RE: Report on the YEC seminar in Durango, 9-2003

From: Josh Bembenek (
Date: Tue Sep 23 2003 - 10:42:50 EDT

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    >And if the geologic record is the result of a global flood, a miraculous
    >global flood, then God himself arranged the fossils in a pattern which
    >us to evolution. Why would God do that? Why would God take tiny little
    >microscopic animals and make them lay in the earth in layers in which they
    >NEVER overlap each other? It looks as if they were not on the earth or in
    >the water at the same time, yet if there was a global flood, then
    >supposedly, they were in the waters at the same time but turbulence NEVER
    >mixed them together. Seems kind of odd to me, but YECs have an amazing
    >ability to ignore any piece of evidence. The fossils I am speaking of are
    >nanoplanckton, diatoms and benthonic plankton. see

    -My answer is that you have way too much confidence in what you think the
    data means. It could mean a purple elephant is responsible for creation, I
    don't think that's reasonable but you can't disprove it. If someone isn't
    convinced by your evidence and magic bullets, what then?

    >The problem with the appearance of age argument is that it isn't just light
    >that has to be created in transit. Images have to be encoded in that light
    >as well. These are images of things which never happened, things like
    >galactic collisions, supernova, stellar bodies orbiting each others, pulsar
    >rotations etc. For God to do this, I would think Him a wee bit deceptive
    >because he is encoding 'memories' upon the fabric of the universe of
    >non-existent events. And if He can do that, why couldn't he have created
    >the world 5 seconds ago and created us with our memories encoded in our
    >brains. And if He created the world 5 seconds ago with all our memories,
    >then Christ never actually came--he becomes a historical illusion.

    -Yeah, so what? Jesus created wine that was better than the wine they
    brought out the first time (not the custom at the time so people remarked
    about it.) Do you think better wine is younger? He sure is a liar to
    produce wine from water that had spices and flavors that superceded that of
    the wine brought out first. Aw heck, Christianity is wrong! Glenn, I don't
    think you are unreasonable to think what you do, but I don't agree that your
    view is the only sanctioned view of real truth. (Hence neither is mine,
    since its the same as yours.)

    >And a God who can or would do that is not one who can be trusted to tell us
    >how to be saved. How do we know if he hasn't pasted an illusory bit of
    >information in our brains? If God lies about Nature, how can we trust him
    >tell us how to be saved???? I would like a real answer to that question

    -Glenn, do you remember the diatribe thread? I really despise inductions of
    an argument formed in the mind of a critic and used to refute someone's
    position. None of your deductions are requisite from the beliefs of a YEC,
    even if you think they are required.

    >Most YECs think they are spirit-filled and look where it has gotten them!
    >They are reviled NOT for being Christians, but for being silly.

    -Maybe about the small issue of science. I bet alot of hungry people are
    being fed, alot of orphans are adopted, alot of widows are cared for, etc.
    The fruit of the spirit isn't "accurate understanding of the formational
    economy of the universe." You are elevating scientific knowledge to
    something that it is not.

    >Shouldn't we try to help them out of that situation? Someone
    >helped me--several someones. The ones who did the most to help were those
    >who shocked me into thinking--those who told me bluntly how stupid I was.

    -Yeah, give them the book "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," don't go
    around calling them liars and saying that they make the bible false.

    >Agreed. But if they are wrong, as you believe, why are you not trying to
    >talk them out of it??? Is it fun just to let them embarass themselves?? I
    >prefer to do what I can, however imperfect it is, to get my brothers to see
    >how they embarass themselves by placing God into a position where He
    >manufactured a false history of the universe, or by teaching a universe
    >whose laws cannot show the glory of God because we must deny and ignore

    -Your view of their beliefs is not their beliefs. I strongly suggest that
    they consider being open to what science may tell us in the future and to
    not simply regard all scientific information as irrelevant. Recently I have
    been citing the radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel (posted here by
    can't remember who) to just about everyone that talks to me on the issue.
    But the point isn't to force them to abandon their faith, but to learn to
    think critically about it and weed out the errors. As you testified, this
    isn't going to happen in a day, it may take years and decades to convince
    someone. Thus, I lay my kindness and gentle instruction out there, and pray
    for God to move their hearts. And mine too, if I'm wrong. And the thing is
    Glenn, regardless of what you believe, I'll wager my life on the fact that
    something you believe is wrong. That's the nature of being a fallible

    >But unlike you, I am unwilling to let my brothers perish in
    >their ignorance. They may not like me, they may call me all sorts of names,
    >but by golly, I am going to do what I can to force them to look. The
    >Germans after the war who knew but failed to look at what their government
    >was doing to the Jews, were forced by Ike to walk through the gas chambers
    >and look at the carnage. YECs in some sense must be made to face up to the
    >carnage they produce spiritually. I know more atheists who were former YECs
    >or who are atheists because they think the bible requires YEC. And you
    >to leave this situation as it is? I don't. I won't.

    -I'm gonna nickname you jump-to-conclusions Glenn. JTCGlenn, I spend alot
    of effort trying to educate people on the relevant issues. Coal deposits
    and swamp material isn't the most important fact for a YEC to understand.
    Neither is the rest of the barrage of magic bullet arguments you shoot off.

    >If we can't trust our eyes, why do you trust what you read on the pages of
    >the Bible? I would contend that if, as you suggested above, the YEC case
    >true, then we can have no faith in observation. If we can have no faith in
    >observation, why would I trust what I observe on the pages of the Bible?
    >is self-defeating at least to me.

    -JTCGlenn, why is it that you trust what you observe in the bible? I pray
    that you never read the Koran, the Bhagvad Ghita, the Book of Mormon, the
    Lao Tzu, etc. because if you observe it, apparently you will believe it.
    Consider the following scriptures:

    There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to one hope when
    you were called-- 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father
    of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
      7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
    8This is why it[1] says:
       "When he ascended on high,
           he led captives in his train
           and gave gifts to men."[2] 9(What does "he ascended" mean except
    that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[3] ? 10He who
    descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order
    to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some
    to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
      12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ
    may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the
    knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole
    measure of the fullness of Christ.
      14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,
    and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and
    craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the
    truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that
    is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every
    supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does
    its work.

    And how is it that we come to know truth and identify God's will in the

    1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your
    bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your
    spiritual[1] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern
    of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you
    will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and
    perfect will.

    Who transforms our mind?

    he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his
    mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy

    Seems obvious to me.

    >I won't let you get away with this. Distorting reality is precisely what
    >they do to fit their interpretation of the Bible. I showed a seismic line
    >a YEC friend and told him how it showed an old earth. He distorted reality
    >by saying that the only reason I held the beliefs I did was to hold down my
    >job. He would rather beleive I was a sell out to the truth than that the
    >data in my hand was true.

    -And someday, later, when that final piece of evidence breaks the camels
    back and he realizes that the earth must indeed be old, your seismic line
    will have completed its work. This is not a futile situation, nor is your
    friend wrong not to believe you as soon as you say it, or believe an
    observation as soon as he observes it. I would buy alot of products I don't
    want if I followed all the capitalism bombardments from billboards, etc.
    I'd probably be a drunk from all the beer commercials.

    >No, they want to teach their terrible science to my grandchildren, they
    >to exclude people like me from their churches and like Richard Kouchoo,
    >claim I am not a christian. Thus it isn't quite as benign as you seem to
    >mistakenly think.

    -That is sad, I don't think the situation is benign. But I don't treat my
    neighbor as I don't wish to be treated. And that includes using one
    particular interpretation of Genesis to use as a measuring stick of whether
    folks are invalidating the bible or not.

    >God always uses humans. When was the last time you saw God sitting with a
    >YEC or a Christian Scientist?

    -And God has also instructed us humans how to go around doing God's service.

    >When they do that, I will become a YEC again. And I won't be embarassed to
    >do it. The data is with me now. If it were to change, it would be with them
    >and I will go with the data.

    -You should go with the spirit, JTCGlenn, not the data. Otherwise, it seems
    that you are prey to being tossed around on the sea of unkown.

    >But if what that God does proves him to be a deceiver by making Nature say
    >what it shouldn't say, then God becomes untrustworthy.

    -Only if we follow your mandated inferences wherever you think they should

    Glenn, this is a great exercise. Since I will probably be meeting Ken Ham
    relatively soon, defending his position can only help me have a better
    understanding of where he's coming from. This way I'll be better prepared
    with a response, or maybe with no response. Even a fool looks wise if he
    says nothing right?


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