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

From: James Mahaffy <>
Date: Fri Mar 23 2007 - 11:52:28 EDT

James Mahaffy ( Phone: 712 722-6279
498 4th Ave NE
Biology Department FAX : 712
Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250-1697
>>> "Jon Tandy" <> 03/22/07 5:47 PM >>>
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
basis of empirical evidence which were once believed by faith. Why is
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
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
"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
a ex nihilo creation of new loaves and fishes -- maybe people had really
brought their lunches with them, but were unwilling to share, and
the influence of Jesus' love and compassion on the multitude or shame
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
is perhaps a possibility, why do some even consider it seriously as
to the clear statement in the Gospels that Jesus simply multiplied the
loaves and fishes?
 [snip again]
Here I am questioning my own bias, while at the same time recognizing
there is nothing inherently wrong with rational explanations that also
recognize God's providence and timing, etc. [snip the third time]

my response

But there is if we rationalize miracles so much that God's activity MUST
conform to our understanding of our laws. Unfortunately this is just
what the liberal theologians did in the 20's and 30's in this country
and it resulted in a God different than the God of Scriptures. It is
easier to assume that Mary had premarital sex and used a story of an
angelic vision to cover the affair. Next you assume that Christ was in
a coma (after all there are a few chaps that survived crucifications).
But then he is not the God that demonstrated power over death and as
Paul would say our faith is in vain.

In my classes when I deal with God working in the world I cite the
example I remember from my undergrad days of a visiting Christian
scientists that tried to tell us that the water of Cana was likely hard
since that would put a carbon source in the water needed to make the
ethanol. Or I bring my interesting explanation of Peter walking on
water and suggesting that God made two big flat bottom fish swim right
under neath the surface and when he lost his faith caused them to go
down. But they don't think they will use that in their Sunday School
classes (which is good).

Jon Tandy

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Received on Fri Mar 23 11:52:48 2007

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