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Global flood literalism rides again!


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10 minutes ago, pogi said:

God feeding the thousands left behind physical evidence of fish bones and crumbs, 

Seriously??  :rofl:

Edited by JLHPROF
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18 minutes ago, ttribe said:

Because, unlike all the other things you listed, the 'miracle' of a global flood would leave behind a pretty significant geologic footprint and it just...doesn't.

I know right!  Imagine, if there was undeniable scientific evidence that the events of Genesis really happened!

I think there'd be a lot less faith and a lot more Bible believers.
Why doesn't God just appear in the sky and tell everyone which Church to join too?

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2 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I know right!  Imagine, if there was undeniable scientific evidence that the events of Genesis really happened!

I think there'd be a lot less faith and a lot more Bible believers.
Why doesn't God just appear in the sky and tell everyone which Church to join too?

Wow. So, as I recall from a previous discussion, God CANNOT violate some alleged eternal law which requires a blood sacrifice for redemption of sins, but the immutable laws of physics are no problem, whatsoever.  Do I have that right?

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

You're correct, but along with that stated purpose, the editorial staff included a lot of things that local flood proponents wish wouldn't be used, and wish would go away:

---the dimensions at face value

---size comparisons

---the interesting decision to bracket in "only" ("Despite 'the longsuffering of God … in the days of Noah, … [only] eight souls were saved' (1 Peter 3:20).")

--- "water covered the earth for 150 days"

It matters to many (either way). To others, it makes no difference at all whether something literally happened or not. 

It's very interesting to me how Church publications remain very conservative regarding interpretation, despite many who are embarrassed by this or feel that it makes it harder for the gospel to gain acceptance among enlightened people. 

I think these are all reasonable descriptions of the text: the dimensions (and size comparison for reference); [“wherein few, that is,”]; and “And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.” I think enlightened people who might edit this presentation differently would still participate in the doctrinal discussion without getting distracted.

I do not see the presentation as promoting a particular theory so much as offering a good-faith rendition of the text (with some measurement conversions).

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15 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Because they are irrelevant to his purposes in taking wicked people from the earth and protecting those trying to be righteous 

What IS the important lesson here is that God protects his people even if they are hopelessly outnumbered.

You think maybe that might be important today?

God does miracles

WHY he does them is more important than how he does or does not do them.

We must not miss the forest's beauty by worrying about how it got there 

 

13 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

To require faith.

All great responses. I’m not a denier of the literal flood, just posing a question that came to mind 👍

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15 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Seriously??

Yes, Just as eating miracle fish leaves behind real bones (if we believe this to be literal), so too would a world immersed with water leave behind literal “bones”, so to speak.  It would be as if the fish had no bones.  Just seems silly, right?

It would literally take a second miracle to reverse the physical impact of the first miracle.  Seems like a stretch.

Edited by pogi
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25 minutes ago, ttribe said:

Wow. So, as I recall from a previous discussion, God CANNOT violate some alleged eternal law which requires a blood sacrifice for redemption of sins, but the immutable laws of physics are no problem, whatsoever.  Do I have that right?

Who said the laws of physics are immutable?

Those same laws say you can't walk on water.

Edited by JLHPROF
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1 minute ago, pogi said:

Yes, Just as eating miracle fish leaves behind real bones (if we believe this to be literal), so too would a world immersed with water leave behind literal “bones”, so to speak.

It would literally take a second miracle to reverse the physical impact of the first miracle.  Seems like a stretch.

So since we have no fishbones we can assume the feeding never happened right?
And since nobody records a conversation with Lazarus after he came back that never happened either?
That's the argument being made about the flood.

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11 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

So since we have no fishbones we can assume the feeding never happened right?
And since nobody records a conversation with Lazarus after he came back that never happened either?
That's the argument being made about the flood.


Again, “assuming that we accept these events as literal”, then we must conclude that there were bones - physical evidence.  He didn’t make Lazarus invisible to those who knew he died to preserve faith.  On the contrary, he gave physical evidence to create or preserve faith.  All things are evidence, not proof, of his existence and miraculous power.  He doesn’t make the bones miraculously vanish.

Edited by pogi
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21 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Who said the laws of physics are immutable?

Have you any evidence that the earth has ever violated any known laws of physics?  Because there is a great deal of evidence (billions of years) that the earth follows known laws of physics quite consistently.

Edited by ttribe
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28 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Or maybe God really did flood the entire earth and ignored science to do it.

You know, like when he raised the dead, walked on water, turned water into wine, let Jonah live in the belly of a whale, let 3 hebrews not be consumed by fire, healed the blind with mud and saliva, collapsed a city by marching around it then blowing trumpets...

When it comes to the flood, I really don't know why we feel the urge to make it match science.
What part of miracle requires science to agree with it?

Maybe.  Though I don't believe He ignored science to do it if that's true. 

I think we can feel the urge to mix science and faith for a lot of reasons.

  1. Because Pres. Oaks said using both reason and faith is often the best way to discover truth.   
  2. Because we recognize that the OT writers wrote according to the world view of their time and what they were trying to teach, and we know not everything they said was meant to be taken literally.
  3. Because there is no reason to demand that a literal interpretation must be believed so we are open to different understandings.
  4. Because we know that all truth is a part of one great whole.
  5. Because we believe that God is happy when we gain knowledge of the world around us and apply it to all parts of our lives.
  6. Etc.

Why do you feel the urge to fight for it not to match science?

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Why do you feel the urge to fight for it not to match science?

I actually think it does match true science.  I don't believe current scientific understanding is the be all and end all.
I mean, at what point did science start getting things perfectly right?  

I think when all is said and done we will see that God did what he said he did, and we'll also see how.
Just because we can't see how right now doesn't mean he didn't do it.

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Articles on origin story of belief of flood as baptism of the earth.  

https://rsc.byu.edu/let-us-reason-together/was-noahs-flood-baptism-earth

https://faenrandir.github.io/a_careful_examination/flood-as-baptism-origin-in-LDS-thought/
 

Quote

Non-LDS teaching of the flood as baptism of the earth, between 1800 and 1852. (based on occurrences of the phrase “baptism of the earth” from google books n-gram viewer)

1829 Bethany, West Virginia, Alexander Campbell, leader of the Campbellite movement of which many early Mormons had been a part

there should never be a second baptism of the earth…So after Noah was born of water, he was begotten again unto a lively hope by the promise of God.

1829 London, England, Barbara Anne Simon, in a book arguing that the American Indians were descendants of the missing 10 tribes of Israel.

… the earth, which survived its baptism.

1848 London, England, Alfred Bowen Evans, A last sermon of a well-known preacher.

the baptism of the earth… Noah knew that the baptism of the earth had done its work

Earliest LDS teaching of the flood as baptism of the earth, with evidence of induction or conjecture

1852 Elder Orson Pratt - “The Lord ordained baptism, or immersion of the earth in water, as a justifying ordinance.”

Orson delivers some of the address as if he is merely making induction from scripture: “but soon we find new sins committed.” (emphasis mine)

1851-1854? Orson Pratt Apostle - “As man becomes a new creature by being born again, first of water … in the same manner the earth becomes a new earth by being born again of these cleansing and purifying elements.”

Orson uses an analogy to try and make his point convincing: “As man receives the baptism of fire…As man becomes a new creature”

1853 President Brigham Young - “The Lord said, ‘I will deluge (or immerse) the earth in water for the remission of the sins of the people’”

Brigham attempts to persuade his audience that the doctrine is already embedded in the Bible: “You who have read the Bible must know that that is Bible doctrine. What does it matter if it is not stated in the same words that I use…” (emphasis mine)

1885 President John Taylor - “The earth underwent a baptism by being immersed in water”

President Taylor makes it clear that he is using induction and conjecture: “We read that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man…It would seemthat not only man but other creations of God respond to this law.” (emphasis mine)

 

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7 hours ago, carbon dioxide said:

Define a local flood?   If the flood was just local, why not just go for a long walk before the flood instead of building an ark?

Good point.  I never understood the local flood theory.  Why fight the science and geology and just treat the flood story as an allegory.  Christ taught using allegories.  We can still draw lessons from the flood story even knowing that it didn't really happen.

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God could presumably cover up a miraculous global flood and miraculously desalinate the whole earth so stuff will grow again quickly and refill it with plants, animals, and all other life. It just seems like an unnecessary complication. It also differs from the smaller scale miracles. Peter walking on water wouldn’t leave physical evidence. Unless we find some weird extraterrestrial fish bones in the Holy Land we are unlikely to find anything from the miraculous feeding. A flood would have an impact. It is hard to find a comparison. No other purported miracle outside of the Creation and maybe the Fall would have had such a global impact on so much of the Earth.

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14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Those same laws say you can't walk on water.

Well, I don't happen to believe that actually happened, but even if I did, water does have a verifiable solid state.  Still there is no record of a global flood.

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14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I think when all is said and done we will see that God did what he said he did, and we'll also see how.
Just because we can't see how right now doesn't mean he didn't do it.

The bold is very true.

But we know that God didn't always do what He said He did.  I mean, look at the creation story.  He didn't actually take a rib from adam to make eve, for example, even though He specifically said that He did.  Elder McConkie says that we can't even know for sure whether the fruit actually existed, even though God said in those scriptures that it did.

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

To require faith.

Do you really think that evidence of a global flood would convert the world beyond the point of faith to a sure knowledge of God and in the truth claims of His church?  I don't buy it.  Not even an angel appearing to mankind would be enough (see Laman and Lemuel).  Science would find an explanation to take God out of the picture and life would go on as normal.  All things point to Christ, but science can't see it - evidence of a flood would not change that.  Faith would still be required.  

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18 hours ago, bluebell said:

The herbivores wouldn't have had much to eat either.  Plant life would have died after being underwater that long.

The olive branch (or whatever plant it was) indicates that the regrowth of plants may have been more rapid than what we observe now. At the very least, God could have had angels physically plant seeds, and sped up the growth process. My family has experienced miracles that would make my kids not bat an eye at this sort of problem. 

18 hours ago, ttribe said:

Here's a question for the global flood folks, just for fun - After the flood subsided, and the animals were allowed to leave the ark, what did the carnivores eat while their prey multiplied enough to create a sustainable ecosystem?

The carnivore problem is more difficult than the herbivore one, but I think a possibility is that God temporarily altered the dietary needs of animals. If carnivores don't eat meat during the Millennium, something like this will happen again. Granted, to people who don't believe any of it happened or will happen, that isn't very convincing. 

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17 hours ago, bluebell said:

I agree that this supports the KJV of events.

I do think it's interesting that it doesn't really address the issue of the flood being literal.  It implies it but doesn't say it directly.  This is true for the Come Follow Me lessons for Noah and the flood, where the idea of a Global or local flood isn't addressed at all.  This is a noteworthy change if we believe that the church is at all invested in making sure that the members believe in a global flood.

1) I think it says it more than implies it, based on word choice. "water covered the earth," "[only] eight souls were saved," etc.

2) I hadn't thought about it from this perspective (i.e., the Donald Parry Ensign article directly addressed and attempted to dispel the local flood theory, so if future articles aren't this direct, it signals a "noteworthy change." I think it's also possible that, like with many other things, the global flood might be such a given to the Brethren and the editorial staff that it wouldn't occur to them that there is even a need to address it, one way or another. That's certainly implied (as you say) by the choice of scriptures and choice of wording.

 

17 hours ago, bluebell said:

In earlier decades we have Ensign articles outlining exactly why we need to believe that the flood was global but the church seems to have moved away from that.  It teaches what the scriptures say about the flood, but it doesn't make any demands on how we should interpret it.

Why do you think the Church "seems to have moved away from that?" Simply because more Parry articles haven't been printed? As of now, there still has not been anything approaching a retreat. In fact, if you look at other editorial decisions (such as the infamous 2 Nephi one the first year, with "skin of blackness"), I would say that the editorial staff and supervision of the Brethren is definitely in the literalist camp. 

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17 hours ago, bluebell said:

They bracketed in "only" because they were summarizing the phrase "wherein few, that is,".  Can you explain what you find interesting about that?  From my perspective they were just trying to make it easier for kids to understand what the verse was saying.

Sure. "Only" is an odd choice of words to replace "few." Only excludes any others, while "few" is open to interpretation. 

To me, anyway. 

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Navidad says to his wife, "Wow, look at that javelina across the river! It's as big as a house!" "Yes," she says, "It sure is a big one!"    Are we speaking figuratively or literally? I would suggest the javelina, my wife, myself, and the river are all  literal, the language is figurative. No part of the conversation is a falsehood or a myth. All aspects of the conversation are literal. Some of the words used in the conversation are figurative. Oh, and we really do have big javelinas about 30 yards from our home on the river!

Edited by Navidad
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16 hours ago, ttribe said:

Because, unlike all the other things you listed, the 'miracle' of a global flood would leave behind a pretty significant geologic footprint and it just...doesn't.

It might have, but our current assumptions about what the geological footprint denotes might differ from what it actually denotes. 

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7 minutes ago, rongo said:

Sure. "Only" is an odd choice of words to replace "few." Only excludes any others, while "few" is open to interpretation. 

To me, anyway. 

But the number 8 is already provided in the verse.  So instead of saying "few, that is, 8" souls were saved.  It says "only 8" souls were saved.  That doesn't seem like a difference at all. Both sentences say the exact same thing.

If the first did not contain a number than I agree that "few" can be interpreted different ways.  But since it tells you right in the verse that few means 8, changing few to only doesn't provide any more context or information than we already had.

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