Don’t Follow the Way of Sinners, O Young-Earth Creationists!

In a conversation with a young-earth creationist here on this blog, I was struck by the irony of the fact that he offered, as one reason for rejecting evolution, the teaching of Scripture that we should not follow the ways or teachings of sinful human beings.

How right he is, and how wrong at the same time!

Scripture nowhere says that the people of God should have different names for colors, or natural phenomena, merely because unbelieving society names them a certain way. In matters of observation, and even those of inference like the heart being the place where emotions are located, or one or more domes or spheres being over or around the Earth, the Bible's authors nowhere – I repeat, nowhere – say that flowers or colors or celestial bodies or anything else that humans can observe and study, or infer on the basis of such observation and study, should be thought of or named differently than they are by other human beings. When the author of Genesis 1 said that God created simply by command, and not by slaying a sea-dragon, he nonetheless retained the idea that there were waters above and below. When their contemporaries were wrong, so too typically were the authors of Scripture. And they are never criticized for it. So presumably it is not with respect to the observation of the natural world that God's people are instructed not to follow what other human beings do.

As various texts make clear, the community of faith is being called to be different morally. And this makes the misuse of this emphasis in Scripture by young-earth creationists truly shameful. Because all one has to do is witness just a glimpse of their arrogance, their rejection of the sound insights and advice from Christian brothers and sisters who actually have expertise in the natural sciences or Biblical studies, and much else that characterizes the behavior of adherents of this movement (not all, to be sure, but in my experience most, including myself when I was a young-earth creationist), to realize this uncomfortable but obvious and undeniable truth:

Young-earth creationists are just like the world, in all sorts of important ways.

I think that young-earth creationism is, in fact, just one of a number of movements that people gravitate to precisely because it allows them to feel like they are rejecting the world, allowing them to avoid the painful introspection that is necessary if one really and truly wants to be morally different than the vast majority of people, in the ways that many parts of Scripture, including the teaching of Jesus, challenge us to be.

And so I appeal to young-earth creationists: Stop following the ways of sinful human beings, and stop comforting yourselves falsely with young-earth creationism's false teachings which lull you into a false sense of having rejected worldly thinking, when in fact you are failing to be transformed morally and spiritually at a more fundamental level. And follow instead the hard path of repentance and self-examination which is the true calling of Christians.

 

  • Dr. David Tee

    Nice strawman argument. No one said anything about names of colors or plants and you do not even know if the secular world did the naming in the begining. Obviously you want to distort instead of discuss.
    “When their contemporaries were wrong, so too typically were the authors of Scripture. ”
    The authors of scripture weren’t wrong. They wrote what God wanted them to write and to dsay they erred means you are saying that God erred and that is wrong.
    You want to make the Bible of human origin not divine so you can follow your alternatives to the Biblical record and that is wrong as well. The Bible is not of human origin. You go against the Holy SPirit when you say the biblical authors erred.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Thankfully, I can ignore what you say, since the typos in your comments prove that you are not an inerrant source, and thus are to be rejected.

      By claiming that the Bible is inerrant, you are imposing your desire for certainty onto the Bible instead of accepting the Bible God gave you. And then you have the audacity to suggest that it is others who go against the Holy Spirit?!

      I am not trying to make the Bible of human origin. It says so, on its own pages. The humans involved do not hide themselves from view.

      • Dr. David Tee

        I never claim to be inerrant and do not expect to be any time soon. No, I am not imposing my desire on anything. It is humbling myself to accept God’s word and the truth about it.
        The Bible clearly states it is written by God. Seems you have confused the passages of scripture which state that with the side notes that are not part of divine writings.
        Anyways, you still constructed a strawman and then went about attacking your own construction. There is a big difference between the act of ‘naming’ and walking in an unbeliever’s ‘counsel’.
        Darwin rejected God, Wallace never believed, prior to them there were no prominent or known thesitic evolutionists or progressive creationists thus the adherents of the latter two are walking in the counsel of the ungodly. Why, because the Bible teaches a 6 day (24 hour) creation and evolution was not part of the supernatural act.
        Oh and any theistic evolutionist or progressive creationist are not christian unless they are converting from those false beliefs.
        Basically all you are doing is placing science above God and that is idolotry.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          re:
          The Bible clearly states it is written by God.

          no, a specific book 2Timothy makes a claim-God breathed, for an unknown collection of Hebrew scrolls.

          you have (mis)interpreted this to mean:
          a book, a library of books, which did not exist when Timothy was written. whose very table of contents, the canon, was determined by a conference of men(hundreds of years later), and which has diverged into at least a dozen competing canons. each making your claim, each with a different list.

          furthermore this Book of books, is translated by innumerable other men(mostly), yielding to you the English Bible, for which you now declare God has “inspired”(breathed in), which by the way is the exact opposite from God breathed (out), which you now transmogrify into a claim that “it is written by God” when nothing of the sort is implied in 2Tim at all.

          and yet you see nothing out of wack in this argument of yours? such is the power of tunnel vision and confident certainty.

          theopneustos does not mean written by.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          Dr. Tee, the internet if full or web sites, just as before the web the world was full of books and pamphlets, all claiming to offer the interpretation of the Bible. Many of the readings are ludicrous. Many would disagree with you on the details. Many make false claims about history as well as about the Bible, as you do. All of their authors would say exactly what you do, that they are simply being humble and accepting God’s Word. Yet clearly the vast majority of them must be wrong, since they all disagree, and the vast majority of them, when this is pointed out to them, respond with arrogance, not humility.

          And so this is the big test of your approach. Do you have the humility to consider the possibility that your approach might not in fact be humble, to say nothing of correct? Or will it turn out that you are a liar, not only about the Bible and history, but about your own humility? I hope it will not be the latter, even though the vast majority of people who claim to be humbly accepting the Bible are blind to the fact that they use such rhetoric to justify their own arrogance, having equated their own understanding of matters with “what the Bible says” for so long that they become unable to tell the lens from the object viewed through it.

          • http://twitter.com/DonMBurrows Don M. Burrows

            So, this is a bit rude in parts, but apparently you are not the only one wrangling with “Dr. Tee”:
            http://scotteriology.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/dr-david-tee/

            • Dr. David Tee

              Wow…. since when did discussion open to all become ‘wrangling’? If you were honest, you would actually discuss not delete.

          • Dr. David Tee

            You seem to ignore the fact that the Bible warns about false teachers and that they will exist throughout time. The christian life is not a cake walk nor lazy which means you have to follow the instructions of Jesus to get to the truth. Jesus said–’ye shall know thw truth and it shall set you free.’
            He also said — ‘The Holy Spirit will lead you to the truth…’ Those who do not believe do not get that aid thus to follow Darwin or adapt his work and insert it into scripture would be ignoring the Holy Spirit and His leading making your work wrong and sin.
            No where in the Bible is any form of evolution mentioned or accepted. In fact Genesis 1:30-2:2 tells us that once God finished creating, the universe and the world were complete. That means no process was used by God, nor did one exist to carry on His creative work.
            Yoiu need to realize that satan is at work in the world and will do what it takes to deceive humans so that they are destroyed. You make his work easier when you so willingly ignore the Bible and accept false teaching.

            • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

              I’m not ignoring it at all. I am trying to warn people about false teachers, and that is why I am taking pains to warn readers about you and explain why you are wrong.

              The Bible does not mention DNA. It does not mention the brain as the location of thought. It does not mention high and low pressure systems and their role in weather. It does not mention microbes and the way to avoid contracting illness as a result of them. It does not mention plate tectonics and their relationship to the phenomenon of earthquakes. It does not mention galaxies as such. It does not mention the Earth’s rotation. It does not mention gravity per se. It does not mention the possibility of human flight other than by supernatural means. It does not mention that stars are other suns. It does not mention any number of things that science has helped us to understand. Am I to understand that you reject all these domains of science?

              • Dr. David Tee

                And why would you expect God to mention all those things? If He did, 1. you would complain that He left humans nothing to do and 2. you would never read the Bible & be saved because it would be too thick and the message of salvation would be lost in the crowd.
                But God does mention those things in a more general and readable way— Jesus said ‘you will know the truth and the turth shall set you free’. That applies to all fields of research as there are unbelievers who will lie and falsify documents etc.; Then God has Paul tell us ‘to study’ so there we know we need education and the Bible tells us how to do that properly.
                You miss all this because you are looking in the wrong places and listening to the wrong people. Another example. The Bible tell sus not to listen to the unbeliever as they are deceived–Darwin was deceived as he rejected God–why woul dyou listen to him if you say you side with God?
                God said he created all things in 6 24 hour days via speaking so if you side with God, you would side with that revelation not Darwin and his subsequent evolutionary supporters.
                There is true and false science and the evolutionary version is the false one even if it is ‘christianized’.

                • Dr. David Tee

                  “Am I to understand that you reject all these domains of science?” I reject the secular versions and their deceptive practices. There is good science out there. Sadly, it has been usruped by the unbelieving world and promoted to an authority it was not intended to hold.
                  Origins is not part of the scientific field but again that area of life has been invaded by secularists who reject the truth and they convince far too many believers to go with them.
                  Origins belongs in the theological arena and the scientist is the interloper here.

                  • Ken Gilmore

                    David

                    >>I reject the secular versions

                    So, I trust you reject the secular version of meteorology and endorse the Biblical theory of meteorology which asserts that God sends the winds from his divine storehouse (Psa 135:6-7, Jer 51:16). Teach the controversy indeed.

                    >>and their deceptive practices.

                    Deceptive? That’s a very broad brush you’re wielding there. Given the mendacity inherent in creationism as the Dover Trial revealed, I’d be very careful about making that accusation.

                    >>There is
                    good science out there.

                    Indeed there is. I recommend the NSCE which provides quality material accessible to the layperson.

                    >>Sadly, it has been usruped by the unbelieving
                    world and promoted to an authority it was not intended to hold.

                    More rhetoric. Besides, given that a literal reading of the two creation narratives yields contradictory orders of creation, while the first chapter asserts that God created a solid dome to separate waters above from waters below (even Calvin could see problems here) it is you who has promoted Scripture to an authority it was not intended to hold.

                    >>Origins is not part of the scientific field

                    Really? A long and profitable history of research into the origins of life, the universe and everything begs to differ. Besides, I am hardly inclined to credit your opinion as authoritative, particularly as you are ambiguous here. Do you mean the origin of the universe? The origin of life? The origin of the Earth? The origin of the species? I hope you’re not going to conflate cosmology, abiogenesis and evolutionary biology into one undifferentiated “atheist theory of everything” and condemn evolution because it can’t explain the retrograde rotation of Venus.

                    >>but again that area of life
                    has been invaded by secularists who reject the truth and they convince
                    far too many believers to go with them.

                    More rhetoric. Offensive rhetoric in fact. Educated Christians rejected a young earth well before Darwin published the Origin of Species because the evidence ruled it out, not because of capitulation to ‘atheism.’ Some of Darwin’s earliest defenders (Asa Gray for example) were theologically conservative believers. At least two of the architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis (Fisher and Dobzhansky) were Christians while scientists such as Ken Miller, Denis Alexander, Francis Collins and Simon Conway Morris (to name but a few) have no problems reconciling the fact of evolution with their Christian belief.

                    • Dr. David tee

                      #1 Since God is in control of the weather, He can do as he wants with it. No unbelieving scientist can stop him or predict what is going to happen.
                      #2 Since the DOver trial doesn’t have th elast word on anything, I do not care what it says. If people disagree with the Bible then they are wrong, not the Bible.
                      #3 If the nsce is secular then it is doubtful that they have any gtood science.
                      #4 Since we have never seen the edges of the universe, how do you know God did not do it?
                      #5 You can beg all you want to but it doesn’t change the truth. Secular science has no business dealing with origins and are wasting time, money and other resources that could go to help the unemployed, the poor and the afflicted.
                      Since their work cannot be verified, observed or replicated it is all a waste of time. The only thing you have is assumption, conjecture, speculation and leaps to conclusions but5 you have no historical foundation, no historical record. only the words of unbelievers from the 19th century AD onward which claim evolution was the way it was done.
                      You have nothing.
                      #6 of course they don’t they do not believe God so it doesn’t matter what they say, they will find a way to reconcile their false believes with their supposed faith.

                • rmwilliamsjr

                  re:
                  But God does mention those things in a more general and readable way— Jesus said ‘you will know the truth and the turth shall set you free’. That applies to all fields of research as there are unbelievers who will lie and falsify documents etc.; Then God has Paul tell us ‘to study’ so there we know we need education and the Bible tells us how to do that properly.

                  you are distorting the meaning of what you quote.
                  “the truth shall set you free” has nothing to do with science, it is about DOING, it is about following as an active conditional, not about thinking.

                  see
                  http://jcstudies.com/articleDetail.cfm?articleId=10 for a nice discussion

                  your quote of “to study” is a misleading KJV translation “Study to shew thyself approved unto God” is better expressed as “be diligent”, it has nothing to do with scientific research or intellectual study.

                  again, your distortion of the Bible in order to prove a point, science is wrong, does so by distorting and grossly manipulating the text. is this really the right way to handle the word of God, misusing it as a proof text to support your wrong headed principles?

                  • Dr. David Tee

                    No I am not. You do not grasp the teachings of the Bible and how they apply. If you think that ‘be diligent’ (to use your definition) does not apply to science then you are out to lunch.
                    Good thing I do not accept your unsupported meanings. Secular science is very wrong. There is a reason why God said not to follow unbelievers—they do not believe God.

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  I suspect that you do not investigate the religious beliefs of all scientists before deciding whether to accept or reject their discoveries. Ben Franklin’s Deism clearly doesn’t lead you to eschew the use of electricity, since you leave blog comments. And despite Newton’s Arianism, you probably accept gravity.

                  Even if Darwin had never lived, the work that Christians like Francis Collins have done on genetics would have led us to the same conclusion.

                  You are just using Darwin’s loss of faith as an excuse to reject legitimate science that is well supported, simply because you want an excuse to do so. I do wish that you would be consistent – and that you would actually learn something about evolution apart from the lies that you have been sold. Because ultimately I suspect that the lying Christians whom you’ve listened to (and one of which you’ve become by repeating their deceptions and spreading them online) will be judged more severely than honest atheists – some of whom may have been driven away from the faith precisely because they saw only diabolical deceivers like yourself. Shame, shame on you for the harm you are doing to the cause of truth and the cause of Christ!

                  • Dr. David Tee

                    Again you pick apples to talk about oranges. When will you stop sidetracking the discussion with your absurd examples?
                    Electricity was discovered long before franklin and it is not walking in their council by using it. Then since God created both, neither man had a hand in ‘inventing’ it nor does the work of gravity or electricity teach contradictions to God’s word or call God a liar.
                    Francis Collins is another person calling God a liar, his work is tainted and the falsehoods he teaches counter his claim of being a christian.
                    Evolutionary science is not ‘legitimate science’. It perpetuates a lie, is dishonest, abusive, unjust and unfair, among other things.
                    Calling me a liar doesn’t support your argument and makes you a person lacking in character and integrity and calling the Holy Spirit a liar is very dangerous as He was the one who taught me much about origins.
                    You need to be very careful what you say and do next.

            • Mary

              Well, “doctor” I would like to know how many legs an insect has. Have you ever looked at one? They have six legs, but the Bible says FOUR. Do you not even trust your own senses?
              The biggest problem I have with you is that you have given no evidence to prove that the Bible is inerrant, period. You give it an authority that it does not deserve and that it has never even claimed.
              Most people would say that having “blind faith” is a bad thing. After all, if I followed some kook jumping into the street and claiming that it is safe I would most likely be killed. God gave me a brain and he wants me to use it.
              But in the area of religon the rules somehow change. I am supposed to follow without questioning and without any proof of its veracity at all. Just because, “The bible says…”
              For most people their choice of religion is based on their culture. Most likely you are a Christian based on the fact that it is the dominent religion here. But if you were born and raised in a Muslim country, you would most likely be a Muslim today. Why? Because “the Koran says…” Can you see where “blind faith” can cause problems?
              There is absolutely no way to come to the truth except by questioning. Even the Bible tells you to “test everything”.
              You may think from the way I talk that I am an atheist. I am not. I have a strong faith based on a personal relationship with God, I don’t have a relationship with a book written by fallible men. God transcends anything that man has written about him.

              • Dr. David tee

                You sell short the Holy Spirit and would you believe any evidence I provide or seek to dismiss it? If you do not believe God’s word in the Bible then how can you have a strong faith in God? Sound slike you pick and choose what to believe.
                Also, if you do not believe the Bible then how can you have salvation? It was written in the same book you reject and declare unauthoritative?

                • Mary

                  God exists in the heart, not in a book. And again you have not provided any evidence for me to look at.

          • rustywheeler

            “…the vast majority of people who claim to be humbly accepting the Bible
            are blind to the fact that they use such rhetoric to justify their own
            arrogance…”

            In my experience, when YECs and similar Fundamentalist mindsets declare humility, they’re using an insider’s definition: ‘humility’ before one’s own ignorance or the evidence of the physical world is construed as in-your-face arrogance toward Jehovah.

  • Dr. David Tee

    P.S. Obviously, you ignore the message of scriptures to follow after your alternatives. God also said in 2 Tim not to listen to the unbelieving world for they are deceived and go about deceiving. If you accept any of the evolutionary theory or other formats of that theory then you disobey God as you are listening to those who are deceived.

    • Ken Gilmore

      The Bible knows nothing of the Copernican theory. Rather, it emphatically declares that the Earth is fixed, and the sun moves around the Earth. Ecc1:5, Josh 10:12-13, Psa 19:6; 1 Chr 16:30 and Isa 38:8 (to cite but a few passages) provide no support for heliocentrism. Likewise, the Bible emphatically declares that the sky is a solid dome (raqia’) as Gen 1:6-8 teaches. Do you listen to the unbelieving world which asserts that the Earth does indeed move around the sun, and the sky is not solid?

      • Dr. David Tee

        Obviously, you do not grasp biblical teaching. You do not seem to understand that the word ‘fixed’ does not mean ‘stationary’ in that passage. But it seems that those who oppose the Bible like to be literal when it suits them even though they attack those who take a literal view of Genesis.
        The problem with you and McGrath is that you lack understanding and place your ideas, or the ideas of sinful man above God’s word and that is wrong & sin.
        You keep trying to place science into the equation when there is, again, no divine command or teaching to do so. Science is nothing when it comes to origins and how God did things. It is also not a tool in deciphering biblical language and its meaning.
        It is clear that many people are being decieved by satan as he uses science to turn them from the truth.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          there are a number of interesting geocentric sites with lots of Bible references on the topic. i like
          http://hypertextbook.com/eworld/geocentric.shtml
          it has a nice footnoted reference list.

          but the best evidence is from those who lived through the paradigm shift and cling to the older more literal Biblical stance see
          http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cosmas_00_2_intro.htm

          on flat vs spherical earth.

        • Ken Gilmore

          >>Obviously, you do not grasp biblical teaching.

          A little less pomposity in your responses and considerably more evidence more authoritative than your own opinion would not go astray.

          >> You do not seem to understand that the word ‘fixed’ does not mean ‘stationary’ in that passage.

          Sorry David, but you’re flat-out wrong here. Prior to the Copernican revolution, not only was geocentrism normative throughout the Christian world, but the literal reading of the Bible was frequently employed to justify it. The earliest recorded evidence of anyone advancing heliocentrism was the 3rd century BCE Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, but his ideas failed to dislodge the Aristotelian (and later Ptolemaic) geocentric views.

          You simply can’t assume that the geocentric language in the OT is phenomenal, that is, describing things from an observer’s point of view, as there is no evidence that ancient Israel even conceived of a heliocentric cosmology, let alone endorsed it. You’ve got the burden of proof here to show that the geocentric language in the OT is phenomenal, rather than descriptive.

          >> But it seems that those who oppose the Bible like to be literal when it suits them even though they attack those who take a literal view of Genesis.

          David, there’s a difference between opposing an unsustainable fundamentalist reading of the Bible, and opposing the Bible. This is one of the many elementary mistakes in your position – conflating a fundamentalist reading of the Bible with the original meaning of the text. The irony here is that that you are inconsistent in your literalism when you reject the clear teaching of Genesis 1 that the firmament is a solid dome over the sky separating waters above from waters below.

          >>The problem with you and McGrath is that you lack understanding and place your ideas, or the ideas of sinful man above God’s word and that is wrong & sin.

          Your proclivity for substituting pomposity for reasoned analysis is noted. Irrespective of whether the field of study is the Bible or the natural world, ‘sinful man’ is intimately involved in the process of studying. You don’t get to assume that human reasoning will somehow be freed from the alleged blight of sin when it studies the Bible, but corrupted when it studies the natural world.

          >>You keep trying to place science into the equation when there is, again, no divine command or teaching to do so.

          There’s no divine command for us to insert observational astronomy into our understanding of the Bible when a literal reading teaches a solid firmament, yet that’s exactly what you do when you privilege a human understanding of the Earth (one which clearly rejects a solid firmament) over the Bible. This inconsistency in your literalism makes it impossible to take your exegesis (and using that word is an act of charity) seriously.

          >> Science is nothing when it comes to origins and how God did things.

          Assertion without evidence. A citation more authoritative than your own opinion is most definitely required.

          >> It is also not a tool in deciphering biblical language and its meaning.

          Really? I guess then that NT textual critics use chanting and magic happy dances when they examined the existing NT manuscripts to produce NA27.

          >>It is clear that many people are being decieved by satan as he uses science to turn them from the truth.

          I was wondering how long it would be before you accused me of being ‘decieved [sic] by satan.’ For a moment, I was worried that I was misunderstanding the Bible all by myself, but now I can ignore James 1:13-15 and blame the devil.

          • Dr. David Tee

            Sorry I didn’t read your whole response as it wuld require a large answer from me and I just do not have the time right now. To address the first two points, all I can say is what irony an dhypocrisy as you present your opinion without evidence and make sweeping generalizations lumping both unbeliever and believer into the same faulty belief expressed by a minute few at one man’s trial.
            Your blanket dismissal of the hard work done by Assyrian and Babylonian, to name only two ancient societies, astronomers is astounding.
            Your labeling the truth as ‘fundamentalism’ is also without merit.

            • Ken Gilmore

              David:

              >>Sorry I didn’t read your whole response as it wuld require a large answer from me and I just do not have the time right now.

              Take all the time you need to read my entire post before you fire off a reply based only on a partial reading.

              >>To address the first two points, all I can say is what irony an dhypocrisy as you present your opinion without evidence

              The irony is palpable, given your continued appeal to your own reading of the Bible as authoritative.

              >> and make sweeping generalizations

              Sweeping generalisations? I’ve noted that prior to Copernicus and Galileo, the Christian world maintained a geocentric cosmolology, and found plenty of Biblical evidence to buttress that view. Disagree? The burden of proof lies on you to show otherwise.

              >>Your blanket dismissal of the hard work done by Assyrian and Babylonian, to name only two ancient societies, astronomers is astounding.

              I don’t dismiss their work. What I said was the earliest recorded instance of an astronomer proposing a heliocentric cosmology was that advanced by Aristarchus of Samos in the 3rd century BCE, which is considerably later than even the neo-Babylonian empire. Babylonian astronomy was more concerned with mathematical formulation, and less concerned with observation. One Chaldean astronomer who did propose a heliocentric cosmology was Seleucus of Seleucia, but he llived and worked in the 2nd century BCE. Evidence that the ancient Hebrews had a heliocentric view of the world is scant, to say the least, which makes claims that the geocentric language in the Bible is merely phenomenal unconvincing.

              >>Your labeling the truth as ‘fundamentalism’ is also without merit.

              Your entire approach is predicated on assuming without any justification that a literal reading of the creation narratives is the only viable hermeneutical option. A *consistent* literal reading of the creation narratives obligates literalists to believe in a solid firmament (Gen 1:6-8). It also results in contradictory orders of creation in the first two chapters of Genesis. Meredith Kline was hardly a theological liberal, yet even he realised that a literal reading of both creation narratives contradicted each other. [1]

              Ironically, none of the original authors of “The Fundamentals” were fundamentalists as we now know the term. Some accepted evolution, while none were YECs. [2]

              [1]. Kline MG “Because It Had Not Rained” WTJ (1958) 20:146-157
              [2]. Keas MN “Darwinism, Fundamentalism and RA Torrey” PSCF (2010) 62:25-51

              • Dr. David Tee

                #1. Who said it was MY reading? Only you do.
                #2. you didn’t note anything , it was basically an opinion without evidence. You have not interviewed every christian of the ancient world so you do not know what they believed.
                #3. You do dismiss their work as you do not know all that they studied. mss. remains are sparse so you leap to a conclusion without knowing the whole story.
                #4. Obviously you are like everyone else who does not believe–you are literal when it suits you and ignore any metaphoric or other language tool available.
                #5. There is only one way to read the Bible–God’s way. If you dismiss the literal supernatural creative act you destroy the rest of the Bible and its message. You are a person who wants his cake and eat it to.
                You want salvation but you do not want what comes with it. You want to change everything to fit your sensibilities except the plan of salvation but think on this–how good a relationship can you have with God if you continually call Him a liar?

                • rmwilliamsjr

                  re:
                  There is only one way to read the Bible–God’s way.

                  there are times that i realize the time spent “discussing” things with some people online has little justification. but for the lurkers and the few other people who have taken the time to think about and respond here, i’d offer this idea.

                  when we read a text, any text, not just the Bible, there are a number of interpretive distances between the minds involved. First the writer’s mind to the text, second the reader’s mind to the text. In the case of the Bible, the two texts are not the same, the writers’ texts come to us through the minds of the scribes who preserved it, the collectors who canonized it and those minds who translated it so we could read it. then there are the various communities whose historical work enters into our reading in various ways.

                  people who collapse all of these diverse interpretive distances, these hermeneutical horizons into just 2: “god’s” and theirs, and then proceed to completely conflate the 2 in their own minds, illustrate how important it is to preserve and to be conscious of these myriad distances between minds & text….

                  to be aware of historical development, to be conscious that i am a member of an interpretive community, to acknowledge that my language and culture are important elements that i bring to the text and often confuse with those of the writers’, is important. because thinking about these things helps me understand better the mind of the writers who wrote the text i propose the understand.

                  to utter conflate some imagined god’s eye view with your own as is happening here is to be lost in one’s own mind, to be so tangled with one’s own ideas and thinking that imagination is reflected back at you but this mirror, your misreading of the text. all you can do in this case is find what you started with, your own misunderstanding, your own personal miseducation, you can never encounter the real mind behind the text, because for proper hermeneutics you have substituted a mirror, reflected back to you the ideas someone in the past taught you.

                  it’s a shame, for the really amazing thing is that a text can reveal a God who spoke, if only we listen and read properly. they do God a disservice for unbelievers see this confusion and say-see there is no wizard behind the curtain, only an illusion. i think rightfully if the only examples of Bible readers are these kind they encounter so loudly online.

                  • Dr. David Tee

                    Again, point to the passage of scripture that states one is to use ‘interpretation’? The idea of what a text means to you will be different from what it means to me, is a Bultmann existential idea.
                    Such thinking allows people to avoid the truth and dismiss it because it isn’t what one wants to hear.
                    The shame is on you as you willfully disbelieve God and follow secular thinking.
                    This is my next to last response in this thread. it is getting to time consuming to hunt down all the different responses.

                    • rmwilliamsjr

                      re:
                      Again, point to the passage of scripture that states one is to use ‘interpretation’? The idea of what a text means to you will be different from what it means to me, is a Bultmann existential idea.
                      Such thinking allows people to avoid the truth and dismiss it because it isn’t what one wants to hear.

                      interpretation is the general term to refer to the process that happens in our minds when we read a text and ideas result.

                      to simply claim that you have the same mind of God who wrote the text and therefore read exactly what was in the mind of God when he wrote the text is simply nonsense. but it does explain what i am hearing from your posts, you have completely lost any sense of the interpretative distance between your mind and the text and claim full identification with the mind of God behind the text.

                  • Mary

                    I agree with you. When I think about how I was raised to believe in the Bible I realize that I was interpreting it in accordance with what I had been taught. So therefore it was already interpreted for me BEFORE I even cracked it open to see what was in it.
                    The Bible makes a lot more sense to me when I take into account that it was written not as a whole but by individual authors in different time periods and different cultures. It is a mistake to try to harmonize the different ideologies as if they were all saying the same thing.
                    I was also taught to interpret the O.T. in light of the N.T. Instead of appreciating the O.T. as a stand-alone I was supposed to see how it led up to and confirmed the N.T. message. The problem with that approach is that you have to take scripture verses out of their origional context and language in order to try and make it fit.
                    And to complete my brain-washing I was taught to ignore or rationalize anything that didn’t make sense, such as the creation account. Also I tuned out my moral sense that told me that a good God would not command his followers to murder, rape, enslave and commit human sacrifice.
                    My feeling is that the only teachings that make sense in the Bible are the ones that teach us to love and become a better person spiritually.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:
      If you accept any of the evolutionary theory or other formats of that theory then you disobey God as you are listening to those who are deceived.

      might be, i’ve often been mislead and even worse deceived myself.
      that is why as i age i hold ideas with less certainly, more carefully, worried of making another mistake.

      but where am i more likely to be mislead? by a single voice like yours crying that everyone else is wrong and presenting only his opinion as evidence & telling me simply to trust him or by thousands of scientists, making tentative statements with lots of supporting data, asking me to study and learn, read and understand for myself what they propose?

      • Dr. David Tee

        John the Baptist was a single voice and according toyour logic, rendered only ‘his opinion’ as evidence. It doesn’t matter how many scientists present their data, if they are unbelievers then they do not believe God and do not speak the truth.
        The truth does not need numbers to be the truth. if no one believed the truth, it would still be the truth. God said to use faith not scientists. So why would you disobey God and go with those people who reject Him?

    • Mary

      I want to point out to the readers here that this so-called doctor does not have a degree and has admitted it himself in another post.

      • Dr. David Tee

        It is not good to lie about others and feed readers misinformation.

        • Mary

          You are the one lying and giving misinformation. Stating your credentials is the first step towards establishing your credibility and yet you refuse to do so by your own words.
          http://www.scotteriology.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/dr-david-tee
          Maybe you feel like it is okay to lie in the service of your God but all it does is make all Christians look bad.

        • Ken Gilmore

          So Dave:

          * In what field are your undergraduate degrees? From what university did you obtain them?
          * Where did you obtain your doctorate? In what field is it? What was your thesis subject?
          * What are your institutional affiliations?
          * What is your academic publication history

          Genuine scholars are more than willing to share this information. Care to tell us why you’re reticent to divulge these details?

  • Herman Cummings

    Young Earth creationism, is foolish, and is in denial of
    scientific reality. Ask them how old the Moon is. There was no
    “Noah’s flood” there, yet to material returned were analyzed to be
    4.6 billion years old, same as the Earth.
    Which stands to reason since the Moon is only 3 days (72 hours) younger
    than the Earth.

    Ask them where the water came from on the “first day”. If they say that it was created in Genesis
    1:1, they are a liar, or being deceitful.
    That would mean that the “first day” started in Genesis 1:1, and not in
    Genesis 1:2. They do not understand the
    Genesis text, and just “make up” their own doctrine.

    Old Earth Creationism is no better, since they deny the
    literal reading of Genesis, and say that God is a liar (Exodus 20:11). All current creationist doctrines and
    theories are in error.

    The ONLY true rendition of Genesis is the “Observations
    of Moses”. Read up on it, and forget
    these other “creationist clowns”.

    Herman Cummings

    Ephraim7@aol.com

  • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

    Maybe it would help if we posed the question to them on Christian grounds rather than scientific ones: “Dear Young Earth Creationist: Do you really think that all the love and blessing and favor you’ve experienced in your life will just poof and disappear, because geology and evolution are true?”

    • Dr. David Tee

      Geology and evolution are not true.

      • Ken Gilmore

        Really? The overwhelming majority of geologists and biologists (both believing and unbelieving) accept that that common descent and large-scale evolutionary change are true, and the Earth is ancient. Care to explain the presence of shared identical retroviral elements at orthologous loci in humans and apes from a special creationist perspective? The biogeographic distribution of species? The unmanageably rich fossil record replete with transitional forms?
        The burden of proof lies on you to justify that extraordinary claim with something more substantive than your own *human* reading of the Bible.

        • http://atlantarofters.blogspot.com The Sanity Inspector

          You can’t reason someone out of a conviction they were never reasoned into.

          • Ken Gilmore

            Sadly true, but at least you can mark them out to others as an example of how fundamentalism will condemn Christianity to irrelevance.

  • pcolsen

    Once, long ago, I read a book on the history of the conflict between those who believe in Darwinian evolution and those who do not. It contained a quote from a late Nineteenth Century evangelist who supported evolution along the lines of “Why should God create retail when he could do it wholesale?”

    I would love to have the evangelist’s name so I can source the quote. It seems to be just te kind of thing to catch a Creationist’s eye just long enough to put a small crack in his or her intellectual armor. Too many arguments (including mine) seem to start out with an implicit “Listen up you ignorant clod!” and trend downhill from there. Has anyone else seen it? I’ve googled it and I can’t find it in my library (although I have many books to go in searching for it).

    Thanks!

    • Kaz

      I like the one where William Herschel described Darwin’s theory as “the law of higgeldy-piggeldy”. It doesn’t seem that the situation has improved much, because neo-Darwinists still can’t answer what seems to me to be a fundamental question respecting any major transition: What variations/selections occurred to effect the transition from one form to another in terms of macro-evolutionary change? David Berlinski has focused on the “cow” to whale transition, and when he asks how many morphological changes it would take to effect that transition, no answer is forthcoming. Yet the land mammal to whale transition is supposed to be one of the best examples supporting such large scale transitions.

      One of the most remarkable statements I’ve ever heard came from Kenneth Miller, who, during a debate with Paul Nelson, said:

      “On the day that we have a detailed Darwinian step-by-step pathway for the

      evolution of RNA, the evolution of DNA, the evolution of the ribosome, the

      evolution of the bacterial flagellum, the evolution of every structure in the

      cell, it will be time to close every single department of biology,

      bio-chemistry, and evolutionary biology in the world because all questions will

      be answered. The argument from design – and I think that Dr. Nelson has

      illustrated this eloquently – the argument from design depends upon basically saying ‘You haven’t answered every question’. Well, guess what, science is not going to answer every question.”

      This reveals just how active the use of rhetoric is in defending neo-Darwinism. No one is asking that they provide a detailed Darwinian account of every transition, but shouldn’t they at least be able to provide such an account for ONE major transition? If they want us to believe that all life on this planet emerged by the touted evolutionary processes, then It seems that that’s the sort of evidence we should typically expect to be shown before we accept that such a theory has even gotten off the ground. Instead, the situation that exists leaves the thoughtful person scratching his head. They can’t tell us what specific variations/selections took place to effect changes in the past and they can’t tell us what specific variations/selections will take place to effect changes in the future. The neo-Darwinian song seems to give us a resounding chorus of ‘Que sera sera’. As David Berlinski said during the Firing Line debate, “That could
      not be the locus in which you repose your trust.”

      • rmwilliamsjr

        re:
        What variations/selections occurred to effect the transition from one form to another in terms of macro-evolutionary change?

        the hox genes. most accessible reading i’m aware of on the topic is the excellent endless forms most beautiful by sean carroll http://www.amazon.com/Endless-Forms-Most-Beautiful-Science/dp/0393060160

        re:
        If they want us to believe that all life on this planet emerged by the touted evolutionary processes,

        origin of life is abiogenesis a topic in chemistry not part of evolutionary theory.

        • Kaz

          @rmwilliamsjr: I’ve read Sean Carrol’s book, at James McGrath’s prompting, in fact, and he didn’t answer my specific question, as far as I recall. I am getting old, admittedly, so if he provided a detailed breakdown of the specific genetic variations/selections that occurred to effect the transition from one type of creature (a sort of cow or deer, for example) to another type of creature (a whale, for example) then go ahead and provide the page(s) and I’ll re-read it/them and get back to you.

          I’m not talking about origin of life, but of evolutionary change. The origin of life is an unsolved mystery, from a materialist’s perspective, and I don’t expect an answer from that camp.

          I know that the Herschel quote is old, that’s why I added “It doesn’t seem that the situation has improved much…” That’s one of the problems, i.e. Herschel’s complaint still applies!

          Another example of Kenneth Miller’s rhetoric occurred during the same debate. Speaking in response to Behe’s argument based on ‘irreducible complexity’, Miller said:

          “Now the type 3 system doesn’t have the function of flegellar motility, but intelligent design people use this idea of ‘irreducible complexity’ to explain why these machines couldn’t evolve. If you say, ‘well, this system only does protein secretions, and that system only does surface recognition, and this system only does signal transduction’, you know what you’re doing? You’re giving away the store, because you’re explaining these systems could evolve, because first we evolve this part, then we evolve another part, then we evolve a third part, and the whole function comes from the totality of parts.”

          Did you catch that “compelling” refutation of Behe’s argument? Let me repeat it:

          “first we evolve this part, then we evolve another part, then we evolve a
          third part, and the whole function comes from the totality of parts.”

          Ahem, that doesn’t even qualify for a “Just-so” story! Miller seems to be a very likable guy, who has a good sense of humor, and who knows how to employ rhetoric to achieve the maximum potential affect. However, if he thinks that thoughtful people are going to be swayed by such not-so-just-so stories, then he is overconfident in his position.

          • Ken Gilmore

            Hi Kaz,

            Like any scientific field, evolutionary biology has its fair share of unsolved problems. That doesn’t mean that evolution did not occur. Common descent and large-scale evolutionary change are well attested in the fossil record, comparative genomics, biogeography, comparative anatomy and embryology. Just the evidence from comparative genomics alone, with the evidence for common descent from shared genetic ‘errors’ such as endogenous retroviral elements, retrotransposons and pseudogenes is compelling. [1] In an area as emotionally volatile as this one, it’s critical to differentiate between the fact of common descent and large-scale evolutionary change, and the theoretical mechanism proposed to explain this.

            The analogy with gravity is worth noting. We still do not have a quantum theory of gravity, yet that does not mean gravity doesn’t exist, or that gravitational lensing hasn’t been observed. Likewise, even if the modern evolutionary synthesis was falsified tomorrow,. the evolutionary facts it explains won’t go away. T.R. Gregory has written an excellent and accessible paper on this which is well worth reading. [2]

            [1]. Fairbanks DJ “Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA” (2007, Prometheus Books)
            [2]. Gregory T.R. “Evolution as Fact, Theory and Path” Evo Edu Outreach (2008) 1:46-52

            • Kaz

              @Ken Gilmore: Thanks for the references, I’ll check them out. I’m not a YEC, by the way, and my primary point of concern lately in the current evolution/creation/ID debate is with the arrogance shown by proponents of neo-Darwinism vis a vis intelligent design. Whether common descent is true doesn’t really have anything to do with whether neo-Darwinsim is true or whether ID is false. IMO, if evolutionists can’t answer questions like the one I posed — which, to my mind, should constitute a starting point if you want to dogmatically promote neo-Darwinism — then they really have no business dismissing ID and declaring it to be “refuted”. They cling tenaciously to the neo-Darwinian mechanism because it’s the only one they have from a purely materialistic perspective, and they attempt to stamp out opposing views with a religious fervor of the worst sort. Some are like modern day inquisitors and God help the poor soul who criticizes the neo-Darwinian mechanism before he or she has tenure.

              The notion that the vast variety of life on this planet emerged by a process of random variations and natural selection is simply preposterous, IMO, and the right answer will continue to elude those who refuse to embrace thoughtfully presented criticisms and potential alternatives.

              • Ken Gilmore

                Hi Kaz. Hope you find the references useful.

                >>Whether common descent is true doesn’t really have anything to do with whether neo-Darwinsim is true or whether ID is false.

                I’m glad you appreciate the difference between evolution as fact (common descent and large-scale evolutionary change) and evolution as theory (the modern evolutionary synthesis). Too many people conflate evolution as fact with evolution as theory, and believe problems (real or imagined) with the modern evolutionary synthesis means common descent has been falsified.

                Irrespective of whether the MES is the mechanism of evolutionary change or not, human-ape common ancestry has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt, and denying that fact is counter-productive, to say the least.

                • Kaz

                  @Ken Gilmore: I would categorize common descent as a theory as well, but you are correct that many conflate evolution with neo-Darwinism. That misapprehension often exists on both sides of the debate. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard evolutionists present common descent as evidence supporting neo-Darwinism. As I said, it is the only mechanism that they currently have that even has the hypothetical potential to effect large scale evolutionary change, however implausible the neo-Darwinian hypothesis may be, and so it’s not surprising that many feel a need to perpetuate the idea.

                  I sense that a paradigm shift is coming, but one can only speculate how soon this will happen. I heard a saying somewhere that new ideas only gain acceptance with the death of old professors, so it may be a while! I’m looking forward to seeing what Thomas Nagal’s new book has to say on the subject (i.e. “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False”).

      • pcolsen

        It sounds as if David Berlinski wants to have the same certainty in evolutionary morphology that Bishop Ussher wanted when using generations to calculate the age of the world.

        That’s not going to happen; scientists don’t have all the data. What they _do_ have is enough data to reconstruct snapshots into the change. We start with knowledge of today’s whale. Then we find something that looks a lot like today’s whale but has legs. After that find something between the two in time and observe that it’s between the two in anatomy as well. Pretty soon we have something like a set of stills from a moving picture, Mentally, we can flip through them and see rough but recognizable movie of evolutionary development.

        So certainly we can tell the anatomical features that changed in the past between parents and their distant descendants. It’s difficult to predict what changes will take place in the future. (People who could probably would become financiers, not scientists.) If you’re waiting for an analysis down to the DNA level, then you may have to wait forever. But why do you need it? I listen to my radio without knowing Maxwell’s equations; I drive my car without worrying about the details of the Otto cycle; I ride in elevators without knowing about the details of electric motors pulling the cables. I watch bees fly without thinking of the engineering analyses that say they can’t. (The analyses are based on perfect fluids. Air isn’t on.) I am convinced that all of these things work even if I can’t see all the details behind them. I can be equally convinced of evolution by seeing the outward and visible signs of the inward and hidden processes of change.

        And finally here we see that Creationism is blasphemy, not evolutionism. Over all the other animals, God gave us the gift of reason. He gave us the means to investigate the workings of His Universe. By studying evolution we honor his Gift. By accepting Creationism we spurn it — and also He Who gave it.

      • Mary

        There is plenty of evidence out there for evolution but you ignore it. Of course there are questions about how it happened, but there is no question that it did.
        Think about the fact that Isaac Newton discovered gravity and could demonstrate its effects, but that he never truly understood it. Does that mean he was wrong? Of course not! It wasn’t until Einstein came along that we knew what gravity truly was and how it operated.
        You creationists act as if all the pieces have to be in place BEFORE you accept a theory. (And by the way gravity is just a theory also.) That is not how science works! You start with OBSERVATION first and then come up with a theory. Then you see if the evidence matches the theory and if not you come up with a new one.
        From meticulous observations of fossils, geology, biology, genetics astronomy, and physics we find that nothing matches the creationist theories.
        What creationists try to do is instead of actually LOOKING at all the evidence they come up with the old “missing link” arguement and then proclaim that the whole theory is wrong because of one small detail that is missing. First of all, fossils are hard to find and second of all THERE ARE MISSING LINKS but when we come up with one (such as a dinosaur transitioning into a bird) you say “but where is the NEXT missing link?”
        And on and on it goes…