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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dr. Danny Faulkner, Astronomist– AnswersInGenesis

      This continues from Part 1, a series on Copernicanism and Geocentricity (see Intro and Table of Contents in Part 1) in response to a letter from a young person ("Josh") who asked if I believed Geocentricity ... and did not ridicule me in his question. [Note: negative comments will not be published or read]
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     So after consoling my faith, I set out to investigate this matter… on the Internet and elsewhere.  One of the first scientists I read from was Dr. Danny Faulkner speaking for AnswersInGenesis.org.  I have found much help for my faith in past times regarding the issue of Biblical creationism from Ken Ham’s organization.  And Dr. Faulkner has a Ph.D degree in Astronomy and other graduate degrees.  
     Oh, but Dr. Faulkner’s article threw stones at my faith as he rebuts a geocentrist, Dr. Gerardus Bouw, and his book Geocentricity.  As stated, Faulkner has a Ph.D in Astronomy and speaks about technical issues for which I have little ability to judge, especially in Astronomy.  He states about geocentrists:

“These people believe that the Bible clearly states that the Earth does not move, and hence the only acceptable Biblical cosmology is a geocentric one. Modern geocentrists use both Biblical and scientific arguments for their case. We examine these arguments, and find them poorly founded. The Scriptural passages quoted do not address cosmology. Some geocentrists draw distinctions that do not exist in the original autographs or even in translations. In short, the Bible is neither geocentric nor heliocentric. While geocentrists present some interesting scientific results, their scientific arguments are often based upon improper understanding of theories and data. Much of their case is based upon a misunderstanding of general relativity and the rejection of that theory. While geocentrists are well intended, their presence among recent creationists produces an easy object of ridicule by our critics. ...
However, the Church did support the wrong side of a scientific issue four centuries ago. That issue was the question of whether the Sun went around the Earth (geocentrism) or if the Earth went around the Sun. …
Alas, there are recent creationists in the world today who are geocentrists.”

Geocentricity per AnswersInGenesis
Oh well, my geocentric beliefs have just been trashed by a Ph.D in Astronomy speaking for AnswersInGenesis — not a fun thing to read from a spokesman for Ken Ham’s organization.   And without mentioning Luther and Lutheranism, he also seems to trash Lutheran Orthodoxy, at least it appears so when he mentions “four centuries ago”.
     A strange statement was made by Faulkner near the end:
"I have examined the claims of leading modern geocentrists and have found that their insistence that the Bible teaches geocentrism is not well founded. It would be helpful if someone with formal theological training could further explore and refute this claim."
Dr. Faulkner admits it might take “formal theological training” to refute geocentricity.  Isn’t he sure about the typical arguments for “figurative” or “optical” or "phenomenological" language?   How does a need for “formal theological training” promote the teaching of the clarity and perspicuity of Holy Scripture for the “sheep”? (John 10:27)
     And who was this “Dr. Gerardus Bouw” and what about his book Geocentricity? In places, Faulkner actually compliments him on his knowledge. (I will return to Dr. Bouw later.)
     My faith took a severe beating from Dr. Faulkner.  After all, I believe that the Reformation actually advanced science since that century, so how could I stand up to a Ph.D. in Astronomy (from Indiana University!)?... one who speaks for AnswersInGenesis?...  But that believing boy of my youth kept yelling at me: but I BELIEVED THAT THE SUN STOOD STILL!  Would you go back on that faith from God’s Word that directly states this? (Joshua 10:13 – Faulkner does not mention this Bible verse)...  No (I thought), I don’t want to… but, but…
     But what exactly did Franz Pieper teach in his Dogmatik?  Did he actually weaken Walther’s teaching?  In the next blog post, I present his paragraph and footnote against Copernicanism… and learn again from the greatest Lutheran teacher of the Twentieth Century. -- In the next Part 3, I will publish my translation of Franz Pieper's textbook answer on the question of Copernicanism..

[For those wishing to jump forward in my series, they may read Dr. Gerardus Bouw’s “unprintable” response to Dr. Faulkner here.]

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