Friday, April 18, 2008

Ken Miller's Bible

In my debates, I have come across Dr Ken Miller's writings. It seriously disturbs me the depths to which he'll sink for evolution.

"Putting it bluntly, the creationists have sought God in darkness. What we have not found and do not yet understand becomes their best - indeed their only - evidence for the divine. As a Christian, I find the flow of this logic particularly depressing. Not only does it teach us to fear the acquisition of knowledge (which might at any time disprove belief), but it suggests that God dwells only in the shadows of our understanding. I suggest that, if God is real, we should be able to find him somewhere else - in the bright light of human knowledge, spiritual and scientific." [Dr Miller in an article based on "Finding Darwin's God"]

Sought God in darkness? Does anyone hear what he's saying about the bible? Where do you find out about Christ? In darkness? He denies the bible flat out. You may want to defend Dr Miller at this point saying, "He's not calling the bible darkness, just the reasoning (or science) of the creationists." Fine, but where do the reasons for creationist scientific arguments come from? You cannot say that creationists are not being biblical, the question that is being asked is: "Is the bible reliable?" Did anyone hear the snake in the garden?

Fear the acquisition of knowledge? I'm not afraid of learning. I was told by Jesus to "fear Him who can cast into hell" [Jesus in Luke] You see, Dr Miller thinks that by diminishing belief he makes a better Christian, I say, with Jesus, no. "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."[Jesus in John] I am not promoting a blind faith, but faith and Christianity cannot be divorced in any manner. Faith is a requirement.

If we are to find God in "in the bright light of human knowledge" he clearly missed the bible completely. Does "do not lean your own understanding" ring a bell? How about "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes"? As for me, I will serve the Lord. I will not look for Him "somewhere else."


NP said...

Maybe Ken Miller's faith doesn't hinge on bibliolotry. Just a thought.

Quintin said...

Idolizing the bible has nothing to do with what the bible says.

It's amazing that some people think they respect God without having a high regard for what He said.

Ken Miller is allowed to have faith in whatever he likes, but one must wonder about the 'Christian-ness' of his faith.

NP said...

I cannot speak for Dr. Miller, but why do you assume he has no regard for the Bible simply because he doesn't abide to a dumbed down, literalist interpretation of it. Why assume that your brand of Christianity is True Christianity?

Quintin said...

You make very good point. Just out of curiosity, if I didn't take a 'literalist' approach to what you said, in what manner should I understand what you wrote? You expect a certain kind of interpretation for yourself, but refuse to give that to the bible.

Now suppose I said that I think Jesus didn't die on the cross, that He didn't really rise, it was all figurative. Is that true Christianity? According to your argument I could say it is (Even though it contradicts Romans 10:9-10). Jesus said it so nicely:
"If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"John 3:12

Are you going to tell me how to interpret the bible? Instead of taking God at His word, I must sit back and let others interpret it for me. It's surprising that when scientists say something, I must go back and modify the bible, but it never works the other way around.

No one wants to let God dictate to them. It's not like He's the creator or anything. At what point does the bible triumph? It triumphs from beginning to end.

NP said...

Quintin, there are many contexts in which a literalist approach is not necessary.

In fact, you apply a non-literalist interpretation to the Bible as well, sometimes without knowing it. For instance, you know that the parables are not meant to be actual historical events. There are many other passages you would not take literally. For instance, how do you interpret Revelation 7:1 or Job 9:6?

There are many of the laws and edicts in Leviticus that you do not abide by, because you interpret them differently based on your understanding of the New Testament. You interpret the passage where Jesus says the mustard seed is the smallest seed, because of current knowledge whereby you know that there are other seeds which are smaller. You do not interpret certain passages the same way the geocentrists in the 16th century did - and similarly, your great grandchildren may not interpret Genesis the same way you do even if they nominally remain literalists.

You have to keep in mind that people like Ken Miller adapt their interpretations of the Bible based on observable evidence of what is supposedly God's creation. They see no reason why He should trick the majority of scientists (and virtually all biologists) into thinking that life evolved based on mountains of evidence. Just as certain passages have to be understood in light of our knowledge that the sun does not revolve around the earth, the same applies to other passages based on our understanding that life evolves. And theology evolves as well; you'd like to believe that your interpretation of these passages is the same as that of the original audiences of Paul, Luke, etc, but it probably isn't because various factors still shape your understanding of the Bible even when you are trying to approach it in a literal fashion.

Quintin said...

Thank you for your insight. However, context is the dictator of interpretation.

I am literal on all those counts, but I cannot open every can of worms you offer me today (I'm not saying your arguments are bad, quite the opposite).

Now I fully agree with you that observations in the world can help with (but cannot dictate) interpretation, so while we know the earth is neither flat nor square we know that the bible is not saying that it has four corners.

But that has no bearing on Genesis. Genesis starts with creation and continues in reality. There is no indication that it can be taken in a figurative manner, other passages, where they clearly indicate, have meaning behind them. Even the historical narratives are there to teach us something. But all that means is that that God loves symbolizing truth within truth. The account of Moses in the desert is as real as the nose on my face, yet I can learn so much about my own sinful state from the nation of Israel during that time.