I’d like to burn some very typical straw men. Hopefully, in the debate over Christianity, these unnecessary issues can be avoided.

Creation  - Neither Genesis nor any of the scriptures demands that the earth and universe is only 6- to 10- thousand years old. The Hebrew word for “day” (yom) could mean long periods of time. The words  “there was morning and there was evening, the first day” could be translated “there was beginning and ending, the first (yom)”.

(BTW, the narrative moves to the surface of the earth in Genesis 1:2. While stars were certainly already in existence, their light was not visible on the surface of the earth until the opaque early atmosphere cleared).

Adam and Eve – While scripture does indicate they were specially created, there are gaps in the biblical genealogies that could place Adam and Eve back 60- to 90-thousand years. This would also predict increasing discovery of a common DNA originating between east Africa and the Mesopotamia.

(BTW, the word for “rib” means “side”. The story of Eve’s creation could mean God created her from Adam for symbolic purposes. I speculate a biopsy, of sorts, from the side, with a few million variations to the DNA producing a female. )

Talking Snakes - A boa constrictor with vocal cords is not in view here. That image comes largely from medieval art. The “serpent” in the garden was intelligent and used for evil. One can only speculate what sort of being it was (perhaps one no longer extant).

The Flood – The fact that a great flood is found in various cultures indicates that it happened. Two questions emerge:  which account is most accurate and whether the flood was global or local.

I’m of the opinion that the flood was regional rather than global for several reasons. First, while the flood was universal in effect, it was only regional in extent due to human’s not having moved much beyond the Mesopotamia at the time. A global flood was unnecessary.

Secondly, language like “under all the heavens”, “all the earth”, etc. are most likely from the perspective of the observer, i.e. a flood from horizon to horizon. “Mountains” could be translated “hills” with rain and water “covering” (or running over) them rather than submerging them.

Thirdly, this would mean there were not polar bears and penguins, etc. on the ark, but only animals indigenous to the region and of special relation to man.

Fourthly, a global flood would have torn the ark to pieces, no matter how well built. And it certainly would not have landed anywhere near its original location.

Fifthly, the scripture itself said a “large wind” was used in the evaporation process. Such a wind would have virtually no effect in a global flood.

Finally, if the flood were only regional why not just have Noah, his family, and whatever animals needed, hike out of the area and be safe? Why a big specifically-built ark? I think because God often operates via symbols teaching important truths or significance, i.e. salvation in Christ or deliverance through troubled waters (trials).

Use of Metaphor – The scriptures use metaphor and other literary devices. One need only utilize common exegetical analysis and context to determine what any author meant as literal or metaphorical (and on a case-by-case basis).

Inerrancy – If there are consequential or factual errors in the Bible  that does not mean Christianity is false. However, I find it remarkable how well the Bible holds up to scrutiny and that there are plausible answers to discrepancies. Personally, I hold to the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy.  

Hell – is not a place of torture (external) but of torment (internal). There are many descriptions of hell in the scriptures. The “fire” is most likely not the chemical combustion we’re familiar with. It, combined with all the other descriptions, reduces to separation from God and the judgment of God.

This does not make hell more tolerable (that’s not possible). But it does dispel hillbilly theology that has poor souls swatting flames for eternity! Christ depicted conversation taking place “in the flames”. No person could have a conversation while on fire! On our familiar planet, one is in mindless torture if burning.

It is, however, a profound tragedy to be eternally separated from God. It is a “spiritual chaos” one enters when the intact “self” survives the physical body.  There are indications that some kind of body could exist in hell.

Heaven – is a remarkably physical place. It is not ethereal or immaterial. It is a combination of a “new heaven and new earth”. We will live on earth in physical bodies that are “spiritual” which nonetheless have access to one another and continued exploration of the universe without many of the limits of current bodies affected by entropy, etc. Christ’s resurrected body could be touched and he ate food, etc. This describes the redeemed, resurrected body.

This is not to be confused with an intermediary state which is not physical. At death, one goes either into the very presence of God to await the resurrection of the body, or in a state of chaos to await final judgment.

“God will not allow anything to happen in your life that you can’t handle” – False! Scripturally, there are plenty of things that happen that one cannot handle! Devastating things! The accurate teaching is that nothing will happen that God’s grace will not get one through.

“You must become like children”  - Christ said to “humble yourself like a little child”. It does not mean to be naïve, ignorant, gullible, or irrational.

Pascal’s Wager This is not an argument for God nor necessarily addressed to atheists. Pascal used a popular gambling motif to shake the French laity out of spiritual complacency and to at least move them in the direction of God.

Further, the Wager, as it is commonly used, is not allowed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. He said if Christ was not risen, then the jig is up! Christianity is false! He did not say believe it anyway “just in case” or because it provides a positive way of life.

I hope these internal considerations provide food for thought.

Tags: Pascal's, Wager, adam, and, creation, eve, flood, heaven, hell, inerrancy, More…the

Views: 5251

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

If I go to the music store will you go to the TV store and upgrade yourslef to HD. Methinks there is too much of the CMBR distorting your comms channel. If you need any info on the Fronkey please visit this.

In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

I just have one question.. How can a perfect all knowing being create an imperfect creation?

All I want to know.

Jacob Going Up: What you see and hear that is not experienced as appreciated is part of the area of the universe that is purposeful for adding a next united activity to the area that is understanding what some call God complete. That area is purposeful for going around understanding their continuable interests and they always start out preoccupied with human beings. That life is operating under a reverse interest span and that will always be true in the process places of the universe that is purposeful for causing something else to happen. Imperfect means, "The area of life doing what can not be added to and doing what they do not understand complete believing that they need to be provided to by a human being." That is a temporary state for what is your consciousness and the life of consciousness is moved up and positioned to unity again and again. Whatever is understandable to you about this now is what you can go around with and there is no need to re-read unless you experience that as interesting at some occasion when you can use the information.

Can you translate this into a coherent thought that actually in some way applies to the question please?

You will understand it when you can use it within where you are aware of you existence. There is nothing else to say about it now.

Oh phew.. I thought I would be lost in the dark forever much like that dictionary you blew up to completely avoid answering a question.

I'm assuming it makes a lot more sense when you've got a prescription for anti-psychotics - and you haven't filled it for a few weeks.

Heather again you are tethered to an out of tune pitch fork,

Go over and understand the bits and pieces of nervous system information on the internet about dopamine and norepinephrine. The first says and is providing, "do something different" and the other "I hate you so much".

Those communications are being provided to your circumstances every time you cross coagulate with the area of your existence that is misunderstanding itself as menially ill.

You can not do something different forever in all places with regard to your movement and communication having a continuous same associated awareness. I understand you to turetes syndrome, tardive dyskinesthia, akhethesia and parkinsons disease for human images of how life exists when they can not understand a conduction to move out of disastrous dependency on humans to "cause" them to know what to do and to explain to them their interests which will always be provided incomplete coming that way. You can also look at images of a super hydrocarbon conductor. If it possible that when you finish that you can understand to go over to a topic that is able to be added to and be included with what is provided to continuously aware. You can not be in an area of activity of God that God provides hatred to and be given anything other than dopamine with norepinephrine. Keep talking about what you do not understand without doing what you know how to do come together around it and you will exist as that life. This is true. 

What you might call your unconscious is terrorizing you which means telling you repeatedly in a way that is not interesting to disassociate yourself from the idea that YOU can and are giving anyone anything that they can use. In order for life to use what you are doing and understanding to be communicating you are saying what is related to transformation and after transformation you are at unity. You are doing something in your existence to understand yourself and life that can use itself like you into an area of the universe that is about integration (pressure) and separation (cuts and ruptures). The universe does not need humans for this and that is why there are TV sets. A TV set is able to be sitting down together with your technology strap on. Anything that goes in a hole should be whole. Got it?

"Not really Asshole"

O, I understand my asshole completely, so, say something interesting or be caused to sit around as a consciousness plugged into an area of the environment I am positioned at moving around seeing and understanding something necessary in a way you can't continue to. This will be the most still experience you have ever had.

"Happy to see you"

I love you very much. God is doing everything.

Wholely - please take your meds.  If you don't have meds, please get a prescription.  You are not mysterious; I see people like you at the downtown bus terminal everyday.

Heather who is sitting behind you can move up,

What you are afraid of you will experience yourself within in a way that is useful as well as tolerable until you are not afraid. Peace is a requirement for participation at knowledge. You are interested with the life of and experience of wisdom as always.

Relating to the life of and at the bus terminal: It would be well for you to ask yourself, "Why am I seeing these human beings" and "Why am I being caused over to the bus terminal?" and "Where is it I understand to be able to continue to do" and "What is it that I need to understand about the causation of movement, attention span and how the life of attention span understands either information that changes my organism and my environment or understands a conduction of knowing that does not place me subjected to the entropy pathway.

@Wholely

Ok, I just stopped read at "participation at knowledge".  You need medication, Trudy, and that is the only thing you'll hear from me until you get yourself straightened out.

RSS

Support T|A

Think Atheist is 100% member supported

All proceeds go to keeping Think Atheist online.

Donate with Dogecoin

Members

Forum

Things you hate.

Started by Devlin Cuite in Small Talk. Last reply by Unseen 8 minutes ago. 117 Replies

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Services we love

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Into life hacks? Check out LabMinions.com

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2014   Created by Dan.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service