken body. Praise His holy name!

Sir Aaron said...

Again, religion as science stopper.

This is actually pretty funny to me because there are instances now where science has stopped and religion has saved the day. Because Scientific theory said certain things were evolutionary leftovers and not worth studying. But, of course, we don't believe that because we believe everything has a purpose so we think everything needs to be look at. ICR did a great article on this in one of their issues of Acts and Facts.

David said...

"Because Scientific theory said certain things were evolutionary leftovers and not worth studying. But, of course, we don't believe that because we believe everything has a purpose so we think everything needs to be look at. "

Ok, well that was nice and vague and undocumented. You have anything that matches a desire to shut down entire fields of study like astronomy, geology and evolutionary biology?

Strong Tower said...

BioLogos’ Attack On Albert Mohler Unfounded

David said...

ST,

Followed the link. Can you show me where the evidence supports the conclusion that Darwin boarded the Beagle with the intent to prove evolution (Mohler's claim)? Can you show me any evidence that Darwin was trying to hoodwink and deceive anyone? Can you show me any evidence that Darwin was actively formulating and evil plan and was interested in leading an ungodly and evil movement?

If not, then you post failed to address my points. Perhaps you are the one with the biased and uniformed view.

Joshua Cookingham said...

David,

As one who does not believe that Darwin was PURPOSEFULLY setting out to destroy Christianity, let me just clarify what the issue is here. The issue is NOT Mohler. It's how Biologos behaved in insisting the Mohler was a liar, and then getting defensive about the assult on their 'integrity'.
Forget Mohler, and Forget Darwin. We don't know what either was thinking about all this. We do know what Giberson was thinking.

Robert said...

David,

Thank you for making it abundantly clear that you serve science and not the Bible. And, no, i am not going to take up your points...I already have and you are so entranced by Darwin's "science" that you are stuck on defending him. You can't fathom the possibility that somebody would carry on a hypocritical life so as to reach the further goal of putting forth a theory to turn people away from the truth ot the Bible.

I only have on question for you...since your profile is empty, can you tell us your background? Are you a scientist? Philosopher? Lawyer? Politician? Just wondering how you have such great and vast knowledge that we should trust science over the Bible on a matter where the Bible speaks clearly. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Genesis 1:27) "then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." (Genesis 2:7)

michelle said...

I have been observing this very interesting sparring match. Interesting, sad, disturbing at times...

...but I think it would be worth it to actually hear what Dr. Mohler has to say about the issue:

http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/08/25/a-letter-to-professor-giberson-on-darwin-and-darwinism/

Robert said...

Thanks Michelle...it was nice to read Mohler's response. I am anxious to see how he addresses this in more depth over the coming months.

Eric said...

The following quote from David about evolution nicely summarizes all we need to know about his starting point, which seems to be the same as Biologos' starting point:

"Maybe it's right and maybe it's wrong, but what the Bible has to say about isn't really relevant to its accuracy."

David said...

Thanks for the link, Michelle.

I see that Mohler says "Upon further reflection, I would accept that this statement appears to misrepresent to some degree Darwin’s intellectual shifts before and during his experience on the Beagle."

Hooray! The record has been set straight. I say in all sincerity, good for him. Points to Mohler. See, that wasn't so hard?

Now, Mohler and Giberson can move on to the other aspects of the food fight.

Mike said...

David-

Read the next sentence:

At the same time, the intellectual context of Darwin’s times (and of his own family, in particular) leave no room to deny that some form of developmentalism had to be in the background of his own thinking, presumably consistent with his own acceptance of a natural theology and an argument from design.

That's the very same argument presented to you here and yet you rejected it.

Do you see why the 'unteachable' label fits?

David said...

"That's the very same argument presented to you here and yet you rejected it. Do you see why the 'unteachable' label fits?"

Did I reject this argument? Really? Unteachable? Really?

Here's what I said at 9:44 am on 8/23/10. Look it up if you doubt me.

ME: "So what's JJ's argument? Darwin knew that some in England had ideas about evolution? No kidding. Does this mean the Darwin set out on the Beagle to prove evolution? No."

So, how did I rejecting Mohler's "next sentence" and how am I "unteachable"? Of course, Darwin had heard about this idea we now call evolution! I never argued otherwise! What I said, again and again, and what Mohler now acknowledges, is that Darwin did not get on the Beagle with the express goal of proving evolution. See the difference?

Now, did YOU read Mohler's next sentence carefully? Note the following:

"...presumably consistent with his own acceptance of a natural theology and an argument from design."

Natural theology and an argument from design is consistent with CREATIONISM, not evolution. It may be old earth creationism, but it sure ain't evolution.

Warren Lotter said...

David is the following statement accurate?

[Darwin] “boarded the Beagle with his childhood Christian faith intact,”

Will look forward to seeing you address that one over at Biologos and Huffpo...

David said...

"Will look forward to seeing you address that one over at Biologos and Huffpo..."

So...if Giberson made a mistake, then this negates Mohler's error and/or Mohler's obligation to issue a clarification?

Oh, I'm sure that there are plenty of people available to address any mistakes that Giberson may have made. But here at Pyro, there might have been a shortage of folks available to address Mohler's. So, I volunteered. What can I say? I'm a giver.

David said...

Should read...

"...there might have been a shortage of folks available to address Mohler's mistake."

Johnny Dialectic said...

Hooray! The record has been set straight.

Wow. That must be worth a whole half a point. Congratulations.

But in the context of the actual post here, it fades into complete insignificance. The accusation that Mohler plays fast and loose...no, doesn't even CARE about truth...is the smoking gun. It reveals so much more about Giberson's motives than Mohler's.

Giberson's "mistake"? Hardly. Mohler made a mistake of fact. Giberson purposely and with full intent called Mohler just short of a liar. Not the same thing at all.

Sir Aaron said...

David:

Did I not say who had written a very good article on the subject? You've got access to the Internet the same as I. Why don't you put it to good use.

David said...

"Wow. That must be worth a whole half a point. Congratulations."

Well, to quote an old BTO tune from my youth...

So I took what I could get,
Yes, I took what I could get.

Now, as to the larger of issue of "not the same thing at all"? Not to worry. This is failed marriage (or "civil war", as someone else put it). And here's what that means. If today, the party of the first part has committed the more egregious act, we can be sure that the party of the second part will catch up tomorrow. (See theological food fight above, Northern Ireland, Israelis and Palestinians.)

So, put the popcorn in the microwave, sit back and enjoy the show.

donsands said...

"See theological food fight above, Northern Ireland, Israelis and Palestinians."

Why do you keep saying "food fight"?

There are times for debates and confronting, and arguing things out. The 3 Teampyro Amigos, have one of the best avaibale blogs around to hear deep truths, and they try to mainly edify the saints, which they do, but they also challenge others who have strayed from the Bible. This is good to do.

They speak the truth in love, and some people are going to hate it. Others will simply make sarcastic remarks and scoff.

Jesus debated the Jews. Was that a "food fight"?
I don't think so.

Not that we are Jesus Christ debating the Jews, but we do hold forth the Word of God, so that people will know the truth, and perhaps the truth will penetrate someone's heart that is callous to the truth, and runs from it, as the Lord said in John 3:

"“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

michelle said...

Donsands - You said what I was thinking far better than I could have. Amen.

Warren Lotter said...

David, and you wonder why you are referred to as a troll. Exhibit A.

"...there might have been a shortage of folks available to address Mohler's mistake."

That's quite an infantile response since it was hardly your motivation.

I see your demand for honesty and accuracy only cuts one way - biased towards your home team. Yep, unteachable.

David said...

Donsands,

"They speak the truth in love."

Yeah, that's what I feel here from those who disagree with me. Love. I've practically been buried in Christian love. Hey, I can understand why folks would not respond to me with love, and that's fine. I can get all worked up and agitated in internet exchanges, too, and I can be as rude as anyone. But let's not pretend that there's a whole lotta lovin' going on here.


WL,

"I see your demand for honesty and accuracy only cuts one way - biased towards your home team."

Well, now, I can't see everything from my PC terminal, but I don't recall seeing a long line of Pyro people heading down Mohler's way or to Mohler's blog to demand accuracy from Mohler. Instead, most seemed ready to go to the mattresses to defend what was a clear error. Not everyone, but most. So, maybe we should be a little more careful about the using the word "infantile", eh? Everyone is "biased towards their home team", and as far as I know, the Pyro people weren't making any demands of Mohler, but I'm not calling anyone infantile.

As to my motivation...I like history, I like poor old abused Darwin, and when people start picking on my good friend Chuck, I feel some need to point out the mistakes. Seriously, the man's been blamed for or accused of everything except kidnapping the Lindburg baby. Let the poor man rest in peace.

Warren Lotter said...

David, no I believe that 'infantile' is correct. Or if you'd prefer, dishonest.

I'm hardly making the claim that contributors and commenters here are NOT biased but they do not mask their intentions with, "hey I really all about honesty and accuracy". But that leaves the question which Dan consistently poses to you.

But at least you've come clean about your object of worship and your real motivation.

In my view talk about trying to swat a gnat in the midst of a locust swarm. Subsequently that particular 'gnat' in no way derails Mohler's earlier contention and subsequent response. But hey if it provides you comfort, have at it.

And what an odd statement, "Let the poor man rest in peace." From your point of view what does that even mean?

Johnny Dialectic said...

If today, the party of the first part has committed the more egregious act, we can be sure that the party of the second part will catch up tomorrow. (See theological food fight above, Northern Ireland, Israelis and Palestinians.)

Whuuu? Talk about proof against evolution! These comments have devolved into chaotic nonsense. The Second Law of Thermodynamics lives!

We've gone from Giberson's sin against a mistaken Mohler, to equating this with Northern Ireland, and Israelis / Palestinians?

Good grief. It's a simple issue. In a public debate, one side went over the line and should apologize. The other side, who made a mistake, has owned it and responded respectfully, though firmly, and is now being tossed into a salad with Hamas! As if there is anything in Mohler's past or character to give any shred of evidence for such blather.

You seem like a smart young pup, but without wisdom or discernment. And it's total Christian love to help you get out of yourself and into some clear thinking. Also, to grow a little thicker skin and keep the victim card in your deck.

Word Verification: pitifix!

joel said...

Now that David has succeed, as he sees it, in removing the speck from Dr. Mohler's eye we can hold David to the same standard of honesty and demand that he repent of his repeated erroneous comments equating evolutionary biology, geology, etc. in any way shape or form with accurate reproducible science.

David, before you make another single attempt at correcting someone else's error you could remove this massive, hallway blocking, log from your own eye before you accidentally take someone's head of with it.

joel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joel said...

David, as for not feeling love. You have probably been shown more genuine love in the last several comment threads than you have in your entire life. Contrary to the drivel you have been fed about Love and feelings, true love goes a lot deeper than that warm tingly feeling you get when you snuggle up to your honey. True love speaks about selflessness, dedication and truth.

As Christians we are not allowed to deliberately offend you in order to cause you hurt, but if you are offended by the truth, that is your problem. Contrary to what you have been thought your entire young adult life, the truth is supposed to hurt; that is how it lets you know you don't have it.

donsands said...

"Donsands,

"They speak the truth in love."

Yeah, that's what I feel here from those who disagree with me. Love." -David

Depends on your definition of love, doesn't it.

Here's one portion of what genuine love is, from 1st Corinthians 13:

"Love....does not rejoice in iniquity [wrongdoing], but rejoices in the truth".

I'd encourage you to read the whole chapter, for it is a very powerful way to understand what love is.

You know, I can love my enemies by the grace of God. And yet, my love for them, is different than my love for Jesus, and my family, and the church.

The way I love Osama Bin Laden is mainly, for me, to pray that God would have mercy on him, as God had mercy on me.
At the same time, I want this man caught and brought to justice. And justice would be execution for sure,after what this wicked man has done.

Love is something to ponder my friend. I pray to the Lord for you to consider Christ.

David said...

WL,

"David, no I believe that 'infantile' is correct. Or if you'd prefer, dishonest."

Wheeee! More of that Christian love! So, it’s only infantile when I’m biased. Got it.

“But they do not mask their intentions with, "hey I really all about honesty and accuracy".

I don’t understand. We agree that “they” are biased, and they’re not masking their intentions with "hey, I'm really all about honesty and accuracy", so they are not claiming to be honest and accurate, … soooo, they are openly not honest and accurate?

"But that leaves the question which Dan consistently poses to you."

I've lost track. What was the question again? Honestly, I've lost track.


"But at least you've come clean about your object of worship and your real motivation."

I didn't know that I was hiding anything. Hey, I saw an error, and I pointed it out. I was right about the error. Is there some requirement that I must meet before I can ask do this? I don’t get it.


"In my view talk about trying to swat a gnat in the midst of a locust swarm."

Well, given what the "gnat" led to, I'm not so sure I'd call it a gnat. Maybe more of a biting horse fly. Seems like that "gnat" set off quite a ruckus, so maybe it was worth paying it some attention. Now, what exactly is the locust storm? I’ve become confused.

David said...

Joel and Donsands,

You know, I can understand being insulted, one has to expect these things in these sorts of "debates", but do we have to try to pretend that it's something other than what it is?

Infantile
Dishonest
Unteachable troll (repeated endlessly)

And that's the short list.

C'mon. Look at how many have addressed me, look at the tone of the responses. Again, I understand why I might prompt such responses, and I can be just as rude, so I'm not claiming any superiority in this realm.

But do we have to call it love? Do we have to abuse the "L" word?

David said...

JD,

"We've gone from Giberson's sin against a mistaken Mohler, to equating this with Northern Ireland, and Israelis / Palestinians?"

My apologies for failing to communicate my point clearly. This is genuinely my error. If you'll pardon the expression, this wasn't meant to be taken so literally. It was more of, ahem, a metaphor. I was not trying to say that Mohler exactly equals Hamas. Maybe I should have stuck with the failing marriage metaphor. This was my “oops”.

What I'm trying to say is that both sides in this tussle have gone back and forth so many times with charges and accusations and insults that it's hard to know where it started or who started it or who is most at fault. You know, like in Northern Ireland where the Catholics justify some attack on the Protestants on the grounds of something that the Protestants did who knows how long again, and the Protestants do the same. In this case, as I've tried to point out, everyone is mad at everyone, everyone is looking for an opportunity to take a shot at everyone, and everyone can justify their behavior in the grounds that "they did it first" or "they're worse than we are". Each attack is justified on the grounds of a previous attack made upon the current attackers. Each side gets to have its share of righteous indignation. And around and around it goes.

David said...

So, in the case of Giberson/BioLogos and Mohler, et al., this is hardly the first round. The attacks have gone back and forth for some time now. Who knows where it started or where it will end? The key to understanding all of this is understanding that each side is looking for the worst in the other and is looking for any slip, any mistake, any error. Just like in a failing marriage. In the current butter battle, Giberson gets to say that Mohler was wrong about Darwin, and until Mohler finally replied (just today), Giberson gets to say that Mohler doesn’t care about correcting the record , i.e., doesn’t care about the truth (and yes, here’s my bias – I like old Chuck, so I care about correcting the record , too). Since Giberson has gotten himself worked up over the constant attacks by Mohler, Giberson probably goes too far with the whole “doesn’t care about the truth thing, and so now Mohler gets to say that Giberson called him a liar and that’s slanderous because he’s not a liar, and so look at how bad Giberson is. Now, everyone stick out your tongues and waggle your fingers.

Of course, it's true that no one has gotten killed in the current dust-up, but that's largely because religious groups lack the political power that they once had. Obviously, you don't have to go too far back in time (or maybe just to Northern Ireland) to find examples in which these sorts of "debates" proved fatal. As I said way back up the comment thread, we can all be grateful that we do these fights with mashed potatoes and no one gets burned at the stake anymore.

donsands said...

"But do we have to call it love?" -David

Yes, it is love. The three men here love Christ, and love His Word, and so love their neighbor, who you are David.

It's not perfect love. We sting each other.

I love my wife to death, but sometimes she will say to me, "Do you love me?"
It's because of our flesh, we sometimes say things that hurt, and so on.

But, don't ever forget Christ, our perfect Lord and Savior,who loved others perfectly, and was hated.

Sometimes when we love, we will be misunderstood, and our own flesh will think we are not being loved, when we truly are.

Lot there to consider David.

We all are sinners. We all are in the same train wreck. But Jesus is the Healer, and Redeemer of this stinking mess.
He didn't need to come and have mercy on us, but He did. And the Cross is there for all to come to and see. And His voice, "Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest, rest for your souls", still cries out.

Have a nice evening.

Coram Deo said...

As to my motivation...I like history, I like poor old abused Darwin, and when people start picking on my good friend Chuck, I feel some need to point out the mistakes. Seriously, the man's been blamed for or accused of everything except kidnapping the Lindburg baby. Let the poor man rest in peace.

Sadly by all measures your "good friend" is roasting in hell right now in conscious, exquisite, eternal agony cursing the One true and living God in a cacophony of rage and hatred.

Although you obviously don't realize it, you're certain to join your "good friend" in his infernal estate as soon as you breathe your last, lest you repent and place your trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

What you think is foolish is actually the wisdom of God, and what you think is wise is actually utter foolishness.

You've believed the lie, and thinking yourself wise you've become a fool.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools - Romans 1:20-22

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." - 1 Cor. 1:18-31

See, nobody else cares enough about you to tell you these things except for Christians. Why? Because we've all been exactly where you are right now.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sinsin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. - Eph. 2:1-3

Cont.

Coram Deo said...

Cont.

Many, if not most of us remember what it was like to walk in the futility of our minds, thinking ourselves wise as we smiled patiently at the poor, misguided (and in all probability mentally imbalanced) "religious" Christian folks around us and tried to help them see the obvious truth that there's no "magic man in the sky who really, really loves you, but who will angrily burn you forever if you don't worship him".

We also remember that even as we labored to enlighten our misguided "religious" Christian friends, we nevertheless carried around a gnawing conscience within ourselves that constantly waved its accusing finger in our face crying out "guilty, Guilty, GUILTY!!!

And try as desperately as we might to mute that conscience, or deny it, or suppress it; we never really could. And even when we thought we had in our quiet moments alone with only our thoughts we knew, down deep in our heart of hearts, that there was an angry, wrathful God above us, an accusing conscience within us, and a yawning hell beneath us.

Christians realize the reason that we could never escape these realities is because they are written on every man's heart by his Maker. The guilty, accusing conscience is the soul's cry for justice against our sin against God, and the Gospel is Christ's cry for reconciliation to God through His grace, mercy, and love - a love demonstrated by His substitutionary death for all those believing.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Cor. 5:21

You must be born again, David.

Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. - John 3:3-5

Christ is the only way.

This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” - Acts 4:11-12

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. - John 14:6

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. - John 15:13

In Christ,
CD

David said...

You know, I really just wanted to correct a mistake about Darwin. But inevitably, we've move on to the "your going to burn in Hell" part of the program. Oh, well.

Coram Deo said...

David,

As incomprehensible as it may seem to you, some of us are more concerned about the trajectory of your eternal soul than we are about a misstatement about Darwin.

Apparently you aren't.

"Oh well", indeed.

In Him,
CD

Warren Lotter said...

David, I see why you are confused and don't understand what I am saying. Because you are responding to your own weird imaginary version of what I actually said. Read my comments again, slowly.

Did you even notice the sentence that followed the one about the locust swarm. (Never mentioned a storm.) Here it is verbatim:

Subsequently that particular 'gnat' in no way derails Mohler's earlier contention and subsequent response.

If you're still confused with my analogy I'll try another one.

Gravel pit full of 20 lb rocks = Mohler's overall argument. Little red M&M lying in the middle of gravel pit = the one inaccuracy you are having a knippy over.

Which really has been the just of everyone's response to you.

So I take it you won't be visiting any other blogs to address the accuracy and honesty of the statement, [Darwin] “boarded the Beagle with his childhood Christian faith intact,” . Kudos on that adept weasel though.

And to rephrase DJP's question. Please explain what honesty and accuracy even mean from within your worldview? If you have no absolutes why are you even here raising the point?

And I am really interested, what does "Let the poor man rest in peace." even mean? Seeing as though that is your motivation.

David said...

WL,

“Did you even notice the sentence that followed the one about the locust swarm. (Never mentioned a storm.)”

So, now you’re focusing on my typos? And complaining that I’M knippy?

“Gravel pit full of 20 lb rocks = Mohler's overall argument. Little red M&M lying in the middle of gravel pit = the one inaccuracy you are having a knippy over.”

M&M in a gravel pit? Slight distortion of the actual importance of Mohler’s error, but ok, I understand your analogy.

I think you need to re-read all of my comments from the beginning. The Pyro post was about the Huffpo post. The Huffpo post focused on the M&M. So, in the context of this post, the M&M wasn’t an M&M. Given the focus of the dispute between Giberson and Mohler, I thought it might be useful to determine the accuracy of the questionable Mohler statement. And I like Chuck. So, sue me.

However, if you want to talk about the gravel pit, that’s ok with me. All I ask is that you pick a particular 20lbs rock from the pit that you’d like to discuss, just to narrow things down a bit.

“Which really has been the just of everyone's response to you.”

Well, the “just” of most of the responses was that I was wrong about Mohler being wrong. Not all, but most. Except that Mohler turned out to be wrong after all.

David said...

“So I take it you won't be visiting any other blogs to address the accuracy and honesty of the statement, [Darwin] “boarded the Beagle with his childhood Christian faith intact,” . Kudos on that adept weasel though.”

Ah, so now we add weasel to infantile and dishonest. Gimme, gimme some lovin’. Well, again, I would ask why I’m being held to a standard that you are unwilling to meet yourself. While holding the position that Giberson was in error, did you also make an effort to correct Mohler? If my failure to meet your standard means that I’m infantile and dishonest, what can we conclude when you fail to meet the standard, too?

But as my special gift to you, I’ll consider the statement “[Darwin] boarded the Beagle with his childhood Christian faith intact”. All I ask is that you tell me what you think is inaccurate about this statement and why you think it’s inaccurate.

“And to rephrase DJP's question. Please explain what honesty and accuracy even mean from within your worldview? If you have no absolutes why are you even here raising the point?”

What do these words mean to me? Well, I guess they mean pretty much what most dictionaries say the mean. Honesty and accuracy are useful things. What does this have to do with absolutes?

"And I am really interested, what does "Let the poor man rest in peace." even mean? Seeing as though that is your motivation."

Seriously, you want to focus on a figure of speech? If you were fond of some dead guy, and others were blaming him for everything except halitosis, this wouldn’t bother you? I don’t like it when people I like are unfairly and inaccurately maligned. Is this really all that hard to understand?

Strong Tower said...

"Upon further reflection, I would accept that this statement appears to misrepresent to some degree Darwin’s intellectual shifts before and during his experience on the Beagle."

You didn't read this David. Mohler makes no concession in the substance of his presentation. He checked the instant replay and stands by his call.

In any case, his presentation was not an excursus on the life of Darwin, rather, it is part of an ongoing examination of the impact of the entire genre of pseudo-scientific philosophical attacks upon the inerrancy of Scripture and its power to destroy the otherwise clear thinking of even the most orthodox theologians. Darwin was just one bit player who has been enshrined despite his being rejected by his peers of the time and the bulk of modern evolutionists. The impact, though, has had deeply destructive effect in evangelicalism, intended, or not. The conference addresses the new media and acknowledges the fact that if without it the attacks have been devastating, then Christians need to be armed to use it in defense of Scripture.

Nor did you read the Standford piece where their hostile witness is that Darwin did indeed set out to prove evolution and establish that no miraculous creation ever occurred. Whatever is said about that it cannot be that he was seeking to defend the inerrancy of Scripture. By attacking miraculous creation, he was by defintion, out to destroy the basis of the Christian faith. Whether he intended evil is not the question, the fact is that what he did was evil. Regardless of your impassioned defense of your hero, it is his name, not any achievement of his that is exploited for profit by secularists. As the Standford piece clearly states, Darwin did indeed set out to prove evolution. You're wrong, and their right, their right and so is Dr. Mohler.

What you need to do David is really read what is written. You have, thoughout this thread, refused to do so, or so it appears. Now if you cannot see that, it may not be that you are not able to be taught, it may just be that you are unable to learn. You absolutely didn't understand Mohler's statement, so the possibility is definitely out there that you have comprehension problems. You cherry-picked one statement from Mohler and didn't understand it and made it to mean what it did not. In any assessment, you make yourself as much an obscurantist as Giberson when you didn't go on to quote: "I stand by my address in full, and only wish I had been able to address these issues at even greater length in that context." Either that, or you are so ego evolved that those words didn't even register in your mind.

In short, Mohler didn't apologize, he didn't back off. He slapped Giberson up side the head and refused to back down. If anything he graded Giberson's paper and gave it an F.

So follow the link again, and read. It will do you some good if you take off your filtered glasses first.

David said...

ST,

"Upon further reflection, I would accept that this statement appears to misrepresent to some degree Darwin’s intellectual shifts before and during his experience on the Beagle."

Ok, so what you are saying is that this sentence doesn't mean what it appears to mean. Mohler isn't acknowledging that his statement misrepresents Darwin's intellectual shifts? Mohler stands by his statement that Darwin boarded the Beagle to prove evolution? And I'm the one who gets accused of weaseling? You know, reading comprehensive depend on the clarity of the writer as well as the ability of the reader.

So, we're back to Mohler claiming that Darwin went on board the Beagle in 1831 with the express goal of proving evolution. We're talking about 1831 here. 1831.

Thought this was settled, thought that others had agreed the Mohler had backed off his claims about Darwin and the Beagle, but ok, here we go again.

So, your evidence that Mohler was right would be...? And let's avoid the your link, my link thing. Just tell me in your own words what the evidence is.

Robert said...

ST,

Save yourself much frustration...don't feed the troll. He won't listen and won't acknowldge the validity of any arument you put forth against what he believes. It is totally inconceivable to him that Darwin could have had any leanings towards evolution before his voyage. Darwin is the hill he is choosing to die on...and that is his choice.

David said...

"It is totally inconceivable to him that Darwin could have had any leanings towards evolution before his voyage. Darwin is the hill he is choosing to die on."

Oh, for crying out loud.

Can you not see the difference between (1) having some knowledge of this idea called evolution, an idea that very few accepted in 1831 and (2) deliberately setting out with the specific goal of proving evolution and overthrowing Christianity in some satanic plot?

Is this really so impossibly hard to understand? I'm not trying to die on any hill, I'm just trying to set the record straight. What do you want me to do? Accept the validity of an argument when there's no evidence for the argument?

David said...

"It is totally inconceivable to him that Darwin could have had any leanings towards evolution before his voyage."

Did I say this? Anywhere?

round.tuit said...

Pinch me. This is the year 2010, isn't it? And we know the impact Darwin has had.

When one approaches (such as Giberson) the Word of God with the bias of reconciling Christianity and evolution - should we be surprised by the outcome? It reveals how one views God and His Word.