3 seriously bad theological implications of young-earth creationism

The Vredefort crater: evidence that A) the earth is extremely old and Gen 1 is not a history textbook or B) God is an extremely big liar. (public domain)

Sometimes, in evangelical circles where young-earth creationism is the dominant view, “believing in” evolution is seen as a theological handicap. Those who accept the overwhelming evidence from virtually every field of science just might experience the following none-too-subtle patronism from our YEC brethren:

“I think you can (lots of emphasis on the can) believe in evolution and be a Christian,” they say, “but it weakens your theology.” And as they say this, it’s entirely possible that they are also hearing in their heads the words of Romans 14 and praying silently that God would come alongside their weaker brother or sister.

Problem is, a non-evolutionary form of creationism has some seriously bad theological implications all its own — ones that any believer should find distasteful. Now, I’m not saying creationism caused the Holocaust or anything like that; I would never lay the blame for one of the most horrific crimes against humanity ever perpetrated on something as simple as one’s perspective on the origin of species. That would be ridiculous.

All the same, here are three logical consequences that follow from the fundamental teachings of young-earth creationism, and a few reasons it deserves to be a theological punching bag for once.

No. 1: God is a liar. The Bible says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind.” And yet, at the heart of young-earth creationism lies a deceptive God, a deity who appears to have far more in common with the trickster Loki than the savior I’ve come to know.

The Vredefort crater in South Africa is the largest confirmed impact crater ever discovered on earth; it’s nearly 200 miles across — about the width of the state of Massachusetts. Scientists believe the asteroid that caused it was as much as 6.2 miles in diameter (i.e., about 6.0 more miles than the amount of miles I can run).

Under the young-earth model, this asteroid never could have struck. We know that, because if it did plow into the earth some time in the last 10,000 years, history most definitely would have recorded it, and we would still see the effects of its impact today. In fact, most likely, it would have caused mass extinctions and life would not have yet come close to recovering.

And so, if we must accept the young-earth position that either this planet is absurdly young or the Bible is not true, then we’re left with one option: God created the world with Vredefort and dozens of other large craters already in it, for no other reason than to make us think the earth had been hit by massive asteroids when in fact, it never was.

And it’s not just craters. There’s radiometric dating, ice layering, continental drift, human Y-chromosomal ancestry, the fact that we can see starlight that took billions of years to reach earth, and much more — all of which points to a very, very old earth (and if you don’t feel like reading, here’s a helpful infographic made by Christian smart people).

Speaking as a Christian, I think these facts are pretty overwhelming. And I decided it made a lot more sense to believe in a God who first revealed himself in a document meant to convey theological — not scientific or historical — truth, rather than a God who told the literal truth in Genesis but lied in creation.

No. 2: Faith is unnecessary. Throughout the Bible, we see the high premium God puts on faith. It was a frequent theme of Jesus’ messages: Obey me, believe me, even when it doesn’t make sense.

Creationism teaches that there is no reason to have faith, and here’s why: If the scientific evidence, objectively observed, really does point to the entire universe arising in a single creative event no more than 10,000 years ago, as YECs claim, then that means those who wrote the Bible undeniably had knowledge that they couldn’t have had without the touch of God. Thus, the case is closed. God is real, the Bible is inspired and perfect — no further discussion necessary.

Any Christian should recoil from that. We know there is no power in rote knowledge of objective facts; the power is in our faith. Abraham was a man who talked to God. He had no need for faith in him — he had heard his voice. And indeed, Abraham is not remembered as a man who believed in God — that was easy for him. He is revered as a man of faith, because he trusted in God’s promises, even when they seemed impossible.

I accept that there are legitimate reasons to doubt God’s existence. But I still choose to believe and trust in him, because through my faith and his unfailing grace, I have encountered a relationship with a savior that defies explanation.

No. 3: Nonbelievers must be avoided. Young-earth creationism creates (alliteration, get it?) a vast gulf between those who believe in the Bible and virtually everyone else.

When I engage with other Christians who disagree with me on evolution, I have never sensed in them much of a longing for nonbelievers to experience the joy and salvation of knowing Jesus. I more often tend to encounter a deep animosity and mistrust, especially toward scientists. But here’s the thing: If our shared theology is correct, we should be doing all we can to reach that very population (the scientific community) with a message of Christ that might make sense to them.

There is good evidence that the prevalence of atheism or agnosticism is much higher among scientists than in the general population. Creationism proponents say that is because of the deleterious effects of something called “evolutionary philosophy” or some such nonsense, and I disagree (accepting the scientific consensus for the origin of species has done nothing to shake my belief in the God I worship every day).

But the bottom line is that even if scientists are atheists because of evolution, isn’t that something that should concern us? Traditional Christian theology would tell us this is a large population of people beloved by God who are destined for destruction unless we can — with the aid of the Holy Spirit — figure out a way to fulfill the great commission in their midst. What a missions field!

To paraphrase Paul in 1 Corinthians, he wrote that he “became all things to all people so that by all possible means (he) might save some.”

I do not see the same enthusiasm in my YEC brothers and sisters to share the gospel with scientists. And that’s not surprising, since creationism teaches that there is no need to try to reach them, because the evidence that supports the “correct” interpretation of the Bible is supposedly in front of their eyes every day, and they are either too stupid to see it or deliberately choose to ignore it.

Tyler Francke is founder of God of Evolution and author of Reoriented. He can be reached at tyler@godofevolution.com.

  • I’m committed to the view that natural selection, unlike a historical Adam, is necessary for a proper explication of original sin.

    • I agree with you on that one. Plan on writing about it at some point. Thanks for reading!

    • Rick O’Donnell

      Do you have a more detailed explanation of this point of view somewhere?

  • If we didn’t evolve, the Lord sure put a lot of effort into making it look as if we did!

    • Very well said!

      • Hey Ty have you read up on this. Someone pointed out The Tully Monster to me after writing my first science fiction story — one of my correspondents is was a horror writer turned pastor o a Methodist church in Mazon, Illinois.

  • Accepting evolutionary biology also provides another rational consideration for recognising lust as a sin- that it is illusory. I mean, lust is irrational and based on the drive to procreate.

  • Mr. Francke, thank you for your exposition. I agree with your observations, having arrived at essentially the same conclusions many years ago.

    For a different perspective to the same subject, I invite your perusal and comments on my essay “Why I am not a Young Earth Creationist” at my blog, http://www.oldmanmontgomery.wordpress.com

    Pray excuse my crass self-promotion.

    • I won’t fault you a little self-promotion, however crass 😉 I’d love to see your essay, but the link just goes to your homepage. Would you mind posting a direct link to the article? Or you can email it to me; my email address is all over the place on this site.

      • To refute a YEC you have to portray their view of God almost like a Cosmic Horror story as this trope points out. You almost have to confront the teachings of Jack T. Chick and refute his anti-evolution tracts — even employing their young earth argument as a darker allegory show a darker side of this much like how H. P. Lovecraft introduced The Great Old Ones. When I was 20 I had explored the concepts of The End Times in horror stories and taking a Lovecraftian element to it — I did this to warn against the trappings of the occult as I learned that LaVeyean Satanism is an atheistic approach influenced by Nietzsche and Ayn Rand. I had read many authors who influenced the movement as these authors also influenced my early career. I discovered C.S. Lewis and H. P. Lovecraft a year apart from each other as I discovered The Screwtape Letters while I was in college. Some of my church mates couldn’t believe how dark this book was as it is safe to say it was borderline a Gothic Novel.

  • Sam Haylor

    Your first two implications would indeed be serious if they were valid. However, I believe your arguments are flawed. In your first point, you trust in the inerrancy of modern science but are comfortable making Genesis 1 mean what it doesn’t say, which ironically is the very definition of a lie. Is it not plausible that God used huge meteors as a causal agent to make “the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky” to open? Radiometric dating and most of the other methods you list are only as reliable as the presuppositions they are based on and assume a constant rate of decay or layering which is completely unverifiable and fairly absurd. In fact, the one method listed in your wiki link that is verifiably consistent (Dendrochronology) shows not a single tree being more than 5,000 years old! But I digress…
    Your second point is somewhat disconcerting to me. The Bible actually does claim to be perfect and inspired and God is presumed real. You seem to be suggesting that God has intentionally obscured His truth so that we would be forced to “trust” what we cannot understand? Sorry, but that is not faith. Faith is believing His clearly-worded promises even when we don’t see them being fulfilled, or when popular opinion states otherwise. His Word must be understandable otherwise we wouldn’t know what promises to believe.
    Your third point is too subjective to dispute and has no bearing on the veracity of YEC. Nothing about reading Genesis 1 as historical narrative demands apathy toward unbelievers.
    Sorry for the long reply. Your posts at least make me think!

    • In your first point, you trust in the inerrancy of modern science

      No, I don’t.

      but are comfortable making Genesis 1 mean what it doesn’t say, which ironically is the very definition of a lie.

      I still am unable to understand why the only options for a story in the Bible is literal history or “a lie.” Do you use this same formula when reading the parables of Jesus?

      Is it not plausible that God used huge meteors as a causal agent to make “the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky” to open?

      Sure, but that doesn’t exactly explain the whole, “life would have needed a whole lot more than 6,000 years to recover from even one of these meteors hitting the earth” thing. It also doesn’t account for why the craters can all be dated to very different times. But, oh wait, you have a response for that one:

      Radiometric dating and most of the other methods you list are only as reliable as the presuppositions they are based on and assume a constant rate of decay or layering which is completely unverifiable and fairly absurd.

      I agree that presuming a constant rate of decay or layering is, by definition, unverifiable, but presuming the rates have always been similar to what we see today seems to me to be far less “absurd” than believing they used to be thousands of times faster, but then slowed way down to a constant rate right around the time we started recording them, which is what you must believe in order for young-earthism to be true.

      In fact, the one method listed in your wiki link that is verifiably consistent (Dendrochronology) shows not a single tree being more than 5,000 years old!

      How awfully convenient that you find this method to be the only one that is “verifiably consistent.” Out of genuine curiosity, why do you find dendrochronology to be any more verifiable than radiometric dating? Isn’t it just as possible that, before the science of dendrochronology developed in the 1900s, tree rings were produced at different rates than what we see today? Perhaps, in the 1500s, trees produced 10 rings per month, then in the 1600s, they produced only one every 50 years. There’s no way to know for sure, is there? It’s presumed that the rates are constant, just like with radiometric decay, ice layering, the speed of light and all the rest.

      You seem to be suggesting that God has intentionally obscured His truth so that we would be forced to “trust” what we cannot understand?

      Nope, that’s what creationists suggest, by requiring the evidence for an ancient earth and universe to be ignored in favor of their literalist interpretations of scripture.

      Faith is believing His clearly-worded promises even when we don’t see them being fulfilled, or when popular opinion states otherwise. His Word must be understandable otherwise we wouldn’t know what promises to believe.

      I agree with this, but don’t forget, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” – Proverbs 25:2.

      Nothing about reading Genesis 1 as historical narrative demands apathy toward unbelievers.

      Agreed, but it is generally one of the symptoms, in order for adherents to avoid the cognitive dissonance that it creates.

      Sorry for the long reply. Your posts at least make me think!

      No apology necessary, and thank you! I appreciate your thoughts, your approach and your willingness to engage on the issue.

      • Sam Haylor

        “I still am unable to understand why the only options for a story in the Bible is literal history or “a lie.” Do you use this same formula when reading the parables of Jesus?”

        I believe this question goes to the heart of it all. It’s not a “formula” per se but a hermeneutic. I said it before in another post that it’s exactly what you expect your readers to do with your words: understand them the way you intended them. The context makes 99% of all Scripture clear as to what genre a passage is being written in. Hebrew poetry is very distinct. Genesis 1-3 are not written in Hebrew poetry. Add to that names, places, events in time and their sequence leaves the honest student with only one genre, historical narrative. Jesus’s parables are almost always preceded with “He spoke another parable” and the like. This is why I said you trust in the inerrancy of modern science because you have to change the meaning of Genesis 1 because it doesn’t fit with some scientific data, thus rendering science immutable and the Bible mutable.

        • The context makes 99% of all Scripture clear as to what genre a passage is being written in.

          I’m just not sure the ancient Hebrew writers really operated this way. And I think most, if not all, of Jesus’ parables (especially the longer ones, of course) include the elements you mention, with the exception of the names.

          If you have a few minutes (and haven’t seen it already), please check out this short video by theologian N.T. Wright. He explains the “history vs. myth” thing better than I could. Let me know what you think if you do watch it.

          Jesus’s parables are almost always preceded with “He spoke another parable” and the like.

          I don’t think that’s true. Although some of his parables are certainly preceded in this way, I had no trouble finding four that are not, including a couple of his most well-known: the good Samaritan (Luke 10), the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), the ten virgins (also Matthew 25) and the parable of the friend at midnight (Luke 11). Of course, some of these have headings that identify them as parables, but I believe Bible scholars agree that the headings were much later additions to the text.

          • Sam Haylor

            Trying to keep things brief… what distinguishes a parable from a historical narrative is the use (or absence) of specifics of who, where and when. Btw, when I said “and the like” I should have included statements such as “the kingdom of heaven is like.”

            I watched the video and read the article below it. Though probably not intentional, I think the argument is a misdirect which puts the focus on whether myth and history can coexist, which is irrelevant to me. The issue is whether Genesis 1 can be taken at face value or not. When God says, “there was evening and there was morning, one day” then directly links the next 5 days with identical and sequential language” there’s much more than a myth being stated.

            Moses presumed a literal six days when he introduced the Sabbath. Jesus presumed a literal six days when He speaks on divorce in Mark 10:6 saying, “but from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” Paul presumed a literal account of Gen 3 in at least two places (1 Corinthians 11:8 and 1 Timothy 2:9-14), not to mention many places in Romans 5 and 6.

            The gospel necessitates the fact that death is a result of one man’s sin and that Christ offers forgiveness of sins by offering His own life to satisfy God’s holy wrath. Death is associated with Satan and will be destroyed with him at the final judgment, literally!

            I can tell you take this topic as seriously as I do. I’m your guest here and don’t want to wear out my welcome. I’ll keep chiming in as long as you let me but perhaps there’s a better place for lengthier discussions?

          • Sam, first of all, your comments and your thoughts are most welcome. You are in no danger for “wearing out your welcome” as far as I’m concerned. I would suggest we could talk further through email, but since I already owe you a response through email (it’s coming eventually, I promise 🙂 I’m fine with leaving the discussion here, as long as it’s on a topic that’s relevant to the site.

            I see where you’re coming from in regards to the supposed textual differences between parables and historical narrative (and it’s an argument I’ve heard many times before), but I’m sure we can both agree that we should not necessarily put God into a strict box. Surely, he is entitled to reveal truth however he likes and thinks is best. Perhaps the parables are simple and mostly devoid of names, dates and places because they are usually meant to convey one or two simple moral or spiritual lessons, and the creation account is very complex because it is meant to reveal many spiritual lessons and symbolize many things?

            I’m not sure if you are familiar with the accommodationalist approach John Calvin took to explain the firmament that is described in Genesis 1:6-8. Please forgive me if you have seen this before, but here’s what he had to say:

            For, to my mind, this is a certain principle: that nothing is treated here except the visible form of the world. Whoever wishes to learn astronomy and other esoteric arts, let him go elsewhere … Therefore, the things which he [i.e., Moses] relates, serve as the decorative objects from that theatre which he [i.e., God] places before our eyes.From this I conclude that the waters intended here are such as the crude and unlearned may perceive. The assertion of some, that they embrace by faith what they have read concerning the waters above the heavens, notwithstanding their ignorance of them, is not in accordance with the design of Moses. And truly a longer inquiry into a matter open and manifest is superfluous.

            Essentially, he admits that the Holy Spirit accommodated the author of Genesis’s ancient view of the sky into the creation narrative, but that does not mean the author’s ancient view was correct (we know now that it was not). It’s just that teaching about the scientific properties of the sky and the water cycle was not the Holy Spirit’s goal in the text.

            Of course, that is just John Calvin’s fallible pinion, which anyone is free to accept or reject, but it’s a persuasive one for me, and I thought it might be valuable in helping to explain my view.

            As to the NT references of Genesis, some of which you mention, I personally think it is reasonable that either the same type of accommodation is occurring (the Holy Spirit is incorporating the beliefs of the time in order to teach a deeper truth (and yes, Jesus is God, but he seemed to admit he gave up some of his knowledge in the flesh when he said he does not know when the day of judgment will occur)) or that both Jesus and Paul were aware that the things about which they wrote/spoke were symbolic of deeper things, and used them in the same way.

            I do believe sin began with the first man and woman who had a soul and free will, and that sin brought death into the world, but I believe that death was spiritual — the severing of our immortal soul from our ultimate source of life, a perfect, sinless God. I think there is evidence that the death that comes from sin is spiritual even in Genesis: For one thing, if the punishment for eating from the tree was physical death, both Adam and Eve should have died immediately, because God said, “On the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.” But they didn’t. The text says they lived hundreds of years afterward.

            If Adam and Eve were incapable of dying before they disobeyed, then why would God see the need to plant a Tree of Life? And why would he banish them from the garden before they ate of it? And why did he curse Eve saying, “I will greatly INCREASE your pain in child bearing,” if pain had not previously existed?

            And finally, wouldn’t it seem shortsighted of God to command all life to “be fruitful and multiply” in a world that had no death? The earth’s resources would eventually (and probably pretty quickly) be exhausted.

            Whew. Long post. Thanks again for your questions and comments. Peace.

          • Sam Haylor

            Thanks for inviting me to stick around! And just to remind any readers why this is relevant to the discussion, I originally argued that God is a liar if said He made the world in six literal days but really didn’t. Thus the discussion over interpreting Genesis 1 as literal historical narrative…

            No, I had not read Calvin’s commentary on Genesis prior to your mentioning
            but found a copy of it. It was no surprise to me to find that he understood Gen. 1 as a literal historical narrative and that the six days mentioned are six normal days as we know them.

            I think you’ve misunderstood his point regarding the separation of the waters above from the waters below. Don’t know if you’ve read his comments in their entirety but Calvin does not re-interpret Moses’ “incorrect view”. He doesn’t even suggest that Moses was wrong. When he says, “Whence I conclude, that the waters here meant are such as the rude and unlearned may perceive” he was saying that Moses “dumbed down” the complex nature of clouds and rain so that anybody could understand without being studied in weather systems. “Waters above” is not wrong, just brief.

            Also, when he says, “Whoever wishes to learn astronomy and other esoteric arts, let him go elsewhere…” he was correcting those who “resort to allegory, and philosophize concerning angels.” He apparently uses the word “astronomy” interchangeably to describe either the science of star study or astrology, the latter making more sense here given the context of his rebuke.

            I’ll leave your final comments on sin for another time but will say I fully appreciate your questions and will not simply dismiss them out of hand.

          • Hey Sam, thanks for your response. Just a couple quick thoughts. Just to let you know, I have not read Calvin’s entire commentary on Genesis, but I have read enough to believe that you are correct in saying he did understand the first chapter to be historical and the six days to be literal.

            I think you’ve misunderstood his point regarding the separation of the waters above from the waters below. Don’t know if you’ve read his comments in their entirety but Calvin does not re-interpret Moses’ “incorrect view”. He doesn’t even suggest that Moses was wrong. When he says, “Whence I conclude, that the waters here meant are such as the rude and unlearned may perceive” he was saying that Moses “dumbed down” the complex nature of clouds and rain so that anybody could understand without being studied in weather systems. “Waters above” is not wrong, just brief.

            I see where you are coming from, and I think you’ve articulated yourself well. I would just clarify that it is not the “waters above” part that I was saying is incorrect, but the existence of a “firmament” — a solid dome (or at least one that is solid enough to support water). And in the flood narrative, the firmament is described as having windows, or floodgates.

            However, that is a minor trifle. The most interesting part of your answer to me is that you admit that Moses could have “dumbed down” something very complex (in this case, the sky) so that someone unlearned could understand it. If this is true, would it really be so disagreeable for this principle or a very similar one to be applied to the entire chapter?

          • Sam Haylor

            Not at all. Given what we know about astrophysics and that we probably don’t understand 1% of it all it’s obvious God “dumbed” down His creation work for us! My point was that nothing He says in Gen 1 (or in the whole of Scripture) is false or needs to be read as a myth to pat Moses on the head and say, “you meant well.” It’s simplified but accurate truth. The water was all on the surface (waters below); God created the atmosphere (the “expanse”) and set the water cycles in motion via clouds (waters above). Pretty ingenious to wrap all that into a couple of verses!

            As for the “firmament,” that was a poorly chosen word to translate what is simply “expanse”. I am not aware of any evidence that Moses or the Jews thought the sky was solid. They could see birds flying in it and rain falling from it.

            Finally, I realize my saying that the “floodgates” makes total sense as a figurative term will probably set off all kinds or alarms and lights and cries of “you take Genesis 1 literally but not Genesis 7?!” All I can say in this brief comment is, it is the most reasonable and plain reading of the text, grammatically, syntactically, and in its context.

            Blessings.

          • Pretty ingenious to wrap all that into a couple of verses!

            I share your enthusiasm for the ingenuity of the text. Genesis 1-3 is masterfully constructed and beautifully written.

            As for the “firmament,” that was a poorly chosen word to translate what is simply “expanse”. I am not aware of any evidence that Moses or the Jews thought the sky was solid. They could see birds flying in it and rain falling from it.

            Modern translations like the NIV and ESV have certainly preferred the word “expanse,” but I’m not sure the evidence indicates that their word is more faithful to the original Hebrew than “firmament.” The Online Etymology Dictionary does seem to indicate some ambiguity on the word “firmament”:

            from Latin firmamentum “firmament,” literally “a support or strengthening,” from firmus “firm” (see firm (adj.)), used in Vulgate to translate Greek stereoma “firm or solid structure,” which translated Hebrew raqia, a word used of both the vault of the sky and the floor of the earth in the Old Testament, probably literally “expanse,” from raqa “to spread out,” but in Syriac meaning “to make firm or solid,” hence the erroneous translation.

            However, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia’s entry on “cosmogony” affirmed that the early Hebrew view of the universe saw the sky as a solid dome:

            The Hebrews regarded the earth as a plain or a hill figured like a hemisphere, swimming on water. Over this is arched the solid vault of heaven. To this vault are fastened the lights, the stars. So slight is this elevation that birds may rise to it and fly along its expanse.

            Your honesty is appreciated, Sam. Blessings.

          • Have you read into comparable creation myths? Pandora’s Box had been seen to be similar to Eve. I had seen a young earth creationist use the Book of Job on me when I had laid into Creation Science Evangelism. I studied Greek Mythology when I was a kid and it showed up in some of my horror offerings as I used Hades in a modern way. Dante referenced Cerebus the three headed dog of hell in the Inferno. I had been a counterpoint to the whole life-action vampire roleplaying movement as I never engaged in that when I started a Gothic Horror site; I drew from very real horror such as drive-by shootings and addiction. I also refuted many Latter Day Saint claims as the Book of Mormon is psuedohistory and they promote occultic psuedoscience. I had seen myself verbally sparring with Latter Day Saints once in basic training as a young Christian then again when I almost became a Latter Day Saint when I was 22 as I used The Living Bible to refute them.

  • I saw an article by James Mcgrath along a similar vein. He was less charitable, but he had some useful things to point out about the Theological problems of YEC. I have come to a similar position that the YEC world and bible view paints God as 1. Unjust, 2. Capricious, 3. A deceiver. They always seem to argue that “God can do what he likes because he is sovereign”. I agree, God “could” do what he likes, but I think certain things he could do, just aren’t in his nature to do. God is supposed to be like the King of Deuteronomy 14, which was pointing to David who was a type for Jesus. It is clearly taught in the NT that Jesus had the power to do anything, but chose to do what he had promised to do. The bible teaches that the only deceivers we have to worry about are ourselves and Satan, not God. How can you obey the command to trust God if he was unjust, capricious, and a deceiver? This is why David was a type for Jesus, and not Saul, who is the anti King. I think a YEC view of God may actually be closer to having Saul as their type for Jesus.

    • Good points, Rick! Thanks so much for commenting. Yes, James McGrath and I are of a similar opinion on this, that the God YECs seem to believe in is not in line with the one they say they believe in.

    • There is a philosophical problem in it too. As they would call an evolutionist a blasphemer.

  • I also believe in Evolution and I am debunking Eric Hovind — I call YECs aka Young Earth Liars. I do have an exchange with one of them where I have gone into a fit of profanity and used the term young earth liars. I have a new story I am working on and how do you show this to those who never learned about this — God sent his son to die for our sins. But I think the blame on young earth creationism is on The King James Only movement. I’ve written my testimony out as a full length book. I am invited Hovind to submit for my anthology project to defend his position. God sat back and allowed Evolution to happen — then got into the play when written history occurred. The Genesis account has origins in the Epic of Gilgamesh — I hope that’s not too far off.       This is an observation I make that’s a bit darker. You also have the young who buy into the bullcrap the KJO movement feed them. This belief in Evolution when you also believe in God is also controversial but makes more sense because I do believe this too — but if you teach this; don’t do it in a high school setting but do it in a college. This is college level Christianity. With young-earthers it’s almost Twilight Zone style logic because you have them singing a Country western hymn about how they still count on the King James. Our belief in evolution also lines up with Atheists as I am once an Atheist but how do you get them sold that God used evolution to create the world?

    • Paul Gamblin

      I don’t subscribe to the King James Only movement. I’ve used the NIV and the ESV, and I like to read the Bible either online or with my Bible app where I can compare several English versions during my study. I have – at least for now – settled on ESV as my go-to version for study and at church (partly because my pastor preaches from that version).
      However, I am a young-earth believer. I don’t necessarily like the label, but I believe that God said it, and it was settled. Whether I believe it or not. However, I do believe that His word says what He meant when He inspired the authors to write it (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21)

      • Matthew Funke

        I don’t necessarily like the label, but I believe that God said it, and it was settled. Whether I believe it or not.

        You believe something, whether you believe it or not? Could you untangle that a little?

        • Paul Gamblin

          God said it, and it was settled. That is the point of my statement.

          I don’t have to believe it for it to be settled in heaven and on earth. I do believe it, though.

          • Matthew Funke

            God said it, and it was settled. That is the point of my statement.

            Oh. Well, in that case, I don’t think you’ll find a Christian on these boards disagreeing with the idea.

          • Look beyond that and start questioning what you were taught from the pulpit. I suggest you take a look at this the book Awkward Moments In The Children’s Bible is a good one to point out to Independent Baptists as they took a dark pointed barb at dinosaur-human coexistence teachings. There were Christians trying to deball the author of this as he was pointing out verses that aren’t in sermons.

          • The whole God said it and it was settled is a do not question teaching — you mean to tell me you never questioned sermons or examined other sources? I had faced off with Southern Baptists my whole career as a horror author as some called me a blasphemer for writing horror as Wes Craven went to Wheaton College – as I lived right behind Wheaton College and was walking distance from a Mosque (my former church became a Mosque in the 2010s. What it went for was quite eye opening.) The Southern Baptist in this article made the Book of Genesis into an idol. I had been a critic of Intelligent Design when I was non-practicing as a Christian as I wrote the science fiction story addressing the creation-evolution debate as someone pointed out to me evolution is not mutually exclusive to The Bible as I learned this into returning to the faith when I was in my 30s as I brought evolution with it. There are things that God wants us to figure out on our own as that’s how I came to embrace the science of evolution openly as I quietly acknowledged this during my first church years — I was never a young earth creationist though The Chick Tracts talking about dinosaurs raised a lot of questions. Taking Philosophy in college had me refuting many of Jack T. Chick’s claims and debunking his followers. After laying into Ken Ham in 2014 I found this where he attempts to rebuke my old church. The young earth version of “creation science” is psuedosciecne as Independent Baptists subscribe to psuedohistory like the Latter Day Saints.

          • Paul Gamblin

            Growing up I didn’t do much research. When I was truly saved in 1995, I began to do what the Bereans did in Acts – search the scriptures for myself. I do it more now than I did at first, and there have been things my pastor has said that I interpreted a different way. And usually I would question him about it after the service was over (after giving him time to talk to visitors and those seeking Christ). I didn’t always agree with his explanation, either, but at least I approached him and let him know what I thought.

          • Read up on shark evolution and that will refute young earth creationism to the core as they predate dinosaurs. This is what you can learn about Megalodon. (This was the ancestor to the Great White shark.) 2 Corinthians 6:8 is what Paul Taylor applied to me when I refuted him as I am going to use the NCV to point this out, “Some people honor us, but others blame us. Some people say evil things about us, but others say good things. Some people say we are liars, but we speak the truth.”

            Christians who have a working knowledge of science are accused of being liars by Ken Ham and Institute for Creation Research. They preach pseudohistory and psuedoscience much like the Latter Day Saints who claim that Christ appeared in North America.

            I’ve seen churches use this on me when I told the pastor’s wife I was going to enroll in philosophy. To understand evolution you have to read into natural philosophy. Street Preachers hated verbally sparring with me because I would ask science questions like “Take God and Satan out of the question, what’s the nature of evil?” That question pisses them off. According to this King James Bible site — Job 38:4-11 (I am using The Message version) points out the earth is ancient.

            “Why do you confuse the issue?
            Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
            Pull yourself together, Job!
            Up on your feet! Stand tall!
            I have some questions for you,
            and I want some straight answers.
            Where were you when I created the earth?
            Tell me, since you know so much!
            Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that!
            Who came up with the blueprints and measurements?
            How was its foundation poured,
            and who set the cornerstone,
            While the morning stars sang in chorus
            and all the angels shouted praise?
            And who took charge of the ocean
            when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb?
            That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds,
            and tucked it in safely at night.
            Then I made a playpen for it,
            a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose,
            And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place.
            Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’

      • Educate yourself on the epic of evolution and the origins of evolution as it came from Ancient Greece. Don’t do the God said and it was settled either because that is willful ignorance it’s good you use more than one translation of the Bible as you need to look into refuting cartoonish theology such as humans and dinosaurs co-existing.

        Adam and Eve are to be seen as allegorical as this will invoke a lot of controversy as the early writers of the Bible had no scientific knowledge though there was science in the ancient middle east and Ancient Greece. When it comes to Christ you have to look into the Aramaic history to figure out where he emerged as in scientifically examining the New Testament world.

        Read into comparative creation myths as Pandora’s Box as approaching the science of evolution you need to approach it on it’s own terms because arguing against it is like getting into a heated argument with God. I found this article on Godandscience.org called No Death Before The Fall as this is an argument that many young earth creationists use. Big History is a good way to learn about Old Earth Creation and Theistic Evolution. Big History is an academic approach to the age of the universe and age of the earth.

        Don’t be woo’d by “Dr.” Kent Hovind or Eric Hovind as they will try to force Christians to buy into the cartoonish theology they preach and pseudoscience they pass off as science. Proverbs 18:15 (CEV) points out, “The mind of a person with understanding gets knowledge; the wise person listens to learn more.” To understand evolution as a science you almost have to take a philosophy class when they speak about the philosophy of science and the God question then you can open the discussion for theistic evolution. Don’t blindly follow this dogma of the human-dinosaur coexistence that the Independent Baptist ministers preach. Here’s a list of creation myths on Wikipedia.org as you will see where the Genesis Creation Narrative and flood narrative falls into the picture.

        • Paul Gamblin

          The thing is, I don’t see creation as a myth. I believe God was actively involved. Now, whether it was an actual ‘God said it, and “poof” ‘, or if He guided the evolution process, I can’t say, because I wasn’t there. But I KNOW that He created everything.

          • Adam and Eve are allegorical and Christ is Aramaic; look into Historical Jesus and you will see where this falls into the bigger picture as I had young earth creationists accusing me of calling God a liar. One King James Onlyist admitted the earth is old but mankind is young. The Bible falls within the territory of recorded history as they use the young earth trope as dinosaur-human co-existence only happens in cartoons and movies as well as in The Lost World by A. C. Doyle. Lifescience.com had pointed out this myth had been debunked as Jack T. Chick and the Indepedant Baptists claim that humans and dinosaurs coexisted. 2 Timothy 4:3 and this is from a Catholic translation, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings.” This applies to the teachings of a young earth as all Christians been mislead by this and told to be science illiterate.

            This blog I found also examines Jack T. Chick’s weird world of human-dinosaur coexistence. I point out that there is a lot we can learn from the Catholics in terms of science and the Islamic world embraced theistic evolution from out of the box as they teach Old Earth Creationism. I had friends who were Muslim growing up and they had a working knowledge of science. My old church became a Mosque. Muslims pointed out there is no young earth creationism — Dave Mustaine of Megadeth was researching world history and science for the album Dystopia. I have a working knowledge of science when I started writing science fiction as I had biology classes in high school and computer science (world wide web) is my science background as this is self taught.

            Christian thrash metal band Tourniquet addressed science illiteracy in Christians on their opening track on their 2012 release. Iron Maiden with Quest for Fire would debunk young earth creationists as they spoke of periods in the stone age such as the real era of the dinosaur and the cavemen. This is where you can read about control of fire. Fire was something Homo Erectus did as they were in Prehistoric Vietnam. A King James Only wingnut admits the Bible teaches an old earth but a young mankind (this would be a young civilization in written history.)

          • This King James Bible site speaks about Ancient Earth as I am going to use modern translations because no one speaks like that. The discussion of the much older earth is not in Genesis but in the Book of Job. The pathos writer Formerly Fundie speaks how The Bible doesn’t say the earth is 6000 years old.

            Don’t buy into what Ken Ham is feeding the congregations as this blog points out in a verse that one of the words Paul used is paraphrased to the modern swear word “shit.” As the verse translates from the NMB “Yea, I think all things worthless for the sake of the supreme and precious knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord. For him I have counted all things a waste, and do judge them but dung, so that I may win Christ.” I am also going to point out Hebrews 11:3 from a Jewish translation, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen did not come from anything visible.” When you look into evolution as a science keep Proverbs 18:15 in mind.

      • If you look at the Book of Job via this website it shows that The Genesis Narrative doesn’t reveal the older earth, the book of Job does. Another pointed out the gap in the Genesis narrative as this is the epic of evolution and the Big History narrative. I saw Christianity a lot differently as I befriended Leper and had attended a Jesus People service in 2008. I challenge young earthers to completely rethink how they see their perspectives because their leaders had lied to them for years.

        You try to speak of origins of the earth to your kids and you tell them that science and God are in conflict as in saying evolution is a lie or a new age religion. (One of the churches I was involved with shunned critical thinking.) Then you uncover science by doing so as Pat Robertson pointed out you will lose your children. Young Earth Creationism is a sick joke on Christianity. In Illinois it’s easy to refute young earth claims by pulling out articles about Mazon River’s Tully Monster. Thrash metal band Tourniquet had me looking into the giant squid — as I found this website recently.

        This goes back to my high school roots in science being biology. Many of my friends were influenced in part by the Jesus Movement as the punk band Crashdog had direct ties. You aren’t going to get any scientific knowledge from Ray Comfort as he’s a smooth talking bastard. In my 20s I was Jack T. Chick’s worst nightmare because I am well read and well rounded with humanities as I say don’t teach young earth creationism in high schools or Intelligent Design because it makes Christians science illiterate.

        When I was talking science with Larry Farkas I had him looking into the series Life After People as that shows what human extinction looks like. When I wrote Lake Fossil I had no idea I was going to write a story of speculative evolution with alternate history traits as I set this in the 1990s. Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden has a stronger knowledge of science than Ray Comfort as he explored the subject of human cloning (this is known in the science field as playing God. One of the oldest Gothic Horror along with The Faustian Bargain tropes as Mary Shelley introduced this trope with Frankenstein.)

        Galatians 5: 7-12 (GW) points out false teachings, “You were doing so well. Who stopped you from being influenced by the truth? The arguments of the person who is influencing you do not come from the one who is calling you. A little yeast spreads through the whole batch of dough. The Lord gives me confidence that you will not disagree with this. However, the one who is confusing you will suffer God’s judgment regardless of who he is. Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching that circumcision is necessary, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the cross wouldn’t be offensive anymore. I wish those troublemakers would castrate themselves.”

        If you believe in young earth creationism how do you explain the Tully Monster? If you want to piss off an Independent Baptist Minister show up with Richard Matheson’s book Nightmare At 20,000 Feet and when he talks about Noah read the story The Children of Noah. My knowledge of science as an adult came from reading Richard Matheson’s books as I read I Am Legend.

  • john mcdermott

    This article is funny-if Tyler is serious about evolution- wanta debate ?

  • john mcdermott

    It’s funny groups like this, that is evolutionist make comments but never wanta debate ha

    • Matthew Funke

      Sorry, John! Didn’t see you. Are you still there? I’ll happily debate you, as long as you’re willing to keep this evidence-based.

  • john mcdermott

    Anybody wants to debate please let me kno

  • Claude

    Someone once said that the greatest sin committed by YECreationist wasn’t the lying and distortion of what scientists said, it was the claim that you can either believe in creation or evolution, but not both.
    This has forced many, confronted with the undeniable evidence of evolution, to believe that they had to give up their faith.

    • This.

    • Paul Gamblin

      Why would God use evolution to create when He can just speak the world into existence?

      • Why would God use the water cycle, when he can just make water appear out of nothingness? Why would God use nine months of fetal development and labor in a mother’s womb, when he could just speak and a newborn baby could just appear in the crib? Why have day and night be caused by the rotation of the earth, when he could just cause day and night to happen when he feels like by snapping his fingers?

        God created a natural world, and he placed us — natural beings — to steward and explore and take care of it. Stop asking dumb questions about why God chose to make things the way he did. He could have made the universe any way he chose. The way he made it is the way it is.

        • Paul Gamblin

          Exactly. He spoke, and it happened. How EXACTLY it happened is still up for debate.

          • Cool. Then don’t ask dumb questions about why God did things a certain way when he could have just as easily done them a different way. You could ask that question about literally anything, and it will get us precisely nowhere.

        • Paul Gamblin

          //Stop asking dumb questions about why God chose to make things the way he did. He could have made the universe any way he chose. The way he made it is the way it is.//

          Please don’t insult my intelligence by calling my questions “dumb” just because you don’t agree with me.

          • I didn’t insult your intelligence. I don’t know anything about you. I just pointed out that you asked a dumb question. The fact that it was dumb has nothing to do with whether I agree with you or not. It was objectively dumb.

            Now, that doesn’t mean I think you’re dumb. A smart person can ask a dumb question. Like with Genesis, the problem here lies not with the words themselves, but with your faulty interpretation of the words.

          • I suggest you examine this trope then rethink the Genesis narrative and change the way you approach it. Snakes don’t talk. Chick Tracts subscribe to “Scientists are Evil” as that’s a horror trope for the Mad Scientist genre of horror stories. The Church of Scientology gets pissed when you make them into a walking punchline — I made it a rule as a horror author not to create a religion.

            I was the subject of tug-a-wars at churches when I told them I am a writer but I would explain I am an entertainer first then would open the dialog for a discussion about God. The epic of evolution would fall in with the gap between the first two verses of Genesis. Let me ask this question, if you believe in a young earth do you believe humans and dinosaurs coexisted? I suggest watching the film Carnosaur and that would change that view really fast as this is a myth.

            Many young earth creationists are really naive to believe this cartoonish myth as this is a belief in recent history as the Independent Baptist church adopted it as Seventh-Day Adventists preached a literal seven day creation period as other churches adopted this. I coined the term “Flintstones Christianity” to those who believe humans-dinosaurs coexisted as they had itchy ears for what Ray Comfort and others fed them.

            I told Dave Mustaine via twitter to educate himself on old earth science as that would blow everything wide open. Darwin’s views on evolution was deistic as he introduced an old earth belief to the culture of superstition that was in the 19th Century church. Bill Nye pointed out that young earth creationism is a threat to scientific thought — theistic evolution I suggest introduce in a secular philosophy class when addressing the God question.

            Henry M. Morris was no scientist as he was trying to push young earth creationism as creation science as that’s psuedosciecne. I always had a modern approach to Christianity as theistic evolution was a logical step forward; I used modern translations from the gitgo as I was dragged to a Southern Baptist prayer meeting when I was 18. As a kid my family had the encyclopedias Mysteries of the Unknown as I have a working knowledge of the occult as I do with Christianity. I watched the Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate after laying into Eric Hovind.

            The heavy metal community were dropping their jaw at how hard I laid into him on Creation Science Evangelism as the allegorical mental illustrations I used in the exchanges got a little darker and edgier on my end as I pulled out the Megalodon argument — to refute young earth creationism read up on shark biology and when they first appeared. Since that exchange he’s retorting to witness wear and Jesus Junk. Ray Comfort had no schooling after high school so his knowledge of science is next to nothing as he’s preaching like a grade school student with his beliefs. Kirk Cameron you can educate about theistic evolution and old earth creationism if you use Biologos as he was an Atheist.

          • Paul Gamblin

            You aren’t going to change my mind. I am willing to concede that Genesis 1 might possibly be a Hebrew poem that describes the overview of creation. However, starting with Genesis 2, the text starts naming names of people and places, rivers (at least two of which still carry those names today). I’m convinced that Genesis is historical. And I can easily resolve any apparent contradictions between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, if you care to listen (or read, actually). I’ve studied God’s word for over 20 years, and the more I learn, I realize I still have a lot more to learn. But I KNOW beyond doubt that God was in control of the creation process. Exactly HOW he did it is only specified for Adam and Eve. The rest could have come about by evolution, but I tend to doubt that. Variations in the species is definitely adaptation, however.

          • It’s time you picked up some science books as well; The Bible is not a science or history book. I suggest you look into this website as when I wrote my first science fiction story I invoked a lot of questions about the creation-evolution debate as I had a character that was a young earth creationist science teacher trying to push creation science in a public classroom as I introduced a well read agnostic character. Col 2:8 MEV, “Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ.” This verse speaks of young earth creationist ministers who push the dinosaur-human co-existence myth on newly converted Christians.

            I suggest you read the article teeth as there was a time the world was just flesh and teeth. The founder of the website also does a rebuttal of CSE years before I laid into them myself. There is information there you might find useful as Hugh Ross is a progressive creationist as he also believes in an old earth. There is variations of the Old Earth acknowledgement — theistic evolution has Atheists floored because they have nothing they can mock about Christians. Eric Hovind preaches flat out ignorance as Jack T. Chick was anti-science, anti-intellectual, and anti-modernism.

            Independent Baptist ministers take advantage of the uneducated as I read a number of their sermons when I refuted the King James Only Movement; I took aim at these ministers because they preached psuedohistroy. 1 Corinthians 1:27 (MEV) points out, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” There are many things I learned since walking away from the church breaking away from Biblical Literallism I became more philosophical with my approach. I read up on ancient Iraq and examined the New Testament world through a scientific eye as I read more into the history around Corinthians.

            The Americas weren’t even a thought in the head of the Bible’s writers as the original writers from the ancient era had no scientific knowledge and the King James Version translators used mythical creatures like unicorns and cockrices in their verses. Ken Ham claims that kangaroos were on the Ark of Noah — you need to rethink the global flood as that’s also allegorical. Theistic Evolution is Christianity in the information age; you can just google something and it refutes a young earth claim. The Noah Flood falls into what they call a deluge myth as I wrote a cyberpunk story using this when I was 28 as I became curious about Mayan 2012 prophecy. The Noah Flood has origins in The Epic of Gilgamesh.

            Flood Myth stems back to the Bronze Age and the New Stone Age. There was science in the early cultures B.C.E. Science was also in the Golden age of Islam as Europe at the time saw scientific thought as heresy and witchcraft. Mark Twain explored this in one of his books. When I was active with Assemblies of God they understood that God worked through medicine as they embraced that aspect of science. Science even refutes witchcraft as I debated with witches over the years too. I scientifically examine the occult world as I do with the Biblical world — I use a verse of scripture as a starting point then I would examine the world of Homer and the Illiad. Halloween was just another day in the office for me as it was a paycheck. I have explored this trope on more than one occasion as I seen people slain in the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues as I walked away from it. I never took aim at the Holy Ghost in my work.

            Luke 12:10 (MSG) “If you bad-mouth the Son of Man out of misunderstanding or ignorance, that can be overlooked. But if you’re knowingly attacking God himself, taking aim at the Holy Spirit, that won’t be overlooked.” I have been accused of this a number of times in my career and adding or taking away from other young earth creationists. If I didn’t question my beliefs I wouldn’t be closer to God; I faced down Satanists without the support of a church as I did when I addressed “Dr” Dino.

            I coined him a “f**king cartoon” via my own facebook page — I took direct aim at him over the Big Daddy tract as that one pissed me off and insulted my intelligence. I dealt with young earth creationists for many years and more so when I took aim at the King James Only Movement. I also read into Zoroastrianism as it was a forerunner of Hebrew, Christianity, Islam and other monotheistic beliefs.

          • Paul Gamblin

            And the particular snake that was in Genesis 3 was indwelled by Satan at the time.

          • Matthew Funke

            And the particular snake that was in Genesis 3 was indwelled by Satan at the time.

            Why do you believe this?

      • Matthew Funke

        Why would God speak the world into existence? Did He have to?

        Since creation is finite and God is infinite, it would seem that no act of creation can be indicative of God’s power; any method of creation would fall infinitely short of the true power of God. So, since we can’t put limits on what He can do, but we can put limits on what He did, why not investigate the evidence left behind and attempt to determine whatever we can?

        (I should note, for example, that it doesn’t seem that speaking the world into existence and evolution are mutually exclusive.)

        • Paul Gamblin

          Did He have to create a process called evolution in order to create the world? I believe that God spoke, and it happened, because that is how it is described. How EXACTLY it happened, no one knows. But each day’s work in chapter 1 is framed by “there was evening, and there was morning” – indicators of a literal day, not a period of time.

          • Matthew Funke

            Did He have to create a process called evolution in order to create the world?

            No, of course not. But it does have the advantage of being consistent with the available evidence, whereas young-Earth creationism does not.

            I believe that God spoke, and it happened, because that is how it is described.

            Side note: Such a claim is not exclusive of evolution.

            But each day’s work in chapter 1 is framed by “there was evening, and there was morning” – indicators of a literal day, not a period of time.

            In English. But not in Biblical Hebrew. Check out, for example, Daniel 8:26, where the same phrase (in Hebrew) refers to a minimum of 3000 years. “Evening and morning” seems to have been an idiom to refer to long, but indefinite, stretches of time.

  • Joshua Anandappa

    Found a very funny edit on conservapedia, although I think it got removed. But I think it sums up the problem of YEC quite well. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dfa4fc5fdaa4e58f1a28e9f70fbb7ec337701e912e274a0d77f926c1c2c5891f.jpg

    • That is funny. I often say something similar: that young-earth creationism is the belief that the world was created more recently than the invention of beer by the Mesopotamians.

      • Joshua Anandappa

        Lol they’re both true ! All you need is a historian or archaeologist (not a geologist or astronomer) to falsify YEC, which says something in my opinion ??

  • Out here you see too many YEC churches but you wonder if you find Old Earth Creationists who open the doors to Evolution. Humans did evolve as man been on this earth for 200,000 years. I challenge YEC’s often and they say I am calling God a liar but when you used Norse Mythology to explain this it does make sense though the question of the great falling away is in the hands of Ken Ham and the Hovinds.

    • BrianKeene

      You wrote a book in which you called God a liar, Nicky.

    • Paul Gamblin

      What’s your take on Adam and Eve? If they didn’t commit the original sin, then the need for Jesus’ death goes away.

      And I do see where it might be considered that God created more than just Adam and Eve when He created man, because in Genesis 1 it does say, “male and female He created them”, which can imply that there were more than just one pair. I just believe that Genesis 3 is the first of many of the prophecies that speak of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

      • Adam and Eve are allegorical as snakes don’t talk, you have to look into the history around the area to get the feel for the era when this is written. They had no knowledge of science as modern science was introduced in the Muslim world. Wikipedia.org speaks of the allegorical interpretation as I also subscribe to the Big History narrative as this is something that plays into all old earth beliefs as the Big Bang was coined by a Catholic priest. Independent Baptists push the cartoonish claim that humans and dinosaurs coexisted in the garden of eden as I believe in the Historical Jesus as I refer to Him by his Aramaic name. Young Earth Creationism denies the prehistory and the real period when dinosaurs appeared on the earth. God uses both theistic and deistic evolution to create the world an universe arguing against evolution is like arguing with God.

        • Paul Gamblin

          Who do you say that Jesus is?

          • I suggest you look into the historical Yeshua as Mel Gibson looked into the Aramaic versions of the Gospel for his film Passion of the Christ. I saw this in 2005 as I was still non-practicing at the time, when I wrote Lake Fossil I was setting up for the evolution-creation debates as I had engaged church mates at Faith World Outreach as they claim the earth is 6000 years old I had to put up with Young Earth wingnuttery and f**kery since I was 18-19 years old as I took Philosophy.

            I had always held an old earth acknowledgement as I read into shark evolution at a young age when I wrote Leviathan’s Ghost in 2004 all my research from when I was a kid came into play as this was an era of flesh and teeth as I am quoting the movie Deep Blue Sea. I had Christian Mysticism in my horror subject matter in my 20s. I had read Sinners of an Angry God and referred to this along with H. P. Lovecraft as part of my philosophy final.

          • Paul Gamblin

            That’s not what I asked. Who is Jesus to you? Is He the Son of God? Is He God in the Flesh, the second Person of the Godhead?

          • I do believe in the entities of God the father, God the Son and the Holy Ghost — I just have a more rational approach towards it as science and western philosophy play instrumental roles. I see The Bible as I interpret Scripture differently as my signing mate pointed out Noah was a drunk, King David was a womanizer, Christ cussed out religious leaders and the apostles discussed race. I have an R-rated approach to Christianity as I laughed when I pointed out the King James Bible has the word “piss” and Scott Waters of Ultimatum pointed out “bastard.” This was after I laid into the King James Only Movement as I had asked them if they drink their own piss.

            When I was on CreateSpace.com I found out about a book called Awkward Moments In The Children’s Bible which shows a unique perspective on the Bible with blackly comical illustrations. My faith is a little more well rounded when I infused science and philosophy with it; to understand evolution it came out of philosophy not religion. If Christians are sharing their faith they should avoid using Pascal’s Wager as this is an Baptist trait as some baptists have no working knowledge of philosophy as they toss Col 2:8 at those who take a few philosophy classes. Because of my R-rated approach I have a hard time finding a church as I managed to face down Stanton LaVey and Zeena on my own.

            I held my own with Corvis Nocturnum and Michelle Belanger as I was billed along side them in 2005. My working knowledge of Satanism rivals that of a 3rd Degree Magnus as I can engage in a verbal sparring match with Magus Gilmore. He assumes that Christians are young earth creationists and no knowledge of philosophy as I read Ayn Rand when I was in high school. Anthem was an influence on my cyberpunk delivery as I wrote a philosophical novel in 2014.

          • Paul Gamblin

            You don’t compromise on who Jesus is, do you?

          • I never had a young earth view growing up as I read books on shark evolution as I first wrote science fiction I introduced a young earth creationist as a high school teacher facing off with a smartass agnostic. When I was a teenager I made blue humored jokes where I didn’t cuss in the joke, my Spanish teacher blushed when he told one student not to bite his head off. I quipped, “which head.” Some of the students were going, “Oh gawd!” I made black humored jokes at bullies as I went to church I had to watch some of the cracks though Sacred Warrior’s lead singer made a blue humored joke and all of us were going, “Wait did we just laugh at that?” When I renewed my faith in God I brought evolution and philosophy seamlessly into it but I also adopted an R-rated approach.

      • Allegorical; Biblical Literallism is a modern heresy. You need to see things from a more complex perspective than giving sunday school answers — I had young earth creationists demanding this kind of answer from me as I can’t give that kind of answer when it comes to Christ as I see the Aramaic Christ as I watched Passion of the Christ in my 20s as it had me rethinking how various denominations perceived Him. He had a contemporary in Ancient Greece — Apollonius of Tyana.

  • Dylan Cook

    Hey Tyler, if you are reading this, then it means we meet again. By the
    way, I follow the Christian religion and I believe in evolution AND
    feathered dinosaurs.

  • Paul Gamblin

    Why believe any of the Bible if you don’t believe all of it? If Genesis isn’t literal, then why take the gospel as literal? (And yes I am a Christian, and yes I have a passion for reaching the lost.)

    • Matthew Funke

      Why is a literal interpretation required for belief?

      Why not consider each piece in the genre it was written in, as near as we can tell? Genesis 1 looks an awful lot like ancient Hebrew poetry, for example.

      • Paul Gamblin

        I hope you aren’t referring to the gospels in your opening question.

        • Matthew Funke

          Can you answer the questions?

          • Paul Gamblin

            Literal belief in the gospels is required for salvation. It is the basis of faith. Faith in the exact process that God used for creation is not necessary for salvation, but a literal belief in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 lays the foundation for the plan of salvation that was ultimately personified in the person of Jesus Christ. And chapter 2 is where God creates man.

            The way I look at Genesis, chapter 1 is an overview of what God did, and chapter 2 starts a more detailed description of how it happened.

          • Matthew Funke

            Literal belief in the gospels is required for salvation. It is the basis of faith.

            Strictly speaking, I didn’t ask about literal belief. I asked why literal interpretation is required for belief. I’m still interested in the answer to that question. You obviously seem to think literal interpretation is required, but you haven’t explained why.

          • Paul Gamblin

            Literal interpretation of the gospels is required. If you don’t believe that Jesus did what the gospels said, or that He is who the gospels said He is, then you aren’t a Christian.

            And personally, I don’t see the logic of saying that one part of the Bible must be taken literally but other parts can be taken as metaphor. I do understand the different genres of literature, and I know that Job, Psalms, and Proverbs are generally taken as poetry that convey spiritual truths. And the prophets are self-explanatory – they contain prophecy that isn’t literally true at the point of writing, but will be true (or has come true since the time of writing). But Genesis through Deuteronomy (along with many other books) are generally accepted as history, aren’t they?

          • Matthew Funke

            Literal interpretation of the gospels is required. If you don’t believe that Jesus did what the gospels said, or that He is who the gospels said He is, then you aren’t a Christian.

            That, by itself, is an interesting claim. Paul seemed to think that believing a great deal less was required in, say, 1 Corinthians or Romans. =shrug= I don’t fundamentally disagree with the claims of the gospels. But, I admit, I also don’t feel comfortable drawing my own boundaries around what a person must believe or what he must not.

            And personally, I don’t see the logic of saying that one part of the Bible must be taken literally but other parts can be taken as metaphor.

            Well, sometimes the evidence doesn’t line up, and it’s not a bit where literal interpretation is required. Consider that 1 Chronicles — a place generally considered to be recording history — informs us that the Earth cannot be moved.

            But Genesis through Deuteronomy (along with many other books) are generally accepted as history, aren’t they?

            Depends on whom you ask, in my experience.

          • Paul Gamblin

            //That, by itself, is an interesting claim. Paul seemed to think that believing a great deal less was required in, say, 1 Corinthians or Romans. =shrug= I don’t fundamentally disagree with the claims of the gospels. But, I admit, I also don’t feel comfortable drawing my own boundaries around what a person must believe or what he must not.//

            I will slightly revise my earlier statement. It may not be required to believe the entire set of gospels literally, but a person MUST believe that Jesus is Who He said He was, and that His death, burial, and resurrection paid the penalty for his/her sin. By believing in his/her heart that Jesus is, and that God has raised Him from the dead, and by confessing with his/her mouth that they believe He is Lord, then they will be saved.

          • Matthew Funke

            Okay, fair enough. I trust you can see that someone can do the things you mention even if they disagree with the young-Earth creationist’s version of events — for example, believing that the Adam story was deeper than a strictly surface-level, literal interpretation of events laid out in Genesis; or that there is truth in the Adam story that tells us something important about our relationship with God even if there was no actual person named Adam; or any number of other things.

            I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who explained to me that they believed in Jesus, or even believed the gospels, because they believed in Genesis, or because they thought Genesis was “literal”, or because they were committed to believing all of the Bible. If anything, their beliefs tend to go the other way around.

          • Paul Gamblin

            That’s actually how it started with me. I grew up in a Christian home, even made several professions of faith over the years. But I was around 37 or so when God really got through to me that I was dying and on my way to hell. Suffice it to say that the 4th time was the charm; I finally was baptized AFTER salvation instead of before.

            As I began studying the Bible, I kept getting promptings from the Holy Spirit to take God at His Word. It took a while, but I finally felt led to believe that the Bible didn’t just contain the Word of God, it IS the Word of God. From cover to cover (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

            I’ve been a Christian now for about 22 years, but I admit I still have more to learn about God. I’ve learned a lot, but the more I learn, the more I realize I still have a lot to learn.

          • Matthew Funke

            Right, well, that’s kind of my point. Among those who believe that the Bible is perfectly true for all values of “true” (theological, spiritual, interpersonal, social, political, historical, scientific, and whatever else we can dream up), you’ll find that they found their need for a Savior first, and then decided on their particular take on the Bible.

            (Side note: Note that “true from cover to cover” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as “inspired” or “God-breathed”. You’ll find pretty broad ideas about what that means among different Christians. Interestingly, Scripture never seems to refer to itself as “the Word of God”; that title is reserved for Christ.)

            My story is pretty opposite from yours in several ways. I was brought up in a fairly strict Evangelical denomination, and was introduced to Christ at a very young age. I grew up believing that every word of the Bible was not just true, but scientifically accurate according to the specific understanding and interpretation being handed down to me by my teachers.

            My God-given curiosity meant that I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I guess. Eventually, I saw through the cracks, and as I investigated what careful investigation into the natural world actually reveals, realized that creationism is not consistent with science at all. This was difficult to reconcile with a belief in Scripture, until I attended a talk by a physicist explaining Genesis 1 and his interpretation of it; he helped me to see that things that my teachers had insisted were there, and which I never failed to see when I approached the text on my own, were actually not there at all. He embraced something like the “Day-Age” interpretation, and I have something somewhat like his interpretation myself… but the important difference between now and my young-Earth creationist days is that I can admit that I’m probably wrong in my current understanding and interpretation of that passage, and am always willing to learn more.

            The only real regret I have is that I had to surrender the desire to be a creationist teacher myself. I saw John C. Whitcomb as a nine-year-old kid, and I thought there couldn’t be much better in this world than learning about science and reassuring my spiritual brothers and sisters that they were justified in their beliefs and had new reason to praise their Creator; I devoured creationist material voraciously, and even though I feel closer to understanding the truth of the matter than I did, I miss the illusion of certainty. As near as I can tell, I probably feel something like the church elders who fought heliocentrism based on their understanding of the Bible, and who came around to realize that the passages they had always used to defend that notion had to be subjected to a deeper understanding. Truth be told, I’d rather have faith than certainty anyway.

          • Paul Gamblin

            I guess my biggest issue with old-earth and evolution is how God conferred His divine image on mankind if we simply evolved from a common ancestor to apes. It doesn’t make sense to me. With a direct creation of man as described in Genesis 2, it makes more sense to me that God gave us His image, because He (according to the description anyway) breathed life into the man that He had formed from the dust.

            And in Genesis 3 (and Romans 5) it seems clear that sin entered the world by one man (Adam), and that redemption from sin came by one Man (Jesus). It just seems hard to reconcile thousands of humans appearing via evolution versus sin entering the world by only one man, who passed his sin nature down to all mankind.

            Maybe God will explain it better when we get to heaven. And maybe not. It won’t matter either way by then, anyway.

          • Matthew Funke

            I guess my biggest issue with old-earth and evolution is how God conferred His divine image on mankind if we simply evolved from a common ancestor to apes. It doesn’t make sense to me. With a direct creation of man as described in Genesis 2, it makes more sense to me that God gave us His image, because He (according to the description anyway) breathed life into the man that He had formed from the dust.

            Well, if we’re careful, we might note that God breathing life into a man still doesn’t tell us how the divine image was imputed to man; at best, it merely tells us when. (And people could even reasonably disagree with that, since all Scripture has to say about it is that that’s when man “became a living soul”.)

            If this was a thing that really happened, then how it makes sense to us, as individuals, is kind of irrelevant. It’s the evidence that matters. Unfortunately, since precisely what the image of God is remains hard to define, that’s going to kind of be up for grabs because even the evidence is that we ought to be looking for isn’t clear… and when something like this is so nebulous, there will be no shortage of people who claim to know what is true, and defend their ideas with their private notions.

            Regardless of when the image of God was imputed to man, though, the evidence of evolution is voluminous and indisputable. It happened, though it can’t tell us exactly when man got the image of God or precisely what the image of God is.

            It just seems hard to reconcile thousands of humans appearing via evolution versus sin entering the world by only one man, who passed his sin nature down to all mankind.

            Sure, but “hard to reconcile” doesn’t mean “untrue”.

            If careful and systematic inquiry into the universe has taught us anything, it’s that the truth about the universe doesn’t have to be easy for us to grasp. We’ve learned that most of solid matter is empty space, for example, that space can be curved, and that most of the stuff in the universe isn’t even made out of what we’ve always known as “stuff”… regardless of the fact that none of this fits into our intuition or preconceived notions of things.

            If you have an idea about how things work, and the facts show that you’re wrong, then you change your idea. It’s as simple as that, really, whether your idea is about a particular interpretation of Scripture or how matter is put together. If you’re going to have any level of humility about our human limitations when it comes to knowledge and understanding, this is pretty much a requirement.

            Maybe God will explain it better when we get to heaven.

            Maybe so. Maybe an attempt to have a picture in our heads that remains easily understood and perfectly true is a mistake. I tend to think that the attempt to understand is an act of worship, even though our understanding can never be perfect or complete.

          • Paul Gamblin

            Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you didn’t address my concern in Genesis 3 and Romans 5?

            And I tend to agree that attempting to understand God, even though as finite humans we will never understand everything about infinite God, is itself an act of worship.

          • Matthew Funke

            Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you didn’t address my concern in Genesis 3 and Romans 5?

            Oh, sorry. I guess it’s probably because I don’t have a fixed idea about them. If you go back to the Hebrew, Adam means “Man”, Eve is a sort of colloquial spelling of “Life”, and Eden means “pleasure”. So Man and Life are removed from Pleasure for disobeying God, and intimately ingesting knowledge about disobedience and evil that they shouldn’t have? And this tale tells us something about all of humanity, and why we need a Savior?

            It’s things like this that make me think the people who look at Genesis as a kind of spiritual allegory that explains who the people of God are in relationship to God might have a point. (This would also apply to Romans 5. If I say something like, “Spider-Man taught us the importance of responsibility with respect to power”, it doesn’t imply that I think Spider-Man is historical, even if I think a story about him is relevant to our social condition, and even if I make comparisons and parallels between Spider-Man and historical people who actually lived. Likewise, whether or not Romans 5 refers to an actual person, it communicates something real about our spiritual condition. Ultimately, God is free to work however He wants, whether or not the information He uses to help us understand lines up prettily and conforms to our attempts to fit it to history.)

            But I’m not convinced. At best, Romans 5 is explaining how death came to man — and maybe that can be traced to the actions of one man, or maybe that can be explained in terms of a tendency we all have in being spiritually blind and dead, or both. I don’t need to know the precise historical framework in order to understand that I need Christ’s redemption. I’m almost sure that I don’t understand how salvation works perfectly, but I trust that Christ’s grace towards any ignorance I have will be sufficient anyway — because correct understanding isn’t belief, nor vice versa.

            If Adam and Eve were historical, I expect that they were the first creatures with the image of God, and therefore the first to understand what sin is. They were the first creatures offered immortality of some sort, and the first given the opportunity to disobey God, because I believe that when God gave them His image, they were the first creatures who could grapple with what disobeying God means. Also, when I say “first”, I mean it in the context of Romans 5, and I don’t know whether that means chronologically first. (I believe that Christ’s work was sufficient for the salvation of people who died before He ever came to Earth, for example, so chronological order seems to be less important than some other kind of order of primacy.)

            It’s… complicated. I can’t say that I know, but I’m always interested in exploring.

          • Paul Gamblin

            You are right, it is complicated. I’m just glad that I don’t have to understand it all fully in order to accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation. I trust HIM to sort it all out for me, at least what I don’t understand today.

          • To understand evolution you have to approach it on its own terms; from natural philosophy. Proverbs 18:15 encourages Christians to get into academics and explore science — trying to refute evolution is like getting into a heated argument with God. I went at the Hovinds with that conviction as “Dr.” Kent Hovind pissed me off when I was 18 years old when Chick introduced Big Daddy?

            Where simplicity is preached – to be educated and rebuke those who look for a Sunday School Answer when it comes to science. I even did a reverse of the Atheist Professor Myth and did the Creationist Teacher in a public school facing off with a sarcastic agnostic. I didn’t have to look too far for this one as this stemmed from when I took Philosophy and encountered a few agnostics.

            Where I was able to refute many young earth creationists claims came from when I read up on shark evolution as a kid (God’s oldest killing machine as worded from the film Deep Blue Sea.) Shark skeletons are a soft tough material as their teeth were only fossilized. The Bull Shark had been around since the ice age in one form or another as sharks been around before the dinosaurs. The Bible was written before man had knowledge of modern marine biology as many refuted Ray Comfort saying The Bible isn’t a scientific book.

          • Matthew Funke

            To understand evolution you have to approach it on its own terms; from natural philosophy.

            I agree. It’s the only way I can directly test and refine my understanding, anyway.

            I went at the Hovinds with that conviction as “Dr.” Kent Hovind pissed me off when I was 18 years old

            It’s funny that you mention that. I had gotten some formal logic under my belt when I saw “Dr.” Hovind’s video series with my father, and was determined to see if there were any creationist claims that weren’t based on glaring logical fallacies. I had a rather staggering creationist library to go through. Then I started looking into what evolution actually taught and what the evidence for it actually is, both of which are very, very different from creationist teachers’ representations of them. Since seeing that evidence, I’ve never looked back.

            The rest of your missive is interesting, but is there something specific you wanted me to address?

          • Google The Tully Monster of Mazon River in Illinois, you will find proof in a much older earth really quick. Also look into Megadon and the claims how the Big Bang was an atheist fabrication where it was really coined by a Catholic Priest. Christians (YEC) would be mismatched if they were witnessing to a Muslim when it comes to being scientific as the Arab world teaches evolution in all their schools right out of the box.

            Point out that human-dinosaur co-existence would look more like the horror films Carnosaur and Jurrastic Park. I knew I wasn’t this but I had sparred with them as they used Institute of Creation “Research” to attempt to refute me as I just pointed out the articles on The Tully Monster. Ken Ham would push pseudohistory and pseudoscience on Christians passing it off as academia.

            You have Independent Baptists trying to play holier-than-thou for years then you google this as you uncover a dark side of Christian History. This I googled pointed out Christianity has a darker side and it’s in the root of legalism to speak about evolution you need to speak out against the fallacies of the King James Only Movement and the Baptist heresies.

            They will use Col 2:8 as an academia clobber verse. I refuted many King James Only claims about heavy metal music as Iron Maiden had me curious about The Bible with their tracks Number of the Beast, Seventh Son of A Seventh Son and No Prayer For The Dying, as I took philosophy because of Believer, Metallica, Black Sabbath and Tourniquet (they brought me back to my roots in biology when they did a track about the giant squid.)

            I almost became a Latter Day Saint until I looked into their theology and psuedohistoric claims; the Book of Mormon is King James Bible fanfiction. I made a sacrilegious remark barbed at them equating polygamy to rodents copulating. Point this out to Baptists as they preach against strong language then reveal the King James Bible paraphrase some of the words they become modern profanity — such as dung and fornicate. I asked “Dr.” Kent Hovind if he drinks his own piss and eats his own [bleep].

          • Matthew Funke

            Um, I’m quite aware of many, many, many independent lines of evidence that point to an old Earth and to evolution, and that the Big Bang was first proposed by Lemaitre. I’ve defended these notions with verifiable claims and citations on this blog and in other creation vs. evolution fora. I’m not sure whom you’re trying to address here.

            There is a significant movement of creationism in Islam, though.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/science/03islam.html

          • Ask a young earth creationists about the land bridge or the ice age; some don’t have an answer except a young earth sunday school answer. Reaching out to Muslims you have to be either an old earth believer/old earth acknowledgement or a theistic evolutionist so you’re on equal footing with Muslims. Muslims believe in Old Earth Creationism and theistic evolution from out of the box as in Illinois a lot of Muslims worked in the medical field in the late 1990s and 2000s.

          • Matthew Funke

            Ask a young earth creationists about the land bridge or the ice age; some don’t have an answer except a young earth sunday school answer.

            Sure. One particular creationist teacher that I remember suggested that the koalas got to Australia via volcano.

            If you can get them to think about it and give you honest answers without changing the subject, biogeography is one of the incredible strengths of evolution, and simultaneously one of the glaring weaknesses of creationism.

            Muslims believe in Old Earth Creationism and theistic evolution from out of the box

            Most Evangelical Christians did, too, until Morris and Whitcomb published The Genesis Flood in 1961. (Did I mention that I started as a creationist when I saw Whitcomb as a nine-year-old kid?) After that, young-Earth creationism was what Christians had always believed.

          • Young Earth Creationism is more common in Baptists (Independent Baptists) while The Assemblies of God had some knowledge of science (God uses medicine and doctors to heal in the modern era. But they preached Biblical Literallism too in the 1990s; the evolution-creation debate was very heated then as I had to keep my views on evolution quiet as I wasn’t quite ready to speak up yet. When I wrote my first science fiction story I had reflected on the controversial debate as a reader pointed out to me that science and God didn’t have to be mutually exclusive. I started researching the skeptic’s side of the debate and when I reaffirmed my faith in God evolution and philosophy came into it seamlessly as I pulled no punches.) Rey noticed how I laid everything on the table and dropped his jaw I had the philosophical angle when I was 20; when I was 18 years old I was really preachy and 19 I got darker.

          • You were a YEC? Damn. I had to refute the Institute of Creation “Research” when I did my blog laying into Eric Hovind. Recently on Google+ I lay into “Dr.” Kent Hovind as you can watch the fecal matter hit the fan with these comments.

            I had a working knowledge of shark evolution and some of The Bible as a young kid from the anime Flying House and Superbook — but I would been conflicted because of the literal reading of the Genesis narratives with the knowledge I had of shark evolution. My knowledge of sharks from when I was a kid came on display when I wrote the supernatural shark horror tale Leviathan’s Ghost as I made references to Jaws and Deep Blue Sea. 12 Days of Terror worked as the back story as I referenced the Jersey Shore Shark Attacks of 1916 as I saw the movie that the book was based upon. I had looked up a Jewish website speaking about how to approach the Genesis Narrative as I also drew this conclusion as well.

            I was reading 12 Days of Terror (the author had a quote from Genesis on the beginning pages) at the time and was talking with the original editor of an e-zine I became the second in command of up to the closing of it in 2005 as this was a fringe horror site. The shark story became out of a conversation I had with her on shark horror as I was trying not to create the damage Peter Benchley did when he first wrote Jaws. When I wrote Lake Fossil in 2004, I showed the flaws in introducing young earth creationism in public schools in the 1990s as I was a teenager at the time when that debate was going on. I introduced an agnostic deadpan snarker in that story and with The Fandom Writer I had two subculture based Christian characters that were sir swearsalot.

            Lake Fossil mocked Hovind Theory in the darkest way though was trying to keep the science fiction story PG rated. The dark atmosphere in this story was rooted in the very real gang violence that came to DuPage County at the time. When I engaged Eric Hovind the story became controversial as the dialog in the story played up on Hovind’s facebook page.

            I will point out any translation of The Bible is not a scientific book no matter how much Ray Comfort tries to package it as he has no college education. I had turned a few heads when I laid into Eric Hovind and Stanton LaVey. (LaVey and I run in similar circles in horror and heavy metal. I am two years older as both Hovind and LaVey were born in 1978.)

            When I spoke up for evolution I had to speak out against the King James Only Movement which included rebuking Eric Hovind’s Alma Mata as the church I examined when I laid into the movement has a woman who fronts a club called Club 3:16. This blog I found laid into Ray Comfort years before I banged heads with him over his Evolution vs. God movie. When I was at First Assembly of God in Wheaton (before it became a mosque) the pastor had used “Are you a good person” as a way to share one’s faith. I do a method which I borrowed from a short story I read called “Would you evangelize at gunpoint?”

          • You should ask him if he pulled that argument from his [bleep}

          • I was introduced to Superbook and The Flying House when I was 8 then when I was 10 I discovered the novel Jaws where I learned how to swear and started reading other books about sharks as I read they came before the dinosaur. I went to public grade school and public high school as I attended a junior college where I took journalism, literature and philosophy. The latter one had me challenging pastors and pissed them off when I knew the age of the universe was old. I wasn’t prepared to engage in the evolution vs. young earth creationism debate as I was handed two Chick tracts that still piss me off to this day Big Daddy and Angels as I listen to heavy metal. When I started writing science fiction I wrote what would been played up when I turned 38 as I faced off with both Hovinds and Ken Ham,

          • I had seen young earth creationists gang up on me when I laid into one of them and they were expecting me to spout scripture back at them, these are a series of blogs where I was refuting them with documentaries about Pompeii and speaking of my own observations of “Dr.” Kent Hovind. I started to remember all the shark evolution research I did when I was a kid when I penned my phantom killer shark outing Leviathan’s Ghost. When I wrote Lake Fossil I flipped the Atheist Professor Myth and made the high school teacher a young earth creationist with a lot of Jurrasic Park in-jokes as the movie came out in the era of when the story was set. I introduced a character that was an antihero who was an honor role student who swipes his parents credit cards to get a hotel room as a staging area.

          • Look into Pre-Columbia Arachiac North America and you can refute Mormons as well — the ancient Native Americans predate the writing of Genesis.

          • Matthew Funke
          • The Onion that brings me back to when I was in college.

          • Matthew Funke

            While we’re on the subject of Genesis 3, here’s something that grabbed my interest recently.

            Maybe (and I emphasize the maybe) we have the wrong mental idea when we think of what it means for God to have formed man out of the dust (Genesis 2:7), in that perhaps it means that God did not make man’s substance out of something physically different. Consider that God uses the present tense in Genesis 3:19 (NASB, emphasis mine):

            For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

            In some sense, God clearly meant something about man had not changed from being dust. Man is clearly physically and chemically different from dust, but God still said to man after his creation, “you are dust”.

            Lest you think I’m making too much out of a single verb tense, I’m a little encouraged to note that Jesus did the same when He refuted the Sadducees in an incident referred to by Matthew 22:31-32, Mark 12:26-27, and Luke 20:37-28, basically asserting that life beyond death is real because God used the present tense in Exodus 3:6. That doesn’t prove that I have a point, of course, but I try to interpret Scripture the way Jesus did, and this is just an attempt at that.

          • Man appeared in the stone age. I had found this as many Christians can’t give an answer about evolution for many years as theistic evolution is controversial as Pat Robertson spoke up for a much older earth in the wake of Ken Ham and Bill Nye Debating. I found that after laying into Eric Hovind and Ken Ham myself as I pointed out they’re misleading Christians to be science illiterate.

            He pointed out if you fight science you will lose your children if you try to explain something in young earth terms and come to figure out something from science. Pat Robertson laid into Ken Ham months before I did as I found him laying into Ham after I had laid into him. Ken Ham is a greedy smooth talking bastard with no knowledge of science or philosophy for that matter as Col 2:8 applies to the teaching of a young earth. “Beware lest anyone captivate you through philosophy and vain deceit, in the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world, and not after Christ.” I had seen this thrown at me many times for wanting to take a Philosophy class.

            In 2014 I did a series of blogs weighing in on “Dr.” Kent Hovind and the King James Only Movement — to really start getting serious about the evolution epic you need to confront the Independent Baptists for feeding the cartoon theology of human-dinosaur coexistence. I laid into Paul Taylor of Just Six Days.com after laying into Eric Hovind.

            He bleeped me out on disqis as I responded with a few explicit e-mails. I quietly had an old earth belief when I first became a Christian as I pointed out with my blogs that Biblical Literallism is a heresy. Gary Lenaire of Tourniquet left the faith because it stopped making sense to him — Biblical Literallism is a reason I walked from the church.

          • I’ve been a Christian since 1994 but had a working knowledge of evolution from reading about evolution of sharks as a kid, when I was eight I was exposed to The Flying House and Superbook anime on CBN but when I was 18 I wasn’t quite ready to lay into the types that Eric Hovind or ‘Dr” Hovind yet. I had encountered the Christians who were akin to Jack T. Chick’s Lil Susy as they gave me flack for writing intense dark horror stories drawing from real life gang violence, addiction, hypocrisy and heresy. I was well versed with horror tropes as I had written horror using Jungian Archetypes, as I did with this piece examining Bryn Riplinger and Gail Riplinger. King James Onlyists make for crap writers because they have limited influences and subject matter. I don’t write about being Christian though I have introduced realistic characters who are Christians as some of them are evolutionist and some well read in Gothic fiction.

          • I think you need to check out this article as it points out that literal reading some parts of the Bible is a Conservative heresy.

    • Do you accept the water cycle? Why? The Bible says, and Jesus affirmed (Matthew 5:45) that God sends the rain, not some natural process. Why believe any of the Bible if you don’t believe all of it?

      • Paul Gamblin

        Didn’t God CREATE that natural process called the water cycle?

        • So, you believe that when the Bible says “God sends the rain,” it really means that God created the water cycle, a natural process the Bible says nothing about, because the ancients didn’t know how it worked. OK.

          Why, then, is it so hard for you to believe that when the Bible says “God said, ‘“Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds,'” it really means that God created a natural process we call evolution?

          • Paul Gamblin

            He may have created a process called evolution; I don’t know. But I do know that Romans 1:20 says that His attributes are clearly seen in nature. And saying that God created a process called evolution and then sat back to let it take its course implies that God is lazy. Which He is most definitely NOT. And if humans evolved, then where was the sin that Jesus had to die for? How did it happen? And how did God’s image get applied to evolving humans instead of created humans?

          • Matthew Funke

            And saying that God created a process called evolution and then sat back to let it take its course implies that God is lazy.

            Who said that He sat back and let it take its course? Do you believe that God “sits back and lets things take their course” whenever we see something happen in the universe that we can describe with science?

            And if humans evolved, then where was the sin that Jesus had to die for? How did it happen?

            That’s a fairly involved question, and I’ll defer it to its own post, if you don’t mind. Hold on a few moments.

            And how did God’s image get applied to evolving humans instead of created humans?

            That’s God’s business. For whatever little it’s worth, I don’t think creationism explains how God’s image got applied to humans, either.

          • Matthew Funke

            And if humans evolved, then where was the sin that Jesus had to die for? How did it happen?

            Simple answer: Jesus didn’t just die for one single, solitary sin. He died for all of it.

            More complex answer: Maybe there was a person named Adam who disobeyed God, and Jesus died to redeem us from that particular sin in addition to all the things we, personally, have done. Even if so, that doesn’t mean that Adam didn’t evolve.

            Even more complex answer: Some people (not me) hold that Adam is a metaphor for our relationship to God, and that’s what we need to be redeemed from.

            Regardless of who’s historically correct (and not just spiritually correct), my trust is in Jesus, not in Adam. So it seems to me that the exact mechanics are kind of irrelevant.

          • Paul Gamblin

            Why trust Jesus if you don’t believe the whole Bible? Where do you draw the line between what to accept and what not to accept? Without a literal Adam and Eve as in Genesis 3, there is no original sin and no first Messianic prophecy. The entire reason Jesus had to die on the cross in the first place is summed up in Genesis 3, and repeated later by Paul in Romans 5.

          • Matthew Funke

            We’re going in circles here. Why is literal assignment to these ideas critical for belief?

          • Paul Gamblin

            If there is no literal Adam and Eve, then there is no first sin, no first prophecy of the Messiah, and the need for the plan of salvation is made null.

            Paul makes it very clear in Romans 5 that one man brought sin into the world, and that one Man brought redemption through His blood.

            “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
            15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
            18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

          • Matthew Funke

            The need for salvation exists because there is a first prophecy? We need to be saved because there was a first sin, and sins of our own are beside the point? I’m afraid that I disagree with those ideas.

          • Paul Gamblin

            Because if a literal Adam didn’t exist, it destroys the symbolism used by Paul in Romans 5. Sin passed down on all men because of the first Adam. That is why we have a sin nature and tend to sin rather than obey God. Yes, our own sins condemn us personally, but we would be condemned anyway because of the sin nature conveyed upon us through our lineage from Adam. And John 3:18, if we choose not to believe in Jesus.

          • Matthew Funke

            Because if a literal Adam didn’t exist, it destroys the symbolism used by Paul in Romans 5.

            I disagree. Symbolism, by definition, doesn’t need to be literally true in order to exist, much less to be true and valid. (It can be, but it’s not a requirement.)

            Sin passed down on all men because of the first Adam. That is why we have a sin nature and tend to sin rather than obey God.

            I own my sins a bit more personally than that. I, myself, have made my own choices to disobey God. That’s more relevant to my standing before him than anything Adam did or didn’t do, I think. Paul’s spiritual point about where all of us stand is valid, but let’s not ignore that he throws in the qualifier “because all sinned” when he talks about all of this (verse 12).

            It’s a bit aside from the subject, but some Christians believe in an “age of accountability” (or “age of reason”, if you’re Catholic); they hold that if someone dies before a certain age — as an infant, say — they will be granted access to Heaven automatically. Do you agree? If so, why does Adam’s sin not automatically condemn them to Hell?

          • And saying that God created a process called evolution and then sat back to let it take its course implies that God is lazy.

            What a ridiculous thing to say. If God is lazy for creating the natural process of evolution, then he also lazy for every other natural process, and there are millions of them.

            What kind of theology do you believe which holds that something can have only a natural cause or a supernatural one?

            Most Christians have no problem believing that there is no contradiction between believing the water cycle exists, but God is also the ultimate source of the rain. I.e., he works through the water cycle, supernaturally, in a way that is not detectable to science or to our physical senses, but is no less real than the process of evaporation and condensation.

            But you are obviously different. You have a problem with this. “It must be God, or nature, it cannot be both!” so declares Paul Gamblin.

            And if humans evolved, then where was the sin that Jesus had to die for?

            Uh, have you ever sinned? Cool, so have I. There you go.

            And how did God’s image get applied to evolving humans instead of created humans?

            Spiritually.

          • God in not lazy — arguing from a young earth perspective is a theology borrowed from the Lost World sub-genre of science fiction claiming humans and dinosaurs coexisted. The dinosaur went extinct 65 million years ago. I had seen Jack T. Chick’s little child mouthpiece used as a lie for Jesus against the science of evolution. In 2014 I became known as Eric Hovind’s subculture based foil as I had long hair, listen to a broad spectrum in extreme metal, wore a leather jacket and clad in denim as I became well read in my teens and twenties in speculative literature.

            (Gothic Literature was my go-to as an author as I went Postmodern in the 2000s as I was in my mid-20s. I am known for a notorious short story called The Fandom Writer which caused as much controversy as H. P. Lovecraft when he wrote The Horror at Red Hook.) I had pissed off Hovind for laughs as I was engaging him half-jokingly as who can invoke the most controversy as a party game for my 38th birthday. My background with Gothic Horror and philosophy came into play when I refuted Eric Hovind and later his father, I also refuted many of Ken Ham’s claims such as this one as this is pseudohistory as you have to look up Ancient North America and you will get a different narrative — one that’s much older than the first writings of the Genesis Narrative. Research Archaic Humans and you have your old earth narrative, man existed before the first pages of the Genesis narrative were even a thought. PBS’ website has an article about the origins of the written version of The Bible as this article speaks of it’s history. I had used one of the Illinois based translations over the years as when I was using Biblegateway I would use 21st Century translations along with those from the 20th as well as Catholic versions.

            2 Timothy 4:3-5 (MSG) can be pointed to those who preach pseudohistory as truth, “You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”