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65 Responses

  1. Em - again says:

    God values something more than human salvation?
    since i don’t hang out in circles that use such phrases, i’ve found a new favorite term:
    “tu quoque. …… Pronounced too-kwo-kwee.”

    i don’t think God values anything above His Name – how could He? … perhaps, we might consider that the salvation of the human is a vindication of His name? dunno

  2. Josh the Baptist says:

    Next SBC President – I hope it will be Greear. He’s a good guy. Not perfect by any means, but a good guy. Wicked smart. Has a doctorate in Muslim studies or something like that.

    I don’t know Gaines very well. He followed a legend, and that has to be tough. I remember the scandal about the pedophile on his staff, but I don’t have anything against him that I know of.

  3. Rob says:

    “The fossils say no!”. Good article. Thanks for the link.

  4. Babylon's Dread says:

    I have unfinished business with the SBC that I am considering tidying up. I did a Th. M. without finishing the final paper. I want to reprise that and finish it.

    Checking into it … so I might be SBC for a little while. … wink

  5. Josh the Baptist says:

    We welcome you Brother Dread πŸ™‚

    Didn’t you go to Mid-American?

  6. Em - again says:

    lots of good links – good ponders – but i spare you πŸ™‚

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Now we will have Babs the Baptist πŸ˜‰

  8. brian says:

    Does anyone else here ever struggle with the theological implications too many traditional issues if the Theory of Evolution is valid?

  9. Michael says:


    I don’t.

    The science doesn’t negate a Creator.

  10. Em - again says:

    brian, i don’t struggle because i’m not qualified πŸ™‚ but FWIW my late husband was more than qualified to assess the science as well as the logic and he just felt that the deeper science goes the more it proves God – not vice versa

    my not so humble take … i think God gave man the capability to explore and learn – learn far beyond where we’ve come so far … trouble is the work is hard and thus man needs to think he’s achieved more than he really has when it comes to figuring out the universe …

  11. Glen says:

    Em, just curious if your husband leaned towards the “gap” theory. That’s how I lean.

  12. Andrew says:

    Regarding the fossils, I still trust Dr. AE Wilder Smith. He was the guy to go to when it came to whales.

  13. Andrew says:

    Saaed refuses marriage counseling is an interesting twist. If I recall it was the other way around where Naghmeh wouldn’t do marriage counseling cause he needed to address the abuse first.

  14. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think what she meant is that he is refusing individual counseling for himself that Nagmeh requires before couples counseling.

  15. Andrew says:

    Brian, I am with you that if the theory of evolution is correct than the theological implications are enormous and in my estimation insurmountable. To say you have to believe in evolution to be a scientist is one of the greatest myths of our time. I won’t judge my brethren that believe in this theory but I could personally never believe in it. There are plenty of great scientists that reject the idea of evolution.

  16. Andrew says:

    Speaking of fossils, I dug up some of my own the other day when helping a friend dig some holes in central PA. They were all small sea creators with shells, etc.. Obviously where I found these the entire land must have been covered with ocean at one time. I can’t help but believe this is the remains of Noah’s flood on the Earth. You can call me a nut case if you want but I just think this makes sense.

  17. Josh the Baptist says:

    A. I don’t believe in evolution.

    B. Why would it be devastating if true?

    Didn’t someone have to start the process?

    It may be devastating for biblical literalists, but I don’t see why the theology would be affected at all.

  18. Andrew says:

    In my opinion, human evolution is one of the huge problem theologically. Did Jesus descend from a monkey? Also evolution requires repeated death of the organism millions of times over and over for billions of generations. The Bible is pretty clear that death didn’t enter into history until the fall of man.

  19. Josh the Baptist says:

    Again, I don’t believe in evolution…but…let’s say I do:

    Did Jesus evolve from a monkey? No. Jesus was born of Mary and the Holy Spirit. The process that God used to create man is irrelevant to that fact. Did Jesus evolve from dust?

    The second objection about death entering after the fall of man: It would be easy to imagine much of the Genesis story as metaphorical, and not have to throw out the baby with the bathwater, so to speak. Again, Biblical literalism can’t hold up if evolution is true, but that would seem to be a different issue from Theology.

  20. Andrew says:

    Speaking again of human evolution, Mary must have evolved from a monkey if you are to believe this. And if Jesus was born of Mary he also would have these monkey genes in him.

  21. Andrew says:

    If the Genesis story were just all metaphorical than Adam was not a literal person. Jesus however seems to tell us he is. Was Jesus mistaken or should be take Jesus’ words metaphorically as well. Was Jesus just a metaphorical person like Adam?

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    I don’t see the point.

    So does Jesus have dust genes? Because Adam was made from dust. Or did he evolve from a rib, because of Eve? Again, I don’t see why the process of human creation would matter as far as Jesus goes.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    Adam could be a real person even if the six days of creation are metaphorical. Genesis 1 is certainly not a scientific manual. Anyway you look at it, a lot more went into it. It doesn’t say anything about hydrogen or Oxygen, yet we know those things exist. It could be that the six day creation story is shorthand for billions of years of evolution. At the appropriate time in the process, God named one of them Adam.

    Not my belief, but it could work.

  24. Andrew says:

    Josh, its whether you believe what Jesus says or not. Thats the point.

    β€œBut at the beginning of creation God β€˜made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:6-9.

    From Jesus’ own words he said they were made male and female from the creation of God.

  25. Josh the Baptist says:

    Right, and I agree. But someone who believes in evolution could say that God made them male and female, but Jesus did not describe the process of HOW God created them. Perhaps, that process involved something similar to evolution. Jesus’s words would still be correct.

  26. Andrew says:

    Jesus also talked about Noah’s flood being literal. If Noah’s flood was real than every living thing was wiped out other than the animals on the ark and Noah’s family. I assume some of the sea creators lived also. Evolution doesn’t teach this. Again a conflict.

  27. Josh the Baptist says:

    Right. I agree with that. Lots of reasons evolution doesn’t make sense, theological and otherwise. I would assume a Christian who believes in evolution could argue that the larger part of evolution happened before Noah, and that the great flood even added to that process. What happened to the dinosaurs, etc? The flood.

  28. Andrew says:

    I think many Christians that believe in evolution don’t believe in a global flood. This would be scientists like Hugh Ross. I think this is problematic at best and diminishes Jesus’ own understanding of the flood. I haven’t heard anyone even postulate that the great flood added to the theory of evolution. Dinosaurs could have been taken on the ark as babies with there being enough room. Not sure what happened to them but I don’t think it was the flood. Job seems to confirm what appears to be very dinosourish like creatures in the Bible.

  29. Michael says:

    I think we make a grave mistake when we declare “what evolution teaches”.
    Most of us are utterly unqualified to deal with the science involved.
    I am utterly unqualified to speak to the science involved.

    I do believe in a “literal” flood and a “literal” Adam and Eve…but the rest of the creation record in Genesis doesn’t appear to be written in a “literal” fashion, but in a Hebraic form of prose poetry.

    At this point in my life I have absolutely no hope of becoming scientifically informed enough to address all the complex issues around creation and evolution.

    This troubles me not.

    God it it.
    He still does it.
    That’s all I need to understand.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well, first of all “science” does not teach us anything. Science is just a pile of test results.

    Scientists as people and scientism as philosophy are what teach us – like anything else, sometimes they teach us correctly and sometimes not.

    Science discovers what God has already done. I believe the Bible for what it says – if it says the first man was created by a scoop of dust and a breath of air and the first woman was created out of Adams rib, I believe that too. As I said yesterday about Jesus – I don’t try to smooth out the rough edges.

    The hardest thing in this world to do, is to stick with what scripture says without wavering.

  31. Andrew says:

    If we don’t know what evolution teaches then in my humble opinion it should never be taught as fact in schools. But it is taught with the same strength and rigor as the law of gravity. The theory itself is not that complex to understand but when you try to reconcile it with creationism it falls flat on its heals.

  32. Em - again says:

    Glen, the fossil gaps or the gap between Creation itself and the appearance of man in the garden?

    i think the former is obvious and the latter, as i recall, he did find plausible … all theoretical, tho, eh?

  33. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t expect folks who do not believe in a god to believe in creationism – that would be dumb. My problem is Christians who do not believe (1) creationism and (2) don’t believe what the Bible says.

    I have big issues with Christians who put their reason above scripture – and regardless what they may say, that is what they are doing.

  34. Andrew says:

    MLD, I agree. The objection of most evolutionary Christians is that they say the Bible is not a science book. That is true. But the bible is in some regards a reliable history book. And in my mind, evolutionary theory falls more in the realm of history and less in the realm of science.

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    The Bible does not need to be a science book and it wasn’t for that purpose. But the Bible, through the Holy Spirit does tell us how Adam and Eve were created. You don’t need a science course to follow the words.

  36. Papias says:

    “But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;” [Heb 1:8-10 ESV]

    God telling the Son that He made it all.

    On the other side of this discussion, I don’t get the argument for why a Christian must believe in a literal 6 day creation though as say, Ken Ham does.

  37. Em - again says:

    yes, evolution IS taught as “scientific” fact to our children… by folk like us who are not qualified to teach the subject IMHO… science has facts – yes and those facts lead to theories… theories!! evolution cannot be proved, but it does make for some interesting theories
    teach the theory as theory – even say you believe it, if you must – then don’t complain when a teacher down the hall says that he/she believes God did it… and that’s our theory, the one we believe… our facts are harder to pin down, but we still have a theory

    i thank God for science – it is His gift to man to better our world (as best we can) – He is a compassionate God

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A Christian does not have a requirement to “must” believe in a 6 literal day creation .. to be a Christian. He can be wrong about many things and still be a believer.

    But think of this – the Bible with the numbering of the days and the evening and morningstuff seems to be making every effort to make the claim for a literal 6 days. So if the Bible says so, what would stir a Christian to say – “nah, that does not make sense TO ME – I think I will go with what this other guy says.” To me, that is the biggest theological question — “Why do I question the words of scripture?”

  39. Em - again says:

    i’m reading MLD here and saying amen, amen, amen – gotta watch myself πŸ™‚

    FWIW – i’m hoping for a literal 6 day creation and hoping we get to see the video in Eternity future – but by whatever means… what a God we have !!! ruler of the universe – wow

    Psalm 19:1

  40. Papias says:

    MLD, I agree with your #38.

    But attend a AIG lecture and it seems that some see a slippery slope between not believing a literal 6 day creation and then embracing all other sorts of stuff….

    I believe in a 6 day creation, but its not a hill to die upon…other theories have their merits as well.

    I will also go back to what I heard from Norm Geisler years ago…. “Explain how non-mind can produce mind, non-life can produce life..”

  41. Em - again says:

    it’s an oldie but i love it … science says to God, “We can make anything you’ve claimed that you made.” God replies, “Show Me.” Science says, “Okay, watch.” … God watches and then says, “Whoa! Get your own dirt.”

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny that people turn to Ken Ham when creationism is brought up – as if he is some authority on the topic. He is someone trying to parse it out … but he has his own angle.

    As to slippery slopes, I do recognize that they are real … when one begins to deny one part of scripture, you can bet they will with others — this is how we have the ELCA – they denied the literal 6 days, moved on to include the first 10 chapters as metaphor, denied Jonahas real and then denied the long day in Joshua.

    Some years later they were able to justify ladies in the pulpit, followed by homosexuals in their pulpits based on what you can deny in scripture. But I hope they have hit bottom, as in they are now at the bottom of that slippery slope.

  43. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny how we let Christians deny the creation because science doesn’t back it up but not the same for the resurrection, that somehow science cannot back up, but you aren’t allowed to put your own spin on it because it is difficult to understand.

    I don’t understand creation and I don’t understand resurrection – in fact my mind cries out deny both — but I don’t

  44. Andrew says:

    Actually Papas, if one believes in a young earth creation now adays in church, many people consider you a wack-a-doodle. It seems to be the minority position. I read through Norman Geislers essay. In the beginning of the article he wrote of the young earth view “Unfortunately, however, I believe the weight of biblical and scientific evidence does not favor it.” But than went on his diatribe against AIG and didn’t give any biblical or scientific reasons for why he personally believed in the old earth view. To me its worthless if I am trying to figure what the truth is.

  45. Papias says:

    Andrew, you do understand that the link I posted was his response to AIGs response to his initial article?

    “I am convinced of one thingβ€”the age of the earth is not a test of orthodoxy. Thus, I wrote the article: β€œDoes Believing in Inerrancy Require One to Believe in Young Earth Creationism?” in which I came to a negative conclusion. Answers in Genesis responded to my article in a piece titled β€œThe Ultimate Motivation of This Prominent Theologian.”

    The church I attend hosted a AIG conference, which was well attended and I’m sure they made a boatload, selling their AIG curriculum. (I had no idea they had so much!)

    Geislers point was not about evolution. It was whether or not someone needed to believe in YE creationism in order to be a Christian. He was replying to AIGs position to the contrary.

    “Meldenius (d. 1651) put it: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things charity.” And by all counts, the age of the earth is not one of the essentials of the Christian Faith and should not be so used.”

  46. Xenia says:

    The link about crying at funerals….

    I go to two kinds of funerals these days: Orthodox funerals and non-Orthodox funerals. The two couldn’t be any more different.

    Most of the elderly non-Orthodox recently deceased people of my acquaintance don’t even have funerals. They are cremated, the ashes are kept in someone’s closet and then some convenient day in the future when there’s a few family members in town, the ashes are sprinkled (dumped) into the ocean or on a mountain. My sister in law unexpectedly died last month and there was no funeral, no nothing. I guess the plan is to sprinkle (dump) her ashes in the desert among the cactus some day. This is distressing to me. When you talk to her husband, it’s all about “getting over it” ASAP. He’s not allowed to mourn, I guess. Poor guy. I am pretty sure this is my mother’s plan for herself as well when the time comes.

    None of the evangelical funerals I have attended in the past few years have the body on hand. No mention made of it, either. Is there a grave to visit? Probably not. The service consists of the co-workers of the deceased telling funny stories as a slide show of cheery photos scrolls overhead. A few songs and smiles all around. To be sad seems to suggest that the departed love one might not be in heaven so we have to smile smile smile.

    Catholic funerals are better. There’s a casket, there’s a liturgy, there’s pall bearers, there’s a grave, and there’s lots of weeping. The Gospel is preached in the funeral liturgy. But even at an RC funeral, things can go off the rails, like at my neighbor’s funeral where they played a CD of Frank Sinatra singing “I Did it My Way” as the communion hymn.

    We Orthodox do not believe in cremation, ever, unless it’s to burn plague victims or some such catastrophe.* We do not believe in embalming the body if it can at all be avoided (not always possible). We would prefer simple pine coffins, if possible. The funeral is open casket, if possible. The Liturgy is all about the Resurrection. We say good bye to our loved ones, usually kissing their cold dead foreheads which keeps us mindful of our own future death. There is weeping. No one is expected to “get over it” ASAP. Forty days after the death, we have another little prayer service. And we have a memorial service every year thereafter.

    *We don’t cremate out of respect for the body which will resurrect one day. Yes, we know that the body will be dust and ashes soon enough, but we do it this way in anticipation of that this very body somehow- God knows how- will come together, bone and sinew, on resurrection day, when all things are made new.

  47. j2theperson says:

    I’m curious how much an Orthodox funeral and burial costs, Xenia.

  48. Em - again says:

    cremation can include a funeral and inurnment of the ashes in a crypt – something the local Presbyterians have done when they built their new church is a memorial garden with a wall in which there are enclosed niches for a loved ones remains… makes me think of the old churchyard cemeteries …

  49. j2theperson says:

    My church has a columbarium. I think most of the spaces have already been vouched for.

    I think about my husband dying more than I probably should. I’m not sure I understand the point of a funeral. All it would do is cause me a huge expense at a very vulnerable time in my life and it wouldn’t make me feel better about him being dead. Funerals seem like things that are put on for the benefit of people who are not immediate family members of the deceased–an event for them to go to to show that they care in some way.

  50. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Here is a conversation about cremation or not to cremate from a Lutheran view.
    The position taken is not to cremate, pretty much as Xenia said – both out of respect to the body and against the notion that once dead the body no longer matters.

  51. Em - again says:

    j2, don’t let anyone pressure you in that regard – funerals have their place, i know, but not for all of us… i hope my children respect my wishes – i think they will – i don’t want anyone making public comments about me after i’m gone πŸ™‚

  52. Andrew says:

    Geislers point was not about evolution. It was whether or not someone needed to believe in YE creationism in order to be a Christian. He was replying to AIGs position to the contrary.
    What you are saying is not what Ken Ham believes though. Read for yourself here:

    I’m not a big Ken Ham fan but I’m even less of a fan of Norman Geisler when he wrote his apologetic article defending Ergun Caner lies. A true test of orthodoxy however does demand telling the truth.

  53. Em - again says:

    BTW – cremation IS acceptable to R.C.s – my take is that the bones are all that remain whether the corruption is quick or drawn out over years … ugh … wasn’t the practice in centuries past to place the deceased in a crypt of sorts (a cave) and when there was nothing remaining but bones to go back and gather them up and box them? unless you were gone and forgotten perhaps… in any case, there should be reverence in the handling of the deceased loved one and i’m betting those morticians are not always that reverent… there’s always donating your remains to science…

    i am so sorry that j2 has such a burden on her mind at this point in her life – God keep

  54. London says:

    Funerals help people take a pause from their own life to remember that the person that died mattered.

  55. Ixtlan says:

    “Funerals help people take a pause from their own life to remember that the person that died mattered.”

    And sometimes part of the sadness is that you feel that you didn’t affirm them often enough.

  56. Xenia says:

    I don’t know how much an EO funeral costs, I think it varies. The last one I attended, the body never went to a funeral home, his body was washed and dressed by church members and placed in a hand-made coffin that was made by an Orthodox coffin maker. It was a pine box with “I am the Resurrection and the Life” carved around the sides, probably not as cheap as a plain coffin but he was a beloved pastor. The service itself didn’t cost anything. He was buried in a country graveyard, I don’t know how much the plot cost. There was a nice meal afterwards. When his wife died a year earlier, it was the same thing. I went to the funeral of a monk friend and the body arrived in a home-made coffin on the back of his son’s pick up truck.

    Once the body is placed in the coffin it is brought to the church and members take turns keeping vigil with the body and reading Psalms aloud until time for the funeral. This is an ancient practice.

    Personally, these acts of tenderness cause me to feel happier about my own death.

    I think a traditional EO funeral and burial would me much less expensive than taking the funeral home route, No fake make up, no embalming, no fancy casket, etc. I think the funerals of the pastor and his wife I mentioned above were very inexpensive, just the coffins (which may have been donated, they were so beloved) and the food for the meal afterwards. Some Orthodox do prefer to use the services of a funeral home but still, no cremation.

  57. Xenia says:

    Then there’s my atheist brother in law who has made arrangements to have his head cut off and kept frozen in some kind of ghastly cryogenic chamber.

  58. Em - again says:

    Xenia’s description is lovely and full of reverence and simple decorum… i recall my grandparents telling of the same procedure being the norm in pioneer times on the prairies in this country (i think that the reason for standing vigil with the deceased in those days until burial was the concern that they might not be dead) … but it is lovely, whatever the reason

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    His head can sit frozen next to Ted Williams πŸ™‚

  60. Em - again says:

    poor Ted, i don’t think that was his choice, was it? wasn’t it a relative that made that decision?

  61. Em - again says:

    Xenia might tell her in law that she admires his faith πŸ™‚

  62. Xenia says:

    Em, he wears a medallion around his neck so that whoever is with him when he dies can call the cryro goon squad. I hope I am not the person who is with him when he dies because I would find myself in a moral dilemma. I guess, since he is a complete unbeliever, I would accede to his gristly wishes and call the goon squad. Lord have mercy.

  63. Xenia says:

    One of the purposes of a traditional funeral is to remind the attendees of their own upcoming deaths and to redeem the time. As my personal hero Fr. Seraphim Rose used to say, “It’s later than you think!”

  64. Em - again says:

    Xenia, being naturally more sneaky than you, may i suggest that you just point it out to whoever has to deal with his remains – hospital or 911: “I think that medal around his neck is supposed to tell you something. Do you know what it means?” πŸ™‚

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