This may turn into a long series as there are so many examples to choose from plus I may want to provide answers or rebuttals to Bart Ehrman’s book Forged. This edition of the series turns to two websites, James McGrath and Rachel Held Evans for the next examples.
#1. Pseudoscholarship— http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/09/defining-pseudoscholarship.html
#1. Scholarship involves the building of consensus and the challenging of thereof, and so it is easy to find oneself confused about when a view is merely a minority or even a fringe scholarly viewpoint, and when it has crossed the line into pseudoscholarship.
When people take their eyes off God they decide to elevate the wrong research to spiritual and important status. They also create their own ideas of what scholarship is. No longer is it a search for the truth as Christ wants but is now turned into a useless activity to make humans feel more important than the common folk and earn them the status of being a member of the elite.
The list McGrath provides in that image basically tells everyone that scholarship is just false teaching and the truth is pseudoscholarship. The second to last point drives that conclusion home when it tells believers that they have to ignore God’s instructions and replace them with the instructions of the secular world.
How can you talk about God and the contents of the Bible if you are limited to the misconceptions of the unbeliever? How can you turn a supernatural act into a natural one when nothing natural was used nor was mentioned as being the source?
But when people take their eyes off God, they do not want to be reminded that God exists or that he has intervened in the world’s affairs. The truth has no place with those who have looked in other directions instead of focusing on God and learning about him.
Their rules, as you see them in that post, just provide the evidence of how little they want God involved in their work. One note, those points actually describe the work of most scholars who do not practice pseudoscholarship.
#2. Alternatives To The Truth— http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2014/09/whirlwind-creation-museum.html
#1. The ending of Job depicts God as pointing to creation, not as a challenge to get the details right, much less a command to reject what others think about its age, but as an experience that should instill awe and humility. Young-earth creationists seem not to have understood that message.
When people take their eyes off God, then God’s word is not good enough. I am old enough to remember that a man’s word was very important. More so than evidence and it was not rare to hear the words, ‘Your word is good enough for me’ in response to a request and a promise.
People trusted the word of others because they knew them, their character and integrity and so on. They didn’t require proof, evidence or collateral. When people take their eyes off God, all of a sudden they need proof, physical evidence and collateral just to listen to God’s word and then there is no guarantee, they will accept those items.
The question that answers the above quote is; ‘ How can you be in awe of and humbled by an event if yo do not know the truth about it? it is pretty hard to be in awe of and humbled by a super powerful God who used a very cruel and imperfect process to do his will.
It is much easier to do those things when you know he just spoke and it all was. The truth brings the humility and awe with it. Alternatives do not.
#2. The question is whether the Bible teaches the details of the nature of the cosmos. It doesn’t mention molecules and atoms, nor does it mention galaxies or even that stars are suns, hydrogen (also not mentioned) undergoing a fusion reaction (also not mentioned) rather than celestial beings. To insist that the Bible must provide us the age of the Earth and accurate biological information, when it doesn’t mention genes, and depicts a dome over the Earth, is to insist that the Bible is something that it is not.
When people take their eyes of Christ, they do not get the story correct or learn the truth. The Bible does mention all those things, they were created at the same time as everything else. If they weren’t, nothing would exist or survive. Hebrews 11: 2
3 By faith we understand that the [e]worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (NASB)
Everything McGrath wants mentioned is contained in those few words. Why should God bore us with so many insignificant details when a few words will cover it all? The only people who insist that the Bible provide us with the age of everything comes from those who have taken their eyes off God.
Those of us who believe God’s word do not care how old it is because we focus on the important lessons the Bible brings not the distracting issues.
#3. And so the key problem is that the people who are claiming to be the most faithful to the Bible with the loudest voices in our time – folks like young-earth creationists – are in fact the ones who are being the LEAST faithful to what the Bible actually says. They are pretending the Bible is something it shows itself clearly not to be, and in order to uphold that false claim, they then have to pretend that the Bible says things it does not, and does not say things that it does. And so personally, I think that the kind of dishonesty that is necessary to maintain young-earth creationism is inherently incompatible with being a Christian.
Those who take their eyes off God make all sorts of accusations against those who do not. Those of us who believe Genesis 1 are not making the Bible say something it is not. That act is done by those who do not believe God anymore. They say God used a process not his voice. that is making the Bible say something it doe snot for no passage in scriptures supports their claim.
No passage says a process did it all.Those who say that human life has only been around for 6,ooo years may be correct or they may be following misguided information. I would not use Bishop Ussher’s conclusions or work if I were you.
We do not know exactly how long life has been here but it hasn’t been millions or even tens of thousands of years. The real dishonesty comes from those who have taken their eyes off God and out it on something he says not to look at.
#4. Paul Wallace has come to realize that young-earth creationism isn’t about science, it is about gay marriage
No, it is just hard to fit a one-time supernatural act in a secular scientific model that has no business existing in the first place. YEC is about the supernatural work of God and his existence. Plus the lessons he wants to teach us. Secular science is not about science but about alternative theories that never existed in the first place.
Those who take their eyes off God and do not accept their word need to invent alternatives as they have no interest in the truth.
#3. Without A Clue— http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/lectionary-john-baptist
#1. You can always pick out John the Baptist from a lineup of saints.
Among the dour, robed patriarchs, he’s the one with wild eyes and tangled hair, ribs protruding through sun-browned skin, hands cradling a staff or a scroll that reads, “‘Repent! The Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!” Or sometimes he is depicted munching serenely on locusts and honey, wearing a shaggy vest of camel’s hair. Sometimes it’s just his disembodied head on a platter
People who take their eyes off God do not know what they are talking about and invent wild stories about others they have never met, seen photos of or have an actual description describing their looks.
It is insulting to both God and John the Baptist to describe the latter the way he was in that quote above.it is also disrespectful of the man who was given a very special task by God. Those who have taken their eyes off God do not care as they look to humanize God and his word instead of letting God spiritualized their viewpoint and thought processes.
Why would John have wild eyes? That would make him look like a lunatic and God’s kingdom like the insane asylum. How would that make God or his call to salvation attractive or inviting? It is just ridiculous.
#2. The miracle child of Elizabeth and Zechariah, John was probably expected to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a Temple priest
Notice the word ‘probably’. That tells us that those who take their eyes of God do not read scripture very carefully but want to spin their own tale of his youth. Here is what Luke says about John and his future:
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit [m]while yet in his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (ch. 1 NASB)
No mention of working in the temple and his parents were fully aware of John’s future duty.
#3. Jesus was building a coalition—of tax collectors and prostitutes, of women and Samaritans, of wilderness preachers and leprosy patients, of the poor, the sick, the hungry, and the left-out—and nearly everyone could see that it was prophetic; it “wasn’t of human origin
The same people misunderstand what Jesus was doing, what his purpose was and who followed him. They also do not read the passages where the Jewish leaders called his work of the devil.
These people just do not know Jesus or the Bible. They also do not recognize, sin, true and false teaching, evil, the devil and so much more. Their view of the world both modern and ancient is distorted and blind.
it i snot too difficult to spot someone who has taken their eyes off God. Their views contrast God’s and say something the Bible does not say. This does not mean that they are all lost or unable to return to following God. Some just may be afraid or do not know how to keep it up while others willfully follow after false teaching.
We shouldn’t label all those who take their eyes off God as unsalvageable. We need to investigate with God’s help and instruct those who have not willfully rejected Jesus, leading them a more successful life in Christ.