Your Presuppositions, I presume?

(George T Rahn) #21

Yes, from God’s side per scripture human knowledge can never reach God’s “Yes” because of sin. We operate amongst ourselves as sinners and work with standards of measurement judged to be true only on the human plane and these cannot equate to God’s standards. Human knowledge ought to operate with repentance attached to it! God says “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are my ways your ways…” Isaiah 55.

Those who are not Judeo-Christian theists believe that peer judgment is the highest form of judgment.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #22

Sounds like you also agree with my third guess of what YEC presuppositions might be:

I strongly disagree with this presupposition, but it sounds pretty close to what you’re assuming.

(George T Rahn) #23

Peer judgment seeks to make assurances only based on the peer group’s assessments. Of course they are open to critique as more peers weigh in with measurable data. But the final judgment rests on God’s verdict and not on the peer group. This is based on my sinner-assessment only, btw. lol

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #24

Your sense of humor, and the recognition that we are all (YEC & EC alike) doing these assessments as sinners, has helped me lay down my weapons here. :slight_smile: I agree with you that [1] we will all have plenty of time to discover the truths of these things when we meet God face to face and He gives His final verdict, [2] all of us will doubtless be plenty surprised in that day, and [3] His verdict will be what matters then, not our peers’.

I do think that YEC scientists will be a little more surprised than EC scientists when God shows His cards, but I suspect we disagree on this point.

(George T Rahn) #25

Yes, no worries. I recognize my own need of repentance…always! I don’t make a distinction between creationist theories because my own sinner-verdict is still out on that. Still reading and still assessing here in southwest Texas! God’s peace.

(Phil) #26

Enjoying your comments, George. and live just a few hundred miles east of you, which in Texas is just over the hill.
It seems that the statement quoted above is one of the presuppositions we associate most closely with the YEC position, even though some like AiG then go forward in making those same judgements. Certainly, we have to have humility in our judgements, but can we really go through life with the assumption that our reason is unreliable? How then could we order food at McDonalds, much less decide on whether to turn left across traffic at traffic light? Or read the Bible and believe we comprehended the correct meaning of the words on the page?

(George T Rahn) #27

Our reason is not unreliable within the dialogical realm among humans. Science and public life are based on this dialogical method. However to assume that our collective reasoning leading to common everyday judgments about living earns God’s respect is foolish and full of hubris, imo. One or many cannot work together with God despite the mistranslation of the Greek in some popular translations of 2 Corinthians 6:1.

(Randy) #28

Mr Rahn, thank you for your thoughts. My interest in this arises from having grown up in an Islamic culture. While my parents were Christian missionaries, it was astounding to me to see how much they also believe that we are clouded in our understanding because of prejudice. They believe that we were all born Muslim, with innate belief in God’s Oneness, etc, but have gone astray.

Thus, they start with the prejudice against all of us that if we reject their view, we are prejudiced. More, the Qur’an is perhaps even more reverenced than we do our Bible. They consider it God’s representation on earth. They handle it with care. Some believe that drinking the ink that they write Qur’anic verses will give them spiritual strength. Each word was written in Arabic before time, they say.

Thus, everything we do is tainted by sin–all Christians (anasara), Jews, even though we are people of the Book (we have willingly tainted the Holy Scriptures by switching the Injil (Gospel) and Paul’s writings to guide people away from God.

They believe that by accepting the Bible as we do, we are sinning. Only they have the correct interpretation. They believe that Mohamed, for example, predicted what an embryo looked like miraculously (nutfa, drop), etc.

What I’m trying to say is that we all have the tendency to believe that our sacred writings are infallible. However, how can we come to an agreement if we disregard the other’s interpretation of the earth and nature as sinful?

I know of Christians who counter Muslim ideas with “science,” and Muslims who claim the Qur’an is more correct. Can we only rely on the feeling in our breasts as to which is correct?

In Hinduism, Brahmins reportedly are the only ones who can interpret the Vedas correctly (they even have names saying how many they can read, I think, like Chaturvedi–four Vedas).


(George T Rahn) #29

The issue for me has been that people are not somehow neutrally seen by God despite our ways of that appearing so. We are not tainted by sin but that we are sinners and the sin is as a result of our nature as sinners. We are not “neutrally charged” so to speak. Since the fall and exile from the Garden of Eden we are sinners. God has established for us a way out of this bondage to sin. It began with Abraham, Sarah and Isaac and ended with Christ…and is for you. See Nicene Creed “…who for us and for our salvation…”

(George T Rahn) #30

Werner Elert, a German Lutheran theologian, neatly grounds and tracks the issue of creation and fall in his book on ethics. One example of doing ethics under God’s law ala Elert is the notion of human judgment. It is a faculty and therefore a gift from God. However, as sinners we make judgments on the Creator who is also the first Judge and the ultimate last Judge. We receive God’s wrath when we attempt to place the Creator/Judge under our sinner-judgments. When we confine our judgments to the proper realm for judging, ie. humansinner-to-humansinner encounters, we express our sinner-judgment. But the deep problem appears when we do not respect our position as God’s creature and trespass into God’s realm as the only Judge when we expect God to be subject to his creatures’ verdicts on Himself.

(Randy) #31

Thanks. I think I was mainly concerned that we would stop at a given interpretation of the Creation based on the assumption that anything else would be from a sin tainted nature.

Other religions also argue for presuppositional apologetics–which takes away our ability to even reason. I do think that we need to take science at face value.

Sorry if I misunderstood. Yes, Christ is the Savior. Thanks. God bless.

(George T Rahn) #32

No worries. You have shared some food for thought for me. I was simply responding to one part of your post. God’s peace.

(Cindy) #33

Hi Randy,

This thread appears to be a few months old and I am wondering, where on your journey, are you now?

I also grew up in a strict Fundamentalist home, my father is a chaplain. I have many of your same questions. I left the church, and for a long time; called myself an Agnostic. Never an Atheist, as I was never so bold as to declare that there was no God. Partly because I was afraid to, and partly because I wanted to be proved wrong. A strange sequence of events have brought me back to the firm belief that there is a God. It started with my World Literature class and the reading of Gilgamesh, it climaxed with the attending of a lecture given by Dr Francis Collins in DC last Fall. That is where I first learned of BioLogos.

As far as presuppositions, other than there is a God; and Jesus was an incarnation of God, sent to save mankind; I have none. In regards to Science, I trust my senses and put great stock in the Scientific Method.

The one presupposition given in the original post that I question is the interpretation of “God is Truth”. Does “God is Truth” mean that God has always been completely straight forward with mankind? Is the Baghdad Gita any less God’s word than the Bible is? Is it possible that God has given us different paths and options and is allowing us to decide which one is the best option for mankind? Was that the game plan all along? For us to take responsibility and good care of not only of ourselves, but also this planet and all the life on it? Has God shown himself to various special people through the ages giving them guidance on how to live in harmony with others as well as the environment?

Me? I choose to follow Jesus, the Jesus of the gospels. Not necessarily the Jesus that many preachers preach about. (Have you ever wondered how different Christianity would be if all we had was the life of Christ to guide us? There was, btw, quite a bit of argument about which books to Canonize. I actually hope to learn more about that process in my studies. I am a student of both Biology and Religion at James Madison University.) With this said, is my choice the only valid choice? There has been a lot of talk of C.S. Lewis (Big time Narnia fan here!). In the last book there is a controversial passage that puts forth the idea that no sincere form of worship is wasted. I think that is correct.

Thanks to all who shared in this thread. My sincerest apologies if I have offended anyone. I do not wish to cast doubt in anybody’s mind; I am just expressing my own questioning mind. Trust me, I envy anyone who does NOT doubt and question like I! I may relate most to St Thomas, but wish that I could be as bold and certain as St Paul!

Thanks again; a great read with this thread. This looks like a great forum, I hope to have a lot of good discussions here. I’ve been reading about a Chimpanzee genome study which has, of course, put more questions in my mind!

(Randy) #34

Welcome, Cindy! I appreciate your thoughts. It sounds like we have somewhat similar backgrounds. I, too, appreciate Biologos. I also greatly enjoyed that part in “The Last Battle” by Lewis about Emeth.

I enjoyed this thread very much, as well.

Regarding presuppositions, thanks for bringing me back to this and helping me critique my thoughts again. One thought that occurs to me that theists learn from skeptics is that if God is truth, then his strength does not trump truth. That is, as George Macdonald said, " If it be said by any that God does a thing which seems to me unjust, then either I do not know what the thing is, or God does not do it…Least of all must we accept some low notion of justice in a man, and argue that God is just in doing after that notion."

Anyway, I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks for your background. I was an MK, but took biology in undergrad with an evolutionary capstone course. I went on a year ago to take Denis Lamoureux’ online free Coursera course, which really illuminated my understanding of theistic evolution and broke me in to some philosophy. I still attend a strongly YEC church and love those who attend, though only a few probably know that I’m EC (I am trying to avoid conflict!).

Look forward to your insights.

(Cindy) #35

Thank-you for your reply. For me, it is my family that I must avoid conversation with. My uncle is a PhD in Philosophy and my father is an ordained minister. Between the two, it is difficult to have any kind of conversation regarding Evolution. My father acts like it is an affront to him personally that I do not just accept his word on the matter and my Uncle starts speaking in High English to show how very smart he is on the subject.

Anyway… I look forward to engaging here; I see many topics of interest.

(Christy Hemphill) #36

Glad you found us, Cindy. No one gets in trouble around here for asking questions. :slight_smile: