Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Mid Week Musings

Adda boys and back pats for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president, Al Mohler Jr., for his thoughtful comments in the August 15th edition of Time magazine. This week's edition explores the terrible casualties caused by the Evolution Wars. The little blurb on the cover asks, "The push to teach "intelligent design" raises a question: Does God have a place in science class?" then spends seven pages exploring the ins and outs of the question. Creationists are mentioned but are treated, as always, like the red-headed step child, and all of the ID proponents make sure they are distant enough from any mention of God so no one will come away thinking they are "religious."

On the last page, there is a Time Forum box where four experts are asked this penetrating question: "Can you believe in God and Evolution?" Two of the experts seem to suggest yes, one doesn't believe God is competent to be a designer, and only one, Al Mohler, answers right:

Given the human tendency toward inconsistency, there are people who will say they hold both positions. But you cannot coherently affirm the Christian truth claim and the dominant model of evolutionary theory at the same time.

Personally, I am a young earth creationist. I believe the Bible is adequately clear about how God created the world, and that its most natural reading points to a six-day creation that included not just the animal and plant species but the earth itself. But there have always been evangelicals who asserted that it might have taken longer. What they should not be asserting is the idea of God's having set the rules for evolution and then stepped back. And even less so, the model held by much of the scientific academy: of evolution as the result of random process of mutation and selection.

For one thing, there's the issue of human "descent." Evangelicals must absolutely affirm the special creation of humans in God's image, with no physical evolution from nonhuman species. Just as important, the Bible clearly teaches that God is involved in every aspect and moment in the life of His creation and the universe. That rules out the image of a kind of divine watchmaker.

I think it's interesting that many of evolution's most ardent academic defenders have moved away from the old claim that evolution is God's means to bring life into being in its various forms. More of them are saying that a truly informed belief in evolution entails a stance that the material world is all there is and that the natural must be explained in purely natural terms. They're saying that anyone who truly feels this way must exclude God from the story. I think their self analysis is correct. I just couldn't disagree more with their premise.

A Christian version of Napster. Some one from my Highway discussion group linked us to this new and interesting site. It is called the Bible Centre and the inverted "e" and "r" is a dead give away that the curators live in England somewhere. If anyone was to give the site just even a quick look over, a person would be overwhelmed by the amount of tremendous online resources the site offers. Full commentaries from a variety of older authors, including one of my favorites on Genesis, H.C. Leupold. There are also full books dealing with apologetics, theology and Church history.

The problem, however, is one of legality. Is this site breaking copyright law by posting full length books, especially books with publishers still holding a copyright? As much as I am taken by the amount of material and resources this site offers, a nagging feeling tells me there's something stinky here that could lead to a whole mess of future legal problems.

After the one person posted the link and a gushing note about the vast amounts of wonderful content made available for free use, another shrewd person sent an email to James White of Alpha and Omega ministries, because his book called, The Forgotten Trinity, is featured on the site for free use. James quickly wrote back and stated rather emphatically that what they are doing is wrong because they did not have the permission to post it. I guess we'll see. I personally would like to see James participate in some sort of congressional hearing like the rock stars did with the whole Napster fiasco a few years back. I am sure he would look cool wearing his Oakley's and a fractal tie on C-SPAN.
Leave the poor girl alone. I saw yesterday various news clips of Jennifer Wilbanks, the infamous "runaway" bride from earlier in the year, paying her dues to society by mowing grass around the court house in her home town of Lawrenceville, Georgia.
I can recall all of the jokes made about her when she turned up in New Mexico after an extensive manhunt across the nation. In light of all the other husbands killing their wives stories from the last year, everyone suspected her fiancee of doing her in. Of course, there was always the prospect of her being kidnapped by some freakish cult guy who wanted to add her to his harem. At any rate, I remember there being something fishy when on the Thursday night before our Julia Roberts wannabe turned up in New Mexico, the marrying pastor goes on national TV to proclaim how they all had faith in God that she would turn up and "we are gonna have a big weddin' this Saturday." Both my wife and I grimaced when we heard that.
I say "fishy" because the pastor's bold confident and unfulfilled statement struck me as something I would hear from the "I don't have peace with God about this" crowd. You know the types. These are the individuals who believe you must have absolute peace (whatever that is) about making a big decision, like marriage, or you are out of God's will. I have to confess right up front that I have never had peace about anything. The still small voice inside me must be a deaf-mute. Now I realize this is total speculation and conjecture on my part, but I have always wondered if the reason this gal ran was the whole "peace with God" theology she had probably been taught at her Church. Granted, there was more than likely a lot of pressure by obsessive folks, especially mothers - been there, done that; and there were rumors she had an old boy friend she was attempting to run to for one last fling, or maybe to see if God's will would be found with him, who knows. Even though I am shooting from the hip into the dark with this one, knowing those quirky evangelicals and the screwball ideas about God they readily embrace, I still have my suspicions. In the meantime, is it absolutely necessary for a herd of reporters and camera men to chase after her as she pushes a lawn mower? Come on, let her alone... in peace.
If what I am reading about Air America is true, Al Franken's ship is doomed. Michelle Malkin has a good round-up.
Finally, my lame attempt to get a blogspot from Phil Johnson at Pyromaniac by bribing him with graphic medical pictures of one of my volunteer's re-attached severed toe, failed this week. One reason for being overlooked was that my offer came at the exact time Phil was transferring his old computer files onto his new laptop. My offer still stands, however, so I will be on the outlook for that blogspot.


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