Creationist Wisdom #168: Flat-Earth?

This isn’t the first time we’ve posted about the views of Ron Hamman, pastor of the Independent Baptist Church of Wasilla, Alaska. (No, that’s not Sarah Palin’s church.) A month ago we wrote Creationist Wisdom #166: From Alaska about the same man’s wisdom.

We know we said we weren’t going to add to this “Creationist Wisdom” series any more, but this one is simply too good to ignore. The rev’s latest appears in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, in the “Faith” section, and it’s titled Introducing the new flat earth society. He’s not very subtle, as he clearly intends to include you, dear reader, in that ignorant group.

Unfortunately, that newspaper seems to forbid excerpting any of their precious material, so we’ll merely describe some of the rev’s howlers with a few small quotes, and you’ll have to click over to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman to enjoy his column in its entirety.

The rev starts out discussing that people once believed the earth is flat. Then, in the fullness of his ignorance, the rev says that it was Columbus who set sail “to prove the world is round.” The learned reverend appears not to know that since the time of Aristotle, if not before, educated people knew the world was a sphere, and since Eratosthenes in the third century BC, probably a generation after Aristotle, we’ve also known the earth’s size. Columbus and his contemporaries knew the shape of the earth. The reason they didn’t try to reach Asia by crossing the Atlantic was because they thought the “Ocean Sea” was too big. Were it nothing but a vast ocean, it would indeed have been too big for their ships; but there are a couple of continents in the middle of it. Columbus was lucky.

Then the rev discusses the origin of the earth and the universe, saying that some believe it “was created by a God of infinite power and wisdom,” while others “believe these all just happened by chance and accident.” He adds that those who believe in “accident” claim the others are flat-earthers, and he indignantly asks: “Are creationists really the prodigy of a flat earth legacy?”

We think they are, but the rev spends the rest of his column denying what he believes is an outrageous accusation. He denies that Christianity was ever a flat-earth religion. But is that really true? We’ve previously quoted scripture passages to the contrary, and since we can’t give you excerpts from the rev’s letter, we’ll copy some of those sacred passages, to which we’ve added a touch of bold for emphasis:

1st Samuel — 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them

2nd Samuel — 22:16 And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

Psalms — 102:25: Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.

Psalms — 104:5: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be re-moved for ever.

Luke — 4:5: And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

Well, Rev — what say you? Surely you know your bible. Do you still claim your religion doesn’t teach flat-earth? As we read the Good Book, the earth is flat, it sits on a foundation supported on pillars, and it has a high mountain from which all the kingdoms of the world can be seen at once.

What else does the rev have to say? You won’t believe it, but he claims that it’s only because the bible was banned that people didn’t know the world’s true shape. Then he gives a couple of scripture passages he thinks contain accurate astronomical information.

The first item is Isaiah 40:22, which says: “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” That passage is an old clunker that creationists often haul out, but it’s easily refuted. The phrase “circle of the earth” is apparently describing a disk.

We’ve done a bit of looking into Strong’s Concordance for the King James version, searching for the word “circle” [chuwg] (Strong’s 02329) — which isn’t a sphere, by the way. Here are the results, including the rev’s own example:

Isaiah 40:22
[It is] he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof [are] as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.

Job 22:14
Thick clouds [are] a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

Proverbs 8:27
When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth

Word Search Results for “sphere” — NONE. Se we made a word search for “ball” [duwr] (Strong’s 01754). Here are all verses that use the word for “ball.” Note that two of these verses are in Isaiah, the same book as the rev’s “circle of the earth” passage, so that author had both words at his disposal, but he didn’t use “ball” in his “circle of the earth” passage.

Isaiah 22:18
He will surely violently turn and toss thee [like] a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory [shall be] the shame of thy lord’s house.

Isaiah 29:3
And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.

Ezekiel 24:5
Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it, [and] make it boil well, and let them seethe the bones of it therein. [That’s an odd one, but the Hebrew lexicon gives this meaning as “a burning pile, a round heap of wood”]

Your Curmudgeon concludes that the rev is wildly distorting one minor passage in Isaiah to claim that the bible somehow isn’t a flat-earth book — but according to so many other passages it obviously is.

Does the rev have any other wisdom for us? Oh yes. Then he quotes the book of Job which says: “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place and hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

What’s that all about? It’s the same earth that the same book of Job says rests on pillars and has a foundation. Who knows what it means? Maybe it means that it’s really not turtles all the way down. But it’s not modern astronomy; the bible is still a flat-earth book.

The rev concludes by saying that if only people had read their bible, they’d have never believed in a flat earth, and the real flat-earthers today are those who want to ban the bible from the schools.

Now click over to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman and read the rev’s wisdom for yourself. You’ll find it an interesting experience.

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #168: Flat-Earth?

  1. Great, a man who accepts today’s anachronistic science-denying stance, creationism, lecturing others about how the Bible never bought into the false notion of the flat earth.

    I wouldn’t care if it didn’t, so long as one bases the evidence-denying pseudoscience of creationism upon what one calls the “proper reading of the Bible.” Creationism by itself is sufficient to demonstrate that a literal reading of the Bible is contrary to observable truth. Not that I hold Christians to a literal reading of the Bible, it’s just that Bible literalists show how valueless their Biblical interpretation is.

    If one can recognize that literal Genesis is wrong about creation, one then has little incentive to deny the flat earthism running through at least most of the Old Testament.

  2. If the earth has corners, it must be flat!

    Revelation 7:1
    “After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.”

    Revelation 20:8
    “and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.”

  3. vhutchison says: “If the earth has corners, it must be flat!”

    From a literal reading, it would seem that it’s a flat disk with four corners. The pillars are under the corners.

  4. Yup, sometimes the bible refers to a flat disk, other times to kind of a square. Which shows the multi-authorship too. Not just their ignorance, but the differences in their kind of ignorance.

  5. I’m relieved to know that, thus far, no nations have arisen which have named themselves Gog or Magog.

    We should sell novelty passports for Gog or Magog. It would be a bit of an inside joke…

    Of course, if Gog and Magog ever got together:

    There once was a man from Magog
    Who dated a lass from the Gog
    So sweet was she
    In heat was he
    Thus made a little Demi-Gog.

  6. SC says:

    We know we said we weren’t going to add to this “Creationist Wisdom” series any more, but this one is simply too good to ignore.

    I’m so glad you make the rules.

  7. Mike the Obscure

    Since we can drill into the Earth it has to be three-dimensional, which precludes it being a rectangle. With four corners, the Earth therefore has to be a tetrahedron but I cannot square that with the circle of the Earth. Perhaps Jason Lisle of Answers In Genesis can explain.

  8. There is no point to arguing over interpretations of Scripture with people who are determined to validate their own beliefs by finding proof-texts in the Bible.
    How can one expect to get anywhere with someone who is so obvious about it?