A self-described atheist threw out this proposition offhandedly in a dialogue I had recently. I think it makes sense to respect the people we dialogue with, including atheists, so I chewed on that proposition a bit. As often is the case, I woke up this morning thinking about things that I had been thinking about the night before.
As I reflected further, it dawned on me that, perhaps, time is an illusion. It actually makes some sense. Let me explain.
Consider[i] the story of astrophysicist, Hugh Ross. He was a child prodigy raised in a secular, non-religious home in a secular community. At 9 years old, he read a book on creation myths. It summarized 100 different creations stories from different cultures around the world. They were good for a laugh. They were absurd in terms of what the record of nature reveals.
At the age of 17, he read the Bible for the first time and compared the first few chapters of Genesis to the scientific record with which he was intimately familiar. One of his first observations was that the Bible seemed to incorporate the elements of the scientific method. His observations and conclusions when he reading the creation story in Genesis for the first time are truly remarkable. Continue reading “The Bible is More Reliable than the Law of Thermodynamics”→
Believers and unbelievers alike make mistakes in reading the Bible. People rely on certain passages and certain viewpoints to the exclusion of others. People miss the forest for the trees, as they say.
Within the “Church”, the number of denominations is partially a result of different emphases on different aspects of God, the Bible and other things. When this proclivity tends to the extreme, it results in things like witch hunts and cults. Many of the dark periods of church history are, in part, examples of an inflexible adherence to specific certain truths, doctrinal, political or other views of Christianity to the exclusion of others.
Certain biblical passages and phrases are difficult to decipher. We tend to gloss over them when we do not understand them, or we focus in on them with a skeptic’s eye, depending on our inclinations. Sometimes those passages are illuminated for us from unusual sources.
How many people watched the Bill Nye v. Ken Ham, young earth/old earth debate the other night? Apparently, Pat Robertson did, and he thinks that Ken Ham is full of water (as reported by many, including Patheos).
I have to say that I wanted to believe Ham, but it was hard to do. Of course, I do not buy Nye either. Just because one person of faith may not have it right, does not mean the baby should be thrown out with the bathwater (or Noah for that matter).
What is it about people that we want to know everything? We want everything to be tied up in neat bows and make perfect sense. But life is not like that. It just isn’t.
It seems to me, in my imperfect opinion, that we tend to get ourselves in trouble when we insist on knowing. Not that there is anything wrong with knowledge or with wanting to know things. But wanting to know everything and for all of it to make perfect sense is just asking too much this side of heaven. It also plays in to pride that is the root of all sin.
We are finite, limited beings. That we know as much as we do is, indeed, remarkable. That we should expect to know it all is something else altogether. (Interestingly, it was the temptation of knowledge, the knowledge of good and evil, that led Adam and Eve into sin.) Not that either Bill Nye or Ken Ham professed to know it all in the debate; they did not.
Let me say this though: I get Ken Ham: he takes the Bible for what it says, and he stands on faith that it is true. I get Ken Ham more than I get Bill Nye. Without faith, we can’t please God.
But the Bible does not say “the earth is 6000 years old”. It could be 10,000. It could be 10,000,000. I, personally, do not think that any of those scenarios matter much in the big scheme of things. The exercise of considering what if the world is only 6000 years old is interesting. It’s kind of fun, but only in a “what if” kind of way. My faith surely does not depend on it.Continue reading “Debriefing the Nye v. Ham Debate”→