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.
A wet bird never flies at night --
OMG! I just realized who you remind me of -- Dr Bronner! (Before he died and the kids took the best crazy stuff off his soap!) All One!
Me or the Wholly Whacko?
Hmmm. Well, here's a sampling - I'll let you decide if it matches your prose or Wholey's:
By the way - it's the best soap. And it seems the kids running the joint have returned to full on plastering the good doctor's ramblings on the packaging after all.
Karen L - OK, good news and bad news, and some more bad news, followed some good news, then by more bad news, then by still more bad news.
The good news is, that I went to the link, but it was in Adobe Acrobat format (bad news), and Adobe Acrobat doesn't allow for copying (more bad news), so I took a screen capture of part of the text, but the script was so small, it was unreadable (more bad news), and after I enlarged it in PhotoShop to a readable size, it wouldn't fit on TA's window (still more bad news), but yes, though I know it isn't, it's certainly reminiscent of him/her/it.
However, one of the prime ingredients of the body oil Bronner is hawking is - surprise! - hemp oil, which could explain a lot.
Relating to: "A wet bird never flies at night".
Because they are understanding the conduction of light. The wet is liquid helium and they love it as will you. Understand your interests complete. You are getting parts of something trickling down like bad economics.
Twins almost always come in pairs --
Interesting. You can actually read between the lines of this one to get a message out of it.
But why would you?
Me too! It seems to be an extreme form of distrust of labels and set definitions for the meaning of words and distrust of logic... Is that what you were getting out of it Kris?
First of all, "she's" a he - secondly, it's all about attention, just imagine how much time it would take any of us to write a rant like that, of such length, but for him, somehow, the attention is worth it.
Relating to Kris: Dyslexia is able to be "understanding to someone" aware to you who can use themselves to know about what is whole nervous system communication provided by way of circumlocutio to life at unity to cause them to know about their interests complete. To be understanding to someone means that dyslexia, "it is not correct". However, the little pieces of information connected and relayed about dyslexia is a step toward a correct knowing about how communication that is information in an area is caused to be united to knowledge.
You would have to first know that knowledge is placed to awareness life within what is an instantaneous provision (you can understand the word "transmission" but it is not continuable that way) and then communicated about by life aware to the always occurring united interest span. Life that is not yet united with the conduction of interest span is understanding pieces of that dialogue according to where they are and what they are "believing" about themselves, the life around them and how life exists together knowing, moving at activity, doing and saying.
It is always the case at intervals of again and again that an existence area is caused to communication that must be arranged at unity with an uncountable number of united sets of circumstances already existing as they always will. What is being said that can be continued and added to forever will essentially "coalesce, commit, have a same cadence, share a same meaning" across life that is aware to ageless renditions of continuable communication. The way it is placed is to understand that "this can be seen together with" and "this can be said together with this" and "this can be done together with this". This is the whole knowing about unity and the positioning of this dialogue is what I am caused to be aware to.
It takes me about "half a new york second", as some like to say, to play the piano keyboard, because there is nothing I can tell myself, nothing I am caused to contemplate about within what is fluid motion. That is the experience of the causation of doing that is united with knowing added to again and again when caused to see a next related interest.