What is the best Christian resource on dinosaurs?

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 8:40 AM

David Paul:

That wasn't a rhetorical question...I'd really like to know where that clod of information came from.

Your problem is a bit closer to home. I like Manatho (in Logos) and Philo of Byblos (not). As the Egyptian rock histories inched their way backwards in time, the Alexandrian jews were confronted with a Torah increasingly set in proverbial stone. The solution at the time, was to shift to allegory, which the later Christians also embraced. And Genesis re-writes.

4,000 BC is a tight squeeze.


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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 8:17 PM

Denise:

David Paul:

That wasn't a rhetorical question...I'd really like to know where that clod of information came from.

Your problem is a bit closer to home. I like Manatho (in Logos) and Philo of Byblos (not). As the Egyptian rock histories inched their way backwards in time, the Alexandrian jews were confronted with a Torah increasingly set in proverbial stone. The solution at the time, was to shift to allegory, which the later Christians also embraced. And Genesis re-writes.

4,000 BC is a tight squeeze.

Did you quote the correct comment of mine? It sounds like you may have intended to quote my comment about dinosaurs never having existed.

Seriously, the number was 13.8 billion last I heard, and it was fairly recently that I heard it. 14.3 billion is a completely new and out-of-the-blue number to me, and a drastic shift of half-a-billion years would be the kind of thing I would expect to hear in concert with a huge mea culpa explaining how & why they managed to be off by such a wide margin for so long. In other words, there should be something to go with the 14.3 number besides tea biscuits. I seriously want to know where the number came from.

To your comment, 4,000 B.C. (6K from here) may seem tight, unless we're talking about a being with mad manipulation-of-the-space-time-fabric skills. Creating a world with bones in the ground isn't that big of a deal, is it? Most people balk at the implicit notion that YHWH would have been deliberately causing confusion by indicating (through apparent evidence) that the world was billions of years in existence even though it was only fabricated by Him the aforementioned 6K years ago. But that resistance is fundamentally a preference for idolatry over YHWH's spoken word.

He said it's 6000 years old. He made it look much older. Which are you going to believe? WHY???

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 9:02 PM

I haven't fully read what's on this page, but it gets at what I'm suggesting. Creating stars in the sky by fiat REQUIRES that they have a much longer apparent lifespan (due to distance of light traveled) than the moments/seconds/minutes/etc. that would be experienced by earth-bound observers (say 'Aadhaam and Hhawaah). Preferring a "natural" explanation to the Biblically-revealed one is essentially to believe in a God that has no God powers. If you believe the universe REALLY IS 13.8 (or 14.3) billion years old, you are essentially also insisting that the Red Sea (or Reed Sea) never parted, that Yeishuua` never healed with spit or a tallit, that a donkey or serpent never spoke, and that your prayers can't be answered. If you don't understand why that is the case, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself why you have never been diligent enough to actually think about the consequences of your supposed beliefs.

Let me be very clear about the second sentence above: if you believe in young earth creation, YHWH must practice something akin to deception (although it is only going to be a problem for the most hidebound literalists). The nearest star is 4.3 light years away, so if ':Elohhiym says "Let there be stars in the sky for appointed times and seasons", the biggest miracle isn't that the star appears out of thin air; it's that the light that would have had to leave 4.3 YEARS EARLIER in order to reach you is striking your retina moments after He says the words. The rule that He created to account for the light's "natural" function MUST also be controverted by the necessity of His will that the effect be instantaneous. In other words, anyone who insists that the "created order" MUST follow the rules of every day functioning are effectively 1) denying YHWH the ability to create, or 2) denying what He had to do to make His creation.

To sum up, the world we experience daily, having the physical laws it does, HAS to appear older than 6000 years, even if it has only ever been in existence for 6000 years. Call it "deceptive" if you must...but it is also required. The necessary corollary to this is that anyone who feels compelled to believe the earth is more than 6000 years old is guilty of pre-schoolish gullibility...you really have "believed" your lying eyes. But that's what Believers do best, right? Believe!

Addendum: I have read the article at the link above and the writer, though adequately discussing the subject, concludes that what I'm suggesting isn't plausible for the reason most people choose to reject it. He says that available detailed scientific evidence that suggests a far greater than 6000 year-old universe against a universe that is in fact only 6000 years would be essentially "deceptive"...and He, assuming ':Elohhiym CAN'T be deceptive, therefore rejects the notion in favor of one he says is more plausible (but which is less in agreement with Scripture, whether he wants to believe that or not). The question is...does (or CAN) YHWH employ deception? Ask Yirm'yaahuu (Jer. 20:7 NASB).

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 9:33 PM

David Paul:
Preferring a "natural" explanation to the Biblically-revealed one is essentially to believe in a God that has no God powers.

This is a false statement on many grounds. A good example of why we avoid discussing theology in these forums.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 9:42 PM

MJ. Smith:
This is a false statement on many grounds.

Well, perhaps it is to you, with your penchant for formal logic. I'm speaking informally, as people pretty much have to do unless they intend to break out p's and q's. If you feel that light "naturally" occurs without a star to produce it, have at it. If you feel it CAN'T (because that isn't "natural"), have at it. Either way, your "grounds" are already shifting under you.

For all that, I suspect plenty of folks might say...

MJ. Smith:
This is a false statement on many grounds.

...with regard to your end blurb:

"To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

It is certainly highly debatable.

Another nugget to chew on with your "formal" chompers...YHWH's will IS "special pleading".

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 11:06 PM

The point I'm trying to establish, in light of the OPs question about "what is 'the' Christian response to the fact of dinosaur bones" may very well be "they require no response". I doubt you will find anything in Logos to make that case, but logic (despite MJ's disapproval) and Scripture indicate that fossils are a "tempting non issue"...and are deliberately so.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Sep 23 2018 11:32 PM

David Paul:

...with regard to your end blurb:

"To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

It is certainly highly debatable.

Yes, it is highly debatable and interestingly so ... which is why I provided the source of the quote so a reader knows within what tradition the statement is to be interpreted. I do not use it as an answer to forum questions.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 10126
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 7:48 AM

David Paul:

Did you quote the correct comment of mine? It sounds like you may have intended to quote my comment about dinosaurs never having existed.

No, actually you qualified your original comment with 'living', to which science remains a theory. Your new comment 'existed' is more arguable, since the bulk of dinosaurs are simply stray bones with distingishing characteristics (if you read the scientific literature).

My comment referred to the tendency to 'go long', in the face of difficult issues much closer. Christians like to attack the atheists, forgetting their argument simple proves Baal indeed may have ridden the skies in a chariot. The closer-to-home issue, is pinpointing 'which god'. Or in the case of dino's, papering over Behemoth (sp), or the race for 'oldest' in Alexandria Egypt.


Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 11:12 AM

Greg Masone:
the writings of Lamoureux (mentioned above) and John H. Walton (who has numerous excellent and relevant books available in Logos) that helped me to understand the Bible in a way that allows compatibility to the modern astronomical, geological, and biological sciences.

Here's a more philosophical critique of Walton's work: http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2015/03/review_of_john_h_waltons_the_l.html

(Though in my experience Walton and Lamoureux fans are ironically about as close minded when it comes to criticism as the YEC that rankle them so much.)

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 11:15 AM

Rick Carmickle:

 I understand what you are asking about, however, let me offer an alternative perspective. The question of dinosaurs is a scientific question about paleontology. Because the geological, astronomical, and paleontological  evidence is clear and irrefutable, as believers it’s time to except the evidence of science. The universe is 14.3 billion years old, and the earth 4.5 billion years old. And the  dinosaurs lived 66 to 250,000,000 years ago. In fact, the T-Rex is closer in time to us than the Stegosaurus. With that, the best resource is a paleontology book on dinosaurs. Unfortunately, Christians don’t write those very often.

I love my Christian brothers who have a different perspective on the timeline of creation. But Answers in Genesis is simply deceiving fellow believers from the truth God has made apparent to those who look.  And I like the recommendations of John Walton’s Works. 

Another irony is the theistic evolutionists who are every bit as ignorant of the philosophy of science (and how it effects this debate) as they believe (often rightly) the YECists are about science simpliciter. 

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 11:22 AM

David Paul:
if you believe in young earth creation, YHWH must practice something akin to deception (although it is only going to be a problem for the most hidebound literalists).

According to most theistic evolutionists and old earth creationists who admit that a prima facie reading of Genesis indicates a relatively young earth, YHWH was engaging in something akin to deception for the last several thousand years for people who read a text that appears to be saying something it isn't. In fact, it hasn't been until the last few decades with modern scholarship techniques and scientific paradigms that we've been able to make a compelling case that Genesis isn't saying what it appears to be saying.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 11:58 AM

J. Remington Bowling:
In fact, it hasn't been until the last few decades with modern scholarship techniques and scientific paradigms that we've been able to make a compelling case that Genesis isn't saying what it appears to be saying.

Do tell.

Posts 476
Travis Walter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 12:00 PM

Rick Carmickle:

 I understand what you are asking about, however, let me offer an alternative perspective. The question of dinosaurs is a scientific question about paleontology. Because the geological, astronomical, and paleontological  evidence is clear and irrefutable, as believers it’s time to except the evidence of science. The universe is 14.3 billion years old, and the earth 4.5 billion years old. And the  dinosaurs lived 66 to 250,000,000 years ago. In fact, the T-Rex is closer in time to us than the Stegosaurus. With that, the best resource is a paleontology book on dinosaurs. Unfortunately, Christians don’t write those very often.

I love my Christian brothers who have a different perspective on the timeline of creation. But Answers in Genesis is simply deceiving fellow believers from the truth God has made apparent to those who look.  And I like the recommendations of John Walton’s Works. 

FWIW I cant disagree with this more.  I have seen most of the AIG material videos and have a lot of their scientific books including much discussions of the flood and timelines..   I stand firm in my YEC. 

Statements like AiG is simply deceiving fellow believers is insulting and disgusting. 

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 12:12 PM

Travis Walter:

FWIW I cant disagree with this more.  I have seen most of the AIG material videos and have a lot of their scientific books including much discussions of the flood and timelines..   I stand firm in my YEC. 

Statements like AiG is simply deceiving fellow believers is insulting and disgusting. 

I agree with this statement. AiG might be mistaken, but that does not mean that they deceive on purpose.

(On the other hand, YEC proponents dismissing OEC creationists as unbelievers is just as disgusting.)

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EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 12:25 PM

One of the underlying challenges here is that very few people are truly knowledgeable about both the science and biblical studies relevant to these discussions.  I'm certainly not.  But my experience is, based on what little I do know of both fields, that when scientists try to interpret the Bible they generally come off looking quite foolish - and when theologians and preachers try to interpret the science, they tend to come off looking equally foolish.  The entire debate would be well served by a little more humility on both sides.

Posts 476
Travis Walter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 12:32 PM

Jan Krohn:

Travis Walter:

FWIW I cant disagree with this more.  I have seen most of the AIG material videos and have a lot of their scientific books including much discussions of the flood and timelines..   I stand firm in my YEC. 

Statements like AiG is simply deceiving fellow believers is insulting and disgusting. 

I agree with this statement. AiG might be mistaken, but that does not mean that they deceive on purpose.

(On the other hand, YEC proponents dismissing OEC creationists as unbelievers is just as disgusting.)

And thats one thing that Ken Ham does not do..  He preaches Jesus above all.  And has a lot of scientific backing to his YEC.   He never says your are an unbeliever if you dont agree.. (Jan I wasnt saying you said that at all, just wanted to be clear for others)

Posts 450
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 1:04 PM

David Paul:
Do tell.

Regarding the case for theistic evolution, see Biologos.

Regarding the case for old earth creationism without theistic evolution, see Hugh Ross.

I do not mean to claim that everyone will find (or should find) the case(s) compelling, only an observation that many (most?) evangelicals now find the case compelling. Walton especially has given people a convenient, respectable way to say that they affirm the Bible while also being able to satisfy the sense of  prestige that attaches to embracing contemporary science. (It should be clear from my earlier post that I don't think Walton's position is very coherent.)

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J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 1:19 PM

Travis Walter:
And thats one thing that Ken Ham does not do..  He preaches Jesus above all.  And has a lot of scientific backing to his YEC.   He never says your are an unbeliever if you dont agree.. (Jan I wasnt saying you said that at all, just wanted to be clear for others)

As someone who's very sympathetic to YEC, I really don't like AiG and I think it is a big contributor to the heat/lack of charity surrounding this issue. Nearly every article from AiG that I've read attempts to frame the stakes as high as possible: if you don't take this interpretation of Genesis then you don't believe the Bible. And I've been reading quite a few of their articles recently as my nephew has to write a paper on the flood and is required to use AiG as one of his sources. 

Granted, many theistic evolutionists take a similar line and argue that being a Christian and affirming YEC are incompatible (I can provide links if someone doubts that there are TEs that make such a claim). And I'm often frustrated that the TEs are just as fundy and ill-informed as their opponents.

I think someone like Todd C. Wood does a much better job at presenting an irenic young earth creationism. And he's not afraid to admit he doesn't have an answer when he doesn't have an answer. He's a model of scholarship and humility. 

And, btw, here are some of his articles relevant to dinosaurs: http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/search?q=dinosaurs

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Sep 24 2018 1:48 PM

This is one of the issues:

J. Remington Bowling:

Travis Walter:
And thats one thing that Ken Ham does not do..  He preaches Jesus above all.  And has a lot of scientific backing to his YEC.   He never says your are an unbeliever if you dont agree.. (Jan I wasnt saying you said that at all, just wanted to be clear for others)

As someone who's very sympathetic to YEC, I really don't like AiG and I think it is a big contributor to the heat/lack of charity surrounding this issue. Nearly every article from AiG that I've read attempts to frame the stakes as high as possible: if you don't take this interpretation of Genesis then you don't believe the Bible. And I've been reading quite a few of their articles recently as my nephew has to write a paper on the flood and is required to use AiG as one of his sources. 

This is another issue:

https://youtu.be/uOPsvOWW9H0?t=28m7s

Now the problem is, that when people actually believe that the only valid Christian position is YEC, especially young Christians, who have been taught this at church for the first 20 years of their lives, and then at college find out that this is scientific nonsense, then they're left with no choice: rejecting YEC would mean rejecting Christianity as a whole.

Unfortunately, many do just that.

J. Remington Bowling:
I think someone like Todd C. Wood does a much better job at presenting an irenic young earth creationism. And he's not afraid to admit he doesn't have an answer when he doesn't have an answer. He's a model of scholarship and humility. 

And, btw, here are some of his articles relevant to dinosaurs: http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/search?q=dinosaurs

I also like Leonard Brand.

He takes a very humble approach in presenting YEC, and even if I don't agree with him, reading his books is a great pleasure for me.

https://www.logos.com/products/search?Author=22414%7cBrand%2c+Leonard

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 26 2018 6:50 PM

David Paul:

J. Remington Bowling:
In fact, it hasn't been until the last few decades with modern scholarship techniques and scientific paradigms that we've been able to make a compelling case that Genesis isn't saying what it appears to be saying.

Do tell.

Tell...do.

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