Re: Seely's Views 2

From: George Murphy <gmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Fri Sep 03 2004 - 11:15:06 EDT

Glenn -

    I take the liberty of reversing the order of your statements for
comment.

> If God did give us a faulty lab manual to use, then as far as I can
> see there is no way we humans can ever engage in enough critical
> thinking to know what is right from what is false.

    One of the speakers at the 1st ASA annual meeting I ever attended was a
YEC physicist (I think in solid state or something of the sort). After his
talk I asked him how, knowing what he did about radioactivity &c, he could
ignore all the data that indicated an old earth. His response was that when
he got a piece of equipment for his lab, the first thing he did was to read
the specs manual. And, he added, "The Bible is God's specs manual for the
earth." I thought it was one of the goofiest statements I'd ever heard.
Where are we told that the Bible is the "specs manual" for the earth? If it
is, it's an awfully sketchy manual! The suggestion that the Bible, or part
of it, is a "lab manual" seems to me equally misguided. With your
interpretation it would have to be even sketchier than for the YECs because
at least for them it's supposed to tell them the earth's age. But of course
the more fundamental problem is that scripture itself never gives us a hint
that this is what it's for.

> One can't ask people to have faith in
> a story that we intentionally misled people and expect to have another
> important item requisite for the Christian life--TRUST. Let's say that
> I tell you that yesterday I caught a 32 lb red snapper which is 2 lbs
> less than the Texas state record. One thing anyone who knows me, knows,
> I have been fishing about 3 times in my life--I hate fishing. Do you
> believe that that is real history? Am I misleading you? Your reaction
> will be based upon whether or not your TRUST me.If I have misled you
> before you will be less likely to trust me. If I am a known Texan
> Braggadocio, you will be less likely to believe me. Probabilities
> would certainly argue against such a claim. So, do you believe me? Have
> I told you real history or is this merely an illustration?

    In the 1st place, the issue isn't "intentionally misleading" people.
Describing peripheral matters (see above) in a way familiar to people so as
to keep the way clear for communicating the essentials would be more like
it.

    But then your final sentence again your expresses what I see as your
basic problem. Sometimes a "mere illustration" is more important than "real
history" - cf. my oft-mentioned example of the Good Samaritan. If I were to
use your fish story as a sermon illustration & thought it would be helpful
for homiletic purposes to put it in the first person, I would not be doing
so to "intentionally mislead" anybody. & if I used it somehow to say
something about being "fishers of men" & a hearer was inspired by that to
become a missionary, I wouldn't be too upset if he or she thought that I
really had caught a 32 lb fish. (Which BTW would be untrue: You've been
fishing 3 times more than I have.)

Shalom
George
http://web.raex.com/~gmurphy/
Received on Fri Sep 3 11:37:02 2004

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