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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:12 am 
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A few years ago, I interviewed for a job at a "Christian" institution whose loyalty oa. . . , er, statement of faith includes believing in such shibboleths as a pre-trib rapture, 6,000-year-old earth, and their determination to follow three out of five of Calvin's "doctrines of grace." I explained in my interview that, although I can (and have, and do) work within denominations that have ironclad beliefs on such topics, I don't consider that such measuring sticks should be considered as the same level of doctrine as, say, the divinity of Jesus Christ. I didn't get the job. A couple years later, a friend who DID go along 100% with their statement of faith was fired because he was questioning more popular professors in the Theology department who were claiming that you couldn't REALLY know that Jesus was God, because you can't REALLY KNOW anything. So I wasn't fundamental enough, and he was too fundamental. Go figure.

I use the quotes around the word Christian in the previous sentence, not because I doubt the faith of anyone who works there, but because I don't believe an institution, per se, can be a Christian any more than my car can, even with a fish logo on the back (that the previous owners put there and I left as a reminder to be a good witness on the road).

At the same time, the Creation museum was having its grand openings, and my Creationist friends were celebrating that this would prove to everyone conclusively that evolution was a hoax, that the early chapters of Genesis are a literal account, and that the world is really only about 6,000 years old. It proves nothing of the sort, of course. Creationists go and come back with their convictions strengthened, cynics go and come back with all of their stereotypes of fundamental Christians (sadly) reinforced, and people in the middle might find themselves swayed one way or the other, but they're just as likely to be swayed the other direction by the next Facebook meme they see.

But when my Creationist friends insist that a person can not even find salvation in Jesus Christ unless they believe in a literal 6-day creation and 6,000-year-old earth, they are erecting barriers that the apostles never put into anyone's path. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved," is a long way from saying "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and a literal 6-day creation and a 6,000-year old earth (and a literal world-wide flood, etc. ) and you will be saved." In fact, I know of strong Christians who believed in evolution or at least in the possibility of evolution when they were saved. I won't say who because I also know of folks who make a habit of demonizing anyone who varies more than 5% from their favorite shibboleths and I won't throw people I admire "under the bus."

Ironically, as a Baby Boomer, I also know scores of folks my age who think that evolution was proven in our childhood, despite the fact that almost everything we were taught about human evolution in our high school has been proven wrong by subsequent discoveries, most of which were subsequently proven wrong by other discoveries. If you put a Baby Boomer, an Xer, and a Millennial into a room and had them share everything they knew about human evolution, they would be in agreement only as long as they stayed with vague principles like, "man descended from apes," or "survival of the fittest." Once they got down to specifics, they'd be disagreeing on most points, because the "facts" keep changing.

I'm not put off by the notion that new discoveries in ANY science often supersede the old. I AM a little put off by the four generations of scientists who have all claimed to have the absolute final word on the subject (unlike their predecessors, who ALSO claimed to have the absolute final word on the subject, and so on). I'm also a little amazed by people whose own "scientific" knowledge is rooted in 1950s textbooks who think they know everything there is to know on this or any subject.

But above all, I'm put off by people who "know" that believing in "evolution" (however they perceive it) automatically rules out the possibility of the existence of God. Even if the earth if 4+-billion years old and all species descended from single-cell organisms, etc., all that means for the Bible is that the first several chapters are prophetic metaphor - just like the last several chapters. It does not rule out the Biblical notion of a super-intelligence who resides outsides our time-space continuum (learn to read between the lines, people), and who, in fact, created and monitors it, and Who has gone to extraordinary lengths to communicate with His creations.

That is the central point of my article "Does Evolution Disprove the Bible?" here: https://schooloftherock.com/html/does_e ... he_bi.html

I've gotten some reader feedback since I posted it, mostly disputing minor points. But now that I've been using this discussion forum for a lot of other discussions, I've decided to post this as a topic and post reader comments underneath it.

If anything I say here sparks a comment, please feel free to subscribe to the forum and post it yourself, or use the contact information on this page to e-mail it to me. If the latter, I will withhold your name to keep you from getting spammed or whatever. Also, I reserve the right to ban haters and to edit profanity. This is a family-friendly site, folks.

In the meantime, have a great day!

Paul Race


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:56 am 
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Here's the most recent comment that helped me to consider starting this thread:

Well, its not just Homo Erectus but a pile of bones that create a lineage that (regardless of human or not) extend yonder past 2000 years.

So why do you keep oopsing and saying Homo erectus or oopsing and saying the Dinosaurs This is any lineage of creature from x,0000 years to x,000,000,000 years.

Hurricane Matthew is leaving alot devastated my friend meaning Satan is always winning. Yahweh is so fake and Jesus Christ was a succesful attempt to get a race of people to consistently repeat one individual's name in praise for a significant long time (plotted very carefully)

-----------------------------------------

Dear [name withheld],

Thanks for taking the time to glance through my article. And your reminder that human development is far more than 2,000 years old is very helpful. I suppose that means that the Romans were human, too. I'm confused by some of your other comments, though. You seem to believe in Satan but not in God - an odd juxtaposition, since Satan's first appearance in human culture is in the same ancient book that tells us about God and Jesus. Unless you want to counter with the claim that some earlier manifestation of evil in some earlier culture was actually the same person that Satan represents. In which case I could easily find some character in THAT pantheon whom I could claim actually represents the God of the Bible. Such arguments prove nothing, except that you're determined to be very selective in which parts of the Bible you choose to believe. It's your right, of course.

The notion that hardship or tragedy or disaster disproves the beneficence or even the existence of God is a very old argument that has been addressed so many times by people smarter than either of us that it's not worth addressing here.

But I'm a bit perplexed by your apparent theory that Christianity was the result of an ancient, vast, well-organized conspiracy with no other (apparent) end than to get a lot of people to nice things about somebody named Jesus, who apparently had no other distinction. Sort of an ancient PR campaign with no other end than making sure subsequent generations also say nice things about someone otherwise unimportant? Where's the payoff in that? Or, more specifically, the evidence for it?

Also, if you have any comments that actually relate to the theme or any of the main points of the article, I'd be glad to hear them. Please feel free to sign up for this forum or to e-mail me using the Contact information on this page.

Have a great day, and may God have more faith in you than you apparently have in Him.

Paul


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