Friday, October 11, 2013

Lead-footed literalism

If you are going for what I would call lead-footed literalism about the Bible, then there is going to be a clash between science and religion. But I'm not talking about Darwin or evolution, I am talking about simple astronomy. If, based on the Bible, you conclude that you have a comprehensive genealogy, then you can count back from a well established date, such as the time of King David, and count years back until you get to a beginning of the universe in approximately 4004 B. C. At least that is what one famous archbishop concluded. You see, it was the heavens and the earth that was created, Adam came into existence on Day 6, so if you count back from David to Adam, that's about what it is going to be. And since it was the heavens and the earth that were created at that point, then that would mean that the universe is 6017 years old. If that were true, then we should only be able to see stars 6017 light years away, since light from stars further away would have had to travel to far to be seen from earth. So, if you are trying to believe THAT, then Darwin's theory of evolution is the least of your worries. 

Unfortunately for Christianity-bashers, this kind of literalism was never the norm within the Christian Church. It's not as if everybody was a lead-footed literalist until science came along and pointed all of these problems out. Quite the contrary, Christians going all the way back to Augustine have avoided this kind of literalism. See here. 

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