Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can't Take This Music From Me


A song written by the great guys in the Steel Wheels (check them out) and sung here at my church by some friends.
 
" Hymns from the loudest voice til quiet ones rejoice Your bitter silence tasted
And to all the beaten down in those forgotten towns Let no more time be wasted

There are no words to sing this little song I bring I come here empty handed
There is no day too bright no darken night  There are no wishes granted

Can't take this music from me
music from me
you can't take it from me..."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pardon me being off-topic...

I watched an online interview of a Muslim woman. She was asked why she knows her beliefs are the truth. One reason she gave was that other religions' books tell women to keep their hair covered, "But only Islam stuck with it."

What would your response to that be? (Dan or any visitors.)

Anonymous said...

"Hmmm."

[That would be my response. ~Dan]

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Dan. :-}

Blogger Stan didn't want to give an answer to this, so I'll toss it in here in case anybody wants to tackle it. (You strike me as more likely than Stan to be an Old-Earther.)

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

SCENARIO 1
* The Universe exists for 5 days without any humans.
* The Universe exists for 6,152 more years with humans.
* The Universe mostly fades away, but two populated compartments in it, Heaven and Hell, continue on for an infinite number of years.

SCENARIO 2
* The Universe exists for 13.8 billion years without any humans.
* The Universe exists for 300,000 more years with "modern" humans.
* The Universe goes on another 93 billion years without humans, then ends in a "big crunch" or something.

I could see somebody supporting the first scenario with scripture. But is there any honest reading of scripture which is compatible with the second scenario?

Anonymous said...

Glad to give my thoughts, for what they're worth. May I ask who I am speaking to?

If one does not consider the Bible to be a fact book, but a book of truth about Grace...
If one does not consider the stories in the Bible to necessarily be fact-based and certainly not scientifically-oriented...

Then one can easily read the Truths in the Bible without even blinking at the notion of a 13 billion year old universe. I no more expect the story that depicts the earth being created ~6000 years ago in six days to be literal than I would expect their to be a talking ant simply because Aesop has a fable that has an ant and a grasshopper speaking with each other.

I no more expect there to be an literal insistence in the Biblical story of the flood than I would expect the Epic of Gilgamesh to be insisted upon as factually accurate.

Why would one? Unless one takes the Bible as a literal history book with very specific factual stories. But "the Bible" does not tell us to take it that way. God has not told us to take it that way. So, why would we?

My opinion would be that we would be approaching the Bible in a mistaken way, if we were to start insisting upon each story having to be literally, factually accurate. To me, then, it is very honest to honor and cherish the truths of the Bible and not take it as a literal history book.

Does that help?

~Dan

Anonymous said...

"May I ask who I am speaking to?"

I am not a blogger. I am an open-minded rationalist who has been watching a bunch of YouTube videos where Anthony Magnabosco interviews strangers on the street to ask how they arrived at conclusions about things such as the existence of deities. I was the one who suggested months back that you start a blog where you publish your comments that Stan has blocked at his blog. I like to think this blog of yours was motivated by my suggestion. ;-)

"Why would one? Unless one takes the Bible as a literal history book with very specific factual stories."

I am fascinated by the mindset of believers such as Glenn Chatfield, who obviously would disagree with you about that. I have known a number of people who approach holy scripture the way Glenn does, but I think that in most parts of the world other than the Middle East, Glenn's viewpoint is becoming rare.

Anonymous said...

Well, speaking only for myself, I would have been very much like Glenn as a younger man, taking the Bible literally and its stories as factual. I just reached a point where I no longer felt it was a reasonable position to hold.

I realized that no where does the Bible call for us to read it in that manner, and of course, God isn't telling us that. So, as one who still did and does take the Bible seriously, I just couldn't take it literally and still feel like I was taking it seriously. If that makes any sense.

~Dan

Anonymous said...

I was Glenn in my childhood, then you for about half a year, then an agnostic the rest of the way so far.

Stan has oscillated over the years between "Man is the pinnacle of creation, made in God's image; the Creator's main purpose for creating" and "We are filthy rags, of little consequence in the greater scheme of the Universe." Would you agree that the former attitude fits my Scenario 1, while the latter is more compatible with Scenario 2?

Anonymous said...

"Male and female created He them." That's a topic much on the minds of conservative Christian bloggers. If you ask them to explain Klinefelter's syndrome, in which an extra X chromosome is present from conception and mixes some feminine traits into the male traits, you might get a response like, "Okay, so Satan wins some battles, but we win the war in the end." I could see Glenn Chatfield saying something like that. But other believers such as Stan insist God is absolutely sovereign and never cedes ANYTHING inappropriate to Satan or to humans. So the Stans will sweep Klinefelter's under the rug and pretend it can be ignored by them because it isn't all THAT common of a problem! And for good measure, they'll get testy with you for bringing up such an uncomfortable fact.

Marshall Art said...

Bringing up a perspective that includes acknowledging Klinefelter isn't what provokes testiness, Dan, and your saying so is an example of that which does. It is your "style" of discourse, which isn't particularly honest and straightforward. This has been clearly expressed by a number of bloggers who have had the "pleasure" of your company.

Explaining Klinefelter's syndrome in Biblical terms is not at all difficult. It is merely a manifestation of the corruption of sin having been introduced into the world by Adam's disobedience. That's why we have sickness, disease and death. It's really a basic teaching of Scripture, if you'd ever actually read it without your leftist ideology getting in the way.

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify that a number of anonymous comments above are from a nonblogger (me) who lives west of the Mississippi, not from Dan Trabue.

Marshall Art said...

Then perhaps rather than "anonymous", you might wish to post a comment under a nom de plume. That would help reduce confusion, not there was any here. Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

Marshall, you can call me Hiram.

Don't know that I want to get into a big furball on Dan's blog, but let me just address your claim that scripture is clear that the reason "we have sickness, disease and death" is Adam's sin. If scripture really were clear on that, two people who have diligently read the Word, Glenn and Stan, would not come to different conclusions on things like the fossil record. Glenn says stegosauruses (for instance) overlapped with humans and were on Noah's ark, and indeed no animal died prior to Adam. Stan is on record a few years back as saying that he has no biblical problem with animals dying prior to Adam. So is the Bible really all that clear?

Stan once wrote, "Animals do not feel pain." I mentioned that to a Christian woman I know, and she asked me, "Is he CRAZY?" She has been good about providing food multiple times a week to some stray cats who live behind the place where she works, and very much believes she is alleviating suffering in doing this.

Do you think any feline creatures starved to death before the first humans came upon the scene?

Marshall Art said...

Hello, Hiram.

Dan's blog is as good a place as any to be into "a big furball". You're welcome to come to mine for just such an endeavor if you so desire.

I don't think that when anyone says Scripture is clear on a given topic, that the logical conclusion is that it is clear on absolutely everything, including topics it never addresses, such as dinosaurs. But sin is tied to death, even equated to death, often in Scripture and it became a reality when Adam first sinned. This is Bible 101 stuff.

I'm a fan of Stan's blog. He's really quite solid on Scripture. But I don't get to check out every post, so I can't say that I ever read where he said that animals don't feel pain. I have to think there's more to it if he said it at all. Having stepped on our cat, I'm pretty certain that statement, allowing that Stan actually may have said it, is untrue. I don't think Bob screamed for nothing, and it would be too coincidental that he did right when I stepped on him.

As to your last question, no. No animal died before Adam came on the scene. Of course, not everyone buys into the Genesis version of creation. I have no reason to believe that version isn't any more or less possible than that which Dan favors, as neither can be confirmed with any degree of certainty, no matter how the gods of science Dan worships might argue otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"... Scripture is clear on a given topic..."

Suppose a preacher with a nationwide broadcast said, "Won't you join with me in praying that God will stopping allowing children to be born with spina bifida this very day?"

Instantly his audience of believers would fall into two camps. There's the "Oh hallelujah! Yes, my God is mighty and He loves us and there is nothing He won't do for us, so I join with you in prayer" camp, and the "Yeah right, like the pot is allowed to tell the potter how to behave" camp. Christians in both camps would be able to point to scriptural passages to support they willingness or lack thereof to pray something along those lines. So even on something as crucial as human birth defects (and I'm not even talking about non-human animal birth defects for now), there is schism among your brothers and sisters in Christ.

I'm no longer able to find it online, but I once saw a graphic, possibly by Dzvenislava Novakivska, showing the tree of religious schism, including the Christian branch, and it practically shouted out that there is no Shepherd concerned with keeping His flock of one mind when it comes to theology.

Anonymous said...

oops
"stopping" ---> "stop" above

~ Hiram

Anonymous said...

Noting another typing error on my part above--
"they" --> "their"

Marshall may be done with me here, but I couldn't resist coming back here to note a comment I just saw under a Magnabosco video at YouTube, where he interviews a Muslim woman in Texas. I quote it:

*******
"Glimpses Of Many Lands', "Extracts from a diary kept in a jaunt around this beautiful world'......Privately printed in 1909.  San Francisco by Sara M. Boyd.  I have a hardback, signed copy .  ...On pg.57 she says...."We drove out this a.m. to see the University Mosque. {she's in Cairo}. The Egyptian name is Al-Azhar, [meaning the 'splendid'].  It is a famous college of divinity and law. They have some 20,000 students under the instruction of three hundred sheiks or professors. The Koran is their principal study, and they are taught the earth is flat and that the sky consists of seven canopies, one above the other!"......
*******

Marshall, I won't insult your intelligence by asking if you are a flat-earther. But do you see how unwise it can be for modern people to look to the sacred texts of ancient tribes for explanations/descriptions of the physical world?

~ H.

Marshall Art said...

Hiram,

Regarding the two camps. I don't believe they'd fall along those lines. More likely, they'd separate based on how likely it is the prayer will result in its intended result. I would join in any prayer to God for relief from any suffering. Whether or not He intends to answer by eliminating the suffering is totally up to Him. Such prayers are not an example of people "telling the potter how to behave", and I doubt anyone who is asked to join in actually thinks that way with regard to such requests. At least actual Christians aren't likely to do so.

What's more, I wouldn't call two different expectations, even as in your hypothetical, "schism". There's nothing in Scripture that mandates perfect agreement among believers on every single word therein.

"But do you see how unwise it can be for modern people to look to the sacred texts of ancient tribes for explanations/descriptions of the physical world?"

I'd say it more depends upon the sacred text in question and the accuracy in understanding what is meant by a given passage. I'm not down with the Koran, or familiar more than at a very cursory level. The main tenets I find extremely flawed, so I'm not surprised by anything claims. The Christian Bible is not the Koran by any stretch of the imagination. There is an erroneous position, also held by Dan, that it is appropriate to regard all ancient texts in the same way simply because they are ancient texts. I don't hold to that perspective at all.

Anonymous said...

"Whether or not He intends to answer by eliminating the suffering is totally up to Him."

If I take your use of the word "totally" seriously, then you are saying petitionary prayer by believers doesn't make any difference in what will happen. And I suppose that would be consistent with absolute sovereignty of God.

I'll just mention you can find Christians who say, "God doesn't want us to be robots." For consistency, those folks should probably refrain from making the absolute sovereignty claim.

Anyway, I'm rambling now. :-}

~ H.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, not everyone buys into the Genesis version of creation. I have no reason to believe that version isn't any more or less possible than that which Dan favors, as neither can be confirmed with any degree of certainty..."

I meant to ask more about this earlier, but didn't get around to it until now.

Marshall, do you believe the Creator did the best job He was capable of ensuring that evidence from biology, astronomy, geology and paleontology points to young earth creationism?

(Some believers assert God allowed Satan to plant false evidence against the Genesis account.)

Marshall Art said...

"If I take your use of the word "totally" seriously, then you are saying petitionary prayer by believers doesn't make any difference in what will happen."

Not at all. Absolute sovereignty isn't diminished simply because appeals from mere mortals moves God to act, anymore than a child tearfully imploring a mother's permission will automatically result in acquiescence. Ma might still say "No" despite being moved by the appeal. And even if God's a soft touch, it's still His choice to act one way or the other, despite the likelihood that He may fulfill the request.

"Marshall, do you believe the Creator did the best job He was capable of ensuring that evidence from biology, astronomy, geology and paleontology points to young earth creationism?"

I don't know why we need to presume God intended to leave evidence one way or the other with regard to the age of all things. That is, that in planning for creation, He wouldn't create without first a plan to provide such evidence. Why would He have to? Personally, I'm content believing that whatever God's intentions, everything is working perfectly and according to plan.

Anonymous said...

"Not at all. Absolute sovereignty isn't diminished simply because appeals from mere mortals moves God to act..."

I'd prefer to call your vision of God something like "conditional sovereignty," since you have the free choice of an individual human to pray about something or not to bother praying about it changing what God does. We're down to semantics now, maybe.

"... a plan to provide such evidence. Why would He have to?"

The reasoning would go like this: By doing things in a way that a reasonable mainstream scientist would interpret as contrary to a straightforward reading of Genesis (I just read 'Roadside Geology of Texas' and am prepared to provide examples if you wish), He is biasing thoughtful people against His word right from the start. I would expect the result of that to be more people getting sent to Hell for their unbelief, if I suppose He and His afterlife really do exist. So "Why would He have to?" comes down to a matter of common decency on His part.

That reminds me of a thought I had this week. I saw a video clip of South Dakota State's football team running a tricky, though technically legal, play on offense. I wondered if a Christian coach would ever set up something like that, given the deception it involved. Your conception of a God who got things done young-earth-creationist without making it look like He did so corresponds to the football coach who deceives his opponent-- though in the latter case it results merely in defeating the opposing team in a sports contest, while in the former it results (in some cases) in an eternity of suffering.

Anonymous said...

Fellas, I don't really have much time right now to engage in this off topic conversation, but I don't mind if you do, within reason. I will address this one comment from you, Marshall...

There is an erroneous position, also held by Dan, that it is appropriate to regard all ancient texts in the same way simply because they are ancient texts. I don't hold to that perspective at all.

IF you believe that the Bible can be judged by one standard, and the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Koran (which you haven't read or researched, according to you) and other ancient or sacred texts by another, you'd have to explain on what basis you are willing, for instance, to give a pass on miracle claims within the Bible but you're not willing to give the same pass to the Koran, the Epic of Gilgamesh, et al.

Why is it necessary to accept Genesis as a collection of literal factual stories told in a modern historic manner with an emphasis on facts and linear history but it's okay to dismiss other ancient texts?

I don't believe you've ever answered this other than to say, "Because I want to..." or words to that effect.

~Dan

Marshall Art said...

Hiram,

Your concept of "conditional sovereignty" requires a narrow understanding of the word. I don't see how His sovereignty is mitigated by anything I do or could possibly do, including actually convincing Him to see things "my way". Being that He is God, anything HE chooses to do, for whatever reason HE might have, could not be in conflict with HIS master plan. Thus, should I convince Him to act on my behalf, He would be doing so because doing so aligns with His master plan, or at the very least, does not in any way conflict with it.

But that's mere speculation as to whether I could convince Him to act in a manner He had not otherwise intended in the first place. Your concept would then have to require that He has to have an absolute purpose for every microsecond of time, for every pulse or breath and that He absolutely moves everything completely, down to the most insignificant placement of each particle of dust or less.

Said another way, why wouldn't God, couldn't God or shouldn't God have any leeway to act according to small things (compared to Him) and still not have a master plan over which He has complete and utter sovereignty? And in that "leeway" everything that might happen or could happen still works toward His purpose should it actually happen?

I don't see where His sovereignty becomes "conditional" simply because He is willing to respond to prayer. I have similar issues with Stan when he speaks of God's sovereignty versus our free will. I don't see how having the free will to act as we choose mitigates His sovereignty since our free will is the result of His granting it to us.

"The reasoning would go like this:"

The reasoning is flawed, because it suggests that what a scientist seems to see in the universe is an accurate view of what is. If the scientist observes, and his observations suggest to him that which conflicts with Scripture, why is it that it must be Scripture that is wrong and not his perception of what he regards as evidence? The data that suggests old earth to one scientist is the same data that suggests the opposite to the next guy. Yet they both may have a false perception.

But both sides have commonality. They both ultimately default to a position of faith. One has faith that God exists, the other that He doesn't. And each insists his worldview plays no role in their final conclusions.

Then, you insist that God must create all things in a manner that satisfies YOUR idea of "common decency". Who the hell are you? Who is any of us to insist that God MUST have done A or B in order for us to resolve the difficult stuff that seems to contradict Scripture? Don't forget, it's all about Him, not us. He doesn't owe us anything. He isn't anything like us. "In His image" doesn't mean we are clones of Him, and His thoughts aren't ours or even like ours. He doesn't answer to us. Your reasoning is really not much more than, "That's not fair."

continued in next comment

Marshall Art said...

Your football scenario is what is deceptive, though not intentionally I'm sure. Football strategy is always deception heavy. While the defense might know a run play is coming, how that play develops always requires setting up the defense in a way that makes it difficult to know exactly how the play will be run. It must, or no positive yards would ever be had except through brute force. No offensive coordinator will delude himself into thinking the opposing team will never stop any play. He must design plays that keep the defense guessing.

Conversely, the defense is constantly trying to disguise its own intentions. They could show blitz but then back off, or they could line up in a more conventional formation and blitz the safety.

But the worst part of this analogy is the presumption that deception is on God's mind in how all things were created...that He purposely created all things in a way that is meant to fool people...or that He is somehow negligent in insuring that no one would ever read things wrongly. It's a "blame God" thing that is really no more than refusing to accept that perhaps we're just not all that smart. I don't see where it follows that just because some scientists see things in a way that, to them, results in specific conclusions, that therefore it just couldn't be anything they're doing wrong. It's the Bible that has to be wrong. That doesn't seem just a little arrogant to you?

This is not to say that the scientists are wrong, and it is not to say that the Bible isn't accurate. For me, I don't bother with such because there's just no way to confirm either scenario. The scientists don't have "proof" of an old universe. They have data which to them appears to suggest it. What they have are human conclusions based upon human research performed with methods and tools invented by humans. Which of them is perfect? Instead, you have those who suggest that God is practicing deception because that which scientists believe conflicts with Scripture? That must be it.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

"Why is it necessary to accept Genesis as a collection of literal factual stories told in a modern historic manner with an emphasis on facts and linear history but it's okay to dismiss other ancient texts?

I don't believe you've ever answered this other than to say, "Because I want to..." or words to that effect."


First of all, you've got to be kidding. I've never...EVER...responded to requests for such explanations with anything even remotely akin to saying merely, "Because I want to..." OR words to that effect. That is so far removed from reality as to be a bold faced lie.

Secondly, I would turn the question back on you, as I've done so often without response of any kind, why MUST one accept Genesis in the same way as one does every other ancient text? This is my point. All you do is to regard all ancient texts in the same way simply because they are ancient texts.

I'm quite certain that I've explained that no other ancient text has the archaeological backing that Scripture does. No other ancient text has the same level of outside support from non-believing sources as Scripture does. That right there is enough to separate Scripture from all other ancient texts.

Anonymous said...

All right, thanks to both of you guys for your time and interest. I read every word.

I'll bow out of this discussion, but we'll probably meet again online. :-)

Just one last question for Marshall, out of curiosity: Would you counsel Christian youth in your congregation to avoid reading literure in science that has not been vetted first by somebody who shares your view of scripture?

Anonymous said...

[The item above being by Hiram. I usually forget to mention that.]

Marshall Art said...

" Would you counsel Christian youth in your congregation to avoid reading literure in science that has not been vetted first by somebody who shares your view of scripture?"

No. The conflict between science and religion is an invention of the secular. It doesn't really exist.