CREDIBILITY IMPORTANT FOR WITNESS?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Charles Meadows, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    I have argued in many threads AGAINST the traditional young earth stance. Every so often I have to pinch myself and remind myself that I really have no animosity or dislike for this position.

    I do have concerns however when it comes to presenting the gospel to the lost. If we insist that beliefs in a literal Genesis and a young earth are necessary for being a Christian many lost folks may conclude that one cannot be an intelligent Christian. As such I am quite wary of the arguments which insist on "proving" a young earth scientifically (when the PROOF really says otherwise). I think that most people with a strong science background (that is a background in SCIENCES, not apologetics) will immediately see some of the inconsistencies that are not apparent to those who only deal in fundamentalist apologetics. Science (and one can take it or leave) supports an old earth.

    This is the reason for my stance. Otherwise I DO think that ministries such as Jason Gastrich's site or AiG do help a lot of believers who have simple questions. The net effect is positive.

    Still I worry about those of inquisitive nature who are in need of the gospel.
     
  2. ex-nihilo

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    Charles,

    Your concern for those that are lost is a noble and important concern. I have a question for you though.

    If you cannot take the Bible at face value (literally)when it is blatantly obvious that the particular passage you are reading should be taken literally (such as Genesis) thus implying that the Bible can be open to interpretation based on MAN's corruptable opinion, then how are you going to present the gospel to the lost? How are you going to present a message that may or may not mean what it actually says? After all, if you have to leave Genesis open to a non-literal interpretation, then you are opening the door for anyone to reinterpret any other part of the Bible to fit their own agenda or lifestyle.

    An appropriate verse to consider is:

    Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.


    ex-nihilo
     
  3. A_Christian

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    Charles Meadows:

    What exactly is the old earth view? What is the young earth view? Oddly, I believe that the earth was created fully ESTABLISHED and ECOLOGICALLY COMPLETE in a 6 day period.
    To ANYONE who believes in a god this doesn't seem unreasonable ------- does it?

    The question arises that the minerals and rock are showing ages of millions of years------SO WHAT? The entire GOOD creation reflects an eternal GOD. That is exactly what GOD wanted----is that unreasonable thinking?

    The problem comes when some evolutionist discovers
    a fossil between the layers. Now, both you and I know (and so do the evolutionists----I presume) that fossils are not formed by animals falling into lava (presumed to be virgin rock). The sand that they were molded in has to reflect the "radiation age" of the ORIGINAL MATTER. This simply means (for the fundamentalist Bible believing Christian) that the ORIGINAL matter GOD CREATED, could and likely would reflect its ETERNAL CREATOR. The molds of animals destroyed in the FLOOD are being judged by NON-BELIEVERS using THEIR criteria and it is being accepted by gullible people who have no clue and believers who should. Tell me, has anyone tried to measure the age of a chunk of concrete? Why would they do that when they know when the concrete was poured? They would do that to see if the components of the concrete would give a false age to the final product! But concrete isn't a "natural" compound ---- well perhaps neither is any of the shale, limestone, coal, etc., formed in the catastrophic FLOOD.
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    Ex-nihilo,

    Certainly valid points regarding the wise and the babes. I don't however agree with you that it is blatantly clear that Genesis 1 should be literal. There are a number of reasons (not to mention the scientific evidence) that it could be seen as intentionally non-literal.

    Also, the OT and NT had different original audiences. The NT was CLEARLY intended as a tool of witness to Christ's resurrection. I'm simply trying to be true to what Moses intended to write.

    I am just a bit concerned that we're asking people to abandon rational thought in order to be called Christians. I believe we must trust God in all things. But God did give us minds and abilities to reason. We shouldn't fear doing so. If science shows us something we shouldn't be afraid of it. Perhaps it can help us understand parts of the bible better. In my mind to say that science should be viewed as man trusting in himself instead of God is an example of seeing God as being limited.
     
  5. Michael52

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    Amen!

    If Christians truly believe that God is the Truth and all truth is God’s truth, then why should they fear the objective examination of God’s creation and the processes He has ordained to shepherd it (i.e. science)? As history informs us there have been and will always be new scientific theories and discoveries to replace the old theories and discoveries. Regrettably, Christians have always felt the need to interpret the Bible with reference (in support of, or against) the current state of science. The urge to “help God out” of His (or the Bible’s) “struggle” with the latest human knowledge is seemingly irresistible. If one’s faith is based on assent to or disagreement with science then his faith is in the wrong object and may well be very fragile. I believe this causes Christians to investigate the truth, not for the truth’s sake, but in the hope to gather the strength of numbers to cover their own insecurities and doubts.

    Of this argument cuts both ways. The “old earthers” and “theistic evolutionists” have their pet biases (and errors) just as the “young earthers”. If anyone places their confidence in a particular human philosophy, group or “camp”, it allows them to disregard and ridicule those who don’t believe as they do. Yeah, it is a cliché, but isn’t the call to, with love and humility, “introduce” everyone to the God of the Bible and let Him straighten them out? Lord knows we all need that! [​IMG]
     
  6. ex-nihilo

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    Charles,

    Is Genesis 1 the only chapter that you would not take literally within the book of Genesis?

    Do you take Noah and the flood as a literal event?

    ex-nihilo
     
  7. Charles Meadows

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    Ex-nihilo,

    The creation account has many features of epic-writing. I think it is intentionally written that way so it would make sense to an ancient near eastern nation (Israel). I think other accounts also share some of these features, the tower of Babel and the flood would be other examples. Regarding the flood - yes I do think it occurred but did it involve the whole world - or just the near east? Was the ark intentionally similar to the wooden vessel in the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic? I don't know the answers.

    But I do think it is appropriate for Christians to study what a biblical verse means - whether or not it supports the traditional interpretation or not. We should consider what other near eastern civilizations did and wrote since the pagan traditions would have also be familiar to the Israelites.

    This sort of thing doesn't really apply to the NT since these documents were clearly written to proclaim the miraculous resurrection of Christ.
     
  8. Charles Meadows

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    Michael52,

    I agree. I certainly do not have all the answers. And certainly the "old earthers" have biases too!

    AS I said I AM NOT AGAINST the young earth stance. Rather I am against the stance which says, "if you don't interpret according to literal western protestant tradition you're not a real Christian." This stance to me seems like a hiding place for those who are scared that any academic study will cause one to "lose his/her faith".
     
  9. Michael52

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    I am not against any particular stance either. However, I do get a bit impatient with Christians who try to pass themselves off as scientific experts when they clearly don’t have the training or objectivity to be taken serious by real scientists. On the other hand, there are scientists who should not be taken seriously when they delve into theology.

    I guess it is just my nature to try to be objective on disputable (non-essential) matters. I appreciate the stance taken by the ASA.
    Ditto! We are saved by the grace of God, not by any “tradition”.
    Of course, these people are right, in some cases. Though, if a person loses their faith through academic study, their faith may not have been on a solid foundation to begin with. Some people need black and white certainty to feel good about their faith. As you know, academic study does lend itself to finding absolute certainty.

    To reach those “inquisitive” types you mentioned, it would probably be through the “ministry” of other inquisitive types.
     
  10. A_Christian

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    I think that thorough academic study involves OBJECTIVE RESEARCH and not rehearsing dogmatic "Authoritative opinion." I honestly feel that Creationism offers a fresh alternative and encouragement for insightful investigation. The problem seems to be that those who think they know and established the rules are intimidated by outsiders who don't think as they do, and seemingly challenge the theories that those in "authority" have worked so hard to fomulate.
    The evolutionist is just as guilty of NOT thinking outside the box he's created as he accuses Biblical literalists of being.
     
  11. A_Christian

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    Who knows what "rational" thought really constitutes? We are presently expected to believe that Homosexuals should be allowed to marry. 30 years ago anyone suggesting such a thing would have been considered totally irrational! We are presently being taught that Homosexuals are "born" that way and should be encouraged to remain such.
    This seems to be an indirect result of our acceptance of evolution. We are still evolving according to "Authoritative opinion." Who knows where evolution will lead us. Perhaps mating with our pets will one day be an inborn trait to encourage...
     
  12. UTEOTW

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  13. A_Christian

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    If we EVOLVED in the past, THEN we MUST be still evolving. I MUST be better then my parents because they are not as tall, they will not live as long, and they think homosexuality is evil. Scientists are CLEARLY saying that there is a gene present. GOD (if there is one) MUST be evolving them to be GAY! Think outside your box, man or EVEN you will be charged with being a FUDDY FUNDIE....
     
  14. Michael52

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    In my previous post, it should have read:
    Though my word processor helps my spelling, it does not lend itself to catching my lapses in logic. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Charles Meadows

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    A_Christian,

    "The evolutionist is just as guilty of NOT thinking outside the box he's created as he accuses Biblical literalists of being."

    You're right! Many "scientifically" minded people are just as biased as the literalists.

    My problem with many of the young earthers is that they, a priori, dismiss ANYTHING which is different than the preconceived traditional doctrines. I have no problem with the young earth creationist stance (and I myself am not a professed evolutionist, although I'm an old-earther) - I have a problem with those who assert that all real Christians are young earth and all scientific thinking is bad and constitutes man relying on himdelf instead of God. God gave us brains and mental ability - why should anyone be afraid to use them?
     
  16. UTEOTW

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    Where's the evidence that OE beliefs lead to the things you say? I have supported my assertions by showing where YEers use highly questionable tactics to prop up their beliefs.

    And yes, some people DO have a genetic predisposition towards homosexuality. Take people who have problems the gender selection area of the X or Y chromosome, for instance. During the formation of the reproductive cells, some information is swapped back and forth between the pairs of chromosomes. If the Y chromosome happens to give up part of the information to make a male to the other chromosome, you can get some really strange results. People with male genetics but female physiology, for instance. Many of these people end up being gay.

    But this is no different than many of the other cases where we have shown a genetic predispostion towards something. We all have a predisposition towards all sorts of sinful behavior. Is not sexual sin a temptation that most of us dealt with, especially during those teenage / young adult years? Some handle it, some do not. But we do not excuse promiscuity because God gave us a sex drive. We do not excuse alcoholism because it runs in the family. We do not excuse thievery because you suffer from cleptomania.

    We all have temptations to over come. It is highly likely that some people turn towards homosexuality because of a genetic predisposition. But it does not excuse it. It does not make it OK. It does not make it no longer a sin. We all must overcome things.

    Anyone who tries to put any sort of philosophical spin on evolutionary theory is wrong. From either side.
     
  17. Michael52

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    Whether or not it can be conclusively proven that homosexuals are “born” that way does not relieve them of their obligation. Some suggest that there are “inborn” reasons or tendencies that drive people to be rapists, pedophiles, serial killers, thieves, alcoholics or wife beaters. Whether or not it this is true it is obvious to me that we, as a society and as individuals are responsible for our actions and the actions of others. We are all “fallen” in some way and yet still held accountable to overcome our personal and corporate imperfections. Particularly, to the extent, we know better and have the means to do something about it.
    The Bible teaches that those who sin look for justification for their sin. Those who might consider that evolutionism gives them a cover for their deviant behavior would probably be just as content with any other excuse. Those who promote or condone these particular sins are probably no more expert on the theory of evolution than they are expert Bible scholars.
     
  18. A_Christian

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    Ah! But the Church is evolving, ISN'T IT?!?!? The Mormons are proof. Their text is just as valid as Genesis according to man's logic. We are evolving into GOD's ourselves. This is the ultimate logic of evolution. We have to be better then Jesus----why he was a mortal 2000 years ago. We've progress. We now can do things that even Jesus could. Why our ministers can perform same sex marriage and engage
    in the act themselves. We have EVOLVED! We should all be so PROUD of OURSELVES! Yeah, right!
     
  19. Michael52

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    You've read someone promoting these things in this thread? :confused:
    (didn't the Mormons get started before Darwin?)

    I hate to speak for others, but I don't think you will find many here who agree with these things.

    Oh...I get it -- stirring the ole pot, heh! ;)

    If you did run into someone who believed some of those things, how would you minister to them? That's sort-of the topic of this thread.
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    You are committing the fallacy of equivocation. Evolution does not always mean biological evolution. Most things do evolve in some way. Fortunately, the Bible does not.

    You still are not providing any concrete evidence for your assertion on the bad fruits of accepting an old earth.
     

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