The latest Lampstand Magazine includes a positive review of Bro Heavyside’s anti-TE book in an article penned by bro Bruce Gurd. We have previously touched on and reviewed the book and came to quite different conclusions. The Lampstand article throws in this pearler:
…the critical importance of our understanding of the inspiration of Scripture (as outlined in the Foundation statement of the BASF). Unfortunately, false theories like TE are not built on this premise.[ the inspiration of Scripture (as outlined in the Foundation statement of the BASF] For example, these false teachers—who believe that the Bible is built on the mythology of the time—read Genesis 1 as if it were inspired by Ancient Near Eastern cultures, rather than being inspired by God. Hence they develop the unscriptural idea of the firmament as an iron dome Continue reading
Untroubled by the modern fooleries of science, ancient commentators didn’t pretend the firmament meant expanse, or air or some similar nonsense. It plainly meant there was a solid barrier holding up water. Below is an extract from Bede the Venerable’s commentary (how do you even get a name like that!?!):
“Described in these verses is the creation of our heaven in which the stars are fixed. It is established that the firmament is in the midst of the waters, for we understand that waters were placed beneath the firmament and in the air and the land; and we are taught about the placement of these waters above it by the authority of this Scripture passage and by the words of the prophet who said, “Spreading out heaven like a tent, you cover your chamber with waters.” It is in agreement then that the starry heaven was firmly set in the midst of the waters, and this does not prevent the belief that it was made from these waters.
“In place of objective certitude and settled hegemony, we would now characterize our knowing in ways that make mastery and control much more problematic, if indeed mastery and control can any longer be our intention at all. I would characterize our new intellectual situation in these rather obvious ways:
- Our knowing is inherently contextual. This should hardly come to us as a surprise. Descartes wanted to insist that context was not relevant to knowing. It is, however, now clear that what one knows and sees depends upon where one stands or sits …
- It follows that contexts are quite local, and the more one generalizes, the more one loses or fails to notice context. Localism means that it is impossible to voice large truth. All one can do is to voice local truth and propose that it pertains elsewhere. In fact, I should insist that all our knowing is quite local, even when we say it in a loud voice …
- It follows from contextualism and localism that knowledge is inherently pluralistic, a cacophony of claims, each of which rings true to its own advocates. Indeed, pluralism is the only alternative to objectivism once the dominant center is no longer able to impose its view and to silence by force all alternative or dissenting opinion”
Brueggemann, W. (2009). Divine Presence amid Violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua (pp. xi–xii). Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.
Archaeology and genetics demonstrate the population in ancient Israel was changing 6,500 years ago. It shows literalists read Genesis 1-3 wrong. The evidence says new populations were coming into the region with new genes – like blue eyes. With them came new artefacts like pottery. Analysing the DNA of some 48 ancient remains, science has established there was an influx of people from the regions of modern day Turkey and Iran. This was done by analysing the reconstructed genomes of 22 individuals. When did this influx happen? 6,500 years ago. A big problem for the literal creationist. Strangely Israel abounds in Natufian and Chalcolithic sites which demonstrate no new creation 6,000 years ago and large ongoing human populations – which have continuity with humanity today. Continue reading
“you have once rejected the understanding of the Most High. For his works have not taught you, nor has the artful work of his creation which has existed always persuaded you. Adam is, therefore, not the cause, except only for himself, but each of us has become our own Adam.”
Charlesworth, J. H. (1983). The Old Testament pseudepigrapha (Vol. 1, p. 640). New York; London: Yale University Press.
cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return Gen 3:18-19 KJV
Is this a new creative act by God? Is the earth at large seeing new weeds because of Adam’s sin? Many a literalist will say so – despite insisting Gen 1 and Gen 2 are the same record and therefore God had ceased creative work per Gen 2:2. Further complications arise when the fossil record clearly shows thorns and thistles going back millions of years. Yet literalists will insist the thorns were a new condition (for example Robert Roberts in The Visible Hand of God  and the condition of the earth was changed to be cursed (eg John Morris 1989. Continue reading
Young earth creationists cannot agree on their geology. The closer they look the tougher the explanations become (like why can you see feathers, footprints and bird nests in the middle of layers supposedly put down in Noah’s flood!?!). As a result they have an endless array of schemes which disagree, Almost makes you think there might be a better answer? (see here for the source) Continue reading
Natural science should no more threaten belief than the science of history. Or wheat growing. The words below are reproduced from an excellent longer article in a journal from 2012 – the full article can be found here. The article provides some thoughtful observations on how Christianity was an useful breeding ground for modern science as well as a discussion of historical positions on Genesis and taking a broader view of God’s truth.
“As a result of their new knowledge, the two humans become moral agents with responsibility for their actions. At the same time, Genesis 3 also portrays human choices with serious repercussions along with new experiences of fear and shame as well as additional desire. The human choices issue in consequences represented as negative—yet also realistic of human life: birth pangs for the woman, and hardship in labor for the man. In short, the man and the woman become fully human. In the wake of their choices, they gain knowledge but lose the Garden and the possibility of eternity.
Genesis 3 offers a paradox: moral knowledge only comes after—and because—the woman and the man do not listen to God. The problem has not been lost on interpreters. So Carey Ellen Walsh puts the point: “One of the brutal ironies in the story is that God’s command for obedience—not to eat from the tree—comes before the humans can really exercise it, before they know the difference between good and evil.” Walsh regards the divine command as “a test of obedience,” but the effect of the divine command is to elicit desire (“much as we struggle not to rubberneck at a car wreck, look straight into an eclipse, or turn around when someone says, ‘Don’t look now!’ ”).62 Indeed, this particular tree may seem hard to miss, as the woman notes its location “in the middle of the garden” (Genesis 3:3). In modern legal terms, the tree would be “an attractive nuisance” (for which its owner would be liable). The woman is surely not liable for the tree’s desirability or its location. (Is God?) However these interpretive issues are to be resolved, the human experience in the Garden is both negative (in the divine commandment disregarded by humans) and positive (in the new knowledge gained by humans)…..
…In the end, Genesis 1–11 as a whole represents a progression of humanity in two moral strands, captured by the phrase “the knowledge of good and evil.” One strand is negative: it involves the story’s movement from desire and knowledge of the first human couple in Genesis 3, to sin and murder by one of their sons in Genesis 4, and finally to human evil generally in Genesis 6 and 8. The evil implicit in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9, 17; 3:5, 22) has fully yielded its fruit in humanity by the time of the Flood (Genesis 6:5, 11; and 8:21). The progression achieved in these chapters is similar to the notion of original sin or ancestral sin traditionally imputed to Genesis 2–3. The other strand involves the good of human creation in Genesis 1, which is embodied by some of the figures in Genesis 4; 5, and 6.”
 Smith, M. S. (2019). The Genesis of Good and Evil: The Fall(out) and Original Sin in the Bible (First edition, pp. 71–72, 80-81). Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
Using a sword on evolutionary creationists in the kingdom featured as just another normal day at Swanwick Bible School 2016. ECs, according to Jonathan Bowen – Brantford ecclesia, are morally equivalent to Nazis or those who committed religiously motivated atrocities in the reformation. Inspiring stuff. Hope the sword is sharp, as blunt ones hurt more apparently. Continue reading