I would say he is mistaken in his interpretation of God’s natural revelation. Just as people can be mistaken in their interpretation of God’s special revelation. The problem is he believes his interpretation of nature has to match his interpretation of scripture.
When talking about geology leave biology out. Biology says nothing about the age of the earth.
Yes I think so.
Notice it is faith and practice and not geology. It was a reaction to the Roman Catholic Church’s belief in the authority of the Church in addition to the authority of the Bible. There is much that science tells us that is not in the Bible.
Sorry but the age of the earth is not a conflict between Biblical and secular. There are many Christians that have no problem with an Earth that is 4 billion years old. And while Dr. Snelling can give his reasons for the cracks the final answer will be what does an examination of the rocks actually show?
This ( whether YEC scientists and some ID scientists are dishonest) is an issue I struggle with. I think that secular people in science do see them as dishonest, which is a real problem with acceptance of the gospel, but as Christians, I think we can see their position a bit better, and extend grace to their situation. I think Snelling and others in his position have a genuine commitment to their theology, and work to conform science to fit in that box. We are all subject to internal and external pressures that make us behave the way we do. We have peer pressure, tribal social pressure, financial considerations, family positions, and our own history that makes up our self-worth that forces us to rationalize and distort observations to conform to how we want to see them. Is that dishonest or just human?
I think I’d partly agree with you there Phil. I personally believe that we should give YECs the benefit of the doubt wherever we can. Quote mining is one example here: I’d reckon that probably about half of the examples on the Talk Origins “quote mine project” are more a case of misunderstanding than anything else.
However, when someone is making claims that they know – or should reasonably be expected to know – to be false, and when there is clear evidence that they have taken steps to conceal the falsehood of those claims from their audience (for example, by placing people in front of rock fractures that they claim not to exist), it’s very, very difficult to see how such claims could be made in good faith.
In any case, James 3:1 tells us, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Anyone who teaches – on any subject, whether in church or elsewhere – is in a position of trust, and for them to fail to ensure that their claims are factually accurate is a breach of that trust. Especially if it concerns matters that they claim to be important, or if they are flaunting their credentials as experts in the subject.
I agree that willfully hiding or distorting facts goes into the realm of deception and lies, and thus the struggle I have with it. And certainly those who have greater knowledge of the subject and who claim expertise should be held to a higher standard as they cannot make ignorance a defense. Considering that, I think we still need to give grace when possible, and try to be aware of our own blind spots.
This. I can understand what these scientists are doing, and I can give them grace for interpreting things differently or glossing over some information. But when they flat out lie and know better, I have a hard time with that. Not everything is an obvious lie, and I do try to give them the benefit of the doubt. But there are times that it has to be a lie, given their expected knowledge of the field.
But if we think that our interpretation of Scripture is right, we think that we are teaching from a position of strength. We don’t think we have to study science, do we?. In “Four Views on the Historical Adam,” the Bible scholar William Barrick said that we should interpret science through the lens of the Bible–thus, only if it fits with one’s interpretation is it considered valid science.
Now, I fully agree with @jpm about conscience–it can be a shock to realize (I was shocked) how far off the mark I was taking things with YEC. Ed Stetzer, who has written in Christianity Today often, remarked how often we polarize in politics–liberals and conservatives blaming the others for not viewing the facts right when they defend their leaders. However, there is a lot of wiggle room–I can go a long way in one direction before actually being aware of prejudice.
Even though lies do not support the Bible, it is unfortunately true there are those that call themselves supporting it with lies.
From your statements, especially, “Snelling’s colleagues won’t rebuke him,” should I arrive to the conclusion that all YECs are dishonest and are scientifically in error?
Please show me “scientific proof” that you are without sin. The six thousand year time frame was not arrived by any man’s conclusion. The irrefutable Bible informed us of it. Did it not? Who told you that this time frame is a lie? Are the people you spoke of liars? Matter looks like antimatter to antimatter. As JPM suggests, shouldn’t we be careful about pressing lots of charges too quickly? As for me, I only know that the people you spoke of are a fine people.
But isn’t there also cosmological evolution that supposedly requires mega-annum and supposedly occurred before biological creatures evolved?
But the fact that some Christians have no problem with the earth being millions of years old is only another cause of division between Christians. Hence the Creationist vs Young-Earth Creationists division.
Thanks for helping us avoid the strawmania epidemic. However, let’s not forget that when actual truth is revealed, properly understood and heeded, wouldn’t opposing parties be unified? They should be.
But if division yet continues with both sides thinking themselves right, then either one or both parties have rejected the truth to keep their opposing views and thus maintain the division despite the truth.
Yeah I know. The other party is always supposedly the one that’s at fault. But Mr. Reality will one day or another have his final say. What do we imperfect “smart” beings depend on for our most reliable guide to assure ourselves on His side?
Yes, we humans have the fallen nature that we must keep our eye on.
You are correct that Snelling is genuinely committed to his work but is he doing it by trying to conform science to fit in a theological box? Can science be made to fit into a theology box or vice versa? Both unfortunately tend to be attempted by some. I only know that Newton, Kepler, and pioneering scientists like them were inspired and guided by the Biblical creation record toward their findings. No shoehorning was necessary for the harmonious relationship between the two diciplines.
Shoehorning is “necessary” only for serpentine science that bears a similar description to that of an amoeba’s “leg.” Didn’t Paul inform us, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables…(2 Peter 1:16)?” A proposed thought or idea either fits the Bible or it doesn’t.
We engage in a heated discussion over whose conclusions about cracks and bends in rock formations are right or wrong or what may or may not fit within the 6K year time frame. What are the gigantic stakes that arouse so much heat?
I only know the danger of the possibility that much unnecessary controversy especially about the Bible may lure some away from its settled truth. I also know there are underground groups floating around that seek to use controversy as their primary weapon for luring societies astray to weaken them. Much damage has been done. We are thus vigilant that we not find ourselves unknowingly trapped by them, aren’t we?
How about the truth that the Bible doesn’t address?
God created the lights in the heavens but didn’t tell us about nuclear fusion.
God created the sun and moon for signs and seasons but didn’t tell us about gravity and orbits.
God commanded the waters to bring forth life but didn’t tell us about evolution.
I will leave out the plate tectonics part because of divided views that may create another hot discussion similar to what we are already in.
As for the rest, I’m only able to scripturally trace the items you mentioned indirectly:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth, . . . (Genesis 1:26).”
From the part, “over all the earth,” we see that God gave man (that’s made in His image) the ability to manage the earth and thus enabled him to explore and learn nature’s secrets to put them to use. That of course include knowledge of the items you mentioned. The next scripture contains words of caution:
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).”
That includes continual learning of super scientific knowledge that includes the things you mentioned. But I didn’t include the explanation why they can’t come to the knowledge of truth that follows. Caution!
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen (St. John 21:25).
That would only cover the things Jesus did during His lifetime on earth. From that, we see that if what you mentioned is included in the Bible, much other scientific knowledge must also be included that would cause the Bible to be yet bigger than described in the scripture above.
What about the total knowledge that God has that includes the number of hairs on your head and the total number of stars? The tremendous technology known to us today is hardly a scratch on the surface!
Gotcha(!!!) on the last one!
“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day (Genesis 2:31).”
As for what God said is very good prior to the fall, did that include mega-annum of death, destruction, and disease that occurred prior to Adam and Eve? Huh?
Yeah I know that you heard this before by those “ol bad guys (You know who I’m talking about).” I’m only repeating it. From here, we see how added man-made dogma rips apart the message of the fall of man and the redemption offered.
Ussher’s conclusions were based on what he read. Were they not? Biblical knowledge has been under attack throughout history.
It is sad and heartbreaking to learn of terrible bloopers by well respected individuals. Remember King David? I learned something of Newton that grieved me far more than what you told. But my references to him were only about his good accomplishments. Luther had his problems. These serve only as warnings for our own personal vigilance.
I am anxious to hear yall’s side of why the stakes are so very high for yall’s need to protect evolutionary dogma.
That isn’t what we’re about. We’re about disentangling organized Christianity from outright falsehoods that some still bind together with it. Scientific theories stand or fall in the long term on their own merits. So “evolutionary theory” no more needs protecting than the assertion that the sky is blue. Even if dissenters in some of these things ever got the upper hand in public discourse, they would still have reality to worry about every time they and others stepped outside and looked up.
As a Texan, I must interject that it is correctly spelled “y’all’” as it is a contraction of “you all.”
Next, evolutionary theory is ultimately not what I am defending but rather is just a side issue. Like any scientific premise, it stands or falls on the data and observations made, on the merits of the argument. Now, since the data supports it strongly, and new data bolsters that support and fits into the framework every time a new fossil is found or more genetic sequencing is done, it remains a very strong argument.
What is ultimately defended is whether the Bible speaks to truth, and whether that truth is about God and our relationship to him, or whether it is about science projects and history factoids. Face it, you can accept a young earth and fully accept Walton’s interpretation of Genesis (you would not have much to stand on, but you could believe it anyway with no contradiction). The stakes are high as they are literally the souls of those lost when they are unable to reconcile their faith taught dependent on a young world with the world they see around them, and then abandon faith altogether. Perhaps they would anyway, but evolutionary creationism allows for the integration of faith and observations about creation in a meaningful way should they wish to follow that path.
No, that’s not at all what I said. I specifically said “Snelling’s colleagues”. The ones who work at AIG with him have to sign the same statement of faith that he did. They cannot say he’s wrong, because that would admit the earth is old, and that specifically goes against their statement of faith that they signed. They’d lose their jobs.
Huh? What does this have to do with me? Are you referring to the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery in John 8? You do realize that the “He who is without sin” comment is referring to the people who had brought the woman to him without bringing the man?Leviticus 20:10 says they’re supposed to put both the adulterer and the adulteress to death. They had only brought the woman, going against the law. Their actions were sinful.
John 7:24 says to judge with right judgment. Galatians 6:1 talks about restoring a brother in sin - you’d need to judge them to be in sin in order to do that.
I can say that I have not posted a blog post lying about scientific evidence (or evidence of anything in my own related field), so no plank in my eye on this subject.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say when the earth was created. That time frame was arrived at by Ussher, a man, who was not inspired. There are many possible interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis. You seem to be dogmatic about your particular interpretation. Have you held the same opinion about every verse in the Bible over the years? Every godly Christian I know has changed their mind about what something in the Bible means. So if you have ever changed your mind about a verse or passage, what makes you think you can’t be wrong about Genesis 1-11? I certainly could be wrong about my current interpretation. Thankfully, the theological message is quite clear, and I suspect you and I would both agree on that message.
Bishop Ussher failed to recognize the regnal nature of the lists in Genesis 4, 5, 10, 11, 25 and 36. Anthropological research, drawing on kinship analysis, has demonstrated that these were rulers and they had a common marriage and ascendancy pattern that has been shown to be authentic. The pattern can be traced in other books of the Bible as well.
Thank you for saying that scientific theories stand and fall on their own merit. The leg that Darwin hoped it would stand on (discovery of transitional fossils) did not appear and what were thought to be this leg were disproved. What other legs are there? Are there any supporting scientific laws? Biblical truth has plenty of support even from scientists and is gaining.
I must stop now because my time has been cut short. I look forward to return to answer all of your questions as well as those of the rest of you guys.