@cwhenderson Thanks I enjoyed this. Any chance these gentleman would come here and subject themselves to the warmth and kindness of PS?
Where did you hear Piper say this?
If you are truly interested in this topic, you can purchase a Kindle version ($9.99) of our own Jon Garvey’s ( @jongarvey ) book which deals with this topic directly:
Glad you liked it! I don’t know either of them, but @swamidass likely does. Some “Office Hours” with these two would be interesting.
Thanks for posting this. So many of what we think others think is based on caricatures of others rather than who they really are. But these guys are lucky. I’ve spent the better part of the last 20 years with both sides of this same discussion going on inside of me as I have tried to reconcile science and theology I see quite plainly in the Bible.
I suspect if we sat down for a beer we’d find we agree on an awful lot, including most of our theology. I’m certainly not willing to change what the Bible says to accommodate science, but at times I think we need to be willing to revisit our interpretations of the Bible, to understand whether we as humans might be wrong in light of what science has learned. We certainty don’t do this lightly, or without making sure any new understanding aligns with what the rest of the Bible teaches. While I would disagree with many on this site in regards to their theology (or agnosticism) I see this site as allowing discussion, rather than pushing any specific interpretation.
I have tried to explain my own thinking. I have not tried to sway you. What you believe is up to you.
I suspect you are mistaken about what is historically foreign.
I agree only in very small ways. I dont look at Christian faith as an adherance to a certain set of theological talking points for digesting on an intellectual level, but rather facts, promises and principles that define a real God who loves us but is far and above better and beyond us in His nature. Eternal life is not stated as knowing a laundry list of theological stats, but rather eternal life is knowing God. And i have no other resource to turn to than Scripture to understand who God is in the things He can communicate about Himself as well coming to understand from these very same Scriptures that God is beyond us in wisdom, that He transcends nature, and that knowing His nature and His ways perfectly in our fallen state, largely natural state before heaven is quite impossible.
Men like NT Wright make long intellectual sounding discussions that attempt to fit the pain, chaos and strife of an old earth accepting that God ordained pain,suffering and survival of the fittest and disposal of the weak evolutionism into paralleling natural chaos with a christological framework of His death on the cross that sort of seeds the evolution of righteousness leading to salvation. Wright is so quick to accomodate evolutionary science that he fits theology into its mold like the description above which is not only damning of God’s holy, righteous and good Being as one he says creates chaos and natural evil, but additionally neutralizes the gravity and purpose of the need of a Savior who had to be God in flesh taking on sin that saves people from His wrath. The gospel of grace by faith that saves human kind from sin and this sin laden planet that deserves Gods wrath is flipped upside down and inside out by Wright. I have no respect for such feeble attempts that gain notoriety and profit, but are so unbecoming of Biblical comprehension.
If the God i know is a good God who transcends nature, i personally will be very slow to accepting and formulating theology to the likes of science that is defined as the study and observations of the natural that God created from His vantage point of transcending it. If this looks foolish to the average smart scientist today, then so be it…they wont be the one on a high and lofty place on judgement day! Smart scientists who are more trusting of their observations over scripture are like the Jesus parable about the wedding guest arriving at the celebration who assume that they get a front row seat closest to the bride and groom just to be humiliated when they are told before the entire assembly to take a seat in the back.
I have provided some first thoughts about the book “The Fool and the Heretic” in a review on my blog. Book Review: “The Fool and The Heretic” by Todd Charles Wood and Darrel R. Falk – Naturalis Historia I’m working on a follow-up that dives a bit further into the details. In the big scheme of things, my positive review of the book is not meant to be taken that either or both authors were correct in their assessment of the science or even each other. What is on display are what each of them is thinking about each other and what they perceive each to represent. Its is a valuable exercise to see two people grappling with their own motives and their partners motives. I found myself frustrated throughout the book saying No your wrong here, here and here or why can’t you see how you are misunderstanding each other. But it’s a helpful exercise to see two people reflect on the process of dialogue and that is the value of the book.
Of course you felt that way about Todd. What about Falk?
I very much meant both of them. Overall, I wrote more notes in the margin in Wood’s chapters but there was plenty of “your wrong here” to go around. I’ll touch on some in my follow-up reflections on the book.
I agree 100%.
Science, Archaeology and other sources outside the Bible will never define my theology; that can only be defined by what’s in the Bible. However when they appear to contradict my interpretation of the Bible, I see two possibilities. The outside sources are wrong, or my interpretation of the Bible is wrong. I’m willing to question my interpretation, especially realizing that other Christian’s may have come to a different interpretation. You are right, it is our fundamental relationship with Jesus that is what matters.
The truth that comes from the reality of the of God’s revelation in scripture can never ultimately conflict with the truth that comes from the reality of his creation.
Exactly. We are equally capable of misinterpreting the data from either source. (The interpretation of “yom” into English in Genesis 1 is not infallibly a solar day. Earth’s morning has long since passed and its day nearly spent. Its evening will be over when the bright Morning Star returns.)
I’m Ron Burgundy?..
You are a good man. Thanks for sharing very wise words… i flirted with accepting an old earth for some time based on the many who think there is too much evidence supporting it over it being young. Unlike some yecs, if i led a church, i think i would welcome teaching from an old earth creationist, outside of teaching directly on the topic. Acceptance of natural evolution is another thing.
Maybe you can help me w this: the fires out west this year where people died im sure miserably tortuous and frightening deaths. If the earth is old, and this type of natural evil existed before the fall, then dont we have to attribute this as intricate to the nature of God? I understand His wrath against sin. I cant process such suffering as a result of Him choosing to create it as a product of his nature. Do you have thoughts?
I think one thing YECs overlook is that God had a two-creation plan from the beginning, and that the first was never intended to be ‘perfect’. (Any place that could grant admission to temptation and evil is not perfect!)
What do you think God’s motivation was for creating in the first place? That is something not well understood. (Not too long ago, a woman in my church suggested that it was because he was lonely!)
Greg, you have used the argument previously that we cannot possibly know the mind of God, and His ways far surpass ours. I completely agree with this. But would the same logic not apply here? I do not believe that terrible tragedies are a surprise to God. He allows them for reasons that I frequently cannot comprehend, yet I trust in His goodness. I have a good friend from high school that is a missionary in Europe. His 17-year old son passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. Would you say this is inconsistent with the nature of God?
Thankyou. I have witnessed terrible events in my 50 yrs. A 12 yr old cousin in a friendly wrestling match w his buddy got hit in the temple, went into a coma and never awakened. He died within a week. His Mom and Dad (my aunt and uncle) never recovered fr the tragedy, divorced, their other 3 kids turned to drugs, one became homeless and recently we lost my other cousin who injected a bad batch of a drug she was addicted to.
My question is not about the evils that occur after the fall of man that cause the very creative order towards a state of futility. The human ills that are littered across every single source of media which i am well aware of in my own family are not God’s doing…they are ours.
The God of Scripture, in a fallen world, will in His sovereignty use the pawns of a fallen world that ultimately are used to result in His glory. The Bible is the honest testimony to this effect from Genesis 3 to end of Revelation. But this God who is powerful, sovereign, and morally perfect…this means that He is without one single smidgen of evil or moral imperfection: can we as Christians suggest that natural evil found in things like animals suffering an agonizing death in a fire storm be the creation of a morally perfect God when the fall of man has not occured?
Since i do not subscribe to a view that places faith in theological information but rather in the very morally perfect God which that information is about, i have great concern that men subscribing to an old earth view where natural evil occurs before the fall of man have inadvertently suggested that God is morally skewed and imperfect. This means that there must be evil flowing within His being. Unless someone can convince me of a legitimate Biblical theology that inhibits this wrongful accusation of the very character of God, i dont know that i could ever be accepting of an older earth, no matter how much men try to convince me that the light from distant galaxies would have taken much longer than 6000 yrs to arrive to earth.
Have you ever thought through this in this way?
My point is that there are many things that we will never know while we live in this earth. Dismissing something because we don’t think God would work in a particular way doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
What do you suppose would happen from an ecological standpoint if nothing ever died? Do you think it would have been eternally stable until mankind sinned?