Is "Peace" A Calm Temperament and Uncritical Tolerance?

Hi Dr. Swamidass: i see this goal at play a bit on this site. I would challenge you to filter this goal through scripture however. Jesus for example says "I come not to bring peace…but to divide a father against son, mother against daughter etc. (Luke 12) Paul says he understands divisions as this proves that some are right and thus against others not.

Truth is divisive by nature. In fact, if you believe it is true that we should peaceably be more accepting of views even when they are largely unbecomming of Scripture, then you are defining a new truth! And this “truth” is going to be divided from the one Jesus and Paul stands upon as just demonstrated as one not in line with yours.

I would also suggest that biblically there are differing demeanors Christians are called towards in how they relate to those who say they are Christians vs those who do not. If an athiest stands upon materialistic evolution, i as a Christian am to be understanding that this is a natural byproduct of a person not born of the Spirit. I want to share the gospel of forgiveness with gentleness and respect. But for one to leans hard into materialistic evolutionism who professes to be a Christian, i believe the Bible supports a view that calls Christians to react more strongly against such a person. 1 Cor 5 and particularly 5:9-13 address this principle well and i believe the same principle holds for other areas such as gnosticism, legalism, and creationism vs materialistic evolutionism.

Christian “peace” is not being calm in my demeanor and tolerant. Christian peace is founded upon a foundation of truth and truth from Scripture. This is not to say get dishoveled over small theological stuff…God creating vs God overseeing materialistic evolution is not a small matter. God as the direct Creator is the foundation upon which all other Christian theology including the gospel rests!

Ps. If you are still speaking on the 26th at that youth event, my sincerest prayers with you. I dont know these kids but i love them! My prayer is that they go to college armed with weapons largely associated with Scripture! (Eph 6:10)

Blessings Greg


This is a vile comparison. When God oversees a natural process… it is not even within the normal scope of science.

So the label “Materialistic Evolution” doesnt even apply.

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Greg, do you also oppose “materialistic chemistry” and “materialistic physics”? God created the material world and called it “very good”. Are you a modern day Gnostic who agrees with the ancient Gnostics’ denigration of that which is material?

I agree that your false dichotomy (God creating versus God’s evolutionary processes) is not a “small matter.”

I agree that truth can be divisive. I also believe in being generally peaceable even when I consider your view “largely unbecoming of scriptures.” (See what I did there? I can use the same rhetorical tactics to make my position sound superior.) You see, my problem with your position at its foundation is that you are assuming only your viewpoint is in harmony with the scriptures and God’s plan for his creation. I believe that you are stubbornly denying and defying that which God has clearly revealed in his creation. You see, I don’t consider the truths revealed in the material world God created to be somehow inferior to the truths in the Bible which God created. God is not the author of confusion and I don’t believe for a minute that God gave us two amazing works of authorship which somehow directly contradict each other. Indeed, whenever it may appear that the two are in contradiction, I can only assume that it is my interpretations of one or the other or both of them which is the problem. I would suggest that you too should consider that possibility in re-examining your own position.

Why didn’t you also include in that sentence the truths which God has revealed in his creation? Don’t you believe that there is truth in all that God creates, both in his creation and in his scriptures? Indeed, the truths in God’s creation existed long before God gave us the 66 books of the Bible. And considering that the Bible has very little to say about science, it sounds like you are looking in the wrong place for your science. Instead, you are choosing to ignore God’s revelations in his creation in favor of the very fallible attempts by men to draw scientific truths from scriptures which were never intended to be a science textbook. You are creating a false opposition between God’s scriptures and God’s creation.

I find it interesting how so many of the Young Earth Creationists I’ve known (as a former YEC myself) assume that scientists’ interpretations of the evidences found in God’s creation are inherently flawed while their favorite YEC theologians’ interpretations of the evidence found in the scriptures are somehow inerrant. Indeed, this is despite the fact that scientists (both theist and atheist scientists) have often reached much more consensus than the ongoing disagreement of Christian theologians who’ve argued over the same scriptures for many centuries! (Ken Ham loves to denigrate “the mistaken ideas of fallible scientists” but rarely admits to the possibility of his relying on the mistaken ideas of fallible theologians. Indeed, scientists and theologians along with all other humans are fallible in their interpretations of all sorts of things. Many would describe it as we are all fallen for the same basic reason in the Fall itself. Fortunately, scientists have methodologies, including peer review procedures, which encourage and standardize their consensus in ways that the theological world does not. And I make that observation as one who was a science professor before becoming a seminary professor, and as one who has published in both the scientific academy and the evangelical theological academy. I find it amazing that anyone would assume that Bible interpretation is more infallible than other academic fields!)

Romans 12:18 applies:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Don’t you agree that what the Apostle Paul said should matter? If it is possible, live at peace with everyone. That is what Peaceful Science is about. We want, as much as it depends upon us individually, to live at peace with everyone—and that can be fostered by trying to better understand the perspectives of others.

Obviously, you are not the only person here who cares about truth. You are also not the only person here who is susceptible to the easy assumption that our own opinions are based upon truth while the opinions of others are not. (Of course we believe our own viewpoint reflects reality and truth. Otherwise, we would probably change our viewpoint.)

It sounds like you are confusing being peaceable with those who hold other viewpoints with agreeing with those other viewpoints. @Swamidass and the introductory preface to these forums (and even in the excerpt you quoted in your post) makes very clear that the former is the goal, not the latter. You are arguing against a straw man.

Again, that is a straw man complaint. (And nobody here is arguing for a passive acquiescence toward alternative “truths” nor any sort of post-modern “Everyone’s personal truth is genuine truth.”)

When the Apostle Paul was respectful and even courteous when interacting with those on Mars Hill, was he guilty of being “tolerant”? I would argue that he was being “peaceful” and even “calm” while respectfully acknowledging their religious impulses and motivations—even while he communicated the truths of Jesus Christ.

In my opposition to what I consider to be your unscriptural position, I have been peaceful—and even “calm”, I would say. Yet, I don’t think that has made me appear overly tolerant in terms of any “Your opinion also represents truth, even though it is opposite to what I believe to be true” relativism sense.


Thanks for the kind words @Greg. I imagine I befuddle you immensely.

You’ve been around long enough to know that I’m not interested in a counterfeit peace. Truth is divisive, but we can find a way to common ground if we all are willing to humbly work towards honesty.

See? Even @AllenWitmerMiller has no problem pushing back on ideas we find to be incorrect.


Dr. Miller: I’m in agreement with a number of things you say about Ken Ham, fallible Biblical interpreters, etc. What scientific subjects did you teach, and can you point us to some of your scientific publications? Also, I would be interested in reading some of your theological publications, particularly if you have written anything on the interpretation of Genesis.

Peace is a fruit of the spirit. If it is a fruit of the Spirit then to demonstrate a lack of peace is to sin. When the money changers were turning God’s house of prayer into a den of robbers, Jesus busted into the scene and started overturning tables and scattering the thieves who were badly exploiting the church and God for a profit. Was Jesus administering the spiritual fruit of peace? Yes yes yes. Peace is not tolerance. Peace is founded upon unity about our greatest Treasure, Jesus and Jesus is the Jesus described by the book He wrote through the hands of men called the Bible, from Genesis chapter 1 to the end of Rev. Those money changers were defacing Jesus. True Peace cannot be found with that.

I certainly hope that you are not comparing those of us who affirm evolutionary biology to robbers and thieves!

Are you implying that Christians who affirm evolutionary biology and who try to educate their Christian brethren are “exploiting the church and God for a profit”? I will give the benefit of the doubt and assume not. And I’m sure that you are aware of the fact that many Christians make that very accusation against incredibly financially lucrative enterprises like Answers in Genesis.

Are you simply making tangential remarks about true Christian peace, an admittedly important concept? Or are you implying that Peaceful Science misrepresents or ignores a Biblical doctrine related to peace? I’m not clear what you are intending with this topic. Perhaps you could clarify. I would appreciate it.

Also, are you implying that Peaceful Science is unbiblically “tolerant” in some way? If so, how?

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I am at peace until I read some of these posts. Then I am not at peace. It would be better that you not cause me to sin. Thank you very much. :smiley:


Darnit, if I agree with @AllenWitmerMiller again today, he’s going to start thinking I’m a fanboy or something … :wink:


You are funny

No cursing…you should know better haha. I dont agree with everything AIG proclaims. But i am a Christian and the God of the Bible defines Himself as transcending our realm and time itself. Heaven forbid if i trust mans science dealing with the arrival of life on eatth over principles in Scripture about the same.

Are you somehow responsible for designing and funding this group? I have never seen your name before. Is that your real name? My name is most definately Greg Rogers. I think there is reason for seeking peace as in a calm, respectable climate in Christian relationships. That is a form of peace. Then theres peace with God thru Christ. But then we ask,“what is the nature of the apostles letters we have in our Bibles?” It was most definately not encouraging being bosom buddies with the world, bad theology, disobedience. I love Scripture. Knowing the nature of Jesus’s apostles who were carrying the torch to establish His church, i believe that they most definately would be having a hissy fit observing the attempt of some to enter the doors of the church to stear it away from the rendering of God creating in Genesis and towards a model found acceptable by mainstream science which irrationallty stands upon the premise that the idea of design is not allowed in the field of historical science which attempts at all cost to show creation to be the works of nature. And so for these to suggest that “peace” be the instrument by which their word is better heard is a slap in the churches face. It just confounds me that a Christian would tend to side with a common decent evolution perspective over God designing and creating…

We affirm God creating and designing living beings through evolution. It’s not like we’re (Christians here that is) saying that God didn’t create the universe and, thus, us.


Here we go again…does your model of God creating seem more in line with early Genesis or more in line with materialistic naturalistic evolution espoused by mainstream science? Many of the (Christian) players offering their voices thru this site about how they believe God created are most definately more in line w mainstream and less with Genesis…even if Genesis is poetry, then you cannot take a stanza in the poem that says God created such and such on day one and turn this into God distantly watched nature via chance, mutation, selection etc over millions of yrs…and He allowed suffering and death of the weak and the survival of the strong be His go to vehicle of creating…and at the end of the poem He calls this “good.” No way, no how. Incredibly Impossibly this model is NOT of the one and only God of the Bible.

It certainly seems more in line with early Genesis than YEC and AIG. That I obviously clear.

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