Re: asa-digest V1 #3214

From: gordon brown (
Date: Wed Mar 19 2003 - 17:35:16 EST

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    Valid scientific arguments are not likely to be convincing to those with
    little science education, especially if they view science as an enemy of
    Christianity. Perhaps they could be shown the lack of proper credentials
    in science or the relevant scientific discipline of some of these pseudo-
    scientists, but convincing them of the spirituality of Christians who do
    good science may be very difficult.

    I find disturbing the success that Ham, Morris, Gish, etc. have in
    convincing Christians that they are defending the true literal
    interpretation of the Scriptures when they simply accept what they believe
    to be the literal meaning of yom in Genesis 1 and then try to reconcile
    that with observation by adopting a theory derived from the writings of
    Ellen White, either ignoring or twisting the scriptural passages that
    don't fit their theory. Christians ought to be made aware of the
    difficulties that Scripture itself poses for their theories.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395

    On Mon, 17 Mar 2003, Gary Collins wrote:

    > On Thu, 13 Mar 2003 05:20:01 -0500, asa-digest wrote:
    > >------------------------------
    > >
    > >Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 19:17:01 -0000
    > >From: "Michael Roberts" <>
    > >Subject: Re: test questions-old topic
    > >
    > [...]
    > >
    > >Pray for us Brits Ken Ham is on tour this month and I dont know whether
    > >anyone will turn him into a pork pie.
    > >
    > >Michael
    > >
    > We need it. He came to Brighton at the Weekend and gave 5 sessions
    > co-hosted by two churches, one of which was mine.
    > Oh dear. The word 'insidious' tends to spring to mind. Perhaps that's too strong,
    > he's probably sincere, but (IMO) mistaken, and will refuse to look objectively at
    > anything because of his worldview and _a priori_ assumptions.
    > The presentation was powerful, superb in its style but a mine of misinformation,
    > or at least of incomplete information which would lead people to erroneous
    > conclusions. Not that I would completely dismiss out of hand absolutely everything
    > he said - smoe things I feel I will need to look into. But I'm sufficiently aware of the
    > Creation/evolution debate to know that the young earth position is really not
    > tenable (much as I might like it to be otherwise - it would make things a lot simpler
    > if it were!)
    > Perhaps the thing I objected to most was his forceful insistence that unless
    > you accept literally the words of the Bible - and of Genesis 1 to 11 in particular -
    > you are undermining, or not accepting the authority of the scripture. I see this
    > as a slight not only on myself, but on respected conservative theologians such
    > as J.I. Packer and F.F. Bruce and I'm sure there are many more who could be
    > mentioned.
    > I feel I really need to write something to my pastor, but I'm not sure yet what
    > approach I should use. A scientific approach would be of no use, because
    > Ken said - and quite correctly - that interpretation of data is theory-laden, and if
    > I approach from this angle I expect it would merely be dismissed as "not looking
    > through Bible glasses" (any of you who have seen this presentation will know
    > all about this, and the emphasis put upon it).
    > The only approach I can think of that might be successful is to try to undermine
    > Ken's assumption that the literal interpretation is the only valid - or the most valid -
    > way to approach Genesis 1 to 11. I am thinking of drawing fairly heavily on Henri
    > Blocher's book "In the Beginning" to achieve this. Also, Alan Hayward (sp?) has
    > a useful section in his book "Creation and Evolution: The Facts and Fallacies."
    > I would value the advice of others, though; and especially if any of you have been
    > in this situation, I would love to hear from you and find out the approaches you
    > have used, and how effective - or otherwise - they proved to be.
    > I am not a scientist, theologian or philosopher myself - I have a basic science
    > education and have learned something about the other two subjects by
    > reading but no formal training. And as a Christian of quite a few years' standing,
    > I have a fairly good knowledge of the Scriptures themselves (though not in the
    > original languages!)
    > Sorry about the long post, but I had to do it now, while it's fresh in my mind, and
    > to get it off my chest a bit, and also to make sure that I really do take some kind
    > of action, however limited, rather than just sit back passively and do nothing at all.
    > PS: a couple of thoughts have occurred to me; this may be useful to anyone else
    > who finds themself in my position as a result of this tour.
    > Ken emphasized that whatever subject the Bible touches on - geology, astronomy,
    > anthropology, etc - it is completely reliable in every way. I think I will point out in
    > my letter that this is not so, and mention a couple of instances where this is clearly
    > not the case - the 'famous' verse in Kings from which pi=3, and the passage in
    > Hebrews which explains why Levi can collect the tithe: because when Melchizedek
    > met Abraham, Levi was "still in the body of his ancestor." (And even if this were in fact
    > true, the logic employed seems to be a complete _non sequitur_, since if Levi were
    > still in the body of his ancestor, it would follow that all his brothers must have been
    > as well, and so they also would already have paid the tenth through Abraham). I
    > must make sure to remember to include this in my letter!
    > Hoping for some feedback
    > /Gary
    > (A. Lurker).
    > Give them an inch and they'll take a foot and, soon enough, you won't have
    > a leg to stand on.

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