Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ephesians 2:1-7

When I was newly Reformed Ephesians 2:8-10 was a passage I used a lot. It is a great passage (Although too often verse 10 is neglected.) But I wanted to remind you of the verse leading up to that wonderful passage-they are wonderful words themselves.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


(Verse 8-10)

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40 Comments:

Blogger Son of Man said...

That's like the reformed evangelical's manifesto. I love that passage.

7:20 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Thanks for stopping by again.

A manifesto?
I think you hav a very good point there.

That's part of the reason I love that passage--but mostly I love it because of what it tells me God does. However I don't think you can completely separate the two.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

So how do you deal with the fact of evolution? Saying it doesn't exist is like saying gravity doesn't exist.

2:40 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

The "Truth" of eveolution?
There is no truth to evolution.
Evolution is nonsensical.

And it is off topic--I may address it in a post--but for now if you look through my archives I do review a couple of books on creation & evolution.
I also have some links to AiG--but I'm sure you have your mind made up about that too.

6:12 PM  
Blogger jazzycat said...

Yes, Eph. 2:1-7 is hard to deny, but many people do.

I wonder how far simon would care to trace the myth of evolution to it's beginning?

9:57 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Pilgrim, which parts of scientific discovery do you trust and why?

1:38 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

Simon,
What do you think about "punctuated equilibrium" (i.e. the theory that macro-evolution does not in fact happen gradually as classic darwinism supposes, but rather in fits and starts)? Punctuated equilibrium was formulated to account for the complete and utter gap in the fossil record of transitional forms between phylae.

Is there any evidence that punctuated equilibrium happens, or is continued belief in macro-evolution (despite the lack of physical evidence that transition from one form to another actually happens) a matter of faith, as I think it is?

9:46 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:46 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

Double posted, sorry.

Pilgrim, I apologize if this is not the proper place. I sort of took your comments at another blog as a green light.

It's your blog, and if this is hijacking then set your dog on me and tell me to take it elsewhere. :)

9:49 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Wow! I'm obviously not Pilgrim but I must say, "You go Bugblaster!"
:^D

3:05 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I may have to start a post on this now--well, I'll see.

Anyway-thanks for all the comments.

Simon you asked-"Pilgrim, which parts of scientific discovery do you trust and why?"

This may miss the point.
I have no problem with scientific discovery--much of it has been done and is being done by Christians as well.

What I have a problem with are the evolutionistic interpretations of scientific discovery.


You see Creationists, Evolutionists and everybody else all have the same evidence from scientific discovery. It's not like one group has one ste of ecvidence and the the other has another--they all have the same evidence--but now how we interpret it. If you want to count God out of the picture you will interpret the evidence that way, and if you believe in God you will interpret it differently. (I'm speaking of the evidence used to support evolution or creation.)

The question is-which interpretations are best--and why?

10:28 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

And bugblaster-blast away.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Pilgrim, over 99% of scientists involved in evolution see it as a fact, like gravity. How it occurs is a theory, like gravity.

I wonder why you are so upset by this area of fully acknowledge scientific fact. If it is for religious reasons, then your I'm afraid your rejecting it out of ignorance.

If it is because you, coincedently, have some scientific interest in evolution, then I do hope you are spending many hours of your days in study, because otherwise your anti-evolution theories will not be taken seriously.

I suspect it is on religious grounds that you reject it. In which case, your opinion on evolution is really irrelevant, not to mention hypocritical (assuming you are happy to indulge yourself in the advantages modern science has brought you, like medicine and transport etc...).

I'd like to hear your creationist theories and ask you to explain why you mistrust scientists when they make claims about evolution and but then trust the exact same scientist to cure you with a drug or make your car work better.

You can see why your attitude strikes the non-believer as being duplicitous, can't you?

Bug, you are such a crowd pleaser. You are wrongly attributing faith to those happy to take note of a work-in-progress. Christians love to claim we are all acting out of faith.

What you fail to look at is the all important Leap of Faith.

How much of a Leap of Faith is required for me to assume the sun will reappear tomorrow morning? Clearly, not a very big one.

How much of a Leap of Faith is required for me to look at the billions of species which have existed on this planet (99% of which no-longer exist) and see that species are connected in a Tree of Life? A bit more than the previous one, but considering the mass of evidence pointing in this direction, still quite small.

How much of a Leap of Faith is required to believe the Universe was created a few thousands years ago by a non-physical creator for which there is no evidence whatsoever? Considering the massive amount of evidence to the contrary and the only way to get around this evidence is to say a god created the Universe to look like we evolved from chimps and the Universe is 14 billion years old...

I'm not sure why you think punctuated equillibrium is a problem.

"Punctuated equilibrium is often confused with George Gaylord Simpson's quantum evolution, Richard Goldschmidt's saltationism, pre-Lyellian catastrophism, and the phenomenon of mass extinction. Punctuated equilibrium is therefore mistakenly thought to oppose the concept of gradualism, when it is actually more appropriately understood as a form of gradualism[2] (in the strict and literal sense of biological continuity). This is because even though evolutionary change aggregates "quickly" between geological sediments—relative to the species' full geological existence—change is still occurring incrementally, with no great change from one generation to the next."

11:51 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

Simon,
Wikipedia excerpts are not evidence that punctuated equilibrium occurs.

Complete change of the phylum... within a few thousand generations... with no evidence that such lighting fast evolution (as compared to "the species' full geological existence") actually occurs...

That doesn't take faith?

Remember, the only reason that punctuated equilibrium was formulated is that there is no evidence that evolution from one phylum to another occurs. None.

I think you should take another whack at the answer.

12:00 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

I think evolution takes more faith than Christianity.

I had problems with evolution before I became a Christian.
Scientific problems.

I don't consider evolution "fact"

Your reply doesn't interact with mine.

Both evolution & creation can claim the same evidence when we take about science--it's how you interpret the evidence.

We're spoonfed evolutionary propoganda every day and that
re-inforces things. This is nothing new.

Why else would the movie, "Inherit the Wind" take such liberties with the events it purports to portray?

I'll leave the hard science to the scientists--and there are those who hold to creation.

But there is not one evolutionary interpretation of the evidence I find compelling.

There is nothing duplicitous, as you put it, in believing some scientists some of the time, and not other times.

Humans are fallible--I don't trust any human 100% of the time.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Pilrim, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing with scientists - they disagree with each other by nature.

The difference is, they disagree with each other for scientific reasons. If your reason for rejecting evolution isn't purely religious, can you give your scientific reasons?

Can you also explain in what way my post didn't address yours?

Bug, Wikepedia is a useful resource for us because it is "nuetral" in that it can't be claimed to be "owned" by one side or the other. Remember we had the problem with find unbiased texts?

Here is "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution (part 1)".

Can you refute them?

Can you also provide 29+ Evidences for Godly Creation?

Can you also address my Leap of Faith idea and explain why believing the Universe is 14 billion years old requires a greater Leap of Faith than believing an invisible, non-physical being, described in a single book by pre-medieval Palestinian peasants, created it "in motion" or fast forwarded the Universe?

2:15 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Well simon--you seem to keep missing my main point--what you have offered here are 29 interpretations of evidence by those who want to support evolution.

And that is my point--you are arguing evidentially--as if your "evidence" settles it onec and for all. Never mind that it's really the interpretation of the evidence that is the issue. And that evolutionary interpretations keep changing--instead of admitting they were wrong they keep getting more convoluted.

I am using a pre-suppositional approach--which says the evidence does not speak for itself--it must be interpreted--so the question is how best to interpret the evidence.

Your link is proof of this.

The 29 "proofs" show the presuppositions of the writer.

For example #1 doesn't prove evolution. That is a huge assumption.

Is there a reason God could not have created without using some commonality?

And I mean scientific reasons, not philosophical reasons.

That the information in your link "proves" macro-evolution is based on the assumptions of the writer.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Pilgrim, you're making assumptions, many of them are wrong.

I presented a link to 29 evidences of macroevolution. Not "proof". Evidences.

Are you just going to dismiss them with a wave of your hand? Any idiot can dismiss any scientific or religious knowledge by saying "That's just your opinion", and then the discussion is killed.

Members of the Flat Earth Society will say your belief that the world is a sphere is just your "interpretation of the evidence". How will you counter them? (I assume you believe the earth to be a sphere.)

I wasn't avoiding your point, I was asking you if you could reject evolution for scientific reasons. If so, what are they?

1:06 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

For example #1 doesn't prove evolution. That is a huge assumption.

Did the writer claim evidence 1 was "proof"? In fact, your assumption is that he was claiming proof.

Is there a reason God could not have created without using some commonality?

I don't really understand this question. I just wrote a long answer to it then realised I was just going off on my own tangent.

It appears to be a question you need to ask yourself. Because your specific idea of your god is key to understanding what he would or wouldn't do.

I would ask this - a philosophical question - why would your god create scientists so that 99% of them interpret the physical evidence to show life on this planet evolved?

1:25 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

Be a little careful with your "majority must be right" argument Simon. As you have pointed out in the past, atheists are not in the majority.

I skimmed your link; will look at it in more detail over the weekend.

10:20 AM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

simon--you still misunderstand--the evidence is evidence for all sides--it is the interpretations of the evidence I dispute.

How I used the words proof & prove is in reference to those interpretations. Evidence does not speak for itself.

For example in a court trial evidence is presented and interpreted---It is up to the judge and/or jury to decide which inerpretations make sense.

So here's my problem with your link--it doesn't deal with that.

I am not disputing facts--I am disputing interpretations.

For example, the link you provide talks about commonality between living animals--I will agree--there are many similarities. Human DNA is similar to the DNA of various animals. Okay--no problem--that's a fact.

In that sense it is Evidence of Macro Evolution--but that assumes that since it is evidence for macro-evolution it isn't eviddence for anything else--at least that's how the author seems to use it--and it is also how you seem to use it.

BUT again evidence doesn't speak for itself.
This is not dismisssing the evidence--I accept the evidence--but question why that would mean macro-evolution is true.

You make a leap form commomality to evolution--so even if you don't say "Prove" or "Proof" that's how you're using the word evidence.

We're coming at this from different angles--and I don't mean in a creation vs evolution angle.
You present these evidences for macro-evolution as if it settles it once & for all. But I am not disputing facts or evidence--but your interpretations.

3:17 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Perhaps this quote form AiG may help clarify things-

"Ironically, while atheists believe DNA is conclusive evidence of evolution, creationists reach the opposite conclusion.

Unlike the atheists, creationists see the genetic code as astonishing evidence for a Designer, who created a marvelously complex, efficient ‘information system’ for encoding life. The only reasonable explanation for all the information in DNA is that a Designer put all the information in the original genes—e.g. the ‘kinds’ that He made during the six days of Creation (see The Marvelous ‘Message Molecule’).

So how can rational people examining the same facts reach opposite conclusions? The answer is ‘worldview.’ To understand where DNA came from, we must make major assumptions about ancient historical events, which no human beings were present to observe."

3:23 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Bug: Be a little careful with your "majority must be right" argument Simon. As you have pointed out in the past, atheists are not in the majority.

Neither are Christians. I'm really trying to get you guys to confess your reasons for rejecting evolution are religious, because I believe it to be arrogant to reject something out of ignorance.

Why do you trust your doctor, who almost certainly believes in evolution, to prescribe the right medicine to you while being so deluded about the creation of life?

You wouldn't be happy if I rejected parts of your Bible simply because they didn't fit my personal needs, whilst conveniently excepting the bits I liked, would you?

I believe you would find that extremely distasteful and would lead you to regard me as a bit of a fake, and somewhat lightweight Christian.

I haven't yet met a evolution-denying Christian who has the slightest idea what the evidence is or how it actually works. They (you guys) are completely in the dark.

You haven't responded to my Leap of Faith idea, Bug, either.

Clearly some beliefs require a bigger leaps of faith than others. Do you think, for example, it requires as big a Leap of Faith to believe that the earth is spherical as it does to believe man rose from the dead?

Pilgrim: For example in a court trial evidence is presented and interpreted---It is up to the judge and/or jury to decide which inerpretations make sense.

So you had better start examining the evidence so you can put forward your case for the defence of godly creation.

I will not be good enough for you merely to claim your god could have made it so, because your god could have made the earth pyramid-shaped if he'd wanted. As you claim your god can do anything, it then very hard to reveal his fingerprints - a god who has no restrictions has no descriptive characteristics.

Taking your court of law example, if the murderer could kill a man but then magically create evidence which made it look like another man had done it, we're lost. The trial is over unless you have reliable witness testimony to say they saw the magic happen.

Now, a 2000 year old text which bears testimony from unknown sources and wasn't even written down until years after the witnesses first passed the information on, having been passes by word of mouth for many years first, would NOT stand up in court.

Even Matt agrees the Bible would not be considered reliable evidence in court - and he's a 100% committed Christian!

So, having put forward some flimsy old text as the undeniable truth, you then dismiss evidences by highly skilled, trusted and named, recognised authorities in their field, evidences we can all go out and test for ourselves should be so wish.

If you took the Bible and Evolutionary science to a court, the Bible would be crushed. As an example, see recently how an attempt by creationists to teach their nonesense ID ideas in schools were thrown out by a court.

But just to show I'm not a religion-hater (I just think deliberate human ignorance is such a waste of human potential), there are theories it was the Judeo-Christian linear doctrines (instead of previously popular cyclical doctrines) which gave people a sense of purpose, providing motivation for people to begin human progress and scientfic discovery.

If history goes in cycles, what's the point doing anything? If history has a beginning, middle and end, we feel like we have something to aim for.

So, Christianity encouraged scientists down a road to discover the very things which would eventually undermine its teaching.

What do we do next?

2:28 AM  
Blogger BugBlaster said...

Simon,
Pilgrim has not said anything I disagree with. In fact I affirm all that he has said.

However, I want to give you my own response as well. But it will take a day or two more, because I want to do you the justice of taking the information in the link you posted very seriously.

On some other stuff you've said:

You missed the point when I said that your "majority is right" argument is weak. You said that Christians aren't in the majority either. That could very well be, but it is not germane. My point was that truth is not determined by majority vote. Truth is truth, whether or not the majority believe it.

On your attempt to convince me my doctor is untrustworthy as a doctor if he doesn't hold to evolution, if it's all the same to you I think I'll trust the judgement of the people who marked his exams and supervised his residency instead of yours. They didn't consider his belief in evolution or lack thereof to be important to his ability to practise medicine. Do you know better than them?

I haven't yet met a evolution-denying Christian who has the slightest idea what the evidence is or how it actually works. They (you guys) are completely in the dark.

Yes you have (online, anyways). Pilgrim is one. I am another. If I know Matt Gumm, he is immersing himself in evolution information right now, so there is another.

I understand the evidence Simon. I understand how evolution is supposed to work. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that I understand it better than you. But contrary to what you may think, NO ONE understands how it really does work (even though I don't think it really does work, but you know what I mean...). If someone understood how it really does work, then perhaps you would have been able to post a link that explained how change from one phylum to another actually happens. But no one knows how that happens, they just accept that it does…

Interestingly, the change from one phylum to another, ie the origin of species, is exactly what Darwin was attempting to explain. Explaining the origin of species is the entire point of the theory of evolution. Darwin assumed the missing fossil evidence would turn up. It didn’t.

The difference between you and us is not one of understanding. The difference is that you reject intelligent design before we even open up the evidence. For our part, we reject naturalism (i.e. the belief that there is no active creator) before we even open up the evidence.

I will give you this: if there were no creator, then evolution would have to be true. There could be no other explanation for the origin of species, even though there is no evidence that change from one phylum to another actually happens. I would have to take the notion that the change happens as a matter of faith, as you do. And you can even quote me on this, as long as you agree in your quote that if there is a creator, then the evidence supports intelligent design equally well.

On your attempt to say that Matt said the Bible would not stand up in court, I was there, and the context was that it depended on the question asked, and the rules of evidence of the court in question. You’re twisting his meaning to put it as you have.

So, having put forward some flimsy old text as the undeniable truth…
Ugh, I hope you’re not asking to debate the reliability of the Bible again. Not that I’m not game, but the last time we talked about this we had only just started to unpack the evidence for Biblical reliability. It’s a topic unto itself. There is a lot of stuff, and it will derail our evolution discussion. How’s this: we put off the Bible reliability discussion for another day, and you hold fire on your “flimsy old text” concerns for now?

On your leap of faith idea, I’m not trying to be flippant, but I didn’t actually think it was worth addressing. I’ll read it again…

So yeah, someday hopefully this week, I will respond to your link. In the meantime, try to be detached and metaphysical for a moment. Genuinely imagine for the sake of argument that there is an intelligent designing creator. Imagine that you believe this. I think you would find that the evidence would support your belief. And an advantage of this belief is that it provides a very satisfactory explanation of the origin of species.

Evolution purports to explain the origin of species, but does it on the basis of an absence of evidence. It’s a big leap of faith.

7:22 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Well put bug.

simon you still miss my point that we have the same evidence--it's in the interpretation.
Again--your link has evidence interpreted to favour evolution.
In and of itself that isn't good or bad--it's what it is--so we need to look at the interpretations.

Again I ask about the evidence that human DNA and various animal DNA shows similarities--this in no way disproves Creation--there is no evidence that a creator would have to use wholly different--or even nearly wholly different--DNA
in creation.

In fact DNA is so complex it speaks against evolution. It is evidence for a designer/creator of some sort.
Even Francis Crick--who is cited in your link has said that DNA is too complex to have evolved in earth.
His solution? Rather than admit there may be a designer of some sort he postulates that life started on another planet and then was planted on earth. Hmm, that's some sort of faith. It doesn't answer the question--it only puts the actions elswhere so he can ignore them.

On a science show I watched about the differneces between males & females (Sorry I forgot the name) they stated the reason women have wider pelvises than men is because they evolved that way to alloow for childbirth. SO I ask--what did women do before they evolved a wider pelvis?

There some of the many reasons based on science I doubt evolution.

Then you asked-"Why do you trust your doctor, who almost certainly believes in evolution, to prescribe the right medicine to you while being so deluded about the creation of life?"

First of all that is a huge assumption--I have met scientists who are Christians and/or believe in some form of creation. And that includes medical doctors.

Also the science they use to treat illnesses has developed over centuries and is not dependant on evolution--even if the scientists involved are evolutionists.

You completely missed the point of my court analogy. Again it is referring to interpreting evidence-the staement was not whether the Bible or evolution would stand up better---but to show how we all have the same evidence and we have to interpret it. Even then bug answered well.

So unless you want to show you have read my posts beyond skimming them this is it for me.

I have other posts that are on topic for evolution/creation--and I will post more in the fiture--if you want to reply to them--you are welcome to do so.

8:54 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

The evidence does not support ID. Not one shred of it.

Show me the evidence.

We don't exactly how gravity works, Bug. All we have is a theory. By your standard, you need faith to believe gravity exists, simply because we don't know exactly how it works. There are gaps in our knowledge when it comes to explaining gravity, which means you can deny it. Why not just claim your god sucks us towards the earth and gravity is just delusional thinking by people who want to undermine your god's role in attracting things towards other things?

This sentence: "Evolution purports to explain the origin of species, but does it on the basis of an absence of evidence. It’s a big leap of faith."

We can insert anything: "Gravity purports to explain the tendency of objects with mass to accelerate toward each other, but does it on the basis of an absence of evidence. It's a big leap of faith."

But gravity doesn't cause you too many Biblical problems so you just let the scientists get on with it, quite happy to take their theories on face value. In fact, there's less evidence for gravity than for evolution.

Your attack on scientific theiries is totally selective, depending on how hurtful they are to your theological beliefs.

I was pointing out that your doctor almost certainly believes in evolution. The scientists who invented the drugs he prescribes you almost certainly believe in evolution. But you selectively trust their judgement. I doubt you know much about the process which has gone into creating the medication you are taking, yet you trust them to give you the correct one.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

Pilgrim: SO I ask--what did women do before they evolved a wider pelvis?

This is exactly what I mean when I say you don't understand evolution.

Recently, a toad was transported to Australia about 50 years ago and has since become a massive pest. They discovered the toad had evolved longer legs in the 50 years since it's arrival, as this gave it an advantage in its new environment.

So, what did the toad do BEFORE it had longer legs?

Simple - it got around on shorter legs. It's just that having longer legs gave it an advantage. So gradually, generation by generation, the toads which were born with slightly longer legs lived longer and therefore produced more offspring, and their offspring which had longer legs did even better and so on.

So the answer is - women with smaller pelvises had more trouble giving birth and so they and their child was less likely to survive. Those women who were born with slightly larger pelvises were more likely to survive and therefore their female offspring (with the large pelvises passed on) were more likely to survive childbirth.

This effect continues, until the female pelvis is at a point where any further growth does not provide it with a survival advantage (or it just happens we are living in a period where female pelvises have reached this point in their size change).

Pilgrim, I hope you trust me to read your post thoroughly. I have not skimmed.

Most doctors, at least most scientists involved in drug development, like 99%, believe in evolution.

Most of our medical knowledge has been developed over the last 100-150 years - about the same time that we have known about evolution. It goes hand in hand. The doctors who treat you now were taught evolution and 99% of them accepted it.

If you're goingnto stop trusting their judgement, then perhaps you should stop visiting them.

You completely missed the point of my court analogy.

Not really. If you're in a court, you have both sides present their interpretations of the evidence. At the moment, the jury (well 11.8 of them) believe the evolution case.

Recently, a court in the US was required to judge whether ID was scientific enough to be taught in schools. The jury decided it wasn't science, but evolution was.

The conclusion of your interpretation of the evidence is that ID loses and evolution wins.

Prepared to accept the judgement of the court?

6:52 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Oh my goodness. What a conversation this is.
I have just a few thoughts though I don't claim to be able to contend with all of you on all the issues.
Simon, you should watch a very interesting movie I watched called, "The Priveledged Planet." It *is* from an ID perspective. I'll not try to hide that fact but it is not overtly "religious." It's a very interesting film.
Secondly, I find this quote funny:
"This effect continues, until the female pelvis is at a point where any further growth does not provide it with a survival advantage (or it just happens we are living in a period where female pelvises have reached this point in their size change)."
Are you suggesting that we are currently at a point in history where women's pelvis' have generally reached a resting place? No more evolution of pelvis' because they are as good as they can ever be expected to be? If so, I beg to differ because there are countless women whose pelvis' are NOT big enough for their child to pass through. The maternal/fetal death rate has been significantly lowered because of the improvement in medical knowledge (which in no way supports evolution; when the world was new it makes sense to assume that the people that inhabited it early on did not have the collective wisdom of the ages behind them even as we continue to gather it and add to it every day.) Many women and children have been spared untimely deaths because of the invention (human ingenuity not evolution of the pelvis) of things such as forceps, cesaerian sections, vacuum extractors, fetal monitoring, and even the glorious epidural! These improvements in the realm of childbirth were not products of evolutionary change but of human ingenuity which is a highlight of the creator God, sharing with us, making us co-creators with him. (ie. We participate in the creation of future generations, he granted us ingenuity, he granted us the ability to think and create and explore and study, he granted us a prime location in the universe that gives us the best vantage point for the exploration and discovery of the heavenly bodies...)
Also, to assume that because we trust medical doctors we are somehow putting ourselves in the hands of "evolutionists" and resting in their evolutionary beliefs, is just silly. #1 MANY MANY medical doctors are believers in a deity (not just Christian but other world religions that believe in a creator). This also assumes that because we believe many scientists to be wrong about some (admittedly foundational) theories, we are not able to rationally believe they can be right about anything. Well, as you stated, even evolutionary scientists have disputes with one another -- significant disputes. So we can accept the scientific discoveries of people without agreeing with them on the origins of the universe.
Go back as far as you want into the history of the universe but the "scientific fact" is that everything that is here in this universe has always been here in *some* form (yes, in my belief system, it was all put here by an infinitely, unfathomably powerful God who is also ironically intimately knowable and in your belief system it all came from... something). If you want to go back and back and back previous to your "big bang" or whatever you perceive to be the origin of the universe you must admit that SOMETHING was there. And the question I put to you is how did that something get there? And when? Was it infinitely and eternally just floating out there in space and then cataclysmically happened to smash into each other, thereby creating a universe full of solar systems, ours being one of them, full of planets, only one of which is habitable, and in that massive explosion the exact ingredients for human, animal and plant life was deposited only on this planet. It just so happened that in that chaotic explosion the makings of an intrinsically and minutely ordered universe as well as the makings (be it primordial goo that it started from or whatever it was) creatures that would self-make themselves into a symbiotic community of creatures and a landscape on which they could survive, as well as the formulas that had to exist somewhere in that primordial goo for something as complex and ordered as the human eye? The human skin? The smallest bacteria or sea creature that, though it appear "simple" is complex in its simplicity? All of that happened by random chance and all of that potential was randomly deposited on our very own planet (fancy that?!) by accident?
Please, please, please don't tell me that that actually makes more sense and is so much easier to swallow than an all powerful, eternal, immortal God who crafted all of this with the power of His word and for His own purposes of which we have no say in. Please do not suggest that it ridiculous to believe that an all powerful God who was and is and is to come could not be a possibility because it is not "scientifically provable" or "rational" because laid up next to the alternative with regards to origins of the universe itself (nevermind macro-evolution for just a minute if you can peel your mind away from it for a few moments) it is far more rational and believable. In my worldview there is a beginning to the universe as we know it. There is no beginning to it's creator. He existed before all things, He created all things and in Him all things are held together. In your worldview I suppose the universe has always existed in some sense, at least its component parts have always existed, in which case, trying to figure upon the age of the universe, is absolute folly because if its component parts have always been then there is no beginning to them and finding out their age is a moot point.
More important for you to discuss with yourself is if the beginning is so random and disputable (which it most certainly is not for me) then will the end be as random and pointless? In which case, anything in between then and now is irellivent and pointless. In which case we are not really talking about ANYTHING right now and even your arguing for the rightness of evolution is absolutely pointless, futile and will never ever matter. As it stands, in your world view you absolutely must embrace the futility of all things and hence you will know that what we say doesn't matter even as much as what you say doesn't matter. Your worldview negates your own argument. Mine, on the otherhand makes this discussion worthwhile, it gives meaning to the beginning, the middle and the end of this universe. It even gives meaning to what we are discussing now. It gives meaning to this invention of the internet even!
I guess that's all I really have to say. If you consider my arguments ignorant because I choose to believe that the origin of this universe was not random, that there was a creator behind it and that that creator infused His own personality, His own glory and His own fingerprints on everything (even as an artist has his own style or "calling card" so that people will know His work when they see it because of some, possibly even very "insignificant" similarities) then you may continue to believe I am so. But you will indeed be wrong.
Nan

3:27 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

Thanks Nancy for that comment--especially the parts from a female perspective.

Evolutionists keep presenting evolution as having all the evidence and therefore misrepresenting Creation as having no evidence--when both have the same evidence--but it needs to be interpreted.

A toad's legs and a woman's pelvis are 2 very different things. The program I waitched said the widening of the pelvis made it POSSIBLE for women to give birth--not that it made it easier. Neither show change from one species to another.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Nan said...

No problem Pilgrim. Oh and thanks for your statement about the definite difference between a toad's legs and a woman's pelvis. I somehow feel a lot better about myself knowing that there is a significant differentiation between the two. ;^)
Nan

10:37 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Nan, there's a lot to deal with in what is a bit of a rant at atheism, isn't it?

Well, it certainly seems you find a universe without a god unpalatable. But that isn't basis on which to establish the truth.

I beg to differ because there are countless women whose pelvis' are NOT big enough for their child to pass through.

So, if we were designed, why did the designer do such a poor job? Why did he create women who were unable to give birth?

See, your evidence backs up evolution, not a designer. It shows how variables in our genetic make up can create opportunities for change.

The maternal/fetal death rate has been significantly lowered because of the improvement in medical knowledge

Thanks to science.

"forceps, cesaerian sections, vacuum extractors, fetal monitoring, and even the glorious epidural!" have only been avaible for a the briefest time in this planet's history. Certainly, not long enough to effect our evolution. The female pelvis evolved to it's current size during the millions of years before these kinds of advancements, at a time when being born with a small pelvis would have been a severe survival disadvantage.

Well, as you stated, even evolutionary scientists have disputes with one another -- significant disputes.

Even so, 99% agree evolution is a fact like gravity, the theory of how it works is what they are working (and sometimes disagreeing) on.

I'm told there are 34,000 different sects of Christianity. All disagree on exactly how Christianity should work. If all these Christians are disagreeing with each other, is that a basis on which to reject Christianity entirely?

So we can accept the scientific discoveries of people without agreeing with them on the origins of the universe.

Well, it only seems reasonable if you reject evolution on scientific grounds, not because it spoils your belief.

ID has been shown not to be propper science, as indicated when it was prevented from being taught in scholls by a court judgement.

As I said, why do you blindly trust drug developers' judgement while blindly distrusting evolutionary researchers? They both use the same empiracle methods, they both have roughly the same training, they both use the same logic...

Are you seriously suggesting there is some kind of conspiracy to undermine Christianity? For a start, many evolutionary scientists are Christains.

Please, please, please don't tell me that that actually makes more sense and is so much easier to swallow than an all powerful, eternal, immortal God who crafted all of this with the power of His word and for His own purposes of which we have no say in.

Well, it does, actually. Even for the craziest notions of science (eg: Black Holes or String Theory) there is some evidence.

For your god-creation idea there is not one shred of evidence. I keep asking you to provide some, but yet none is forthcoming. All I get is rants and bluff and no substance.

prove to me that your god is not merely a side-show magician producing a rabbit out of a hat.

Please do not suggest that it ridiculous to believe that an all powerful God... ....it is far more rational and believable.

Bluff bluff bluff. All very emotional, but where's the substance?

In my worldview there is a beginning to the universe as we know it. There is no beginning to it's creator. He existed before all things, He created all things and in Him all things are held together.

Nice story. Where's the evidence?

More important for you to discuss with yourself is if the beginning is so random and disputable (which it most certainly is not for me) then will the end be as random and pointless?

Depends how you define meaning. I find Christianity totally meaningless, not because I don't believe it, but becausr the story doesn't provide any real meaning.

No-one has been able to explain why a god created a process where humans had to live and follow some rules then die and go to heaven if they are lucky.

This process seems completely pointless to me. So don't assume your belief even provides meaning.

Think about it.

As it stands... Mine, on the otherhand makes this discussion worthwhile, it gives meaning to the beginning, the middle and the end of this universe.

Yes, your story creates the illusion of meaning by providing an arbitrary beginning, middle and end, but underneasth there is no meaning.

For example, if your story said God created some people because Heaven was over-run with evil beings so he needed to train some people to be good so they could go to heaven and fight the evil ones, that would provide some kind of meaning to our existence - a purpose for the process: god creates man - man learns to be good - good man goes to heaven.

As it stands, though, I don't see any reason why your god created us. I'm told he created us to glorify himself, buit that doesn't provide me with any meaning - it seems pointless to me.

Surely your god is already glorified and doesn't need humans: take us out of the story and your god is still glorious, isn't he.

Therefore, our existence has no purpose.

Without purpose, there is no meaning.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

The program I waitched said the widening of the pelvis made it POSSIBLE for women to give birth--not that it made it easier.

In which case you're going back to very early stages of human evolution. You're going back to when the female pelvis needed to increase in size to allow a bigger-headed child. As our brains grew in size, so did the need for the pelvis to grow.

They would have evolved side-by-side, in increments.

I could explain it in more detail but I'm not sure you want to know.

3:53 AM  
Blogger RevGoT said...

In scanning through all the comments I was struck by the single issue that this hinges upon: authority. Simon sets a 99% agreement of scientists to point to the "fact"-ness of evolution. The court of judgment has been appealed to but the grand irony of it all is that all of us are in GOd's court with him as judge. He has spoken on his own authority about how things have come to be. His intelligence is the source of our intelligence. His holiness and justice are the source of our (albeit selective) righteous indignation. Pilgrim's view of evidence needing interpretation comes from this same view. As Cornelius Van Til has said, "There are no bare facts." He was meaning that we are in fact living in a theological universe. Since GOd made all things, he also, through revelation (in creation and Scripture) has given the interpretation. Science discovers the givens, but because of anti-God presuppositions rules the notion of God and definitely the authority of God as "out of order" in it's devotion to scientism against theism. Elevating human intellect and accomplishment puts God "in the dock" in the words of CS Lewis. We (notice I'm including Christians in this, since they are redeemed sinners) do this because we hate the idea of having our priorities, assumptions, favourite theories that guarantee our autonomy from him being questioned and found to be wrong.

Simon, are you afraid of appearing in God's court? Why should he bother to appear in yours?

11:07 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

revgot, are you afraid of appearing in Allah's court? Or Shiva's?


No I am not afraid of your nonsense. Sorry, it doesn't work me. I'm immune. I expect there's something in your Bible which says "don't worry if you get proved wrong by atheists, God meant that to happen to show them as being ungrateful swine".

11:42 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Simon,
First of all you misunderstand completely the basis of Christianity. It is not merely a set of rules to be followed, live, die and go to heaven if they are lucky. It is all by grace, not by works of righteousness and not by luck.
As for my apparent lack of "evidence" I contend, as Pilgrim does, that I have all the exact same evidences that you do, only for me it points to a meticulous creator God. For you it points to the amazing power of evolution. There is no scientific proof of evolution. I don't blindly reject it. The whole concept of it is patently ridiculous, to the point that even children think it's laughable and knowing kids as well as I do, they can be pretty gullible. You tell unbiased children the "story" of evolution and you get puzzled looks of "Okay. Whatever. If you say so. But it sounds far fetched. But if you say so."
As for God and his glory. You are ever so right. He does not NEED us. He did not need to create us, but for His own reasons He chose to because it pleased Him to do so. I worship my God because I believe He is good and just and merciful and glorious and never lies and has revealed himself in His word (to name a few of His unchangeable attributes). You worship your god of "pure science" because it pleases you to do so and it provides you with some sort of comfort.
You continue to demand proof, failsafe proof that evolution is not true but at the same time all of the so called proof that you provide *for* evolution is very easy to turn on its head and use as proof of God's ingenuity and creative flair, as well as his allowances for genetic variance, changes within species over time and his infusing us with our own creative abilities and yes, ability to make scientific discoveries! In my book, God is the author of true science that is why I do not oppose all science and all scientific discovery. Science to me is man's discovery of God's world and His ways. If gravity is real, then it is a force which He thought up. If microevolution exists within species it is something that God designed to happen. If we can adapt to various climates or other more cataclysmic changes, it is a mechanism that God designed for our survival. I teach science to my children. It's one of their favorite subjects!
We do not turn a blind eye to science. We read the latest discoveries and try when we get the opportunity to stay up on current controversies.on Do you read the Bible, enough to know it well enough to argue it effectively. No, obviously you don't as you have displayed a total misconception of what Christianity is by your definition of it.
If Christians being uninformed about science bugs you so much and you cannot abide by their lack of proof or lack of understanding of the obvious truths of the evolutionary processes then you must follow that same track if you would like to respectfully and effectively refute Christianity.
Perhaps we both have more reading to do? I, of evolutionary scientific journals and you of religous documents that you claim are a farse yet you do not know well enough to argue against.
As for your assertion to Revgot that there is something in "his" Bible that says, "don't worry if you get proved wrong... etc..." Well... not in the same words but it does say this:
"18For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written,

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."
20Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[b] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being[c] might boast in the presence of God. 30He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

I'll stop now and will let this die (on my end) knowing that I certainly have more to learn about the apparently undisputed scientifically proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, evolutionary processes and that you have an equal amount of study to do in order to truly prove your case. If you can prove to me that a piece of truly intricate art (you know like the Cistine Chapel or something like that) can make itself without the aid of an artist, then I will perhaps consider believing that the universe spontaneously created itself.
Nan

1:04 PM  
Blogger RevGoT said...

Immunity to God's words is exactly what the original post was about: "we were dead in trespasses and sins, BUT GOD . . " His supernatural and personal intervention in our lives is what brings us to believe in him and thus trust his word. We're not choosing something against evidence seeking to stick our heads in the sand. He pulled our heads out of the sand and now we are being restored to our senses and true humanity through the grace of the Creator and Redeemer who came as a man in Christ to redeem his fallen devolving creation (Rom. 8).

3:53 PM  
Blogger Simon said...

Nan, it's all bluff and thunder. Look at your very long comment - how much information have you actually given me?

I too the trouble to explain evolution to you because you had doubts. You haven't made the slightest attempt to explain the real meaning that Christianity provides us.

As for God and his glory. You are ever so right. He does not NEED us. He did not need to create us, but for His own reasons He chose to because it pleased Him to do so.

Nan, you attacked atheism because it provided "no meaning".

Yet your statement above admits there is no real meaning provided by your god's supposed creation of us.

Do you retract your criticism of atheism providing no meaning? Either that or could you go to the trouble of explaining the practical meaning.

As I said, if you take humanity out of your god-creation story, your god still ends up glorious. What do humans add? What difference do we make to the Universe?

If we don't add anything, then there is no purpose to our existence.

Please return the favour and explain your claims, as I have done for you.

Thank you in advance.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Simon said...

p.s. I've posted some of your comments on my blog. Just thought I'd better let you know in case you wanted to add to it.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Thanks for the heads up Simon. I replied on your blog.
:^)
Nan

12:06 PM  
Blogger pilgrim said...

revgot, nan-

Thanks for the comments & feedback--they're encouraging.

And nice way of bringing it back where it started.


Although I have made posts directly referring to creation and evolution which go commentless--this one now has 40 comments...

6:25 PM  

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