Two Questions for Paul Price About Genesis and Jesus

Continuing the discussion from Cosner, Price, and Carter: Swamidass and Craig the Compromisers:

@PDPrice graciously offered to answer a couple questions for me. Let’s start with the background.

@Swamidass and WLC = Compromisers?

Recently, he published an article accusing WLC and myself of being compromisers: Cosner, Price, and Carter: Swamidass and Craig the Compromisers. There is a lot of interesting claims in this article, but let me just quote a couple.

As one listens to Craig, one cannot help but feel empathy and compassion for the man. He is clearly deeply disturbed by his own conclusions, and he would prefer to hold to the straightforward, literal, biblical creationist position! This is in stark contrast to the flippant attitude displayed by Swamidass. Craig agonizes over these matters because he has come to the realization that they are not a side issue. He knows the very deity of Christ is at stake when we question the validity of Genesis.

Totally Misunderstanding WLC

It is notable that this totally misunderstand’s WLC. I do hesitate to call this “misrepresent” though, because it does not look like you understood much of what he was communicated. He had clarified his position in a QA about two weeks before @PDprice’s article was published, and it does not appear they took his actual position into account (The Historical Adam: What’s at Stake? | Reasonable Faith).

Flippant About a Literal Reading of Genesis?

Given what I’ve written in the GAE, this also is an egregious misrepresentation of me. So I left his comment on the article, which @PDPrice approved:

Thanks for the article! Turns out that I do not have flippant attitude towards a literal reading of Genesis. You may have forgotten, but I wrote a book (The Genealogical Adam and Eve) that shows how a literal reading of Genesis is entirely consistent with evolutionary science. This is really good news for those of you who care about Scripture.

He immediately responded:

Dr. Swamidass,

I’m responsible for the use of that word ‘flippant’ there, and I do stand by it. By contrast with Dr Craig’s somber, almost reluctant abandonment of the literal reading (as he said, he felt like a child being robbed of his belief in Santa Claus), you appeared to laugh at his predicament, and at the seriousness with which he is handling these issues (his faulty conclusions notwithstanding).

Your use of the word “literal” to describe your reading of Genesis is disingenuous. Do you believe it is literally true that God provided only plants for all the animals and people to eat prior to the Fall, and were finally allowed to eat meat only after the literal worldwide Flood (Gen 1:29-30, c.f. Gen 9:3-4)? No. Do you believe it is literally true that God created in 6 days as stated in Genesis 1, and restated in Exodus 20:11? No.

We believe that your view, as enunciated in your book, is far from being a literal reading of the Bible, and instead represents evolutionary syncretism.

Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to write in! We sincerely hope you’ll thoughtfully and prayerfully consider these points.

I stand by the objective fact that the GAE shows a literal reading of Genesis (frankly a reading more literal than @PDPrice’s) is entirely consistent with evolutionary science. To say that I am flippant about a literal reading of Genesis is transparently false. At the same time, I’m not threatened here, because I know that Jesus is greater than Adam. He is greater than Genesis. I place my trust in Him, not YEC.

To My Questions…

So I have two questions.

  1. Do you really believe that Genesis is the cornerstone of the Christian faith? Do you really believe that our confidence in Jesus depends on a YEC reading of Genesis and YEC science? Would you, for example, agree with the sentiment expressed in this comic?

image

  1. Would you allow me to publish a response at creaion.com to your article? If not, why not? I hope that you are committed to open exchange of ideas and allow real dialogue about these critically important questions.

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

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Yes, I do believe that Genesis is the foundation of the rest of Scripture.

First off, I cannot unilaterally decide to publish anything at all at creation.com. If you’d like to have a response published there, I think the best chance for that would be for you to write me an email containing your response. I could then suggest a “feedback article” where your response would be published and addressed. Would that be agreeable?

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Great. I would like to discuss this in my article at creation.com. I’d like to know specifically if you agree with the sentiment of that AIG comic, though I understand you might have subtle distinctions in mind, and might disagree with AIG on important points.

Yes, I understand there will be a process to it. I’m asking you to initiate that process.

I don’t want to go through the work of doing this without knowing I’ll be able to publish it. You work at creation.com, if I recall, and you know their internal structure. Certainly you will disagree with at least some of what I write, and I expect you would write an article explaining your disagreement. I do not, however, want the content of my article to be policed or mediated.

So, I’d request we negotiate agreeable, written, terms to all parties with whoever it is that does make the decision. Once we’ve agreed in writing to publish an article from me, including any terms you feel are important (such including disclaimer text in the preamble that I don’t represent the creation.com position), I will then write the article. After publishing it, you could either ignore it or respond, as you see fit.

Does that sound like a good plan?

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I agree with the sentiment. CMI presentations often use the same or similar cartoons. It is the erosion of the belief in the factual truth of the Bible (starting with Genesis), which has enabled the foothold of anti-Christian attitudes and all the many outworkings of those attitudes.

So, I’d request we negotiate agreeable, written, terms to all parties with whoever it is that does make the decision. Once we’ve agreed in writing to publish an article from me, including any terms you feel are important (such including disclaimer text in the preamble that I don’t represent the creation.com position), I will then write the article. After publishing it, you could either ignore it or respond, as you see fit.

Does that sound like a good plan?

I don’t think there’s any precedent at creation.com for publishing whole articles hostile to our position. That would go against the stated purpose of the website. Let me give you an example of what a feedback article looks like, and if you think it would be possible to achieve what you want in that format.

https://creation.com/feedback-archives

If not, then I have a counter-suggestion for you. Why not simply post your response article here? I could then read it, and make the suggestion that perhaps I and my other coauthors might address your points in a new article.

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I’m not hostile to your position. It is an opportunity for dialogue. I thought the purpose of creation.com was to give a hearing to YEC views, and inviting dialogue with a scientist is one way to get a hearing.

This would be aligned with your goals, it seems, even though there is no precedence.

This could work.

I’d just want upfront clarity on the author guidelines and an upfront commitment to publish my article, likely with agreed upon disclaimer language. I can assure you that I will produce an article in good faith. Incentives are aligned here. If I produced total crap it would look good for you to publish it, getting credit for doing so and making me look really bad at the same time.

How do we get the details worked out from here?

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Thanks for clearly stating where you stand on that cartoon.

Can you please show me some examples of the CMI versions? I’d like to see them.

You’re saying you’re not willing to send in a response without an upfront commitment that your response will be published at creation.com? I doubt I can get you such a guarantee. I’ll ask about it, but if you’re going to have all these stipulations then it might be a lot easier for you to write your own article and publish it here, and invite us to respond in kind.

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How about a good faith commitment that you can renege on if I do something ridiculous? The fact of the matter is that you can always not publish it in the end anyways. I just don’t want to go through the effort of writing unless the decision makers are in principle up for publishing it.

The precise terms are up for negotiation. How would they like to specify that they welcome me to submit an article and hope they could publish it?

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