The forgotten verses (was Re: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann

From: Vernon Jenkins (vernon.jenkins@virgin.net)
Date: Tue May 27 2003 - 18:47:29 EDT

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: On Tillich"

    Michael,

    Thank you for your detailed response to some of the matters I raised.

    In respect of your claim that the 'geologic column' tells _one particular
    story_ - to the exclusion of all others - I think we shall have to agree to
    disagree. [You may be interested to know that I too have had some experience
    of geological field trips as an undergraduate studying mining engineering.
    My teachers - all evolutionists - spoke freely and comfortably in terms of
    multiples of megayears. I lapped it up at the time, but now appreciate that
    there are other matters that need to be considered before a Christian can
    fairly and honestly come to such a conclusion.]

    Among the words of the NT which have greatly affected me as a Christian are
    these recorded by the Apostle John: ".for he (Jesus) knew what was in man."
    (Jn.2:25) - seemingly in direct answer to the question posed by Jeremiah:
    "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
    know it?" (Jer.17:9). Now it occurs to me that here we encounter a
    fundamental piece of information - one having potentially far-reaching
    consequences - not least, for the debate in which we are currently engaged.
    However, manifestly, it is much neglected information - despite the fact
    that, (a) the raison d'etre for our becoming Christians in the first place
    is an understanding that "There is none righteous,.For all have sinned and
    come short of the glory of God." (Ro.3:10,23), and that we need this
    particular Saviour, Jesus Christ, to come and put us right, (b) the obvious
    wickedness of man as it is observed in the world around us, and (c) what we
    each know of ourselves - the 'plague of his own heart', as King Solomon puts
    it (1Ki.8:38). Clearly, the 'natural man' is unaware of this essential and
    deep-seated flaw in man's character (nor would he accept its importance,
    even if it were known to him); tragically, there are few Christians also who
    give it a second thought in situations in which it should be allowed to
    exercise a decisive role.

    Michael, as a Christian - and though well aware that man is not only an
    enemy of God (Ps.2) and prone to 'evil imaginations' (Gn.8:21), but can't
    think straight - you have chosen to join with atheists (who know nothing of
    these fundamentals) to promote the evolutionary enterprise. Has it not
    occurred to you that when God's Word is challenged in the name of science
    this is precisely what one would have predicted on the basis of the biblical
    strictures concerning the essential human condition. Fair game for the
    atheist, of course! But what of those whose eyes have been opened? Science -
    as normally and properly practised - is clearly part of the outworking of
    God's ultimate purpose for man; but when it attempts to challenge matters
    about which God has already spoken plainly and clearly, then surely we are
    in a completely different realm.

    I therefore suggest the YEC position is the only possible option for the
    Christian because, in the final analysis, what matters is not the the more
    persuasive body of scientific argument (for there are substantial problems
    for both sides) but what the Scriptures have to say about the essential
    nature of those involved in the battle.

    Finally, let me make two further points:

    (1) In general YECs (AIG, particularly) are as intransigent as yourself in
    respect of the significance of the numbers that we find built into the
    Scriptures. They just can't get their heads around the idea that God would
    do such a thing - even though he has promised to destroy the wisdom of the
    wise (Is.29:14). [And 'destruction' is not normally associated with a kid
    glove approach!] Yet, strangely, as do most Christians, they freely
    acknowledge that his ways are higher than ours, and beyond understanding!

    (2) I believe the numbers are there to remind us of the being and
    sovereignty of God - and hence, of the unfailing truth of His Word. They
    represent a body of highly-integrated empirical data that, discovered in any
    other area (eg SETI), would attract the world's press as bees to a honeypot.
    Can't you see that this is all further evidence of what I spoke of earlier?

    Regards,

    Vernon

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Michael Roberts" <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
    To: "Vernon Jenkins" <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
    Cc: <asa@calvin.edu>
    Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2003 9:00 PM
    Subject: Re: Response to Howard on Tillich & Bultmann

    >
    > Vernon
    > 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
    > false"
    > > (presumably meaning that it is so obviously untrue as to require no
    > further
    > > comment). However, you then go on to say you are "not aware" that
    geology
    > is
    > > 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
    > your
    > > 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
    > caused
    > > 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
    > of
    > > origins and destinies. Kindly explain why such a reasonable
    understanding
    > of
    > > 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
    > Gospel.
    >
    > I wonder how many have been lost to Christ through the activities of
    > Creationists.
    >
    > Michael
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Vernon
    > >
    > > http://www.otherbiblecode.com
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > ----- Original Message -----
    > > From: "Michael Roberts" <michael.andrea.r@ukonline.co.uk>
    > > To: "Vernon Jenkins" <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>; "Howard J. Van Till"
    > > <hvantill@chartermi.net>; <asa@calvin.edu>
    > > 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
    > _possible_
    > > > > 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
    > misrepresentation
    > > > 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
    > who
    > > > 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
    > far
    > > > 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,
    > Jn.21:15-17);
    > > > 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
    > to
    > > > 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
    > forward
    > > > 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
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    >



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Tue May 27 2003 - 18:48:04 EDT