Creation doesn’t matter to my faith. Right?

Note: This post is a point-form summary for a small group discussion that I compiled from the last section, “Real, Eternal Value Intended by the Original Authors”, of my previous post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Update 2017-07-29: Our small group discussion brought up some interesting points. Here’s some small updates I sent the group after the meet up…

Update 2017-07-29 (1): If anybody’s interested, here’s an AiG article on the ‘topical parallelism’ of creation days that Paul brought up (spoiler: it’s there on a surface read but the devil is in the details, as always; also like we discussed there’s no saying you can’t use various literary devices in different kinds of literature, even historical, it doesn’t take way from it): https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2011/12/10/its-not-so-parallel/

Update 2017-07-29 (2): I also didn’t know where to go with the point made about Christ needing to be a blood-relationship to a real Adam versus Christ atoning for our sin (we all sin, no Adam needed) or atoning for our sin nature (from Adam, so blood relationship required). In evolution, there’s no first Adam so we’re not blood related so biblically the kinsmen redeemer idea doesn’t work (so did Jesus act do anything?) But if Jesus only died for our sin acts then maybe a first Adam isn’t needed anyway. I don’t have a solid answer, it’s worth some googling, but apparently it has to do with Original Sin (sin nature) vs Imputed Sin (Adam’s sin is “credited” to us). The first is dealt with by the Holy Spirit through sanctification over time, the second was dealt with by Christ’s righteousness being credited to us (so would require a real first Adam for it to make any sense). http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-original-sin-and-imputed-sin

Update 2017-07-29 (3): Btw, I don’t pretend perfection in understanding all this is achievable, but I just love how when you go digging usually you find these things have already been covered and they fit right in.

Note: This post is a point-form summary for a small group discussion that I compiled from the last section, “Real, Eternal Value Intended by the Original Authors”, of my previous post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Is Genesis meant to be taken plainly?

  • What was the author intending to convey?
    • Poetry, parable, etc., or history?
    • No Jewish poetic forms (eg. parallelism absent), scholars agree
  • Jesus and the Gospels said they were given by Moses
  • Genesis 12-50 are not really disputed but 1-11 are
  • Colophons on tablets indicate knowledge known to the author up to the end of the tablet indicating historical records
  • Numbered days, ‘evening and morning’ language, strong support for ordinary, 24hour days
  • Similar language structure in Numbers 7 shows evidence original language choice in Genesis 1 specifically intended ordinary 24hour days as we experience them

Reading: Should Genesis Be Taken Literally, Genesis Is History

Does Genesis really matter for the Gospel?

  • So, what if it is meant to be taken plainly, does it matter to our the gospel message and salvation?
  • Cognitive dissonance: Genesis 1-11 “obviously” contradicts secular science so I reject Genesis 1-11, accept the rest of the bible, and believe secular science for everything else
  • Most people don’t live with their faith and also believe that Genesis is wrong: They abandon their faith.
    • This has been documented by the major creation organisations, AiG, CMI, books have been written about it
  • I would even say that those who hold to their belief but disbelief Genesis forfeit confidence and power in their faith and the scripture they would otherwise have.
    • Coming to confidence in the historicity of Jesus was a central factor in the confidence I have in God, my faith, and the scriptures.

Reading: Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

What happens to your theology when you don’t take Genesis plainly?

  • The bible is complete and whole. It tells a single story and all parts of the bible build on and depend on other parts of the bible.
  • When one part of the bible is broken, scripture starts falling apart
  • One person I discussed with online said the theological and existential truths of Genesis had no need of the actual history of Genesis:
    • When do we start reading the bible for real?
      • So, if we read Genesis 1-11 figuratively, when do we start reading it as history? Just after the Plagues of Egypt? The Red Sea Crossing? Elijah and Elisha’s miracles? The Virgin Conception? Jesus’s Resurrection? They’re all equally miraculous – why should we believe them but not the account of Creation or Noah’s Flood?
    • Original Sin and the Atonement
      • “Bowler, unlike many Christians, recognizes that evolution not only destroys the creation of Adam but also the concept of original sin and the atonement of Christ.”
      • If creation wasn’t historical, there was no Adam, and therefor no Adam to bring sin into the world
      • How have “all died” in Adam according to 1 Cor 15:22?
      • Is Adam really the “first man” according to 1 Cor 15:45?
      • How did sin enter the world through one man (what man? Adam wasn’t around) according to Romans 5:12?
      • How is Jesus gift of righteousness for Adam (non-existent) and Adam’s sin (non-existent Adam so non-existent sin) according to Romans 5:17?
      • Looking at just a few pieces of scripture, we see Original Sin and Atonement theology are in a mess
    • Deity of Christ
      • Jesus said “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” (ie. not simply the beginning of mankind / the human race) in Mark 10:6
        • “Jesus was saying that Adam and Eve were there at the beginning of creation, on Day Six, not billions of years after the beginning. Jesus understood from the text of Genesis that Adam was created at the beginning of creation, which is directly opposed to the evolutionary opinion of the origin of man.”
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.

Reading: The Bible and Hermeneutics, The Consequences of Denying a Supernatural Creation of Adam,

Conclusion

  • Genesis is meant to be taken at its word (ie. historical) because of its inherent writing format, structure, and internal language evidence from other parts of scripture.
  • The Gospel salvation message is compromised because everyone in the public education system has been taught evolution and they clearly contradict each other. Therefor most people abandon the “clearly” incorrect one: The bible and their faith.
    • Most people know the crazy stats of young people leaving the church when they get on their own.
  • Theology is broken when Genesis is not taken as history:
    • There was no first man Adam, there was no first sin because there was no Adam
    • Jesus was either ignorant or misleading of evolution (if that were true) questioning His deity
    • Jesus didn’t need to die for our sins (because Adam, who brought sin into the world, didn’t exist)
    • The writings of the Apostles are in error and theologically incorrect since they assume a 6-ordinarsy-day creation.
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.
  • God meant what he said.

See The Bible and Uniformitarianism.

Misericordia, Soli Deo Gloria

Is this the ultimate Christian love song?

Ever since I made a concerted effort to explore the Christian music scene, and discover the “good music” that I knew was out there, I’ve been aware of the controversy of Christian love songs. Controversy? Yes, in between the awkward attempts and lame lyrics, there were a number of good sounding attempts (for their time), but I found, like many, they played on sophomoric sleight of hand with ‘God is my girlfriend’ lyrics. There are Christian songs that appear to easily swap out “Jesus” for “girl”, and vice versa, without harming the content in anyway. And if the lyrics stand on their own, some are so ambiguous as to cast doubt on who exactly is the subject of the love. Astoundingly, for a faith that holds love as the highest ethic and motive, there are woefully few good Christian love songs. Now, however, I think I’ve found a truly exemplary one: And, if you’re reading a blog like this, I’m sure you’ve heard it and probably already love it, too.

Continue reading “Is this the ultimate Christian love song?”

How to Round to Arbitrary Precision in any Programming Language

How to Round to Arbitrary Precision in any Programming Language: an AMultiply your rounding number by 10^y where y is the precision to round to. Call your language’s built-in round() method on this number. Divide the result by 10^y. Easy peasy. It also makes it easier to implement different rounding methods because you’re always dealing with the digit at the same location in the number.

How to Round to Arbitrary Precision in any Programming Language: Multiply your rounding number by 10^y where y is the precision to round to. Call your language’s built-in round() method on this number. Divide the result by 10^y. Easy peasy. It also makes it easier to implement different rounding methods because you’re always dealing with the digit at the same location in the number.

In javascript:

Then there’s Math.round() which you may not have or may not want to use and, if you’re rounding, at all, you’ll inevitably find yourself looking at various rounding methods. Since Math.round(), and usually all default round() methods in most programming languages, use traditional “half up” rounding, you may find you need a different method, like banker’s rounding which is “half to even”.

To accomplish a different rounding method, create your own round() function, apply the appropriate power to your number. Then, subtract the integer portion of the number. You are left with the fraction portion of your number: This gives you the rounding digit as your final number. With this number, you can then decide whether to truncate the original number or add 1. Once you’re done that, you can then remove the power manipulation you did in the first step and now you’re left with the final rounded number.

In javascript:

The functions Math.floor() (floor and ceiling), Math.pow() (exponentiation), and the modulus operator, are usually already available for most modern languages, under the same names, and don’t really have a need to be re-implemented compared to the need to re-implement rounding. Implementing your own functions for these is usually relatively trivial, however.

There you go! Arbitrary precision rounding in any programming language and, thrown in for good measure, how to implement a different rounding method to boot!

The right tool for the right job: Not so simple.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.

The argument “the right tool for the right job” is as old as they come. It’s similar in spirit to the old adage that you can’t put a “square peg in a round hole“.

The problem is no scenario is black and white.

You’re on Microsoft Windows so you should use .NET? You’re on Mac so you should use Objective-C and Cocoa? You’re on linux so you should use C and GTK?

The right tool for the right job is not just about price/performance ratios, the primary goal of a language, or what a language has tradionally been used for.

You use a programming language for a task because you’re an expert in that language and you can bend it to your will with greater ease than implementing in a new language.

Business understands this. It’s about efficiency not “perl is for data” and “python is for prototyping” and “C is for algorithms” and “java is for apps.”

It’s not black and white.

Microsoft Office might, in a very base sense, be the best tool for the job if you’re dealing with Microsoft Office format files. But the “right tool for the right job” includes conditions like price, licensing, security risk, training, etc.

Licensing is a big issue. The internet and the FOSS movement, from which we all benefit enormously today, was built on open standards, open protocols and open code.

Stallman understands that we’re where we are today because IT pioneers simply found it easier, better and more fulfilling to craft open source and have all modifications on open source returned back to the source.

We have a great computer ecosystem because the right-tool-right-job mentality did not include the idea that one should go with the status quo which is so often the case when people bring up this argument.

The right tool for the right job, like most things in life, is more complex, more difficult to understand, and takes effort to grasp the reason and benefits of its true meaning.