You know what really bothers me? When people what to attack you and your posts but don’t link to you. I sorta think that they are hiding behind a wall so that only their friends can see while lobbing stones your way. It is a self-congratulatory victory dance wherein a perceived victory is really nothing more than someone standing with their fingers in their ears and shouting ‘No, I won!’ Ken Ham does it all the time. I didn’t expect my dear friend Tony Breeden to do so, but he did here (the link doesn’t seem to work, so just copy and paste this if you need to: http://www.creationconversations.com/profiles/blogs/the-year-of-taking-the-bible-1). What he thinks he is answering, for indeed to his readers he is, is this post here. Also, let me recommend this post here as well. I’m not going to cover all of his ‘arguments’ because, as he made clear, he doesn’t want dialogue – he wants to be able to post his view points, without being answered, so that like most other
biblical Creationists, he can feel justified.
Let me cover just a few things:
…opposed to an extraBiblical Creationist who impose extraBiblical ideas upon the text and hold to extraBiblical sources as their ultimate authority where Genesis is concerned; e.g., Old Earth Creationism, Day-Age, Gap Creationist, Framework Hypothesis, Progressive Creationism, Theistic Evolution, etc….
First, the idea that Scripture interprets Scripture, while sounding biblical is nothing more than circular logic with predetermined results based only on the person who is first in charge of the first interpretation. What does ‘B’ mean, they ask. Why, ‘B’ means this because ‘A’ means this. Okay, so, how do you know what ‘A’ means? Well, they say, ‘A’ means this because ‘B’ means this. The idea that you will only have ‘biblical’ ideas while reading the text is silly and rather quint. When you come to the text you will bring your ideas to it. This is one of the dangers of the S-I-S modal. It has to begin somewhere and that ‘where’ is generally with the modern reader’s context.
See? You do see, right, how this can go round and round and round? The 6-day Creationist is imposing upon the text how they see it and will often try to come up with ‘science’ (you know, extra-biblical material) to prove themselves right. They don’t seek to take the text as it would have been understood by the first audiences, but instead demand that the text say what they say it says and surprisingly, the text always says exactly what they say it says!
Note his very, very, very false statement – a blatant misstatement which follows with his exegesis of the text wherein he assumes he knows what the text says:
Well, he didn’t like that, because he affirms evolution and millions of years, though he rejects the extraBiblical notion that man evolved from apes or ape-like ancestors.
Umm.,,, when did I do that? As a matter of fact, I neither affirm evolution or deny evolution, either in private or public. In private, I say that pure evolutionists are just as fundamentalist as the literalists. Sure, it is a valid theory, but as I don’t have the scientific training to examine it, and frankly, as I wasn’t there, will not be there, and have no interest in proving it, all I can say is that it is a well documented and valid theory and that is one of the best. Then again, I have my issues with it. But, his misstatement about me – on purpose – has me ‘affirming’ evolution, whatever that actually means and if that is even a real possibility.
He goes on to note that he sees only one side or the other. You have to either be a creationist or an evolutionist. Sorry, but there is a lot of gray left in the world. That is the problem with extreme fundamentalists on either side of the spectrum (key word here, don’t miss it) – that they only see their side or the polar opposite. He says he chose to give God the benefit of the doubt on Creation. Um, what if God isn’t telling you about Creation in Genesis 1, Genesis 2 or the other mentions of different creation stories? What he and others like him are really saying is that they are still imposing upon the text what they deem it to say, and thus are placing into the mouth of God the words they want to hear. He isn’t giving God the benefit of the doubt – he is giving himself the benefit of the doubt.
And what really gets me is that he makes another, purposeful misstatement, based on his own needed interpretation of what I said. There is little wonder, then, left in my mind of how he can come to the poor conclusions of text that he has on Creation.
My quote first:
“However, I believe that by taking it seriously, we must take the humanity in Scripture – the human authors under the Divine Inspiration in their human limitations – seriously as well. We must take in context, culture, and the history of canonization. Canonization concerns not only the books, but the order of books, the manuscripts and the shape of the text. (Think Esther and Daniel for this one). And before you throw me under the bus for saying that God has to work within human limitations – read the Scripture and examine it as a progressive revelation of God to His creation. There is a veil still yet causing us to see through a glass darkly. If you think that everything is Scripture is easily revealed, then you are in effect denying what Scripture says.”
Did you see what he did there? He said that God could not overcome the limitations of His chief creation to relate His Word clearly. He said that God had to work with what He had, these primitive folk with their misconceptions and superstitions. In doing so, He stripped God of omnipotence and/or omniscience . The theological implications of the position he takes is, well, pretty awful. He just said that God cannot overcome human limitations. Remember that the next time you pray! Of course, I know Brother Joel well enough to realize he didn’t intend to say any such thing, but what he’s said of Genesis and special revelation have further implications for the rest of theology.
Yeah… except I did no such thing, no more so than what Paul said God did:
Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2Co 3:12-16 NAU)
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (1Co 13:11-12 NAU)
Or better, what Christ said happened because the people were too weak:
They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. (Mat 19:7-8 NAU)
So, what Tony does is to undermine both Christ and the Apostle Paul because they affirmed that God had to at times work through human weaknesses and settle for what He had. Not only that, he undermines the whole of Christian revelation which deems it necessary that God must through Israel, working with what He had, bring to light the entirety of the Christian revelation. I would commend to Rev. Tony that he leave Genesis alone, at least until he can first grapple with Christianity, and read Galatians, Romans and Hebrews to understand that God is omnipotent but that we are not perfect. God did not reveal to us everything in one day, but lo, instead He measured out to us, His Creation, that which we could understand when we could understand it. I call to the good Reverand’s attention before he further slanders the good God Almighty the words of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, who in John’s Gospel told the disciples that they were not yet ready to receive all revelation and all understanding, but that power would come from on high to guide them into all truth:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (Joh 16:13 NAU)
Time and time again, my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples that they could not yet receive what He had in store. Further, again the great Hebrew Prophet who said,
For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. (Isa 64:4 NAU)
But even beyond all of that, what Tony does is again assume that he understands the context and meaning of Scripture when it is clear that he and his ilk are abusing Scripture and thereby destroying the faith of many. Further, he makes a purposed misstatement about my thoughts here when he accuses me of saying that God had to use misconceptions and superstitions. Indeed, I have never said such a thing. Instead, God used the language of the day, but I have no need to explain myself to someone who is willing to make false statements so easily. He has yet to answer my points, but instead charges me with blatantly false statements which only one of us has said, it is wasn’t me.
He goes on to try to combine the Genesis Account, by his view of course, with that of such things as ‘fulfilled prophecies’. Again, he shows his ignorance at what the bible actually says and instead seemingly relies upon the works of men instead of the Word of God. The rest of his post is there for you to read because when I charge my opponents with heresy, I want to be honest about it. It is of little wonder then that he doesn’t link to me, as with all of the purposed misstatements about my words and the purposed characterizations of my positions. After all, if I did what he did, I’d be embarrassed to let someone that I’d call a brother read it too.