The Unique distinctive of this board - Christian Evolutionism debates

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by BobRyan, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan
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    I am fully supportive of the efforts to get past myths and on to "hard science" debates that take place here just as they would on an atheist evolutionist - vs Christian debate board where "science" is the only form of "common ground" available.

    However THIS board has a "distinctive" in that its evolutionist positions are restricted to distinctively "christian evolutionism".

    This means that Gina's question about HOW that could possibly work - is a KEY and distinctive topic to this board.

    The Christian evolutinist on this board must address BOTH the topic of whether science supports them "at all" in their salient points (as opposed to simple micro mutation within a kind) - AND the topic of how their views can possibly fit with true Christian acceptance and faith in the integrity of God's Word.

    The repeated response by evolutionists challenged by that second point that are of the form "Don't ask me about that any more" - strikes at the very heart of the distinctive of this entire message board subject area.

    Bob
     
  2. BobRyan

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    Objectively, it must be noted that one approach used by believers in evolutionism on this board has been to assert that the Bible is fully accepted by them "because it no more addresses the subject of the origin and history of all life forms on this planet than it addressed the origin and history of Calculus or quantum physics".

    However - that assertion - "remains to be shown from scripture" on the board.

    Bob
     
  3. The Galatian

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    You're wrong about that. The Bible clearly tells us about the origin of life. It says that living things were brought forth by the earth and waters.

    So, for a Christian, life begins by natural means. Ex nihilo creation of life is specifically ruled out by God in Genesis.

    However, He does not comment on evolution one way or another. For that, we must depend on the evidence.
     
  4. Helen

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    Yup, in a couple of DAYS. But Galatian doesn't like that part.... :D

    Oh baloney! "And God said..." is followed IMMEDIATELY by the fulfillment. "And it was so" is a past completed statement. Each thing happened on the day -- the 24 hour day with an evening and a morning -- stated. The term 'bara' also means created from nothing when used in contrast to 'asah' which means 'formed.'

    In other words, ex nihilo (out of nothing) creation is listed specifically on three occasions in Genesis 1:
    Genesis 1:1 -- the creation out of nothing of time, space, and matter
    Genesis 1:21 -- the creation out of nothing of that which we call soul: responsiveness, the ability to obey, unique individuality -- as expressed through the complex central nervous system.
    Genesis 1:27 -- the creation out of nothing of man's spirit.

    It's very clear in the Hebrew.

    Unless you have punctuated equilibrium at a speed that would absolutely astonish Gould (who now knows better) and Eldridge, evolution is simply ruled out because of the creation account.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too, Galatian. You claim Genesis says life was brought forth from the earth and water and then you say that Genesis does not deal with the matter of evolution -- which you are trying to back up with those very verses.

    Logic doesn't work that way.
     
  5. Rev. Joshua

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    Bob,

    The Bible is a science book only if read through the eyes of modernism; but it's contents well predate the Enlightenment, the scientific method, and the modernist worldview on which Creationism depends.

    If we respect the Bible as what it is, the collected writings which generations of faithful people viewed as accurately defining their experiences as a people of God - the need to force it into a science textbook evaporates. Theologians can then focus on learning the theological lessons our ancestors wanted us to understand; and scientists can do their work unencumbered by a need to see the world through the science of the ancient world.

    Joshua
     
  6. Gina B

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    Joshua, why wouldn't it still be relevant in our times? We've seen prophecies in the bible come to pass after they were written, some are still future, and some things not understood until we were sufficiently developed to understand them. Why would it be different when it comes to science? Weren't some scientific elements contained in the bible that were not understood until later times?
    Gina
     
  7. mdkluge

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    Rev. Joshua wrote:
    I only half agree with that last. What you say might be true of part of the modern creationist movement descended from early 20th century fundamentalism, since that fundamentalism presupposes the Englghtenment, modern science, theological modernism and its perceived falling away.

    But there is a line of creationism that antedates all of these. We should not fogret that about half of the original "Team of Ten" of the Creation Research Society were MIssouri Synod Lutherans. I suppose one could say that their history presupposes the Enlightenment, since that church formed largely in response to German Church Rationalism. However, its literal understanding of Genesis may be traced back to Luther himself. See, for example, Luther's Lectures on Genesis, given shortly before his death. (They occupy part of the St. Louis Edition of Luther's Collected Works, Concordia Publishing House). Luther complains that there is hardly an author to be trusted concerning the origin of the world of all the Latins, Greeks or Hebrews. It is clear that Luther takes Genesis as actual history (although he does allow that "Moses" seems to forget himself.

    It is true that Luther is not particularly concerned with any "science" that might be found in Genesis, but he does clearly insist that the events it records actually occurred as told.

    Luther may or may not have been concerned about the Bible giving correct science. The remark from his "Table Talk" in which he calls Copernicus a "fool" for teaching that the earth goes around the sun is well known. It is a disputable remark, and it is almost certain that it is embellished in the form we have it. Nevertheless, the remark attributed to Luther certainly reflects the opinion of the Lutheran Orthodoxy of the mid to late 16th century. Although Luther never publicly wrote anything about Copernicus, Melancthton did condemn it based in part upon Scripture.

    So there is at least one continuous creationist tradition going back before the Enlightenment and which did insist that the Bible was scientifically (in the sense of that day) accurate.

    Having said that, I notice what may be a continuing difference between those Lutheran and fundamentalist-influenced creationists. It seems that the latter may be more eager to do Biblical speculation. The alleged breakup of the continents during the days of Peleg, for example, didn't come from Lutherandom, nor Henry Morris' battle between St. Michael and Satan creating the craters on the moon. I cannot think of much Lutheran Biblical creationist speculation. However, that might be due to Lutherans' reluctance to engage in such Biblical speculation at all. They do not talk about Armageddin (sp?), a millennial reign of Christ (except once in a while to reject the whole thing), are not fond of interpreting prophecies from Revelation or Daniel or Eziklel. Lutherans, including Lutheran creationists, are a staid bunch! No doubt Lutheran Creationists have been influenced by other modern (and Modernist-influenced) creationists, but I think those Lutheran creationists should at least be considered as a separate strain of creationism, where some of the generalizations one might want to make about creationists might not apply.
     
  8. Elena

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    Lutherans, like Baptists and other branches of Christianity are not all creationists. The creationists seem to come out of the Missouri synod. I realize your intent was not to broad brush Lutherans, but it is important to point out that it is likely only a minority of Lutherans are creationists.

    EF
     
  9. The Galatian

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    Barbarian observes:
    You're wrong about that. The Bible clearly tells us about the origin of life. It says that living things were brought forth by the earth and waters.

    I like it fine. Like most Christians, I admit that the "days" are figurative, but that doesnt' mean that it isn't true.

    Barbarian observes:
    So, for a Christian, life begins by natural means. Ex nihilo creation of life is specifically ruled out by God in Genesis.

    Sorry. Not a realistic position. God says it came from the earth and waters. That is not ex nihilo, no matter how strenuously you object. That is how life was created.

    Actually, it doesn't say IMMEDIATELY. It doesn't even say it in lower-case letters.

    But most Christians realize that these are not 24 hour days.

    Not in the Hebrew/English dictionaries I see.

    Sorry, not living things.

    Sorry. Special creation just for man, who was otherwise created from the soil. Our immortal soul, of course, is directly from God.
     
  10. mdkluge

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    Elena wrote:
    That is correct. I certainly do not want to accuse most Lutherans of being (Young Earth) Creationists, although very many Missouri Synod Lutherans, and possibly nearly all Wisconsin Synod Lutherans are.

    (Of course LUtherans are theologically sophisticated enough to know that heologically "creationism" has nothing to do with denial of evolution, but was the doctrine that God created specially every human soul. The contrary position, that the soul is propagated, is known as traducianism. Some Lutherans from all Lutheran bodies are creationists, while others are traducianists. Quite a few, I suspect, understand this traditional usage of "creationism.")
     
  11. Deacon

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    BobRyan clearly has hit the nail on the head with his observation;
    But Bob, you haven’t gone far enough in your statement: the same question needs to be asked to the Young Earth Creationists as well. While you and other YEC’s hold resolutely to a literal interpretation of the Bible, you often fail to take into account the physical aspects of the world around you. I picture many YEC’s as holding their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and saying, “I believe”.

    I’m a curious person. I want to know how God created. I don’t believe that His creation shows us a history that wasn’t real. Old earth creationists have the strong conviction (faith) that God created. Their exploration into the aspects of His created work leads them even closer to understanding the majesty of God’s creation. I do this with both my eyes and ears open.

    Part of the problem between the two opposing camps (OEC and YEC) is there is so little said about the events that occurred in the process of creation that many of the areas that need to be addressed are left to speculation. Many of the verses dealing with creation are open to varying interpretation depending upon the views one takes before reading them, others are problematic for both sides. It seems that for each Christian studying the problem of origins there is another theory about how it may have been accomplished (yes, even among the YEC’s). Debates between Christian evolutionists and young earth creationists have suffered not only from a failure to listen to the opposing side but also from a lack of attention to the wide range of possible meanings of the biblical terms used to describe God's creative work. Looking at the vast possibilities of how God may have performed his wonder of creation has personally lead me closer to the faith mentioned in Hebrew 11:1-3.

    Bob, perhaps as a start to further theological understanding between the opposing viewpoints, rather than address topics as “shot gun“ posts that cover broad ranges of topics, threads can be posted that address single problems for discussions and study. It may limit the distracting name-calling and lead to further understanding.

    Rob
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Nice "thought" but not true - no text in scripture says "Life was brought forth BY the earth and Waters".

    This thread "would have been" the perfect one for posting the text that made that statement above.

    The fact that it is conspicuously absent is instructive to the objective reader.

    Bob
     
  13. BobRyan

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    The Bible is Explicitly concerned with "Origins" of life - HOW it got here and exactly who placed EACH life form "and its kind" on the planet.

    Pretending that it does not speak to the subject - is just silly.

    To the contrary - the YEC's DO point to science fact after science fact - supporting the YEC views presented in the Bible.

    We typically view that characterization as simply "Wishful thinking among OE" hopefulls.

    And the same position is taken by YEC's - which is why I support the same "look at HARD science" discussions here as well as on Atheist Evolution boards.

    But this board has a DISTINCTIVE from those venues as noted above.

    Indeed - we DO have specific, explicit hard facts in the Bible but not an exhaustive record. Yet EVEN those Explicit statements "For in SIX days the Lord created the Heavens and the Earth" are denied by many of our OE bretheren.

    Yes - reading INTO the text (eisegeting the text to get what you WANT from it) has been a problem on all doctrines in all denomination. The key is "exegeting" instead.

    A good model to promote in this subject area.

    How about this - the 4th commandment vs Genesis 1 - 2:3?

    Bob
     
  14. The Galatian

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    Of course it is very specific about the way life began. It says that God did it by natural means. It specifically rules out the creationist "ex nihilo" creation of life.

    It does not address each form of life, rather vaguely enumerating a few without specifics to sequence and type. It describes life as a "kind" not "kinds".

    Creationism cannot be reconciled with Genesis.
     
  15. BobRyan

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    Yes that is the text that says "in the beginning God set natural means in place so that given just a very few billion years life would emerge full and complete".

    And the Ex Nihilo part was where the Bible said "God Spoke - and gasses began to cool from then on - whatever happened, happened".

    These rock solid text for the OE's leaves the YE Creationists looking for texts like
    "NOTHING exists that was not made by Him for apart from Him NOTHING was made"

    "God SPOKE and IT WAS, He COMMANDED and it was firmly established"

    "For in SIX DAYS the Lord CREATED the Heavens and the Earth AND the sea AND ALL that is IN THEM"

    And who knows how "soon" the YECs will find those supportive - explicit - first order - obvious texts - but when they do.... you will see it here I am sure.

    Bob
     
  16. BobRyan

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    On the other hand some of our OEC friends (like Galation) imagine that the Gen 1 - 2:4 "account" is merely natural "means".

    Claiming "naturally the sun comes into being after the planets".

    "Naturally land animals appear on earth ONE DAY after fish and birds appear".

    "Naturally - each day is ONE evening and ONE morning and naturally the SAME day the first land animals appear - so ALSO does mankind"

    And of course "NATURALLY there is no reference to extermination and carnage leading to the emergance of each KIND".

    Ahhhh yes "naturally".

    Bob
     
  17. The Galatian

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    (Barbarian observes that Scripture says that living things were brought forth by the earth and waters)

    Hmm...

    Genesis 1:12
    And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

    Genesis 1:21
    And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.

    Genesis 1:24 And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, calle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind; and it was so.


    There's a lot of good things therein, if you take the time to read about them.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    God is the CAUSE in each case. God SPEAKS and it is done - He commands and in EACH case - it stands fast.

    And in EACH case - it happens in ONE "evening and Morning". ONE rotation of the planet. ONE sequence of Dark and then Light.

    Gen 1

    9 Then God said, "" LET the waters below the heavens BE Gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear''; and it was so.
    10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
    11 Then God said, ""Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them''; and it was so.
    12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.
    13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

    14 Then God said, ""LET THERE BE lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
    15 and LET them BE be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth''; and it was so.
    16 God MADE the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
    17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
    18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
    19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

    20 Then God said, ""Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.''
    21 God CREATED the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
    22 God blessed them, saying, ""Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.''
    23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

    24 Then God said, ""Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind''; and it was so.
    25 God MADE the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.
    26 Then God said, ""Let Us Make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.''
    27 God CREATED man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.



    But in case there is even the slightest doubt we read it AGAIN with unmistakable language about the CAUSE - and WHO is doing the MAKING

    Gen 2
    7 Then the LORD God FORMED MAN man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    8 The LORD God PLANTED a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
    9 Out of the ground the LORD God CAUSED to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.


    19 Out of the ground the LORD God FORMED EVERY beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.


    God confirms this in His OWN summary - spoken in HIS OWN Words -

    Exodus 20
    11 "" For in six days the LORD Made the heavens and the earth, the sea and ALL that is IN them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.


    But as our OEC "hopefulls" observe "Why this is pure Naturalism promoted in scripture. It is exactly how all naturalists today express that process".

    Blind faith - it is good to see that it still exists.

    Bob
     
  19. Elena

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    Scripture quoting, whether yec, oec or evolutionist is irrelevant to the scientific exploration of the universe, the earth and life itself. Bible-spewing as if it were science is poor apologetics especially when applied to non-believers. God gave us a brain and he left us with the evidence. I'll never understand why some Christians cannot accept the fact that our God is powerful enough to create via evolution on a time scale that is unfathomable to most of us. If you want omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence there is plenty of that to go around in evolutionary biology, astronomy and geology. You need only to unloose the chains of biblical fanaticism (it can hardly be called literalism) to marvel at his creation.

    EF
     
  20. Helen

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    Elena, if you choose to use your brain to figure out where the Bible is wrong "according to science", that is up to you. For the Christian, however, God's Word stands rock solid as the foundation of everything in life, including science. If God has said something, it's true. Period. If man has said something, it's noise -- which occasionally has a bit of truth in it. And when the truth is found in something man has said, it will also be found that the starting point for that truth was in the Bible all along.

    So we will 'spout Bible.' God is our first love and our authority. He made us; He knows how to communicate to us; He has commanded us to love Him -- that includes respect and belief.

    Man's knowledge changes constantly. Man's opinions about what it is he has found out changes constantly.

    God, on the other hand, as the Creator, has known it all since forever. And He has given us the parameters of where to find the truth in the Bible -- whether it be in science or history or anything else.

    We all know that God is powerful enough to do anything He wants. We also know that we can trust Him to have communicated clearly to us what He did do which, in this case, was to create all that there is we are aware of in six days, not so many thousand years ago.

    I don't see why evolutionists and old-earthers cannot have enough faith in the God some say they believe in to believe that He did exactly what He said He did. He is powerful enough for that...

    The Bible is not at all irrelevant to exploration of the universe! It tells us twelve times that God stretched the heavens -- long before man decided that space had expanded. It tells us that the star clusters in Orion are disrupting -- long before we knew that. It tells us that Pleiades is bound together -- long before we knew that. It tells us one star differs from another in glory -- long before we even knew how many stars there were!

    The Bible has a pretty good batting average for the science it presents. About a thousand, from what I can see.

    I've learned to trust it. So have a lot of other followers of Christ. And a number of them are actually scientists.

    So I would save comments like the one you made for an atheist and/or evolutionist board where they will all applaud you. Your comments do not belong on a Christian board.
     

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