Confanity,



I began another long reply, which I want to post, but last night I realized something. Perhaps God brought it to my mind? Whatever the case, I think I should say it.



I want to be very frank. I have been thinking about our debate, and realized that maybe I haven’t been as straightforward with you as I should have been. Your sister mentioned that I was “interested in learning,” which I am, but I want to give you all the facts.



Because of a dramatic personal encounter about 15 years ago, I unconditionally committed to believe in God and his Word, even when it didn’t seem to make sense. (Thankfully, this isn’t one of those times! ) Since I made this commitment, my life is worthwhile and meaningful, which it wasn’t before.



When I chose to believe the Word of God, I chose to believe it all. There is absolutely no chance that you will change my mind about how the world began. As you may have noticed, none of your “evidence” seems plausible to me, because I honestly am quite sure I already know what happened. God told me through his Word. To me, it’s all about faith, not proof. I am very interested in learning about the theory of evolution (I wasn’t lying!) but only because I feel that being informed will better equip me to share the Word of God with those who are deceived. And yes, I’m afraid I would count you among those. Sorry.



But it suddenly occurred to me that maybe it’s not ethical for me to be asking you, who don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, to help with my education. If you feel I’ve been taking advantage of you, I am very sorry. I truly didn’t intend to do that. I was just curious, since you seem so very deeply committed to the idea of evolution. If you care to continue exchanging ideas, that will be fine, but I thought I should make sure you understand where I stand. If you don’t want to communicate any more, that’s fine, too. As I said, I have enjoyed it, I’ve learned a lot and I thank you for all your time and thought.



More later.  For now, I’m off to clean the church.


Shalom.

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About dayuntoday

I'm a wonderer. I spend a lot of time mulling, pondering, and cogitating. This is just a place to park some of those thoughts.
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One Response to

  1. Confanity says:

    Well, points for honesty. 8^)”Perhaps God brought it to my mind?”-You may be giving your own mind too little credit here. After all, presumably we’re capable of having thoughts without God putting them there… otherwise God is directly responsible for, eg., Stalin’s thoughts. Ugh.”I unconditionally committed to believe in God and his Word, even when it didn’t seem to make sense”-As I tried to say in my previous post… it’s not the words that I’m challenging, so much as a specific interpretation of them. It seems to me you won’t be breaking whatever promise you made if you leave yourself open to exploring different possible interpretations.”Since I made this commitment, my life is worthwhile and meaningful, which it wasn’t before.”-Well, I’m glad for you for that. ^_^ I hope you can recognize that other people can live worthwhile lives even if their religious beliefs don’t match yours, though.”When I chose to believe the Word of God, I chose to believe it all.”-This is a curious statement. Do you believe in all of the Apocrypha? The Gnostic texts? The Koran? The Book of Mormon? The Gospel of Mary?All of these claim to be as much “the Word of God” as whatever compilation of texts you use. I can easily say that I follow “all of the Word of God” just as you do, and yet include in my definition nothing more than the Torah – this only requires that I describe the writings of the prophets as divinely inspired human works, and your Gospels as un-divine human texts written by hopeful messianists. Your particular choice of texts strikes me as arbitrary. Is there a reason behind your choice of texts, or are you simply accepting a decision made by someone else? And why did you choose that authority to make the choice rather than another?I’d like to see where this goes. Is there a reason for your beliefs being in the shape they are, or is it an accident? You can claim that this is an accident directed by God, but if that’s the case then God also directed the accident of an atheist being taught atheism… and if God wanted them to be atheists, then who are you to argue?Also, what form does your belief take? Let’s look very closely at Genesis. 1:11-13 show God creating plant life on the third day. Specifically, 1:12 says “The earth brought forth vegetation…” Then, 1:27-31 show mankind being created on the sixth day. Good so far? Ok; then, Genesis 2:5-7 say “When no shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth… the LORD God formed man from the dust of the earth.”Look at it very closely. The first account says explicitly that plant life had sprouted before mankind was created. The second account says explicitly that plant life had not yet sprouted when mankind was created. There is only one possible conclusion: If you want to believe that all the Word of God is true, then you must accept that not all of it is literally true. Surely your faith doesn’t require you to fill your life with logical paradoxes. God found it satisfactory for you to have a rational mind, after all.”There is absolutely no chance that you will change my mind about how the world began.”-“With God, anything is possible.” 8^)”God told me through his Word.”-Very well. Which did God say came first – the plants of the field, or humankind?”To me, it’s all about faith, not proof.”-The odd and horrific thing about this is that something “proved” is something whose truth is undeniable, by definition, and faith is only required when something is in doubt. In other words, you are saying that you choose to think of that which is in doubt as undeniable, and that which is undeniable as doubtful. Surely you can see how this upsets anyone with an ounce of respect for the human mind.I want to address what I suspect is a deeper fear on your part, though. You seem to associate science with not just atheism, but an image of angry atheism that, in continuing revenge for Christian persecution, wants to wipe out everything that you feel made your life worth living. But my whole point is that religious faith can coexist with science and with rational thought and with humanism. All it requires is that you recognize that your specific choice of which texts to follow, and the manner in which you interpret them, are arbitrary. If your life had been turned around by, say, Catholics, or by Moslems, or by Buddhists, then you would have a different worldview. You would use different readings of different texts. And yet you would be in no worse a condition than you are now.Do you agree with the conclusions of my last post, at least to the extent that reading scripture requires interpretation? (If not, I can provide further examples.) If so, then surely you can see how faith and logic, how Mystery and Truth, can be reconciled without harm to either.”I feel that being informed will better equip me to share the Word of God with those who are deceived”-To me, this is the most disturbing part of this whole post. In my opinion, history shows that aggressive proselytization causes a lot of harm and very little good. It should be far more important to us that people do good than that they all read the exact same set of texts in exactly the same way. If you really want your religion to do good for people, then simply work to make the world a better place, and people for whom your set of interpretations are a good fit, will see that it’s an OK way to live.Another thought along those lines. Do you realize that when the Word of God (whatever set of words that may be) is translated, say, into Chinese, then it will necessarily take a different shape? I’ve done translation, and I can tell you that no matter how hard you try, the nuances, the webs of meaning invoked, the lyric qualities of a given bit of text, will all change. It’s literally impossible to give your version of the Bible to anybody who hasn’t lived with you long enough to share your use of language.And by the same token, Genesis was written in Hebrew. How can you say that your reading of it matches the original meaning and intent? There’s nobody alive on Earth who speaks Hebrew exactly as it was spoken then.”And yes, I’m afraid I would count you among those. Sorry.”-Why apologize? Christians thinking I need some extra Jesus in my life isn’t exactly a novel concept. And it’s probably clear that I count you not only among “the deceived,” but among that frustrating group of people who are deceived by themselves for no apparent reason despite their minds being agile enough to do some real good in the world if only they were put to use. So we’re even, eh? 8^)”But it suddenly occurred to me that maybe it’s not ethical for me to be asking you, who don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, to help with my education.”-No worries. If you want to learn accurately about evolution, after all, you definitely can’t ask a creationist. That’s clear by now. 8^P”I was just curious, since you seem so very deeply committed to the idea of evolution.”-To put things in proportion, I am primarily committed to making the world a better place, and I believe that the human mind is our primary if not only tool for doing so. Science is an excellent tool that has transformed us from mere animals into something more in an undeniable way… you may feel that cancer is caused by sin, but science is what can cure cancer. Evolutionary theory is simply a fruit of the human mind, and denying it makes no more sense to me than denying the vaccine with which we wiped out smallpox. I would react in just the same way if you denied the theory of gravity, or the fact that the Earth orbits the sun, or the commutative property of multiplication.”If you don’t want to communicate any more, that’s fine, too.”-I don’t feel that we’ve been ‘communicating’ more than occasionally up to now, really. I must admit I hadn’t realized how far your worldview was removed from the world of facts. I would be pleased to continue the dialogue, though.Well, thanks for the clarification. Just goes to show that getting down to basics is a lot more productive than thrashing about in the details from the very beginning.

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