Re: Dualism, was Re: William James

John P. McKiness (
Sat, 6 Sep 1997 14:01:26 -0500

At 06:15 PM 9/5/97 -0500, Glenn wrote in response to Jan de Koning's 10:00
AM 9/5/97 -0400:

>Jan, Thank you for the kind words. I would like to make one protest and try
>to correct something. The issue, for me, is really less what happened in
>Genesis 1 but what happened in Genesis 6-9. To me if one can say that 6-9
>is not historical then why whould we believe 10 and 11, or even more
>vitally, chapter 12.
>But most importantly, when someone makes a claim to have divine truth, what
>is the evidence for that claim? I often point to the mormons (my brother in
>law is or was one we aren't sure what he is today). Why should we not simply
>accept any book as God's Word rather than try to put the empirical tests to
>it? Should the fact that the book of Mormon describes chariots in North
>America prior to Columbus bother anyone? It should. The indians never
>invented the wheel and there is no evidence for chariots here at that time.
>When their book fails the empirical test, why can't their leaders similarly
>say "Why not simply accept Alma as God's, telling people: 'You thought that
>you could worship sun, moon, stars, cows, snakes, >etc. etc., but I made it
>and am still busy making it'
>Why can't the Moslems make the same claim? David Koresh? Jim Jones? If
>everyone can make the same claime then WHO IS CORRECT?
>Foundation, Fall and Flood

First of all my thanks to Jan, you have increased my faith that there is
even hope for Calvinists. :-) But where were you in early June when I
needed help?

However, I feel the need to respond to Glenn.

I admit that faith puts all people in a strange place of leaving us without
defense to force conversion. However, conversion can only come from God and
the work of the Spirit. I would suggest reading some Barth (_Dogmatics in
Outline_ might be a good start) if you haven't yet.

For Christians everything centers on Jesus Christ and our understanding of
Him as expressed in the Apostolic Creed (which I would include in my use of
the term tradition). We can go no farther. We must pray for our neighbors,
be ready to explain the message of Christ. But it is God's place to "hound"
them to conversion, we cannot do it no matter how close our personal
knowledge of science conforms to Genesis. He never gave us that "right" or

Genesis is not the issue, Christ is.

You ask, "Why should we not simply accept any book as God's Word rather than
try to put the empirical tests to it?" My answer is that the test is Jesus
Christ. What do the Mormons say about Him? If their hope is in conformity
with what He says about Himself, Great! I care less of the chariots in
North America -- they are a side issue even for most Mormons I have talked with.

It is only Christ that counts in the end!

In Him,


John P. McKiness
P.O. Box 5666
Coralville, Iowa 52241