RE: Another thing people can throw rocks at

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sun May 05 2002 - 01:20:28 EDT

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    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: JW Burgeson []
    >Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2002 12:16 PM
    >Glenn wrote many words, among which were: "Now tell me how do I say that
    >about "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"? I
    >can't say,
    >I don't know if God created the heavens and the earth but I am
    >sure that the
    >story is true. It simply doesn't compute to me. If you can tell me how to
    >make that one both real and not real, then y'all might be able to convince
    >this obstinate fellow."
    >My take on that is that not only is that statement true, but that
    >it is one
    >of the three main "messages" in the myth that is Gen 1-11. Elsewhere I
    >mentioned the other two messgaes).

    Thank you Burgy, for your honesty here. I knew you wouldn't let me down.
    Yes, I agree, that statment must be true or we are worshipping the wrong
    God. But now we have the situation where the first verse of the Bible must
    logically be historically true and then we have some further point in the
    Biblical narrative which also must represent history (I don't care where it
    is other than that it actually exists). Between these two points in the
    tale, people get queasy about historicity. Thus we have a story which is
    supposed to be telling us the path to God which starts out true, goes into a
    bunch of nonhistorical tales which aren't true and then back into history.
    It bothers me that we don't find that disjunction problematical. I do.

    >"I would prefer to call it (my mindseet) the scientific mindset. My job is
    > listen to 'concordistic' stories about the data at hand. I have to
    >spot the flaws."
    >Interesting. I had not thought about your particular profession in that
    >light, or that "concordistic stories" might play a part.

    And in your profession as a physicist, you too were engaged in making up
    concordistic stories (theories) which matched the data at hand. What you did
    is no different than what I do. And all the scientists here on the list do
    the very same thing--make up concordistic stories, often using math, to
    match reality. I think we should do the same with Scripture, which is what
    I did.

    >Of course, I'd also like to think I have a "scientific mindset,"
    >and whether
    >or not I do, that mindset leads me to different conclusions about Gen 1-11
    >than yours. But, I hasten to add, if I were to select which of the many
    >theories about Adam, etc. were most likely true, given that I shared your
    >concordist views, I'd have to say the ideas presented by one Glenn
    >Morton in
    >his two books are in first place.

    Thank you. And I know you have a fine scientific mind and mindset, I would
    merely ask here, how you used the scientific method to determine that a
    non-historical poem is theologically true? I don't really think that is
    possible--i.e. to use science or a scientific mindset to determine
    theological truth. Could you explain how this is done?

    >"I think my bosses would have every right to fire me if I told
    >them that we
    >should drill prospect X even though the geologic history is false. It
    >wouldn't matter that I told the boss that the geologist came up with a
    >wonderful geologic story which made me gasp in awe and wonder at his/her
    >creativity, and that it even left tears in my eyes at the beauty of this
    >story. I couldn't tell them that it was a wonderful morality tale
    >about the
    >conflict of great forces in the earth. I couldn't tell them that I don't
    >know if the history is true, but the story is. That simply won't cut it."
    >Do you really expect me to disagree? No, you are obviously doing the right
    >thing here.

    And that is the best way to express why I can't go with the more liberal
    approach to the Scripture. It would mean doing what I did as a YEC--using
    science from Monday to Friday and avoiding science and a common methodology
    on the weekends and after work. I don't want to go back to that failed
    methodology, which I think you are actually using. :-)

    >"... Yet, when it comes to spending our souls (betting our souls)
    >on a given
    >theology of salvation, we think it is appropriate to base that bet on
    >standards which are less stringent than I use to spend a mere $20 million.
    >Frankly, my soul is worth more than what I spend in the oil industry. I
    >absolutely refuse to settle for a lesser
    >standard of truth."
    >Here is where you and I, probably, differ the most. I do not "bet my soul"
    >on any particular "theology of salvation." To do so misses, I think, the
    >great message of Xtianity. It is Christ who is my salvation, and not any
    >particular model or theory or theology of Christ, or of God, or of the
    >Bible, etc.

    I think you miss my point. The theology of salvation to which I refer does
    not consist of the set of Christian theologies. Don't limit the
    possibilities to merely those within Christianity. I refer to the set of all
    religious theologies. If Molech is truly God, then I may be in trouble
    because I didn't sacrifice my son, Daniel, to him when Dan was a baby. It is
    29 years too late for me.

    >When I said you still had the YEC mindset, I meant only that you would
    >agree with Duane Gish that "getting Gen 1-11 right" in terms of historical
    >and scientific coincidence was of great importance to one's

    I have never said that. What I have said is that if Jehovah didn't create
    the world, it does have an impact upon our salvation--we aren't saved in
    that case because Jehovah is the God Jesus claimed as his father. If Jehovah
    isn't God, then Jesus' claim goes down the toilet as another statement by an
    untrustworthy lunatic.

    And if you will dig back in your memory banks you will know that I don't
    care if every detail is accurate. What I insist upon is that the story be
    essentially true--not a made up just so story.

      It is
    >that mindset that we do not share. OTOH, getting Gen 1-11 right in
    >terms of
    >its central three messages IS important. But those three messages
    >have 0 to
    >do with either history or science.

    The first message does have a lot to do with history and science. The
    universe came into being either as a result of eternally existing natural
    forces alone or as the result of eternally existing divine will. By
    universe I mean all that there is. If God came into being with the universe,
    then he is part of the Universe and not the creator of it. If the actual
    historical truth is that God came into existence with the universe or he
    didn't create it at all, then Genesis 1 :1 is false and it does have
    something to do with history and science--they falsify Genesis 1:1.


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