@swamidass, even though you will not publish my remarks, I am pretty certain you will nonetheless read them. Sadly, I must side with the pastor you mention who holds evolution and Christianity at full odds. What do I mean by that? Well, it shouldn’t take much of a guess to run the argument to its end, so maybe I won’t have to come right out and say it. But I will say this. Not all who call him Lord will enter his Kingdom.
About 150 years ago God allowed a great deception to enter the human domain and thought. God uses many things to winnow. He desires a pure bride, not one polluted with admixture of human philosophy, demonic doctrines, and Bible beliefs. More deceptions are ahead. They will increase in strength, so strong in fact as to almost deceive the elect. It’s all part of the winnowing.
Are you implying that the blood atonement of Jesus Christ is insufficient for those who get their science wrong? Does an incorrect weighing of scientific evidence constitute sin—perhaps even the unpardonable sin?
What scriptures do you believe support your position?
Years ago I knew an elderly pastor who used almost identical language to yours in asserting that those like me who preached from a modern English Bible translation instead of the King James Version would “not enter His Kingdom.” He condemned the NIV Bible as polluted with an admixture of human philosophy and demonic doctrines. Is that another example of the kind of “winnowing” you described?
Jesus makes the bride pure through his sacrificial love.
Psalm 45 is one of my favorites.
I do think Darwinism is a philosophy. I was reading Mayr a while back who said it was up there with the Bible in influence, along with Marx.
Recently I read this article that came up in my news feed that confirmed at least 1 scientist does think about it that way:
Natural selection is beautiful. It is easy to observe and model. It is one of the most widely-loved and studied processes among evolutionary biologists. It’s no wonder that it has captured the imagination of the public — we value meaning over randomness, order over chaos. A basic understanding of natural selection gives us optimism that the world is improving, leading to a better future.
I don’t find anything beautiful about a lot of misfits dying so we have the diversity we see today. Jesus is what gives my life meaning, not survival of the fittest or fit enough. Ultimately I think natural selection as a path toward order fails the “smell test” philosophically so I do have a really hard time understanding how Christians reconcile the science of current theory with their beliefs.
That being said, it isn’t an unforgivable sin.
It is confusing that we have a layered fossil record. It’s confusing that the universe is so large that it seems impossible light could reach us almost instantly. It’s confusing that Darwin came up with a theory that seemed sensible just as geologists were uncovering what they saw as deep time in rocks. It’s confusing that current mainstream theories can put all these things together in what looks like a meaningful and sensible way.
The best we can do right now is say as Christians: we need to love each other. There is only one truth; let’s search for it together. Take the plank out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out if your brother’s. Encourage each other to pray and read scripture and consider what science can tell us and what it can’t. Pray for those who disagree with you and talk with them. Consider faith in Jesus precious, no matter whether it appears to you to be weak or stumbling. Because there you see your brother or your sister.
His answer is pretty obvious and its what I have said on this platform several times about how most YECs feel about “compromisers”.
In my country, among the religious, evolution is seen as a doctrine fashioned from the pit of hell by the devil himself for the sole purpose of deceiving the saints into believing God had nothing to do with the creation of man. They regard you and Swamidass as apostates who have swallowed man-made teachings and set it on par with the word of God.
The frightening thing is that these YECs could be right, but the biggest problem is we can’t really tell if they are right, so we keep arguing back and forth. If evolution is indeed a deception, part of Babylon the great, then it wouldn’t bode well for the growing number of Christians who accept it.
Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth. … Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God despite himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.
Muslims do not reject everything that the theory of evolution implies. It doesn’t have to be understood that way. Muslims today don’t really care about the theory of evolution and so on. I think we have to understand what it looks like. Muslims only care and refuse to say that human beings who exist today “were not created by God Almighty” and did not come from the descendants of two people who are referred to in ancient books as “Adam and Eve”. For this reason, although it is argued that modern humans did not evolve from apes, but from a common ancestor which subsequently branched off into great apes, ancient humans and modern humans, this shows a huge shift in meaning and understanding of what has been understood and concluded from information on the scriptures and oral traditions of conveying news or narrations.
From Matthew 7 and Jesus’ sermon on the mount. I’m including some wider context so you can see what the theme in these verses is.
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 [c]Because narrow is the gate and [d]difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
RE: @r_speir 's post: Full disclosure, I am a fully committed YEC who considers TE a frustrating compromise.
Yet I stand by my original post where I commend @swamidass for his WSJ op-ed. He took a bold step to stand for Christ, knowing the effect it could have on his career. I have compassion for career scientists who are under a lot of pressure to keep quite. There are more like him still ‘in-the-closet’. We need to rally behind any of them taking a stand for Christ! Yes, he still adheres to evolution, but he was declaring his faith in CHRIST! What a bold thing that is. Let us all continue to support and pray for more like him.
I know YECs can say that TE (and the likes) cause “more damage than good”. But YECs can be just as guilty of “more damage than good”. I have read far too many testimonies of people growing up in YEC communities, and come out damaged. That’s sad. I believe we can do a better job.
Believing in Jesus does not affect whether one gets tenure in a university, so as long as you do not inconvenience non-Christians with it. Maybe Dr Swamidass had a different experience, but I am certain it does not significantly affect one’s eligibility for a job in public universities.
In contrast. Atheist professors are less likely to get employed in faith-based universities.
The same needs to be said about the many atheists and agnostics in Nigeria. For fear of rejection or disenfranchisement, they keep their disbelief hidden (I don’t know any such person, but I am sure they are here). For those living in Northern Nigeria, coming out as an atheist could mean your death at the hands of religious bigots.
In other words, they are deconverting YECs right? If yes, that’s a good thing. If YECs want flat-earthers to see the error of their ways, so do TEs and other Christians who affirm evolutionary theory want for YECs to see theirs too.
It was bumpy ride for me, but it was worth it anyway.
I hear this a lot from Christians. I hear it from YECs. And I hear it from old earth creationists. But, in my opinion, it is just wrong. That isn’t how evolution works.
Yes, human misfits die. But brilliant humans die, too. And some of the misfits live longer than some of the brilliant people.
That organisms die is just part of nature. It is not how evolution works.
My father used to say “Nothing succeeds like success”. And that saying is a better description of how evolution works. Biological systems build on success. Whatever works is tried again, with the likelihood that it too will succeed. The basis for evolution is building on success. It isn’t about the death of misfits.
The idea of building upon success is one that many conservatives seem to support, at least when it comes to questions about the economy. And they really ought to support evolution as an example of solid conservative principles at work.
Yes, we can imagine a world with no misfits, where everyone did equally well. If we tried to achieve that through government, conservatives would be complaining that it was socialism.
What’s wrong with seeing nature as it is? Nature does not guarantee success, so there will be misfits. But it is building success upon success that drives nature and that drives evolution.
The context of these verses has been explained previously in the Torah Deuteuronomy, but it depends on the perspective of the scholars who try to explain it.
Torah Deuteronomy 13: 2 If there comes in the midst of you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams and he gives you a sign or a wonder.
Torah Deuteronomy 13: 3 and the sign or the wonder happens and then he spoke to you saying: "Let us go after other gods (not the one God), which you have not known, and let us serve them (not the one God).
Torah Deuteronomy 13: 4 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet, or to that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The concept of the creature like human Pre Adam was widely accepted among the Ismailis and Sufis before but was considered heretical.
The verse in the Koran only mentions Adam (and Eve) as the successor of pre-existing beings (especially those that are similar to humans), taking power over this Earth.
Al-Baqarah (2:30) AND LO! 21 Thy Sustainer said unto the angels: “Behold, I am about to establish upon earth one who shall inherit it.” 22 They said: "Wilt Thou place on it such as will spread corruption thereon and shed blood-whereas it is we who extol Thy limitless glory, and praise Thee, and hallow Thy name? " [God] answered: “Verily, I know that which you do not know.”
Lit., “establish on earth a successor” or a “vice-gerent”. The term khalifah -derived from the verb khalafa, “he succeeded [another]” - is used in this allegory to denote man’s rightful supremacy on earth, which is most suitably rendered by the expression “he shall inherit the earth” (in the sense of being given possession of it). See also 6: 165, 27:62 and 35:39, where all human beings are - spoken of as khala’if al-ard.