f-a-i-t-h & p-o-l-i-t-i-c-s

So my friend Peter asked me to guest post on his blog, Rediscovering the Church, a few weeks ago. For the longest time, I couldn’t think of anything to write. If only his blog were called Rediscovering Giraffes, but it’s not.

Then our little blog discussion happened this week, and it sparked an idea. I asked Peter if he cared if I ruffled some feathers. Be my guest, he said. So, go get your feathers ruffled, then come back and toss in your two cents.

I’m just going to dive right in and bring up a few specific questions that have been raised the past couple days. Some have been addressed by one or more commenters; some haven’t. Why don’t you just answer them yourself? you’d like to know. Because I’d like this to be a round table discussion, not a monologue. Someone told me a couple weeks ago that I talk about myself too much, and by golly, they were right. So, I’m passing the mic around for this one.

One little house rule before we get started. I won’t tolerate any mean-spirited comments directed at someone who asked a question. Answer the question; don’t attack the person. I probably didn’t need to say that, since you all have been so gracious so far, but who knows when one of us might snap, eh?

I’ve taken the liberty of paraphrasing your questions–hope that’s okay. And I’m making the main part of the question bold in case you want to skim. Just make sure if you answer a particular question, you read the entire thing. Capisci? (too bad Andrea’s on holiday and can’t appreciate my mastery of the Italian language)

Here we go!

Ginger is troubled that President Obama recently portrayed the U.S. as an Islam nation. What do you think about this?

Andrea says terrorism is not a real threat in America. What say you?

Ali says she’d like the people who are all fired-up about gay marriage to get fired-up about marriage period, to bring God back into marriage and stop letting Satan break up families. Any thoughts?

Colleen wants to know where Christians should draw the line between speaking out when they disagree with the President and giving honor and respect to his office. Any personal boundaries you’ve set for yourself?

Ashley wants to know–for those who consider themselves pro-life, what is your opinion on President Obama’s push to focus primarily on pregnancy prevention strategies?

Katie finds it scary that people try to follow the Bible literally. She says it’s a guide at most. Anyone else scared by Bible-thumpers?

Andrea disagrees that law-abiding Christians will face persecution, especially in America. He says a rational person will never be persecuted. All in favor, say aye. All opposed, same sign.

Marla is amused by those gushing over Andrea just because he’s from Italy. Whoopty-doopty. (hopefully he can’t translate that word)

KG is bothered by the impression given that President Obama is different than any other President. He can’t think of a single President who represented him well as a Christian. So, let me ask you, what’s the big deal about President Obama?

back door wants to know when exactly were we ever a Christian nation? When we displaced the Native Americans? When we owned slaves? When we complained about immigrants? Good question. Anyone?

And I’ve saved my favorite one for last.

Katie says that as science progresses and we learn more and more about past generations and happenings, much of the bible will ultimately be dispelled by scientific facts. Evolution will HAVE to be the only thing taught in the classroom, as it will be the scientific proof that we have. This might have to be a future blog post.

Try not to be overwhelmed by the plethora of questions. Just pick a favorite and have at it.

I appreciate you guys! Have a great weekend!

47 thoughts on “f-a-i-t-h & p-o-l-i-t-i-c-s

  1. Andrea De Togni

    @Cheryl
    Thanks for the appreciation of the tones, I can say the same.

    Your idea behing the way Creationism/EVolutionism proves/disproves is wrong, imho. Darwin believed that there was “more” than the bible. He studied, analyzed, and he proposed a theory. Not just “a theory”. A theory with proofs, related connections, scientific data.
    His intention was not to disprove creationism, but to use his mind to find something more. And he proposed theories, ideas, connections and proofs to his theory.
    Instead Creationists wants to disprove Evoltuion because “it’s not pertinent to the bible”.

    With respect to your black/white analogy in science…are you sure you have studied biology? Take the Atom theory: how many different models of the atom we changed? The Rutherford, the Bohr, the Cloud, Thomson. Did we “stick” to one model? No, we found new data and we changed.
    Science has NEVER been black/white. Law of gravity is black/white HERE, in this world, but in relativistic theory is not valid.
    In programming science we changed structured, object oriented, extreme programming, formal and informal languages.

    No one EVER said that evolution theory is closed, finished, complete and SURE. Where did you find this? Give some references. There are meny new theories that are trying to explain new unclear parts.
    But simply put is generally admitted to be true because the proofs in favor are overwhelming against the “proofs” that does not fit. The fact that there are “unclear” or “uncertain” parts, the fact that is not 100% sure, is EXACTLY HOW SCIENCE WORKS.

    I read all the link you gave me about the fossil records. Ham is SO logorrhoic. Now do the same and read here:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC310.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC331.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC200.html
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC201.html
    and many more related articles on that site.
    As you can see everything AiG says it’s EASILY pulverized (it’s simply false, unscientific or bad logic)

    But WAIT.

    Now compares not the content (because it may be questionable, it’s “interpretation”) but HOW they’re written.
    AiG says long discussions about what could not be, how things may be interpreted, how Evolution laws MAY be different, and even tries to say “this phisical law may have been different in the past”. NO reference, no proofs, just long blablabla on hypotesis.
    TalkOrigins is simple, clean and elengant. This is true because this that and that. This is false because of this. AND LOTS of REFERENCES, STUDIES, PROOFS.

    Can’t you see the difference in METHOD?

    The vast majority of scientist goes into Evolution because it’s VASTLY CONSIDERED VALID, even if there are some parts unclear. Should ALL of the scientist start from square 1? Should all of the scientist starts with a new theory of gas?

    And then you are doing something very incorrect: moving the subject.
    From “can you explain how does fit vestigial organs with Creationism theory?” you moved to “do you mind if you have vestigial organs?”
    I never asked you to “care” for the vestigial organs. I asked you how does them fit with creationism, since they PERFECTLY FIT with evolutionary theory.
    “Who cares”? That’s the best answer you can give?

    Then the analogy with the painting is absurd. By saying that, you are saying that evolutionist dislikes the paint “because they don’t know the reason”. I’m not questioning the value of the painting or in the human body “perfection”.

    I want to know if god has created us humans why we have parts that are not functioning for what they’re designed for.

    Here the fact is that the Church told you that Bible has been inspired by God and is The Truth. Since you built your life around this foundations, questioning this will cause the house to crumble.

    Critical thinking is god blessing, I think.

    Peace to you
    Andrea

  2. Ali

    Thanks, Lisa. It’s kind of fun discovering the Scriptures re. God’s intentions for sex in our marriages. I love that God wants us to do it and enjoy it. And don’t you find it interesting that’s it’s our warped society that has made “sex talk” so uncomfortable and taboo. And people think the Bible’s boring – humpf!

  3. Lisa H

    Just one more post!

    Andrea,
    You posed this question a couple days ago:
    “If the cosmos had a beginning, then it either came from nothing, or someone created it. Either God designed it, or the cosmos created itself from NOTHING.”
    Or it always existed. Why you don’t include this option?

    I did include that option. I think you overlooked my discussion below (from my June 20 post):
    When addressing the theory of evolution, you have to take a step back and ask, “Where did the cosmos come from?” There are only two possible answers. Either it had a beginning, or it has always existed. The second law of thermodynamics refutes the second claim that the cosmos has always existed because that law states that energy continuously decreases over time. So, if the cosmos has always existed, it would be dead by now.

    I have enjoyed this discussion. It is always good to hear other perspectives. I will leave this discussion with one last comment:

    When I was in college, I came to the realization that if I was the only person who lived on earth, Jesus still would have come and died on the cross–for me. He loves me so much that He would rather suffer a cruel, agonizing, and humiliating death than live without ME for all eternity.

    And Jesus would have done the same for you, Andrea. If you were the only person who lived on earth, He would still have died on the cross just for you. He knew everything about you, Andrea De Togni, before you were born. Nothing you do can make Him love you any more, and nothing you do can make Him love you any less. The deepest desire of God’s heart is that YOU be reunited with Him and live with Him for all eternity.

    You might not believe this, but I sincerely hope and pray that one day you will.

    Good-bye!

  4. Lisa

    Ali, you beautifully said what I tried and tried to say but couldn’t! YES, God wants TREMENDOUS blessings for us, but only when we’re fully open to receiving and appreciating them! We humans ALWAYS fall short, and we ALWAYS run the risk of taking what God intends for blessing and cheapening, misusing, and abusing it. This is exactly what the ENTIRE Old Testament is about — God diligently and lovingly preparing His children for their promised inheritance! He doesn’t want it squandered any more than we want our kids to squander gifts we give them.

    Sex in marriage GREATLY reduces the occurrence and transmission of STDs, because both partners will have been tested prior to marriage (in most cases, I assume). There’s no danger of HIV, no danger of illegitimacy, no danger of anything illicit because it’s within the covenant of marriage between two loving, consenting partners. THIS is why God expects us to only enjoy it with our spouses, not because He wants to shake His fingers at us and tell us how bad we are!

    I came across MANY verses in my chronological Bible yesterday that exactly speak to this very thing. If anyone is interested in them, I’ll be happy to share them. 🙂

    Beautifully said, Ali!

  5. Ali

    Angela, You are right. We take risks everyday. I don’t know the statistics, but I imagine that the risk of getting pregnant/STD via sex is a lot higher than the risk of dying from eating. If 1/5 people died from choking (I think that’s the current STD rate in US), then we might reconsider the way we eat.

    But I want to share with you about God’s intentions for sex and our bodies. God is loving, not deceitful. He does not give us this wonderful gift of sex only to tease us with it. That is what Satan has done – used lust and immorality to turn sex into something it’s not.

    In fact, God wants us to fully enjoy sex.
    Proverbs 5:18-19 – “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer — may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.”

    Read I Corinthians 7:1-7 – God tells us that in marriage, we should be doing it and doing it often!

    The Bible is full of beautiful metaphors and poetry about sex.

    But there is a huge responsibility that comes with sex, and God commands us to respect that by respecting our bodies. In marriage, sex unites the couple and they become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).

    Think about it from a parent’s perspective. I want the best for my children. I don’t want them to fall victim to any of the ugliness that sex can become: addiction, obsession, jealousy, infidelity, disease, etc. I only want this because I love my children. And that is exactly how God feels about us. Even more. He commands us because He loves us. Unconditionally (He will always forgive us).

    Angela, consider this other perspective. I see your point – sex should be thoroughly enjoyed! But consider how much more thoroughly it can be enjoyed (and the respect and honor we show our spouse and our own body) when we follow God’s wishes. It’s a win-win!

  6. Cheryl

    Hello again Andrea,
    First, I to want to recognize your willingness to be respectful as this discussion has gone on. That is not always the case on either side of this debate, know we appreciate that about you. As we continue the conversation:

    To begin, you’re right, Christians/creationists spend a lot of time trying to disprove evolution. But why is that an issue as the theory of evolution was thought of because a person, Darwin, couldn’t believe the creation account was all there was/that it was entirely true. At the core of it, he was trying to disprove what he didn’t believe was right-creation, and prove what he thought was/could be an alternative. Creationists are doing the same.

    The statement that there’s been no proof ever of a created earth, really just continues the bigger debate over what in science is clearly black and white. For example, going back to the law of gravity, black and white, no gray areas.

    However, and this is something many evolutionists will not admit to, evolutionary science is not so black and white-tons of gray area there. Fossils are a good example. If you look at the fossil record and layers of the earth, there’s more than one way to interpret the not 100% conclusive information they offer.

    If you start from the premise that earth is billions of years old, fossils and strata can be used to show “proof” of evolution. However, that same data has also been shown to show “proof” of a fast, sudden formation (which we believe was the flood). Here’s just one article that talks about that http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/ee/geologic-record. In addition, there are research methods long held as absolutely accurate that are not, but you need them to be accurate to make all the pieces fit in evolution. Either way, both sides are trying to interpret data that is not 100% black and white, using imperfect human processes, that’s why we are constantly learning and accepting new stuff. This is happening in evolutionary research too, but many refuse to see that, or teach it and that’s where I take issue.

    Do holes in evolutionary theory show that something else is possibly right? Why not? Does it prove what that something else is? It may, but it may not. From purely a scientific perspective, could there be other options besides evolution? Sure why not? That’s what science is all about, but for the most part the majority of the science community isn’t looking in any other direction, believing evolution is already the answer (but again it has not and can’t be proven 100%).

    With regard to parts of our body that appear useless, or other unanswered puzzles of nature- my answer honestly is who cares? I don’t care why my appendix doesn’t seem to do anything. People live just fine without knowing. Why do some cells turn into cancer cells? I don’t know, but since it proves a danger to our health, I’m glad someone’s trying to figure it out. Maybe someday they’ll determine it has something to do with our appendix. If I believe a creator made it that way, would it be nice to know why? I suppose, but does it make a big difference? Nope.

    It’s kind of like this, if you see a painting, do you care why the artist used red in the upper right corner though it doesn’t seem to fit? Do you still like the painting? If the artist cannot be reached for comment as to why she did it, does it diminish the value of the work if you still like it?

    I’d wanted to keep this short but it’s not working that way, sorry all :-).

    Really, Andrea (and others reading all of this) it all comes down to what was said earlier which I agree with, the Bible is first a book of faith. For some though, you only accept parts of it because you can’t prove other parts. But that’s a key, that’s why the whole concept is called FAITH, and not science.

    As humans, we like to prove things, we want to know how the star of Bethlehem could have possibly happened through the known laws of space and physics. If you come at it from that angle, you’re right, it’s hard if not impossible to prove. However, if one starts from the point of view of faith in an all powerful God, that God has and continues to work in miracles outside and above the laws of nature as we understand them, proof is no longer necessary. Miracles aren’t proven, they’re marveled at for what they are.

    Also, there is a TON of stuff I don’t understand about God, the world and my faith (and I’ve been a Christian my entire life). I often want solid answers or more information as do you. Maybe I’ll get them someday, maybe I won’t (hoping God has a lot of time set aside for Q & A in heaven 🙂 ). But that doesn’t mean I’m waiting to believe in some stuff until I can prove it.

    Science is a wonderful tool, but not our only tool for this life. Through faith, not science, I believe in God and his Word. If you do not, our conversation could go on till the end of time and little will change (and I don’t want to do that to Marla’s blog space :-)) My hope for you is that you do take opportunity to consider the scriptures, all of them, without the eyes of science. See what comes of it. If after you do, you want to talk further, I don’t think it should be here, however, I’m sure there are several of us who’d be open to hearing from you, including myself.

    Peace & Blessings,
    Cheryl

  7. Lisa

    Oh, I forgot to add this… when you talk about the Christian God being tyrannical, you need to study and understand the Bible as a whole. The Old Testament does indeed seem to portray a tyrannical God who keeps people in sin, but deep study of it reveals that it was a loving God trying to keep a wayward people pure. EVERYTHING He commanded of them was to keep them set apart as His chosen people, and to prevent them from mixing with pagan people. In a much smaller way… if I move into a gang neighborhood, I’m going to do everything I can to keep my kids from joining a gang. It’s wrong, gangs hurt others, and I will use my last breath to keep my kids safe. Same idea in a much smaller scale. The nation of Israel was to be set apart in EVERY way; therefore, until the promised New Covenant could come about, He had to be utterly strict with what He allowed and didn’t so His people wouldn’t become corrupt. That is what the OT is all about. I can see where it comes across as harsh on the surface, but ALL the Bible points to Christ and to salvation. Until He provided a way, He expected complete obedience to save His chosen people from their own human natures.

    Don’t know if that could make sense if I spent 20 years talking about it, but studying the Bible in depth has been the best thing I have ever done for my spiritual growth.

  8. Lisa

    Of course you haven’t offended me. I let emotion take over, and I apologize if I sounded hormonal and irrational. 😀 I think we can respectfully agree to disagree. We each hold to our own beliefs and I promised that I would not try to force mine on anyone. I fear I stepped too close to that line today. I’m not unbelieving about all the wonders of the universe, just in awe. I don’t need to have all the answers. I know that science seeks to know, understand, and fill in the blanks, and that is wonderful in that it cures diseases and helps us to advance as a society, but I am content to not know everything.

    One more thing, for what it’s worth… a TRUE Christian will NEVER harm another in the name of religion. A true Christian emulates Christ, who NEVER condones killing for His name. So to say: “Christians have killed a lot of people trying to persuade them of the goodness of their god (something quite contradictory)” is NOT speaking of a true Christian. Just had to get that out there.

    Still too early to determine baby’s gender — I will give birth sometime in late winter. 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Andrea, and thank you for the dialogue!

  9. Andrea De Togni

    Lisa, first of all congrats for your pregnancy 🙂

    I am not a biologist, nor a paleontology or any scientist connected to evolution. I’m a techie, but also a rational person who compares facts from evolution against claims from Creationism.

    Unfortunately the bible does not support science. Unless in your science snakes talks, for example. This does not change A BIT the fact that
    a) the bible is historically proven “true”
    b) the bible is a religious and inspiring book, for the Christians

    Science is from the last 200 years. How could a book written from 4000 to 1700 years ago contain facts regarding science? It’s like believing that the bible could talk about cars and airplanes.
    Your “round” earth citation should be completed:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CH/CH131.html

    Then you don’t buy it? ABSOLUTELY fine for me! I have NOTHING against religion (or relationship…whatever you like to call your moral beliefs). If you think that there is a God and he was somewhat connected to life on earth, it’s fine for me. After all, I think somewhat something closer to this. I am NOT an atheist, already said many times. I’m happy if you’re happy in what you believe.

    However, also respectfully…you are using the argument for incredulity. The fact that you can’t believe that a child could born, or that the human body is so complex, or that you can’t explain an emotion does not prove at all that evolution is false. It’s just your incredulity (opinion) against proven facts.
    “I can’t believe that an ant could lift 20 times its weight! It like we could lift 2 tons! It’s incredible, I totally cant’ believe it”. Still, ants can do that, and it’s a fact. The fact that you don’t believe it or don’t know how it does it, does not change the fact that ant do it.

    What we “anti-creationist” says is simply THIS: do you want to believe in Bible, to use as a moral compass? Good, fine, it may be also the same compass as us. BUT do not use it as a science book because there is nothing scientific about it, it’s just metaphisical.

    In the last part you move a lot out of topic 🙂 asking me what “harm” there is in believing. And the fact that your God is not a tyrant but a God of love and order.
    Well…answering to those questions would require a long discussion and I bet your hormones are not ready for that 🙂
    Seriously speaking: I’m summarizing the anti-christian views which are NOT specifically my views. Just to show you some opposed views:
    – Christian God is a vindicative, tyrant, not really all-loving and all-caring (Bible itself is full of proofs). If he was all-powerful…why keeping people “sinned by default”?
    – Christian God is just ONE view and Christians have killed a lot of people trying to persuade them of the goodness of their god (something quite contradictory)
    – Believing MAY be harming, in fact, and a lot! ALL deities in the world are “good” but people got butchered justified by religions. Ask a muslim about how is Allah: he’s good and all-loving, only fundamentalists take the wrong message. Still, if they were non-believers, 9/11 would not have happened.
    – Being also indoctrinated by faith tends to make people “shut off” brain and contesting PROVEN facts using unproven claims.
    – Also, as I already said: Christian God is the “god of luck”. Based on your Christian words, I can’t do ANYTHING to reach God, I have to hope he finds me.
    – A lot of humanistic theories believes that Gods have been invented by humans to “fill the gap” and “find a purpose in life”. Thus exteriorizing purpose instead of interiorizing.

    …and finally…like you “feel” the presence of God in your life, I strongly “feel” the fact that I’m divine and I’m the god of myself. I really feel my divinity. You can prove your claim, I can’t disprove your, I can’t prove mine and you can’t disprove mine. These are feelings.

    I went too far and I hope having not offended you. As I told you, these are general ideas of atheists and agnostics, not necessarily 100% mine.

    When are you going to give birth? Male, female? 🙂

  10. Lisa

    I’m all for science, Andrea. I believe that God created a universe of order and gave us science to study it. He means for us to discover and unravel all the mysteries of the universe. But still, He created it. He’s a God of order, not chaos.

    Maybe it’s pregnancy hormones, but I’m going to say it like I feel it — you’ve talked HUGE circles and I understand LESS about evolution than I did before. I’ve ready PLENTY of science books and studied plenty about the origin of the universe. The Bible supports science, plain and simple. How else would the ancients know that the sky was a dome versus a flat expanse?

    No, sorry. Respectfully NOT buying it. The next time you watch a child come into the world, or study the complexities of the human body and how intricately designed it is, or even the next time you feel a rush of love for someone… ask yourself if pure evolution can do that.

    We create, don’t we? How do we know to do that? Could it be that a Creator built us with the knowledge and means to do so?

    What harm to believe, Andrea? What harm? Just a thought… how can it be wrong to believe in a God of order and a God of love? What’s so threatening about that? I would understand not wanting to believe in a god of chaos and dictatorial tyranny. This is not the God I serve, the One who reveals Himself through His creation. I pray with all my heart that He finds you.

    Okay, I’d better keep my mouth shut now. The hormones are taking over!

  11. Andrea De Togni

    @Kelly My Cousin 🙂

    1) gushing was a new word for me. I looked up and I found “cheering”, “being enthusiastic”. It looked good to me.
    Also, I *NEVER* said that people here is closed-minded. Never. Find where I said it and I’ll offer a dinner. I said that “open-minded people likes new arguments and ideas”. Which is differnet than saying that all the ones not “gushing” me are closed-minded.
    I also said that Americans, due to geography, are not exposed to other cultures. I would say (and I actually say it constantly) exactly the same to the people of my small 3.000 units village whom NEVER travel and never look for other cultures.

    Ahahaa that point about posting my pictures was totally funny 🙂 I’ve been so lucky to have been able to travel in South Italy, Spain, Germany, Croatia, Poland, UK, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Scotland and of course USA. This does not prove anything, because it’s just a matter of attitude, not km or miles you moved.

    2) Good analogy. You have a point. But only partially analogous. Christmas is sure. Marriage not and you never know when will happen. And IF. So you’re condemnend to never open the package.
    Also I ask you to stretch a bit your mind on what I’m going to say: sex has been (non religiously, of course) highly studied and has been proven to be an extremely strong power. It releases endorphins and calm people. In Tantra it’s believed to be the path to enlightment. It’s extremely important in an happy relationship. I would say at least 33% (admitelly throwing dices here). If it’s so important in a relatioship, why we should marry without knowing anything about our sex affinity with the partner?
    A friend of mine never had sex with his soon-to-be husband. They married and they divorced 3 months later. She confessed the problem was sex. Wouldn’t we have saved a divorce if they discover this BEFORE?

  12. Andrea De Togni

    @Ali: of course one sex act, just one, could give an unwanted pregnancy and a STD.
    But with the same identical logic…

    – one car travel can make you die in an accident (or, worse, run over killing someone)
    – one flight can make you fall and die
    – one skiing can led you to being paralyzed
    – one piece of food can make you die being choked
    – if you don’t know well your wife, even one sex act with your wife could lead to STD (or, worse, she may have been infected without knowing, by a blood transplant)

    Any of these acts are dangerous in a way or another. Should we stop doing them, by the same logic?

  13. Andrea De Togni

    Cheryl,
    I’m truly happy to have found, finally, someone able to discuss ON TOPIC and with competence, instead of the normal creationist way (whatever incongruency you prove, they say “the bible say that, however strange may be”).

    First of all. Creationism is not a science. Because nothing has been proved of it. You like to point out “errors” in Evolutionism. There may be and probably there are more. But the fact that evolutionism is not perfect and it’s a theory and may have errors, does not automatically validate creationism.
    This dichotomy does not exist and Creationists like to push on it: “if Evolutionism is wrong, MUST be Creationism”.
    If I came to Ohio and I haven’t not flown, it MUST have been a spiritual power teletransport!
    Please go to http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/id
    (not sure about the link, typed, I’m on mobile)
    Not anyone has been YET able to prove anything about ID.

    In other words: all the Creationists efforts are towards invalidating some Evolutionist theories, instead of validating them.

    Why Creationism/ID is not a science? Because it has failed to prove anything SO FAR. I’m on a mobile connection and can’t put the link, but please go to http://www.expelledexposed.com and one of the chapter says clearly that ID scientist have tried to make their analysis scientifically proved, but NONE has already succeeded.
    Then, SO FAR, no scientific method = no science.

    What I think when an evolutionist find something that does not fit? The simplest thing that I could think: this is science, there are errors and this is a theory in evolution (pun intended). What have you “proved” on Creationism when an evolutionist scientist has found that a part of the theory must be corrected? Have you disproved evolutionism? You have 100.000 proofs and you like to point the one that does not fit and then here you are “see! I told you! Because that point is not valid, all the other 100.000 must not be valid!”. I call that bad generalization and pointing the finger to other’s faults instead of looking inside.

    Do you know who was Kurt Godel? He was a mathematician that at some point formulated the so-famous “Godel incompleteness theorem”. That theorem basically demostrated that all the premises of mathematics were based on a sand castle and at the end there were no axioms in mathematic. It was a huge shock when it came out, all the fundamentals of mathematics were swiped out. Did mathematicians started from scratch? No, they checked it, analyzed it, found the hole and live with it. Even with a theorem that has demostrated that mathematics is “man-made” and just a model, planes built with those mathematical calculations still fly.

    Quantum science: they’re analyzing more and more and changing their theories, changing the details. But no one EVER has tried to say “since the God Particle, the Higgs Boson, has not yet been found, the quantum theory is false. It must have been a flying spaghetti monster!”.

    Do you believe in Flying deers? No, obviously not. Science observed them, analyzed them, measured them and said that deers “walk” or at least “jump”. But someone comes out and said that he “KNOWS” that deers can fly. And he support this idea saying that “science has NEVER demostrated that a deer CAN’T fly, thus the deer must fly”. It’s EXACTLY the same supporting reason that Creationists uses.

    Or to use your ways:
    Matthew 2:9
    “After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.”

    Science would say:
    Stars does not visibly move (fact). Stars can’t be “over” something (fact) since they’re light years above (fact). Stars does not move and then stop (fact). It could not also be a meteor because it won’t stop in midair (fact). Thus, this is scientifically impossible.

    Creationist will debate saying:
    Well, no one has ever demostrated that a star could move and not move, and the fact that no one has never seen a meteor stopping does not mean that it could occur or have occurred. Also, stars 2000 years ago may have been closer to earth (and colder?) thus being able to point a house. Since you can’t prove that a star can’t move, that star must have been moving.

    Again, you like to think of a dichotomy, which is not.
    And you’re using what we call Argument from Ignorance
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design#Arguments_from_ignorance

    Regarding the scientists you pointed out: I don’t check the religious record of a scientist. Please point me a scientific proof, with a scientific method, that proves ONE creationist claim. I don’t mind of the religion faith of the scientist.

    School teaching: they teached me that is a theory. The only valid now, the most credible one, the most supported by historycal records, fossil, genetics. But they say it is a theory. Even if there are “missing links” it is still the most proven one. Does quantic scientists stop believing and studying and applying mathematical formulas to quatic theory because of the fact that the pesky Higgs Boson likes to play hide and seek?
    That is how the science works: lot of independed works find a theory and tries proves of it. Unless other proves the contrary, if there’s only one, that’s the one is teached.

    And yes, exact: evolution is not a law, it’s a theory. Like the Gas Theory. The quantic Theory. The black holes theory. The games theory. Probabilistic theory. Relativity theory. Special relativity.String theory.
    And plate tectonics.
    All of these are theories but UNTIL SOMEONE PROVES SOMETHING ELSE they’re considered valid.
    General relativity is not a law, but a theory, still you can have nuclear energy and GPS (just two generic applications…)

    Back to point 1: PROVE Creationism instead of keep saying that Evolutionism has some issues or “holes”.

    If you say that there is evidence of ID, why all the creationism scientists has failed to find one (and prove it)?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design#Peer_review

    For example the Answering Genesis talks about Distant Starlight as a prove of the size and age of the universe. Occam (or Ockam) developed the famous razor: in a set of possible explainations, the most simple is often the most valid one. So distant starlight means that light has travelled much more than 6.000 light years. Simple as it sounds. No it does not make sense, the site owner proposes “creator could have created lights ‘in travelling'”, or “universal constants may have been different many times ago” or “earth could be in gravitational dwell”. Notice all these “could” and none of these explainations is scientifically convincing. No explaination, just a general “we don’t know…and since we don’t know THEN it must have been God”. Or, I would say, it may be your ignorance of science.

    Finally: I’m not saying that evolution is The Truth. All I can say is that the bible is scientifically wrong and all scientific results proves that what is written cannot be valid. And I don’t want to minimize the bible: it’s just not a scientific book. Period.

    Since you challenged me,I challenge you 🙂

    https://notes.utk.edu/Bio/greenberg.nsf/0/0765bb50d404455385256f0000680854
    Question 1) how do you explain these? How does these fit into a Intelligent Design scheme?

    Question 2) How can you disprove the evidence that a lot of these points out to a remnant of an evolution?

    Question 3) What is your opinion about the fact that Creationists are VASTLY in America, within Christian religion, and outside of USA is generally considered less credible than Santa Claus. Except for Islamic people. Well, the extremist ones, actually, not all of them.

    @Marla: faith is far far far different than science. I’m not trying to cram anything in my “science faith box”. We do not have to have faith in science, because science needs proofs and there isn’t a single science theory based on “faith”.

  14. Kelly Your Cousin

    Oh, Andrea… I have simply been enjoying this discussion from afar, but I do feel compelled to respond to a few things today.

    1) “I don’t think people is “gushing” towards me just because I’m Italian. I think that open-minded people likes to see different perspectives.”

    It is apparent, Andrea, that something was lost in translation here. (Especially since you have accused the majority of the people responding to this blog of being closed-minded). I assure you, gushing is a distinct possibility. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, dude. Unless of course you prefer to be admired for your brilliant mind rather than the devastatingly romantic Italian…ness of our American imaginings.

    Suffice it to say that some commenters would be far less engaging were you “Bob from Milwaukee.” 😉 I think that was Marla’s point.

    You know, you could totally clear up any confusion by posting a picture of yourself. I mean, if you look like a truck, we can all go back to admiring you for your intelligence. Perhaps a few shots of you backpacking across Europe, shirtless and glistening… uh, where was I?

    Oh, right.

    2)”Sex is a wonderful thing. You want to be religious? Good: then God gave us this wonderful thing but WAIT. NONONO. I gave you this present, but you should not use it, because it’s sin! It’s like giving your son a present for Christmas but asking him not to unpackage it. What an unhappy son!”

    So is the father who gave his son this wonderful gift an unloving tyrant for asking him to wait until Christmas to open it?

  15. Jane

    I’ve read through all 29 comments.

    I have to admit, I’m confused about one thing. Invariably the individuals who believe that the Bible *must* be taken literally are the people who belong to churches which interpret John 6:53-69 symbolically. That when Jesus said “If you don’t eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, then you have no life within you” and was willing to let all his followers go if they didn’t believe what he was saying, that he didn’t really mean it.

    If we’re interpreting the Bible literally, then that MUST be taken literally too. Jesus’s “This is my body” MUST be interpreted literally (as all the early churches did) and we must eat it in order to have life within us, meaning that anyone who has a literal interpretation of the Bible and believes it’s inerrant is pretty much conscience-bound to find a church that has the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.

    Except that isn’t the case, is it? So we end up with this bizarre dichotomy that if someone believes in God taking several billion years to create the world, then that person is not Christian, but that we don’t have to eat Jesus’s body and drink His blood in order to have His life within us.

  16. Ali

    Andrea –

    Scripture aside, what about the statement “abstinence is the only 100% full-proof birth control and STD prevention method” makes you so mad? It’s just a fact. If you don’t want to get pregnant and you don’t want to contract an STD, then don’t have sex.

    I agree, if you don’t want to get fat, then don’t overeat. But that doesn’t apply with sex. One sexual encounter can result in a pregnancy and/or an STD. Just one. I’m not saying it WILL, but the possibility exists. If you overeat just once, you will not get fat. Weight gain occurs over time – continual poor eating habits, etc.

    But someone could have sex just once and find themselves pregnant and infected with a disease. See the difference?

    I just want to make sure we are on the same page with this before I engage in the conversation about the “religious” aspects of sex (your word choice, not mine. I do not consider myself religious).

  17. Marla Taviano

    Cheryl–your words are brilliant. Andrea refuses to acknowledge that he’s doing the same thing he accuses us of doing–trying to fit science into his “faith” box. Our box is the Bible. His is “I simply cannot believe that there’s a God who I’m accountable to.”

    And if one more evolutionist equates Creationism with the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I just may beat my head into the wall.

  18. Cheryl

    Andrea,
    I find your statement that the words creation and science cannot go together interesting. Even if you come at it from a non-Christian background, there is plenty of support for a created world or an intelligently designed world based on pure science. Also, I know more than you suppose about pure science, biology was my minor in college and yes I attended public university.

    I am also curious as to what you think when information comes out about scientists who have always believed evolution, who later discover data that leads them to think that they may be wrong. Are they then just bad scientists? Is their work discredited because it doesn’t fit where you want it to?

    Why can’t those discoveries be given scientific value too? Here’s just one example at the site I actually meant to provide before Answers in Genesis.com
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/06/12/birds-did-not-evolve

    The scientists in the article above studied bird anatomy vs. dinosaur. Please tell me how this is not science? What other rules must they follow in order for the data to be deemed scientific?

    Also, please explain how you’d say that the work of people like this cannot be considered science? Is it just because they believe and support creation?- Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics, Dr. William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics.

    Though I am a Christian and believe that God created the world, I will also say, that based on science, neither evolution nor creationism can be 100% proven.

    What is 100% true is that there’s a lot we don’t know on both sides. That is another big issue for me. Public schools in the US are forced to teach evolution, that it is always right, that there’s no other option. It should be taught as a theory, because that is what it is.

    And by the way, since we’re talking about definitions, theory does not mean a conclusive fact until proven otherwise. Evolution is not scientific law. Theory means there is evidence and support, that something has been verified to some degree, not to the point of finality and law. Gravity is a law, evolution is not. You asked me to read your words twice, I refer you to the dictionary.

    Is there evidence that supports the idea of evolution? Yes. But is there also evidence that seems to prove a created world? Yes.

    And please don’t say our evidence points to creation only because we do our research with the goal to find stuff to support creation. That is also what evolutionists do-they set out to support prior theory or ideas that are not yet complete. That is part of the scientific method. If you believe there’s more evidence on one side or the other, that’s understandable because of what is allowed to be taught etc. but I don’t see how anyone can say the other side doesn’t even exist.

  19. Andrea De Togni

    @Lisa: do not confuse things. Evolution JUST explains how things moved from an aminoacid to an animal and a person. How amphibians moved to reptiles and other animals. All other things are other sciences.
    – Bees pollinating: natural laws (not ‘evolution’) says that flowers needs to propagate their semen and the one that saved from extincion are the ones that have “sticky” semen. Bees eats from flowers and so the genes responsible for semen stickyness has propagated.
    – Symbiotic relationships: again, genes responsible. Also there aren’t only symbiotic relationship. Nature is crude and very though for animals. Just looking at the few symbiotic to look for intelligence does not take in account all the remaining.
    – Natural weather cycles? What’s “intelligent” in the fact that Earth rotates around the sun and when is far it is cold and when it is close it is summer?
    – camouflaging: evolution perfecly explains it. Animals able to camouflage, survived and genes propagates. How does this match with creationism? GOd has created some “preys” but he gave to some of them some defenses (camouflage) while he has not been so good with others?

    If you want to TRULY want to know then pick a science book about genetics and evolution and study it – without trying to match it with the bible, of course. Once you studied it you have to SCIENTIFICALLY disprove some parts of it. Now we could debate on the validity of it. Saying that “the bible does not say that” is not a scientific proof, of course.

    About the “fine tuning”…when you say that you actually prove that you don’t know science. A lot of new species creates from scratch or from evolution: SARS, HIV, Mad Cow Syndrome…these are ‘new’ viruses, never existed before. Also consider antibiotic-resistant bacterias or pesticide-resistant insects. These EVOLVED because they ADAPTED.
    A lot of new species ceases to exist! They simply extincts, especially in the insects area.
    World is evolving, is not a static thing programmed 6.000 years ago and never changing.
    Also the world is far from being “fine tuned”. Can you explain me the final bones of your spine (science says that is a remnant of our tail), or the appendixes, or the wisdom teeth or look here https://notes.utk.edu/Bio/greenberg.nsf/0/0765bb50d404455385256f0000680854
    All this “extra” useless part…and you call our body “fine tuned”?

    Then you ask where our emotions, intelligence comes from? We actually run on basic instincts, but we developed “social rules” that let us live together as a big herd. Then we developed bigger brains and developed intelligence.

    Do we have a “spiritual part” (hence the emotions)? I think so, I’ve some ideas. But I’m not going to read a 6.000 years old book and consider it “science”.

    Last word: I respectfully cannot buy that if I fall from the 20th floor I’ll die because someone wrote somewhere that men can fly. But science says that I’m going to die. So…buying or not buying a science thing does not change its validity because science does not ask you to BELIEVE in things, because they need to be PROVED. You have to simply testify the proved fact.

  20. Lisa

    Okay, Andrea, but I still want to know… where do our thoughts, emotions, intelligence, and consciences come from? If we’re a result of random particles banging together… why aren’t we robot-like beings running purely on instinct? And for that matter… how can instinct be random, or the ability of animals to camouflage, or the order and harmony of the universe (i.e., bees pollinating flowers, symbiotic relationships in the animal kingdom, natural weather cycles, etc.?) I truly want to know how evolution explains these things! I’m sorry… I respectfully cannot buy that the Big Bang created the universe. Not with how precisely fine tuned it is to sustain life. But thank you for your response!

  21. Andrea De Togni

    ahahah “capisci?” 🙂 that was funny!

    And Lisa: ahahah again, that’s funny. And it happens A LOT of times 🙂 Fun fact: “Andrea” comes from the greek word “Andros” which means “man, manly”. So ‘we’ are the ones using it correctly 🙂

    First answer: I don’t think people is “gushing” (new word learnt today, thanks!) towards me just because I’m Italian. I think that open-minded people likes to see different perspectives. And since America is much more closed than Europe in respect to that (geographically speaking!), people likes to see different opinions.

    I came late, and I’ll aswer to posts instead of questions, since some of you said my (MALE! 🙂 ) name.

    @jess: I think that I’ve not been clear, and the “summary” by Marla wasn’t helpful. I do not want, and never wanted, to minimize 9/11. I saw the footages (MANY times), I read a lot of articles and I was shocked by that. Believe it or not, I also have a photographic book made by LIFE about the event (I don’t remember the name but it’s somewhere in my shelfs).
    What I wanted to say is this: is very risky to drive by car, a lot of people die by that. So then, are you “worried” each time you drive a car? Are you scared by cars? Of course not: however it’s a lot more risky to die by car accident than by a terrorist attack in USA, currently. However people is “worried” by terrorism? Why people is not worried by earthquakes, tornados, cars, young gun-toting school studends?
    I don’t say “stop considering terrorism”, but I said “stop being terrorized by it” because it’s a non-existent threat to America, currently.
    Before you said that I’m an indelicate and insensitive, consider these pages:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Terrorism_in_Italy
    http://www.heritage.org/research/europe/bg56.cfm

    We have had FAR MORE terrorist attacks in Italy, than USA. And we have Mafia. The difference is that people do not live in fear, and televisions were not “inducing fear in people to justify an attack to foreign country”. After all, Osama has never been found.
    And 1/4 Ciao to Hubby 🙂

    @Cheryl: just one thing. “Creation science” is an oxymoron. You can say “Creation FAITH” or “Evolution science”, but Creationism is not a science, because it does not respect science rules.
    The fact that you “don’t hold that a amoeba became eventually a man” does not disprove evolution. It has been scientifically proven, so if you don’t believe in that does not change the fact that is’t a proven fact.
    About your ideas on “luckyness of evolution”…well, I have to say only “study it”. It’s just false what you say. It’s not luckiness, there are scientific rules.
    After all, if God create all “on purpose” why we are far from perfect (think about the appendix, or the final bones of the spine)? Why people, only 100years ago, were a lot shorter and now we are taller? Did he designed us to grow in time?
    The Creation Museum site does not have any “scientific proof” of Creationism. Nor ANYWHERE you can’t find any SCIENTIFIC (read that world two times) proof of it.
    It’s just a matter of FAITH – if you like it.

    @Lisa: your question is by far deeper than just discrediting Creationism. Evolution is a science that explains how life has originated and how it has evolved. It does not want to explain philosophical questions like “why we are here and what are we doing”. That’s just another area. It’s not even the same game.
    In another words: you can believe in Science (in evolution) and still believe in a “religion reason” for being here.
    Please don’t go into the “old” concept “evolution consider us an ‘accident’ and I can’t belive that”. Life is not an “accident”, it started with the big bang (no one knows what was before, or if there were a big crush), with atoms, with amynoacids, with cells, bacterials and so on through gazillions of TRIAL AND ERRORS. It’s just not that. Please study science of evolution and try then to discredit one point of it. Scientifically, of course.

    @Anne Lang: “Science DOES support the biblical account of creation, without ANY problematic conflicts.” WHAT???? Are you kidding? The woman born from a rib? The flat earth? The 6 seconds to build the Grand Canyon? The flood (where did all that water went?)? People living 1000 years and generating hundreths of sons? Snakes talking?
    Please respectfully study some science and then try to cram the bible in it, if you can.

    @Emily: EXACTLY, when and who started to say that SCIENCE is against RELIGION? Why there must be an “OR”?
    Can you explain me what is the “crap” you throw out because Scripture says something different?
    While I strongly disagree on the fact that Bush is a Christian example (for bombing people? for driving drunk? for having so much money and power? for what?), I’m with you with your analysis of sex ed and abortions. I call that “realism” 🙂

    @Ali: “Abstinence is the only 100% full-proof birth control and STD prevention “method.””
    I just CAN’T stand this sentence. It makes me mad. But I studied Zen and I’m able to diverge negative energies. So I’m diverting them to THIS QUESTION TO YOU: Americans are the FATTEST people in the world. Why don’t you stop eating at all? It will cure the problem.

    Sex is a wonderful thing. You want to be religious? Good: then God gave us this wonderful thing but WAIT. NONONO. I gave you this present, but you should not use it, because it’s sin!
    It’s like giving your son a present for Christmas but asking him not to unpackage it. What an happy son!

    @Lisa H: my answers to Lisa Non-H 🙂 before should suffice. But a couple more for you.

    “If the cosmos had a beginning, then it either came from nothing, or someone created it. Either God designed it, or the cosmos created itself from NOTHING.”
    Or it always existed. Why you don’t include this option?

    Cosmological constant: out of context. Does the fact that the gravity force is 9.8g DEMOSTRATES that it’s an intelligent design? Not that intelligent at all, since it may have made it 10, calculations would be easier in my exams :-).
    Planck constant, Avogadro number, PI, Gas constant…all constants that have been created to represent the world. The fact that they exists does not prove anything about God.

    “order and not chaos”. Atomic movement of electrons is chaotic. Brownian movements are chaotic. Weather is extremely chaotic. Chaos Theory, ever heard about that?
    Also the fact that there is “order” does not prove anything about intelligent design, because Evolution explains WHY from “initial chaos” (which was not chaos at all) nature created “order” with very specific LAWS. Not by “throwing dices” as you Creationist likes to think about evolution.

    Isaac Newton believed in God. So what you want to demostrate? The fact that a person born in 1600 believed in God even if he was a science person? What was the science in those periods?
    Also his work with the Bible is extremely controversial.

    Galileo? What? The Italian Galileo Galilei? The one that created the Scientific Method? The one that has been imprisoned by Church because he said that earth was rotating around Sun and not vice-versa? The one that said that “man is not at the center of the universe”? The eretic one? The persecuted one? The one that said, in a letter to father Benedetto Castelli that “science is operating on phisical level, while religion is on metaphisical”? The one that said that Bible should not been interpreted literally? That said that “the bible is not an astronomic document” – for completeness he said “words in the bible were modified to be read by uneducated people”?
    THAT Galielo? Sorry, wrong example.

    Darwin theory is a theory. True. But wording error. “Theory” is anything that model the world. A “theory” stays as a “theory” unless there is something proving that is not true. Nothing has PROVEN that Evolutionism is wrong. But it stays a “theory”. It’s just the correct way of naming it. Because in science we are NEVER sure about anything…but religion people has The Truth.
    The fact that there is people that is not sure about some passages of Darwin theory does not automatically validate Creationism.
    http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/evolution

    Peacock “chance”. It’s not “change” nor “randomness”. Close the bible and study genetics. And Darwin sentence does not prove anything. He just wanted to say “there something I’m not sure”. Does this PROVE that all the rest was fake? You find it “Fascinating” that a scientist has “doubts about his theory”??? That’s absolutely NORMAL. A Scientist HAS to have doubts and has to PROVE what he says.

    ………….

    That’s too much for now.
    @Adam: I readed only a couple of sentences, but I got that you are very intelligent, regardless of religion or not.
    That’s what happens when people closes the bible and start reading some philosophy.

    Good night.

  22. Karla Carlson

    My name is Karla and I am new to the writing gig because it is something the Lord has told me to do so I have been all over the blog world reading different blogs by current authors.

    I would like to address and agree Ali’s statement. I so wish that people who support gay marriage would just support marriage as an institution. As a christian I do not agree with gay marriage but have several friends who are in gay marriages and I support their choice. Our Lord gave us the privilege to have a choice and showed us by his example here on earth that attacking the lost was not the way. I do not think he would condemn them today but instead he would address the choice and love the person.

    I wish that gay supporters would quit grouping all of us in the same “hate” category but instead just choose to disagree on choice and support marriage as a basic institution. Marriages all over this country and world are at risk. Many are dying it is time that we build up our families and not tear them down. To me it is hard to say I am a Christian when I am not able to accept someone even if I do not agree with their life choices. Isn’t that how Christ lived daily?

    Sorry for the rambling. Come visit my blog at http://www.walkingdailybykarlacarlson.blogspot.com.

  23. Lisa H

    I don’t know if I am supposed to do this (I’m fairly new to this whole blogging and commenting thing), but I just wanted to introduce myself so you know with whom you are dialoguing. I am a ’97 Cedarville graduate. I didn’t know Marla at school, but I recently heard about her books and blog through a Cedarville alumni email.

    Marla, I have enjoyed reading your blog for the last few months. Thanks for allowing us to write about these issues. It has been a great way to exercise my spiritual muscles 🙂 I know the Lord is pleased with His truth going forth by many of the people who have commented.

    Lisa

  24. elizabeth seckman

    Science vs. God? I’ll count on God. I’m pushing forty, and in those 40 years science has warned about the coming overpopulation and starvation; Y2K; miscelaneous flues and pandemics; gobal cooling; global warming; and on and on. I used to lose sleep to worry.

    Not anymore. I’ll put my faith in God, not man. As I study my Bible, I find that what is written there hasn’t lost relevance. In Kings (I’m no scholar, so bear with me for not knowing the exact verse, go read it. See if I’m right.), God warns the people of Israel not to rely on a king. Warns them to keep their freedom, tells them they’ll regret losing it. But, they (as is modern man) were persistent, so He answered their prayers and they became slaves. So, what does that say to me? God says be self-reliant, ask someone to pick up your tab and they’ll also pick up your freedom.

    That’s why I’m not afraid of science, it changes with each decade. But God’s warnings? They stay true. And I fear we are trading that freedom that He told us to cherish for a king. All hail our protector and provider, Mr. Obama.

  25. Marla Taviano

    Hey, cousin Adam! Thanks for stopping by. I love you to pieces, brother, but I disagree with you 100%. Completely and totally. And then some.

    Let’s keep the dialogue going. Not right this second, but soon.

  26. Lisa H

    In response to Adam’s comments:

    “I do not think, however, that we have to believe that an inaccuracy in scripture is a lie.”

    I believe that the Bible is 100% truth inspired by God. There are no inaccuracies, no errors, no inconsistencies, and no contradictions. If any of these things existed in scripture, then I wouldn’t be able to follow the Bible and base my life on it. How would I determine what was an error and what was ultimate truth?

    Do you believe there are inaccuracies in scripture? If so, can you give me an example?

    “…realizing that the Bible was written by fallible men…”

    God supernaturally used men to record His words. Because those men were writing the very words of God, there can be no mistakes or errors in the Bible. If a reader feels that there are unclear passages or errors in scripture, that can only be due to the limitations of human understanding. Because we are finite humans there is no way we will be able to understand every passage in the Bible. If we could, we wouldn’t need God.

    I believe there are fundamental truths that God has made very clear, and these are non-negotiable, e.g., the virgin birth, Christ’s resurrection, salvation by grace. There are other truths that are not so clear like election and when the rapture will occur. These issues are not inaccuracies just because they aren’t as clear. They are just not necessary to understand in order to gain salvation. God will enlighten us on those “less clear” issues when we get to heaven. They are not essential for a fruitful Christian life on earth.

    Do you believe that because God used men to record His words, those men brought human errors into the Bible?

    I hope you will respond because I am wondering if I am misunderstanding what you wrote.

  27. Lisa H

    Lisa,
    Thank you for your response. I was going to write more last night, but I was very tired, and your first paragraph was exactly what I wanted to say.

    Everyone is created with a hole in their heart that can only be filled by God. We all have a longing to know… Why are we here? What is the meaning to life? Is there something bigger than me out there?

    People search and search and try to fill their longings with material possessions and countless other things, but nothing can fulfill us except knowing God and not just knowing about God but knowing Him intimately through a relationship.

  28. Adam

    Hey Marla, this is your cousin Adam. I noticed this topic and I thought I would share a few insights, since this is the sort of thing I study in school. I am currently working on an M.A. in philosophy and have a particular interest in philosophy of religion. I am not suggesting that I have a more valuable insight into the subject than you or any of your readers, but only that I myself am interested in the subject and thought that you and your readers might find my observations insightful in one way or another.

    I have a problem with C.S. Lewis’ “Lord, liar, or lunatic” characterization of Jesus because I think there is one possible scenario that he overlooked. This scenario is to say that Jesus himself did not see himself as God, but this only comes in later interpretations of his life as done by Paul and the Gospel writers. If one takes the position that it is impossible to know what Jesus thought of himself or questions whether he was actually a historical character, it is not hard to imagine how one might find some valuable insights into the life of Jesus while rejecting the notion that he was God. One might simply think that the call to serve the poor or to not overvalue earthly possessions are valuable insights into how one ought to live, but might not believe the historical record of the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection. Think of someone reading the New Testament in this manner as someone reading a piece of literature to gain general insights rather than definitive answers. One might find value in the teachings that are portrayed in the Gospel without thinking that they are literal descriptions of actual events. One might read a novel, for instance, and realize that there was nothing historical about the novel but that it said something valuable about human nature. I am not saying that I necessarily agree with this approach to the Bible, but it is an alternate approach to Lewis’ “Lord, liar, or lunatic.”

    I also have to respectfully disagree with the idea that if one thing in the Bible turns out to be untrue, then one must reject the whole thing. I agree with the idea that if someone tells a lie in one instance, then it is going to be hard to trust them in any other circumstance. I do not think, however, that we have to believe that an inaccuracy in scripture is a lie. For instance, the Creation story is not a lie, even if it is hard to take literally true. It needs to be taken for what it is; it is an attempt by people who lived a few thousand years ago to explain the existence of the world. They did not have the luxury of today’s science in order to give a technically scientific account of the world’s existence. The ancient Hebrews simply believed that God was the instrument used for creating the universe. I do not see any glaring inconsistency with believing the Creation Story of Genesis, as a way of demonstrating God’s active role in the creation of the universe, and the acceptance of evolutionary theory.

    I also think of books that we may read other than the Bible, and I don’t think that we generally demand the same level of correctness as you suggest we should of the Bible. This is to say that if I read a book on the and there are a few places where the author makes a mistake about the date of a certain event, I do not therefore conclude that the whole book is garbage. Overall it might be a valuable book, but since humans are prone to error, there are bound to be at least some mistakes. That’s the point of reading multiple sources because we are able to cross-reference and make conclusions based on a multitude of information rather than one single source. In terms of the Bible, I do not think there is any reason why we cannot compare it to other scriptures of other religions and to our own experiences and make conclusions about what we think the value of the Bible is. I do not think a somewhat skeptical approach such as this is anti-Christian, rather I think that one can be fully Christian and accept Jesus as their savior while realizing that the Bible was written by fallible men and as such one ought not to be afraid of unclear passages, unscientific claims about the creation of the world, and other problems.

    Indeed, this somewhat skeptical approach is my own and as such I usually do shy away from absolute claims because I am rarely so sure of myself that I am willing to claim that everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. It is not that I believe there are no absolutes, but I am not sure that fallible humans can ever know when exactly we completely grasp an absolute.

    I fear that I am going on too long, so I will offer a few parting thoughts. My hope was to show that there can be a multitude of interpretations of the life of Jesus and what the biblical stories mean, even among Christians. I do not think there is any reason why we must think that there can only be one interpretation that is absolute. Experience suggests that such an absolute interpretation has not been agreed upon as there are thousands of different denominations within Christianity. I see no reason to think that one denomination needs to be considered absolutely true while the rest are lacking. I think we can find valuable insights from people of different Christian denominations, and ultimately even from people of different religions.

  29. Lisa

    Lisa, that just about made me lose my breath! Thank you so much for sharing!

    I’ve often heard it said that it takes far more faith not to believe than it does to believe. We’re wired with certain intrinsic wants and needs, and at the top of the list is the need to know there’s purpose to our lives, and the certainty that there’s something greater at work than what we can perceive with in our limited earthly capacity. This is for a reason, a reason that no amount of random particles smashing together can account for.

    I will add this: The Bible is not a book that can simply be read. It is God’s way of reaching out to His creation. If it’s viewed as little more than just a good story or compilation of good stories (folklore, mythology, allegory, what have you) then it’s going to look very fragmented. But if faith precedes each and every reading of the words on the page, the truth unfolds in the most inexplicable of ways, until one day, the seemingly random topography of it pans out and we see it for what it truly is, a composite picture of God Himself. Faith, not logic, must be the driving force.

    One of the best things I did for my spiritual growth was to take part in an in-depth Bible study that tied together events and principles from one part of the Bible to others. The consistencies among the books of the Bible (and most glaringly among the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament, which on the surface seem to be highly divergent) just about knocked me off my feet. God got a hold of me during that study and hasn’t let go since. It’s no wonder the Cross is foolishness to those who don’t believe; even I admit that the Bible seems implausible (and even outrageous) when taken at face value. If all we ever do is scratch the surface, we’ll never know Him. And, as I’ve come to discover, He’s SO worth knowing that I will spend the rest of my life seeking to know more about Him. He literally teaches me something new about Himself each and every time I ask Him to.

  30. Lisa H

    Sorry I’m a bit late responding. I am on vacation and was at an amusement park all day with my family.

    I want to address the comments by Katie (and some comments by Andrea) about evolution.

    My Sunday School class just went through The Truth Project (www.thetruthproject.org), and I highly recommend it. Focus on the Family produced it, and it is superb. It provides a wealth of information on why we believe what we believe and how to defend it.

    I say that because all of my comments here will be based on what I learned in The Truth Project. I was challenged when Andrea said you can’t prove the Bible by using scripture. As Christians, it is so easy to just spout out some Bible verses to defend our faith, but we also need to be able to defend our faith without using scripture. That takes a lot more digging and a lot more research.

    When addressing the theory of evolution, you have to take a step back and ask, “Where did the cosmos come from?” There are only two possible answers. Either it had a beginning, or it has always existed. The second law of thermodynamics refutes the second claim that the cosmos has always existed because that law states that energy continuously decreases over time. So, if the cosmos has always existed, it would be dead by now.

    If the cosmos had a beginning, then it either came from nothing, or someone created it. Either God designed it, or the cosmos created itself from NOTHING.

    It takes a lot more faith to believe that everything just suddenly appeared from nothing than to believe that God created it.

    Even Einstein was baffled by the notion of something coming from nothing when he was developing his theory of relativity. He couldn’t get past this idea, so he put a clause in his theory called the “cosmological constant”.

    If there is no intelligent design, and the cosmos is just a product of chance, why is there order and not chaos?

    There is a tremendous amount of chance and randomness involved in the theory of evolution and the big bang theory.

    Many of the earliest scientists like Isaac Newton and Galileo believed in the existence of God and intelligent design.

    Darwin’s theory of evolution is just that: a theory. It is not a scientific law. In order for a theory to become a law, the data would have to be proven true in every test and circumstance (which evolution has not been scientifically proven beyond all doubt). The modern proponents of Darwin’s theory will call it a scientific fact, but you will not hear any scientists calling the theory a scientific law because they know the seriousness of that label, and it doesn’t fit the definition!

    Dr. David Berlinski Ph.D., of the Discovery Institute, who is a non-Christian, knows dozens of mathematicians, physicists, and biologists that do not accept Darwin’s theory. So it’s not just Christians who oppose Darwin’s theory. It is Christians and non-Christians alike.

    In The Life and Letter of Charles Darwin, Darwin wrote, “I remember well the time when the thought of the eye made me cold all over, but I have got over this stage of the complaint, and now small trifling particulars of structure often make me very uncomfortable. The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!”

    The human eye is so complex and intricately designed, that the very thought of it gave Darwin the chills! It just doesn’t fit his theory! And the sight of a peacock’s feather made him sick! Could it be because the spots on the feathers look like eyes? Isn’t is amazing that those beautiful spots, which are so artistic, just landed on the peacock’s tail feathers by chance and evolution!

    I find it fascinating that deep down even Darwin had doubts about his own theory! I would find it very difficult to adhere to a theory that isn’t fully embraced by its author.

    Just some things to think about!

    Another good site is http://www.answersingenesis.org (this is the website for the Creation Museum that someone else mentioned in an earlier post)

    One more good site: http://www.gotquestions.org

  31. Peter P

    Thanks for guest-posting today for me. The discussion there is going well!

    I think you need to ask these questions of different days. Too many questions to answer at once!

  32. Ali

    I’ll chime in on Ashley’s question about pregnancy prevention. Actually, I don’t know enough about the strategies mentioned to answer that question, but here is what I do know.

    Abstinence is the only 100% full-proof birth control and STD prevention “method.”

    And our children should know this. But if they do not understand this, then we have done them a disservice.

    Our children should understand sex. They should understand reproduction. They should understand anatomy. They should understand STDs. And PARENTS need to be the ones talking to their children about this. Parents need to approach these conversations prayerfully and intentionally so that our children can comfortably approach us with their questions. And we should answer them – Honestly. No analogies, no metaphors. Simply the facts.

    Otherwise, they will believe what they see on TV. They will believe what they are told by a friend. They will believe what they learn in school (and if that is different than what we want them to understand, that is our fault, not the school’s fault).

    Unfortunately too many children are without parents who engage in these conversations with them. In fact, there are too many children whose parents are the ones modeling immoral sexual behavior.

    I have worked in too many schools where children are not receiving proper sex education at home. And it is in those schools where the educators have to get creative. They are not only left with the responsibility of teaching the academic subjects, but they also must teach sex ed and drug prevention, etc. Because otherwise they are left with no students (you know the schools I am talking about – schools with devastating dropout rates and teen pregnancy rates, etc.).

    Regarding pregnancy prevention, I do not think that President Obama is concerned with the school districts where children are receiving proper sex ed from their parents. Rather President Obama wants to help women who are faced with unplanned pregnancies by providing affordable health care, education, child care programs, and other resources so that she will make the right decision.

  33. Emily Kay

    I hesitated even to comment because sometimes it seems like such a “waste” of energy to argue specifics with people who aren’t on the exact page you are. You know what I mean? And it’s so easy to become critical and not loving (which I think is why you’ve avoided certain topics in the past, right Marla?).

    That said, I agree completely with Cheryl on the topic of the Bible vs. science. (Why does it always have to be either/or? I like science…I just throw out the crap and judge everything in context of what I know to be true per Scripture.)

    I think Christians are more upset by President Obama than other presidents because of how he portrays himself. Former president Clinton said he was a Christian, but he never really referred to it. President Obama makes himself out to be a great family man who loves God, yada yada yada, but his actions don’t match up and that’s what bugs people. Personally I think former President Bush was an excellent representation of a Christian, his words and actions were the same and he really seemed to hold strong convictions and a passion for doing what he believed to be right.

    My husband and I had a discussion the other day about abstinance-only education in the public school system and how it related to being pro-life. Personally I’m all for sex ed (contraceptive use, etc.) in the classroom if it will prevent teen pregnancies, which in turn will lower the number of abortions. Now, I think abortion should be illegal in all situations, but since that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, we NEED to prevent those unwanted pregancies by educating kids. I’d prefer an abstinance + safety kind of sex edu though. But my kids won’t be attending our state schools anytime soon, so I don’t worry myself about it too much. 🙂

    And that’s all I have time for…my hubby wants his breakfast. 🙂

  34. Betsy

    Concerning the original terrorism comment—our son is a US Marine Reservist. Two tours in Iraq. We learned three years ago from their unit, here in Ohio—won’t say exactly where— that at that time, their unit was being watched by terrorists HERE. In Ohio! Not in Iraq. While I would like to think that all happens overseas, except for what happened in NYC, we must be vigilant and keep praying that God will have mercy on our country and keep us safe.

  35. Anne Lang Bundy

    This is my first visit. I’m stopping by from Rachelle’s party.

    In response to Katie’s question about evolution and science:
    As scientific knowledge advances, old theories are being debunked in droves. Science is sending the evolutionists scrambling, but the faithful refuse to objectively examine the evidence. Fair-minded evolutionists are increasingly giving a nod to “intelligent-design” to cover their bases, but even those designers from other planets had to have an origin before designing anything. Science can explain reproduction of life. Science can neither duplicate nor explain origin apart from the Bible. Science DOES support the biblical account of creation, without ANY problematic conflicts.

    Ali mentions getting fired up about marriage and gay marriage. I don’t know the context of her original remarks, but it’s my firm belief that our actions carry far more weight than our well-justified words. Whether the issue is gay marriage, abortion, racial intolerance, gluttony & drunkenness, music, or politics, Christians are far more influential with a lifestyle evangelism grounded firmly in the Lord’s Word and empowered by His Spirit than we are with rhetoric.

  36. Marla Taviano

    I’m going in a hundred million directions this morning, and I’m sure all of you are too! I’d love to camp out here, but my middle baby’s b-day is tomorrow, and I have lots to do. It’ll be fun to pop in and out and pass some of you along the way! Bless you for your comments so far.

    I, too, would love to hear Katie (and Andrea) answer Lisa’s question.

    And on an unrelated note, agent Rachelle Gardner is having a blog party today. If you’re an aspiring writer, this is a GREAT opportunity to connect with people in the “business” and invite people to see what you do over at your own blog. Just FYI.

    http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com

  37. Lisa

    I would still like Katie to address my question. If human beings are a result of some evolutionary phenomenon, which I could buy if we didn’t have emotions, intellect, and consciences, then where did we come from? I ask as humbly and respectfully as I know how. Please enlighten me on the evolutionist’s perspective on how life originated. We are far too complex, even in our relative simplicity, to be dismissed as universal anomalies. Life cannot be some cosmic accident.

  38. Cheryl

    Okay, I’m going to dive into the deep end and address the last question brought up by Katie. I agree with Marla that answering could easily be several posts, (and probably will be on my upcoming blog :-)) but I’ll try to stay brief.

    First, I want to say that faith is called faith because it’s not science. Going on faith, usually means you don’t have the facts to support your decision or belief. As Jesus talked about with Thomas, there are those who believe because they saw proof, but those who believed without proof were commended. Also, God doesn’t say prove I did such and such and you will be saved. He doesn’t make us solve a riddle or puzzle or anything else, He says simply believe. A six year old can do that and what proof do they need or have? Pretty much none and that’s the idea. We adults complicate things too much sometimes.

    Next, one of the issues many people have with believing the creation account is that they think they have to believe everything was created as we see it today. That what walked off the ark later are the animals we have now. That’s also too far to one end of the spectrum.

    I’m not an expert in creation science by any means, but I do know that micro-evolution is accepted, meaning that it is accepted that many animals have undergone small changes over time due to environment etc. and obviously some are extinct. What we will not hold to is that an amoeba became a goldfish, then a sparrow, an oryx, a baboon, a man. I also have a passion for God’s creation and like Marla, I believe a quick trip to the zoo and seeing all the intricate design and variety couldn’t possibly have all been by chance.

    And I’ll wrap up on a related note, though I’ve grown up Christian, I’ve also always been interested in the life sciences. Again, based on what I just mentioned, I’ve always found it much harder to believe in macro-evolution than that God created all things on purpose. To think that everything from the rods and cones in my eyes to the thousands of muscles in a single elephant’s trunk, got there by lucky, reproducible mutations that happened over gazillions of years, that boggles my mind. Believing that the art of creation has an artist, on the other hand is perfectly logical.

    One last thing (promise) there is a lot of scientific proof on the side of creation too, but that can’t be covered in most schools or in the media. A good resource for what’s happening there is the website for the Creation Museum.

    The Earth is Full of His Glory,
    Cheryl Pickett

  39. jess

    i think there are a few things i should clarify, as i’m thinking about what i wrote:

    a) I don’t want to be misleading. Hubby is 1/4 Italian, born in america. So, to say he’s Italian means that he’s got Italian roots and an Italian gramma who spread plenty of Italian love for all. 😉

    2) Though I belive that the threat of terrorism is very real, and that it could happen at anytime, I’m not shaking in my boots. Am I afraid of losing loved ones? Yep (my bro serves in the military & hubby works a major military base). Am I hiding under a rock all day every day watching and wiating and wondering when we’ll be attacked next? No. because ultimately, difficult as those situations would be, my hope is in the Lord. He’s in control, I know that. And if I lose everything, I won’t lose Him. And if I lose my own life, I’ll be with Him.

  40. jess

    Quote re terrorism from Andrea: “How many “terrorist attacks” you had in America? One. Huge, but one in how many years? Still, people is scared about “terrorism”! Terrorism has been just an excuse for Bush to go for oil to satisfy the extremely high demand in USA (that’s a fact, not an opinion).”
    *****
    Marla’s Question:
    Andrea says terrorism is not a real threat in America. What say you?

    *****
    my response: I wish I had more time to comment/think/answer/ponder–but we’re leaving in less than 10 hours for vacation! ack!

    But, one thing that really took me off guard was Andrea’s comment about whether terrorism is real in America. (My heart started racing and I actually thought, “Oh! The nerve of an Italian (i.e. Non-american!) to say that!” (don’t worry andrea, I have nothing against you as an Italian-I’m married to one & he’s one fine man.) Just because 9/11 was so long ago—doesn’t mean the threat is not real! I dare say that BEFORE 9/11 American’s felt there wasn’t a threat, but there were obviously some terrorist plans in the works!! We don’t have to FEEL an impending threat to know whether or not it’s there. It happened. There is no way on earth to know what terrorists are doing/thinking/planning. I think, as an american, we all feel like the threat is there. It was very much a slap in the face, to me, someone who was HERE on 9/11, who felt the same way my fellow americans did as we watched the terror, to hear Andrea blow it off as if it happened so long ago that it’s just silly to be worried about it anymore. Are you kidding me?!? Did ya see the pictures & live footage?!?

    The threat is very real. You weren’t here 8+ years ago when it happened. So I beg you to not even weigh in on how we should feel about it today, a mere 8 years later.

    Goodness know that there are people that have been in minor car accidents that are scared for LIFE, and no one bats an eye at that.

    I think we still can rightfully claim that terrorism is on our minds a lot.

    DO I think terrorism is the most important question posed by Marla today? No….there are much more important ones that I would like to speak about….but I’m working with a distraction level of 98.2%—so I’ll leave the eternity-realted REALLY important stuff to someone else. 🙂

    May God, MY GOD, MY SAVIOR, MY JESUS be glorified in this conversation. <3

  41. Denise

    Good questions – I’d love to discuss, but I don’t pay enough attention to politics to understand anything or really have an opinion. I will agree with Ali, let’s see people get fired up about man/woman marriage like they do with gay.

    Also, I really don’t think that Obama is any different than any other president. People have made him out to be this god almost, putting him on a pedestal – need I remind everyone that he is human – humans fail, they always will. Obama is like any other human. He has his good days and bad. Yes, we should respect him as our country’s leader – but don’t forget he will fail, it’s inevitable.

  42. Lisa

    DUH me… I thought Andrea was a woman! I thought all that time I was dialoguing with a sister. Boy howdy, that puts a whole lot of things into perspective!

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