It gives me great pleasure to welcome back guest blogger @lordcropes. We share a fascination with the the lack of lucidity theists seem to value. Literalists are an unbelievable part of life on twitter, be it discussing the ‘evolution theory’ the age of the earth or in fact its shape.
Please enjoy and read on…
A couple of years ago, I read a comment on an online book review. It was from a Bible literalist called Roger. As a pleasant change from the norm, he seemed well read, polite and actually, quite a nice guy.
The comment was as follows…
“Evolution is NOT a fact… The theory of evolution denies God, and denies the Bible, since the Bible explicitly states that the world and the fulness of it are God’s property and creation.”
He then went on to claim that evolution was unscientific and wasn’t even a theory.
He also claimed that there were lots of different theories of evolution besides the ideas of Charles Darwin such as those of Immanuel Kant, Carrolus Linnaeus, Erasmus Darwin, Jean-Baptiste Lamark and Thomas Malthus.
Oh, and of course, Man didn’t evolve because he was created on Day Six.
Now, evolution denial is like a red rag to a bull for me, so I asked him two questions.
Why on Day One of creation week did God first make the heavens and the Earth, then make the light that separated night and day, then wait until Day Four before He made the sun, moon and stars?
Why should we, in the 21st Century place so much store in the scientific understandings of people from 2000+ years ago?
Roger posted the following replies…
Since the Bible uses parables and illustrations, here’s one I thought of which may aid understanding.
Suppose you are a building contractor and your task is to erect a building north of the arctic circle during the winter months, meaning 24 hours of darkness are a hurdle. Of course, at some point before final completion, your building will require lighting, both internally and externally. However, you need light NOW, to make it possible to erect, and finish your building during a time of total darkness. So you tell your site manager “Hey, we need light here, get some generators and arc lights in here, right NOW!”
Would such a scenario mean that the permanently installed, internal and external lights were a denial or contradiction of the temporary lights installed for the duration of construction? I don’t think so.
The Bible writers, I am convinced, would not have thought that they were writing for people five millennia into the future, any more than I think that these discussions will be read by others four to five thousand years from now.
But as I said, the Bible was never meant to be a scientific handbook, it was meant to be revelation of the eternal nature and character of God, the creator of this world; His view of man’s rebellion, and His divine plan of redemption through Christ, so that all who wished to, could avail themselves of God’s grace, mercy and love.
These truths are more vital than a lifeboat on fast sinking ship, because they are eternally relevant to a mankind alienated from God. The truths contained in the Bible also need to be comprehensible to those capable of understanding particle physics, those who are totally illiterate, and everyone in between. If an intellectual understanding of the whole of science were a prerequisite for understanding God and His purposes, then the vast majority of us, myself included, would be locked out.
To go back to the lifeboat analogy, the bible is a handbook giving instructions how to escape the sinking ship, it is not an engineer’s treatise on naval architecture, or marine engineering.
Here’s another thought. How many of us own, and enjoy driving cars?
How many of those who drive actually understand how the engine works?
Do they really need to understand, in order to live with the benefits that their car brings? What if they do find something in the workshop manual which appears to be a mistake? Do they then say, “this manual has a mistake in it, I don’t believe in you anymore, car? I’m not going to drive you again!”
Absurd? Of course it is! Which is why I earnestly hope that this makes sense to you, or that at very least, it may give you food for thought.
Well, I did have a ponder and as I also believe that stories can explain truths, I replied with some parables of my own…
Roger, you may be pleased to know, I am prepared to accept your arc light theory as a potential answer for why God had light on Day One.
If I was to build the most amazing and wonderful construction in creation itself and I only had six days to do it, I probably would have spent 10 minutes at the start of the first day lashing up some temporary lighting.
God in His wisdom instead decided to create the earth and the heavens in the dark and then only later on that day rigged up some lights to see what He’d done. He then looked at the lighting and saw that it was good, Well, good enough to allow Him to furnish the world with dry ground, sky, seas and plants. At least He could see what He was doing now. However, the light wasn’t so good that He’d want to keep it on a permanent basis. So, after three days landscaping and doing a little soft furnishing, He installed some proper lights for the earth.
These two new ‘great lights,’ He very cleverly synchronised with the ‘night and day’ system He’d for some peculiar reason set up with His original temporary lighting rig. (Strictly speaking He only really installed just one ‘great light.’ The other was just a reflector to be used mainly, but not exclusively, at night. However, God never told people of this clever lighting trick. It wasn’t until thousands of years later that his children discovered that His second great light was in truth just a heavily dented ball of rock.)
I am on a huge ship called HMS Earth. We have been at sea a very long time and have weathered a few storms. As I walk along the deck I notice that the lifeboats are full of people. A man in one boat shouts to me, “Get in the boat, The ship is about to sink!”
A woman in the next boat screams at the top of her voice, “No! Get in this one, that other lifeboat won’t save you, this is the only boat that can!”
All the lifeboats have different names. I read a few of them as I walk past. One is called “The Bible” another, “The Quran.” The third boat is called “The Tripitaka,” and the fourth, “Human Race Get Of Your Knees – The Lion Sleeps No More by David Icke.” ( This last boat has some very obvious holes in it. I look down the row of lifeboats, some are huge and some are only very small. However, there are many, many different boats.
I do not get into any of the boats. Instead, I stroll down the long line of petrified people seated inside them, then walk inside and go to the bar at the front of the ship. The bar is called The Atheist’s Arms and is full of people chatting away. I get a drink and look through the window overlooking a beautiful view of the calm seas ahead. I ask a group of people next to me if the ship is sinking. They tell me that there is no evidence that the ship is sinking and that the waters are clear ahead. I ask them where the captain is but am told that there is no captain and that the ship is perfectly capable of steering itself. In fact there is no land anywhere in the world so it’s most unlikely that we will ever crash or sink.
Knowing a little of oceanography, I say that I know of large icebergs. (Some have names like “Nuclear War” and ironically “Global Warming”.) One of the group tells me that if an iceberg comes into view we’ll go up to the bridge and try to avoid it. With a bit of luck we will.
I’m not convinced that this sounds very safe but he says that we have occasionally scraped alongside a couple of ‘bergs’ before now but they have never come close to sinking the ship. (He tells me of quite a large one we hit a few hundred years ago called ‘The Black Death’ Thousands of people jumped into the lifeboats then but we sailed on through.)
“What if,” I ask, “we hit a massive iceberg that actually sinks the ship. Surely we are better off in a lifeboat then.”
“You can jump in one if you like but it’s much nicer here in the bar, besides if we do hit an iceberg big enough to sink the ship there is not a shred of evidence to suggest that sitting in any of those tiny wooden lifeboats will save us.” I think on this for a little while and then get a round of drinks in.
A few years ago I had a car. It was an antique Ford Yahweh. It had seen better days and had been driven by many people before me but I loved it just the same. I also had a manual for it. (Strictly speaking, I had two manuals for it. The Old Haynes manual and the New Haynes manual however they are largely contradictory of each other. For example the OH says that if the engine makes a thumping noise you should thump it back, whereas the NH says you should ignore it and just turn the engine over.)
Anyway, one day whilst reading the manuals, I discovered that they were littered with mistakes. Not just a couple mind but absolutely loads. Some bits just simply didn’t make sense.
I read the manuals, looked at the car and reread the manuals. But still I couldn’t reconcile the nonsense in the books with my beautiful car. Eventually I threw both books away.
Shortly after this I discovered the gruesome history of my old Yahweh before I owned it. I bought it off a chap in Northern Ireland who had used the car in pitched battles against the owner of another identical Ford Yahweh. (The only difference being that my old car was Green and the other guy’s car was Orange.) – Over two thousand people were killed using the Yahweh.
Before that it was owned by a Spanish bloke called Tomas De Torquemada. He went around torturing people who couldn’t recite from the New Haynes manual. Earlier still it was owned by a chap calling himself King Richard who drove around the Middle East causing absolute carnage with it. Fearful of the car and its history I locked it away in the garage and tried to forget about it. Then, last month, I went into the garage and the car had gone! I asked my wife if she had seen it and she said that there never was a car in the garage.
I couldn’t believe it. I asked my friends and they too said I never had a car. Eventually I went to see a psychiatrist who explained that she had seen this sort of thing before. – Apparently there are loads of copies of these Haynes manuals and people that read them often become convinced that they own a Ford Yahweh.
In truth though there is no such car as a Yahweh.
Roger never replied.