Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apologetics at it's worst

"The Church of England will concede in a statement that it was over-defensive and over-emotional in dismissing Darwin's ideas. It will call "anti-evolutionary fervour" an "indictment" on the Church"

The apology, which has been written by the Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, the Church [of England]'s director of mission and public affairs, says that Christians, in their response to Darwin's theory of natural selection, repeated the mistakes they made in doubting Galileo's astronomy in the 17th century." [SOURCE]

I think that these guys got the idea of apologetics wrong - apologetics was never meant to be a compromise on Christian beliefs. It is suppose to be upholding Christian values, giving a reason for the hope that is in us. (1 Peter 3:15)

Anyway, evolution as it is is nowhere near what Darwin had in mind - plus it's not like Darwin would care, he's dead! If these people really thought that evolution was correct - they should be apologizing to God!

Now there is a thought - why should they apologize to God? Well, clearly the 6 day position was not formed out of a proper understanding of God's word. There are some significant differences between geocentricism and creationist understanding:
  • Joshua 10:12-13: Joshua is speaking from his perspective. This type of writing(commentary from a point of view) is not found in Genesis
  • 1 Chronicles 16:30: This is David's song of thanks. Genesis is not poetry 1, so this is not a historical narrative, which is what Genesis is.
  • Isaiah 38:8: Again, is the argument from perspective. We do not say 'Earth revolving,' we say 'Sunrise' simply out of convenience from perspective 2

What we have here is quite confusing. They apologize to Darwin, for misrepresenting him, but they have nothing to say to their God. If they truly believed they were in error, who deserves the first public apology? I would argue God. In the second place they said they were 'encouraging others to misunderstand [Darwin].' In this I can continue to emphasize that I do not have a share in this apology (in fact the point of this blog is to show I have no share whatsoever) - I do not encourage misunderstanding, even of error. In order to show someone they are wrong, we must first understand their position. NP, a gentleman I debated on this blog, who I continue to think about and pray for, was all about clearing up misunderstanding, which I appreciate - although we found ourselves in deadlock when it comes to scripture.

But there you have it - can we compare geocentricism with creationism? No. I love the way the world tries to do that - making us look like fools for others past mistakes. It is very important to keep literary themes in mind when studying the bible. As Christians we must define our hermeneutic - something I have done previously - and it helps SO much!

And just in addition, so that I may be completely at ease - I believe in natural selection, since it is observable. I do not believe that species can produce higher order species - hear me on that - species cannot produce higher-order species. I do not deny that species can vary within and of themselves - polar bears are a great example: they are normal bears - but they are white. But bears beget bears. Fish beget fish. Ape like creatures do not beget humans. Humans beget humans. That is the sum and total of my belief in this area.

1 Is genesis poetry? I will blog on this.
2 Note that this is a shared perspective, that is why it works. I usually do not advocate relativism in any shape or form, but this is permissible since it is not sinful nor is it attempting to justify anything. It is purely a state with which all men can agree. It's called the cooperation principle.

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