Re: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann

From: Michael Roberts (
Date: Sun May 25 2003 - 16:00:38 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: On Tillich"

    In reply;>
    > (1) Regarding my suggestion that the science that underpins the study of
    > earth history is _deductive_, you first claim this to be "manifestly
    > (presumably meaning that it is so obviously untrue as to require no
    > comment). However, you then go on to say you are "not aware" that geology
    > deductive. Clearly therefore, you accept there is some room for doubt.

    I don't I was speaking with slight irony as does the Bible often.

    (Vernon) That being the case, kindly explain, (a) why you believe so
    strongly that
    > reading of the geological record is correct,
    I dont have MY reading of the geological record as that would be my own
    personal opinion. However I totally accept the conventional understanding of
    the geological record with the order of strata, interpretations of
    environmnets and the ages assigned by radiometric work.

    This is based on my geological training, geological fieldwork in 3
    continents and my serious study of the history of geology and especially how
    the geological column and geological time was arrived at.

    (Vernon) and (b) why those who disagree are worthy of utter contempt.

    You put words into my mouth here but I will let that slide.
    I expalin briefly why Creationists are so fundamentally wrong
    1. The common claim that the geol Column is a circular argument based on
    evolution. That is utterly false as the column took a long time to work out
    from tentative begimnnings in c1720s by Strachey et al. then Rev John
    Michell (formerly Prof of geol at Cambridge) by 1788 had worked out the
    column from the Upper Carboniferous (Pensylvanian) to the top of the
    cretaceous with the use of fossils. This was developed in the 1790s by Smith
    who noticed that fossils were found in the same beds and could hardly name
    them. Also Cuvier and Brogniart in the Paris Basin. All three set up columns
    and rejected evolution. Then in the 1820s 30s and 40s the column from the
    cambrain to the devonian was elucidated by such as Sedgwick (evangelcial
    vicar) Lewis (evangelcial vicar) Murchison (antievolutionist as were
    Sedgwcik and Lewis).
    Their princilpes were a mixture of superposition and the use of fossils. It
    would take a long time to explain.
    Thus the accusation of a circular argument is false and has been criticsied
    but many creationists continue to reiterate.
    2. The column dependent on uniformitarian assumptions. False as nore of the
    above mentioned were uniformitarians.
    3. Geologists began with the assumption of a vast age. False, going back to
    1660 geologists began with the assumption of a young earth and only
    gradually accepted an old earth. Up to 1810 many doubted millions of years.
    Now on these three points you have the standard YEC arguments which are
    based on falsehoods.
    4. Radiometric age dating ; sheer misrepresentation by Woodmarappe, Morris,
    Andrews , Monty white and all creationists. They have been challenged many
    times on this and will not back off. Now none of these are amateurs with
    only high school science. Morris everyone knows. Edgar Andrews Ph D DSc was
    prof (english sense i.e. far more than an assoc prof) at London univ, Monty
    White who works for AIG in the UK has a Ph D in Chemistry and says he has
    studied geology upto pass degree level - at least 3rd yr in a US coll. I
    have read their books and have heard them lecture. Now they consistently
    misrepresent and misquote geologists and give a crude parody of geology.
    What am I to think? One explanation is that they are grossly incompetent but
    they have scientific doctorates. So that is ruled out.
    When I have heard Andrews and White lecture I wince at the way they
    misrepresent. I once challenged Andrews when he gave a total untrue
    presentation on radiometric age-dating. He refused to correct his errors.
    > (2) The people you criticise as being guilty of "distortion and
    > misrepresentation" not only believe in God, but also in what He has
    > to be written in His name - particularly as it concerns the true nature of
    > man; ergo, his complete dependence on _revelation_ to settle the matters
    > origins and destinies. Kindly explain why such a reasonable understanding
    > what the Bible actually says should cast doubt on the "moral integrity" of
    > those who hold such views.
    As I pointed out above by their consistent and extreme misrepresentation and
    their refusal over the years to correct this when others have brought this
    to their attention. I dont know about you , but even when I am told I have
    made a mistake I crawl into a hole and check it and recheck it to make sure
    I am not wrong. If I am I correct it. (I also distinguish between those
    things I am sure about and thus dogmatic and those things which are
    tentative.) Back to creationists, they have accused of misrepresentation not
    silly mistakes by Evangelicals, liberal Christians and atheist Scientists.
    On this Dawkins, Peacocke, and most evangelicals in Christians in Science
    and the ASA are in agreement. I had simply come to the same conclusion on my
    own in 1971 and am waiting to find a creationist who does not misrepresent.
    Their views on the Bible are irrelevant until they begin to truthfully
    expound the views of those they disagree with.

    I could carry on , but that is the essence of my case and why I regard
    Creationism as worse than mischievous as it is positively damaging to the

    I wonder how many have been lost to Christ through the activities of

    > Vernon
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Michael Roberts" <>
    > To: "Vernon Jenkins" <>; "Howard J. Van Till"
    > <>; <>
    > Sent: Saturday, May 24, 2003 11:06 AM
    > Subject: Re: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann
    > >
    > > > I trust you would agree that the science that underpins the study of
    > > earth
    > > > history is necessarily _deductive_ ; it seeks to determine a
    > > > series of events that has brought us to this point in time.
    > >
    > > I presume you are refering to science of geology and all historical
    > > sciences. If so then your statement is manifestly false. It is what has
    > been
    > > claimed by creationists from the time of Henry Morris in 1961 (if not
    > > McCready Price in 1900) and has been reiterated by many. I am not aware
    > that
    > > geology is deductive. It is this kind of distortion and
    > > which calls the moral integrity of YEc into question, especially those
    > with
    > > a supposedly good scientific base.
    > >
    > > That being so,
    > > > it is surely desirable that as brothers and sisters in Christ we
    > approach
    > > > the matter in a spirit of humility - respecting the views of others
    > > have
    > > > chosen (in keeping with sound biblical principles, as they understand
    > > them)
    > > > to interpret the relevant data of the _here and now_ differently.
    > >
    > > As it is not so, YECs should be continually challenged to stop
    > > misrepresenting. Further such unsound biblical princilpes like insisting
    > on
    > > a totally literal Genesis , continental drift in the days of Peleg and
    > > fetched numerology also need challenging.
    > >
    > >
    > > >
    > > > The hardness of your stance betrays a complete disregard for some very
    > > clear
    > > > and fundamental scriptural teaching respecting the nature of man:
    > clearly,
    > > > even in his redeemed state, he is no friend of God (Ps.2,
    > > and
    > > > since the Fall, has ever preferred imagination to reality (Gn.8:21,
    > > > Jer.17:9).
    > > Precisely and I have problems with those who are redeemed who continue
    > > misrepresent and distort despite many appeals not to do so.
    > >
    > >
    > > I'm sure you would agree that facts such as these - which, if we
    > > > are honest, we know in our hearts to be true - should encourage us to
    > > depend
    > > > more on God's Word and help us to believe what we read.
    > > It is incumbent on all Christians not to misuse God's word and put
    > > our pet interpretations. Those who misuse God's word yet professing its
    > > inerrancy are encouraging others to reject the Bible as God's word.
    > >
    > > If that is hardness of my stance then so be it.
    > >
    > > Michael
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

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