Could Jesus have accepted Evolutionary Theory?

Discussion in 'Questions?' started by Tiffy, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    If one of the Archbishops actually wrote that letter; then he was either unlearned of unbelieving. The Scriptures in Genesis tell us expressly how all life was made, and man especially so. Genesis 2 recounts: "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." And then Matthew 19 records Our Lord reiterating Genesis 1 when he said the following: "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made [man] male and female'" (emphasis added). So we are given both the how and the when, and in both cases Darwin's theory contradicts the revelation of God's Word. Either the good Archbishop hasd not read Genesis, in which case he was unlearned, or it was not sufficiently credible to him, in which case he was unbelieving.

    One may indeed be an Anglican and believe in the Evolution lie (as a member of TEC I am painfully aware of what heresies pass for modern Anglicanism), but one cannot be a serious Christian.

    Darwin's folly was a poisonous tree and every fruit that falls from it is equally as poisonous because all deny the authority and infallibility of Holy Writ
     
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  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You still have not given precise examples of teaching from Jesus which clearly refute Darwins theory so I will try to answer some of your other statements.

    Is your question rhetorical? Are you suggesting that God does not tell us stories? I think God tells us mostly stories, both in his incarnated form and in the Holy Scriptures he has provided for our benefit. Matt 13:34. Matt.13:13. God knows that parables and stories stand the best chance of getting through our natural human ignorance and healing us from our self imposed stupidity. That is why he chose to use that method of communicating truth.

    Yes they are ALL stories. Some stories are true, some stories contain truths, some are both true and also contain truths, some just contain truths but are not literally true. The Bible contains all of these types and God expressly intended that to be so. Matt.13:34.

    Your denigration of Biblical text, unless it is considered by you to be strictly historical, is unhelpful in reaching understanding of its meaning and purpose. In fact to consider ALL biblical text as being historical in genre is a profound mistake which adds greatly to the sum of human salvation ignorance on earth. History may be factual but it rarely conveys salvation knowledge in the way that mythic, fictional, apocalyptic, alegorical and parabolic fable, can and does.

    You cannot legitimately assume that Jesus, Paul and other originators of Holy scripture, all held the same historical literalist view that you yourself hold to. The fact that they quote Old Testament texts in no way logically implies that they held similar views to yours on the actual historicity of it. They may have been well aware of its mythic and alegorical nature and interpreted it as such. Gal.4:21-31.
     
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  3. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    I cannot fathom where you got your view of scripture. Everything you said above is, with all due respect, post-modernist nonsense. The fact that you seem to have two versions of true -- the literal and the symbolic -- indicates that you are one of the "Bible as literature" folks. Am I wrong? You seem to think that the sort of "truth" the Bible contains is the same kind of "truth" you get from Shakespeare, or Milton, or Byron (or Darwin). I cannot say this more plainly: this is wrong. Utterly. Completely. This sort of thinking is why TEC and CofE (among many other Christian churches including the Roman Catholics) are in such horrible shape right now.

    Using your logic, we could say that the Epic of Gilgamesh is "true", the Qur'an is "true", the Bhagavad Gita is "true", the Tao Te Ching is "true", or that Crowley's Satanic "Necronomicon" is "true". Why not? If the Bible can make no real claim to literal truth, then it's just the opinion of the fallible people who wrote it; it's just a book composed of the stories of some Jewish and Greek scribes who lived in the Middle East many centuries ago. Maybe God inspired it and maybe he didn't; who's to say? How can we know?

    If you discard the inerrancy and literal truth of the Bible, you let go of the rope keeping you afloat as a Christian. You sink and you drown.

    The Bible is true. Literally. But I can see your eyes rolling now: "Oh, here comes another fundamentalist nutter!" I contend that literalism is not just an option for the Bible, but the only valid option. To do otherwise is to destroy the authority and thus the purpose of scripture. (I think the problem lies in how you and I understand the word "literal", but that's a deeper argument that would take a thick book to get into.)

    When Jesus speaks in parables, he means us to understand him literally and execute his moral lesson literally. When Jesus quotes the Old Testament (as he does many times) he uses the references as quotations of literal truth with the authority of God-breathed scripture. The same goes for the apostles and other divinely-inspired writers of the New Testament. There is absolutely no evidence that Jesus or the apostles who wrote later considered the Old Testament to be anything other than literally true. They understood it as literal truth, they quote it as literal truth, and we must accept it as literal truth.

    Even when Jesus spoke in parables, he was not telling stories or fables; that's not what parables are. Parables are generalized examples of specific moral teachings. They're in no way like, e.g., Aesop's fables. They are not "stories" in the sense that you're using them. You can call them fictitious if you want because they do not refer to some specific historical event, but neither can you call them "stories" or "fables", because they absolutely are not those things. Think if it in this way: using the word "you" can refer to a group of people (as in "you all") or as a second-person pronoun referring to a single person. Jesus uses parables so as to speak to "you all", not to a specific person to whom he is relating the parable.

    You must see the Bible, above all, as a reliable guidebook for living a Christian life. It's not a novel, though it does tell a story (the story of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ). It's not a history book, though it does spend quite a lot of time on historical events. It's not a book of songs or poetry, though it contains a lot of both. It is a reliable (i.e., true) guidebook breathed out by God to guide believers on a path that God has laid out for them. We cannot say that this and that part of the bible are literally true, but this and that part are not; by doing so we destroy the authority of the whole thing.

    The objection to this line of reasoning is generally this sort of thing: "But I do believe the Bible! I just don't believe it literally!" (This usually comes in discussions of things like the Great Flood and, of course, evolution.) My response is that if you reject the literal truth of the Bible, you reject the Bible. You have subordinated the Word of God to your own fallen and fallible judgement (or to Darwin's fallen and fallible judgement, as the case may be).

    The Holy Bible stands or falls as a single entity: discard any piece of it, and you ruin the integrity of the whole. A little leaven leavens the whole lump (1 Cor 5:6).

    "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17)
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Since it comes from scripture and is therefore God inspired, about the only true thing actually said above.

    As in most of what else you have said on this issue, yes.
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Why is it that whenever someone prefaces a statement with "with all due respect", there follows immediately an obviously disrespectful comment? :laugh: :hmm:
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  6. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    Tiffy, let me say this: if I sound unduly harsh, I do not mean it so. I speak strongly because I believe strongly. The Bible is to me what a magnet is to iron. But this does not excuse rudeness. I do not take back the content of what I wrote, but I do wish I had used a softer tone. A soft answer turns away wrath (Prov 15).

    That said, much of what I want to say was already stated before by Stalwart in a thread I mightily wish I had read in its entirety before I posted in this thread. I could have dropped a link to that thread here and been done with it.
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Apology accepted, if that was what it was.

    Do you and Stalwart actually believe the Bible is a 'magic book' ?
    Do you both really believe it is full of infallibly authoritative commands demanding our unquestionable obedience?

    That seems more like a draconian dictator's handbook rather than the love message of a Gracious Saviour. Still whatever appeals to one I suppose.

    That would be believing a whole lot more than it says of itself though, you do realise that, do you not?

    Our obedience is to Jesus Christ alone. Not to every persons personal interpretation of every commandment in the Old Testament, many of which have been revised, updated or fulfilled. Matt.5:21-48. The New Testament is an antidote to misunderstandings of a lot of the Old Testament 'commands', not just a brief and forceful suppliment to it.
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  8. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    Of course I do! I am a Christian! Though I quibble with "unquestionable". Man, being fallen, is full of pride and vanity, and is always resistant to the command of God. Men always question the will of God, and I am no different. But regardless of our fallen nature, we ought to follow God's command obediently and unquestioningly.

    Accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior indicates that you accept his yoke, and thereafter you must trust that the Word of the Lord is authoritative and inerrant. It should inform and guide every aspect of your life.

    Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law of the Old Testament, but the teachings of the old Law did not pass away -- the Decalogue is still in full effect. These are the Ten Commandments. Jesus summarized the decalogue in Mark 12:28-31, but his summary did not obviate or mitigate the specific commands in the Old Testament.

    Jesus says in John 14:15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." In John 14:31, he says, "[but] I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father." Jesus Christ commands his follows, even as God the Father commanded him.

    I posted a link about the Chicago Statement on Biblical inerrancy. Rather than recapitulate what I already wrote on the topic, I'll direct you to that: it summarizes what I believe far better than I can.

    Do you not think the Bible is inerrant? If not, how can you discern what parts are in error and which parts are not? By what (or whose) authority do you decide? Do you take counsel from the church (whether ministerial or lay members), from history, from tradition, or from your own experience? Have your opinions changed over time? Did you always believe as you do now?
     
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    We don't need specific words of Jesus, recorded in the Gospel, to refute Darwin's hypothesis (I maintain that it never properly rose to the level of a valid theory, let alone fact). We don't need to read of Jesus refuting an idea that would not be put forth for another 1800 years by a man with inadequate spiritual understanding. Darwin's hypothesis is false, pure and simple. Darwin himself admitted that if major transitional fossils were not discovered within (IIRC) some 50 years hence, his idea would be demonstrably shown to be false. And they've never found truly significant transitional fossils, such as between a whale and a cow. Even now, we still see full support in the fossil record of a sudden influx of all known species, all in the same stratum.

    Ananias, I've mentioned the Chicago Statement in the past, but it isn't well regarded on this forum (even though it is a nicely put statement) because the signers were not Anglicans. Just a bunch of 'lowly evangelical types,' you know, so like Rodney Dangerfield they get no respect. I suggest you search for the thread I started on inerrancy, https://forums.anglican.net/threads/inerrancy-and-infallibility-of-scripture.3948/ because the answer is 'no,' most folks on this forum shy away from the notion of Biblical inerrancy; no use duplicating the entire effort again in a thread on evolution.

    Keep in mind that Tiffy likes to 'stir the pot' when someone new shows up who has anything 'on the ball.' ;)
     
  10. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    Is J. I. Packer not considered an Anglican on this board? If not, that honestly shocks me.
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    God is inerrant and only God is good.

    Perhaps you will enlighten this benighted soul and quote me the Bible verse(s) which state the Bible itself is inerrant.

    VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
    Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

    XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
    The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.

    I think a couple of people besides yourself, in this thread so far have questioned my salvation on very scant scriptural evidence, simply because I do not accept the concept of Biblical inerrancy as they purport to do, (or more pointedly THEIR particular notion of how scripture is to be understood), incidentally inerancy of scripture is nowhere referred to in scripture itself.
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  12. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    Was the post where I referenced 2 Tim 3:16 insufficient for you?

    The problem, Tiffy, is that you don't seem to accept anyone's concept of this issue other than your own (highly idiosyncratic) one. Your views certainly do not accord with any conception of scripture I have encountered in the historical literature of the Anglican church, of Protestant theologians more generally, or the early Church Fathers (including the Apostles).

    It would help me greatly if you'd just plainly say what you mean instead of insisting that we're misunderstanding you. Perhaps we're misunderstanding you because you're not being particularly clear on what you do and do not believe.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Ah, careful there. Because the question they posed to me in the past is, what about the poetic portions of scripture? One wouldn't take poetry literally, yet we agree that it is inspired by God. You really should read that 6-page inerrancy thread I linked to (above), or you'll just be put through the same routine as I was.
     
  14. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    You are of course correct. But in cases like these I always say that we're not really arguing the issue at hand; we're really arguing about what the word "literal" means.* At which point the discussion usually devolves in a 49-page treatise filled with walls of text: textual criticism and hermeneutics that almost no one will read. :) I desperately want to avoid that fate, so I may have to withdraw from the field.

    *And there is an irony in this, because people often find themselves arguing a nonsensical point: "When I said 'literally', I didn't mean for you to take me literally!" I've often fallen into this trap myself. English is quite a subtle language.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You are making the mistake of assuming that 2 Tim. 3:16-17, necessitates a literalist interpretation of all scripture. (or at least the portions of scripture that you say have to be understood literally). That view would clearly betray a total ignorance of the way scripture came into exitence, should be read, and should be understood, under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit, for it was the Holy Spirit who inspired it.

    There are other ways in which the inspired chapters 1-5 of Genesis and any other Books in The Bible can be understood, in keeping with their author's intention, other than the literal historical way that you insist in which it must be understood.

    Undoubtedly the chapters can be read as literally an accurate historical narrative, but that will not necessarily reveal to the reader the profound spiritual truths it contains. Reading it as a purely historical record actually obfuscates most of its inspired truths leaving the reader with a very partial and depleted understanding of its authors intention. A historical commentary on Genesis chapters 1-5 could be reduced to a couple of pages easily, whereas I had a commentary on chapters 1-11 that ran into over 2000 pages of deep analysis.
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  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Just wondering....you 'had' it in your possession? Or still have it? Or is it one that you wrote? If not your own, can you identify the commentary? If the latter, perhaps you should upload and link to it so others may read it!
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It belonged to my wife. Can't remember the exact title but something like A Commentary on Genesis Chapters 1 to 11. I presume there was also another volume covering the rest of Genesis as a companion edition. It is no longer on my bookshelves. It may be on my wifes but we have moved houses and have had to reduce the size of our libraries. I'll provide the info you seek when I next visit her, if she still has it. I very much doubt that it would be on line. You can try Googling or Amazoning my suggested title though.
    .
     
  18. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    I know the NICOT Genesis commentary by Hamilton comes in two thick volumes (~1100 pages before bibliography and endnotes).
     
  19. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Oh! You two are separated? I had no idea. That makes me feel sad.
     
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It makes me feel sad too, but it became necessary due to my age and health issues + her disability and special needs. We still see a lot of each other and are both still in service to the Lord, but about 30 miles apart.