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37 Responses

  1. Kevin H says:

    I am not one who demands adherence to young earth creationism, but I do think the position taken by the Biologos article goes too far and leaves biblical orthodoxy. If the story of Noah and the judgment of God in the flood is a fictional story meant just to convey a message, then what do we do with the references in the New Testament to Noah and the flood? We’ve got to jump through all kinds of logistical hoops to rationalize Jesus’ words when he speaks of Noah and the flood. He sure gives the impression as if he is speaking of real people and a real event. And what about when Hebrews list Noah and the flood story among a whole list of others who are commended for their faith? Are we to be left guessing as to which people were real and which ones were just fictional characters?

    I don’t think we should be quick to dismiss scientific evidence. We should also be careful that our chosen interpretation of scientific evidence doesn’t cause us to resort to torturous interpretations of Scripture.

  2. keith says:

    John Sailhamer will be missed. Love his canonical approach!

  3. Michael says:

    Kevin H,

    Well said.
    I post these links because I think it’s important to wrestle with the questions they pose…not necessarily because I’m in full agreement with what is postulated.

  4. anon says:

    Eddie Long…Short on ethics.

  5. richard says:

    kevin,
    after reading your comment i went back and reread the biologos article again. I got a different take on it – i don’t think they are saying the ark account is fictional, only that it wasn’t global and didn’t have every animal as we now know them on board. i didn’t think it went to far, and it didn’t mention ken ham once – very gracious of them.?

  6. dusty says:

    “Church is supposed to be messy” – good thoughts, but in our case not as messy as we have seen. 🙁 we are messy, yes, but I don’t think the churches should be as messy as they are….as some are…..

  7. dusty says:

    I like the PP church….just the right mix 🙂

  8. Kevin H says:

    Richard,

    Well, I went to go back and reread the article myself but it looks as if the biologos site is down for the moment. Must be all that traffic it’s getting from the Phoenix Preacher. 🙂

    If I get a chance to check back to it once their site is back up, I’ll try to comment then.

  9. dusty says:

    “love your enemies ” sometimes hard to do.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    #8 Kevin
    Just read it. It appears to me that they are just applying the tools of literary criticism to the text in the light of current science to explore the meaning of the text. As someone said to me one time, “The Bible is certainly more than mere literature, but it is also not less than literature.” I thought the article to be pretty gentle and even handed.

  11. John 20:29 says:

    Kevin H, “I don’t think we should be quick to dismiss scientific evidence. We should also be careful that our chosen interpretation of scientific evidence doesn’t cause us to resort to torturous interpretations of Scripture.” well said…

    i still think that it was possible that the whole earth went under water, what does it mean when it says that “the fountains of the deep broke up? doesn’t sound like all the water was rain – maybe it didn’t cover all the dry land of planet for the sake of some of the animal populations that weren’t near enough to get into the ark… dunno
    isn’t the salient point that Noah believed/feared God and all the people in his vicinity didn’t?
    maybe we all need to be careful not to conclude too quickly that the guy out there alone on the hill saying that it’s going to rain is a fool … some are, of course LOL …

  12. Reuben says:

    “I don’t think we should be quick to dismiss scientific evidence. We should also be careful that our chosen interpretation of scientific evidence doesn’t cause us to resort to torturous interpretations of Scripture.”

    Kevin, that is a loaded statement. What you are in effect saying is if the science does not allign with scripture, the science is wrong. And you also said that scientific evidence can be taken as a chosen interpretation? Science (as a method, not as a people) has no regard for scriptures because it seeks evidence rather than narratives that must be proven. When the objective becomes making evidence fit the narrative, it’s no longer science. Since the bible is not a science text book, and makes numerous truth claims that are not supported by the laws of physics and nature, using it to understand things like a global flood would be about as useful as studying Thomas the Tank Engine to figure out how to fix your air conditioning.

    Dangerous stuff…

  13. Kevin H says:

    Okay Richard, the Biologos site is back up and I just got the chance to reread.

    It is true that the author doesn’t explicitly say that they believe Noah and the whole ark story to be fictional, but I believe there are quite a few inferences throughout that leads the reader to think that. The strongest one is when the author writes: “To some, the view outlined here of the Flood account denies the divine inspiration of the text and instead makes the story entirely a human invention.”

    The author then goes on to stress the importance of the message of the flood story, but says nothing about believing anything factual in regards to the story. The author is concerned with correcting the view of those who think he/she is denying divine inspiration by pointing to the message as the “divine inspiration” and not correcting them on anything where he/she think some parts are actually real and not “human invention”.

  14. John 20:29 says:

    “love your enemies” … doesn’t say we have to hug them and send them birthday presents LOL
    i’m not sayin that i have it figured out, but hell is real (what it is, i’m not sure, but i don’t want to go there) and “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” that all should have the option to not perish there, but have everlasting life… deal with it, predestinators
    the offer is on the table and it’s price was unspeakable and unfathomable, that’s all i know… so i can love and pray for my enemies on that basis (and not be mean back at them 🙂 )

  15. Kevin H says:

    Duane,

    I agree the article is gentle and strikes to be even handed. And I think it is a good thing to use the tools of literary criticism to best understand/interpret a text. But I think if we use those same tools to understand/interpret the references to Noah and the ark and the flood in the NT, including by Jesus himself, then the understanding/interpretation is pretty clear that Noah and the ark and flood were real. And so I think if we come to the conclusion that they weren’t real, that is troubling in regards to biblical orthodoxy.

  16. Michael says:

    I’m with Packer on Gen 1-11…

    “The third view is the way almost unanimous by OT scholars today Roman Catholic or Protestant, liberal or conservative. Take view that this account is on the face of it a quasi liturgical celebration of the fact of creation rather than science in disguise. The argument for this – is from its literary form, it’s literary genre, a narrative of celebration where literary repetition contributes to it’s effect. “And God said, morning and evening, let there be” etc. also the parallel between days 1,4; 2,5;3,6.
    Well, that’s very schematic, formal, it doesn’t read like allegorical science but rather like a hymn with choruses, it is a prose passage of course but seems fair from literary standpoint that it’s a prose poem. ”

    Packer goes into more scholarly detail in this article…

    https://pvcommunitylife.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/swjt-packer-article.pdf

  17. Dan from Georgia says:

    Lots of good links here Michael and EricL. I will admit that I haven’t read the link about the Bible not being Gods personal letter to us (came across that link a week ago actually) because I saw it written from a progressive Christian viewpoint and immediately thought “here we go again…another progressive Christian deconstructing yet another conservative Christian ideal…”

    Well, I cannot truly say that until I actually read the article. So that is what I will do when I get back to my computer at home.

    Powerful is the link about the watermelon and racists encountering a youth (the seeds of hate article)

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    #15 Kevin,
    I understand your point of view. In the NT references I see them as not teaching history, but referring to a commonly known and accepted story in order to make a particular point or bolster a particular argument. As the story was commonly known, it provided a reference point for those who heard (or read) what was being taught. It was illustrative. If I say, “I don’t want to be the ghost of Christmas Past and take you through all you’ve missed in your life”, I’m not vouching for the historicity of Dicken’s characters, but I am using the common understanding of those characters to make a point…

  19. Kevin H says:

    Reuben,

    I’m not saying that if science doesn’t align with Scripture then science is wrong. What I am saying is that we are flawed beings, not one of us is perfectly intelligent or all knowing. And so our interpretations of both Scripture and science can be off at times. I’m not speaking of proven scientific laws, but information and evidences that can be interpreted in different manners by different people. Even amongst scientists who would reject most any involvement of God in creation or are even fully atheistic, there can and are disagreements and different ways of interpreting/understanding various pieces of scientific information and evidences.

    And as I have a faith in God that I cannot deny, I have faith that God conveys his truths through Scripture. I also admit that I am not perfect, as well as the same for all other Christians, and so our interpretations/understanding of the truths conveyed in Scripture can sometimes be faulty. But what I cannot do is accept some interpretations of scientific evidence that have other reasonable interpretations when they cause me to then have to “torture” my interpretations of things that appear to be pretty plainly true in Scripture.

  20. CostcoCal says:

    I think it telling Jesus choose specifically chose to make reference to Adam, Noah, and Lot’s wife.

  21. Michael says:

    Thanks, Dan…good to see you here,as always.

  22. Kevin H says:

    Duane,

    I understand your viewpoint, too, in relation to how you see Jesus referring to a commonly accepted story in order to make a point and not to teach history. I just think we have to go too far to come to the conclusion that Jesus (and the author of Hebrews under the inspiration of God) were only to referring to commonly accepted fictional stories when the plain reading sure makes it look like they were speaking of someone/something that actually existed/happened.

    But I also not you are much more studied than me and can probably spin me in circles if I pursue the disagreement to much further depth. 🙂

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    #22 Kevin

    Don’t want to spin you in circles! Value your heart way too much.

    I will, however, make one point. As a 21st century man, you are applying the modern value of “fictional stories”. In 1st century Palestine they didn’t hear in terms of “this is fiction”… “this is history”… “this is science”… The OT as a whole – Psalms, History, Hymns, Erotic Verse, etc. – was simply accepted as a “given” without our modern categories. So, no real disagreement from me!

  24. Kevin H says:

    Thanks, Duane.

  25. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The article – “It works…on the sacrament of baptism…” – Good stuff

  26. Steve says:

    I agree with Kevin on the BioLogos article. For me, I would take Ken Ham and his ark anyday over this Biologos nonsense. I personally believe that science has been hi-jacked by an atheistic worldview. I love science but there is very little critical thinking going on any more in the scientific community. Basically you are considered a fool if you don’t buy into the theory of evolution. It is treated as fact and you can’t even publish in some scientific journals if you don’t conform.

    Where did these scientists get their time machine to go back in time and prove their was no Genesis world wide flood or Noah’s ark? What is concerning is that many will claim that young earth creationists are just trying to fit their pseudo science to their fundamentalist interpretation of the bible. That may be true in some cases, However, what I see as more likely is that an atheistic delusion has clouded the main stream scientific community with circular reasoning to support their world view. Now I am not implying that the scientists at Biologos are atheists but rather they appear to have been influenced by the mainstream scientific community which is primarily atheistic. If possible scientists should take note of this and try to correct for their bias if that is all possible. Instead most won’t challenge anything because they claim its been scientifically proven. However, what they won’t tell you is their presuppositions they made going into their science.

  27. brian says:

    I respectfully disagree Pastor Steve, the TofE is rather robust in its application, the predictions it makes and in several lines of evidence that support common decent. I am not a scientist and I do agree with Pastor Steve that there is a bias in evolutionary theory towards some of the mechanisms of change to populations over time. Mutation and natural selection in my rather limited understanding of these mechanisms are not robust enough to be the only mechanism for the diversity and varying levels of change we observe in populations. I also do not think Abiogenesis is accurate as the only or even the mechanism that generated life from norganic or inanimate substances. One thing about Evolution or any scientific discipline from my observation is that they do not make claims of Divine Fiat, it also does not claim infallibility or absolutes except maybe in math. Science looks at natural phenomena and lacks the ability to investigate supernatural events. Like I said I am no expert and I do not pretend to be but I would hope that folks would understand why some of us struggle with TofE and Deep time in relation to Biblical revelation.

  28. Linnea says:

    Steve said “I personally believe that science has been hi-jacked by an atheistic worldview.”

    I work in a research environment in which peer review is the only thing that matters. Here’s the reality about peer review– you must walk in lockstep with what the majority considers settled science or your research will never see the light of day.

    Most research is funded out of government institutions– they control the narrative by funding only the viewpoint they consider relevant. If you don’t get funding, you don’t do research or publish that research.

    I know university professors who are terrified that their peers will find out they have conservative or Christian leanings. It would be a death knell to their careers.

    Now, I ask you, how will alternative theories ever get the discourse they deserve? They won’t in a peer review environment because peer review is akin to censorship by a belief system which denies God all together and will not allow any inkling of what they call “fiction and fantasy”.

    One’s worldview determines how one will interpret data. If your worldview is not in agreement with the majority of scientists in your field, your research will never be taken seriously. It’s as simple as that.

  29. Steve says:

    Brian, I am not a pastor. I’m more of a data scientist and IT professional.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A link to add. Today the Church remembers The Confession of St. Peter.

    http://aardvarkalley.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-confession-of-saint-peter.html

  31. dusty says:

    John 20:29, ““love your enemies” … doesn’t say we have to hug them and send them birthday presents LOL”

    You are funny! 🙂

  32. brian says:

    My apologies for that Steve thank you for the thoughtful comment by the way. I hope you have a very nice evening.

  33. brian says:

    Linnea that seems like a very valid point and I can see how that would stifle growth and the search for truth. Thank You for that insight.

  34. Victor says:

    If the characters referred to in the NT weren’t real, then what is one to make of the genealogy from Adam to Jesus in Luke 3?

    Science is replete with examples of “consensus” blinding scientists to the truth, and outright hostility and ridicule towards new theories which threatened the accepted order. For instance, the idea of The Missoula Floods was dismissed as nonsense because it flew in the face of modern geology, which uniformitarianism (slow, gradual, constance processes over millions and billions of years), after having discarded the Biblically-influenced catastrophism geological model of the past. It took decades to resolve this controversy.

  35. brian says:

    Good point Victor I am not too much of a fan of Wikipedia as a primary source it is a good place to start.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Floods#Controversy_over_number_and_source_of_floods
    and for fairness if anyone is interested

    https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/tv/the-mystery-of-the-megaflood/

  36. Outside T. Fold says:

    testing html EM tags . Feel free to ignore this

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