Re: [asa] Saving Christianity WAS Appeasing TE?

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu Dec 25 2008 - 22:12:52 EST

Merv,

I hope your son pulls through with his ankle.

After some additional thought, I know you were echoing George's idea that all our understanding of God's revelation to us including His creation has to be focused on the cross and this goes for our apologetics as well. I agree and have come to see the wisdom of this and appreciate it now but I think we should refine it a bit more.

Your earlier comment about what saves Christianity was the redeeming work of Christ on the cross and I agree it comes down to that, but that still seems a little too narrow to me. I am eternally grateful that Jesus died for me and all mankind but it wasn't only his death that mattered. His life should count too. He could have gone straight from being a carpenter to the cross but He didn't. He went around teaching and preaching for three years before he did so and it was for a reason and we need to keep that in mind.

If we expanded the essence of Christianity to be both the life and death of Jesus Christ instead of just His death, then I think we would include the aspects of truth that concern me and also preserve the important aspects of His death that you highlighted. So I would venture to suggest that maybe this expanded focus should be the basis for our apologetics as well to include these truth matters.

Thanks

John

--- On Thu, 12/25/08, mrb22667@kansas.net <mrb22667@kansas.net> wrote:

> From: mrb22667@kansas.net <mrb22667@kansas.net>
> Subject: Re: [asa] Saving Christianity WAS Appeasing TE?
> To: john_walley@yahoo.com
> Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> Date: Thursday, December 25, 2008, 1:19 AM
> Quoting John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>:
>
> 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 ...so 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.
> --Merv
>
> >
> > Merry Christmas
> >
> > John
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --- On Tue, 12/23/08, mrb22667@kansas.net
> <mrb22667@kansas.net> wrote:
> >
> > > From: mrb22667@kansas.net
> <mrb22667@kansas.net>
> > > Subject: Re: [asa] Appeasing TE?
> > > To: "David Clounch"
> <david.clounch@gmail.com>
> > > Cc: asa@calvin.edu
> > > Date: Tuesday, December 23, 2008, 10:12 PM
> > > Quoting David Clounch
> <david.clounch@gmail.com>:
> > >
> > > > 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 22:13:46 2008

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