Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Three

Test everything. Hold on to the good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV84)

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Romans 12:2 (NIV84)

Among many other distinguishing characteristics, Christianity is all about the truth.  Christian believers do not have the burden of fideism, and can ask any question without fearing that their faith will be overturned by the answer.  In fact, the apostle Paul exhorted us to test everything.

Facts & Faith

We concluded our three-part Facts & Faith Symposium on Sunday night by showing and discussing Hugh Ross’ testimony in the Cosmic Fingerprints DVD, produced by Reasons To Believe.

We recorded the panel discussion and Q&A just as for Week Two, and here is the video:

[vimeo 80690471 w=490]

 

So What?

Why did we do this?  Doesn’t the topic of Creationism divide the church?  Was it worth it?  

We did this to share the joy of personal discipleship.  There is so much exciting material out there for those who are willing to study on their own.  We take Paul’s instructions in Philippians 2:12 to heart—we are supposed to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.  It’s not a passive undertaking, and it is so incredibly encouraging.  We hoped people would catch the personal discipleship bug, and be encouraged by the material we presented.

Creationism does divide the church.  So do many other ‘hot’ topics.  But not our church.  Clarke asked for a show of hands one evening to make the point that there are indeed many perspectives in our congregation, but the founders of this amazing church (two scientists, who were both on our panel: Dick Terman and David Thompson) had the wisdom to craft the following statement into our constitution:

“The statement of Faith to which this church adheres finds its expression in all the great historic confessions of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Those other elements which have caused confusion and division in the past within the Church of Jesus Christ shall not be permitted to destroy the unity of this body. Accordingly we urge that attitudes of Christian love and tolerance be expressed toward those within the Body of Christ holding different points of view.

Beyond our eight-point statement of faith, we have a wonderful framework under which those who love Jesus Christ can worship, even if we don’t all interpret Scripture the same way.  Even if the topics are hot.  We still love each other (John 13:35).

So how did we do?  In three nights we shared some very encouraging material with more than 200 people, racking up over 1,100 contact hours of teaching and dialog.  We received feedback from 71 evaluation surveys, which included two yes-no-maybe questions to assess our main goals for the Symposium.

Q1) Did the presentation of this material encourage you so that you will study further on your own?  77% responded ‘yes’ and 15% ‘maybe’.

Q2) Did this material make Christianity more ‘real’ to you or otherwise give you more confidence in your faith?  87% responded ‘yes’ and 4% ‘maybe’.

The feedback surveys contained lots of wonderful comments, including the following three that made it very, very worthwhile:

  • “I brought my son, and it helped him.”
  • “I was blessed by Session 2 (Dual Revelation).  I’m grateful that we don’t have to be Christians who say “the devil put the dinosaur bones there,” etc., but we cannot be afraid of detailed science, and not throw it out in ignorance!  Our God is a smart God, and we can embrace the “deep science.”  I can’t wait to exercise this new mindset, not feeling like I’m “traitoring” God, and no longer looking down on hard-core scientists.  I need to think and research on my own before just going along with the average view.  Thank you all!”
  • “I now don’t feel like my faith isolates me from science.  The facts behind the Old-Earth theories and the support for scientific discovery were the most helpful aspects of the Symposium.”

Hat Tips and Gratitude All Over the Place

Thank you:

  • Arlene Vander Loon (Minister of Education) and Eileen Grant (Event Coordinator)
  • Clarke Morledge, Ken Petzinger, David Thompson, and Dick Terman (Panelists)
  • Dave Rudy (Moderator)
  • Andy Flint (Production Technology Supervisor), Steve Flanary (Director of Food Services Ministry), Jeff McManigal (Facilities Superintendent)
  • Marion Paine (Producer, Camera Operator, Editor)
  • Reasons To Believe (Dual Revelation and Cosmic Fingerprints DVDs)
  • Illustra Media (The Case for a Creator DVD)
  • Jesus Christ (most of all)

What’s Next?

We have always let the Holy Spirit guide our personal studies and the material we post on Veracity.  We appreciate that our “out-of-town” followers and readers have been very patient and supportive while the Facts & Faith Symposium took so much of our time and energy.  We’re going through the evaluation surveys and formulating ideas for future topics, but look forward to getting back to our normal posting rhythm.  As always, drop us a comment if you have requests, and thank you for being a part of the joy of sharing.

God bless!

HT: Marion Paine (video); Clarke Morledge (for so much research and writing up to and during the event)

——————————————–

Handouts from the Facts & Faith Symposium

David Thompson – Letter to Scott Thompson (by request)

Evolution References by Dick Terman

Handout

Facts & Faith Handout

About John Paine

This blog is topical and devotional--we post whatever interests us, whenever. If you want to follow in an orderly fashion, please see our Kaqexeß page. View all posts by John Paine

24 responses to “Symposium 2013 Roundup Week Three

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Can science disprove Noah’s worldwide flood?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      CAUTION: Veracity at work on this one.

      Coming soon to a blog post near you…..

      Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      The Flood cometh upon Veracity:

      https://sharedveracity.net/2013/11/29/flood-faith-and-russell-crowe/

      Let us know if this is helpful or not.

      Like

    • John Paine

      No, science cannot disprove Noah’s flood. However, there are a lot of unfortunate (some spurious) claims that do not withstand scrutiny (scientific and common sense). For examples, see this brief summary of flood claims and their counterfactual arguments:

      http://www.oldearth.org/young_earth_creationist_argument_index.htm

      Further, floods generally don’t leave lots of physical evidence in geological strata (some types of floods do, but most flood events don’t). Remember, the Noahic flood event was arguably 50,000-60,000 years ago, much newer than what we observe in deep core stratigraphy.

      What is perhaps more interesting is geological evidence for variations in land coverage over time. For example, shale is formed under very different conditions than sandstone or igneous or metamorphic rock, yet in many locations around the globe we see clear evidence of changing planetary conditions over long periods of time, where these layers appear on top of and below each other.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Questions submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Who was Cain’s wife? Who did the progeny of Adam and Eve mate with? How did they appear?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      Great question, something that is really significant in light of modern studies of genetics over the past twenty years. Veracity should have a blog post coming out on this in a matter of time…..

      Like

    • John Paine

      There are basically two theories. One theory is that God placed other humans on the Earth specifically to breed with Adam and Eve’s progeny. A second, widely-held view is that after some period of time, Cain was able to marry a sister or neice (which was not prohibited until the Levitical laws thousands of years later). A robust explanation can be found at http://www.reasons.org/articles/finding-a-wife-for-cain

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Where does Hugh Ross get evidences of a translucent, then transparent, atmosphere in reference to the Sun?

    Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Is Big Bang theory the same as “Creation” from a biblical perspective?

    Like

    • John Paine

      No, there is a critically important distinction. The Big Bang is a scientically accepted event, that even the vast majority of atheists agree actually happened 13.7 billion years ago. All matter, space, time, and energy came into being instantaneously. Theists go a step further, arguing that the Big Bang is the Creation event described in the Bible, and that “Creation demands a Creator.” Atheists contend that there is no God, and are left to crafting various theories to disassociate the Big Bang from anything Divine.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    If the seventh day is not literally a week in our current terms, how does that impact our observation of the Sabbath (on the seventh day)?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      Dave Thompson gave his answer on Sunday night, but I must confess that I prodded him a little bit to share more of his thoughts, and perhaps your question got ran over somewhat along the way.

      It is important to keep in mind that while is it correct to say that the seventh day does correspond to the Sabbath, this does not exhaust the Biblical meaning of the concept of Sabbath. For example, in Deuteronomy 15:1-11, the Bible talks about the concept of a Sabbath year, or the Jewish “shmita”. During this Sabbath year, the Hebrews were to let their land lie fallow and not grow any crops, to give the land a rest.

      So it would be imprudent to strictly understand the concept of Sabbath as ONLY a 24-hour day, regardless of how one might interpret the “days” of Genesis 1. The value of spiritual rest is the principle, not the time period involved.

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+15%3A1-11&version=ESV

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Is there scientific evidence of the great flood?

    Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      As noted above, the minions at Veracity are being pelted with rain to put out a full length blog post addressing this topic….

      Like

    • Clarke Morledge

      In short, the evidence for what many Biblical scholars consider a “local” Flood is much, much greater than for a “global” Flood. There are multiple approaches to this issue, depending on which school of thought one adheres to:

      https://sharedveracity.net/2013/11/29/flood-faith-and-russell-crowe/

      Like

    • John Paine

      Nothing conclusive (please see the similar question above). Floods don’t leave much evidence in geological stratigraphy, in part because they are very brief events, and their trace evidence is subject to natural weathering processes. Floods ocurring over rock formations tend not to produce much sediment. Floods ocurring over a vast sandy plain (or desert) suspend soil particles that drop quickly (in roughly the same location) as floodwaters recede. There are situations where floods travelling rapidly along waterways move a considerable amount of material, but for a worldwide flood we could expect more vertical disturbance than lateral movement. There are also many cases where geological investigations can clearly show landform transformation due to floods or flood-like events (such as the Black Sea or the Persian Gulf), but these are more breach-like, with non-receding waters present long after the breach.

      Incidentally, I have professional certifications as an engineer, hydrologist, and floodplain manager, and work with flooding and flood protection, so this topic is particulary interesting to me.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Some people interpret their experiences by the light of God’s word. Some people interpret God’s word in light of their experiences (including science). Which are you?

    Like

    • John Paine

      Truthfully, we all do the latter to some degree. In my opinion too many unbelievers put themselves on a judgment seat and evaluate God based on their ideas of what and how He should be. (Often the problem of evil and suffering stands in their way.) Rather, we should seek God objectively, through His Divine Revelation in Scripture and in the amazingly beautiful world He created for us. Science is helpful in this endeavor, but incomplete without Scripture. Great question–thanks!

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Where is Heaven? When we die we go to Heaven as believers. Could you explain the continuity between this Earth and the New Earth and New Heaven?

    Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Would you elaborate regarding the billions of years discussed by Hugh Ross as necessary for formation of plantets, galaxies, etc. does not dovetail with the billions of years evolutionists also need for their theories regarding man’s devleopment? Yet Dr. Ross believes in a specific Creation event, exactly as God describes–when?

    Like

    • John Paine

      Dr. Ross’ positions on these topics are well documented (literally in thousands of published documents and posts) online at http://www.reasons.org/. Use their Search box to dig in.

      Reasons To Believe agrees with scientific dating of the Creation event (of the universe) at 13.7 billion years ago, with planet Earth being formed 4.5 billion years ago. The Cambrian explosion ocurred 540 million years ago, but humans appeared much more recently. Research and new discoveries date the appearance of man at 60,000 to 150,000 years ago. Reasons To Believe does not agree that evolutionary mechanisms and processes account for the creation and appearance of mankind. They believe further that hominids (such as Neanderthals) were not humans, and that man is the pinnacle of God’s Creation.

      Like

  • John Paine

    Question submitted at the 11/24/2013 Symposium:

    Hugh Ross spent some time discussing how important the size of the moon is. Is there a maximum size, as it appears from Earth, that a satellite, star, or planet can appear to be in the sky? Would a closer satellite necessarily have to be smaller?

    Like

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