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Monday, June 20, 2011

Things I've known . . .

I've been at least vaguely aware of the things that Jonathan Dudley states in a recent Huffington Post article. But he provides some details and background of which I was wholly unaware.

Probably worth keeping in mind . . . and, from a young-earth creationist perspective, figuring out how to respond to what he says:
In theory, if not always in practice, past Christian theologians valued science out of the belief that God created the world scientists study. Augustine castigated those who made the Bible teach bad science, John Calvin argued that Genesis reflects a commoner's view of the physical world, and the Belgic confession likened scripture and nature to two books written by the same author.

These beliefs encouraged past Christians to accept the best science of their day, and these beliefs persisted even into the evangelical tradition. As Princeton Seminary's Charles Hodge, widely considered the father of modern evangelical theology, put it in 1859: "Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible; and we only interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when we interpret the Bible by science."

In this analysis, Christians must accept sound science, not because they don't believe God created the world, but precisely because they do.
The question is: Is macro-evolution good science?

Dudley says it is.

Why? On what grounds?
Because no amount of talk about "worldviews" and "presuppositions" can change a simple fact: [young-earth] creationism has failed to provide an alternative explanation for the vast majority of evidence explained by evolution.

It has failed to explain why birds still carry genes to make teeth, whales to make legs, and humans to make tails.

It has failed to explain why the fossil record proposed by modern scientists can be used to make precise and accurate predictions about the location of transition fossils.

It has failed to explain why the fossil record demonstrates a precise order, with simple organisms in the deepest rocks and more complex ones toward the surface.

It has failed to explain why today's animals live in the same geographical area as fossils of similar species.

It has failed to explain why, if carnivorous dinosaurs lived at the same time as modern animals, we don't find the fossils of modern animals in the stomachs of fossilized dinosaurs.

It has failed to explain the broken genes that litter the DNA of humans and apes but are functional in lower vertebrates.

It has failed to explain how the genetic diversity we observe among humans could have arisen in a few thousand years from two biological ancestors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who should you trust? Who CAN you trust? Separatism and degrees of separation. Reforming Fundamentalism--Part III

I ran across an article two weeks ago on a fundamentalist website as I was looking for information about some of the people I count as spiritual ancestors. I have run across these kinds of articles in the past. I figure it is time I at least acknowledge their existence and say something about them.

As so many other such articles, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree attempts to paint all efforts at Christian unity--working together for the advance of the Kingdom of God worldwide--as virtual blasphemy. No one who refuses to be quite as "holy" ("separate") as those who write these articles escapes the brush. Thus, as I have discovered,

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Karl Barth more satisfying than the evangelical theology in which I was raised?

I referred last Monday to a comment by Kim in MT. "My world and my God are much larger now that I'm not trying to do the mental gymnastics to make them fit in the young earth, evangelical box," she had written.

Though it dismayed me, her comment did not come as too much of a surprise.

But I was blown away a few hours after my post when I received a note from Perry Marshall, a friend of mine, a guy I recognize as an outspoken and zealous advocate for Christian faith both publicly and privately.
I think you may be outgrowing both evangelicalism and fundamentalism. Congratulations.