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The Two Faces Of Darwin

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By Virgil - Posted on 12 February 2009

by Dinesh D'Souza

... When his young daughter Annie died at the age of 10, Darwin came to hate the God whom he blamed for this. This was in 1851, eight years before Darwin released his Origin of Species. Around the time of Annie's death, Darwin also wrote that if Christianity were true then it would follow that his grandfather Erasmus Darwin and many of his closest family friends would be in hell. Darwin found this utterly unacceptable, given that these men were wise and kind and generous. Darwin's rejection of God was less an act of unbelief as it was a rebellion against the kind of God posited by Christianity. A God who would allow a young girl to die and good people to go to hell was not anyone that Darwin wanted to worship. Click here to read the entire article

HiPo's picture

Dinesh D'Souza does not strike me as a particularly adept Christian apologist. This is another case where it would seem that he seems to leave something on the table with regard to his critical thinking skills.

For example, I think it is worthwhile to take into account what Darwin said publicly (like the Kingsley quote in the closing chapters of Origin of the Species) which may be tinged somewhat by PR concerns; compared to what he said privately, like the following quote from a personal letter to Asa Grey:

"With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.--I am bewildered.--I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. Not believing this, I see no necessity in the belief that the eye was expressly designed. On the other hand I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe & especially the nature of man, & to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me .... But the more I think the more bewildered I become; as indeed I have probably shown by this letter."

In light of the above quote, it would seem to me that the assertion that one could be both "an ardent theist" and a believer in natural selection as proposed by Darwin hinges on a definition of the word "theist" that leaves design or purpose out of the picture. I would be surprised if this is what Mr D'Souza has in mind.

Mis dos centavos,
Harvey

Your faithful brother in Christ,

Virgil's picture

Harvey, I am not getting your last paragraph. Are you saying that it has to be either/or? Dsouza's article was pretty well framed in the context of a "Christian-evolutionist" paradigm, i.e. darwinism does not necessarily lead to atheism as many propose.

HiPo's picture

I am saying that Darwin's sense of natural selection is one that rules out the god of Christianity. It also rules out a deistic kind of god, if one's picture of a deistic god is one that involves purpose or design.

Your faithful brother in Christ,

Islamaphobe's picture

Dinesh D'Souza is a bright fellow and a good writer, but I agree with you that he is not "a particularly adept Christian apologist." Beyond that, I have noticed that in his writing about Islam, he seems unable to come to terms with the realities of the Islamic faith, and I think that in this article, he is similarly evasive with respect to implications of natural selection.

Personally, I am persuaded that there is indeed such a thing as biological evolution, but that it is evolution that is designed. To me, Darwinian natural selection is purposeless but actual evolution is not. I admit that I have never studied biology. Nevertheless, from what I have read, it seems evident that biology is far more complicated than Darwin realized and that, claims to the contrary notwithstanding, Darwinian evolution (creation of new species) has not been confirmed empirically. I am not sure that D'Souza grasps that point.

HiPo's picture

Actually speciation has been documented. I tend to agree with you (and D'Souza) that theistic evolution is a reasonable attempt to harmonize Christian doctrines about creation with what science has learned about how speciation occurs in nature. Just to clarify, I'm saying that this is a different animal from what Darwin had in mind.

Your faithful brother in Christ,

Islamaphobe's picture

I am not competent to comment on biology, but some people who impress me very much question the claims about the documentation of speciation. In any event, if Darwinism holds, where is the evidence for the formation of new species at the present time? Why haven't efforts biologists experimenting with fruit flies been able to come up with new species? Maybe the have, but I seem to have missed the news.

HiPo's picture

Did you click on the link I provided? The very first example is a new species of drosophila (fruit flies). The two strains qualify as different species both behaviorally (choosing not to interbreed), and biologically (labratory breeding results in sterile offspring). They are effectively as different as lions and tigers.

Generally speaking, speciation takes multiple generations to generate sufficient genetic change to prevent successful interbreeding. However, some of the other examples from the provided link are also rapid enough that we have observed the process from the beginning.

Your faithful brother in Christ,

Islamaphobe's picture

Interesting, though lions and tigers can interbreed (ligers and tiglons). I assume that the offspring are sterile. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that there seem to be so few examples of species changes going on in the natural world. I admit that my reading in this area has been primarily the works of advocates of ID, including Behe, Demske, and Wells. I have been very impressed by their work.

HiPo's picture

Exactly the parallel I was after. While lions and tigers prefer not to interbreed in the wild, the issue can be forced under controlled conditions, in which case their offspring are sterile. The same holds true for the fruit flies in the case I referenced.

Your faithful brother in Christ,

ThomasS's picture

As to Darwin, we are (I think) in agreement. Finally :)

HiPo's picture

Thomas,

Do you mean that you finally agree with Darwin, or that you finally agree with others on this forum? ;-)

Your faithful brother in Christ,

Starlight's picture

John,

I agree that Darwinian evolution is lacking but that should have been expected from one found at the beginning of the examination. One might compare it to a biblical student who discovers Preterism but only moves into the partial Preterist position not having the benefit of future scholars who uncover more truths which changes one’s perspective. That is the essence of biblical scholarship and also of science. We build upon the discoveries of those from the past and don’t necessarily discard the baby but refine and perfect it and it may end up looking a lot different as it grows up.

I think you are correct in identifying the lack of purpose behind the atheistic version of Darwinism which is really the crux of the matter. As one explores evolution it starts to become clear that the forces behind it are mind boggling intelligent and purposeful when viewed from the perspective of an intelligent Creator.

John my question to you concerning new species is how do you get them all here during the past millions of years that have transpired? Was it special “CREATION DAYS” of God all along the way that he just popped down these different species? Did God insert himself miraculously in episodes along the way or perhaps did he front load the Universe design to accommodate what appears as a natural evolution and development of species coupled with the volatile and changing physical earth environment.

Many do not realize the physical dynamics of planet earth is a corrosive but life changing environment. I would greatly encourage those who want to seriously investigate the dynamics of evolution to start with the time spans closest to us and work backwards. Starting with the end of the last glaciations periods and the end of the large animals that populated the earth up until to about 10,000 years ago including their development and demise will start one to begin grasping these dynamics in play in the development of species and how the physical earth helped shape them.

The information is out there for those who might be interested. Just like the information is out there for futurist who might be interested in Preterism, but one must be curious enough to pursue the issues.

Blessings

Norm

Islamaphobe's picture

Norm,

In talking about biology I am completely out of my depth, but as I noted in a comment above to HiPo, I have been much impressed by the work of some proponents of intelligent design, and I have not been similarly impressed by the proponents of Darwinism whose articles I have run across. To me, the Darwinists peculiarly resemble proponents of liberalism in mainstream biblical academia.

JSE

Starlight's picture

John,

This is one of those areas that one must gradually investigate at your own level of comfort and conscience. The reason I use Darwin in the discussion is I believe it is important for folks to recognize the basic conscript of evolution as the mechanism for speciation and development. Pure atheistic Darwinian evolution though is an absolute fraud and I believe can be shown to be without logical merit just as some of the authors you point out have indicated. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for atheistic evolution build upon a strict material paradigm is their problem with mathematical probabilities when left to a pure state of affairs.

What the atheist overlooks is that if the origin/creation of the Universe was front loaded with the evolution and development of Life built in then their premise of natural evolution is God created and therefore they have no second scientific control example to verify their purely materialistic criteria against that premise. Their observations of evolutionary principles could (as I believe) simply be the validation of an intelligent mechanism built in with which they simply appropriate (steal) for their proof of atheistic naturalism.

My position would be that evolution will continue to bear out the stamp of intelligence and the code of intricate design that will provide a preponderance of evidence against atheistic Evolution. Some scientists are already coming to grips with the marvel of the evolutionary process as something that they cannot explain except by what it produces. According to purely atheistic materialism theory nothing should derive from nothing but something does appear to derive from nothing and it is intelligent and self directing in every direction imaginable. That is not confirmation of a world without a Creator.

So John do not equate my position with an atheistic version of Darwinian evolution as there is night and day difference. As I said from the beginning though is that it is very hard to make a rational judgment upon evolutionary principles without becoming intimately knowledgeable about the subject. It’s just like Preterism in that regard and requires a lot of study and observation but most of all an open mind to recognize truths that have been corrupted by simplistic and ignorant debates that demonize the subject from both sides.

John, I’m not sure the interbreeding of close but different breeds of species producing sterile offspring is really that important to the discussion as that is not the mechanism of speciation. We don’t have evolution from the combining of two different levels of species. Evolution in a simplistic explanation is gradual and works primarily in isolation developing from environmental factors that transform the needs of the species, not the marring of two separate species levels that bring about the change.

Norm

Islamaphobe's picture

Norm,

Thanks for taking the time for a detailed answer. I don't think we fundamentally disagree on evolution. But I do think it is important to avoid the treatment of the word "evolution" as a synomym for a Darwinism that makes a guiding intelligence superfluous.

JSE

Starlight's picture

John,

I’m not ready to let the anti evolutionist dictate the language and words that describe it. Evolution is understood through the study of science and Darwin was no small player in the beginnings of this science.

This article highlighted that Darwin recognized one could embrace evolution and retain God as the originator even though he himself had abandoned the idea of God because of his own personal family tragedy. This does not negate his scientific work that can be verified as sound, nor does it mean we accept all of his concepts as I have stated previously there have been huge advancements in the study especially in the light of DNA genetics in which Darwin did not foresee.

I’m not about rewriting scientific history just to placate those who are out to demonize the right concept of evolution. If folks aren’t able to look at what Darwin accomplished in an objective rationale then that is their problem not mine. Although the YEC crowd want to make him the poster child boogie man for evolution it is simply a diversion tactic to render anything concerning evolution in a negative light. I simply have no plan in joining them in their demonization or disparagement of Darwin in an ignorant and dogmatic approach.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I have been attempting to follow this debate and I certainly do not want to demonize or disparage Darwin out of an ignorant and dogmatic approach. So, I would ask of you: "How much time and how many generations and speciation changes were involved in producing us (man)?" Specifically I am asking what was the original species that has evolved into modern man and when did that original species exist?

Thanks in advance Norm for elevating me out of my dogmatic ignorance.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Most of the important work concerns DNA analysis according to mutational changes that occur. There is some interesting work being performed and in fact recently the Genome of the Neandertal species has been outlined so that comparisons to this ancient cousin may be studied comparatively to modern Homo sapiens. This will allow for scientist to study the divergence to some degree and estimate when that divergence roughly occurred. Here is one link to the Neandertal genome story but there are numerous ones available from a search on Google.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212112731.htm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29171854/

Our closest living DNA comparison resides with the Chimpanzee in which we share roughly 98% agreement on genetic markers if I remember correctly. Of course the Neanderthals will come in much closer than the Chimpanzee’s do in this DNA comparison. There are many interesting stories that you may pursue in this discussion on the internet if one chooses to investigate.

In answer to your questions Tom there is still much work to be done and it will always be an ongoing investigation to calculate approximately these issues that concern you. For example where did the Neandertal species come from and how closely related is it to modern humans.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Thanks Norm,

I have always been one who has never considered evolution and Christianity as being compatible.

It has never really entered my mind that the earliest brute ancestor of evolved man was the one that was created in the image and likeness of God. It has always been until now impossible for me to conceive that the earliest ancestor had the mental ability to converse with God or that God would desire to converse with him. and that God would make a covenant with him to multiply and be the supreme caretaker of all that God had created.

I had always considered it impossible that the Christ sacrificed his life for a chimpanzee or neanderthal.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

You have greatly misunderstood the early Genesis scriptures. Being created in the image of God was not a description of mankind’s at large attributes but was only endowed beginning through faith in Jesus Christ after Pentecost in the last day before entering the seventh Day Sabbath Rest of God (Heb 4:4-9).

Col 3:9-10 ESV… seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge AFTER THE IMAGE OF ITS CREATOR.

1Co 15:49 ESV Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, WE SHALL ALSO BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE MAN OF HEAVEN.

Rom 8:29 ESV For those whom he foreknew he also predestined TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

2Co 3:18 ESVAnd we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO THE SAME IMAGE from one degree of glory to another

You might be interested to note that some of the early church fathers agreed with this recognition such as Barnabas and Augustine.

Norm
PS. Just curious Tom, where do you think those Neandertals came from? Their DNA is 99.5% compatible with ours and in which the difference for any living human from any race is 99.9% similar. They appear to have disappeared around 30,000 years ago.

Islamaphobe's picture

A former colleague of mine at the U. of Alabama used to suggest that Neanderthal man intermarried with Cro-Magnon man and lives on in the form of football linemen. I must say, however, that most of the football linemen I had as students--and I did have a few--were reasonably intelligent. Anyway, while you are no doubt correct in calling attention to the close genetic correspondence of humans to chimps and Neanderthals, Dembski and Wells suggest in "The Design of Life" that this supposedly small difference turns out to be very large in terms functional abilities.

JSE

Starlight's picture

John,

You are indeed correct. You notice the difference of only 1% between modern man which is a very interesting study in itself. Imagine the 5% difference in Neadertals as 5 times the amount in modern humans. Chimps are said to be anywhere from 95 to 98 similar so they would be 20 to 50 times further away which are huge differences. :-)

Norm

JL's picture

Norm,

The genetic similarity between humans and yeast is better than 85%.

The genetic similarity between Neanderthal and human is likely similar to that between the great apes and humans and between the apes themselves.

Morphologically, Neanderthal looks more like a bipedal gorilla than a human.

As to function, humans have always had division of labor. Adult males hunt and do heavy labor. Adult females gather and process food. Neanderthal appears to have no significant division of labor.

And where it really counts, all the great apes, including, it appears likely, homo neanderthalis have baculum. Humans don't. Evolutionists believe that feature alone is enough to classify rabbits evolving separately from rodents. Applying the same standard to human evolution would make us more closely related to horses than apes.

Blessings.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Starlight's picture

JL,

Recent DNA determinations setting the difference from modern humans of Neandertals at .5 % reveals a much closer relationship between the two than with the Great Apes in which Chimps are the closet coming in at the best with roughly a 2.0 % difference. According to scientist investigating the DNA difference between the Chimp and Human Genome estimate their split at roughly 6 million years ago. The Neandertals divergence from modern Homo sapiens estimates appear to fall in the range of roughly 500,000 years ago. There is a wide range between the apes and Homo sapiens and less difference between Neandertals.

JL, I had some interesting thoughts about your bone discussion concerning apes, Neandertals, humans and horses but thought I had better not go there, after all this is a Christian forum. ;-)

Otherwise it looks like Homo sapiens lost the bone somewhere in the 500,000 year period. After all it’s called survival of the fittest. The Bone just didn’t win out. Woops!

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

The real question is did the image and likeness of God win out?

BTW, did God form Adam from the dust of the ground? The Adam who had a wife named Eve, who had sons named Abel; Cain; and Seth?

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Adam, Seth and those who called on the name of the Lord (Jehovah Elohim) (Gen4:26) were formed in the Likeness of God and had not received the Image until Christ. That is the fundamental story of scripture. So yes those who continue to call on the Lord through Christ continue to win out due to the Good News which took off the burden of spiritual “death”, that came from the physical works of the man of the “dust”, Adam.

1Co 15:40-48 ESV
(40) There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. …
(45) Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
(47) The first man was from the earth, A MAN OF DUST; the second man is from heaven.
(48) AS WAS THE MAN OF DUST, so also ARE THOSE who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also ARE THOSE WHO ARE OF HEAVEN.

In Daniel 12 we see that it is prophesied that those “who sleep in the DUST” namely Israel from Adam will be raised at the Parousia just as Paul points out above. But the interesting thing is that we are no longer of the Dust once we embrace the Heavenly spiritual. If one reads verse 48 above we see that it speaks of those who were of the dust separately from those who are of Heaven. In other words when one is in Christ he no longer is a man of Dust but of Heaven. A man of Dust was one assigned to work the ground which was burned and destroyed at AD70. (Heb 6:7-8)

Dan 12:2 ESV
(2) And many of those WHO SLEEP IN THE DUST of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

If one takes the mistaken idea that Adam was formed fully in God’s spiritual image and applies that to all mankind then you are left with several problems. First if one infers the image upon Adam and his descendants then many would be inferring what Christ provided and it would be upon all mankind. This would indicate that there would have been no need for Christ to bring in the spiritual image as mankind at large already had it. This would be a form of Universalism from the beginning. Instead Adam had only the “likeness” (Gen 5:1) and that was not the full spiritual image and then he bungled that gift as well as his own efforts were not adequate. So being a man of the “dust” working the ground and producing only thorns and thistles there was a need for a better plan. It was prophesied in Gen 3:15 namely the Messiah because the works of the ground by those of the “dust” were burned at AD70.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Thanks Norm,

I'll end this thread before you become any more hopelessly bogged down in contradiction than you already are.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

What I’m proposing is built upon Paul’s corporate body view of the “Body” which I understand you reject because of your literal rapture viewpoint. So if you reject Paul’s writings then I guess we just don’t have much in common to discuss about these things.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I affirm the scripture is inerrant and everything in the scripture as truth without error.

That is why I reject your so called corporate body view. It is not only not in scripture it is a false man made doctrine. If you doubt that then I ask you to demonstrate the proof of it.

If you doubt my literal rapture viewpoint then I ask you to do the same thing, demonstrate the error.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Sam Frost has written and spoke extensively defending the “Corporate Body” concept over on the SGP site which you frequent. He has also already debunked the AD70 physical rapture viewpoint. I'll not duplicate his good work.

Norm

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I am glad to see you have finally accepted Sam's leadership in defining and determining your doctrines for you.

Tom
PS. Good cop out. You can't do it yourself can you?

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Too bad you haven't, as I said you could learn a thing or two from him on the "corporate Body" understanding.

Tom, I consider Sam excellent on Pauline theology and he is a very talented and gifted scholar. I differ with Sam in one book and that is early Genesis. I tend to go with Augustine and Barnabas on Genesis 1.

I give Sam a hard time in Genesis but otherwise he's A-OK.

Norm

Norm

mazuur's picture

Tom and Norm,

If you want a 720 page book presenting every single aspect of the Corporate Body view then you need to read Max King's book "The Cross and Parousia of Christ". His 300 or so pages dealing with just the resurrection ( verse by verse discourse on 1 Cor. 15, and it's relationship to the rest of the NT) will answer every question you could possibly have concerning this truth. This is where Sam gets every single bit of his information. Just letting you know so you can go straight to the source if you wish, and you don't have to wait for somebody else to just regurgitate it.

Tom, I know you say you don't like King's work, although without reading a large portion of his book I'm not sure how you can say that, but you need to get it and read it. The reason you have problems with what little you run into (such as Sam's words) is because you don't understand any part of it, thus the little bits you hear here and there don't have any context for you. Don't worry, this is most peoples problem who have never taken the time to read his work.

I have said it before and I'll continue to say it. If you are a Preterist, the best thing you can possibly do for yourself is read King's book.

-Rich

-Rich

Starlight's picture

Rich,

Couldn't agree more as I have King's book and have been through many sections marking and remarking them up over and over again.

Also I'm about to finish Tom Hollands book "Contours of Pauline Theology" and I find it helpful as well even though he is not a Preterist.

Norm

mazuur's picture

Norm,

Tom's book is good in the sense that he is yelling for Christendom to start looking at Paul as a Hebrew who wrote as a Hebrew. Outside of that, I had all kinds of problems with what he presented.

-Rich

-Rich

Starlight's picture

Rich,

Yes, he presents problems and that is why one should have read King and Frost before so they can identify his weaknesses.

Norm

davo's picture

Hey Tom… I've been following your thoughts on a 'literal rapture' over at the SGP site – I'm not allowed to join their site discussion, but I have a question regarding your position, which "I think" I follow, but…

From what I gather, you see the literal bodily aspect of the rapture as applicable ONLY to the apostles, IF I'm following correctly; however you say…

"3) We [the apostles only] which are alive and remain This group is last and harpazod with the dead in Christ [the OT believers only]. This group includes all of them in Christ who have not died before the parousia." -- bold & [bracketed italics] mine

Tom… how can you say "This group includes all of them in Christ who have not died before the parousia" and so NOT then be inclusive of ALL the then present alive body of believers i.e., "the church", apart from or as well as the "we" apostles; and thus be exactly the same as Ed's rapture of the living saints etc as per his position?

Have I in this case misread this last sentence of yours, and are you as such actually referring back to the apostolic "we" when you say "This group includes all of them in Christ who have not died before the parousia" and so in that case just repeating yourself for effect etc?

davo

tom-g's picture

Thanks Davo,

The construction of my comment about group 3 could have been more clearly stated.

The 3rd, group were the last of them in Christ that were still alive at the time of the parousia. This group included those who had followed him from the beginning.

The transition period between 30AD and 70AD creates Paul's distinction of those who sleep in Jesus and the dead in Christ. Those who believed and died prior to Pentecost were dead and in their graves in the promise of the better resurrection of the Christ and were part of the second group that included all those from Abel to that time who were waiting for the better resurrection. (Hebrews 11:25) who would not be made perfect without "us" (11:40, the group that includes the antecedent definition of "I" and "me" of 11:32)

The first group included all of those who had died after Pentecost who were in Christ from the beginning plus those who believed after Pentecost and had died. ( this group would include any of the apostles and believing loved ones of the Thessalonian brethren who were no longer waiting for the better resurrection that had already come with Jesus, the first fruits of them that sleep. When any of this group died they would be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Which is where we find them in 1 Th. in the heavens sleeping in Jesus)

The resurrection from the dead of our Lord was the dividing line. Those who died in faith before his resurrection were in the graves dead in Christ. Those who died in faith after his resurrection were sleeping in Jesus. Those who were still alive at the parousia were raptured without ever having died.

Thus, Paul could tell the Corinthian brethren that at the parousia the dead will rise and "We" (which are them who are still alive and remain who have not fallen asleep) shall be changed.

Any clearer Davo?

Tom

davo's picture

Thanks Tom… it's "sort of" a little clearer *_*

Tom: However, if the church is not a part of the persons who are raptured, and the original outograph does not include the church as a part of those included in "we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord"… then it is concluded that the church, composed of all believers, is not included in the rapture.

Tom… this "seems to be" where your position runs into some difficulty, difficulties at least in how you are explaining things. Above you have "the church" i.e., living saints aka "disciples" as distinct from "the 12 apostles" NOT partaking in a literal rapture – as you have made clear above, but then say:

The resurrection from the dead of our Lord was the dividing line. Those who died in faith before his resurrection were in the graves dead in Christ [OC faithful]. Those who died in faith after his resurrection were sleeping in Jesus [NC faithful]. Those who were still alive at the parousia were raptured without ever having died [the remaining apostles]. [bracketed inserts mine]

Thus when you say "The 3rd, group were the last of them in Christ that were still alive at the time of the parousia. This group included those who had followed him from the beginning" – you are referring exclusively to whomever of the 12 apostles were left alive at the Parousia, and thus this is NOT applicable to any living "believers" who by their very nature would constitute "the church" then living at that time. Is this a correct understanding of what you are saying?

However, IF you ARE now saying that this said "3rd group" includes others apart from the apostles, which following your argument to date you DON'T seem to be saying, then you would indeed be following Ed Stevens position… does that make sense? Even though you have said:

Tom: I also have differences with Ed as evidenced by my explanation that the rapture did not include the church. However, Ed is the first full preterist that I have had any contact with that positively affirms the physical bodily rapture, even though he had the wrong persons for the wrong reasons.

[now I know that might my question above may sound a little redundant but I'm just trying to make sure I understand your position]

Thus it appears clear to me Tom from what you are saying that as pertains to "the faithful" who were left living and remaining on the earth and surviving through the rapture/resurrection/parousia… that these alone were none other than those you designate as "the church, composed of all believers". I assume this is correct?

This certainly is good for the mental gymnastics Tom… hoping for further clarification :).

davo

tom-g's picture

Thanks Davo,

I AM saying the church that the gates of hell could not prevail against that is on earth giving glory to God through Christ Jesus our Lord throughout the ages of the ages, of which the Thessalonian believers were members and of which I am today a member, is the definition of the church.

I AM saying that in the church, Christ gave some to be apostles, and I am saying that Paul's explanation to the Th. church was of those apostles who did not die before the parousia and did not include the Th. church to whom Paul was writing.

I AM saying that the tens of thousands of His saints that come with him at his parousia (1 Th 3:13) does NOT include the living Th brethren that Paul was writing to. That it does NOT include those who were "dead in Christ" and that it does NOT include "We which are alive and remain"

I AM saying that the living Th brethren that Paul was writing to were NOT a part of "The dead in Christ".

I AM saying that the living Th brethren that Paul was writing to were NOT a part of "We which are alive and remain".

I AM saying that the tens of thousands of his saints that come with Jesus at his parousia DOES include those loved ones that "were sleeping in Jesus" that the Th brethren were sorrowing over.

Tom

davo's picture

Ok thanks Tom that's pretty clear.

In the explanation of your proposition over at SGP you make the following claims, which I've highlighted for emphasis:According to all grammatical rules the antecedent definition continues to remain the same as it has throughout the whole book and particularly as "We" was used in the first portion of this same verse. … The text itself does not demand a change of antecedent, nor does the grammar. …

In Greek there is a means to express the "Exclusivity" (We and not you) of the pronoun "We". And that one word in the Greek that expresses the exclusivity of the pronoun "We" to exclude the TB is: "heemis" the first person plural pronoun in its specialized function as the subject in the nominative case.Tom, your word "heemis" [actually ἡμεῖς ēmeis] appears some 122 times throughout the NT. Now with regards to 1Thess you've made the argument above that throughout the whole book its application remains consistently the same, and grammatically so. Tom can you explain according to your program of things how the following is likewise consistently applied exclusively to the apostles alone:

1Thess 5:8 But since we [ἡμεῖς ēmeis] belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

…and thus WHY Paul would feel or have the need to give such an injunction to some apparent present apostles etc??

davo

tom-g's picture

I appreciate your comments Davo,

However, before proceeding, am I to understand that you have no difference in your understanding that what I have explained as the meaning of the text on this subject from 1 Th 1:1 -4:18 is true? And BTW, my "program" has been to understand and explain this text according to the rules of grammar and logic, nothing else. As I am certain is the "program" of all who would seek to understand that which is written.

Tom

davo's picture

tom-g: …am I to understand that you have no difference in your understanding that what I have explained as the meaning of the text on this subject from 1 Th 1:1 -4:18 is true?

Presently Tom I hold to what gets called the CBV as per that which Max King has written extensively about – a position I know you have an aversion for, but that said I think is worthy of consideration etc. However, I'm not averse to exploring contrary or other positions/propositions [which BTW is what I meant by "program"].

Now I know you don't subscribe to the CBV but I'm wondering how much of it you have studied, but more than that, I'm also wondering WHY it could not be that if you are sufficiently convinced of your "limited to the apostles" position why or how such a CBV could NOT necessarily still be applicable to "the NT Church" of which the Thessalonian believers were a vital part; IOW, why could it not be both?

Your proposed "literal rapture" view IMO has more traction going for it than does what has been given to-date, so is worthy of looking at, but your strict grammatical/logical schema is fraught with difficulties, as I see it, as per my question relative to 5:8 – and you are most emphatic in your "exclusive" language and requirements and thus how these are to be with any consistency applied and understood. Now I haven't as yet gone through all the other contexts through the NT where "ἡμεῖς ēmeis" is used, but your rigid stance may be a rod for your own back, as it were. ?? Anyway Tom I'd be interested in what you have to say on 1Thess 5:8 in line with and according to the strictures you have set etc.

davo

tom-g's picture

Thanks Davo,

Your question concerns 1Thess 5:8. and the use of the personal pronoun in the first person plural as the subject in the nominative case.

"The strictures I have set", as you comment, have not been set by me. The rule in Greek grammar that governs the exclusive use of the pronoun, is just that, a rule that governs the use of the pronoun. It applies to all of the times it is used. It is never used except to show the exclusivity of the subject only.

Thus, your question would pertain to the antecedent noun or noun group that is the antecedent definition of the pronoun which is being used as the subject of the text of your question. Explaining this whole text could become quite lengthy and unmanageable in answering your question, so I am choosing to err on the side of brevity, knowing that doing so will undoubtedly leave quite a bit about this whole text without explanation.

You have quoted my explanation: "According to all grammatical rules the antecedent definition continues to remain the same as it has throughout the whole book and particularly as "We" was used in the first portion of this same verse. … The text itself does not demand a change of antecedent, nor does the grammar."

My explanation was specifically of the use of the pronoun in the text of 4:13-18, It should be understood that the grammatical rule was not created to have its application only in this text, nor was it created to deny the fundamental rule of a pronoun as a word that takes the place of the noun or noun group for which it stands.

So, the question is whether the same antecedent definition for the pronoun is continuing in 5:8 as it had from 1:1-4:18? Does the the grammar of the text require the same continuing antecedent or does it require a different antecedent definition than in 1:1-4:18? If you have understood that the pronoun always has as its antecedent definition the apostles then I am sorry for my lack of clarity. The pronoun always has as its definition the noun or noun group that is its antecedent. That antecedent could be anyone, but as a first person it is always, or always includes, the person who is speaking or writing.

The text you are questioning reads: "Let us (our exclusive pronoun We) who are of the day." Thus, the text defines "We" as being composed exclusively of the group "who are of the day" as contrasted with and not including the group composed of those who are of the night.

Verse 8:4 reads: "But you, brethren are not in darkness" and verse 5 continues: "You are all children of light and the children of the day." The word "You" in the Greek in both verses, is again the exclusive pronoun as the subject in the nominative case, and this time it is used not of the first person "We", but of the second person "You, brethren".

Grammatically the second person excludes the first person. "You" does not include "We", and "We does not include "You". So, "You",the children of the day, grammatically does not include "We" (Paul), and does not express whether the group of "We", are of the day or not.

It is in the second portion of verse 5 where the apostle changes the subject from the second person "You" to the first person "We" when he writes: "We are not of night nor of darkness."

The subject first person "We" is not created by the use of the personal pronoun but as a result of the verb ending of "esmen" (we are) and continues with the same "We" created from the verb endings of "let us watch" and "let us be sober", through verse 6. What is being contrasted in these verses is the difference between the first person "We who are of the day" and "all of the rest" defined by the third person "They who are of the night." which is the subject of verse 7.

If there has been any question whether the group "who are of the day" which has been directly defined as the Thess. brethren in verses 4 and 5 also includes "we" (Paul/apostles) that is introduced in the last clause in verse 5, but does not directly link Paul with the Thess brethren as those who are of the day, that question is absolutely solved in verse 8 where "We" (our special pronoun) is in the first person, which always includes the speaker or writer, and is defined as: "Who are of the day.

So, the exclusive contrast of "We" is not between we the apostles and you the TB as it was in the 4th chapter. But the exclusive contrast between all of the first person we who are of the day, and all of the rest defined as the third person they who are of the night.

This distinction of not having a second person as part of the text is continued through verse 10. In verse 11 the apostle again creates the distinction between we and you as he begins to speak directly to the TB as the second person, This distinction of we and you then continues through the rest of the chapter and the end of the letter.

Thus to answer your question.
1) the special exclusive rule of the personal pronoun as the subject in the nominative case is continued in chapter 5 and is used both of "You" the TB and "We" who are of the day.

2) Since the special exclusive "You" does not include the apostles, for the apostles to be a part of the group with the TB of the special exclusive pronoun "We" who are of the day, the text would have to directly say this. And in verse 5 and 6 the text does directly say this.

3) You quoted my prior explanation that said for a pronoun to have a change of meaning the text and the grammar must be the reason. Chapter 5 does change the antecedent definition of the pronoun from its meaning in chapter 4.

4) By consistently applying the same grammatical rules in chapter 5 as were applied in chapter 4, 5:8 clearly has an exclusive contrasting definition different than in chapter 4 and my explanation of chapter 4 as a grammatical and logical explanation remains.

Tom

davo's picture

tom-g: If you have understood that the pronoun always has as its antecedent definition the apostles then I am sorry for my lack of clarity.

Ok thanks Tom… your basic conclusion reached then as to 5:8 would be somewhere in the ball-park with my understanding of it also – where I was having difficulty was understanding the literalness and scope of your "the antecedent definition continues to remain the same as it has throughout the whole book and particularly as "We"…" – such "grammatical type" requirements I suspect would be a given regardless context throughout Scripture, however your rather broad statement relative to the apostolic "We" seemed to be saying more; which is why when you made your grammatical case for the "apostolic we" one was to likewise conclude that such was a universal application right across or "throughout the whole book" of Thessalonians as per your claim at the time etc. So thanks for clarifying that. It would be interesting to have someone the likes of Sam F. at SGP who readily grasps the Greek text explore the likes of the 4th chapter text as you have presented it and give some thoughts along "textual line" alone – I know a little Greek, but as the saying goes "a little Greek can be a little dangerous".

As a by-thought – what would be your concern with a more "corporate" [King/Frost] understanding being applicable to those "believers" outside the scope of your more restricted or apostolic rapture?

davo

tom-g's picture

Thanks again Davo,

As to your new question? I understand from our current discussion that you have visited another website and read about our current discussion and comments that I have made there.

On that website there is also another current discussion going on that speaks to your new question and it would be appropriate if you would view that discussion and phrase your argument based upon your lack of agreement or confusion, for or against, the explanation presented of the CBV that is expressed by the one who introduced the topic.

I personally have not participated in that discussion at this time but I would be happy to present my explanation of specific comments or questions you might ask. The title of the topic is: "What Does Paul Mean About Being "Raised" in 1 Cor. 15?"

Tom

davo's picture

Ok thanks Tom...

davo

tom-g's picture

Davo,

It was possibly a mistake to ask you to read someone else's opinion. It seems that KNB has begun to hedge in what appears to be the position of both IBD and CBD are true.

A position that logically cannot be true, since the individual is not the corporate and the corporate is not the individual. Logically they can not both be true, but they may both be wrong.

The logical fallacy being demonstrated in this argument is the fallacy of four terms. This is a fallacy constructed upon the opposition created when a thing is being viewed in simple supposition and personal supposition at the same time.

In simple supposition the term "corporate body" is used to mean something that is intellectually conceived regardless of its actual existence as a nature in individuals in reality.

In personal supposition the term "individual body" is used to mean something that actually exists as a nature of individuals in reality. In personal supposition the term has an immediate meaning as the nature of man in reality and mediately it has its meaning as a nature of man individually.

What exists in reality is the singular thing. The plural thing or corporate or federal or universal is an intellectually abstracted thing that has no existence in reality.

Thus to equate as reciprocal, a simply supposed, or intellectually concieved thing, as personally supposed, or actual, is the same as equating apples and oranges.

This fallacy becomes immediately obvious when an attempt is made to define "Corporate body" as an actual thing that has existence.

Tom

davo's picture

tom-g: It was possibly a mistake to ask you to read someone else's opinion. It seems that KNB has begun to hedge in what appears to be the position of both IBD and CBD are true.

A position that logically cannot be true, since the individual is not the corporate and the corporate is not the individual. Logically they can not both be true, but they may both be wrong.

The logical fallacy being demonstrated in this argument is the fallacy of four terms.

Tom… not to argue either way with KNB's particular position, but I'm not convinced it is an adequate treatment of positions to always, as it seems, to continuously break every argument down into a "logical fallacy" type rationale… all that seems to do is provide an easy-out according to however proficient one might be at arguing in those types of circles, all the while missing the wood for the trees – at least this is how it is appearing to me.

Is it not realistic to ask – who sets these apparent 'laws of logic' and "who says" they are thus and so? Certainly some of these things find cultural resonation that we can grasp, but not only do all cultures NOT think accordingly, but it is IMO also bordering on a fallacy in itself to assume that the Scriptures of necessity must duly fall within these supposedly appointed and concrete guidelines.

I said all that to say this – we can indeed speak quite factually of the corporate which by its very nature incorporates the individual in such logically non-contradictory terms such as "the body of evidence" etc, etc.

tom-g: In simple supposition the term "corporate body" is used to mean something that is intellectually conceived regardless of its actual existence as a nature in individuals in reality. … This fallacy becomes immediately obvious when an attempt is made to define "Corporate body" as an actual thing that has existence.

Again Tom, "Corporate body" is an expressive term used to identify a very real thing. So… in accord with my previous thoughts, HOW does your notion as expressed above then apply to Paul's "body of Christ" motif…?

davo

JL's picture

Norm,

No researcher knows whether Neanderthal had 46 chromosomes like man or 48 like apes. It is those missing chromosomes that are the biggest genetic difference between man and ape.

The 0.5% difference is in the portion of the genome in which we are genetically most like apes.

Lagomorphs ( rabbits, hares, pikas) have their own order separate from rodents. There are even greater differences between humans and apes, which have much less variation within species. It is a bias among evolutionists that persists in placing us in the same order with apes.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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