Friday, March 21, 2008

Theologies of nature - audio lecture by Ernan McMullin (online at Faraday Institute)

Quotes and comments;

1. McMullin tells us 'most' biblical scholars would say there was no idea in the Old Testament of creation ex nihilo.
- How people can such things I have no idea. ''god said let there be light and there was light" etc. ''God created all things by the word of his Mouth'' etc. (How many references do you need?)

2. M. tells us creation from nothing is alien to the bible. (I guess this is the price you pay for a humanist education; you become a goof ball.)

3. This 'teacher of the church' tells us; "oh yes, the beginning verses of the bible might indicate this but new translations (i.e. paraphrases) of today tell us water was there before god said let there be light."
- That's a lie of course; meant only to defend his humanist views. The creator is no 'Jewish' invention dear sir.

4. M. is an elderly man, and he obviously never got over the higher critics. He wants to seperate out the 'Jews' from the rest of the bible. i.e. from the people of god who went before. He he wants to pretend Genesis was a speculative production that sprang from the forehead of moses because of dehydration. This is drearily old hat; i.e. utterly disproved. I can only say I agree with people who say Genesis is an edited version of ancient texts that were the inheritance of the line of Seth and go back to Adam. (The book of Job, written well before Moses, clearly has all the elements of Genesis in it.)

5. M. is another of these people who claim the Greeks knew nothing of a creator. (Professors who never got over their indoctrination into higher criticism.)

6. He's another guy who doesn't define 'religion.'

7. Unless I missed something, he's suggesting Plato dreamt up the idea of the Demiurge and the forms. I find this absurd; this is clearly a secularized version of biblical teaching. (i.e. the knowledge of god and creation handed down from Adam to Noah, etc.) Plato stole his ideas from the biblical tradition. (In ancient times, in the pagan world, this was considered fair play... as everyone did it; i.e. you Never gave credit to your sources if you could help it.)

8. When Aristotle said there is a 'form' for sea urchin etc., he was just stealing the idea of biblical Christianity; i.e. that all 'kinds' had been created perfect in the beginning. (What is a 'form' but a perfect model of the creatures we see in the fallen world.) This is plagiarism in my view.

9. Aristotle talks about teleology...
- but what is this but the idea the world was made as a home for man; ie. things exist, in a general sense, for the sake of man... this is the heart of the biblical message and Aristotle's view is but a secularized version of this.

11. M. wants to distinguish between 'ends' and 'purposes.' I'm not sure how that works :=) Apparently 'ends' are not conscious intentions. (But this leaves out a personal Creator.) But really an 'end' has no meaning apart from persons. It's foolish to say a stone has an end. He's confusing the personal and the impersonal.

12. M. wants to claim Aristotle was the first and the greatest biologist. (a man who didn't know how many teeth women had :=) But again he's given the Greeks credit for a thing that only involved copying, imitating, what the earlier ancients had done; most notably the court of Solomon. Creating collections of animals for study was a very old idea when Aristotle engaged in it. (Read your bible carefully; study earlier history from other cultures.) One of the oldest writings we have; the book of Job, is replete with detailed information about animals. (Why Christian libs can't find it in their heart to give a molecule of credit to the bible is beyond me.)

13. a question I find interesting is 'why did the Greeks have so many different philosophies. I haven't seen anything written on this; but my view is that they were 'seed pickers.' i.e. they had a smorgasbord approach to ideas... that they collected them from all over the known world... not having any worldview of their own. (i.e. after having abandoned the revealed word of scripture that they had known in the early days after the flood from Noah or his immediate descendents.

14. M. talks over and over about the 'Jewish view of creation.'
- Well dear professor; there is no such thing. The view of creation we have in the bible is the word of God, not the word of man. It's not 'jewish' in any way, shape or form. Genesis was not given to 'jews' but to Adam. Adam is the father of all men; not only the father of the jews. It's heresy to say genesis is an invention of desert wandering semites. Biblical creation is in NO way a cultural artifact. This is the heresy and the idiocy of the higher critics. All of true christianity depends on taking Genesis at its word; ie. as the word of the creator god. Prof McMullin apparently can't accept this.

15. From an orthodox position he makes a grievous error when he equates 'jewish tradition' (e.g. Philo) with scripture.... this is pure humanism; i.e. a denial of special revelation. (This is how radically debased catholic teaching has become... and of course lib protestantism is no better.)

16. He's friendly to Augustine's idea god sort of 'seeded' creation... and that these 'seeds' developed as environmental conditions became favorable.... There is no transformism in Aristotle (i.e. the seeds give 'birth' to the kinds.)

17. Q+A;
- in answer to a question, M. says; ''I don't think there is any evidence of the idea of c. ex nihilo from the new testament. (How can he say this? and more importantly why? what idea is he defending?) He tells us 'the idea of creation ex nihilo didn't interest the early christians and doesn't occur to them.' Huh? M. wants us to believe this idea only came up centuries after Christ. This is a universe away from biblical theology.

18. As I understand it, his denial of creation ex nihilo is meant to say that evil stems from the nature of matter. If so, this is heresy. One would like to ask McMullin where this 'matter' comes from? (Apparently it severely limited God; and was all he could find to work with :=)

1. Augustine's idea (#16) of a 'seeded' creation sounds a bit like the novel 'Wave' from Walter Mosley. I have it but the first few pages turned me off; eg. telephone sex, etc. racist arsonist, etc. I read sf for the ideas, not for the teenage titillation.
2. - this is so sad for me to listen to; no wonder we are mocked. As one of his questioners after the lecture says, "the bible says god exists before all things.'' His answer makes one want to weep. He starts to stutter badly.... and after a long pause says; "I suppose that would suggest Creation ex nihilo." Gee; no kidding.
3. I thought this was a very poor lecture; I'd give it a 1/5.


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