10,000 Adams and Eves

Thus far the main controversy between Christianity and mainline scientists has been over evolution.  Many Christians have tried to resolve that dilemma by embracing “theistic evolution,” the notion that God did create every living thing, but that He used evolution to do it.  (Never mind that Darwin’s theory of evolution specifically insists on the randomness of mutations and of natural selection.  Believing that evolution is directed is beyond the pale of actual Darwinism and is just another form of Intelligent Design, despite what the theistic evolutionists claim.)  Anyway, theistic evolutionists often still affirmed the historical existence of some kind of Adam and Eve, the first humans however they evolved, who, in some way, fell from their paradisal state and transmitted original sin to their descendants, who were redeemed by Christ, the Second Adam.

But now a new front in the battle has opened up, which, according to Christianity Today, is raising new questions and opening up a new level of controversy.  According to recent genetic evidence, the human race did not begin with two people.  Rather, it must have begun with a population of around 10,000.  Otherwise, according to the geneticists, there is no way to account for the genetic diversity that we can currently observe.  See The Search for the Historical Adam | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

It’s hard to imagine how 10,000 creatures could, at the same, evolve into the same species.  I can’t help but wonder where they came from.  Who were their parents?  (Can anyone explain how the geneticists answer that?)

An accompanying editorial in Christianity Today says that without an historical Adam and Eve, the whole Gospel comes apart, since there would be no original sin and no “Second Adam” who could redeem us.  Does that take it too far?   Could “Adam,” which means literally “man,” refer to human beings in a collective way, all of whom have re-enacted the Fall in their own lives,whereupon Christ, in His Incarnation, did indeed become “man” and thus “Adam,” to redeem the human race.  Some are arguing that a story can be true in its meaning, even if it does not recount literal historical events.  Should Christians be seeking an interpretation like that?  Or reject the genetic findings?  Or just not jump to conclusions, since scientific findings are never complete and are themselves always being re-interpreted?

At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not.  How about you?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://littlegreenfootballs.com/pages/freetoken freetoken

    You wrote: “It’s hard to imagine how 10,000 creatures could, at the same, evolve into the same species. I can’t help but wonder where they came from. Who were their parents? (Can anyone explain how the geneticists answer that?)”

    You’ve misunderstood from where the “10,000″ figure arises; not surprisingly given how poorly CT describes genetics.

    The “10,000″ is just an approximation for the minimum population during the last human population bottleneck, to describe the nature of our genetic differences. This bottleneck would have happened tens of thousands of years ago, likely around the time of the Toba volcano, perhaps a bit earlier.

    The people alive during the time of the bottleneck would have come from their own human ancestors, and these ancestors trace back for a very long time.

  • http://littlegreenfootballs.com/pages/freetoken freetoken

    You wrote: “It’s hard to imagine how 10,000 creatures could, at the same, evolve into the same species. I can’t help but wonder where they came from. Who were their parents? (Can anyone explain how the geneticists answer that?)”

    You’ve misunderstood from where the “10,000″ figure arises; not surprisingly given how poorly CT describes genetics.

    The “10,000″ is just an approximation for the minimum population during the last human population bottleneck, to describe the nature of our genetic differences. This bottleneck would have happened tens of thousands of years ago, likely around the time of the Toba volcano, perhaps a bit earlier.

    The people alive during the time of the bottleneck would have come from their own human ancestors, and these ancestors trace back for a very long time.

  • Bill H

    The next stumbling block for the evolutionists and scientists would be the flood where only Noah and his family were saved. 8 people. They don’t know scriptures or the power of God.

  • Bill H

    The next stumbling block for the evolutionists and scientists would be the flood where only Noah and his family were saved. 8 people. They don’t know scriptures or the power of God.

  • SKPeterson

    What happened to the Eve hypothesis of a few years ago that traced back our genetic history to one female? Has this been supplanted? If so, this is a sit back and not jump to conclusions occasion.

  • SKPeterson

    What happened to the Eve hypothesis of a few years ago that traced back our genetic history to one female? Has this been supplanted? If so, this is a sit back and not jump to conclusions occasion.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    So, freetoken, the 10,000 figure doesn’t challenge the possibility of a First Man and First Woman after all? It sounds as if all of the theologians and people quoted in CT may be jumping to conclusions and panicking over nothing. And yet Francis Collins and the BioLogos people are the ones saying “the evidence” points against the existence of a literal Adam and Eve.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    So, freetoken, the 10,000 figure doesn’t challenge the possibility of a First Man and First Woman after all? It sounds as if all of the theologians and people quoted in CT may be jumping to conclusions and panicking over nothing. And yet Francis Collins and the BioLogos people are the ones saying “the evidence” points against the existence of a literal Adam and Eve.

  • Michael Lynch

    It’s disappointing that Christians continue to give any possible credence to the “demythologizing” theories. There’s no reason God could not have plainly written that we came from many peoples instead of what we have in the few chapters of Genesis. Which raises another question. How does this account for Cain and Abel and the geneologies that follow? I wonder if flood, or at least a world-wide flood is also discounted.

    Where does it end? Do we have to consider their explainations of the plagues? The parting of the Red Sea? The miracles of the prophets? The Virgin Birth? The miracles of Christ? His resurrection? We do not need to compromise, believers!

  • Michael Lynch

    It’s disappointing that Christians continue to give any possible credence to the “demythologizing” theories. There’s no reason God could not have plainly written that we came from many peoples instead of what we have in the few chapters of Genesis. Which raises another question. How does this account for Cain and Abel and the geneologies that follow? I wonder if flood, or at least a world-wide flood is also discounted.

    Where does it end? Do we have to consider their explainations of the plagues? The parting of the Red Sea? The miracles of the prophets? The Virgin Birth? The miracles of Christ? His resurrection? We do not need to compromise, believers!

  • Jonathan

    This is just another addition to their “just so” story with no explanation or evidence to that it actually happened. Even given a trillion billion years, the odds of a ‘molecules to man’ random process is simply preposterous. I will continue to object to the evolution theory on scientific, information theory and statistics grounds. It seems to me, this genetic ‘finding’ could just as easily support ID and creation theories; that is, the information was written by a designer. It all comes down to how you view the data–your underlying worldview. If anything, I think this actually strengthens my belief in biblical creation. The complexity of the information, its orderliness, its purposefulness, is just stunning.

  • Jonathan

    This is just another addition to their “just so” story with no explanation or evidence to that it actually happened. Even given a trillion billion years, the odds of a ‘molecules to man’ random process is simply preposterous. I will continue to object to the evolution theory on scientific, information theory and statistics grounds. It seems to me, this genetic ‘finding’ could just as easily support ID and creation theories; that is, the information was written by a designer. It all comes down to how you view the data–your underlying worldview. If anything, I think this actually strengthens my belief in biblical creation. The complexity of the information, its orderliness, its purposefulness, is just stunning.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    It does not really bother me.

    By its very nature, science can only entertain naturalistic explanations for its observations of nature. In any case where something observed in nature is a consequence of supernatural action, science’s methodology demands that it substitute a false naturalistic explanation for any true supernaturalistic explanation. It could be the very best naturalistic explanation possible, peer reviewed by the greatest minds in history, but it would still be wrong. Inasmuch as we have reason to suspect divine intervention, historical science is merely speculative. When it comes to how mankind and the world came to be, Christians have very good reason to suspect divine intervention.

    I don’t object to making science inherently naturalistic, but that does limit its usefulness in cases like this. We need to stop pretending that any such methodology, no matter how expertly it is carried out, is capable of explaining prehistory in a theistic world. This particular kind of science is a merely a game smart people play.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    It does not really bother me.

    By its very nature, science can only entertain naturalistic explanations for its observations of nature. In any case where something observed in nature is a consequence of supernatural action, science’s methodology demands that it substitute a false naturalistic explanation for any true supernaturalistic explanation. It could be the very best naturalistic explanation possible, peer reviewed by the greatest minds in history, but it would still be wrong. Inasmuch as we have reason to suspect divine intervention, historical science is merely speculative. When it comes to how mankind and the world came to be, Christians have very good reason to suspect divine intervention.

    I don’t object to making science inherently naturalistic, but that does limit its usefulness in cases like this. We need to stop pretending that any such methodology, no matter how expertly it is carried out, is capable of explaining prehistory in a theistic world. This particular kind of science is a merely a game smart people play.

  • WebMonk

    It sounds as if all of the theologians and people quoted in CT may be jumping to conclusions and panicking over nothing.

    For some reason you sound somewhat surprised at that. What has EVERYONE on these boards tried to tell people for about the media’s efforts to accurately describe ANYTHING scientific or technical?

    In fact, this being a magazine centered around theology and social issues makes it all the more unlikely that they were able to come even close to being factual in the story.

    Sheesh. Christians are in a very sad state of affairs when they get their “science” from Christian social issue publications.

  • WebMonk

    It sounds as if all of the theologians and people quoted in CT may be jumping to conclusions and panicking over nothing.

    For some reason you sound somewhat surprised at that. What has EVERYONE on these boards tried to tell people for about the media’s efforts to accurately describe ANYTHING scientific or technical?

    In fact, this being a magazine centered around theology and social issues makes it all the more unlikely that they were able to come even close to being factual in the story.

    Sheesh. Christians are in a very sad state of affairs when they get their “science” from Christian social issue publications.

  • larry

    Not at all.

    “Represents, signifies, symbolizes, collectively” seems to be the pattern for attempting to over throw every single artcile of faith by usurping the Word upon which nude faith is built and lives. “Hath God really said?” Nothing new under the sun really.

    This is why we say, “I believe in…” and not “I figured out…”

  • larry

    Not at all.

    “Represents, signifies, symbolizes, collectively” seems to be the pattern for attempting to over throw every single artcile of faith by usurping the Word upon which nude faith is built and lives. “Hath God really said?” Nothing new under the sun really.

    This is why we say, “I believe in…” and not “I figured out…”

  • Jonathan

    What’s that, you say? You mean these genetisists have concluded that the information in humans is just too mind-numbingly complex to have possibly come from one source? Shocking.

    Again, worldview tells you how to interpret the data at that point. Either naturalist or design. But if the naturalist path can’t get you there without leaps/bounds/stretches, why is it that they consider the design path ‘unscientific’? It must start with the underlying proposition that there can be no designer.

  • Jonathan

    What’s that, you say? You mean these genetisists have concluded that the information in humans is just too mind-numbingly complex to have possibly come from one source? Shocking.

    Again, worldview tells you how to interpret the data at that point. Either naturalist or design. But if the naturalist path can’t get you there without leaps/bounds/stretches, why is it that they consider the design path ‘unscientific’? It must start with the underlying proposition that there can be no designer.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    A major concern for wildlife biologists regarding those on the endangered species list is a gene pool so small that the diversity of genetics within the species would not survive the bumps in the road that nature (and man) will throw at them. Scientists are constantly wringing their hands at the extinction of animals because the fecundity of the species is not sufficient to overcome the natural mortality that occurs. Evolutionists are asking us to believe that all this diversity we see came from the smallest of numbers genetically. When seen through the lens of observable science (the importance of the fecundity of the species) evolutionary theory seems breathtakingly imaginary.

  • http://www.caryschwarz.com saddler

    A major concern for wildlife biologists regarding those on the endangered species list is a gene pool so small that the diversity of genetics within the species would not survive the bumps in the road that nature (and man) will throw at them. Scientists are constantly wringing their hands at the extinction of animals because the fecundity of the species is not sufficient to overcome the natural mortality that occurs. Evolutionists are asking us to believe that all this diversity we see came from the smallest of numbers genetically. When seen through the lens of observable science (the importance of the fecundity of the species) evolutionary theory seems breathtakingly imaginary.

  • Jeremy

    Forget advanced science, I don’t understand how simple common sense doesn’t shake your faith. Did Noah really collect species found only in certain places (Penguins, Polar Bears, Kangaroos, Lions?) How did he get them back once the arc landed? Where did all the water go (or come from) if it really covered the highest mountain (Mt. Everest)? Have you seen the support staff at the San Diego zoo? How did 8 people manage all those animals? Then there is the moral aspect. To believe in Noah, you have to believe that God wiped most everyone out by drowning them. How then do you conclude the Holocaust is wrong? Then the descendants all had to interbreed with their brothers and sisters — talk about redefining marriage.

  • Jeremy

    Forget advanced science, I don’t understand how simple common sense doesn’t shake your faith. Did Noah really collect species found only in certain places (Penguins, Polar Bears, Kangaroos, Lions?) How did he get them back once the arc landed? Where did all the water go (or come from) if it really covered the highest mountain (Mt. Everest)? Have you seen the support staff at the San Diego zoo? How did 8 people manage all those animals? Then there is the moral aspect. To believe in Noah, you have to believe that God wiped most everyone out by drowning them. How then do you conclude the Holocaust is wrong? Then the descendants all had to interbreed with their brothers and sisters — talk about redefining marriage.

  • Ryan

    To me this ends up being a question about death. Is death actually the wages of sin, or is a tool God uses to eliminate the weak and improve the life that comes after it through natural selection.

    If death is the wages of sin, why was there death in the world before man evolved to commit the first sin? If death is not the wages of sin, what could Jesus’ death possibly mean for us?

  • Ryan

    To me this ends up being a question about death. Is death actually the wages of sin, or is a tool God uses to eliminate the weak and improve the life that comes after it through natural selection.

    If death is the wages of sin, why was there death in the world before man evolved to commit the first sin? If death is not the wages of sin, what could Jesus’ death possibly mean for us?

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Two points:
    1. The evidence for evolution, and the “10K bottleneck” is inductive. The problem with inductive evidence is that even if we have all the information (ha!), we are still guessing – and we might be guessing wrong. As an example, we point to similarities (including similar damaged genes) between the genetic structure of humans and chimpanzees as evidence that we evolved from chimps. But every thinking person realizes that similarity does not equal source. What gives evolutionary theory its strength is its presuppositions – similarity pointing to source makes sense if we presuppose that the universe is driven by “natural” and “random” processes.

    2. The issue has never been about evolution/creation, but about origins. The scientific enterprise revolves around the presumption of naturalism. For this reason, “Christian evolution” is still the enemy.

    3. Agree with Matt Cochran above.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Two points:
    1. The evidence for evolution, and the “10K bottleneck” is inductive. The problem with inductive evidence is that even if we have all the information (ha!), we are still guessing – and we might be guessing wrong. As an example, we point to similarities (including similar damaged genes) between the genetic structure of humans and chimpanzees as evidence that we evolved from chimps. But every thinking person realizes that similarity does not equal source. What gives evolutionary theory its strength is its presuppositions – similarity pointing to source makes sense if we presuppose that the universe is driven by “natural” and “random” processes.

    2. The issue has never been about evolution/creation, but about origins. The scientific enterprise revolves around the presumption of naturalism. For this reason, “Christian evolution” is still the enemy.

    3. Agree with Matt Cochran above.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The “10,000″ is just an approximation for the minimum population during the last human population bottleneck, to describe the nature of our genetic differences.”

    LOL, what genetic differences? I thought human differences were all “socially constructed” and that humans, unlike all other species, were functionally identical at all times and in all places, especially from the neck up?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “The “10,000″ is just an approximation for the minimum population during the last human population bottleneck, to describe the nature of our genetic differences.”

    LOL, what genetic differences? I thought human differences were all “socially constructed” and that humans, unlike all other species, were functionally identical at all times and in all places, especially from the neck up?

  • Tom Hering

    Jeremy @ 12, is God limited by your common sense? Is He answerable to it?

    Ryan @ 13, good questions. Seems you’re faced with a choice of answers. Either evolution has it right, and there was death before there was man. Or Genesis has it right, and death followed man’s Fall. You’re right that the first choice makes nonsense of Christ, though He can still be viewed in some overly spiritual way.

  • Tom Hering

    Jeremy @ 12, is God limited by your common sense? Is He answerable to it?

    Ryan @ 13, good questions. Seems you’re faced with a choice of answers. Either evolution has it right, and there was death before there was man. Or Genesis has it right, and death followed man’s Fall. You’re right that the first choice makes nonsense of Christ, though He can still be viewed in some overly spiritual way.

  • SKPeterson

    Ah, Jeremy, everyone got wiped out because God is holy and the people were not – they were in a constant state of sin and rebellion and thereby under the sentence of death. We shouldn’t mourn those lost, but be thankful for those who were saved. The only thing most of the world has going for it is God’s loving patience.

    By the way, do you believe in Hell, or not? Because your argument would imply you do not, and that you do not believe in the reality of sin.

  • SKPeterson

    Ah, Jeremy, everyone got wiped out because God is holy and the people were not – they were in a constant state of sin and rebellion and thereby under the sentence of death. We shouldn’t mourn those lost, but be thankful for those who were saved. The only thing most of the world has going for it is God’s loving patience.

    By the way, do you believe in Hell, or not? Because your argument would imply you do not, and that you do not believe in the reality of sin.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Then the descendants all had to interbreed with their brothers and sisters”

    Nah, just cousins.

    “I don’t understand how simple common sense doesn’t shake your faith.”

    I agree. I have to admit that by my own understanding, I can’t believe. :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Then the descendants all had to interbreed with their brothers and sisters”

    Nah, just cousins.

    “I don’t understand how simple common sense doesn’t shake your faith.”

    I agree. I have to admit that by my own understanding, I can’t believe. :-)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Theistic evolution is a stepping stone in the direction of undermining the authority of the Bible.

    No Adam means no original sin. No original sin means no atonement. No atonement means Christ’s death was meaningless.

    Furthermore, to hold to theistic evolution is to ignore the rest of the Bible which treats Adam and Eve as literal, historical figures (see Romans 5). It also treats the six day creation as a literal six days (see Exodus 20). To treat as figurative what the Bible plainly teaches as literal is slipshod theology and exalting human reason above God’s word (a point which Luther himself hammered home several times).

    John MacArthur deals with this quite well in his book Battle for the Beginning. I highly recommend it.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Theistic evolution is a stepping stone in the direction of undermining the authority of the Bible.

    No Adam means no original sin. No original sin means no atonement. No atonement means Christ’s death was meaningless.

    Furthermore, to hold to theistic evolution is to ignore the rest of the Bible which treats Adam and Eve as literal, historical figures (see Romans 5). It also treats the six day creation as a literal six days (see Exodus 20). To treat as figurative what the Bible plainly teaches as literal is slipshod theology and exalting human reason above God’s word (a point which Luther himself hammered home several times).

    John MacArthur deals with this quite well in his book Battle for the Beginning. I highly recommend it.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not. How about you?”
    I guess once you arrive at the conclusion of an all powerful God for whom all things are possible via the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, “science” is hard pressed to come up with evidence that is going to shake one’s faith. This is especially true when science by definition can say nothing concerning the matters that is actually definitive for all time.
    This is what gets me, just from a philosophical position. Bo Giertz once commented on it, saying “those of us who were born at the turn of the century, have already seen three scientific world views come and go.” Scientists say, well that is our strength, that we can change with the evidence. Yes, great you can, I agree that is wonderful from a scientific perspective. The problem is you are so dogmatic about your current one you want everyone in the world to change theirs for yours, and say they are silly for having it, when you admit yours may not be true or yet account for all the evidence, that you may not as of yet have, nor is yours the only logical way to think about the evidence you now have.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not. How about you?”
    I guess once you arrive at the conclusion of an all powerful God for whom all things are possible via the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, “science” is hard pressed to come up with evidence that is going to shake one’s faith. This is especially true when science by definition can say nothing concerning the matters that is actually definitive for all time.
    This is what gets me, just from a philosophical position. Bo Giertz once commented on it, saying “those of us who were born at the turn of the century, have already seen three scientific world views come and go.” Scientists say, well that is our strength, that we can change with the evidence. Yes, great you can, I agree that is wonderful from a scientific perspective. The problem is you are so dogmatic about your current one you want everyone in the world to change theirs for yours, and say they are silly for having it, when you admit yours may not be true or yet account for all the evidence, that you may not as of yet have, nor is yours the only logical way to think about the evidence you now have.

  • Jonathan

    @12.

    God told Noah to bring two of every “kind” (Heb. “min”). I don’t know if a penguin was on board the ark, but a pair of doves were definitely on board. So Noah technically had the bird “kind” covered. I don’t know whether kangaroos were onboard. Maybe Noah got a pair of opossums instead to check the block for the marsupial kind. I mean, I don’t have any trouble with the idea of making a kangaroo from some precursor marsupial “kind” in a relatively short period of time, but its always going to be a marsupial mammal “kind.”

    As for the crew of 8 on the ark, I have no doubt that as the last remaining survivors of the human race, with their own continued survival depending on it, and wanting very much to follow orders of God who graciously and miraculously provided for their escape from catastrophe, so that they would have no problem taking full-time care of animals for a year on board a big floating boat-like structure. (With all due respect to the wonderful staff of the SD zoologic society.) As for the flood water etc., you should read the account again as to where the water came from and how it receded. Apparently, the earth was violently and cataclismically changed by the flood event. Post flood, it was apparently radically altered from what it looked like and how it operated pre-flood; continents ripped apart and probably lowered and raised, atmospherics vastly changed, climates upheaved, poles up-ended, what have you.

  • Jonathan

    @12.

    God told Noah to bring two of every “kind” (Heb. “min”). I don’t know if a penguin was on board the ark, but a pair of doves were definitely on board. So Noah technically had the bird “kind” covered. I don’t know whether kangaroos were onboard. Maybe Noah got a pair of opossums instead to check the block for the marsupial kind. I mean, I don’t have any trouble with the idea of making a kangaroo from some precursor marsupial “kind” in a relatively short period of time, but its always going to be a marsupial mammal “kind.”

    As for the crew of 8 on the ark, I have no doubt that as the last remaining survivors of the human race, with their own continued survival depending on it, and wanting very much to follow orders of God who graciously and miraculously provided for their escape from catastrophe, so that they would have no problem taking full-time care of animals for a year on board a big floating boat-like structure. (With all due respect to the wonderful staff of the SD zoologic society.) As for the flood water etc., you should read the account again as to where the water came from and how it receded. Apparently, the earth was violently and cataclismically changed by the flood event. Post flood, it was apparently radically altered from what it looked like and how it operated pre-flood; continents ripped apart and probably lowered and raised, atmospherics vastly changed, climates upheaved, poles up-ended, what have you.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Jeremy @ 12 actually raises a good point. Those of us who were raised in the faith often forget just how bizarre some of Biblical history is to those who were not. As the latter continue to outnumber the former, we need to be aware of the situation and act accordingly. It’s entirely reasonable for them to ask those kinds of questions, and if we take our faith seriously we will be inclined to provide answers.

    Jeremy, the reason common sense doesn’t destroy our commitment to Christianity in instances like this (though it often does shake it) is, itself, faith. Now, I do NOT mean that curiosity-squelching command you might have heard: “Just have faith!” That command is intended to make us suppress our feelings of doubt by marginalizing the parts of the mind that trigger those feelings. What I mean by faith is having trust in someone (Jesus Christ)–it’s something we have rather than something we do. We’re not Christians because the flood narrative makes so much sense and finally explains the world around us. We are Christians because of the well-documented things Christ did 2000 years ago in Palestine. If we accept things like a global flood or a six day creation, it’s because Jesus taught them to us and we trust Him to know and tell the truth. The key difference that makes is this: when He tells us absurd things, and common-sense piques our curiosity with questions of “how can that be?”, we respond by looking for answers rather than letting common-sense wrinkle its nose at the absurdity and walk away. That difference is not some kind of mystic Christian thing; it’s simply how trust works. It’s the same way you react to a trusted and well-liked professor who presents a counter-intuitive conclusion in class–you believe it first and then eagerly try to understand how it can be.

  • http://www.matthewcochran.net/blog Matt Cochran

    Jeremy @ 12 actually raises a good point. Those of us who were raised in the faith often forget just how bizarre some of Biblical history is to those who were not. As the latter continue to outnumber the former, we need to be aware of the situation and act accordingly. It’s entirely reasonable for them to ask those kinds of questions, and if we take our faith seriously we will be inclined to provide answers.

    Jeremy, the reason common sense doesn’t destroy our commitment to Christianity in instances like this (though it often does shake it) is, itself, faith. Now, I do NOT mean that curiosity-squelching command you might have heard: “Just have faith!” That command is intended to make us suppress our feelings of doubt by marginalizing the parts of the mind that trigger those feelings. What I mean by faith is having trust in someone (Jesus Christ)–it’s something we have rather than something we do. We’re not Christians because the flood narrative makes so much sense and finally explains the world around us. We are Christians because of the well-documented things Christ did 2000 years ago in Palestine. If we accept things like a global flood or a six day creation, it’s because Jesus taught them to us and we trust Him to know and tell the truth. The key difference that makes is this: when He tells us absurd things, and common-sense piques our curiosity with questions of “how can that be?”, we respond by looking for answers rather than letting common-sense wrinkle its nose at the absurdity and walk away. That difference is not some kind of mystic Christian thing; it’s simply how trust works. It’s the same way you react to a trusted and well-liked professor who presents a counter-intuitive conclusion in class–you believe it first and then eagerly try to understand how it can be.

  • Cincinnatus

    *yawn*

  • Cincinnatus

    *yawn*

  • LAJ

    If one believes in God who created the entire universe in six days, why would one be questioning at all this “scientific” nonsense about what God can’t do? Besides Adam & Eve were created perfect, that means their genes were also perfect, and perfectly able to account for all the diversity.

  • LAJ

    If one believes in God who created the entire universe in six days, why would one be questioning at all this “scientific” nonsense about what God can’t do? Besides Adam & Eve were created perfect, that means their genes were also perfect, and perfectly able to account for all the diversity.

  • Elizabeth

    I like what Larry says @9 This is why we say, “I believe in…” and not “I figured out…”I am reading Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man and it is interesting to see how he addresses the theory of evolution in his own time. I’m not sure I understand all he is saying, but as many people point out he has quite a way of turning a phrase. Such as, “The history of prehistoric man is a very obvious contradiction in terms” and “For a man who does not believe in a miracle a slow miracle would be just as incredible as a swift one.”

  • Elizabeth

    I like what Larry says @9 This is why we say, “I believe in…” and not “I figured out…”I am reading Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man and it is interesting to see how he addresses the theory of evolution in his own time. I’m not sure I understand all he is saying, but as many people point out he has quite a way of turning a phrase. Such as, “The history of prehistoric man is a very obvious contradiction in terms” and “For a man who does not believe in a miracle a slow miracle would be just as incredible as a swift one.”

  • Cincinnatus

    There are, as noted, several possible answers here. One is the already-beaten-to-death reply that “God can do anything, and no scientist can comprehend his ways.” Personally, I don’t find this response entirely satisfying, but whatever works…

    But there is also the “mythological” or “allegorical” interpretation of certain portions of Scripture. In my view, then, the importance of the creation account in Genesis isn’t that it literally happened historically and that there must have been two and only two human beings in the Garden who were seduced by a talking snake, etc., but in the redemptive truths expressed therein. Quibbling over historicity is missing the point.

    Yes, I’m saying this in part to be provocative, and, yes, obviously the allegorical hermeneutic is not appropriate for the entirety of Scripture. But I often wonder whether the stakes are really as high as we imagine them when we make claims about the historicity of the creation account.

  • Cincinnatus

    There are, as noted, several possible answers here. One is the already-beaten-to-death reply that “God can do anything, and no scientist can comprehend his ways.” Personally, I don’t find this response entirely satisfying, but whatever works…

    But there is also the “mythological” or “allegorical” interpretation of certain portions of Scripture. In my view, then, the importance of the creation account in Genesis isn’t that it literally happened historically and that there must have been two and only two human beings in the Garden who were seduced by a talking snake, etc., but in the redemptive truths expressed therein. Quibbling over historicity is missing the point.

    Yes, I’m saying this in part to be provocative, and, yes, obviously the allegorical hermeneutic is not appropriate for the entirety of Scripture. But I often wonder whether the stakes are really as high as we imagine them when we make claims about the historicity of the creation account.

  • DonS

    ” Or just not jump to conclusions, since scientific findings are never complete and are themselves always being re-interpreted?”

    This is the right answer. Our origins, as recorded in Genesis (both Adam and Eve and Noah) are rooted in the infinite power of almighty God. God’s infinite power and infinite mercy are, together, the root of our eternal hope. If either of these two pillars of our faith are diminished, then nothing is left to root our faith in.

    As someone said above, the discipline of scientific study, by definition, excludes any consideration or validation of the supernatural. Using such a limited, human system, scientists can never, ever uncover definitive evidence of our origins. It’s impossible, because they have excluded any consideration of the very basis of our creation — supernatural intervention.

    1 Corinthians 1:19-21:

    For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

  • DonS

    ” Or just not jump to conclusions, since scientific findings are never complete and are themselves always being re-interpreted?”

    This is the right answer. Our origins, as recorded in Genesis (both Adam and Eve and Noah) are rooted in the infinite power of almighty God. God’s infinite power and infinite mercy are, together, the root of our eternal hope. If either of these two pillars of our faith are diminished, then nothing is left to root our faith in.

    As someone said above, the discipline of scientific study, by definition, excludes any consideration or validation of the supernatural. Using such a limited, human system, scientists can never, ever uncover definitive evidence of our origins. It’s impossible, because they have excluded any consideration of the very basis of our creation — supernatural intervention.

    1 Corinthians 1:19-21:

    For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

  • Jeremy

    Creationists do have one valid point against their non-fundamentalist counterparts. If one rejects miracles such as the 6-day literal creation, Jonah and the whale, Noah’s Arc and 2 of each animal, the tower of Babel and how there came to be many different languages…well where does it stop? Why not reject the miracles in the New Testament as well such as the virgin birth and the resurrection?

  • Jeremy

    Creationists do have one valid point against their non-fundamentalist counterparts. If one rejects miracles such as the 6-day literal creation, Jonah and the whale, Noah’s Arc and 2 of each animal, the tower of Babel and how there came to be many different languages…well where does it stop? Why not reject the miracles in the New Testament as well such as the virgin birth and the resurrection?

  • SAL

    I don’t think we should seek to reconcile scientific evidence and what we believe by faith. Concepts in science are not held because they are true but because they have practical value.

    If a scientific concept helps me accurately make a prediction or a measurement than I hold it whether it’s true or not. The truth of the matter isn’t even a serious concern.

    This is why law and philosophy have much different methodologies than science.

    In our faith we hold beliefs not because they are practical but because they are true. In science we hold beliefs not because the are true but because they are practical.

  • SAL

    I don’t think we should seek to reconcile scientific evidence and what we believe by faith. Concepts in science are not held because they are true but because they have practical value.

    If a scientific concept helps me accurately make a prediction or a measurement than I hold it whether it’s true or not. The truth of the matter isn’t even a serious concern.

    This is why law and philosophy have much different methodologies than science.

    In our faith we hold beliefs not because they are practical but because they are true. In science we hold beliefs not because the are true but because they are practical.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    This is so tragic. Remember, if you don’t believe that the sun goes around the earth then you can’t be a Christian. Because the Bible clearly states in Joshua chapter 10 that the sun stood still and consequently the day was extended. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe that the Bible is true, and if the Bible isn’t true, then neither is John 3:16.

    I know, some people try to compromise, with the secular world view and say that the Bible actually describes the stopping of the earth, but says it in a way that would make sense to people who lived back then. This is the beginning of the slippery slope. First you interpret the Bible to allow for the earth to revolve around the sun, next you interpret the Bible to allow that the earth is really billions of years old, then, you interpret the Bible to allow that God used evolution as a means to create many different species. Finnaly, the whole Gospel falls apart.

    There is no linguistic reason for not considering the Hebrew word for “sun” in Joshua to be literal; just as the is no linguistic reason for not considering the Hebrew word for “day” in Genesis to be literal.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    This is so tragic. Remember, if you don’t believe that the sun goes around the earth then you can’t be a Christian. Because the Bible clearly states in Joshua chapter 10 that the sun stood still and consequently the day was extended. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t believe that the Bible is true, and if the Bible isn’t true, then neither is John 3:16.

    I know, some people try to compromise, with the secular world view and say that the Bible actually describes the stopping of the earth, but says it in a way that would make sense to people who lived back then. This is the beginning of the slippery slope. First you interpret the Bible to allow for the earth to revolve around the sun, next you interpret the Bible to allow that the earth is really billions of years old, then, you interpret the Bible to allow that God used evolution as a means to create many different species. Finnaly, the whole Gospel falls apart.

    There is no linguistic reason for not considering the Hebrew word for “sun” in Joshua to be literal; just as the is no linguistic reason for not considering the Hebrew word for “day” in Genesis to be literal.

  • DonS

    Jeremy @ 28: Exactly. Which is why many of our mainline Protestant churches today are little more than social clubs.

    And, on the flip side, if you do believe in the miracles of the virgin birth and Christ’s physical resurrection, why in the world would you reject the miracles of creation described in the book of Genesis?

  • DonS

    Jeremy @ 28: Exactly. Which is why many of our mainline Protestant churches today are little more than social clubs.

    And, on the flip side, if you do believe in the miracles of the virgin birth and Christ’s physical resurrection, why in the world would you reject the miracles of creation described in the book of Genesis?

  • Cincinnatus

    Pastor Spooner@30:

    There’s also no linguistic reason of which I’m aware for not considering the word “day” in Hesiod’s Theogony to be literal either.

    At the beginning of your comment, when you claim that “if you don’t believe that [that the sun didn't halt in Joshua 10], then you don’t believe that the Bible is true, and if the Bible isn’t true, then neither is John 3:16,” I honestly thought you were indulging in satire. First, this an enormous instance of the slippery-slope fallacy. Second, it’s a reiteration of the all-too-common tendency (especially in fundamentalist Protestantism) to forget that the Bible is not written within a single genre. Some parts of the Bible are literal, historical narratives. Some parts are literary parables. Some parts, I suggest to you, are mythological in intent.

    The important take-aways from the early chapters of Genesis include but are not limited to the following: there is a God, man had an experiential beginning, time had an experiential beginning, man is sinful, God provides a framework for redemption. What does it matter whether there were six literal days, etc.? The “truth” of Genesis has nothing to do with its historicity.

  • Cincinnatus

    Pastor Spooner@30:

    There’s also no linguistic reason of which I’m aware for not considering the word “day” in Hesiod’s Theogony to be literal either.

    At the beginning of your comment, when you claim that “if you don’t believe that [that the sun didn't halt in Joshua 10], then you don’t believe that the Bible is true, and if the Bible isn’t true, then neither is John 3:16,” I honestly thought you were indulging in satire. First, this an enormous instance of the slippery-slope fallacy. Second, it’s a reiteration of the all-too-common tendency (especially in fundamentalist Protestantism) to forget that the Bible is not written within a single genre. Some parts of the Bible are literal, historical narratives. Some parts are literary parables. Some parts, I suggest to you, are mythological in intent.

    The important take-aways from the early chapters of Genesis include but are not limited to the following: there is a God, man had an experiential beginning, time had an experiential beginning, man is sinful, God provides a framework for redemption. What does it matter whether there were six literal days, etc.? The “truth” of Genesis has nothing to do with its historicity.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,

    I don’t think that proposing a scientific theory for the long day (i.e., that the earth actually stopped rotating) is anywhere close to a slope. Asking scientifically, how did God do what he said he did, like a literal global flood, like a literal 6-day creation of a universe and everything in it, is fair game.

    Now then, its when you come saying that He couldn’t possibly have done it in 6 days as he said he , ala theistic evolution, well that is a whole ‘nother story. Those folks have not just slipped, they’ve dived off and done a head-long pike.

    In other words, I still see a big difference in asking how did God do that, as opposed to starting with the proposition that, obviously He didn’t do what he says he did.

    Whether its the long day, the flood, whatever miracle, they were recorded from the perspective of the observer as carried along by the HS. No less miraculous or doubtful that it actually happened as recorded to propose a scientific theory or perspective of how He could have carried it out in that literal framework as it was intended to be understood.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,

    I don’t think that proposing a scientific theory for the long day (i.e., that the earth actually stopped rotating) is anywhere close to a slope. Asking scientifically, how did God do what he said he did, like a literal global flood, like a literal 6-day creation of a universe and everything in it, is fair game.

    Now then, its when you come saying that He couldn’t possibly have done it in 6 days as he said he , ala theistic evolution, well that is a whole ‘nother story. Those folks have not just slipped, they’ve dived off and done a head-long pike.

    In other words, I still see a big difference in asking how did God do that, as opposed to starting with the proposition that, obviously He didn’t do what he says he did.

    Whether its the long day, the flood, whatever miracle, they were recorded from the perspective of the observer as carried along by the HS. No less miraculous or doubtful that it actually happened as recorded to propose a scientific theory or perspective of how He could have carried it out in that literal framework as it was intended to be understood.

  • John C

    Clearly, Christians can believe almost anything. According to Wikipedia there are 38 000 Christian denominations. Faith is not fixed, it seems to evolve.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

  • John C

    Clearly, Christians can believe almost anything. According to Wikipedia there are 38 000 Christian denominations. Faith is not fixed, it seems to evolve.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

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  • Jonathan

    Or rather, devolve. Sort of like harmful mutations. It doesn’t add any new, useful information, just a loss of truth.

  • Jonathan

    Or rather, devolve. Sort of like harmful mutations. It doesn’t add any new, useful information, just a loss of truth.

  • Louis

    What Cincinnatus (and Webmonk) said. Instead of working myself up, I’ll refer you’all to an interesting post over at Internetmonk, not so much dwelling on the science, as nthe Scriptural Hermeneutic etc. :

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/another-look-life-in-the-kings-garden-bible-study%e2%80%94gen-2

    And

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/another-look-surd-evil-serpents-and-the-cosmic-battle

    As to the science? As a geologist, the evidence is clear. Even if I stood on my head and squint with both eyes, there is no way I can make the data fit thew YEC’ist position. None. Anybody telling you anything else is either delusional, living in denail, or lying. Including Ham & co.

  • Louis

    What Cincinnatus (and Webmonk) said. Instead of working myself up, I’ll refer you’all to an interesting post over at Internetmonk, not so much dwelling on the science, as nthe Scriptural Hermeneutic etc. :

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/another-look-life-in-the-kings-garden-bible-study%e2%80%94gen-2

    And

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/another-look-surd-evil-serpents-and-the-cosmic-battle

    As to the science? As a geologist, the evidence is clear. Even if I stood on my head and squint with both eyes, there is no way I can make the data fit thew YEC’ist position. None. Anybody telling you anything else is either delusional, living in denail, or lying. Including Ham & co.

  • mendicus

    Pastor Spomer, you have it backward. Our belief in the Gospel does not rest on our belief in the Bible, rather, our belief in the Bible rests on our belief in the Gospel. Because the Bible points to Jesus, we believe it. “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (Jn 6.29).

  • mendicus

    Pastor Spomer, you have it backward. Our belief in the Gospel does not rest on our belief in the Bible, rather, our belief in the Bible rests on our belief in the Gospel. Because the Bible points to Jesus, we believe it. “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (Jn 6.29).

  • Jonathan

    I will bite, Louis, what geologic data convinces you of an old earth?

  • Jonathan

    I will bite, Louis, what geologic data convinces you of an old earth?

  • Louis

    Jonathan: All of it.

  • Louis

    Jonathan: All of it.

  • Louis

    Also, Jonatahn, the “all mutations are harmful” bit is nonsense. One counterexample – http://biologos.org/blog/evolution-and-the-origin-of-biological-information-part-2-e-coli-vs-id/

  • Louis

    Also, Jonatahn, the “all mutations are harmful” bit is nonsense. One counterexample – http://biologos.org/blog/evolution-and-the-origin-of-biological-information-part-2-e-coli-vs-id/

  • larry

    Jonathan,

    This might help:

    A point to remember that Luther makes is that even evidence in favor of an article of faith, age of the earth, sacrament, etc…if that is the basis of so called faith, is in fact unbelief. Faith alone hangs nakedly on the Word alone. Thus, a man convinced of the creation via scientific arguments, even assuming they are right, is not really faith alone in the Word alone but unbelief. That’s irony of both camps old earth versus young earth, the devil’s believe and in fact at least tremble.

    Hypothetically, if one could test wine at the moment and discover “blood” (this is only hypothetical to show the point) and then suddenly the sacramentarians say, “Oh now I believe”. The question is do they? The answer is, “No.” They did not believe the Word alone but the evidence of the scientific test in this case. Thus, they foist reason and “other things” above the Word of God.

    Never forget that whatever the article of faith creation, Trinity, two natures, incarnation, resurrection, justification, baptism, the Lord’s Supper is ALWAYS about the Word Alone (sola scriptura) and faith Alone (sola fide). If you could PROVE every single one of these articles of faith some how by tests and reason, you would have at the end of the day NOTHING but shear unbelief (in the Word Alone) masquerading as “faith”. This is why Jesus said that not even if someone should come back from the dead would they believe.

  • larry

    Jonathan,

    This might help:

    A point to remember that Luther makes is that even evidence in favor of an article of faith, age of the earth, sacrament, etc…if that is the basis of so called faith, is in fact unbelief. Faith alone hangs nakedly on the Word alone. Thus, a man convinced of the creation via scientific arguments, even assuming they are right, is not really faith alone in the Word alone but unbelief. That’s irony of both camps old earth versus young earth, the devil’s believe and in fact at least tremble.

    Hypothetically, if one could test wine at the moment and discover “blood” (this is only hypothetical to show the point) and then suddenly the sacramentarians say, “Oh now I believe”. The question is do they? The answer is, “No.” They did not believe the Word alone but the evidence of the scientific test in this case. Thus, they foist reason and “other things” above the Word of God.

    Never forget that whatever the article of faith creation, Trinity, two natures, incarnation, resurrection, justification, baptism, the Lord’s Supper is ALWAYS about the Word Alone (sola scriptura) and faith Alone (sola fide). If you could PROVE every single one of these articles of faith some how by tests and reason, you would have at the end of the day NOTHING but shear unbelief (in the Word Alone) masquerading as “faith”. This is why Jesus said that not even if someone should come back from the dead would they believe.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan – the “all mutations are harmful” is a position that has been abandoned by all YEC biologists. It still gets put into their publications and people like Ken Ham still tend to repeat that line, but anyone in the YEC crowd who actually knows something about biology will very readily confirm that the “all mutations are harmful” line is a load of bunk.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan – the “all mutations are harmful” is a position that has been abandoned by all YEC biologists. It still gets put into their publications and people like Ken Ham still tend to repeat that line, but anyone in the YEC crowd who actually knows something about biology will very readily confirm that the “all mutations are harmful” line is a load of bunk.

  • Louis

    Larry, using the Real Presence to argue for a young earth is not a good idea at all.

  • Louis

    Larry, using the Real Presence to argue for a young earth is not a good idea at all.

  • WebMonk

    Cin @32 – I’m almost 100% sure that Spooner @30 was indeed being sarcastic. Unless he is a geocentrist, he must be using sarcasm in that post.

  • WebMonk

    Cin @32 – I’m almost 100% sure that Spooner @30 was indeed being sarcastic. Unless he is a geocentrist, he must be using sarcasm in that post.

  • Louis

    DonS – Miracles are, by definition, somehting “out of the ordinary”, like the Virgin birth. They are, in effect, singularities. Thus a belief in say the Virgin Birth cannot be equated with a belief in YEC’ism.

  • Louis

    DonS – Miracles are, by definition, somehting “out of the ordinary”, like the Virgin birth. They are, in effect, singularities. Thus a belief in say the Virgin Birth cannot be equated with a belief in YEC’ism.

  • WebMonk

    Sorry, I don’t know why I wrote “Spooner”. I meant Spomer.

  • WebMonk

    Sorry, I don’t know why I wrote “Spooner”. I meant Spomer.

  • Louis

    Webmonk, there are geocentricst YUEC’ists out there – I personally know some. When someone reaches that position, it becomes like reasoning with a conspiracy theorist – it becomes no-win situation.

  • Louis

    Webmonk, there are geocentricst YUEC’ists out there – I personally know some. When someone reaches that position, it becomes like reasoning with a conspiracy theorist – it becomes no-win situation.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 45: I wasn’t arguing specifically for Young Earth Creationism. Just for a literal Adam & Eve, as well as a literal Noah. Disbelieving the Noah study because you don’t see how eight people could care for all of the animals, since the keepers in the San Diego Zoo couldn’t do it in their own strength seems to me to have missed the entire point that God’s power transcends human limitations.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 45: I wasn’t arguing specifically for Young Earth Creationism. Just for a literal Adam & Eve, as well as a literal Noah. Disbelieving the Noah study because you don’t see how eight people could care for all of the animals, since the keepers in the San Diego Zoo couldn’t do it in their own strength seems to me to have missed the entire point that God’s power transcends human limitations.

  • DonS

    “study” should be “story” in post 48.

  • DonS

    “study” should be “story” in post 48.

  • Jonathan

    The vast majority of mutations are either neutral or harmful. Some can be benficial, for sure like bacterial resistence. But the point is, mutations don’t add any new information, only a loss of information or a transposition of information. That scientists have to play around so with genes, adding new ones, taking some out, or rearranging them to get a desired effect just strengthens the conclusion that this information didn’t come about by random chance over vast amounts of time; it was designed.

  • Jonathan

    The vast majority of mutations are either neutral or harmful. Some can be benficial, for sure like bacterial resistence. But the point is, mutations don’t add any new information, only a loss of information or a transposition of information. That scientists have to play around so with genes, adding new ones, taking some out, or rearranging them to get a desired effect just strengthens the conclusion that this information didn’t come about by random chance over vast amounts of time; it was designed.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@50: A positively ridiculous statement. That most mutations are either harmful or neutral (nice bastardization of the Wiki article there) is a lot different than claiming that all mutations are harmful or neutral:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation#Beneficial_mutations

    There are, in fact, documented positive mutations, even excepting the possibility of evolution.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@50: A positively ridiculous statement. That most mutations are either harmful or neutral (nice bastardization of the Wiki article there) is a lot different than claiming that all mutations are harmful or neutral:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation#Beneficial_mutations

    There are, in fact, documented positive mutations, even excepting the possibility of evolution.

  • Grace

    Little man frustrates himself, trying to figure out how the world was made, and the two people God created and set in the Garden of Eden – a worthless endeavor.

    23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

    24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

    25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

    26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

    27
    That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

    28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
    Isaiah 44

    I love the passage “that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

    And “foolish” it is!

  • Grace

    Little man frustrates himself, trying to figure out how the world was made, and the two people God created and set in the Garden of Eden – a worthless endeavor.

    23 Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

    24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

    25 That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

    26 That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

    27
    That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers:

    28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.
    Isaiah 44

    I love the passage “that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

    And “foolish” it is!

  • WebMonk

    And Jonathan, again, you might want to catch up on the latest from the YEC peoples. They’re finally up to about 30 years behind the rest of the world, and you’ll find the majority of YEC biologists now admit that mutations can and do add “information” to DNA, not just in bacteria but also in macroscopic creatures.

    You can’t just read the AiG’s magazine – you have to actually read their “research journal” and get the papers from the various YEC conferences.

  • WebMonk

    And Jonathan, again, you might want to catch up on the latest from the YEC peoples. They’re finally up to about 30 years behind the rest of the world, and you’ll find the majority of YEC biologists now admit that mutations can and do add “information” to DNA, not just in bacteria but also in macroscopic creatures.

    You can’t just read the AiG’s magazine – you have to actually read their “research journal” and get the papers from the various YEC conferences.

  • no.4kitty

    At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not. How about you?

    Science does not shake my faith in Christ’s salvation either. It does, however, shake my faith in a literal interpretation of the creation story. Even if the biblical account is merely a myth ~ does that mean that it cannot contain truth? Or do we have to ally ourselves with the fundamentalist inerrancy and their carnival of flat earthers and conspiracy theorists?

  • no.4kitty

    At any rate, I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not. How about you?

    Science does not shake my faith in Christ’s salvation either. It does, however, shake my faith in a literal interpretation of the creation story. Even if the biblical account is merely a myth ~ does that mean that it cannot contain truth? Or do we have to ally ourselves with the fundamentalist inerrancy and their carnival of flat earthers and conspiracy theorists?

  • Jonathan

    The geneticists are operating under the naturalistic worldview that they can completely deconstruct the human genome by working backward, all the way to square one by natural means. So, they get to point in their deconstruction where they hit a roadblock, and in order to keep going they have to propose 10,000 sub-humanoids somehow contributed to get them to that point, because otherwise, they can’t conceive of how the information could have developed to that point. Wouldn’t it be equally valid to propose that they hit the end of the road, or, rather, the starting point? No, because that would not fit their naturalistic construct.

  • Jonathan

    The geneticists are operating under the naturalistic worldview that they can completely deconstruct the human genome by working backward, all the way to square one by natural means. So, they get to point in their deconstruction where they hit a roadblock, and in order to keep going they have to propose 10,000 sub-humanoids somehow contributed to get them to that point, because otherwise, they can’t conceive of how the information could have developed to that point. Wouldn’t it be equally valid to propose that they hit the end of the road, or, rather, the starting point? No, because that would not fit their naturalistic construct.

  • no.4kitty

    @Jonathan #55

    So, they get to point in their deconstruction where they hit a roadblock, and in order to keep going they have to propose 10,000 sub-humanoids somehow contributed to get them to that point, because otherwise, they can’t conceive of how the information could have developed to that point

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me. How much you wanna bet that they all know the Truth™ but have conspired with TPTB to hide it from the rest of us?

  • no.4kitty

    @Jonathan #55

    So, they get to point in their deconstruction where they hit a roadblock, and in order to keep going they have to propose 10,000 sub-humanoids somehow contributed to get them to that point, because otherwise, they can’t conceive of how the information could have developed to that point

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me. How much you wanna bet that they all know the Truth™ but have conspired with TPTB to hide it from the rest of us?

  • Grace

    no.4kitty @ 54

    “Science does not shake my faith in Christ’s salvation either. It does, however, shake my faith in a literal interpretation of the creation story. Even if the biblical account is merely a myth

    “merely a myth” ?

    If you don’t believe the account in Genesis, then you need to grapple with 1st and 2nd Corinthians and 1st Timothy as well – do you discount Paul’s words? – This tears at the New Testament, … at which you believe in Christ’s Salvation, but creation, as explained in the Old Testament can be questioned? Even when Paul recounts the events of the first and second Adam?

    You question the account of God creating Adam and Eve? it’s stated in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians plainly, by Paul.

    The epistle to the church was in Corinth. Paul wrote it from Ephesus about 55-57 A.D.

    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
    Gen 2:7

    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    1 Corinthians 15

    This epistle by Paul –

    2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
    2 Corinthians 11

    Below the first epistle to Timothy

    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    1 Timothy 2

  • Grace

    no.4kitty @ 54

    “Science does not shake my faith in Christ’s salvation either. It does, however, shake my faith in a literal interpretation of the creation story. Even if the biblical account is merely a myth

    “merely a myth” ?

    If you don’t believe the account in Genesis, then you need to grapple with 1st and 2nd Corinthians and 1st Timothy as well – do you discount Paul’s words? – This tears at the New Testament, … at which you believe in Christ’s Salvation, but creation, as explained in the Old Testament can be questioned? Even when Paul recounts the events of the first and second Adam?

    You question the account of God creating Adam and Eve? it’s stated in 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians plainly, by Paul.

    The epistle to the church was in Corinth. Paul wrote it from Ephesus about 55-57 A.D.

    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
    Gen 2:7

    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    1 Corinthians 15

    This epistle by Paul –

    2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
    2 Corinthians 11

    Below the first epistle to Timothy

    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
    1 Timothy 2

  • no.4kitty

    @Grace #57
    Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.

  • no.4kitty

    @Grace #57
    Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.

  • Grace

    58 – no.4kitty

    Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.

    Taking that approach, you could add “metaphorically” or “mistaken” to any part of Scripture, including the Cross, Salvation Christ’s Deity, the Trinity, Christ arising from the grave.

  • Grace

    58 – no.4kitty

    Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.

    Taking that approach, you could add “metaphorically” or “mistaken” to any part of Scripture, including the Cross, Salvation Christ’s Deity, the Trinity, Christ arising from the grave.

  • no.4kitty

    @Grace #58

    Yes! Isn’t it a good thing that God is the author and perfector of our faith. Oh…but you were looking for certainty.

  • no.4kitty

    @Grace #58

    Yes! Isn’t it a good thing that God is the author and perfector of our faith. Oh…but you were looking for certainty.

  • Louis

    Then, Grace, if you have a problem with Kitty’s approach, why do you then take Christ’s Words where He says “This is My body” etc., or Paul’s words, where he writes “baptism now saves you”, as metaphorical, not literal? You cannot deride Kitty for being “inconsistent”, and then do the same. Unless you believe there is textual/contextual/factual evidence for doing so. But from past experience you do not seem to want to present any such evidence…

  • Louis

    Then, Grace, if you have a problem with Kitty’s approach, why do you then take Christ’s Words where He says “This is My body” etc., or Paul’s words, where he writes “baptism now saves you”, as metaphorical, not literal? You cannot deride Kitty for being “inconsistent”, and then do the same. Unless you believe there is textual/contextual/factual evidence for doing so. But from past experience you do not seem to want to present any such evidence…

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Before too much time goes by, I confess I was indulging in satire, but to prove a point.
    Yes, there is certainly an attack on the true faith by the world, however it does not follow that any accommodation to visible evidence in our hermeneutics, is also an accommodation to untruth.
    God, of course could create the universe instantaneously if He choose to do so. However, He usually chooses to use means, and we in no way take away from His authority when we recognize this. He gives me my daily bread, but a grocer and a farmer are involved.
    Larry, let me respectfully disagree with you when you wrote, “Faith alone hangs nakedly on the Word alone. “ It can yes, but it rarely does. Faith works with evidence, because God is the supplier of both. Remember when He said to Thomas, “Touch Me and see,”? Remember Gideon’s fleece, one day wet, one day dry? It is an important part of our faith to confess that the things that God says and promises have, and will have a concrete, experiential fulfillment. Faith is not a separate world from what we see and touch. Conversely, what we see and touch has an appropriate place in our understanding God’s Word.
    Joshua is a good example. It is not an allegory; it is presented as history, which it is. It is true, in its historical context. It would have been strange for God to have to first explained Copernican cosmology to Joshua before answering his prayer.
    Likewise, Genesis 1&2 are true. Yet, we can also understand them by broadening our context to include the first audience (Moses and his people) to us, and all of the generations in the intervening years, and the generations to yet to come.
    I believe there were a literal Adam and Eve. After all, individual minds are responsible, sinful, evasive, and all the other stuff that Adam and Eve were. They may have lived a mere 10,000 years ago. However, looking at the world that God has given us, it seems that they probably lived far longer ago. And before that there was a long period of God working with His world as He still does today. To Him, it may have been a mere 6 days, to other, less cosmic perspectives the time may be different. Heck, if string theory is true, and there are 11 dimensions, perhaps both are true.
    God is faithful, I trust Him, He literally rose from the dead and will likewise raise me. Seeing His hand in both nature and the Bible makes this even more real to me.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Before too much time goes by, I confess I was indulging in satire, but to prove a point.
    Yes, there is certainly an attack on the true faith by the world, however it does not follow that any accommodation to visible evidence in our hermeneutics, is also an accommodation to untruth.
    God, of course could create the universe instantaneously if He choose to do so. However, He usually chooses to use means, and we in no way take away from His authority when we recognize this. He gives me my daily bread, but a grocer and a farmer are involved.
    Larry, let me respectfully disagree with you when you wrote, “Faith alone hangs nakedly on the Word alone. “ It can yes, but it rarely does. Faith works with evidence, because God is the supplier of both. Remember when He said to Thomas, “Touch Me and see,”? Remember Gideon’s fleece, one day wet, one day dry? It is an important part of our faith to confess that the things that God says and promises have, and will have a concrete, experiential fulfillment. Faith is not a separate world from what we see and touch. Conversely, what we see and touch has an appropriate place in our understanding God’s Word.
    Joshua is a good example. It is not an allegory; it is presented as history, which it is. It is true, in its historical context. It would have been strange for God to have to first explained Copernican cosmology to Joshua before answering his prayer.
    Likewise, Genesis 1&2 are true. Yet, we can also understand them by broadening our context to include the first audience (Moses and his people) to us, and all of the generations in the intervening years, and the generations to yet to come.
    I believe there were a literal Adam and Eve. After all, individual minds are responsible, sinful, evasive, and all the other stuff that Adam and Eve were. They may have lived a mere 10,000 years ago. However, looking at the world that God has given us, it seems that they probably lived far longer ago. And before that there was a long period of God working with His world as He still does today. To Him, it may have been a mere 6 days, to other, less cosmic perspectives the time may be different. Heck, if string theory is true, and there are 11 dimensions, perhaps both are true.
    God is faithful, I trust Him, He literally rose from the dead and will likewise raise me. Seeing His hand in both nature and the Bible makes this even more real to me.

  • Jonathan

    God Bless you, Pr Spomer,
    I don’t see how you get there, “given the world He’s given us,” I just don’t see it. If God’s word isn’t reliable when he says “day,” then I don’t know how it is reliable anywhere else. A substitutionary blood-guilt offering by His Son seems downright ludicrous in that case.

  • Jonathan

    God Bless you, Pr Spomer,
    I don’t see how you get there, “given the world He’s given us,” I just don’t see it. If God’s word isn’t reliable when he says “day,” then I don’t know how it is reliable anywhere else. A substitutionary blood-guilt offering by His Son seems downright ludicrous in that case.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Jonathan,
    What I am saying is that interpreting “day” to have multiple meanings is not to say that the Bible is unreliable. It means that one understands the words in light of a relationship with God, Who, Himself, is the center of our faith. Let me use another example.
    “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
    Now if days must be 24 hour days, then Jesus is telling us that He will be in the tomb for 72 hours. The Bible also tells us that Jesus died Friday night and rose Sunday morning. By our way of thinking, about 40 hours.
    But of course, the above doesn’t show that the Bible is unreliable; it shows that we must read it with understanding. This understanding comes from knowing the Author, and what He is telling us. As Saint Augustine said, and my sainted professor Kurt Marquart would quote, ‘The Bible was not written to tell us how the heavens go. It was written to tell us how to go to heaven.”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Jonathan,
    What I am saying is that interpreting “day” to have multiple meanings is not to say that the Bible is unreliable. It means that one understands the words in light of a relationship with God, Who, Himself, is the center of our faith. Let me use another example.
    “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
    Now if days must be 24 hour days, then Jesus is telling us that He will be in the tomb for 72 hours. The Bible also tells us that Jesus died Friday night and rose Sunday morning. By our way of thinking, about 40 hours.
    But of course, the above doesn’t show that the Bible is unreliable; it shows that we must read it with understanding. This understanding comes from knowing the Author, and what He is telling us. As Saint Augustine said, and my sainted professor Kurt Marquart would quote, ‘The Bible was not written to tell us how the heavens go. It was written to tell us how to go to heaven.”

  • WebMonk

    I’m leaving all snark behind when I say that AiG’s theology about the meaning of the word “day” is worse than the Left Behind series’ theology of the End Times.

    For example their statement that ‘yom’ always refers to a 24 hour day when preceded by an ordinal, or when in the presence of “morning” or “evening”. It’s just out and out false. No possible excuse.

  • WebMonk

    I’m leaving all snark behind when I say that AiG’s theology about the meaning of the word “day” is worse than the Left Behind series’ theology of the End Times.

    For example their statement that ‘yom’ always refers to a 24 hour day when preceded by an ordinal, or when in the presence of “morning” or “evening”. It’s just out and out false. No possible excuse.

  • Grace

    58 – no.4kitty

    YOU WROTE: “Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.“

    IF Paul was “mistaken” about “Adam” and “Eve” then he most certainly could be “mistaken” about everything he wrote in the New Testament. You can add “metaphors” in as well.

  • Grace

    58 – no.4kitty

    YOU WROTE: “Paul was either speaking metaphorically or he was mistaken.“

    IF Paul was “mistaken” about “Adam” and “Eve” then he most certainly could be “mistaken” about everything he wrote in the New Testament. You can add “metaphors” in as well.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Grace,
    “IF Paul was “mistaken” about “Adam” and “Eve” then he most certainly could be “mistaken” about everything he wrote in the New Testament. You can add “metaphors” in as well.”

    More to the point is that it doesn’t really matter. Consider the phrase, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” One doesn’t decide whether the word “stitch” is literal or not by analyzing the uses individual word “stitch”. One looks at the context. Literary, as well as historical context. Likewise with “day” .

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Grace,
    “IF Paul was “mistaken” about “Adam” and “Eve” then he most certainly could be “mistaken” about everything he wrote in the New Testament. You can add “metaphors” in as well.”

    More to the point is that it doesn’t really matter. Consider the phrase, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” One doesn’t decide whether the word “stitch” is literal or not by analyzing the uses individual word “stitch”. One looks at the context. Literary, as well as historical context. Likewise with “day” .

  • Cincinnatus

    Pastor Spomer:

    Apologies for missing your satirical intent above, though my point is still of general application, I think.

    In general, what I’ve been meaning to say this entire time is just what you’ve noted: “it doesn’t really matter.”

  • Cincinnatus

    Pastor Spomer:

    Apologies for missing your satirical intent above, though my point is still of general application, I think.

    In general, what I’ve been meaning to say this entire time is just what you’ve noted: “it doesn’t really matter.”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Oops,
    Sorry, wrong person, wrong quote. I meant WebMonk, and meant to quote,
    “For example their statement that ‘yom’ always refers to a 24 hour day when preceded by an ordinal, or when in the presence of “morning” or “evening”. It’s just out and out false. No possible excuse.”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Oops,
    Sorry, wrong person, wrong quote. I meant WebMonk, and meant to quote,
    “For example their statement that ‘yom’ always refers to a 24 hour day when preceded by an ordinal, or when in the presence of “morning” or “evening”. It’s just out and out false. No possible excuse.”

  • Tom Hering

    I agree that the Scriptures are without error in all things pertaining to salvation. Like believing that God doesn’t lie, and Jesus is God, and Jesus doesn’t perpetuate falsehoods. If instead of affirming the stories of Noah, Adam and Eve, and a six-day creation, Jesus had instead affirmed that an old earth and evolution were the real truth, it would have been no more shocking to his hearers than some other things He said. And they wouldn’t have been novel propositions either, as theories of an old earth and evolution predated Him by hundreds of years. So why didn’t He choose to confirm them? I mean, was there a danger it would have made Him unpopular or something?

  • Tom Hering

    I agree that the Scriptures are without error in all things pertaining to salvation. Like believing that God doesn’t lie, and Jesus is God, and Jesus doesn’t perpetuate falsehoods. If instead of affirming the stories of Noah, Adam and Eve, and a six-day creation, Jesus had instead affirmed that an old earth and evolution were the real truth, it would have been no more shocking to his hearers than some other things He said. And they wouldn’t have been novel propositions either, as theories of an old earth and evolution predated Him by hundreds of years. So why didn’t He choose to confirm them? I mean, was there a danger it would have made Him unpopular or something?

  • Grace

    Pastor Phil Spomer – 67

    YOU WROTE:

    “More to the point is that it doesn’t really matter. Consider the phrase, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” One doesn’t decide whether the word “stitch” is literal or not by analyzing the uses individual word “stitch”. One looks at the context. Literary, as well as historical context. Likewise with “day” .

    Your analogy is juvenile.

    God said:

    And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Genesis 1:5

    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

    1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

    2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2

    God Almighty loving us so much, He sent His Son, gave us His HOLY Word – you think He, could not keep the Word in order so that man could understand, down through the ages? If you want to discount parts of Scripture that’s your choice, and your LOSS!

  • Grace

    Pastor Phil Spomer – 67

    YOU WROTE:

    “More to the point is that it doesn’t really matter. Consider the phrase, “A stitch in time, saves nine.” One doesn’t decide whether the word “stitch” is literal or not by analyzing the uses individual word “stitch”. One looks at the context. Literary, as well as historical context. Likewise with “day” .

    Your analogy is juvenile.

    God said:

    And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Genesis 1:5

    And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31

    1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

    2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. Genesis 2

    God Almighty loving us so much, He sent His Son, gave us His HOLY Word – you think He, could not keep the Word in order so that man could understand, down through the ages? If you want to discount parts of Scripture that’s your choice, and your LOSS!

  • Jonathan

    Grace and Tom H, I think I am with you. Jesus referred to these as hsitorical truth, not as metaphor or alagory. And would God not mean to be literal somewhere like when he says 1,2,6, days whereas He is literal when it comes to something as otherwise absurd, even diabolical, as a substitutionary atonement of a blood guilt offering of his son? Otherwise you have to make God out to be a liar of the most devious nature. How one could reconcile such things is beyond me.

  • Jonathan

    Grace and Tom H, I think I am with you. Jesus referred to these as hsitorical truth, not as metaphor or alagory. And would God not mean to be literal somewhere like when he says 1,2,6, days whereas He is literal when it comes to something as otherwise absurd, even diabolical, as a substitutionary atonement of a blood guilt offering of his son? Otherwise you have to make God out to be a liar of the most devious nature. How one could reconcile such things is beyond me.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Tom,
    Good point. One can ask why didn’t Jesus inform humanity about simple hygiene? Just telling people a few facts about sanitation would have saved millions of lives. But, He did save lives in an even more important way, which may answer the question.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Tom,
    Good point. One can ask why didn’t Jesus inform humanity about simple hygiene? Just telling people a few facts about sanitation would have saved millions of lives. But, He did save lives in an even more important way, which may answer the question.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,

    There was evening and morning, one day. Jesus being in the belly of the earth is no different, evening and morning one day, Friday to Sunday, according to the ancient Hebrew mind, evening and morning is one yom. I see no reason to doubt Jesus’ interpretation to Jonah being three yom in the belly of the sea monster. should we call Christ a liar that he did not spend three yom in the belly of the earth because it may have been less than 72 hours? Of course not.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,

    There was evening and morning, one day. Jesus being in the belly of the earth is no different, evening and morning one day, Friday to Sunday, according to the ancient Hebrew mind, evening and morning is one yom. I see no reason to doubt Jesus’ interpretation to Jonah being three yom in the belly of the sea monster. should we call Christ a liar that he did not spend three yom in the belly of the earth because it may have been less than 72 hours? Of course not.

  • Louis

    Interestingly, a number of Church Fathers make the same point, namely that a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis isn’t necessary: St Augustine, St Basil and Origen says thus. Also the great Jewish sage of the time, Philo of Alexandria.

  • Louis

    Interestingly, a number of Church Fathers make the same point, namely that a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis isn’t necessary: St Augustine, St Basil and Origen says thus. Also the great Jewish sage of the time, Philo of Alexandria.

  • Grace

    Here again, we see numbers of days used. If you can believe that Christ arose on the third day, why is it so difficult for you to believe the LORD created the earth in six days? Do you believe God is incapable of creation in six days, but Christ is capable of lifting Himself up from the grave in three days?

    6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

    7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

    46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

    47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    48 And ye are witnesses of these things. Luke 24

  • Grace

    Here again, we see numbers of days used. If you can believe that Christ arose on the third day, why is it so difficult for you to believe the LORD created the earth in six days? Do you believe God is incapable of creation in six days, but Christ is capable of lifting Himself up from the grave in three days?

    6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

    7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

    46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

    47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    48 And ye are witnesses of these things. Luke 24

  • Jonathan

    Dear Grace, if you can figure out how they do it, please let me know, b/c it totally escapes me.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Grace, if you can figure out how they do it, please let me know, b/c it totally escapes me.

  • Grace

    77 Jonathan

    I trust the LORD, I believe the Bible to be inerrant. I look up and see the vastness in my small mind, a fraction of His creation, and then I know that I comprehend not what HE has done, and what He will do.

    When I think upon heaven, His throne, His majesty, His love for you and me, I feel so blessed to be part of His creation, to be given the gift of Salvation through faith in my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

    When HE returns, when we see HIM, it will be the greatest day of my life, next to believing in Him for life eternal.

    He is God, He can do anything, within the twinkling of an eye!

    God bless you

  • Grace

    77 Jonathan

    I trust the LORD, I believe the Bible to be inerrant. I look up and see the vastness in my small mind, a fraction of His creation, and then I know that I comprehend not what HE has done, and what He will do.

    When I think upon heaven, His throne, His majesty, His love for you and me, I feel so blessed to be part of His creation, to be given the gift of Salvation through faith in my LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

    When HE returns, when we see HIM, it will be the greatest day of my life, next to believing in Him for life eternal.

    He is God, He can do anything, within the twinkling of an eye!

    God bless you

  • trotk

    Grace, why does it perturb you so that the Bible might be using yom to mean its other legitimate meaning?

    If God created the world in six days, the Bible is accurate and true.

    If God created the world in six ages, the Bible is accurate and true.

    Neither is an interpretation. Both are legitimate translations of the word used. Why does one scare you, and not the other.

    And why is day literal if body and blood are not????????????!!!!!!!?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • trotk

    Grace, why does it perturb you so that the Bible might be using yom to mean its other legitimate meaning?

    If God created the world in six days, the Bible is accurate and true.

    If God created the world in six ages, the Bible is accurate and true.

    Neither is an interpretation. Both are legitimate translations of the word used. Why does one scare you, and not the other.

    And why is day literal if body and blood are not????????????!!!!!!!?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Louis

    Well, trotk and others, here is an example of an interpretation / exegesis from the Early Church, of Genesis 1.

    St Basil writes:

    Such is also the character of eternity, to revolve
    upon itself and to end nowhere. If then the beginning of time is
    called “one day” rather than “the first day,” it is because Scripture
    wishes to establish its relationship with eternity. It was, in
    reality, fit and natural to call “one” the day whose character is to be
    one wholly separated and isolated from all the others. If Scripture
    speaks to us of many ages, saying everywhere, “age of age, and ages of
    ages,” we do not see it enumerate them as first, second, and third. It
    follows that we are hereby shown not so much limits, ends and
    succession of ages, as distinctions between various states and modes of
    action. “The day of the Lord,” Scripture says, “is great and very
    terrible,” [1454] and elsewhere “Woe unto you that desire the day of
    the Lord: to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness
    and not light.” [1455] A day of darkness for those who are worthy of
    darkness. No; this day without evening, without succession and without
    end is not unknown to Scripture, and it is the day that the Psalmist
    calls the eighth day, because it is outside this time of weeks. [1456]
    Thus whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you
    express the same idea. Give this state the name of day; there are not
    several, but only one. If you call it eternity still it is unique and
    not manifold. Thus it is in order that you may carry your thoughts
    forward towards a future life, that Scripture marks by the word “one”
    the day which is the type of eternity, the first fruits of days, the
    contemporary of light, the holy Lord’s day honoured by the Resurrection
    of our Lord. And the evening and the morning were one day.”

  • Louis

    Well, trotk and others, here is an example of an interpretation / exegesis from the Early Church, of Genesis 1.

    St Basil writes:

    Such is also the character of eternity, to revolve
    upon itself and to end nowhere. If then the beginning of time is
    called “one day” rather than “the first day,” it is because Scripture
    wishes to establish its relationship with eternity. It was, in
    reality, fit and natural to call “one” the day whose character is to be
    one wholly separated and isolated from all the others. If Scripture
    speaks to us of many ages, saying everywhere, “age of age, and ages of
    ages,” we do not see it enumerate them as first, second, and third. It
    follows that we are hereby shown not so much limits, ends and
    succession of ages, as distinctions between various states and modes of
    action. “The day of the Lord,” Scripture says, “is great and very
    terrible,” [1454] and elsewhere “Woe unto you that desire the day of
    the Lord: to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness
    and not light.” [1455] A day of darkness for those who are worthy of
    darkness. No; this day without evening, without succession and without
    end is not unknown to Scripture, and it is the day that the Psalmist
    calls the eighth day, because it is outside this time of weeks. [1456]
    Thus whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you
    express the same idea. Give this state the name of day; there are not
    several, but only one. If you call it eternity still it is unique and
    not manifold. Thus it is in order that you may carry your thoughts
    forward towards a future life, that Scripture marks by the word “one”
    the day which is the type of eternity, the first fruits of days, the
    contemporary of light, the holy Lord’s day honoured by the Resurrection
    of our Lord. And the evening and the morning were one day.”

  • Trey

    If one can believe Genesis 1:1 then one can easily believe that God created the world in six literal days and not aeons. It really makes no since why God would deceive His Creation and require the Hebrews to rest on the Sabbath as He rested if it was not literal.

    To Dr. Veith’s point, if Adam is an allegorical person then there really is no need for God to become man to redeem him because sin then is allegorical and the fall is allegorical. This is all wishful thinking. However, history tells another story that sin is real,, Christ is real and He says that Adam is real. Since He conquered death I would take His Word for it not a bunch of men, who do not have the capability to test their historical science.

  • Trey

    If one can believe Genesis 1:1 then one can easily believe that God created the world in six literal days and not aeons. It really makes no since why God would deceive His Creation and require the Hebrews to rest on the Sabbath as He rested if it was not literal.

    To Dr. Veith’s point, if Adam is an allegorical person then there really is no need for God to become man to redeem him because sin then is allegorical and the fall is allegorical. This is all wishful thinking. However, history tells another story that sin is real,, Christ is real and He says that Adam is real. Since He conquered death I would take His Word for it not a bunch of men, who do not have the capability to test their historical science.

  • Grace

    Trey – 81

    “Christ is real and He says that Adam is real. Since He conquered death I would take His Word for it not a bunch of men, who do not have the capability to test their historical science.”

    Amen!

  • Grace

    Trey – 81

    “Christ is real and He says that Adam is real. Since He conquered death I would take His Word for it not a bunch of men, who do not have the capability to test their historical science.”

    Amen!

  • Tom Hering

    “One can ask why didn’t Jesus inform humanity about simple hygiene? Just telling people a few facts about sanitation would have saved millions of lives.”

    God did indeed give rules for good hygiene – see the Old Testament. I have no doubt it extended a lot of lives.

  • Tom Hering

    “One can ask why didn’t Jesus inform humanity about simple hygiene? Just telling people a few facts about sanitation would have saved millions of lives.”

    God did indeed give rules for good hygiene – see the Old Testament. I have no doubt it extended a lot of lives.

  • Louis

    As a alayman, I fully understand that people can have different beliefs – and as the focus of our Faith is Christ – Incarnated, Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended, beliefs regarding the literal/mythic/allegorical/metaphorical nature (or any combination of the those) do not have a salvic impact.

    That being said, as a professional in my field, and after may years of pondering this matter, them staggering volume of data available leads to one of two possibilities:

    a) Genesis 1 (even more, 1 – 11) are not entirely literal, and possibly even largely mythic/allegorical/metaphorical in nature.

    b) God created a world that deceives us as to its age, the history of life etc.

    Since God loves us, and has sent His Son to die for our sins, I have great difficulty in believing the (b). It seems to be entirely inconcictent with His revealed nature.

    Thus (a).

    Furthermore, the mthere is plenty of textual and contextual evidence for interpretation (a). I encourage any naysayers to at least read the links I gave at #36, and even my St Basil quotation, as well as the works of other Church Fathers such as St Augustine.

  • Louis

    As a alayman, I fully understand that people can have different beliefs – and as the focus of our Faith is Christ – Incarnated, Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended, beliefs regarding the literal/mythic/allegorical/metaphorical nature (or any combination of the those) do not have a salvic impact.

    That being said, as a professional in my field, and after may years of pondering this matter, them staggering volume of data available leads to one of two possibilities:

    a) Genesis 1 (even more, 1 – 11) are not entirely literal, and possibly even largely mythic/allegorical/metaphorical in nature.

    b) God created a world that deceives us as to its age, the history of life etc.

    Since God loves us, and has sent His Son to die for our sins, I have great difficulty in believing the (b). It seems to be entirely inconcictent with His revealed nature.

    Thus (a).

    Furthermore, the mthere is plenty of textual and contextual evidence for interpretation (a). I encourage any naysayers to at least read the links I gave at #36, and even my St Basil quotation, as well as the works of other Church Fathers such as St Augustine.

  • Louis

    So, for you literalists, read Acts 2:16 and 20: A trivial example of non-literal interpretation by an apostle.

    Or what about this one: Adam brought death, and Christ brought life, yes? But we are all still dying? So either it is nonsense, or the text implicitly refers to spiritual death and spiritual (eternal) life. Not explicitly.

  • Louis

    So, for you literalists, read Acts 2:16 and 20: A trivial example of non-literal interpretation by an apostle.

    Or what about this one: Adam brought death, and Christ brought life, yes? But we are all still dying? So either it is nonsense, or the text implicitly refers to spiritual death and spiritual (eternal) life. Not explicitly.

  • Grace

    Louis – 85

    “Or what about this one: Adam brought death, and Christ brought life, yes? But we are all still dying? So either it is nonsense, or the text implicitly refers to spiritual death and spiritual (eternal) life. Not explicitly.”

    You are confused.

    You’re mix and matching when you state in post 85 —“So, for you literalists, read Acts 2:16 and 20: A trivial example of non-literal interpretation by an apostle.”

    Lame response, to a subject of great importance!

  • Grace

    Louis – 85

    “Or what about this one: Adam brought death, and Christ brought life, yes? But we are all still dying? So either it is nonsense, or the text implicitly refers to spiritual death and spiritual (eternal) life. Not explicitly.”

    You are confused.

    You’re mix and matching when you state in post 85 —“So, for you literalists, read Acts 2:16 and 20: A trivial example of non-literal interpretation by an apostle.”

    Lame response, to a subject of great importance!

  • Tom Hering

    c) with the Fall, death entered the world, and in that moment the Earth aged exceedingly (aging and death are inseparable).

  • Tom Hering

    c) with the Fall, death entered the world, and in that moment the Earth aged exceedingly (aging and death are inseparable).

  • Louis

    Tom – no scientific or Scriptural support. It is a very flimsy stopgap option. Sort of like Last Thursdayism.

    Grace – why is that a lame answer? Also, please answer Trotk @ 79.

  • Louis

    Tom – no scientific or Scriptural support. It is a very flimsy stopgap option. Sort of like Last Thursdayism.

    Grace – why is that a lame answer? Also, please answer Trotk @ 79.

  • Grace

    87 Tom Hering

    c) with the Fall, death entered the world, and in that moment the Earth aged exceedingly (aging and death are inseparable).

    The LORD didn’t say that, you concocted this to make a point you don’t have. What a crock!

  • Grace

    87 Tom Hering

    c) with the Fall, death entered the world, and in that moment the Earth aged exceedingly (aging and death are inseparable).

    The LORD didn’t say that, you concocted this to make a point you don’t have. What a crock!

  • Tom Hering

    “… a very flimsy stopgap option.” – Louis

    “What a crock!” – Grace

    “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

    What is futility but absolute corruption, and what is corruption but decay and death?

  • Tom Hering

    “… a very flimsy stopgap option.” – Louis

    “What a crock!” – Grace

    “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

    What is futility but absolute corruption, and what is corruption but decay and death?

  • Tom Hering

    An atheist on Theistic Evolution. Absolutely worth reading.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/bart_klink/evolution.html

  • Tom Hering

    An atheist on Theistic Evolution. Absolutely worth reading.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/bart_klink/evolution.html

  • larry

    Louis,

    Wrong, its precisely the right idea.

    I really don’t care if the entire world reasons and presents data to the utter contrary that says:

    1. The Trinity is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    2. The Incarnation is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    3. The two natures is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    4. God dying on a cross is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    5. Justification by nothing but trust alone in Christ alone for me is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    6. Baptism actually forgiving, regenerating and saving you is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    7. That this bread and wine is in fact the flesh and blood of the Son of God is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    8. That God said let there be and created in seven days is foolishness and makes no rational sense.

    For on the one side we have the crystal clear Word of God (and Christ has risen touches earth in time and space) and on the other foolish reason. No amount of squinting at God’s Word changes it.

    Christians confess “I believe…” not “I’ve figured out…”.

    So I’m not moved one micron by your arguments nor will I ever be. Thus, we, myself and you, do not confess the same thing, which is obvious and that simply is the facts whether you like it or not. And I really don’t care at all if you don’t like it.

  • larry

    Louis,

    Wrong, its precisely the right idea.

    I really don’t care if the entire world reasons and presents data to the utter contrary that says:

    1. The Trinity is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    2. The Incarnation is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    3. The two natures is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    4. God dying on a cross is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    5. Justification by nothing but trust alone in Christ alone for me is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    6. Baptism actually forgiving, regenerating and saving you is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    7. That this bread and wine is in fact the flesh and blood of the Son of God is foolishness and makes no rational sense.
    8. That God said let there be and created in seven days is foolishness and makes no rational sense.

    For on the one side we have the crystal clear Word of God (and Christ has risen touches earth in time and space) and on the other foolish reason. No amount of squinting at God’s Word changes it.

    Christians confess “I believe…” not “I’ve figured out…”.

    So I’m not moved one micron by your arguments nor will I ever be. Thus, we, myself and you, do not confess the same thing, which is obvious and that simply is the facts whether you like it or not. And I really don’t care at all if you don’t like it.

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer,

    Let me respectfully disagree with you, for faith does indeed hang on the nude Word alone even when means are used. For no believes that bread is the body of the Son of God or wine is the blood of the Son of God lest the Son of God, i.e. Christ, had not said “this IS My body/blood…”. Without these words Calvin et. al. are correct and the confessions have no defense whatsoever nor does faith.

    God does indeed use means but He expressly attaches His Word to the means, He neither nakedly works without means (sacramentarians), nor does He use means without the Word (Rome’s ex opera operato).

    He indeed gives you your daily bread via the farmer, trucker, etc…means but He also has given you His Word so that you might know that it is He Who gives these to you. Where you ask? Good 101 Lutheran Small catechism that even a small child can pull out. What is the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer? “Give/grant us this day our daily bread”. What does this mean? “God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayer, even to all evil people. But we pray in this petition that He would LEAD US TO REALIZE THIS (His Word, remember Christ said, “pray this way”, Christ that is to say God, that is to say God spoke, when God speaks it IS the Word, it IS Scritpure) and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. What is daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the needs and support of the body including food, drink, clothes, shoes, house, home, a devout spouse, devout children, land, animals, money, goods, good and devout leaders, good government, good weather, good health, good reputation, temperance, good and devout friends, good neighbors and the like.”

    The pagans think they receive these things from something else because why? They have no Word of God on the issue, so they vainly think other gods or the forces of nature and/or their works produce and do these things. In short no Word, NO faith.

    The same with baptism for the sectarian spirit has always argued, “see how many fall away from the faith who you baptized as infants, it gives and does nothing” (hath God really said “this baptism saves you”). Thus like the scientist that place evidence and reason over the Word they flaunt before our eyes this “evidence” as if it makes void and null the Word of God and say, “See baptism is not as you preach, teach and confess”. And we say, “Yet God said, “this baptism saves you”, means (water) and Word.

    The same with the Lord’s Supper, it is against all reason cried Zwingli and Calvin that this bread and wine put into my mouth are in fact in the very body of Christ given over into death for my sins, and the very and true blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of my sins. For they give us evidence and reason that say, “See here it just smells and taste like mere bread and wine and the infinite cannot be boxed into the finite (which in fact is man attempting to reign in God and be the god of God!)”. Yet we have Christ’s Words, the Word, the Word made flesh spoke and it IS in fact Word and Scripture saying, “Take eat this is My body….”.

    The same with the incarnation, foolish reason and evidence cannot fathom this, indeed like all before is utterly offended by it and says, “See here now how can God be made real human flesh, God who is infinite made finite”. Yet, again we have the Word along with the earthly means that says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God, He was in the beginning with God…and the Word was made flesh…and dwelt among us…”

    The same with the blessed Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Foolish reason says, “How can there be One God yet three persons this unfathomable by measures of reason, this foolishness there must be some other explanation such as God operating in modes called figuratively (there’s reason excuse EVERY time) father, son and holy spirit.” Yet we have the Word that says when Christ the Son of God was baptized by John the baptist the heaven was violently torn open as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the Father Spoke, “this is My Son in Whom I’m well pleased”, we have the Word.

    The same thing in creation. Reason objects once again because the adversary has told it, “hath God really said”, “See here, all these fossils and dating techniques, tis fairytale foolishness that God created ex nihilo and in seven days.” Yet, once again we have the Word of God that say, “In the beginning God created…and said ‘Let there BE’.

    That reason scoffs at this is of no avail to faith, for it is like a blind man trying to argue with the sited about color not being true because he cannot see the colors.

    Reason laughs at the object of faith, the nude Word, and thus “puts faith on trial” as Luther said, persecutes it as Paul said in Galatians so as to dislodge it from the Word down its path toward another’s word, spiritual whoredom, to “hath God really said”.

    The reason why no one’s faith is shaken as Dr. Veith said in his opening of his faith not being shaken is because we have the Word in the face of, indeed affronted to, what appears to be contrary.

    Men do not deny the things the Word state because they are hard to understand nor are they unreasonable if reason is servant to the Word. For it is infinitely reasonable that if God said X it is so and infinitely foolish that if God said X to deny it or redress it as something else (you shall not surely die). Men deny the Word PRECISELY because of what it clearly states; “let there be”, “this baptism saves you”, “this is My body/blood”, are denied BECAUSE of what they say, and not due to any lack of clarity intrinsic to them.

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer,

    Let me respectfully disagree with you, for faith does indeed hang on the nude Word alone even when means are used. For no believes that bread is the body of the Son of God or wine is the blood of the Son of God lest the Son of God, i.e. Christ, had not said “this IS My body/blood…”. Without these words Calvin et. al. are correct and the confessions have no defense whatsoever nor does faith.

    God does indeed use means but He expressly attaches His Word to the means, He neither nakedly works without means (sacramentarians), nor does He use means without the Word (Rome’s ex opera operato).

    He indeed gives you your daily bread via the farmer, trucker, etc…means but He also has given you His Word so that you might know that it is He Who gives these to you. Where you ask? Good 101 Lutheran Small catechism that even a small child can pull out. What is the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer? “Give/grant us this day our daily bread”. What does this mean? “God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayer, even to all evil people. But we pray in this petition that He would LEAD US TO REALIZE THIS (His Word, remember Christ said, “pray this way”, Christ that is to say God, that is to say God spoke, when God speaks it IS the Word, it IS Scritpure) and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. What is daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the needs and support of the body including food, drink, clothes, shoes, house, home, a devout spouse, devout children, land, animals, money, goods, good and devout leaders, good government, good weather, good health, good reputation, temperance, good and devout friends, good neighbors and the like.”

    The pagans think they receive these things from something else because why? They have no Word of God on the issue, so they vainly think other gods or the forces of nature and/or their works produce and do these things. In short no Word, NO faith.

    The same with baptism for the sectarian spirit has always argued, “see how many fall away from the faith who you baptized as infants, it gives and does nothing” (hath God really said “this baptism saves you”). Thus like the scientist that place evidence and reason over the Word they flaunt before our eyes this “evidence” as if it makes void and null the Word of God and say, “See baptism is not as you preach, teach and confess”. And we say, “Yet God said, “this baptism saves you”, means (water) and Word.

    The same with the Lord’s Supper, it is against all reason cried Zwingli and Calvin that this bread and wine put into my mouth are in fact in the very body of Christ given over into death for my sins, and the very and true blood of Christ shed for the forgiveness of my sins. For they give us evidence and reason that say, “See here it just smells and taste like mere bread and wine and the infinite cannot be boxed into the finite (which in fact is man attempting to reign in God and be the god of God!)”. Yet we have Christ’s Words, the Word, the Word made flesh spoke and it IS in fact Word and Scripture saying, “Take eat this is My body….”.

    The same with the incarnation, foolish reason and evidence cannot fathom this, indeed like all before is utterly offended by it and says, “See here now how can God be made real human flesh, God who is infinite made finite”. Yet, again we have the Word along with the earthly means that says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and was God, He was in the beginning with God…and the Word was made flesh…and dwelt among us…”

    The same with the blessed Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Foolish reason says, “How can there be One God yet three persons this unfathomable by measures of reason, this foolishness there must be some other explanation such as God operating in modes called figuratively (there’s reason excuse EVERY time) father, son and holy spirit.” Yet we have the Word that says when Christ the Son of God was baptized by John the baptist the heaven was violently torn open as the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and the Father Spoke, “this is My Son in Whom I’m well pleased”, we have the Word.

    The same thing in creation. Reason objects once again because the adversary has told it, “hath God really said”, “See here, all these fossils and dating techniques, tis fairytale foolishness that God created ex nihilo and in seven days.” Yet, once again we have the Word of God that say, “In the beginning God created…and said ‘Let there BE’.

    That reason scoffs at this is of no avail to faith, for it is like a blind man trying to argue with the sited about color not being true because he cannot see the colors.

    Reason laughs at the object of faith, the nude Word, and thus “puts faith on trial” as Luther said, persecutes it as Paul said in Galatians so as to dislodge it from the Word down its path toward another’s word, spiritual whoredom, to “hath God really said”.

    The reason why no one’s faith is shaken as Dr. Veith said in his opening of his faith not being shaken is because we have the Word in the face of, indeed affronted to, what appears to be contrary.

    Men do not deny the things the Word state because they are hard to understand nor are they unreasonable if reason is servant to the Word. For it is infinitely reasonable that if God said X it is so and infinitely foolish that if God said X to deny it or redress it as something else (you shall not surely die). Men deny the Word PRECISELY because of what it clearly states; “let there be”, “this baptism saves you”, “this is My body/blood”, are denied BECAUSE of what they say, and not due to any lack of clarity intrinsic to them.

  • Jonathan

    Tom H @91,

    That is a good analysis of TE. The author is spot on and intellectually honest, and he sees that Genesis is not allegory.

    I think TE represents the mid-way point in the air on the way down for those who’ve taken the plunge. It’s just a matter of time before they hit the atheist pool.

  • Jonathan

    Tom H @91,

    That is a good analysis of TE. The author is spot on and intellectually honest, and he sees that Genesis is not allegory.

    I think TE represents the mid-way point in the air on the way down for those who’ve taken the plunge. It’s just a matter of time before they hit the atheist pool.

  • Cincinnatus

    Of course, I expected vigorous disagreement on this thread. On the one hand, I don’t quite go so far as Louis: the question of origins is always going to be dispositive from an empirical standpoint. The same is true of the earth’s age. There is just as little reason to believe, from a faith standpoint, that the earth is many billions of years old as there is to be believe that the “days” in question were literal.

    Right on about the Church Fathers, though. Reading Genesis literally is actually a very modern and very recent innovation. And I really don’t understand why the concept of “genre”–viz., the fact that Genesis and St. John are from different genres–is so difficult to accept. Additionally, in not one of the cited examples–Paul referencing Adam, etc.–is the author definitively employing a “literalist” reading of the Creation account. Of course, moreover, it has already been noted that hysterically proclaiming that all of Scripture (and thus the entire edifice of our faith) hangs upon whether I am able to accept every single detail recounted in Scripture as literal, historical, fact is both simplistic and absurd. See genre distinctions above: it is not forbidden–and has indeed been standard hermeneutic practice for millennia–to interpret various portions of Scripture with different hermeneutic methodologies. As long as the purpose of said interpretation is the Gospel, there is no injury done to the Word.

    But all of this matters not if what we are claiming to stress is a Christ- or Cross-centered theology, and thus theological hermeneutic. Perhaps the earth was created in six literal, 24-hour days. Perhaps, on the other hand, the days are purely metaphorical. I don’t know, and we can’t know. I do know that interpreting Genesis strictly literally without a consciousness of metaphor, allusion, and allegory (a chronic failure of Protestants, to be fair), one will be ignorant of the true literary richness and importance of Genesis. As I said earlier, the actual point of Genesis is not to provide an historical narrative that aligns with empirical fact. Whether it comports with “reality” at that tangible level is irrelevant. The Reality to which it actually points is spiritual, theological, and Christo-centric. Quibbling about how the word “yom” was used in various contexts by Hebrews–and indeed quibbling about geological records–is fascinating, but marginal, and matters not one jot to the Gospel.

  • Cincinnatus

    Of course, I expected vigorous disagreement on this thread. On the one hand, I don’t quite go so far as Louis: the question of origins is always going to be dispositive from an empirical standpoint. The same is true of the earth’s age. There is just as little reason to believe, from a faith standpoint, that the earth is many billions of years old as there is to be believe that the “days” in question were literal.

    Right on about the Church Fathers, though. Reading Genesis literally is actually a very modern and very recent innovation. And I really don’t understand why the concept of “genre”–viz., the fact that Genesis and St. John are from different genres–is so difficult to accept. Additionally, in not one of the cited examples–Paul referencing Adam, etc.–is the author definitively employing a “literalist” reading of the Creation account. Of course, moreover, it has already been noted that hysterically proclaiming that all of Scripture (and thus the entire edifice of our faith) hangs upon whether I am able to accept every single detail recounted in Scripture as literal, historical, fact is both simplistic and absurd. See genre distinctions above: it is not forbidden–and has indeed been standard hermeneutic practice for millennia–to interpret various portions of Scripture with different hermeneutic methodologies. As long as the purpose of said interpretation is the Gospel, there is no injury done to the Word.

    But all of this matters not if what we are claiming to stress is a Christ- or Cross-centered theology, and thus theological hermeneutic. Perhaps the earth was created in six literal, 24-hour days. Perhaps, on the other hand, the days are purely metaphorical. I don’t know, and we can’t know. I do know that interpreting Genesis strictly literally without a consciousness of metaphor, allusion, and allegory (a chronic failure of Protestants, to be fair), one will be ignorant of the true literary richness and importance of Genesis. As I said earlier, the actual point of Genesis is not to provide an historical narrative that aligns with empirical fact. Whether it comports with “reality” at that tangible level is irrelevant. The Reality to which it actually points is spiritual, theological, and Christo-centric. Quibbling about how the word “yom” was used in various contexts by Hebrews–and indeed quibbling about geological records–is fascinating, but marginal, and matters not one jot to the Gospel.

  • Louis

    Larry the accuser has once again labelled me a heretic. Unfortunately for him I’ve had his accusations checked over before by a Lutheran pastor (not my own), and they do not hold water. Furthermore, numbers 1-7 are entirely different things than no. 8 in his list. Also, when I say “data”, I include indications from the Text, the witness of the Early Church etc.

  • Louis

    Larry the accuser has once again labelled me a heretic. Unfortunately for him I’ve had his accusations checked over before by a Lutheran pastor (not my own), and they do not hold water. Furthermore, numbers 1-7 are entirely different things than no. 8 in his list. Also, when I say “data”, I include indications from the Text, the witness of the Early Church etc.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, do you REALLY want a gigantic list of all the places in the Bible where the word ‘yom’/'day’ is used but doesn’t mean a 24-hour day? There are hundreds if not thousands of examples.

    Even when the Bible says “first day” or “third day” or “evening of” or “morning of” there are numerous places where everyone agrees that they aren’t referring to a 24-hour day, but rather a metaphorical, poetic, or epic manner which refers to time in a very general sense.

    Just as one example, take Hosea 6:2. It talks about God rescuing Israel and about how “after two days” God will revive them, and “on the third day” he will raise them up. That is absolutely stereotypical Hebrew poetry using the repetition of concept and it is the exact same words used in Genesis 1, but very clearly doesn’t refer to a 24-hour day.

    One can’t just take a simplistic “yom = 24 hour day” approach. That is a horribly incorrect approach and distorts the Bible. Genesis 1 is pretty standard Hebrew poetry, and just like no one takes Job/Psalms/Samuel to mean that there are literal pillars/mountains holding up the sky, there is every reason not to take Genesis 1 as a scientific, I-was-there-with-a-camcorder description.

    Like Pastor Spomer @67 said, you don’t take metaphorical language (“stitch in time …” as an example) and try to analyze it as literal meaning. Genesis 1 is pretty typical Hebrew poetry, and just like we don’t try to extract a scientific meaning from Job 26:11 because it is clearly written as metaphorical statements, so also we shouldn’t try to extract a scientific meaning from Genesis 1.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, do you REALLY want a gigantic list of all the places in the Bible where the word ‘yom’/'day’ is used but doesn’t mean a 24-hour day? There are hundreds if not thousands of examples.

    Even when the Bible says “first day” or “third day” or “evening of” or “morning of” there are numerous places where everyone agrees that they aren’t referring to a 24-hour day, but rather a metaphorical, poetic, or epic manner which refers to time in a very general sense.

    Just as one example, take Hosea 6:2. It talks about God rescuing Israel and about how “after two days” God will revive them, and “on the third day” he will raise them up. That is absolutely stereotypical Hebrew poetry using the repetition of concept and it is the exact same words used in Genesis 1, but very clearly doesn’t refer to a 24-hour day.

    One can’t just take a simplistic “yom = 24 hour day” approach. That is a horribly incorrect approach and distorts the Bible. Genesis 1 is pretty standard Hebrew poetry, and just like no one takes Job/Psalms/Samuel to mean that there are literal pillars/mountains holding up the sky, there is every reason not to take Genesis 1 as a scientific, I-was-there-with-a-camcorder description.

    Like Pastor Spomer @67 said, you don’t take metaphorical language (“stitch in time …” as an example) and try to analyze it as literal meaning. Genesis 1 is pretty typical Hebrew poetry, and just like we don’t try to extract a scientific meaning from Job 26:11 because it is clearly written as metaphorical statements, so also we shouldn’t try to extract a scientific meaning from Genesis 1.

  • WebMonk

    I just read Veith’s post up about the simplistic style of theology seen at times in Christian culture. As Veith describes the opposite of what is so often seen today,

    The actual heritage of Christianity in the arts is in the realm of high culture; that is, the creation of serious, complex, creative-rather-than-conventional works of art.

    I think the simplistic and literalistic approach to art seen in Christian culture is connected to the simplistic and literalistic approach to understanding the Bible. The Bible is “messy”. It’s not a simple sitcom show written with a simple 20-minute complete story. Rather there is metaphor, poetry, history, genealogy, epics, parables, recountings, prophetic imagery, judgment declarations, imprecations, sermons, instructions, personal notes, and just about everything else in there too!

    The same sort of view that churns out Christian pop-culture that is simple, neatly tied up in a bow, etc, etc as described and counter described in “How bad theology yields bad Christian art” will tend to adopt the simple and neatly tied up in a bow interpretation of Genesis.

    Like Veith described the artists who were steeped in the Bible generating complex, creative, deep, and rich works, so also the Bible is complex, creative, deep, and rich.

    It’s not meant to take a dictionary to every single word and extracting the scientific meaning like pristinely sanitized textbook.

  • WebMonk

    I just read Veith’s post up about the simplistic style of theology seen at times in Christian culture. As Veith describes the opposite of what is so often seen today,

    The actual heritage of Christianity in the arts is in the realm of high culture; that is, the creation of serious, complex, creative-rather-than-conventional works of art.

    I think the simplistic and literalistic approach to art seen in Christian culture is connected to the simplistic and literalistic approach to understanding the Bible. The Bible is “messy”. It’s not a simple sitcom show written with a simple 20-minute complete story. Rather there is metaphor, poetry, history, genealogy, epics, parables, recountings, prophetic imagery, judgment declarations, imprecations, sermons, instructions, personal notes, and just about everything else in there too!

    The same sort of view that churns out Christian pop-culture that is simple, neatly tied up in a bow, etc, etc as described and counter described in “How bad theology yields bad Christian art” will tend to adopt the simple and neatly tied up in a bow interpretation of Genesis.

    Like Veith described the artists who were steeped in the Bible generating complex, creative, deep, and rich works, so also the Bible is complex, creative, deep, and rich.

    It’s not meant to take a dictionary to every single word and extracting the scientific meaning like pristinely sanitized textbook.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Larry,
    I don’t think that we disagree. My point is not that faith trumps reason or empiricism (as you say, it never does). My point is that faith is most often in conjunction with the world we experience. Faith is also essential for understanding our experience as you quoted from the Catechism, ‘That we may know it.”

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Phil Spomer

    Larry,
    I don’t think that we disagree. My point is not that faith trumps reason or empiricism (as you say, it never does). My point is that faith is most often in conjunction with the world we experience. Faith is also essential for understanding our experience as you quoted from the Catechism, ‘That we may know it.”

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer,
    My point is in all articles of faith reason is to take a back seat to the Word upon which alone faith is created and sustained, a point Luther pounded home. Even when reason is offended. Reason the servant not reason the usurper of the Word of God.
    Thus, reason always makes figurative the Word of God in order to use usurp the Word against the Word in articles of faith whether it be “let there be”, “this is My body”, “this baptism saves you” or “the Word was made flesh”. In making, at length everything figurative, one looses the very earthy means one pretends to be defending and ends up, ultimately, where one did not wish to go, no means.
    Thus, the sum total religious narrative today is (summing up all of reason’s religious interpretations of the Word into one holistic narrative, the Pope, Calvin, Darwin, Mohamed, Arius, et. ali. added up together):
    “A figurative trinity that was not what it was said to have been created a figuratively in a way that is not what was said that it was a figurative Adam representing “man” in general. This figurative Adam figuratively fell into a figurative sin, whereby a figurative god-man was promised to figuratively save them. This figurative god-man came and figuratively appeared to die on a cross and figuratively was dead and buried whereby he figuratively rose again from the dead. He figuratively forgave sins, gave a figurative baptism that signifies but is not the thing signified an inward thing, and figuratively said that bread and wine represent, signify, and symbolize his figurative body and blood. And out of all these figures we are suppose to believe we will really and truly be resurrected in body and soul ex nihilo.”

  • larry

    Pastor Spomer,
    My point is in all articles of faith reason is to take a back seat to the Word upon which alone faith is created and sustained, a point Luther pounded home. Even when reason is offended. Reason the servant not reason the usurper of the Word of God.
    Thus, reason always makes figurative the Word of God in order to use usurp the Word against the Word in articles of faith whether it be “let there be”, “this is My body”, “this baptism saves you” or “the Word was made flesh”. In making, at length everything figurative, one looses the very earthy means one pretends to be defending and ends up, ultimately, where one did not wish to go, no means.
    Thus, the sum total religious narrative today is (summing up all of reason’s religious interpretations of the Word into one holistic narrative, the Pope, Calvin, Darwin, Mohamed, Arius, et. ali. added up together):
    “A figurative trinity that was not what it was said to have been created a figuratively in a way that is not what was said that it was a figurative Adam representing “man” in general. This figurative Adam figuratively fell into a figurative sin, whereby a figurative god-man was promised to figuratively save them. This figurative god-man came and figuratively appeared to die on a cross and figuratively was dead and buried whereby he figuratively rose again from the dead. He figuratively forgave sins, gave a figurative baptism that signifies but is not the thing signified an inward thing, and figuratively said that bread and wine represent, signify, and symbolize his figurative body and blood. And out of all these figures we are suppose to believe we will really and truly be resurrected in body and soul ex nihilo.”

  • Jonathan

    It may be poetry (though I don’t think that particular portion of it is–I agree with Dr Joel Heck’s exegetical position on that. Great little book, “In The Beginning God,” by the way.) But let’s assume that it is poetry. Are you saying poetry is incapable of asserting and intending to communicate factual truth? Even if it is poetry, a plain reading of it indicates yom there is what we know as a standard day, evening and morning. If it’s poetry and therefore unreliable or not intended to communicate truth, then why do you even bother to give yom any weight at all and try to arbitrarily say yom means an epoch? Six days is in the Decalogue, it’s why we honor the Sabbath after 6 days of labor, not 6 really long periods. Paul obviously treated 6 days as 24 hours days. Jesus also took a plain reading of Genesis, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female….” He didn’t add “when eventually, after a long period of time, they differentiated and abandoned the process of asexual reproduction.”) Why not just toss out Genesis altogther if it doesn’t communicate truth in a literal yom, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry? I think you place yourself above the poet in discerning truth.

  • Jonathan

    It may be poetry (though I don’t think that particular portion of it is–I agree with Dr Joel Heck’s exegetical position on that. Great little book, “In The Beginning God,” by the way.) But let’s assume that it is poetry. Are you saying poetry is incapable of asserting and intending to communicate factual truth? Even if it is poetry, a plain reading of it indicates yom there is what we know as a standard day, evening and morning. If it’s poetry and therefore unreliable or not intended to communicate truth, then why do you even bother to give yom any weight at all and try to arbitrarily say yom means an epoch? Six days is in the Decalogue, it’s why we honor the Sabbath after 6 days of labor, not 6 really long periods. Paul obviously treated 6 days as 24 hours days. Jesus also took a plain reading of Genesis, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female….” He didn’t add “when eventually, after a long period of time, they differentiated and abandoned the process of asexual reproduction.”) Why not just toss out Genesis altogther if it doesn’t communicate truth in a literal yom, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry? I think you place yourself above the poet in discerning truth.

  • WebMonk

    larry, you ought to be embarrassed by that post 100!

    You’re doing nothing more than the exact opposite of the hyper-literal understanding of scripture. The Bible is neither hyper-literal nor hyper-metaphorical.

    You made up a straw man of hyper-metaphorical understanding, just like so many atheists make straw men of hyper-literalistic understanding and claim that Christians believe the Earth is flat, goes around the sun, has four corners, has pillars supporting the sky, rain/snow is kept behind gates in the sky, etc.

    Is it really so hard to understand that the Bible is not all one single genre?

  • WebMonk

    larry, you ought to be embarrassed by that post 100!

    You’re doing nothing more than the exact opposite of the hyper-literal understanding of scripture. The Bible is neither hyper-literal nor hyper-metaphorical.

    You made up a straw man of hyper-metaphorical understanding, just like so many atheists make straw men of hyper-literalistic understanding and claim that Christians believe the Earth is flat, goes around the sun, has four corners, has pillars supporting the sky, rain/snow is kept behind gates in the sky, etc.

    Is it really so hard to understand that the Bible is not all one single genre?

  • larry

    Webmonk,

    You ought to be embarassed by not understanding what I was doing. I well understand genre, I merely sum totaled all the figurative errors against the clear Word in clear context in clear genre into one mega narrative. I very meticulously selected nothing but articles of faith and not parables or other genre.

  • larry

    Webmonk,

    You ought to be embarassed by not understanding what I was doing. I well understand genre, I merely sum totaled all the figurative errors against the clear Word in clear context in clear genre into one mega narrative. I very meticulously selected nothing but articles of faith and not parables or other genre.

  • larry

    One need only go again to the Word to defend the Word. The Gospel of Luke includes Adam in the chain of literally lineage in Luke 3. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. Romans 5 refers to the literally entrance of sin through one man (Adam), yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. 1 Corinthian 15 refers to the fall of man in the one Adam, yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. 1 Tim 2 states that Adam was formed first then Eve and that the woman was first deceived, yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. Jesus, that is to say God, says in Matt. 19 (paralleled in Mark 10), ““Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’”. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith.

    Then there’s the resurrection and the absurdity that God might need a new evolutionary means and vast amounts of time to raise people from the dead and recreate the creation itself. Yet, Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb and Himself rose from the tomb. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith.

    It really does simply boil down to the Word, faith (credo, I believe) versus “I figured out”.

  • larry

    One need only go again to the Word to defend the Word. The Gospel of Luke includes Adam in the chain of literally lineage in Luke 3. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. Romans 5 refers to the literally entrance of sin through one man (Adam), yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. 1 Corinthian 15 refers to the fall of man in the one Adam, yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. 1 Tim 2 states that Adam was formed first then Eve and that the woman was first deceived, yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith. Jesus, that is to say God, says in Matt. 19 (paralleled in Mark 10), ““Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’”. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith.

    Then there’s the resurrection and the absurdity that God might need a new evolutionary means and vast amounts of time to raise people from the dead and recreate the creation itself. Yet, Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb and Himself rose from the tomb. Yet one has to make that figurative to eliminate it, just like the sacraments and other articles of faith.

    It really does simply boil down to the Word, faith (credo, I believe) versus “I figured out”.

  • larry

    An irony appears here:

    One side defends the creation narrative but denies the institution of the Christ’s Words “this is My body” meaning really and truly His body and blood. Another side on the other hand supposedly defends the later while denying the former. Now one side has said don’t include creation with the sacraments and the other gets angry and would say don’t include the ordinances with the creation narrative. Yet both in principle argue their denial of the Word in their specific spot exactly the same way via reason and “empirical evidence”. One side points to empirical evidence such as he finds in the fossils, etc… and The other side would say look its only bread and wine and many baptized fall away (empirical evidence indeed!). Both present their empirical evidence, reason thereby, and then go to the Word at their spot and say, “See here, it must be a figure”. Both appeal to the Word of God in their individual cases, both appeal to figures when it does not suite their cases.

  • larry

    An irony appears here:

    One side defends the creation narrative but denies the institution of the Christ’s Words “this is My body” meaning really and truly His body and blood. Another side on the other hand supposedly defends the later while denying the former. Now one side has said don’t include creation with the sacraments and the other gets angry and would say don’t include the ordinances with the creation narrative. Yet both in principle argue their denial of the Word in their specific spot exactly the same way via reason and “empirical evidence”. One side points to empirical evidence such as he finds in the fossils, etc… and The other side would say look its only bread and wine and many baptized fall away (empirical evidence indeed!). Both present their empirical evidence, reason thereby, and then go to the Word at their spot and say, “See here, it must be a figure”. Both appeal to the Word of God in their individual cases, both appeal to figures when it does not suite their cases.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, poetry can contain factual truth, but unless there is a REALLY good reason to assume that the poem is making a scientific description, the default is to assume it is NOT making a scientific description.

    What is the “plain reading” of Psalm 75? That there are big pillars that hold up the earth? Of course not – it’s poetry. The “plain reading” is that it is part of a poem and should not be taken as a literal, scientific, I-could-video-with-a-camcorder description.

    THAT is the “plain reading” of Psalm 75, and it is the plain reading of Genesis 1 since they are of very similar poetic nature.

    If it’s poetry and therefore unreliable or not intended to communicate truth

    It regularly amazes me that people could actually think that! In what sort of worldview does poetry = unreliable or poetry = “not intended to communicate truth”?????

    Poetry is reliable! Poetry can communicate truth! It can be used to communicate Truth!! What do you think about the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, much of the prophets books, and Revelation??? Are those not reliable? Are they not communicating Truth? Have you just assigned nearly a quarter of the Bible as “unreliable”?

    Of course you haven’t. You accept that the Psalms are just as reliable as everything else, but are reliable as poetry and metaphor, not as scientific descriptions. The same is true of Genesis 1…. It is true, reliable, and communicates Truth just as the Psalms, Proverbs, Revelation, Job, Song of Solomon, Joel, etc are true and reliable and communicate truth.

    Why not just toss out Genesis altogther if it doesn’t communicate truth in a literal yom, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry?

    If you’re going to ask a question like that of Genesis 1, why not ask it of Psalm 75? Allow me to paraphrase your question aimed at the Psalms.

    “Why not just toss out Psalms altogether if it doesn’t communicate truth in literal pillars, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry?”

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan, poetry can contain factual truth, but unless there is a REALLY good reason to assume that the poem is making a scientific description, the default is to assume it is NOT making a scientific description.

    What is the “plain reading” of Psalm 75? That there are big pillars that hold up the earth? Of course not – it’s poetry. The “plain reading” is that it is part of a poem and should not be taken as a literal, scientific, I-could-video-with-a-camcorder description.

    THAT is the “plain reading” of Psalm 75, and it is the plain reading of Genesis 1 since they are of very similar poetic nature.

    If it’s poetry and therefore unreliable or not intended to communicate truth

    It regularly amazes me that people could actually think that! In what sort of worldview does poetry = unreliable or poetry = “not intended to communicate truth”?????

    Poetry is reliable! Poetry can communicate truth! It can be used to communicate Truth!! What do you think about the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, much of the prophets books, and Revelation??? Are those not reliable? Are they not communicating Truth? Have you just assigned nearly a quarter of the Bible as “unreliable”?

    Of course you haven’t. You accept that the Psalms are just as reliable as everything else, but are reliable as poetry and metaphor, not as scientific descriptions. The same is true of Genesis 1…. It is true, reliable, and communicates Truth just as the Psalms, Proverbs, Revelation, Job, Song of Solomon, Joel, etc are true and reliable and communicate truth.

    Why not just toss out Genesis altogther if it doesn’t communicate truth in a literal yom, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry?

    If you’re going to ask a question like that of Genesis 1, why not ask it of Psalm 75? Allow me to paraphrase your question aimed at the Psalms.

    “Why not just toss out Psalms altogether if it doesn’t communicate truth in literal pillars, but yet you say it must have some truth for the fall, etc., but that’s also poetry?”

  • Cincinnatus

    Since when was a hardcore literalist interpretation of Scripture, particularly dogmatic belief in a literal six-day Creation, an essential “article of faith,” larry?

    If it’s not in the Nicene Creed, it’s up to you to prove that your proposed addition to the fundamental articles is a worthy one.

  • Cincinnatus

    Since when was a hardcore literalist interpretation of Scripture, particularly dogmatic belief in a literal six-day Creation, an essential “article of faith,” larry?

    If it’s not in the Nicene Creed, it’s up to you to prove that your proposed addition to the fundamental articles is a worthy one.

  • WebMonk

    larry, I realize what you were doing, and what you were doing was still setting up a ridiculous straw man – mixing and matching carefully selected odds and ends from a wide variety of fairly discordant things to make a single hyper-metaphorical summary that no one actually believes.

    What you described as “I merely sum totaled all the figurative errors against the clear Word in clear context in clear genre into one mega narrative” is nothing more than making up a ridiculous straw man.

  • WebMonk

    larry, I realize what you were doing, and what you were doing was still setting up a ridiculous straw man – mixing and matching carefully selected odds and ends from a wide variety of fairly discordant things to make a single hyper-metaphorical summary that no one actually believes.

    What you described as “I merely sum totaled all the figurative errors against the clear Word in clear context in clear genre into one mega narrative” is nothing more than making up a ridiculous straw man.

  • Tom Hering

    Our Confessions assume the literal truth of Genesis: “Our Churches, with common consent, do teach … that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way …” (Articles I and II of the Augsburg Confession). All of Lutheran teaching has a literal Adam and a literal Fall as grounding facts. So a Theistic Evolutionist can appeal to some of the Fathers who didn’t take Genesis literally, but a Theistic Evolutionist who is also a Lutheran rejects his own Confessions – directly in part and indirectly as a whole. And from the point of view of the Reformers, he does the same with the Scriptures.

  • Tom Hering

    Our Confessions assume the literal truth of Genesis: “Our Churches, with common consent, do teach … that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way …” (Articles I and II of the Augsburg Confession). All of Lutheran teaching has a literal Adam and a literal Fall as grounding facts. So a Theistic Evolutionist can appeal to some of the Fathers who didn’t take Genesis literally, but a Theistic Evolutionist who is also a Lutheran rejects his own Confessions – directly in part and indirectly as a whole. And from the point of view of the Reformers, he does the same with the Scriptures.

  • Louis

    BTW, Larry, you are accusing me without base in #105. I do not hold to YEC’ism, but I do hold to the Real Presence etc etc.

    Also, you are using Luther’s comments on “the whore Reason” willy nilly. But in the first article on the Apostles’ Creed from the Shorther Cathechism, he writes ““I believe that God has made me and all creatures. He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them.”

    Contrast this with his writing on the third article – “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” Thus the way Luther uses the term reason is to describe the sinfull man’s “reasonings” about God, instead of grasping by faith. This is a very specific argument within a very specific context. Not an accusation against the general use of the the gift of Reason, but against the sin-stained, wrongful use thereof. Of course we should use reason in this world, otherwise we become beasts.

    Furthermore, Larry, you seem to take the Scriptures like the Koran, instead of the Book of the Church. IE, you view it as a contextless book of doctrine and rules that fell from the sky. No, the Church, under guidance of the Spirit, defined the Scriptures. The Scriptures is the book of the Church, we are not the people of the Book. Furthermore, we must read brother Martin in context, and not without questioning. He himself is no pope either.

    BTW, are you a geocentrist as well?

  • Louis

    BTW, Larry, you are accusing me without base in #105. I do not hold to YEC’ism, but I do hold to the Real Presence etc etc.

    Also, you are using Luther’s comments on “the whore Reason” willy nilly. But in the first article on the Apostles’ Creed from the Shorther Cathechism, he writes ““I believe that God has made me and all creatures. He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them.”

    Contrast this with his writing on the third article – “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him. But the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith.” Thus the way Luther uses the term reason is to describe the sinfull man’s “reasonings” about God, instead of grasping by faith. This is a very specific argument within a very specific context. Not an accusation against the general use of the the gift of Reason, but against the sin-stained, wrongful use thereof. Of course we should use reason in this world, otherwise we become beasts.

    Furthermore, Larry, you seem to take the Scriptures like the Koran, instead of the Book of the Church. IE, you view it as a contextless book of doctrine and rules that fell from the sky. No, the Church, under guidance of the Spirit, defined the Scriptures. The Scriptures is the book of the Church, we are not the people of the Book. Furthermore, we must read brother Martin in context, and not without questioning. He himself is no pope either.

    BTW, are you a geocentrist as well?

  • Louis

    Tom – so I am a heretic, yes or no?

    The argument that a literal Christ needs a literal Adam (btw, I’m not opposed to a literal Adam) does not hold a lot of water. You could, for instance, hold to Adam as a representative, even a metaphorical representative, of humanity, and Christ as a literal Saviour. I cannot see that that would violate either Scripture, nor Fathers, nor Confessions.

  • Louis

    Tom – so I am a heretic, yes or no?

    The argument that a literal Christ needs a literal Adam (btw, I’m not opposed to a literal Adam) does not hold a lot of water. You could, for instance, hold to Adam as a representative, even a metaphorical representative, of humanity, and Christ as a literal Saviour. I cannot see that that would violate either Scripture, nor Fathers, nor Confessions.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus, Larry is a convert, and like many converts (trust me, been there, got the T-shirt and the scars, needs to be more Lutheran than brother Martin himself. It is a psychological thing.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus, Larry is a convert, and like many converts (trust me, been there, got the T-shirt and the scars, needs to be more Lutheran than brother Martin himself. It is a psychological thing.

  • Louis

    The other issue here is that we are children of the “Enlightenment”. Thus we have forgotten that Truth is sometimes more contained in metaphor and myth than in “plain reading” and literalism.

  • Louis

    The other issue here is that we are children of the “Enlightenment”. Thus we have forgotten that Truth is sometimes more contained in metaphor and myth than in “plain reading” and literalism.

  • Jonathan

    Yes, Tom 109, I doubt you could find any quia Lutherans in the TE realm, they must needs be quaternus, as *they* know what parts of the Bible are true word of God and which are not.

    However, with a sola scriptura, plain reading of Genesis 1, without the baggage of professional science, there is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that day means anything other than a literal day.

    If you come to the text with the baggage of professional science, then you have to assert that, what a surprise, the author/poet who claims to be conveying some historic factual truth about how creation events occurred must not have meant a literal 6 days but 6 long epochs.

    Thats ludicrousness. At least be intellectually honest like the atheist in the article on TE and say what the real implication is in that case, that it’s just a myth with literary value, but certainly not divine if it is so wildly off the mark with what professional science has proven.

  • Jonathan

    Yes, Tom 109, I doubt you could find any quia Lutherans in the TE realm, they must needs be quaternus, as *they* know what parts of the Bible are true word of God and which are not.

    However, with a sola scriptura, plain reading of Genesis 1, without the baggage of professional science, there is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that day means anything other than a literal day.

    If you come to the text with the baggage of professional science, then you have to assert that, what a surprise, the author/poet who claims to be conveying some historic factual truth about how creation events occurred must not have meant a literal 6 days but 6 long epochs.

    Thats ludicrousness. At least be intellectually honest like the atheist in the article on TE and say what the real implication is in that case, that it’s just a myth with literary value, but certainly not divine if it is so wildly off the mark with what professional science has proven.

  • Tom Hering

    “Tom – so I am a heretic, yes or no?”

    Was Christ perpetuating falsehoods when He non-poetically pointed His hearers to their history as recorded in Genesis? Yes or no?

  • Tom Hering

    “Tom – so I am a heretic, yes or no?”

    Was Christ perpetuating falsehoods when He non-poetically pointed His hearers to their history as recorded in Genesis? Yes or no?

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 114,

    However, with a sola scriptura, plain reading of Genesis 1, without the baggage of professional science, there is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that day means anything other than a literal day.

    If you apply that reasoning to the poetry of Genesis 1, then you ought to apply that exact same set of reasoning to Psalm 75. “There is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that ‘pillars’ mean anything other than literal pillars holding up the earth.”

    How would you answer that? What sort of criteria do you use to say that the poetry of Psalm 75 must be metaphorical while the poetry of Genesis 1 must not be metaphorical?

    And please don’t try the ridiculous “If you come to the text with the baggage of professional science …. At least be intellectually honest like the atheist….”

    I moved from a YEC view toward a more accurate understanding of Genesis against my understanding of YEC “science” at the time. When I started my shifting, I was fully convinced that science firmly proved a YEC, and it was only the study of scripture that started changing my view of Genesis. I held an uneasy internal truce between what the Bible shows and what YEC “science” says until I finally started to discover that the YEC “science” was horribly false and there wasn’t actually any conflict between what the Bible shows and what science says.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 114,

    However, with a sola scriptura, plain reading of Genesis 1, without the baggage of professional science, there is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that day means anything other than a literal day.

    If you apply that reasoning to the poetry of Genesis 1, then you ought to apply that exact same set of reasoning to Psalm 75. “There is no way one would conclude, even if you decide it’s poetry, that ‘pillars’ mean anything other than literal pillars holding up the earth.”

    How would you answer that? What sort of criteria do you use to say that the poetry of Psalm 75 must be metaphorical while the poetry of Genesis 1 must not be metaphorical?

    And please don’t try the ridiculous “If you come to the text with the baggage of professional science …. At least be intellectually honest like the atheist….”

    I moved from a YEC view toward a more accurate understanding of Genesis against my understanding of YEC “science” at the time. When I started my shifting, I was fully convinced that science firmly proved a YEC, and it was only the study of scripture that started changing my view of Genesis. I held an uneasy internal truce between what the Bible shows and what YEC “science” says until I finally started to discover that the YEC “science” was horribly false and there wasn’t actually any conflict between what the Bible shows and what science says.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well;” James ch. 5
    If you come to the text with the baggage of professional medicine…

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well;” James ch. 5
    If you come to the text with the baggage of professional medicine…

  • Jonathan

    Somehow I don’t see pillars = foundations to be anywhere close to 6 days = 6 long epochs of death. But the Lord did say to Job that the earth has foundations and that He laid them. I think you can give Ps 75 a quite literal reading and understand what the poet is saying, again, without the baggage of professional science.

  • Jonathan

    Somehow I don’t see pillars = foundations to be anywhere close to 6 days = 6 long epochs of death. But the Lord did say to Job that the earth has foundations and that He laid them. I think you can give Ps 75 a quite literal reading and understand what the poet is saying, again, without the baggage of professional science.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Wait, I mustn’t let my humor get the best of me. My point is that we must get away from this all or nothing bifurcation. Just as we wouldn’t say that one must eschew medicine in lieu of prayer, but have both. Likewise, we must not view science and the Bible as in necessary opposition. Especially since western Science is in a large degree a product of Christendom, and provides a powerful apologetic for the truth of Scripture.
    It is not the case that one must violate the Bible or the Confessions in order to incorporate sound science into one’s understanding of the world.
    All truth is God’s truth. There is only one God. There is not one god of the bible and an other god of the dinosaurs. Young Earth Creationism when taken to it’s logical conclusion, becomes a type of Gnosticism.

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Wait, I mustn’t let my humor get the best of me. My point is that we must get away from this all or nothing bifurcation. Just as we wouldn’t say that one must eschew medicine in lieu of prayer, but have both. Likewise, we must not view science and the Bible as in necessary opposition. Especially since western Science is in a large degree a product of Christendom, and provides a powerful apologetic for the truth of Scripture.
    It is not the case that one must violate the Bible or the Confessions in order to incorporate sound science into one’s understanding of the world.
    All truth is God’s truth. There is only one God. There is not one god of the bible and an other god of the dinosaurs. Young Earth Creationism when taken to it’s logical conclusion, becomes a type of Gnosticism.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 114. There are hundreds if not thousands of examples where ‘yom’ clearly doesn’t refer to a 24 hour period. What about all the “plain reading” of those scriptures?

    Genesis 2:4 has an example where ‘yom’ clearly doesn’t mean a 24 hour period. So what happened to the “plain reading” where ‘yom’ needs to equal a 24 hour day?

    Answer – the “plain reading” does NOT require that ‘yom’ always mean a 24 hour day.

    Any and every Biblical Hebrew concordance/dictionary will state that ‘yom’ can and frequently does refer to an indeterminate amount of time. More examples: Gen 4:3 – ‘yom’ is translated as “time” and clearly refers to a non-24 hour period. 1Kings 11:42 – ‘yom’ is again used as “time” and refers to a non-24 hour period.

    And there are hundreds more examples.

    The claim that a “plain reading” requires that ‘yom’ equals a 24 hour day is nonsense. ‘yom’ certainly can refer to a 24 hour period, but it depends on the context and genre to know if it is supposed to be understood as a 24 hour day or not.

    Genesis 1, being heavily poetic in structure, in no way requires ‘yom’ to refer to a 24 hour period.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 114. There are hundreds if not thousands of examples where ‘yom’ clearly doesn’t refer to a 24 hour period. What about all the “plain reading” of those scriptures?

    Genesis 2:4 has an example where ‘yom’ clearly doesn’t mean a 24 hour period. So what happened to the “plain reading” where ‘yom’ needs to equal a 24 hour day?

    Answer – the “plain reading” does NOT require that ‘yom’ always mean a 24 hour day.

    Any and every Biblical Hebrew concordance/dictionary will state that ‘yom’ can and frequently does refer to an indeterminate amount of time. More examples: Gen 4:3 – ‘yom’ is translated as “time” and clearly refers to a non-24 hour period. 1Kings 11:42 – ‘yom’ is again used as “time” and refers to a non-24 hour period.

    And there are hundreds more examples.

    The claim that a “plain reading” requires that ‘yom’ equals a 24 hour day is nonsense. ‘yom’ certainly can refer to a 24 hour period, but it depends on the context and genre to know if it is supposed to be understood as a 24 hour day or not.

    Genesis 1, being heavily poetic in structure, in no way requires ‘yom’ to refer to a 24 hour period.

  • Tom Hering

    The first words of Genesis are, “In the beginning.” The first words of Psalm 75 are, “For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song.” Psalm 75 tells you, right up front, that it’s a type of literature that employs metaphors. There’s no such qualification at the start of Genesis.

  • Tom Hering

    The first words of Genesis are, “In the beginning.” The first words of Psalm 75 are, “For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song.” Psalm 75 tells you, right up front, that it’s a type of literature that employs metaphors. There’s no such qualification at the start of Genesis.

  • Jonathan

    “I finally started to discover that the YEC “science” was horribly false and there wasn’t actually any conflict between what the Bible shows and what science says.”

    Got it. So, in other words, you have to harmonize the two. You have to make scripture say what science says. You have to compromise on scripture, simple.

    As for me, professional science can say what it will, chances are it will keep changing anyway. It can’t come to any other conclusion but naturalism, the supernatural is strictly out of the question.

  • Jonathan

    “I finally started to discover that the YEC “science” was horribly false and there wasn’t actually any conflict between what the Bible shows and what science says.”

    Got it. So, in other words, you have to harmonize the two. You have to make scripture say what science says. You have to compromise on scripture, simple.

    As for me, professional science can say what it will, chances are it will keep changing anyway. It can’t come to any other conclusion but naturalism, the supernatural is strictly out of the question.

  • Louis

    Jonathan @ 122 – you really need to wake up. he whole philosophicalnaturalism thing is waaaayyyyy overblown in YEC texts. If you doubt science so much, please avoid hospitals, planes, well – maybe go back to your cave.

  • Louis

    Jonathan @ 122 – you really need to wake up. he whole philosophicalnaturalism thing is waaaayyyyy overblown in YEC texts. If you doubt science so much, please avoid hospitals, planes, well – maybe go back to your cave.

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,
    You do carry oil in your hospital kit, don’t you? Do you prefer EVO?

  • Jonathan

    Dear Pr Spomer,
    You do carry oil in your hospital kit, don’t you? Do you prefer EVO?

  • Louis

    Tom @ 115 – read my answer @ 113. christ was lying. But He was preaching salvation, not history or science.

  • Louis

    Tom @ 115 – read my answer @ 113. christ was lying. But He was preaching salvation, not history or science.

  • Tom Hering

    Sometimes those outside an argument can see things more clearly. From atheist Bart Klink:

    Some TE proponents have tried to reconcile the Genesis creation myths with science by conceiving of the days of creation not as literal, 24-hour days, but as long periods of time. This, or some other nonliteral exegesis, is the only way to avoid conflict with modern science. However, such an interpretation does not stand up to scrutiny.

    First, the Hebrew word yom (transliterated), standardly translated as “day,” has a wide meaning. It can mean something as specific as a 24-hour day, or something as general as a long period of time. Consequently, some interpret yom in the creation stories as a reference to a long period of time, usually millions or billions of years since that is what is required to make the story fit with modern scientific findings. However, an accurate exegesis largely depends upon the context in which the word is used. In the creation accounts, the fact that the writer uses ordinal adjectives (first day, second day, etc) suggests that literal days were intended. Ordinal adjectives are not used in any other instance when yom means a long period of time …

    … In addition, every day of creation is closed with the words: “And there was evening and there was morning, the [x] day.” References to evening and morning demonstrate a reference to normal days. Some have argued that because the sun is not created until the third day in the story, a normal day cannot be what was intended, as the sun is what causes the day-night cycle. However, the author and his contemporaries believed that light and darkness existed independently of the sun and moon, which were only seen as rulers of day and night.

    Elsewhere in the Torah, the days of creation are treated as literal 24-hour days filling out a 7-day week:

    Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work…. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

    For six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:15-17)

    Setting aside the gruesome and disproportional punishment for working on the Sabbath, both passages link the seven days of a normal week to the seven days of the creation week. This conflicts with the notion that the creation days are long periods of time. A week is a period of seven normal days, both in Exodus 20 and 31 and in Genesis 1.

    In closing, nothing in Genesis 1 itself suggests a nonliteral meaning of yom. Its author referred to normal 24-hour days as clearly as he possibly could. And in any case, artificially stretching the days of creation to match an astronomical time scale would not make Genesis compatible with modern scientific knowledge …

  • Tom Hering

    Sometimes those outside an argument can see things more clearly. From atheist Bart Klink:

    Some TE proponents have tried to reconcile the Genesis creation myths with science by conceiving of the days of creation not as literal, 24-hour days, but as long periods of time. This, or some other nonliteral exegesis, is the only way to avoid conflict with modern science. However, such an interpretation does not stand up to scrutiny.

    First, the Hebrew word yom (transliterated), standardly translated as “day,” has a wide meaning. It can mean something as specific as a 24-hour day, or something as general as a long period of time. Consequently, some interpret yom in the creation stories as a reference to a long period of time, usually millions or billions of years since that is what is required to make the story fit with modern scientific findings. However, an accurate exegesis largely depends upon the context in which the word is used. In the creation accounts, the fact that the writer uses ordinal adjectives (first day, second day, etc) suggests that literal days were intended. Ordinal adjectives are not used in any other instance when yom means a long period of time …

    … In addition, every day of creation is closed with the words: “And there was evening and there was morning, the [x] day.” References to evening and morning demonstrate a reference to normal days. Some have argued that because the sun is not created until the third day in the story, a normal day cannot be what was intended, as the sun is what causes the day-night cycle. However, the author and his contemporaries believed that light and darkness existed independently of the sun and moon, which were only seen as rulers of day and night.

    Elsewhere in the Torah, the days of creation are treated as literal 24-hour days filling out a 7-day week:

    Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work…. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

    For six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Exodus 31:15-17)

    Setting aside the gruesome and disproportional punishment for working on the Sabbath, both passages link the seven days of a normal week to the seven days of the creation week. This conflicts with the notion that the creation days are long periods of time. A week is a period of seven normal days, both in Exodus 20 and 31 and in Genesis 1.

    In closing, nothing in Genesis 1 itself suggests a nonliteral meaning of yom. Its author referred to normal 24-hour days as clearly as he possibly could. And in any case, artificially stretching the days of creation to match an astronomical time scale would not make Genesis compatible with modern scientific knowledge …

  • Louis

    Correction to #125: Christ was not lying.

  • Louis

    Correction to #125: Christ was not lying.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 122 – hello? Reading comprehension check there. You obviously didn’t bother reading what I wrote because I wrote the exact opposite of what you claimed.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 122 – hello? Reading comprehension check there. You obviously didn’t bother reading what I wrote because I wrote the exact opposite of what you claimed.

  • Tom Hering

    “Tom @ 115 – read my answer @ 113. christ was lying.” – Louis @ 125.

    Okay. Thanks for the honesty.

  • Tom Hering

    “Tom @ 115 – read my answer @ 113. christ was lying.” – Louis @ 125.

    Okay. Thanks for the honesty.

  • Tom Hering

    Freudian slip there, Louis? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Freudian slip there, Louis? :-D

  • Jonathan

    Louis,
    All I am saying is that 6 days means 6 literal days. It doesn’t mean 6 long epochs, as that would be trying to make the poet author who wrote this in his cave some 4-5000 years ago into a modern scientist who had knowledge of how professional science sees things going down. Same with pillar, foundation, corner, rabbits’ cud, cross, resurrection, incarnation, what have you. Let the Word be the Word.

  • Jonathan

    Louis,
    All I am saying is that 6 days means 6 literal days. It doesn’t mean 6 long epochs, as that would be trying to make the poet author who wrote this in his cave some 4-5000 years ago into a modern scientist who had knowledge of how professional science sees things going down. Same with pillar, foundation, corner, rabbits’ cud, cross, resurrection, incarnation, what have you. Let the Word be the Word.

  • Louis

    Jonathan, of course I was abit over the top at #123. But there are no secret handshakes and philsophical creeds you have to swear to in science. It very much comes down to – researching he evidence, and going where it leads. If you believe in a benevolent Creator who does not purposefully mislead His creations, you have to some to the conclusion that YEC stinks, as it completely mangles the evidence and ignores massives swathes of data, and goes through exreme contortions to make inane points. Basically, it is a sad spectacle.

    Really though, what you guys are inisting on is not realising that reason has a limit (weagree, as in my Luther quotes above), but in denying reason all together. Allow me to quote Chesterton here (yes, I know he is a ruddy Papist):

    “… But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren’t a priest.’
    ‘What?’ asked the thief, almost gaping.
    ‘You attacked reason,’ said Father Brown. ‘It’s bad theology.’” (from “The Blue Cross”, 1910)

    And before someone starts quoting Luther out of context – the fellow said, earlier in the story “Down with reason!”, when he pretended to be priest, in a general way.

  • Louis

    Jonathan, of course I was abit over the top at #123. But there are no secret handshakes and philsophical creeds you have to swear to in science. It very much comes down to – researching he evidence, and going where it leads. If you believe in a benevolent Creator who does not purposefully mislead His creations, you have to some to the conclusion that YEC stinks, as it completely mangles the evidence and ignores massives swathes of data, and goes through exreme contortions to make inane points. Basically, it is a sad spectacle.

    Really though, what you guys are inisting on is not realising that reason has a limit (weagree, as in my Luther quotes above), but in denying reason all together. Allow me to quote Chesterton here (yes, I know he is a ruddy Papist):

    “… But, as a matter of fact, another part of my trade, too, made me sure you weren’t a priest.’
    ‘What?’ asked the thief, almost gaping.
    ‘You attacked reason,’ said Father Brown. ‘It’s bad theology.’” (from “The Blue Cross”, 1910)

    And before someone starts quoting Luther out of context – the fellow said, earlier in the story “Down with reason!”, when he pretended to be priest, in a general way.

  • Tom Hering

    So, Louis, Christ was preaching salvation by perpetuating falsehoods?

  • Tom Hering

    So, Louis, Christ was preaching salvation by perpetuating falsehoods?

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 122 – go back and read my 116. I STOPPED adjusting scripture to fit science.

    Jonathan 118 – that’s it?!? You just decide on which parts of the Bible are scientific descriptions based on what you feel? No studying of the context? No consideration of the genre? Nothing?!?

    I think you can give Ps 75 a quite literal reading and understand what the poet is saying, again, without the baggage of professional science.

    So, taking Ps 75 as a literal reading without any baggage of professional science would result in … what? Let’s look at the example we’re discussing:

    When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.

    To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.

    In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices;he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

    Let’s see, without any scientific baggage, that means that the earth has pillars supporting it, wicket people have horns, and God poured out a cup of spiced wine on the Earth and all the wicked people drank it all.

    So, with your literal reading, you think David is meaning all that?

    Of course you don’t. Whether you admit it or not, you have an internal gauge of some sort that, when it comes to some poetic or metaphorical passages, changes how you understand what is being meant in a passage – you stop reading it as literal, scientific descriptions and look for the metaphoric meaning.

    For Psalm 75, you automatically translate it as meaning God is all powerful and controls the entire earth, that the wicked are being associated with a horned creature (probably goats), and that the cup of wine is actually meaning God’s judgment against sin which sinners will experience in full.

    That’s not even close to a “literal” reading, but it is what everyone understands it to mean. (roughly)

    But, for some unknown reason, you’ve decided that Genesis 1′s epic poetry must not be approached like that.

    WHY NOT?

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 122 – go back and read my 116. I STOPPED adjusting scripture to fit science.

    Jonathan 118 – that’s it?!? You just decide on which parts of the Bible are scientific descriptions based on what you feel? No studying of the context? No consideration of the genre? Nothing?!?

    I think you can give Ps 75 a quite literal reading and understand what the poet is saying, again, without the baggage of professional science.

    So, taking Ps 75 as a literal reading without any baggage of professional science would result in … what? Let’s look at the example we’re discussing:

    When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.

    To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.

    In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices;he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.

    Let’s see, without any scientific baggage, that means that the earth has pillars supporting it, wicket people have horns, and God poured out a cup of spiced wine on the Earth and all the wicked people drank it all.

    So, with your literal reading, you think David is meaning all that?

    Of course you don’t. Whether you admit it or not, you have an internal gauge of some sort that, when it comes to some poetic or metaphorical passages, changes how you understand what is being meant in a passage – you stop reading it as literal, scientific descriptions and look for the metaphoric meaning.

    For Psalm 75, you automatically translate it as meaning God is all powerful and controls the entire earth, that the wicked are being associated with a horned creature (probably goats), and that the cup of wine is actually meaning God’s judgment against sin which sinners will experience in full.

    That’s not even close to a “literal” reading, but it is what everyone understands it to mean. (roughly)

    But, for some unknown reason, you’ve decided that Genesis 1′s epic poetry must not be approached like that.

    WHY NOT?

  • Louis

    Tom, your atheist authority has a hidden agenda – maybe not so hidden. Yesterday (@ #36) I posted some links to an exegesis of Genesis – read that for a completely different take.

  • Louis

    Tom, your atheist authority has a hidden agenda – maybe not so hidden. Yesterday (@ #36) I posted some links to an exegesis of Genesis – read that for a completely different take.

  • Jonathan

    Web, you obviously imply you had to find a way to read them in harmony. That means one or the other had to give. That’s what TE is, a compromise.

  • Jonathan

    Web, you obviously imply you had to find a way to read them in harmony. That means one or the other had to give. That’s what TE is, a compromise.

  • Louis

    Tom – your restatement of your question at 133 indicates to me that you haven’t really grasped my statement at 113. Think about it for awhile….

  • Louis

    Tom – your restatement of your question at 133 indicates to me that you haven’t really grasped my statement at 113. Think about it for awhile….

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 131 – WHY does it have to mean 24 hour days in Genesis 1? You’ve stated over and over that it does, but never why it does.

    Genesis 1 is very clearly an epic poetic passage; the word ‘yom’ can (and does) mean different things in many other places in the Bible; the word ‘yom’ is very clearly used to refer to a non-24 hour period just a couple verses later in Genesis 2:4; everywhere else you run across poetry in the Bible you don’t have any issues with it having non-literal meaning.

    Why is it that in this one exception do you absolutely insist that ‘yom’ absolutely must equal 24 hours?

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 131 – WHY does it have to mean 24 hour days in Genesis 1? You’ve stated over and over that it does, but never why it does.

    Genesis 1 is very clearly an epic poetic passage; the word ‘yom’ can (and does) mean different things in many other places in the Bible; the word ‘yom’ is very clearly used to refer to a non-24 hour period just a couple verses later in Genesis 2:4; everywhere else you run across poetry in the Bible you don’t have any issues with it having non-literal meaning.

    Why is it that in this one exception do you absolutely insist that ‘yom’ absolutely must equal 24 hours?

  • Tom Hering

    Re: 113. Sorry, Louis, but literal readings of Genesis predate the Enlightenment. For example, the Lutheran Confessions. As for truth, I think you hold to an overly spiritual concept of truth.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: 113. Sorry, Louis, but literal readings of Genesis predate the Enlightenment. For example, the Lutheran Confessions. As for truth, I think you hold to an overly spiritual concept of truth.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 136?????

    I believed that Bible pretty clearly taught a non-literal Genesis 1.
    I also thought that YEC “science” was accurate and so required a literal Genesis 1.
    I couldn’t hold both, so I gave up the YEC science and kept scripture.

    And you call that a compromise? Putting scripture above what I thought was science*?

    Oh the horror! Oh those nasty TEs who do that!!!

    (* I later discovered that science didn’t actually conflict with scripture, but that’s a separate issue)

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 136?????

    I believed that Bible pretty clearly taught a non-literal Genesis 1.
    I also thought that YEC “science” was accurate and so required a literal Genesis 1.
    I couldn’t hold both, so I gave up the YEC science and kept scripture.

    And you call that a compromise? Putting scripture above what I thought was science*?

    Oh the horror! Oh those nasty TEs who do that!!!

    (* I later discovered that science didn’t actually conflict with scripture, but that’s a separate issue)

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, it looks like the thread of thought that 140 is a part of is diverging. Can we drop that one and get back to the main thread of 138?

    (Speaking to Jonathan.)

  • WebMonk

    Hmmm, it looks like the thread of thought that 140 is a part of is diverging. Can we drop that one and get back to the main thread of 138?

    (Speaking to Jonathan.)

  • Louis

    Tom – I did not say literal readings of Genesis do not predate the enlightenment – not at all. For instance, whereas Church Fathers such as St Augustine did not take Genesis 1 literally, Irenaeus did. The latter was also against paedobaptism, but don’t tell Grace.

    As to your second comment – you are accusing me of 2 opposite errors. One is that I hold to strongly to reality (data, evidence, reason), and the other that I’m some sort of pomo who spiritualizes truth. Which is it?

    And here’s another question: So why do we have mountains and mountains of evidence pointing to biological evolution, an old earth etc etc? In your world, what do you do with all that?

  • Louis

    Tom – I did not say literal readings of Genesis do not predate the enlightenment – not at all. For instance, whereas Church Fathers such as St Augustine did not take Genesis 1 literally, Irenaeus did. The latter was also against paedobaptism, but don’t tell Grace.

    As to your second comment – you are accusing me of 2 opposite errors. One is that I hold to strongly to reality (data, evidence, reason), and the other that I’m some sort of pomo who spiritualizes truth. Which is it?

    And here’s another question: So why do we have mountains and mountains of evidence pointing to biological evolution, an old earth etc etc? In your world, what do you do with all that?

  • Jonathan

    There was morning and evening, the first..second..third…sixth day.

    For in six days the Lord created the heavens and earth and rested on the seventh, therefore 6 days you shall work and you shall keep the sabbath holy. Exodus, the Decalogue.

    I let the word be the Word and give it a plain meaning. Whether it is epic, poetry, a geneology, a testimony, narrative.

    I maintain that the only way you would want to approach the text of Genesis 1 and say that it must mean something other than a literal day is if you bring baggage with you from professional science that says otherwise. It was no different in that regard for the early fathers who were ready to make such a compromise, as Darwin wasn’t the first professional scientist/philosopher to propose an old earth, the professional scientists/philosophers espousing old earth were around in Augustine’s day too. Heck, even the Pope has caved.

    Bottom line, you can’t harmonize the two without compromise of the what is the plain meaning of the text. I don’t feel the need to do that based on what professional science has to say. I will let the Word be the Word. I don’t have skin in the game where professional science goes.

  • Jonathan

    There was morning and evening, the first..second..third…sixth day.

    For in six days the Lord created the heavens and earth and rested on the seventh, therefore 6 days you shall work and you shall keep the sabbath holy. Exodus, the Decalogue.

    I let the word be the Word and give it a plain meaning. Whether it is epic, poetry, a geneology, a testimony, narrative.

    I maintain that the only way you would want to approach the text of Genesis 1 and say that it must mean something other than a literal day is if you bring baggage with you from professional science that says otherwise. It was no different in that regard for the early fathers who were ready to make such a compromise, as Darwin wasn’t the first professional scientist/philosopher to propose an old earth, the professional scientists/philosophers espousing old earth were around in Augustine’s day too. Heck, even the Pope has caved.

    Bottom line, you can’t harmonize the two without compromise of the what is the plain meaning of the text. I don’t feel the need to do that based on what professional science has to say. I will let the Word be the Word. I don’t have skin in the game where professional science goes.

  • Tom Hering

    “Can we … get back to the main thread of 138?” – WebMonk @ 141.

    Ill bite. Scripture interprets Scripture. In Exodus 20 and 31, God Himself equates the six days of Creation with normal 24-hour days. But I suppose there’s textual evidence He was being poetic? If so, I’ll be darned if I can find it in the context or elsewhere.

  • Tom Hering

    “Can we … get back to the main thread of 138?” – WebMonk @ 141.

    Ill bite. Scripture interprets Scripture. In Exodus 20 and 31, God Himself equates the six days of Creation with normal 24-hour days. But I suppose there’s textual evidence He was being poetic? If so, I’ll be darned if I can find it in the context or elsewhere.

  • Jonathan

    And besides, put Genesis aside for a minute. You guys keep saying you have mountains and mountains for TE or blind evo, whatever, and you belittle any questioning by anyone.

    Using that same approach as you guys who refuse to say what it is that convinces you from the evidence, from what I have seen, read, heard, there are so many holes, assumptions improbable leaps, and circular reasons in evo theory that it is far from fact.

  • Jonathan

    And besides, put Genesis aside for a minute. You guys keep saying you have mountains and mountains for TE or blind evo, whatever, and you belittle any questioning by anyone.

    Using that same approach as you guys who refuse to say what it is that convinces you from the evidence, from what I have seen, read, heard, there are so many holes, assumptions improbable leaps, and circular reasons in evo theory that it is far from fact.

  • Louis

    I just lost a comment….

    Briefly then, I’d appreciate an answer, especially to my last question @ #142, and not just from Tom? Please don’t pull a Grace on me… :)

  • Louis

    I just lost a comment….

    Briefly then, I’d appreciate an answer, especially to my last question @ #142, and not just from Tom? Please don’t pull a Grace on me… :)

  • Louis

    Jonathan – again, you can take nany word that comes from Ham and co with a truckload of salt. But if you follow archeology, paleontology, biology, geology, astrophysics etc etc, you would realise that the holes tend to get smaller and smaller all the time – and that though some paragraphs change, the overall thrust of the narative doesn’t, if you get my analogy.

    Again don’t get your Science from AIG (that’s like reading US magazine for foreign policy news), but be careful of the mainstream media too – as Webmonk has often pointed out, standards in journalism especially regarding scientific reporting are non-existent.

  • Louis

    Jonathan – again, you can take nany word that comes from Ham and co with a truckload of salt. But if you follow archeology, paleontology, biology, geology, astrophysics etc etc, you would realise that the holes tend to get smaller and smaller all the time – and that though some paragraphs change, the overall thrust of the narative doesn’t, if you get my analogy.

    Again don’t get your Science from AIG (that’s like reading US magazine for foreign policy news), but be careful of the mainstream media too – as Webmonk has often pointed out, standards in journalism especially regarding scientific reporting are non-existent.

  • Grace

    What part of Exodus 20, GOD giving the TEN COMMANDMENTS should not be taken LITERALLY? Should it be verse eleven (11)? is that the one?

    1 And God spake all these words, saying,
    2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    13 Thou shalt not kill.

    14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    15 Thou shalt not steal.

    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    Exodus 20

    Should this, one of the most RELEVANT parts of Scripture be taken as “religious poetry”, is there some reason why verse eleven (11) should be “religious poetry and the rest be taken LITERALLY?

  • Grace

    What part of Exodus 20, GOD giving the TEN COMMANDMENTS should not be taken LITERALLY? Should it be verse eleven (11)? is that the one?

    1 And God spake all these words, saying,
    2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    13 Thou shalt not kill.

    14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    15 Thou shalt not steal.

    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

    Exodus 20

    Should this, one of the most RELEVANT parts of Scripture be taken as “religious poetry”, is there some reason why verse eleven (11) should be “religious poetry and the rest be taken LITERALLY?

  • Louis

    Grace, you did not follow he conversation/debate at all, did you? Or maybe you just do not understand….

  • Louis

    Grace, you did not follow he conversation/debate at all, did you? Or maybe you just do not understand….

  • Tom Hering

    “… you are accusing me … that I hold to strongly to reality (data, evidence, reason)” – Louis @ 142.

    Not at all. Your data tells you what it tells you.

    “So why do we have mountains and mountains of evidence pointing to biological evolution, an old earth etc etc? In your world, what do you do with all that?”

    I’ve already told you, but you and Grace didn’t think too highly of my position. Nonetheless, I think it’s the only sensible one, given all that both Scripture and science tell us. See? I don’t reject science, which I view as the narrow study of post-Fall Creation (post-Fall evidence is the only evidence available to science). Or compromise Scripture by denying the literal truth of Genesis (TE) or claiming God is a deceiver (YEC).

  • Tom Hering

    “… you are accusing me … that I hold to strongly to reality (data, evidence, reason)” – Louis @ 142.

    Not at all. Your data tells you what it tells you.

    “So why do we have mountains and mountains of evidence pointing to biological evolution, an old earth etc etc? In your world, what do you do with all that?”

    I’ve already told you, but you and Grace didn’t think too highly of my position. Nonetheless, I think it’s the only sensible one, given all that both Scripture and science tell us. See? I don’t reject science, which I view as the narrow study of post-Fall Creation (post-Fall evidence is the only evidence available to science). Or compromise Scripture by denying the literal truth of Genesis (TE) or claiming God is a deceiver (YEC).

  • Jonathan

    Let me know when you guys can, no kidding, make life from non-life. (Urey-Miller were an epic failure there.) Then I might be willing to be swayed, a little. Until then, molecules to man evolution will remain completely fanciful to me, a just-so story. (And that’s without Genesis.)

  • Jonathan

    Let me know when you guys can, no kidding, make life from non-life. (Urey-Miller were an epic failure there.) Then I might be willing to be swayed, a little. Until then, molecules to man evolution will remain completely fanciful to me, a just-so story. (And that’s without Genesis.)

  • Louis

    Jonathan – what is your answer to my question to Tom?(#142, last one). And please don’t copy Tom’s…

    Tom that answer makes no sense. Have you ever studied any geology (for instance)?

  • Louis

    Jonathan – what is your answer to my question to Tom?(#142, last one). And please don’t copy Tom’s…

    Tom that answer makes no sense. Have you ever studied any geology (for instance)?

  • Louis

    Also Jonathan, you make the unwarrented assumption that TE’s/OEC’s assume an absent Deity. Basically that He could not / did not determine the outcome of an otherwise random process – even once. I am NOT saying that happened, but I am observing the unspoken assumptions.

  • Louis

    Also Jonathan, you make the unwarrented assumption that TE’s/OEC’s assume an absent Deity. Basically that He could not / did not determine the outcome of an otherwise random process – even once. I am NOT saying that happened, but I am observing the unspoken assumptions.

  • Louis

    Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver. (Ignore Grace’s answer, we have clearly seen that she is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic).

    But here’s a question for you. In that “rapid” aging you postulate, what happened to the ground underneath Adam and Eve’s feet?

  • Louis

    Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver. (Ignore Grace’s answer, we have clearly seen that she is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic).

    But here’s a question for you. In that “rapid” aging you postulate, what happened to the ground underneath Adam and Eve’s feet?

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, Jonathan. Don’t copy my answer, because it makes no sense to Louis. Though he would have us believe, in turn, that monkeys crawled out of the sea to become man. Oops! I guess I really do need to study, as Louis presumes. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Yes, Jonathan. Don’t copy my answer, because it makes no sense to Louis. Though he would have us believe, in turn, that monkeys crawled out of the sea to become man. Oops! I guess I really do need to study, as Louis presumes. :-D

  • Grace

    Louis

    Literal days – you don’t like the passage of Scripture? I follow the Bible Louis.

    We all know about your ‘famous t-shirt!

    Your posts 111 is pathetic – post 112 is so old you tap it out when you can’t think of anything else to post.

    112 Louis June 8, 2011 at 11:58 am
    Cincinnatus, Larry is a convert, and like many converts (trust me, been there, got the T-shirt and the scars, needs to be more Lutheran than brother Martin himself. It is a psychological thing.”

  • Grace

    Louis

    Literal days – you don’t like the passage of Scripture? I follow the Bible Louis.

    We all know about your ‘famous t-shirt!

    Your posts 111 is pathetic – post 112 is so old you tap it out when you can’t think of anything else to post.

    112 Louis June 8, 2011 at 11:58 am
    Cincinnatus, Larry is a convert, and like many converts (trust me, been there, got the T-shirt and the scars, needs to be more Lutheran than brother Martin himself. It is a psychological thing.”

  • Louis

    Poor Grace.

  • Louis

    Poor Grace.

  • Tom Hering

    “In that ‘rapid’ aging you postulate, what happened to the ground underneath Adam and Eve’s feet?” – Louis @ 154.

    It was declared off-limits. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “In that ‘rapid’ aging you postulate, what happened to the ground underneath Adam and Eve’s feet?” – Louis @ 154.

    It was declared off-limits. :-)

  • Louis

    Tom – not quite, but I wanted an original answer. Happy?

    So what happened underneath Adam’s and Eve’s feet?

  • Louis

    Tom – not quite, but I wanted an original answer. Happy?

    So what happened underneath Adam’s and Eve’s feet?

  • Grace

    154 Louis

    Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver. (Ignore Grace’s answer, we have clearly seen that she is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic).

    I can see Exodus 20, is difficult for you. After all it contains the 10 Commandments as well as clarificationn of 6 days, and the 7th day for rest.

    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11

    Do you exclude the Commandments too?

  • Grace

    154 Louis

    Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver. (Ignore Grace’s answer, we have clearly seen that she is a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic).

    I can see Exodus 20, is difficult for you. After all it contains the 10 Commandments as well as clarificationn of 6 days, and the 7th day for rest.

    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11

    Do you exclude the Commandments too?

  • Louis

    We are cross-posting. Don’t be facetious, you know what I’m asking. What happened to the physical crust of the earth the, if you will?

  • Louis

    We are cross-posting. Don’t be facetious, you know what I’m asking. What happened to the physical crust of the earth the, if you will?

  • Louis

    Grace, read my answer at #111, and apply.

  • Louis

    Grace, read my answer at #111, and apply.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, just go ahead and tell me what couldn’t have happened. It will save us both time.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, just go ahead and tell me what couldn’t have happened. It will save us both time.

  • Jonathan

    Louis 152,

    See my ans at 151 and 145.

    You guys always just say, see, we have all this mountains of evidence, and we are professional scientists (“Back off, man, we’re scientists!” Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghost Busters I.) So what do you guys say to that?

    So, if you’re a TE, then show me today in the lab where He directs creation of life from non-life. (I know where he did it all over the Bible, of course.) I might be impressed. Go ahead, I’ll wait. No one has shown it to happen.

    The complexity involved in making the simplist life form and the odds (or direction and information for you TE guys) that it would take are staggering.

    O wait, TE, I get it, God’s resting from his 6 long epochs, you say? He’s done creating life from non-life, that’s why we won’t see it any more, at least not until the resurrection. Another just-so gnostic story.

  • Jonathan

    Louis 152,

    See my ans at 151 and 145.

    You guys always just say, see, we have all this mountains of evidence, and we are professional scientists (“Back off, man, we’re scientists!” Dr. Peter Venkman, Ghost Busters I.) So what do you guys say to that?

    So, if you’re a TE, then show me today in the lab where He directs creation of life from non-life. (I know where he did it all over the Bible, of course.) I might be impressed. Go ahead, I’ll wait. No one has shown it to happen.

    The complexity involved in making the simplist life form and the odds (or direction and information for you TE guys) that it would take are staggering.

    O wait, TE, I get it, God’s resting from his 6 long epochs, you say? He’s done creating life from non-life, that’s why we won’t see it any more, at least not until the resurrection. Another just-so gnostic story.

  • Louis

    Tom – every bit of rock tells a story. It gives circumstances of formation – for sedimentological rocks, it trells you about its environment (marine, fluvial, lacustrine) etc, and the climate at the time. For metamorphic rocks, you have an idea of its antecident, its pressure-temperature history, etc etc. Same with igneous rocks.

    So, underneath our feet, depending on where we are, there are many miles of formations, of various rock types, all telling a geographical – climatoligical – chemical – physical story – actually, volumes and volumes of stories. From the quite early on (relatively), these stories are augmented and corroborated by fossil evidence – from the earliest stromatolite trace fossils onwards.

    Further corroboration is also found in the isotopic data – information about age and environment. These corroborations are strong. (BTW – the old argument about early accelerated radioactive decay doesn’t -work – radioactive decay releases heat, and such mega-accelerated decay would not only violate the laws of physics, it would fry the earth too).

    In essence, for all this to happen at the Fall, is essentially no different than the “mature earth” argument, which implies the deceitful deity of YEC’ism. It is also much the same as Last Thursdayism.

  • Louis

    Tom – every bit of rock tells a story. It gives circumstances of formation – for sedimentological rocks, it trells you about its environment (marine, fluvial, lacustrine) etc, and the climate at the time. For metamorphic rocks, you have an idea of its antecident, its pressure-temperature history, etc etc. Same with igneous rocks.

    So, underneath our feet, depending on where we are, there are many miles of formations, of various rock types, all telling a geographical – climatoligical – chemical – physical story – actually, volumes and volumes of stories. From the quite early on (relatively), these stories are augmented and corroborated by fossil evidence – from the earliest stromatolite trace fossils onwards.

    Further corroboration is also found in the isotopic data – information about age and environment. These corroborations are strong. (BTW – the old argument about early accelerated radioactive decay doesn’t -work – radioactive decay releases heat, and such mega-accelerated decay would not only violate the laws of physics, it would fry the earth too).

    In essence, for all this to happen at the Fall, is essentially no different than the “mature earth” argument, which implies the deceitful deity of YEC’ism. It is also much the same as Last Thursdayism.

  • Louis

    Jonathan, please start giving real arguments. Sloganeering is just so unsatisfying….

  • Louis

    Jonathan, please start giving real arguments. Sloganeering is just so unsatisfying….

  • Jonathan

    Every bit of rock tells a story.
    Yup, there’s that old Lyellian chestnut. (That’s what the prof trotted out first day of my rocks for jocks class.) A rock doesn’t tell you squat. Stories are spun by story-tellers interpreting what they see. I’ve yet to find a rock with a “born on” date like a can of Bud. Putting Genesis and my assumed age of earth aside for a moment, I think the jury’s out on the reliability of the dating mechanisms science is offering, from what I have seen.

  • Jonathan

    Every bit of rock tells a story.
    Yup, there’s that old Lyellian chestnut. (That’s what the prof trotted out first day of my rocks for jocks class.) A rock doesn’t tell you squat. Stories are spun by story-tellers interpreting what they see. I’ve yet to find a rock with a “born on” date like a can of Bud. Putting Genesis and my assumed age of earth aside for a moment, I think the jury’s out on the reliability of the dating mechanisms science is offering, from what I have seen.

  • Louis

    As to the whole literal/figurative thing, here’s a (far-fetched  ) analogy for you:
    We do not know if King Arthur existed, right? So, lets assume that the current financial chaos continues to increase, that governments start to fall etc. Now lets assume England falls into chaos, somebody invades etc etc. Now, Prince William decides to do something about it, he gains a following, he re-establishes law-and-order, and takes con troll of things, smiting his enemies. Then he gets crowned the Monarch of All-England, and the title “The Second Arthur” is bestowed on him.
    Now this all gets written down see. Now 1000 years from now, to kids pick up a volume of history – and Jimmy tells Freddy. See – King William V was called the Second Arthur. But we have no evidence that Arthur ever existed – so that PROVES that William is fictional s well!

    Weakish analogy, but you see what I’m saying?

  • Louis

    As to the whole literal/figurative thing, here’s a (far-fetched  ) analogy for you:
    We do not know if King Arthur existed, right? So, lets assume that the current financial chaos continues to increase, that governments start to fall etc. Now lets assume England falls into chaos, somebody invades etc etc. Now, Prince William decides to do something about it, he gains a following, he re-establishes law-and-order, and takes con troll of things, smiting his enemies. Then he gets crowned the Monarch of All-England, and the title “The Second Arthur” is bestowed on him.
    Now this all gets written down see. Now 1000 years from now, to kids pick up a volume of history – and Jimmy tells Freddy. See – King William V was called the Second Arthur. But we have no evidence that Arthur ever existed – so that PROVES that William is fictional s well!

    Weakish analogy, but you see what I’m saying?

  • Louis

    Jonathan – don’t be an ass.

    For example: I can go to riverbank, cur into it, and see the ripple marks and other fluvial characteristics. Then I can see the same in semi-consolidated rocks as well as consolidated sediment (sandstone), as well as weakly metmorphosed versions of the same (quartzite). Thus the quartzite tells me a story about its history so-to-speak. The same with other rocks.

    But I get the distinct feeling that I’m speaking to a wall, and a low one at that.

  • Louis

    Jonathan – don’t be an ass.

    For example: I can go to riverbank, cur into it, and see the ripple marks and other fluvial characteristics. Then I can see the same in semi-consolidated rocks as well as consolidated sediment (sandstone), as well as weakly metmorphosed versions of the same (quartzite). Thus the quartzite tells me a story about its history so-to-speak. The same with other rocks.

    But I get the distinct feeling that I’m speaking to a wall, and a low one at that.

  • Louis

    As to radiometric dating – even the creationists admit that it works. Thus the crazy theories about accelerated decay and all that.

    I don’t know where you get your information, but maybe your source can tell us who killed Kennedy, and what does Nostradamus predict regarding the Stanley Cup :) :)

  • Louis

    As to radiometric dating – even the creationists admit that it works. Thus the crazy theories about accelerated decay and all that.

    I don’t know where you get your information, but maybe your source can tell us who killed Kennedy, and what does Nostradamus predict regarding the Stanley Cup :) :)

  • Jonathan

    See there you go, “start using real arguments.”

    Well I am using real arguments. I ask you to give me an observable, repeatable, falsifiable test–your best evidence. Demonstrate life from non-life. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple unicellular form will do, carbon-based preferably (as I said nothing fancy.) Really, this might sway me, I’d be impressed.

  • Jonathan

    See there you go, “start using real arguments.”

    Well I am using real arguments. I ask you to give me an observable, repeatable, falsifiable test–your best evidence. Demonstrate life from non-life. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple unicellular form will do, carbon-based preferably (as I said nothing fancy.) Really, this might sway me, I’d be impressed.

  • Jonathan

    My, you’re full of epithets, Louis. You’re hurting my feelings.

  • Jonathan

    My, you’re full of epithets, Louis. You’re hurting my feelings.

  • DonS

    “Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver.” — Louis @ 154.

    While I have no desire to wade into the substance of this discussion, having engaged in similar ones many times before, I feel compelled to address this notion that if the earth appears to be a different age, using human theories of dating, than it actually is, that means God is a deceiver. That is, frankly, a ridiculous notion.

    We, as humans, have created the discipline of science, and its definition, wherein we exclude any consideration of the supernatural. The reason for excluding the supernatural is valid — science is based on observation, and supernatural events are not, practically speaking, observable or repeatable.

    However, we have forgotten the limitations that we have imposed on science, and often use it inappropriately to understand earth’s origins. We have strayed beyond the observable, by theorizing using extrapolation of observed data, but still insist on discounting the supernatural. However, those of us who are believers know, to a certainty, that the supernatural is a part of the history of the earth, and, in fact, its very foundation. So, science is a flawed tool for understanding the origins of the earth, since it excludes consideration of supernatural influence on creation. We know, from the Bible, whether we view Genesis literally or as poetry, that God created the earth and all life. So, if science cannot, by definition, admit God’s part in creation, we need to take its limitations into account when using science to understand earth’s origins.

    The bottom line is this. If the earth is of a different age than it appears using scientific dating methods, that does not mean God is a deceiver. It means, rather, that the dating methods, humanly designed, are wrong. It means that we have inappropriately strayed beyond directly observable science, made assumptions about linearity, and accordingly committed error. And then we have compounded that error by ignoring the limitations of science, and by refusing, in our arrogance, to take the supernatural into account. IF the earth is of a different age than our human theories believe, God is not a deceiver. Instead, we have deceived ourselves.

  • DonS

    “Ah – Tom, I’m at least happy to see you admit that YEC implies God to be a deceiver.” — Louis @ 154.

    While I have no desire to wade into the substance of this discussion, having engaged in similar ones many times before, I feel compelled to address this notion that if the earth appears to be a different age, using human theories of dating, than it actually is, that means God is a deceiver. That is, frankly, a ridiculous notion.

    We, as humans, have created the discipline of science, and its definition, wherein we exclude any consideration of the supernatural. The reason for excluding the supernatural is valid — science is based on observation, and supernatural events are not, practically speaking, observable or repeatable.

    However, we have forgotten the limitations that we have imposed on science, and often use it inappropriately to understand earth’s origins. We have strayed beyond the observable, by theorizing using extrapolation of observed data, but still insist on discounting the supernatural. However, those of us who are believers know, to a certainty, that the supernatural is a part of the history of the earth, and, in fact, its very foundation. So, science is a flawed tool for understanding the origins of the earth, since it excludes consideration of supernatural influence on creation. We know, from the Bible, whether we view Genesis literally or as poetry, that God created the earth and all life. So, if science cannot, by definition, admit God’s part in creation, we need to take its limitations into account when using science to understand earth’s origins.

    The bottom line is this. If the earth is of a different age than it appears using scientific dating methods, that does not mean God is a deceiver. It means, rather, that the dating methods, humanly designed, are wrong. It means that we have inappropriately strayed beyond directly observable science, made assumptions about linearity, and accordingly committed error. And then we have compounded that error by ignoring the limitations of science, and by refusing, in our arrogance, to take the supernatural into account. IF the earth is of a different age than our human theories believe, God is not a deceiver. Instead, we have deceived ourselves.

  • Louis

    Jonathan – I’m not a biologist. So, no-can-do. However, the fact that it cannot (yet) be done in a laboratory doesn’t imply that it didn’t happen. And, if it could be done in a lab, that also doesn’t mean it did happen long ago in nature. IE, your proof would be iconsequential.

    Also, I myself switched from YEC to OEC/TE because of two things: I realised that the overt literal reading of Genesis 1 – 11 is not the only possible reading, and perhaps even a very unlikely reading. On the science side, it was the weight of evidence, not any one piece that “didn’t fit”. And the “weight of evidence” is a bit much to even sum up in a blog thread.

    Rgarding my use of sarcasm. I’m sorry, but your arguments really come across as inane. The radiometric one I explained earlier. The Story one was a bit strange, but I attempted to explain my earlier comment as well. And the “life in a lab” one is inconsequential too, as I explained in this post. Plus the phraseology gets a bit sophomoric?

  • Louis

    Jonathan – I’m not a biologist. So, no-can-do. However, the fact that it cannot (yet) be done in a laboratory doesn’t imply that it didn’t happen. And, if it could be done in a lab, that also doesn’t mean it did happen long ago in nature. IE, your proof would be iconsequential.

    Also, I myself switched from YEC to OEC/TE because of two things: I realised that the overt literal reading of Genesis 1 – 11 is not the only possible reading, and perhaps even a very unlikely reading. On the science side, it was the weight of evidence, not any one piece that “didn’t fit”. And the “weight of evidence” is a bit much to even sum up in a blog thread.

    Rgarding my use of sarcasm. I’m sorry, but your arguments really come across as inane. The radiometric one I explained earlier. The Story one was a bit strange, but I attempted to explain my earlier comment as well. And the “life in a lab” one is inconsequential too, as I explained in this post. Plus the phraseology gets a bit sophomoric?

  • Louis

    DonS – so what to do with the mountains of evidence that say otherwise? Stick your fingers in your ears and say blah blah blah?

    Science is not magic. It is not some secretive philosophy. It is not the dark arts. Science is simply the application of logic to direct observations of reality. The accusations of a naturalisitc dialectic can be deceiving. Science is simply observing that (for instance) at 100 degrees Centigrade, at sea level, water changes into steam. And that the steam is a different phase. And it happened because I applied energy to the water. Now, of course the complexity of observation and argument increases from there on, but the essence remains. the baconian method was simply an MO applied to experimental science to ensure accuracy and reliability. Geology, though a lot of experimentation is possible is largely a forensic science. And so on…..

    The old earth fits in with the simple, repeatable laws of physics etc. Observations regarding force, amounts of sediment, carrying capacity etc. For instance just taking all the rocks deposited since the Cambrian era, breaking them into sediment, and mixing them with all the water in the world, produces a sludge, not a flood. Thus the common argument from YEC’ists that all the post-Proterozoic formations was formed by Noah’s flood is a physical impossibility. Thus you either have to postulate deception, or question the literalness of the Flood account (ie, a difference between “land” and “global” – in the Hebrew, ha’aretz refers to the land, as in the land of Israel, the land of…, or the land where everybody lived). Or how would you answer that, Don?

  • Louis

    DonS – so what to do with the mountains of evidence that say otherwise? Stick your fingers in your ears and say blah blah blah?

    Science is not magic. It is not some secretive philosophy. It is not the dark arts. Science is simply the application of logic to direct observations of reality. The accusations of a naturalisitc dialectic can be deceiving. Science is simply observing that (for instance) at 100 degrees Centigrade, at sea level, water changes into steam. And that the steam is a different phase. And it happened because I applied energy to the water. Now, of course the complexity of observation and argument increases from there on, but the essence remains. the baconian method was simply an MO applied to experimental science to ensure accuracy and reliability. Geology, though a lot of experimentation is possible is largely a forensic science. And so on…..

    The old earth fits in with the simple, repeatable laws of physics etc. Observations regarding force, amounts of sediment, carrying capacity etc. For instance just taking all the rocks deposited since the Cambrian era, breaking them into sediment, and mixing them with all the water in the world, produces a sludge, not a flood. Thus the common argument from YEC’ists that all the post-Proterozoic formations was formed by Noah’s flood is a physical impossibility. Thus you either have to postulate deception, or question the literalness of the Flood account (ie, a difference between “land” and “global” – in the Hebrew, ha’aretz refers to the land, as in the land of Israel, the land of…, or the land where everybody lived). Or how would you answer that, Don?

  • Louis

    You see, I do not think the YEC’ist or Magic history (that’s you Tom, ;) ) folk fully comprehend the impact of what they are saying. That questioning the staggering amount of evidence for an old Earth, or postulating all kinds of stop-gap theories, really cuts very deep. This is is not some theoretical difference like say an argument whether the Asiatic elephant is separate species, or merely a subspecies….

    In essence, the evidence and the remarkable consistency between different fields of knowledge, all pointing to an old universe, old earth etc etc., is so strong, that to say it is all a mere fabrication / mistake, would be akin to saying that knoweldge of reality is an impossibility, and that logic is not trustworthy. IE, it implies that we live in some carzy postmodernist, sophist universe.Of course, that implies that we would not even have the ability to understand Scripture at all, as language itself becomes fluid and dependant orignator and receiver. IE – chaos.

  • Louis

    You see, I do not think the YEC’ist or Magic history (that’s you Tom, ;) ) folk fully comprehend the impact of what they are saying. That questioning the staggering amount of evidence for an old Earth, or postulating all kinds of stop-gap theories, really cuts very deep. This is is not some theoretical difference like say an argument whether the Asiatic elephant is separate species, or merely a subspecies….

    In essence, the evidence and the remarkable consistency between different fields of knowledge, all pointing to an old universe, old earth etc etc., is so strong, that to say it is all a mere fabrication / mistake, would be akin to saying that knoweldge of reality is an impossibility, and that logic is not trustworthy. IE, it implies that we live in some carzy postmodernist, sophist universe.Of course, that implies that we would not even have the ability to understand Scripture at all, as language itself becomes fluid and dependant orignator and receiver. IE – chaos.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 143. (I go away for a couple hours and a score of posts happen!)

    I maintain that the only way you would want to approach the text of Genesis 1 and say that it must mean something other than a literal day is if you bring baggage with you from professional science that says otherwise.

    Wow, are you that completely ignorant of Church history on this topic?? Augustine, Origen, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Clement, Chrysostom, etc, etc, etc. As far as I can tell, the figurative understanding of Genesis 1 was the majority view in the early church.

    Have you never bothered to look at WHY they held their views? Oh wait! They were compromising to “professional scientists/philosophers”! Oh, please! If you want to have a serious discussion, don’t pull nonsense like that out of your hat.

    I let the word be the Word and give it a plain meaning. Whether it is epic, poetry, a geneology, a testimony, narrative.

    Sure, so what is the plain meaning of Psalm 75? Answer: metaphoric. Why do you turn that off when it comes to Genesis 1? You never have answered that.

    The “plain meaning” of something depends on its context and genre. Genesis 1 is epic poetry. The “plain meaning” should reflect that. ‘yom’ has a variety of meanings. Unless there is a really good reason, poetry and epic passages should be taken as metaphoric before they are taken as literal. Why should you take the Psalms, Proverbs, much of the OT prophetic books, Revelation, SoS, etc – all full of obviously poetic passages that you take metaphorically – but insist that Genesis 1, which is just as poetic as the Psalms, must be taken as literal descriptions?

    All you’ve said in reply is the rather meaningless statement about how you think that’s the “plain reading”.

    WHY is it the “plain reading”? You take the “plain reading” of Psalm 75 as metaphoric. Why do you make an exception for Genesis 1, when it is just as poetic?

    There was morning and evening, the first..second..third…sixth day.

    If that was intended to be an answer, you’ve got some work to do. First, it’s not a real answer, it’s merely a mostly-contextless statement, but I’ll try reading between the lines. Apparently you feel that if it uses “the X day” and uses the terms “morning” and “evening” then it must mean a 24 hour day.

    You’ve seriously swallowed the AiG cool aid on that one. There are passages elsewhere in the Bible that use the EXACT same sorts of phrasing as Genesis 1, but no one (including you or AiG) takes as literal statements.

    So why do you suddenly make an exception for Genesis 1? You just keep repeating “plain meaning” as if that has some sort of universal application. It doesn’t – the “plain meaning” changes according to all sorts of things, such as context and genre and culture.

  • WebMonk

    Jonathan 143. (I go away for a couple hours and a score of posts happen!)

    I maintain that the only way you would want to approach the text of Genesis 1 and say that it must mean something other than a literal day is if you bring baggage with you from professional science that says otherwise.

    Wow, are you that completely ignorant of Church history on this topic?? Augustine, Origen, Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Clement, Chrysostom, etc, etc, etc. As far as I can tell, the figurative understanding of Genesis 1 was the majority view in the early church.

    Have you never bothered to look at WHY they held their views? Oh wait! They were compromising to “professional scientists/philosophers”! Oh, please! If you want to have a serious discussion, don’t pull nonsense like that out of your hat.

    I let the word be the Word and give it a plain meaning. Whether it is epic, poetry, a geneology, a testimony, narrative.

    Sure, so what is the plain meaning of Psalm 75? Answer: metaphoric. Why do you turn that off when it comes to Genesis 1? You never have answered that.

    The “plain meaning” of something depends on its context and genre. Genesis 1 is epic poetry. The “plain meaning” should reflect that. ‘yom’ has a variety of meanings. Unless there is a really good reason, poetry and epic passages should be taken as metaphoric before they are taken as literal. Why should you take the Psalms, Proverbs, much of the OT prophetic books, Revelation, SoS, etc – all full of obviously poetic passages that you take metaphorically – but insist that Genesis 1, which is just as poetic as the Psalms, must be taken as literal descriptions?

    All you’ve said in reply is the rather meaningless statement about how you think that’s the “plain reading”.

    WHY is it the “plain reading”? You take the “plain reading” of Psalm 75 as metaphoric. Why do you make an exception for Genesis 1, when it is just as poetic?

    There was morning and evening, the first..second..third…sixth day.

    If that was intended to be an answer, you’ve got some work to do. First, it’s not a real answer, it’s merely a mostly-contextless statement, but I’ll try reading between the lines. Apparently you feel that if it uses “the X day” and uses the terms “morning” and “evening” then it must mean a 24 hour day.

    You’ve seriously swallowed the AiG cool aid on that one. There are passages elsewhere in the Bible that use the EXACT same sorts of phrasing as Genesis 1, but no one (including you or AiG) takes as literal statements.

    So why do you suddenly make an exception for Genesis 1? You just keep repeating “plain meaning” as if that has some sort of universal application. It doesn’t – the “plain meaning” changes according to all sorts of things, such as context and genre and culture.

  • Jonathan

    Louis, what I am saying is I have doubts about the accuracy of the science, Genesis aside–really. To you, a scientist, that sounds preposterous. That automatically makes me a trogladite, a bufoon in your book. I am not willing to simply let science make any leaps. Its got to be observable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable. In geology, radiometric dating makes some assumptions, and has been shown to be mistaken in dating known rocks. That, to me, creates doubt. You have a preponderance of evidence concerning the numbers the radiometric test spits out. For me, it’s not enough to convict given known errors in dating rocks under those methods. In biology, I have no qualms with micro-evolution. Macro I have a huge problem with. And they’ve got to do all this in a mere 4billion years (I’ll spot them a couple extra billion.) I’d say the odds are vastly against them. I can’t do the ID/TE thing, I see no need for it. If the long age evo thing isn’t panning out as blind chance deal by itself, then there’s no need to do it under the ID/TE thing.

  • Jonathan

    Louis, what I am saying is I have doubts about the accuracy of the science, Genesis aside–really. To you, a scientist, that sounds preposterous. That automatically makes me a trogladite, a bufoon in your book. I am not willing to simply let science make any leaps. Its got to be observable, testable, repeatable, falsifiable. In geology, radiometric dating makes some assumptions, and has been shown to be mistaken in dating known rocks. That, to me, creates doubt. You have a preponderance of evidence concerning the numbers the radiometric test spits out. For me, it’s not enough to convict given known errors in dating rocks under those methods. In biology, I have no qualms with micro-evolution. Macro I have a huge problem with. And they’ve got to do all this in a mere 4billion years (I’ll spot them a couple extra billion.) I’d say the odds are vastly against them. I can’t do the ID/TE thing, I see no need for it. If the long age evo thing isn’t panning out as blind chance deal by itself, then there’s no need to do it under the ID/TE thing.

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, before I get called on it, I’ll take it back – Chrysostom was more literal than figurative so he probably ought not be included in my list there. I’m not sure why I included him in there – brain short.

  • WebMonk

    Whoops, before I get called on it, I’ll take it back – Chrysostom was more literal than figurative so he probably ought not be included in my list there. I’m not sure why I included him in there – brain short.

  • WebMonk

    Though, to make up for pulling Chrysostom out, I’ll toss in a couple more figuratives: Irenaeus, Lactantius, Barnabus, Anselm.

  • WebMonk

    Though, to make up for pulling Chrysostom out, I’ll toss in a couple more figuratives: Irenaeus, Lactantius, Barnabus, Anselm.

  • SAL

    If someone holds to such contrived details as “six days” why would they reject geocentrism and a flat Earth when the Bible suggests both?

    The Bible is cavaliar about precision using “round numbers” and using a cosmology that depists a flat Earth and a local sky with the stars all attached to it.

    I accept a historical Adam and Eve but I find YEC-ism to be a form of solipism that requires us to believe we live in a deceptive Universe.

    If YEC-ist were arguing that the Devil was manipulating scientific evidence I’d find that a bit more tolerable than proclaiming God to be the great deceiver who leads us to lies.

  • SAL

    If someone holds to such contrived details as “six days” why would they reject geocentrism and a flat Earth when the Bible suggests both?

    The Bible is cavaliar about precision using “round numbers” and using a cosmology that depists a flat Earth and a local sky with the stars all attached to it.

    I accept a historical Adam and Eve but I find YEC-ism to be a form of solipism that requires us to believe we live in a deceptive Universe.

    If YEC-ist were arguing that the Devil was manipulating scientific evidence I’d find that a bit more tolerable than proclaiming God to be the great deceiver who leads us to lies.

  • Louis

    Webmonk:

    It doesn’t – the “plain meaning” changes according to all sorts of things, such as context and genre and culture.

    You infidel! Don’t you know that the bible came from the sky without context, untouched by humans. Die, heretic, die! Oh…. wrong religion.

  • Louis

    Webmonk:

    It doesn’t – the “plain meaning” changes according to all sorts of things, such as context and genre and culture.

    You infidel! Don’t you know that the bible came from the sky without context, untouched by humans. Die, heretic, die! Oh…. wrong religion.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 175: It seems as if you missed the complete purpose and intent of my post. Perhaps I was not clear. I am not entering the argument as to YEC in this thread. Been there, done that.

    The sole purpose of my post was to call you out on your argument that, if the earth is younger than it appears to those using scientific dating methods, this means that God is a deceiver. When, instead, what what that would mean is that reaching beyond the observable, and theorizing based on extrapolation and assumption, which is necessary in the pursuit of origins study, exceeds the definition of science (direct observation) and opens scientists up to error.

    If a developer builds a project, and plants mature trees, in order to improve the aesthetics of the project, and a visitor assumes, based on the age of the 25 year old trees, that the project must be 25 years old, was the developer deceptive? Or was the visitor a victim of his own stupid assumptions?

    The discipline of science necessarily excludes the supernatural. But a scientist, especially a Christian one, should not and cannot do the same. We need to view scientific research, and particularly origins theories, in light of what we know to be true, that the universe, including the earth and all of its life forms, was conceived and created by an all powerful supernatural being who may well have used supernatural means in so doing.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 175: It seems as if you missed the complete purpose and intent of my post. Perhaps I was not clear. I am not entering the argument as to YEC in this thread. Been there, done that.

    The sole purpose of my post was to call you out on your argument that, if the earth is younger than it appears to those using scientific dating methods, this means that God is a deceiver. When, instead, what what that would mean is that reaching beyond the observable, and theorizing based on extrapolation and assumption, which is necessary in the pursuit of origins study, exceeds the definition of science (direct observation) and opens scientists up to error.

    If a developer builds a project, and plants mature trees, in order to improve the aesthetics of the project, and a visitor assumes, based on the age of the 25 year old trees, that the project must be 25 years old, was the developer deceptive? Or was the visitor a victim of his own stupid assumptions?

    The discipline of science necessarily excludes the supernatural. But a scientist, especially a Christian one, should not and cannot do the same. We need to view scientific research, and particularly origins theories, in light of what we know to be true, that the universe, including the earth and all of its life forms, was conceived and created by an all powerful supernatural being who may well have used supernatural means in so doing.

  • Tom Hering

    “Magic history.” Ha! I like it! Though what you mean by it, Louis, is that the supernatural must be excluded from the study of nature. Even though the idea that nature can be understood apart from the supernatural, because it exists apart from the supernatural, is just as wrong as wrong can be. (The Theistic Evolutionist is something of a Deist.) God keeps absolutely everything in existence from one second to the next. And it’s all subject to Him. Which is how mere water, bread, and wine can be more than just rituals. And a certain Man can be more than just a man.

  • Tom Hering

    “Magic history.” Ha! I like it! Though what you mean by it, Louis, is that the supernatural must be excluded from the study of nature. Even though the idea that nature can be understood apart from the supernatural, because it exists apart from the supernatural, is just as wrong as wrong can be. (The Theistic Evolutionist is something of a Deist.) God keeps absolutely everything in existence from one second to the next. And it’s all subject to Him. Which is how mere water, bread, and wine can be more than just rituals. And a certain Man can be more than just a man.

  • WebMonk

    DonS, you make it sound like a simple, individual thing that we’re misunderstanding/misinterpreting. It’s not – it is in everything, everywhere. It’s not the tree out in the yard that we are misinterpreting, it everything about the house, yard, and tree.

    The tree is a massive five-foot thick giant. The dust in the attic is six inches deep. The paint is peeling in some places and has multiple coats in others. There are handprints of kids in the cement side walk with a date from 15 years ago. The carpet is worn in areas. There are dirty dishes in the sink. There is a shed with some heavily used tools in the back. The playset in the back yard is showing signs of heavy use, but neglect.

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Then try to tell people that they are just “misinterpreting” things and that that people only think the house is old because of their “own stupid assumptions” and that it was only built last week.

    THAT is the analogy that fits the universe we see around us, not an analogy with a 25 year old tree in the yard of a brand new house.

  • WebMonk

    DonS, you make it sound like a simple, individual thing that we’re misunderstanding/misinterpreting. It’s not – it is in everything, everywhere. It’s not the tree out in the yard that we are misinterpreting, it everything about the house, yard, and tree.

    The tree is a massive five-foot thick giant. The dust in the attic is six inches deep. The paint is peeling in some places and has multiple coats in others. There are handprints of kids in the cement side walk with a date from 15 years ago. The carpet is worn in areas. There are dirty dishes in the sink. There is a shed with some heavily used tools in the back. The playset in the back yard is showing signs of heavy use, but neglect.

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Then try to tell people that they are just “misinterpreting” things and that that people only think the house is old because of their “own stupid assumptions” and that it was only built last week.

    THAT is the analogy that fits the universe we see around us, not an analogy with a 25 year old tree in the yard of a brand new house.

  • Larry

    Wrong again Louis, that webmonk a heterodox confessor doesn’t agree surprises me not and ignorantly think articles of faith are a straw man is not surprising. For he neither confesses the sacraments, does not believe in the sacraments or our articles of faith. That the likes of Webmonk both deny the sacraments and creation in similitude simply is rational consistency.

    But you supposedly do, including the articles of creation in the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds. Just for clarity it’s not “real presence” but the very and true body and blood in our mouths, I say that assuming you mean that but to clarify for our Reformed friends who understand that term, real presence, in opposition to our confessions.

    I take the Scriptures with complete context and your baseless claim of taking it as the Koran is nothing more than empty huff and puff just as you simply make the assertion that there is no connection between the article of faith on creation as there is to the articles of faith on the sacraments, you simply assert they are disconnected but go to no length whatsoever to explain this.

    Luther clearly understood the creation narrative as the creation narrative. And like Luther reason rightly used, subdued by the Word, it’s servant to faith is a glorious gift of God. For I absolutely took NOTHING out of context and you are merely asserting the statement “out of context” like a blind dumb parrot.

    Luther connected reason the whore to denials of ALL articles faith for these articles by design offend reason and this includes the article of faith on creation found in the creeds which connect directly to redemption.

    Luther writes of reason in religion as darkness, “The Gospel lays low our natural reason and light, concluding that they are nothing but darkness. For were there light in us instead of pure darkness, God would let this light come into us to no purpose. Light does not illuminate light but darkness. Therefore all heathen arts, and all human doctrines and laws are forcefully rejected and condemned in this epistle.” Sermon Is. 60:1-6.

    Further Luther states that reason is not light that, “Christ alone is the Light and the Life of all men, not our reason”. That reason resolves no religious dispute, “Nothing is so closely reasoned that it cannot be contradicted by counter-reasoning”. But that we may reason in non-religious subjects, “This Book, called the Holy Scriptures, requires no smart master or controversialist. God has given other branches of learning: grammar, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, jurisprudence, and medicine. Be wise in these subjects; controvert, search, and ask what is right and wrong. But forbear controversy and questioning when this Holy Scripture and God’s Word are connected. Then you should say: Here disputing and questioning the how and the what are out of place.” (sermon on Luke 24)

    That the relation of reason to unbelief is (from BoW), “Weakness of mind is not (as you pretend) the reason why the words of God are not received. In fact, none are more capable of receiving the Word of God than those whose minds are weak, because for the sake of such weak ones and to such weak ones Christ came, and to them He sent His Word. But the reason (for the rejection of God’s Word) is the wickedness of Satan, who sits enthroned, reigns in our weakness, and resists the Word of God.”

    Reason in religion is the devil’s harlot as Luther points out, “He (Carlstadt) teaches us that Madam Hulda, natural reason, says to these matters (of real presence of Christ’s body in the Sacrament, etc…) Just as though we did not know that reason is the devil’s prostitute and defile everything God speaks and does.”

    He writes that faith and reason are not correlatives, “If you are willing to believe nothing but what your reason teaches you, you will have to put aside all the articles of faith (Luther seems to use the same so called straw man I’m accused of) on a heap; for not one is so insignificant but that your reason will say that it is impossible.”

    Further Luther writes that every thought is to brought into captivity, “In God’s Works and Words we should surrender into captivity reason and all wisdom, as St. Paul teaches (2 Cor. 10:5) and we should allow ourselves to be blinded, led, guided, taught, and mastered so that we do not become the judges of God and His words. For we are certainly the losers by our judging when it comes to His words as Ps. 51:4 indicates.”

    Yet, controlled by faith, reason serves well, “Before faith and the knowledge of God reason is darkness in divine matters, but through faith it is turned into a light in the believer and serves piety as an excellent instrument. For just as all natural endowments serve to further impiety in the godless, so they serve to further salvation in the godly. An eloquent tongue promotes faith; reason makes speech clear, and everything helps faith forward. Reason receives life from faith; it is killed by it and brought back to life.”

    The Gospel is of faith, “The Gospel leads us out of, and over, the light of the Law and reason and into the darkness of faith, where the Law and reason have nothing to do.”

    Luther tells us of the “gospel” of reason, “But this article, in which we say that the Son of God became man, sharing our own human nature, in order to redeem us from sin and death and to impart eternal life to us without any merit or co-operation on our part, we are giving to both the Jews and the Mohammedans no less occasion for laughter and mockery than when we speak of three Persons in the Trinity. For, according to human wisdom, the Gospel with its incarnation is a far more absurd assertion than the Trinity of God. In its Jewish and Mohammedan, nay, heathen sophistry, the mind of man goes on reasoning in the following manner: God is only one almighty Lord over all; he has created all men and has given them the Law according to which they are to live. Thence it follows that He is gracious to the pious and the obedient, but punishes and condemns the disobedient. He will, therefore, reward him who does good works and who guards himself against sins. These are nothing but heathenish ideas, derived from our earthly order of things and temporal affairs, as though in God’s government matters would naturally have to be conducted on the principles recognized by the father of a family, who governs among his children and domestic servants. For those are called good governors and masters who observer the above distinction in the treatment of their subordinates.”

    Louis we simply do not confess the same, that is fine. Confess as you can answer before God, I’ll do the same. That makes it simple.

  • Larry

    Wrong again Louis, that webmonk a heterodox confessor doesn’t agree surprises me not and ignorantly think articles of faith are a straw man is not surprising. For he neither confesses the sacraments, does not believe in the sacraments or our articles of faith. That the likes of Webmonk both deny the sacraments and creation in similitude simply is rational consistency.

    But you supposedly do, including the articles of creation in the Apostle’s and Nicene creeds. Just for clarity it’s not “real presence” but the very and true body and blood in our mouths, I say that assuming you mean that but to clarify for our Reformed friends who understand that term, real presence, in opposition to our confessions.

    I take the Scriptures with complete context and your baseless claim of taking it as the Koran is nothing more than empty huff and puff just as you simply make the assertion that there is no connection between the article of faith on creation as there is to the articles of faith on the sacraments, you simply assert they are disconnected but go to no length whatsoever to explain this.

    Luther clearly understood the creation narrative as the creation narrative. And like Luther reason rightly used, subdued by the Word, it’s servant to faith is a glorious gift of God. For I absolutely took NOTHING out of context and you are merely asserting the statement “out of context” like a blind dumb parrot.

    Luther connected reason the whore to denials of ALL articles faith for these articles by design offend reason and this includes the article of faith on creation found in the creeds which connect directly to redemption.

    Luther writes of reason in religion as darkness, “The Gospel lays low our natural reason and light, concluding that they are nothing but darkness. For were there light in us instead of pure darkness, God would let this light come into us to no purpose. Light does not illuminate light but darkness. Therefore all heathen arts, and all human doctrines and laws are forcefully rejected and condemned in this epistle.” Sermon Is. 60:1-6.

    Further Luther states that reason is not light that, “Christ alone is the Light and the Life of all men, not our reason”. That reason resolves no religious dispute, “Nothing is so closely reasoned that it cannot be contradicted by counter-reasoning”. But that we may reason in non-religious subjects, “This Book, called the Holy Scriptures, requires no smart master or controversialist. God has given other branches of learning: grammar, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, jurisprudence, and medicine. Be wise in these subjects; controvert, search, and ask what is right and wrong. But forbear controversy and questioning when this Holy Scripture and God’s Word are connected. Then you should say: Here disputing and questioning the how and the what are out of place.” (sermon on Luke 24)

    That the relation of reason to unbelief is (from BoW), “Weakness of mind is not (as you pretend) the reason why the words of God are not received. In fact, none are more capable of receiving the Word of God than those whose minds are weak, because for the sake of such weak ones and to such weak ones Christ came, and to them He sent His Word. But the reason (for the rejection of God’s Word) is the wickedness of Satan, who sits enthroned, reigns in our weakness, and resists the Word of God.”

    Reason in religion is the devil’s harlot as Luther points out, “He (Carlstadt) teaches us that Madam Hulda, natural reason, says to these matters (of real presence of Christ’s body in the Sacrament, etc…) Just as though we did not know that reason is the devil’s prostitute and defile everything God speaks and does.”

    He writes that faith and reason are not correlatives, “If you are willing to believe nothing but what your reason teaches you, you will have to put aside all the articles of faith (Luther seems to use the same so called straw man I’m accused of) on a heap; for not one is so insignificant but that your reason will say that it is impossible.”

    Further Luther writes that every thought is to brought into captivity, “In God’s Works and Words we should surrender into captivity reason and all wisdom, as St. Paul teaches (2 Cor. 10:5) and we should allow ourselves to be blinded, led, guided, taught, and mastered so that we do not become the judges of God and His words. For we are certainly the losers by our judging when it comes to His words as Ps. 51:4 indicates.”

    Yet, controlled by faith, reason serves well, “Before faith and the knowledge of God reason is darkness in divine matters, but through faith it is turned into a light in the believer and serves piety as an excellent instrument. For just as all natural endowments serve to further impiety in the godless, so they serve to further salvation in the godly. An eloquent tongue promotes faith; reason makes speech clear, and everything helps faith forward. Reason receives life from faith; it is killed by it and brought back to life.”

    The Gospel is of faith, “The Gospel leads us out of, and over, the light of the Law and reason and into the darkness of faith, where the Law and reason have nothing to do.”

    Luther tells us of the “gospel” of reason, “But this article, in which we say that the Son of God became man, sharing our own human nature, in order to redeem us from sin and death and to impart eternal life to us without any merit or co-operation on our part, we are giving to both the Jews and the Mohammedans no less occasion for laughter and mockery than when we speak of three Persons in the Trinity. For, according to human wisdom, the Gospel with its incarnation is a far more absurd assertion than the Trinity of God. In its Jewish and Mohammedan, nay, heathen sophistry, the mind of man goes on reasoning in the following manner: God is only one almighty Lord over all; he has created all men and has given them the Law according to which they are to live. Thence it follows that He is gracious to the pious and the obedient, but punishes and condemns the disobedient. He will, therefore, reward him who does good works and who guards himself against sins. These are nothing but heathenish ideas, derived from our earthly order of things and temporal affairs, as though in God’s government matters would naturally have to be conducted on the principles recognized by the father of a family, who governs among his children and domestic servants. For those are called good governors and masters who observer the above distinction in the treatment of their subordinates.”

    Louis we simply do not confess the same, that is fine. Confess as you can answer before God, I’ll do the same. That makes it simple.

  • Cincinnatus

    Look, both special creation in a literal six days and biological evolution, whether theistic or naturalistic, are, according to theoretical physicists and other scientists, infinitely improbable events from a mathematical standpoint. Moreover, speculation as to origins–again, whether one begins from the presumption of creation or naturalism–is necessarily shrouded in uncertainty, and forever will be. For all we know, the entire fabric of time has changed in structure since the world came into existence.

    Thus, I repeat my earlier question: If the primary purpose of Genesis 1ff is metaphorical–and this is something both YEC’s and TE’s can and should agree on; Genesis isn’t intended primarily to be an empirical account of historical events for our simple edification, regardless of its empirical truth–then why does it matter if one reads Genesis 1 metaphorically/poetically or literally?

  • Cincinnatus

    Look, both special creation in a literal six days and biological evolution, whether theistic or naturalistic, are, according to theoretical physicists and other scientists, infinitely improbable events from a mathematical standpoint. Moreover, speculation as to origins–again, whether one begins from the presumption of creation or naturalism–is necessarily shrouded in uncertainty, and forever will be. For all we know, the entire fabric of time has changed in structure since the world came into existence.

    Thus, I repeat my earlier question: If the primary purpose of Genesis 1ff is metaphorical–and this is something both YEC’s and TE’s can and should agree on; Genesis isn’t intended primarily to be an empirical account of historical events for our simple edification, regardless of its empirical truth–then why does it matter if one reads Genesis 1 metaphorically/poetically or literally?

  • Louis

    Tom – no, I’m not excluding the supernatural/miraculous. I’m simply referring to your magic aging event, and nothing else. And the fact that God keeps everything in existence is true – nobody here is arguing that. AT ALL. That is the message of Genesis 1. We are only saying that that message remains thus even if it is (semi-?) typological/mythological/allegorical etc etc. That’s all. We are not saying He doesn’t controil, we are not saying that He is not the originator, the Creator, of Time, Space, and Physical Creation etc etc. We are not bloody deists. We are orthodox Christians, but not fundamentalist (if I could use the term). A non-literal Genesis 1-11 does not violate the Apostle’s Creed, the Athanasian Creed, Chalcedon, Nicene Creed, The Small Cathechism etc etc.

    Even if you have intellectual difficulties in picturing/imagining it.

    As for myself, the psychological diufficulties were actually greater than the intellectual difficulties. But my background is sectarian/fundamentalist. Sort of Grace on steriods.. :)

  • Louis

    Tom – no, I’m not excluding the supernatural/miraculous. I’m simply referring to your magic aging event, and nothing else. And the fact that God keeps everything in existence is true – nobody here is arguing that. AT ALL. That is the message of Genesis 1. We are only saying that that message remains thus even if it is (semi-?) typological/mythological/allegorical etc etc. That’s all. We are not saying He doesn’t controil, we are not saying that He is not the originator, the Creator, of Time, Space, and Physical Creation etc etc. We are not bloody deists. We are orthodox Christians, but not fundamentalist (if I could use the term). A non-literal Genesis 1-11 does not violate the Apostle’s Creed, the Athanasian Creed, Chalcedon, Nicene Creed, The Small Cathechism etc etc.

    Even if you have intellectual difficulties in picturing/imagining it.

    As for myself, the psychological diufficulties were actually greater than the intellectual difficulties. But my background is sectarian/fundamentalist. Sort of Grace on steriods.. :)

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 185: That was an illustration, an example. Surely, you get my main point — that scientists all too often forget that science is, by definition, limited to the observable, and that, consequently, the use of science as a tool for exploring the origins of the universe is deeply flawed, since it excludes consideration of the very supernatural forces that we know actually created the universe.

    You can and do argue that you believe the scientific evidence for an old earth is overwhelming, and that you believe Scripture can be read in a way to accommodate that scientific evidence without vitiating Scriptural truth or compromising the Gospel message of original sin. Many Christians agree with you. Others prefer to take the Genesis account literally, and not to be concerned about alternative origins theories that conflict with that literal interpretation, concluding that the real purpose of science is to serve as a tool, limited by definition, for our life on earth in the present, and to a lesser extent the future, and that the Bible tells us all that we really need to know about our past.

    If God created the earth in a literal six days, then it is more likely than not that it would appear to be geologically old, with mountains, mature foliage, rivers in riverbeds, rocks and sedimentary layers, etc. A geologically brand new earth would not serve man well. And, it fits the creation account indicating that man was created as an adult, not a baby. Believing this does not necessitate believing that God intentionally deceived man. That is my point. Man deceives himself, when he obsesses on using a manmade, limited tool to attempt to exclude the supernatural as a force in creation.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 185: That was an illustration, an example. Surely, you get my main point — that scientists all too often forget that science is, by definition, limited to the observable, and that, consequently, the use of science as a tool for exploring the origins of the universe is deeply flawed, since it excludes consideration of the very supernatural forces that we know actually created the universe.

    You can and do argue that you believe the scientific evidence for an old earth is overwhelming, and that you believe Scripture can be read in a way to accommodate that scientific evidence without vitiating Scriptural truth or compromising the Gospel message of original sin. Many Christians agree with you. Others prefer to take the Genesis account literally, and not to be concerned about alternative origins theories that conflict with that literal interpretation, concluding that the real purpose of science is to serve as a tool, limited by definition, for our life on earth in the present, and to a lesser extent the future, and that the Bible tells us all that we really need to know about our past.

    If God created the earth in a literal six days, then it is more likely than not that it would appear to be geologically old, with mountains, mature foliage, rivers in riverbeds, rocks and sedimentary layers, etc. A geologically brand new earth would not serve man well. And, it fits the creation account indicating that man was created as an adult, not a baby. Believing this does not necessitate believing that God intentionally deceived man. That is my point. Man deceives himself, when he obsesses on using a manmade, limited tool to attempt to exclude the supernatural as a force in creation.

  • WebMonk

    Cin, if you read it literally, then Genesis 1 IS intended to be an empirical account of historical events.

  • WebMonk

    Cin, if you read it literally, then Genesis 1 IS intended to be an empirical account of historical events.

  • Louis

    So are you a geocentrist Larry? And do you believe that the swallows fly south and getspreserved under sheets of ice in lakes as Luther did? And do you believe that charging any form of interest is evil, as Luther did?

    My point? You know what is my point.

  • Louis

    So are you a geocentrist Larry? And do you believe that the swallows fly south and getspreserved under sheets of ice in lakes as Luther did? And do you believe that charging any form of interest is evil, as Luther did?

    My point? You know what is my point.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – ask away. But don’t expect an answer. More sophistry, maybe. Or, more insanely long mutterings from folks who believe that you are saved by faith in the correct doctrine, not by faith in the Incarnated, Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended Christ.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – ask away. But don’t expect an answer. More sophistry, maybe. Or, more insanely long mutterings from folks who believe that you are saved by faith in the correct doctrine, not by faith in the Incarnated, Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended Christ.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk@190: Well, sure, I didn’t exclude the possibility that Genesis 1 could be intended as a literal recounting of historical events.

    But no one, except perhaps the most obsessive YEC-ers–a company that may include larry and Jonathan–claims that this is the exclusive or primary purpose of Genesis 1, right? Right?

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk@190: Well, sure, I didn’t exclude the possibility that Genesis 1 could be intended as a literal recounting of historical events.

    But no one, except perhaps the most obsessive YEC-ers–a company that may include larry and Jonathan–claims that this is the exclusive or primary purpose of Genesis 1, right? Right?

  • Jonathan

    Wow, Cinci 187 we agree!

    Now let them just call us poop- poop- poopi heads! Dum dum dummys!

  • Jonathan

    Wow, Cinci 187 we agree!

    Now let them just call us poop- poop- poopi heads! Dum dum dummys!

  • WebMonk

    DonS, you consistently underestimate the depth to which the universe and world appear old. It’s not a case of the world appearing old because it needs to work just like an old world for mankind to live on it.

    It appears old down to the level that if it’s not old, then we can’t really know anything about the world. We can’t know how fast rocks sink in water. We can’t know that DNA is involved in cellular replication. We can’t know that nuclear reactions exist.

    Sort of like what Louis said above, if the Earth and universe are really around 6000 years old, then logic is useless and everything is a ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream where it is fundamentally impossible to know anything at all. Why? Because the appearance of age is THAT deeply woven into everything in the world.

  • WebMonk

    DonS, you consistently underestimate the depth to which the universe and world appear old. It’s not a case of the world appearing old because it needs to work just like an old world for mankind to live on it.

    It appears old down to the level that if it’s not old, then we can’t really know anything about the world. We can’t know how fast rocks sink in water. We can’t know that DNA is involved in cellular replication. We can’t know that nuclear reactions exist.

    Sort of like what Louis said above, if the Earth and universe are really around 6000 years old, then logic is useless and everything is a ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream where it is fundamentally impossible to know anything at all. Why? Because the appearance of age is THAT deeply woven into everything in the world.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@194: Where exactly do we agree? I do think there is something generally agreeable in my comment, but, on the other hand, aren’t you the one espousing a fairly reductive literalist interpretation of Genesis 1, and that reading it literally is crucial to our faith? Here we must disagree.

  • Cincinnatus

    Jonathan@194: Where exactly do we agree? I do think there is something generally agreeable in my comment, but, on the other hand, aren’t you the one espousing a fairly reductive literalist interpretation of Genesis 1, and that reading it literally is crucial to our faith? Here we must disagree.

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk@195: Huh? I generally agree with some of the things you’ve said here (though you sort of represent the opposite extreme in the moderate course I’m trying to establish), but what does cellular respiration have to do with the age of the earth? If I believed (though I don’t) that God created the earth with the appearance of age, how would that compromise my knowledge of the way natural entities function observably?

  • Cincinnatus

    WebMonk@195: Huh? I generally agree with some of the things you’ve said here (though you sort of represent the opposite extreme in the moderate course I’m trying to establish), but what does cellular respiration have to do with the age of the earth? If I believed (though I don’t) that God created the earth with the appearance of age, how would that compromise my knowledge of the way natural entities function observably?

  • Tom Hering

    I can agree with DonS that the Earth was created old, about 6,000 years ago, just as Adam was created an adult. In fact, I like this simpler explanation better than my own. (You’ve all just witnessed a conversion!) It’s definitely more in line with the Genesis account. Thanks, DonS. By the way, it’s some YECs who suggest that the reason the Earth appears old is because God has set a trap (a deception) for the hard-of-heart to fall into. (“You want an Earth without God, you got it!”)

  • Tom Hering

    I can agree with DonS that the Earth was created old, about 6,000 years ago, just as Adam was created an adult. In fact, I like this simpler explanation better than my own. (You’ve all just witnessed a conversion!) It’s definitely more in line with the Genesis account. Thanks, DonS. By the way, it’s some YECs who suggest that the reason the Earth appears old is because God has set a trap (a deception) for the hard-of-heart to fall into. (“You want an Earth without God, you got it!”)

  • BW

    This is a good discussion here, I’ve wrestled with this issue like many of you. But I think Tom H’s point is a valid one. We are living in a Post-Fall world, and I think that raises some interesting questions. Like, did certain elements have half lives and decay before The Fall? We know that things certainly changed after the fall, but what was the full impact? How did the rot of sin and death, be it spiritual or actual physical death, alter the Earth?

  • BW

    This is a good discussion here, I’ve wrestled with this issue like many of you. But I think Tom H’s point is a valid one. We are living in a Post-Fall world, and I think that raises some interesting questions. Like, did certain elements have half lives and decay before The Fall? We know that things certainly changed after the fall, but what was the full impact? How did the rot of sin and death, be it spiritual or actual physical death, alter the Earth?

  • Jon

    Who here can say that their opinions are not compelled or even influenced by their denominations’ doctrinal statements? Both Cav Chapel and the LCMS insist on the literalness of Gen. 1.

  • Jon

    Who here can say that their opinions are not compelled or even influenced by their denominations’ doctrinal statements? Both Cav Chapel and the LCMS insist on the literalness of Gen. 1.

  • Louis

    What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11. It is almost as if your entire world would come crashing down if you were to even consider it. There is something really wrong about that.

  • Louis

    What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11. It is almost as if your entire world would come crashing down if you were to even consider it. There is something really wrong about that.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Book of Job contains some rather metaphorical language that I doubt few of us would take literally. However that language is put in the mouth of Almighty God.

    If even God speaks metaphorically about his creation then we ought not feel that we must limit his work to the mere literal meaning that we can draw from Genesis.

    I find it a bit odd that we assume we can comprehend God’s order of creation? Genesis reads very similarly to the poetic language of Job. It’s intended message is completely true but the intended message doesn’t appear to be the literal interpretation.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Book of Job contains some rather metaphorical language that I doubt few of us would take literally. However that language is put in the mouth of Almighty God.

    If even God speaks metaphorically about his creation then we ought not feel that we must limit his work to the mere literal meaning that we can draw from Genesis.

    I find it a bit odd that we assume we can comprehend God’s order of creation? Genesis reads very similarly to the poetic language of Job. It’s intended message is completely true but the intended message doesn’t appear to be the literal interpretation.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, again, Scripture interprets Scripture. Exodus 20 and 31. Unless you can argue successfully that God was speaking poetically there too.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, again, Scripture interprets Scripture. Exodus 20 and 31. Unless you can argue successfully that God was speaking poetically there too.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 195:

    It appears old down to the level that if it’s not old, then we can’t really know anything about the world. We can’t know how fast rocks sink in water. We can’t know that DNA is involved in cellular replication. We can’t know that nuclear reactions exist.

    Please. My point was not to assert whether or not the earth is old. It is to challenge the notion that those who believe in a young earth must necessarily believe that God is deceptive.

    But your point is ridiculous, so I will respond to it. Knowing that nuclear reactions exist, how fast rocks sink, or that DNA is involved in cellular replication is based on direct observation, the very basis of science. It has nothing to do with the actual age of those rocks, etc. Creationist scientists will arrive at the exact same conclusion, using the exact same methods, as evolutionary scientists. Origin theory is irrelevant.

  • DonS

    Webmonk @ 195:

    It appears old down to the level that if it’s not old, then we can’t really know anything about the world. We can’t know how fast rocks sink in water. We can’t know that DNA is involved in cellular replication. We can’t know that nuclear reactions exist.

    Please. My point was not to assert whether or not the earth is old. It is to challenge the notion that those who believe in a young earth must necessarily believe that God is deceptive.

    But your point is ridiculous, so I will respond to it. Knowing that nuclear reactions exist, how fast rocks sink, or that DNA is involved in cellular replication is based on direct observation, the very basis of science. It has nothing to do with the actual age of those rocks, etc. Creationist scientists will arrive at the exact same conclusion, using the exact same methods, as evolutionary scientists. Origin theory is irrelevant.

  • Tom Hering

    Dang, BW @ 199. Along comes some support for my old position, just when I’ve converted to a new one. Sheesh! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    Dang, BW @ 199. Along comes some support for my old position, just when I’ve converted to a new one. Sheesh! :-D

  • DonS

    Louis @ 201: “What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11.”

    You have never responded to my point about the “deceiving God” argument, but here you are blithely spouting it again. It’s a nonsensical argument, whether proposed by you or, as Tom suggests @ 198, by YEC’ers. God does not deceive. He created, according to His perfect plan, whatever that was, in its fullness. If we believe falsely, it is because we have an imperfect human understanding, or perhaps because we deceive ourselves.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 201: “What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11.”

    You have never responded to my point about the “deceiving God” argument, but here you are blithely spouting it again. It’s a nonsensical argument, whether proposed by you or, as Tom suggests @ 198, by YEC’ers. God does not deceive. He created, according to His perfect plan, whatever that was, in its fullness. If we believe falsely, it is because we have an imperfect human understanding, or perhaps because we deceive ourselves.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #203 Why not?

    Hebrews 4 indicates the 7th day in which God rests creating is ongoing. If we’re still in the seventh day why should the other 6 by interpreted as short periods.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #203 Why not?

    Hebrews 4 indicates the 7th day in which God rests creating is ongoing. If we’re still in the seventh day why should the other 6 by interpreted as short periods.

  • Louis

    So Don, you take the pomo wet dream then (love the phrase, webmonk)?

  • Louis

    So Don, you take the pomo wet dream then (love the phrase, webmonk)?

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, Hebrews 4 doesn’t suggest that the 7th DAY is ongoing, but that God’s REST which began on the 7th day is ongoing.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, Hebrews 4 doesn’t suggest that the 7th DAY is ongoing, but that God’s REST which began on the 7th day is ongoing.

  • Jonathan

    Jon–I’ll take Genesis and the LCMS out of it. I’m still not convinced by the science when it measures a known 180 year old rock in the 100 millions, and it can’t show me a simple single cell life form built from lifeless organic material. That oughta be easy stuff, no?

  • Jonathan

    Jon–I’ll take Genesis and the LCMS out of it. I’m still not convinced by the science when it measures a known 180 year old rock in the 100 millions, and it can’t show me a simple single cell life form built from lifeless organic material. That oughta be easy stuff, no?

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I really don’t understand the compromise of folks like Tom.

    If you’re going to believe something as unrealistic as “six day” creationism on a flimsy literal interpretation why do you then reject geocentrism?

    Geocentrism is no less certain than a Universe older than 8000 years old.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I really don’t understand the compromise of folks like Tom.

    If you’re going to believe something as unrealistic as “six day” creationism on a flimsy literal interpretation why do you then reject geocentrism?

    Geocentrism is no less certain than a Universe older than 8000 years old.

  • Jonathan

    “What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11.”

    Because, Louis, the figurative interp is a compromise of the plain meaning of evening, morning, day 1,2,3…6.

    You guys keep saying what do you mean its not the plain meaning of yom in this context?

    If someone tells me they took 6 days to do something, I’m going to assume, plain meaning, that they meant a week minus 1. Aren’t you?

    I’m not going to assume they mean 6 long epochs!

    Only reason you would assume 6 long epochs in this context is because your science profession is telling you that. Period, dot.

  • Jonathan

    “What I really don’ t get is why you guys are so wedded to YEC’sm that you’d prefer sophism, or even a deceiving God, above a figurative interpretation of Genesis 1-11.”

    Because, Louis, the figurative interp is a compromise of the plain meaning of evening, morning, day 1,2,3…6.

    You guys keep saying what do you mean its not the plain meaning of yom in this context?

    If someone tells me they took 6 days to do something, I’m going to assume, plain meaning, that they meant a week minus 1. Aren’t you?

    I’m not going to assume they mean 6 long epochs!

    Only reason you would assume 6 long epochs in this context is because your science profession is telling you that. Period, dot.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #212 I always assumed day 6 wasn’t 24 hours long because so much occurred in it. Just naming all the animals should have taken a few hundred years.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #212 I always assumed day 6 wasn’t 24 hours long because so much occurred in it. Just naming all the animals should have taken a few hundred years.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, the Bible teaches geocentrism? Now who wants to take some metaphors literally? :-D

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, the Bible teaches geocentrism? Now who wants to take some metaphors literally? :-D

  • DonS

    Louis @ 208: Firstly, whether I “take the pomo wet dream” or not is rather irrelevant to the issue of whether the earth appearing to be older, using modern dating extrapolation methods, means that God is deceptive, which point you are still completely ignoring.

    Time and age are temporal constructs. The appearance of age is based on changes because of growth or wear over a period of time. Accurate estimates of age are based on observation over geologically insignificant periods of time, coupled with extrapolation based on assumptions that rates of change are substantially constant over extended periods of time, and always have been. Those assumptions might be valid, but they might not. If one had observed Adam in the Garden of Eden, right after creation, he may have assumed Adam to be a young man in his twenties or thirties, when, in fact, he had just been created and was actually zero (this is assuming that you believe in a literal Adam and Eve — if you don’t then you are reaching far beyond any metaphorical references that I would be comfortable with). All I am saying is that one should allow for the possibility that our scientific, human assumptions may be wrong, and that things may appear to be a different age than they actually are. There is nothing “postmodernist” about that, nor does it require a suspension of any belief in reality, consistency, or predictability in the present world.

    After all, God is a timeless being. There will be no time or aging in heaven, one would think. At least not to the point of death or illness. So getting overly hung up on this age thing, to the point where you are willing to distort Scripture to accommodate theories on aging, is a distinctly mortal and temporal avocation.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 208: Firstly, whether I “take the pomo wet dream” or not is rather irrelevant to the issue of whether the earth appearing to be older, using modern dating extrapolation methods, means that God is deceptive, which point you are still completely ignoring.

    Time and age are temporal constructs. The appearance of age is based on changes because of growth or wear over a period of time. Accurate estimates of age are based on observation over geologically insignificant periods of time, coupled with extrapolation based on assumptions that rates of change are substantially constant over extended periods of time, and always have been. Those assumptions might be valid, but they might not. If one had observed Adam in the Garden of Eden, right after creation, he may have assumed Adam to be a young man in his twenties or thirties, when, in fact, he had just been created and was actually zero (this is assuming that you believe in a literal Adam and Eve — if you don’t then you are reaching far beyond any metaphorical references that I would be comfortable with). All I am saying is that one should allow for the possibility that our scientific, human assumptions may be wrong, and that things may appear to be a different age than they actually are. There is nothing “postmodernist” about that, nor does it require a suspension of any belief in reality, consistency, or predictability in the present world.

    After all, God is a timeless being. There will be no time or aging in heaven, one would think. At least not to the point of death or illness. So getting overly hung up on this age thing, to the point where you are willing to distort Scripture to accommodate theories on aging, is a distinctly mortal and temporal avocation.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, the animals were named on the 6th day? I guess I know how carefully you read the Scriptures now. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    SAL, the animals were named on the 6th day? I guess I know how carefully you read the Scriptures now. :-D

  • Jonathan

    SAL,
    What if all he had to do was name the *kind*?
    -Amphibian
    -Mammal
    -Marsupial
    - reptile
    - scientist
    - caveman
    - troglodite
    - jack a__

  • Jonathan

    SAL,
    What if all he had to do was name the *kind*?
    -Amphibian
    -Mammal
    -Marsupial
    - reptile
    - scientist
    - caveman
    - troglodite
    - jack a__

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #216 I’m not sure I get you. Are interpreting the second creation narrative as occurring after the first one?

    God creates animals once and then creates them again after Adam? That seems confusing.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #216 I’m not sure I get you. Are interpreting the second creation narrative as occurring after the first one?

    God creates animals once and then creates them again after Adam? That seems confusing.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 218, brain burp. It happens in fast-paced discussions. Sorry.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 218, brain burp. It happens in fast-paced discussions. Sorry.

  • Grace

    HOW LONG were Adam and Eve in the Garden ? We don’t know, no one knows.

    And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.Genesis 2:8

    Not until Genesis 2:8 is it mentioned God planted a garden, until this time was there a garden? it appears there wasn’t. This verse also says God put the man (Adam) in the garden. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15

    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 1:3

    Adam and Eve had been in the Garden HOW LONG? None of us know the answer to that question, in fact we aren’t even given a clue. It could have been hundreds or thousands of years. It would make sense that in the beginning when they were in the Garden, they didn’t go even close to the tree they were forbidden to eat, but as time passed the woman was tempted, and as we all know disobeyed God. Could that have been thousands of years, maybe more?

    So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:24

    The Garden of Eden is obviously a ‘PLACE’ we can see this as God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden. The whole earth was not covered by the garden. How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden before they were were driven out? This question, and the length of time they were in the garden is very mind provoking, there is no answer, we don’t know.

    20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
    Genesis 1

    What was going on in the world at large while Adam and Eve were in the garden? there obviously were life forms, God had made them – how many different things could have taken place OUTSIDE the garden while Adam and Eve enjoyed Paradise before the fall?

    The length of time Adam and Eve were in the garden could have been thousands of years, maybe a million, or LONGER? GOD doesn’t put a time limit on how long they were in the garden, nor should we.

    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    Isaiah 55

  • Grace

    HOW LONG were Adam and Eve in the Garden ? We don’t know, no one knows.

    And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.Genesis 2:8

    Not until Genesis 2:8 is it mentioned God planted a garden, until this time was there a garden? it appears there wasn’t. This verse also says God put the man (Adam) in the garden. And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Genesis 2:15

    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 1:3

    Adam and Eve had been in the Garden HOW LONG? None of us know the answer to that question, in fact we aren’t even given a clue. It could have been hundreds or thousands of years. It would make sense that in the beginning when they were in the Garden, they didn’t go even close to the tree they were forbidden to eat, but as time passed the woman was tempted, and as we all know disobeyed God. Could that have been thousands of years, maybe more?

    So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Genesis 3:24

    The Garden of Eden is obviously a ‘PLACE’ we can see this as God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden. The whole earth was not covered by the garden. How long were Adam and Eve in the Garden before they were were driven out? This question, and the length of time they were in the garden is very mind provoking, there is no answer, we don’t know.

    20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
    Genesis 1

    What was going on in the world at large while Adam and Eve were in the garden? there obviously were life forms, God had made them – how many different things could have taken place OUTSIDE the garden while Adam and Eve enjoyed Paradise before the fall?

    The length of time Adam and Eve were in the garden could have been thousands of years, maybe a million, or LONGER? GOD doesn’t put a time limit on how long they were in the garden, nor should we.

    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    Isaiah 55

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I see two interesting elements in Genesis.

    #1 The perspective transitions from “God created the Heavens and the Earth” and only then talks about days in reference to the perspective on a formless and void Earth.

    I don’t see how Gap Theory is precluded.

    #2 The period of time in which Adam and Eve live without eating the fruit of the tree is indeterminable. It could have been brief or it could have been very long. If Adam and Eve were eternal prior to eating the fruit then no time period is inconsistent with an Earth in which only two people lived in a small garden without having offspring.

    Besides that I just don’t find a 24 hour sixth day compelling, given how much occurred according to Genesis. I think the framework hypothesis has some evidence in its favor scripturally in the literary structure of Genesis (it contains typical Hebrew poetic forms).

    That said I hold a historical Adam and Eve as the Confessions do. The Confessions don’t address anything regarding creation details besides the historicity of Adam and Eve and the the ex nihilo creation.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    I see two interesting elements in Genesis.

    #1 The perspective transitions from “God created the Heavens and the Earth” and only then talks about days in reference to the perspective on a formless and void Earth.

    I don’t see how Gap Theory is precluded.

    #2 The period of time in which Adam and Eve live without eating the fruit of the tree is indeterminable. It could have been brief or it could have been very long. If Adam and Eve were eternal prior to eating the fruit then no time period is inconsistent with an Earth in which only two people lived in a small garden without having offspring.

    Besides that I just don’t find a 24 hour sixth day compelling, given how much occurred according to Genesis. I think the framework hypothesis has some evidence in its favor scripturally in the literary structure of Genesis (it contains typical Hebrew poetic forms).

    That said I hold a historical Adam and Eve as the Confessions do. The Confessions don’t address anything regarding creation details besides the historicity of Adam and Eve and the the ex nihilo creation.

  • Grace

    What do you do with the rest of Genesis, including the passage in Exodus 20:11

    What do you do with the passages regarding Jacob, and his 12 sons? Is parting the red sea as they left Egypt, a myth as well? Or can you understand that, because there have been large chariot wheels found?

    Man has a difficult time when he cannot take the Bible apart like the engine of a car, and see how it all works. God’s mysteries, His ways, are not ours. Because HE has not chosen to share them with us, doesn’t take away from the way God put them in place, it proves how man can sulk, and pout when he wants to know exactly what God has not chosen to tell him.

    1 And God spake all these words, saying,
    2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    13 Thou shalt not kill.

    14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    15 Thou shalt not steal.

    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    Exodus 20

    Should this, one of the most RELEVANT parts of Scripture be taken as “religious poetry”, is there some reason why verse eleven (11) should be “religious poetry and the rest be taken LITERALLY?

  • Grace

    What do you do with the rest of Genesis, including the passage in Exodus 20:11

    What do you do with the passages regarding Jacob, and his 12 sons? Is parting the red sea as they left Egypt, a myth as well? Or can you understand that, because there have been large chariot wheels found?

    Man has a difficult time when he cannot take the Bible apart like the engine of a car, and see how it all works. God’s mysteries, His ways, are not ours. Because HE has not chosen to share them with us, doesn’t take away from the way God put them in place, it proves how man can sulk, and pout when he wants to know exactly what God has not chosen to tell him.

    1 And God spake all these words, saying,
    2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    12 Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    13 Thou shalt not kill.

    14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    15 Thou shalt not steal.

    16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    Exodus 20

    Should this, one of the most RELEVANT parts of Scripture be taken as “religious poetry”, is there some reason why verse eleven (11) should be “religious poetry and the rest be taken LITERALLY?

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #222 Because verse 11 is a quotation from a poetic section of Genesis. If I quote poetry it’s still poetry, Ms. Grace.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #222 Because verse 11 is a quotation from a poetic section of Genesis. If I quote poetry it’s still poetry, Ms. Grace.

  • Grace

    Sal – 223

    That’s a lame excuse, it doesn’t work. The Commandments are given, God makes clear it’s 6 days and resting on the Sabbath, and you contradict God by saying it’s just “poetic” – If you took that to it’s absurd conclusion, which you and several other individuals have done, you could claim that it’s “poetic” to work six years, and then take a year for rest as the Sabbath.

    Then you can grapple with Christ arising from the dead in three days, you could make up all sorts of heretical doctrine, just so you can disprove creation in six days.

  • Grace

    Sal – 223

    That’s a lame excuse, it doesn’t work. The Commandments are given, God makes clear it’s 6 days and resting on the Sabbath, and you contradict God by saying it’s just “poetic” – If you took that to it’s absurd conclusion, which you and several other individuals have done, you could claim that it’s “poetic” to work six years, and then take a year for rest as the Sabbath.

    Then you can grapple with Christ arising from the dead in three days, you could make up all sorts of heretical doctrine, just so you can disprove creation in six days.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 223, so the sons of Israel were to be put to death for working on the Sabbath … because the Lord likes to quote His own poetry? (Exodus 31.) Sounds to me like He wants us to take everything He says there quite literally.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 223, so the sons of Israel were to be put to death for working on the Sabbath … because the Lord likes to quote His own poetry? (Exodus 31.) Sounds to me like He wants us to take everything He says there quite literally.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #225 I take it God wanted Israelites put to death if they worked on the Sabbath because HE TOLD THEM NOT TO WORK ON THE SABBATH.

    We needn’t ponder into the hidden reasons for God’s law. Job seems to make it clear that we don’t presume to inquire into God’s secret counsels. Doing so is more characteristic of the Reformed than Lutheran.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    #225 I take it God wanted Israelites put to death if they worked on the Sabbath because HE TOLD THEM NOT TO WORK ON THE SABBATH.

    We needn’t ponder into the hidden reasons for God’s law. Job seems to make it clear that we don’t presume to inquire into God’s secret counsels. Doing so is more characteristic of the Reformed than Lutheran.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Sabbath is a rather flexible concept in the Bible anyway. It can be a year (sabbatical year) or an eternity (our sabbath rest in Christ).

    I think the pattern (6 periods for work and 1 for rest) holds more significance than the length of the periods.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    The Sabbath is a rather flexible concept in the Bible anyway. It can be a year (sabbatical year) or an eternity (our sabbath rest in Christ).

    I think the pattern (6 periods for work and 1 for rest) holds more significance than the length of the periods.

  • Grace

    Sal,

    You would do well to study the Scriptures, you’re confused about the Sabbath? You’re concocting a doctrine that is heretical.

  • Grace

    Sal,

    You would do well to study the Scriptures, you’re confused about the Sabbath? You’re concocting a doctrine that is heretical.

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 226, and He told them not to work on the Sabbath because He wanted to make it clear they weren’t above Him (“That you may know that I am the Lord”). Of course, the sons of Israel could have responded by saying, “The Lord is being poetic again. Surely He doesn’t mean literal days. Let us therefore work six weeks, or months, or years before resting.” But they weren’t that stupid, or Theistic Evolutionists either. :-D

  • Tom Hering

    SAL @ 226, and He told them not to work on the Sabbath because He wanted to make it clear they weren’t above Him (“That you may know that I am the Lord”). Of course, the sons of Israel could have responded by saying, “The Lord is being poetic again. Surely He doesn’t mean literal days. Let us therefore work six weeks, or months, or years before resting.” But they weren’t that stupid, or Theistic Evolutionists either. :-D

  • DonS

    Tom @ 229: :-)

  • DonS

    Tom @ 229: :-)

  • Louis

    Don S – see #176 and #195. : That is why we do not buy you “mistaken science argument”, and say that you call for a deceptive deity. Not because science or scientists are perfect, but your call for a massive delusion, effectively, will undo reason, logic and all possibility of knowledge. Thus, pomo wetdreams, or a deceptive deity. I cannot accept either.

    Grace – you won’t know a heresy if it dressed up like Boy George and camps on your front step.

  • Louis

    Don S – see #176 and #195. : That is why we do not buy you “mistaken science argument”, and say that you call for a deceptive deity. Not because science or scientists are perfect, but your call for a massive delusion, effectively, will undo reason, logic and all possibility of knowledge. Thus, pomo wetdreams, or a deceptive deity. I cannot accept either.

    Grace – you won’t know a heresy if it dressed up like Boy George and camps on your front step.

  • Louis

    All – I think that between myself and Webmonk, we have laid down the evidence & feasibility for a (general) non-literal Gesesis 1-11. We have also stated how the masses amounts of evidence out there (Scriptural, historic, scientific) cannot be ignored, and that dealing with that evidence leads us to one of three simple choices:

    1. A non-literal Gnesis 1-11, with a loving Creator-God etc.
    2. A deceptive deity.
    3. a Pomo wet drream.

    And here is my confession. I grew up, and went through university, an ardent YEC’ist AND geocentrist. Eventually, the shear volume of data and the rigour of the science out there, made me to doubt the “scientific” YEC position (I had even gone so far as work in a geochronology laboratory, to understand and check out the process, so that I can disprove it). So I became a pomo-YEC’ist – with very sophisticated (there is a pun in there if you’re don’t miss it) theories/explanations – even involving Godel’s Incompleteness theorems. But eventually, the utter hopless stupidity of the pomo universe became too much. Also, I had begun to take Church history, with cultural and historical context more seriously. The combination of these 2 events/processes did two things (Tom, Larry, you’re going to hate this, Grace, this will make you giddy):

    I became Sacramental & Liturgical, and eventually, Lutheran.

    I gave up on both YEC’ism and postmodernism

  • Louis

    All – I think that between myself and Webmonk, we have laid down the evidence & feasibility for a (general) non-literal Gesesis 1-11. We have also stated how the masses amounts of evidence out there (Scriptural, historic, scientific) cannot be ignored, and that dealing with that evidence leads us to one of three simple choices:

    1. A non-literal Gnesis 1-11, with a loving Creator-God etc.
    2. A deceptive deity.
    3. a Pomo wet drream.

    And here is my confession. I grew up, and went through university, an ardent YEC’ist AND geocentrist. Eventually, the shear volume of data and the rigour of the science out there, made me to doubt the “scientific” YEC position (I had even gone so far as work in a geochronology laboratory, to understand and check out the process, so that I can disprove it). So I became a pomo-YEC’ist – with very sophisticated (there is a pun in there if you’re don’t miss it) theories/explanations – even involving Godel’s Incompleteness theorems. But eventually, the utter hopless stupidity of the pomo universe became too much. Also, I had begun to take Church history, with cultural and historical context more seriously. The combination of these 2 events/processes did two things (Tom, Larry, you’re going to hate this, Grace, this will make you giddy):

    I became Sacramental & Liturgical, and eventually, Lutheran.

    I gave up on both YEC’ism and postmodernism

  • DonS

    Louis @ 231 & 232: I’ve already addressed those posts. As have others. The evidence is overwhelming as to the age of the earth IF you accept some pretty big assumptions as to the linearity and consistency of the rate of change of geological formations over time, when those changes were not observed in real time and thus do not strictly fall within the bounds of observable science.

    On the other hand, you have steadfastly refused to explain your insistence that if you are wrong in your theorizing about the age of the earth, then that means God is a deceiver. Or why God is not a deceiver for having created Adam as an adult instead of a baby. As you know, my reason for entering this discussion was to address that flawed and warrantless argument.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 231 & 232: I’ve already addressed those posts. As have others. The evidence is overwhelming as to the age of the earth IF you accept some pretty big assumptions as to the linearity and consistency of the rate of change of geological formations over time, when those changes were not observed in real time and thus do not strictly fall within the bounds of observable science.

    On the other hand, you have steadfastly refused to explain your insistence that if you are wrong in your theorizing about the age of the earth, then that means God is a deceiver. Or why God is not a deceiver for having created Adam as an adult instead of a baby. As you know, my reason for entering this discussion was to address that flawed and warrantless argument.

  • Louis

    DonS – sorry, not BIG assumptions at all. What is your source for that info? On what is it based?

    Also, you divert things by saying God would be a deceiver if He created an adult Adam and not a baby. That is a non-argument.

    It is simply clear that you do not follow the argument AT ALL. Sigh.

  • Louis

    DonS – sorry, not BIG assumptions at all. What is your source for that info? On what is it based?

    Also, you divert things by saying God would be a deceiver if He created an adult Adam and not a baby. That is a non-argument.

    It is simply clear that you do not follow the argument AT ALL. Sigh.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 234: What info? That modern observational science only dates back a few centuries, yet scientists assert, with certitude, that the earth is absolutely, without a doubt, billions of years old? That by so doing, without any caveat whatsoever, they undermine the very definition of science, which requires that factual conclusions be limited to what can be observed? That info?

    Why is my argument a “non-argument”, yet your’s is so good that you don’t even feel the need to defend it? Arrogance is not an argument.

    You have utterly failed to grasp my point. Sigh.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 234: What info? That modern observational science only dates back a few centuries, yet scientists assert, with certitude, that the earth is absolutely, without a doubt, billions of years old? That by so doing, without any caveat whatsoever, they undermine the very definition of science, which requires that factual conclusions be limited to what can be observed? That info?

    Why is my argument a “non-argument”, yet your’s is so good that you don’t even feel the need to defend it? Arrogance is not an argument.

    You have utterly failed to grasp my point. Sigh.

  • Louis

    BTW, the data is connected to the argument. And it isn’t simply theorizing – the facts cannot be made to fit a 6000 year old earth – I’ve looked at some YEC theories: They theorise a lot, rarely bothering to test their theories, and their explanations that they create to fit their theories, are very easily disproven. There is not a single one that I’m aware of that has withstood any type of scrutiny. So if you talk about theorising, talk about ICR and AIG and all the rest.

    And I will be willing to look at feasible theories. Also, Scriptures can easily fit an old earth, as Webmonk demonstrated, as is very well demonstrated at the intial links I gave.

    Also, don’t insult us: you say that

    Please. My point was not to assert whether or not the earth is old. It is to challenge the notion that those who believe in a young earth must necessarily believe that God is deceptive.

    but you are very clear that one cannot believe the earth is old.

  • Louis

    BTW, the data is connected to the argument. And it isn’t simply theorizing – the facts cannot be made to fit a 6000 year old earth – I’ve looked at some YEC theories: They theorise a lot, rarely bothering to test their theories, and their explanations that they create to fit their theories, are very easily disproven. There is not a single one that I’m aware of that has withstood any type of scrutiny. So if you talk about theorising, talk about ICR and AIG and all the rest.

    And I will be willing to look at feasible theories. Also, Scriptures can easily fit an old earth, as Webmonk demonstrated, as is very well demonstrated at the intial links I gave.

    Also, don’t insult us: you say that

    Please. My point was not to assert whether or not the earth is old. It is to challenge the notion that those who believe in a young earth must necessarily believe that God is deceptive.

    but you are very clear that one cannot believe the earth is old.

  • Grace

    Louis – 232

    You lay out your so called background, as if to impress upon the reader, of your elevated knowledge concerning creation, 6 days and a variety of other ideas and beliefs. Your tom-puffery, directed at yourself, hopefully to enlighten those who read your drivel, falls flat.

    “Giddy” – don’t flatter yourself. The next thing we might hear from you, (according to your ‘background) is; you have a law degree, graduated from medical school, and you have another degree in bio-chemistry, perhaps archeology, that would fit your supposed ‘background.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time. It does make me feel badly that you go to such extremes with no substance, and a total lack of understanding of Scripture, but most of all God’s power, He can do anything, in a twinkling of an eye. That’s too difficult for you to understand, because to do so, would mean you would take HIM at HIS Word, not your finite mind, as something to trump the Bible and God’s creation.

  • Grace

    Louis – 232

    You lay out your so called background, as if to impress upon the reader, of your elevated knowledge concerning creation, 6 days and a variety of other ideas and beliefs. Your tom-puffery, directed at yourself, hopefully to enlighten those who read your drivel, falls flat.

    “Giddy” – don’t flatter yourself. The next thing we might hear from you, (according to your ‘background) is; you have a law degree, graduated from medical school, and you have another degree in bio-chemistry, perhaps archeology, that would fit your supposed ‘background.

    You’ve outdone yourself this time. It does make me feel badly that you go to such extremes with no substance, and a total lack of understanding of Scripture, but most of all God’s power, He can do anything, in a twinkling of an eye. That’s too difficult for you to understand, because to do so, would mean you would take HIM at HIS Word, not your finite mind, as something to trump the Bible and God’s creation.

  • Louis

    Grace – I have never said I’m anyhting alse than a geologist. My name is not Porcell. I worked in an Ar-Ar geochronology lab for some years. Todd has access to that info, he can corroborate, although I prefer not to be identified openly, because of sensitivity reasons.

    I related the true events of my life, and you chose to mock it. You clearly do not get the immense irony of your argument here, given your previous performances.

    You mental accuity is obviously not up to scratch. You are embarrassing yourself. Stop it.

  • Louis

    Grace – I have never said I’m anyhting alse than a geologist. My name is not Porcell. I worked in an Ar-Ar geochronology lab for some years. Todd has access to that info, he can corroborate, although I prefer not to be identified openly, because of sensitivity reasons.

    I related the true events of my life, and you chose to mock it. You clearly do not get the immense irony of your argument here, given your previous performances.

    You mental accuity is obviously not up to scratch. You are embarrassing yourself. Stop it.

  • Larry

    Luther writes concerning the literal meaning of scripture that, “whoever is so bold as to give to the words of Scripture a meaning that differs from the one their simple sound conveys is obliged to prove his explanation from the text before him or from an article of faith.”

    For “What Luther Says”, “In 1523 Luther began a serious of sermons no Genesis. In his preface to these discourses he state that, of course, also the story of creation is to be taken literally, as history and fact, not as poetry and folklore; “I have often said that whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means departs from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must be certain: no simpler speech has been heard on earth than what God has spoken. Therefore when Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this remain six days, and do not venture to devise any comment that six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you should deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself is saying what is recorded. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.””

    Why in the day of some church fathers and St. Augustine did they wish to reduce the length of the days of creation (the non-literal sense)? Not as the modernist rationalize that they be something longer than days, the Calvinist will appreciate this; they wished to take the Genesis text in the non-literal sense in a SHORTER not longer direction in the interest of exalting the Creator’s omnipotence!

    Luther likens this rationalization of Scripture and creation, to the chagrin of those like Louis directly, to also the SACRAMENTS.

    “Beware of this. Dismiss reason and understanding, which in vain are concerned about the possibility of the presence of body and blood and which, because they are unable to understand it, refuse to believe it. Hold to the Word which Christ speaks: Take, this is My body, this is My blood. We must not commit sacrilege against God’s Word and without the warrant of any express, clear passage of Scripture give a word a meaning that differs from its natural one, as do those who outrageously, without any basis in Scripture, twist the Word “is” into meaning “signifies”… But we want to, and should, simply stand by Christ’s words. He will not betray us. And we shall repel this error with no other sword than this, “that Christ does not say: “This signifies My body but This IS My body.”

  • Larry

    Luther writes concerning the literal meaning of scripture that, “whoever is so bold as to give to the words of Scripture a meaning that differs from the one their simple sound conveys is obliged to prove his explanation from the text before him or from an article of faith.”

    For “What Luther Says”, “In 1523 Luther began a serious of sermons no Genesis. In his preface to these discourses he state that, of course, also the story of creation is to be taken literally, as history and fact, not as poetry and folklore; “I have often said that whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means departs from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must be certain: no simpler speech has been heard on earth than what God has spoken. Therefore when Moses writes that God created heaven and earth and whatever is in them in six days, then let this remain six days, and do not venture to devise any comment that six days were one day. But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are. For you should deal with Scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God Himself is saying what is recorded. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wantonly to turn His Word in the direction you wish to go.””

    Why in the day of some church fathers and St. Augustine did they wish to reduce the length of the days of creation (the non-literal sense)? Not as the modernist rationalize that they be something longer than days, the Calvinist will appreciate this; they wished to take the Genesis text in the non-literal sense in a SHORTER not longer direction in the interest of exalting the Creator’s omnipotence!

    Luther likens this rationalization of Scripture and creation, to the chagrin of those like Louis directly, to also the SACRAMENTS.

    “Beware of this. Dismiss reason and understanding, which in vain are concerned about the possibility of the presence of body and blood and which, because they are unable to understand it, refuse to believe it. Hold to the Word which Christ speaks: Take, this is My body, this is My blood. We must not commit sacrilege against God’s Word and without the warrant of any express, clear passage of Scripture give a word a meaning that differs from its natural one, as do those who outrageously, without any basis in Scripture, twist the Word “is” into meaning “signifies”… But we want to, and should, simply stand by Christ’s words. He will not betray us. And we shall repel this error with no other sword than this, “that Christ does not say: “This signifies My body but This IS My body.”

  • Louis

    Larry, could you answer my questions at 191?

  • Louis

    Larry, could you answer my questions at 191?

  • DonS

    Louis @ 236: Actually, as I believe Webmonk will attest (we’ve had this discussion before), I am not wedded to a young earth viewpoint, though I believe it to fit best within the Scriptural account. Thus, to respond to this statement: “but you are very clear that one cannot believe the earth is old”, I certainly do not believe that you have to believe in a young earth to be a Christian. On the other hand, those who discount the notion of a literal Adam and Eve go a bridge too far. Original sin is vital to Christian doctrine, and there is far too much Scriptural evidence that they were literal people and that the Garden of Eden was a real place.

    We do run into real danger when we attempt, using human “wisdom”, to reason out that Scripture, presented as historical account, which we should accept as literal, and that which we will not. Therefore, my default is to take a historical Scriptural account literally unless there is textual evidence that I should not. Of course, within a literal reading of Scripture, there are often differing credible interpretations, which is why orthodox Christianity is comprised of multiple denominations.

    And it isn’t simply theorizing – the facts cannot be made to fit a 6000 year old earth – I’ve looked at some YEC theories: They theorise a lot, rarely bothering to test their theories, and their explanations that they create to fit their theories, are very easily disproven. There is not a single one that I’m aware of that has withstood any type of scrutiny. So if you talk about theorising, talk about ICR and AIG and all the rest.

    As Webmonk will also attest, I am no more enamored with the theories posited by AIG and ICR than I am by the theories forwarded as fact by conventional “science”. It’s all speculation to me, and I do not respect scientists who refuse to acknowledge when they are theorizing, rather than observing. It is arrogant and humanistic. Yes, by all means, put forth your theories. But don’t dismiss, intimidate, or demean those who choose to take a literal view of Scripture instead. Your insistence (and I’m speaking aggregately here of origin scientists in general, not specifically of you in particular) on having others validate your theories, and on sneering at those who fail to fall into line with your beliefs belies your insecurity about them. Even worse is the insistence of nonbelieving scientists to dismiss any chance that the supernatural played a role in the creation of the universe — that is a huge red flag to me of the danger in dabbling in this whole field of study. I see scientist’s philosophies gradually shift from the right one, which is that science does not consider the effects of supernatural influences to scientists do not consider the effects of supernatural influences. And that is very sad.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 236: Actually, as I believe Webmonk will attest (we’ve had this discussion before), I am not wedded to a young earth viewpoint, though I believe it to fit best within the Scriptural account. Thus, to respond to this statement: “but you are very clear that one cannot believe the earth is old”, I certainly do not believe that you have to believe in a young earth to be a Christian. On the other hand, those who discount the notion of a literal Adam and Eve go a bridge too far. Original sin is vital to Christian doctrine, and there is far too much Scriptural evidence that they were literal people and that the Garden of Eden was a real place.

    We do run into real danger when we attempt, using human “wisdom”, to reason out that Scripture, presented as historical account, which we should accept as literal, and that which we will not. Therefore, my default is to take a historical Scriptural account literally unless there is textual evidence that I should not. Of course, within a literal reading of Scripture, there are often differing credible interpretations, which is why orthodox Christianity is comprised of multiple denominations.

    And it isn’t simply theorizing – the facts cannot be made to fit a 6000 year old earth – I’ve looked at some YEC theories: They theorise a lot, rarely bothering to test their theories, and their explanations that they create to fit their theories, are very easily disproven. There is not a single one that I’m aware of that has withstood any type of scrutiny. So if you talk about theorising, talk about ICR and AIG and all the rest.

    As Webmonk will also attest, I am no more enamored with the theories posited by AIG and ICR than I am by the theories forwarded as fact by conventional “science”. It’s all speculation to me, and I do not respect scientists who refuse to acknowledge when they are theorizing, rather than observing. It is arrogant and humanistic. Yes, by all means, put forth your theories. But don’t dismiss, intimidate, or demean those who choose to take a literal view of Scripture instead. Your insistence (and I’m speaking aggregately here of origin scientists in general, not specifically of you in particular) on having others validate your theories, and on sneering at those who fail to fall into line with your beliefs belies your insecurity about them. Even worse is the insistence of nonbelieving scientists to dismiss any chance that the supernatural played a role in the creation of the universe — that is a huge red flag to me of the danger in dabbling in this whole field of study. I see scientist’s philosophies gradually shift from the right one, which is that science does not consider the effects of supernatural influences to scientists do not consider the effects of supernatural influences. And that is very sad.

  • Grace

    I’m going to say this as kindly as possible:

    I find those who sit on a fence, be it so noble, articulate and non accusatory, to be VOID of taking responsibility for their statements. Their non-active stance leaves them no different then taking ones photo next to a cut-out of the next president of the U.S. it’s not the real thing.

    The issue at hand is ‘creation – six days – Sabbath on the seventh. The Word of God isn’t difficult to understand. Larry brought forth a most memorable message by Martin Luther. Reading that passage will not be forgotten. I have, many times in the past, made mention of God’s Commandments, and words to be very easy to understand. It is man who confuses the Word of God, it is man who deliberately takes what God has made simple and turns it into a full fledged debate that rewords, re-phrases and missuses God’s Word. It’s BOGUS, that’s the best word to describe the misuse of what God has stated, but instead SIT on the FENCE, OR reword His Word.

    A ‘fence sitter, is no different than one who want’s desperately to be liked, or looked upon as wise. I learned this early in my life. Their words are carefully chosen , they say a great deal (verbalism fits) but if you study their statements they say very little of value, certainly nothing that would offend the majority. This might work in politics, or the world stage, but it does not have any credibility within the true church of our LORD.

    This thread has substance and value, but only a few have contributed that makes it truly important. Larry’s post regarding Martin Luther’s comments is outstanding.

  • Grace

    I’m going to say this as kindly as possible:

    I find those who sit on a fence, be it so noble, articulate and non accusatory, to be VOID of taking responsibility for their statements. Their non-active stance leaves them no different then taking ones photo next to a cut-out of the next president of the U.S. it’s not the real thing.

    The issue at hand is ‘creation – six days – Sabbath on the seventh. The Word of God isn’t difficult to understand. Larry brought forth a most memorable message by Martin Luther. Reading that passage will not be forgotten. I have, many times in the past, made mention of God’s Commandments, and words to be very easy to understand. It is man who confuses the Word of God, it is man who deliberately takes what God has made simple and turns it into a full fledged debate that rewords, re-phrases and missuses God’s Word. It’s BOGUS, that’s the best word to describe the misuse of what God has stated, but instead SIT on the FENCE, OR reword His Word.

    A ‘fence sitter, is no different than one who want’s desperately to be liked, or looked upon as wise. I learned this early in my life. Their words are carefully chosen , they say a great deal (verbalism fits) but if you study their statements they say very little of value, certainly nothing that would offend the majority. This might work in politics, or the world stage, but it does not have any credibility within the true church of our LORD.

    This thread has substance and value, but only a few have contributed that makes it truly important. Larry’s post regarding Martin Luther’s comments is outstanding.

  • Larry

    Grace,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I’m not saying this just because you said kind things to me, but I could not agree more with your points concerning “fence sitters”. I would rather face a direct enemy than have a fence sitter on my side. Or in the words attributed to General Patton, “I’d rather have the German army in front of me than the French army behind me.”

  • Larry

    Grace,

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I’m not saying this just because you said kind things to me, but I could not agree more with your points concerning “fence sitters”. I would rather face a direct enemy than have a fence sitter on my side. Or in the words attributed to General Patton, “I’d rather have the German army in front of me than the French army behind me.”

  • Larry

    Louis,

    No I will not answer your question, not because I don’t have an answer, rather because it is a red herring to divert the issue that creation is directly related to articles of faith and is itself an article of faith. e.g. charging interest nor the spherical nature of the earth has nothing to do with an article of faith. Creation does as does the sacraments, the two are related (as Paul plainly states in Romans among other places). Your subterfuge is not so hidden and you are not as nearly clever as you wish to be, as you wish here to use a fallacy that appeals to an error of Luther in a particular area (that has nothing to do with an article of faith, and you’ve mixed and matched the shape of the earth with interest and context which may be argued with reason whereby reason can say of X being evil or not as to earthly matters). Then you wish to universally and conveniently apply it to the situation you find yourself in, namely creation. Yet, it proves too much for you for you have now armed the enemies of the confessions on the sacraments, in particular that the sacrament is the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, with the same argument. To wit: Luther was wrong HERE, he must be wrong on creation, and likewise wrong on the sacraments. So, Webmonk and the Reformed and the Baptist have every right and can ask of you the same question regarding this and then apply it in kind to their defense in the denial of the body and blood in your mouth in the communion you take and you cannot deny him this very defense lest you be a complete hypocrite for you yourself have used it.
    Thus, using your argument here you tell Webmonk and the Reformed and the Baptist why they cannot appeal to your argument in favor of their arguments for no body and blood in your mouth and that baptism does not save or regenerate. When you do that you will have answered your question that you have asked of me.
    Your arguments do not arise from the Word of God concerning things theological but from the realm of men and men’s opinions first and THAT is the issue. You quote the church fathers on this yet they did not alter the nature of the creation account for the same reason, nor in the same direction as you do but for a different reason wholly unrelated to yours. Yet, you conveniently skip past your wonderful appeal to them when in fact, Augustine, for example would have seen this, your position in lengthening the days, as in fact worse since they wished to shorten them to protect the omniscience of God. They of course used the four fold interpretative method that Luther himself used early on and rejected as wrong and false, even his before hand use of it. All you are doing is reasserting that methodology that led up to the eventual apostasy of Rome for which the Reformation occurred.
    Luther makes a rather stark and terrorizing point that ought to shake the foundation of men when they toy with the Word of God, that hell in particular is the only justice due to those who reject Gospel. That God’s wrath burns particularly upon those entities that reject the Gospel and in particular His wrath is worse when He goes silent and allows men their way and sends great delusion upon them. I am not at all surprised that we find in our day and age that as the sacraments continue to fall upon hard times and deaf ears, because they are in particular of the Gospel, so despised that men are increasingly deluded and increasingly accepting of deception. This is the path men take, this is the path down great delusion that is very real. That men reject what Jesus said plainly concerning the sacrament of His body and blood, does not surprise me in the least that forms of theistic evolution and denials of the plainness of the creation narrative grow even among the churchmen. Fewer and fewer defend it among ALL denominations, as do fewer and fewer defend the sacraments. This has been predicted by the Scriptures thus it will happen as we continue further and further down the path toward the end and judgment whenever that is. The church like her Lord will suffer more and more as time marches on and less and less will be apart of her. It won’t over night, but generationally. The militant church must suffer this. Sad, yes, I fear most for the future children of ours and their children’s children, what will we pass down to them as they increasingly are tempted to fall away from this and that article of faith leading them into ever increasing despair and hopelessness. False teaching does this no matter what it is, a little yeast seems ever so harmless at first, but then it ruins the whole at length.

  • Larry

    Louis,

    No I will not answer your question, not because I don’t have an answer, rather because it is a red herring to divert the issue that creation is directly related to articles of faith and is itself an article of faith. e.g. charging interest nor the spherical nature of the earth has nothing to do with an article of faith. Creation does as does the sacraments, the two are related (as Paul plainly states in Romans among other places). Your subterfuge is not so hidden and you are not as nearly clever as you wish to be, as you wish here to use a fallacy that appeals to an error of Luther in a particular area (that has nothing to do with an article of faith, and you’ve mixed and matched the shape of the earth with interest and context which may be argued with reason whereby reason can say of X being evil or not as to earthly matters). Then you wish to universally and conveniently apply it to the situation you find yourself in, namely creation. Yet, it proves too much for you for you have now armed the enemies of the confessions on the sacraments, in particular that the sacrament is the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, with the same argument. To wit: Luther was wrong HERE, he must be wrong on creation, and likewise wrong on the sacraments. So, Webmonk and the Reformed and the Baptist have every right and can ask of you the same question regarding this and then apply it in kind to their defense in the denial of the body and blood in your mouth in the communion you take and you cannot deny him this very defense lest you be a complete hypocrite for you yourself have used it.
    Thus, using your argument here you tell Webmonk and the Reformed and the Baptist why they cannot appeal to your argument in favor of their arguments for no body and blood in your mouth and that baptism does not save or regenerate. When you do that you will have answered your question that you have asked of me.
    Your arguments do not arise from the Word of God concerning things theological but from the realm of men and men’s opinions first and THAT is the issue. You quote the church fathers on this yet they did not alter the nature of the creation account for the same reason, nor in the same direction as you do but for a different reason wholly unrelated to yours. Yet, you conveniently skip past your wonderful appeal to them when in fact, Augustine, for example would have seen this, your position in lengthening the days, as in fact worse since they wished to shorten them to protect the omniscience of God. They of course used the four fold interpretative method that Luther himself used early on and rejected as wrong and false, even his before hand use of it. All you are doing is reasserting that methodology that led up to the eventual apostasy of Rome for which the Reformation occurred.
    Luther makes a rather stark and terrorizing point that ought to shake the foundation of men when they toy with the Word of God, that hell in particular is the only justice due to those who reject Gospel. That God’s wrath burns particularly upon those entities that reject the Gospel and in particular His wrath is worse when He goes silent and allows men their way and sends great delusion upon them. I am not at all surprised that we find in our day and age that as the sacraments continue to fall upon hard times and deaf ears, because they are in particular of the Gospel, so despised that men are increasingly deluded and increasingly accepting of deception. This is the path men take, this is the path down great delusion that is very real. That men reject what Jesus said plainly concerning the sacrament of His body and blood, does not surprise me in the least that forms of theistic evolution and denials of the plainness of the creation narrative grow even among the churchmen. Fewer and fewer defend it among ALL denominations, as do fewer and fewer defend the sacraments. This has been predicted by the Scriptures thus it will happen as we continue further and further down the path toward the end and judgment whenever that is. The church like her Lord will suffer more and more as time marches on and less and less will be apart of her. It won’t over night, but generationally. The militant church must suffer this. Sad, yes, I fear most for the future children of ours and their children’s children, what will we pass down to them as they increasingly are tempted to fall away from this and that article of faith leading them into ever increasing despair and hopelessness. False teaching does this no matter what it is, a little yeast seems ever so harmless at first, but then it ruins the whole at length.

  • Jonathan

    Larry 239,
    That’s just exactly it, an article of faith is compelling them to go away from the simple plain meaning of the text. Their article of faith is professional science and its belief in a a very old, death-filled, random-chance natural process. They think they have to reconcile the two, so they have to compromise. Luther is right, they have the burden of proof concerning their spin on the text.

  • Jonathan

    Larry 239,
    That’s just exactly it, an article of faith is compelling them to go away from the simple plain meaning of the text. Their article of faith is professional science and its belief in a a very old, death-filled, random-chance natural process. They think they have to reconcile the two, so they have to compromise. Luther is right, they have the burden of proof concerning their spin on the text.

  • Louis

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. There are nonse so deaf as those who will not hear. There are none so ignorant as those who will not consider data and argument.

    WRT Jonathan, Larry, Grace & Don, these people have proved something to me. That there are those who have a psychological need to hang onto a specific idea, and this need is so strong that they cannot defend it rationally, and therefore descend into irrational behaviour, and become unable to even understand the words of those who might differ from them. They would rather vilify them, make them into horrible and evil heretics, than actually calmly examin argument and evidence.

    The sad thing is that one cannot even say that there is an epistemological bias – because if there were, a rational argument that shows evidence of understanding the opposition would follow. No, they inanely repete simple slogans, being unable to interact with their opposition, because they are psychologically unable to do so.

    This phenomenon was recently described by Jonathan Kay in his book “Among the Truthers”. this goes much further than just truthers, but it describes a phenomenon prevalent especially in the US where people would latch onto an idea so strong that they are unable to rationally discuss it. http://www.cbc.ca/q/episodes/ – look for the May 31 episode, where Jian Ghomeshi spoke to him.

    Sad thing is, I’m not saying that YEC’ists are evil and all that. Rather, I find that the folks mentioned here have sadly taken leave of their senses in their defense of their beliefs. That does not mean that YEC’ists are mad, not in the least. But it means that some people have become so wedded to the idea they cannot fathom discussing it decently even.

    I will not take the discussion further here, unless by a miracle some rationality and civility returns.

    God Bless.

  • Louis

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. There are nonse so deaf as those who will not hear. There are none so ignorant as those who will not consider data and argument.

    WRT Jonathan, Larry, Grace & Don, these people have proved something to me. That there are those who have a psychological need to hang onto a specific idea, and this need is so strong that they cannot defend it rationally, and therefore descend into irrational behaviour, and become unable to even understand the words of those who might differ from them. They would rather vilify them, make them into horrible and evil heretics, than actually calmly examin argument and evidence.

    The sad thing is that one cannot even say that there is an epistemological bias – because if there were, a rational argument that shows evidence of understanding the opposition would follow. No, they inanely repete simple slogans, being unable to interact with their opposition, because they are psychologically unable to do so.

    This phenomenon was recently described by Jonathan Kay in his book “Among the Truthers”. this goes much further than just truthers, but it describes a phenomenon prevalent especially in the US where people would latch onto an idea so strong that they are unable to rationally discuss it. http://www.cbc.ca/q/episodes/ – look for the May 31 episode, where Jian Ghomeshi spoke to him.

    Sad thing is, I’m not saying that YEC’ists are evil and all that. Rather, I find that the folks mentioned here have sadly taken leave of their senses in their defense of their beliefs. That does not mean that YEC’ists are mad, not in the least. But it means that some people have become so wedded to the idea they cannot fathom discussing it decently even.

    I will not take the discussion further here, unless by a miracle some rationality and civility returns.

    God Bless.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 246: That is a remarkable statement, given the fact that you never once engaged with or responded to my solitary point in this thread, which was that if the earth is actually a different age than it appears to be under current geological dating theories, that does not mean that God is a deceiver.

    Everything you said applies to you, given your insistence on presenting theory as proven and irrefutable fact.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 246: That is a remarkable statement, given the fact that you never once engaged with or responded to my solitary point in this thread, which was that if the earth is actually a different age than it appears to be under current geological dating theories, that does not mean that God is a deceiver.

    Everything you said applies to you, given your insistence on presenting theory as proven and irrefutable fact.

  • Louis

    DonS Idid respond to you, you just had your fingers in your ears, screaming lalalalalala.

    I’m sorry, but if you can’t see that, you can’t.

  • Louis

    DonS Idid respond to you, you just had your fingers in your ears, screaming lalalalalala.

    I’m sorry, but if you can’t see that, you can’t.

  • DonS

    Louis: You responded, @ 175, by pushing me into the camp of the AIG’ers, and requesting that I answer your questions about the effects of Noah’s Flood (though I never claimed to support their views or theories). You stated, in that same post, that if I could not prove their theories as correct, then I was stuck with the notion that God is a deceiver.

    That is most decidedly not an answer to my sole point, which was that just because the earth may have been created to look older, under current geological theories, than it actually is, that would not mean God was a deceiver. Rather, it would just mean that man’s theories were wrong.

  • DonS

    Louis: You responded, @ 175, by pushing me into the camp of the AIG’ers, and requesting that I answer your questions about the effects of Noah’s Flood (though I never claimed to support their views or theories). You stated, in that same post, that if I could not prove their theories as correct, then I was stuck with the notion that God is a deceiver.

    That is most decidedly not an answer to my sole point, which was that just because the earth may have been created to look older, under current geological theories, than it actually is, that would not mean God was a deceiver. Rather, it would just mean that man’s theories were wrong.

  • Louis

    DonS – in that case, I’ll repeat webmonk’s words, which I referred you to earlier:

    Sort of like what Louis said above, if the Earth and universe are really around 6000 years old, then logic is useless and everything is a ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream where it is fundamentally impossible to know anything at all. Why? Because the appearance of age is THAT deeply woven into everything in the world.

    IOW: the data etc is so “hard-wired in”, that it is most emphatically not a question of changing some theories. It is then either a question, as Webmonk eloquently puts it, an ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream, OR a Decption.

  • Louis

    DonS – in that case, I’ll repeat webmonk’s words, which I referred you to earlier:

    Sort of like what Louis said above, if the Earth and universe are really around 6000 years old, then logic is useless and everything is a ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream where it is fundamentally impossible to know anything at all. Why? Because the appearance of age is THAT deeply woven into everything in the world.

    IOW: the data etc is so “hard-wired in”, that it is most emphatically not a question of changing some theories. It is then either a question, as Webmonk eloquently puts it, an ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream, OR a Decption.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 250:

    And I will remind you that you already said THAT as well, @ 208. And, that I responded to the point, @ 215.

    I think we know who REALLY has their fingers in their ears.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 250:

    And I will remind you that you already said THAT as well, @ 208. And, that I responded to the point, @ 215.

    I think we know who REALLY has their fingers in their ears.

  • Cincinnatus

    And, speaking as a postmodernist of sorts, what’s wrong with postmodernism?

    Grace, though, I think committed the worst hermeneutic crime of all when she asserted that the Scriptures are plain, clear, and easy to interpret. I don’t even know where to begin…

  • Cincinnatus

    And, speaking as a postmodernist of sorts, what’s wrong with postmodernism?

    Grace, though, I think committed the worst hermeneutic crime of all when she asserted that the Scriptures are plain, clear, and easy to interpret. I don’t even know where to begin…

  • Louis

    And then donS, you are going say – but it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories….

    Admit it DonS. You are just running from inevitable conclusions. Stop and examin your premises….

  • Louis

    And then donS, you are going say – but it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories…. and then I’m going to say that if we are so wrong about everything, all rationality is useless, welcome to ultrapostmodernism, and then you are going to say – but that can’t be, then I’m going to refer you to the Decption argument, and then you are going to say that it just means our theories….

    Admit it DonS. You are just running from inevitable conclusions. Stop and examin your premises….

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – “ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream” – I shortened it to pomo. IOW we are referring to “the – no real knowledge is possible, truth is unknowable, language is a power construct blah di blah di fishcake” type of postmodernism.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – “ultrapostmodernist’s wet dream” – I shortened it to pomo. IOW we are referring to “the – no real knowledge is possible, truth is unknowable, language is a power construct blah di blah di fishcake” type of postmodernism.

  • Cincinnatus

    Well, name some real knowledge that is possible with 100% certitude, on an empirical basis, particularly regarding the origins of the earth and life therein.

  • Cincinnatus

    Well, name some real knowledge that is possible with 100% certitude, on an empirical basis, particularly regarding the origins of the earth and life therein.

  • DonS

    Louis, all I am saying is that Scripture is clear that God created the heavens and the earth. He created Adam to be a man, though he had never been a baby. Some people believe that He also created the earth in a mature state, so that it appears older, under current geological theories, than it actually is. You say that, if that were true, it would be a massive deception on humanity. I say that, if that is true, man is deceiving himself, by forgetting that he cannot be certain about that which he did not directly observe. God cannot deceive.

    Man has a tendency to arrogance and an over reliance on exceedingly limited human reasoning. It’s funny — you Lutherans continually remind those of us who are not that humans cannot trust their reasoning concerning salvation — they must rely wholly on the Work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in putting faith into them. A point well taken, I might add, by those who sometimes mis-state the process of salvation as a human decision rather than a work wholly of God, as the Holy Spirit draws us to Him. Yet, on this issue of creation, an event clearly not observed or capable of understanding, in all its magnificence, by the limited human mind, you insist on certainty and absolutism concerning your theories, based on evidence observed over a mere few centuries. Even more ludicrously, you insist on demeaning, belittling, and dismissing those who don’t fall into line with your views.

  • DonS

    Louis, all I am saying is that Scripture is clear that God created the heavens and the earth. He created Adam to be a man, though he had never been a baby. Some people believe that He also created the earth in a mature state, so that it appears older, under current geological theories, than it actually is. You say that, if that were true, it would be a massive deception on humanity. I say that, if that is true, man is deceiving himself, by forgetting that he cannot be certain about that which he did not directly observe. God cannot deceive.

    Man has a tendency to arrogance and an over reliance on exceedingly limited human reasoning. It’s funny — you Lutherans continually remind those of us who are not that humans cannot trust their reasoning concerning salvation — they must rely wholly on the Work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in putting faith into them. A point well taken, I might add, by those who sometimes mis-state the process of salvation as a human decision rather than a work wholly of God, as the Holy Spirit draws us to Him. Yet, on this issue of creation, an event clearly not observed or capable of understanding, in all its magnificence, by the limited human mind, you insist on certainty and absolutism concerning your theories, based on evidence observed over a mere few centuries. Even more ludicrously, you insist on demeaning, belittling, and dismissing those who don’t fall into line with your views.

  • Louis

    ” I say that, if that is true, man is deceiving himself, by forgetting that he cannot be certain about that which he did not directly observe. God cannot deceive.”

    Then how do you know that your understanding of Scripture is true? How do you know that this part is literal, and that part is figurative? You have basically said we cannot trust reason – in the broad sense (as to Luther, I gave the context of his anti-Reason quote much earlier, showing it to be a very specific statement, not a general statement). Do why this and not that, if reason cannot be trusted? Emotion?

    Thus the ensuing charge of postmodernism.

  • Louis

    ” I say that, if that is true, man is deceiving himself, by forgetting that he cannot be certain about that which he did not directly observe. God cannot deceive.”

    Then how do you know that your understanding of Scripture is true? How do you know that this part is literal, and that part is figurative? You have basically said we cannot trust reason – in the broad sense (as to Luther, I gave the context of his anti-Reason quote much earlier, showing it to be a very specific statement, not a general statement). Do why this and not that, if reason cannot be trusted? Emotion?

    Thus the ensuing charge of postmodernism.

  • DonS

    Ahh, Louis. That’s where faith comes in.

    But you knew that.

  • DonS

    Ahh, Louis. That’s where faith comes in.

    But you knew that.

  • Louis

    DonS – you’re not getting it. Why do you believe Genesis 1-11 literally? And you cannot say because it appears to be, or because I’m convinced it is – because you have just jettonised reason. So why then believe? Actually we believe any word in it, since your understanding of a word might be off, because rationality has left the building, according to you? Why believe that Genesis 1 is about Creation, and not about the Stanley Cup finals? Think before you answer. I need an answer that does not come from “reason”.

  • Louis

    DonS – you’re not getting it. Why do you believe Genesis 1-11 literally? And you cannot say because it appears to be, or because I’m convinced it is – because you have just jettonised reason. So why then believe? Actually we believe any word in it, since your understanding of a word might be off, because rationality has left the building, according to you? Why believe that Genesis 1 is about Creation, and not about the Stanley Cup finals? Think before you answer. I need an answer that does not come from “reason”.

  • DonS

    Louis — I’m getting it. I’m just not agreeing with it. And I’m frustrated by your insistence on labeling God a deceiver if you are wrong in your theories, and your apparent refusal to acknowledge that they are merely theories. I have not advocated or insisted, one time, that you have to take a literal view of Genesis 1-11 to be a Christian. I have not demeaned you, or your beliefs, which I know are sincerely held. Unfortunately, you have not been so charitable toward those who disagree with you.

    I view Genesis 1-11 to be a historical account, and to comprise absolute truth in everything it conveys. My default is to regard biblical historical accounts as literally true, absent compelling evidence that God did not intend them to be regarded that way. It is clear to me, from Scripture as a whole, that Adam and Eve, as well as the serpent and the Garden of Eden, were real and literal historical figures/places, as was Noah and his family. To believe otherwise is to ignore their many references by later Biblical figures in both the Old and New Testaments, as well as their appearance in biblical geneologies. Someone denying their literal reality bears a very heavy burden of proof, and risks a very serious distortion of the doctrine of Original Sin.

    As for the creation of the heavens and earth, the Genesis account is literally true, insofar as it goes. I believe in a literal six day creation period, with a seventh day of rest, because of God’s later commandment that the Israelites observe that same work/rest period each week. It also doesn’t make sense to me that God, with all of His infinite power, would choose to use a naturalistic evolutionary process of creation. However, I don’t believe Scripture is definitive that the six day creation period began immediately after the earth and heavens were first formed, formless and void. So, this allows for the possibility that the materials forming the earth are geologically old.

    Quite frankly, origin science has never been of particular interest to me. I guess I don’t see the point. Science is a tool that serves our present and future needs here on earth. As long as we know that current scientific principles are valid in the here and now, for use in our current lives, it doesn’t much matter to me as to the specifics of how God brought it all into being. We will know that soon enough, when our intelligence and reasoning ability will be able to fully comprehend such a miraculous event, done without the bounds of time and space within which we are currently limited.

    Hopefully, this answers your questions. Maybe now you will answer mine, as to why you are so insistent on being right and on demeaning the beliefs of those who respectfully disagree with you.

  • DonS

    Louis — I’m getting it. I’m just not agreeing with it. And I’m frustrated by your insistence on labeling God a deceiver if you are wrong in your theories, and your apparent refusal to acknowledge that they are merely theories. I have not advocated or insisted, one time, that you have to take a literal view of Genesis 1-11 to be a Christian. I have not demeaned you, or your beliefs, which I know are sincerely held. Unfortunately, you have not been so charitable toward those who disagree with you.

    I view Genesis 1-11 to be a historical account, and to comprise absolute truth in everything it conveys. My default is to regard biblical historical accounts as literally true, absent compelling evidence that God did not intend them to be regarded that way. It is clear to me, from Scripture as a whole, that Adam and Eve, as well as the serpent and the Garden of Eden, were real and literal historical figures/places, as was Noah and his family. To believe otherwise is to ignore their many references by later Biblical figures in both the Old and New Testaments, as well as their appearance in biblical geneologies. Someone denying their literal reality bears a very heavy burden of proof, and risks a very serious distortion of the doctrine of Original Sin.

    As for the creation of the heavens and earth, the Genesis account is literally true, insofar as it goes. I believe in a literal six day creation period, with a seventh day of rest, because of God’s later commandment that the Israelites observe that same work/rest period each week. It also doesn’t make sense to me that God, with all of His infinite power, would choose to use a naturalistic evolutionary process of creation. However, I don’t believe Scripture is definitive that the six day creation period began immediately after the earth and heavens were first formed, formless and void. So, this allows for the possibility that the materials forming the earth are geologically old.

    Quite frankly, origin science has never been of particular interest to me. I guess I don’t see the point. Science is a tool that serves our present and future needs here on earth. As long as we know that current scientific principles are valid in the here and now, for use in our current lives, it doesn’t much matter to me as to the specifics of how God brought it all into being. We will know that soon enough, when our intelligence and reasoning ability will be able to fully comprehend such a miraculous event, done without the bounds of time and space within which we are currently limited.

    Hopefully, this answers your questions. Maybe now you will answer mine, as to why you are so insistent on being right and on demeaning the beliefs of those who respectfully disagree with you.

  • Grace

    Louis – 257

    “Then how do you know that your understanding of Scripture is true? How do you know that this part is literal, and that part is figurative?”

    FAITH. Faith in God Almighty, reading and study of Scripture, over 350 prophecies have come to pass, that could not have happened if the Bible was false.

    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

    25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
    John 20

    Thomas needed to see Jesus, he wasn’t able to believe, even though he had witnessed Christ healing many, Thomas was filled with unbelief.

    Christ had the nail prints, the sign of being struck on His side, the blood gushing out, days earlier, that precious blood, the prints were there. Can you see them Louis? – can you feel His side? Can you believe that our Savior said that He would raise Himself in three days, and that is exactly what he did. Does the world believe this, most don’t. The Scripture makes it plain that narrow is the way, and few find it. God didn’t give us the video of His creation day by day, for six solid days, it’s His to keep as He chooses.

    The first Adam is spoken of by Paul, was Paul a liar, do you think Paul made that up? Who taught Paul what he knew and what he was to impart to others?

    11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Galatians 1

    It was by revelation of Jesus Christ to Paul.

    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    1 Corinthians 15

    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    1 Timothy 2

    Louis – 259

    “Why believe that Genesis 1 is about Creation, and not about the Stanley Cup finals? Think before you answer. I need an answer that does not come from “reason”.

    Why do you believe Christ arose from the grave? showing Himself to His Disciples? do you have proof of this, is there some way of checking it out? You have problems with creation, why not Christ’s resurrection? Where is your “reason” ?

  • Grace

    Louis – 257

    “Then how do you know that your understanding of Scripture is true? How do you know that this part is literal, and that part is figurative?”

    FAITH. Faith in God Almighty, reading and study of Scripture, over 350 prophecies have come to pass, that could not have happened if the Bible was false.

    24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

    25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God.

    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
    John 20

    Thomas needed to see Jesus, he wasn’t able to believe, even though he had witnessed Christ healing many, Thomas was filled with unbelief.

    Christ had the nail prints, the sign of being struck on His side, the blood gushing out, days earlier, that precious blood, the prints were there. Can you see them Louis? – can you feel His side? Can you believe that our Savior said that He would raise Himself in three days, and that is exactly what he did. Does the world believe this, most don’t. The Scripture makes it plain that narrow is the way, and few find it. God didn’t give us the video of His creation day by day, for six solid days, it’s His to keep as He chooses.

    The first Adam is spoken of by Paul, was Paul a liar, do you think Paul made that up? Who taught Paul what he knew and what he was to impart to others?

    11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    Galatians 1

    It was by revelation of Jesus Christ to Paul.

    45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
    46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
    47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    1 Corinthians 15

    13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    1 Timothy 2

    Louis – 259

    “Why believe that Genesis 1 is about Creation, and not about the Stanley Cup finals? Think before you answer. I need an answer that does not come from “reason”.

    Why do you believe Christ arose from the grave? showing Himself to His Disciples? do you have proof of this, is there some way of checking it out? You have problems with creation, why not Christ’s resurrection? Where is your “reason” ?

  • Louis

    DonS – shut, bang, in the trap. You were unable to provide an answer that does not rely on reason. Thus, the question is, if this, then why not that?

    What you are not seeing is a certain hermeneutic, even psychological, bias, right there in your second paragraph. You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ. Remember my story over at #168?

  • Louis

    DonS – shut, bang, in the trap. You were unable to provide an answer that does not rely on reason. Thus, the question is, if this, then why not that?

    What you are not seeing is a certain hermeneutic, even psychological, bias, right there in your second paragraph. You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ. Remember my story over at #168?

  • Louis

    Grace – I am sorry, but you are having an entirely different coversation there. Say Hi to that other Louis in your head. ;)

  • Louis

    Grace – I am sorry, but you are having an entirely different coversation there. Say Hi to that other Louis in your head. ;)

  • Grace

    Louis

    You can’t cope with Scripture, the only way you are able to continue this diatribe is your little man “reasoning” –

    You stated in post #262 “You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ.”

    You Louis, cannot comprehend the Word of God, it’s all about Louis, and his elevated belief in his ‘reason!

  • Grace

    Louis

    You can’t cope with Scripture, the only way you are able to continue this diatribe is your little man “reasoning” –

    You stated in post #262 “You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ.”

    You Louis, cannot comprehend the Word of God, it’s all about Louis, and his elevated belief in his ‘reason!

  • DonS

    I’m in the trap? What trap? I never argued for not using the human reason that God gave us. I argued against an over-reliance on human reasoning, and for an acknowledgement that it is fallible. I urged extreme caution when using it to argue against a literal view of the historical accounts contained in Scripture, particularly when other parts of Scripture reference those historical accounts in a literal sense.

    It is true that I believe the scriptural evidence weighs in favor of a historical, literal Adam. This is because it is clear that Biblical figures such as Paul regarded him as literal. See Rom. 5:12, as an example — “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. See also the geneology in Luke 3:23-38, which traces the geneology of Christ all the way from Joseph to Adam.

    The burden’s on you, my man, if you are truly arguing for a figurative, mythical Adam. It is a dangerous road you tread.

  • DonS

    I’m in the trap? What trap? I never argued for not using the human reason that God gave us. I argued against an over-reliance on human reasoning, and for an acknowledgement that it is fallible. I urged extreme caution when using it to argue against a literal view of the historical accounts contained in Scripture, particularly when other parts of Scripture reference those historical accounts in a literal sense.

    It is true that I believe the scriptural evidence weighs in favor of a historical, literal Adam. This is because it is clear that Biblical figures such as Paul regarded him as literal. See Rom. 5:12, as an example — “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”. See also the geneology in Luke 3:23-38, which traces the geneology of Christ all the way from Joseph to Adam.

    The burden’s on you, my man, if you are truly arguing for a figurative, mythical Adam. It is a dangerous road you tread.

  • Grace

    Louis – 262

    You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ. Remember my story over at #168?

    How can anyone forget your nonsensical story? A preposterous attempt to explain something you don’t understand.

    Here it is:


    As to the whole literal/figurative thing, here’s a (far-fetched  ) analogy for you:
    We do not know if King Arthur existed, right? So, lets assume that the current financial chaos continues to increase, that governments start to fall etc. Now lets assume England falls into chaos, somebody invades etc etc. Now, Prince William decides to do something about it, he gains a following, he re-establishes law-and-order, and takes con troll of things, smiting his enemies. Then he gets crowned the Monarch of All-England, and the title “The Second Arthur” is bestowed on him.
    Now this all gets written down see. Now 1000 years from now, to kids pick up a volume of history – and Jimmy tells Freddy. See – King William V was called the Second Arthur. But we have no evidence that Arthur ever existed – so that PROVES that William is fictional s well!

    Weakish analogy, but you see what I’m saying?” By: Louis

    You keep sending people to read this trash.

    If Adam is “mythical” then where did sin come from? The next step to a “mythical” Adam is, that we aren’t sinful and we don’t need a Savior -

  • Grace

    Louis – 262

    You cannot comprehend that a figurative Adam does not mean a Figurative Christ. Remember my story over at #168?

    How can anyone forget your nonsensical story? A preposterous attempt to explain something you don’t understand.

    Here it is:


    As to the whole literal/figurative thing, here’s a (far-fetched  ) analogy for you:
    We do not know if King Arthur existed, right? So, lets assume that the current financial chaos continues to increase, that governments start to fall etc. Now lets assume England falls into chaos, somebody invades etc etc. Now, Prince William decides to do something about it, he gains a following, he re-establishes law-and-order, and takes con troll of things, smiting his enemies. Then he gets crowned the Monarch of All-England, and the title “The Second Arthur” is bestowed on him.
    Now this all gets written down see. Now 1000 years from now, to kids pick up a volume of history – and Jimmy tells Freddy. See – King William V was called the Second Arthur. But we have no evidence that Arthur ever existed – so that PROVES that William is fictional s well!

    Weakish analogy, but you see what I’m saying?” By: Louis

    You keep sending people to read this trash.

    If Adam is “mythical” then where did sin come from? The next step to a “mythical” Adam is, that we aren’t sinful and we don’t need a Savior -

  • Louis

    Thanks Grace. I agree with you, the Canucks played badly. But overall, don’t you think they did better in the ninth innings? Especially after that touchdown, with Bolt loosing his wicket to deep mid-on.

    Did you say hi to the other Louis?

  • Louis

    Thanks Grace. I agree with you, the Canucks played badly. But overall, don’t you think they did better in the ninth innings? Especially after that touchdown, with Bolt loosing his wicket to deep mid-on.

    Did you say hi to the other Louis?

  • Louis

    DonS – when does reliance become over-reliance? define that point for me.

  • Louis

    DonS – when does reliance become over-reliance? define that point for me.

  • Grace

    Louis,

    Did you say hi to the other Louis?

    You now have two heads?

  • Grace

    Louis,

    Did you say hi to the other Louis?

    You now have two heads?

  • Cincinnatus

    Stop being a dolt, Grace. I don’t agree entirely with what Louis is saying here, but I’m embarrassed for you each time a new comment of yours appears in my inbox.

  • Cincinnatus

    Stop being a dolt, Grace. I don’t agree entirely with what Louis is saying here, but I’m embarrassed for you each time a new comment of yours appears in my inbox.

  • Grace

    270 Cincinnatus

    That’s too bad -

  • Grace

    270 Cincinnatus

    That’s too bad -

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – no leave her, she is making my point beautifully.

  • Louis

    Cincinnatus – no leave her, she is making my point beautifully.

  • Grace

    Louis – 272

    “Cincinnatus – no leave her, she is making my point beautifully.

    You don’t have a point, IF you believe in a figurative Adam.

  • Grace

    Louis – 272

    “Cincinnatus – no leave her, she is making my point beautifully.

    You don’t have a point, IF you believe in a figurative Adam.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 268: When you insist on the absolute truth of human scientific theory, without reservation, and when your human reasoning leads you to question the historicity of Adam, you should be concerned that you are over-relying on human wisdom.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 268: When you insist on the absolute truth of human scientific theory, without reservation, and when your human reasoning leads you to question the historicity of Adam, you should be concerned that you are over-relying on human wisdom.

  • Louis

    DonS, so you are making an a priori argument: But if I were to ask you why that point, or why the literal interpretation, you, by definition, could not answer, because your decision to read things literally has to be pre-reason. This does not only seem rather arbitrary, it also means that you cannot argue that, for instance, any given Scripture, including poetry, like the Psalms, is figurative, precisely because, according to your argument, such decisions are extra-rational, so-to-speak.

    In effect, you hamstring yourself. You are building a mighty fine house of cards.

  • Louis

    DonS, so you are making an a priori argument: But if I were to ask you why that point, or why the literal interpretation, you, by definition, could not answer, because your decision to read things literally has to be pre-reason. This does not only seem rather arbitrary, it also means that you cannot argue that, for instance, any given Scripture, including poetry, like the Psalms, is figurative, precisely because, according to your argument, such decisions are extra-rational, so-to-speak.

    In effect, you hamstring yourself. You are building a mighty fine house of cards.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 275: I think you are completely misunderstanding my point. Our ability to reason is a beautiful gift from God, an ability which sets us apart from the animal kingdom and which defines the way in which we have been uniquely created in the image of God. Because of this reason, we are able to read and study Scripture, to understand and obey God’s Word, and to have dominion over the earth, as God stated in Scripture.

    However, our human reasoning capability is necessarily limited by the fact that we are confined to a particular time and space, and has also been corrupted by sin, so that “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I Cor. 1:25. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” Rom. 1:22. The more man elevates the authority of his own judgments, the more he diminishes the authority of Scripture. And, the more he diminishes the authority of the Scriptures, the more he elevates the authority of his own judgments. I am not willing to go down that slippery slope. But that decision is very much a reasoned one, not so-called “pre-reason”, whatever that means.

    This does not only seem rather arbitrary, it also means that you cannot argue that, for instance, any given Scripture, including poetry, like the Psalms, is figurative, precisely because, according to your argument, such decisions are extra-rational, so-to-speak.

    I don’t think you could have mis-stated my argument more if you tried. Firstly, I specifically distinguished historical accounts from what is clearly literature, such as the Psalms. The distinction is not at all “arbitrary”. Secondly, I specified that, when it comes to historical accounts, my default is to believe them to be literal unless Scripture clearly indicates otherwise. That is not an “extra-rational” decision, but actually a quite rational one, it seems to me.

    Now, please explain, since you do not believe in a literal Adam, who Paul means by his reference to “one man” in Romans 5:12, or why Adam is listed in the geneology in Luke 3: 23-38. Is this another example of God’s “deception”?

  • DonS

    Louis @ 275: I think you are completely misunderstanding my point. Our ability to reason is a beautiful gift from God, an ability which sets us apart from the animal kingdom and which defines the way in which we have been uniquely created in the image of God. Because of this reason, we are able to read and study Scripture, to understand and obey God’s Word, and to have dominion over the earth, as God stated in Scripture.

    However, our human reasoning capability is necessarily limited by the fact that we are confined to a particular time and space, and has also been corrupted by sin, so that “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I Cor. 1:25. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” Rom. 1:22. The more man elevates the authority of his own judgments, the more he diminishes the authority of Scripture. And, the more he diminishes the authority of the Scriptures, the more he elevates the authority of his own judgments. I am not willing to go down that slippery slope. But that decision is very much a reasoned one, not so-called “pre-reason”, whatever that means.

    This does not only seem rather arbitrary, it also means that you cannot argue that, for instance, any given Scripture, including poetry, like the Psalms, is figurative, precisely because, according to your argument, such decisions are extra-rational, so-to-speak.

    I don’t think you could have mis-stated my argument more if you tried. Firstly, I specifically distinguished historical accounts from what is clearly literature, such as the Psalms. The distinction is not at all “arbitrary”. Secondly, I specified that, when it comes to historical accounts, my default is to believe them to be literal unless Scripture clearly indicates otherwise. That is not an “extra-rational” decision, but actually a quite rational one, it seems to me.

    Now, please explain, since you do not believe in a literal Adam, who Paul means by his reference to “one man” in Romans 5:12, or why Adam is listed in the geneology in Luke 3: 23-38. Is this another example of God’s “deception”?

  • Louis

    DonS, I understand you. But your decision is already a rational one. Essentially, lets leave the attacks on reason, and look at the evidence? Also, remember, no-one ever reads in a vacuum. You are conditioned by your culture, time etc etc. I am arguing, with webmonk, that a reading of Genesis 1 – 11, but especially 1-3, leads one to see that this is a mythopoeic description. I am also quite convinced that reading it thus DOES NOT VIOLATE what Paul is saying. Scripture was written within time and space, with a primary audience in mind. WE ARE NOT that primary audience – we are a secondary audience. Essentially, how the PRIMARY audience received the message is what counts. But that message had to be caried within a vehicle, which is languge, which is subject to time-space-culture constraints. You and I are NOT First century citizens of the Roman Empire. Our world is much different. THEREFORE I took it seriously when I realised that contemporaries of the apostles and those sson after, had no issue reading some of Gnesis figuratively, AND THIS NEVER BECAME AN ISSUE IN ANY OF THE EARLY ECUMENICAL COUNCILS. They did not see it as violating the message etc fof Scripture.

    I attempted, with my clumsy little tale, to illustrate this. I wish you would therefore see our point of difference within that, and not continue to (between the lines) paint me and Webmonk and others as dangerous pseudo-heretics, or something similar.

  • Louis

    DonS, I understand you. But your decision is already a rational one. Essentially, lets leave the attacks on reason, and look at the evidence? Also, remember, no-one ever reads in a vacuum. You are conditioned by your culture, time etc etc. I am arguing, with webmonk, that a reading of Genesis 1 – 11, but especially 1-3, leads one to see that this is a mythopoeic description. I am also quite convinced that reading it thus DOES NOT VIOLATE what Paul is saying. Scripture was written within time and space, with a primary audience in mind. WE ARE NOT that primary audience – we are a secondary audience. Essentially, how the PRIMARY audience received the message is what counts. But that message had to be caried within a vehicle, which is languge, which is subject to time-space-culture constraints. You and I are NOT First century citizens of the Roman Empire. Our world is much different. THEREFORE I took it seriously when I realised that contemporaries of the apostles and those sson after, had no issue reading some of Gnesis figuratively, AND THIS NEVER BECAME AN ISSUE IN ANY OF THE EARLY ECUMENICAL COUNCILS. They did not see it as violating the message etc fof Scripture.

    I attempted, with my clumsy little tale, to illustrate this. I wish you would therefore see our point of difference within that, and not continue to (between the lines) paint me and Webmonk and others as dangerous pseudo-heretics, or something similar.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 277: Thank you. I appreciate your consideration of my point and your reasoned response.

    I am not a hardliner on some of these origins issues, such as the geological age of the earth, as I indicated above. There is clearly room in the Genesis account of creation for interpretation, even if, as I do, you regard the six days of creation as literal. These issues are difficult, and all parties should approach them respectfully, diligently, and intelligently, with the knowledge that none of us have all of the answers or the right to be scornfully dogmatic. That is all I have ever been saying.

    I don’t agree with you and Webmonk that Genesis 1-3 is mythopoeic. But that does not mean I consider y0u to be heretics or pseudo-heretics, because I understand that you both acknowledge the truth of Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as well as the truth of the physical death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that this sacrifice on His part, and our trust in it, is our sole means of salvation.

    That aside, what gives you confidence that Genesis 1-3 was written to a first century Roman audience, given that it is thought to have been written by Moses? Why did Luke include a mythical figure in the geneology of Jesus? Who is the “one man” Paul referenced in Romans 5:12? What is your evidence that this passage is not a literal historical account, other than writing style, and if your view is solely based on writing style, why do you believe that is definitive? What about Noah? Real or fictional? On what basis is all mankind imputed with original sin, if not for the sin of the first man?

    Why did God fail to take into account the so-called secondary audience for Scripture, ensuring that it was written in a timeless way that all could understand, in all times, given that He declared that “…till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” Matt. 5:18.

    How do you explain how you sort out the literal from the mythical to a new potential convert, someone unfamiliar with Christianity? How do you explain how you know why “all have sinned…” when there is no Adam and no original sin to reference?

    How do you explain this passage:

    17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

    18 So then as through one transgression [a]there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [b]there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 [c]The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Rom. 5: 17-21

  • DonS

    Louis @ 277: Thank you. I appreciate your consideration of my point and your reasoned response.

    I am not a hardliner on some of these origins issues, such as the geological age of the earth, as I indicated above. There is clearly room in the Genesis account of creation for interpretation, even if, as I do, you regard the six days of creation as literal. These issues are difficult, and all parties should approach them respectfully, diligently, and intelligently, with the knowledge that none of us have all of the answers or the right to be scornfully dogmatic. That is all I have ever been saying.

    I don’t agree with you and Webmonk that Genesis 1-3 is mythopoeic. But that does not mean I consider y0u to be heretics or pseudo-heretics, because I understand that you both acknowledge the truth of Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, as well as the truth of the physical death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that this sacrifice on His part, and our trust in it, is our sole means of salvation.

    That aside, what gives you confidence that Genesis 1-3 was written to a first century Roman audience, given that it is thought to have been written by Moses? Why did Luke include a mythical figure in the geneology of Jesus? Who is the “one man” Paul referenced in Romans 5:12? What is your evidence that this passage is not a literal historical account, other than writing style, and if your view is solely based on writing style, why do you believe that is definitive? What about Noah? Real or fictional? On what basis is all mankind imputed with original sin, if not for the sin of the first man?

    Why did God fail to take into account the so-called secondary audience for Scripture, ensuring that it was written in a timeless way that all could understand, in all times, given that He declared that “…till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” Matt. 5:18.

    How do you explain how you sort out the literal from the mythical to a new potential convert, someone unfamiliar with Christianity? How do you explain how you know why “all have sinned…” when there is no Adam and no original sin to reference?

    How do you explain this passage:

    17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

    18 So then as through one transgression [a]there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [b]there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 [c]The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Rom. 5: 17-21

  • Louis

    Don, I’ll contact you privately soon to discuss things further. One can only take so many insults from the likes of Grace…

    Good debate though. Thanks.

  • Louis

    Don, I’ll contact you privately soon to discuss things further. One can only take so many insults from the likes of Grace…

    Good debate though. Thanks.

  • Tom Hering

    The view that Adam wasn’t real may not always lead to the view that Jesus wasn’t real, but it does make Jesus someone who perpetuated falsehoods among a people (the Jews) who accepted Genesis as their history. The response that “Jesus was preaching salvation, not teaching science” just sidesteps the issue. Was He being less than honest with His hearers when he could have, at the very least, supported primitive theories of an old earth and the evolution of man from simpler forms? Theories that predated Him and would have been known to His more educated hearers? In short, was it necessary for Jesus to uphold a fairy tale about the origin of sin in order to save people? Because without that fairy tale, there was no condition to save people from – just bad behavior to scold them for? Making Him nothing more than another moralist. Not someone to throw rocks at – literally back then, and figuratively now as “evidence.”

  • Tom Hering

    The view that Adam wasn’t real may not always lead to the view that Jesus wasn’t real, but it does make Jesus someone who perpetuated falsehoods among a people (the Jews) who accepted Genesis as their history. The response that “Jesus was preaching salvation, not teaching science” just sidesteps the issue. Was He being less than honest with His hearers when he could have, at the very least, supported primitive theories of an old earth and the evolution of man from simpler forms? Theories that predated Him and would have been known to His more educated hearers? In short, was it necessary for Jesus to uphold a fairy tale about the origin of sin in order to save people? Because without that fairy tale, there was no condition to save people from – just bad behavior to scold them for? Making Him nothing more than another moralist. Not someone to throw rocks at – literally back then, and figuratively now as “evidence.”

  • DonS

    Louis @ 279: Thanks to YOU as well. God bless, and have a good weekend.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 279: Thanks to YOU as well. God bless, and have a good weekend.

  • Grace

    “The view that Adam wasn’t real may not always lead to the view that Jesus wasn’t real, but it does make Jesus someone who perpetuated falsehoods among a people (the Jews) who accepted Genesis as their history. The response that “Jesus was preaching salvation, not teaching science” just sidesteps the issue. Was He being less than honest with His hearers when he could have, at the very least, supported primitive theories of an old earth and the evolution of man from simpler forms?

    It was and is, impossible that Jesus being God the Son could lie, or make a “falsehood” or being “less than honest” – it’s little man who, like a child with a puzzle who can’t make the pieces fit, tries to cut them into another shape, therefore altering the entire picture.

    That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Hebrews 6:18

    “Theories that predated Him and would have been known to His more educated hearers? In short, was it necessary for Jesus to uphold a fairy tale about the origin of sin in order to save people? Because without that fairy tale, there was no condition to save people from – just bad behavior to scold them for? Making Him nothing more than another moralist. Not someone to throw rocks at – literally back then, and figuratively now as “evidence.”

    What does this say about you, who being left out of the mystery’s of God.

  • Grace

    “The view that Adam wasn’t real may not always lead to the view that Jesus wasn’t real, but it does make Jesus someone who perpetuated falsehoods among a people (the Jews) who accepted Genesis as their history. The response that “Jesus was preaching salvation, not teaching science” just sidesteps the issue. Was He being less than honest with His hearers when he could have, at the very least, supported primitive theories of an old earth and the evolution of man from simpler forms?

    It was and is, impossible that Jesus being God the Son could lie, or make a “falsehood” or being “less than honest” – it’s little man who, like a child with a puzzle who can’t make the pieces fit, tries to cut them into another shape, therefore altering the entire picture.

    That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Hebrews 6:18

    “Theories that predated Him and would have been known to His more educated hearers? In short, was it necessary for Jesus to uphold a fairy tale about the origin of sin in order to save people? Because without that fairy tale, there was no condition to save people from – just bad behavior to scold them for? Making Him nothing more than another moralist. Not someone to throw rocks at – literally back then, and figuratively now as “evidence.”

    What does this say about you, who being left out of the mystery’s of God.

  • Tom Hering

    “What does this say about you, who being left out of the mystery’s of God.”

    Who’s the “you” you’re speaking to Grace?

  • Tom Hering

    “What does this say about you, who being left out of the mystery’s of God.”

    Who’s the “you” you’re speaking to Grace?

  • Tom Hering

    Well, Grace, I guess I’ll just have to assume you were speaking to me, since you were quoting me. You didn’t just miss my point @ 280, you concluded I was professing the very position I was rejecting.

    “… I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not.” – Dr. Veith

    Strangely, it doesn’t shake my faith either, and I’ve wondered why this should seem strange. Is it because faith isn’t something we create, but a gift from outside us, and in recognizing faith at work in us we recognize something strange in us?

    Speaking for myself, the content of faith in this case seems to be: Jesus takes Genesis literally, and I trust in Christ, so I take Genesis literally too. Additionally, the only Jesus I know is the Jesus of the Word, and there is no part of the Word that treats Genesis as anything other than literal history. Especially not the epistles of Paul, which are the Holy Spirit’s summations of the Word.

    It all comes down to Jesus. What do we say He was doing when He made references to Genesis? And what does that say about Him?

  • Tom Hering

    Well, Grace, I guess I’ll just have to assume you were speaking to me, since you were quoting me. You didn’t just miss my point @ 280, you concluded I was professing the very position I was rejecting.

    “… I suppose this evidence should bother me or shake my faith in the Bible, but, strangely, it does not.” – Dr. Veith

    Strangely, it doesn’t shake my faith either, and I’ve wondered why this should seem strange. Is it because faith isn’t something we create, but a gift from outside us, and in recognizing faith at work in us we recognize something strange in us?

    Speaking for myself, the content of faith in this case seems to be: Jesus takes Genesis literally, and I trust in Christ, so I take Genesis literally too. Additionally, the only Jesus I know is the Jesus of the Word, and there is no part of the Word that treats Genesis as anything other than literal history. Especially not the epistles of Paul, which are the Holy Spirit’s summations of the Word.

    It all comes down to Jesus. What do we say He was doing when He made references to Genesis? And what does that say about Him?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It is strangely amusing to read folks who don’t like natural selection (especially as it pertains to human group genetic differences) yet argue strenuously for evolution.

    Anyway, for those who can stomach the discussion of genetics of psychological traits, here is a fun article on foxes:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/taming-wild-animals/ratliff-text

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    It is strangely amusing to read folks who don’t like natural selection (especially as it pertains to human group genetic differences) yet argue strenuously for evolution.

    Anyway, for those who can stomach the discussion of genetics of psychological traits, here is a fun article on foxes:

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/taming-wild-animals/ratliff-text


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