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itsokimadocter
Apr 15th 2008, 05:44 PM
i recall hearing a verse in Genesis that demonstrates that MACROevolution would be impossible. it was something to the effect of sin and death entered the world through adam. Evolution whould require the death of infinitismal beings before Adam...therefore evolution could not have occured. obviously this applies to humans, but did adam's sin affect the animal kingdom? i am looking for some apologetics for those who claim to "know God", but beleive in theistic evolution.

God bless,
Todd

Athanasius
Apr 15th 2008, 08:17 PM
You're thinking of Genesis 3; you are correct in that macro evolution would thereby be impossible. Those who believe in theistic evolution would not interpret Genesis 3 literally. The entrance of sin would be wrought though the raising of consciousness.

ilovemetal
Apr 16th 2008, 01:36 AM
it's a huge subject. one i've come to not talk about.

but while your looking don't forget about exodus 20:11.

and there's a video called 'the great debate' on answersingenisis.com if you want. it'll give you some thoughts. i quit watching however cuz it made me to mad.

have fun!!!!:D

PilgrimPastor
Apr 16th 2008, 02:51 AM
You're thinking of Genesis 3; you are correct in that macro evolution would thereby be impossible. Those who believe in theistic evolution would not interpret Genesis 3 literally. The entrance of sin would be wrought though the raising of consciousness.

That is a great point in terms of biblical interpretation on this subject. Indeed, whether one comes to Genesis with a literal or allegorical / metaphorical interpretive method will really dictate the conclusions that are reached - especially as they relate to evolution and science.

I have found that those who are really convinced that evolution is true are difficult to reach with those kinds of arguments. Most of them have fundamentally rejected ANY kind of biblical authority. For theistic evolutionists this is a chief question that they have to deal with, "how does one interpret the Bible?" :hmm:

There is much scientific evidence to support a literal interpretive methodology and more importantly, the Scriptures testify of themselves in such as way that we need look no further than a plain reading of the text. Where the text is narrative we should interpret it that way, where it is parable we should interpret it that way, and so on.

Genesis - I am convinced - is a literally preserved account of human history.

JoeChristian
Apr 16th 2008, 03:33 AM
I have found that those who are really convinced that evolution is true are difficult to reach with those kinds of arguments. Most of them have fundamentally rejected ANY kind of biblical authority. For theistic evolutionists this is a chief question that they have to deal with, "how does one interpret the Bible?" :hmm:

There is much scientific evidence to support a literal interpretive methodology and more importantly, the Scriptures testify of themselves in such as way that we need look no further than a plain reading of the text. Where the text is narrative we should interpret it that way, where it is parable we should interpret it that way, and so on.

Genesis - I am convinced - is a literally preserved account of human history.

I do not really believe in evolution but I do believe Genesis could be metaphorical and I also believe the Bible is the ultimate authority.

Athanasius
Apr 16th 2008, 03:41 AM
I do not really believe in evolution but I do believe Genesis could be metaphorical and I also believe the Bible is the ultimate authority.

The thing is this. . .You start saying 'this' and 'that' part of the Bible is metaphorical (when it isn't blatantly obvious) then you have to wonder, what's to stop you from making the rest of the book metaphorical, as opposed to 'literal'? I think you'll quickly find the biblical text undermined and more and more metaphorical.

As for evolution I do believe in micro evolution, I don't believe in macro evolution. Gotta be careful with terms because if you say you don't believe in evolution then you're going to get called on it where adaptation is concerned.

And I forgot to put in my first response. The raising of conscious would be a by-product of the evolutionary process.

ChristianKnight
Apr 16th 2008, 04:43 AM
The thing is this. . .You start saying 'this' and 'that' part of the Bible is metaphorical (when it isn't blatantly obvious) then you have to wonder, what's to stop you from making the rest of the book metaphorical, as opposed to 'literal'? I think you'll quickly find the biblical text undermined and more and more metaphorical.

This is why I hate it when people throw quotes on me.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 16th 2008, 06:24 AM
The thing is this. . .You start saying 'this' and 'that' part of the Bible is metaphorical (when it isn't blatantly obvious) then you have to wonder, what's to stop you from making the rest of the book metaphorical, as opposed to 'literal'? I think you'll quickly find the biblical text undermined and more and more metaphorical.

That's the real trouble isn't it? I have seen what "Deconstruction Theology" has done to local churches. In many Congregational Churches we are reaping the wondrous benefits of this kind of theology. It leaves people with a lack of trust in the Scriptures and leads them into a watered-down-powerless Christian "Philosophy" of life when carried out to its logical conclusions.

If the Bible can not be trusted then its message can not be trusted; if its message can be trusted then Jesus can be fully trusted and Christianity is little more than a tradition of vain and empty words...

Rather than devaluing the Bible in an effort to make it conform to societal trends of this generation, let us elevate the Scripture to a place of dependence and trustworthiness!

:2cents:

Athanasius
Apr 16th 2008, 06:33 AM
This is why I hate it when people throw quotes on me.

What does this have to do with undermining the biblical text?

Rullion Green
Apr 16th 2008, 12:48 PM
That's the real trouble isn't it? I have seen what "Deconstruction Theology" has done to local churches. In many Congregational Churches we are reaping the wondrous benefits of this kind of theology. It leaves people with a lack of trust in the Scriptures and leads them into a watered-down-powerless Christian "Philosophy" of life when carried out to its logical conclusions.

If the Bible can not be trusted then its message can not be trusted; if its message can be trusted then Jesus can be fully trusted and Christianity is little more than a tradition of vain and empty words...

Rather than devaluing the Bible in an effort to make it conform to societal trends of this generation, let us elevate the Scripture to a place of dependence and trustworthiness!

:2cents:

could not have said it better myself :)

as far as i can see there is no scientific evidence to negate what is plainly stated in the Bible. Anyone that can show some ? Why abandon a Biblical Doctrine for a thoery that has so many holes in it, it would make a tea bag jealous.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 16th 2008, 02:38 PM
could not have said it better myself :)

as far as i can see there is no scientific evidence to negate what is plainly stated in the Bible. Anyone that can show some ? Why abandon a Biblical Doctrine for a thoery that has so many holes in it, it would make a tea bag jealous.

Exactly. While the Bible is not primarily a science or history book - it is a book about the fall and redemption of humanity - God has providentially preserved an entirely accurate record of what has occurred in His creation.

Man has always and will always look for ways to deny God out of the core of His nature - sinful rebellion. Evolution is little more than a modern restatement of what is written in the first chapter of the book of Romans;

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen."
(Romans 1:18-25 NKJV)

:bible:

Rullion Green
Apr 16th 2008, 05:57 PM
Exactly. While the Bible is not primarily a science or history book - it is a book about the fall and redemption of humanity - God has providentially preserved an entirely accurate record of what has occurred in His creation.


:bible:

Once again i concur lol.

although the Bible is not a scientific book, there great fact to be found in there regarding gems of science that were well before there time. Cleaning hands for e.g common sense now for a doctor to clean his hands but wasn't so long ago. I just found out recenly that circumcision reduces the risk of cantracting HIV, i knew it was more hygenic but didn't know that.

anyway getting off topic

what i dont understand is why a Christian would leave a sound Biblical doctrine that holds up to scrutiny only for a flawed thoery thats can advance and answer very little. Of course i'm talking macro evolution here not micro.

Not to mention the bigger problem of watering down faith in the scriptures mentioned earlier wich is the bigger and more sinister problem ! The Bible is a anvil that has worn out many hammers. This is just another hammer wearing itself out on the mighty anvil.

itsokimadocter
Apr 16th 2008, 09:06 PM
could not have said it better myself :)

as far as i can see there is no scientific evidence to negate what is plainly stated in the Bible. Anyone that can show some ? Why abandon a Biblical Doctrine for a thoery that has so many holes in it, it would make a tea bag jealous.

well said. i think this verse could definately apply

1 Corinthians 1:18-30, particularly verse 27:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;"

It is simple for me to beleive that God could form a man in one day...
evedentally it is harder for some to beleive that. i know this isnt a salvation issue, but it concerns me that some "beleivers" hold this theory as truth.


That's the real trouble isn't it? I have seen what "Deconstruction Theology" has done to local churches. In many Congregational Churches we are reaping the wondrous benefits of this kind of theology. It leaves people with a lack of trust in the Scriptures and leads them into a watered-down-powerless Christian "Philosophy" of life when carried out to its logical conclusions.

If the Bible can not be trusted then its message can not be trusted; if its message can be trusted then Jesus can be fully trusted and Christianity is little more than a tradition of vain and empty words...

Rather than devaluing the Bible in an effort to make it conform to societal trends of this generation, let us elevate the Scripture to a place of dependence and trustworthiness!

:2cents:

also, very well said

9Marksfan
Apr 16th 2008, 09:07 PM
i recall hearing a verse in Genesis that demonstrates that MACROevolution would be impossible. it was something to the effect of sin and death entered the world through adam. Evolution whould require the death of infinitismal beings before Adam...therefore evolution could not have occured. obviously this applies to humans, but did adam's sin affect the animal kingdom? i am looking for some apologetics for those who claim to "know God", but beleive in theistic evolution.

God bless,
Todd

While that's true, there are some other verses that show MACROevolution to be impossible:-

Gen 1:21-25 - no fewer than SIX times, God describes creatures being made "according to its/their kind".

Also:-

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible". Heb 11:3 NKJV

BibleGirl02
Apr 16th 2008, 09:56 PM
Evolution is false and is one of the many falsehoods that lead people away from Christ. Granted there are theistic evolutionist Christians but they do not have a proper interpretation of Genesis in my opinion. The Bible says that sin entered the world through Adam, not through a bunch of ape men.

crawfish
Apr 16th 2008, 11:26 PM
i recall hearing a verse in Genesis that demonstrates that MACROevolution would be impossible. it was something to the effect of sin and death entered the world through adam. Evolution whould require the death of infinitismal beings before Adam...therefore evolution could not have occured. obviously this applies to humans, but did adam's sin affect the animal kingdom? i am looking for some apologetics for those who claim to "know God", but beleive in theistic evolution.

God bless,
Todd

I am a theistic evolutionist, and I'll try to answer your question and some of the others posted in this thread the best I can. I assure you I am an active, vital Christian who believes in and worships God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The verse you are referencing is Romans 5:12-14 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.".

I believe that this does not refer to physical death, but spiritual death. If you look at verse 21 you'll read "so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.". No one will deny that the eternal life mentioned is spiritual, since we still die physically even though we've been saved through Christ. It would make little sense for Paul to be comparing a physical death to a spiritual life; not to mention, the physical death of humans and animals to the spiritual life of Christians.


While that's true, there are some other verses that show MACROevolution to be impossible:-

Gen 1:21-25 - no fewer than SIX times, God describes creatures being made "according to its/their kind".

Genesis is actually quite unclear on what "kind" means, and on God's methods for separating them into kinds. If you accept that the earth is billions of years old, then it's entirely within the realm of possibility that God used evolution as the construction basis for their creation.

I should also point out a common misconception - the distinction between "macroevolution" and "microevolution". In the official theory, there IS no such distinction. All evolutionary changes are slight. Macroevolution would simply be a series of hundreds, or thousands, or millions of microevolutionary steps. You would not see a fish give birth to an amphibian, or a reptile give birth to a mammal, or a horse give birth to an elephant. Changes of that magnitude take place in timeframes longer than humans have existed on the earth.


I have found that those who are really convinced that evolution is true are difficult to reach with those kinds of arguments. Most of them have fundamentally rejected ANY kind of biblical authority. For theistic evolutionists this is a chief question that they have to deal with, "how does one interpret the Bible?"

This is patently untrue. I fully believe that the bible is the inspired word of God, and infallible in the sense that it says exactly what God wants it to, and so do most TE's. Just as Jesus used parables - or, fiction - to explain spiritual truths, so God used abstractions and imagery in His word to explain spiritual truths in a way that could be understood by the people of the time. Understand that they did not have the luxury of the 5,000 years of discovery that we base our knowledge upon; their views of the world and the heavens were drastically different from our own. It wasn't God's purpose to reveal those things to us - but he did give us license to discover them on our own, and tells us his glory is revealed in His creation (Genesis 1:28, Psalms 19).


The thing is this. . .You start saying 'this' and 'that' part of the Bible is metaphorical (when it isn't blatantly obvious) then you have to wonder, what's to stop you from making the rest of the book metaphorical, as opposed to 'literal'? I think you'll quickly find the biblical text undermined and more and more metaphorical.

Personally, I don't believe in reading most of the bible metaphorically, except in the cases where it's obvious (the prophets, Revelation). I just believe that the purpose was never to impart a scientific or historical message, but a spiritual one. If you read the text metaphorically you will likely miss the plain spiritual meaning. However, reading it literally is a far cry from taking it as literal science or history.


It is simple for me to beleive that God could form a man in one day...
evedentally it is harder for some to beleive that. i know this isnt a salvation issue, but it concerns me that some "beleivers" hold this theory as truth.

I have no problem believing that God could create the universe in a day, or an hour, or a nanosecond, or even slowly over hundreds of billions of years. Scripture states that God's time is not our time; "a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years a day". To God, I don't really think it's a concern either way.

The reason I feel that evolution is likely true - and I'm referring to the concept of common descent - is because there is mountains of evidence supporting it. There are entire branches of science - biology, zoology, etc. - that were based on the consequences of evolution being true, and they have been proven to be true. The cataloging of DNA sequences could've been the death knell for evolution, but instead it has come out to provide near conclusive evidence of it. When you immerse yourself in the individual facts that we know, it is hard to deny that the overall theory is strong.


Evolution is false and is one of the many falsehoods that lead people away from Christ. Granted there are theistic evolutionist Christians but they do not have a proper interpretation of Genesis in my opinion. The Bible says that sin entered the world through Adam, not through a bunch of ape men.

You can feel free to hold onto your opinions of this subject, but it would be a mistake to believe that those who hold to it are any less dedicated go God or scripture than those who do not. We see scripture differently now than we did 3000 years ago. We understand that when God created the "heavens and the earth", it was NOT an equal prospect - the heavens are vast beyond measure. We understand the spherical nature of earth; the nature of gravity; the physical makeup of plants, animals and minerals. God wrote an amazing book that was understandable people thousands of years ago and still vital to us today. THAT is an act of God!

As far as Adam - there are a variety of opinions on that subject. Some think God might have evolved humans but created Adam & Eve special (who did Cain marry, anyway?). Some think that Adam may have been the first "official" human, who connected with God and received a soul. Some take the word "Adam", which literally means "man" in its original language - as allegory for mankind. Nobody thinks pre-humans were anything more than animals or had a special relationship with God.

I apologize if I've offended anybody here. I'm trying to phrase this as nicely as possible, but this is unfortunately a touchy subject. As someone mentioned before, I do not believe in any case that this is a salvation issue.

Athanasius
Apr 17th 2008, 12:07 AM
I have no problem believing that God could create the universe in a day, or an hour, or a nanosecond, or even slowly over hundreds of billions of years. Scripture states that God's time is not our time; "a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years a day". To God, I don't really think it's a concern either way.

Unfortunately I can't reply to your entire post at this very moment, but I do plan to in the next little while as it's a very interesting subject, this theistic evolution. But in the meantime (because I have trouble containing myself) I figured I'd point out that the verse you're referencing is metaphorical, pertaining to the timing of God's promises. To then take it out of its context in support of evolution and say, "well look, a day to God is a thousand years. . .' is incorrect. In quoting you missed a vital word, 'like'--'a day is like a thousand years'; it's a simile. 'A thousand years are like a day'--it's a simile. It's a parallel of Psalm 90:4, "‘For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.’ The verse simply can't be used in support of evolution--what it is saying is, 'be patient! God doesn't fail on His promises!'

But I'll reply more later, I need a hair cut :P

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 01:01 AM
Unfortunately I can't reply to your entire post at this very moment, but I do plan to in the next little while as it's a very interesting subject, this theistic evolution. But in the meantime (because I have trouble containing myself) I figured I'd point out that the verse you're referencing is metaphorical, pertaining to the timing of God's promises. To then take it out of its context in support of evolution and say, "well look, a day to God is a thousand years. . .' is incorrect. In quoting you missed a vital word, 'like'--'a day is like a thousand years'; it's a simile. 'A thousand years are like a day'--it's a simile. It's a parallel of Psalm 90:4, "‘For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.’ The verse simply can't be used in support of evolution--what it is saying is, 'be patient! God doesn't fail on His promises!'

But I'll reply more later, I need a hair cut :P

I look forward to your response. However, I should clarify that I'm not using the above verse (2 Peter 3:8) as direct support for evolution; I'm using it to display the scriptural basis for the timelessness of God, which is a concept I'd think all of us agree with. True, it's given as a passage to indicate that God will keep His promises in His time; and true that it's not a formula (you can't use it to derive the 7 days of creation as 7,000 years, for example).

I've often heard people argue that they can't imagine why God would wait hundreds of billions of years to get to the meat of His creation. I believe that the time - no matter how large or how small - is irrelevant when God is accomplishing His purposes. As a being that sits outside of time, He's not sitting around "waiting" for those billions of years, although He can see its passage. 7 seconds, 7 days or 700 billion years - it doesn't matter in the least to God.

JoeChristian
Apr 17th 2008, 01:07 AM
The thing is this. . .You start saying 'this' and 'that' part of the Bible is metaphorical (when it isn't blatantly obvious) then you have to wonder, what's to stop you from making the rest of the book metaphorical, as opposed to 'literal'? I think you'll quickly find the biblical text undermined and more and more metaphorical.

I really doubt this but what would be the next common thing people who adhere to such a position deny as literal?

Also, what is the verse of Jesus referencing something about creation?

JoeChristian
Apr 17th 2008, 01:18 AM
That's the real trouble isn't it? I have seen what "Deconstruction Theology" has done to local churches. In many Congregational Churches we are reaping the wondrous benefits of this kind of theology. It leaves people with a lack of trust in the Scriptures and leads them into a watered-down-powerless Christian "Philosophy" of life when carried out to its logical conclusions.

If the Bible can not be trusted then its message can not be trusted; if its message can be trusted then Jesus can be fully trusted and Christianity is little more than a tradition of vain and empty words...

Rather than devaluing the Bible in an effort to make it conform to societal trends of this generation, let us elevate the Scripture to a place of dependence and trustworthiness!

:2cents:

I am pretty sure the rampant distrust in the scriptures is more due to things like the Da Vinci code and the simple fact that Protestants and Catholics have different Bibles than people interpreting something to be metaphorical and others seeing it as literal. In fact, I am quite sure that many churches dismissing the possibility of the creation story as being metaphorical has led to many more (and much deeper) doubts about Christianity being the true way.

ChristianKnight
Apr 17th 2008, 01:44 AM
What does this have to do with undermining the biblical text?

When someone tells you something with a bible quote, it seems like their is another one that can be said to be "verse" that one...

Athanasius
Apr 17th 2008, 02:04 AM
I am a theistic evolutionist, and I'll try to answer your question and some of the others posted in this thread the best I can. I assure you I am an active, vital Christian who believes in and worships God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I first want to say that I don't believe the belief in theistic evolution negates any one's salvation. Nor do I think one who believes in theistic evolution is some how taking away from God's power. But what I will say that the question of theistic evolution is one of truth. Whereas I don't believe any one's salvation is negated for believing in theistic evolution, I wouldn't stop there. I don't think we should be content with disagreements over teachings and doctrines and this is no different.

Now I also have the feeling you're quite the educated person. So in my naivety I'll reply see where things go.



The verse you are referencing is Romans 5:12-14 - "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.".

I believe that this does not refer to physical death, but spiritual death. If you look at verse 21 you'll read "so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.". No one will deny that the eternal life mentioned is spiritual, since we still die physically even though we've been saved through Christ. It would make little sense for Paul to be comparing a physical death to a spiritual life; not to mention, the physical death of humans and animals to the spiritual life of Christians.

Actually I will disagree. Just as Adam and Even existed in the garden both physically and spiritually, so too will we exist in eternity physically and spiritually. When Jesus was resurrected He had a physical body that was able to perform acts our physical bodies aren't yet able too. Jesus had a physical body none-the-less. The 'death' referred to here (or even the death talked about in Genesis) does not have to apply either to physical or spiritual death--it can apply to both. Adam and Eve [eventually] died physically where normally they would not have. They immediately died spiritually, cut off from God. There were two deaths-physical and spiritual-our existence now is subsequent to those original two deaths. We are no longer immortal, we die because of sin, and we are cut off from God.



Genesis is actually quite unclear on what "kind" means, and on God's methods for separating them into kinds. If you accept that the earth is billions of years old, then it's entirely within the realm of possibility that God used evolution as the construction basis for their creation.

There are, when you examine Genesis 1:24-25, three 'kinds': cattle, creeping things and beasts of the earth. I think kind is quite clear, I think 'creeping things' and 'beasts of the earth' is all the more ambiguous--what is a creeping thing? What is a 'beast of the earth?' That said there is nothing here to indicate an evolutionary process. Nor is there a reason to assume one from your own criterion above.



I should also point out a common misconception - the distinction between "macroevolution" and "microevolution". In the official theory, there IS no such distinction. All evolutionary changes are slight. Macroevolution would simply be a series of hundreds, or thousands, or millions of microevolutionary steps. You would not see a fish give birth to an amphibian, or a reptile give birth to a mammal, or a horse give birth to an elephant. Changes of that magnitude take place in timeframes longer than humans have existed on the earth.

There absolutely is a distinction between macro and micro evolution. The most obvious reason for this is that micro evolution has been documented, tests have been repeated, this 'portion' of the theory has been observed. There is no denying micro evolution, or if you prefer, adaptation. Macro evolution, on the other hand, is based on assumptions, inferences. We see this happening (small changes, micro evolution), therefore that is also going to happen (millions of slight evolutionary changes that bring about new information into the genome--which hasn't been documented, observed or tested). But there is a disconnect. There is nothing scientific linking micro to macro evolution, whereas micro evolution is perfectly scientific. The problem is that when you challenge the underlying assumptions of macro evolution, the theory doesn't hold. There has been no observed instances of a genetic mutation of evolutionary process that can be seen to increase the information in the genome (This should be a 'question' many people are familiar with).



This is patently untrue. I fully believe that the bible is the inspired word of God, and infallible in the sense that it says exactly what God wants it to, and so do most TE's. Just as Jesus used parables - or, fiction - to explain spiritual truths, so God used abstractions and imagery in His word to explain spiritual truths in a way that could be understood by the people of the time. Understand that they did not have the luxury of the 5,000 years of discovery that we base our knowledge upon; their views of the world and the heavens were drastically different from our own. It wasn't God's purpose to reveal those things to us - but he did give us license to discover them on our own, and tells us his glory is revealed in His creation (Genesis 1:28, Psalms 19).

And exactly what is God trying to say in the Bible, and why is it only infallible in that sense? Regarding that, who's to say this is imagery, metaphor, abstraction, and that isn't? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe in science and that Christianity is compatible with science (it was Christianity, after all, that gave renewed impetus to science). But I don't see why we should be re-defining Christianity to fit with current scientific understandings. Science is only true until it's false, obvious, I know, but true.



Personally, I don't believe in reading most of the bible metaphorically, except in the cases where it's obvious (the prophets, Revelation). I just believe that the purpose was never to impart a scientific or historical message, but a spiritual one. If you read the text metaphorically you will likely miss the plain spiritual meaning. However, reading it literally is a far cry from taking it as literal science or history.

You may not personally like reading the Bible metaphorically, but that's what you're doing with the first three chapters of Genesis. The prophets, I should add, also may have interpretation visions in a metaphorical fashion, but that was also accompanied by the literal understanding of events that were to come, such as Joseph in Egypt. What's being compared then is metaphor with no understanding and metaphor with understanding (to those the metaphor was given to).

I'll also add that I often find those who read the Bible metaphorically gain too much of a spiritual understanding of the book. New Ager's often read the Bible in a metaphorical sense--certainly Gnostics do. So in that sense I find that metaphor sees the plain spiritual meaning but goes on to add an unnecessary spiritual element, such as the 'cosmic Christ'.



I have no problem believing that God could create the universe in a day, or an hour, or a nanosecond, or even slowly over hundreds of billions of years. Scripture states that God's time is not our time; "a day is a thousand years, and a thousand years a day". To God, I don't really think it's a concern either way.

I'm just copy and pasting my previous response.

I'd point out that the verse you're referencing is metaphorical, pertaining to the timing of God's promises. To then take it out of its context in support of evolution and say, "well look, a day to God is a thousand years. . .' is incorrect. In quoting you missed a vital word, 'like'--'a day is like a thousand years'; it's a simile. 'A thousand years are like a day'--it's a simile. It's a parallel of Psalm 90:4, "‘For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.’ The verse simply can't be used in support of evolution--what it is saying is, 'be patient! God doesn't fail on His promises!'



The reason I feel that evolution is likely true - and I'm referring to the concept of common descent - is because there is mountains of evidence supporting it. There are entire branches of science - biology, zoology, etc. - that were based on the consequences of evolution being true, and they have been proven to be true. The cataloging of DNA sequences could've been the death knell for evolution, but instead it has come out to provide near conclusive evidence of it. When you immerse yourself in the individual facts that we know, it is hard to deny that the overall theory is strong.

I'll answer this one a little different than I'd normally would, so hopefully it doesn't come back to bite me. Here's the disconnect:

We believe in macro evolution because we know micro evolution to be true. We believe in common descent because we've seen micro evolution and believe macro evolution to be true based upon micro evolution, even though we've never documented an instance of macro evolution. Macro evolution is true because we believe in common descent and we believe in common descent because micro evolution is true.

There's nothing linking macro and micro evolution, first of all, except for assumptions and 'educated' guesses (mix in some hope). Secondly similarity does not in and of itself prove common descent, there has to be that connection which presently doesn't exist.



You can feel free to hold onto your opinions of this subject, but it would be a mistake to believe that those who hold to it are any less dedicated go God or scripture than those who do not. We see scripture differently now than we did 3000 years ago. We understand that when God created the "heavens and the earth", it was NOT an equal prospect - the heavens are vast beyond measure. We understand the spherical nature of earth; the nature of gravity; the physical makeup of plants, animals and minerals. God wrote an amazing book that was understandable people thousands of years ago and still vital to us today. THAT is an act of God!

I absolutely don't doubt that you are any less dedicated to God than the rest of us. But as I said above, it's a matter of truth--why would any one be content knowing someone else is believing something that isn't true?



As far as Adam - there are a variety of opinions on that subject. Some think God might have evolved humans but created Adam & Eve special (who did Cain marry, anyway?). Some think that Adam may have been the first "official" human, who connected with God and received a soul. Some take the word "Adam", which literally means "man" in its original language - as allegory for mankind. Nobody thinks pre-humans were anything more than animals or had a special relationship with God.

Cain married his sister. That's right, incest wasn't a sin until the time of Noah (or thereabouts). Adam and Eve were given the command to multiply in the garden, it was not something that came about as a result of being without the garden.

As for Adam and Eve I'm actually quite interested in how you would explain a question I have. In the garden we have Adam created first; he is given the 'breath' of God (ruach) and over a period of time becomes lonely. God puts him into a deep sleep and Even comes about through his 'rib'. Basically I'm just wondering how one interprets that account in view of theistic evolution?



I apologize if I've offended anybody here. I'm trying to phrase this as nicely as possible, but this is unfortunately a touchy subject. As someone mentioned before, I do not believe in any case that this is a salvation issue.

I'll likewise echo this; it is a touchy subject.

Darren
Apr 17th 2008, 03:33 AM
one of the problems with macro-evolution is the total lack of transitionary models.

for instance, it is "common knowledge" amongst evolutionists that birds are direct descendent's of dinosaurs, such as velosaraptors, to use a common name.

so if the velosaraptors evolved into a bird over millions of years, where are these transitioning species?

in fact the fossil record should be inundated with these transitional species, because in the evolutionary timeline these transitional creatures would have been on the earth for a considerable amount of time longer than either birds or dinosaurs.

so where are the fossils to support this?

we find thousands of dino bones and bird remains are also in large supply. where is that velosaraptor with feathers , with beak, with wings or that early bird that was just leaving it's reptilian state?

Darren
Apr 17th 2008, 03:44 AM
and i would like to ask an evolutionist, where would the origins of man have taken place?

what location?

was it as the secular evolutionist have ascertained, that all men derive from africa?

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 03:45 AM
I first want to say that I don't believe the belief in theistic evolution negates any one's salvation. Nor do I think one who believes in theistic evolution is some how taking away from God's power. But what I will say that the question of theistic evolution is one of truth. Whereas I don't believe any one's salvation is negated for believing in theistic evolution, I wouldn't stop there. I don't think we should be content with disagreements over teachings and doctrines and this is no different.

Now I also have the feeling you're quite the educated person. So in my naivety I'll reply see where things go.

"Content" is probably the wrong word. We're going to have disagreements, and I don't think we're going to all be united on everything. We must decide what the basics are that we need to believe, and allow some "wiggle room" outside of those in the name of unity. We argue about too many silly things while the world perishes. :(



Actually I will disagree. Just as Adam and Even existed in the garden both physically and spiritually, so too will we exist in eternity physically and spiritually. When Jesus was resurrected He had a physical body that was able to perform acts our physical bodies aren't yet able too. Jesus had a physical body none-the-less. The 'death' referred to here (or even the death talked about in Genesis) does not have to apply either to physical or spiritual death--it can apply to both. Adam and Eve [eventually] died physically where normally they would not have. They immediately died spiritually, cut off from God. There were two deaths-physical and spiritual-our existence now is subsequent to those original two deaths. We are no longer immortal, we die because of sin, and we are cut off from God.

I'm not convinced that there wasn't physical death in Eden, at least the possibility of death. Why else would the tree of life exist?

In any case, I believe Paul was making his argument as metaphor; Adam's sin was the focal point leading to our disconnection from God and the eternal; Jesus is the focal point of our reconnection and chance to regain eternal life. It is also used to explain how law is the origin of sin, but grace is our freedom from it. I guess I'm saying I don't make a historical connection between Paul's diatribe and the historocity of Genesis.



There are, when you examine Genesis 1:24-25, three 'kinds': cattle, creeping things and beasts of the earth. I think kind is quite clear, I think 'creeping things' and 'beasts of the earth' is all the more ambiguous--what is a creeping thing? What is a 'beast of the earth?' That said there is nothing here to indicate an evolutionary process. Nor is there a reason to assume one from your own criterion above.

I don't think there would be. What utility would there be in explaining a process such as that? The Israelites at the time heard stories from their neighbors where gods were assigned to all things; there was a god behind the sun rising, the wind blowing, the animals, plants, fertility, etc. God is telling him that there is ONE source behind all things. The mechanism is irrelevant.


There absolutely is a distinction between macro and micro evolution. The most obvious reason for this is that micro evolution has been documented, tests have been repeated, this 'portion' of the theory has been observed. There is no denying micro evolution, or if you prefer, adaptation. Macro evolution, on the other hand, is based on assumptions, inferences. We see this happening (small changes, micro evolution), therefore that is also going to happen (millions of slight evolutionary changes that bring about new information into the genome--which hasn't been documented, observed or tested). But there is a disconnect. There is nothing scientific linking micro to macro evolution, whereas micro evolution is perfectly scientific. The problem is that when you challenge the underlying assumptions of macro evolution, the theory doesn't hold. There has been no observed instances of a genetic mutation of evolutionary process that can be seen to increase the information in the genome (This should be a 'question' many people are familiar with).

There is a distinction among laymen, perhaps, but there is not a distinction among evolutionary scientists. They would simply consider "macroevolution" a set of smaller microevolutions. We have seen what you would term "macroevolution", or more technically speciation, in a laboratory, among plants. Since animals are so much more complex, any "macro" step is thought to take place over millions of years.

The theory holds in many ways. Through fossil records, though there are many gaps. Through DNA. And, most importantly, science has been able to make accurate predictions based on evolutionary theory. It is unlikely we could make such predictions if the theory had no grounding.

I have heard the mutation problem, and I believe this is a misunderstanding of how evolution actually works. However, I am woefully not too knowledgeable about the specifics in this area. A great book that will answer many questions by a faithful Christian is "The Language of God" by Francis Collins. I highly recommend the book whether you believe his views or not, because he does explain them in fairly simple, easy-to-understand language.



And exactly what is God trying to say in the Bible, and why is it only infallible in that sense? Regarding that, who's to say this is imagery, metaphor, abstraction, and that isn't? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe in science and that Christianity is compatible with science (it was Christianity, after all, that gave renewed impetus to science). But I don't see why we should be re-defining Christianity to fit with current scientific understandings. Science is only true until it's false, obvious, I know, but true.

We have always re-defined scripture as we have gained scientific knowledge. Issues such as heliocentricism and flat earth have permeated thought throughout history, and you will find scriptural support for both if you choose to take some passages literally. In history, we have always thought that if scripture seems to pick a side, we pick that side until it is proven that it is not the case, then we change our opinion and move on. :)

I'd be interested to know if you have scriptural support for claiming the bible is historically and scientifically inerrant. Most of the OT was written well before the modern view of "history" was invented by Herodotus, or the modern view of science. I think we sometimes make a mistake by trying to apply 21st century sensibilities to a 3000-year-old document.



You may not personally like reading the Bible metaphorically, but that's what you're doing with the first three chapters of Genesis. The prophets, I should add, also may have interpretation visions in a metaphorical fashion, but that was also accompanied by the literal understanding of events that were to come, such as Joseph in Egypt. What's being compared then is metaphor with no understanding and metaphor with understanding (to those the metaphor was given to).

I actually think it is allegory, not metaphor. And it probably wasn't considered allegory by the original authors, although they didn't have the knowledge to realize otherwise (and they probably wouldn't have been surprised).


I'll also add that I often find those who read the Bible metaphorically gain too much of a spiritual understanding of the book. New Ager's often read the Bible in a metaphorical sense--certainly Gnostics do. So in that sense I find that metaphor sees the plain spiritual meaning but goes on to add an unnecessary spiritual element, such as the 'cosmic Christ'.

Again, if it isn't obvious, I think it's dangerous to read the bible metaphorically. For instance, for years the church read "Song of Solomon" as a metaphor about Christ and His Church, to avoid the more literal (and accurate) fact that it was about a sexual relationship between a man and his wife.

Allegory is different. It uses concrete but fictional terms to explain spiritual matters, and thus, can be read literally for its spiritual message.



We believe in macro evolution because we know micro evolution to be true. We believe in common descent because we've seen micro evolution and believe macro evolution to be true based upon micro evolution, even though we've never documented an instance of macro evolution. Macro evolution is true because we believe in common descent and we believe in common descent because micro evolution is true.


"Belief" has nothing to do with science. It is an acceptance of a theory based on the facts, with the understanding that new facts could alter the theory in the future.

Evolution is like a puzzle...imagine you have half the pieces put together, the edges and some of the interior. The edges are obviously in the right place, some of the interior is probably placed correct, some might need to be moved. However, by this time we have a decent idea of what the general nature of the picture is, and that won't change. The details may and will change, but if it looks like an undersea picture by now it's not gonna become a countryside castle when it's done.


There's nothing linking macro and micro evolution, first of all, except for assumptions and 'educated' guesses (mix in some hope). Secondly similarity does not in and of itself prove common descent, there has to be that connection which presently doesn't exist.

It's more than guesses. There is a plethora of data in support of the theory. It has a predictive power that is impressive. It has withstood more scrutiny than any other theory in the history of science, and has stayed mostly unchanged in its overall gist. We are more sure of evolution than we are about what causes gravity. :)


I absolutely don't doubt that you are any less dedicated to God than the rest of us. But as I said above, it's a matter of truth--why would any one be content knowing someone else is believing something that isn't true?

Why do you think I'm up at 11 at night debating with you? ;) :rofl:



Cain married his sister. That's right, incest wasn't a sin until the time of Noah (or thereabouts). Adam and Eve were given the command to multiply in the garden, it was not something that came about as a result of being without the garden.

As for Adam and Eve I'm actually quite interested in how you would explain a question I have. In the garden we have Adam created first; he is given the 'breath' of God (ruach) and over a period of time becomes lonely. God puts him into a deep sleep and Even comes about through his 'rib'. Basically I'm just wondering how one interprets that account in view of theistic evolution?

I'll have to give that some thought and post tomorrow.

JoeChristian
Apr 17th 2008, 03:46 AM
one of the problems with macro-evolution is the total lack of transitionary models.

for instance, it is "common knowledge" amongst evolutionists that birds are direct descendent's of dinosaurs, such as velosaraptors, to use a common name.

so if the velosaraptors evolved into a bird over millions of years, where are these transitioning species?

in fact the fossil record should be inundated with these transitional species, because in the evolutionary timeline these transitional creatures would have been on the earth for a considerable amount of time longer than either birds or dinosaurs.

so where are the fossils to support this?

we find thousands of dino bones and bird remains are also in large supply. where is that velosaraptor with feathers , with beak, with wings or that early bird that was just leaving it's reptilian state?

Punctuated equilibrium, I believe.

Darren
Apr 17th 2008, 04:03 AM
i do not believe the hypothesis of punctuationalism is an adequate explanation of the dearth of evidence for the transition of millions of animals over millions of years.

the geosphere has provided ample evidence for the existence of dinosaurs, but no evidence of any species gradual morphing into something else.

much less crossing from reptile to bird.

JoeChristian
Apr 17th 2008, 04:33 AM
Here are a few transitional fossils

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional/part1a.html#fish

Here is another one maybe that is more interesting if your are a Christian

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7339508.stm

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 03:43 PM
and i would like to ask an evolutionist, where would the origins of man have taken place?

what location?

was it as the secular evolutionist have ascertained, that all men derive from africa?

Evidence seems to imply Africa, but I am not an expert in such matters. I tend to leave the science to someone more qualified, and focus on how scripture relates if the science is true.

Athanasius
Apr 17th 2008, 06:47 PM
I'm not convinced that there wasn't physical death in Eden, at least the possibility of death. Why else would the tree of life exist?

I think in terms of the tree of life we should look to Genesis 3:22, 'And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' Now as the Bible teaches it, death is a consequence of sin. So I think it would be an odd thing for me to say, as others have, that it was intended that Adam and Eve would eat of the fruit, thereby staving off 'death'. On the other hand, taking this verse on face value does seem to imply that eating the fruit brings about immortality, even among the disobedient (sinful).

So I think what happened is this. There are two trees mentioned in the garden; the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The only tree Adam was forbidden to eat of was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--Adam could have freely eaten of the tree of life, however, he did not. He was presented (Eve, as well) with 'two ways' to God. The first was the tree of live--God's way. The second was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--Satan's way. We rejected life in favor of trying to get to God of our own ability.

Though it is important to note that this would be concerning only man. I don't know of any commands in the bible for animals in the garden. Presumably because death wasn't in the world, they wouldn't have died. But as far as I know the Bible is silent on animals in the garden.



In any case, I believe Paul was making his argument as metaphor; Adam's sin was the focal point leading to our disconnection from God and the eternal; Jesus is the focal point of our reconnection and chance to regain eternal life. It is also used to explain how law is the origin of sin, but grace is our freedom from it. I guess I'm saying I don't make a historical connection between Paul's diatribe and the historocity of Genesis.

I really don't see anything hinting at metaphor in Paul's account.



I don't think there would be. What utility would there be in explaining a process such as that? The Israelites at the time heard stories from their neighbors where gods were assigned to all things; there was a god behind the sun rising, the wind blowing, the animals, plants, fertility, etc. God is telling him that there is ONE source behind all things. The mechanism is irrelevant.

This is a bit off topic but I think it's interesting when you take Judaism (and Christianity in this case) and examine the book of Genesis you learn one thing: God created us and wanted to be with His people. He walked and talked with Adam in the garden (assuming) every day. We have a God who is known for His people. You take that God and you compare it against the other gods of the ANE and we find discord, as you mentioned. This discord is that whereas the cultures of the ANE are concerned, there were gods for everything; plants, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons, etc. In Judaism you had a God that was known for His people--Abraham, Issac, Jacob. In the New Testament this God dwells in His people; our bodies are the temples of God (also why there isn't a temple in the New Jerusalem).

In terms of utility I think it would be a matter of. . . . Truth.



There is a distinction among laymen, perhaps, but there is not a distinction among evolutionary scientists. They would simply consider "macroevolution" a set of smaller microevolutions. We have seen what you would term "macroevolution", or more technically speciation, in a laboratory, among plants. Since animals are so much more complex, any "macro" step is thought to take place over millions of years.

The theory holds in many ways. Through fossil records, though there are many gaps. Through DNA. And, most importantly, science has been able to make accurate predictions based on evolutionary theory. It is unlikely we could make such predictions if the theory had no grounding.

I have heard the mutation problem, and I believe this is a misunderstanding of how evolution actually works. However, I am woefully not too knowledgeable about the specifics in this area. A great book that will answer many questions by a faithful Christian is "The Language of God" by Francis Collins. I highly recommend the book whether you believe his views or not, because he does explain them in fairly simple, easy-to-understand language.

I've heard of Francis Collin before, will check to see if any bookstores around here carry it. Opposing viewpoints make up almost the entirety of my library, I enjoy reading about them.

Perhaps my knowledge is now a bit dated, but I was always under the impression (through various readings) that the idea that macroevolution reduces to microevolution was a [hotly] debated idea (various philosophical issues when dealing with the three kinds of reductionism in relation to evolution: methodological, ontological, and metaphysical).



We have always re-defined scripture as we have gained scientific knowledge. Issues such as heliocentricism and flat earth have permeated thought throughout history, and you will find scriptural support for both if you choose to take some passages literally. In history, we have always thought that if scripture seems to pick a side, we pick that side until it is proven that it is not the case, then we change our opinion and move on.
:)

What I'm going to say is tricky and hopefully isn't splitting hairs. I think when we're dealing with scripture we have two different sets of knowledge. We have what scripture is actually teaching and we have what we believe scripture is teaching. So if we take for instance the old Catholic view that the earth is flat, the center of the universe (based on an interpretation in Isaiah). And then we take modern scientific understanding and oops. . .Catholicism is wrong. The next question is, what does (or what did) scripture teach? Was scripture subjective enough that it supported geocentricism originally and now supports heliocentricism? Or has scripture always taught heliocentricism, we've just interpreted it wrong. Or has scripture also taught geocentricism and the Bible is scientifically errant in that regard?

So in dealing with scientific reinterpretation of 'the Bible', I think we are more or less dealing with scientific reinterpretation of our interpretation of the Bible, as opposed to what the Bible actually is saying. Looking back on that, it seems like splitting hairs to me, but I'll keep it at that.



I'd be interested to know if you have scriptural support for claiming the bible is historically and scientifically inerrant. Most of the OT was written well before the modern view of "history" was invented by Herodotus, or the modern view of science. I think we sometimes make a mistake by trying to apply 21st century sensibilities to a 3000-year-old document.

All scripture is God breathed. . . .

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 07:24 PM
I think in terms of the tree of life we should look to Genesis 3:22, 'And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' Now as the Bible teaches it, death is a consequence of sin. So I think it would be an odd thing for me to say, as others have, that it was intended that Adam and Eve would eat of the fruit, thereby staving off 'death'. On the other hand, taking this verse on face value does seem to imply that eating the fruit brings about immortality, even among the disobedient (sinful).

So I think what happened is this. There are two trees mentioned in the garden; the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The only tree Adam was forbidden to eat of was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--Adam could have freely eaten of the tree of life, however, he did not. He was presented (Eve, as well) with 'two ways' to God. The first was the tree of live--God's way. The second was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--Satan's way. We rejected life in favor of trying to get to God of our own ability.

Though it is important to note that this would be concerning only man. I don't know of any commands in the bible for animals in the garden. Presumably because death wasn't in the world, they wouldn't have died. But as far as I know the Bible is silent on animals in the garden.

That's awfully metaphorical of you, Xel'Naga. ;)

Actually, I love that explanation, and it would seem at first glance to have meat to it. I'd never looked at the two trees as a choice before...I'll have to give the idea some further study. But thank you for the reply here.



I really don't see anything hinting at metaphor in Paul's account.

I'm not sure how to take my argument any further. I'll note that much of Romans is a continuous diatribe, put forth by Paul to stress a point. This section is but one of many points, sandwiched between verses about God's forgiving grace which is sufficient, and how grace doesn't mean that we are free to sin. In between, we learn the relationship between sin and grace.


This is a bit off topic but I think it's interesting when you take Judaism (and Christianity in this case) and examine the book of Genesis you learn one thing: God created us and wanted to be with His people. He walked and talked with Adam in the garden (assuming) every day. We have a God who is known for His people. You take that God and you compare it against the other gods of the ANE and we find discord, as you mentioned. This discord is that whereas the cultures of the ANE are concerned, there were gods for everything; plants, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seasons, etc. In Judaism you had a God that was known for His people--Abraham, Issac, Jacob. In the New Testament this God dwells in His people; our bodies are the temples of God (also why there isn't a temple in the New Jerusalem).

In terms of utility I think it would be a matter of. . . . Truth.

I've done some study of the religions of the nations that surrounded, lived with and conquered the Israelites - the Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites and Persians - and what has stood out to me is that, although there are some similarities in presentation of ideas (based on the understanding of the time), the differences are incredibly striking. Too deep to go into in this thread, but the key differences are the things that make it valid today.



Perhaps my knowledge is now a bit dated, but I was always under the impression (through various readings) that the idea that macroevolution reduces to microevolution was a [hotly] debated idea (various philosophical issues when dealing with the three kinds of reductionism in relation to evolution: methodological, ontological, and metaphysical).

While the overall picture of Darwinism hasn't changed much, the details have changed dramatically over the past few decades. Personally, I have some experts that I trust to keep me up-to-date on such matters; I'm not smart enough to get this stuff on my own. :)



So in dealing with scientific reinterpretation of 'the Bible', I think we are more or less dealing with scientific reinterpretation of our interpretation of the Bible, as opposed to what the Bible actually is saying. Looking back on that, it seems like splitting hairs to me, but I'll keep it at that.

Honestly, this is the viewpoint that most TE's have. Certainly I do. It's not scripture that is wrong, or in error, but quite possibly our understanding of what it is telling us.

Let's say you live in a time when there is little understanding of the universe, and you're presented with two theories: 1) the heavens revolve around the earth, or 2) the earth revolves around the sun. You open your bible and read this:


Tremble before him, all earth; yea, the world stands firm, never to be moved.

Knowing nothing else, which side are you going to pick? There might not be a compelling reason to choose one side over another, but one side appears to have biblical support.

I believe that it is a bad idea to make scientific judgments based on what appears to be said in the bible. It may be that the science is wrong; or, it may be that our understanding is incomplete. The problem is if we make into dogma what our understanding dictates and the science is proven to be accurate, we hurt ourselves by being wrong. We're still paying heavily for the whole Galileo issue. :(

p.s. I finally googled your username...that's probably my favorite computer game of all time! I'm excited for the sequel coming out this year (or next year, if I know Blizzard).

John146
Apr 17th 2008, 08:46 PM
The reason I feel that evolution is likely true - and I'm referring to the concept of common descent - is because there is mountains of evidence supporting it.

No, there isn't. There might be mountains of stuff claiming to support it, but it's an absolutely ridiculous theory (the concept of common descent). I do not have an amoeba as an ancestor. Or a frog or an ape, for that matter. :lol:

Scripture is clear that Adam was the first man and was made from the dust of the ground and God breathed life into him. Eve was made from Adam's rib. That is clear. Adam did not descend from anything.



There are entire branches of science - biology, zoology, etc. - that were based on the consequences of evolution being true, and they have been proven to be true. The cataloging of DNA sequences could've been the death knell for evolution, but instead it has come out to provide near conclusive evidence of it. When you immerse yourself in the individual facts that we know, it is hard to deny that the overall theory is strong.The theory of common ancestry is very weak. If you claim to believe in the Bible then you should see it gives no place to that theory.



You can feel free to hold onto your opinions of this subject, but it would be a mistake to believe that those who hold to it are any less dedicated go God or scripture than those who do not. We see scripture differently now than we did 3000 years ago. We understand that when God created the "heavens and the earth", it was NOT an equal prospect - the heavens are vast beyond measure. We understand the spherical nature of earth; the nature of gravity; the physical makeup of plants, animals and minerals. God wrote an amazing book that was understandable people thousands of years ago and still vital to us today. THAT is an act of God!

As far as Adam - there are a variety of opinions on that subject. Some think God might have evolved humans but created Adam & Eve special (who did Cain marry, anyway?).Cain married his sister, of course. Incest wasn't a sin back then.



Some think that Adam may have been the first "official" human, who connected with God and received a soul.If that was true it would be recorded in scripture. But it's not.


Some take the word "Adam", which literally means "man" in its original language - as allegory for mankind.Was Eve made out of the rib of mankind?



Nobody thinks pre-humans were anything more than animals or had a special relationship with God.Pre-humans? Where does the Bible speak of pre-humans?



I apologize if I've offended anybody here. I'm trying to phrase this as nicely as possible, but this is unfortunately a touchy subject. As someone mentioned before, I do not believe in any case that this is a salvation issue.It's not a salvation issue, but I'm not going to lie. I can't for the life of me understand how you believe it. But to each his own, I suppose. Makes me wonder how you interpret the rest of the Bible, though.

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 09:19 PM
No, there isn't. There might be mountains of stuff claiming to support it, but it's an absolutely ridiculous theory (the concept of common descent). I do not have an amoeba as an ancestor. Or a frog or an ape, for that matter. :lol:

Scripture is clear that Adam was the first man and was made from the dust of the ground and God breathed life into him. Eve was made from Adam's rib. That is clear. Adam did not descend from anything.

Primordial sludge = dust + water. :)

The word used for "dust" implies "the materials that make up the earth", which is exactly where evolution says man comes from.



The theory of common ancestry is very weak. If you claim to believe in the Bible then you should see it gives no place to that theory.

How much have you studied it? From non-Creationist sources? I have read books by prominent evolutionists and creationists, read their debates and spoken with experts in the field about the topics that confused me. That is how I've come to my conclusions. How did you come to yours?



Ridiculous. Cain married his sister, of course. Incest wasn't a sin back then.

Granted, incest was not yet a sin. However, the bible NEVER mentions that Cain married his sister. Why is your "addition" any more acceptable than any other? Just because you cannot envision his wife being anything other than his sister, based on your understanding of the text, do you really think God is limited by that? The truth is, He didn't tell us, so it's not important.


Equally ridiculous. If that was true it would be recorded in scripture. But it's not.

True, it's not in scripture. But neither was the "fact" of Cain's incest. I'm sure God doesn't mind speculation about such matters, which is what I was putting forward; what I think is wrong is when such speculation becomes dogma.


Once again, ridiculous. Was Eve made out of the rib of mankind?

In that example, the word "Eve" would take on it's literal meaning as well, which is "life". The source from which all human life arises. The rib implies a special relationship between a man and a woman. Note that to hold this view, one must view it as allegory rather than literal truth.



Pre-humans? Where does the Bible speak of pre-humans?

The bible doesn't speak of pre-humans. My point is, TE's who believe that man evolved from lesser beings do not believe that those lesser beings had the same special relationship with God that man does.


It's not a salvation issue, but I'm not going to lie. I can't for the life of me understand how you believe this nonsense. But to each his own, I suppose. Makes me wonder how you interpret the rest of the Bible, though.

Brother, I respect your point of view. I'm certainly not trying to "convert" you or anyone here to my side, but I would like to clarify the position that most TE's take because it is obvious from reading the posts that there is a lot of misunderstanding about who we are and what we believe.

Rest assured, I have not come into my current beliefs lightly. It has taken years of bible study, prayer, petition and academic learning to reach this point. I have searched out differing points of view, tried to honest evaluate each side. It has been difficult, challenging and the dark one has tempted me many times, but I have come through it a stronger Christian than I ever was before, more convinced of God and more appreciative of His word.

Theistic evolution is not an easy position to hold. Many Christians don't understand or appreciate us; they feel we're caving into the world, that we don't have faith, that we refuse to trust in God. The non-spiritual don't like us any better; to them we're simply people who know the scientific truth but refuse to give up our "silly" belief in a divine being. There are no support groups; I find myself silent on the matter in church because I neither want to offend my brothers and sisters nor do I want to face the enmity of those who despise my point of view. Since I have begun this journey, though, I have felt God working in my life as never before. Perhaps it is His purpose that some should go ahead into dangerous lands, preparing the way for the rest when the time is right. Perhaps it is to provide a faith that appeals to the scientist/atheist/agnostic who are unwilling to accept Christ if it means to deny what they see as reality. Whatever it is, I trust God implicitly to lead me where He wants me.

Peace.

Athanasius
Apr 17th 2008, 09:20 PM
That's awfully metaphorical of you, Xel'Naga. ;)

Actually, I love that explanation, and it would seem at first glance to have meat to it. I'd never looked at the two trees as a choice before...I'll have to give the idea some further study. But thank you for the reply here.

Yeah, I'm a little troublemaker like that :P



I'm not sure how to take my argument any further. I'll note that much of Romans is a continuous diatribe, put forth by Paul to stress a point. This section is but one of many points, sandwiched between verses about God's forgiving grace which is sufficient, and how grace doesn't mean that we are free to sin. In between, we learn the relationship between sin and grace.

Well there isn't really much more to say, I suppose. We both have different views of what Paul is referencing but we believe the application to be similar.



I've done some study of the religions of the nations that surrounded, lived with and conquered the Israelites - the Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites and Persians - and what has stood out to me is that, although there are some similarities in presentation of ideas (based on the understanding of the time), the differences are incredibly striking. Too deep to go into in this thread, but the key differences are the things that make it valid today.

It's fascinating when you compare religions in the ANE. . . The Israelites stand out to the point where I don't see how there are people who claim the Israelites copied a mish mash of surrounding religions.



While the overall picture of Darwinism hasn't changed much, the details have changed dramatically over the past few decades. Personally, I have some experts that I trust to keep me up-to-date on such matters; I'm not smart enough to get this stuff on my own. :)

Which I was meaning to ask you, what field of study are you engaged in? I try to keep up as much as possible but lets face it. . . Book stores and Amazon.com don't usually sell the 'good stuff'.



Honestly, this is the viewpoint that most TE's have. Certainly I do. It's not scripture that is wrong, or in error, but quite possibly our understanding of what it is telling us.

Let's say you live in a time when there is little understanding of the universe, and you're presented with two theories: 1) the heavens revolve around the earth, or 2) the earth revolves around the sun. You open your bible and read this:

Knowing nothing else, which side are you going to pick? There might not be a compelling reason to choose one side over another, but one side appears to have biblical support.

I believe that it is a bad idea to make scientific judgments based on what appears to be said in the bible. It may be that the science is wrong; or, it may be that our understanding is incomplete. The problem is if we make into dogma what our understanding dictates and the science is proven to be accurate, we hurt ourselves by being wrong. We're still paying heavily for the whole Galileo issue. :(

I think we're very much in agreement here. But I do want to add that I think there is a lot more to the Galileo issue than, 'The church persecuted him because he went against the Bible!'



p.s. I finally googled your username...that's probably my favorite computer game of all time! I'm excited for the sequel coming out this year (or next year, if I know Blizzard).

Admittedly. . . Ten years later I'm still playing. I'm hoping for a fourth quarter 08' release or a first quarter 09' release. But as I'm saying, can only hope for that. . .

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 09:23 PM
Something personal about me: I am from a somewhat liberal Church of Christ, liberal meaning "we use instruments in worship". :) I am still pretty conservative in my interpretations of scripture.

I'm fully on board with the common precepts of Evangelical Christians, although I'm not as dogmatic about some of the differences.

A Seeker
Apr 17th 2008, 09:31 PM
A fascinating version of the long running debate. Nice to see the proponents of both sides remaining within the bounds of civility! Hope it lasts.

I won't get too involved but i will say


Honestly, this is the viewpoint that most TE's have. Certainly I do. It's not scripture that is wrong, or in error, but quite possibly our understanding of what it is telling us.

This was well said.

The words of the bible are meanless until we read them and interpret them. Some interpretations we all agree on. Others we do not. I don't know of anyone who believes the bible contains no metaphor or allegory. Its a question of where we draw that line and that is a matter of personal concience.

However i also think that the Creation / TE / E debate carries a grave risk. I think that the bible is, first and most, a book of moral teachings. I think the most important thing about genesis is the lessons it teaches about how to live our lives today.

As fascinating as it is, i think there is a risk that by focusing on the minutia and trying to mesh the bible with science we lose sight of the Message (deliberate capital).

I am reminded of the story of the child who took apart the TV to understand how it worked. Stopped it working!

The best bit about genesis for me is what it says BETWEEN the lines!

Blessings
Seeker

crawfish
Apr 17th 2008, 09:35 PM
It's fascinating when you compare religions in the ANE. . . The Israelites stand out to the point where I don't see how there are people who claim the Israelites copied a mish mash of surrounding religions.

I agree. It is my belief that some of the concepts that the other religions used to explain the makeup of the heavens and earth did make their way into the biblical text, but the supernatural elements were pulled out, and those things were attributed to God. I could go into some detail over that with an analysis of Genesis 1, but I don't want to ruffle too many feathers. Not really worth it.



Which I was meaning to ask you, what field of study are you engaged in? I try to keep up as much as possible but lets face it. . . Book stores and Amazon.com don't usually sell the 'good stuff'.

I'm a full-time software drudge with three kids, so I don't have a lot of time for education. I listen to a lot of lectures online - there are free ones offered by many schools around the country, and some excellent ones for sale by "The Teaching Company". I also listen to 3-4 sermons on mp3 per week. I have been concentrating on ancient cultures, mythology and religion. I'd love to get a degree in something like that someday, but that'll have to wait. Audio works best for me because I've got an hour-long commute each way, but I'm also a pretty voracious reader.

I'm an academic wannabe. :(



I think we're very much in agreement here. But I do want to add that I think there is a lot more to the Galileo issue than, 'The church persecuted him because he went against the Bible!'


Agreed, but the net result is a distrust of the church.

Athanasius
Apr 17th 2008, 11:51 PM
Something personal about me: I am from a somewhat liberal Church of Christ, liberal meaning "we use instruments in worship". :) I am still pretty conservative in my interpretations of scripture.

I'm fully on board with the common precepts of Evangelical Christians, although I'm not as dogmatic about some of the differences.

Oh my. . . Instruments?! It was bad enough allowing that bar instrument, the piano, into the church, now even more instruments? You scoundrels probably allow your women to wear slacks! Oh the immorality of the world, seeping into the church!

As humorous as that is, it really did happen at one point in the church's history. Of course now I only jest ;)


I agree. It is my belief that some of the concepts that the other religions used to explain the makeup of the heavens and earth did make their way into the biblical text, but the supernatural elements were pulled out, and those things were attributed to God. I could go into some detail over that with an analysis of Genesis 1, but I don't want to ruffle too many feathers. Not really worth it.

Well, it would be one of those, 'that's a different discussion entirely' things.



I'm a full-time software drudge with three kids, so I don't have a lot of time for education. I listen to a lot of lectures online - there are free ones offered by many schools around the country, and some excellent ones for sale by "The Teaching Company". I also listen to 3-4 sermons on mp3 per week. I have been concentrating on ancient cultures, mythology and religion. I'd love to get a degree in something like that someday, but that'll have to wait. Audio works best for me because I've got an hour-long commute each way, but I'm also a pretty voracious reader.

I'm an academic wannabe. :(

Wannabe? Nah, you sound pretty academic to me. But acadamia land isn't all it's cracked up to be either.



Agreed, but the net result is a distrust of the church.

Agreed, which is very much unfortunate.

IamBill
Apr 18th 2008, 03:12 AM
I too find this hardly worth getting angry or heated over.

Sure is fun to think and talk about though right ?

We also have to keep in mind the way things were translated, there was no punctuation or chapters, that was all added.

And as mentioned, choice of words used in the translations. Why ?

Why was "Day" chose from "yom" when "Era" could have been used ?
Why was "Adam" and "Man" inserted when they were when they are interchangeable ?
Why was "rib" chose when it could mean "side" ?

Why was the 7th day of creation put in chap. 2 instead of the end of 1 ?

Why was all created male and female ....except for "Adam" ?

Genesis reads a bit different to those who were never told what it meant before reading it.

:hmm:

Mic-Ev has been witnessed, we can't deny that it occurs.

But Macro ? come on now, we are 33% match to a daffodil
so.. 98% to a monkey is quite understandable. ;)

PilgrimPastor
Apr 18th 2008, 08:04 PM
Why was "Day" chose from "yom" when "Era" could have been used ?
Why was "Adam" and "Man" inserted when they were when they are interchangeable ?
Why was "rib" chose when it could mean "side" ?

Genesis reads a bit different to those who were never told what it meant before reading it.

:hmm:

Mic-Ev has been witnessed, we can't deny that it occurs.

But Macro ? come on now, we are 33% match to a daffodil
so.. 98% to a monkey is quite understandable. ;)

Some of this is, in fact, worth get "heated" over. The early Church was willing to die to keep the faith pure. We need to keep Christian love, but let us not forget to defend the truth...

Two thoughts: Where are you getting this information about Yom meaning era and so on? When Joshua records that the sun stood still for a day, the word Yom is also the original Hebrew, "So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day." (Joshua 10:13 NKJV)

That "day" did the sun stand still for an era? An epoch? A millions years? No, it stood still for a day.

Second, common elements in building material, et.al. DNA, Cells, water, etc. do not denote common origin as plainly as they denote common design, common structure, and a common builder - God.

Athanasius
Apr 18th 2008, 08:06 PM
Why was "Day" chose from "yom" when "Era" could have been used ?


Because era couldn't have been used according to the grammatical structure (original Hebrew) of Genesis 1, which does denote a 24 hour day.

IamBill
Apr 18th 2008, 09:47 PM
Some of this is, in fact, worth get "heated" over. The early Church was willing to die to keep the faith pure. We need to keep Christian love, but let us not forget to defend the truth...

Absolutely agree, but we are not the early church, and I don't think Jesus would want us getting irate at each other over our past. Jesus is concerned with our future, He Died for it.
Personally, be it 6 days 6 years or 6 thousand years, ect, it will have no bearing on my faith.


Two thoughts: Where are you getting this information about Yom meaning era and so on? When Joshua records that the sun stood still for a day, the word Yom is also the original Hebrew, "So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day." (Joshua 10:13 NKJV)

That "day" did the sun stand still for an era? An epoch? A millions years? No, it stood still for a day.
I'll guess that you now know where tho info comes from.
And yes, I would agree that in that case "day" would be the correct choice between epic/era/day from the word "yom"


Second, common elements in building material, et.al. DNA, Cells, water, etc. do not denote common origin as plainly as they denote common design, common structure, and a common builder - God
I think you may be misunderstanding my whole post. I do NOT believe in spontaneous generation(MACROE evolution). The point was that though we are 98% match to monkey, yeah, no kidding, so what, we are also 33% match to a daffodil.
but Micro evolution ?, we ARE able to witness this. A virus is a good example.

IamBill
Apr 18th 2008, 10:11 PM
Because era couldn't have been used according to the grammatical structure (original Hebrew) of Genesis 1, which does denote a 24 hour day.

Because of - "an evening and a morning"- Right ?

I am not saying it is wrong, but (and will try to find) I have read some very interesting things about the translations. and although small and seemingly unimportant to creation/Genesis overall, they do lessen doubt for some who feel the need to ask these questions.

and then we have mans tendency to fit things into what we do understand.

personally I think God could have done it ALL in a day if he wanted to.

:)

Edit: I have a couple gazillion bookmaarks to look thru, you may want to google -> "Hebrew word for ___ " and then choose a source you see fit.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 18th 2008, 11:01 PM
Absolutely agree, but we are not the early church, and I don't think Jesus would want us getting irate at each other over our past. Jesus is concerned with our future, He Died for it.
Personally, be it 6 days 6 years or 6 thousand years, ect, it will have no bearing on my faith.


I'll guess that you now know where tho info comes from.
And yes, I would agree that in that case "day" would be the correct choice between epic/era/day from the word "yom"


I think you may be misunderstanding my whole post. I do NOT believe in spontaneous generation(MACROE evolution). The point was that though we are 98% match to monkey, yeah, no kidding, so what, we are also 33% match to a daffodil.
but Micro evolution ?, we ARE able to witness this. A virus is a good example.

OK, I get it :wave: I had skimmed the post...

allanpopa
Apr 19th 2008, 10:36 AM
After 3 years of uni, studying theology, I've come to the conclusion that you'll only interpret Genesis 1-11 literally if you have absolutely no understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture and religion.

Genesis was written by 3 schools of thought, the Yahwist, the Elohist and the Priestly documents. The Creation stories were written by the Yahwist (Gen 2-3) and the Priestly (Gen 1). The Priestly Creation myth functions as introduction to Torah, it doesn't function as an historical account of the Creation of the universe. It's entirely about the creation of Sabbath and of Law. The theological motif - the Law (Torah) is embedded in the very nature of Creation.

By the way, if you want to be a literalist about Genesis 1-11 then why not throw away Creatio ex nihilo too? Genesis 1:2 states that there was water "tehom" before there was anything. Let's do the poem some justice. Let's do the authors of Genesis some justice. And let's do ourselves some justice. The priests were not writing about something which they knew that they knew nothing about. They were writing about something which they thought they knew a lot about, and it was law and survival in exile. We know that the theory of evolution rationally explains the diversity of life on earth and we know that the universe itself is far older than planet earth, so come on.

Allan.

crawfish
Apr 19th 2008, 01:19 PM
I too find this hardly worth getting angry or heated over.

Sure is fun to think and talk about though right ?

I agree, but the argument is so prevalent in our society these days that we really have no choice.


We also have to keep in mind the way things were translated, there was no punctuation or chapters, that was all added.

And as mentioned, choice of words used in the translations. Why ?

Why was "Day" chose from "yom" when "Era" could have been used ?
Why was "Adam" and "Man" inserted when they were when they are interchangeable ?
Why was "rib" chose when it could mean "side" ?

Why was the 7th day of creation put in chap. 2 instead of the end of 1 ?

Why was all created male and female ....except for "Adam" ?

Genesis reads a bit different to those who were never told what it meant before reading it.

I have to agree with the above poster in that "yom" really can't mean anything other than a literal day. However, since I see the entire story as allegorical, that fact hardly matters. God had a purpose in using the day meme which wasn't to literally describe how things happened, in my opinion.


Mic-Ev has been witnessed, we can't deny that it occurs.

But Macro ? come on now, we are 33% match to a daffodil
so.. 98% to a monkey is quite understandable. ;)


Well...if you keep going, you'll see we're closest to chimpanzees; then gorillas; then dogs...then lizards...then insects...then daffodils. If you make a chart of the evolutionary process, that is exactly what you would have expected to see. DNA would have destroyed the concept of evolution had this not been the case.

allanpopa
Apr 19th 2008, 03:18 PM
I have to agree with the above poster in that "yom" really can't mean anything other than a literal day. However, since I see the entire story as allegorical, that fact hardly matters. God had a purpose in using the day meme which wasn't to literally describe how things happened, in my opinion.

I can see the value in reading the stories this way much more than in the literalist approach. To concentrate on "yom" = day/era/millenium etc, is really to miss the point that even God does not miss Sabbath! The Creation myth is a Creation of Sabbath of Torah! I don't see how anyone can read it any other way. Kudos to you, crawfish.

Allan.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 19th 2008, 03:20 PM
After 3 years of uni, studying theology, I've come to the conclusion that you'll only interpret Genesis 1-11 literally if you have absolutely no understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture and religion.

Genesis was written by 3 schools of thought, the Yahwist, the Elohist and the Priestly documents. The Creation stories were written by the Yahwist (Gen 2-3) and the Priestly (Gen 1). The Priestly Creation myth functions as introduction to Torah, it doesn't function as an historical account of the Creation of the universe. It's entirely about the creation of Sabbath and of Law. The theological motif - the Law (Torah) is embedded in the very nature of Creation.

By the way, if you want to be a literalist about Genesis 1-11 then why not throw away Creatio ex nihilo too? Genesis 1:2 states that there was water "tehom" before there was anything. Let's do the poem some justice. Let's do the authors of Genesis some justice. And let's do ourselves some justice. The priests were not writing about something which they knew that they knew nothing about. They were writing about something which they thought they knew a lot about, and it was law and survival in exile. We know that the theory of evolution rationally explains the diversity of life on earth and we know that the universe itself is far older than planet earth, so come on.

Allan.

May I ask sir, what University? I am only curious since the exegetical methodology of the school would help me understand your thoughts in a more clear way. Certainly in a more deconstructionist environment that view is more likely to be presented and pushed.

My question to you is what about the resurrection, the virgin birth, and the current reign of Christ? How do you understand these matters? I'm curious about your overall system of theology - how do you contextual miracles etc.?

These are honest questions, not sarcastic remarks, I am genuinely interested in understanding your perspective. :hmm:

allanpopa
Apr 19th 2008, 03:38 PM
May I ask sir, what University? I am only curious since the exegetical methodology of the school would help me understand your thoughts in a more clear way. Certainly in a more deconstructionist environment that view is more likely to be presented and pushed.

My question to you is what about the resurrection, the virgin birth, and the current reign of Christ? How do you understand these matters? I'm curious about your overall system of theology - how do you contextual miracles etc.?

These are honest questions, not sarcastic remarks, I am genuinely interested in understanding your perspective.

OK, but keep in mind, I've heard the sarcastic and judgemental remarks and I'm unimpressed by them. So long as we're both genuine, all is good.

I study at the Brisbane College of Theology. I'm probably a little more towards the left than most of the staff and students who study with me.

I view the Resurrection and Virgin Birth and Nature Miracles as powerful metaphors for describing the eficacious nature of Jesus alive in the world today. I absolutely believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. I absolutely believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and I absolutely believe in the current Reign of Jesus. These are powerful truths which I would hold with every once of my being. They have become a very part of my being, having grown up in an Evangelical Christian home and I have kept them as central to my theology. Just because I don't think it's likely that they were literal events doesn't mean that I don't hold them as of paramount importance to my own very being.

Allan.

Athanasius
Apr 19th 2008, 05:49 PM
After 3 years of uni, studying theology, I've come to the conclusion that you'll only interpret Genesis 1-11 literally if you have absolutely no understanding of ancient Near Eastern culture and religion.

Genesis was written by 3 schools of thought, the Yahwist, the Elohist and the Priestly documents. The Creation stories were written by the Yahwist (Gen 2-3) and the Priestly (Gen 1). The Priestly Creation myth functions as introduction to Torah, it doesn't function as an historical account of the Creation of the universe. It's entirely about the creation of Sabbath and of Law. The theological motif - the Law (Torah) is embedded in the very nature of Creation.

What am I getting myself into!

I'm going to assume you're a deconstructionist? Outside that assumption there's a very apparent use of source and form criticism. Source being the origins of the text (J, E and P) and form being the type of story; in this case a myth which symbolically represents the Sabbath and Law. These criticisms aren't necessarily a bad thing--I'm just trying to get an understanding of where you are coming from.

I'm going to say I have a deep enough understanding the cultures and religions of the ANE to make an educated decision on how Genesis should be read. I also understand the differences between Yawhist, Elohist and Priestly (J, E, and P) documents. In the opinion of the British theologian Colin Gunton I would be one of the naive who, still knowing all this, believes Genesis 1 to be a literal account.

I know in your response below you are worried about sarcasm between posters, but I ask you, what about condescension and assumption? It is a very big (and serious) thing to accuse those who take Genesis 1-11 literally of having absolutely no understanding of ANE cultures and societies. I also have a problem with people who throw around terms just as the ANE, the Yahwist, Elohist and Priestly documents and don't really explain them. . . Whether or not you meant to, all you did here was try to show you knew more, this is why everyone else is wrong, you are right. You didn't at all explain why these aforementioned things are important and relevant to the text.

So. . . . That's what I'm going to do. Well, I'm going to drone on about JEDP (we won't bother with R) sources. You didn't really talk about ANE cultures, so I won't go on about those.

Drawing attention first to Hebrews 1:1, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers though the prophets at many times and in various ways" (emphasis mine). God spoke to many different people in many different ways, would seem to be consistent with the JEDP hypothesis so far (D, for Deuteronomical, is another source like the three mentioned above, but does not pertain to Genesis). It is very much possible that God led certain writers to gather other writings and materials and combine those to establish holy writ. I don't think it should be a wholly startling thing to consider different sources were used to write the books of the Old Testament. Luke, after all, investigated all that had been handed down about Jesus to sort out what was inaccurate or accurate (Luke 1:1-4). Inspiration gave discernment in the picking of documents.

Now I believe Moses wrote the book of Genesis and that this sorting of materials (10 mentioned in Genesis, ex. Gen 6:9; 5:1; 2:4) is exactly what happened during the composition of Genesis. But, this is a very different thing than talking about hypothetical sources, such as the ones you mentioned above. Two problems with this is that 1) no one has ever seen J, E, D or P documents and 2) there are no allusions to them in ancient literature paralleling what we see in Genesis. Why have we usurped the authority of Genesis, where it plainly says that whoever wrote Genesis (I believe Moses, as that's who's traditionally been seen to have written the book. Also, Jesus credits Moses with the writing of the book) used different sources in favour of this JEDP hypothesis when there is no need too?

I don't want to get ahead of myself, so I'll stop there for now as to the validity of the JEDP hypothesis. If you wish to continue this then I'm sure you'll be wanting to talk about Yahweh Elohim/Elohim and the 'contradictory' creation accounts (not myths) of Genesis 1 and 2. Just quickly in regards to Genesis being symbolic of the Sabbath and Law, certainly it could hold that meaning, but why does it have to hold that meaning over the historical account? It can't be an historical account with a 'deeper' significance? Remember, if we have no JEDP documents, using priests as the reason for this doesn't hold.



By the way, if you want to be a literalist about Genesis 1-11 then why not throw away Creatio ex nihilo too? Genesis 1:2 states that there was water "tehom" before there was anything. Let's do the poem some justice. Let's do the authors of Genesis some justice. And let's do ourselves some justice. The priests were not writing about something which they knew that they knew nothing about. They were writing about something which they thought they knew a lot about, and it was law and survival in exile. We know that the theory of evolution rationally explains the diversity of life on earth and we know that the universe itself is far older than planet earth, so come on.

Allan.

Well, we still hang on to Creation ex nihilo because of Genesis 1:1. Genesis 1:2 is after the initial creation of 1:1

You're right, the priests were not writing about something which they knew something about--the priests didn't do any of the writing of Genesis--Moses did. Moses most certainly wasn't writing during the Babylonian exile, either. I appreciate your zeal, but in your first two responses you've completely undermined Christianity. To say quickly 1) Evolution doesn't 'rationally' explain the diversity (or origin) of life and 2) 'Age' is hardly an argument. There are many different schools of thoughts on this, I'm sure you're familiar with these.


OK, but keep in mind, I've heard the sarcastic and judgemental remarks and I'm unimpressed by them. So long as we're both genuine, all is good.

Yeah, I'm not impressed by them either. Especially yours.



I view the Resurrection and Virgin Birth and Nature Miracles as powerful metaphors for describing the eficacious nature of Jesus alive in the world today. I absolutely believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. I absolutely believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and I absolutely believe in the current Reign of Jesus. These are powerful truths which I would hold with every once of my being. They have become a very part of my being, having grown up in an Evangelical Christian home and I have kept them as central to my theology. Just because I don't think it's likely that they were literal events doesn't mean that I don't hold them as of paramount importance to my own very being.

Allan.

Oh no you can hold them with paramount importance. . . They just have no power.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 19th 2008, 08:58 PM
OK, but keep in mind, I've heard the sarcastic and judgemental remarks and I'm unimpressed by them. So long as we're both genuine, all is good.

I study at the Brisbane College of Theology. I'm probably a little more towards the left than most of the staff and students who study with me.

I view the Resurrection and Virgin Birth and Nature Miracles as powerful metaphors for describing the efficacious nature of Jesus alive in the world today. I absolutely believe in the Resurrection of Jesus. I absolutely believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and I absolutely believe in the current Reign of Jesus. These are powerful truths which I would hold with every once of my being. They have become a very part of my being, having grown up in an Evangelical Christian home and I have kept them as central to my theology. Just because I don't think it's likely that they were literal events doesn't mean that I don't hold them as of paramount importance to my own very being.

Allan.

I appreciate that very much. I am a Congregational Pastor and central to our way is an appreciation for differences. "Unity in Diversity" is the long standing "slogan."

That being said, I am more conservative than most Congregational Pastors but there are many who are. I am discouraged by what I see happening in many churches where liberal theology is embraced and then this theology seems to run its course to an outright denial of the authority of the Scriptures - that is my experience at least and I have seen it first hand in a Church where I was Pastor.

I tried to lead them back toward a more biblical Christianity in many areas but the former Pastor of 14 years had told them the resurrection wasn't in any sense literal, the virgin birth was (as he said it and I quote) "not an important part of the story..." He taught them that Christianity was only a moral way to live. I disagree - Christianity is about God breaking into human history and filling our souls with grace through Christ to empower us toward righteous living with His righteousness!

I appreciate your faith and would not try to sound "Pharisee-ic" and pious to you but I am concerned by your use of the word "metaphors" in regard to miracles. The disciples were willing to die for the truth of the resurrection. I have never heard of anyone dying for a metaphor. What is your take on what the factor was which propelled the early church in spite of hardship? Why would they face death for metaphors and morals? :hmm:

I am convinced that only a very literal view of the resurrection and other miracles explains the growth of the early church in light of historical factors.

RevLogos
Apr 19th 2008, 09:12 PM
I absolutely believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus and I absolutely believe in the current Reign of Jesus. These are powerful truths which I would hold with every once of my being. They have become a very part of my being, having grown up in an Evangelical Christian home and I have kept them as central to my theology. Just because I don't think it's likely that they were literal events doesn't mean that I don't hold them as of paramount importance to my own very being.

Allan.

Hi Allen!

I'm having trouble understanding this. You believe in the resurrection and virgin birth as powerful truths. But then say these were not literal events. Lets just look at the resurrection. How can this be a powerful truth but not a literal event? What literally happened then? Was Jesus crucified? What happened to his body?

crawfish
Apr 19th 2008, 09:43 PM
First, I'm a TE not sold on the documentary hypothesis. There is a thematic consistency to Genesis that indicates a single author may have been involved; it is also possible that the author (Moses) was taking oral accounts and putting them to paper, and each oral account was written in a way that reflected the source. The inspired nature of Genesis-Deuteronomy is something that I do not question.

Second, please know that not all TE's are equal. The term refers to anybody who accepts evolution and the inspiration of scipture, but beyond that there is little that can be implied about the individual. Some are very liberal Christians; some are devoutly conservative.

I, myself, fully believe in the existence of miracles and of the personhood of Jesus, including his virgin birth and resurrection. I do not believe they are metaphors. Here is a general rule I use to evaluate this: the creation account is something with no eyewitness but God, and was written long after the event. The historical accounts of the bible past Genesis, including the Gospels, were written in the generation that experienced them, many times by eyewitnesses. Matthew proclaimed the virgin birth and knew both Jesus and Mary. Three of the Gospel writers witnessed his death, and met him after the resurrection.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 19th 2008, 10:00 PM
First, I'm a TE not sold on the documentary hypothesis. There is a thematic consistency to Genesis that indicates a single author may have been involved; it is also possible that the author (Moses) was taking oral accounts and putting them to paper, and each oral account was written in a way that reflected the source. The inspired nature of Genesis-Deuteronomy is something that I do not question.

Second, please know that not all TE's are equal. The term refers to anybody who accepts evolution and the inspiration of scipture, but beyond that there is little that can be implied about the individual. Some are very liberal Christians; some are devoutly conservative.

I, myself, fully believe in the existence of miracles and of the personhood of Jesus, including his virgin birth and resurrection. I do not believe they are metaphors. Here is a general rule I use to evaluate this: the creation account is something with no eyewitness but God, and was written long after the event. The historical accounts of the bible past Genesis, including the Gospels, were written in the generation that experienced them, many times by eyewitnesses. Matthew proclaimed the virgin birth and knew both Jesus and Mary. Three of the Gospel writers witnessed his death, and met him after the resurrection.

TE? What is that? :confused A Tel-Evangelist?

Athanasius
Apr 19th 2008, 10:04 PM
TE? What is that? :confused A Tel-Evangelist?

Theistic evolutionist.

PilgrimPastor
Apr 19th 2008, 10:39 PM
Theistic evolutionist.

Oh! I should have got that :pp

Son_kissed
Apr 20th 2008, 12:45 AM
i recall hearing a verse in Genesis that demonstrates that MACROevolution would be impossible. it was something to the effect of sin and death entered the world through adam. Evolution whould require the death of infinitismal beings before Adam...therefore evolution could not have occured. obviously this applies to humans, but did adam's sin affect the animal kingdom? i am looking for some apologetics for those who claim to "know God", but beleive in theistic evolution.

God bless,
Todd

Maybe the same way that the forgiveness of sin and life by one man, Jesus, stretches forward and backward in time to all those who have and will believe, so did sin and death by one man? Just an idea...

IamBill
Apr 21st 2008, 02:46 AM
I agree, but the argument is so prevalent in our society these days that we really have no choice.

:) I guess my stance is that we will all know exactly "How" eventually. We may not be able to comprehend it anyway.
I am probably, as much on your page as I am on others' here, though I cannot accept mAcro-E, the Bible does Not say. "On Monday, God did this. Then, on Tuesday, God did that. etc etc". As far as "I" am concerned .....God did it, period.


I have to agree with the above poster in that "yom" really can't mean anything other than a literal day. However, since I see the entire story as allegorical, that fact hardly matters. God had a purpose in using the day meme which wasn't to literally describe how things happened, in my opinion.

Yeah, I understand, It's just that (IMO), "an evening and a morning" is not suggesting the passing of ONE "literal day", because it is used with each day mentioned ...yet the Sun, which gives us evenings and mornings, is not created until the forth day ???? .....Just me I guess. :)


Well...if you keep going, you'll see we're closest to chimpanzees; then gorillas; then dogs...then lizards...then insects...then daffodils. If you make a chart of the evolutionary process, that is exactly what you would have expected to see. DNA would have destroyed the concept of evolution had this not been the case.
Yes, from one extreme to the other. But, it just suggests a common "Designer" to me.
Like a great artist's style, the work can recognized before or without seeing their signature.
:)

IamBill
Apr 21st 2008, 02:57 AM
I can see the value in reading the stories this way much more than in the literalist approach. To concentrate on "yom" = day/era/millenium etc, is really to miss the point that even God does not miss Sabbath! The Creation myth is a Creation of Sabbath of Torah! I don't see how anyone can read it any other way. Kudos to you, crawfish.

Allan.

Focus ??
hmm, I asked five questions. which were as much in support of what crawfish had stated earlier than Not.

Myth ?? Creation of the sabbath/Torah ?? .. interesting, here I thought it was the creation of the entire universe.

:B

itsokimadocter
Apr 21st 2008, 02:45 PM
someone earlier had posted a question concerning the usage of the words "the evening and the morning" & "day", but i dont think it was answered. in the hebrew, how is the usage of the word "yom" as a period of time reconciled with the words "the evening and the morning"?

thanks & God bless,
todd