Saturday, May 02, 2009

24 and Perspicuity

Comments from the previous post (and I thank the brothers for your participation) make me think we need to discuss this a bit more.

I think it was Luther who said, you may get all parts of Christian Theology wrong, but if you do not get the Gospel, you are dead meat.

It is true, the Gospel is that one central doctrine that we should get right, and get it out to people.

But, does that mean, if we get the Gospel right, we can now afford to get the other things wrong? For example, can you now disbelieve the doctrine of the Trinity? Is it now optional, anyway you believe the Gospel? Same thing is true with doctrine of Creation, can you now plead ignorance on this?

I seem to think that folk are using the Luther quote to mean, all the rest are optional.

Such an attitude, I believe, makes justification by faith, a form of works.

Getting the Gospel right, does not mean, you can now get the others wrong. Why? Because the Gospel is standing on a foundation, it is a truth, that is founded on another truth. If it is Good News, there must have been a Bad News, for what is so Good about the Gospel after all? Why is it Good News.

The Bad News, goes back to Creation, at the word go, not very long, we mucked things up, the good things God did, we screwed up so Genesis 1 - 3 says. I am saying that if you get the Bad News wrong, you will make the Good News shaky.

So here is the point, the Bad News of our sin in Genesis 1-3 requires we take sin there literally. So if you take sin there literally but you are affording to take some things there non-literally, like the word "day", what is your criteria for picking and choosing?

Perhaps would you not say, that the "tree of knowledge" may just be symbolic, i.e., no literal tree? Perhaps there was no fruit at all, perhaps these are just projections of our inner bent qualities that Moses projected backwards to Creation, and it is just a statement of what is, is...?

Perhaps, Moses was just trying to explain how we are bad, but that was just Moses' theory of our human psychology in the end, who knows. An attempt to give reason to what is just reality, but the reason is not factual?

Perspicuity of Scripture means that the "Scripture is plain". It can be understood, some parts are difficult to understand, true, yet, people equivocate here. From Scripture being difficult to understand in some parts, to --- sliding down to --- Scripture not understandable at all.

Experiment. Take the "days" in Genesis 1-3 as non-literal days - tell that to a 5 year old kid. Read it to him. Continue reading, and most specially, while catechizing him(her), you need to discuss the 10 Commandments anyway. So jump sometime to Exodus 20. What will you say when you get to Ex 20:11 if you be honest and be consistent?

It does not work, I suggest you will wind up confusing the person you are catechizing. What we confess to people is not always verbal, what we confess is also gathered by our attitude towards some things, is that not correct? And what is that attitude, effectively, you will be saying? The Scripture is not plain.

Survey says Augsburgeans rank down the bottom when it comes to the practice of bible reading. This is sad, because for a denomination who rallied the slogan "sola scriptura", it is an aweful testimony, it makes us look hypocritical.

However, if right at the word go, they are already told, Scripture there in Genesis 1-3 is a bit obscure, do not take them plainly as what it says, can you blame them for not even attempting to make Bible read ing a devotional practice?

As they say here ... it is your own bl..dy fault.

Let me be clear, I do not believe in 24 hour creation because of this, as I said, I believe in it due to my own linguistic and philosophical analysis. What I am saying, now that I rejected my former belief of a non-24 hour period, is that it so happens that the 24 hour interpretation has a nice side effect, it promotes the perspicuity of Scripture, too. A good thing because it gives people confidence, that the Scripture is plain.

60 comments:

Drew Lomax said...

Well said LP!

Drew

Past Elder said...

Is there anything at all where how it will be taught to a 5 year old frames, or understood by him, also determines how it will be taught to and understood by a 15 year old, a 25 year old, etc? Nonsense.

L P said...

I do not wonder why Jesus said, unless you believe like a little child you will not enter the Kingdom of God.

Did you not believe the literal day Creation when you were a young boy? And now that you are older, you can do the same as how you did for your belief in Santa Claus? Santa Claus is myth but Creation is not.

Like I said, the ancient Christians recited the 1st article of the Apostles Creed, I doubt if they did it with the understanding and belief like you do.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

"Like I said, the ancient Christians recited the 1st article of the Apostles Creed, I doubt if they did it with the understanding and belief like you do."

Indeed!

Past Elder said...

Did they believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible? That's what I believe.

L P said...

think they believed more, in what article 1 implied, it is a summary of Genesis. It is an abbreviation, in confessing article 1 they were actually confessing a bit more though they were reciting a bit less.

So Adam and Eve are not mentioned in article 1, you think they did not have to believe they were our first parents, that they were vanished from the garden, they had Cain and Abel etc.?

But more now to the point, what do you think they believed re: 6 day creation?


LPC

Past Elder said...

Judas H, so now the Creed says more than it says not what it says? We take the "plain sense" of one text but not another?

Augustinian Successor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Augustinian Successor said...

Judas Elder,

The Bible reveals God as the Creator who creates out of nothing through the power of His Word. Science speaks of evolution. Both are incompatible and at odds. It's either the Word of God or science. There's no other alternative. Science is always false.

The Bible also reveals justification as the death of the old man and resurrection of the new man. In other words, in salvation, God RE-creates the New Adam out of nothing.

When we confess the First Article, we do so in the concious acknowledgment that God is not Creator only in the past, but also in the PRESENT. He constantly re-creates justified sinners by the power of His Word.

At the consummation (future), God will re-create this world to be the New Heaven and New Earth.

NOW God is creating, giving life to His creation. God is not just supervising; He GIVES life. This is why the Holy Spirit is also called the Lord and Giver of life.

AND God the sovereign Creator at the same time TAKES away life from Creation.

So, when Genesis 1 and 2 narrates the Creation story, it precisely says what it means, and means what it says.

L P said...

A.S.

Thanks for that point on Article 1. What you said is true, God is still creating life out of dead people, using his Word both visible(Sacrament) and nonvisible(Word).

Amen.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Kuya,

The Church is the "locus" where God's role in salvation (through proclamation) and creation (through vocation) intersects. In both cases, God addresses man by the power of His Word. It is only in the Church where the breach between heaven and earth is restored. The union between the Institution and element as we find the Lord's Supper. Where instead of God's Word against us, we hear, "This is My Body given for YOU ..."

Past Elder said...

God as the origin and creator of all things including life is not even addressed by evolution. The origin of species says nothing about the origin of life or anything else.

There is no mutual exclusion between two things that address different things.

L P said...

That is quite a spin.

I wonder at your comment why is Dawkins so adamantly espousing evolution as to how human life began.

Evolution presupposes death of one before another. How can there be death of one after another where in fact

Rom 5: 12Therefore, just as(T) sin came into the world through one man, and(U) death through sin, and(V) so death spread to all men because(W) all sinned—If you take the Bible's account and evloution, the two cannot be made to reconcile unless you believe evolution happened after Adam sinned.

In which case, some evolved from apes and some were offspring of Adam.

Looking at the state of the world, I do conclude, strong possibility that some must have evolved from apes.

LPC

Past Elder said...

Ask Dawkins. My point is, evolution points to, well, evolution, not origin. There is no consensus, within evolutionary theory or otherwise in science, as to the origin of life.

Evolution proceeds through two mechanisms, natural selection and genetic drift. Neither are about death.

Where are the dinosaurs, whose remains fuel your car? Where is the firmament? How is the sun and moon fixed in it? Where are the waters above it?

No doubt those who try to maintain Genesis as if it were a textbook from God about his creative process had their faith confirmed when John Glenn did not poke holes in the firmament!

Past Elder said...

What's next -- it's really 5769after all?

Augustinian Successor said...

Macro-evolution is always false. It's not OBSERVABLE in the first place. As Kuya Lito has pointed out, even Darwinians are questioning the ORIGINS of the Species. Ask Dawkins. Go and ask Gould too.

You just cannot keep banging your head against wall, or kicking against the pricks.

The Bible is always right, and science is always false.

Past Elder said...

Macro and micro evolution, as the terms are used now, is an entirely false distinction reflecting no understanding of evolution at all.

There is, again, no scientific consensus on the origin of life, or for that matter on what impels its course.

The theologically uninformed opinions on theology of biologists are as dreary as the biologically uninformed opinions on biology of theologians. Collisions of ignorance, advancing neither religion nor science.

Augustinian Successor said...

Macro-evolution is what the ORIGINS of species is all about. Darwinians today are questioning Darwin's theory back then. Ergo, science is always shifting, because it is always FALSE. Bare assertions from you does not change one whit that science IS false.

Augustinian Successor said...

You have, as usual, failed to prove even the bare minimum evidence that evolution is true. All we are getting is spin, mishmash of spin and waffle and bare assertions.

Well, at least you're being consistent. This is what, ultimately science is REDUCED to.

Talk about irreducible complexity, yes. Evolution TOO can be "irreducibly complex"! ;-)

L P said...

PE.

Neither(evoluion) are about death.Ask Dawkins? You mean he thinks I am not into God delusion?

I am curious as to why you like to give evolution a positive spin.

The more you do, the more you sound funny, though you are being serious.

So your assertion is evolution is about evolution, thanks, that certainly adds information, doesn't it?

What planet are your talking from?

I need to hang up the phone, I do not spend a lot of time on discussions that cannot be taken seriously. You know that.

It must be something you ate, I could not believe you are making so much nonsense in such a short time.


LPC

Past Elder said...

I have no idea what delusion Dawkins thinks you are into. As I said, the theology of biologists is of as little concern as the biology of theologians.

Since the discussion here re evolution seems to be that it claims to have scientifically demonstrated an origin to life other than God, yes, it would seem helpful to any discussion here other than hysterics to add the rather basic information that evolution is about evolution, not origin of life, let alone creation itself.

Filipchenko's term microevolution simply expresses a scale of evolution from species on up as distinct from within species (microevolution), hardly a "questioning" of Darwin, nor is Darwin like the mediaeval "authorities", beyond whom one never goes.

You seem to have not the slightest familiarity with this subject.

About all that is missing is the ancient idea entertained by many of the early Church that the 6000 years of creation, it being now 5769, are rapidly closing and the 1000 year "sabbath rest" of the millennial reign is nigh!

Also, theories are neither true nor false, nor was it at all my intent to prove evolution true, nor, had it been, would it be possible where it is not understood in the least.

Perhaps you should spend some time with the concepts of vincible and invincible ignorance.

Augustinian Successor said...

Listen, MACRO-evolution has yet to be proven. It is a hypothesis or as they an "intelligent conjecture."

Darwin's theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest HARDLY proves EVOLUTION. Tissues of fallacy, really.At most, the adaptation of the organism to the surrounding environment points to MICRO-evolution (including freak genetic mutation), which is a far cry from DNA reconstruction!

And where is the MISSING LINK? The link, vital to evolutionary theory, is missing.

How is that some organisms have evolved and others have not? If evolution is predicated upon enviromental shocks, i.e. evolution FOLLOWS changes in the environment, then why is evolution NOT uniform? If evolution is not uniform, then environmental changes have not been as drastic as it has been taught. It means therefore that this world has been on a constant rate EXCEPT for the catastrophe of the universal Flood, which means that the PRESENT condition results from THAT.

So much for evolution.

And on you go caricaturing biblical creationism. Dear me!

Augustinian Successor said...

Kuya Lito is right. The more you insist on evolution, the more it shows, that is the falsity of evolution.

Science cannot ACCOUNT for the ORIGINS of life. To try to do that is not science, PSEUDO-science. Only history can tell us, biblical history that is. Science has its LIMITS.

Augustinian Successor said...

Listen carefully ...

To prove evolution, scientists would have show under laboratory conditions can organisms is susceptible to genetic reconstruction which precipitates NEW functions or mechanisms. That is which ADDED to existing DNA, and not just a mere adaptation.

Nothing of this sort has happened. And it never will.

Augustinian Successor said...

Evolution insists that life can come from non-life. Why subscribe to this insane and assinine idea???

Augustinian Successor said...

Can life arise or emerge from say polymers???

Can something actually come into being from NOTHING???

Past Elder said...

No, I do not subscribe to the idea that life came from non-life. Nor is there any scientific consensus on the origin of life, evolutionary or otherwise. Nor, for that matter, do I intend a defence of evolution. Nor would that be possible, since you evidence no understanding whatever of what evolution is, but only a typical misappropriation of the terms micro- and macro-evolution.

Augustinian Successor said...

Then by your own accounts, you are engaging in a defence of an ANTI-Christian worldview. Guilty as charged.

Even though your confusion on macro- and micro-evolution do come along with your trenchant defence of Darwinism.

Let me recap. Listen: Darwinism CANNOT be integrated into Christian theology. Darwinism is inherently ANTI-Christian.

Darwin may have thought biblical criticism had advanced to the stage where Genesis 1 and 2 were "myths" or "sagas," and therefore he had the licence to discover the origins of life OUTSIDE of Scripture, but he was dead wrong.

I'll tell you why: Listen. Inductive reasoning is always a fallacy. Universal conclusions cannot be drawn from it. Darwin's observations in e.g. the Galapagos islands cannot be validly applied across the board, i.e. for facts yet UNobserved.

Therefore the conclusion is not even in the premise in the first place!

Augustinian Successor said...

Furthermore what Darwin observed was not MACRO-evolution but MICRO-evolution! One does not necessarily lead to the other. It's nothing but a leap of FAITH!

L P said...

PE.

Let me repeat what I said in reaction to your...

Also, theories are neither true nor false, nor was it at all my intent to prove evolution true, nor, had it been, would it be possible where it is not understood in the least.
You are not into defending anything - I have gathered that long ago in this conversation.

You actually do not have a position on anything on this subject of Creation ex nihilo, and no position on 24 day period, I have gathered that.

Yet you give ad hominem on us who do.

You are not trying to prove anything, that is absolutely clear, except you want to say we are wrong for having a commitment, yet you have none on the subject.
If you do not have a commitment on this subject ---- you know what that means - you are not in the debate.

In otherwords, your comments are just ---"noise" on the chart.

If you have no commitment, then you have no right to critique those who do. Why, because you are comming from the position of ignorance or agnosticism.

That is fine, just don't get involve.

I just hope those reading this interchange do not get sucked up in the absurd position (oops -non position you are in on this subject).

LPC

Xan said...

The argument we're having isn't directly about the truth or falsehood of 144-hour creation; it's about whether or not people who don't positively assert such have a faith that is non-catholic, second-class, and endangered.

Only one side is accusing the other of having such a flawed faith. I believe that side is entitled to defend itself.

If you're looking to cut down the noise here, I'd suggest both a maximum post length, as well as a prohibition on back-to-back posts.

L P said...

Xan,

Here is my position:

I do not consider people who do not believe as I do sub-Christian or what not. I consider who confesses Christ as Messiah as my brother/sister.

However, though I respect peoples conviction no matter how different, a Christian can be in error. As I can be in error.

This blog is a form of my repentance because I propagated teachings of Charismania/Evangelicalism.

Let us take the case of belief or non belief in the Trinity. It asserts the divinity of Christ co-equal with the Father and the HS too. Non-belief in the Trinity leads to flawed logic of the Gospel - the Good News. It becomes a matter of consistency. You are consistent with the Bible if you believe in the Trinity but you will not be consistent with senses or human logic. Hence, is it anywonder that Islam and Judaism reject the Christian understanding of God?

My contention is non belief of 24, leads to flawed logic of the Bad News.

Of course, this argument I am asserting is sleepery slope argument. Some people may not fall down this slide. But some people do also.

Lastly, I do not regulate comments, except when they contain 4 letter words etc. I allow people to say what they want to say even though I find the statement nonsensical. In a way, I allow people, including myself, enough rope to hang themselves.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

I support dear Kuya Lito in not imposing a ban on comments, except for the use of swear or obscene words, etc. For one, the 'F' is bloody, bloody unacceptable. Some Lutherans, some Anglicans, some Pietists, some post-modern Christians, some Barthians, etc. do use the 'F' which is WRONG. It's unChristian. They are wilfully confused about the distinction between Law and Gospel. This is why they are both antinomians and legalists at the same time.

Past Elder said...

What you take as ad hominum and as not taking a position is rather an attempt, necessary prior to any debate, to understand the terms thereof, in this case contra the labyrinth of ignorance that seems to proceed from AS.

As to the rest, Xan got it exactly right: it is not so much about the
144 hour creation per se as to whether one must believe that in order to get anything else in Christian belief right.

Re that, yes, there are those who reject 144 hour creation who get the Bad News wrong thereby getting the Good News wrong. However you also say there are some who do not. And there are those who accept 144 hour creation who end up getting the Good News wrong too.

Belief, then, that Genesis can only be understood to decribe a 144 hour creation would neither insure getting it wrong or right re the Good News.

L P said...

PE,

Let us first go with your idea of evolution that it (you claim) does not speak about death or dying of species to bring about new ones.

Which definition of evolution are you taking?

Here is wikipaedia's take..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

The basis of evolution is the genes that are passed on from generation to generation, these produce an organism's inherited traits.And what about natural selection? By the very fact it speaks about survival speaks about death.

If I take your previous comments, you will have me believe that evolution teaches that a generation produces another without the former dying off. We have all of these parents and their children living happily together. Is that what evolution teaches? Does evolution teaches that everybody survives?

Can you see why I cannot take your criticism of my position seriously?

The problem is that you never tackle my questions to clarify what you mean... you simply assert we are filled with hysteria, you poke and run away, like a snipper.

Here are my questions which you never bothered answering:
- Do you believe that the Christians of 200AD believe in non-24 hour day creation like you do when they recited the 1st Article of the Creed?

- Do you believe that Adam came from a single cell and the cell morphed into a man i.e., form of a man. The cell never died, kinda a cell that was on the ground, and it became a fetus and emerged as a man? Thus, the cell which we came from are still with us today, just somewhere in the jungle or a lake.

Oops, I am getting ahead, I forgot your position is -- you can neither deny nor confirm ---anything on this matter.


Lastly, I am amazed you say a theory is neither true nor false. A theory in order to be worthy of our time must be falsifiable.

Here I hope Xan does not follow you because you will lead him astray.

A theory is a proposition and it is governed by a context. It therefore achieves a true or false value, within a context.

The special theory of relativity works for the big stuff of the universe, it does not work for the small stuff.

How did they know it does not work? Because when they use it for atoms and measure what it predicts it is off.

Similarly when you use quantum mechanics for astronomic objects, it is off too.

To say that a theory is neither true nor false makes a theory useless.

A theory is either useful or not useful, and its usefulness is a function of its truth value.

Astronomers are stupid if they will not use Special Relativity simply because it fails on the quantum level.

They are also absolutely stupid if they believe Special Relativity is neither true nor false. Precisely because it is true in their discipline, that they should use it!!!!!

If they follow you, astronomers would have nothing to do...why, because no theory is neither true or false (by your claims), i.e. a theory is agnostic.


So you would have us believe these physicists and astronomers and meteorologists trying to form theories when in fact their theories are neither true nor false. Correct?

Are you willing to repeat what you said in front of these people? You can not be serious, surely you are playing a game with us.

This is what happens when you do not want to make a commitment and be safe. You stop making sense.


Jesus said - let your yes be yes, let your no be no, all things beyond this is evil - Mt 5:37

A double minded man will not receive anything from the Lord.


What is different with evolution as a theory? As I said, it is different because you cannot falsify it. You need Godel's time machine traveling at the speed of light to do it.

Until we have have the machine, it should not even sell itself as a scientific theory.

LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Speak for yourself PE. You so far engaged ONLY in ad hominem abusive attacks. In other words, it's all heat and no light.

That's the problem, you see. When you cornered, you come out with quasi-gibberish talk which amounts to nothing, and help clarify nothing.

Of course, evolution undermines the Gospel. Evolution undermines genealogy. For if the historicity of Genesis 1 and 2 is questionable, so is the rest of Genesis. It follows as the conclusion is from the premise.

Jesus affirmed the historicity of Adam and Eve:

Listen to this:
4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the BEGINNING the Creator 'MADE them male and female,'[a] 5and said, 'For THIS reason a MAN will leave his father and mother and be united to his WIFE, and the two will become one flesh'[b]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

At the BEGINNING, man was already a MAN. There were no pre-hominids or any other beings APART from Adam and Eve.

Past Elder said...

The hysteria is about this: the idea that if Genesis does not mean a creation with 144 hours then the Bad News is not established and the Good News therefore is lost or seen as false, therefore, the 144 hour creation must be maintained at all costs for anything else in Revelation to be true.

As to your various points:

Re what early Christians believed, I already said quoting the words of the Nicene Creed version of the 1st article that if they believed that then they believed what I believe. Whatever specifics they may have attached to that belief as to how that works out is irrelevant. Many of them believed, for example, that the Age of Creation, or what we more commonly call the Time of Grace, will be 6000 years, then will come the Sabbath-like rest of the millennial reign of Christ. That is not essential to a belief in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible .. by Whom all things were made. Neither is 144 hour creation.

The only theological problem, really, is the presence of extinct species before Man. Those species died out, and their individual members died out, therefore Man was not the first species whose members experienced death. This will be a problem if you take Genesis to mean that nothing, Man or otherwise, died before the Fall of Man, and if they did then there is nothing from which to be saved; no Bad News therefore no Good News.

I would subnit to make the Fall of Man, the fundamental change from the intent and design of God, incumbent upon this particular reading of Genesis is as unnecessary as making it incumbent upon a 144 hour creation.

The recognition, not just there are powers and forces in the universe greater than Man, and that Man is out of synch with them, is the fundamental and universal intuition of Man in all times and places, from the earliest attempts to offer the "gods" sacrifices to the "higher" religions. All religion simply offers its details as to who or what those forces are, and how Man aligns with them.

It is my belief that, amid all this speculation, the god who actually is revealed himself to Man first in the Old Covenant, wherein he showed us, if we want a religion of works that satifies God, exactly what that is, and then, upon our demonstration that even when shown by God exactly how to do it we are utterly incapable of saving ourselves from our brokenness with God by our own actions, undertook that resotration himself by the New Covenant, becoming a man in Jesus and suffering and dying in our place and for our sake, so that all we believe in this will, apart from any act of their own, be saved.

As to theories, no, they are not true or false in the religious sense those terms are used by some on this blog, and to try to compare them as if they were is just nonsense. A theory is neither true not false in this absolute sense; it simply successfully explains and predicts phenomena within a given range or does not, which if it does not, does not make the theory "false" in a religious sense at all, but may be the finding of things outside the range which will require new theories -- such as Newtonian as distinct from quantum physics, neither of which is true or false but simply useful within defined ranges of phenomena.

It is one thing when a theory is found not to apply within its given range, it is quite another when one discovers for the first time a range outside of that given range previously not thought to exist because it was heretofore out of our experience.

So, your ruminations on what I think scientists are doing is entirely off the mark.

Finally, some of the comments on this blog also seem to assume that evolution is progressive. In fact it teaches no such thing. Most of the species, now or known through fossil records, are simple prokaryotes. Evolution does not speak of a goal-oriented process, let alone one that replaces or obsoletes the creation of God or the contrary effects of sin by Man.

If it is used in that way non-scientifically, then it is precisely that, non scientific, even when done by those who otherise are scientists in their fields.

Which is another way of saying I put as little stock in the theology of biologists as in the biology of theologians. Unfortunately, that seems to have been the discussion here, a collision of ingorances. Which, I might add and speaking of literalness, I mean literally, ignoring things even to the meaning of the terms used: "stupid" has nothing to do with it.

Augustinian Successor said...

Evolution does undermine the Gospel for the Gospel is based on the history of the Bible, not evolution/ science. If the foundation/ superstructure be tampered with, then the pillars, scaffolding, the rest of the structure will not be on solid ground.

The death of Adam was the death of the First Man since Scripture is clear that death was introduced to this world through the Fall of Adam and Eve. Even as one man died, so all died ...

As for your *understanding* of evolution, of course, it is progressive ... from a primitive form of life to a higher form of life. So, where's the missing link? No missing link, because no evolution took place.

There is no consensus in science, strictly speaking. The only consensus that can be achieved is through politics. The politicisation of science these days is so blatant. Just take a look at the environmental movement.

Science is always false. It's so easy to manipulate the data as done for the IPCC to show that the amount of solar insolation is affected by CO2, i.e. global warming is caused by emission of CO2, when in fact, the level of CO2 FOLLOWS global warming caused by "periodic" sunspot cycles.

With a limited number of data, one can simply plot an INFINITE number of curves in a graph. Therefore, the possibility of evolution ever happening is ZILTCH - zero.

Augustinian Successor said...

Moreoever, even within evolutionism, there are competing theories, let alone successive theories and modified theories. So, why the hysteria over the truthfulness of science. Evolution can't even agree with itself in the first place. Why pay homage to science? Isn't science fairy-tale much like the myths it claims to debunk?

Punctuated equilibrium claims to explain the stasis in fossil record, thereby consigning Darwin's own explanation to the dustbin of history. And so on and on it goes, the OPINIONS, the CONJECTURES, the THEORIES, etc. etc.

Augustinian Successor said...

At least evolutionists are CONSISTENT in denying the existence of God. To try to assimilate the Creation narrative into evolutionary theory introduces CHAOS into the world even before Adam and Eve came into the picture.

AFTER ALL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GET YOUR 'FACTS' ABOUT *EVOLUTION* FROM, IF NOT FROM THE EVOLUTIONISTS THEMSELVES???

So, why POISON the well in the first place?

Whereas the Law of Thermodynamics is consistent with Genesis 1 and 2: Chaos out of order, not the other way round.

Science is self-CONTRADICTORY; it has always been. If evolutionary geologists were right about their version of uniformitarianism, then where are the missing fossils? Then why are the organisms evolving at the MACRO-level at present?

And how come do we find fossils of extinct animals such as dinosaurs side-by-side with KNOWN or EXISTING creatures, and even human beings?

Evolution has NO answer. Only the Bible does. With the Bible, the answers to the origins of life works all the time.

The only question, which do you BELIEVE? Nonsense OR the Truth?

Past Elder said...

Among the many things ignored:

1. Nowhere am I ascribing a "truthfulness" to science. Quite the opposite, what I have been trying to show may be said this way -- that attempting to understand science in religious terms is as off-base as attempting to understand religion in scientific terms, and where this is done, by some scientists elsewhere and by some religious people on this blog and elsewhere, there is only the predicably sophomoric statements about religion from scientific people and about science from religious people.

2) No, evolution is not essentially progressive, nor is it teleological either in itself or as a teleology of no-teleology, wrt science itself as distinct from the non-scientific theological pronouncements of some scientists.

3) There is no missing link. Not in the sense the term means in popular usage, but in that a "missing link" has no reference to a supposed in-between. There are no in-betweens in a continuously evolving system, nor is the fossil record at all what it was in 1859. Transitional fossils are well documented, and given the conditions under which fossiliation occurs, always be more akin to a series of photos than a movie. A fuller discussion of cladistics can be found on the Net.

This sort of thing belongs in 1633, when many including the church of the time thought that if the sun were not a light fixed in a firmament above the earth but rather a star around which the earth revolves the whole Christian faith falls apart.

It didn't then and it doesn't now. But then as now, needless and uninformed reactionary "debate" proceeds from both sides.

E pur si muove. And God remains the Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all thing, visible and invisible.

L P said...

PE.

I need to dampen the excitement here, but once again I am repeating my question and explanation with no direct answers forthcoming. As Jesus said anything beyond yes or no, is of evil.

You ducked my question, and you won't answer plainly, my question was simple - did they - the 200AD Christian believe in a 24 hour day creation or not? Yes or no? We know the answer to that but you won't admit it.

200AD Christians did not believe the way you do - What am I saying? The denial of 144 hour creation belief is fairly recent (150+ years). History is not on your side, both from the historic Jewish faith and the Christian faith. The ancients of these groups interpreted days in Genesis 1-3 as literal days. Today I can point to you expositions of Rabbis on why "days" in Genesis should be taken "days". Those expositions are just as ancient as my uncles.

Those Jews who do not interpret the days as days and making figurative out of Genesis - are, guess what? Mystics and Kabalists!

Not that historical belief is always right even I gave my arguments from linguistic and philosophical angles. Note that I also did not argue from a scientific or empirical basis. My argument was purely exegetical. However, after doing the linguistic analysis and it so happens to jibe with the historical then that brings good and salutary advantage, for after all that is what exegesis, what did Moses mean when he was writing the words to his readers?

Will non-144 lead to inconsistency - yes I believe it does. Let me repeat my arguments. Do you believe that Adam and Eve are literal humans who actually ate a real fruit from a real tree? If so, if this is real, why is the days in Genesis 1-3 not real days as we know days to be -24 hours. What is your warrant for rejecting 144 hours? What is your warrant for picking literalness of Adam/Eve. This is narrative, not poetry. It may have a structure because it is an argument, but it is not at all poetry but narrative.


I do believe non-144 attacks the logic of the Sabbath law. If the law is breakable and subject to elastic interpretation, how can it be an accuser, and how can it kill you? Then it does not, so the law becomes - may be doable i.e., the Sabbath ?- well we do not really know what days mean so maybe it really means not literal 7th day. The problem is that you are not engaging on my exegesis of Exo 20:11. That is quite disappointing. I was looking forward

I am giving rationale for 144 hour creation, I am not making it an article of faith, I am convincing others of this position because I see merit in its Biblical accuracy. I do not exclude people from Christianity because of thier non belief of this, what i am arguing is that logic of Bad News gets wobbly. People can live with inconsistency until...it starts to bite them. I am not the Roman Church, I do not kill people who are in error.

You make these complicated sentence remarks on this occassion and it looks more smoke and mirrors rather than arguments.

You dismiss us as sophomoric, when in fact you are being sophistic. I am not interested in spin or one's version of evolution or a redefining of what it is making it less potent or less serious as a claim, I am interested in how the community is using the term. For example, you said it had nothing to do with death. Natural Selection speaks of survival of the fittest, must I go to the dictionary of what survival means? it is the act or fact of living or continuing longer than another person or thing. It presupposes death without spelling it out.

that attempting to understand science in religious terms is as off-base as attempting to understand religion in scientific terms, and where this is done, by some scientists elsewhere and by some religious people on this blog and elsewhere,Who is doing that here? this comment is off base, that is why it is noise. This is unfortunate because I know you could do better than that and it is not your usual style.


LPC

L P said...

btw,

This sort of thing belongs in 1633, when many including the church of the time thought that if the sun were not a light fixed in a firmament above the earth but rather a star around which the earth revolves the whole Christian faith falls apartThis fallacy is not applicable to my position. I am not talking about the sun revolving around the earth.

Even if I hold that the sun revolves around the earth, that view is still correct by Einstein's theory of relativity. I just change my frame of reference.

The question is should I kill for it? My Christian faith says I should not. To confuse me with the Roman Church is mega blunder of intergalactic proportions.

Also falling apart is not the phrase word I will use, there are many things in life that are inconsistent and most of the time still functioning. It may eventually not be interesting. Besides, from a contradiction you can prove anything. So you can go crazy and it won't even be a problem for you.


LPC

Past Elder said...

It is exactly applicable. Whether it be a 6 "day" creation or the sun fixed in the firmament, a reading of Genesis as if it were a scientific text from God was made essential to the truth of all that follows in the Bible.

So is it the year 5769 since Creation? That is the count in literal days. At the year 6000 will the millennial reign begin? That was a common belief in early Christianity, the "millennium" as another form of Sabbath rest?

L P said...

PE,

It is quite incredible that a plain reading of Genesis days as days is called scientific and my that is ---- BAD.

To be semantically faithful is being scientific, that is horrible, no? What about being reasonable and simply a demonstration of --- common sense?

I have not made my own calculations of the age of creation so I am not in a position to answer, I am open for arguments for or against. I have not studied it.

I have studied the subject of days so hence, my position on it.

You are incredibly out of your usual self, you seem to be comming up with red herrings at the speed of light. I am not used to this side of you, bro ;-)


That is why I said, earlier, might be something you ate, and I do not mean that in a bad way. Just maybe you are going through a phase etc.

Take care of yourself, and do some relaxation.

LPC

Xan said...

The "common sense" reading was thoroughly discredited in the 17th century. So thoroughly that the Church is still, still, being ridiculed for it.

That it is being cast as a fundamental doctrine of Christianity is, frankly, an embarrassment. You're making people check their brains at the Church door. People who, by grace, are able to believe the unbelievable, but not the flat-out wrong.

The earth moves around the sun. Theological systems had to get used to that. The universe is billions of years old. Theological systems will have to get used to that. Tying confessional Lutheranism to a sinking ship like young-earth creationism is a recipe for disaster, and is not necessary!

And Einstein won't help you here. First, according to him, there are no special points or references frames. One is as good as any other. Second, even if you declared that the surface of the earth where you are standing is The One Reference Frame, that doesn't affect that day and night are caused by the earth rotating, not by the sun moving around. The earth is not an inertial reference frame; its rotation can be detected by for example a Foucault's pendulum.

Basically, the scientific (or "common sense", if you must) interpretation of Genesis is false. If you tie it to your theology it damages your theology. Period.

joel in ga said...

As you said, there is peace in simply accepting the Genesis account of creation in its plainest sense. Likewise, there is peace in accepting what the Bible plainly has to say on other subjects as well. Where, e.g., would the Lutheran doctrine of the sacraments be if we started fudging?

L P said...

Joel,

Right on!!!!!!!!!!

Finally someone understands the implication of my arguments.

Thanks for that and that I believe is no small point.


LPC

L P said...

So Xan,

To be a bit more elaborate....and to continue the cue that Joel set up for me... let me spell it out.



Firstly, as I said, I do not care if the world laughs at me, I believe at the Supper the bread is the body of Jesus, do you? If they are not laughing on that -- then I say, they are inconsistent and I will laugh at them.

What do you think empiricism says about this? What is your proof it is the body of Jesus at that point being given to you? I only have one proof - Scripture, and by Faith I do understand.

How do you interpret John 6? I interpret it literally. If you agree with me this is literal, why is it literal to you, but Genesis 1-3 is not?


Semantics/linguistics are not the same as empiricism. It is just respecting what the author intends to say.


To the contrary, I can argue that indeed Einstein does save me - remember I said I will just change my reference and the statment will be alright. If I am in the sun, then it will appear the sun is revolving around the earth. Why because I am there, it is statiionary. That is precisely why it is called relativity, every thing is relevant to where your starting point of measurement is.

This is already discussed in high school physics. You board a train, it travels and you are on it, but there was a fly that was on your shoulder when you got in, then it starts to fly to the front of the carriage and you are at that back. What is its speed?

But once you are fixed, then all the statements you make in that reference can be either true or false.

What damages my theology? To the contrary it affirms it, it bolsters my belief in the bodily presence of Christ at the supper, I take John 6 literally not figuratively, I am consistent - my creation belief and the way I apply hermeneutics on it is consistent with my hermeneutic of John 6.

LPC

Xan said...

I don't see any reason to expect to read John 6 the same way I read Genesis, especially the first few chapters.

The Gospels are eyewitness accounts. Moses wasn't there for ANY of Genesis. And nobody at all was there for the beginning. It's a reverse-prophecy, much more similar to Revelation than to John.

Anyway, Einstein doesn't help you. I didn't mention revolution earlier, I said rotation. Suppose you were facing the front of the train, with the fly on your shoulder. Suddenly he is flung to the window on your right. The only conclusion is that you are rotating (making a left turn). That's what a Foucault's pendulum tells us about the earth: it is in fact moving, regardless of your inertial reference frame.

L P said...

I should have been clearer.

When I mean John 6 is literal,what i was refering to was the words Christ used regarding his body to be eaten. In otherwords John 6 is about the Supper and his bodily presence in it.

At the Supper I believe that is the Lord's flesh I am eating, literally. Do you believe this? Hence, it is not mere symbol of his body but the actual body that hang on the cross. Do you believe this?

If you do take the words of Jesus literally why do you do then and not there in Genesis 1-3?

Moses wasn't there for ANY of Genesis.

I will let you off for saying this, perhaps you did not mean to imply that Moses mucked up the inspiration of the HS when he was writing this. He does not need to be there to have the words he wrote to be true.

You and I even experience that.

I was not there when Jesus died for you, but I can say it to you and it would not be false simply because I was not there.

It is called faith in the Word.


LPC

Augustinian Successor said...

Xan,

Where's the PROOF that the universe is billions of years old? Why isn't there a healthy suspicion of the claims of EXTRA-biblical assertions such as science (which BTW is NOT ideologically NEUTRAL), that such a ridiculously long times-span is used TO support evolutionary THEORY?

Carbon dating can only be used when there is first a conceptual framework in place? That is to say, the conceptual framework, in this case the time-span is in-built into the radioactive isotope/ radiometric dating itself(!)

When you subscribe to evolution, you would have to give UP the FLOOD account, as there is no way at that evolutionary time-scale is going to ever fit into biblical CATASTROPHISM.

All the examples you gave either are outright caricatures or relate to the Roman Church. Remember, we are not Romanists. If ever, it reflects not on us but the Roman Church. So please bring it up instead to them, NOT us.

As regard Creation as an article of faith, it is an article of faith in one sense. But it is not an article of faith in the sense that rejecting it is damnable.

Rejecting it, however, will CERTAINLY undermine your belief in the INERRANCY and INFALLIBILITY of SCRIPTURE.

L P said...

Xan,

What A.S. says specially his last sentence in my analysis is true.

You can decide to live in inconsistency in your mind only so much until it catches up on you and hopefully the comments here may God use to help us all put our trust in his word which will last forever.

Inconsistency comes back to bite and nag, it may lead to more inconsistencies or hopefully the input here by God's grace may lead us to a sure faith in his Word.

I am a bit bothered by your take on Moses, you seem to allude to his absence or being not an eye witness give us right to doubt his words or that they are sub-authoritative. I am giving you a chance to clarify what you mean, is his testimony sub-authoritative compared to the Gospels?

Moses came to the scene way after Abraham, but we believe that what he wrote was effectively God's revelation to us, he spoke through Moses (in a sense)>

Take care, hear what Jesus said- John 5:47.

LPC

Xan said...

Yes, in the Sacrament it is truly Body. It is a mystery exactly how that happens, but we are assured that it is Real. We believe it's wrong to attempt to categorize and box-in that mystery, to make it fit into our understanding, a la transubstantiation, correct?

Moses is not less authoritative than the Gospels. But I am not saying that Moses was wrong, I'm contending that he's being misinterpreted. Don't we read Revelation, a prophecy, differently from John? Not that anything isn't true, but that you get a different type of literature via prophecy than from being a witness.

Jason, the time-span is not built into radioactive dating. The proof is that every discipline, from biology to geology to astronomy (distant starlight, anybody? Cosmic background radiation?) and so on independently agrees with a very old earth and an even older universe.

So either a) Every scientist in the world is stupid in exactly the same way, b) God is purposely fooling us, or c) Genesis isn't telling us what you think it's telling us.

I vote for c.

L P said...

Xan,

So you vote for c because science helps in properly interpreting Genesis. Genesis was not teaching 24 hour day creation, we are just falsely interpretting it.


So I have a question.

What do you think the bio-chemists will declare if they analyze bio chemically the bread given by the Pastor during communion? Do you think they will confirm it is human flesh? What about the wine? Do you think they will declare it to be human blood?


LPC

Xan said...

I'm sure you know much more about Lutheran doctrine than I do, but isn't it true that the sacramental union is not considered to be in effect unless we're performing the sacrament? "Take, eat" and "Take, drink" being the main parts? That's why, for example, adoration of the host apart from communion is wrong.

So I don't think you could put a drop of the wine onto a microscope slide and expect the sacramental union to still be in effect.

But even hypothetically if we could guarantee that, and even if the analysis said it was ordinary wine, I don't see why that would have any effect on anyone's view of the sacrament. "This is my Body" is not a scientific statement, and if science sees only bread (and in fact I believe it probably would), so what?

Not only is it not a scientific statement, we declare that it's wrong, vain, fruitless, and futile to even attempt to put into our limited understanding what it means. (Hence the rejection of transubstantiation, consubstantiation, etc.) We must and do simply accept that Christ is present, as He says, in both elements.

I believe this actually bolsters my argument on Genesis, as I'm reading Genesis in exactly the same way. It's not a series of scientific statements. It IS vain and fruitless to try to cram it into our understanding. We must simply accept the truths it teaches: God is the Creator of everything, Man is special, has fallen, and can do nothing on his own to redeem himself.

L P said...

Xan,

But you are rejecting 24 hour period based on scientific evidence, you just did that a while ago.

You say, Genesis 1-3 is not a scientific statement yet you reject 24 hour interpretation that it does not agree with scientific opinio and findings.

So I suggest you are being inconsistent in your hermeneutic, you do special pleading.

LPC

Xan said...

Scripture tells us nothing about looking at the elements in a microscope and seeing some kind of magical molecule. That's theology of glory stuff. There's no reason to expect to be able to discern that mystery by examination.

But we certainly can learn about the physical universe that we inhabit. We learned, against the naive reading of Scripture, that the earth moves. We have also learned that the earth and the universe are very old.

Do you agree that the earth moves, or not? Because if not, we may have reached an impasse.

L P said...

Xan,

You have not addressed well my claim that you are engaging in special pleading.

Of course, scripture does not say anything about microscopes or x-rays.

Your take on the Supper being non scientific and Genesis being scientific are completely different in the way you use the term 'scientific'.

Therefore I am suggesting you are engaging in equivocation.

The answer to my question is very simple, a bio chemist looking at the wafer will say no - it is not flesh. I do not know why you hesitate on this, their answer is obvious.

Yet you claim and should claim it is, because you affirm the literal reading of Jesus' words in John 6.


The paleontologist will say, the earth is old and you will say yes, it is. You will agree.

Your hermeneutic is not consistent and engages in special pleading.

My hermeneutic is consistent.

Scientists will have a problem with me with bread of the supper and the age of the earth.

I do not mind that at all. At least he cannot claim I am doing special pleading.



LPC

Xan said...

The only reason I hesitate on what the microscope experiment would reveal is because I believe it would be an impossible experiment to do. But we do similar experiments when we see, touch, and especially taste and smell the elements, and (well, I presume) the result is identical to plain bread and wine. So I'll accept the idea that a microscope would show the same.

I would accept your argument in the following circumstance. If we believed that the bread and wine ceased to exist, and were completely replaced by body and blood. Far beyond transubstantiation: if we believed that the bread looked like body and tasted like body, if we believed that the bread goes *poof* and vanishes, turning into a physical chunk of flesh.

Suppose that's what we're required to believe, even here in the real world where the bread, in fact, looks and tastes like bread. But we are required to deny that it looks and tastes like bread, we are required to deny that it has anything to do with bread anymore.

If I agreed with that view of the Sacrament, and then denied 144-hour Creation, I would agree that I was being inconsistent.

Fortunately, that is not our view of the Sacrament. We believe that it continues to be bread, but that Christ is really present somehow. Doesn't matter how.

The scenario I outlined is outlandish, but you're asking me to swallow something similarly outlandish about the universe. I say that the real universe is very old, and that Genesis is telling us about God's perspective, and that somehow, perhaps in the next world, it makes sense. What's not in doubt are the theological truths taught in either case.