Leaving fundamentalist faith and the compatibility of Christianity and evolution (spin-off)

This is not the right way to put it. This raises several unnecessary points of confusion. Nothing in evolution undermines the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.

I, for one, affirm that the Bible is infallible and inerrant in all it affirms.

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I know exactly what you are attempting to say. It is widely accepted that many YEC’s consider Genesis to be a history book… and that the story of Noah may have actually come from his diary, and some such “stuff” as that.

@Swamidass feels confident that anything that “appears” to be in error in the Bible is merely not being sufficiently “interpreted” by the human readers.

Whereas I myself feel that there are obvious limits and errors incorporated into the text, because I don’t see how we could expect a human brain to transcribe any inspiration perfectly, even if the inspiration was a “word-for-word” tape recording of what God wanted the Scribe to write.

The Tower of Babylon is in Genesis, not because those events happened, but because the Jewish scribes (like later Catholic Bishops) wanted to take a pagan story and make it a celebration of Yahweh. This is not shocking stuff… it is to be expected.

For example, Herodotus (circa 400’s BCE) tells us a great story of the Magophonia … aka, “The Slaughter of the Magi”!!! This was the take-over bid by the priestly Caste of the Persians (the Magi of the Medes) of the whole Persian Empire. And in the version Herodotus tells us, the “night of the long knives” permanently sets back the Persian priesthood, and made into an annual holiday where the Magi (if they want to avoid being lynched or beaten) stayed indoors away from the crowds celebrating the Magi slaughter of years before!

But there is another version of the Slaughter of the Magi. It is Esther! And instead of telling it like Herodotus, the Book of Esther says that the original target of the “slaughter” would be the Jews… by the Magi. And the whole thing blows up in their faces, and they become the persecuted targets!

Pretty clever writing. But I’m pretty sure Herodotus had less reason to distort the story line than the Jewish priests did.

Saying much the same thing, I like the phrase, "
The Bible is perfect In respect to purpose. "
I know we have covered this before, but here is a link to Roger Olsen’s take on it.http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/06/further-thoughts-on-why-inerrancy-is-problematic/

And Jesus is the bridegroom, who will one day marry lots and lots of women (and men)!

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“Inerrancy of purpose” was the position of my senior year apologetics teacher. Interesting view. I don’t think it does justice to what the Bible claims to be, though.

“Your definition of fundamentalist faith is just plain wrong.”

The foundation of fundamentalist faith is the primacy of Scriptures. In my humble opinion, 2 Tim 3:16 expresses this doctrine very well.

“Clearly, my version of Christianity rooted in Jesus is compatible with evolution. Your version, which emphasizes ID is not”

I could not disagree with you more. The grand claims of evolution are nowhere to be found in the Scriptures. A few months ago you posted in another thread that Genesis states God Created life over long periods of time. This is a more pernicious view of the plain Word than that urged by the folks at AIG. Such a concept can be found nowhere in Genesis or any other book of the Bible. On the other hand, the whole counsel of God (in other words, all of Scripture - not merely Genesis 1, as many brothers and sisters who haunt these forums would like to believe) emphasizes many times in many ways that God has Created us directly, through primary causation, and that moreover, this is evident; i.e., there is evidence of this fact (Romans 1). ID claims that this evidence exists. Thus, for what it’s worth, a Christianity that acknowledges this evidence exists is wholly compatible with a Christianity rooted in Jesus. On the other hand, a Christianity rooted in Jesus is clearly not compatible with the grand claims of evolution, especially when those claims are accompanied by a denial that life bears evidence of intelligent design. One should require nothing more than Luke’s geneology of Jesus to settle that issue.

“Please explain to me why I am not a follower of Jesus”

I never said or inferred that you weren’t.

“Do you think I am on the road to atheism?”

That’s not my claim. Rather, I am saying that the grand claims of evolution are an open door to atheism. I am glad that you embrace 2 Tim 3:16. However, you need do no more than glance at a couple of the replies downstream from your own to see first hand the corrosive power of these claims: Cosmicscotus denies the historicity of the the Bible. gbrooks9 is much bolder, claiming that errors in Scripture are obvious. Elsewhere, he has stated that Paul was plain wrong about Adam. He is by no means alone among ECs. These sort of claims are born not of a beleif in God and His Word, but of a willingness to believe in the grand claims of evolution in spite of what the Scriptures say. This open door that I speak of is one that lured me right out of the church and into atheism, and as I have born withness in previous posts (having named many names), I am by no means alone. By His grace and the prayers of many, I found my way back. So have some others. Many others have not. And frankly, the scope of denial about this fact on these pages gives me great grief.

I have said it before and will say it again, Joshua. As far as I can discern, you are a brother in the Lord. But let me put all of the cards on the table here: Time is very short. The time for any soft pedalling is over. Very soon, this world will be a very different place than it is now. Jesus is coming back very soon and He is going to demand an accounting of all of us. The Scriptures testify (all of them, from Genesis to Revelation) that He is our (direct) Creator. We are without excuse and if we deny him (which, by the way, I believe to my great sadness, many of the brothers and sisters over at the DI are doing), He will deny us.

Believe it or not, the only reason I came back here was out of love and His direct command to me to tell His people that He is Coming very soon.

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“Likewise, the Chicago Statement view of inerrancy says that if the Bible says ©reation happened during six mornings and evenings, then by golly God’s word was finsihed after exactly 144 hours”

Hi Chris…

I am confident that you will agree with me that His Word is magestic and alive and applicapble to all generations, and that it is a most worthy endeavor on our part to spend the time to seek the truth He has blessed us with.

Now I do not speak paleo-Hebrew, but as I understand it from Hebrew scholars, the word for evening can also mean “chaos,” and the word for morning can also mean “order.” Moreover, I understand from scientific revelation that time is relative. Therefore six days and six nights from the perspective of the planet we are inhabiting fall into the 144 hour context of a 16 bilion year old universe. Yet there are other parts of the universe where the 144 hour context of six days and six nights constitutes the entire six day old universe.

There are many Jewish scholars who predate Darwin’s theory by many centuries who teach that Genesis gives us two different cosmic clocks, so to speak: one which takes us from the beginning of the universe, time and space, and which is given from the perspective of the beginning of the universe, and the other which begins with the dawn of man (Adam) and is given from our familiar earth based perspective.

Therefore, if we are willing to consider such things, we can easily embrace the inerrancy of a Scripture that speaks of a literal six day universe that is about 16 BYO from our perspective.

Just a little food for thought from an old earth ID fundamentalist Christian.

p.s. the clock is about to strike midnight at the end of day six, brother!

By that definition I am a @deliberateresult version of fundamentalism then.

The only way you could possibly disagree is with several non-sequitors…

Well I do not ascribe to the “grand claims” of evolution.

And modern medicine is not found in scripture.
Computer science is not found in scripture.
Indian food is not found in scripture.

I will make the crazy assumption that these things are all still compatible with a Jesus-centered Christianity.

So this point fails on the facts and basic logic.

That is what the plain reading teaches. God appears to have created life over long periods of time in Genesis. You can take that up with Hugh Ross at Reasons to Believe, because is not really about evolution any ways.

Regardless, you are kinda making my point. In a Jesus centered Christianity, this does not matter so much any ways. We can be wrong about side issues, and look instead to Jesus as the author and perfecter of our faith.

This is false. The Genesis teaches life was create indirectly. The land and the water give forth plants and animals of many kind. Subject-verb-object. The subject is the land and water, not God. That is the plain reading of Genesis.

I totally agree that evidence exist. I do not, however, think that 1 + 1 = 3 is evidence for God. It is just bad math. That is why I reject ID.

Exactly. That is why I acknowledge evidence.

I do not deny this. Life bears evidence of intelligent design that science cannot see, but we can.

At yet you have not yet produced one place where my faith is not rooted in Jesus. Remember, I do not affirm the grand claims of evolution.

Sounds like you are saying I do not have a Jesus rooted faith.

And if you follow me, I disagree with all of this.

I hold the Bible is inerrant and infallible in all that it affirms. I think they are in error, but their error has nothing to do with evolution.

Please watch one of my Veritas Forums and explain how I deny Jesus.

A reminder of the initial position, before the obfuscating diversions:

>George: As soon as you read Job’s description of snow and hail being stored in warehouses in Heaven, how could anyone claim inerrancy?

> Beaglelady: You can always dance around the issue and claim that it doesn’t really say what it says. It’s a favorite tactic.

So, you allow metaphor in New Testament apocalyptic (the sword in the mouth of the rider on the white horse), and in Jesus’s parables (he is the bridegroom - I take it for granted that your irony is flippant); but call allowing for metaphor in Old Testament wisdom poetry “dancing round the issue” and “a favourite tactic”. Yet the genre is full of such picturesque metaphors not only in Job (eg the description of leviathan) but in Proverbs (descriptions of personified Wisdom and folly) and even the dozen or so wisdom psalms.

So it looks very much as though your “dancing round the issue” is simply sound exegesis against cynical literalism - not that I’d ever suspect anyone here of cynicism, of course.

BTW, here in the UK “bollocks” is considered an obscenity. I don’t know about the US, but you might wish to consider that this Christian blog has an international readership.


Nicely done! Exactly. The land and the water bring forth life. And ultimately God is behind that, or the same as that. The Hebrew intentionally provides a duplicate intensification of these events … making it clear that God’s work is accomplished via the natural realm…

… like when it Rains. It is God’s rain to make, but nobody doubts that convection currents were also involved.

The poetry is “true,” in that what it means (that God controls the winds and the rains through his mysterious mechanisms, many of which science has since discovered) is true. Taken “literally,” we know that there are no storehouses above the firmament because of astronomy and such, so we interpret those words figuratively, taking them to be a figure of speech used to communicate the above truth.

Perhaps this is arbitrary, but I think it makes sense. The poetry in the Bible is true (because the Bible is true), but since it is poetry, it follows different rules than would a set of propositional statements like a historical narrative.

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Even in this country alone a word can have multiple meanings. Sometimes a word can have both an innocent meaning and a crude one. Therefore, nobody with the first name of “D*ck” should be allowed to register here.

Can’t find Joshua’s original here, but it seems a little disingenuous. Genesis indeed says “Let the earth bring forth”, but then immediately adds “So God made…”.

Any conclusion about direct- or indirect- causation is therefore risky. Michaelangelo could equally say, “Let this marble bring forth David!” and immediately set to work with his chisel.

The meaning of Genesis is, to me, plainly to show the dependance of all life on the earth (which in context, means the ground, eretz, not the planet). It’s as wrong to read secondary causation into Genesis 1 as it is to read a vapour canopy into Genesis 2.

Are you conceding here, Jon, that the canopy actually is a solid dome, then? I ask because I want to make sure this isn’t a typo or just me misunderstanding … perhaps you are here just temporarily “stepping into” others’ shoes and views in order to highlight an hermeneutical inconsistency?

The reason I ask is because if I’m not mistaken you’ve expended considerable effort attacking the solid dome canopy view.

Not at all Merv - I’ve not seen any convincing evidence for a solid dome anywhere in the Hebrew Bible, nor anywhere in the ancient near east, come to that. As you know I’ve done numerous posts on that on The Hump of the Camel, including detailed exegesis of all the “problem” texts (in fact, pretty well all relevant the Old Testament passages). The Hump server seems to be down currently, so I can’t give links. [edit - back online, so interested persons may start here and work forward.]

There is, however, plenty of evidence for solid domes in nineteenth century reconstructions, and for a number of concentric, circular crystal spheres in later Greek “ptolemaic” cosmology, which influenced some Hellenistic Jews such as the Septuagint translators, but that’s also centuries after the event.

No, the “vapour canopy” was a specific idea in vogue amongst YECs for a while, to account for the lack of rain in Genesis 2. A thick canopy of water vapour was postulated, which condensed out eventually at the time of Noah’s Flood. It’s an example of gross speculation, intended to inject a modern (scientific literalist) understanding into the text on scant evidence.

The reading of indirect causation into 1.11 and 1.24 seems to me the same kind of process for a different motive - to accommodate Genesis 1 to evolutionary thinking, quite anachronistically. This is clear in various ways, the first (as I said before) being the parallel of “Let the land produce…” in v25 with “God made… according to their kinds” in v25.

A second parallel with the maritime and air creatures on Day 5 also shows that “processes in nature” are not what is intended at all, for the equivalent of “Let the earth bring forth…” is there “Let the waters teem… and let birds fly in the firmament”; and the equivalent of “God made” is “God created”. This shows that what is in mind is the particular realm and its divinely-created occupants (sea/fish - air/birds - land/animals), and not “natural causation”. Natural (indirect) causation is itself an anachronistic idea, for in the ancient world generally, and not just the Hebrew, personal causation was universal, and there was no concept of “nature” until the Greeks invented “cosmos” many centuries later, and Aristotle (I believe) spoke of “secondary causes” for the first time.

Hence, even in “present” times, Ps 104, far from attributing the initial creation to subsidiary natural causes, attributes the annual growth of crops to God (v14-15) and the creation (bara) of each new genaration to the sending of his Spirit (v30). Plus the active agency of God in all the other things in the psalm. The nearest I can see to secondary causation is that the sun knows when to go down - but that is at the same time when God brings darkness.

In any case, in evolutionary terms the land (eretz) brought forth no new life at all, animal or palant, for it all began in the seas, which conspicuously do not bring forth anything in Genesis.

@Jon_Garvey, you are in the wrong part of Genesis.

I’ll get you the part that @Swamidass is relying upon… to good effect I would say!

@Jon_Garvey, let me help you locate the exact texts:

Gen 1:24
And God said,
Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, [[ “let the earth” << Like so]]
cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Gen 1:25
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, [[ << like so]]
and cattle after their kind,
and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Verse 25 is an intentional duplicate and “intensification” of how the living creatures were
brought forth … and that God was behind the process as well.

As to your comment about “evolution” occurring in the oceans:
“In any case, in evolutionary terms the land (eretz) brought forth no new life at all, animal or plant, for it all began in the seas, which conspicuously do not bring forth anything in Genesis.”

I think this is a quibble. If the symbolism is God creating, I don’t really see how the Genesis scribe could explain why God was “creating” a Cow in the middle of the ocean.

As it stands, there is a verse about God letting the “waters bring forth” life:

Gen 1:20
"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life…"
which is then duplicated by

Gen 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."


@gbrooks9 is right…

@Jon_Garvey’s comment is false.

It says the water gave forth birds and sea creatures of many kinds.

Read the whole passage. I’m quoting from memory to encourage people to actually read the passage and put it here. To be clear, also, I am mirroring the subject-verb-object of hebrew in my paraphrase:

The land gave forth plants of many kinds
The water gave forth sea creatures and birds of many kinds
The land gave forth animals of many kinds
God created…

Which I read as a clear statement that God uses secondary causes to create, and still says that He Himself did the creating. I can’t get more providential than this.



We have primarily a linguistic thing here, it seems. The devil is in the detail, if we’re going to use detail “bring forth” to imply secondary “natural” causation.

I cite Gordon Wenham’s commentary. “Let the earth produce” in v24 is certainly there (and of the ambiguity I suggest above).

But in v20 the literal meaning is "Let the waters swarm with swarming things (verb with its cognate noun). “Bring forth” is a paraphrastic translation. To quote Wenham:

Usually this stem refers to movement… but it carries with it overtones of abundant fertility.

Regarding birds, the verb is “fly about”, having much the same “swarming” idea.

In verse 11 a similar construction is actually used: “Let the earth grow green with grass” is the closest literal sense Wenham gives it that makes sense in English. Again, fertility and abundance is the issue, not process. Grass grows on the earth, sea creatures swarm in the water and birds in the air, and the earth swarms with animals. Job done.

So why, exactly, would the text wish to introduce any element of self-sufficient creativity through such language?

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