Re: The Nature of Atheist - Christian dialogue

Date: Thu May 01 2003 - 16:11:42 EDT

  • Next message: Iain Strachan: "Re: The Nature of Atheist - Christian dialogue"

    Iain wrote,

    > But at the time, my impression (my apologies to Jim if this is was
    > completely wrong), was that if someone was posting that frequently to a
    > list
    > and was so fired up about an issue (Day-Age), that they frequently got
    > angry, that what was going on was a massive crisis of faith. Jim had just
    > booted YEC out by about a million light years, and perhaps wanted to find
    > an
    > alternative that would resolve the crisis. In those circumstances, I
    > really
    > question whether the right approach was to systematically challenge his
    > views (just as my views on ID and Vernon's numerics have been
    > systematically
    > challenged by people who don't like them). It seems to me that people just
    > couldn't resist the temptation to show how the Day-Age view, with which
    > they
    > didn't agree, was intellectually a non-starter. Was this really the
    > Christian thing to do in the circumstances?

    Since I was probably more involved in opposing Jim's day-age concordism than
    anyone, was this really the Christian thing to do? I can appreciate Iain's
    concern, but I believe it was and is the Christian thing to do---unless
    checked by the Spirit. Because concordism does not repeat the error of the
    Church against Galileo and thus undermine the credibility of the Church or
    bring disgrace to the name of Christ the way creation science does, I see it
    as a lesser evil; but, it is still an evil. The interpretations of concordism
    are just as distorted, just as suppressive of truth and light, just as
    deceptive as the interpretations of creation science. Because of my
    background in biblical studies I may see this more clearly than those trained
    in the sciences, but I am not alone on this list in seeing it as a poor
    alternative. Love will not stand by when people fall into this error anymore
    than it will stand by for creation science. "Love rejoices in the truth."

    I also believe it is significant that the presupposition of absolute biblical
    inerrancy, that is, God will not accommodate his revelation to the science of
    the times or employ legends or the like but will only reveal himself in
    terms of absolute scientific truth so that the Bible and science will always
    agree, is the common root which gives us the bad fruit of creation science,
    concordism, and much atheism. This presupposition, though ostensibly
    biblical, is in fact rooted in human reason. It is a rationalistic
    presupposition wherein man says to God, I know what you would do if you spoke
    to man and I have an ultimate commitment to that prior knowledge. So, you
    either live up to _my_ presupposition and the way _I_ want things to be, or
    _I_ will fix science by making up _my_ own science or fix the Bible by making
    up _my_ own Bible or _I_ will not believe in you at all.

    The trip from creation science to concordism to atheism is thus not a simple
    trip from one ultimate commitment to another, but largely a trip across the
    spectrum of an ultimate commitment to a rationalistic presupposition, simply
    going from right to left. The underlying religion (the object of one's
    ultimate commitment and trust) scarcely changes. At best creation science and
    concordism are syncretistic mixtures of Christianity and rationalism like the
    syncretism we find in the OT where the Israelites mixed a trust in Jehovah
    with a trust in Baal. In spite of the partial trust in God, true religion
    will always stand in opposition to such syncretism because true religion
    demands the surrender of all of one's ultimacies to the Ultimate. Jesus
    Christ alone is Lord.


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