A meme about women and men

Mmm...ribs. Photo by thebittenword.com, via Flickr.

I’m working on some new posts but they’re not quite ready yet. However, we do have a new meme for today! Enjoy, and feel free to share. H/T Kathy Yew Cosham.

adam-and-eve-meme

Also, see this.

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

  • Pebbs

    This works very well. Including the freaky picture. I like how Eve is oozing out of his side. XD

  • Nadine Sikkema

    Adam looks so bored πŸ˜›

    • Haha, I know! Isn’t it hilarious. I guess he’s supposed to be sleeping, but who sleeps like that? Maybe that’s how people slept “before the curse.”

  • “That’s not how it works.” πŸ˜›

    I am quoted? I feel like I have arrived! Thanks for the hat tip!

  • JBSchmidt

    Wonder how well one can spread the message of salvation while attacking fellow Christians.

    • llevvi

      Ideas / beliefs are being attacked, not fellow Christians. There’s a huge difference between attacking one’s ideas and attacking someone.
      Discussing what we believe as Christians is a great way to help spread the message since it will make non-Christians have access to a more accurate view of the gospel.

      • JBSchmidt

        Attacking and discussion never work in tandem. A meme by its nature is an object used in connection with half truths to mock the opposition. As such it destroys meaningful conversation by insinuating the opposition is simply stupid or ignorant. To my knowledge Christ never used such a tactic to convert people. Since he is our example/teacher I fail to see how destroying meaningful conversation with childish picture language would ever convert a non-Christian. In most cases I bet this infighting verses conversation pushes non-Christian away.

        • We should just tell non-Christians that they have to believe the earth is 6000 years old. That’ll pack ’em in.

          • JBSchmidt

            Do we then refuse to tell them about an all powerful triune God? Or that God came to earth as both fully God and fully man to save us from sin? Which parts of the Bible must we be cautious with because it exceeds human comprehension?

          • I don’t think we need to be cautious about any part of the Bible at all. But I don’t think propagating American fundamentalism is much better.

          • JBSchmidt

            Just the parts with which you disagree. Then you can give it the label ‘fundamentalism’ and claim to have Biblical authority on the subject.

          • But I don’t disagree with any part of the Bible.

          • JBSchmidt

            So, like Tyler, you have absolute proof that Gen 1&2 speaks only to an evolutionary model. If God presented you with the question he presented Job (Job 38:4), you could without hesitation give him an account of man’s journey from primordial ooze to the today? Thus giving you the authority to call those who believe in a young earth model, extremists.

          • I really don’t understand this distinction that you feel gives young-earthers such as yourself the prerogative to criticize differing views that you believe are incorrect and problematic but doesn’t afford folks like Phil and me the same privilege.

          • JBSchmidt

            Critique and discussion one thing. Memes that ridicule are another. It would be much more fruitful to discuss the varying topics, than play a half truth game and insult your fellow saved brothers in Christ. We both have a stong element of faith in our creation belief. We should be working to together to strengthen our faith in Christ; rather than struggling to prove who is absolutely correct about the first 2 chapters of the bible.

          • OK, so a lot of your criticism here basically concerns not what I’m saying but the way in which I’m saying it. Fair enough. You’re welcome to your opinion, but I simply disagree that humor and mimicry is a wrong or ineffective way to engage people on this issue, particularly young people, and particularly on the Internet.

            We both have a stong element of faith in our creation belief.

            That’s true. Our “creation belief” is identical in that we both believe God created the universe and all things in it. As to the age of the universe and the natural processes he used, belief has nothing to do with it. One of us accepts the scientific evidence from creation as a truthful revelation from the Creator, the other rejects the evidence.

            We should be working to together to strengthen our faith in Christ; rather than struggling to prove who is absolutely correct about the first 2 chapters of the bible.

            Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do worry about the weak faith of believers whose faith in Christ depends on a rigidly literal interpretation of Genesis. However, my primary purpose here is not concerned with that, but rather confronting the false teachings of young-earth groups like Answers in Genesis.

            I understand that you don’t believe confronting heresy and false teachers is important, but that’s not what I see in the model of Christ himself, as well as in the writings of the apostles and the early church.

          • JBSchmidt

            “One of us accepts the scientific evidence from creation as a truthful revelation from the Creator, the other rejects the evidence.” There are two assumption in that statement you are positioning as fact. 1) Humans have always evaluated scientific evidence accurately. 2) Scientists have always revealed the truth of God.

            “confronting the false teachings of young-earth groups” Well, you again apparently were reading God’s diary. Either the Bible includes a 6 day version or the Bible makes no statements to age. Its not both. You also assume you have seen the creation of the world through God’s eyes.

            Heresy is a strong word, especially when you discuss items of theology the Bible does not speak specifically too.

          • There are two assumption in that statement you are positioning as fact. 1) Humans have always evaluated scientific evidence accurately. 2) Scientists have always revealed the truth of God.

            Um, no. I don’t believe either of those things, so it would be pretty hard for them to be underlying assumptions in any statement I would make.

            Well, you again apparently were reading God’s diary. Either the Bible includes a 6 day version or the Bible makes no statements to age. Its not both. You also assume you have seen the creation of the world through God’s eyes.

            You misunderstand me. I disagree with young-earth creationism on many levels, but that belief in and of itself is not what I’m calling heretical.

            It is the particular, modernist and extremist brand preached by groups like AiG, which holds that young-earthism is an essential part of the gospel and the Christian faith, that believing otherwise is a “compromise” of the faith and the authority of scripture.

            That is the heresy that has led many people astray in our day and age, and that is the heresy we fight against. Two things are necessary to receive salvation and live an effective Christian life: a repentant heart and a full and abiding trust in Jesus. Period, end of story.

          • JBSchmidt

            I don’t completely disagree with you. However, much of the ‘compromise’ that YECers contend exist and the subsequent heresy you contend exist rest in larger part on the shoulders of old earthers.

            For example, Gen 1&2 has always been a point of discuss for the Christian church. Up to the point of Darwin; however, the general consensus was 6 days. Did that effect the spread of Gospel? Is a change in the church because we have proof or because making evolution fit into Gen 1&2 is simply more attractive to some unbelievers? Much of the challenges by old earthers rests on the scientific assumptions I just listed.

            Old earthers have two majors issues to address: 1) Which hominids are saved? 2) At what stages did God intervene? What is the scientific/Biblical evidence for that God intervention? Without those questions being answered, there are significant Gospel complications to accepting an old earth model.

            That being said, Christians working in the field of evolution is a good thing. However, old earthers risk becoming a ‘god of the gaps’ argument. That is equally, if not more, dangerous to leading people astray.

          • For example, Gen 1&2 has always been a point of discuss for the Christian church. Up to the point of Darwin; however, the general consensus was 6 days.

            Two things. First of all, this is not true. As you mention, there have been various interpretations of Genesis, including allegorical ones, proposed and advocated by theologians going back thousands of years. But starting in at least the 18th century (well before Darwin) and continuing into the mid-20th, old-earth views became increasingly popular and widespread within the church.

            The gap and day-age theories were the two most common. Two well-known proponents of the day-age view in the early 20th century were William Jennings Bryan and William Bell Riley (not exactly a liberal), who were both very outspoken anti-evolutionists. But the gap theory was still more popular, such that the evangelical theologian Bernard Ramm wrote in 1954, “The gap theory has become the standard interpretation throughout hyper-orthodoxy.”

            Second, even if this statement were true, so what? By the exact same logic, we could say (truthfully), “Up to the point of Copernicus and Galileo, the general consensus in the Christian church was that the earth was fixed and the sun revolved around it.”

            OK… so are we supposed to go back to their pre-scientific and ultimately incorrect views simply because they were church people? Their ideas were based on scriptural passages, after all, that seemed to to clearly say the earth does not move (e.g. 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalm 93:1 and Psalm 96:10) and the sun does (Joshua 10:12-13, Habakkuk 3:11 and Ecclesiastes 1:5).

            Old earthers have two majors issues to address: 1) Which hominids are saved? 2) At what stages did God intervene? What is the scientific/Biblical evidence for that God intervention?

            These questions are not nearly as significant as you suggest. The answer to both is that it was up to God, and if he wanted or needed us to know the exact details, we would know them.

            Without those questions being answered, there are significant Gospel complications to accepting an old earth model.

            In what possible way could either of those questions affect someone’s view of the gospel? Are you worried that we’re going to find some Neanderthals walking around on the streets one day and not know whether to evangelize to them or not?

            However, old earthers risk becoming a ‘god of the gaps’ argument.

            I’m curious what you mean by this. Unless you’re using some version of the “god of the gaps” that I’m not aware of, it is clearly the young-earth crowd that is guilty of this.

          • JBSchmidt

            When evolution reached the point at which hominids began to separate genetically from their ape-like ancestors; either the direct offspring was hominid and saved or the product of interbreeding was hominid and saved. Either way you have an ‘anchor baby’ situation where the parent(s) are not covered under salvation.

            You are right, I am not planning a church based on reaching neanderthals. However, if you are basing your reading of Genesis on what you can see though science. Evolution plays us out to be nothing more than glorified animals and a product of random chance. Where is God? Is He the random chance? Is He the big bang? Has he had His hand involved the whole time, condemning countless variations of his creation to die needlessly, without salvation, while he perfected an imperfect man?

            Why would a non-Christian, who believes evolution and the ability of science to fill in any current gaps, muddy the waters with a ‘god’ and his laws? Especially as Phil pointed out, Genesis was nothing more than a pissing match between Near Eastern gods. Christian evolutionists are simply seen as people trying to inject a god into out current gaps in knowledge.

          • When evolution reached the point at which hominids began to separate genetically from their ape-like ancestors; either the direct offspring was hominid and saved or the product of interbreeding was hominid and saved. Either way you have an ‘anchor baby’ situation where the parent(s) are not covered under salvation.

            As much as I got a kick out of your applying the term “anchor baby” to this discussion, I still don’t see how any of this is a major problem. First of all, your statement here does not reflect a biblical soteriology. It’s not a question of salvation, but of ensoulment.

            Before Christ, those who had souls and the knowledge of God were under sin, not salvation. Those who did not have souls were animals, regardless of how developed their brains and tool-making abilities may have been. This is a point C.S. Lewis made quite well 75 years ago:

            “For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself. He gave it hands whose thumb could be applied to each of the fingers, and jaws and teeth and throat capable of articulation, and a brain sufficiently complex to execute all the material motions whereby rational thought is incarnated. The creature may have existed for ages in this state before it became man: it may even have been clever enough to make things which a modern archaeologist would accept as proof of its humanity. But it was only an animal because all its physical and psychical processes were directed to purely material and natural ends. Then, in the fullness of time, God caused to descend upon this organism, both on its psychology and physiology, a new kind of consciousness which could say β€˜I’ and β€˜me,’ which could look upon itself as an object, which knew God, which could make judgments of truth, beauty, and goodness, and which was so far above time that it could perceive time flowing past.”

            You are right, I am not planning a church based on reaching neanderthals.

            You abandoned this line of reasoning quickly enough. I’m still confused as to how any of this presents a legitimate difficulty to one’s understanding of the gospel? The gospel is that people are sinners and don’t deserve God’s love, but he loves us and died for us anyway. The fact that we may not know exactly how many thousands of years ago that “people” became people does not change that in the slightest.

            However, if you are basing your reading of Genesis on what you can see though science. Evolution plays us out to be nothing more than glorified animals and a product of random chance. Where is God? Is He the random chance? Is He the big bang?

            You sound an awful lot like an atheist right now. Because I accept the scientific evidence for common descent it means I must also agree with the materialistic philosophical conclusion that life is random and purposeless? Does not scripture say that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God’s notice and care? If I accept that the sun rise is the result of the earth’s natural rotation on its axis, does that mean I cannot find hope in God’s promises about his mercies being new each day?

            Why would a non-Christian, who believes evolution and the ability of science to fill in any current gaps, muddy the waters with a ‘god’ and his laws?

            You are woefully misinformed about the creation-evolution debate. It is not our side who says God is needed to fill in “gaps” in our understanding; it is the young-earth and ID proponents who are doing this.

            Though they couch them in different terms, both of their main arguments against evolution are that life can’t come from non-life and that mutations and unguided processes aren’t enough to account for the diversity seen in nature. They both boil down to God is needed to explain science.

            Of course, this brings into focus the great problem with “God of the gaps”: When those questions currently claimed as weaknesses in evolutionary theory are answered, God just gets smaller and smaller.

            Our contention is just the opposite. We believe that God set up a natural world that works perfectly, and does not need to repeatedly inject himself supernaturally to give everything a tune-up. He believe he is active and intimately involved with creation, but as a supernatural being, he and his workings are not going to be detected by natural means (science).

            Simply put, God is not an answer to a scientific question. He is the answer to the human question.

            Especially as Phil pointed out, Genesis was nothing more than a pissing match between Near Eastern gods.

            Pretty sure that is not what Phil said.

          • JBSchmidt

            That was an early belief of C.S. Lewis and as he aged, he became increasing more doubtful of the how God used the process of evolution to produce man. His biggest sticking point was the fall into sin. Evolution is a mindless process driven by raw selfishness. Each individual strives for nothing more than what it needs and cares little for anyone else. This would indicate that sinfulness (actions contrary to the holiness of God) existed prior to the final human product (if we are actually that) and must have been created by God. If God, in his supreme holiness, says something was good, it can’t also be sinful. Furthermore, he would conclude that the ‘fall’ in the sight of evolutionists was upward progress. Man gained this new consciousness. At which Lewis said, “which is like saying that because ‘My heart is broken’ contains a metaphor, it therefore means ‘I feel very cheerful.’ This mode of interpretation I regard, frankly, as nonsense.”

            “God set up a natural world that works perfectly”, what does that even mean? Yes, God knows everything about his universe (dying sparrows), that does little explain his role as seen by theistic evolutionists. In order for your evolutionary world view to meld with the Bible, you need a people with a soul that require salvation. In response you simply believe that after billions of years evolution, God said “let here be soul”? (I am having a hard time finding this in Scripture).

            So those secular scientists, that believe evolution, are correct when it comes to biology, but are suddenly wrong about the evolution of morality and self awareness? Dawkins (and others) argue that religion itself is an evolutionary adaptation. Why are they wrong now? You become self refuting by accepting 95% of evolution and then claiming suddenly the final 5% is wrong because, the Bible says………

            It is the introduction of evolution into Genesis that creates the situation where “God just gets smaller and smaller.” The 6 day God is almighty, who surpasses all human understanding, 1Cor 1:25. The evolutionary God is a meddler whose comes and goes as required by our human understanding to fit into our nearsighted view of history. To many, if not all, secular scientists, they are one experiment away from the answer which will eliminate any need for God.

            Evolutionary Theists require faith that God interceded in evolution and gave a hominid a soul. Have faith that evolution was controlled by God, even though all of secular science claims it is complete randomness. Have faith to cling to a theory whose secular purpose is to expose God as false. I can’t explain why we see a very old universe, but I find it much easier to put my faith in the God’s real words of Genesis 1, rather than mans interpretation of nature.

          • You quote C.S. Lewis out of context, which is ironic since the statement he is making is not only different than what you say it is, it’s actually pretty much the opposite. The specific perspective of Genesis he criticizes is not the allegorical one (which he held), but the secondary idea that the fall of man was an “upward” fall. But overall, he is critiquing a philosophy that is near and dear to most YECs, whether they acknowledge it or not, that only the literal interpretation of scripture has value, and that metaphorical views are useless.

            Here’s a link to the full chapter: http://pdbooks.ca/pdbooks/english/L/Lewis-C-S–Miracles/cjyaqv_files/text/part0011.html. I especially like this quote: “The reason why the modern literalist is puzzled is that he is trying to get out of the old writers something which is not there. Starting from a clear modern distinction between material and immaterial he tries to find out on which side of that distinction the ancient Hebrew conception fell. He forgets that the distinction itself has been made clear only by later thought.”

            So ahead of his time.

            You continue to assert an atheistic, materialistic view of nature and demand that I respond. I don’t know why you accept the atheistic view of evolution (do you also accept the atheistic views of life and death, or other parts of nature?), but I do not. I have already addressed you on this matter once; I am not going to continue to respond to a critique of a position that I do not hold.

            It is the introduction of evolution into Genesis that creates the situation where “God just gets smaller and smaller.”

            When have I said that I “introduce evolution into Genesis”? I have said quite clearly and repeatedly that I think they speak to different things. Evolution describes the natural process (the how), Genesis gives us the supernatural reality (the who and they why). It is no different than the water cycle being the natural answer to where rain comes from, but God still being its ultimate source, as Jesus said in Matthew 5:45.

            The 6 day God is almighty, who surpasses all human understanding, 1Cor 1:25. The evolutionary God is a meddler whose comes and goes as required by our human understanding to fit into our nearsighted view of history. To many, if not all, secular scientists, they are one experiment away from the answer which will eliminate any need for God.

            Again, this is not a remotely accurate description of my view of God, which I have already explained more than once. If you wish to have a discussion, then please engage with what I actually believe. If your only purpose here is to have a wrestling match with a strawman, then let me know, because I wouldn’t be needed in that case, and I have plenty of other things I can let occupy my time.

            Evolutionary Theists require faith that God interceded in evolution and gave a hominid a soul. Have faith that evolution was controlled by God, even though all of secular science claims it is complete randomness

            Do you not have faith that God gave mankind a soul, even though there is no scientific evidence that such a thing exists or that such a gifting every occurred? Do you not have faith that God is the author of creation, past, present and future, even though “all of secular science” demonstrates no positive proof of his existence or workings?

            It is by faith that we believe the universe was created by the word of God, not “by the scientific evidence.” The distinction you assert exists between our two views of creation is simply not there.

            Have faith to cling to a theory whose secular purpose is to expose God as false.

            Science is a means of examining the natural world. It can make no claims of the supernatural. Even if “exposing God as false” really were the goal of biology (it’s not), they would have absolutely no means of doing so through the process of science, so why should we worry about it?

            I can’t explain why we see a very old universe, but I find it much easier to put my faith in the God’s real words of Genesis 1, rather than mans interpretation of nature.

            Except your faith is not in God’s word, but in your human interpretations, which are fallible and flawed.

          • JBSchmidt

            I concede on Lewis. I am not prepared to argue 2 authors in the same thread.

            Matthew 5:45 is no proof text for any version of creation. Unless of course you let me use Exodus 20:11

            You still have failed to tell me where your god comes into play with evolution. Did he simply start the process or did he set everything in place to produce the ‘man’ outcome or does he actively work fine tuning the process of evolution? How do you justify God destroying billions of years of life simply in order to produce ‘man’?

            What do you tell an non believer who believes in evolution that shows him the Gospel? How do you know our current state is the final branch on the evolutionary tree?

          • Well, I just told three non-believers who believe in evolution the Gospel this week, and what I told them was that Jesus had brought the kingdom of God that was always hoped for in the Old Testament, and by rising from the dead showed that he was that Messiah and that God had given him all authority.

            I told them that Gentiles could now be part of this kingdom and, by believing in what God has done in Jesus, they could start down a path of communal, sacrificial caring that will last through all the crises of this world and be resurrected into new creation.

            Evolution just really didn’t come up in that story,

          • JBSchmidt

            Evolution probably wouldn’t come up.

            However, why would they need a messiah? Why not just become Jews?

          • Because God has acted to save His people in Jesus, and it is through faith in him that Jews and Gentiles are brought together into one, eschatological people of God being a blessing to the world and being prepared for a new creation. It is only through Jesus that this is being accomplished. Jesus is the only king of the only kingdom of God, which is one of the things his resurrection proves.

            Becoming Jews who do not have faith in Jesus just puts them back in the consequences of their sin and the condemnation of the Torah. This is why Paul encourages both Jews and Gentiles not to go back to Torah, but instead establish a righteousness apart from the Law that comes through faith in Christ.

          • JBSchmidt

            Unrepentant Christians stand in the consequences of their sins as well. While I agree that we stand as one in faith in Christ; I completely disagree that Paul encourages believers to not to go back to the Torah. The Torah is the condemnation of sin, the reason for Christ’s crucifixion. We do have righteousness apart from the Law, but it is the Law that shows us our sins and the need for a savior. If we remove the Torah, we also remove the need for a savior. While we are not longer slaves to sin, we still need God’s law as both a guide for what is right and a mirror to show us our own short comings in contrast to God’s holiness.

            If you reduce the OT to theological symbols and claim its purpose is largely no longer needed, then you also weaken the need for a savior. Which is half the reason I asked that asked about representing the Gospel to unbelievers. Since the OT is largely allegory, isn’t also sin? If Christ supposedly saved us from the consequences of sin, that makes Christ’s journey largely allegorical as well. In the end you have a feel gospel built around temporal happiness.

          • The OT is not largely allegory. I can’t tell if you are actually this dense or are just being argumentative. At this point in the conversation, the only reason you’d be saying that’s my view is if you’re trying to create a strawman that is easier to take down or you are just profoundly thick.

            Israel broke the Torah, thus inviting the curse of the Law. Jesus saves faithful Israel from this curse. In his resurrection and ascension, he removes the Torah allowing faithful Gentiles to become one people with faithful Jews (Eph. 2:11-3:6). The Torah was Israel’s covenant and was never the Gentiles’. In fact, it was a primary defining wall that kept the two apart. This is why Paul has to spend the first good chunk of Romans establishing how both Jews and Gentiles can both be condemned under sin even though the Gentiles do not have the Law. When the early church evangelized, they did not go around to Gentiles citing the Torah and encouraging them to convert because of the condemnation of the Torah. That would be ridiculous.

          • JB, no one has espoused a position that is even closely resembles what you critique here. Seriously, if your desire is just to beat up on strawmen, then go at it with a will, but do it somewhere else because we are clearly not needed.

          • I concede on Lewis. I am not prepared to argue 2 authors in the same thread.

            Well that’s admirable. Do you also concede that you grossly misused the biblical text in the other thread (http://www.godofevolution.com/10-theological-questions-no-young-earth-creationist-can-answer/#comment-2224672916 ) in which you made the absurd statement that Romans 8 “specifically claims that the bondage of decay came as an act of the fall”?

            You never did respond to that, and seeing as how I’m not one to let YECs come on here and make their ridiculous and baseless assertions against honest Christians while they demonstrably abuse the Bible in far greater ways than anything we might be guilty of, I would ask you to address this now.

            Fess up, admit you misused the text and said something about it that was blatantly untrue, and I will respond to the rest of your latest pile of nonsense here. If you do not, your discussions on this site are over. Sound fair? Sure it does.

          • JBSchmidt

            Romans, when read from Ch1, plain points out that Paul is discussing sin, the fall of man and salvation. Therefore when you read 8:18-25 it clearly discusses how we, along with nature, ‘groan’ for the return of Christ when both earth and our bodies will be freed from the ruin brought on by sin.

          • You were confronted with an obvious and irrefutable misstatement you made about the testimony of scripture. I’m tempted to call it a deliberate lie, but it’s possible it could have been a mistake or a misunderstanding. Confronted with what the passage actually says, any honest person — let alone an honest Christian — would have acknowledged the error and apologized, and you were given the opportunity to do just that.

            Instead, you defiantly and arrogantly ignore the evidence against you and assert that you are right, because reasons, then proceed in attempt to obfuscate the matter by pretending you were talking about the whole book of Romans, “when read from Chapter 1.”

            But you weren’t talking about the whole book of Romans. You were talking about Chapter 8, and a “specific claim” you said it makes that it does not, in fact, even come close to making.

          • “Especially as Phil pointed out, Genesis was nothing more than a pissing match between Near Eastern gods.”

            Whoa, don’t go using my name in vain like that.

            Here’s what I said:

            “Genesis 1 & 2 is ancient Near Eastern covenant prologue that establishes YHVH as creator and superior to neighboring gods, sets a human being as his vice-regent, begins to explain how Israel found herself in exile and give her hope that God will deliver her from exile.”

            Genesis 1 not only establishes Israel’s God as the true creator and superior to the gods of her neighbors (although this is an important thing to establish), it also says a lot about what humanity is, who Israel is, and why, despite her trials, she should hope in this God for redemption. It is a very powerful, moving, and relational chapter.

            What it is not is a newspaper reporter’s account of the processes through which the planet Earth came into its current state.

          • JBSchmidt

            When does Genesis become real history? What scriptural context are we give to determine when the allegory stops and history begins?

          • Excellent question. I’m going to fine tune it a little because you’ve only given me two choices, as if a biblical text is either 100% dispassionate, literal account or 100% complete allegorical fabrication and the OT alternates between those two.

            The more data we uncover about ANE writings and Semitic writings in particular, we find a couple of things.

            1. All history is also theological commentary. Genesis was not written just to have a history book lying around – it was written for the immediate benefit of the people who were recipients of it. It serves a purpose in the life of the people of God. This is especially clear since Genesis was not written by eyewitnesses to what it records, but by people who are receiving an impetus from the Holy Spirit and shaping that into a narrative.

            The -purpose- then of this history is vital to understanding and interpreting it. The concept of writing a basically objective history for academic purposes is a fairly modern one. In the ANE, you wrote histories to establish truths and prove points. There is no such thing as “mere history” or “straight history” in the Old Testament. To use a modern example, if someone wrote a biography of Donald Trump with the intent of proving that he is incompetent and would be a political disaster, that would let us know that the history within may not be completely fabricated, but it will certainly be selective and presented in a certain way subservient to making the point. This is how Near Eastern history worked and, arguably, how a lot of history still works, today, as anyone who has read any Church History can tell you.

            2. For various reasons (experience gaps, interaction with surrounding cultures, lack of scientific understanding, the purpose of theological commentary), ANE history will also have elements that explain via myth. I don’t mean “myth” as a synonym for “falsehood.” I mean myth as “ancient cosmological explanation.”

            For example, when the sun stands still in the sky for Joshua. Well, we know -at the very least- the sun was not the thing that stopped moving. Even if you take it as more or less literal history, the Earth is what stood still in that case. But, obviously, the authors would not have known that nor is that relevant to what they’re trying to get across.

            What we do see is that Israel wins a pitched battle and the environmental factors favor them. Even the daylight, from their perspective, seems to extend past normal time, and this in response to prayers from Joshua. The “mythic” level of explanation shows us that Israel’s God is the creator of heaven and earth and all those things are subject to His dominion, and He uses that dominion for the good of his people. When people fight Israel, they are totally screwed because they are de facto fighting against YHVH, which is a powerful encouragement to the reader and a powerful disincentive to those outside of Israel who hear about this.

            But what “really” happened? Well, the sun didn’t stand still; I can tell you that much. It’s probably unlikely the Earth stopped rotating as well, because the effects of that would be disastrous. Somehow, through God’s aid, Israel won a difficult battle and experienced an unusual ability to have light longer than they’d think. Was there a bright comet or a meteor shower? Did something explode? Did the daylight just go for an atypically long time somehow? I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. The Bible just told me what I needed to know to get the truth I’m supposed to get from the story.

            There is no on and off switch for this phenomenon. It is virtually the entirety of Old Testament history. This is why it is key for a student of the Bible to ask why a story is in there as opposed to trying to make it all be modern, dispassionate history. No rabbi ever expected that of the OT, and they don’t treat it that way, either. We shouldn’t take our own view of what history -must- be in order to be true and demand that the Old Testament conform to it. Instead, we should study the OT we have on its own terms, knowing that this is how God chose to communicate to His people back then and is what we have, today.

          • JBSchmidt

            It seems to take the God’s power away from him and replace it with what human experience can explain. It also assumes that the Holy Spirit was unable to articulate a story the people could understand. In the end, the story is no different than that of other peoples. A God that is worshiped to guarantee success. Where was God when the Babylonians or Romans leveled the temple? Was he simply weaker than the God’s of those countries?

            Furthermore, when assuming the OT should be read as stories that represent theological principals rather than actually accounts of Go; one could easily claim the same for the accounts of the Gospels. Christ couldn’t really perform those miracles (feeding 5K, controlling weather, raising Lazarus) or raising himself from the dead. The only importance of the NT is that we understand the teaching of Christ and apply them to personal interactions. If the stories of God’s impossible power are not literal, why is Christ’s?

          • I don’t know why you think it takes God’s power away from Him. God is the creator and sustainer of all that is, and He isn’t any less so because he acts through second causes that might get described differently than the literal events. When it rains, I thank God for the rain. The fact that the rain came from evaporation and saturation does not diminish the power, sovereignty, glory, or gift of God one whit.

            I also am unsure of what you mean by “the Holy Spirit articulating a story the people could understand.” Are you suggesting the Holy Spirit verbally dictated the words of Scripture to the people who wrote them down? So the authors were just basically pens with legs? I’m not sure that view of inspiration is tenable considering the many different styles of the authors as well as the events of God’s direct speech being recorded and ascribed as such. For instance, 1 Peter is written in very flowery, elaborate, and academic Greek. 2 Peter is very rough and crude and even contains grammatical errors. It seems unlikely both of these documents are products of divine dictation.

            If, instead, the power of the Spirit moved through these authors, and it was their brains working and their choice of expression, which would in fact explain the many different styles and ways of referring to the world we find through Scripture, then of course they are going to communicate in the ways they’re familiar with according to the facts they have. There’s a reason why rabbi-trained Paul will draw on different experiences than a fisherman.

            As for where God was when Israel was exiled, this is obviously a HUGE apologetic issue for the Old Testament – how could God be faithful to His covenant if God’s elect are conquered by a hostile nation and dispersed from their promised land? This is why many of the prophets engage in a covenant lawsuit against Israel to establish that their exile has been earned by the covenant curse and not a failure on God’s part.

            As for the Roman destruction of the Temple, Jesus, Paul, and Peter all warned people that this was going to happen as a judgement on apostate Israel finalizing the covenant curse. Out of the ruins of this destruction arises a faithful remnant who are the new people of God (Jews and Gentiles) under a new covenant. Rome itself is slated for judgement as well, and Caesar does eventually bow the knee to Christ and put the pagan oppressors to the sword. But judgement begins with the house of God.

          • JBSchmidt

            I disagree with regards to the action of the Holy Spirit. The words recorded and the styles of the Bible were both done by the work of the Holy Spirit. The fact that the 4 Gospels are written to different audiences is case in point, they didn’t plan that. The inspiration went way beyond the Holy Spirit gently guiding. Considering what Paul writes in 2Tim 3:16 I don’t see how what is written in the Bible is anything other than word for word what God inspired the writers to write. If not, it would impossible to claim biblical inerrancy. Man’s brain and expressions would be in capable of producing the body of work we see int he Bible.

            Matthew 5:45 is not proof text for the entirety of God’s relationship with nature. Also in Joshua, there is nothing written to say the sun stopped moving or contradict what science currently knows about the solar system. It simply states that the sun stood still in the sky. It makes no claim to the movement of celestial bodies. If people interpreted it differently, that isn’t God’s fault. Which begs the question with respect to your interpretation; why would an all powerful God use an act of nature and yet have the author record a supernatural event? It seems that if we did have an all powerful God who told fanciful stories of great power, while explainable acts of nature had actually occurred; he would be guilty of white lies..

            With respect to the to the destruction of Jerusalem, much of the failure of the Jews with respect to their covenant with God lies in the ignoring of God’s story. The Jews had turned to idols expecting to receive the benefits of nature. How many times does God remind his people of the exact supernatural accounts of Biblical history? Those supernatural events were done intentionally with great power for that point. No one could explain the power of God as simply nature; rather he could convict his people of ignoring His power.

            This follows with Christ and the Roman destruction as well. The Jews rejected the supernatural events surrounding Christ’s life and death. Those events were also done exposing the supreme power of God so their denial could convict the unbeliever. When we take away the supernatural, we put God and his power in a box.

            The early OT lacked eyewitnesses? Most scholars accept that Moses wrote the first 5 books and that Joshua wrote much of his own book. There are enough supernatural acts of God they would have witnesses to certainly prove the validity. It could also very well be the case that early men of God wrote histories prior to Moses. How many prophets suffered for their belief in the literal words of the OT?

          • Ok. So, the Holy Spirit spoke to Peter at one point in fluent, academic Greek, and then later spoke to him in terrible Greek. He did this because… why, exactly?

            2 Tim. 3:16 does not say the Holy Spirit dictated the actual words of Scripture, nor does it say the Bible is inerrant. In 2 Tim. 4:13, Paul asks Timothy to bring his cloak from Troas. Was that also dictated by the Holy Spirit? What about all Cretans being liars? And why even bother using multiple people? Why not have the same person write all four Gospels? Was the division of labor more efficient? Why does Luke write both Luke and Acts while Matthew only gets to write Matthew? Why doesn’t one single person just write the entire New Testament? Or better yet, why doesn’t God just write it directly like He did the Ten Commandments? Your view of inspiration is highly unorthodox, which doesn’t make it wrong, but it is also highly implausible. You are starting with a pre-existing idea of what the Bible has to be, then laying it back on the text.

            Matthew 5:45 is not a proof text for the entirety of God’s relationship with nature, but it still remains an example you have yet to explain. Matthew 5:45 clearly shows that Jesus can ascribe works to God that are also the result of completely natural processes. And this runs throughout Scripture. How many times does the OT talk about God “sending a nation” to do this or that? Well, God didn’t show up to Nebuchadnezzar and say, “Hey, smite Israel for me.” In fact, Isaiah 10 clearly states that Assyria is a rod in YHVH’s hand, but then YHVH punishes Assyria because it purposed Israel’s destruction out of pride and arrogance and utter disregard for YHVH. So, here is a clear example of God saying He is the cause of Assyria’s invasion while AT THE SAME TIME chalking it up to Assyria’s lust for conquest. The idea of God working through natural processes is FAR more common in Scripture than not as well as in our daily lives. How many times has God healed you supernaturally? How many times has God healed you through natural processes? Is He any less worthy of your thanks?

            Joshua 10:13, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for a whole day.”

            The sun did not stand still, nor did it stop in the midst of the heaven. It may have appeared that way to the author, but that is not scientifically what actually happened. So, either we have to acknowledge that the writer just called it like he saw it without regard to modern scientific knowledge, or the Holy Spirit really messed up.

            Where on earth do you get the idea that Jerusalem was destroyed because of a national turn to idolatry to get the “benefits of nature?” or rejecting supernatural events? Jesus says in Luke 19:41-44 that they had rejected the ways of peace and ignored the time of their visitation. The idea that first century Jews rejected supernaturalism is not only unwarranted but actually completely countermanded. Remember the debate between the Pharisees and the Sadducees about the Resurrection?

            You are completely wrong about OT scholarship. “Most scholars” do not think Moses wrote the Pentateuch. But even that aside, Moses would not have been an eyewitness to any of the events of Genesis, as they all predated him.

            Absolutely zero prophets suffered for taking the OT literally.

          • JBSchmidt

            Was the Holy Spirit a Cricket speaking to the authors as they wrote? No. Did he guide their hands and minds to write exactly as God wanted? Yes. The differences between the Peters can be explained with reasonable explanations using what we now of how text was written and the supporting books of the Bible.

            “All Scripture is God Breathed.” Seems fairly clear. The same point is made in 2 Peter 1:20-21. If God is all powerful, your why/how questions become childish. They again diminish His power and authority. Furthermore, if the Bible contains errors, it is meaningless for salvation and instead becomes nothing more than a self help book. If Christ (as both fully human and fully man) came to live a perfect life in our place, any errors in the OT make that impossible. I approach the Bible from that perspective because anything else makes it pointless to live by.

            Matthew 5:45 cannot be used for when you said, “He isn’t any less so because he acts through second causes that might get described differently than the literal events.” You can’t use it to claim the sun didn’t stand still in Joshua. It is not proof text for denying supernatural events.

            Throughout Jeremiah he references the idols the Jews were worshiping and their denial of what God has done through natural processes. They looked toward these other god’s for the natural processes and not the God. As he also reminds them of the events of their ancestor, it becomes obvious he is pointing out the supernatural events that brought his people to the promised. It becomes easy to deny God when He is nothing more than mother nature and the idol options also appeal to the things of the sinful world.

            Jeremiah was kidnapped and imprisoned. Elijah was hunted. The story of Uriah in Jeremiah. Hebrew 11:37 makes reference to how the prophets were treated. In 2Kings, Manasseh is reported to have β€œshed so much innocent blood that it filled Jerusalem from end to end.” Isaiah is believed to be cut in half. I could go on, but prior to the Babylonian captivity nearly all the prophets were persecuted for exposing the sin the of the Jews. They did so only because they understood the power of God and not just his ability to puppeteer behind the scenes.

            You claim the Jews simply rejected the ways of peace. This is not doctrinal. They rejected God. The two are not one in the same.

          • Ok, well, good to know you think Jesus was wrong about the Jews in Jerusalem.

            I also appreciate the evidence that your interpretations trump the actual Bible. This is what I’ve been saying about YECers all along.

          • “All Scripture is God Breathed.”

            So are all humans. Does that mean we are perfect and inerrant, and do everything exactly as God intended too?

          • JBSchmidt

            We were before the fall. Thanks for making that great point!

          • Sorry, forgot to address your very good question about the ramifications this has for the Gospels.

            The Gospels are different than Genesis because now we are in the realm of eyewitnesses and reports, historiography has obviously evolved since the first millennia BC, and we also have secondary and intertestamental sources to give us data to help us fill in the blanks. We actually know more about the Second Temple world of the first century AD than the early church fathers, despite them being much closer in time.

            Some of the same principles are still at work, obviously. The 4 Gospels are selective about the material, the sequence of events, and how certain things played out. They borrow material from each other verbatim, they borrow and change a little bit, and they have wholly unique material. These choices are typically to serve a theological purpose. For example, John has Mary coming to the empty tomb while it is still dark, while the other Gospels have different people going after the sun had risen. The difference is that the themes of light/dark and day/night serve a theological framing purpose for John that they do not in the synoptics, so even though they all have this happening in the early morning, John pushes it back a tad so it can still be dark outside.

            However, although these bits are tweaked, there is agreement in all four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament that the resurrection happened and Christ was made king. It is this claim that the early church suffers martyrdom and persecution for, and the only reason the Roman Empire would even care about this stuff.

          • I don’t think Genesis 1 & 2 speaks to an evolutionary model. Genesis 1 & 2 isn’t about evolution, any more than it’s about young-earth Creationism.

            Genesis 1 & 2 is ancient Near Eastern covenant prologue that establishes YHVH as creator and superior to neighboring gods, sets a human being as his vice-regent, begins to explain how Israel found herself in exile and give her hope that God will deliver her from exile.

            I don’t disagree with any of that.

          • JBSchmidt

            “Genesis 1 & 2 is”

            Do you know this as a fact?

          • I think you meant to ask, “Are you absolutely certain your reading of Genesis 1 and 2 is the correct one?”

            No, I’m not. I’m not 100% sure any of my readings of any biblical texts are the correct ones. With study and research, though, I think certain readings or at least principles behind readings tend to emerge as more likely than others.

            For example, I don’t believe the Bible says Jesus was actually a lamb, but it’s -possible- that he was. It just seems like a very unlikely reading to me. Out of all possible readings, the literalist one is the most nonsensical to me, but it’s theoretically possible that it’s correct.

            I don’t have a problem with someone having a literalist view; I have a problem with the assertion that a literalist view is the only one that honors the Bible, takes the Bible seriously, etc. A literalist reading is the one view that does not take the Bible seriously at all, although its adherents are usually well-intentioned.

        • Haha. Yeah, that’s right — I don’t recall Jesus ever criticizing religious false teachers…

          • JBSchmidt

            Did Christ use half truths? Did he ridicule the words of the Bible?

          • Great questions! The answer to both is no.

          • JBSchmidt

            Then why do you feel you are doing His work by employing those tactics?

          • Wow, that was clever. I had no idea that’s where you were going with that.

          • JBSchmidt

            While you avoid, please read earlier posts on this thread In no way was I playing a ‘gotcha’ game with you. I had already made clear you were using a method that employed half truths and belittling language.

          • Well, that doesn’t mean you weren’t playing a “gotcha” game, it just means you weren’t doing it very well.

          • JBSchmidt

            In this instance, as with your stance on creation, you appear to the know the mind of the creator.

          • It seems that would be true to the same extent of anyone’s “stance on creation.”

          • JBSchmidt

            Not true. It is only those who hold absolutes on that which cannot be absolutely proven.

            As an example, I am obviously one who believes in a young earth and a reading of the Bible that ‘day’ is a literal 24hr period. However, I also understand that I was not there (Job 38:4). So while I might find your stance problematic, I can’t say it absolutely wrong. More importantly, the point of God’s word was not a science text book, but rather salvation. If you felt the same way, you wouldn’t post memes ridiculing other Christians.

    • Why don’t you ask your friend and model evangelist, Ken Ham?

      • JBSchmidt

        Be honest Tyler. I said he was no better than you in a previous thread.

        • Well, to be fair, Ken Ham is much better at what he does than my humble efforts. After all, he has a huge staff and a multi-million-dollar budget to dedicate to his misguided work.

    • Pfadacker

      Truth matters. Just because one is a Christian does not mean they speak only truth and nothing but. Reason, is our God given tool to distinguish between what is likely right or wrong. Who better to point out one’s error than another Christian?

      Besides, it’s not about attacking a person but the wrong ideas. That is fair as fair can be. It’s also biblical. Go see Galatians 2:11-21 where Paul opposed Peter’s agreement with the Judaisers insistence that gentile Christians be circumcised too… Wrong ideas need to be attacked.

      We are given reason for reason. Use it. Don’t hide behind claims of adhominem when it’s clearly false ideas that are being attacked.

      • JBSchmidt

        Prove they are false. What makes you so confident you are Paul and I am Peter?

        God also asked Job if he was there to see the foundation of the earth being laid. As I assume the author of this blog was not, yet he claims the word of God is allegory. ‘Reason’ would suggest that an almighty God doesn’t need allegory to prove his power. Nor does he need the a scientific theory that was designed to disprove the existence of a God.

        “We are given reason for a reason.” You again assume to know without a doubt the actions of God.

        “Don’t hide behind claims of adhominem when it’s clearly false ideas that are being attacked.” Again, you can claim to hold a truth, but without proof you are doing exactly what you attack me for.

        • Pfadacker

          I’m neither Paul nor you Peter. I said two Christians can argue as Paul and Peter evidently did and still be Christians because truth matters. Without reason, there is no arriving at truth. In fact, we cannot even have a conversation.

          That is the essence of my reply to your question “Wonder how well one can spread the message of salvation while attacking fellow Christians.”

          I didn’t claim to hold any truth except that I use the tool – reason – to attempt to arrive at the truth. I’m not sure what the rest of your reply is about…..it doesn’t make sense.

          • JBSchmidt

            Truth? Interesting you mention that. You said in response to my post the following:

            “Wrong ideas need to be attacked.”

            and

            “We are given reason for a reason. Use it. Don’t hide behind claims of adhominem when it’s clearly false ideas that are being attacked.”

            Was that directed at me (since it was replied to my post) or was a generalization in which those statements would apply to both the author of this blog and myself? I think based, on your own words, the truth is you meant to defend the author of the blog by stating the young earth position was false. As such, making that statement would require proof.

          • Pfadacker

            Read this post http://www.godofevolution.com/star-wars-attempts-to-explain-distant-starlight-are-a-shot-in-the-dark/ if you want some good proof that young earth is a ridiculous notion. However, I suspect there’s no proof that will satisfy your so its probably a pointless exercise in continuing this line of discussion.

          • JBSchmidt

            First, thank you for proving me right in your silence. You were in fact making claims to truth.

            The article (copied from your apparent leader) is an interesting read. Lets assume we have an all powerful God. He has assembled the Bible to supplement our natural knowledge of him so that we can be lead to faith in Christ. In that book, he makes references to supernatural events that he used to create and then assist his people. If God were all powerful, why would he need to use white lies/myths/stories to make a point? Is he unable to make the universe we see? Did he make any claims as to what state the earth was in upon create?

            The God of that article is either lying in Genesis 1&2 or is not really the all powerful God Christians claim. I can’t explain everything in creation. I lack God’s knowledge (which the author appears to have). I do know that God said nothing of big bang or evolution, but simply His word was used to create all things. It would seem adding to that would be poor use of the Bible.

            Lastly, if human science speaks contrary to the word of God you have 3 choices: 1) Reject God completely, 2) Change the words in the Bible, 3) Believe God and understand that human science is fallable. The science of evolution or big bang (insert any other version for the creation of the universe) have and continue to work as tools to disprove God, not affirm him. Clinging to those paths of science should worry a Christian.

          • Pfadacker

            Your first argument from above post – False conclusion: Gen 1-2 day in Hebrew does not definitely mean one 24 hour day. You force a false dichotomy between a 24 hour day reading or otherwise God lying.

            Second argument – Straw man. The author of the blog nowhere claims to have God’s knowledge. You’re just attacking a point that he didn’t make. Because you cannot read anything but six day creation, anyone else’s reading is branded “adding to” the word of God.

            Big bang or any other version of creation can only disprove God if you assume that faith in Christ depends on a six day creation which it most certainly does not. Find me any of the accepted creeds that even mentions six day creation.

            Just because you need the six day crutch to believe in God doesn’t mean others do too. The six day reading is only but one reading among many evangelical scholars. Don’t cram your six day reading on everyone else and call it Gospel.

          • This ^^^^

          • lzzrdgrrl

            G_d gets a creation story because all gods get a creation story. It speaks to the beginning of things casually and without affect because the purpose of Genesis wasn’t really the creation of the material world except as stage setting. Genesis is about the creation of His people and commissioning them with His Covenant……

            G_d creates Man and begins the smaller cycle that applies to all flesh. The first nine books delineates the cycle that begins with the Fall of Man in Sin and the expulsion from the Garden and concludes with Noah and the Flood, where G_d sins against Man and repents of it, giving the Rainbow Sign. Why would G_d offer the Rainbow Sign unless He repented of the Flood? In the Sign is the noahide covenant which applies to all men and all flesh………

            The larger cycle begins which eventually leads to the Christ. Human life comes from the seed G-d refuses to destroy and the people who would receive the Law under Moses get their lineage. Fire, pestilence and terrible things occur, but when Abraham didn’t withhold his only son, Isaac, from G_d – that is when G_d issued to Abraham His Promise – entering into partnership with His people as co-creators of the world. The rest of the Book, Old and New Testament, is the long, long story of this familial partnership that culminates when in return HE offers His only Son to us, and the larger cycle is closed…….

          • Hey lzzrdgrrl, thanks for the comment! I really appreciate your thoughts. Just wanted to let you know: our friend JB will not be able to respond directly. He was banned from this website last week for blatantly lying about a passage of scripture and refusing to acknowledge that he had lied about it. From someone who claims we misrepresent the Bible, that kind of behavior was not something I was interested in allowing.

            But I do know he read your comment because he sent me an email about it. Shocker: He disagreed with you.

          • lzzrdgrrl

            Thank you for your kind welcome…….

            I’m beginning to think seriously about certain things and am struck by the notion that scripture; though recondite and foreign to modern habits of thought, has an internal consistency that makes it all interrelated and makes sense…….

          • Well, I believe the biblical authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit, so I would certainly agree with that.

          • lzzrdgrrl

            Thank you for you kind welcome…….

            I’m beginning to think seriously about certain things and am struck by the notion that scripture; though recondite and foreign to modern habits of thought, has an internal consistency that makes it all interrelated and makes sense…….

        • The more you talk, the more you sound like a crazed extremist without the slightest grasp in reason or reality. You should really learn to stop talking when you run out of rational things to say.

  • Pfadacker

    Haha! I have to say you’ve got a good sense of humour and an interesting blog. It takes courage to go up against creationism and be a Christian especially in the American context. At least you don’t live in Kansas or Kentucky…. Glad I found the blog. It’s a voice for the Christians who refuse to throw away their God given ability to reason.

    β€œWhat has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” asked the Christian theologian Tertullian… Having received the revealed thruth via Christ, “we want no curious disputation.” Well that was then. Today science is so powerful that theologians can’t casually dismiss secular knowledge. For most… Athens and Jerusalem must be reconciled or Jerusalem will fall off the map. Philo’s thoughtful answer is ‘Logos’)” – Robert Wright

    • Well, thanks Pdfdacker! I appreciate the comment. Glad you like the site! Look forward to hearing more from you.

      And for the record, I was born and grew up in Kentucky, though my views have…changed a bit since then πŸ˜‰