Re: Evolution & Identity of the ID designer

From: George Murphy (
Date: Tue Dec 03 2002 - 21:18:27 EST

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    Howard J. Van Till wrote:
    > Excerpt from a recent post:
    > > Jacob is not simply regarded as a good con artist. Jacob stole
    >his birthright
    > > from his older brother through cunning and his brother's failure
    >to value it.
    > > Jacob is not condemned by the Lord. In fact the Lord has already predicted
    > > that the older will serve the younger. Isaac himself is agitated
    >over Jacob's
    > > trickery but does not reassign the birthright to Esau. That suggests to me
    > > that cunning is favored in God's eyes.
    > Here's another hypothesis to consider: Human nature -- especially as it is
    > expressed within a zealous religious community -- is inclined toward making
    > unwarranted and boastful claims of divine approval (or divine instruction)
    > for its own lust for power and control.
    > When we saw that in the 9/11 episode, we were repulsed. Should we be any
    > less repulsed when we see it incorporated in canonical text?

            You are making the same basic mistake that I was attempting
    to correct in the
    post to which this "excerpt" is a response - the idea that the story
    of Jacob in Genesis
    is presented as an example we are to admire and perhaps imitate.
    That is indeed a
    common error to which the Jewish and Christian traditions have been
    subject, but there
    is no reason to think that that's the intent of either the biblical
    authors or the Holy
    Spirit (if indeed one believes that the Holy Spirit has anything to
    do with scripture.)
            The Bible presents a lot of its heroes "warts & all" -
    Abraham trading his wife
    for his own safety, Jacob the swindler, David the adulterer, &c. There is no
    reason to claim that these behaviors are being approved. Israel is
    simply being honest
    about who it is. Thus your last sentence - with its implied
    criticism of the canonical
    text - quite misses the point.

    George L. Murphy

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