Great attack on a fellow christian there Steve. This is because apparently, you answer questions like "explain this real old spear ancient used by your defenseless ancient man" with a four page pablum laden post that basically boils down to "what is time"?
He calls you on it, and you spew hate.
He chews up your arguments, and you spew ad hominems.
Easy buddy, you sound as if you are about to blow your top! It's hard standing up for something (6 literal day creation or YEC) when even the majority of conservative Reformed seminaries aren't even teaching it anymore. You are truly a dying bread, Steve, but your demeanor is what really worries me.
So, is this how you [Paul Manata] would teach your kids to respond in discussion? I've had my 12year old son, who's just learning apologetics and debate, read some of the messages here, and I end up having to warn him away from the tone and attitude of the... Christians here more than anybody else.
I don't wanna call you names. I'd just like you stop arguing against the teaching of Christ by your tone and language, even as you profess to proclaim it with your arguments.
1.There are some people who are typecast to react in a certain way. They get hysterical at the drop of a hat, and the project their own overwrought emotions onto the blogger.
They react to the very last thing they read, rather than taking into account everything leading up to the last thing they read.
They never actually register everything that was said by both sides. Instead, they have their antennae twitching to pick out certain words or phrases which set them into a frenzy of sputtering indignation.
They react to tone rather than substance, and even then they are conspicuously lop-sided in what they find offensive.
2.They also operate with Hallmark card version of Christ and Christian ethics, decorated with fawns and bunny rabbits and bare-bottomed cherubs.
They like to quote Mt 5, but they don’t like to quote Mt 23. They forget that Jesus is also a warrior-king (Rev 19).
They carry around their Hallmark card notion of how professing Christians are supposed to treat other professing Christians. They never attempt to check this against the detailed practice of the NT.
3.But one of the leading themes of the NT is a running indictment of false teachers. From false prophets (Mt 7; 24), to Antichrist figures (Mt 24; 2 Thes 2; 1 Jn 2; Rev 13), to Judaizers (Galatians), to false apostles (2 Cor), to Docetic antinomians (1 John), to Nicolaitans (Rev 2:15), to hyperpreterists (2 Tim 2:17), to false teachers generally (Jude, 2 Peter).
Now, what a lot of critics overlook is that all these false teachers were (or will be) professing Christians.
The fact that someone calls himself a Christian doesn’t prevent the NT from attacking his theology if his theology is aberrant. Not only attacking his theology, but attacking his character. And the NT is very public in its denunciations.
So, the popular idea that just because someone calls himself a Christian, it is unchristian for us to “attack” his theology or theological method is, itself, unchristian.
Some people try to counter this by quoting what the Apostle John has to say about loving the brethren in 1 John.
But to quote that as if it forbade us from critiquing false theology is to quote it out of context. As D. A. Carson, in his WTJ article entitled “Reflections on Christian Assurance,” pointed out, this is the polar opposite of what John had in mind.
In 1 John, the Apostle is attacking false teachers. And he is attacking them because they are undermining the faith of the faithful.
When he talks about loving the brethren, he isn’t talking about false teachers. To the contrary, the false teachers are unloving by the way they undermine the faith of the faithful. And, for that very reason, St. John opposes the false teachers in no uncertain terms.
4.I’d also note that the Evangelutionist has been quite harsh in his characterization of YECs.
The YEC view is only viable as an exercise in mysticism. It’s a “flat earth” or geocentric astronomy equivalent. So my rationale for higher criticism doesn’t stem at all from a desire to diminish the truth or authority of the Bible, but rather to uphold it, because the YEC literalist view just isn’t a serious view of scripture. It scoffs at God’s Word as something that is really true in the real world. I only need to have you read Steve’s recent replies to me as powerful evidence of this. The unbelievers see YEC theology, then think about what they know about God’s creation, even not knowing or admitting who created it all, and they see YEC theology as a powerful argument that Christianity is cynical hoax, the Gospel a lie. It’s only true if you can mysticalize yourself and tie yourself in horrible philosophical meta-scientific existential knots.
So my rationale for my “higher criticism” is this: YEC theology is cyanide for the spread of the Gospel. It’s Dawkins most powerful asset. He’s got nothing, nothing close to the powerful argument he has in merely pointing reasonable, honest folk at guys like Steve, and you, from what you’ve said here.
Is that good enough? Is the fact that your brittle, anachronistic, reductionist interpretive frameworks produce absurdities, logical contradictions and cascading conundra that drive people who think *away* from Christ a good enough reason to wonder if maybe you’ve got things off a bit?
So don’t rewrite the history of the thread and cast the Evangelutionist in the role of the lamblike victim of an unprovoked attack. He initiated the attack on YEC.
There was nothing in my original post on “Adam and evolution” that couldn’t be written by an OEC.
He chose to turn this into a debate over YEC, and he uses a number of choice words to characterize the ramifications of that position: “It’s a ‘flat earth’ or geocentric astronomy equivalent”; “It scoffs at God’s Word”; “cyanide…a cynical hoax…and a lie.”
5.Let us also remind ourselves of what is at stake. This is how he himself has cast the issue:
You're apparently unhappy with science's epistemic foundation of methodological materialism, the same epistemic that flourished from the time of Newton and so many other God-fearing men of science. It's precisely this axiom of MM that keeps science right in its box where it belongs. MM restricts science from wandering into areas where it has no foundation.
These are mythic elements, the talking serpent, the trees with supernatural capabilities. They are perfectly true in that convey a real history – the fall of man from the commission of sin. But the device used is figurative, and symbolic. If you were to pick up a text that you were told was “true”, but contained the account of trees with supernatural, cosmic powers, and a talking serpent along with a pair of humans, would you suppose that the truth was *scientific* in its telling, or moral/figurative?
Does Wise identify Genesis as similar in form to other, competing cosmogonies of that time? Would he find similarities for the book of Nehemiah in Babylonian mythology as exist between Genesis and Enuma Elish, or the Gilgamesh epic? Those are manifestly mythic texts, and I can’t see that Wise would be unfamiliar with those comparisons.
I’m undecided if Adam was a real individual or not. I’m inclined to think he was, but only tentatively. And I don’t see that it matters, theologically, morally or spiritually one way or another.
I’m amazed you feel comfortable saying “perfectly”, though. I can anticipate your saying: “it’s not obviously non-historical” or something like that (which I would still take issue with), but “perfectly”? You don’t see trees with cosmic magical trees and a talking snake in a story about the spiritual fate of all mankind to be even *somewhat* of a bell going off in your head about the natural historical claims the text is making? I’m incredulous.
When it reads like myth, fable, or dream, or something quite apart from a historical account, even a historical account with miracles, it’s time to consider a different interpretation. For instance, do you suppose the serpent was just a serpent, albeit a more clever one than the other herpetological creatures all around? Or is the serpent a symbol? Is it a real serpent *and* a symbol of the Devil? Or maybe just a symbol for the devil, allegorical language for an actual eve’s temptation inside her head?
2.Genesis as mythology, including:
i) The ahistoricity of Adam
ii) The ahistoricity of the Fall
So he’s gone far beyond a repudiation of YEC chronology, but let’s begin with that.
1.I posted a long, meticulously reasoned article by Gerhard Hasel defending the literal chronology of Gen 1.
Now, you may disagree with Hasel, but you can’t be serious about Biblical if you dismiss his exegetical arguments out of hand.
2.I also posted some excerpts of a lecture by James Barr on Biblical chronology. This is, to some extent, an abbreviated version of a much longer article of his which I’ve also referenced.
In this course of this material, Barr, an ultra liberal OT scholar and world-renowned Hebraist, makes several points:
i) He documents the fact that what we now classify as YEC chronology represents the traditional Judeo-Christian interpretation up until modern times.
ii) He walks the reader through the process by which that chronology is derived.
iii) He points out that this chronology is not a side issue, but reflects the historical consciousness of the Bible writers, and that efforts on the part of modern theologians to devalue Bible chronology is a rearguard action that fails to identify with the narrative viewpoint of the Bible writers themselves.
Once again, you can try to take issue with Barr’s analysis, but to act as if YEC chronology is absolutely intolerable, and proceed to demonize it as a “hoax,” a “lie,” or “cyanide,” is hardly a Bible-honoring attitude.
3. But that’s not the only issue. What about the classification of Genesis 1-11 as mythology?
What about the attempt to dehistoricize Adam and the Fall?
4.Then, to top it off, is the whole matter of methodological naturalism, which is simply a euphemism for methodological atheism.
It is nothing short of blasphemous for a professing Christian historian or Christian scientist to operate as if God did not exist—as if all historical or prehistorical events can be and should explained on a purely naturalistic basis, so that God’s existence or nonexistence is empirically equivalent.