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Friday, February 20, 2009

To the Christian frog settling into his pot

Romans 8:18-22 "18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. "



Martin Luther - If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. (Luther's Works. Weimar Edition. Briefwechsel [Correspondence], vol. 3, pp. 81f.)

This post precedes the second post on information and it is directed at Christians, although the rest of you are of course invited to read on.

Before you Christians who are willing to believe in evolution get too comfortably numb in that particular pot, remember the parable of the frog in the pot. Allow me to explain and offer you a hand out of the pot and even a nice towel to dry you off.

It is simply not true that the facts are on the side of evolution. The facts are not on one side or the other. No one has a Wayback Machine to view the events surrounding either a creation event or a big bang. No one has video footage of a world-wide flood. The facts available to us concerning origins require interpretation. Both sides have the same facts, they simply believe different things. It is fair to say that whether you believe in either evolution or creation it is a belief. It is a matter of faith. Do you believe Jesus or Darwin? Or do you actually believe you can believe both?



One fact that tends to fall on the Christian side of the ledger is the Bible. Over 3,000 times the Bible claims to be the Word of God in one way or the other. We as Christians are assumed to take the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith. Since God cannot lie, we will also assume the assertions and historical accounts therein to be true.

I am going to concentrate on the idea of a logical Christian belief system. We will not say much about rock layers or radiometric dating or irreducible complexities. Christians agree that the Bible is the authority in all matters of faith. I submit that the Bible is an authority on all matters it reveals in any field of study, whether scientific or philosophical or historical.

1) The Bible asserts that water and then light were formed first as the Universe was created, rather than a big explosion. Adding millions of years to any one day or making each day millions of years old cannot change the fact that the Bible has an order to creation that refutes the assertions of evolution.

Genesis 1:1-8 "1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day."

As you follow the creation narrative of Genesis One, you see other problems. God made plants, then sea-dwelling creatures, then flying creatures and then land animals last. After the Universe and the Earth are prepared, God makes man.

Evolution requires random molecules eventually forming simple cells becoming primitive plants and animals in the seas, moving to land and then flying animals happening last. Adding millions of years doesn't change the fact that this order disagrees with the order of Genesis, let alone the timeline.

2) Evolution requires millions and perhaps billions of years of creatures living and dying and evolving from simpler to more complex beings, or sometimes not more complex but just different. In any event, the theme of evolution is DEATH. Millions upon Billions upon Trillions of deaths with no reason behind them. God's Word equates death with sin.

In Genesis 1 through 2:3, we show a six day creation and there is no death. God puts mankind in charge of the animal world in verse 1:28 but explains that man and animals are to eat plant life only in verse 1:29. So far, no death. God proclaims that creation is "very good" in 1:31. In 2:3 he rests from his creative work.

So, how is it that God is saying that the completed days of creation are very good if they are not days but rather millions of years of death and disease and destruction? What is very good about that? Why would God tell man to eat plants, and does anyone believe that mankind went on for however many thousands or millions of years without eating meat before "The Fall?" If you believe in millions of years, you have to throw out Genesis chapter one altogether. No way does the account fit into the idea of millions of years of death unless God believes death is "good."

Adam and Eve are portrayed as being in a paradise on earth, allowed to do whatever they wish and having personal communion with God. They are given free reign over creation and warned that only one thing was forbidden them and that was the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They are told that if they eat of that particular fruit, they will die.

Adam and Eve are innocent and can do whatever they may because they are innocent. They have no knowledge of good and evil. They have no experience with death. They have free will and there is only one thing forbidden to them. But they are deceived by Satan to believe that they can eat the forbidden fruit and be like God and actually will not die. They do eat of the fruit, God knows it, confronts them and everything changes.

Let's follow the account (any bolding by me), beginning with Genesis 2:15 - The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.


But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman, '
for she was taken out of man."

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Genesis Three - 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"

10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."

11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"

12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock
and all the wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel."

16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;
with pain you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you."

17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

20 Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
~

So, the Tree actually did have fruit that enabled Adam and Eve to understand good and evil. This was a disastrous event for the world. They did eat of it and at that moment understood their rebellion against God and suddenly their nakedness seemed shameful. They had not known shame previously.

This was also the beginning of death. Satan (as the serpent, a word in the Hebrew that is actually not snake, by the way, but rather an attractive creature) had used truth and lies mixed together to convince Eve and then Adam to sin by disobeying God. More than this, innocence was gone and God had to kill animals to provide skins for them to wear. One could argue that Eve was fooled into disobeying God, but Adam had deliberately sinned along with her. It was rebellion against God.

Wait a minute? Didn't they have fig leaves to cover them already? Yes, but God performed the first sacrifice to show them that sin brings death and that their sin had brought death into the world. Now innocence was gone and death was here. Death entered into the world, into the world of organisms. Along with it came disease and mutation and aging...all results of sin.

The Book of Romans is, among other things, a legal and logical dissertation on death and redemption, on faith and works, an explanation of grace. Here is a selection of statements concerning sin and death.

Romans 6:23 begins "For the wages of sin are death..." Romans 5:12 " Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned." Romans 5:14 "Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come."

3) The Bible asserts, and Christians believe Jesus Christ came to free us from both sin and death. Jesus Christ came to save us from the penalty for sin first imposed upon the human race by the sin of the first man, Adam, though Adam's willful rebellion against (what was then) the one rule of God. Romans, again, has much to say on this score:

Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" Romans 5:17 "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ."

Romans 5:19 "19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.." Romans 5:21 "...so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The Bible is quite specific on the relationship between sin and death.
~

Hebrews 9:22 says "... without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. "

The Bible also expresses the relationship between the man, Adam, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God who became a man to provide a solution to the Adamic sin problem.

I Corinthians 15:21 and 22 "21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

I Corinthians 15:45 "So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being" ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit."

The Christian must conclude that Adam was a real man, that his sin was original sin that brought death into the world, and that Jesus Christ was the Last Sacrifice and only remedy for sin and death. If life of all kinds had been living and dying for millions of years, then the story of Adam is without meaning and the sacrifice of Christ was foolishness. Otherwise he must abandon not only the testimony of Genesis 1-3, but also the books of Romans and Hebrews and I Corinthians and I Timothy (read I Tim 2:13-15) and...well, he must discount the necessity of the ministry of Christ, so he might as well throw out the entire Bible and our faith along with it.

Jesus Himself validated the beginning of Genesis, saying in Mark 10:6-8 ""But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.' 7'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." "

Jesus Christ quoted from Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 within these verses, emphasizing that He considered the account as a historical and valid account and not some metaphorical fairy tale.

4) Atheists realize the importance to the Christian faith of a literal Genesis account and a literal six days of creation. They understand that, without a Fall, there is no need of a Risen Savior. They see clearly that millions of years of evolution refutes the Bible and takes away the necessity or effectiveness of a Savior Christ.

“It becomes clear now that the whole justification of Jesus’ life and death is predicated on the existence of Adam and the forbidden fruit he and Eve ate. Without the original sin, who needs to be redeemed? Without Adam’s fall into a life of constant sin terminated by death, what purpose is there to Christianity? None...

“...evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!”
[Bozarth, G. Richard, “The Meaning of Evolution,” American Atheist (Feb 1978), pp 19,30]

and

“And the creationists have also shown irrefutably that those liberal and neo-orthodox Christians who regard the creation stories as myths or allegories are undermining the rest of Scripture, for if there was no Adam, there was no fall; and if there was no fall there was no hell; and if there was no hell, there was no need of Jesus as Second Adam and Incarnate Savior, crucified and risen. As a result, the whole biblical system of salvation collapses.”
[Mattill, A. J., Jr., “Three Cheers for the Creationists,” Free Inquiry, vol. 2 (Spring 1982), p 17]

5) Millions of years of evolution are an attempt to explain the record of the Noahic world wide flood. The Old Testament Bible claims that the flood was a literal event and Jesus and the New Testament writers support this claim. If there was no world-wide Noahic Flood, Jesus was mistaken and the New Testament unreliable.
Genesis 6:11-14 11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.

A year-long cataclysmic flood that covered the entire earth then followed. The massive amounts of debris and the scope of the upset to the surface of the earth as well as the atmosphere and the crust resulted in not only a flood event, but many years of floods and mudslides and glaciation and unsettled climactic conditions that resulted after the event itself.

Peter affirms this as real history in Second Peter 2:3-7 "3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

While geologists point at something like the Grand Canyon and claim that such a massive erosion had to have taken place over countless millenia. Yet, the 1980 Mt St Helens volcanic explosion is evidence to the contrary. Stratified layers up to 400 feet thick formed as a result of landslides, pyroclastic flow, mudflows, etc., during the Mt. St. Helens eruption. Fine laminae from only a millimeter thick to more than a meter high formed in just a few seconds each. A deposit more than 25 feet in thickness, and containing upwards of 100 thin layers accumulated in just one day on June 12, 1980. Naturalists have long claimed that stratified layer such as those found in the geological column have accumulated over vast periods of time, and these laminates represent long season variations or annual changes. However, the Mt. St. Helens deposits have demonstrated that catastrophic processes are able to create these geological formations in a short period of time.

When the volcanic event of March of 1982 began, the snows atop the mountain within the crater were almost instantly melted and a flow of water and mud came roaring down the slopes at a speed of around 100 miles per hour. A canyon similar to the Grand Canyon, only smaller, was formed, with the same meandering features and multiple rock layers in one day's time. This canyon measuring as tall as 140 feet and as up to 600 feet wide, with a tiny little flow of a creek meandering along at the bottom. If a rapidly melted snowcap could produce such a structure, imagine how easily the Grand Canyon could have been formed as a result of a world-wide flood that covers the entire planet and the aftermath thereof?



It has been said that, since the Colorado River would have had to flow uphill at points to form the Grand Canyon that the canyon made the river rather than the river making the canyon. This is certainly true of the Mt St Helens canyon pictured above, now known as the Little Grand Canyon of the Toutle River. Certainly the Grand Canyon is bigger...but the way it came about was certainly catastrophic and not a result of millions of years!



Eight times the story of Noah is mentioned directly in the New Testament. Jesus said this in Luke 17:26-27 " 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all."

The Noahic Flood is directly referenced in the Gospels, in I and II Peter and in Hebrews. The name Noah appears in 48 Old Testament and 8 New Testament verses. Several other verses discuss the Flood without the name of Noah. But the primary passages concerning the Flood are Genesis chapters 6-8. You cannot read these verses and begin to think they describe a local flood, the description is that of a major destruction of the surface and ecosystem of an entire planet.

After the Flood, God gave Noah's family a charge similar to the one originally given to Adam. He added a new feature in that now mankind was allowed to eat meat without sinning against God. Previously only plants had been given for food.

Genesis 9:1-3 "
1 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

A new planet had been formed out of the old. It is probable that God gave man the right to be a carnivore because the conditions on planet Earth would now be more difficult than they had been pre-flood. There is evidence to support that, but for now we will stay with the Bible.

Conclusion: The Bible proclaims a six day creation period, a literal Adam and a literal fall from innocence into sin. This FALL brought forth death and eventually led to the destruction of the "world that then was" by means of a catastrophic world-wide flood, which produced the vast majority of all fossils and sedimentary rock found on the planet today. Jesus Christ came to save man from the penalty of sin and restore his relationship with God. Jesus affirmed the story of creation and of the flood. He identified Himself as the Messiah and the Lamb of God, come to take away the sins of the world. If His witness was faulty and His mission unnecessary, there is no Christianity for there can be no salvation from a fall that never happened via a Savior who is unreliable and redundant.

The Christian faith depends entirely on the concept that the Bible is true, the inspired Word of God and that the days of creation and the flood narrative is actual history rather than mythology. There is no room for millions of years of death and misery within the faith, nor is there need of them. Evolution cannot be fit into the scriptures and the removal of the Book of Genesis from the Bible is tantamount to removing the foundation from a house, for everything falls apart if the foundation is not secure. Jesus Christ is neither Savior nor even prophet if Genesis is not reliable. There is no reasonable basis for Theistic Evolution if the Bible is the Word of God.

Paul said this in Galatians chapter One verses 6-10 "
6I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

10Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ."


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It is fair to say that whether you believe in either evolution or creation it is a belief. It is a matter of faith."

Not so. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory. Creation as discussed here is a part of the book of Genesis.

"Do you believe Jesus or Darwin? Or do you actually believe you can believe both?"

Of course, because they are not contradictory "beliefs" - one is a scientific theory, the other isn't. They are perfectly compatible.

"One fact that tends to fall on the Christian side of the ledger is the Bible. Over 3,000 times the Bible claims to be the Word of God in one way or the other."

The Bible is not a "fact", it is a religious text. You can believe in its veracity, fine, but to quote the text itself as proof of the accuracy of the text is not factual or scientific - it's a circular argument and hence a fallacy. It's fine if you want to believe that the Bible is the word of God, but accept that it is purely based on faith.

"1) The Bible asserts that water and then light were formed first as the Universe was created, rather than a big explosion. Adding millions of years to any one day or making each day millions of years old cannot change the fact that the Bible has an order to creation that refutes the assertions of evolution.

[...]

Evolution requires random molecules eventually forming simple cells becoming primitive plants and animals in the seas, moving to land and then flying animals happening last. Adding millions of years doesn't change the fact that this order disagrees with the order of Genesis, let alone the timeline."


To quote disagreement with the order of creation in Genesis makes absolutely no sense, Radar, since Genesis itself is inconsistent on that score. You know perfectly well that Genesis contains two accounts of creation, one in which man is created before the other animals and another in which man is created after the other animals.

So how can you claim that something else is not valid because it disagrees with the order when Genesis itself doesn't even agree with its own order?

"2) Evolution requires millions and perhaps billions of years of creatures living and dying and evolving from simpler to more complex beings, or sometimes not more complex but just different. In any event, the theme of evolution is DEATH."

Um, I'm a little confused here: are humans and animals immortal on whatever planet you live on?

Last time I checked, we're all mortal, humans, animals, plants. We all die. If you insist on putting it into those terms, then the theme of our world is DEATH.

Isn't that part of the "facts" that both sides have?

"3) The Bible asserts, and Christians believe Jesus Christ came to free us from both sin and death. Jesus Christ came to save us from the penalty for sin first imposed upon the human race by the sin of the first man, Adam, though Adam's willful rebellion against (what was then) the one rule of God. "

"4) Atheists realize the importance to the Christian faith of a literal Genesis account and a literal six days of creation. They understand that, without a Fall, there is no need of a Risen Savior. They see clearly that millions of years of evolution refutes the Bible and takes away the necessity or effectiveness of a Savior Christ. "

Please clarify how, for example, the Catholic Church is perfectly comfortable with the notion of millions of years of evolution. This clearly isn't some atheist plot.

"5) Millions of years of evolution are an attempt to explain the record of the Noahic world wide flood. The Old Testament Bible claims that the flood was a literal event and Jesus and the New Testament writers support this claim. If there was no world-wide Noahic Flood, Jesus was mistaken and the New Testament unreliable."

No, millions of years of evolution are an attempt to explain the evidence, in this case the fossil record, among other things. There is no "record of the Noahic world wide flood". A world wide flood is simply not compatible with the placement of fossils in the specific layers where they are consistently found. Evolution taking place over millions of years is.

"While geologists point at something like the Grand Canyon and claim that such a massive erosion had to have taken place over countless millenia. Yet, the 1980 Mt St Helens volcanic explosion is evidence to the contrary. Stratified layers up to 400 feet thick formed as a result of landslides, pyroclastic flow, mudflows, etc., during the Mt. St. Helens eruption. Fine laminae from only a millimeter thick to more than a meter high formed in just a few seconds each. A deposit more than 25 feet in thickness, and containing upwards of 100 thin layers accumulated in just one day on June 12, 1980. Naturalists have long claimed that stratified layer such as those found in the geological column have accumulated over vast periods of time, and these laminates represent long season variations or annual changes. However, the Mt. St. Helens deposits have demonstrated that catastrophic processes are able to create these geological formations in a short period of time."

And are these formations identical? Do they show the same signs of aging and erosion? If not, you don't have a case here.

-- creeper

radar said...

creeper, you are a true believer. However, as I will show in the next post, your religion has constantly changed. Evolution is no more scientific than creation, they are both explanations for the origins of all things. You are simply repeating the stuff you have learned without really addressing what is in this post...but you, not being a Christian, are not expected to grok it all.

highboy said...

Okay, wth is "grok"?

IAMB said...

Basically a way of saying someone is on the same wavelength as you are.