Saturday, May 02, 2009

Taking help where it can be found

A favorite quote from Tozer - it speaks so very clearly to those I seek out, whether by reading or hearing, those who know Him most intimately and explain it to me the most clearly.

Toward anything like thorough scholarship I make no claim. I am not an authority on any man's teaching; I have never tried to be. I take my help where I find it and set my heart to graze where the pastures are greenest. Only one stipulation do I make: my teacher must know God, as Carlyle said, "otherwise than by hearsay," and Christ must be all in all to him. If a man have only correct doctrine to offer me I am sure to slip out at the first intermission to seek the company of someone who has seen for himself how lovely is the face of Him who is the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley. Such a man can help me, and no one else can.

AW Tozer "God's Pursuit of Man", xiv.


Ted M. Gossard said...

I have to agree. I have to agree. We need to sit at the feet of those who sit at Jesus' feet.

This also reminds me of the reality and life in the Body of Christ. We think too much in terms of learning from one leader, usually a man, a pastor in churches. Instead we need to think more, or also in terms of learning- as in giving and receiving from each other in Christ's Body through the Spirit, with the special gifts the Spririt gives us for the occasion. But for those gifts to do good, we need to be growing Christians, growing in our maturity and personal knowing of Christ.

So Tozer's words, as usual ring true. Good thought.

Ted M. Gossard said...

by the way, I wanted to say the help of the gifts in the Body is in speaking and serving gifts, I believe. I know you know all this, but just sharing my thought here. But a good thought from Tozer and reminder that works both ways.

Litl-Luther said...

Good quote.

One sentence particularly caught my eye though: "my teacher must know God." I completely agree, but it raises important issues. For if "my” teacher(s) must know God, how about the teachers of my children? It raises issues, for one, whether or not Christian parents should send their children to Public Schools, where not only will most of their teachers not know God; they will sometimes teach our children godless things, which oppose belief in God.

Just a though Tozer's quote rose in my mind.

lorenzothellama said...

Luther, by the time children go to school they should have a grounding in their parent's faith, be whatever.

Hello Susan, hope you are well!

today's word is mingwoon. Maybe I will suggest that for a name for one of my two prospective grandchildren!

HALFMOM said...

LlamaTWO prospective grandchildren? Both daughters??

Actually Ted, I'm not quite sure what you mean in "speaking and serving gifts". It seems like to me that we need all the gifts at the same time in the same body for ministry to people to be really effective?

LutlLuther Not enough time to speak in detail on public versus other forms of schooling, but I have a daughter that went through public school. Her theology is sound but she didn't learn it there. I made sure she had sound teachers just as I tried to make sure she had sound teachers for "academic" instruction. I think, though, that it depends on the child, the parent and the situation.

donsands said...

The Lord has His undershepherds for sure. They will be honest and humble, full of grace, and love the truth.

They will be flawed as well. But their love for Christ and His Word will be evident.
Their love for their family, the Church, lost unbelievers, and even enemies of the Cross, will be evident as well.

They are ensamples to the flock.

Tozer was a great teacher, but he was flawed as well.

Jesus is the only true Teacher, but He does have His own teachers, whom He has called and ordained.

Then there are the false shepherds; the hirelings. These do not ward off the wolves as the true shepherds do.
And there are wolves in sheepsclothing as well.

The kingdom of God on Earth is a perpetual battle for the truth. God's shepherds tending, feeding, and protecting the His beloved sheep.

Ted M. Gossard said...

"Actually Ted, I'm not quite sure what you mean in "speaking and serving gifts". It seems like to me that we need all the gifts at the same time in the same body for ministry to people to be really effective?"

I meant what you said, I think. Actually there are as many gifts as there are people. From Scripture in a broad categorical way we might classify them as simply speaking and serving gifts. Prophecy, healings, faith, helps/serving, administration, etc., would be in serving gifts, tongues (unless with interpretation) being excluded but for personal edification I take it (1 Cor 14). Peter seems to be making this distinction of speaking and serving gifts here. I think that's where I picked it up from, probably reinforced in reading.

An interesting book I have, but I'm not sure it really lives up to its title, by Tozer is Tragedy in the Church: The Missing Gifts. Here's a download of it.

I'm not at all trying to downplay the importance of undershepherds, and indeed apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastor-teachers (I take it) are all there to equip Christ's Body, to help each find their gifts, and in maturity practice them for the good of all. (Ephesians 4)

Hopefully I'm not missing your point in my answer here.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I was going to add something more in line with my original second comment, but I'm off track from your post.

Your post hit me good (I needed it!), and this morning I opened up a book to get my quote of the week on my blog and came up with this one. Then in church this morning we had a powerful sermon from Jack (here). I'd encourage anyone to listen to it. I just sensed the Spirit powerfully in it, bringing home to me the same point. (it may not seem that it does when first hearing it, but it does.)

So this is a good word for me to work on knowing Christ better, not substituting ANYTHING in place of the Bread of life as the source of nourishment. Not working for food that spoils.

simon said...

I do not want my children taught by anyone of any faith, blindly brainwashing them into cults that have no place in our culture.

ban the lot I say..

I think a teacher with no religeous connections but who is qualified to teach and is the best at it is what is required.

I sent my first three children to a Christian school- where they were So far behind the state school system average, they required coaching to bring them up to speed. So I took them out...

I am ashamed of sending them to such a low life institution, what a mistake that was....

the teachers were too busy teaching christ and not what is really required in life..

Ted M. Gossard said...

We have found just the opposite where I live (Grand Rapids, Michigan). Often it's the Christian run schools which are ahead of the public schools, in fact that's more true here than not.

You put up a false dichotomy here. But something fundamentalists of all kinds do all the time, with all due respect to them all. It should not be a question of either/or, but and/both. From what can be observed, faith and religion is an important, undeniable part of what it means to be human. A major part of the foundation and beginning of modern science was Christianity. Christianity teaches that God's world is to be studied, that humans are stewards or caretakers of it, and that it is not a waste of time at all to study any of God's works in creation.

Also I've known homeschool kids who left everyone in the dust due both to their excellent education they received at home, and their gifting. And who love Jesus, but are advanced over me in what they know and will accomplish in life.

And here's one example open to all (and especially here) of how Christianity and knowledge are not antithetical.

Of course we all know Susan as another good example of what I'm saying here.

Actually I believe life make more sense when you bring Christ into the picture. That is how it all comes together both now and in the end. Why people aspire to love, truth, something more than the physical eye can see. I believe a proper faith in Jesus can help one use their minds better, or just as good as any other person.

But in the end, I say let the world see Christ and the cross as foolishness. We were singing "The Old Rugged Cross" yesterday at the nursing home. I love that cross, where the Dearest and Best, for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I'll cherish, yes I'll cherish that old rugged cross. And by grace I/we in Jesus will exchange it someday for a crown.

I love to learn from anyone. But my reason for living is found in Jesus and no where else.

Ted M. Gossard said...

You know, even the prayer I posted yesterday was all about knowing the Good Shepherd. Reminds me of Paul's words: "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Philippians 3:10).

Litl-Luther said...

So you would ban anyone from teaching children in public schools who believes in God? Sounds rather racist and prejudicious, doesn't it? People of faith aren't fit to teach but atheists are?? Do you believe atheists are somehow superior intellectually and people of faith are inferior?

Litl-Luther said...

...if you wonder why I would even mention "racism" it is because I believe it is a fitting term, for Christians are "a nation". We are a family by blood, with the same Father, and our citizenship is in Heaven. (1 Peter 2:9; Phil. 3:20)

donsands said...

"I do not want my children taught by anyone of any faith, blindly brainwashing them into cults that have no place in our culture."

Some of the faith universities are incredible. Kings College in Oxford. Princeton. Notre Dame. These all have great prestige. And they all have magnificient chapels.

In this world we have the truth, and in the midst of the truth, there are many half truths, and lies as well.

Jesus, when here on earth said, "I am the truth."

Bold statement, to say the least. If one stays close to Jesus, and His words, and His words all connect with the Scriptures, then one can know the truth, and be set free from all the cults, and false assumptions in this world.

Craver Vii said...

Sure, it is sensible to be discerning about selecting one's teachers. I would not be mentored in matters of faith by someone who did not know the Lord. Still, I find that good lessons sometimes come from the most unlikely sources. I put a lot of weight in a person's worldview and home school my children, but teach them not to be so dogmatic that they automatically and completely disregard everything that comes from someone who is not Christian.

L.L. Barkat said...


I take my help where I find it.

To be willing to hear from the small things, the quiet things, the hidden things... to take help wherever we find it... this is good...

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Hi LL - I actually find digging in the dirt to be quite a quiet time for listening - but I guess Tozer had in mind some speaking other than the breeze...

I'm sorry our new friend removed her comment - do come back. I thought your comment was quite nice!!

simon said...

yes I am a racist.. I believe in natural selection...( now THAT should get you going) ;o)

I do not believe anyone who is a teacher should have the right to put forward their beliefs in a school environment.

I went to a church school, sang in a cathedral choir...

lorenzothellama said...

Luther, I don't think Simon said he wouldn't want anyone who believed in God teaching his children. I think he said he didn't want them teaching them about God. Quite a difference.

Simon: I believe in natural selection too. All people are attracted to fanciable people, as animals are. My last dog had tremendous sex appeal, and all male dogs wanted to be with her. Good job she was spayed.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I understand what you mean Simon.

I would love to have you teach my children (even though they're grown they still love learning) singing, or even have them with you to learn on your wonderful outback treks (I love it when you and the boys take one of those treks and you post pictures). I would be so happy to have my children taught by you this way.

But how can we teach and who we are, which includes our theology, not come out in some way? I think it is a very difficult thing to "hide" even when you are doing you best to just "teach the material". You and I look at the wonderful things around us, the bush and flowers and birds and sky and rocks and take them in with such joy, and yet our very views on how they all got here color what we think of them so very much.

I think it so much better to have them taught by whomever is the best teacher (which is not always the most knowledgeable person - some of those are dry as dust!) and then discuss with them afterwards to make sure they've gotten the information "in focus".

simon said...

yes- the best teacher for the task or subject at hand. Being a believer does not give you higher authority or knowledge in an area.

I thank you for the compliment.. btw I lost your address in which to send my cds....if you email me again I will pop them in the post...

eg i would not want Don sands teaching me science, but perhaps if I was to learn about the history of christ he might have expertise inthat field ( as an example only Don..)

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Agreed Simon - the best for the job. I think where it's a problem for me is that some people don't realize that their teaching is full of theology - even if it is atheos.

I just sent you an email too - looking forward to a new issue of "the life and time of Simon"

Litl-Luther said...

I think I agree with the gist of all the recent comments from you guys. And I would like to stress one of Susan's points: that it is terribly difficult, if not impossible, to "hide" who you are, and why should teachers even have to do that? If Christian teachers should keep their beliefs completely out of the classroom, why shouldn't the atheist teacher keep his anti-god beliefs just as much out of the classroom? If one should be fired for having faith and expressing it, one without faith who expresses it should be fired just as quickly.

But it is impossible to hide who you are. If I was teaching a secular course on American history, for example, I can't get around the fact how that nation started with men of faith. Moreover, my entire identity as a person is in Christ. How can you remove the teacher's whole identity from the classroom?

Litl-Luther said...

In Don Sands' defense:
Don is one of the greatest men on planet earth today. He is not only a great man of God, a man of faith and a man of integrity; he is also a good man, a man who always strives to encourage others. I'm not saying he should be teaching science. All I am stressing is that everyone of us who reads this blog would be thoroughly blessed if we had the privilege of Don Sands teaching our children or teaching us.

Word Verification: nepale
So close to "Nepal" I had to include it!

donsands said...

Simon is spot on about me and science.

I hated physical science & biology, and barely passed. I did disect a frog fairly well though. I suppose I liked being able to cut the frog open.

Actually, if i could do it over, I'd try harder to be a better student. I was a bit of a rebel back in high school. And on into college, where I simply dropped out.

Thanks for those humbling words Triston. There are many faults in my life brother. Christ has been good to me. And you and I go back quite a few years Litl-Luther. A lot of water under the bridge my friend.

The thing we need watch out about knowledge is that it can puff us up, but love never does (1 Corinthians 8:1). Love builds us up. And so knowledge is good, and we need it, and we need to teach others as well, but love is the greatest of all things.

Craver Vii said...

As a child, I believed that the daily papers and television newscasts were completely objective. Is it not obvious to everyone here that a presenter's worldview is almost impossible to cloak?

Ted M. Gossard said...

The greatest revelation I had as a very young Christian my first year at Ft Wayne Bible College is just how little I know. The more you learn, the more knowledge, the more you realize you don't know. And that means humility.

I've known people who think they have all the answers, but time and experience change that.

I believe truth is inherently meant to be relational. And it is found essentially in a person- Jesus. Only in Jesus do all things come together and find their true meaning and place.

So I'm more than glad to learn from anyone at all, period. Because I know whatever truth there is is really of and from God. And finds its real meaning in him -and moving towards the end of the story, or the goal of all things, in Christ.

I do find strength in Scripture. In Jeremiah now. Love Jeremiah for some reason. Quite a difficult book in a lot of ways, reflecting the realism we find in life, I guess.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I agree with you Ted - Jeremiah is a wonderful book!

I also find great comfort in learning about Jesus from scripture.

Litl-Luther said...

I was just looking at Jeremiah, too. It is neat to put the history together. I'm preparing for preaching this coming Sunday on Daniel 5 (the writing on the wall passage). Jeremiah was an old man when Daniel, as a teenager, was taken into captivity in Babylon. Now as an old man, Daniel interprets the writing on the wall to Belshazzar (the Grandson of Nebuchadnezzar) that his time is up.

How Jeremiah fits into this historical narrative is that he had prophesied many years earlier (Jer. 27:5-7) that God would give dominion over the nations to Nebuchadnezzar, as well as to his son and "to his son's son" (i.e. Belshazzar), and then it would be taken from him. It is just so cool how it all fits together!

Ted M. Gossard said...

"It is just so cool how it all fits together!"

Amen, Triston!

Yes, Susan. That was kind of brought home to me in a new way in "Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith", a book I am almost finished reading. An interesting and edifying book. But it is great to see and work on understanding just how Jesus is a fulfillment of Scripture.

Litl-Luther said...

Ted wrote: "it is great to see and work on understanding just how Jesus is a fulfillment of Scripture."

Very true Ted. A great book I wholeheartedly recommend in this regard is by Dennis Johnson, "Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ From All the Scriptures"

That book is well worth reading and may transform one's Old Testament hermeneutic. It’s had an affect on mine.

Craver Vii said...

Wouldn't that be something if we could assemble some of the biblical prophets and hear their interpretation of controversial passages? I wonder what they would say about Genesis 1-11, especially.

donsands said...

"I wonder what they would say about Genesis 1-11, especially"

Hey. Moses and Noah were prophets, and even Enoch. Good thought Craver; I'd love to ask Noah what he thinks of Gen. 1-11.

Litl-Luther said...

I'm not sure what the Prophets would say, but I know what my pastor (the father-in-law of DonSands’ daughter) would say:

He says that Genesis 1-11 is "the introduction to the Bible". In it there are three stages of "Sin", "Judgment for sin" and "Genealogy".

It happens with Adam: He sins, God judges his sin, and then a genealogy is given. Then with Noah, there is sin throughout the world; God judges their sin with the flood, then a genealogy is given. And finally with the tower of Babel. They sin in trying to reach God; He judges their sin and again a genealogy is given.

What's the point? Genesis chapter 12 comes next, and in it, according to Paul the Gospel is first preached to Abraham (Compare Gen. 12:3 and Gal. 3:8).

In Genesis 1-11, the intro. to the Bible, it is as if God is saying "Yes. Man has sinned. And yes there is judgment for sin. But I am going to send a Savior." The repeated genealogies as well as the promise to Abraham of God blessing all the nations through His seed, culminate in the very first verse of the New Testament (Matt. 1:1) where Jesus is called the son of Abraham, the son of David — the promised Savior to come.

Even the genealogies of the Bible point to Christ and salvation through Him! The Bible is an amazing and divine book!

Maalie said...

Obviously I do not relate to this post. I have noticed a plethora of very interesting documentaries about evolution (to celebrate Charles Darwin's anniversary) being broadcast on British national tv this year.

Even more interesting, I watched a 'cartoon' version about evolution aimed at very young children indeed. I thought it was really rather good, and it is so encouraging to realise that the interest of such young children can be captured before they are exposed to indoctrination of mythology.

Just looking in, I will be away on a well-deserved holiday next week.

Litl-Luther said...

First let me say a warm welcome back Maalie! You’ve been missed.

> it is so encouraging to realise that the interest of such young children can be captured before they are exposed to indoctrination of mythology.The problem, which you have just brought to our attention, is "the indoctrination of mythology" being thrust upon our young children, to win their impressionable minds toward belief in evolution by chance, rather than in creation by God. It is very sad indeed.

Have a great time on your upcoming holiday, Maalie. I'm genuinely glad you are able to enjoy your golden years. As I understand from Susan you are retired, though still working (as well as holidaying)?

PS: Simon, how come you don't get on Maalie's case for all the holidaying he does? Just curious.

Maalie said...

>to win their impressionable minds toward belief in evolution by chance, rather than in creation by God. It is very sad indeed.Sad? I think it is wonderful that the British Broadcasting Corporation has taken such an imaginative initiative (also other countries in Europe too, I understand).

As I have repeatedly remarked, science is not a "belief" but an explanation that best fits the know facts and evidence.

Every culture has its own creation myth. Evolution however is supported by tangible and independently verifiable evidence. I have witnessed some of it myself, first hand. There is no need to invoke any sense of the supernatural. I will be blogging about my recent visit to the Darwin Exhibition in the British Natural History Museum in London. Nothing like spreading the word, eh?

Maalie said...

Oh, I meant to add, thanks for the good wishes, Litl Luther. I wish you well too.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Welcome back Maalie. Triston is right, you have been missed!

Where are you off to now?

LitlLuther - do you mean three "cycles" of sin/judgement/geneology rather than three stages? When I think of stages, I think of degrees - so when I read the sentence I thought you were going to mention 3 different levels or results of sin. I ask because I'm actually teaching Gen 1-3 next Sunday.

Craver Vii said...

...Independently verifiable by people who do not accept the plain testimony of the One who was there and who offers an eyewitness account. Consider the ramifications of teaching young people to deny the Truth by raising up anti-God heroes like Darwin, who's words are given priority over God's.

Maalie said...

Halfmom, oh, just another little jaunt into Europe :-)

>anti-God heroes like Darwin well,

actually Craver Vii, Darwin was a devout Christian. In fact he set off on his eponymous Beagle expedition to South America and the Galapagos in expectation of finding evidence of Noah's flood. All the evidence he found contradicted it and his captain, poor old FitzRoy (who was a passionate creationist), actually committed suicide because the mounting evidence contradicted his religious beliefs. Of course we now know that the flood is pure mythology. Religion itself is nothing more than institutionalised superstition.

Craver Vii said...

...we now know that the flood is pure mythology.That is not possible, Maalie. If it truly happened, a person might deny it, but no one can "know" that it didn't happen. Historical revisionism has occurred between now and then, and people are biased on all sides of "interpreting the evidence," but my source is more credible than yours. My source performed the works, raised His Son from the dead and revealed Himself to me and brought me into a right relationship with Himself.

Religion itself is nothing more than institutionalised superstition.Much of it is, but not all.

donsands said...

"Darwin was a devout Christian."

How does one look who is devout for Christ?

I suppose Judas looked like a devout disciple of his Master, Jesus of Nazerath. But inwardly he was a thief, and a traitor. Jesus knew this all along, but it seems, according to Scripture, His other disciples didn't.

Someone may be going through the motions as a devout man or woman to Christ, when their heart, and conscience is unsettled at best.

Good to see you back Maalie. Glad to hear you had a pleasant time.

Craver Vii said...

If God saved Darwin, praise the Lord, because He certainly is able. I won't argue about whether Darwin is in heaven today, but Darwin's teaching concerning the origin of the species is damnable. In other words, my contention is not chiefly with the man per se, but with his position, his teaching, the concept of something from nothing, and the series of chance improvements in those somethings as an explanation of life, the universe and everything-- to the exclusion of the Creator as He reveals Himself in His Word.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Hi Maalie,Vienna's in Europe, right:)?

I think Don Sand's point is well-taken Maalie. Someone may profess to be a "devout Christian" without actually being one. Religion and a relationship with the One True God can be very different things.

Committing suicide because God did not reveal Himself to you as you thought He would seems to me to be evidence that the man either was not a believer or not a very mature one. God is not required to reveal, much less prove, to us how He did anything - and passages such as Deut 29:29 are pretty specific about His right to keep things to Himself.

As I have said many times before, just because we do not understand how the Biblical description of Creation fits together with your scientific "facts" does not mean that Creation did not happen exactly as it is described. It just means that God hasn't decided to let us in yet on how the two things are reconciled.

I, for one, am content to wait until He does and then marvel.

Litl-Luther said...

Susan, I think you're right that "cycles" would be a better word choice. If there were degrees, then the first cycle with Adam would be at the top.

Craver, I'm encouraged by your boldness in these last threads!

There are a lot of posers in the church. Take the "Ten Virgins' parable" for instance (Matt. 25). All ten had a Christian testimony (the lamps) but only 50% of them had the oil inside (the Holy Spirit). Half of the church look to be posers at His coming and unwelcomed by Jesus into His Wedding. Similar to Jesus' question, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Lk. 18:8)

The BBC, one among many, are doing their part to erode faith from our youth.

Maalie said...

>The BBC, one among many, are doing their part to erode faith from our youth. Oh..

I call it education. I have just seen another episode, they are really very clever and teach the process of Natural Selection really rather well.

They are parodies of the "Just So" fables by Rudyard Kipling : How the elephant got its trunk; how the leopard got its spots; how the giraffe got its long neck, and so on.

This Childrens TV series is called "Just So Darwin" and explains some of these phenomena (and others) in terms of natural selection very simply and lucidly to children.

I find it extremely heartening that this British national broadcasting institution has taken this initiative.

lorenzothellama said...

I see Maalie has mended his computer and is back banging on about Darwin!

At least that makes a change from Dawkins!

Maalie said...

Richard Dawkins (soon to be Sir Richard, if my vibes are correct) is a brilliant communicator and educator. I have set some of his books as "compulsory reading" for my students over the years. His scientific accomplishments can be regarded separately from his writings on atheism. I don't think he is necessarily a genius, as Darwin was, but nevertheless an excellent communicator and exponent of Darwin. His books are now regarded as "best sellers". I saw a pile of his "God Delusion" book put out in an airport bookshop, and by the time I had returned from the pharmacy to buy my sun-screen, they had all been sold (I wasn't after a copy, I already have two). Heart warming.

Maalie said...

Oooops, I meant that it causes a blip in the regularity of the beatings of the blood pump.

Maalie said...

>we do not understand how the Biblical description of Creation fits together with your scientific "facts" Errrrm,

Halfmom, if you were to replace "your" with "the orthodox peer-reviewed scientific community"; and "facts" with "evidence", then we might have a basis for dialogue, don't you think?

lorenzothellama said...

I think Dawkins books were selling so well at the airport bookshop because there was a special offer of buy one, get six free!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Yes, Maalie. I think that we can easily make those substitutions without changing the meaning of my statement.

Andrew said...

Wow, Susan, that quote is great--convicting, too. I mean, how often do we know God "only by hearsay"? I feel I'm that way so much of the time.

And yet, I see in you someone who HAS met with God and has been transformed by him--through your dependence on his sovereign love, your reliance upon his unchanging character, your sacrificial hospitality, and your desire to spread his truth and renown and raise up another generation of disciples.

Maalie said...

Halfmom, Ok, I should now like to invite you to join me in a hypothetical scenario. Imagine you have a very long laboratory bench, upon which there is laid out a long line of peer-reviewed scientific journals side by side. At the left end is some neurological journal to which you are yourself a contributing author. At the right end is a copy of the Journal of Human Evolution which you presumably regard as a fabrication of conspiratorial lies.
Between this one and yours, the journals are arranged as a gradient of continuity. For example, next to yours might be a journal of physiology; then a journal of applied physiology; then anatomy; biochemistry; molecular biology; microbial biology; microbial ecology, and so on, I'm sure you get my idea. Let us imagine that any two adjacent journals has a member of its editorial panel (or an author) that is common to both (quite possible, I have been a member of two editorial panels and I contribute to entomology and ornithology journals).

You walk down the line, touching each journal as you pass and say: "I accept this one; and this; and this"; and so on until you reach a point where you say: "These are lies".

I would like to ask you at point point in the continuous gradient does your confidence of the integrity of the contributing authors and editors, and the peer-review system, break down?

simon said...

Maalie is deserving of holidays.. because most of them are about evolution.... Maalie never stops... there is always a reason for his work... a mission if you like.. he does not go "Oh I need to spend time in a spa on a holiday resort".. no no... real men continue their work regardless... EVERYTHING is done for a reason....

Yes Darwin was a christian.. Don- how can you possibly judge him by suggesting he is like Judas?? very weak.... christian faith falls further away as a result.........

Maalie said...

Donsands, I agree with Simon. You said:

"Someone may be going through the motions as a devout man or woman to Christ".

That is possibly true. However, it was not the case with Darwin. He went on the Beagle voyage expecting to find evidence of the great flood. Of course he did not find evidence, because there isn't any. None will ever be found, because it didn't happen:

(a) There are no such things as inter-continental swimming kangaroos;

(b) It is impossible for human genetic diversity that exists today to have arisen from a group as small as Noah's family in as short a time as has been available since ship-building began some time around the Bronze Age.

Many fundamentalists now accept that Noah's Flood is an embarrassment; a geological and genetic impossibility. Why can't you accept that?

Maalie said...

Simon is also right that natural scientists never stop "working", even in retirement. There are always new things to discover, surveys to undertake, pictures to be taken to illustrate articles, giving guest lectures and so on.

Yesterday I was pleased to lead two guided walks through my research forest (paid, under contract). There were countless opportunities to demonstrate evolution in progress, species that are adapted to fill every available ecological niche. Thus giving me the opportunity to explain that all this happened quite naturally and logically without recourse to some mythological divine "guiding hand".

Litl-Luther said...

Since you have been relentless in denouncing my holiday, let me tell you why we did it: Our daughter, who has been with us for going on 6 years now, has not been able to go with us when we leave for the States on furlough. For legal reasons we can't even start the adoption process till my wife turns 30 (which will be this August). Without a legal adoption, we have not been able to get a US visa for her (though we've tried). Thus, we have had to leave our daughter behind when going to the States. That has been heartbreaking tearing our family apart like that. So, about two years ago before leaving for furlough, I promised our daughter that we would take her some place really special just for her. Finally we were able to keep that promise to her with our Thailand holiday.

Litl-Luther said...

Why do you keep referring to evolution as if it is fact? It is an unproven theory.

Maalie said...

>Why do you keep referring to evolution as if it is fact? Errrm...

Where did I say it was a "fact"? It is the simplest and best explanation we have that fits the vast quantity of evidence that is available. If more, or contradictory, evidence comes to light, the explanation may be changed to accommodate it. That is now extremely unlikely, because the evidence from a huge diversity of sources combines to support it. And continues to do so.

This is the strength of science; unlike a 2000 year old outdated book that still claims that a bat is a bird; that there were inter-continental swimming kangaroos; and that human diversity as we see it today stemmed from a small group of people who were crammed onto Noah's boat (alongside the inter-continental swimming kangaroos) as recently as the bronze age.

Maalie said...

Litl Luther, sorry, I should have added: when you refer to "me", you are of course implicating the whole of the orthodox peer-reviewed scientific community. You know, the same community that undertakes medical research and other scientific developments of which I expect you are happy to take advantage.

donsands said...

To Simon & Maalie--

Darwin said this: “I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother, and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.”

Since Charles never understood the Gospel of grace, how could you consider him devout.

Surely, neither of us knows for sure. However, if someone is devout, totally devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus is someone's personal Savior, then this same person is manifesting conduct that Christ has in fact become one with this person through the Holy Spirit.

In other words, it's a doctrine taught in the Bible, that says, "Nothing can seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus." Absolutely nothing. That is a promise of God.

So if one is devoted to Jesus, then God will be faithful to His devoted child.

Charles Darwin said this as well: "“I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.”

And that is a sad statement, which says much about Darwin's devoutness I think.

"Why can't you accept that?" -Maalie

I accept the flood first and foremost because Jesus said there was a flood, and Jesus was there when there was a flood.

Also, there are many scientists who study geology, and see the facts prove a flood, as the Grand Canyon does.

I have been reading through Genesis, and though it's difficult to grasp everything in the first few chapters, I have been settled in my mind that this is exactly how our world came to be.

Have a good day. I'm off to church.

lorenzothellama said...

Donsands: Where does it say Jesus believed in the Flood? I can't remember ever reading that.

lorenzothellama said...

Oh, and talking about Genesis, there are two quite different accounts about how Man was created. Which one is right?

Maalie said...

"And that is a sad statement, which says much about Darwin's devoutness I think.
"Why can't you accept that?"

Yes, I do accept that. He started his career as a Christian and,as you point out, the overwhelming scientific evidence made him change his mind on certain issues.

And you said: "Also, there are many scientists who study geology, and see the facts prove a flood, as the Grand Canyon does."

I will be delighted to consider that if you can draw my attention to a paper in a peer-reviewed Journal of Geology that makes that claim. But is sounds to me as if the "science" you read is actually the un-reviewed quasi-scientific mis-information put about by the fundamentalist publishers. That is not science, it is propaganda.

"I have been settled in my mind that this is exactly how our world came to be."

You are wrong Donsands. Simply wrong. There is not a shred of scientific evidence that suggests it happened that way, but vast amounts of evidence that demonstrate that it didn't.

Litl-Luther said...

> the same community that undertakes medical research and other scientific developments...This raises another issue I'd like to take up with you Maalie: You often seem to equate medical and technological breakthroughs as evidence of evolution — as if one justifies the other. I don't get your logic in this regard.

Moreover, I would love to see how the complexity of DNA is any evidence for evolution. If anything such complexity would seem evidence for the opposite position: evidence of a Designer, not of a random chance happenings.

Litl-Luther said...

Sorry Maalie, but for Darwin to ever say that He does not believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, is clear evidence that Darwin was never a genuine Christian. The apostle John says as much about such people: "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us." (1John. 2:19)

Jesus said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man....Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:26-27) Clearly, Jesus believed the flood was a real event. That's good enough for me. And as Don pointed out, the Son of God (being eternal) was there when the flood took place. He would know.

Maalie said...

>Sorry Maalie, but for Darwin to ever say that He does not believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God, is clear evidence that Darwin was never a genuine Christian. Oh dear,

I don't hold with that nonsense. If he said he was a Christian, then a Christian he was. He would have gone into battle to kill non-Christians behind the Christian flag. And like so many of us, he saw the light (i.e. the evidence), reconsidered and born again.

May I take up a point from a previous post? You said:

And so my #1 "mission" in life is to preach the Gospel of Christ, leading men, women and children to Jesus for salvation from sin. . Well,

all I can say about that is that fundamentalists like you have had exactly the opposite result with me, and many others I know!

Maalie said...

>You often seem to equate medical and technological breakthroughs as evidence of evolution ok,

No Litl Luther, you miss my point. My point is that you seem to espouse the science of medicine and technology but reject that of, for example, evolutionary biology. Science is science, it's all the same stuff, the principles are universal. It appears to me that you accept the science you like, but reject that which you don't - i.e. cherry picking. Just as you do with the bible, which can mean anything you want it to if you are selective about which bits you quote.

> I would love to see how the complexity of DNA is any evidence for evolution., oh,

It's not the complexity per se, it's the content of the complexity and how it relates to the development of species other than man.

> such complexity would seem evidence for the opposite position: evidence of a Designer, not of a random chance happenings. errrm,

Exactly the opposite in fact. Depends what you mean by "random". Evolution is progressive. The elephant species did not randomly get its trunk. It was a progressive, selective development. Are you really so ignorant of these basic biological processes? I would recommend some reading but I know you wouldn't bother because you have already made up your mind based on an ancient out-of-date book.

donsands said...

"I will be delighted to consider that if you can draw my attention to a paper in a peer-reviewed Journal of Geology that makes that claim."

I'll see about "digging" some up for you Mallie.

Until next time, shalom.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Wow. Just be gone a couple days from this blog and look what one finds!

Good to see you back, Maalie, and Simon as well.

I don't know if mytho-historical is the best term for how I see Genesis 1-11 (Gen 1-11 called "Primeval History" by Bill Arnold, the scholar whose book on Genesis I quoted from recently on this blog), and especially 1-3, but I do believe it all speaks of real events in the history of humankind.

Accepting evolution is "old hat" to a good number of Christians including John R.W. Stott, N.T. Wright, C.S. Lewis, Tim Keller (who speaks with John Piper by the way), etc. Of course there are strong, committed and equally intelligent Christians who don't accept evolution for whatever reason. I know some personally here where I live. And Susan is one of these, of course.

Accepting an old universe, earth and evolution, also, does not make one at variance with Scripture and Genesis at all. In fact I think the best exegetical work taking into consideration the context into which it is written goes against the young earth creation position and intelligent design position, both having serious issues in exegesis of the Scripture text, and fail in either being good science or science at all.

Maalie, Have you considered this blog by Francis Collins? (by the way, Collins' work nails it down pretty well for me that evolution is likely the best explanation scientifically of what is seen. Collins refutes YEC and ID in his book which is both for evangelical Christians like himself, but especially for fellow scientists like you, Maalie) From it there's this quote from a debate he had with Richard Dawkins:

"I do object to the assumption that anything that might be outside of nature is ruled out of the conversation. That's an impoverished view of the kinds of questions we humans can ask, such as "Why am I here?", "What happens after we die?" If you refuse to acknowledge their appropriateness, you end up with a zero probability of God after examining the natural world because it doesn't convince you on a proof basis. But if your mind is open about whether God might exist, you can point to aspects of the universe that are consistent with that conclusion."

Most scientists are willing not only to take into consideration other ways of alleged knowing, but are working with theologians and other specialists in other fields to integrate science with other sciences and fields.

I really see this conversation, while interesting, as just over and over again hitting an impasse.

"all I can say about that is that fundamentalists like you have had exactly the opposite result with me, and many others I know!"

That's an unfair statement. She has been most gracious on this blog to the likes of you and me. And like her, I teach Genesis 1-3 and 1-11 for that matter, just as it is written. It is story, telling what happened in history and I simply teach it as it is. Seeing in the primeval pair the failure of early humanity all the sudden involved in religion (from the archaeological records), to take from "the tree of life", but instead rejecting their Creator and going their own way- "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" with all the results following, but awaiting redemption and the new creation in Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

(the quote from Collins' debate with Dawkins is not from the book as far as I know, but it's from the wikipedia link I posted here on Collins)

Litl-Luther said...

> all I can say about that is that fundamentalists like you have had exactly the opposite result with me, and many others I know Hmm...

That may well be true, Maalie. But most people are not as obstinately opposed to the existence of God as you are, and so conversations I have with most people about Jesus, about God our Creator, remain quite civil. Most people (especially in South Asia I've found) are willing to listen and consider the reality of Christ.

PS: I'm glad to see you are not trying to argue that evolution has been proven.

Litl-Luther said...

> Accepting evolution is "old hat" to a good number of Christians Yes.

Ted, that maybe be true. In fact, it may even be true that a number of good Christians indorsed the Nazi regime (Hitler had a way of pulling the wool over peoples' eyes.) But the fact that some good Christians ignorantly indorsed it doesn't make what the Nazis did any less horrid.

An extreme analogy? I know! But evolution is an extreme doctrine, which often leads people to the horrid conclusion that there is no God. So maybe instead of being an extreme example, perhaps it is actually worse. Perhaps the evolution doctrine is the new holocaust, killing millions of souls. Anything that causes men to deny their Creator is a horrid, damnable doctrine.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lt'l Luther,
The doctrine related to Evolution that kills I'd call evolutionism. And naturalism is closely related.

If you think C.S. Lewis and company are adherents to an abominable doctrine in regard to that, I would beg to differ.

Wouldn't Young Earth Creationism, if it's bad science, or Intelligent Design, if it fails to be science in key ways, what if those led people from the faith as well.

But sadly right now in all of this mix it is true that a good number have abandoned the faith over evolution, and unnecessarily so. But I guess people like Francis Collins are not to be considered. Again, I differ with you on that, as well.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Litl-Luther I do think that is an not only an extreme analogy, but an inappropriate one as well. First, I think there are true believers who hold to some form of evolutionary theory. I do not see in their work or words any attempt to deny the Creator's intervention at some point in creation, only an attempt to "fit" the scientific evidence with their belief in Scripture. You know that I disagree with them, but I can leave room for them under the umbrella of true belief.

Maalie Sorry to be so long getting back to your important question. I have been buried in paperwork at home and then was busy being a mom on Mother's Day. So, I am responding to your statement/question, [you] "presumably regard as a fabrication of conspiratorial lies". " point in the continuous gradient does your confidence of the integrity of the contributing authors and editors, and the peer-review system, break down?"

First, I don't think there is conspiracy to lie, neither by omission or commission. I would like to think that very few scientists ever put forth conclusions that we do not believe in, whether others think our data actually support the conclusion or not. At least I hope so. The recent Elsevier news of fake journals for drug company "proof" does make one wonder though. However, one can only assume the drug companies also believed in their own hype?

I think the difference for me is best represented in the terms "theoretical" and "reproducible". If something is a theory that cannot be tested in multiple laboratories then it is just a theory; it is not proven. I can choose to accept or reject the conclusions drawn from the observations or data gathered by the scientists. However, if a hypothesis can be tested in multiple laboratories and the data can be reproduced, then I'm going to accept them. At that point, I still may not conclude that the data "say" what someone else says they do, but I must accept the data because they are reproducibly robust.

Simon, I do not begrudge Maalie his holiday jaunts; I only like to tease him about how hard he works because of how hard (and often) he plays! His boyish exuberance for life is one of the things I enjoy about him!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I want to make it clear, however, that good Christians can disagree on this. I think you agree with that, but a good number of you here see dire consequences with my position, and the same goes on my side.

But God and the gospel of Christ is bigger than our differences. None of us are infallible or inerrant, nor are any of the great teachers such as Augustine, Calvin or any present day ones, of course.

By the way it is well known that Bonhoeffer who stood up to Hitler, even though a pacifist until his death, accepted evolution. I think the case for a young earth is none at all, and for all practical purposes the case for evolution is solid. But I would rather not debate that on this blog, but that's me talking.... and I must run.

lorenzothellama said...

Luther: who says (apart from you) that people who believe in evolution do not believe in God?

Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm sure you're not questioning Susan's knowledge or ability in neuroscience, or her manner on this blog. I was a bit off in my thought in the earlier comment, except that I appreciate her allowing for divergent views on her blog.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Let me add to what I have said that I don't hold to my view of origins at all in the same way I hold to the truth of the gospel.

However, like you, Triston, I see other issues impacting our mission, but in a different way. At the same time, I find it so true that what unites us together in Christ and by the Spirit supercedes and really ends up transcending all our differences. That is so evident in the church Deb and I attend; it is powerful, really.

simon said...

I think the case against Hitler is over stated frankly.

I think Mao killed more, as too did Stalin.

The EU is based on his model for Europe as too are the Autobahns...and your A1M1 Abhrams tanks are based on a leopard= german design....

So.... it reminds me of a quote,

All men are created equal. Some more equal than others...."

Litl-Luther said...

"a good number of you here see dire consequences with my position"

Ted, Susan, Lorenzo et al:
My comments aren't aimed at the good Christians who accept evolution, nor are they against the contention that one can believe in God and in evolution at the same time. They, rather, are aimed at the conspiracy among nonbelievers to poison the minds of our youth against faith in God. And the gas chamber they use to destroy faith is "evolution". It is not that I doubt the faith or sincerity of Christians who embrace evolution. I fear for the next generation(s) of people who will be raised believing, through the poisonous lectures of their teachers, parents and peers, that there is no reason to believe God exists. And evolution is the loaded gun to make their case (unrealized is that the gun is filled with blanks, an empty new religion of man-worship).

I do believe it is a holocaust-in-the-making of a different kind. As always, you are free to disagree.

...AND thank you Simon for helping to make my point!: "Mao killed more, as too did Stalin [more than Hitler did]." Whether that is true or not is beside the point. Atheistic societies under Mao and Stalin led to the slaughter of millions upon millions because the lack of faith in God leads to a lack of treasuring human life. As you, Simon, have articulated in the past: "people are no more important than blades of grass and dust". A world dead set on believing that life came about without a Creator will inevitably lead to a loss of human dignity. Life becomes devalued. And that's why I say that evolution can easily become the springboard to atheistic society like that of Mao and Stalin. It is already beginning with abortion and euthanasia. Why should unwanted children and old peoples’ lives be protected? They are no more valuable than any other evolutionary creature, right? Human life originating in primordial sludge—rather than created in God's own image, will always be devalued and lose its rightful dignity as God's image bearers.

Nazis used Jewish skin for lamp shades and their bodies for experiments. And we use human embryos for experiments. And this devaluation of life (this holocaust finds its origins in evolution (and the sin nature of man of course).

To the new Nazi doctors: HEIT-SCIENCE!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I believe the Holocaust finds it origins in sin, and philosophically in a secular humanism that in the end is left high and dry.

The answer Bonhoeffer and you and others, hopefully all of us in Jesus point everyone to- is Christ.

lorenzothellama said...

Luther: what on earth are you going on about? 'the gas chamber they use to destroy faith is evolution' What does that mean?

All wars are wrong, from the crusades to the Iraq war. Bush sanctioned torture as did Churchill. There are no rights in war.

Ted M. Gossard said...

...philosophically. I like to read and try to understand philosophy, but am no expert on it. But secular humanism as I understand it is related to Modernism and the Enlightenment, which has confidence that humankind by science, and whatever, will be able to solve the world's problems.

Modernism is beginning to fade, and the confidence is long gone for most. In its place we don't know what's coming, but some call it Post-Modernism, for lack of a better word. More of an openness though to something outside of ourselves. An openness to faith. Though having its own set of issues, including a skepticism towards ANY truth claims.

So while Dawkins goes on and on, he really is singing a tune of the past, which is fading away, though like in so many sects, you'll find adherents to it.

lorenzothellama said...

So Ted, do you think Maalie belongs to a sect, or cult?

Litl-Luther said...

It was just a play-on-words, Lorenzo:
In the death camps, Nazis took Jews to bathhouses where poison gas would kill them. And today, Atheism, led by its pet, the evolutionary theory, is succeeding in poisoning the minds of countless youth into doubting the existence of God. Those who push this theory to a conclusion that God does not exist (Dawkins being a good example of this) are reminiscent of the Nazi prison guards at the death camps (though with more education).

Still confusing? Sorry Lorenzo. I find it too boring to rant in a straight line.

lorenzothellama said...

Oh rant away Luther, it's good for the soul!
I am not an atheist but I believe in evolution. I also don't believe the Flood was world wide, that Jonah was eaten by a fish and survived, that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt (although I am open to argument on that one).
No one has yet explained to me which version of the creation in Genesis is the correct one.

lorenzothellama said...

I still don't see, even after reading your comment again, why you blame evolution for the sins of Hitler. Maybe Hitler evolved from a different line than the rest of us, say a dinasaur.

lorenzothellama said...

Donsands, are you going to answer my query about where Jesus said he believed in the flood?

Today's word is gradysag

donsands said...

"Donsands, are you going to answer my query about where Jesus said he believed in the flood?"

Triston commented on that, and so I thought you picked it up already.

But, I'd be glad to answer you as well Llama.

Jesus said, " the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
And did not realize until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matt 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27)

gradysag? Can you unpack that for me?

Maalie said...

Writing from Lorenzo's house.

Halfmom, thank you for your reply, but I'm sorry I don't find it entirely convincing. I have held in my hand hominoid skulls dated with known precision. Along with others in national Natural History Museums all over the world, (yes, including Vienna), tangible, verifiable. No theory there.

On a more general note to anyone here, I have been invited to what is euphemistically (you over there might spell that ufemistically) called a "gay wedding". (Personally, I prefer to call it a civil partnership). Any ideas for a present?

I fear to tell you that evolution is here to stay, there

Maalie said...

Donsands, I have read recently that a team of independent academics (historians, geologists, archaeologists etc) now consider that Jesus is a myth. It seems that the so-called Christian cult was finding itself in terminal decline and needed to "re-invent" itself. And so they invented the Messiah, Jesus. A pretty powerful marketing strategy, wouldn't you agree? It has persisted for 2000 years!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Hi Maalie I think we spell it "euphemistically" also Maalie. Most certainly, I also would call it a civil partnership - among other, less helpful things. A gift - a book on birds or flowers or gardens?

I did not expect you to be convinced by my response, just as I'm sure you do not expect me to be convinced by your evidence :) I have not the chance to visit all the museums you have and am sad about it - but handling the "evidence" will do only what seeing the different shades of green surrounding our now emerging spring. I will just think, "hum, how does all this fit together. How remarkable that it does, somehow, even though I do not understand it."

Have a lovely trip. I assume that you are leaving from Llama's house again for the airport.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Why hello Llama - it seems that you have a house guest! Lot's wife - it does make one wonder, doesn't it - why a pillar of salt. I do not think I have ever quite got the why of the salt as opposed to wood or stone or iron!

As to the "versions" of creation - do you mean chapter one of Genesis versus the other chapters? I rather look at it like an opening paragraph that describes what I am going to tell you about versus the later paragraphs where I give you the specifics. It happens that way in scientific literature all the time - first I tell you what I'm going to tell you, then I tell you, then I tell you what I told you. I find it all rather tiresome, but it does serve to get the whole story across from multiple angles and give the most people the chance to take away the message you actually wanted them to have to start with.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

PS Llama Do you have a new internet provider/computer? You always registered as Stockport before and now you register as Leicester.

Maalie said...

Halfmom, A book about gardens is a brilliant idea, thank you, I know that would be perfect, thank you for the suggestion, I would not have thought of it myself :-)

I do find myself uneasy. What does a fundamentalist say to a child watching one of these fabulous wildlife documentaries televised these days, that make a reference to evolution? Would you say "Don't take any notice of that, dear, they have got it wrong"?

You know, Halfmom, honestly, in the depths of your blood pump, you must accept that the evidence for evolution is now overpowering? Incontravertible?

But I fear you will never make such an admission because it would seem a denial of all that you have invested in, and that you would "lose face" with your peers?
How would you respond to that?

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Hi Maalie,I am glad you found the suggestion helpful. Gardens are so lovely to look at, even on the pages of a book I love them!

Oh yes, we watched those wonderful documentaries whenever possible, even checking them out of the public library when we did not have cable television. Honestly, I do not ever recall having that sort of conversation with my children. I will have to ask my daughter.

Which "peers" did you have in mind Maalie? My scientific ones? If so,I have already lost face with them for what I believe about more than just creation and a Creator. The fact that I believe in a God who desires to be known and loved by His people, a God who intervenes in every day life, a God who is always Faithful and Good, that alone is enough for them to think me daft.

If the "peers" of my spiritual family, some of them already think I am daft as well. So there is little fear n them thinking any different than they already know me to be and therefore little possibility of "loosing face" with them.

As to the depths of my blood pump - some days I admit that I am mystified at how it all can possibly "fit together". And yet, I do know, as well as a human can, that the "evidence" we hold in our hands and are so fascinated by (I included) somehow fits together with the story of Creation. I know that one day I will rejoice to see how a warrior King was also a tender Creator.

simon said...

Luther- my point is I do not see what they did as wrong....the human species continues to survive

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

They who, Simon - or is it they whom? Who do you think didn't do anything wrong.

donsands said...

"I have read recently that a team of independent academics (historians, geologists, archaeologists etc) now consider that Jesus is a myth."

These academics need to go back to school Maalie.

That's absurd that Jesus of Nazareth is a myth.

Of course, there are those who say just about anything: There was no holocaust, man didn't really walkm on the moon, and so on.

The historical evidence for Jesus is incredibly sound my friend. I hope you don't take these academics seriously.

simon said...

Mao, Stalin, Hitler. I am completely comfortable with their contributions to society. Its part of the evolutionary process. It allows us to rise and develop, to become over-comers.

In their own way, there is many of what we have today- attributable to them.

there are only 2 types of human- winners and losers....

Jesus myth- yes there is plenty of evidence for that as well

Maalie said...

Litl Luther: The word "theory" is a purely technical scientific one. In its caution science rarely speaks of "truth", "proof", or "belief" but "evidence" and "probability".

The evidence advanced for the theory of evolution is now so incontravertible as to make the non-use of the term "proof" merely semantic. The probability that biodervisity on this planet did NOT arise from evolution by natural selection is so low as to be out of the frame for consideration.

Donsands, I would prefer to give more credance to a team of purely objective and independent academics than to an ancient out-of-date book that contains innumerable known factual errors.

Halfmom, congratulations on getting another century of comments :-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Jesus' is the victory of God. The men you mentioned each killed millions. Jesus took upon himself death for all, for everyone.

Judgment is needed when you consider mass murderers, such as you mentioned. In the end it does come. And Jesus took on himself our judgment so that we can live in God's new world which begins now, the new creation.

And I see in Jesus the end of the evolutionary process for humans.

Yes, we humans mess up everything, so it's no wonder Christians and the Church, and churches often don't look like Jesus, or fail time and time again, getting swept up into the ways of the world. The majority of German Christians, for example, being duped and allowing themselves to be duped by Hitler.

But there are exceptions to that such as Bonhoeffer, etc. A true winner, as are all who truly follow Jesus in this life.

Ted M. Gossard said...

That Jesus existed is for all practical purposes, certain. Just one evidence among many others, the Jewish historian Josephus, who certainly was not a follower of Jesus.

The question is what do you do with the reality you see everywhere. What a breath of fresh air to come to the gospels and read (in my case, hear) of the coming, the person, works, words of Jesus. There's just no getting away from that. Jesus historians don't debate his existence, but what is true in the gospels. I again challenge you to read this book from one of those Jesus historians.

There's no escape from Jesus, but he comes to us as our saviour and not our judge. Though in the end, he is the one who will judge everyone.

Maalie said...

Simon, I agree with what you say, however in popular use, there has been considerable mis-undersdtanding of the term "survival of the fittest". "Fittest" need not mean the most powerful, stong or dominant members of a population. It means those members of a population who are lucky enough to have inherited characterictics that are best suited to meet the prvailing envbironmental conditions.

If a fire broke out in a crowded hall, for example, and there was only a tiny crack through which to escape, under those circumstances the "fittest" would seem to be the skinniest weedy individuals. The huge muscles of a big brawny bully might preculde him from escaping.

This is one of the more difficult points to convey to students that the term "survivial of the fittest" has more meaning to it than meets the eye.

How is the jeep mate?

Ted M. Gossard said...

I get the feeling here, that I'm talking to myself, but that's probably my own fault.

Interesting how Scripture tells us that when we're weak in Jesus then we can be strong, because we are open to God's working and strength. It even says that Jesus himself was crucified in weakness, but now lives in the power of God.

Litl-Luther said...

Maalie: Do you believe Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan or Buddha existed? There is more evidence for Jesus’ existence than any of these guys! I know you aren’t dumb enough to believe those false reports that the man Jesus was a myth. But perhaps you “want” to believe the lie. BTW: A Bible might be a good gift for the gay couple. Just a thought.

Simon: I can’t figure you out, man. Watching black-market DVD’s and taking vacations are mortal sins in your eyes, yet you appreciate the “contributions” of mass murderers? I don’t know what to say in response. I’m speechless.

Maalie said...

>But perhaps you “want” to believe the lieTit for tat Litl Luther. You don't "want" to consider the evidence for evolution or the fallacy of Noah's little boat.

As I have often said, it is not a matter of "belief", it is a matter of evidence. I have not done the research myself, so I can only consider the evidence presented by others. I merely reported it. Please don't shoot the messenger.

[Word verification: spooducu. Isn't that the numbers game that Lorenzo spends half her life ? on-line?]

Maalie said...

Ted, I'm sorry but "scripture" does not mean the same to me as it does to you. It is too riddled with factual error for me to have any confidence in it.

lorenzothellama said...

Maybe Lot's wife was the result of a pyroclastic blast, like wot the remains in Pompeii are.

lorenzothellama said...

Maalie, you could give them a book about pansies.

Maalie said...

Litl Luther: Your suggestion of a bible as a present for my friends is reasonable, as they both like reading fiction.

Lorenzo, nice idea, but they are more interested in growing vegetables, I believe.

simon said...

Luther- you are speechless? I am cool with that.. in fact it could be rare!

Even Hitler had laws, which I follow, as too Bertrand russell and other illuminate

Maalie I agree- its not abut the strongest.... the strongest defeated Hitler, Stalin, Mao.... ( perhaps)..
but their ( hitlers) DNA is evident today....

Disclaimer:- the views expressed by Simon are not always what he thinks, rather they are there to encourage debate....... geez... :o)

donsands said...

"I would prefer to give more credance to a team of purely objective and independent academics than to an ancient out-of-date book that contains innumerable known factual errors."

How do you know they are "purely objective", and the writers of the scriptures were not? Not to mention the overwhelming number of scholars who conclude that Jesus is in fact a historical figure?

There are tens of thousands of manuscripts, and the dead sea scrolls for evidence BTW.

From Wikipedia: "More recently, arguments for non-historicity have been discussed by George Albert Wells, by Earl Doherty (The Jesus Puzzle, 1999), by Tony Bushby (The Bible Fraud), by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy (Jesus & the Lost Goddess) and by biblical scholar Robert M. Price. Doherty, for example, maintains that the earliest records of Christian beliefs (the earliest epistles) are best explained if Christianity began as a mythic saviour cult, with no specific historical figure in mind.

Nevertheless, the historicity of Jesus is accepted by almost all Biblical scholars and classical historians."

There seem to always be a few people who, for reasons of their own, want to change history.

HALFMOM said...

Simon - You are a runcible rascal! You do like to stir the waters up, don't you? And yet you know the lyrics to Keith Green songs better than I do!

Maalie - oh, you are so right. How many times have I had to write, "the data would seem to suggest", or better yet, "these data support the hypothesis that...".

Llama dearest - "pyroclastic blast" - I love it! I wonder if she looked like those living statues that my daughter brought pictures of from Pompei!! It would certainly fit with the fire and brimstone being rained down on Sodom!

Maalie said...

Donsands, please don't shoot the messenger. I have no opinion on the matter, I have not done the research myself, I am only quoting the work of others. However there does seem to be a dispute on the matter which still needs to be resolved. I will see if I can find the reference when I get home, but it looks pretty authentic to me.

Halfmom: Exactly.

I'm at the airport logged into its WiFi now passing time until my flight. How many blogs can I visit in an hour?

Maalie said...

Dondands, just as an afterthought, historicasl truth is notoriously fickle. The people who record history record it in the way that they see it, or the way they want it to be remembered.

I can understand why you might feel disappointed and frustrated at the prospect of your faith being exposed as a fraudulent delusion, after you have invested so much of your life in extolling it.

lorenzothellama said...

Susan: the pyroclastic blast theory would only work if Lot's wife (I think her name was Ada) not only looked back, but had actually trotted off back to the debauched towns and was a long way from Lot and the daughters. (One of them was called Jemima don't you know). If she was anywhere near them, they would have been caught in the blast too. But, it's a good theory, isn't it?

donsands said...

"The people who record history record it in the way that they see it, or the way they want it to be remembered."

Some do, and surely some don't. But my difference with your thinking is that I know there is a sovereign Creator who ordains His story.

I'm not disappointed really, I do get frustrated at times though. Nevertheless, The Holy Bible stands firm. It has been attacked, fought agianst, and even burned, and destroyed by some ruthless governments, but do what they may, The Bible stands alone and is its own best witness. Although the people of Christ Jesus, who revere the Bible, are also salt of the earth, and light in a dark age.

Ted M. Gossard said...

ah. a good link here:
if you like Beethoven and Murray Perahia.

Well I think this passage has to be taken in context. What is Scripture for?

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that all God's people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy

It's a book, alive from God.

Also I think what precedes that is important:
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

I believe the point of Scripture is to help us see God's work in Jesus in the world, and that we might become a part of that work in the kingdom and new creation in Jesus. It's not written with teaching science in mind, and it is always written as story, seeing things as in God's story, to catch us up and carry us along in the same story.

But I would challenge you to get around to studying the historicity of Jesus, and go from there.

Litl-Luther said...

Maalie: If not a Bible, perhaps a case of condoms for your friends (though the pope says condoms don't prevent the spread of HIV:) I don't take much stock in what the pope says. Just fooling around, really. I honestly don't know what one should buy for a gay couple. What do they need (besides redemption), petroleum jelly?

BTW: If Simon can comment about all the "good" Hitler, Stalin and Mao did, please consider that before you roast me alive for gay bashing. Thanks.

Litl-Luther said...

Disclaimer: the views expressed by Litl-Luther are usually what Triston thinks, but written emphatically, to encourage debate, as well as shortness of breath and head spinning.

Ted M. Gossard said...

haha, Triston. you're too much.

Yes, I agree with Don, that the Bible stands on its own, because it's more than just a book. Even if there are problems in it from our perspective, maybe some of the human getting in there in fallible ways (a point I'm not willing to concede myself, but one that others have, still without denying the Power in the Book) it is a book that is alive. And it finds its end in Jesus. That is where the Bible takes us.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Triston - you are worse than runcible! And that's gross, even if it really happens!

Ted M. Gossard said...

What are you doing up at this hour, Susan? Am praying for you in your job search.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I see the Book though, primarily as a means to the End. And that End is found in Jesus.

I do believe the Bible is important, but I also think sometimes in anything important, we can miss the point of it, which is entered into with a new adventure and new world, in Jesus.

lorenzothellama said...

Anyway Luther, you are assuming that he is going to the wedding of a couple of blokes. Actually they are women so don't need condoms or anything else you suggested.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I should say in my continued conversation with myself, which I do all the time, or add to what I said:

Scripture is meant to lead us to Christ, and to help us to fullness in Christ, by the Spirit. We need it now, in the in-between times before the new creation in Jesus is completed.

Litl-Luther said...

A lesbian wedding? Well, in that case, you should probably bring Nair hair removal as a gift. I understand that many gay women grow more hair on their faces than men. Now that's gross! ...or is it evolution?

I really don’t know an gay women. I’ve watched the Ellen Degenerate show before, but that’s about it.

lorenzothellama said...

I've never heard of Ellen Degeneration. I think you are making her up.

Poor Ted. Don't worry about talking to yourself. I do it all the time, and people get quite used to me muttering on. I do read what you say, but I don't know how to answer.

I am a very confused Christian. I go along with Maalie on quite a few things. I am not convinced the Bible is the true word of God. Afterall, it was men who decided which books were included or not.

I am happy with the idea it was the inspired work of God written by men, but as you know, men are so infallable. (except the Pope of course!).

Anyway, I don't think anyone can know the mind of God. He is totally unknowable. Have you ever read 'The Cloud of Unknowing'? A very inspiring book for Contemplatives.

donsands said...

" are so infallable. (except the Pope of course!)."

-"If the Pope ever made a mistake would God fire him?"-- Edith Bunker
--"No, Edith, the Pope is like the Civil Service - he's in it for life."-- Archie Bunker

From Websters New World Dictionary.

Wedding: a joining in marriage.

Marriage: being married.

Married: join a husband and wife.

Husband: a married man.
Wife: a married woman.

Man: a male.

Woman: a female.

Male: the sex that fertilizes the ovum.

Female: the sex that bears offspring.

There's no such thing as homosexual marriage. Unless you do away with words and meanings.

lorenzothellama said...

I quite agree with you Donsands.

simon said...

well well well- Jim the jeep is going great. I ordered some more parts and am awaiting shipment.

Luther:- i am allowed to say what I want here becasue I am runcible...
You are not alloew becasue of your belief.. don't bash gays- forgive them...

Quote:- So few people admit to a belief in astrology, but i am yet to meet anyone who does not know their star sign"

I believe in astrology.. what do you all think of that?? :o)

donsands said...

"I believe in astrology.. what do you all think of that??" :o)

I'm a Pisces. Haven't really considered that for a long time.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. ...Pursue love.." 1 Cor. 13:11;14:1
Some good words from Paul, "an Apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God" (1 Cor. 1:1).

That's nice Llama that you agree. We disagree on much, but I suppose we do have some common ground. It's always a jolly nice feeling to agree for me.

Ted M. Gossard said...

I only know have known my star sign because it's been forced on me. I would not bet my life on it now, if you were to ask me what it is. I think I know, but not 100% sure.

But I do believe in a great and good God, revealed to us in Jesus Christ. I do believe this great and good God is at work in our lives to draw us back into and grow us in an interactive, dynamic love relationship with himself, the kind that is a part of God as he is, as Trinity. And that this is meant to be lived out in human community and in mission in this world.

God never gives up on us. I want to be in that love relationship with him, but I struggle too often with other lesser loves. Paradoxically if I by faith in Jesus go for the love relationship with God, then other things take their place, and for example, my love for my wife can grow. But when I let anything else take God's place, it will eventually wither up on me and everyone, and die. Not to mention being burned and burning others (as I just read). Like the writer of Ecclesiastes says, in that magnificient book (one of my favorites, if it's alright to say you have a favorite book from Scripture). To pursue something for its own sake ends up being vanity, meaningless, a fleeting breath. But all of life can be enjoyed as a gift from God.

And in the end what matters is to fear God and obey his commands, knowing judgment is coming. And yet the one who took our judgment is near when we truly call on him.

Ted M. Gossard said...

One of the most important aspects of our walking by faith in Jesus is to admit we just don't know. But we trust God through Jesus.

That is a leap of faith, and in the dark for us, because we're darkened in our understanding. But God's word- Scripture is a light for our path (Psalm 119), and God's final word is his Son- Jesus, who is our salvation. Saving us from our sins, for God, for each other, (for ourselves even), and for the world. But always in the grace-gift of God, because of God's grace in Jesus. We need to live in that grace, power and love. And this comes through faith in Jesus : the just shall live by faith, and by God's faithfulness given to us in Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Maalie, Simon and everyone, in light of our past discussions on science and faith. Here's a quote from RJS, who like Susan, is a scientist and professor, from this interesting post on the fine tuning of the universe (Dawkins mentioned in the post, by the way), not to be confused with Intelligent Design:

"I believe that there is a God because I believe that meaning and purpose, love, morality, beauty, and conscious creative thought are all real - not illusion, not merely the byproduct of survival of the selfish gene, not relative.

I believe in the God of the bible because this is the story of God interacting with his creation for a purpose with a mission. God made himself known. Ultimately I trust that the Bible is reliable (a looser term than inerrant) and inspired. We are rooted in history.

I cannot prove it, I can only argue plausibility.

But ultimately what we have is relationship not rational proof.

Ted M. Gossard said...

(that quote was in the comments, by the way).

Proof is in the pudding, and in my experience it's relationship and God making himself known to me in so many ways, verifying his word/Scripture to me, through Jesus Christ.

Litl-Luther said...

Do a google search for "Ellen Degeneres". She's an openly lesbian daytime talk show host. I prefer to call her Ellen "Degenerate" rather than “Degeneres” because of her lifestyle choice. Though I have to admit, she is a very likeable person.

Check out my blogger profile. You will notice that, peculiarly, my astrology sign is not there. Blogger makes it difficult not to include it, but that was my aim. I don’t believe in that Hindu-rooted divination hogwash. …though I am curious about the wise men in the New Testament who were led to the birth of Jesus by the stars. They do intrigue me. I’d love to know more about their study of the stars. Anyone have any info on this subject? Was their study more akin to astrology or astronomy?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Here's a description I have from this commentary:

"The term "Magi" (magos, "magician") originally referred to a priestly caste in ancient Persia, perhaps followers of Zoroaster (c. 630?-550? B.C.), a Persian teacher and prophet. Babylonian elements were subsequently introduced, including astrology, demonology, wisdom, and magic. Magi were usually leading figures in the religious court life of their country of origin,
employing a variety of scientific (astrology), diplomatic (wisdom), and religious (magical incantations) elements in their work. These practices were distinct from a more common type of "magician" found elsewhere (e.g., magos in Acts 13:6,8)."

Michael J. Wilkins

Maalie said...

The Bible stands alone and is its own best witness.. Yes,

That is the difficulty, it is alone and not independently verifiable. If as biologist I taught my students that a bat was not a mammal but was a bird (because that's what the bible teaches us); or that the world's biodiversity evolved from what could be crammed into Noah's boat sometime since the Bronze Age; that there were inter-continental swimming kangaroos; or that a man survised for three days in the guts of a fish, I would be sacked within two weeks. And that would go for your American professors too.

The bible is no more and no less than mytholgy; every culture has its own creation myth and the bible can mean anything you want it to. To the extent that you can have two armies on opposing sides of a battlefield praying to the same god that each will slaughter more soldiers than the other side.

Maalie said...

"I am curious about the wise men in the New Testament who were led to the birth of Jesus by the stars"

Don't worry your Litl head about it Luther, it never really happened, it is just mythology.

Goodnight all from an Internet cafe.

donsands said...

"it is just mythology." -Maalie

So King Herod is a myth? and Pontus Pilate is a myth, and Babylon, Nineveh, Persia, Assyria. Alexander the Great, these are all myths? For these are all in the Bible as well.

I thought this was all history that really happened.

Ted M. Gossard said...

It is well known that the story of Jesus is told in the Bible in certain ways, just as the story of other characters are told. It's hardly a history as you'd find in Wikipedia, but with a slant (although no recorded history is without that). And that slant is to help us see everything as in the Story.

Even postulations from within science have suggested an orientation which is not determinative, yet moving us toward something future that is drawing us, while not completely predictable from our standpoint. I was reading some on that this afternoon. That would make sense in drawing us to the end of the Story in Jesus. Though you may not track with that, many will and do.

Your orientation is scientific, and that's good. But it's only part of the picture. You just can't approach life only from a scientific perspective. Doesn't that say something profound?

(And what about RJS's comment I quote in bold letters, above?)

Litl-Luther said...

"That is the difficulty, it [the Bible] is alone and not independently verifiable." -Maalie

You talk as if the Bible is just one book. But the Bible contains not one but 66 books. It was written by not one author but by 40 different authors. It was not written within a decade; it took over 1500 years to be written by these 40 authors. Moreover it was written in not one but in three different languages, written not on one but on three different continents.

Here's a challenge one man gave, which I would like to pass on to you, Maalie:
“If you do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, if you do not believe that the Bible is of a supernatural origin, then I challenge you to a test. I challenge you to go to any library in the world, you can choose any library you like, and find 66 books which match the characteristics of the 66 books in the Bible. You must choose 66 books, written by 40 different authors, in an over 1500 year period, in 3 different languages, written on 3 different continents. However, each of the books must share a common storyline, a common theme, and a common message, and the 66 books must not contradict one another and must contain ample historical facts.”

Find anything, Maalie, that even comes close to the Bible (as listed above) and I'll eat my hat! Such a task is impossible. There is nothing out there like the Bible!!!!! Surely even you must concede this, Maalie. Otherwise, provide evidence.

lorenzothellama said...


I'm an Aries and proud of it! Jesus was a Capricorn if we can believe that 25th December was His birthday.

My mother and youngest son are Scorpios, i.e. have a sting in their tail. (Susan, you too!). Maalie is Sagitarious (Aries get on with them very well) as was my father. My eldest son is Pisces (the so-called 'dustbin' of the zodiac) and my daughters are Cancer and Leo. Not that I believe in it of course. Hm Hm, now where did I put the paper with the latest forecast in?

Litl-Luther said...

Why is it that when someone throws a difficulty Maalie's way, there is inexplicable, deafening silence on his end? But I'm not going to let this one drop. You can’t hide this time, Maalie! The Bible is not alone! And IT IS independently verifiable in that it is a worldwide, multilingual work of 66 books by 40 contributing authors who do not contradict one another while writing the same theme, and it has been peer-reviewed by billions since who have found it impeccable and divine. If you disagree, take the test I offered. Otherwise recant.

Lorenzo, not that it means anything, but I'm a Leo. Is that why I roar from time to time?

Litl-Luther said...

I finally decided to use an actual picture of myself. What ya think? An improvement? Less intimidating?

Thank goodness for those lax Arizona gun laws!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Well Triston, it's better than the last one but still not the most winsome you could present, I fear. Maalie is off on another "well-earned holiday" as he likes to call them.

Litl-Luther said...

Hi Susan,
I know you always use the word "winsome", wanting me to come across that way, but then it wouldn't be me, now would it?

I think Maalie doesn't know what to respond.

lorenzothellama said...

I'm sure Maalie does know how to respond, but he is away in darkest Europe at the moment and may not be near an internet connection.

I prefer the bearded Luther.

When I look over all the comments, the one thing that strikes me over and over again is that they are the same comments on every single post Susan puts out, regardless of the subject she starts off with!

Maalie: I would just like to ask you one question:
If you are so stuck on science and all things scientific, why don't you follow this through and adapt your diet to cut out all the fatty unhealthy things you eat. Scientists have proved that this is bad for your arteries but you ignor their findings in a most cavallier fashion!

Maalie said...

Litl Luther: Despite what you may think, my life does not revolve around you your superstitions. As a matter of fact I cycled into Hungary over the weekend, it has left me a little saddle-sore!

I might feel inclined to answer your questions when you have tried to answer some of mine, which you singularly fail to do. Your only recourse is fall back on a 2000 year old out-of-date volume that was written for a different age. We are in the 21st century now, Litl Luther, things have moved on a bit in the last 2000 years, get real man!

Anyway, I don't really understand your point. That mytholgy must have been passed down for generations, it seems hardly suprising that different versions contain the same stories. Which translations are you referrring to? As Lorenzo has pointed out, there are two version of Genesis alone. The bible is riddled with contradictions, factual errors and mis-translations, to the extent that it can mean anything you want it to.

All I know is that if anyone tried to teach in school that the planet's biodiversity is derived from what could be crammed into Noah's boat during or after the Bronze Age, they would be laughed out of court and given the sack!

Ted, you speak of science as if it was something mystical. Try calling it 'knowledge and experience'. Man's collective knowledge and experience of the world does not permit the proposition that the world was covered in water as recently as the Bronze Age. Even if all the ice in the polar ice caps melted, there still would not be nearly enough water.

You and Litl Luther and others obviously accept the science of medicine and computing, so why reject geology, biology and so on? It is all based on the same principles.

Lorenzo: I shall bang on about inter-continental swimming kangaoroos so long as people are indoctrinating children (by home schooling) that it happened.

Maalie said...

Lorenzo: I basically do eat healthily! I had a mere chicken salad yesterday.

If God didn't want us to eat eggs and cheese and cream and fried bread and sausages, why did he put them here and give us the teeth and digestive system to cope with them?

Oh, I know, it must have been the Devil who put them here! God probably put apples, whole grain bread and tofu in the garden of Eden, with that dreaded talking snake. How ridiculous!

I see the most up-to-date DNA evidence suggests that all of modern humans had their origins in Africa and different lines didn't arise separately in Africa and China, as had been proposed by some anthropologists. Science can, of course, revise its explanations in the light of new evidence. The bible, on the other hand, is enshrined in prehistoric myths.

I'm off now, I have other things to do with my precious time on my well-deserved holiday.

WV: dwoopso

lorenzothellama said...

I was watching a programme the other evening and it now 99.9999% positive that all human life started in Africa and it showed you the routes out of Africa that primitive man and woman took. It was very interesting.

Chicken sandwiches indeed. Unless the chicken was organically bred, and not farmed and pumped full of artifical hormones, then it wouldn't have done you much good.

Early man lived mainly on food he gathered, very high fibre grains, roots, leaves and any bits of meat he could scavenge. Any meat he found was natural and healthy, low fat because the animal was wild, not like the fat, force fed animals that are farmed today.

Animals today are fed food that they have evolutionary not adapted to (if you believe in evolution). Chickens are fed on fish, cattle on meat, pigs on rubbish. No wonder there is such a lot of illness about. Obesity is at epidemic proportions.

When is someone going to tell me which Genesis story is true?

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

Did you see my comment Llama? I did respond to your question about Genesis accounts of creation. In fact, I was actually teaching from Genesis 1-3 this week, so had it fresh on my mind. Genesis 1 is an overview of creation and Genesis 2 goes back and gives more details about what actually happened. It is a common literary form, to give and overview and then to go back and give specifics later on. Sadly, it is common in scientific writing as well. Sad because I find it rather tedious to write!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Ted, you speak of science as if it was something mystical. Try calling it 'knowledge and experience'. Man's collective knowledge and experience of the world does not permit the proposition that the world was covered in water as recently as the Bronze Age. Even if all the ice in the polar ice caps melted, there still would not be nearly enough water.

You and Litl Luther and others obviously accept the science of medicine and computing, so why reject geology, biology and so on? It is all based on the same principles.
Actually I do believe in knowledge and experience. That's a big part of being human. But tradition, for example like in the scientific tradition, and authority also have their place. And mysticism. Just the sense of something more, something beyond us. Why is it that I love, am brought to tears over the beauty of a flower or music, hate what I perceive as injustice and want what I perceive to be justice, etc.? I could care less if science can come up with some sort of explanation for that. That doesn't rule out a higher Being behind it all.

As for the flood, Lt'l Luther and I have already talked about that on this blog, that it need not be a global flood. I doubt that it was. The Hebrew can let one see it as a local flood.

And consider RJS. She is a hard nosed, so to speak (not going against her as a person or as a woman at all) scientist and professor who does not waver in her science (she accepts evolution) or in her faith. She has thought through many things well, I believe. And is still thinking through them.

And along with many of us here, Jesus is the reason we are Christians. The answer is not the Book, or the church which has as many or more problems are there are people (though the church is really made up of Christians who are members of Christ), or any other reason. We are Christians because of Jesus, period.

Through Jesus we have our sins forgiven, we are given new life, in community and for the world. And it's a life that comes out of death. Jesus is the way, by his death we have life. And we follow, seeking to embrace this new way in Jesus, so that we can live in and live out that new life and see it overflow to others.

Do hope you continue to have a good time in your venture!

Ted M. Gossard said...

sorry, we're having troubles again, as I sought to make correct separation on my comment.

Litl-Luther said...

As I expected; you didn't address my previous comments.

The main problem I see you have, Maalie, besides the chicken salad, is that you are looking through a blindfold when you consider God or look at His book.

Litl-Luther said...

Like Ted, I, too, don't believe the flood was global. However, I would like to clarify that my belief has nothing to do with scientific findings. I don't believe the Bible story itself warrants a global flood. 1. Man had not dispersed throughout the earth yet (ie Did not need a global flood to wipe them out). 2. The starting point of the boat and ending point are in the same geographical area (which seems strange if the flood was global, especially considering how long they were onboard the craft).

I just wanted to clarify that it is not fear that the scientific community can potentially disprove a global flood that persuades me. The story itself persuades me that it was a local, not global, event.

Litl-Luther said...

Lorenzo wrote: "it now 99.9999% positive that all human life started in Africa"

Yes, Leronzo, and what is even more startling are the odds against life forming by natural processes. The chance of that happening are 10 to the 40,000th (a 1 with 40,000 zeros after it)! Talk about odds stacked against you! You have a better chance of winning the lottery 100 weeks in a row while lighting bolts strike your toes. One would have to be a fool to believe such a thing. Perhaps that is why the Bible calls people fools who reject the existence of God.

Litl-Luther said...

I just put a 1 with a literal 40,000 zeros together. I would love to include it here, to show the odds against Maalie being right, but I fear Susan would hunt me down and kill me! :)