Earthage 101

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51 Answer to Lee's comment on 31 May on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:03 am

Lee,

you may think we are making progress, because you think I am starting to think the snake may be symbolic after all.
What I meant to get across, is that no voice box is needed to make sound. The required voice box was a Lee concoction.
Just because I think a voice box may not be required does not mean I am saying the snake was symbolic.

Lucien

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52 Nice to See an Olive Branch Instead of ICBMs! on Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:21 am

Hi Bret,

I sure hope WWIII has not started, but Stu launched a surprise attack then declared war, so I am not sure when the next attack is coming.

I would enjoy keeping the dialogue going with you even though we often disagree on topics. Thanks for the update on your summary of the concept that I was describing. You have now moved up to a B+. Did you have any feedback related to my reply comments?

Would you mind describing a little more about what you were trying to deny imply with your Biblical quote. I have never claimed to be a prophet and have entered through a very narrow gate based on my creation concept that is scripturally based and also compatible with God's natural laws. I'm not sure what you are trying to get across.

Lee scratch

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53 *** OE WWII? *** on Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:51 pm

Lee ...


I should have known better ... than to think that I could possibly sum up over 200 lengthy
posts of yours ... with seven brief sentences!
I wasn't trying to be disrespectful or derogatory in my assessment of your views!
I was hoping to show you that I "do" understand what it is that you've been trying to explain to us!
I didn't mean to imply that your views were not God driven ... as they pertain to the Big-Bang!
Only that the creation of matter ... and then the stars, planets, & the like ... followed the order,
method, & timeframe similar to the secular model ... !!!
That is why I said that ONLY God has access to the hidden variables!
Also ... my reference to "complexity" was referring to stars, planets, & biological life!
But ... you have me (without excuse) on typing "imply"... when I meant to type "deny"!

It looks like you & Stu are heading down a path towards OE WWII ... ???
(I surely hope not!)
I hope that both of you guys will continue to maintain a dialogue with ME ... even if your
feud with each other gets out-of-hand again?

I really don't want to get involved in your personal battle with Stu ... but since you decided to
compare his "narrow" views ... with those "straight" forward "narrow" interpretations held by
the YE's (Young Earth Creationists)... of which I am proudly a member ... I offer the following!


Matthew 7:13-15
King James Version (KJV)

 13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

 15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.



20 Bret*11

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Stu,

It is sad that now you accuse me of drifting away from Christianity and falling over to the Satan's side because of my openness to God guided evolution. I can assure you that I have already accepted the Spirit so I am in no danger of falling into the hands of Satan as you suggest and should know better. It seems to me that since you struggle to defend your position and I have taken an opposing position on anti-evolution that is more aligned with Christianity Today article, you have decided to write offensive unjustifiable claims on my character. I didn't realize that I was trying to debate someone that couldn't handle the stress of defending their position, that they would stoop to this level of behavior. If this is how you plan to continue debating these topic, you should abdicate your traditional view and depart the debate. You are getting very emotional about this issue and it is affecting your ability to reason, treat other Christians respectfully, and rationally present your views.

All along the way I have been trying to get your Biblical reasoning for your anti-evolution position and explanation from you on your interpretation of some verses as symbolic and others as not symbolic in Genesis 2 and 3. I was also trying to get you to rationalize the issues that I surfaced between Ge 1 and Ge 2&3. You continue to avoid addressing these issues that I surfaced in the Biblical verses long ago. There is one excuse after another. From my perspective, I can only view this as an entrenched flawed understanding of the scriptures which you refuse to address since you clearly haven't made an attempt to defend these conflicting accounts and enumerated in previous posts several times. Your answer only seems to be: a clear reading of scripture says God popped the species into existence. Unfortunately for your case, the scripture never says that. Scripture states that God created the plants and animals (but doesn't describe how). It says that the earth or water brought them forth and the earth and water being natural objects don't pop anything into existance from nothing. It states that God made man from dust, but doesn't say how or long it takes. It says that God made man in His image, but it doesn't say whether it was a material or spiritual image. I'm betting on the spiritual image as many other people do since God appeared to man in several material forms but He is a spiritual being. God can make Adam (a new spiritual being) therefore out of any other form of matter from apes, burning bushes to dust, the source of matter is not important nor the rate at which the humans are made. The bottom line is that there are multiple ways of interpreting these verses. Your understanding is but one way of several. It is only your assumptions, interpretations, and your resistance of symbology used in the Bible that forces your narrow interpretation of Ge 2:7 and Ge 2:14 to mean popping out of thin air.

Throughout this debate I have strongly fought for a biblically consistent God guided process and one that reflects the reality that God has made. Contrary to your insinuations, this does not imply that the Spirit has abandoned me. This is emotional or irrational thinking on your part. I have described my views in detail for you, yet you provide very little detail on your views on how you have interpreted Ge 2 & 3 or rational on the conflicts between Ge 1 and Ge 2&3. You keep saying that you will address symbolic verses but never get around to it. Yet, you continue to make false accusations toward me and my views which you have clearly misunderstood based on your responses. This has been very evasive.

Fight me and my views all you want, but I have the truth on my side, thoughtful hermeneutics, natures laws that God made, and God as well since God loves the truth. So we will see how far you get opposing me, scripture, the scientific community and truth. The flawed views on evolution held by you and others will only cause the deterioration of Christian credibility in more arenas of public debate and result in more lost souls as they condemn your view as irrational Christian thinking and out of touch with the reality that God made. It is clear to me, many other Christians, and the secular world that your anti-evolution view (all new species or kinds popped into existence from nothing), will be right up there with a flat earth and an earth centered universe. These previous views were taught by men of your persuasion that ignored factual real evidence from nature. A man of God would reject a flawed interpretation of scripture based on the evidence, admit their error, and seek a better understanding. Instead you try to denigrate and persecute me falsely.

It would have been so pleasant if you would have just presented your traditional case in a rational way and address the issues that I have already surfaced. Sadly, you seem to be so entrenched in anti-evolution and ignoring issues between different verses so extensively, that we can't have an direct honest and rational dialogue. When I provide a God honoring concept on how God works His miracles, you don't even pay enough attention to it to try and understand it. You appear to be blinded from the truth or any interpretation different than your own. This reminds me so much of our debate with the YEs on ancestry and chronology when everyone learned to not take the words so rigidly (as Hebrew has multiple definitions). You are now doing the same thing in this discussion that the YEs did earlier. Interpreting these verses rigidly from a narrow viewpoint that is inconsistent with other verses. When someone disagrees with your rigid interpretation of these verses, you prefer to attack them personally and to muddle the debate with character assassination. You are working Satan's will as you drive a deceptive wedge between us. You are making this debate very personal again and it should not be so from a fellow Christian. You need to accept that many others, as well as me, have a perfectly acceptable understanding of Ge 2 & 3 as primarily symbolic verses, that we are just as Spiritually indwelt Christians as you, and these views have only a positive impact on Christianity and its acceptance around the world. I will pray that you can accept this truth and God will open your hardened mind to a full understanding of scripture that includes the symbolism intended by the authors and God.

Since you enjoy quoting scripture, I leave you with two Proverbs to carefully consider:

2:19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
2:20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.

2:28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
2:29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
2:30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.

Lee Sad

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55 The Details are in the Bible on Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:16 am

Lee says - "Most people don't believe popping animals into existence from dust or a few cells is very credible ..."

But God said He did it that way. I believe Him ... and so should you.
I cannot overcome your unbelief, but I do know how it's caused --

The god of this [a]world has (C)blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the (D)light of the gospel (2 Cor 4:4)

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” (1 Cor 3:19)

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength (1 Cor 1:25)

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Cor 2:14)

Lee says - "The real debate should be about how God made mankind starting with monkeys ...."

But God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Gen 1:26)

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen 1:27)

For in the image of God He made man (Gen 9:6)

And then man theorizes and ... professing to be wise, they became fools, and (B)exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals [monkeys] and [a]crawling creatures. Therefore (C)God gave them over ... (Rom 1:22-24)

By rejecting the Bible's clear teaching you put yourself in jeopardy of rebuking the Holy Spirit and being "given over." Do not take that lightly.

The Monkey Theory is what you choose to believe and want to teach our grandkids. I will do everything in my power to oppose you and reject this teaching in the church!

Unless you are truly interested in understanding the biblical exposition of the matter, I have no time to discuss this with you any further. But I will continue to pray that the Spirit break through your blindness.

Stu

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56 Need Details on Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:45 am

Hi Stu,

This article provides an impetus to make your traditional case on why Ge 2 &3 (2:7 and 2:14 specifically) cannot be symbolic and must be real historical events where God transformed Adam out of dust into a man and Eve into a woman from Adams rib. It looks like the staff at CT may have the same issues with Ge 2 & 3 that I have (that these stories are allegorical and not literal historical accounts) based on compatibility with other Bible verses and the scientific support for evolution (slow development over time of all the species). This trend to accept evolution as a fact will strengthen Christian credibility with the masses. I see this as a positive move on their part to accept what is obvious in reality. I am sorry that you are upset by this move by CT. If you have a counter argument or credible alternative process to theistic evolution besides my version that God used to create living organisms and mankind you really need to present it soon. Most people don't believe popping animals and plants into existance from dust or a few cells of flesh is very credible. The real debate should be about how God made mankind starting with monkeys and how He made the first living cell or self replicating virus and how He manipulates energy, matter, space, and time to create new species over long periods of time.

Lee monkey



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57 Theistic Evolution has gone mainstream! on Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:48 am

If you haven't seen it yet, pick up the June edition of Christianity Today -- The Search for the Historical Adam.

CT has bought into the evolutionary BioLogos framework and is cowering before a "fundamentalist reaction against science." They are even proud they got a Time magazine senior editor to write the featured article.

There is little room for compromise on this. It is nowhere near the same level of debate of the Copernican revolution ("Does the sun revolve around the earth or vice versa") that they make it out to be. This issue is foundational to the faith --

<> Adam being specially and uniquely created in the image of God
<> Eve rebelling against God and the Fall of mankind
<> Luke's genealogy of Jesus
<> Paul's credibility in Romans, 1 Cor about the first and second Adam
<> Jesus' credibility regarding Adam and Eve
<> Our redemption through Jesus' atonement for sin.

What can be more fundamental? It is what differentiates Christianity from all other religions. How can one be born again and hold to bibicial inerrancy once you start compromising on those tenants of the Faith?

Even more disturbing -- Why is CT compromising? Evolution is not a proven fact. CT is a theological magazine not a scientific journal. They should be more interested in defending the biblical and traditional account rather than worrying about what BioLogos and ASA thinks they know.





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58 Conceptual Communication By the Numbers on Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:37 am

Bret,
Answers to your numbered concept components-
1). With mankind in mind and the goal of ending sin God designed fixed laws and implemented them in the Big Bang, a qualified yes.

2). God has been involved throughout the creation 'week' of 13.7 billion years and controlled the fixed laws to perform countless miracles along the way. eg creation of our special moon from a planetoid collision, large outer planets in circular orbits to protect the earth , two types of nearby supernoves just prior to the solar system creation so we would have all of the elements necessary, creation of first life, countless modifications in the evolutionary chain, etc. etc. You missed the point on this one! The universe does not run open loop without God.

3). There are many control variables in the existing laws not just a couple. You are partially correct.

4). I don't think a variac serves the concept justice, but you are not far off. What I haven't seen in your response is that God provides information through the 'variac' to accomplish his will. I have to reduce you a letter grade from that alone since it is so key to the concept. The information that God supplies adjusts the energy distributions in our universe. Energy distributions across space time constitute our material world both at the quantum (electrical, strong, and weak forces) and higher level (gravitational forces).

5). Yes, you are generally correct about this. Popping a rabbit into the world from nothing would be extremely difficult using the fixed laws. It is much easier to bring them into the world the natural way and alter their genetic code microscopically using neutrinos or electrical forces. Using the existing fixed laws for popping animals into existence from nothing would be like trying to perform brainsurgery with a golf club; very difficult and not very thoughful or wise.

6). You missed this one. Complexity in our universe is a consequence of God providing information at the rate He wants to provide it at and His discretion as to the benefiting organism. Sometimes this occurs slowly as in evolving organisms and sometimes fast as in the creation of our moon or the creation of our universe (a moment of phenomenally low entropy/ tremendous amount of information).

7). Minus half a grade for misusing a word in a sentence: 'imply (or contradict)'. Imply does not mean contradict! Also, there is very little in the Bible that is incompatible with what science has learned. Rather than making a sweeping general conclusion about any Biblical verse that contradicts the sciences must be allegory or mistranslated, it seems we should examine each phrase carefully in the Bible to gain a complete understanding of its meaning as well as looking at the scientific credibility of the conflicting view and make a rational determination. So far, I have seen a lot of accusations, but very little substance to support the traditional and YE views on anti-evolution.

I will give you a bump up of half a grade, just for trying. I'll give you a B- and that is better that I would give the others!

Lee study geek



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59 Reply to Bret and Lee on Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:38 pm

Bret -- I think you have given an excellent summary of Lee's view and that is how I understand it as well. So you get an A in my book. Actually as a theoretical possibility I think Lee is on to something worthy of discussion. After all, how does God, who is Spirit, intervene with nature which is material. In other words how does He perform miracles? There has to be some "hidden" (behind the scenes) process which actuates the spiritual into material manifestation.

But what is blatantly inconsistent about Lee's theory is his gratuitous assumption that God uses this "fixed law" to perform miracles such as Jesus' resurrection, but He doesn't use it to specially create Adam! This is clearly Lee's presupposition to preserve biological evolution.

[Lee -- In a future post I will answer your further questions regarding symbolic versus historical interpretation of Genesis; and specifically the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.]

And Bret -- thank you for your asking me to clarify "continuous creation." I meant by that exactly your understanding of "sustaining" all things. I used "creating" terminology in an attempt to get Lee to see though his deistic tendencies of "fixed laws." Isaac Newton, for example, gave us the "law of gravitation" but what he really meant is that he came up with a mathematical representation of how gravitation worked. As a devout Christian he did not think he understood the mechanism of gravitation. In fact he attributed the "force" of gravitation to be the action of the Holy Spirit! What I'm getting at is that Lee's "fixed laws" likewise are only mathematical representations of reality -- they are not reality itself -- and certainly aren't fixed in the way he says they are -- they are not the underlying mechanisms by which things operate. At the fundamental level of operation, it is God who is "creating" on a continuous basis to sustain every molecule in the universe. And that is how God represents Himself in the Bible -- to all people of all generations. We can't take our 21st century scientific mindset and read it back into the Bible.

Stu

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60 *** Grasping Lee's Theory? *** on Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:03 am

Lee ...

I'm pretty sure that I've addressed most of your questions directed at me?
If Stu doesn't respond to your questions by this weekend ... then I'll give you some
well-reasoned explanations to things that you seem to have trouble with being real!

I think that your Theory is interesting (even intriguing)... but I'm just not personally
persuaded enough to purchase stock in it!
My understanding (in a nutshell)... is that you believe:

1). That God created the Fixed Laws of the Universe before anything else?

2). After that ... the creation of the Universe pretty much follows the Big-Bang model?

3). There are a couple of "hidden" variables within these Laws ... of which only God has access?

4). Using these hidden controls (like Variacs)... God can perform Miracles?

5). But! ... there are limits established by the Fixed Laws ... that preclude "Popping"?

6). Therefore ... complexity (in our Universe) can only arise from a gradual accumulation
of extremely small steps ... made over a very long period of time?

7). Hence ... any Scriptures that deny (or contradict) Stellar, Geological, and
Biological Evolution ... must be either mistranslated or allegorical?


Please correct or embellish anything that I'm not fully understanding!
(I'm hoping for at least a "B-" grade ... as I hate the thought of just being average)



20 Bret*11




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61 Matter Tranformation and Miracles on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:05 am

Bret,

Although I keep getting more questions and no answers from anyone, I will continue to answer yours. The existing laws of nature have the capability to transform from one element into another, energy can be changed into matter and matter into energy. I know you are familiar with this: particle interactions. God can control this interaction to produce miracles when He wishes through the hidden variables. Since water can be changed to wine using the existing laws, decayed matter can also be repaired, the dead brought back to life, radiation in a furnace could be made to pass right through the living beings, light can be bent by space time curvature and every miracle described in the Bible can be performed by controlling the variables I've described in the existing laws. I have no issue with the resurrection nor should you from what I have described to you about the physical laws and Gods control of them. The existing laws do not tie God's hands as some have said, but facilitate his ability to control its events and His miracles.

I am glad to see you asking this, as you are the only one actually reading and trying to understand my posts it seems to me. Thanks!

Lee sunny

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62 *** Wait just a minute here! *** on Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:44 am

Lee ...

I understand that most of your recent questions are directed at Stu ...
so I'll give him a little more time to address them (if he decides to?)...
before I jump in and give you the rational answers that you seek ...
but will not like ... nor accept!

There is one little ditty that I noticed you said (back on May 1st)...
that seemed to somehow slip through the cracks!
You said:

"Quantum Mechanical Laws have hidden variables in one of the theories (David Bohm version)
that God could use to make water into wine, and make the dead appear to the living as apparitions."


Appear as "Apparitions"?

Your middle name wouldn't happen to be "Thomas" ... would it?

Are you saying that Jesus did NOT actually raise Lazarus from the grave?
Even worse ... PLEASE! ... tell me that you're NOT saying that Jesus wasn't raised from
the dead Himself?

If Jesus was NOT physically raised from the dead ... then we're ALL DOOMED !!!
THIS! ... is THE most fundamental FACT of Christianity !!!

We can go back & forth about non-essentials all day long!
BUT! ... this is the cornerstone of Salvation issues !!!

You might want to walk-back this statement ... and give us some more clarity as to
what you "really" meant to say about this issue?


20 Bret*11






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63 *** Stirring the Stu! *** on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:42 am

Stu ...

Regardless of the aspersions being cast at you by our loving brother "Lee"...
I find your comments and opinions to be very clear, rational, and well thought-out!
But ... (with that said) I did manage to find one thing of which I would like to take issue!
You said:

It wasn't just created X years ago, it is being "continuously created" as "All things have been created through Him and for Him ...
and in Him all things hold together" (Col 1:16).


It is "Continuously" being created?

Genesis chapter 2 says:
1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

It sounds pretty clear here (to me)... that God had finished creating! (?)
I totally agree with you about Him "sustaining" ALL things!
God is our Creator, Sustainer, & Savior !!!

Could you please explain why you chose to make such a claim?

I really hate to nitpick such a brilliant Post ... but I can only hope that you
will hold me accountable for statements made that don't (at least appear to) wash
with your clear reading of the Scriptures!



20 Bret*11

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64 Response to Hubris of Science on Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:23 am

Stu,

I agree with most of what you have stated. One part that I don't agree with you about is the repeated thrust to view the fixed laws as ones that cannot or are not controlled by God and deistic. This is an incorrect assessment on your part that you keep repeating. God made laws that He can control and in that way holds all things together. I have described one of these terms already to you related to the general relativity equations. As science proceeds and grasps a better understanding of quantum physics they will be able to explain the instantaneous effects of EPR and spooky action at a distance in a more complete quantum theory containing the Bohm hidden variables as well. These also provide control of the events in this universe and can be used to perform miracles and control His creation. I don't understand why you resist believing that God included controls in the laws that He made.

Also, you keep trying to brand science as an atheistic endeavor. It is not, science is an attempt by people to gain an understanding of how the world actually works through natural laws. This has limits of course and some aspects will never be understood. Some atheistic scientists will attempt to explain them through metaphysical explanations of course, but this is not science and they do not speak for all scientists and science in general. Non-believers will promote these views in our education system and in the press as well as try to suppress Christian views. These are the people we must confront and turn or stop them from their evil views. Science is not the enemy. It is important that everyone understands this distinction between atheistic metaphysics and real physics. From the beginning until this universe ends, God made the laws, controls the laws and holds all things together through them.

Lee cheers

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Bret,
You state that I've conceded that God can produce audible speech by manipulation of air-waves but that is what I have claimed all along. My challenge has been to get you to see that the talking snake could be symbolic of Satan communicating with the first woman through her thought in whatever language she might have understood (if there was such a language at that time). I believe from your post that you might see this exchange as more symbolic now of Eve having Evel thoughts which were against God's will. I still believe this entire set of verses is allegorical about the first sin and it didn't happen historically. It makes no sense to me that this newly fully formed adult Eve (from your perspective) would understand any of the phrases supposedly spoken to her by a snake or manipulated sound waves from Satan. Who developed the language that the snake spoke? How did Eve come to understand it? How would Eve even comprehend concepts and words like death, good, knowledge, evil being the first woman and popped out of Adam instantaneously a few hours earlier (as the YEs have described it), it takes humans years to learn these concepts. Yes, I know how you will answer me already, that her brain was fully formed when created and she already possessed all this knowledge. Sorry this is not credible to me and never will be. Information and knowledge is learned over time by the human brain. To me this instant knowledge conjecture is no better than a fairy tale.

To answer your question about Demons and Angels. No, since they are spiritual entities they have no physical (materialized) presence in this world, they have to manifest themselves by indwelling (communicating mentally with) other beings like snakes, humans or pigs as we have seen in the various Bible verses. They do seem to have the capability though of manipulating thoughts and can appear as real beings in dreams, or visibly by those indwelt. The story of the talking donkey was a good example of this. The angel was seen by the donkey but not man at first. If the angel was physical (material) the angel would have been seen by both. The angel first indwelt the donkey then moved to Balaam. Similarly, Jesus drove the demons from Legion into the nearby existing pigs which all happened in the spiritual realm.

Stu,
I looked once again in your previous posts for your positions and rational and couldn't find what I was looking for so I don't think we have really covered the areas that we need to. If you would be so kind as to reply to my questions, I would appreciate it. I wasn't looking for you to cover old territory again. I am just trying to get you to explain your position on which verses contain symbolism in Genesis 2 & 3. You have only addressed one verse related to the talking snake and addressed it at three levels which I understood. If you want to address any others at multiple levels that is fine as well. I don't think we will make any more progress in this area, unless you address the items that I have enumerated several times.

I think you understand the importance of which verses are symbolic. Your reluctance to answer my questions indicates that you don't want to give any further qround on the symbology used extensively in Genesis. I believe you now see, that the question of whether or not Ge 2:7 and Ge 2:14 are symbolic are fundamental to your case against evolution. I believe they are symbolic verses and you are entrenched in your anti-evolution position that cannot permit them to be to any degree symbolic. Unfortunately, you have not shown me one piece of evidence why they are not symbolic while accepting other verses (at least one) in Genesis 2&3 as symbolic. You repeatedly claim that it is the traditional view and provide no justification or rational why they cannot be symbolic. I am assuming that you take other verses as symbolic but are refusing or reluctant to admit them as evidence to avoid undermining your position. The rational that you have used so far for your justifying that the talking snake passages are symbolic is 'historical' (Satan as the snake in a historical exchange), 'communication' (real words communicated between Satan and Eve), but also importantly 'tactical' to avoid looking foolish to the Jon Stewarts and help redirect the conversation. I appreciated your long awaited response. I just wish you would address the other verses similarly. If the special trees, Eve from Adam, or Adam from dust verses are historical (God made both in His time in His way), communicated metaphorically but literal (that God created these spiritual and material entities), and tactical (allegory to avoid credibility loss) why can't they be symbolical or allegorical as well. I don't get your reasoning why talking snakes can be symbolic but Adam from dust cannot be. Your response so far provided no added insight as to why Adam from dust cannot be allegory.

I have not 'diminished major Biblical historical events' at all by taking a more enlightened or logical view that these passages are allegory. Taking the view that these verses in Genesis 2 & 3 are historical real and material events is irrational thinking and not at all consistent with reality. This is why you are eager to avoid these discussions with the Jon Stewart types and me. Some of these verses are logically inconsistent with other Biblical passages unless they are taken as allegory. Case in point is the talking snake instead of Satan which you even reluctantly agree is symbolic. Historically there couldn't have been a conversation between a snake and a newly instantaneously created fully formed and knowledgeable woman. A fully knowledgeable instantaneous women would have to be preprogrammed mentally and have no accountability for any decision that she made. This would be inconsistant with accepted Biblical views on the accountability of the human spirit and free will choices. Logical analysis will tell you that knowledge of good and evil is acquired over time. Also, humans don't form instantaneously from ribs or dust. God said the laws are fixed and they don't work that way to support this kind of allegorical encounter. Taking these passages historically as real material events in time and space is inconsistent with logic and the laws of nature (God's laws that He fixed at the moment of creation and said so). My views on the biblical allegory haven't been the result of my position on evolution as you suggest Stu but the culmination of extensive study of the Bible and the real world that God created with real laws that you don't want to accept. Unfortunately for me and everyone else reading this, you are living in an imaginary irrational world and out of touch with reality if you believe that Ge 2&3 are actual historical time and space events only and are not highly symbolic of the spiritual world. As you insist on holding to this flawed traditional viewpoint, credibility of the traditional Christian position will continue erode and drive potential Christians away.

Lucien,

I am glad to see that you accept that the snake doesn't actually have to talk using a voice box but that the exchange can be somewhat symbolic. We are making progress!

Lee
cheers



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66 The Hubris of Science on Tue May 31, 2011 3:20 am

The universe wasn't just created by God -- it is also sustained by God -- moment by moment! "For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). It wasn't just created X years ago, it is being "continuously created" as "All things have been created through Him and for Him ... and in Him all things hold together" (Col 1:16). If God were to cease to exist for a nano-moment, there would be no "fixed laws which he created" sustaining anything! These so called "fixed laws" would instantaneously cease to exist -- not just wind down. They have no power of their own. In fact, nothing has any "being" on its own (including quantum and cosmological variables) without the sustaining creative power of the Creator.

Nothing has any "meaning" without it being measured against the biblical revelation of the Creator. As we view the cosmos through the lens of science and stop at fixed law rather than the continual action of God, we become practical deists. Science operates, by its own definition, on atheistic premises. This gives birth to a worldview that believes it can explain everything by fixed law leaving only the gaps in between for God to fill. (It even believes that some future Einstein will fill the gaps). On the contrary, nature is a continuous display of God's creativity and power in action, with science being given the privilege to understand some of the gaps. Unfortunately most in science today have "exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator" (Rom 1:25a).

The "destructive impact on Christian credibility" is not going to be eliminated by giving scientific explanations for every gap in understanding. That expectation is borne out of scientific hubris and a cosmic story out of Star Wars. Christian credibility is gained by giving glory to God, recognizing that science is only possible because an all powerful God created and sustains the universe in an ordered way. And that He is not bound by what He created, but has perfect freedom to do things another way with the result that miracle (and yes even gaps) are possible and happen.

"The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it" (Psalm 24), and because of that He is to be "forever praised. Amen" (Rom 1:25b).



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67 For Stu on Sun May 29, 2011 7:39 am

Stu: sorry i missed your joke about Joseph Smith.
I have been known to be a bit thick at times. It is one of my shortcomings but can sometimes be quite amusing for others.

I understand your three-bulleted post.
Although I found the term "both are literal truths" chosen a bit unfortunately, I do see your point.
Also, I would still argue that the snake could very well have been an actual one not needing a voice-box and I appreciate that you have not ruled out the snake as being a physical creature.
I think that we are very much focussed on what would cause the sound (a voicebox), whereas we should all realise that sound travels through a medium by compression of molecules. What the actual cause of the compression was, does not per se have to be a voice-box.
If a spirit being can exert some influence on molecules, then that would resolve the problem, and we all at one point or another (John 12:28-30) have acknowledged that this can be so.


Lucien



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68 For the Group on Sun May 29, 2011 3:47 am

Lucien -- Very Happy I was trying to be funny using Joseph Smith as the brunt of my humor just as Bret indicated. I believe God the Father (who is Spirit) directly spoke from heaven in an audible voice. This was a historical event and it was miraculous.

Lee -- I am speechless. Either you are toying with me, trying to goad me into an irrational discussion, or you really don't discern the three different lines of reasoning I used to answer Bret's question. All you have done is convolute the three. It seems that Bret (to whom it was addressed) clearly understood my answer. (Bret and Lucien -- please tell me if what I said sounds as convoluted as what Lee interprets).

In my opinion you diminish major biblical historical events -- those on which historic Christian theology is based -- if they threaten your evolutionary agenda. But at the same time you gratuitously accept other major supernatural biblical events as historical when they don't imperil it. You can't have it both ways.

If you really want me to answer your question: "I would also like to understand better why you feel that accepting some of these ancient verses as symbolic has a negative theological impact," I would be delighted to do so again. We've already had that discussion over a year ago. You weren't moved by the traditional theological arguments then, and I really don't believe that you are interested in reconsidering those arguments now.

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69 *** Talking Snakes? *** on Sat May 28, 2011 2:43 pm

Lee ...

I believe the point that Lucien was trying to make is ...
that you used the fact that snakes do not possess a voice-box ...
Therefore ... any story about a talking snake must be allegorical !!!

But now ... you've conceded the fact that God could easily create audible speech
by just the manipulation of air-waves ... without need of anything else to do so!
So ... why is it not possible for Satan to do likewise (while possessing a snake)?

Do you believe (and that Scripture supports) that Angels & Demons can manifest
themselves into physically visible and audibly hearable beings?
(and ... Can I get that answer in a simple YES or NO response?)


20 Bret*11

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70 Voice Boxes on Sat May 28, 2011 5:14 am

Hi Lucien, I don't have any idea where you are going with this topic. Please spell it out in detail for us. I could only guess and would likely be wrong at trying to read your mind.

Lee Shocked



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71 Thanks, but let's get to the point here. on Sat May 28, 2011 3:45 am

Thanks Lee, for your response to my question.
Wading through the technical terminology, I have come to what it really is about:

You have stated that a voicebox is not needed to generate sound.
You argument re the snake largely rested on the fact that snakes don't have voiceboxes.
Do you see where I am going here?


Lucien

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Hi All,
Just got back from the Central Coast of California. I think I like this retirement thing! It almost keeps me too busy though.

Voice from Heaven
Lucien, you brought up a valid question and I didn't intend to ignore it forever. There was just too much other important dialogue to have first on our various positions related to symbology. Here is my response. Since I believe that God is spiritual (informational) and controls the laws of physics and information in our present world it seems clear (to me anyway) that God does not have a voice box and is not confined to a physical form of any type in our world unless He wants to be materialized in a particular form like a cloud of fire, a burning bush, Jesus, or other of His choosing. The voice from Heaven could have been sound waves that God generated since He controls all matter in our universe through the physical laws that He created and the organization of all energy through these laws (information). I have discussed at length already the hidden variables of quantum mechanics and the independent control variable term in the general relatively equations which could be used to perform this. The voice from heaven may have also been created in peoples's minds directly using the electrical quantum mechanical hidden variables to communicate thoughts into each person's mind. I view the voice here as real and the verse as historical (an actual event in many people's lives that John recorded after Jesus' resurrection)
John 24:28 Father, glorify Thy name.' There came, therefore, a voice out of the heaven, `I both glorified, and again I will glorify [it];29the multitude, therefore, having stood and heard, were saying that there hath been thunder; others said, `A messenger hath spoken to him.'
30Jesus answered and said, `Not because of me hath this voice come, but because of you;


Turning History to Comedy
I am glad to see your post, Stu, addressing the symbolism of the talking snake and defining your position on it. I agree with you that whether the snake talked or not, shouldn't be that important relative to the message of disobedience to God. I am very happy to see you acknowledge that it could be symbolic of Satan. You mentioned that there is more symbolism in Genesis. Would you define the other potentially symbolic entities or events similarly as you have defined the talking snake? For starters, how about the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil in this 'historical' set of events in the garden.

I would also like to understand better why you feel that accepting some of these ancient verses as symbolic has a negative theological impact. I just don't see it that way and believe that the authors intended these verses to be symbolic of spiritual events only. I have always viewed these passages as symbolic of God's spirtual plan and somewhat historical and declared often and to many the inerrancy of the Bible. Since you view the symbology here as detrimental to the Christian case, I would like to understand why you feel so strongly about it. I am more worried that attempts to label these symbolic verses as real events involving real material entities and insisting that this view can be the only acceptable interpretation has a great destructive impact on Christian credibility. You mentioned in your post that the Jon Stewarts of the world make fun of this strong position for money and fame and to the detriment of Christian credibility. It is obvious to curious non-Christians that are educated that these entities are not real material things in our world but could also be symbolic of the spiritual realm. Why not accept them as symbolic of the spiritual realm and direct the dialogue in that direction right from the start. By opening up the dialogue with a statement like 'they might be real but could be symbolic', you risk an immediate credibility barrier with the non-believer. Especially whether the entity is real or not, has so little bearing on what the set of verses is trying to get across like disobedience. So why take such a strong stance against symbolism in Genesis and have it used by others to benefit Satan's will? jocolor

Bret,

I am in your corner, just let me know when you need my help to resuscitate you. Cosmology books can knock you out and leave you staring into space (unless you're like me and love to read them). study

Lee

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73 Ah, I see. on Thu May 26, 2011 5:56 am

Well, the question remains.

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74 *** LDS? *** on Thu May 26, 2011 4:40 am

Lucien ...


I believe that Stu was making fun of the mixed-up beliefs of the Mormon Church!
That's why he said it would be easily explained by "Joseph Smith" (LDS) !!!
They actually believe that God the Father has a physical body (including a voice-box)!

I think that Joseph Smith was actually on LSD when he made-up the book of Mormon!
"LDS"..."LSD" coincidence? I don't think so!



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75 the Father? on Thu May 26, 2011 3:48 am

Sorry Stu, but if we are speaking of the Father (and we are), I would argue He is spirit and thus does not have a (physical) body and a voice-box.
You'll need to elaborate before you have my vote.
Please do, I am intrigued, and hoping that Lee will get in the mix as well.

Lucien

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