Giving Up Darwin

40A

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What made you switch?
As a literalist, or letterist, nothing about the Book of Genesis indicates that it's to be interpreted as allegory, poem, parable, etc. My slippery slope comment wasn't a dig at SA more than it was a statement that I have to walk the walk. I believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally unless it's obvious it's not supposed to and there's nowhere in Genesis (or in Job, etc) that indicates that.

There were quite a few things that made me switch. The hebrew phraseology makes it clear that we were a special creation, imagers of God, not so much in how we are made (like out of a "mold" of God), but our function on this world.

The layman's term for the Genesis 1 people would be an idol, or literal manifestation of God in our world. These ideas do not jive with theistic evolution, or that God created the amoeba that turned into us (I'm speaking generally).
 

40A

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It very well could be. But I don't feel that's something we have to defend as Christians.
I don't either. But you also know my views on the Divine Council and elohim, which requires a literal interpretation of the events at Babel, the events with Job, etc.
 
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40A

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Define literal?

In the past here, I've pointed out some flaws with our recently traditional "literal" line of reasoning.

There is an issue if we take the bible to be literal in our 21st American Christianity context. The book of revelation is not literally talking about a battle between a pregnant star-lady and a dragon. The book of genesis isn't literally talking about a snake in the garden. But there was something alive, serpentine in nature and subversive to the will of God.

These things are obvious to early Jews and Christians. Well known. But somewhere in the last few hundred years, Christians went about taking a literal scientific interpretation of a book in their current context, which it was not written to be. The authors did not know medicine like we do. Hell, the greeks and jews thought your sperm was stored in your hair!

Here's an even easier example.

When revelation talks about a star falling, it isn't talking about a meteor. Why? Because they didn't understand that meteors came from the sky. When they talk about stars falling, they are talking about spiritual events, heavenly beings coming down. Why? Because ancient cultures believed that anything that moved independent of the wind, was alive. Therefore they thought the stars... were alive. And they didn't see a vastness in our universe. They saw a "lid," or a firmament, over a flat disc shaped earth and there couldn't be stars in the sense we interpret the writing of the bible.

Another example is the use of the number 40. Ancient Jews used that number in a similar context to how we'd say "umpteen." How long did the rain last. Umpteen years! 40 years! It means, in their colloquial usage, "until completion, until the thing is done, too long dog." It could mean the exact term 40, but very often it was a "poetic" turn of phrase (like using the number 7).

The bible is not meant to be literal in our context, but in theirs.
Yes, if I didn't make myself clear, I should have. I take the Bible literally in relation to the context of the time it was written. OT - Ancient Near East and NT - 2nd Temple Judaism.
 
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SAhornfan

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Yes, if I didn't make myself clear, I should have. I take the Bible literally in relation to the context of the time it was written. OT - Ancient Near East and NT - 2nd Temple Judaism.
That makes all the difference in the world. As you know, there are people who mean in the context of today, hence my 10,000 years comment.
 

kennoisewater

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As a Christian I believe that the Bible is true to some extent but that it can't possibly be taken literally considering the time periods in which it was written. I think much of it is fiction, parable, poetry, some history and some mangled history. That doesn't sour me on the importance of the Bible to me personally or to mankind in general. I believe it was inspired by God, but like many things God has done, it doesn't always make perfect sense to me.

But also, I think it's important that we as Christians not take so seriously the challenges to our faith like the ones Duke presents. I've never been one to get defensive or offended when non-Christians tell me my faith is wrong, weak, misguided or imaginary. Faith is belief in that which can't be proven. I'm comfortable with it. I pray that folks like Duke feel the spirit of Jesus Christ in their lives, but I'm not offended if it doesn't happen.
 
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Snuggles

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Ignore the article. I’m sure the guy knows computer science, but he doesn’t even understand that evolutionary theory has progressed beyond Darwin with concepts like punctuated equilibrium.
 

Duke Silver

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Who said it?

"I think their religion is nonsense - in its entirety. The idea that god speaks to some illiterate merchant warlord in Arabia, and he's able to write this down perfectly, and it contains the answers to all human... Don't. Don't waste my time. This is bull****."
 
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bHero

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Who said it?

"I think their religion is nonsense - in its entirety. The idea that god speaks to some illiterate merchant warlord in Arabia, and he's able to write this down perfectly, and it contains the answers to all human... Don't. Don't waste my time. This is bull****."
The only one of the 4 horseman with any originality of thought.
 

Duke Silver

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Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and some old guy named Daniel Dennett.
Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene, which continues to be influential in evolutionary biology I believe. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Harris has a lot of interesting ideas on consciousness. Don’t know Dennet.
 

bHero

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Dawkins wrote The Selfish Gene, which continues to be influential in evolutionary biology I believe. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Harris has a lot of interesting ideas on consciousness. Don’t know Dennet.
They are all brilliant guys in their field. I was more referring to the field of apologetics that the Hitchens quote was aimed at. He was excellent at the circuit and debates. The others were over their head.
 
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Duke Silver

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They are all brilliant guys in their field. I was more referring to the field of apologetics that the Hitchens quote was aimed at. He was excellent at the circuit and debates. The others were over their head.
I get the feeling they approach it the same way as I do and aren’t going to waste time doing a bunch of reading of the stuff you do that assumes Jesus rose from the dead.
 
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bHero

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I get the feeling they approach it the same way as I do and aren’t going to waste time doing a bunch of reading of the stuff you do that assumes Jesus rose from the dead.
It takes an absurd amount of time to keep up with those guys. I’ve been out of the loop for about a year since I started down the paganism / new age mysticism research path.

It’s also more entertaining since the modern apologetics vs atheists crowds seemed to have devolved to just yelling the same stuff right past each other.
 

Shane3

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The bible makes a lot more sense the more I learn to read it like a 1st century Jew.

I'm slowly starting in on learning Hebrew, no rush, but that's next.

And to be clear, I don't think anything is "false" in the bible, only that they had a different context than our 21st century view of the world.
Do you already know Greek?

Of course a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 doesn't not require resulting belief that the earth was created in 6 24 hour periods of time.
However there are sincere Christians who think I’m a terrible person, possibly not even a Christian at all, for saying the universe looks to be several billion years old.
 

Shane3

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That’s a new one. Oh boy. Wonders never cease.

I think one of my favorite parts of studying the early fathers was reading the destruction of the Levite Heresy (related to Gen6).
What was the Levite Heresy? Was it about the sons of God verse?
 
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jmrob93

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Well apparently David Gelernter was right about getting attacked for differing opinions...
 
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jmrob93

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I really don't think many religious scholars take the 6 days of creation to be 6 literal days any longer, but rather represent periods of time.

On a side note, if a Physics professor questions a long standing formula on the basis of gaps or the fact that it doesn't account for all conditions, people would not attack him, but rather say he sees issues and is trying to fix it. I don't get the hatred.