Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: A Response to J.W. Wartick

“Young Earth” creationism (YEC), as part of the Christian faith, stands on certain presuppositions, such as the existence of God and the divine, verbal inspiration of Scripture. The kind of apologetic argument that acknowledges that such presuppositions are assumed, and does not attempt to prove them, is presuppositional apologetics. Such presuppositions cannot be proven else they would not be matters of faith but of science. Only God can prove such things to a man. No matter how well-intended, those apologists who try to prove such things to unbelievers are wasting their efforts. The proper goal of the apologist should be to establish the validity of the Christian worldview when it is given that our presuppositions are true, and not to try to prove that these presuppositions are true.

Recently, I came across an article written by J.W. Wartick, entitled, “Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: An Analysis,”* in which he criticizes the YEC view as a “faulty use of presuppositionalism.” His well-written article is cogent and deserves an answer. I agree with him that YEC “stands or falls upon the specific use of presuppositionalism as an epistemological groundwork;” however, I disagree that YEC uses “an invalid presuppositional approach to viewing science and theology.” My views on YEC have previously been set out in the article, “To Which Will You Give the Benefit of the Doubt: ‘Science’ or Scripture?

First, some confusion needs to be addressed. YEC is based on two different kinds of presuppositions: 1) the foundational presuppositions of the Christian faith (which include the existence of God, the verbal inspiration of the Bible, and the deity, humanity, atoning death and physical resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ); and 2) the presupposition derived from a hermeneutic that appropriately reflects the authority of an inspired Scripture (to wit, a common-sense, straightforward hermeneutic that assumes that every text of Scripture is a literal, historical account unless the text itself warrants a meaning that is other than literal, resulting in the presupposition of a recent, literal, six-day creation). The former is based on the faith-embrace of spiritual revelation alone; while the latter is based on arguments from the written revelation. Therefore, to surrender the former would be to surrender Christian faith itself, while the latter is not required for Christian faith, but is the logical outcome of that faith. Wartick seems to overlook the difference between these two, perhaps due to encountering faulty arguments by some YEC proponents who fail to make this vital distinction. My goal here is not to defend all YEC proponents, but only to defend YEC in its best and proper form.

Additionally, the label, “Young Earth,” is misleading. What is advocated by YEC is not necessarily a young earth but a recently created earth—YEC does not deny that the earth and universe were created with a certain maturity that could provide evidence of immense age to those who do not hold the presupposition of a recent supernatural creation. In other words, the question is not how old the earth can be scientifically determined to be, but how old—according to such scientific measuring methods—was the earth when it was first created?

The supernatural is not testable or observable. If we could take a scientist back in time to Eden to examine Adam, he could reasonably claim to be able to duplicate the level of physical maturity of Adam in another man, by observing a newborn throughout twenty years or so. Because he has observed such development in other people, he can reasonably apply this to Adam and theorize that Adam is approximately twenty years old (a rough guess… he was mature enough to be given a wife). However, what the scientist cannot do, is to actually observe how Adam came into existence. He can theorize, assume, and even declare his assumptions as scientific fact, but his science is inadequate to the task if Adam was supernaturally created, not naturally originated. The very practice of scientific inquiry into this matter is itself a presumption that nothing supernatural happened else scientific inquiry would be futile. Where God supernaturally acts, science has reached the end of all possible inquiry.  The universe only “appears” older than it is to those who presuppose that such a state requires a certain amount of time to achieve; however, such a presupposition when applied to origins is a skeptical presupposition, biased against a supernatural, young-earth creation.

YEC arguments from the presupposition of a recent, supernatural creation are similar to the arguments of presuppositional apologetics, but only because both are based on unprovable presuppositions. Additionally, the truths being argued for are somewhat intertwined. If God does not exist, or if the Bible is not His inspired and true word, then there is no basis for YEC. The presupposition of a recent creation is not foundational in itself, but the same dynamic applies to both the YEC and the foundational presuppositions, in that both must either be assumed or rejected prior to consideration of any supposed physical evidence. In the case of a recent creation, all evidence is accounted for, since God can create the earth in any state or any “age” that He chooses; therefore, there can be no real evidence. Scientists cannot detect and measure any trace of “miracle particles” left behind by the supernatural creation event in order to prove that YEC occurred and determine how long ago it happened. But neither can YEC be disproven by the lack of “miracle particles”—any more than it could be disproven by scientific dating methods that presuppose that YEC did not happen. Most who deny YEC presume that objectivity would give weight to physical evidence in a supposedly unbiased way; however, this would be a biased a priori denial of the real possibility of a recent supernatural event. When considering origins, it is just as biased to assume from the start that YEC did not happen as it would be to assume that it did happen. Giving any weight whatsoever to any physical “evidence” involves a biased, unjustified assumption that a recent supernatural creation is not a valid possibility—else physical evidence would be irrelevant.

The only area in which evidence may be presented and arguments made regarding whether or not YEC is true is the area of hermeneutics—textual evidence from Scripture and arguments on appropriate exegesis of that text. The YEC understanding of the first chapter of Genesis is not the only possible way to read that text; but it is the best and most appropriate way to read it when the authority, inerrancy and veracity of Scripture are affirmed without compromise. The common compromise of asserting that evidence from outside of the Bible must be brought to bear on how the Bible is to be understood—as if God’s truth is revealed with equal authority from both outside and inside of Scripture—violates the foundational presupposition that the Bible is the verbally inspired, inerrant, written truth of God. If any arguments opposing YEC are to be made, they must be made without appeal to extratextual evidence or authority. And so far, no such argument has even approached the strength of the YEC argument.

Wartick wrongly concludes that YEC is assumed prior to exegesis:

In principle, the only way to conclude a young earth is to abandon supposed “uniformintarianism” (hold that the processes in place today continue at the same rate they did in the past… and view all of the history of the earth through the lens of God’s word. Now, whether or not it is valid to assume that the Genesis text is a scientific account, the argument here should be fairly clear. Namely, the young earth position is assumed. It is not something demonstrated by science, but rather a given before any scientific investigation takes place. Similarly, the position is assumed to be true before any exegesis has occurred. All scientific evidence and any exegetical hints at a different position are subsumed into the YEC position because it is assumed from the outset as correct. Because YEC is correct, all evidence must line up with it.*

Of course, the Genesis text is not a scientific account—it is an historical account of historical events. If the earth and its contents resulted from scientific processes, then scientific investigation would be appropriate; but if the world resulted from a recent supernatural creation out of nothing, then science has nothing to offer regarding the matter, as the question is not one of science but one of faith. However, the YEC position is not “assumed to be true before any exegesis has occured.” Rather, it is the result of appropriate exegesis. The exegetical superiority of the YEC position is the reason for its adoption. The text is clearly and plainly intending a literal, six-day, supernatural creation. And together with the historical chronology that the Bible presents, the YEC position is the conclusion that is the most reasonable and most faithful to the foundational presupposition of the truth and authority of Scripture.

Wartick confuses worldview presuppositionalism with event presuppositionalism:

It is clear that YEC turns upon presupposing its truth. YEC is assumed to be true, and all alternative views are simply wrong by default. Unfortunately, this is an abuse of presuppositional apologetics.

It is important to contrast the specifically YEC use of presuppositionalism with the wider use of presuppositional apologetics. Presuppositional apologetics in general is the method of engaging entire worldviews by granting their core assumptions and lining them up against reality in a competition of best explanation. The YEC use of presuppostionalism is to defend a single contention—a young earth—against all comers. There are very significant disanalogies here. What the YEC has done is use presuppositionalism not to enter into the square of debate over whole worldviews, but rather to insulate their interpretation against any possible counter-evidence.

There is a distinct difference between the use of presuppositional apologetics, and the use of YEC in presuppositionalism. The latter tends to simply reject outright any challenge as either against the “clear word of God” or as “assuming uniformitarianism.” By placing their own view beyond the realm of rational inquiry, they have undermined their own potential to know that it is true.*

YEC is the conclusion of a common sense, straightforward hermeneutic applied to the divinely inspired, inerrant text of Scripture. Full confidence in the truth of anything so derived is justified. Alternative views that affirm the same foundational presuppositions are not wrong by default, but by the inferiority of their arguments; while alternative views that deny the foundational presuppositions are beyond all argument. The YEC use of the presuppositional argument is not about worldview, but it is about an event. The invalidating of all opposing views of the event of creation comes only from the nature of a supernatural event itself. The question is not about which worldview is stronger and more cohesive, but rather, the question is whether or not the event actually occurred. It simply does not matter in the least how strong an opposing view you might put together—the supernatural event either took place or it did not, and believing that it did is not based on the comparative strength of the worldview, but only on the faith that the Bible is true in what it plainly intends to convey. If Wartick’s criticism had merit, then even the belief in the literal, physical resurrection of Christ would have to bow to the weight of scientific evidence against such a physical impossibility.

Wartick continues:

…even if one grants that core beliefs are necessarily assumed, the burden of proof is squarely placed upon the YEC to show how holding to a young earth is necessary for knowledge. Why is this the case? The simplest explanation is that if one assumes the epistemology needed for presuppositionalism is correct, then one has essentially a framework that involves the assumption of core beliefs that are necessary to allow for any knowledge. Thus, for example, the existence of God might be argued as necessary for knowledge (a la Alvin Plantinga, Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, and the like) because without God to make us rational, there is no basis for thinking that our beliefs have any actual relationship to reality. Whether or not this is the case, it seems that a young earth is not one of these core beliefs.*

Since the YEC presupposition is not foundational to Christianity, it is not foundational to all knowing. But the YEC presupposition operates much the same way within the smaller purview of knowledge about origins: no true knowledge of origins is possible without presupposing YEC. The proof for this will be objectively provided when all men stand at the end of days in the highest court of all. Until then, it is a matter of faith and not science.

Wartick’s arguments do not allow for even the possibility of YEC. What if God actually did supernaturally create the world in six literal days, approximately six to ten thousand years ago? Would there be any way possible to hold that position and not incur such criticisms as Wartick has here presented? No, indeed. Giving weight to physical evidences while ostensibly seeking to answer the question of whether or not the earth was supernaturally created would be a contradiction that belies any openness to the supernatural possibility.

Wartick describes the “ultimate failing” of YEC:

Thus, we have finally come to the ultimate failing of the presuppositional defense of YEC: it abuses its epistemological framework to the point of breaking. The YEC has utilized an epistemological approach that allows for core beliefs to be assumed, but has done so in such a way that essentially any belief could be assumed with equal validity. An old earth creationist or theistic evoloutionist could equally argue that their position is based upon a core belief that must be assumed, in which case YEC is undermined. In turn, they could assume their reading of Scripture and make all others wrong by default.*

He further writes:

A final point worth noting is that the YEC approach to apologetics actually undermines the possibility of objective knowledge. For, as we have noted, the YEC simply assumes their interpretation of the text without argument and then evaluates all science and theology through that lens. However, the YEC offers no reason for rejecting the notion that others could do exactly the same thing with their interpreatations of the text. The YEC has essentially made all truth relative. Anyone can simply assume their position is correct without argument, and then reinterpret all counter-evidence based on that approach. It therefore becomes clear that the YEC use of presuppositionalism must be rejected.*

The belief in a recent supernatural creation is not assumed without argument, but rather, it is argued from the text of Scripture. Old Earth creationists and Theistic evolutionists are equally free to attempt to argue their positions from that same text. However, as has been often demonstrated, their arguments fail by comparison. It is only when proponents of these alternative views incorporate evidence and “authorities” from outside of Scripture that their arguments gain any strength. But to those of YEC, this contradicts the foundational presupposition regarding the truth of the written revelation—Scripture is sufficient to interpret itself and needs nothing from outside in order to accurately convey its meaning. It is Scripture, and not science, that is the ultimate authority of the truths contained within the Bible.

It comes down to the question of whether the reader gives God’s Word the benefit of the doubt, by interpreting Scripture according to Scripture alone and letting the text speak for itself, or whether the reader allows the so-called evidences and arguments from outside of Scripture (formed by those who do not give God’s Word the benefit of the doubt) to carry more weight than the text itself. Those of the latter method must abandon the normal standards of exegesis (a straightforward, common sense hermeneutic) and adopt a method that seeks any plausible way to insert time-lapses, gaps, or ambiguities, in order to read into the text the presuppositions and evidences of secular science.

Ken Hamrick, 2013


* J.W. Wartick, “Young Earth Creationism and Presuppositionalism: An Analysis,” accessed electronically at http://jwwartick.com/2013/02/18/yec-presup/

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34 comments

  1. Mike

    I read JW Wartick’s blog, and I believe you are mis-characterizing the value he places on scripture. But I am sure he could defend himself. I have my own question however: I like the idea of taking the scripture literally, more so than most Old Earthers. So, I could never understand what obliges a day to be 24 hours in Genesis 1. Doesn’t it just need to be the period from sun-down to sun-down? And if God’s Spirit was hovering over the waters, and declaring His creative act good and very good, then is it possible that he was watching the earth rotate beneath Him? If so, then how many times did He let it rotate before passing into the sunset? It could have been once. But couldn’t it have been more? Job 38 describes the cloud cover He would have been hovering in, and Psalm 104 describes what I believe to be a Christophony surfing through the clouds with the Holy Spirit on Day 1. Proverbs 8 describes Wisdom the Master Craftsman performing creation at the God’s command, and John 1:1-3 suggest this was Jesus. If true, then it Jesus and the Holy Spirit could have been hovering over the pre-created deep for a very long time before hovering into the sunset… and it would still be a literal Yom according to the Hebrew. Yet millions of years could have passed, and without sacrificing the literal wording of the scripture. You may disagree with this perspective, but please see that an Old Earther can take the scripture literally and come an opposite conclusion on the length of a creation day.

    • Ken Hamrick

      Mike,

      I commend your desire to remain true to the literal text. But, there are several things wrong with your reasoning regarding the length of the creation “day.” First, your reasoning seems to imply that omnipotent God—for some strange reason—would need more than 24 hours to accomplish what is attributed to Him for a single “day.” Secondly, each day’s meaning does not stand alone, but is part of a uniform and repetitive chronology. The same expression of “and evening and morning were the ___ day” is used for all six days without any qualification to indicate a difference in meaning for some days but not for others; therefore, it would contradict the uniform text to insist on a non-uniform length of day. Thirdly, the Hebrew word yom is used just as our English word, day, is used. We use the word day as opposed to night, in the sense of “daytime;” we use the word day to mean a full 24-hour period, consisting of one period of daylight and one period of nighttime; and, we use the word day to indicate an age or era, such as, “in the day of the Roman Empire,” or, “back in my father’s day,” etc. Even though we use the word day for all of these uses, we are never confused as to which meaning is intended—–why is that? Note this vital fact: anytime that a number is used with “day,” whether in English or in Hebrew, a literal day is meant. Look outside of the disputed chapter of Genesis 1, and you will find that the OT uses yom together with a number over 350 times, and every single use is undeniably a literal day. This only makes sense—–just look at the English: If I say, “back in my father’s day,” we all understand it to be figurative of an age; but if I say, “in my father’s third day,” you would immediately want to know, “Third day of what—third day of existence?” There is no ambiguity in how these words are used or what their meaning is.

      Ken

      • Mike

        I understand your reasoning, but I have found answers to what you point out:
        >> First, your reasoning seems to imply that omnipotent God—for some strange reason—would need more than 24 hours to accomplish what is attributed to Him for a single “day.”

        You might infer that from my reasoning, but what I am arguing is what I believe God chose to do in His omnipotentce. I might have said about your position, “Your reasoning seems to imply that omnipotent God–for some strange reason–would only be able to create through direct fiat.” I am sure you believe God created as you say, but I doubt you mean to limit Him with that belief. I am not limiting Him either.

        >> Secondly, each day’s meaning does not stand alone, but is part of a uniform and repetitive chronology.

        I do not deny that. I am simply reading the account from the perspective provided us in Genesis 1:2… The Holy Spirit hovering over the deep, after creating the Heavens and Earth. I would never limit God to a physical posture for His creation, but it would seem He limited Himself… just as Jesus would limit His perspective to what His Father in Heaven told Him, the Holy Spirit limited Himself to a perspective of hovering over the deep. It is this perspective that tells me how He looked at His creative actions… from a physical position of hovering. And it tells me His perspective for experience evening and morning… from a position of hovering.

        Hovering over the earth to implies a voluntary decision to watch the earth from right above it, seeing only what is directly below Him. I simply played this out. To see everything, and to see it in the light of day, would suggest He let the earth rotate beneath Him. Why limit those rotations to one? If it’s a process that God chose in His omnipotence to allow, then it could have rotated any number of times before that “day’s” work was complete.

        >>The same expression of “and evening and morning were the ___ day” is used for all six days without any qualification to indicate a difference in meaning for some days but not for others

        Yes it was. So if God hovered over the earth until He chose to hover into the sunset on Day 1, then He did so for Day 2, Day 3, and so on. I am interpreting the days uniformly. You might infer a duration for a Day, but all Genesis 1 actually says is that there was evening and morning, i.e., the sun set and the sun rose. And the sun can only set or rise relative to a position of the earth… and God’s stated position was one of hovering over it.

        >>therefore, it would contradict the uniform text to insist on a non-uniform length of day.

        I would counter that it contradicts the uniform text to insist on a uniform length day. After all, day’s are not even uniform for us. Evening to evening is just a little over 24 hours half the year, and just under 24 hours the other half. Even for you, evening to evening defines a day that is never exactly 24 hours.

        >> Thirdly, the Hebrew word yom is used just as our English word, day, is used.

        Yes, it is used that way. But remember your own guideline… don’t go outside scripture to derive your interpretation. Genesis 1 clearly delineates days with sundowns, and those are perceived from the observer’s perspective. If you fly in a plane from California to New York, your “day” (sun-down to sun-down) would be around 21 hours; The day you fly back, sun-down to sun-down would be 27 hours. No argument that the earth’s rotation was ever different. It’s the viewer’s perspective that matters. Consider Exodus 20:11, “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.” And Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.” Evening to evening is not uniformly 24 hours.

        >> Even though we use the word day for all of these uses, we are never confused as to which meaning is intended—–why is that?

        Sometimes, the answer is that things are clear from the context. Other times, the answer can be stubborness (though I must include myself in this possibility!!)

        >> Note this vital fact: anytime that a number is used with “day,” whether in English or in Hebrew, a literal day is meant.

        Agreed… but a literal day according to scripture is the duration from evening to evening from the perspective of the observer.

        >> Look outside of the disputed chapter of Genesis 1, and you will find that the OT uses yom together with a number over 350 times, and every single use is undeniably a literal day.

        Undeniably. And Leviticus 23:32 is pretty clear about what that means, and Genesis 1 is consistent with that.

        >>There is no ambiguity in how these words are used or what their meaning is.

        Agreed. And Genesis 1 is not ambiguous either when it says, “So the evening and the morning were the first day… So the evening and the morning were the second day…” etc. And these are never 24 hour durations, even today.

      • Ken Hamrick

        Mike,

        You stated:

        You might infer that from my reasoning, but what I am arguing is what I believe God chose to do in His omnipotentce. I might have said about your position, “Your reasoning seems to imply that omnipotent God–for some strange reason–would only be able to create through direct fiat.” I am sure you believe God created as you say, but I doubt you mean to limit Him with that belief. I am not limiting Him either.

        This difference is that I am limiting my understanding to what God through His word tells me. The common-sense, plain, straightforward exegesis undeniably results in the understanding that God created “by fiat” in six ordinary days. Considering the context of the use of “day” in the remainder of the Old Testament, nothing further is needed to let the Scripture speak for itself. While God is certainly “able” to create in such a way as to render Himself superfluous to the natural processes over billions of years, the vital disqualification to such an interpretation is the complete lack of any hint in the text of Scripture that He did or had any desire to do such a thing. You must do more than see how far plausibility can be stretched—or even construct what may be deemed a valid exegesis—you must show how your proposed reading of the text is better, more reasonable, and more in accord with both the immediate and broad context, and more likely to be in line with authorial intent. Any cult can come up with an alternative way to read a certain text—the real question is, What makes it the best understanding? And to answer that question, you have to bring in ideas from outside Scripture. I do not.

  2. Mike

    >> Even though we use the word day for all of these uses, we are never confused as to which meaning is intended—–why is that?
    It just dawned on me that the answer to this is “presuppositions.” You know, there’s this blog by JW Wartick, that…

  3. parsonsmike

    Mike,
    Your reasoning escapes me. From God’s perspective, a day ended when what, that day’s work was done? But didn’t God write the words to give us the truth of the matter?

    We read in Exodus 20:
    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    Here we see that God is equating the creation week to a human week. As if the perspective is the same. God communicates to man to give understanding, but if His Words mean one thing to Him and another to us, where then is the understanding? No where. There is nothing in the text to assume that each day of the creation week was not a regular day. Sunrise, sunset. One day.

  4. Mike

    parsonsmike, first, did you only read my first reply? I want to think my second reply above addresses your concern. That said, I agree God’s creation Days were demarked by sunrise and sunset. Do you agree that that the Holy Spirit was Hovering? From that position, could He not have stayed in the sunlight for multiple rotations of the earth? Satellites do this all the time. So while I am not saying God had to do this, is He not capable of it? When He finally hovered into the sunset, would that not be the end of the Day? Peter’s wording in 2 Peter 3:8 is appropriate here: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

    >>God communicates to man to give understanding, but if His Words mean one thing to Him and another to us, where then is the understanding? No where.

    I sympathize with this point. Really. But consider that the Jewish people expected their Messiah to establish His kingdom on earth through a military victory at the very time Jesus was on Earth. Yet He did not. Consider the pharisee who might have asked Jesus the same question as you, but in regards to the Messianic prophecies. “God communicates to man to give understanding, but if His Words mean one thing to Him and another to us, where then is the understanding? No where.” And in fact Jesus agreed, to some extent. How so? Consider when His apostles asked Jesus why He spoke in parables, He said in Matthew 13:13, “I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” So I have no problem with the concept of a scripture that is widely misunderstood. The obvious objection I think would be the elect… wouldn’t they understand? Why “talk in parables” so to speak to the elect? Well look further down to verses 16-17, where Jesus answered that question saying, “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

    Of course, I suppose it may seem arrogant for me to say that I am seeing and you are not. I do not mean it that way. If I am wrong in my interpretation, and am in fact the one who is blind, then I trust that to be just one more sin that Jesus died on the Cross to redeem. However, there were truly righteous men before Jesus time who did not understand the prophecies He was now fulfilling. Even Daniel said in Daniel 12:8, “Although I heard, I did not understand.” So you and I both need to allow for the clear fact that at least one of us (perhaps even both!) are not understanding Genesis 1. It seems clear to me, and it seems equally clear to you. But only one or us (if either) are correct. But I hope you can see from Matthew 13 and Daniel 12 that such disagreement on the meaning of scripture is not an absurdity, and is therefore worthy of discussion.

  5. Mike

    Ken,

    I appreciate your thoughtful reply. Your mistake is to take a characteristic of scripture and exegesis that I happen to agree with and then dismiss my argument as if I don’t. I believe you are doing exactly what JW was suggesting in his article… beginning with your presuppositions. I realize you think I am doing the same. I have argued using the scriptures, yet are claiming I am not. Please notice how you argued…

    >> The common-sense, plain, straightforward exegesis undeniably results in the understanding that God created “by fiat” in six ordinary days.
    A significant percentage of people think Genesis 1 is symbolic. So it isn’t common sense. And if the result was undeniable, then I wouldn’t be denying it. You appear to be flabergasted at how I could I read the scripture and disagreed. But you do not appear to have actually considered my argument before dismissing it. For example, you said…

    >> Considering the context of the use of “day” in the remainder of the Old Testament,
    I did. In the remainder of the Old Testament, the perspective is from that of a given person. In Genesis 1, the perspective is that of the Holy Spirit hovering. By ignoring my analysis, it suggests you did not read it or you did not understand it.

    >> Considering the context of the use of “day” in the remainder of the Old Testament, nothing further is needed to let the Scripture speak for itself.
    I was using the scripture to interpret itself. You appear to think that I am starting with the presupposition of an old earth. I noticed the Holy Spirit hovering when I was a child. Discovering the science behind the old earth was not a presupposition for me. It was a relief, and it finally let me know use the common sense you seem to think I am ignoring.

    >>While God is certainly “able” to create in such a way as to render Himself superfluous to the natural processes over billions of years,
    You are again putting words in my mouth. God was never superfluous. Genesis says that God “let” the earth produce life. That is exactly what I believe. The earth produced life, and God let it. But God had to actively “let” at every step. I would never argue He was superfluous. I even quoted Proverbs 8 where Wisdom (i.e., Jesus) was the one through whom everything was created. Again I argue from scripture, while you tell me I am not.

    >>you must show how your proposed reading of the text is better, more reasonable,
    I have responded to your generalities with specifics, and you have responded to my specifics with more generalities. Without a response to my specifics, it at least gives the appearance that my reading is more reasonable.

    >> and more likely to be in line with authorial intent.
    When Moses wrote Genesis 1 using imagery from Egyptian mythology, what was the authorial intent in your mind? In any case, the scriptures I quoted establish authorial intent… the Holy Spirit hovered as a cloud, Jesus rested on the cloud creating, and the Father told Him what to let happen. Why would you assert that God “made” when scripture literally says God “let?” I have only appealed to scripture, yet you seem reply as if I had appealed to Darwin himself.

    >> Any cult can come up with an alternative way to read a certain text
    Seriously? You are seriously saying this? I am making arguments using only scripture. I have no reason to question your faith. This statement makes it sound like you are doubting mine. For the record, Jesus was all God and all man. He died for my sins and rose on the third day because I was born into the sin of Adam, and God loved me enough to take on my punishment.

    >>What makes it the best understanding? And to answer that question, you have to bring in ideas from outside Scripture. I do not.
    I pointed at Genesis 1:2 for the perspective that God was the one experiencing sun-down. I pointed at Leviticus 23:32 to establish the definition of a day. I have used only ideas from the scripture to make my case. You however have only asserted you are correct. But where is the phrase 24 hours in scripture? Where is the verse that tells you that letting the earth produce life means the earth did **not** produce life? These verses do not exist. It means the ideas came from outside of scripture. I realize that you are not the one who came up with the ideas, and I am sure the originators were well meaning, but the ideas you so readily accept as being in the scripture are not actually there. And you have yet to point out an actual verse, or respond to the one I cite.

    By the way, please do not mistake my passion for animus. What is most important to me is that a person be saved, and because you take the scripture so seriously and clearly believe Jesus died for you, I believe you are. My reason for engaging is because there is an unfortunate split in the church, and I would like to see it heal. And I believe honest discourse is the only way that can happen.

    • Ken Hamrick

      Mike,

      I’m sorry for the delay, and I still don’t have the time to address most of your reply. I will say this, though. Your view seems very contrived, and does not come naturally from the text. Jesus floating on a cloud—is that how you put it? The man Jesus did not exist until conceived in the womb of Mary. Prior to that, only the Second Person of the Trinity existed, and He is omnipresent like the Father and the Holy Spirit. God’s hovering over the waters would not have been limited to any single place. The waters were not more expansive than God Himself. Thus, from God’s perspective, every moment of the “day” (no matter how it is defined) would be before Him at once, so that it would always be sunrise, always be sunset, always be mid-day, and always be night. Even if we admit for the sake of argument your idea that God had some sort of singularly focused perspective from above the waters that might allow Him to let more than one rotation of the earth pass beneath Him, you have not (and cannot) establish anything from the text that would indicate that such an extended day would be the intended meaning. Where does such an idea come from? Even with the day defined from God’s perspective, we have no justification or need to assume that God would want or need such an extension beyond the ordinary day. The fact remains, as I said earlier, that you must bring in ideas from outside the Bible—and it is to the pressure of those concerns that you are looking for a way to shoehorn billions of years into a historical account of six ordinary days.

  6. Pingback: Mid-October 2013 Presuppositional apologetics Links | The Domain for Truth
  7. Mike

    >> I still don’t have the time to address most of your reply.
    I understand that time is a scarce commodity. You might then consider refraining to characterize my arguments until you have the time to consider them properly. Be that as it may…

    >> Your view seems very contrived, and does not come naturally from the text.
    You only think so because of your presuppositions. Consider that Jesus’ Messiahship did not come naturally from the text for the Jews. So to insist that an interpretation must “come naturally” is to call Jesus’ Messiaship into question.

    The point here is that the right interpretation is not always the one that comes naturally, but the on that comes supernaturally.

    >> Jesus floating on a cloud—is that how you put it?
    Here how scripture puts it: Psalm 104:3 “He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind?”

    >> The man Jesus did not exist until conceived in the womb of Mary. Prior to that, only the Second Person of the Trinity existed,
    >> and He is omnipresent like the Father and the Holy Spirit.
    Exodus 33:1, “So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.”
    I believe this is Jesus, but according to you it cannot be, at least bodily. But keep reading the text, and you see this…

    Exodus 33:17-18, “So the Lord said to Moses, “…you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” And [Moses] said, “Please, show me Your glory.”
    Now let me ask… how can God present, but not in His glory? Proposed answer: a Christophony. The bodily Jesus visited Moses in his tent. But wouldn’t everyone have seem Him? Not necessarily. Look at how God approached Moses on Mount Sainai in the next chapter…

    Exodus 34:5-7, “5 Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.”
    Do you see that? He descended in a cloud. After He descended, He stood there. Even a natural reading of the scripture seriously suggests an actual physical body. Surely many consider this symbolic, but there is no necessity that it be. You want me to take the scripture literally? As you can see, I am taking it literally. The account goes on…

    “6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

    Who else would this but God the Son? In the New Testament, Jesus praises His Father in Heaven constantly. The Father never praises Himself. But allow for a true Christophony at Moses’ tent and on the Mountain, and the Lord’s praise of the Lord is completely within Jesus’ character as revealed to the Apostles. When have time, read Psalm 110:1 and Acts 2:34-36, so see that God the Son praises God.

    Still not convinced? When Jesus walked by Moses praising His Father in Heaven, He let Moses only see His back. On the Mount of Transfiguration, He let Moses see His face. So if that was Moses bodily on the Mount of Transfiguration, you must allow for the possibility that it was Jesus bodily on Mount Sinai.

    >> God’s hovering over the waters would not have been limited to any single place.
    Then you have no basis for defining sundown at all, leading one logically to infinite days, or arbitrarily defined days with no actual sundown. Isn’t this the very position you are arguing against? I however insist that a creation day ended with an actual sundown… and I am the one with the contrived interpretation?

    >> The waters were not more expansive than God Himself.
    1. Cite the scripture.
    2. What about Jesus’ ascension? Was He present everywhere at once then?

    I thought God was unchanging.

    >> Thus, from God’s perspective, every moment of the “day” (no matter how it is defined) would be before Him at once, so that it
    >> would always be sunrise, always be sunset, always be mid-day, and always be night.
    This completely blows out of the water any notion of a day being 24 hours. You still have not quoted a scripture defining a day as 24 hours. I quote scripture and my view is contrived. You have no quoted scripture but assert your interpretation is natural.

    >> Even if we admit for the sake of argument your idea that God had some sort of singularly focused perspective from above
    >> the waters that might allow Him to let more than one rotation of the earth pass beneath Him, you have not (and cannot)
    >> establish anything from the text that would indicate that such an extended day would be the intended meaning.
    Nor can you establish from the text an intention for a 24 hour day. From your perspective, there wasn’t even a sun before Day 4. So where is the basis for a length? And you have yet to respond to my argument that the time from sunset to sunset is never 24 hours anyway. Ever. Never has been. And you cannot find a scripture that says it is.

    >> Where does such an idea come from?
    I have cited the scriptures. You have not addressed them.

    >> Even with the day defined from God’s perspective, we have no justification or need to
    >> assume that God would want or need such an extension beyond the ordinary day.
    Defining the day from God’s perspective **is** the justification for considering the possibility. Funny that you would use the word “want” or “need.” I never used those words to describe this possibility.

    >> The fact remains, as I said earlier, that you must bring in ideas from outside the Bible—
    The fact remains that in this thread, I have only built my arguments from ideas **inside** the Bible.

    >> and it is to the pressure of those concerns that you are looking for a way to shoehorn billions of years into a historical
    >> account of six ordinary days.
    It is under the pressure of your own presuppositions that you have accepted the shoehorning of 4.5 billion years of creation to six 24-hour days.

    I strongly suggest you look up the scriptures I have cited. Please spend the time. You aren’t even quoting scripture to back up your own point of view. You seem to be unaware of how Genesis 1 is worded (most Christians are). You seem unaware of the Christophonies in the Old Testament (again, most are). You seem unaware of the similarities between the Bible and pagan creation myths predating Moses. I however, am familiar with the scriptures you allude to have provided you responses. You continue to dismiss. I will cease from inundating you with more arguments. Should you find the time to actually ponder my arguments and their scriptural basis, and can establish a better scriptural basis for your views that I have challenged, then I would be happy to continue our discussion.

    May God go with you through the coming week.

  8. parsonsmike

    Ken and Mike,
    The purpose of a Christophany would be to relate to the one it was revealed to. In that, to the one, or the few or the many, they would see a man who is the God-man, or God in the flesh, so as they could relate to God, and God could bring them a word. What would be the purpose of God floating on the clouds in the form of a man creating the world? There was no one to see it and no need of relating by sight.
    Consider, rather, that God did create all things by His Word, We read in Hebrews :

    Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

    So we read: Psalm 104:3 “He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind?”
    We ask, is it literal?
    Does God live “up there” somewhere? If we take the Psalm literally, the answer is yes. But over which country, just Israel? And therefore does His abode rotate as the earth turns? Can rockets shot up from the Middle East fly right through His throne room?
    But we do not have to take the Psalmist literally to understand his praise of God: that God is the creator and the sustainer of the world. As creatures bound by time and space, it is hard to relate to a Being not so bound, hence the Christophanies and the anthropomorphisms we find in the Bible. God is stooping down to us to relate to us,and to reveal to us Himself so as to lift us up to Himself in both understanding and experience.
    Blessings brothers…

  9. Mike

    Parsonmike, I appreciate your response, but I fail to see your logic.

    >>The purpose of a Christophany would be to relate to the one it was revealed to.
    There is no scripture that states this is the only purpose. It is merely the only purpose you are aware of.

    >> So we read: Psalm 104:3… We ask, is it literal?Does God live “up there” somewhere?
    This verse says nothing about where God lives, and neither did I. Did you read what I wrote or only skim it? Regardelss, I’m not sure how your reasoning leads to what you write next…

    >>If we take the Psalm literally, the answer is yes.
    Why? If I take the Psalm literally, it means Jesus surfed the clouds during creation. I said nothing about where God lives, and neither does that scripture.

    >> But over which country, just Israel?
    Well if you are asking about the hovering, I answered that already. He hovered over the earth, and allowed it rotate beneath Him. He did not hover over a single point. Did you read through my post?

    >> And therefore does His abode rotate as the earth turns?
    This question’s Ken’s interpretation of what I wrote, and I explained why that was a misunderstanding of what I wrote. So again, I am doubting that you read what I wrote completely.

    >> Can rockets shot up from the Middle East fly right through His throne room?
    If I was suggesting this, I would understand your scoffing, but I didn’t suggest this, and I do not believe this.

    In Genesis 1, it says the Holy Spirit was hovering over the deep. Was that literal? In John 1, it says everything was created through Jesus. Was that literal? In Proverbs 8, it says Wisdom was God’s Master Craftsman. Is that a confirmation that John 1 is literal? If so, and if the Holy Spirit was hovering, then what is so absurd about Jesus being there with Him? Because you do not see God’s purpose? None of always see His purpose. If Jesus was at the Creation with the Holy Spirit, as implied by Genesis 1, John 1, and Proverbs 8, then why be surprised to find the Psalmist recording it in the creation account of Psalm 104? Perhaps it is unfamiliar idea. Your main criticism appears to be that I’m taking the scripture literally. And you argue against it as if Psalm 104:3 speaking of where God lives, but it doesn’t.

    Thankfully, I don’t believe this to be a salvific issue. I reciprocate your prayer of blessing. If all we can accomplish here is showing ourselves united in the Lord amidst a disagreement about Creation, then this dialog can serve a purpose.

  10. parsonsmike

    Mike,
    The verse is part of a Psalm. From what I have read of you, it seems that you have a high regard for the Bible, is this not true? Then why read a verse outside of the context it is in, or proof text it? In the context of the Psalm we see that the Psalmist is not being literal but using language with its limits to praise God whose glory and greatness is far above what our finite minds and language can proclaim.
    We ask is heaven not in one place [up there above the sea] since the Psalmist says “He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;”? Are there really beams of His throne room rising from the waters of earth? Beams are used to support a structure, so does God need to support His chambers with beams from an earthly water body?

    Jesus, the man of flesh, was born in Bethlehem. So, that body was not there at creation. Or which body was it? Was it His crucified body? Or maybe it was His teenage body? or maybe it was His newborn body? Look at that newborn surf the clouds!

    Rather, the Son was there. The Word was there. The 2nd person of the trinity was there. We read:
    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light…

    The Spirit was there, hovering. God was there [the Father] and He spoke the Word ["and God SAID"] so the Son was there as well. But what you are doing is reading into the Word of God what is not there: namely that a man was there.

    And when you take such liberties with the Word of God in one place, why should seek you to teach them truth in another place?
    Or bluntly, if you read into the Word that a man was at creation, why should I also not see you reading into the Word that a day was an indeterminable amount of time?

    Now apart from that and more towards understanding this ‘day’ thing…
    Ken calls a day 24 hours and you say that a day is never 24 hours.
    Here is what I have read:

    The earth’s average rotation period relative to the fixed stars is 86,164.098 903 691 seconds equal to one solar day. This translates to 24 hours equatorial time. One revolution takes approximately 364 to 365 days which is equal to 1 year.

    and…
    The earth rotates about an imaginary line that passes through the North and South Poles of the planet. This line is called the axis of rotation. Earth rotates about this axis once each day (approximately 24 hours). Although you most likely already knew that fact, there is a slight complication most people are not aware of.
    More specifically, our rotation period (the time elapsed for one rotation) with respect to the stars is called a sidereal day. A sidereal day is 24 sidereal hours, or 23 hours and 56 minutes on a normal clock. Our clock time is based on the earth’s rotation with respect to the sun from solar noon to solar noon. This is a solar day, and it is divided into 24 hours. Because Earth travels about 1 / 365 of the way around the sun during one day, there is a small difference between solar time and sidereal time.

    If anyone wants a more detailed explanation of sun rise and sundown changes, here is one place to go: http://www.cso.caltech.edu/outreach/log/NIGHT_DAY/sunrise.htm

    Now as to a day in Genesis, wouldn’t the day be the same basic period, one rotation of the earth, whether it was a day in Abraham’s life, Noah’s life, or in Adam’s life, as it was in the creation story? YES! If you think otherwise, than the burden of proof is on you to show SCRIPTURALLY that we should not think of a day in creation as the same basic day of one rotation of the earth and 1/365th part of its revolution around the sun.

  11. Mike

    Parsonmike,
    >>Then why read a verse outside of the context it is in, or proof text it?
    I am not doing that. And anyways, you appear to agree with the more important point of it, that the entire Trinity was present at Creation. Where you get tripped up is on the idea of whether He was there in the literal flesh or not. If He was there in the flesh, it’s because He chose to be. If He was literally surfing the clouds,it is because He chose to. Consider that Jesus is currently at the right hand of the Father’s throne. Is it the same literal body? Must I argue that is for the verse to be true? Must we debate on whether He has scars from the crucifixion to agree that the scripture is correct when it tells us where is standing right now? If your answer is no, then I would ask for the same leniency in discussing idea of Jesus hovering over the deep with the Holy Spirit.

    >>Here is what I have read:The earth’s average rotation period relative to the fixed stars is 86,164.098 903 691 seconds equal to one solar day. This translates to 24 hours equatorial time. One revolution takes approximately 364 to 365 days which is equal to 1 year.

    All true. But this is the scientific definition based on a complete rotation of the earth. The Bible does not define a day by the duration of the earth’s rotation.

    >>Now as to a day in Genesis, wouldn’t the day be the same basic period, one rotation of the earth, whether it was a day in Abraham’s life, Noah’s life, or in Adam’s life, as it was in the creation story? YES! If you think otherwise, than the burden of proof is on you to show SCRIPTURALLY that we should not think of a day in creation as the same basic day of one rotation of the earth and 1/365th part of its revolution around the sun.

    I have already answered this scripturally. But here it is again, though more concisely:

    Genesis 1:5, “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”
    Genesis 1:7, “So the evening and the morning were the second day.”
    Genesis 1:13, “So the evening and the morning were the third day.”
    Genesis 1:19, “So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”
    Genesis 1:23, “So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”
    Genesis 1:31, “So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
    Leviticus 23:32, “It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

    A Yom is clearly based on the rising or setting of the sun, not the duration of the earth’s rotation. I agree that from a stationary vantage point on the ground, they are roughly equivalent. But God was hovering. And if God chose to hover in the sunlight for 10 or 1000 or a million rotations of the earth, then the literal wording of scripture would call that one day. To interpret a day as 24 hours in Genesis 1 is to impose a stationary land-based perspective that is contrary the perspective given us in Genesis 1:2.

  12. jimwillingham

    I was once an evolutionist and an Atheist. After my conversion, theistic evolutionists (many) and a few, very few, young earth creationists sought to persuade me (the former with educated men, the latter with very little in the way of preparation). Being trained to do research outside the box, I had to go outside to look for information supporting the second alternative. The case is not as strong as some think as Naturalism, a philosophy that says nature is all there is, a presupposition that is surely as blinding to facts that are contrary to it as any YEC assertion. Consider how the scientists ignored the fossilized footprints of a human in the fossilized footprints of a dinosaur (a T-Rex, if memory serves correctly). I mean the fellow from Nat Geo would not even look at such. And then there is the age of the rocks in which the fossils are found. As one nuclear physicist pointed out to me, the age of the rocks is always about the same, about 10,000s old (this was from a fellow who taught at Virginia Tech back in the seventies). There is also the second law of thermodynamics which is defined in precisely the opposite manner to evolution, more and more energy becoming random in every transformation, a greater progress to chaos, where as evolution leading, supposedly, to greater and greater complexity always lacks the missing links to make its case. Then there is a quantum algebra fellow who developed a quantum algebraic theory which offered evidence of the whole universe being only 6000 years old. I am also very aware as every scholar and scientist should be that there has been a great tendency to keep transmitting the errors of the past, like the fellow in Germany who was found guilty in the 1800s of falsification of his evidence in a court of law on the matter of evolution, and we have the same with the Piltdown and other representatives of the missing links. Again, there are the toy statues of dinosaurs of various kinds with humans depicted by little figurines as riding them. And did Genesis man achieve Space Flight. There is more, but I have to go fix supper.

  13. Mike

    Jim,

    I have researched many of the same things as you, and here is what I found:

    On Fossilized Footprints
    I researched two sets. The Burdick footprints turned out to be a hoax, and the son of the man perpetuating the hoax even goes around lecturing about his father’s methodology. The Taylor Site tracks turned out to be dinosaur tracks. Basically, the footprints transition from prints left by the dinosaur walking on its toes and relaxing its metatarsal structure into the ground. The found that the scientific responses addressed the Creationist challenges directly, and the Creationist responses tended to be dismissive. If the Nat Geo fellow knew of these, knew the hype, and knew the science, then I can understand why he wouldn’t consider looking at additional ones.

    On the Rocks being 10,000s of years old
    I’m unsure which you are speaking of. However, I have found that Creationists often quote 50+ year old research that was not yet taking into account the atmospheric calibration that scientists routinely do now. As it turns out, the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere has not been uniform, making it hard to date beyond 50,000 years using that method.

    The Second Law of Thermodyanics
    Entropy does not prevent the creation of order. For Evolution to be consistent with the 2nd Law, all that needs to be true is that however much order has been introduced expended enough energy that it constitutes a net decrease in order for the universe overall. And this is exactly what scientists say. Otherwise, your own ability to write a paragraph would be contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    Evolution Leading to Greater Complexity
    Evolution does not actually “lead” anywhere. It is the observation that some random genetic mutations will create advantageous features for survival. This would be no less natural than a piece of toast that happens to look like the Virgin Mary. Notice again, even with the toast example, the expenditure of energy exceeding the order presented.

    Missing Links
    Fossilization happens under special circumstances. Some places are more conducive to it than others. Also, the heaviest concentration of fossils were generated during mass extinction events. One is the KT Impact. Another is the Grand Coupure. Most species dying between those events would not have been fossilized. Even Creationists acknowledge the that the vast majority of fossils are from a mass extinction event… they simply believe it was the Great Flood, and that it was only 6,000-15,000 years ago.

    Quantum Alebra
    Are you referring to the theory that the earth’s magnetic field could only be 6,000 years old? Those figures tend to ignore natural variation of the earth’s magnetic field and how the conditions that determine its strength have themselves varied as well.

    Transmitting Errors of the Past
    Both sides are guilty of this. The fact that scientists have refuted the footprints above and I still articles on them, and the fact that scientists have established their basis for calibrating carbon dating and I still see Creationist articles that don’t address that, is evidence that Young Earthers are guilty of it, too.

    Falsification
    When I look up specific discoveries of falsification, I can generally find scientific discussions acknowledging it, and intelligently considering the ramifications to their theories.

  14. dr. james willingham

    I, too, have researched the fossilized footprints, and the records of some are not the work of people bent on proving their point by producing false evidence. It might also be added that various figurines of dinosaurs, triceratops (sp.?), etc., have been found in Mexico and South America along with human figurines on their backs, suggesting the contemporaneous nature of the. We also have remains in the rocks, remains that are indicative of a high level of civilization, prior to the flood.

    Regarding the rocks, an approximate date, supplied by a Nuclear Physicist at Virginia Tech in the 60s. He pointed out that radio carbon dating of the rocks in which the fossils were found were consistent with a number of years that did not go with the fossils. I still have his notes somewhere in 200-300 boxes of books, papers, and etc.

    As to the dating of rocks and fossils, the presenting of the evolution from the simple to the complex, and I have definitions of evolution to that effect, but, in any case, the dating issue is really complicated by the fact of inverted layers. E.g., like the area of a hundred thousand square miles in Montana and Canada (the part above Montana) where old rock over lies younger rock, conformably, with a layer of apparently water laid silt in between. I think Morris was right: there is no explaining that by the idea of that mass slipping up over the younger rocks without such fracturing and faulting as would leave everything in a jumble.

    As to the magnetic thing, I had forgotten about that. Rather, I had reference to a quantum algebraic theory which was submitted to the Soviet Academy of Scientist and was returned to the mathematician with the claim that it needed more work, but it did not have any marks on it indicating what was wrong. The mathematician, whose name I do not know, reviewed every thing carefully and could find nothing wrong. He returned it to the committee and said, “I could not find anything wrong.” The committee replied, “Neither could we. We just simply did not like your conclusions.” I have been trying to track down that mathematician, and there is one on the internet. However, I am not sure there is any connection between the two other than the theory proving the universe (having to do in the latter case so I understand with the stretching out of the heavens, duh!)

    I must cease now, due to the fatigue and problems of aging.

  15. Mike

    I appreciate your time. You said..

    >> the records of some are not the work of people bent on proving their point by producing false evidence.

    I agree. And while I did give an example of false evidence, I gave another that showed where evidence was misunderstood.

    >> It might also be added that various figurines of dinosaurs, triceratops (sp.?), etc., have been found in Mexico and South America along with human figurines on their backs

    If you are referring to the Acambaro figures, a 1976 study suggested that they were most likely only 30 years old at their time of discovery.

    >> We also have remains in the rocks, remains that are indicative of a high level of civilization, prior to the flood.

    I agree. I believe that ancient Sumer is where the flood took place, and I agree they had relatively high level of civilization. Their worship shows a distinct change from worshipping gods present to mythologizing gods absent right at the time I believe the flood occurred (around 2800 BC). This would date to about the time the Acambaro figurines were originally dated to. However, subsequent studies revealed problems with that dating based on the high temperatures at which the figurines were made. But even if the figurines were from that time, I would then suggest they were a result of the Sons of God and Nephilim, consistent with the shape-shifting mythology of Sumer. So while I believe the figurines were forged in the 20th century, even a longer dating is consistent with evidence contrary to the idea that they were actual dinosaurs.

    >> Nuclear Physicist at Virginia Tech in the 60s. He pointed out that radio carbon dating of the rocks

    Carbon dating has a come a long way since the 60s.

    >> I think Morris was right: there is no explaining that by the idea of that mass slipping up over the younger rocks without such fracturing and faulting as would leave everything in a jumble.

    If the inverting you refer to is connected to the Cenozoic era, then the KT impact would provide the kind of disaster Morris attributes to the flood, and also explains the layer of sediment detected around the world.

    >>Soviet Academy of Scientist and was returned to the mathematician with the claim that it needed more work

    I believe you are referring to Dr. David Otway? I cannot find any papers of articles detailing the reasoning behind his theory. I found a book that mentions it, but without a footnote to get more details. That’s troublesome. But with small information, his theory appears to be based on the theory that the speed of light is slowing down. Well, it has been reported in the last few years that light may not be constant. However, the rationale they are looking at suggests that the light could either slow down or speed up, but not appreciably. But given the connection to quantum theory, it reminds me a little of Hugh Ross’s introductory discussions the length of a day for observing the universe. Perhaps someone outside the universe would observe it to be 6000 years old, but from within the universe, if time is a physical property of the actual speed of light, then ages could still be **measured** in the billions of years.

  16. dr. james willingham

    Mike: I have done some research in my lifetime. One thing I would point out that radio active dating, whether it be carbon or something else, has a problem with its assumptions, one being how much of the original material was radioactive, two whether there was extraneous material influencing the sample, Again, you efforts with reference to the figurines suggest your at sea. The ones to which you refer, apparently, from Mexico, and to which I refer, are rather strange. Are you suggesting some one falsified them. The ones from South America were found by digs and accidental discoveries.

    KT and a 100,000 square miles lying conformably on younger earth with a layer of water laid silt in between? Give me a break. As to the Soviet Scientist, I understand that he was teaching quantum algebra at Texas A & M in the early to mid 90s, and that the paper was submitted earlier, when he was in Russia. Unfortunately, I never got to learn his name as my life had a serious disruption right after I had come across that information.

    Geology was founded by creationist back in the 1600s, seeking to explain all the evidence of the sedimentary layers, the bones of animals, and etc., all suggesting by the way they were deposited, that a flood had occurred – something apparently borne out by all of the Flood theories (over 300, I understand) around the world. Inverted layers of older rocks overlying younger rocks are plentiful and in evidence around the whole earth.

    Have you ever done any study of Tesla’s view of gravity, electricity, and magnetics?. Also have you ever given any consideration to the problems with the scientific method itself? (my field is intellectual history, and I have. A science educator was shocked that a sorry preacher should have knowledge that there was a problem with the method. She was dumbfounded and asked, “How did you know that?” I knew it, because I ran into the problem while writing my thesis and finding that the problem lay with the original thesis and the null hypothesis both being true. What was one suppose to do then? Also to put it another way, the method is too analytical. We need a more synthetical method, one that can embrace two-sided and apparently contradictory truths). If God stretched out the Heavens in creation, then what becomes of the speed of light issue. Also why are we now beginning to find that subatomic particles can travel faster than the speed of light? And why there can be a rupture in the space-time continuum. As to the length of day issue, you should note that the Bible always treats the creation week as regular 24 hr. days. Just talk to an Orthodox Jew. A friend of mine was raised as one. He was converted and became a Baptist preacher. We were fellow students and have been friends for 41 years. He use to have tea with his boss at the National Institute of Health and with the boss of his boss, every afternoon, Dr. Fleming, the discoverer of pencillin. We often discussed the issues. He is a veteran of World War II, a graduate of the Univ. of Md., and has a Master’s in the Liberal Arts from John’s College.

    As to the local flood view, I have looked at the evidence and do not think it will hold water. We also have the experiments of Robert Gentry on haloes in basaltic rocks, and when he gave his testimony at the Arkansas Creation Trial (circa 1980) in which he invited scientists to falsify his findings, the standard practice, no one responded. Instead, he lost his funding for his research though regarded by some as the authority on the subject in the world. Have you seen Ben Stein’s DVD on what happens to scholars who advocate Creation in any form or fashion or read any of Dr. Johnson’s works (who taught law at UC-Berkeley), pointing out that the real problem is the dominance of naturalism in the teaching of science in the school and how the advocates of that perspective move with overwhelming effort to exclude any scientists who are not gung ho on their side of the issue. Hardly scientific! There is also the issue that many of the measuring tools of long ages, e.g., formation of stalagtites (sp.) and stalagmites formed in short periods of time. (one period so short that it encased a bat in the stalagmite before it could decay! I could continue, but must take a break. Science is not quite the sure thing that every one seems to want to believe. You might want to hear Dr. John Lennox, though I do not agree with him on his views on the length of day issues, though he does raise a lot of interesting questions.

    A professor at the University of Missouri was invited to teach evolutionary genetics in the 60s, and he said, “You don’t want me. I don’t believe it. I will teach that it is wrong (I think he might have said, bad science, but 50 years is a long time to retain such facts).” They said go ahead and teach it, and he did. A member of my first church was in the man’s class, and he told me about it. Having attended 10 colleges and universities and taught in three, been a member of at least five professional societies, including the New York Academy of Science, I have some faint idea of how the academic and scientific community works. As to the Bible I find it to be every more and more reliable. The real problem is the lack of perception with which to grasp the depth that is displayed in its perspicuity or clarity. We think, because it is so clear, we really do understand it. As the saying goes, the half has never been told, and as far as the Bible is concerned, not even ten per cent has ever been perceived. as to its real wisdom and reliability and validity

  17. parsonsmike

    Mike,

    >>Then why read a verse outside of the context it is in, or proof text it?<<>>”I am not doing that. And anyways, you appear to agree with the more important point of it, that the entire Trinity was present at Creation. Where you get tripped up is on the idea of whether He was there in the literal flesh or not. If He was there in the flesh, it’s because He chose to be. If He was literally surfing the clouds,it is because He chose to. Consider that Jesus is currently at the right hand of the Father’s throne. Is it the same literal body? Must I argue that is for the verse to be true? Must we debate on whether He has scars from the crucifixion to agree that the scripture is correct when it tells us where is standing right now? If your answer is no, then I would ask for the same leniency in discussing idea of Jesus hovering over the deep with the Holy Spirit.”<<>Here is what I have read:The earth’s average rotation period relative to the fixed stars is 86,164.098 903 691 seconds equal to one solar day. This translates to 24 hours equatorial time. One revolution takes approximately 364 to 365 days which is equal to 1 year.
    You answered…
    >>”All true. But this is the scientific definition based on a complete rotation of the earth. The Bible does not define a day by the duration of the earth’s rotation.”<>Now as to a day in Genesis, wouldn’t the day be the same basic period, one rotation of the earth, whether it was a day in Abraham’s life, Noah’s life, or in Adam’s life, as it was in the creation story? YES! If you think otherwise, than the burden of proof is on you to show SCRIPTURALLY that we should not think of a day in creation as the same basic day of one rotation of the earth and 1/365th part of its revolution around the sun. I have already answered this scripturally. But here it is again, though more concisely:
    A Yom is clearly based on the rising or setting of the sun, not the duration of the earth’s rotation. I agree that from a stationary vantage point on the ground, they are roughly equivalent. But God was hovering. And if God chose to hover in the sunlight for 10 or 1000 or a million rotations of the earth, then the literal wording of scripture would call that one day. To interpret a day as 24 hours in Genesis 1 is to impose a stationary land-based perspective that is contrary the perspective given us in Genesis 1:2.”<<<

    It is not contrary and you proved nothing from Scripture except that you like to ADD to it however you wish,
    What if God chose to hover in the sunlight for ONE rotation of the earth or less?
    So what evidence is there of that?
    The ONLY evidence for any time period is evidence for that. God had man write from man's perspective, man's stationary land based perspective so to communicate to man truth. He had man write with man's language and man's definitions so man could have an understanding of truth and a firm foundation of communication from God.
    To call a 'day' anything more is to repudiate the whole Bible as God's Word.

  18. Mike

    Parsonsmike, I am willing to interpret a day on Genesis 1 from the perspective of a man standing stationary on the earth. Who was the man? I have suggested it was Jesus. And on what was he standing before there was land? I have suggested He was in the clouds of the Holy Spirit. I have given you verses to point to. I can understand you disagreeing, but I have called a day nothing more than the experienced duration from sun-down to sun-down, and even cited the scripture backing that up. Your argument appears to reduce to the idea that I am wrong. Instead of telling me why the scriptures I cite say what it say, you simply say that I am adding to the scripture. That isn’t an argument. I have added nothing. I have merely put multiple accounts of Creation from the Bible next to each other and described the picture it paints.

    But let me turn this around on a you a moment. You write that God had man write with man’s language and man’s definitions so man could have an understanding of truth and a firm foundation of communication from God. I completely agree with you… and that is exactly why I believe God chose to hover over the deep… precisely so we could relate to the creation through Him, and precisely so He could communicate to man what He did during creation. So whatever duration He chose to hover in the sun, it is the Holy Spirit hovering… of if a man, then Jesus with Him. To ignore the perspective provided for us (in my humble opinion) does the very thing you are accusing me of… limiting God’s meaning to what a mere man wants that meaning to be. God went to the trouble of hovering, and went to the trouble of having Moses record it. Don’t you think it was so we could imagine it, and then relate? It is such a beautiful example of God meeting us where we are at. And yet you insist on interpreting that scripture from a perspective of a man standing on the not-yet-existing ground. Are you that certain that I am the one repudiating God’s Word? I think I am showing His Word the utmost respect.

  19. parsonsmike

    Mike,
    You are just plain confused, sir.
    The reason God used the term ‘day’ was to convey understanding to His reader, man. So He used a term man could know and understand.
    His purpose is to bring light and understanding to man. So when, in the days of Moses, the Holy Spirit had this written:

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    When God had the above written, He did not expect man to do mental gymnastics in determining the length of a day, but instead relied on man’s understanding of what a day was to communicate truth. The witness of Scripture as well as a consistent hermeneutic tells us that a day is a day and that each day is basically the same length of time. Six days, Sunday through Friday, as we call them, man was to do work and rest on the 7th day, for in six days God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.

    In comparing apples to apples, we know the reason God used the word, ‘day’, in Genesis was to tell us a certain time frame. God used the word. ‘day’, over 60 times in Genesis alone, and only when used plural as in ‘days’ was the time frame ambiguous.

    Also it is straw man argument to say I am saying that it was from the perspective of a man standing on not yet ground.
    Let me ask you this, could the day in your mind have been 2 hours? Why not?
    Thus by your logic, the word itself conveys no real meaning as to length of time. Since in days 1 through 3, there was no sun to set, what? What, did God just close up shop, turn the light off and go home? What made evening?
    You are just plain confused.

  20. Mike

    parsonsmike,

    >>In comparing apples to apples, we know the reason God used the word, ‘day’, in Genesis was to tell us a certain time frame.

    How do we “know?” You are telling me what God means without actually quoting His definition of a day. I have actually quoted Him. But I will do so again…

    Leviticus 23:32
    32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.”

    Evening to evening. I didn’t make that up.

    You are the one telling me that Genesis 1 is written from the perspective of a person, but you are not quoting scripture. I however quoted Genesis 1:2, which clearly tells us God was hovering over the deep.

    I will acknowledge your point that God did not expect the primitive Israelites to do any mental gymnastics to understand this. Yet, His inspiration ended up recorded these details… that the Creation day is from the the perspective of the Holy Spirit experiencing evenings… i.e., sundowns.

    >> Thus by your logic, the word itself conveys no real meaning as to length of time.

    Exactly. The word by itself does not. It requires the perspective of one experiencing it. Generally speaking, that is a person. And on average the precise time from evening to evening, while never being exactly 24 hours does average out to it. And it is from a person’s perspective throughout the scripture. But not in Genesis 1. Even 2 Peter 3:8 says that a day is as a thousand years to God. It literally can be! It can also be a billion.

    >> Since in days 1 through 3, there was no sun to set, what?

    Actually, there was a sun. He created it in Genesis 1:1. But apparently, where the Holy Spirit was hovering, it wasn’t visible yet. Well of course not! The waters had not been divided from the waters yet! And God was hovering over the deep! There was an ocean below Him, and clouds above, and He could not see the sun. It’s exactly what the scripture says. But the sun was there, the Holy Spirit experienced a sundown. Every day. “There was evening, and there was morning. One day.”

    If I were to point out to you that Isaiah 9:6 does not actually say a virgin would give birth, would you accuse me of mental gymnastics when I say it prophesied Christ’s virgin birth? Not if you accept that verse as prophetic. Yet the word used for virgin does not have to mean virgin… and there was someone born fitting that prophecy, not long after Isaiah received it! If you agree however that this verse refers **also** to Jesus’ virgin birth, then why shouldn’t a Jew accuse you of doing mental gymnastics? The answer is this: presuppositions!

    Consider Day 4 of creation. It is actually a summary of the Egyptian creation myth, which pre-dates the life of Moses. Does that require mental gymnastics to understand? No, just scholarly study. But such study reveals that the Egyptians believed the sun was literally embedded within the physical surface of the sky. Moses even wrote, “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.” Completely consistent with the Egyptian myth, yet interpreted by many as if it literally says God created the sun from nothing in space. But now that you know, can you explain it?

    • jimwillingham

      I feel like rolling on the ground with howls of laughter. The funny thing is the idea of primitivism, when the truth about man’s sophistication is very much otherwise. Already, we are beginning to find evidence of more advanced civilizations in the past. Consider the indications of an atomic war in India, where the remains in one city that has been explored to a limited extent in the 20th century are still radioactive. There is also the story of the use of such weaponry as well as indications of vehicles with the power to fly, vehicles which, apparently, the Germans were looking at along with the stuff that Nikola Tesla had developed, when they were working on their fly saucers, the same kind of stuff that is now beginning to make its appearance at car shows, where a new model is lifted up by some for of levitation, some say, acoustical energy, some electro-magnetic. Already one of the financial founders of the Tesla auto firm is talking about the fact that it is time to make flying cars, and he is not talking about gas or other propellants or internal combustion engines, but of electro-magnetic propulsion.

      You fellows need to think outside the box, way outside the box, and you really need training to do that. Intellectually, one of the best helps in become able to do that is the Bible; it is a book which reflects a depth of wisdom commensurate with its source, its verbal inspiration and inerrancy and infallibility source, a book whose problem is its perspicuity as one old Puritan said or its clarity as we would probably say. Having been an Atheist, one who was exceedingly skeptical of the Scripture, I found my conversion experience rather whacked me in the face with the reality that the Bible presents, and I mean its truthfulness, accuracy, etc. Take, for example, the idea that the skeptics in the biblical field use to cast aspersions on the Bible due to its mention of the Hittites. Such people never existed, they are fictitious, so the skeptics asserted. And then someone utterly demolished their case. Now we know that the Hittites were a people noted in history by their contemporaries. Not only that, but their capital city and many of their records have been found, and the latter translated. Now the skeptics have to look elsewhere for examples to support their doubts about the one book that claims to be from God.

      Years ago, I became aware of just how much the skeptics, who claim to believe the Bible, cast aspersions on the idea of the virgin birth. One of my professors in seminary, so I heard, practically cursed, when one student had said something about that teaching. He and those of that persuasion were bold to assert that the Bible did not teach that idea, that Isaiah 7:14, almah, meant young woman, and betulah (sp?) was the term required for that meaning. They reasoned that such a view was an invention of Christian writers (as though truth had nothing to do with the whole affair). One day, it occurred to me to take a look at the Septuagint, the LXX, which as most of you will know was the translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek several centuries before the Advent of our Lord. Guess what? They had rendered almah by the Greek term Parthenon, the word for virgin! Amazing.

      And then we are told that early writers of the Bible, e.g., Moses in this case, borrowed from the Egyptian myths to create his account (Well at least there is no claim that JEPD wrote it. You all should read O.T. Allis’ The Five Books of Moses, in which he shows that using the documentary hypothesis approach one can prove that a known history text, and the author of which is also known, had four authors. I remember laughing, when I read that evaluation by Dr. Allis who had a Ph.D. from Princeton and one from the Free University of Berlin. It was a work which was recommended to me by letter from Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski (sp), D.Phil (from Oxford Univ.), who was a professor at NOBTS back in the 60s, when I was pastoring in Mo. I had written to him to see what works he would recommend that answered the skeptical or critical or higher critical approach to Holy Scripture.

      Now to tie this together, consider how Moses must have borrowed his idea of 8 people being saved by the Ark from the flood from one or more the many creation myths (so called), some 300 plus, which one scholar at the University of Vienna, Fra. Schmidt, had written about in a multivolume work that the Germans dearly love to produce. Just consider how that fact is enshrined in one of the Chinese languages (I read this about 25-30 years ago in a newspaper, which reported how the very original letters were actually the characters for the flood myth (and by the way Peter says we have not followed cunningly devised myths and he must have known from our Lord Himself who said the Book was the word of God, words from the very mouth of God, Paul calls them breathed of God, and our Lord made it plain that they are spoken to us today just as much as they were to those to whom they were spoken when originally given. (II Pet.1:16, 19-21; Mt. 22:31,32, 43-46; John 10:34-35.)). No, I think Moses got his information from reliable accounts and from God Himself who instructed him to write it in a book. O yes, I forget the critics use to say, Moses could not have written it then, because the Hebrews could not write at that time. The nice thing about being a historian is you get to see how many have made mistakes about their evaluations of the Bible and then had to eat humble pie.

  21. Mike

    JIm, thank you for correctly saying Isaiah 7:14… I said Isaiah 9:6, but I was referring to 7:14.

    Regarding the Septuagint, I do not believe it is accurate. I was able to put together a theory for the ages in the Septuagint that suggests there was an agenda in its deviations. (http://geocreationism.com/history/cainan-and-the-bible-family-tree.html). That said, I believe those deviations, while likely intentional and perhaps even conspiritorial were (like in the case of Isaiah 7:14) fortuitously done… what Satan may have prodded the rabbis to do for purposes of evil, God used for good.

    I know we disagree on whether the earth is old or young, and whether certain meanings are there or are not, but we appear to agree that God can put meaning into the scripture through writers who are unaware of that meaning at the time. I think the scriptures are wonderful, and I love seeing them confirmed through our increase in scientific knowledge. When I have changed my mind about what something means, it has never compromised the doctrine of sin or the importance of Christ in my life, my need to repent, and the new life I live in Him. However, for those to whom such insights into science and scripture can be stumbling block, my hope is they will find dialogs like this between believers and see that no matter which “side” they ultimately choose, Evolution or not, old earth or young, global flood or local, etc., both sides leave room for being faithful to Christ. In the end, I do not believe God will judge us for how correct we are, but by the heart we have for Him, and the fruit we show in our lives, as we love God and our neighbors.

  22. jimwillingham

    Dear Mike: While I count some critics and skeptics as friends, I never concede their critiques of Scripture. And you have got to be kidding about the intentional and conspiratorial idea. Across two centuries? Well, it might be. After all, a conspiracy has been working quietly and effectively to take over the USA, and they began their effort or, rather, renewed it, after Jackson closed the National Bank, by incorporating the Federal Government in 1871. That incorporation practice has now reached the point where the NSA can take people to court for parodies of their logos, etc., even if it is for a political purpose, meaning no more criticism of the government is going to be allowed. Just think with the approval of routes for the drones, they can take out a house in the USA, claiming we are a bunch of terrorists, with a hellfire missile, and with the homosexual agenda, purposefully being set forth to eliminate any and all religious exemptions, there is going to be a terrible time coming for all believers who have any moral commitments at all. As to your approach, I sat under that stuff for four years, while earning an M.Div. and D. Min., but I do not buy it. And I think I have made it very plain that I do not. While ethics has a place in all that we do, just doing good, when madness lurks behind every one’s façade of life in this bedlam, will not cut the mustard. Man needs a redeemer and a savior, and only the Christ of the Bible fits the bill. I have seen His supernatural power to change people, to produce sanity where before there was madness. You have to see a man with a piece of stove wood raised to strike a woman and her with a knife in her hand ready to stab him, and then to see them some years later kiss (my mother said it was the first time she had ever seen her parents kiss).. And Christ made the difference. I have a picture of that man reading a Bible, a posed picture of something he did three times a day. I used that Bible this morning before I spent sometime in prayer and before I looked at the stuff on my computer. Otherwise I would have added you to my prayer list. I would not want to be in your shoes as you have no basis for believing Christ is your Lord and Savior. After all, He sure has a different view of the Bible, to say the least..

    When I stood where you stand with reference to the Bible, one involving myths and doubts and etc., I was an Atheist. Then Jesus showed up, knocking at my heart’s door. And He went even further, opening my heart as He did Lydia’s.(Rev.3:20 & Acts 16:14 sum up this Atheist’s conversion to the Christian Faith and it happened on Dec.7,1957).

  23. Mike

    Jim, I really wonder what you think I said. Perhaps my writing is not clear, but I don’t I swear there is a misunderstanding somewhere. I can only attempt to respond to where you appear to be correcting me…

    >> While I count some critics and skeptics as friends, I never concede their critiques of Scripture.

    Why did you open this way? Do you count me a critic or a skeptic? I am neither.

    >> And you have got to be kidding about the intentional and conspiratorial idea.

    There is an actual theory that the translators of the Septuagint all conspired to mis-translate certain words in the bible the same way. I don’t know whether I believe it or not. But the theory suggests that is why the Hebrew word for young woman was translated “virgin.” The miracle in that is that however that word got translated, Jesus still fulfilled it.

    >> As to your approach, I sat under that stuff for four years, while earning an M.Div. and D. Min., but I do not buy it.

    Do not buy what?

    >> While ethics has a place in all that we do, just doing good, when madness lurks behind every one’s façade of life in this bedlam, will not cut the mustard.

    I agree with you. It doesn’t. I’m not sure what I said that contradicts this. Oh wait… are you responding to my last sentence? I said, “In the end, I do not believe God will judge us for how correct we are, but by the heart we have for Him, and the fruit we show in our lives, as we love God and our neighbors.”

    Okay, I can see I didn’t word that well. If it needs to be stated, I do not believe we can earn our way to heaven. I do not believe that good works will be used as basis for getting to Heaven. I believe only redemption in Christ can save me. Our works on this earth are reflection of the faith we have in Christ. They are a sign of what is within, but not the criteria of salvation.

    >> Man needs a redeemer and a savior, and only the Christ of the Bible fits the bill.

    Agreed.

    >> I have seen His supernatural power to change people, to produce sanity where before there was madness.

    Me, too!

    >> You have to see a man with a piece of stove wood raised to strike a woman and her with a knife in her hand ready to stab him, and then to see them some years later kiss

    I have a friend who use to be a body guard for a drug dealer. I was at church the day he accepted Christ into his life. He was a transformed man. That was almost 20 years ago, and he is still an upstanding man of God, with a loving Christian wife and wonderful kids. It is not the same situation you describe, but thinking about makes your experience quite believable and real to me.

    >> I would not want to be in your shoes as you have no basis for believing Christ is your Lord and Savior.

    God blesses me quite richly, and I count all my good fortune a blessing from Him. My trials can be hard, but He never puts me in a situation He does not already plan to get me through. The Bible is the inspired word of God. I believe His inspired prophets recorded that inspiration the best they could, and some of their local culture and historical knowledge crept in. Then, over the years, I believe some inaccuracies sneaked in. Some simple scribal errors, others perhaps less innocent. Yet God’s perfect message still comes through.

    If there is some specific point of disagreement you can articulate for me to confirm what you think I believe, please let me know! So far, the only disagreement I have had with you has been in regards to certain historical events and scientific discoveries. I may disagree with a man about what God has done or meant by something, but I also know His ways are higher than mine. If there is any inclination to pray for me still, then consider doing this. Ask God what his burden for me is. If the Holy Spirit reveals one, then please pray accordingly.

    I don’t mind if we disagree on something historical or scientific or even on the meaning of certain scriptures, but I didn’t think we were disagreeing about the redemptive power of Christ, and our need for Him.

    In any case, I am sorry if I upset you. I hope I’m not overstepping, but I appreciate the sensitiveness of the testimony you shared. I am joyful that your parents could get through their early hardships, and that God left you such a wonderful legacy by which to remember them.

    • jimwillingham

      Mike, I am not upset. I just think that we are not on the same wave length. First, because you think myths are involved in the Bible’s transmission, if not in its composition, whereas Peter, speaking by inspiration, declares that we have not followed cunningly devised fables, muthos in the Greek, the root of our word myths. And he exalted the Bible over his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration in the first chapter of II Peter…unless you buy the idea that he was not the author of it. I am a little amazed that you think almah is the term for young woman, when my friend who was raised an Orthodox Jew agreed that that my findings were accurate, that it meant virgin. Also my friend was quite explicit: the days in Genesis one are literal 24 hour days. I did study Hebrew in seminary, of course, and even translated the first chapter of that wonderful book. I also have a rather large library, with perhaps 40-50 commentaries on Genesis. I simply do not buy your view that Moses cribbed the Egyptian view of creation. Where did you get your training and under whom? Mine was SEBTS, when it was known as the most liberal seminary in the SBC. I am going to have to stop. It is just that I see your positions as smacking of my old doubts of yesteryear, skepticism produced by the enmity of the human heart against God, whom we in our unregenerate state blame for our miseries. You are courteous, and I hope I have been likewise, even though our areas of disagreement are serious.

  24. Mike

    >> It is just that I see your positions as smacking of my old doubts of yesteryear

    I understand. I used to have those doubts as well, and I apparently reconciled them differently than you did. But my faith in Jesus endured through it all. You clearly have saving faith. You do not need to read my brief responses below if it’s a stumbling block to do so.

    = = =

    >> First, because you think myths are involved in the Bible’s transmission,

    I think the Israelites were aware of the Egyptian myths, but I think those myths are false. I believe Moses knew the myths to be false, but uses aspects of their imagery.

    >> I am a little amazed that you think almah is the term for young woman, when my friend who was raised an Orthodox Jew agreed that that my findings were accurate, that it meant virgin.

    I have looked up the word almah in dictionaries, concordances, Christian, and Jewish, and I always see an explanation that the word means a young woman of child bearing age. Generally, such a person would be a virgin, but not necessarily. The fact that you can refer to a young virgin with the word almah however is enough for me to keep my faith.

    >> Also my friend was quite explicit: the days in Genesis one are literal 24 hour days.

    And I know orthodox Jews who do not believe you can assign a duration before Day 4 because they believe there was not yet a sun.

    >> I simply do not buy your view that Moses cribbed the Egyptian view of creation.

    He didn’t quote it or anything like that, just use similar imagery. The difference is that they way Moses wrote it is actually true. The Egyptian formulation is not true.

    >> Where did you get your training and under whom?

    No degree I admit. I just buy a lot of books and do a lot of study on my own time. I have been doing this for over 20 years… not exactly 50+ I realize.

    >> You are courteous, and I hope I have been likewise, even though our areas of disagreement are serious.

    Where we do NOT differ is on the divinity of Jesus and our need for Him as savior.

    You have been courteous as well, and I appreciate the candor.

  25. dr. james willingham

    This blog is hilariously funny in many respects. My training was in American Intellectual History which included such areas as Social Darwinism and the development of the sciences. One of the things which soon becomes evident is that every approach is based to some degree or other upon presuppositionalism, and that is presuppositions which cannot be tested in a laboratory experiment. Take the issues of the age of the earth and consider the presuppositions concerning the various forms of radio active dating and the presuppositions as to how much of the original material was radioactive and how much leaching might have occurred. Then consider how they went after a scientist who invited falsibility of his findings in the formation of haloes in basaltic rocks. Consider also the circular arguments of the rock strata and the fossils. Like the YECs the approach of this blog is just as presuppositional and just as unaware of the depth of Scripture. Consider one of the major problems of the intellectualism of the Bible, namely, its perspicuity or clarity, a problem identified some 400 years ago by the Puritans. Our problem is that we are sure we understand the Scripture, because it is so simple and clear. The truth is we lack the depth perception necessary to grasp the truth in all of its full orbed reality. In short, we are in over our heads like a friend of mine who could see the grains of sand flowing along the bottom of a mountain stream and figured the depth at two-three feet; it was 18-20 feet deep and he nearly drowned. So it is with the word of God. Just consider the statement: He stretches out the Heavens and the implications it has for the whole issue of the speed of light. And as to the supernatural: It has made an appearance in history in a way that was observable, physical present, and could be handled after the resurrection even to thrusting the hand into the wound area where the spear had pierced.

    Back to the science issue. Consider the presuppositions of science and the scientific method. One is that there is a rational explanation for everything, that supernaturalism must be excluded by its very nature. Both of those presuppositions are questionable, when one considers Alfred North Whitehead who taught mathematics at Cambridge University in the early 20th century and philosophy at Harvard in the middle of the twenty century (he was one of the writers that I studied in philosophy). He pointed out in his work, Science and Religion in the Modern World (I think that is the title. Somewhere in my library I have a copy in one of hundreds of boxes) that the scientific method took its rise from a Christian Faith, due to its concept of a rational God and His laws which says, in essence, something is there and it can be tested. In any case, the modern scientific method developed out of a biblical faith. I can even remember one of my professors at Liberty providing us with a one shot case, a clearly outlined experiment in Daniel chapter one, complete with a Null Hypothesis, no less. I would also point out that the modern scientific method has its problems. Consider what I found out, while doing a thesis in American Social and Intellectual History where I had to consider that both the thesis and the null hypothesis were true to some degree or other. In other words, there is a need for a both/and holistic method for testing. I remember shocking a the director of science education for one of the counties in North Carolina about 6-7 years ago. She was working on a Ph.D. in Science Education at UNC-Ch., and we began a discussion of the scientific method, I pointed out some of the problems with the method, and she was startled to the point of asking, “How did you know that.” (After all, us poor dumb preachers don’t study).. I explained how about 40 years ago I had run into the problem while writing a thesis. Presuppositional analysis is a necessary component of any effort to arrive at objective truth. One must be totally aware of the presuppositions involved in his or her approach and, where possible, they must be tested, too. Note that I said, where possible. Some presuppositions cannot be tested, not in a laboratory that is. The subject of the past is a subject of guesses, of extrapolations, of prejudices.

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