Re: [asa] Question for all the theistic evolutionists

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Mon Mar 19 2007 - 10:23:06 EDT

Just one quick comment. I think the reference below to God's attributes is
helpful, but in a different way. When the Bible speaks of God as loving, or
just, or merciful, or wise, or sovereign, it means not only that God
possesses those attributes *in a certain way*. God is not just loving, he
is *perfectly* loving, and so on. Moreover, God is not *defined* by those
attributes, because God essentially is ineffable and beyond any human
definiton. Rather, those attributes are various aspects or facets of who
God is. Finally, no *one* of those attributes, or sub-group of them, is
sufficient when speaking of God. *All* of them are fully present in God.

From all this, I'd suggest that if some being possesses one or more
attributes that are analogous to God's attributes, that is not itself
sufficient to define or even identify the IOG. As God ultimately is
ineffable, we might reasonably expect that the IOG ultimately is ineffable.
As God possesses these attributes in a certain way, we might reasonably
expect that a being possessing the IOG also not only possesses them, but
does so to a certain degree of fullness and completeness as a reflection of
God's perfection. And, as God possesses all these attributes in full
measure, we might reasonably expect that a being with the IOG would not only
display *some *capability for love or creativity or justice here and there,
but would display such capabilities in synergistic ways that facilitate
community and communication of a sort analogous to what God experiences in
the Trinity, creativity of sort God displays in creation, and culture of a
sort that God displays in his ultimate dominion and care for all of

So -- an ineffable characteristic, resulting in community, communication,
creativity, and culture, synergistically and dynamically active,
and analogous to the triune God's activity in creation. (Rats that I
couldn't think of a word starting with "c" instead of "dynamically active"!)

On 3/18/07, Glenn Morton <> wrote:
> This is for Bill H., Jack, Gregory A.,
> Bill Hamilton wrote:
> > Suppose I accept as fact your and Glenn's claim that there is
> > no rational basis for laiming that such beings do not have
> > the image of God. That does not justify claiming that they
> > ddo have the image of God, only that the proposition is undecided.
> Bill, aren't you the one who agreed that if the IOG does nothing, it isn't
> worth much? The word translated Image, means literally image, or likeness
> or resemblance. OK, we know God has reason. Isaiah 1:18, Come let us
> reason
> together. So, if we are like God and God can reason, then reason is part
> of
> the image/resemblance/likeness.
> Deut 4:31, God is merciful. We are, but chimps aren't (documentation upon
> request).
> Deut 6:15 God is jealous. So is man.
> Job 36:5 God is might in strength and wisdom. Man is as well. We can
> philosophize and lift several thousand tons with our tools.
> Ps 47:7 God is the king of all the earth--and with man's dominion, so is
> man.
> Can't help this one
> Luke 3:8 God is able to make children of Abraham of these stones, but of
> course that might be miraculous and we can't allow it.
> John 4:24 God is spirit--so our spiritual side is a big part of the
> image--Bilzingsleben altar.
> 1 Cor 1:9 God is faithful--man can be, but animals are rarely faithful.
> 2nd Cor 1:18 God is true. This requires propositional logic. Man has that.
> 1 Tim 4:4 God is good--only man worries about ethics Animals don't.
> 1 John 4:8 God is love. A question, do animals love? I don't know. Burgy
> would say yes and he might be correct.
> I would add that God can communicate so language must be part of the mix.
> Interesting that no one else tried this.
> **********
> Jack wrote:
> >It doesnt make "everything" untrue. In a sense accomodation doesnt make
> anything "untrue" it just makes the
> >scriptures say something different than you say it says. And the
> ahistoric
> interpretation does not apply to all of
> >scripture, and not even all of Genesis, just the first 11 chapters, and
> some other passages. But the non-verifiable facts
> >in the ahistoric passages, does not mean that it is untrue, it is just
> not
> historic, or verfiable with scientific methods.
> >
> Well, you forget about the untrue floating ax head, the untrue Balam's
> donkey and the panoply of untrue miracles erroneously claimed to have
> happened in the OT. See, I don't see this accommodation limited to
> Genesis.
> What about manna? What about the column of fire? What about Moses staff
> turning into a snake? What about the plagues? Accommodation seems to rip
> everything miraculous out of the Bible. If I am wrong on this, maybe some
> accommodationalists can clarify what in the above list they actually
> believe
> actually happened.
> >You are the one demanding this of the text. Why does an ahistoric
> passage
> have to be verifiable for it to be
> >meaningful?
> Don't beg the question. The issue is whether or not the passage is
> ahistorical. Your question seems to already have assumed the answer.
> This is my problem with TE's. If everything is unhistorical, what on earth
> do we have with which to challenge the secularization of society? Our
> secular colleagues believe the entire bible is untrue and ahistorical. We
> agree that large chunks are ahistorical but believe that God is real. I
> can't for the life of me figure out why? Our secular colleagues conclude
> from a false/ahistorical bible that God is not real. Same data two
> conclusions. Somebody is wrong.
> >
> >But all of the scriptures point to truth of the risen Christ. That is
> what
> you have to hang your hat on. If that is proven
> >incorrect, then everything else is meaningless.
> So, the fairy tale of early Genesis points to Christ? The early parts of
> The Lord of the Rings points to Strider as the King. But that doesn't
> make
> Strider the REAL king.
> >
> >Who asked the question about how far accomodation is willing to go? Was
> that on this list or somewhere else? I am
> >honestly interested in that answer
> I looked it up--David Wallace asked that. This thread.
> ******
> Gregory Arago wrote:
> >It seems to be the ideology of accomodationism and not just the
> accomodating itself that Jack is questioning here and
> >that Glenn is taunting.
> I only taunt every other week.
> **************
> George M. wrote:
> >Why, I'm shocked that you think I'd ever mock anyone who likes to begin
> responses with "I want to laugh"!
> I was telling the truth.
> >>>>Obviously you have not read (or paid attention to) my recent PSCF
> paper
> in which I easily demolished - if it needed further demolition - this
> standard piece of drivel that we hear so often from both anti-Christian
> evolutionists & anti-evolution Christians. There is need for a savior
> because all people are sinners. I.e., salvation is necessary because of
> the
> universality of sin, whether or not we understand how that condition came
> about. That isn't to say that the latter question is of no importance but
> an answer to it isn't a necessary condition for belief that Jesus is the
> savior. Again you display your ignorance of theology, ignorance which is
> no
> less glaring because you share it with the likes of Wells.<<<
> First off, you are conflating evolution with the fact of no Fall. It was
> really the No Fall which caused Wells to reject christianity. Evolution
> was
> merely the means by which he deduced that there was no Fall. You on the
> other hand seem to say there is no Fall at all, that it is congental
> without
> any human responsibility.
> Secondly, George, you constantly underestimate me. Since I didn't find
> your
> article convincing, maybe you have an over inflated view of it having
> demolished all opposition.
> You wrote in that article.
> "But when we reflect on the way in which humanity evolved, we will see
> that
> it is hard to imagine how it could have happened without sin coming into
> the
> picture. If this is so, if some alienation of creatin from God was an
> inevitable (though not 'necessary') aspect of the evolution ary process,
> we
> can see why, even before creation, God could have intended the cross as a
> way to reconcile to himself 'all things' (Co. 1:20)" George L. Murphy,
> "Roads to Paradise and Perdition," PSCF 58(2006):110
> Sin is not the moral choice of a free being in your view. It is imposed
> upon us by evolution. I find that nowhere in Scripture, and think the
> entire
> concept made up out of whole cloth.
> You further say:
> "And if humanity has been sinful from the time that it came into being,
> without doing anything to become sindful, sin would be part of a human
> nature itself. This would mean that in an important sense God was the
> creator of sin." George L. Murphy, "Roads to Paradise and Perdition," PSCF
> 58(2006):111
> You don't like this conclusion and then try to avoid it by
> I infer from the above that you don't believe that the Bible tells us a
> true
> story about how sin arose. Is that correct? From your article it is clear
> that you don't think the Bible is correct that a man and a woman were
> involved in the Fall. You 'correct' the Bible and make it a village.
> "Let us imagine the first group of hominids--it is not necessary here to
> decide how large that group may have been, or where or when they
> lived--who
> had evolved to the point of self-awareness and linguistic ability....These
> humans have developed abilities to reasona nd communicate, and are able in
> some way to receive and, at least faintly, understand God's Word, to trust
> in that Word and to know and obey God's will for them."
> ...
> "History indicates that this is what happened." George L. Murphy, "Roads
> to
> Paradise and Perdition," PSCF 58(2006):115
> Well, first off history doesn't indicate that this is what happened any
> more
> than history indicates that my ape scenario happened. And you dare demand
> confirmation from me of my scenario when you have an equally unprovable
> scenario.
> Secondly, your 'correction' of the Biblical narrative, clearly shows that
> you don't take it very seriously because, none of the Biblical events
> appear
> in your scenario--no talking snake, a village rather than a man and a
> woman,
> no coats of fur. But you do say something interesting, "Primitive
> religions may well be a sign of estrangement from the true God." p. 115
> So, George, I didn't pay attention to your article because it does not
> have
> the immense intellectual impact you seem to feel that it does. Why should
> I
> believe your scenario rather than that of the Bible is a question I can't
> answer.
> >>>>The rest of what you say above badly misses the point. If you're
> going
> to talk about evidence for God, you have to know what God you're talking
> about. Your God seems to be just like Johnson's, one who leaves his
> fingerprints all over the evidence - though you look for different types
> of
> evidence. The God who is revealed under the form of what is opposite from
> our common sense ideas of God is very different. <<<<
> Well, having fingerprints seems better than having the
> invisible/undetectable man lurking around unobserved and unobservable. If
> God is unobservable entirely, how do we know he isn't an invisible pink
> unicorn?
> >>>"Good lawyer"? Childish would be my word.
> 1 of many differences between us is that I read Genesis in its canonical
> context. You don't.<<<<<
> But I was correct, you don't believe that there is any history in that
> part
> of scripture.
> >>>>>& you still don't get it.
> & look at the incredible sloppiness of your language! You say
> "non-historical account of sin" when you mean "non-historical account of
> the
> origin of sin." (Unless you actually mean that we're supposed to prove
> scientifically that certain things are "sins," but I can't imagine that
> even
> you would do that.) Then you appear to be completely unaware that there
> has
> ever been any view of the origin of sin in the Christian tradition other
> than the western fundamentalist one. & you also imagine that the account
> I
> give is "non-historical" when in fact it's quite consistent with what we
> know of evolution & history & in fact takes evolution far more seriously
> that your ideas do.<<<<<
> I see, you want me to use words as you do. If that were to be the case, I
> would be you and we would be one. Group hug now.
> As to knowing that there are other views, I do know that. I find them
> useless. Are you seriously suggesting that the mere knowing of the
> existence
> of other views means I must accept said views? How unphilosophical of
> you,
> George. Surely you don't mean it that way. I argue what I believe. I
> accept the positions I do because I believe them to be best. Sure there
> are
> other views, but don't ask me to act as if they are true when I don't
> think
> they are.
> >The worst feature of your ignorance is your appalling tunnel
> vision: Only
> verifiable historical or scientific accounts can
> >be true.
> Because without observation, we have no platform upon which to judge which
> is true. Is a Banshee (beinn sithe) white or red? Please tell me which
> it
> is. After all, you think that non-scientific accounts or unverifiable
> things can be true. So, which is it, red or white? Observation is all we
> have to know things with. So, yes, I get tunnel vision unless people can
> tell me whether a beinn sithe is white or red, and explain how they know
> it.
> >>>>Again you have paid no attention to what I've said. I never claimed
> that Wells was saying - or that I believed - that modern humanity can be
> traced exclusively to a single couple 60,000 years ago. In my post of the
> 16th, after quoting a program note about Wells' views I said, "Does that
> mean that all humans descended from _only_ that tribe? No."
> You will see then, if can read, that I explicitly said that Wells' result
> does not mean that the people he was speaking of were our only ancestors.
> When I quoted that program note you asked if Wells had written it himself,
> implying that it might not represent his views. When I quote an interview
> with him showing that it did, you try to claim that I misunderstood
> it. Now
> I've shown that I didn't. Either admit that you're wrong or at least just
> drop it. <<<<
> You keep changing what you say in regards to Wells and I respond to the
> latest flip-flop. The problem is that you raised Wells and said he said
> things he didn't say. And you keep doing it. Like a YEC you only cite
> parts
> of Wells which fits your view and ignore statements that don't. And in
> any
> event Wells' view isn't analogous to the Biblical Adam and Eve, but then,
> neither is your view of original sin.
> >>>>And I said I'm "unwilling to allow any miracles" - where? Tell me
> where. No shucking and jiving, just tell me where I said that - not where
> someone else said I said that. (& lest you haul up the same
> misrepresentation Janice did, I also haven't said that the resurrection is
> the only miracle I'd "allow.") & if you can't, stop saying or implying
> that
> I have said that.<<<<
> You haven't said it explicitly, but everytime I ask about a miracle, you
> deny that it happened--case in point floating ax heads. You say that the
> real question is whether or not God actually did it. That conveys doubt
> about the reality of that miracle to me. Do you believe in the miracle of
> the talking snake? Do you believe in the miracle of Elijah raising the
> widows son? Do you believe in the miracle of the column of fire? Do you
> believe in the miralce of the staff turning into a snake? I can say yes
> to
> these. You never answer these questions, and then act as if I am jack the
> ripper in doubting if you believe in miracles.
> >>>>If a serious discussion about these matters was a possibility then
> we'd
> talk about what we mean by "miracle." That's unlikely, but if you're
> interested you can look at the last section of Chapter 6 of The Cosmos in
> the Light of the Cross.<<<<
> I would prefer to look at the Bible, which should be the source of how we
> understand miracles. By miracle, I mean a violation of the normal course
> of
> nature, by God to accomplish his purpose.
> >>>Can someone please tell this poor soul why the resurrection of Jesus
> Christ is more important than the floating ax head? Really. <<<
> The question isn't about the relative importance of axheads vs. the
> resurrection, we both know that the resurrection is more important. But
> you
> always fail to answer whether or not you think this actually happened and
> is
> a miracle. You divert like the statement above rather than directly
> answering a question. I think I know why.
> >>>Very interesting. However -
> 1) There are differing levels of believability of unobserved phenomena &
> my
> only point was that there are solider reasons to believe in gravitons than
> in your ape story.<<<
> I wasn't comparing gravitons to my views. But, what evidence can you put
> forth to verify your village of original sinners? You fail to identify
> them
> in any fasion, yet you say they exist.
> >>>2) We don't have to have gravitons register on some instrument in
> order
> to detect them. We haven't yet detected classical gravitational waves in
> that way but have good evidence for them from the orbital decay of the H-T
> pulsar. Of course (& this returns to point 1) we'd still like to pick
> them
> up with an antenna. <<<
> Sorry George, but this is pathetic. Gravitational waves are not
> necessarily
> gravitons. Gravitons come out of quantum and gravitational waves come out
> of relativity. They may or may not match up in the middle.
> >>>3) D & P suggested a way of detecting the loss of energy due to
> gravitational radiation of a laboratory source over a long period of time.
> I showed (& in fact it's an easy calculation though I don't know of
> anyone
> who had ever done it before) that gravitational radiation from any
> realistic
> lab source would have to be understood as a quantum phenomena - i.e.,
> emission of individual gravitons - because the number of gravitons emitted
> per period would be less than one. Thus it might be possible to use D &
> P's
> technique and look for statistical fluctuations which would show that the
> emission was quantized<<<
> But once again, this isn't detection of gravitons and my point still
> stands--no observation of them.
> **************
> In an addendum George wrote:
> >>>>To return to that original argument (which Glenn sidetracked), I judge
> his claims (stillborn mutant ape &c) by the criteria he wants to use -
> essentially trying to discuss theology as if it were natural science - and
> find them wanting. There is no inconsistency between doing that & saying
> that I want my theological arguments to be judged not in that way but by
> real theological standards, which include coherence between scientific
> knowledge of the world but cannot be limited to that. The creeds play an
> important role in theological judgments because, if nothing else, they
> keep
> us in touch with the wisdom of the Christian tradition & its reflection on
> issues - including creation but hardly restricted to that - with which
> it's
> had to wrestle. & they are hardly the property of George Murphy.<<<<
> And your village of hominids is not doing the same--discussing theology in
> a
> natural science perspective? Come on.
> ********
> To Rich Blinne, the problem with accommodation is that it allows us to
> have
> an ad hoc picker/chooser and basically make up a theology to our own
> liking
> which is nice if one is starting ones own new religion, but less useful if
> one is trying to defend an already extant religion.
> glenn
> They're Here: The Pathway Papers
> Foundation, Fall, and Flood
> Adam, Apes and Anthropology
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Received on Mon, 19 Mar 2007 10:23:06 -0400

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