Re: Something must change

Glenn R. Morton (
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 20:46:02 -0500

At 08:48 AM 8/21/98 -0600, Allan Harvey wrote:
>At 09:44 PM 8/20/98 -0500, Glenn R. Morton wrote:
>> This gets
>>to the argument that nearly drove me to atheism and is why I fight so hard
>>for historicity!!!!!!!!!! This is crucial and if anyone can offer an out to
>>this, I would be very appreciative. This is my variation on an argument
>>advanced by Lactantius who attributed the argument to Epicurus (ca. 300
>>It starts with the question, Why would God NOT give us a true history of
>>the Flood? There are only 4 possibilities:
>>1. He is willing and able. Thus it is a true/historical message.
>>2. He is unwilling and able. Thus He is telling us something not true and
>> He knows it is untrue. Very unGodlike; very scary.
>>3. He is willing and unable. Very unGodlike.
>>4. He is unwilling and unable. -really bad option.
>This dichotomy (4-chotomy, I guess) is still based on the *assumption*
>that "not historical chronicle" equals "not true". What many of us have
>been trying to point out is that limiting God to our own preconceptions
>of how he must communicate "truth" is the source of many problems.

It is also a way to avoid verification. You wouldn't allow that from a
physicist and you wouldn't allow that from a historian, and you wouldn't
allow that from a political leader, so why do you accept it in a theologian?

I also would like to know what other truth is contained in Genesis 11:

10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and
begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat
sons and daughters.
12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years,
and begat sons and daughters.
14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and
begat sons and daughters.
16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and
begat sons and daughters.
18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and
begat sons and daughters.
20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and
begat sons and daughters.
22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons
and daughters.
24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and
begat sons and daughters.
26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and
Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in
Ur of the Chaldees.
29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was
Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the
father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son,
and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth
with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they
came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died
in Haran.

How is any of this to be understood except as a chronicle of a family
history, which then is either true or false? Did Terah not die in Haran?

>terms of the 4 categories, we need to recognize that #2 (unwilling and
>able) is not so bad -- it just means that God in his wisdom knew that a
>non-chronicle expression of his message would serve his readers better
>than a message in the form of a modern history or science text.

In God's foreknowledge, how has this served modern man? Why didn't God
simply say, "Out of the mud came life?" then Christianity would have
anticipated evolution? Why was it in God's wisdom to inspire an account
which appears patently false to any geologist?

This last two weeks I have been on the road selling oil deals. The subject
came up that the American people don't believe what geologists say. A
young geologist that was with us, said, 'That is because geology goes
against religion, which is precisely why I will burn in hell. The Bible is
wrong about what it says.'

Now tell me what do I say to this young geologist? Do I agree with you and
her that the Bible is historically wrong? Do you think that will help her
see the Bible as something worthy of being believed? Of course not. She
already thinks the Bible is historically wrong and that is why she is an

>Glenn, think about applying this same 4-chotomy to Jesus's parable of the
>Good Samaritan. You either end up requiring it to be a chronicle of an
>actual historical event (which, while not impossible, is a ridiculous
>restriction to place on Jesus's teaching style), or you end up with an
>"unGodlike" Jesus. This absurd result should make you question the
>validity of the 4-chotomy as you phrase it.

First off, as I have said, I don't think that the Samaritan example is very
good for your case. It is certainly within the range of possibilities that
it is true. I see no reason to accept your premise that the Samaritan story
is a fabrication. What is your evidence that it is a fictional? Would you
suggest that the Samaritans were so evil as to be incapable of helping
anyone? This story is not patently false like a worldwide flood and
patently false like a Mesopotamian flood.

Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information