Monday, February 07, 2011

Christian Evolutions -- Sightings

Charles Darwin's birthday is on the near horizon, which means that this will be Evolution Weekend.  I'm of the opinion that one can be a good Christian and accept evolution as the scientific description of how things have come to be.  But, is this type of evolution the same thing as doctrinal development? 

Martin Marty takes a look at a debate going on within evangelicalism that involves Brian McLaren.  Marty thinks that McLaren may be unhelpfully mixing the two categories.  Both might be true, but can we merge them into a common framework?  Take a look at what Marty suggests and then offer your thoughts, especially if you're familiar with this conversation.

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Sightings 2/7/2011



Christian Evolutions
-- Martin E. Marty


Ever since 1859 anyone could start fights by breathing a single word: “evolution,” on which Charles Darwin held the patent. The conflicts were billed as “science vs. religion,” but it has been clear for 152 years that some schools of scientists opposed other schools in science and some schools of religion opposed others in religion. The “moderns” advocated syntheses of “science” and “religion,” while conservatives, some of them fundamentalist, opposed them. New controversies keep developing.

If I read the reports accurately, there is one brewing within the ranks of Christians often tabbed as evangelicals. For example, witness a project that brings together leaders in various camps under the rubric “The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity.” As Katherine T. Phan reports in the Christian Post, these leaders are trying to change the rules of the game and the contending expectations as to how it is played and who wins.

All this could be easily overlooked or bypassed did it not create shock waves within evangelicalism in the United States and Canada and also did it not involve Brian McLaren. Never heard of him? You had if you tracked trends in the Christian avant-garde; he was named one of the “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America” by Time magazine in 2005. McLaren’s mark has been in what he and colleagues call “The Emergent Church,” a hard-to-define, dynamic, fluid movement. McLaren now stepped into it, as they used to say down on the farm, by connecting Darwinian scientific evolution with evolution-as-development in many forms barely related to scientific issues.

McLaren: “Evolutionary Christianity is a fact of history about which a lot of Christians are in deep denial.” He included Darwinian evolution under the Evolutionary Christianity tent, and thus roused suspicion and attracted attacks from anti-Darwinian Protestant conservatives. He described his perspective, which blends two categories of evolution as being a liberator for Christian thought and church forms. Brought up a conservative evangelical, he has now broken from that past. One might ask: could there be a problem here that can fancily be described as ignoratio elenchi, a category error?

When McLaren describes the values in his “Evolutionary Christianity” he is often talking about doctrinal “development,” which he finds even in Catholicism (as did John Henry Newman in the nineteenth century). But the issues raised in the “evolution” in doctrine or in church forms prompts quite different, or wholly different, questions than does standard-brand scientific evolution. His critics think that McLaren has gone over the hill or slid down the slippery slope of “development” into relativism and the abyss of heresy. If he and other panelists on TV and in conferences on Evolutionary Christianity would disentangle one kind of evolution from another, or regard the crossovers as metaphoric, matters would become more clear. He can continue his fight over whether church doctrine and practice have developed in one set of categories, while his openness to scientific, as in biological, evolution could make it easier for others to participate in ways that could be helpful in the academy, the church, and the larger culture.

Otherwise or until then, he’ll be a poster-boy for the heirs of old-school anti-evolutionism to banish. Their heritage dates from 1859 and they now offer little new. The Christian Post is reporting on a conflict whose emergent outlines and battle lines are fuzzy, and often have no use for or bearing on scientific evolutionary thought.



References


R. Albert Mohler, Jr, “Why the Creation-Evolution Debate is So Important,” Southern Seminary Magazine, January 4, 2011.

Katherine T. Phan, “Brian McLaren: Christians in Denial Over Evolution of Faith,” Christian Post, January 27, 2011.

Martin E. Marty's biography, current projects, publications, and contact information can be found at www.illuminos.com.

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In this month's Religion and Culture Web Forum, Jessica DeCou offers a comic interpretation of the theology of Karl Barth, bringing his work into a surprising and fruitful dialogue with the comedy of Craig Ferguson. Both men, she contends, “employ similar forms of humor in their efforts to unmask the absurdity and irrationality of our submission to arbitrary human powers.” The humor of Barth and Ferguson alike stresses human limitation against illusory deification. DeCou argues for understanding both the humor and the famous combativeness of Barth's theology as part of this single project, carried out against modern Neo-Protestant theology. The Religion and Culture Web Forum is at: http://divinity.uchicago.edu/martycenter/publications/webforum/

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Sightings comes from the Martin Marty Center at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

36 comments:

Allan R. Bevere said...

My biggest complaint against McLaren and his treatment of doctrine is that he is not careful in his writing, and in fact he is sometimes sloppy in his account. But then when someone calls him on it, he retreats to "I'm not a theologian" excuse. Well, if not being a theologian is justification for his less-than-careful treatment of doctrine, he needs to stay away from the subject all together. If you are going to insert yourself into the fray, you need to expect critique.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Allan,

In reading his books, I've found them to be rather sloppy. His training is in English lit and not theology, and that lack of sophistication is telling. I think he makes good points, but his development of them doesn't always work.

Gary said...

I would recommend what Albert Mohler has to say about the attempted mixing of evolution and Christianity. Mohler understands that the theory of evolution directly contradicts the Bible, and that one cannot be both an evolutionist, and a Bible-believer at the same time.

David said...

You're totally right Gary. The Bible is full of incorrect facts, as are most sacred scriptures. You can still be a child of God and a follower of Christ. or whomever you choose however.

If more people accepted these simple facts, humanity just might have a chance to continue its evolution.

Glenn said...

Gary,

I would make one distinction regarding your statement. While the theory of evolution unquestionably contradicts the Bible, that technically only precludes someone from accepting evolution and being a biblical literalist. It does not prevent someone from finding value in the universal spiritual truths professed in the Bible and acknowledging the fact that it's Bonze age authors weren't exactly accomplished scientists. Biblical literalism also prevents one from being, among other things, a competent zoologist (Lev 11.6 and Deut 14:11-18) and mathematician (1 Kings 7:23).

Gary said...

David,

You can be an evolutionist and still be a child of God and a follower of Christ?

How do you know that is true?

Gary said...

Glenn,

Can you name one or two of those "universal spiritual truths" from the Bible, and explain why they are true?

John said...

Gary,

I can't resist answering the challenge you presented to Glenn.

God loves you. And, because I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, I am called to love you as well and to pray for your welfare. And this is true, not be cause of your personal effort, but simply because you are a child of God. And I am called to respond to you this way no matter how hurtful you may be others.

I know there are others, but these seem to sum it up. At least this is what Jesus told the lawyer.

John

John said...

And I have to respond to what you said to David.

How do you know this to be true?

Because our status as a child of God derives from our createdness and our being born in the image and likeness of God. As humans we are all children of God.

To be a follower of Jesus Christ we must intentionally choose to love God and love one another as Jesus loves us. In practice we will no doubt fail often at doing these things, but as committed followers we keep trying. The fact that our efforts will surely fall short is why we are forgiven.

If we ignore the world God put us into and deny the truths of this world, we can still strive to love God and God's creation. We do our best as we are equipped. We struggle to see past the blinders which our societies have placed over our eyes, to see the spirit of God in our brothers and sisters, and to discern the incredible beauty in the incredibly complex world God placed us into.

And in all of that we try to stay focused on the worship of the one God, not of the creation, and not of the doctrines and theories of humans.

At least that's how I see it.

Glenn said...

Gary,

What I would add to John's response is this. Compassion and charity are two universal spiritual truths. They are given great importance in every major religion. I know them to be true because I have experienced their benefits in my life and the lives of others. I cannot think of any situation where the world would be a better place if compassion and charity were not practiced. The benefits of these universal truths does not require a belief a literal interpretation of Genesis or even a belief in God. Their benefits are available to all, regardless of religious affiliation. As John said, there are others, but you only asked for one or two.

David said...

How do you know that is true?

Cuz I are one, of course.

I wouldn't judge which of our paths are more pleasing to God. I can only follow my own.

David said...

Gary-

When you get to heaven won't you put in a good word for me? God knows I need all the help I can get...

When I die, all I can say is I tried, I tried, I tried so hard. When I die, all I can say is I tried...

Andru Bemis.

http://www.andrubemis.com/index.php/media/music

http://www.andrubemis.com/index.php/media/music

David said...

Is this pleasing to God?

I think it would be, very much.

http://www.good.is/post/protesters-are-awesome-look-at-this-beautiful-photo-of-christians-protecting-praying-muslims-in-egypt/

David said...

I this a better angle?

http://yfrog.com/h0btz6j

Gary said...

John,

"As humans we are all children of God."

Really? Jesus didn't agree with you because he said to some people, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." John 8:44
Now you can either be the child of God, or the child of the devil, but you can't be both.

John, David, Glenn,

Are you aware that Jesus believed Genesis? (Mark 10:6, 13:19) Jesus considered Adam and Eve to be real historical people(which would not be the case if evolution is true).
Jesus also believed in an historical Noah and the Flood(Luke 17:26,27)

As evolutionists, you are forced to conclude that Jesus was mistaken. And if he was mistaken about the Creation, he's probably mistaken about a lot of other things. He has no credibility on any other subject. You can't trust anything Jesus said, if you believe that evolution is true.

The Creation, and other parts of Genesis, are repeatedly confirmed in many parts of the New Testament. That leaves you evolutionists with only two options that I can see: 1. dismiss the New Testament altogether, or
2. Pretend it's all non-literal. Fiction written to try to teach something. But you can never be sure what it is trying to teach.

Whatever Jesus says, you can't be sure exactly what He means. It's subjective. You can give it some meaning in your own mind, but if another person comes to a different conclusion, you have no basis to conclude they are wrong. Doctrine and orthodoxy become absurd terms. How can you have orthodoxy when the meaning of Scripture is up to the individual? You can't.

If evolution is true, the Bible is reduced to nothing more than personal opinion. And that's what it is to you.

John said...

Gary,

You obviously understand the debate as well as what is at stake, so I won't waste time on counter-argument, except to ask: whose doctrine and which orthodoxy is at risk?

Suffice it for me to say that I wait on the Lord to guide my meditations in this regard. No doubt you do as well. In the end that is all you and I can do, and then follow where the Spirit of the Lord takes us. Hopefully we get it mostly right and in so doing, in our own ways we each contribute to the building of the Kingdom.

John

Gary said...

John,

Do you have doctrine and orthodoxy that can be put at risk?

John said...

Gary,

What a challenging question! It is going to take me some significant thought to respond. First I need to break down the components of the challenge: doctrine, orthodoxy and how they are placed at risk depending on how one interprets the Bible, (that is, for the most part literally or with a greater openness to metaphor) and whether this interpretational choice of method places one's salvation at risk.

A simple response would be for me to point out that it was not unusual for early church fathers to engaged in metaphorical interpretations of Scripture and to explicitly reject interpretations that were too literal. I could also point out that the majority of Christian denominations explicitly allow for metaphorical interpretations of Scripture, and specifically allow for metaphorical interpretations of Genesis, and specifically permit adherents to accept the theory of human evolution without risking their either their salvation or their denominational membership.

This response underscores that obvious truth that a genuine believer can reject the doctrines which you have accepted as well as your understanding of orthodoxy and still remain true to their denominations' doctrines and still remain orthodox as their denominations teach orthodoxy. Your doctrines and your idea of orthodoxy are not the only ones to choose from, and they are not the oldest ones, nor are they accepted by a majority of Christians around the world. But they clearly resonate as true for you and those with whom you worship.

But I think the above response side steps your question which I think was seeking a more personal response from me. I will tender that response in the next post.

John

John said...

Gary,

(Sorry Bob for the lengthy response, but he asked for this.)

You ask: "Do you have doctrine and orthodoxy that can be put at risk?"

Yes I have doctrines which I believe to be true and which are in play in this discussion. I do not think they are 'at risk' however, because I do not think openness to truth is a risky venture, because I fervently believe that the truth can only 'set you free' and bring you closer to God.

Without resorting to a dictionary, my simple understanding of the term 'orthodoxy' is conformity of one's beliefs with a particular set of religious teachings promulgated by a faith community or within a range of beliefs taught by a faith tradition over time.

Do I conform to an existing orthodoxy? In some ways yes in some ways no. More important though, is the question of whether I am obligated to conform? I don't think so. I do not think God requires strict conformity to any particular set of doctrines, and I know that my denomination does not require strict conformity to any particular set of doctrines. Instead, I am called on to work with God on my salvation "with fear and trembling."

I think you can see from our exchanges that I have a very clear sense of those doctrines which I believe are true and which I reflect fairly consistently in my relationships with the people around me. Without exhaustive review, they include: loving God and loving neighbor; forgiveness and acceptance of each other constitute the essence of loving God; all people are beloved children of God and not mere creations; God desires the salvation of all of God's children; God is God and is entitled to worship and not anyone or anything else; that Scripture as the self-revelation of God in the World, is infused with the Holy Spirit; that God is dynamic and adaptive to human circumstances and responsive to prayer; that the two most important principles guiding the interpretation of Scripture are that truth-filled interpretation should lead one closer to God and to one's neighbor and truth-filled interpretation should never endorse physical or emotional injury to another or endorse the exclusion of another from inclusion in the family of God - and any interpretation which violates these principles must be reconsidered and brought into conformity; in the life and teachings of Jesus, the Son of God, we find the clearest disclosure from God about how we are to care for one another other, with the death of Jesus, the Crucified, we are indicted and reminded that we are all stained with the innocent blood which drenches our world, and with the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we receive our invitation into the eternal Kingdom of God, to be lived out on earth as it is in Heaven.

John

David said...

2. Pretend it's all non-literal. Fiction written to try to teach something. But you can never be sure what it is trying to teach.

3. I'm not so sure all the stories are trying to teach anything at all. Probably most just made up to supply an answer.

Jesus was human, so I'm sure he was wrong in many facts.

Glenn said...

Gary,

As I read your response regarding the choice evolutionists have to make regarding scripture, I was struck by how dangerous the requirements of such a dichotomy are to your own doctrine and orthodoxy. Of course, your statement is not valid. There are a multitude of choices regarding scripture to the evolutionist besides the two that you outline. But if I accept your argument as true, then I don't see how you can be certain of what you yourself seem to believe. Because your argument requires that your theology be based on the infallibility of the source. If the source can be demonstrated to be wrong about something, then you cannot be justified in concluding that they were correct about anything.

As you said, "... you are forced to conclude that Jesus was mistaken. And if he was mistaken about the Creation, he's probably mistaken about a lot of other things. He has no credibility on any other subject. You can't trust anything Jesus said...."

If that is true, I'm wondering why you are so certain that anything in the Bible is true. Because as far as I'm aware Jesus never authored an autobiolography. Everything you know about him was based on the written testimony of others. And all of those authors were fallible human beings.

Now you might argue that all scripture is God breathed so everything it contains is correct. But I'm sure you are well aware that scripture contains many factual contradictions. For example, Matthew states that Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1). But Luke states that Jesus was born during the first census in Isreal while Quirinius was Governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). But Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place approximately 10 years after his death in 6-7 AD. Plus, Quirinius didn't become governor of Syria until well after Herod's death. So it's impossible for both Luke and Matthew to be correct. One of them, or both of them, could be wrong, but both of them cannot be right. (If I'm wrong about any of this Bob, please let me know)

If that's the case, then your theological logic requires that you make some difficult decisions. Since much of what you believe about Jesus is based on the testimony of these two authors and it can be shown that either one or both were incorrect about at least this one thing that they testified about, I'm wondering why you feel that you can be so sure that everything else they wrote about is absolutely true. After all, at least one of them was wrong and possibly both. How can you trust anything else they said? Why isn't your own belief system subject to the same false dichotomy that you want to subject mine to?

jj said...

Gary,

I was trying to stay disengaged from this "conversation," but, alas, I can't resist. There are many points of contention I have with the above "stream" of comments that I think are worthy of further elaboration, but for sake of time I will cut to the chase and ask you a question.

If you held something to be true, but came to see insurmountable evidence that your previous belief was wrong based on other factual data, what would you do? Do you shut your mind to reason and go on believing what you thought was true? Do you reject completely what you thought was true and adopt what you now know is true? Or would you carefully examine both data sets to make sure you understood the issues fully and see if a synthesis of both data sets could compatibly and logically coexist? What would you do?

I'm asking you that because according to you, as a biologist, I only have the first two options. Again, to cut to the chase (as I am aware I'm putting words in your mouth here), you effectively have said I can choose heaven and reject my training and education that is supported by millions of pages of documentation and the expertise of thousands upon thousands of scientists (some of whom have been followers of Christ); or I can choose hell and maintain my "belief" that evolution is the mechanism for how God brought us into being. I fundamentally reject those two options, and instead choose the third. I recognize that the Bible is not a static, simple, and linear collection of documents. I believe that it requires careful discernment as to what the intentions of the text were at the time it was written, and even more careful discernment as to what it means to us now. I am quite confident there is much in the Bible that you don't take as literal historical fact, yet you demand that Genesis 1 is to be taken as literal historical fact (and chapter 2, for that matter--which, if both are taken absolutely literally, don't agree with eachother...you have to infuse Chapter 2 with information to make it match chapter 1, which is not a literal or innerrant approach)? Why should we do this, because Jesus refers to Genesis and therefore if it isn't literally history then Jesus deceived us? Jesus may be the Son of God, but I nonetheless do not fault him for his seeming unawareness of biological evolution...because it is obviously irrelevant to the context in which He lived. Methinks that going into explanations of biological mutation rates, pseudogenes, jumping genes, etc., basic ecology, etc., would have muddled His message a bit, no? Therefore, why are you making unreasonable demands of God to communicate accurate scientific phenomena alongside his message of grace, redemption, etc.?

Evolution does not contradict the Bible (unless the Bible is read as a static, simple, and linear document without the slightest hint of textual criticism), and as scientific theory it is has nothing to say about the Bible (though I could argue the Bible has much to say about our evolution). If the Christian Faith is to remain relevant, it must be willing to honestly approach the documents that are inherent to the formation of the Faith. Literal innerancy is not that approach.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

I've stayed out of the conversation to this point, which is going quite well.

But, I wanted to take us back to Marty's point in his response to Brian McLaren's mixing of the idea of doctinal development with evolutionary science. While Christians can affirm both the Christian faith and biological evolution (as I do), that isn't the same thing as doctrinal development.

McLaren has long advocated what he calls generous orthodoxy, which is quite attractive. But, sometimes he mixes his categories in unfortunate ways.

I'm not sure if Gary will affirm this principle, but as John Henry Newman taught in the 19th century -- theology/doctrine develops over time. There is no better example than the Trinity. You can find the basis of Trinitarian thought (Mathew 28:19-20) in the NT, but it takes four centuries for this to develop into a full-blown doctrine. I think it's appropriate to not here that Arius took his stand on a Bible only position, while his opponents, such as Athanasius used Greek philosophical categories to develop what is at most an incipient doctrine in the NT.

Gary said...

Glenn,

You are assuming that the story that you think contradicts Matthew and Luke is correct. I say it isn't.

You have chosen to believe something other than the Bible, while I have chosen to believe the Bible. As well as anything can, that defines the difference between us, and the difference between Christians and unbelievers.

Glenn said...

Gary,

You can choose to believe anything you wish. But you cannot reconcile Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:2 by any rules of logic that I ever learned in college. Both the reign of Herod and the Governorship of Quirinius are demonstrable historical facts. Or are you now saying that you cannot be a "Bible believing Christian" and a competent historian? If so, the list of available professions to "real" Christians is getting shorter and shorter.

Gary said...

Glenn,

You have your sources and I have mine. And I think mine are better.

Glenn said...

Well played Gary. I have been repelled by your impenetrable wall of circular logic. :)

Gary said...

jj,

According to the Bible, Jesus is God. And, according to the Bible, God created the universe, and everything in it. Logically, Jesus should be aware of his own method of creation, which, according to Jesus, corresponds to the Genesis account, in direct contradiction of the theory of evolution.

I've always found it curious that people try to reconcile their commitment to the theory of evolution with their non-commitment to the Bible. Why bother? Especially since a much more honest approach would be to just dismiss the Bible as a fairy tale.

jj said...

Bob, I included a clumsy response to your comment below (regarding the Marty article). Gary, for the quick and concise answer I refer you to Glenn's response, above. I am committed to reading the Bible for what it is intended to say and not intended to say. If it is intended to say everything was created in 6 days, then I am left wondering why God made it look like evolution has occurred but says otherwise...why the deception? If its intent is to say (in part) "You're fallen and you can't get up (without some help)," then it is spot on. Beyond that, I do dismiss much of your interpretation of the Bible as a fairytale which is sustaining for you but collectively detrimental (my opinion) to the overall work of the Body of Christ and how we relate Him to the world. It can be useful to examine our own faith and poke around for holes--gives us a chance to patch it up before the next flood. Thus, should you want to try it I'll suggest the following: What the Bible Really Teaches: A Challenge for Fundamentalists, (by Keith Ward, who claims to be a born again Christian). It may not come across, but I say all the above with utmost humility, for I have been humbled many times on my journey of faith, and suspect that I haven't seen the last of it. Additionally, my apologies for anything that comes across as not being very Christlike (as I'm not very Christlike...goes back to that whole fallen thing-- I hope I'm getting closer, but I'm not so sure).

To address the purpose of the article:
I'll be honest in saying that I'm not sure I understand the content of the article or the intent of McLaren enough to give an intelligible response. I'm still a bit confused as to whether or not McLaren really means evolution as a verb or as a noun (the action of anything changing with time VS the blend of scientific principals that explain the physical origin and adaptation of life over time). If it is the former, then I would say "evolutionary Christianity" is just a poor choice of words (why pick a word that incites violent connotations too so many people who have no clue what it really is--case and point given in the thread of comments?). If it is the latter, a real attempt to find some sort of blend between evolutionary principles and theological development within the church (is this really the case?), then I believe it is a mistake.

Darwin feared and warned against evolutionary principles being woven into the social fabric (e.g. he warned against that which ironically bears his name, social Darwinism). Though I don't think social Darwinism and "evolutionary Christianity" are directly comparable in any way, I'm nonetheless not sure evolutionary Christianity constitutes a very useful approach to theology, and potentially it is a detrimental one. I think Christianity (and the Bible) is dynamic much in the same way the US Constitution is dynamic. The society/culture of 2000 years ago is obviously vastly different then the society of today (as our country is now vs when the constitutional framework was written). It seems to me that Christianity is a set of fundamental truths (grounded in a Historical death and Resurrection) that may need adjustments in the way those truths are defined as new information comes to light and society "evolves", but this is a process that should take place ideally within the global Christ centered Church (fundamentalists excluded...sorry, couldn't resist), and should be done with careful, prayerful and consistent consideration. Christianity does change over time, sometimes fairly rapidly. However, attempting to define this process as "evolutionary" or intentionally carry it out using evolutionary principles seems like a bad idea, but I qualify that with the fact that my understanding of what "evolutionary Christianity" is, according to McLaren, is very dim. If I have obviously misunderstood McLaren's intent, then somebody please enlighten me. Thanks.

Gary said...

jj said,

"I am committed to reading the Bible for what it is intended to say, and not intended to say."

No, I don't think you have that committment. If you were committed to that, you would accept the history recorded in the Bible for what it is.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

JJ,

As Allan notes up at the top, McLaren can be sloppy in his writing. I've not read the latest book, which got both praised and panned. I like Brian's openness, but from reading his earlier works I know that he sometimes mixes ideas in unfortunate ways.

If Brian means, that theology adapts to context, then you could say it is evolutionary, but Marty thinks that the use of the word in this context mixes things up in ways that leads to trouble with his critics.

jj said...

Gary, Herein lies the problem. I do accept the Bible for what it says. Then you say I don't. I say I do. Ad infinitum. All I can say is you have been lied to by the Young Earth Creationist Movement, and they are making a lot of money through their lies, pure and simple. The millions of dollars that could have gone to the poor but instead lines the pockets of liars...all in the name of Christ! May God have mercy on us all. I'll cut myself off now because that vein starts twitching in my forehead when I start thinking about the ongoing deception that has brainwashed so many. We could keep going on in circles like this, but in the end you'll either look into the deception or you won't. I've spent more time doing so then I care to admit. Beyond that I'm done with you on this point. I concede the last word to you if you want.

Gary said...

jj,

Don't you really mean I've been deceived by the Bible? The Bible records an historical account, and you say that it isn't actual history. So, according to you, I've been misled(lied to) by the Biblical writers. And I think I've made it clear that I believe the Bible, and not you.

Both of us are committed to our beliefs. I know I'm not going to change my mind, and I assume you won't either. It was never my intent to get anyone to give up their belief in evolution. All I am trying to do is make the point that evolution and Biblical Christianity contradict one another and cannot be reconciled without destroying one or the other.

jj said...

No, I'm not saying you've been misled by the Bible. I'm suggesting that your interpretation of Genesis as literal history is mistaken, and if Christianity is true then there must be a way for evolution and Christianity to coexist (because evolution happened, it is not going away nor will it be disproven). I outlined arguments in another blog, and I don't have the endurance to do so again here so please refer to this thread if you are inclined (note, I'm not the blogger, just a commentor in this blog):

http://www.ecalpemos.org/2010/10/why-creationism-is-bad-for-christianity.html#comment-form

Gary said...

jj,

My interpretation of Genesis is mistaken? Well, I'm in good company because my interpretation is the same as that of every Biblical writer who had anything to say about the subject, and the same as Jesus Christ. I'm happy to be associated with them.

There is a way for Christianity and evolution to coexist, for awhile: stay away from each other. What they cannot do is mix.
Everyone must decide which of the two they are going to believe. Whenever someone tries to mix them, the result is a decimated, impotent, worthless faux Christianity. Which is the exact kind that you have.

David said...

"What they cannot do is mix."

Obvious troll is obvious.

Your brother's blog is lonely Gary.

You're too used to stifling 1/2 the people.

"Women are excluded from preaching at all, to anyone."

http://warningsofwrath.blogspot.com/2010/11/priorities-of-preachers.html