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Mohler takes on 'theistic evolution'
Associated Baptist Press ^ | January 13, 2011 | Bob Allen

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."


TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: asa; baptist; biologos; creation; darwinism; edwardbdavis; evochristianity; evolution; gagdadbob; mohler; onecosmos; southernbaptist; teddavis; theisticevolution
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To: spunkets

It’s self-evident. Just think about it.


1,601 posted on 03/07/2011 6:06:46 PM PST by reasonisfaith (Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: kosta50

Which question? The question you thought you were asking? The question you were in fact asking but didn’t perceive?

The imaginary question you were asking me, or the real question you were asking yourself?


1,602 posted on 03/07/2011 7:36:21 PM PST by reasonisfaith (Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith
"It’s self-evident. Just think about it."

Science requires evidence. It does not allow laws backed by volumes of scientific evidence to be arbitrarily modified by claiming the arbitrary modification is justified as being self evident. IOWs, the claim justifies itself. That's ridiculous.

1,603 posted on 03/07/2011 9:33:01 PM PST by spunkets
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To: reasonisfaith

Whose God?


1,604 posted on 03/07/2011 9:52:13 PM PST by kosta50
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To: spunkets

Here’s a way to understand this: it’s not the content of the law I’m talking about, but the logic with which the law is processed.


1,605 posted on 03/08/2011 4:12:15 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: kosta50

Real thinking always starts when one asks oneself a question.


1,606 posted on 03/08/2011 4:15:53 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith
Re: Conservation of Energy

"Here’s a way to understand this: it’s not the content of the law I’m talking about, but the logic with which the law is processed."

The law of Conservation of Energy, and the Second Amendment are in plain English and are not to be processed.

1,607 posted on 03/08/2011 10:27:35 AM PST by spunkets
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To: spunkets

You just processed the Second Amendment, right there in your post.

The substance of the law tells us that energy can neither be destroyed nor created. It doesn’t say that energy can neither be destroyed nor created, and that this has always been true infinitely into the past.

Here’s the most important point of my discussion with you: whether or not the law has always been true is a question that is separate from the substance of the law.


1,608 posted on 03/09/2011 4:07:56 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: spunkets

You just processed the Second Amendment, right there in your post.

The substance of the law tells us energy can “neither be destroyed nor created.” It doesn’t say that energy can “neither be destroyed nor created and this has always been true infinitely into the past.”

Here’s the most important point of my discussion with you: whether or not the law has always been true is a question that is separate from the substance of the law.


1,609 posted on 03/09/2011 4:18:33 AM PST by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith
"The substance of the law tells us energy can “neither be destroyed nor created.” It doesn’t say that energy can “neither be destroyed nor created and this has always been true infinitely into the past."
"Here’s the most important point of my discussion with you: whether or not the law has always been true is a question that is separate from the substance of the law."

No. A law applies everywhere. Time is a where and a time interval is also an inverse measure of any particular amount of energy.

All the evidence that exists supports the conservation of energy law. Notice that there are no constraints, conditionals, or contingencies attached to the law. Notice that you are the one attempting to attach one. If you wish to dispute the law and attach a condiitonal: Provide some evidence. Otherwise the law stands as is in science.

1,610 posted on 03/09/2011 1:00:33 PM PST by spunkets
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To: reasonisfaith
Re: "The law of Conservation of Energy, and the Second Amendment are in plain English and are not to be processed.

"You just processed the Second Amendment, right there in your post."

I read it and take the plain English meaning of the words. I did not "process it" as in an application of some: "logic with which the law is processed.", as you claim in 1605. You're applying the logic to the conservation of energy law, concluding that it is invalid as stated and applying the ocndiitonal, which acts as a constraint to regions of space where it's validity holds AND insisting that it's very nature changes according to it's own nature!

Any amount of energy can be represented by a characteristic inverse time quantity. That representational equivalence is a result of the underlying essences of what energy and time are. It's represented by the statement; A=A. One can not write A≠A at some arbitrary interval of time, which is what you are attempting to do. It's the same as claiming the Second Amendment does not mean what it says, because times have changed and we are now in a new time interval.

1,611 posted on 03/09/2011 1:22:22 PM PST by spunkets
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To: D-fendr
All the societies in history that used slaves.

None of which have thrived - all crumbling, failed or dead within. (Sorry for the long delay in replying - it's only now that I have the time at hand to compose detailed replies.)

1,612 posted on 03/10/2011 12:44:16 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Ah, but here’s a trick question:

Since survival is good accomplished by the Golden Rule, is it true that cultures/societies which last the longest are therefore the best (most good)?


1,613 posted on 03/10/2011 12:54:16 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: James C. Bennett
And in direct reply:

None of which have thrived - all crumbling, failed or dead within.

The US has lasted slave free for about 150 years; Great Britain a bit longer. There are slave societies in history that lasted a great deal longer.

1,614 posted on 03/10/2011 12:59:32 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: YHAOS; kosta50; D-fendr; reasonisfaith
 

Sorry for the long delay in replying; but I've been free from the bondages of work, only since yesterday:

You had said:

"Insofar as reading the Holy Bible beneficially is concerned, tell we what metaphoric message would you read into the injunction to not steal? Or, what metaphoric lesson might we take away from the injunction against covetousness?"

I replied:

You then replied:

"Probably for your purposes, certainly."

No, you didn't answer my question there.

 

I asked a very simple question. The entity in Genesis 3:14 that tempted Eve to take the fruit, was it a metaphorical serpent or the real animal?

And now you wish to dictate the very simple answer so that you may get on with your point: Either that the Judeo-Christian God is a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, and capriciously malevolent bully as prophesized in the First Book of Dawkins, or that nothing in the Bible is really real so we can all heave a sigh of relief and relax?

In asking you what metaphoric lesson might be taken away from the injunction against covetousness, or the commandment to not steal, I was telling you that nothing in The Bible can be taken entirely metaphorically or, in all likelihood, entirely literally. I understand that my reply will not please you, but I’m not here to please you.

So, when you read much of the Old Testament, and some of the new, through the lenses of what your own opinion thinks is what they should mean, what are those passages wherein your deity is ordering in plain language, the slaughtering of infants and children, conveying to you? Aren't you forced to ignore them, precisely because of the problem of ethical and moral incompatibility that they present vis-a-vis the Golden Rule (do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you)? You don't have to please me, but ignoring the fact that violence is mandated in your scriptures, and then attempting to contort them to become metaphors that mean the opposite of what they really say, is not going to wash in any rational analysis of the sections.

 

Do you see everything else as metaphors, as well?”

No. If you had paid heed to my reference to post # 1481(in post #1482), also copied to you, you would know that I do not (“I do accept scripture literally (as in “Thou shalt not steal”). I also accept scripture metaphorically, allegorically, historically, doctrinally and literarily”).

This is possible to an extent. When words can't be minced any further, such as when your god orders its protagonists to slaughter infants in 1 Samuel 15:3, it fails so thoroughly, it only serves to leave the believer in such theology forced to accept that the deity in question isn't a moral one, or to ignore them completely like an uncomfortable, unchangeable aspect of the deity - a particularly Islamic-like quality, I must declare.

 

The slaying of the Amalekite infants by divine order in 1 Samuel 15:3

And, we’re back to the misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, and capriciously malevolent bullying motif.

It's not a motif when the words plainly declare themselves the orders of your deity. What other metaphorical lesson can be taken from "Go and kill the infants and children!" - 1 Samuel 15:3?

 

This text (1 Samuel 15:3) is a subject that has occupied Hebrew scholars and ethicists from time immemorial. Some point out that the Hebrew people reacted when they were subjected to an unprovoked surprise attack, extermination being the intent. Others note that since Amalek does not exist today, the commandment cannot be carried out. Most seem to agree that lessons from that time may have application today where over 7.5 million Israelis, including over 1.5 million Arab Israelis are surrounded by 200 million hostile Arabs bent on Israel’s extermination.

Nonsensical answer. Since when did it suddenly become moral to slaughter the innocent, targetted specifically and deliberately, and not as a casualty of war? Furthermore, even in the New Testament, the moral invalidity of a deity ordering the slaughter of innocents is never discussed. Why? For a "time immemorial" ethical dilemma, Jesus surely would have had to make some clarifications now, wouldn't he?

If you wish an in-depth discussion on 1 Samuel 15:3, take it up with the Hebrew scholars who have pursued this subject for millennia.

The scriptures are yours, as well. You cannot simply shy away from the responsibility of explaining them, both to yourselves and others who've pointed out the moral voids in what you accept as your beliefs. For someone observing this peculiarly selective loss of interest in discussing the elements of, it only appears as a way of trying to "solve" a problem by ignoring it. 

As a simple man, I am involved in more humble matters such as working out what is one to do next if one turns the other check and is struck again by his enemy, or how is one to love his neighbor when the so-and-so throws garbage over the back fence. Or, on a larger stage, as a humble voting citizen of a great republic, what to do about a people who declare their intent to murder Americans wholesale and who demonstrate they mean to do it.

The Golden Rule, older than all religions and all scriptures, is enough arrive at the same understanding. Lacking a humble interest in searching for the truth, and moreover, selectively ignoring the uncomfortable aspects of the assumed truth, is certainly no innocent humility. It can also be malevolent, laced with the intent to conceal uncertainties.

 

But, with respect to investing in man’s humane treatment of his fellow man, we must observe that it is the Judeo-Christian West that has labored for a thousand years to regulate the issues of the meaning of lawful war, the origins of war, the avarice and cruelty of war, the treatment of prisoners, when the right of conquest and the claiming of the spoils of war are just and when they are not, the rights of discovery and the treatment of native peoples, the securing of peace as the prime objective of war, questions of maritime law, redress for injuries, restitution of property and recompense for wrongs done, and the laws of embassy and envoys. Can the same be said of Asian despots? Of Atheistic socialist tyrannies? Not likely, Pilgrim.

Not until the Age of Reason, post-1700s, was there such social movements that ultimately lead to freedom in its truest sense. Not until rationalism and free thinking mauled down the religious orthodoxy of Europe of the time.

Verses upon verses of Hindu texts discuss the aspects of ethical warfare - from such things as stopping warfare post sun-down, to specifically refraining from attacking women and children. Does that make Hindism any truer? Certainly not! When you have your scriptures calling for wholesale genocide and specific targeting of children, where did those post-1700s morality standards disappear? Where did they disappear during the slave trade? During the barbarism inflicted upon the natives - from slaughter to primitive germ warfar - through the usage of infected blankets? Or, as in my case, Australia, where the aboriginals were hunted down because they weren't considered to be human?

 

What set off this controversy (insofar as it concerns my participation) was my suggestion that it is not “fantastic tales” about talking serpents or talking donkeys that are central to Biblical Instruction, but rather lessons such as to heed the two great commandments, to honor one’s mother and father, to murmur not at the ways of Providence, and all the other familiar biblical injunctions. The scandal has not ceased since.

 

Although a considerable amount of dust has been subsequently kicked up and many great gaseous discharges emitted, that simple issue has yet to be confronted. Other than the exchange of talking points, little more can be done to have a productive discussion unless common assumptions are established. I’m not buying into the insistence that “fairy tales” are central to Biblical Instruction and must be accepted as a common assumption.

Plain words to that effect, in the scriptures would have been more effective, and more truthful. When a pattern is seen in your scriptures, of the slow, once-in-a-millennia-updated progression of the deity's change in stance from one that is trigger-happy in ordering genocide, to later complying with the Golden Rule, it shows not the divinity of the deity, but rather, the hallmark qualities of the hand of man, in inventing those words, and those religions - each and every one of them.

1,615 posted on 03/10/2011 1:21:56 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: D-fendr
Since survival is good accomplished by the Golden Rule, is it true that cultures/societies which last the longest are therefore the best (most good)?

When a society that violates the Golden Rule comes with an expiry date, how is it survival? More importantly, how is such a society one that is thriving? (Note the key difference in terminology). "Longest lasting" is no criteria - influence, gravitas and sustained success are more important. Under these classifications, slave states fail miserably.

1,616 posted on 03/10/2011 1:25:21 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: D-fendr; kosta50
The US has lasted slave free for about 150 years; Great Britain a bit longer.

Yes, and for all measures of success, both are right at the top, when it comes to ranking high on those parameters. Do you honestly believe that a slave-free US is going to die out faster than a slavery-based US (one that was particularly so, in more religious times)?

There are slave societies in history that lasted a great deal longer.

Merely existing in geographical niches and isolated havens, slowly decaying into obsolescence, is no sign of success. Sustenance of success is key. To that end, all slavery-based states have failed.

1,617 posted on 03/10/2011 1:29:35 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: reasonisfaith; kosta50
Re: 1 Samuel 15:3

1. Your god is supreme, and can do whatever it wants (even order genocides and child slaughter).

First, let’s acknowledge that number one above is as solid a reason as any could ever be. No refutation of it makes sense.

Who? Allah?

What source informs us that we can use human standards to judge God’s will?

What else does being created in a deity's image entail, other than that the created perceive similar codes of morality as the entity it was modelled after? To avoid this conclusion by surrendering to the statement that your god can do whatever it pleases, including such abhorrent things violating the Golden Rule as ordering child-slaughter, is to accept a serious moral contradiction in your own accepted dogma. The fact that this problem is so inadequately addressed in the circles of theology reveals the inclination to ignore and shrug under the proverbial carpet, this serious, serious moral flaw.

1,618 posted on 03/10/2011 3:43:10 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Yes, and for all measures of success, both are right at the top,

So were the slave states in their time.

You can't assume facts not in evidence.

Do you honestly believe that a slave-free US is going to die out faster than a slavery-based US (one that was particularly so, in more religious times)?

Doesn't matter what I "believe". Slave societies have lasted longer than the U.S. so far.

To that end, all slavery-based states have failed.

And you know 1) the US won't fail and 2) It will last longer than slave societies in history? You're assuming.

Merely existing in geographical niches and isolated havens, slowly decaying into obsolescence, is no sign of success.

Egypt, Rome, Greece, the Assyrians, Hittites? Isolated? No sign of success?

And the US is not "slowly decaying"?

1,619 posted on 03/10/2011 8:15:07 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: James C. Bennett
When a society that violates the Golden Rule comes with an expiry date, how is it survival?

It is survival if it survives.

"Longest lasting" is no criteria

If it lasts long it survives long, by definition.

influence, gravitas and sustained success are more important

So if it has all that for five years that's long survival in your criteria? Would this society outscore one who lasted for a thousand years through times of influence and gravitas, etc. and times without it?

Certainly not.

1,620 posted on 03/10/2011 8:20:10 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: James C. Bennett
My point in this line of discussion is the same as previously:

Is the Golden Rule the independent value or is survival?

If a society violating the Golden Rule survives longer than one which follows it, it is therefore "better" in terms of values?

If the Golden Rule's value is independent of survival then it doesn't matter, in terms of value, how long a society practicing the rule survives.

You seem here to be introducing a new value:

Sustenance of success is key.

How is this defined?

1,621 posted on 03/10/2011 4:34:34 PM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: James C. Bennett; YHAOS; D-fendr; reasonisfaith
Generally speaking, it has been my experience that when there is something totally outrageous in the Bible, the stance taken by the believers is that it is God's doing and therefore it is just(ified), even if it doesn't seem so from the human justice point of view.  Of course, this is a sheer nonsense for creatures made in God's image an dlikeness who "have the mind of Christ." [1 Cor 2:16]

It is a convenient, albeit silly, general utility get-out-of-jail card, like so many others they keep in their arsenal, along with the famous "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways'..." {Isa 55:8] 

This way, David's son's torturous killing by God over a whole week becomes an act of "virtue", and the call for the slaughter of the children and ravaging of the women is seen as "just anger" and "God's justice", which, of course, is nothing but good.

 

1,622 posted on 03/10/2011 6:21:05 PM PST by kosta50
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To: kosta50

an dlikeness = and likeness


1,623 posted on 03/10/2011 6:22:21 PM PST by kosta50
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To: James C. Bennett

I think you understand very well that man’s level of understanding of morality and all other topics necessarily exists on a significantly lesser scale than God’s level of understanding. Whether you think of God as real or as imaginary, the difference in level of awareness is part of the equation.

This fact is logically necessary as well as scripturally based: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8).


1,624 posted on 03/14/2011 1:08:51 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: kosta50

What sense does it make to expect that a world fallen to sin would be a world with no suffering and no sorrow?

Now, you can claim you don’t believe the Bible in its entirety. But you can’t logically make the argument that mankind’s suffering from the effects of God’s wrath is inherently contradictory, when the Bible itself tells us that the evil repercussions of sin will effect the lives of people beyond merely that of the individual who committed the sin.

And you cannot claim it makes sense for us to expect to fully understand all the reasons for God’s actions. If you think you can make this claim, then make the claim and give support for it.


1,625 posted on 03/14/2011 1:18:19 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith; James C. Bennett
This fact is logically necessary as well as scripturally based: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8).

[just as I predicted in my previous post!] But the same Bible you believe in as the inerrant word of God says man is an image of God and God-like (in God's likeness), and it also says "we have the mind of Christ" contradicting Isaiah (what else is new!). If you have the mind of God then his ways must be your ways as well. In which case, prove it! But if you don't (can't), why should I believe you or your holy book?

1,626 posted on 03/14/2011 9:14:54 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: reasonisfaith; James C. Bennett
What sense does it make to expect that a world fallen to sin would be a world with no suffering and no sorrow?

What sense does it make that a perfect Maker would make an imperfect world?

Now, you can claim you don’t believe the Bible in its entirety. But you can’t logically make the argument that mankind’s suffering from the effects of God’s wrath is inherently contradictory, when the Bible itself tells us that the evil repercussions of sin will effect the lives of people beyond merely that of the individual who committed the sin.

I don't need the Bible to know that evildoing of some affects others.  

And you cannot claim it makes sense for us to expect to fully understand all the reasons for God’s actions.

I would never presume to understand the reasons for God's actions (if his thoughts are different than mine) but I would not presume they are just or good either. Maybe you can explain to me why God commands infanticide and that is good, and when people do it it is evil. Either the world is exactly the way God wants it to be, or it isn't. Personally, I think the world is the way it is, whether you and I understand it or not, and no god has anything to do with it.

1,627 posted on 03/14/2011 9:31:32 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50

It makes no sense to expect that the object of creation can possess the mind of the creator. There’s just no way around this.

Your mind in this discussion is more like a bird flying into a window, falling down, then flying into it again, over and over. Me, I’m just another bird, sort of like you. I know how hard that window is.

When you’re away from the computer, maybe driving down the road or waiting in some line somewhere, or trying to fall asleep at night. I would ask you, humbly, to consider something. (If you don’t fear nonbelief, you won’t shun a moment’s contemplation of Christian mythology.)

Think about the idea that any good in you is put there by God, and any love in your heart is love from God. Think about God’s handwriting. There in the bosom of a man, every beat is another moment of life, another chance to live. To think, to dream, to see what’s right in front of you.


1,628 posted on 03/15/2011 6:51:10 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: spunkets

A conclusion cannot be validated on the basis that the same conclusion is its own premise. This is what you are doing.

You are trying to say that laws of physics have always been true because they have always been true.

But empirical knowledge of the Big Bang tells us that laws of physics were nonexistent surrounding the moment of the Big Bang. This fact obliterates all criticism of religion by secular intellectuals who say religion is invalid because it is “superstition,” where superstition is defined as anything not explainable by the laws of physics.


1,629 posted on 03/16/2011 7:57:01 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith
To think, to dream, to see what’s right in front of you.

What was the point of David's child's conception by a god that clearly didn't want it to happen?

1,630 posted on 03/25/2011 4:13:45 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: kosta50

Courtesy ping to #1630.


1,631 posted on 03/25/2011 4:15:04 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Let’s expand this a little.

Just how much of God’s mind should we expect to know? What should be the ratio of known to unknown—would 80/20 meet your demands? 90/10?

It becomes clear that inability to answer this question demonstrates complete absense of the necessary conceptual foundation such that questions like yours in post #1630 can reasonably be pursued.


1,632 posted on 03/25/2011 5:47:39 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: James C. Bennett

LOL!


1,633 posted on 03/25/2011 6:25:27 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: reasonisfaith; James C. Bennett
Just how much of God’s mind should we expect to know? What should be the ratio of known to unknown—would 80/20 meet your demands? 90/10?

What about knowing even if there is [a] God (whatever that may be)? How do you know (and I mean KNOW!) that what you know about God is really from God and not some ordinary mortal's hallucination? After all, many a NT writer mentions being "in a trance" when they had visions and heard voices. Sounds pretty much like hallucinations to me.

Besides, I hear preachers every day "explain" to their congregations what God meant when he said...How do they know that unless they presume to know the mind of God? And what does Paul mean when he said "we have the mind of Christ"? Then, as a believer, you ought to be able to answer James C. Bennet's question in #1630 because it should have been revealed to you, according to the Bible.

1,634 posted on 03/25/2011 6:39:25 PM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50

Too bad you’re not one of the liberals (they claim immunity from the either-or mindset through their professed monopoly on “nuance”), or I could get you twice over on this one.

Logic says that we can know none of God’s mind, or all of it. The third option is that we can only know part of it. I’ll let you figure out which possibility makes the most sense.

Once you have your answer, apply it to our conversation and see how it works.


1,635 posted on 03/26/2011 9:10:33 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: reasonisfaith

Too bad you’re not one of the liberals (they claim immunity from the either-or mindset through their professed monopoly on “nuance”), or I could get you twice over on this one.

Dream on. This has nothing to do with the content of my post (or the specific questions I asked).

Logic says that we can know none of God’s mind, or all of it.

How do you even know there is a God, let alone his mind?

The third option is that we can only know part of it. I’ll let you figure out which possibility makes the most sense.

And how much of it do you know?

Once you have your answer, apply it to our conversation and see how it works.

Oh, that's really rich/s.


1,636 posted on 03/27/2011 1:23:29 AM PDT by kosta50
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To: James C. Bennett

courtesy ping


1,637 posted on 03/27/2011 1:24:09 AM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50; reasonisfaith

Thanks for the ping!

The fact that the people unquestioningly conducting the child-slaughters at the supposed instruction of their god - a moral lapse that strangely doesn’t even deserve an explanation beyond, “I am this and I can do that!” with no discussion of the significance of bestowing such a quality to that god, destroying its definitional property of perfect justice - but replaced with a secondary scale in order to hide the violation of the first, all shows how man-made the entire enterprise is - and how alike it is to practically any other theological system developed elsewhere on the planet. The consequence of allowing dual scales for “perfect” justice to the divinity of your choice is that it becomes impossible to distinguish from any other god’s reason for existence. Muslims could and actually do justify the vile ways of their god (very much Old Testament-like) by those same lines of illogic - that is how their god behaves, and it can do whatever it wants - including “defy” the realms of logical possibility and do its earliest act and latest act and everything in between, both at the same time, and separately - due to the consequence of removing time from being a factor in that deity’s existence. And they say their god likes its “creation” to be rational.

A particular god wanted David’s child to not exist, but nonetheless “allows” its conception in order that it can be killed later on - for what? As a lesson? The entire “salvation plan” technically rests as crucially on that child having to be snuffed out of existence as it does on any other factor. This is no different from any other man-made barbarism. Free choice in the midst of influencing factors beyond the realms of free will further complicate this arrangement. Our choices, in reality, are influenced by the choices others have made before us.


1,638 posted on 03/27/2011 1:52:28 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett; reasonisfaith
In order to justify and legitimize their own actions, people have created gods in their own image. That way, anything and everything they do in the name of their man-made god becomes a circular argument that satisfies the proponents.

Thus, when it comes to doing something they seem to know the mind of their god, but when something goes awry, or is clearly nonsensical, then it becomes a divine enigma that is not ours to understand. Conveniently.

1,639 posted on 03/29/2011 1:23:55 AM PDT by kosta50
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To: kosta50

Precisely.

Holier-than-thou-ism is also a powerful motive for religious-superstitious power-dominance-patronising fantasies. Tweak them a little, and the masks slip off.


1,640 posted on 03/29/2011 2:28:25 AM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: James C. Bennett
Holier-than-thou-ism is also a powerful motive for religious-superstitious power-dominance-patronising fantasies. Tweak them a little, and the masks slip off.

As young boys, my brother and I would talk before falling asleep. One of us would start a story that would take us on an adventurous journey. Our mind was the limit where we went and what we could do! We would "ad lib" as we went along, "acquiring" powers and tools needed, be it super cars, weapons, planes, or skills, etc., and were, of course, invincible and always right! And everything was possible — and believable! :)

That was fun, and part of careless childhood, but life soon teaches us otherwise (or it should). Unfortunately some never go beyond that initial stage of living a fantasy, and believing it.

This reminds me of a patient who demanded a "doctor's note" that he is a woman because he was a "woman trapped in a man's body" and was upset that his record was showing a "wrong" gender! He came to believe that he was a woman and the fact that anatomically he wasn't didn't seem to matter. His reality was his fantasy and he wanted everyone to agree, because he knew better.

We used to have a diagnostic term for that, but since then medical profession dropped insanity as a differential. Now you can be crazy only legally! :)

So, if one day you decide you are the Napoleon Bonaparte, or some Egyptian deity, by golly, the world better acquiesce, and recognize your revelation as worthy of consideration and on the par with scince. I know.../s Horus :)

1,641 posted on 03/29/2011 4:54:26 AM PDT by kosta50
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To: James C. Bennett
Apologies for the tardiness of my reply. I’ve been out of action for some two weeks.

I replied:

You replied what?

No, you didn't answer my question there.

Your reply was a question? I thought it was rather declarative.
It’s quite true that I didn’t answer your “question” to your satisfaction or expectation. I don’t read from the scripts of others.

Not until the Age of Reason, post-1700s, was there such social movements that ultimately lead to freedom in its truest sense.

Really? Despite a paucity of knowledge and instruction, without the benefit of the ideas and research of Hugo Grotius, Johannes Gratian, Thomas Aquinas, Joannes de Legnano, Baron Pufendorf, Emmerich de Vattel, Honoré Bonet, Franciscus de Victoria, and St. Isidore (and many another), the inhabitants of the Age of Enlightenment instinctively possessed the insights to cause such a “movement” to spring, poof!, full blown from a standing start?

So how is it that the Law of Nations was established in 1625 when Hugo Grotius published De jure belli ac pacis? Grotius’ work was a monumental accomplishment of compilation, organization, and integration of the disparate elements of the ethics of how nations should treat with one another. So much so, in fact, that it immediately gained general acceptance as the definitive authority on the subject.

In producing his work Grotius drew on an extensive body of writings whose beginnings dated back approximately to the demise of the Roman Empire. The range of the philosophical and legal inquiries conducted by theologians, canonists, and other scholars, was quite broad as I indicated some time ago (“when war might be lawful, the origins of war, on the avarice and cruelty of war, treatment of prisoners, when the right of conquest and the claiming of the spoils of war are just and when they are not, the rights of discovery and the treatment of native peoples, the securing of peace as the prime objective of war, issues of maritime law, redress for injuries, restitution of property and recompense for wrongs done, and the laws of embassy and envoys”).

Numbered among the writers of these works were many of the most illustrious names from those times:
Johannes Gratian, generally regarded as the true founder of the science of canon law, whose major work appeared between 1139 and 1150.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Born 1225-27 - died 7 March, 1274, whose great work Summa totius theologiae occupied the last nine years of the author's life. Therein he devoted the fortieth question of the Secunda secundae to four great issues of the law of war.
Joannes de Legnano, a jurist of note and a professor at Bologna, where he died in 1383. The author of the treatise De bello this writer had on several occasions been charged with diplomatic missions.
Honoré Bonet. His work l'Arbre des batailles is thought to have been composed about 1384. Therein he devotes 132 chapters to various issues on the Law of Nations. This work was reproduced in exquisite manuscripts and graced the library of many a great prince.
Franciscus de Victoria, died 1546, held the chair of theology at Salamanca for twenty years, restoring a high quality of theological teaching in Spain. A teacher and lecturer, Victoria was not a writer, but, following his death, many of his lecture notes were published by his students, including De Indis Et De Ivre Belli Relectiones, which, as the title suggests, deals with the issue of native peoples and the law of war. Prior to Victoria, there had been a long legacy of Spanish inquiries on the Law of Nations dating as far back as St. Isidore, Bishop of Seville from 596 to 636, who included in his work Etymologiae, a description of the Roman ideas “jus gentium” and “jus militare” which correspond closely to our modern concepts, respectively, of the Law of Nations and of the Law of War.

While the ecclesiastics, jurists and academics of Western Civilization were working through the ethical and legal issues involving the relations between nations and the moral conduct of war, neither were their temporal rulers idle. Besides attending with some considerable interest the labors of the learned community within their respective societies, these rulers were themselves developing ideas and theories about a society of nations based on the developing philosophies of Natural Law and Natural Rights. Europe was forming itself into an association of republics, principalities, city-states, and kingdoms, taking the first steps in the creation of what was to be a society of nations, and they were beginning to look upon their community of nations as functioning very similarly to how a society of individuals operates.

Influences from Byzantine institutions, from the sultanates along the coast of North Africa and the Moorish kingdoms of Spain, and borrowings from Greek and Roman antiquity, all played their part, according to most historians, but the major impetus seemed to come from within Europe itself. An important event in this process occurred in 962 when Pope John XII crowned Otto I of Germany as the first Emperor of a newly formed Holy Roman Empire. This new empire never attained the level of power or influence that had been exerted by the old Roman Empire, and its vigor steadily diminished over the centuries until it finally expired at the beginning of the Nineteenth. It nonetheless served to help solidify the idea of a Western society of nations.

When some European states turned to commercial interests over other interests (the rise of “Merchant States”), the flourishing of commercial enterprises, benefiting most from a harmonious intercourse between states, influenced European nations towards closer relationships. Moreover, the nations shared a common religion, and Latin, being the language of their church, their legal and academic institutions, their literature, and of their statecraft, provided them with a common language with which to communicate. Their growing close association came to be known as Respublica Christiana, and, at its height, allowing for some considerable variance in degree of independence, its membership came to an estimated number close to two thousand. This circumstance made supremacy difficult to attain. Any nation which attempted to achieve dominance, found an almost instant league of other states arrayed against it, which tended to dampen its enthusiasm for conquest, and which, in turn, tended to cause the states to admit to a certain level of equality amongst their members.

Amazingly enough, through this period of time, right up to the present, it is the Christian nations of Western Civilization that have most scrupulously sought to adhere to the laws of nations and the laws of war.

Though a milestone of considerable proportions, the work of Grotius was but a step in a continuing process. There were important writers to follow:
Samuel Pufendorf. The Law of Nature and of Nations, published in 1674. Further development of Natural Law as it applied to ideas of justice and the Law of Nations.
Cornelius van Bynkershoek, Questions of Public Law, published in 1737. Expanded on the work of Grotius and Pufendorf on questions of the Law of Nations and Constitutional Law.
Emmerich de Vattel. The Law of Nations, published 1758. A favorite of Jefferson’s. Basing constitutional and civil law on the Law of Nations, Vattel’s effort became perhaps the most often quoted work on state matters with regard to the Law of Nations.

By the time the United States declared their independence from the United Kingdom, the epoch treatise of Grotius had been known and referenced for 150 years, and his work, along with the subsequent works of several other authorities, had provided the states of Western Civilization with what amounted to a series of organized protocols to which they could refer in the conduct of their foreign affairs.

Whenever we undertake to study historical events or the acts of historical figures, we are "privileged" (as the historian Bernard Bailyn describes it) to know of subsequent events and outcomes, of which those earlier figures had no more than a glimmer, if even so little as that. If we study and judge events and human actions out of the context of their particular historical time and not on their terms, then it must lead either to error, or the examination, from the beginning, was intended to lead to a self-serving preordained conclusion. That is what you are doing when you attempt to divorce the Age of Reason from the civilization out of which it arose.

From its inception, Western Civilization seems to have been blessed with an instrument of self-correction, residing in the idea of the Perfectability of Man, its roots being deeply sunk in our culture’s Judeo-Christian tradition going back some five thousand years. The idea does not necessarily imply that Man can achieve perfection, rather that he is capable of bettering himself and his condition; that, indeed, his very nature impels him to seek an elevation of himself and his condition. It is this idea that allows Western Civilization to correct its faults and liberate its virtues.

And, all of this strangely enough coming from a time before the “post-1700s”.

The scriptures are yours, as well. You cannot simply shy away from the responsibility of explaining them, both to yourselves and others who've pointed out the moral voids

I feel no obligation to explain anything. “Burden of proof (be it scientific, philosophic, or otherwise) does not come into play until common assumptions are established.” You’ve not come for an explanation, in any event. You’ve come to pick a fight.

Let’s review:
I proposed that it is something other than “fantastic tales” of talking donkeys and snakes (serpents) that is central to Biblical Instruction. This in response to another poster’s obsession with the topic. After some discussion, there seemed to be a general disagreement over the proposition. Then came you with the formulaic theme of a some three hundred years plus old list of scripture scoffer grievances, a multi-page indictment to which there can be only one verdict: GUILTY. All this making it clear that the dispute centers about something other than the issue of whether or not talking donkeys, talking serpents, and other “fantastic tales” are central to Biblical Instruction.

Plain words to that effect, in the scriptures would have been more effective, and more truthful.

So you assert. The assertion does not prove the fact. What you assert is your interpretation, contrary to five thousand years’ cultural tradition and understanding. Discussion of the issue between us is not possible. No common assumptions have been established, nor are they likely ever to be. I try to read scripture with understanding. You seem to read scripture with malice.

When a pattern is seen in your scriptures, of the slow, once-in-a-millennia-updated progression of the deity's change in stance from one that is trigger-happy in ordering genocide, to later complying with the Golden Rule, it shows not the divinity of the deity, but rather, the hallmark qualities of the hand of man, in inventing those words, and those religions - each and every one of them.

Really?! A once-in-a-millennia update, huh. Using your example of the Golden Rule, from which millennial “update” comes Leviticus 19:18 (“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:”)?

Using your millennium standard, can you identify the scriptural revelations that have been sprung on us unannounced sometime approx around One Thousand CE?

There are patterns that are “seen.” Then, there are patterns that actually exist.

1,642 posted on 03/29/2011 1:48:07 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: James C. Bennett

The argument here contains a fatal error: its accusation that Biblical doctrine contains moral injustice is dependent on first assuming the Bible is factually wrong.

The phrase “snuffed out of existence” illustrates the assumption of factual wrongness. That is, you must discard the Biblical definition of death, and assume death to be an absolute end.

But within the context of Christian doctrine, the death of David’s child would be followed by ascendance to Heaven, the glory of which would negate any earthly suffering.

So you see, the truth of Biblical doctrine provides its moral justification, even according to human moral standards.


1,643 posted on 03/29/2011 7:14:20 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: kosta50

This claim is quite meaningless without concrete examples.


1,644 posted on 03/29/2011 7:15:34 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Are you proposing it’s impossible to be a sincere Christian?


1,645 posted on 03/29/2011 7:18:22 PM PDT by reasonisfaith (Sarah Palin is above taking the fake high road.)
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To: YHAOS
It is so nice to live in a country that begins by admitting in a 'Creator' God who gave us our rights.

'we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights'

The modern smug anti-God mob begins by denying we have a Creator and that is why they end up worshipping government as the ultimate authority.

1,646 posted on 03/29/2011 7:25:39 PM PDT by Old Landmarks (No fear of man, none!)
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To: Old Landmarks
"The modern smug anti-God mob begins by denying we have a Creator and that is why they end up worshipping government as the ultimate authority."

That's a popular theory, and likely true I think, in many an instance.
Alternatively, we can speculate that man turns to himself as the deity to be worshiped, and that government then becomes his temple.

1,647 posted on 03/29/2011 8:43:15 PM PDT by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: aruanan
I went to a school once that was able to buy the entire library of a very old school. It had many first editions of the whole panoply of evolutionary writers of the 18th century. It was a real hoot to read some of those and to see them say exactly what neo-Darwinists now claim the old-time Darwinists never said and had been falsely attributed to them by opponents of Darwinian evolution.

Yes, old evolution books reveal a lot! You can get tons of them at www.archive.org. Read Osborn's crazy abiogenesis theories, Boelsche's german evolution book that influenced the Nazis, tons of stuff on eugenics, "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", Piltdown man, monistic philosophy, "orthogenesis", nutball theories of heredity, Haldane's defense of Lysenko, life from crystals... Haeckel's Riddle... So much good stuff! Here and here and here.

1,648 posted on 03/30/2011 1:38:29 AM PDT by Ethan Clive Osgoode (<<== Click here to learn about Evolution!)
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To: Ethan Clive Osgoode
Let me say here that I wrote 18th century which should have been 1800s or 19th century, so I won't get some moron who wants to make a point without considering the most obvious solution to the problem being a typo.

And thanks for the link. I remember reading in one of these books the idea that Asians descended from the orangutan, the blacks from gorillas, and whites from the chimp. You can find an example for almost anything that modern day evolutionists claim was never taught by past evolutionists.
1,649 posted on 03/30/2011 3:57:53 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: reasonisfaith; James C. Bennett
This claim is quite meaningless without concrete examples

Read the Bible, Listen to any sermon or religious debate and you have it. Belivers claim to "know" the mind of God when it suits them and claim divine enigma when it suits them too, conveniently. The Bible is full of such man-made examples. You did it yourself right on this thread when you asked how much of God's mind can we know without actually committing yourself to saying how much of it you allegedly know. Of course, in all such claims, evidence is lacking, so it's your word, nothing more. Which brings up the question: why should I believe you?

1,650 posted on 03/30/2011 5:57:10 AM PDT by kosta50
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