Creationist Wisdom #910: It’s Twue, It’s Twue!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Florence Morning News of Florence, South Carolina. It’s titled Why the Bible should be taken literally, and the newspaper says its comments feature is disabled.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Gerry. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

Space does not allow for an in-depth response to Charles Trant’s well-articulated letter [Science supports evolution], but I fail to see how anyone gifted with the expertise and knowledge to express his complex point of view on this subject can overlook the elephant in the room.

Ooooooooooooh! What’s the elephant in the room? Gerry says:

How can any intelligent person see the immense complexity, interdependence and design that exist in nature and still believe that we came into existence via random chance? An intelligent design demands a designer.

Brilliant! We never heard that before. But that killer argument wasn’t enough. Gerry gives us another:

There is, however, another and more compelling argument for Creation that can not be ignored by open minded individuals. The Bible itself. [Yeah!] But before the Genesis account can be accepted as literal history, the Bible must be allowed to establish its credibility without anyone’s “help” getting in the way.

How does that work? He continues:

An exegetical study of Daniel chapter 2 will clearly establish the divine origins of the Bible. But in order to proceed, we must first look at [a bunch of other bible verses]. So if finite man could explain an infinite God, then God would not be big enough to be God. Therefore, the infinite Word MUST be allowed to explain itself without relying on any help from well-meaning and sincere theologians.

Are you following this, dear reader? Let’s read on (while skipping a lot of bible verses):

Daniel correctly predicted the rise and fall of four kingdoms. Why not a fifth kingdom? Instead of a fifth kingdom, Daniel predicted the fall of pagan Rome and the rise to power of Papal Rome. He accurately predicted that Papal Rome would rule as a civil and religious power for 1,260 years and then receive a deadly wound. This has also happened. Papal Rome ruled Western Europe from 538 to 1798, exactly 1,260 years!

Ooooooooooooh! Gerry explains how it happened:

In 1798, Napoleon sent his Gen. Berthier into Rome to take the pope prisoner. This was the “deadly wound that was healed” (Revelation 13:3); this occurred with the signing of the Lateran Concordat on Feb. 11, 1929.

And it was all predicted in the bible. Amazing! Here’s more:

With the unerring accuracy of Bible prophecy, understood utilizing historicist exegetical methodology [Huh?], one should give serious consideration for believing that the events recorded in Genesis are literal history. The writers of the Bible wrote of the events and individuals in Genesis as if they believed them to be literal history. Jesus spoke of these events and individuals as if He believed Genesis was literal history, and Luke traces the genealogy of Joseph in Luke 3:23-38 all the way back to Adam. These were literal generations, not eons of time.

And every word of it is The Truth. Now we come to the end:

I believe the real reason 21st century man wants to reject Genesis as literal history and accept evolution is because man does not want to admit that the prophecies recorded in Daniel, and then amplified in Revelation, are true. If he accepts the unerring accuracy of Bible prophecy as evidence that the Bible can be trusted, he will also have to make a decision that has eternal consequences.

Impressive, huh? By the way, Wikipedia has an article, Historicity of the Bible, which tells us that studies of bible history show it to be untrustworthy. They have another article on The Exodus, which says:

The archaeological data does not accord with what could be expected from the Bible’s exodus story: there is no evidence that Israel ever lived in Egypt, the Sinai shows almost no sign of any occupation at all for the entire second millennium, and even Kadesh-Barnea, where the Israelites are said to have spent 38 years, was uninhabited prior to the establishment of the Israelite monarchy.

[…]

A century of research by archaeologists and Egyptologists has found no evidence which can be directly related to the Exodus captivity and the escape and travels through the wilderness, and most archaeologists have abandoned the archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus as “a fruitless pursuit”.

The final decision — with its eternal consequences — is up to you, dear reader. Oh,in case you’re wondering about our title, it’s a line from from the movie “Blazing Saddles.” See it here: It’s Twue, It’s Twue!

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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16 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #910: It’s Twue, It’s Twue!

  1. Re: literal intepretaton of predictions made in the Bible.
    The Second Coming.

  2. So if any part of a book is true, then every part of the book is true?

  3. Eddie Janssen

    “…, and Luke traces the genealogy of Joseph in Luke 3:23-38 all the way back to Adam.”
    What does Joseph have to do with Jesus as far as genealogy is concerned? If anyone’s ancestry should be reconstructed, it should be Mary’s. Besides, anyone’s genealogical line ends with Adam, if you believe in a literal Bible.

  4. Michael Fugate

    Maybe he is saying that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father?

  5. “The writers of the Bible wrote of the events and individuals in Genesis as if they believed them to be literal history.”

    Sounds like a pretty solid argument for a literal interpretation of the Bible.

  6. Michael Fugate

    “The writers of the Bible wrote of the events and individuals in Genesis as if they believed them to be literal history.”

    Was Gerry there? How does he know what the writers believed? How does anyone?

  7. @Anonymous
    “The writers of the Bible wrote of the events and individuals in Genesis as if they believed them to be literal history.”
    Is there any reason to accept that?
    I am not aware of anyting in the Bible which favors a literal reading of the Bible, whie there are places where a non-literal reading is used.
    “For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?” 1 Corinthians 9:9

  8. @Michael Fugate
    One can read what the writers wrote, what the general culture of the Ancient Near East wrote about their interpretation of the texts. Here are a coupole of books which tell us about that:

    James L. Kugel
    The Bibe As It Was
    Belknap Press, Harvard, 1997

    Ronald Hendel
    The Book of Genesis: A biography
    Princepton U. Press,2013

  9. “It’s titled Why the Bible should be taken literally”
    A ptiy that there is no Nobel Price for Theology.
    Once again I remark:
    – bats are birds;
    – pi equals 3.

    “An intelligent design demands a designer.”
    And so does unintelligent design. It’s too tiresome to give a list of examples.

    “Therefore, the infinite Word”
    Hm, last time I checked that Word, also called Holy Bible, was not infinite – it contained 66 (a finite number) books of finite length.

    “He accurately predicted that Papal Rome ….”
    I just checked the book. It doesn’t contain the word “Papal”, nor the names “Napoleon” and “Berthier”. So Gerry is not a literalist – he’s interpreting. Like all literalists.

  10. @Frank B
    As far as talk about infinity, very little was understood before the 19th century. Today, I dare to say that nothing worthwhile is said about the infinite without understanding of the Paradoxes of Infinity which have been resolved by modern mathematics and logic.

  11. I want to know for the sake of my own writing: are literalists simply unaware of two centuries of scholarly analysis of the origins of the Bible, or do they address it somewhere the way they address the evidence for an old earth and evolution, or are they too scared to mention it in case their entire case crumbles into dust?

  12. My bet: a combination of all three. Literalism is the ultimate teleology – as long as they arrive at their predetermined conclusion anything goes. A couple of blogposts ago MichaelF gave an excellent link:

    https://evolvingthoughts.net/good-faith-bad-faith-and-no-faith-in-reasoning/

    It applies as much to literalists as to the other groups mentioned.

  13. My take on literalism is that it arises as a reaction to the sort of thing reprinted by the Documentary Hypothesis. While the people in the pews are kept unaware of philological studies of the Bible, the authorities are well aware of the danger. IMHO Fundamentalism arose more in opposition to the DH than to evolution. The only way to attack DH and its successors is to insist on the the original manuscripts and their original meaning, which can only be recovered by literalism. Anything else is the slippery slope to liberalism.

  14. I can’t really be arsed to look up what they mean by the “Papal Rome” that existed “from 538 to 1798, exactly 1,260 years”, but I have a sneaking suspicion someone’s been force-fitting real-world data into the biblical prediction (or the other way round).

  15. Paul, you identified their problem with the oxymoron literalist and scholarly.

  16. Michael Fugate

    Literalists are authoritarians and who is a better authority than a god or the only God in their opinion? Argument from authority is their chief if not their only weapon – the premises are true because of their source alone (which is why the quote-mine is so common). The Bible or their religion loses its authority if it is thought to be in error and subject to correction. One of my recent favorites was the claim that Judeo-Christian morality has never changed – how do they achieve this? by dividing up the moral laws in Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy into ones that are required (those they follow) and ones that are “ceremonial” (those they don’t). How does anyone know whether or not God hates men with clean-shaven faces? Especially if we can’t understand God.