Faith

A while ago I quoted Richard Dawkins and his description of ‘faith’. Do you remember?

Faith means blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence.
(The Selfish Gene, 1976)

It is a definition no Christian recognises.

Here’s a much better one. Geoffrey Grogan, writing of the historical basis of the New Testament, and referring to John 20:30,31 and 1 John 5:13, says

Here then we see that the purpose of this literature, and this appears to be true of the New Testament as a whole, is to elicit and to strengthen faith; faith, that is, in Jesus as the Son of God, faith in Jesus as theologically interpreted. Faith grows as it feeds on facts, not on feelings nor on fancies. Faith is greedy for facts; it has an insatiable appetite for them.
(The Christ of the Bible and the Church’s Faith, Mentor 1998, p.86)

Now, I get that description.

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Faith

20 thoughts on “Faith

  1. RobHu says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Nat directed me here no doubt hoping I would say something counter to what you’ve said. I’m not sure there would really be any point in doing that, so I thought I’d share three more Dawkins quotes on this subject:

    “Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops.”

    “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

    “It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, “mad cow” disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.”

    Also one for fun:
    “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”
    — Douglas Adams (Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy)

    -RobHu

  2. jmark says:

    Thanks Stephen and RobHu for the quotes.

    They make it easy to see why atheist Micheal Ruse says Dawkins makes him embarassed to be an atheist.

    This is intellectual posturing at its best. Straw men fall over themselves in a mountain of chaff.

    If thats the best atheism has to offer then Christianity is home laughing.

    It seems to me that atheism requires a far greater amount of faith, or coping out – for it has to borrow reason and logic from the Christian worldview to deny Christianity.

  3. RobHu says:

    Just to clarify, when I said “Nat directed me here no doubt hoping I would say something counter to what you’ve said. I’m not sure there would really be any point in doing that” I meant “because no one here is really interested in critically considering what Dawkins is saying”.

    I’m quite sure he’s right. Based on my analysis of Christian thought now, and from when I was a Christian.

  4. jmark says:

    Critical interaction presupposes content worth criticising. When many non christian thinkers have lambasted Dawkins for his shallow thinking why should Christians be incessantly called on to answer the rants of a man who passionately hates the God he doesn’t believe in.

    There are only so many ways to point out that the emperor isnt wearing any clothes. After a while you get on with life, and wait for it to sink in.

  5. RobHu says:

    It does presuppose that. I don’t see any evidence from you that his content is not worth criticising or considering. I suggest that it is worth considering, and responding to what he has actually said rather than just trying to dismiss him entirely would probably be a smart move.

    Many non Christian thinkers have lambasted him? So? Although they teach you in church that the world is divided in to Christians and non Christians, the reality is that it’s much more nuanced than that. If a majority of non Christians say something that doesn’t make it the non Christian majority. A better judge of the correctness of someone’s arguments might be found in analysis of the arguments themselves rather than an appeal to majority opinion.

    I find your use of the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’ rather amusing given The Courtier’s reply:

    I have considered the impudent accusations of Mr Dawkins with exasperation at his lack of serious scholarship. He has apparently not read the detailed discourses of Count Roderigo of Seville on the exquisite and exotic leathers of the Emperor’s boots, nor does he give a moment’s consideration to Bellini’s masterwork, On the Luminescence of the Emperor’s Feathered Hat. We have entire schools dedicated to writing learned treatises on the beauty of the Emperor’s raiment, and every major newspaper runs a section dedicated to imperial fashion; Dawkins cavalierly dismisses them all. He even laughs at the highly popular and most persuasive arguments of his fellow countryman, Lord D. T. Mawkscribbler, who famously pointed out that the Emperor would not wear common cotton, nor uncomfortable polyester, but must, I say must, wear undergarments of the finest silk.

    Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.

    Personally, I suspect that perhaps the Emperor might not be fully clothed — how else to explain the apparent sloth of the staff at the palace laundry — but, well, everyone else does seem to go on about his clothes, and this Dawkins fellow is such a rude upstart who lacks the wit of my elegant circumlocutions, that, while unable to deal with the substance of his accusations, I should at least chide him for his very bad form.

    Until Dawkins has trained in the shops of Paris and Milan, until he has learned to tell the difference between a ruffled flounce and a puffy pantaloon, we should all pretend he has not spoken out against the Emperor’s taste. His training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics.

  6. RobHu says:

    I should clarify what I said a little better.

    The non Christian world is a lot more fragmented than the Christian one. For a start it includes people of all religious beliefs (and none) other than Christianity!

    I assume you meant his arguments have been criticised by many atheists? I’ve read a lot of articles for and against what he has written. I’m not convinced by the majority of the arguments against, usually they either don’t attempt address the points made in TGD, or misrepresent him entirely (see Dawkins Angel for good examples of that).

    What is sorely lacking (in the popular press and the media at any rate) is anyone willing to go head to head with what Dawkins has actually said in TGD. McGrath has attempted this, but his book The Dawkins Delusion is rambly and misses the point. Then again he was rambly to an extreme I didn’t think was possible in Religion: The root of all evil and again at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival.

    About the only place useful discussion is taking place is over on Andrew Rilestone‘s blog, and then it’s only really worth reading the comments between Gareth McCaughan and Andrew.

  7. jmark says:

    I concur with your assessment of McGrath at the Times Literary festival – he had me pulling my hair out. Woedully inadequate. Its reallly bad when the moderator had to ask him if he was defending religion in general or Christianity in particular.

    Have you listened to Greg Bahnsen’s debate with Gordon Stein? I’d have loved to see Bahnsen take on Dawkins. Doug Wilson has good responses on his blog.

  8. RobHu says:

    I haven’t listened to the debate you mentioned. I’ll give it a look later.

    My frustration over McGrath is that some of my Evangelical friends kept saying “I don’t listen to Dawkins because he won’t argue with a real Christian theologian like McGrath” repeatedly. Then it turned out that he’d been in *two* debates (that I know of) with McGrath, and had interviewed him at length for his TV documentary (the unedited footage of which is now online at the link I gave you).

    I assume McGrath is a properly qualified Christian given that he was Principal of Wycliffe Hall, and in 1999 was awarded a personal chair in theology by Oxford University.

    I bet McGrath has something interesting to say, but his manner of speaking is so obfuscated that it takes me some time to try to decode what he was trying to say.

    I would love Dawkins to have more debates with Christians (well, and people of all religions, he’s pretty clear his main argument about God is not specific to any religion), but he has had *many* such debates already.

    The problem with these debates in terms of convincing people is not just that there are so many religions, but also that there are so many factions within each religion. The IQ2 debate was nice (I attended that in person), but I doubt it would be of interest to your or Stephen as the defenders of religion are probably not religious/christian/evangelical enough.

  9. RobHu says:

    jmark – are you a creationist?

    If so would you agree that *if it could be shown that* the world is billions of years old rather than thousands, and if we evolved from earlier hominids (who themselves evolved from other creatures, back down to unicellular life) then the Bible account of creation is incorrect, and so the rest of the Bible should be viewed as suspect?

  10. jmark says:

    Yes I am a creationist.

    To answer your question I would say, the creation debate deals with evidence where the means and methods of interpreting the evidence are so dependent on the presuppositions of the analyst that that makes it hard for either side to come to an agreed conclusion.

    There are too many methodological uncertainties and variables in assumption in looking at something so far back.

    Let me phrase the question in terms of a much more recent historical event which relies on far less subjectivism.

    If Jesus is who he says he is, and since he spoke of creation and the literalness of Adam and Eve – if it could be proved that Jesus is the Son of God, would you accept that he must be right about the origin of the world since he was there?

    Now if it can be proved that Jesus isnt who he said he was, that he didnt rise from the dead, then I would gladly abandon not only creationism, but Christianity.

  11. RobHu says:

    Hold on there Mark, you’ve not answered my question. I’ll happily answer your question if you answer mine.

    If it could be shown that the literal Christian creationist account (world created 6,000 years ago, no ‘macro’ evolution, etc…) was incorrect would that also mean that Christianity as a whole is incorrect?

  12. jmark says:

    My answer is No to certain parts, yes to others.

    I wouldnt be set on 6000 years as a date. But I can see no great need for millions of years.

    But I can see no place in scripture for macro-species-to-species evolution. It doesnt square with the theology.

    Man must be distinct from animals
    No death before sin
    Adam must be a real person

    So if man did evolve in ways that contradicted any of the above, then God’s word isnt true.

    Its not a scenario I think needs to be faced because it is much easier to argue from more recent history rather than far distant history. And recent history gives us Jesus.

    So I ask you, if Jesus is the Son of God, are you prepared to give up the idea of evolution, and accept his word, and all his other words eg seeking forgiveness of sins?

  13. RobHu says:

    Thanks for your reply Mark. I understand it to mean that if evolution as we understand it is correct then Christianity is false (given that it would mean ‘species to species evolution’ and ‘no death before sin’, or in other words that the account of the garden of Eden is correct). Given that we are extremely certain that evolution occured we can therefore be sure that Christianity is incorrect (at least if you’re right). I say this as someone who used to be a Evangelical Creationist who looked at the strength of the scientific evidence and found it to be overwhelming, and also as someone who works at the premier center for bioinformatics research (along with analysis and storage of the genome data) in Europe (the European Bioinformatics Institute). We can be pretty much as certain that evolution occured as we can be of anything in science. Which is to say very very certain.

    Now to answer your questions:
    Your questions assume (or ask me to accept) the following:
    * A person called Jesus existed in the first century CE
    * Jesus was “the son of God” and he rose from the dead
    * Jesus spoke literally of creation and Adam and Eve
    * Jesus was around at the origin of the world

    A person called Jesus existed in the first century CE
    I think there is reasonable evidence that someone called Jesus existed, although I accept that there are scholars who question this (e.g. Doherty and Price).

    Jesus was “the son of God” and he rose from the dead
    Whether Jesus was “the son of God” really depends on what you mean by that (I’m going to assume you mean he was divine in a sense that an ‘ordinary’ human isn’t), and whether there is sufficiently strong enough evidence to know that he was divine. I don’t think there is such evidence. The Bible accounts would (under most modern interpretations) indicate he was, but the Bible is not a sufficiently trustworthy to convince me that he was divine. As Gareth McCaughan rather amusingly parodied the evidence is flimsy, the authors lack credibility, the quite often got stuff quite badly wrong that they really shouldn’t have done, a lot of what is written appears to be cribbed from the other writings (so really there aren’t even 4 accounts), they disagree with other quite a lot, their accounts of miraculous things are strangely absent from the writings of contemporaries who had no reason to invent or exaggerate, along with many other reasons. The Bible should be approached in the same way we would approach the claims of any other historical document. Equally before we should apply the same burden of proof to the accounts of miracles in the Bible that we would for any other (historical or modern) account of miracles.

    McCaughan’s Why I am not an inerrantist makes interesting reading (he wrote it when he was a Christian) on why we should be very suspicious of the Bible, and quite certain that it is not ‘literally’ correct in the way you wish to read it.

    The biggest problem with this approach to Christianity is it basically says “It must be true because these bronze age people wrote down that these things happened”. There are attempts to make that stronger by pointing out that people really believed it and died because of those beliefs which leads people to make arguments like Lewis’ faulty Trilemma argument.

    I’m quite prepared to accept that there is a God if sufficient evidence can be shown of such. Unfortunately such evidence does not appear to exist (or if it does I’ve not yet found it). Evangelicals are usually pretty good here, they at least try to make arguments that are objective, but often they fall into the “see if you can experience / feel Jesus” type of objective arguments, which while internally convincing are highly suspect if only because there is no reason to show why your internal experience of Jesus is any more reliable that someone elses internal experience of a different god.

    As Carl Sagan once said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. If there is a God (and indeed there might be) she does not appear willing to provide such evidence. Which inevitably leads us to a situation where God is like the dragon in my garage. I don’t see why it would be difficult for an all powerful God to provide lots of very clear objective evidence that she exists, and I find it highly suspicious that such evidence does not. Perhaps there is a god who does not interact with the world, or there is a god who does not wish people to know of her existence, but I do not think that describes the type of god you would argue for.

    Jesus spoke literally of creation and Adam and Eve
    I know there are a lot of intelligent Evangelicals, and Evangelical scholars who wouldn’t agree with this statement, so I find I will just say that I think it’s sufficient, but is not something (given the above point) I really need to consider.

    Jesus was around at the origin of the world
    This is something one has to assume based on the Bible, but given that the Bible is not trustworthy to that degree there is no reason to do so.

    Would I follow Christianity if it were demonstrated that the Bible account was true? No I don’t think I would. It seems to me that this is asking me to sign up to follow one of the greatest evil beings of all time. Yahweh (under an evangelical understanding) willfully sends far far more people to the furnace than Hitler ever did. An eternal punishment for a finite crime? (which arguably isn’t a crime at all, especially given the lack of any evidence). I can’t help but agree with Richard Dawkins’ description: The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

    Certainly the kind of person I would want to be opposed to (regardless of their level of ‘might’) rather than worship.

  14. jmark says:

    Rob

    I think your last paragraphs sum it all up – you really dont like God, and even if you were convinced he existed you would bravely defy the evidence.

    Fair enough, I can accept that.

    On the other hand I think we’ll leave the jury out on evolution. Like the Chinese diplomat said when asked about Western Civilisation – “Its too early to say.” Given the track record of science I’m sure we’ll see many reversals of opinion.

    On the other hand – I was surprised at how weak those links were. Brings to mind teh quote about when people stop believing in God they dont believe nothing, they believe anything.

    Re The parable – good point, except that the evidence is limited to 3 biographies, but to 66 books, written at vastly different times…

    RE Marks geography – very poor statements. It a assumes that Mark is giving all points on journey, as opposed to stating that Jesus went on a surprising tour of Gentile lands. The point is that Mark knows the geography, and thats why he records it thus, because everyone knew it wasnt en-route. Its a point about Jesus taking the gospel to the Gentiles – which is why he repeats many similar miracles in Gentile land that he did in Judea.

    By the way – I’m going on a similar ridiculous round about trip on Monday because I have certain calls to do, but unless you knew what I was doing you’d say that I clearly had no knowledge of geography!

    Anyhow – got to go. Will be away for a few days. Nice to chat, probably out of order of me to do it on Stephen’s blog, since I haven’t ever met either of you.

  15. RobHu says:

    I think your last paragraphs sum it all up – you really dont like God, and even if you were convinced he existed you would bravely defy the evidence.
    Nope. In fact if you knew anything about me (and this is all on my blog) I desperately wanted to be a Christian but found that the evidence all went against Christianity (this was on an Evangelical Christian course). Also I made it pretty clear that if Yahweh existed (which he might, but all evidence points to the contrary) I would be opposed to him, not that I would deny his existence.

    In terms of your comment about evolution, we can be quite sure that you’re wrong because the evidence for evolution is overwhelming, not to mention the fact that if you’re write pretty much everything we know about cosmology and astrophysics is wrong too.

    There is no ‘debate’ in the scientific community about these things, we’re quite sure they’re correct. The only debates seem to be by religious people who would rather trust the writings of bronze age people. Even the most cursory reading of the scientific literature will demonstrate this.

    It is a rather large subject to get in to, but I don’t think you’re right about all the other books supporting your claims about Jesus, many of them don’t mention him, the ‘prophecies’ are often highly vague to say the least, and there are many people (e.g. the Jews) who study the OT and are pretty sure you’re wrong about Jesus.

    You assume Mark knew the geography, how do you know this? Because you assume it is so? Just looking at “Then he [Jesus] return from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee” indicates a serious problem because Sidon is to the north of Tyre (quite a long way north) while the sea of galilee is in the opposite direction. Please apply the same way of reading here as you would in Genesis, it says through, not also went to.

    That’s just one of the many flaws on that one page. I don’t see how that is ‘weak’.

    Gareth linked to quite a few serious problems in the parody I linked to. I only linked to one or two of them. You might find it helpful to go and look at more than just the ones I linked to.

    I want to say that I know it sounds like I’m writing this to attack you, and you’ve come to believe that people who argue that Christianity is not true ‘hate God’ and are intentionally blinding themselves to the truth. I want you to know that those things aren’t true. It’s not my intent to attack you (I apologise if my poor and somewhat brisk writing style seems to imply that), and I don’t write what I write because I “hate God”.

    I don’t believe in God, and based on the extensive research I’ve done I’m pretty sure that the Evangelical Christian god does not exist.

    I write these things because I see that religion (and particularly because of my experience, Evangelical Christianity) is harmful to the world, and also harmful to the people following it.

    I would hope you can take the time out to look at the things I’ve linked to (in particular the Talk Origins link on the evidence for evolution). If I’m wrong you have nothing to lose but to know our arguments better, right?

  16. jmark says:

    Rob – just a quick one

    Have a look at
    http://www.errantskeptics.org/MarksGeogMark7.htm
    and have a look at his map links to show why Mark describes what he did.

    I’ve seen talk origins before and as you would expect there is a website that refutes it point for point – and probably one that refutes it also, and so on.

    I suspect you overstate the case for a need for a complete rewrite of astrophysics and cosmology. We are so far from understanding it that much of it is speculation, based on assumptions. What do you think of Russell Humphrey’s Starlight and Time? He presents a different model for cosmology – one that the present data also fits into, but gives radically different answers and starts off from a different position?

    Anyhow really have to go.

    as for parables – here’s one
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1247.asp

  17. RobHu says:

    I’ve had a look at the article and the maps, and it’s pretty clear that even based on these maps Mark had no idea. The best route to get the Decapolis is south via Acco and then east, not north via Sidon as the author of that page would want us to believe.

    I thought perhaps the problem was due to a translation error so I looked at three translations:
    “Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.” -NIV
    “Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis.” – NASB
    “Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.” – ESV
    Which all same the same thing, so clearly there is a major problem here.

    Let’s consider a more well known example, the account of the resurrection.

    Matthew 28 has an angel telling Mary Magdalene (and the other Mary) that Jesus has risen, and that she should tell the disciples what he has said. Which they do in verse 8. In this account there is an earthquake, and the stone blocking the tomb is rolled away by an angel. The guards are paralyzed with fright and fall down. They encounter the angel first before anything else occurs.

    John 20 has Mary going to the tomb, and finding it empty. Note there is no mention of anyone else, no angel, no earthquake, no guards, and the stone has already been rolled away. She runs to the apostles to report the body is missing and may have been stolen (not that he has been risen as in the Matt account). We can be doubly sure this is different because she repeats this different message to the man she later meets in the tomb (whom she believes is the gardener but who is actually Jesus himself).

    In the account in Mark 16 there are a different number of people, Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome (who isn’t in the other accounts).

    I’m quite sure you can bend this and the other hundreds of documented contradictions so that there is some possible explanation where you can consider the Bible to be correct, but are you really reading it at it’s face value or are you assuming from the outset that the Bible is not contradictory and then reading it in that light?

    Your comment that “I think you overstate the case for a need for a complete rewrite of astrophysics and cosmology. We are so far from understanding it that much of it is speculation, based on assumptions” indicates that you are ignorant not only of biology but of physics also. The method used in science is not to propose something that fits what we’d like (as with creationism), and then just adopt it. We use the scientific method which is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning, the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

    I have a copy of Starlight and Time on my bookshelf. It is telling that Humphreys (who has no formal background in general relativity or cosmology) proposes the ideas in a creationist book written for the layman rather than presenting the ideas under the light of scientific peer review. Even other Christians have picked this up, for example Conner and Ross have completely debunked Starlight and Time. Humpreys other works have also been shown to be fallacious, see here, here, and here. Like all other creationist ideas apart from it not being evaluated under peer review it fails to successfully explain anything we observe (or better, propose something new to measure to see if it matches what we’d expect).

    Your parable is amusing, it’s the kind of thing Ken Ham et al. were saying quite some time ago. The reason the scientific community doesn’t look at the ‘note’ left by God is because there is no good evidence that there is a note left by God, or that there even is a God. The majority (in Europe, not the US, not sure about the average) of Christians do not read the Bible in a way that leads them to think that it gives any information about the age of the universe or the means through which God created man. Why should the scientific community adopt this religious dogma when it’s not even clear to members of the religion? For that matter why should the creation myths of Christianity be adopted by the scientific community, but not the myths of other religions?

    I want to be clear here (as I know others are reading this) that I don’t think all Christians are equally stupid/ignorant about science and their religion. Christians such as Dr Hugh Ross do not feel the need to jump outside of mainstream physics to make their religion work, nor did Francis Collins need to abandon our understanding of evolution when he worked on the human genome project. There is an negative correlation between belief in God and scientific training (in terms of education and membership of the elite scientific institutes (such as the NAS or The Royal Society as well as the data from the recent Harris poll), church attendance and acceptance of evolution, and possibly (more tenuously) belief in God and IQ, but that really should be the subject of a much larger post on my blog.

    When I was a creationist I remember Answers in Genesis often arguing that everyone who disagreed with their crazy pseudoscience was opposed to Christianity (“It’s the science of one religion versus the science of another religion” was a phrase Ham was fond of) which makes no sense when you consider that a good number of these scientists of “other religion[s]” were Christians. It also sounds dangerously like what cults like the Scientologists do, if they see a group who have the power to reveal what they’re saying is incorrect they say they can’t be trusted and are only intent on attacking their own faith. For Scientologists it’s psychiatrists, for creationists it’s the scientific community at large (with the exception so far of chemists).

  18. jmark says:

    Rob

    I think that your last comment reveals more than you wish:

    it’s pretty clear that even based on these maps Mark had no idea. The best route to get the Decapolis

    Where does Mark ever say Jesus took the best route. You appear to be guilty of coming to the data with your mind made up. On Monday I went from Letterkenny to Kilkenny via Ballymoney, Antrim, and Dromore. Check it on Google Maps, it clearly isnt the best route, and according to your reasoning either I am lying, or know nothing about geography. On the other hand perhaps I did go that way and perhaps I had reasons you know nothing about. You come to the passage assuming rather arrogantly that, although you live 2000 years later than Mark and Jesus, you know for a fact that Jesus hadnt any reason to go that way, and you assume what Mark never states – that Jesus went that way because he thought it was the shortest or best way. Read the text.

    Your efforts to allude to discrepancies in the resurrection story are equally weak. I didnt mention to you in the above scenario that I also travelled with 2 other ministers to Kilkenny. If now I do so, does that call the whole story into question? No – it simply means that that detail wasnt necessary or important at that stage. And in fact, if I said to someone else that I conversed during the journey with a German lady would that negate the whole journey story – no, for she too was in the car.

    Again you come to the evidence not determined to see if it is reasonable but determined to write it off.

    Now that attitude or wilful blindness to another explanation is germane to the discussion on science.

    Although there may be another way of looking at the facts you are in fact decidedly against looking at them in any other way.

    We use the scientific method which is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning, the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

    Pray tell me then – how do you measure the rates of decay of radioactivity 3 billion years ago? In other words how do you know that decay rates are constant?

    You dont – you make an assumption and bring that to your ‘specific principles of reasoning’

    The assumption of uniformity is not scientifically provable over the duration you are dealing with. You can only deal with it over a very small percentage of the time span.

    You have to generalise from the minute to the colossal, with no observable data or empirical evidence.

    You quote Hugh Ross – I may be wrong – but I thought that he denies evolution also, while not planting himself as Young Earth Creationist. If you’ll remember I said the same – while still unable to see a need from scripture for millions of years, I’m not against it, provided death and sin come after man.

    Ross isnt someone you can claim as backup – for he too denies evolution.

    I too am against unthinking Christianity and a blind following of assumptions among Christians, but I’m also against it in scientists too.

    I would urge you to reconsider how quick you are to dismiss Mark, even on the maps issue, and the resurrection and see the bigger picture of how unwilling you are to accept another view of things.

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