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Highlighting the Walkout

Started by PrTim15, February 19, 2024, 10:58:51 AM

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PrTim15

Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 04:01:18 PMBut those who claim to accept biblical authority contend that one must reject any scientific authority in understanding of the universe. Otherwise, they say, one rejects scripture and the gospel.


Thats not my observation.

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 04:01:18 PMBut those who claim to accept biblical authority contend that one must reject any scientific authority in understanding of the universe. Otherwise, they say, one rejects scripture and the gospel.
Charles, do you accept or reject biblical authority? As I recall, you accept Biblical authority. So, does that mean that you reject any scientific authority in understanding the universe? 

You keep trying to put the rest of us into boxes of your design. I suppose that some who accept Biblical authority, inspiration, inerrancy, reject any scientific authority. But not all of us. Many of us hold a more nuanced view. I do understand that you do not like nuance, your world is so neat and simple, either yes or no, black or white, etc. Like it or not, the world is messy.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

#137
Another fascinating discovery are the homo naledi fossils found in a South African cave. These small-brained hominids are breaking many of the rules about human evolution. They don't fit into the ordinary schemes. They buried their dead, used fire, and created art, although study of their skeletal remains suggested they were too primitive to do such things. You start wondering, for example, was homo erectus really so different from modern humans?

Scientists once regarded Neanderthals as more primitive. Now geneticists tell use that they interbred with us and we carry their DNA. Really remarkable stuff.

RDPreus

Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 09:21:25 AMWhat do you say, Pastor Preus, to the paleontologists, the cosmologists, the anthropologist and others who find evidence of a world created millions of years ago and a Homo sapiens, our species, that evolved from many other earlier forms of humanoid life? Many of these scientists are also Christian, some of them probably even LCMS.
What do you say to them?

Rev. Austin, you are wrong about evolution.  Your confidence in its truth is like the confidence you have in the various social and political enthusiasms you embrace.  It's like teenagers and clothing styles.  They just have to wear what's in style.  That it will be out of style in a few years doesn't change their need to belong to the in-crowd.  Scientific theories change.  There are many reasons why the theory of macro-evolution has held on as long as it has, but it cannot last.  It will be debunked.  Like the flowers in the field, it will fall off, dry up, and blow away.  But the word of the LORD remains forever.

Charles Austin

Pastor Preus, here is a difference 'twixt thee and me.  You do not take me seriously. You think I am driven by trendy whims. I take you seriously. You really believe what you say you believe. And I find that scary in many ways.
I can handle change in both science and faith.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

RDPreus

Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 07:57:22 PMPastor Preus, here is a difference 'twixt thee and me.  You do not take me seriously. You think I am driven by trendy whims. I take you seriously. You really believe what you say you believe. And I find that scary in many ways.
I can handle change in both science and faith.

Driven by trendy whims?  Not driven.  More like herded.  Herded into the groupthink of the liberal prejudice du jour.  On the one hand, your criticism of conservatives and conservatism is quite stale, for example, "I find that scary in many ways."  That's old.  On the other hand, there's the dogmatic assertion of the latest most extreme expression of liberal insanity, for example, the religious devotion to the LGBTQ agenda.  But you are at least honest.  You admit that you can handle change in faith.  I can't.  Faith cannot change.  If it changes, it's not faith.  I think this is probably the heart of the difference between liberals and conservatives.  Not only do I believe in immutable dogma; I love it!  It brings me great comfort.  This scares you.  But don't feel threatened.  It's not like I'd coerce you to adopt my views.  Live and let live.  Let God sort it all out as He sees fit.

Charles Austin

Scary and sad that you reject God's gift of intelligence and that you believe your fearful faith would collapse if any aspect of it, however small, would change.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: RDPreus on February 25, 2024, 10:49:18 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 07:57:22 PMPastor Preus, here is a difference 'twixt thee and me.  You do not take me seriously. You think I am driven by trendy whims. I take you seriously. You really believe what you say you believe. And I find that scary in many ways.
I can handle change in both science and faith.

Driven by trendy whims?  Not driven.  More like herded.  Herded into the groupthink of the liberal prejudice du jour.  On the one hand, your criticism of conservatives and conservatism is quite stale, for example, "I find that scary in many ways."  That's old.  On the other hand, there's the dogmatic assertion of the latest most extreme expression of liberal insanity, for example, the religious devotion to the LGBTQ agenda.  But you are at least honest.  You admit that you can handle change in faith.  I can't.  Faith cannot change.  If it changes, it's not faith.  I think this is probably the heart of the difference between liberals and conservatives.  Not only do I believe in immutable dogma; I love it!  It brings me great comfort.  This scares you.  But don't feel threatened.  It's not like I'd coerce you to adopt my views.  Live and let live.  Let God sort it all out as He sees fit.
I do not believe that we are saved by dogma; thus our understanding of God's ways in the world can change. As Paul wrote, we only see partially until Jesus returns. Those who are certain that they see clearly, apparently have a stronger faith and insights into God than Paul did. My comfort doesn't come from dogma, but from the grace of God. 
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Charles Austin

Brian writes:
My comfort doesn't come from dogma, but from the grace of God.

I comment:
Amen. 'Cause none of us gets it all correct, and God is still speaking to us, sometimes correcting when we've got something wrong.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

John Mundinger

Quote from: Weedon on February 25, 2024, 11:51:19 AMTom, of course. And science at its best acknowledges its own limitations and is always open to further investigation. "Settled science" is an oxymoron as the history of science shows definitively.

It is correct that the more we accumulate information, the more we also expose ourselves to how much we do not know.  But, "settled science" is an oxymoron only to the extent that people confuse speculation, untested hypotheses and the results of tested hypotheses.  e.g. the identification of human "ancestors" is speculation and very likely speculation that will never lead to a testable hypothesis.  However, the idea that gene frequencies change over time as a consequence of differential rates of reproduction and mortality comes very close to "settled science".


Quote from: Weedon on February 25, 2024, 11:51:19 AMHumility is called for before the wonder of it all, and  especially the ability of the human mind to process only a bit of what is.

That rubric really applies to a variety of disciplines.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: Tom Eckstein on February 25, 2024, 12:36:09 PMWe know that Jesus miraculously created enough fish to feed thousands.  Now, let's say that when the apostles were carrying away the leftover fish in baskets, one of the fish fell out onto the ground.  A few hours later someone walks by and sees this mature, adult fish on the ground and based on his observation would draw conclusions about how old it was based on its size and weight.  But he'd be totally WRONG because not only does he not know that this fish was miraculously created a few hours before, but he doesn't even have the tools to begin to date a fish that was miraculously created.

That analogy is inconsistent with a plain read of the text.  Jesus did not create more fish.  Jesus DIVIDED the two fish (likely sardines) and the five loaves (probably the equivalent of small crackers) and the pieces - not more fish - that fell were sufficient to fill the baskets. 
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

John Mundinger

Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 25, 2024, 02:55:30 PMRichard Dawkins wrote, "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist." Neo-Darwinian evolution can be used to make an atheistic account of the origins of the world, and especially the biome, possible. However, it does not make such an atheistic account necessary. Many of those on both sides of the theism/atheism, evolution/creation divides seem to assume that evolutionary theory rules out God. That is simply not the case.

Richard Dawkins is an example of a scientist practicing bad science.  The theory of evolution is an attribute of the creation, given that the creation already exists.  It is correct to suggest that evolution is best understood, in a strictly scientific sense, if no assumptions are made about divine participation.  That is so because "there is no God", "God did not create all that exists" etc. are not testable hypothesis.  Science, therefore, has nothing to say about such matters.  Dawkins would have been better off speaking about agnosticism rather than atheism.

Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 25, 2024, 02:55:30 PMEvolutionary processes have undoubtably been at work in our observable world. The natural development of anti-biotic resistant microbes, herbicide resistant weeds, pesticide resistant insects, for example, shows how environmental pressures can drive change over time. To assume that all changes in the biome can and should be accounted for simply by waving the magic wands of evolutionary processes and billions and billions of years at them is an assumption, not a demonstration.

Evolutionary processes have, indeed, been demonstrated in our lifetime and there is an abundance of evidence to suggest that the same processes that have been observed in our lifetime have been at work for a very long period of time.  Recent science has revealed that the underlying genetic processes are more complex than previously thought - e.g. the presence of "switch genes" that tell other genes when to turn on/off during ontogeny.  But, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that change in gene frequency over time is the consequence of anything other than evolution as science understands evolution. 

And, I'd suggest that the debate, as you posed it, is less between the theory of evolution and creation and more a debate between 21st Century scientists and Bishop Usher.

Quote from: Dan Fienen on February 25, 2024, 02:55:30 PMPersonally, my faith in the explanatory power of evolution operating over long periods of time is too weak to simply assume that they adequately explain such conundrums as the balancing of the primary universal forces (gravity, electromagnetic, weak, and strong) to allow for a universe composed of atoms, molecules, planets, stars, and galaxies; the organization of naturally occurring amino acids of mixed levo- and dextro- varieties into polymers of almost exclusively levo- amino acids; the coming together at random of proteins of just the correct structure and shape to work together for metabolism; the generation of genetic molecules (DNA and RNA) formed at random but able to arbitrarily encode the necessary proteins for life and the mechanisms to encode and decode them; and I could go on. All by a random process in which intermediate stages may or may not be self replicating? My faith in the creative force of blind chance is not that strong.

Randomness is essential to a scientific understanding of the creation, as we experience the creation.  At the same time, correct application of science reveals many questions that are not within the rubric of science to answer.  But, just as it is incorrect to use science to disprove the divine, it is incorrect to discount scientific truth because science lacks the ability to answer the philosophical questions that arise from good science.

And, we should never forget that we believe divine creation by faith, not reason.  And, our understanding of divine creation, as expressed in the First Article, relies on all of Scripture and is not based in a literal reading of Genesis 1 and 2.

Speaking personally, I marvel at the similarities between divine creation and evolution.  E.g. in the beginning, the earth was without form and void is one way of thinking about the state of the creation prior to both creation and the big bang.  Moreover, we confess divine creation as a continuous process, not a 6-day event.  I really like the idea of intelligent design but I don't often use that term because "creation scientists" have so poorly defined that concept.
Lifelong Evangelical Lutheran layman

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbour, does not yet understand them as he ought.  St. Augustine

RDPreus

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 26, 2024, 12:15:33 AM
Quote from: RDPreus on February 25, 2024, 10:49:18 PM
Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 07:57:22 PMPastor Preus, here is a difference 'twixt thee and me.  You do not take me seriously. You think I am driven by trendy whims. I take you seriously. You really believe what you say you believe. And I find that scary in many ways.
I can handle change in both science and faith.

Driven by trendy whims?  Not driven.  More like herded.  Herded into the groupthink of the liberal prejudice du jour.  On the one hand, your criticism of conservatives and conservatism is quite stale, for example, "I find that scary in many ways."  That's old.  On the other hand, there's the dogmatic assertion of the latest most extreme expression of liberal insanity, for example, the religious devotion to the LGBTQ agenda.  But you are at least honest.  You admit that you can handle change in faith.  I can't.  Faith cannot change.  If it changes, it's not faith.  I think this is probably the heart of the difference between liberals and conservatives.  Not only do I believe in immutable dogma; I love it!  It brings me great comfort.  This scares you.  But don't feel threatened.  It's not like I'd coerce you to adopt my views.  Live and let live.  Let God sort it all out as He sees fit.
I do not believe that we are saved by dogma; thus our understanding of God's ways in the world can change. As Paul wrote, we only see partially until Jesus returns. Those who are certain that they see clearly, apparently have a stronger faith and insights into God than Paul did. My comfort doesn't come from dogma, but from the grace of God.

"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." 1 Timothy 4:16

RDPreus

Quote from: Charles Austin on February 25, 2024, 11:01:50 PMScary and sad that you reject God's gift of intelligence and that you believe your fearful faith would collapse if any aspect of it, however small, would change.

Oh, the irony of saying I reject God's gift of intelligence, while you swallow hook, line, and sinker the absurdities of the evolutionists!

Dan Fienen

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on February 26, 2024, 12:15:33 AMI do not believe that we are saved by dogma; thus our understanding of God's ways in the world can change. As Paul wrote, we only see partially until Jesus returns. Those who are certain that they see clearly, apparently have a stronger faith and insights into God than Paul did. My comfort doesn't come from dogma, but from the grace of God.
I don't believe that we are saved by dogma either. But we are saved by the Gospel which is what our dogma teaches. I'm sorry to keep harping on this, but I think that the distinction between fides qua creditur (the faith which believes) and fides quae creditur (the faith which is believed) is important. Faith is both and both aspects of faith the qua and the quae are important. Fides quae without fides qua is mere intellectual assent, a mind game that we play, perhaps a bull session played over beers for amusement. Fides qua without the quae is empty emotionalism. "It doesn't matter what you believe so long as you are sincere?" "Whatever floats your boat, whatever is meaningful for you." "There are many roads to heaven, just pick the one that appeals to you." 

Our dogma is the way we record our fides quae for future reference. The propositions and statements of our dogma do not in themselves save since they represent only the quae aspect of faith. But what our dogma teaches is not merely a mind game, an intellectual toy, but is the content of the faith by which we believe. But it is not optional, nor is it infinitely malleable. 

In a slightly different context, James wrote, Jas 2:17-18 "So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." 

You may say, "You have dogma, I have faith." Show me your faith apart for the dogma that is the content of your faith and I will show you my faith by what I believe.  
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

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