#POPChrist Goes to Ark Encounter Part II: The View From Below

In Part I, I paid tribute to Ken Ham’s 4,000 space parking lot which has yet to fill to capacity.

As you can see from the photo below, when Joel and I went to the Ark Encounter, there was no line. In a recent post, Joel Duff addresses the question of the long-term financial viability of the Ark Encounter. Yet, Ham is obviously prepared for Disneyland length lines. For those who must wait or simply choose to stand around, Answers in Genesis has prepared a video presentation that ostensibly portrays the kinds of conversations Noah may have had with the pre-flood anti-Yahwist polytheists who fail to heed his warnings.  Continue reading “#POPChrist Goes to Ark Encounter Part II: The View From Below”

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Dispensationalism, Dividing the Word, Dividing Walls and all on Flat Earth

A Mystery:

How does a 21st Century Norwegian become a King James Only, Dispensationalist, Not Merely Young Earth but FLAT-EARTH Creationist?

A Living Riddle:

To @aigkenham @CreationMuseum Outer space does not exist, Ken. We live under the firmament on a flat earth which is still. You should know.

When I first saw this Tweet chastising Answers in Genesis’s Ken Ham, I thought it was a jest. The type of jest I might make to emphasize the limits of literalism and to note that every literalist stops being a literalist somewhere. Or do they?flat-earth

I doubt there are many young earth creationists who adopt a biblical biological perspective when it comes to human conception or medicine. If they did, their doctors would prescribe heart medicine for mental disorders and fertility doctors would treat women only and treat the discovery of ova like AIG treats the discovery of background radiation in space and carbon dating.

Out of curiousity, I replied to this tweet and asked, Do you really believe the earth is flat? The individual responded with “Of course I belive the earth is flat that is what the Bible teaches.” I had found someone who was at once more consistent and more of curiousity than Ken Ham.
Continue reading “Dispensationalism, Dividing the Word, Dividing Walls and all on Flat Earth”

Advent, Christmas and the Nativity Part IV: Jesus, Why Don’t Your Disciples Wash Their Hands? Were You Born in a Barn?

The popular version of the Christmas story has a full-term Mary riding into Bethlehem on a donkey. When Mary and Joseph arrive in town, they are told that the local inn is full and must settle for a nearby barn for shelter. That very night, Mary gave birth to her firstborn son, Jesus. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

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In Part III, I addressed the problem that there is no “inn” in Luke’s narrative. The word that is translated inn is more accurately translated “guest room”. The idea of the inn likely comes from the British imagination which is also the likely source of the assumption that the manger must be located in a barn. In a way, it is a bit surprising that a Pub never worked its way into the popular narrative. And after Jesus was born, Joseph went to the local pub and handed out cigars. (The New Cockney Version) No, maybe not. Continue reading “Advent, Christmas and the Nativity Part IV: Jesus, Why Don’t Your Disciples Wash Their Hands? Were You Born in a Barn?”

Advent, Christmas, and Nativity Part III: Because there was no room in the . . . Hey, where’s the Inn?

In the previous post in this Advent series, I suggested that Mary was not likely full-term on the 70 mile journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. So, she was a lighter load for the little donkey that may or may not have made the journey with them. I have also saved Joseph, the patron Saint of Canada, from any accusations of being so insensitive as to make his full-term wife ride a donkey.

It is possible that Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem.But depending on how far along she was in her pregnancy, she may have even have walked at leisure alongside her husband. Is that such a bad picture to have leading up to the Nativity? These newlyweds strolling along the path to Bethlehem, enjoying one another’s company, and talking about plans for the future. Maybe Joseph was filling his wife in on the quirks of his family in Bethlehem. Continue reading “Advent, Christmas, and Nativity Part III: Because there was no room in the . . . Hey, where’s the Inn?”

Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham

Or the Harmonization Temptation

This post continues and concludes (for now) my engagement with Augustine’s On the Literal Meaning of Genesis.
I simply want to note some of the intriguing and insightful elements in this work. I will give particular attention to Augustine’s suggestion that Genesis 1 presents God’s causal creation of all things, including human beings, while Genesis 2 describes the formal or material creation of human beings which for Augustine is God’s ongoing creative activity. Finally, I suggest that one of the errors that is common to Ham, Augustine and many errors is the desire to harmonize Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

[For related Ham-Handed posts follow these links: Augustine IAugustine II, Augustine III)

Continue reading “Ham-Handed Hermeneutics VI: More Hippo, Less Ham”

Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity

Following from the idea of sola scriptura (scripture alone), many Christians, primarily those coming out of the Protestant traditions, have come to think that if people will just read the Bible they will become followers of Christ. That is, they seem to suggest that acceptance of the Bible as an authoritative text for life precedes acceptance of Christ Jesus as Lord and Savio(u)r.

In convincing the world of this basic though generally erroneous assumption, we Protestants have unfortunately been quite successful. I am reminded of this through my recent interactions with non-Christians of various kinds.

To witness our success, take some time to listen to how non-Christians portray Christianity. For a moment, you might see yourself as in a mirror, it may be a funhouse mirror but it is a mirror, nonetheless.

When you do take time to listen, to ask questions, to create space for your neighbo(u)r to give voice to their ideas, frustrations, fears, dreams, desires, and concerns, I think you will hear what I hear quite consistently. That is, in the distortions of the funhouse mirror, this view of the authority of Scripture is an accurate reflection of what they hear from Christians. Continue reading “Humanity was not made for Scripture but Scripture for Humanity”

An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)

In this series of posts, I am noting the shared presuppositions of most Young Earthers (YECs) and a particular though common subset of atheists which I am referring to as evangelistic atheists. Evangelistic atheists (EAs) are those who think atheism and atheistic reasoning are “good news” and that as they spread this good news theism (superstition) will decline and the world will become a better place through scientific discovery.

In the west and for obvious reasons, the primary target of evangelistic atheism’s polemical rhetoric is aimed at Christians. In my experience which includes reading, conversation, on-line interaction (i.e. not usually conversational), being a student in anti-Christian contexts, and my own youth which included an element of anti-Christian skeptical agnosticism most evangelistic atheists seem to assume and, indeed, insist that true Christianity is Protestant Fundamentalist Christianity.

Related Posts: Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with YouUnhappy Marriage I: Atheists are from Mars and Young Earthers are from Earth

I am likely stretching my analogy of the Unhappy Marriage to the breaking point but who cares its a blog. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage III: Don’t Tell Me What I Think (or the Art of Listening)”

An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You

“Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am stuck in the middle with you.” — Stealers Wheels

We are all fools. One type of fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

“Answer a fool according to his folly.” Sometimes, you have to set aside your ultimate aims and simply meet people where they are. You can’t just point an atheist to a Bible verse. That’s like quoting your mother to your wife in an argument.

As I suggested in my previous post, we all have biases, prejudices, and presuppositions. In fact, it would be difficult to function in the world without them. Continue reading “An Unhappy Marriage II: Stuck in the Middle with You”

Genesis 3: What is the man doing? or Adam discovers the scientific method.

“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Genesis 3:6)

After a series of close-ups involving the serpent and the woman, the camera pans back and reveals that her husband has been present all along. So, what was he doing? Why did he not intervene? Why did he not answer the serpent or better send it scurrying for speaking inappropriately to his wife, the queen of Eden? Continue reading “Genesis 3: What is the man doing? or Adam discovers the scientific method.”

Mind the Gap II: Healing the Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)

In my previous post “Diagnosing the Split-Brain Syndrome“, I focussed on my own experience growing up switching between absolute credulity and scientific rigour (at least a little more rigour than the average teenager). The most bizarre thing to me is that it did not seem to phase me or those around me. I could be talking about the latest discoveries in shark behaviour in one instant and recounting the latest alien abduction story in the next. No one ever questioned me about the incongruity. Indeed, if anything, people were more interested in the latter than the former.

It will surprise many non-Christians that for me the healing began shortly after my conversion to Christianity in my first year of university. While it began with a desire to understand the Scriptures better, the real healing began when I attended Regent College for Graduate School. Continue reading “Mind the Gap II: Healing the Split-Brain Syndrome in Young Adults (and the rest of us)”