132 thoughts on “Fundy Tweet of the Week: Theistic Evolution”

    1. I saw no need to read beyond “… a man who is too cowardice …” That tells me all I need to know about this pundit and his views.

      1. Incidentally my favorite character from The WizardOf Oz is the cowardice lion; especially when performed by David Grice

        1. David Grice is perfect for the part. If he had auditioned back in 1939, Bert Lahr would never have gotten been hired.

    1. ?What you are doing my friend?! ?How you never learn speak correctly English?! :sad: *

      *with absolutely sincere apologies to, and with no offense intended towards, those hard working people who struggle with English as a second language

      1. Sometimes I can’t help thinking that in the hard-core fundy circles, English *IS* a second language.

        I watch a lot of BBC and no joke, listening to how they (fundies) use words like “fellowship” and “purpose” is a lot like translating Brit-slang or Aussie-slang. You can understand the gist of what’s being said but the words are used in foreign ways.

        1. Reminds me of a Mormon joke someone told me recently.

          Two people are sitting at a BYU basketball game. One guy says to the guy sitting in front of him, “Could you please remove your hat? You are obstructing my vision.” The guy in front says, “Oh, I am so sorry. I didn’t realize you were having one!!”

  1. I love how literal 7-day creationism, which really only became a serious belief with modern evangelicalism, has become such a litmus test.

    1. @JeseC

      Would you mind providing some links to information supporting your statement? That literal 7-day creationism became popular only with modern evangelicalism…thank you.

      1. I think that it might be more accurate to say that in the past few decades there has been an concerted effort and influx of money to establish a “scientific” foundation for a literal 6 day creation(Answers in Genesis, The Creation Museum, Institute for Creation Research). And with that has also come the effort to demonize anyone who questions or disagrees with these efforts; if you doubt a literal 6 day creation then you obviously doubt the authority of Scripture and therefore a heretic. Never mind that Genesis 1-2 were never intended to be read as a science textbook but as a theological statement about the power and nature of Elohim. Funny how bible believing Christians believe “scientific” proof for their beliefs is more important than a sound hermeneutic.

      2. I think Hugh Ross covers some of this in his books. I would go a get them off my shelf to check, but I loaned them to someone several years ago and didn’t get them back. (The wicked borroweth and payeth not again.) There may be something on Ross’ website. I haven’t followed his work in some time, so my memory may be deceiving me. I do know that he points out a young-earth interpretation was never the Christian consensus. Sts. Augustine and Basil the Great I remember held to a symbolic interpretation of the word “day.” Now, those two writers I could go reference for you, but I’m a lazy and devilish evolutionist. Perhaps a theistic one. I are too cowardice to noticing what is the differences. I am speak from many experiences, because I have Doctor Brother Ken Ham for Creation Seminar at biblically colledge. (I really am sorry I keep doing this. Seriously, I can’t stop myself. Please help.)

        1. Ah, that helps a bit. Thanks BJg. I was afraid that the Lord in his all-wise judgment had confounded my language, but you have reminded me of the cure. As St. Paul said, use a little beer for thy grammar’s sake and thine often absurdities. And further, he said that nothing is to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. So thanks, Lord, for the beer that maketh glad my heart, and maketh fairly decent my sentences. Amen.

      3. Catholic tradition at least has been to rather disregard whether or not such things were literally true as beside the point. I admit to it not being universal in that way, but it is certainly a strong position. Origen certainly considered it an allegory, and Augustine at least displayed (separately)a belief in it as an allegory, and a willingness to allow that Scripture should not be taken to teach science.

        Much later on, I know that the big bang theory, when it was introduced in the early 1900′s, did not garner the same reaction – in fact the opposite was the case, that the secular scientists opposed it in some grounds for seeming too akin to creation, a religious idea.

        So it certainly seems that the furor over evolution is a fairly modern invention, and its defining place as a test for “real” Christianity a historical oddity.

      4. I’ve never read it but I have heard the book, “In the Beginning, We Misunderstood” recommended. I believe it is about how the creation account would have been received by its intended Jewish audience.

      5. I’ve read a couple of blogs and articles which state the literal interpretation of Genesis 1 actually was made popular by 7th day adventists. Here is one of the articles:
        http://biologos.org/uploads/static-content/Giberson-scholarly-essay-1.pdf

        Not sure how accurate the articles are but from my understanding of Church history and the Jewish understanding of the OT, Genesis 1 has often been considered more of a poetic piece rather than narrative as the fundamentalists like to interpret it.

        1. Creationists did indeed borrow a lot from the Seventh-Day Adventists, although they kept this quiet to be able to sell it to the rest of fundamentalism.

    2. I would suggest that for most of human history, people didn’t honestly care too much about discovering, from a scientific point of view, the origins of the universe. This is because, as the creationists LOVE to point out (but they are correct on this point) that belief in non-theistic origins for the universe is not a prerequisite to being able to do science in today’s world. Of course, neither is belief in theistic origins.

      It wasn’t until science itself began to develop a theoretical framework for the origins of the universe writ large and for the origins of life on Earth that taking an antithetical position based on one’s religious beliefs became even remotely relevant. And, indeed, the very beginnings of modern-day fundamentalism were in reaction to modern science (including evolutionary theory, as well as textual criticism and other “scientific” perspectives that may have contradicted cherished religious beliefs) which was perceived as being too quick to reject religious beliefs that seemed to conflict with its conclusions.

      Another thread running through all this is the perception among fundamentalists that the very undertaking of science itself is innately anti-religious given that if you accept Genesis 1-2 as literally true, why would you NEED to study the origins of the universe and/or of life? This has been a long-standing conflict between science and religion. For example, Galileo and others in his day challenged geocentrism. But the church challenged him so strongly not so much because it cared about whether the world revolved around the sun or vice versa, but because Galileo’s work implied that this DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH was open to scientific questioning, testing, and revision. Galileo’s heresy (in the minds of the fundamentalists of his day) was his statement that when the Scriptures and science appear to conflict, we must revisit our understanding of the Scriptures. That idea, that human reason can trump religious belief is ANATHEMA to fundamentalists throughout the ages.

    3. Really? A belief of modern evangelicals?

      “1. Theophilus of Antioch (3rd Century A.D.) dated the Creation at BC 5509.
      2. Julius Africanus (ca. 225 A.D.) dated the Creation at BC 5500.
      3. Ephraem Syrus (died 378 A.D.) – adopted LXX Creation date of 5508 and accused the Jews of subtracting 600 years to avoid the conclusion that the Christ had come.
      4. James Ussher (died 1656 A.D.) – dated the Creation at BC 4004.
      5. William Hales (ca. 1809) – dated the Creation at BC 5411
      6. Henry Fynes Clinton (ca. 1824) – dated the Creation at BC 4138″ Turretinfan

      1. I meant to say not that it wasn’t believed prior to modern evangelicals, but that it wasn’t taken so very seriously. It was perhaps interesting, and a matter of theological discussion, but we see nothing like the dogmatic insistence of the fundamentalist on treating it as though it were almost a pillar of the faith.

        1. Thanks for the clarification. If anything, old earth creation is the new kid on the block as opposed to young earth creation, as referenced above. God created man from the dust of the ground and woman from the rib of Adam. Since He created me He owns me and all things. All praise, honor, and glory belongs to Him…the creator of all things. If you believe that, who really cares about the exact date. My problem lies with saying man evolved after God created.

        2. I think there’s a difference in viewpoint there. Those who believe in evolution think it simply means that God’s creation wasn’t instantaneous. There’s no more believe that we are “accidental” than any literal creationist. God is Creator and Sustainer, and sometimes those activities aren’t entirely separate.

        3. Better way to put it: up until the 1900′s, the main rival for some sort of young-earth creationism was steady-state theory, which held that the universe had always existed. And that theory really was pretty much everything creationists say about evolutionists nowadays – a quick way of explaining things without needing God. We simply lacked the capacity to have scientific evidence about the age of the earth. It wasn’t a matter of religion vs. science until science started having something to say on the matter.

      2. I think you are confusing the parlor game of “dating the creation” which was quite popular with Christian theologians throughout history (until, interestingly, modern times) with a belief in a literal six-day creation.

    4. The Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Tennessee 1925. My 86 year old uncle brought that up to me (a little bitterly) recently. That cemented evolution v. creationism in the popular American fundamentalist mind, I think.

  2. Ok. I am much brave afterward many thinking about. I am much cowardice too standing against fossil records and prove scientific that universal is many much older. Than the bible saying. Or fundy saying the biblical peoples saying. Too many saying, not many enough science. Science is friendly at religion faith. If you wishing.

    1. ROTFLMAO

      You remind me of David Sedaris’s “Me Talk Pretty One Day” — and really, if you’re going to try to lean another language, it helps to be able to poke fun at yourself.

      1. semp, Josh, tat, BG: It seemed big funniest too me at firstly to. But remembering how Mama said, “Cross them eyes again and they might stick”? This are what are happening to me grammarly. I start. I didn’t stopping. Currently and in this same momentary I am stuck really big good. Even speaking, then it is justly the same. I am not able now to typing a properly sentence.

  3. This tweeter is a man who is too ignorance to use words correctly or too laziness to proof-read.

    (Ouch! That was hard to write — both uncharitable and ungrammatical at the same time.)

      1. Surely the seventh day, the day or rest, was as much part of the creation story as the other six, otherwise why give it a number?

      2. But is this a literal rest? Did God need a nappy-nap after working six days in a row?

        Or does “rest” mean a figurative rest, in that he stopped creating anything else?

        And why not, since the bible says he invested the earth and the waters with creative power to bring forth life (Gen. 1:20-24)?

        And, since I’m asking questions–If dinosaurs roamed the earth in the time of humans, why are so many animals mentioned in the bible (camels, jackasses, ants, bears, dogs, horses, locusts, birds, worms, whales, fish, caterpillars, snakes ((even a talking one!)), badgers, sheep, goats, fleas, frogs, gnats, flies, deer, scorpions, bees, foxes, lions) but no dinosaurs? You wouldn’t think someone might have managed to see one and mention it?

        So many questions.

        1. The self-same leviathan that breathes fire (Job 41:19-21) like a dragon?

          The self-same behemoth that can drink up whole rivers, the very Jordan River itself (Job 40:23)?

          Isn’t it possible that these passages are poetic/figurative of some other non-dinosauric creature? Like a hippo, croc, ox, whatever?

        2. A sea monster, Lotanu, is a character in Ugaritic myth. LTN apparently symbolized chaos. As polemic, the psalmist (104:26) mentions “Leviathan” but depicts it as a plaything of God’s. This isn’t a dinosaur.

        3. Yeah, BJg, that too. As far as I can tell, only modern-day YE creationists interpret leviathan and behemoth as dinosaurs. Not the margin notes in the KJV. Not Strong’s Concordance. Not the Harris, Archer, Waltke Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

          Doesn’t it mean something that these words are only found in poetic sections of the bible?

          Doesn’t it mean something that literal super-large animals of which we have many fossils were never mentioned even passingly? Even in post-biblical times, people have been finding their bones for centuries but did not know what to even make of them?

          Humans pass down knowledge. That’s just what we do. We can’t help it. Could such animals have existed with humans, yet we didn’t retain even a faint memory of them?

          Seriously, there’s nothing to fear from science. If a truth is discovered that changes the way the bible is interpreted, how is this a bad thing? However, there is much to be feared from a science-denying religion. Just ask Galileo.

  4. A position weakly attacked is also weakly defended. Ham was chosen because he is a lightweight in logic and reasoning but a well-known figure. I dare say that Ham was chosen ONLY because Kent Hovind is still in prison.

    I do believe that Nye was very gracious considering the circumstances and that it was Nye who most represented the values central to Christianity. Ham, of course, is committed to his own brand of circular reasoning and becomes angry at anyone who disagrees or simply can’t follow. But this debate was equal to George Foreman beating up a kid in a coma. It was a disaster from the start.

    Notice that a true scientist/philosopher such as Hugh Ross was not chosen in stead of Ken Ham… :shock:

    1. Does someone have the account of him losing it and screaming another guy out….and saying afterward it was taking a tough stand for Christ or something similar? Can we state his ACTUAL level of education? I HATE the way AIG misstates others viewpoints in a poke-fun, superior way. The nail on the coffin for us leaving our BJU church….most of our family who didn’t disown us for moving to “liberal” music, grace-filled, non-denominatinal church would likely disown us over this….not believing 6-day creationism equals not believing the bible and spitting in God’s eye! :mad:

      1. Agreed. Just because I don’t believe in a literal 6-day creation doesn’t mean that I believe God is too weak to do it in 6 days had He chosen to.

        God=a being powerful enough to do things with remarkable power and majesty.

        Gid=a weak impotent deity that must fit into the box I/my pastor confines him to.

        1. The AIG curriculum explicitly states repeatedly that not believing 6-day creationism crumbles every other bit of God’s word. Oh, the people they are going to lose when these kids and even adults feel their faith has to be pitched when they see cracks in young earth-ism. However, it is the perfectly logical extension of “we’re right, we’re better than you, you’ll never get it because you are not spiritual/serious/whatever enough” attitude we see in the Fundy mindset.

        2. Oh, we’re already losing kids (millennials and younger) over this, as the Barna studies have confirmed. And the solution put forward by the fundamentalists, the Gospel Coalition crowd, the SBC, and the rest? Give our youth more, better, further, deeper indoctrination teaching in young earth creationism!

        3. The AiG position that rejecting literal 6-day creationism wrecks the entirety of Biblical authority shouldn’t be surprising. Can’t remember how many times I’ve heard that “if you throw out any one part of the Bible, no matter how small, you might as well just say you don’t believe in the whole thing. You either believe in it or you don’t.” etc. blah blah blah.

  5. So a person who believes in God and in evolution is a coward because they won’t reject God and they are a coward because they won’t reject science?
    Because truth in the natural realm is not God’s truth as well?
    The need to force people to choose science or God seems to be counterproductive.

    1. Fundamentalists do not believe that it is possible for truth in the natural realm to contradict their “literal” interpretations of the Scriptures. Thus, when natural/scientific observations purport to contradict their beliefs, those observations can be dismissed as false without further ado.

      1. That is so obvious I can’t believe I didn’t realize it. Thanks D.S. you opened my eyes. Fundies interpret Scripture to fit the world view they want to have and their belief system. So it really is logical to then interpret science and the world in a manner to fit your world view and belief system. They simply start with the list of doctrines they want to believe and force scripture and the world to bend to them. If it is not useful and cannot be bent, then they throw it out.

      2. I think the point Ham made during the “debate” was that there are no observations to support Creationism nor Evolution. “Observations” pertain to current state, not origins. If you missed this point, perhaps you did not watch the debate for yourself. You didnt have to agree with either debater in order to understand the points they were making.

        1. I was just commenting on this tweet not on the debate. Sorry if it seemed I was making a comment on the debate.

  6. Is it my imagination, or do fundies love using flowery language and long words to give the appearance of intelligence without taking the time to use said words correctly?

    1. They do. But why use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice?

      “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      1. DS,

        Building a little on what you said earlier, the KJV uses what some might regard as flowery speech and the result is language that is both powerful and majestic. William Shakespeare was also able to produce works in this style which were insightful as well as beautiful and profound. Having mentioned this, in my opinion, if you’re not one of the translators of the Authorised, or if your name isn’t William Shakespeare, don’t even think of trying to imitate that writing style. For anyone else, trying to do that results in writing that sounds pompous and stilted. Throw in some ignorance, and you can add comical to the results.

        1. Agreed. I’ve reached this conclusion as I have come to realize that the stilted and imitative style employed by fundies is very similar to the stilted imitative style of writing in my own profession known as legalese, in which attorneys write in highly convoluted and incomprehensible forms in an attempt to imitate legal writing from a time when that was much more the norm. At one time in the legal profession, there were some reasons for a certain level of arcane writing (such as the overly technical system of “code pleading” and the influence of Latin and French on English legal vocabulary). However, such incredibly dense and obscure writing is simply no longer seen as an asset by many in the profession, especially younger attorneys. Also, the hyper-technical meanings of many legal words have been lost to time, but attorneys still gleefully sprinkle their documents with words that “sound legal” but would render the document utter gibberish to a reader from the time in which such words were regularly employed by attorneys. Fundies do the same thing, more or less, with King James lingo and other “fancy writin’” that they think will sound impressive.

        2. @DS: I work with attorneys all the time. I learned a new word from one recently: “Prolix.” Love it.

        3. Deacon’s Son, I’ve noticed this as well. It seems to be a special case fundy-version of “hypercorrect” speech – where someone, usually less educated or from a lower class, tries to improve their language to sound more educated, not realizing that more educated folks would simply use the simpler word. (e.g. – putting “utilize” in place of “use”, thinking it sounds more educated. It doesn’t.)

          With fundies, sometimes they seem to structure language in a stilted, KJV-affected way that makes it seem like they’re trying to sound both smarter and more holy. Especially when they’re praying.

  7. Why, oh why, is it that people have to put down people they disagree with? (Calling them a coward, doubting their salvation, etc.)

  8. I *think* this tweet is a dismal attempt to recast Pascal’s wager in creationist vs. evolutionist terms. FWIW, I think the wager is one of the most pathetic attempts at apologetics ever devised. Believing in God “just in case” is not believing in God, in my opinion. Anyway, this tweet takes it a step further and implies that there are people who believe in both God AND evolution “just in case.” What nonsense.

    Actually, when you deconstruct his tweet, it’s really just a tautology. Because all it really says is that people who believe in God and believe in evolution will believe in both God and evolution. (I suppose there is also the inference that they must believe that God CAUSED evolution.)

    Something else I am sick of is the constant fundy implication that people who reject their beliefs aren’t “man enough” to “stand” for “the truth.” Perhaps it’s fundies themselves who are too weak-willed to accept any evidence that contradicts their misinterpretation of the Scriptures.

    1. And the irony is that theistic evolutionist take fire from the naturalist camp, the YEC camp, and from at least half of the ID folk. Considering how thinned skinned most fundies are, I don’t think they could last a whole discussion without losing it if they traded places with the theistic evolutionist.

  9. For gid so loveth the world that he gave us the account of creation that whosever believeth in it, shall not perish, but have everlasting life-The World According to Larry, 2nd edition.

    1. YES! I’ve been saying this for years. According to these folks, what saves is a literal reading of one specific version of a book compiled, copied and written by hundreds of men. Apparently, Jesus has NOTHING to do with this.

      1. More broadly, evangelicalism in general and fundamentalism in particular seems to believe that salvation is a cognitive function highly correlated to “correct doctrine”. It breaks down very quickly under scrutiny, but if one approaches faith as intellectual assent, it is difficult to endorse any other position.

  10. What’s interesting to me is that the six-day crowd claims to take Gen. 1-2 literally and yet fails to take the following parts of the story literally:

    (1) The existence of light without a source for the light.

    (2) The existence of evenings and mornings without a sun and a moon.

    (3) The plurality of deity that was present at creation: “Let US make man in OUR image.”

    (4) The singularity of deity that was present at creation a bit later that same day: “So God created man in HIS own image.”

    (5) The need for a newly-created earth to be “replenished.” (Was there something there before?)

    (6) Every created being was an herbivore. (And yet, isn’t part of the evidence of “design” the fact that some animals are clearly created to be carnivores?)

    (7) God created the animals and birds before he created man, but wait, He actually created man before he created the animals and birds.

    (8) God created male and female simultaneously, but wait, He actually created them separately and only after He realized (his mistake?) that the male human had no female equivalent.

    I realize there are ways to explain away most of these issues, but nearly all explanations require one to explain away the literal meaning of the text.

    1. This comment by you paints a lot of people with a very broad brush. Do you think there might be a possibility that some Creationists believe in the literal account on Genesis 1-2, and at the same time have valid apologies for the points you’ve made?
      You accuse the fundies of being stupid and closed-minded, and in doing that you’ve demonstrated those very traits! OOPS!

      1. Calm down. I didn’t accuse anyone of being stupid and closed minded. I simply pointed out that the “apologies” (as you call them) for explaining away the literal meaning of these elements of the creation story are inconsistent with the biblical literalism that underlies six-day creationism in the first place.

        1. Yeah, if you wanna see a pretty fair imitation of a Fundy preacher, tell me to calm down when I’m only mildly irritated. RAWR!

      2. I would add that my broader point was that it is impossible to take Gen. 1-2 literally because those two chapters, read perfectly literally, contain many internal inconsistencies, non sequiturs, and other issues. Thus, EVERYONE who wants to accept the biblical creation narrative has to apply some form of interpretation to harmonize these passages and construe them in such a way as to be consistent. Those who do so have to make some presuppositions in order to determine how they will undertake this process.

        The problem for the six-day crowd is that they deny the fact that they do this. Yet, they DO construe the passage to conform to their assumption that the “fact” of six literal, twenty-four hour days is the basis for interpreting all the rest of these two chapters. The problem is that this is not the ONLY way to construe this passage of Scripture, nor is it by necessity the correct one.

        I would note that most young-earthers I have talked to will finally admit that they prefer six-day creationism not because it is the only possible way of interpreting the passage (even read “literally”) but simply because it is the interpretation that ascribes the most power/glory to God, as if it is somehow more impressive to spontaneously create everything in 144 hours rather than several billion years. I don’t think that is necessarily true.

        (I personally have a very mixed, ambiguous, and not entirely consistent set of beliefs and opinions about the biblical creation narrative. However, I grow weary of the intellectual dishonesty that pervades this topic on all fronts.)

        1. You know, in the Youth group I belonged to,(just before it was disbanded,) in our graduation to our apologists’ course, we tried -successfully- to prove inerrancy for ANY document. If you take -say- the State of the Union address, any of us who grew up in a fundy church has enough tools to figure out a way to prove that EVERYTHING in that document is inerrant.

      3. A bit surprised at your uncharitable response. DS points out something incontrovertible – there are conflicts in the creation accounts that disallow anyone from taking them literally. Everyone has to pick and choose. Sure, YECers and others have good explanations for these things – that is the whole point. Once you need an explanation, you are out of the realm of literal.

    2. on your note about the plurality vs singularity of deity between Genesis 1 and 2:
      In the first chapter, the term is elohim–the generic term for God. Whereas in Genesis 2 it actually brings in the reference to the God who is revealed at Mount Sinai–the Yahweh elohim.

      This would possibly indicate the first chapter a more ancient genre. The fact that the author of chapter 2 chose to write an account with a more specific deity seems to indicate that the ancients may not have taken chapter 1 to be literal either.

  11. Here I thought Fundies were militant monolinguists (unless forced to become bilingual if called to a foreign field), but Hobbs seems to be exceptionally fluent in Engrish.

  12. I hate them story about Dorothy and the Cowardice Lion. Too much many witchcrafty and worldliness love. (Please, someone, make it stop, I beg you.)

  13. I was starting to believe OEC / theistic evolution but they couldn’t explain the fall of man, why Adam was called the first man in the NT, why women were created/ evolved so much later than men, etc.
    YEC has its problems as well.

  14. Related subject: Has anyone else tried to read Ken Ham’s book Understanding the Times? That man loves him some exclamation marks.

  15. It was discovering the lies in Creationism that provided the major intellectual impetus to break from fundamentalism.

    I *was* a Creationist at one time. In talking with my Dean (who not only was a Christian, but a biological chemist) I was trash-talking evolution. He pulled out a biology text from his shelf and handed it to me.

    “Read it. Learn something about what you are talking about. Creationists never use scientific terms correctly. Read this, then come back and talk to me.”

    So I did. And the more I read, the angrier I got. He had been right. At every point Creationism sets up straw-men instead of dealing with what the Science actually says. Creationists lie. They lie about the science. They lie about what scientists say. They lie about the motivations of scientists.

    In all of modern science, no problem with evolution has ever been pointed out or solved by a creationist. Scientists cleaned up their own errors. No significant discovery of physical fact has ever been made by modern creationists. They do nothing but stand on the sidelines and jeer.

    I was one. No longer. Evolution is a fact. Science is a great process to come to understand our world and how it works. Those who oppose evolution either don’t know what they are talking about or are lying outright in what they contend. Period.

    And no, I do not “give grace” to the purveyors of Creationism because they truly believe it. If what one believes has to be supported with deliberate lies, distortions, misdirections, and tactics to confuse, then what one believes isn’t worth believing.

    1. Apparently, you’ve come to realize that one’s theory of origins is a matter of faith. Congratulations, but to call those of us who are Creationists liars is a little simplistic, arrogant, and again a matter of faith.

      1. Read what I wrote. I called the purveyors of Creationism liars. Not you who buy into the lies.

        You believe the Creationists? It simply means you are ignorant of what science really says. Your knowledge is deficient.

        It isn’t necessarily your fault. Yes, fundamentalism even saps the will of people to find out what science is, what science does, and what science says. It does so by affirming that those of us in the sciences are anti-God or actively scheming to send you to hell. It isn’t the truth.

        You have bought into a lie. You have also been taught to react emotively, not reasonably. You don’t read what is said, you read what you *think* is said.

        That, too, is not your fault. You have been taught to read the Scriptures that way. You read what you expect to see, and fail to see what is actually there. I know. I was that way for years and years. One just can’t see it in oneself. It takes prompting, a shock, a confrontation to the heart and mind that cannot be dismissed, showing the lies for what they are.

        A lot of people, having seen that what they believe is a lie, still go back to the lies because their lives have been brought up in that system. They know better, but they choose to fool themselves and choose “belief” over the truth. Maybe that is what Jesus meant by the Pharisees turning their converts into seven times more the children of hell than themselves!

        So you can believe in Creationism. You are not among the big boys, the PhDs (usually fake), the shysters, the hucksters. They will gain the millstones. You will simply fall into the ditch with them. You I can pity.

        Me? I shake with horror at what I was pulled out of. I am grateful to God for coming out of a system of lies.

      2. As a note, one does not have a “theory” of origins. Your belief in no way rises to the level of a “theory.”

        A theory in science is NOT a guess, not a supposition. It is a model constructed that is consistent with the facts in evidence, having explanatory and predictive value. The colloquial idea of “theory” has nothing to do with what scientific theories are.

        And another note. As preachers have said from time unrememberable, it doesn’t matter what you believe. What matters are the facts. What matters is the truth. “Your truth” and “my truth” are worthless if they do not conform to what is.

      3. Thinker, if someone believes God is the origin of all things–whether Almighty God used the evolutionary process or the literalist reading–it still makes that person a creationist. Since God would have to create matter into order to make it go boom in the Big Bang.

        I recommend checking out either Kenneth Miller’s ‘Finding Darwin’s God,’ or Francis Collins’ ‘The Language of God.’ BioLogos.org is also really good and faithful to Jesus Christ and the Sacred Scriptures in studying these things. And the evangelical Denis O. Lemoureux has a bunch of videos on youtube. The great William Lane Craig’s Defender’s podcast also covers this topic, and that’s in the iTunes store.

        Anyway, check them out, you literally have nothing to lose. If after some hefty intellectual and spiritual lifting, you find theistic evolution to be true. Congrats! You gained truth, and truth is inseparable from Jesus Christ, since he is the source of all truth. And if not, then you’ve learned how to engage TEs better and how to debate them. Its a win-win all around.

    2. Dear rtgmath,
      I done seen them dinysaur footprints in stone down down there in Texas. That proved to me that devolution is rong.

      1. Heh, heh. The good old Paluxy River Bed! 20+ years after that dinosaur-man fossil tracks were debunked by competent science, the major creationist sites still use it!

        Yup. It turns out those “humans” also had three toes and were raptors, just like the other dinosaur footprints! All they had to do was to check the print at deeper levels.

        Sigh. I remember how angry I was when I learned that these people had been informed of what the science said. A major creationist organization put out a bulletin that using this “fossil evidence” was unwise since it had been proven false. And yet, despite knowing that, the other creationist promoters continued to push it.

        I began to smell something very, very rotten. And yes, much of it was the fake PhDs these people flashed around.

        1. I keep falling back on my belief that the young earthers are trying to apply the wrong genre to the Genesis narrative. It’s not historical, at all.

        2. Ricardo, the Paluxy River bed fossil claims of Human-Dinosaur footprints were never debunked by any creationist. AIG and ICR merely accepted the findings of the evolutionary scientists who did the debunking. They realized that to continue claiming the fossils were human footprints would bring nothing but grief and (accurately) accusations of being deceptive.

          Sadly, most creationists did not care and continued to use them.

          Let us be clear on one thing. Creationists have never, ever been the ones to initiate a correction of their own errors. Creationists have never, ever actually pinpointed an error in real science that real scientists have not caught and corrected first. Creationists have never, ever, made any real contribution toward scientific understanding. All they have ever done is naysay.

          And, by the way. Older investigators in the pre-science ages who believed in God creating the world are not Creationists. Creationists in the modern world are completely at odds with letting the physical evidence speak for itself. They believe they have to filter their interpretation of all physical evidence through their (flawed) interpretation of the Scriptures.

          http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/04/14/news-to-note-04142012

          Even in AIG’s renunciation of their use of the Paluxy River Bed fossils, they still insist that man and dinosaur had to live together because of how they interpret Scripture. They still are unwilling to look at the physical evidence as a whole.

          And they are, as a result, always wrong, always looking for ways to justify their fantasy, and always turning away people from the gospel they claim to represent. People will not turn to the Savior if His Representatives are a bunch of liars and cranks who deny the physical evidence to satisfy their interpretation of a book it turns out they do not understand.

          If I am harsh, it is because this lie of creationism has done vastly more harm than good. At my IFB church, they have literally added this as a requirement for salvation.

        3. rtgmath,

          Ricardo has a point. I couldn’t find the article, but I remember when those purportedly human tracks were shown to have been made by some sort of dinosaur. There was a competent scientist who at a minimum helped demonstrate the non-human origin of the tracks who actually was a Christian. Maybe you can dig up more information.

          We’re both familiar with the scriptures that say, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” and, “I am the way the truth and the life:”
          If we’re told to accept these things by faith, it would seem that almost by definition we should not be afraid of hard evidence and demonstrable facts. To be honest, it seems to me that any faith that could only be maintained by lying, covering up data, and deliberate ignorance would be a faith not worth having.

          At the same time, the very fact that we’re here and that we’re able to contemplate our existence strikes me as a miracle. A purely naturalistic explanation for the origins of the universe just seems insufficient to the task of explaining the order and complexity that we see. Personally, I see purpose when I look at the natural world. Of course you could argue that maybe for some reason we’re hardwired to see purpose even where none may exist.

          It does seem to me though, that a purely atheistic view of evolution would remove the fall of man and the subsequent need for a Savior. Unless that understanding was embedded in my subconscious before becoming a born-again Christian, I reached that conclusion on my own. So I still have to think that we differ qualitatively from the animals. Naturally that belief is based on faith and is probably, at least in this life, unprovable.

          Anyway, when you get right down to it, there are a lot of things mentioned in the Bible that are clear physical impossibilities– the resurrection probably being the most notable. That doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with logic or the scientific method. It just means that if you believe in the possibility of miracles, there are some things that science is not capable of explaining. Personally I just don’t see that it is necessary to choose between science or believing in a Creator God who gave His only begotten Son. Getting back to those statements in the Bible about truth, if those statements are in fact accurate, how could the God of the Bible possibly be honored by deception. Maybe faith can’t be acquired purely through study and logic, but it just makes sense that if faith really means anything, it should be able to withstand testing and scrutiny.

          At any rate, sorry for the semi-coherent rambling.

        4. Ben,

          I don’t mind rambling. I do quite a bit of it myself.

          The fact is that there are LOTS of scientists out there who are both Christian AND fully accept the theory of evolution. If that comes as a shock, please remember that in many areas, including this one, our sense of Christianity is still being manipulated by fundamentalist dogma.

          Do we *need* a 6-day creation to need a Savior? For that matter, do we need a literal Adam and Eve, a literal Garden, a literal snake, and a literal “Fall” to need a Savior?

          No. If you note, the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. You do not have to believe in a fall of man. You do not have to believe in Adam and Eve. You do not have to believe in the doctrine of inerrancy. You have to believe in Christ Jesus the Lord.

          Notice what Paul said in Romans 7:7-10. I will leave the full reading of it to you, but in 7:8b-10a Paul makes this very peculiar statement. “For apart from the Law, sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive and I died.

          I do not need the fall of Adam and Eve to be a sinner. I had my own fall. I was once “alive” apart from the law. The commandment was heard (which one, I was to young to remember), but sin came alive. I broke the law and died spiritually.

          And in Romans 5:12 we read, “So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so dead spread to all people because all sinned.”

          Death did not come to me because Adam sinned. Death came because I sinned. Adam opened his door. I opened my own.

          Now I do not believe in a literal Adam and Eve. I see them as archetypes. We all have our experience of “falling.” We all learn what it is like when we have to suffer the consequences of what we have done. (There is a lot more I could say about this, but not at this time).

          The fact is I don’t have to believe in a literal Adam and Eve. Nowhere is that a gospel requirement. I don’t even have to believe in a fallen nature. All I need understand is that I am a sinner and that Christ can save me. And He does.

          By trying to push more “beliefs” or “doctrine” into the salvation requirement, we turn away a lot of people from trusting in Christ. I can cheerfully see a 4.5 billion year-old earth, a 13.6+ billion year-old universe, myself as having a conscience toward God and recognition of my own sinfulness.

          Lots of freedom in that.

          And if God wants to send me to hell for that, why He would be violating His own rules. And there is a lot I could say on *that* as well.

          Do we differ qualitatively from animals? That for me will be a subject for a later time. But I contend that the “Christian” idea of unintelligent, “dumb” beasts is entirely wrong.

          When you realize that you are a slave to invented “doctrines” that are not necessary, you have the opportunity to choose. You do not dishonor God by rejecting the doctrines of men. Indeed, God gave you a brain. He intends for you to use it.

        5. rtgmath,

          We don’t know how much of the scriptures the thief on the cross knew, but surely it was a lot less than the pharisees. He did come to see himself as a sinner, and before he died he recognized Jesus as the Messiah. With that knowledge and a hunger and thirst after righteousness he was able to trust Christ. The dying thief wasn’t turned away. So, I’m with you, we shouldn’t add requirements to salvation that God doesn’t, and we have every right to call out those who do. I also agree with you that we shouldn’t allow folks like Tony Hobbes to define our theological terms for us.

          At the same time, it is possible to believe that macroevolution falls under the category of “science falsely so called” without thinking that those who believe in theistic evolution are at best cowardlies (sorry), and more likely are unsaved heathen. And yeah, I’m aware of the fact that for evolutionary biologists (nearly redundant terminology), microevolution plus a lot of time equals macroevolution. This brings us to the point of my main disagreement with one of the statements in an earlier post of yours. You seem to imply that anyone who believes in a literal six day creation period is a slave to doctrines of men and obviously hasn’t used their brains and investigated the issue. Otherwise they certainly would have reached the same conclusions you have. On that one point, I think you’re being as unfair as our buddy Tony is when he implies that those who support theistic evolution do so out of a fear of man and not because that’s where they think the evidence leads.

          At the last Fundamentalist church of which I was a member, at one time there was another member who had a PhD (in biochemistry, maybe) from an ivy league institution. This man was a six day creationist. He would have pointed to the fact that even the simplest of living things possess the enormously complex cellular machinery required both to sustain life and to reproduce as evidence of a creator. Along those lines, I think proponents of irreducible complexity have very valid points that deserve to be heard. On the theological side, it’s also worth mentioning that arguments in favor of the doctrine of the fall of man include not only our innate tendency to sin, but also the chaos and violence found in the natural world. At the risk of being ridiculed, I really do believe that one day the wolf will lie down with the lamb and lions will be herbivores– of course those things will require a miracle.

          Getting back on topic, we both believe in the incarnation, the virgin birth, and the bodily resurrection. Although these miracles can not be evaluated scientifically, we have historical evidence that these things are true. And whether one’s beliefs regarding origins range from atheistic evolution to six day creationism, no one has a right to simply discard facts that don’t comply with their preconceived ideas.

          You brought up some other points that would also make for interesting discussions at a later time. These conversations are a lot of fun even when we disagree.

          All the best,

          BP

        6. Re: A Few Historical Evidences — Christ’s fulfillment of OT prophecies, His public miracles validating His claims about Himself, His post resurrection appearances e.g. to Mary Magdalene, to the 12 apostles, to Saul [who became the Apostle Paul] on the road to Damascus, to over 500 witnesses

        7. Ben, I appreciate your good will here. And I am not saying that all 6-day creationists are slaves to man-made doctrine. I *will* say that anyone who believes scientists are intrinsically anti-God for believing in macroevolution have never understood science, or else feel that their salvation depends on leaving their brain outside the door. Your friend may indeed have a PhD. There are stories out there of fundamentalists who, in getting their degrees, decided they had to make a choice because the physical evidence clearly contradicts any creationist claims. Some of these people felt they had to abandon science for the sake of their souls.

          As a person who was steeped in 6-day creationism, learning real science was quite a shock. I admit to getting quite angry. The more I learned the angrier I got. Almost every argument found in Creationism is fundamentally and scientifically flawed in the most basic ways. They are so flawed that, since they come from the pens and lips of so-called “scientists” with “PhDs” that it is clear they are outright lies.

          A person who repeats a lie may well be honest, but uneducated or foolish. A person who knowingly promotes the lies has my complete contempt. Although I doubt the eternality of hell (that discussion can come later), I almost would wish it for these crooks!

          I will cheerfully accept the miracles of Jesus, His virgin Birth, and such. The “prophesies” are quite another matter. Again, in my fundy days I was quite steeped in the fundy arguments about prophesy. But when I began to read the Scripture while discarding my preconceptions, I began to notice some very, very disturbing things.

          Matthew, for example, rips his prophetic passages out of context. In fact, reading Jeremiah, the passage Matthew claims is about the slaughter of the infants is really in a quite different place than Matthew claims (and no possible way of confusing them!) and the prophesy is not about death at all. Jeremiah prophesies that the people being led captive to the territories of Babylon (the cause of the weeping) would return again to the land with joy.

          I do not doubt Matthew’s zeal. Matthew’s use of Scripture on the other hand.

          And LOTS of other prophesies are that way. The prophesy of Jesus’ betrayal in the Psalms is only possible by eliminating a verse in the middle! And prophesies mentioned in the Acts are so thin as to be nonexistent.

          I am by nature an analyst. And being well taught in fundamentalist hermeneutics I have found it falls quite short. I have abandoned any sense of the doctrine of inerrancy. I had to. It was abandon that doctrine or abandon faith all together. And it wasn’t too hard to abandon inerrancy, especially as that is a *new* doctrine, never taught in the church before the last century. It makes assumptions on the term “inspired” that are completely unwarranted.

          I could go on. I fear I may have offended by what I have said here, and if you are offended in me, I apologize for it. I am beginning a book. It may take me years to write it, but I have a lot to write, a lot to say.

          But I have met some marvelous people here at SFL. I count you among them, no matter how much we might disagree.

          And I trust, since I am pursuing these things with an honest heart, that if God wants me to understand otherwise, He can and will find a way to convince me. I am willing to look at the evidence. I always have been. That is why I am where I am now.

  16. Why wouldn’t he believe on a literal 6 day creation, minus scientific fact – since, according to his bio – it is God who gave them children. Maybe it’s ok to say that if you yell the name of God at the right moment.

  17. Heathenism’s pressure lying with said cowardice gambles much makes a forward evolutionist theistic grouds pressure for against.

    All I to say about that is.

  18. Back to Captain Grammar’s tweet, in my particular case, theistic evolution is the place I’ve ended up, for now, after a lifetime of asking honest questions. That includes trying to reconcile my genuinely held faith in God with knowledge of what science tells us about the natural world – knowledge I can’t just wish away because it doesn’t fit with the fundy version of Bible history that I was taught. How exactly is that cowardice?

    Sometimes a good faith search for truth can lead you to a place in between – sitting on the fence, so to speak. You can call me cowardly for sitting on the fence, but it doesn’t make me wrong. (It doesn’t make me right, either.) But not everything in life is about picking sides in a war.

    1. I agree. But a good faith search for truth does have its hazards.

      I told one of my IFB church deacons that I was doing a Bible study to try to see the Scriptural support for all the doctrines we believed. He reacted with alarm, presumably because he knew I would try to do a thorough job of it. He cautioned that such an exercise had led many to lose their faith.

      I asked, “Why should it? If what we believe is true, then shouldn’t there be scriptural support for all of it?”

      The funny thing is that he was right. I found that so many of our “beliefs” are created by picking and choosing what to accept and what to ignore or explain away. I found inherent contradictions.

      I came close to losing my faith. This and the lack of evidence that salvation saves people from much of anything except having guilt for what they continue to do has opened up a lot more questions than answers.

      Still, at least I am trying to reject the junk. And I am trying to be honest before God, both about my feelings and my beliefs. I can’t do much more than that. After a while I found that while I had not picked a side, one side had rejected me and I was on another one. Simply by asking questions and trying to be open and honest.

      1. rtgmath, our respective religious journeys have a lot in common. Many times I read your comments and think you’ve been snooping on my life.

        I talked myself out of asking hard questions for many years. Fear that I might not like what I found kept me from asking. Guilt, self-imposed as well as socially imposed, kept me from asking. A few years ago I finally got tired of the same response from my pastors/teachers: Only Believe!

        Now honestly, I’m only too happy to have good reasons to believe; but the simple, vehement command to Only Believe does not qualify for a good reason any longer. Most (or probably all) dogmatic religions allow little room for doubt, questions, reservations, etc. They have firmly stated points of belief. You either accept them and become one of us, or you go to hell. Sorry. That’s the way it is. I’m just not into that kind of thing anymore. I haven’t been to church in almost 2 years. The space has been good for me. Happier than ever.

  19. Ack…Im a dork! I meant Professor Paul Maier but there is also another top notch, employed at a highly educated, secular instituion guy who is skilled in the the microbiology/lab side of things and my brain completely fails me. My not sharp self is going to be quiet now. Sorry.

  20. How come it is only people with a prior commitment to the Bible as literally true that believe the earth is young and was created in six days? No scientist without that prior commitment shares that belief. Hmmmm……

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