More war to end war is not just war

Q: Is there such a thing as a ‘just war’? In his Nobel speech, was President Obama right to speak … Continued

Q: Is there such a thing as a ‘just war’? In his Nobel speech, was President Obama right to speak in these theological terms about war? He also stated that ‘no holy war can ever be a just war.’ Do you agree or disagree?

President Obama sounded like he was channeling Christian realist Reinhold Niebuhr in his Nobel Peace Prize lecture, speaking more about the justification for war than the making of peace and arguing that military force is the primary path to address injustice in an imperfect world.

While he cited Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. as moral examples, he distanced himself from them as being unrealistic.

“I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world. A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms,” argued Obama. “To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism–it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.”

Obama asserted: “Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight.”

As one who tilts toward Niebuhr and believes that military force is sometimes needed in a sinful world, I have an ear for Obama’s position. I think he is right that “force can be justified on humanitarian grounds.”

Yet for all the bluster about realism, Obama and his pro-war party are the ones who have abandoned realism. They have forsaken one of the rules of a just war: reasonable chance of success.

More war to end war is not just war in Afghanistan–for there is a low probability of success.

Obama repeated two words throughout his speech at the United States Military Academy, where he called for an escalation of the war: “capacity” and “transition.” What he meant by capacity and transition were ambiguous. If by capacity, he means that the corrupt Afghan government will become less corrupt, then what is the reasonable hope of that success? If he thinks that after eight years training tens of thousands of more Afghan soldiers–to join the unimpressive Afghan armed forces–will allow the U.S. and its allies to leave behind a stable government, then is Obama really being realistic?

Just war rules are valuable tools for moral discernment in a pluralistic society. And we had better start using them if we are going to be moral realists about war in Afghanistan.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, pam, hopefully you will find your way here.peter,archaeologically, there should be a simultaneous culture-wide “extinction” (in 2400), followed by 200 years of no occupation (but, hopefully LOTS of flood sediment/erosion evidence…), followed by entirely NEW cultures.archaeologists (those not beholden to biblical presuppositions) think that in 2200 BC pepi II was the 4th pharaoh of the 6th dynasty, presiding over a well-developed empire with full-blown pyramids, palaces, cities, religion and so forth. he didn’t notice the flood. and do i have to mention that there were 5 atheist archaeologists also see about 6000 years of occupation before the dynasties – during the clevery-named “predynastic period”.so, my question: 1) can we stipulate (as those pesky lawyers say) that we can’t have the same “culture” (except as “preserved” by noah” et. al.) on “both sides” of the flood? e.g., egyptians didn’t develop a certain constellation of pottery, clothes and religion, get wiped out, then have noah’s egyptians come back and develop the same pottery, clothes and religion.2) can we agree that there’s a pretty well-established “continuum of culture” (kings’ list etc…) that would make it hard to put the flood anywhere within the dynastic period?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,one problem with putting the flood after “predynastic” period is the kinds of evidence we have, and the places we’ve found it. predynastic sites are small settlements, clustered along rivers, in valleys and close to grazing/farming areas – in other words they are well-situated to the flood geologists propose “massive tectonic upheaval” and “rapid deposition of fossils” and so forth. flood geologists (like on one of those sites you recently linked to) propose that all the rivers of today were made at/during the flood. so, anything build “along the nile” has to be “post flood”, right?since these “predynastic” remains “fit” the existing topography, and lie ABOVE all the dinosaur-bearing flood rocks, can we stipulate that these “predynastic” cultures must be post-flood too?

  • Pamsm

    TwoAgain, PH: Wow. Name one.PH: That’s not slavery, it’s criminal incarceration. There’s a huge difference, and this is clearly not what the bible is talking about. And you say “for the Christian.” How, exactly, do you come by this knowledge? God doesn’t say it’s wrong. Jesus doesn’t say it’s wrong. St. Paul doesn’t say it’s wrong.Aah, yes. The “elect.” So, not just anyone who decides to accept his message, but a previously chosen few. How many, exactly, Peter? And what is the point re slavery? That “Christ” changed the rules with the institution of the “new testament”? Sorry, Peter, but he didn’t. Like OT God, he says nary a word against slavery. He talks about the correct number of “stripes” for slaves. And Paul returns a runaway slave to his owner.

  • Pamsm

    PH: As above, Jesus changes exactly ME: So what, then, becomes of your “objective, unchanging standard”? Does God still think it’s OK?PH: Tell me exactly what “greater good” slavery accomplished, and how exactly it did that? Then tell me what kind of “just” God thinks it’s OK to allow (if not cause) the intense suffering of hundreds of millions of people to “teach a lesson.” And what was that lesson again?PH: Well, I must say that first sentence gave me a good laugh. You’re completely right – I haven’t noticed any grace or mercy. At all.

  • Pamsm

    Well, Walter, it looks like you’ll have plenty of material for your sculptures tomorrow… 16″ or more…Eek!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    pam, thanks for thinking of me and snow together. i’m just beside myself with excitement: first the cerrato firing (they just let him “resign” – he was fired), and now a big snow storm…interestingly, i’m getting “christmasy” suggestions for what to make. my wife wants angels or a manger scene – but that’s too religious for me! i mean, i know it’s christmas and all, but for me, christmas is about santa claus, christmas trees, elves, egg nog and chestnuts roasting on an open fire… (ooops, sorry, burst in song there…)

  • Pamsm

    FourPH: Yes, there still is slavery – mostly in Muslim countries. Not any in majority atheist countries. Odd that you would throw in Communists (not known for slavery). You social conservatives do love to hate the “commies,” don’t you? While I agree that the “communist” countries were run by oppressive ideological dictators, pure communism (which has never actually existed) would be much like what Jesus taught – no rich people, no “worldly” goods, all working at what they could do best, with the necessities of life equally divided among them.PH: Tell me what it is I’m a “slave” to, Peter. Rationality? Oh, throw me in the briar patch, Bre’r Fox!PH: Yeah, well you go for it, Peter, I’m not interested in anyone’s “benefit” if they “abuse” me. And it is precisely the “standards of this world” that have ended slavery in most countries. God was missing in action on that one.ME: So please answer the question: Do you, Peter, believe that slavery is OK …?PH: What “time frame”? And what “greater good” arose from it? And do you really think it’s “OK” – even if God does say so?

  • Pamsm

    FivePH: Does he??? Where? And what kind of “slaving” works for the good of anyone except the slave-owner (financially)?ME: Are you planning to sell your daughter(s) – or have you already done so?PH: Really? And when did your “absolute and unchanging” source of morals change his mind? And why didn’t we get the memo? If he couldn’t be bothered to put it in his old rulebook, isn’t it time for him to issue a revised edition?PH: Oh, Peter, ME: What? “As practiced” it isn’t God’s “ideal”?? PH: How do you know?? He doesn’t say so. And it’s not because he isn’t fond of laying down rules! Might it not have been better for him to throw in something about slavery in place of one of those ego-massaging first few commandments? Shouldn’t slavery be more important than, say, coveting something? After all, coveting is exactly what drives our economy.

  • Pamsm

    SixSorry, Peter, but I have the “golden rule” built in, courtesy of my social ancestors, human and not human. I know damn well that I would not want to be a slave; therefore, I would not even consider enslaving someone else. If God thinks slavery is OK, then yes, I’m better than he is. Deal with it. And my “creators” were my parents, no one else.PH:And how, exactly, did that work, Peter? Are people who live where there is slavery more likely to “come to Jesus”? Can you provide statistics?PH: And where did God tell you this? How do you know slavery is wrong?Here we go! You bible-thumpers just love to believe this, don’t you? All of us evil atheists are out there living lives of depraved debauchery and we just don’t want to give up all of that fun in order to bend a knee to the lord and master. Right? There’s just one problem with that outlook – it’s demonstrably untrue.

  • Pamsm

    Seven (Wow, I feel like Daniel 12)PH: Set me free from ME: It dictates where slaves may be obtained (spoils of war, bought from other countries…), it discusses selling one’s daughters into slavery. These things are from Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy – these are God’s rules.PH Baloney. I don’t do anything “evil.” And slavery certainly doesn’t teach me anything that would “lead me to Christ.” PH: Sorry, but being “merciful” to your slave doesn’t undo the absolute horror of keeping slaves in the first place. And does this sound “merciful” to you?

  • Pamsm

    EightAnd here’s a bit more:PH: I don’t do any of those things, Peter. Is that what

  • Pamsm

    Nine (and final!)Hear PH: Another favorite fundie maxim, that we actually “know” there’s a God, but we’re “in rebellion” against him so that we can do as we please. Get over it. You don’t rebel against what you don’t believe is there.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,re where to put the flood in egyptian chronology:ok. excellent. that chart you linked to put babel at 2200 bc, just like we did. and that’s when they say the first dynasty began.normally, i would point out all the problems that crazy chronology creates with known corrrelated chronologies and so forth. but for the purposes of this discussion, i’m willing to grant that. you’re saying atheist archaeologists’ 3100 (beginning of the first dynasty) is “actual”, biblical 2200.read my post from December 17, 2009 4:22 PM.by putting the flood before the first dynasty, you’re ignoing all the “predynastic” archaeology.atheist archaeologists think there was 6000 years of predynastic culture – sitting above (younger than) all the flood-deposited dino fossils, but older than the dynastic culture.do you think the nile predates the flood? not according to “flood geology” “theory”. morris et.al. suppose all the modern rivers were formed during/after the flood. i suppose it “makes sense” within the nonsensical framework of flood geology: we see the nile has eroded through many flood-deposited fossil layers, so it’s got to come after the flood.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter ( December 19, 2009 8:38 AM),Bright and early this morning!WALTER: “peter,I’m just repeating what the Bible says is the condition, the state of the natural man, the unregenerate man, the man without the Spirit – he/she is dead in their sins, in bondage to them, enslaved to this law of sin and death. This is the teaching throughout Scripture and is what unbelievers find so offensive in the gospel message. It is the message that your conscience tries hardest to suppress for it is a slap in the face of human pride and self-sufficiency to think that our own merits cannot get us to the place where we need to be.”On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age [relative, subjective, unassisted human reason is one such god in the age we live in - 1 Corinthians 1:18-31] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”Those are great words to meditate/think on! Furthermore, Paul said,”For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the Word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God sincerely, like men sent from God.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-17)So naturally, you and Pam are going to be offended and take what is said in a hostile manner that twists it to your purposes. It is your nature to do so. That is just the reality of the situation. Even though the message is a message of hope and love, the unbeliever cannot get past and beyond the offense to his/her own pride, reason and relative authority.As Jesus said to the disciples, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will CONVICT THE WORLD OF GUILT IN REGARDS TO SIN and righteousness and judgment: in regards to sin, because men do not believe in Me; in regards to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; and in regards to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11)

  • peterhuff

    Walter, Part 2,WALTER: “pam isn’t complaining about THAT kind of “slavery” in the bible. she’s talking about real, actual, temporal, physical slavery.”Slavery is a harsh lesson as you have both expressed, and it is a lesson that God conveys graphically in the actual history of His people, the people whom He took and used to make Himself known to the nations, the people He took in order to fulfill and bring about the promise of deliverance from slavery, sin and rebellion to God. The Reconciler, the Mediator, the Messiah, and Lamb of sacrifice, the Substitute, the Prophet,the High Priest, the King, the Holy One would come as it was written of Him, traced through the genealogies of the Jewish people to save the world of its sin.The reason we have the cruel physical slavery that you and Pam so much like to talk about and that you find so vile is because we first had spiritual slavery; a slavery to desires and the willingness to do what is evil and rebellious against the very God who created us. Pride is the sin that says, ‘I know better than God’, I am my own god, I decide what good is’, ‘I am self-sufficient, I have no need for a greater authority because I am the greatest authority since sliced bread.’ That is the pride the cause Satan’s downfall and it is the pride that caused ours. We ignored what truly was good and became relativists, each to his own means, each doing what he/she sees fit in their own minds to do.When man partook of the fruit, the actual fruit, he then knew what evil was and he did what was evil – he went contrary to the good that God had laid down.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam,I looked at the site “skepticreport.com and find that most of the arguments he used in article 475 have an answer that I am aware of. It is just the common rehash used by atheists all over again.PAM: “1) Where do you get the idea that slavery is bad or wrong, when God, Jesus, Paul, and everyone else in the bible apparently approved, either tacitly or openly?”Have you read the Bible? There is a contrast going on in case you hadn’t noticed throughout the Bible between freedom and slavery. The message from the start, from the Fall onwards, is that we are enslaved to sin, enslaved to a nature that hates and is opposed to God, a nature that places self above God.Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” and that a slave “has no permanent place in the family” of God. (John 8:34)Paul writes, “Do you not know that when you are slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are a slave to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of TEACHING to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become a slave to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-20)So the principle is there throughout the OT and NT, the contrast between living a life from God and living enslaved to corruption, which all you need to do to see the effects of is watch the six o’clock news.”It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

  • peterhuff

    Walter, Part 3,WALTER: “surely you know the real actual temporal physical slavery in the bible is morally indefensible. i guess that’s why you keep trying to distract with talk of “slave to sin”.”No, the real indefensible slavery is the slavery to sin that caused physical slavery in the first place, and until that lesson is brought home to the unbeliever in a graphic way, if it ever is (that depends on the grace of God, His Word and His Spirit), the reality of physical slavery as illustrated by the history of the OT and NT is just a bad reminder of how far we have fallen from that grace of God that is found only in Jesus Christ.Physical slavery is just a symptom of a far greater cause or problem, spiritual adultery and slavery to self as the be all and end all of every dispute. I know best, I know best, I know best. That is in as much as the natural man can determine or know anything without God as his guide, or without borrowing capital from the Christian world view, for the problem has always been “best” in whose eyes, best by whose standard, best by whose measure????Sorry Walter, your whole world and life view self-destructs on the inability to make sense of anything deep and profound. Superficially you and your experts have all the answers, but deep down you are in need of the only One who can save your soul from the second death, eternal separation from the only wise, true, living and good God, of whom when you see on Judgment Day, if you have not repented you will have an eternity to reflect on what you have passed up by your prideful, sinful, enslaved, rebellious self. That is just the reality of it (not cushioning the blow by kind words – sorry), in the hope that God will bring you to your senses one of these days.In the short run, I’m sure that these words will just make you grind and dig your heels in all the more, looking all the harder for how you can negate and disprove God, but what a shame if you don’t think deeply on such issues. Is that not the purpose of our dialog, to challenge each other to deep introspection?

  • peterhuff

    Finally Walter,You/we are only given a short time on this earth and until you are dead there is always that hope that God will have mercy, that He will make His face to shine upon you and give you true wisdom. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” I won’t tell you what completes this verse, but what makes you think that the ‘natural, materialistic’ expert has any of the answers to the riddle of life? What do you know of how life began or to the meaning and purpose of life? After all, whose meaning and purpose is ultimate? Why not choose Hitler’s? Look how he enslaved the Jews to a torturous life based on his ‘interpretation’ of how thinks ‘ought’ to be. The difference between him and you is that he had the means to enact his ideology on a great number of people. At this point you do not. Maybe that will come as you become a leading proponent of the evolutionary lifestyle, as your ideas are filtered more and more through the mainstream of the culture? Then you can impose your meaning and your purposes on the masses, if you so desire? After all, is that not the desire of the atheist world view, to set the world straight, in as much as it can determine what straight is?”That is why Scripture says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ SUBMIT yourselves, then to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded…Humble yourselves before God, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:6-8,10)I offer to you Hebrews 3:7-4:11 as a final thought on this topic to your searching spirit.

  • Pamsm

    Pure obfuscation, Peter. Tap dancing through that OJ defense. (To mix a little “Chicago” into the metaphor.)The pure, true, unassailable fact of the matter is that all the writers of the bible, who were men, and nothing more, grew up in a world where slavery was just a fact of life – a given that they never questioned. So when it came time to write down the things that they thought their imaginary “YHWH” would think were wrong, it just never occurred to them to mention slavery. And for the record, we’re talking about actual, physical, one-man-owned-by-another, In fact, you, Peter, know that keeping actual humans as slaves is wrong and immoral – and you can’t point to one single biblical source for this knowledge.So your God, who lives and dies by his being the “absolute, unchanging source of all morals,” just died. And my humanists, who came, however belatedly, to this conclusion through cultural evolution, spurred by the conscience implanted by eons of social-living ancestors, stand tall.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,pam isn’t complaining about THAT kind of “slavery” in the bible. she’s talking about real, actual, temporal, physical slavery.surely you know the real actual temporal physical slavery in the bible is morally indefensible. i guess that’s why you keep trying to distract with talk of “slave to sin”.

  • Pamsm

    How much snow did you get in Falls Church, Walter? We got 20″ in Arlington, and it’s still falling, albeit not quite so hard now.I don’t suppose this would impress Peter, since he’s from the Great White North, eh?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,take the case of “shishak” (shoshenq). everybody – atheist archaeologists and biblical archaeologists – agrees that shishak went through canaan in 925 BC. but that chart shows the start of the 21st dynasty at 800, which would put shishak’s invasion around 650 BC, during the reign of manasseh. (check out that great “timeline” in the front of the NIV concordia self-study bible.)in the biblical chronology 630 would be during the reign of josiah. but the bible says shishak came and plundered jerusalem only 5 yrs after solomon, during the reign of . i don’t even have to trust atheist archaeologists to know that’s true, because my NIV concordia study bible confirms it. this really is the problem with trying to “compress” the eqyptian chronology.from shisak on, the biblical chronology begins to “match” the atheist chronology. AFTER david and solomon, the bible generally mentions real neighbors, rulers, towns etc… the “revised” chronology throws off all the real confirmed history from the 900-500s.anyway, i’m not interested in disputing that “revised chronology”, in fact, i’m accepting it for the purposes of our “where in eqyptian chronology do you put the flood” discussion.the problem now, is what to “do” with predynastic egypt, as described in earlier posts.

  • Pamsm

    Hi Peter,Basically, it boils down to 1) Where do you get the idea that slavery is bad or wrong, when God, Jesus, Paul, and everyone else in the bible apparently approved, either tacitly or openly? And 2) How can you possibly believe that it taught any kind of a “lesson” or brought about a “greater good” when lessons aren’t learned absent any word from the teacher, and there clearly is no good that came from it?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    oops…should have previewed….in that last comment, this paragraphshould read:

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,WALTER: “peter, you said,WALTER: “no. actually it’s the condoning of slavery, the codification of sexism and exaltation of ignorance i find offensive.”That is because you live in the 21st century and the times have changed, and I would say because of the gospel of grace.But in an evolutionary framework it is whatever works best for the strong and able, and if that means exploiting others, then so be it. Before you go criticizing slavery in the Bible, you need to justify it in the context of your own framework. How can that be done in a battle for survival that has been working on the principle of dog-eat-dog, and still does? Take a look at history, both present and past. The examples are countless of man’s exploitation of his fellow man, his willingness to subjugate him for the good of his own purposes. Look at the law of the jungle, the evolutionary framework in which a lion or a shark does what is necessary for its survival and that of its progeny, but primarily itself first. It was Christians who fought in large measure for the equality of all people and elimination of slavery before it was popular to do so because we are all created with dignity and worth as being created in the image and likeness of God. You call Christian’s ignorant Walter, but how does that make you any better than we are? And what I said before still stands, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18), and it is an offense to you, the whole thing, including both physical slavery and spiritual slavery.

  • peterhuff

    Walter continued,ME: “The Reconciler, the Mediator, the Messiah, and Lamb of sacrifice, the Substitute, the Prophet,the High Priest, the King, the Holy One…”WALTER: “uh…you forgot “anti-abolitionist”That is rubbish. I recognize that God used slavery to teach a lesson, not that He or I condone it. The gospel message is a message of freedom from slavery, especially that which binds spiritually.”Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”"So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.”"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another; for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.”"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”"Love does no harm to its neighbor.”"Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others.” “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of the many, so that they may be saved.”"so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have EQUAL concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;…”"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves….Follow the way of love.”"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the suffering of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation….”I think that the parable of the unmerciful servant is an example of what Jesus really though of slavery. He says the master canceled all the debts and let him go free. (see Matthew 18:21-35)I really have a hard time in seeing how you can justify what you are saying when you look at the underlying principles being taught by Jesus and throughout the Word, OT and NT.

  • Pamsm

    Peter, And when you say, “That is because you live in the 21st century and the times have changed, and I would say because of the gospel of grace,” you blow your “unchanging” source of morality out of the water. And what “gospel of grace”? Did someone named Grace write a gospel I haven’t heard of? (Probably because anything from a woman would automatically be deep-sixed.)I’m kidding, of course, Peter, but when you say things like that, you’re making up your own story. Nothing in the bible (the be-all and end-all of all learning) supports it at all. And you know it.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam,PAM: “The pure, true, unassailable fact of the matter is that all the writers of the bible, who were men, and nothing more, grew up in a world where slavery was just a fact of life – a given that they never questioned.”Men inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.No Pam, I don’t see how they couldn’t question it since they were slaves to both the Egyptians and Babylonians. They were always looking for their Redeemer, their Deliverer.PAM: “So when it came time to write down the things that they thought their imaginary “YHWH” would think were wrong, it just never occurred to them to mention slavery.”Oh, it was mentioned all the time during their periods of captivity. PAM: “And for the record, we’re talking about actual, physical, one-man-owned-by-another, slavery – not some allegorical crap that was supposed to instruct about Jesus, centuries before he was even born. You don’t get to just make this stuff up, Peter.”It is not made up Pam. The actual history of the Israelites is a history of slavery, both theirs during their captivities and those they subjected to slavery during the period of the kings and through their stay in the Promised Land.PAM: “In fact, you, Peter, know that keeping actual humans as slaves is wrong and immoral – and you can’t point to one single biblical source for this knowledge.”Yes it is and sure I can. Take the Egyptian captivity alone.”They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly.” Does that sound “right” to you?”Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will FREE you from being SLAVES to them, and I will redeem you with and outstretched arm and with mighty acts of JUDGMENT.I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hands to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and CRUEL BONDAGE.” (Ex. 6:5-9)

  • peterhuff

    Pam continued,There are numerous examples. Please don’t try to tell me that carp that they or God did not see this kind of slavery or subjugation as wrong. The very point of subjecting them to slavery was to lead them and us to a spiritual lesson on what sin has done to mankind and to point mankind to the Deliverer.More passages on slavery, Exodus 13:3, 14, 20:2; Duet. 6:12, 8:14; Josh. 24:17; Judges 6:8, etc., etc.PAM: “So your God, who lives and dies by his being the “absolute, unchanging source of all morals,” just died.”How can an immortal, eternal never changing Being ever die??? Sorry, your statement is just plainly irrational as is the core of your world view.PAM: “And my humanists, who came, however belatedly, to this conclusion through cultural evolution, spurred by the conscience implanted by eons of social-living ancestors, stand tall.”And from The Far Side, “And so she thought.”

  • peterhuff

    PAM: “How much snow did you get in Falls Church, Walter? We got 20″ in Arlington, and it’s still falling, albeit not quite so hard now.”PAM: “I don’t suppose this would impress Peter, since he’s from the Great White North, eh?”Oy oy oy, that is a lot but we are used to driving in that kind of weather. We have snow tires or all season radials. I also keep a couple of blankets, first aid kit and some survival stuff in the trunk, just in case someone may one day need help.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam,I read the article at Religious Tolerance Org. If I’ve ever read a biased intolerant article that’s it. It’s an “if you don’t believe what we “feel” is the correct and tolerant view of the way things “SHOULD” be then you have no right to express yourself on our forum.” And I won’t for they would most probably not let me.Their “Criteria for rejecting essays:1) Essays that we feel exhibit hatred against others on the basis of their gender, race, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, etc.Never mind whether my essay is expressing something that IS wrong, such as abortion as opposed to a woman’s right to choose. How do they get “is” or “ought?”Did you notice that? Essays that “WE FEEL.” Their whole approach is based on what they feel – nothing more than feelings.So if I was to say that such and such is wrong, because certain things are indeed wrong, they become the final authority as to the rightness or wrongness of my statement, without an objective standard or ultimate, authoritative source to fall back on, just feelings or their opinion. Their’s is the ultimate say because they want to set the rules. In effect they are just limiting my right to express my values on their site, which is fine, but don’t call it tolerant, in the sense that they use the word, which is not the original sense. Logically two opposing beliefs cannot both be true and right and equal, but they discount that any belief can have it right, except of course for theirs, which in the end run is just as intolerant as any other, for they seek to eliminate the opposition with undue cause.It’s the old bait and switch in order to gain converts. Present yourself and your views as the tolerant, the accepting, the correct set of values while pulling the rug out from the others by name calling them “intolerant.” From the article the only thing that they were intolerant of was the Christian’s right to believe that the Bible is the inerrant, holy, infallible rule of faith for believers. They want to change it and edit out all of what they perceive as harmful. In order to justify your belief it is necessary to have an objective source of truth, a standard to compare what is said by. Where is theirs? What source other than themselves do they have? Why should or ought I believe that they, in their limited ability to judge, have correctly identified what is true and right by their feelings? Their view is not to judge, all the while judging. The ability to JUDGE other belief claims keeps you from committing mass suicide on the whim of the controlling or the one(s) seeking control.

  • peterhuff

    Hi again Pam,PAM: “All those quotes you listed for Walter are about peers, not slaves. Not even Gentiles.”No Pam, they are about treating everyone with dignity and worth. The words speak for themselves. It is not just about the Jew or the Christian Pam. If I am to be merciful, if I am to treat others better than myself, then I’m not logically going to put them in chains and subjugate them for my own pleasure or purpose or try to harm them in any way, which the slavery you are talking about is definitely capable of doing.PAM: “And when you say, “That is because you live in the 21st century and the times have changed, and I would say because of the gospel of grace,” you blow your “unchanging” source of morality out of the water.”Morality hasn’t changed for God Pam, only for human beings who flitter back and forth, unsure of what constitutes an objective or ultimate standard. Just look at any two different cultures, any two different historic periods, or even the diversity of beliefs in the same culture of our time. All your evolutionary standard has on its side is numbers. With numbers or the control of numbers morality is determined. PAM: “And what “gospel of grace”? Did someone named Grace write a gospel I haven’t heard of? (Probably because anything from a woman would automatically be deep-sixed.)”No, the message is of the grace of God to those who will believe. Grace is something that goes beyond mercy. Mercy is giving someone something that they don’t deserve. Grace is more than that, it is giving someone more than what they don’t deserve. It is in addition to mercy. It is unmerited favor, to coin the term. It is something that you cannot earn by “good” works or by being the best you can be. Those standards fall before the holy, pure, righteous God and Judge in as much as soon as you have broken even the slightest standard of God’s righteous law, you stand guilty before Him. Remember to be righteous you have to do what is right and the minute you fail, you are no longer righteous. Only Christ meets those criteria, and those who are in Christ by faith.

  • peterhuff

    Continuing,No, the message all along is the grace of God – this is the gospel. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD – not by works, so that no man can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)”Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith INTO THIS GRACE in which we now stand.” (Romans 5:1)”..how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)”By the GRACE God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful on how he builds.” (1Corinthians 3:10)What is this foundation that we are building on Pam? It is none other than on the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ Pam.”The GRACE of the Lord Jesus be with you.” (1 Corinthians 16:23)”Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 2:12) “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s GRACE in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1)”So do not be ashamed to testify about the Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose AND GRACE. THIS GRACE WAS GIVEN IN JESUS CHRIST before the beginning of time, but has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has bought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:8-10)”For the GRACE OF GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11)”From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16, 17)

  • peterhuff

    Continuing,No, the message all along is the grace of God – this is the gospel. “For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith – and this is not of yourselves, it is the GIFT OF GOD – not by works, so that no man can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8)”Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith INTO THIS GRACE in which we now stand.” (Romans 5:1)”..how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)”By the GRACE God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful on how he builds.” (1Corinthians 3:10)What is this foundation that we are building on Pam? It is none other than on the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ Pam.”The GRACE of the Lord Jesus be with you.” (1 Corinthians 16:23)”Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 2:12) “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s GRACE in vain.” (2 Corinthians 6:1)”So do not be ashamed to testify about the Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose AND GRACE. THIS GRACE WAS GIVEN IN JESUS CHRIST before the beginning of time, but has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has bought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:8-10)”For the GRACE OF GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” (Titus 2:11)”From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16, 17)

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam, I did your quiz. I’m an unsaved moron as per the one I got wrong. Thank goodness I’m trusting in God’s word rather than what others say!Again, the situations applied to a specific people and time in history – the Old Covenant – and God allowed these practices as a lesson, a harsh one at that, in order to teach us what grace is all about. It mainly teaches us spiritual lessons about bondage or slavery that every human is in unless freed by the grace of God for not only the law, but the whole OT is a school teacher that leads to Christ.

  • Pamsm

    Oh, Peter, Peter…First you say:”Morality hasn’t changed for God Pam, only for human beings who flitter back and forth…”and then you say:”Again, the situations applied to a specific people and time in history – the Old Covenant – and God allowed these practices as a lesson…”So which is it??? And where in the “new covenant” is slavery condemned??And you know good and well that the God of the bible did way more than “allow” slavery – he told them specifically who to enslave and what to do with them.You’re trying to rewrite the whole bible to fit what you want it to be. In simple fact, it was those secular humanist thinkers who brought us to the realization that slavery is profoundly wrong. Not by “flitter[ing] back and forth,” but by

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,now, can you address my posts of December 17, 2009 4:22 PM and December 19, 2009 1:05 AM?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    pam,

  • Pamsm

    Yes, please do, Peter. You’re really beating a dead horse on the slavery thing.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam,PAM: “First you say:”Morality hasn’t changed for God Pam, only for human beings who flitter back and forth…”and then you say:”Again, the situations applied to a specific people and time in history – the Old Covenant – and God allowed these practices as a lesson…”God is unchanging in His nature Pam. There was also a time in history where He allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery into Egypt so that good would arise. It was actually the brother who were jealous of Joseph that carried out the evil plot. The evil was in their hearts, not in God’s. God just used the situation to bring about the greater good, as He always does in the long run for those He loves. Genesis 50:18-20 says, As you can see the intent of sinful man is different than the intent of God. Sinful man does things because he is evil and from what he does bad things happen to people. God does things for the greater good because He is good and the intent of allowing these things is eventual blessing. PAM: “So which is it??? And where in the “new covenant” is slavery condemned??”"By calling this covenant “new,” He has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13)I believe this happened when Jerusalem fell (for the word soon implies nearby) and the temple was destroyed, because there was no longer any offering for sin without the temple. Jesus had said, “It is finished.” The greater sacrifice of His body had provided a once for all sacrifice for sin. The physical temple in Jerusalem was no longer needed. Read the Book of Hebrews to see the contrast between the New and the Old. In grace God offered man to live by a better, wiser, more noble way than man is capable of coming up with. It is the way of God that man ignored in the Garden when God first gave man the option of relationship based on what was good, or for man to decide to know what evil was too. Man chose to walk away from that good relationship, so God has shown man the consequences of his actions and of man’s inability to do pure good in his own ability. The evidence is all around you every day. The more man plots against God the worse the evils that arise.

  • Pamsm

    You are just incredible, Peter! You keep repeating the same stuff over and over, as though that will make it true!You say:Suppose you tell and”And yet you fight tooth and nail against this evil called slavery. Without God you still have to account for it and without God why is it ‘bad?’”Why is it bad You can’t get around this, Peter. Please stop trying. The bible says what it says – it’s available for all to read.

  • peterhuff

    PART 2First of all you have to consider where moral “oughtness” comes from. “Oughtness” doesn’t describe what is but what ought to be. Do you have an answer that is anything other than subjective? And if it is subjective, merely yours or someone else’s feelings and opinions where do you get ought out of it? Because you prefer something does not make it good. Someone else may prefer the exact opposite. That is where you run into contradiction. Something logically cannot both be good and bad at the same time and in the same way. If that was the case people would be driving through red lights as well as stopping at them. It would be mass confusion. No, you need an objective, absolute, final authority to make sense of it. Your previous explanations don’t cut it. If ought implies a standard that is capable of change then it is impossible to know right and wrong because sooner or later the definition again will change. Why is something deemed right now when earlier it was considered wrong? If the definition is inconsistent, based on subjective feeling, then why is yours the definition that makes something right? Second, your world view has to account for evil to, something that you do not like to do. You prefer the word “bad.” It is not as harsh as “evil.” And yet you fight tooth and nail against this evil called slavery. Without God you still have to account for it and without God why is it “bad?” Why does your “opinion” become the ultimate arbiter? Why can’t someone who thinks opposite not decide to an equal degree that theirs is right? It is just like that “religious tolerant org.” carp. They are just as judgmental, intolerant, biased, and hypocritical as they claim other religions are, especially Christianity, and whom they want to edit/censor what a Christian can and can’t believe. Some tolerance. PAM: “And you know good and well that the God of the bible did way more than “allow” slavery – he told them specifically who to enslave and what to do with them.”Yes, He allowed it and them to do it for a purpose that greater good would come out of it. That doesn’t mean that slavery is good because God allowed it for a time, just that through the use of slavery a greater good would be realized. Slavery shows us what is evil, that bondage is evil and it ties in with the original bondage called sin. You can tell a child not to put their hand under hot water to protect them, but until they experience what hot is they are definitely more likely to do it. Pain has a funny way of teaching us lessons. PAM: “You’re trying to rewrite the whole bible to fit what you want it to be.”No Pam, you are doing that.PAM: “In simple fact, it was those secular humanist thinkers who brought us to the realization that slavery is profoundly wrong. Not by “flitter[ing] back and forth,” but by progressing.”It was those trying to live outside the scope of what was good that bought us into slavery in the first place.

  • peterhuff

    PAM: “Yes, please do, Peter. You’re really beating a dead horse on the slavery thing.”You keep bringing up the subject and won’t let me depart from it, that is without leading others to the opinion that your argument is more logical and closer to the truth than mine is. You still need to establish were truth or logic ultimately comes from. If it is capable of changing how do you know it is true? If there are two contrary opinions, how certain are you that yours is beyond question. Your answer is that in a subjective world without any absolutes or objective standard and measure you can’t. Tomorrows truth could change the way you look at your current paradigm.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,I will try and tackle your request tomorrow.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam, you’re incredible too!PAM: “You say:PAM: “Suppose you tell me why. You’re the one who keeps talking about old and new “covenants.”In the matter of slavery I have told you why. As for the matter of secular human thought the reason it keeps changing is because there are no ultimate objective norms to apply a standard to. So it all depends on who wields the sword.ME: “And yet you fight tooth and nail against this evil called slavery. Without God you still have to account for it and without God why is it ‘bad?’”PAM: “Why is it bad with God??”Because God’s purpose is what is best for mankind, a loving relationship, but man has stubbornly resisted God so mankind is reaping the fruits of what it has sown. PAM: “He doesn’t condemn it – he approves of it and tells his people how to do it and whom to do it to.”Hosea 4:1-2: “Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: ‘There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.” Jer. 4:18, 20, 22: “‘Your own conduct and actions have brought this upon you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!’ . . . Disaster follows disaster; the whole land lies in ruins . . . ‘My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.’”

  • peterhuff

    Pam Part 2,PAM: “You can’t get around this, Peter. Please stop trying. The bible says what it says – it’s available for all to read.”No, God is a God who rescues those who have faith from their particular slavery as He did for the the Israelites by bringing them out of their captivity and harsh treatment in the land of slavery – Egypt.”In the future, when your sons ask you, ‘What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?’ tell him: ‘We were SLAVES of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with as mighty hand.” (Deut. 6:20, 21)This has been the intent of God, to break the changes that bind us, by our own doing, but mankind is a stubborn lot. We keep returning to that slavery and the things that bind until/unless Christ truly sets us free. This is the lesson over and over again.And as for God using Israel to punish other nations, or other nations to punish Israel, they got what they deserved for mankind is a rebellious lot.There are consequences for wrongful action. God taught the Israelites that, just as He teaches us that from the examples of history. By ignoring His word, His Spirit, His Son we do what we should not do. Unless man repents he will one day find out the consequences of his actions, and this also is the message of the Bible, along with our slavery and that there is a Deliverer to free us, and that deliverer is not us.

  • Pamsm

    Keep tap dancing, Peter, but you’re not very convincing.PH: “And as for God using Israel to punish other nations, or other nations to punish Israel, they got what they deserved for mankind is a rebellious lot.”Man, I’m glad I don’t live in your world. A world where infants and unborn children are “deserving” of violent death. Sounds a lot like hell, to me.

  • Pamsm

    “If there are no gaps in the chronologies then I will have to accept them with all their problems, knowing that God knows better than I can reason this thing out. I have meditated on certain biblical issues for years before God has shown me the truth of the matter.”A shame it’s all so hard for you and other religionists. There are no problems at all on our side. Try it sometime. :)

  • Pamsm

    OK, Walter, I’m dying to know – what did you sculpt?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    pam (peter, too)

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,You are very talented. Great work on those sculptures!

  • peterhuff

    Well Pam and Walter, I would like to wish the both of you and your families a safe and Merry Christmas!Thank you for putting up with and pushing me during this current year to think hard about so many issues that I had taken for granted. We have shared a lot of time in dialog and discussion.My wife and I are out of town until December 27 or 28th. Blessings to you!Your friend, I hope,Peter

  • Pamsm

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, too, Peter!Hope to see you online when you return.Of course your friend,

  • Pamsm

    Perfect, Walter!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, pam,peter, and you said,i will take that as a concession that you see the problem with a 2200 BC “confusion”, given the archaeological evidence from egypt. when you get back, we could repeat the process for India and china. alternatively, we could move on to the problem of all those “flood fossils” being from animals alive at the same time before the flood.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter,well, of course you’ll have to adjust the real evidence to fit the “literary evidence” – that’s what you think “science” is….from one of the sites you referenced:HAHAHHhhahaHahahHAahaHahhhaaa! (i laugh as a defense mechanism to prevent me from crying) oh my god… “isn’t that what science is all about?” NO! NO! NO! science is not AT ALL about giving ancient “eyewitness” “evidence” precedence over scientific observations. that’s pretty much the opposite of science… that’s what people did BEFORE modern science.also note that the ONLY “literary evidence” you treat this way is the bible. if the above is really your scientific rule of thumb, why not take egyptian, babylonian sumerian “evidence” seriously.you said,now, peter, that’s not fair. you can’t go with bits and pieces of various chronologies. you need a consistent chronology to explain everything. besides, besides just inserting extra “generations” for the sole reason of “harmonizing”, this 5,000 BC flood presents other problems: for instance we have no evidence that the cities listed as are old as they’d have to be, or that iron was invented by the time it’s mentioned in the bible. the list of problems with any flood chronology goes on and on.

  • Pamsm

    Merry Christmas, Walter (the secular kind).I hope Peter will resume where we left off when he returns…

  • garoth

    Excuse me, but shouldn’t the comments on this page somehow relate to the topic at hand? How does dating of biblical events relate to the topic? Can’t yu folks e-mail one another or something instead? I wish the moderator or someone at the Post would check to make sure the comments are on-topic, and not just ramblings.On Subject: There is an important point made here – that if we are to use the vocabulary of “Holy War” or “Just War,” the action must fit the criterion. Bush said that his war was a Holy War. To make that statement assumes that Gods desires are the same as ours, and that we are fighting on God’s behalf. I think that’s a hard case to make.The Just War criterion are stringent – Augustine made is so purposefully, so that “wars of choice” and wars of aggression could not possibly qualify, as well as “lost causes.” Mr. Parham speaks to this latter concern. In reality, as you look at Augustine’s Just War criterion, we meet none of them. The other argument that has been made, ever since Augustine, mostly by those who desire to wage war, is that “this is a different situation;” or its concommittant, “Augustine doesn’t apply any more.” That always goes hand-in-hand with a new “Just War” theory that – suprise, suprise – allows this leader to go to war, claiming that God is on his side. The purpose of Augustine’s effort was to disallow most war, and cause us to reflect on its disasterous consequences. War is never redemptive. It solves nothing. It only makes problems worse, and causes a great deal of sufffering and misery – especially among the innocent and helpless. This war is no different from any other war. It is not just. It is not holy. It is evil. There must be a better way. In placing distance between himself and M.L. King and Desmond Tutu, he distances himself from the only kinds of approaches that can overcome this eviol and lead to something better. Personally, I think he does so because it is the easier way, and he, like so many Americans, believe in the myth of redemptive violence.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    merry christmas pam and peter. and happy birthday jesus, if you’re up there listening.peter, i too hope this isn’t the end for you. it was just getting good. i think the flood is the single most “impossible” thing in the bible. sure, your god

  • arminius3142

    Hello, Pam, Walter, and Peter -I wondered where you had run off to!A Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday to you all.

  • Pamsm

    Thanks, Arminius, Merry Christmas to you, too!

  • Pamsm

    Are you back, Peter?

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter,WALTER: “i think the flood is the single most “impossible” thing in the bible. sure, your god could do it, but there should be evidence of its having happened.”That is an interesting statement you made. It is all on how you look at the evidence Walter.Do you believe that truth can be found in history or science devoid of interpretation? Obvious, to me at least, is that you believe that truth can be known in an objective sense by a subjective, relative individual. Is that correct? However, without it being revealed to him by an outside objective source, or without thinking along the same lines as an outside objective Mind how is this possible?How does this tie in with ancient history? Who was there to witness it that is alive today, or who can interpret it objectively by tying all the facts together in an unbiased manner as they relate truly with one another – other than God? Is your view/interpretation defensible? You are interpreting evidence based on what is decided as right by other subjective individuals and their findings. Do you think that any dating method is able to determine accurately the decay rate of an artifact, not knowing if all the factors are the same today as they were four to five thousand years ago?The problem seems the same as what Adam and Eve faced once they decided to put their knowledge above that of God’s – subjectivism. Each person feels they know what is true based on their limited interpretation of the evidence.Let me state the problem again. Without the certainty of God you have eliminated all certainty. We need something objective, absolute, ultimate, universal, outside ourselves in which to measure truth by. If you’re just a product of blind impersonal evolutionary process, then your thoughts are nothing more than the chemical reactions and collision of atoms in your brain that are particular to you. Are you willing to live in such a world where you have only your mental convictions to determine “truth” by? Your view of history is tentative, changing, temporary. You have to rely on the “best” information currently available. You don’t know when or if that information can/will change.Evolutionary science is your rational basis, your window on which you view things of the world through and test what is real by. You make your own “truth” on the interpretations and knowledge of others, of like mind subjective viewpoints that have gone before you or whom you deem intelligent enough to believe are credible.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter, From the link you gave me,LINK: “Why is the Biblical Flood so important to creationism? Because God has revealed how and why things came about. It is God’s judgment on sinful man and His mercy on a few.LINK: “Because the actual fossil record firmly supports the gradual evolution of life over time as described by science, and it represents some of the most damaging evidence against creationism (the idea that all species of organisms on earth were created instantly and fully-formed).No, the fossil evidence suggests mass burial all over the world. How can the gradual evolution of life produce mass graveyards of millions and billions of organisms, plants, animals, humans all over the world? Evolutionary science assumes that these creatures are evolved over humongous periods of time. LINK: “Therefore, it is of critical importance to creationists to provide an alternate explanation for the presence of fossils and the geological column.”The Flood is the explanation for the fossil evidence. What geological column? The one made up by Charles Lyell or his predecessors? LINK: “While the biblical flood story is almost certainly derived from the earlier Babylonian flood mythology, modern creationists are under the misapprehension that such an event is an historical certainty.”Again, how can this author be sure the Biblical Flood as told by those who survived it did not precede the Babylonian and other flood mythologies. How does he know that these flood mythologies did not have as their source what the biblical writers passed on? LINK: “What is the evidence for their conclusion? Do they provide geological evidence that the whole planet was at one time, everywhere at once, covered to it’s highest peaks in water? No.”Evidence or theory? Why do you suppose that the “evidence” that you look at is nothing more than a theory? Can you prove it? No, you can just draw conclusions based on your starting presupposition – evolution. But who can you reference as being there?The highest peeks before the Flood may not have been anywhere as high as what happened after the Flood, with plate shifting and the upheavals and volcanic eruptions that followed.LINK: “this statement absolutely disqualifies creationism as any sort of science, and places it firmly in the realm of theology.”No more than it disqualifies evolutionary science as any sort of science. How can they determine absoluteness?Sorry Walter, I had better get to bed. I expect I have opened the “Flood gates” again, pardon the pun.

  • peterhuff

    PS, Walter, I would like to contend with some of the bullets in the article you provided. That will have to come on the weekend.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    hi pam and peter (and arminius?),i get to your flood post soon, peter.

  • peterhuff

    A shame about the rain Walter. Unbelievably talented!

  • Pamsm

    Peter,The rock layers and their associated fossils were well known long before Darwin appeared on the scene.Nicolas Steno is considered the father of modern geology and stratigraphy. He lived nearly two centuries before Darwin. He was, as were all men at that early date, a religious man – raised Lutheran, converted to Catholicism, so presumably believed in the flood; but his inquiries into dating and understanding the rock layers led to the abandonment of flood theory and to the eventual understanding of plate tectonics.An excellent book about him is Another one who advanced the knowledge that led to modern geology was William Smith, who also predated Darwin. Read about him in Both good reads.

  • Pamsm

    Love the Santa, Walter. How did you make the little furball on his hat stay on?

  • Pamsm

    Did anyone catch the two-hour PBS Nova special, It featured Neil Shubin, talking about his Tiktaalik discovery, Sean Carroll on Evo-Devo, and a new genetic discovery – the mutation that weakened our chewing muscles, but paved the way for brain growth. Great stuff!Hopefully available for online viewing soon.

  • Pamsm

    Walter to Peter:Precisely. Shortly after meeting my SDA friend, I made some reference to our evolutionary ancestors. I’ll never forget her response: “Wouldn’t you rather believe that God made you specially, rather than that you arose from some dirty monkey?”I was quite flabbergasted. I told her that I have to believe what is evidently true, I can’t just choose an alternate reality.Besides, a “dirty monkey” is at least a fairly intelligent living thing. By her reckoning, we were made from actual

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    pam,since you asked… first i made the hat with a bit of a pointed tip. then i made a snowball for the pom-pom. i carved out a concave “recess” in the pom-pom, then pressed it onto the hat point…voila! it stuck!

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, you said,i guess by “other subjective individuals” you mean scientists? scholars? historians?yes, i am interpreting evidence through a 21st century prism. your “subjective individuals” are 1st century matthew, mark, luke, john and paul. i’ll take the 21st century knowledge over 1st century knowledge any day. you might say your message is eternal or whatever, but, really, it’s just what subjective matthew et. al. wrote down.you said,ah yes… “what if decay rates were different in the past…after all…let’s say it all together now…WE WEREN’T THERE to see it…” the only reason anyone would even think of that is to harmonize with “6000 years”… nonetheless, scientists HAVE thought about this, and what variables could possibly change decay rates. they’ve tried, but have found it very difficult to change decay rates. and interestingly, if decay rates were different in the past, there would be wide-ranging effects on other data.and it’s true that if decay rates were found to have been just the right amount (750,000 times) faster, beginning, say juuuust before we started measuring them, radiometric dating could theoretically yield an age of 6,000 years for the earth. but think about it: this would throw off all the “non-controversial” dates. for instance, a piece of wood we know to have been used in a first-century a.d. building would carbon-date to YESTERDAY. and further, even if decay rates have changed, it would not change the

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, you said,well, yes, i guess so, because i don’t really see it as a choice. it’s just the way it is.and here, you reveal that you have yes. that’s the STRENGTH of my “view”. it is constantly adapting and IMPROVING. as i’ve explained before, scientific progress is not blind random flitting from theory to theory. adjustments and revisions are refinements, informed by new (i.e. MORE) information.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, you said,ha! lucky guess! NO – that’s what religion is. and your hoping christianity is the right lucky guess among the many god guesses out there. but who knows? islam could be the right guess. or maybe it’s “mormon”. or maybe everyone alive now is wrong and it was baal. who knows?you say you know, but muslims, mormons and baalists are (were) JUST AS SURE as you are about your guess. they base their certainty on EXACTLY the same kind of “evidence” you do. EXACTLY. over 1,000,000,000 people as far science being a lucky guess, i suppose in a sense you could say a theory begins as a guess. i wouldn’t call it “lucky” though. it’s an educated guess. and the guess is subjected to tests. then (and here’s the crucial part where science differs from religion), if the guess is not supported it’s thrown out on the huge trash heap of failed guesses, whereas religionists are stuck with the original guess.you said,here again, you reveal your you said,gobbledygook.you said,i would like to oblige. so, by “personal” are you talking about “consciousness”? is the question, “how can chemicals have consciousness”?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, you said,i have had a few philosophy courses way back in college. i studied all the major movements of western philosophy. in the west, philosophy was basically theology through the dark ages. seems to me like the renaissance is when philosophers began to demote god (or elevate man – it’s all relative…). this process eventually led the existentialists to realize, “oh my god, god is dead.”and slowly over the years, as we began to value man for his own sake, our morals have IMPROVED. you cannot really seriously say that human morals of the dark ages, dominated by thoughts of god as they were, are “better” than modern secular morals.

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, from the link: to which you said,huh?! “mass burial” in a you said,again, it’s NOT mass graveyards. it’s sequential layer upon layer upon layer. there is even evidence of “humongous periods of time”: see bullet point #10 for instance. the evidence is clearly not for one deposition event but many many separate ones.you said,oh brother… please read this:

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    peter, from the link: to which you said,well, from a purely literary standpoint, i would say because the bible flood story is much are you really really claiming the sumerians/akkadians/babylonians corrupted the biblical flood story and made it as far as an actual real flood, there certainly IS evidence for huge, though still “local”, floods of the tigres/euphrates over the ages. i mean, it’s a river…it floods…. but alas, there’s no evidence for a global flood.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam, Walter, Arminius,Happy New Year!PAM: “Re “climategate,” I hope you have fun reading those emails at the site you linked to. For someone with as little grounding as you have in science, I suspect you’re going to find it heavy slogging. And it won’t give you much ammunition.”That was one of my “lifelines,” to ask the expert. I didn’t have your phone number and a poll of the general public would probably produce as uninformed an opinion as I already had.I still don’t understand how in an impersonal universe that originated by chance, for there was no Mind, no Person to direct information or organize it, you can provide an answer for the sense of “better.” In am impersonal universe, where impersonal matter created, or should I say, is responsible for the personal it is inconsistent with what we see in reality, that the personal comes from the impersonal. If man is the measure of “better,” which man and why? Your source of ethical principles originates from impersonal biological particles colliding together randomly, then by happenstance one day forms something living, then personal, then ethical. It just does not add up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Again, around the world today and in every era of human history to date we see a struggle of one person, one group, one culture, one society to impose their values, their traditions, their lifestyle on another person, group, culture, society. The question still remains, Why are your values or their values “better” than anyone or everyone else’s, and if they are not then what “right” does anyone have to impose any values at all? You still run smack dab into the huddle every time. There is no jumping over it because without God there are no “better” values, just one opinion enforced by the stronger of the two combatants. Hilter’s view is as feasible as anyone else’s in such a world. Are you willing to live with this scenario Pam, Walter?

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam, Walter, Arminius,Happy New Year!PAM: “Re “climategate,” I hope you have fun reading those emails at the site you linked to. For someone with as little grounding as you have in science, I suspect you’re going to find it heavy slogging. And it won’t give you much ammunition.”That was one of my “lifelines,” to ask the expert. I didn’t have your phone number and a poll of the general public would probably produce as uninformed an opinion as I already had.I still don’t understand how in an impersonal universe that originated by chance, for there was no Mind, no Person to direct information or organize it, you can provide an answer for the sense of “better.” In am impersonal universe, where impersonal matter created, or should I say, is responsible for the personal it is inconsistent with what we see in reality, that the personal comes from the impersonal. If man is the measure of “better,” which man and why? Your source of ethical principles originates from impersonal biological particles colliding together randomly, then by happenstance one day forms something living, then personal, then ethical. It just does not add up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Again, around the world today and in every era of human history to date we see a struggle of one person, one group, one culture, one society to impose their values, their traditions, their lifestyle on another person, group, culture, society. The question still remains, Why are your values or their values “better” than anyone or everyone else’s, and if they are not then what “right” does anyone have to impose any values at all? You still run smack dab into the huddle every time. There is no jumping over it because without God there are no “better” values, just one opinion enforced by the stronger of the two combatants. Hitler’s view is as feasible as anyone else’s in such a world. Are you willing to live with this scenario Pam, Walter?

  • peterhuff

    PAM: “Here’s the thing, Peter – we’ve long known that certain atmospheric gases have a “greenhouse” effect…And ask yourself why climate scientists would make this up. What do they have to gain? On the other hand, do you see what oil companies, factory owners, and the pro-Big-Business conservatives might have to gain by quashing the notion?”For one thing, who are these scientists funded by and large by? For another, there is no such thing as neutrality. If an idea like evolution can grab the mainstay of popular opinion, then Postmodernism can and Secularism can and Plurism can, and Global Warming can also.Is it true? Possibly, but the fact is that scientists hid facts from the general public, manipulated data, and have confused the issue. It goes to show that it is hard to get at the truth, the facts as they really are in a world governed by hype, subjective and relative positions (Numbers 23:19).

  • peterhuff

    Test

  • peterhuff

    Hi Pam (December 31, 2009 2:57 PM ),PAM: “Walter to Peter:Sorry my friends, these are just words that have no foundation, other than what is imagined. You construct your god, the god of self from such an impersonal world view because it is more comfortable than to face the God that is real.”I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine sounding arguments…hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:4, 8)PAM: “Shortly after meeting my SDA friend, I made some reference to our evolutionary ancestors. I’ll never forget her response: “Wouldn’t you rather believe that God made you specially, rather than that you arose from some dirty monkey?”PAM: “I was quite flabbergasted. Rather?? What has that got to do with anything? I should “believe” in some fantasy because it’s prettier than reality?”Well, the fantasy you believe in is highly evolved. “Once upon a time, billions and billions of years ago…”PAM: “I told her that I have to believe what is evidently true, I can’t just choose an alternate reality.”The evidence is made to fit the belief. It has no explanatory power into how life can arise from none life, the personal from the impersonal, the consciousness from matter and the physical convocation of atoms colliding together.PAM: “Besides, a “dirty monkey” is at least a fairly intelligent living thing. By her reckoning, we were made from actual dirt.”It’s the same thing in your world view. You have all life starting from the elements that dissolved from matter and formed into a primordial soup. They came from the dirt too. The only thing missing is that you have no Creator, just blind, indifferent, random chance in the beginning, bubbling and brewing.And physically, we have some of the same properties, the same ingredients, such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and the trace minerals that are found in the dirt, because we were designed to live in and take from an environment that has similarities to us and to every living organism. The difference between us and other living organisms, which would include monkeys, is we were made different. Humans were made in the image and likeness of God. We can reason, understand, know, wonder in a way that is different from every other organism. We can create music, appreciate art, think philosophically and abstractly, love intimately, read and write, speak languages, share emotively beyond animals, rule or have dominion over them, shape and change our environment to a certain extent and understand God.

  • peterhuff

    Sorry, wrong link, but please click on “dating techniques” to explore the discrepancies more thoroughly.

  • peterhuff

    Hi again Walter (December 31, 2009 11:09 AM ), ME: “If you’re just a product of blind impersonal evolutionary process, then your thoughts are nothing more than the chemical reactions and collision of atoms in your brain that are particular to you. Are you willing to live in such a world where you have only your mental convictions to determine “truth” by?”WALTER: “well, yes, i guess so, because i don’t really see it as a choice. it’s just the way it is.”Then how does any man arrive at knowledge, if all he is is a biological bag of molecules that fire randomly and differently from every other bag of molecules? What directs these chemical reactions to fire in the same way and ethically speaking, how do you derive right and wrong from chemicals reacting to stimuli? If my chemical reaction is different from yours and causes me to harm you why is it wrong? WALTER: “and here, you reveal that you have chosen your “world view” because you don’t want to live in my “impersonal evolutionary” world. you’ve invented a personal “reality” because you find real reality repugnant.”No, the reason is because God has been gracious to me. Your impersonal, amoral, purposeless universe just doesn’t correspond to what is real, nor can it explain it.ME: ”Your view of history is tentative, changing, temporary. You have to rely on the “best” information currently available. You don’t know when or if that information can/will change.”WALTER: “yes. that’s the STRENGTH of my “view”. it is constantly adapting and IMPROVING. as i’ve explained before, scientific progress is not blind random flitting from theory to theory. adjustments and revisions are refinements, informed by new (i.e. MORE) information.”No, that definitely is its weakness. It has nothing that is concrete, nothing that is certain, no foundation for its beginnings. If it has no foundation for its beginnings, no objective source for its knowledge, no knowledge of how it came to be, how can you ever know whether it is true? It is silent and devoid on the most important things of life.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter (December 31, 2009 11:11 AM),ME: ”Can the “facts” of history be properly interpreted if it is not known whether that facts are really true? Not likely. It would have to be a lucky guess.”WALTER: “ha! lucky guess! NO – that’s what religion is.”Yes, that is what religion is, but it is not what relationship with God is.WALTER: “and your hoping christianity is the right lucky guess among the many god guesses out there. but who knows? islam could be the right guess. or maybe it’s “mormon”. or maybe everyone alive now is wrong and it was baal. who knows?”No, I’m not guessing. The impossibility of the contrary can only lead to one true and living God, and He is the One found in the Bible, not in Islam or Mormonism which came much later and changed the doctrines of grace to a man made religion of works to merit God’s favor.WALTER: “you say you know, but muslims, mormons and baalists are (were) JUST AS SURE as you are about your guess. they base their certainty on EXACTLY the same kind of “evidence” you do. EXACTLY. over 1,000,000,000 people know for sure that the koran is god’s perfect eternal final word. why do you get to pick the “objective” standard?”The Koran has many internal flaws to it.

  • peterhuff

    ME: “Belief does not create truth, God creates truth. Belief discovers truth. God is the Qualifier for truth. Certainty requires objectivity. It therefore needs an external reference point, one that is personal, not impersonal, for how can anything be known from the impersonal?”gobbledygook.Evolutionary science, likewise.ME: “Can something impersonal “know” anything? Can something impersonal create what is personal, if so HOW? Part of defining a person is the ability to know. A rock or inanimate object doesn’t know diddle. I’m hoping for answers for these questions Walter.”WALTER: “i would like to oblige. so, by “personal” are you talking about “consciousness”? is the question, “how can chemicals have consciousness”?”Sure, we can go there. How does something impersonal change to the personal? How does something without conscience become conscious? How does something that cannot think all of a sudden start to think? How does something that has no feelings, that is an inorganic compound, all of a sudden start to feel? How does something that was not alive suddenly, or over a period of time become living? What changes it? Please tell me if you know.How does matter create the immaterial, the non-physical such as Greg Bahnsen alluded to with Gordon Stein – in referring to logic as being something immaterial, non-physical?

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter (December 31, 2009 11:14 AM),WALTER: “and slowly over the years, as we began to value man for his own sake, our morals have IMPROVED. you cannot really seriously say that human morals of the dark ages, dominated by thoughts of god as they were, are “better” than modern secular morals.”IMPROVE? In some quarters, but overall? I don’t call what Hitler or Mao or Stalin or any number of modern secular leader have done as any less barbaric than what happened during the Middle Ages, or even what is taking place now around the globe. We see the slave trade, the selling of women and children, the brutality of war and poverty and greed all around us, the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of those less fortunate.You just happen to live in the West. Many in the West are oblivious to much of the atrocities that happen in the Third World or even outside their tranquil gated communities, although the daily news is one source of reminder.Politics alone seems to get more and more self-serving every day. There is a gridlock between Republicans and Democrats in your country, just like there is in mine between Conservatives and Liberals. In a Postmodern Age where truth is not easily recognizable and where morality is the flavor of the month, anything goes. Without an ultimate, objective, absolute standard to reference everything is negotiable behind the barrel of a gun, or to the one who has the superior weapon(s).

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter, I think I am going to save the best for last; that is your last two posts for another day since I have to work tomorrow night. I also saw how you botched up what the Bible says about when life begins on Susan’s latest forum (December 29, 2009 11:01 AM). I would like to show you why you thinking is wrong in interpreting the biblical evidence on this account.

  • peterhuff

    Hi Walter (December 31, 2009 11:06 AM),WALTER: “peter, you said,WALTER: “i guess by “other subjective individuals” you mean scientists? scholars? historians?”With a particular mindset, and definitely subjective, since without God there can be no objective mindset. It does not follow that subjective opinion built on subjective opinion can arrive at truth without help from an objective source. What is you objective source?WALTER: “yes, i am interpreting evidence through a 21st century prism.”Yes, as blinded by the light of scientific evolution.WALTER: “your “subjective individuals” are 1st century matthew, mark, luke, john and paul. i’ll take the 21st century knowledge over 1st century knowledge any day. you might say your message is eternal or whatever, but, really, it’s just what subjective matthew et. al. wrote down.”Again, that is your subjective opinion of it. You start from the presupposition that God has not revealed Himself to us through this special revelation. You also look solely to a natural explanation of all things. But in the very looking to empirical evidence you use something that is non-empirical – logic, or should I say irrationality posing as logical? I say this because you have no foundational beginnings, nothing concrete to draw from.You take scientific instruments and the mean average over the Word of God. Your data is an ever changing process as you learn more. But, “[i]f man can know nothing truly, man can truly know nothing.” Gordon Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things. p.264.To know anything truly you would either have to think God’s thoughts after Him, or have a mind that is capable of fathoming all things and knowing not only of how they are related and interact now and in the past, but also in the future. Can you tell what the future holds for you, other than death?

  • Pamsm

    Test

  • Pamsm

    PH: No, Peter, I have no gods. Not self, not any. I know this is difficult for you to understand, but the whole idea of gods is ridiculous to me. It’s just primitive superstition, born of ignorance. At some point in our evolutionary history, we developed enough brain power to have the capacity for wonder. And wonder we did. But it’s not in our nature to leave a question unanswered, so when a question arose for which we had no answer (Where did we come from? Why are we here?), we speculated. And over generations, the speculations came to be considered truth.I wouldn’t find it “uncomfortable” to face God – just silly.PH: No, Peter, the evidence led to the conclusions (I won’t use “belief,” because I don’t want you to conflate it with the sorts of belief that you hold – it’s not the same).Me: Besides, a “dirty monkey” is at least a fairly intelligent living thing. By her reckoning, we were made from actual dirt.PH: I was being facetious, Peter. And you’re not keeping up with abiogenesis theory. Primordial soup is no longer the leading candidate. Also, you keep using the word “random.” Evolution is not random at all. The variations and mutations that it works with are random, but that’s all. I suppose that the beginning of life was random. But we haven’t agreed on what, exactly, life is, have we? What do you think it is? Is a virus alive? To me, life is just the ability to reproduce, and to vary enough for evolution to work. A single strand of DNA (or RNA) qualifies. It can become a double strand by attracting its opposite amino acids, and then those strands can unwind, and each become double again the same way. Base pairs can be lost, or changed for others, providing the variation required to evolve. Simple as that. Run the clock long enough, and that can become But, clearly, you believe in this, too – just on an enormously sped-up scale. In just about 4,000 years, we’ve gone from a human “kind,” to all the races of man, and from a dog “kind” to all the wild and domestic variations of canids in the world, according to Peter. Evolution on steroids!

  • Pamsm

    TWOPH: The PH: Well, I’ll grant you that we take brainpower and creativity to a higher level than other animals. But they also do things that OK, so we can do art and music…la di da. I’d rather fly, personally.As for dominion – why then, do we still have mosquitoes? And cockroaches? How about disease bacteria and viruses? We’re in an arms race with the animals that we don’t like, and they’re winning. This is because they evolve faster than we do.

  • Pamsm

    THREEPH: Yes, they expanded upon Steno’s and Smith’s discoveries.PH: Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s a minuscule amount of all the life that has existed. Fossils are rare. At least the ones we can get to. Many are inaccessible. You’re right, it requires certain conditions for them to form. The best way is to die in shallow water that isn’t moving very rapidly, and be covered by sediment. But there are other ways. In arid conditions, or very cold ones, animals can mummify or freeze-dry. In massive fish-kills (which happen naturally by various causes, there are too many for predators to eat. And don’t forget, not all fossils are full-bodied. Bones can fossilize even after flesh is eaten or decayed. Animals can also be buried by rock slides, volcanic ash, mud slides, and in tar pits (been to La Brea?). Small creatures can be trapped in pine sap that becomes amber.

  • Pamsm

    FIVEPH: Actually, it does. And no other explanation makes sense. If all of the fossils were mixed randomly, dinosaurs, ammonites, humans, sharks, horses, in one layer, you might have a point, but that’s not how it is. There is no way that all the fossils of Karroo could have existed at one time – there are too many. The Karroo fossils represent the period from 256 to 215 mya. There are no sea creatures among them. They are land animals and riverine animals such as tortoises and crocodiles. There are no representatives of the animals that currently live in this area – but there are ancient precursors. They occur in abundance because there were rivers (slow moving water) and there had also been underground rivers running through limestone, which formed caverns (remember that limestone comes from the dead bodies of shelly sea creatures – so this was formed many millions of years prior to the vertebrate fossils). Ground water eventually ate through the tops of the caverns in places, and animals fell in and were trapped. The caverns gradually filled in, layer by slow layer, with new animals accreting along the way.I applaud you for watching the show about plankton. Watch more nature programs. PBS Your quote from AnswersinGenesis about Steno, doesn’t say anything that I didn’t say. Yes, the man was religious, and believed literally in the Bible. He was a man of his time, no surprise. But his work

  • Pamsm

    Sorry, that was four, not five. I lose track. :)Where is Walter?

  • walter-in-fallschurch

    wow…lots of comments. i’ll check them out and reply as warranted.

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bible
Five Bible Verses You Need to Stop Misusing

That verse you keep quoting? It may not mean what you think it means.

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What C.S. Lewis’ Marriage Can Tell Us About the Gay Marriage Controversy

Why “welcome and wanted” is a biblical response to gay and lesbian couples in evangelical churches.

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How to Resolve Conflict: A Bible Lesson for Foreign Policy Leaders

The biblical story of Abigail shows how visible vulnerability can create a path toward peace.