Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 12, 2014 3:52 pm

In other words, God loves repentant sinners but not all sinners are repentant.

W4J wrote:Now Christians are falling over themselves trying to interpret God's Word via the fossil record. It's pathetic.


Really? /:) I'm glad you said in a later post, that we will have to agree to disagree with you. There is one way the fossil record resoundingly agrees with the Bible, even Genesis 2:7, or even Genesis 2:21-22. Everything in and on the Earth and any living creature or organism which inhabits it, is of the Earth, the dust of the earth, its chemicals, their combinations, and the more complex transmitted DNA. We do not come from wandering aliens, UFO's etc, like the likes of Erich Von Daniken would have had us believe some decades ago. Men are not from Mars and Women are not from Venus. :) Of course DNA and RNA wasn't discovered until after WW2, but Genesis also insists that woman is flesh of man's flesh and bone of man's bone, and of the same species, whichever part of the world one comes from. Would that be why, sometimes, women and men treat each other as enemy aliens? :p

phosphorus wrote:My take? The assumptions were faulty in the first place. The Bible was not intended to be read in this way. The fundamentalists did wrongly in insisting on their particular interpretation against mounting extrabiblical evidence; the liberals did wrongly in picking the Bible apart and treating it as “true” or “untrue” according to the latest critical methods. As long as we are clear, as G. K. Chesterton points out, that there is a positive thing called a human made uniquely in the image of God, in terms of the faith it does not particularly matter where (biologically) our species came from.


Thank you, for your even-handedness. I think you are right, especially in the bit I bolded. Sometimes it seems fundamentalistic YEC believers are just as dogmatic as atheistic evolutionists like Richard Dawkins, which is off-putting. Both groups seem to insist they are right, and that everyone else is wrong. Neither group treats "theistic evolutionists" as at all viable, so forcing these "liberals" to justify to both why they think the way they do.

It gets to be a problem for the likes of myself if people of both persuasions query the church attendance of "theistic evolutionists", and is the reason why the Anglican Primate of Australia, Philip Aspinall was obliged to tell Anglican ministers a decade ago, they shouldn't turn away worshippers who do believe in evolution, even if they don't, themselves. We also need to be able to answer atheistic evolutionists why we still can believe God exists, that God is, was and always will be, whatever they might think, and whatever they might decide about the Bible.

Personally, I'm still truly fascinated of how, more and more, the archaeological record does match up with 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles, plus what later became Samaria and Judea under the Persians. Teachers, whatever their persuasion, would do well to use the Old Testament as a standard history source for that period of world history and earlier, especially as it predates Herodotus, or Thuycidides, the so-called "Father of History". And I am fascinated with Daniel, one of the most accurate prophets who ever existed, whose eyewitness account of the downfall of Belshazzar sheds light on how the Persians got to be such a formidable force in Greek and Hebrew history in opposite ways. I'd like to read about the relationship of the Medes with today's Kurdish people, and also the riddle of the so-called "lost tribes of Israel", who probably were absorbed into surrounding peoples, and what happened to Moab, Edom, and other ancient peoples who might not be quite as vanished as first seems.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 12, 2014 6:30 pm

Sorry, guys. Not for what I believe but my antagonism at times. I just get very frustrated that many don't even consider the possibility it's true. Also, that theistic evolutionists are definitely the mainstream in the Christian church (if we turned away theistic evolutionists, there would be next to no-one attending) and anyone who believes otherwise (but usually YEC) is believed to be running short on the little grey cells.

We'll have to agree to disagree. Yes, YECs have had to learn to be on the offensive but it seems part and parcel of just having a voice of difference in this evolution and uniformitarinism-soaked world. Theistic evolutionists are welcome to believe what they want (but first, please consider both sides of the coin), as long as they believe and trust on Christ. That said, what BioLogos is doing to sabotage brothers and sisters in Christ, is both disturbing and downright disgraceful.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Phosphorus » May 12, 2014 7:47 pm

http://pilgrimvisions.wordpress.com/201 ... eationism/

This is my post, as requested. If you can wade through the autobiography, I provide an outline of the reasons I am not a YEC. However, I try to be... non-confrontational about this subject. While I think damage can be done to the Church by the very fact of the contest, I think which side one comes down on is, in the long run, spiritually insignificant.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Ithilwen » May 12, 2014 9:06 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I just get very frustrated that many don't even consider the possibility it's true. Also, that theistic evolutionists are definitely the mainstream in the Christian church (if we turned away theistic evolutionists, there would be next to no-one attending) and anyone who believes otherwise (but usually YEC) is believed to be running short on the little grey cells.

Do you mean that's how things are in Australia? Because where I live, YEC is definitely the mainstream in the Christian church. Here, if I even question YEC, people will say I'm backsliding/going to the devil and possibly stop associating with me.


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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 12, 2014 9:26 pm

Yes, in Australia theistic evolutionism is definitely the mainstream position of the Christian church. I believe theistic evolutionists are Christians but I also believe yes, that it can seriously affect the effectiveness of one's witness and the foundation of one's faith. I interact with theistic evolutionists regularly and most of the people in my church are, as are some of my friends. I don't stop being in fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ over the creation/evolution debate. If I did, that would be silly and counterproductive (but I still don't recognise it as a side issue). That said, I do get sick and tired of Christians who get really angry and antagonistic when one questions evolution and presents another side to the story. It's not that I've only been exposed to YEC, evolution beliefs are everywhere and were even part of the required curriculum when I was in school.

Phosphorous, I disagree with much of your blog article but thanks for sharing your thoughts. You do make one baseless assumption though. YEC was the mainstream belief prior to evolution and uniformitarinism, it's not a modern movement. Most of the church fathers believed in the Bible as it was written, and those that didn't allegorised it (also not wise) but still didn't allow for millions of years. As for Ken Ham, he seems to do many good things but he was also the reason behind the split in his ministry some years ago. So now we have Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International. I know far more about the latter. Also, it strikes me as more scholarly.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Aslanisthebest » May 12, 2014 9:55 pm

Like Riella said, being YEC is part of the mainstream evangelical package here in the U.S. If someone deviates from the view, they are at best an alternative type and at worst a heretic. Questioning YEC can garner all sorts of quips like, "You're denying the existence of God," etc.

I agree with what you said, Riella--A lot of the issue is like, YEC's accept something, and they refuse to see anything else. The "Bible-glasses" approach that Phosphorus described in his blog article is a paradigm that I do not agree with, because it feels rather shallow. I believe this approach is necessary for some things: Puddleglum with the White Witch. But with things that are elements of faith rather than faith itself? I believe a different approach is required.
I do not see my study of science as separate to Christianity: I have love for both, and these affinities do not contradict one another. There are questions, but I know that my faith and my learning can be and will be harmonious in the end in a way that is credible. My experience with YECs has been different: some of it has been good, others not so good. I have found some satisfying answers, spiritually and intellectually, but other times it's gotten to the point where I can't use the world evolve without feeling like I'm saying something wrong.

I enjoyed reading your blog post, Phosphorus, and I'm saving it for future reference. Thanks for sharing that!

Warrior wrote:I just get very frustrated that many don't even consider the possibility it's true.
I agree with your perspective here: studying science in school and reading textbooks that almost get sardonic about views outside of mainstream evolution is frustrating. However, hearing the slippery slope argument from YEC's is equally as frustrating, and it's an argument that I hear more often at this point. Another reason is that the YEC argument is often placed in the unsettling dish of politics here.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 13, 2014 4:04 am

Ithilwen wrote:
Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I just get very frustrated that many don't even consider the possibility it's true. Also, that theistic evolutionists are definitely the mainstream in the Christian church (if we turned away theistic evolutionists, there would be next to no-one attending) and anyone who believes otherwise (but usually YEC) is believed to be running short on the little grey cells.

Do you mean that's how things are in Australia? Because where I live, YEC is definitely the mainstream in the Christian church. Here, if I even question YEC, people will say I'm backsliding/going to the devil and possibly stop associating with me.


Yes, W4F is right. ILF asked about the separation of state and religion, which is a part of our Constitution. We tolerate all religious beliefs but the original specification was to keep either the Anglican or the Catholic church from becoming the state religion. We have public school systems controlled by the various state governments, who set curriculums etc in a way to suit the majority in a non-religious, non-denominational way. Evolution is taught as a basic, a way to understand science, biology, chemistry etc. There are religious schools, primarily Catholic, who from the Pope down would seem to have more things to worry about than student belief in Evolution.

A religious (Protestant) school on our Central coast wanted to teach YEC Creationism or Intelligent Design instead of Evolution and was told they could only mention these alongside Evolution, and only as an interesting alternative idea or they would lose their registration. Actually many people here would agree with this approach, and I've heard opinions that even the Catholic schools spent too much time on Hail Mary's and not enough on maths and science. They might even say government control should be taken further so that small girls still at infants or primary school are not obliged by Islamic parents to wear particular outfits for religious reasons, that hamper their movement in sport and are hot to wear in summer.

However, schools here do teach comparative religion for the HSC, and philosophy is so necessary that NSW has introduced ethics classes to replace the old one-size-fits-all Christian scripture lessons. In the past decade, even yearly traditional Christmas and Easter celebrations have been discouraged in primary school because non-Christian parents object to their children being subjected to Christian beliefs. Nevertheless, we still retain a strong Christian influence in our laws, customs, institutions, and in the Christian values people still hold..

It seems in USA that not only do YEC churches have more input into education they also outrank the Episcopalian and Catholic churches in church attendance and what people believe.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby IloveFauns » May 13, 2014 5:51 am

@Wagga I must also add that Queensland appears to be more religious than the other states. We use to have religion lessons in a government school. I went to school in Tasmania and had no religion lessons. Same here in WA.

So if there are any Queenslanders or someone that knows I have a question. Is the religion lessons in government schools a state government choice? do they still have the lessons in all state schools?. I left in 2005(getting close to a decade ago now) so a lot has possibly changed.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Phosphorus » May 13, 2014 2:22 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:Phosphorous, I disagree with much of your blog article but thanks for sharing your thoughts. You do make one baseless assumption though. YEC was the mainstream belief prior to evolution and uniformitarinism, it's not a modern movement. Most of the church fathers believed in the Bible as it was written, and those that didn't allegorised it (also not wise) but still didn't allow for millions of years.


Actually, I was speaking about the Young Earth Creationism movement as such, which, as I understand, was driven early on and popularized by Seventh-Day Adventists such as George McCready Price, then taken up by the American Fundamentalist movement. YEC, even stripped of the details of its beliefs, has not been the default Christian position since science first began to suspect the earth is older than 6000 years. The Church Fathers' views on the subject, as already mentioned, were diverse, well before the new science; when the new science first came along, mainstream Christianity seemed able to embrace it. While of course many Christians throughout history have believed (or assumed) a literal six days, I consider YEC, with all its specific elements and understandings, most definitely a product of its time.

I don't know the movement's history in Australia. I'm grateful you could read my post amicably and in the spirit it was intended.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby waggawerewolf27 » May 14, 2014 5:16 pm

IloveFauns wrote:@Wagga I must also add that Queensland appears to be more religious than the other states. We use to have religion lessons in a government school. I went to school in Tasmania and had no religion lessons. Same here in WA.

So if there are any Queenslanders or someone that knows I have a question. Is the religion lessons in government schools a state government choice? do they still have the lessons in all state schools?. I left in 2005(getting close to a decade ago now) so a lot has possibly changed.


Yes, all the states have their own separate government education departments and make their own decisions about religious lessons. Occasionally the Federal government intervenes, using the states' share of our tax dollars as a carrot and a stick to get compliance, notably John Howard's wanting state schools to have Ministers of Religion as school counsellors, or Julia Gillard's BER funding of school projects.

The father of Federation was Sir Henry Parkes, a Premier of NSW several times, and what he thought and worked out is largely reflected in our constitution, from 1901. By the way, Queen Victoria and the British Parliament ratified our becoming an independent country, shortly before she died early 1901, and it is unlikely she would have wanted Australia to be anything else but a Christianity-based country. I don't know if religious lessons are still held in NSW as even my youngest child left school fifteen years ago. I wouldn't say that Queensland is the most religious state. More like it is our Deep North, where conservatism rules OK.

W4J wrote:You do make one baseless assumption though. YEC was the mainstream belief prior to evolution and uniformitarinism, it's not a modern movement.


I wouldn't say so. More like that the subject never arose until inquisitive humans started opening the Pandora's box of Evolution. I'd say that Genesis 1: 1-11 was generally read that way, without people thinking it maybe could be read in other ways. Before I go on to answer Phosphorus's question, I decided to pay Genesis 1:1-11 a visit, and found something interesting in the way it was set out. In KJV there is a repetition at the end of each section which goes something like this: "And the Lord said Let there be light.... And that was the first day." At the conclusion of each of the next five sections there is a refrain "And that was the second day" etc. I never thought about it beforehand, but Genesis 1: 1-11 isn't prose at all. This chapter of the Bible is meant to be sung or chanted like a litany, with maybe the rabbi or minister calling out what the Lord did, and the congregation responding with the refrain. I haven't been to a Jewish religious ceremony, though I have been inside Sydney's Great Synagogue. But they do use extensively the Pentateuch (Torah) and they sing the Psalms which we also did in the Anglican church. (Including Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, before they lost the Latin and the music.)

I don't understand Hebrew and would very much like to know what the Hebrews called each day of the week, and how they arrived at these names, apart from the Seventh day, which is called the Sabbath. But I do have an English translation of the Hebrew Tanakh. Comparing this book with the KJV, I found the refrain "And that was the first day" became "And there was evening and there was morning, the first day." Both versions start off the same way with "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth" and proceed similarly. The thing is that which day it is, isn't uttered until the end of each section.

It doesn't say which first, second, third etc day it was, only that the Lord called the Seventh day, The Sabbath. And the Jews ever afterwards used a seven day week, claiming the seventh day as a day of rest, basing it on this song. I've learned elsewhere (from a Seventh-Day-Adventist archaeological magazine) that the Hebrews used two calendars, one being a religious calendar to work out such long-standing festivals such as the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. The other one was measured according to the reigns of their Kings whilst they had them. The months all had names - even the Aboriginal peoples measured time and named the seasons of the year, even though they found six rather than the four Europeans claim for the world.

What I am trying to ask, is that were the six days consecutive? Or were they merely six random days all called Monday, for example? Were they really called Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc., or were these days at any random interval, according to which stage God finished, before moving onto the next stage? A 24 hour day was calculated by the Babylonians either before or about the time of the Jewish captivity, though it was Eratosthenes who calculated the circumference of the world.

But if you are expected to work every day like slaves do, one day is much like another, and a rest day is when the master says so. Sunrise and sunset goes by as do winter and summer. Who cares then whether it is Sunday, Monday or Doomsday? To use an Aussie expression, the slaves could very well say "Fair crack of the whip, I need a regular rest day". And now with that song, a very old song, possibly sung from the time of Exodus, they could have their weekly rest day as a matter of religious faith. Plus if I was a Babylonian slave, a nice little dig at my Babylonian masters who thought their calculations as so impressive. ;)

phosphorus wrote:While of course many Christians throughout history have believed (or assumed) a literal six days, I consider YEC, with all its specific elements and understandings, most definitely a product of its time...I don't know the movement's history in Australia. I'm grateful you could read my post amicably and in the spirit it was intended.


A literal seven day week, starting on Sunday and finishing on Saturday, is certainly the Adventist stance, and why it is called Seventh Day Adventist in the first place. This Church was started in USA in the 1800's by people who felt, among other matters, that we should be resting on the Seventh day, the way the Jews do to this day, not the First day, Sunday, a day of worship for much of Christendom, being the Lord's Day. The Adventists spread widely through the Pacific area, notably in places like Samoa, Tahiti, and especially Norfolk Island and Pitcairn Island, both associated with the famous Mutiny on the Bounty, after which William Bligh got to be Governor of New South Wales until the Rum Corps kicked him out. Did you know that Anna Bligh, who was Queensland Premier when VDT was being filmed in the Moreton Bay area here, is also one of his descendants?

However, New South Wales, in particular, was already settled and was the main administrative centre for the area, including New Zealand, Queensland and Tasmania. Anglicanism and Catholicism were far more important here, up until Federation. Our day of rest is still Sunday, and businesses used to have a half-day holiday on Saturday afternoons. Even today there are no dramas if businesses and Government services close on both Saturdays and Sundays, though there is a push to have 7 day a week working weeks with no penalty rates for people working shifts or on weekends.

Although the Adventists are respected, I notice they do not seem to be as prominent as they used to be before the notorious Lindy Chamberlain case, when at Uluru, a dingo stole her baby, Azaria, in August 1981, called down a monumental injustice against her, personally, and prejudicial opinions against the Adventists. However, in Sydney at least, they still have their own churches and schools. They run a hospital at Wahroonga which has an impressive reputation, and they also are linked to the Sanitarium cereal company as well as the production of vegetarian and health foods. As W4J points out, the majority of Christians in Australia would be Theistic Evolutionists.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby The Old Maid » May 15, 2014 11:50 am

Regarding the atoning work of Christ,

And [Jesus] He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. (1 John 2:2 NKJV)


Jesus took care of the sins of everyone. No one perishes on account of their sins -- their sins are paid for -- but rather because they reject the One who paid it.

W4J wrote:

YEC was the mainstream belief prior to evolution and uniformitarinism, it's not a modern movement.


Yes, it is. YEC/Intelligent Design is the new-fangled mainstream version. It includes such things as the kids who visit the Creation Museum riding a plastic dinosaur with a saddle.

(Example: https://www.flickr.com/photos/williac/1036693826/
or if that doesn't click, try this one.)

Why, when I was a young'un, Real, True Creationists (TM) didn't believe in dinosaurs. We all knew they were the bones of the Nephilim, the monsters/mutants spawned before the Flood. Unlike normal people and creatures (whose bones have been pulverized by the Flood, so they'll never be found), these bones survived because they were un-natural monster/mutant bones. From our point of view, YEC seems accommodating (as in, syncretist). 'Tain't no such thing as dinosaurs, la-la-la *fingers in ears.*

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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Stylteralmaldo » May 16, 2014 11:41 am

The Old Maid wrote:...Jesus took care of the sins of everyone. No one perishes on account of their sins -- their sins are paid for -- but rather because they reject the One who paid it.


Wouldn't rejecting the One who paid for it be a sin? Therefore Jesus didn't take care of the sins for everyone or at the very least it seems that some shall indeed perish on account of their sins.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 16, 2014 6:06 pm

Old Maid, I'm not sure I understand your post, but it sounds to be like you're insulting creationists. Also, yes, YEC isn't a modern phenomena but the more scientific exploration of the ideas is. Finally, dinosaurs have their place. The Bible said the land animals were created on Day 6, we have dinosaur fossils. Therefore, if we combine the findings in God's Word to what has been found, we have dinosaurs made on Day 6. Simple.

I'm saddened that Christians raise a human understanding of Science above God's Word - Scripture.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Ithilwen » May 16, 2014 7:35 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I'm saddened that Christians raise a human understanding of Science above God's Word - Scripture.

This is a great example of what I was talking about earlier. On the last page, I said:

I don't at ALL doubt the validity of the Bible. But I do have many questions, and I do often doubt our ability to correctly interpret the Bible, since we are flawed, fallen human beings, and many passages in Genesis are vague to begin with. I can't say, though, that any conversation I've had with a YEC-er ever did me any good. Instead of actually listening, understanding, or trying to answer my questions, the conversations always just lead to them twisting my arguments, accusing me of doubting scripture or "following scientific and cultural trends"


You "win" the debate by misrepresenting the argument of the other people here.

What You Seem To Think We Are Saying: "Yeah, the Bible supports YEC and all, but it was written such a long time ago by people who didn't really know what they were talking about. Whereas science, which is much more reliable than the Bible, shows that YEC is wrong and Evolution is true. Therefore we should believe in Evolution, no matter what the Bible says!"

What We Are Actually Saying: "The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and everything in it is correct/has a purpose. However, is it possible that we, being mere imperfect people, interpreted the Bible incorrectly when we came up with our YEC beliefs? Is it possible that we misunderstood the Bible, like we've done so many other times in the past, flawed human beings that we are?"

We are not ignoring or disrespecting scripture. On the contrary, we are trying to ensure our interpretation of scripture is correct, and take into account the fact that, just because we've believed a certain interpretation for a long time, that doesn't mean we were correct. We are taking into account the flaws of human logic. Everything the Bible says is true. But just because we thought the Bible was saying a certain thing, that doesn't mean we were right. The Bible is flawless. Our way of reading it is not. And there is nothing wrong with looking at the possibilities, to see if maybe a different interpretation is more correct than a previously held one.

I don't know if this misrepresentation of our opinion is on purpose or accidental. But it is really what makes conversations with YEC-ers so difficult and often fruitless. You can't have a debate with someone if they are constantly getting "your side of the story" wrong. Disagree all you want. But don't claim we're saying something we're not. Especially when it insults our faith and devotion to God and His Word.


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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Warrior 4 Jesus » May 16, 2014 8:30 pm

Riella,

"Yeah, the Bible supports YEC and all, but it was written such a long time ago by people who didn't really know what they were talking about. Whereas science, which is much more reliable than the Bible, shows that YEC is wrong and Evolution is true. Therefore we should believe in Evolution, no matter what the Bible says!"

I'm only going from what I've experienced. This is exactly what many (not all) theistic evolutionists claim. Those online, those I've met in real life and those I know well (friends, fellow church members, colleagues etc). Some go so far as to say that the Son of God didn't know what he was talking about when He referred to Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Tower of Babel etc. as historical events. Maybe you don't hold to such beliefs, but many theistic evolutionists do.
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Re: Christianity, Religion and Philosophy, Episode VII!

Postby Ithilwen » May 16, 2014 9:20 pm

Warrior 4 Jesus wrote:I'm only going from what I've experienced. This is exactly what many (not all) theistic evolutionists claim. Those online, those I've met in real life and those I know well (friends, fellow church members, colleagues etc). Some go so far as to say that the Son of God didn't know what he was talking about when He referred to Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Tower of Babel etc. as historical events. Maybe you don't hold to such beliefs, but many theistic evolutionists do.

Yes, many people do believe that. But the point I'm making is that the people here don't believe that. And those are the people you are talking to and, from what I could tell, the people you were making that comment about. Unless I misunderstood? I assumed you made that comment in reference to TOM and Wagga.


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