Glenn and John continue.

John P. McKiness (
Sun, 14 Sep 1997 20:06:22 -0500


This will be my last post on this issue, I will leave the last word to you.
I have enjoyed the discussion but it is time to go on to other things.

At 09:23 PM 9/12/97 -0500, you wrote:

>Therein lies the problem of objective data. IF as you say the archeological
>data is contradictory to the Biblical account, they why should we believe
>the Biblical account and especially what reason is there to say it is
>divinely inspired? Is God unable to inspire truth in an author?

The difference lies in perspective and interpretation. Once we accept that
the Bible has the authority of God behind it, all we can do is accept what
it says. At some point you have to make the leap of faith -- I took mine in
accepting Christ and in accepting the Bible as God's revelation to me.
There is no higher authority to me.

I pray that when you find that you cannot make science and faith meld you
will be ready to make the leap also so that your faith may grow in spite of
the lack of "supporting" evidence.

John said in his last post:
>>I agree with you that Christ's resurrection is part of the cornerstone of our
>>faith, in that it is part of Christ. I also do not doubt the sincerity of
>>your statement of nearly becoming an atheist (another faith statement by the
>>way) because of the irrational nature of the Flood in the light of human
>>reasoning. It is because of this that I continue. As long as you put such
>>a high value on human reason your faith will always be secondary and in
>>danger. I believe that you (and those who believe they can bridge the chasm
>>between faith and science) have taken the humanistic step of making
>>something human the final judge of all things. In other words, you are
>>saying that if I cannot prove god's revelation I will have nothing to do
>>with the idea of him. This is part of the mentality that gets us in trouble.
>Not prove, support. I said that a few days ago and we need to get that
>straight. ONE CANNOT PROVE GOD'S REVELATION. One can support it with >data

Sorry about that, I glad we agree that we can not prove revelation.
But, from my reading of your posts for the last 1.75 years I believe your
"support" equals most people's prove. I better make it clear that I see no
scientific evidence which would support the Genesis flood or any of God's
activity, but instead the entire known record appears to deny it.

>>Glenn responded earlier in part with:
>>> I have had Mormons say exactly the same thing to me only reversed. They
>>>claim that the Spirit of God speaks to them of the truth of their Book. By
>>>your standard you can't dispute with them.

I returned with:
>>I've been there and done that and disputing with them is a waste of time.
>Why? Assume for the sake of argument they are the correct ones and we are
>wrong. Is disputing with them a waste of time? See, you have decided that
>you will have faith in Jesus, a particular faith. Evidence has no bearing
>on that faith anymore than evidence has a bearing on the beliefs of a
>young-earth creationist. They also believe what they believe with out paying
>attention to the evidence.

As to disputing about faith matters with anyone, it is a waste of time. But
sharing with other people my belief in Jesus Christ and how He is working in
building my faith is my duty as a Christian.

> In my opinion, both approaches, yours and the
>YECs is nothing more than deciding a priori what is correct then never
>varying or looking back. There is nothing to doubt. I find that truly sad
>because the fun is in the struggle to understand things and without any
>doubt, one can never grow in his beliefs. It is doubt about our correctness
>which spurs us on to solve the problems.

Sorry Glenn, but I do not see how doubt helps one grow in faith. I am at
the point where I doubt that there has been any value in my post high school
education, I am preparing to dropping the pursuit for a degree that has put
me deeply into debt after 29 years and, at the age of 47, I am now trying to
figure out what my calling is if it is not teaching geology.

I really don't see how doubt is very helpful to faith, trusting in Christ is
what builds faith not physical evidence and reason. After all, physical
evidence and reason lead Job's wife to say "Curse God and die!" In moments
of depression and despair, only faith in my Fathers Love is important to me.

But who is it that pays attention to evidence and then bends the science to
"support" his faith, I sorry to say it is you and the YEC's (I am also sorry
to say that I see very little faith expressed by that group as a whole, and
I see no reason to believe in Christ from their work). Glenn, I'm sorry to
say as a geologist, your model of a restricted flood in the Med. Sea basins
(a flood that in the eastern basin most mammals of the time could have
walked away from) without evidence of any organism we could call man at the
time (5.5 m.y.) is about as farfetched as any wildly speculative "flood
geology" "theory" I've seen.

I gave up on creationists of all strips, and their literature, years ago as
well as any attempt to reconcile faith statements and human reason. I
learned that as Christians we must learn to live in the dichotomy, very
little in our faith is supportable by physical evidence. Think about it, is
there any convincing, supporting evidence for us in the late 20th century
that God exists? If not, how can you believe what you read in the Bible?
why do you even waste time reading it? Why are you on a crusade to support
your idea of where and when Noah's flood occurred especially when it doesn't
agree with either Scripture or valid scientific interpretation of the
observational evidence?

Glenn said in his last post:
>John, I am not going to let go of the breakfast problem yet. By your
>definition, everything requires faith and can't be proven. You are
>correct, but that trivializes all knowledge. When I read a scientific
>report, I have to have faith that the scientist is not making it all up
>(some have). If I can only count proven things which require no faith, then
>no fact of science is so proven. In that case, there is no distinction
>between science and religion. No way to tell a good scientific theory from a
>bad one. I can believe whatever I want. Should I dust off my former YEC
>beliefs? If not why not?

I do not argue against the value of human reason or science or another
person's word unless I learn that they are untrustworthy; but I emphatically
reject the idea that we can do science (or human reason) to "support" faith.
(Since I eat breakfast alone, at this point you'll have to accept my word
for the fact that I had breakfast this morning, if you can't -- to bad, its
your problem not mine because I didn't go hungry.)

Glenn wrote in an earlier post:
>>>John in 1 John 1:1 says, "That which was from the beginning, which we have
>>>heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our
>>>hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life."
>>>These are all appeals to observational evidence.

I responded:
>>It sounds to me as though I have to accept by faith the statements of
>>someone else, this is not an "appeal to observational evidence."
>Yes it is, you accept the words of the scientist who writes papers in your
>journals. When you read Science or nature, what observational evidence do
>you see? Charts? Tables? I can draw pretty charts and tables that have no
>observational content whatsoever. Why do you believe the testimony and
>veracity of your fellow scientists and not the trustworthiness of the
>apostles? Both reports must be believed by faith.
>Foundation, Fall and Flood

Glenn somewhere along the line you have missed what I have been saying. I
agree that in order to do science I have to have faith in the authors of the
papers I read, but I am also obligated to read through the procedures and
results to see if I accept that the author's interpretation of his data is
reasonable. I also have to have faith in the orderliness of the universe
and that God (if He exists) isn't going to arbitrarily change the rules
every 10 minutes and leave the evidence of the past rules. If I don't make
those assumption I cannot do science.

But in accepting what other scientist say in their articles I accept their
statements by the evidence they present _not the original objective,
observational evidence_ that they had available to them. The authors of
those articles probably had to chuck much of the data and observations they
gathered because they assumed it was irrelevant to their study (In other
words they had to confine their study and cull all available data in some
way). Remember in science the information we gather is determined by the
questions we ask and the data we believe addresses the questions.

But I also do not place the same value on human reasoning (either mine or
anyone else) as I do the revelation of God. And I see no hope of
reconciling God's revelation with statements of human reason (or of humans
being given or being able to redeem science, culture etc., as Reformed
acquaintances have told me is our Christian duty). To me all things human,
except Jesus Christ and His redeemed siblings, will be destroyed in the
refining fire. This is why I believe there are in fact two knowledges
(truths), they are no way equal. Human reason is clouded in sin an cannot
approach God or understand His ways. God must enlighten us by His
revelation and He requires faith, which is only supported by His Spirit.

This is the message, I believe, we need to get out to Christians at all
levels, because faith that requires the weight of human reason can never be
in Christ and cannot survive in this age.

Glenn, I do not see where we can go from here so these are my last words on
the subject. I accept at this point that we agree on very little concerning
the idea that science can support Christian faith, I pray that in the end we
will agree in faith on our Redeemer. It has been an interesting and
stretching experience. Thank you for this joust of words.

In Him only,