Science VS, Faith

(Shawn T Murphy) #41

Dear Heddie,
I think you missed the point. True faith in Jesus’ salvation is that He came to restore all of God’s children - even the Prodigal Son, Lucifer. There is no modern Christian theology that supports full restoration and it takes pure love to have faith that all your enemies will be restored as I do.
Best wishes, Shawn


I’d offer a slightly different view, as this idea can promote a rationalistic approach that points toward decisionism. In other words, the idea that faith is an intellectual decision made based upon a satisfactory view of evidence. And indeed much of evangelicalism would take such an approach pictured in the Josh McDowell (Evidence that Demands a Verdict) train locomotive model of Facts/Faith/Feeling, in that order.

Romans 10:17 would say however that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So the objective proclamation of the Gospel comes first which produces the faith which believes the promises of God. All the Hebrew 11 people mentioned had some objective message, warning, encounter, or understanding of God to which they responded or appealed, without which their faith has nothing to hang its hat on. But it’s totally opposite from an intellectually-based approach to evidence. It’s not “blind” faith in the sense it has nothing to believe, but neither is it rationally formulated, which I think, was what Cindy @cbest77 was referring to. What’s different for us today is that we have the written scripture to act as a norm and rule for our faith. It’s not to say our faith doesn’t have a historical element but that faith comes first which allows us to trust the historical record of Christ, rather than a rational understanding of the history leading us to faith.

Anyway that’s my take on it. Blessings.

(Cindy) #43

@EvolvingLutheran YES! Thank you. That is what I meant. I do not believe Christ wants us walking around with our heads in the clouds. Our faith comes from what we have seen heard read through the Lord not Science.

And I am not saying that science doesn’t play a role in the Bible. However my belief is that when you need science to offer you proof before you believe that is not faith.
My bigger issues are that as believers we are raising questions about the integrity and “intent” of the Bible- ie. creation- If one part of the Bible is false then it’s all false.

I had forgot about that book thanks!


Glad it helped! Yes, there will be questions raised but I’ve found that as long as one doesn’t approach Scripture from a fundamentalist perspective, or conversely with rationalistic principles of higher criticism, there’s no need for fear. And just because one’s view regarding how one understands a certain portion of the scripture changes, doesn’t mean it is untrue or that the rest of scripture is untrue. The principles of higher criticism are steeped in skepticism and rationalism making them part of the problem.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #45

Are you saying that Stalin will be restored as the absolute dictator over the USSR? How about Saddam Hussain?

(Shawn T Murphy) #46

No, in the 3 billion years of life left in this planet, all of those will have multiple opportunities to reconcile with God. Why else would He send His only Son, just to save a few Christians? NO, all of His children.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #47

Some people pf God might not want to be reconcile4d with others, unless on their own terms. God is good in that God does force people to be good. If some people, some angels even, choose hell over heaven, that is their decision, not mine or yours. Should God be forced to enforce segregation and heaven so David Duke will feel comfortable there?

(Shawn T Murphy) #48

No Roger, you know the entry criteria to the Kingdom of God - Love thy enemies and become perfect as God (Matt 5:44–48). It is just that God is infinitely patient and has karma on His side - making life so difficult that people eventually turn to HIm.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #49

Say rather that David Duke will one day look back with horrified loathing at the racist evil to which he was so-enslaved. And he will seek out and tearfully petition for the forgiveness of those he had wronged and considered his enemies. THAT is a picture of the eschaton where “lions” and “lambs” are now playing together and snakes no longer hold fear for children. And they [victims] will (maybe not all right away) joyfully forgive their penitent oppressors too [or deeply pity them with a forgiveness at the ready for those not yet penitent], as they must if they want to let go of the hate that had so-long oppressed their lives. Some forgiveness may take a long time and a lot of hell before we are ready to give or receive it, but it will never be forced. We all have our sins we are mightily attached to. Yet in the end, when we see ourselves with God’s eyes we will thank him for any suffering necessary to purify us of the putrid filth we had so taken a fancy to.

“The man is not yet saved who would prefer his own sin to hell.”
-George MacDonald (paraphrased from his unspoken “Justice” sermon I believe.)

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #50

You may be right and it would be nice if you are, but I am very skeptical. In any case it is in God’s hands and not ours. I would still say that it is up to the choice of the sinner and not the choice of God Who definitely would prefer that every one repent.

We must still be aware that we are dealing with the human will, which is very capable of self pride and self deception. Also since it seems that time stops at death and we step into eternity, so quite possibly we cannot fundamentally change once life is over.

Certainly I do not know and as I said it is up to God how we are judged. I trust in God to judge rightly, which means I am unable to judge anyone, but myself. I would say that anyone who expecting to be saved on his/her death bed is very foolish. Not that it can’t happen, because it certainly can, but we cannot turn sin on and off.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #51

Absolutely Amen to everything you wrote, Roger, except probably the above quoted snippet. And even that, given your “quite possibly” qualifier is cautious enough that there isn’t much room for disagreement. I can only hope it’s wrong and that Christ’s grace will end up being sufficient even ultimately for those whose lives were suddenly taken from them before they had gone through all needed change/repentance. Indeed - wouldn’t that be most all of us actually since how many of us would claim on our deathbeds that we had absolutely no un-repented sin left anywhere in our lives? So while you are right to admonish against the foolishness of putting reconciliation and repentance off as some end-of-life task, I will yet maintain that my hope rests 100% on Christ and 0% on my ability to get everything right - and righted - before I die.

Absolutely! And I’m not sure why you think that isn’t consonant with MacDonald’s expressed thought. In fact, it is under more traditional Calvinist-like understandings where we find repentance severely curtailed as impossible for all but a few elect. It’s more universal application happily comes in with the realization that Christ’s grace is not limited by our highly contrived and elaborate theological systems. We all face whatever suffering is needed, up to and including hell (many indeed get a head start on that with what they go through while they are still here!). And we are all loved and sought to the utmost ends of ourselves by the good shepherd, who never gives up and never declares of us: “now that lost one wondered too far … their most awful sin has over-reached and proven more powerful than my offered grace.”

Hell , death and the 2nd death?
(Roger A. Sawtelle) #52

Probably what most people do not understand is that there are two interpretations of Christian salvation, the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.

The Roman view is that if you are baptized, you are saved, which is why the want all babies baptized, esp. those not expected to live long. If you are baptized and not excommunicated and die, e4ven if you have not lived a very good life, you do not go to hell, but to purgatory until you have been purged of sin and ready to go to heaven.

The Protestant view is that you are saved of you have confessed your sins and have allowed Jesus to be Lord of your life. When that is the case you have received the gift Eternal Life which cannot be taken away from you. You would have to renounce it. If you are in Jesus for real then you do not have to worry about Hell and sin taking away your salvation. This is the meaning of peace and joy in Jesus Christ.


To be accurate, Lutherans also espouse baptismal regeneration. We see it as a means of grace in which the Word of God is comprehended in and with the water. We say with 1 Pet 3:21-22 that baptism saves because Jesus saves and baptism is how God grafts us into Jesus. It’s God’s work not ours. And while it is a hard distinction to explain, we agree with credo-baptists that faith is a prerequisite for baptism, we disagree with them over an infants ability to have faith. We also renounce RC belief on purgatory. I don’t introduce this to convince ya’ll to agree with me. I know you won’t. This isn’t meant to provoke a sidebar discussion. Just want to draw attention to the fact that it’s not as stark as RC v. Protestant when it comes to baptism. Peace!

(Shawn T Murphy) #54

So to be clear, what do you believe happens to those who do not have faith in Jesus or practice a non-christian belief? You said you reject purgatory, but what about eternal damnation?


I’m just clarifying a point made, not starting a sidebar. It’s not really a Science Vs. Faith question.

(Shawn T Murphy) #56

For me, eternal damnation is a science vs faith question as there is no scientific support for permanentcy or total destruction.
Best Wishes, Shawn


Right. And on the flip side, where would the scientific support be for universalism? It’s still a theological/faith question one can only argue from Scripture, which would be non-scientific aside from the principles of proper exegesis and hermeneutics. Unless of course, you’re promoting special knowledge from communing with the dead as measurable testable repeatable science. Peace.

(Shawn T Murphy) #58

No, I am not communicating with the dead. Starting with the Earth, it constantly recycles itself through plate tectonics, remelting the old plates and creating new ones from the same material. This recycling goes through every aspect of the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. Evolution is a well documented process of slow improvements over millions of years. Why should the human soul violate any of these principles. In fact, there is limited science to demonstrate that soul actually gets recycled. (Stevenson, Tucker, et al.) Now, the flip side. There is plenty biblical reverence to a slow, recycling of the soul. The Apocatastasis documented this very well.

So, again, do you support eternal damnation?

(Mitchell W McKain) #59

For believing the wrong things? No.
As something somebody else does to you because you don’t live up to their ideal? No.
As something people do to themselves because of self-destructive habits? Yes.


It’s conjecture. While the natural items you mentioned are measurable, this is not. They are two different categories of things.

The ἀποκατάστᾰσις is a concept, not a measurable thing. And as a concept it is disputed and rejected as error by the church.

Yes, Scripture proclaims eternal punishment for all who reject the Gospel and refuse Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sin upon the Cross, and fail to repent of their unbelief unto death.