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Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Question about R.A.Torrey statement

Hi everyone,

I'm translating an article by R.A.Torrey, Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God.

I got a bit confused with one comparison that he gives and probably cannot understand the right meaning of the first part of the comparison, although I can get the point. I will give the context and the confusing part I will make it in bold:

[i]We see the profoundest Christian doctrines of the New Testament clearly foreshadowed in these institutions of the Old Testament. The only way in which you can appreciate this is to get into the Book itself and study all about the sacrifices and feasts, etc., till you see the truths of the New Testament shining out in the Old. [b]If, in studying some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now, but by [u]the process of development[/u] to become of use in that animal's descendant,[/b] I say, back of this rudimentary organ is God, who, in the earlier animal, is preparing for the life and necessities of the animal that is to come. So, going back to these preparations in the Bible for the truth that is to be clearly taught at a later day, there is only one scientific way to account for them, namely, He who knows and prepares for the end from the beginning is the author of that Book. [/i]

What he means by "the process of development"?
Thanks for any input in this.

Kire

 2007/3/18 16:24Profile
John173
Member



Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 289
Omaha

 Re: Question about R.A.Torrey statement

[b]If, in studying some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now, but by the process of development to become of use in that animal's descendant,[/b]

Quite a tricky one! I will hazard a guess.

In the evolution thread the flying squirrel was mentoned. I may be mistaken, but I believe the flaps of skin that are used as their 'wings' existed prior to their ability to 'fly'. Perhaps Torrey meant any physical feature with his use of the word organ. By useless now, maybe he was refering to the time period when that feature was unused. Over time, the ecological features in many areas change. It is certainly conceivable that God created some animals with features that had no use to them in the conditions they once lived but became necessary later as the local environment changed.

That's the best guess I can make. Hopefully there are some biologists or others with natural sciences backgrounds who can further this thought. Either that or they will say I'm clueless, which in this regard is quite possible! :-)

In Him,

Doug

small edit.


_________________
Doug Fussell

 2007/3/18 17:21Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7426
Mississippi

 Re: Question about R.A.Torrey statement

I, too, remain quite clueless as to what Torrey meant but I do know a little about the ignorance people had back then about the body. It used to be said they did not know what the purpose was for the appendix...that it was useless as far as they could determine. So when surgeons were working in the area where it was located, they would just remove it. Is Torrey suggesting that perhaps in the future a purpose would be found for a now useless organ?

This is what came to my mind. Perhaps there is an expert out there who knows Torrey real well?

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2007/3/18 23:06Profile









 Re: Question about R.A.Torrey statement

:-)

Quote:

Tears_of_joy wrote:
Hi everyone,

I'm translating an article by R.A.Torrey, Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible is the Word of God.

I got a bit confused with one comparison that he gives and probably cannot understand the right meaning of the first part of the comparison, although I can get the point. I will give the context and the confusing part I will make it in bold:

[i]We see the profoundest Christian doctrines of the New Testament clearly foreshadowed in these institutions of the Old Testament. The only way in which you can appreciate this is to get into the Book itself and study all about the sacrifices and feasts, etc., till you see the truths of the New Testament shining out in the Old. [b]If, in studying some elementary form of life, I find a rudimentary organ, useless now, but by [u]the process of development[/u] to become of use in that animal's descendant,[/b] I say, back of this rudimentary organ is God, who, in the earlier animal, is preparing for the life and necessities of the animal that is to come. So, going back to these preparations in the Bible for the truth that is to be clearly taught at a later day, there is only one scientific way to account for them, namely, He who knows and prepares for the end from the beginning is the author of that Book. [/i]

What he means by "the process of development"?
Thanks for any input in this.

Kire


Hi

I don't know much about Torrey except that he was a Christian preacher and writer, but I think he was simply a product of his time (late 19th and early 20th centuries).

Most non-scientists tend to assume that all scientists knew what they're talking about re science. That was even more true in Torrey's day than it is now. It was almost unthinkable to challenge "expert" opinion, especially if you knew nothing about the subject yourself.

Evolutionary scientists assume that all life is in the process of evolving, so an organ that doesn't seem to have a function is thought to be either [b][i]"rudimentary" (in the process of evolving into something useful, but not yet arrived!)[/i][/b] or "vestigeal", (having some use in the past but now a useless remnant).

I suppose the flying squirrel illustration could be an example, but not a good one (I gave it originally, as a possible way that existing body parts might change shape or size, without any new genes being needed)

Torry's illustration is mistaken in thinking that there are rudimentary parts that might eventually "evolve" into something new, (hence the confusion)

Like many sincere Christians these days he must have thought the unbelieving scientists were talking facts, rather than mere evolutionary speculation.

Hope that helps, although I don't know how you would translate the illustration. The point Torrey's trying to make is OK but the illustration is, as you said, confusing!

Jeannette

 2007/3/19 18:11
Tears_of_joy
Member



Joined: 2003/10/30
Posts: 1554


 Re:

Jeannette, thank you very much for your opinion!

My first impression after reading that statement from Torrey was that this is classical example about evolution, from what I have been thought in school. But I was not sure, so I decided to ask.

Quote:
Most non-scientists tend to assume that all scientists knew what they're talking about re science. That was even more true in Torrey's day than it is now. It was almost unthinkable to challenge "expert" opinion, especially if you knew nothing about the subject yourself..
.

Like many sincere Christians these days he must have thought the unbelieving scientists were talking facts, rather than mere evolutionary speculation.







While I was reading [url=http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/304.asp]21 Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible[/url] it was very interesting form me to find out that some of these scientists were contemporaries to Darwin and in that time they opposed the theory of evolution. That gives me to think that not everyone has accepted this, there were also contemporary scientists who opposed it. Do you know more about that? If that's true, I don't find the reason why Torrey has accept it, but in the end of all it is just one statement, from which we cannot make conclusions. Make someone who has read by Torrey and know more about him, will tell us more. All I know about him is that He was [b]mightily used[/b] by God to bring many souls to Christ, and that's the most important thing for me. That's why I took this article for translation, I need it for a sharing on a website, that I am working on right now.

Quote:
Hope that helps, although I don't know how you would translate the illustration.



Yes, I don't know either.

But thank you for explanation!

Kire

 2007/3/19 18:41Profile
Jeduthun
Member



Joined: 2004/1/24
Posts: 5
Chicago

 Re: Question about R.A.Torrey statement

Quote:
"The process of development"


I think Dr. Torrey was getting at something like this: For one organism to change (evolve) into a more complex organism, you would have to see a net increase of genetic information. For instance, if a fish was evolving into a creature with legs, it would need somehow to come up with the genetic information for legs. At some point, there would be a time when it had legs that were not fully functional, or appendages that were halfway between fins and legs-- body parts that were eventually going to become working legs.

If you saw those seemingly useless appendages before they were done evolving, you might conclude that an "Intelligent Designer" would not have made them, and thus argue against Creation. But if you saw the whole picture, you would say, "The existence of these body parts show that Someone is planning for this fish to be able to walk. The new information for legs will fit with the existing information ('useless' parts) but cause it to adapt in ways you wouldn't have expected before. That proves there is some kind of intelligence behind it!"

That's the analogy Torrey is going for, anyway, though I'm not sure it would satisfy a modern biologist. (Any biologists out there who can clarify the scientific aspects for us?)

"The process of development" would be the phrase describing the sequence of events by which one organism would (hypothetically) change into another. Perhaps Torrey chose this phrase because he wanted to avoid a more emotionally charged word like "Evolution."

Clear?

Two footnotes:

1) As I understand it, this actually can make a good argument against Evolutionary theory, since this hypothetical addition of information is something we don't see in nature. All the documented examples of change involve loss (selection) of genetic information.

2) R. A. Torrey at first believed in Theistic Evolution (the idea that God used Evolution to create the world) but later came to reject it, in fact quite strongly. I suspect this sermon might come from his pro-evolutionary period, but I'm not positive.

--Eric Pazdziora
http://www.freewebs.com/ratorrey


_________________
Eric M. Pazdziora

 2007/3/19 20:49Profile





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