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  • Scientific Discoveries that Point to the Creator

    February 6, 2013 | 529 Comments

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    Dr. Brown interviews Doctors Hugh Ross, Fuz Rana, and Jeff Zweernick, scientists at Reasons to Believe, as they discuss some amazing scientific discoveries that point to God the Creator. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at  (866) 348 7884  with your questions and comments.

     

    Hour 1:

    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: You do not need to shut off your mind to believe in God.  You do not need to deny the scientific evidence.  No, look at the scientific evidence and fall on your knees in worship of the Creator!

     

    Hour 2:

    Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We don’t need to be afraid of science. We don’t need to be afraid of atheistic claims that if you knew science you wouldn’t believe in God.  To the contrary, the God of Scripture is the God of science, and the more you know science the more you worship the God of the Bible!

     

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    Other Resources:

    Dr. Brown Interviews Oxford Professor John Lennox and Takes Your Questions

    Dr. Brown Interviews Scientist Hugh Ross (Reasons to Believe); and Biblical Mistranslations and Misunderstandings

    Dr. Brown Interviews Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fuz Rana on Hidden Treasures in Job, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Creating Life in the Lab, and the Cell’s Design

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    Comments

    529 Responses to “Scientific Discoveries that Point to the Creator”

    1. Jack Wasson
      February 6th, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

      Two of the Men of God I admire the most! Dr. Hugh Ross & Dr. Michael Brown–together in one place! Life is good! What a great program!

    2. Ray
      February 6th, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

      I’ve heard that scientists still don’t know how a cat purrs. It seems they can’t tell for sure where the sound is coming from exactly, and they don’t seem to know for sure how the sound is made, only that most if not all cats do it.

      That right there should lead me to the Creator.

      There are so many mysteries in the universe and so many things to consider. Who can explain it all? No man on this earth, and no man except Jesus I suppose.

      To deny the godly design of it all would be to deny science wouldn’t it?…unless science is simply the study of something.

      I think it’s possible to study much and miss a lot of simple learning.

      But when a man recognizes God by the things he has made, he begins a quest for truth that has real foundation, truth that will endure forever, truth that will lead him to an understanding of his maker.

      Though a man not understand so much about God, if he seeks him with a pure heart, he can’t but help learn something wonderful about him, things he never really noticed before, though they had been right in front of him.

    3. R. Kneubuhl
      February 7th, 2013 @ 1:02 am

      I think Dr, Hugh Ross is like a genius or something.

    4. R. Kneubuhl
      February 7th, 2013 @ 1:04 am

      Sorry I meant to write “Dr. Hugh Ross”

    5. Jonathan
      February 7th, 2013 @ 10:29 am

      A caller on the show posed the belief that Psalms 104:21 makes reference to animal death being part of the good design God instituted. It is unfortunate that Fuz Rana agreed with this accessment and did not point out that the verse does not specify anything in regrard to the original design. Since it wasn’t clarified on the show, I want to clarify that it’s wrong to say Psalms 104:21 specifically deals with the pre-fall design and reading into the text something that it does not declare. That is not exigesis. That is isegesis.

    6. Jonathan
      February 7th, 2013 @ 10:32 am

      Why is the issue of death and disease as a result of sin so important?

      I would propose that the whole foundation of what it means to be saved is found in the first chapters of Genesis. If you believe the first chapters are literal, then you believe that God literally created a world that was truly good. A world without death, disease, destruction and pain. God also created a literal Adam and Eve and these individuals literally sinned. That literally brought the curse of sin upon this earth. An earth that was created good was marred and the death, disease, destruction and pain came as a result of man’s literal sin. God made a promise to this literal Adam and Eve that He would send the seed of the woman to overcome the destruction that had been caused by that sin and that through the seed of the woman the world could be saved. That is essentially the Gospel message found in the first chapters of Genesis.

      Now look at what happens when someone decides there is no literal Adam and Eve (not the belief that Hugh Ross and Reasons to believe hold to but the belief that many prominent old-earthers do hold to) and that the earth is actually millions of years old (A belief Dr. Ross and company do hold to): You then believe that God did not create a good world. He created a world in which there was millions of years of death, disease, destruction and pain. He did it that way on purpose. It was his intent to do so. It was not the result of man’s sin who had not even been formed yet. It was simply the way God wanted to design His creation. In fact, there was no real Adam and Eve, so there was no real first sin in this world. God sent His Son. Why (in this set of beliefs) is a little hard to explain. He did not come to redeem His creation from the curse of sin though. Because there was no real curse. It was all part of His design from the beginning.

      Do you see the major downfall to not taking the first few chapters of Genesis as literal? It is truly the foundation for the entire Bible and the Gospel message; the foundation of Christianity itself.

      Please, please think about this.

    7. Jonathan
      February 7th, 2013 @ 11:20 am

      So if old earthers are right and God designed the earth prior to man’s sin to be millions of years of death, disease, destruction and pain, how does that agree with Scripture? Genesis 1 says God created a “very good” world. What does that mean? Is a “very good” world filled with destruction and pain? Is that how a good Creator would design it?

      Romans 8:20-23 says “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”

      Did God design the creature in “the bondage of corruption”? That doesn’t sound like a loving or a good God. “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain”, is that the “very good” creation design from the beginning or is that the result of sin? Why does God give us commands on not mistreating animals if He designed them to groan in pain? How is that different from Michael Vick and his dogfighting?

      Was this tooth and claw world what God originally designed as the caller I mentioned in a previous comment and Fuz Rana belive? If so, why did Genesis 1 say in verses 29 and 30, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein [there is] life, [I have given] every green herb for meat: and it was so.”?

      That does not sound like the lion was originally eating meat does it? It doesn’t sound like the “very good” creation was “subject to vanity” and groaning in pain, does it?

    8. Peanut_Gallery
      February 7th, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

      Yesterday, I went to donate plasma; a certain point was driven home over and over again. I was surprised that it was stated so strongly, in no uncertain terms – not one time, but over and over again.
      The acts of selling or buying sex for drugs or money since 1977, taking illegal needle-drugs since 1977, or being a male sexually active with another male (or a male sexually active with a female who’d been with a male who was with a male) EVEN ONCE since 1977, were all put acts that would forever disqualify you from donating plasma because of the risks involved.
      Relative to this. I’d watched an interview with a woman who (now Christian) was once involved in a certain unseemly industry; she said homosexuals were paid what seemed to be 5-10x as their heterosexual counterparts, and specifically said that it was, “because of the risk involved”.

      Medical professionals, based upon scientific evidence alone, must say disqualify indefinitely anyone who practiced homosexual acts from 1977 until today – it is “exceptionally” risky behavior.
      Also, in another setting/industry, people must be “persuaded” (by being paid more) to engage in homosexual activities, because they are made aware of the “exceptional” dangers inherent in those activities.

      There are always “general” rules, occasioned by what are called “exceptions”. Why are we who see homosexual activities as “exceptional” labeled (and dismissed) under the nomenclature “homophobic”, while the medical community openly declares – with indemnity – that homosexuality is an “exception” to baseline rule (based upon hard data)? Such people are not being consistent in their exceptions.

    9. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 7th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

      Jonathan, thanks for posting these important questions and observations! They are quite welcome here.

    10. Josh Elsom
      February 7th, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

      Genesis was not written in a vacuum. It was written to people who understood the world through a particular cosmological lens. Genesis was written for us, but it was not written to us. For this reason, we need to move beyond the text of Genesis to understand the greater depth of what the author intends us to understand; and to do it, we must consider the world of the audience that the author of Genesis assumes.

      The ancient Hebrews’ iron age cosmology was far different than our own. Plain and simple. So, it’s a mistake, in my opinion, to cram our modern scientific theories and discoveries into the text of Genesis.

      Theistic Evolutionists and Young Earth Creationists both are guilty of doing this. The Theistic Evolutionist has to find a way to allegorize the text to find room for his dysteleological theory of origins. And the Young Earther has to invent implausible scientific hypotheses to account for the firmament (the solid structure, which contains the sun, moon, and stars; and, which separates the waters above the firmament from the waters below). Both are forcing their modern scientific observations into the text.

      Why not let the text say what the text plainly wants to say? It’s chronological arrogance to demand that our scientific questions were also theirs.

    11. Nicholas Petersen
      February 7th, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

      Dear Michael Brown and Jonathan,

      Thanks Michael for making your last statement towards Jonathan. It encourages me. I love you, I love the stands you are making, and I also never put anyone on some pedestal, as if someone has to get everything right. I would be in trouble then. Even so, its burdened me that you / your ministry seems, perhaps, to be moving a bit more to the old-earth viewpoint.

      I do appreciate that more of your focus with Reasons to Believe has been on the evidence for the creator side, i.e. intelligent design oriented rather than old earth oriented. I read one of Ross’ books (More Than a Theory), and heartily agree with many of the intelligent design arguments. Even though there are many grossly unfair representations Ross also makes in that book against the Intelligent Design movement and against ‘young earth creationism’ (but I just call it ‘biblical creationism’).

      It’s not so much that “old earth” is the problem, as it is following a evolutionary timeline and sequence of events (as ‘history’) that is totally unbiblical and simply irreconcilable with Scripture. Ross’ views take the purported organic and inorganic evolutionary sequences of events and then just inserts God at every stage. How convenient. But often, the world’s ‘truth’ went wrong at the foundational fact claims themselves. The original old earth teachings were done by materialist / naturalists, that were moved by the humanistic spirit of the day, which has only grown stronger till now. As 2 Peter 3 warned, they had to advocate against the Flood, because of course that would speak of judgment and God’s involvement. And they also needed vast time to be able to kick God out as the creator of the heavens and the earth. Are we surprised then that that is what they argue, and that they ridicule anyone who doesn’t accept those claims as if they are flat earthers?

      I know you had Jonathan Sarfati on the air a while ago. Before that had happened, I actually contacted one of the the Creation Ministries International scientists that I have personally cooresponded with, one of my total favorites (Emil Silvestru), hoping he could get on the air with you. That didn’t pan out, but then Sarfati was on. One of the things that I do appreciate that you said to Sarfati in that interview, was, in effect: ‘I know the biblical evidence is important, but what about those who would say: Even so, look, this (scientific, old earth, etc) evidence is just too strong scientifically, its just straightforward?’. I very much appreciate that question, and wish Sarfati had focused more on those scientific concerns (rather than so much on church history, etc).

      Anyways, I am very glad to hear you affirm that these other concerns, the concerns of those advocating for the straightforward biblical account of origins, “are quite welcome here.” If you feel moved to, please consider checking out these few resources from this burgeoning site I put up: http://creationontrial.com/. Namely, the two 10 minute YouTube interviews of Emil Silvestru, and Dr. Baumgardner’s ‘Highlights of the Los Alamos Origins Debate’ (http://creationontrial.com/articles/The-Los-Alamos-Origins-Debate.htm).

      God bless.

    12. Jonathan
      February 7th, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

      I was listening to a debate between Bart Ehrman and Dr. Brown on The Problem of Suffering

      Bart Ehrman talks about mud slides, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts and other natural disasters, both Ehrman and Dr. Brown seem to be talking specifically of human suffering. But I think animal suffering is something that must be looked at as well. (Or for that matter, the suffering of soulless humanoids as well.)

      According to evolution, these natural disasters brought millions of years of this suffering prior to the Fall. This seems to be the Problem of Suffering as it relates to a God who would use evolution as part of His “very good” creation week lasting millions of years.

    13. Ray
      February 7th, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

      Jonathan, thank you for what you shared in #6 above. It’s something I hadn’t thought of before
      and it is important.

    14. Franklin
      February 8th, 2013 @ 8:21 am

      I appreciate this program about “reasons to believe” and also agree with the concern of Dr. Brown about the rift between Old Earth and Young Earth creationists but I find the “Reasons to Believe” staff to be Biblically underwelming. They say they are scripture first but that is not what I am hearing from them.
      Jeremiah 33:25 means that radiometric dating is constant? How does Hugh Ross see that there? Just because God ordains ordinances does not neccessarily mean they are constant? The universe is expanding at a faster and faster rate; that by definetion is not constant?!?! How can someone see such specificity in Jeremiah 33:25 dealing with radioactive decay rates and yet say “And the evening (ereb) and the morning (boqer) were the second day (yowm)” could mean any undetermined length of time? Thank God they are saved BUT this is why Young Earthers cannot understand this type of inconsistant thinking.
      Hugh Ross is the first person I have ever heard say that rapid burial can lead to perservation of SOFT tissue for MILLIONS of years!! Dont we have millions of fossils? Why have we not seen this more if this is truly the case? Because the DNA is corrupted it must mean millions of years? You could not possibly know how long it takes DNA to corrupt unless it happens fast which would not help his case.
      Thank You Dr. Brown for helping them present their case but I remain sceptical, not of their motives but of their conclusions.

    15. Kathleen
      February 8th, 2013 @ 9:58 am

      Jonathan is so right on! Thank-you, Jonathan!!

    16. Peanut_Gallery
      February 8th, 2013 @ 11:00 am

      Jonathan,
      Isn’t it true some rabbis believe the first days were not (of necessity) 24-hour days (I read this in one of “the Rebbe’s” [Schneerson's] letters), and that they’d arrived at this conclusion far before the “big bang” idea was adopted by science? What do you think about this?
      What if the first “days” were “universe-sized” “days”, since the only light that existed at that time was something that was not a star (it seems stars would’ve been made on the 4th day, and not before then – the earth’s sun was created in v16)?

      Taking this into consideration, why do some hold to a literal 24-hr/7-day creation week?

    17. Eliyahu Moshiach
      February 8th, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

      When I studied at Merkaz HaRav Kook in Jerusalem, it was taught that Rav Abraham Kook was asked about this, he said “if science comes and proves the Bible wrong, then it is not the Bible that is wrong but our original interpretation. In that case, he would need to re-understand the Bible because the Bible is God’s words and truth, to the Rabbi. Rav Avraham Kook, one of the most prominent rabbis of the last century, taught that the days were not millions of years old, he was not satisfied with the false scientic measures to come to those lofty outrageous numbers such as millions and billions, etc. But he did say, if there is evidence, it doesn’t change anything in structure of our faith, it only changes our original interpretations. But many of us find the evidence against the simple reading of Scripture to be either circular or fradulent or simply weak. The same line of reasoning goes to the minimal evidence that human beings evolved out of fishes, to eventual monkeys nonsense. Theories with little to support it. Even Darwin himself did not believe the theory he invented, at the end of his life (I have read his actual letter on this that was photographed in his own penmanship and cursive).The key is to weigh the evidence to see if any of it is true. Having said that, if you proved to me that the human race was created by the big bang, the earth is millions or billions of years old, and that we mutated from fish to eventual monkeys to human beings, I would still hold to the Scriptures, that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit as the Rabbi Avraham Kook did. We have a greater faith in the Holy Spirit then fallible men trying to do scientific research. However, in such a case, we would have to re-interpret Scripture in light of the ground breaking evidence. But so far, the very fact that there is an argument on the issue, is evidence of no overwhelming evidence to interpret against the simple and honest reading of Scripture in the creation account given by the Holy Spirit through his prophets. The fact that scientists who are looking at the same evidence are divided is proof that any evidence against the simple and honest reading of the Scriptures is weak to say the least. But some scientists won’t believe in YHWH unless their word view has big bangs, millions and billions of years terminologies and fishes to monkeys to human beings. Their world view has to have these belief systems, so they have to read Scripture with that in mind. I do not have any problem with that, as long as I can remain skeptical and believe in the clear, simple reading of the Scriptures. So far the evidence against that reading appears weak and circular at best, especially if have the scientists disagree with the other half, looking at the same facts.

    18. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

      Josh, I am interested in knowing your position on millions of years of death, destruction, disease and pain prior to sin.

    19. Josh Elsom
      February 8th, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

      Jonathan, I think that the people who first received Genesis believed that it happened exactly as it was delivered in the text; and, the rest of Scripture follows suit. And they all accepted it as actual because it was in concord with accepted cosmology of that day. In my view, Gen 1—11 is likely a polemic mythology that is soundly true, but not actual. I believe that the Scripture looks forward to a consummation when all death will stop, both for humans and for animals (Is 11:6; 65:25). And it will set straight all that went awry in the Garden. But I do not feel beholden to accept iron age cosmology when it is not theologically necessary nor scientifically acceptable.

      I am not a theistic evolutionist. As I said, evolution is the result of a dysteleolgical assumption (That is, to assert that “there is no purpose”, is to assert a tacit non-purpose. It remains teleological!), therefore, I highly doubt that is how God brought the material world into existence. I think progressive creationism is an okay idea, though I don’t find it an attractive option because of what modern science says. The text of Genesis taken at face value will not accept any modern scientific theories.

      Since you believe that Gen 1—11 is actual historic narrative, do you believe that there is an actual solid dome sitting above the earth; which contains the sun, moon and stars; which, extends beyond the furthest star; and, which holds back the waters of heaven? Do you believe that this solid dome has windows? Do you believe that the earth rests upon pillars?

      If not, why not?

    20. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

      I don’t think you ever answered my question. Do you believe there were millions of years of death, destruction, disease and pain before man sinned?

      As far as your questions about Genesis 1-11, I would ask that we deal with one of them at a time. Could you quote the particular verse and ask your particular question?

    21. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

      Jesus said that God created them male and female (referring to Adam and Eve) “from the beginning of creation”. Was this actually true or was Jesus mistaken?

      Mark 10:6-7 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife”

    22. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

      Were the Ten Commandments actually true where God Himself said that He created everything in six days? Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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.”

    23. R. Kneubuhl
      February 8th, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

      Why does everyone think that they are the ones who are right?

    24. Josh Elsom
      February 8th, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

      General Revelation tells us that the Universe is billions of years old, and that animals have been around for a lot longer than 10,000 years. That either means that every animal ever born never died and were ancient by the time Adam comes on the scene (assuming Bishop Unger’s chronology), or animals died as a normal function of God’s very good (functioning) creation.

      The Raqia:

      1. God created the firmament in Gen 1:6—7, separating the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.

      2. God places the lights of the heavens in the firmament (Gen 1:16—17).

      3. Birds fly in front of the firmament and not in it (Gen 1:20), demonstrating that the firmament is not the atmosphere.

      The heavens (which are equated with the firmament [Gen 1:8]) has widows (Gen 7:11).

      The windows were opened up so that the waters above the heavens could pour down and flood the earth (Gen 7:12).

      This was not just an act of destruction, it was a dis-creation of what was created in Gen 1. The undivided waters that preexisted the first day of creation came crashing down upon the earth. And these chaotic waters remain (with a dove hovering over the face of them) until dry land once again appears, and a new humanity, in Noah, is born.

      The earth is resting upon pillars (1 Sam 2:8).

    25. Josh Elsom
      February 8th, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

      Jesus was fully God and fully man, not a mixture of the two. When he emptied himself of his divine prerogatives, and took on flesh, he limited himself to the knowledge that was available to all Jews living in the 1 century. That is why he could say that the mustard seed was the smallest of all seeds and not be wrong. Jesus did not know anything about celestial mechanics, heliocentricity, or the theory of relativity. He knew what the normal guy on the street knew. Nothing more, nothing less. So when he says that Adam and Eve were created at the beginning he was absolutely right, even if the events were not actual.

      Yes, the 10 Commandments assume the same creation story that is written in Genesis as being actual. (That’s a problem text for Day Age theorists, not for me. I believe that Gen 1 teaches a literal 6 day / 24 hour creation.)

    26. Josh Elsom
      February 8th, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

      Did you know that John Calvin believed that Genesis taught that the moon was on fire? ‘Calvin’s Commentary on Genesis’ — see comment on Gen 1:15

      How about this quote from Martin Luther, commenting on Copernicus’s discovery?

      “There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must needs invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.”

      Makes me wonder what cosmological impositions we too might be forcing into the text for sake of our traditions.

    27. Peter Pellerin
      February 8th, 2013 @ 6:38 pm

      Josh,

      I agree with you that Jesus was both God and man and that He laid aside His divine perogatives and lived as a man. You are taking that concept too far. He also was in fellowship with His Father (Isa 50:4-6). He was learning from the Father directly.

      I am certain that the one who is the Truth was not speaking of myths as if they were fact. I do not believe there can be any other sound theological conclusion than that Genesis 1-11 is based in historical fact and not in mythology.

      Blessings,
      Peter

    28. Peter Pellerin
      February 8th, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

      All,

      I do wish that the YEC and OEC would humble themselves and communicate more graciously with one another. I appreciate Dr. Brown’s heart in this area (and in many other areas).

      As God said to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding” Job 38:4

      I choose to just believe what the scripture says and to not go to far beyond it. Science is constantly changing. I am convinced that science has discovered a lot less than it thinks it has about the true nature of reality.

      It seems nearly impossible to find an objective scienctist. Scientists who do not believe in a deity ignore all kinds of data that contradicts their paradigm. Creationists on all sides of the debate do the same thing. We force the data to fit within our theory/ creation model.

      One thing we must not do, is try to mix creation with evolution. Macro evolution is absurd and should have been discarded as a theory long ago.

      Blessings,
      Peter

    29. Ray
      February 8th, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

      What would general revelation tell us about the age of the wine Jesus made which was his beginning of miracles as a man in this world? (John 2)

      A wine that surpasses the wine of the day should be how old at least?

      I don’t know how long it takes to make a fossel or how long it takes for stones to become hard, but I was watching Gold Rush Alaska and saw how fine particles that were in a sluth box had hardened in a very short time.

      I think of Noah’s flood.

    30. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

      “General Revelation” does not tell us the age of the earth or the animals. The Universe and the animals, rocks, trees, etc from the past do not have tags stuck on them with dates. We have evidence of the past. We have theories and methods to try to determine the events of the past and some of that is based on the assumptions that we start out with. There are scientists would say the evidence points to a young earth and scientists who say it points to a young earth. So I disagree with your statement of “General Revelation”.

      However, you still haven’t come right out and answered my question that I asked in post # 19. First, you seemed to hedge what you believe about Adam. So it would be good for you to clarify that. But I also wanted to know about a stratightforward answer to my question.

      To start into Genesis 1: In regard to the Hebrew word “raqia”, I would welcome you to read the following article to see why it reasons that the word should properly be interpreted “expanse”.

      Out of a number of different translations, it seems rather divided between “firmament” and “expanse”: http://bible.cc/genesis/1-20.htm

      As far as the Hebrew word “panim”, Vine’s Hebrew lists it as: “face” In it’s most basic meaning, this noun refers to the “face” on the head of a person, Gen 17:3. Also panim means “the look on one’s face” or one’s “countenance” often with a focus on the person himself, Gen 4:5; Deut. 7:10. panim can also be used of the surface or visible side of a thing, Gen 1:2; Exod 26:9….”

      I think that last part is how it should be translated in Genesis 1:20. So with that interpretation, the birds are simply flying in the visible portion of the expanse. If you go back to the weblink I gave above for Genesis 1:20 you will see that almost every version listed there comes across with that basic idea.

      Genesis 7:11 is clearly a figure of speech; just as when it was used in Malachi 3:10. I would think it was fairly apparent.

      1 Samuel 2:8 is part of a prayer prayed by Hannah. I would tend to think it is poetic language. But I’m not sure why you would think every word that every human being prayed would necessarily be scientifically accurate anyway. This is a fallible human being talking to God. I hope that sufficiently addresses the passages you have brought up in post # 23.

    31. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

      In my last post, I meant to say, “There are scientists would say the evidence points to a young earth and scientists who say it points to an old earth.”

    32. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

      Boy, post # 29 was sloppy. I didn’t include the first link I mentioned, here it is: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/03/09/contradictions-underneath-a-solid-sky

    33. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

      To briefly address Matthew 13:31–32:
      “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

      The first thing we can see is that this is clearly identified as a parable; so while Genesis 1-11 was presented as actual history, this was not the main purpose of the mustard seed verse. The next thing we can see is that (in context) the verse is clearly discussing specifically herbs (and by connotation, herbs that the common farmer of that time would have planted). In the context it was presented in, it is accurate.

      But I cannot agree with a premise that Jesus would have been ignorant to facts on anything that He said. When Jesus spoke, He spoke the words of the Father. See the following:

      John 12:48-50 ” He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.”

      John 14:6-11 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”

      Also where you say, “Yes, the 10 Commandments assume the same creation story that is written in Genesis as being actual.” Please take into account, Verse 1 of the passage: “And God spake all these words, saying,…” When it says everything was made in six days, these are the actual spoken words of God Himself. Did He intentionally lie to the people?

    34. Josh Elsom
      February 8th, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

      Peter,

      Thank you, I too pray that our dialogue is graced with respect for one another.

      In response to your comments, I invite you along with the others to answer my questions on the firmament.

      Ray,

      I appreciate the argument about the wine. However, it does not prove that God created the world with the appearance of age. If indeed that is the point you were driving at.

      The expectations of the guests at the party in Cana was to receive wine that was lesser in quality than what they had received at the first. The wine which Jesus made far exceeded those expectations, because he delivered a wine that was even better than the best wine which was offered by the host.

      While it is true that the wine had the physical qualities and appearance of a well aged wine, it must be considered that the age of the wine was only incidental to the quality. In other words, it is necessary that juice go through a long fermenting process for it to become a wine of superior quality. And it was necessary that Jesus’ wine have the characteristics of aged wine for the guests to be surprised.

      The same cannot be said for the earth. We would not expect, a priori, to see a ‘well aged’ earth given the 10,000 year old history of Gen 1-11. Nor do we now think that the quality of the Universe improves over time (entropy).

      For these reasons the two events do not correspond with one another, and ultimately fail to support your position.

      The question is not whether God is able to create a Universe that has a built in appearance of billions of years — certainly he could — the real question is, why would he? It makes perfect sense for creating wine, but not for the cosmos.

      Jonathan, I will have to respond tomorrow.

      Grace and Peace

    35. Jonathan
      February 8th, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

      Calvin was mistaken because he went above and beyond what Scripture actually said. Martin Luther spoke of a supernatural occurrence of which we cannot definitively say what happened. God can clearly work miracles (as with the bread and the fishes) whether or not He actually made the sun stand still supernaturally or not is not explained. It seems unlikely but not out of God’s ability to do so. Even if the sun did not literally stand still, Joshua could have been using it as a figure of speech, just as we talk of sunrises and sunsets today. The problem was not that the Bible was not scientifically accurate it was that it was misinterpreted.

      The irony is that many of the academics at the time of Copernicus held to Aristotelian beliefs and used Scriptures to back up those beliefs and this helped lead to the rejection of his theories. So the imposition upon the texts cuts both ways.

    36. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 6:32 am

      Very sad, Josh,

      If you are correct, we cannot take Jesus’ words at face. Whose words then can we trust? Or, are we destined to live in darkness?

      As you patronizingly look down on the “primitive” understanding of Jesus, you do not question your modernist teachers. The divine has become human. The human has become divine.

      Why should we trust your new gods. Did they also die for our sins?

    37. Josh Elsom
      February 9th, 2013 @ 7:27 am

      I will respond point by point succinctly for the sake of brevity.

      1. Regarding General Revelation: You are correct, the rocks, fossilized trees and animals indeed do not have tags attached to them; and scientists do calculate the age of an object based on certain assumptions. The question is, who is making the greater assumptions?
      http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/rate-ri.htm

      2. Regarding Adam: I personally believe that there was a first man who was the federal head of all humanity. I believe that animal death preceded his existence.

      3. Regarding the Firmament: The AIG article failed to mention that Genesis 1:6—8 says that this firmament separates the waters that are on the earth from the waters that are above the heavens. So, if AIG wants to teach that the raqia is the atmosphere + outer space, then they need to account for the liquid water that rests at edge of the Universe. They cannot say that it was a vapor canopy, because the raqia contains the sun, moon, and stars (Gen 1:14—18). They cannot say that the waters of the heavens are cryptically representative of something that will one day be discovered by science, because when the windows of heaven are opened up in Gen 7:11, liquid water falls down to flood the earth. (If ‘windows of heaven’ is simply a figure of speech, from whence did the conception of windows in the heavens come from? What is the point of reference? It is most certainly consistent with the cosmological geography that is presented in Gen 1, and the cosmology of the neighboring nations that surrounded Israel.) 


      Also take a look at the other raqia passages in the Old Covenant Scriptures. In Job 37:18, Elihu asks Job, “Can you, like him, spread out the heavens, hard as a cast metal mirror?” In Eze 1:4—28, Ezekiel has a vision of the sapphire throne of God. And where does this throne sit? It sits upon a solid crystal-like raqia (Eze 1:22;26). Compare this to Ex 24:9—10, “Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” Again, a solid structure. And if you’ve not looked at a sapphire in a while Google-image it. They are the color of a bright blue sky. Which means, of course, the paved floor of heaven is the same exact color as the sky. Coincidence?

      I’m sorry, brother, but AIG is giving you a stripped down version of the raqia that fits their interpretation.

      4. Regarding the many translations which attest “expanse”: No translation is free from some amount of interpretation. AIG concedes this point in alleging that the LXX translators were influenced by Egyptian cosmology in their translation; which is an unverifiable and unfalsifiable claim, by the way. Either way, translations are interpretations and the panel of translators who are looking at raqia are going to be influenced by their view of Genesis when deciding which English word to use.

      5. Regarding the birds: The birds fly in front of, or across, the raqia and not within it. Here is how we know. As I said above, the sun, moon, and stars are in the raqia (birkia’ – that’s raqia with the beth prefix, meaning ‘in’). You rightly show that the birds fly al-penei (upon the face of) the raqia, but you wrongly assume that this means that the birds are flying in it. If you want to make it say that, fine, but you’ll need to explain why the Spirit of God would be hovering in the deep and not above it. Because Gen 1:2 says that the Spirit of God moved al-penei the deep.

      6. Regarding the Pillars of the Earth: As I asked regarding the ‘windows of heaven,’ if the pillars of the earth are simply figurative or poetic language, from whence did the conception of pillars supporting the earth come from? What is the point of reference? It exists in the other Ancient Near Eastern mythologies. Perhaps the Israelites held a common view? See also Job 9:6.

      7. Regarding the mustard seed: “[The mustard seed] is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.” Mark 4:31 ESV. It matters little that Jesus said that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds on earth in the context of a parable. It is not true. There are smaller seeds on the earth so what he said was either wrong, or he was speaking in terms of his limited knowledge of seeds. The latter must be true.

      8. Regarding Jesus speaking only what the Father says: This is not a problem, because I believe that Genesis 1—11 is absolutely true, even if it did not actually happen exactly how Genesis describes it. I believe that the story of the Good Samaritan is true, even if it was a parable. So when the Father tells Jesus to say, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,” it is absolutely true and binding upon all people, even if it is based on a divinely inspired myth.

      9. Regarding the 10 Commandments: I would not expect a departure in Ex 20 from the creation story in Gen 1. The Sabbath command was given by God, and Gen 1 was given by God. I wouldn’t consider it possible that there should be a contradiction between the two passages.

      10. Regarding Calvin and Luther: If these brilliant theologians could misinterpret Scripture because their traditions were based on an outmoded cosmology, don’t you think we have a chance of doing the same?

Grace and Peace

    38. Josh Elsom
      February 9th, 2013 @ 7:45 am

      Philip,

      In Jesus was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man came into the world. His words are faithful and true. Therefore, we need not live in darkness.

      Brother, I know you are offended at my position but I am persuaded that this interpretation is true because of what the Bible itself says. I have not tried to accommodate evolution, I have only desired to be faithful to what the inspired and inerrant Word of God teaches. The Bible judges me, not the other way around. In the end, whomever among us is correct, we can each proclaim that our belief in Scripture is vindicated and corroborated by the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For that is one place we can stand together having a strong and proper confidence.

      If I am in error I openly welcome the correction. You will find my arguments above.

      Grace to you.

    39. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      Josh,

      I am not offended by what you write. I am simply pointing out the implications of your presumptions.

      Yes, it is the light that sets us free from darkness. But you are teaching that we have a faulty and outmoded lamp, at best, good only for an earlier age, itself shrouded in darkness. You are suggesting that with regard to origins, we now live in the age of light.

      Jesus had more to say about Genesis than anyone or writer in the Bible subsequent to its composition. He claimed to have come from Heaven and to have enjoyed fellowship with the Father before the world began. He frequently prefaced his teachings with, “I tell you the truth.”

      By what infallible standard are you making your judgments when you tell us that Jesus was enveloped in the darkness of his “primitive” age?

      In truth, your own hermeneutics of Genesis are limited and outmoded, a populist version stemming from the hundred year old writings of Andrew Dickerson White.

      What you claim as Iron Age were far more ancient (going back at least to the Early Broze Age) though rarely so vulgarly understood as the sophomoric interpretation of White and his German teachers.

      If I have misjudged you, tell me your teachers and sources of the knowlledge you so confidently proclaim.

    40. Josh Elsom
      February 9th, 2013 @ 11:43 am

      Philip, as I said above, I believe that Genesis 1—11 is true, just not actual. Therefore, it is not a problem for me that Jesus presents it as being true. When I teach on Genesis, I too teach it as being true.

      I wonder if you may have an over-realized view of Jesus’ deity in his incarnation. When Jesus emptied himself and became a human, it was necessary that he set aside all his divine attributes, including his omniscience. That means Jesus only knew what all men of his day knew. He did not know that the earth revolved around the sun, or anything about quantum mechanics, or when His Father was going to send him back into the world to rule over his kingdom. It’s quite possible that Jesus did know what we now know about the genre of creation myths, but that would not have changed the way he taught the truth of the Creation story.

      The teachers who have influenced me are Doug Gropp, Merideth Kline, Bruce Waltke, and John Walton.

    41. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

      1. I will say (as Dr. Brown has said numerous times about himself) that I am unqualified to debate the particulars of the scientific debate. There are scientists who believe they are correct and come to opposite conclusions. Both are making assumptions. That is my only point. Which assumptions are ultimately correct will be known in the afterlife.

      2.a “I personally believe that there was a first man who was the federal head of all humanity” So does pretty much everyone else in the world. That really doesn’t tell me much. Do you believe there was a literal man named Adam who was literally created by God (as opposed to evolving from lower life forms)?

      2.b “I believe that animal death preceded his existence.” That seems to be rather a footnote response to my question. According to evolution, there were millions of years of death, destruction, disease and pain. Do you believe that a loving and good God specifically designed and intended all of that to occur to happen for millions of years prior to man’s sin as opposed to it being the tragic results of rebellion toward God which would have ocurred much more recently? If God designed and intended painful destruction and death than how is this directly caused event less brutal and evil than Michael Vick’s dog fighting or any other animal cruelty?

      3. “then they need to account for the liquid water that rests at edge of the Universe.” Who said it had to be the edge? As far as I understand, it was only said that it was separated by the raqia. Where exactly in the raqia this water is was never specifically outlined, as far as I understand; just that it was separated is defined. I see no reason to believe it could not have been a water vapor canopy somewhere in the raqia simply because the sun, moon and stars reside in another portion of the raqia. We know it was liquid water when it came to the ground, but we obviously know that does not mean it has to be in the same form in the sky. (As we see in the display of rain from wator vapor today.) Whether or not “windows of heaven” could have been taken literal by some at that time does not mean that it has to be taken literally. Obviously you don’t take Malachi 3:10 as meant to be taken as literal windows; but simply as a metaphor. Why do you not force the strictly literal intentions onto Malachi 3:10 but do on the Genesis passage?

      You say “take a look at the other raqia passages in the Old Covenant Scriptures.” And then (whether intentional or in ignorance) you provide a bait and switch. Because you then give me passages that use a different Hebrew word (raqa) in Job 37. That Hebrew word is the root word that raqia comes from. But it is a distinct word that cannot mean the exact same thing or else two different words would not be needed. Stong’s Hebrew dictionary lists the word used in Job 37 as

      raqa` (raw-kah’) v.
      1. to pound the earth (as a sign of passion)
      2. (by analogy) to expand (by hammering)
      3. (by implication) to overlay (with thin sheets of metal)

      Strong’s lists the word used in Genesis 1 as:

      raqiya` (raw-kee’-ah) n-m.
      1. (properly) an expanse, i.e. the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky

      So the second definition of the 1st Hebrew word makes sense the way Elihu uses it, because he is talking about the expanding of a solid surface and uses that word. (Obviously we know Elihu was wrong in his understanding about the sky, but he was wrong in a lot of his opinions, so that stands to reason.) The fact that Genesis 1 uses a distinctly different word from the one that Elihu uses should give us pause that it might not mean the exact same thing.

      Ezekiel 1 does use the same Hebrew word used in Genesis 1. But you don’t take into account what it is saying.

      Let’s look at the two specific verses from that passage that you mentioned: 22 “And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature [was] as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” 26 “And above the firmament that [was] over their heads [was] the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne [was] the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Notice the words in each verse “colour” “as the appearance of”. What is being compared to the gems is not the density or consistency of it but the appearance of it. We can see it similarly of Exodus 24:10 “And they saw the God of Israel: and [there was] under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in [his] clearness.” It says “as it were” I doubt anyone was going up and touching it. The description was again not aboutt it’s density or consistency but merely about the appearance of it. When you impose talk of consistency onto these texts, you are imposing more than is stated. I again go back to the words of Elihu. If the word that he used referred to the hardness of a looking glass, why did Exodus, Ezekiel and Genesis not use that same exact word instead of choosing a different one? You impose a solid structure onto your interpretation of what God’s throne rests on as if it has to have the same scientific properties as earth. I see no reason to believe that.

      4. So can you then at least acknowledge that many translators thought something different from what you are saying, so there is at least a possibility that the “expanse” translation could be correct?

      5. As I already said, part of Vine’s definition for “panim”is “panim can also be used of the surface or visible side of a thing, Gen 1:2; Exod 26:9…” So if we were to interpret it is saying the birds flew on the visible side of the expanse, I would see that as accurate, wouldn’t you?

      6. You fail to acknowledge that 1 Samuel 2:8 is part of a prayer prayed by Hannah which might or might not have been intended by her as literal. But even if it was it is a fallible human being talking to God in prayer. When the Bible gives an account of a conversation or an event, it does not automatically endorse everything that was said or done within that account as true, accurate or good. Similarly, Job is also a fallible human being talking in regular conversation. He also uses poetic imagery throughout. Notice in the next chapter “Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?” Are you going to force a wooden interpretation of that as well?

      7. You do not acknowledge where I said, “The next thing we can see is that (in context) the verse is clearly discussing specifically herbs (and by connotation, herbs that the common farmer of that time would have planted). In the context it was presented in, it is accurate.”

      8. There is a clear difference between a parable and a historical account. In a parable, what is told is not meant to be taken as a literal account but to have physical things within the story that represent spiritual things and truths. Parables are readily understood as such and are not given as a historical account and are then not later referenced by someone else as something that accutaly occurred. There can be no such thing as a “divinely inspired myth” that is presented as if it were fact.

      9. I wouldn’t either, that is why I believe that the voice of God can be believed when He says that something actually happened. I do not believe He was being intentionally deceptive.

      10. We can also look at brilliant scientists who were wrong. The point is that the words of God that were divinely inscibed and communicated to man mean something and God is able to reveal what they mean with proper hermeneutics and interpretation. I showed where those hermeneutics and interpretations were not followed in those cases and that is why improper applications came about.

    42. Nicholas Petersen
      February 9th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      Hello Josh Elsom, Jonathan, Philip, Dr. Brown, all,

      Josh, first of all I want to say that I respect you and where you are coming from. You seem to have a rational disposition, and perhaps you are still open to hearing the evidence of the other side. That is not true for many (‘they have ears to hear, but cannot hear’ – in other words, they’ve become hardened). But you stated: “If I am in error I openly welcome the correction. You will find my arguments above.” So it sounds like you are still listening. Of course that goes both ways. We others have to be listening and open to your arguments as well.

      For my part, I have studied these issues concerning the Hebrew Cosmology, and particularly the issues of the raqia’ (‘firmament’ or ‘expanse’?) as much as anyone has, and I am currently writing a book on the issue, which at least with regard to the raqia’, should be the most comprehensive analysis of the issue to date (fairly covering both sides, but coming to some definite conclusions). If there has been a scriptural passage or a proposed parallel to ‘the firmament notion’ from antiquity, then it is or will be covered in this work.

      What I can say briefly is this: You are right, many of the arguments your side (arguing for ‘the firmament notion’) has put forth have not been adequately addressed to date. Like the Job 37:18 passage. It talks about a hard or a firm sky, right? So what’s the answer? How can we say they didn’t believe in a firm sky when they do in fact talk that way? So for me, and as a Hebrew scholar, the answers proffered thus far for a good number of the key passages have been unconvincing. [1] On the other hand, I believe I have found many satisfactory answers, though unpublished as of yet (including on Job 37:18), which I believe quite radically changes the situation. Unfortunately though, it would be simply absurd to share this research in a comments section on an article somewhere online. What I *can* do, if you are interested, is share my research on just one of these ‘firm sky’ passages, that one being Proverbs 8:28, where it speaks of the ‘firm skies’, and of God having made them ‘firm’ at creation (“When He made firm the skies above …” (NASB, NRSV – בַּהֲכִינוֹ שָׁמַיִם שָׁם אָנִי … 28 בְּאַמְּצוֹ שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל בַּעֲזוֹז עִינוֹת תְּהוֹם). The answer to this one is illustrative of the kinds of answers I’ve found for other passages, like the Job 37 passage. I simply cannot get into very much of Genesis 1, because it’s just too huge. I can address a couple of your concerns in that passage though, which I will do in the next post.

      Let me emphasize this point though, which my studies have lead me to. I am as convinced as ever that the Hebrews would be in complete puzzlement if you spoke to them about a ‘firm sky’. I think they would have no idea what you were talking about. In spite of those passages you know of, which makes that claim perhaps incredulous, I really do believe the pure evidence points in this direction.

      [1] (*Not* all of them though, you will still gain a lot by carefully reading them. And particularly, it is no excuse (‘excuse’ is the key word) to ignore their answers on one thing, which may be very good, just because their last answer on a topic was unsatisfactory … that’s not how the truth works (which often comes in humble packages, sometimes no doubt by God’s design to test the proud). It’s also especially the case when those who are not trained Hebrew scholars are tasked at tackling this issue. Of course they are going to look amateurish often times. It usually starts with a Strong’s reference, no offense, but its a hundred year old glossary that is greatly misused time after time.)

    43. Nicholas Petersen
      February 9th, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

      Gen 1:20 – וְעוֹף יְעוֹפֵף עַל־הָאָרֶץ עַל־פְּנֵי רְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם – “And let … winged (creatures) fly (‘al) upon / over the earth, (‘al) upon / over / across the raqia’ (expanse? firmament?) of the heavens”

      So the argument would be, since birds are said to fly ‘on the surface’ of the raqia’ hashamaym, well … this speaks of a surface, right? And how can a spacious expanse have a surface? So its a fair question. In addition, they do not as such fly within (be) the raqia (but over, as in underneath-over, its face). So doesn’t this point to the raqia’ as a thin dome type entity, which has a surface?

      First of all, and this point is one of the most grossly overlooked by many in your camp, and is also one of the chief banes to the firmament notion in my view, there are no end of passages that speak of shamaym (‘heaven’ / ‘sky’) and its synonyms as simply a spacious region that is inhabited, *by birds*, by cosmic entities, and especially, by God. Indeed, while only a few handfuls of passages in the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures can have a firmament notion read into it, in the vast majority of other passages, it is most natural to read shamaym and its synonyms as simply the spacious sky above their heads.

      I mention this preliminary point, because it is, clearly, if true, foundationally important, as it would prove anyone who consistently tries to emphasize only a heaven-as-firmament notion as at best greatly distorted in their outlook. Along those lines, there is at least one scholar (a totally secular Semitic scholar, writing in one of the biggest Hebrew lexicon/encyclopedias), who have noticed this point, and who thus now argues for *two* diachronically seperate Hebrew cosmologies, … simply because he cannot shake the fact that any such firmament notion is completely absent from huge swaths of Scripture. Those such as John Walton or Paul Seely have completely missed this point, as they consistently emphasize the one view (firmament view) alone. They do this for other non-Hebrew cosmologies of antiquity as well, always emphasizing a solid dome sky, which again leads to a very distorted picture in my view.

      Back to the birds: If I could borrow from our own current experience, from we who still live on the earth’s surface just as they did then: If you are playing football out in a field, and the quarterback lobs a throw and you jump up high to grab it … would you have stated ‘I was in the midst of the heavens’ or ‘in the midst of the sky’ at that point in time? The fact is, for the most part, we would not say that. Simply because we consider the sky, and especially with our word ‘heavens’, as sort of ‘starting’ much higher than just right above our heads. Now looking at clouds up high, we would speak of a cloud ‘in the sky’, though we would refrain from speaking of ‘a cloud in the heavens,’ which expression we would reserve more for cosmic bodies, or maybe for GPS (super high up) satellites.

      So too it was for the Hebrews, who often could be found saying statements such as ‘beyn hashamaym ubeyn haaretz’ – *between* the shamaym (sky/heavens) and the earth. 1 Chron 1:16, Ezek 8:3, Zech 5:9, always in reference to something that was above the ground, yes, but clearly low enough where they would rather not say ‘in the sky/heavens,’ because they felt like it wasn’t high enough to quite fit that description. Just like we would not feel comfortable saying we were ‘in the sky’ when we jumped up three feet for a football (of course, three feet up is super low, but the point extends to more than that). So for instance, when Avshalom was killed hanging by his neck in the tree, he is said to be ‘between the heavens and the earth,’ rather than ‘in the shamaym.’

      It is important to note that birds can also be said to be ‘in’ the sky/heavens. One passage somewhere in Proverbs speaks of an ‘eagle in the midst of (literally: be’lev – in the heart of) the shamaym’. But most of the time watching birds, they are at the tree level, very low compared to the clouds even. But even at their greater heights, nearly at cloud level and so forth, this was even in their understanding magnitudes of times lower, not even comparable, to the height of the cosmic bodies, like the sun and the moon. I’ve actually come across some Mesopotamian estimates of how distant the moon, sun and stars are, and they are surprisingly large estimates. So you have correctly noted that the cosmic bodies are said to be ‘IN’ the raqia’ of the heavens. But people of antiquity, as I’ve just illustrated, believed just as well as us that there is no comparison whatsoever between the height of the cosmic bodies and the height of the birds of the air.

      So that leads then to this point. Since the raqia’ is the very definition of heaven itself (I will refrain from getting into this major point), which for them was all at once ‘outer-space’ / ‘the vast heavens’ as well as ‘the great sky’, the birds flying just above the earth are described in this passage, I advocate, basically in the sense of ‘beyn hashamaym’ and ‘beyn haaretz’. Just as we wouldn’t speak of the birds as ‘flying in’ outerspace. They just approach the face of that expanse, which they fly across. When raqia’ hashamaym represents the absolute vastness of cosmic space, the meager height of the birds of the earth doesn’t win them the right to be said of flying *within* it. In short, there is an intermediary space (a no-man’s land, not quite earth, but not quite ‘heavens / sky’ yet) between the vast heavens and the surface of the earth, and even the flight of the birds is envisaged as just barely being at the beginning (the face of) that vastness.

      So this description is entirely consistent with the notion of raqia’ as the vast expanse of the heavens. Let me also admit that 1:20 all on its own cannot disqualify the firmament notion either. It’s just that it is in no way out of place or contradictory to the raqia’ interpreted as an expanse.

    44. Ray
      February 9th, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

      If I was to land on a planet and see it for the first time, I don’t have a clue as to how one might tell the age of it.

      What would an old planet look like compared to a new one? I haven’t a clue.

    45. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

      Josh,

      Come now.

      “I tell you the truth: ‘I was at home when the crime occurred at the store.’”

      Judge: “But in fact you were not home.”

      “Yes, Judge, I was not actually home.”

      Judge: “You have perjured yourself before this court!”

      Tenured theologians may play these word games, but were you to play your type of language games in court, you will be quickly convicted of perjury. Clarity regarding matters of fact is serious business before the courts. How much more before God and concerning the important business of what we should believe about eternal matters and by what principles we should conduct our lives.

      If the truth about origins is not something that the Bible from beginning to end teaches against the myths of the pagans, it is hard to say that it teaches any truth at all.

      The authority to which we ought to look is not philosophical theology, but the divinely inspired Scriptures. ‘Emptying himself’ was leaving his Heavenly dwelling and taking the form of an earthly man. Did he also empty himself of the authority and power that he had with the Father? How then did he do miracles, resurrect from the dead? In fact, the winds and waves obeyed him. Perhaps, he did not properly understand things when he told us to love our enemies or take up our cross and follow.

      Did Jesus say anything that we can accept as literally true? How do you determine which of his sayings are about actual facts and which are enveloped in the darkness of his day? You ought to be clear because these are matters of greatest importance. It is costly to follow Jesus if we take his words at face. Perhaps, the problem is that some folks do not want to take his words at face and find clever ways to explain them away.

      The inscrutable future is far more difficult to know than the historical past. If Jesus was in darkness when he spoke about the past, why not also what he spoke about the future? Maybe we should not take him so seriously when he said that he would raise those who believe in him on the last day.

      I am familiar with all the teachers that you mention except Gropp. I see you that wish to read Genesis in their light, rather than the light of Jesus. Spare us your quoting of Scripture, which is obviously a ruse.

      You appear simply to be trusting your teachers. Perhaps, they did the same with their teachers. Has any of them actually looked at the evidence of the past in the light of Scriptures rather than looking at the Scriptures in the light of their modernist theory/theology? If so, where may I find these studies?
      Please don’t mention Walton and Kline’s books. They uncritically follow the German revisionist history in declaring the dependence of Genesis on Babylonian myth.

    46. Ray
      February 9th, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

      Fill in the blank.

      Might God create a world that might appear ______
      (older, younger) than it really is, and if so, for what purpose?

      And for that matter, why might things appear differently than they really are? Could it have anything to do with perspective?

      God is a teacher. (Job 36:22, 35:11)

      Teachers sometimes give tests.

      What is the purpose of tests, and who will be ready for the next thing?

    47. Ray
      February 9th, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

      Maybe next things will be more difficult. Yet, could it be that some might say that though it can seem that way, sometimes it seems like things get kind o’, sort o’, simpler in a way.

    48. Nicholas Petersen
      February 9th, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

      Storehouses and Windows of Heaven

      I encourage you Josh to read what others have written on this issue. But let me say this: Scholars would do well to add a good dose of the skepticism they are so good at producing to their own fanciful images of ‘the Hebrew Cosmos,’ complete with literal, physio-mechanical storehouses filled with rain, snow, hail and wind. And complete with their own individual barn doors. The fact of the matter is, metaphors and similes are a common stalk in ancient Hebrew expression. The trees of the field ‘clap their hands.’ Their ‘hands’? Trees ‘clap’? And is this clear proof that the Hebrews believed in the mythological Ents? (I wish!) On the other hand, it is only fair to honestly ask if they really believed in literal storehouses or openings (windows) to those treasuries, and I have done that careful work.

      Did you know all of heaven itself can be called a ‘storehouse / treasury’ (otzar)? Was that a literal brick and mortar room in the sky? The expression itself and its context strongly argues against this position. Rather, this is a poignant way of expressing that God sends blessings upon the earth (especially to entirely rain-dependent places like Canaan/Israel) via rain from heaven. Prosperity thus flows from heaven.

      יִפְתַּח יְהוָה לְךָ אֶת־אוֹצָרוֹ הַטּוֹב אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם לָתֵת מְטַר־אַרְצְךָ בְּעִתּוֹ וּלְבָרֵךְ אֵת כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ

      Yahweh shall open for you his good treasure-house, that is, heaven, so as to give to you your land’s rain in its time, and to bless all the work of your hand(s). (Deut 28:12)

      The Hebrews knew just as well as anybody did that rain comes from clouds. Elijah prayed until a cloud the size of a man’s fist appeared on the horizon. One scholar, recognizing that the Hebrews almost always have the clouds as the source of rain, thus argued that the rain must come from the heavenly storehouses into the clouds. No kidding! Such persistence. Such lack of evidence! Let me repeat that: Such … lack … of … evidence. And yet so insistent on this view. That literal storehouses fill up clouds. And yet the metaphorical nature of a passage like Deut 28:12 is obvious in my opinion. The point conveyed is that heaven is the source of provision for the earth, via life-giving waters. And that much is true.

      With regard to the ‘windows of heaven’ in the flood account, the connection with clouds, yes, clouds, as the actual source of flood-rains is directly made at the very end of the account:

      וְהָיָה בְּעַנְנִי עָנָן עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְנִרְאֲתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן… וְזָכַרְתִּי אֶת־בְּרִיתִי … וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה עוֹד הַמַּיִם לְמַבּוּל

      And it shall be when I becloud clouds over the earth, that the bow in the clouds will be seen … and I will remember my covenant … so that no more will the waters turn into a flood. Genesis 9:13-16

      This passage provides striking evidence that the author believed the rain from the skies above at the flood had its literal source in storm clouds. This fits with other passages in the flood account (7:4, 7:12, 8:2) which simply speak of God ‘sending rain’ on the earth. Although those texts do not directly speak of clouds, a vast number of passages throughout the Hebrew Scriptures that use such expressions are clearly linked with rain from clouds.

      All of this provides a positive reason to believe that the אֲרֻבֹּת הַשָּׁמַיִם – the ‘windows of heaven’ that were ‘opened’ – are to be understood in a similar figurative sense as the related ‘storehouse’ analogies (which are also spoken of as being ‘opened’ or ‘shut/restrained’). Thus the author could speak of the ‘windows of heaven being opened,’ while having directly in mind an outpour of torrential rains from storm clouds. This has nothing to do with hatches in a physio-mechanical apparatus in the sky.

      Interestingly, this is the only passage in the Hebrew Scriptures where a verbal form of the word ‘cloud’ (ʿnn – ‘to becloud’) occurs. The implications are clear. When the earth becomes heavily beclouded in the future, no fear sons of Noah, God will not use those *clouds* again to flood the earth, because he will see the sign of his covenant within those clouds: “for the rainbow *in the cloud* shall be seen, … and I will remember my covenant to no longer flood the earth with water.”

    49. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

      Ray,

      There is relative time and absolute time. Whether pertaining to geology or archaeology, things that are layered under the earth at lower levels are generally older than those near the surface. For example, in Jerusalem one finds the ruins of Islamic and Byzantine era above those belonging to the Roman and Hellenistic eras. The Persian, Babylonian, and Assyrian levels are lower still. The era of Jerusalem pertaining to the time of David and Solomon are found beneath all these. Even deeper are ruins from the time of the Judges and even before. At the deepest levels in the cities of Israel are ruins from the Early Bronze Age.

      In the earth, the oldest fossils are gas, coal, and oil and shell fish that have become petrified. Dinosaur bones appear above many of these, but below the fossils belonging to the mammals. Except perhaps in exceptional circumstances there are no human fossils, causing geologist to reckon that the earth is itself much older than man.

      Absolute dating is more difficult. Many of the remains of man can be found in the context of eras than can be dated to our calendars through historical records. Radiocarbon dating works excellent for historical periods. Radiocarbon decay is not perfectly constant, but can be calibrated by testing the radiocarbon dating against successive annual tree rings. Despite what you read, tree ring sequences are not counted successively beyond about 5000 years. Other methods of radioactive dating depend on a lot of circular assumptions. Thus, the absolute age of the earth is just a lot of guess work. Nonetheless, due to relative dating, it is rather clear that the earth itself, as opposed to man, is very ancient. The Scriptures themselves speak of the age old mountains.

      Yes, there were a lot of animals dying through these ancient times. The tree of life was not in fact animal feed. Eternal life was granted only to man. Consider that God told the animals to multiply prior to the sin in the Garden. Were there no death before Adam sinned, what could animals eat and how long before the earth became filled with rabbits? Ponder this and one might understand why there is no marriage or marrying in Heaven.

    50. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

      Philip, your example at the beginning made me smile. It made me think of the passage where Jesus tells His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.” Maybe the disciples should have responded back, “Um, but Jesus maybe you don’t know it either and that’s why you didn’t tell us.” Heaven forbid! (pun intended) If not everything Jesus said can be trusted as true but was only a product of what any other man on the street knew to be true than why believe any of it?

    51. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

      I meant your example at the beginning of post #44. I just realized I didn’t clarify that.

    52. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

      Philip, did God make everything in six days as it says in the Ten Commandments written by God Himself?

    53. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

      Jonathan,

      Most certainly, the Lord created the heavens and earth in six days.

      Since, on the fourth day he created the clock by which we measure solar days, we must reckon that these six days were not measurable by our clock divided calendars. Despite the dogma of some, the Scriptures do not literally tell us that the days of Creation were 24-hour days. If one disagrees, tell me in what Bible that is to be found. Do not go beyond what is written.

      The Lord did in fact give us a seven solar day week by which we are to remember his creation.

    54. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

      Philip, the days were measured by light and darkness from day 1. So there was an evening and morning to each day. How exactly would that work in a non-24 hr day? Would we see a million years of darkness for the evening and then another million years of light for the morning of a creation week day? That would seem to hinder the plant growth of the day before the sun was created, wouldn’t it? Jesus said He made Adam and Eve “from the beginning”. That would seem like a lie if humans were late on the scene, wouldn’t it?

    55. Jonathan
      February 9th, 2013 @ 10:59 pm

      Would we not expect all 7 days of a measurement of time known as a week to all have the same length of days? If not, why?

    56. Philip
      February 9th, 2013 @ 11:24 pm

      Jonathan,

      On the first day, God divided the light from the darkness. The light he called day. That is not a measure of time.

      There was evening (darkness) and morning (light), the first day. The fact that the Lird is specifying evening and mornings as defining these days only indicates that these are not solar days.

      When we impose solar days on these first days, we contradict the account of Creation that he actually gives us in his word.

      We should not expect anything until God creates it.

    57. Bo
      February 9th, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

      From the beginning, we have the oscillation of darkness and light once it is separated. The darkness is called night the light called day. The Spirit of YHWH was hovering over the waters of the Earth. There is no oscillation of darkness and light in space. The perspective spoken of is from the vantage point of earth. The only way that there would be the appearance of day and night is from a rotating earth. Each rotation is a day. I think that it is absurd to think that this rotation took millions or billions of years. A day and a night were the same with or without the sun. No plant or animal could survive for long in long durations of light or darkness…especially for a billion years of so.

      Shalom

    58. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:39 am

      Jonathan, thanks for the response.

      1. You and me, both.

      2a. I said earlier that I do not accept evolution. And again, yes I do believe that there was a first man who was created by God who is the federal head of all who are not found in the last Adam, Jesus.

      For the record, my interpretation of Gen 1—11 has very little to do with science. I am formerly a YEC and have arrived at my current position without the slightest interest in evolution. I am convinced by the text of Genesis that there is something more going on with the creation narrative than YEC is able to explain. YEC have to warp the text to accommodate their view that Gen 1 was a literal event. Which, of course, undermines their claim of holding a literal interpretation. The only consistent interpretation I have found is the one I currently hold.

      2b. If the consensus of modern science is correct and animals existed long before man walked the earth, then I think they did indeed die. This is just a hunch, so I hold onto it quite tentatively, but I suspect that the creation narrative (if it indeed be myth) was written with the eschatological hope of future shalom in mind (there were certainly many more reasons why it was written). In other words, I think the inspired author may have been writing a story about the past with the future in mind, to prepare his audience for a day when there would be no more sin, death, or sickness. That would explain why there are no carnivores in the Garden story, though many of the animals that Adam would have named are clearly designed by God to be apex predators (Ps 104:21; Job 38:39—40).

      3a. If the raqia separated the waters of heaven from the waters of the earth, and the sun, moon, and stars are in the raqia, then it must by necessity follow that the raqia is wide enough to accommodate the sun, moon, and stars. And if the raqia is that wide, then the waters of heaven must lie above the sun, moon, and stars. Genesis 1 says that the waters are separated by the raqia, therefore, the waters cannot be included in the raqia.

3b. I don’t take Malachi 3:10 literally, but the Jews certainly may have. The promise of opening the windows of heaven to receive a blessing was the promise of rain to water their fields. I am more focused upon Gen 7:11, however. Why do you consider this verse metaphorical and not the rest of Gen 1—11?

3c. Regarding Job 37:18: Since the noun Raqia is the nominal form of the verb Raqa, and because the two words are etymologically and conceptually intertwined, this verse becomes quite relevant for our systematized understanding of Gen 1:6. The verbal form can either mean ‘beat, stamp, beat out, or spread out’, depending on the context. And the nominal form, which is derived from the verbal, means a beaten out solid surface (see BDB). Job 37:18 says, “Can you with him spread out (by a process of flattening out with a hammer) the sky, hard as a cast metal mirror?” So Elihu evidently believed that the sky was as solid as polished bronze. You are correct when you say that this was wrongly believed, but the question remains, why did Elihu believe that God stamped out a solid sky in creation? He believed it because Genesis 1 says that God made a raqia; and some of Job’s church friends apparently believed that the solid expanse above their heads was formed by a process called raqa. And if that was the expectation of the people living in that day, it would make perfect sense that God would deliver his message in a way that would make sense. God is a good missionary, he is a master of contextualization.

      Look at this sketch of a stone carving of the Egyptian goddess of the heavens, Nut (pronounced Newt). http://necropolisnow.blogspot.com/2007/06/nut-sky-goddess.html Here are some interesting facts about Nut: She is the personification of the stone vault of heaven in Egyptian cosmology. She is associated with creation. She is often pictured with a bowl of water upon her head. She gathers the spirits of the dead and makes them stars in heaven. She has, within her body, the sun, moon, and stars. 


      Do you suppose that the Hebrew slaves living in Goshen would have known something about Nut? Certainly they would’ve. Do you think that they would have recognized the parallels that existed between their cosmology and the Egyptians’ when they finally heard their creation narrative? Of course. It would have been very clearly understood that part of the reason for the creation narrative was to prove that Nut (and every other god) does not exist. There is not a goddess in heaven holding back the waters of heaven, it’s a material solid dome that God made himself. There is but one God in the heavens, he is the LORD.

      3d. Regarding Eze 1 & Ex 24: I will grant you that my understanding of the raqia in Ezekiel 1 is informed by the other raqia passages under review. The text does not say that the raqia was solid like crystal. It only says that it gleemed like crystal. It’s ambiguous. So I’ll not argue its merits. However, the raqia that the Hebrew elders saw in Ex 24 had the appearance of pavement. This means that the closest earthly analog that these men had in their minds to describe what they had seen, appeared to them to be something like blue sapphire pavement, that was clear as the sky. The pavement was blue, it was as clear as the heavens, and it was solid because the God of Israel was standing on top of it. You might argue that the word raqia is not used here in the passage, and you’d be right. But, I find it awfully coincidental that the pavement they saw was blue and clear like the heavens (the raqia). Seems to me God was trying to show them something very specific.

      4. Yes. Though, I think that ‘expanse’ is an acceptable gloss for a solid raqia.

      5. I will defer to Nicholas Pedersen, who appears to be far more qualified to answer your Hebrew questions than am I. If I understand his explanation correctly, he is saying that Gen 1:20 does not confirm my current understanding, nor does it disprove it.

      6. Whether Hannah or Job are faithful witnesses of actual cosmology, or not, is inconsequential to the fact that they actually believed there were pillars holding up the earth.

      7. I acknowledge it.

      8. Parables, like myths, communicate truth through story, though the events described in them may have never actually happened.

      9. Obviously, I don’t believe he was being deceptive either. I think he was speaking in a way that would have been understood by those to whom Genesis was delivered.

      10. Granted, theologians and scientists can both be wrong.

    59. Philip
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:42 am

      Bo,

      We must carefully read God’s word and not read it in our own light, or in the light of someone other than the one who inspired these words. There is no mention of oscillation, something that you are reading onto or into the text.

      The perspective is certainly God’s and not some dweller of the earth.

      Plants need light, but they do not need the sun, which the text makes clear was created after the plants.

      If by careful study, we obtain a better understanding, we should be pleased rather than resentful. Else, our growth becomes stunted.

    60. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:47 am

      Nicholas, very thankful for your candor and what you’ve shared. You’ve given me a number of things to consider. Obviously, the raqia is the big sticking point for me. And, unfortunately, those things you’ve offered for my consideration are only ancillary to the most important objection I have with an actual Genesis event. When you publish your book/article please let us know! I’d be very interested in reading it. Unlike the raqia, I am not rigid. You can bend me if your arguments are sound and biblical. :)

    61. David Roberts
      February 10th, 2013 @ 4:37 am

      @Dr. Brown,

      Here’s an article about how the same hermeneutic of ‘science trumps what the Tora says on the peshaṭ level’ being applied by Christians to support homosexuality.

      Yes, because science says they’re born that way, that must mean that just as we have to reconcile Genesis to agree with ‘science’, we must reconcile all anti-gay verses to agree with ‘science’ too.

      http://creation.com/gay-marriage-genesis-compromise

    62. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 10th, 2013 @ 8:12 am

      David, thanks for the link, but please remember that for me, the argument about Genesis 1 has nothing to do with science and everything to do with biblical exegesis, as I’ve repeated over and again. Also, there’s no reputable scientific evidence that anyone is born gay.

    63. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 9:03 am

      I’ve heard it said that when God repeats something it’s because it’s important. I think the evenings and mornings are important as well as the word “day”.

    64. Bo
      February 10th, 2013 @ 9:26 am

      Philip,

      I have invented nothing. The continuous cycle of night followed by day followed by night followed by day is oscillation. When there was only darkness, there was no oscillation. If you were to go out into space there would be no oscillation for you to observe. The only way tat we know of for there to be observable oscillation of day and night is on a rotating body with light coming coming from one direction. Thus my statement that the Genesis account is from the perspective of someone on earth.

      We know that YHWH’s Spirit was on earth and that all scripture is Spirit breathed/inspired. So the perspective is both YHWH’s and someones on earth…or shall we say YHWH’s from earth. If He was speaking form a vantage point far away from earth He would see half the planet in light and half in darkness constantly. From that perspective there is experience of a night and a day.

      Plants can survive with light from a significant source, but not without enough heat or too much heat. A constant day of a billion years with full spectrum light would also be quite hot due to infrared waves. And of course without oscillation of light and darkness, produced in whatever method, there would be no life on the dark side of Earth either because of the extreme cold.

      Each of these oscillations is called a certain day. Day one, day two, Day three, etc. all contained only one period of darkness and one of light. The first seven oscillations were the first week. This is reading nothing into the text.

      Shalom

    65. Bo
      February 10th, 2013 @ 9:29 am

      The last line of the third paragraph should be, “From that perspective there is NO experience of a night and a day.”

    66. Philip
      February 10th, 2013 @ 10:55 am

      Bo,

      You have some good insight in noting that some type of clock, in your case, “oscillations,” is required for measured time. In truth, you are teaching the same thing as the most influential Sir Isaac Newton. But the problem with you and Newton is that you make God himself subject to time and space, famously known as absolute space and time. But only God is absolute. His account of Creation in Genesis 1 shows him creating space (the firmament) as well as time. He specially declares the heavenly bodies as his markers of tIme.

      I have an extensive discussion of these issues in Chapter 12 of my book, available on my website or from Amazon.

      There I explain there the difference between genetic and quantitative (measurable) time. You are making the days of Genesis measurable, but in fact they are God’s days and immeasurable by human time.

      If you do want to put a measurement on God’s time, consider what the Scriptures do literally say. With God, a day is thousand years, a thousand years but a day.

    67. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 10th, 2013 @ 11:34 am

      Philip,

      Can you post the link to your book on Amazon here (or to your website)?

      Thanks!

    68. Peter Pellerin
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

      I have been doing some reading this morning on his site (you can get there by clicking on his name). I look forward to reading the book.

      I had never even heard of NAMI before this morning.

      Thanks Phillip!

      Blessings,
      Peter

    69. Bo
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

      The focus of Genesis 1 is about what is happening on earth in earth terms. I do not think that YHWH is subject to time, but that He created it…possibly by separating the light from the darkness. The change from dark to light and back to dark at any given point on earth constitutes a day. There is no day and night, morning and evening in space and thus no days in space. There is only local time as related to an observers experience. Any other kind of time or any other place that time is happening is irrelevant to the Biblical narrative.

      That YHWH is outside of time and thus a day or a thousand years is no limit to Him is not a fact that proves immense amounts of time having passed upon earth since darkness and light were separated. Moses and Peter both knew what a day was. So did their audiences. So do we. In a sense, there is no such thing as Time in YHWH’s personal economy or existence. He just exists. He just is. It is only in our experience of time that He always was and always will be.

      There are no such things as “God’s days.” There are earth days and probably Mars days and Jupiter days, etc. That YHWH can accomplish an infinite amount of things in a nanosecond or take 6000 years to do the same thing is only our perspective. The story of man and his salvation is about 6000 years old in our experience, but it was a done deal from the beginning as far as YHWH is concerned. His unchanging nature demands this. It also demands no time to Him since only movement/change is time. Without space/distance there is no time. He exists everywhere…omnipresence. We say that He alway has, but it is actually that He always does. He exists in the eternal now. Our situation is just a little spec of the eternal now.

      Incidentally, Peter was referring to YHWH’s patience and our tendency to a lack thereof. That there is a correlation to the time of man upon the earth to 7 days/7 thousand years with the last thousand being the Messianic kingdom reign where man will be made to rest from doing things his own way has merit. That Peter is trying to tell us that there is some kind of “God time” that equates to billions of years is reading into the text.

      Incidentally, (That must be my word of the day today or maybe for a thousand years…who knows?) :) , if a day is thousand years in “God time” then we have a maximum of 6000 years of a very slow turning earth for creation, and or we have only been in existence about 6 days if “God time” is the converse, loosely Biblically speaking that is. There in no room for billions of years.

      2 Peter 3
      8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
      9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      I am guessing that Peter got his idea from this Psalm of Moses:

      Psalm 90
      2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
      3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
      4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

      Shalom

    70. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      I’d be interested in your understanding of Gen 1. Though I’d understand why you might want to withhold it.

      Josh

    71. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

      If anyone is willing, I’d also be interested in discussing the formless and functionless land and chaotic waters of the deep which the text assumes to preexist day one of the creation week.

      Here is why I think that this may be true:

      1. Gen 1:1 does not describe what was created on day one, it rather serves as an introductory title heading for Genesis 1:2—2:3. The section is introduced in 1:1 and completed in 2:1.

      “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and wall the host of them.”

      The ellipses in the quote represent everything that was created from day one, through the sixth day. In other words, Gen 1:1 and 2:1 serve as bookends for everything that was created in between.

      A close approximation can be found in Mark 1:1.

      2. Gen 1:2 does not describe the nature of the earth, it describes the conditions that preexisted God’s ordering of the land.

      The land was formless and functionless and covered by the dark waters of the deep. (Think proto-Noaic Flood) And the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the deep (Think proto-Noaic dove).

      If the heavens and the earth were created on day one, one must try and reconcile why God would create something the was formless and functionless. Why not simply create the earth fully formed and perfect.

      3. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”

      Light was the only thing that was created on day one; and it was necessary that he do so to establish a cycle of time for the days which were to follow.

      4. “And God said, ‘Let there be a raqia in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”

      Gen 1:8 tells us, “And God called the raqia the heavens.” Now follow this very closely, if the raqia is the heavens, and the raqia was not created until the second day, then the heavens could not have possibly been created on day 1. Therefore, again, Gen 1:1 is not a part of the creation week, it is a title heading introducing God’s creation of order for the formless and functionless land.

      This all makes perfect sense by the time one gets to Gen 7. The rebellion of Adam had introduced disorder and chaos back into God’s ordered creation. The chaos grew and man was increasing in violence. God responded to this rebellion by opening the windows of the heavens to allow the waters to come crashing back down upon the land. This flood was not simply a destruction of humanity and the land, but an un-creation of the creation week; effectively returning the land back to its Gen 1:2 condition. So the land was covered by the deep again, but not for long. The waters are divided and dry land once again appears. This is a picture of new creation. Justin Martyr recognized this and called Noah’s flood a palingenesis. So it was a re-creation for the land, and a rebirth for humanity, in our father Noah.

    72. Philip
      February 10th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      My book, “The Archaeological Evidence of Noah’s Flood,” that addresses these issues is available at Amazon in hardcopy

      http://www.amazon.com/Archaeological-Evidence-Noahs-Christian-Theology/dp/0979310229/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360525463&sr=8-1&keywords=the+archaeological+evidence

      or on Kindle.

      http://www.amazon.com/Archaeological-Evidence-Christian-Theology-ebook/dp/B0080NIG3W/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360525463&sr=8-1

      and at the ibook and Nook stores.

      If you would like a copy signed by the author, order it from my website:

      http://christianleadersandscholars.com/clswp/?page_id=25

    73. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

      I’m considering that the sun of righteousness, (Jesus) gave the light for the world before it was completed by him, through the power of God. (Mal 4:2)

    74. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

      How do we know (if ideed we do) that God did not give the world a rotation for the days in the very beginning? I wonder if there’s anything in Job about this.

    75. Mark
      February 10th, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

      I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to see a program on trusting the Bible and the “experts” used are those that mock and attack the Bible as written.

      Why is it so hard to believe that if God meant to say billions of years he easily could have said so? HE DIDN’T.

      If God really intended to tell us that the days of Genesis were literal 24 hour days would he have to say it any differently than he did? NO.

      Why is it that it took 1800 years for the church to discover these things that Ross is pushing?

      Why is it that in Jesus’ day they were taught, albeit they were taught by the pagan world that was soundly rejected by the Apostles and the churches?

      To those that truly trust him and his word that should be a giant clue. Too bad the church is full of wolves like Hugh Ross and Fuz Rana, and sheep like Dr Brown who don’t have the insight to spot them.

    76. Mark
      February 10th, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

      Needless to say I won’t be listening to the program any more nor supporting it as I have.

    77. Nicholas Petersen
      February 10th, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

      Dear Mark,

      If you read my first comment above (http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2013/02/06/scientific-discoveries-that-point-to-the-creator/#comment-257276), it has also been disappointing to me that Mike and his ministry, which I very much appreciate as you have, have allowed themselves to consider old earth creationism.

      However, *I want to plead with you* … please consider showing some grace to Mike and all. Part of maturity in the Lord is recognizing that we follow one Lord, not any other leader, which carries with it the recognition, no leader (or Christian in general, no matter how respected) is always going to get it right. Peter got it wrong well into Acts for instance.

      It is also right to say there are lines to draw. For instance, it would be *horrible* if I heard Mike or this ministry flirting with Biologos type ideas. To me, that would radically undermine everything about this ministry. But they are not doing that. So let’s keep letting our voice be heard, eh? I’m not saying don’t be disappointed, but let’s not give up, I don’t think they deserve that at all.

      With that said: To Mike and team: I plead to you to try to get on some biblical (‘young earth’) creationists in closer to equal measure.

      God bless.

    78. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

      If I were to conclude that God had given the earth it’s rotation by verse 4 of Gen 1, I could consider that length of days had been established, if indeed the rotation was a constant.

      Though many things are revealed by scripture, many things I still wonder about.

    79. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

      Nicholas, I’d be interested on your take of my comment, #70. Thanks

    80. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

      I was wondering, Do scientists know how the earth rotates, what forces are in play,…or would that be like asking them what part of a cat makes the purr?

    81. David Roberts
      February 10th, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

      @Dr. Brown,

      Glad you found the link useful, but I don’t see how anyone could or would exegete Genesis 1 to mean anything but six rotations of the earth, unless they had a prior conclusion to drive them in such a direction.

      You know how James Barr viewed it.

      Also recently Dr John R. Howitt wrote to appropriate professors in nine leading universities asking,

      “Do you consider that the Hebrew word yom, as used in Genesis 1, accompanied by a numeral should properly be translated as
      a) a day as commonly understood,
      b) an age,
      c) either a day or an age without preference?”

      The professors at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Toronto, London, McGill, and Manitoba unanimously replied that yom in Genesis 1 should be translated as a day as commonly understood.

      Interestingly, Oxford and Cambridge refused to reply. I wonder why.

      As for the classical Jewish commentators, here’s what they said:

      David Kimḥi, “The verse means that combining the periods described as ערב and בקר constitute a day,” and “The reason why the Torah did not write, ויהי לילה ויהי יום – יום אחד, which might seem clearer is that the word יום is a word which is applicable both to a single day and to a whole sequence of days such as שלושים יום, and we could have become confused, not knowing whether the Torah referred to the word יום as merely a “single day,” or as a period of days.”

      Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra, “One day refers to the movement of the sphere.”

      Rashbam, “the Torah did not write ויהי לילה, ויהי יום, but used the words ערב ובקר… the purpose of our verse…to tell us how the six days were accounted for, which is that the morning completed the night, and which was the end of that day and the beginning of the second day.”

      Seforno, “evening preceded total night, and a period of dawn preceding bright sunlight, daylight.”

      Here’s a link to an interview with Dr Ting Wang about Genesis 1.

      http://creation.com/hebrew-scholar-affirms-that-genesis-means-what-it-says-ting-wang

      He earned his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California (Escondido) and his doctorate in Biblical Studies at the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, Ohio). He now lectures on biblical Hebrew at Stanford University in California, and is a pastor for the Youth and Children’s Ministries at Korean Central Presbyterian Church. Dr Wang is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the National Association of Professors of Hebrew. He has also been a college instructor in biblical and classical Greek.

      p.s. I’ll give you a big amen about there being no reputable scientific evidence that anyone is born gay.

    82. Philip
      February 10th, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

      Brothers (and sisters if any of you are reading this),

      The genuine article can bear testing and examination. That which is a pretender cannot. Thus, the Scriptures tell us to test all things and to hold fast to that which is true. Notice how Jesus allowed even his enemies to question him publicly. Truth is a powerful sword. Very soon, Jesus’ enemies were afraid to ask him questions less their teachings be further exposed as false.

      One of the problems in our current world is that questioning the politically correct dogma is not allowed. I have in mind things like Darwinian evolution and the goodness of same-sex marriage. But the same is true of sectarian dogma. The advocates of things not plainly taught by Scripture do not want their teachings tested either against the Scriptures or against truth. Instead of championing Scripture and truth, the advocates prefer to defend their sectarian teachings by shielding them from questions and their disciples from other points of view. What is obtained is just culture rather than Christ. Those who are captive to a certain sectarian culture never hear other points of view. They especially don’t want their views examined in the light of the plain words of Scripture or know the historical roots of their humanly-derived teachings. We can give many examples: Catholic teachings, Reformed teachings, Dispensationalist teachings. At their roots many of these were healthy correctives of wrong tendencies occurring within the church. But in the end, these correctives actually replace the plain words of Scripture.

      Young earth Creationism has become another such sectarian school. Until the eighties this school was known simply as Flood science, a noble defense of a worldwide Flood and defending the plain teachings of Scripture against the prevailing science. It was a creation of the Seventh Day Adventists, based on the dreams and visions of Ellen G. White and the new geology of George Frederick Price. In the sixties, these teachings were borrowed without acknowledgement by John C. Whitcomb and Henry Morris and adopted as a text by many Christian home schools. It would soon become the prevailing teaching among Evangelicals. The truth is that in the middle of the twentieth century the most conservative Christians accepted an old earths with little discussion. If you doubt this, check the notes in your Scofield Reference Bible.

      I applaud the young earth Creationists for their defense of a worldwide Flood. By comparison, the arguments of Hugh Ross on this subject are not only unlearned. His interpretation of the Scriptures teaching a worldwide Flood are highly contrived. Ross should stick with astronomy where his expertise lies and where he makes wonderful contributions that all believers can applaud. He has little expertise in either anthropology or archaeology.

      But young earth Creationists also have their problems. They completely ignore the antediluvian world. Where do they find the remains of humans that God sent the Flood to destroy? According to their teachings, it appears that God sent the Flood to kill fish and dinosaurs. What book are they reading? Neither are they able to challenge the prevailing science ever how many problems that contains.

      Brothers, let us look at these issues afresh. There is much for everyone to learn. If we are going to challenge the great scientific deceptions, we must not become crabbed and crybaby sectarians. Rather we must produce some exciting results.

      I can assure you that there are some exciting things soon coming that will be getting the attention of the entire world. Genesis 1-11 is the light by which we should study the beginnings of our earth and the beginnings of man. Let us not be shining our sectarian light on the inspired words of God, but let us use those words to shine the light on the facts and on the lights that some would have us to interpret these Scriptures.

    83. Josh Elsom
      February 10th, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

      What do you think will be coming soon, Philip?

    84. Jonathan
      February 10th, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

      Philip, in response to post #65 where you said, “You are making the days of Genesis measurable, but in fact they are God’s days and immeasurable by human time.” I would say that there is no “God’s days”. The whole point of the 2 Peter 3 verse is that God is outside of time. So there is no day and night with God as He sees the end from the beginning and is timeless. The measurement of time was established by God; not something that He places Himself in but something He placed His creation in. In Heaven there is no night. Therefore there is no measurement of time in Heaven. When God established night and day; He established time; not for Himself but for His creation. He established that on the first day of creation.

    85. Ray
      February 10th, 2013 @ 11:22 pm

      I wonder if by number animals and fish far outnumbered people at the time of the flood of Noah.

      I ask this because I wondered about the question about fossils, why there are so many of animals and fish.

      I’ve heard of fossils of animals and fish but don’t remember hearing of human remains in the form of fossils.

      Didn’t God repent that he made man? (Gen 6:6) I believe that he did but don’t know what bearing that might have on this subject.

      Might the reason be that he was intent on destroying mankind at that time? Could that be one reason why I’ve not heard about a fossilized part of a human being?

    86. Nicholas Petersen
      February 10th, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

      Hello all, I realize there are many topics going on. Sorry for adding to that bit of chaos. You can read my and Josh Elsom’s comments to see what this refers to.

      Hello Josh, it was an encouragement to hear your nice response (post #59). Thanks.

      Understandably so. Indeed, its my agreement with that point which is why I have studied it so much. I know of others where that was the key sticking point as well (and the purported cosmological depictions in general), such as a writer at Biologos who also once was a young earth creationist until these views shifted him (Brian Godawa). Which is really sad.

      I would have thought the claims about windows/storehouses of heaven are by no means side issues, for everyone, but also for you given the number of times you focused on it as a major issue. Regardless, I quite understand, I covered less than 1% of the issues. I can guess what issues you refer to when you speak of “the most important objection I have with an actual Genesis event,” (I like that you called it “actual”, so maybe this camp should be called ‘actualists’ instead of ‘literalists’, indeed the YEC organizations say this time after time, that we simply follow the original intent, because there IS poetry, we are not always ‘literalists’). But could you state that objection (likely plural though right?) as concisely as possible? The undeniable comparisons to the pagan myths? The heavenly waters? The types of passages that seem to ambiguously speak of a firm heavens (I’m still waiting to see if someone would like me to share on the Prov 8:28 passage as a sample of that).

      Lost of smiles on that last statement. But there is really no need to be rigid when comparing yourself to the raqia’ ;0) Rather you can feel like large open skies have opened up over your head. Because that is what the raqia is, the creation of cosmic space. Abundant evidence for that, believe it or not.

      The worst thing about the state of my work right now is it could easily take many more years. So I’m praying about it. I just do not want to wait that long. Until then, I would be happy to share with people. copernicus 365 at g mail (put that together with the com). I don’t mind the peer review, it would be great in fact ;0)

      I’ll save a couple substantive notes for the next post.

    87. Nicholas Petersen
      February 10th, 2013 @ 11:48 pm

      Ha, I just noticed that pointy brackets are being cut out of the text. So please read the last post with these citations from Josh’s post to make sense of it:

      1) [Obviously, the raqia is the big sticking point for me.]

      2) [And, unfortunately, those things you’ve offered for my consideration are only ancillary to the most important objection I have with an actual Genesis event.]

      3) [When you publish your book/article please let us know! I’d be very interested in reading it. Unlike the raqia, I am not rigid. You can bend me if your arguments are sound and biblical.]

    88. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 12:06 am

      Josh here is a start to a response to post # 57 I will finish it as I get the opportunity:

      2b. You said you “do not accept evolution” and arrived at your “current position without the slightest interest in evolution”. But then start this point saying, “If the consensus of modern
      science is correct and animals existed long before man walked the earth…” It is the consensus of modern science that evolution is true. So I’m not sure why you start your comment this way.

      Again, as to verses such as Ps 104:21 and Job 38:39-40, these verses speak of the animals that were around after the Fall. There were “kinds” of animals created in the original creation week. There likely would have been a created “cat” kind
      created in the creation week. But it is an assumption that lions were around on Creation week and it is not stated by the text. Later adaptions came about. In a similar manner to the fact that there were obviously not all of the human skin, hair, eye colors found in the creation week; those adaptions came later as well.

      But I asked some specific questions that you never addressed. I believe these questions are crucial to our understanding of God and His attributes. So I will ask them again: Do you believe that a loving and good God specifically designed and
      intended all of that to occur to happen for millions of years prior to man’s sin as opposed to it being the tragic results of rebellion toward God which would have occurred much more recently? If God designed and intended painful destruction
      and death than how is this directly caused event less brutal and evil than Michael Vick’s dog fighting or any other animal cruelty?

      3a I have not done near the study on raqia that Nicholas has. I think he is probably more qualified to discuss this part with you. If I am understanding what he said correctly, it would seem that he addressed some of this in post # 42.

      As to your question, ” Why do you consider this verse metaphorical and not the rest of Gen 1—11?” It seems perfectly logical to me. A man could say that his wife died and he has a broken heart. Just because the man used a metaphor does not mean
      everything else he said should not be taken literally. When we see that there were men in Genesis 1-11 who had ages and kids listed as well as ended up in geneologies throughout Scripture. We can then understand that it would be in direct
      opposition to the intentions of the writing to view the entire portion of Genesis 1-11 as a metaphor even if certain metaphors were used in a small number of places within those chapters.

    89. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 12:16 am

      Ray, your questions are good ones leading Christians studying the earth in the light of the Scriptures to conclude that the earth had a history far older than man. Their scientific opponents, both Aristotelians and Deists, denied that the earth revealed any history at all.

      But the earth was filled with mankind at the time of the Flood. As might be gathered from Genesis, he was far more advanced than Creatuonists allow. Just as the Scriptures declare, there is great evidence of violence.

      Jonathan, ever heard of the Day of The Lord? Moreover, the Scriptures declare that God made the earth in six days, each with evening and morning. There was no man, but there were days.

      Josh, the Creationists focus their attention on the first chapter, practically ignoring Genesis 2-11. As I noted, they completely ignore the antediluvian world. Not only that, they fail to give any light on mankind’s second dispersion or relate archaeology or ancient history to the Bible. They accept rather than question the scientific blunders that keep moderns from seeing this ancient history of man in the light of Genesis 2-11.

      They have seen similarities between Genesis and other ancient traditions but have supposed that meant borrowing from the Babyloniams. Disappointingly, this includes the evangelical theologians that you mention above. But it should not be surprising that all the nations had some knowledge inherited from their father Noah. Most remembered in some fashion the great Flood.

      The discovery covered in the Epilogue of my book is going to force these issues onto secular science. It is going to be great fun helping them explain this without resort to the light of Genesis. Even they will enjoy this. It is not likely that many will be any longer interested in Darwin.

      For a brief summary, listen to this interview on Scotland’s Stained Glass radio:

      http://christianleadersandscholars.com/clswp/?page_id=55

      On the last subject mentioned in the interview, there is currently a lot of activity. Keep in mind, the scientific community prefers peer review prior to publication, so we must wait until we complete that.

      I suppose the difference between your theologians and myself is that scientists are skeptical of everything until it is well tested. The only thing your evangelical theologians seem skeptical of is the Bible. I thought at least it ought to be checked out. As it turns out, it is faring remarkably well. instead of studying the Bible in the light of science, they ought to have been studying the earth in the light of Genesis.

    90. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 12:34 am

      Josh, to finish my response to post # 57:

      As to why Elihu had the mistaken belief, I would say that it was the result of a primitive understanding of the world and not due to Scripture. You point out the Egyptians had a similar concept and they did not derive it from Scripture. So why would we immediately conclude that Elihu derived his views on the sky from Scripture as opposed to simply a primitive understanding?

      I obviously don’t agree with your last paragraph on 3c. I don’t believe God ever tells fables to combat false gods.

      3d Again, I maintain the comparison was more about the color than the substance as I don’t believe anyone got close enough to God’s throne to actually touch the surface so they would have no way of knowing the substance of it.

      6. It is not inconsequential in that the Bible simply recounting a conversation has no bearing on the actual historical accounts of the Bible. Those are two entirely different things. (Even if Hannah and Job were not speaking figuratively which I see no reason to take a firm position they were not.)

      8. Can you name a parable in Scripture where the people in the parable are identified with proper names and the parable gives details on the ages of the people when they had children and when they died and these people show up in genealogies in other parts of Scripture? Can you also name me a parable that goes on for 11 chapters? I see absolutely positively no basis to view Genesis 1-11 as a parable. If we are to view it as a myth than I ask for another example of an 11 chapter myth (or even a shorter myth) presented in Scripture.

      9. I believe the Creator of the Universe can communicate to anyone without intentionally deceiving them. If the people in Genesis 1-11 are only myth than the Biblical writers that put them within human genealogies were clearly deceived by their Creator. I don’t think that is possible.

    91. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 12:53 am

      “But the earth was filled with mankind at the time of the Flood. As might be gathered from Genesis, he was far more advanced than Creatuonists allow.”

      Could you give some sources? I am unaware of what you are speaking of. Why do you believe Creationists disagree about an advanced pre-Flood world? Adam walked and talked with God. I am sure he had lots of wisdom that he shared with his descendants in his long life span. Think of the things that someone could accomplish with that long of a life span. I see no reason to believe what you state here.

      “Jonathan, ever heard of the Day of The Lord?” Yes, it is a point of time in human history where God intervenes in human affairs. The time marker is not for God, but for man. God needed no time marker.

      “Moreover, the Scriptures declare that God made the earth in six days, each with evening and morning. There was no man, but there were days.” Yes God made the earth for man (Psalm 115:16). Yet he started the creation of the earth before man was created. In a similar manner, He made time for man but also before man was created. You also have yet to explain how evening and morning if each are millions of years in length, would have affected plant life.

    92. Nicholas Petersen
      February 11th, 2013 @ 2:42 am

      Then God said: ‘Let there be a rāqîaʿ in the midst of the waters, and let it keep separating the waters from the waters. So God made the rāqîaʿ, and he separated the waters which were under the rāqîaʿ from the waters which were above the rāqîaʿ. And it was so. Then God named the rāqîaʿ: “Heaven!” And there was evening, and there was morning, the second day.
      – Genesis 1:6-8

      So what are these waters above?

      Josh noted that this issue was avoided in one of the cited articles in defense of an ‘actual’ interpretation of the account. Well, you are right Josh, this is not an issue we can avoid. It really must be addressed head on, and it may be one of the bigger stumbling blocks, I admit, to accepting the straightforward account as plausible according to our scientific understanding. So let me tackle this from the outset. Not because I think this would be the easiest one, but at least 1) it does take the text straightforwardly, in its straightforward exegetical sense (no gymnastics allowed), and 2) it doesn’t dodge any bullets, and 3) things can get more plausible than you might think at first.

      With that said, I can see no way around a *faithful* reading of this text to say anything other than that there are truly cosmic waters – in some important and non-marginal sense – that are separated by the raqia (expanse – for me). A most straightforward reading would conceptualize these waters as existing all about the peripheral of the cosmos. Although this is not necessarily necessary, depending on how we interpret issues of relation in the text (a hugely important question). That is, what was ‘up’ and ‘above’ said in relation to? … for instance, would it do violence to the text to imagine the same process [taking a believing creationist's perspective here] as occurring for the other planets, not just for the earth’s? and so forth? If so, things are possibly a lot more open ended.

      In conceptualizing what the text says about those waters though, here is an extremely important note: *The text never names them.* The waters below are named: Seas. But not these other waters (which should not be called anything like ‘the cosmic sea’ as some scholars do, that is incorrect, they are simply ‘the waters above the heavens – hamaym asher me’al hashamaym’ as Psalm 148 has it). So this is an important point in the text itself that relegates these cosmic waters to some obscurity. That is, if we claim their nature is obscure, even to our science, we are not just taking exegetical liberties. They are not only not named, but along with that, they are not even discussed further in the text.

      As for modern biblical creationist cosmologies, Russ Humphreys’ cosmology accounts for them in a significant way. I don’t know if I could have crossed the threshold of being brave enough to adopt this notion without that courage of his. Other creationists (like John Hartnett) think of the waters in various senses, like around our solar system. Personally I think we should do our best to imagine all of these scenarios, maybe all of them play a part (assuming their reality, as I do).

      We do in fact find water all throughout the universe. Evolutionary thinking itself imagines shells of watery ice / comets surrounding the solar system as well (the Oort cloud). And yet they do this without one shred of evidence for it, other than that this proposed massive cloud of watery comets are needed on the far outer edges of the solar system to save a billions of years old solar system (because the comets we see would burn out very soon otherwise). My point in mentioning this is this: why should it be that we wouldn’t possibly accept at face value when Scripture speaks of cosmic waters, but when modern science needs cosmic waters, even with no evidence for it, we will accept it in their case without a whim?

      Another consideration: The real problem is not just the waters above, it is that the original substance which God used to create everything in the cosmos with, accordance to the text of Genesis 1, was water. The reason this seems incredible to modern man (such as we are) is because he has imbibed from childhood big bang thinking. The problem with a watery beginning, then, is simply that we are talking about a beginning substance being molecular rather than atomic and subatomic. But why should we judge the credibility of Scripture’s account against the Big Bang’s account, as if we already assume the one is true (the Big Bang origin’s story) and the other is probably myth? How is that a fair judgment?

      And this brings us to the real reason a molecular (watery) beginning seems incredible. Because water cannot be postulated as a primal substance of an atheist’s universe! For an atheistic origins account must have only the most primal of elements at its beginning, for obvious reasons. But there we find the patently irrational expectation that we inadvertently bring to the Genesis account: It too must start out with atheistic starting conditions in order to be credible! And it too, this thoroughly theistic account (In the beginning GOD created…) must begin with only substances acceptable to atheistic story tales!

      In close, I think God likes water, that miraculous molecule, a whole lot better than he likes quarks and bosons when they are all by themselves. So maybe he wanted to start a universe with it, must me have a problem with that?

      “Who is this who darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

    93. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 5:01 am

      Jonathan,

      i spent 20 years investigating the matter and have written a book on the subject. With over 1000 sources and footnotes, the book is well documented.

      I also know Creationist theory, something that you don’t seem to know so well. They teach that the entire remains from man date from after the Flood. They teach that the Flood was of such magnitude as to destroy the entire surface of the earth and all the remains of preFlood man. They don’t seem to want to acknowledge any antediluvian remains of man because that would contradict their theory of explaining all fossil remains as due to Noah’s Flood, thus eliminating their argument in support of a young earth. Since the earliest remains of man are from a supposed Ice Age, are primitive, and lack metal, they teach the survivors of the Flood as technologically primitive. These premises have resulted in their questioning the recently revealed evidence of Noah’s Ark.

      But you are also making proclamations about God and about the history of Creation and presuming them fact because not disproven. Likewise, you are going to spin any Scripture or offered evidence contrary to your proclamations so as not to endanger your theology and theory. Though many like to argue like this, it is not genuine dialogue. You simply show that you can explain away any authority or evidence contrary to your views. They are not testable, a necessary criterion for progress in understanding. I discuss this problem in the same Chapter 12 of my book. Read there Karl Poppers comments on the Marxists and Freudians. The same is true of the Darwinists and Creationists.

      I can point to Scripture showing God resting on his seventh day of Creation and you will spin them so as not to threaten your theory. I can point to Scripture and to scientific evidence of light and plant life prior to the creation of the sun. You will spin it in such a way as to protect your theory. Others here may, but I have no interest in playing such games. Humility is a prerequisite for wisdom and for true conversation among those truly wanting to learn. So let us not continue this conversation because without correction or acknowledgment of advance in understanding, nothing will be gained.

    94. Franklin
      February 11th, 2013 @ 9:38 am

      Wow. I see this issue is just as hotly contested as ever.
      I like to look at it in a simple way (maybe because I am simple?). I think that just because the Bible can wax poetic at times does give one the license to assume poetic over literal, especially if the context is abandoned or reshaped to do it. To that end, I believe God (although sometimes secretive) is never deceptive and that the Bible was written for man and from the dawn of time (no pun intended) man has known what evening and morning are. I have no reason to reinterperite them to mean anything other than a normal evening and a normal morning.
      The good news is there will come a day when the Great Teacher will explain to us all exactly how he did all this and exactly how long it took him to do it:)..Great comments by all, looks like Dr. Brown has a very intelligent audience.

    95. Bo
      February 11th, 2013 @ 11:24 am

      Philip,

      I would appreciate a response to post 69.

      For ease of access, here it is again, slightly modified:

      The focus of Genesis 1 is about what is happening on earth in earth terms. I do not think that YHWH is subject to time, but that He created it…possibly by separating the light from the darkness. The change from dark to light and back to dark at any given point on earth constitutes a day. There is no day and night, morning and evening in space and thus no days in space. There is only local time as related to an observers experience. Any other kind of time or any other place that time is happening is irrelevant to the Biblical narrative.

      That YHWH is outside of time and thus a day or a thousand years is no limit to Him is not a fact that proves immense amounts of time having passed upon earth since darkness and light were separated. Moses and Peter both knew what a day was. So did their audiences. So do we. In a sense, there is no such thing as Time in YHWH’s personal economy or existence. He just exists. That is what YHWH means…I AM. He just is. It is only in our experience of time that He always was and always will be.

      There are no such things as “God’s days.” There are earth days and probably Mars days and Jupiter days, etc. That YHWH can accomplish an infinite amount of things in a nanosecond or take 6000 years to do the same thing is only our perspective. The story of man and his salvation is about 6000 years old in our experience, but it was a done deal from the beginning as far as YHWH is concerned. His unchanging nature demands this. It also demands no time to Him since only movement/change is time. Without space/distance there is no time. He exists everywhere…omnipresence. We say that He always has existed, but it is actually that He always does…and even the word always is wrong, because it references time. We should maybe just say, “He always.” He exists in the eternal now. Our situation is just a little spec of the eternal now. So YHWH exists everywhere and in every time all at once in our perspective.

      To us it takes quite a bit of time to plant a vineyard, harvest the grapes, press the juice out of them, and allow them to ferment to make wine. To YHWH all those things touch each other in the eternal present in which He exists. Water changed to wine is only a miracle to us because in our experience it takes more time than Y’Shua had to make it. It happened in just a few earth minutes that day 2000 years ago just as the creation of the heavens and the earth happened in a 6 earth days did 6000 years ago.

      Incidentally, Peter was referring to YHWH’s patience and our tendency to a lack thereof. That there is a correlation to the time of man upon the earth to 7 days/7 thousand years with the last thousand being the Messianic kingdom reign where man will be made to rest from doing things his own way has merit. That Peter is trying to tell us that there is some kind of “God time” that equates to billions of years is reading into the text.

      Incidentally, (That must be my word for the day today or maybe my word for a thousand years…who knows?) :) , if a day is thousand years in “God time” then we have a maximum of 6000 years of a very slow turning earth for creation, and or we have only been in existence about 6 days if “God time” is the converse, loosely Biblically speaking that is. There in no room for billions of years.

      2 Peter 3
      8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
      9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

      I am guessing that Peter got his idea from this Psalm of Moses:

      Psalm 90
      2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
      3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
      4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

      The above two passages use poetry to communicate YHWH being outside of time and unaffected by it and that His seeming slackness is actually mercy and grace. No one will be able to convincingly say that they did not have enough time to repent/return to YHWH.

      Shalom

    96. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 11:58 am

      Philip, I’m sorry but most of what you said in your last post is simply wrong and is a lot of mischaracterization.

      You started out saying talking in the post prior about what Creationists do or don’t believe about how advanced the pre-Flood man was. Then you jump in your last post to talking about the directly post-Flood man. Obviously those are not interchangeable. If everything was destroyed in the Flood than all of the technology that the pre-Flood man had would have been destroyed and all the knowledge of how that pre-Flood technology worked would be limited to what Noah and his family knew and even that was limited to the resources they then had after a worldwide flood.

      Yet many creationists teach that ancient post-Flood man was actually more advanced than many give them credit for. See these: http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/puzzle-ancient-man/

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/store/product/genius-ancient-man/

      Here is a detailed article about what creationists believe instead of a strawman about their beliefs: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/au/geniuses-not-brutes

      You accuse those who do not believe as you do as spinning. But the same accusation could be directed back toward yourself when you discount that Jesus said Adam and Eve were created “from the beginning” instead of millions of years after the beginning. Or that God said in Genesis 1 that all animals ate plants when first created. Or that death came as the result of sin.

      There are no Creationists to my knowledge that believe that God did not rest on the Seventh Day. Creationist believe there was both light and plant life prior to the sun’s creation. If you look at Both Bo and I’s posts you will clearly see that.

      I do hope that false accusations will give way to actually hearing what we are saying.

    97. Josh Elsom
      February 11th, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

      There is far too much for me to respond to here. My priorities and primary callings will quickly run adrift if I spend all the time necessary duke this thing out. My primary calling is to make disciples who make disciples (which includes my family). So regrettably I am going to have to scale back my responses. And I apologize if some of this response leaves some of you hanging.

      Nicholas,

      1. My biggest objection to interpretations that teach that the text should be considered both literal and actual (YEC, Day Age, Gap theory, et al.), or literary and actual (Theistic Evolutionism) are that they both attempt to reconcile the creation narrative with science. Old-earthers do this to conform the text to observable science and historical-theoretical science. And, Young-earthers do it to conform the text to observable science and imaginative-theoretical science. When we come to Genesis with the intention of importing our modern scientific understanding into the text we, with the purest of intentions, unwittingly elevate science above the Word of God, making it the more authoritative measure of truth; thereby making the Bible the servant to science. When we take that approach the normal hermeneutic principles which dominate the rest of our bible interpretation are jettisoned. YEC, to its credit, is more faithful to the text than are Old-earth Creationists, like Ross. But, they too have to make Genesis say something other than what it plainly says to make it compatible with modern science.

      That said, my biggest objections to an actual Genesis event are the solid raqia and the waters of the deep which preexist the the creation of the heavens (day 2) and the earth (day 3). The heavens and the earth, according to Genesis was not created ex nihilo, they were created out of water and through water. The apostle Peter agrees (2 Peter 3:5).

      [These waters can't be, as you have suggested, a distant belt of ice particles floating about our solar system, because Gen 7 presupposes that the raqia was opened up to allow the waters of heaven to flow back in and flood the earth. It was liquid water, not ice. When you consider that no rain fell upon the earth for hundreds of years, until the flood of Noah, this makes complete sense.]

      2. The ‘windows of heaven’ is a side issue, because even if this language is figurative, that does not make the raqia less rigid. It simply means that the ancient peoples of the near east too used figurative language to describe natural observable phenomena. That, of course, does not by default make everything in Genesis figurative. The process of a cloud dropping rain is far more observable and deductively explainable than is a water colored sky that does not drop the water that is suspended “way up there.” So, if I am to concede the point, some phenomena, like rain, are more apt to be clothed with figurative language than are others. I suspect that the figure of speech was pulled from the story of Noah’s flood, and adopted into the lexicon of phenomenological language that is seen throughout the rest of the Bible.

      I have to put my feet in the shoes of the people who first heard the story of creation. Did they hear Genesis 1 in a vacuum, having no preexisting cosmological perspective. Or, did they have certain cosmological presuppositions and expectations that informed what Genesis was communicating when they heard it? The latter is far more likely than the former.

      Jonathan, I’ll probably have to leave you hanging on much of our former discussion. I think you can gather some of what my responses might have been from my conversation with Nicholas.)

      The only thing I can say in response is that my motivation for leaving the YEC tribe was not influenced whatsoever by science. It was entirely influenced by the text, and the inconsistency of YEC interpretation. Because I let the text speak for itself, I do not need to twist general revelation (science) to make it fit my interpretative tradition of special revelation. It is for this reason that I am now free to use science as a polemic against YEC.

      Am I happy to be liberated from a 10,000 year history of the Universe? You bet I am. The gospel is offensive enough by itself, and I am glad that I no longer have to make people feel like they need to also accept a 10,000 year old Universe to become a disciple of Jesus. I used to feel that tension, not anymore.

      Grace to you, brothers.

    98. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

      Josh, I respect your time restraints. There are three points that I was hoping you could address if you have not yet completely left the conversation. Because these three are some of the most crucial points of contention that I see against taking your position. (I’ve renumbered these points from their original numbers as they appeared in my prior posts.) If you do not have the time to address these points, I understand. But I was hoping they could be addressed.

      1. But I asked some specific questions that you never addressed. I believe these questions are crucial to our understanding of God and His attributes. So I will ask them again: Do you believe that a loving and good God specifically designed and intended all of that to occur to happen for millions of years prior to man’s sin as opposed to it being the tragic results of rebellion toward God which would have occurred much more recently? If God designed and intended painful destruction and death than how is this directly caused event less brutal and evil than Michael Vick’s dog fighting or any other animal cruelty?

      2. Can you name a parable in Scripture where the people in the parable are identified with proper names and the parable gives details on the ages of the people when they had children and when they died and these people show up in genealogies in other parts of Scripture? Can you also name me a parable that goes on for 11 chapters? I see absolutely positively no basis to view Genesis 1-11 as a parable. If we are to view it as a myth than I ask for another example of an 11 chapter myth (or even a shorter myth) presented in Scripture.

      3. I believe the Creator of the Universe can communicate to anyone without intentionally deceiving them. If the people in Genesis 1-11 are only myth than the Biblical writers that put them within human genealogies were clearly deceived by their Creator. I don’t think that is possible.

    99. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

      Jonathan,

      Forgive me for the harsh reply. As I look over your posts, I see that you are in fact listening. I will address the dogmatic proclamations to others. On the matter of what Creationists teach, like others they are not always consistent with regard to their central dogma. It is not in their interest to make the central dogma that guides their work clear to their disciples. Thus, many who would regard themselves as Young Earth Creationists don’t understand the central dogma as to why Creationists do not want to find evidence of antediluvian man. The only ones that offer such evidence, those such as Carl Baugh, Don Patton, etc. are regarded as disreputable and fringe by the folks at ICR, AIG, and CMI. I understand why the Creationist leaders do not want to be associated with such men. You can find the disclaimers on the AIG website.

      I am aware of the books that you mention. Note that however much they refer to the Scriptures regarding preFlood man, all their archaeological evidence is for postFlood man. They even put an Ice Age after the Flood! That period is not generally associated with advanced civilization. You posted a recent article my Ken Ham that I have not seen. Great. Perhaps he is listening. My question to him is why he can’t or refuses to point to archaeological evidence for antediluvian man.

      As I point out in my book, which may be influencing Ham, there was indeed a loss of refinement and a few technologies associated with the Flood, something I call rustification due to the sudden loss of population and specialities associated with a large population. For example, there was a temporary loss of the fast wheel for making pottery and a few such things as that. But the spoked wheel and domestication of the horse and camel not to speak of writing and Bronze working flourished all over the world immediately after the Flood. The bow and arrow and sand tempered pottery then spread to America.

      The Egyptian Pyramids predate the biblical date of the Flood. Why do the Creationists such as Ken Ham declare them all from after the Flood?

    100. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

      Bo, before I address your questions, I will address the one from Jonathan concerning “from the beginning.” There Jesus is obviously speaking of man, the marriage of man and woman. Adam and Eve was the beginning of that. Certainly, he isn’t speaking there of the fellowship that he had with the Father in the beginning before the world began. Nor is he addressing the natural creation. Doing so puts a light on his words that are not in the context of his message in that passage.

      Bo, I agree there is no earthly evening and morning in space and solar days do in fact depend on the earth turning. How then can we speak of solars days during the first two days prior to the creation of the earth, or the first three days prior to the creation of the sun?

      Man’s earthly measurements are relative to his physical body. But God is a spirit and there was no such physical beings as man before God created them on the sixth day. The Scriptures make it clear that it was God who created and therefore the Lord God who experienced this Creation. He shares what he did in commanding us to observe a sabbath in our measure of earthly days. The difference between our days and his days may not be so different than between us and him. A thousand is regarded by some biblical scholars as an indefinitely long period. Just as his physical creation is far larger than what was once believed, so perhaps the difference in duration between his days and ours.

      There is a lot of anachronistic history on this subject being taught by Creationists. This matter of the duration of the days of Genesis was first brought up by Augustine, then by Isaac Newton in his discussion with Bishop Gilbert Burnet. The latter was the first time that our classical understanding of physical mechanics was applied to the understanding of Creation in Scripture. That was the beginning of modern science. We are always reading Scripture in the light of our understanding of the things that Scripture addresses. Whether Newton had some valid insights, the truth of these matters cannot be settled by whether either we or our teachers have been always been reading the Scriptures in a certain light. God may have more to teach us, if we do not already know it all.

    101. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 2:33 pm

      I have followed Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis for many years. His position that pre-Flood man would have been advanced is not a recent position. I would regard Answers in Genesis as perhaps the leading voice in regard to Young Earth Creationism. So when discussing what young earth creationists belive, I don’t feel Answers in Genesis can be merely a footnote as to what young earth creationists believe. I am less familiar with the beliefs of ICR or CMI but unless you can provide some proof that they do not believe as AIG than I would appreciate you not coming to that conclusion.

      You say “It is not in their interest to make the central dogma that guides their work clear to their disciples.” This again impugnes the character and intentions of young earth creationists and I would appreciate it if that would stop while not linked to actual proof of what you are saying.

      If there were indeed a worldwide catastrophic flood which secuarists dismiss as not being the case, why would we believe the Pyramids would have withstood that with almost no repercussion?

    102. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.” Jesus did not say from the beginning of man. He says from the beginning of the creation.

      You also seem to have the false impression the sun is needed to mark time just because we use the sun today. All that is needed is a revolution of darkness and light which was there from day 1.

      You are still not answering about how a long period of darkness followed by a long period of light would affect plants though. This has been asked numerous times. Why are you not addressing it?

    103. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

      Jonathan,

      I will agree with you that Ken Ham and AIG are currently the flagship of the Creationist movement and I respect him more than some other leaders that I do not want to name. That doesn’t mean that he cannot be criticized. I will better respect all these Creationists leaders when they acknowledge their indebtedness to E.G. White and her disciple George Frederick Price. Such acknowledgement is the sine qua non of ethical scholarship.

      In fact, Ken Ham has an article on AIG as to why there are no human fossils. That article ought to be given more attention.

      The Pyramids were indeed affected by the Flood. As archaeologists know, many of them still lie buried beneath the Nile delta. The mysteries about them are so well explained by the Flood, for example, why the Egyptians possessed no knowledge of their construction; and much else. The problem is that Ken Ham believes they were constructed after the Flood.

    104. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

      Well, I’m not sure for what reason you think the article should have more attention (why you are pointing it out) but give it more attention then. Why say things cryptically? Post the link and why you think it should draw more attention.

      Here is an article you might want to read on AIG about The Pyramids and the Flood: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n4/pyramids-built

      And here is another that is not specifically about the Flood but more about the pyramids themselves: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v26/n4/pyramids-of-ancient-egypt

    105. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

      These are the words of Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis: “When I first became involved in the founding of the creation movement in Australia some 20 years ago, I had never heard of George MacCready Price. The reason I was a ‘young earth creationist’ was for theological reasons—since there was no death, bloodshed, disease or suffering before Adam sinned, there cannot be a fossil record millions of years before sin.9 This has always been my emphasis—what the Bible teaches must judge man’s opinions, not the other way round.”

      They can be found in this article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v19/n4/demolishing-straw-men

      Here is another section of an AIG article that addresses Ellen White: “Relying heavily on Ronald Numbers’ book, The Creationists, Noll claims that young-earth creationism originated with Seventh Day Adventism.
      [Creationism] has spread like wildfire in our century from its humble beginnings in the writings of Ellen White, the founder of Seventh-day Adventism, to its current status as a gospel truth embraced by tens of millions of Bible-believing evangelicals and fundamentalists around the world.35
      Regrettably, on the very next page Noll again turns to Ronald Numbers for the following ridiculous claim concerning creationism:
      Numbers described how a fatally flawed interpretive scheme [young-earth creationism] of the sort that no responsible Christian teacher in the history of the church ever endorsed before this century came to dominate the minds of American evangelicals on scientific questions.36
      First, young-earth creationism did not begin with Seventh Day Adventism and the writings of Ellen White (1827–1915). Terry Mortenson analyzed the writings of the “scriptural geologists” of the early 19th century. Many of their biblical and geological arguments against the old-earth geological theories developing at that time are identical to those used by modern young-earthers.37 George Young was the most accomplished of the “scriptural geologists.” A pastor and geologist, he published his first book defending the biblical account of the global flood in 1822 (five years before White was born) and his fullest treatment of the young-earth view, Scriptural Geology, in 1838 (when White was only 11). Obviously, Young did not receive his ideas from Ellen White.
      In his zeal to blame young-earth creationism for a large portion of evangelical ills, Mark Noll also ignored common sense. By claiming that young-earth creationism was founded on the teachings of Ellen White, he committed the logical error known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy occurs when one confuses the origin of a view with the truth of the view. It may be a good strategy in a courtroom (i.e., discrediting the witness), but it has no bearing on truth or the validity of an argument. If a discredited witness said that “2+2=4” the statement is still true, even though the witness may be lying or mistaken about other things. Clearly Noll’s reasoning here is not logical. Whether or not young-earth creationism began with Ellen White would have no bearing on its truth or falsity. Furthermore, White was taking Genesis 1–11 as literal history just like scriptural geologists did and just as the vast majority of the Church had for the first 18 centuries. Young-earth creationism is nothing new. Rather, old-earth creationism is the novelty and fatally flawed interpretive scheme.”

      That can be found in this article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/oect/defense-poor-reasoning

    106. Josh Elsom
      February 11th, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

      Jonathon,

      1. If God supplies baby gazelles as food for lions today, after the Fall, and we do not consider that immoral or reprehensible. Then I see no reason that we should find it being immoral or reprehensible before the Fall. In God’s good design he has seen fit to control animal populations and preserve ecology through a predator prey relationship. It is good, right, and perfect.

      2. I cannot provide you with a parable that has a genealogy. That’s inconsequential, however, because I did not say that genre of myth and parables were exactly the same in every way. I only said that like parables, myths too can be both true but not actual.

      The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is the closest I can offer you, by way of parables.

      3. I don’t think that Genesis 1—11, if it indeed be myth, is deceptive. It is true, even if the events played out differently than what the story tells us. Using the parable of the Lazarus above as an example, I could tell you that story and apply the truth of it to your life. I could tell you that you’d rather be a beggar in the Kingdom of God, like Lazarus, than a rich man in the Kingdom of this world. The fact that this parable was just a parable, and not actual, would not affect the impact of the truth it contained. Nor would it make me a liar for using parabolic characters to communicate the truth of the parable, when none of the characters involved, in fact, never really existed. The same principle holds true, I think, for Gen 1—11. Later biblical writers could tell the story as it was presented in Genesis confidently, and as truth, even if the actual creation activity of God happened quite differently.

      I think it is a much more difficult task to reconcile the scientific evidence that proves the Universe is far more ancient than the genealogies of Gen 6 suggest, than it is to believe that the opening pages of the bible are a divinely inspired polemic myth against the pagan deities of Israel’s neighbors and that science is true.

      In other words, Did God deceive us by making the Universe appear billions of years old?

    107. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 3:56 pm

      Jonathan,

      I want to reply to your posts because you are remarkably informed on these subjects. Else, you are blazing through Google. Again, I apologize for my earlier harsh reply. I hope that we can enjoy a fruitful exchange of information.

      As your sources point out, Ronald Numbers is indeed the recognized scholar of the Creationist movement. If you haven’t read “The Creationist” I recommend doing so.

      A few years ago, I pointed out to Terry Mortenson the anachronistic character of his writings on the Scriptural Geologists. Mortenson seemed terrified. In fact, I am myself a Scriptural geologist. Their concern and the reason for their name was that geology ought to be studied in the light of Scripture. Their opponents were the Deists and Aristotelian geologists who not only did not want to use Scripture, but who denied that the earth revealed any history. For a better history, I recommend Martin Rudwick’s definitive work “Bursting the Limits of Time.”

      Though a few of the Scriptural geologists may have believed in 24-hour creation, the great concern with the duration of the days of Genesis had sectarian beginnings, not surprisingly, with Seventh Day Adventists. Until Whitcomb and Morris borrowed Price’s geology, they had little influence aside from the Adventists and a few conservative Lutherans due to the fact that Martin Luther made the “spade is a spade” comment about the days of Genesis. Luther was actually opposing Augustine’s contention that the six days of Creation was an instantaneous event.

      Until the eighties, the young earth school went by the name of Flood Geology. They changed their self-description to Scientific Creationism in the eighties after Wendell Bird suggested that they could get an opportunity in the public schools by positioning their theories as science rather than religion.

      From early in the twentieth century until Whitcomb and Morris, most conservative Christians believed in an old earth. If you doubt that check with the conservative references of the day such as Halley’s Bible Handbook or IVP’s New World Dictionary of the Bible. At the Scopes Trial, William Jennings Bryan taught an old earth, though interestingly, his geologist was George Frederick Price.

    108. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

      Thanks for your response, Josh. But I can see we will never agree. You and I seem to have two divergent views of God. Your response shows that to me especially in the first response:

      1. I do not believe Scripture teaches a cruel God who designed the original creation to go through suffering and painful death via the violence of other of God’s creation or via mud slides, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts and other natural disasters. Do I believe He allows and sometimes even uses those things in a fallen world? I do. But do I believe a loving God designed His creation to be that way from the beginning? I cannot wrap my head around such a God being good. God could have (and I believe did) design a world free of suffering and pain. Those were not needed and I fully believe not part of the original design of a loving and good God. You apparently believe in a God who only cared about human pain and originally designed them free of suffering and pain but desired for animals not to suffer and have pain no more than Michael Vick when he subjected dogs to pain and suffering for his enjoyment. I don’t think that is consistent with a God who cares about the lowly sparrow as well as each of us. Why would He intentionally subject them to pain before sin ruined an otherwise perfect world? If this were part of His original design, I wonder why He will change His mind in the end when Christ’s reign produces the following “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
      The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
      The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
      And a little child shall lead them.
      7 The cow and the bear shall graze;
      Their young ones shall lie down together;
      And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
      8 The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole,
      And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den.
      9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
      For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
      As the waters cover the sea.”

      This seems to describe the world a loving and good God would design free from sin. Why would He design it with suffering and pain prior to that and prior to sin?

      2. If Jesus went on to describe Lazarus’ children and how old he was when he died and other places in Scripture listed this man in (not one) but numerous genealogies and if the story of Lazarus went on for 11 chapters where it described the events of Lazarus’ descendants, then I doubt you would see that story as a parable. I would then bet you would see it as an actual historical account. That is why Genesis 1-11 can in no way be considered a parable. There is no logical rational way to understand it as such. It simply cannot be the case.

      3. I don’t know what nice way to say this. So I will just be blunt. Your first two sentences are completely ludicrous. There is no way that we can ever describe a myth as true. A parable is something entirely different from a myth. A myth is something that is not true. But either way if the author of a myth presents it in a way that any logical person would see it as what actually happened, the author is being intentionally misleading. I don’t see any way around that. We can readily understand the actual parables in the Bible are actually parables. The creation account of Genesis 1-11 is completely different for the factors I mentioned in my last point.

      “In other words, Did God deceive us by making the Universe appear billions of years old?” It has been a recent development in human history that the world has been believed to be billions of years old. Much pushed by radically anti-God scientists such Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins,etc Romans 1 talks about what is clearly known from creation being ignored. It is a judgment on those who are opposed to God that He hands them over to foolishness. 2 Thes 2:11 says “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” So I disagree with the premise of the question in that I have said from the beginning that all we have for the past is evidence and we interpret that evidence based on preconceptions. If the preconceptions do not start with what God tells us through His Word, we will come to false conclusions. That is not God’s fault. That is ours. But He will use it as a judgment.

      Romans 1:21-22 “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools”

    109. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

      Some questions for Ken Ham and all others opposing an ancient earth by arguing ‘no [animal] death before Adam sinned.’

      Immediately after he Created on the fifth day, the Lord commanded the fish and birds to be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters and the seas and let birds multiply on the earth.” He said to the man who he created, ” Be fruitful and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Now, this was before Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden.

      1. Unless they are being taken for food or dying, how long before the fish and rabbits cover the earth?

      2. Is taking fish for food excluded from man’s dominion over the fish?

      3. Was the tree of life also animal feed?

      4. Where do we read about the Lord God giving the animals a promise of living forever provided that Adam did not sin?

      5. If the verses in Romans concerning death coming into the world with the sin of Adam was reference to the death of things other than Adam, why stop at the animals? How about plants? Did a leaf of lettuce ever wilt and die? Did the Garden of Eden not need pruning?

      6. Is not reducing God’s promise to man who he made in his own image to the level of creatures, a move toward’s naturalism that denies that man is special with regard to God’s Creation?

      7. Before modern Adventism, do we find Christian theologians making such an argument? They were reading the same Bible as Ken Ham. Is it not likely that someone or some books of Ham’s acquaintance taught him these things?

    110. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      Philip, you said, “I want to reply to your posts because you are remarkably informed on these subjects. Else, you are blazing through Google.”

      Sorry to disappoint, but at least on this particular aspect, I am not all that knowledgeable. You brought up Ken Ham in relation to Ellen White and George Price. So I simply looked to see what Answers in Genesis had to say about it.

      As I will do with the following article that elaborate on one of the Biblical geologists who predate Ellen White and George Price: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/gtp/george-young

      I’m really not interested in your personal encounters with a member of AIG staff and whether he “seemed terrified”. If it’s not an account that is documented and verifiable, I would rather stick to those.

      This really isn’t a subject I’m that interested in anyway. I’m interested in the validity of an argument; not who popularizes it. As Ken Ham correctly points out:

      ” By claiming that young-earth creationism was founded on the teachings of Ellen White, he committed the logical error known as the genetic fallacy. The genetic fallacy occurs when one confuses the origin of a view with the truth of the view. It may be a good strategy in a courtroom (i.e., discrediting the witness), but it has no bearing on truth or the validity of an argument. If a discredited witness said that “2+2=4” the statement is still true, even though the witness may be lying or mistaken about other things. Clearly Noll’s reasoning here is not logical. Whether or not young-earth creationism began with Ellen White would have no bearing on its truth or falsity. Furthermore, White was taking Genesis 1–11 as literal history just like scriptural geologists did and just as the vast majority of the Church had for the first 18 centuries. Young-earth creationism is nothing new. Rather, old-earth creationism is the novelty and fatally flawed interpretive scheme.”

      For that reason, I wish to get back to the validity of the argument rather than who popularized it. You already display a clear bias against young earth creationists as displayed in prior postings where you attack people for holding to views they do not. I wish not to engage in conversations dealing with fallacious ad-hominems.

    111. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

      Philip in response to 109:

      1. That is something we have no way of knowing. If the purpose of multiplying was to fill the earth, perhaps there would have been no more multiplying after that had occurred. God did not reveal this to us so we have no way of knowing.

      2. Your answer is found in Genesis 1:29-30. Did God include fish or did He not?

      3. That question pre-supposes that prior to the Fall, eating from the Tree of Life was required in order not to die. That is not stated in the text See also this article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/05/18/satan-the-fall-good-evil-tree-of-life

      4. Where do we find God giving man a promise to live forever prior to sin? It was never stated that they would live forever prior to sin. The expectation of death was never there prior to sin so no promise was necessary either for man or for animals.

      5. There is a clear difference between a death of a creation without consciousness, and the ability to suffer, and the ability to have a will and emotions; (creatures) with plants. See also http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/do-leaves-die

      6. Does it reduce it when God says that He cares for the sparrows and provides for them? Does it reduce it for God to make all animals herbivores according to Genesis 1 prior to the Fall and also herbivores in the new creation according to Isaiah 11? When we look at Romans 8 we then must ask, did God design the creature in “the bondage of corruption”? That doesn’t sound like a loving or a good God. “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain”, is that the “very good” creation design from the beginning or is that the result of sin? Why does God give us commands on not mistreating animals if He designed them to groan in pain? How is that different from Michael Vick and his dogfighting?

      7. I believe that has been addressed in other posts.

    112. Josh Elsom
      February 11th, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

      Jonathan,

      I welcome your bluntness and appreciate your response, though me thinks you may be suggesting that I am not a Christian.

      I regret that you are troubled by my interpretation of Genesis and were not able to provide answers for my questions about the raqia and the sequence of days in the Creation week, but that is not cause to excommunicate me from the covenant family of God.

      I worship the risen Anointed King and Savior Jesus. He is God, Creator, and Redeemer; he is the Light of Life and the only hope for our fallen race. He was crucified, buried and raised on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding for the saints and mediating the terms of the Covenant cut in his blood. He is coming again to judge the living and the dead, and to rule over his Kingdom forever more. Maranatha!

      That ought to be enough.

    113. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

      Josh, I never said nor suggested that I don’t believe you are a Christian.

      I made the following statement on Dr. Brown’s Facebook post prior to you joining the conversation. I guess it bears repeating here on this page: “I want to specifically clarify that I don’t support the belief that would say that someone cannot be saved and still believe in an old-earth creation. I believe old-earth creation is a wrong interpretation of Scripture and that it has many potentially damaging consequences. But I do not say that belief in an old-earth creation means that person cannot be saved. I believe Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis share my viewpoint there.”

    114. Josh Elsom
      February 11th, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

      Very well, sounded like you were saying that the judgement of God was upon me.

      I’m curious, what do you think those damaging consequences might be?

    115. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

      Read my posts # 6 and 7 and also my most recent explanation of our two very divergent views of God and His creation design in post # 108.

      Also to clarify, I believe God can judge people by “sending them strong delusion that they should believe a lie”. But I also do not believe that everyone who believes a lie is being judged by God. Sometimes we are just in error. I know I am assuredly in error about some things. Perhaps I am in error about this. But the cruelty and callousness of a intentional design of suffering for God’s creatures prior to the Fall is not something that resonates with what I know and understand of God and His character both through the Words of Scripture and through my relationship with Him.

    116. Josh Elsom
      February 11th, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

      I understand that tension about animal death, brother. Read my comments in #58 2b.

      Regarding the creation being “very good.” Why do you assign morality to this? Why not just take it to mean “perfectly functioning and proper”?

      If God gives food to lions today, would this not mean that he is delivering food in an evil way?

    117. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

      Because the morality that we are speaking of is the morality of the Creator. For God to intentionally create something to be “perfectly functioning and proper” that requires suffering and pain is a whole different ballgame from God working in a sin-wrecked world in a creation that has been put “in the bondage of corruption”. When we see suffering and pain of any of God’s creatures, we can know that God has allowed that pain and even uses that pain, but that pain was never His intent or desire because He is a good God. I’ve asked time and again how God specifically designing animals to experience pain and suffering (aside from as a tragic but yet undesired result of the curse of sin)would compare to any other person who intentionally caused pain to animals for no reason? Can you understand where I see a difference to God providing food in this tooth and claw world because it is a necessary outcome of the fallen world that we live in as opposed to because it is actually how God designed it and the pain and suffering is actually what God intended from the beginning?

    118. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

      Also, when I re-read what you said in # 58 2b, it causes me to wonder, if the account of Genesis 1-11 is nothing more than myth, how can we be sure that our eschatological hope of the future is nothing more than a myth?

    119. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

      So we see that AIG does in fact teach that the Pyramids date from after the Flood. They do in fact teach that all the remains of ancient man date from after the Flood. But that creates archaeological problems that they refuse to address.

      Consider: conservative scholars and biblical archaeologists date Abraham to the Middle Bronze Age. But these overlie the massive ruins of the Early Bronze Age in Israel. The Pyramids also belong to this same Early Bronze Age. Likewise do the ruins of Stonehenge and the megalithic and first agriculturalists of Europe, the ruins from ancient Sumer and Iran. The entire Neolithic remains are earlier still, as are those of the Paleolithic.

      The Bible does not have to accord to what “science” teaches. “Science” teaches anything and everything and constantly changes. But we are not talking about science, but facts. What makes the Bible different from myths is that it is giving us the truth of history and is therefore a light by which the factual remains of history can be understood. This is where Josh is so profoundly mistaken. If the Bible teaches anything, it is the truth of history and origins. For example, all things began with the Creation of the true God. It is not myth, which can never be related to the archaeological remains of ancient man.

      So, why do the young earth Creationists teach that most of the remains of ancient man were from the time of the Flood to the time of Abraham, a period of only about 350 years? If the Creationists claims are true, they only provide a powerful archaeological argument against the Flood. These matters may not bother many believers, but they do bother young intelligent Christians who study archaeology and who are committed to truth. Sadly, that explains why so many of them abandon belief in the Bible.

      In fact, it is not the Bible teaching such things. It is merely the dogma of Creationists. The Bible teaches about a great and wicked world that perished in the Flood. These remains are chiefly buried civilizations and not ordinary burials.

    120. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

      Philip, the Bible does not teach one way or the other about the remains of the flood. I tire of your accusations against young earthers. Your constant pairing of the words “young earthers” or “creationists” with the word “dogma” is reminiscent of your charges that “It is not in their interest to make the central dogma that guides their work clear to their disciples.” Or that they are “spinning”. Of course I can repost what I said to that accusation that still applies: “You accuse those who do not believe as you do as spinning. But the same accusation could be directed back toward yourself when you discount that Jesus said Adam and Eve were created “from the beginning” instead of millions of years after the beginning. Or that God said in Genesis 1 that all animals ate plants when first created. Or that death came as the result of sin.”

      I wish you could tone down the rhetoric about “dogma” and merely deal with what the Bible says. By the way, here is what Answers in Genesis has to say about Abraham: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v5/n1/abraham-chronology-ancient-mesopotamia

    121. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

      Jonathan,

      The origins of a doctrine may not prove that a matter is false, but they do show the source, and it is troubling when that is not acknowledged. It does point to a lack of transparency by the advocates who sweep the origins under the rug. Is not the source of the Scriptures relevant to their truth?

      In any case, Creationists frequently claim an orthodox pedigree for their own teachings and suggest a different paternity for those who do not agree with their teaching about a young earth and the duration of the days of Creation. So if they challenge the “genetic fallacy”, they should not use it.

      In truth, I don’t single out Creationists for censure. I begin writing here by questioning the views of Josh who claims the early chapters of Genesis are myth. I also noted my disagreements with Hugh Ross. I agree even more with those here who refuse to accept the views of BioLogos and others who teach that science is the criterion of truth. In fact, I have close and dear colleagues who are Creationists. But the teachings of the Creationists are not exempt from examination.

      It is Creationists who write all these books on “Compromise” referring to those who do not agree with their young earth views. I don’t see my Creationist friends as compromisers, but as honestly holding to the views dictated by their conscience. I work together with Creationists in defending the truth of a worldwide Flood. My colleague in the defense of NAMI’s discovery of Noah’s Ark is not only a Creationist, but also an Adventist. The editor of my book is a Sabbatarian and Creationist. Though I do not subscribe to all their views, I do respect and honor their traditions. I love the fact that Day-Age Progressive Creationist William Jennings Bryan collaborated at the Scopes Trial with George Frederick Price, the father and creator of young earth Creationism and a geologist who I admire.

    122. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

      Philip, did you read and disagree with the biography of the man named George Young who preceded Ellen White and George McCready Price (I’m not sure where you come up with the middle name Frederick.)? I provided the link in post # 110. Do you accuse Ken Ham of lying when he said he had never heard of Price when he first got involved in the creation movement?

    123. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

      Jonathan,

      Please point out where I attempt to settle matters by dogmatic proclamation or where I have spun some matter of fact. Else, retract those charges. I certainly don’t use dogma to settle the duration of the Creation days. I do point out that Genesis does not in fact tell us that these are 24 hour days.

      I have not misrepresented the views of Creationists such as AIG and Ken Ham. They do in fact teach that all the remains of man date from after the Flood. Your link has a lot to say about the era of Abraham and essentially agree with what I have said about him belonging to the Middle Bronze Age. What is troubling is that the article does not address the big issue: all the massive and extensive ruins earlier than Middle Bronze and the Creationist supposition that all those date from after the Flood. Of course, addressing that would make it clear to AIG readers the great archaeological problem with their teachings.

      If AIG are open and transparent regarding their teaching, why doesn’t someone address the issue? Do you suppose that Ken Ham is unaware of the problem? Don’t you agree that he is very knowledgable and bright. If so, what does that suggest about his transparency? If you identify with AIG, why don’t you explain the archaeological problem or find someone there who is willing and able to do so?

    124. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

      Philip,

      It seems to be more your hobby horse now doesn’t it? Has it ever occurred to you that you could ask them if you cared to know what their position is.

      I have been tracking down enough of AIG’s positions that you could have easily done yourself. Why do I need to be your gopher?

    125. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

      I am still waiting on you to address George Young.

      Also, I believe my comments were very clear in post # 120. If there is something specific you take issue with, please quote it specifically and state your problem.

    126. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

      Misc:

      1. Here is a link where I have addressed the issue of plant life before the Creation of the sun, and how that helps explains the origin of oil and gas”

      http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs083/1105083502346/archive/1109138711017.html

      2. When Jesus answers questions about marriage and refers (at least in one gospel) to the beginning of creation, he is clearly referring to the creation of man and woman. I have addressed why that should not be taken out of the context of the creation of man and woman.

      3. It is indeed George McGready Price rather than George Frederick Price who was disciple of E.G. White and who developed young earth geology in accordance with the visions and dreams that the prophetess published in her book on the Patriarchs.

    127. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

      Philip, sorry for the terseness of post # 124 but it seems like for the past day or so your posts have been nothing more than a series of empty charges against young earth creationists. You make one claim after the next (never with any proof mind you) and when each is proven not to be accurate you simply skip to the next one. I am quickly tiring of that.

    128. Nicholas Petersen
      February 11th, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

      Greetings Josh and all.

      A few points I would like to clarify.

      1) I do not believe in ‘reading into’ Scripture advanced science. I wrote an article on this called “Quantum Physics and Scripture” (http://www.daytonopenbible.org/quantum-physics-scripture/).
      “A consequence of all this is that Scripture should not be seen as attempting to answer all kinds of scientific and cosmological questions, some of which we moderns now have answers to, such as ‘*How* does the sun circle through the sky once per day?’ ‘*How* did God found the earth?’ (i.e. What makes for the stable situation we experience?) These and many other questions were understood to be great mysteries.” And yet neither do I assume that the account must be incorrect in a modern light, in fact, I look and hope for it not to be, because I believe it to be a faithful and true testimony.

      2) My work on the raqia is first and foremost 99% based in exegesis, exegesis of Scriptural and then of parallel pagan texts. However, the cosmic waters are one of the major issues that begs the question: Can these possibly be reconciled with a scientific understanding? For those who will have it no other way than that Genesis 1 is simply mythological in nature, I understand that you are not even interested in that question. It’s like trying to convince the Greek philosopher’s at the Aeropagus in the viability of the-dead-rising-to-their-feet-again theory (the literal sense of the Greek for ‘resurrection’). As soon as they heard this, they scoffed and kicked that wierdo Jewish messenger off of the podium, their world view was just too incompatible with such a foolish message.

      4) ["That said, my biggest objections to an actual Genesis event are the solid raqia and the waters of the deep which preexist the the creation of the heavens (day 2) and the earth (day 3). The heavens and the earth, according to Genesis was not created ex nihilo, they were created out of water and through water. The apostle Peter agrees (2 Peter 3:5)." - Josh]

      Genesis 1 does not clarify if the waters of creation (the original tehom) were pre-existent or not. I believe other passages in Scripture can be faithfully read along with Genesis 1 where that should be the obvious implication. But again, Gen 1 doesn’t dwell on the issue at all, while it does dwell on the tremendous deeds of the creator God. So why not focus on that? If he could do all of that out of water, then is it that much of an issue for him to create some water? The text begins with God though, not with waters: “In the beginning waters were …?” Rather: In the beginning God created…” so from the outset, the message is focused on the creative activity of the Almighty. And to answer your earlier question, I agree with you, that Gen 1:1 is a summary statement, and that the heavens were not created until day 2 (and seas and land till day 3).

      5) [These waters can't be, as you have suggested, a distant belt of ice particles floating about our solar system...]
      I didn’t actually say that is what they are, though I did open the possibility to many such fulfillments.

      6) [...because Gen 7 presupposes that the raqia was opened up to allow the waters of heaven to flow back in and flood the earth.]
      Where does the text ever say ‘the raqia was opened up’? This is why I said clearing up the windows / storehouses of heaven expressions is so important. You said earlier you accept that the ‘windows of heaven’ expression in Malachi was figurative. You should at least entertain then that this is true in this other case. The waters God sent were clearly from clouds, as I covered from Genesis 9 (“when I becloud the earth with clouds…” he will then “see the bow in the cloud” and refrain from flooding the earth again … with the implication being, in like manner).

      7) [... When you consider that no rain fell upon the earth for hundreds of years, until the flood of Noah, this makes complete sense.]
      That is not believed by most scholars nor creationists anymore (speaking of Genesis 2′s ‘mist’, or maybe spring [eid]).

      8) [that does not make the raqia less rigid.]
      I suppose you are relying now on the etymology of the root rq’. That is not certain at all. At best, you should think it is a good possibility, but by no means certain. The ‘expansion’ sense of the word is real and viable, and I think it makes perfect sense when compared to the verb that is used far more often in description of the creation of the heavens: nth (natah), which fits perfectly with rq’ as spacial extension / expansion, but hardly with ‘firmness’.

      9) [I have to put my feet in the shoes of the people who first heard the story of creation. Did they hear Genesis 1 in a vacuum, having no preexisting cosmological perspective.]

      Believe it or not, some of the best supporting evidence for my position came by deeply analyzing the pagan cosmologies / cosmogonies. An entire half of my work is devoted to this (the other being the Scriptural evidence). On the other hand, so much of this has to do with ‘seeing clearly.’ Not being blind or extremely near-sighted. Most of scholarship today on such matters is nearly blind, and I mean in terms of perspective. What is that blindness? It is assuming from the outset (meaning this is unproven, and nobody can question it) that the Hebrew Scriptures are of the same mythological stalk as the pagan myths. So when they see parallels, it is just proof of the mythological nature of the scriptures as well. And yet parallels can exist for other reasons. If there really was a man named Noah, and if there really had been a world wide flood, then all civilizations came from Noah. So shouldn’t we expect them all to have accounts of their father Noah and of this flood he was delivered through? So too with creation accounts. Just because there are commonalities with pagan accounts does not have to mean the scriptural accounts are mythological as well. If the human race really did come from one man Adam in the not so distant past, and then was funneled down through the even more recent Noah, it is hardly incredible to think Noah and his sons had passed down to them matters concerning the original creation (from Adam, merely Noah’s 9th removed father), including its watery beginnings and so forth. Those accounts became greatly perverted as Noah’s sons went increasingly into worshiping demons, and into depravity, which shows up in their dishonorable accounts (gods eating other gods private parts, as part of their very creation stories).

      10) [Am I happy to be liberated from a 10,000 year history of the Universe? You bet I am. ]
      I truly am sorry to hear it was a burden for you. I can honestly say this is a greatly exciting time to be a creation scientist (http://creationontrial.com/articles/The-Los-Alamos-Origins-Debate.htm), though I don’t want to say that impolitely. I know about faith struggles. However, I would bet that you are not past these issues nagging you from the other side now, given the many implications of what you have adopted now. I hope and pray for true liberty, not just for you, but for all of us reading this, as we all have bondages that it would be great to be freed from.

      I sincerely wish the best to you Josh, and to the rest of you and to you Michael Brown. Thanks for providing the forum.

      God bless,
      Nicholas

    129. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

      1. In your link you state “The earth’s early plants would have enjoyed constant light.” Yet we aren’t talking about only morning; but evening and morning. If the morning lasted for millions of years, so would the evening. How would the plants survive that?

      2. I would tend to disagree with your interpretation because I would think He would have specified He was specifically meaning creation of man as opposed to creation in general. But that is not the only reference we have either. Luke 11:50 talks of the blood of the prophets that was shed “from the foundation of the world” (referencing Abel among others). If the first shedding of blood actually happened millions of years after the foundation of the world, how could this be true? We also have Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen”. Who saw those attributes “since the creation of the world” if there was no one to see them when the world was created?

      3. If you propose that George Price “developed young earth geology” I again ask you if you read and disagree with the link about George Young who predated Price?

    130. Philip
      February 11th, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

      Jonathan,

      i have more than 20 years of study on the matter of the archaeological evidence of Noah’s Flood and I have published the results. You refer to my “empty charges” against the young earth Creationists. That is true. The Creationists have no archaeological evidence of Noah’s Flood. it is as if man were not involved in the Flood. If we accept their evidence, the vast majority of the victims of the Flood were creatures that reside in the sea. That is not what is taught in the Bible.

      The young earth Creationists teach that the entire surface of the earth was destroyed by the Flood. Indeed that would have been necessary for depositing fossils and fossil fuels in the depths below. In fact the Tigris and, Euphrates Rivers existed before the Flood. The lands of Havilah and Cush were recognizable before and after the Flood. They are still on top of those enormous reserviirs of oil and gas so prevelant in this region.

      The problems with the young earth teachings are serious. Isn’t it time to look at some other solutions that may in fact be more faithful to the plain teachings of the Scriptues?

    131. Jonathan
      February 11th, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      Tell you what Philip, since this seems to be the only way you will answer my question, I will respond to you again only after you have answered about whether you have read the link about George Young.

    132. Philip
      February 12th, 2013 @ 12:11 am

      George Young, the geologist, friend of Charles Lyell’s mentor, Playfair, champion of the uniformitarian geology by which Lyell would use to rid the Scriptures from the new science of geology.

      Whatever his teachings about the age of the earth, he had nothing to do with the creation of the current young earth science, That was entirely the work of Price, who appropriately named his teachings “The New Geology.”

      As for those who formerly believed in a 6000 year old earth, we could also mention the erudite Archbishop Usher, or the notorious Deist Voltaire.

    133. Ray
      February 12th, 2013 @ 5:17 am

      I wonder if God said, “Let there be huge reserves of oil and natural gas deep within the earth for future energy development.” , for the scripture teaches that by his breath frost is given, and that eagles mount up by his command. (Job)

      And if it’s so that biological material can turn into oil, would that prove an old earth if God put the huge reserves in place in a matter of
      days?

      There were many trees in the garden for man to eat of and not all of them were good for food,
      though by appearances it might have seemed that way.

      Some things God does as a test for us. Sometimes he teaches us by things we don’t at first understand.

    134. Ray
      February 12th, 2013 @ 5:30 am

      I’m thinking God put oil resereves in place in a day. I wonder how many scientists allow for that in their study of the age of the earth.

      If God did put oil resereves in their place in a day, no man would be able to disprove it.

    135. Philip
      February 12th, 2013 @ 9:02 am

      Ray,

      Thanks for making this point. I suppose God could have done it that way had he chosen. No one should doubt that. The real issue is not what he could have done, but what he in fact did. If he did that, Genesis is no help in our understanding the earth because there is no mention of him creating gas and oil in that way.

      When we go to speculation in order to safe our theories, that is what I mean by spinning. Politicians and lawyers are expert at that. There is no new evidence or event that they cannot spin to their party or client’s favor. Sectarians can do the same thing. The Scriptures have a term for that. They refer to the crooked path. But they recommend the straight way of righteousness and truth.

      As I explain in my book, it was Christians looking at the earth in the light of the Scriptures that developed historical geology. The scientists of their day, the Aristotelians and Deists, did not want to see a developmental history in the earth. But looking at the earth in the light of the Scriptures, the Christians searched for

      Primary rocks: from the original Creation
      Secondary rocks: from the Creation to the Flood
      Tertiary rocks: resulting from the Flood
      Quaternary rocks: deposited since the Flood

      These are still the fundamental rock classifications of modern geology.

      The Tertiary contained the fossils of extinct animals like dinosaurs who they suppose had been wiped out by the Flood. It was the absence of human remains in these levels of rocks that convinced most Scriptural geologists that the earth did in fact have a history much older than man. But they did find evidence of the Flood in the Quaternary, unstratified deposits which they labeled as diluvian (from the Flood). Thus arose what is now understood as progressive Creationism, a science developed from the light of the Scriptures.

      Charles Lyell (Darwin’s mentor) did not like using the Scriptures to explain geology. He proposed that the diluvian deposits might have been deposited over a million years, calling that the Pleistocene. About that that time, Louis Agassiz convinced folks that the diluvian was in fact from solid rather than liquid water, turning the Pleistocene into “the Ice Age.” Neither Lyell nor Darwin accepted the Ice Age, believing instead that the deposits were due to tidal wave induced floods.

      There were certain sectarians who wanted to see the Law of Moses a requirement for Christians still in effect for believers even after the death of Jesus, in fact a revival of an ancient heresy. These Seventh Day Baptist loved seven 24-hour Creation days to support their teachings, but that was being threatened by the new understanding. The prophetess came to their rescue. The Lord gave her a vision showing her that he had created the earth in six 24-hour days, and coal, oil, and gas by means of Noah’s Flood. Of course, these very scientific issues were being widely discussed in her day. She founded a new church called Seventh Day Adventism.

      But when geologists switched to the new geology of Charles Lyell, Noah’s Flood became a problem. Lyell suggested a local Mesopotamian Flood. Others suggested widespread “Floods” as resulting from the melting of the Ice Age. The Adventists became the great champions of a worldwide Flood. When Lyell’s new teachings concerning the antiquity of man became accepted science, local Floods became difficult to defend. The Adventist Flood was ripe to bring into mainstream evangelical Christianity, our situation until the publication of my book.

      Let us honor the Adventists and Creationists for defending a worldwide Flood during a time of a great scientific deception engineered by Charles Lyell. But let their teachings not become an idol. People can sacrifice their labor and money for an idol. You can tell its an idol when they become churlish or angry about teachings that are not part of our common faith. One does not need to defend the truth. The truth can defend itself. Defend the Scriptures? Spurgeon answered: “I would rather defend a lion!”

      Let us not spin things so as to protect teachings that are not plainly put forth in the Scriptures. Instead, let us use the Scriptures to study the earth. Let us demonstrate to the world that we have a wonderful light.

      As I mentioned, we are now poised to break out of the evangelical ghetto into which Creationist science has kept Christians. For believers it is a time of great joy, as we smash aside the scientific delusions that have shrouded our modern world in darkness about our origins.

      Noah’s Ark was a great vessel sitting for centuries on the very top of Mt Ararat where it became covered beneath many feet of snow and ice. In the great earthquake of 1840, it slid down the mountain breaking into pieces, but still very much identifiable beneath thousands of tons of ice and volcanic rock. It is going to smash the pretensions of modern science. It is going to return our children to the Bible. Let us not be like the churlish Pharisees and Sadducees and oppose this wonderful herald of the Lord’s coming to the entire world.

    136. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 10:57 am

      Philip,

      I did not say, “solar days.” I said, “earth days.” There is a difference. There were definite periods of darkness and light, evening and morning before the sun was created. I see no mention of billions of mornings and evenings in those first few days before the sun was created. Please stick to what the text says. “God days” are not mentioned, taught or described in the Bible. They are an invention of someone’s…maybe yours. Only one evening and morning per day is mentioned and thus unless you can prove, from scripture, that those first few days had multiple mornings and evenings, to the tune of billions, you are at least as guilty of spinning and isogesis as YEC’s.

      Do you believe that those first few days of creation had only one evening and morning? Do you believe that that they had only one period of darkness and light? If not, where in the Bible do you point us to to back up your doctrine?

      Direct answers would be good here before you elaborate.

      Shalom

    137. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 11:05 am

      Philip,

      As for the questioning of the overpopulation of rabbits and fish and even humans in the pre-fall world, I am sure that you have read that after the fall woman’s conception would be multiplied. Might we expect multiplication of animals and fish to increase also after the fall? Uniformitarian geology does not take into account the great flood. Uniformitarian birth rates does not take into account the fall.

      Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      Ro 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

      More travail for the woman and all of creation…maybe?

      Shalom

    138. Philip
      February 12th, 2013 @ 11:33 am

      Bo, practice what you preach.

      Let’s see what the Scriptures do actually say:
      And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars.(Genesis 1:14-16 ESV)

      The Scriptures tell us that he put the sign there for marking days. Thus, solar days are specifically due to Scripture, why I in fact use that term rather than man’s division of 24-hour days. The days might be shorter or longer than 24-hours, as when Israel was fighting and the sun stood still.

      I mention nothing about billions of mornings and evenings. Where do you get that? As the Scriptures plainly say, indeed there was one evening and one morning on each day of Creation, except the seventh when God rested. You seem to be reading other people’s views into my own.

      The Scriptures do in fact refer to the Lord’s day. Perhaps you do not recognize him as God?? You are making these proclamations that plainly contradict the plain words of Scripture. But you saying it so does not make it so. Only the Lord can do that.

      Again, you go beyond what is written: To the woman he said,
      “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
      in pain you shall bring forth children.
      Your desire shall be for your husband,
      and he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16 ESV)

      The Lord tells the woman that her pains will be multiplied, not her children. Becoming barren was understood as a curse.

      You read the Scriptures like you read my words. You read things into them that are not there.

    139. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote in post 135:
      “You can tell its an idol when they become churlish or angry about teachings that are not part of our common faith.”

      You sound angry.

      Ge 3:16a

      Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; KJV

      Unto the woman He said, ‘Multiplying I multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, YLT

      And unto the woman he said: I will surely increase thy sorrow and make thee oft with child, TRC

      Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; ERV

      To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: Douay Rheims

      to the woman he said, I will greatly increase thy travail and thy pregnancy; Darby

      Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy conception; ASV

      You see, I simply stated what these translations state. I read nothing into them. Your accusation is unfounded. The ESV seems to translate differently. Here is what Storng says:

      02032. הרון herown hay-rone’; or הריון herayown hay-raw-yone’; from 02029; pregnancy: —  conception.

      Not multiplied pain in childbirth, but multiplied sorrow and multiplied conception seems a better translation.

      Even logically, mankind and and the animals would need to have their conception multiplied once death entered the scene. But I think that you think that death was present before the fall. Where is that in the Bible?

      So do you think that there was a very long (Billions of years?) day and night that the plants survived before the sun was created? As far as I remember, both Jonathan and I have asked you repeatedly about this. Did we miss the answer?

      Just because the Sun and other lights are for days and such does not mean that a day was any longer before they were created. Now a solar day is the same as an earth day. Before the sun there was only an earth day.

      Perhaps you should ask nicely if I believe in YHWH. I take His word quite seriously. There is a certain logical fallacy being used when one attempts to discredit the speaker instead of the argument. I believe it is called ad hominem. It does nothing to actually discern the truth. Seems like you were doing that with you association of E.G. White with the YEC movement also.

      Pleas forgive me if I have forgotten what you have previously posted or mischaracterized your view, but please answer the above questions so that I can have a concise answer.

      Shalom

    140. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

      Wow Philip, post # 132 was a quite a post! I think it best to break it down and deal with it a little at a time:

      “George Young, the geologist, friend of Charles Lyell’s mentor, Playfair, champion of the uniformitarian geology by which Lyell would use to rid the Scriptures from the new science of geology.”

      OK, so here we see you trying to come up with 3 degress of separation between George Young and Charles Darwin. Why? We might ask. I would guess because you don’t like what you found about him so you want to tar his reputation. Never mind that Professor John Playfair was a professor who taught George Young. That little fact is absent from your description. Do students always follow in the footsteps of their professors or believe the exact same things? Apparently not in this case since Playfair was a uniformitarian and George Young ended up taking the opposite view. But we won’t find that in your description, will we? Lyell (whom you also mention) is referred to in the article I asked you to read. For instance here: “Lyell, though even more hostile to Young’s views, was respected as an “indefatigable” collector of geological facts, and in several places Young used some of the ideas which Lyell had “advanced and ably maintained.” So we find that Lyell was hostile to Young’s views. They had very different beliefs yet Young was able to see past differences to things they agreed on. Seems like a good characteristic. Yet in your brief description we don’t see anywhere close to the accurate picture. So now that we put your misleading opening in perspective, we now move on to what you have to say next…

      “Whatever his teachings about the age of the earth, he had nothing to do with the creation of the current young earth science, That was entirely the work of Price, who appropriately named his teachings “The New Geology.”

      So I assume you are calling Ken Ham a liar for saying he had never heard of Price when he began in the creation movement? If you are, please come right out and say it instead of beating around the bushes. The argument you first made was that the young earth geological ideas originated with Price and Ellen White. Are you going to admit that young earth geological theories have been around longer than that or aren’t you?

      “As for those who formerly believed in a 6000 year old earth, we could also mention the erudite Archbishop Usher, or the notorious Deist Voltaire.”

      Again, you make ad-hominem attacks instead of analyzing the ideas. We’ve already been through the genetic fallacy yet you insist on continuing. I think I’m about done with you. If you want to continue to resort to dishonest attacks on character instead of evaluating the ideas themselves, I will consider any remaining conversation a waste of time.

    141. Josh Elsom
      February 12th, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

      I have another piece of evidence to throw onto the pile for the view that the Hebrews believed that a rigid firmament was holding back the waters of the heavens.

      The word translated as heavens, from the Hebrew into the English, is Shamayim. Shamayim is a compound of the words Sham and Mayim. Sham, translated is “there”, and Mayim, translated is “waters”.

      Therefore, when an ancient Hebrew pointed at the blue sky above his head and spoke of the “Shamayim”, he was effectively saying, “There is water.”

    142. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

      Philip,

      Concerning the Day of YHWH, it is an idiomatic expression and is not referring to the period of time consisting of darkness and then light. And on the outside chance that it is referring to a literal day, it is an earth day. If there is such thing as a “God day” that is one part darkness and one part light that somehow takes place at the same time that billions of earth days that are composed of one part darkness and followed by one part light, we have nothing in the scripture to support such and idea. And concerning the Day of YHWH, it is all darkness and no light in it. So a “God day” must be the same. The problem is that all those days at the beginning have darkness and light and cannot be anything but an earth day.

      Am 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

      But of course we know that both the “Day of YHWH” and “darkness and not light” are idiomatic. We also know that Genesis 1 is not idiomatic usage.

      Shalom

    143. Philip
      February 12th, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

      Historian of science Ronald Numbers on the roots of Creationism

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQeVRmWSmZU

      and on Ellen White and Seventh Day Adventism

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dllCL4786E&playnext=1&list=PLD65F3113FDB21D94&feature=results_video

    144. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 4:11 pm

      Philip, I assume post # 143 is your way of dealing with post # 140 without actually answering any of the direct questions I asked?

    145. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

      This from an article on AIG’s website: “Sadly, Noll heavily bases his indictment of young-earth creationists on the historical interpretations of an openly agnostic (and former Seventh Day Adventist) historian of science, Ronald Numbers,112 whom (amazingly) Noll describes as a “truly professional” historian who has “few bones to pick with basic Christian teachings.”113 Numbers is certainly a justifiably respected historian of science. But being an agnostic he is far from being unbiased or neutral on basic Christian doctrines—he rejects most, if not all, of them!”

      A footnote from the same article reads: “Numbers does not discuss history before the 1850s to draw the erroneous conclusion that the young-earth view is a modern invention. Perhaps at the time he wrote this book he knew nothing about the young-earth “Scriptural geologists” of the early 19th century. As my book The Great Turning Point (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2004) shows, it is the old-earth view that is novel in the church. Shortly after publication, I sent Numbers a copy, so he knows now.”

      -Quotes from the article: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/jesus-and-the-age-of-earth

      Does being a former Seventh Day Adventist and former creationist who is now an agnostic mean that Numbers is automatically wrong about what he says? Of course not. Does it mean we should not take everything he says at face value? I would say it does, wouldn’t you?

      So I again ask, do you accuse Ken Ham of lying for saying he never heard of Price when he first got started in the creation movement?

      To review, this is what Ken Ham said: “When I first became involved in the founding of the creation movement in Australia some 20 years ago, I had never heard of George MacCready Price. The reason I was a ‘young earth creationist’ was for theological reasons—since there was no death, bloodshed, disease or suffering before Adam sinned, there cannot be a fossil record millions of years before sin. This has always been my emphasis—what the Bible teaches must judge man’s opinions, not the other way round.” -From a 1997 article found here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v19/n4/demolishing-straw-men

    146. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

      Philip,

      Should we judge from your silence that direct answers would be damning to you case? If you have already concisely answered my questions and I have missed them, please point me to the post number.

      Your invention of “God days” is not the correct answer to the seeming paradox between science and scripture. I think that a reasonable assessment of Jonathan’s and my questions and critiques of your approach shows the flaws and presuppositions of your view. If you have something more of value to say, I would appreciate a concise response along with scripture references that you think proves your case.

      Shalom

    147. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

      I ran across an article on AIG that showed the many passages that talk about Adam. If Genesis 1-11 were a myth then God would have successfully deceived all of the Biblical writers who rather plainly believed at God’s inspiration that Adam was a real historical person:

      Adam, Seth, Enosh, (1 Chronicles 1:1)

      If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, (Job 31:33)

      the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. (Luke 3:38)

      Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (Romans 5:14)

      For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:22)

      And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)

      For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (1 Timothy 2:13)

      And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:14)

      Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints. (Jude 1:14)

    148. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

      The same article I quoted from in my last post also gives a quote from an atheist website to which Ken Ham says he agrees with the point to what they say. If it were accurate, they would have a point:

      “Chances are, if you’re reading this, you don’t believe in the fable of Adam and Eve and the talking snake. You probably think it’s a story, created out of ignorance, to explain the origin of life. You probably don’t believe that Adam literally ate a fruit, resulting in God expelling him and Eve out of the idyllic Garden of Eden.

      In other words, you know that’s a myth.

      Right so far? So if Adam and Eve and the Talking Snake are myths, then Original Sin is also a myth, right? Well, think about it.

      Jesus’ major purpose was to save mankind from Original Sin.
      Original Sin makes believers unworthy of salvation, but you get it anyway, so you should be grateful for being saved (from that which does not exist)
      Without Original Sin, the marketing that all people are sinners and therefore need to accept Jesus falls moot.
      All we are asking is that you take what you know into serious consideration, even if it means taking a hard look at all you’ve been taught for your whole life. No Adam and Eve means no need for a savior. It also means that the Bible cannot be trusted as a source of unambiguous, literal truth. It is completely unreliable, because it all begins with a myth, and builds on that as a basis. No Fall of Man means no need for atonement and no need for a redeemer. You know it.”

    149. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

      Jonathan,

      Do you think Philip gave up?

      Shalom

    150. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

      Well my last couple posts weren’t directed toward Philip. He does at least believe in a literal Adam. But he does believe in death and suffering prior to sin as well. As to whether or not he will answer the questions asked of him, I guess we will see.

    151. Ray
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

      Philip, It’s not necessary to know if God created great oil reserves by saying so during creation week in order to gain some understanding of the earth. (see post 135)

      It seems to me that the trees God made on the third day would benefit from the light of the morning, storing the energy from the light they received, and using it as trees do.

      I do not believe in years between the morning and the evenings as some suggest during some of the earlier days. I see no suggestion of that in scripture. I see no reason to believe such a thing.

      It seems easier for me to believe that God made the trees to be as the trees of today, ones that take light from the mornings when their green leaves are out and do something with that energy they have received.

      Though trees are known to survive without their leaves for months, the trees I have seen without leaves for years were dead ones.

      Philip, what would you rather have, one infallible proof or reasons to believe innumerable? Which do you think you could enjoy the most?

    152. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

      Jonathan,

      Do you think that he has straightforwardly answered about billions of earth days, if not billions of years of darkness not allowing plant life to continue? Do you think that he has shown any scripture that would confirm his version of “God days”? Have I missed something he wrote?

      Shalom

    153. Ray
      February 12th, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

      The Devil has been involved in one-ups-man-ship, trying to outdo God it seems.

      I think of when Jesus was shown the kingdoms of the earth during his temptation. (Luke 4)

      Now if the Devil can show a man that in a moment of time, (how this must have paled in the sight of Jesus compared with the glory he had experienced with God) think of how the Father may have shown Jesus what he wanted the earth or the animals, or the heavens to look like in the beginning.

      I think that likely the mountains looked much like the mountains as we see them today, that the seas likewise would have been much the same.

      I suppose a mountain has rocks on it’s surface and also has some underneath and that there may be some differences between them. I suppose some that were on the top may have sluffed off and rolled down toward the bottom.

      That’s how mountains appear today. They may have appeared that way before the flood, even right after creation week.

      I suppose God made everything to be in harmony with his laws of nature, even fitting into it as if it had been there all along, not that it was important to appear that way as if that were the point, but rather it may have been important to him that they appear that way, according to his laws of physics, gravity, and such, in order to fit perfectly as a finished product of his creating.

    154. Ray
      February 12th, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

      I’ve written about this rock I found before on a line of fire blog.

      As I looked at it there was no way I could tell how it was made, though it looked as if it had once been the softness of cheddar cheese judging by the texture of two parallel surfaces, as if it was a piece of cheese that had been cut by a wire cheese slicer, though the outer edges around it were rough and angular like mountain rock I had seen.

      It even had circular marks in it as if it had been trowled by a steel trowel, much like wet concrete when a piece or two of sand gets caught on the trowell and is dragged with the arch of a workers hand.

      It even had what looked like three fingerprints on it as if someone touched it while it was soft, though the rock was as hard and heavy as rocks are.

      By looking at it I could have easily came up with a story of how it must have been made, but it would be much like a science fiction cartoon that I couldn’t possibly believe to be true as long as I still had a right mind.

      The world is full of mystery, things too wonderful for me.

    155. Bo
      February 12th, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

      Ray,

      Maybe you will like this:

      The first plants were formed with no mention of any seed being planted. The first animals and birds and fish were formed with no mention of mating. The first man and woman were made with exact mention of how they were formed. And they were not produced the way all the rest of us have been. The beginning of all things was different than what makes them continue.

      Why not the same with the stars and the oil under the ground, etc? No big bang. No laws of physics. Nothing with a pedigree of any sort.

      Which came first the chicken or the egg? We know it is the chicken. Which came first the oil or the animals that died and rotted? Would not the answer be much the same?

      There was no gestation period for the original animals. No germination and sprouting for the original plants. Why do we presume that there must be prior events for oil and stars (and their light)? Why do we not just accept the obvious? Everything was created in 6 literal earth days with no history or physical reason for their existence.

      Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

      That pretty much sums it up…don’t you think? Do we have Biblical faith or not? What would be the reason that we would not or could not understand this?

      Shalom

    156. Jonathan
      February 12th, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

      Bo, in response to post # 152. I would say the answer is a resounding no. The same as the answer to whether there have been straightforward answers to the questions in post # 140. I am hoping that when and if Philip posts another comment that these questions will be addressed in a straightforward manner. Another post evading those questions would show productive conversation has come to an end.

    157. Jack Wasson
      February 13th, 2013 @ 11:25 am

      I personally believe a lot of the emotion expressed rejecting the scientific evidence of the age of the solar system, galaxy, and the visible Universe is humans trying to get a grip on eternity. 13–14 billion years SEEMS to be “such a long time.” Only to a mere created being which has known existence for 30, 40, or 120 years. For an eternal being, the Creator of it all, it is but a moment (dare I say ‘a single day?) When you recognize God has been around FOREVER, even before the Universe as we now know it, 13–14 billion is not noteworthy. For we who now have eternal life, neither is another trillion years which I believe is the life of this present visible Universe—the one which will be replaced with a new heaven and earth.
      The essence of a “Creator” is to create. For a painter, a master carpenter, a sculptor, the ACT of creating is the joy. They don’t rush, they don’t hurry. They relish the process. I personally do not believe an Eternal Father, the Creator of all, would be in such a ‘big hurry’ as to wave a hand and the entire Universe is suddenly “done.” As far as we mortals are able to observe, there’s NOTHING done, even at this moment. The Universe is, and always has been, bubbling, exploding, with activity.
      Assume for a moment that all of what we can see is “all about us” i.e. that the ONLY reason for any of it was to create a comfortable, appropriate ‘spot’ to carry out the human experience, including our salvation. Would not the Milky Way alone have been “sufficient”? An estimated 500 billion stars, with their prospective planets? Why, we might ask, 500 billion ADDITIONAL galaxies? As recently as the 1930s, mankind thought the Milky Way was “all of it.”
      The point is, there is A LOT more going on here than we yet understand. Once you get a grip on HOW BIG the visible Universe is, the vastness, and factor in God has been FOREVER, 13–14 billion years doesn’t seem like such a “big” deal. Then consider we are now “eternal” beings and an ADDITIONAL trillion years for the current visible Universe to “wear out” like a garment and to be replaced with “new heavens and new earth” seems reasonable.

    158. Philip
      February 13th, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

      Jack, what you say is so profound and true. God is so big and so great, we can’t reduce him to human terms and measure.

      He doesn’t show us everything at once because we would be unable to comprehend and understand. That explains why he is the God of revelation and history. In fact, all history is grounded in God’s revelation. When men loose revelation, they substitute philosophy, philosophical theology, or science, none of which have the historical dimension as we see in the BIble.

      Theologians are inclined to remove the historical dimension of revelation. For example, Augustine tried to collapse the six days of Creation into a single instant. That would make it impossible to distinguish what God did in the sixth day of creation from the fifth, and so forth. Had God really created that way, we could see no history at all in the earth. Creation in six 24-hours of man’s measure is almost as bad. That is almost instantaneous and effectively removes the history of the world prior to God’s creation of man.

      Deists like Voltaire, Hutton, and Playfair (George Young’s teacher), and Charles Lyell refused to recognize Creation history in the earth. They believed that the world was created by a Supreme Creator but, as to when, six thousand years was actually better than a million because like the Creationists writing above, they believed that humans were created in the very beginning and human history was better suited to six thousand years.

      Not surprisingly, the Creationists prefer science to history. They like to be called Scientific Creationists. However much science needs the light of the Bible, the Bible or revelation is better described as a book of history than a book of science. In fact, the arrow (or direction) of history is defined by the great miracles of the Bible from those during the days of Creation, to the events of the Fall and the Flood, to God’s acts at Babel and to what he did among his chosen people until what he did in the days of his Son. When man looses the light of the Bible, he also looses history.

    159. Jonathan
      February 13th, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

      I was fairly certain that if Philip posted again, it would not be to give straightforward answers to the questions asked of him. Productive conversation means talking with people instead of at them, so if honest questions can’t or won’t be addresses, it would seem the conversation has taken it’s course.

      Jack, no one said God could not have created in billions of years. I perfectly believe He could have. Just as He could have created everything within 1 second. But it’s not about what He could have done but about what He actually expresses that He has done. There is no other place in Scripture where a week with evenings and mornings is debated. We automatically know and understand what is being said. I contend that it is not creationists rejecting scientific evidence. Both young earth creationists and evolutionists use the same scientific evidence, we just interpret that evidence differently because the evidence itself does not come with dates pasted to it. There is much scientific discussion on young earth sites such as Answers in Genesis. I encourage you to take a look.

      It matters not how long the history of the universe actually is as to how much our human understanding can be stretched. Just look at the human body. Look at the DNA structures within it. Look at the cell structure within it. We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what can be known about the human body. The same can be said of the universe. God is so great and so awesome that we will never in this life uncover all the mysteries of His creation.

      But what does matter is what God communicated to us through His word. Things such as animals being created to eat plants. Things such as the earth being put under a curse because of sin where now all creation groans and waits for its redemption. Things like the clearly defined evenings and mornings of His creation week. It has never been addressed how a world with plants could also have an evening that lasted for a time comparable to millions of years as we measure time now.

      It has never been defined how a good God would intentionally design His creation to be in suffering and pain as a purposeful and intentional design as opposed to the tragic results of sin.

      There have also been charges against Godly men such as Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis that simply don’t hold up under scrutiny unless Philip would have the courage to come right out and call Ken Ham a liar. (Which Philip seems to be unwilling to do but would rather tar Ham’s reputation by vague accusations that lump him in with others.)

      It is sad that is the way the conversation must end. But so be it.

    160. Philip
      February 13th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

      Jonathan,

      Are you the moderator of Dr. Brown’s Line of Fire blog site?

    161. Jonathan
      February 13th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

      No, Philip I am not. You may continue having a conversation with whomever you want. But it is clear that the conversation between you and I has come to an end since you have clearly stopped having a conversation with me a while ago. I already explained in my last post why that is evident.

    162. Jonathan
      February 13th, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

      BTW, I am not affiliated with Dr. Brown or the Line of Fire. In fact, due to the ratio of young earth to old earth speakers he has had on his show, it would seem he probably leans more toward your view Philip, although I am not sure. You would have to ask him where he falls on the issue.

    163. Bo
      February 13th, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

      Philip,

      Are you going to answer the questions I asked or not?

      Shalom

    164. Bo
      February 13th, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

      Philip,

      It would be in keeping with Christian charity and common courtesy to at least let me know that you are not going to answer my questions. This would, at least, show that your character is not in question but just your theory and doctrine. At least defend your good will.

      Shalom

    165. Philip
      February 13th, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

      Jonathan,

      My reason for asking the question about moderator was not that I did not know, but to ask why you were assuming that role. I should not be surprised that one who makes proclamations about what I believe, about what AIG teaches, and even the correct slant by which to interpret Scripture would hesitate to assume such authority. One of your questions above suggests that I might have accused Ken Ham of lying. And of course you are doing the same thing concerning what Dr. Brown does or does not believe, ignoring his confessed lack of expertise in scientific areas, his confessed neutrality, and his confessed desire to hear from those who do have expertise. From other things that you have said, it seems that you want to deny a hearing from those with contrary views. Am I correct that you would prefer that Dr. Brown deny his forum from those who do not believe that the Scriptures teach a young earth? Can young earth teachings not bear examination by those of other views?

      There is a certain amount of intellectual authority that goes with long study or expertise in a particular area, especially when one has published and is actively working in that field. We assume such authority on the part of scientists, scholars, and doctors on matters pertaining to their specialties. That does not make them infallible, but it does allow them to make statements that should be respected until proven false. You acknowledge above that you don’t have such expertise in, for example, the young earth teachings that you espouse. How then to explain your swashbuckling defense of those views? How much less would you understand different views, which I discuss at length in my book.

      If there is a certain amount of authority in my words on these particular subjects, it is owing to long study and deep acquaintance. Dr Brown is familiar with some of my work in these subjects, has had me discuss them on his program, and asked above that I post a reference to these writings. You are free to disagree, to ask questions, but I am not going to discuss these matters with those who refuse to be respectful.

      Another reason for not answering questions is that due to yours and Bo’s lack of experience in these areas, your questions are much too vague and confused to provide the kind of answers that the two of you demand. Reading my book would help you make better arguments and help you to ask productive questions. Dr. Brown can assure either of you that I do not duck questions and that I answer in a most straightforward way.

      Though I have spent an extensive amount of time answering questions on this forum in the last few days, Bo questions my character for not replying in the time and fashion that he demands. Please, I have other duties even regarding the very subjects that we are discussing. Read the Epilogue to my book. The two of you might find that subject more interesting than the one we have been discussing.

    166. Sheila
      February 13th, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

      Hi Philip,

      I’m about 1/3 of the way through your book on my Kindle reader. I read the last chapter first (I skip around a lot) and I appreciate the bibliography you gave. I too believe it’s Noah’s Ark! Nothing rang true until I looked at the evidence from NAMI. I never got to see the presentation they gave in Charlotte, NC but it doesn’t surprise me in the least that the Lord left some things to be discovered in our day and time when faith is waning and new converts are few. Perhaps your book will awaken some to explore the Bible again!

    167. Philip
      February 13th, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      Hi Sheila,

      I have just returned from Turkey. Noah’s Ark has indeed been found, though in truth it was never completely lost.

      Is this Shela Mitchell?

    168. Sheila
      February 13th, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

      No. Sheila Caldon.

    169. Sheila
      February 14th, 2013 @ 12:10 am

      Philip,

      Do you have anything you can share from NAMI? I think it’s so exciting I can’t wait to hear and see more about what they’ve found!

      No, I suppose the Ark never was truly lost.

      Perhaps you could keep us posted on any news? Love to hear about it!

    170. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 12:14 am

      Sheila, great to hear from you.

      (if anyone knows the Mitchell’s from Alaska, whose daughter attended Fire School prior to her mission to Japan, please have the family contact me.)

      Yes, this is going to shake this world down to its foundations.

    171. Sheila
      February 14th, 2013 @ 12:23 am

      I’m holding on then. Can you give us any time frame for the release of any new info or other? It’s wonderful to hear of it! I can’t wait to feast my eyes on more photos! National Geographic had a piece, years ago, saying that the wood was radiocarbon dated to about 4,800 years old.

      It’s as interesting as the Shroud of Turin even! Probably cause just as big a firestorm too! The naysayers are lining up as we speak. You know.

    172. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 12:34 am

      It is no longer just NAMI. I can’t say officially until the AGE (American scientific) team completes its mission, but indeed there are large pieces of a great ancient ship with a pitch-covered, bowed hull beneath permanently frozen rocks and ice very high on the mountain.

    173. Ray
      February 14th, 2013 @ 3:56 am

      Sometimes emperors don’t have clothes, though they lead a parade for a day. I’ve seen other claims about finding Noah’s ark as well as other things. They claim to be authorities but don’t have things in order. The things they present don’t add up.

    174. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 4:48 am

      Yes, Ray,

      There have been many and conflicting claims to have sighted Noah’s Ark. i tried to discuss these claims with some of the prominent American Ark searchers. All of them were secretive and none wanted the involvement of someone with archaeological expertise. After working 20 years studying the archaeological evidence of Noah’s Flood, even after tracing a new dispersion of mankind to Ararat, I intended to make no mention of the subject in my book. The reason: no one offered evidence. I has decided that after so many thousand years, the Ark did not exist.

      As Sheila points out, NAMI not only offered evidence, they also invited archaeological involvement. They obeyed laws and worked with the antiquities authorities, as do all reputable archaeologists.

      if you have investigated these claims, I would appreciate your report because this is my field. Opinions that are not based on actual investigation are just that.

      About these particular claims, what do you see as “not adding”?

    175. Bo
      February 14th, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote:
      “Another reason for not answering questions is that due to yours and Bo’s lack of experience in these areas, your questions are much too vague and confused to provide the kind of answers that the two of you demand.”

      So you have time to post a long post that does not answer any questions but not answer them. It advertises your book, but does not answer our questions. So you think questions like these are vague and confused:

      You have agreed that there was only one period of darkness and light per creation day. Where in the Bible do you find support for what you have termed “God days” that would be measured in millions or billions of solar days?

      What mechanism for the survival of the plants, that were created on day three, do you propose that would allow them to live during millions of years of light and darkness that would have made up one of your “God days”?

      Do you think that on day 4 day of creation, when the sun was created, that there was a shift in the length of a day on earth from millions of years to simply a solar day?

      Where in the Bible do you find that there was death and suffering before Adam sinned?

      There are other questions like these in the posts above that you have not answered. Trying to paint Jonathan and me as confused and inexperienced to sift peoples attention away from your refusal to answer questions that might be damning to your position is being evasive and coy. It seems to be intellectually dishonest and has the flavor of political smear tactics.

      Maybe Jonathan will have the time to post or repost a few questions that are unconfused and specific for you to answer also.

      Shalom

    176. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

      Bo,

      Above, I answered the question about the Creation days belonging to the Lord rather than man and also in my book. How can these be days of fleshly man, which depend on a fleshly body, when the conditions for the existence of man’s fleshly body were yet to appear? The seventh day, as the book of Hebrews points out — a permanent day, belongs to the first week of Creation. The Lord is still resting from his Creation. You may disagree or not like this answer, but don’t keep repeating that I have not tried to answer.

      Now, above I have also pointed out the archaeological problems with Creationist theory and requested an answer from those of you who hold to that theory. Is there any place above where any of you have responded?

      I have posted a link above where I have addressed the matter of plant life before the sun. That is not a link to my book, but if some of these issues do require some knowledge of physics that are better presented, as I have done, in a book, do not expect me to repeat that information on this blog site.

      Lastly, on “death and suffering” before Adam, bear in mind that the Lord does not declare his Creation good until he completes the work on a particular day. If the purpose of a creature is for food, that does not mean that fulfillment of that purpose is not a good thing. When Able offered from the flock, the Lord accepted his sacrifice, but not Cain’s offer of plants from the field. Likewise, the Lord enjoyed the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice of clean animals after the Flood. Someone seems to be projecting the values of Eastern religions like Buddhism into the Scriptures.

      Whether you like these answers, I have never before been accused of not writing clearly or of not forthrightly answering questions as I always love to do. Can we move forward?

      Now, will you explain why Creationists find massive archaeological evidence of man belonging to that short period between the Flood and Abraham, just after the earth’s population had been reduced to 8 people, but none at all belonging to those wicked days of man between Adam and the Flood?

    177. Jonathan
      February 14th, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

      Dr. Brown, if I said anything inappropriate in post # 162, I apologize. Philip seems to think I said something derogatory toward you in that post. I was aware of where you stated that you believed the Biblical evidence could go either way where it comes to old earth vs young earth. I don’t believe you stated you did not have a position but I also don’t believe you revealed what that position was. I am aware that one young earth creationist has been interviewed on the program once. Meanwhile Hugh Ross and/or others from the old earth organization “Reasons to Believe” has been on the program at least three times. John Lennox who also proposes old earth ideas has been on the program. I didn’t realize when I made the comment, but apparently Philip has been on the program as well. So one would tend to think the ratio of speakers would indicate that you lean toward the old-earth arguments. Of course I hope for more of a balance in interviewing and I would of course like for you to agree with me on the issue. But it is your program and you are doing with it as you see fit. I didn’t intend my comment to be derogatory; merely an observation as to where I believed you might lean on the issue. I thought Philip would be happy to hear that I thought you leaned on his side of the argument. I did clarify in the comment that I did not know for sure what your position was. If my observation about the program was inappropriate or derogatory for some reason, I apologize. It was not meant that way. I am frankly puzzled why Philip would take it that way. I don’t feel my comments attack your character in any way as his comments do toward leaders in the young earth side of things. I feel that wholly inappropriate. But Philip seemed intent on these attacks, so I decided my continued participation in such a conversation was not productive. I also found the misleading ways in which Philip describes early young earth geologists to be highly troublesome as I stated in post # 140. Instead of apologizing for such misleading information, it was not backed away from but was doubled down upon. Therefore, I call into question anything else Philip would have to say. I don’t believe research and book authorship gives anyone the right to make misleading characterizations and personal attacks upon those of the opposing viewpoint as Philip seems intent on doing. I could not believe that he implies that Christian brothers in leadership in the young earth movement intentionally mislead those who listen to them as he implied in post # 99. I repeatedly asked Philip to cease from the ad-hominem attacks and tone down the rhetoric to no avail. I was not even intending on entering back into the conversation at all for those reasons. But I felt I must clarify and if need be apologize for what I said in reference to you if it was in error, Dr. Brown. I also want to clarify that I never told anyone that they should not post on this site. I merely said my conversation was finished. Grace to all, Jonathan

    178. Ray
      February 14th, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

      Philip, I don’t know anything about the recent claims you mention, only that I have seen / heard something of Ron Wyatt about the ark, and have seen some pictures of what looked to me to be shadows that some said was the ark by another group.

      In the past I have even heard of someone making something of an ark, for film making as if it was Noah’s ark.

      I’ve also heard of pieces of actual wood but they were not of the ark.

      I wonder if Noah glued his ark together with asphalt pitch. Asphalt will deteriorate in sunlight after awhile. I don’t know how it stands up if buried in the ground. If it were always or nearly always frozen, I suppose it could survive thousands of years, I don’t know. I’m just a carpenter by trade.

    179. Bo
      February 14th, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

      Philip,

      Both Jonathan and I read your article “Can Life be Older than the Sun.”

      Jonathan wrote this in response:
      “1. In your link you state “The earth’s early plants would have enjoyed constant light.” Yet we aren’t talking about only morning; but evening and morning. If the morning lasted for millions of years, so would the evening. How would the plants survive that?”

      If you answered that question, I cannot find it. I also would like you to answer the question. How did those plants survive a million days or years of darkness, since a day, it is revealed, is made up of both darkness and light?

      You wrote:
      “Lastly, on “death and suffering” before Adam, bear in mind that the Lord does not declare his Creation good until he completes the work on a particular day. If the purpose of a creature is for food, that does not mean that fulfillment of that purpose is not a good thing. When Able offered from the flock, the Lord accepted his sacrifice, but not Cain’s offer of plants from the field. Likewise, the Lord enjoyed the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice of clean animals after the Flood. Someone seems to be projecting the values of Eastern religions like Buddhism into the Scriptures.”

      Give me a break! No one here is coming close to Eastern religion and philosophy. How did you ever come up with that? We are not debating animal death after Adam’s sin. We have no problem with the eating of animals. The questions that Jonathan and I have asked regarding animal death before the fall are mainly this?

      How can there be any animal death before the fall in light of:

      Romans 8
      20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
      21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
      22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

      The whole creation has been subjected to vanity by virtue of death coming into the world because of Adam’s sin.

      Genesis 1
      29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
      30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

      From the passage above we see that only plants were originally given as food to both man and the animals. The first animal death that is recorded is when coats of skins were given to Adam and Eve for coverings after their sin.

      As a side note: Abel’s offering is the second mention of animal death. We know that offerings of grain and wine and other plant produce were acceptable to YHWH from later writings of Moses. The thing that seems to be the difference between Cain and Abel’s offerings is the fact that Abel brought the firstfruits and Cain just some of his crop. It was appropriate for each to bring an offering from his line of work as thank offering. It was not appropriate to not bring the firstfruits.

      Genesis 4
      2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
      3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.
      4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
      5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
      6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
      7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

      Deuteronomy 26
      10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
      11 And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you.

      Shalom

    180. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

      Ray,

      The late Ron Wyatt claimed to have found not only Noah’s Ark, but Mt Sinai in Arabia, the wheels from Pharaoh’s chariots, the Ark of the Covenant with the dried blood from Jesus’ crucifixion. A problem is that he never produced the evidence, but he did get folks interested in a site on the plains of of Turkey which he claimed was Noah’s Ark. But according to the Bible Noah’s Ark landed on the top of a very high mountain in a place called Ararat, a mountain from which I have just returned.

      In 2010, a discovery found high on the side of this mountain was announced by a Hong Kong group called Noah’s Ark Ministries International (NAMI). The discovery was actually made by my friend, Ahmet Ertugrul, also known as Parasut. Soon after NAMI’s announcement, a rival Ark Searcher Randall Price spread a rumor that the discovery was a fabrication, probably the story to which you refer. I pointed out to Price’s employer, Liberty University the unethical nature of anonymous charges. That led to Price posting an affidavit on his website from two brothers Davut and Ergun, that they had assisted in fabricating a movie set that NAMI was claiming as Noah’s Ark. The letter that Price posted was in fact a forgery. Price acknowledges that much. As soon as the brothers surfaced, he immediately pulled the forged letter from his website. All this is covered in the Epilogue of my book. Price then claimed that the brothers were forced into making the confession. A couple of weeks ago, I sent Dr, Brown a photo of me at Davut and Ergun’s home. These brothers risk their lives assisting in climbing into the dangerous passages where now lies the remains of Noah’s Ark. It is due to them and others on our team that we have video footage of various rooms of Noah’s Ark that have survived this vessel’s slide down the mountain beginning with the great earthquake there in 1840.

      As a carpenter, you might be interested in the Ark’s construction: a vessel held together by square(!) wooden pegs. Due to frozen conditions, black pitch still covers the external hull. The supporting timbers are huge, with external planks about two and a half inches deep and about 14 inches wide. The archaeology is of the Early Bronze Age, precisely the biblical era of the Flood. This crushed Ark that lies in many pieces due to sliding down the mountain now lies under thousands of tons of stone and ice, impossible to fabricate as Randall Price’s anonymous source has charged.

    181. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

      Bo, your first is a good question that I am happy to answer. If you note in my article, the light that the Lord God spoke into existence on the first day still exists, though due to the universe’s expansion, the intensity is now small and the wavelength is in the microwave or infrared spectrum. This background radiation has been commonly used to support the theory called the “Big Bang,” though in fact there is no reason to suppose that it derives from any hotter wavelength than visible light. As I note in my article this light has been continuously shining since the first day of Creation. There is nothing in the account of Genesis that speaks of the days being defined by light, though light is also called by the same Hebrew term as the word for day.

      The Scriptures never promise eternal life to the animals. Raising animal death to the status of man is indeed the influence of philosophy, especially Eastern religions. Today, I just listen to Dr. Ben Carson’s speech at the National Prayer breakfast. He tells of explaining the difference between the brain of a man and the brain of a dog. He was attacked for his unfair treatment of the dog.

      Your questions here are fair and good. But I wish that you would answer the archaeological problem that beset Creationist theory. as I have asked. is it possible that someone from AIG might assist?

    182. Bo
      February 14th, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

      Philip,

      Who on this thread ever talked about animals being raised to human status? Who ever talked about them having eternal life?

      You still did not answer how a day, that contains darkness for one part and light for one part, and that is millions of years long of each can sustain plant life during the darkness.

      “The evening and the morning were the third day” certainly indicates darkness for the first part and light for the second part of that day.

      Shalom

    183. Philip
      February 14th, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

      Bo, I am happy to address these questions coming from Creationist theology, but I want to point out that you and Jonathan harped above about me supposedly avoiding your questions while neither of you have as much as acknowledged that I have even asked a question.

      To your question about animals being raised to human status. Indeed, Creationists have taken these verses pertaining to soteriology (salvation) and have supposed them focussed on Nature and animal life. They have not been traditionally understood that way. The context of Romans and the New Testament would have these verses applied to the world of mankind, the whole Creation and not just the elect sons of God. This is not to say that Nature itself would not be affected, though not necessarily in the way that Creationists teach.

      In other places, the writer Paul specifically points out that it is man rather than animals that concern God. Creationists definitely put a light on these Scriptures that hardly distinguish animals from man. That means either lowering man’s status, or raising that of the animals beyond what we see as the teachings of Scripture. If animals no longer die, they have eternal life.

      On the second question, note that it does not in fact say that ‘the darkness and the light were the third day.’ As I mention in my book, the Lord mentions his process of Creation as defining evening and morning specifically because these are not ordinary days defined by darkness and light. Were they ordinary days, there would be no need for him to point out evening and morning. The Lord makes the point that these days were distinct periods of Creation: the evening was the condition in which he began; the morning, was the point in which he found his creation of that day good. Were they days in the ordinary sense that you suppose, there would be no need for him to explain about their being an evening and morning.

      I don’t mind your questions, but why do Creationists exempt your theology from examination? Can it bear examination?

    184. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 12:39 am

      Philip,

      So what you are saying is that, in Genesis chapter one, evening means beginning and morning means ending. Correct? These “God days” were made up of probably billions of cycles of darkness and light on earth. Correct? This would especially be true starting on day 4 when the sun was created. Correct? The ideas of darkness/night and light/day have nothing to do with the use of evening and morning in Genesis one. Correct?

      Shalom

    185. David Roberts
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:57 am

      Checkmate

    186. Philip
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:44 am

      Bo,

      What you write is very much in line with Genesis 1. But divine time, what I have pointed out as an example of genetic time, has no quantitative measure. God is a spirit. He is no more subject to space and time than he is subject to matter. Space, time, and matter come from him. When we are in the Spirit, we are the same. None the less, even our activities in the Spirit do affect the things of matter, space, and time. And for a time, The Lord himself took on the form of flesh.

      yom is the Hebrew word for light as also for day. it can also serve the same in English. When there is light, we may assume it is day and when it is day, we ordinarily expect it to be light. But in fact the presence of light is not a division much less a certain measure of time.

      Many have pointed to the parallels between the state of things at the end (Revelation) and the beginnings (Genesis). In the end, note that there is no sun, but there are trees growing beside the banks of the river issuing from the throne of God.

      Please David, this is I hope a conversation and not a game.

    187. Ray
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:01 am

      If we were to keep one rotation of the earth as an understanding as to the length of one day, it seems to me that a lot of confussion is cleared up, and we can see the light of day.

    188. Ray
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:12 am

      Are we becoming like little children yet or are we changing into something else?

      Little children don’t seem to seek their own glory. I think they tend to learn that way later on in life.

    189. Josh Elsom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:25 am

      You guys are wasting your time with this examination of the length of a day in Gen 1. It is a 24 hour period, end of story. The grammar is quite clear, when you place an ordinal or cardinal number beside the word ‘yom’ it always means a 24 hr period.

      What you all seem to be missing, however, is that neither the author of Genesis, nor its first recipients, had a modern comprehension of our actual cosmological geography.

      Look at the text, it clearly shows that the heavens were not created until the second day, that the earth was not created until the third day, and that the sun, moon, and stars were not placed in the heavens until day four. So, while the text clearly intends to communicate a 24 hr period for a day (for each of the 6 days of creation), you must understand that you are dealing with a cosmology that is far different than our own. They obviously thought that the division of night and day was derivative of light and darkness, and not the rotation of a planet.

    190. Josh Elsom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:29 am

      My apologies, I should have prefaced that last comment with “With all due respect…”. While I want to challenge your interpretation of Genesis, I certainly do not want to come across as insulting (which my previous comment may have done).

    191. Philip
      February 15th, 2013 @ 9:57 am

      David,

      I want to address your comments above concerning the Hebrew “authorities” concerning how we are to read Genesis. One authority you seem proud to mention is James Barr. I cover this in my book, but for your convenience I will also address him here.

      Like the German school that he follows, Barr reads Genesis as a crassly material myth of the Ancient Near East which the Jews borrowed from their neighbors. In his “Fundamentalism,” he is upset that the leading Fundamentalists of his day did not read the days of Genesis as 24-hour days. He has in mind the New Bible Dictionary, the leading scholarly dictionary then used by the English Fundamentalists, with editors like Young and Packer. If you were raised in a Fundamentalist, Pentecostalist, Dispensationalist, or Holiness Church and you are as old as me and neither an Adventist nor Missouri Synod Lutheran, the leading scholars in your church in your childhood probably taught some or another old earth view. The faith of conservative Christians in those days was a good deal more biblical than we see in evangelical churches today.

      Liberal scholars like Barr who taught these verses in Genesis as myth were delighted with the appearance of Creationists, just as Creationists like to crow about the support of their hermeneutics from liberal scholars. The media likewise like to promote Creationists in order to diss the Bible and those who believe it. I have discovered that the media are the primary means of educating the masses today. That includes scientists and scholars concerning issues lying outside their particular expertise. Due to the complementary efforts of liberals who want to teach Genesis as myth and Creationists who seem undisturbed that their interpretation fails to shed light on the ancient history of man, we have a generation that easily reads the days of Genesis as ordinary 24-hour days. Even I once fell under the spell of their dogma until I actually investigated the subject.

      The point is, like issues of global warming, homosexuality, and the like, what the supposed learned world may or may not believe in a particular era as that of today may be interesting, but has no relevance to truth. Very learned interpreters of the Bible once believed the Bible taught that the earth did not move. That is because almost everyone then were reading Aristotle’s teachings into the Bible. Many of the Medieval rabbis that you mention were also influenced by Aristotle through the influence of Islamic scholars with whom many Jewish scholars then lived. Islamic influence caused some of them to teach that God began his creation with a material chaos, leading some to teach that the verses of Genesis represented a recreation. Some of their comments about the days of Genesis was to counter Christian views stemming from Augustine that God’s created the world in an instant. Luther’s comments about a spade being a spade in insisting on ordinary days is likewise to address the teachings of Augustine.

      The modern discussion about the days of Genesis begins with Isaac Newton’s discussion with Bishop Burnet as to how God might have created the earth in accordance with Newton’s laws. As I noted, the Deists generally taught a young earth, but the modern controversy about the days of Genesis is rooted in the theology of Ellen G. White. That is why animal death has become a dominant theme among Creationists and why Creationists themes are so suited to children and home schools. Look at Adventist art and literature. Then look at the same from Creationists. The cynical world is pleased to see Genesis and Noah’s Ark reduced to a story for children. As you can see, liberals and Creationists are allies in this enterprise. That is why they love to quote one another as authorities in biblical interpretation. But though this has become the myth of our day taught by liberals and Creationists alike, the truth is, the long history of the earth prior to God’s creation of man is a product of believing Christian ministers (as scientists were once known) studying the earth in the light of the Scriptures.

    192. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

      Philip,

      Concerning YEC theology, You wrote:
      “Can it bear examination?”

      I will ask that your theology pass this test also.

      You wrote:
      “yom is the Hebrew word for light as also for day.”

      Here is what the scripture says:

      Genesis 1
      4 And God saw the light(216 רוא), that it was good: and God divided the light(216 רוא) from the darkness(2822 )ךשׁח.
      5 And God called the light(216 רוא) Day(3117 םוי), and the darkness(2822 ךשׁח) he called Night(3915 ליל). And the evening(06153 ברע) and the morning(1242 רקב) were the first day(3117 םוי.

      In Hebrew “ore” is the word for light not “yom.” “Yom” can be used for either the full cycle of darkness and light (24 hours to us) or for the light portion of that cycle. In the passage above it is used both ways. The light/ore part of the first day/yom was called “yom.” The only way for darkness and light to be separated is for them to not occupy the same space. The only ways that we know for this to happen is either to turn off the light source or block it somehow. Evening and morning are the portions of time that it is changing from light to darkness and vice versa.

      The above passage uses all these terms with no suggestion of multiple earth day and night cycles happening during one “yom.” It is quite obvious that the darkness is night and the light is day. It is also quite obvious that evening and morning are never used to mean beginning and end. It is impossible for this sort of thing to be.

      Evening happens at the opposite end of day or night from morning. Evening is always separated from morning. Evening is the beginning of a “yom” but morning is not the end of a “yom.” It is in the middle of a “yom.” Evening and morning are the beginning and end of Night/darkness. Also, because of the cycle of day and night, morning and evening are the beginning and end of day/light.

      You wrote:
      “On the second question, note that it does not in fact say that ‘the darkness and the light were the third day.’ As I mention in my book, the Lord mentions his process of Creation as defining evening and morning specifically because these are not ordinary days defined by darkness and light. Were they ordinary days, there would be no need for him to point out evening and morning. The Lord makes the point that these days were distinct periods of Creation: the evening was the condition in which he began; the morning, was the point in which he found his creation of that day good. Were they days in the ordinary sense that you suppose, there would be no need for him to explain about their being an evening and morning.”

      Your above explanation stands in stark contrast to the way the Bible uses the words evening/erev and morning/boker. They simply mean the time of day that there is both darkness and light…one overtaking the other. YHWH didn’t explain that there was an evening and a morning to somehow clue us in that there was a strange kind of “God day” going on. He uses the terms for evening, morning, night and day to communicate that these were normal days where the darkness fades to light and then back again.

      The beginning was darkness. Then light was created. The mix was the first evening. Then light was separated from the darkness. Now there is night on one side of the earth and day on the other. 90 degrees off of these locations it is morning and evening. As the earth rotated a very special place would be going through a very special process with its very creator stationed there and interacting with it.

      It would seem that YHWH had located Himself on earth during this whole process of creating. (Probably where Israel is today.) He was not aloof speaking commands over His creation and just doing “God days.” He was in its midst…experiencing evening, night, morning and day. His Spirit was hovering over the waters from the first. On day six we get a very good look at YHWH sculpting Adam and performing a detailed operation of rib removal and then stretching and molding that rib into a woman. YHWH was speaking with Adam from his beginning. He was on earth with Adam, probably as the Word in human form. We were created in His image, you know.

      Maybe you should reread the Chronicles of Narnia. Especially “The Magician’s Nephew” where Aslan is creating Narnia…standing on the planet and singing it into existence…very connected to His creation. You are good at using your imagination to invent things like “God days” and new definitions of evening and morning. You might try a more C.S. Lewis style of creativity for a while. It makes for a lot better reading.

      Shalom

    193. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

      Josh,

      You are right about the literalness of Genesis. The author meant what he said. You are wrong about it being wrong. We even say that the sun rises, even though we know that the earth is actually turning. How do you know what early man knew or believed? How do you know that the the authors that you get your information from know these sort of things?

      Shalom

    194. Josh Elsom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

      Bo,

      Shalom to you. I did not say that Genesis was wrong. I said that you are viewing the text with the wrong set of lenses. While you champion a literal interpretation of the text, you do not accept the plain reading of it. You, instead, have to work the text over to make it fit your predetermined position and observable science.

      We know what the ancients believed about the Universe because we have what they wrote down.

    195. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

      We may know what those after the flood thought. There certainly are a lot of creation myths from that era. None come close to the truth. As far as what the early Hebrews, starting with Abraham thought, what evidence do you offer other than your interpretation of a Hebrew word for face of the heavens. As far as the antediluvian world, what do we have for records of their view?

      Shalom

    196. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

      Josh,

      Sorry for not addressing the last post to you. As far as me viewing the text literally, that is pretty much the case. I think that I can tell the difference between myth, parable, legend, and literal writing. I think that I do accept the plain reading of scripture. Have you ever read C.S. Lewis’ response to the those that championed higher criticism and viewing Biblical accounts as myth?

      Shalom

    197. Josh Elsom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

      Bo,

      True or False:

      According to the text, the heavens were created on the second day, and the earth was created on the third.

    198. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

      Josh,

      True. What trap did I just step into?

      Shalom

    199. Bo
      February 15th, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

      Josh, Philip and all I will be off line for Sabbath.

      Shabbat Shalom

    200. Ray
      February 15th, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

      If created means to bring the thing to a condition of completeness or the condition of being done. (When God created a whale, I consider that it had a tail fin.) I would say that the earth was created on the sixth day, though it was involved in being created on all of the days prior.

      There was dry land separated from the waters on the third day, as nearly as I can see, and the dry land was called earth.

      We may fill bags with earth, but we can never get the earth into a bag.

      I count the waters that were under heaven as containing dirt, or what is called earth which was separated from the waters and then called earth and that this earth was land.

      I count these waters and this land or earth as being the earth even before the land was separated from the waters, and consider that this mass was in a condition of rotation which accounted for the days.

      When I first read “evening and morning” in Genesis, I consider that God gave the earth (in the condition it was in at the time) being unfinished, a rotation.

      Does this look about right to anyone here?

    201. Josh Elsom
      February 15th, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

      Shabbat Shalom, Bo!

      Not a trap, brother. Follow the logic of the text.

      1. You rightly acknowledged that the heavens were created on the second day, and that the earth was created on the third day.

      1. If the heavens and the earth were not created until the second and third day, respectively, then Genesis 1:1 is not part of day one, but rather an introduction to the Creation Narrative.

      2. If Genesis 1:1 is an introduction, then the only thing that was created on day one was light.

      3. If light was the only thing that was created on day one, then the waters of Genesis 1:2 were not created on day one, either.

      4. And, finally, if the waters of Genesis 1:2 were not created on day one, then the waters of Genesis 1:2 existed before the creation of light, the creation of the heavens, and the creation of the earth.

      Now, Bo. Do you believe that the waters of Genesis 1:2 preexisted the Creation of the heavens and the earth?

      If you answer, no, then you do not take the text as literally as you say. But, if you answer, yes, but you want to maintain your view that Genesis 1—2:3 happened literally and actually, then you need to explain scientifically and philosophically how these waters might have existed eternally before God said, “Let there be light.”

    202. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 12:50 am

      Bo, thanks for the correction. What I wrote was not correct. The translators are good. I will stick with the English. :)

      The point is: God is calling the light day, and light is not a division of time, much less a certain duration.

      We don’t have “rotations” without the earth spinning. You assume the existence of the earth of the first day, but the earth was not created until the third day.

      We are writing about problems of physics not fiction. We must not read into the text things that are not actually there. On the first day there is only water, and God’s Spirit. Then the word of God and light comes. Space (by separation of the waters) is being created on the second day. The earth upon which an observer might stand only appears on the third day. Time is created only on the fourth day!

      I just noticed that Josh is writing along similar lines. But these are perfectly valid according to the rules of physics even as we know today. Why then does Josh claim they are ancient myths?

      Also challenging Josh, Bo points out that other nations had some of the knowledge that existed in Genesis. This would have been passed down from Adam to Noah, then to the sons of Noah. If many nations lost or added to what was passed down, that does not mean that the Hebrews borrowed myth.

      Despite the fact that we have lens to see further into space today, the ancient understanding based simply on water was in essence no less valid than how we might understand the world through the light of this account in Genesis. All this is either true (as I believe) or myth (as Josh believes), but the lens of understanding by which I read these texts should be essentially no different than the ancients. If it differs from current scientific cosmologies, that does not make it myth. Because the scientific understanding apart from the Scriptures are constantly being discarded (because no longer regarded as true), we can assume that science is myth whatever be the case for Scripture. But I believe the word of God is true because it is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

      On that, I will join Bo for Sabbath rest.

    203. Ray
      February 16th, 2013 @ 7:34 am

      So how could the waters exist before God said, “Let there be light.”? Maybe before he said, “Let there be light.”, he first said, Let there be waters and let them contain the matter that will become the earth that will be a part of the created earth, or something like that.

      We really don’t know much about whatever communication went on before the foundation of the world.

      I suppose that the waters were a part of that foundation.

      I believe Jesus Christ was with the Father in the Spirit before the world was made and that they had complete communication and fellowship.

      It seems to me that all was made by Jesus Christ according to all that he was shown of the Father.

    204. Josh Elsom
      February 16th, 2013 @ 8:30 am

      Hey, Philip, doesn’t Sabbath start at sundown? ; )

      All,

      1. If the sun, the moon, and the stars were created and placed in the firmament on the fourth day, and the firmament was called the heavens on the second, then a scientific approach to Genesis 1 must conclude that the firmament (which is called the heavens) is actually what we today call “outer space”.

      2. If the firmament (space) was formed out of the waters of Genesis 1:2 on the second day, then the waters could not at the same time be in the firmament (space).

      3. If the firmament (space) did not exist until the second day, then the waters of the deep and the formless and void earth existed prior to the creation of space.

      Ray,

      The waters of Genesis 1:2 cannot be thought of as anything other than actual liquid water. If the waters that were separated below the firmament were gathered on the third day to become the sea, then the waters that are above the firmament must also be liquid water.

      I do not believe that the Hebrews borrowed myths “potluck” from the surrounding nations. I believe that this cosmology was the atmosphere they were living in, it was the air that they breathed. Think about it this way. Let’s take the traditional view that Moses wrote Genesis. That means the first people to hear the Creation Narrative were recently liberated slaves who had lived their entire lives in Egypt. Do you think that they would have escaped all exposure and influence by Egyptian conceptions of cosmology? When the slaves walked by, or were forced to paint, frescoes of the goddess Nut, holding up the sky (with the sun, moon, and stars in her body), do you think that might have informed their understanding of how the Universe was put together? Even if they rejected the gods of Egypt, the concept of “something” material holding up the sky would have been in their minds (The Egyptians thought the sky was actually held up by a stone vault, and Nut was simply the patron deity who personified the sky.) Do you think that when the Hebrews heard the Creation Narrative and learned that God created the heavens and that he placed the sun, moon, and stars there, that they would have seen this as a direct affront against the goddess Nut? Certainly they would.

    205. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 10:17 am

      Josh, I have entered that long seventh day rest that the Lord has been enjoying since he completed creation. (Hebrews 4) When his priests work on the seventh, they do not violate the seventh.

      1. You are correct that the firmament refers to the space visible by the fixed stars. If we have telescopes today, our understanding is essentially no different than what the ancients would have understood from these passages.

      2. I have already posted a link to this newsletter, but I did not mention my main article concerning the merits of a water-based cosmology.

      http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs083/1105083502346/archive/1109138711017.html

      3. Genesis 1 mentions God first creating the heavens and the earth that consisted essentially of formless water.

      The Scriptures use water as a type of the words of God. They also tell us (1Cor 15:46) that the natural precedes the Spiritual. Thus God begins his creation with the word, as also the water,

      Josh, you are lecturing us about the crude materialistic views of ancient Israel’s neighbors. Why should it surprise us that the heathen would have reduced the truth to their materialist understanding? We see those like the Mormons doing the same thing with the spiritual Scriptures. The Creationists may be guilty of the same. We see some of them above trying to understand the Scriptures according to their unsophisticated understanding of physics and cosmology. There is nothing wrong with that, as all children do the same thing, until their own ideas become dogma and declared to be the words of God. That is just how the truth once owned by the nations degenerated into pagan myth.

      The Scriptures tell us that the Israelites were indeed influenced by their pagan neighbors, which is why the Lord forbade them to add anything to what he revealed to them. It seems that you deny revelation. What are you telling us that is both true and something that we do not already know?

    206. Josh Elsom
      February 16th, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      Philip,

      My questions were written for Bo, so I am not going take this conversation too far afield of my dialogue with him. I want him to tell me where and how he thinks the logic of my comments in 101 and 104 breaks down, and how he can still maintain a literal and actual interpretation of Genesis 1.

      My question for you, in response to what you’ve written, is, where does Genesis 1 mention that “…God first created the heavens and the earth that consisted essentially of formless water.”?

    207. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 11:38 am

      Josh, thanks for asking that question.

      That is how I read these passages in the light of the context of the first verses of Genesis, the entire first chapter of Genesis, and the teachings of the Scriptures as a whole pertaining to God’s Creation.

      You read them differently. In whose light are you reading them?

      Many scholars shine the light of the teachings of scholars and scientists on the Scriptures. As I point out in the Preface of my book, I do not take that approach. Instead, I use the light of the Scriptures to understand our world and the extra-biblical evidence relating to the ancient world. What I write about these things is what I see using this light that some have declared to be outmoded and thus no longer use. As I point out in my book, using a light means first believing it.

      As I do not use the light of German biblical criticism, neither do I use the light of Creationists theology to understand Genesis. Instead, I use the light from the Scriptures to examine both the Creationist teachings and the teachings of those like yourself who declare these Scriptures to be myth. I have shown the roots of German biblical criticism in German nationalism, something that most biblical scholars do not understand. They never examined the roots of these teachings.

      In my book, I show how the current teachings of science pertaining to ancient man depend on the way that Lyell turned the diluvian into the Pleistocene, which Agassiz would soon turn into the Ice Age, also how the archaeological evidence from ancient man were interpreted in accordance with the beliefs of nineteenth century neocolonialism and their made-up beliefs about ancient religion.

      I regard the light that I use as proper exegesis. That is how they read, whether they are true or whether you believe them. I not only believe them (as you also claim to do), I also believe they refer to things that actually happened (which you deny).

      When other lights are put on the Scripture that is isogesis. Using other lights you can interpret the Scriptures in whatever way that you please. Those are games that I do not wish to play.

    208. Josh Elsom
      February 16th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

      So, in other words, Philip, Genesis 1 does not actually mention “…that God first creat[ed] the heavens and the earth that consisted essentially of formless water.”. Rather, this is an assumption that you’ve supplied to the text (based upon your presupposing of other later texts and scientific proofs). This is what you’ve brought to the text when formulating your interpretation, yes?

      I am reading Genesis 1 in light of what the text actually says and am taking it at face value. Which I suspect, is what the author would have wanted me to do. So when the author tells me that there is water above the firmament, I believe that he intended to tell me that there is actual liquid water above the firmament. I do not try and find some scientifically symbolic analog for water in outer space (the text says the water is above space, not in it). If we are to understand that the water below the firmament is actually liquid water that fills the sea, then the water that is located above the firmament is also actual and liquid. When the author tells me that the heavens and the earth were not created until the second and third day, respectively, I do not try and figure out a way that they could have also been created on day one, especially when the author says nothing about that creative act.

      I noticed, by the way, that you could not answer or refute the logic of the propositions that I made in 101 and 104, directly. This, with all due respect, demonstrates the strength of my exegesis and the obfuscation that yours brings to the text.

    209. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

      Josh,

      Clearly you have not read the water-based cosmology that I have put forth based on examining evidence from the cosmos that we know in the light of the Scriptures. For your convenience here, I will post the link to this thread for the third time:

      http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs083/1105083502346/archive/1109138711017.html

      As you should see, like yourself, I do take these passages most literally,

    210. Josh Elsom
      February 16th, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

      I’ve read it. And I applaud you, because you are more consistent with the text than are most who try and marry Genesis 1 to our modern scientific cosmological expectations and observations. I must admit that I cannot reject your hypothesis based on my own understanding of how the Universe works, or on evidence that proves a contrary position. However, I can reject it for Scriptural reasons.

      “And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven…And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.”
      (Genesis 1:6—8; 14–17 ESV)

      The waters are ABOVE the firmament (heavens) and not IN the heavens (outer space). Therefore, your hypothesis must be rejected, because it does not accurately reflect what Genesis teaches. A consistent view, if it must be interpreted scientifically and actually, would find water above, or outside, “outer space”. And, again, if the firmament (outer space [space-time fabric]) was not created until the second day, where was the water located, if no space existed?

    211. Josh Elsom
      February 16th, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

      Something, quickly, for you all to consider. When the ancient Hebrews first received the Creation Narrative, do you think that they understood the creation of HaAretz, as a planetary globe, or as Land (as in the Promised Land)?

    212. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

      Josh, you are correct in noting that I do not try to harmonize the Scriptures with current scientific thinking. That type of thing is disgustingly servile. If the Scriptures give us no good light to understand the world and its origins, we ought not to preserve them by clever rationalizations. Nor should we be claiming they are nonetheless true, which is what you are doing. The only purpose that I can see in doing such things is that some professor doesn’t want people to understand that he doesn’t believe what the Scriptures actually teach less he be censored, dismissed, or denied promotion. Liberals have long played that game. I better respect those like Ralph Waldo Emerson who resigned his ordination when he could no longer believe the Scriptures. When once I no longer believed the Scriptures, I did not hide the fact. I now believe the Scriptures as they plainly teach and not as some would have us read them.

      Proof that I believe the Scriptures is the fact that I use them in studying our world and its history as Christian ministers once did. This new science (or return to the old science) gives a simpler understanding of the evidence and makes numerous specific predictions that the current science cannot. The only way to prove that a light is superior is by discovering how much that we can see and how well that we can see it. Again, I am quoting from my own book.

      To your reading: I think that we should read these Scriptures in the context of a world in which man has always lived, applicable even to this day. And we ought not to be so rigid about just how the ancients understood these things. As today, they had numerous variations on a theme, but it is clear that the Scriptures are speaking of water being above the air or space in which the birds fly and the rains fell. The Scriptures also teach that the heavens contained storehouses of water. This is quite a bit different from the current scientific cosmology but perfectly describes the one that I propose.

      We can compare this to Scriptures by which some, in defense of the Aristotelian cosmology, once claimed contradicted the Copernican cosmology. “The earth is fixed, it shall not be moved.” Regardless of whether the earth rotates (in fact because it does rotate) the earth’s position is stable or firm. To understand that God created a stable environment for us to live does does not require a deeper scientific understanding. These words communicate truth through the difficulties besetting the knowledge and language of any time and place. All languages need analogies to express the truths of things that we have not yet experienced.

    213. Philip
      February 16th, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

      Josh, on your question:

      “Something, quickly, for you all to consider. When the ancient Hebrews first received the Creation Narrative, do you think that they understood the creation of HaAretz, as a planetary globe, or as Land (as in the Promised Land)?”

      According to my cosmology in which the dry land is capping a globe of highly compressed water, dry land and completion of the planetary globe are one and the same event. Even today, the age of the earth is determined by the age of dry rocks rather than earlier stages of planetary formation.

    214. Bo
      February 17th, 2013 @ 12:01 am

      Josh and Philip,

      Just got back to the computer. Will take me a while to digest your posts. I’ll try to contribute on the morrow. Morrow is the word for the next morning used in KJV times. It does not mean after the clock strikes 12 midnight. It is not tomorrow or morning until it starts to get light. Yes Sabbath starts at evening…so does every other day, scripturally speaking. Just in case your are wondering, I am not a SDA, never was, never will be.

      Shalom

    215. Philip
      February 17th, 2013 @ 6:13 am

      Shalom Bo, ;)

      Also to Jonathan, Josh, and everyone here to know that I respect SDA and other Sabbatarians. Some of the most devoted of them are my close partners in this important task of bringing the truth about Noah’s Flood and Ark to the attention of our present world. The fact that they are willing to openly work with me demonstrates that their first loyalty is to Christ, his word, and truth, which are all one and the same.

      I have nothing against accepting that God still speaks through visions and dreams. I am no cessationist. He has at timea guided me the same way. But we must test our dreams against the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and truth.

      With regard to truth, I will insist that ICR, AIG, CMI, and most other Creationist ministries today acknowledge the great debt their teachings owe to Ms. White and her disciple Price whether or not they are currently aware of this debt. Else instead of rejoicing with us pertaining to the vindication of their steadfast commitment to the biblical teachings of a worldwide Flood, they will only find the immediate future painful as the fact that they have commitments to agenda other than the Scriptures and truth comes to the attention of the entire world accompanying the rediscovery of Noah’s Ark.

    216. Bo
      February 17th, 2013 @ 10:08 am

      Philip,

      I just didn’t want you thinking that I was opposing some of your views because of being raised or indoctrinated by the SDA, since you trace the current YEC movement to them. As you noticed, I keep the Sabbath. I believe that it was instituted for man, not just the Jews, from the beginning.

      I appreciate your H2O cosmology. I think that there is water beyond what we call space. It may even be that YHWH put a rift in space/heavens to allow some of that water to flood the earth. That is just a thought though, not a doctrine. The main thing that I disagree with you on is the insistence that the original 6 days are anything other than what we call 6 days, complete with evening, night, morning and day time. I am not trying to make this fit into any YEC doctrine. I am starting with the scripture and accepting it at face value.

      Shalom

    217. Bo
      February 17th, 2013 @ 10:47 am

      Josh,

      It appears that Genesis 1:1 is a summary statement. I think that verse 2 indicates that the water being on the face of the deep is there at the beginning before YHWH says let there be light, and that the earth would be without form and void since the solid minerals and such would be mixed and covered with water. My imagination would grant me to see a huge swirling mass of brackish water and muck.

      The earth/dry land is formed on day three, but the elements were created previously. The heavens/space were made on day two…just stretched out nothingness, in our understanding, separating the waters below from the waters above.

      Maybe I spoke to hastily and vaguely in my first response. I guess we need to differentiate between “created” and “formed” or “created” and “made.”

      Genesis 2
      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.

      I leave room for the heavens and the earth to be “created” in the beginning and “made” or “formed” or “fashioned” on days 2 and 3. Darkness on the face of the deep may be speaking of the heavens before they were stretched out. I notice that both the “deep” and the heavens have a face. Maybe former is the condensed version of the latter…if there was condensed space to this degree. If I am not mistaken, I think that extreme gravity can shrink/bend space and if all matter was in one spot at the beginning, then the deep could be just that.

      Shalom

    218. Bo
      February 17th, 2013 @ 11:21 am

      I am also happy to consider the deep to be water under the crust of the earth or even just deep water. The firmament could be made of nothing but space separating some of the deep water that used to cover the earth from the water that we see now. As for solid water at the core of the earth, I am even happy with that explanation.

      Shalom

    219. Josh Elsom
      February 17th, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

      Bo,

      I am sincerely please that you are seeking to be consistent with the text. But do you realize what you are describing in your response to me? You are saying that there was an unrecorded preliminary act of creation which predated the creation of light on day one. When are we to suppose that initial act of creation happened, 10,001 yrs ago, or 13B years ago? Since we have no idea when these pre-Creation waters were created, no one needs feel committed to defend young earth dating calculations. For all we know, the waters could have been created trillions of years before God began to create the heavens and the earth from them (2 Peter 3:5).

      There is, however, a major problem with what you’ve described. If the heavens (space) were not created until the second day, then the water had no location. And, if there was no space for the earth-saturated waters to occupy, then there was nothing but water. That means the waters would have been the Universe. This cannot be the case, however, because the waters in 1:2 had a surface that was covered with darkness, and over which the Spirit of God hovered. But if there was a surface to the water there must have also been an atmosphere to provide pressure on the water to keep it stable. But if the firmament was the necessary fixture needed to provide an atmosphere, how then could the 1:2 waters have been stable if the firmament was not created until the second day?

      Do you see the paradoxes?

    220. Sheila
      February 17th, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

      Maybe we should ask Job.

      When were the angels created? Genesis doesn’t tell us that. There are a million things it doesn’t tell us.

      Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.

      Job 38:5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?

      Job 38:6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone–

      Job 38:7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels [fn] shouted for joy?

    221. Philip
      February 17th, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

      May I add to my above remarks that, as to what these verses actually teach, one is obligated to his conscience. No one who trusts God’s word is going to allow man’s science to determine how we should understand these verses. When at first we read Genesis 1, our attention is probably focussed on God and his acts of creation. Probably our attention is directed to the days of Genesis only after learning that scientists (at least, those in the mainstream) believe that the earth is very old. Hearing of the controversy is probably what directs our attention to the duration of the Creation days.

      Due to the fact that one hears nowadays that the authorities of the Hebrew language teach that these days ought to be interpreted as 24-hour days and also hears that until the rise of modern science no one read them in any other way, we are apt to believe that is just the way they were meant to be read. Not wishing that modern science should dictate the matter nor wanting to force our own interpretation on the words of Scripture, if we hold God’s word in high esteem it is likely to trouble our conscience to read them otherwise. Even some who have sought to discover the history of the subject hold the same view.

      For one to hold any other view at the present time, one must know the history of interpretation better than the writers who make the above claims. He (or she) must have powerful reasons for confidently challenging this apparent consensus.

      My point is, how can I look down on those who hold these verses as intending to read 24-hour days. In fact, I don’t. Those who place their confidence in modern science do look down on those who hold this view. Hugh Ross also looks down on those who hold this view. I do not. Likewise, I also know better than to look down on Sabbatarian convictions, though I am not a Sabbatarian.

      For me, the issue is not unlike the question of Apostle Paul’s day whether believers could eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul understood that Jews had been long taught that to do so was a sin and even many disciples of Jesus continued to believe this prohibited. Paul wrote that if one’s conscience forbade him to eat meat, doing so was in fact a sin. Expecting one’s brother to eat meat from the market regardless the conviction of his conscience would be to lead his brother into sin. Still, Paul’s own conscience was informed by what he had learned from Jesus:

      Meat sacrificed to idols was not defiling. What was defiling was doing something that one believed that God had forbidden. It took a spiritual understanding to know that what really mattered to God was what was in the heart. Unless we know what is in another’s heart, we ought to be careful in condemning our brother. Likewise: how we view the Sabbath or the days of Genesis. It is not my job to condemn those who view one day more sacred than another or those who do not. Let each man (or woman) serve God according to his or hear conscience. However mistaken our conscience, God is chiefly concerned about our hearts.

    222. Sheila
      February 17th, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      Well said! I second that sentiment!

    223. Philip
      February 17th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

      Bo, I am glad to see you questioning the geology presently taught by modern science which, as Josh points out, many young earth creationists are currently bound. As a consequence, they have believed those who teach that the heavens and the earth don’t have enough water to have ever covered the earth’s mountains. Some of them resort to teaching that God created water just to cause the Flood, then made it disappear. Since miracles of that nature are not taught by the Scriptures and we have no extra-biblical evidence that such miracles took place, we should not propose them.

      I believe that a literal interpretation of these verses is probably compatible with some young earth view though that is not my interest. What delights me is to see believers of different conviction about interpretation working together to obtain a better understanding of geology and cosmology through a more literal reading of the Scriptures. The same is true of the archaeological evidence from ancient times. Until we “believers” began using the light of the Scriptures, the world will never know just how good that discarded old lamp actually is.

    224. Sheila
      February 17th, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

      Btw, I don’t have enough knowledge about these things to be able to uphold either opinion. I find it interesting to contemplate both points of view.

    225. Bo
      February 17th, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

      Josh,

      You are assuming a lot of current physical laws that we do not no if they existed in the beginning. Most modern scientists do not even assume that physics were the same at the beginning. Just because we do know how to have something exist and hold together without space or gravity or superglue and duct tape does not mean that it cannot be that way at the beginning. Your supposed paradoxes are created in your mind by your assumptions.

      If there is no space other than where the waters were they would not need any restraining forces. The big bang assumes that all matter was condensed at the beginning and that there was no space outside it. I do not like big bang cosmologies, but at least they recognize that everything started out as a singularity.

      All we know from the text is that in the beginning YHWH created the heavens and the earth and that the earth was without form and void until the second and third day. We do know that YHWH created everything from things that cannot be seen. We do know that when He created light and separated it from the darkness that days began. No amount of time can be measured before this, so it is an exercise in vanity to even speculate how long this or that existed before time as we know it.

      Shalom

    226. Josh Elsom
      February 17th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      Bo,

      If I can simply have you confirm what I think you are saying, then I will no longer press this point.

      Was there formless and void earth (whether suspended, or submerged) in the dark deep waters that existed prior to the first day of creation?

    227. David Roberts
      February 17th, 2013 @ 7:59 pm

      I was just on facebook and one of my friends who is converting to Judaism was saying how Genesis 1 has nothing to do with Judaism, and an Orthodox Jewish man was agreeing with him about Genesis one having nothing to do with science and biology.

      What I find really offensive is the gag that people violently try around Bible’s mouth.

      The attitude seems like:
      How dare you! (speaking to the Bible) speak on the history of the beginning of the world. How dare you give us historical narrative of the very first days immediately after God created time.

      There’s this attitude that the Bible is somehow forbidden from speaking about that topic because religion and science (and history) are completely separate topics. Yeah right, that load of baloney.

      That’s what the humanists, the progressives want you to think, that the Bible is just a bunch of stories to give us good morals, but we can’t take its history seriously, like the exodus out of Egypt. Secular humanists laugh at the bible’s history saying there’s no proof for it.

      What is truly tragic is how Christians are buying into the lies of the enemy and putting a gag on the Bible on many important topics.

    228. Adam
      February 17th, 2013 @ 10:49 pm

      A couple of thoughts.

      First of all, I second the notion that we have to be careful about cosmology in the Ancient Near East. As someone has rightly said, do you really think that the Israelites failed to notice that there were clouds in the sky when it rained, and there was never rain when the sky was clear? My professor, Dr. Averbeck, rightly pointed out the need to be careful to understand the way in which this kind of language [such as "the windows of heaven"] was used. Often times, we take the ancients for idiots, when it is us who do not understand their language.

      Secondly, it always concerns me when debates on meanings of texts focus on individual words such as רקיע. Words have meanings in contexts. For example, take our word “sky.” We speak of the clouds in the sky, but also the stars in the sky. So, what is the sky? It is the same way with other words like “heaven.” The stars are associated with the heavens, but so is God’s dwelling place. Does God really dwell among the stars?

      It is the same thing with the Hebrew term רקיע. It probably means different things in different contexts. When we are speaking in the context of “water,” it probably means something like “atmosphere.” However, I don’t think the Hebrews were idiots. They recognized that the sun evaporates water, and so, the notion of the sun being in water would be absurd. Hence, in the context of the sun, moon, and stars, it probably means something like “sky” or “whatever is above the earth.” Also, jumping off to passages such as Job is problematic because Job is poetry, and poetry makes heavy use of imagery. The possibility of imagery is very real, especially since God is trying to wow Job with how little he knows and understands, as well as how great and powerful he is.

      I think that part of understanding what the scriptures have to say is recognizing that we are created in God’s image, and the authors of scripture are created in God’s image. The things we can generally see and observe are they things they could generally see and observe, and we must understand them in terms of these very general observations about reality. To not do so is very disingenuous to them. We would all hope that, if someone discovered this forum 3000 years from now, they would interpret our words with the assumption that we had general background knowledge of reality, and not that we were idiots. We might say things like “it’s raining cats and dogs,” but we would think it disingenuous and utterly foolish if people 3000 years from now took us to mean that there were cats and dogs falling from the sky.

      Finally, I also think we have to be careful when we interpret the scriptures against the background of the Ancient Near East. It is true that the ANE heavily influenced the Hebrew scriptures. However, the notion that the scriptures must hold to the exact same view as those surrounding cosmologies ignores the fact that Israel was called to be separate in their beliefs, and also ignores the fact that the Biblical writers were trying to emphasize that separation due to syncretism. Given the similarities as well as the differences with the ANE, we are probably dealing with a situation where Moses is seeking to “set the record straight.” He is saying that there is some truth to these cosmologies, but there is error as well. We have to keep that in mind when we are working with ANE parallel material. The question we must ask is, “To what extent is the author agreeing with the material, and to what extent is he disagreeing?”

    229. Philip
      February 17th, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

      Josh, Bo is right. The laws of physics break down as one gets close to the beginning, that singularity that modern cosmologists call the Big Bang. The physicists themselves postulate new laws for this era such as a supposed “inflation.” Those supposed laws make no predictions that are testable because they have only been proposed to try to take things to the era when current laws do apply. The scientific discussions of this era are no different from mythology. If you aren’t convinced of that, consider their problem in explaining how the “Big Bang” itself took place.

      From the time of the Greeks, instead of God, philosophers and scientists have preferred to ground their thought in an eternally existing cosmos. Unlike the God of the Bible, the pagan gods existed within the cosmos. The cosmos was greater than the gods. Over the Christian centuries, Aristotelian thought which teaches that the world is uncreated competed against the Bible which taught that the world had in fact been created. That explains why it was ministers studying the earth in the light of the Scriptures rather than the Aristotelians (as scientists were then called) who developed historical geology, a science in which the earth has a beginning. Still, scientists continued to regard the universe at large as uncreated. Only in the twentieth century did most astronomers abandon that steady state cosmos for the Big Bang, at last acknowledging that the world does in fact have a beginning.

      The problems in explaining the world’s beginnings by purely physical laws reoccur in explaining the beginnings of life or purpose, as well as the appearance of consciousness. It is impossible to explain these things using a material model of the world and the attempts to do so are a bunch of nonsense.

      As the great philosopher of science C.S. Peirce pointed out, in order to have a rational understanding of the world it is necessary to begin with mind or spirit, just what is taught in the Bible. One can explain matter as something that minds or spirits perceive. A material world is something that spirits can create. The Scriptures speak of God spreading out the heavens as a tent, a reference, I suppose, to the second day of creation when God separated the waters creating space by means of our references in the heavens that we presently observe.

      A self-existing spirit does not need space to exist. A spirit does not need space in order to hover over the waters that exists in him or from him prior to his spreading them out to create space.

      A problem is that early modern scientists such as Galileo, Descartes, and Newton taught incorrectly that reality itself was defined by the primary properties (matter and space), things that could be measured in terms of a physical body. They taught that the secondary qualities such as color, smell, or light were merely subjective projections. Notwithstanding such materialist dogma, it is more likely the so-called “primary” qualities that are projected. Thus, in order to exist, water only need to be something that exists in the experience or mind of God who is a spirit.

    230. Ismail Twininge
      February 17th, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

      There are several issues I have with old earth Creation one is the postulation about animal death because if am not mistaken animals and man ate fruit and veggies Pryor to the fall it was after the fall that flesh was permissible for human consumption. Isaiah chapter 11 speaks of I believe what happens when Messiah returns where u see predator and pray living side by side and a Little boy leads them!

      Ken ham whom am sure most are familiar with is a young earth Creationist with his Ministry on Answers in Genesis offers different perspective than that of old earth Creationist http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHg9WEwqFM0

    231. Bo
      February 18th, 2013 @ 12:49 am

      Josh,

      It seems to me that the first day started in darkness. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. This is the beginning of the first day. Let there be light was spoken sometime after the beginning of the first day. Now we have darkness followed by mixed light and dark then day/light and the cycle has been continuing from that time. There does not need to be anything prior to the first day. Depending on how you read it, you might come up with something before the first day, but then we have an issue with time. There was no time before the first day so we cannot really say before the first day.

      Eternity is a quality of existence more than it is a quantity of existence. The Eternal Spirit exists outside of time. He exists at all times at once. We tend to think of eternity as endless years, but it seems that it is better understood as endless now or simply now. YHWH means I am or I exist or the existing one. Nothing happened before time began. Everything outside of time is eternal…but probably there is no “thing” outside of time. Eternity is a spiritual, not a physical existence.

      So I do not conceive of physical matter or happenings before day one when time began. Is that as clear as mud? Mortal minds cannot truly grasp or explain the eternal. If we could explain YHWH we would be at least His equal.

      Shalom

    232. Bo
      February 18th, 2013 @ 11:10 am

      Have you all read “Starlight & Time” by Dr. Russell Humphreys Ph.D. He has some very interesting ideas about the beginning. He is a YEC that is a astrophysicist. He correctly predicted the magnetic fields of the outer planets based upon his young earth/universe model. If I am not mistaken, the old universe/big bang model could not predict this correctly.

      http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/21/21_3/21_3.html

      Shalom

    233. Josh Elsom
      February 18th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

      Bo,

      Forget postulating about science and just let the text speak. Once we’ve let the text speak, then we can figure out whether our modern notions of science are compatible with Genesis 1. Text first, then science.

      We know that light, and day and night (which are derivative of light and are functions of time) were the only things that was created on day one. And we know this for these reasons:

      1. Gen 1:1 and 2:1 are not part of the creation week proper. They are bookends to the narrative that introduce and conclude God’s activity during the creation week. These bookends contain the merism “…הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ…” This represents everything that was created by God, in toto, during the week of creation. Therefore, we must not necessarily conclude that the creation of the heavens and the earth (land, not planet) occurred on day one.

      2. Gen 1:6—8 tells us that the heavens were not created until the second day. Therefore, we can confirm that Gen 1:1 is not part of the first day of creation.

      3. Gen 1:9—13 tells us that the earth הָאָֽרֶץ was not created by God until the third day. Again, we can confirm, by this, that Gen 1:1 is not part of the first day of creation.

      4. The author of the narrative uses a rhetorical formula for each of the days of creation. He tells us what God creates; he tells us what function or purpose that created thing served; he tells us what God named the created things; he tells us that God saw what he had created, and that what he had created was good (days 1 & 3-6); and, finally, he concludes the day by using the formula “And there was evening and there was morning. The ______ day.”

      The only things which follow this formula on day one are: the creation of light; the observation that the light was good; the naming of the light and darkness; and, the concluding formula “And there was evening and there was morning. One day.”

      If the submerged land and dark deep waters of Gen 1:2 were part of day one of creation, then we would expect to see the waters and the land addressed in the events of day one, just as we do for every other thing which God created on the days to follow. We would expect to see God saying, “Let there be a formless and functionless Land, and he called the land the earth…and let there be waters…and he named the waters…And let the waters cover the formless and functionless earth…Then God said, Let there be light.’…”

      Since we do not see the land or the waters included in the rhetorical formula that follows the other 5 days of creation, we may conclude that the only thing that was created on day one was light.

      What does this mean? If light was the only thing that was created on day one, then the dark deep waters that covered the land in Gen 1:2 are assumed by the author to have existed before God created the heavens and the earth. The Apostle Peter confirms this understanding when he says, “…by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water…” Gen 1:2, therefore, is not part of the creation week. Instead, this verse describes the conditions which existed prior to God’s creation.

      So, the message of Genesis 1 is not that God created the heavens and the earth (land, not planet) ex nihilo, but that he brought order out of the chaos by creating the heavens and the earth out of the primordial waters.

    234. Josh Elsom
      February 18th, 2013 @ 11:57 am

      Dr. Brown,

      I’d love for you to comment on Gen 1—2:3 from a purely exegetical and linguistic point of view. Certainly, you would be able to do this without committing yourself to any of the many competing Creation theories which try and reconcile Genesis with science. Right?

    235. Bo
      February 18th, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

      Josh,

      How can there can be time before movement? How can you say that something existed before time began? There can be no measurement of either time or distance without light. If something takes up all space, so to speak, you cannot speak of how long it will take to get there or how far it is away. So whatever you mean by primordial cannot mean before time. If I am not mistaken, primordial just means existing from the beginning. There is no beginning before time begins. Time begins at the point of change or movement.

      If everything started, or was created as water, in one place (the only place), in darkness, which is the absence of light, why cannot that be the beginning of the first day. YHWH does not tell us every detail of each day. I think that verse 2 is the beginning of the first day. Even the statement inverse one, “In the beginning” tells us that nothing came before that. So the waters could not preexist the beginning. Something preexisting the beginning is self contradictory.

      Shalom

    236. Josh Elsom
      February 18th, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

      Bo,

      You are still introducing your modern notions and expectations of science into the text. The question is not how can we make the text fit our modern scientific understanding, the question is what does the text actually say? So forget about the paradoxes you see between a literal interpretation of Genesis and science (space-time before the Creation), and just focus on the text.

      Ask yourself, “What does the text say?” Up to this point, you have been asking, “How ought my modern scientific expectations of how the cosmos works inform how I interpret the Scripture?”

      Flip it.

      Shalom.

    237. Bo
      February 18th, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

      Josh,

      But I’m pretty sure that you are guilty of what you accuse me of.

      I think that day one started in the dark. The water was there in the dark. Just because it doesn’t say let there be water does not mean that it preexisted the beginning of the first day. The dark part of the day is the first part of the day. The beginning is the beginning. Nothing comes before that.

      Shalom

    238. Philip
      February 18th, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

      Ismail,

      Thank you for that post, but how shocked I was to see the title of this Youtube video labeled: “Dr. Ken Ham, The Authority of God’s Word.” I see others quoting AIG as if their authority should settle matters. But Dr. Ken Ham is not The Authority of God’s Word. Aside from cults, that issue was settled at the Reformation.

      If that is just an unfortunate way of wording a title and not what is actually intended, a characteristic of cults is that, while affirming certain truths intended to win believers, as do Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses and as Ken Ham does in this video, they add other teachings not affirmed by other devoted Christians. They don’t like forums where those with different views about these issues can question their teachings and warn their followers not to attend. A few years ago, Creationists were considering boycotting forums that invited Dr. Hugh Ross. If no fan of Dr. Ross, I think the truth is better served by allowing everyone to hear why some of his views suit neither Scripture nor truth.

      As to Dr. Ham’s message in this video, one should consider the charts that he presents which explain why people cease believing the Bible. The leading reason seems to be that they are coming to believe that the Bible teaches a young earth. For that, Dr. Ham is much responsible because people rightly believe that the Bible should, as it claims, be teaching the truth.

      Here Dr. Ham makes little or no distinction between not believing that Adam and Eve lived about 6,000 years ago, not believing that the whole world was destroyed by the Flood about 4300 years ago, and believing that the Bible teaches an ancient earth. If we teach people that these must go together even if not the case, they might just believe us. According to Ham’s charts, that is coming to be the case.

      One hundred years ago, most conservative Christians had no trouble believing that Genesis was most compatible with an ancient earth. Most of their children inherited their faith. As I point above, when liberals and Creationists work together to claim that the BIble teaches a young earth, they are effective. As Ham’s charts point out, that becomes their reason for abandoning the faith.

    239. Philip
      February 18th, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

      Josh, regarding your comments to Bo.

      You follow those scholars who commit the fallacy of historical distance in claiming that words written to peoples of ancient times cannot and do not speak truth to believers today. How do you know that? Did the God who communicated to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses not understand the world that he created? In revealing to man things that he wants us to know about the world that he created, must he say things to his servants that are not true? Can his words not be used today to study Creation, as Bo is doing?

      As I mention above, you are essentially denying revelation, whatever pious things that you have to say about the “authority” and “truth” of the Scriptures.

    240. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 11:03 am

      Bo,

      You say, “The beginning is the beginning. Nothing comes before that.”

      Is this statement true because a) the text of Genesis 1 teaches that God created the heavens and the earth ex nihilo, or because b) it is scientifically and philosophically untenable that something should exist prior to God creating the heavens and the earth?

      If you answer a), can you substantiate your answer from the text by offering a more substantial refutation than, “Just because it doesn’t say let there be water does not mean that it preexisted the beginning of the first day.” In other words, explain why you think water would be the only created thing not addressed in the author’s rhetorical formula.

      If you answer b), then you’ve allowed your scientific and philosophic presuppositions to contaminate the text.

      Philip,

      Brother, I might as easily ask you why you pervert the holy Scriptures for the sake of your scientific expectations and following the tradition of your own teachers. If we can limit the discussion to what the text actually says, and avoid questioning the degree of reverence one another has for God and his inspired Scripture, then we will be better able to advance the discussion.

      Do you have any textual or exegetical objections to how I’ve laid out Gen 1?

    241. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 11:40 am

      Exodus 20:11 “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” The “and all that is in them” seems to be rather all encompassing. Should we conclude it is not really true?

    242. Philip
      February 19th, 2013 @ 11:40 am

      Josh,

      I do have objections to the light that you impose on Gen 1.1 and Gen 2:1. I do not read them as “bookends” but, like Bo, as belonging to the account of Creation. How do you see us “perverting” the Scriptures?

      What scientific “expectations” do you mean? You have already acknowledged that I read Genesis literally rather than accommodate it to the teachings of science. What do you see as the problem in studying our universe via the light of the Creator’s account of his work?

      A puzzling question pertains to the teachers that you suppose me to be following. Have you ever seen my water-based cosmology taught by anyone?

      I do not apologize for regarding a view that treats the Scriptures as myth as false piety.

    243. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 11:51 am

      The youtube video mentioned in # 238 comes with the following description underneath the upload date: “Presentation by Ken Ham, calling Christians and non-Christians to return to the authority of God’s Word beginning from Genesis.
      Very important call in today’s culture.”

      I think this should immediately make it clear that “The Authority of God’s Word” is the subject of the video while “Ken Ham” is the presenter. I would think actually watching the video would also make that clear. If you go to the youtube video and look at the title, you will notice there was not a comma between the presenter’s name and the subject matter (as we see in post # 238) , but actually a solid line. That should immediately bring a different perspective to what the title was meant to say. I hope this sufficiently clarifies things.

    244. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 11:56 am

      I would also like to note in regard to post # 238 that the suppressing of opposing views cuts both ways. I am familiar with a home school convention in my home state that had BioLogos at their convention but disinvited Ken Ham when they found out he had opposing views.

    245. Philip
      February 19th, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

      Ismail,

      As ought to be clear from my earliest comments above, as in the case of other Creationists whose integrity I honor, I have previously regarded Ken Ham with some respect. But I had never heard him speak more than a few sound bites until I listened to your video and heard him mocking those who focus on Jesus in introducing the gospel.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHg9WEwqFM0

      I agree that we cannot separate Jesus from Genesis. I have written a whole chapter in my book on that, entitled ‘Jesus and Noah’s Flood.’ But that does not mean that teaching a version of science that accords with our understanding of Genesis is more vital than teaching about what Jesus did in his days on earth.

      The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians,

      “And I, when I came to you, brothers, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” [ESV]

      What does Ken Ham advocate to replace such a message: “Buy his books and videos.” If you suppose I might be exaggerating, please listen to his speech.

      It appears that Ken Ham’s approach is, at best, the opposite of Paul’s. He spends a good deal of time in this lecture focussing on the Serpent and Eve. Wasn’t it an offer of wisdom by which the serpent enticed Eve?

    246. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

      We can also note about the second day of Creation that it does not mention God creating the waters. It mentions God dividing the waters with a firmament or expanse (depending on translation). The NKJV puts it this way: “Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” So notice God is dividing waters; not creating them.

      So when were these waters formed? We know they were present in day 1 or Genesis 1:2 could not say that the Spirit of God was hovering over them. So why does the Scripture not specifically mention them coming into existence? Is it possible that the creation account does not mention an item until it has been brought into completion? The waters were formed but not completed until they were divided? I’m not sure. One might get the impression the waters pre-existed the Creation week (even though the text does not specifically state that) and I can see where that conclusion might be reached. But we have Exodus 20 that also speaks to the Creation. I don’t see how Exodus 20:11 leaves that door open. That is why it is always important to compare and interpret Scripture with Scripture to get the full understanding.

    247. Philip
      February 19th, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

      Jonathan,

      I agree with your clarification and I am much opposed to those who refuse Creationists a hearing.

    248. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

      Philip,

      1. “I do have objections to the light that you impose on Gen 1.1 and Gen 2:1. I do not read them as ‘bookends’”

      Why do you reject them as introductory and concluding bookends? A rejection based on an unsubstantiated opinion is not refuting evidence to the contrary, it is merely an assertion.

      2. “What scientific ‘expectations’ do you mean?”

      I mean that you have predetermined that everything described in Genesis must have a scientific analog in the phenomenal world. Therefore, when you consider the text you may say, “There very well might be an exegetical case that can be made for the dark deep waters of Gen 1:2 existing before the first day of creation. But, because I know that this is a scientific and philosophical impossibility, I am going to reject the exegesis out of hand.”

      3. “You have already acknowledged that I read Genesis literally rather than accommodate it to the teachings of science.”

      I said that I am please that you are attempting to be more consistent with the text than are most YEC. The fact that you believe the Bible, when it says that the Universe was created out of water has led you to develop scientific hypotheses about how this might have happened. That demonstrates to me that you are serious about what the Bible says. However, I don’t think you take the text literally enough. If you did, I think you would also be looking to prove scientifically that the Raqia is a solid dome and that it is holding back water; and, you’d be trying to reconcile how the Gen 1:2 waters existed before God began creating.

      4. “What do you see as the problem in studying our universe via the light of the Creator’s account of his work?”

      It was written to ancient near eastern people, in a literary form that was familiar to those people living in that day. God did not intend to tell us today exactly how the creation played out scientifically. Rather, he was interested in communicating the truth of his superiority over all the gods of Israel’s neighbors, by demystifying their pagan cosmogony and theogony. “There is One God, and He is the LORD. He created everything that you worship as gods. Your gods are not real, they are material things that were created by the LORD God of Israel.”

      So, when you take the Creation Narrative and try and reverse engineer it, and develop scientific theories based on what it says, you come up with some rather imaginative ideas. And, inevitably and unfortunately you end up having to twist the holy text to fit your models and modern scientific expectations.

      5. “A puzzling question pertains to the teachers that you suppose me to be following. Have you ever seen my water-based cosmology taught by anyone?”

      I am speaking of YEC teachers in general. Yes, I have heard of people believing in what you have coined “water-based cosmology.”

      6. “I do not apologize for regarding a view that treats the Scriptures as myth as false piety.”

      Nor do I apologize for accusing YEC of twisting the holy and perfect Scriptures to satisfy their scientific minds.

      N.B., I do regret using the word ‘myth’ in the course of this conversation. Most people balk at the nomenclature without fully understanding that ‘myth’ is simply a literary genre. The uninformed automatically associate the word with stories of false gods like Thor and Zeus, and conclude that we are opening the door for people to believe that the LORD is no different than those false gods. That is not what is going on.

      Myth finds a close cousin in ‘apocalyptic’ literature. Most people do not expect that the Apocalypse of John will play out as literally as his vision describes future events. Some dispensationalists might disagree with that interpretation, but no discerning student of Scripture is going to accuse a bible believing amillenialist of false piety for believing that Revelation is symbolic rather than actual.

      Grace and Peace.

    249. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

      Philip in post #245 you say, “But I had never heard him speak more than a few sound bites until I listened to your video and heard him mocking those who focus on Jesus in introducing the gospel.” Can you give the minute mark in the video where he “mocks” (as you put it) those who focus on Jesus in introducing the gospel?

    250. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

      Philip, you then say, “It appears that Ken Ham’s approach is, at best, the opposite of Paul’s.” Could you be more specific. How so? It what way do you say that Ham’s approach is opposite?

    251. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

      Philip also says, “What does Ken Ham advocate to replace such a message: “Buy his books and videos.”

      You seem to indicate that Ken Ham replaces the Gospel message. Of course he does not so why do you state that? As to buying his books and videos. I wonder why you present that as a bad thing. It seems most who write a book or produce a video does it because they want a certain message to get out to the public. I not what you say in #165. Is advocating for a book or video you produced because you want people to hear that message a bad thing?

      I sense we are quickly going back to what caused me to leave the conversation in the first place. Can we analyze the ideas and interpretations instead of attacking the people who hold them?

    252. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

      I also would point out that 2 Corinthians 11:3 (at the 20 minute mark in the video) that is a quote from Paul’s writings. So I am unsure how Ken Ham is differing from Paul.

    253. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

      Josh, can you give me the name of a Biblical scholar who views Genesis 1-11 as apocolyptic literature?

    254. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

      I will note that Josh and I differ far more on doctrine and interpretation than I do with Philip.

      Yet I have not seen the personal attacks on leaders of the YEC from Josh that I have seen from Philip. Why is that? Do you think it might be possible that we can focus on the interpretations and doctrines rather than trumping up false personal attacks?

    255. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

      No I cannot, Jonathan. Perhaps, what I’ve shared above was a bit confusing. I was not saying that Genesis is apocalyptic literature. I was suggesting that like apocalyptic literature, mythical literature should not be understood to have occurred actually.

    256. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      So other than Genesis 1-11 what examples of mythical literature do we see in the Bible?

    257. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

      Josh, it would also be helpful to get a working definition of what you mean by mythical and how it compares or differs from a parable (which I see as different from a myth).

    258. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

      Josh, I wish you would apologize for this statement. I think rhetoric can be toned down: “Nor do I apologize for accusing YEC of twisting the holy and perfect Scriptures to satisfy their scientific minds.” I have been attempting to show how I believe YEC is an accurate interpretation of Scripture. I would appreciate a discussion of the doctrines and interpretations without using rhetoric such as “twisting”. I could just as easily say the same thing about your position when it comes to Exodus 20 saying God created everything in six days.

      Can we stick to the interpretation of the Scripture instead of the personal attacks?

    259. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

      So what does Ken Ham believe about the authority of Scripture? I don’t think my post can be an exact summary of what was said in the lecture. But after watching it, I think it at least comes close to summarizing what Ken Ham in what I said in post # 6.

    260. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

      Jonathan,

      1. “‘Nor do I apologize for accusing YEC of twisting the holy and perfect Scriptures to satisfy their scientific minds.’…Can we stick to the interpretation of the Scripture instead of the personal attacks?”

      Clearly, I was responding to Philip, where he said,”I do not apologize for regarding a view that treats the Scriptures as myth as false piety.”

      I do regret my tone and apologize for using the word “twisting.” Twisting does imply a deliberate mishandling of the text to make it fit a wrongly held position. I do think your approach to Gen 1 is wrong, and I think you do work the text to fit your conclusions, but I certainly do not believe that you are motivated out of an intent to deceive.

      Thank you for the opportunity to clarify and repent.

      2. “…it would also be helpful to get a working definition of what you mean by mythical…”

      From its Greek origin, myth is simply defined as a story or legend that has cultural significance in explaining the hows and whys of human existence, using metaphorical language to express ideas beyond the realm of our five senses.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMCFXNXYg1A

      Never mind that the video comes from BioLogos. I only offer it as an explanation of myth.

    261. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

      Josh, as to your first point, that’s fine. As I noted already in post#254 I haven’t really seen the personal attacks from you. I realize in theological discussions, these slip-ups in word choices can happen from time to time and as long as we are willing to apologize and depart from such attacks when we are challenged, it shouldn’t be a problem. I would hope that if and/or when I said something of a personal nature that I would be as gracious in responding when it was pointed out as you were.

      As to your second point, I’m still having trouble understanding where you are coming from. Of what I can deduce from the video and your explanation, I would say you are saying the difference between a parable and a myth is that the people being told the account realize that the parable was not an actual happening while those who hear a myth believe it to be true. Is that what you are saying?

      I’m also waiting for examples of myths other than the account of Genesis 1-11 in the Scriptures.

    262. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

      We also need to understand, if there are myths in the Bible, what exactly does that mean? This is what one person had to say in comments to a recent Youtube video in which Dr. Brown talked about homosexuality:

      “Not to mention that people keep taking such scripture literally, even though things today are NOTHING like they were back then.
      For one, as you mentioned, we got science and more common sense, and understand things far better than anyone ever did back then. It’s like the Norse mythologies of Thor, or the Greek mythologies, and so on; such things get created to try to explain what they didn’t understand at the time. Obviously, today, people don’t take those myths seriously or literally.”

      I’m assuming you would disagree with such a statement. So how do you respond to what this person said in relation to what you believe about myths in the Bible?

    263. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

      I never intended to say that parables or apocalyptic literature were the same in every aspect of their communication. I only meant to say that they were similar in some ways. Namely, with parables, that they are true stories, even if the events described in those stories did not actually occur. And with apocalyptic literature, the symbolism contained in the prophecies is absolutely true, even if the events described in those prophecies are purely symbolic. So, while myth, parable, and apocalyptic literature are each distinct literary forms, they do share some similarities.

      Since myth, generally speaking, only addresses the subjects of human existence and purpose, Gen 1—11 is probably the only place where we’d expect to see myth in the Bible. There are other stories, like Jonah, that may fall into a different category of literature called “didactic fiction.” That is the opinion of some. I’ve not studied Jonah in depth, so that’s not a hill I’m willing to die on.

    264. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:35 pm

      Jonathan,

      I’m not sure what the person you’ve quoted is trying to say. Is the person advocating for homosexuality and arguing that the Bible is fictional and purely mythical like pagan myths?

    265. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

      So if we were to find that Genesis 1-11 was myth, would what I said in post # 6 be inaccurate?

    266. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:53 pm

      Josh, you say “Since myth, generally speaking, only addresses the subjects of human existence and purpose, Gen 1—11 is probably the only place where we’d expect to see myth in the Bible.” Why do you believe that? Not all myths are cosmological in nature. So why would we only find it in Genesis 1-11?

    267. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

      In response to post # 264 I would say that is probably a correct assumption. I did not engage the person but I feel that is probably a fair assessment of what the poster meant.

    268. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:04 pm

      Also in response to post # 263 is that I believe the difference between the parable and apocolyptic passages and what you propose to be true of Genesis 1-11 is that the readers of the other forms clearly understood that these things were not to be taken literally in every aspect but were to be taken of symbolism for something else. If what you propose to be true of Genesis 1-11 is true, then God intentionally mislead people for generations and generations that something in His inspired Word was a literal actual event when it was not. I see no precedence for this in Scripture and don’t believe it fits within the character of God to intentionally mislead.

    269. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

      Re. #265 — Yes, that is inaccurate. If Gen 1-11 is myth that would not mean that the divine truths which God gave us in Genesis are no longer true.

      My own personal opinion is that the 6 days of creation is myth, but there are elements that may have been actual in the myth. For instance, I believe there was a first man created by God who was the federal head of all humanity. I believe that he rebelled against God and that death, through his sin, entered the human race. But, even if I am wrong about that, Christianity would not fall to pieces. Adam would no longer exist as an actual person, but he would become the theological symbol of all men, who die, because of their sin against God. In other words, we’d still need the actual Last Adam, Jesus.

      Re. #266 — The definition that I am working with would only expect to find an extended mythology in Gen. There are other hints of mythological assumptions in the Scripture, however, e.g. windows of heaven, pillars of the earth.

      Re. #267 — I would question whether the person writing actually understands the literary genre. The Creation Narrative is unlike the other myths which preceded it, because it was written to demythologize all those other myths. Not to mention that the resurrection of Jesus corroborates the truth of all of Scripture; even if that truth is clothed in mythic literature.

    270. Josh Elsom
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

      Re: #268 — ” If what you propose to be true of Genesis 1-11 is true, then God intentionally mislead people for generations and generations that something in His inspired Word was a literal actual event when it was not.”

      Just because many generations in the past have been ignorant of the genre which Gen 1—11 employs, does not mean that God intentionally, or passively, misled people.

      “I see no precedence for this in Scripture and don’t believe it fits within the character of God to intentionally mislead.”

      I could ask the same question about the apparent long age of the Universe.

    271. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

      Josh, what is the division that happens between chapter 11 and chapter 12 that tells us the myth has ended?

    272. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

      In response to post # 269, I would ask how (aside from personal opinion) are we to determine which aspects of Genesis 1-11 are actual and which are myth?

      Re: response to # 266: I realize that, but I’m asking you why that is your assumption. (As a side-note, we are talking about a whole passage; not simply a word or phrase that could have been what a person literally thought was the case or could have been a figure of speech)

      Re. response to #267: Some have postulated the Jesus’ resurrection was not an actual event but a copy of pagan myths or as you might phrase it, “it was written to demythologize all those other myths”.

    273. Jonathan
      February 19th, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

      Josh, you say, “Just because many generations in the past have been ignorant of the genre which Gen 1—11 employs, does not mean that God intentionally, or passively, misled people.”

      But I disagree, if the Scriptures are indeed “God breathed” then if what the genealogies recorded throughout the Scriptures as well as the teachings of Jesus and Paul are literally applying a figurative narrative, then God is being intentionally misleading.

      Where you said: “I could ask the same question about the apparent long age of the Universe.” In fact, you did. I responded with point 3 of post # 108.

    274. Philip
      February 20th, 2013 @ 12:45 am

      Jonathan,

      I appreciate the increasing civility of these conversations. My remarks may be sharp, but I hope they aren’t seen as “vicious.” As to “personal attacks,” how do you interpret commandments in Scripture to rebuke those who sin and mark those who cause divisions? Paul tells Timothy to rebuke elders (leaders) who sin publicly so that others may learn. Didn’t Paul do that with Peter at Antioch? Peter loved it, because it reminded him of Jesus who did that a lot. True leaders don’t mind correction. In fact, they love it. The Lord chastises those he loves. It is necessary in order to have a pure church. The church gets into trouble when judgement is removed. But it is also why James tells us that not everyone should aim to be a teacher because those who teach will be judged more harshly. If folks knew what true leadership entailed, there would be more appreciation for leaders. I have a Chapter (39) on this subject in my book.

      One place where Ken Ham mocks a focus on just preaching Jesus is at about 10:30.

      You ask how his approach differs from that of Apostle Paul when the Apostle declared to the Corinthians that he resolved only to preach Jesus and him crucified (the message of salvation). In the passage that I note, that is precisely what Ken Ham says that one should not do. Apologetics would be among the things that the Bible refers to as wisdom. The Scriptures do recommend wisdom, but not to make it more important than what Paul calls the “foolishness” of the preaching of the cross.

      While it is find to mention a relevant book, I have noticed that just as Ken Ham does in this video, AIG speakers spend an inordinate amount of time in their talks, peddling their books, videos, etc. Their talks seem designed for selling resources. It is not pleasant to have to listen to all that when we are focussed on the things of God. An excess of that led Jesus to cleanse the Temple.

      Am I focussed on AIG? Look carefully above. It is not I who keeps bringing them into the discussion. I prefer to say no more about them and move on to discuss these wonderful subjects.

    275. Josh Elsom
      February 20th, 2013 @ 9:49 am

      Re. #271 — Great question. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

      Re. #272 — 1. I’d say those elements of the story which do not require us to manipulate the text to fit our current expectations of science, and which are not in conflict with what God has revealed to us in nature, may have been actual. So, if the text says that there was a solid dome above the earth that was holding back water, then we file that under the category of ‘myth’. But since the existence of Adam is not in conflict with what we know about the Universe, and we do not have to manipulate the text to fit him into our expectations of science, we can file him under the category of ‘probably actual’.

      2. The definition I offered before “From its Greek origin, myth is simply defined as a story or legend that has cultural significance in explaining the hows and whys of human existence, using metaphorical language to express ideas beyond the realm of our five senses.”

      3. The similarities between creation myths and the biblical account, and resurrection myths and the resurrection of Jesus are not even close. Plus, we have eye witnesses and corroborative evidence that Jesus did in fact rise.

      re. #273 — I reread your comment in #108. Not very persuasive. I’m not sure if I posted this earlier or not. But it’s worth a read.
      http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/rate-ri.htm

    276. Philip
      February 20th, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

      Brothers (and sisters who are following these threads),

      I trust that, by now, no one doubts either my respect nor my differences with those who believe in 24-hour creation days. I want to return to the place where I entered this discussion: pointing out the sad views of Josh, who doesn’t believe in the historicity of the early chapters of Genesis regardless of how interpreted.

      As Josh points out, he is following the views of those like Wheaton Professor John Walton and others associated with BioLogos. One who weighs in agreement with John Walton on the BioLogos site is the notable English scholar Bishop N.T. Wright. I direct my words not so much at Josh but to those responsible for creating and championing these sad views of the Bible’s account of our origins.

      The old liberals were modernists. Following their German teachers like Hermann Gunkel, they declared these chapters to be legends or myths. As concerning the understanding of Jesus, in his “Legends of Genesis” Gunkel put forth the sad view now held by those at BioLogos that Jesus was unexceptional among the men of his days regarding knowledge of human origins, things such as the Flood of Noah.

      How Walton and Wright differ from these old fashion liberals is that, while the latter were modernists, Walton and Wright are postmodernists whenever it suits them to use those arguments. While the old liberals had confidence in the knowledge possessed by modern science, the postmodernists have become acquainted with the limitations of modern science. (I hear Josh saying, “Amen”). These theologians see postmodernism as a way by which Christians may regain a respectable place at the table with the “cultural despisers of the Bible.” Note that, like Josh, these men have no trouble with the idea that the Bible actually teaches 24-hour Creation days. It doesn’t matter to them because they don’t believe that Genesis was ever meant to be teaching something that actually happened.

      How these men differ from the old liberals is that while the old liberals didn’t believe the Bible was telling the truth, they still believed there was such a thing as truth. But these postmodernists can’t distinguish between myth and truth, at least regarding origins.

      Jonathan asks Josh how he determines which part of the Bible is myth and which is not. Josh may clarify this, but it appears that the parts of the Bible that we should regard as myth are the parts that conflict with the current teachings of science. This shows that neither he nor his mentors like Walton and Wright are truly postmodernist. At heart they are old fashion modernists. While calling the light of the Bible darkness, they declare the darkness of our modern world (that is of course going to conflict with the truth about our origins) light.

      Concerning our origins, they lecture us about light and truth, though they don’t even believe that it is possible for God to reveal light on our origins. A question we all want to know is how they can possibly know that. Regardless their false piety, it is clear that they are denying revelation.

      Go to the BioLogos site and hear them hem and haw over myth and truth. In the chapter of my book entitled ‘Jesus and Noah’s Flood,’ I explain the difference. Myth is a fantasy world with scarce if any reference to historical people, places, and events. That means there is no way to prove myth wrong because no way to test myth against the historical record either from texts, archaeology, geology, or astronomy. But from the very beginning, the Bible is full of such references. Because it makes true statements about these identifiable things, the Bible is going to conflict with anything that contains error about the same.

      Josh and his teachers claim to be experts in hermeneutics, but they fail to understand the clearest teachings of the Bible. If any book ever claimed to be based on what actually happened. If any book ever taught against believing myth or legend against what is actually the case, that book is the Bible.

      But it is not just that they are defective in piety, I am guessing that Walton and Wright, like Josh himself, only know what they were taught about these matters. While they doubt the Bible, they seem to have no doubts about the roots of their beliefs about the teachings of the Bible concerning origins. Despite their pretensions, they are not scientists. They lack the skepticism that is true of every good scientist.

    277. Jonathan
      February 21st, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

      Philip,

      I do have problems with your remarks about Ken Ham and other Young Earth proponents past and present. My problem is you use unnecessary rhetoric that is wrong not as much because it is sharp as much as because it is is inaccurate, misleading, and personal. For instance, you said that Ken Ham “mocks”. So I will give a rough transcript of what he says. It will follow here. I will start a few minutes before the ten minute mark to give full context to what he is saying:

      Ken Ham talks about passing on the spiritual heritage from one generation to the next. Then talks about statistics of youth walking away from the church. He asks why this is happening. He plays a youtube clip of a young man who turned away from the church and became an atheist. The young man talks about learning evolution and then becoming an atheist. Ken Ham says he has heard that story over and over again. So what is going on? He gives 4 Scriptures. 1 Chronicles 12:32 about having an understanding of the times. Why is America becoming more secular, Ham asks? Do we have that understanding of the times that we live in? Psalm 11:3 talks about the foundations being destroyed. If you take out the foundation of a building, it will collapse. Ham says there is a foundation being attacked today and he believes it is the attack of the authority of the word of God. 1 Peter 3:15 speaks of being able to give a defense of the hope in us. Ham says that children in homes and churches today aren’t being taught to give a defense of what they believe in; how to answer skeptical questions. They go to school and see a contradiction in what’s taught in the Bible and what’s taught at school. At school what’s taught is looked at as science but the Bible is just seen as an interesting storybook and so they walk away. Mark 16:15 tells us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. People will say the most important thing is to tell people about Jesus. They ask, why are you even worried about evolution and millions of years? People just need to hear about Jesus. Ken Ham responds, but here is the point I want to make, the message of Jesus comes from this book (he says holding up the Bible) and if in young people’s minds today that book has been undermined; if they have been caused to doubt that it is really trustworthy, then why will they listen when you talk about the message of Jesus from the same book? The issue is an issue of authority. Is this book the absolute authority of the Word of God? That’s the issue. That’s what the battle is all about.

      Now you may agree or disagree with the conclusions Ken Ham comes to. I believe you and I disagree with each other on conclusions reached. Yet I have not accused you of “mocking” people simply because you hold a different viewpoint. Josh and I agree on theological issues even less than you and I do. Have you seen me accuse him of “mocking” simply because he and I come to different conclusions? Why do you use such rhetorical and false words? Did Ken Ham have a mocking tone or use mocking words or did he just make an opposing opinion from yours? Since when is having an opposing opinion viewed as “mocking”? But yet if I hadn’t taken the time to transcribe Ham’s words, people might have been left with a false impression due to your slander of him. (Yes, I said slander and I stand by that.) I’ve asked you several times to tone down the rhetoric and you obstinately refuse.

      I asked Josh the same thing about one thing he said an he graciously accepted my appeal for a change of tone. As I said already, he hasn’t really had that tone on a regular basis toward those he disagreed with. Why can’t you follow suite?

      And don’t tell me this has anything to do with public correction. There are a couple differences between the public correction you made mention of in the Bible and what you are doing. One is the accuracy (or lack thereof) of what you are correcting (which I show an example of in this transcription of the supposed “mocking”.) The other difference is (I don’t know if you’ve noticed) Ken Ham isn’t on this comment page. How are your words correcting him in any way? If you wanted to e-mail him or post comments on his website, and you were accurate in what you said, you might have a case that what you are doing is Biblical.

      I would submit what you are doing is closer to backbiting and slander. These are not Christian qualities in the least.

      I commented much earlier about your extremely deceptive summation of who George Young was and you have not acknowledged what I said or retracted what your misleading bio implied.

      So then why do you feel you are in a position to “publicly correct” Ken Ham?

      As far as what Paul said in Corinthians. You are obviously taking Paul out of context or otherwise Paul would not have spoken about many of the subjects he addressed in the epistles. What Paul is saying in context is that everything he is saying should find their essence in the fact that Christ has redeemed us. Yet that obviously does not mean that we should talk about Christ’s death and nothing else. If Paul’s example was that he preached about many issues that he thought were important to address in addition to Christ’s death, we can see what the proper context of what he said means. Ken Ham definitely preaches about Christ’s atoning death. That is found both at his museum and in his lectures. He does not downplay Christ’s death at all. The context of what he said shows this.

      As far as their teaching materials go, Dr. Brown talks of his books and cds in most of his programs. I don’t view Dr. Brown negatively for that and believe he is trying to get what he views as a positive message out to people. I think you are judgmental and don’t view that as a Biblical quality and I think your frame of mind must change in order for me to continue in this conversation.

      I have asked repeatedly to examine the viewpoints without attacking the people that advocate for them. I’m not sure why that is such a problem to agree to. If you agree to do so, I will drop the subject.

    278. Jonathan
      February 21st, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

      Josh, I wanted to let you know I wasn’t ignoring your comment either. I will try to get to your post either later this evening or tomorrow. I have been extremely busy the last couple days. I do apologize for the delay.

    279. Josh Elsom
      February 21st, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

      Thanks for the response, Philip. I’m not put off by your tone, just so you know. I like it actually. I’d rather you be honest with me about your disdain for my position than patronizing me with a “to each his own” type of response. While I don’t care to be seen as an enemy of orthodoxy, by anyone, I know that your responses are coming from a heart that loves God and the Scriptures. I respect that.

      The way I see it, is this. We have a very long tradition of understanding Genesis 1 in a particular way. And because that tradition has been around so long, it is not surprising that new interpretations are met with resistance and accusations of heresy. I’m prepared for it. And believe me, I’m thankful that I am not questioning the traditional interpretation of Genesis 1 at the same time in history that Galileo and Copernicus questioned the traditions of bad interpretations in their day. In time, those wrong interpretations were reformed to fall in line with what God revealed to those men through science.

      There was no reason to question the ‘biblical’ geocentric cosmology of the medieval world until evidence was found to prove that view wrong. And, in the same way, there was absolutely no reason to suspect that the traditional literal and scientific interpretation of Genesis 1 was wrong until the scientific evidence started rolling in. I’m not talking about evolution, by the way. I’m talking about the hard evidence that proves that the Universe is vastly more ancient than the genealogies of Gen 6 can accommodate. Add to that, the discoveries of the creation myths of Israel’s neighbors; the Enuma Elish, the Gilgamesh Epic, et al. They tell us how the people of that day viewed and understood the world.

      In the end, the exegesis fits just fine. It has not escaped me that none of you has yet attempted to provide any substantial counter-exegesis to refute what I’ve provided throughout the course of our conversation. (Accusations of Post-modernity is not a refutation.)

      Genesis 1 is not a scientific revelation written to us in the 21st Century, it is a theological revelation written to ancient near eastern people. Their questions were not our questions. And we show contempt for this passage when we do not consider the author, audience, culture, and genre of the text when formulating our interpretation.

      The exegesis is solid. The internal evidence within the canon of Scripture supports it. The extra-biblical evidence supports it. And science corroborates it.

      While I appreciate your zeal, brother, I firmly believe that I am standing up for the truth of the perspicuous Word of God.

      I think, unless you want to provide some counter-exegesis to my position, our conversation has reached an impasse. I will let your response to this comment determine the future of our conversation.

      Blessings to you.

    280. Jonathan
      February 21st, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

      Josh you say, “I’d say those elements of the story which do not require us to manipulate the text to fit our current expectations of science, and which are not in conflict with what God has revealed to us in nature, may have been actual.”

      So are you then assuming that what is generally accepted (mostly by radically anti-God scientists) as current expectations of science and what they think nature is revealing is always correct and is the key with which we can understand what God is telling us in the opening chapters of Scripture? Since scientific understandings change (and have changed radically) does that mean Scripture changes as well? Why would God create a book that could be properly understood only with sophisticated scientific knowledge and understanding? What about all the cultures and peoples prior to the last couple centuries? That would seem to make the true meaning of Scripture a moving target. You don’t even seem entirely confident about what meets that prerequisite; only deeming those things to the category “may have been actual”.

      “So, if the text says that there was a solid dome above the earth that was holding back water, then we file that under the category of ‘myth’.” Nicholas to a greater extent and myself and Bo to a lesser extent have argued that we don’t believe that is a correct understanding of what was the Hebrew words say.

      “But since the existence of Adam is not in conflict with what we know about the Universe, and we do not have to manipulate the text to fit him into our expectations of science, we can file him under the category of ‘probably actual’.”

      So again, I propose this method of Biblical interpretation is a moving target that changes with what current consensus is of a largely anti-God scientific community. And even with this moving target, the best we can seem to come to is “probably”. That doesn’t seem to bode very well for a God that breathed the words of a book into existence that no one can really hope to truly understand.

      And as far as “manipulating the text” goes, I would contend that applies to saying that something in Scripture is true actually only if our modern scientific consensus tells us it is.

      “2. The definition I offered before “From its Greek origin, myth is simply defined as a story or legend that has cultural significance in explaining the hows and whys of human existence, using metaphorical language to express ideas beyond the realm of our five senses.”

      Can I ask why we would be drawing from a Greek definition for pre-Greek writings?

      “THe similarities between creation myths and the biblical account, and resurrection myths and the resurrection of Jesus are not even close.” Could you provide more details about this?

      re. the article about the RATE project:I would say it is still based on assumptions. As I said earlier, the evidence does not come with tags pasted on it with a date of how old it is. We judge the evidence based on presuppositions. YEC’s point out that radiostope dating starts with these assumptions.

      1) The rate of decay has remained constant throughout the past.
      2) The original amount of both mother and daughter elements is known.
      3) The sample has remained in a closed system.

      We see that from the very first point mentioned in the article where it says, “at today’s rates”. Yet we are left with not knowing if that is indeed the case. YEC’s don’t have all the answers worked out yet. Yet neither do those who propose an old earth. Both views start with assumptions and if those assumptions are wrong than the theories they come up with will also be wrong.

      So God is not fooling people just because they start out with a presupposition and work out theories based on those presuppositions. If the theories they come up with produce an age of the earth that is based on wrong presuppositions, is that God’s fault? There is a difference between science that can observe what is taking place today (observational science) and science that tries to come up with what took place in the past. Bias can taint that. And when we have scientists who claim that teaching creationism to your child is child abuse, you can see where bias lies currently. Do you think it is only a coincidence that I can name off a ton of radically anti-God evolutionary scientists? Names such as Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Alfred Kinsey, Stephen Hawking, Julian Huxley, etc

      I have personally seen what happened to two college professors who I personally know (one who taught at a Christian college) who have been dismissed due to their beliefs. We can see how young earth creationists are locked out of peer review journals and shunned by the scientific community at large. And we can clearly know and understand the bias and presupposition that these scientists start with. We then need not blame God for the results they come up with as if God was deceptive in nature. If the vast majority of scientists today can look at the incredible design within nature and reject a designer in the first place, we can see that nature is not at fault for their conclusions.

    281. Bo
      February 21st, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

      Josh,

      Did you ever wonder what the carbon 14 date of the first dead tree would be? Would the date be off because it was created fully mature…given a literal creation account? If Adam was literally formed out of the dust of the earth in the form of a say 30 year old man, would a good physical examination show him to be that old though he was only a couple of days old? After he aged another 30 years would he appear to be 60 to the examining doctor? If all the planets and stars were created fully formed and giving light to earth on day four of a literal week, would we be able to tell how old they were? Could our methods tell the difference between a newly created day four star and a billion year old one if there happened to be both in existence?

      What if everything is only 6000 years old, but our instruments and presuppositions cause us to rule out that possibility? What if we see what we want to see, or what we have been taught to see? In essence you are saying that that is what has happened in past centuries, but now we know better. What if we do not know better? What if our measuring devices for time and distance are flawed? What if we cannot measure what happened at a drastically accelerated rate in a few days with our instruments that are calibrated for the laws of physics as we see them today? The creation of everything did not happen by processes that are consistent with our current surroundings. Even if it happened in longer periods of time than a literal reading of Genesis would suggest, how could we measure the time involved when things were much different than they are now?

      Could it be that the creator of the universe and the creator of language has told us in plain Hebrew how, when and why He did what He did, and we just refuse to believe Him? Could it be that we are professing ourselves to be wise, but we are actually fools, as Paul wrote in Romans? Does science worship the created things rather than the Creator?

      If the shoe fits…? If it has webbed feet, and waddles I would not be surprised if it quacks.

      Romans 1
      22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
      23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
      24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
      25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

      The same society that is guilty of verse 22-25 tells us that everything is billions of years old and that we evolved. When they get morality all wrong there is a reason behind it. You believe billions of years but not evolution…or at least human evolution. Please call the tree good and the fruit good or the tree evil and the fruit evil.

      Matthew 7
      15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
      16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
      17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
      18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

      I simply cannot trust a science that gets morality wrong or that thinks that we evolved from other life forms. No wonder our society is acting more and more like animals, they are emulating their gods.

      Shalom

    282. Bo
      February 21st, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

      Jonathan,

      I noticed that we posted at the same time, 9:09 Eastern Time. I feel sorry for Josh having to fight two opponents that strike at the exact same time.

      Shalom

    283. David Roberts
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 12:14 am

      The rates project is crucial to finding the correct chronology of the world.

      http://www.icr.org/rate/

    284. Philip
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 12:44 am

      Jonathan,

      As I mention above, I hope the discussion can move forward to fresh and more interesting topics. Again, I point out that it is not I who keeps bringing up Ken Ham and AIG. If I fail to address your comments on Ken Ham and AIG, you will accuse me of not answering your questions, though you have no problem avoiding answering the difficult questions that I put to you and the advocates of YEC. If I answer frankly, I make “vicious personal attacks.”

      If someone makes fun of or looks down on Jesus (as in the case of Josh), we are sad. If they touch our idols, we are upset and have to defend them. This talk of Ken Ham notwithstanding, the living God doesn’t need anyone to defend him. Nor does the Word of God doesn’t need defending. Our idols need defending.

      Jonathan, I gave the Scriptural basis for my rebukes. But let me answer your implied reference to Matthew 18. I would love to find the Creationist leader willing to answer a question. How are you going to them if they refuse even to hear you? Some of them have written to me and I answer them. Like you, they refuse to answer my questions.

      What does Matthew 18 say, if they refuse to listen? As did the prophets, Paul and John mention such ones by name. Jesus instructed us in that case to tell it to the whole church. Mentioning certain behavior that one claims is causing problems without specifying names leads to misunderstanding and confusion. How are people going to understand if they don’t know exactly what and who you refer to? While some will be distraught and many will be confused, the one responsible for the behavior will likely miss your reference to himself.

      If I read your irenic transcript of Ken Ham’s talk, I would not be offended. But why do all that work when the video is so convenient and I gave you the specific place that troubled me? Though I don’t want to have to listen another hour to his sales pitches to check for sure, I think that is the only place in this hour long talk that he does mention Jesus.

      I don’t know how successful his message is in bringing folks to Jesus. His message seem aimed at those who already believe the BIble. If we measure his message by counting his references, it is clear that his chief interest is not Jesus but “millions of years.” He does quote a beatitude, but even there he makes a joking reference to ‘millions of years.’ This might be so bad in a speech about our culture had not his one mention of the name Jesus been a criticism of preaching ‘just Jesus.’

      “Backbiting” refers to tale bearing behind someone’s back. “Slander” is to make false charges. If you insist on bringing that topic up, I do have a problem with the behavior of many of the prominent Creationist leaders with regard to my Christian brothers and friends in Hong Kong and Turkey who have been badly hurt due to that. Some of that is addressed in the Epilogue of my book, but my intention in writing here is addressing Josh’s charges that Genesis is myth.

      With regard to the charges of commercialism, Dr. Brown does sell his books as I sell mine, but I don’t see his messages aimed at selling his books. The only time that he devotes significant time in his messages to that are times when his ministry has financial obligations and pressure.

    285. Philip
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 1:29 am

      Jonathan,

      I try to answer all of your questions, but I overlooked your comment about George Young. Have you read his ” Scriptural Geology?” I recommend it as one of the last defenses of a young earth (1840) before George McGready Price revived these teachings early in the twentieth century,

      Not only Young, but there were many who taught a young earth from the beginnings of modern science. The great Nicolas Steno who developed the theory of superposition of strata, which would eventually bring a young earth into question also believed in a 6,000 year old earth as also did the great Deist Voltaire. As I noted, George Young had many friends among the founders of modern geology and the tone of his disagreement with their age of the earth is more irenic than polemical.

      But Young Earth Creationism as is taught today owes its tone and flavor as well as heritage to Ellen G. White’s visions and dreams and her focus on Sabbatarianism and vegetable diet. That explains why, whereas Young’s book is focused on geology, Young Earth Creationism is focussed on theology. Ronald Numbers who traces these roots is a deeply respected historian of science. AIG’s Terry Mortenson who you quote is not.

      A great example of the differences is the fact that George Young believes that the fossil record of the Flood includes the remains of the antediluvians. I agree with him but that is something that AIG denies. Young also believes that the case should be determined by the empirical record, so different from current day Creationists who determine the issue by their theology.

      What are the “extremely deceptive” comments that I have made about George Young? What are your points about George Young?

    286. Philip
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 1:51 am

      Josh,

      It makes me smile to see you compare yourself with someone like Galileo who challenged the science of his day, when in fact you and your teachers refuse to do the same.

      I don’t know whether you are familiar with the technical term for the position that you maintain concerning the interpretation of Scriptures. It is called the problem of hermeneutical distance. Regardless of whether you know the term by which linguists describe it, do you know the roots of this teaching and the rationale for defending it? If we are going to discuss this, we must do so without pompous proclamations of a methodology that I doubt you understand.

    287. Ray
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 6:46 am

      It seems to me that God created the heaven and the
      earth as we read of in Genesis in such a way that it makes the wisdom of this world come to nothing.

      I suppose he did that for a lot of reasons, one of which is that the world should learn to glory in him and not in the things of this world, nor in the things of man.

    288. Josh Elsom
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 8:10 am

      “I feel sorry for Josh having to fight two opponents that strike at the exact same time.”

      Me too, Bo. :)

      Hey fellas, I really think we are at impasse here. From the beginning all I’ve been interested in doing is exegeting the text, but it seems that this is just not going to happen. Seems that the conversation continually degrades to philosophical wrangling and scientific postulation. And, that’s not where the answers lie for me. I will check back in a day or two and see if any of you are interested in engaging over the text. That includes you too, Philip; my passive aggressive friend. :)

      One parting shot, the scientists who administered the RATE Project concluded that the tolerances of their research, in some of their experiments, could not currently be reconciled with a 6,000 year old Universe. The age of the earth, they admit, according to the current rate of radio active decay registers an age of over 100x greater than what we should expect to see. Add to that that they also concede that there is currently no scientific explanation for how the Universe might have a survived a massively accelerated increase in that decay. At the end of their research they are only able to offer the hope that someday they will discover a way to reconcile what today seems impossible.

      Why would God make it so hard for these highly trained scientists?

    289. Bo
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

      Josh,

      To me it seems like your hermeneutics are isogesis not exegesis. You knew and probably believed in an old universe before you developed or heard of the interpretation that you offer for Genesis 1. You seem to be bringing things to the text that come from liberal historians and theologians and modern scientists. I know that you say that the early Hebrews believed in a solid heaven that held back the waters above, but I think that you got that information from a liberal historian/theologian before you simply read the scripture for what it says.

      I know for a fact that My view is mostly literal and that I bring no science to the table as an interpreter or informer to my stance. I started with a old earth view when I first read Genesis. I became a believer a short while after that and simply believed what was written. It was many years later that I even heard of young earth creationism. Their arguments seemed to make sense to me after I came to the conclusion that the earth was quite young.

      Maybe I am mistaken about how you arrived at your view, but I know for sure how I came to mine. It is not a matter of science or culture or liberal scholars informing my view.

      I look for facts from and explanations of our physical environment that fit my Biblical, young earth, world view…mostly for the sake of answering the legitimate questions of nonbelievers and old earth indoctrinated/brainwashed/culturally informed believers, and not to add to my belief in a young universe. And yes I know that there are interpretations of the scientific facts that seem to be against my view.

      Shalom

    290. Philip
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

      “It seems to me that God created the heaven and the earth as we read of in Genesis in such a way that it makes the wisdom of this world come to nothing. I suppose he did that for a lot of reasons, one of which is that the world should learn to glory in him and not in the things of this world, nor in the things of man.”

      Amen, Ray!

      Josh, hold the psycho-babble. You are not doing exegesis but isogesis. You read these passages in the light of your teachers. I should not have used the word ‘pompous’. I wrote that late at night. You are not pompous. A better description of your methodology is pretentious proclamations as to how we should read these passages.

      Those proclamations are not unlike your reaction to my pointing out that John Walton and Tom Wright are partial postmodernists. I believe those two scholars have enough philosophical sophistication to comprehend the accuracy and weight of that charge.

      It is good to see you taking the time out to investigate ‘hermeneutical distance.’ You will probably have difficulty learning what you need to know from online sources. I suggest that you read my book, together with the relevant sources listed in my topical bibliography.

      I trust that you also know that I am not picking on you but those evangelical scholars who are teaching a new generation to read these early chapters of Genesis in a postmodern way. They join the older liberals in turning seminaries into places where young believers (and increasingly old believers) go to learn that the Bible is not really true. What good is a faith based on a Jesus whose understanding about the world was no better than the men of his day? If he didn’t know the truth about the past, how much less the inscrutable future!

      But these evangelical scholars learned their profession from the old fashion liberals and the old fashion liberals learned the same from their German teachers who, as ministers of the Imperial State taught them how to make dogmatic proclamations as to what they should teach, and how to ridicule those still holding to what they had learned at home in their provincial states. These understood themselves as the Enlightenment. But postmodernism has its roots in the romantic reaction to the Enlightenment, beginning with NeoPietists like J.G Hamann and J.G. Herder.

      These German scholars modeled their understanding of the peoples of the Bible from what Carsteen Niebuhr learned about the bedouins and sheiks of Arabia. One principle they taught was how impossible it was to communicate with such an exotic, strange and distant(!) people who had not advanced to their own enlightened state. One had to study them with scientific (supposed “objective”) distance. Thus, they refused to allow missionaries to accompany their scientific expedition.

      It was Herder who declared language and culture to define a people. Those linguists who followed him would invent a new history of the world that would define people as those speaking the same language. Notwithstanding Herder’s teachings, the God of the Bible did not define nations and people that way. He can also transcend languages and culture so as to be understood by many tongues. To discover that, I recommend that you visit the Explore Passages Exhibit from the Green Collection, now on tour in Charlotte.

      As our American biblical “scholars” go scurrying to learn some history, they will not only discover the Enlightenment’s revival of classical racism to replace the erstwhile Christian/Heathen division of mankind with a new white/colored racist classification. They will also discover their biblical studies to be rooted in the new German nationalism based on language and discover why antisemitism springs from that. They will learn why that particular word was coined to assist the new German nationalism and the threat that the Bible posed to the new history of the world created by these linguists who helped create then operate in the service of the new German state.

      The problem with the Jews was not anything they said or did or even their “inferior” “Semitic” language, but the fact that their very name reminded people of the Bible,. The only way they could solve that problem was to rid the world of Jews. Know that Pentecostals and Jehovah Witnesses, those Bible carriers, were the first to be rounded up and held in the Nazi concentration camps.

      When you visit the Explore Passages Exhibit from the Green Collection, you will discover not only the unchanging history of God’s word, but just how dangerous that book has been seen by those whose power and privileges are not based on truth.

    291. Jonathan
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

      “If I fail to address your comments on Ken Ham and AIG, you will accuse me of not answering your questions..” On the contrary, I already told you: I have asked repeatedly to examine the viewpoints without attacking the people that advocate for them. I’m not sure why that is such a problem to agree to. If you agree to do so, I will drop the subject. As to the questions you are talking about, I assume that is referring to earlier when you kept talking about what Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis believe and I was tracking down info from their website until I got tired of it and said you could look up the info just as well as I could. I did look it up for you for a while. I just grew tired of it.

      “If someone makes fun of or looks down on Jesus (as in the case of Josh), we are sad.” You see, this is the problem I have with you. You can’t leave the hyperbolic language out of the conversation. You are closer to Josh’s beliefs than I am. Yet you don’t hear me say that Josh is making fun of Jesus because it would be uttering a falsehood. Josh has a different (and I believe dangerous) belief about Jesus and whether His words could actually have been literally false. Yet he in no way makes fun of Jesus. I simply can’t understand why you resort to such amateur mischarachterizations instead of just simply focusing on the subject matter. Why is that so difficult for you?

      “If they touch our idols, we are upset and have to defend them. This talk of Ken Ham notwithstanding, the living God doesn’t need anyone to defend him. Nor does the Word of God doesn’t need defending. Our idols need defending.”

      Well, your insinuations that I am an idol worshiper aside, Scripture tells us to stand up for truth and also to have a defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15) as well as to contend for the faith (Jude 3). So in standing up for Christians brothers who are being unfairly disparaged or in standing up for what we believe to be the correct understanding of Scripture (as we are doing here) we are attempting to stand for truth and that is not idol worship. I am sorry you feel you have to insult me that way. That’s too bad.

      “Jonathan, I gave the Scriptural basis for my rebukes. But let me answer your implied reference to Matthew 18. I would love to find the Creationist leader willing to answer a question. How are you going to them if they refuse even to hear you?” So I guess how that applies to recent developments in this conversation is that when you viewed that Youtube for the first time a couple days ago, your first reaction was to try to contact Ken Ham or Answers in Genesis and have a dialogue about what you disagreed with before airing it out on this site, correct?

      “If I read your irenic transcript of Ken Ham’s talk, I would not be offended. But why do all that work when the video is so convenient and I gave you the specific place that troubled me?”

      LOL! I guess you failed to notice that the portion I transcribed included the specific place you noted! I can see how your confusion would arise since there was no “mocking” as you falsely claimed at that 10 minute mark. So will you retract it then?

      “Though I don’t want to have to listen another hour to his sales pitches to check for sure, I think that is the only place in this hour long talk that he does mention Jesus.” Well again, we have your hyperbolic false implications, since Ken Ham does not have a “sales pitch” until the end of his lecture. But yes, Ken Ham does talk about Jesus and very specifically about the Gospel message at least two other times in his lecture (once around 30 minutes in and once around 40 minutes in). Anyone who objectively listens to the whole lecture would readily understand that Ham is very serious about Jesus and the Gospel message. If he were not in a church service, he may have even stressed the Gospel message even more. But as you correctly point out, this particular message was aimed at those who already believe the Bible. Whereas the topic of his discussion was about the authority of Scripture and how he feels millions of years undermines that authority, he addresses that topic heavily. It does seem to make sense, does it not?

      “This might be so bad in a speech about our culture had not his one mention of the name Jesus been a criticism of preaching ‘just Jesus.’” As I already said, this charge is false. It’s sad you reinforce this charge without caring to even determine whether or not it is true. You would think if you were serious about “public correction” that you would at least make sure you had your facts straight.

      “If you insist on bringing that topic up, I do have a problem with the behavior of many of the prominent Creationist leaders with regard to my Christian brothers and friends in Hong Kong and Turkey who have been badly hurt due to that.” I note the irony of your non-specifics when just a few paragraphs earlier in your comment you say, “Mentioning certain behavior that one claims is causing problems without specifying names leads to misunderstanding and confusion.” I would actually appreciate specifics when it comes to your accusations. As has been shown in your accusations about the youtube video, specifics is the only way to determine whether you are making false charges.

      My reference to George Young was about what I posted in post # 140 which you have not addressed. I am still waiting to hear why you gave such a misleading synopsis of George Young.

      As I said once already, you don’t even have to address any of this if you don’t want to. If you commit to discussing the ideas rather than attacking the people that advocate for them, (which is what I’ve been asking for all along) I’ll drop the subject right here and now. It’s your choice, Philip.

    292. Jonathan
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

      Josh, I have no problem exegeting the Scripture text. Actually, that is my main focus. I do agree with Bo though, it does seems like your hermeneutics are isogesis not exegesis.

      I do find it odd that you talk about the conversation degrading into scientific postulation and then scientific postulation is your “parting shot”.

    293. Bo
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

      Shabbat Shalom everybody! Rest well.

    294. Ray
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

      So why did God create the heaven and the earth in the beginning?

      I believe it was for his glory and that man might learn about him thereby.

      And what can we learn from the creation?

      That God is great and his wisdom is past finding out. Unless he reveals his secrets unto men, they remain mysteries.

      When I was a young child in grade school, one day we learned about solar eclipes. We learned that the moon is exactly the size of the sun, (from our perspective on earth) so that a solar eclipse can happen as it does….(pause)

      We learned that we were loved that day, and it was good.

    295. Philip
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

      Jonathan,

      One of the problems in blogging, the same as in email, is how easily it is to misunderstand due to the fact that we don’t see the person’s face. If you have been following my discussion with Josh, I have not accused him of making fun of Jesus. Yes, I have pointed out how he looks down on the beliefs of Jesus pertaining to origins. Yes, I find that sad.

      It is much easier to judge a person’s meaning and intention when we have an audio or video recording. Yes, I had more respect for Ken Ham before watching the video posted to this blog. Thank you for taking the time to check out my impression that the only time that he mentions the name of Jesus occurs when he mocks those who believe that we need to focus on him. Yes, I did mention the occasion when he quoted the Beatitude with a joking reference to millions of years. Using Jesus’ words in such a joking way is offensive to the Holy Spirit. You point out that he actually mentions the name of Jesus a second time. To be exact, that occurs at 37:40 in this video:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHg9WEwqFM0

      It was exactly this particular occasion in his talk that the Holy Spirit in me was most offended. He then goes on to mock those who cannot explain things to those who demand answers but who nonetheless tell us that trusting God requires faith.

      One of those who could not answer my questions that were coming from my scientific education (though he was happy to see me obtain an education) was my late father, denied the same due to the circumstance of his life. Because I could not get answers to the questions that I was asking from others in my church except unsatisfying answers as one hears from Ken Ham, I eventually lost my faith. I became an atheist and turned others in my church from the faith. Likely, it is the same thing as Ken Ham points out in this video that is happening to many young men today who were raised in Christian homes. Though I loved my father, I reckoned that his faith hinged on his lack of education.

      One day, I discovered myself reading the words of the black scientist George Washington Carver, a man who had been raised a slave. Like other great scientists and scholars that I have known, Carver was an humble man. When asked the secret of his scientific knowledge, Carver pointed to a Bible that lay on his desk. “The secrets,” he replied, “are in there.”

      When I read those words, I thought of my father. Great conviction came over me as I heard myself exclaiming, “How arrogant I have been!”

      At that exact point, the living Jesus opened my eyes.

      I still didn’t have the answers to these scientific questions, but from that day forward, I have never doubted Jesus. My faith is not based on wisdom or knowledge. It is an affair of my heart. It is not that I cannot, but that I will not doubt Jesus.

    296. Josh Elsom
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

      Philip, Bo & Jonathan,

      It it yours to prove that I am isogeting the text. Saying it does not prove it. And, to do that you will need to provide persuasive counterexegesis to what I’ve written. Nothing tricky guys, just using the standard run of the mill historic-grammatical hermeneutic. So, enough with telling me that I’m stepping into the shoes of the liberals who have come before me; enough with consigning my view to the catch-all wastebasket of post-modernity; show me where I’m missing the mark. That is not a dare, by the way. That is a sincere request and an open invitation to correct me if I am in error! Convince me that I am wrong. Please.

      Bo,

      I was a YEC from my youth, and for many years I defended your position as vigorously as you do now. My conversion to my current understanding has happened quite recently. So, I’m sorry but I don’t fit the standard profile. I believed in a 6,000 year old earth, like you, until a deliberate examination of the text convinced me that my former understanding was not correct. So science provided absolutely no motivation in my making the jump.

      Jonathan,

      Regarding my parting shot: While science had no place in my conversion away from YEC, I do now recognize that science is an ally to my position. YEC apologists are fond of telling the world that all of the experiments which are used to calculate the age of the Universe are based on assumptions. What they conveniently fail to disclose is that they too are making assumptions in their measurements. The difference between the assumptions being made, is that one is based on a dystelological atheistic worldview, and the other is based on a bad reading of Scripture and ‘yet to be discovered’ properties of physics that would allow the Universe to survive an explosive acceleration of radioactive decay. One tells me that the Universe is 13B years old, and the other says 6,000 years old. The question I have to ask is, could there possibly be a margin of error that great (!0,000 year old Universe +12.99B / -4,000 years)? Doubtful. In the end, I care little about the age of the Universe. The text is where my interest lies.

      So there you go, brother. That is why I could leave that as a parting shot. My exegesis is all laid out, waiting to be dismantled; so there is nothing inconsistent about signing off with a scientific challenge.

      All,

      In the end, brothers, I wish I was wrong. Though I believe that the understanding I currently hold is correct, I don’t like telling people that Genesis 1 did not play out literally and actually. I don’t like saying it is myth anymore than you like me saying it. But I am constrained to go where the evidence leads.

    297. Nicholas Petersen
      February 22nd, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

      [In the end, the exegesis fits just fine. It has not escaped me that none of you has yet attempted to provide any substantial counter-exegesis to refute what I’ve provided throughout the course of our conversation. - Josh E]

      Dear Josh, I was sad to read that statement. It made me think you are not being as honest and candid as I hoped and felt you might be. It was your claims here about the raqia and Hebrew cosmology that compelled me to share on some of my work here. You act like you are ignoring, or didn’t even read, the lengthy posts I shared above, let alone the invitation I gave to share more examples, such as from Proverbs 8 (“when he made firm the skies above”), which you did not respond to or request to speak on further.

      And yet you say: “It has not escaped me that none of you has yet attempted to provide any substantial counter-exegesis to refute…(my views)…” Neither honest nor fair (I don’t know which one is worse).

      You also have much more information at your finger tips now. What more can you ask for? Why don’t you read instead of chatting here (“to listen is better than to speak”)? In the time you’ve partook interacting in this blog, you could have some terrific answers to your questions.

      In any case, if you are really honest, then it is my hope and prayer that you will come to see that the notions you’ve come to adopt, as powerful as they seem (I do not deny any substance to them), end up being founded on foundations of sand. The Hebrews no more believed in a solid sky, than all midieval people believed in a flat earth.

      God bless.

      p.s. And I’ll just throw this one extra thing out: Hermeneutically far removed scholars of today (thanks for the term Phillip) like to focus their firmament concept on the daytime, but the ancients were terrific night watchers, and they all knew the heavens/sky were always revolving. The heavens were alive and moving to them. This static notion of a stone dome heaven stands in great discord with their anything but stationary heavens.

    298. David Roberts
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 2:46 am

      For a little bit of light hearted satire, this is a must read. Scroll down the page and enjoy! :)

      http://creation.com/new-compromise-bible-version-satire

    299. David Roberts
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 2:53 am

      I really love this line,

      And there was evening, and there was morning
      —the first eon. —Genesis 1:5

      http://photo-forum.net/sitepics/forum/2011-01/eltr6615.JPG

    300. Josh Elsom
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 9:19 am

      Nicholas,

      I stand by what I wrote, but you’ll have to understand that that comment comes with some context. I laid out my exegesis for Gen 1, and the only response I received was that I was wrong, that I was falling in line with the post-modern/modernists liberal theologians who had blazed the trail before me, and that I was cloaking my liberal exegesis in false piety. That is what led to that comment.

      The raqia is a substantial piece of the puzzle for me but it is just a piece. And the exegesis that I was alluding to in the comment above stands whether the raqia is solid or not. I’ve not read your paper (I have about 2500 pages to get through before I can get to yours), but I plan on getting to it soon. Thank you for offering it to me.

      Hope that clears things up.

    301. Philip
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 11:16 am

      David,

      Thank you for posting this link from Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. I recognize Dr.Sarfati as the leading thinker among Creationists leaders. Who better to represent Creationists than one of their leading thinkers. He has shared his views on Dr. Brown’s program.

      There is indeed a place for satire: when open dialogue has been suppressed. For that very reason, I have considered something similar, “The Creationist Bible,” with verses like:

      ‘God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and morning, the first 24-hour day’ [Gen 1:5]

      “and to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give ever green plant for food, but of the plankton in the sea that are animals the great whales must not touch, nor of the mosquito that I have created the birds shall not eat* and it was so. [Gen. 1:30]

      *Some ancient authorities: ‘until two days hence when the man that I have created shall sin.’

      But labeling his proposed Bible ‘The New Compromise Version’ is not satire, nor is it ‘light hearted.’ As believers, I agree: we are to compromise neither with unrighteousness nor falsehood. We are not politicians but are to come out from among them and be separate. That is not to say that we do not live in the world. We also reach out to share our light in a humble and kind way with unbelievers. As the Apostle Paul explains, this separation concerns the congregation of those whom we regard as brother believers.

      The Scriptures command us to seek to become of one mind, but we see things imperfectly and thus there are many things that we now see differently. But with regard to the Christ of the Scriptures, there should be no compromise. Some may be unaware that some of their actions or beliefs compromise the gospel. That should be pointed out and made clear as did the Apostle Paul when he rebuked the brothers at Antioch.

      Dr. Sarfati’s zeal that we not compromise is commendable, but I have a question. Like other Creationist leaders, it seems to be disagreements with their belief that the days of Genesis should be understood as 24-hour days which they chiefly single out as compromise. For example, Dr. Ross and I agree that there have been no new kinds of creatures since God completed his Creation at the end of the sixth day. But I learn from this link you post that Dr. Sarfati not only believes in evolution, but sees it as ongoing. If I misunderstand him, I would like clarification. He also seems to be denying that God intervened supernaturally at Babel. Further, he also seems to deny the teaching in Hebrews 4 that God rested from Creation at the end of the seventh day.

      Perhaps, Dr. Sarfati could clarify these matters in such a way as to convince us that he is not compromising the Scriptures. Still, from hearing Dr. Ham on the video above and noting the focus of Dr. Sarfati’s book, what some Creationists leaders seem to regard as the great “compromise” is not agreeing with their 24-hour reading of the Creation days in Genesis 1.

      We should find that out by determining whether Drs. Ham and Sarfati regard as a “compromiser” one who strongly disagrees with their imposition of 24-hour days on the first chapter of Genesis yet believes that all humans descend from Adam and Eve who lived about 6,000 years ago and believes not only that the Bible teaches a worldwide Flood (as Dr. Ham notes ‘about 4300 years ago), but that the archaeological evidence is most simply understood in the light of these teachings of the Bible.

      Perhaps we shall soon get the answers to these questions from young earth Creationists who Dr. Brown plans to invite on his program. Will they, at last, answer the question regarding the extensive archaeological remains that predate those which Creationists recognize as dating to the time of Abraham and explain to us how those massive remains from all over the world appeared in only about 300 years according to Dr. Ham’s dating of the Flood.

    302. Jonathan
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

      Philip, I wasn’t referring to 37:40. I was reffering to 40 minutes in, just as I said. But since I think these 7 or 8 minutes are probably the most important part of the whole video, I have no problem transcribing it all for you (including the part you referenced). I hope if anyone reads nothing else I have posted in this discussion that they read this roughly seven minute portion of that youtube video. Because I agree with Ken Ham that this is crucial to an understanding of why it is important whether we as Christians hold to millions of years or not.

      Starting at 36 minutes: Seminaries and Bible colleges are teaching the students that students who become pastors to believe in millions of years. The pastors are going out and teaching their congregations that it doesn’t matter; that you can believe in millions of years. The kids from the next generation are going to school where they’re taught millions of years and evolution and the contradiction with the Bible (the kids call it hypocrisy we found out from our research) and the kids are walking away from the church. What’s happening today is we have kids that are being taught geological, biological, astronomical, anthropological, archaelogical history that contradicts the Bible. So the generations today are saying the Bible can’t be trusted in this scientific age for them the world has bombed out the Bible; evolution and millions of years (not just the world but the church is even now bombing out the Bible in the same way). And their saying what is the church going to say about this? And here’s the message: Trust in Jesus, believe this bit of the Bible, don’t worry about the rest…. And you see what they understand is this, if that history in the Bible is not true how can the Gospel message that is based in that history be true? Ken Ham then goes back to 1 Peter 3:15 about giving a defense. He says what they found out in their research is that we are not training up generations by and large to be ready for the world they live in; to know what they believe and know why they believe what they do to get those answers. Anytime there is a major disaster in the world (like the tsunami in Indonesia or Japan or 9-11) on tv you always hear “If there is a loving God, why would He allow this to happen?” Do you know that’s one of the most asked questions in today’s world? Do you know I very rarely hear a Christian leader on those programs ever give an answer? Well they give an answer, but it’s the wrong answer. Do you know the answer I usually hear? “Well, we don’t know why these things happen, trust God. We’ve just got to have faith.” But people, we do know why these things happen. Here’s what I’m going to say to you. The reason that most pastors and Christian leaders can’t answer these questions on tv is because they believe in millions of years. When you believe in millions of years, you don’t have an answer. Let me show you why. (He puts up Genesis 2:16-17 and talks about God putting Adam and Eve in the garden and the two trees.) He tells how God gave them a choice, He told them there was one tree not to eat from if they did they would surely die. Adam took the fruit. Original sin; the Fall that’s why death entered the world. The Bible says death is an enemy. One day death will be thrown into the lake of fire. Death is an intrusion into this world. Originally everything was very good. I want you to think about this for a moment. If death is an enemy and death is an intrusion then how can you have millions of years of death before Adam sinned? And if there was millions of years of death before Adam sinned and God said everything is very good then when somebody says why would God allow all those children to get killed by a tsunami in Indonesia you know what our answer should be? “That’s our God. He calls that very good, isn’t that great? Trust in God.” But you see when you understand the history in Genesis you realize it’s not God’s fault there is sin and death in the world. It’s our fault. We told God we didn’t want Him. If God gave us what we wanted, we wouldn’t even exist. We don’t want God, we want separated from God. He holds everything together! He holds you together right now by the power of His Word. But He doesn’t hold you all together perfectly. The older you get the more you notice it. You know why? Because we sinned against a holy God so He said you forfeited your right to live. We live in a world that has a taste of life without God. The tsunamis and 9-11 are tastes of life without God. We don’t like it. We want to blame God but we should blame us. It’s our fault. You say where’s our loving God? You know where our loving God is, He stepped into history to pay the penalty for what we did to save us from what we did and He offers it free! Isn’t that where our God is? (He puts up Genesis 3:21) The first death in the garden was God killing an animal and clothed Adam and Eve as a picture of what was to come in Christ. The first blood sacrifice is a covering for their sin. The Israelites sacrificed animals over and over again. But an animal can’t take away our sin. We’re not connected to the animal. It was a human who brought death and sin into the world. We needed a human to pay the penalty. But it couldn’t be us because we’re a sinner so God stepped into history to be a perfect man; the God-man the Lord Jesus Christ…Wow! …A plan from eternity. A plan only an infinite God could come up with…. Generations of our kids and us have been taught millions of years. Many of us think nothing of being able to believe in millions of years. We think what does it matter. But I believe its an attack on the very glory of our Lord; I believe it’s an attack on His holiness and who He is and His very nature. Because when you believe in millions of years, you’ve got death and disease and animals eating each other and horrible things in a fossil record of millions of years, and God said that is very good? It’s an attack on the atonement. Because then death is not the penalty of sin, it’s always been here. In the fossil record there’e evidence of animals eating each other, animals swallowing animals; bones in their stomachs. How could that be millions of years before man when the Bible says originally all the animals were vegetarian? (Putting up on the screen Genesis 1:29-30.) And so was man. Now we weren’t told that we could eat meat until Genesis 9 after the Flood. (Putting on the screen Genesis 9:3.) God changed our diet. Do you know why? It’s because sin changed everything. That’s why you can eat a steak or a hot dog (which is everything). In the fossil record there’s brain tumors in dinosaur bones; evidence of cancer and arthritis and abscesses. Could God call all that very good? That’s not our God! That’s our sin! We’ve got to look at it the right way. Our God came to rescue us from that. I had a pastor from Canada ask me, if there’s a loving God, why would He sentence people to Hell? Excuse me. We sentenced ourselves to Hell. We said to God we don’t want you. We want to do what we want. We’re the ones that separated from a holy God. Do you know what God did? He stepped into history and said, I want to save you from that. Here it is it’s free. In the fossil record there are thorns said to be 100′s of millions of years old. The Bible said thorns came after the curse. (Putting on the screen Genesis 3:18.) How can you have millions of years of death and animals eating each other and bloodshed and diseases like cancer and thorns before man when the Bible says it’s man’s sin that resulted in those things? To believe in millions of years is to blame God for the mess we created. To believe in millions of years is to blame God for cancer and brain tumors; to blame God for death. By one man sin entered the world and death by sin.

      (END OF TRANSCRIPT)

      We see in this portion Ken Ham clearly and passionately giving the Gospel message (which flies in the face of your slander of him).

      We also see that in context, Ken Ham is not making fun of people for trusting in Jesus. But rather he is saying that it is wrong to tell people to trust in Jesus while we discount what He has communicated to us through the Word of God. He is not saying it is wrong to trust in Jesus. He is saying we are being inconsistent when we say we trust Him but don’t trust the Word He gave to us. And Ken Ham was not mocking, he was pointing out what he believed to be in error. This, I believe, is the main issue you are having trouble with. You don’t seem to understand the difference between mocking and disagreeing. Because to you, they seem to be the same. That is why you accused Josh of making fun of Jesus. (And you might as well not backtrack from it; you DID say that.) I quote: “If someone makes fun of or looks down on Jesus (as in the case of Josh), we are sad.”

    303. Jonathan
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

      Philip, it’s very clear from your response to post # 291 that it was a non-response. You neither address the very specific things I said in that post nor do you agree to limit the discussion to ideas instead of people. I gave the option of one or the other. If you refuse both, I will stop discussion with you. Titus 3:10 speaks of how to handle a divisive person. If you will neither respond to the specific things in my post (which I believe clearly show your previous posts to be slanderous) nor agree to stop such attacks, I will believe the best course of action is to follow Titus 3:10. I had hoped that Dr. Brown would step in so that I had no need to force you to answer for your slanderous attacks. He has repeatedly asked people not to engage in personal attacks on the Facebook page. So either he disagrees with me that your posts are slanderous personal attacks or he is not keeping as close an eye on this discourse. Either way, you know where I stand Philip.

    304. Jonathan
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

      Josh, as I said, Nicholas has extensively discussed with you about raquia. As for categorizing Gen 1-11 as myth, that seems to be the only thing you have laid out. I have been asking questions and trying to understand where you are coming from on that. So to act like I am ignoring or not dealing with it is sort of puzzling. If you choose to end discussion, that’s your choice. But I was attempting to discuss this issue of the opening chapters of Genesis as myth with you. If you are referring to other exegetical things (aside from raqia which is more Nicholas’s conversation) what are you referring to?

    305. David Roberts
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

      @Philip,

      You surely must know that Dr. Sarfati doesn’t believe in evolution, but in adaption and variation within the kinds – it’s absurd to call that evolution.

      And how on earth did you arrive at the conclusion that Dr. Sarfati believes God didn’t intervene supernaturally at Babel.

      You say he seems to deny the teaching in Hebrews 4 that God rested from Creation at the end of the seventh day, but with all of these allegations you did NOT say how you came to these conclusions about Dr. Sarfati.

      So if you truly believe these things about the man, state your case. Otherwise you’re… …

    306. Nicholas Petersen
      February 23rd, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

      Hello Josh, Jonathan, David, Phillip and all,

      Josh, thanks for your response. A question: if you re-read my first two posts (42, 43), can you still honestly conclude that no one (me included!) has grappled exegetically with the issues you raised? It only takes one exception (at least me) to invalidate the claim that “the ***only*** response I received was that I was wrong…” and that “***none of you*** has yet attempted to provide any substantial counter-exegesis…”

      Anyways, my point isn’t to bicker. I just would like a little acknowledgment there. I think it is more than fair to say most of my answers dwelt on exegesis of Genesis 1 and other relevant texts, particularly as it pertains to the raqia.

      Blessings

    307. Philip
      February 24th, 2013 @ 12:19 am

      Nicolas,

      I am sorry for not mentioning how much I appreciate your work that you shared above. You are truly a gentleman and a scholar. Everyone here should watch how a true scholar argues his case.

      In my book (Chapter 35), I write about the tendency of modern scholarship deriving from Germany to impose childish and crude views on these teachings of the Bible. Many evangelical scholars today (as indicated by Josh) are turning to that flea bitten old horse, supposing it a fresh steed, but already getting tired. Thanks for your fine scholarship that demolishes their sophomoric claims.

      Please let me know when and where you publish your work,.

    308. Dr Jonathan Sarfati
      February 24th, 2013 @ 4:07 am

      This Philip person parrots the falsehood by Hugh Ross, in turn parroted from atheopaths, that YECs believe in rapid evolution. I splattered that disingenuous equivocation long ago in Trilobites on the Ark? Hugh Ross’s latest bungles on the created kinds. See also my 2011 article More false claims by Hugh Ross: Leading progressive creationist’s (non-) response to Refuting Compromise.

    309. Dr Jonathan Sarfati
      February 24th, 2013 @ 4:24 am

      Nicholas Petersen: I can’t cover everything in a one-hour show. My purpose was to demonstrate that Scripture should be our final authority, and what this authority plainly teaches.

      For Ross and Philip, uniformitarian ‘science’ is their real authority, since the Bible is always ‘reinterpreted’ when it disagrees, rather than the uniformitarianism being challenged. That’s why views like day-age and gap theories were never deduced from the text but were rather a reaction to the ‘science’.

      But as my books show, I am most capable of defending the science that supports biblical (‘young-earth’) creation.

      My books also show why Hebrews 4 doesn’t prove long creation days. That would be like claiming that because my recent holiday/vacation started on Tuesday and went till today that Tuesday lasted till Sunday.

    310. Bo
      February 24th, 2013 @ 11:26 am

      Josh,

      If the Hebrews believed in a solid vault holding the waters above back, how do yo explain that they also conceived of YHWH living there above the vault? In Revelation we find that there is door opened in heaven and water does not flow out. There is white horse there. There are people there. There are angels there. A temple, an ark of the testimony are there…etc.

      Fire comes from heaven, but we do not get the idea that the Hebrews thought that the vault holds both fire and water back. One thing that is interesting is that water, and things made of it like clouds and seas and such, are often used symbolically of large groups of people or angels. So there are beings in heaven and there are beings on earth. Satan gets cast out of heaven, along with his followers. A cloud received Messiah out of the sight of the apostles. He is returning in the clouds and with ten thousands of His saints. We are compassed with great cloud of witnesses…etc.

      Using what historians and scholars tell us to interpret the Bible is not exegesis…or at least not the starting point for such. Using only what the Bible says is exegesis. Using context is exegesis. The historian and scholar and scientist are only secondary witnesses that can give a small amount of light to what we read in scripture. The first chapters of Genesis are foundational. They give definition to the meanings of the words and concepts in the rest of scripture. The first books of the Bible do the same for the rest of scripture.

      From this first things first approach, we know that a day is one period of darkness followed by one period of light. We also know that all of the first days are the same as the days that exist now. We get our seven day week from it. We get Sabbath keeping from it. We get the scriptural calendar of YHWH’s appointed times (feasts) from it.

      We live in a society that ignores the Sabbath and feasts of YHWH. We live in an age that is nonstop. It is hopelessly trapped in self-indulgence and instant gratification…and pride, do not forget pride. We think that we know everything and that we know better than YHWH. We are still eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil instead of the the tree of life. We are our own gods, judges, and heroes. In Hebrew that word is elohim. We are idolaters to the max.

      I still say make the tree and the fruit evil or make the tree good and the fruit good. Is the fruit of our culture, science, religion, scholarship etc. good or evil? The fruit tells us about the tree.

      Shalom

    311. Nicholas Petersen
      February 24th, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

      Hello friends.

      Philip: Thanks for the compliments and note of appreciation!

      [...the tendency of modern scholarship deriving from Germany to impose childish and crude views on these teachings of the Bible.]

      What I have found is that many of those who have propagated this view have had a serious case of ‘cherry-picking syndrome’! Find the most naive view possible, and then talk about those ones only day and night, even when the vast majority of not only scriptural, but also other texts from antiquity, do not fit those naivest of views. It also fits the Darwinian social context of the last century, where Darwinist anthropologists, who held deeply racist views, thinking in terms of non-white men as “anthropogenic apes” (apes that are man-like!, not even ‘men’ who are ‘ape-like’! – this was Darwin’s phrase I believe in Descent of Man), were “out to find” the worst examples of primitive ‘ape-thinking’. Things have changed in the last half-century, probably particularly after the fall of the Nazis. I do not mean to say that no careful scholarship has been involved on the other side of this debate, just that this other, Darwinistic influenced, bunk and debunked ‘research’ from former times greatly influenced how we got to today (see for instance a number of prominent references in Paul Seely’s work).

      Philip, would it be possible for you to share a snippet or two from your chapter 35 with us?

      [their sophomoric claims.]
      We do need to be careful though to recognize and fairly grapple with the strengths of their claims, and I can think of nothing more humbling than the fact that *millenia* of Jewish and Christian (non-liberal) exegesis has understood the raqia’ to be a solid cyrstalline type entity (which is not the same thing as modern scholarship’s conception, nonetheless). The LXX most certainly believed this, and it is probably not true, as it is often claimed, that they just got this notion from the Egyptians. I think they just stumbled over the root word itself, like modern scholars have. But this itself brings up another issue: The tools of modern scholarship are powerful tools! We now can easily understand things, with the resources at our fingertips, that church scholars and interpreters could never have dreamed of getting to the bottom of. Nearly all of my findings depend on these modern scholarly tools and resources.

      [Please let me know when and where you publish your work]
      I need prayer about this. I also need a lot more free time ;0) But I will say this. My involvement in this forum renewed the burden upon me to get this work out (which I hope will eventually come out in book form, but its critically important to me that it also be freely available on the internet). I just obtained a domain for this work (which is perfect for it!), although I have nothing but a blank page there for now. hebrewcosmology.com. What about this. I said I could share on Proverbs 8:28 and its purported reference to ‘firm skies’. I cannot promise how long this link will be up, but the following few pages is my coverage of that passage, for you who are interested: http://hebrewcosmology.com/temp-articles/Firm-Skies.pdf. It’s a great example of some of the passages where the problem comes down to the translational level.

    312. Nicholas Petersen
      February 24th, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

      Bo, you wrote:
      ["If the Hebrews believed in a solid vault holding the waters above back, how do yo explain that they also conceived of YHWH living there above the vault?"]

      This is a very important point, particularly when we establish that there is no exegetically sound ground for separating ‘sky’ (shamaym and cognates) from ‘raqia’ – such as arguing that ‘heaven’ is ‘above’ the ‘firmament’ (or that heaven is ‘below’ the firmament). For the raqia’ *is* heaven according to its true definition in Gen 1:8 (as Josh has correctly noted), and it is always exactly synonymous with heaven in its other few occurrences (over half of which are in Genesis 1).

    313. Jonathan
      February 24th, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

      Thank you Nicholas, I will pray that God supplies you with what is needed to do what He is calling you to do. Thanks for letting us know about the domain name. At least I know, for future reference, where to check back to at a later date to see if you have put anything up. I will bookmark that now. I appreciate the time you have taken in your research and the way you graciously deal with the subject matter; focusing on the viewpoints themselves and not resorting to hyperbolic language of the opposition. The way you have handled yourself in this discussion is a model for all of us. Thank you for your humble witness.

    314. Jonathan
      February 24th, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

      There is a lot I could say about post # 301. But I will at the moment limit it to this: After looking at the link that David provided in # 298, I saw absolutely zero references to the Tower of Babel and no references that would indicate that Sarfati believes in evolution. So I am confused as to whether Philip and I actually read the same article. Regardless, after searching Google for the words “Babel” and “Sarfati”, the third article (written by Sarfati) that comes up contains the following: “God then judged the people by confusing their language at Babel — after they had refused to spread out and repopulate the Earth after the Flood.” So I hope this sufficiently deals with yet another slanderous claim and that the following posted in reference to Sarfati is wholly untrue: “He also seems to be denying that God intervened supernaturally at Babel.”

    315. Josh Elsom
      February 25th, 2013 @ 4:43 pm

      Nicholas,

      I am talking about the exegesis that I provided in #233 (which I will immediately reproduce in the following comment, after I’ve concluded here). There has been no substantive counterexegesis to what I’ve provided.

      I begin my exegesis with these things in mind:

      The people to whom the Creation Narrative was written, did not have my modern cosmology in mind. Therefore, when they read:

      “בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃”

      they were not thinking,”In the beginning God created outer space and the planet earth.” They were, instead, thinking “In the beginning God created the heavens (see 1:6—8) and the Land.” This is by and far the preferred understanding of the text, in my opinion, because Gen 1 serves as an analog, if not a prototype, for the later focus on the Promised Land that is given to the nation of Israel.

      Here is my substantiation for this understanding of the Israel/Land motif in Genesis 1:

      1) Like Adam and Noah, Israel was created to be a new humanity living under the reign of the LORD, in the Land that he had provided them. And like Adam and Noah before them, Israel experienced their birth as new humanity when they walked on הַיַּבָּשָׁ֑ה (the dry land) that appeared at the splitting of the waters of the Sea (and later the Jordan River).

      a) Creation of Adam
      i. Empty formless Land existed
      ii. Gen 1:2 “waters of the deep” existed
      iii. The firmament (named heavens) splits these waters
      iv. Dry ground (named Land) appears
      v. Humanity in Adam created to rule over the Land

      b) Salvation of Noah
      1. Sinful humanity existed
      ii. Waters of the Flood destroy the Land
      iii. Flood waters subside
      iv. Dry land appears
      v. Noah and his family become the new humanity under the reign of the LORD.

      c) Covenant with Israel
      i. The gods of Egypt are brought to nothing
      ii. The waters of the Sea stand between Israel and life.
      iii. The waters of the sea are split.
      iv. Israel walks through the sea, safely and on dry ground
      v. Israel is the new humanity in covenant with God.

      2) Like Eden, the Promised Land was a land that flowed with milk and honey.

      a) After Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden
      i. they moved east.
      ii. cherubim were stationed to guard the entrance of Eden.

      b) After the destruction of the flood
      i. men moved east toward Babel.
      ii. God confused the language of these people so that they would be unable to build a tower that reached the heavens.

      c) After Israel left Egypt
      i. they moved east toward the Promised Land.

      d) Before Israel crossed over the Jordan they were camped east of the Land.

      e) Before the conquest of the Land began, Joshua crossed over the Jordan, where he met the Captain of the Lord’s Army; who, like the cherubim of Eden, was guarding the entrance to the Land which was flowing with milk and honey.

      3) Like Adam, Israel could only stay in the Land as long as they were faithful to the Mosaic Law. And when they broke covenant with the LORD, they were taken into captivity to the east, to Assyria and Babylon.

    316. Josh Elsom
      February 25th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      Comment #233 reproduce below:

      Forget postulating about science and just let the text speak. Once we’ve let the text speak, then we can figure out whether our modern notions of science are compatible with Genesis 1. Text first, then science.

      We know that light, and day and night (which are derivative of light and are functions of time) were the only things that was created on day one. And we know this for these reasons:

      1. Gen 1:1 and 2:1 are not part of the creation week proper. They are bookends to the narrative that introduce and conclude God’s activity during the creation week. These bookends contain the merism “…הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ…” This represents everything that was created by God, in toto, during the week of creation. Therefore, we must not necessarily conclude that the creation of the heavens and the earth (land, not planet) occurred on day one.

      2. Gen 1:6—8 tells us that the heavens were not created until the second day. Therefore, we can confirm that Gen 1:1 is not part of the first day of creation.

      3. Gen 1:9—13 tells us that the earth הָאָֽרֶץ was not created by God until the third day. Again, we can confirm, by this, that Gen 1:1 is not part of the first day of creation.

      4. The author of the narrative uses a rhetorical formula for each of the days of creation. He tells us what God creates; he tells us what function or purpose that created thing served; he tells us what God named the created things; he tells us that God saw what he had created, and that what he had created was good (days 1 & 3-6); and, finally, he concludes the day by using the formula “And there was evening and there was morning. The ______ day.”

      The only things which follow this formula on day one are: the creation of light; the observation that the light was good; the naming of the light and darkness; and, the concluding formula “And there was evening and there was morning. One day.”

      If the submerged land and dark deep waters of Gen 1:2 were part of day one of creation, then we would expect to see the waters and the land addressed in the events of day one, just as we do for every other thing which God created on the days to follow. We would expect to see God saying, “Let there be a formless and functionless Land, and he called the land the earth…and let there be waters…and he named the waters…And let the waters cover the formless and functionless earth…Then God said, Let there be light.’…”

      Since we do not see the land or the waters included in the rhetorical formula that follows the other 5 days of creation, we may conclude that the only thing that was created on day one was light.

      What does this mean? If light was the only thing that was created on day one, then the dark deep waters that covered the land in Gen 1:2 are assumed by the author to have existed before God created the heavens and the earth. The Apostle Peter confirms this understanding when he says, “…by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water…” Gen 1:2, therefore, is not part of the creation week. Instead, this verse describes the conditions which existed prior to God’s creation.

      So, the message of Genesis 1 is not that God created the heavens and the earth (land, not planet) ex nihilo, but that he brought order out of the chaos by creating the heavens and the earth out of the primordial waters.

    317. Josh Elsom
      February 25th, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

      Nicholas and Bo,

      While I have yet to read your arguments, Nicholas, in the paper you’ve graciously provided me, I am not sure how it could overthrow the rest of the exegesis I’ve provided above. I recognize that HaShamayim are not simply the separating structure which keep the waters above the Raqia from deluging the Land below. The Scripture is clear that the heavens are also the place where God dwells. So, I’m not arguing that the raqia, and the heavens by extension, are simply the vault of heaven. The understanding of what the heavens were in the mind of the Hebrews was certainly more complex than that. Modern western Christians share that same complexity, do they not? We believe that the heavens are outer space, while at the same time believing that we will go to the heavens to be with the LORD when we die. So I don’t think that the paper is capable of affecting my understanding of what Genesis 1 appears to be teaching about the rigidity of the raqia.

    318. Jonathan
      February 25th, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

      Josh, I can agree with post # 315 that there is indeed parallels and themes that can be drawn from those separate events. Yet, the fact that parallels can be drawn doesn’t mean those events did not literally happen. I don’t think you hold to that theory on any of these events except for the events of Genesis 1. Am I correct?

    319. Jonathan
      February 25th, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

      As far as post # 316 (repeating post # 233), you may recall that was a time when I had withdrawn myself from the conversation due to Philip’s insistence to attack the character of YEC leaders.

      I rejoined the conversation not long thereafter though and did post something (post # 246) that closely related to some things you brought up in that comment:
      “We can also note about the second day of Creation that it does not mention God creating the waters. It mentions God dividing the waters with a firmament or expanse (depending on translation). The NKJV puts it this way: “Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” So notice God is dividing waters; not creating them.
      So when were these waters formed? We know they were present in day 1 or Genesis 1:2 could not say that the Spirit of God was hovering over them. So why does the Scripture not specifically mention them coming into existence? Is it possible that the creation account does not mention an item until it has been brought into completion? The waters were formed but not completed until they were divided? I’m not sure. One might get the impression the waters pre-existed the Creation week (even though the text does not specifically state that) and I can see where that conclusion might be reached. But we have Exodus 20 that also speaks to the Creation. I don’t see how Exodus 20:11 leaves that door open. That is why it is always important to compare and interpret Scripture with Scripture to get the full understanding.”

    320. Jonathan
      February 25th, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

      I think I can agree that Genesis 1:1 was an introduction for the entire chapter and not the events of the first day. Yet, from the fact that the waters never had a creation day either, we can see that the chapter does not necessarily give a comprehensive of every single creative act. Yet I see Genesis 1:2 as showing the state of the earth prior to the first recorded creation act. I believe it shows the earth being in existences, just not in a completed state. Yet the earth had to have been in existence in a non-completed state in Genesis 1:2 because the next verses clearly show how God changed the conditions on the earth from verse 2 to verse 3. So we really can’t definitely conclude what the light was that was created on day 1. All we know for sure is that it lit up the earth for part of the time and part of the time it did not, so it created a measurement of time; evening and morning, the first (yowm) day. When we get to the waters being divided, we see they were already in existence even though they did not have a specific day assigned to their creation. I surmised that might be because their creation was a partial one and not a complete one. That could also be the same with the earth that was in existence in Genesis 1:2 but not yet said to be created. Yet for whatever reasons the Genesis 1 text is listed the way that it is; we see from Exodus 20:11 that everything was indeed created in the first 6 days of a 7 day week.

    321. Jonathan
      February 25th, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

      Josh, I did want to note a few things about what you write about the creation specifically in point 1. a) of your post # 315.

      “a) Creation of Adam
      i. Empty formless Land existed
      ii. Gen 1:2 “waters of the deep” existed
      iii. The firmament (named heavens) splits these waters
      iv. Dry ground (named Land) appears
      v. Humanity in Adam created to rule over the Land”

      The first thing I can note is that like the waters that don’t have a specifically mentioned creation moment but were merely divided, we can also note the “erets” (the earth or land) is specifically speaking of the dry portion of the planet in verse 10. Yet it was still in existence in the previous verses, it was just not in its completed dry form. So this would seem to be yet another reason to support a theory that the formula of God seeing something and calling it good does not mean it was brought into existence on that day but merely completed on that day. (Again, this is still limited to the 6 days though in light of Exodus 20:11.)

      As far as your final point of that section, “Humanity in Adam created to rule over the Land” I would say that man’s dominion was not only limited to the land but he also had dominion over the creatures of the seas and the air.

    322. Nicholas Petersen
      February 25th, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

      Hello Josh, Jonathan, Philip, Bo, Michael and all,

      [So, I’m not arguing that the raqia, and the heavens by extension, are simply the vault of heaven. The understanding of what the heavens were in the mind of the Hebrews was certainly more complex than that. -- Josh]
      But those are issues your side will have to defend. It is a very real problem, which cannot be satisfied with a bunch of assumptive statements like you just made. Prove it with exegesis, and hopefully: be your own greatest critic. Also, some of what you wrote is confusing… as if to say the raqia itself is not the firmament (see your citation above)?

      As for your main problem, it seems that this issue of ex nehilo has become a major issue for you. But what totally baffles me is how that has anything to do with coming to your current positions, reading Gen 1 as myth, and so forth.

      I actually did address this earlier though (post 128), maybe you missed it. I said I agree with you that Genesis 1:1 is most likely a summary statement, “and that the heavens were not created until day 2 (and seas and land till day 3).” However, it is not only a summary statement, it is also an introduction to the entire creation account, not to mention to the entire Torah. And that introduction gives the glory to God, not to waters. I also feel that that summary statement ultimately includes those waters, as they were the source of the heavens and the earth (note that the tehom is itself somehow still called ‘earth’ in v. 2). It’s also of tremendous importance that the text begins not with verse 2, but with verse 1. No, that doesn’t *prove* it meant to communicate ex-nehilo. It does however place Elohim in the first place of all. The text has as the center of attention God the almighty creator. If he could create the expanse of the heavens, command the seas, and create beautiful creatures in all their vast array, the fact that the origin of the original waters is not discussed or disclosed is interesting, but I don’t understand why it has to shake the faith. I don’t mean to say that callously either, my faith has been shaken innumerable times by textual issues, and many of those times (not necessarily all), it really didn’t have to be that way. It does teach me to gain a lower view of my emotional reactions.

      [So, the message of Genesis 1 is not that God created the heavens and the earth (land, not planet) ex nihilo, but that he brought order out of the chaos by creating the heavens and the earth out of the primordial waters.]

      As I said, the focus of Gen 1 was obviously not to beat the drum of ex-nehilo. But I think you are mistaking an argument from silence. It is enough of a mystery why God wanted to even use a process in time anyways (using original material is part of process). Being limited to time and process alone can seem to limit God, and that was such a theological problem for some, like Philo and Origen, that they rejected it (making creation in an instant). Regardless, speaking of arguments from silence, neither does the text give any glory to those waters, to their primacy and potent powers, much less to their purported pre-existence. I guess the problem would be if those waters, as pre-existent, were not totally controlled by God and so forth. The Spirit of God hovered on them, rather than like in the pagan myths, the gods arise out of the waters. God is not at all part of those waters, as his Voice and his Spirit testify, they were outside of it, and commanding and ordering it, in absolute mastery and control.

      Lastly, as for the promised land motif … as well as the parallels between waters and land and sea . . . You’re missing one. It goes like this:

      By Land, By Air, By Sea … The Few, the Proud, The Marines!

      You’ve perhaps been reading Peter Enns or N.T. Wright on this issue (I have gained a lot from the latter, too bad for his antagonism and views on these other issues). Anyways, Genesis 1 was copying or alluding to a promised land motif as much as the Marines were.

    323. Josh Elsom
      February 25th, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

      Jonathan,

      Thanks for the kickback.

      1. “Josh, I can agree with post # 315 that there is indeed parallels and themes that can be drawn from those separate events. Yet, the fact that parallels can be drawn doesn’t mean those events did not literally happen.”

      Remember, my point was to establish that the Land motif that is found throughout the entire Torah, is not absent from the first chapter of Genesis. If we are to consider the most traditional view of Pentateuchal authorship, the Hebrews would have received much of the Torah while they were still in their time of wandering. That means that the parallels which existed between the events of their recent exodus out of Egypt, would have clearly been recognized in what they were hearing in the stories of Creation and the story of Noah.

      2. “So when were these waters formed? We know they were present in day 1 or Genesis 1:2 could not say that the Spirit of God was hovering over them…One might get the impression the waters pre-existed the Creation week (even though the text does not specifically state that) and I can see where that conclusion might be reached. But we have Exodus 20 that also speaks to the Creation. I don’t see how Exodus 20:11 leaves that door open.”

      Ex 20:11 is only an objection if you have already presupposed that Gen 1 teaches that God created the world ex nihilo. As I’ve pointed out, in the course of this conversation, the Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3 assume that the cosmos was created out of water, “…by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water…” When I read Ex 20:11, I understand it to mean that “…in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them [out of water], but he rested on the seventh day.”

      3. Your comments that follow these assume the same presupposing of ex nihilo creation. So I don’t think that it is necessary that I address them in detail. You can surmise my responses to them, I’m sure.

      I give you partial credit for counterexegesis. Counterexegesis, by the way, as I am defining it, is not offering a plausible alternative exegesis, it is providing an exegesis that makes another interpretation impossible. And from your comments above, I gather that you have considered my exegesis possible. You say, “I can see where that conclusion [Gen 1:2 waters already existed before Day One] might be reached.”. And the only reason that you cannot accept my exegesis is that you have determined that no exegesis of Gen 1, that does not assume ex nihlio creation, can be accepted as valid. That means that you have not rejected my exegesis based on my textual analysis, but on your scientific and philosophical presuppositions.

    324. Josh Elsom
      February 25th, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

      Nicholas,

      It seems we were composing and posting our comments at the same time. I will try and get to your response later; maybe tomorrow. Alas, my leisure time is spent for the day. In the mean time, I think you can probably gather how I might have responded to what you’ve written based on my responses to Jonathan.

      Marines aside, I did miss one Land motif in Genesis. The story of Jacob (aka Israel). If my memory serves, we see the same expulsion and exile from the Land (after he tricks Jacob), his eastward movement (to Laban’s house), his captivity in Aram (with Laban), he had a water crossing (the Jabbok at Peniel) where he enters back into the Land with great wealth.

      Sound familiar?

      Blessings.

    325. Bo
      February 25th, 2013 @ 10:20 pm

      Josh,

      Your examples of what you see as parallel stories in scripture does not amount to exegesis. Projecting a meaning from another passage or story to Genesis 1 is still a form of isogesis. If two passages tell the same story, like in the gospels, we might find extra details in one that would give light to the other. Jonathan has done that in his bringing up Exodus 20:11. It is a passage that speaks to the same incident.

      You brought up 2 Peter 3:5 which has bearing on the discussion. I brought up Hebrews 11:3 which also has merit in the dialogue. If we stick to these types of direct passages that discuss the creation event we can be said to be using scripture to interpret scripture. That is still not exactly exegesis, but it a safer way to come to grips with the whole counsel of YHWH.

      I read Genesis as literal history. I find nothing in the rest of scripture that would contradict this understanding. Jonathan has brought up Messiah’s statements that indicate that He took Genesis literally. I do not think that you will find any writer of scripture that takes Genesis as anything but literal history. So the burden of proof is on you not us.

      You have presented stories that seem to you to be parallel ideas. You have presented your idea that the Hebrews thought of a solid dome overhead, to which some scripture has been referenced that would show that their ideas are more complex than you originally presented.

      I, for one, do not see that your position has solid backing from the scriptures. There is a vague possibility (There is no absolute statement is in scripture confirming the idea.) that water existed before day one, but there are also good reasons to believe that water was created in darkness on day one followed by light, making the its existence no further back in time than day one. And how will explain time in days or years or hours or watches without the cycle of light and darkness? Where in scripture does it speak of time that is measured without this cycle? What does beginning mean if it doesn’t mean beginning? “In the beginning” means at the start. No time exists before the start, as far as I can see.

      Shalom

    326. Nicholas Petersen
      February 26th, 2013 @ 12:39 am

      Dr. Sarfati, thanks for chiming in here (posts 308/309),

      I’m sorry my comment only came across as a negative one, I was actually thrilled that you were on, both before and after the fact. I was simply saying that I wish that more of the scientific arguments had gotten laid out. There were a few points where I felt the issue of what church fathers believed and so forth could have turned to these other topics.

      Regardless, point well taken, there is only so much that can be done in an hour (much less than an hour actually, with commercials, questioners, etc). One of my favorite presentations is your Designed for Life presentations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4Z3OT1Mcrg.

    327. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 10:29 am

      Josh, responding to post # 323:

      1. I do agree there are parallels. I think you correctly list there are parallels in a number of events throughout the Old Testament (and actually in the New Testament as well, if we would want to continue with taking possession of the land spiritually). Yet I see these parallels as something that God ordained to literally happen. I don’t think these parallels indicate in any way that these events did not literally happen. You don’t believe the events aside from Genesis 1 did not literally happen because they have parallels with each other. I agree and apply that to Genesis 1 as well.

      2. “Ex 20:11 is only an objection if you have already presupposed that Gen 1 teaches that God created the world ex nihilo.” Actually, I don’t see how Exodus 20:11 says something other than a creation ex nihilo, I’ll get to that in a moment.

      “As I’ve pointed out, in the course of this conversation, the Apostle Peter’s words in 2 Peter 3 assume that the cosmos was created out of water, “…by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water…” I don’t really see how 2 Peter 3 proves your point. I think I already expressed that I agree that the waters pre-existed the finished heavens and earth. Genesis 1 and 2 Peter 3 both show that the finished heavens and earth contained the waters. Yet Exodus 20:11 states, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them…” That “and all that is in them” then INCLUDES the waters if they were indeed in the heavens and earth and sea as both Genesis 1 and 2 Peter 3 tell us.

      You say, “When I read Ex 20:11, I understand it to mean that “…in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them [out of water], but he rested on the seventh day.” But it doesn’t say that. You have to add those words in order to not include the water in the creation of the 6 days. But those words “out of water” are not in the text. So therefore, that can’t be considered exegesis.

      “the only reason that you cannot accept my exegesis is that you have determined that no exegesis of Gen 1, that does not assume ex nihlio creation, can be accepted as valid. That means that you have not rejected my exegesis based on my textual analysis, but on your scientific and philosophical presuppositions.” As I have shown in this comment, one of the reasons I reject your interpretation is because of the exegesis of Exodus 20:11.

    328. Philip
      February 26th, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

      Dr. Jonathan Sarfati,

      This is “Philip person” getting back to you:

      I have not read Dr. Ross on this particular issue. My comments are strictly based on your blog which I read from links posted to this discussion. But it appears that Dr. Ross has some of the same concerns about your teachings as I observe: the fact that you play the evolutionists’ species game in recognizing geographical isolated populations as separate species. I don’t know about Dr. Ross, but I insist on the eminently sensible biblical way of defining the kinds of animals as those that can produce offspring after their own kind. If we use your’s and the Darwinists’ way of distinguishing species, the Aborigines of Australia are a different species from Europeans. Darwin’s bulldog Thomas Huxley made much use of that in defending Darwin’s theory of human evolution. You ought to know the racist implications of that. Darwin’s signal contribution to evolution was to introduce racism into evolutionary thinking.

      In commenting on your views, I try to base them on what you actually say or write. But in declaring uniformitarian science as my ‘real authority,’ I can see that you don’t hesitate to boldly proclaim matters that you do not check. If you will note above, Dr. Brown requested that I post the links to my book that addresses the matters being addressed in this discussion. If you want to disparage my views, you ought to at least base them on fact. For your convenience:

      http://www.amazon.com/Archaeological-Evidence-Christian-Theology-ebook/dp/B0080NIG3W/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361896207&sr=8-1

      Due to Creationists colleagues and friends who I wish to honor and respect, I was hoping that we could have a civil discussion. Perhaps you could answer the question that I pose to Creationist leaders: whether you regard as “compromise,” merely disagreeing with your interpretation of the duration of the Creationist days of Genesis. If I am not mistaken that seems the thrust of your writings. But one thing that I do agree with you is the fact that we should compromise neither concerning righteousness nor truth.

      Another reason that you may wish to read my book is the fact that Creationists leaders have so little understanding of archaeology. But if you are well informed, perhaps you can explain the odd fact that while you find so little if any evidence of antediluvian man in the extensive evidence that you attribute to the Flood, you attribute most of the remains of ancient man to that short interval (300 years, according to Ken Ham’s dating of the Flood) between the end of the Flood and Abraham. As I note in my book, that seems a better argument against the Flood!

      No wonder you Creationists avoid archaeology! And tell us why from a careful literal reading of Genesis that, while you see so little evidence of the man that God sent the Flood to destroy, you see most of the victims of the Flood as creatures that live in the sea.

      I see that you have a lot on your plate because it is clearly Creation Science, not the Bible, that needs defending. But, please, the Bible doesn’t need defending.

      How much light do you suppose that your light can shed on God’s light? However successful that you have been in converting believers to Creation Science, by insisting that your interpretation is taught by the Bible, you have been even more successful in turning our current generation from the Bible.

    329. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

      I see Philip entered once again into the discussion. The reason he did so was neither to address the specific things that I called him out on as slanderous. Neither is it to specifically commit to discussing ideas rather than hyperbolically and slanderously attacking those who hold to them. That seems to be rather telling of Philip’s intentions.

    330. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

      Dr. Sarfati, just so you are aware. Philip has accused you in post # 301 of all kinds of things; things he supposedly found out you believed by reading the following link: http://creation.com/new-compromise-bible-version-satire

      I responded to the allegations with post # 314, which Philip clearly did not have the time to respond to. He did however seem to have the time to respond to you and make more accusations though. This seems to be Philip’s modus operandi.

      So I just thought you might like to know, in case you haven’t read the whole conversation. Philip is used to making wild accusations about leaders who are Young Earth and then when I come back with the facts (as opposed to Philip’s misrepresentations of them), Philip doesn’t care to address those facts.

      Thanks for all you do Dr. Sarfati.

    331. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

      Also, if Philip had really cared about what Young Earth Creationists actually had to say about the created kinds, he could have readily found out by searching their websites and finding out that he has yet again slanderously misrepresented what they believe. Examples can be found here:

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cfl/species-kind

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v4/n1/ark-kinds-flood-baraminology-cognitum

    332. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 1:37 pm

      Philip in post # 301: “For example, Dr. Ross and I agree that there have been no new kinds of creatures since God completed his Creation at the end of the sixth day.” Philip in post # 328: “I have not read Dr. Ross on this particular issue.” (Scratching my head)

      Philip in post # 328: “In commenting on your views, I try to base them on what you actually say or write.” (If only that were the case! Let’s see if Philip actually reads the link that Dr. Sarfati presented on what he actually believes about the created kinds or whether Philip will keep beating Ross’s strawman.)

      Philip in post # 328: ” I can see that you don’t hesitate to boldly proclaim matters that you do not check.” That is hysterically funny considering the ironic nature of that accusation! Have we ever heard of an adage about a pot and a kettle?

      Philip continues: ” If you will note above, Dr. Brown requested that I post the links to my book that addresses the matters being addressed in this discussion.” I’m glad Philip brings that up. Dr. Brown seems to have specifically brought Philip into this discussion.

      So Dr. Brown, I would request that you weigh in as to whether you support Philip’s baseless attacks on young earth individuals. Could you specifically weigh in on this since Philip implies your support in these attacks?

    333. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 1:55 pm

      Bo,

      1. “Your examples of what you see as parallel stories in scripture does not amount to exegesis.”

      Actually, it is exegesis. What I’ve shown is called intertextuality.

      2.”Projecting a meaning from another passage or story to Genesis 1 is still a form of isogesis.”

      Certainly it may be, but that needs to be proven. Remember, I was drawing out the intertext to substantiate my belief that the Land motif, which dominates the rest of the Torah, is not absent from the first chapter of Genesis. In other words, I was not presenting these parallels as the primary evidence of my argument. They are supportive, however.

      Which is more probable, that the human author of Genesis had the (post-Platonic spherical) planet earth and (post-Galilean heliocentric) outer space in mind, or that he had the accepted cosmological geography of the bronze age in mind, when he wrote down,”God created the heavens and the earth”?

      3. “Jonathan has done that in his bringing up Exodus 20:11. It is a passage that speaks to the same incident.”

      I agree that it is speaking of the same incident. I addressed it in my response to Jonathan (above) and have shown how there is no inconsistency between my understanding of Gen 1 and this passage.

      4. “You brought up 2 Peter 3:5 which has bearing on the discussion. I brought up Hebrews 11:3 which also has merit in the dialogue.”

      Hebrews 11:3 does not prove Creation ex nihilo, if that was your point in bringing it up.

      It simply says that by faith we know that the worlds (which we can see) were prepared by the words of God (which we cannot see). This understanding is in perfect harmony with the verses which precede it, and which follow.

      If you want to make it say something more than that, you will need to figure out a way to reconcile ex nihilo creation with God creating the worlds FROM THINGS which are not visible.

      5. “Jonathan has brought up Messiah’s statements that indicate that He took Genesis literally. I do not think that you will find any writer of scripture that takes Genesis as anything but literal history.”

      That they considered it literal history is an assumption. When we recall, retell, and apply truths from fictional stories with didactic purpose we do not generally qualify those stories by explaining that the events in those stories did not actually happen. That is especially the case when the fiction was intended to convey theological truth. When Jesus began teaching in Luke 16 on the Rich Man and Lazarus, we do not see him starting off his parable by qualifying the didactic category he was using — “Before I begin this is a parable, I need you to understand that the events of this story are not actual. There once was a rich man…”

      That said, I do believe that they did considered it actual history, just as you do today. In fact, I believe that they were far more inclined to believe it was actual history because the creation narrative was reflective, in its composition, of the general cosmological understanding of that day. Jesus, and the authors of the Bible, were men of their day. They did not know anything about quantum physics, or genetics, or astral/celestial mechanics. They understood the world through the lens of the common man’s conception of that day. I’m certain that Jesus also believed that earth rested upon pillars (http://tinyurl.com/c6rkzua) and that it’s pillars held it above the waters that are below (http://tinyurl.com/bhmvf6l), but I’m confident that you are unwilling to adopt their cosmology.

      6. “You have presented your idea that the Hebrews thought of a solid dome overhead…”

      They did.

      When He established [made firm] the heavens, I was there,
 When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, When He made firm the skies above,
 When the springs of the deep became fixed,” (Prov 8:27—28, NASB)

      7. “…to which some scripture has been referenced that would show that their ideas are more complex than you originally presented.”

      I said this myself. That the Hebrews also understood that God’s dwelling was in the heavens, does not mean that their cosmological conception of a rigid firmament was any less so.

      8. “I, for one, do not see that your position has solid backing from the scriptures….”

      Then it should not be too difficult to dismantle my exegesis.

      9. “What does beginning mean if it doesn’t mean beginning? “In the beginning” means at the start. No time exists before the start, as far as I can see.”

      Proverbs 8:23 reads, “Ages ago I [wisdom] was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.” If wisdom was establish before the beginning of the earth that means that time existed from eternity.

    334. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

      Jonathan,

      1. “I do agree there are parallels.”

      See my response to Bo, above.

      2. “Ex 20:11 is only an objection if you have already presupposed that Gen 1 teaches that God created the world ex nihilo.” Actually, I don’t see how Exodus 20:11 says something other than a creation ex nihilo, I’ll get to that in a moment.

      See my response to Bo, above.

      3. “I don’t really see how 2 Peter 3 proves your point.”

      I think it proves that the earth was formed out of water and by water. And if the earth was formed out of water and by water, then water had to necessarily preexist the earth.

      4. “You have to add those words in order to not include the water in the creation of the 6 days. But those words “out of water” are not in the text. So therefore, that can’t be considered exegesis.

      It is considered exegesis if we allow our understanding of how God created the heavens and the earth in Gen 1 to inform our understanding of Gen 20:11. If Genesis 1 is teaching that the waters preexisted the creation of land, then we can logically conclude that “…the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them [out of water].”

    335. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

      Josh, I really need not address anything else in your post as I will continue to maintain that Exodus 20:11 says what it means and means what it says. If it intended to include that clause, it could have. It did not, meaning that the heavens, earth, and sea contain water that was also created in the 6 creation days. “all that is in them”

    336. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

      Therefore, we agree that the waters preexisted the completed heavens and earth. We do not agree that the waters preexisted the creation week and I come to this determination using exegesis. There is no exegesis that requires the waters to prexsist the creation week. Genesis 1 does not tell us that. Nor does 2 Peter 3. Neither tells us that the waters pre existed the Creation Week. So you do not come to this conclusion with exegesis.

    337. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      Also, neither Lazarus nor the Rich Man have numerous geneologies that they appear in nor tell the exact ages when they had kids and when they died nor are presented as being the reason that sin has come into the world. So Jesus had no need to clarify that they weren’t real people because it was easy to tell that He was only conveying a parable. There is a vast amount of difference between that and Genesis 1-11 and I have already addressed that.

    338. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

      Nicholas,

      You said, “…those are issues your side will have to defend. It is a very real problem, which cannot be satisfied with a bunch of assumptive statements like you just made. Prove it with exegesis, and hopefully: be your own greatest critic. Also, some of what you wrote is confusing… as if to say the raqia itself is not the firmament (see your citation above)?”

      I’m going to have to break my response to you up; I’m in a pinch for time, and my responses to you will require more thought.

      I think it is clear from what we read in the other ANE literature that the Hebrews shared the same cosmological conceptions as their neighbors.

      I also believe it is very clear, from the Scriptures, that the Hebrews believed and taught that the sky was a solid vault.

      Job 22:14 (NAS) – ‘Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; And He walks on the vault of heaven.’

      Amos 9:6 (NAS) – ‘The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth, The LORD is His name.’

      However, I understand that they also taught and believed that the heavens were the dwelling place of the LORD. The latter belief does not invalidates the former belief. Their view of the heavens was simply multilayered. This, again, is not unlike modern conceptions of the heavens. Many Christians believe that the heavens are outer space, but they also believe that they are the place where they will dwell when they die. Does this mean that they think that they will live on Saturn with Jesus? Doubt it. The Egyptians believed that the goddess Nut held up the sky, while also believing that it was a solid rock dome. I think what we see going on in the Hebrew conception is no different from these; a complex shamayim.

      I am happy to hear why you might object.

    339. Sheila
      February 26th, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Jonathan—”So Jesus had no need to clarify that they weren’t real people because it was easy to tell that He was only conveying a parable.”

      And a parable is…? Jesus always spoke “Kingdom Truths” and I see no reason to specifically name someone who is only make believe. He would have been “a certain poor man” rather than Lazarus. It seems to me that the Lord is speaking of real people.

    340. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 3:45 pm

      Fair point Sheila, there is a possibility these two men could have been actual literal people. The point Jesus makes in the parable doe not depend on sin entering the world through these men though. Neither does the other characteristics that I conveyed in my prior post apply to these two men. So whether or not the rich man and Lazarus are actual literal people is not something I’m willing to take a dogmatic position on. Whether Adam is a real person, I definitely will.

    341. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

      Jonathan,

      Re. #335 — Ex 20:11 does not include the clause “ex nilhilo” either. We are both supplying to Ex 20:11 what we believe Gen 1 is teaching.

      Re. #336 — You have already conceded that you can see how someone might reach the exegetical conclusions that I have, regarding the preexisting waters of Gen 1:2. So, with all due respect, my exegesis remains plausible and has not been countered by what you have offered.

      Re. #337 — I think you’ve missed the point. I was not arguing for the similarities of the creation narrative and the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. I was, instead, making the point, that like the passage we find in Luke 16, where Jesus does not qualify his teaching with “This is just a parable.”, neither do we see him prefacing his remarks in Matt 19 with,”We all know that my Father inspired this Creation Narrative, using the cosmological assumptions of the day, right? Nevertheless, haven’t you read, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female…”

    342. Bo
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

      Sheila, Josh and the rest,

      Lazarus is the English transliteration of the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word or name “Eleazar” which means servant of Elohim. So the parable is about a rich man that serves himself and a servant of Elohim. Messiah told this story in the context of covetousness…and more specifically directly after His statement that remarriage is adultery. It is covetousness to want another man’s wife or to get rid of your current one to get another.

      There is no need for this story to be about real people considering that it is a graphic illustration of the outcome of a man that lavishes himself with everything that he can compared to a man that suffers in this life for righteousness sake.

      Since Messiah considers remarriage, with the first wife (though divorced) still living, adultery we understand why He is careful to say what He means in the following passage:

      Mark 10
      29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
      30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

      Note: No wives subsequent are mentioned if one has to forsake his for the kingdom. This goes along with Messiah’s statement about being a eunuch for the kingdom. If we loose our wife because of the gospel we are not allowed another wife.

      The immediate context of the story of the rich man and the servant of Elohim is about remarriage which is covetousness which Paul calls idolatry which would certainly exclude one from the kingdom of heaven according to the scripture.

      Also note, that in the story, the rich man is forbidden comfort because he had good things in this life while the servant of Elohim was comforted because he experienced evil in this life. We know that we are not blessed with heaven or punished in hell because of the good or evil we received in this life, but because of our faith or lack thereof in Messiah. If it is a real story about a real king and a real man named Eleazar, we would expect real outcomes.

      Also the final point in the passage is about not believing Moses and Prophets. If we will not accept their words as literal truth concerning covetousness, divorce and remarriage, we will not believe Messiah that rose from the dead about it either. Both Moses and Messiah say the same thing…and the prophets do too.

      Of course this also applies to believing Moses and the Prophets about a literal 6 day creation. If we refuse to accept it from Moses we will also fail to accept it from Y’shua. We will come up with ideas that Messiah was in error about the very universe that He created.

      John 1
      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      2 The same was in the beginning with God.
      3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      Colossians 1
      15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
      16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
      17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
      18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
      19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

      Shalom

    343. Bo
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

      That should have been : “Note: No subsequent wives are granted if one has to forsake his for the kingdom.”

    344. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

      Thanks, Bo!

    345. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

      Josh, I can’t make this any clearer and after this I will not try. I will say once again that the phrase “all that is in them” is all inclusive without sticking extra words into the text that simply are not there. If everything was made in six days, it leaves no room for anything to have existed prior to that; thereby “ex nihilo” does not need to be there because “all that is in them” is. I am not supplying a single thing to the text of Exodus 20:11. I am merely supplying to it the words that are there.

      ” You have already conceded that you can see how someone might reach the exegetical conclusions that I have, regarding the preexisting waters of Gen 1:2.” But that is only under the condition that Exodus 20:11 is not there. I also noted there was no creation day specified for the land. You can note that the land was present in Genesis 1:2. If it were not present then the Spirit of God could not have hovered over it in darkness prior to the light that was created on Day 1. Yet we clearly see that God created the land within the Creation week from what we read in Exodus 20:11. I don’t see you arguing that the land was pre-existent prior to the Creation Week, just the waters. So why is that?

      And no, I did not miss the point. First off, Sheila believes the Rich Man and Lazarus actually happened and I have no reason to believe otherwise. Do you? If not, how do you see this as proof of the creation story not actually happening?

      I will again say, even if it could be proved that the Rich Man and Lazarus did not actually happen (which I don’t believe there is any proof of) it is still way different because of the characteristics I listed. If the people of Jesus’ day did understand it as a parable, it would have been due to the absence of those characteristics I listed off. No rational person in Bible times would have ever thought that Genesis 1-11 was anything other than a literal account so Jesus would have had to have prefaced his comments by saying that or He would have been intentionally misleading. Jesus was God and only taught the things that the Father gave Him to say. So He would have been intentionally misleading not to clarify that it was not literal history if it wasn’t.

    346. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

      One other thought Josh, you try and insert words into Exodus 20:11 due to your interpretation of 2 Peter 3 (which I have shown that 2 Peter 3 in no way disagrees with an interpretation of a 6 day creation, but regardless…) If God had intended for Exodus 20:11 to be interpreted inserting words from 2 Peter, why then did He allow Exodus 20:11 to have no key to be understood correctly for centuries upon centuries between the writing of Exodus and the writing of 2 Peter?

    347. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

      Jonathan,

      1. The “All that was in them” was formed out of water and by water. Seem fairly clear to me.

      2. There is a good reason that there is no accounting of the initial creation of land, outside of the third day. It too is presumed to exist before God begins his work of creation. It was formless and void, and covered by the dark deep waters in Gen 1:2. And then, when the waters were separated beneath the raqia, the dry ground was created (given purpose and function) and named Land. So again, creation is not about creating out of nothing. It is creating function and purpose where there was nothing but chaos.

      3. It was a parable, see Bo’s comments, above. You did miss the point. I should have used the parable of the Good Samaritan. Point is, Jesus did not qualify every one of his parables with, “Don’t get up tight, this is just a parable. None of the events I am about to give you are actual.” That’s simply an unnecessary rhetorical task. The same argument would hold for Jesus’ retelling of the story of the Garden and Noah. Why would he need to say, “This all based on what my Father wanted you to know about him, told through the lens of bronze age cosmology.” But besides all that, I already clearly stated that I believe that they believed all of these stories were actual.

    348. Josh Elsom
      February 26th, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

      Re. #346 — The secret things belong to the Lord. Why did he take so long to send the Protestant Reformation? Why did he allow us to have the conflated text of the Textus Receptus for so long? I don’t know the answers to a lot of things. I think there are obvious reasons why it took as long as it did, but I am not sure those answers are relevant to our analysis of the Scriptures.

    349. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

      Josh, I know I said last time this would be the last I commented on it. But since I feel somehow it’s not getting through to you, I will try one more time. If the heavens and the earth were not only made out of water, but still contained that water (The raqia served to separate the waters) then the waters were, in fact, present within the heavens and the earth even after the creation. Since those waters were within the heavens and the earth; the “all that is in them) HAS to include the waters, does it not? Because the waters are in the heavens and the earth.

      I hope this post finally drives the point home that “all that is in them” HAS to include the waters. There is no other possible way other than that. 2 Peter 3 gives no right to not include those waters in any way whatsoever.

    350. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 7:39 pm

      Whether the good Samaritan or the Rich Man and Lazarus or anything else is used doesn’t matter. Jesus did not need to explain that he was not talking about a literal person when he was not talking about someone who had a geneology or an age when he died or had children or was said to have brought sin into the world etc. That is specifically WHY Jesus did NOT need to explain those stories. It would have been clearly understood by the fact that these were a solitary story and the character’s within the story were not brought up over and over again by the Scripture. They were characters within that story to only be understood in their context to that story and had no bearing to the rest of Scripture outside of that solitary story. That is not how it is with Genesis 1-11 and that is why it would be necessary for Jesus to clarify that it was not literal events. Therefore, as I said in my previous comment: . No rational person in Bible times would have ever thought that Genesis 1-11 was anything other than a literal account so Jesus would have had to have prefaced his comments by saying that or He would have been intentionally misleading. Jesus was God and only taught the things that the Father gave Him to say. So He would have been intentionally misleading not to clarify that it was not literal history if it wasn’t.

      But we are now going around in circles. I don’t think I will address either the waters and whether they were pre-existent or the opening chapters of Genesis and whether Jesus presented them as literal events unless there is new information that warrants discussing it instead of rehashing what has already been said.

    351. Nicholas Petersen
      February 26th, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

      [I think it is clear from what we read in the other ANE literature that the Hebrews shared the same cosmological conceptions as their neighbors.]

      But your view of what the people’s of antiquity believed is greatly clouded by the claims of modern scholarship, which has consistently tried to fish out and then proclaim alone the myths that could in any way possible have naive but *naturalistic science read into them*.

      So for instance, did the Egyptians literally believe the sky is a cow? That the stars hang by this cosmic cow’s utters? Well this is one of their depictions of the sky / of Nut. But since you can’t read this in a cosmic geographic way, those who spread these selective accounts of the ANE cosmic geography (were the Egyptians really interested in scientific geography?!) often ignore the majority of depictions which are like this, i.e. which can’t possibly have science read into them. While proclaiming alone the small minority that might possibly have an actual scientific conception read into them. 7 or 3 gem stone heaven floors for instance in Mesopotamia. But these are rare depictions, indeed the 7 floor text is entirely esoteric, written in a secret text with enchantment or what not, and the real message was about the seven levels of the gods that occupy heaven, not about physio-mechanical levels of heaven, not in my view at least. At other times, the sky is a gigantic falcon or vulture with wings outstretched. And they literally believed (did they?) that the sky / heavens are *actually* a gigantic vulture?

      But most commonly, Nut is depicted as… (did you say stone?, why are you fishing out a naturalistic material?) a gigantic naked woman, being fondled by geb, who is depicted as having intercourse with her, or trying to as he often has a full erection, but is separated by Shu. And yet the only thing you have talked about in mentioning Nut is any and everything that might be understood in a dry materialistic/scientific sense! Why haven’t you said the Egyptians believed the sky was erotic? Because that wouldn’t further notions of ancient views of naturalistic geography? What if these tendencies lead us to cherry pick such materialistic evidence, and then lead us astray in proclaiming what their ‘scientific views’ were? Also, I think you are getting some facts wrong, like saying Nut holds up the sky (no Shu hold *her* up). And you keep saying she is stone.

      So much of this has to do with the lenses and expectations that we put on before we’ve learned anything. But one of the worse of those lenses is reading the account and witness of the noble and honorable God of the Hebrews and of his majestic and rational creation, through the lens of these dishonorable and foolish pagan mythologies. They are as far apart as east is from west. This is not to deny there were ever parallels, just as the pagans all had a Noah and a worldwide flood. So too it is easy to believe that they had some left-over but highly perverted notions from their father Noah about the creation, that it started with water for instance.

      ["I also believe it is very clear, from the Scriptures, that the Hebrews believed and taught that the sky was a solid vault." ... ]

      You cited Prov 8:28 in support of this in post 333 above, and then you also cited Job 22:14. I cover those two texts in the PDF I posted. http://hebrewcosmology.com/temp-articles/Firm-Skies.pdf.

    352. Bo
      February 26th, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

      Josh,

      Thanks for thanking me…but I am sure that you are only thanking me for the notion that the rich man and the servant of Elohim is a parable, and not for the discussion at the end of my psot and logical conclusion that was drawn.

      How can the one that made the heavens and the earth not know and believe how they were actually created? Why do we not believe Moses and Messiah?

      John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

      John 2:25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

      John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

      Ex 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

      De 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

      Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
      7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
      8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

      YHWH did not speak to Moses or Messiah in dark speeches, but face to face. What ever Moses wrote were words received directly from YHWH. He didn’t invent a creation story.

      Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

      Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

      It is inconceivable that the maker of heaven and earth didn’t know how and when it was made.

      Shalom

    353. Jonathan
      February 26th, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

      Bo, to add to your Scriptures there is also these ones:

      John 8:56-58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

      John 6:38-40
      “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

      Mark 14:13 “And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him.”

      Mark 14:28, “But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.”

      John 13:38, “Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

      John 18: 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

      Do these sound like the words of a man that had only the knowledge of every other man of his day?

      I see no reason from the Scriptures to say that Jesus did not fully know and understand every single thing that He taught and proclaimed because everything He said was from the Father. We clearly see that the understanding that Jesus had was clearly exceedingly superior to the understanding of any other human being of His time. This is because Jesus was God and was in constant communication with the Father.

    354. Bo
      February 26th, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

      Jonathan,

      Yep! If they won’t believe Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe the one that rose from the dead.

      Shalom

    355. Philip
      February 26th, 2013 @ 10:31 pm

      Nicholas,

      Forgive me for the above careless misspelling of your name.

      From Chapter 36 of my book, entitled ‘What the Scripture literally say’


      The eighteenth-century British scholar Robert Lowth (1710-1787) discovered that frequent use of parallelisms suggested that much of the Old Testament Scriptures were originally composed as poetry. Whether originally composed in this fashion, parallelism certainly makes for easier memorization which is why meter and rhyme were commonly used in ancient times for oral compositions. It is reasonable to suppose that oral composition styles influenced the written style of the Bible, but to German scholars of the nineteenth century, poetry suggested that the Old Testament was romantic (imaginative) poetry. Discovery of Ancient Near Eastern poetry with similar language and motifs as that of Genesis seemed to settle the question that many of the Old Testament passages were in fact myth.
      Some of these myths drew on sagas pertaining to sea monsters, themselves the imaginative product of battles with creatures living in the sea. According to scholars who supposed that the ancient Sumerians lived in a watery plain, that they imagined a world composed of water was a natural conclusion, and it explained why the Scriptures declare that the world itself was formed out of water. These are some of the same passages that I have taken literally to develop the geology and cosmology in Chapters 30 and 31. Of course, I projected this light of Genesis on the way we currently understand our modern cosmos. Doubtless those of the Ancient Near East envisioned the cosmos in the terms that they knew, but the accounts of a world being formed by a divine Creator from water are essentially the same. The “monster of the sea” is of course the Great Dragon or ancient serpent called Satan. In the Scriptures, the sea also refers to peoples, languages, and nations, that is to say to the Gentiles or to the world under the sway of Satan.215 It seems that the struggles to birth the Creation mirror those to birth the New Creation.

      We should not be surprised to learn that a water-based cosmology was present not only in the Bible, but prevalent throughout the Ancient Near East. The early chapters of Genesis were not, as some traditionalists seem to assert, to create but rather to restore knowledge of God and the earliest history of man. Can we imagine that Noah knew nothing of the truth that had been owned by his recent ancestors, some of whom walked with the Lord? It seems evident that Noah passed this knowledge on because native peoples throughout the world still preserve remnants of a teaching that sees the world formed of chaos and of water. It is now clear that these teachings are reliably preserved only in the early chapters of the Bible. Regardless of the fact that the ancients had no way of viewing the extent of the universe, their water-based cosmology was in truth a superior understanding of the essence of the greater cosmos than are the latest scientific myths.
      ….

    356. Philip
      February 26th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

      Another snippet from Chapter 36,

      As in the case of a young earth, outdated cosmologies of a flat earth, a column-supported sky, or an earth-centered universe have been claimed as literal readings of the Scriptures. European professors taught that the ancient world of the Bible was enveloped in crude myths, marking “the childhood of early man.” According to them, things outside the European experience or that are not believed by learned professors simply could never have existed. Hearing this spoken with the authority of an imperial officer, as was the manner of the university professors in Germany, must have intimidated and impressed the minds of their young students who brought their manner of pronouncing dogma to students in the universities of America. Saying it so makes it so? Having rejected that the God of the Bible had this power, these professors assumed it for themselves.

      Projecting what are now seen as primitive scientific views onto the words of the God of the Bible is patronizing and arrogant. Falsely rationalized by the dogma of historical distance, those charges are disingenuous, unreflective, and pedantic. Hardly as critical as they claim to be, modernists tend to believe in the finality of the latest scientific cosmology as much as earlier scientists, the Aristotelians, believed in their earth-centered universe. Everyone is limited in his understanding, but the Scriptures serve as a light to develop an increasingly deeper understanding of the world that God created.[216] Fortunately, rather than using changing cosmologies or specialized scientific terms, the inspired words of the Bible speak from the universal human perspective that we still use today.

      The Scriptures are in fact not imaginative poetry. They refer to the determinative spiritual reality that underlies and sustains the physical world. Because we live in bodies with physical limitations, physical things seem far more important than they are. Science implies that ultimate reality can be measured by our dull physical instruments and our senses and understood by reductionist, scientistic thinking. Materialistic thinking is in fact the way that children think. In truth, the world that we experience with our physical bodies and understand with our present minds is but a faint reflection version of the spiritual reality of invisible Heaven.

      Yet, contrary to what philosophers such as Plato, Augustine, and Aquinas have taught, the spiritual world that our physical eyes fail to see is no less concrete than the world that we know from our fleshly senses. Far from the vague abstractions and ideal forms preferred by these philosophers, it is more specific and detailed, far richer, more concrete and meaningful than the world we know from our physical senses and understanding. It is no less real and no less rich with significance than the greatest events of human history – the latter having been great for the very reason that they also involved the participation of Heaven. Beyond the understanding of scientists and the imagination of the philosophers, even beyond words, that more fundamental reality can only be experienced. The joyful part of that experience comes only through the presence of God’s Spirit given to those who trust his eternal Word. Thus, we should not be surprised by the reactions of those who experience God in his glory. Theophanies recorded throughout the Scriptures reveal that God’s presence overwhelms all but the pure in heart.[217]

      Footnotes

      216 2 Peter 1:19
      217 Judges 6:22; Isaiah 6:5; Luke 5:8; Matthew 5:8
      -

    357. Josh Elsom
      February 27th, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

      Jonathan,

      Re. #349 — “I hope this post finally drives the point home that “all that is in them” HAS to include the waters.”

      I understood your error perfectly well the first time you posted it, brother.  Let me try to restate my case once again for the sake of clarity. The primeval waters and empty and formless land, as depicted in Gen 1:2, are present when God begins to create on day one.   The first and only thing God creates on day one is light. We know this because the only things that God names and gives purpose to are the light and the preexisting darkness. The waters and land are not mentioned again until the second and third days. The waters and dry ground are named sea and land on the third day when the functionless materials God was working with were given purpose. So, Gen 1 is not talking about ex nihilo creation. Rather, it is describing an ordering of the chaos and the assignment of purpose and function to the materials which already existed. And, that is the understanding that needs to be carried forward into Ex 20.

      You might be interested to know:

      The Babylonians had a similar cosmogony, they too believed that the heavens and earth were the made from preexisting material.  In their case it was the body of the sea monster Tiamat (which is etymologically related to the Hebrew tahom – the deep) was split in half by Marduk. One half became the earth and the other half became the heavens. 

      The Egyptians had a conception in their cosmogony and theogony that material and the gods were created from preexistent waters. These waters are designated as “nonexistent” in Egyptian texts. They believed that before the world was formed, there was a watery mass of dark, directionless chaos. In this chaos lived the gods of infinity, invisibility, water, darkness and chaos.  

      So, Israel’s neighbors, and former captors, did not believe in creation ex nihilo either.  That does not mean, obviously, that the Hebrews borrowed from the myths of other nations to formulate their own origins story, it simply means that this was the cosmological air they were breathing; and it is the framework through which God chose to reveal himself to Israel.

      Re. #350 — There is a forest somewhere in the midst of all those trees, Jonathan. 

      Jonathan and Bo,

      Re. #352 thru 354 — You guys have an imbalanced and insufficient view of the Incarnation. Jesus laid aside his divine attributes when he took on flesh (Phil 2). Jesus was a man. He was not a demigod or a man with divine attributes.  He was the God-Man. In the Incarnation he limited himself voluntarily to know only what all men knew in his day. And he only knew more when revelation was given to him by the Spirit.  From the way you guys seem to present things, it sounds like you’d be happy to have him building rocket ships and designing iPhone apps in the first century.  He had to be FULLY man, in every sense of what that means, to be a worthy substitute for his people. So, it is okay that he only knew what other poor carpenters from Galilee would have known about the cosmos. He knew the Scriptures, he believed them, he was fully dependent upon the Spirit, and he was utterly submitted to the will of the Father; and that was enough because that is precisely what was required of him to be the last Adam.

      Nicholas,

      Modern scholarship is the only school which could possibly deal with many of these myths since most of them have only been discovered and translated in the last century. 

      Nut is the goddess and the personification of the vault of heaven, there is no disputing that. And the vault was conceptualized as being made of stone in Egyptian cosmology (“oåq∂r,” TWOT, n.p.. ). Perhaps you are suggesting that these two conceptions ought not be joined?

      I cannot comment further as I’ve not read your PDFs. How about let’s you and I pick this up after I’ve had time to read your paper and the documents you’ve posted.  How about over email, in the coming weeks? I’d like to isolate our discussion from the rest of the conversation going on here. It is far too confusing to discuss it in this forum, with all the other topics going on. 

      All, 

      I’m sorry but I must disengage from this discussion completely. I am in danger, if not already guilty, of forsaking my primary Christian calling of serving my family and neighbors in the gospel. I’ve enjoyed our time in the sandbox, but it’s time for me to go home.

      In the end, the preponderance of the evidence still leaves me convinced that the Creation Narrative was delivered to the Hebrews in a form that was congruent with the ancient near eastern cosmological milieu that they were immersed in. This, in my opinion, is far more likely than not. Because if we are to say that the other ANE creation stories are simply corrupted traditions of the original oral accounting, then we are forced to ask why they believed that primeval waters existed before creation. Where did that notion come from? And why is it exegetically plausible to arrive at the same conclusion when we look at the Hebrew Scriptures? Why would this be so confusing for us, if the creation narrative of Genesis was so innovative for a Bronze Aged cosmogony?

      A rational argument can certainly be made against each of my proofs, that is not denied, but one must weigh the number of the proofs which must be argued against to maintain a young earth position. I’m obviously biased, but it sure seems to me that the scales tip in my favor.

      With that said, we all assemble at the foot of a Roman cross and praise our Father at the opening of an empty tomb. No matter who of us is on the right side of this debate, our anchor is the resurrection! So, with genuine charity and respect, thank you for sharpening my iron.

      One final question and you may have the last words. 

      Did Jesus correct the reading of the LXX when he heard people read Gen 1:8?

      If you wanna get a hold of me, you can find me on Facebook or Twitter — @JoshElsom. 

      Grace and Peace. 

    358. Nicholas Petersen
      February 27th, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

      Hello Josh,

      I’m sorry to say that you completely ignored the real points I made, and then summarized it as if my real point was somehow that modern scholarship simply has no usefulness (quite the contrary, read my other posts where I said the exact opposite). The point I made that you are ignoring is extremely important, I wish you would heed it. It exposes a tendency that you are exemplifying in fishing for naturalistic/scientific conceptions alone within the pagan myths, and then parading those naturalist elements (half the time never even there in the first place, eisegesis) out of their true mythological context. So let me emphasize this in the plainest terms I can: Nut is first and foremost *a naked woman*, not a stone vault, just look at the pictures!

      “Nut is the goddess and the personification of the vault of heaven, there is no disputing that. And the vault was conceptualized as being made of stone in Egyptian cosmology”

      You should rather say that Nut represented or was the personification of “Sky,” and be more careful in your over-usage of the word “vault” (which is typically a word *we* are supplying for descriptive purposes). If you want to put the emphasis on “vault”, please supply the original texts where an Egyptian word for “vault” is used in conjunction with Nut (not saying it never happens, I don’t know).

      “the vault was conceptualized as being made of stone.” Please provide the texts and sources for Nut’s or the sky’s purported composition of stone in the Egyptian view. I just now went looking again, and after perusing 6-8 summaries, came back empty handed with a single one that even mentioned the word “stone”. Here is an example:

      http://www.egyptianmyths.net/nut.htm
      [Symbols: stars, the night sky, cows [note: no mention of 'stone'], Cult Center: Heliopolis

      The goddess Nut was the daughter of Shu and Tefnut and the wife of Geb, the earth god. She was the goddess of the daytime sky and the place where clouds formed. In later periods, she was no longer the goddess of the daytime sky, but of the sky in general. The goddess was typically portrayed as a woman who wears on her head a vase of water . Many times she is shown as a woman whose hands and feet touch the ground so that her body forms a semi-circle. As such she represents the heavens.]

      One thing she *is* closely associated with, besides sky in general, is water, although I’ll admit its not always primarily mentioned. It’s hard to not see the parallel with watery Tiamat, half of which made the skies. Neither of which are stone though to my knowledge.

      As for the TWOT reference, I am aware of that claim: “In pre-Christian Egypt confusion was introduced into biblical cosmology when the LXX, perhaps under the influence of Alexandrian theories of a “stone vault” of heaven, …” Note though that: 1) they speak of “Alexandrian” theories, i.e. Hellenisitic period, not ANE period, and 2) as I said earlier, I’ve looked for this and do not think (though I don’t claim this is certain) there ever was such a conception.

      [Perhaps you are suggesting that these two conceptions ought not be joined?]
      What “two” do you refer to? But I certainly do question if there ever was any stone conception of the sky in Egypt. I would be more than glad to see contrary evidence, but what I can say with more certainty is this: if anything, such a view would be rare or obscure. It could not be a prominent view. I’ve read enough of their torturous myths to at least be confident of that much.

      But Josh, there is a take away point to all of this. It’s the point I made in my last post. What if your teachers in these issues have lead you and themselves astray by unduly fishing for / going cherry picking for naturalistic / scientific notions within these pagan myths (thus emphasizing things like stone vaults)? I of course don’t care to defend a scrap of their ridiculous and dishonorable myths, so obviously why would I care if they did have a unscientific view like a stone vault. But I’m interested in the truth. The truth I see is a thousand and one depictions of a naked woman as sky, of a cosmic cow as sky, of a cosmic vulture … of a cosmic woman who eats the sun and then births it each day (no *naturalistic* reading can be done with that one for “how the sun rises and sets”) … are you emphasizing the wrong things?

    359. Jonathan
      February 27th, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

      Josh,

      What is absent from your analysis of the opening of Genesis and Exodus 20 are two things. 1. Is Genesis 2:3 “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created (bara) and made (asa).” There is special emphasis given here. Both the words created and made are used. If you look at the words used in other places, you can see they are pretty much used interchangeably. Why the special emphasis here? Do you think God is trying to make it abundantly clear that He is addressing all of His creative acts and not just the completion of these acts?

      Let’s also look at Exodus 20. Exod 20:9-11 “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
      10But 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:
      11For [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.”

      The whole basis of the 6 day work week is God’s work. It is said He did it in 6 days. The children of Israel were instructed not to do any kind of work except for in these six days because that is what God did in creating the heavens and the earth. Do you see how that correlation would break down if God actually worked prior to these 6 days? From the saying of “everything that is in them” to the strong implication that everything was done in 6 days, we have to do contortions to get to a conclusion other than that God created everything in 6 days. That’s just what it comes down to.

      I really don’t need to address the pagan mythologies that much. I think Nicholas did a fine job of addressing those. Accept to point out that Adam walked and talked in the Garden prior to sin. We don’t know what they talked about, but don’t you think it a reasonable conclusion that the manner in which Adam and the rest of the creation came to be might have been one of the things that they talked about? If that were the case, do you think Adam might have passed these along from generation to generation? Noah was only born 20 years after Adam died. So Noah would definitely have heard any stories that Adam had passed down. Noah was still alive in Abraham’s time. Those early lifespans mean that anything Adam passed down firsthand was passed down relatively few times. If when men fell into pagan idolatry they incorporated anything from what actually happened into their pagan myths shouldn’t shock us. But I think Nicholas has made a point that at least in certain areas some of what is presented as what the pagans believed about the earth’s beginnings may not be presented entirely accurate as well.

      As for Jesus, I don’t think anyone is debating that Jesus did not lay aside at least part of His divine attributes. Obviously Jesus could not have undergone a human death if He hadn’t. Yet Jesus was not just like every other man in His knowledge. To reduce it down that far is to take it too far. I have included quite a few verses that show that. Jesus said that whatever He taught came straight from the Father. So either Jesus was lying or the Father supplied Jesus with things that actually happened or the Father lied to Jesus. I think the reasonable conclusion is that the words that the Father specifically communicated to the Son to be taught to mankind can be trusted to be things that were actually literally true and not words to deceive people and reinforce false ideas. That in no way is the character of our Lord.

      I think the other point that was my main point coming into this discussion and that I don’t think has been sufficiently addressed by those that advocate an old earth is what Ken Ham addressed in one of the transcriptions of his video that I transcribed above. To repeat part of it:

      “In the fossil record there are thorns said to be 100′s of millions of years old. The Bible said thorns came after the curse. (Putting on the screen Genesis 3:18.) How can you have millions of years of death and animals eating each other and bloodshed and diseases like cancer and thorns before man when the Bible says it’s man’s sin that resulted in those things? To believe in millions of years is to blame God for the mess we created. To believe in millions of years is to blame God for cancer and brain tumors; to blame God for death. By one man sin entered the world and death by sin.”

      I want to reiterate, since the discussion (at least with Josh) may be coming to a close: That although I have strong disagreement with Josh, I don’t impugn his character in any way and trust from his statements that he is a Christian. I maintain that his beliefs are misguided and dangerous but I still love him as a Christian brother.

    360. Jonathan
      February 27th, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

      oops. I just realized that I failed to address Josh’s final question: “Did Jesus correct the reading of the LXX when he heard people read Gen 1:8?”

      Someone can correct me if I am wrong. But I believe the readings of the Old Testament in the Temple were done in Hebrew and that the common Jewish man in the area of Judea where Christ ministered would not generally know Greek. So I could be wrong, but I doubt that the Greek Septuagint would have been read very much by the people that Jesus was in contact with. Obviously the question itself as well as my answer contains a lot of presumption with no real definiteness. But since there is no record about any actual encounters, that is all we are left with in that particular question.

    361. Dr Michael L Brown
      February 28th, 2013 @ 1:39 am

      Folks, I’m not able to follow the posts here but just noticed this last one. Yes, we can assume the LXX was not being read in synagogues in Galilee or Judea as a whole but rather the Hebrew scriptures with an Aramaic translation.

    362. Philip
      February 28th, 2013 @ 9:52 am

      Dr. Jonathan Sarfati,

      May I address your reference to Hebrews 4 vis a vis the duration of the Creation days. As in the case of my above response to your comments, my concern is that to justify your case for the duration of the days of Genesis you compromise with the evolutionary view. Your compromise eliminates an important argument against evolution: that we do not see evolution occurring in nature. Not even the intelligence of man can create new kinds of fertile animals. If you do not accept that Genesis 2:1-3 as teaching that the Lord completed his first or natural creation in six days, surely Hebrews 4 ought to settle the matter.

      To all my dear Sabbatarian friends, please don’t suppose that Sabbatarian observance depends on the bad defense of trying to link it to a 24-hour duration of Creation days. I would love to see our world return to a Sabbath observance whether it be the Jewish or Puritan Sabbath: so long as your Sabbath be truly devoted to the Lord rather than yourself and your natural family.

      Also, keep in mind that the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath. That is to say, he created the Sabbath for man and not man for the Sabbath. The Sabbath was now created by the Law of Moses. Even the pagans recognized the seven day week. But Seventh Day observance does belong to the Law of Moses which the Apostle Paul explains as being a guardian (or schoolmaster) until Christ. Notwithstanding the claims of some of the Apostle’s Jewish opponents, the Law of Moses ends with the New Covenant of the Spirit. When we enter into his rest, we are led by the Spirit.

    363. Bo
      February 28th, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

      Philip,

      What hoops you jump through. The Sabbath was blessed and made holy (sanctified) from the beginning. It is the seventh literal day consisting of darkness and light, evening and morning. It was not made for the Jews, but for mankind…from the beginning.

      Genesis 2
      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.

      Mark 2
      27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

      1 Corinthians 11
      7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
      8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
      9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
      10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

      I am betting that you will not say that marriage is done away with or that man can choose a different being for a wife. Woman was made for man just as the Sabbath was. Neither has been rendered null and void. There is a day that both Sabbath keeping and human marriage will be done away with.

      Matthew 5
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

      As I am sure you know that in the resurrection there will be no human marriage. And when heaven and earth pass away there will be no time divided into seven day weeks. It will be day all the time with no sun. Until then those things that were made for man are still for man.

      Sabbath keeping is the way that we declare to world that we believe in and worship the One Elohim that created everything in six literal days and rested on the seventh literal day. Young earth creationists are inconsistent when they fail to keep the seventh day Sabbath. We declare His lordship over all creation and all time by submitting to His command to keep the Sabbath. We declare His authority structure by submitting to His rules about head coverings.

      These two things are resisted by modern Churchianity.

      Shalom

    364. Bo
      February 28th, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

      Philip,

      And to comment on your last sentence…the Spirit does not lead us to disobey YHWH’s commandments. Those that have entered into YHWH’s rest stop doing their own thing and submit to YHWH’s word.

      Romans 8
      4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
      5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
      6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
      7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

      It is the carnal minded man that cannot or will not be subject to YHWH’s law. Keeping the law does not save us, but those that are saved obey YHWH. Transgressing the law is sin. We are deceived if we think that the Spirit will lead us to go against YHWH’s righteous commandments.

      1 John 3
      4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
      5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
      6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
      7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

      Shalom

    365. Philip
      February 28th, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

      Bo,

      I am sure that you do not intend to support Jewish apologetics, but that is precisely their argument against the New Testament and Christianity. They read this with a mind that is not biblical, that is to say, not based on a relationship with the true God.

      Putting law ahead of the living God is Greaco-Roman. Such legalism is a product of the classical pagans. These two nations influenced Second Temple Jews whom they ruled for so many centuries, but John the Baptist, then Jesus aimed to return the Jews to their roots.

      As the Apostle Paul tells us, the Law [of Moses] is spiritual and must be spiritually understood. Jesus explained that by telling us that all the Law and the Prophets hang on the two greatest commandments: loving God with all one’s heart and loving one’s neighbor as one’s self – the royal commandment. The prophets of the Old Testament tell us as much. Even the Law of Moses points to the fact that those to whom it was given would fail to heed it and thus the Lord would make them jealous by another nation. Obeying the Law means heeding the Prophet, who the disciples understood as Jesus.

      The resurrection is Christ. Not only is there no marriage in Christ, neither are there male or female. And, yes, the Spirit is a downpayment on the resurrection.

    366. Bo
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

      Philip,

      Loving YHWH with our whole being cannot be divorced from keeping His commandments. Abraham the friend of Elohim kept them.

      Ge 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

      In Exodus 16 (Before the Ten Commandments were spoken from the mount) YHWH tested the Israelites to see if they were going to keep His commandments. He tested them with Sabbath keeping.

      Exodus 16
      4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.
      5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily…
      26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
      27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
      28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
      29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
      30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

      They were tested to see if they were true children of Abraham.

      Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

      De 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.

      De 11:13 And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

      Deuteronomy 5
      4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
      5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
      6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
      7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

      1 John 5
      2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
      3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

      If we love Him we keep his commandments. Are they in our hearts so that we love to do them or are they grievous to us. Do we really know Him if we do not keep His commandments?

      1 John 2
      3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
      4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
      5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
      6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

      How did Messiah walk? He kept all of the Father’s commandments. The new covenant is about YHWH’s law being written on our hearts. If it is on our hearts we do it. If it is just letters on a stone to us we do not do it because we are still carnal minded as Paul says in Romans 8.

      Jeremiah 31
      33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

      The call of true saints that endure to the end and follow the lamb is this:

      Re 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.

      Faith without Biblical works is dead.

      I, in no way, put the law ahead of YHWH. He sets commandment keeping as a test of our faithfulness and rewards us in His kingdom accordingly. There is good reason that Sabbath keeping is in the ten commandments. It is still a test of loyalty to our Creator.

      Matthew 5
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      Shalom

    367. Jonathan
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

      Philip, regarding post # 362, I think the problems you are running into are not problems of violation of Scripture as much of problems of preconceptions on your part that I believe are misconceptions.

      So let me walk through a few things with you and see if we are on the same page in these areas.

      First off, I would ask you what specifically would be defined as God breaking the Sabbath rest? We know that (contrary to Deist belief) that God is in fact, working in the world today. Scripture proves that out:

      Philipians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.”

      1 Corinthians 12:6 “And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.”

      Romans 14:20 “For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed [are] pure; but [it is] evil for that man who eateth with offence.”

      So the first thing we must stipulate is the rest that is spoken of is specifically a rest from creation in the Creation Week.

      We can also clarify that God still brings forth life today. The Psalmist speaks of God knitting him together in his mother’s womb.(Ps 139:13) He is simply not creating new “kinds” of life. That word “kinds” is key and we will get back to that.

      The next thing we can determine is that God has changed His original creation. We need to carefully look at the Curse that God pronounced upon His creation after man sinned and understand that God did make adaptions on His original creation. Genesis 3 clearly shows this. Verse 14 shows that the serpent was adapted. It is strongly implied that the serpent had legs before the Fall or else why would its curse be to go on it’s belly and eat dust. This shows the serpent was adapted as part of the curse.

      Verse 16 shows that there were changes in the woman as well. Her childbearing physiology was adapted as part of the curse.

      Verse 17 and 18 show that the land was changed. Both the soil and what grew in it were adapted as part of the curse according to these verses.

      When we fully understand this. It makes perfect sense when we read:

      Romans 8:19-22 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”

      There were adaptions brought upon the whole of God’s creation due to the curse. Apparently these adaptions were not considered a violation of the rest spoken of in Genesis 2 and Hebrews 4 because these adaptions occurred after the 6th day of creation.

      So with this in mind, we turn back to the created “kinds” I noted earlier.

      Philip, I believe you see the word “kind” in the Genesis 1 account (eg. “after their kind” “after his kind” etc.) and read that specifically to mean species. But what is your basis for reading it as species? I have already shown that an adaption within the original creation does not constitute a cease from the rest of the Creation. So why could the created “kinds” not show adaptions within the “kind” so long as these adaptions stay within a fixed “kind” boundary?

      Dr. Sarfati and I both provided you with links to understand what YEC’s propose to be the created kinds and why they come to this determination from what is written in Scripture.

      But there is a large difference between seeing a fixed created kind that could produce variations within the created kind. And what evolution would propose as adaption from one kind to another. While Scripture does state that the animals that God created were to reproduce after their kind, nothing is said about changing from one kind to another. So it would be a violation of what the Scriptures say about an animal producing after its kind for that to happen.

      As far as your point about fertility within species (that you interchange with the word “kind”) that is what a Young Earth Creationist would expect might happen today. Because we do not propose that it is happening today.

      This is what the one link that I gave you on this subject had to say in reference to that:

      “There are several reasons why hybrid data may be lacking between individuals within the same baramin. First, it is relatively difficult to gather good hybrid data in the wild, and often the opportunity for hybridization is lacking when animals live in different parts of the world. As a result, hybrid data is more complete for animals that are domesticated or held in captivity (for example, in zoos).
      Second, as described earlier with sheep and goats, even for animals that have produced hybrids, many attempts may be unsuccessful. This may be the result of genetic changes (mutations) that have accumulated in one or both species since the Fall, that causes a loss of ability to interbreed. Finally, if an animal is only known from the fossil record there is no opportunity for it to hybridize with animals alive today.”

      I do hope this helps to clarify a few things.

    368. Jonathan
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

      Here is another article about the YEC belief of changes withing the fixed created kind: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v3/n1/zonkeys-ligers-wholphins

      Also here is an article that deals with the changes to the creation brought about as a result of the curse:

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v5/n2/diet

    369. Philip
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

      Bo,

      What about stoning those who break the Sabbath: isn’t that part of the commandments had the Law of Moses not been fulfilled in Christ?

      If we break one commandment, aren’t we guilty of breaking them all?

      Do you believe the Apostle Paul when he declares love the fulfillment of the Law?

    370. Jonathan
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

      I would like to make a suggestion. If the discussion is turning to the discussion of whether a New Covenant believer is to keep the law, Dr. Brown asked us the last time this happened (at least the last time when I was part of the discussion) that it be moved to a more appropriate thread. That is a subject matter that has been discussed extensively by Bo and myself previously and I believe by many others.

      The discussion was moved to the following thread the last time I was part of such a discussion: http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2011/10/28/dr-brown-answers-your-questions-38/

      So it is my suggestion, knowing that was Dr. Brown’s wish the last time, that you may want to move that topic over there.

    371. Philip
      February 28th, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      Jonathan,

      That is a good suggestion, though clearly for some this subject is tied to the duration of Creation days.

      Thanks for pointing this out. I am for dropping the discussion here.

    372. Jonathan
      February 28th, 2013 @ 5:15 pm

      I agree Philip, I wasn’t talking about the duration of the Creation days as much as whether New Covenant believer should keep the Mosaic Law. I think that particular discussion is one step removed from the Creation discussion.

    373. Bo
      February 28th, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

      Philip and Jonathan,

      Just know that it is inconsistent to say that we believe the whole Bible and reject YHWH’s commandments. The literal 6 day creationist is more inconsistent than the other types of creationist. The Sabbath was made for man…not the Jew. It was instituted on day seven. Made holy and blessed until heaven and earth pass away. We have no record in scripture of any believer not keeping it. It is the testimony that we believe that there is a Creator that worked for 6 days and rested the seventh. You would both do well to deal with the passages that I quoted above. I will also leave the conversation about Sabbath keeping.

      One last thing. Sabbath is not Mosaic law. It is from creation just like marriage. Exodus 16 is not Mosaic law either…it is expected of those that were in the Abrahamic covenant with YHWH to keep it. Are we children of Abraham if we do not do the works of Abraham? In the new covenant, YHWH’s law (The very same law that Jeremiah called YHWH’s law) is supposed to be written on our hearts. If it is on our hearts to do something we do it. If it is just on stone to us we will surely continually break it.

      I call you Jonathan to consistency and you Philip to read the scripture literally.

      Shalom

    374. Jonathan
      February 28th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

      Bo, This is an issue you and I have already discussed at great length before. I have addressed many of those verses you brought up in that prior conversation. I do not wish to rehash that conversation. Hebrews 4 and specifically verse 10 tells us what it means to enter into God’s rest. I am so thankful that we are able to walk in this rest every day of our lives. I do know where you stand, Bo and realize we are not in agreement on this issue. I thank you for setting this issue aside in this conversation.

    375. Philip
      March 1st, 2013 @ 10:21 am

      Jonathan, Bo’s reference to commandments that he supposes date from Adam is in keeping with the subject here, that is to say the knowledge of Creation that predate Moses. It is most important to the discussion concerning the similarity of teachings in the Ancient Near East and elsewhere to those in the Bible.

      I already mentioned how the pagans knew the seven day week. The account of Noah’s Ark and the accounts immediately following the Flood make it clear that Noah and his sons knew about clean and unclean animals and not eating flesh before draining it of blood. Animal sacrifices date at least to the time of Able.

      Most of the ancients not only knew about the Flood, they also understood that the world was created however much they mixed this with myth and lost the details preserved by the servants of God.

      But I see no commandment to observe the seventh as a day of rest until the Law of Moses.

      A lot of problems have been caused by treating this as if knowledge of such things was first revealed to Moses – as if Adam, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham didn’t know that the Lord was Creator or even that the earth was created.

    376. Bo
      March 1st, 2013 @ 10:55 am

      Philip,

      Exodus 16 is before the law of Moses. It is a test to see if the people will keep YHWH’s law. Abraham kept YHWH’s law. Just like firstling offerings at the time of Abel and clean and unclean animal classification at the time of Noah, Sabbath keeping preexists the Decalogue. It is pretty obvious that all the ten commandments predate them being spoken form the mount.

      Also of note is the clean and unclean laws showing up preceding the Mount Sinai covenant that is really a restatement of the major tenants of the YHWH’s law. These were not new things. The new covenant seems also to be a return to the offer given in Exodus 19:5-8 as it is restated in 1 Peter 2:5-9. Hebrews 4:1-3, and verses surrounding, also indicate that the same gospel is offered to us that was offered to them and that it must be mixed with faith and produce works/obedience.

      So you are right that the pre-Moses people of Elohim knew things that we presume to have originated with Moses…but you are wrong about the Sabbath that was also from the beginning…made for man…not just the Jews.

      Shalom

    377. Jonathan
      March 1st, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

      Does Hebrews 4 indicate that we are to rest on the seventh day or that we are supposed to enter into that rest everyday? It seems from verse seven the day that it was limited to was not the seventh day but rather “Today”. In other words, every day. Romans 14 indicates that we can set aside a certain day. There is nothing wrong with that. Setting aside that day makes it easier to assemble together as brothers and sisters in Christ and help each other to grow in the Lord. But really, whether we esteem a certain day or every day alike, as long as we observe all of our “Todays” as unto the Lord, we can enter into the rest 24/7. The goal is to allow the Lord to work through us instead of working in our own strength. When we do that, we are observing the Spirit of the Law.

    378. Jonathan
      March 1st, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

      As far as clean and unclean animals and the seventh day goes. It is readily apparent these things were known about prior to Moses. But the clean and unclean animals were in reference to animal sacrifice according to the commands given to Noah. When it comes to the commands about eating, clearly the clean/unclean laws were not established. There was a prohibition against eating blood (this corresponds to the instructions given to Gentile believers in Acts). But “every moving thing that liveth” was allowed to be eaten. That would clearly include unclean animals. So we can obviously readily understand there were things given at Mt Sinai that were not given previously. Bo is correct that God told the children of Israel not to gather food on the Sabbath in Exodus 16. It is the first reference to that type of command though so to say the command was in place prior to that would be mere conjecture. When it speaks in Mark 2 that the Sabbath was made for man. It does not say the seventh day was made for man. It says the Sabbath was made for man. The seventh day and the Sabbath rest for man are made synonymous in the wilderness. I see no evidence that it was prior to that. I believe the purposes of the Sabbath are to rest in and glorify the Lord and that Hebrews 4 indicates it was limited to a certain day only because they weren’t entering into that all the time. While previous generations knew and understood that God rested on a certain day, it was never recorded in Scripture prior to in the wilderness that this was commanded of anyone else. Our Sabbath is listed in Hebrews 4 as “Today”. But I really don’t desire to get into such a discussion. I believe all three of us agree that it is clearly demonstrated that people knew of the seven day week from the beginning. So since no one disagrees with that, I don’t see further discussion on these points relating specifically to the topic of creation. Therefore, I hope we can agree to disagree on this topic and proceed with the topic of creation.

    379. Jonathan
      March 1st, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

      In an effort to get back to the actual discussion of creation, I do wonder what Philip thought of the posts # 367 and 368 and if that clarified some things about young earth creation viewpoints on that subject?

    380. Philip
      March 1st, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

      Jonathan,

      Yes, those are fair questions about the Lord’s rest and God’s working.

      We must first ask what the Lord was resting from. The simple answer is that he rested from creating the heavens and the earth which are covered in the first chapter. Thus we should not see any new kinds of creatures appearing since the completion of Creation.

      And yes, the Lord has changed things due to man’s activities, and he will do so again with the approach of his millennial reign. Likewise, man can modify God’s creation, but he cannot create new kinds of animals.

      Hebrew 4 clearly refers to the Lord resting from his Creation.

      We must keep in mind that it was the Lord rather than God the Father working apart from his Son who was the instrument of Creation. Thus, we probably don’t think about the Creation as “work” as the Scriptures do declare. Had the Creation not involved some effort on the part of the Lord, his Seventh Day rest would have no purpose or meaning.

    381. Bo
      March 1st, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

      Jonathan,

      I would say that your logic and your understanding of the passages you referenced are convoluted. Today if you will hear His voice is concerning obedient faith not resting. The word in Hebrews 4 is sabatismos which means sabbath keeping not rest. Rest is a poor translation of the word. Katapasis is the word for rest. There is still sabbath keeping for the people of YHWH. Remember this book was written to the Hebrews. As far as choosing our own day to esteem higher than others in Romans it is not saying that we can undo the Sabbath. That is the day that YHWH chose to be holy. We cannot make a day holy. We can break the 4th commandment and defile it, though. We can esteem one above another but not declare it holy (set apart from the others).

      Gotta go for now.

      Shabbat Shalom

    382. Philip
      March 1st, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

      Bo,

      I hope that we are not to understand you teaching that the Lord himself is a Sabbatarian. But that would appear to logically follow calling the Seventh Day of Creation an ordinary Sabbath. The Sabbath (which he commanded us to observe) was made for man, not God.

      You mention above that there is no record of anyone in the New Testament not observing the Sabbath. Have you never read the Scriptures? That is precisely what angered the Jews. The disciples themselves when they were with Jesus violated the Sabbath. As Jesus pointed out, the priests in the Temple always “violate” the Sabbath.

      The Sabbath was intended to be a day devoted to the Lord. That can’t apply to the Lord himself. Nor does it apply to work such as that of the priests that is devoted to the Lord.

    383. Jonathan
      March 1st, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

      Philip, responding to post # 380:

      “Thus we should not see any new kinds of creatures appearing since the completion of Creation.”

      Young earth creationists entirely agree with this statement. This is where you have not explained why you believe “species” should be synonymous with “kind”. Young earth creationists believe that no new created kinds have come into being since the end of the creation week.

      “We must keep in mind that it was the Lord rather than God the Father working apart from his Son who was the instrument of Creation.”

      This is where words like “trinity” and “three persons” that are not found in Scripture in reference to God affect people’s understanding in non-Biblical ways.

      Jesus is the Father. Jesus is the Son. Jesus is the Holy Spirit. God is one. He may manifest to us in different ways, just as He did with the pillar of cloud and fire and just as He did as the burning bush and just as He did as the Rock in the Wilderness. But He is one God.

      Read Malachi 2:10 and then tell me that the Father did not create the world. It was God who created the world. That means it was the Father. It was the Son. It was the Holy Spirit that created the world. It ruins your thinking when you use extra-Biblical words such as “persons” to divide the one God’s being.

    384. Jonathan
      March 1st, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

      Bo, I could respond back to you and then you could respond back to me. But since I said and you agreed that the topic of keeping the law was off topic, I will not say another word on the subject. Hopefully that way we can get back to discussing the Creation.

    385. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 8:36 am

      Johnathan,

      I see that you are Oneness. I regard you as good brethren, if known for your excessive rigidity. But please, don’t use your Oneness doctrine as any premise here because most of us don’t share it. Let us stick with Scripture. In any case, to use your own admonition, that is not the discussion here.

      So, why do you bring up these non-biblical terms such as “species”?

    386. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 11:02 am

      Philip,

      Whether someone is oneness or not doesn’t make a difference for my point though. Did you read Malachi 2:10? That is Scripture. Also note that you are the one that brought the Trinity into the discussion, not I; by saying the Son created and not the Father. Using such reasoning would only work under the supposition that Oneness is false. So in making that your argument and then telling me not to discuss oneness, you’re basically saying I am not allowed to question your premise for your argument.

      As for “species”. I agree. It is not the term used in the Bible. The term used in the Bible is kind. Yet you seem to equate the word “kind” to “species”. As I said, young earth creationists agree with you that no new “kinds” were created after the creation week.

      So for instance, a dog kind could have been created in the creation week from which variations within the dog kind produced wolves, dingoes, coyotes etc. A primate kind could have been created in the creation week from which variations with the primate kind produced apes, lemurs, monkeys, etc. But there would have been no new created kinds after the creation week. There would have only been variation within kinds. The created kinds would have been fixed and no mixing between the created kinds and no new created kinds would have happened after the creation week.

      This is consistent with the Scriptures unless you force the meaning of “kind” to be synonymous with “species”. If you want to force that, my question would be why should we see it that way?

    387. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

      Jonathan,

      Please check above. I am using strict Scriptural exegesis. I have not so much as mentioned “Trinity” until this response to you. Nor have I mentioned the word “person” above, except in response to Sarfati who calls me “Philip person.” I don’t mind him doing that since man was created in the image of God.

      Believe me when I tell you that when I wrote above, my thoughts were entirely focussed on the exegesis of Genesis 1, particularly the matter under discussion: the Lord God first working then resting on the seventh day. I was applying to Genesis 1 what we learn from the New Testament: that Jesus created all things and there was nothing created that he did not create. Yes, he could do that because God, his Father, was in him. Thus, Jesus is also God (divine). The Father, his overlord, is Lord of all. But until his resurrection, Jesus was King only of the Jews. According to the Scriptures, there are things that the Father does apart from the Son: he tends the creation, feeds the sparrows, and prunes the vine of the family of God. He sent his only son to become an atonement for our sins.

      The Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians that all of us believe in one God, one Lord, and one Spirit. When I was thinking about the effort expended by the Lord on the days of Creation, I had in mind such things as Daniel 8 where the Lord appears to Daniel, explaining that he was delayed in coming to him due to his battle with the Prince of Persia. I recall Jesus telling us that there were some things that he did not know, just as we see in the Old Testament in the case of the Lord God. But he also told us that the Father was greater than himself. Do you doubt that Jesus’ rest (after he completed Creation) is in the Father?

      But I do now see why you are troubled with what I wrote about the Lord resting. Just believe me when I tell you that is collateral damage. I did not know that you were Oneness. Nor was aiming that at my Oneness brothers or your doctrine.

      Moving now to your excellent question about why I reject the evolutionary doctrine of species. You should know that a great deal of controversy exists even within the evolutionary camps over the definition and meaning of species. There are great battles between the lumpers and splitters because they have no objective definition of this vague concept.

      During the many years of work on my book, I traced how that was understood by the foremost NeoDarwinian authority on this particular subject. That would be the late Ernst Mayr (1904-2001). I discovered that he was defining species through geographical isolated populations, which would make the native Australians a separate species of humans.

      I also discovered that the problem was older than that and was rooted in the Enlightenment’s Great Chain of Being, a modification of Aquinas’ NeoPlatonist version of Aristotelian science. This doctrine became codified for moderns via Carl Linnaeus (1707-1708) system of classification of the animals. Linnaeus system projects a lot of racist and non-biblical ideas into biology. The so-called close kinship of man and the apes is due to his classifying man and the ape as primates. He also added to the primates, the so-call troglodytes (cavemen) that he supposed intermediate between man and apes leading to reckoning of cave-dwelling Neanderthals as sub-human. For more on why biology became so confused and controversial, I refer you to my book.

    388. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

      (Correction: the reference above to Daniel 8 should instead have been to Daniel 10.)

      With regard to Linnaeus, a lot of his influence is due to his invention of the binomial Latin classification of species. Those binomial Latin names give the species game its scientific flavor.

    389. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

      Philip,

      In your last response you talked about your response being totally related to the exegesis of Genesis 1. But there is a problem with that. Your exegesis has to take into account what agrees with the rest of Scripture. I notice you did not address Malachi 2:10. Why is that? Doesn’t Malachi 2:10 prove that the Father created?

      When you said, “Moving now to your excellent question about why I reject the evolutionary doctrine of species.” You can note that I never asked you that. I reject the evolutionary doctrine of species as well. I’m not talking about evolutionary theory though. The fact that you equate it makes me think you did not read the links that Dr. Sarfati and I gave you. Is this true?

      For example, this was the opening of one of the articles: “Whoops! Two or more species from one kind! Isn’t that evolution?
      Some evolutionists certainly think so. After I participated in a creation-evolution debate at Texas A & M, a biology professor got up and told everyone about the flies on certain islands that used to interbreed but no longer do. They’ve become separate species, and that, he said, to a fair amount of applause, proves evolution is a fact—period!
      Well, what about it? Barriers to reproduction do seem to arise among varieties that once interbred. Does that prove evolution? Or does that make it reasonable to extrapolate from such processes to real evolutionary changes from one kind to others? As I explained to the university-debate audience (also to applause), the answer is simply no, of course not. It doesn’t even come close.
      Any real evolution (macroevolution) requires an expansion of the gene pool, the addition of new genes and new traits as life is supposed to move from simple beginnings to ever more varied and complex forms (“molecules to man” or “fish to philosopher”). Suppose there are islands where varieties of flies that used to trade genes no longer interbreed. Is this evidence of evolution? No, exactly the opposite. Each variety resulting from reproductive isolation has a smaller gene pool than the original and a restricted ability to explore new environments with new trait combinations or to meet changes in its own environment. The long-term result? Extinction would be much more likely than evolution.”

      So evolutionary theory is actually the complete opposite of what young earth creationists propose. It is not the same.

      You would also see if you had read the articles that lumpers and splitters were discussed in the articles.

      I am also well aware that there is racism in the roots of evolutionary theory. Ken Ham has a book on the subject entitled “One Blood”. Obviously young earth creationism bears no resemblance or link to the racist roots of evolutionary theory. We believe that all human beings today came from Adam and Eve and then after that all human beings came from Noah and his family. When we understand we are all one blood, there is no room for racism.

      I again ask you to read the articles I provided. It would help you to correct misconceptions you have if you hear from the young earth creationists themselves about what they actually believe.

    390. Ray
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

      This one sure is going for the long haul isn’t it?
      One of the longest threads, it seems to me.

      I remember hearing how we only see one side of the moon. I wonder what the other side looks like.

      I suppose if one was viewing our moon from the nearest planet to the sun, that he could see both sides of our moon, since the moon is in orbit around the earth.

      Does science have an explaination about all of this? Does it explain all the forces involved?
      I just can’t take it all in. That’s for sure.

      Surely God had to be the beginning of it all. It had to be his design. He had to have had it all prepared according to plan. Amazing is our God.

    391. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

      Jonathan,

      As I mentioned, I didn’t suppose this the place to discuss your Oneness doctrine. But to answer your question. No, Malachi 2:10 does not prove that the Father created us, certainly not apart from his Son. Take seriously what the Apostles wrote. The prophet asks: “Do we not all have one father?” The Jews were children of Abraham. If “Father” here refers to the Creator, the very next question would be unnecessary. The foreigners that concern these passages also have the same Creator as the Jews, but they did not have Abraham as their father.

      I agree that a reading of Genesis 1 that makes sense of God working and resting doesn’t support your Oneness doctrine, only that was collateral damage rather than any intention to refute it.

      I have read the links making distinctions without a difference (so far as concern the teachings of the Bible) I have Dr. Sarfati’s book written against Hugh Ross. Have you read my book? If you want to raise your stature, take a cue from Dr. Sarfati.

      You make a distinction between kinds and species, but in light of the Bible describing the kinds of animals as giving birth to offspring after their own kind, I am shocked at what you write. It was due to the way that the Lord described his creation of animals as each producing offspring after their own kind that caused me to reject evolution. I discovered that everything that caused me to believe evolution was false. Was I angry at myself for being deceived by so many false claims. The more science I learn, the more skeptical I become.

      I am especially shocked at your lack of skepticism when someone makes a claim that contradicts the BIble. You and Sarfati are doing the very thing that you are accusing others of doing: re-interpreting the Scripture to make it accord with the teachings of science.

    392. David Roberts
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

      @Bo and Jonathan,

      I recently saw a video that has an culturally relevant, contextual, paying attention to the actual Greek, interpretation of Romans 14:5.

      It brings in the Talmud and everything. I highly recommend it. Check it out if you like and tell me what you think:
      http://youtu.be/mMB9TBuBntc#t=5m06s

      It’s toward the end where the literary context that I really want you to hear is at 7:05

    393. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

      Philip,

      First off, I would ask that you not make statements that imply I said something I did not. You have done that in two of your last few comments. It would seem to show that either 1. You are not really reading what I am writing or 2. You are being a smart alek. (If it is something I am missing, you can let me know. But this is what seems evident in the following two examples.)

      You said, “Moving now to your excellent question about why I reject the evolutionary doctrine of species.” And as I noted, I never asked you that. So I’m not sure why you would say that.

      In your latest comment, you said: “I agree that a reading of Genesis 1 that makes sense of God working and resting doesn’t support your Oneness doctrine, only that was collateral damage rather than any intention to refute it.” Who are you agreeing with? I never said that Genesis 1 doesn’t make sense of God working and resting in a Oneness doctrine. So why would you say you agree with me when I never said it? Again, the implication that comes across to me is that you are being a smart aleck. I hope I’m wrong about that. But please limit your comments about what I said or if you agree with what I allegedly said, that it be instances of things I have actually said.

      That would help to have productive dialogue. I don’t try to put words in your mouth and would appreciate the same respect shown to me.

      Thanks

    394. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

      David, as I already told Bo, the topic of discussion has been the Creation.

      Thank you

    395. Bo
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

      Philip,

      Messiah was accused of breaking the Sabbath by men that had written hundreds of their own statutes concerning it. If Messiah sinned/broke the law instead of fulfilling it, like he said he did, he also lied and a liar and sinner cannot atone for our sin as he himself would then need a savior.

      Shalom

    396. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

      “As I mentioned, I didn’t suppose this the place to discuss your Oneness doctrine.” And as I said, if you make the Creation a divided event where the Son created without the Father, it leads to that. If you prefer to drop the subject you brought up in post # 362, we can do that. But in order to speak about it, I cannot separate what I believe the Scripture to be saying from that. Because according to what I see Scripture say, it is impossible for the Son to create without the Father.

      “But to answer your question. No, Malachi 2:10 does not prove that the Father created us, certainly not apart from his Son.” I did’t say apart from the Son. Of course, you know that I believe the Father and Son were both at work in the Creation, as well as the Holy Spirit (who hovered over the waters).

      “Take seriously what the Apostles wrote.” You imply by that statement that I don’t. But you do not expound on what you are talking about. I do take seriously what the Apostles wrote. Please be more specific.

      “The prophet asks: “Do we not all have one father?” The Jews were children of Abraham. If “Father” here refers to the Creator, the very next question would be unnecessary. The foreigners that concern these passages also have the same Creator as the Jews, but they did not have Abraham as their father.” Romans 9:7 says “Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, [are they] all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.”
      John 8:39-44 says, “They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, [even] God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.Why do ye not understand my speech? [even] because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” So I don’t think it was children of Abraham that was being addressed. You say that if Father refers to the Creator that the second question would not be necessary. But I disagree. I believe it is an example of parallelism that is used throughout Scripture. Just like verses such as the following: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”. (Psalms 119:105) Also observe Psalm 15:1-3: A1. Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
      A2. Who may live on your holy hill?

      B1. He whose walk is blameless
      B2. and who does what is righteous.

      C1. who speaks the truth from his heart
      C2. and has no slander on his tongue.

      D1. who does his neighbor no wrong
      D2. and casts no slur on his fellow man.

      In response to your other statement that I already addressed in my last post. I see no conflict in the rest of God from His Creation. I already said that in previous posts. Which leads me to believe you aren’t really reading what I am writing. I already said that adaptions within the created kind would not be considered a work of creation. The work of creation was in creating the animals that would produce after their kinds. So I see no conflict in that and God’s rest from His Creation.

    397. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

      “I have read the links making distinctions without a difference (so far as concern the teachings of the Bible)” Could you further explain what you mean by this? You are very non-specific. What exactly are you talking about?

      “I have Dr. Sarfati’s book written against Hugh Ross. Have you read my book? If you want to raise your stature, take a cue from Dr. Sarfati.” Again, non-specifics. Take a cue from Dr Sarfati in what way? What are you trying to say?

      “You make a distinction between kinds and species, but in light of the Bible describing the kinds of animals as giving birth to offspring after their own kind, I am shocked at what you write. It was due to the way that the Lord described his creation of animals as each producing offspring after their own kind that caused me to reject evolution. I discovered that everything that caused me to believe evolution was false. Was I angry at myself for being deceived by so many false claims. The more science I learn, the more skeptical I become.” I fail to see how you feel it is a departure from Scripture. Young earth Creationists believe wholeheartedly that animals produced offspring according to their kind. As I said already, they believe in a fixed kind that does not change but variations within that created kind.

      “I am especially shocked at your lack of skepticism when someone makes a claim that contradicts the BIble. You and Sarfati are doing the very thing that you are accusing others of doing: re-interpreting the Scripture to make it accord with the teachings of science.” Of course not. Because as I said above I see no contradiction. I don’t see the opening chapters of Genesis as a myth. I see them as literally and actually true and I see the young earth interpretation as faithful to the Scripture text and what it says.

    398. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

      Jonathan, brother,

      Sometimes I think that you are looking for ways to take offense, but I do not intend to offend you. And you probably didn’t mean to offend me when you misread what I wrote about the Son being the Creator. Nowhere do I write, as you have me saying, that the Son creates without the Father.

      As to taking seriously what the Apostles wrote, in the context of what we are discussing, I mean their teaching that Jesus Christ is the Creator.

      On Malachi, you take that to be parallelism, but consider that would not make sense in context due to the fact that he was contrasting those to whom he spoke with gentiles who had various fathers and gods, but all Israel came from the same father and had the same God.

      Your last paragraph in 386 makes it appear that you believe that perhaps natural selection is capable of creating, as the Darwinists claim, and not only creating, like God does, but creating new kinds of animals.

      Bo, it was Jesus who said that the priests in the Temple profane the Sabbath. His point was that it is impossible for the Lord to break the Law of the Sabbath because it was never intended for him.

      Brothers, this has been a good discussion of the proper exegesis of Genesis 1. As Jonathan reminds us, let it not become distracted by other matters,

    399. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

      Philip,

      I am curious. One of the biggest challenges from those who do not believe in a global flood like you and I do is that Noah could not have fit the thousands of species of animals onto the ark.

      Here is an article addressing the issue from the perspective of Answers in Genesis: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v8/n1/no-kind-left-behind

      But it is clear that you disagree with their position. So I am curious what the position is of a fellow believer in a worldwide flood who also at the same time rejects the positions held by young earth creationists about the created kinds. Could you explain your position on how many animals were on the ark?

    400. Jonathan
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

      Philip, you said, ” Nowhere do I write, as you have me saying, that the Son creates without the Father.” OK, I’m sorry, I thought that’s what you were saying. So that means you DO agree with me that both Father and Son created. I had thought you were saying otherwise. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    401. Philip
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

      Jonathan,

      Those are good questions. Here is something, apart from my book, that I have written on the subject of the animals fitting on the Ark:

      http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs083/1105083502346/archive/1107314617250.html

      Indeed, just as do people, geographical isolation of populations increase genetic distance making for different appearances as well as traits. So we see many different kinds of cattle, but release them into the wild and let them interbreed, and they will become longhorns like their original parents. When isolated populations mix, the genetic clock goes into reverse.

      However much selective breeding and geographical isolation change the animals, as the example of the cattle demonstrates, the kinds of animals that God created still breed after their own kind.

      Now, on my recent trip to Turkey, I delivered a scientific package to assist our climbers in the proper collection of hair, feather, and other organic remains, which we hope will help address some of these issues.

    402. Bo
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

      Philip,

      Yes we can stop discussing our off topic subjects when you stop responding.

      As you know, the priests sometimes profane the Sabbath by offering the sacrifices that were commanded them by the creator of the Sabbath and their priesthood. Yes we sometimes may profane the Sabbath by pulling an ox out of the ditch. Of course if we would keep our fences in good repair and cover our pits, we would not have need to pull them out on Sabbath.

      Messiah did nothing contrary to the Sabbath. There is no commandment against healing on the Sabbath. There is no commandment against popping some grain into ones mouth on Sabbath. If Messiah broke the Sabbath he was a sinner in need of a savior and he would be disqualified to be our savior.

      He did not neglect to keep his fences in good repair so His oxen didn’t get out on Sabbath. He did not leave any pit that He had dug uncovered so that an ox would fall into it. You should find this to be true on the physical and the symbolic and the idiomatic level.

      To take your argument about Him being the lord of the Sabbath to its logical conclusion, we could also say that he was lord over people and thus could commit adultery with impunity because he does not have to follow laws made for mankind. Your logic would allow him to steal and murder and dishonor his mother too.

      His statement about being lord of the Sabbath is in reference to the religious leaders added rules that they accused Him of breaking. They do not get to decide what Sabbath breaking is…He does and He has and you can read it in His word. His disciples did not break Sabbath by plucking and eating a little grain, though the Pharisees had ruled that this amounted to harvesting and bearing a burden on Sabbath. Messiah set the Pharisees straight and thus proclaimed their rulings to be wrong just as He showed other times that their rulings were making the commandments of YHWH of none effect and causing their worship to become vain. When we declare keeping the Sabbath to be optional or void we are doing the same thing that the Pharisees did…and our worship becomes vain.

      Shalom

    403. Bo
      March 2nd, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

      Philip,

      I rest my case if you do not continue the conversation.

      Shalom

    404. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 11:15 am

      Brother Bo, sorry for the delay, but I needed some rest. :)

      But thanks to God, my evening of sweet rest was not a burdensome requirement of some law because Christ has set me free from that.

      I am surprised that you suggest that were it not for the Law, that the Lord might steal, murder, and commit adultery. Have you not read that the Lord is righteousness? If we subject ourselves to him, he is our righteousness as well. The Apostle Paul was not introducing anything new in this regard. Have you never read the prophets?

      Returning to our subject of Genesis 1, do you suppose there is or was ever some law to which God is subject? That is to make God less than God. It is to place law above God. You can then judge God, which is just what Satan would love us do. Consider what he did from the beginning. Our world today under this spirit who is posing as an angel of light is ever more judging even God.

      In any case, the Lord gave the Law to man, and for man. It was never intended for himself. Why would a righteous God need to become subject to some law, even a good law meant to restrain evil among the wicked?

      I pray that you come to know the truth about this. The truth will set you free.

    405. Bo
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote:
      “I am surprised that you suggest that were it not for the Law, that the Lord might steal, murder, and commit adultery.”

      You are putting words in my mouth. I think that you need to read my post more carefully. I did not suggest that YHWH would commit adultery or that He needs a law to keep. I was showing the end result of your logic about Messiah breaking the Sabbath. There is nothing in your logic that would preclude Him stealing or committing adultery. You think that He, as a man, was above law. I think the opposite. He came to earth as a man and subjected himself to the laws made for man. The law reveals to us YHWH’s character.

      Too bad that you think that YHWH asking us to remember His Sabbath and keep it holy is bondage. Too bad that you think that you have been set free from YHWH’s perfect law of liberty. Breaking the Sabbath is sin. Sin is bondage. Too bad that you think that keeping YHWH’s Sabbath commandment is grievous.

      1 John 5
      3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

      The truth sets us free to obey not to sin. Transgression of YHWH’s law is sin and that is bondage.

      John 8
      31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
      32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
      33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
      34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

      Too bad you do not accept the context of the passage you quoted.

      Shalom

    406. Bo
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

      Philip,

      I am beginning to get the idea that you are an artist and not a scientist. The way you paint the first chapter of Genesis, Young Earth Creationists, History, Jonathan’s words, my words and Messiah’s words is the work of an artist communicating his feelings and not of one with an eye for detail and accuracy. Your conclusions contain impossible leaps of logic and assumptions at least as much as they contain the facts.

      An artist has every right to critique a scientists paintings but not his logical estimation of what the facts point to. Scientific peer review must be done by scientists. Artistic peer review must be done by artists. If you want to be taken seriously as a scientist, you must work to eliminate rhetoric and manipulation of the facts.

      I do not say this as an insult or to stigmatize you or your view, but so that you can become a better communicator in this area. I am all for artistic writing styles as long as they do not do damage to the truth.

      Shalom

    407. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

      Philip,

      Regarding Malachi 2:10,

      I challenge you to look up how many times God or the prophets of God talk to the children of Israel and use the phrase “your fathers” (plural). Whenever they speak specifically of Abraham as being their father, they don’t ever say that he is their only father. Yet look at these three verses as examples of many many more found throughout Scripture where it speaks of fathers (plural) :

      Exodus 3:15,16 ” And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.”

      Numbers 33:54 “And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.”

      Deuteronomy 1:8 “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.”

      So in Malachi 2:10 where it specifically limits it to only one father. That could only mean the Heavenly Father. You can correct me if I am wrong. But I cannot find a single other place in Scripture where both the words “one” and “father” are used together where they are not referencing the Heavenly Father.

      For example compare this verse with the following verses:

      Malachi 2:10 “Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?”

      John 8:41 “Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.”

      1 Corinthians 8:6 “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

      Ephesians 4:6 “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

      Matthew 23:9 “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven”

    408. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

      “As to taking seriously what the Apostles wrote, in the context of what we are discussing, I mean their teaching that Jesus Christ is the Creator.”

      I do take that seriously. I think we both were misunderstanding each other. Just as I thought you were saying that the Son created but the Father did not. You thought I was saying that Jesus is not the Creator. I did not say that. I hope we are both on the same page now.

      “Your last paragraph in 386 makes it appear that you believe that perhaps natural selection is capable of creating, as the Darwinists claim, and not only creating, like God does, but creating new kinds of animals.”

      No. Not at all. Here are my last two paragraphs of that post:

      “So for instance, a dog kind could have been created in the creation week from which variations within the dog kind produced wolves, dingoes, coyotes etc. A primate kind could have been created in the creation week from which variations with the primate kind produced apes, lemurs, monkeys, etc. But there would have been no new created kinds after the creation week. There would have only been variation within kinds. The created kinds would have been fixed and no mixing between the created kinds and no new created kinds would have happened after the creation week.
      This is consistent with the Scriptures unless you force the meaning of “kind” to be synonymous with “species”. If you want to force that, my question would be why should we see it that way?”

      I believe I am saying much the same thing that you are in post # 401. The difference is that I feel that a created kind which was created in the beginning is a wider category than you think of when you refer to examples such as the breeding of cattle you are referring to.

      I believe, due to the Fall, that genetic information in animals started to deteriorate. Animals that used to be able to mate with each other lost that ability due to a loss in genetic information.

      (See the quote from the Answers in Genesis article I quoted in post # 389.)

      “Whoops! Two or more species from one kind! Isn’t that evolution?
      Some evolutionists certainly think so. After I participated in a creation-evolution debate at Texas A & M, a biology professor got up and told everyone about the flies on certain islands that used to interbreed but no longer do. They’ve become separate species, and that, he said, to a fair amount of applause, proves evolution is a fact—period!
      Well, what about it? Barriers to reproduction do seem to arise among varieties that once interbred. Does that prove evolution? Or does that make it reasonable to extrapolate from such processes to real evolutionary changes from one kind to others? As I explained to the university-debate audience (also to applause), the answer is simply no, of course not. It doesn’t even come close.
      Any real evolution (macroevolution) requires an expansion of the gene pool, the addition of new genes and new traits as life is supposed to move from simple beginnings to ever more varied and complex forms (“molecules to man” or “fish to philosopher”). Suppose there are islands where varieties of flies that used to trade genes no longer interbreed. Is this evidence of evolution? No, exactly the opposite. Each variety resulting from reproductive isolation has a smaller gene pool than the original and a restricted ability to explore new environments with new trait combinations or to meet changes in its own environment. The long-term result? Extinction would be much more likely than evolution.”

      (Also see this quote from post # 367.)

      “There are several reasons why hybrid data may be lacking between individuals within the same baramin. First, it is relatively difficult to gather good hybrid data in the wild, and often the opportunity for hybridization is lacking when animals live in different parts of the world. As a result, hybrid data is more complete for animals that are domesticated or held in captivity (for example, in zoos).
      Second, as described earlier with sheep and goats, even for animals that have produced hybrids, many attempts may be unsuccessful. This may be the result of genetic changes (mutations) that have accumulated in one or both species since the Fall, that causes a loss of ability to interbreed. Finally, if an animal is only known from the fossil record there is no opportunity for it to hybridize with animals alive today.”

    409. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

      Philip,

      Thank you for the response in post # 401 and the link you provided.

      Unfortunately neither one defined the exact number of “kinds” you believe were on the Ark and how you came to that particular number.

    410. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

      Some of you may wonder what this discussion has to do with young earth/old earth Creationism. A great deal. As the eminent historian of science Ronald Numbers points out and as this very discussion demonstrates: the survival and especially the revival of young earth Creationism is owing to Neo-Judaizing: a revival of the ancient Judaizing heresy. That isn’t a reference to one’s freedom to keep the Sabbath in whatever way accords with his conscience, but in regarding Sabbatarianism as essential to obedience to God if not for salvation itself. Some go so far as to call those who are not Sabbatarians or who do not believe in 24-hour Creation days as “compromisers” or even sinners. Please, despite Bo’s words, I don’t think that anyone here is doing the latter. I trust this is just a frank discussion of beliefs.

      Brother Bo, my earliest years was in practical science and philosophy. The only merit in the latter is, hopefully, some training in proper reasoning and the ability to recognize vain philosophy when one sees it. Most of what now goes under the name theology is but philosophy. When Paul mentions ‘vain philosophy,’ he would have had in mind what today goes by the name theology. Nowadays, I wear a lot of hats: historian, scholar, and writer, but an “artist”? OK. Practical science was formerly called art. Good writing is also an art. But fine discrimination is the essence of good art, good scholarship, and good writing. Today, as formerly, God’s priests are to be discriminating.

      I have long years in learning to carefully read and reason. It is fine for you to clarify your words, but I was indeed following the logic of what you wrote above.

      You don’t agree with what Second Temple Jews regarded as Sabbath keeping. Precisely what is expected of proper Sabbath keeping? If you see that in Scripture, why do you Sabbatarians not agree? Give us the rules for proper Sabbath keeping.

      I should be a little more discriminating regarding the Neo-Judaizing heresy. It is somewhat different from the ancient version. Some of you seem to be referring to a pre-Mosaic Law from which Christ’s atonement did not release us. Tell us how you know about that. Was that part of a so-called ‘oral Torah’?

    411. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

      Philip,

      It is a supreme lack of logic to say that since one poster on this page is a young earth creationist and is also a Sabbatarian that it proves that the young earth movement in general is such.

      Provide me with links of any leaders currently in the young earth creation movement who are. I am not talking about Seventh Day Adventists. I am talking about current leaders.

      So to say at present day that the Young Earth creationists are inexorably linked with Sabbatarianism would be incorrect.

      Ken Ham for example, says that he came into it because of his firm belief that death and suffering were not present before the Fall. He did not become one of the foremost voices for young earth creationism as the result of Sabbatarian beliefs.

      They are definitely linked for Bo. I understand that. But to extrapolate that to it being linked in general of young earth creationists would be completely wrong.

    412. Dr Jonathan Sarfati
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

      My book Refuting Compromise thoroughly refutes the claims of that apostate ex-SDA Ron Numbers with his own axe to grind. He totally ignores that the young-earth and global-flood view were the traditional view of the church, long before Ellen White existed. He is also ignorant of the Scriptural Geologists in the early 19th century that defended these biblical doctrines, again long before Ellen White. All she did was restate the long-held traditional view of the church. I myself came to YEC long before I had read anything of hers, or even heard of George McCready Price. It is high time that detractors of YEC stopped using that old canard. There is no excuse for this dishonesty.

      I see also that Philip falsely accused me of denying that God supernaturally confused the languages at Babel. It’s Ross who goes too far—he claims that God introduced racial characteristics at Babel.

    413. Dan1el
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

      @Sarfati
      Hear, hear.

    414. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

      Jonathan,

      I realize that the YEC movement has broadened to include not only evangelical Christians, but Catholics, Jews, and Muslims. I think it is particularly attractive to any tradition where there is strong legalism.

      YEC leaders don’t like to let their disciples know to whom they are indebted. Much of the current leadership comes from down under. That needs more research. Numbers traces some of that to Carl Wieland’s promotion of Whitcomb and Morris’ ‘Genesis Flood.’ I believe that Ken Ham is indebted to all of these. Thus, all are much indebted to Price and Ellen G. White.

      So Ken Ham was much concerned about death and suffering before the Fall. So was Ellen G. White. Due to that, her disciples Kellogg and Post created for us a meatless breakfast.

      Animal suffering was also a concern of Darwin who saw Nature red in tooth and claw, the way he argued against God’s design and for natural selection. Some attracted to YEC may have been trying to answer Darwin and found YEC teachings an answer.

      The other source of big source for vegetarian beliefs comes from the Eastern religions. Whether due to Darwin or the Eastern religions, what is most troubling is the leveling of human death closer to that of the animals. We see our world going in that direction. We shouldn’t be surprised at the growing popularity of a theology that tries to align the Bible with the same concerns.

    415. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

      Philip,

      Either you acknowledge that both Ken Ham and Dr. Sarfati specifically stated they never heard of Ellen White and George Price and that young earth views completely predates those individuals or you don’t.

      Young earth creationism predates Seventh Day Adventism and it predates Darwin. So if anyone borrowed from another, it was Seventh Day Adventism. Not the other way around. You can either acknowledge this fact or be intellectually dishonest.

    416. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

      By the way, Philip, if you are picking up the degrees of separation specious arguments that you took up earlier in the conversation, I will pick up the challenges I made to you earlier that remain unanswered. Would you care to answer them now?

    417. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

      Philip,

      Your specious, intellectually dishonest reasoning concludes that young earth creationists believe in no death before sin and Seventh day Adventists believe in no death before sin.

      Seventh Day Adventists believe in not eating meat therefore young earth creationists believe in not eating meat.

      That is extremely dishonest linkage. You even attempt to link Darwin who came to directly opposite conclusions.

      How can you be so dishonest?

    418. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      Wonderful!

      Perhaps Dr. Sarfati (who I regard as the chief thinker in the YEC movement today) will share with us his religious roots. Surely, they aren’t those of that “apostate” Ron Numbers?

      And tell us: you don’t believe the scattering from Babel had any effect on the different appearances of humans? (If you read my comments more closely, I suggested that you might just need to clarify what you really believe about Babel.)

    419. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

      Philip,

      Whether being intentionally dishonest or just through shoddy logic, you link Eastern religions who view animal death and suffering as something equal to human death with young earth creationsim.

      Young earth creationism does not ever state that you should be a vegetarian or not hunt animals or anything like that. They also do not equate human death with animal death. If you disagree, please cite where they specifically do.

      Young earth creationists believe that a good God would not intentionally design his creation to suffer because that would be an intentional cause of pain instead of as a tragic result of man’s sin. Scripture teaches that death was the result of sin. So we believe man is to blame for suffering; both human and animal. That God did not design it that way from the beginning. If God would have specifically designed His creation to suffer and be in pain for no reason, that would not be a loving God.

      But that belief is in no way comparable to Eastern religions. It is completely and utterly fallacious to link that with Eastern religions. So my question is whether you are linking them together by shoddiness or because you are being intentionally dishonest.

    420. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

      Philip, if you read your comment earlier about cattle and reflect on what that would mean with the human population, you would have your answer. It was a limiting of the gene pool. When that occurred, distinct differences in features of particular separated people groups resulted. God dispersed people by mixing their languages. That is what the Scripture says. We can see even today how that results. If there a few generations where couples coming from different people groups have children today, you then see a mixing of the features in their children. So the differing features are just the result of a more limited gene pool. If Dr. Sarfati wants to further clarify, he is welcome. But that is how I see it.

    421. Dan1el
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

      “Jonathan” = “Dr. Jonathan Sarfati”?

    422. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

      To clarify, Daniel. I didn’t put my last name when I registered. My name is Jonathan Stevenson. I’m not the same person as Dr. Sarfati.

    423. Dr Jonathan Sarfati
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

      Philip evidently can’t deal with the arguments, so still persists with his guilt-by-association and genetic fallacies.

      No death (of nephesh chayyah) before the Fall was a concern of Basil, Luther, and Wesley too. All this is documented in Refuting Compromise. So big whoop about Ellen White sharing this concern. Here’s a novel idea: maybe this concern had a common cause—the biblical teaching! So do you care to deal with the evidence or persist with logically fallacious and facutally incorrect arguments?

      Oh, do deny Numbers’ own words that he totally abandoned SDA beliefs of his childhood and became an agnostic. Do you even know what “apostate” meants, given your scare quotes?

      I have long taught that the racial differences were the effect of the Babel dispersion not the cause as Ross believes.

      @Daniel: no, I am not the one who signs himself just “Jonathan”.

    424. Ray
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

      I’m amazed at the complexity of the creation. There’s so much to be learned. It’s amazing the work that God has done.

      And in learning about it while interacting with others who do the same, do we learn more about the creation or ourselves?

      I think I would rather be one that through the creation, would learn more about myself than it, for in so doing, I think I would be learning about God.

    425. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

      Dr. Sarfati, for reference, Philip and I have already discussed Ronald Numbers previously in the conversation. Philip already knew that Numbers is an agnostic per my comments in post #145. So I’m not sure what the quote marks were all about either.

    426. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

      Dr. Jonathan Sarfati,

      I have been looking through your book, “Refuting Compromise” for your refutation of Ron Numbers as noted in your last post. I fail to discover where you even mention this notable historian of science.

      I do not deny that, at least since the time of Ussher, theologians have been teaching a young earth. What you fail to acknowledge is:

      1. The issue of the duration of the days of Genesis was hardly the issue over much of church history. That question arose due to Isaac Newton’s answers to Bishop Thomas Burnet as to how Genesis might be explained according to Newton’s new laws of mechanics.

      2. As I pointed out to Terry Mortenson, the chief controversy concerning Christians during most of the Christian error was establishing the fact against the Aristotelians that the earth had in fact been created.

      3. Deists such as the infamous Voltaire had no problem with a 6000 year earth, but they didn’t like Scriptural Geology.

      4. Martin Rudwick, currently the most eminent historian of geology, shows how it was Scriptural historians that established against the Aristotelians and Deists the fact that the earth indeed had an ancient geological history. It was due to their studying the earth in the light of Scripture that resulted in Progressive Creationism and changing most Christians to the fact of an old earth. As you know, many Christians, especially Dispensationalists taught the gap theory.

      5. Some of the Scriptural Geologists you mention are among the last Scriptural Geologist that contended for a young earth chiefly on empirical grounds. By the early twentieth centuries the majority of conservative Christians taught an old earth.

      6. The revival of Young Earth Creationism over my lifetime due to Whitcomb and Morris’s “Genesis Flood” do indeed depend on the work of Ellen G. White’s disciple George McGready Price. If you have refuted Number’s history on that, please share with us where you have published it.

      7. The influence of Ellen G. White on the current version of young earth teachings is revealed by the attention that you give to 24-hour days and the denial of animal death before Adam’s Fall. Unlike the Scriptural Geologists, you spurn empirical evidence in favor of your dogma of 24-hour Creation days.

      As I note in my book, disagreement over the duration of Creation days is an odd thing to call “compromise” – unless you are an Adventist or Sabbatarian.

      Again, I would like to know whether you regard disagreement with 24-hour Creation days as compromise.

      Otherwise, I look forward to you along with many Adventists, Sabbatarians, and teachers of a young earth — regardless our disagreement over non-essentials — joining me in making common cause against the evolutionists and others who deny the historical truth of the early chapters of Genesis.

    427. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

      Philip,

      You were addressing Dr. Sarfati, not me. So I’ll let him respond.

      But I just want to point out about your point # 7 that Dr. Sarfati already gave sufficient information on that point in his hyperlink entitled “nephesh chayyah”. It is pointed out in the article that those such as Basil the Great, John Calvin and John Wesley held to all animals being vegetarian prior to the Fall.

      Dr. Sarfati also shows in his book the church fathers who held to a 24 hr creation day.

      Neither of those ideas originated with Ellen White in the least. They originated with Scripture. She just happened to agree with Scripture on those points.

      I also want to address what you said here: “Unlike the Scriptural Geologists, you spurn empirical evidence in favor of your dogma of 24-hour Creation days.” Shall we go back to your unethical summation of George Young who believed in a young earth? (Which you have never apologized for. I’m still waiting for that apology for the deceptive summary of George Young you gave earlier.) Why do you unethically charge young earth creationists with spurning evidence? Can your bluster give way to accuracy?

    428. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

      Correction: Christian “error” above was not intended as a pun. I meant to write Christian “era.”

      Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and others who make a study of the history of interpretation of the duration of the days of Genesis:

      Augustine interpreted the Creation days as instantaneous so as to interpret Genesis in accordance with his Neoplatonist philosophy. Luther’s famous “calling a spade a spade” remark concerned the teaching of the founder of his order. His remarks were made against teaching the Creation days of even shorter duration than 24-hours. Thus, by insisting on “calling a spade, a spade” Luther was not attacking old-earth Creationism, which did not exist in Luther’s day.

      Due to not understanding the issues of Luther’s day, some conservative Lutherans were drawn to Price’s Young Earth teaching prior to Whitcomb and Morris.

    429. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

      Philip,

      Since Luther also said, “We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago.” I think it’s safe to assume he would be in disagreement with old-earth Creationism. Wouldn’t you?

    430. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

      Dr. Jonathan Sarfati,

      Whoever taught it over the course of church history, it is time to address this strange doctrine of no animal death before the sin of Adam. Who better to defend this, even to explain this, than yourself?

      Now, how is it that you suppose the Lord designed his Creation in such a manner as you propose. Before the Fall, he commands his Creatures to be fruitful, to multiply, and fill the earth.

      My first question: How long before the rabbits overrun the Garden of Eden? Australians ought to understand that problem.

    431. Jonathan
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

      Hmmm

      Philip, it seems your content to bounce around posting things with errors in them and not addressing them when they are pointed out to you.

      Well I guess, just keep bouncing around haphazardly with your posts then…

      In regards to your last post, it’s obviously a theoretical that wasn’t addressed by Scripture as to what the mechanism would have been to deal with such a problem if/when it actually became a problem.

      Since we are likely speaking of a fairly short time between the creation week and the Fall, these theoretical problems would have never had a chance to manifest though.

      Since God already knew that Adam and Eve were going to sin and bring death into the world, no preparation for such a theoretical situation that was not going to happen would have needed to be addressed by God.

      It is possible, since the instruction was to fill the earth, that after that point reproduction would have ceased. But such theoreticals are of no value because it didn’t happen and God knew from the beginning that it would not.

      What we do know about the issue of death and the fall is found in Scripture. And Dr. Sarfati’s article contained in the hyperlink of his post entitled “nephesh chayyah” beautifully lays that out.

    432. Philip
      March 3rd, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

      Shhhh, Jonathan,

      Everyone is awaiting Dr. Sarfati’s thoughtful reply.

    433. Bo
      March 4th, 2013 @ 12:17 am

      Philip,

      Maybe you are not an artist. Putting words into other peoples mouths and making assertions that have been proven to be incorrect and using logical fallacies is not art. It is deception and self deception.

      Shalom

    434. Dan1el
      March 4th, 2013 @ 4:39 am

      @Sarfati
      Have you heard the theory that time “stretches” together with the heavens (as God “stretched” them) – that the first day was 8bn “years” 2nd day was 4bn, 3rd was 2bn, 4th was 1bn, 5th was 1/2bn, 6th was 1/4bn 7th was 1/8bn (which would make the Universe 15-16bn years old – precisely the age which it is presumed)? I don’t remember the specific details, but I’m hoping you will recognize the argument and respond confirming it or debunking it. What do you think of it (assuming you recognize it)?

    435. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

      Bo,

      I have no special writing skills. The key to being able to articulate a matter well is becoming informed, then acquiring a deep understanding of the subject. To do both, one must sympathetically read those with different, even opposing views.

      Unlike most of you, I have read the creators of Young Earth Creationism: Ellen G. White, George McGready Price, Henry Morris, Carl Wieland, even Jonathan Sarfati though I did not include Sarfati’s book in the more than one thousand sources that I list in my topical bibliography. Oh yes, I also read some of the Scriptural geologists as well as those responsible for the uniformitarian view of geology.

      When I began my study of Creationism, I was not opposed to the view. Why should I be opposed to something that I do not understand? May I ask those of you who question my motives and challenge my statements whether you have even read my book? Consider this review of my book that was today placed on Amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R36I32FTV1TMAM/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0080NIG3W&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

      My chief concern about Creationism is the damage it does to those who see the fanciful nature of this science but accept its claims about what the Bible teaches.

      But the Creationists do not have the best understanding of the worldwide Flood, especially the history recorded in the Bible prior to and just after the Flood. That is why my work appeals even to skeptics and unbelievers. It removes barriers that have caused them to reject the Bible and Jesus. Some of them will humble themselves and open their hearts and minds to Jesus. Is that something to which you are opposed?

    436. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

      Philip,

      Quite frankly, after I have seen the haphazard, inaccurate, logical fallacy filled, blustery posts you have made here, I don’t have any confidence whatsoever in whatever would appear in your book.

      You don’t even have the decency to retract intentionally misleading statements when they are challenged.

      I do find it amusing that you accused Ken Ham of always trying to sell something and yet you keep plugging your books in the comments.

      Yes, I already know you will say that Dr. Brown asked you to provide the link. I acknowledge that. But you have been plugging your book quite a few more times than that initial post. Do you know that through the course of this conversation, you have used the words “my book” a total of 40 times?

      Frankly, it doesn’t bother me that you do plug your book either. If I wrote a book on the subject that I thought would be helpful, I would probably be plugging it too.

      I just find it supremely ironic after your accusatory tone toward Ken Ham earlier in the conversation.

      It’s that accusatory tone that has been shown throughout where you shoot of accusations without even researching what you are talking about. Your claim that he denied that God intervened supernaturally at Babel without even researching it to find out if it was true was one such example.

      If you put these accusations out on this blog with no research, what would I expect about the level of research you put into things said in your book? Going off half-cocked numerous times in this blog is not the way to win confidence.

    437. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

      Also, for someone who has claimed to have done such extensive research on creationists and their beliefs, the amount of things you seem to have no understanding on that young earth creationists actually do believe is astounding. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of young earth creationism should readily be able to understand the reasoning behind believing there was no death of man and animals before the Fall or exactly what is believed about the created kinds or what is believed about the tower of Babel regardless of whether they are in agreement. Either you were truly ignorant of this information prior to this conversation or you were intentionally twisting what we believe. Either way, for someone who claims to have done so much research on the subject, it is not a good sign.

    438. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

      Jonathan,

      I do understand why YEC teach no animal death prior to the Fall. That allows them to claim that all fossils of dead animals along with coal, oil, and gas were the result of Noah’s Flood. And the reason for the latter is to eliminate so much evidence for an ancient earth, making way for their teaching a young earth and 24-hour Creation days.

      Since you know YEC views sufficiently to speak for them here so quickly and so often, surely you can point to where they have published answers to the very obvious problem with their theory due to God having commanded the animals to be fruitful, to multiply, and to fill the earth. Surely that exists because these experts on Genesis must have long ago seen the problem.

      I am not particularly interested in your answer but in one that Creationist leaders are unembarrassed to endorse and publish.

    439. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

      Philip,

      Your last comment is more of the same of exactly WHY I see no reason to read your book. You have stated the direct opposite of what both Dr. Sarfati and Ken Ham have stated. They don’t hold to no animal death prior to the Fall so that none of the fossils will have been from before the Fall. Rather, they hold to no fossils from before the Fall because they believe in no animal death before the Fall. Ken Ham clearly explained in his video why he see no animal death before the Fall as taught in Scripture. Dr. Sarfati has communicated the same in his links. The fact that you will intentionally turn it completely backward is just another evidence of why I DON’T need to get your book. You’re intentional twisting is, quite frankly, pathetic.

      As to your question, I already answered it. What did you find unacceptable with the answer?

      I will give you a link. I did not get my answer from this link. I had not read the link before I answered you. I came up with my answer on my own. But you can note that the answer given in the article is essentially the same as the answer I gave. That’s because it’s just basic logic from looking at what Scripture said.

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/05/11/satan-the-fall-good-evil-overpopulation

      It seems rather elitist that you dismissed my answer out of hand and only wanted it from a Creationist leader, but there you go.

    440. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 5:43 pm

      After looking around a little further, I also find that the question you asked of Dr. Sarfati was not the first time he was asked that question. The following question was asked of Dr. Sarfati by a progressive creationist, followed by Sarfati’s reply:

      How could you grow a garden with rabbits and insects multiplying rapidly with no predators to keep them in check?

      The purpose of reproduction was to ‘fill the earth’. We cannot presume to know what God would have done once this purpose had been fulfilled, but it’s likely that the command would have been rescinded. Actually, even in this fallen world, there are mechanisms to slow down reproduction in an overcrowded population. This has been observed in rats, for example. It comes down to what sort of God you believe in. The God who prevented the Israelites’ clothes and sandals from wearing out for 40 years in the wilderness (Deut. 29:5) could certainly have controlled overpopulation problems.

      Taken from: http://creation.com/answering-some-hugh-ross-supporters

    441. Ray
      March 4th, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

      I’m thinking we really don’t know as much as we think about how fossils are formed, how much time is really involved.

      I was watching TV News about how a sink hole was about to swallow an entire house. It already took a man who was living there and he could not be rescued.

      One said that these sink holes take many many years to form, (thousands? I don’t remember) and another man was doing testing of the soil at the nearby houses.

      The news person said that the soil test was only good for about how long the test took, for it seemed that these things can happen so quickly.

      They talked about how a certain kind of stone (Limestone?) disolves over time by groundwater, gets washed away and leaves a void underground.

      So, do sink holes take thousands of years, or can they happen much more quickly? I don’t know.

    442. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

      Jonathan,

      Thank you for getting all these Answers in Genesis. I now understand the problem. I had supposed they meant they were experts in the Genesis text. Turns out, I had a too-narrow view, or rather version. What they mean by Answers in Genesis includes reading between the lines, plus notes and commentary in the margins. I’m waiting on the [Ken] Ham Reference Bible.

      That’s fascinating. From my reading, I had never supposed the Lord creating the animals in flocks: male flock, female flock, created he them. Or maybe he means the males and females were mixed in the same created flock.

      I am no expert in the Hebrew text so I can’t judge whether,

      “Be fruitful and multiply ‘until’ you fill the earth,” [then become barren] is a proper way to translate the Hebrew.

      I haven’t seen anyone translate it that way, but I haven’t check The Message and The New World Translation.

      Wasn’t barrenness seen as a curse?

      Dr. Brown is not just a Hebrew scholar, but also a Semitic scholar. Perhaps, he will let us know whether

      “be fruitful and multiply ‘until’ you fill the earth” is an acceptable translation.

      I would never trust my own translation of a passage bearing on a point that I am making, the same reason, I don’t mark in my Bible or read versions with commentaries.

      What say the rest of you Hebraists?

    443. Bo
      March 4th, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

      Philip,

      If YHWH made a pair of each animal, how long would it take to fill the earth with animals? How long did it take until Adam fell? Adam had no offspring until after the fall…and I assume that he was doing his best to obey YHWH to be fruitful and multiply before the fall…so was it a long time or a short time? The curse also brought an increase in childbearing for women. Could that also be the case for the rest of creation that has been brought under the curse? Uniformitarianism is a fallacy. Do we know that rabbits always were this fertile?

      Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      Isn’t it interesting that fertility is a blessing and YHWH increased woman’s fertility after the fall. The earth was cursed. The Serpent was cursed. Mankind was blessed with more offspring…maybe because he would not have as much free time to just hang out with his wife since he would have to work more to produce food for his family :)

      Romans 2
      4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

      Did you ever answer if there were thorns and thistles before the fall?

      Shalom

    444. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

      On Sarfati’s answer about God “rescinding” his Creation command.

      (and doing so though man had not yet sinned to mess up the good Creation)

      Here is where we read the Bible differently. Ross and I see the Lord completing the Creation after six days. That’s right: completed.

      But Sarfati, like some of the rest of you, sees God just taking a break on the seventh day before going back to work. Too close to evolution for Ross and I.

      And, Jonathan, notice how Sarfati answers those of Ross’ supporters complaining about his supposed harsh tone and hard hitting answers. He refers to many of the same Scriptures as I use above. As he points out (and as James the brother of Jesus points out), teaching about the word of God is serious business and those who do must be held to the highest accountability.

      That is why the Apostle Paul excluded women from this role. It is not seemly to rebuke a woman so harshly as say, Paul rebuked Peter at Antioch. Dr. Sarfati’s experience in the hard sciences has accustomed him to strictness, necessary for successful science. We have too little of this in the far more important teaching pertaining to the Kingdom of God. I am not looking down on you brother, but remember how Paul admonished Timothy. Endure hardship. Don’t be thin skinned. Be a man. That’s the root meaning of the Latin ‘virtue.’

    445. Bo
      March 4th, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote:
      “…teaching about the word of God is serious business and those who do must be held to the highest accountability.

      That is why the Apostle Paul excluded women from this role. It is not seemly to rebuke a woman so harshly as say, Paul rebuked Peter at Antioch.”

      Is that why? Where does the scripture say that? I think that this is another assumption and twisting leap instead of just reading what is said and accepting it.

      Here is what Paul said:

      1 Timothy 2
      11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      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.

      Shalom

    446. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

      More twisting Philip! I think you missed your calling. You twist things out of context like the best of them in politics. Maybe you should have run for office. You say:

      “I am no expert in the Hebrew text so I can’t judge whether,
      “Be fruitful and multiply ‘until’ you fill the earth,” [then become barren] is a proper way to translate the Hebrew.”

      But of course that wasn’t what either the link I gave you or the quote from Dr. Sarfati said. (Of course you knew that already though.) I’m through giving you the benefit of the doubt. You are purposely and maliciously twisting things out of context. That is an awful quality for someone who claims to be a Christian! That is absolutely shameful!

      Here is what was actually said:

      In the article: “Since God knows the future, He knew Adam and Eve would sin. This explains why He already had a plan in place to redeem fallen man. The first prophecy of Christ comes in Genesis 3:15 , which states that He will come as the seed of a woman/virgin birth (see also Isaiah 7:14). If you look closely at Genesis 2:17, God foreknew that mankind would sin: “for in the day you eat of it.” He didn’t say “if you eat of it.”

      So it is pointed out that God knew that the earth would not become overpopulated to begin with, no specific plan to deal with overpopulation was needed. I am sure unless you are an open theist that you can agree with that. Are you an open theist?

      Also from the article: “The word fill basically places limits on humans right from the start. Nonetheless, if sin never entered the world, then there is no reason to assume God wouldn’t have said “stop reproducing” once humans had filled the earth. Remember in a world without sin, God’s relationship with mankind wouldn’t be tarnished; hence, open communication should still be there.”

      So they note that the connotation of the world “fill” implies a limit. But they weren’t saying that specific command imposed that limit. Rather, they say it is reasonable to assume God could later impose that limit on His Creation at a later time. Just as they noted that He changed the rules when it came to eating meat.

      Dr. Sarfati also said something similar:

      “We cannot presume to know what God would have done once this purpose had been fulfilled, but it’s likely that the command would have been rescinded.”

      Notice he also makes the supposition that God would have given an additional command when it became necessary. Neither person said that God actually gave a command not to overpopulate. Why would He need to? He already saw into the future that such a command would not be necessary. So why would He make it?

      But of course, the clear context of what was said is intentionally twisted. Why? That would be the question I would like to know. Could you explain, Philip?

      Also, bareness is considered a curse specifically in our post-Fallen world where reproduction is necessary for survival. There is no indication that ceasing to reproduce would have been a curse in a pre-Fallen world. So who is reading between the lines about bareness always being a curse?

      That is the supreme irony. You accuse them of reading between the lines when you yourself read between the lines; also when it comes to animal diet prior to the Fall. It specifically says that animals were given “every green herb for meat”. Who is it that reads between the lines to say that pre-Fall animals ate other animals when it specifically says herbs?

    447. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

      Philip,

      I am not decrying your harsh tone. I am decrying your twisting of what people said. I have shown time and again how your words are blustery hyperbole and logical fallacies and just plain twisting of what people say. That is wrong and it is against Scripture.

    448. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

      Ray,

      You are absolutely right about the fossils: and despite the claims of evolutionists and Creationists, how little anyone really knows about that.

    449. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

      More from Philip “On Sarfati’s answer about God “rescinding” his Creation command.
      (and doing so though man had not yet sinned to mess up the good Creation)” Yes, and your point? Show me where rescinding this command in a world untouched by sin is shown to be wrong from Scripture. I am sure you are aware that in Heaven there will be no marriage. So it is reasonable to conclude that it Heaven there will be no reproduction. There is not anything inherently wrong with not having reproduction if that is what God chooses to do. Of course, as I’ve said many times. This is all a moot point because needed no back-up plan and He knew it from before He even started to create. God knew that man would sin; hence no need for a back-up plan on what if he didn’t sin.

      Quoting again from Philip “Here is where we read the Bible differently. Ross and I see the Lord completing the Creation after six days. That’s right: completed.
      But Sarfati, like some of the rest of you, sees God just taking a break on the seventh day before going back to work. Too close to evolution for Ross and I.”

      I have already shown that God adapted what He created after the Creation week. I nor Ken Ham or Dr. Sarfati have said that God made new creations after the Creation Week. But there were adaptions within the creation and that is clear from what I said previously in post # 367.

      So it is clear that God did not violate His rest by making those adaptions. Young earth creationist firmly agree that there were no new kinds created after the Creation week. If you call adapting the created kinds, taking a break from His rest and then continuing to work, then adapting of the Creation after the Fall would also be continuing to work. I am sure you agree that was not the case. So why impose it for the adaptions within the fixed created kinds?

    450. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

      Bo,

      On “thorns and thistles.” It seems that like the Deists of old, you Creationists make no distinction between the Garden of Eden and the world outside the Garden.

      The Garden that the Lord God prepared for Adam had no need of weeding. Now, Adam must work ground subject to thorns and thistles. Despite theologians teaching things contrary to the Scriptures, the Scriptures tell us nothing about God creating new kinds of plants or animals after he rested after the seventh day.

    451. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

      Jonathan,

      I did know Charles Hartshorne, father of open theism. In fact, he was the one who pointed out to me that the God of classic Christian theology is the God of the philosophers rather than the God of the Bible. But our mutual interest had to do with things then (in the seventies) taking place in quantum physics and relativity, and about C.S. Peirce, whose papers Hartshorne and Paul Weiss edited.

      Yes, I learned much about reasoning and logic from the greatest of the logicians. Peirce taught that logic was a branch of ethics.

      If I restate things in a more articulate form or if I draw the logical conclusions from premises, I am neither misrepresenting nor twisting words. I am just helping clarify your muddled thoughts.

    452. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

      Philip,

      This is what the Word says, Genesis 2:17 “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life”

      Did God curse the ground as a result of man’s sin but it was already cursed prior to man’s sin? This is not what the text says. What did you say earlier about reading between the lines?

      Notice that man was told in Genesis 1 ” I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth,”. He said this prior to the Fall. So are you imposing on the text that they were confined to the Garden prior to the Fall? If so, why? If not, why would they be experiencing the Curse before they sinned?

    453. Jonathan
      March 4th, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

      You went around that question didn’t you? Are you yourself an open theist?

      And no, restating things in a manner that says something different than what the author said and claiming what that is what they say is extremely dishonest! I am dumbfounded that you think you have such liberties as to tell other people what they meant by what they said when it is in direct violation of what they said! That is simply amazing! I proved that what they said in context is not what you said they did and your Christian character (if you have any) is on the line. Will you retract your statements?

    454. Philip
      March 4th, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

      Jonathan,

      I am a Scriptural theist. Remember, the distinction that I made between the Creator and his Father that so troubles a Oneness like yourself. It wasn’t just during his days on earth that Israel’s Heavenly King had to investigate matters reported to him.

    455. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 12:05 am

      Philip,

      To balance your advertising of your book, I offer the following for the record:

      “I was extremely disappointed in this ebook. The amount of information thrown at you is mind boggling and a good majority of it was not needed. While I appreciate the amount of work the author put into this, I also came away feeling like the author was a little full of themselves. Very unfortunate. I did skim every chapter hoping that it became what I wanted it to be, but no dice. Author, if you’re reading this review, it’s not a personal attack. Sometimes less really IS more.”

      From: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11022813-archaeological-evidence

      “I assumed this was a Christian book that would address what the title leads us to believe. Not the case. I found it to be both anti-christian and Anti-bible. A real disappointment. I wish I had sampled it first”

      From: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/ASZQM9CTOZJLD/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

      “First, let me say that the title of this book is a misnomer. The archaeological evidence of the Flood is really covered specifically in only a few chapters of this entire work. Mr. Williams presented a great deal of seemingly irrelevant material in order for the reader to understand his arguments…”

      From: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2QKT4SY29TPTX/ref=cm_cr_pr_auth_rev?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

      Shalom

    456. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 12:07 am

      Philip,

      So what about this:

      You wrote:
      “…teaching about the word of God is serious business and those who do must be held to the highest accountability.

      That is why the Apostle Paul excluded women from this role. It is not seemly to rebuke a woman so harshly as say, Paul rebuked Peter at Antioch.”

      Is that why? Where does the scripture say that? I think that this is another assumption and twisting leap instead of just reading what is said and accepting it.

      Here is what Paul said:

      1 Timothy 2
      11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      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.

      Shalom

    457. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 12:08 am

      Philip,

      And what about this:

      If YHWH made a pair of each animal, how long would it take to fill the earth with animals? How long did it take until Adam fell? Adam had no offspring until after the fall…and I assume that he was doing his best to obey YHWH to be fruitful and multiply before the fall…so was it a long time or a short time? The curse also brought an increase in childbearing for women. Could that also be the case for the rest of creation that has been brought under the curse? Uniformitarianism is a fallacy. Do we know that rabbits always were this fertile?

      Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      Isn’t it interesting that fertility is a blessing and YHWH increased woman’s fertility after the fall. The earth was cursed. The Serpent was cursed. Mankind was blessed with more offspring…maybe because he would not have as much free time to just hang out with his wife since he would have to work more to produce food for his family :)

      Shalom

    458. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 12:27 am

      Bo,

      That’s your understanding of presenting “balanced” reviews?

    459. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:40 am

      Philip, I would like to know what your definition of a Scriptural theist is. You say, “It wasn’t just during his days on earth that Israel’s Heavenly King had to investigate matters reported to him.” So are you saying that the Son was not Omniscient prior to taking on human form and coming down to earth? If so, where in Scripture do you get this idea?

    460. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 11:18 am

      Philip,

      I wrote:
      “To balance your advertising of your book, I offer the following for the record…”

      You wrote:
      “Bo,

      That’s your understanding of presenting “balanced” reviews?”

      No. Those are a few views to balance the one that you gave a link to and your plugs for your book.

      Once again you have twisted what I wrote to make it look like I said something that I did not say.

      You are not an artist or a scientist in your posts…you are a politician.

      Please answer posts 456 and 457.

      Shalom

    461. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

      Jonathan,

      Have you never read the Scriptures?

      The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.” Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”

    462. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

      Bo,

      First, do you think those reviews of my book were themselves balanced? Even the five star reviews have some complaint. But these reviews have nothing good to say.

      Secondly, do you think that searching out and presenting four negative reviews, the most negative reviews of my book balances my single reference to a review?

      I presented that review because I had just seen it and it was relevant to the points we were discussing.

      What was your motive for doing this?

    463. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      Philip,

      Who talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden and subsequently meted out punishment on them? Was it the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit?

    464. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

      Also, do you believe the Son to be fully God?

    465. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

      Philip,

      Please answer posts 456 and 457.

      Shalom

    466. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

      Jonathan,

      You should know that the Creator is fully God the Son.

      You should also know what the New Testament teaches with regard to theophanies. No one has ever seen the Father except through his revelation by the Son. It is impossible to see the one who lives in unsurpassable light. The theophanies in the Old Testament included the one who walked with Adam in the Garden had to be the Christ who would become Israel’s Heavenly King, appointed through his resurrection from the dead above all power and dominion in Heaven and Earth, his Father excluded.

    467. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

      Philip,

      If you believe that the Son is fully God does that mean that you believe the Son has all of the attributes of God?

      In Genesis 3, do you believe God questioned Adam and Eve about what they had done because He genuinely did not know? Was God ignorant of their sin and what they had done? Did God truly have no idea where Adam went? Did He not know that the serpent had deceived them before it was communicated to Him? (Notice the Scripture itself does not say these were the reasons.)

      Or was it because He knew but wanted them to communicate with Him what had happened and He was revealing things to them by the questions(For example, to reveal to them consciously that they were guilty and that was why they were hiding.)I believe it to be the latter of the two.

      As for Abraham and the events of the destruction of Sodom:

      I believe it also to be like that day of judgment in the Garden of Eden. If we look at the passage, it never specifically says that God did not know beforehand about the wickedness of Sodom. Rather, I believe the account is God’s way of communicating with Abraham. Revealing to him that God is merciful. Showing to Abraham that God does not just zap people. That He goes to great lengths to show mercy to people. God shows that His judgment is not done lightly or on a whim and that it is not done without cause.

      You can notice that the company that comes to Abraham is three men. While the Lord says that He will confirm about the wickedness of Sodom, notice that the Lord stays behind with Abraham when the two men carry on to Sodom. There is no record in the following chapter that the Lord ever went to Sodom. It only speaks of the two men who are said to be angels.

      Now look what the two angels say in Genesis 19:12-13 “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring [them] out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”

      Now it doesn’t say that these two men came back and reported to the Lord about the condition of Sodom does it? It doesn’t say that they went back and consulted with Him about whether or not Sodom would be destroyed, does it? These two angels knew that the city would be destroyed without having to report back to the Lord. It was already determined because the Lord already knew about it. This mission by the two angels was merely one of a clear demonstration and confirmation of what the Lord already knew and to rescue Lot and his family. That is all.

      A full understanding of the entire passage shows that the Lord indeed knew everything beforehand.

      The prophets often compare the false gods who know nothing with the one true God who knows all. If the Son is fully God, then it should be evident that the Son does know all.

      I think your doctrines sound dangerously similar to those of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      I urge you to rethink that.

    468. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 5:17 pm

      Philip,

      Also, I am happy that you are dealing with most of my recent questions (although you have never expounded on what a “Scriptural theist” is defined as).

      But I would agree with Bo that you are not answering the questions he has put forth a number of times.

      If you are refusing to answer, a statement to that effect would probably be in order.

    469. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

      Jonathan, this is not the place to address your modalistic (Oneness) theology except to the extent that it causes you to misread Genesis. The subject here is old earth/young earth. Indeed, I am not going to reply to Bo’s lame attempts to justify himself. Aside from your helpful links to Creationists’ teachings, neither of you are introducing here anything new or interesting.

      Let’s return our focus to animal death before the Fall of Adam. Some in this thread have mentioned the various prophecies in Scripture that tell of the lion lying down with the lamb and the serpents not harming children, using these prophecies to justify the doctrine that the animals were vegans prior to Adam sinning.

      Creationists commit the error of not distinguishing the sacred from the profane. Bill Dembski has tried to point our how you ignore the biblical distinction between the Garden of Eden and the earth outside the Garden of Eden, as I also mention above. I also noted how that in doing this that you are returning to the Enlightenment view of the entire earth being the Garden of Eden, which led to modern naturalism. According to what you teach, the Garden of Eden was also cursed by Adam’s sin. That is not what the Scriptures teach.

      The prophecies that you use to justify no animal death before the Fall refer to God’s holy mountain, the place where God’ abides. That would be in his holy people. With regard to the harmless serpents, consider Mark 16.

      God in Heaven is seeking a dwelling on earth. Though he has made his presence and person known here, that wonderful era that he has promised for the earth has yet to appear. Thus, we all look forward to his Coming when he will be glorified in his holy people. No harm shall come to them.

    470. Ray
      March 5th, 2013 @ 7:12 pm

      I wonder if God “walked with Adam in the garden”, by the Spirit. Could that be what is indicated by the term “cool” of the day? Was it by the spirit of that day (the way the holy Spirit worked at that time) that Adam walked with God?

      Could it be that the Spirit of God was described that way?

    471. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

      Philip,

      The whole backbone of your alleged problem of animal overpopulation without sin, is based on a theory that God had no prior knowledge of man’s sin when He created. If God knew prior to man’s sin that man would, in fact, sin, then no backup plan for overpopulation would be necessary. Thus God would have needed to make no plan for overpopulation if He knew there was no possibility of it occurring.

      So the whole basis of your theoretical problem evaporates into thin air if God had foreknowledge of man’s sin when He created.

      My defense of the Son’s divine attributes has no dependence on my beliefs about oneness. Most trinitarians hold to the view that the Son shares the divine attributes. So your reference to my beliefs on oneness is merely a red herring because you don’t want to deal with my defense of the Son’s divine attributes and that He would, in fact, have had forknowledge of man’s sin when He created.

      It is interesting that you started this by imposing your unorthodox viewpoints that the Son had no prior knowledge of man’s sin and then want to change the subject once I give my analysis of what happened at Sodom.

    472. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

      “Some in this thread have mentioned the various prophecies in Scripture that tell of the lion lying down with the lamb and the serpents not harming children, using these prophecies to justify the doctrine that the animals were vegans prior to Adam sinning.” Philip, that is only part of the reason. It does stand to reason that a creation unmarred by sin in the end will share similar characteristics to the creation unmarred by sin in the beginning. But it is clear from Genesis 1 that animals ate “every green herb for meat”. It is a supreme puzzle that you accept man to have not eaten meat prior to the Fall but deny that animals did when similar accounts were given for each.

      “Creationists commit the error of not distinguishing the sacred from the profane. Bill Dembski has tried to point our how you ignore the biblical distinction between the Garden of Eden and the earth outside the Garden of Eden, as I also mention above.”

      I don’t understand what you mean by the first sentence. The second sentence seems to imply you are saying the Garden of Eden was sacred while the rest of the “very good” earth that God created was profane. Is that what you are saying? I will note that we should not view William Dembski’s views as gospel since he also rejects a worldwide flood. But of course I do acknowledge there was a distinction. Yet I do not see how that distinction shows that God cursed the land prior to Adam sinning. It can be noted that I made this observation along with other points and questions in post # 452 which you have completely ignored.

      “I also noted how that in doing this that you are returning to the Enlightenment view of the entire earth being the Garden of Eden, which led to modern naturalism.”

      Again, no one has made any such claim. My claim is that the whole earth prior to man’s sin was unmarred by the effects of the curse of man’s sin. So yet again, you argue with strawmen.

      “According to what you teach, the Garden of Eden was also cursed by Adam’s sin. That is not what the Scriptures teach.”

      The Scripture does not specifically include or exclude the Garden of Eden from the Curse. Scripture does not indicate that man was barred from the Garden because the ground was not cursed, instead it is because of the Tree of Life. Romans 8:22 said ” the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain” so I would tend to think the Garden was not excluded. But regardless of whether it was included or excluded does nothing to effect the point that we should not expect to see the ground cursed and the creation groaning and travailing in pain as a result of man’s sin before man actually sinned. How do you have an effect before a cause?

      One last note is that Mark 16 is referring to a world marred by sin. It is not referring to a world unmarred by sin.

      It is not until there is again a world unmarred by sin that we will see “The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.”

    473. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote:
      ” Indeed, I am not going to reply to Bo’s lame attempts to justify himself. Aside from your helpful links to Creationists’ teachings, neither of you are introducing here anything new or interesting.”

      A reviewer of you book wrote:
      “While I appreciate the amount of work the author put into this, I also came away feeling like the author was a little full of themselves. Very unfortunate.”

      Hmmm?

      I think that you are just playing politician again and casting mud and diverting attention from your failed logic. What is it about the following that is me justifying myself?

      Post 456 says the following:

      “Philip,

      So what about this:

      You wrote:
      “…teaching about the word of God is serious business and those who do must be held to the highest accountability.

      That is why the Apostle Paul excluded women from this role. It is not seemly to rebuke a woman so harshly as say, Paul rebuked Peter at Antioch.”

      Is that why? Where does the scripture say that? I think that this is another assumption and twisting leap instead of just reading what is said and accepting it.

      Here is what Paul said:

      1 Timothy 2
      11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
      12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
      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.”

      Post 457 says the following:
      “Philip,

      And what about this:

      If YHWH made a pair of each animal, how long would it take to fill the earth with animals? How long did it take until Adam fell? Adam had no offspring until after the fall…and I assume that he was doing his best to obey YHWH to be fruitful and multiply before the fall…so was it a long time or a short time? The curse also brought an increase in childbearing for women. Could that also be the case for the rest of creation that has been brought under the curse? Uniformitarianism is a fallacy. Do we know that rabbits always were this fertile?

      Ge 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

      Isn’t it interesting that fertility is a blessing and YHWH increased woman’s fertility after the fall. The earth was cursed. The Serpent was cursed. Mankind was blessed with more offspring…maybe because he would not have as much free time to just hang out with his wife since he would have to work more to produce food for his family :)

      Shalom

    474. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

      Philip,

      Who is justifying himself? Who is ignoring crucial points? Who is putting words in other peoples mouths and twisting what the scripture straightforwardly says? Please answer post 473 and consider this posts questions as rhetorical.

      Shalom

    475. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

      Brothers (and sisters),

      BTW, I love to hear the voices of our sisters liberated through the Spirit of Christ. I just returned from Turkey where I witnessed first hand the suppression of women, not by the government there but by their husbands, brothers, and fathers. I will never forget their sad faces.

      The problem in the church and world today is not the women but, as we see in some of the responses here, the lack of mature men. Many of them want to hide beneath the skirts of some or another orthodoxy, as political correctness was once known. As Ben Carson noted at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, political correctness shuts down freedom of speech. But know the truth and the truth will make you free.

      Returning now to the matter of animals. I searched the Scriptures to discover God’s purpose in animals. I know that he did not make them in his own image. They were not made to possess eternal life. He made some of them for food — not just their flesh, but products like milk, cheese, and eggs. They also give other products such as wool, down feathers, and soap. Some are useful for pulling heavy loads. Others are useful for hunting.

      But one of the chief purposes of the animals mentioned in the Scriptures are for teaching man. That answered a question that I long pondered: what use are those animals that live in the jungle and are hardly useful for such purposes: say the monkeys and apes?

      Consider the various species of apes. Each species represent some or another version of degenerate man. Some get drunk and have big noses that look just like that of an drunk. Others are obsessed with sex. Some are just big apes or gorillas.

      We also have the peacocks.

      Many internet sites devoted to discussing origins are plagued if not altogether shut down by the ‘Squealer Monkeys.” These are individuals who challenge anything that might question Darwinian orthodoxy. My book notes the parallels between a certain kind of Darwinist and a certain type of Creationist. I have in mind those who want to shut down the voices of any who might question that orthodoxy.

      In the video that someone posted to this site, Ken Ham says he doesn’t like poodles. Neither do I. Can anyone tell us why God created poodles.

    476. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

      Philip,

      You can quit your whining and bloviating. You are not a battered wife. No one is trying to shut down your voice. (In fact, we were hoping to here more of it to actually address questions that were asked of you.)

      So you can quit playing the martyr. We “evil” young earthers posting in this discussion are not the Taliban or even the Darwinian.

      We are simply hoping for dialogue in which our position is not unfairly made into a strawman or poisoned with some or another ad-hominem attack. Where we are dealt with in a manner that is not pompous and elitist. And where questions are dealt with honestly and reasonably. And where are responses are not demeaned as “lame” or dismissed out of hand because we are not young earth “leaders”. Where are views are not condescendingly dismissed as “muddled”.

      I am sorry you feel these hopes are so unreasonable. Maybe it is because we are so “immature”. I am scratching my head trying to figure out where your voice has been stifled. Clarity would be helpful.

      (To note: Many of these purposes you mention may be valid of a sin infected world. But many purposes you mention are devoid of any Scriptural reference prior to the Curse. So it would only be a uniformitarian assumption to conclude that some of these behaviors were present prior to a sin affected world. It would yet again be placing the effect before the cause.)

    477. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

      Philip,

      You wrote:
      “The problem in the church and world today is not the women but, as we see in some of the responses here, the lack of mature men.”

      More political posturing and casting mud?

      You wrote:
      “Can anyone tell us why God created poodles.”

      He didn’t. He created the dog kind. Man selectively interbred them to come up with most all the breeds that we see today. I really do hope you already knew that.

      Will you please answer post 473?

      Shalom

    478. Philip
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

      So man created them.

      Just as I thought.

      Not very effective guard dogs, but annoying and persistent, refusing to back off.

      Someone report that answer back to Ken Ham.

    479. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

      Here are some quotes from William Dembski about the Garden of Eden that Philip DIDN’T include. (I wonder why?)

      “For the theodicy I am proposing to be compatible with evolution, God must not merely introduce existing human-like beings from outside the Garden. In addition, when they enter the Garden, God must transform their consciousness so that they become rational moral agents made in God’s image . . . (The End of Christianity, 159).

      Any evils humans experience outside the Garden before God breathes into them the breath of life would be experienced as natural evils in the same way that other animals experience them. The pain would be real, but it would not be experienced as divine justice in response to willful rebellion. Moreover, once God breathes the breath of life into them, we may assume that the first humans experienced an amnesia of their former animal life: Operating on a higher plane of consciousness once infused with the breath of life, they would transcend the lower plane of animal consciousness on which they had previously operated—though, after the Fall, they might be tempted to resort to that lower consciousness. (The End of Christianity, 154-155).”

      For more, see: http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2010/07/19/which-southern-baptist-professor-proposesteaches-this/

      Interesting interpretations aren’t they? Philip jumped all over Josh for some of the people he cited on their interpretation of Genesis. But for some reason, Dembski gets a pass?

    480. Bo
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:29 pm

      Philip,

      An answer to post 473 would be considerate of you…but if it does damage to your position, we will understand the silence.

      Shalom.

    481. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

      Is it just me or are Philip’s posts becoming more incoherent? What exactly is your quip about Ken Ham supposed to mean? Is there some sort of implication you are trying to make or is there some other reason for your cryptic words?

    482. Dr Michael L Brown
      March 5th, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

      Hey folks, I just checked in here tonight — I haven’t looked at the posts for some time — but everybody PLEASE moderate your tone and refrain from attacking one another or others. Otherwise, we’ll have to shut down the discussion. This may have been going on for some time, in which case I apologize for our failure to moderate this more carefully.

    483. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

      Dr. Brown,

      I have tried to have a discussion free from personal attacks. I withdrew from the conversation at a point due to this. I referenced that on the Facebook page but since (at that point) you were encouraging people to post there, I thought it would be safe to return. I have made numerous attempts to return the conversation to dealing with issues instead of casting aspersions on people’s character and twisting what people say. I appealed to you in post #332 and also in the e-mail form for this website. I have continued in this discussion even without the tone being rectified because I saw others still paying attention to the conversation and felt that accuracy needed to be added where hyperbolic and completely slanderous claims about young earthers were made. I believe Philip felt that since he has been on your show and since you asked him to post a link to his book that he had your endorsement for free reign on personal attacks of young earthers. Because it was pretty much right after you asked for the link on his book that his tone changed.

      I hope the tone can be changed and I apologize if I was out of hand in any of my posts.

      I do encourage you to fully go over what was posted during this conversation before you would endorse any of Philips works though. I have not read his book but it seems from some of his posts referencing his book that similar tones are found within his book.

    484. Jonathan
      March 5th, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

      To be honest, my theological differences were far greater with Josh Elsom than with Philip. And there might have been a few tense moments in my conversation with Josh due to those differences. But I never felt like I had a problem with Josh engaging in personal character attacks instead of simply engaging in our differences in beliefs. I only found that issue with one person.

    485. Jonathan
      March 6th, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

      I just noticed this from post # 469 and wanted to clarify: “Jonathan, this is not the place to address your modalistic (Oneness) theology…”

      For the record, I can call myself “oneness” but I shy away from the “modalist” moniker because I reject the belief that God can only appear in one form or mode at a time. God obviously proved that at the time of Jesus’ baptism. Since God is omnipresent, He can appear in as many different ways at the same time as He pleases. So I also reject a belief that would define modes limited as being the Father in the Old Testament, the Son in Incarnation, and the Holy Spirit in the Church Age.

      But also do I reject the viewpoint that slices God up into “persons” which (especially the way Philip describes it) seems to be dangerously close to a belief in three distinct beings. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three distinct ways that God can manifest to us but each of these distinct ways is fully God and are equal in the divine attributes. The Son is not some ignorant being that does not know what is going on in His creation. The Son of God is mighty and awesome and is well aware of what is going on in the hearts and thoughts of men as well as anything else that is taking place. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise.

      I just wanted to briefly clarify my position so there was no misunderstanding.

    486. Jonathan
      March 6th, 2013 @ 1:50 pm

      As a last note, I have no problem continuing the discussion if people can “play nice” in the sandbox. If people will respect each other and not misrepresent or distort each other or use unethical debate fallacies; if people will talk about the ideas and interpretations rather than impugning the character of those who hold to them, then I am fine with continuing with a clean slate.

      If it is better to leave things the way they are, then on the one month anniversary of the start of the discussion may be as appropriate of a time as any to end the discussion.

      I do hope we can all come away from this discussion thinking about what others have said and not simply dismiss out of hand without thinking about it. If we are not teachable or willing to learn from others than our growth will be stunted.

      I am not afraid of those who have a different opinion than mine nor do a want to shut them down. If I feel that they are wrong, it is only through an exchange of ideas that this would be shown anyway. But I do hope that young earth creationism may have a more balanced showing from the program as time goes on. Dr. Sarfati was kind enough to enter the discussion a few times and bring clarity to where he had been unfairly attacked. It was much appreciated. I’m sorry he had the need to do so though.

      Also, Nicholas was a real bright spot in this conversation. He showed a lot of knowledge in a humble and gentle way. Maybe Dr. Brown might consider having him on the program one day?

      Well (if this is the end of the conversation) I wish you all God’s blessings and that we would all continue be more conformed to His image.

      God Bless

    487. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 12:05 am

      This is an interesting Rabbinic Jewish perspective on the seven days of Creation:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=FLRJiZAJgqIE-29sq30m_fvA&feature=player_detailpage&v=4aT9RHmhngk#t=123s

    488. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 2:00 am

      note: on the video link I posted, skip ahead to minute 02:15 or so…

    489. David Roberts
      March 7th, 2013 @ 6:07 am

      @Dan1el, in case you didn’t see this before, I’ll repost it here for you. Here’s what some of the greatest classical Jewish commentators said about the topic:

      David Kimḥi,
      “The verse means that combining the periods described as “evening and morning” constitute a day… The reason why the Torah did not write,
      “the night came, the day came – one day”, which might seem clearer is because the word yom is a word which is applicable both to a single day and to a whole sequence of days such as thirty yom, and we could have become confused not knowing whether the Torah referred to the word yom as merely a single day, or as a period of days.”

      Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra,
      “One day refers to the movement of the sphere.”

      Rashbam,
      “The Torah did not write, “the night came, the day came,” but used the words evening and morning… the purpose of our verse… is to tell us how the six days were accounted for, which is that the morning completed the night, and which was the end of that day and the beginning of the second day.”

      Seforno, “evening preceded total night, and a period of dawn preceding bright sunlight, daylight.”

    490. Jonathan
      March 7th, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

      Dan1el,

      One of the main reasons (given in the video you linked) that the literal creation account doesn’t make sense is due to the creation days before the sun.

      This aspect was discussed earlier in the conversation, but I don’t really see the problem with days before the sun. God created light on day 1. We know we don’t have to have sun to have light as there will be no sun in Heaven and yet it will be light. We don’t know what the light God created was. We really don’t need to. All we need to know is that there was a division of time created by God at the beginning of creation.

      The cycle from darkness to light to darkness again is a measurement of time. Each fully completed cycle (evening and morning) is a day. Once the sun was created on day 4, we would presume the days were 24 hrs, would we not?

      There is no reason to believe the fist days were any different than the days prior to that. Why would we think that a week was made up of unequal days? Wouldn’t it only be logical to believe they were all the same length?

      After the sun was created, it would be a logical assumption that it was a 24 hr day. So I see no reason to believe that all the days were not 24 hr days.

      We also have plants created on day 3. If the cycle from darkness to light was actually very long periods of time prior to the sun’s creation, how would the plants have survived a long period of darkness? There doesn’t seem to be any way to logically believe anything other than the days were 24 hrs or else chuck the whole first chapters as not being true.

      But if we do that, we then run into a problem of whether Adam is actually a real person. Since Adam is listed in numerous genealogies and Jesus and Paul speak of him as if he were literal, and sin and death entering the world is said to have come through Adam, I see it as an impossibility for Adam NOT to be literal.

      Yet, if Adam is a literal person whose recorded history is completely fake, how does that work?

      I think that’s the reason that the Jewish Virtual Library lists: “The vast majority of classical Rabbis hold that God created the world close to 6,000 years ago, and created Adam and Eve from clay.” (It would seem that David has listed quotes from several of them.)

      There of course, were exceptions to that. And now that opposing view has increased with the development of evolutionary theory. But I see no reason to not agree with the vast majority of classical rabbis. Furthermore, I actually see a lot of negatives theologically from parting with that view.

      Here is the Jewish virtual library article I mentioned: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/jewsevolution.html

      Here is a short article about days before the sun: http://creation.com/how-could-the-days-of-genesis-1-be-literal-if-the-sun-wasnt-created-until-the-fourth-day

    491. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

      Thanks I just wanted to share that perspective with anyone who was interested.

      Suffice to say, there is some uncertainty and this causes some questions to be raised.

    492. Jonathan
      March 7th, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

      Dan1el and anyone still following this discussion thread:

      I highly recommend that whether someone comes from an old earth or young earth perspective or even if they aren’t sure what their position is, that they watch the following 2 hr show that has both Hugh Ross and Ken Ham along with Ray Comfort, Dr. John A. Bloom, Sean McDowell, Eric Hovind . It is a great way to get both sides of the issue. I found it to be fascinating!

      http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib/Praise%20the%20Lord/ec/RjNW53NDodbPdWZMesby0hMNzxHCg2Kk

    493. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 7:28 pm

      I saw it.
      The highlights, for me, were:

      Hugh Ross:
      Remained very composed, and seemed to be more filled with hope that scientists could and would see God from studying creation and be saved.
      I would think more scientists are going to be saved through Hugh Ross than Ken Ham, because he seemed to extend a message of peace love and hope (and an attempt at harmonization of Biblical interpretation with science – even if, at the moment, it is imperfect) to them, instead of accusing them of being brutal “haters of God” (as Ken Ham did – based upon an incorrect/superficial reading of Romans).

      Ken Ham:
      Dinosaur fossil records indicate cancerous tumors present in dinos, thus they would have had to have been part of the creation after the fall and not before (though this does not necessarily prove YEC).

    494. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

      Hugh Ross recognized the inner good of the scientists as humans; Ken Ham (because of a faulty reading of Romans) did not.
      What Ken Ham doesn’t see is that Romans 7 says men CAN desire to do good and delight in God’s Law, BUT the Law of Sin in their flesh stops them from being able to walk in accordance with it.
      Men can be like birds with broken wings (who want to fly, but cannot); not EVERY man is 100% depraved – in fact, Biblically-speaking, the term “depraved” is reserved for a specific type of man (“men of depraved minds”) and is not something that defines every human.

    495. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

      It doesn’t help anyone come to faith that you revile them with such brutal and unsparing (and unspiritual and unbiblical) accusations.

    496. Bo
      March 7th, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

      Jonathan, meet Dan1el.

      Dan1el, meet Jonathan.

      You all have fun now, ya hear.

      Shalom

    497. Bo
      March 7th, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

      And do not forget to play nice in the sandbox.

    498. Jonathan
      March 7th, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

      Dan1el,

      First, I think you and I might have to differing views on unregenerate man.

      Because I believe that Scripture teaches of unregenerate man that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). It says that no one seeks after God (Romans 3:11). So when you talk about the “inner good” of non-believing scientists, I would ask what you mean by that?

      Do you remember near the beginning when Ray Comfort was speaking about creating an idol? Do you remember how he was talking about Richard Dawkins (a prominent evolutionist) and how he made his own idol of God that he distorted from the Scriptures and then threw away? Do you think it is only a coincidence that I can name off a ton of radically anti-God evolutionary scientists? Names such as Lawrence Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Alfred Kinsey, Stephen Hawking, Julian Huxley, etc

      You see, part of the reason that drives some of the most prominent names that are pushing evolution is that they desperately want to live their lives by their own standards. They WANT to reject God because they don’t want to live by His rules.

      That is what Romans 1 is talking about. It says that creation clearly testifies about God. And we see that. We see the incredible complexity of the human body. We divide it down into cells we divide that down into the DNA structure. It is so amazing! It is unconceiveable that happened by chance. Yet they look at the human body and hold to that. We have example after example of that within the creation.

      Yet as Romans 1 notes, people will reject that and instead they exchange God’s glory (that He created) into saying that animals and humans just got there by themselves with no cause from a Creator.

      There is a movement called Intelligent Design that says there had to be a designer but they stop short of saying it was God.

      We can see the results that happen from that from one of the leaders of that movement, William Dembski. Look at post # 479 to see that.

      Now I’m not saying that no evolutionist can come to God through looking at nature. God can use anything to bring people to Himself. But I am saying, as a general rule, that is not what is going to bring them to God. We don’t see from Scripture that Jesus or Paul says to show them creation. That’s because Romans 1 says they can already see that. If they clearly see it and choose to reject it, it’s because there is a heart matter at issue.

      Verse 4 of Romans 7 gives the key to what is being talked about in that chapter. It is talking about the man that has already been regenerated; it is not talking about the unbeliever.

      As to your last comment, I am not reviling anyone. I’m sorry that you feel that I am.

      What I am saying is that we have to get to the root of the problem with unbelievers ,and in most cases it is not about the creation, it is about the God behind the creation that they do not want to accept. It is in a softening of the heart toward God that people will be changed. It is through surrender to Him.

    499. Jonathan
      March 7th, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

      As far as the dinosaurs go, can you name me any old earth leaders that say that the dinosaur fossils we find are from after the Fall and not before?

      I am aware of zero that believe this.

      So I don’t see how Ken Ham’s point does not remain.

      Either you take an old earth view that teaches that God specifically intended for millions of years of painful torturous death to His creatures before the Fall happened. That all of the pain and suffering of the creation was God’s intent from the beginning.

      Or you take the young earth view that all death, pain, suffering and destruction were not God’s intent for His creation. That is was the tragic results of man’s sin.

      Which view do you believe, Dan1el?

    500. Jonathan
      March 7th, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

      Sorry, that should read “two” in the first sentence of post # 498.

    501. Dan1el
      March 7th, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

      Jonathan,
      1. Well, your superficial interpretation of “none seeks God” MUST be wrong, since Scripture is replete with examples men who sought after God: Gen 4:2 literally says “men began to call on the Name of the LORD”; Hebrews 11 cites example after example of men who pleased God through living lives of faith.
      That’s first of all.

      2. I’m not saying men are capable of living right or good – thus, you are misapprehending what I am saying right out of the gate – I’m saying that men can WANT to live right and fail to do so because of the Law of Sin in their flesh that takes them captive (sometimes even against their wills) to do its will.

      3. Someone who believes in an old earth can believe that dinosaurs were created on a metaphorical “day” before humans and continued living after the fall. I don’t understand where the difficulty is.

    502. David Roberts
      March 8th, 2013 @ 2:47 am

      @Dan1el,

      Not all those who hold to a peshaṭ understanding of Genesis are Calvinists. The Jewish sages of centuries past were not Calvinists, and not all Christians are Calvinist either. So to bring total depravity into the debate is actually embarrassing as it has nothing to do with it. There are Arminian Christians who affirm the peshaṭ understanding of Genesis too.

    503. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 3:13 am

      David,
      Jonathan and I were discussing what seemed to have been a certain attitude Ken Ham seemed to have had towards scientists (in the interview, which I’d reviewed a few times before), which he used Romans “no man seeks God” to justify – in reality, I think there’s a chance he was/is angry with the scientists for (what he thinks is) undermining Scripture.

    504. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 3:21 am

      Jonathan,
      I wasn’t saying you personally were reviling anyone, but I’ve seen so many times when Christians speak revilingly (with the wrong heart) of the unsaved and use “no man seeks God they’re all unrighteous” as an excuse for their evil – it is a (misunderstanding and) misapplication of a Truth that is true enough ON ITS OWN but is false in the way they are applying it (in order to speak hatefully, usually to try to win an argument).

    505. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 3:33 am

      Either I misspoke or I was misunderstood: I don’t think any men are good; I think that there can be a desire to do good/not sin in people, but there is a Law in their members that does not allow for the realization of that good.
      What is “good” is for them to admit this: “I want to do good, but I don’t do it… the good things I want to do I don’t do and the very thing I hate that is what I find myself doing!!! Who will save me from this body of death!?” and to be broken over it so they can eventually say “Thank God through Jesus Christ!” Those who think they’ve found the answer to their sin problem are deluding themselves, and that is evil upon evil (not only being evil but also lying about the truth that you are doing evil – sin layered upon sin).
      Again, I don’t think men are good apart from grace. We may look good standing next to a Hitler or the devil, but standing next to God Almighty (as on Judgment Day) we will see what we really are: every last person is a terrible criminal.

      I’ve seen my sin before God, and I know that it is evil – “even” one sin of mine is so evil that I compare it to the devil himself – but I’m also saying that there is something within even a fallen human being that has the ability to recognize that there is something amiss, and that EVIL cannot do that (cannot speak Truth – as, for instance, the Samaritan woman did in John 4 and as Paul did in Romans 7).

    506. Jonathan
      March 8th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

      Dan1el,

      One thing I notice is that you tell me that a certain passage or verse does not mean what I indicate it means. But then you never say what you believe Romans 1:18-23 and Romans 3:11 DOES mean.

      However, I do believe we are starting to get off subject.

      Let’s put aside your perception of Ken Ham’s attitude. For the sake of argument, let’s say Ken Ham had an incorrect understanding about the hearts of the scientists. That really was a small part of the whole show anyway. And since I doubt very many secular scientists tuned into a Christian tv program on a Christian tv network, it’s really not the most important part of the program. What were your thoughts on the Scripture and theology that was exchanged by the participants througout the show?

    507. Jonathan
      March 8th, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

      To reply to where you say: ” Someone who believes in an old earth can believe that dinosaurs were created on a metaphorical “day” before humans and continued living after the fall. I don’t understand where the difficulty is.”

      Maybe they can. But that is not what old earth leaders teach. Not in all cases, but in many cases, a large reason to interpret Scriptures to say it was an old earth is to agree with what secular scientists say.

      Secular scientists say that dinosaurs died out before man came into existence.

      I am unaware of a single old earth teacher that teaches that dinosaurs were still alive by the time of Adam. If you are aware of one, you can let me know.

      I know that Hugh Ross teaches that dinosaurs became extinct before man came into existence.

      So whether you believe the days were literal or a metaphor, you are left with (if you agree with the old earth teachers) that dinosaurs suffered painfully with cancer before the Fall.

      So what do you believe? I notice you never answered that.

    508. Bo
      March 8th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

      Jonathan and Dan1el,

      YHWH used a donkey to speak to Balaam. Sometimes we think a donkey, or the other word for donkey, is speaking to us and disregard the message that comes with divine approval. We would do better to judge righteous judgment instead of according to the appearance. Being a respecter of persons can have to do with the quality of the presentation. The best salesmen can sell just about anything to just about anyone, but that doesn’t mean that the little girl selling girl scout cookies has an inferior product.

      Shalom

    509. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

      Jonathan,
      1. “One thing I notice is that you tell me that a certain passage or verse does not mean what I indicate it means. But then you never say what you believe Romans 1:18-23 and Romans 3:11 DOES mean.”
      1. I’m not saying that these scientists will believe in God 100% from nature, itself; but, when you put together a scientist like Hugh Ross’s witness with the awe that nature is inspiring in them because “the heavens declare the glory of God”, it is not hard to imagine that it is altogether possible. The point is made more clear when one considers a quote like, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
      The line from Romans 1 is actually agreeing with me – saying that the glories of God which the Heavens declare ought to win souls and the men are without excuse when they do not pay attention but shut their hearts to it.

      2. “However, I do believe we are starting to get off subject.”
      OK, but you can’t play down what it must feel like to be on the receiving end of such a holier-than-thou furious blast “they are all evil haters of God”. You don’t think it stings – you don’t think it drives people away from God?
      2. I was witnessing to a young man one night while I was working as a valet in Hollywood, FL; as I spoke with him, he was inconsolable, which he expressed as anger. He thought that he had committed the unpardonable sin, because Rick Warren said that not believing in the Gospel was the unforgivable sin (or something like that). The young man was scared out of his wits because of some ignoramus misinterpreting the bible, and as a result was very angry – and his anger made it difficult to get through to him.
      When these scientists are accused of being evil, brute beasts who hate God, don’t you think it has a similar effect – that it may have a self-fulfilling prophecy that destroys hope in their hearts? That satan uses it to mess with their heads? I understand that they don’t tune in to TBN, but this is the sort of accusations they have to deal with from that sort of Christian *all the time (as such attitudes are voiced by a number of well-meaning people). I think if w give them the full spectrum understanding of that verse, we will make a more compassionate appeal to them – granting that they MAY desire to do good, but that ultimately they find themselves like birds with broken wings which cannot fly. When you do that, you get into their heart because you are touching Truth. I feel that the “you are haters of God” method shuts compassion off – I’ve seen it many times.
      I understand this is (strictly-speaking) aside from the issue, so we can move on.

      3. What were your thoughts on the Scripture and theology that was exchanged by the participants througout the show?
      3. It was too long ago to remember all my thoughts on the Scriptures; however, I remember thinking, “that professor just contradicted himself” when he was talking about the seven day creation LOL

      4. To reply to where you say: ” Someone who believes in an old earth can believe that dinosaurs were created on a metaphorical “day” before humans and continued living after the fall. I don’t understand where the difficulty is.”
      Maybe they can. But that is not what old earth leaders teach.
      4. I’m not saying they DO teach that; I’m speaking hypothetically.

      5. Not in all cases, but in many cases, a large reason to interpret Scriptures to say it was an old earth is to agree with what secular scientists say.
      5. Well, Luther and Calvin both called Copernicus a heretic; it ended up being that both of their interpretations of Scripture were wrong and the heretic was right. It just may be that studying nature can clarify our understanding of Scripture. When you said earlier that neither Jesus nor Paul told us look at nature, I think that was wrong. Jesus said to look at nature and learn a lesson about how birds do not sow or reap but God feeds them, Paul said that the invisible attributes of God are known through the creation. Actually, it is considered a spiritual discipline – like fasting – by some Christians to look upon and contemplate the wonder and beauty of creation: “when I consider the work of Your Hands, what is man that you are mindful of him” (para.)

      6. Secular scientists say that dinosaurs died out before man came into existence.
      I am unaware of a single old earth teacher that teaches that dinosaurs were still alive by the time of Adam. If you are aware of one, you can let me know. I know that Hugh Ross teaches that dinosaurs became extinct before man came into existence.
      So whether you believe the days were literal or a metaphor, you are left with (if you agree with the old earth teachers) that dinosaurs suffered painfully with cancer before the Fall.
      So what do you believe? I notice you never answered that.
      6. I’m not saying secular scientists teach what I am saying is a possibility; I’m just speaking of a possibility which I felt you overlooked even if it is not held by ANY Old-Earther.
      I would disagree with Hugh Ross, obviously – I already said in my first post that I thought Ken Ham’s point was a highlight of the show – that it truly did cut through all the “grey” when Ken mentioned dinosaurs had cancer. This persuades me that the dinosaurs were alive after the fall.

    510. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

      *the quote from #1 is from a scientist speaking about discovering the ultimate understanding of the universe

    511. Jonathan
      March 8th, 2013 @ 6:55 pm

      1. You still never explained about what it means when Romans 1 talks about seeing the creation testify and suppressing the truth of it. You never addressed at all what you believe Romans 3:11 means. But that’s fine. As you said, we can (and probably should) move on.

      2. As far as your Rick Warren example. I don’t know what he said and you don’t know what he said. Your “or something like that” tells me that. I tried looking it up on the internet and couldn’t find what you are referencing. Now I am not a Rick Warren fan and feel that he gets some things wrong. But how do you know what he said was incorrect if you are hearing is second hand? Maybe the guy you were talking to heard it wrong or misinterpreted what Warren said. Do you think that could be possible?

      3. You said you had “reviewed the interview a few times before”. But you came away with nothing aside from your position about scientists coming to salvation through nature? You didn’t have any thoughts about what the Scriptures that they quoted meant or about the theological ramifications that were talked about? Personally, I would recommend you watching it again looking at those things. Because those are what will help you determine whether old earth or young earth is correct; not your other point.

      4. Fine, but they DON’T teach that. And anyway, I asked you what you believed.

      5. “Well, Luther and Calvin both called Copernicus a heretic” Could I have your source on that? Here is what I see:

      “The difficulty begins with the fact that Bertrand Russell quoted Calvin as saying “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”[14] However, this quote does not actually appear in Calvin’s work. Edward Rosen[15] has shown that this quote can be traced back from Russell through Andrew Dickson White’s Warfare of Science with Theology and finally to Frederic William Farrar’s History of Interpretation. Farrar fails to state from where in Calvin’s work he took this quote. In fact, it appears that this quote does not appear in any of Calvin’s work. Further, Rosen even quotes Farrar and Farrar’s son as saying that Farrar often quoted from memory, and that he did not have the time to catch all errors which may have crept into his work.”

      Taken from: http://www3.nd.edu/~mdowd1/postings/CalvinAstroRev.html

      And: “he sharpest point of conflict between Copernicus’ theory and the Bible concerned the story of the Battle of Gibeon in the Book of Joshua where the Hebrew forces were winning but whose opponents were likely to escape once night fell. This is averted by Joshua’s prayers causing the sun and the moon to stand still. Martin Luther would question Copernicus’ theory on these grounds. According to Anthony Lauterbach, while eating with Martin Luther the topic of Copernicus arouse during dinner on 4 June 1539 (as professor George Joachim Rheticus of the local University had been granted leave to visit him). Luther is said to have remarked “So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down. Even in these things that are thrown into disorder I believe the Holy Scriptures, for Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth.”[89] These remarks were made four years before the publication of On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres and a year before Rheticus’ Narratio Prima. In John Aurifaber’s account of the conversation Luther calls Copernicus “that fool” rather than “that fellow”, this version is viewed by historians as less reliably sourced.”

      Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus

      If the preceding is correct, it is a far cry from calling him a heretic.

      So do you have some sources for this

      6. So if you agree that secular scientists would disagree with dinosaurs and man living together, than if you believed that dinosaurs DID live together with man you would not be agreeing with the secular scientists. So if you still believed in an old earth it wouldn’t be for that reason. So what reason would you believe in an old earth?

    512. Jonathan
      March 8th, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

      By the way, did you know that the quote from a scientist that you quoted was not from a believer, it was from an agnostic. I find that ironic, don’t you? Could it be that he could clearly see the creation testifying but he still exchanges the truth of God for a lie?

    513. Bo
      March 8th, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

      In thinking that we can accommodate the wise of this world by giving them an easier approach to real faith in Y’shua we do the opposite of Paul and Y’shua. Real faith does not come from reason or logic or IQ. Sometimes it takes laying all that down.

      1 Corinthians 1
      17 ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
      18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
      19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
      20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
      21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
      22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
      23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
      24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
      25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
      26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
      27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
      28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
      29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
      30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
      31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

      Matthew 13
      10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
      11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
      12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
      13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
      14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
      15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
      16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

      Sometimes we cast our pearls before swine trying to reason with the wise of this world. The point of believing a literal Genesis is more about humility in our age than in any other. Will we die to self and our scientific wisdom that brings no eternal or spiritual answers to the table.

      Shabbat Shalom

    514. Dan1el
      March 8th, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

      Jonathan,
      1. Sure.

      2. This is a common saying among Christians who don’t understand the unforgivable sin. It is the same every time I hear it: not believing in the Gospel OR not believing in the Spirit (it comes in those two ways 99% of the time) is the unforgivable sin, Thus, you have youtube videos of people saying, “I DENY THE SPIRIT!” from such reckless interpretation of Scripture.

      3. I repeat: I believe that TOGETHER WITH HUGH ROSS (or others with his approach)’s WITNESS he has a better chance of winning scientifically inclined souls than Ken Ham has because of Ken Ham’s carnal hatred of scientists vs. Hugh Ross’s compassionate and hopeful approach that the evidence PLUS HIS TESTIMONY would win their souls for sure. He seemed confident the men could turn, whereas Ken Ham seemed doggedly determined to rail on them hatefully. He seemed more interested in attacking scientists.

      4. Right. I hope I’ve made myself clear.

      5. None other than R.C. Sproul (Reformed theologian)

      6. Precisely; I’m just saying there are different “possible” ways of looking at the Bible – I don’t want to be dogmatic about something I am not certain about.

    515. Jonathan
      March 8th, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

      Dan1el,

      2. I don’t care if it is a common saying or not. I don’t and you don’t have any proof that’s what Rick Warren said. So it edges on gossip for you to say that he did when you have no proof. Unless you have specific proof of what he said, I think we would do well to drop this point right here. I would challenge you to not tell others negative things about someone if you don’t specifically know them to be true.

      3. So aside from that single issue, you threw out the rest of the show? That seems to be what you are telling me. If that’s what you are telling me, perhaps that’s why you can’t answer me about what you believe about whether it is an old earth or young earth.

      4. No you haven’t. I asked what you believed and you still haven’t said.

      5. I asked you for a source. Obviously Mr. Sproul was not there back then and he is not a historian; he is a pastor. So what were his sources? I gave you documented sources. What were his sources? Did he list them? If not, there is no documentation to prove what you are saying. Since I gave documentation with my sources, which are more compelling evidence?

      6. Again, I asked you a specific question. You seem to have a difficult time responding to specific questions. Here is the question again: If you aren’t going by what secular scientists say (which you wouldn’t be if you believed dinosaurs lived at the same time as man), what would be the reason for believing in an old earth?

    516. Dan1el
      March 9th, 2013 @ 12:31 am

      3. I thought the show was interesting but honestly mostly it was empty for me – what of it? Am I your servant or God’s?

      4. Go back and read it.

      5. Mr. Sproul is a Reformed Theologian and he knows about Calvin and Luther – I take him at his word, especially seeing as how he is going to look for ways to DEFEND Calvin. I’m not interested in proving myself to an internet hothead like yourself.

      6. Nope. I already responded and you keep trying to find fault with me when there is no fault.

      I did not enter the conversation looking for a conflict but it seems that is what you are hankering for, and I’ve given enough of myself to the work of satan in arguing with you.

      Have a good night.

    517. Jonathan
      March 9th, 2013 @ 9:13 am

      Dan1el,

      3. So, like I said, it seems you came away with one small part of the program and missed the main conversation. If, that’s true, I guess that is your choice. I found the show to be a clear distinction between the old earth and young earth views with each side providing some of the verses they derive their position from. I found that to be helpful, but I guess you thought otherwise. So, if that wasn’t helpful, then what was helpful for you in determining your position and what position have you come to?

      4. I did, I saw the same thing I saw before. You postulated about what somebody COULD believe but never told me what you actually believe.

      5. So you are yet again taking someone’s word for it when they present someone else in a bad light and then repeating it as truth. As with what you said about Rick Warren, without any proof of what you claim about Calvin and Luther, to repeat a claim without any proof comes close to slander. I urge you to put your standards higher when it comes to repeating things without a shred of proof. That is not being a hothead, that is following Biblical principles. If Mr. Sproul had proof for what he said, I’m sure he documented his proof, right? What was it?

      As you said, go back and read what I wrote. You have never stated your position. I’m not entirely sure why. But you have not answered the question. I can’t understand WHY you believe what you believe if I don’t even understand WHAT you believe. So if you can’t or won’t be upfront about that. The perhaps this is not a productive conversation.

      I am not looking for a conflict either. You put out a link implying you disagree with a young earth position but when I try to converse with you as to why you believe that way, you are not being very clear. As I ran into before, you tend to want to criticize certain individuals that hold to a certain position rather than evaluating what the positions are and why we should or should not hold to them.

      I have not attacked you at all. I have called you to a higher standard when it comes to repeating unsubstantiated claims. But I have not called you names or insulted you. I am genuinely trying to have a conversation with you. Whether or not you choose to continue the conversation, please know and understand that.

    518. Jonathan
      March 9th, 2013 @ 10:05 am

      The next to last paragraph of my last post should have said: “As I ran into before with someone else on this discussion thread….”

    519. Dan1el
      March 9th, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

      Jonathan,
      1. At this point, I am going to seek to bring an end to the conversation we are having. The reason I am saying it very plainly is so that there will not be any mistakenness: I never intended to enter, in any “serious” way, into the debate/discussion (I was/am concerned with other things of more personal import – not that this is wholly “unimportant”; just, to me, at the moment it is not important).

      From the beginning, I never wanted to get too deeply involved, but somewhere along the way; yet the more I’ve tried to clarify myself/my position, the more “sticky” the situation became (like bubble gum in hair – I try to fix the problem, and leave the discussion but more and more problems keep cropping up; then, I have to stay longer and longer and clarify and answer questions).

      Please understand: I have not been nor am I now interested in carrying on a long, drawn out, point-for-point debate about “7-Day Creationism” or the correct biblical interpretation of Genesis 1 – I simply do not care about it (right now).
      I don’t have a dog in the fight, because I am willing to believe whatever the Truth (ultimately) ends up being.
      I did not enter the conversation thinking to present or defend any “position”, because – in all honesty – *I do not have a well-defined position on “7-Day Creationism* (nor is it a real “priority”, for me, at the moment)! Creationism hasn’t been something I’ve spent much time studying, because I haven’t found it to be very relevant (though I understand why it is important for other people – defending the Scripture as inspired, etc., etc.,) to my personal concerns.

      I would like to clarify all of the points that need clarification and answer the questions, but I just can not be dedicating any more of my time to a discussion which I never even wanting a serious part of.

      I don’t mean to offend.

      Thanks

    520. Dan1el
      March 9th, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

      Excuse the number: I was going to give some responses, but I decided to try to make it as concise and brief as possible (without possibility of giving rise to more controversies).

    521. Dan1el
      March 9th, 2013 @ 7:14 pm

      There are a bunch of errors in the post but I trust the point I wanted to make was made.

    522. David Roberts
      March 10th, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

      Now evolution is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links not seen. Duane Gish

      :)

    523. Dan1el
      March 16th, 2013 @ 10:47 am

      It just occurred to me that the “constants” are not “static” (they have been found to be in a state of change), so when scientists measure the distance of stars using the “speed of light” they do not know for certain that the distances or ages are correct.

    524. Dan1el
      March 16th, 2013 @ 10:51 am

      Here is a link to that information:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg

    525. Dan1el
      March 16th, 2013 @ 10:56 am

      Especially look around 10min:30secs

    526. Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.
      March 22nd, 2013 @ 6:10 pm

      Nicholas Petersen, I remember who you are now:

      ἦ τοι μὲν πρώτιστα Χάος γένετ᾽, and the possibility that Hesiod was referring to a chasm between earth and sky that came into being.

    527. Nicholas Petersen
      March 23rd, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

      Hey Jonathan!

      I’m thrilled you remembered! That’s one of the best extra-biblical citations on the matter in my view too ;) Did you ever get to share any of that material with Mr. Kulikovsky?

      For others reading, I had the privilege of spending a day with Dr. Sarfati at one of his Designed for Life presentations in Ohio about a year ago. It was excellent. I was just reading yesterday a few pages from your By Design book (which I need to get back to my Mom, its her copy!). About the wonders of the Chameleon tongue – which pulls 50 Gs (if I read that right)! Unbelievable. Also from that book – I will *never* think of bones the same way again. Now often when I pass a bridge I think of the wear and stress on the steel, and how our apparently inferior bones hold up far greater – by continuing to grow by miraculous design at the points of stress.

      I’ve definitely decided that, God-willing, I will be putting all of this research on the raqia’ out on the website indicated above (www.hebrewcosmology.com), though it could still be some time before that is up as I’m building the CMS. I’d appreciate any of your prayers, and as I indicated above, any of you who are interested can contact me at copernicus 365 at g mail.

    528. Dr Michael L Brown
      March 23rd, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

      Jonathan, thanks so much for visiting us here!

    529. μπομπονιερες βαπτισης
      May 27th, 2014 @ 3:40 am

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