Re: [asa] "Evolutionary Creation" book comments

From: David Clounch <>
Date: Wed Sep 30 2009 - 09:31:31 EDT

> This isn't to say we should ignore such questions, or diminish their
> importance, but I do agree with George's point: that it's really the person
> and work of Christ that is of central importance and the fact of our
> alienation from God, and our need to resolve that problem, is largely
> secondary to the question of how that alienation came about in the first
> place.

I absolutely agree with Murray and George on this.

> Given, then, that the origins question is secondary,

Yes, but it seems to become a stumbling block to folks like Bernie.

> I think I'd want to say that whether or not the thread over theological
> mistakes is "absurd" depends upon the individual and whether the discussion
> scratches where they itch. To some people it's critical, to others it's not.

I was trying to hint that Bernie's theme of ancient theology is akin to
putting words into the mouth of theologians and then disagreeing with one's
own words. Thats the absurdity. The YEC mistake isn't ancient. And ancient
pagan science isn't ancient Judaeo-Christian science.

The school of environmental science, a high school in my town located at the
Minnesota Zoo, does everything it can to teach kids that Judaeo-Christian
beliefs are just one kind of "myth" similar to various other types of
myths. And just as invalid. This is actually an atheist worldview. We
have whole generations of kids who believe this lie. They then go the route
Bernie has traveled.

I think, following George, that it needs to be kept in perspective AND that
> the proper perspective is obtained by viewing it through a Christological
> grid. Nobody is under any obligation to lie awake at night worrying about
> it.
> Murray, I am beginning to see that TE,OEC,YEC are just an argument over
details - an intrafamily squabble. All are totally theistic. I'd say all are
creationist with a little "c". I can hardly tell the difference between the
theories. All posit cosmological design, none deny it. TE's seem to
believe in designed final causation. The argument then is over the
unrolling of the causation onto the world stage. Thats just implementation
details. But TE as described by Randy is just as theistic as YEC theories.
Thats why when one dings the fender of YEC one also dings the TE fender.
Its the theism that is the problem. The theism is never going to be
accepted by secular humanists. Never.

Which Christian theory of origins is the more intellectually plausible is
IRRELEVANT to people like Bernie.

> Just to add to your heartburn: I think you're about right when you say that
> the "traditional view is not even ancient."

Again its Bernie's claim that the traditional view is ancient that gives
heartburn. He assumed it, but its wrong; it's unsubstantiated.

> I have been trying to make the point that pre-modern cultures focus almost
> entirely on the meaning of a story whilst treating its form with what we
> might consider a degree of almost reckless abandon.

Is that perhaps a hermeneutical principle?

> In consequence I think it quite legitimate to ask whether the fall
> narrative is primarily an attempt to assert the historical claim that humans
> were created sinless and then broke the rules? Or: is it an attempt at
> theodicy: to explain why humans sin, why the world is full of suffering, and
> yet to affirm that God (and creation) is nevertheless essentially good?

> I don't claim to be able to get into the mind of the original framers of
> the Genesis story - but from what I know of the way that stories are used in
> other ancient cultures I can at least say that it is hardly obvious how such
> questions are to be addressed. There is, in my opinion, so much uncertainty
> about what the original framers of the Genesis stories intended, that the
> ONLY way to approach them is Christologically as per George's very sound
> advice.
> It is difficult to say the framers created a FABLE if one doesnt know the
relevant details. But that is precisely what Bernie is claiming. This is
probably a standard atheist blogosphere buzz. To reuse a pim-ism, it is a
vacuous claim as far as I can tell. If it is original with Bernie he needs
to write a paper with a substantiating trail of evidence rather than making
hundreds of unsubstantiated categorical and conflated statements. If he is
echoing atheist scholars he needs to quote the sources.

Meanwhile, those who don't believe in an historical Adam do need to become
more clear. Polkinghorne's analysis of the mind is starting to have some
effect on my thinking. Maybe there is a ghost in the machine after all. That
mind-body relationship is critical. It could mean Adam did not "emerge"
from a precursor. The precursor is necessary but not sufficient.

I think it is more important to understand what the logical options are than
it is to try to pick the right option.

Dave C

> Blessings,
> Murray
> David Clounch wrote:
>> Can I ask a dumb question?
>> Why is the idea of God breathing a soul into a population of Adams less
>> miraculous than breathing a soul into one individual Adam?
>> And why would it mean there is no historical Adam?
>> It seems to me there are three scenarios:
>> 1. Traditional view: Adam the individual (individual soul and individual
>> body)
>> 2. The TE view: 1000 Adams (a population) (1000 souls, 1000 minds, 1000
>> bodies)
>> 3. Materialist view: No Adam, no soul, just 1000 bodies with suddenly
>> emergent minds.
>> Please note this is an oversimplification. It ignores the scenario of one
>> individual infused mind/soul which then propagated into a ripe population.
>> I'm having trouble understanding the assertion that there is no historical
>> Adam (scenario 3) if it turns out that scenario #1 was not what the
>> scriptures asserted. In fact, if the theology that goes alongside TE is
>> correct, (as I understand it) this means the traditional view is wrong, but
>> it also means the traditional view is NOT EVEN ANCIENT. Its a modern
>> mistake never originally intended to be in the Bible. So how could it then
>> be a mistaken ancient theology? Grrrrr. Is my heartburn from feeling
>> cheated or did I just have too much pepperoni last night? Is the entire
>> thread over theological mistakes sort of absurd?
>> Thanks Ahead,
>> Dave C
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Received on Wed Sep 30 09:32:02 2009

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