googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Are Creationists an Embarrassment?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are Creationists an Embarrassment?


Creationists need to grow up and face facts. They disgrace their religion when they deny modern scientific discoveries.”

That was a comment left on my blog a while back by an evolutionist posting under the name of bobxxxx. He wasn't the first person to ever say this to me and I'm sure he won't be the last. Evolutionists sometimes seem overly worried that creationists will embarrass themselves by their “hyper-literal” interpretation of Genesis and so want us to quit the argument before we “disgrace” Christianity.

Come on, now. Who do they think they're kidding? Does anyone really expect us to believe militant evolutionists are concerned with the reputation of Christianity? I am absolutely certain that bobxxxx doesn't give a hoot about Christians and has probably even made some very unflattering comments of his own. Rather than this being a sincere attempt to help us save face, it's a rather lame attempt to shame us into silence.

I can understand atheists resorting to this cheap tactic in hopes of stymieing their opposition. What annoys me even more, though, is when theistic evolutionists buy into the same argument. One such person, who calls himself a “Christian rationalist” made the following comments:

Believe me, I know; kids aren't stupid, and know a specious argument when they hear it. If (in essence) they're being told that "The Flintstones" represents real and true history (that is, dinosaur/human cohabitation, etc), and that all they are watching on the History or Discovery channels is a sinister secular conspiracy to do away with God, then it's no wonder they fall away from the faith.”

This “Christian rationalist” thinks the solution is, “freely endorsing a harmony between modern Science and a grounded Christian faith.”

I find his solution curious. What does he mean by “a grounded Christian faith”? Grounded in what? Grounded in science? That can't be right. Which is the greater authority: “science” (that is, the opinion of men who admit they only consider natural explanations for anything) or the Bible? I would say that Christianity can only be grounded if it is built on the Bible. I remind you of Romans 10:17 which says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.What other foundation can there be? And I believe the plain words of the Bible cannot be “harmonized” with a belief in evolution.

Certainly there are some people who refuse to accept Christ because they don't believe the Bible. Many of these same people refuse to believe other miracles like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. So what is the solution? Are we to deny these things as Christians in order to make the Bible more palatable to the natural minded? You can see how that doesn't work.

I will boldly stand up for the truth. I will not deny the clear teaching of the Bible in order to spare myself embarrassment. Instead, I appeal to Romans 3:4, let God be true, but every man a liar. What's more, I will certainly not turn my back on the truth in order to escape the shallow criticism of folks like bobxxxx. So you think Christians are embarrassing themselves? Thank you for your concern but it's not necessary. Nice try!

5 comments:

Steven J. said...

First, "the Bible" cannot be the ultimate foundation of the Christian faith. God didn't hand down the table of contents of the Bible at Mt. Sinai, and the precise contents of the Christian canon were argued over for centuries before being settled under the reign of Constantine.

Several New Testament books make no claims, or ambiguous claims, about its human authors, while several books rejected as spurious or heretical claim apostolic authorship. So you're depending on the judgment of the humans who, over the course of two centuries, decided that, e.g. Matthew and Revelation were scripture, The Shepherd of Hermas was not, and the Gospel of Thomas not merely forged but heretical. I'm not arguing, here, that they were wrong, merely that resting your claims on biblical authority means resting your claims on the authority of the leaders of the early Church.

The Christian assumption, of course, is that their choices were guided by the Holy Spirit together with human reason. The same assumption guides your preference for classical, "orthodox," interpretations over various rival interpretations.

Which brings us to the second point: over the centuries, many Christians have held views on the proper meaning of scripture regarding scientific questions that are now almost universally rejected by "Bible believers." In the fourth century, many Christians held that belief in inhabited continents in the western hemisphere of the globe was heretical, since (they assumed) Christians couldn't reach them to fulfill the Great Commission -- and how would descendants of Adam and Eve get there to begin with? (Augustine took a more nuanced approach: he did not believe in such continents, but did not think them strictly biblicaly impossible).

Up through the 17th century, nearly all Christians rejected the idea that the Earth could turn on its axis and orbit the sun, citing passages like Joshua 10 (where Joshua commands the sun, not the Earth, to stand still) and psalms that speak of the Earth being made immovable.

Your interpretation of what scripture says is more influenced by what science says than you might at first realize (e.g. references to the "floodgates of the sky" in Genesis and Malachi must be figurative because we know the atmosphere doesn't work that way -- but did people in the Middle East three thousand years ago?). I would think that nearly all Christians assume that human reason and the guidance of the Holy Spirit must work together to determine what scripture actually means.

Oh, and the validity of an argument does not depend much at all on the sincerity of the person offering it.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

I can always count on you to be verbose. Let me address your last point first.

You said, “Oh, and the validity of an argument does not depend much at all on the sincerity of the person offering it.”

I don't believe I was saying that the critic's argument isn't valid because he isn't sincere. I'm addressing the argument for what it is – a tactic to shame creationists into silence. A critic who implores creationists to stop arguing for creation isn't really concerned about the reputation of Christianity. Why then does he say it? Most critics who say this have no respect for Christianity and often say even more damning things about it. This gimmick is merely one other arrow in their arsenal of weapons. If a critic can silence a creationist by arguing that creationism somehow brings shame on Christ, then the critic has won.

Now, to your other points: The Bible is the word of God. It is His revelation to us. Prior to the written revelation, God made His word known to us through the patriarchs and the prophets. God made His will known to Adam. God made His will known to Noah. God made His will known to Abraham.

God's word is the final authority on anything it addresses. When God told Noah He was going to destroy the world with a flood, it didn't matter if the entire rest of the world disagreed. God was right and the entire world was wrong. It didn't matter that Noah didn't have the Bible.

We now have the full canon of Scripture. God no longer raises up prophets or apostles to make His word known.

All this is very interesting but it's rather beside the point. We have the Scriptures now. If the Bible isn't the full revelation of God, then we have NO revelation from God. If I claim to be a Christian but do not believe the words of the Bible, then on what do I ground my faith? Only on what I believe a Christian should be?

Exodus 20:11 says, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” Is it your contention that “science” has shown us that “six days” in this verse really means “billions of years”? You would have me believe that the authority of science is greater than the authority of God's word.

Furthermore, if I can't understand the clear meaning of “six days” in this context, then I have no hope of understanding any word in Scripture. How do I know that Jesus was really in the tomb for “three days”? How do I know Jesus was even a real person? After all, literary characters can't “literally” come back to life.

Thanks for your comments. I'm sorry I haven't been posting more frequently. Please keep visiting.

God bless!!

RKBentley

Todd Williams said...

I've spent some time lately debating in the comment section of a Youtube video with some atheists, many of which are saying the same thing. "Don't embarrass yourself." Yet you wouldn't believe the complete disregard for logic and consistency in the debates by these people. I wish there were more atheists like Steven J. who at least are thinking through their position, even if I don't agree with it.

I can describe the feeling I have in these forums/comment sections (if I spend too much time in them) as someone who is trapped in an insane asylum with a bunch of angry patients. It's a slimy feeling.

Josue Cruz said...

Steven J.

Paul clearly states that the word of God is foolishness to those who perish. In Spanish says to those who are condemned.

Of course we "embarrass ourselves"

Blessings,

Josue

RKBentley said...

Josue,

Thanks for your comment. It's a great point. We are told by Jesus that we should rejoice when we are persecuted for His name's sake because our reward will be great.

BTW, I apologize for misspelling your name on the other comment. I was the victim of "auto-correct."

Please keep visiting and commenting. God bless!

RKBentley