RE: Seely's Views 2

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Fri Sep 10 2004 - 17:25:42 EDT

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Don Winterstein []
> Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 4:00 AM
> Glenn wrote:
> "... It is that the accommodation is on GODS part. That
> presents real problems to me."
> Scriptural inspiration does not involve accommodation on
> God's part. When God inspires writing, he is as true as ever.
> But the inspired writer cannot perceive God fully and
> accurately. His erroneous preconceptions and dare I say sin
> cloud his perceptions, so that what he writes is not the full
> truth but truth distorted by his own imperfections.

Fine, then. That means that all the communication noise in in the
physical realm and that means that Shannon's noisy channel communication
fully applies to it. It applies to any form of physical communication.
The only slim out to this issue that I see for the accommodationists is
that it is hard to see how to fit God into a physical system.

In my opinion, with this view, if you don't believe the noisy channel
theorem applies, you are doing exactly what the YECs are doing.

> God accommodates, but his accommodation is of persons: it
> lies in his willingness to accept people in their
> imperfections and misconceptions; and he clearly does not
> insist that they be perfect in order to come into a salutary
> relationship with him.

Then God has chosen a noisy channel. And given that we have no parity
bits to encode the communication in a way to error correct, we know
neither the error rate nor whether information is really being
communicated at all.

 I believe that if God had insisted
> that all the people back then had to have accurate info about
> him and his creation that he would have blown his prospects
> for relationship. That's not God's failure but evidence of
> human limitations.

But it is a failure to take account of the physical process of
communication. This is a law of nature every bit as much as
electromagnetism. Indeed, it is related to theormodynamics.

> Scriptural inspiration is basically a flawed, imperfect
> process; but it is not so because God is transmitting false
> info but rather because the inspired writers can't apprehend
> the full truth.

Fine, since the errors are occurring in the physical realm, and the
writer's brain is part of a communication channel, why don't physical
laws apply to the inspriration?

> So how can we distinguish Truth from cultural artifact in
> Scripture? First of all, this distinguishing is not very
> important for one who lives in a salutary personal
> relationship with God. The important question for him is
> whether or not Scripture brings him close to God or separates
> him from God. But I know you hate that kind of answer.
> Another answer: through scholarship and research: We study
> the world and the texts and the environments in which
> inspired writers wrote, and we draw conclusions. Few such
> conclusions can be very firm, but they're probably the best
> that humans can do. So the "existential" route is far more
> satisfying. And more real.
> How do we know that Islam is not superior? Well, the Qur'an
> contradicts important parts of the Bible, especially those
> pertaining to the divinity of Christ; so if one accepts
> Christ, he must accept that Islam is inferior.

This begs the question that the Bible is correct before answering that
the Qu'ran is wrong.

> Mohammed accomplished some things we might consider virtuous,
> such as the elimination of idolatry among his followers and
> the acknowledgement that the God of the Bible was the true
> God. I still think that the sons of Ishmael would on the
> whole have had a difficult time accepting a son of Isaac as
> divine, as the two lineages were forever fighting one
> another; but I won't pursue this further here. As to Jesus'
> statement that "...No one comes to the Father except through
> me," well, this obviously requires interpretation. For
> example, in what way did Elijah, Jeremiah, etc. come to God
> through Jesus? Jesus IMO was obviously thinking of himself
> as the Word, as one who was a human body but far more.
> And let's not judge all Muslims by those who die by murdering
> civilians or children. We would not want Christianity to be
> judged by those pious Christian souls who instigated the
> crusades or carried out various
> inquisitions and murders in the name of God.

Look, I have a wonderful cousin-in-law who is a shi'ite, which is
probably more than most on this list can say. No where did I say all
muslims. I said the guys who are doing terrorism are doing it for their
religion. That doesn't happen to be Ibrahim's view of Islam. But it IS
the terrorist's views. My wife had an great uncle-in-law who was very
big in Palestinian politics. I have mentioned this guy before. He was a
wonderful fellow. I thought his politics abysmal. But he invited me to
lots of Palestinian dinners where I sat next to palestinian guerrillas
(terrorists?). They were scary guys. Two of my sons have had
islamacists try to get them involved in middle eastern politics even
though my two sons are Christian. So, I have a fair understanding of
their culture. Not perfect but I have had some experience. I will stand
by my statemnt that these guys are doing what they are doing because of
their religion. That doesn't tar all Islamic peoples.

> As to why I try to view Islam in the most positive light
> possible--if God is love, must he not have arranged to save
> more than a tiny fraction of humans? If we write off the 1.5
> billion Chinese and the 1 billion Indians, let's try to
> squeeze in at least a few of the 1 billion Muslims. Perhaps
> the Word has spread farther than we think, and God has
> accommodated himself to more people than we suspect.

But the claims of each of these religions are so mutually exclusive that
if there is a significant fraction of truth in all of them, then there
must also be a significant fraction of untruth. And if that is the case,
then Shannon's theories condemn the idea that there is any communication
occurring. To ignore this is to ignore what science says.
Received on Fri Sep 10 18:02:22 2004

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