Skip to comments.Mohler takes on 'theistic evolution'
Posted on 01/16/2011 4:09:10 PM PST by balch3
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) -- A Southern Baptist seminary president and evolution opponent has turned sights on "theistic evolution," the idea that evolutionary forces are somehow guided by God. Albert Mohler
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote an article in the Winter 2011 issue of the seminary magazine labeling attempts by Christians to accommodate Darwinism "a biblical and theological disaster."
Mohler said being able to find middle ground between a young-earth creationism that believes God created the world in six 24-hour days and naturalism that regards evolution the product of random chance "would resolve a great cultural and intellectual conflict."
The problem, however, is that it is not evolutionary theory that gives way, but rather the Bible and Christian theology.
Mohler said acceptance of evolutionary theory requires reading the first two chapters of Genesis as a literary rendering and not historical fact, but it doesn't end there. It also requires rethinking the claim that sin and death entered the human race through the Fall of Adam. That in turn, Mohler contended, raises questions about New Testament passages like First Corinthians 15:22, "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."
"The New Testament clearly establishes the Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the foundation of the Bible's account of creation," Mohler wrote. "If there was no historical Adam and no historical Fall, the Gospel is no longer understood in biblical terms."
Mohler said that after trying to reconcile their reading of Genesis with science, proponents of theistic evolution are now publicly rejecting biblical inerrancy, the doctrine that the Bible is totally free from error.
"We now face the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and Gospel integrity are at stake," Mohler concluded. "Are you ready for this debate?"
In a separate article in the same issue, Gregory Wills, professor of church history at Southern Seminary, said attempts to affirm both creation and evolution in the 19th and 20th century produced Christian liberalism, which attracted large numbers of Americans, including the clerical and academic leadership of most denominations.
After establishing the concept that Genesis is true from a religious but not a historical standpoint, Wills said, liberalism went on to apply naturalistic criteria to accounts of miracles and prophecy as well. The result, he says, was a Bible "with little functional authority."
"Liberalism in America began with the rejection of the Bible's creation account," Wills wrote. "It culminated with a broad rejection of the beliefs of historic Christianity. Yet many Christians today wish to repeat the experiment. We should not expect different results."
Mohler, who in the last year became involved in public debate about evolution with the BioLogos Foundation, a conservative evangelical group that promotes integrating faith and science, has long maintained the most natural reading of the Bible is that God created the world in six 24-hour days just a few thousand years ago.
Writing in Time magazine in 2005, Mohler rejected the idea of human "descent."
"Evangelicals must absolutely affirm the special creation of humans in God's image, with no physical evolution from any nonhuman species," he wrote. "Just as important, the Bible clearly teaches that God is involved in every aspect and moment in the life of His creation and the universe. That rules out the image of a kind of divine watchmaker."
That story is a more realistic take on the ancient aphorism that a even a one-eyed man would be King in the Country of the Blind. As HG Wells showed in his original 1904 version, that is decidedly not so. "Sight" in the Country of the Blind can be quite a neurological disorder.
What the blind can't comprehend at all is what sight is and why it might be helpful. In a long-established Country of the Blind "sight" is insane hokum.
Dear Mr. Bill. I never said that the entropy of snow and ice on Mt Everest was higher than water at sea level. Why do you misrepresent me so?
"Again, simple observation makes it self-evident that you are not correct."
Again Mr. Bill. I never said that ice and snow on Mt. Everest had higher entropy than water at sea level. Why do you misrepresent me so?
How many hundreds or thousands of different species do you think are needed to explain a 2% genetic difference and 6% genomic difference in DNA between a human and chimpanzee?
And why would a process (going from a swimming water breather to a walking air breather) that is evident in the lifetime of an individual of a species be a transformation so elaborate that it might need thousands of different species to explain it?
Unless a clone, every individual member of a species, is a ‘transitional species’. If this were not true, evolution wouldn’t happen.
I remember that after finding an Australopithocine some one million years ‘younger’ than Lucy and company that had about the same brain size - some twit remarked that one million years and they didn't become any “more” human.
Well the job of an Autralopithocine was not to evolve into a human, it was to be the best ol’ Australopithocine he or she could be! They were not “wasting time” for a million years without their brains getting larger.
In other words they were a “transitional” species, but their ‘job’ wasn't to ‘transform’ into a human being - that was perhaps the ultimate plan - but it wasn't THEIR plan.
"fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; "---The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom
---Thomas Jefferson, 1786
I knew you couldn't support your statement, "If you were correct, and the entropy of elevated snow and ice was higher than that of liquid water at a lower elevation, then hydroelectric generation wouldnt work as it does at the Hoover Dam - where the majority of the water flowing through the dam and turning the turbines in the spring is melted snow and ice."
Pretending you don't need to is a nice try. Not.
"fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; " ---The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom ---Thomas Jefferson, 1786 http://religiousfreedom.lib.virginia.edu/sacred/vaact.html
Funny that the implication is that this doesn't apply to you simply because you posted it. Look in the mirror, Mr. Bill. This is exactly what you do.
"Luckily, for American Individual Citizens - the Law says that dogmatic tyrants, folks of your ilk, don't get become the Pharaoh's Inquisitor or burn "heretics" like me for recognizing the self-evident Truth that the dirt beneath our feet is slightly older than 6000 years."
LOL! Now I'm of the 'dogmatic tyrant' ilk, eh Mr. Bill. And, oh my, you used the 'ilk' word. How powerful (not). Even better, you get to say that the law says I don't get to 'burn heretics like you'. Can you say paranoia, Mr. Bill?
What was that you posted about "setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible"? Keep taking Mr. Bill. You only get better. LOL!
And you think it's 'self-evident' that the dirt is older than 6,000 years? Really? Does dirt have a date-stamp on it Mr. Bill? If it's so 'self-evident', why do we need scientists to tell us that we should believe that? If it's 'self-evident', shouldn't it really be self-evident? Or is this a new usage for the term 'self-evident'.
"Does your game - that drives a wedge between Faith and Science in the minds of the fleeced, lead individuals into accepting the gift of reconciliation with their Creator? NO, it does not; just the opposite in fact, Mr. Pharisee."
Ooh, more projection and name-calling from Mr. Bill. What a surprise.
"Deal with it."
Deal with name-calling and projection over facts and arguments? Keep talking Mr. Bill. You're doing a fine job.
Ah... so, by definition, *most* 'reasonable' folk think it is 'self-evident' that dirt is older than 6,000 years. Tell me, Mr. Bill. Just how do *most* 'reasonable' folk know this? What about the rest of the 'reasonable' folk that don't think it is self-evident that dirt is older than 6,000 years? After all, they are 'reasonable' too, by your own admission.
"We pretty much figured out that whole "The Sun is Apollo and a flaming chariot" thing is Bovine excrement too."
"No Fleece for YOU!"
However, if one starts with the axiom that the spirit, the soul, and the body exist and because they exist they have spatio-temporal limits (because without space things do not exist and without time events do not occur), attention is immediately focused upon how God has woven these together in such a way that an individual functions under the influence of the soul and the spirit ... if one is diligently seeking to know God and His wondrous creation.
As God defined Himself Alpha and Omega, He established/set the absolute limits of creation to be between His essence ... no thing except God has, can or will exist beyond Alpha and Omega. By starting with that as axiomatic, the Bible hints that no thing is beyond the reach of humanity's intellect, given enough time to explore the 'limits wells' in which all things exist. In discovering the complexities, we do not eliminate the hand of the Creator; on the contrary, we affirm His Creativeness all the more! He Creates, His Spirit sustains, and He deigned to become flesh and dwell among us and now has the Body to dwell in Time and Space alongside His creation ... in any spatio-temporal realm He chooses.
It is an easy task to deny clear data in order to make a faux where/when for fanciful conjectures. But Science, being one of the most powerful inventions of humankind, if practiced honestly sweeps away deceit and views that which is, while not eschewing that which might be. The more humankind discovers about The Creation, the more we ought realize the complexities beg a Creator of such devise. As Paul put it, we are without excuse to believe in God, since we have His universe always with us, with our sensing.
Returning to the notion that body, soul, AND spirit exist for each of us, I am left to believe a where/when of limits exists for each of these aspects I possess. God need not prove Himself to us, He has Created us and the universe in which we have consciousness. And He has left us clues that we have and will continue to have a level of consciousness IN His universe even after the body ceases to function. We ARE alive in a temporal sense greater than the linear track of present sensing by the body's physiology connected to the behavior mechanism we call soul.
Genesis 2:17 instructs that a level of 'being alive' was lost in Adam's willful disobedience (in dying at spirit level, you shall surely die at soul level, for the spirit is the immediate source of life of the soul, as the soul is the immediate source of life for the body; and just incase you eat of the tree of life and live forever in your 'dead-spirit' state, the fruit of immortal physical life shall be with held from you now ... paraphrasing Genesis).
We tend to think of dimension Time as a linear thing, segmented into pieces of present. But the universe exists in the volume of dimension Time, thus the 'death-bound' spirit exists in a volume which places that 'thing' in an eternal juxtaposition with the temporally limited physical body via the functioning soul. I would wander off into description of the planar temporal state of the soul, as related to the volumetric temporal spirit and the linear temporal body, but I suspect there is enough 'modernist' speculation in the above for Kosta and others to ridicule to their heart's content.
But all the ridicule will not change God's "muwth muwth" of Genesis 2:17.
[how do *most* ‘reasonable’ folk know this?]
Well, Mr. Pharisee, for one thing, by reasonably observing the information made available by the annual effects of the weather.
And the larger periodic cyclical changes that are evidenced therein - which coincidentally agree with orbital observations and predictions....
Sorry Mr. Bill. Ice core layers are assumed to be annual. Since no one was there to actually observe this, it is pure conjecture. Nothing more.
"And the larger periodic cyclical changes that are evidenced therein - which coincidentally agree with orbital observations and predictions...."
Obviously, these cyclical changes are assumed by projecting observations backward into unobservable, assumed time frames. This runs into the same problem that 'dark' matter and energy does. It isn't observable and, therefore, isn't scientific.
The idea of long-ages and evolution is an ancient pagan one that the church fathers (and I) argue against. IMO, arguing for the truth of ancient pagan ideas may please Ba'al, but not your Lord and Savior.
One of the reasons I like the First Cause argument is that there are fewer problems with it than without it. E.g. Assume something that changes is the origin of time and change and you have a self-contradictory statement.
But to your question, one answer to how something that is unchanging can create change and time is "by just existing".. "by it's existence."
And, "suddenly" is another word that depends on time - so it doesn't apply. After time exists, then you can have "sudden," until then, no.
While some, notably Acquinas, call the First Cause God, it is neither required nor inherent in the argument (actually, this fact is used against it as an argument for the existence of God.)
Your question becomes: how many genes in 2% of the genome, and how many evolutionary steps would it take to transition that many genes? How many discrete species in between? (And that 2% figure is currently the object of great skepticism, so it could be much higher.)
What are the genes involved (those genes that would undergo mutational change resulting in evolution of phenotype)?
These questions represent only the beginning of a vast number of questions, none of which seem to be considered seriously by evolutionists.
To answer your last question, these things are necessarily elaborate because species-specific changes in phenotype correspond with vast differences in genotype.
I believe you've nailed it. Many thanks, grasshopper...
We tend to think of dimension Time as a linear thing, segmented into pieces of present. But the universe exists in the volume of dimension Time, thus the 'death-bound' spirit exists in a volume which places that 'thing' in an eternal juxtaposition with the temporally limited physical body via the functioning soul.
Thank you oh so very much for sharing your testimony, dear brother in Christ, and thank you for all your insights!
God is not a fact, but something some people believe in. Facts are provable. Otherwise they are not facts.
I would not "prove" God at your request for the same reason
If you could prove the existence of God then you would be the first human to do so. So, don;t hold back!
I would not prove my brother had you suggested that he is a hypothesis or pink unicorn.
If you insisted that a pink unicorn is your brother I would it is a hypothesis, and an unlikely one (a) no one has ever seen a unicorn and (b) unicorns are something human minds postulated, and (c) if they did exist, unicorns (as described by human fancy) are ontologically unrelated to humans. The same reasons apply to any deity. Therefore, your argument is sophism.
On your second point, the number of prior universes in a physical cosmology (if any) is irrelevant because: In the absence of space, things cannot exist. In the absence of time, events cannot occur. Both space and time are required for physical causality, e.g. a Big Bang.
How do you know time and space did not exist eternally but God did?
All such physical cosmologies accomplish is to move the goalpost back to a prior universe relying on the pre-existence of, but never explaining the origin of, real space, real time and real physical causality.
How do you explain the origin of God? You don't! You assume he existed eternally. If you can assume that A existed eternally, why not B and C?
In sum, God whose Name is I AM or YHwH (He IS) often translated to "The Lord" cannot be denied.
More sophism. No one denies a name that can be found in a book. However, a name doesn't prove the subject named exists. Your belief or testimony of your belief does not constitute an objective proof.
Or as Physicist once put it (avoiding the obvious theological reference as scientists are wont to do) "existence exists."
In other words, the world exists. That's true. That which exists is. A rock, a gecko, a galaxy...where does "theological" come into this?
On your third point, the "muwth muwth" of Genesis 2:17 is a Hebraism, an intensifying infinite absolute.
Your own link proves you wrong, AG. I intentionally abstained from using similar links in order not to drive the point too harshly. If you go back to your "muwth muwth" (which is not what the text reads, but rather muwth tamuwth*), you explained as the death of the body and the soul.
(*Your sourcelet me guess: Blue Letter Bible?gives the root words, not how they appear in the text; diversify your sources before jumping to conclusions..)
Nothing of the sort does the Genesis 2:17 mean. It merely stresses that Adam will die, and it does so in a typical Jewish linguistic style known as Hebraism, which is characterized by a doublet, or repetition, of the verb in order to stress (or intensify) the point being made.
There are no two deaths, one for the soul and one for the body, as you implied when you wrote ("death death") for Adam, but one, as promised by God.
The argument that Adam will die on the day when he eats the fruit did not mean the same, earth day, but a 1,000-year day is also a stretch since Adam's "earthly clock" didn't start ticking supposedly until he would have sinned, and the Bible says he died before he was 1,000 years old.
What Gen 2:17 says is that when Adam eats the fruit he will become mortal. That's all. Not dead in soul and body, not dead a millennium henceforth, just that he will be subject to death. Plain and simple.
When you jump into a circle, in effect stating 'before ex-nihilo', your perspective cannot come to any other conclusion than what you've built into it by starting from a false premise.
You are still avoiding to answer the simple question I asked you. Perhaps a humble admission that you misspoke when you implied that we can see "Wisdom" could end this charade of yours.
Seeing colors or images with musical notes is not a disadvantage, but it's not necessarily an advantage either. For someone like Beethoven it means is that he was able to "visualize" music, a physical phenomenon whose existence is factually provable, the way bats can "see" using sound rather than light.
It's doesn't prove we can see "Wisdom"for, unlike the colors or the sound (which are part of the electromagnetic spectrum), a physical reality which can be demonstrated"wisdom" is a quality, a descriptive term, and your attempts to make it into something visible, or physically demonstrable is sophism.
So, since you made the statement, either answer my simple question directly, or just cease posting on the subject. I will take the latter as an admission that you misspoke and leave it at that.