Set back for the Christian Community

Today is Monday, 6th February 2017. A well known radio preacher made a fool of himself on the air. Not only that, but he demonstrated a huge ignorance of claims made by Christian preachers in the past. Your humble correspondent does not know if the glaringly erroneous statements were made in complete ignorance of the prior claims, or if the speaker assumed no one would ever check.

A little research would have turned up the past claims; and to assume ignorance and blind acceptance on the part of the audience is both insulting and puerile.

The thought upon which he was expounding is valid. Essentially, he was saying the Bible makes no claims counter to that of modern science, and never conformed to the science – mistaken in the macro and sometimes in the micro – of the past.

There is an underlying assumption here that the scientific understanding of 2017 will never be altered. That ‘we’ are at the pinnacle of scientific understand. That in another three hundred years, or one hundred years, or fifty years or twenty minutes, discoveries will be made that alter the current views.

Probably not completely over rule current understanding, but alter it in the sense of expanding understanding and possibly altering the context of certain understanding. Much like how Dr. Einstein’s concept of Relativity expanded and contextualized Sir Issac Newton’s laws of gravity.

The speaker – who your servant hesitates to name – spoke about how the Bible never supported the Earth being flat. This would come as a shock to nearly all students of Theology and Biblical studies until sometime AFTER the age of Copernicus, Galileo, and the like.

Isaiah 40:22 (In the King James Version AND in the original Hebrew) reads that the Lord sits “… on the circle of the Earth…” and was held to be ‘literal’ – meaning as the reader understood it, not as the writer intended it – and indicated a two-dimentional shape (as understood later in Pythagorean or plane geometry). Therefore, the Bible implied the Earth is flat.

I’m not sure if the speaker mentioned it – I turned the station selector in disgust – but there are three passages of the Old Testament – two describing the same event – wherein the Bible implies the Sun stopped or reversed direction of travel, causing the day to be extended. (Joshua 10:12 to 14, 2nd Kings 20:1 to 11 and Isaiah 38:1 to 8) THEREFORE, the Bible says the Sun rotates around the Earth and the geocentric theory of the Universe is proved – according to the ‘science is bunk’ faction which lasted at least into the 19th Century. I notice it is not mentioned much currently.

I have no doubt of the extension of the days in question. Nor do I have any great scientific theory to explain it. The occurrences may well be miracles in the unexplained things of God sense. However, the heliocentric nature of the solar system is reasonably secure. Nor does the Bible anywhere claim otherwise; it does however record reports by eyewitnesses of what they observed. Which may or may not explicable in simple or familiar terms.

I wonder what repercussions this speaking session portend for the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) movement? The entire YEC theory is based on a ‘literal’ understanding of the King James Version of the Bible. Which this speaker denies.

One can conclude Christianity is not as monolithic as sometimes claimed. Then again, God is a very big God.

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2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christianity, Flat Earth, religion, science

2 responses to “Set back for the Christian Community

  1. Tom Chumley

    Once it was taken as true that the world was flat; we knew this because ships sailed off into the uncharted seas and did not return. The fact was that they did not return; from this they extrapolated truth. They are not the same thing. I believe that faith is surer than “truth”. Scientific truth is what we presume based on the facts we know; but things change in the scientific world. Take the theory of the big bang which might as well be called religion, since it is taken as faith by the scientific community without any empirical data. Now and then God lets us discover the science behind the miracles of his creation, but this doesn’t alter my faith of his creation.

    God created the Earth and the universe; how he created them is not especially important to me.

    Simplistic, I suppose, but I don’t need a good scientific explanation for a matter of faith. Wish I had the wisdom to differentiate those parts of the Bible that are meant to be literal and those that are meant to be allegorical.

    I better stop rambling now

  2. Chum, things DO change in the scientific ‘sphere’. Anyone with a basic understanding of how science works and the sense God gave a goose understands that. “We” learn more and find out new things and appropriately alter our understanding and concepts.

    The problem is, things – at least our ideas of what ‘things’ are – change in the Christian ‘sphere’ as well. The shape of the solar system, the ‘location’ of Heaven or Hell, the shape of the Earth and so on, all firmly set in stone as Biblical at one time are all changed. But this sort of thing is not admitted, not even discussed openly. There are a goodly number of Christians who see this, but very few ‘leaders’ who even admit it happens; although they admit the reality.

    By the way, what is derogatorily called the ‘Big Bang’ theory by a scientist who thought the concept was far too close to the Biblical version for his taste, is based on a couple of material facts. One is the measured velocities of all matter moving away from each other, indicating an initial movement; and Two, the measured background heat level of the Universe is right on what is expected when considering the initial heat of the initial state of the Universe and the elapsed time since then.

    What cannot be explained – and all the astronomers admit this – is where it all came from and why it happened.

    I very much appreciate your statement regarding God and creation and the ‘how’ not being extremely important. I’d like to know just because that’s my nature. Like you, I know the ‘why’; the ‘how’ is of secondary importance.

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