Re: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Robert Schneider <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>
Date: Sat Apr 17 2004 - 20:25:11 EDT

Hi, Glenn,

    You sure dangled a lot of hooks in the message below! I do not wish to
engage in an extended argument, as I stand by my positions, only correct a
few statements of yours.

(1) the ASA statement does not say or imply that God wrote the Bible; it
says that "we accept the divine inspiration of the Bible," which is not the
same thing; not even the strictest inerrantist scholar believes in divine
dictation. Perhaps you meant that only metaphorically. But, then, when we
say that the Bible is the Word of God, we are speaking metaphorically.

(2) I do not assume that the Bible is only true theologically, as you
stated. You wrongly assume about that. If other religionists declare that
their sacred texts are true, that is their business; I am not pitting theirs
against the Bible, you are. Also, I have enough sense not to drink iodine,
but your comment is beside the point.

(3) Although this and the argument I respond to in (2) above are beside the
point, I am quite aware that people of other faiths have a set of
assumptions different from mine, as do YECs.

(4) I do not allow science to be jibberish. Nor do I believe that God used
"scientific jibberish" in the Bible. You are "eisegeting" my text.

(5) I am not blind to the fact that YECs "are driven by a desire to have a
true religion." Aren't we all?

This is as far as I wish to carry this argument. Say more, if you wish.

Blessings,
Bob

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <glennmorton@entouch.net>
To: "'Robert Schneider'" <rjschn39@bellsouth.net>; <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 11:21 AM
Subject: RE: YEC Destroying Faith

> Hi Bob,
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Robert Schneider [mailto:rjschn39@bellsouth.net]
> > Sent: Saturday, April 17, 2004 3:55 AM
> > To: Glenn Morton; asa@calvin.edu
> > Subject: Re: YEC Destroying Faith
> >
> >
> > Glenn, it's the YEC logic that doesn't work. Read my essay,
> > "Does the Bible Teach Science?"
> > http://www.berea.edu/SpecialProject/scienceandfaith/essay03.asp.
> >
> > Bob
>
> I would view it exactly opposite. Your logic doesn't work.
>
> First off, you are making a mistake which is made quite commonly in
> these issues of failiing to take into account that your listener might
> not accept your assumptions. The YEC does agree with the ASA statement
> "We accept the divine inspiration, the trustworthiness, and the
> authority of the Bible on matters of faith and conduct." But they also
> have other assumptions which you implicitly assume don't exist.
>
> YECs don't necessarily isolate Christianity from the other world
> religions. By this I mean the ultimate question of which religion is
> true. The Both/And thinking you are advocating would lead, logically to
> all religions being true in some form or another. IF (an assumption)
> God ONLY acted in writing the bible according to the ASA statement,
> that is, it is true only on matters of faith and conduct, leaves God
> open to produce the most jibberish-infested document from a scientific
> point of view and then we are supposed to accept it as metaphysically
> true. This is the
> earth-on-the-back-of-an-elephant-on-the-back-of-a-turtle-swimming-in-the
> -cosmic-ocean syndrome. It is what the scientifically minded from an
> eastern upbringing must face when they go into science. Their sacred
> documents claim the turtle in the sea scenario is true. But (here goes
> some either or thinking) it isn't true. It is false.
>
> To the YEC, to islamic antievolutionists and to the Hindu fundamentalist
> (Forbidden Archaeology by Cremo and Thompson) it is important that their
> sacred document have historical truth (not scientific truth as that dead
> red herring always wants to claim). Cremo and Thompson argue for the
> existence of manking way back in the geologic time. A current thing
> going on it Islamic fundamentalist circles is the claim that the Koran
> and other documents are up to snuff with modern medicine and thus that
> shows that Allah inspired the Koran. YECs focus on the creation for the
> same reason.
>
> Now, this is where I think you really go astray in your chain of logic.
> You assume the Bible is theologically true only. But if that is the
> case, how does one tell or test that it is THEOLOGICALLY true? One
> can't. All one can do is believe. But the Islamicist and the Hindu also
> believes their view respectively. And who is to determine which of
> these different religions (indeed if any) are true? You do it by making
> an assumption -- that it is the Bible. You have no basis for saying that
> except your belief--your faith. But as the old preacher said, you can
> believe all you want that drinking iodine won't hurt you, in the end, it
> will.
>
> Then you go argue against the YECs as if they accept your assumption,
> concluding (rightly as deduced from YOUR assumptions) that they are
> wrong (a nasty form of either/or thinking on your part, I might observe.
> You can't be consistent with a Both/and type of thinking and
> simultaneously claim the YECs are wrong, Bob). But the YECs don't share
> your assumption. You are arguing against them using the rules of
> monopoly when they are using the rules of Chutes and Ladders. It was
> this type of argumentation that always makes me cringe in evangelical
> presentation. The Christian says to the non-christian. Jesus is the
> son of God therefore you should logically conclude that accepting him
> will give salvation. The non-christian thinks: 'There is no son of God,
> therefore I see no reason to accept'. This illustrates what you are
> doing. You accept your assumptions and have interwoven them so deeply
> into your world view, that you can't see that others have a whole
> different set of assumption. And by ignoring that fact, your agument
> does NOT have the logical force you think it does.
>
> A couple of comments on your web article. You wrote:
>
> >He insisted "in common with the whole Church, that this infallible
> Bible must be
> >interpreted by science," a proposition he considered "all but
> self-evident" (cited in Noll).
> >Hodge used the Copernican revolution, the very issue Galileo dealt
> with, as the classic
> >example of this view: "For five thousand years [sic] the Church
> understood the Bible to
> >teach that the earth stood still in space, and that the sun and stars
> revolved around it.
> >Science has demonstrated that this is not true.
>
>
> Here Bob, you are engaging in classical either/or thinking. Why can't
> it be that Both the sun and stars revolve around it and the earth stands
> still? Don't give me relativity because parallax measurments clearly
> distinguish between the two states. But when yesterday you told me to
> stop doing either or thinking, here is a perfect example of you doing
> it. Physician, heal thyself.
>
> You then inconsistently chide the YECs by saying in your web article:
>
> > But the question and the "all or
> >nothing" thinking that lies behind it are simply wrong-headed."
>
> You need to live by your own rule and quit thinking that both Copernican
> and Ptolemy are wrong (course you did last night when you said as much.)
> What I see is logical inconsistency in your position here. I would point
> you to one of my favorite philosophers, G. E. Moore. Basically he held
> the view that if one can't live consistently with his philosophy then it
> is wrong. To think as Berkeley did, that matter is a projection of the
> Mind, and then to live by it means one can jump in front of automobiles.
> Afterall, matter is just a projection of the mind.
>
> You wrote:
>
> >Thus, as meaningful a model as the ancient Near Eastern peoples had
> constructed to
> >account for the phenomena they observed in the heavens and upon the
> earth, it was
> >bound to be superceded, just as every subsequent model of the universe
> has been
> >replaced or significantly modified, to the present day. It is here that
> our contemporary
> >understanding of scientific truth joins hands with the principle of
> accommodation. The
> >ancient biblical model needs to be understood as a time-bound
> conception of human
> >knowledge and understanding that provided a context for the sacred
> writers' revelations
> >about God, and not as a timeless statement about the nature of the
> universe.
>
>
> Why do we have to limit this to science? This gets to the heart of your
> assumptions about theology. You limit, BY ASSUMPTION, the damage of your
> methodology. You allow science to be jibberish, but you know that if you
> allow theology to be jibberish, you have a problem. Thus you assume the
> problem out of existence and claim that the YECs ought to follow your
> path. If science can be superceded, why not theology? Why shouldn't
> Theology be superceded-Judaism superceded by Christianity. Chrisitanity
> superceded by Islam? Islam superceded by Bahai? And if this is the
> case, if you answer in the affirmative, then Pilate's question comes to
> mind here. 'What is truth?'
>
> >If "the purpose of the Book is to point to Jesus Christ, not just the
> historical person, but
> >the ever-present living Word of God" (Seely), as theologians have
> taught for centuries,
> >then one's belief in the Bible needs to be based on the message of
> faith and salvation in
> >Christ that it proclaims and the effect those words of truth have on
> one's life.
>
> Another statement with lots of implicit assumptions. If God wanted to
> point to Jesus, why did he use such scientific jibberish as the basis
> upon which to base that arrow (the Bible) pointing to Jesus? Why does
> one's belief in the Bible need to be based on the message of faith and
> salvation? After all Islam says the same thing--believe that God is
> one and Mohammed is his prophet and you will be a muslim. That is all
> that is required to become a muslim. In what way does your belief
> differ from that of an islamicist?
>
>
> So, Bob, I see nothing here that shows that you even begin to understand
> YEC, YECism, or what is driving them. They are driven by a desire to
> have a true religion, not one based merely on fideism.
>
Received on Sat Apr 17 21:45:29 2004

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