Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Rusty Nails, 5/18/05...

You Decide Russell Moore posts on Evangelical Effeminancy, at Mere Comments. He writes,
Every American evangelical is familiar with the phrases "I just don't have a peace about it" or "Let me pray about it." To many these comments seem deeply pious and spiritual, but they can just as easily mask the sin of a lazy and indecisive Christian. This is particularly a problem among Christian men, who often are paralyzed for months or years about decisions ranging from wedding engagements to career choices because they are still "seeking a word from the Lord."
How did we get to the point where, in seeking a word from the Lord, we ignore the Word from the Lord?
They just don't get it Over at The Panda's Thumb, in the post Note to meteorologists: You're next, we get the drivel,
Now, of course, I don’t actually think for a second that naturalistic meteorology actually undermines Christianity. People still pray about the weather, even though they know that weather is caused by natural processes. Belief in natural processes, and belief in God’s action in the world, are simply not in conflict for these people. If God can act through natural processes, then a natural explanation of something is not a threat to the belief system. ...What ID advocates have to explain is why evolution is different from meteorology with respect to theology.
This is nothing more than the tired old end-around run in which any acceptance of the laws of physics is equated with acceptance of naturalism. If you can accept that God works through the laws of physics that produce tomorrow's rain, then there is no reason to not expect Him to use those same laws to turn a wolf-like creature into a whale. There are at least two problems with their argument: 1) the question is not whether or not God can use the laws He created to work out His will and, 2) smoke and mirrors are not required to demonstrate how meteorology works. Also check Steve Wagner's post at STR.
Our story was wrong, but the story is true Check The Agent 2, at the Belmont Club, for a glimpse at the nonsensical workings of the inner mind of your typical Washington Press Corp.
But it's not science Guillermo Gonzalez, co-author with Jay Richards of The Privileged Planet, has had an article accepted for publication in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres.
Tick-Tock Per William Paley,
In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it lain there for ever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer, which I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there.... The watch must have had a maker: that there must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed it for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use.... Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation.
"But," as the Darwinists will claim, "biological organisms are not like a watch!" Per the journal Structure, Recent Cyanobacterial Kai Protein Structures Suggest a Rotary Clock. HT: ID the Future
Emergent Church update Melinda Penner, over at Stand to Reason, has been posting quite a bit on the Emergent Church. She not only covers the dangers, but she addresses the positive ideas that are emerging from this group. Check: Values of the Ancient Church, I'm an Ancient Christian, and Worship Emergent Style.


Tom said...

Let me jump back to to something you posted a day or so ago:
My arguments against Theistic Evolution stem off the logical conclusions that come from Naturalistic Evolution; off the theological errors I believe TE's are making; off the lack of explanatory power that evolution has; and off of the decidedly pluralistic and subjective box that TE confines us to (just to name a few).

When I read this, it sounds like you are saying your argument against naturalistic evolution has little or nothing to do with your religion. It would be more that it has to do with an intellectual analysis you've done on evolution?

Okay, so Kyle Batson over at StructuredThought (who I read because he linked to that Panda's Thumb quote) has an idea I wonder if you agree or disagree with.

So why then aren't other materialistic/naturalistic sciences under as much scrutiny [by the ID proponents] as evolutionary biology?...[T]here is a clear answer to why [ID proponents] focus on biology over other materialistic processes...because humans are special. We were created in God's image and we have souls. Natural explanations of the weather or medicine don't scare people like evolution does. Evolution implies that humans aren't special. We don't have souls. God didn't create us. ... But I do think that this is a reasonable argument to use against ID proponents. [my boldface] They go out of their way to suggest that they're only trying to do science and are not advocating any religious point of view, but if they have to defend why evolution is their main target, the reason is clear: they cannot and will not believe humans evolved from previous species. It demeans us in their eyes, and takes away that oh-so-special bond that we are supposed to have with YHWH

And you can probably guess the reason for my curiousity. I don't want to be coy here. I'm figuring that your religion is the major driving factor of why you've pulled evolution out of all the different sciences to argue with. Then if you're representative of many thoughtful ID proponents, why don't more proponents be up front about their Christianity?

Thank you.

Tom said...

BTW, Rusty, my 2 cents...I don't think it's an unreasonable argument either, which you've hinted at I think, that possibly some atheists/non-believers are hiding behind the mantle of "evolution debate" to attempt to attack Christianity. e.g., "See I told you Christianity is a fairy tale/opiate of the masses! Evolution's truth proves it!" i.e. They claim the discussion is about the robustness of evolutionary theory, but it's's about atheism over Christianity.

Sniper Of Yamhill said...

Pray for our country.

cromospotta said...

Well now, it's good to see that we've chosen the same blog template! And we seem to tackle similar topics... although from different perspectives.
I'm the first part of the Judaeo-Christian equation---but my quest has just begun [in Einsteinian relative terms, that is]...

Rusty said...


In presenting my case against evolution I attempt to incorporate various arguments, utilizing various disciplines. While I certainly think that there is a robust case to be made against evolution based solely on the empirical data, I will make no pretense about how my theology argues against it as well (not to mention arguments from a philosophical slant). This tactic, I believe, provides for a well rounded argument that, in the long run, is better able to sustain well reasoned attacks against it. It is a tactic that any good Christian apologist will use in, say, arguing for the existence of God, or for the reality of Christ’s resurrection.

I agree with Kyle in that the stakes are highest when one considers the implications that naturalism has on the soul/spirit nature of mankind. However, whether or not such an approach is the motivating factor in one’s disagreement with natural evolution is not reason enough to dismiss their disagreement. Likewise, that an atheist may be motivated to promulgate evolution in order to combat religion is not reason enough to dismiss their agreement with evolution. I believe that one should look at the whole picture, noting how (or if) the various arguments gel with one another. In other words, the Christian arguments I propose posit that: the empirical data does not indicate the process of natural evolution but, rather, show evidence of design; based on attributes described in the Bible, the designer is the God of the Bible; Christian theology indicates that humans are unique from the animal kingdom and that such uniqueness manifests itself in abstract areas such as spirituality, ethics and morality; etc. So, taken as a whole, we compare the worldview posited by Christianity vs. that of naturalism, and attempt to see which worldview does a better job of reconciling and explaining the total reality of the world we live in.

The naturalistic evolutionary paradigm is either true or it isn’t. While none of us are completely unbiased, we should all strive to give alternative ideas a fair hearing. Yet, whether or not evolution is true is independent of whether or not one is motivated by religious belief, or lack thereof.

I can’t speak for ID proponents who evade any discussion on the identity of the Designer. But, as I’ve just stated, the truthfulness of their claims is not dependent on the reason they believe them. In my opinion, though, one should be upfront about all motivations behind one’s arguments.

As a sidenote, I would not describe evolution as a science in the context of why you've pulled evolution out of all the different sciences to argue with. In that context I would argue that evolution is a proposed explanation for the diversity of life we observe in the study of the science of biology.

Kinkazzo and Sniper,
Thanks for stopping by.

Bonnie said...

Well-stated comment, Rusty.