RE: sciDocument.rtf

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Sun Jul 07 2002 - 21:57:46 EDT

  • Next message: Shuan Rose: "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind"

    This is a reply to Paul Seely, and George Murphy George below

    *****************Reply to Paul*****************
    Hi Paul,

    You wrote on Saturday, July 06, 2002 1:28 PM:

    >That a true knowledge of God only comes from divine revelation, whether
    >general in the creation (which is perceived intuitively) or special in
    >Scripture is true by the nature of the case: there is no way man can do
    >experiments, as he can in the material world, to find truths about

    Agreed, but we can and do perform experiments and gather observations about
    what God did which might leave physical traces. If we don't, then you have
    no basis upon which to reject YEC.

    And I find the above answer a bit disappointing in that it doesn't really
    answer the question. There are hundreds of religions around the world, all
    with adherents who are absolutely certain (have absolute faith) that they
    are the ones who have the truth. Given that, without the procedure I
    outlined earlier therer is no way to determine who it was that God really
    spoke with. One can only rule out certain claims. One can't rule in any
    claim even with that procedure. see

    >3. What epistemological basis do we have for saying that all
    >descriptions of
    >the natural world in the Bible are not true and only the
    >theological extracts
    >are true?
    >I don't think we have any basis for saying that, and I for one have never
    >said it. My position is that the science in the Bible is the
    >science of the
    >times. Even some ancient science is true. For example, the OT (Lev 11:4)
    >speaks of the camel chewing the cud and obviously is aware that cows and
    >sheep do the same; and this is true. A number of other such natural truths
    >could be adduced. On the other side, as recently discussed not all of the
    >morals (theology in the broad sense) in the OT are up to God's
    >standards of
    >truth, e.g. allowing divorce for any reason whatsoever (Deut
    >24:1-4) as Jesus
    >recognized (Matt 19:8).

    I know you have never 'said' that only the theological extracts are true,
    but it seems to me that the implications of what you advocate are precisely
    this. If the science in the Bible is the science of the day, yet it is
    integral to the story relating theological truth, how can we be sure that
    there really is a theological truth to extract from the false science. As I
    said in my July 5th post we use correct science to discount the theological
    implications of YEC. Indeed, you, yourself, have applied this procedure in
    discussions with YECs because you have asked me for scientific data to
    refute what they are saying. Why do you do this, if they can really be
    relating true theology even using their false science? And if they are
    relating true theology, why do you stand in the way of getting God's message
    across? You can't have it both ways. You can't believe the scientific trash
    of the biblical writers gives theological and at the same time claim the
    idea that the scientific trash of the YECs gets in the way of good

    ******************Reply to George*******************

    Hi George, youw wrote on Saturday, July 06, 2002 2:59 PM

    > Apparently I was too wordy & thus obscured the basic point
    >I was trying
    >to make. Yes, a number of the witnesses of the resurrection apparently
    >questioned it when they first heard of it & were only convinced by further
    >evidence. & yes, they indeed were given evidence of the
    >resurrection. & yes,
    >Thomas was given the opportunity to have the evidence he demanded.
    > But no, scripture does NOT encourage us to expect, let
    >alone demand, the
    >type of evidence that Thomas got.

    To me, that wasn't ever the issue. The Bible does not show the early
    christians accepting merely by faith alone. They all sought some form of
    evidence. While Thomas' demand was exceptional, it wasn't entirely
    different qualitatively from what Peter and John sought.

      On the contrary, it calls us to
    >accept the
    >apostolic witness to the resurrection, to be among those who "have
    >not seen and
    >yet have believed."
    > This is not a matter of believing in the resurrection of
    >some arbitrary
    >person for no other reason than that we've been told by someone that it
    >happened. It is finally a question of whether or not the total
    >claim that I
    >referred to at the end of my earlier post - the resurrection of
    >Jesus as he is
    >portrayed in scripture within the context of the faith & history
    >of Israel -
    >provides a better account of the world and a person's life than do
    >claims. Evidence certainly plays a role in answering this
    >question but there
    >are certain kinds of evidence we, in 2002, just aren't going to get.

    Agreed, we today, can't demand Thomas' level of proof. We have to rely on
    the trustworthiness of the apostles.


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