Two legitimate questions: the book of Revelation and the deism issue

I have been approached with two legitimate questions I need your thoughts to answer.

From young earth creationists
“If Genesis is not literally true, how do you know Revelation is true about our eternal hope Christ is coming back to clean up this mess of a world?”

From ID
“I can’t tell the difference between evolutionary creationism and deism. God seems to be in a hands off position in both as far as the functioning and origin of the universe. Atheists and Christians are doing science in exactly the same way. EC doesn’t reveal design and purpose because it is structurally in no way different from the science of atheists. So what tells me God is personally engaged with his creation in the EC paradigm?”


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My off-the-cuff layperson’s responses, for what they’re worth…

I would probably say to this that “literally true” is not a synonym for “lie.” Just the first few chapters of Genesis present many truths – God is the creator, God made humans in his image, what God made is “very good,” etc. I’m sure most Christians would agree that many parts of Revelation are also not intended to be “literally true” as if they were journalism, but rather use symbolism to present truths of the past, present, and future, and the “big picture” truth is essential – Jesus is king.

God tells you. This sounds like trying to use science to “prove” something about God – trying to drag the supernatural down to realm of naturalism, which is not how we should treat God. Is it the job of science to “reveal design and purpose”? Purpose in a big-picture sense seems to me more of a philosophical topic, and expecting science to provide that is asking too much of science. EC does not mean that God is “hands off.” It just means that we shouldn’t expect to find some kind of signature or proof of the supernatural by using the scientific method.

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It would be a most curious thing indeed if a religious person’s science looked different than any other science. Scientists observe and measure things. Is there a uniquely Christian way to do that? I’m curious what it is … and if there is no difference, then I guess I would complain to the ID people that I’m having trouble distinguishing between the religious measurement tools, and the atheistic ones. Did the ID people take care to order their yard sticks only from Christian manufacturers? They shouldn’t have any godless yardsticks in their homes, then. Of course we all know that’s silly. The Lord detests differing weights and measures, and that alone blows the whole notion of some sort of “Christian” science clean out of the water. It’s all science - and if it’s honest science, that makes it all quite Christian enough.

I would turn this question quite on its head to help the YEC see something about their own approach to scripture: So does the YEC believe that everything described in Revelation is literal? Most will agree that to force such a reading on Revelation is to (far from being faithful to Scriptures) reduce it down to absurdities. So the question then becomes: If you are permitted to see deeper spiritual truth in Revelation without insisting on strictly surface readings, why do you have such trouble allowing Genesis to go deep as well?


I think God was very active in his creation. I believe he set the cosmic laws in place that would result in our world and our creatures. I believe one of those driving forces is the laws that are summed up in ecology. So while I don’t think God directly caused the creation of monarchs and milkweeds , I do believe he set the laws in motions that resulted in that coevolutionary event.

I guess I sort of look at it like with some of the games out. Like WoW. Someone set up the parameters in the game. But you can still create your own character, make it custom, and choose where you go in the game and what missions you do. So do thousands of others. They all have free will, but operate within the laws of the game. So even though the creators may not have directly caused you to be a blue wizard troll who joins a group and y’all battle evil unicorns you could still not say that the creators of the game had no hand in it. Without the creators setting up the laws, there would be no game to play. ( if those examples are off
It’s because I don’t actually play games except for older games on Nintendo or Super Nintendo a few hours a year and ive never played WoW)

But to me that’s how I see him being involved. Additionally, I believe he’s directly interacted with humanity numerous times such as inspiring prophets and apostles, sending angels and so on.

Also if a creationist was to ask me if I don’t believe in genesis as being literal how can I take revelation literal I would say I don’t. I don’t take revelation very literally. I don’t believe in a oceanic beasts and human headed insects or some super powerful whore and her dragons. But I still believe the story is true.

If anything I feel like that argument is against them. Surely they don’t believe revelation is a book to be taken literally yet they still believe it conveys the truth. I do the same thing , and I include stories like Jonah, Esther, and parts of genesis in it.

Imagine if I asked them if they take genesis 1-11 literally then isn’t it conflicting for them to not take revelation literally too? It’s a silly question that highlights how silly theirs are.

I guess you have never heard a “fire and brimstone” sermon. Yes some do take it as literal and happening at some point in the future.

I have heard fire and brimstone preaching. But I’ve still never heard someone , even the most literalist, believe in Satan as a winged flying fire breathing reptile or in some ocean beasts rising from the depth with 10 horns…

The issue is that no one seems to care what should be literal and what should be figurative. If they had to take God at His actual literal Word, it would mess up their daily lives and routine.

I mean are we that serious about this world that a Holy Spirit revival and changed hearts scares us away from our hum drum lives, that we hold so dear, and think they are great, when great itself is only figurative and not literal.

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