Blessings,

I thought it would be a healthy idea to hear some different perspectives as to what 'authorities' we rest our core beliefs of scripture, God's creation and His Salvation.

Of course scripture must be our ultimate authority and I believe that is a consensus here with most members, but God has given us intelligible minds, a complex structure within us to be able to use our reason and other elements to discern and interpret evidence found throughout His creation. We only need to observe the complexity of DNA to see that God has used a type of road map and His fingerprints can be found in all aspects of His creation.

I'm curious what other devices members use to search for God's truth and how it is compared to the authority of scripture.

Some live by a 'Presuppositional' view point where they believe that man's reason outside of God's Word is limited and to some extent very limited and adhere greatly to Proverbs 3:5-7. Others believe you can use evidence within the physical world to explain how God's creation was developed and how it has continued its course through the millenniums.

I'd like others to share their devices and their methods as it might be edifying to other members in that they've never considered using such methods for themselves.

I look forward to hearing from some of you and your methods of explaining the magnificence of God's creation.

Be blessed!

Views: 277

Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

The devices I have found useful to search for God's truth are


Special revelation (bible) 
Special revelation (the most important and our starting reference), frames how we justify our axioms/presuppositions that we use to interpret our past and future. Tells us who God is and gives us reliable recorded historical events and future events in the form of prophecy.


General revelation (nature)  
General revelation reveals a worldwide flood, fully formed fossils, reality of kinds, life creates life, etc. While present day processes reveals creation details such as, codes in DNA, language in DNA, complex integrated biological structures (enzymes, proteins, etc.), cell signalling, etc.


Transcendental revelation (presuppositional)
Transcendental revelation such as preconditions for intelligibility such as laws of logic, laws of cause and effect, intelligence, morality, uniformity, information, etc. Neither rationality or science can be done without these prerequisites.


Formal revelation (science)
Formal revelation  such as soft tissue in fossils, probably no junk DNA, etc. See many articles on scientific discoveries on the main creation sites, such as icr.org.


Technological revelation (computer model)
Technological revelation such as information theory, robotics, software programming, integrated circuitry, cybernetics, etc., shows us that only intelligence produces prescribed functions with a purpose for purposeful integrated systems. And shows that random errors can never create complicated systems with integrated functionalities, but only degrades such systems.


 

I believe that we CAN use the evidence of the natural world to understand how God's creation came into existence and how it continues to operate through the millennia up to the present.

We can also use our reason and our minds.

BUT any success in using our minds and any correct observations of the natural world are still the result of DIVINE REVELATION.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse shows His handiwork (Ps. 19:1). This verse states explicitly that the heavens and the sky do express truth about God.

Yet, Paul in his letter to the Romans declares that it is GOD HIMSELF who is making the truth about Himself know to those who are able to understand:

Because that which is known of God is manifest among them, for [because] God has shown it to them.

For the invisible things of Him from [by means of] the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by [through] the things made, both His eternal power and Divinity, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20

Note well however, THE SCRIPTURE DECLARES that the natural world tells us certain things about GOD, but there is no indication that the natural world can tell us how it was made - we may be able to make some guesses about how the natural world came to its present form, but there can be no certainty from the natural world alone.

It is the BIBLE, God Himself who tells us HOW and WHEN and WHY He made it.

It is therefore impossible to ever reach any correct conclusions from the natural world alone, or to ever obtain truth about the natural world that is contrary to the simple and intended sense of the original penmen as meant for their original readers or hearers.

I don't disagree with using nature to better understand who God was... however, I believe the primary point I want to express is that we must always adhere to God's Word when nature supposed discoveries within nature contradict God's Word.

We must remember, when examining any type of evidence we must employ human reasoning (which is fallible) to determine and draw conclusions from that evidence.

I would agree with your last statement completely:

"It is the BIBLE, God Himself who tells us HOW and WHEN and WHY He made it."

It is strange to think that science and evidence is in anyway superior to, or used to explain scripture. I believe God's Word stands firm upon its own explanations. The problem with evidence is that discoveries in science seem to change and are often dependent upon interpretation and explanation. The problem with this is everyone employs their presupposition (founding worldview) to their reason before they interpret and examine the evidence, so by default, the evidence is tainted as we bring a preset of ideas and perspectives to the evidence. In a sense, we have already predetermined details about the evidence before we've examined it.

Evidence in nature is a wonderful examination for the Christian to see the magnificence and the glory of God and his creation, but it is an awful litmus to explain the how and the when as it pertains to God's creation.

Exactly.

Gary Murray said:

I don't disagree with using nature to better understand who God was... [JIM ADDS: "IS"] however, I believe the primary point I want to express is that we must always adhere to God's Word when nature supposed discoveries within nature contradict God's Word.

My point is that the Bible reveals that God Himself is the source of the Revelation that comes through the natural world, for Romans 1 says "GOD HAS MANIFEST IT TO THEM. . . "

We must remember, when examining any type of evidence we must employ human reasoning (which is fallible) to determine and draw conclusions from that evidence.

And if we do draw correct conclusions, it is not because of how smart we are, but it is because God is manifesting Himself to us. It is so understandable that God says from this revelation ALONE we are all "without excuse!"

I would agree with your last statement completely:

"It is the BIBLE, God Himself who tells us HOW and WHEN and WHY He made it."

It is strange to think that science and evidence is in anyway superior to, or used to explain scripture. I believe God's Word stands firm upon its own explanations. The problem with evidence is that discoveries in science seem to change and are often dependent upon interpretation and explanation. The problem with this is everyone employs their presupposition (founding worldview) to their reason before they interpret and examine the evidence, so by default, the evidence is tainted as we bring a preset of ideas and perspectives to the evidence. In a sense, we have already predetermined details about the evidence before we've examined it.

What is troubling to me is that there are so many people who think that they can question the PLAIN SENSE of Scripture based on convoluted extrapolations from less than plain science, or often from theories and conjecture masquerading as "Science."

Evidence in nature is a wonderful examination for the Christian to see the magnificence and the glory of God and his creation, but it is an awful litmus to explain the how and the when as it pertains to God's creation.

So often the "Guesses" and the Conjecture about origins are based ON PRESENT PROCESSES - but God says that it is incorrect to imagine that all things continue in the present world just as they were occurring in the world that has been wiped out and perished (2 Peter 3:3-6)

scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “. . . all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that . . .the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

In a sense, we have already predetermined details about the evidence before we've examined it.


I agree with this statement and will try to explain why it is true, but at a higher level i.e. its transcendental.


I am certainly not an evidentialist although a large proportion of the bible relies on evidences and sometimes of evidence in nature. For example, prophecy relies on evidence. Christ being who He claimed He Is uses evidence (miracles, prophecies, etc.). Christ's prophecy about the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem relied on eventual evidence.


“And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, ‘You see all of these things, do you not? Truly I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down’” (Matthew 24:1-2).


This evidence came in 70 AD when the Romans came and utterly destroyed the temple as Christ prophesied. The evidence was recorded and now it’s a historical fact. 


The resurrection also relied on evidence, but not of an empty tomb, but of Christ's physical appearance to the 12 apostles and the other apostles and to over 500 others who physically met, talked and touched the risen Christ.


"… 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born..." 1 Corinthians 15:1-11


The evidence was recorded and now is a historical fact. 


So evidence is important, but belief and faith came before these evidences. Thus faith and belief is proof of evidence and the evidence reinforces faith and belief. But the world has perverted how evidence works and tries to delude us in thinking that faith and belief are separate and that after evidence comes faith and belief.


Unless the sceptic, atheist have a spiritual based faith from the bible then they will believe that our faith came after the evidence i.e. evidentialism, that is the position that the evidence ‘speaks for itself’. For example, the sceptic believes the cause of the temples destruction was the Romans, so the evidence speak of the Romans'. But to the spiritually discerning the evidence 'speaks of God' and the Romans was the tools of a sinful world. Now science cannot be used to explain what spiritual discernment is, so science has its limitations and the bible repeatedly exposes sciences limitations, whether it is present day or historical processes. Even science relies on the faith of uniformity (because science cannot prove science) and uniformity relies on the Word of God.


Hebrews 1:3 (NIV) "3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."


Spiritual discernment is revealed by God 


1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) "14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit." 


What this means is that we need to demonstrate that the other person’s worldview does not actually do a good job of accounting for the evidence that we both have before us. In other words, the evidence matters, but it doesn't 'speak for itself'.


So when we pray in conformance to the Will of God, and we receive the fruits (evidence), because we are spiritually discerning, the fruits (evidence) fulfils our faith. 



Gary Murray said:

...

It is strange to think that science and evidence is in anyway superior to, or used to explain scripture. I believe God's Word stands firm upon its own explanations. The problem with evidence is that discoveries in science seem to change and are often dependent upon interpretation and explanation. The problem with this is everyone employs their presupposition (founding worldview) to their reason before they interpret and examine the evidence, so by default, the evidence is tainted as we bring a preset of ideas and perspectives to the evidence. In a sense, we have already predetermined details about the evidence before we've examined it.

Evidence in nature is a wonderful examination for the Christian to see the magnificence and the glory of God and his creation, but it is an awful litmus to explain the how and the when as it pertains to God's creation.

Which do you believe in, Evidentialism, or Presuppositionalism?

My answer is YES.

I'm not a fan of labels, but if I had to do so I would certainly fall in line with a presuppositionalist. I'll explain...

For instance, speed of light. Say one is witnessing to a young student of stellar sciences. His big hang up is how can the earth and universe be less than 10,000 years old when we can see stars millions of 'light years' away. You begin to provide him with evidence from such notable scientists as Jason Lisle and Paul Davies... you lay out the evidence, the discoveries, you articulate the issues with the big bang, the laws of thermodynamics, and angular momentum just to state a few... you finally are able to reach the student and he accepts your position on account of the overwhelming evidence you offered.

The following week, his professor shows a video by Lawrence Krauss, the evidence in the video is overwhelming and counters everything you provided the week before. The student abandons your position and accepts Dr. Krauss position.

Now, you can always counter the video, but what happens when he reads 'The God Delusion' by Richard Dawkins?

The question to pose is... who was his authority? Was it you providing the evidence, his professor running the video, or Lawrence Krauss on the video? Its neither, his authority is himself, his own reasoning, which as illustrated above, is fallible, it can be manipulated. Here is the rub... both Lawrence Krauss and Jason Lisle are examining the same evidence... They are just interpreting the evidence differently as they are comparing it to their individual worldview, or their presupposition.

I'm embedding a 1 minute video/audio clip that might better explain my point. This is a debate in 2011 between Sye Ten Bruggencate (Presuppositionalist) and Paul Baird (UK Atheist)... It really isn't about the evidence...

https://youtu.be/s1nF3tcSRuM

I'm also uploading the file directly. Let me know if it doesn't work. Paul makes it clear that regardless what evidence is presented, valid or non-valid it really doesn't matter because we bring our presupposition to the evidence. Before we examine evidence we have already pre-conceived notions about the evidence.

All people do, having a presupposition is not the problem. What IS the foundation of your presupposition does matter greatly.

Sye continues to rip apart the atheistic worldview and proving that while they have a perspective, there is no standard by which they can validate their worldview other than an arbitrary standard by man's reason, which is proven to be circular.

However, from the Christian perspective, or worldview is not validated by ourselves, we adhere to a higher authority, one who is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, therefore without God, it is impossible to know or validate anything.

The same standard of reason can be applied to evidence within Christian worldviews. If the Word of God is not the foundation, any evidence outside of God and His Word has to be considered fallible because it's validation is predicated on man's arbitrary reason.

I used to be an evidentialist. In the early 2000's I would study, debate, study, debate, and continue to do so and provide evidence for my worldview, problem was, rarely would the other side consider the evidence from my perspective, so it often results in stalemate.

More specifically, if one uses evidence to prove the existence of God, that person is putting God on trial, and asking man to judge God. God is the only true and righteous judge and the only one who can.

This is not to say that evidentialism does not have its place. I believe it does, however, it never should take the place or supersede the Word of God. God and His Word is not the author of confusion, but the author and finisher of our faith.

Hope this makes sense. Its a lot to ingest. ;) God bless...



Jim Brenneman said:

Which do you believe in, Evidentialism, or Presuppositionalism?

My answer is YES.

Attachments:

I really liked Floyd's post above!

But....
"If the Word of God is not the foundation, any evidence outside of God and His Word has to be considered fallible because it's validation is predicated on man's arbitrary reason."

This reasoning as stated in bold leads well meaning, well educated Christians to disengage academia, evidence, empirical evidences, all an extension of Gods work in the world even before the first biologic substrate was formed by almighty God, His information pre-existed all living things. The message in John is that all things exist and consist because of the Logos who was in the beginning, and “evidence” outside of God is really impossible to invalidate since it was all designed and created by Him, inculcated and given life by Him?  

Truly the interpretations of mans observations are fallible, even Christian men are fallible.  We have a history of ancient presuppositions that were religious in context and wrong..  The Bible is indeed Gods Word, but His Work is an extension of His authority, His might, His design, His purpose, His creative acts and these observable evidences in nature speak volumes of information, not written in the Word but certainly a result of HIS activity! 

The “observable” evidences of GOD’s work “is” right in front of our face, the Word says; no man has an excuse nor can imply that GOD does not exist because His works are evidence. In John all things exist and consist by the power of GOD.

Do we disenfranchise empirical evidence in nature as fallible observation, isn’t this an absurd proposition? Gods works are not “just” contained in the bible.  Invariably men read His Word and interpret the Word, and apply their own thinking and interpretation to that Word, and that is arbitrary and fallible, or does that term only apply to others?  

When we look at the heroes of biblical old they wrote about nature, creation, cataclysms, they studied it, they lived in the middle of it, and they ascribed their observations to a GOD they surely knew created it all. (David, Solomon, Moses, Paul, and other apostles).  And they knew GOD’s Word and it fully supports GOD’s work in nature!

So any evidences outside of Gods Word including the imperial laws of an intelligent Creator God is to be questioned because you infer that validation as improbable? Where does GOD disregard his own work.  At the end of creation week, he said it was “all” good.

Fallibility may well include all of us correct?

Validation of evidence “can” be predicated on sound reasoning, observation, and interpretation of that evidence in context to “the” creator God and not naturalism,  what the nemesis for Christen thinkers is when Christian men reason away the evidences of GOD even before their very eyes for their own fallible interpretations of scripture and rejection of evidences that “may” challenge their own presuppositions.. Finding the truth is hard thing, and no amount of condescension and criticism can change the truth of Gods work in this world. Let the evidence speak!!!

Let us reason together as Paul says, let us be passionate in our pursuits, but lets not ignorantly suppose the evidences of GOD’s work left in history is only in the Bible, and while all things that are evidences of His work should be and are clearly homogenous with the Word (John), the very fact that the evidences can be “interpreted away” by one fell swoop of scriptural inference and hermeneutics must make one pause as to who’s “religious” truth is valid?  

I say one area of observable evidences is this....Fossils.

What does this “evidence” observable and well known by all men say to us about GOD’s Work and the evidences left behind. How should we all engage these observable evidences, if they are not in the bible are they not worthy of consideration? Therefore are observable fossils “fallible and arbitrary reasoning” because it exists, even though its evidences are right in front of our own eyes?? Are these not the work of GOD’s creative activities in history? Is this not homogenous with the God of the scriptures?


No, Lou... This perspective does not disengage academia, evidence or empirical evidences, unless some use it is an excuse to do so. That might be what you read, but that isn't what I implied... I believe you missed the point of my post, it wasn't to question the validity of evidence within a Christian worldview, but it was to profess the authority of God's Word over what we may reason is valid evidence.

When compared with the Word of God, if the evidence is in anyway contrary to God's Word, no matter how 'empirical' the evidence might seem to the fallible Christian (who is sincerely seeking truth), the premise must be abandoned, and a new hypothesis formed.

Science and evidence does not and should not validate scripture in the minds of man, scripture should validate science and evidence. It is our foundation and as such our presupposition. We don't bring evidence to God's Word, we bring God's Word to the evidence.

Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 139:6, Romans 1:22 and 1 Timothy 6:20-21 are all testaments that man's reason is fallible and unreliable when compared God and His Word and of course there are many more verses that can be found in God's Word. Granted, some would pervert God's Word, but as God said in Hebrews 4:12, he has a way of revealing the intents of man's heart, and the truth is undeniable.

This may be where you and I differ. My ultimate authority is God's Word (not saying your's isn't), but I am saying that outside of evidence, God's Word is more than enough to satisfy my curiosity about His creation. This does not mean I don't research, study and 'engage' God's creation to learn more about the creator, however, I must remember it, much like man, has been compromised by sin.

There are components and factors throughout the ages that would certainly make it difficult to almost impossible to validate some discoveries in regard to evidence. This in and of itself must be a consideration when employing an 'empirical' perspective. If we are intellectually honest, it must be accepted that most discoveries by man, and conclusions of those discoveries derived by mans' reason could be wrong. 

This does not mean we abandon our 'conquest' for truth and discovery, however, we must be careful in assuming that what we 'see' with eyes and what we 'reason' to does not in anyway compromise and confuse what has been revealed to us through God's Word.

In short, much like David said in Psalm, we must remember our place. Its OK that some, perhaps you, disagree, and I'll do so, but not just for disagreements sake.

God Bless,

Gary


Lou Hamby said:

I really liked Floyd's post above!

But....
"If the Word of God is not the foundation, any evidence outside of God and His Word has to be considered fallible because it's validation is predicated on man's arbitrary reason."

This reasoning as stated in bold leads well meaning, well educated Christians to disengage academia, evidence, empirical evidences, all an extension of Gods work in the world even before the first biologic substrate was formed by almighty God, His information pre-existed all living things. The message in John is that all things exist and consist because of the Logos who was in the beginning, and “evidence” outside of God is really impossible to invalidate since it was all designed and created by Him, inculcated and given life by Him?  

Truly the interpretations of mans observations are fallible, even Christian men are fallible.  We have a history of ancient presuppositions that were religious in context and wrong..  The Bible is indeed Gods Word, but His Work is an extension of His authority, His might, His design, His purpose, His creative acts and these observable evidences in nature speak volumes of information, not written in the Word but certainly a result of HIS activity! 

The “observable” evidences of GOD’s work “is” right in front of our face, the Word says; no man has an excuse nor can imply that GOD does not exist because His works are evidence. In John all things exist and consist by the power of GOD.

Gary your opinion is yours and that I respect.  But your conclusions ride rough shod over the extensive information I posted earlier from AIG articles one right after the other.  Then somehow I get that about you,  but I also believe that your inference that what we "see" is implied to be fallible therefore not trustworthy is a bunch of inference on your part.

You cast aspersions on peoples work (experts in many fields) with little regard for the truth or the evidences.  GODs work, Authority, Evidences, Creative acts, Design and information are all completely homogeneous with the Word of God, for all thing exist and consist becasue of him. He said it was all good. It is all an extension of HIS work. and that is not fallible, nor untrustworthy.

I don't want to be lead by someone who believes the only truth that is acceptable to him is in the Bible, when GOD himself left his footprints in the sand for all. 

I asked you to lets come together and investigate the evidences of Gods Work in nature, the Word, and the the truth that stares us in the face.  

Again how should we deliberate as Christian brothers about fossils?  Fossils are not written into the core of the Bible, but its evidences are everywhere in many different physical states. 

We continue to hear the same old same old claims that we here at Creation Conversations "ride roughshod" over the evidence, or that we "disregard" the evidence, or that we "cast aspersions over other people's work" or that we have "little regard for the truth or for evidence."

Do those who post such malicious and derogatory assertions have no idea how OFFENSIVE it is to us to hear that we have "little regard for the truth"? I think they do know! And I also think they feel that we should accept such attacks, while they themselves are justified in always pretending that we question their stand of Faith (though we do not!).

Do they not see that they have JUST NOW CALLED US LIARS? Is not that the common understanding of the phrase "he has little regard for the truth?"

In the midst of blaming us for "casting aspersions" on other people's work, this opponent is calling us a liar, and he is himself CASTING ASPERSIONS ON US! CAN WE PLEASE JUST STOP THIS? STOP! STOP! Please just talk about the topic and quit making this vile claim that we are enemies of the truth, that we disregard the evidence.

Here is a dear brother who appears to have more regard for fading footprints in the sand than he does for the WRITTEN WORD OF GOD which is reliable, knowable, authoritative, and which according to Jesus ENDURES FOREVER, and which - though heaven and earth shall pass away, HIS WORDS will never pass away.

Here is the situation: As with anything in the creation/evolution controversy, the issue isn’t about the evidence, but rather the interpretation of the evidence.

The opponents of Creation Conversations believe that we should interpret the Scripture on the basis of their opinions about uncertain science.

We believe and maintain - on the other hand - that we should interpret the evidences of science on the basis of revealed and knowable truth from the CERTAINTY OF SCRIPTURE.

Meanwhile, the very person who keeps claiming that we disregard the evidence of Science, himself steadfastly refuses to accept the evidence of fossils. He consistently denies the clear message of a world filled with Trillions of Fossils, in layer upon layer upon layer, hundreds of feet in depth of flood deposited strata.

In the face of this evidence he is unwilling to admit a world-wide flood that covered the entire earth. He refuses to acknowledge that the catastrophe that formed these strata really did take place. AND he continues to imagine that the human remains in relics and structures that are alllllll ON TOP OF THESE STRATA somehow came to exist before the FLOOD which from the rocks and strata UPON which the cities and settlements were built by the descendants of the sons of Noah who were dispersed across the new earth after the Flood.

AND NEXT he will repeat the lie that the flood is irrelevant, or that is doesn't have any bearing on our salvation, one iota. JUST WATCH - it will happen again.

WHOOPS ! no need to wait for it to happen - it already did in another thread, which I just now visited: Here he says:

What has a wwflood vs a local flood view to do with the shed blood of Christ and His redeeming ministry of reconciliation?

The point is this - one's view of Scripture has everything to do with our salvation. If you do not accept the simple straightforward sense of Moses, how then can you have confidence in what Moses says about the need for Redemption. SO, yes, your hesitation about the Flood reveals that you pick and choose what you will accept. You do the same thing with the evidence of the natural world. AND now you have drawn a line in the sand again and declared that the Flood is irrelevant.

RSS

About CC

Connecting Christians who believe in Biblical Creation — discussing beliefs, sharing ideas, and recommending evolution-free resources. Please keep all posts relevant to the topics of this community.

Rules of Engagement
Zero Tolerance Policy
Statement of Faith
Creation Terms
FAQ

Homeschool Curriculum

Members

Creation Conversations 2018

What's new @ CC for 2018? 

Creation networking and much more in store for Creation Conversation Members. You'll not want to miss this new year!

© 2019   Created by Creation Conversations.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service