Regarding Andrew F's comment in msg #7332 on 21 APR 2004:
>>eless, regarding Matthew's genealogy of Jesus, what do you think
>>about Matthew's creative numbering of the generations in the 3 groups
>>of supposedly 14 generations each? Also regarding Luke's genealogy of
>>Jesus, what do you think about the insertion of Cainan between
>>Arphaxad and Shelah who doesn't appear in the corresponding Genesis
>>genealogy of the Hebrew text? All this is quite independent of the
>>mismatches between the Lukan and Matthean versions of Jesus' genealogy
>Andrew comments: Dave there are no mismatches between the genealogy
>given in Luke and that given in Matthew. What are you talking about?
Andrew, you know what I'm talking about. There are complete mismatches
between the Lukan and Matthean genealogies of Jesus between Joseph and
David except for the post-exilic pair Zerubbabel and his father
Shealtiel that occur if the middle of both mismatched sections. It is
interesting that 2 these guys (or people of the same names) play
prominent roles in the Ezra/Nehemiah accounts at close to the times they
appear in both genealogies). You *claimed* without evidence *as usual*
that the Lukan account was Mary's ancestry. But both accounts
themselves claim *Joseph* and his father in the lines. If you want to
argue that Luke records Mary's genealogy you can do so here. But if you
do you will have to cope with Luke actually says to the contrary in the
I am also talking about the editing Matthew has done to his genealogy
(compared to Chronicles) to get 3 groups of 14 generations and the
fact that an actual count of the generations listed do not all add up
to 14 in each group unless you want to count Jeconiah twice (in 2
different groups). I am also talking about the fact that Luke's
genealogy inserts Cainan between Arphaxad and Shelah whereas the
Hebrew version of Genesis does not have him there. Which of these
different supposed inerrant genealogies is the actual correct one?
>The genealogies are important because they testify to the fact that
>Adam was a real historical person and not just an allegorical symbol in
>Genesis. It gives further support to YEC and a Bible which consistently
>points to a 6 day cration relatively recently and not billions of years
The genealogies are *not* important and St. Paul even says so
repeatedly. They do *not* "testify to the fact that Adam was a real
historical person". St. Paul lumps them in with what he calls 'Jewish
myths' that have limited usefulness, and warns that arguing about them
tends to be divisive to the body of Christians. Matthew's genealogy
does not even go earlier than Abraham anyway, so it *can't* be any
testimony for Adam's historicity anyway. I think you have the value of
the NT gospel genealogies backwards. The point of the gospels is to
testify to Christ *not* to Adam. As such they indicate that Jesus
Christ was a real human being with a real human ancestry (however its
details go back in to the past). The NT teaches *not* that the Bible
testifies to Adam's historicity, but rather that it testifies to
*Christ*, but those connections in the OT to Christ are not
necessarily self-evident. Sometimes the spirit of Christ is needed to
see the connections--as happened, for instance, with the 2 disciples
on the road to Emmaus on the first Easter Sunday. The NT teaches that
God's revelation to humanity is fulfilled in the coming of Christ, and
that the imperfect revelation of the divine that people had before then
from the OT still pointed to the coming of Christ as its ultimate
fulfillment. The NT teaches that the Bible ought to be interpreted in
light of the coming of Christ *not* that the early chapters of Genesis
have to be considered as literal history.
Regarding Andrew F's comment in msg #7335 on 21 APR 2004:
>>Even if evolutionary theory was wrong that does not protect the
>>existence of God--Who is to be accepted on the basis of faith--not
>>because of some particular scenario of natural history of Earth or
>>another. And if evolutionary theory is correct that does not threaten
>>God's existence any more than if it is not. It appears to me that you
>>have some fear that if you were to give up your YECism there would be
>>nothing to keep you from becoming an atheist. If so, I wonder about
>>the depth, maturity, and object of your faith in the first place.
>Andrew comments: Actually its the other way around.I gave up my
>humanist or secular worldly view when I became a Christian.
>I use to be an evolutionist and thought I was a Christian. Then I began
>reading the Bible aout 10 years ago and became saved by God and now
>view the world through the eyes of Christ and directed by the Bible.
In your reading of the Bible does Christ tell you to view others who
disagree with your particular interpretation of the Bible as atheists by
default or unbelievers by default? What do you think being "directed
by the Bible" is supposed to mean for you? How did your reading of the
Bible cause you become a YEC? Did you come to that reading with some
sort of prior hermeneutic that required that you give reason a back seat
to naïve literalism? If so, where did you get that idea and how do you
square that with the command to love God with your whole mind?
>The YEC view is simply consistent with a Christian view of the veracity
>and reliability of the workd of God and the consistentcy provided in
So you say.
>The view held by theists ( I hope that is the right
>term) is that God put everything into creation and motion 14 billion
>years ago and then sat back to watch what developed with perhaps a
>little nudging along the way.
>I think that is the view of much of the Christian community today,
>would you agree, dave?
No, I disagree. I think you have the wrong term there. What you
describe is much closer to deism than to theism (except deists would be
reluctant to admit to even the little nudging). The whole idea of God
sitting back and watching in a hands-off sort of way is deistic.
Christians believe that God is present and at work in history and in
nature. But that loving involvement is typically non-coercive so as to
not violate real freedom. Nature behaves the way it does because God
makes if behave that way--albeit with its own measure of real freedom
that he respects. The laws of nature are God's laws that he enforces.
He gives being to all that exists. "In Him we live move and have our
being." It is not a Christian idea that God is somehow detached from
what goes on in nature or in our lives.
>You and I disagree about the historicity of the Bible accounts from
>creation to Noah etc. My argument remains that the allegorical or
>symbolic approach used by you ("Noahs flood may have happened or not
>but it makes no difference") allows for loose interpretation and
>development of spiritual doctrines that are not sound. For instance I
>ws reading you post to Jeff (I thought your Christian arguments and
>reasoning to his questions were very good btw) but I disagree with your
>view about mans sinful nature. I see the fall as a very real event and
>all mankind guilty due to adams choice on our behalf. As such we come
>into this world as sinners. We come in with free will but it is our
>nature to choose to be in rebellion toward God right from the cradle.
>Thus you and I can defend the doctrine that "there is no one righteous
>no not one". We are all sinners and deserving of eternal separartion
>from the creator.
I don't think that is any "loose" treatment of Christian doctrines in
my approach. I think you might have your view of original sin
influenced more my Calvin and Augustine than by the Bible however.
>On the other hand if we "evolved" over billions of years at some point
>one of our homonid ancestors brains got large enough to develop a
>concept of God or else God "enlightened the homonid with intelligence,
>conscience and a soul as well."
>Evolutionist christians would have to argue that at some point in the
>evolutonary line God decided to place a soul in two of the homonids,
They already had souls. The Bible suggests that animals have souls,
too; they simply are not *human* souls. When the hominids became
sufficiently human so as to actually experience sin and moral guilt and
to perceive their own mortality and their place in the scheme of
things, they, at the point, had become fully fallen human beings.
>And that thse two homonids right off the bat decided to disobey
>God, right? Or do you think the Adam and Eve "story" is just a nice
>symbolic myth that really has little to do with spirituallity and sin?
It is a symbolic myth that has *very much* to do with sin and
spirituality and what it means to be human. Why oh why do you keep
denigrating spiritual truths expressed in figure and symbol ("really
has little to do with sin ...")? The bible seems to suggest that, if
anything, God has a bias to *preferentially* reveal spiritual truths via
symbol, metaphor and figure.
>My sense is that YECs (me) view sin and mans fallen state and total
>depravity quite differently from Theist Christians such as yourself.
>Do you think that is correct.
Maybe. I don't presume to know how you actually perceive human
depravity. But from what you have written to this forum so far I would
not be surprised if your view is influenced by extra-biblical
theological considerations (such as the ideas of Calvin perhaps?).
You seem to want to be seen as some kind of good orthodox Protestant.
However it ought to be pointed out that the Protestant doctrine of
sola scripture is not meant to suggest that we can get scientific
insights from some sort of magic book that supernaturally tells them to
us because of God channeling his science through the scripture writers.
Rather the doctrine is essentially the idea that the major confessions
of Christian faith need to be present in scripture before we can
consider them as basic doctrines. If some spiritual doctrine is not
taught in scripture then it is not a very basic doctrine. Since the
slogan of 'sola scripture' is itself not found in scripture it is
itself not any kind of basic doctrine. It is more of a helpful
interpretive guide or sieve for helping how to possibly think about the
basic doctrines. But we ought not make that helpful guide into
anything more that it is, and not make itself out to be some kind of
infallible doctrine. The reason for this criterion of doctrinal faith
is the failure of simply relying on Church Traditions as an infallible
guarantee that would prevent doctrinal accretions and distortions and
spiritual abuses (e.g. commerce in indulgences, or, as Jeff pointed out,
Friday meat-eating, etc.)
My personal opinion is that the church errs when it claims certain
oracles are infallible and stake its authority on such claims of
supposed guaranteed correctness. Such oracles, whether they be found in
the text of Scripture, the traditional teachings and or practices of the
fathers of the ancient church, the ex cathedra pronouncements of the
pope, or our own personal understandings and experiences of God are
necessarily fallible because they necessarily involve God dealing with
fallible human beings. God doesn't seem to guarantee that the humans
involved in the process will not misunderstand His intent. Being human,
they could always make a mistake. Claims of infallibility only serve to
cause one to mistakenly disavow any actual responsibility for what one
believes; i.e. they are only believing what the supposedly infallible
oracle claims. Also having such a doctrine of guaranteed infallibility
effectively insulates the believer against acknowledging and correcting
errors when those errors are found in the oracle. Acknowledging an
error must entail disavowing the prior claim that the oracle is
infallible. If we weren't so predisposed to thinking we could not be
wrong because we are merely simply believing what the guaranteed
certified correct oracle tells us, we might be more suited to
discovering and turning from errors and sinful practices when they
inevitably arise. We are to test the spirits of the oracles using
whatever light we have been gifted with so far, rather than simply roll
over and accept them uncritically. We ought to also be willing to
acknowledge a newly revealed truth (e.g. the objective evil of genocide,
or slavery, etc.) should it occasionally appear from time to time.
Andrew, if you really want to be true to your Protestant heritage you
would do well to rely more on what the Bible itself objectively
indicates that it is and less on what you have been programmed by others
to consider it to be (in terms of such things as scientific
infallibility, simplistic ideas of inerrancy, etc.) and how we are to
relate to it. We ought not abuse the Bible by using it as some sort of
magic 8-ball revelation for how the universe is put together. The Bible
itself teaches that its purpose is spiritual (not scientific). Another
thing to keep in mind is that the significance of the revelation of the
OT is to be understood in the light of the coming of Christ (as taught
in the NT).
So my suggestion would be to, as objectively as possible, investigate
The *actual* nature of the Bible using all the means at your disposal,
And to then use the Bible for what it says it is intended to be used for
(i.e. learning things of the spirit, how to live, etc.) rather than
rely on that others say about its supposed magical characteristics
regarding possible scientific or historical immunity from errors or
theories of divine dictation, etc. I think you would do well to get
your religious doctrines from an informed understanding of the Bible
itself (and not just from what others claim about it), and to get your
science of the natural world from the natural world itself.
>Dave I think there can be believers in both camps such as you and I who
Thank you for your liberality here.
>It just seems to me that with a sybolic approach to
>interpretting OT accounts leads to doctrinal misunderstanding. For
>instance did Jesus really walk on water? Did He truly feed 5000 from 7
>loaves? And the greatest question of all: Was Jesus truly resurrected
what do any of these things have to do with "interpreting OT accounts"?
>or is that also a symbolic story simply representing the fact that God
>has forgiven man? Once the door is opened to loose interpretation of
>the Bible and saying that historical accounts are important only for
>their spiritual meaning not as to whether or not they are true it is a
>dangerous slippery slope one descends.
Don't confuse 'truth' with 'historicity'. The accounts are important
for the spiritual *truth* they contain. If their spiritual meaning was
not truth they would have a negative spiritual value. I would *never*
claim "that historical accounts are important only for their spiritual
meaning not as to whether or not they are true". The spiritual truth in
an account is a separate issue of whether or not the events described
are historical. If an episode *did* take place in history, but the
spiritual meaning or lesson gleaned from the episode is wrong then that
is not an example of conveying spiritual truth. OTOH, if a particular
illustrative story did not take place in history (for instance the
scenario in the story of the prodigal son) that does not mean that the
story is not true. You need to dissolve the identity in your mind of
the concept of truth (in the spiritual sense) from the concept of
I also object to your characterization of the process of seeing a
symbolic or figurative meaning in a religious text as some sort of
"loose interpretation". What I have in mind is anything but loose.
What I think is really "loose" is an approach to scripture that
extracts self-serving justifications for one's prior practices that
one may have a prior inclination toward because of circumstances of
culture, political power, or economic interest. This is because
God often acts in ways that are subversive of these worldly things--
even if they are couched in the convenient baggage of the established
Whether or not the spiritual path ones travels is a "slippery slope"
or not is not the central issue. Whether or not it is the one God
wants you to be on is. One way we have to check ourselves is to
check out the spiritual fruits that come along with our choices.
>(The bottom of which for most
>unwary people will end in the outer darkness with the gnashing of
>teeth") Sorry to be so long winded. Your brother in Christ, andrew
No reason to apologize for a long post when it is a worthwhile one.