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Featured Is Bible literal young earth Christian fundamentalism turning people away from God?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by ERLOS, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    No dead give away. The interpretation of individual words do not change the literal interpretation of Genesis. This does not detract from the beliefs of the church fathers concerning a literal Genesis.

    It may be a Creationist site, but the references concerning the Church Fathers is accurate, and yes the view of the Church Fathers is decidedly a literal Genesis. The authors of the gospels(?), likely edited and compiled, by the earliest Church Fathers believed in a literal Genesis. here is more:

    Origen, Clement of Alexandria and Augustine of Hippo
    Usually liberal Christians refer to these three church leaders to support their ideas. However, we must understand that these three scholars never even thought about interpreting the days of Genesis in a way that today’s liberals understand. To try and do this is a violation of their teaching.

    Firstly, even these three leaders who interpreted Scripture in a more symbolic way than the others, never once tried to mix the long ages of the pagan philosophers like Plato with their teaching. Every single person among the Christian leaders who spoke about Creation said it had happened much less than 10,000 years ago. Augustine (AD 354 – 430) could write:

    “fewer than 6,000 years have passed since man’s first origin,”

    and he referred to the pagans’

    “fairy-tales about reputed antiquity, which our opponents may decide to produce in attempts to controvert the authority of our sacred books....”9

    Liberals are keen to get Augustine on their side because apparently he believed that the days of Creation were symbolic, and not literal. He tells us in his City of God what he understood about the Creation days:

    “The world was in fact made with time, if at the time of its creation change and motion came into existence. This is clearly the situation in the order of the first six or seven days, in which morning and evening are named, until God’s creation was finished on the sixth day, and on the seventh day God’s rest is emphasized as something conveying a mystic meaning. What kind of days these are is difficult or even impossible for us to imagine, to say nothing of describing them.

    In our experience, of course, the days with which we are familiar only have an evening because the sun sets, and a morning because the sun rises; whereas those first three days passed without the sun, which was made, we are told, on the fourth day. The narrative does indeed tell that light was created by God…. But what kind of light that was, and with what alternating movement the distinction was made, and what was the nature of this evening and this morning; these are questions beyond the scope of our sensible experience. We cannot understand what happened as it is presented to us; and yet we must believe it without hesitation.”10

    From this we realise that Augustine held to a literal interpretation of the Creation days, although he admitted he had to take it by faith, rather than by reason. In his earlier book (AD 397 – 398), Confessions, he does spiritualize the Genesis account of Creation to communicate with a different audience, but his City of God was completed only four years before his death, and, as shown above, this later book shows a literal understanding of the days of Genesis.

    He did teach an idea known as the “seminal principle,” which some liberals have jumped on with glee, stating that Augustine was a theistic evolutionist. This is, however, reading too much into his work from a post-Darwin mindset. He simply believed that all living things contained within them seeds, which grew to form the complete species, but that all kinds of living things had fixed boundaries. These seeds, he believed, grew rapidly into fully mature living forms during the creation process – there was no thought about millions of years in between each stage of the days of Genesis.11

    Origen (AD 185 – 230/254) was one of the most prolific Christian writers in the Early Church, and was used by God to lead many into the Christian faith. He was recognised as one of the greatest scholars of the church at that time. He led a Bible school in Alexandria, and in order to become a better missionary to the pagan philosophers, he attended the lectures of Ammonius Saccas, who had founded the school of Neo-Platonism in Alexandria. Sadly, it was the influence of pagan philosophy that led Origen astray in some of his Scriptural interpretations.

    Origen started preaching that human souls had already existed and that they were waiting to be put into bodies. This heresy was known as the “Pre-existence of the Soul”, and it was totally rejected by the church. He also taught that the stars possessed their own souls. This belief he adopted from the pagan scientists of the day. He began to explain away Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden as figurative, and he also bought into a pagan understanding of the Creation days. He believed that “the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that”,12 but saw the six days of Creation as figurative.

    The reason why he struggled with a literal understanding of the six days is because he could not understand how light could exist, and the earth rotate in a 24-hour cycle before the sun had been created. He appealed to Genesis 2:4 in order to give a figurative meaning to the six days of Creation and wrote:

    “We found fault with those who, taking the words in their apparent signification, said that the time of six days was occupied in the creation of the world, and quoted the words: 'These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.'”13

    Of course today we know that the sun is one among many stars, and that light radiation existed before they were created. The problem of a 24-hour earth cycle before the sun was made is not a difficulty for God; it is just that we do not yet understand it. When Origen quoted Genesis 2:4 to give a figurative foundation for the days of Creation, he did not realise that traditional rabbinical understanding of this verse was that the “generations” meant “the account of” and “the day” meant “at the time when”.14 Thus he is guilty of twisting Scripture.

    Clement of Alexandria (AD 153 – 217), was famous as a Bible teacher, and he taught Origen. Although some evangelicals think he held to a liberal view on Creation, he actually had a mixed approach. He has an historical date for Creation of 5592 BC (Stromata, or Miscellanies 1:21) and he said about the Creation days:

    “For the creation of the world was concluded in six days ...Wherefore also man is said to have been made on the sixth day ... Some such thing also is indicated by the sixth hour in the scheme of salvation, in which man was made perfect.”15

    Although the context of the above passage is indeed figurative, it is clear that Clement was referring to a literal six-day Creation with man being “made perfect” in the sixth hour of the sixth day. Clement was influenced by the rabbinical teaching of the six hours in which God completed man, an idea which goes beyond the bounds of Scripture, but yet demonstrates a literalist view.16

    In conclusion, my investigation clearly demonstrated to me that the Church Fathers were almost unanimous on the twin beliefs of a literal six-day Creation and a “young earth”. Origen, who was influenced by pagan views and held to some heretical ideas, was the main exception to the rule. Although the Church Fathers were literalists, it is true that they also used Genesis in a figurative way to point prophetically to the return of Christ, and to draw out spiritual messages for their audiences, as do literal creationists today.
     
  2. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    Scratching my head about Genesis. It is often quoted regarding matters about the time of Creation, 6,000 or 170,000 years ago. The first written language was Cuneiform and that is said to have been 3500 bc. Anyone have questions now?
     
  3. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    No that's confused.
     
  4. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Prove it. Show me. No links.
     
  5. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    How can someone prove something without links?
     
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  6. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    You didn't refute anything.

    The rest of that is obscure nonsense where you seem to be trying to rationalize a bad argument. You need to explain your argument a lot better than that.
     
  7. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Prove it? You referred to archaeological evidence as valid and I can cite references.

    The oldest known texts of the Tanakh, and the first known writings in Hebrew are in the archaeological evidence. Also the evolution of the Hebrew written language is based on archaeological evidence.

    Oldest known Hebrew texts of the Tanakh date between 68 and 250 AD of the Old Testament.

    From: https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org...hebrew-bible/what-is-the-oldest-hebrew-bible/

    "What is the oldest Hebrew Bible? That is a complicated question. The Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments of the oldest Hebrew Bible text, while the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex are the oldest complete versions, written by the Masoretes in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. The Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript falls in between the early scrolls and the later codices."

    From: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081103-hebrew-text.html

    Oldest Hebrew Text Is Evidence for Bible Stories?

    Mati Milstein in Elah Valley, Israel
    for National Geographic News
    November 3, 2008
    What may be the oldest known Hebrew text, found on a hilltop above the valley where David is said to have battled Goliath, could lend historical support to some Bible stories, archaeologists say.

    The 3,000-year-old pottery shard with five lines of text was found during excavations of the Elah Fortress, the oldest known biblical-period fortress, which dates to the tenth century B.C.

    The exactNext nature of the text— believed to be Hebrew written in Proto-Canaanite script, a type of early alphabet—has yet to be determined, but a number of root words have already been translated, including "judge," "slave," and "king."

    But the archaeologist's claims are disputed by an Israeli colleague, who says there is not enough scientific information to reach definitive conclusions."

    Next the silver scrolls
     
    #107 shunyadragon, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  8. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    The silver scrolls . . .

    From: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/01/06/The-Blessing-of-the-Silver-Scrolls.aspx#Article

    Excavations in Jerusalem in 1979–80 by Gabriel Barkay turned up two amulets dating from the late seventh century BC.1 They were found in the fourth of several burial caves he discovered on an escarpment known as Ketef Hinnom, which overlooks the Hinnom Valley (Gehenna) just opposite Mt. Zion. Each amulet contained a rolled-up sheet of silver which, when unrolled, revealed the Priestly Benediction inscribed on them. The exact Hebrew words (translated into English) are:

    May Yahweh bless you and keep you;
    May Yahweh cause his face to
    Shine upon you and grant you
    Peace (Coogan 1995: 45).

    Commented the late archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon:

    This is now the earliest occurrence of a Biblical text in an extra-Biblical document, significantly predating the earliest of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is also the oldest extra-Biblical reference to YHWH, the God of Israel (1987: 124; cf. King and Stager 2001: 306).

    Time magazine, reporting on the find, stated that this discovery suggests that at least part of the Old Testament was written soon after some of the events it describes (Lemonick 1995: 65)...The discovery made it clear that parts of the Old Testament were being copied long before some skeptics had believed they were even written (ibid., 67).

    Michael D. Coogan, professor of religious studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts, similarly remarked that

    the two amulets are evidence of the antiquity of traditions preserved in the Bible; it also provides indirect evidence, as do the Dead Sea Scrolls and other manuscripts from the Second Temple period, of the accuracy of scribes who for centuries copied sacred texts (1995: 45).

    Especially interesting to note is the fact that the words of the blessing, including the sacred personal name of God, were written on silver. This sheds light on Psalm 12:6: “The words of the LORD [= YHWH] are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace...” Barkay’s discovery thus shows this verse to be literally true as well as spiritually.
     
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  9. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon shunyadragon
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    Maybe he is asking for a magic wand. All I can do is cite references to the archaeological evidence.

    His response may be 'an argument from ignorance,' claiming I have not proved it.
     
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  10. Desert Snake

    Desert Snake Veteran Member

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    Nonsense, basically.
    Again, nonsense.
    Gobblygook, the Genesis account gives literal description.
    Complete nonsense, that tries to justify science mistakes.
    Nonsense, the intent is seemingly justify blatantly incorrect science arguments, by saying that they are not necessarily literal to the word meaning.
    In other words, the words used in incorrect science arguments, or non yec, have no inherent meaning, and are entirely interpretive.

    Complete nonsense that tries to equate yec with science, non religious mistakes in premises, arguments, and false statements of 'fact'.
    This nonsense paragraph is meant to justify literally any mistake by non yec, or non creationist, or non Biblical, by implying that the arguments have no actual inherent meaning, and have to interpreted , in completely different manner, with no specification.

    In other words, statements presented by non yec, or faulty science theories, have no actual inherent meaning, therefore can never be 'wrong'.
     
    #110 Desert Snake, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  11. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Would I be correct in guessing that no material evidence supports your view ie that no external test could distinguish a 'higher spiritual dimension' from an imaginary spiritual dimension?
     
  12. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    What diff is there when all the numbers are grossly
    incorrect?
     
  13. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    What would be your idea of what is correct?
     
  14. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Probably nothing, but I used to consider myself to be Republican. It was Evangelical Christians (who are almost always Young Earth Creationists) who drove me away from the Republican Party with their denial of global warming, their racism and their anti-LGBT philosophy. So I think there is a link there somewhere along the way. Trump represents what many of them represent, anti-science in general being a big part of the way in which they view the world.
     
  15. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    The age of the earth is far greater than indicated by any
    but the most allegorical reading of scrip.
     
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  16. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    I've been busy with other stuff today, popping in and out with short answers but no time for lengthy posts. It will be there tomorrow.
     
  17. Kelly of the Phoenix

    Kelly of the Phoenix Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally had to call myself a follower of the Way (the older label for the movement) because I just don't see much value in Christianity anymore.

    These are the same types of people who claim that putting kids in concentration camps is biblical, Trump is an awesomely successful businessman, and Jesus doesn't hold a candle to him.

    YEC'ers already decided not to listen to reality. That they have turned Orange Turd into a God is not really surprising.

    Having trouble with finding this one picture of a car with tons of bumper stickers practically deifying Trump, but
    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/gzFTLFsgUgM/hqdefault.jpg

    Ann Coulter, I think.

    Many pastors, if my FB feed is to be trusted.

    Yes, the idolatry is truly irritating.

    And yet people believe God and/or Jesus will forgive them and send them to heaven just for requesting it, so, yes, they expect God to be a summoned mongrel pup, as Davy Jones put it.
     
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  18. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    The extremist Christians on the zealous-right are the ones damaging Christianity the most, imo.

    Nice rhetoric, but I can assure you that when folks are finally crying out to God they don't get an awful lot of response, because many of their appeals are selfish.

    If you 'know' God is really there then that wouldn't be a faith, it would be a certitude.

    Ok, but what has that to do with your thread, which reads:-
    Is Bible literal young earth Christian fundamentalism turning people away from God?

    Unfortunately Christian fundamentalism, if it managed to become a theocracy, would be a very very serious horror story. IMO.
     
  19. ERLOS

    ERLOS God Feeds the Ravens

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    That's always the game, isn't it? Prove it doesn't exist. And you have ignored the first part: can you really believe human consciousness is a product of brain activity?

    By extension you cannot believe that any consciousness continues after your own death. This means that, for you, the universe ceases to exist. Because the only way you can prove the existence of the universe is via your own consciousness. Nothing exists outside your own consciousness.

    So everything is just in your brain.

    Is that any more sensible?

    Time came into existence 13.7 billion years ago along with space, and all the energy from which the universe is formed, along with the four forces which formed it and all the laws governing it.

    This happened instantly (because no time preceded it) out of nowhere (because there wasn't any 'where' to precede it) from an infinitely small singularity that contained it all.

    I'm not at all disputing it. The Standard Model is a wonderful thing. And it WORKS.

    But the mystery of the universe is still there. Having a word for a thing doesn't in itself explain that thing. Energy is not understood, dark matter and dark energy are not understood.

    So one shouldn't be too brash and intellectually superior when demanding proof and explanation from people who propose there may be greater spiritual forces out there too. Imo.

    (Post edited)
     
    #119 ERLOS, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  20. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Well-Known Member
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    I'd agree with that statement. None of us actually know, do we?

    I've seen opinions that say some of the stone cutting in South America is 40,000+ years old. I think it is in South Africa that there are stone structures that are thought to be 170,000 years old. We can't actually prove anything, and I've seen what was thought to be right 60 years ago to have fallen completely out of favor.

    I once got a spanking in class when I told my teacher that we can see the moon in the day time. Another time, there was trouble over saying that some chickens laid brown eggs. Hmmmm
     
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