Re: [asa] The Big Sleep

From: Vernon Jenkins <vernon.jenkins@virgin.net>
Date: Wed Sep 10 2008 - 16:42:12 EDT

Murray,

Thank you for your spirited response and testimony. However, allow me to explore the matters under discussion a little further, if I may.

First, concerning your statement that every Christian ministers the gospel of Christ: I don't doubt that each does it to the best of his/her ability, but the acid test of discipleship surely is whether one believes what one reads in God's Word, and follows the example of the Bereans, viz "...they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so." (Acts 17:11). I have little doubt that their understanding was _literal_. Is that your position? You will already, no doubt, have deduced that I come from a tradition where the word of God is considered 100% informative. We understand the Bible to come to us as a _complete package_, to be accepted in its entirety (warts and all) as the Word of God our Creator.

You then make the point, "Theistic Evolutionists don't claim that naturalistic explanations are comprehensive or that they negate/eliminate claims of divine involvement." No, of course not. That's what is supposed to demarcate the atheist from the theist. But how, in your view, does God enter into the picture with respect to _insect metamorphosis_, for example, or provide an explanation for the marked absence of intermediates in the fossil record? I guess the life cycle and remarkable migratory instincts of the Monarch butterfly must present problems even for the TE; clearly, for the likes of Richard Dawkins et al, they are, surely, best ignored!

Moving on to a critique of my research findings, you say: "...invoking God in a claim about origins doesn't give that claim some sort of intrinsic authority - so, for instance, my objection to your own rather curious mathematical formulations is not that God COULDN'T put a numerological code in Scripture, it's based on the view that you haven't substantiated that claim." Of course, we shall have to agree to differ on whether or not the claim of _miracle_ with respect to the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1 is substantiated. But it does help, of course, that people examine and consider the details carefully before giving it a 'thumbs down'. Rather than rehearse the salient facts here, I invite you to access the page http://www.whatabeginning.com/Misc/Wonders/P.htm to confirm that I make no trivial claim. Further, we must surely take note of the fact that this dazzling display of numero-geometrical pyrotechnics occurs in the very first verse of a Book comprising 31,102 verses? And, by the way, you'll find the same 7 numbers (which derive from the opening Hebrew words) hidden in the metric dimensions of a sheet of A4 paper - such as you probably now have before you in the printer? [See http://www.whatabeginning.com/A4/Origami/P.htm]

You joke, surely, when you turn down such evidence of divine activity! Given a 'proof ' of this quality, evolutionists would, undoubtedly, be 'over the moon'. But they haven't got it; the Bible alone has it! Yet many TEs still have the temerity to claim 'game, set and match' for this scripture-destroying theory! Murray, these facts cannot be lightly dismissed by thinking people - unless, of course, they threaten to lead to _unthinkable conclusions_!

However, these matters aside, my main concern centres on the attitude of many Christians toward what we may conveniently call the 'satanic verses' of the J-C Scriptures, in particular, Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6; 1Kings 22:19-23; John 8:44; and those detailing the ministry of our Lord concerning his dealings with evil spirits. These verses raise all kinds of interesting questions - not least, those to do with our understanding of the truth concerning ultimate origins. [See my email of 7 August for a development of this theme which involves neither TE, nor traditional YEC].

Regards,

Vernon

www.otherbiblecode

www.whatabeginning.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Murray Hogg" <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
To: "ASA" <asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:00 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] The Big Sleep

> Yep, you're missing something...
>
> First, you're missing that every Christian ministers the gospel of Christ.
>
> Second, you're missing that I am not a cessasionist.
>
> Third, you're missing that one doesn't have to categorically divide human experience into EITHER "spiritual" OR "natural"
>
> Fourth, you're missing that Theistic Evolutionists don't claim that naturalistic explanations are comprehensive or that they negate/eliminate claims of divine involvement.
>
> Fifth, you're missing that invoking God in a claim about origins doesn't give that claim some sort of intrinsic authority - so, for instance, my objection to your own rather curious mathematical formulations is not that God COULDN'T put a numerological code in Scripture, it's based on the view that you haven't substantiated that claim.
>
> Sixth, you're missing the fact that one should have good reasons for invoking claims of divine (or demonic) activity. Just because one WANTS to find God or Satan lurking behind every corner, or WANTS to invoke the spiritual as the sole explanatory hypothesis for whatever bizarre theory one wishes to conjure up, doesn't mean that the rest of us can be categorized as Dawkin's-like pseudo-atheists who dismiss the spiritual on the basis of an a priori philosophical agenda.
>
> Tell you what, Vernon, rather than play the hypothetical game - why don't you cite a contemporary case of demon possession of the sort encountered in Mark, and your reasons for believing it to be just that sort of case, and then we'll talk some more.
>
> In the meantime, could you please refrain from casting aspersions at myself or others just because we don't swallow hook-line-and-sinker every claim regarding a purported divine action?
>
> The irony here, Vernon, is that in invoking C.S.Lewis to the effect that I and others disbelieve in the existence of devils, you seem to have overlooked that he sounds a warning in respects of the opposite extreme: one ought not to have an unhealthy obsession with their existence either.
>
> At the end of the day, I try to keep passages like 1 John 4:1 and Acts 17:11 in mind as I think a degree of spiritual discernment based on prayerful reading of the scriptures under the influence of the Holy Spirit is a better guide to such questions than a materialistic metaphysic. Which is why, incidentally, I'm not a materialist.
>
> Blessings,
> Murray Hogg
> Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
> Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology
>
>
> Vernon Jenkins wrote:
>> To those of the forum who minister the Gospel of Christ - especially Michael Roberts, George Murphy and Murray Hogg:
>>
>> As recorded particularly in the Gospel of Mark, a significant part of our Lord's ministry had to do with the unmasking and casting out of demons - those evil manifestations of the supernatural realm which had gained access to the minds and/or bodies of particular individuals; and this, _with God's approval_ (surprising, perhaps, until one remembers the prologue to the Book of Job) for Jesus was empowered to evict them! Yet, today, his leading representatives on earth rarely acknowledge - or even mention - what are, in fact, highly informative matters! The lay person may thus, falsely, be led to believe that such unpleasantries are no longer an integral part of the human experience - having disappeared following the Resurrection, perhaps. However, that is not how the Apostles saw it (see, for example, Ephesians 6) - nor, I believe, if we are true to our calling, should we!
>>
>> I am therefore left wondering, gentlemen, how it is that (along with Richard dawkins et al) you are able to maintain, with apparent equanimity, a strictly _natural_ approach to ultimate origins . Or am I, as a Christian and scientist, missing something?
>>
>> Vernon
>>
>> PS In the preface to his "Screwtape Letters", C.S.Lewis wrote: "There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."
>>
>> V
>>
> --
> Murray Hogg
> Pastor, East Camberwell Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
> Post-Grad Student (MTh), Australian College of Theology
>
>
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Received on Wed Sep 10 16:43:22 2008

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