13 August 2010

More than a Mere Distinction

by Frank Turk

So last night I was reading more of Christopher Benson’s apologetics for BioLogos over at Evangel, and I was reading his responses to the many people disagreeing with him – “many” not being “most”, though it was nice to see Joe Carter actually say publicly that his finds BioLogos to be a non-starter. And as I read Chris’s reponses to people (me among them), I posted my curt resignation from Evangel.

I got one e-mail afterward which said this:
I don't know where evangelicalism has ever been bound together with belief in a literal 6-day creation. We have our significant disagreements among us on that question, but it ought not be something to break fellowship over, and still less something to use to brand a brother or sister as you seem to have done.
Believe it or not, that really was said in real Christian love and concern for what I said and did, so it gave me a moment of pause to think about whether I said all I had to say about the subject – and whether I said it well enough to let it lie.

What I said was this:

And with that, sadly, I am out of here.

Note to Joe Carter: please close my Evangel account. If this is the sort of thinking FirstThings wants to represent as “Evangelical”, we are all shamed by it.

God be with you all, and may he shine His light of grace on you.


And, of course, hilarity ensued. I was accused of all manner of things for doing this, and some think I should not leave Evangel for the sake of this disagreement -- which some perceive as splitting over the interpretation that Genesis 1 talks about a 6-day creation.

This is why I think it's necessary to make this post today, so pack a lunch.

First, let me make it clear: I think it's plain that there are people saved by Jesus Christ who have faith in Him who do not believe in a 6-day creation. When Peter preached to the Jews at Pentecost that they needed to repent and believe, he made no references to the number of days in creation, and his emphasis was of course on this Jesus, whom they crucified, who they could now know for certain was both Lord and Christ -- therefore, repent and be saved from the coming judgment.

People who believe what Peter preached to believe are saved -- which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in his name which is the only name by which we must be saved. Period.

Second: In that group of people, there are some who do not hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. I think you could make the case that a lot of people who are saved by faith are not saved to a high view of Scripture. I think it's a common occurrence, but it is a shameful thing -- a shame to their pastors, and to themselves because they do not consider what it means to have that which God said as a reference.

Third: This is because in that group of people, there are some who are not great systematic thinkers -- as I discussed here. Having a fallible confession of faith does not mean you have a broken confession of faith.

Fourth: That said, the important corollary to my third point is that denying critical parts of Scripture is not the same thing as being rudely ignorant of them. For example, perhaps you have never read John 1 and you can't really define in what way the Word, the Lamb of God, was present and active in creation. I'm really OK with that. What I am not OK with -- and what I think historically the church has never been OK with -- is the abject denial of something the Bible says clearly and unequivocally. So to say, for example, that science teaches us that no persons were present at the moment of the beginning of the universe because nothing existed at that moment so we have to rethink our "literal" interpretation of John 1:1-14 is to say, "I reject the historic Christian faith," not "I trust Scripture differently than you do, and my way is better because it builds bridges to modern and post-modern philosophical and political bedrock."

Fifth: That distinction is the one which, frankly, is the place where the definition of "Christian" and "not Christian" resides. It does not reside in some sociological analysis of all people loosely committed to series of historically-related traditions. If this is not the place where this distinction is established, I think we have misunderstood at least the essential writings of Paul, but probably all of the New Testament.

You know: in Antioch, where the first people were actually called "Christians", they had some kind of belief system which started with the loose evangelism made by converted Jews who were escaping persecution in Jerusalem, followed by the exhortations of Barnabas, followed by the teachings of Paul when Barnabas sent for him to come and teach those in Antioch. But what this part of Scripture says at least in part is that there is a place where what the world believes is substantially different than what the church believes. There is a distinction between being merely someone from Antioch, and being someone who is a "Christian" -- and it does lie someplace in the mix of what a persecuted post-Jewish believer would tell people, and what Barnabas would tell people, and what Paul would tell people.

My suggestion is that none of that is found in what we see in the BioLogos agenda and writings -- against their protests to the contrary. This assertion deserves its own post, which I do not have time to complete today. Look for it in the near future.

Sixth: It is simply irrefutable that the BioLogos project is deeply entrenched in obliterating what's described in my fifth point, and in engaging in activities covered by my fourth point. This is their chief aim -- as it is the aim of every cult, post-orthodoxy, which finds itself wanting to appease some other authority apart from or above Scripture. This assertion requires more than just saying it is so. Look for my exposition of this in the near future.

Seventh: That is bad enough in its own right. But when someone is willing to take up for those engaged in activities in that sixth point, and call those activities orthodox and faithful, and to do so in a flippant way without personally engaging clear objections based on documented facts and rudimentary critical thinking, that person is himself working to damage the faith of others.

My opinion is that this is what Christopher Benson is participating in -- he's endorsing BioLogos as a "middle way" approach to mend fences with "science", but he is in fact giving up what must be called the home field of orthodoxy to do so. In every way, he endorses the POMA approach to authority where "partially overlapping" turns out to be a cover for simply allowing Science to have the first and last word, and Scripture must have only a say which is consequential to the current findings and edict of science.

So the problem is not the lack of full-throated endorsement of a 6-day creation. The problem is not even a failure to endorse a robust doctrine of scriptural inerrancy. The problem is that there are members of the Evangel masthead who are, frankly, engaged in damaging the faith of others by defending rank apostates -- and not merely defending them, but endorsing them as faithful members of the larger church.

When I joined Evangel back 10 months ago, Phil gave me the advice that because the basis for unity was too broad and too shallow, and that the objectives of the bloggers too diverse, there's no way to make a clear-throated stand for the Gospel there and be anything but overwhelmed by the other voices. I think I made a good show of it, and I stand by all my own contributions there. However, because it's obvious to me that I am at a disadvantage because I expect others to have a good conscience about how they participate there -- including engaging topics where we disagree rather than essentially retorting, "read a book" -- I resign. I withdraw.

Let me go on the record to say without any hesitation that my objectives are not the objectives of Evangel -- and I can say honestly I don’t know what those objectives really are anymore. When this sort of hard-press apologetics for the acceptance of a world view which can and does damage the faith of others is made and is not rebuked or restrained, I don't belong there.

God bless Joe Carter for inviting me, and for putting up with my personal flavor of mayhem for the last 10 months. May God bless him with a sharper vision in the future for making the content of Evangel more actually-evangelical and actually-Gospel-filled rather than a mixed bag of politics and secular scientific apologetics.







83 comments:

JackW said...

It's a shame Frank, as you've stated. I enjoyed your efforts there, but I agree with what you've done and I will not be wasting my time there anymore.

Lynda O said...

Well said, Frank. That fourth point is a good one -- the distinction between general ignorance of a doctrine, versus actually having thought about it and come to a strong conclusion against the clear and obvious biblical meaning of a text. As I've heard it explained, "God's people are not offended by God's word." As people are exposed to more and more biblical teaching, the way they react to a particular biblical teaching reveals their true spiritual condition--and God will hold them to account for how they respond to more and more biblical truth: do they come to love it (God's word) or do they repel from it, in the guise of "let's get along and let's not divide over something that's not essential, something that's on the same level as our views concerning meat sacrificed to idols." But if that were really the case, why did God give us 66 books of instruction, instead of just the four gospel accounts?

trogdor said...

But I thought that was by far the best collective blog of all time?

DaveS said...

“That distinction is the one which, frankly, is the place where the definition of "Christian" and "not Christian" resides.”

Amen Frank.

Stefan said...

Frank:

Here's my own numbered list.

1. I agree with you that whether or not one believes in a literal six-day creation is not and should not be the measure of whether one is saved or not. We are all sinners, saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

2. I grew up as an evolutionist by default (being an atheist-agnostic), and actually became more of one in my '20s, when I did some basic layman's reading on evolutionary biology with an uncritical eye, getting the concept but not examining the presuppositions.

3. For the sake of taking a holistic view of Scripture, I have to accept the simplest interpretation of any passage that is consistent with the rest of the Bible, which puts me pretty much in the YEC camp.

I am not unsympathetic to OEC, however, as I'm far from settled on the whole question of the reliability of carbon dating, the fossil record, continental drift, etc., etc., etc.

Thestic evolution I have trouble with, though, as it almost necessarily means reading Adam and Eve as allegory or symbolism: something I quite happily did for many years before I was saved, but can't in good conscience do now as a born-again believer, especially given how fundamental Genesis 3 is to the rest of redemptive history.

4. I have not read Evangel in the past, but I decided to take a peak today. Today's post there is pure and simple, unadulterated, Higher Criticism(TM), with a postmodern spin to it. So by implication, finding a "common ground" between Scripture and science evidently involves a lot more than simply reading Genesis 1-2 from a Theistic Evolutionary standpoint, and ventures into the territory of comparative mythology and theories of Second Temple redaction.

This is a slippery slope, and one I am familiar with, as I used to buy into these kinds of things wholeheartedly...when I still wanted to accept God on my terms, and not His terms. But as Christians, we need to stop at some point and ask ourselves whether we want to go down that path...because the promises of God are all for nought and our hope in Christ is in vain, if we throw the authenticity* of His revealed Word into question.

*(There's a nice word of the zeitgeist for you.)

Anyhow, that's all I'm going to say about that.

Cameron said...

Good on you Frank.

Stefan said...

Re "finding a common ground between Scripture and science":

The putative search for such a "common ground" being based on the false premise that the two are largely incompatible, or that such a "common ground" necessarily involves all the compromising being on the side of Scripture rather than on the side of the prevailing scientific hypotheses du jour.

Mike Riccardi said...

Amen brother. Grace be with you.

Blank Slate said...

I always wondered what you were doing there anyway Frank. Thank you for the work you did there, it was not easy, I'm sure, at times.

Terry

Jonathan Moorhead said...

I agree with your decision Frank. I wonder if it is not time for all of us to become more offensive against the theistic evolution crowd. For too long we have overlooked it as simply another viewpoint, while ignoring its devastating theological implications. Unfortunately many "evangelicals" in this movement are just as rabidly elitists as the atheistic evolutionists.

Garrett League said...

"When this sort of hard-press apologetics for the acceptance of a world view which can and does damage the faith of others is made and is not rebuked or restrained, I don't belong there."

Frank, what of the apologetics used by AiG? That served to REALLY confuse me and damage my faith, since time and again I found their scientific claims to be lacking in some instances, and downright false in others. I'm not an apologist for Biologos (they are truly a mixed bag for me), but I do believe that YEC has caused many a faith to shipwreck because of its insurmountable problems.

Frank Turk said...

Garrett:

Great Question.

Short Answer -- Listen to John MacArthur preach on the uses of Genesis and the right-minded belief in what Genesis teaches.

Dr. MacArthur preached a message on this at the 2009 RESOLVED conference, and if Phil can find the link, I commend it to everyone who cares about this subject at all.

Jared said...

Frank, I commend you.

You lasted A LOT longer than I did. When we were all jumping aboard, Michael Spencer (God rest 'im) told me I wouldn't last long because I care too much about the gospel. Publicly he was taking bets on how long I'd last at the Boar's Head Tavern. I was stubborn. :-)

If you'll remember, when we were "defining evangelicalims" in the first week or two, my outline appeared to allow a bigger tent than some of the other folks. Yet I was the first to jump ship, and it was primarily because I couldn't keep feeling like a weirdo to fixate on the evangel at a place called "Evangel". It began to frustrate me that Sarah Palin was a topic of more interest and agreement than the power and hope that is the good news.

Anywho, you know where I'm coming from.
As I said, I commend your decision.

I love those guys, even the ones I don't know. But that blog discourages me every time I pull it up. Labeling that melange of cultural gobbledygook "Evangel" is too much.

David said...

Frank - Glad you took the time to explain this. I find some of my own brothers are falling victim to their desire to "appease some other authority apart from or above Scripture" because of the "foolishness" that is the Gospel.

That desire to appease the pull of science, postmodern philosophy, or general ecumenicalism is our primary enemy in this day, and one of the sharpest weapons in the enemy's arsenal.

Well put. And thanks for fighting for the faith. Keep it up!

Garrett League said...

Sounds good Frank. I'll try and find it. I've read "The Battle for the Beginning" and listened to all of MacArthur's audio on this topic that I can get a hold of (plus I followed his blog closely), but I'd be more than willing to hear more if he address my question more directly.

I know this is related to your last post, but have you read Alister McGrath's "Augustine's Origin of Species" article for CT? It's a bit more responsible in it's use of Augustine's thought for present scientific debates than you might expect from how Biologos has used him. Definitely worth looking into.

Frank Turk said...

Garrett:

I found the audio at Monergism's MacArthur page. Download the MP3, "A Theology of Creation".

Frank Turk said...

Jared:

Your Jesus scares me. I like it.

CR said...

Garrett,

There are no scientific explanations for the supernatural events of Scrupture (creation of Adam and the universe, the flood, the theophanies of Jesus, the miracle of the 5000 loaves and the resurrection of Jesus). Any attempt by YECers or organizations like AiG to draw some scientific conclusions is futile. Where the Bible is silent we must be silent.

I suppose some YECers feel the need to respond scientifically to OECers. You can't. Anymore than one can describe the science of Jesus' conception.

CR said...

In other words Garrett the only arguments for the supernatural, are theological, not scientific.

evangelicalcalvinist.com said...

Frank said:

. . . Third: This is because in that group of people, there are some who are not great systematic thinkers . . .

I agree, I think; but what do you mean by this? Do you mean theologically, or more just in general?

I've tried to engage you on "systematics," if this is what you're referencing; and yet no response. I want to challenge your systematic thinking --- in a "formal" blog debate --- but no deal; why not?

I think BioLogos is out to lunch, indeed . . . so we agree there. I also think Evangel, while intentions are good, is really quite boring and shallow --- albeit I'm not a regular reader there. I too thought it was strange that you were "on staff" there --- knowing your theological convictions it just didn't fit --- I think you've made a good choice by stepping out though.

Garrett League said...

CR:

That's a great point. But...

though miracles themselves are not subject to scientific investigation, their natural effects can be in some cases. For example, the global flood may have been caused miraculously as you say, but it would have had real effects on this world's geography which themselves could be examined scientifically.

You cite Jesus' miracles, but what if, after creating wine from water, Jesus were to also created a pile of empty wine skins and a receipt from the local winery? Instantaneous aged wine I get; but why cover his tracks so as to make it look as if no miracle occurred at all?

This is the sort of natural continuity that science finds in the natural world. God may indeed have made the earth 6,000 years ago and all creatures according to their kind alongside A&E, but if he did then he has quite elaborately covered his tracks, which has lead me to conclude that creation occurred through 2nd causes and what Genesis describes is a liturgical, symbol-laden account of that, not a scientific or merely cut-and-dry historical one (thought it is based on historical events).

The two options are these: 1. Either God created by miracle in a way that looks entirely natural (complete with elaborate and wholly unnecessary natural histories which never actually took place) or 2. God created via ordinary providence and the continuity we observe is real and not merely apparent. I go with the latter option.

The Armchair Theologian said...

Biologos?

Yikes.

Playing blocks with fellas who are openly denying specific teaching of scripture, especially in an area like Genesis 1, is a definite way to either get a block in the head or become a blockhead.

I've seen so many discussions and debates in that area turn into mud-slinging festivals. I'm guessing that bowing out is a smart move to make. I used to get into the thick of debates in those circles too, but I've bowed out of a lot and have a lot less apologies to make because of it.

Good distinctions in your post: knowing and denying is not the same as being ignorant and uncommitted.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"My opinion is that this is what Christopher Benson is participating in -- he's endorsing BioLogos as a "middle way" approach to mend fences with "science", but he is in fact giving up what must be called the home field of orthodoxy to do so. In every way, he endorses the POMA approach to authority where "partially overlapping" turns out to be a cover for simply allowing Science to have the first and last word, and Scripture must have only a say which is consequential to the current findings and edict of science.

So the problem is not the lack of full-throated endorsement of a 6-day creation. The problem is not even a failure to endorse a robust doctrine of scriptural inerrancy. The problem is that there are members of the Evangel masthead who are, frankly, engaged in damaging the faith of others by defending rank apostates -- and not merely defending them, but endorsing them as faithful members of the larger church."


Regrettably, I'd have to agree. It's a shame that it's going on.

Christopher Benson said...

Why am I not surprised that Frank Turk has engaged in a smear campaign at Pyromaniacs. How unChristian! A psychology of fear – not a noble defense of scriptural integrity – motivates Mr. Turk and his ilk to run a litmus test of orthodoxy whenever there are divergent views in the household of faith. For Mr. Turk, orthodoxy means uniformity. For others of us, orthodoxy means unity in essentials, liberty in non-essentials (e.g., origin of life issue), and charity in all things. Mr. Turk would like you to believe that BioLogos gives up “the home field of orthodoxy.” Mr. Turk would like you to believe that BioLogos deifies the authority of science. And his breathless acolyte, Truth Unites…and Divines, would like you to believe that BioLogos serves the atheistic agenda of Satan. Only a stupid person would be so gullible to believe these scare tactics. Fear begets fear. What we need is more knowledge and less ignorance, more faith and less fear.

donsands said...

"Unfortunately many "evangelicals" in this movement are just as rabidly elitists as the atheistic evolutionists." -Jonathan

And that is being puffed up brother. We all need to watch our "P's", and not so much "Q's": Puffed up, pride, and prejudices.

1 Cor. 8:1 "Knowledge puffs up [inflates the ego], but love builds up."

However, "knowledge that is subordinate to love becomes useful."


In the end we do need to have convictions and stand. Our conscience if convinced by the thorough study of Scripture is settled, we need to speak our heart, and mean what we say, and say what we mean.

Centurion is one of the true and genuine contenders for the faith. Keep on my brother.

donsands said...

"What we need is more knowledge..." Christopher

Funny how you said this just before my last comment.

Frank Turk said...

Hi Christopher --

Thanks for stopping by. Please stay tuned as I fill in the details of the things I said I would fill in. I'm sure you cannot imagine they are true as they are just seeking the middle way and (for example) I am just exercising the will to power through language -- but that's always the way it is in pomodernity: truth is an enemy, and its friends are villains.

Please keep us up to date on your option of this series of posts, and please: at any point in the near future, let us see how the BioLogos view of Scripture enhances orthodoxy and orthodoxy with concrete examples. THAT would be an interesting read I am sure.

Garrett League said...

Just finished listening to that Resolved 09 audio, Frank. I had heard it before, but nonetheless will give it further consideration and prayer. Thanks.

One major point of his that needs fleshing out are the implications of miraculous creation on scientific inquiry. Clearly, in one sense, he is right for calling "creation science" an oxymoron because creation via miracle is non-scientific. But where does that leave biologists in studying God's handiwork? That's a point that needs further explanation.

Zaphon said...

Interestingly, I was reminiscing over the Piper/Warrren fiasco of a few months ago, as I was working today. It really left a bad taste in my mouth. I was really trying not to be immature about it, and well, let's just say, The Spirit is still working on me. :-)

Then I come home and read this news from Frank & it's really encouraging.

It's encoraging because:

1. Someone has FINALLY demonstrated with actions that ALL of the Bible matters, and obedience to the truth is non-negotiable.

2. Someone has acted responsibly and spoken the truth in LOVE, motivated by the spiritual well-being of others.

I recall Frank writing somewhere that God has given him a forum and he's used it well. I would say, Amen to that...in SPADES.

God bless my Bro.

Rob Bailey said...

Garret,

I would be interested to read more about the "covering his tracks" argument. That is a new one on me. We don't have Adam's dirty diapers, or placentas from the original beasts. My concern is that over and over again in scripture we see God doing things to deliberately confound mankind. I have always considered the "evidence" of an old earth as one such act.

Mike said...

Firstly, thanks for trying Frank. It was a good idea to have some decent evangelical representation at a blog called Evangel.

Secondly, Garrett League said

The two options are these: 1. Either God created by miracle in a way that looks entirely natural (complete with elaborate and wholly unnecessary natural histories which never actually took place) or 2. God created via ordinary providence and the continuity we observe is real and not merely apparent. I go with the latter option.

If those are the only two options then perhaps your choice is valid. However, I think you have created a false dilemma there. There is certainly at least one more option to pick from.

3. God created by miracle and the old earth interpretation of the historical, untestable events is incorrect.

If you have read much of what Aig actually teach you will know that their beef is with the presuppositions that people use when they interpret present day evidence and observe present day processes then extrapolate said observations into the unobserved past and claim that that is science. It is not.

I'm not suggesting that they are infallible (they aren't) but I certainly appreciate the work they do pointing out the unproven presuppositions of old earthers and evolutionists.

I'll take the bible as my starting point over man's ideas any day.

David said...

Well, I listened to the whole MacArthur. Here's the short version. When science challenges other religions, he's all for science. When science challenges his beliefs, then it's "we don't need no steenkin' science". And this not only applies to geology, archeology, antropology, genetics, and biogeography, just to name a few examples. It apparently also applies to environmental science as well. The man is an equal opportunity embracer of ignorance.

I'll say this for him, the man is honest. He knows that the evidence is so extraordinarily against YEC that the only options is to declare all of the testing of YEC hypotheses totally off limits. Since YEC has been repeatedly disproved, one has no choice but to declare the whole mess untouchable. Don't even think of using science to explore any aspect of the history of the earth. No, no, no. And that includes any human history that pre-dates about 2300 to 2500 BC. Archeology, antropology, genetics, biogeography, geology...toss it all out.

Garrett, to answer your question, what MacArthur is saying is that biologists should stick their head as deep into the sand as they possibilty can. And never, never, never use the E-word. Otherwise, they're going to Hell. Good luck with your science career.

Frank Turk said...

David --

Thanks for proving that you don't really have to listen to someone to misrepresent him.

donsands said...

"..the evidence is so extraordinarily against YEC" -David

Can you prove that? And just give me some genuine evidence, if you don't mind. No theories.

If you can, then we will all recognize out of hand.

Todd Pruitt said...

It seems that Christopher has locked down comments on his latest post at Evangel. Perhaps it is just a glitch. But after making a completely nonsensical reply to my comment the thread seems to have been shut down. Kind of strange for someone who would leave such an angry screed on someone else's blog.

dan said...

to quote the tagline from the movie "clear and present danger": truth needs a soldier. thanks for taking an unmistakably clear stand on this issue frank.

question: do you read and follow the work done by dr jonathan sarfati and the guys at creation.com? with their high view of scripture and commitment to a biblical hermeneutic when reading Genesis, they seem to be the antithesis of biologos. i don't hear of them outside their own website as often as i would like.

David said...

Frank,

How did I misrepresent what I heard?

Donsands,

Can I prove the evidence is against YEC? Sure. MacArthur showed that he's happy to cite science when he thinks it supports his beliefs. But when it comes to YEC, he rejects science. If the scientific evidence supported YEC, then MacArthur would be the first to embrace it. But he rejects science when it comes to the history of the planent. So, that tells us that the evidence is all against YEC.

donsands said...

"Can I prove the evidence is against YEC? Sure." -David

I am not very intelligent. But I'm sure you didn't prove anything by your comment.

Can you give me a couple thoughts, or some kind of clear proof?

mikeb said...

Frank, amen amen brother. I first went to evangel, thought it was too liberal. Then when you mentioned you posted there, went again and tried to give it another try. Still didn't take.

Why is it that OEC's and even TE's come at YEC's with a "can't we just get a seat at the table" approach. As if their ploy is first to get a seat, then the real fun begins. YEC's tend to just say "here's the truth, you're wrong."

Garrett and David,

You both need to think through this Biblically. Think about how sin affects science and how much of science sets out to disprove God. Choose this day who you will trust more, science or God. That's really what it comes down too. I know, many will say we can have both. But in the end, science is man driven and it will fail us.

Remember what Paul said to Timothy, "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding...what is falsely called knowledge." He's not just talking about false religions and such, he's talking about man made philosophy that tries to trump God.

Why is it OEC's and TE's are completely rational people but any YEC's are completely out there, wacky, like AiG is "damaging to the faith"?

Not all science is true science. You both have to know that. Spontaneous regeneration was once thought correct. Now we know it's not. Numerous examples abound. So in effect when you put science over God, you're saying "what man knows right now is more important than what God has always known!"

mikeb said...

David,

MacArthur showed that he's happy to cite science when he thinks it supports his beliefs. But when it comes to YEC, he rejects science. If the scientific evidence supported YEC, then MacArthur would be the first to embrace it. But he rejects science when it comes to the history of the planent.

Presuppositions my dear Watson! You presuppose science is always right. Right when it reaffirms the Bible, right when it contradicts YEC. You think MacArthur is twisting the truth when it's scientists themselves who are.

What if a scientists tells you there is no God and he has proof? If you agree with him, you put science over God. If you disagree with him, you've done exactly like MacArthur has done, putting God over science.

So, that tells us that the evidence is all against YEC.

So your argument is that MacArthur rejects certain scientific studies, therefore YEC is untrue? Wow. What scientific studies do you reject David? Name them? How about the study that "proved" homosexuality is genetic? How about the one that "proves" the Big Bang theory? Or Darwinian evolution?

joel said...

Garrett,
I totally understand where you are coming from. As a student studying science at the University I used to be very bothered by what appeared to be overwhelming evidence against a YE account. I was particularly bothered by the 'star light problem' because it seemed like simple physics told us something other than what the bible says.

When it was explained to me the huge theological problems with OEC I finally came to a point where I felt I had to decide to either put my understanding of science first or to take God at His word. I decided, in humility, that maybe I didn't understand science as well as God does. I decided to take God at His word.

Since the time I went low God has continually strengthened my faith in Him. What I though where the most insurmountable of Scientific problems have disappeared. I have come to understand how easy it is to get things wrong scientifically when you start with the wrong presuppositions.

Garrett, if we can get things wrong in physics that appear to contradict the bible, think of how easy it is for Biologists with comparably immeasurabley more complex systems to make false assumptions and get the wrong answers.

Garrett, God apposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I urge you to humble yourself before God's. It will strengthen your faith and it will make you a better scientist.

Garrett League said...

Mike:

"God created by miracle and the old earth interpretation of the historical, untestable events is incorrect."

When science time and time again shows that the earth is far older than 6,000 years old, you have to posit an appearance of age or mature creation. That falls into my first option. For problems with that, see http://faceofdeep.blogspot.com/2010/07/signs-of-aging-in-appearance-of-age.html

"observe present day processes then extrapolate said observations into the unobserved past and claim that that is science. It is not."

It is science, since claims about the past can be empirically tested, as can the reasonableness of the assumptions. Would you claim that forensic science couldn't be used to help implicate a criminal if the scientist was not there to witness the murder? I know AiG is all about presuppositions, starting points, and "worldview glasses." However, what is unreasonable in assuming that the speed of light has been about the same in the past or that radioactive decay rates have been constant? There's no good evidence to indicate otherwise.

"I'll take the bible as my starting point over man's ideas any day."

Me too, but when you start from texts that are in no way attempting to give scientifically accurate descriptions of the world, is it any wonder that YECs are so at odds with the scientific consensus in biology, geology, astronomy, etc.? I agree in principle, but your application to scientific questions is misguided. I just don't think defending biblical authority using demonstrably false scientific claims (i.e., that the earth is only a few thousand years old, flood geology, etc.) helps any of us who take the bible seriously.

joel said...

By the way the largest advances in civilization and science have come from men who believed God's word and pursued truth because of it.

Sir Issac Newton believed God and we have Calculus, Gravitational theory, an understanding of the orbits of planets. Louis Pasteur believed God and we have vaccines and countless of lives saved. Charles Darwin, a guy with a theology degree, rejected God and we have Eugenics, and a plethora of reasons to promote racism.

joel said...

'I just don't think defending biblical authority using demonstrably false scientific claims (i.e., that the earth is only a few thousand years old, flood geology, etc.) helps any of us who take the bible seriously.'

AiG may indeed have, and probably does, have some inaccurate or mistaken scientific claims, but that is because they are humans and fallible. But that is their entire point, that science is fallible but the bible is not.

If the bible says clearly, and it does, that the earth was created in six days and is approximatly 6k-8k years old then it makes the most sense for scientists look for evidence to support the infallible claims of scripture.

You don't start with fallible scientific claims and then try to reinterpret infallible scripture from them. You start with the infallible and work to establish good science.

joel said...

It is interesting that when Donsands asked David of a clear and simple proof that YEC is scientifically incompatable he got really quite.

Maybe it does take a PhD to believe that everything came from nothing after all.

Coram Deo said...

Frank,

Well done.

In Him,
CD

damewood said...

Why is it that it seems that the guy screaming the loudest about other people being ungracious is the most ungracious guy in the room?

Just wondering.

Thanks Christopher Benson for a stunning example of character assassination and name calling while accusing someone else of practicing it.

Ron said...

Even though Gamaliel was considered highly educated during his time, pride (that puffs up) and arrogance in his own vast knowledge inhibited him from ascertaining how he, as well as his forefathers had contorted and misrepresented Scripture to their own liking. Since we don't have the mind of God, there are, which we should accept by faith, unknowable things. But we repeatedly desire to pierce that veil of the unknowable and make ourselves like God.
Part of my prayer this morning was to thank God for not having me pursue such high knowledge, since my own pride may have led me away from trusting His word alone.

Mike said...

Garrett said

It is science, since claims about the past can be empirically tested

How exactly? Are you suggesting that it's possible to test the speed of light in the past or the rate of radioactive decay in the past?

Would you claim that forensic science couldn't be used to help implicate a criminal if the scientist was not there to witness the murder?

no I wouldn't but that's the whole point, we do have conflicting eye witness testimony in the form of God's word that plainly states that the universe was created in six ordinary days.

when you start from texts that are in no way attempting to give scientifically accurate descriptions of the world

What's your definition of scientifically accurate? how do you interpret exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

What geological features would you expect to see if there had been a global flood?

bou2010 said...

Dude, I’m saddened by your post and I very much disagree with you, but I won’t judge whether you are a Christian or not by whether or not you disagree with me on secondary issues. I hold to the fundamentals of the faith, but not to fundamentalism, which is, if you disagree with me, I question whether you believe the Bible at the same level as me or not, and by implication, whether your faith is genuine. I could also argue that your elevation of a secondary issue to a necessary implication of genuine faith is legalism and I could question your faith, but I won’t because I don’t think you’re a legalist, even if you are using legalistic reasoning here.

I hold to a literal resurrection, literal miracles, a literal garden of Eden, a literal flood... I’m a five point Calvinist who hold to covenant theology and hates the heresies of N.T. Wright. I’m an expositor who hates “fortune cookie” sermons instead of a faithful rendering of the Word of God. I have a very high view of Scripture which usually gets me in trouble with the “contemporary, cool, relevant” crowd.

And I have no problem with interpreting the creation account allegorically or literally.

Why? Because there are some things that are necessary to an orthodox faith and some things that aren’t. I wish you would see the difference.

Now, you may argue that you don’t believe that by asserting your first point, but with your reasoning in point #5, we see this:

If Evolution-->low view of Scripture
If low view of Scripture--> probably not Christian
Combining those chains, we get:
If E-->probably not a Christian.

I’m saddened that you would reason that way. Do you think Tim Keller is probably not a Christian? Or is C.S. Lewis probably not either? Or many others?

Anyways, first time posting a comment, but I love the blog. I’m a big fan.

Blessings

David said...

I'm not sure how any of the comments in response to my comments show that I'm wrong about MacArthur and his position wiht respect to science. When scientific inquiry contradicts MacArthur's belief's, MacArthur rejects science and/or says that science cannot be used to test or describe a given phenomenon. Is this an inaccurate summary of MacArthur's position?

Mostly what I'm reading here suggests that the responders think that MacArthur is right to reject to science. However, I wasn't raising the question of whether or no MacArthur was right to reject science. All I tried to do was summarize his position, and I don't see anyone disagreeing with my description of MacArthur's position.

Donsands,

First, the reason why I cited Mac
Arthur's rejection of science in my answer to your question is that I think it really does make the point that the science must be against YEC. Otherwise, why would Mac reject it? It's a proof based on the response of those who believe YEC.

But if you want me to provide specific evidence, I need to know what brand of YEC we're talking about here. So, when was the earth created, were all "kinds" created at the start, what are "kinds", when was Noah's Flood and was Noah's Flood global? I'm not trying to be difficult, I just need to know where we're starting.

David Kjos said...

Frank,

You have chosen wisely. And explained yourself well. Press on.

donsands said...

David

Start here:

"Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day."

God created the Earth first. Then He created the Moon and the Sun, and the planets and stars.
He then created birds, animals, and fish, and then Adam and Eve, in His own image.

When did He did this?

I don't think we can know for sure.


Adam sinned, and God cursed the world He had made. How long did Adam live before He sinned? I don't know.
Adam had Seth as his son when he was 130 years old and he lived 900 more years. And I think we can have an idea of the years from this point on, if we do the calculating of all these sons of men who lived.
I think some have suggested the beginning of the earth goes back about 6,000 years, give or take a 1,000.

So you can begin there.

Noah's flood was world wide in my way of taking the Scriptures.

" Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died. He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days."

Garrett League said...

Joel,

you are a better man than I, God bless you and thanks for sharing. I totally sympathize with why you made your decision, and although I disagree I sure do respect it. Seeing light from the explosions of supernovae that never really existed? I'm not prepared to go that far, but there are definitely other problems raised by an old universe. For me, they are not as bad as the problems raised by a young-earth view.

Mike,

"How exactly? Are you suggesting that it's possible to test the speed of light in the past or the rate of radioactive decay in the past?"

For the speed of light, yes, since astronomers actually look back in time the further into space they gaze. Same physics no matter what star you look at. Radioactive decay is extremely steady and there is no good evidence that rates have ever been any different than present rates. See: http://biologos.org/questions/ages-of-the-earth-and-universe/

"we do have conflicting eye witness testimony in the form of God's word that plainly states that the universe was created in six ordinary days."

I do not see Genesis one as a mere straight forward eye-witness account from God's vantage point. That's a fundamental difference between us.

"What's your definition of scientifically accurate?"

The bible doesn't have to be very precise, but scientifically accurate means that the claims would hold true if we empirically tested the predictions they make. It also must take into consideration the intent of the inspired author (was Moses really talking about the big bang in Gen 1:1?). Since the text mentions a firmament and waters above it, I take it non-literally as a pre-scientific, phenomenological description of a cosmic temple.

"how do you interpret exodus 20:11"

I take that to mean that God brought order and function out of an unformed and unfilled watery chaos by forming and filling it in 6 days. I do not see this as an historical or scientific account of creation. Moses' intention was primarily polemical and doxological. After his cosmic temple was inaugurated over 6 days, he rested in it. Greg Beale (see "Erosion of Biblical Inerrancy" here http://books.google.com/books?id=jpLHcaKXD5IC&lpg=PP1&dq=beale%20inerrancy&pg=PA203#v=onepage&q=firmament&f=false) and others give good evidence that the Hebrews described the cosmos with temple language and viewed the temple itself as a microcosm (or micro-cosmos).

"What geological features would you expect to see if there had been a global flood?"

I'm not a geologist, but here is a detailed explanation: http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/davidson_wolgemuth_scholarly_essay.pdf

Cammie Novara said...

"What I said was this:

And with that, sadly, I am out of here.

Note to Joe Carter: please close my Evangel account. If this is the sort of thinking FirstThings wants to represent as “Evangelical”, we are all shamed by it.

God be with you all, and may he shine His light of grace on you." I can totally relate to that in every way under the sun. There's a really fascinating debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at http://www.intelligentdesignfacts.com

joel said...

"But if you want me to provide specific evidence, I need to know what brand of YEC we're talking about here. So, when was the earth created, were all "kinds" created at the start, what are "kinds", when was Noah's Flood and was Noah's Flood global? I'm not trying to be difficult, I just need to know where we're starting."

Ok David,
Just start with where matter came from and go from there. That is, how did a highly ordered and complex creation, or anything for that matter, come about from nothing.

David Rudd said...

Frank, your rational is well-stated.

I'll go on record that I think your blogging HERE has been markedly better since you started blogging THERE.

(not a backhanded compliment, i think writing there helped you sharpen your thoughts everywhere)

joel said...

"Seeing light from the explosions of supernovae that never really existed? I'm not prepared to go that far, but there are definitely other problems raised by an old universe. For me, they are not as bad as the problems raised by a young-earth view."

actually Garrett, I never said that I don't believe that supernovae never happened, or that they are not billions of light years away, I do. I just believe they happened in the last 6 to 8k years. And what do you know, some scientific models are begining to show that is possible.

Even if science continues to disagree with the biblical account, it would not mean that the bible is wrong, it would just mean that science had not cought up to the truth yet.

Garrett, just think of the thing in science that makes you most reluctant to believe the Bible's account then wait a few years, it will change. Don't update your understanding of truth based on what current scientific models show.

True science does not try to prove, it does not even try to interpret. All we as scientists can do is try to produce a usfull model that reproduces what we are seeing, anything past that is speculation.

mikeb said...

Daivd,

MacArthur and his position wiht respect to science. When scientific inquiry contradicts MacArthur's belief's, MacArthur rejects science and/or says that science cannot be used to test or describe a given phenomenon. Is this an inaccurate summary of MacArthur's position?

Yes, you are innaccurately representing MacAthur's view. MacArthur is implying not all of what we call "science" is true science. Therefore, when science contradicts God's Word, which we know God cannot lie, it must therefore by logic be false science. This is not MacArthur's view alone but the (past and present) orthodox Christian view!

Joel hinted at it above. With the YEC, there appears to be a tension with what we call "modern day science." With OEC and TE' there is a huge tension with Biblical theology. Therefore, we're back to the question, which shall rule over the other? Does our theology inform our view of the world (including science)? Or does science inform our view of the Bible? That's fundamentally what it comes down to. Which do you hold up as the measuring rod.

Sure there can be Christians who believe OEC and TE. That doesn't mean it's the right view. The problem is that once you start down a slippery slope, it's hard to stop. Someone in another thread here made the comment to the effect that "no YEC's as far I'm aware of hold that Adam was not a real person". But you will find plenty of OEC's and TE's that doubt Adam as a real person. Once you accept "the science" and let it drive your interpretation, it will begin to drive it more and more. Hence you have Drs. Waltke and Longman going off the deep end with their statements.

You can say all day that the "Biblical account never was intended to be a scientific account", but Moses, the Israelites, the church fathers, the Reformers, never thought such things. The Biblical account is an historical account, which includes science in general. The point is that God created the world in 6 days, which is miraculous. To let something evolve for 4 billion years isn't near as miraculous as creation in 6 days!

David said...

Joel,

I’m afraid that your comment to me was a complete non sequitur. If you’d like to explain your version of YEC to me, please do so.

Donsands,

“God created the Earth first. Then He created the Moon and the Sun, and the planets and stars.”

I don’t know much about astronomy, but I’m pretty certain that astronomers would say our solar system was created billions of years after the first stars were formed.

“He then created birds, animals, and fish, and then Adam and Eve, in His own image.”

The fossil record very, very strongly suggests that terrestrial vertebrates existed for a very long time before any birds existed, so the fossil record shows the order in Genesis 1 is wrong. The taxonomic sorting of fossils also disproves the hypothesis that modern species existed from the start of life on earth.


“I think some have suggested the beginning of the earth goes back about 6,000 years, give or take a 1,000.”

Close enough to give us a starting point. Evidence against a 6000 +/- 1000 year old earth comes from so many different sources that it’s hard to know which to mention here. Since it came up early in the week at a different post, I guess I’ll just start with Carbon-14 dating as a disproof of the hypothesis that the earth (and humans) have only been around for 6000 years.

“Noah's flood was world wide in my way of taking the Scriptures.”

Again, as with the 6000 year old earth, there are so many way that this is contradicted by the evidence that it’s hard to know where to start. Ok, so a world-wide flood will, at a minimum, wipe out all terrestrial vertebrates, create lots of fossils, and force the re-colonization of the earth from a single geographic point and from tiny groups of each species. The observation that fossils show taxonomic sorting takes care of the “most fossils were produced by a single global flood” hypothesis (consider the distribution of angiosperm fossils, the absence of modern mammal fossils in dino-bearing layers, etc.). Biogeography shows that earth was not re-colonized from a single point in the Middle East by terrestrial vertebrates (consider marsupials in Australia). Genetics show that modern species did not experience any genetic bottlenecks at 4500 years ago, and certainly, the human population did not experience such a bottleneck followed by dispersal from a point in the Middle East.

Lots and lots of other evidence, but I'll stop with that for now.

David said...
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David said...

Mikeb,

"Yes, you are innaccurately representing MacAthur's view. MacArthur is implying not all of what we call "science" is true science. Therefore, when science contradicts God's Word, which we know God cannot lie, it must therefore by logic be false s
science."

I believe that your comment shows that I am, indeed, accurately representing MacArthur's views. In science, we have a name for what you call "false science". We call it "science". There is no distinction made between science that contradits your and MacArthur's beliefs and science that doesn't contradict said beliefs. Science that contradicts YEC is still just science. Outside of a handful of YEC "scientists", no one would make the distinction that MacArthur makes. Simply put, MacArthur rejects what everyone in science would call science.

The fact that you and Mac would attempt to make false distinction between contradictory and non-contradictory science simply reinforces my point. You all know that the evidence completely contradicts YEC, and so now you have to play games with phrases like "true science" and "false science. To maintain your beliefs, you must reject the findings of numerous fields of science and/or claim that your beliefs are off limits to testing by science. Now, that's you choice, but that's what's going on here.

mikeb said...
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David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mikeb said...

David, first let's address your comment at 12:27PM

To summarize you:

1. The fossil record very, very strongly suggests...the order in Genesis 1 is wrong.

2. Science shows Noah's flood was not worldwide, therefore what God says in Genesis 6:13 regarding "all flesh" and the "earth" is untrue. Which of course makes Jesus a liar in Luke 17, Peter a liar in 1 Peter 3, and the writer of Hebrews a liar in Heb. 11:7.

Any other Biblical truths you'd like to sacrifice on the altar of science while you're at it?

Regarding your illogical comments on science:

In science, we have a name for what you call "false science". We call it "science".

Wow, I didn't expect you to be so honest. Modern science = false science? Well said, althought I would not say this is always 100% true :)

donsands said...

"I guess I’ll just start with Carbon-14 dating as a disproof"

Who came up with this process? Is it a foolproof way of discerning truth?

joel said...

David,
actually a non sequitur is a conclusion drawing from an unrelated line of reasoning. Like when you say- I think I can disprove the world wide flood that the bible describes, therefore, God does not exist.

My question to you was where did everything come from, how did everything come from nothing? The very beginning of creation is the logical starting point for a discussion.

In other words we are not really interested in listening to someone who rejects the existence of God ramble on about the proof from a dubious fossil record contradicting the biblical account of the flood. That is just you picking what you consider to be low hanging fruit while ignoring the most powerful evidence for an intelligent design.

Incidentally, there is a difference between offering an argument against the biblical account and just contradicting it. Contradictions are all you have been able to offer in your last 10 postings. This includes your statements such as

"Again, as with the 6000 year old earth, there are so many way that this is contradicted by the evidence that it’s hard to know where to start"

I think we all know what the scientific consensus is on the matter. The point that many posters have been trying to make to you is that the scientific consensus is wrong when it contradicts the authority of the bible and therefore must be inaccurate.

David said...

Mikeb,

"Any other Biblical truths you'd like to sacrifice on the altar of science while you're at it?"

I think it's important for you to understand that few scientists are particularly interested in "sacrificing Biblical truths". They're just trying to understand the natural world as it is. If that creates problems for certain belief systems, well, so be it. With respect to your attitude towards modern science...so it goes. Again, your choice.

Donsands,

Who came up with this process? Is it a foolproof way of discerning truth?

The C-14 method was developed by a chemist/physicist named Libby. Is it foolproof? Nothing in science is foolproof, but it's been very, very extensively tested. It was even used to date the Dead Sea scrolls.

joel said...

"I believe that your comment shows that I am, indeed, accurately representing MacArthur's views. In science, we have a name for what you call "false science". We call it "science"."

Actually David, what you are calling science is not science by any historic definition. In order for it to be true science it must be a reproducible testable phenomena, see 'Scientific Method'.

Again your reference to an very incomplete and dubious fossil record, i.e., extrapolating what happened 100 million years ago on the earth from where you are finding angiosperm fossils, all of which I might add is based on presuppositions which may be wrong, can at best be called a guess.

Calling these types of hunches science, and then dogmatically insisting that everyone else do the same is intellectually dishonest.

Perhaps the distinction needs to be made not between true science and false science, but between true scientists and false scientists who adopt whimsical fantasy under the guise of scientific authority and then label anyone who disagrees with them as unlernt deniers.

Scientific consensus or not you are quickly loosing any credibility that you may have had by making your fanciful claims and then insisting we acquiesce to your authority as intelectual giant.

David said...

Joel,

Non sequitur: A statement (as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said.

Let’s review.

I said, "But if you want me to provide specific evidence, I need to know what brand of YEC we're talking about here. So, when was the earth created, were all "kinds" created at the start, what are "kinds", when was Noah's Flood and was Noah's Flood global?

You said, “Just start with where matter came from and go from there. That is, how did a highly ordered and complex creation, or anything for that matter, come about from nothing.

How is your response related to my questions about YEC? I asked specific questions because different people have different versions of YEC. How did your response to my questions actually answer my specific questions? How did it describe your particular version of YEC? It didn’t. Your response was not related to my questions.

“The point that many posters have been trying to make to you is that the scientific consensus is wrong when it contradicts the authority of the bible and therefore must be inaccurate.”

Yes, yes, I understand this! This is what I’m saying that MacArthur is saying. He’s rejecting scientific conclusions when those contradict his beliefs. After accepting the science he likes, he’s rejecting science that he doesn’t like. He’s tossing science out, rejecting its conclusions, and/or saying that science isn’t allowed to test his beliefs. I AGREE with you and the posters about this!

My point was that this indicates that Mac knows that the evidence is against him. Look again at the very first comment that I posted on this thread. Is there anything there that is inaccurate?

Garrett League said...

"I just believe they happened in the last 6 to 8k years. And what do you know, some scientific models are begining to show that is possible."

Good, I think that's a more respectable approach. BTW, are you referring to Russ Humphreys and White Holes? Because you need to account for how light traveled that distance in such a short amount of time w/out altering the speed of light.

"Even if science continues to disagree with the biblical account, it would not mean that the bible is wrong, it would just mean that science had not cought up to the truth yet."

Or that we are misreading the bible and/or bringing false expectations/assumptions to the text, which is basically what I've concluded. I think that is far more likely. But you may be entirely right, though I don't personally think the the evidence will ever catch up to supporting a young-earth.

"Don't update your understanding of truth based on what current scientific models show."

I try my best not to, since scientific models are always in flux.

David said...

“Actually David, what you are calling science is not science by any historic definition. In order for it to be true science it must be a reproducible testable phenomena, see 'Scientific Method'. “

I believe that you’re the one that needs to brush up on the scientific method. Start with the phrase “testable hypotheses”. In any event, the kind of science I’m talking about IS "reproducible”. For example, it’s “reproduced” every time we sequence another genome or collect another fossil. So, I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say that what I'm calling science isn't science.

“Again your reference to an very incomplete and dubious fossil record, i.e., extrapolating what happened 100 million years ago on the earth from where you are finding angiosperm fossils, all of which I might add is based on presuppositions which may be wrong, can at best be called a guess.”

First, I’m only making one presupposition. I assume that what I find on the bottom was deposited first, and what I find on top of that was deposited later. Would you agree with this “presupposition”? Second, I didn’t say a thing about what happened 100 million years ago. Not one thing. What I’m saying is that the distribution of angiosperm fossils disproves your YEC hypothesis. What effect it might have on any other hypothesis is a completely separate matter.

“Calling these types of hunches science, and then dogmatically insisting that everyone else do the same is intellectually dishonest.”

Well, then 99.99% of scientists are “intellectually dishonest”. In your opinion. In the meantime, 99.99% of scientists have no problem calling what I’m talking about “science”. You want to deny it's science? Your choice. But no one in science is listening.

mikeb said...

David,

I think it's important for you to understand that few scientists are particularly interested in "sacrificing Biblical truths"

Then few scientists are Christians. Do you lump yourself in with most scientists or the "few" we are discussing?

mikeb said...

David and Garrett, a good article you should both read on science. I think Climategate is a good example of false science.

http://bylogos.blogspot.com/2010/01/can-we-trust-published-scientific-data.html

joel said...

'Or that we are misreading the bible and/or bringing false expectations/assumptions to the text, which is basically what I've concluded. I think that is far more likely. But you may be entirely right, though I don't personally think the the evidence will ever catch up to supporting a young-earth.'

Garrett, I can not more emphatically caution you against such reasoning because it makes the word of God unclear. Is our God a God of tricks and deceptions that would let all men, except for those in the last fifty years, foolishly believe that He had created in six literal days. If we can call scriptural texts into question that have been understood one way for thousands of years because of a new scientific consensus what else will we find ourselves calling into question.

Besides I think you underestimate the implications that OEC, and TE have on our understanding of the faith, maybe we all do. Everything from original sin to Jesus' substitutionary atonement of the cross must directly be called into question as a result of OEC/TE.

We now no longer have a God that punishes sin with death. Instead, we have a God that creates his best work through death and decay. How can we be in bondage to sin Eph 2 if Adam's sin did not pass to us. How can Christ's death on the cross pardon us if Rom 5:15 is not true.

'But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many'

The theological implications can not be overestimated.

Garrett, a christian needs an authoratative, clear, and sufficient bible in order to grow in the faith. The single deepest joy and security that is in my life is the knowledge that we have such a book, through which God has spoken to us. It has been and is the anchor for my soul in hardship.

If we have a bible that changes with men's interpretations then we do not have a steadfast anchor for the sole, and we will be like reeds blown in the wind. Peter, as usual, says it more articulately than me.

And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

joel said...

'Well, then 99.99% of scientists are “intellectually dishonest”. In your opinion. In the meantime, 99.99% of scientists have no problem calling what I’m talking about “science”. You want to deny it's science? Your choice. But no one in science is listening.'

I think I will leave it at that.

Thus, letting you have the last word with a dogmatic and preposterous claim.

David said...
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Everyday Mommy© said...

Wise decision, Frank. Well done, well done.

DJP said...

David the Unteachable Troll (to distinguish from the other Davids) — Rule 3 violation.

David said...

Mikeb,

With respect to "a good article you should both read on science", do you have any examples of a fraud that you think would change everything? That is, do you have a specific example that shows that all of the evidence against YEC should be discarded? To start, do you believe that taxonomic sorting is a fraud?

joel said...

For those who are interested.

Today's geologists date their fossil findings based on a uniformitarian view of geological strata. That is the view that things on the bottom of the geological record were placed there first while things on the top were laid down millions of years latter.

This, however, is contrary to what the biblical record tells us. The biblical record of Noah's flood 'the fountains of the deep burst open' clearly point to massive rupturing of the earth's surface. Continual volcanic activity over a period of half a year would lead to massive sedimentary shifts.

Additionally since much of plant matter floats, and the biblical record demonstrates that the earth's surface was covered with water, we would not expect to find fossils laid down in a continual linear manner.

In short, modern day geologists attempts to disprove flood geology rely on the use of uniformitarian principals which leave no room for the possibility of a world wide flood.

David said...

"Continual volcanic activity over a period of half a year would lead to massive sedimentary shifts.

First, this ignores extensive deposits of great thickness spread out over tens of thousands of miles where there is no evidence of massive sedimentary shifts. Second, the massive shift hypothesis predicts that the fossil record would have no pattern of taxonomic sorting. A given layer would contain a random assortment of species from many taxonomic groups. This mechanism would put lots of modern species in lower layers. Massive shift randomly mixes, but this is exact opposite of what we observe in the fossil record.

"Additionally since much of plant matter floats, and the biblical record demonstrates that the earth's surface was covered with water, we would not expect to find fossils laid down in a continual linear manner. "

And much plant material would remain rooted in the ground, and so would be in the lowest layers. Given that angiosperms represent 90% of plant species and are found around the world, there should be very extensive deposits of rooted angiosperm material in at least some of the lower layers. If you argue that every scrap of plant material floated, then you have to explain why there is zero angiosperm material mixed in with ferns, lycopods and gymnosperms found in the lower layers. Again, all of these arguments suggest that fossil layers would have a random mix of materials from all taxonomic groups. This is not what is observed in the fossil record.

Your model produces chaos in the fossil record and not the order that we see.

Frank Turk said...

I should have closed the comments after the kind words from David Kjos.

I am closing them now.