Re: the atheist questions

Glenn Morton (
Mon, 20 Apr 1998 19:55:58 -0500


thank you for your thoughtful reply. In general I was trying to make the
point that ancient credibility is partly dependent upon modern credibility.
This is what I really don't think that the young-earthers understand. If
those advocating a historically based religion are gullible, credulous, and
have no skepticism, why should one believe them when it comes to the
fundamentals of their faith?

In general I agree with much of what you wrote, but I will comment on a
couple of things.
At 11:25 AM 4/20/98, Loren Haarsma wrote:

>But that's not true of *everybody*, either inside or outside the church.
>There are also plenty of people struggling with the data, examining it,
>arguing about it. In the church today we have disagreements about what
>the scientific data is and what it means. And there's lots of written
>records of this disagreement!

I agree with this. But among Christians there appears to be a huge majority
for whom theology determines what they see in this world. Hugh Ross
believes that spiritual mankind can't be older than 60 kyr old or the bible
is wrong. Yet he provides no exegetical reasoning for this 60 kyr limit nor
does he deal with counter evidence very effectively. H. Morris says
overthrusts don't exist, but they do. This is what bothers me. We ought to
be able in general to at least come to an agreement on what the
observational facts are, yet we seem to have trouble with that. Not trusting
the scientist to be honest, we reject what he observes.

>What we know of the early church, after the resurrection, looks
>different. There was unanimity amongst dozens (Paul refers to hundreds)
>of witnesses about the resurrection. We do not have any indications of
>factions in the early church arguing, for example, that while the rest of
>Jesus' teachings were true, his resurrection should be understood to be

This is an excellent point. There didn't seem to be such an argument, but I
am not well versed in early Christian theology and history. Were there any
heresies along these lines?

>It could be argued that disagreements about the resurrection in the
>earliest days of the church were hushed up or ignored in later. But
>consider (1) the writers of the New Testament books were not shy about
>recording other controversies in the early church; (2) the NT records
>indicate that the disciples were pretty clueless about the importance of
>the death and resurrection until after they had witnessed the
>resurrection; (3) the gospels also record that some of the disciples
>doubted the reports of the resurrection until they witnessed it with
>their own eyes. Taken together, this strongly suggests that, while
>there were disagreements about *some* things in the early church, there
>was agreement about the resurrection. Taken together, this strongly
>suggests that belief in a dying-and-literally-resurrected Messiah didn't
>"evolve" amongst the early disciples, but was forced upon them by the
>observable data.

I appreciate this line of reasoning. It is very good.



Adam, Apes, and Anthropology: Finding the Soul of Fossil Man


Foundation, Fall and Flood