Re: Inconsistency on Shroud vs. Genesis.

Allan Harvey (
Wed, 11 Aug 1999 08:52:44 -0600

At 08:00 PM 8/10/99 +0000, Glenn wrote:
>I acknowledge that I am fighting for historicity. I do it for two reasons.
>One I just posted to another list I am on. First, I see no hope to stop
>the YEC paradigm unless a historical scenario is presented. I see only one
>long-term solution. There are no short term solutions. A
>view of the Bible will not be widely taught among conservative Christians
>in their Sunday Schools unless that view teaches that the Bible is
>historical. THat is the sine qua non of their theology. So the only long
>term solution is to replace the present scientfically naive YEC scenario
>with something that makes the Bible historical. Then it can be taught
>without having the parents raise the barricades. To try to get
>conservative christians to teach a view that they think undermines the
>reasons to believe the Bible is like spitting into a strong wind.
>Most people who approach this issue (like you) offer nothing in the way of
>a scenario
>that preserves what the conservative Christians want. All we offer them is
>unconditional surrender--which they, to our (amazing) amazement, reject.

If some group of Christians wanted to bow to golden calves, would you
want to "preserve" that too? If people's theology is based not on Jesus
Christ but on some human-generated idea of how they think the Bible
should have been written, we do them a disservice if we reinforce that
near-idolatry. Yes, we must be sensitive to people's prejudices and
wants, but we should also gently and lovingly try to steer such people
toward healthier theology, trusting the Bible God actually gave us rather
than subjecting it to our wants and demanding that it be a "perfect book"
under some image of perfection invented by fallen humans.

To start by accepting the flawed proposition that God is only allowed to
communicate his truth in certain ways or else the whole faith collapses
(therefore requiring one to force more "historicity" into Genesis than
God may have put there) is as much of a mistake as when Phil Johnson
starts by accepting the Sagan-ish proposition that "natural" explanations
rule out God (therefore requiring one to argue against natural
explanations in order to defend theism). In both cases, the real need is
to straighten out the bad theology at the root rather than implicitly
accepting it and being forced to go in unfruitful directions.

>Secondly, I find theological problems with a God who either can't or won't
>tell us the unadulterated truth!

So if a father tells his 3-year-old there is a "baby in Mommy's tummy" he
should be condemned as a liar for not telling the unadulterated truth? I
think we have to recognize (especially given the way Jesus taught) that
God can and sometimes does (as a loving father who knows what is best for
his children) choose to tell us his truth in ways that Glenn would not
consider "unadulterated."

| Dr. Allan H. Harvey | |
| Physical and Chemical Properties Division | "Don't blame the |
| National Institute of Standards & Technology | government for what I |
| 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80303 | say, or vice versa." |