Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Study says: kids of lesbians "healthy," "fewer behavior problems"

Perhaps you heard about a recent study that announced the Scientific Results of a long-term study: kids of lesbian "parents" are actually better-adjusted than kids of "straight" parents.

Well, that's it, then, right? Science has spoken. You don't want to argue against Science, do you? Be a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, a hater?

No, we don't want to oppose actual science. Is it still OK if we ask questions, though? Like, for instance, who did this survey?

Well, the "researcher" quoted in this article is Nanette Gartrell, MD, the Williams distinguished scholar at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. Science propels Dr. Gartrell to cut right to the chase:
"Contrary to assertions from people opposed to same-sex parenting, we found that the 17-year-olds scored higher in psychological adjustment in areas of competency and lower in problem behaviors than the normative age-matched sample of kids raised in traditional families with a mom and a dad."
Once again, that sounds pretty weighty. But is that the objective, untainted force of the evidence? Doesn't evidence have to be interpreted by a person? Who is the person doing the interpretation? Is it possible Dr. Gartrell has a dog in this hunt? Is she a member, perhaps, of John Piper's church? Wife of a pastor at John MacArthur's church, maybe — a faithful Christian, forced to this conclusion by the sheer weight of evidence?

Gartrell is a "wife" of sorts, it turns out. She is the "wife" of another female, named Dr. Diane Mosbacher, who did a documentary called "Straight From the Heart," which was "about religious parents coming to terms with the homosexuality of their children." Axe to grind, much?

We learn elsewhere that Dr. Gartrell was "the first out lesbian on the Harvard Medical School faculty," and that she has made the lesbian agenda a focus of her career. This study is in line with her previous activities. So perhaps instead of simply calling her "researcher," as the article does, it might be more informative to say "researcher and lesbian activist"? Isn't that worth factoring in?

It is at least interesting and worth noting. If the "researcher" in a study praising the joys and health benefits of obesity weighed in at 650 pounds, for instance, I think it would be noted. Or if the lead researcher in a study lauding Oreos as a health-food were a major Nabisco stockholder, again, the fact would be noted.

But if that's all we had, we could be reasonably accused of the logical fallacy of "poisoning the well." You know a poison-well argument: it singles out some adverse trait of a person, and tries to invalidate his argument thereby. For instance:
  1. John Calvin was connected to the execution of Michael Servetus
  2. Therefore Calvinism is false.
Is that my argument in this case?

As I said, I think it's worth considering. The study was not done and analyzed by a tire iron or a CPU; it was done by a person, and persons have grids. But more worth considering are the premises of the study. What is "healthy"? What is "normal"? What is "well-adjusted"? Are there other ways of interpreting the data?

For instance, the article specifies that the children of lesbian "parents" (for instance) were less likely to engage in "problem behaviors such as rule-breaking and aggression."

Reading that, I wonder: does that make them more "healthy"? Or more feminine? And is that a good thing, for boys? A number of analyses have suggested that our educational system and culture seem Hell-bent on turning boys into girls. Is it surprising to learn that a boy raised by two women might take on more feminine characteristics? If so, is that good?

Is it legitimate to ask whether the standards of measurement in a test conducted by a woman who rejects her own God-created, God-defined sexuality might be severely skewed, and whose career seems to reflect a focus on normalizing what God calls abnormal?

What are the specifics that define "normalcy" and "health"? Take the term "normal." Now, there's a word capable of a broad array of nuances. If "normal" were used and understood to mean statistical average, I'd have no quarrel. However, the usual nuance is healthy, acceptable, good. But that is misleading. One could say quite accurately, for instance, that it is "normal" for the products of government re-education camps to be lazy-minded, ignorant, and incapable of logical thought. But does that mean it is good? Not at all.

Never forget the statistician who drowned while wading across a river with an "average depth" of four feet.

So what is the standard for normalcy and health in studies such as this one?  What, for instance, if our model were Jesus Christ, instead of the average of our fallen, lost, corrupt culture? What if it were derived from a vertical source rather than a horizontal, or an internal? Suppose these were the standards for measuring health and normalcy:
  1. Faith in the Bible as God's inerrant, binding word.
  2. Faith in the triune God revealed in Scripture alone.
  3. Values derived from the Word.
  4. Heartfelt love for God and passion to be conformed to His will.
  5. Consistent attempt to conform to the Word in thought, aspiration, and behavior.
  6. Moral categories derived from the Word (i.e. identifying immoral behavior such as homosexuality as wrong under any circumstances).
...and the like? If that were the norm, what would the study's results be? Would being raised by couples definitionally devoted to moral anarchy and rebellion against God still turn out looking so rosy?

Bring these thoughts to bear in considering this latest "scientific research" spun as invalidating God's Word — because, don't be deceived, that is the ultimate agenda: to make the world safe for sin.

Here, then, are my points: we should never forget that —

62 comments:

trogdor said...

What are the odds that "acceptance of homosexuality" is the single largest factor in whether these kids are considered well-adjusted?

justyns35@hotmail.com said...

I heard the findings of this study were largely based on "self reports." Not sure if that's the case, but it is quite telling if it is.

mikeb said...

Wait, "scholarly evangelicals" say science is accurate when looking back billions of years to determine the age of the earth, but science is inaccurate in studies like this done in 2010?

Chuck said...

Trogdor beat me to it. Whenever I any read any form of the word psychology, I like to insert my own definition for clarity's sake: 'any pseudo-scientific study whose parameters I determine and whose results I will spin to fit what I wanted to say anyway- and which, in all likelihood, will probably contradict Scripture.'

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Gee, you should probably throw in "liberal politics" along with "acceptance of homosexuality" on the definition of well-adjusted. And probably environmentalism, for good measure. Bonus points for driving a Prius and being a vegan.

But I'm just guessing.

SolaMommy said...

There are also recent studies that show children who are spanked are more likely to grow up to be violent criminal-types.

BULL.

Fred Butler said...

Bias?
In scientific inquiry?
NO! Don't you realize that all scientific inquiry is neutral and allows facts to speak for themselves? Where are you getting this "interpreting the evidence" stuff from? What are you, postmodern or something?

James Kime said...

Wait, Calvin killed Servetus? How can anyone call themselves a calvinist?

College Jay said...

I have pretty much discovered that there is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to research about the subject of homosexuality. No conservative is going to admit that a homosexual person could be a stable, productive member of society. No liberal is going to admit that a homosexual person could be delinquent and psychologically unhealthy. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, I really don't trust any research about this issue, because pretty much every person is going to twist things to fit their biases and agenda, and both sides have an agenda.

I will say, however, that I don't think that following rules and not being aggressive makes one necessarily feminine. We don't encourage boys to engage in acts of violence against others, or to disobey rules put upon them by their elders, simply because they are boys, do we?

DJP said...

Oh, I'm conservative, and I'll say that homosexuals, child molesters, rapists - they can all hold jobs and do all sorts of things.

As I thought I said, it depends on what the study means. What are the rules? The things that make men men are things that the current elite want to suppress. Yes, it is bad for a man to be effeminate.

Halcyon said...

College Jay:

Remember what DJP said about word-play.

Boys are fighters: they are naturally aggressive, adventurous, and competitive. That is part of what makes them boys. Liberal progressives hate that, but they will never say that b/c everyone would turn against them.

So instead of flat out saying, "I hate boys for being boys," they couch it in classic newspeak by giving it words that shade the meaning in a fog of amiability: "We don't want children to be aggressive or rule-breakers." Now who could argue with that?

You are right that people come with biases, and so you must look for the meaning behind their "meaning". Liberal progressives on the whole hate boys for being boys, and so whenever they tout a study that lauds (or at least discusses) non-aggressive behavior, it's a safe bet that their not talking about making law-abiding citizens; they're most likely talking about emasculation.

Sir Aaron said...

I read this story a while back. These studies are all nonsense.

we found that the 17-year-olds

Ok, I haven't even gotten through the first sentence and I have fifty questions. How big was your sample size? What were your control factors? Were the 17 year olds raised by lesbian couples for the entire 17 years (from 1993?)

scored higher in psychological adjustment in areas of competency

Un-hunh. What are the "areas of competency?"

and lower in problem behaviors than the normative age-matched sample

What are problem behaviors? How did you research whether these kids did or did not engage in problem behaviors? What is normative? And again, how big was your population and sample size? What were your control factors?

of kids raised in traditional families with a mom and a dad.

This is an awfully big population. How did you obtain a big enough sample population?

People are gullible (which is why I get a lot of work in my business). If somebody gives me a financial statement, I don't take your word for it. I want to see an audit and where and how you arrived at the numbers. The same is true for a "study." Don't bother trying to convince me of the results until I see your backup documentation. Then when I've been assured that the math is correct, we can apply the points outlined by Dan to evaluate what the results mean.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I agree with the complete fisking done by DJP.

Having said that, what if an atheist objects to books or articles showing the strong evidence and arguments for the physical and historical resurrection of Jesus Christ as being agenda-driven because the book or article in question was written by a Bible-believing follower of Jesus Christ?

S/he might say, "Hey! If you want to discount this study because it was done by a lesbian (much like those studies done in the past by a gay LeVay showing that homosexuality is genetically based), then why don't I turn the tables back on you and disclaim Christian claims because they're written by a Christian? What's good for the goose, is good for the gander too!"

Sir Aaron said...

@Jay: "No conservative is going to admit that a homosexual person could be a stable, productive member of society."

First, you'd have to define "stable" and "productive." Biblically speaking, it'd be a tough sell right out of the gate.

However, you do make a fair point about biases in "studies." Personally, I think we as Christians ought not to engage in skewing data to arrive at results that support biblical principles. I don't care if it were true that homosexuality had all positive consequences (not including spiritual). It'd still be wrong.

Secondarily, I have big problems with people extrapolating meanings from Scripture that aren't there. I think AiG, whom I enjoy and support, does that to some extent. So do many Christians on the issues of morality (or immorality). There are some things the Bible doesn't tell us. Either we can figure it out given the brains God gave us for reasoning or He decided we didn't need to know it. We don't need to shoehorn Scripture to say what we think it should say.

Ok rant over.

Sir Aaron said...

@Solamommy:

I saw that study too, LOL. Its funny how easily kids discern between what is hitting and what is spanking. But I do wonder how they did their study. A lot of criminal types came from broken homes. Did mom spank the kids too much? (yeah, right).

Of course, I get into it with both sides. The anti-spanking people can't stand me and I have to say that I have some disagreements with some of my dear brothers and sisters on the issue of spanking. But then again, I believe the Bible says what it says and doesn't say any different no matter how you hold the flashlight.

Sir Aaron said...

TUAD:

I think DJP dealt with that objection in his post.

College Jay said...

Halcyon: Liberal progressives on the whole hate boys for being boys, and so whenever they tout a study that lauds (or at least discusses) non-aggressive behavior, it's a safe bet that their not talking about making law-abiding citizens; they're most likely talking about emasculation.

How do we actually engage in a conversation, then? If each side always sees hidden meanings behind the words of the other side (and liberals certainly do about things conservatives say, and sometimes they are right to do so), then no one can ever really talk to anyone, because their meanings are assumed before they've even said anything.

Sir Aaron: First, you'd have to define "stable" and "productive." Biblically speaking, it'd be a tough sell right out of the gate.

I'm not. Obviously, no non-Christian can be considered "stable" by Biblical standards. However, I think there's a pretty self-evident meaning to "stable" in secular terms. It excludes those who physically abuse and harm others, so that leaves the oft-compared pedophiles and rapists out of the discussion. Whether it includes active homosexuals (which differ from chaste Christian ones) has to be studied, but like I said... I really don't think any side can view this issue objectively. There are too many personal issues at stake.

DJP said...

Obviously, no non-Christian can be considered "stable" by Biblical standards. However, I think there's a pretty self-evident meaning to "stable" in secular terms. It excludes those who physically abuse and harm others, so that leaves the oft-compared pedophiles and rapists out of the discussion.

On what basis? Legality? Then legalize everything, so everyone can be "stable" and "normal."

Homosexuals don't physically harm their accomplices? Debatable. Who identified that as the standard to smear respectability on one perverse practice over another? Smells like a distinction without a difference, devised to preserve an illusion of dignity to a behavior that God dubs nauseating, repellant and unnatural.

So we're left with nothing but ad hoc devices and variances of perversion to part the homosexual pervert from the rapist pervert and the child molester pervert. Apart from their perversion — that little detail — they can all be model citizens in some regards. Obama should name a month in their "honor."

Oh wait, he already did. Or went one-third of the way.

Sir Aaron said...

@Jay:

Funny, I'd included way more than physical abuse in the definition of stability, which just underscores Dan's point.

Oddly enough, it isn't my Christianity that makes me skeptical or biases against the notion of homosexual "stability." I mean I'm not even sure there's an English word strong enough to descibe the instable behavior of most that I've known. Promiscuous being a shadow of the activity I saw.

I understand that biases affect the interpretation, but it should not affect the collection of data. It often does and I don't even debate on the interpretation until I'm assured of the data. Just like I don't debate whether your financial statements mean you can pay a mortgage. Show me the backup first to prove the financial statements, then I'll discuss with you what they mean.

Sir Aaron said...

DJP:

I work for the Fed Govt and got the e-mail promoting said month. I was a bit ill after reading it.

College Jay said...

Are you advocating that we sentence actively gay people to prison terms like we do with child rapists? No one's trying to claim that homosexuality is moral, any more than heterosexual fornication is. But if you're saying there is no secular distinction between child rape and consenting sex between adults, then we have a problem.

Is there a Biblical distinction? Of course not. You nailed it when you said God dubs sexual sin repellant, nauseating, and unnatural (but of course that includes things like adultery and heterosexual fornication, which for some reason haven't made their way into this discussion despite their prevalence). But I'm specifically talking about secular distinctions.

So we're left with nothing but ad hoc devices and variances of perversion to part the homosexual pervert from the rapist pervert and the child molester pervert.

Again, as far as I know you're not advocating that we treat gay people the same as child molesters under the law. And if you're not, you probably have a reason for that, and I doubt it's an ad hoc device.

Rupert said...

While I agree that studies of this nature should be perused with a raised eyebrow, I find it disconcerting that you pour scorn all over it and then wander into a diatribe with a faith based viewpoint.

What really sums it up is your final list of points which include the terms 'twisted by sin' and 'God's word alone provides the Creator's norm for human behavior'.

If a study demonstrated the opposite of this one, I'm sure you would be all over it with mountains of support and claims of its accuracy and 'evidence' for your position. Is this not the ultimate case of the pot calling the kettle black?

DJP said...

I find it disconcerting that you pour scorn all over it and then wander into a diatribe with a faith based viewpoint.

I don't think this is the first time I've had to say to you, "Hel-lo? 'Biblical Christianity'?"

Kind of a hint, there, Rupert.

The study is no less biased nor "faith-based." The difference is that the Christian tends to be up-front about it, the materialist pretends that it's all about the (brute?) evidence.

Rupert said...

Yes yes, DJP I know, Biblical Christianity.

As I said, I also raise an eyebrow at many of these studies. It doesn't mean that it is any less legitimate than the point of view in regards to how studies are conducted that you proposed though.

The names on studies make it very easy to ascertain potential biases that may be occurring. This is a good thing.

Although I must say that I have noticed that it can take a dig through two or three layers of 'titling' to identify some articles only to find organizations such as Answers in Genesis behind them.

Ah well, I guess we are as skeptical as each other, just from different viewpoints. Ain't diversity grand!

SolaMommy said...

Sir Aaron,

And according to a study I read today, the children of mothers who drank alcohol moderately during pregnancy had "less emotional and behavioral problems through childhood and adolescence." So I guess the liberal solution would be to drink during pregnancy and that would eliminate the need for spanking.

Not gonna try it ;-)

James Joyce said...

"The trouble with normal is it always gets worse." Bruce Cockburn

Rupert said...

SolaMommy - it would be interesting to know who funded that study. Probably a drink company! This happens a lot.

Susan said...

Sir Aaron said: I work for the Fed Govt and got the e-mail promoting said month. I was a bit ill after reading it.

Sir Aaron, one day last week I saw a link on our internal site at work that was titled "Pride Month". Because of the logo next to it (a rainbow-colored flag), I told myself not to click on it.

Coincidentally (ahem), that very afternoon I was taking public transportation home, and I connected to the ESV website on my mobile phone to do catch up on my Scripture-reading plan. Guess what I read?

Genesis 19.

Susan said...

Oh, and Dan, I love that quote about the statistician who drowned in "average depth 4 feet" of water. Didn't see that one coming at all. :)

Piedpyper said...

This concerns me a little, but it seems that you didn't read the actual study, you just read one review of the study. The full study is available online here:

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/peds.2009-3153v1?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=lesbian&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

I only read the abstract and scanned the study, but from what I can tell they did a fairly good job of defining the terms of the study.

My girlfriend brought up a good point about this study that it doesn't go into great detail on. Lesbian couples' children are, with extremely rare exception, planned. The study does not specify if the control group was planned or not from what I was able to tell. Other studies relating children that were planned for develop "better" than children that were not. The families have the resources to care for the child, etc.

I guess what I don't understand is, what is the fuss? A child raised in a non-believing household whether the parents are hetero or homosexual is going to learn the same set of values - those of the secular world. I don't think the problem is that they are lesbians, it is that they aren't saved.

Forgive me for being blunt, I am a relatively new Christian and still far too ignorant in many ways. But some of the comments here are disturbing, the only thing that separates us from murders, rapists and thieves is the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without that, we are just as vulnerable to the kind of temptations that lead us down those paths.

William Dicks said...

Dan, all I can say is that this is a well thought out commentary on the so-called research offered by this lesbian researcher.

Great post!

John said...

@Piedpyper:
Well said about God's grace, but I think Dan's point is that some secularists think that "Science" can come up with unbiased, objective material that is capable of making value judgments.

The point is not how evil lesbianism is (and it is a sin of rebellion against a holy God), nor how much "better" we Christians might be (and we are only saved by grace). The point is that these studies are not what they claim to be.

Halcyon said...

College Jay:

How do we actually engage in a conversation, then?

Ideologues pushing an agenda are not interested in a conversation; they are interested in winning. There is no real "conversation" to be had with them.

There is only three things that the rest of us can do:

(1) Continue to expose their real meanings so people know what's really going on.

(2) Continue to be honest in our own conversations.

(3) Continue to speak the truth, no matter whose "agenda" it may or may not line up with.

DJP said...

Piedpyper - thanks for the link.

The only thing I'd add to the others' responsea is that the homosexual agenda is to ram their particular perversion down our societal throat. They are not after toleration, they are after approval, legitimization, favorable status. They don't want decent treatment, they want decent treatment for their perversion.

When the studies come out "proving" that a little pederasty can be good for a child, and that rape victims actually enjoy and profit from the experience, odds are you'll see me taking them apart as well.

Hope that helps.

Joe said...

I'm curious. Has anyone read the actual paper published in Pediatrics? I'm talking about the actual research paper, not a summary provided by a media outlet.

College Jay said...

Ideologues pushing an agenda are not interested in a conversation; they are interested in winning. There is no real "conversation" to be had with them.

And who do we write off as an ideologue? Anyone who disagrees? And how do we keep them from treating us the same way? (Because technically we are also ideologues pushing an agenda, except our agenda is spreading the Gospel).

DJP said...

Jay, a woman who not only embraces and pursues ruinous, perverse cravings, but devotes so much of her energy to advocacy and rationalization — probably qualifies as an ideologue.

Joe, here's one who did.

Joe said...

Ok, so someone at another site read the study. But did those commenting here read the original research paper before weighing in at this site?

DJP said...

Did you read the post? What is it represented as commenting on? Direct quotations would be great.

Joe said...

Don't get me wrong. I find a lot of sociological research to be a bit squishy. However, I do thing that it's helpful to read the paper itself before commenting on a given piece of research.

DJP said...

Right. Nobody should say he's commenting on something he hasn't read.

So, did you read it? Did you want to comment on it?

Rupert said...

I'm well aware of the reasons that most people here deplore homosexuality. Are they aware that it also occurs in the animal kingdom, from dogs to dolphins? What does this tell us? There is also the factor that a number of purely heterosexual couples practice the same acts that homosexuals do.
Could it be that homosexuals, who love someone of the same gender, have the same feelings of love and desire as heterosexuals; its just that there are only certain ways they can physically 'express' that love? It may not be all about the 'deed', it may be more about the 'expression'.

Patrick said...

Great post on how to discern "research" studies. Dan, I think this should be up on Team Pyro. Very practical example of discernment. Thank you for writing this.

DJP said...

RupertI'm well aware of the reasons that most people here deplore homosexuality

Then please tell us: how would we respond to the remainder of your comment?

Others, please wait for Rupert's response to this.

Sir Aaron said...

@Joe:

However, I do thing that it's helpful to read the paper itself before commenting on a given piece of research.

Would you read the research paper of somebody who announced that they found a way to make two plus two equal twenty-five? How about if said person had dedicated his career to the obfuscation of mathematics?

No need to answer, my questions are rhetorical.

DJP said...

"Rhetorical," yes. Joe's participation in the conversation is on hold until he offers convincing responses to my questions of June 16, 2010 2:02:00 PM PDT and 2:03:00 PM PDT.

DJP said...

Rupert...

...having said he was "well aware of the reasons that most people here deplore homosexuality"...

...yet having gone on to talk about animals behavior and such...

...and having accordingly been asked, "how would we [Biblical Christians] respond to the remainder of your comment?"

...offered a comment beginning with this: "Of course your response is to abhor homosexuality, I'm aware of that."

Then he launched off into more incorrect and irrelevant directions.

Rejected. One red herring at a time, maximum.

Try again, Rupert. You want to tell us you are "well aware" of what we think. And, with that awareness, you think talking about animals is germane.

So, please, tell me what we think, how we would respond, since you are "well aware" of our "reasons."

DJP said...

Joe is unwilling to read and interact with the post, and has dropped out.

Halcyon said...

College Jay:

Allow me to clarify.

I do not consider a true Christian to be an "ideologue" because an "ideologue" is someone who holds to a singular doctrine or idea that does not cover all of the bases of reality.

The Gospel is not an ideology; it is the Truth. It covers and answers everything; its elements (God, Christ, the Fall, Sin, Redemption, Damnation, etc.) provide a framework and context for everything and an answer for every argument. The Gospel is, so to speak, narrow; but as Chesterton once put it, "It is as narrow as the whole universe," i.e., it answers everything while still being the one and only objective Truth.

On the other hand, an "ideology" takes only one thing (whether it be a truth or a lie) and tries to make it everything to the exclusion of the rest of the Truth. This is how most heresies start as well as most ideologies.

That is why conversation is impossible (or at least extremely difficult) with ideologues: ideology is a reductionism; it is narrow to a dangerous fault. Ideologues cannot see beyond the nose of their divorced dogma. They cannot even begin to consider the whole; they are too enamored with their pet particular.

E.g., Marxism is an ideology because it reduces everything to economics; Christianity is the Truth because it reduces everything to God, who is the only adequate base for everything.

Rupert said...

DJP, from your Hither and Thither post, I understand why you poked me with a stick.

I was not however, saying that you can't be against homosexuality because animals do it. I just felt the whole topic is a little blurred by the factors I mentioned and wondered your position.

I assure you in all honesty that there was no 'baiting' going on.

The text I quoted was something I came across after I had already posted comments on your article. When I found it I considered it germane to the subject, thus I mentioned it.

Having found there are possible disparities of scripture I feel opens a new discourse. But perhaps now is not the time.

DJP said...

But it was a friendly stick.

Here's the thing: I take it that you see yourself as knowing all about how Biblically-faithful Christians think. Yet every time you come near some related subject, I don't get that impression about you at all. That you see yourself that way, yes; that you know what you think you know, no.

You were the one who brought up animal behavior. You clearly thought it was related in some way. To whatever degree you thought that, to that degree you — and I say this almost geometrically, not snarkily — really don't know the first thing about the Biblical worldview.

Rupert said...

Thank you for the stick being friendly. And again, I would like to assure you that whilst I disagree with your position on many things, I have no intention of getting shouty, insulting or arguing from ignorance (lack of knowledge maybe, but not ignorance - or does that mean it would be arrogance?).

Only to the degree that both humans and animals demonstrate similar behaviors in regard to this. Given your position on homosexuality I wondered if this fact had any bearing on your thoughts about any mitigating factors which may exist. Sorry, I'm still not wording this very well.

In regard to your point on biblical knowledge, I of course accede to your superior knowledge. You cite scripture as evidence and foundation for the majority of your positions, opinions, behaviors and basically, how you lead your life. You also have many people who agree with you. Some fawningly so I find to be honest.

Given that it would appear that numerous translations and cultural mores have had an impact on some of the terms, meanings, intents and messages in the bible (such as the text I quoted), do you think it could raise questions over some of your positions and opinions?

This isn't meant to be a challenge DJP, more a philosophical question.

Sir Aaron said...

Having found there are possible disparities of scripture I feel opens a new discourse. But perhaps now is not the time.

Unhunh. There we have the real reason for the comments.

DJP said...

Oh now, Rupert, when you say "superior knowledge," I feel like I must have expressed myself horribly. I'd say "other knowledge," and certainly not of my devising.

Here's the point of that. Are you here hoping eventually to lecture us on Christianity and its falsehood? I don't think so; but if so, wrong venue. Here to chat? Okey doke. Any possibility of learning something? Then maybe I'd suggest an approach other than "Of course, I know all about Biblical Christianity... so what about those randy baboons?"

I just had a very brief correspondence with a gent who was all full of handy-dandy sure-fire explode-on-contact refutations of Calvinism, informing me that one of my writings was contradictory with believing in the sovereign God of the Bible.

As I said, it was a brief correspondence. He had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, and (worse) absolutely no idea that he had absolutely no idea. I've found that, if a tea cup is already full (never mind of what), there's no point in my trying to pour anything into it.

So, let's try this. Would you like to know how your allusion to animal behaviors betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the Biblical worldview?

Rupert said...

That is not the case Sir Aaron. I had started on one particular point, then came across the other information. I added it because I felt it added particular relevance.

Rupert said...

As you yourself have said DJP 'Biblical Christianity', duh! Of course I'm not here to lecture you on the falsehoods of Christianity. Nor would I walk into a room full of ninjas and shout 'what a bunch of nancy boys!'.

I wasn't equating anything biblical with randy baboons. I was after your personal interpretation of the situation. Never mind.

Yes, I would appreciate being shown my mistakes in regard to the Biblical worldview.

But would the Biblical worldview not be impacted by possible misinterpretations and translations of the Bible?

Struth, it's like dancing on eggshells to get anything posted, even in an edited form, with you DJP! And I'm the one standing naked in a cage full of tigers!

DJP said...

Friendly tigers at worst; perhaps a bit stuffed.

Alluding to animals betrays a worldview that assumes or rests on a notion of the continuity of being. It is the view, in other words, that all of reality is a continuum, from the simple to the complex. In this view, man is on the same scale as the animals, simply perhaps at a somewhat higher or more complex point of development.

The Bible does not assume such a continuity. Quite the opposite. From the first words to the last, the Bible assumes and insists on a Creator/creature distinction. God is not a high point in the continuum, nor even the highest; He is other, distinct, removed.

Similarly within creation, man is not wholly on a continuum, either. Like all of creation, he is a creature; unlike the rest of creation, he was made in God's image and according to His likeness (Genesis 1:26-28). The reductionistic obsession to count out distinctions in terms of DNA or chemistry, in an attempt to blur or flatten created distinctives, misses the mark.

The imperatives that drive and define him are not horizontally derived, but vertically. He is not to look to (say) black widow spiders for marital ethics, but to God's Word.

Rupert said...

Fully understood DJP, very clear. Thank you.

Sir Aaron said...

I always love the "but some animals do it" excuse. I just mention that some animals kill and eat their own young too.

Rupert said...

A couple of points Sir Aaron.

Firstly, I did not say that because animals did it it is OK for humans to do so. My comparison was in regard to how animals fitted into the equation. DJP has given me the Biblical worldview on this.

Secondly, why do some animals eat their young? It is normally found to be due to a lack of resources, disease or the likelihood the offspring is deficient such that it's survival is unlikely anyway. For humans, we could look at the Spartans.

Finally, as DJP has elucidated, the vertically derived imperatives negates the comparison.

Sir Aaron said...

@Rupert

I wasn't really making a responsive comment, but rather a flippant off-hand remark about the topic generally. And although I am most able to progress further down this train of thought, as you said, it is quite unnecessary considering DJP's explanation. Incidentally, most of us who read here probably would have offered a similar response as DJP, albeit, probably without nearly the same panache.

Since you and I are both seemingly satisfied with that, let us agree not to discuss it further here.

College Jay said...

Halcyon, thanks for the clarification.