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Mike – I am very grateful for you taking the trouble to pop over to my blog and leave the link to Dr Walton’s lecture. I have posted about your blog and about Dr Walton’s work in the hope that this may assist the enlightenment of my Biblically Literalist Fundamentalist friend.
How to understand the Bible Genesis Account
While our thoughts on the existence of God may never agree at least we can all hopefully find some way to move away from this fruitless attempt by Creationists to create an alternative creationist science.
Best Wishes to you.
Mike, have you seen this?
Thanks for posting your article! I haven’t read it yet (I skimmed it real quick), but I intend to give it a thorough look tomorrow.
Good to see you on Biblicalist!
Thanks for the mention on your blog! The question of God’s existence aside, I hope we can continue to work together to help others truly understand the Bible’s literary nature.
I keep checking your site everyday for your “post-Expelled” Post. Did you go to the movie? Are you going to comment? I’m interested …
Ditto Cliff, above–I’ve seen opinions from the polar extremes on the issue, and I’d be interested to get yours.
Haven’t seen it myself, yet.
Cliff and Cminor,
Timing is everything. I literally just returned from seeing the movie, only to find you guys clamoring for a review! =)
I jotted down some notes during the movie and will (more than likely) post a review tomorrow, as my language training begins Monday full-force.
i really enjoyed reading your story. Thanks very much.
I’m thinking through this issue as best I can and have just started a blog: http://iwillquestionyou.blogspot.com/.
I’ve included a limited response to a few of the points that I initially thought might be pursuasive, and were of particular interest to me.
All the best as you follow Christ,Hugh.
Thanks for stopping by to comment. I appreciate your willingness to learn as well as your irenic spirit.
I’ve taken a look at your blog and fully intend to participate, especially in the discussions related directly to your critique of my thoughts. See you there soon! =)
I dare say, this is the only blog I frequent where the first thing I see when I pull it up is a male penis. Do you think you could photoshop a leaf over that guy….before someone looks over my shoulder:-)
Pete, that’s funny – I quickly scroll down myself!
That’s funny, Pete. I was just mentioning that to Steve Douglas just the other day. I’d love to do that, but I hesitate to modify a famous work of art (the title of my blog notwithstanding).
When I first started tinkering with the artwork, I though of lengthening the picture and putting a DNA strand between Adam’s and God’s fingers, but it looked really funny.
Anyhoo, I’ll consider your request. If you have any experience with photoshopping, please let me know. =)
Interesting blog. I found it because of a post on a Facebook group. I haven’t read everything here yet. I used to be a creationist also.
Glad to have you stop by. You’ll find things pretty irenic here, so feel free to ask questions, constructively critique, etc.
Pete & Steve,
I dare say, this is the only blog I frequent where the first thing I see when I pull it up is a male penis.
Happy? So’s my wife. =)
Hello Mike! My sincere apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Believe it or not, I’m just now seeing your request. Didn’t even realize you might have seen my comments on your “Journey” articles. The answer is yes, of course, there’s no problem with sharing/evaluating/critiquing whatever I write on CARM, including my comments WRT your blog essays.
I will be offline from CARM until April 11, working on a little project. After that, I’ll be back on and also I will be able to start visiting your blog, as it has proven to be very interesting reading and I would definitely like to keep up with your essays.
Thanks for responding to my request. Once I get some free time (language studies consume most, if not all, of my free time), I’ll repost your critique with some inline responses/comments, and then allow for comments from my readers and, of course, yourself.
Many thanks for your review! Lots to chew on …
I stumpled upon your blog today and find it really interesting.
I just noted one thing that I find contradictory though: The “evolutionary creationism” in your blog’s subtitle.
I can see where you’re coming from and why you use this phrase. And Although I don’t think that religion and science are mutually exclusive, I think that creation and evolution (in the sense of Darwin) are:
Both creation and evolution are processes, but while one is actively driven by a conscious hand, the other is passively decided, if not by accident, then by chance.
You can actively create a piece of pottery, a painting, a text. But in evolution, there is no active agent. There is no driving force directing the process, no choice involved.
Prior to Darwin, Jean-Baptist de Lamarck, a French biologist, conceived a form of “creative” evolution. He believed that the environment caused animals to change. They passed these changes on to their offspring.
The most famous example of Lamarckism is the neck length of giraffes: At first, giraffes had short necks. Yet, at some point, their food grew higher on trees (environment), so they had to stretch their necks to reach the food. Their necks thus became longer, and this feature was inherited to the next generation of giraffes. Therefore, giraffes have long necks.
While this may be considered evolutionary creationism, it contradicts Darwin’s idea of natural selection. Darwin starts, not with an individual animal, but with the entire population of a species in a given area. Through mutations (even very minor), each individual differs slightly from the other. These variations are natural. (Darwin didn’t know of DNA, but genetical reproduction is never perfect. Hence the mutations.)
Now, because of these variations, certain individuals are better “equipped” to survive in a given environment as others and get to reproduce, thus spreading their gene material to the species’ next generation. Those who aren’t, don’t get to reproduce at best, or die too soon at worst. In either case, their DNA is not carried on to the species next generation and disappears from the gene pool. (It’s just these variations that are thus extinct.)
If environmental conditions change, the entire ecosystem will change: More or less suddenly, those individuals, who were fittest prior to the change, find themselves at a disadvantage. Other individuals will strive and reproduce, thus changing the species’ gene pool again. Over hundreds, thousands, millions of years this process leads to more various and more specified species and to the abundance of life we can see today.
The entire process, however, just happens. Chance is not an active agent. Nor is chance either good or bad. Because there is no consciousness involved in the process, it cannot be good or bad. (It is our own consciousness that interprets the process as something that is either meant to be (good) or not meant to be (bad).)
There’s really no active, creative or conscious influence in evolution, unless it’s in a lab environment (in which case the influence is not divine, but human). At least there is none that can be proven at this time. (And that leaves plenty of room for religion, faith, or God, whatever form He/it takes.)
Now, I didn’t mean to lecture, but I felt this was important for understanding of evolution. Evolution just happens, it’s us who think that it has to mean something.
PS: Feel free to edit this post as you see fit to make it shorter. Or delete it if it is way too long. I’d understand.
Kate, I agree with all of what you say and don’t personally believe in a ‘creator’. The only thing I might take exception to, is the use of the word ‘chance’implying that the universe just formed by random chance. The six day creationists use this ‘random chance’terminolgy perjoratively to make evolution seem ridiculous. The universe operates under very srict natural laws in which chance is eliminated. It is simply a pet peeve of mine that diminishes the beautiful concept that all that has been formed in the cosmos is directed by the stunning power of natural laws(not random chance) rather than some conscious observer.To me that makes a mountain meadow much more beautiful than if it were simply created by a deity etc.A deity would find creating a meadow quite a simple task. To think that the meadow got there solely due to natural laws, makes it a much grander proposition.
I absolutely agree. I used chance in its mathematical sense of probability though, not as, and therefore in contrast to, accident.
However, I also think that natural laws leave enough room for more than one “creation”. The outcome is not inevitable, nor pre-planned, nor predictable. So we’re just lucky to be here and to get to admire the diversity of the life around us.
I wholeheartedly agree with you that natural laws leave more than enough room for many “creations” and who knows,these other creations could be with us right now if the multiverse theory proves correct.Mabe we are sitting in another universes meadow right now that is far more beautiful than our earths. I’d like to think we are.As you mentined, we are incredibly lucky, fortunate(really no words suffice)to be here and thats why not a second should be wasted in my view.Maybe a well written book explaining the laws of nature should be composed and touted as the true text to which we should pay homage 🙂
Thanks for the kind words, Kate! =)
I just noted one thing that I find contradictory though: The “evolutionary creationism” in your blog’s subtitle. … And Although I don’t think that religion and science are mutually exclusive, I think that creation and evolution (in the sense of Darwin) are.
Please understand that the term evolutionary creationism is not meant to describe a scientific process. The term evolution suffices just fine in that regard. It’s only where the domains of religio-philosophy and science inter-digitate that I find it necessary to use evolutionary creationism. If one believes that God created the cosmos via the Big Bang, as I do, then regardless of the physical processes by which evidence is formed (e.g., the fossil record) and observe currently (e.g., genetic evidence), one must conclude that creationism is an appropriate term to describe this belief, despite the “baggage” that is attached to the term as a result of modern attempts to force concordance between the book of Genesis and science.
I wouldn’t necessarily call “creation” a process. In my view, the initial creation of the cosmos was an “act,” not a process; at the same time, however, I believe that God continues to “create” via evolutionary processes. I never noticed until now that there is a bit of tension in the term; however, cannot one create a work of art using natural means? For example, if I take a paintbrush, dip it in paint, and whip it toward a blank canvass, I can create a work of art, the end result of which is purely determined by the laws of nature (i.e., gravity, friction, air density, etc.). The initial act of creation was, of course, intelligently determined.
No active agent in evolution? The active agent is the laws of nature itself. In fact, despite the term random being used quite liberally in the scientific literature, I don’t believe evolutionary processes to be purely random. Every effect has a cause. Rolling dice to produce “snake eyes” is random to a degree; I did not intend for both dies to land with a single dot face up. However, it was an effect caused by the rotation of my wrist a certain number of degrees, the speed at which I threw the dice, air density/temperature/humidity, the angle (however slight) of the table, ad nauseam.
Prior to Darwin, Jean-Baptist de Lamarck, a French biologist, conceived a form of “creative” evolution. … While this may be considered evolutionary creationism, it contradicts Darwin’s idea of natural selection.
I wouldn’t call Lamarckism “evolutionary creationism” in the Evangelical Christian sense of the term, although I can see how one might confuse Lamarckism as being a form of it. I, for one, outright reject Lamarck’s ideas.
You’re absolutely right, Kate. And, for the most part, we agree completely on the scientific aspects of evolution. And only religion and/or philosophy can give evolution meaning. My blog is not intended to force meaning upon evolution; it’s more geared toward helping other Evangelical Christians come to terms with the scientific evidence which both of us believe to be an accurate testimony of what has occurred and is occurring even now, and showing them that their faith in God and faith in science can peacefully co-exist.
Hope that helps you understand from where I’m coming and the reason why I’ve adopted evolutionary creationism to describe my position.
Thank you for taking the time to reply and clarify your point of view. I see where you are coming from, even though I beg to differ, now even more than before.
I understand you are trying to bring together modern science and Christian faith. I think it’s important. Yet, is not a proper use of terms of great significance for such an endeavour? And you yourself noted the tensions that arise from using evolution and creation alongside each other.
I also agree that creation is an act, but is not any act a process too? And does not creation require thinking about what is to be created, therefore the actual creation beginning before the act? And even if it were one mere act, does that not set off a process then? The examples you gave certainly lead to that conclusion.
And yes, natural laws leave plenty of room for interpretation – and plenty of room for God (as the one who set all the rules). But they don’t require an active agent, nor are they themselves active in any way.
That’s where the beauty in natural laws lies: You can take the creator – God – out of the equation, and it works just as well; it remains just as beautiful, maybe it becomes even more beautiful precisely because it is no longer fuzzied by the influence of God, an agent that cannot be scientifically proven.
That is certainly the case with evolution. It is so beautiful and has captured so many young scientists since Darwin because it is so simple, so obvious, and God not nessary to understand it.
And yes, I agree, it does take religion and/or philosophy to give meaning to everything – because that is how our minds’ work. It’s impossible to conceive of a world without meaning.
Or at least that’s what I think most people think.
I have come to think differently. To illustrate, I would like to get back to the example of the meadow we talked about earlier: The meadow – soil, grass, flowers, butterflies – all by itself is neither pretty nor ugly, neither peaceful nor threatened. It simply is. It exists. Maybe it changes – when it rains, when the sun shines. That’s all. It just is.
It takes us, the observer, to make a judgement. To give meaning to it, to say it looks, smeels, feels like this or that. Meaning is not inherent in the things around us, nor in the laws of nature. It only comes through us.
Maybe that’s why evolution especially has to have a meaning, a direction, requires a guiding hand. Because if it didn’t, the implications are just too frightening: Because if there is no God needed for such a fundamental process, maybe there is no God after all?
After reading your reply and a little more of your blog, I don’t think the conflict of evolutionary creationism is resolvable. After all, it is still creationism and therefore not evolution, is it?
You did not choose “evolution and creation” or any other phrase where evolution and creation stand as equals. No, for you it is still creationism, evolution being reduced to a mere property. But creationism nonetheless.
Hi, Mike! In my never ending quest to find more books on understanding Genesis, I noticed that you have The Meaning of Genesis on your book scrool. I’m thinking about buying it. Is it worth it?
I see where you are coming from, even though I beg to differ, now even more than before. … Yet, is not a proper use of terms of great significance for such an endeavour?When I speak to a scientist about my beliefs, I say I’m an evolutionist; God doesn’t come into the conversation. When I speak to a Christian or a member of another faith, I say I’m a Christian (who is, by definition, a creationist). When I speak to a religious individual who asks me how I handle the tension between science and faith, I say I’m an evolutionary creationist. I tailor my conversation to the person with whom I’m conversing. It’s as simple as that. What else would you have me do?
That’s where the beauty in natural laws lies: You can take the creator – God – out of the equation, and it works just as wellThis is true, and I’m perfectly happy keeping God out of the scientific equation. It’s also why I’m a lifetime member of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Just because I believe that God upholds and sustains the evolutionary processes by virtue of being the Creator does nothing to compromise the scientific method.
it remains just as beautiful, maybe it becomes even more beautiful precisely because it is no longer fuzzied by the influence of God, an agent that cannot be scientifically proven.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is it not? I know of plenty of atheists who do not see evolution as beautiful, but rather brutal-ful (to coin a phrase).
Maybe that’s why evolution especially has to have a meaning, a direction, requires a guiding hand. Because if it didn’t, the implications are just too frightening: Because if there is no God needed for such a fundamental process, maybe there is no God after all?Now I’m confused. Where do you stand on the subject of God’s existence?
After reading your reply and a little more of your blog, I don’t think the conflict of evolutionary creationism is resolvable. After all, it is still creationism and therefore not evolution, is it?And now I’m even more confused. How is it that my position does not admit the fact that cosmological and biological evolution has been an ongoing process for what scientists believe to be approximately 15 billion years?
You did not choose “evolution and creation” or any other phrase where evolution and creation stand as equals.Let’s assume you’re a theist. Would you believe the creation to be equal to the Creator? I wouldn’t think so. From a theistic perspective, they aren’t nor will they ever be equal. Thus, I’m quite happy describing myself as an evolutionary creationist.
No, for you it is still creationism, evolution being reduced to a mere property. But creationism nonetheless.Geesh, Kate. What would make you happy? For me to become an atheist? Because that’s the only way I’d ever drop the term “creationist.” Anyone and everyone who believes in a Creator is a creationist, regardless of position on origins.
I noticed that you have The Meaning of Genesis on your book scrool.Speaking of which, the Amazon widgets aren’t working anymore! Don’t know why …
I’m thinking about buying it. Is it worth it?Even if you’re already convinced of the TE/EC position, it’s a great resource! Highly recommended.
Thanks, Mike. I actually just finished it and thought that his explanation of Genesis 1 is the best I have heard.
I am not wholly convinced by his explanation of Genesis 2-3. Still working on understanding the meaning behind this part of scripture.
Oh … I thought it was clear that I was an atheist. (And one who has to have the last word, too. 😉 )
I tell you where I think evolution and creationism are irreconcilable – and I'm all for accepting both science and religion equally (unless it's in science class, of course). One as a means of investigation, and one as a means of giving meaning to the results found through said investigation (and in this way similar to any good philosophy).
Where I disagree – and strongly so – is that evolution does NOT require a creator, nor – when we look at the tree of life we're able to draw from DNA – does it leave room for a CREATOR. A guide maybe, someone who nudges evolution in the right direction, but certainly not a creator who actively and consciously creates one species out of another.
Therefore, if anything, there can be a guided evolution, but not a created evolution. (The latter would be a hundred per cent creation after all.)
Also, I think you can be unsure about evolution and therefore hold on to various ideas of creationism, but I think you cannot be both an evolutionist and a creationist. No matter who you talk to or under what circumstance. You cannot be somebody's mother and another someone's son either, can you?
In this case, you have to choose sides. Or else, just say you're not ready to let go of creationism. But, please, don't pretend. Because it's this pretending that blurs the image again and makes it harder for those who are trying to get the whole picture. (Here, again, I would have to argue for the inappropriateness of your blog's title.)
I'm glad you said it yourself. You are a creationist after all. Whether you believe God put all species on this planet a mere couple thousand years or some million years ago. But really, that's not evolution.
I'm also very glad that you are dealing with this so intensely, but I still think that in the theory of evolution and natural selection there is no room for God. Nor for any other philosophy. Because it deals with what was and what is there only, regardless of what all of it might mean.
It's religion and philosophy that insist on meaning, and I think it's one of the great challenges we have yet to master to accept things as having no inherent meaning. Meaning only comes through us. You said it yourself: Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and in the eye of the beholder only I add.
Interesting blog. I've had bit of a journey myself from naive evolutionist to naive creationist then back to a mature understanding of what evolution is about, though with a lot more questions than answers as far as science & faith go.
Some bits from reading "Genesis" which I thought you might find interesting. For example, the YECs fervently claim "death came through Adam" and point to the pre-Lapsarian vegetarianism of the animals. However they never explain what sea creatures ate before or after the Fall/Flood since the text is totally silent on the issue.
Another is the curious fact that Adam was formed from the dust, then God breathed into his nostrils. But a bit later God forms the animals from the ground also, like there's no distinction between one or the other.
Of course there's plenty of loose ends in the tales – like where did the light come from on the first day? One thought that occurred to me is that the writers may well have seen the bright day-time sky as a separable phenomena to the Sun. They knew the two were associated, but the bright-sky always precedes and follows the Sun before sunrise and after sun-set respectively. So in a naive observational sense a bright sky without the Sun made sense to those ancient writers. Of course we know the bright sky comes from Rayleigh scattering of blue light, but they didn't know that then.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Conrad Hyer's The Meaning of Genesis, especially Genesis 2-3.
I thought it was clear that I was an atheist. (And one who has to have the last word, too. 😉 )
As long as this is my blog, you'll never have the last word, regardless of how long it takes me to respond. 😉 Speaking of which, my apologies for taking so long. It seems all I ever do these days is eat and sleep Persian Farsi. Only 3 more months to go …
Where I disagree – and strongly so – is that evolution does NOT require a creator, nor – when we look at the tree of life we're able to draw from DNA – does it leave room for a CREATOR.
You surely misunderstand me. I've never said (nor, I hope, implied) that evolution requires a Creator. I simply believe in a Creator, with no scientific evidence leading me to that conclusion. However, for you to declare that evolution leaves no room for a Creator is, IMHO, misguided. Speaking of guidance …
A guide maybe, someone who nudges evolution in the right direction, but certainly not a creator who actively and consciously creates one species out of another. Therefore, if anything, there can be a guided evolution, but not a created evolution. (The latter would be a hundred per cent creation after all.)
So you're open to the idea of a Guider and not a Creator? My apologies, but your arguments aren't making any sense to me. Moreover, I've never said (nor, I hope, implied) that God consciously creates one species out of another. I'm beginning to see where the disconnect is: You have absolutely no clue as to what I believe. You've railed against the name of my blog because you don't see the concept of a Creator and the concept of evolution as compatible, yet you appear not to have delved any deeper than my blog title to seek out the reason why I feel that I can call myself an Evolutionary Creationist.
I think you cannot be both an evolutionist and a creationist.
I exist, therefore you're wrong.
In this case, you have to choose sides. Or else, just say you're not ready to let go of creationism.
How do you define "creationism"? I'm beginning to think that you've redefined "creationism" and "evolution" to suit your own philosophical eccentricities.
That being said, it's difficult to let go of belief in a Creator when you believe you've experienced the Creator.
But, please, don't pretend. Because it's this pretending that blurs the image again and makes it harder for those who are trying to get the whole picture.
Okay, this is just getting a little weird. Are you claiming I pretend to believe in both, but really don't?
I'm glad you said it yourself. You are a creationist after all.
It's in the subtitle of my blog, Kate. Never tried to pull one over on you from the beginning.
BTW, Kate, I ran your arguments past an atheist friend of mine. I asked if any of your arguments made sense and here's what he had to say:
"The short answer is no. I initially thought she was trying or going to say that science has a perfectly valid explanation of how evolution can occur without invoking the supernatural. So, with that in mind I would agree with her first 'major' point that evolution doesn't require a creator. So far, so good.
Her next statement that after looking at the tree of life and DNA, there is NO ROOM for a creator, is puzzling. To me the tree of life and DNA are merely mechanisms that explain evolution and inherently make no philosophical statements. Counting from zero to nine tells us nothing about the Sumerians who developed math.
But then the big one — the concept of a guide nudging things along — but no creator. Whoops. Better call Rod Serling in on that one. Maybe he can explain that one. I certainly don't want to be cruel, but she loses all credibility with that comment. Since I don't believe in a creator, I would sure like to know who this guide is, because I have a lot of questions to ask of it, like why did it give me fair skin.
Seriously, I think she doesn't seem to understand that the 'science' of evolution doesn't include or exclude the supernatural, but that it is just mum on the issue by its own definition. As Tennessee Ernie Ford used to say, 'Bless her little pea-pickin' heart.'"
YECs fervently claim "death came through Adam" and point to the pre-Lapsarian vegetarianism of the animals. However they never explain what sea creatures ate before or after the Fall/Flood since the text is totally silent on the issue.
There are some YECs who claim that the carnivorous features formed after the Fall, while others claim that their carnivorous features had pre-Fall, non-violent purposes. In both cases, there is merely dogmatism with no reliance on scientific evidence.
Here's Answers in Genesis' take on it.
I believe the big distinction is that God breathed into Adam, giving him a unique spirit.
Of course there's plenty of loose ends in the tales – like where did the light come from on the first day? One thought that occurred to me is that the writers may well have seen the bright day-time sky as a separable phenomena to the Sun. They knew the two were associated, but the bright-sky always precedes and follows the Sun before sunrise and after sun-set respectively. So in a naive observational sense a bright sky without the Sun made sense to those ancient writers.
You are absolutely correct on this point!
Thanks for stopping by, Qrall. =)
Hi Mike, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate reading about your journey. It is not so dissimilar to my own.
Growing up in an evangelical household, I absolutely loved dinosaurs. I wanted to be a paleontologist from a very early age, even before seeing Jurassic Park (which, btw, only affirmed my third grade self's career path).
I remember making the declaration to my mom when I was in about 4th grade that I believed that God made us through evolution. But as I became a teenager, I because more and more aware of how "evil" evolution was. I too became a young earth creationist.
But I was always embarrassed by it. And I always had questions. If every animal was on the ark, how did all of the marsupials end up in Australia? Why is there evidence that human civilization predates the supposed date of creation? Why in the world do we look (and act) so much like monkeys and apes if we are not related to them at all?
I remember in my 11th grade english class, we read "Inherit the Wind" and watched the movie. I was embarrassed to be connected with those people. Of course like a good little Christian boy, I just wrote that embarrassment off as my own lack of faith.
Long story short, I have tried my best just to ignore the beginning of Genesis for the past ten years. I'm a youth pastor and have constantly steered clear of questions about evolution and creation and genesis. But a few weeks ago, I began reading Walton's commentary and things have changed quite a bit.
I guess I've come to the realization that most of the YEC advocates out there really are unqualified in Old Testament studies.
I agree with the language associated with the communistic propagandist rendition of the man thinking, that we should "think critically." However, I suggest that critical thinking at this point in history would be more consistent with challenging, rather than accepting evolutionary theory.
Because I don't have the time to evaluate this entire blog and your journey in the detail that you have presented it, I would like to submit a few considerations for you.
1. God's predominant story is that he spoke things into existence, due to his immense power to do so, and that he did so quickly – in 7 days, as it says in Genesis. Of course there are many possible ways to attempt to rationalize that his short account (7 days), consistent with his immense power, really means a long period (millions or billions of years), but that's pretty nonsensical if one believes that the Bible is actually God's Word, entirely accurate and sufficient (in the original, of course, but the original doesn't substantially vary in this account).
2. I am a lawyer, and much as the Supreme Court is able to manufacture rights (which necessarily eliminate the rights of others, so it's not really, an issue of civil rights, but who should determine who gets which – it should be the Creator, by U.S. law and by Natural Law) by complex and lengthy, writings, too complex to analyze without spending extreme amounts of time, to determine that the conclusion is ultimately illogical.
3. I assert that likewise, the logic of at least one of your explanatory papers is not good, riddled with circular reasoning, reliance upon very complex other reasoning within the same logical syllogism.
4. I know Del Tackett personally (i.e., I've worked with him, not just met through Focus on the Family's The Truth Project®), and I feel that your speaking of him and his teaching (i.e., he's been teaching this for years, as a reformed seminary level class and in other forums as well – it wasn't developed for Focus, just packaged and marketed through it) in the abstract, and publicly to others is at best wrong treatment of another believer, and at worst false witness and slander (not necessarily legally, but morally). I think Del has done the critical thinking, and done it very well, and that yours is faulty. May God, who is the immense Creator and God of knowledge, maximize your (and my) understanding for to bring maximum glory and honor to His name.
I suggest that critical thinking at this point in history would be more consistent with challenging, rather than accepting evolutionary theory.
That would be akin to challenging, rather than accepting, gravitational theory.
God's predominant story is that he spoke things into existence, due to his immense power to do so, and that he did so quickly – in 7 days, as it says in Genesis. Of course there are many possible ways to attempt to rationalize that his short account (7 days), consistent with his immense power, really means a long period (millions or billions of years), but that's pretty nonsensical if one believes that the Bible is actually God's Word, entirely accurate and sufficient (in the original, of course, but the original doesn't substantially vary in this account).
If you take the time to read the 12 steps of my journey, you'll find that I believe the 7 days to be seven, literal, 24-hour days. The context of those 7 days, however, might be completely foreign to you if you've not researched ancient Near Eastern thought (of which the Hebrew culture was an intimate part) or literature. If you don't research that aspect of the Genesis account, then you've lost the game. Recommend reading John Walton, Conrad Hyers, Peter Enns, Denis Lamoureux and Kenton Sparks. If you promise to read them from cover-to-cover and provide me with decent feedback, I will purchase and ship them to you at my expense.
I assert that … the logic of at least one of your explanatory papers is not good, riddled with circular reasoning, reliance upon very complex other reasoning within the same logical syllogism.
You're welcome to "hit and run" accusations of "riddled with circular reasoning," but it would be more helpful to me if you actually pointed out my logical shortfalls. Thanks in advance.
I feel that your speaking of him and his teaching … in the abstract, and publicly to others is at best wrong treatment of another believer, and at worst false witness and slander (not necessarily legally, but morally).
(1) I'm not commenting just in the abstract. I'm actually commenting on particular points he's making. You would see that if you actually read the entirety of my posts. If you want a blow-by-blow counter-commentary of his teaching plan, you won't find it here.
(2) I don't believe Del Tackett's misrepresentation of the truth and bearing false witness regarding documented evidence and physical proofs is a conscious act on his part, and I do believe he has the best of intentions. (Remember, I've been where he's at.) However, you know as well as I do that it is extremely unlikely that Del Tackett would ever entertain private criticism from me. Shall all critiques of other Christian teachers' publicly disseminated apologetic output be emailed to their local churches in hopes that disciplinary action would come of it? Shall I hop on a plane from the Middle East just to confront him face-to-face in private?
(3) Your accusation that I'm "morally" slandering Tackett and bearing false witness against him is laughable. Again, you say this only because you agree with him and you take my criticisms of him personally.
I think Del has done the critical thinking, and done it very well, and that yours is faulty.
You say this only because you share his paradigm and have, I suspect, ventured very little outside of it. Again, I welcome your comments on specific things. Your broad generalizations aren't very helpful and don't serve to strengthen your argument.
May God, who is the immense Creator and God of knowledge, maximize your (and my) understanding for to bring maximum glory and honor to His name.
And on this, Presslord, we can agree. God bless.
I don't know how much of a challenge I would be here. I love Jesus, but I probably wouldn't win any theological arguments. Found your blog looking for fellow "Lost Dogs" fans. Love the Dogs! And God too, of course.
Blessings,Debby (Heavenly Humor)
Thanks for your comments.
I'm a youth pastor and have constantly steered clear of questions about evolution and creation and genesis. But a few weeks ago, I began reading Walton's commentary and things have changed quite a bit.
Assuming you've finished the most applicable portions of Walton's commentary by now—many apologies for my tardy reply—are you more comfortable steering closer to answering questions regarding Genesis and the creation/evolution debate that the youth under your charge might possess?
I don't know how much of a challenge I would be here. I love Jesus, but I probably wouldn't win any theological arguments.
I'm just glad you stopped by to say, "Hello!" Have you heard the latest Lost Dogs album, Old Glory? One of their best in years, IMHO.
Interesting series! I read most of it (some of the longer comments were a bit on the tedious side…). As a Buddhist, I have a different take on the whole thing, but your case on the religion side seems more solid than most. After reading the ID stuff and some of the YEC and even OEC talking points, it's refreshing to see a Christian point of view that isn't either woefully ignorant or downright "lying for Jesus".
As a Buddhist, I have a different take on the whole thing, but your case on the religion side seems more solid than most. … it's refreshing to see a Christian point of view that isn't either woefully ignorant or downright "lying for Jesus".
Thanks, Joe! I'd be curious to know how you, as a Buddhist, view the concepts of creation and evolution …
Buddhism is about cycles and change; the Buddha said all things go through the stages of birth, growth, decline, and disappearance. What the Christians would call "creation" we would probably characterize as the next in an infinite series of births, starting the cycle again. We also talk about life striving for perfection, and Buddhism is all about change, which fits well with Evolution. ("Perfection" being a relative term, of course!) For the most part, though, Buddhism is more interested in how you live your life now, rather than what people did trillions of years ago, and the Buddha was much more interested in the internal as opposed to the external world.
Mike, thanks for this blog! I think I wandered over here evangelicalinthewilderness.blogspot.com/
Anyways, I hugely appreciate the time you've taken to lay out your positions on creation and especially on 'Biblical Adequacy'. It's very strange to read such a clear presentation of the positions on these topics that I've been moving towards over the last few years. I haven't read your whole blog yet, but I found your series on the Truth Project very good.
Keep up the good work!
Mike…i'm new to your blog and i've only read a bit of what you've written and posted. I consider myself to be a…follower? of Theistic Evolution. My question for you is have you ever found verses in the Bible that would support theistic evolution/evoultionary creationism? I've found a few but i was curious as to what you've found.-N-
Mike, I learned about you through the "ad hoc Christiaity" blog. Regarding your belief in the Second Coming of Christ as a fait accompli, I thought you might appreciate the reinforcement of "Whatever Became of Jesus Christ?" which I wrote before I even knew there was something called preterism. You can find it at http://bit.ly/fuuGkM
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