Re: [asa] Wells and traditional Christianity

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Fri Sep 01 2006 - 07:55:45 EDT

On 9/1/06, Merv <> wrote:
> --- so which, according to Scripture, is our deeper more inherent
> natural state: our fallenness? (i.e. naturally inclined toward
> evil) or our goodness? ( ... and it was very good, as stated before
> the fall) It seems that the position one takes on this question
> determines much of their posture in the debate. If death and
> resurrection is to be a theme woven throughout all creation from the
> beginning as I think George said, then does that imply that death had to
> be part of the "and it was good" category?

I guess it does. I'm just working through these ideas myself.

I find the "literal" interpretation to be something that is way too hard to
stomach; namely that everything was perfect and there was no death and
suffering. Then Adam & Eve go and eat a piece of fruit that they were told
not to. As a result God puts the most appalling curse on the whole of
creation, not just Adam and his progeny, and animals start eating each other
and inflicting suffering on each other. I have sympathy with Darwin, who

I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have
designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their
feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars

Those so if we take Genesis as literal history, God would have to zap the
Ichneumondiae wasp that previously found its food elsewhere, so that it now
paralysed its victim and ate their flesh while they were still alive (the
point about paralysing the victim and not killing it is to keep the meat
fresh). An all this because Adam ate a piece of fruit that he shouldn't

Therefore, I have to conclude that either God is a vindictive (and
petualant) monster like a child that trashes the room when it doesn't get
its way, or, that we're not supposed to take it literally.

I would therefore think the right approach is to centre everything about
Christ's death and suffering - this wasn't the ultimate fix for Adam's
disobedience. It was planned right from the start. God knew that Adam
would fall and that He would have to come into the world and redeem us.

It's interesting that aggressive atheists use Occam's razor in exactly
> the same way as Vernon did (only in the opposite direction) --
> recognizing the weakness of needing to invoke "miracle" for each and
> every gap. They use it to throw out God altogether.

Yes, indeed - this is why I was very surprised at Vernon's invocation of

> Iain, how would the TE concept of God be different than the deist
> version of God? From the YEC point of view, I can see why they would
> regard those positions as suspiciously alike.
> --merv
For a TE, God is someone who does intervene, you pray, you get answers, and
miracles happen. Francis Collins gives a very good discussion in his book
of miracles, and why it's feasible for a Christian to believe in miracles.
As I understand it, a deist just proposes a creator who doesn't care or
intervene in nature. I regularly pray for people (who are ill, or seeking
God, or whatever), for example. What God doesn't do (according to the TE
position), is continually meddle in the way nature works (e.g. to assist the
evolution of a particularly tricky organism). Miracles are God showing His
love for us, not the mundane process of making stuff work.


To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Fri Sep 1 07:56:02 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Sep 01 2006 - 07:56:03 EDT