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Old 4th July 2019, 06:36 AM   #1
Cainkane1
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Minister at the assisted living facility doesn't believe in Genesis

My 96 year old mother is in an assisted living facility and I had a pleasant conversation with the Chaplain of the facility. We discussed Genesis and he told me he thought it was a metaphor. The events didn't really happen. The young man seemed to be excited by the NASA Satellite that is going to bore into the ice of Europa. He thinks living things will be found there.

Religion itself was not a topic of our conversation as he seemed interested in the human colonization of Mars and other things revealed by the latest telescopes planets in the Goldilocks region and that sort of thing.

I never told him I didn't believe in God but talking to him it seems that except for a vague belief in a creator it seemed to me he was more of a DIeist than a Christian.
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Old 4th July 2019, 06:38 AM   #2
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Don't the vast majority of Christians think Genesis is 'metaphor'?
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Old 4th July 2019, 06:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Don't the vast majority of Christians think Genesis is 'metaphor'?
Actually, Jehovah Witnesses and Hard Shell Baptists believe in a literal Genesis. That's a huge chunk of Americans who take that nonsense literally. Mormons have a modified version of this nonsense to fit their doctrine but they actually do believe in Genesis mostly.

It is not uncommon to read some off the radar group of Christians who believe every word the bible says talking snake stories and all.
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Old 4th July 2019, 06:55 AM   #4
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This is not unusual at all. And before the Fundamentalist reaction to the modern era, it was pretty much the norm with educated clergy. The Church Fathers, including St. Augustine and Origen did not take Genesis as a literal history.
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Old 4th July 2019, 08:38 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Don't the vast majority of Christians think Genesis is 'metaphor'?
Depends on what you mean by "vast majority" and whether you are asking about the US specifically or not. The poll I'll cite below says 24% of Americans believe the Bible should be taken literally. That's approximately 1/3 of Christians.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/210704/...-word-god.aspx

But note that in regards to the issues in the OP, origin of life, a larger number of Americans (40%ish) are still creationists (poll below is 5 years old).

https://news.gallup.com/poll/170822/..._term=Religion
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Old 4th July 2019, 09:49 AM   #6
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I think one should be careful not to fall into the trap that many fundamentalist Christians set, in which they define Christianity as being limited only to what they believe.

Whatever the true Scotsmen of Christianity may think of it, many people who would be considered both Christian and theist believe that Genesis is a metaphor. A deist, last time I checked, is a person who does not believe in a literal personal god, while a theist does, and although to be a fundamentalist deist is pretty unlikely, being a non-fundamentalist theist is not at all rare.
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Old 4th July 2019, 10:09 AM   #7
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"Mainstream" Protestant churches don't teach or belive in biblical literalism. The one I grew up in certainly didn't.
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Old 4th July 2019, 11:12 AM   #8
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Southern Baptist Convention is mainstream by any reasonable definition.

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/1225/...e-of-inerrancy
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Old 4th July 2019, 11:22 AM   #9
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Ok, I'll give you that one. I was thinking United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Methodist, and some flavors of Lutheran.
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Old 4th July 2019, 12:47 PM   #10
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"Doesn't believe in Genesis" =/= "Thinks Genesis is a metaphor."
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Old 4th July 2019, 08:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Doesn't believe in Genesis" =/= "Thinks Genesis is a metaphor."
Yeah, this. The relationship that most Christians have with the Bible is more complex than "don't believe this bit" or "cherry picking what to believe". One can believe that the word of God can be inspiring without believing in its literal historicity.

Anyway, A fair chunk of the Bible isn't historical at all. Does a Christian "believe" in the Song of Solomon?
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Old 4th July 2019, 08:58 PM   #12
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Catholic priests talk that way about Genesis too.
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Old 6th July 2019, 06:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
My 96 year old mother is in an assisted living facility and I had a pleasant conversation with the Chaplain of the facility. We discussed Genesis and he told me he thought it was a metaphor. The events didn't really happen. The young man seemed to be excited by the NASA Satellite that is going to bore into the ice of Europa. He thinks living things will be found there.

Religion itself was not a topic of our conversation as he seemed interested in the human colonization of Mars and other things revealed by the latest telescopes planets in the Goldilocks region and that sort of thing.

I never told him I didn't believe in God but talking to him it seems that except for a vague belief in a creator it seemed to me he was more of a DIeist than a Christian.
So what if this fellow does not believe that the Genesis events did not really happen?

After all, the great thing about religion is that it can meant whatever one wants their religion to mean. Therefore, his belief is just as valid as anyone else's belief.
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Old 6th July 2019, 01:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
"Mainstream" Protestant churches don't teach or belive in biblical literalism. The one I grew up in certainly didn't.

Ken Ham is on a mission to turn that around.

Don't hear much about his Noah's ark theme park lately. Hope it doesn't fold up forcing Ken to return to Australia. We can do without him.
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Old 6th July 2019, 01:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
Religion itself was not a topic of our conversation as he seemed interested in the human colonization of Mars and other things revealed by the latest telescopes planets in the Goldilocks region and that sort of thing.

Did you ever read Philip José Farmer? Jesus on Mars (Wikipedia)
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Old 6th July 2019, 01:27 PM   #16
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Assisted living facilities are populated by folks either physically or mentally unable to do it alone.
Those with dementia won't remember nor care what the minister said Sunday, they know what they know and it's been good enough 7 or 8 decades already.

He just has to smile and do whatever he does without expecting much of most residents.
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Old 6th July 2019, 01:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ken Ham is on a mission to turn that around.

Don't hear much about his Noah's ark theme park lately. Hope it doesn't fold up forcing Ken to return to Australia. We can do without him.

It doesn't seem to be doing well:

Quote:
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, around 860,000 tickets were sold for the Ark between July 2017 and June 2018, which falls pretty far short of the 2 million in annual ticket sales predicted by Ken Ham, the Ark’s creator, before it opened.
This $100 Million Noah's Ark Theme Park Is a Boring Homophobic Mess (Vice, Oct. 12, 2018)
Quote:
A gigantic ark is built with the help of a higher power, a symbolic refuge from the depravity of humankind. It is a huge, grandiose structure constructed out of wood and is perhaps larger than anything comparable in the world. Then, heavy rains begin to fall, inundating the earth around it.
And that’s when the lawyers are called.
Lawyers for Noah’s Ark theme park are suing its insurance company for rain damage (WP, May , 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th July 2019, 02:09 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Depends on what you mean by "vast majority" and whether you are asking about the US specifically or not. The poll I'll cite below says 24% of Americans believe the Bible should be taken literally. That's approximately 1/3 of Christians.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/210704/...-word-god.aspx

But note that in regards to the issues in the OP, origin of life, a larger number of Americans (40%ish) are still creationists (poll below is 5 years old).

https://news.gallup.com/poll/170822/..._term=Religion
Found a newer version of the second poll, that actually show some progress on the question.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/210956/...s-new-low.aspx

Note that that number means YEC is still a mainstream view in Christianity. While that 38% of Americans isn't broken down by religion it's pretty hard to spin the numbers in a plausible way that doesn't wind up with YEC being a significant or even majority view among Christians.
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Old 6th July 2019, 03:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Ken Ham is on a mission to turn that around.

Don't hear much about his Noah's ark theme park lately. Hope it doesn't fold up forcing Ken to return to Australia. We can do without him.
He's currently suing an insurance company so they'll pay for damage caused by -- wait for it -- excessive rain.
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Old 7th July 2019, 09:25 AM   #20
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http://www.internationalskeptics.com...2#post12747062
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th July 2019, 09:39 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Yeah, this. The relationship that most Christians have with the Bible is more complex than "don't believe this bit" or "cherry picking what to believe". One can believe that the word of God can be inspiring without believing in its literal historicity.

Anyway, A fair chunk of the Bible isn't historical at all. Does a Christian "believe" in the Song of Solomon?

Of course not: the Devil has all the best tunes.
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Old 7th July 2019, 07:15 PM   #22
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It brings me some comfort that there are Christians who break out of the Biblical inerrancy/infallability model. That's a big step in a good direction imo.

I attend church regularly and though there are many functional atheists where I go, if put on the spot about the Bible they'll just reaffirm that they are inerrantist.

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Old 7th July 2019, 08:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Note that that number means YEC is still a mainstream view in Christianity. While that 38% of Americans isn't broken down by religion it's pretty hard to spin the numbers in a plausible way that doesn't wind up with YEC being a significant or even majority view among Christians.
A mainstream view in American Christianity. I'm pretty sure you'll find that the number is noticeably smaller in other countries.
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Old 7th July 2019, 09:38 PM   #24
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PZ Myers had an interesting comment on Genesis when he presented a talk to our Seattle Skeptics group years back. He tore the first page out of a Bible and noted that was it, that was all the Biblical history of the Universe, the solar system, the Earth, and the origin of humankind: one double-sided page.
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Old 7th July 2019, 11:56 PM   #25
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It is interesting that the same creationists who reject evolution gladly embrace a spherical earth. The material in the first quarter of the Bible in particular, as with most ancient Near East myths, assume the astronomical model of the time.
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Old 8th July 2019, 06:05 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A mainstream view in American Christianity. I'm pretty sure you'll find that the number is noticeably smaller in other countries.
Yes, You'll note that I was updating an earlier post of mine (that I quoted) with a fresher poll. I pointed out the numbers were US specific in that post.
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Old 8th July 2019, 06:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
A mainstream view in American Christianity. I'm pretty sure you'll find that the number is noticeably smaller in other countries.
I'd say whether there is a strong evangelical christianity you will find that figure probably matches the USA or is even worse. For example a Christian country like Uganda. I think especially UKers and Aussies and the other weird little islanders down there don't realise how atypical our Christian nations are.
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Old 8th July 2019, 01:28 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I'd say whether there is a strong evangelical christianity you will find that figure probably matches the USA or is even worse. For example a Christian country like Uganda. I think especially UKers and Aussies and the other weird little islanders down there don't realise how atypical our Christian nations are.
I don't know, a lot of those places are catholic and that is official catholic doctrine. So they might be heretical young earth catholics but that is really getting to some weird streaches.
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Old 8th July 2019, 01:56 PM   #29
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But Southern Baptist churches do not have to follow what the convention publishes as resolutions, created mostly by folks who make a living out of running the convention. I attend a mainstream SB church and very few of my fellow members take a literal view of the bible.
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Old 8th July 2019, 06:22 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Elvis666 View Post
But Southern Baptist churches do not have to follow what the convention publishes as resolutions, created mostly by folks who make a living out of running the convention. I attend a mainstream SB church and very few of my fellow members take a literal view of the bible.

They don't have to, but they can be booted out of the SBC if the divergence is heinous enough, like marrying gays or having women preachers.
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Old 8th July 2019, 07:08 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
I don't know, a lot of those places are catholic and that is official catholic doctrine. So they might be heretical young earth catholics but that is really getting to some weird streaches.
A lot of developing countries, especially in Africa, have been deliberately and directly targeted by American evangelicals. So what Darat says is correct. I was, without directly saying so, more referring to developed countries. I should have been more specific.
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Old 9th July 2019, 07:09 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
They don't have to, but they can be booted out of the SBC if the divergence is heinous enough, like marrying gays or having women preachers.
Or admitting to openly that the whole southern baptist church was set up to promote slavery and racial superiority of the white race.
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Old 9th July 2019, 11:58 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Or admitting to openly that the whole southern baptist church was set up to promote slavery and racial superiority of the white race.
You left out the subjugation of women.
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Old 13th July 2019, 05:50 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
He's currently suing an insurance company so they'll pay for damage caused by -- wait for it -- excessive rain.

Oh the irony!

Thanks for that Trebuchet, some good humour in that article.

Quote:
Is the ark itself insured against floods, and if so does that policy have an exception for “acts of God”?
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