James G. Acker
Organization: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center -- InterNetNews site
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (James G. Acker)
Mark Isaak (email@example.com) wrote:
: It occurs to me that I have seldom if ever seen addressed on talk.origins
: the only reason I have seen a Creationist give for being a Creationist.
: Henry Morris, and I believe others in the ICR, say that if Genesis isn't
: true, then the rest of the Bible can't be trusted, and they believe
: something must be literal for it to be true. Do other Creationists
: hold these same views?
From personal experience and not research:
(I have to note as well, I'm joining a new church, and it
looks like I'll never become an officer (deacon, Elder), because I'd
have to swear that the Bible is inerrant. Their interpretation of
"inerrancy" is not the same as mine, so I won't be able to do it. They
will, however, let me joing as a member without taking an oath about
inerrancy. The church is a member of the Presbyterian Church of America
(PCA), not to be confused with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. or the
Evangelical Presbyterian Church.) Now that I've cleared that up:
The issue is reading the Bible as literal and inerrant. Literal
means that what the Bible says describes exactly what happened;
inerrant means that the Bible is without error. Some inerrantists
allow that "human" errors may have crept into the text due to translation
and copying problems, but the original Word of God was inerrant.
Those holding strongly to this doctrine (primarily fundamentalists,
especially Southern Baptists) do not believe that if Genesis isn't true
then the rest of the Bible can't be trusted. At the core, they believe
that the entire Bible can be trusted as _verifiable fact_. This belief
appears to motivate Creationists to search for facts which verify
the Creation Story, and also motivates them to criticize the evolutionary/
geologic history of the Earth, because "if the Bible isn't wrong, then
anything which implies the Bible might be wrong _has_ to be wrong."
Because they have an unswerving devotion to a text,
they also become extremely bound by what their denomination of the
Church says is the proper mode of thinking, being, and acting. Not
every fundamentalist is looking for control; rather, they are being
strongly controlled by the tenets which their denomination puts forth.
Rather than allowing for one's personal faith to guide their interpretation
of the Bible, they let others tell them what the Bible says, and become
fanatically and intensely devoted to those strict interpretations.
Thus, in spite of all the reasonable arguments which may be put
forth in refutation of the Genesis Creation story and in favor of the
geologic/biologic history of the Earth, a fundamentalist mindset is
unlikely to be swayed. Their position is not one of logic and
reason -- it is blind adherence to one interpretation of the Bible.
That's what I've seen.