You Say Toe-May-Toe, I Say Toe-Mah-Toe

(By James Scullin)

I once had a conversation with a pastor concerning Article IV of the faith:

“We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New  Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

I asked if we believe in plenary inspiration, why the reluctance to state the Bible was inerrant throughout. He replied that he preferred the term infallible, that is the Word of God cannot fail. According to the dictionary, infallible and inerrant, in their primary meanings, are synonymous. It is the secondary use of infallible, incapable of failure, that the pastor preferred.

But is the infallibility also limited to matters of salvation?  It would appear so.  Consider these statements:

 

“The “science” in the Bible poses especially difficult problems that call out for editing, or at least supplementary reflection.”

 

“The creation story in Genesis, to take the most important example, is embedded within an ancient worldview that contains primitive scientific ideas that we have rejected.”

 

“The first verse of the Bible – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” — claims that the earth was created at the same time as the “heavens.” We know, however, that the universe is billions of years older than the earth. Humans were created within a few days of all other life-forms according to Genesis, but we know, for example, that life existed for billions of years before we arrived on this planet.”

(Karl Giberson from a Huffington Post article:  If Only We Could Edit the Bible)

 

Dr. Giberson teaches writing, and science-and-religion in the Cornerstone Program at Stonehill College, formerly a professor at Eastern Nazarene University.

How Dr. Giberson “knows” what happened billions of years ago is beyond me. Knowledge requires a firsthand account by an eye witness; clearly an impossibility for Dr. Giberson. The Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of the Genesis account, is an eye witness, but His testimony is being rejected. That rejection carries a judgment that the Bible fails to get the facts correct concerning creation. This is admitted by Trevecca University President Dan Boone, at exploringevolution.com, Nazarenes Exploring Evolution. He states, “Sadly, we have determined that Gen. 1 is the factual story of the creation of the world.” He also says, “So while we believe God to be the Creator of all things, Gen. 1 is not necessarily the story of material creation.”

If not, then why should we believe any of the rest of the Bible, including what it has to say about salvation? This is of special significance, since the Bible tells us it was due to the actions of the first created man and woman that we need a savior.

 

Brent Strawn, Chandler School of Theology, Emory University, has this to say on Nazarenes Exploring Evolution:  “Evolution-the-scientific-theory is a well-established fact in scientific literature for how biological life grows and develops; evolutionism-the-religion is a non-scientific but heavily philosophical and theological deduction from science to argue that, given evolutionary processes, natural selection, random mutations, and so on and so forth, there is no God, no Creator, no purpose in life, etc.”

In other words, evolution is fact, denying evolution is an opinion-based religion that seeks to deny the facts. My first question is how can a theory be a well-established fact? Secondly, there are scientists who disagree with evolution, isn’t Strawn ignoring their facts?

And there is theological fallout from denying the creation account.  Romans 5:12 declares, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”: (KJV) This is undeniably a verse pertaining to salvation, and it informs us that death entered the world because of the sin of one man. It was the sin of man, not a lesser being. It was death, both physical and, for man, spiritual, and not just the death of man. This is the first death for animals recorded as well; God killed an animal to provide covering for Adam and Eve. If man was the result of billions of years of evolution, death was in the world long before the sin of man. If evolution is true, then this verse, which pertains to salvation, is a lie. You simply cannot pick and choose what is reliable and true from the Bible.

I will gladly accept Scripture by faith as opposed to accepting “scientific facts” that are actually faith-based as well. Man cannot replicate the evolutionary process to prove his “facts.” Man was not present at the onset of humanity on the planet.  The only fact man can point to is that man exists. Enough of the flaunting of degrees telling me I must believe what I am told because I do not have a degree in physics, or biology.

The pastor I spoke with went on to say that only the original manuscripts were inerrant throughout. I believe he more correctly believed that we do not know if we have any perfect copies of the original manuscripts. For instance, examination of early manuscripts shows some text in the New Testament appeared as marginal notes in some copies of a document, and were incorporated into the body of the document in other copies. I have heard of an example from one of Paul’s letters, where a copyist saw Paul refer to Jesus in one part, Christ in other, and Christ Jesus in yet another. The copyist made all references the same. Do we have a perfect copy? No. Do we still have an inerrant copy? Certainly.

Playing the infallible card declares the Bible less than perfect, but perfectly effective, nonetheless. But how can that be, when throwing away the Genesis creation account undermines the need for salvation?

Jesus did not throw away man being created. Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have you not read, that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female” Nor does the Genesis account reflect evolution. The formation of Eve from one of Adam’s ribs is explicitly stated. Why would we not be given the facts if man evolved from a lesser life form? Instead man and animal are shown as distinct formations. Genesis 2:19 refers to animals being formed. Genesis 2:7 refers to man being formed. Our English translations simply use “formed” in both cases. The Hebrew way-yi-ser is spelled with an extra yodh when speaking of man. It has been posited that this implied the ability to experientially comprehend morality; a trait the animals lacked, a moral awareness that reflected the image of God. Morality was instilled by God, not survival training.

Where does rejecting a Bible that is inerrant throughout, that says what it means, and means what it says, take us? In The Death of Jesus Historically Contingent or Divinely Ordained? A Paper Presented to the Thirty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society by Jirair Tashjian, Tashjian says, “Again, it is not that God demands the death of Jesus as a penalty for sin. It is rather that Jesus comes to the realization that his faithfulness to the kingdom of God will likely mean his own death. Rather than mandated by God, the death of Jesus is the result of the conflict that the kingdom of God creates in the  world. Jesus will drink the bitter cup if that is the only way he can remain faithful to the kingdom of God. In this way, then, Jesus understands his own death to be not only for himself but also for others. It is “a ransom for many because the power of the kingdom of God is unleashed in the world and will transform history.” Tashjian is a professor of New Testament at Southern Nazarene University.

How can we get to a point where the blood of Jesus is not because of His substitutionary death on the cross? How do we get to a point where it is only the lifestyle of Jesus we need follow? Has it not been because of an erosion of respect of God’s Word? Has it not been because of a decrease in faith in God’s Word? Has it not been because of buying into what man “proves”, whereas the Bible asks for that faith? In some cases, has it not been because some prefer the ways of man?

How long before all of the Bible is rejected and the cry becomes, “You say infallible, I say inerrant; let’s call the whole thing off.”

 

​Jim Scullin​

Arrogance, Intellectual Elitism, Rejection of Scripture, Karl Giberson

For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 1 Cor. 1:19

The four items above go together.  Dr. Karl Giberson is no longer a professor at my old school, Eastern Nazarene College, but he now has a colleague there who is apparently carrying on the Giberson tradition.  What would that tradition be?  The Giberson tradition is to disparage, insult, and otherwise look down on anyone- anyone at all- who…

- Dares to believe in the Christian fundamentals (especially biblical inerrancy)

- Dares to challenge the myth of evolution and the global warming religion

- Dares to accept the biblical account of a historical Adam and Eve

- Dares to believe homosexuality is sin, or opposes homosexual “marriage”

- Dares to disagree with him in any way in regards to science and the Bible

I am not criticizing his right to have an opinion, or in making an honest argument to support his opinion.  But frankly, I am sick and tired of Dr. Giberson’s continually belittling attitude towards those who believe that God created Adam and Eve as He said he did; that God did create the world as He said he did; and that the sin of homosexuality is clearly condemned by God’s word.  He looks down on evangelicals that do not match his brand of “evangelicalism”, which is the type that insists that we verify the Bible with our intellectual reasoning and scientific theories, instead of believing the Bible for what it actually says is true.  He “professes to be wise”, but…

So last week, he and Dr. Randall J. Stephens, a professor at ENC, wrote a piece that rips apart anyone who apparently does not have the level of elitist understanding that they have.  Dr. Giberson clearly is one of the most arrogant people on this planet, and I am thankful he is no longer associated with ENC.  Only God knows how many students have had their faith shaken or shipwrecked because of his unbiblical teachings.  Sadly, it seems Dr. Stephens has taken up his mantle at the school and will continue to propagate false notions of the Bible to our students there.  Since they co-wrote this attack on fundamental Bible believers, it goes without saying that they share the same basic contempt for us.  It is a piece brimming with intellectual snobbery, in my opinion.

You can read the entire article and come to your own conclusions here: The Evangelical Rejection of Reason.  Just reading the title got things off on the wrong foot.  When man cannot to his own satisfaction explain facts that are stated plainly in Scripture, he then often resorts to his own reason and intellect to fit his preferred worldview.

Following are a few of the comments they made, and my reaction:

 “The two candidates who espouse the greatest support for science, Mitt Romney and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., happen to be Mormons, a faith regarded with mistrust by many Christians.”

Dr Giberson, you don’t believe that the Mormon faith is actually part of true Christianity, do you?  I would think ANY discerning, Bible believing Christian would not only distrust Mormonism altogether, but would not consider a professing Mormon to be a brother in Christ!  Do you feel the same way about those who “mistrust” the Jehovah’s Witness religion?  Or perhaps the Buddhist or Muslim religions?

And then there are the examples of the amazingly condescending, arrogant, elitist attitude towards Christian fundamentalists who dare to trust what Holy Scripture says:

“unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious”

evangelical Christianity need not be defined by the simplistic theology, cultural isolationism and stubborn anti-intellectualism

“fundamentalism is literalistic, overconfident and reactionary.”

“Fundamentalism appeals to evangelicals who have become convinced that their country has been overrun by a vast secular conspiracy; denial is the simplest and most attractive response to change.

 “They have been scarred by the elimination of prayer in schools; the removal of nativity scenes from public places; the increasing legitimacy of abortion and homosexuality; the persistence of pornography and drug abuse; and acceptance of other religions and of atheism.”

Again, no substantive argument, nothing legitimate to say, just false assumptions.

Here are a few more quotes:

“Mr. Ham built his organization, Answers in Genesis, on the premise that biblical truth trumps all other knowledge.”

I believe the difference with your statement is that Dr. Ham would say, as I would, that it is a fact that biblical truth trumps all other knowledge- not a premise.  Since God is the only source of truth, then my conclusion is that all of God’s truth trumps man’s knowledge, including yours.

In an NPR interview on Oct. 20 related to the same article, Giberson said:  “I mean, there’s just a handful of proof text scattered throughout the Bible about homosexuality. Jesus said absolutely nothing about it.”

Dr. Giberson apparently disagrees with the orthodox Christian and current Nazarene stance on homosexuality, and rejects or chooses to ignore what the Bible teaches.  It’s quite interesting that with this kind of view, he taught at a Nazarene university for years, yet Bible believing ministers in the denomination are denied ordination.  I guess if you are an academic,you’re allowed to teach heresy with impunity and indoctrinate impressionable students with it.   How the Christian world is turned upside down!

Dr. Giberson is a member of Evolutionary Christianity, a group filled with heretics such as Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Spencer Burke, Richard Rohr, Matthew Fox, and John Shelby Spong, who believes that our Lord was buried in a shallow grave and was eaten by wild dogs!  He is also a big promoter of Open Theism, the teaching that God does not know the future.  To me, this is in indication of his ignorance, not mine or anyone else who can read the Bible for what it plainly teaches, in spite of not having the many degrees he has.  This is intellectual snobbery.  I guess if he does not like it, it can’t be true, or it can’t really mean what it says, can it?

Finally, Dr. Giberson points this out about Ken Ham:  (In a recent blog post, Mr. Ham called us “wolves” in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as Christians while secretly trying to destroy faith in the Bible.)”

 Yes, Dr. Giberson, I completely agree with Ken Ham, who has also commented on your article (Shot Taken at Aig by Nazarene Professor in New York Times Op-ed).  You sir, are truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and I join with Dr. Ham, Dr. Al Mohler, and any other Bible believing Christian who is willing to stand up against those who dare to say that human intellect can trump the Bible, which we know to be God’s word- all of it.  Sadly you do not.  You may be a nice guy in person, but I pray that you never teach in another Christian school again, spreading the kind of Bible doubting evolutionary faith that you call Christian faith.  However, I will continue to pray for you and that you will come to truly trust all of God’s word.

The following email response to Dr. Stephens is from Dr. David A. Reagan of Lamb & Lion Ministries:

Oct. 21, 2011

Dr. Stephens:

Your recent opinion article in the New York Times about the Evangelical rejection of reason is a perfect example of why the term, Evangelical, has completely lost its meaning. How can it have any meaning when you claim to be an Evangelical and yet reject what the Bible teaches about Creation, the origin of Man, and homosexuality?

I was also turned off by your arrogance in dismissing those who disagree with you as being persons who have rejected reason. I happen to have a doctorate in International Law and Politics from a Harvard graduate school. The vice chairman of the board of trustees of the ministry I represent is a research scientist who is a graduate of Cal Tech and holds a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stanford. Yet, he believes in a 6,000 year earth and totally rejects the concept of evolution. In fact, he was an atheist when he entered Stanford University and became a Christian because he concluded that the best explanation of what he could observe in the natural universe was special creation.

I do not understand how anyone who claims to operate from reason could conclude that life evolved. It’s like standing in front of Mount Rushmore and exclaiming, “Wow! Isn’t it amazing what can be created accidentally from erosion!”

You are welcome to your unbiblical viewpoints, but don’t have the audacity to call yourself an “Evangelical.” And don’t be so arrogant as to write-off those who disagree with you as being Neanderthals who have rejected reason.

Yours in Jesus,

Dave Reagan

Dr. David R. Reagan
Lamb & Lion Ministries


Additional Resources:  “Evangelicals” Despising Evangelicals (Denny Burk)

Nazarene Professor Giberson Says Jesus Is An Evolutionist

Note: Recently I was interviewed by Russ Jones of the OneNewsNow internet newspaper, of American Family Radio.  You can read a summary of the interview here: “Mysticism Infecting Nazarene Beliefs“.  May the Lord keep giving us additional avenues of disseminating the truth to as many Christians as possible.

Dr. Karl Giberson is more and more each day stepping out with thoughts that challenge the Bible’s authority and believability.  He apparently feels that he can say anything he wants to now, even if it goes against traditional biblical and Nazarene teachings.  I would ask the leadership at Eastern Nazarene College and board of directors, and I will, to what lengths will you go to ignore everything he says no matter what?  Will he or others ever cross a line that says to you that this cannot continue unchallenged?  Ken Ham, a non-Nazarene, and Dr. Albert Mohler, a non-Nazarene, have challenged this professor’s teachings that contradict scripture.  Will any Nazarenes do the same?  I agree with Ken Ham, Dr. Karl Giberson is clearly undermining the Bible with his words.  When will he stop?


Is Jesus An Evolutionist?
by Ken Ham, Answers In Genesis
4/11/2011

A Nazarene college professor believes He is! Karl Giberson, from Eastern Nazarene College (located on Boston’s south shore), wrote this on a CNN website. The Nazarene school’s website states, “Karl Giberson teaches science and religion, and directs the honors program at Eastern Nazarene College. He is one of the leading scholarly voices in America’s ongoing controversy over evolution.”

What has this academic scholar at a Nazarene college written lately? From the religion blog at the CNN website, he wrote an article entitled “Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you.”

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Giberson’s commentary—which in itself is an attack on the Word of God. And really, because Jesus is the Word (John 1:1–2), an attack on God’s Word is also an attack on the Son.

Giberson states the following:

When science began in the 17th century, Christians eagerly applied the new knowledge to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions.

First of all, “science” means knowledge. What he is referring to is modern empirical science—based on repeatable, observable facts. Such empirical science has enabled us to develop technology, medicines, etc. For this we are all grateful. Whether a scientist is an evolutionist or creationist, we can applaud them for the great technological advances because of operational (or observational) science. But Giberson then steps out of discussing observational science and steps into historical science (beliefs about the past).

But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way.

From the context of the article, we see that by “evolution” he is referring to Darwinian evolution—molecules to ape-like creatures to man. This is not “truth.” It is a belief about the past. He then demeans Gods inspired (“God breathed,” 2 Timothy 3:16) Word by stating the following:

They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins—a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.

Giberson is actually applying his belief in evolutionary history to the Bible. He assumes that people in the past were not as intellectual or as intelligent as people today. Giberson has a very different view of inspiration than that of orthodox Christians. He obviously does not see the record of Genesis as “God breathed.” Yet in the New Testament (Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15, to name just a couple of references), the apostle Paul referred to events in Genesis as real history—foundational to the gospel. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 1 and 2 as real history—as the foundation for the doctrine of marriage.

Jesus is the Truth. He is the Word. To claim that Genesis is just an ancient story that “began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews” is to attack the Word of God, and thus it is an attack on the Son of God, who is the Word.

He continues.

This is the view on display in a $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky. It inspired the Institute for Creation Research, which purports to offer scientific support for creationism.

Those who have actually been to the Creation Museum know it is a place the honors God’s Word and proclaims the gospel.

Later in the article, Giberson states the following:

For more than two centuries, careful scientific research, much of it done by Christians, has demonstrated clearly that the earth is billions years old, not mere thousands, as many creationists argue. We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa—not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.

So Paul was wrong in 1 Corinthians 11 about the origins of humans when he twice stated that the woman is of the man? Paul said that the woman (the first woman, Eve), came from the man (a reference to God creating Eve from Adam’s side in Genesis 2). To believe in evolution as Giberson does, one must believe that woman came from an ape-woman and man from and ape-man.

The Bible makes it clear that man was made from dust and woman from his side. Jesus, in Matthew 19, quoted from Genesis 2:24 regarding the “one flesh,” thus clearly stating that the Genesis 2 account is literal history. So if Giberson is right, Jesus didn’t tell the truth, and Paul was wrong. So what is the Bible really? If it is fallible, who determines which bits are fallible?

Giberson goes on to again state that evolution is fact.

And all life forms are related to each other though evolution. These are important truths that science has discovered through careful research. They are not “opinions” that can be set aside if you don’t like them. Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.

Well, there is one verse of Scripture that comes to mind.

Let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

Giberson then discusses supposed evidence for evolution. This evidence is all countered and answered clearly in various articles on answersingenesis.org.

Later in the article, he states the following:

Christians must come to welcome—rather than fear—the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute “God’s second book” for Christians to read alongside the Bible. . . . To understand how the heavens go we must read the book of Nature, not the Bible.

This is a similar concept to one taught by Hugh Ross, that nature is the 67th book of the Bible. However, nature is cursed! It is affected by sin. And nature doesn’t “say” anything. Fallible man has to interpret nature. The only way to ensure one has the right basis to interpret it correctly, is to build one’s thinking on the history revealed in Scripture.

When this is done, we understand that nature is suffering from the affects of the Fall. The whole creation groans because of sin (Romans 8:22). One doesn’t look at the creation and see billions of years. That is an interpretation made by fallible man, and that interpretation is incorrect.

The written Word of God makes it clear that thorns came after the curse, yet there are fossil thorns in rocks said to be supposedly millions of years old. The Bible makes it clear that death, disease, and suffering are the result of sin; but death, disease, and evidence of violence and suffering abounds in the fossil record. This record had to come after sin—not millions of years before man.

Giberson continues.

The Book of nature reveals the truth that God created the world through gradual processes over billions of years, rather than over the course of six days, as many creationists believe.

Actually, the Bible does state that God created in six days (Exodus 20:11). Read the account for yourself. Where does it state billions of years? It doesn’t. And where do you read in “the book of nature” that the world is billions of years old and that life evolved? You read this in man’s fallible books, as fallible man who “suppresses the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1), as Giberson is doing, then imposes this story (and that’s what it is, a made-up story) on nature.

He then states the following:

Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book.

What he is saying is that evolution doesn’t contradict the Bible, unless you take the Bible as written. As long as you reinterpret God’s Word—thus undermining its authority—you can make God’s Word mean anything you want to make it to mean.

Giberson ends the article with the following:

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?” And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.

Here are the words of Jesus (He is the Word—so any quote of Scripture is to quote Jesus).

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

The entirety of Your word is truth. (Psalms 119:160)

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (John 5:45–47)

You can read Giberson’s entire Bible-undermining commentary at the following link:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/10/my-take-jesus-would-believe-in-evolution-and-so-should-you/

Already Compromised

On May 1, our new book Already Compromised will be released. It details the compromise teaching (like this commentary above) that is permeating our Christian colleges. This book is both revealing and shocking. You can pre-order Already Compromised now.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken