At 08:47 AM 11/7/98 -0500, George Murphy wrote:
> For YECs who are coming to realize that that view doesn't work but who
>still think that Scripture can be true only as historical narrative, your
>approach may be the best way to keep them from apostasizing. But that is
>because it has to be accomodated to their rather limited idea of Scripture.
Yes, and don't forget that it is my limited view of scripture also. :-) I
just don't believe in telling the Emporer that his clothes are pretty, when
he is butt-ugly naked. If I must believe in allegory anytime there is a
problem between science and scripture, then my religion can't lose. It is a
zero-loss game which wins every time. Such a religion is nothing but
fideism, belief supporting itself with ad hoc props of allegory.
>> Context is not prediction. What specifically does theology say about
>> geology, not the context. What you are describing is epistemology, not
> Obviously I didn't make myself sufficiently clear. While there are indeed
>testable statements about history which arise from theology, I do not
>its primary function is to make scientific predictions. Setting the
larger context is
>a crucial function.
I fully agree with you that the Bible's purpose is not to make scientific
predictions, but it can't help itself. And as I told one atheist on
another list, If one is to believe unverifiable things, like the
resurrection, which is related to us in a document--the Bible-- we should
ensure that those statments made by the document which ARE verifiable, are
indeed VERIFIED. To then avoid the consequences of a false prediction, by
means of allegory or non-historicity or deeper truth, shortcircuits this
> This is not "epistemology" because theology doesn't tell scientists how to
>do science. It is _theology_, which is a discipline in its own right.
Epistemology is a priori both to science and to theology.
> Let me repeat: I am NOT saying that there is no history in the Bible, that
>it's all theological fiction, or anything like that. I believe that there
is a lot of
>historical narrative, and a lot of accurate historical, geographical,
>biographical &c information. But it is not all material of that sort. &
>interpretation of Scripture and comparison of what it says with the real
world is more
>complicated than just saying "The Bible predicts A & we find A so the
Bible is true."
>You may have to say "The Bible predicts B _if we read it as straight
>narrative_ & we don't find B so maybe this part of the Bible _isn't_
We agree here. What we disagree on is the nature of one part of the
Scripture which I think must have more history than you do.
>> Not necessarily, the image you have is a cultural image of maggots. Maggots
>> have been used to treat gangrene for millenia in folk medicine. Maggots in
>> those contexts are very good.
> Yeh, but those who use them don't want to be maggots. Leeches have been
>for a long time in medicine but being called a leech isn't a compliment.
I could have used any animal. You miss the point. The non-historical
approach has no ability to say that any theological/primal myth is false.
All stories are true. I could have used unicorns rather than maggots and
you still would have no basis upon which to day that the story was false.
>> No, my basic problem is that I want to avoid tautological belief systems.
>> And I would say that the Disciples themselves grounded their belief system
>> on something other than jesus himself.
> Of course when I say "Christ" I mean the whole "Christ event" - born,
>healing, crucified, & risen.
>> They grounded it on the physical
>> evidence they were privileged to observe. They touched, saw and heard the
>> Resurrected Jesus. They didn't simply believe things because they believed
>> things. And Thomas was the worst one because he claimed he wouldn't believe
>> without that evidence.
>> John 20: 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with
>> them when Jesus came.
>> 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But
>> he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails,
>> and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his
>> side, I will not believe.
>> I do not believe I am doing anything different from what Thomas did. And I
>> think Thomas was the most rational fo the disciples.
> You cut the text short!
>John 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen
me? Blessed are
>those who have not seen and yet believe."
That doesn't mean that Thomas wasn't a Christian.
> Sure, Thomas is rational. & he is not the only one who doubted, & Jesus
>accepts those who have doubts (Mt.28:17). But through Thomas Jesus tells
us that we -
>i.e., later generations who are called to faith - are not going to have
the kind of
>evidence that Thomas demanded. We have the apostolic witness brought to
>Scripture. We have enough historical evidence &c for it to be _possible_
to believe -
>i.e., Jesus really lived, Pilate was governor, there is a real city of
>crucifixion was a common means of execution, &c. But we are _not_ told to
>believe until we can gather enough evidence to _prove_ that the one who
>rose. We are dependent upon the biblical witness. As the Barmen
Declaration puts it,
>"Jesus Christ _as he is attested to us in Holy Scripture_ [my emphasis] is
the one Word
>we have to hear in life and in death."
I agree with all you say above, but with the Flood, there is a definite way
to verify by the methods of modern science one of the stories in Scripture.
With the Exodus, there should be some archaeological evidence, but there
Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information