I Sold My Soul on eBay: What Churches Do Right, Part 2

Energy level and passion

Mehta noticed that churches vary greatly in energy and passion.

The churches I enjoyed the most had a buzz of excitement that was noticeable from the moment I walked in the door. …

The positive feeling I picked up came from other churchgoers. It stands out when you are around people who look forward to coming to church, people who are glad to see one another. That vitality brushed off on me.

Mehta notes that architecture and technology aren’t the source of this enthusiasm. He found it in both plain and beautiful buildings. In particular, he considers community service as helping to generate this kind of enthusiasm.

The life of a healthy church extends far beyond the assembly, and the excitement, I think, comes from shared experiences, victories won through Jesus together. Small groups and classes contribute to this, but I believe he’s right that the greatest impact is found in community service, missions, and such, where Christians work side by side and the gospel meets the world.

Provide opposing viewpoints

Mehta encourages churches to offer debates or discussions where both sides of an issue are aired by representatives of both sides. He expresses dissatisfaction with churches that present lessons on a controversial issue where the other side is given no opportunity to be heard.

If the church has the correct stance on, say, Intelligent Design, then then there should be no problem with bringing in credible evolutionary biologists who can explain the scientific point of view.

He’s right, of course, but there are severe practical limitations on this method. First, most churches don’t have the expertise (or budget) to bring in top flight evolutionary biologists and Intelligent Design theorists. And these things don’t go well if either side is poorly represented.

More importantly, the vast majority of the unchurched aren’t really interested in such things. I think Mehta is unusual in being as analytical as he is. Surveys show that most unchurched people are deeply spiritual and most even believe in God. Unbelievers are more likely to be put off by the church’s views on homosexuality or its teaching that those outside the church are damned, than the church’s teachings on evolution.

I would go a step further. Mehta frequently ran into churches teaching against evolution. I don’t think the church has any business making evolution the issue. Obviously, those who claim that evolution somehow disproves the Bible or God are in error, but — sadly — many in the church are in this camp, telling all who will listen that they must choose between evolution and God. And so, many pick evolution. It’s a false choice and the church shouldn’t force people to make it.

Now, I’m not saying that churches shouldn’t teach Christian evidences. They should. But Christian evidences are generally not an effective evangelistic tool, and therefore churches should not build their evangelistic efforts on such teaching.

However, it’s important that the members know there are good answers to such questions. And in some communities — such as university towns — it may well be a good idea to take on such questions in a debate forum now and again. But if you do it, do it right, and that means not being scientifically ignorant and not being ignorant of the arguments made by your opponents. And it means doing things in a respectful, fair, and honest manner.

For example, so-called Scientific Creationism, which argues for a young earth based on science, is easily refuted by those who know their science. Read Phillip Kitcher’s Abusing Science. It’s a thorough demolition of the work of Henry Morris and his circle.

On the other hand, much of the Intelligent Design effort is worthwhile. But do we really want to build faith in Jesus on the molecular biology of cilia? or photosynthesis? There are better places to find faith!

Ultimately, in my experience, Christian evidences, well done, can eliminate intellectual barriers to faith but cannot create faith.

Making Bible stories relevant

Mehta is particularly critical of preachers who just read Bible stories without making an application to current life. How does the story of Joseph help me deal with problems at work?

Frankly, in my experience in the Churches of Christ, we’re pretty good at this. My guess is that Mehta is targeting some of the churches that do lectionary teaching, where predetermined scriptures are read each Sunday, often with no application. But few Churches of Christ and few evangelical churches are guilty of this one.

And Mehta agrees. Most of the sermons he heard did an excellent job of making life application of the Biblical narratives. And even though he doubts the historicity of these stories, he enjoyed and profited from the lessons.

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17 Responses to I Sold My Soul on eBay: What Churches Do Right, Part 2

  1. Nick Gill says:

    I don't want to make a big dramatic deal out of it, but a LOT of observation has gone under the bridge since Kitcher wrote that book back in 1983, especially in astrophysics and geological dating. Patrick Mead has argued pretty convincingly from a scientific standpoint for the PROBABILITY of young-earth creation, in a lecture series dealing with the New Atheists within the past two years.

  2. Helez says:

    [QUOTE]There are better places to find faith![/QUOTE]

    There are few places where my faith is elevated more than when I perceive God's creation… and few things hurt me more than when my brothers and sisters refuse to view so much of the beauty that only science can bring to our senses.

    To me, the process of meiosis in sexual reproduction is much more of a threat to the theology of "creationist science" than evolution is. After all, evolution is not a completely random process – life moves toward the goal of "fitness" in any given niche, driven by selection. Meiosis, on the other hand, is decidedly (and necessarily) random. How can a God "know" someone before they are conceived, if the process of conception is so random?

    We're good at putting God in a box… we bind him to our understanding and limitations… and so we try to create a tame god who thinks as we do and operates as we do. Why do we call him a creator, and not give him the ability or authority to create? The audacity…

  3. Jay Guin says:

    Here's a link to Mead's argument in support of young earth creationism: http://patrickmead.net/tentpegs/index.php?s=young

    If anyone has a link to additional materials on Patrick's thoughts, I'd love to see it, as Patrick Mead is one of the few preachers actually qualified to speak to the question.

    I have little beef who argue for a young earth based on the theory that God made the earth "full grown" with light already in transit from a million light years away. It's well within God's power and not remotely disprovable. It may well be true.

    My beef is with those who argue that science supports young earth creationism, as I've yet to see convincing evidence. It's easy to argue against evolution, but I'm not arguing for evolution and so there's no reason to argue against it. I'm just saying that the science says the earth is really, really old.

    But if God wanted to create it looking old, that's God's business.

  4. Helez says:

    Jay,

    I've just read over Mr. Mead's blog entry. While I do see where he's coming from, I can't say I agree with his main points. This isn't the place to address all of my disagreements, but maybe I can address the point you raise yourself:

    Given his nature, it is true that God could have created our reality in an "aged" state, six thousands years ago. However, given his nature, he could have just as easily created our reality six minutes ago! In the case for creation six minutes ago, for example, he could very well have created us with our knowledge, childhood memories, physical scars, etc… basically, everything set up so that we believe we've been around for years. It's true that we can't disprove this "theory", but what we can do is draw conclusions from it. Ask yourself, what would such a "theory" lead us to believe about God? I think most of us would be disturbed by the implication that we were created six minutes ago, and that our whole lives had, in fact, been fabricated by God… God, who by all accounts, should not be capable of fraudulent acts.

    Moving on… the "six thousand years ago – fully formed" approach is just as disturbing (to me) as the "six minutes ago – fully formed" approach, for all of the same reasons.

    This approach makes the whole of our natural history a fabricated reality. The "scars" on our reality, even the scars on our very genome, are in fact fabrications. God took the time to carefully craft our entire reality – genome to cosmos, so that it would APPEAR as though they are much older than the event of creation. What's worse is that he made the data appear to support SLOW development over an extended history… hiding structures that point to evolution in geology and genetics – hiding structures that point to an old universe in geology and in the stars…

    Why?

    Given the data, this "theory" makes God out to be some sort of collisional trickster… and for what? To confirm some view that God must work according to OUR understanding, or OUR understanding of scripture? To confirm some view that our days are the same as God's days (when we know from scripture they aren't) or that God must do things in a sequential manner (when we know from scripture that God is outside of time)?

    Personally, I must look for his answers in creation as well as his answers in scripture – they're both standing testaments to his power and his forgiveness… both are truth, or God is not the truth (or, at best, is not truthful).

  5. Jay Guin says:

    Helez,

    That's a very thoughtful comment. I'm impressed. And I agree.

    I've never been much inclined to argue with those who argue that God made the world recently but looking old, as it's quite unprovable and quite un-disprovable.

    The argument usually includes the observation that God made Adam fully grown, not as a baby.

    But I wonder whether God made Adam with healed over acne scars from his non-existent teen years or mended broken bones from his non-existent childhood?

    God could have made Adam's body with a history built in, but I can't shake the feeling that it was made perfect and new.

    But our earth has scars that seem to be really, really old. It just doesn't work for me. Nor do I see a recent creation as essential to Christian faith.

  6. nick gill says:

    Brethren,

    The post on Tentpegs is a very light brushing of the two hours of teaching Patrick presented last year on this particular aspect of Confronting the New Atheists. Patrick covered several specifically scientific issues that are not mentioned in the blog entry, such as the tremendous overabundance of hydrogen in the universe, the deep conflicts between different methods of radiological dating, and the fact that the different geological levels do not always appear in the right order and that fossils sometimes breach multiple levels that are supposed to be millions of years apart. He also states that there are certain characteristics of the earth that cannot be easily explained by a young earth theory.

    I'd like to offer a couple of points for consideration.

    1) Genesis says that creation began as chaos. We cannot extrapolate how things worked then, because we have no way to predict how chaos becomes order. It doesn't happen in our fallen cosmos.

    2) The first act of God against chaos is to create LIGHT. Light everywhere! That light He shaped into stars. Since the light was everywhere to begin with, it seems like an acceptable hypothesis to suggest that light didn't BEGIN at the stars, but coalesced into the stars from where it began.

    3) I must reiterate what I feel to be Patrick's key point: in a universe governed by the second law of thermodynamics, TIME is NOT your friend.

    While I agree with Jay, and I fully expect that old-earth creationists and even evolutionary creationists will share with me in the new creation, I do not believe the evidence for age is the fearsome heavyweight that you guys suggest. Certainly it has some points in its favor, but it forces us to do the same kind of mental gymnastics with Scripture that creationists are accused of doing with the testimony of Science.

  7. David says:

    You are correct Nick. My original major in college was Physics so I know a little of which I speak. There is a lot of of evidence out there supporting the young earth theory. I don't want to turn this into a debate on Christian evidences but suffice to to say there is a huge effort in the scientific community to quash all debate on the subject.

    The simple fact is that both science and the bible boil down to two things – making certain assumptions and having faith in those assumptions. But to me, belief in an Almighty God is simply a logic question.

    It is a scientific impossibility for anything to have always existed. Matter and energy has to have a place it comes from – it can't have existed forever. But since we do exist that logically means something unscientific must have happened.

    And yes I know science has named a certain "continunity" to have always existed but sorry folks – naming something don't explain it. They have no idea how this "continunity" could have been around forever. Interesting they will accept a "continunity" as being everlasting but can't accept a God.

    Evolution is proof that if you repeat a lie long enough, people will believe it.

  8. Helez says:

    Jay,

    The views those like myself (who believe in both evolution and creation) are are probably too radical for the majority of our tradition to accept, I know… but what I wish people would try to understand is that it *is* possible to not question the truth of the scriptures while believing in evolution. I often see you take "uncomfortable" analytical approaches to scripture, and I know you know the value of questioning tradition despite the difficulties it brings to you personally. Honesty, I've found evolution and scripture be anything except contradictory… in my life I have many more "problems" with "scripture vs. scripture". So while I don't question the scriptures, I do question how we read and understand them.

    I believe that the scriptures were given to people who were unable to fathom (due to their place in history) the actual mechanisms by which creation occurred. The nature of the truth is the same, but we were far too immature to be told of quantum physics, genetic drift, or entropy. Again, the truth didn't change, just the method of conveyance…

    An example: If you take a five year old to the doctor for a flu vaccination you don't explain antigens, protein binding, B cells, surface proteins, and why RNA is more likely to mutate than DNA. What you might say is: "This will keep the little tiny flu bug from making you sick". If she's curious about why she has to get one each year, you might say "The bug disguises itself from year to year". Influenza isn't a "bug" as she understands it, nor does it "disguise" itself in any way she can understand, but the *truth* of the matter is conveyed much more effectively than it would be if you tried to explain the actual mechanisms.

    I didn't mean to sound condescending in my earlier posts, and I apologize if anyone took my comments that way. I don't have any interest in a debate, but rather I hope I can entice someone into honestly exploring scripture AND creation. I'll address some of Mr. Meads points as my last comment, in hopes that someone may reach that end…

    Mr. Meads is, from what I can tell, a logical individual with perfectly good and honest intentions. I feel that his attempts at analysis of the issues fail, however, on several levels. To me, his entry on the topics indicate that he lacks a working knowledge of the elements he expounds, as well as a general working knowledge of the philosophy of science. I'll post some of the issues I have without a lot of expansion in hopes that some reader will research for themselves.

    "…time is the enemy of undirected evolution" Evolution is a "directed" process by definition. His specific error is the lack of a working knowledge of evolution, while his general error is first the lack of appreciation for theoretical independence (IE, one dissenting opinion to a theory, or the specifics of a theory, does not automatically make the theory "shaky"). In addition, what was his source for this major claim? Did he realize the seriousness of the claim and investigate it? If so, why didn't he write more about it or provide a citation? If someone didn't notice this problem, maybe they're missing some of the philosophy of science: a statement does not make a fact, and claims require some form of backup.

    "You drop it from six feet. What are the odds that it stays in order?" The answer, of course, is virtually none (to anyone with any common sense)! Of course, that's the point of this line of "reasoning"… It makes for a good "argument", but the proper name for it is a "strawman", given that evolution does not operate in this way. (Mr. Meads himself has fallen pray to someone else's reasoning – I'm not implying he is being intentionally dishonest). His specific error is the lack of a working knowledge of evolution, his general error is a failure to appreciate the power of peer review and consensus. Isn't he curious why (effectively) the whole of biology isn't at all concerned with this amazingly simple "problem"? This should be a red flag. His next step (rather than taking it as fact and posting it in a blog) should be to question… to read, research, and investigate (and not just creationist literature). Mr. Meads missed this red flag… perhaps he isn't quite versed in the philosophy: feel free to disagree with any statement or findings, but educate yourself as to why the consensus stands as it does, particularly when the "problem" is so basic and blatantly "common sense".

    "Such is the nature of the universe in which we find ourselves." Mr. Meads as well as a few commenters contend that the second law of thermodynamics would not allow for evolution. As with the above example, hasn't anyone wondered why the vast majority majority of scientists accept that the second law isn't an issue? It should be a major red flag – "Perhaps it is an issue, but let's find out for ourselves!" (I can't resist a hint, as this issue is closer to my field of study… the definition of the second law that "creationists" use is typically the definition as you would explain it to someone not versed in the field: "Things tend toward disorder." While that's fine for someone in junior high, it's a long way from an accurate description. Of course, I plead with you, don't take my word for it! The theories associated with the field of thermodynamics are well documented across the internet (and will be quite a snore for most anyone will read).

    There are more, but I hope this is enough to get any reader to question and explore for themselves. My last piece of advice would be a warning – if you study this topic, do so with an open mind, but beware of those who say that naturalism is all that humanity has. Science and naturalism isn't the path to atheism on their own, but many who embrace those concepts also say that they're "all that we have"… a huge mistake in my opinion, being a Christian. ;)

    Grace & Peace…

  9. Jay Guin says:

    Helez,

    I agree. As much as I respect Patrick Mead and appreciate his work, he whiffed on this one. The man has an intellect of the first order, and yet he's making arguments rejected decades ago.

    I mean, in no sense is evolution a directed process. It's just not.

    And the broken watch analogy works quite well for the formation of the universe and the creation of life — but once we have cells with DNA, it's hard to see how random parts are being assembled from nothing.

    Oh, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics argument is just so specious. I have taken several advanced physics courses myself, and the argument is utterly flawed — and very ably refuted in many places, including Abusing Science.

    Here's a refutation by a Christian: http://members.aol.com/steamdoc/writings/thermo.h

    And absent a creation of an old-looking universe, I don't see how we can be looking at galaxies millions of light years away in a universe only 6,000 years old. It would be quite impossible, you know.

    Now, I am a Creationist — but I'm an old-earth Creationist — God started his creation a very long time ago. Regarding evolution, well, it's false to the extent it's supposed to explain everything. But did some evolution happen?

    As a God believer, I don't need for evolution to explain everything, but neither do I need for everything to have happened by miracle. I'm good with a healthy mix of both — and I'm not that interested in figuring out just how of each there has been. There was some of each.

  10. Jay Guin says:

    Nick,

    The more orthodox theories of the Big Bang are entirely in accord with what you say —

    1) Genesis says that creation began as chaos. We cannot extrapolate how things worked then, because we have no way to predict how chaos becomes order. It doesn’t happen in our fallen cosmos.

    The Big Bang produced a soup of highly charged particles that eventually coalesced into atoms. Cosmologists quite agree that the universe began in utter chaos.

    2) The first act of God against chaos is to create LIGHT. Light everywhere! That light He shaped into stars. Since the light was everywhere to begin with, it seems like an acceptable hypothesis to suggest that light didn’t BEGIN at the stars, but coalesced into the stars from where it began.

    Moreover, cosmologists agree that light was created before the stars. This is from the Wikipedia —

    The photon epoch

    Between 3 minutes and 380,000 years after the Big Bang
    Main article: Photon epoch

    After most leptons and anti-leptons are annihilated at the end of the lepton epoch the energy of the universe is dominated by photons. These photons are still interacting frequently with charged protons, electrons and (eventually) nuclei, and continue to do so for the next 300,000 years.

    Nucleosynthesis

    Between 3 minutes and 20 minutes after the Big Bang[4]
    Main article: Big Bang nucleosynthesis

    During the photon epoch the temperature of the universe falls to the point where atomic nuclei can begin to form. Protons (hydrogen ions) and neutrons begin to combine into atomic nuclei in the process of nuclear fusion. However, nucleosynthesis only lasts for about seventeen minutes, after which time the temperature and density of the universe has fallen to the point where nuclear fusion cannot continue. At this time, there is about three times more hydrogen
    than helium-4 (by mass) and only trace quantities of other nuclei.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_timelin

    Cool, huh? Stars don't come about until much later.

    I'm a big fan of Hugh Ross, a professional astronomer, who has done great work showing how modern cosmology and physics fit well within a Biblical worldview. I also like the work of Gerald Schroeder.

    Both work in a popular style while understanding the evidence at a highly sophisticated level. I should add John Clayton to the list.

    It's ironic that many scientists have tried to disprove the Big Bang because it's suggests the existence of God, while many Christians assume the theory denies God! In fact, some of the deepest insights into the nature of God will be found in modern cosmology.

    For those who want something deeper, read Paul Davies, The Mind of God (not a light read, but rich in insights).

  11. Jay Guin says:

    David wrote,

    It is a scientific impossibility for anything to have always existed. Matter and energy has to have a place it comes from – it can’t have existed forever. But since we do exist that logically means something unscientific must have happened.

    That's entirely true. In fact, the modern Big Bang theory teaches that the universe was created from, quite literally, nothing. Except it wasn't nothing. There had to be at least a law of nature making the Big Bang possible.

    The Greeks had a name for that law. They called it the logos.

  12. Jay Guin says:

    Guys,

    It's my view that Christians should be at the cutting edge of science, because science shows us the face of God.

    (Rom 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

    (Psa 19:1-3) For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

    (Isa 40:26) Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

    (Acts 17:26-27) From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

    If we truly believed what the scriptures say, our universities would not only be centers of theology, they'd be centers of science.

  13. nick gill says:

    Guys,

    Why is there still so much hydrogen in the universe? If hydrogen has been being fused into helium, etc etc, for billions of years, even at the current rate, and we haven't found any "natural" process in the universe producing hydrogen, why is there still so much of it?

    Why don't more scientists admit that there are major problems implied by the law of entropy? Because you lose your grants, you lose your jobs, you lose your position in the intellectual community. How many PhDs in astrophysics do you think really want to flip burgers because they have honest doubts about the proposed age of the universe?

    If Genesis 1-3 is myth, what else is myth? Certainly Noah must be mythical. Because if you have 100 years warning for a local flood, you don't build a gigantic boat. You MOVE. Jonah might be mythical. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph? The Exodus? The Resurrection? All of these things stand and fall on some kind of trustworthiness of the narrative of Scripture beyond an "Aesop's fables" kind of meaning.

    I don't buy into the chronological arrogance that says God had to lie because they were too primitive to understand words revealed from God, because that puts US in charge of the story. Where is the dividing line in time when humanity suddenly became mature enough to understand reality, the line before which God revealed the truth in fables and after which He told us what was really going on? Is the line between Gen 11 and 12? Does it fall between 1st and 2nd Kings? Maybe between Malachi and Matthew? Or was it not until the 1800s, when the Germans finally figured out that all of Scripture was fable and what was real was how the stories made you feel inside?

    Final point: If man is made in the image of God, and if man evolved from other creatures over a process of evolution lasting billions of years… then from what did God evolve?

    in HIS love,
    nick

    PS –

  14. nick gill says:

    BTW, Patrick Mead is indeed a logical person with good intent, who has several advanced scientific degrees for which he had to fight tooth and nail. He currently teaches at the graduate level at Michigan, Ohio State, and guest lectures at other universities as well. Being a clinical researcher, he is well-versed in the philosophy of science, and since he engages in peer review for scientific journals, I'd GUESS that he understands the concept.

    Perhaps one should familiarize oneself with someone's credentials before prattling on about their intellectual shortcomings. On the basis of one short piece written in the genre of a blog post in a short Q & A series, you're surprised not to find it written in the genre of a peer-reviewed fully-cited journal submission?

  15. Jay Guin says:

    Nick,

    I actually know Patrick Mead, read both his blogs daily, have heard him in person, and think very highly of him.

    He is more educated and smarter than me. When I say I respect his intellect, I mean it.

    And I've previously cited his educational accomplishments in this very place.

    I greatly respect the man, his intellect, and his accomplishments — as I've said before.

    I've said nothing derogatory about his intellect — ever. In this blog or in private. He truly is an intellect of the first order.

    But his teaching on the age of the earth is mistaken. It's not a personal attack on the man — whom I greatly admire. I just disagree.

    Rather than arguing it out in the comment section, I figure I'll post a few things explaining my thinking in a little more detail.

    Lots of people disagree with me on lots of issues. I don't consider their disagreements to be personal insults. And my disagreement with the most excellent Patrick Mead is no insult to him.

  16. nick gill says:

    Jay,

    I should have been more clear. It wasn't your response with which I took exception.

    I do wish, though, that you would hear him out on the matter. His 45 minute presentation on problems with old-earth theory is in much greater depth and specificity than his quick blog post.

  17. Helez says:

    [blockquote]Why is there still so much hydrogen in the universe?[/blockquote]

    Hi again Nick… that's an excellent question, and I applaud you for considering it! You've realized that we "burn" hydrogen, and you've realized that there was a set amount produced during the creation event… Now you have two options:

    1.) Learn how astronomers and cosmologists estimate and measure the rates of usage, as well as estimate the amount during creation.

    2.) Keep saying "We burn it, we had some fixed amount…" and draw conclusions about that… from somewhere.

    Logically, common sense should tell you that maintaining option two, without seeking some measure (or even a rough order of magnitude) of hydrogen usage/initial production isn't an acceptable option.

    [blockquote]Why don’t more scientists admit that there are major problems implied by the law of entropy? Because you lose your grants, you lose your jobs, you lose your position in the intellectual community. How many PhDs in astrophysics do you think really want to flip burgers because they have honest doubts about the proposed age of the universe?[/blockquote]

    On the contrary, the process of science only thrives when participants dissent. I've personally seen several cases where I thought two scientists at my local university were going to "take it outside" over minor differences in their theories and opinions. The key, as always, isn't opinion but evidence… flat earth theories, geocentrism theories, humor theories, aether theories, or intelligent design theories could VERY WELL be accepted by the scientific establishment IF their proponents managed to produce and provide evidence for them. They haven't, and that's why they aren't (and shouldn't be) considered as accepted theories.

    BUT, as always, DON'T take my word for it! The reason the majority of scientists know entropy isn't a problem for evolution is that they have a working knowledge of entropy and evolution, not because of some "conspiracy" to shut them up about the truth. Jay's link may be a good starting place, or perhaps this one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermo

    I surveyed this one, it seems okay:
    http://www.secondlaw.com/

    Particularly:
    http://www.secondlaw.com/six.html

    But again, I beg you , don't take my word for it! Study for yourself, look at the equations… Decreasing entropy happens all around us every day. (Note: Even some young-earthers are apparently finally coming around… see: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/don

    [blockquote]
    If Genesis 1-3 is myth, what else is myth? Certainly Noah must be mythical. Because if you have 100 years warning for a local flood, you don’t build a gigantic boat. You MOVE.
    [/blockquote]

    1.) No one said it was a myth, as far as I've read here. As for Noah, you don't simply "move" if God tells you to do otherwise! You'd better start building (If you're smart…). The rest of your paragraph is built on the assumption that someone thinks the stories are "myths"… which no one seems to be saying.

    [blockquote]
    I don’t buy into the chronological arrogance that says God had to lie because they were too primitive to understand words revealed from God, because that puts US in charge of the story.[/blockquote]

    No one said the stories were myths, and no one said God had to lie. Explaining concepts to a child in a child-like way doesn't make one a liar. Once again, as above, the rest of your paragraph is built on some supposition that someone here thinks God "lied" somewhere.

    [blockquote]
    Final point: If man is made in the image of God, and if man evolved from other creatures over a process of evolution lasting billions of years… then from what did God evolve?
    [/blockquote]

    "Made in the image of God" doesn't necessarily mean "biologically", Nick. Scripture says that “God is a spirit…” (John 4:24) We're capable of things that "other creatures" are not, due to our God-nature, not because of some biological nature. Scripture tells us we're specifically created in God's image, whereas God is "everlasting to everlasting" (Psalm 90:2).

    [blockquote]BTW, Patrick Mead is indeed a logical person with good intent, who has several advanced scientific degrees for which he had to fight tooth and nail. He currently teaches at the graduate level at Michigan, Ohio State, and guest lectures at other universities as well. Being a clinical researcher, he is well-versed in the philosophy of science, and since he engages in peer review for scientific journals, I’d GUESS that he understands the concept. [/blockquote]

    I've not meant to insult Mr. Meads, but I maintain my position (given the clear nature of his mistakes). Ignorance is neither shameful or insulting, in my opinion… it's just a state (and one I'm in with respect to plenty of subjects). Ignorance only becomes shameful when ignored, or worse… promoted.

    [blockquote]Perhaps one should familiarize oneself with someone’s credentials before prattling on about their intellectual shortcomings.[/blockquote]

    Certainly, no one has stated or implied that Mr. Meads has "intellectual shortcomings". With all due respect, I'm not sure where you're coming up with these conclusions, Nick. No one said the Bible contains myths, no one said God lied in the Bible, and no one said that Mr. Meads has "intellectual shortcomings".

    It's been a great thread, but this will be my last reply in this entry. Thanks all, it's been stimulating!

    Grace & Peace…

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