Real Gospel or Pseudo-Gospel

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Mike Gascoigne, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    This topic was originally posted on July 30, 2003, but has gone into archive. Since then, I have written a book called "Impossible Theology: The Christian Evolutionist Dilemma". Details are on my web page:

    http://www.annomundi.co.uk/

    The book discusses many of the issues that were discussed in the forum topic. The first chapter is called "The Real Gospel" and the second chapter is called "The Pseudo-Gospel". The original forum topic is:

    *******

    Back in the 1960's I used to go to a Baptist church where everybody believed in Creation, and it was considered to be one of the foundational doctrines of Christianity. Most other churches were like that, and the Gospel was preached on the basis that:

    1. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
    2. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    (and we know where to find all this in the Bible, together with the other verses that follow them in evangelistic campaigns).

    Nowadays we don't hear the message so clearly. Instead we get something like "We have messed up our lives and Jesus can help us to get it sorted out". It seems almost like we have sinned against ourselves, not against God, and it's no longer a life and death issue.

    At the same time, I find that many Christians are not prepared to say that death came as a result of Adam's sin. They have compromised with evolution, so that there were millions of years of death and destruction, and survival of the fittest, and Adam was simply the first character to appear in the Bible. Death did not come as a consequence of the sin of Adam, because it was in the world already, and therefore eternal life cannot come as a result of the righteousness of the second Adam, Jesus Christ, and his work of atonement on the cross.

    We still hear about the crucifixion and resurrection, but it doesn't seem to have the same impact any more. If we don't know the meaning of sin, then we don't know the meaning of grace, and Jesus is reduced to a therapeutic counsellor who helps us to fix up our messed up lives.

    I've been a believer in Jesus for about 40 years and I've noticed a slow change that would be almost imperceptible over a period of just a few years, but the change is definitely there, and what we hear today is different from what it used to be. I'd like to know if there are others who feel the same, and would you relate it to the creation/evolution issue?

    Mike

    *******

    The archived topic, together with all the responses is available (to members only) at the following address:

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/60/2049.html

    Mike
     
  2. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Let us know when your book is published, I'll read it.

    I think you're battling straw men though. "Christian Evolutionists" are as diverse as "Creation scienctists". A number may believe as you describe; others may accept a rather conservative theology.

    There are conservative systematic theology books where old earth creationism is proposed and Adam's original sin is esposed. (One's Erickson, off the top of my head)

    Part of the problem of the Young earth creationist position is that they seem just as intent to create another gospel as the evolutionists, the main focus becomes the age of the earth, rather than the redeeming work of Christ. I feel that once you insert the age of the earth into the gospel, you have begun the slippery slide of adding things to the gospel.

    Rob

    [ March 26, 2004, 05:59 AM: Message edited by: Deacon ]
     
  3. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    It's published now, and available from my shopping cart in the UK. The proof copy has been printed and approved and the first batch of sale copies is currently being printed, and I expect to get them in a few days.

    During the next few weeks it will also become available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Blackwell, etc.
    My experience of Young Earth Creationists is that they show no lack of zeal in proclaiming the redeeming work of Christ. On the contrary, they proclaim it more clearly because they understand that the complete work of Christ is to eventually cancel out all the effects of the fall.

    Mike
     
  4. Helen

    Helen
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    Mike, you have hit the nail on the head where that issue is concerned. Over and over again, via emails, during questions and answer periods after presentations, and in private conversations, we are told by people from high school age on up that what either caused them to lose faith in the veracity of the Bible or to not even consider it as more than a bunch of wishful thinking tales in the first place was evolution.

    Although we have found that the data agrees with the longer age found in the Alexandrian LXX and espoused by many of the church fathers, whether one prefers the somewhat longer time there or the shorter time adopted by the Masoretic, the Bible is quite clear that the earth, and all creation, is less than 10,000 years old. It is not adding to Scripture to do the math.

    One of the reasons, by the way, that recent age creationists of all stripes concentrate on that issue is that a young age denies the possibility of evolution, and hence supports the veracity of the entire Bible. In this as well as in other ways, as you have mentioned, creation and salvation both are foundational biblical doctrines, upon which the rest of the Bible hangs. Genesis presents the problem. Salvation presents the answer.

    You might be interested in the excellent work of another Brit on this issue:
    http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Contents.htm

    My husband's work basically proves a young creation from physical data:
    http://www.setterfield.org/

    And Tim Wallace's True Origin website is a virtual library of excellent material from creation scientists and some intelligent design folk as well. One of the lovely thing's about Tim's site is that it does not include any of the nonsense presented (often unwittingly) by other creation sites regarding spurious 'evidence' for a young earth. Tim's site is science. And true science agrees with the Bible.
    http://www.trueorigin.org/
     
  5. Deacon

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    The weakness of the statement made in the original post is that the term “ Christian evolutionist” is not defined. There are forms of old-earth creationism that uphold theological principles necessary for the “true” gospel of Christ. I’m curious and will read your book when it becomes available in the U.S., (perhaps the only OEC that will read a book indorsed by AIG [​IMG] ) Books that deal with age-of-the-earth issues rarely discuss doctrine in any depth, and when they do it is often from a distinctly polarizing point of view.

    I applaud attempts to use theology to guide scientific inquiry. IMO, one of the weaknesses of the intelligent design movement is their failure to legitimize their theory doctrinally.
    This statement proves the point that the word “evolution” should be defined each time it is used, it has such a fluidity of meanings. Of course Helen, you know that is not the whole truth. It’s a misconception that “recent age” or “young earth” creationists (YEC) deny the possibility of evolution. To explain the multiplicity of species YEC’s usually apply an almost radical form of super (micro)-evolution (or unrecorded divine interventions in nature---similar to theistic evolution) to account for the diversity of life in the world today since the time of Noah.

    Rob
     
  6. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    I would call myself a "Christian Evolutionist", but only if evolution is going backwards, and everything is disintegrating. You will see the point when you read my Appendix on the Laws of Thermodynamics. I am a chemical engineer and I learned about this in my undergraduate studies.

    Mike
     
  7. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Would that make you a Christian degenerate??? [​IMG]

    Rob
     
  8. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    Would that make you a Christian degenerate??? [​IMG]

    Rob
    </font>[/QUOTE]Probably yes, at least my teeth are already rattling. :D

    Mike
     
  9. Deacon

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    Mike, correct me if I’ve misread your post. You’ve noticed a change in the depth of the Christian community’s conviction of sin and attribute this to Christians who are not prepared to say that death came as a result of Adam's sin.

    There are probably only a small percentage of Christians who would express any concern about where and when sin originated and I believe that many Christians are probably unconcerned about the deeper aspects of Adams original sin (as you have described). But I think the slow change you have noticed is more elemental than that. While original sin is important for a proper systematic theology it is not necessary for salvation. When I came to God and I confessed MY sin and became born again. I didn’t even consider the weight of sin that had been passed on through Adam. Unfortunately, IMO, many Christians do not develop any further in their depth of understanding theology. The modern Christian world is so busy. There is less and less time to study and discern truth. So ignorance of theology and personal laziness are culprits.

    But it is more than ignorance and laziness. Concerning the conviction of sin, we are convicted by a number of things; among them are our conscience (Romans 2:15), the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and the Spirit of God (John 6:44, 45; John 16:7–11).

    The power of the Word and the Spirit’s power haven’t changed. So another reason for the change you have been noticing in your lifetime may be the eroding of the conscience of man as in the days of Noah. (Matthew 24:36-39)
    As I’ve stated, I’m an ‘old earth creationist’.
    IMHO, (and in my limited scientific experience) the young earth position is scientifically weak.
    IMO, Old Earth Creationism (OEC) can be consistent with a proper interpretation of Scripture. OEC neither denies or contradicts either directly or implied, any foundational doctrine (of the gospel) and it can still ascert Scriptural inerrancy.

    I’m not denying the change in attitude that you’ve observed; only it’s basic cause.

    Rob
     
  10. Helen

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    Rob, we have seen in different countries EXACTLY what he is talking about.

    You mentioned, by the way, a 'proper' interpretation of Scripture.

    Why do you have to 'interpret' it, when the language is plain and straight where creation is concerned?

    Who defines 'proper'? Science???
     
  11. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Again, I’m not questioning what you and Mike have observed, just the conclusions as to its cause.
    That was the question asked in the original post.

    For the point of this thread let us define “proper” as holding to the truths of the gospel of Christ.

    The interpretational issues perhaps would be best left to another thread and possibly another forum.

    Rob
     
  12. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Helen,

    The Hebrew language is not always plain and straight forward. A good example would be Genesis 1:2. It takes a bit of interpretation within the context of the passage to figure out that hayathah does not mean "it became" and therefore, support the gap theory of creation. Anytime you deal with context in the Hebrew language, you are dealing with interpretational issues.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  13. Joseph_Botwinick

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    BTW,

    I am neither an old earth or a young earth creationist. I am merely a creationist who doesn't think it really matters how old the earth is.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  14. HankD

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    I like to think of creation with the miracle of Cana in mind.

    Wine takes several years to develope, Jesus created their wine in an instant without the passage of time and the several usual agricultural events to produce this "best" wine.

    So why not a universe in 6 days?

    Hank
     
  15. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    The six jars of water represent the six days of creation, and the purpose of this miracle is to show that Jesus is the creator of the world. He created wine with the appearance of age, just as Adam and Eve were created as mature adults. Also the trees were created fully mature and bearing fruit.

    Mike
     
  16. Phillip

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    Hi Joseph, I am a young earth and it was only with the patience of Helen and my emphatic statements that she was wrong that she got to see me change. Listen to her advice. There is a specific reason we must believe in six day creation. It will not "save" you, but it may have an effect on your entire life, your testimony and your literal beliefs of what you read in the Bible.

    Here is where I fell out of line with the gap theory. First, let me say that the ONLY way you could justify an old Earth would be be with a gap theory. Otherwise, the Bible is very clear about each day.

    Now, think about this. The sinless world, before Adam sinned, contained no evil and NO DEATH. Sin had an effect not only on man, but the creation of God in its entirety. Now, if you take the Bible literally that this is true, the gap theory is explained away. You cannot have an age where dinosaurs lived, killed each other and died, BEFORE the curse of sin.

    I hope this helps and makes sense. This is the exact point that changed my mind--it was in front of me the whole time, but I had to figure it out for myself. [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    I'm pleased to say that my book "Impossible Theology: The Christian Evolutionist Dilemma" has been accepted by Spring Arbor, the major distributor to Christian bookshops in the USA. Could a few of you do me a favour? Ask your local Christian bookshop if they can get the book, and give them the ISBN number 0954392213. Then contact me off-list and let me know the result.

    For progress on other distribution channels (Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.), see my book orders page:

    http://www.annomundi.co.uk/book_orders.htm

    Mike
     
  18. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene
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    And the light from stars that would never exist was created along the way, along with the light of their death in a supernova

    And the bones of dinosaurs that never lived were created in the ground

    And the damaged gene for making vitamin c was placed in Adam's genome

    And the coal from vast prehistoric forests that never were was created in the ground

    And the radioactive decay results as appropriate for between 4 to 5 billion years were placed in rocks all over the earth, except some were set with radioactive decay results as if created younger, as if created by a later volcano eruption
    that never really happened . .

    And the record of magnetic field reversals were placed in the atlantic ocean as if they had occurred about a million years apart from each other as the sea floor spread

    And the Island of Hawiia was created with fresh, jagged mountains while the Island of Oahu was created with soft, eroded mountains as if it were older and the other islands of the Hawiian chain were created each smaller and smaller down the line, including islands apparantly worn down to below sea level with only coral atolls showing they are there -

    And the antarctic ice cap was created complete with annual layers that count backwards over 200,000 . . .

    Sure, Omniscience and Omnipotence could do that.
     
  19. Mike Gascoigne

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  20. Mike Gascoigne

    Mike Gascoigne
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    Paul,

    There are not many creationists who favour the "light in transit" theory because, as you say, it would contain information about events that never happened. Instead, it's possible that light has been slowing down, or else there have been some distortions of space and time that can be explained by relativity. I've dealt with some of this in my Cosmology chapter.

    The bones of dinosaurs are evidence of recent history. Dinosaurs lived alongside humans, and two of them are mentioned in the Bible. They are called Behemoth and Leviathan, See Job 40 and 41.

    My wife is a biochemist and she says that humans don't make vitamin C, and that's why we have to eat fresh fruit and veg.

    You might find the answers to some of your other questions on the Answers in Genesis website.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org

    Mike
     

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