Re: The forgotten verses

From: Vernon Jenkins (
Date: Sat Jun 07 2003 - 15:55:02 EDT

  • Next message: George Murphy: "Re: Columbia"


    I greatly appreciate your calm and logical approach to the matters under
    discussion. You chose to address my three points in reverse order, and I
    will do likewise.

    VJ had said:

    (3) You've twice used the phrase 'what kind of texts we're dealing with'.
    When I point out that the 7 Hebrew words of the Bible's first verse conceal
    a _standing miracle_ of numerical geometry and many other incontrovertible
    wonders - including an accurate estimate of pi - surely that should alert us
    to the kind of text that follows. Such clear evidence of His being and
    sovereignty must remove all doubts about the literal truth of a recent
    ex-nihilo creation.

    GM replies:

    (3) Grant (as I said) for the sake of argument that there are numerical
    patterns in Genesis which prove that God is its author. This emphatically
    does _not_ prove that the text which God has authored is a literal (i.e.,
    historically and scientifically accurate) account of how and when creation
    took place. To imagine that this is so is like claiming (to use this
    example once again) that the story of the Good Samaritan "really happened"
    because Jesus told it as a true statement of who one's neighbor is.

    VJ's response:

    Please accept my assurance that the phenomena I describe are real enough,
    and cannot reasonably be attributed to chance or human agency - facts you
    may readily confirm for yourself. This inevitably invites the questions, Who
    is responsible? and Why are they there? Because they are found in
    particularly high concentration in the foundational and strategically-placed
    Genesis 1:1 - the equilateral triangle (an obvious symbol of the Godhead)
    being a recurring feature - we infer _divine authorship_ and _serious
    intent_. I therefore suggest these are good reasons for believing the
    observed geometries - and their many other numerical associations - are
    intended to bring home to intellectual man that what He has caused to be
    written in His name is to be believed - rather than challenged, as hitherto.
    [I fail to see that your reference to the parable of the Good Samaritan is
    relevant in this context.]

    VJ had further said:

    (2) You fail to distinguish between science as normally and legitimately
    practised (with God's revelation and blessing) and its misuse in attempts to
    analyse/question the _miracle_ outlined in the Creation narrative. Is it
    your general view that any supernatural event is, (a) open to such
    investigation and, (b) then capable of being completely explained in
    scientific terms?

    GM replies:

    (2) There is no sharp qualitative difference between the 2 types of science
    which you try to distinguish here. E.g., the types of arguments used to
    determine the distance to the galaxy in Andromeda are based on quite routine
    observations (properties of certain types of stars) and well-known laws
    (inverse square law for light propagation &c). No one has any objection
    when these are used to find that a cluster of stars in our galaxy is ~1000
    LY away. But when they show that M31 is a couple of million LY away, YECs
    immediately start objecting. There is no difference in the procedures, the
    underlying assumptions, or the beliefs of the astronomers. But the results
    conflict with the YECs preconceptions - preconceptions traceable to the
    unwarranted assumption noted under (3).

    VJ's response:

    But you haven't addressed the points I raised under this heading, viz to
    what extent is science able to make sense of _miracle_? When the
    supernatural is arbitrarily dismissed as _non-existent_ or _irrelevant_ how
    can the Christian be completely satisfied with the pontifications of
    scientists in respect of the Creation?
    [Concernng YEC, I'd like to clarify my own position. It must be clear to all
    that the numerical disclosures are as repugnant to proponents of YEC and ID
    as they are to evolutionists - a contingent phenomenon which, I suggest,
    confirms the biblical strictures referred to under (1).]

    VJ had again said:

     (1) I seem to recall that we have argued before on the true nature of sin.
    When you say "Sin is primarily a distortion of the human relationship with
    God." you are, of course, correct. But I suggest your words do not
    adequately capture the true nature of our problem. Sin, as the scriptures
    inform us - and as I understand it - is not a _negative_ or a _neutral_
    thing, but rather a very _positive_ anti-God attitude which can lead us into
    all kinds of error. Jesus was well aware of it (Jn.2:25) - and it surely
    follows that all who profess to follow him should be also. The words of the
    Lord as spoken by Jeremiah can hardly be more damaging to our self-esteem:
    "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can
    know it?" (Jer.17:9). If that indeed be true - and I suggest experience
    confirms it - then we are surely on sticky ground if we insist on
    challenging the biblical account of how and when things began.

    GM replies:

    (1) I don't disagree about the seriousness of sin. But if you follow your
    argument here to its logical conclusion, you end up unable to have any
    confidence in any knowledge about the world. If our knowledge of the world
    is that severely distorted by sin then maybe the earth is flat. Maybe heat
    really flows from cold to hot. Who knows? But in fact the accurate
    correlations between our theories and observations can give us a great deal
    of confidence that scientific investigation - _without_ "God's revelation" -
    works quite well. And since (as I noted under (2)) there is no division
    between the type of science that raises no religious objections from YECs
    and that which does, YECs need to take a hard look at their presuppositions.
    Again, see (1).

    VJ's response:

    No, you miss the point I was attempting to make. When man's scientific
    endeavours are _neutral_, ie not involved in trying to prove God wrong, or
    non-existent, then all is well. That is science as it is properly
    practised - and as you describe. On the other hand its use as an aid in
    formulating a history of the earth which attempts to overturn revelation is
    a completely different matter.



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Jun 07 2003 - 15:55:40 EDT