Fundamentalists Lacking Conviction

Robin Parry has a post on the blog Running Heads entitled “Fundamentalists – Have the Courage of Your Convictions.” In it he writes,

I wonder why fundamentalists are so keen to believe in a literal seven-day creation and yet do not campaign against space flight (in case someone crashes into the sky-dome and cracks it) or organize recruitment drives for the Flat Earth Society. If you really want to use the Bible to derive cosmology then it seems the way to go…So the dilemma remains: if one wants to be a thoroughbred fundamentalist one really ought to believe that the sky is solid (with heaven the other side of it) and that the earth is flat (with Sheol/Hades literally below it). As an aside, I wonder how many fundamentalists would be so keen on “Big Oil” if they thought they might accidentally drill down into Hades!

Click through to read the whole thing. I agree that fundamentalists who claim to be literalists are for the most part selective literalists. They oppose evolution because it wins them popularity among people who don’t understand and don’t like science. But their Biblical literalism stops at precisely that point at which science has become all but universally accepted. And so their stance is one of deceit, hypocrisy and pandering.

If such a stance does not sound attractive to you, and you are a Christian, then you are in luck. There is another option, namely historic Christianity, in which, as Robin points out, “the likes of Aquinas and Calvin” said “that God accommodated himself in his communications with humanity.”

  • Kevin Bullock, homeschooler

    Why do I believe in a 7-day creation? Because God made it clear that it was. The Hebrew word “YOM” is the same “YOM” that appears 2,301 other times in the Old Testament! Do you then believe that the Israelites marched around Jericho for 7 billion years? It’s the same word!

    • aaronpxian

      Well that makes it kinda awkward as Jericho was already in ruins at the time of the supposed conquest of Canaan…

      No one here is arguing that Yom means anything other than day. If you are consistent, you will also be just as insistent of the Hebrew word
      Raqiya.

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

        Well put, Aaron. I’ll just add that in Jesus’ parable of the laborers, a day is featured, and it is a literal day, but that doesn’t mean that the story is literally factual rather than a symbolic illustration. The question about Genesis 1 is not about what “day” means but what its genre is.

    • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

      Is it really that difficult to think of an English sentence in which the word “day” is used twice but with two entirely different meanings? Surely anyone older than say… 14 is aware that insisting on the literal interpretation of every word in any language just makes you look silly.

    • saywhaaaa

      You believe in a 7 day creation because you were born in America, to fundamentalist parents.

  • Beau Quilter

    In Joshua 10:13, Joshua made a day last longer than normal (not sure if it’s the same Hebrew word) by making the sun stand still. I don’t think anyone today would suppose, as the writer of Joshua did, that a day is produced by the movement of the sun around the earth.

  • Beau Quilter

    By the way, James, I looked at “Exploring Our Matrix” this morning, but between then and now, the format seems to have changed? All the posts are summarized in paragraph; you have to click through to see the full post.

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

      I knew they were going to be making some formatting changes on Patheos. I will have to take a look at the settings once I am sure that the entire process is finished. If that is something that it turns out that I cannot change, hopefully at least the RSS feed will continue to give the full post, and presumably if you click through from there, you will get to the complete post without an additional click being necessary.

      I think I’ll mention this in a blog post and see what feedback I get – but again, let me make sure all the changes are complete first, and check which things are options that I control and which may not be…

      • Beau Quilter

        Hemant’s blog (Friendly Atheist) had a similar change happen a few weeks back, except that his posts appear in two columns.

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

          I just checked out his blog, and I don’t see his posts in a second column. In fact, it looks a lot like mine…

          • Beau Quilter

            You’re right. Now it’s like your blog – for a while, it had two columns.

  • Dr. David Tee

    “I wonder why fundamentalists are so keen to believe in a literal seven-day creation and yet do not campaign against space flight (in case someone crashes into the sky-dome and cracks it”
    These kind of comments are why fundamentalists, evangelicals and creationists do not take those who reject God’s word seriously. You just do not know what you are talking about or you change the facts to fit your unbelief or you fabricate ideas to meet your alternative needs.
    “They oppose evolution because it wins them popularity among people who don’t understand and don’t like science”
    Another lie by someone who doesn’t believe the Bible. True believers oppose evolution because it is a lie and untrue.
    “organize recruitment drives for the Flat Earth Society”
    mocking people who believe the Bible is not a smart move. it only shows how little the mocker has to offer anyone and shows that they do not follow God’s word. Plus it demonstrates that they have no truth in them.
    The Bible never teaches that the earth is flat and it does not teach that the sun moves around the earth. Those who make these wild claims do not understand what God is saying and that is a clue to them that they do not know God, Jesus nor have the Holy Spirit guiding them to the truth. It also tells them they are on Satan’s side.
    “But their Biblical literalism stops at precisely that point at which science has become all but universally accepted. ”
    Doesn’t make secular science correct or that it is telling them the truth. Again, no one has produced a verse or some verses where God grants permission to follow science over His word.
    ” one really ought to believe that the sky is solid”
    This displays the foolishness of those who do not believe God and follow after secular alternatives. God did not say exactly where He put the dome, He did not say how big HE made the universe (only that it shows His glory, that He stretched out…etc.) and God did not say it was a solid structure.
    The alternative believers are lazy and only take the superficial and easiest definition of an English word then assume ideas they have no business assuming.. It is not God’s fault they do this, but it is theirs.
    “And so their stance is one of deceit, hypocrisy and pandering”
    Using a deceitful, hypocritical and pandering statement to accuse someone of being deceitful, hypocritical and pandering. Oh the irony. Standing with God’s world is none of those things but going with secular science over God’s word is disobedience and sin.
    ” I wonder how many fundamentalists would be so keen on “Big Oil” if they thought they might accidentally drill down into Hades!”
    Mocking by using absurdity just shows that alternative believers can’t defend their positions and need to bully and sin to force people into submission. That is not of God.
    “that God accommodated himself in his communications with humanity.”
    So the only alternative for those who believe God’s word is to claim that God is a liar misrepresenting both Himself and what He did? hhmmm…Sound slike the alternative believing author of the above post wants God to be fallible, corrupt,, sinful and NOT God so He can claim superiority over God and His words.
    That is a very sinful thing to do and leading people to sin is a lot worse.

    • Dr. David Tee

      p.s. If you do not like the style of th epost blame the website as I try to make divisions and my writing easy to read but the publishing format has other ideas.

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

        Speaking of fundamentalists lacking the courage of their convictions, if you actually earned a doctorate at an accredited institution, you can only have done so by learning from other human beings in the way you say over and over again is incompatible with what you view as the Word of God. So why not have the courage to drop the title and repudiate human learning? Why not be consistent?

        • aaronpxian

          You know, if “Dr.” David Tee isn’t a Dr., it actually shows quit vividly what Bart Ehrman argues in his book “Forged”. Just like the writers of the Epistles of Peter, the pastoral letters, and the other forged documents both inside and outside the NT, Mr. Tee seems to think that it justifiable to lie about his identity (at least a part of it) in order to put a sense of authority in his work, while at the same time commanding others to be honest and follow “the truth”.
          How ironic that fundamentalists prove Dr. Ehramn’s point and anwser the question “who (and why) would pretend to be someone (or something) they are not?”

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

            I haven’t lied about my identity and I especially do not have to lie to be an ‘authority’. God gives the authority not a title. Ehrman is far from correct in any of his books. Nothing was forged in the NT and there are no errors or contradictions either.

            • Beau Quilter

              Simple question “Dr. Tee”. Be honest, now. Have you actually READ all of Bart Ehrman’s books? Have you read even one – cover to cover?

              • aaronpxian

                I have to be honest- forged was the first one was of his I read completely through, and it was absolutely amazing. Planning on buying the other books soon.

                • Beau Quilter

                  All good reads!

                  Enjoy!

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

                Yes, I believe I have read two of them and have and have sat through a couple of his lectures plus one of his debates. He doesn’t produce the evidence he needs but rather does ‘evangelizing’ more than debating or proving.

                • Beau Quilter

                  Not liking Ehrman is one thing; but claiming that he doesn’t produce evidence is simply false. His books are filled with evidence. (and it’s not even particularly controversial evidence.)

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

            I looked in WorldCAT and there is no doctoral dissertation written by a David Tee. There are two Masters theses by people with that or similar names. So either our commenter does not have a research doctorate, or he does not have one at all.

            He is free, of course, to prove me wrong by providing relevant details about his degree and where it was awarded, or perhaps what his real name is, if that is the issue. But otherwise, it is safe to draw the logical conclusion.

            • aaronpxian

              Everytime someone says “logical conclusion” I think of Vulcans.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

              And Dr. McGrath demonstrates how faulty conclusions come from limited data.

              • Beau Quilter

                Had anyone else said this of Dr. McGrath, I would say they clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. Coming from you, it’s simply laughable!

              • saywhaaaa

                Then maybe clarify it with some actual references to qualifications or thesis papers or something to indicate that it is not a lie?
                Oh wait, never mind – much easier to just say: “Nuh Uh”

          • saywhaaaa

            The only “Dr” that I could see him actually being is a “Dr” of theology, and achievement right up there with graduating from 6th grade.
            My wife is a librarian and she told me stories about this one lady who (a theology major at a christian college trying to become a preacher) would come in and ask for help with her homework. The homework consisted of a paragraph outlining a few differences between Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Underneath the paragraph explaining the differences, there was a single question:
            “Explain some of the differences between Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam”
            No kidding.
            The lady could not figure out what she was supposed to write, and wanted my wife to give her the answer.
            I feel like that is pretty indicative of the intellectual quality of the students churned out by these seminary programs.

            • aaronpxian

              It probably depends more on the institution than what the doctorate is in. Harvard gives doctorates in theology and so does some small unaccredited fundy college. However, a doctorate from Harvard will know what the hell they are talking about (and be able to explain differences of different religions). I don’t even think he has a doctorate from a fundy college; I think he is just lying.

            • Dr. David Tee

              WOW you take 1 example of a person who had difficulties witha question then painted every seminary student past, present and future with the same broad brush. what does that say about you—nothing good.

              • saywhaaaa

                It is not just an implication of one person, the level of work being ascribed to the students in that program was pathetically low for a higher education degree. You seem to miss the main point which was not that “one person had difficulties with a question”, but that the question itself was 5th or 6th grade level AT BEST, and was supposed to be homework for a university level program.

                What this example shows, is that in at least one case, and very likely many others, the standards applied to curriculum by seminary schools is rediculously low.

                This was not begging of the course homework, it was midway through a term, and all that was required was to:

                A) Read a paragraph outlining differences in 3 religions
                B) Outline the differences between 3 religions
                Something aint right here.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

          Why would I drop the title when I earned it? Christians are free to go to any university God leads them to even if the views of the administration and professors are not compatible with His word.Obeying God is more important than sacrifice.

          P.S. I take the distraction you are causing by drawing people’s attention to my earned title tells me you are afraid of the truth and can’t respond to the points I made in my post.

          why not stop playing the games and actually discuss the issues raised by those posting to discuss.

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

            Because you object repeatedly to human learning. And you ask inane questions like when God gave permission to listen to scientists. So it seems natural to ask you when God gave permission to pursue a doctorate at an institution accredited by authorities of secular learning.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

              I reject to learning false and untrue ideas like you teach and I haven’t asked any inane questions. You only call it that because it isn’t what you want to hear and it forces you to realize that you are sinning and disobeying God..
              Since you can’t find a verse you know you are wrong and seek to turn the table around on me or cause distractions by calling attention to details that do not matter and are unimportant.
              Since the Bible says do not follow sinful, unrepentant men, as they are deceived you know that you have no permission to follow after science that goes against God and His teachings.
              Saying you are following a supposed ‘christian’ like dr. f. collins isn’t correct either, as he is calling God a liar and he is pursuing sinful teaching in disobedience to God.
              God simply said, you are either with me or against me’ and those who follow secular men, sinful teachings are against God. God said HE created in 6 24 hour days-you are not for God.

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

                Where and when did God say that? Point me to a divinely-authored text, and not one that is a composition by a human being that you and others have elevated in an idolatrous fashion. I have told you time and time again that your view of the Bible is unbiblical and yet you will not accept correction, and thus end up denouncing people who are Christians as opposed to the Word of God, when all they are opposed to is your idolatrous twisting of Scripture.

                And just so you know, if you have to insist that you are Christlike, that is probably a good indication that you are not being as Christlike as you think or pretend you are.

                • Dr. David Tee

                  If you reject the Bible then why would God reveal anything to you privately? You reject His written words and insult them by calling them human.
                  I do not care what you say, you are not God and you have no authority. You are also not Christian as you reject God’s words. You do not get to correct me, I am sent to correct you and your readers.
                  You are very wrong and you and those readers who agree with you need to repent before it is too late.

              • saywhaaaa

                So, I expect since you will not follow the concepts and ideas central to scientific advancement, that this will be your last post on this messageboard, since you are currently using computers(science), the internet(science), electricity(science), as well as uncountable other scientific achievements which you actively denigrate while making full use of them.
                So, do you have the address of the cave you are going to move to yet?

                • Dr. David Tee

                  Uhm, that tired old argument again???? When will you people learn that science did NOT provide all those things. they were the result of God given intellect, God given curiosity, God given natural resources and on it goes. Science had nothing to do with it.
                  Please learn that science is not an entity filled with power but men who use and abuse what God has given them. Science is nothing.

                  • saywhaaaa

                    Um, no – they were produced by men through application of the scientific method.
                    Had they been the product of god given revelation, one would expect to see theologians, saints, and priests making scientific breakthroughs through divine revelation, which we simply do not observe in reality.

                  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

                    Can you explain how it is that scientists can calculate the numbers they need to run GPS satellites, measuring distance with an accuracy of 1 part in 20 million and time within 1/300,000,000 of a second, and yet get the age of the Earth wrong by a factor of over 700,000?

          • Beau Quilter

            Well Dr. Tee you’re going all in with this, aren’t you. Now you say that you have a doctorate at a university, but for some unknown reason you cannot say where, when, and in what field.

            Surely you realize that all of your credibility is spent up.

            • Dr. David Tee

              not CAN’T but WON’T please learn the difference.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

            But… you made no argument. When were you planning on doing so?

            • Dr. David Tee

              Oh I have made arguments and points and refuted what you all say, you just want to ignore them because you know you are wrong but you can’t let go of the sin that you hold onto so tightly. The Bible says man loves darkness rather than light and this website proves that daily.

              • saywhaaaa

                No, I suspect he wants to ignore them because they come from a proven liar.

              • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

                “Oh I have made arguments and points and refuted what you all say”

                No you have not David. An argument consists in a series of logical statements that reach a valid conclusion. All you have done is to state your *opinion*. You haven’t even backed up your opinions with Biblical references much less put forward a logically valid framework in which your claims make sense. You just say stuff and expect people to agree with you and then bully them when they don’t.

                “The Bible says man loves darkness rather than light”

                Doesn’t that include you too? Realizing that wouldn’t it be wise to engage in a little humility on your end also? How is it that you presume to speak for God and in so doing judge others? How dare you speak for God! What arrogance that you reserve for yourself what belongs to him *only*!

          • Beau Quilter

            “Dr. Tee”

            You don’t make points in your posts. You make accusations and assertions with no evidence, and make constant claims of authority while hiding behind the mask of anonymity.

            • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

              Just because you do not accept my points or re-label them to fit your ideas doesn’t mean I haven’t made any. You forget, that God requires a person to use faith, evidence is secondary not primary. I have made no accusations nor assertions, if one teaches ideas different from the bible then they are false teachers. that is a fact and a truth.

              • Beau Quilter

                Faith in what? In you? You won’t even state who you are.

                If one claims to have a doctorate, and doesn’t even have the grammatical bearings to write a term paper much less a dissertation, then they are false teachers.

                • Dr. David Tee

                  HA HA HA. It is not faith in me you need, but faith in jesus, God and the Bible.
                  If you put the Bible down to human authorship then you have lost already. God said, “if you are not for me you are against me.” Being with God is standing with the Bible as written and following the Holy Spirit to the truth, sadly, you all go your own ways and reject God’s word.
                  You make a mockery of Jesus, His sacrifice and the believer’s life by your cherry picking and rejection of those parts of the Bible you do not like.
                  if people who are called by Christ’a name do not believe and follow the Bible, then how can they expect unbelievers to do so?
                  All I see from the majority who post here is that they want their own way, which is not of God and leads to anarchy and ocnfusion, that is not of God.
                  When will you be honest with yourselves and admit you are not following God because you desire, accept and follow things He commanded not to do or follow.

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

                    At last, an explicit statement by David Tee of his problem. Does everyone else see what I see? His holy Trinity, the appropriate objects of faith, are God, Jesus, and THE BIBLE.

                    Anyone who is not against Jesus is for him, too. Feel free to work out how both can be true.

                    But it remains painfully ironic that you take the collection of writings that the churches defined as sacred Scripture, which include Paul’s writings in which he (1) emphasizes the importance of the spirit rather than the letter, and (2) explicitly says that in one line of argument in 2 Corinthians that he is speaking as a foll and not according to the Lord, and yet you elevate that collection of human writings to the point where you consider it essentially a third member of your Trinity. Can you really not even get a glimpse of the fact that something might be wrong with this picture?

                    • Dr. David Tee

                      distortion of what I was syaing but that is par for the course fo rthose who reject the Bible as God’s word.

                  • Beau Quilter

                    I saw exactly what James saw, “Dr. Tee”!

                    “Faith in the Bible”

                    If scripture is your guide, where in scripture do you find the instruction to have “faith in the Bible”?

                    You will not find such a passage! To have “faith” in written text is nothing more or less than idol worship. This is what you fail to see.

                    • Dr. David Tee

                      being literal when it suits you .

              • saywhaaaa

                Calling something what it is is not re-labeling it.
                For instance, you are a liar. I am not relabeling you a liar, nor am I accusing you of being a liar, I am pointing out the objective reality that you are a liar, as demonstrated by all the lies you have posted thus far.
                This is not an accusation or an assertion, it is an objective fact that can be empirically determined by evaluating the truthfulness or lack thereof of the claims you have put forth thus far.
                The obvious conclusion that is reached is that in any case in which you feel you will gain more credence or credibility for your world view, or in which you can attempt to gain more authority for yourself, you have no hesitation to lie, as long as it furthers your goals.
                Why should anyone here take anything you say at face value when it can be shown that you are a proven liar?

          • arcseconds

            I’d have to agree with David here. There’s no point in harping on about his doctorate or lack thereof. I just assumed that it was an affectation to start with (I don’t think Doctor John has a doctorate, and I don’t think Count Basie was an aristocrat either).

            Even if he does have a doctorate from a credible institution, I’ve met plenty of idiots with Ph.D.s and plenty of smart people without them. anyway, it’s the quality of the argument that matters, not the letters after the name of the person that makes them.

            (btw, I’m not really a unit of angular measurement)

            • Beau Quilter

              “Dr. Tee”‘s affectation has grown beyond his handle. He frequently hints at a doctorate and an institution.

              Of course, an argument should be judged by it’s own merits, but “Dr. Tee” doesn’t make arguments with merit, he makes assertions with assumed authority.

              The reason I hound him about his degree is to make a simple point. If you make assertions based on the authority of your education or experience, then you must be open and honest about what your education or experience consists of. If you make assertions based on the “bible”, especially on a site hosted by a biblical scholar, then you have to defend the premises on which you grant authority to the bible, and then defend your particular interpretation of the bible.

            • Beau Quilter

              Incidentally, I’m glad you’ve finally admitted to not being a unit of angular measurement; now I can weigh your comments on a different scale.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      it is only necessary to do a little bit of research to see how Christians defended slavery, defended a geocentric system, defended a flat earth; all from the verses of Scriptures in exactly the same way YECs today defend a recent 7 day creation.

      for those unwilling to do that research their current ideas look to them as the only principles Christians have ever held, thus in losing historical perspective they think themselves the direct inheritors through all the ages. despite the fact that they have completely adjusted their theology to the changing views of mankind. how they read the Scriptures is nowhere like how the original readers did, it is only their great ignorance that allows them to believe so. i’m afraid trying to address this ignorance in people so confident that they are speaking for God Himself is a waste of time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

        The book The Unpolitically Correct …Bible” I forget the title offhand as it is at home, has a great chapter on slavery and the Bible. Maybe you should read it to see the reality of slavery in the Bible.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          i spent a year reading 100′s of sermons and dozens of polemical works by Southern authors from 1820 to 1870 in defense of slavery, to prepare for a single sunday school class on the topic of how they defended slavery from Scripture. i suspect that gives me a greater insight into how they thought than a book written in the 21stC about how Hutchinson thinks the ancient Israelites might have thought. on that topic the research by Rodney Stark is much better and well documented so you can follow his research. the issue is not what the Bible teaches about slavery in some abstract ahistorical way but how Christians have used the Bible to defend their society’s viewpoint.

          it’s the same with YEC, the issue isn’t about how the ancient Israelites thought about their world, it is about how KHam and AiG use the Bible to defend their interpretive community’s ideas about science and in particular the age of the earth. that is the big point of the solid dome over the earth separating the heavens and the earth, it is obvious that the ancients believed this and just as obviously that YECists jetson the idea from their cosmology.

          • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

            I’m pretty sure that the opinion of pastors in the Antebellum South and slavery as practiced in Biblical times are two different things. I am even more certain that reading them gives you no insight at all into the mindset of the ancient Israelites. Nor have I ever heard anyone defend the misuses put to the Bible, or any sacred text, in validating local prejudice and superstition. Your entire argument is incredibly poor. Kind of… embarrassing really.

            • rmwilliamsjr

              defense of va by dabney is online, read it for yourself. he believed he was defending a Christian way of life. and he uses the same type of arguments that the modern YECist uses. the similarity is actually quite striking. slavery vs abolitionism was the great conservative vs liberal argument of the early 19thC, the same way of using Scripture, the same problems with justifying what you already believe to be true and significant, it’s really an interesting study in parallelism through historical studies.

              btw, defense is written after the south lost the war of secession. and dabney is a very significant theologian.

              • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

                “defense of va by dabney is online” — I have no idea what this means. I’m not a professional, I’m just an ordinary person who has learned to being precise gets me a long ways. Like this:

                “he believed he was defending a Christian way of life” — Which, again, tells us nothing other than what “he”, whomever that refers to I’ve no idea, believed

                “slavery vs abolitionism was the great conservative vs liberal argument of the early 19thC” — So what? What does that have to do with “what the Bible says about slavery”?

                How is it possible for a collection of texts spanning hundreds of years written by many very different people to “say” anything at all? What does that even mean?

                “dabney is a very significant theologian” — Again, so what? Why should I care? How is it possible that what Dabney has to say IS what the Bible has to say about slavery? None of this makes not the slightest bit of sense to me. Any attempt to assign any kind of intentional message to the Bible is utterly incoherent. Maybe, maybe you can say the Koran has a message, but the Bible?

                If the Bible was written by multiple people over hundreds of years then talk of “the Bible says this” or “the Bible says that” is incoherent. If that is true then any criticism based on “the Bible says horrible things therefore you must reject it” is also incoherent. You can at best say that people project their fears and prejudices onto the Bible. I might agree with that but it doesn’t get you where you want to go.

            • rmwilliamsjr

              re:
              Nor have I ever heard anyone defend the misuses put to the Bible, or any sacred text, in validating local prejudice and superstition.

              the issue is one of the historical development of Biblical doctrine. as in the OP, YEC use part of the Babylonian cosmology implicit in Genesis. they believe the world/universe very small & very young. why don’t they believe is a solid firmament? because the evidence is overwhelming and has been for several hundred years, their theology has adapted to the science of the times, like slavery the very non-existence of a solid firmament is now being preached. the historical facts that Christians taught this solid dome and blamed unbelievers for the new spherical earth ideas is the antidote to historical ignorance. reading how Christians defended a flat earth as late as 7thC and how they used Scripture to do so, is educational. it shows the same technics and same basic form of the argument.(to be faithful to God we must believe as did the writers of Gen)

              that is why flat earth websites are useful, to understand the development of ideas as they represent the most arrested mentalities, those most conservative, most trying to justify accepting all of Genesis as being taught as binding on all subsequent believers.

              • rmwilliamsjr

                has anyone seen a flat earth website with a solid firmament that also is a moon lander denial? that would be a curious creature to read…..

    • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

      All that and you never really said anything. I see no argument, no reasoning at all. Only bald assertions, personal attack, and an attempt to bully people into agreeing with you. Not very Christlike I’d say.

      “True believers oppose evolution because it is a lie and untrue.” — This is something which we can check. Whether or not a scientific claim is true is a matter of objective truth not subject to opinion. As it turns out evolution is true. Therefore it cannot be that fundamentalists oppose it because it is untrue. Only because they believe it to be.

      Fundamentalism is a modernist reaction to the enlightenment. As such it commits the heresy of the idolatry of the text.Worshiping the Bible rather than God. Seems kinda funny saying that as an agnostic, but there ya go.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E7Z3TKCXJOJ3NP2MZJVXJME2HA David

        I have made no assertions and have bullied no one. Your false accusations undermine your response which was very unchristlike. Unfortunately for you, my response was very Christlike as i told the truth, pointed out the fallacies of the quote and article
        Your hypocrisy is astounding as you make a very bold assertion yourself. You said ” As it turns out evolution is true’ yet you have no ancient documentation to verify any claim Darwin and all evolutionists have made, no scientific experiment has replicated one historical claimed transition, not one evolutionary experiment has used original conditions, enviornment, or species in their haste to proclaim that theory true, no one has observed one real evolutionary transition. what has been ‘observed’ is mere attributing to that theory based upon the faulty idea of predictions (fortune telling), a pre-drawn conclusion, the ignoring the fat that other sources may produce the same results and on it goes.
        evolution has nothing and can’t support its claims no matter how many scientists you throw out there proclaiming it is true. Secular men do not have the truth and that includes scientists

        • http://www.facebook.com/brenda.ahsen Brenda Von Ahsen

          “I have made no assertions” — Yes you did. This: “The Bible never teaches that the earth is flat” is an assertion, as is this: ” it does not teach that the sun moves around the earth”. An assertion is any statement of fact that is unsupported by evidence or reasons.

          “and have bullied no one” — Yes you have. “That is a very sinful thing to do” is an attempt to bully someone as it contains an implied threat.

          “Unfortunately for you, my response was very Christlike as i told the truth” — Is this itself Christlike?

          “You said ” As it turns out evolution is true’ yet you have no ancient
          documentation to verify any claim Darwin and all evolutionists have made”

          Evolution is an historical and scientific fact that can be observed and for which there is copious evidence proving it’s claims.

          “Secular men do not have the truth”

          Prove it.

        • aaronpxian

          You haven’t told the truth. You lied about being a doctor.
          You are the perfect example of how arguing with fundies is like playing chess with pigeons; they knock over the pieces, shit on the board, and fly away to their flock to claim victory.

          • Dr. David Tee

            I am a doctor, I haven’t lied once.

            • saywhaaaa

              School/Degree/Name or it did not happen.
              Its that evidence thing that seems to trip the literalists up every time.

            • aaronpxian

              You have no dissertation on file.
              If you are an MD, that is very honorable, however your book on amazon implies that your degrees are in other areas.
              Sincerely,
              President A.

        • saywhaaaa

          Yea, but we have verified that you are a liar so why should we take anything else that you say at face value?

          • Dr. David Tee

            Yet i haven’t lied.

            • saywhaaaa

              sic “Evolution is a lie and untrue” <==== That is a lie

    • saywhaaaa

      “True believers oppose evolution because it is a lie and untrue.”
      Newsflash:
      Fundy liar lies about evolution! Stop the presses!

  • http://markkoop.net Mark Koop

    The question I have yet to hear a satisfactory (to me) answer is: Why should God accomodate himself in his communications with humanity? If he could tell them not to sacrifice to Molech, couldn’t he also have referred to space as it is and not as they understood it? If they can have their thinking revolutionized in the religious sense, why not in the cosmological sense? It’s hard to respect this idea of an accommodationist deity; to me it’s like the divine version of “No that shirt doesn’t make you look fat!”

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

      Good points! It makes more sense to treat the texts as humans expressing their view of God and the cosmos than God speaking in a way that reflects human limitation. But the latter is certainly preferable to saying that God did not accomodate the communication, and then trying to get ancient near eastern cosmology to replace today’s scientific understanding.

      • http://markkoop.net Mark Koop

        I agree with your preference.
        But… (and this may be one place where Fundamentalism has pushed me from faith altogether), if the texts are “merely” humans expressing their view of God, how does one determine what this God has *ever* said? And not just in ancient times but personally? My modern brain just can’t handle the ensuing relativism…

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

          Perhaps the transcendent, all-encompassing Reality that terms like “God” denote has never literally “said” anything. Perhaps such terms are anthropomorphic human pointers in the direction of something dimly perceived. If so, the human inability to really say what God is like doesn’t mean that there is no such Reality, and in fact, would fit well with what mystics of all traditions have said, namely that the Reality to which religious language is a symbolic pointer is ineffable.

          • http://markkoop.net Mark Koop

            Perhaps. But at this point of ineffability “He” seems to become irrelevant to me.
            (Sorry for wandering so far from your original topic, and thanks for the replies!)

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

              I appreciate the quotation marks. And no need to apologize for going in an interesting direction with the discussion!

              I think that the mysteries of existence are far from irrelevant, personally. Our thoughts about them might inevitably be speculative and non-literal, but that doesn’t seem to me to be equivalent to irrelevance.

              • http://markkoop.net Mark Koop

                Fair enough.

          • saywhaaaa

            Everyone who believes in “God” has their own version. A term that can mean literally anything imaginable means nothing at all. Without appropriate artifice to be able to communicate any specific persons version of “God” (words do not seem to suffice, at least they have not for the past several mellinia)
            There may be something that exists that could qualify as God for someone, somewhere, but to be able to have any sort of objective notion of the concept a definition would have to be able to be agreed upon, and that is something that has not and will probably never happen barring some sort of literal revelation to the entire world from the entity itself.

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

              Your approach seems to assume that the term “god” denotes one or more beings, entities if you prefer, that may or may not exist within the universe and have or lack certain characteristics. Some of us, following Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, think of God not as a being but as Being itself. The question is not about the existence of yet another entity within the cosmos, but about the nature of Reality itself.

              • saywhaaaa

                Yes, that would be your personal definition of god, and as your personal definition of god is the existance of reality, I would definitely say that in your specific determination the term “god” is definitely a provable entity that actually exists and can be observed, at least from the inside anyway. At least the same level of observation a (hypothetically intelligent) bacterium living in our gut might have of us anyway.
                However, I am sure you recognize that this defnition differs greatly from the vast amount of definitions of the word “God” that are used by people around the world, the range and vast differences between the terms make any kind of sincere debate on the topic an impossibility, because every single person participating will likely have an entirely different representation of the concept in their minds.
                For instance, it seems (and I may be wrong so correct me if you need to) that your concept of god is that of the overarching “Reason or Purpose” of existance, the “end goal of the universe” if you will, which may well be impossible to percieve from our limited perspective, but could still ceartainly exist. I do not neccessarily think this definition of god runs contrary to atheistic or agnostic philosphy. However, if you were to defend your idea of god without clarifying EXACTLY what you mean a passerby or listener to the debate could walk away from it with the idea that you are validating their perspective of god, which could easily be one much less rationally concieved.
                The problem with the term occurs when this person, with only a superficial understanding of your perspective of god, adopts arguments that do not apply to their perspective as legitimate validation of their version, and then procedes to use the arguments in uninformed or discongruent ways to their original intent, to defend things like a literal 6 day creation or Noah’s flood and whatnot.

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

                  Sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, there is definitely potential for confusion, as with all terms. One of the reasons I blog about these topics is to offer a different viewpoint, and from my own perspective challenge those who argue against modern science (or geology, or linguistics) based on their understanding of the ancient texts included in the Bible. I think the only way to avoid confusion about how we use terms is to express ourselves as clearly and as openly as possible! :-)

    • rmwilliamsjr

      i think you’re right. why didn’t God leave out a few chapters of LEV about leprosy and have a bunch of good public health rules like: wash your hands, cover your cough, compose waste, etc. millions of people would have lived because of that.

      why didn’t God have Jesus saying 1 thing against slavery like the single verse against divorce? afaik there isn’t a single physical science fact in the Scripture that wasn’t also known to that age and the people surrounding the Hebrews. there are no easter eggs in the Bible where the real meaning jumps out when human knowledge reaches the right stage of development.

      i think this speaks to the human side of Scripture.

      • saywhaaaa

        The most likely answer is also the easiest, and the most obvious.
        The Bible was written by men, with the knowledge of men at the time they lived in.
        I have yet to have a single “revalation” demonstrated to me by any Christian, ever, that is found in the bible that would have been impossible to make with the knowledge available at the time.
        The closest anyone can ever get is vauge “prophecies” that have been “fufilled” that are all alog the lines of:
        “Hey guys, you know, sometime in the future there will be people who do not believe in all this stuff”
        Well no shit Sherlock, wonder how you could have ever figured out that people would one day have legitimate doubts about a religion espousing a tricky talking snake and a fruit tree that gives you a PhD in moral philosophy?


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X