Post by ksteven on Aug 28, 2020 9:50:15 GMT -6
**I originally posted this on my blog and Instagram (where I have encountered the majority of these progressives), with it being ultimately ignored. Am I wrong?**
As I have been getting into discussions lately with "Progressive Christians" on social media, I've been running into the same sort of situation with most of them that I feel needs to be addressed. The topic is biblical accuracy. Should the Bible be read literally and historically? Or is it a book of stories meant to teach a lesson about how we should be living?
The latter seems to be the opinion of most modern "progressive" Christians, and is most often justified with statements such as "I think there are passages in the Old Testament that just seem outlandish. Do you really believe the earth was made in 7 days? Or that God flooded the whole earth and only Noah's small family survived? Or Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, really?" I also hear a lot of "The Bible was written by men, and men are flawed, so can we really trust its accuracy?" To not beat around the bush on my stance: yes, yes I do. And if you claim to have both faith a logical mind, then you should too. Here is why.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
This is the premise for the whole book. The premise really for the entire Christian worldview. The first question you have to ask yourself is, do you accept this very first statement as fact? What are the implications of this statement? It gives the first and most powerful insight into who God really is, and WHO God is will form your entire basis for belief. So, what does this say about God?
1. "In the beginning", says that this is the start. The very moment the universe came into existence.
2. "God created the heavens and the earth." This does not say, God was created WITH the heavens and the earth. HE created it. So, He was there BEFORE the heavens and the earth. It also says He did not just WATCH the heavens and the earth pop into being. He made it happen.
3. For God to have been there before the beginning means that He exists outside of the creation that He began. The creation consists of three things that limit those things within the creation: Time (the beginning), Space (heavens), and Matter (earth). So, God created time, space, and matter, and they exist by His will and intent, by His rules. He therefore is outside of said rules, as is logically necessary for Him to bring them into existence.
In summary, God is an eternal, supernatural (attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature) being that exists outside of the restrictions of time, space, matter, or scientific understanding.
Do you accept this basic premise? I do. Without it, everything else is pointless.
So with that said, does it stand to reason that an eternal, supernatural being that exists outside of the restrictions of time, space, and matter might have the ability to choose how much TIME it would take to complete the task of creation? Considering time is a tool created along with the rest of it, I would argue that that is completely within the realm of possibility. Is it also reasonable to assume that an eternal, supernatural being that exists outside of the restrictions of time, space, and matter might have the ability to bring forth enough water (His creation) to cover the entire surface of the earth (also His creation), and that that might not even be the most impressive thing He could muster (considering He made ALL of it from nothing at all).
The natural world "as we understand it" (I emphasize the limitations of even our most advanced scientific understanding) is more complex than any human mind could comprehend, let alone replicate or create. It is so precise and fine tuned that if any small thing was different, it would have major repercussions on the rest of it. If a proton or electron comes or goes from its atom, the whole element changes. If an atom leaves it's adjoined molecule, the substance changes. The designer and builder of such pristine intricacies has ability and knowledge and understanding beyond the cumulative of all human existence. And that is the God described in Genesis 1:1.
The next objection of the writers of the Bible.
How could men, who are flawed, preserve accurately the events in the scriptures?
To this I say, when did the God from Genesis 1:1 become so impotent? In verse 2? 3?
If the premise of Gen 1:1 is accepted, then would that same God be so incapable of using his own creation to preserve the information that He sees fit for His creation to know? Can an author not persuade one of his characters to preserve within the story that which he tells of himself? Is that character, written into existence by said author, so outside of the authors control that, by its own flaw, it twists the intent of the writer? Is the God of Gen 1:1 not more capable than a human author? ( I wont even get into the logical fallacy of placing more faith in the words of modern authors over the written testimonies of the authors present for the events).
Again, when did the God from Genesis 1:1 become so impotent? Verse 4?
Now I want to work backwards. Lets say you reject the divine events of later books of the Old Testament. Lets say the parting of the Red Sea is outlandish indeed. Lets say Jonah could not have survived in the belly of a fish for three days and three night. Well, by that reasoning, a god incapable of such events would most certainly be incapable of Gen 1:1. A god unable to move water, or guide the workings of such a simple creature as a fish (a creature without the free will to disobey), in order that a man may complete a task commanded by said god; well that god is most definitely lacking the power, authority, knowledge, and ability required to bring all things into existence.
Therefore, to say you accept Genesis 1:1 as the premise, but deny the minor miracles that follow is purely irrational. To make such claims is double-think. Both claims cannot be simultaneously true. To deny the divine events of the Old Testament is to also deny the premise. You cannot have it both ways.
Now we get to the meat of the Progressive Christian dilemma.
If Genesis 1:1 is false, so too is John 1:1-5. If Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1-5 are both false, then what is the basis for Jesus Christ? Who was he? Of what significance is the Son of God, if all the stories to which He is referring are fable? What significance is fulfilling prophecies that were just made up by flawed humans telling stories of no use besides some arbitrary moral guidance (if you could even really argue that they serve such a purpose). What is the basis of your claimed faith? If the premise is false, then all that follows is flawed. If the entire written word is flawed, at what point does it become a foundation for a worldview? At what point does a savior become needed, and from what?
I believe in Genesis 1:1 and all words between that and Revelation 22:21.
My faith lies in the truths of the living Word given by a perfect God to HIS creation so that we may know HIM by His revelation, preserved by God's will (not man). When His word comes into conflict with the teachings of modern human understanding, I will default to God's word. If you claim to be both Christian AND a rational and logical being, then you need do the same. To live in self contradiction is a poor witness indeed.
Please give me feedback on if MY logic is off base.