Inconsistency of literalists vs science

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Paul of Eugene, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    This post is a challenge to all the biblical literalists who claim that when science says one thing and scripture says another that we must accept scripture instead of science. This is said primarily in relation to evolution and the age of the earth, of course.

    I have claimed before, and claim now in this post, that the posters who say that in this forum are inconsistent, because they all accept one piece of science over scripture, and that is the scientific fact that the cause of night and day is that the earth rotates, instead of the movement of the sun across the sky.

    PLEASE NOTE IN YOUR REPLIES THAT I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT THE EARTH AS A SPHERE.

    The truth that the earth is a sphere is also unknown in scripture but there were a few scientific minds that were aware of that idea even in the first century. Perhaps we can continue that argument as well, but I'm not stressing that part of things IN THIS POST.

    But the history of science shows us that long after men realized the earth was a sphere they held it to be stationary and held that the heavens revolved around the earth; they pictured the stars as mounted on a vast crystalline sphere, and the planets and sun and moon would track around in their paths.

    Martin Luthor, history tells us, railed against Copernicus for asserting that the earth rotates, because Joshua told the SUN to stand still, he didn't call on the earth to stop rotating.

    Martin Luthor's exegesis of scripture was correct.

    A few of the biblical verses are listed below that declare the SUN MOVES AROUND THE EARTH.

    One of them is from Jesus. How many times have posters against evolution and geological age of the earth claimed Jesus words as support for their position?

    There is only one reason the baptist around here acknowledge that the earth's rotation causes night and day; it is because science has taught this to us in spite of what the Bible says, and the science facts on this are so clear even the staunch literalists recognize where the truth is on this subject - that is, in science instead of in scripture.

    What we want is for people to realize the inconsistency we have mentioned and recognize that if even the staunch literalists who post on this board accept science against the Bible just because they cannot deny the science is true, they are not being fair to insist that others cannot also do the same thing.

    Finally, let no man accuse me of denying the inspiration of scripture. I accept the bible as being true about the sun and the moon, just not literally true.
    And I call for us to allow each other the right to do the same for the age of the earth and the common descent of all life.

    As promised, here are some bible verses:


    Josh 10:12-13
    12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

    13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
    KJV

    Judg 5:31
    31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.
    KJV

    Ps 19:4-6
    4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

    5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

    6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
    KJV

    Ps 104:18-19
    8 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

    19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
    KJV

    Ps 113:2-3
    2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore.

    3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD's name is to be praised.
    KJV

    Eccl 1:5-6
    5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

    6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
    KJV

    Isa 38:7-8
    7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;

    8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
    KJV

    Hab 3:11
    1 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
    KJV

    Matt 5:45
    45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
    KJV
     
  2. Travelsong

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    Tried this approach several times. Good luck.
     
  3. Pete Richert

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    Simply a matter of perspective.

    BTW, there are quite a few people who DO believe the earth is still and the Sun rotates around it.
     
  4. Travelsong

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    But you wouldn't know that unless science had convinced you. If you were a consistent literalist you would deny anything that was contrary to what Scripture tells you.
     
  5. mioque

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    Paul of Eugene
    Just for future reference it is Lex Luthor and Martin Luther.
     
  6. Charles Meadows

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    I certainly have my opinions on the correct interpretations of Genesis 1 - but they are my opinions and I obviously cannot 100% prove them. As such I cannot fault someone for choosing to believe Genesis 1 literally instead of sciences claims about unseen things.

    The problem that I cannot seem to get Bob Ryan and Gup and some others to see is that by making mistaken statements about the second law of thermodynamics, the speed of light, carbon dating and other things WE HURT THE CREDIBILITY OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE EYES OF LOST PEOPLE. Someone who comes from a science background who reads the AiG stuff will quite possibly think that Christianity is only for the weak-minded and then subsequently end up in hell. Now that's still his own fault - but I'd feel guilty for "helping" him.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    When the weatherman today gives the time of the sunrise, do you really think that he thinks the sun is moving? Come on, Paul ... there is no way that you are seriously posting this with a straight face. EVeryone here can see straight through it. Figures of speech are routinely used in normal, literal, conversation. You are either playing dumb here, or not understanding what "literal" interpretation means.
     
  8. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    Pastor Larry, a figure of speech means to not be literal. Historically the literalness of the statement that the sun rises, crosses over our heads, and sets as a motion in relation to a fixed, stationary earth was accepted without question. The fact that we use the same phrases today is because we have an unbroken tradition of using these phrases from the time when they were believed to be literally true.

    The transition between believing it to be literally true and believing that instead the earth rotates happened with the rise of science from men like Copernicus, Gallileo, and Kepler.

    The opposition to this new, non-scriptural view of how things move in our solar system from clerics both catholic and protestant is also documented.

    So yes, I am dead serious about proposing this for you and others who think that literal interpretation of the scripture should overcome any science to the contrary.

    Because if you or anyone else is willing to let science inform you that the earth rotates as a cause of day and night instead of the literal teaching of scripture that it is instead the motion of the sun around a stationary earth - then you have broken the rule that requires literal scripture to triumph over science every time.

    And there goes the primary arguement against evolution and the ancient age of the earth!
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    No it doesn't. It is good that the problem is that you don't really understand what "literal interpretation" means. Literal interpretation means normal ... you interpret the language as it is normally interpreted. We use figures of speech all the time in literal interpretation.

    There is nothing in Scripture to make you believe that they meant anything different by "rising sun" than we mean. You have read that in to the Scripture, but it is not there.

    And you are dead wrong in your understanding of "literal interpretation."
     
  10. Paul of Eugene

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    Thank you, Mioque, I'll try to remember that. [​IMG]
     
  11. Grasshopper

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    Isaiah 40
    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
    He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    No it doesn't. It is good that the problem is that you don't really understand what "literal interpretation" means. Literal interpretation means normal ... you interpret the language as it is normally interpreted. We use figures of speech all the time in literal interpretation.

    There is nothing in Scripture to make you believe that they meant anything different by "rising sun" than we mean. You have read that in to the Scripture, but it is not there.
    </font>[/QUOTE]??? Your acceptance of the non-literal interpretation is so complete you don't even realize it is not literal! But pay close attention. Consider this phrase:

    The sun does not literally rise every morning; literally, the earth rotates instead.

    ( ) true
    ( ) false

    You assertion is that the correct answer is false!

    Sorry, no cigar.

    Literal does not mean "normal". Literal means without any use of figure of speech of any kind.

    You are not allowed to change the meanings of the words you like just to claim you are holding correctly to your statements.

    What it amounts to is that you have become so used to the science involved - that the earth rotates - that you never paid any attention to this discrepancy all of your life, until as an adult we bring it to your attention now.

    Come now. Do you really think that when Joshua commanded the sun to stand still that the sun itself had any kind of alteration in its orbit around our galaxy? Scripture literally teaches that there was a change in the motion of the sun. We know that what would have been involved would have been a defraction effect or a change in the rotation of the earth.

    Anybody who talks about this issue today makes note of the literal rotation of the earth.

    That NEVER HAPPENED until after Copernicus. Literalist clerics - such as, I presume, yourself - opposed the findings of science as long as they could concerning the rotation of the earth.

    That is known history
     
  13. Paul of Eugene

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    Isaiah 40
    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
    He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
    </font>[/QUOTE]What evidence do you have that this refers to a sphere instead of a circular shape like a flat plate?
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    You need a class in biblical hermeneutics. You are wrong on this one. "Literal interpretation" is "normal use of language." You can read older works like Milton Terry, or newer works like Osborne, Virkler, Fee and Stuart, or some others. They will all tell you that you have a misunderstanding of this issue.

    You still have absolutely no basis for saying that the people of the Bible times meant what you say. They use the same language we do today. If we so easily understand it, why don't we think they did?? Why not just accept the normal reading of text?
     
  15. Travelsong

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    The normal reading of the text was commonly understood as an observation of reality. The sun circles the earth because the Bible tells us it does. Martin Luther, Calvin, the Catholic church, all of them denounced the Copernican model of the solar system as heresy because it was in contradiction to the Scriptures.


    The only Reason you accept a nonliteral understanding of Biblical language with regards to the relationship of the earth and stars, is because you have accepted science. Period, end of story. If you had lived in the time of Copernicus, you would be calling him a heretic with everyone else.
     
  16. The Galatian

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    Correct. Luther was simply taking scripture literally when he denounced Copernicus as being in conflict with scripture.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Or perhaps because you don't understand what "literal" means when used in Bible interpretation.

    Maybe so, but not because the text demanded it. They, like Paul, had a misunderstanding of the text. They read it through their own prejudices and views and came away with a position that the text did not demand.
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

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    Isaiah 40
    22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
    He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
    </font>[/QUOTE]It is claimed by many that the Hebrew word CHUG, translated as "circle" in Isaiah 40:22, proves that God asserted the earth is a sphere before science taught us this truth.

    So I have found all the references in the scriptures where the same Hebrew word is used. It is not always translated "circle"; it is also translated "circuit" and "compass" in the King James version (the version I choose to print here) but I simply replace them all with "chug". Here they are:


    Prov 8:27
    When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a CHUG upon the face of the depth:
    KJV

    Isa 40:22
    2 It is he that sitteth upon the CHUG of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
    KJV

    Job 22:14
    14 Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the CHUG of heaven.
    KJV

    Our proverbs verse is instructive; it is a typical Hebraic parallelism, in which the same concept is repeated twice, with different words, but meaning the same. This means that "CHUG" is the same as the "HEAVENS".

    Remember Genesis teaches us that when God created the firmament, He called it heaven.

    In JOB the passage is strikingly compatible with the idea of the firmament. A firmament, to the ancients, was like an upside down bowl that covered the earth and in Hebrew thinking, it separated the waters above from the waters below; it also was the location of God's home.

    Can we not therefore interpret CHUG as being an alternate word for "firmament"? Interestingly enough, if we do this, we see in our Isaiah passage, as if for the first time, another Hebraic parallelism! The CHUG and its inhabitants; the heaven (firmament) spread out as a tent, and its grasshopper like residents. (That would be us, of course)! The emergence of this striking parallelism I take as strong indication that the true meaning of CHUG is, indeed an alternate word for the firmament on high.

    [ July 31, 2004, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: Paul of Eugene ]
     
  19. Paul of Eugene

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    Or perhaps because you don't understand what "literal" means when used in Bible interpretation.

    </font>[/QUOTE]Pastor Larry, before you embarrass yourself further about what the word "literal" means, perhaps you should check with some of your colleagues whom you trust to give a fair and honest response as to the meaning of the word "literal"

    It most certainly does NOT mean "common usage". Common usage could very well be an idiom instead of literal.
     
  20. Travelsong

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    The Scriptures taken at face value certainly do demand a different view of the universe than what science tells us. The only possible way to interpret the text in question as not literal, is to introduce an outside source, science. It would never occur to you to question your understanding of the Scriptures if it weren't for science.
     

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