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Author Topic: Danger: History and Science in the Bible  (Read 62794 times)
Will Jones
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« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2006, 01:33:51 pm »

Tom,

If Marcia and Hugh are still chatting here, I believe they can attest to my very jovial, easygoing nature.  I am not some schoolyard bully as you intimate, Tom. :-)  My tone, with evidence by happy faces and my many statements that my tone should not be interpreted as anything but calm and friendly, has been mistakenly interpreted as belligerent because I am talking about a very sensitive subject that inflames many Fundamentalists:  the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible. 

Even though I was away from this board for about three years, Verne, unless he also deletes or edits the posts I am referring to, was still talking about me, asserting that I was not saved and that I was mistaken in my views and even intimating that I held my views because I wanted to ignore the moral teachings of the Bible.  I have a right to reply to him, especially after Verne has run from the initial debate by deleting all of his posts yet still judges me, my views and my standing before God.  If anyone's tone should be called into question, I believe it should be his.  Perhaps this is one reason he deleted all of this past posts in the “Egyptian Mythology” thread.

I am not expecting Verne or others to accept what I say because, like them, I was once blinded by strongly holding to the notion of Biblical inerrancy.  As I stated in past postings, I have put years of very intense study into this subject because I also did not want to change my views about the Bible.  However, after much prayer and meditation--as well as reading the Bible, Biblical scholars, history, and primary source documents such as Eusebius' Church History, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, and Luther-- I came to see that the Bible does contain errors of science and historical fact.  Moreover, the 19th Century argument for the inerrancy of the Bible put forth by those at Princeton was an attempt to guard the Bible from the advance of science and the secular study of the Bible as literature. I also became firmly convinced that claiming the Bible is infallible ultimately discredits it in the eyes of the world, especially when believers like Verne insist that one must believe in a misguided, man-made belief to believe in the truth.  I state this in firm conviction, exercising my right to “let each be fully convinced in his own mind.”   

Even though Paul demands in Romans 14 that each should be fully convinced in their own minds, one of my main points in posting was to encourage others to take an honest look at their beliefs.  But, through my own experience, I am aware that our faith can blind us when we put belief in our version of truth above the desire to actively come to a better understanding of the truth.  This search for a clearer understanding of reality / the truth should include listening to what others, who believe differently than us, actually think about what we believe.  However, I should point out that I do not believe everything science or Bible scholars claim.  Tom, you misquoted my beliefs because I do not believe 100% in the JEPD Hypothesis, but I am convinced that there are, among other things such as two separate accounts of the flood, two separate creation stories (Gen. 1-2:3 versus Gen. 2:4ff) that do cause contradictions when they are compared:

Genesis 1:11-12, 25-27 Trees were created before man was created.
Genesis 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.
Genesis 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.
Genesis 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.
Genesis 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.
Genesis 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.

Now regarding your issues with cosmology, Tom.  When one examines the cosmology of Genesis, it is simply the common—but incorrect—understanding that the ancients had at the time.  I had more to say about this in my past posts in the “Egyptian Mythology” thread.  I even provided a link that showed a diagram of the cosmological understanding at the time:  a kind of dome that held back the waters above a flat, immovable earth that had four corners.  Yes, I know apologists offer up the old phenomenological argument, that the writers were just writing according to what appeared to be true to them.  Regardless of this weak attempt at disregarding so many errant cosmological statements in the Bible, it does not change the clear fact that writers' cultural understanding of cosmology was wrong; thus, the Bible is not inerrant in matters of science because so many unscientific views of cosmology are expressed as accepted fact, not just poetic metaphor, etc.  Many writings written before and after the Bible show conclusively that the ancient view of cosmology was shared within cultures and incorrect by modern standards.

I do not, however, fault the ancient writers who wrote according to the understanding that they had at the time, but I do sigh and shake my head at those today who claim that everything, including science and history, is 100% correct.  Stating that the Bible is inerrant and infallible in all matters of science and history invalidates the Bible in the minds of most modern laypersons (and many Christians) who do not regard the Bible as Fundamentalists do.  The Bible itself only claims it is inspired, not infallible.
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Will Jones
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« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2006, 02:34:37 pm »

A few more final comments:

It takes only one contradiction in the Bible to disprove the false notion of Biblical inerrancy and infallibility.  I have presented many, but certainly not all, errors of science and history in this thread and the “Egyptian Mythology” thread.  Many websites offer even more.

I have enjoyed this discussion and, before God, I have never written anything here in anger.  On my side, this discussion has never been about trying to "win" or prove anything to anyone because each of us, as Paul wrote, has to be fully convinced in our own minds.  Rather, I have constantly encouraged others to question their own beliefs and be open to new ideas that I have presented here.  Accept them or reject them, but be open to the truth. 

Read books that offer a variety of views, not just your own beliefs.  Be willing to be wrong.  Be willing to change because nobody has perfect knowledge now.  Be willing to step off the Fundamentalist bandwagon of popular belief. A belief is not right simply because many people believe in it. From personal experience, I know it is not easy to leave the comfort of our most cherished beliefs.  But, through continued study, we can come to a better understanding of the truth.

II Timothy 2:15 admonishes, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Is it right to state the Bible is infallible when it is clear, through careful and honest study, that it is not infallible?  No, it is not right because promoting such beliefs can distract people from the message of the Bible and keep them from experiencing the love and forgiveness of God.

“And that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Tim. 3:15). It is the message of the Bible, not a belief in an inerrant book, that is able to lead us “unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Tim. 3:16f).
The Bible has spiritual authority in doctrinal and moral matters of living a good life before God, but nowhere does the Bible claim to be infallible or inerrant in matters of science and history.  Nowhere does Jesus state that “One day THE BOOK will come.”  He came, he said he would return, and thank God that people, under the inspiration of God, provided such an amazing, inspired, life-changing book that allows us to get a glimpse into Jesus' amazing life, a life he sacrificed for all who would believe in the love and forgiveness of God.

 Cheesy 
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vernecarty
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« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2006, 12:54:09 am »

Verne,

It is a common practice of many Christian apologists to SELECTIVELY pick apparent contradictions, disprove them to their satisfaction, and then claim that the Bible has no contradictions, BUT, all the while, shying away from dealing with all the contractions that have been stated in the writings of non-Christian or “nominal Christian” writings.  When referring to the mustard seed parable, Verne, like so many apologists, you do not deal with all of the passages that describe the same or similar story or teaching.  Most apologists on the web quote Matthew 13 like you did, but completely avoid Mark 4:30-32 which is much harder to explain away:

He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

In this particular version, different than the wording in Matthew and Luke's account, there is no limit placed on where the seed is planted, though one would assume that Jesus is speaking according to the understanding of his mostly agrarian listeners. 


 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: Mark 4:31


The question nonetheless remains Will, whether you view the passage in Mark or in Matthew.
Is the Lord comparing the size of the mustard seed to all other seed, or to all other seeds that the farmer sows...
Amazing that you do not think that context should control comprehension. Those are the three Cs of true literacy Will and as a writer you should know that...
Let me see if I can help you out here.
If both passages had simply said:

"It is like the mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds on the earth",

with no conditional clause whatever, you would have a point.
Capisce?

In other words, of all the seeds that folks the Lord was addressing, Would Sow, there were none on earth smaller.
Let me try one more little suggestion for you my erudite friend.
Go and did what I did in trying to understand this passage.
Try and find out what kinds of seeds were sown by folk in Jesus' time and do a bit of study regarding the varying seed sizes.
Have you?
As I indicated Will, there are many difficult passages of Scripture for which I presently do not have fully satisfactory answers.
Nothing you have presented in my opinon, warrants your conclusion that the Bible commits errors of scientific or historical fact. Just my opinion.
By the way, neither was anything I posted in response to you done with any anger whatsoever. It is quite o.k. for reasonable adults to disagree.  Smiley


Verne

p.s I looked at the first of your Genesis contradictions and apparently you do not distinguish the garden of Eden from the creation of flora at large.
What is it about the narrative that warrants such an incredible leap?

The Lord God planted a garden.......!!!

I must say I am amazed...!

« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 03:57:45 am by vernecarty » Logged
moonflower2
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« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2006, 08:10:38 am »


Nothing you have presented in my opinon, warrants your conculsion that the Bible commits errors of scientific or historical fact. Just my opinion.
Verne
Mine, too. 
Quote
p.s I looked at the first of your Genesis contradictions and apparently you do not distinguish the garden of Eden from the creation of flora at large.
What is it about the narrative that warrants such an incredible leap?

The Lord God planted a garden.......!!!
This is good reading, Verne.


Moonflower
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Oscar
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« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2006, 09:25:29 am »

Will,

1. You wrote:
Quote
Tom, you misquoted my beliefs because I do not believe 100% in the JEPD Hypothesis,

Perhaps I did misstate your beliefs.  However, you have made statements in previous posts arguing for this theory.  Check out April 11, 2003 under "Egyptian Mythology".

2. You also wrote:
Quote

Now regarding your issues with cosmology, Tom.  When one examines the cosmology of Genesis, it is simply the common—but incorrect—understanding that the ancients had at the time.  I had more to say about this in my past posts in the “Egyptian Mythology” thread.  I even provided a link that showed a diagram of the cosmological understanding at the time:  a kind of dome that held back the waters above a flat, immovable earth that had four corners.  Yes, I know apologists offer up the old phenomenological argument, that the writers were just writing according to what appeared to be true to them.  Regardless of this weak attempt at disregarding so many errant cosmological statements in the Bible, it does not change the clear fact that writers' cultural understanding of cosmology was wrong; thus, the Bible is not inerrant in matters of science because so many unscientific views of cosmology are expressed as accepted fact, not just poetic metaphor, etc.  Many writings written before and after the Bible show conclusively that the ancient view of cosmology was shared within cultures and incorrect by modern standards.

Your belief that Genesis merely reproduces the cosmology of the ANE is understandable.  One finds the "three story universe" concept repeated over and over in the books of Biblical critics.  Diagrams of said universe are to be found on the web.  However, this view is demonstrably factually incorrect.  It is a "factoid": a belief that has been repeated so many times that it becomes general knowledge that is untrue.  A more well known example is the idea that more spousal abuse happens on New Year's day than any other day.

I posted a link to a paper I wrote that shows that: 1. There are a variety of views on the cosmology of the ANE; 2. The Bible does not repeat those views.

Did you read it?  It does not appear that you did when you keep repeating the same ideas.

Here, fyi, it is again.

http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/other_papers/tom_maddux_the_three_story_universe.pdf

I would suggest that you do so...you might learn a few facts that bear on this question.

BTW, I am personally acquainted with two astronomers and four physicists who accept Biblical cosmology as factual.  Both of the astronomers have research backgrounds in cosmology, ie, the origin and nature of the universe.

I am aware that this does not "prove" anything.  But I believe that it certainly shows that Biblical critics do not have an "open and shut" case for their skepticism.  These folks could not be called "inflamed Fundamentalists" by any reasonable person.

3. Regarding the "old phenomenological argument"...

You seem to place much stock in the fact that it is "old".  The idea that the earth is a sphere is old...does that make it untrue?  This is merely the chronological fallacy.

You keep dismissing the idea of phenomenological language by saying it is merely an attempt to "explain away" factual errors in the Bible.

Do you use the words, "sunrise" and "sunset"?   Of course you do...while at the same time you know the phenomena are caused by the earth's rotation.  A question, Will.  If you and everyone else use phenomological language, why couldn't biblical authors do so?

You seem to believe that you understand the motivation and mental process of those who defend the factuality of the Bible.  Why don't you tell us just how you know this.  I would be most interested to read about it.

The real issue is not whether this argument is new or old, or why people use it.  The real issue is whether or not it is true!  Why don't you address this?  Give us some good arguments against it.  But I would suggest that you read my paper before repeating the nonsense about the "three story universe".

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux







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vernecarty
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« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2006, 09:38:22 am »

A few more final comments:


The Bible has spiritual authority in doctrinal and moral matters of living a good life before God, but nowhere does the Bible claim to be infallible or inerrant in matters of science and history.  Nowhere does Jesus state that “One day THE BOOK will come.”  He came, he said he would return, and thank God that people, under the inspiration of God,   provided such an amazing inspired, life-changing book...

I would be grateful if you indulge me in one final question.
Let us assume for the sake of argument, that you are indeed correct and that the Bible does contain provable errors of science and history.
Were the individuals who gave us the Scripture under God's inspiration in your opinion, when these errors were transmitted to us?
Verne

p.s.

 

The Bible has spiritual authority in doctrinal and moral matters of living a good life

I am curious. If you believe the above statement, why?
On what basis do you ascribe spiritual and moral authority to the Bible?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2006, 08:45:55 am by vernecarty » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #66 on: August 19, 2006, 10:05:59 pm »

Hi Will!

  I have avoided making comment here because I didn't wish to pile-on against your arguments, but feel like some questions are not being asked of you that might be important.

1.) Why do you think that it is so "dangerous" to accept that the Bible is without error in it's original form?

  Now, I realize that former members of the Assembly (which after all this forum exists for) do need to develop "critical thinking skills", as you have mentioned, but a another form of danger can be created by trying to suggest that only my reasoning is truly critical thinking, and all other is blind faith styled "Fundamentalism."

  The danger is that one begins to doubt not only "historical and scientific" statements but everything one reads; including the doctrinal and moral absolutes.  I think Verne has correctly asked the question," how do we know which passage is inspired or not?"  There are those "Christians" today who reject the "Fundamentalist" interpretation of verses that condemn sex outside of marriage, abortion, etc. via a rejection of the acceptance of what the Bible clearly says.  This kind of lack of clear reading of the text can take advantage of that within us that would turn our own opinions into God's will---- in a sense, we start to help God to evolve into an image of our own making.


  2.) Is persuading Christians to reject inerrancy a positive contribution to a Christian's faith?

    I am not saying that those involved in Neo-Evangelicalism are not Christians, well intentioned, or good people, rather I think our chief focus should be on the Evangel part, vs. the Neo.  We are called to "preach the Gospel", not to make people erudite and sophisticated modern philosophers of ancient literature (though I most certainly am not opposed to having these debates on a secondary level).

   It seems that this topic of Neo thought is the only reason that you find to post here, and as such, has become an all absorbing fascination with you (something I have been also accused of in another setting Wink).

    As you admit, the Bible is primarily interested in communicating the eternal spiritual values of who God is, His Gospel, the moral values of this God, etc.  If this is the case, why bother to expend one's entire energy to argue that the medium with which we receive this knowledge is somehow not to be wholly trusted?  Better, and certainly more humble, to take the position that there is a whole lot we just don't understand and maybe our "critical thinking" is not all it's cracked up to be.

   In the Assembly we blindly followed a false authority, and for former members this can create a kind of crisis in their lives:  who do I believe?!  I could say, "I reject all authority and will become an authority to myself."  Since the bible was misused by GG to assert that false authority a further difficulty is created in the soul of the member after leaving.

  Part of recovery (if we're interested in helping former members in their faith) is to help them discover that the Bible is a reliable authority and a blessed fount of living waters for their wounded hearts!  I would like to hear you endorse this fact and gain your commitment to an effort to minister this kind of help from time to time.

 Keep your secondary scholarly studies up, with humility, but keep in step with the Holy Spirit and align your writing with the message of eternal life as the primary goal!

                                                              God Bless,  Mark C.
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vernecarty
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« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2006, 03:52:36 am »

You raise some good points Mark.
Mechanistic naturalism is a strange thing to behold in a professed believer.
It is clear to even a casual reader of the Scripture that what is narrated therein frequently and unapologetically absolutely violates scientific paradigm, whether it be iron floating on water, or a dead man rising from the dead.
Nontheless, in one  breath neo-evangelicas affirm the Bible as a divinely inspired book, and in the next contend that the God who inspired men to speak His Word could not get the cosmology right.
I think these folks are trying to have it both ways but this is simply not possible.
One of the things that clearly attests to the Bible's divine orgin is its prophetic power.
Even the rankest of sceptics, many of whom spent a lifetime trying to prove that the book of Daniel was written after the events it accurately prophesied, and that Belshazzar did not historically exist, had to end up eating crow as it were, on this issue of prophecy.
Consider this.
No neo-evangelical in his right mind, or spirit, would deny the prophetic nature of the Bible.
Nontheless, these same folk concede that God is thus able to inspire men to speak with absolute precision about things often far in the future, but is incapable of inspiring them to speak with absolute precision about things in the present!

What am I missing?Huh!!!!
Verne
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vernecarty
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« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2006, 02:30:15 pm »

Quote
author=Will Jones link=topic=327.msg29262#msg29262 date=
The Bible has spiritual authority in doctrinal and moral matters of living a good life before God,
 

I was hoping for a bit more clarification on this assertion as I did not want to mis-understand your intent.
One could infer that by "spiritual authority" you mean to imply that the Bible should  be viewed as a sort of "how-to"  manual of living a "good life before God".
By implication it would follow that on "non-spiritual" matters the Bible has no authority.
This would certainly be the case if it commits errors of fact on matters of science and history as you allege so I think I am understanding you correctly.
I must say that I have come to a different conclusion on even the question of what you call the Bible's "spiritual authority".
Far from being any kind of "how-to" manual", it seems to me that it lays out the case of the utter impossiblity of any human being to attain to the righteous standard of God, that is to keep the law. As a manual, per se, the Bible would be nothing more than a scathing indictment of the entire human race for it proclaims that there is none that doeth good, not one.
What is my point?
Someone once said that authority without power is pathetic.

What in my view, makes the case most powerfully for Biblical authority is not so much its power to teach, as its power to transform...
Verne
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vernecarty
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« Reply #69 on: August 21, 2006, 10:07:09 am »

One of the most frustrating aspects of discussing the Bible with some Christians is that they never get past endless discussions about the Bible as merely literature.
Frankly, debates about matters like inerrancy and infallibility are dealing with milk and not meat.
It is an indisputable fact, that despite the numerous hints and examples given to us in Scripture, many Christians never come to a realization that the narrative, whether it be poetic, prosaic, or historical, is ultimately intended to teach us spiritual truth.
Now I fully agree with Tom that we have to be extremely careful and not go beyond what Scripture teaches with regard to matters of allegory. Nonetheless, I have always been amused by folk who accuse others of “spiritualizing” Scripture.

The fact of the matter is – All of Scripture is spiritual!

the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life…

What a tragedy it is that we can spend time debating the historicity of the Genesis narrative, and completely miss the larger lesson that what God does in the physical creation is intended to teach us spiritual truth.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead... Rom 1:20 :


Genesis mirrors God’s creative work in redemption!

The physical work is a type of the spiritual reality.

Hebrews confirms this remarkable principle in talking about the earthly tabernacle.

I dare say that very few of us could trace the incredible creative work of God in the book of Genesis, ( each stage proceeding by the power of God’s spoken word, ultimately culminating, just as in the physical creation, in the image of God appearing on the final day in the greater work of the new creation) and find its correspondence in the new birth.

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you…

I am going to leave that alone for now and raise a question I have regarding the gap theory of Genesis.
I know it has its problems and there has been at least one very excellent doctoral thesis (I believe it was published as a book) that marshals some very strong arguments against it.
Many argue that this theory was advanced simply to try and make accommodation for the long geological ages that seem to be indicated by geological data.
None of the arguments I have read against it though, ever deal with one of the most critical questions about the Genesis narrative regarding creation, namely-

When were angels created?

We know that angelic beings are not eternal.
Only God has that attribute.
If you believe as I do that, that the first verse in chapter one of Genesis signals the beginning of time, then it would logically follow that if angelic beings are not eternal, they must have been created after the “beginning”.
These creatures are being described as being present and shouting for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7)

When were angels created?

Matters get even more complicated for gap theorists since Exodus 20:11 clearly states:

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is…

Unless the heaven referred to here is limited to earth’s immediate celestial environs, this would suggest that angels were created during the six days!
I am just thinking out loud here and do not have good answers to this.
Better instructed comments are most welcome!
Verne





« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 10:15:31 am by vernecarty » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #70 on: August 22, 2006, 10:17:03 am »

Verne,

You said:
Quote

When were angels created?

We know that angelic beings are not eternal.
Only God has that attribute.
If you believe as I do that, that the first verse in chapter one of Genesis signals the beginning of time, then it would logically follow that if angelic beings are not eternal, they must have been created after the “beginning”.
These creatures are being described as being present and shouting for joy when God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4-7)


I believe that you need to add something to your thinking about this issue.  While it is true that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and that this included all the matter/energy/space/time, it could well be that angels do not need any of these to exist!

God is the only eternal being.  That means that his existence must be indepent of the dimension of time we know.  God is an uncreated spirit.  Angels are created spirits.  Spirits, as far as we know, do not need our universe to exist. 

God, who exists separately from our universe, penetrates it.  It might be the same for angels.  Theologians use the term, "non-local presence".  What they mean is that a spirit being, (angel or demon), sometimes manifests itself in an earthly location.  But where is it?

Speaking of a physical being, the location can be described.  Where does a spirit being start or end?  Does it have length?  Height?  No one knows.  It is possible that their existence is entirely separate from the universe but they can penetrate it something like the way God does.

I guess if we needed to know, God would have told us.  I think I will add this to my list of questions to ask when I arrive.   Wink

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux

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vernecarty
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« Reply #71 on: August 22, 2006, 07:16:43 pm »

Verne,

You said:
I believe that you need to add something to your thinking about this issue.  While it is true that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and that this included all the matter/energy/space/time, it could well be that angels do not need any of these to exist!



Blessings,

Thomas Maddux




Holy smoke! er...angels! That never occurred to me...talk about thinking outside the box!  Smiley
Verne
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vernecarty
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« Reply #72 on: August 23, 2006, 07:42:12 am »

I was going to deal with a few more of Will's supposed Bibllical contradictions when it suddenly dawned on me that I was being baited!  Smiley
It has to be obvious to any thinking person that Will is not the first person to raise these kinds of objections and that there are probably very good answers given by far more able men than any posting here.
Folk will usually find what they are really seeking.
I don't mean to imply that Will is cynical but I think something is amiss.
Case in point.
A few years ago Will asserted with great confidence that the Genesis record was flawed because although the Sun was not created until the fourth day, the record indicated the passage of night and day prior to the fourth day.
For someone making such confident statements about science, that particular comment really surprised me and made it clear that he had not really thought about that particular objection and was probably just repeating something he had read somewhere.
Although I had never heard that particular objection raised before, a mere moment's reflection immediately unmasked the flawed reasoning and apparently unrecognized assumptions.
It was clear from his comments that he had assumed:

1. That the sun was the only source of light in the creation.
2. Given an alternate source, alternating periods of light and darkness(which is after all, how day and night were defined, could not be marked by such a source.

The luminaries of the fourth day merely now regulated what already existed, namely. day and night.

I was quite disappointed by his deafening silence when I pointed out his error on this particular matter.
In fact, I have yet to hear Will admit that he has been mistaken on any of the numerous "contradictions" he has cited, and/or that any of his objections have been reasonably answered.
Why is that?  Smiley
Verne
« Last Edit: August 23, 2006, 11:25:47 am by vernecarty » Logged
Will Jones
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« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2006, 10:05:39 am »

PART ONE -- VERNE WRONGLY CLAIMS I "BAITED" HIM

OK, Verne, you have one final question, but I have already answered it in many places on the "Egyptian Mythology" thread.  For example, on April 01, 2003, I talked about the notion of inspiration.  I am sorry, but I am not going to reiterate what I have already written.  You can also check out the "Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy" thread, a thread that is still readable even though you have deleted all your posts on it that pertain to our "Biblical Inerrancy" discussion.

Even though I have tried many times to withdraw from posting on this board, it is clear that you do not wish me to withdraw from this discussion.  Yet, you are telling the other posters here that I have "baited" you into answering me.  Come on, brother.  I am shocked that you would say something like this after you have the audacity to question my salvation and intentions.  Perhaps you are simply joking, but you are clearly wrong in this case.  Here are some points that disprove your assertion that I have “baited” you:

(1) Initially I was speaking to Al, Arthur and MGov--you came into the discussion after them
(2) After you addressed me and asked me questions and made comments, I replied
(3) Three years ago, YOU wanted me to offer up clear contradictions and I did as you requested
(4) I wanted to rest my case and stop posting until you dealt with all the contradictions that you said you would deal with one by one
(5) Rather than doing what you said you would do, you deleted all your posts without giving any explanation as to why
(6) In the discussion and, after you deleted all your posts, on many occasions you misquoted me and my beliefs, and you called into question my salvation and motivation in disregarding the notion of Biblical inerrancy
(7) I read the board periodically why YOU "baited" me with comments to return after being away from the board for such a long time.  I returned to set a few things straight—particularly your desire to play God by trying to guess what was on my heart in terms of my salvation and motivation.
(8 ) I had intended to stop posting here after making a few more final comments but you had one more question and then had the audacity to intimate “something is amiss” and that you were “baited”

Really, Verne, if I really enjoyed baiting you so much why would I stop posting on the board for the past three years?  I stopped posting on this board because I believe it had served its purpose of providing information and reflection on the Assembly as well as the fact that I was not comfortable with the direction it seemed to be going in.  What caused me to return was the fact that you deleted all your posts on the "Egyptian Mythology" and "Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy" threads but yet you still continued to mention me and my beliefs in a negative manner (e.g., March 12, 2005), particularly calling into question my standing before God.  If you read my posts in April and May of 2003, especially in the "Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy" thread, it is clear that I was feeling hounded by you due to the tone and content of your posts and the fact that you often had one more question to ask or the need to make one more comment that you knew I would have to address after I tried to say goodbye.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 10:18:56 am by Will Jones » Logged
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« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2006, 10:15:03 am »

PART TWO -- VERNE TRIES TO CAST DOUBT ON MY "CYNICAL" INTENTIONS BY CLAIMING "SOMETHING IS AMISS" WHEN ALL I WANT TO DO IS STOP TALKING TO HIM

No, Verne, I have no interest whatsoever in baiting you.  In fact, I would like to suggest that we cease this discussion and simply agree to disagree.  We are both firmly convinced in our own minds and that is OK.  I am not threatened by the fact that you do not have the same beliefs as I do.  I have forgiven you for your tone and manner of discussion and even for calling into question my salvation and motivation for posting here.  Think what you want about my soul, Verne, but I would like to ask you to stop referring to me and my beliefs on this board because, on many occasions, you have misunderstood and misquoted me and my beliefs as well as made unfair judgements about my salvation and my motivation for not believing in Biblical infalibility.  Now, to top it all off, in your most recent post, you are accusing me of doing what you have done--run from a debate by avoiding certain issues. 

After saying that you thought "something is amiss" (as if I were hatching some dark plan), you incorrectly wrote that I had intenionally avoided answering your attempt at explaining away only one of the many problems in Genesis.  In fact, you were "quite disappointed" by my "deafening silence."  Verne, I hope you won't look too foolish, but I did give you a clear answer in the "Egyptian Mythology" thread when I said on April 14, 2003, "Sorry, but I found your explanation for the first apparent discrepancy unsatisfactory."  And I then went on to explain why.  I hate to say it, but I feel I often had to repeat myself again and again when talking with you. For example, you have asked me about my view of Biblical inspiration three times now. 

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I was quite disappointed by his deafening silence when I pointed out his error on this particular matter.  In fact, I have yet to hear Will admit that he has been mistaken on any of the numerous "contradictions" he has cited, and/or that any of his objections have been reasonably answered.

You wanted to know if any of the objections you offered were valid?  Perhaps you must have not deemed them valid if you deleted all of them on the other two threads. ;-)  I have already told you what I thought if you care to read my responses to you on the "Egyptian Mythology" and the "Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy" threads.  In the words of Luther, "I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us.  On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.”

Something is amiss, Verne.  Let's look at the facts.  You deleted all of your posts without giving any explanation after committing yourself to deal with each discrepancy.  You, representing the "US" of Bibilical Inerrantists, are trying to paint me with the black brush of "THEM" through questioning my salvation and motivation for holding my beliefs (e.g., people who don't believe in inerrancy do so because they want to evade the moral teachings of the Bible).  And now you are even offering up little conspiracy theories by implying I am "cynical" and that "something is amiss" in the way I am posting.  Something is amiss.  You have already stated that you do not have enough time to deal with this in depth and that such discussion is no longer edifying YET you keep on posting about this subject.  At least we agree on this one last point:  I no longer have time for this discussion that I no longer find edifying.  I suggest we both no longer invest anymore time in this discussion that has clearly run its course.

Now, Vene, I will be "quite disappointed" if I cannot get "deafening silence" from you on this matter.  This discussion was over three years ago as far as I was converned.  We will have to agree to disagree.  You had your opportnity three years ago to deal with all the contrdictions you asked me to put forth but you did not do so.  Rather, you ran from our discussion when you deleted all of your posts on the "Egyptian Mythology" thread and on the "Biblical Inspiration and Inerrancy" thread.  I am asking you to once again abandon further discussion on this issue.  Please do not refer to me personally or indirectly anymore and please do not make anymore judgments or offer conjecture on my salvation, motivation or beliefs because you have proven youself unable to do so objectively, accurately or fairly.

Our conversation has come to an end.  Imagine me turning around and walking away from you.  Anything else that is directed at me I will interpret as somebody shouting at my back.  Please let me do what I intended to do many times about three years ago--I want to say goodbye.  :-)
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