Re: [asa] Saving Christianity WAS Appeasing TE?

From: <>
Date: Thu Dec 25 2008 - 01:19:40 EST

Quoting John Walley <>:

My responses are interspersed below. BTW; I just brought my son back from a
Christmas eve out-of-state emergency room visit for a badly broken ankle.
--prayers appreciated.

> With all due respect and of course not meaning to take anything away from the
> Gospel, if this is all Christianity is about then why do we have this list
> and why are we here discussing TE?

My terse response about the essence of Christianity may have been written a bit
flippantly so as to imply that something is simpler than it actually is. And
yet I still stand behind it. The thing to remember though, is that there is
always the what of it? question that must follow. Christ's redemption
doesn't happen in a vacuum. It is granted to real people with messy and
involved lives. And if they take it seriously, their whole life is impacted.
If I believe that Christ is God in our midst and in my heart, do I want to
associate Him with something that is most apparently a falsehood? If I want
others to enjoy that same relationship, then I'd better be concerned if false
-isms are going to be stumbling blocks. I didn't say that this doctrine was ALL
of Christianity, but that it is the starting point from which everything else
should radiate. So just because something is (IMO) the "heart" of Christianity
doesn't imply that lungs, eyes, brain, ---the whole body doesn't exist.

> Why aren't we all still YEC's or OEC's or ID'ers if the cross of Christ is
> all that matters? YEC's, OEC's and ID'ers all believe in the cross of Christ
> as well.

I think I answered this above. If these things are going to be associated with
Christ, then we had better make sure they aren't false. If they are, then we
need to work to remove false stumbling blocks. True stumbling blocks will be
challenging enough in their own right --let's not go adding more.

> For that matter why aren't we still flat earthers or geocentrists? If we
> share the central truth of the cross of Christ then there shouldn't be any
> issues, right? It amazes me how quick we are to give the church a pass on
> things that we should know better about.

Because those things aren't true. If someone wants to believe something
scientifically wacky, but is also a Christian --I have no beef with that. But
if they want to start saying that their wacky belief is an extension of
Christianity, then we should have a beef with that.

> What if it was immorality issue? If a pastor is having an affair and spending
> the church's money on his mistress and his flings? Is this ok too as long as
> he still holds to the doctrinal truth of the power of the cross and its
> redemption? Would that Christianity not need saving?

Is he really holding to the truth and power of the cross as he does those things?

> Obviously I am referring to the relevance and impact of Christianity on
> culture and lost souls but that is important. That is why we are all
> concerned when we see our brothers in Christ testify in the media spectacle
> at Dover for all the world to see if we feel they are misguided and possibly
> having a negative impact on the cause of Christ. Or when we see Ken Ham show
> his face or open his mouth in any public venue.
> I think it is a cop out to minimize these errors in the church and to say
> Christianity is only about some certain doctrine or another. It is about
> Jesus and Truth which according to His own words are synonymous. I think we
> owe Truth to those empty souls at Dick's meeting and to our neighbors and the
> world at large. In my opinion that is what Christianity is about and that is
> what it will take to save its relevance and impact on our world.

Amen! and well stated. I think my responses basically echoed what you then put
in these last paragraphs.

> Merry Christmas
> John
> --- On Tue, 12/23/08, <> wrote:
> > From: <>
> > Subject: Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?
> > To: "David Clounch" <>
> > Cc:
> > Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 10:12 PM
> > Quoting David Clounch <>:
> >
> > > I haven't looked at any of the refernced materials
> > yet. But apparently the
> > > proponents of TE think it is some sort of a real idea,
> > real enough to
> > > deserve a label, and the idea can be distinguished
> > from non-theistic
> > > evolution. Inquiring minds would want to know, of
> > course, how does one
> > > differentiate the two? (TE vs NTE?).
> > >
> > I'll risk jumping in here with my two-cents --sorry if
> > I'm trampling old ground
> > for this thread since I admittedly didn't read every
> > preceding post.
> > I don't have a problem with thinking of 'TE' as
> > a mostly negative label applied
> > from the outside. And as such, I feel no burden to go
> > defending somebody else's
> > characterization. If it had been thought in the past by a
> > large enough group of
> > people that gravity was a threat to faith, and then some
> > people had the gall to
> > insist that it wasn't, then the group who thinks it a
> > threat will call the ones
> > who don't 'theistic gravitationists' --or you
> > could have 'theistic chemists' ...
> > or embryologists or whatever. So here is my attempt to
> > answer your question on
> > whether TE = NTE. From within the world of science the two
> > would equal
> > precisely. No difference. No manifesto needed or
> > differentiation needed as the
> > 'T' part isn't scientific. Outside of science,
> > though, there is a world
> > --eternal world-- of difference. Since a number of people
> > find this threatening
> > to faith, they will refer to the other group as 'those
> > theistic evolutionists'.
> > Many (most?) 'TEs' here seem to dislike the term,
> > much less being asked to
> > defend it. But if you want an attempt at a definition I
> > would simply propose
> > it is someone who is a theist and accepts or rejects
> > scientific propositions
> > based solely on judgments of their scientific merit, seeing
> > all of that as
> > within the domain of a God-directed world. But their
> > science does not need any
> > distinguishing reference to this that would separate them
> > from their NTE
> > colleagues in any scientific sense. Further responses
> > below.
> >
> >
> > > Denying that there is any difference between TE and
> > NTE would be quite a
> > > claim! I made no such claim. Affirming a difference
> > would also be quite a
> > > claim. Again, I made no such claim. But it seems to
> > me the proponents of TE
> > > do have to deal with whether TE==NTE or whether
> > TE!=NTE. As Dick points
> > > out, perhaps there is disagreement on that subject.
> > If the proponents of TE
> > > cannot agree on this then what do they expect the rest
> > of humanity to think?
> > >
> >
> > Proponents of 'TE' (especially Christian ones --but
> > maybe others as well) are
> > probably more united in their more general belief that
> > causal explanations
> > however complete they may seem or actually be, do not
> > preclude or disprove a
> > Divine hand in the midst of it all. On many details,
> > though they will probably
> > have as many messy disagreements as would the 'TGs'
> > (Theists who also happen to
> > believe that universal gravitation is a useful explanatory
> > tool.)
> >
> > >
> > > I have never asserted that anything in the natural
> > world is "based" on
> > > miracles. Do TE's make such an assertion?
> > That's a good question. I
> > > don't know the answer. What if there are
> > different types of TE views on
> > > this? A broad range, as George mentioned. I myself
> > have asserted nothing
> > > whatsoever about miracles or of what they may consist
> > or whether they
> > > affect natural processes. Others talk about that. I
> > alluded to others
> > > talking about that.
> > >
> > Good question. I imagine Theists are all over the map on
> > this.
> >
> > > Another related aspect: What saves Christianity, and
> > How?
> > >
> >
> > Jesus Christ of Nazareth. By his redeeming work on the
> > cross. If Christianity
> > is ever about anything else then it isn't Christianity
> > any more.
> >

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Received on Thu Dec 25 01:20:09 2008

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