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> God, and science
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Raven 
Posted: 18-Nov-2005, 01:16 PM
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I agree with you Night Child (sorry WOL) but I am guilty of the same thing. I think we all are and not just about the Bible. It has nothing to do with being a literalist, it has to do with being human and using the imagination that God gave us.

Some times interpretations of the Bible remind me of a story that I heard as a child, "The Phantom Toll Booth" some of you older types might remember it. It could have been from SRA but I really don't remember. We jump to conclusions with out even realizing it.

I personally am a Pan Literalist when it comes to interpreting the Bible (if I do not understand how something could happen, or exactly how something did happen in light of the evidence that I see, I think that it will all pan out one day when God explains it to us)

You could be right WOL but I am just saying that Night Child has a valid point, and it is worth considering. She is not questioning the Bible just how it all pans out wink.gif

BTW NC your grasp of English is much better than my grasp of German biggrin.gif

Finally I have always been taught to follow the following rules for Biblical interpretation

1. the Bible interprets the Bible
2. look at passages in context and interpret from that
3. where the Bible is silent remain silent

I have found this method to work unfailing for me.

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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 18-Nov-2005, 02:09 PM
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I have nothing against using the imagination. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking of starting a new thread titled "God and E.T. - What if..." inspired by the conversation I had earlier in this thread with Nightchild about the possibilty of intelligent extraterrestrial life from a Christian perspective. So I am not without imagination. It is simply that when the Bible supplies sufficient detail, I don't let my mind wander, I accept by faith. Even when scientific explanations seem plausible, even when it would be so much easier to accept their theories, I will not. I refuse to water down my faith and allow my mind to wander along those lines, simply because to do so, at least for me anyway, constitutes a refusal to accept in faith what God says happened in His word.

It just boggles my mind that so many people are so willing to take a scientist's explanations over what the Bible says happened! I'm sorry, but we have two choices: accept the Biblical explanation or accept the scientific. For me at least, there is no middle ground. Scientists cannot prove a word of what they say happened in the beginning. All they have is conjecture and hypothesis based on theory. Until they take us back in time to see what happened, they will never convince me that thieir theories are "fact." So from my point of view its a matter of accepting the scientific "fact" and the absolute truth of God's word. Given those choices, there is only one for me.

What also amazes me is that every time there is discrepancy between scientific data and Biblical truth, so many Christians are ready, willing, and able to water down their faith. Rather than saying I KNOW God's word is truth, so there must be errors in the scientific findings, they'd rather back-peddle and say, "Oh we must be interpreting the Bible wrong," or, "Maybe the Bible was mistranslated," or, "Its been so long since the Bible was written, perhaps there are mistakes in copying from one translation to another," or, "The Bible was written by men, and men mistakes," and so on and so forth ad nauseum. Its always the Bible that's in error, never the scientists. I'm sorry, but I beleive in an ALL-POWERFUL God, a God so powerful that He can keep His word true DESPITE the mistakes and flaws of men. Sure men wrote it, but they were INSPIRED by God to do so. If He can't even keep His own word true and pure, then He's not all powerful.


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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 18-Nov-2005, 07:53 PM
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QUOTE (Nightchild @ 16-Nov-2005, 05:21 AM)
Sure it's you who fills in some words. Not all. But some.
As I mentioned before at that point we all know what heaven and earth are and what day and night are. Yet noone told us what morning and evening are. You INTERPRET those words with what you know they are.
Show me the line where morning and evening are defined before using them to define what a day means.
And you can't tell me the term day is used to define evening and morning, since then evening would be sunrise and morning sunset, because evening was mentioned first and day was defined as the light.

And about that time thing... It's said "God said Let there be light. And there was light!" Okay, let's just stick with that.
It doesn't say millions of years later. But it also doesn't say immediately. And my understanding of the english language (which might as well be wrong, for I am german!) tells me, that "And there was light!" doesn't include any time as to how much of it passed before the words of god and the reaction of light being.

I believe I didn't interpret any of those words. Just took them and used them. But well, I could be wrong anyway, sometimes you don't see your own mistakes... But then please SHOW them to me for that I can LEARN from them... wink.gif

No, dear, I filled in no words. I read it literally.

Gensis 1:3 And God said Let there be light, and there was light.

I put nothing in, because I feel it wasn't needed. It is self-explanatory, particularly in the light of the verse that says...

Genesis 1:5 ...And the evening and the morning were the first DAY.

Where does God define a day?

Gensis 1:5 And God called the LIGHT DAY and the DARKNESS He called NIGHT.

God just defined a day. And then the verse continues...

....And the evening and the morning were the first DAY.

Yes, I can tell you that evening and morning DO define a day in the Hebrew context since.. well I've already said it once, so I'll just paste in what I said in an earlier post...

Quote: Also, I don't believe that there can be any doubt what an evening and a morning are. The Jews did not name a "day" as we do - from midnight until midnight the following day. They called a "day" from sunset of one day til sunset the next day. So this order - "the evening and the morning" made perfect sense to them, as it does to me. Endquote.

So the Jewish day BEGINS IN DARKNESS and ENDS IN DARKNESS! Exactly mirroring what God did here. The first day began in darkness, then ended with darkness.
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Nightchild 
Posted: 19-Nov-2005, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE
BTW NC your grasp of English is much better than my grasp of German

Thanks a lot, Raven smile.gif

QUOTE
Finally I have always been taught to follow the following rules for Biblical interpretation

1. the Bible interprets the Bible
2. look at passages in context and interpret from that
3. where the Bible is silent remain silent

Well, as for 1. I'd rather say, the bible contains the key on how to interpret it. It interpreting itself would be some kind of mathematical recursion I just can't follow.
As for 2. I'd say that is how every text should be interpreted...
And now for 3 I'd say that's true for everything one doesn't know about. Yet I feel like there are many people out there saying the bible tells things that in truth it just plainly doesn't tell. There's a lot of implicit stuff. Reading between the lines. But reading between the lines is what interpreting means. It means reading something in a text that isn't written black on white. And I feel there's a LOT of those things in the bible!

QUOTE
I'm sorry, but we have two choices: accept the Biblical explanation or accept the scientific.

Sorry, Wizard, but that's just wrong. This implicates that everyone who doesn't believe in the christian/jewish god believes in the scientific theory. And I strongly believe each and every religion has its own explanation on how earth was created.
I know of one involving Eurynome, one involving Shiva and I believe also Kali. There's one telling that earth is some amount of ground on a swimming turtle. And those are only the theories I know of. There are a lot more.
And watching the situation from that point... You ask science to prove their theories. You don't ask anyone to prove the creation theory in the bible. Sure, you may say that isn't necessary because it's a matter of believing. But then why can't we say science means believing in some kinds of axioms. And with those you can prove everything science claims to have proved. From that perspective, science is just another religion. So why not?

QUOTE
What also amazes me is that every time there is discrepancy between scientific data and Biblical truth, so many Christians are ready, willing, and able to water down their faith. Rather than saying I KNOW God's word is truth, so there must be errors in the scientific findings, they'd rather back-peddle and say, "Oh we must be interpreting the Bible wrong," or, "Maybe the Bible was mistranslated," or, "Its been so long since the Bible was written, perhaps there are mistakes in copying from one translation to another," or, "The Bible was written by men, and men mistakes," and so on and so forth ad nauseum. Its always the Bible that's in error, never the scientists. I'm sorry, but I beleive in an ALL-POWERFUL God, a God so powerful that He can keep His word true DESPITE the mistakes and flaws of men. Sure men wrote it, but they were INSPIRED by God to do so. If He can't even keep His own word true and pure, then He's not all powerful.

Well, as for me, I think both sites should be tested on whether they could be wrong. Science often finds mistakes and corrects them. Personally I think that there might also be mistakes in the bible. But hey, I don't tell anyone they should think the same, for this is MY way.
I don't know why cristians might or might not think the bible is always right. But again, that's not my problem, since I AM not christian.
I believe everyones duty is to find their very own spirituality. That's what I do. And that's what you do. At least I think so.
But I do have to admit, your strength of believing is amazing. smile.gif

As for the 'Let ther be light' part, I still think there is no statement about the time it took light to be. But I guess, we won't find an answer that'll suit both of us. Let's just agree on that. smile.gif

Okay... and for the day and night part... I think it's a problem of translation here rather than a problem of interpretation. Taking that interpretation, neither the english nor the german version does make sense to me, since day is just the light part of our 24 hours...
I see, I might have interpreted the definition the wrong way around. That means it's not 'day' being defined by 'morning' and 'evening' but the latter being defined by the former.
Still this means that evening is the beginning of day and morning the end of the light time of the 24 hours period. And that's just the wrong way around.
Having evening as the beginning of the day and morning as the middle, ending again with an evening does make perfect sense to me. Yet that would include the dark part of our 24 hours to the day. That matches our understanding of day. It does not match the definition of 'he called the light day and the darkness night'.
Yet again, I'd just stop that here and say it's a matter of translation. I'd agree on the correctness of the words in the original hebrew writing until I can read that version myself and understand it. At least its words, not necessary its meaning. wink.gif


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Raven 
Posted: 21-Nov-2005, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE (Nightchild @ 19-Nov-2005, 01:13 PM)
Thanks a lot, Raven smile.gif

QUOTE
Finally I have always been taught to follow the following rules for Biblical interpretation

1. the Bible interprets the Bible
2. look at passages in context and interpret from that
3. where the Bible is silent remain silent

Well, as for 1. I'd rather say, the bible contains the key on how to interpret it. It interpreting itself would be some kind of mathematical recursion I just can't follow.

I must have been having some sort of low blood sugar when I wrote this NC tongue.gif

#1 should have been, Do not interpret the obvious from the obscur.

Allen you misunderstand me.....it must be your fertile imagination wink.gif

#1 I didn't infer that you are without imagination, rather I stated that you do have an imagination and as hard as you try(or all of us for that matter), you/we can not help but read things in, even when trying to take things literally.

#2 For me it is not a matter of science or the Bible. I already accept the Bible as true, in the literal sense except where noted by dreams and visions. (obvious symbolism because there is need of interpretation) It is a matter of the truth as it relates to the Bible (which I have always found to be the case as the Bible is true)

I am only offering alternatives to how the Genesis passages are interpreted as relates to observable evidence in the sky and in our physical enviroment. I don't really think that it is something that will be reconciled as those that are convinced that God mean't 24 hour days will not any other way to look at the passage as that is the way it plays out to them.

Fine if that works for them. My God is big enough to make it work that way, I just also think that he is big enough to make it work in light of the observable evidence as well.

26 years ago I thought that the Bible was full of contradiction and error. So I began to study and read first with a cover to cover reading of the Bible. I was suprised when all the contradiction and error that I found was actually not in the Bible but was really a result of Church/Religeous doctrine, most of which was propogated even when the Truth would have served their purposes as well.

The rest were mostly apparant difficulties with scientific evidence which are playing out to me in 3 ways. I find some of the science to be bad (i.e. macro evolution, molecules to man, life from no life, etc...) I find that when scientific evidence is discovered that it supports rather than contradicts the Bible, finally some of it there is no reconciliation at this point, but I have no doubt that the Bible is correct.

Here is how I would equate the 7 day creation account. Sure God knows that we are intelligent beings but if you take the stance that 7 days can not be anything else but 24 hour periods because you know what God mean't, then you also have to use consistent literal interpretation ......and this is my point for you Allen, you are a reasonable, intelligent, imaginative biggrin.gif being so I'm sure that you will see this point. You must be consistent in your interpretation.


.....When the Bible says the Sun stood still or moved backwards do you really believe that the Sun stood still and/or moved backwards, or do you know that the Earth stood still or moved backward (stopped it's rotation or rotated backward)

Using the dogmatic interpretation of the Genisis account that this had to be 24 hour days of creation is the same type of reasoning. People were killed by the Church at one point for disputing the issue of the Sun revolving arround the Earth because it did not match up with what the Bible says, when in fact it does match up.

I am not dismissing a literal interpretation of the creation account, I am only saying that we do not yet understand exactly how it is true and accurate, not if it is true or inaccurate.

All the Best

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reddrake79 
Posted: 25-Nov-2005, 03:45 PM
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Weighing in again smile.gif

The point i was making earlier is consistant with what raven just said, that observable scientific evidnece in no way contradicts the Bible, but rather supports it. Here is the other thing, "the devil is in the details". I have heard the argument from people that because the Genesis 1 account says "day" that the Bible cannot be trusted (I am not saying that anyone here is saying that, just that I have heard it) Sure God is big enough to do it any way he wants, I peronally believe that When God said day he was refering to one rotation of the earth, which was probably around the same amount of time it is now (i dont think a few hours either direction will change my argument here smile.gif ) Why? because that is the word HE chose to use to describe it. It wasn't what someone just happen to put there when they wrote the story down.

Matthew 5:18
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

2 timothy 3:16&17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

God chose that word to last over 2000 years for a reason. I don't think that reason was because he thought it was the only way we would understand it, but because it was what he meant. Is this unreasonable in light of "scientific" evidence, I don't believe so. The simple fact of the matter is I trust God more than I trust any man.




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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 26-Nov-2005, 01:45 PM
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QUOTE (reddrake79 @ 25-Nov-2005, 03:45 PM)
I have heard the argument from people that because the Genesis 1 account says "day" that the Bible cannot be trusted (I am not saying that anyone here is saying that, just that I have heard it)

I had someone tell me once that they believe the Bible is unreliable because in one passage it says Jesus was crucified on a cross and in another place it says He was crucified on a tree; this person said that is a contradiction and so therefore the Bible is unreliable! I explained that since the cross was made from a tree, the writer just used that word in describing it in the second passage... but I also thought, this lady wants any excuse to dismiss the Bible so there's nothing I can say to change her mind.

The creation story in the Bible has never been a source of trouble for me, except when I was a kid learning about dinosaurs and I wondered where they fit into the creation story in Genesis. Then once I saw how similiar a bird skeleton is to a teradactyl (spelling?)and saw how much turtles & lizards look like little dinos, and thought 'well the big ones might not be around any more but the little ones sure are!'
Now I know that's not a very scientific statement, just the observations of a child. And in this era when "science" is relied on more than Scripture by a lot of people, it does seem like science and Biblical explanations must be on opposite sides. But the way I see it, science (not speculation, which is another can of worms I'll leave alone) can serve to be the means to illuminate how God did things and as we make new discoveries we are allowed to see the workings of God's creations.



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