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« Those were the days | Main | Is Altruism Really Hardwired or Is the Study Just Another Form of Reductionism? »

May 31, 2007

Truth or Fiction?

As you embarked on the beginning of your holiday weekend, how many of you read the Friday release of the Gallup poll results on Bible literacy in America? Fascinating results, and rather surprising.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council had a few words to say today regarding the poll. What caught my eye was his highlight that

Seventy-eight percent of Republicans and 69% of Democrats say that scripture is totally accurate in all of its teachings.

Interesting. Apparently "belief" in the infallible Word of God doesn't always impact the actions of one's voting life. Should I be surprised? I've often wondered how many people really believe what they read, versus how many are caught up in the romanticized response: "Of course I believe in the Bible." Measure that for me. Fruit, anyone (take this, for example)?

On another note, the Washington Times  ran a feature in 2004 marking the results of the previous Gallup poll that stated only 75% of Protestants believe in the literal Creation as recorded in the Bible. As I was surfing the Internet recently I came across this discovery. The battle for truth and the inerrancy of the Word of God still continues. I, for one, would love to see this museum. Anybody been there? I love this quote from the article:

Opponents [of the museum] argue that children who see the exhibits will be confused when they learn in school that the universe is 14 billion years old rather than 6000.

Why be so concerned about just the children? It seems to me the entire adult world is confused as well. But since when does possible "confusion" restrict us from debate? Perhaps our "evolving" brains are not capable of filtering such conflicting information through our noetic structures. How thoughtless of me.

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Comments

Ann Neikirk

The article by Fith Swartz is right on the money. How can people we elect say they believe God's word is accurate, and they believe it, then vote it's o.k. for a man to marry a man,woman/woman, or it's o.k. to kill an unborn baby? How can we ever get an amendment when our congress is full of people who vote this way? Americans have changed Congress in elections and we MUST do it again. I pray there are enough of us left, as well as enough men and women running for office that really do believe the Truth of God's Word.

John Divito

How we need biblically saturated churches today!

By the way, for those wanting to read more about the Creation Museum outside of Cincinnati, check out the museum's web site: http://www.creationmuseum.org/ . You can also read about theologian Russell Moore's experience with his family on opening weekend in "Closed Minds at the Creation Museum": http://www.henryinstitute.org/commentary_read.php?cid=388 .

Sy Hoekstra

Please don't endorse that museum. It's a mixture of today's Scientific understanding of the origins of the world with a fundamentalist Christian world view. It involves a lot of guess work presented as fact. Just to take one example, they have dinosaurs and humans living peacefully together just after the bannishment from Eaden. They've taken the scientific discoveries of dinosaurs and the fundamentalist assumption that the earth was created in 6 24 hour days,, and thrown them together randomly, ignoring the scientific dating of dinosaurs to tens of millions of years ago, and the possibility that this might be compatible with biblical teachings if everything isn't taken at face value. This reflects the attitude of the whole museum as far as I can tell. Just because something is Christian, or promotes supposedly Christian ideas, does not mean we need to support it.

Faith Schwartz

Ann, John, Sy -
Thank you all for your comments. Sy, I found your comment particularly interesting. You are certainly right to remind us that just because something is "Christian" doesn't mean we all run around shouting our support without wisely evaluating it beforehand.

However, part of your comment seems in contradiction to me. Particularly:

"They've taken the scientific discoveries of dinosaurs and the fundamentalist assumption that the earth was created in 6 24 hour days,, and thrown them together randomly, ignoring the scientific dating of dinosaurs to tens of millions of years ago, and the possibility that this might be compatible with biblical teachings if everything isn't taken at face value."

Part of the confusion that many wrestle with today are those things which we call "scientific fact" versus a literal interpretation of the Bible. Are you saying that dinosaurs and the flood are not compatible or am I misunderstanding your statement?

This brings to mind a common question: is it possible for "science" and the Bible to compliment one another?

John Divito

Sy,

I wonder if you have actually visited the creation museum or read much from the Answers in Genesis ministry. Suggesting that they are "ignoring the scientific dating of dinosaurs to tens of millions of years ago" is simply incorrect. Here is just one example of the ministry's response to dinosaurs and dating: http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/feedback/2006/0106.asp .

You essentially dismiss young earth creationism (YEC) by calling it a "fundamentalist Christian world view." Nevertheless, many competent evangelical scholars, theologians, and apologists embrace this view of Creation. While you are free to disagree, I suggest that you first seek to more thoroughly understand YEC.

Sy Hoekstra

Ok, there's a lot of ideas being discussed here for a blog comment, so here are a few brief points. First, Ms. Schwartz, I believe the Bible and science to be perfectly compatible. To believe otherwise would be to be a misguided naturalist or a misguided religious zelit in my opinion. My problem with the museum is that they present the coexistance of dinosaurs and humans as undenyable fact, as does the site provided by Mr. Divito. Christians are often heard complaining that evolution is not presented in the public square as the theory that it is. I simply ask that we do the same with creationism, especially with YEC. The Bible and science are complementary, not replacements for each other. Science studies physical laws, while the Bible teaches about God, human nature, and history. This is why, Mr. Divito, I think the authors of the site you recomended are mistaken. They use Biblical geneologies to measure the age of the Earth, and the universe. They then go on to debunk carbon dating. What they have done is rejected a scientific tool, perhaps rightly, and replaced it with something in the Bible whose stated purpose is not dating geological entities. Because the Bible does not say explicitly that geneologies should be used for this purpose, their use of them in this way is an interpretation. They give no reasons for this interpretation, but they accept it as fact. Lest I be accused of being a relativist when it comes to truth, I should say that propositional truth is atainable from the word of God in my opinion, but we can make mistakes. I believe their particular use of the geneologies, as well as 6 day creationism, are theories of theology and science, not fact. There is much room for dispute here not recognized by the creation museum advicates. But you're right, I haven't been to the museum, and I'm certainly not a scientist. Though I do think the YEC theories are blown by the discovery of any selestial body further than 6000 lightyears away, let alone billions of lightyears. I think our theories of creationism and science, and theology should be presented more humbly than the creation museum does, because in the end, these issues aren't important. They might teach us something about nature, or God's nature, but the important thing is to spread the gospel without getting caught up in debunking the evil leftest lies about how we're all monkeys. Not to say that any of the people in this conversation are doing that. Sorry, this wasn't as brief as I had planned.

ERIC COLE

Yes, I have been to AIG's museum. About 3 years ago I volunteered a week of my time to work on the nature trail surrounding the small lake beside it. I am also one of the charter members. It is actually a sad notice that more of the Christian world isn't aware of this, especially since the secular media all over the world has been talking about it, villifying it, scoffing at it, illegally entering it (Bill Maher), etc. EVERY Christian, especially those who "say" they believe the Bible, should go.

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