"They received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Therefore many believed."--Acts 17:11

Berean Christadelphians

Index

For Further Information Contact:  Jim Phillips

 
Berean Christadelphians
Register Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #1 

Bro. Steve sent us all a letter to the editor which was made in response to an article attacking a defense of evolution in the Christadelphian Magazine, the mouthpiece of the Central fellowship, or more properly, the assembly of the adversaries. The letter was written by a fellow apparently in the Central assembly who embraces evolution.

The letter is itself, an apology in favor of the theory of evolution. I thought I might take a minute to point out some obvious things which true Christadelphians could never embrace in his letter.

Quote:
"I can appreciate that this is a controversial and sensitive topic, and I can also understand the dilemma faced by those teachers in our community who are feeling confronted by having to teach something that is contrary to their conscience."

There is nothing controversial about evolution to true believers. This principle was settled among us in 1885, during the Partial Inspiration division. The True believers said that they believed the entire Bible was wholly inspired by God in all its parts. With that fact clearly established, we simply look to Genesis 1, and we will note there that God created man on the 6th day. We can use Bible dates and ages to determine that this day was sometime around 6000 years ago. Evolution is simply not possible, if the Bible is wholly inspired by God.

But the Central assemblies abandoned the principle of a "wholly inspired Bible in all its parts" in 1956, through the bringing back into their assemblies the Suffolk Street assemblies who, since 1885 had always allowed belief in a partially inspired Bible. The document they accepted, called "The Final Statement" allowed for the identical forms of partial inspiration which had been rejected in 1885, to be accepted back into the Central assemblies. They therefore created this controversy among themselves, but not among true believers.

And if this author is correct, it is even their "teachers" in their assemblies who reject the full inspiration of the Bible. He complains they have to teach contrary to their conscience. Can we imagine having a conscience that says that what God said, was wrong!?

And as an aside, who does that? What is the character of a man who teaches contrary to his conscience? Of what value is a teacher who teaches contrary to their conscience on divine things? It boggles the mind.

Quote:
"However, I think it is important that if we are going to make a stand on a matter, we need to ensure our facts are accurate. If we do not do this, are we not guilty of false witness?"

 

It is not a question of ensuring our facts are accurate. True believers are already convinced our facts are accurate. "All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God...". Is there another fact that contravenes this? If we answer yes, then there is no end to the possible speculations for any number of questions raised by those who reject the wholly inspired Bible. Evolution becomes merely the tip of the iceberg. But if we answer no, then the matter is quite settled, and the facts are crystal clear. God created our dispensation about 6000 years ago.

Karl Marx recognized the value of evolution in undermining the religious pinnings of society in the world, some 150 years ago. Marx clearly understood that if evolution, as set forth by Charles Darwin was true, then the Bible was necessarily false. And upon that basis, humanists have been quite successful in teaching evolution and undermining the Bible in all the apostate churches of the world.

Quote:
"For those who do accept evolution as a creative process, the issue is not that they have been seduced by worldly thinking. The issue is that they have been convinced by evidence that our community has not been able to refute. With respect to the article I would like to lay out 5 points for your consideration, and use the article as a means of demonstrating why I say our community’s response to this issue is inadequate."

This is simply a false statement. There are only two minds, or thinkings in creation. There is the thinking of the flesh, or the world. There is the thinking of the spirit, or those who are guided by spiritual precept. The spiritual facts are clear. God created man on the sixth day, roughly 6000 years ago. If we embrace any other precept, it can only come from being seduced by the thinking of the flesh.

In saying that he has been convinced by evidence his community has not be able to refute, he is simply saying that he believes that the arguments put forward by "the thinking of the flesh" have more appeal to him, than the arguments put forward by "the thinking of the spirit." He is not unique. The apostle Paul spoke of folks like him in the first ecclesias:

Quote:
1Co 2:12-14 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Our arguments against the world’s evidence is based on spiritual fact. It is what the Holy Spirit taught. He rejects our facts as foolishness. Instead, he chooses to believe the world’s evidence. And this in spite of God’s clear warnings:

Quote:
1Co 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

The author fails to realize that the very "evidences" he finds so convincing, may have been put there specifically to "confound the wise...and the mighty." He ignores the teachings from Deuteronomy 13:

Quote:
Deu 13:1-3 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

So here we have the Spirit’s testimony that God tries men. The things spoken by the false prophet came true. God says that this happened to the believers to try them, to see if they loved God with all their heart, which was shown by following His precepts. It was to see if they were willing to follow the thinking of the Spirit, or were they longing to follow the thinking of the flesh.

This is the same point we raise with evolutionists. The thinking of the Spirit clearly taught that God created Adam on the 6th day, about 6000 years ago. The thinking of the flesh says they have found evidence which suggests otherwise. We ask, how can you be sure that the evidence you have found has not been manipulated specifically by God, to try the hearts of men, to know if they love the Lord their God?

Our author says no one has been able to refute his evidence. But the writings of the Scriptures is a complete and entire refutation of the evidence presented by our author. Because if the evidence has been manipulated, and no one can say whether it has or hasn’t, then of what value is the evidence? Our author no doubt, rejects our refutation as not grounded in facts. But in whose facts, is this not grounded? The facts as presented by the thinking of the Spirit, or the facts as presented by the thinking of the flesh? We would fully agree with him, that our presentation is not grounded in the facts, as presented by the thinking of the flesh. In fact, we are sure it is foolishness to him.

JimPhillips

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 924
Reply with quote  #2 

The objections.

I’m not responding or making a defense for the article from the Chdn Magazine in question, as I’ve never read the article in question, but rather this answer is generic to the points in the letter to the editor attacking the article. In his letter, he lists five complaints, only one of which is somewhat relevant. He complains of emotive language. Emotive language is language intended to illicit an emotional response. Then he complains about "manipulative language." These two complaints are not substantive. They are more closely related to "politically correct speech," a methodology by which we try to stop discussion, rather than to encourage it. All I can say is that if I stopped to whine every time some member from the Adversarial Assembly called me a "hireling," I could never move anything forward.

His third complaint shows the author has lived a very sheltered life. He writes:

Quote:
The article states, "It is worth noting that many "examples of evolution" in standard textbooks have been shown to be erroneous despite being taught as fact…" An example of this would be most useful,...".

I’m surprised that he apparently has not heard before, of the fraud rampant in the evolutionary movement. I would have guessed that everyone would know by now, that the history of evolution is filled with fraud. If this is not taught to modern scientists, how sheltered must that scientific community be? The most famous, of course, is Piltdown Man, which was a fraud perpetuated for over 40 years. And text books, including those from the most respected universities, taught Piltdown Man as a reality, past its exposure as a hoax. The numbers and examples of frauds, (that we know about) are virtually without end. I’m sure we will discover more as times goes on.

His fourth complaint concerns a poor understanding of the material. But really, by this he means that his critics misunderstand the meanings of grammatical terms as used in science. Only, they don’t. This centers mostly around the word "theory." He feels it is wrong to point out that evolution is merely a theory. His complaint is that a "theory" really isn’t a "theory," but can be considered a fact. This is false in every way, starting with grammatical.

Evolution is not proven, and in fact, can’t be proven. This is why it is called a theory. Still, many of its adherents speak of it as if it is a fact. The author defends this by pointing out that many of the things we believe cannot be strictly proven, and are therefore theories, though we regard them as facts. This is of course true. The greatest example of this is how God was manifested in sinful flesh. We accept as a fact that He was, in the person of Jesus, though the modus operandi is strictly theoretical. We accept this as a fact, though we cannot explain it, because there is an authoritative reason to do so. The Holy Spirit plainly declared it. (Just as the Holy Spirit declared the creation of man on the 6th day, some 6000 years ago.)

The theory of Evolution differs from this as a fact, because there is no authoritative reason to believe it in the first place. In fact, the arguments for evolution go directly against authoritative fact as recorded in the Scriptures. Prominent evolutionists have admitted that they accept the theory of evolution, simply because the alternative is too unpleasant for them.

Finally, we come to his only quasi valid complaint, and that is a discussion of genetics. The author sends us through some scientific papers, which in their simplest terms, are just a complicated rehash to the age old question. Is man’s existence the result of time and chance expressed through the term "evolution," or was it the result of creation accomplished by a God who loves order? This is what this discussion always boils down to.

From the beginning of my training, I was shown pictures of embryonic development, or comparison pictures between similar species, and asked, how can anyone not see evolution in this? I remember sitting in Mr. Hawthorne’s science class in the 8th grade, and him referencing a large picture of the face of a gorilla he had hung on the wall, and asking us how anyone could question that we evolved from apes. Even at that early age, I would ask, aren’t the similarities consistent with a creation based on order? And I remember him shaking his head at me in some combination of pity, disgust, and disbelief, incredulous at the even thought. I became very familiar with that response over the course of my schooling and beyond.

Particularly, in the second and third paper is the root of this argument apparent. The argument of the second paper is essentially that certain genetic material found in 24,000 year old bones, is still found in some modern populations. The third paper is similar, only this paper states that different genetic material from 45,000 year old bones, is still found in modern populations. Therefore, it is reasoned, the genetic material had to be genetically passed down from the ancient ancestor to the modern man. Therefore, it is concluded, man must be at least 45,000 years old.

For a minute (a brief minute) lets accept the "secure dates" of the bone samples. Would finding modern genetic material in creatures living 45,000 years ago prove evolution? The answer is, no. Now, most creationists have not denied the possibility of previous creations. Some speculate that the angels came through a creation with trials, not unlike our own. For myself, I only maintain what the Bible says: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. I do not speculate on when the beginning was. What I do know from the Scriptures, is that our dispensation began with the creation of Adam, about 6000 years ago.

Now "if" there were previous creations on the earth which came and went, why would we find it impossible that a God who loves order would use the same or similar genetic material in all of His creations? Genetic material found in bones supposedly 24,000 years old, or 45,000 years old or you pick the age, and genetic material found in modern man could both have been identical, yet created independently during their various creations, according to the Divine requirements. There is no necessity of generational transmission required. So is this evolution, or is this creation by a God who loves order?

Just a note. I’m not suggesting that multiple creations is a correct answer. I’m only suggesting that it makes much more sense than anything offered by evolutionists, once we accept archeological dates. I have no issue with those who reject archeological dates, and who suggest that the earth was created with age. If this is the case, things that appear old were manipulated in creation 6000 years ago by God, for the specific purpose of "confounding the wise." That too, is a possibility. None of us know, or can know.

Now the arguments of the first paper is a bit different. It is simply another method to try and date imagined ancestors. If I might boil it down to something real simple, the new dating says that they have decided non Africn ancestry goes back 95,000 years. How have they decided that? Well:

Quote:
Differences in DNA sequences correspond to nucleotide substitutions that have accumulated since their split from a most recent common ancestor (MRCA). When the average number of substitutions occurring per unit of time can be determined, the "molecular clock" rate can be estimated. Under the assumption of constant rates of change among lineages, molecular clocks have been used to estimate divergence times between closely related species or between populations.

Now, to make this more understandable, "DNA sequences" is the mapping of the nucleotides (the building blocks of the DNA molecule) which exist within a DNA molecule. "Nucleotide substitution" is the observance of where this mapping indicates a change in the DNA molecule.

What he is saying is that we have an ancestor of a known age. (Flaw number One: how can we know its truly an ancestor and not a different but similar creation? Flaw Two: we can’t possibly be sure of its "known age.") We then map the ancestor’s DNA. Then we map the DNA of a descendant of this ancestor. We count the changes from the older to the newer, and project that with all things being constant, X amount of changes will always occur in that time frame. (Flaw three: how do we know all things remained constant? Flaw Four: How do we know the same number of changes will always occur, even if all things remain constant?) From these estimates we project what would be the case for all related specie or populations.

But, as the article points out, there is a lack of necessary fossil data to establish these things. In fact, in many cases, there is no fossil evidence of common ancestors at all. Well, no problem. A new methodology was applied to our problem. By mapping the changes in parent-child-grand child nucleotide mapping from one generation to another, we found we could take this and project it backwards over thousands of years. By doing so, we came to realize that the changes come less frequently than the fossils led us to believe. (Wow! Scientists made a mistake in one of their projections. Imagine that!) This has led to doubling the age of our common ancestors, along with the age of fossil sites. So we throw fossil dating out the window, in favor of this new form of dating which, as the paper says, is arguably more accurate than fossil dating. (Wait a minute, there’s an argument?!? I thought this was all facts!!!) So now we know (I always love that expression coming from our scientific community) that fossil dating was too short.

Now, I’m for most anything which exposes fossil dating for the hoax it is, so nucleotide mapping is OK by me in that regard. Only it sets itself up as a standard, every bit as unreliable as fossil dating. They say that we have ancestors. That is not, and cannot be proven. They say that nucleotide substitution is constant. That is not, and cannot be proven. They say the genetic material is passed down through generations. That is not and cannot be proven.

The evolutionist wants us to argue his evidence with him. We can’t, because we reject his evidence as having any validity whatsoever. If a lawyer brought the kind of evidence an evolutionist uses to prove a case, he’d be thrown out of the court on the first day, as too circumstantial.

Rather, we want the evolutionist to argue our evidence with us. That is, explain Genesis 1, if the Bible is the wholly inspired word of God. Sadly, I think most will reject our evidence.

Consequently, our arguments with evolutionists are no different that the argument that the brethren of old had with Pagans. The Pagans told them, Sacrifice a few virgins, and it will rain in a month or so. They did, and it rained. Wow! It mut be true. What an evolutionist will call time and chance and environmental pressures, the Pagans would have called the whims of the gods. But it is all the same argument.

The ultimate question comes down to the same points. Do we worship the creator, or do we worship the creation? Are we the product of a Divine Being who has a plan He is working out with mankind, or are we simply the result of time and chance? Do we believe the things that the Holy Spirit said, or do we invent new thoughts after our own imaginations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.