Calvin, Luther and Melanchthon believed Geocentricity?

In the words of our next President, ‘you betcha’! (with a wink)

As Scott notes,

Luther called Copernicus an “upstart astronomer” and referred to him as a “fool who wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred Scripture tells us that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.”

Melanchthon said that “the eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty-four hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded the earth moves.” In support of what was obvious to him and clearly taught in Scripture he would quote such authoritative texts as Ecclesiastes 1:5 “The sun rises and the sun goes down, and hurries to the place where it rises.”

Jean Calvin is reported to have said: Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?

A commentator pointed out this article, which states easily enough,

Somewhere along the line, scientific dogma became enshrined in theological dogma, and passages in the Bible were found to consecrate Ptolemy’s theory.

In the article, to speaks of Calvin’s geocentricity and attempts to correct the ancient view….

Apologetics Press – Does the Bible Teach Geocentricity?.

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11 Replies to “Calvin, Luther and Melanchthon believed Geocentricity?”

  1. There’s a fun little book my grandfather has which attempts to argue from a KJVist viewpoint that the Bible is indeed geocentrist. Fun stuff. (Just to save my grandfather’s good name: he doesn’t actually believe the book. It just showed up in his mailbox one day and he couldn’t bear to throw such a gem away.)

  2. Joel, I will give you two more quotes from a famous geocentrist around about the year 1500. Actually his son:

    “That night he observed an eclipse of the moon and was able to determine a difference in time of about five hours and twenty-three minutes between that place and Cádiz.” – The Life Of The Admiral Christopher Columbus, chapter 60.

    Columbus was in the western Caribbean Sea, so this seems quite plausible. I do believe that the majority of Heliocentric professors would be stumped and unable to repeat Columbus’ feat with similar equipment and resources.

    Then there was the famous incident with the Columbus predicting an eclipse and saying that this was a symbol of God’s wrath against some difficult natives. The text:

    “But at the rising of the moon the eclipse began, and the higher it rose the more complete the eclipse became, at which the Indians grew so frightened that with great howling and lamentation they came running from all directions to the ships, laden with provisions, and praying the Admiral to intercede with God that He might not vent His wrath upon them, …” – chapter 103.

    What is lost in this discussion is that the geocentric model was highly accurate and predictive. Certainly we have greatly improved on things today, but only for those who have the ability to crunch the equations – although these folks are few and far between. The vast majority of today’s physics professors could not achieve what Columbus did, so I am still trying to understand the point of selectively rehashing this subject. There was a huge technological and scientific gap between the geocentrists and the aborigines.

    1. Looney,

      1.) Are you a geocentrist?

      2.) Do you recognize that many Christians before the 17th century believe in geocentrism?

      3.) Do you recognize that if one takes the bible straight forwardly literal, that geocentrism is par for the course?

      1. I am not a geocentrist and I taught dynamics in college.

        Everyone believed geocentrism before Copernicus, Keplar and Newton.

        I do not let atheists and anti-Christian fanatics dictate to me what portions of the Bible are to be taken literally and which are figures of speech.

        1. Joel, if you are going to try to make an equivalence between evolution and other scientific theories, you need to keep in mind that both the geocentric and heliocentric models are precisely and scientifically defined. Evolution, on the other hand, has no scientific definition. It is a formless fog that in no way can be compared to any true science.

          1. That’s the thing, Looney, some people think that if you don’t take Genesis 1 as woodenly literal, you automatically buy into evolution. For me, evolution is is not only theory, and while an interesting one, it is mathematically unallowable. Further, every new discovery confirms it and then doesn’t. I don’t believe Genesis 1 as woodenly literal, but I don’t buy evolution as the alternative either.

  3. Joel,

    In a comment you made in this thread, you stated that evolution was not mathematically allowable. You didn’t agree with a literal Genesis 1 creation but that evolution was not a viable alternative. I feel the same way. Can you explain how you came to that conclusion, show the math, or send me a link/book reference I can go to. Thanks

    1. a pure non-theistic evolution would require that mutations which are normally bad at somepoint be good. The math is something like 1 in 10 million cell divisions are mutations. 1 in 10 million mutations are good.

      Theistic evolution, with God guiding it is preferred.

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