Apr 252017
 

The problems with loving our enemies…

The weed nuns on a mission to heal…

Five mistakes small churches make…

Five mistakes big churches make…

The power of story…

How not to pray for yourself…

The Benedict Option is politics…

Is a secular America a worse America?

Joe Carters broken wolves…

Desperate for the Spirit…

Military expands list of recognized religions…

America’s empty church problem…

When belief dies…

What Jesus actually means when He says to remove the log in your eye…

Being helpless…

Are you missing what God is doing by holding out for something better?

If creation is through Christ,evolution is what you’d expect…

Bare,naked, faith…

Why the Lord’s Prayer is so offensive…

What about the Bonhoeffer Option?

How does Jesus speak to our modern context?

The politics of apocalypse…

Another Christian baker case…

Sayings of the Dessert Fathers…no I didn’t misspell it…

Wenatchee on the Driscoll lies…

Luther and the creative power of the Word…

Luther, beer, and 1522…

Huge thanks, as always to EricL for the help…support his business at top right…

 

  98 Responses to “Linkathon!”

  1. I am very interested in reading/ watching what NT Wright has to say about evolution.

    I have gotten involved in the world of Natural Science (nature study) and am working towards getting my California Naturalist certification. I’m taking a lot of courses and they all assume a very old earth. It’s becoming impossible, for me at least, to hang on to my life-long “six literal days/ 6000 years ago” view. I don’t ever intend to mock that view but I have had to let it go to make sense of the natural world as it really seems to exist.

    I now believe in some kind of old earth creationism. I haven’t held this position long enough to have the details worked out. I do know that Adam and Eve had to have been specially created by God or else Jesus’ claim to be the new Adam makes no sense.

    I think we do a serious disservice to young church kids when we tell them they have to believe in YEC* pretty much to be saved. If you don’t believe in YEC, you don’t believe the Bible and if you don’t believe the Bible, you probably aren’t a real Christian, yada yada yada. I remember at the CC high school where I used to teach the principal thought he was “college proofing” the students by providing them with clever YEC argument to zap their profs with. What happens instead is that the prof decimates their Ken Ham arguments in a few swift blows and the kid is left with nothing. He was taught genuine biblical Christianity’s foundational belief was the YEC theory and if that’s shot, what else turns out to be false, they wonder. How many kids have lost their faith over this. I know quite a few.

    Anyway, thanks for that link and I will give it a look see later on today.


    *YEC = Young Earth Creationism

  2. Xenia,

    Does the EO church hold any position on creation that would relate to the creation debate regarding young earth / old earth / evolution / etc.?

  3. #1,

    I too am an OEC and have been for about 25 years. There are a lot of good references from Christian sources that give good scientific backing to the position.

    I went to a Christian high school, but I remember in biology, we were taught the theory of evolution because the teachers knew we would have to know it for science classes in college. He didn’t necessarily say that he believed in evolution, but wanted us educated in the prevailing theory.

  4. Hi Kevin,

    It’s not really discussed very much but I would suspect that the majority of Orthodox hold to some kind of OEC. Or theistic evolution.

  5. Xenia,

    What is a naturalist certification and what do they do or believe? From the sound of the title, I would not only expect evolution to be espoused but also atheism. Right or wrong this is my perceived essence of naturalism. Maybe you could help me with that. Now I agree that equating a YEC view to ones salvation is completely out of line, I personally don’t see how I could hold to an OEC view and believe the bible at the same time. That’s just me and I am scientifically inclined.

  6. Thanks, Xenia. I figured it probably wasn’t a hot topic in the Orthodox church, but was still curious. Since the Orthodox have a strong basing in church tradition, I assumed the creation debate was not a big topic since there was not much of a creation debate until the past couple hundred years. At the same time even if it was not a point of emphasis and the issue would have been viewed quite differently than how we do today, I had thought that the church traditionally has mostly thought of creation being a literal 6 days. And so that made me curious as to how the Orthodox would view the topic today.

  7. Hi Steve, you are thinking of naturalism, which is a philosophy that refutes the supernatural and says that everything has a natural cause that can be explained by science. “Natural History” is the study of nature, as in wildflowers, oak trees, downy woodpeckers, and miner’s lettuce.

    A “Naturalist,” in this context, means someone who goes on hikes and stops to look at the wood rat’s house, the redwood trees, and tries to distinguish between the various subspecies of poppies.

    “Naturalism” has a different meaning, as I noted. It is a philosophy that says everything that happens has a natural or scientific explanation and cannot be spiritual or supernatural. I certainly don’t believe this! I am interested in Natural History, which I regard as the study of God’s creation.

    The certificate will qualify me to take people on local nature walks where I talk to them about plants and birds, etc.

    So nothing to worry about. πŸ™‚

  8. Xenia,

    The Biologos site has a lot of good info on it.
    I’m not smart enough to parse most of it and don’t much care about the issue.

    I do think it’s very cool that you’re getting certified!

  9. Xenia, That sounds like a great opportunity then. I love nature. I’m just not sure what evolution has to do with any of that. It just seems very presumptuous to talk about millions and billions of years with any certainty. When ever I go on one of these nature tours and the guide starts talking about millions of years I just automatically translate it in my head, that this was how God designed and created it. It just gets annoying after awhile to hear of the millions of years of evolutionary history that may or may not be true. But I understand that sometimes its easier to just go with the flow because debating it is silly. Folks on neither side of the debate want to hear the other side.

  10. Steve, I make a similar mental translation.

    “This mouse evolved to have external cheek pouches, blah blah blah” translates in my mind to “God in His love for His creation gave this delightful little mouse external cheek pouches so she can carry seeds back to her family.”

  11. And they do spend entirely too much time talking about evolution when I wish more time was spent learning how to distinguish bird song. But when I give my talks, there will be no discussions about evolution, period.

  12. Michael, I wouldn’t care too much about it either except:

    1. My experience at the CC high school where I saw kids set up for failure.

    2. My current course, which has caused me to do some serious thinking on the topic.

  13. Xenia, I really admire you. What an awesome opportunity to share with your group God’s beautiful creation.

  14. Xenia,

    I hear both of those concerns…I don’t think YEC is possible but I have no desire to debate it with anyone.

    God did it…if He used evolution in some form to do it, it’s good with me.

    At the end of the day, God still did it.

  15. Tremper Longman’s How to read Genesis has been very helpful to me in my understanding of pre-Abraham history.

    The gist: Moses (or whoever the author was) was not writing a response to Darwinian evolution. He was writing a response to the other creation narratives of his day. When we seek to answer modern scientific questions with Genesis 1, we are asking questions the text was not intending to answer.

    Genesis 1 is accurate and true, but it is very limited in what it is trying to say. You could pretty much some it up by saying, “Everything got here because God made it”. It tells us who made it, and a little bit of why he made it, but not much at all of how or when he made it.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if scientists discovered the earth to be older than they can even measure. After all, God is eternal. A billion years is but a blip.

  16. I give extemporaneous lectures at Crater Lake…which makes friends and family want to jump in the lake… πŸ™‚

  17. Josh just referenced Tremper Longman.
    I am grinning from ear to ear… πŸ™‚

    Good call, Josh!

  18. Thanks, Steve. I don’t know how admirable it is…. I am mostly doing it because I enjoy it so much.

  19. Josh, I will look for that book. I have heard that explanation as well and it makes sense.

  20. “It tells us who made it, and a little bit of why he made it, but not much at all of how or when he made it.”
    _____________________________________________________________________

    I look at the genealogy in Luke of our Lord Jesus and I see it going all the way back to Adam. In addition the very first chapter in Genesis outlines what God did in 6 days. That is enough for me to answer the how and when.

  21. I’m fine with that. And the earth may be 6,000 years old. No clue.

    I will say, God created Adam on day 6, and this was the crowning achievement of His creation before he rested. That leaves 5 days of creation before that, and eternity before day 1 was counted.

    Now, it doesn’t take a lot of searching around the scriptures to find that “day” can be used in many different ways. Also, we measured a day in regards to our relation to the sun, which wasn’t created until day 4. Were the days 1-3 also 24 hours, even though there was no sun to measure it by?

    Again though, I have no problem with YEC, It’s just that I see other Biblical alternatives as well.

  22. Great discussion, thank you.

    My quandary is not science but theology.

    If there were potential, evolving humans before Adam and Eve (and I am not saying there wasn’t), then death would have existed before their sin. I wonder how that works. For the Old and New Testament make it clear that death is the result of sin.

    Maybe a solution is that there were other humans when Cain murdered his brother. He wandered and founded a city. I wonder if that is another piece to the puzzle.

  23. Steve,

    Are you aware of the type of literature that Genesis 1-11 is written in?

    It’s what Dr. Packer calls “prose poetry”…it’s not a literal description of the event.

  24. My quandary in #22 has bothered me for a long time now.

  25. Michael,

    I am aware what some folks think about Genesis chapter 1. It may or may not be literal in my opinion. I’m not sure but I do see the genealogy in Luke most compelling that there most likely is not millions of years of evolution between Adam and Jesus. Adam was a real man and there is a real genealogy. YEC is not my biggest concern but rather human evolution where folks ultimately go to that is more serious in my opinion.

  26. I think if one insists on a literal interpretation of the whole Bible…there are interpretative problems galore.

    If one is looking for the narratives being displayed it becomes much easier to parse…

  27. Costco,

    The death before sin issue has always been for me the hardest theological issue to grasp when evaluating an old earth creation or theistic evolution.

  28. Steve, I agree that Adam was the first man, and is a literal historic figure. I don’t believe in any type of evolution, to be honest. I only think that the earth may be really old, and that doesn’t bother me one bit.

  29. I am pretty much a soft 6 day creationist … because that is what the Bible says. Once I allow my human reason to go against the actual words of scripture I run into problems.

    My human reason does not allow for a virgin conception – I would have to scientifically explain it that Mary got pregnant from a toilet seat. (any of you in high school in the 60s remember that one?) My human reason does not allow that Jesus forgives sin with a splash of water, a piece of bread and a gulp of wine. Heck, my human reason doesn’t even allow for a bodily resurrection and I don’t want to be talked out of that one by my reason or someone else.

    Is knowing how God did it all in 6 days even though our eyes may see a different story that important?

  30. Kevin, it has literally kept me up nights.

    I hope/pray someone here can solve it for me!

  31. I should say, as far as my belief goes, I am pretty much literal / conservative interpretation of Genesis. I’m just not concerned with how long the days were. I’m not a scientist, so Genesis answers all the questions that I have adequately. If I were a scientist, I’d want to know about atoms and molecules, and all that kind of stuff, so I’d look elsewhere.

  32. I find it funny sometimes that many I know have change their view on creation pretty much because they were tired of looking silly in front of more secular thinkers.

    But then were turn around and tell these same secular thinkers how we believe some guy hanging on a cross 9,000 miles away 2,000 years ago is the answer to eternal life. πŸ™‚

  33. “I look at the genealogy in Luke of our Lord Jesus and I see it going all the way back to Adam.”

    There are gaps and inconsistencies in the genealogy. For me, it is the story that is being told and the story – creation, fall, redemption – IS consistent. Not only that, the story is beautiful. It remains a divine narrative of God’s love for his creation, of his interaction with man. I find it compelling because of what it communicates.

    OK… set up the stake and get the fire going…

  34. I’m with Duane…creation,fall, redemption, re-creation… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. πŸ™‚

  35. We know that the creation was established with age built in. When Adam was 1 minute old – he had the characteristics of a 30 yr old (fill in your own figure)

    When God created the first tree it may not have had rings around it but it probably had bark and was already sprouting fruit. You get the picture.

  36. #35 Michael

    There’s always room for two on the pyre…

  37. I have creation,fall, redemption, re-creation in my creation scenario … and I didn’t have to change anything to accommodate society.

  38. Duane,

    I think N.T Wright deserves to at least get singed for not attributing the place where he got some of his ideas…read more Ramsey last night and actually laughed out loud at the theft that has transpired…

  39. MLD,

    I think the narrative God wants to communicate in Scripture is creation,fall, redemption, and re-creation…and we let these arcane disputes about the age of the earth and genealogies dominate the conversation to the point where we can’t see the forest for the trees…

  40. “and we let these arcane disputes ” …
    6 day creationist don’t – someone says what does the bible say about creation and we say “6 days” – 6 evenings and mornings – and then on the 7th day, God rested.

    Those who want to somehow force in an old earth are usually just trying to accommodate someone – and at that point the arcane disputes begin.
    As I alluded earlier – for some reason on the other end, discussing the resurrection of Jesus we do not allow for any secular or scientific explanations – no matter how good they sound. We stick exclusively to “God raised Jesus from the dead.” (scripture and not some poetic language to get ‘re-creation’ to fit in the narrative. We shouldn’t allow it at the beginning.

  41. One way to explain Death Before Adam is to note that God said to Adam that if he ate of the fruit, in that day he would die. But he didn’t die that same day, he lived on for hundreds of years. So “day” is an interesting word, somewhat slippery in meaning.

    I believe Adam and Eve and the humanity they founded (Homo sapiens) were a special creation. There could have been millions of years of fish, lizards and giant camels before the “day” God created Adam and Eve. They all lived and died and I think we are going to have to accept the fact that saber-toothed tigers didn’t eat grass.

    But the warning that sin will bring death, “that the day you will eat of it you will die” only applied to Adam, Eve, and their offspring, being us. I think Adam and Eve were created to be immortal, unlike all the other critters. They ruined that opportunity, but Christ, the 2nd Adam, gave it back to us.

    Neanderthal men, etc. Who knows who they were. Most northern Europeans have a little Neanderthal DNA in them so I would call them “humanish,” although who knows… maybe the descendants of Cain? Pure speculation. All the others…. Peking Man and the mob… they were not humans. They were critters. They lived and died before God created Adam.

    Even if we are worried about things dying before sin entered the world, what about plants? They lived and died, no matter what theory we have.

    So: God, in a majestic, poetic way, created the heavens and the earth and populated it, over a long period of time, with plants and animals. They lived and died.

    Somewhat recently, geologically speaking, God created Adam and Eve, the first Homo sapiens. They were created to live forever, but they sinned and in that “day” (but not 24 hours) they did eventually die. They joined the rest of the creation in dying, which was not God’s original plan for us.

    This is why God cut off access to the Tree of Life, to prevent humans from living forever. It was a component of “dying.”

    This is what I am currently thinking but I am ready to hear other ideas.

  42. Xenia,

    That was really well done!

    The other question raised was whether God was talking of “spiritual” death, physical death, or both.

    The story stays the same in any case…

  43. MLD,

    We have much scientific evidence that appears to contradict that simple creation narrative.

    Christians acknowledge out of the gate that the resurrection was miraculous and not part of a natural order, thus science, in this case, is irrelevant.

  44. Xenia,

    Well done!

    Thank you for that.

    Now, I’ll sleep a bit better tonight. πŸ™‚

    You are very smart. πŸ™‚

  45. CostCo, that was why I wrote it, so you could get a good night’s sleep.

    πŸ™‚

  46. “There are gaps and inconsistencies in the genealogy.”
    __________________________________________________________________

    The genealogy in Matthew and the one in Luke are different because they are emphasizing different things. The genealogy in gospel of John is radically different because it goes to his deity. The gaps and inconsistencies are nothing compared to millions of years of history. That just seems so forced. I am with MLD on this one. I see two extremes. One is the Ken Ham method that sometimes forces science to fit his theology. The other is Biologos that seems to force theology to fit their science. Take your pick, but MLD has a point. The virgin birth makes no sense to science. The resurrection makes no sense to science. Jesus being God makes no sense to science. Moses parting the “Red Sea”. ( Oh, I forgot, sea of reeds to those who have trouble with miracles). If we believe these things, I’m not sure why its so hard to believe what the Bible actually says about other things unless there is some compelling reason to deny it. If the compelling reason is because scientists all agree, that just doesn’t cut it considering all the other miraculous events in the bible we all believe that scientists don’t.

  47. I would like to add an alternative explanation to what Xenia offered, just for her and our consideration:

    We need to consider Deut 30 and particularly Moses sermon concerning the following: β€œSee, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.” This was elaborated as life in the land or death in exile.

    In a very real sense, “life” is apprehended in covenant with God. God settled the Israelites in a life-giving (e.g., milk and honey) land in which he would dwell with them.

    God placed Adam in the garden and dwelt with him in a life-giving covenant. When Adam sinned God exiled Adam from the garden and from the covenant relationship. In exile, without access to the tree of life, Adam died, spiritually and physically. He died in the day of his exile, first spiritually and then physically, by not having the promise of the tree of life.

    This is an incomplete sketch. I read, mainly for textual reasons, the first two chapters of Genesis as 2 independent creation accounts. So, when God plucked Adam out of the dust, I do not have a problem if there were other hominids outside the garden. Also, in order for Adam to understand the curse of death when the Law was given, I think one may assume that Adam understood what death was, which would come by having seen it.

    I also see no reason to force Cain’s worry into murder by a brother or sister. There were perfectly good words in Hebrew for brother or sister.

    I do invite sincere challenges to my hypothesis, because it is in development and I hold it all tentatively.

  48. I do have a theological issue with Old Earth – and I admit it’s all made up in my head – but it it the same issue I have with dispensationalism.
    With all of the billions of years of pre humans and catastrophes (which could be considered judgment just like the flood) it seems that God had other plans and he was working to see which form would accept his plan – and they had their own fall and judgment. “Nope, the mosquitoes have rejected my plan – nope the monkeys (and I don’t mean Mickey Dolenz) have rejected my plan – the Neanderthals have rejected my plan”

    Then God finally got to creating Adam & Eve and when they fell, he was just tired and warn out so he decided instead of judgment this time, let’s try a savior – hence Genesis 3:15 and we were off into this new ‘dispensation’ of salvation. To me it sounds familiar to the pre mil dispensational ‘the Church is Plan B …’ but 13 billion years in the past.

  49. MLD,

    I agree with you, except I have a theological issue with YEC which is the same issue I have with dispensationalism. It is that they both fail to distinguish genre and symbolic language.

  50. Jean,
    Except where do you get in the scriptures and from the scriptures that the genre is anything but literal.
    To me when a narrative goes out of it’s way to say “the first day” – “evening and morning” etc that it may be trying to say “hey, I am talking about what happened on the first day of God’s creation.

    Now, the genre you are speaking of usually begins with “a long, long time ago in a land far away …” πŸ˜‰

  51. The way you guys explain dispensationalism is completely foreign to a guy who is on staff for 8 years at a dispensational church and 3/4 of the way through an Mdiv at a dispensational seminary. I won’t argue with you, I’m sure you know what you are talking about. But I know nothing of the dispensationalism you’ve described above.

    Also, MLD – Old earth creation doesn’t have to have humans before Adam and Eve. I believe they were the first. The earth might just be really old. Or maybe not.

  52. Josh I didn’t mention people on the Earth before Adam and Eve I was talking about mosquitoes monkeys Neanderthal I’ll pre you man I think that was the word I used

  53. From Tremper Longman:

    “I will restrict my comments tonight to Genesis 1 and 2. There are certain signals within Genesis 1 and 2 that tell me it is telling me about the past in one sense. But it is not doing so in a detailed way. In other words, it is not giving me a literal description of what actually happened. So here are a few things that persuade me in that direction:

    1. The high frequency of obviously figurative language. I will just give one example, but I am sure we will come to the days of Genesis later. In [cit. omit.], God is described as creating Adam from the dust of the ground and the breath of God. Now this is not the Holy Spirit, this is the breath of God, and we know that God is a spirit. So this is an anthropomorphic, figurative description of the creation of the first human … It is teaching things like: humans are a part of creation and have a special relationship with God. So that is one thing that influences my reading of Genesis.

    2. How it interacts with Ancient Near Eastern literature. And again I will use [cit. omit.], and I think it is interesting and relevant to know that in ancient Babylonian creation texts, human beings are created from the dust or clay of the ground and a divine element, but not the breath of God. Rather it is the blood of a demon god combined with the blood and spit of the gods. I won’t give you the full context, but I think the Biblical text is making a comment about the dignity of humanity, that stands in contrast to the Babylonian idea of the disdain toward humanity. So in other words, it is not telling us how God did it, but making a comment on humanity and humanity’s dignity.

    3. … We have two creation texts within Genesis 1 and 2. [cit. omit.] is the first creation account and has the cosmic perspective [cit. omit.] is a second creation account that focuses in on humanity, and if you study it carefully, you see that there is a different sequence of creation in these two accounts. For instance, in chapter one, land is formed and then vegetation comes forth on day 4 and humans are not created until day 6. Whereas in the second creation account, Adam is created first, before vegetation is created. So … there is a school of thought that says these are two contradictory depictions of creation. They are only contradictory if you think it is trying to give you some sort of literal description of how creation actually took place. To me, that is a signal that we are not to read it as a literal depiction.”

  54. If we’re going to let genre and symbolism rule the passage then what’s the safeguard to keep Adam and Eve from not being actual people but representations of mankind?

  55. Oh sorry, I now see you said “pre” humans. Still though, who knows what happened before Adam and Eve. Maybe one mosquito lived a looong time, but what was a year before there was a sun?

  56. The safe guard is to become fundamentalist Biblicists.

  57. some years ago we came across an organization headed by a man named Hugh Ross – can’t remember the name of his group and don’t know if he’s still alive even (most of the people i know and learned from are dead now πŸ™‚ )

    he taught that the earth (planet) is very old and became “without form and void” and then God created a place for Adam and Eve, the earth as we know it today (somewhat)
    that makes all the sense in the world to me… however, God could make a universe that “tests” millions of years old and He could make it tomorrow – just sayin

  58. Some people do believe they are just representations of the human race. Not me, but some people.

  59. there is one theory – God forgive us our theories – i think He does and smiles
    this theory holds that Satan ruled this planet for however long, creating creatures until one day he was so pleased with himself that he said, “what a good boy am I ! I am equal to the most high God.” and then God, getting a little testy, destroyed the earth making it void, then He answered Satan’s challenge with the creation of a new and better environment and the creation of Adam and Eve and the scenario in which we find ourselves involved today is just the playing out of that…

  60. I wonder what the flood was symbolic of?

  61. MLD, i am one of the few who believe that that flood did actually cover the whole planet… it wasn’t just caused by rain from the skies
    Gen 7:11
    “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

    i have read that scientists believe that there is enough water trapped under the earth to cover the whole planet…

  62. According to Jesus the flood was symbolic of his return….

    but who are you arguing against MLD? You just gonna keep throwing little chunks of meat out, hoping somebody will bite? πŸ™‚

  63. i don’t think that flood was symbolic… it was a warning that there is ultimately an end to grace and mercy in the face of corrupted egregious behavior
    first a bath, next a fire – not a humorous topic, i know – but God is so kind, so long-suffering, so perfect and above reproach… So Holy and worthy to be God

  64. Baptism was a type of a greater salvation that was to come through Christ. As it is written:

    “because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”

  65. Correction: In my # 65, the opening sentence should begin: The flood and the ark was a type….

  66. Josh – my point is that we have no indication in Genesis that Genesis is to be taken in a ‘poetic’ manner. There is real narrative stuff happening there. I am making a case not for taking the scripture in a way that capitulates to the secular crowds but take it for what it says.

    Look at it this way – science, and I am not against science, observes the earth at 13 billion years old – therefore when the scriptures say the earth was created and populated in 6 days I must reject those words and say “ok, what did it really mean?”

    I am all for taking symbolic books as symbolic, poetic, representative whatever the genre is. After Rev 1:10 I don’t take a single passage as literal. (so I am not a fundamentalist Biblicists as some may charge.)

  67. If you can believe in a literal flood that covered the entire earth, its not that hard to believe in YEC. In fact a literal flood wiping out everything on the planet would explain a lot of stuff about why the earth looks like it does. The problem is getting folks to believe the flood.

  68. “observes the earth at 13 billion years old – therefore when the scriptures say the earth was created and populated in 6 days ”

    A. The bible is correct above all else.
    B. Both could be exactly right, but talking about different things.

  69. A close reading of Genesis reveals that the cosmology is phenomenological. If God would have given the ancient Israelites a 21st century cosmology, they would neither have understood it or believed it. God accommodated their existing cosmology to impart theological truths.

    The YEC movement is another offshoot of Ellen White and her Adventist friends.

    Galileo, who had his own run in with Rome when he challenged geocentricism (which Luther also believed), said something to the effect: “The Bible tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”

    I would hope that we could all learn something from the experiences of Copernicus and Galileo.

  70. Josh – I said earlier that God made his creation with the appearance of age – there is no doubt about that. So if the scientist observes 13 billion years that is fine – but I still stick with the 6 days because that is what it says.

    In the end anybody and everybody can believe what they want – and people can still say “well isn’t it possible?” and my reply has remained the same over all the years. In a contingent universe all things are possibel — except getting toothpaste back in the tube.

  71. #36 & #58

    I used to believe in the appearance of age theory as well, and it was an easy answer to the apparent scientific age of the earth and the universe.

    What convinced me otherwise is the truth that God can not lie and if creation is His handiwork, we would not be deceived by Him in it.

    I will concede that when Adam was created, he was created mature at a certain age. But maturity is different than aging. And he was not created with a scar on his knee from a fall that never happened. When we look into the universe, and see the effects of a star exploding, and know the light takes millions of years to reach us, either it happened millions of years ago, or God created the earth and brought the light waves from an explosion that never happened right to us to observe.

  72. “The YEC movement is another offshoot of Ellen White and her Adventist friends.”
    Wow, guilt by association and no telling how many logical fallacies trampled on. πŸ™‚

    That would be like me saying OEC comes from a denial of scripture.

    At least I am sticking with the words of the Bible.

  73. Everstudy – that was not my point in bring up how old Adam looked – or the tree bearing fruit. It was to show how scientific observation can get it wrong.

    If Adam had died on day one and a scientist dug up his bones, would he conclude that he was looking at the bones of a one day old person or a 30 yr old person?

    I did not say AGE was built in – I suggested the appearance of age is built in.

  74. One other thing – I am not arguing a YEC position – that is just a man made structure. I am making the case that the Bible meant what the Bible said – first, that God spoke it into existence.

  75. Someone should’ve ask Jesus when He was here. He could’ve cleared these things up.

    Jesus is the full revelation of God. Everything else is probably not that critical to figure out.

  76. Joel, so why do we even read the other parts of scripture? Perhaps we should just stick with the red letters. πŸ˜‰

  77. If Adam was created as a 30 year old, the scientist would find the bones of someone around the age of 30. But he would find no evidence of a childhood injury.

    I believe that there are problems with the idea of an appearance of age in creation.

    A question to ask is, can we trust our senses?

    From (because I’m not clever enough to reword it):

    “It should be unnecessary to argue this case, but, ultimately, the appearance of age position denies either the reality/reliability of creation or the reliability of our senses. Both of these are unbiblical positions.

    Let’s begin by observing that the Bible everywhere assumes that our senses are generally reliable and that we can believe that what we see, touch and hear is real. This does not mean that the person speaking to us is telling the truth. What I hear from someone may be false, but the fact that I am hearing it is real, not imaginary. Stating this as a general assumption does not preclude exceptions for delusion, intentional deception, or illusions. But, the world is not an illusion and we can trust our senses.

    How does the Bible demonstrate this? By appealing to what people have experienced directly.

    The Bible assumes the reality of the world and the trustworthiness of our senses. Consider these verses:

    1 John 1:1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life?
    Deut 4:9 Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen ?
    Luke 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

    Beyond these few examples, the Bible contains many dozens of other specific appeals which assume the reliability of our senses and the reality of our experience. And, beyond these specific appeals, with every statement the Bible assumes the reliability of our senses. When we are told that Moses saw a burning bush, we believe it because it is in the Bible. But why did Moses believe it? Moses believed his eyes. Our faith depends not only on the word through Moses but also on Moses’ eyes. If Moses’ eyes were seeing illusions, then we cannot trust his report. Read any part of the Bible which describes historical events. How did the people of the time know the events happened? How did the Israelites know that Hezekiah sent letters to all of Israel and Judah? (2 Chr 30:1). They experienced it. We trust the Bible but it constantly assumes the trustworthiness of our senses and the reality of the world.

    How does this relate to the age of the earth?

    The heavens are filled with events which we can see today with our eyes. Those who have seen them, speak of what they have seen. Should we not believe our eyes or their testimony? God’s Word says we should believe our eyes. The earth is filled with evidence which we can see and touch. Should we not believe it? Psalm 19 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Do the heavens reveal knowledge we can trust? God seems to think so.

    Maturity is not the same as aging. Granted that God created Adam as full grown, that does not mean Adam appeared aged. If we had been in Eden the day after Adam’s creation, would we have any clues that Adam had not lived there long? Would his teeth have shown much wear? Would his feet have any calluses? Would the absence of other humans (parents) be a clue that he had not been born? Did Adam have a belly button? I think not. We would have plenty of evidence that he had not gone through a normal birth and aging processes.

    What about the wine at the wedding in Cana? The first clue of something unusual is that the wine served later was better than the first wine. Hmmm? Then there is the fact that the wine was in water jars, not wine skins. These are just the clues recorded in scripture. If you could have researched the details, would you find a anyone to testify that they put wine in the water jars? What would you think if God had created a delivery receipt for a wine delivery that never took place? It would have gone beyond miracle to falsifying the evidence. Many of the evidences of nature are akin to a delivery receipt.

    The Bible never holds up Adam or the wine as evidence which will condemn unbelievers. The Bible does hold up creation as condemning evidence (Rom 1:18-20). Here the Bible is saying that apart from the Bible, creation gives sufficient evidence for men to discover certain truths. Are they to discover the truth from falsehood? To many Christians, it seems inconceivable that God, who cannot lie, would condemn unbelievers because they failed to discern the truth from false evidence. Romans essentially says: study creation to any level of detail and it will consistently say “creator.” It says it so consistently and clearly that God is angry the people don’t get the message quite apart from the Bible.”

  78. last comment in moderation, and it looks like the link didn’t work. πŸ™

  79. You know this already MLD… Jesus is all throughout the Old Testament.

    “And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
    he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

  80. Why would God want to create the appearance of age if He did not want us to believe the earth was old? Leave out the unique case of Adam and Eve being created as adults, but what about fossils, geologic layers, etc?

  81. The other week I went on a field trip w/ my class to the shore where there were a lot of rock formations full of fossils of little wormy things that went extinct millions of years ago. I got tired of having to second guess everything by saying to myself “No, these little critters are really lived only a few thousand years ago, no matter what kind of rock layer they were found in and no matter what the Carbon dating (and other methods) have to say.

    It’s exactly like Everstudy quoted up above: Is God trying to fool me into thinking… what, exactly? That the earth looks old but not really? What am I supposed to think about these primordial worms? Young but fooling me? Old but now I’m denying the Bible?

  82. I am just now catching up on this thread from earlier and have not been able to read through all the comments.

    I did see that Xenia earlier had a good explanation of death before the fall from an old earth perspective. I do understand that when God was talking to Adam, the address was directly to him in regards to him dying.

    I still do however think there are some significant theological difficulties with death before the fall. I don’t have time to be thorough here and probably won’t be able to get back to the conversation for a while, but wanted to give a few thoughts to ponder.

    – Passages in Scripture such as Romans 5:12 would seem to indicate that man’s fall brought death into the whole world, most especially to man, but broader than just man.

    – Other passages in Scripture say that creation or elements of creation have been cursed because of man’s fall.

    – When God created the world and before the Fall, He called it all very good. It is difficult to think that God was allowing for death at that time and still called it very good.

    – God told Adam in the creation story that he had given him the plants and trees to eat from. There is no indication of giving animals to eat which of course would necessitate death.

    – In Revelation when God tells us that he is going to restore all things, part of that restoration will include no more death. This would seem to indicate there was a time as such previously with no death.

    So these are not absolute proofs for there being no death before the Fall. But I believe from purely a theological standpoint, they make a stronger case for such and pose difficulties for believing in death before the Fall.

  83. Xenia & Everstudy – God is not trying to fool the believer at all. His word says 6 days, I believe 6 days.

    If Adam looked like a 30 yr old, I am not fooled – I know that Adam was created on the 6th day. When I read that there is fruit on the 3 or 4 day old tree, I am not fooled at all – I know that God created trees with fruit already on them — and not just any fruit but fully ripe, plump and ready to eat fruit.

    The appearance of age isn’t to foo anyone – the appearance of age is not real – it is an appearance. Again, my point is to show how science can observe age.

  84. This is the very topic that split the LCMS in the 60s and 70s – where in the end 45 of the 50 faculty at the seminary walked out – the liberals walked out and left only 5 faithful. (years later this would form the ELCA)
    What did the liberals deny?
    6 day creation
    A worldwide flood
    Joshua’s long day
    the whole Jonah account.

    Harold Lindsell’s book – The Battle for the Bible tells all. The LCMS and the SBC stood up against this — https://www.amazon.com/Battle-Bible-Harold-Lindsell/dp/B000J58G20

  85. “If Adam looked like a 30 yr old, I am not fooled – I know that Adam was created on the 6th day.”

    Here is a textbook example of biblicism. Nowhere in Genesis 2 are we told God created Adam on a particular day. You are not reading the text or you would notice a different order of creation between the first two chapters.

    But torturing the text is what you must do to solve the inconsistencies that are created by your presuppositions.

  86. Dr. RC Sproul senior changed his position to literal 6 day creation and he certainly is no Ellen White offshoot.

    @ 73.
    “When we look into the universe, and see the effects of a star exploding, and know the light takes millions of years to reach us, either it happened millions of years ago, or God created the earth and brought the light waves from an explosion that never happened right to us to observe.”

    ___________________________________________________________________
    We don’t know that it takes millions of years to reach us. We know the 2 way speed or the round trip speed of light but the “one way” speed of light has never been measured. This is what you absolutely need to prove that the light from the stars takes that long to reach us. When God made the stars he did it for a purpose and it seems to me possible for light from distant galaxies to reach us almost instantly if this was Gods intention.

  87. #84 “When God created the world and before the Fall, He called it all very good. It is difficult to think that God was allowing for death at that time and still called it very good.”

    Here’s a thought… we don’t know what human death would have been had there not been a fall. Genesis states that a woman’s pain would be multiplied in child birth, indicating that there was, prefall, going to be some pain in that. So, could human death prefall existed, without the sting of separation from God? I think it could have been possible that human death may have been like Elijah’s translation.

    Plant and animal death before the fall, in the OEC thinking, was just a part of God preparing the earth for mankind. How else would we have fossil fuels without the plants and animals that had to die millions of years ago to get our cars up and running?

  88. #86 Just to clarify,

    I believe in a 6 day creation, with the caveat that the 6 days are long periods of time (not literal 24 hour days) that fit seamlessly with what science says happened.

    I believe in a universal, local flood (but that’s a different debate).

    I believe in Joshua’s long day and the whole Jonah account.

  89. Jean, perhaps you read a different bible than I do. Mine says that man was created after day 5 and before day 7. Now in my scenario that is day 6.

    Perhaps you could use a little more biblicism.

  90. Good dodge MLD.

    Good night.

  91. Jean, I feel bad that you have determined that quoting the Bible is a dodge.

  92. isn’t there a verse that says something to the affect that it for man to inquire and for God to create mysteries… i think He enjoys our inquiring just as long as the intent is not to disprove Him…
    God told Adam, to not eat the fruit of that one tree over there because, if you do, in dying you will die… the first thing to die was Adam’s total respect for his Creator … IMHO

    for my part one of the most telling evidences of a world-wide flood that really sloshed the dirt around is the layering of the various sediments…
    i love rocks, but mainly i love them because they are neat things that you can pick up and take home with you for free… unless you’re on government propurtee – i may have sinned once or twice there, not sure… πŸ™‚

  93. 2Β  It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.

    The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2016), Pr 25:2.

  94. Interesting that NT Wright comes up in a discussion of YEC.

    Wright is known for is his writing about the resurrection – how it wasn’t just that Jesus came back to life, but the new creation breaking into the world; also about how life after death isn’t in a heaven entirely separate from the world we know. I love his writing. He paints a picture of a renewed creation, like the one we have but greener – our world is a shadow of what it will be. (I’m not explaining well, but hopefully you get the idea)

    I think “where else have I read about this picture of the world”… in YEC literature talking about the pre-fall world. While many Christians happily accept the scientific majority view on nature, the YECs dare to believe that the actual world we inhabit was once better than it was today – with no death, God with us.

    Thus two quite different viewpoints within evangelicalism managed to paint a similar attractive picture!

  95. thank you, Pastor Dread … i so wish that i had forced my children to memorize proverbs – well not all of them, but a whole lot of them… what a great way to go into adulthood, with a head full of God’s common sense

  96. In case nobody put this up before (which they may have, just checking in)

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2017/04/26/benny-hinns-office-visited-irs-postal-service-agents/

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