Wednesday, October 21, 2015

MY RESPONSE TO A THEISTIC EVOLUTIONIST (TE)





I usually don’t answer personal attacks, but I feel led to make an exception in your case. You attack me as unloving. While it is true that I am not here to “make nice,” I think that the biblical concept of love is broader than that. Just look at Jesus’ denunciations of the Pharisees and even His own disciples, calling Peter “Satan.”

Although love is primarily focused on what the other person needs most, it can take many different forms.

  • My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20) 
I wish that this could always be done by “making nice,” but it often requires more than that. Sometimes – and there are many examples of this in the NT – it requires direct speaking, even when it might be painful.

You smear me by calling me “a modern biblical literalist.” No one is a literalist. I certainly don’t follow Jesus literally when He taught to “pluck your eye out,” nor does anyone else. We are not such idiots, as the TE would have us, that we cannot discern between literal and figurative language.

Meanwhile you claim that the TE has a high view of Scripture. However, the TE clearly does not have a high view of Scripture when he dismisses the historicity of Adam, even though he is found in genealogies, and dismiss the many NT references to the first several chapters of Genesis as historical.

“Well, so what,” you might say. This is serious! If you are unwilling to accept what the Bible so unimpeachably and historically teaches about the physical world, how can you take seriously what the Bible teaches about the spiritual world? You can’t, as Jesus explained to Nicodemus:

  • "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of HEAVENLY THINGS? (John 3:10-12)
If the Bible is errant in what it teaches about the physical world, there is absolutely no reason to trust in what it says about the spiritual. Consequently, I have found that TEs’ views on ethical questions are almost indistinguishable from those of the educated elite. I wish it were otherwise.

You defend your faith in the Bible by what you have personally experienced, and that is good, but it clearly isn’t enough. One of your own, Karl Giberson, wrote:

  • “Acid is an appropriate metaphor for the erosion of my fundamentalism, as I slowly lost confidence in the Genesis story of creation and the scientific creationism that placed this ancient story within the framework of modern science….[Darwin’s] acid dissolved Adam and Eve; it ate through the Garden of Eden; it destroyed the historicity of the events of creation week. It etched holes in those parts of Christianity connected to the stories—the fall, “Christ as the second Adam,” the origins of sin, and nearly everything else that I counted sacred.” (Saving Darwin, 9-10)
Although he then insisted that this was as far as the acid would go, he later called the God of the OT a “genocidal maniac.” Should we not be concerned about this acid?

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