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We’d best take care not to be too nice to each other here. We may give people the impression that we can continue to disagree without calling each other names.
First, let me say that you address many issues in the one post, and while some have no bearing on the issue they are still important. I will first address the info you use to link biblical accounts of historical characters and events to Sumerian works. “Genesis up to Joseph (as) Sumerian mythology predating the Hebrews and cribbed from them to pad out the book.”
The whole idea is part of “higher critical thinking,” in which those involved attempt to “demythologize,” or eliminate the miraculous. It emerged due to the same Darwinian influence about which we debate here. In other words, those who accepted the naturalistic worldview also consider religion, as in belief in God in general, and Christianity in particular, as the mere constructs of human imagination. With that being said, the idea that God had any part in the origin of the universe must be rejected as must any part of the Bible that seems the least bit supernatural.
That is also why such thinkers reject the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. His authorship implies belief in “revelation” and, of course, that idea is contingent upon the supernatural, the very component under attack by the system of thought.
Of course, there is another recourse for the believer, the creationist in fact, which appeals to the testimony of Jesus. He attributed the Pentateuch to Moses and unless I’m ready to claim some sort of superiority to his claims and actions, including the physical resurrection, I won’t spar with his knowledge of neither God nor the world he made.
With his knowledge of the Divine, as God incarnate according to the t
ext, I will side with him. Of course, this isn't your average appeal to authority because Jesus confirmed his claims to deity with the physical resurrection, an event, I might add, that has the weight of history behind it.
Another popular misconception, which, by the way, is often used in conjunction with the demythologization of scripture, declares is that popular stories of similar kind ipso facto disqualifies all of them from historical actuality. Just because, for example, that the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Bible offer flood accounts doesn’t make both accounts ipso facto false. In fact, with the number of accounts from various peoples separated geographically and culturally gives strong indication, even apart from the resurrection of Jesus and the authority he confirmed as a result and the geological evidence, that something on a universal scale took place.
Neither does the idea of Joseph’s popularity among other groups nullify his actual existence as a part of the Hebrew history.
The creation accounts are no different. Just because all are somewhat different doesn’t ipso facto nullify them all.
Hello Mr. Chappell,
Let me begin by saying “wow!” You have an impressive resume to be sure. I admire those willing to pursue various disciplines. What really surprised me, however, was “Southeastern.” Is that “Southeastern” as in Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary? If so, what year? (if you don’t mind sharing that info.)
A former Prof of mine teaches there now, Bruce Little, and I would anyone who finds these issues intriguing to him. (he has his own website that can be accessed through Southeastern Baptist Seminary’s site under the “faculty” page.)
Now to the comment.
With your profile, it looks like you understand the importance of a worldview, both the inherent implications and assertions that logically follow.
Are you confessing your materialistic; or more palatably, physicalistic, mindset? A lot of assumptions can be drawn from your response, you know; so, I won’t assume without knowing exactly where you stand. In essence, your position could as easily be stated by any of the Old Earth proponents, i.e. theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, your typical proponents of ID, your typical Christopher Hitchens type atheist, or finally, your average agnostic. Just where would you place yourself in this mix?
If you don’t want to divulge this info. I understand, but it is difficult to begin this discussion without it.
Thanks for responding, man.
Let me also note, ChuckTaylor, that while your point is well made; namely, that “Just because you believe in something doesn't mean everyone else should. It's called free thinking," you should be careful.
While it is true that everybody has the right to their own opinion but nobody has a right to their own truth. The task is differentiating the two, i.e. mere opinion and truth.
Second, you should also be careful not to confuse right thinking with the freedom to think. freedom to think always involves those who think rightly and those who do so wrongly, and yes, you have a right to think even if what you thinking is wrong, but right thinking is determined by the laws of logic and internal consistency.
Thanks for the discussion.
Hello Chuch Taylor,
I appreciate your response but I think you miss the point of the column. In fact, I appreciate all of the responses. I will try to answer some of the issue you raised below.
First, I never discounted the life of the mother and such an assumption on your part simply assumes that some extreme case is always the case. Assuming that the life of the mother is in immediate danger with every pregnancy is a stretch to be sure. Equally inconsistent is the assumption that my defense of the unborn’s humanity dehumanizes the mother is rather farfetched. It’s like saying that if I value my mother’s life, then by default, I can’t value my Dad’s life as well and do everything in my power to save both.
Secondly, the science in the column I posted show that at the moment of conception the child is not just an extension of the mothers body but a unique individual with 46 unique chromosomes of its own.
Third, if experience is the only thing that qualifies one to exercise moral discernment, then we have no right to call anything right or wrong unless some experience bolsters it. Experience is not the test for truth in moral matters. In other words, calling something wrong isn’t dependent upon “walking in some else’s shoes.” If you believe the unborn to be fully human and believe it can be treated so glibly, then I would question your own consistency in this matter.
Finally, I would like to read the case any of my readers might be able to make for the non-humanity of the unborn. If they aren’t actually and fully human at conception, then, at what point do they become so and why?
Thank you Commonsense.
I am not able to view darkwing’s comment, so I will base my comments on your assessment. I’m not sure if his comment was intentionally concealed or not, but I haven’t been able to view it.
While the discussion on abortion automatically digresses to birth control and a woman’s right, the most basic issue is whether or not the unborn are actually and wholly human or not. I am in agreement with RC Sproul when he indicated that he has never met anyone who believed the unborn to be an actual human being and still believe in abortion on demand.
Arguing this issue before determining the actual identity misses the point.
Thanks for the encouragement.
Wow - back at you Rabbitrun,
Just what are the logical fallacies you see – exactly?
It is not an unsupported premise. The most foundational argument used by both activist and reader alike, your ordinary “Joe” or “Jolene” if you will, believe homosexuality to be an “inborn” “hardwiring that eliminates free will in the process.
Even if you disagree with my connection, the argument still stands. In a materialistic world, human volition does not exist.
Second, even if I give you the argument that homosexuality, particularly, is “hard wired,” upon what grounds do you eliminate other sexual preferences as “hard-wired.” In other words, if one version of sexuality, homosexuality, is hard-wired and permitted as a result, the what can be said of those forms of sexual perversion that even you consider perverted. If one form of sexuality is hardwired and, thus, permitted, then all should fall under the same. If not, by what standard do you condemns the others.
Third, this hardwiring about which you speak, not only eliminates volition in sexual preference, but it becomes the means for homosexuality’s justification. That is the reason you might avoid this area of reasoning, because, frankly, if you concede the “hard-wiring” idea at the expense of choice, you end up in a quagmire of inconsistency.
You said, in fact, that the “hardwired biological imperative such as sexual preference with a moral or ethical choice to follow a particular religious teaching, or to become a genocidal monster.”
Also, the phrase itself, “hardwiring” in conjunction with human sexual behavior, is Darwinistic to the core. Even though many people who use the term have no idea as to the concepts origin, it reflects a view of sexuality that denies human volition and, ultimately, responsibility, for such activity.
I must say, however, that calling my view “hooey” isn't exactly a logical approach on your part.
Finally, while Jesus did not address homosexuality as such his affirmation of male and female as complimentary partners and the traditional paradigm for marriage between a man and woman logically excludes any other model.
This same Jesus, however, will lovingly accept men or women as they are and then love them too much to leave them the way he found them. Homosexuality is not the unpardonable sin and all who come to him can find forgiveness, help and change in Him.
Thanks much for the interaction.
Thanks for the continued civility. I see so little of it at another paper to which I periodically both write and respond.
I am going to post another piece either today or Monday dealing with the real problem of our day, and it relates to the homosexuality issue in some respects.
I will say, however, that the discussion on gay marriage as such, takes a logical leap because it assumes the lifestyle is a legitimate expression of sexuality.
It is much like evolutionists, particularly of the naturalistic materialistic kind, dealing with the "evolution of life" when they haven’t even established a reasonable explanation for the origin of life itself. It's like saying, "oh, well, let's just skip over that issue because its already obvious that life did originate spontaneously; so, we won't let a little thing like that stop us."
Concerning "judgment," I'm not sure that consistency is possible by saying that Christians should not exercise some sort of moral discernment and judgment. As mentioned above, Jesus did not expect us to live free of moral discernment but rather to make such appraisals from an objective base with willful and careful self-examination.
Hey, we might set a new standard by disagreeing without name-calling.
Ultimately God will judge.
I am convinced, however, that, given the modern relativistic justification of the lifestyle, many are deceived by those same illogical justifications. The entire argument, i.e. "they are born that way," invokes a worldview that is materialistic. It is convenient, but my column was meant to show the logical end of making sexuality a matter of the genes at the total exclusion of human volition, that is, free will and/or choice.
Thanks again for the civil interchange.
Oh, I see; or as Barney Fife would respond, "10/4."
Thanks for the clarification. I've just had so many declare that moral judgment was wrong in response to my work through the years.
So, I guess I would have to know more about how you are applying the passage here. Are you saying that I am impious or hypocritical for my assessment of the lifestyle? I'll let you explain.
Thanks for the clarification, though.
You referred me to Matthew 6, but you probably meant Matthew 7 where Jesus said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
Of course, this passage is used often in regard to moral judgment. The fact of the matter is, however, that Jesus did not discourage moral judgment but a baseless judgment without the oft avoided self-inspection.
If he meant that all moral discernment should be eliminated, it would not be possible to declare anything either right or wrong? By that standard, the standard to which you seem to point, it would be wrong for you to tell me that I am, well, wrong.
In this column, I merely adopted the naturalistic materialistic worldview and walked it to the logical conclusion, and cliff, of its own conclusions. The point being, of course, that if naturalistic materialism is true and we are devoid of the immaterial mind, soul, and free will traditionally attributed to human beings, then we are indeed determined.
Thanks for responding. I enjoy the interaction.
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