Old Testament Issues that Unnecessarily Challenge Faith

Jeff discusses several issues: the flood, Jonah & the whale, Genesis’ creation account, and others.

The Bible is similar to a library. Lots of books there. Lots of books from different genres or styles there. Not all the books are historical non-fiction. Same with the Old Testament.

Some in the Old Testament is poetry. Some is parable. Some is absolute history. But not all is absolutely historical.

Did the Good Samaritan story really happen in the New Testament? Probably not.

Did Jonah really get swallowed by and remain in the belly of the whale? For three days? Almost certainly not.

Ben Spackman is a helpful source on this topic:

Misreading the Bible


I recently discovered Gospel Tangents YouTube channel. The host, Rick, finds terrific scholars. Ben shares very helpful insights.

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For millennia, mankind believed the earth was flat. Does the Bible support that view?

Ben Spackman says yes. We’ll talk about a biblical world view, and how we’ve come around to believe the earth is round, rather than flat. Check out our conversation…

The Book of Genesis describes the creation of the earth in 7 days. Can that be interpreted through a scientific viewpoint?

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Ben Spackman will answer that question. Check out our conversation…

Was Jonah really in the belly of a great fish for 3 days?

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I learned quite a bit about the forward-thinking Pres. McKay:

Pres. Smith was a wonderful prophet, but not a scientist. A very literal thinker.

Evolution Proves God’s Existence

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William Lane Craig rightfully points out that Catholic scholar, St. Augustine of Hippo who lived from 354-430, articulated that creation wasn’t necessarily 6000 years ago.  Neither did Augustine required special creation with God “poofing” Adam into existence. This flexible conception of creation arose well before Science revealed the age of the earth and universe.

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Without intervention by God, Craig argues life wouldn’t have arisen.  Life simply would have been so improbable the Earth would have first been swallowed up by our dying Sun before life would have had a chance to develop.

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Latter-day Saints don’t believe in creation ex nihilo.  We believe in eternal matter and eternal spirits.  We believe God is the father of our spirits.   When men developed from their ancestors, at this point God may have given the first humans their spirits.

We simply don’t know how God was involved.  We welcome findings of scientists that demonstrate what occurred.  But we should all recognize there are limits to what Science can tell us.  We don’t need to adopt Scientism.  Instead, we should marry the best of Science and our faith.

 

Interestingly, Joseph, Hyrum, and Orson Hyde believed that people lived before Adam. They discussed the use of the word “replenish”. People must have predated Adam.

The Affirmation of Pre-Adamites by Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Orson Hyde

Compatibility: Science, Evolution, and LDS Thought

Does the Church take an official position on Evolution?  Nope.

Let’s all remain open and humble in our pursuit of all kinds of truths. And let scientists do Science. After all, we have nothing to fear from discovery in any field.

Living the restored Gospel principles saves us.  Scientific principles — even established ones — don’t exalt anyone.  But it doesn’t hurt to understand truths of Science.

Further, there’s so much we don’t know. For example, the world’s best physicists don’t know what light and energy are.  We are only a few hundred years from the Enlightenment. We’re all in the dark to a great degree, and thus must very much live by faith.

Science is only a method, and can ask how.  God answers why.

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Read this October 2016 New Era article.  The first paragraph quoted below:

What does the Church believe about evolution?

“The Church has no official position on the theory of evolution. Organic evolution, or changes to species’ inherited traits over time, is a matter for scientific study. Nothing has been revealed concerning evolution. Though the details of what happened on earth before Adam and Eve, including how their bodies were created, have not been revealed, our teachings regarding man’s origin are clear and come from revelation…”

Jeff at Latter-day Saints Q & A shares insight and some history of this subject:

Ben Spackman shares valuable insight with Gospel Tangents:

 

Interestingly, Joseph, Hyrum, and Orson Hyde believed that people lived before Adam. Among other things, they discussed the use of the word “replenish” and that prophets existed before Adam. 

The Affirmation of Pre-Adamites by Joseph and Hyrum Smith and Orson Hyde

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Dr. Henry Eyring — the father of current Apostle, Pres. Henry B. Eyring — was a world-class chemist and believing Latter-day Saint.  After a full career in Chemistry at Princeton, he returned to Utah Brother Eyring served on the LDS General Sunday School Board.

Pres. Eyring wrote about his world-recognized chemist father:  My Father’s Formula.

A few of his thoughts below:

Some have asked me: “Is there any conflict between science and religion?” There is no conflict in the mind of God, but often there is conflict in the minds of men. . . .

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A young man once inquired: “In high school we are taught such things as pre-Adamic men, and that kind of thing, but we hear another thing in Church. What should I do about it?”

I think I gave the right answer. I said, “In this Church, you only have to believe the truth. Find out what the truth is!”

Simple, but very powerful ideas.

Steven Peck is a professor and poet at BYU.  Dr. Peck gave this talk at the Science & Mormonism:  Cosmos, Earth, and Man conference at BYU on 11/9/13.

Why Evolution and LDS Thought are Fully Compatible:  Overcoming our Suspicions of Science.

More from Steven Peck:

http://www.ldsperspectives.com/2017/08/23/science-prayers-pterodactyls/

You should subscribe to these LDS Perspectives Podcasts. Really, you should.

http://www.ldsperspectives.com

Other books by Steven Peck here:

Valuable perspectives by LDS scientist, David Bailey.

Extreme and atheist scientists are the most vocal critics of religion.  And the most fundamentalist Christians are hostile to science.  We don’t need to take an extreme position.

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw on “Science and Genesis: A Personal View” given at the Science & Mormonism: Cosmos, Earth, & Man conference held on November 9, 2013, in Provo, Utah.

Rather than mock the Genesis stories, as many atheist scientists do, Dr. Bradshaw humbly provides his point of view.

LDS Truth Claims on the topic of Science:

Alvin Plantinga is a world-class American philosopher.  Plantinga presents a non-Mormon, but traditional Christian point of view:

William Lane Craig, a non-Mormon philosopher, shares his opinion about Evolution and Christianity in several videos below:

Short answer: No, evolution doesn’t disprove theism or Christianity.

WLC’s opinion: a six-day creation model is an embarrassment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHye8EABbEc&t=2s

These next two — as the last two philosophers above — are neither LDS.  Though we differ in beliefs about God, they share lots of truth and valuable perspectives!

Bill Whittle (2nd speaker) had a great line about people who say “I believe in Science.”  Bill points out that those people usually have no idea what Science is.

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According to Bill, saying “I believe in Science” is very much like saying this: “I believe in a hammer.”

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Like a hammer, Science is a tool.  A method.  Not a world view.

Watch the video:

Science is awesome, but has obvious and significant limitations.

Not all scientists — especially the new atheists — tell you this.

http://ldsmag.com/10-things-science-cannot-prove/