Thursday, November 08, 2007

Debating Creationism

My friend, Gaz from the UK, posted a rather thoughtful defense of creationism and literalism of the Bible. This topic always gets me fired up, as I always feel we're on the verge of The New Dark Ages when rational educated people hold beliefs which to me seem so irrational.

I was going to comment on his blog, but then I thought twice about it. I didn't want to clutter or offend his blog with my rants and ravings. Instead, I decided to post my rant here, where it properly belongs.

I welcome discussion on this topic, if anybody cares to debate the issue.


Oh boy. Here I go.

I don't understand is why everything in the Bible has to be literal for it to be compatible with our faith. Why cannot the Bible contain allegorical stories, especially the early chapters of the Pentateuch?

Just because it says "day" doesn't mean that it is a day. If it was allegorical, it still illustrates the same exact concept (in a nice literary way), and is still compatible with the faith.

I just don't see the point of all this Bible-defendism. People through the ages have picked and chosen what they want to believe from the Bible, and what they deemed irrelevant or anachronistic. There are plenty of examples:

  • Exodus 21.22-25
  • Exodus 23.19
  • Exodus 25 (the Tabernacle, anybody here still worship in one of this exact description or do burnt offerings?)
  • Leviticus 11 (only the Jews and Muslims still follow these rules!)
  • Leviticus 19.19
  • Leviticus 26 (goodbye black pudding and shaving one's beard)
  • Leviticus 20:10 (death for adultery)
  • Leviticus 24:16-23 ("An eye for an eye" is directly opposite of the examples in Samuel 1 & 2.)
  • Deuteronomy 12:32 (implies that anything but the strictest form of Judaism is heresy, including Christianity and Islam)
  • Deuteronomy 13.9-11 (death to non-believers)
  • Deuteronomy 20.12-16 (pretty tough stuff if you're a pacifist, as is almost all of Joshua and Samuel)
  • Deuteronomy 21.18-22 (Stoning to death any rebellious sons!)
  • Deuteronomy 22.10-12
  • Deuteronomy 23.1-2, 10-11
  • Deuteronomy 24.1-3 (divorce OK)

... and so on. Where do we draw the line, and who gets to draw it?

Personally, I can hold the Bible as the single most important book in the history of man, and still not need to believe that every single word in it is the uncorrupted Word of God.

My faith runs deeper than needing it all in plain black and white.

© Copyright 2005-2014, Scott E. Harris. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce or copy without the permission of the author.