Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shawn McCraney and False Teachings On Creation

Shawn is sometimes a great koolaid drinker. Shawn has read widely in philosophical writings, and should know where the false doctrine of "creation out of nothing" has its origin.
He asks the question, as if this just kills the Mormon doctrine of the eternal nature of matter:

"Are my thoughts real, are my dreams real, are my memories real?", as in, do they exist in matter?" Yes. In fact, they only exist there. Your brain holds them there. They are not free-style floating in the atmosphere.

Genesis 1:1-2 explicitly teaches that matter already existed before the creation of the world. The Hebrew word, "Bara", which is translated in the Bible as "created" has the idea of divine organizing activity.

Here are some Christian sources on the subject:
"In any case, the curtain that veils the primeval past rises at some point after the absolute beginning since watery chaos already exists. Creation in Genesis 1:1-2:3 has more to do with bringing order to that chaos and populating voids than with generating all matter." (Entry under "Creation", Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology; Edited by Walter A. Elwell; Copyright © 1996, Published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

The New Jewish Version: “When God began to create the heaven and the earth, the earth being unformed and void. . . .”; similarly The Bible, An American Translation (1931); The Westminster Study Edition of the Holy Bible (1948); Moffat’s translation (1935); and the Revised Standard Version (RSV), alternate reading.

Gerhard von Rad, notes in Genesis 1 “the actual concern of this entire report of creation is to give prominence, form and order to the creation out of chaos”.

Lest we forget, Peter was a Christian, and taught:

2 Pet 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

There is no indication that any Christian or Jew taught creation out of nothing prior to the advent of the Apostate Gnostic dogma, and it was thereafter embraced by Christian theologians.
Visit these websites for additional information:
http://byustudies.byu.edu/shop/pdfSRC/17.3Norman.pdf Excellent paper on the history of creation out of nothing.
http://mi.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=17&num=2&id=590 Great discussion about all of the passages used by Christians to assert the Bible contains the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, by Blake Ostler.

Any of these publications make it more than clear that Shawn, again, is just speaking the Evangelical party line, not getting the whole story out there.

Don't you think it is important to know that Early Christians and Jews believed like the Mormons do?

"Anyone who knows Biblical Christianity..." is the logical error bare assertion. Shawn loves this one, he uses it often, because it makes the folks who are ignorant of the historical reality a little intimidated, since they cannot verify or reject it. It turns out if you actually research the subject, creation out of nothing is NOT original to the beliefs of Christians.

A woman called into Show to explain where people can find scriptures on the Trinity. Since it is itself a made-up doctrine, ex nihilo, it is funny to watch Shawn endorse her use of 1 John 5:7-8. Shawn knows, because we have personally discussed it, as any beginning Bible student knows that 1 John 5:7-8 was not in the original text of the Bible. It was added hundreds of years later. Nearly 1300 years before it is found in any Greek texts. Is it just me, or are we safe to decide that putting a verse which didn't exist in the original Bible, and then using it as the only explicit defense anywhere in the Bible for the doctrine of the Trinity, is more than a little convenient?

As I find typical of Shawn, he does not appear particularly interested in standing for truth as much as just repeating the falsehoods from Evangelical doctrine. Sheesh, I thought he didn't like people who are sheep? Does that lead to self-loathing?


Anonymous said...

It would appear to me that Shawn was actually right about his whole "are my thoughts/memories etc real in matter" although perhaps not entirely eloquent. You could be right in saying that Shawn's examples are indeed contained in the material function of his brain. However, some things do not exist in matter and unless you prepared to do some metaphysical gymnastics you will have to admit that they are real. What I am talking about are philosophies and ideas which exist independent of any mental containment.
You might want to include sources other than an editable website, Mormon apologetics incorporated, and the university of Mormonism, to prove that Christians and Jews didn't teach ex nihilo prior to the gnostics

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Well anonymous, you are just wrong. To think there is a non-physical region of the universe where ideas float around waiting to be manifested in humans is indefensible on its face. Whether it is the theory of relativity, The Law of Moses, the invention of television, or just coming to realize you love your wife, these ideas are all the result of the human mind. Now supernatural concepts, such as the revelations of God, do come from a "meta-physical" source, i.e., a source beyond our physical world. So maybe parts of the Law of Moses are in that category, but that is not what Shawn was saying. Thoughts and dreams are 100% of origin in an individual's brain. In fact they have shown using various stimuli in the brain which regions house which types of memories, and brain injuries demonstrate that memories can be lost. Thus, for Shawn's thesis to be true, a person would need to be able to suffer destruction of those parts of the brain, and still be capable of the same receiving the same kinds of dreams or developing the same ideas and thoughts.

Surely you realize that is not the case.

As for sources on Ex Nihilo creation, I guess quoting BAKER'S EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF BIBLICAL THEOLOGY is a Mormon biased source in your mind. Which one is it? Editable website, Mormon apologetics inc., or the University of Mormonism? Would you mind identifying it for me, and provide me your name, so I can forward your observations to them? They probably won't sue you, but they may ask for a public retraction of such absurd statements.

Also, for giggles, read the Jewish Encyclopedia entry for "Creation". While they note that MODERN Jews believe in Creatio Ex Nihilo, they also note "The etymological meaning of the verb , however, is "to cut out and put into shape," and thus presupposes the use of material."

Yeah, I am sure some Mormon snuck into the Jewish Encyclopedia to get that statement out of them. It goes on to note:

"Whatever may be the nature of the traditions in Genesis (see Cosmogony), and however strong may be the presumption that they suggest the existence of an original substance which was reshaped in accordance with the Deity's purposes (see Dragon; Darkness), it is clear that the Prophets and many of the Psalms accept without reservation the doctrine of creation from nothing by the will of a supermundane personal God (Ps. xxxiii. 6-9, cii. 26, cxxi. 2; Jer. x. 12; Isa. xlii. 5, xlv. 7-9): "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.""

The author of the Entry, however, actually cites verses which reinforce the LDS nature of creation as organized, and the Biblical prophets' selection of words DON'T even imply creating out of nothing.

Besides, oh literate Anonymous, the article by Norman lists dozens and dozens of non-LDS sources, which he clearly cites in both the body of the text and the footnotes.

I appreciate the comment, since it illustrates exactly the point I was making, that few people are actually willing to do the work to uncover the history of their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

So as it turns out we got our wires crossed. What I was referring to when I talked about editable website etc. was your list of additional info, which used BYU, FAIR and Wikipedia. Sorry if I ruffled your feathers on that one.

Philosophical ideas and concepts certainly exist outside of matter. The ideas of nihilism, naturalism, utilitarianism all exist whether they are believed and therefore placed within someone's brain or not. The Law of Moses in some ways definitely did exist prior to it being written or acknowledged. To say otherwise is to say that people hardly ever sinned, because without any standard then there is nothing to fall short of. Maybe I have misjudged you, but I don't think you would say something like that.

You were right when you said that I hadn't done very much digging in regards to the historical formation of ex nihilo. However, from what I have seen in the Bible, ex nihilo is the true doctrine, which makes the timing and reason for it being spelled out by the church fathers irrelevant.

Also, that's barely literate anonymous to you.

I was wondering what your take on McCraney's dialogue with "Ed" last week is.

Anonymous said...

I think you are just an angry mormon who thinks everyone is wrong. maybe you should stop drinking the mormon coolaid for a while and see what the real jesus can do

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Well, maybe I am an angry Mormon. How would you know? Let's see, you don't know me and yet you judge me. I don't use hate speech, I don't exaggerate, and I don't engage in personal attacks of the critics of the Church. I also have many friends among anti-Mormons and critics of Mormonism. Yeah, I guess you are right. I am a horrible mess of a human anger management project.

No, I don't really think so.

On the other hand, Paul says folks who judge other people go to hell. I am always amazed at the superior spirituality critics will claim because of their supposed "truth" claims, and then just completely ignore the teachings of the Bible.

Thanks for the comments.

Weston Krogstadt said...

Shawn McCraney is a sad sad man.