Re: [asa] RE: Demythologizing miracles (was: Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?)

From: Bill Hamilton <>
Date: Thu Mar 22 2007 - 22:44:46 EDT

And I'm sure other objections could be brought up. I agree that at some point we just have to be content with saying God worked a miracle. From a Christian POV I have no problem with this --IF miracle is the only explanation. But if there is some nonmiraculous explanation, we ought to dig for it. But we still need to realize that miracles may have been involved in the timing and/or locale of the events we're dealing with.
Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31

----- Original Message ----
From: Jon Tandy <>
To: ASA <>
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 6:47:30 PM
Subject: [asa] RE: Demythologizing miracles (was: Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?)




what does one make of the large dimensions of the ark? I've read of
calculations on the Biblical dimensions of the ark, that some have made model
simulations and found it to be in fact seaworthy. Is this
significant? If significant, is it just a huge coincidence that the
Biblical writer exaggerated dimensions of a huge boat such that it happened to
turn out a seaworthy vessel?


appreciate Glenn's comments about hurricanes not existing in then Mesopotamian
Basin, the downhill flow of water to the sea, etc. I realize those can be
dealt with through healthy speculation, but are these reasonable


On the
other hand, I also recognize that Glenn, and I, and many of us with a modern
scientific mindset are looking for many things to be explained on the basis of
emprical evidence which were once believed by faith. Why is it that we
find it incredible that God could do something if we can't find empirical
evidence for it? Why do we find such satisfaction at finding there is a
"logical" explanation that, for instance, Napolean actually cross the Red Sea on
dry land at a certain point, which could turn out to be a "rational" explanation
for Moses' crossing? Why do we find it necessary to "demythologize"
the burning bush as a fire plant of the Sinai Peninsula?


We can
take this further, and note that some theologians demythologize Jesus' miracle
of the loaves and fishes. They suggest that maybe it wasn't a ex
nihilo creation of new loaves and fishes -- maybe people had really
brought their lunches with them, but were unwilling to share, and through the influence of Jesus' love and
compassion on the multitude or shame that the young boy was willing to give
freely, people secretly pulled their lunches out and filled the baskets as they
were passed around, so the increase that was left was more than the boy provided
at first. While this is perhaps a possibility, why do some even consider
it seriously as opposed to the clear statement in the Gospels that Jesus simply multiplied the loaves and


I believe even YECists are willing
to demythologize miracles to an extent, as long as it's not perceived that God
is excluded by such a natural explanation.
Without spending time finding lots of examples, I'm sure I've read some of the
above and others like them (fire plant = evidence of burning bush, etc.) from
conservative, global-flood-believing Christian


does it have to always be a rational explanation, fully explained by scientific
evidence, rather than simply admitting a miracle? I suggest that we
post-Enlightenment readers are predisposed to thinking that everything must be
fully explained by rationalist description. This ultrarationalist view is
perhaps as much a deficient cultural perception as ancient cultures'
supernaturalist belief that everything happened at the whim of the gods.
Many of you have made the point that the truth doesn't have to be either/or, but
both. But why do we still lean so strongly in the rationalist direction,
going so far as saying that miracles are probably "rare" (I've read that in some
TE literature recently)?


Here I
am questioning my own bias, while at the same time recognizing that there is
nothing inherently wrong with rational explanations that also recognize God's
providence and timing, etc. So what if the Red Sea sometimes pulls back at
certain times, under certain conditions at a given point, allowing an army to
walk across -- why did it happen at just that moment when Moses needed it?
It was still a miracle of timing even if it was a scientifically explanable
occurrence. Even if DNA can now be seen to have the potential to create
innovative new forms, how really did natural processes end up creating sentient,
rational beings who could ponder their own origins and destiny? It had to
be a grand miracle, even if it were accomplished through scientifically
observable events.



Jon Tandy



  -----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
  Bill Hamilton
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 4:43
To: George Murphy; Dick Fischer; ASA
Subject: Re: [asa]
  Does ASA believe in Adam and Eve?

  posts have been fascinating. Thanks, Dick, Phil and George.

  another (but related) subject: can we devise a suitable flood scenario? If the
  flood occurred in southern Mesopotamia as Dick's scenario suggests, what do we
  do about the depth and duration of the flood? Since the land is relatively
  flat in that region, the flood cannot have been very deep, and by the same
  token cannnot have lasted very long. Are we justified in concluded that the
  depth and duration of the flood are exaggerations typical of ancient near east
  literature? Are there other possible explanations? (I don't like Dick's
  view that Noah and his sons poled the ark upstream to the mountains of

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr.,
248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
"...If God is for us,
  who is against us?" Rom 8:31

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Received on Thu Mar 22 22:45:27 2007

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