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

Monday, February 22, 2010

Going "Bart Ehrman"

Joshua Sowin, guest blogger for First Things Evangel, has come out.

Pulling a Bart Ehrman, he renounces his former, misguided fundamentalist beliefs by sharing with us a garment rending lament:

Why I'm Not a Creationist (Anymore)

That's right. Josh's early days as a new Christian were tragically wasted believing in young earth creationism. His catharsis allows us to collectively wring our hands and grieve together with him, but then rejoice in praise for his liberation into sound reason and education.

He opens with these remarks,
I became a young-earth creationist in my sophomore year of high school. It was not a scientific decision.
Just a note to Joshua: Pretty much all Darwinian evolutionists didn't make a scientific decision to become an evolutionist, either. When pressed, a lot of them will explain how they have issues with God's authority in their lives. They're looking for any alternative to help them justify their rebellion. But that is what the Bible says about the hearts of sinners, anyways.

Where do the men and women trained in their fields of science according to Darwinian evolutionary constructs who have since become young earth creationists fit in Joshua's box? Is John Sanford, who spent nearly 27 years teaching plant genetics at Cornell, a moron now because he became a young-earth creationist? Kurt Wise studied under Stephen J. Gould, one of Josh's favored authors. I guess I am to conclude either Wise was too stubborn to see the evidence to make a scientific decision in favor of evolution, or Gould just lacked the communication skills to compel him.

Josh continues,
I had just become a Christian, and it was clearly taught on the first page of the Bible. I was young and impressionable. I took up the cause with zeal.
As a young earth creationist, when I read the first pages of the Bible, I don't see young earth creationism taught, either. I do, however, see an historically reliable chronicle of God creating, and according to the text, he did so in the span of 6, ordinary periods of time that we call a solar day. We haven't even left the first paragraph and Joshua has his straw man stuffed and ready to be thwacked.

Going on,
A teenager who thinks they have the absolute truth from God can be dangerous, as we've seen with Islam. Thankfully, I was merely embarrassing.
Ah yes, the old "all religious fundamentalists are the same," argument. This is facile reasoning at its worse. Is Joshua of the opinion that if a Christian father wants his daughters to dress modestly he might as well be telling them to dress head to toe in a burka?

Josh goes on,
I argued against evolutionist teachers and students, but I never really cared about science except to defend my faith. It usually ended with everyone frustrated. The truth was simple: In the Bible, God told us he created the universe (along with all of earth's plant and animal species) in six 24-hour days. Adam and Eve were created and we descended from them. Later, God sent a flood to destroy mankind and only Noah and his family survived. There was no doubt in my mind these events happened, which meant two foundational teachings of modern science, old earth and evolution, must be wrong.
Joshua must have learned his creationism from the Jack Chick school of theology, because what he outlines here is not what biblical creationism teaches.

1) The age of the earth and evolution are related, but need to be addressed separately (see HERE).

2) Evolution is already a loaded term. In discourses, depending upon how the evolutionary defender is arguing, it can mean either molecules-to-man, descent by modification by natural selection, or it can mean merely the adaptation of a species to changing environmental forces. Creationists believe in the sort of evolution that takes place to allow species to adapt to changing environments. They reject the molecules-to-man evolution for extremely good reason: No evidence for it exists.

3) In short, Darwinian evolution is the philosophy laid upon the evidence so as to interpret it.

4) Creationists determine the world is young because studied in their whole, the genealogical chronologies in Genesis suggest the earth is young. Additionally, Jesus Himself identifies the foundation of marriage at the beginning of creation in Mark 10:6. If the creation of the world was 4 billion years before God instituted marriage between Adam and Eve, what exactly was Jesus talking about? (see HERE).

5) God did not create every "species" of animal we see today. He created kinds. This is probably one of the dumbest errors critics of biblical creationists make when they attempt to hammer them with "reason." It's embarrassing in a way. They assume creationists believe that on the 5th and 6th days God made all the hundreds of different fish, dogs, cats, horses, cows, chickens, etc., we see today. Thus, it would have been impossible for Adam to have named them all in a day's time, and as Josh notes near the bottom of his essay, fit on Noah's ark. But Joshua is in good company: Dawkins uses this argument against creationists, too. If this is what Joshua believed about creationism, I can understand why he abandoned it.

Skipping down a bit,
I knew Christianity was true - it changed my life. Who were a bunch of stupid, godless scientists to tell me my religion was wrong?
According to Paul in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, one of the truisms for Christianity is a historical Adam who sinned and plunged humanity and the world into sin and under God's judgment. One of the biggest parts of that judgment is physical death, yet theistic evolutionists create a host of theological problems with scripture if they insist Darwinianism is true. Death and natural selection is a major component driving evolutionary theory. Am I to reject what I have recorded for me in Scripture just to please a bunch of stupid, godless scientists who tell me my religion is wrong? Jesus didn't die because of something a mythical person did.

Then the light of truth shines in,

One might say that reading brought me out of creationism. No wonder I was taught a fear of books outside the Bible and orthodox theology ... There are times in our lives when the scales fall from our eyes and we see something clearly for the first time. For me, it usually happens through reading books.
Josh's new life in Christ must had been dreadful. Stuck in a church that was ran like a North Korean concentration camp and herded into their youth group where he was forced to read theological propaganda. As Joshua climbs the fence to liberation, the rest of us pitiful young earth souls are left behind clutching the barbed wire of our intellectual bondage while watching him run to freedom.

I like to read, too. Just as much as Josh if not more. Reading had the exact opposite on my thinking regarding Genesis, creation, and evolution. While Josh thinks he had the scales fall from his eyes, I see a severe lack of critical thinking. For someone who claims to place a high value on reading, I would think he would at least pick up the books of creationists. Several come to mind that I know would benefit him; if not change his mind, at least allow him to respect his opponents' position and represent his criticisms of it with accuracy.

Moving down a bit,

After I accepted an old earth, I began having doubts about Genesis as literal history. This was heresy as far as I was concerned, and it plagued me. All the elements of a standard creation myth were there - was it possible Genesis was a God-inspired creation myth? Perhaps it was a literary way for God to reveal his creation to his people, and wasn't intended as scientific treatise.
Curious. Does Josh have doubts about the Gospels being literal history? I mean, is it possible that the four Gospels were really just a God-inspired redemption myth? When I survey the Gospels, Jesus and the apostles didn't seem to have a problem accepting Genesis as a literal historical account.

Continuing,
I had been grossly misinformed about evolution and evolutionists by creationist literature.
Really? Grossly misinformed? What creationist literature, by the way? Dr. Dino?

Then, after linking us to a group of articles on transitional fossils on that highly reliable Wikipedia website, Josh states,
It's remarkable that we have any transitional fossils at all, since over 99.9% of all living organisms do not fossilize.
What is remarkable is that Josh, who claims to be a big reader, tends to ignore the vast amounts of creationist literature on the subject of transitional fossils. Does he really think no young earth creationists has provided any sort of answer or a study interacting with the claims of transitional fossils? Here is just a smattering from an on-line apologetic ministry. But even more remarkable, however, is how Josh blindly accepts the evolutionary history of the world seeing that only 99.9 percent of all living organisms do not fossilize. How can evolutionists be so dogmatic with such flimsy, specious evidence?

Joshua then gets down to brass tacks,
Evidence will not change most creationist minds, because evidence is interpreted from presuppositions. A person who presupposes the Bible is wrong if evolution is true is not likely to see any evidence as supporting evolution. It's just not going to happen unless they are willing to deny their faith.
Everyone operates from presuppositions, even theistic evolutionists. Joshua must think his new found convictions transcends presuppositions. However, evolutionists are exercising faith as well. Evidence won't change an evolutionist's mind either, because evidence is interpreted from presuppositions, just like the creationist.

Then Josh illustrates my point,
If they are right, we must reject Genesis as nonsense, for we are faced with irreconcilable contradictions with the text itself (like the differences between the two creation accounts), with logic (like how the millions of earth's species could fit and be fed in a boat for a year), and with natural history (like how the fossil record contradicts the timeframe and sequence of both creation accounts).
He means irreconcilable contradictions for theistic evolutionists. There are no "two creation accounts," millions of species didn't fit into Noah's ark, and the fossil record is a man-made construct and there are much better models from a creationist perspective that interprets the evidence than what has historically been presented by evolutionists. I am sure he is aware of Dr. Andrew Snelling's massive two volume work on geology just published that addresses a lot of this material. Or an important work released last year I once highlighted called Coming to Grips with Genesis.

Then Joshua lays down the gauntlet,

But Christian scholars disagree as to how Genesis should be interpreted. There are many interpretations that allow for an old earth and evolution. For example, local creation theory says that the focus is on the local area, not the world; gap theory says that there was a catastrophe and a re-creation in-between verses 1 and 2; day-age theory says the days are ages; revelatory day theory says God revealed to the author of Genesis how he created the world in six days, but did not create the world in that timeframe; framework view says the six days provide a literary framework for displaying the acts of creation.
Christian scholars disagree. Never heard that one before. With all this disagreeing going on among so many "scholars" we can never be certain about Genesis and creation, right. What are we arguing about? One thing Joshua thinks we can know: we certainly can be certain that the young earth view is stupid and that evolution is right. But if Josh has actually studied these views, he would learn the proponents chose their particular view because he has a compromised view of God's authority. Scientific principle has equal if not greater weight in authority than scripture, so scripture must be conformed to the so-called scientific principles of interpretation in order to be rescued from irrelevancy.

Then Joshua wraps it up,
My journey isn't over. I know I still have a lot to learn. I recognize this and try to be open to new ideas and to being wrong. I don't want to defend my faith instead of seeking truth - for truth is, and has always been, my goal.
Dontcha just love the humility? I don't believe it, however. It is a faux-humility. Who's truth is he seeking after? God's truth? Those who seek after God's truth do not, as Dan Phillips notes in the conclusion of his Team Pyro post, ... take the clear Word of God and respond with "Hath God really said"-- that is, to put energies into defending compromise, dithering, uncertainty, unbelief.

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28 Comments:

Blogger Escovado said...

I read Joshua's “confession” too. The only thing he demonstrated was his lack of genuine effort towards finding the truth.

I became a Christian my first year in college. The only reason I remained a Christian was because of young-earth creationism. I know what Genesis said and it flatly contradicts the evolutionary paradigm no matter how theistic evolutionists protest to the contrary. I have yet to meet a theistic evolutionist who can tell me at which chapter and verse in Genesis does God stop lying to me about ancient history. I am firmly convinced that God created the universe as described in Genesis to expressly preclude its harmonization with any pagan creation myths. Peter puts is quite eloquently…

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as [they were] from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:3-7).

The Apostle makes some interesting observations here regarding the last days: First, uniformitarianism will be a prevailing philosophy in the church. Second, there will be denial that the earth was created out of water; evolutions say it was created out of fire and cooled. Does this sound like today?

I have never been able to wrap my head around the appeal of theistic evolution. When you really dig into the subject of origins, one discovers that there is not a single solitary observation in empirical science that contradicts young-earth creationism. I was surprised to discover that much of what are paraded around as “facts” in evolutionary science are in reality only the products of interpretations and/or extrapolations based on a series of questionable assumptions.

2:44 PM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger The Seeking Disciple said...

How sad for Joshua. My faith in God as the One who created all things by His power has led me to trust Him through it all. Nothing can limit His power but unbelief.

4:52 PM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger S said...

Fred,

I posted your critique on Josh Sowin's post and the first response is this from a Joel Hunter:

"It’s not a critique, it’s a tirade. Likening Mr. Sowin’s doxastic examination to Bart Ehrman’s renunciation of the faith is nothing but a smear. But I suppose when your mission is to “smite theological philistines with a great slaughter,” any old weapon will do. It’s clear from Mr. Sowin’s post that he has not altered some of his beliefs about creation lightly, but has used the good sense that God gives to all to revisit and revise it. He has exercised a reasoned faith such as that championed by Augustine against those who would unjustifiably argue natural philosophy from the Scriptures."

10:20 PM, February 22, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I left a follow up comment at the post.

5:41 AM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger DJP said...

Nice and needed fisking, Fred.

So you go to Evangel, eh?/

Why?

7:16 AM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

No. I don't frequent Evangel at all. A dear saintly soul from my volunteers alerted me to it.

7:17 AM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

By the way, Dan, did you see how I quoted from you in my conclusion?

7:23 AM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger DJP said...

!!

Why, no, I... I....

Yeah, sure. I noticed. Vanity, your name is me.

)c:

8:15 AM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Darren said...

Awesome rebuttal. I read Josh Sowin's coming out post & thought exactly what you have put into words. Truly a great rebuttal.

12:46 PM, February 23, 2010  
Blogger Lynda O said...

How sad this case. His reasoning (or lack thereof) reminds me of some Christian homeschooled students I know, who received an inferior general education and never really acquired the Christian faith for themselves -- but learned to parrot outwardly the things heard by Christian parents or other adults, without real understanding or reasoning ability. Then unbelief and rebellion (against Christian parents, Christian Church Youth groups, etc) enter as he says, "No wonder I was taught a fear of books outside the Bible and orthodox theology." Seriously... I haven't looked at that Evangel website, but it would not surprise me to learn that Josh was homeschooled and sheltered by well-meaning but over-protective Christian parents.

Josh's statement quoted above, "Evidence will not change most creationist minds, because evidence is interpreted from presuppositions. A person who presupposes the Bible is wrong if evolution is true is not likely to see any evidence as supporting evolution." -- that just sounds too much like the simplistic (and wrong!) thinking of a homeschooled kid now in rebellion. I've reviewed essays from a few such kids (while in high school and very much under their parents' influence) and observed similarly simplistic thoughts.

As an unbeliever in high school I bought in to all the atheist, evolutionary propaganda. A good presentation by some Christians regarding the problems of evolution and the complexities and design, was part of the process God used in bringing me to faith in Christ several years later. After I was saved, I saw some good books in the Christian bookstore, that clearly explained the issues, and the additional reading on the subject has only served to strengthen my faith, to trust God more, truly to take God at His word in everything He says.

7:46 AM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

http://firstthings.com/blogs/evangel/2010/02/why-i%e2%80%99m-not-a-creationist-anymore/

Hi Fred,

This fellow Craig Payne wrote the following comment in #67:

"“In some respects I actually have more respect for the commitment to secular materialism, to philosophical naturalism, and methodological naturalism by an atheist evolutionist than I do for the compromising, man-pleasing, aiding-and-abetting-the-enemy theistic evolutionist.”

Trust me on this: In evangelical circles, pointing out the obvious as Joshua Sowin has done takes courage. It’s much easier to be “compromising” and “man-pleasing”–say, by attacking evolutionary science and its evidence. (Scientific evidence is not “the enemy,” by the way, and atheism is not the equivalent of “philosophy.”) Just think: Mr. Sowin, simply because of his views on human origins, now will not be invited to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ at the majority of evangelical churches. They think that the accounts of prehistoric events and the prophecies of possible future events are the true “litmus tests” of the Gospel, and are so clear that anyone who disagrees with the current pet interpretations must be in not-so-secret collusion with Evil.

Let you in on another little secret: Many evangelical pastors think like Mr. Sowin, but will never say so. Their congregations don’t know, nor will the pastors tell them. “Compromising” and “man-pleasing,” anyone?

Creation is a theological category. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. But when we begin discussing the material mechanisms of life on earth, we have to say other things than “God did it”–even though ultimately, as theistic evolutionists argue, God did it.

When your children ask questions about how they arrived here, do you tell them God created them to be here? Although that answer is theologically true, is it satisfactory? Is it complete? Is it even what they are asking?"

What do you think of pastors who are theistic evolutionists and who, according to Craig Payne, do not share that information with their congregation?

10:49 AM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

What do you think of pastors who are theistic evolutionists and who, according to Craig Payne, do not share that information with their congregation?

He assumes a lot of pastors are theistic evolutionists and are hiding it from their congregations. Certainly there are those who do so. My observation, however, is that a good portion of them have never really studied the issue to have a conviction one way or another. They are muddled for the most part with regards to the specifics of origins. Of course, many of these pastors are the same ones scrambling to deal with Da Vinci Code argumentation and people like Bart Ehrman who comes along and tells their people the NT is untrustworthy. It is a regrettable position to be in as a pastor, but so goes our modern day attempts at being seeker-sensitive.

I may have some more as to what your commenter wrote. I am sick at the moment and not feeling like sitting at a desk for too long.

Fred

12:15 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

Years ago, I was encouraged to leave a certain Baptist church in San Diego because my creationist beliefs did not mesh with their theistic evolutionism. Around the same time, they also fired one of their assistant pastors for the same reason. Of course, that was the one pastor I liked the most.

One of the leaders in their singles ministry, who was a Ph.D. in Physics, handed me an anti-creationist magazine he wanted me to read. The feature article of that periodical allegedly "proved" all those quotes creationists used from the scientific literature to document their case were all either taken out of context or misrepresented the author’s views. Well…I happened to have my own copies of all the sources used in that magazine (yeah, I know I’m pretty hard core). I brought them all into church the next week and showed him that the quotes were accurate. And I told him those people you are listening to are all liars, and that I am tired of being lied to. He just sat there with a deer-in-the-headlights look on his face.

I do believe that was the incident that led to my demise.

3:15 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

"The feature article of that periodical allegedly "proved" all those quotes creationists used from the scientific literature to document their case were all either taken out of context or misrepresented the author’s views. Well…I happened to have my own copies of all the sources used in that magazine (yeah, I know I’m pretty hard core)."

Hi Escovado,

Do you have that article and your refutation of that article in electronic format?

I'd like to read it.

I also appreciate the fact that you're "hard-core".

Also, as far as your "demise" in that theistic evolutionist church you could also look at it as your liberation to freedom.

3:27 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger John said...

I have not read Josh's confession yet but want to. I would say from this analysis that he was not in a church but rather a cult of Christianity and there are many of them out there. Per his being a Christian?? Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, if this was a cult he was definitely NOT a Christian. Someone else sized up his experience well--similar, yes, to Bart Ehrman. Both probably set up 'strawman' theology and the first match strike caused it to go up in flames. That is not a correct view of the Old Testament. That is not a correct view of the New Testament. There are facts and truths there that have stood the test of time and will continue to stand long after we are gone.

4:07 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

John writes,

I would say from this analysis that he was not in a church but rather a cult of Christianity and there are many of them out there.

I wouldn't go so far as to say he was in a "cult." More than likely he was in your typical fundy church where the leadership probably did not make teaching the subject of origins accurately a priority.

One of the other commenters under his article at First Things claims my beef is really with his bad teachers, and not Joshua. I am misguided and mean-spirited against a guy who didn't really know any better who is now being honest to what he learned.

Certainly there is blame to be laid at the feet of his youth pastor and the leadership, but I am curious as to why when Joshua was awakened to reading outside his immediate circle of literature on the subject, he assumed no young earth creationist literature existed interacting with the material he was studying. He just seems to assume the narrow minded fundy view he was initially taught was it. I see that as being intellectually lazy, if not out right disingenuous to then turn around a write up a confession ripping on young earthers as "having no answers."

6:30 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

@ Truth Unites... and Divides:

"Do you have that article and your refutation of that article in electronic format?"

Gosh, that was back in 1994. The anti-creation article was from a now-defunct publication called Creation/Evolution that was published by one of the skeptical organizations. There wasn't much to it; just the standard whining about how creationists misquote evolutionists. I never wrote a refutation. All I did was drag in the copies of the sources I had. Opened them up to the citations and had the person read for himself the quotes in context to show him they were accurate.

Back in 1980's, when I first became a Christian, I really struggled with the whole creation/evolution thing. You may think this was crazy, but I spent one summer finding the original sources of just about all the quotes used in the book Evolution: The Fossils Say No! by Dr. Gish. I lived in the San Diego State University library finding and photocopying about 300 pages from books and journals. I also found a lot of the sources from discarded library books and inter-library loans.

You see, I was all too familiar with the material the skeptical magazine used, so it was child’s play to show that man they were being less than truthful.

I still have all of the twenty-year-old photocopies in a box around here, but that would be impractical. However, I did put together a thirty-page quotation document based on all the stuff I dug up. It also contains a lot of material distilled from many creationist sources. I got tired of giving away books to fellow Christians having the same difficulties I had, so I put that document together to help them. It's vintage 1987, but I do still have it in electronic format as a word document. Just for grins, I could email it to Fred and he could pass it on to you, if you want to read it.

I have toyed around with the idea of creating a creationist web site that had scans of the original sources to document the distinct lack of empirical evidence for the particles-to-people evolution.

6:49 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger joel hunter said...

Mr. Butler,

I see you've chosen to disengage from our discussion on Evangel but continue to refer to my comments there. You are misrepresenting my remarks in your comment above. I've neither said nor implied anything about the tone of your replies. I find hand-wringing over such matters tiresome in the extreme. I couldn't care less if you're "mean-spirited" or not; I think you've misunderstood my point about bullying. If you'll indulge the cross-post, I'll paste my last comment to you here and I'll be glad to continue the discussion if you'd like (though the context of our preceding dialogue will be missing for your readers here):

* * *

Why yes, Mr. Butler, I did read Dr. Wood’s entire post and several more that he cross-linked.

“The basics of evolution are not under dispute.” Really? Do you agree with Dr. Wood that that there is plenty of evidence to support the idea of the common ancestry of species? In any event, you can take up “the basics of evolution” with him. Of more relevance to Mr. Sowin’s post is this question: do you agree with the sufficiency of Dr. Wood’s reason for rejecting evolution, namely, on the basis of a personal “faith choice?”

The issue at dispute is a philosophy of evolutionary naturalism that attempts to explain all of reality according to such constructs.

No, the issue at dispute is whether Mr. Sowin is an honest seeker, and whether he is in his epistemic rights to disagree with your YEC. You are now changing the subject. Your complaint was that Mr. Sowin is a dishonest man. By some means of divination, you managed to see through his reconsideration and revision of his beliefs on natural history as disingenuous. You hold him responsible for a failure to seek out and agree with non-Jack Chick YECers. If all you have to go on is Mr. Sowin’s post, how can you possibly know who he has or hasn’t read? Unless Mr. Sowin has notified us of his bibliography, you are presuming that he hasn’t read your sources because he has arrived at a conclusion with which you fundamentally disagree. Do you really mean to suggest that any reasonable examination of your sources would compel Mr. Sowin to agree with you? You are using loaded theological rhetoric to attempt to bully him into accepting your position as the only legitimate one. Whither thou goest with this spectacle?

8:57 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Joel,
lookit, I have been sick. Pretty much laying around in bed since yesterday evening.

No, the issue at dispute is whether Mr. Sowin is an honest seeker, and whether he is in his epistemic rights to disagree with your YEC

Certainly Joshua has a right to disagree with biblical creationism, but the reasons he does so are weak and lazy. Call that divination if you like, but I have seen this time and again from folks such as frequent the Boar's Head Tavern. It is a reaction to fundamentalist Christianity, that he perceived as stifling his intellectual growth, more than any thing else. A reevaluation of the evidence didn't bring him to the conclusions he now holds; it was an entire paradigm shift with the authorities he now submits to to shape his perspectives.

Unless Mr. Sowin has notified us of his bibliography, you are presuming that he hasn’t read your sources because he has arrived at a conclusion with which you fundamentally disagree.

I would bet a year's salary he hasn't read any of the sources I mentioned. If he has, it was superficially.

Do you really mean to suggest that any reasonable examination of your sources would compel Mr. Sowin to agree with you?

No. But it would go a long way to establish his integrity as a thoughtful "truth seeker."

9:21 PM, February 24, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

@ Truth Unites... and Divides:

Fred now has a copy of that word document. The content is 23 years old, so it's in need of an update, but it still holds up well on the basics.

5:07 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

"I still have all of the twenty-year-old photocopies in a box around here"

Correction, that was 25 years ago. Ack! I am feeling old right now. :)

5:19 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Deep and warm thanks, Escovado.

Might be good for our Boars Head Tavern fellow to e-mail Fred and get a copy too.

;-)

7:24 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Yes, I received the document mentioned by Escovado. Anyone interested can email me at the address in my profile. I'll be happy to pass it along.

7:51 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

One more caveat regarding the document: It was originally created in AppleWorks and then imported into MS Word. The page breaks and some of the formating are all messed up, so I could fix that if you want.

8:38 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Escovado,

I'd appreciate that very much as all I have is MS Word.

You might find this interesting: I debated Jeremy Pierce about whether a person can be an inerrantist while denying the historicity of Adam. He says "Yes", I say "No." It's a 50+ comment thread that's kicked off with a terrific Steve Hays post.

If you're interested, click Was Adam Real?

8:51 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger joel hunter said...

Mr. Butler,

Certainly Joshua has a right to disagree with biblical creationism, but the reasons he does so are weak and lazy.

I said "epistemic rights," so when you accuse him of advancing "weak and lazy" reasons, you're agreeing with my characterization of your view. You're denying that he is within his epistemic rights to disagree with you.

Since you seem to know much more about him than I do, I'm happy to leave you to your conclusions, Bulveristic though they be. I do not understand why you would accuse him of a lack of integrity based on that one post. Naive? Maybe. Unsophisticated? Probably. But why not debate matters of fact and principles--show that he is mistaken--rather than brush him off as immoral? Why the urgency to toss his experience to the ash heap? As I asked earlier, whither goest thou with such a spectacle?

11:16 AM, February 25, 2010  
Blogger Escovado said...

"I said 'epistemic rights,' so when you accuse him of advancing 'weak and lazy' reasons, you're agreeing with my characterization of your view. You're denying that he is within his epistemic rights to disagree with you."

No, joel, Fred is saying that Joshua has presented weak and lazy reasons as his basis for rejecting creationism. Everything Joshua mentioned that convinced him of macro-evolution's truth has been more than adequately answered by creationists. It was painfully obvious that Joshua was not familiar with the material on the other side. It appears that he originally accepted creationism based on authortian appeals rather than evidence. And it now appears that he is making the same mistake by embracing evolution on the same grounds.

5:27 AM, February 26, 2010  
Blogger steve said...

joel hunter said...


“No, the issue at dispute is whether Mr. Sowin is an honest seeker, and whether he is in his epistemic rights to disagree with your YEC.”

To judge by Sowin’s own post, his commitment to YEC was more sociological than anything. He believed it because his social circle believed it.

“Epistemic rights” are not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Sowin has the epistemic right to disagree with YEC provided that he’s studied the best arguments of YEC writers, and has good reason to disagree with them.

For example, if he were to read more sophisticated proponents of YEC like Byl, Hasel, Wise, and Sarfati, as well as non-YEC writers who nevertheless defend certain YEC methods and/or assumptions (e.g. James Barr)–and if, as a result of immersing himself in the best that the YEC side has to offer, he could articulate basic flaws in their science and/or exegesis, then he’d be within his epistemic rights to reject YEC.

There’s no evidence in his post that he seriously investigated YEC. Rather, by his own admission, he apparently had a topsoil belief in YEC–which, not surprisingly, was easily washed away.

“By some means of divination, you managed to see through his reconsideration and revision of his beliefs on natural history as disingenuous.”

No, not divination. Fred was judging Sowin on the basis of Sowin. His own post was the frame of reference.

“If all you have to go on is Mr. Sowin’s post, how can you possibly know who he has or hasn’t read?”

There’s nothing the least bit inappropriate about judging Sowin by what he put in the public domain. That’s how he chose to represent himself.

And that doesn’t stop you from judging Fred on the basis of a single post. So why do you hold Fred to a different standard than Sowin?

“You are using loaded theological rhetoric to attempt to bully him into accepting your position as the only legitimate one.”

To say that Fred is trying to “bully” him is, itself, loaded rhetoric.

“Since you seem to know much more about him than I do, I'm happy to leave you to your conclusions, Bulveristic though they be.”

“Bulveristic” is another case of loaded rhetoric.

10:27 AM, February 26, 2010  

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