Re: YEC Destroying Faith

From: Michael Roberts <>
Date: Sun Apr 18 2004 - 14:35:14 EDT

I bet you wondered when I was going to jump in! I feel you are totally
rejecting "accommodation" in which God speaks through the biblical writers
in ways they would understand. Thus as most if not all of the OT writers
were flat-earthers, the cosmology of the OT reflects that and is that of the
ANE. Note what I have said on Teholweb about Gen1 6-8, Ex 20.4 and Is 40 22.
also remember Gallileo's and the Pope's injunction The bible teaches us how
to go to heaven not how the heavens go. Genesis teaches us that God is
creator and that there was a history from the beginning. It also teaches
that the universe is ordered and that is a necessary assumption for science.
The schematic style and the odd use of numbers indicate that Gen 1 -11 is
not ordinary history but is best seen as proto-history.
I think you are making the same theological and hermeneutical errors as YECs
and the logic of your position is both YECa nd flat-earth.

I can see and understand why you argue the way you do, but I think it is a
blind alley or a halfway house to the more poetic ways of interpreting
Genesis and by poetic I dont mean non-historical - read psalms 103 to 107
and then we will read of OT redemption, creation and the early history of
the Israelites - ALL IN POETRY. I consider them absolutely truthful, very
poetic and much is totally historical. For a poetic description of mining
read Job 28. in that you can visualise the way those early miners worked. I
first read it while working as a mining geologist.

Anyway I have responded to you which is more than the (oxy)moronic YEC
geologists do on Theology Web. They cannot give you an answer,

Have a wee dram


----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 1:20 PM
Subject: RE: YEC Destroying Faith

> Hi Paul,
> I wondered when you were going to get involved. :-)
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > [] On Behalf Of
> > Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 1:54 AM
> > Why is even an ex-YEC hung up on this? I think it is from
> > unknowingly making a commitment to Greek rationalism ( I
> > don't mean just Glenn, but all of YECism). The Greeks looked
> > for absolute truth, "truth with a capital T" as Glenn spelled
> > it out earlier. The only way to achieve that level of truth
> > is via a starting axiom or observation and then deducing
> > truth from it.
> Rationalism yes. Absolute truth from nature, no. I do believe in Greek
> formulations of logic in that in the macroscopic world, things are
> either true or false not both. (true the quantum world gets fuzzy, but
> we aren't talking about that area).
> I find it so weird, bizarre, so incomprehensible that grown men think
> that a document is true which says nothing scientifically or
> historically true about creation, save the simple statement that God
> created. If put in a modern court of law such a witness would be
> accused of perjury.
> Remember Paul, the opposite of rationalism is irrationalism. I prefer
> the former. :-)
> The world around us is too changing to give
> > absolute truth. "You cannot step in the same river twice,"
> > the Greeks said. but via math and logic, sure truth can be obtained.
> > The Bible is then defined via that rationalism as a Book with
> > no errors of any kind;
> The YECs do that, I don't. I simply ask for some simple historical
> truth. It is frankly, stupid, for people to claim that God needed to
> provide a copy of Thornton, Misener and Wheeler's tome entitled
> Gravitation to the Hebrews in order to avoid having an untrue account of
> creation. God could have inspired the writer to write a 3rd grade story
> of what actually happened. Shoot, our textbook writers do it for every
> single grade level and they are not accused of accommodating their views
> to that of the students. We don't want them to accommodate the truth to
> the views of a 3rd grader. Why do we expect God to do the same? I
> think, this denigrates God, and his message.
> and in a rationalistic philosophy this
> > is a must because the whole fabric of truth with a capital T
> > rests on logical coherency.
> I would be happy with truth with a small t. A and non-A can't be
> simultaneously true in the macroscopic world. If so, I would like my
> tuition back for the several graduate courses in logic and symbolic
> logic I took several years ago. A false document can't be revered as
> true. That is silly.
> As in proving a theorem in
> > geometry, if even one step is wrong, the whole thing is destroyed.
> We aren't talking geometry. We are talking history. As currently
> interpreted by both YECs and OECs Genesis has not a shred of historical
> truth. The framework theory and the YEC view are equally bad in my view.
> >
> > The Bible itself, ironically, does not paint this picture of
> > itself. The picture YECism paints is rationalized as biblical
> > on the basis that God is Truth; but, that kind of
> > one-attribute theology can lead to all kinds of false conclusions.
> Even if you are correct, Paul, that is where they are. Telling them to
> give up a very important basis of their epistemology
> --rationalism--simply pushes them to atheism. Do you remember the
> reaction I had to your book? You came close to convincing me that you
> were correct in what you wrote. And the only logical conclusion I could
> draw from your being write was to give up Christianity. I finally
> decided you were wrong for the reasons above. We don't expect 3rd grade
> textbook writers to accommodate the message to the science of a 3rd
> grader. We expect him to accommodate his message to the level of
> understanding of a 3rd grader. There is a vast, vast difference between
> the two.
> >
> > To begin to think more biblically, consider God's message to
> > David via Nathan (2Sam 12:1 ff). Nathan tells David a
> > story,..........a fictional story,.......... a story that
> > deceives David into thinking that it is a historically
> > accurate account of something that actually happened.
> > And God is complicit in this story-telling. He wants David to
> > believe it is a historically accurate account. Otherwise, its
> > purpose would fail. At the end, after Nathan announces his
> > now famous, "Thou art the man, " I am sure David realized
> > that the story was fictional---even though he was sure it was
> > actual history just minutes before that.
> >
> > In principle this is no different from Genesis 1-11. In fact,
> > God is less complicit in his use of preexisting science and
> > "prehistory" in Gen 1-11 than he is in the Nathan story which
> > is made up from scratch whole cloth. Nor does God evidence
> > any intention that the history in Gen 1-11 be believed as a
> > revelation from HIm. The original readers probably recognized
> > it as standard ancient Near Eastern motifs---the only
> > difference being the attached theology.
> There is a huge difference. If Genesis 1 is fictional, then rrationality
> would lead one to believe that it isn't true.
> >
> > If a person wants to be a hardheaded rationalist: God lied to David.
> If any lying were done, Nathan did it. The Bible is reporting it.
> >
> > What saves God's reputation after he is proven to be a liar (
> > I speak as a rationalist)?
> This is a bit of a strawman don't you think?
> The PURPOSE of the made-up
> > fictional story. There was _no intention_ that David should
> > go on for the rest of his life believing the story was true history.
> >
> > What is the PURPOSE of Gen 1-11? Is it to teach geology?
> NO! to teach a simple but TRUE story of creation. I have over and over
> given examples of what I am referring to. God could have inspired the
> writer to say, "out of the mud came life" which is what I think is being
> said when God said, 'Let the land bring forth living creatures.' That
> captures the scientific truth in a very simple fashion.
> > astronomy? cosmology? anthropology? archaeology? What?
> It is frustrating to have said this about 20 times to you over the past
> several years. Please try to remember it this time.
> You have a false dichotomy Paul. All your position is based upon a false
> dichotomy.
> Snip
> > I suppose Glenn will say, then the Bible's history is false
> > and there is no basis for anything. It is all fideism. But
> > that is not true. What is true of Gen 1-11 is not necessarily
> > true of the rest of the Bible. Each section must be weighed
> > on its own merits as to whether it is historically reliable
> > or not. On the whole, the Bible and especially the NT has a
> > good basis for containing substantially accurate history.
> > Only in a rationalistic philosophy does the failure of one
> > part destroy the entire fabric.
> Well one could say that God accommodated his message to the
> understanding of the Roman empire's most ignorant peoples, who believed
> that people could actually rise from the dead. He really didn't mean
> them to take that seriously.
Received on Sun Apr 18 14:40:30 2004

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