Re: Kurt Wise on the creation crisis in Christian colleges

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Thu Feb 02 2006 - 23:51:32 EST

On Thu, 02 Feb 2006 22:22:01 -0600 Mervin Bitikofer <>
> Bill Hamilton wrote:
> >This has been a very interesting thread, in which some excellent
> observations
> >have been made. I think David and George have hit on two crucial
> points:
> >David said (I'm paraphrasing. Correct me if I get it wrong, David)
> that for the
> >YEC all knowledge forms an integrated whole -- it all fits
> together. So once
> >the YEC has a view of Scripture and a view of science that
> apparently fit
> >together, trying to correct one challenges the other. George
> observed that
> >YEC's get science wrong because their theology is misguided. I'd
> like to add
> >that it frequently seems to me that YEC's either didn't take or
> didn't learn
> >anything in high school literature: the use of simile, metaphor and
> allegory.
> >One other individual asked the question of whether it was better to
> correct a
> >YEC's science, if by so doing you cause him to abandon his faith,
> or to keep
> >his incorrect scientific views and remain saved. As a Reformed
> believer, that
> >gets us into theological issues that we won't resolve, but I do
> agree: if the
> >choice is correct science and no faith, or saving faith and
> incorrect science,
> >I'll take the second every time. So as I believe David said, the
> challenge is
> >to gently and lovingly correct the misconceptions -- a task which
> is far more
> >easily said than done.
> >
> >---
> >
> I hear and agree with the thought that simile, etc. seems lost on
> the
> YEC kind of thinker, and yet this provokes me to share an irony.
> The
> most outspoken YECer at my school is our English teacher! And he,
> of
> all of us, has an intact appreciation of literature in all its
> forms. --
> in fact fantasies such as Lewis' chronicles of Narnia are a great
> source
> of common fellowship between us. He would bristle at this
> suggestion
> that metaphor is lost on him (and he is an intelligent man -- I
> know.)
> He would surely point out all the places in scripture where the
> prophet
> or writer makes deliberate and explicitly labeled use of metaphor,
> and
> then he would go on to explicate on how Genesis 1 is NOT one of
> those
> times, etc, etc. (Yes -- I know -- a lot of you get your dander up
> at
> this point and want to inform him about how he's "massacring"
> scripture,
> etc. etc. Just save your breath -- he says the same thing about
> theistic evolutionists and I don't think he can be convinced.) But
> my
> point is -- here is somebody that under any other circumstance has
> as
> good an understanding of metaphor as any of us could be expected to
> have
> -- but when it comes to scriptures (unless they are explicitly
> self-labeled as metaphor), he seems to have a hermetically sealed
> compartment (or should I say "hermeneutically" sealed?) that
> prevents
> normal conclusions he might reach from applying in this special
> case.
> Now, perhaps he is unusual. Because among most other YECers I have
> met,
> I would agree with you. Their appreciation of literature would seem
> to
> be limited. But meanwhile I add my voice to the theme of 'gentle
> and
> loving' corrections (and to receiving the same as well.) That is a
> much needed leavening in all these exchanges, and it's one of the
> things
> I appreciate about the people on this site. You truly have a
> discussion going here that is rarely found in forums on this topic.
> May we be (to use Yancey's phrase) an "aroma of grace" to the
> world.
> --merv
I don't think metaphor is the problem. What is needed is an honest
translation of the ancient terms. The /raquia`/ was translated /stereoma/
in LXX (solid) and /firmamentum/ (support) in the Vulgate. It cannot be
understood as atmosphere. It has water above it and sluice gates to let
the water out. The water was still there when Psalm 148.4 was written.
The heavenly bodies were stuck onto the firmament.
Received on Thu Feb 2 23:59:34 2006

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