BioLogos: House of Heresy & False Teaching (AiG says the nicest things about us)

I think you are oversimplifying the theoretical concept.

As Einstein told Bohr, “the moon has a definite position whether or not we look at the moon…”

Should someone be uncertain about the existence of the moon?

I think that’s what I said when I pointed out that the uncertainty principle is rooted in the facts of physics for an observer operating within the universe.

As for Einstein’s comment about the moon: It is not us looking at the moon that distorts the position or velocity of the moon. It is the photons hitting the moon, and reflecting off it, that then come to our eyes, that have a physical interaction with the moon, and that interaction changes the position and/or velocity of the moon. Einstein’s comment is off the point that we cannot measure the position and state of motion of an object, using any measurement methods available in this universe, without distorting the position and/or state of motion of the object. When the object is larger than the size of a single atom, the degree of distortion due to interaction with a single photon may well be less than other aspects of the uncertainties in the measurement process. For an object the size of the moon, the distortion is much smaller than will be able to be discerned by the measurement.

The other point that Einstein is trying to make, that in some abstract sense the moon does have a precise position, is something I agree with. And this is something that I believe that God knows, from His perspective of looking at the moon from outside of the universe. This does not say that there is any way to measure the position and velocity of the moon with 100% precision (no error at all) using any methods available within the universe. The point here is that we, living in this universe, will be faced with uncertainty concerning things moving about within this universe, and our interactions with those things, whether we like it or not. And, for those of us who believe God created this universe, we cannot rule out that God knows what He did, and God knows what will happen as a result of our actions, even though we cannot predict with absolute certainty what the results of our actions will be (our actions do have both intended and unintended results).

I think you are misinterpreting completely when you equate uncertainty of position or exact state with uncertainty about existence of the object whose exact position and state of motion you can never know with absolute precision. No, you cannot predict exactly what interaction a single atom will have in its future because you cannot predict its location and state of motion accurately enough to know with absolute certainty what it will hit tomorrow (or maybe even in the next few minutes).

Possibly… but my interpretation hinges partly on how you answer the question I asked

I’ll add that while we can be certain of an objects existence or events occurence, it quickly becomes an uncertain topic of what causes an event to happen

Kevin, whilst i do generally agree that the origins of the Old Age of the Earth are based in the secular world view, and that many Christians have been convinced by the secular interpretation of the evidence that a 4.5 billion year old earth is true, i would like to add a caveat to your statements above…

We are extremely fortunate that Christ illustrated a relatively simple pathway towards salvation. He did not ask us to determine how old the earth is…that is not a pre requisite for salvation.

For me, what happens on this forum is a matter of conscience…not science. The bible clearly tells us that salvation very much rests on our listening to that still small voice that tries to guide us each day…hopefully the fruit of said guidance sees us following the following example given by Christ. I put forward the straight forward reading of the bible through a common reading and understanding of language…that is a universal fundamental everyone alive acknowledges. It is not interpreting the bible and it does not need corrupted claims of “ancient scholars say the earth is old”. The apostles Luke and Peter both say the Flood really happened exactly as illustrated in Genesis. They describe the literal destruction of Sodom and Gomorah, and go back before Creation to the casting out of heaven to this earth of Satan and the other angels who followed him…clearly the first Christian church was founded on a literal historical understanding of all of the Genesis writings of Moses.

But we should not forget the passion Christ had for others…

“in as much as you do it to the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me”. Matt 25.40 (text is from the sheep and the goats however, i think its forms part of the moral of the story of the Good Samaritan).

we are not saved by our works, but these demonstrate our intrinsic faith…we want to do good things because of that connection with the Gospel.

Im sure many here demonstrate that principle, even those who believe the earth is old, and its for this reason that i have a belief that some who do not believe in God will be in heaven. They do not acknowledge God, however, they listen to that still small voice and act accordingly without knowing the guidance is from the Holy Spirit.

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@St.Roymond there is a flat earther at my job who once gave me a twinkle of a look when in the midst of a heated discussion (not with me), I said that he was just pretending to be a flat earther. I said it in such a way in the moment, that the look could be taken either way. To this day I wonder about it.

Did you ever see the movie The Prestige?

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It is really not that simple. I would suggest doing a study on what it means to be the word of God. John says Jesus is the word. The word of God was around before it was written.

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No – every point is the origin point; every point is the center.

There is no such ‘where’ – as Solomon noted, the highest heavens can’t contain God, so certainly the universe can’t.

I weep for such students.

I really appreciated the pastor at the Lutheran church down the street a decade ago because he refused to sanction hosting a YEC speaker at the church.

I can see that. It makes me think, though, of a presentation a Lutheran pastor/priest made at a small conference concerning the difference between certainty and certitude, saying that certainty is something we manufacture in our own minds while certitude is something that rests on our trust in someone else.

Prove, no – but I would consider a Creator who did that to be a devil because that would make the whole universe a monumental set of lies.

I got the same argument from a fellow student – I’d say he was clinging to it – at a conference over a four-day weekend. I just pulled out my Novum Testamentum Graece and randomly opened to a page and pointed to all the variant readings at the page bottom, then flipped to another random page and did the same, then to another. I noted that none of those differences would be there if God hadn’t allow it – and that their very presence was a message that how to know what to believe was the wrong question; the right question is Whom to believe.

No, you put forward what you think it looks like to you based on a translation, with no thought for a need to actually study the text. You don’t even try to use the historical-grammatical method, which is the minimum bare-bones method for understanding the scriptures.

“Corrupted claims”?
It’s pretty seriously arrogant to out yourself above people who grew up reading Hebrew and devoted their lives to understanding it!

This reminds me of the time I encountered Hare Krishnas in O’Hare International Airport; they, too, had the idea that chanting something over and over gave it power.

Neither of them wrote about that.

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It’s also a false claim: not all those he listed are reported to have been told by God to write anything at all.

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Adam, thank you very much for the tone and focus of your comment! You say much with which I am in complete agreement, and also state something else that I very strongly believe: That God will decide who is saved and who is not, and you agree with me that we believe that this will include some people that many Christians say are going straight to hell.

I would just like to emphasize a couple of points about what I believe about evidence that exists in the created universe about God, and evidence in the bible about God.

First, there is no question in my mind about who put evidence into the created universe. If the evidence is there, God put it there. This is the basis for St. Roymond’s concern that, if the evidence that the universe is ancient is not true, then why did God put that false evidence into His creation? That is the question about evolution that anyone who wishes to argue for a 6000 year old earth must address, and not in a trivial manner. In order to claim a young earth, one must have an explanation for why God seems to indicate, in His creation, something very different.

Second is the question of unstated assumptions underlying the claim that the bible, as we read and understand it in the English language, can be interpreted as absolute truth from any perspective: historical, scientific, medical, philosophical, cultural, and any other perspective we can imagine. Assumptions include:

  1. We know which writings are God’s Word, and which are not; yes, we have some basis for selecting some things and rejecting others, but this basis does rely on human records, and human reasoning.
  2. We can interpret what was written to a different audience in a very different time and place just as if it had been written to us, in this time and place. The assumption claims that the purpose for which it was written does not change the truth or falsehood from any of the perspectives noted above. Yet, as St. Roymond has so eloquently pointed out, the purpose and literary form has a lot of influence on what the writing really meant to the original intended audience, and should certainly be considered in our interpretation of what the writing means to us today, in a very different cultural, scientific, and historical context.
  3. With respect to interpretation as absolute truth, there is the assumption that the source writing is known with perfect accuracy. I am not an authority on this subject, but I do think there are some places in the bible where there are differences among possible original source texts.
  4. With regard to the expectation that our English translation is adequately reflecting the absolute truth, I simply note that there are some rather significant variations in translations, and the fact remains that the English language is subject to misinterpretation in and of itself.

Bottom line: We do not know for sure what the absolute truth is; we do not know for sure everything that God wants us to do, or to not do. The real point here is just what Adam said, that God does not want us to just do exactly what He tells us to do. He wants us to use our best information, and use our best intentions, to show our love to others, not so that we will gain anything for ourselves, but to do good things for others because God (and Jesus) did so much for us.

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Now there’s a point I haven’t encountered since my first term in grad school! It was closely related to the question of the capacity of (fallen) human language to express divine thought.
Both these ideas were disturbing to many students; I just wanted to figure out how God got around the problem(s).

Last I knew there were more variant readings in the New Testament than there are verses. Of course the majority are spelling issues, word order, and similar items that don’t affect the meaning in the least, and many of the rest are obvious copy errors, but the ones that are worth serious consideration are nevertheless sufficient to tally up better than three out of five verses as having variant readings.

There wasn’t really a critical edition of the Hebrew when I was in grad school, and I would have to look to see if that has changed. When there aren’t many variants compared to the size of the text it is simpler to just print a companion booklet, which is what I expect to be the case.

Besides which it is impossible even in English to tell just by reading what genre is being used, especially when it comes to narrative – contrary to what is frequently insisted on, it is impossible to tell if narrative is meant historically or if it is pure fiction, or any possibility in between.

Which is why I so vehemently oppose YEC: of the various reasons that people left the faith or saw no point in listening during my university days, YEC was the most destructive.

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For many here, their conscience rejects the idea of people having to reject reality in order to be a Christian.

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Excellent summary; toss in archaeology and other disciplines that seek to understand the past.
But I think the “unjustified scientific gloss” is part and parcel of the “recent and extreme view of Genesis” for the simple reason that YEC does not emerge from actual study of the text, it emerges from imposing a worldview that elevates science (albeit shallowly understood) above the text.
For that matter, it would be accurate to assert that YEC requires a refusal to actually engage with the text.

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To use a Biblical analogy, YEC is like building your house on sand. The scientific gloss that YEC’s try to use is so easily shown to be false by those who are knowledgeable on the subjects. Much of this blame lies with YEC organizations who are run by people who should know better, but choose instead to take advantage of their audiences’ lack of scientific knowledge.

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I don’t think it has that firm a foundation – more like building your house on a mass of steel balls: it lurches back and forth, requiring constant shoring-up and patching, making it look more than a little ridiculous.

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From a theological position, you have virtually no biblical support for any of the views you post here that are against YEC. I post bible texts, you rarely ever refer to bible texts that challenge mine or that are in support of your view). You seem to focus mainly on what are clearly poetic verses to support false doctrine (such as Psalms 104) and ignore the texts that are clearly historical narrative showing times, dates, places, people, witnesses, events etc.

Prove the following are wrong (i could cite many more examples)

Exodus 20:8 (God blesses a specific day…its obviously not ambiguously referring to an ongoing creation, Moses and millions of Jews since have worshipped that same specific day - “religiously”)
8Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, but on the seventh day He rested. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

2 Peter 2 (The apostle Peter, the first Bishop of the Christian Church, clearly states that the flood and destruction of Sodom and Gomorah are real events in history)
5if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, among the eight; 6if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction,b reducing them to ashes as an example of what is coming on the ungodly;c 7and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless

The big problem i think with your view that we can take moses writings metaphorically or allegorically (whatever)…

these writings talk about the history of an entire race of people from Abraham to Christ and beyond.

That history continues on inclusive of other nations who fought wars against them and took them captive
(Egyptians, Amalekytes, Hittites, Babylonians, Persian, Greeks, Romans…)nations that we can show with loads of archeological evidence, not only really existed, but this evidence ties in with the biblical narratives. Its clearly real history.

thats a huge problem for the TEist world view…that is obviously using science to deny literal biblical history whilst also trying to use that same interpretation of science to prove Evolution is true whilst twisting the interpretations of the bible that it does not agree/align with. There is something massively wrong there…the two clearly dont align and for good reason…one is corrupted. Given most evolutionists today are not Christian, the corruption is very clearly not the bible narrative or its self evident meaning.

So either evolutionary science is right and the bible wrong, or YEC is in fact the correct view because YEC science aligns with the Bible narrative and history.

Then there is the 2012 Gallop poll data…which clearly demonstrates that most who leave Christianity do so because of evolution proving there is no God, not YEC doctrine about the age of the earth (which i argue falsifies your claim on these forums that its YEC that cause people to leave the faith). The bible actually supports the Gallop poll findings…“unbelief”.

Christians leave the faith according to the bible because of unbelief in the Gospel - that Christ came and died for sin and will come again and take us to heaven and restore this world back to its former glory. I dont see anything biblical there about age of the earth issues!

That’s why I don’[t cite any Bible verses – you don’t either, you just post your opinion that certain texts are “clearly historical narrative”.

I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: where in scripture do you find the statement that the scriptures intend to be scientifically and historically correct?

You continue to make your claims about Exodus and 2 Peter and elsewhere, but all you give is opinion; you have not answered the above question which would give us reason to give any credence to your opinion.
In short, you have not ever once addressed the fact that the scriptures are all ancient literature which were not written to satisfy your worldview, they were written within the worldview of the writers and their audiences. That means you are not following the historical-grammatical method because you’re throwing out the history part. Until you actually address the scriptures instead of your opinions about them there is no point in citing scripture as you will not hear it.

“Whatever” – a nice way to show you really don’t care about the text since it means you’re disrespecting the work of many, many good Christian scholars who have spent their lives laboring so you could have the benefit of actually learning about the scriptures instead of assuming you are able to do so without doing the necessary homework. It also shows you lack the respect for others here that would lead you to pay enough attention to be able to actually address others’ statements, you just diss everyone with “whatever”.

Well, at least you reference the part where something that at least resembles history-telling as we know it; where you fail is not recognizing that no single part of the Old Testament was written as what modern folks call “history” – none of it. They wrote theology, and the events they related were tools for telling their theology.

Your conclusion does not follow from your premise. The Jack Reacher books reference many events that really happened, and so also do Tom Clancy’s books, but that does not make them history, it only tells us that they were aware of certain historical events and included them as relevant to their story.

So? Why are you saying that to me? I don’t really care about your “TEist world view” because unlike you I do not rest any theology on science claims.

I don’t make claims, I point out facts – and the fact remains that at university I witnessed hundreds of students abandon their faith because they realized that their YEC pastors had lied to them, yet never once saw anyone abandon their faith because of evolution, in fact I saw people come to the faith because they had studied evolution – people who had been atheists or agnostics. I also observed that when Christian groups who insisted on YEC were out doing Gospel presentations in the quad others barely stopped to listen, while when Christian groups who respected the scriptures for what they are rather than forcing them to conform to a modern worldview were doing the same in the quad people paid attention.

That small set of facts is enough to conclude that YEC destroys faith while what you would call OEC does not – and the difference is simple: YEC makes people think the Bible is ignorant and false, so they turn their backs, while “OEC” allows people to realize that the Bible isn’t a science book, it’s a book about God and how He loves all people and watns the best for them.

And they come to that unbelief because YEC makes the Bible appear to be a collection of fantasy stories written by ignorant bronze-age sheep-herders, and they follow the YEC logic that if there is so much as one error in the Bible then none of it can be trusted.
That’s what happened to Bart Ehrman; no one sat down with him to point out that all the variant readings wouldn’t be there if God didn’t want them there, and thus that these flaws/errors in the scriptures had a message for us! No one bothered to explain to him what saints down the centuries have taught, that if what you believe makes the Bible look foolish then what you believe is wrong.

Yet YEC insists that there must be “age of the earth issues” – and thus drives people away!