Scriptural Geologist Granville Penn (1761–1844)

Discussion in 'Science' started by Gup20, May 9, 2005.

  1. Gup20

    Gup20
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    Granville Penn was born in Spring Gardens, a hamlet in the parish of Wooburn, Buckinghamshire, on 9 December 1761, the fifth but second surviving and youngest son of Thomas Penn, and the grandson of William Penn, who founded the colony of Pennsylvania in America.

    "To assume arbitrarily, a priori, that God created the matter of this globe in the most imperfect state to which the gross imagination of man can contrive to reduce it, which it effectually does, by reducing the creative Fiat to the mere production of an amorphous elementary mass; and then to pretend, that His intelligence and wisdom are to be collected from certain hypothetical occult laws, by which that mass worked itself into perfection of figure and arrangement after innumerable ages; would tend to lessen our sense either of the divine wisdom or power, did not the supposition recoil with tremendous reaction upon the supposers, and convict them of the clumsiest irrationality. The supposition, is totally arbitrary; and not only arbitrary, viciously arbitrary; because, it is totally unnecessary, and therefore betrays a vice of choice. For, the laws of matter could not have worked perfection in the mass which the Creator is thus supposed to have formed imperfect, unless by a power imparted by Himself who established the laws. And, if He could thus produce perfection mediately, through their operation, He could produce it immediately, without their operation. Why, then, wantonly and viciously, without a pretence of authority, choose the supposition of their mediation? It is entirely a decision of choice and preference, that is, of the will; for, the reason is no party in it, neither urging, suggesting, encouraging, or in any way aiding or abetting the decision, but, on the contrary, positively denying and condemning it. The vast length of time, which this sinistrous choice is necessarily obliged to call in for its own defence, could only be requisite to the Creator for overcoming difficulties obstructing the perfecting process; it therefore chooses to suppose, that He created obstructions in matter, to resist and retard the perfecting of the work which He designed; whilst at the same time he might have perfected it without any resistance at all, by His own Creative Act … To suppose then, a priori, and without the slightest motive prompted by reason, that His wisdom willed, at the same time, both the formation of a perfect work, and a series of resistances to obstruct and delay that perfect work, argues a gross defect of intelligence somewhere; either in the Creator or in the supposer; and I leave it to this science, to determine the alternative."

    I think this makes a very good point - it makes no logical sense that God would create a world imperfect - then give it the ability to perfect itself - then put resistances to that perfecting in place as well. Not only does it assume that God created imperfection and called it good, but that the creation itself perfected itself. That is pure humanism - that we perfected and self created. It's the same exact idea prloliferated by Satan in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve she could be as God.
     
  2. UTEOTW

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    It is hubris to suggest that if God created perfect laws that were able to carry out His perfect will that we should then call what He has made "imperfect."
     
  3. Gup20

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    In response:

    "To suppose then, a priori, and without the slightest motive prompted by reason, that His wisdom willed, at the same time, both the formation of a perfect work, and a series of resistances to obstruct and delay that perfect work, argues a gross defect of intelligence somewhere;"
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    No change.

    You and your source are supposing that you know better than God what would be considered "good" and "imperfect." You both argue that since you in your limited mind cannot fathom why God would choose to create a set of perfect laws that then allow for HIs will to be carried out that it must be that either God, or your opponents in the debate, has a "gross defect of intelligence."

    This logic is a perfect example of the fallacy of the false dilemma. You suppose that there are only two possibilities that could lead to such thought. Either God has "gross defect of intelligence" or I and the others who argue against your side do. You present the reader with a false choice where one choice is so blantently unacceptable that the other must be true. And in the process you manage to get in a nice ad hominim attack as well.

    Well there is another option. That is that God did choose in His perfect ways to use long periods of time to create and that your position is incorrect.

    Fallacies are the domain of those without a sound argument. YE cannot argue the facts so they argue around them.
     
  5. Mercury

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    The gross defect of intelligence is in the person who would dare to weigh God's sovereign plan on the fallible scales of their human mind.

    The whole idea of allowing humanity freedom may seem to be a resistance that obstructs and delays God's work. The incarnation may seem that way to a person too -- why would God allow himself to be rejected and scorned? And yet who are we to scrutinize how God chooses to operate?

    If you can accept that God may have a reason for allowing the world we see around us to continue to this day, there's no greater hurdle in accepting that God may be the creator of all we see in nature -- including this world where animals prey on each other and receive their food from God.

    God had hot words for the babble of Job's friends when they couldn't understand how undeserved human suffering could be allowed by God, so how do you think God feels about those so squeamish that even animal suffering causes them to attribute parts of creation to sin or Satan? Some may prefer a docile, tame God that only makes pretty flowers and furry kittens, but the God of the Bible made the whole universe! Rather than critiquing his handiwork, show your Maker a bit of holy awe and reverence!

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    (Isaiah 55:8-9)
     
  6. Gup20

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    Both of you are guilty of this. Both of you have chosen to believe Evolution rather than the Bible's version of history. Both of you have decided you know better than God, supposing that Noah's global flood didn't actually happen as the Bible describes. The Bible is abundantly clear as to the time, and nature of our creation. Both of you have decided NOT to believe the Bible is true in Genesis 1-11. You would rather believe the word of men - even atheist men - than the accurate, historical account of creation in God's Word.

    (emphasis is mine)

    This thinking is the direct result of humanist dogma - which is exactly what evolution is. Indeed ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Because of Adam, sin passed to all men, but all men have also sinned. There is NO SUCH THING as undeserved human suffering. Why? Because in Adam all are sinners. We all deserve death as the result to our sin. ALL OF US - EVERY ONE OF US. None are innocent.

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    The difference is that you interpret the Bible to attribute Satan's characteristics to God. You think that God uses evil (death, disease, suffering, poverty) to teach his children. The bible makes clear this is a result of the CHOICE man made to sin - it is not God. Remember Eve and the serpent? Adam & Eve wanted to be as God and decide right and wrong for themselves (humanism).

    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    It is only the grace of God that holds back the evil that we have chosen as sinners. When you attribute pain, suffering, and death to God, you do wrong. These are not the character of God. What is God's Will?

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    So it is God's will that none perish, but that all come to repentance - why is it repentance? Because it's our choice to sin. We have chosen our fate, not God. God is Good. God is love. Satan is the thief seeking to kill, steal, and destroy. God is life.

    You guys have been claiming all along that Genesis is not literal, but only a spiritual story for theocratic doctrine... EVEN IF that were true, then you have missed the point of the spiritual implications of the 'story'. It paints a picture of the character of God that is altogether contrary to the characteristics you guys attribute to Him.

    I listened to a preacher a while back straight out of seminary who gave the following:

    We are saved by ____ through _____ . We are saved by ____ from _____ for _____ .

    I was thinking - grace, faith, God, death, eternity as the respective answers. The preacher went on to teach the answers were God, God, God, God, God. We are saved by God, through God. We are saved by God from God, for God. He went on to describe how we are like puppets dangling over the fire of God's wrath.

    It was perhaps the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. God's not waiting to discipline us at any chance... he is waiting to bless us, save us, love us at any chance. The discipline HAS ALREADY HAPPENED. Death has already come. We live in a world which as already been marred by death and death already introduced. It is here... it is part of our existence. We need redemption, salvation, grace - why? Because death is here. We are all going to die because of our sin. God isn't sitting there waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us... He's sitting there waiting for us to repent so he can bless and encourage us. Man chose separation from God and thereby gave dominion over to Satan.

    Look at Job - Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

    The death, sickness, and disease that was wrought upon job was not from God, but these things were within Satan's realm of authority.

    (Remember Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;)

    Notice God protected Job - He didn't allow Satan to take his life. God is Good, not evil. God didn't beat up Job, the Devil did because it was in Satan's authority to do so. God restrained that evil. Notice, for example, that all of Job's family died - killed by Satan, not God. It was within Satan's power and authority to kill them. But God protected Job. And what was the one thing Satan wanted Job to do? To curse God - his protector and the one on his side. This is exactly what you do when you attribute death and evil as being caused by God. We are the cause - not God. It is man's sin that has brought death, not God. But replace God's Very Good creation with millions of years of death and suffering in evolution and you re-write the Bible's definition of God's character - not to mention the directly stated literal history of the Bible.
     
  7. Mercury

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    Gup, Job's suffering was not due to his sin. Yes, Job sinned just as all people do, but that is not why he suffered to the extent that he did. God called Job "blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil" (Job 1:8). God specifically refuted Job's friends who tried to peg the blame on Job (Job 42:7).

    The rest of your post continues your attempt to quote a number of verses that speak about human death and suffering, and then at the end, you do the bait-and-switch by saying that animal death is just the same. You can't build the case for animal death being evil because there's no biblical case to be made. That's why you continually resort to these tactics, and probably why you quickly lose interest in threads that address the issue head-on from what the Bible says, such as the [Is animal death inherently evil?] thread.

    Let's see if any of the verses you quoted actually make the case that God couldn't allow animal death before the Fall:

    Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    Death passed to all men because all sin. Animals aren't men and they don't sin. Nope, this verse doesn't apply.

    Deu 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

    Was God talking to humans or animals? From the context, it appears he was talking to people. It was people that were given the choice between life and death, not animals.

    Jhn 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

    Did Jesus come so that animals can live the abundant life? In the verses before this Jesus says that he is the gate for the sheep and "whoever enters through me will be saved." I realize that Jesus was talking about sheep in this passage, but the sheep aren't literal sheep. They refer to people, not animals.

    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    The following verse continues to say, "And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Who are the "them" who are in bondage to death and delivered through Jesus? Why, once again it's people, not animals. This is made even more clear through verses 16-18.

    Jam 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    Notice it says, "Let no man" and not "Let no beast". This verse doesn't support the idea that lions are tempted by anyone when they decide to hunt their prey. For lions, that is not a moral decision, nor does it have moral consequences.

    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    The Lord's promise is to humans, and it is humans that should come to repentance. Not animals.

    Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

    Contrary to your interpretation of this verse, this shows a temporary transfer of power, not a statement of what was already in Satan's power. God gave Satan the power to do these things, although earlier he had prevented Satan from doing things like this (see Job 1:10).

    Hbr 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

    The children here are human children, not animal children. Again, the power of death is the power of death over those children.

    Your entire case is based on blurring the biblical distinction between man and beast. I doubt you would have any interest in doing this aside from your strong advocacy of YEC. I encourage you to re-read all the verses you quoted, in context, and realize what they say about us instead of twisting them to apply to animals as well.
     

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