Re: [asa] Saving Christianity WAS Appeasing TE?

From: John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri Dec 26 2008 - 23:10:58 EST

As far as "saving Christianity", here is my qualification on the topic from an earlier email that you may have missed.

John

> Obviously I am referring to the relevance and impact of Christianity on
> culture and lost souls but that is important.

--- On Fri, 12/26/08, David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com> wrote:

> From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [asa] Saving Christianity WAS Appeasing TE?
> To: mrb22667@kansas.net
> Cc: john_walley@yahoo.com, asa@calvin.edu
> Date: Friday, December 26, 2008, 3:36 PM
> I'm really disturbed that we have a thread that assumes
> anything
> "saves Christianity." Something is radically
> wrong with our ontology
> if we're asking this kind of question. Christ is the
> center of
> Reality, which is constituted by the triune God. There is
> no
> alternative to this Reality. There is nothing outside this
> Reality to
> "save" it from and nothing outside that could act
> to "save" it.
>
> What you really want to ask, I think, is whether some
> particular
> expressions of Christian theology can be "saved."
> Well maybe, maybe
> not -- but one thing Christian theology has shown
> throughout its
> history is an ability to adapt, and of course there are
> presently a
> vast variety of Christian theologies being expressed around
> the globe,
> most of which have at least a few important things to say
> about what
> the Gospel means.
>
> David W. Opderbeck
> Associate Professor of Law
> Seton Hall University Law School
> Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 26, 2008 at 10:46 AM,
> <mrb22667@kansas.net> wrote:
> > Quoting John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com>:
> >
> >> Merv,
> >>
> >> I hope your son pulls through with his ankle.
> >
> > Thanks. It's all splinted up tight, until we can
> get surgery.
> >
> > and as for your thoughts below, I heartily echo them.
> I read D.Weaver's
> > "Non-violent Atonement" some time ago and
> sketchily remember how he wished to
> > place much more emphasis on Jesus' life and
> teachings than on his violent
> > crucifixion. But as George points out (and I agree)
> --that emphasis should not
> > be an attempt to replace or eclipse the significance
> of the crucifixion. It
> > should be an "addition to" rather than an
> "either/or" consideration. It is
> > Jesus life and teachings, His death, and His now
> continued life, any of which
> > when neglected is done so at serious, maybe fatal,
> expense to Christianity.
> >
> > Merry Christmas to all!
> > --Merv
> >
> >
> >
> >> 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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> >
> >
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Received on Fri Dec 26 23:11:29 2008

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