Re: Only Myths?

George Andrews (gandrews@as.wm.edu)
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 10:16:01 -0500

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Hi Glenn;

mortongr@flash.net wrote:

> At 09:47 AM 11/10/1999 -0500, George Andrews wrote:
> >The disaster inherent in jettisoning the Bible is indeed genuine to the
> >communities of faith that base their world views on the Bible. In fact, a
> "false
> >Bible" - as you view the Bible and define falsehood above - devastates
> your own
> >faith claim found in your opening sentence. It is such a disaster, as some
> Israeli
> >officials seem to fear it to be, that constitutes a main point in the
> article you
> >pointed us to.
> >
>
> That is true. But are we to insulate ourselves so much from the truth and
> from the data that NO disproof of the Bible, no matter how unhistorical it
> is, we still must believe that the religion it advocates is true? To me
> that implies a greater disaster--the disaster of rejecting reason itself.
> It is the Emporer's clothes syndrome. If I believe hard enough that I have
> clothes on, then everyone else will not see that I am naked.
> It is the disaster of self-deception. Remember several billion people
> believe other religions and they beleive they are right. Since not all of
> them can be true, someone around here is self-deceived. To reject
> historicity as a measure of truth means the rejection of the only tool
> available for self-deception detection!
>

I am sorry Glenn, but the syntax of your first question is puzzling to me - making
it difficult or impossible to accurately respond to. I believe you are asking: How
can we cling to theological and religious predications based upon a Bible that does
not stand the scrutiny of being historically accurate. If I misunderstood, I
apologize; and as for a response, I believe George M., John Z. and Paul S. have
adequately done so over the past few weeks.

Your concern over a "disaster of rejecting reason" to purchase an Emperor's
wardrobe, is unfounded. Recall that I concluded my previous post with the
following:
"Rationality is indispensable for precision in verbal communication and
interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data set at
hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute
certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us)."

It is my express intention to undermined any and all FAITH in reason; which is the
essence of rationalism. Such idolatry is what, I believe, Paul was referring to
when he concludes that the cross of Christ is - to the Greeks of his time -
considered as foolishness; which I interpret to read philosophically
unsophisticated and unreasonable.

>
> >But - more importantly - you illustrate my main philosophical concern.
> Only to a
> >secular thinker, or to a theist who has accepted the secular
> presuppositions of
> >autonomous rationality, would it appear a positive to find out the Bible is
> >"false" - again using a simplistic definition of falsehood. Thus your
> >hypothetical above underscores my contention already outlined as follows:
> >
> >> Such attempts to provide the
> >> >Bible with an evidential foundation - as surly concordism does -
> actually has
> >> >the effect of undermining Biblical truth assertions by conceding the
> >> autonomy of
> >> >man at the outset; i.e. the notion that human intellect is able to discern
> >> >reality without the work of The Holy Spirit ( a la Dutch Reformed
> >> Apologetics).
> >> >This is the fallacy of the YEC movement too.
> >>
> >> No, the fallacy of the YEC movement is to preach a false science. The
> >> fallacy of the theological liberals is to preach a false Bible.
> >
> >Taking the word fallacy to connote self dilution, I maintain the false
> science of
> >YEC is merely a consequence of the more fundamental assumptions I
> referred to
> >above - coupled with a genuine desire to avoid the disaster of jettisoning
> the
> >Bible.
>
> I disagree at one point. YECs have already jettisoned rationality. And
> your position on reason is very similar to theirs. Like you, they don't
> believe in an autonomous reason. They believe that the fall affected
> mankind's reasoning ability.
>
> Chittick says:
>
> "The total man fell, and this affected man's intellect and reason as well.
> It also caused a series of separations. First was a separation between man
> and God. Man has a natural tendency not to do what is right." ~ Donald E.
> Chittick, The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution
> Conflict,(Creation Compass, 1984), p. 86
>
> Thus Chittick does not believe in an autonomous reason.
>
> "All other factors being equal, a Christian reasoning from a Scriptural
> position, has greater potential for understanding these things than the
> non-Christian, who starts the process with a non-Biblical (i.e., false)
> worldview. This is due to the fact that the Christian has input from a
> source not available to the non-Christian--the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught
> that when "The Spirit of truth is come. He will guide you into all
> truth...He shall glorify Me" (John 16:13)" ~ John Morris, The Young Earth,
> (Colorado Springs: Master Books, 1994), p. 19
>
> This says that fallen man has less ability to see clearly than the
> Christian. This is because of the effect of the fall.
>
> "We are not forgetful that physical science is not complete, but is only in
> condition of progress, and that at present our finite reason enables us
> only to see as through a glass darkly, and we confidently believe that a
> time will come when the two records will be seen to agree in every
> particular." ~ cited in Samuel Kinns, Moses and Geology, p. 5f. in Alfred M
> Rehwinkel, The Flood, (St. Louis: Concordia, 1951), p. XVIII
>
> "Ultimately, the reason Biblical creationists believe in a young earth is
> because of Scripture--not evidences outside of Scripture." Ken Ham,
> "Demolishing 'Straw men'," Creation Ex Nihilo 19:4, (Sept-Nov. 1997), p. 14
>
> Because reason has already been abandoned, Ham can make the statement he
> does. Reason doesn't matter--it is what the Bible say.
>

This is correct and quite reasonable :-) seeing that both the reformed and
evangelical views (let me use these distinctions in the broadest of sense) desire
to take the Bible as their starting points in formulating their world views.
However, hermeneutics is where the "Y" lies; i.e., Just what is the Bible saying
and what does it mean to "believe" it?

The thrust of your argument is that since the YEC position presupposes the Bible,
and they are so prone to improper and poor science, then any an all who share such
presumptions must be wrong. But such a position, apart from its spurious character,
implicates your brand of concordism too! You merely point out a truth that needs to
be highlighted more often: we all share the same goal of taking the Bible seriously
and predicating Biblical truth to our contemporary world!

>
> As for you, if you don't believe we have an autonomous reason, how do you
> know you are not being deceived by whatever outside thing is influencing
> your reason? You can't.

Precisely; by George :-), I think you've got it! As the Bible teaches, the human
intellect - including mine - is prone to all manner of deceitful imaginations
concerning the creation. This simply underscores the distinctly christian view
that without the present work of the Holy Spirit, we will believe a lie (Romans
1). Furthermore, since all have sinned, we all are incapable of obtaining the
revelatory truth through any exclusively human effort. This is the explanation and
origin of atheistic evolution and secular humanism: they simply are lost and blind
and can't help themselves! The existence of secular humans who are very adept at
reason is readily understood in light of the revelation that all humans are image
barriers; saved and unsaved alike. Thus reason is evolution's gift to the human
race, i.e., the distinguishing characteristic of humanity prior to and independent
of redemption's work.

So how can we be sure? "The Spirit bears witness to our spirits, that we are the
children of God." Again, you do not understand Romans 1 and the need for prevenient
grace.

>
>
> I believe there are many YEC who are legitimately using the scientific
> >method in attempting to support their theories; whether or not they are
> successful
> >or whether of not the established scientific community accepts such
> theories is a
> >different, secondary issue. Ignoring falsification of evidence, which
> occurs in
> >all camps, I believe it better to classify YEC as poor science.
>
> Unfortunately, there is precious little YEC research of any form. Have you
> looked at a Creation Research Society Quarterly lately? I have. There is
> nothing but nonsense with no scientific methodology at all.

I admit I do not keep up with their publications as I am presently pursuing my own
studies in science, but I do recall reading some nice work in Creation Ex Nihilo
about Lunar cratering.

>
>
> >
> >However, it is not at all illegitimate to return such accusations as you
> make upon
> >your own attempts at concordism. To claim that the Bible accords with
> >neo-Darwinian evolution is deemed by many of us as to be, to use your own
> words:
> >"preaching a false Bible". I prefer to use my less inclusive verbiage by
> >maintaining that your concordistic position is "undermining Biblical truth
> >assertions."
>
> We have a choice. We can say that the Bible isn't really telling us
> anything historical but is merely telling us moral tales by which we should
> live. We can make up a play-science like the YECs. We can pay attention to
> the scientific data and concord it with the data from Scripture as best we
> can. Or we can simply call the Bible false and go become Bhuddists. Of the
> four that I listed (there may be others) I like reality. If it ain't real,
> I don't give much of a flip for it. And if I can't tell if it is real or
> not (the moral tales option), then it is as useless to me as every other
> option.
>
> >
> >Again you make my point by listing the Bible along with failed scientific
> >theories. Such thinking is a result of your accepting the rationalistic
> >presupposition of an autonomy of reason which is a hold-over from the
> >Enlightenment; i.e., that humanity is able to discern "truth" from
> "falsehood" by
> >logic and scientific enterprise. In so doing, you are in contradiction to
> St. Paul
> >in Romans 1, and have already conceded the apologetic higher ground to the
> enemies
> >of our faith.
>
> If we can't tell the truth from the false, then we can all go home now.
> What is the point of all this argumentation? If you can't tell truth from
> falsehood (or think you can) why do you argue against me? Upon what basis
> do you think your uncategorized (as to truth or falsity) view is better
> than mine? You think your view is true, don't you???? But that contradicts
> what you just said. You said you can't tell truth from falsehood. If you
> can't please quit bothering everybody with your meaningless gab! We don't
> know if it is true or false! Live consistently with your
> philosophy--something you are not doing at present.>

> >Your hypothetical in your first paragraph above and your accusation
> concerning my
> >desires in the last, betray the very problems I have with the evidential
> >assumptions inherent in your brand of concordism.
> > (i) You speak of the Bible as a coherent whole rather than what it is: a
> >collection of manuscripts possessing commonality of subject matter that has
> >undergone judicious editing over millennia by different faith systems and
> >denominations.
> > (ii) You state in simplistic terms that the Bible is either true in
> that it is
> >devoid of myth and monsters and true in a rationalistic and modern scientific
> >sense in that it withstands the scrutiny of higher criticism; or false in
> mass in
> >the same senses.
>
> Do you believe that what you wrote above is true? If so, how can you know
> that when you said humans can't tell truth from falsehood. If you don't
> believe it is true, why are you writing this gibberish?
>

Please note the quotations around the words truth and falsehood. Such punctuation
was meant to convey the usage of these words the naive and absolute sense you do.
It is such naivety and absoluteness that lies at the heart of the problems I have
with much of your way of thinking and cause you to be so rude in your responses. On
that note, Please feel free to not respond to my posts; if they are "gibberish"
and "meaningless gab", then they pose no threat to you.

A critical realist position, one to which I presently subscribe, is that the
results of science and theoretical reasoning are models corresponding to - but
legitimately portraying - some attribute of what is actually out there when
measured. However, this position does allow for uncertainty and incompleteness in
understanding. It is the foundational notion of the absolute trust in reason that
you posses that I am against; an not in the use of reason. As I already stated.

"Rationality is indispensable for precision in verbal communication and
interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data set at
hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute
certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us).

But more on this later.

>
> >
> >Both of these assumptions are shared by YEC, OEC and your brand of
> concordistic
> >TE. However, these assumptions are not forced upon a religion that has as its
> >foundation a present and abiding personal savior - despite the fact that
> precious
> >little was written about or by him; not a logically consistent collection of
> >sacred writings that fits modern scientific discovery and - most
> importantly -
> >scientific presuppositions. Such a faith allows for a Bible that is simply
> as it
> >appears to be: a collection of writings concerning the sacred history of
> Israel
> >and first century christianity along with Judeo - Christian - Islamic
> theology.

>
> Gee, I didn't know that Islam influenced Paul. Where is my history book? I
> need to check this out.

Accept for its sardonic and immature content, I do not understand this reply as
pertaining to anything I wrote above. Allah is the God of the Bible too and Islam's
origins are outlined in Biblical history.

>
> >Rationality is indispensable for precision in verbal communication and
> >interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data
> set at
> >hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute
> >certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us).
>
> And you said this with such conviction and absolute certainty! You are
> absolutely certain that mankind can not determine absolute certainty.
> WOW!!!!!! I think I detect a certainty in there somewhere. How did Russell
> and Godel get this information--through reason or through divine
> revelation??? I thought Russell was an atheist who wrote Why I am not a
> Christian? Thus divine revelation seems to be unlikely.
>
> glenn
>

Yes! It was by the use of Aristotleian-Thomastic reasoning that Russell showed the
inadequacy of basing mathematical proof upon an axiomatic method of set theory. And
in so doing, not only did "arithmetic became suspect" (paraphrase of ....ah , what
was his name? :-) ), but Russell, inspired Godel to further show - for certain -
that in formal systems, one could never be sure of possessing a completeness in the
axiomatic set that avoids antinomy! So where does this leave us? Contrary to your
sardonic and naive conclusion, their use of reason ironically refuted rationalism
and thereby helped usher in the post-modern age. A marvelous and inspired feat to
be sure!

The irony of this inspired feat is only further heighten by the fact that Russell
was an atheist! (To me, it reveals something akin to a sense of humor in the doings
of Russell's creator!), Russell, by virtue of his humanity was an image barer and
thereby a rational being. His atheism does not preclude divine influence of
inspiration. Again it is your naive assumptions upon divine inspiration that cause
your conclusions and sarcasm. God uses unbelievers to forward his purpose on a
regular bases as Biblical history shows.

Glenn, I am sorry you fell the need to reduce yourself with sarcastic hyperbola.
Again, I would rather you simply ignored this post if it irritates you so.

Sincerely in God's Grace;
George A.

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Hi Glenn;

mortongr@flash.net wrote:

At 09:47 AM 11/10/1999 -0500, George Andrews wrote:
>The disaster inherent in jettisoning the Bible is indeed genuine to the
>communities of faith that base their world views on the Bible. In fact,  a
"false
>Bible" - as you view the Bible and define falsehood above - devastates
your own
>faith claim found in your opening sentence. It is such a disaster, as some
Israeli
>officials seem to fear it to be, that constitutes a main point in the
article you
>pointed us to.
>

That is true. But are we to insulate ourselves so much from the truth and
from the data that NO disproof of the Bible, no matter how unhistorical it
is, we still must believe that the religion it advocates is true?  To me
that implies a greater disaster--the disaster of rejecting reason itself.
It is the Emporer's clothes syndrome. If I believe hard enough that I have
clothes on, then everyone else will not see that I am naked.
It is the disaster of self-deception.  Remember several billion people
believe other religions and they beleive they are right.  Since not all of
them can be true, someone around here is self-deceived. To reject
historicity as a measure of truth means the rejection of the only tool
available for self-deception detection!
 

I am sorry Glenn, but the syntax of your first question is puzzling to me - making it difficult or impossible to accurately respond to. I believe you are asking: How can we cling to theological and religious predications based upon a Bible that does not stand the scrutiny of being historically accurate. If I misunderstood, I apologize; and as for a response, I believe George M., John Z.  and Paul S. have adequately done so over the past few weeks.

Your concern over a "disaster of rejecting reason" to purchase an Emperor's wardrobe, is unfounded. Recall that I concluded my previous post with the following:
    "Rationality is indispensable for  precision in verbal communication and interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data set at hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us)."

It is my express intention to undermined any and all FAITH in reason; which is the essence of rationalism. Such idolatry is what, I believe, Paul was referring to when he concludes that the cross of Christ is - to the Greeks of his time - considered as foolishness; which I interpret to read philosophically unsophisticated and unreasonable.

 
>But - more importantly -  you illustrate my main philosophical concern.
Only to a
>secular thinker, or to a theist who has accepted the secular
presuppositions of
>autonomous rationality, would it appear a positive to find out the Bible is
>"false"  - again using a simplistic definition of falsehood. Thus your
>hypothetical above underscores my contention already outlined as follows:
>
>> Such attempts to provide the
>> >Bible with an evidential foundation - as surly concordism does -
actually has
>> >the effect of undermining Biblical truth assertions by conceding the
>> autonomy of
>> >man at the outset; i.e. the notion that human intellect is able to discern
>> >reality without the work of The Holy Spirit ( a la Dutch Reformed
>> Apologetics).
>> >This is the fallacy of the YEC movement too.
>>
>> No, the fallacy of the YEC movement is to preach a false science. The
>> fallacy of the theological liberals is to preach a false Bible.
>
>Taking the word fallacy to connote self dilution, I maintain the false
science of
>YEC is merely a consequence of  the more fundamental assumptions I
referred to
>above - coupled with a genuine desire to avoid the disaster of jettisoning
the
>Bible.

I disagree at one point.  YECs have already jettisoned rationality. And
your position on reason is very similar to theirs. Like you, they don't
believe in an autonomous reason. They believe that the fall affected
mankind's reasoning ability.

Chittick says:

"The total man fell, and this affected man's intellect and reason as well.
It also caused a series of separations.  First was a separation between man
and God.  Man has a natural tendency not to do what is right." ~ Donald E.
Chittick, The Controversy: Roots of the Creation-Evolution
Conflict,(Creation Compass, 1984), p. 86

Thus Chittick does not believe in an autonomous reason.

        "All other factors being equal, a Christian reasoning from a Scriptural
position, has greater potential for understanding these things than the
non-Christian, who starts the process with a non-Biblical (i.e., false)
worldview.  This is due to the fact that the Christian has input from a
source not available to the non-Christian--the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught
that when "The Spirit of truth is come.  He will guide you into all
truth...He shall glorify Me" (John 16:13)" ~ John Morris, The Young Earth,
(Colorado Springs: Master Books, 1994), p. 19

This says that fallen man has less ability to see clearly than the
Christian. This is because of the effect of the fall.

"We are not forgetful that physical science is not complete, but is only in
condition of progress, and that at present our finite reason enables us
only to see as through a glass darkly, and we confidently believe that a
time will come when the two records will be seen to agree in every
particular." ~ cited in Samuel Kinns, Moses and Geology, p. 5f. in Alfred M
Rehwinkel, The Flood, (St. Louis: Concordia, 1951), p. XVIII

"Ultimately, the reason Biblical creationists believe in a young earth is
because of Scripture--not evidences outside of Scripture." Ken Ham,
"Demolishing 'Straw men'," Creation Ex Nihilo 19:4, (Sept-Nov. 1997), p. 14

Because reason has already been abandoned, Ham can make the statement he
does.  Reason doesn't matter--it is what the Bible say.
 

This is correct and quite reasonable :-) seeing that both the reformed and evangelical views (let me use these distinctions in the broadest of sense) desire to take the Bible as their starting points in formulating their world views. However,  hermeneutics is where the "Y" lies; i.e., Just what is the Bible saying and what does it mean to "believe" it?

The thrust of your argument is that since the YEC position presupposes the Bible, and they are so prone to improper and poor science, then any an all who share such presumptions must be wrong. But such a position, apart from its spurious character, implicates your brand of concordism too! You merely point out a truth that needs to be highlighted more often: we all share the same goal of taking the Bible seriously and predicating Biblical truth to our contemporary world!

 
As for you, if you don't believe we have an autonomous reason, how do you
know you are not being deceived by whatever outside thing is influencing
your reason?  You can't.
Precisely; by George :-), I think you've got it! As the Bible teaches, the human intellect - including mine - is prone to all manner of deceitful imaginations concerning the creation. This simply underscores the distinctly christian view that  without the present work of the Holy Spirit, we will believe a lie (Romans 1). Furthermore, since all have sinned, we all are incapable of obtaining the revelatory truth through any exclusively human effort. This is the explanation and origin of atheistic evolution and secular humanism: they simply are lost and blind and can't help themselves! The existence of secular humans who are very adept at reason is readily understood in light of the revelation that all humans are image barriers; saved and unsaved alike. Thus reason is evolution's gift to the human race, i.e., the distinguishing characteristic of humanity prior to and independent of redemption's work.

So how can we be sure? "The Spirit bears witness to our spirits, that we are the children of God." Again, you do not understand Romans 1 and the need for prevenient grace.

 

I believe there are many YEC who are legitimately using the scientific
>method in attempting to support their theories; whether or not they are
successful
>or whether of not the established scientific community accepts such
theories is a
>different, secondary issue. Ignoring falsification of evidence, which
occurs in
>all camps, I believe it better to classify YEC as poor science.

Unfortunately, there is precious little YEC research of any form. Have you
looked at a Creation Research Society Quarterly lately?  I have.  There is
nothing but nonsense with no scientific methodology at all.

I admit I do not keep up with their publications as I am presently pursuing my own studies in science, but I do recall reading some nice work in Creation Ex Nihilo about Lunar cratering.
 

>
>However, it is not at all illegitimate to return such accusations as you
make upon
>your own attempts at concordism. To claim that the Bible accords with
>neo-Darwinian evolution is deemed by many of us as to be, to use your own
words:
>"preaching a false Bible". I prefer to use my less inclusive verbiage by
>maintaining that your concordistic position is "undermining Biblical truth
>assertions."

We have a choice. We can say that the Bible isn't really telling us
anything historical but is merely telling us moral tales by which we should
live. We can make up a play-science like the YECs. We can pay attention to
the scientific data and concord it with the data from Scripture as best we
can. Or we can simply call the Bible false and go become Bhuddists. Of the
four that I listed (there may be others) I like reality. If it ain't real,
I don't give much of a flip for it. And if I can't tell if it is real or
not (the moral tales option), then it is as useless to me as every other
option.

>
>Again you make my point by listing the Bible along with failed scientific
>theories. Such thinking is a result of your accepting the rationalistic
>presupposition of an autonomy of reason which is a hold-over from the
>Enlightenment; i.e., that humanity is able to discern "truth" from
"falsehood" by
>logic and scientific enterprise. In so doing, you are in contradiction to
St. Paul
>in Romans 1, and have already conceded the apologetic higher ground to the
enemies
>of our faith.

  If we can't tell the truth from the false, then we can all go home now.
What is the point of all this argumentation?  If you can't tell truth from
falsehood (or think you can) why do you argue against me?  Upon what basis
do you think your uncategorized (as to truth or falsity) view is better
than mine?  You think your view is true, don't you???? But that contradicts
what you just said. You said you can't tell truth from falsehood. If you
can't please quit bothering everybody with your meaningless gab! We don't
know if it is true or false! Live consistently with your
philosophy--something you are not doing at present.>

>Your hypothetical in your first paragraph above and your accusation
concerning my
>desires in the last, betray the very problems I have with the evidential
>assumptions inherent in your brand of concordism.
>    (i) You speak of the Bible as a coherent whole rather than what it is: a
>collection of manuscripts possessing commonality of subject matter that has
>undergone judicious editing over millennia by different faith systems and
>denominations.
>    (ii) You state in simplistic terms that the Bible is either true in
that it is
>devoid of myth and monsters and true in a rationalistic and modern scientific
>sense in that it withstands the scrutiny of higher criticism; or false in
mass in
>the same senses.

Do you believe that what you wrote above is true?  If so, how can you know
that when you said humans can't tell truth from falsehood. If you don't
believe it is true, why are you writing this gibberish?
 

Please note the quotations around the words truth and falsehood. Such punctuation was meant to convey the usage of these words the naive and absolute sense you do. It is such naivety and absoluteness that lies at the heart of the problems I have with much of your way of thinking and cause you to be so rude in your responses. On that note,  Please feel free to not respond to my posts; if they are "gibberish" and "meaningless gab", then they pose no threat to you.

A critical realist position, one to which I presently subscribe,  is that the results of science and theoretical reasoning are models corresponding to - but legitimately portraying - some attribute of what is actually out there when measured. However, this position does allow for uncertainty and incompleteness in understanding. It is the foundational notion of the absolute trust in  reason that you posses that I am against; an not in the use of reason. As I already stated.

    "Rationality is indispensable for  precision in verbal communication and interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data set at hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us).

But more on this later.

 
>
>Both of these assumptions are shared by YEC, OEC and your brand of
concordistic
>TE. However, these assumptions are not forced upon a religion that has as its
>foundation a present and abiding personal savior - despite the fact that
precious
>little was written about or by him; not a logically consistent collection of
>sacred writings that fits modern scientific discovery and - most
importantly -
>scientific presuppositions. Such a faith allows for a Bible that is simply
as it
>appears to be: a collection of  writings concerning the sacred history of
Israel
>and first century christianity along with Judeo - Christian - Islamic
theology.
 
Gee, I didn't know that Islam influenced Paul. Where is my history book? I
need to check this out.
Accept for its sardonic and immature content, I do not understand this reply as pertaining to anything I wrote above. Allah is the God of the Bible too and Islam's origins are outlined in Biblical history.
 
>Rationality is indispensable for  precision in verbal communication and
>interpretation of sense data; however, it is always a function of the data
set at
>hand and - most importantly - inherently unsuited for discernment of absolute
>certainty about anything (as Russell and Godel have shown us).

And you said this with such conviction and absolute certainty! You are
absolutely certain that mankind can not determine absolute certainty.
WOW!!!!!! I think I detect a certainty in there somewhere. How did Russell
and Godel get this information--through reason or through divine
revelation??? I thought Russell was an atheist who wrote Why I am not a
Christian? Thus divine revelation seems to be unlikely.

glenn
 

Yes! It was by the use of Aristotleian-Thomastic reasoning that Russell showed the inadequacy of basing mathematical proof upon an axiomatic method of set theory. And in so doing, not only did "arithmetic became suspect" (paraphrase of ....ah , what was his name? :-)  ), but Russell, inspired Godel to further show - for certain - that in formal systems, one could never be sure of possessing a completeness in the axiomatic set that avoids antinomy! So where does this leave us? Contrary to your sardonic and naive conclusion, their use of reason ironically refuted rationalism and thereby helped usher in the post-modern age. A marvelous and inspired feat to be sure!

The irony of this inspired feat is only further heighten by the fact that Russell was an atheist! (To me, it reveals something akin to a sense of humor in the doings of Russell's creator!), Russell, by virtue of his humanity was an image barer and thereby a rational being. His atheism does not preclude divine influence of inspiration. Again it is your naive assumptions upon divine inspiration that cause your conclusions and sarcasm. God uses unbelievers to forward his purpose on a regular bases as Biblical history shows.

Glenn, I am sorry you fell the need to reduce yourself with sarcastic hyperbola. Again, I would rather you simply ignored this post if it irritates you so.

Sincerely in God's Grace;
George A.
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