Creation, evolution, the flood and science - Is the Bible without error?

by Andrew Sh 48 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cantleave

    Andrew believes in a young earth, 6 literal creative days and a global flood. You can not argue with ignorance.

  • bohm

    this is properly one of the worst defences of creationism i has ever read.

  • MC RubberMallet
    MC RubberMallet

    I, believing in creation, am asking, WHAT THE EFF Andrew?

    Anyway, is there a book that covers the basics of these sciences discussed? Or even a series of good books that can help me get a clear and updated understanding of such things?


  • bohm

    MC rubbermallet: If you are interested in the sciences andrew listed i would simply recommend wikipedia which in my experience is a very good place to start. Alternatively see if there are open lectures on youtube.

    If you are interested in the evidence for evolution i would recommend "why evolution is true" by jeff coyne, it is fairly short and easy to understand.

  • MC RubberMallet
    MC RubberMallet


  • cofty

    Where did Andrew go?

    Hi MC RubberMallet.

    All of the following are well worth your consideration...

    "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" by Sean B. Carroll

    "The making of the fittest" by Sean B Carroll

    "Evolution, what the fossils say" by Donald Prothero

    "Why Evolution is true" by Jerry Coyne

    "Your Inner Fish" by Neil Shubin

    "The Greatest Show on Earth" by Dawkins (summary of some of it here)

    "Life Ascending" by Nick Lane

  • OldGenerationDude

    While I do not expect agreement with my personal convictions from many non-theists on this board, I can at least depend on some support from them regarding not only the sensibility of the approach I offer but the fact that I did not create it my own. It comes from the academic circles, composed of secular and religious minds who study religion on its own terms and some also for personal reasons.
    The thrust of my words are directed to the "believers" involved in this discussion here.

    First of all, not all of us who believe in Judeo-Christian values hold to the JW-altered definition of Biblical infallibility. I side with the Biblical academics that use that phrase to describe how well Scripture presents the values and dogmas of the religions that composed it. "Infallibility" in theological terms refers to the constant support holy writ lends to salvation history, the theophany which is central to Judaism and Christianity. Biblical infallibility has nothing to do with how well it aligns with secular history or scientific theories and methodology.

    Scripture, though inspired of God and thus always presenting religious truth per se does not diminish in the light of human errors found in that text, errors that are admitted by Jewish and Christian faithful. To illustrate, the story of Abraham attempting to sacrifice Isaac demonstrates that even God's chosen and beloved servant had a distorted view of God. Unlike earlier occasions where Abraham literally debates with the Almighty over judgments upon Sodom and Gomorrah and the welfare of his other son, Ishmael, when God tests Abraham to see how he would react to a request for human sacrifice, Abraham doesn't even seem to blink an eye. While God acknowledges Abraham's faithfulness, at the same time God has to literally stop the man from slaughtering his son. Thus begins a running theme throughout Scripture that Abraham's God is not appeased by human sacrifice and that God will have to literally step in in order to drive this lesson home with those who worship him.

    Another error of the writers is the belief the ancients had with regarding seeing God. Up to the time of Moses (and even a bit beyond) God's own people still held to the incorrect belief that seeing God face-to-face meant death. While attributing their mistaken view to God himself, the text also reveals occasions where meals are taken with God, even though these theophanies occur through some intermediary means. As late as the time of Jesus of Nazareth, though Jews apparently no longer hold onto the superstition, they still mistake what a true encounter with God is like as demonstrated by Philip's request to his Master at John 14:8-9.

    Not only do mistaken religious views (such as God agreeing with and even inspiring the genocidal wars of the Jews) often take center stage in Biblical dramas (only to be corrected later by Christ, as Christians see it that is), the writers view of the world around them is very wrong. The earth is often spoken of as if it is flat and the center of a universe where stars, moon, sun, and planets revolve around us. The miracles of Jesus curing the sick is spoken of as Jesus driving away demons (because it was believed at that time that demons caused literal illnesses). And the view that Jesus' return was imminent is something that plays through the epistles, a view only slightly corrected in the Revelation to John (a writing most Christians did not accept as inspired until its canonization in the early 300s).

    These errors, however, are not seen to effect the steady and constant witness the texts give to the central theme and purpose for their assembly. Yet somehow, somewhere, certain misguided individuals, under the guise of religion, have attempted to distort a religious text by forcing it to fit the mold of literal history, demanding a perfection in its text not even sought after or demanded by the God who inspired it, and demonizing any view that raises questions against its illogical declarations.

    The error is not with the Bible because the Bible never attempts to give a scientific or historical account of creation, science, evolution, or the flood of Noah's day. The error is with those who present this text along these lines.

    My faith in the truths the Bible teaches (such as that many people want to be blind to reason) is not shaken because I accept the Bible for what it is. It isn't atheists who developed these views. These are the views of the communities and the peoples that shaped the Scriptures.

    I accept the theory of evolution, I know which accounts in the Bible are more story than history, and I know when to exercise faith and when to use reason, when to be as ‘cunning as a serpent' but ‘as innocent as the dove.'

    I've many friends here and in the world who are not religious, and again I state that even though we hold different convictions, there has always been respect and never any challenges. I've never been attacked here or called stupid by any non-theist, even if they do think my end conclusion of believing in God is ridiculous. They neither praise my formal education in these matters nor diminish any value it may hold. But I believe what makes the difference is that at least they know I am not making such a choice blindly.

    I will repeat it here, though I know I sound like a broken record: If you're not going to be a Jew or a member of the religion that created and canonized the Christian texts, why do you want to hold on to their religious book? You're only making it look totally illogical by demanding that people ignore why we wrote it, what we say it means, and forcing it to be your perfectly-worded guide to all history and your Magic-8 Ball that will tell you everything you need to know now and in the future. Either learn and adhere to the thousands of years of scholarship surrounding these texts or go find your own book. Leave the book of my people alone. You don't see Jews running around with Watchtowers and trying to make them fit our interpretations, do you?

  • cofty

    Interesting points OGD.

    I think many evangelical christians who see biblical inerrancy as the Sine qua non of faith have difficulty understanding that historically they are an aberration.

  • dark angle
    dark angle

    @ OldGenerationDude,

    yep, very interesting view. its a new angle for me. as a JW by birth, i didn't know what a Jew thinks about this issues. thanks for sharing.

    I think many evangelical christians who see biblical inerrancy as the Sine qua non of faith have difficulty understanding that historically they are an aberration.

    lol, .........they are also the apostates.

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