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The Achilles Heel of Theistic Evolution

Sunday, July 18, 2010 | Comments (125)

The Genesis record is a beautiful picture of God’s creation. Order, purpose and harmony permeate His completed work. Man relates righteously to God; Adam and Eve relate lovingly to one another; and animals dwell peacefully among them. No sign of conflict, fear, violence or death appears, until the day Adam sinned against God.

That’s a problem for evolution—a big problem.

Christians who flirt with evolution have some serious explaining to do when it comes to the existence of death before Adam’s transgression. How can God pronounce a world filled with violence, disease, suffering and death “very good”? Answer: He can’t.

Listen to John MacArthur make his case, then join the discussion at the comment thread by answering this question:

Since theistic evolutionists claim death reigned billions of years before Adam’s fall, what did sin do to the world that hadn't already been done? In what way was the “creation subjected to futility” (Rom. 8:20)? How has the “whole creation…been groaning…until now” (v. 22)?

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#1  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 7:36 AM

Hi Folks:

I think that JM has it correct, the dichotomy that exist between the natural/normal reading of the scripture and the contortions of interpretation which TE requires voids such a view. If indeed the scientific evidence (which changes from generation to generation-as it must with new information acquired) can logically be demonstrated to show YEC, then it is simply icing on the cake. The truth is that no one but God knows what when into the creation days, we discover truths, now and again, as they are revealed in that creation. Our discoveries are iffy if they contradict the testimony of the Word of God.

#2  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 8:45 AM

I have and answer

When Satan said to Eve "You won't surly die" she didn't say whats death, she already knew what death was.

JM inserts the idea that violence, disease, suffering equate with death, spiritual death is truly bad but physical death may have been Gods good plan from the start. Many animals were designed by God with teeth that were meant to chew and tear flesh, and some animals were designed with defensive attributes.

JMs challenge is how to justify Gods design of animals with offensive and defensive traits and still hold to his wooden literal view of Genesis.

#3  Posted by Daniel Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:59 AM

Achilles Heel is a great way to explain our weakness to evolution. I

agree with JM about if God allows death before the fall, God would be

an ogre. I am most thankful God is not a ogre and He loves us. Smiles.

Sin groans cause of our unbelief. right?

Evolution is like a dog biting the leg not let go. Yikes.

#4  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:22 AM

#2 Donovan

Where in God's Word do you get these ideas?

How do you come to such conclusions?

How can you say JM has a wooden literal view of Genesis?

Haven't you listened to the topics and seen how and why he trough a diligent study of God's Word came to these conclusions?

Do you have another theology?

#5  Posted by Caleb Vaughn  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 11:01 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#6  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 11:42 AM

#5 Caleb Vaughn

Welcome to you, and you have good points.

But how can we deduce from Genesis that Adam and Eve knew what death is?

I mean - it's like God telling Noah it's gonna rain, but it haven't rained before?

#7  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 11:45 AM

#2 Donovan wrote:

"When Satan said to Eve "You won't surly die" she didn't say whats death, she already knew what death was."

I think Eve believed satan because she DIDN'T know what death was. Satan's "tactic" was to deceive Eve by showing her that God didn't mean what He said (and satan still uses that tactic).

Maybe "dying" was the last thing on Eve's mind. Death was a concept she could not grasp as of yet, but, when she saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of its fruit, and ate, believing the serpent, and not God.

Satan was not about to have a meaningful conversation with Eve about what would happen to the world. His subtle attack was meant to get Eve, as quickly as possible, to disobey God (by not trusting His word) .

Satan wouldn't start with "Come on Eve, let us reason together; tell me Eve, what do you think will happen to you?, what do you think death is?", He doesn't do that even today.

and about:

"JM inserts the idea that violence, disease, suffering equate with death, spiritual death is truly bad but physical death may have been Gods good plan from the start. Many animals were designed by God with teeth that were meant to chew and tear flesh, and some animals were designed with defensive attributes. "

Remember, God knew Adam and Eve would fail eventually. So the stage was set for death and "the groaning of creation" to enter the picture.

#8  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 12:17 PM

*Shauna Bryant*

People who don't believe Genesis....should consider what Jesus has to say:

John 5:46-47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

#9  Posted by Caleb Vaughn  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 12:51 PM

Comment deleted by user.
#10  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 1:18 PM

Rudi Jensen,

God told Adam first to explain if He ate the fruit that he will surly

die. Adam may had told Eve. Eve knew the danger of the fruit. What

happen is Satan twisted it around to fool Eve. Eve was decieved and ate the fruit and Adam sinned cause he failed to protect her

and ate it too. Both in wrong and tried to hide(cover up).

Does it help?

God bless.

#11  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 1:26 PM

#7 Jorge - I think you’re right, but what about a philosophical aspect: Isn’t sin always disobedience with full knowledge?

Another thing regarding deducing from the text: In Genesis 3:3 Eve answers “neither shall you touch it, lest you die”.

This is not mentioned in Genesis 2:16-17, but can’t we deduce that God must have said it?

I mean – Did Eve lie? Was that the fall? Or if she wasn’t a sinner before she ate of the fruit, then she must have told the truth?

#12  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 2:01 PM

John # 8

"People who don't believe Genesis....should consider what Jesus has to say:

John 5:46-47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? "

Pardon me??!! There Jesus is telling the Jews that because they did not believe His testimony. It may have something to do with Genesis (??), but it's pretty hard to find there.

I believe more relevant scriptures would be:

1 Corinthians 15:22; Acts 4:24 ; Mark 13:19; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 14:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2, 10; Revelation 4:11; 10:6; 14:7 and many others.

Can you please explain what you meant to say?

#13  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 3:21 PM

Caleb and Dan

You are doing fine. So what about a challenge? How would you answer Donavan on this: "Many animals were designed by God with teeth that were meant to chew and tear flesh"?

Surely God gives an answer :-)

I'm in Denmark, another timezone. We are 9 hours (and 50 years) ahead of you :-), so I'll by off now.

#14  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 3:47 PM

re: # 11

Hi, Rudi. You write:

"..but can’t we deduce that God must have said it?

I mean – Did Eve lie? Was that the fall? Or if she wasn’t a sinner before she ate of the fruit, then she must have told the truth? "

Well, for the sake of argument (and I realize it may not be too healthy to do that) let's say that God did NOT tell Eve "don't even touch it!", Who can know what was going on in Eve's mind?. Don't we, even today, tend to "embellish" or add to things when we talk to someone?.

I don't see, from the bible, that the "original sin" was lying.

I see it was the eating of the forbidden fruit.

#15  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 4:03 PM

Welcome Caleb Vaughn,

I remember being a young man at age of 20. Ever wanting to learn God's

Word. Wow, you must have study alot in God's Word. God bless.

Just wondering if you look into www.answersingenesis.org. It's a helpful

website for a young man like you. Smiles. Just remember one thing. God's

word is 100%. It's very good to study God's Word. Good job and remember

trust not in the flesh. I too had to learn it.

God bless.

#16  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 4:10 PM

Ah, At first animals ate fruit and plants. A lion ate straw perhaps.

Animals are not important,we are cause we have souls. Did Good Adam suffering from a fly bite before the fall or a lion coming after him

before the fall. No way!! It's impossible to think that.

#17  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 4:14 PM

#12

Jorge, This is Shauna, Johns wife who posted the scripture.

I believe Jesus meant exactly what He said and He included all of Moses' writings in His statement as surely He would since Moses was inspired, by God, to write exactly what he did. Jesus was testifying of the veracity of God's own Words in Genesis. He didn't quote a verse as He often did, on the contrary in that verse (John 5:46-47) He actually said: "....if ye believe not his writings...", that would include all of Moses' writings would it not?(rhetorical)

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

There is Jesus......In The Beginning. This is by design and we would do well to heed it.

That is quite appropriately linked. Scripture is all about Him. Your references are helpful as well.

My point is, Jesus made it clear that they hadn't believed Moses writings because the Word of God wasn't abiding in them and if they didn't have the Word abiding in them, and in this case he specifically called out Moses' writings, then they wouldn't believe Him either.

There are many, as we've seen on this blog, who would say "Well, I believe Jesus but not Moses because he was writing to ages past or just being poetic, or Moses didn't know everything we know now, or whatever excuse it is they have....." and yet here Jesus makes it clear - if you don't believe Moses you won't believe Jesus. I find that VERY thought provoking. And I hope many also find it sobering when they rip scripture apart.

I am not writing my own opinion here, I am just quoting scripture and it is in context. After all, we are discussing The Beginning.

1 John agrees as do many other scriptures (many of which you referenced). Thanks!

#18  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:01 PM

# 17

Hi, Shauna.

Let me see if I understand.

In a way, are you saying Jesus = The truth, and Moses = the Bible, so the jews at the time couldn't believe Jesus (see the truth) because they would not "get" what Moses (the bible) revealed?.

I realize I may still not get what you were trying to say (I'm not that clever), but I see your point. It's GENIOUS. Simple, and to the point. Thank you for your prompt response.

#19  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:27 PM

Maybe it's not interesting to anyone else but here it goes again. If you use only a little critical thinking John MacArthur's opening challenge can be answered and also turned on its head. Maybe I can make it more clear.

1) God created everything.

2) Animals were designed with teeth, jaws, claws for killing and eating, (teleological argument).

3) Animals were created before the fall.

4) Therefore: there was death before the fall.

Saying that animals don't count, discounts the design part of this argument.

Saying that God saw the fall coming fall of man with his foreshadowing design would mean that his creation was not perfect.

I hope this blog has enough discipline to accept this challenge.

#20  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:33 PM

Daniel # 3 writes:

"Sin groans cause of our unbelief. right? "

I'm not sure what you meant. I think God (The Father,Jesus and the Holy Spirit) "groan" because of our unbelief. Not sin.

The whole creation "groans" because sin just messed up what God made perfect at the beginning, and now (since then), it must endure decay, sickness, and all things bad. Hope this helps.

#21  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:47 PM

To Donavan # 19:

I don't see how your comments answer the question presented in this blog post. Here it is again:

Since theistic evolutionists claim death reigned billions of years before Adam’s fall, what did sin do to the world that hadn't already been done? In what way was the “creation subjected to futility” (Rom. 8:20)? How has the “whole creation…been groaning…until now” (v. 22)?

Also, your question has already been addressed in this blog series. Number one, of course God knew about the fall before it took place. He decreed it. Secondly, we don't know for certain what kind of "teeth, jaws, and claws" animals had before the fall. We're simply not told.

What we are told, is how God provided food for animals before the fall. Check out Genesis 1:30

"And ​to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the ​​sky and to every thing that ​moves on the earth ​which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so."

That doesn't sound like animals tearing each other apart, violence, killing, etc. does it?

#22  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:54 PM

# 19 Donovan

"2) Animals were designed with teeth, jaws, claws for killing and eating, (teleological argument).

3) Animals were created before the fall.

4) Therefore: there was death before the fall. "

That just doesn't necessarily have to follow. Just because animals had everything for killing doesn't mean they were doing just that. You may be "reading" more into it.

also:

"Saying that God saw the fall coming fall of man with his foreshadowing design would mean that his creation was not perfect."

Again, that's an affirmation, we, in our ignorance of God's ways, can not abide by.

The coming of Jesus was, from the beginning, meant to re-unite us to Himself (The Trinity), so we can leave in the ever after as one, knowing Him for we'll see him as He is. So, yes, God did know the fall of man would come. Still , He chose, in His sovereignty, to let it be. How can we possibly understand that??

Not until He explains it those he chose Himself.

#23  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 5:57 PM

#19 Donavan Dear

Are you a Christian?

What church do you attend?

Do you have a statement of beliefs?

#24  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:04 PM

Donavan,

Genesis 1:30 clearly states: "Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food."

Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to lean on our own understanding but to trust God. That implies believing His Word to us.

God established that the animals would be plant eaters. There was no death before the fall.

#25  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:05 PM

I agree with Tommy. Tks. Good night, I need to work tomorrow. Talk

later. God bless.

#26  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:29 PM

# 19 Donovan

Ah, Are you a christian or catholic?

#27  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:35 PM

#21 Tommy

ICR says about the same thing as you concerning offensive and defensive design and how they may have changed at the fall. I would like you to look a little deeper than that. If God changed the animals, perhaps people, and everything else in creation then we can take the first part of Genesis isolate it and not be able to use it for anything, scientific or otherwise. I don't think God did that, no one knows the total extent of the fall.

My argument says that animals were designed once and death (not spiritual death) was part of Gods good creation, that answers all of JM questions because it would cut off his entire interpretation of Genesis (literal) at the knees. Your argument as it seems to me calls for all the animals and creation to be designed twice. Once before the fall and once after.

"And ​to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the ​​sky and to every thing that ​moves on the earth ​which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so."

That doesn't sound like animals tearing each other apart, violence, killing, etc. does it?

I tend to sound to harsh often so please don't think I mean to be, but how do you have the right to say that God couldn't use death in his good creation, you and JM insert words like violence, disease, suffering and death, doesn't the potter have the right to do with the clay what he will. After all he sends some people to hell, that is violent (I'm over simplifying Rom. 9 of course). But think about it.

#28  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:52 PM

#23 Rudi

Yes I am 100% Christian and love Jesus.

I attended and worked at Grace Community Church for 4 years (John MacArthur's) Yep, the same one.

I Believe 100% in the Bible, but many of the cults of the world say the same thing. I believe all the fundamentals of the faith just like JM except I disagree with him in two very important points. I really really have problems with dispensational teaching, Jesus presiding over animal sacrifices in the future is heresy I feel. Also I differ with him in the way he is committed to a -newspaper literal- hermeneutic.

#29  Posted by Caleb Vaughn  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 6:53 PM

Thank you so much for your words and encouragement Dan. I always respect and value the opinion of someone older and wiser. I will be sure to look into that website. I love to learn. Keep in touch. I will be watching your posts gleaning whatever I can from your wisdom.

#30  Posted by Cliff Gould  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 7:18 PM

Donavan,

So does that mean that before "the Lion lays down with the lamb..." all of his teetha and claws will fall off? Or will they transform into vegetable eating grinding-type teeth and paws? Surley they must get prepared physically for that future time. Or maybe it's just a mental change that will happen?

Furthermore how did a fully formed Adam and Eve even understand what God asked of them? How did they know how to walk? Were they crawling around until they learned? Gosh they had to learn a lot before Eve was even to understand what death was! Maybe, just maybe God is big enough to put these understandings and abilities into the first person, first animals, first plants....

#31  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 7:37 PM

From what I'm hearing many of you are seeming to say that there was another creation(re-design) at the fall. This is concession the to the evolutionists. If there is another creation why couldn't it be a design in which God used evolution, Gen 1&2 don't count if God redesigned creation at the fall.

#32  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 8:15 PM

Hi Folks:

There are a number of errors that need to be addressed.

1) We do not know what God intended if the fall did not happen.

2) To say that there were carnivores prior to the flood is speculation, the scriptures do not tell us. The evidence from fossils is silent because we do not have the whole picture- regardless what modern science says- T-Rex may have had a different diet prior to the Flood.

3) The "death" spoken of in scripture most often refers to separation from God. Spiritual death precedes natural death- Adam did die. Christian's are said to "sleep" not die.

4) To speculate that God could not have handled over population due to the obedience of the creatures he commanded to procreate is non-sense. Death did not necessarily exist as a natural part of order in creation."What ifs" should not be a part of this discussion- I think.

5) JM is correct in saying that if death reigned prior to Adam, there was no real reason for the cross. And why would God threaten them with something that they would not/could not avoid anyway?

6) We would also be speculating if we say that they did not understand what God meant when he gave the command regarding the forbidden fruit. (While they had not had the experience of death in any sense, any statement regarding what they didn't understand would be pure speculation.

7) (And just to have a perfect number...) If we are to keep in line with what the scriptures say, we should be able to say "I don't know" as a regular part of our biblical vocabulary. That is why we stick to the plain sense of scripture. God did not mean for us to know everything, but we are to know somethings. The plain meaning of scripture will lead us to those truths. Just a thought

#33  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 8:28 PM

re # 11, Rudi

"Isn’t sin always disobedience with full knowledge? "

Sorry I missed this question you posted earlier.

Let me put it this way: disobedience, with full knowledge, certainly is sin. But, could disobedience, without full knowledge, be sin?.

I think it could be. A definition of Disobedience is doing what you were asked (or ordered) not to do. One doesn't have to have "full knowledge" to disobey (ask any little child who won't take "because I say so"). Hope this helps.

#34  Posted by Orlando Delgado  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 8:44 PM

I believe that the premise used to begin this discussion is flawed “Christians who flirt with evolution have some serious explaining to do when it comes to the existence of death before Adam’s transgression. How can God pronounce a world filled with violence, disease, suffering and death “very good”? Answer: He can’t.” These “Christians” that are enjoying the honor to be called as such, we have to be extremely careful. A true Christian is obedient to the word, and does not second guess God.

These so called Christians do not have to explain anything, because to them either what is written in the Genesis account in chapters 1-3 is not actually precise, or the language falls in some gray area, that regardless how straight forward the text may be, their science has more weight than what God is actually saying. Even if God would have had given them every single detail they wanted to be written in the Bible, they would still hate God for the good of their empirical observation.

It is amazing how this brilliant people can be so narrow in their own intelligence (I guess they can say the same thing about my narrow mind in God’s word at face value, which places us at stalemate). When God the Holy Spirit said: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” How can you convolute that? If I were one of those Jewish people wondering in the desert I believe it would be simple for me to understand that it was a Moring and a night, just a day as we know it today.

As John MacArthur clearly stated it on Larry King, “this is a battle for the truth, at the moment you do not believe it; then you would have to attack it.” This is exactly what you hear from these so called Christians in this forum, they are not Christians. Have to pray for them, so the grace of God through Jesus may illume them.

#35  Posted by Mark Ferguson  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 8:46 PM

# 31 Donvan The "fall" was a fall because of God's curse. He did not create anything new, he cursed what was good.

What the bible says: Gen1:30 says God gave every beast and creature"every green plant for food". Gen2:19 God brings to Adam all creatures and Adam names all the "beasts of the field" and every creature. Here creation is under control being ruled by God and Adam. Gen 7and 8 two of every creature was on the ark, together, no death from animals in the ark, still eating green plants. 7 months or so on the ark and no death from animals on the ark, Amazing and God's plan. Eating Green Plants. Gen9 After the animals are off the ark God creates "the fear and dread of man" on the beasts, birds , creatures. At this point animals become food for man by God's design and will. Also I believe this is when animals begin to cause death, live for survival and begin to eat flesh. Please read the whole account, I believe it all unfolds clearly.

#36  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:20 PM

Donavan:

One of my friends offers two possibilities to the issue we’re addressing.

(1) God created the animals as they are in anticipation of the cursed earth, since sin was required to fulfill the plan of redemption.

(2) Teeth, claws, and animal aggression are results of the curse, and early examples of variation within species.

As to your charge to look deeper, here’s the problem, Donavan. Scripture doesn’t answer all our questions to the extent we’d like. But neither does God intend for us to speculate in such a way that compromises the plain meaning of numerous texts. I’m personally fascinated by this discussion, but I’m content to simply believe the Genesis account and take God at His Word. I think Romans 5 settles the issue. It says death “reigned” from Adam and beyond, but not before. Death entered the creation because of Adam’s sin. Your view has a cursed earth before the fall.

Further, as one commenter in this thread already pointed out, part of the Edenic like restoration Isaiah presents in chapter 65 includes animals dwelling together in harmony. If wolves are able to graze (eat grass to survive) and Lions to eat straw with the ox, in what way do you think God needed to use death before the fall? Use it for what?

Also, I think “violence, disease, aggression, etc…” are very fitting descriptions of a world where death reigns.

Donavan, have you watched any wildlife documentaries lately and observed animals attacking one another? Ever seen a pride of Lions taking down a baby wildabeast? Even a child would be reluctant to classify such an event as “good.” Death, attack, slaughter, stench, rot, disease. I can’t conceive of that as even close to a prefall condition.

Also, why didn’t Adam and Even pick out some animal fur as a covering when they were trying to conceal their nakedness? With your view, there would have been plenty of that around.

I think the first instance of physical death in the Bible is God killing an animal to provide a covering for Adam and Eve. The Hebrew renders it “tunics of skin,” presumably animal skin. I think God’s killing an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s shame amplified the gravity of what Adam and Eve had donw.

So again, you’re left to answer the question: what changed from before the fall and after? What’s the “groaning” Paul talked about?

#37  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:21 PM

Will someone try to tackle this:

I tend to sound to harsh often so please don't think I mean to be, but how do you have the right to say that God couldn't use death in his good creation, you and JM insert words like violence, disease, suffering and death, doesn't the potter have the right to do with the clay what he will. After all he sends some people to hell, that is violent (I'm over simplifying Rom. 9 of course). But think about it.

It is wrong for JM to say what God can't design death into creation and call it good, if you don't agree why.

#38  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:44 PM

#36 Tommy

Thank you for your post. I really appreciate your responses.

you said:

God created the animals as they are in anticipation of the cursed earth, since sin was required to fulfill the plan of redemption.

If God created the animals with a compromised designed because of the inevitable fall then by definition

Gods creation was second rate.

you said:

But neither does God intend for us to speculate in such a way that compromises the plain meaning of numerous texts

This is my soap box, this text does not have plain meaning, really, is it plain to think of days with no sky, days with no sun or moon in place, or having a conversation with a serpent, in a perfect garden, please don't say anything that God wrote in the first two chapters of Genesis is plain text.

as for inserting attack, slaughter, stench, rot, disease into the description of death I say again God can use death with perfect peace and goodness in his design. Don't forget he is the potter.

#39  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:46 PM

The reason God didn't use death, Donavan, is the fact that if death had been a good thing used of the Lord previously, there would had been nothing unique or negative about it as it applied to the sin of Adam. Evolutionary theory has to have death as a driving engine to get evolution to work. Why would God call something supposedly good bad just because Adam sinned?

An article worth your time reading to get a theological perspective on this subject can be found here:

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1986/JASA3-86VanDyke.html

And I actually wrote on this subject a month or more ago at my own personal blog:

http://hipandthigh.blogspot.com/2010/06/hard-truths-for-theistic-evolutionists_20.html

The fall and death truly is as the title suggests, the Achilles' heel of theistic evolution and by extension any old earth views of Genesis.

#40  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 9:47 PM

Donavan # 38:

I don't want to detour the comment thread, but just to clarify for any readers who may be curious, you said you "feel" John's teaching on the millennial sacrifices is heresy. Here's John's notes on Ezekiel 43 (a chapter dealing with worship in the millennial temple). Heresy? I don't think so. And that's a strong description to employ on teaching with which you disagree.

43:19 a young bull for a sin offering. Exact offerings, in language just as definitive as the literal descriptions in Moses’ day, are also just as literal here. They are of a memorial nature; they are not efficacious any more than OT sacrifices were. As OT sacrifices pointed forward to Christ’s death, so these are tangible expressions, not competing with, but pointing back to the value of Christ’s completely effective sacrifice, once for all (Heb. 9:28; 10:10). God at that time endorsed OT offerings as tokens of forgiving and cleansing worshipers on the basis and credit of the great Lamb they pointed to, who alone could take away sins (John 1:29). The tangible expressions of worship, which the Israelites for so long failed to offer validly (cf. Is. 1:11–15), will at last be offered acceptably, then with full understanding about the Lamb of God to whom they point. The bread and the cup, which believers today find meaningful, do not compete with Christ’s cross but are tangible memorials of its glory. So will these sacrifices be.

#41  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:06 PM

#39 Fred

Thank you I'll look over the articles.

#40 Tommy

I can't wait until there is a blog with thoughtful people to talk about eschatology, but until then, yes

I'm very aware of JM views on this and I wish I could use a stronger word but I gulp when I say my favorite Bible teacher has a view that I truly feel is heresy (a belief that rejects the orthodox tenets of a religion), it insults Jesus dying on the cross.

#42  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:12 PM

Donavan:

Thanks for the dialogue. I’m about to sign off here, but here’s a thought.

You said: “If God created the animals with a compromised design because of the inevitable fall, then by definition Gods creation was second rate.”

No, by your definition God’s creation was second rate, and I certainly wouldn’t classify God’s reflecting His own anticipation of the fall in His creatures as a “compromise.” Actually, it was an act of mercy.

Why couldn’t God create animal with the capacity to be carnivorous, and that be “good”? To quote your own argument, “Don’t forget, He is the potter.”

You said: “Please don't say anything that God wrote in the first two chapters of Genesis is plain text.”

I’ll go beyond that. I say “everything” God wrote in Genesis 1-3 is plain text, and should be taken as such.

In my estimation, the burden of proof is on you, and I don’t think your argument can survive the scrutiny of the reformation principle, “Analogy of Scripture.” Romans 5 is a threat to theistic evolution, and death before Adam is in fact, the Achilles heel.

Moreover, you never answered the question presented in this blog post. What changed before the fall to after, if death reigned through both periods?

#43  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:20 PM

This is not the argument that I'm putting out now but this is another reason why death before the fall is Biblical. I'm sure some of you have already scene this article.

http://www.reasons.org/resources/non-staff-papers/animal-death-before-the-fall

#44  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:25 PM

Also thank you for the thoughtful dialogue

Iron sharpens iron.

Check out the link I posted about Rom. 5 it is very strong.

#45  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 10:37 PM

#42 Tommy

you said: Moreover, you never answered the question presented in this blog post. What changed before the fall to after, if death reigned through both periods?

The answer is....... spiritual death not biological death started its reign at the fall. That was easy.

(just kidding)

Please see

http://www.reasons.org/resources/non-staff-papers/animal-death-before-the-fall

for a more in depth answer.

#46  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Sunday, July 18, 2010at 11:14 PM

#39 Fred

I read your article and loved it, but I do have to say it seemed surprisingly even handed , thank you very much for pointing me to it.

#47  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 2:42 AM

Donovan - Death is an enemy: 1 Corinthians 15:26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death."

#48  Posted by Kathleen Todoroff  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 5:42 AM

a six literal day creation is a given. There is no argument there. It says "evening and morning" for each day. Not summer to summer, etc. My question is: How much time passed between the creation of Adam and Eve until the first sin? And also, God told them to be fruitful and multiply at the moment of their creation, before the fall, so is it assumed that they had children before the fall?

#49  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 5:56 AM

Jorge Alvarado

I must been tired. Sorry

Sin groans because we had to live with it and that why Jesus paid the

price to free us so we don't have to live in sin. But our sin will groan

until the end of time when Christ will return soon. At death of God's

children, the children is free from sin but still will come to the judgement seat as well unbelievers will do the same.

Tks for the info.

Did Adam live in fear of lions before the fall, if the animals ate

animals. No. Fear is a sin also. Did Adam cut himself on thorns. No thorns before the fall. Did Adam see bones of animals of million yrs. Can't be cause no thoughts of killing before the fall.

#50  Posted by Arthur Caputo  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 6:18 AM

Hi John and folks,

I completely uphold and support the Biblical account of creation. God said six days so He means SIX DAYS! I often will ask christian doubters of this the question: "If you believe that God created the universe including the earth and all life including us, why do you want to limit His power and say He couldn't have done it in six days?" I have a dear Christian friend though that is getting bogged down in the interpretation of the word for "day" saying that it can be interpreted as a "warming period" and this "period" could account for "billions" of years. I have tried to get him to listen to John's series on creation but it is apparent that he has hardened his heart. His gospel is true, and he loves in the spirit of Jesus, but he believes that God set it all in motion. I am at a loss to help him understand. Any suggestions?

#51  Posted by Kirk Bohn  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 7:17 AM

Wheather eve knew what death was or not ,(Idon't believe she did), she was to obay what God said, don't eat that furit for that tree.

#52  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 7:18 AM

Hi Folks: I was re-reading the text in Genesis this morning to refresh my thinking on this subject, and see if I was missing something. You know, how God puts things is really clever. I found that while we have been discussing the word "day", we have forgotten the modifiers that tell us what "day" means.

"And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day."(NASB-Logos Library Systems Electronic Copy). Notice how the text says it, "...And it took place evening and morning-day one." (LXX). No one reading the text would understand it other then a 24 hour day.

As to the issue of futility- decay, death, the land not giving it's "full" strength. Man needing to work by the sweat of his brow, woman wanting the preeminence in the home, hard labor in child birth...all part of it. But the worst is our sinful nature destroying creation by war, murder, etc. Homes being destroyed by infidelity, drugs, self willfulness/ self-centeredness, lying, the destruction of God's image through homosexual behavior etc. (Wm Blake's the "Chimney Sweeper" shows what happens in this world to unwanted children. False religion, disease, mental health issues............ etc.

#53  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 9:51 AM

Tommy #42

You said:

No, by your definition God’s creation was second rate, and I certainly wouldn’t classify God’s reflecting His own anticipation of the fall in His creatures as a “compromise.” Actually, it was an act of mercy.

This is interesting, God could have designed animals like alligators with jaws that can produce 1000+ lbs of force to eat plants but wow the plants back then must have been very tough. (silly)

This is a limitation of the definition of the John MacArthur view of creation not mine, I don't think God compromised or had offensive and defensive physical features of animals turned to standby in his original creation at all, and I don't think you do either.

#54  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 9:59 AM

Looks like everyone was tied to their computer this weekend! I got loose somehow... :)

I want to reiterate what Rudi said in post #47. This is something that must be contended with by those who believe in death before the Fall. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 is a key passage on death.

It is interesting, and I think significant, that Scripture nowhere (that I can find or recall) makes a distinction between animal death and human death. The distinctions made are between the value of the life of an animal vs. human, but not death itself.

Another important aspect we must keep in mind is that Scripture is a revelation about God's relationship to man in particular. Certainly a massive amount of peripheral issues are addressed, but it is primarily about God and man. So it should be no surprise that when Scripture speaks of death, it is primarily related to its effects on humans.

So when we come to 1 Corinthians 15, we can understand that it is speaking of death as it relates to humans in particular, but not exclusively. Death (unqualified) is an enemy. It is an enemy of man and it is an enemy of God. As surely as Satan is God's enemy, so is death. Death will be the final enemy destroyed according to 1 Cor. 15:26, Revelation 20:14; 21:4. If death was built in as part of the "good" creation as Donavan would like us to believe, then he must explain how it is an enemy of God which will be destroyed and absent from the New Creation.

My anticipation is he will argue that this refers to human death only and that we cannot use Revelation to teach truth because Revelation apocalyptic literature and therefore cannot be interpreted literally.

Donavan makes a big deal over sharp teeth and claws, and I think Tommy has sufficiently answered that by saying that sharp teeth and claws are helpful for carnivores, but do not necessitate carnivorous activity. Since God did indeed ordain the Fall, it is precisely within His ability to create in preparation for the Fall.

Donavan says to Tommy, "I don't think God compromised or had offensive and defensive physical features of animals turned to standby in his original creation at all, and I don't think you do either."

Why not? Man has the capacity to kill another man with his bare hands, but was not created to do so. Why does the capacity to do something require the doing of it? I don't think it does, and I don't think you do either.

#55  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 10:22 AM

Donavan,

Shauna Bryant here.

The article you linked to has some serious flaws and assumptions that are completely without any foundation whatsoever, no matter how many literary machinations are used.

The argument in the article is that since God said they were to eat plants and since He didn't also say they could eat animals, then they could eat animals because God was just using the plants as a literary analogy about the tree. That's like as if I said to my kids "Oh look what a beautiful day lets pick vegetables out of our garden!" Then the kids would say "Hey mom, can we have a carrot?" "Sure kids, run along and get your carrot." Then I walk over and see them eating a box of cookies and a carton of ice cream! When I ask them why in the world they are eating that when I said they could eat a carrot they would reply "Well, we did eat the carrot but we assumed we could also have the cookies and ice cream since you didn't specifically say we couldn't. After all mom, we just thought you meant carrot in the context of the fact that you were gardening but we assumed it really meant we could eat that plus anything else we wanted. Of course, they would then be grounded. I use the example to show how childish the argument in the article is in this point.

Additionally, the article goes on to claim that before the fall they ate animals and used their skins. Interesting because before the fall God tells us Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame. Why would they have needed animal skins before the fall if they felt no shame in nakedness? And why, when they fell, did they only think to use leaves for covering? No, the point of that transaction was God having to kill and animal - to shed blood - to cover their shame. That is pointing to the coming lamb, slain for our sins.

Then it uses quite a stretch to say that the mandate given to Noah suggests (when it does NO such thing) that it was the same mandate given to Adam, even though the Bible spells out the mandate given to Adam and it clearly wasn't the same as the one given to Noah. But the author suggests that God just 'left out' that part (that He gave Noah) in telling us what the mandate was for Adam. Well with this kind of reasoning we can literally make scripture say and mean anything we want!

The author unknowingly shows his hand here with this statement regarding Psalm 104: "This poetic meditation then goes beyond the Genesis account and explains that God appointed the day-night cycle so that the beasts of the forest might prowl about at night and hunt for their prey."

Did you see that? It's even admitted the Psalm is going beyond (I'll say it again "going beyond") Genesis (in Genesis 1-2 specifically) and shows the beasts going to hunt at night. However, it is then concluded that this means that animals hunted from the beginning and that's why God appointed the day night cycle. Oh and that food/provision from God means meat and not just plants, disregarding what God actually said In The Beginning. I read that Psalm and it says this: "...You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.

The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God..."

And the same Psalm talks about the ships......so must we also assume that ships were in the waters when they were created? Of course not. It's so obvious that the Psalm is going far beyond Genesis 1 & 2 that one wonders how the author can assume, in any pretext, it should be included there?

He then argues (with Kline) that the curse of the earth is the dead bodies of men and it is that which the earth needs to be delivered from.

It's not, it is argued, that the earth itself is cursed, just being devoured by the curse of fallen man. Quite frankly, in the New Age/Mother Earth/Gaia Goddess movement, this very same argument is made. That the earth is clean, mankind is not and in fact they claim mankind is the problem for "mother" earth, which is why they worship the earth. Creation itself is cursed and groans in anticipation of it's deliverance as well, just as God said.

Of course there is so much more which I'll just have to address later, due to time. It is so sad to hear the whisper behind this article "Did God actually say.....?"

#56  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 11:13 AM

# 54 Gabriel

Thank you for your pointed post.

You said:

So when we come to 1 Corinthians 15, we can understand that it is speaking of death as it relates to humans in particular, but not exclusively. Death (unqualified) is an enemy.

Matt. 10:28 “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather afear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

This passage makes it clear that spiritual death (qualified) is the enemy, otherwise why would the Bible say not to fear physical death. I believe this answers many shallow refutations to my argument.

Also, you said:

Man has the capacity to kill another man with his bare hands, but was not created to do so. Why does the capacity to do something require the doing of it?

Capacity and physical design are two different things, if God designed us with wheels instead of feet we could figure that we were designed to roll places instead of walk. One of the Christians strongest arguments for Gods design is the teleological idea that Gods design has a purpose. My bet is that you have used that argument before on evolutionists but now you are not accepting it when I us it on your view.

This Blog column should not be called "The Achilles Heel of Theistic Evolution" it should be called

"The Achilles Heel of Literalistic Genesis Creation"

I really appreciate the thoughtful arguments to what I have been throwing out.

#57  Posted by Ken Wolgemuth  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 11:50 AM

TO: Fred Butler

Over the weekend of July 4th, you asked me to share an understanding of Genesis 1 consistent with my scientic understanding that the earth is old. I replied that I wanted to seek input from a Hebrew scholar. I affirm here again that I believe the Bible is God's authoritative Word and is infallible and inerrant in its original autographs - hence Hebrew for Genesis.

Within the last few days I started reading John Walton's "The Lost World of Genesis One." On page 39 he writes: "The English reader must face a difficult fact: one cannot comprehend the literal meaning of a word in the Old Testament without knowing Hebrew or having access to the analysis of someone who does." This is why I refrained from attempting an answer on my own, without digging into works by Hebrew scholars. Or else, I would copy the type of errors made by theologians who write about geology, and those are plentiful, including unsound sciene.

I have long guessed that Hebrew was important beyond a simplistic understanding of English, which is through my lense of geology and geochemistry, which the Lord guided me to study - now for over 40 years. Walton's book is one that lays out the reasons why.

I encourage every Christian in the natural sciences to read it, and every Christian who is a young-earth advocate.

I see from your blog, Fred, that you are an avid reader, and also recommend studying other laguages, including Hebrew and Greek. Walton also writes in the prologue of this book on the first chapter of Genesis: "It is regrettable that an account of such beauty has become such a bloodied battleground, but that is indeed the case."

As a devoted follower of the Creator, Jesus Christ, this fact causes me great pain and heartache, because of the ridicule it brings to the witness of the Gospel in the public square. Chuck Colson calls us to bring a winsome defense of the Gospel. Jesus calls us to be salt and light, and to love one another.

I pray that the Lord gives us all grace and humility as we seek His truth in these issues. As the name of this blog is to display, grace to you.

Your brother in Christ,

Ken Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Solid Rock Lectures

wolgemuth2@aol.com

918-852-3082

#58  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 11:59 AM

Donavan,

Matthew 10:28 does not say that we shouldn't fear death. It says we shouldn't fear people who can do no more than kill us physically. This passage does not say anything about death being an enemy--it says that we should fear God who is our enemy unless He is our Savior.

The problem with your argument of design is that the kind of design we see in animals is multi-purpose. Haven't you ever seen a dog eat grass? If dogs can eat grass AND rats, is it not possible that they could have at one point eaten only grass? Since we don't know what the world was like prior to the Fall, we cannot assume anything in terms of the properties of vegetation, trees, fruit, and the biological details of digestive systems. We cannot make arguments about how animals are designed to digest food now and project it on the pre-Fall state.

I appreciated Shauna's analysis of the article you linked to. The author did indeed make a massive assumption regarding God's feeding of animals. Normally, post-Fall descriptions of the world view it from a, wait for it... post-Fall perspective. So when God describes His sovereign care over everything, He isn't describing the pre-Fall world. That God asks, "Who provides for the raven its prey" (Job 38:41), does not imply that He fed the animals meat prior to the Fall.

As Shauna pointed out, the author also made a rather silly assumption that God's explicit provision of food doesn't mean meat was also provided. The text is so clear in its universal aspect (every plant, all the earth, every tree, every beast, every bird, everything that creeps, everything that has the breath of life, every green plant). If the author was simply making an analogy, why not limit the provision of vegetation to just humans in that statement? The article author's understanding does not account for the details of the text.

#59  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 12:03 PM

#55 Shauna

Sorry I should have qualified that article better I agree with you that most of what they say is poor, but I did appreciate the way Rom. 5 and the Greek was handled (but not 100%). I am not a theistic evolutionist as they are.

#60  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 12:03 PM

#31 Donavan

You asked: "If there is another creation why couldn't it be a design in which God used evolution"

I'm really confused about all of your questions. What do you actually believe about creation and the fall? Do you believe in evolution?

#61  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 12:08 PM

re # 48 Kathleen

"My question is: How much time passed between the creation of Adam and Eve until the first sin?"

I don't think the bible says how long it took. I, personally, don't see why it would matter. I too have a lot of questions as to why God did things the way He did that others may not see as important (for one, why would God send satan, after banishing from heaven to Earth, of all places?).

About :

"God told them to be fruitful and multiply at the moment of their creation, before the fall, so is it assumed that they had children before the fall?"

No, not really. I isn't until Gen 4:1 that we read: And Adam knew Eve his wife. And she conceived and bore Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from Jehovah.

This is after they were driven out of Eden. I just don't see Adam and Eve "going at it" from scripture.

I hope someone else can be more helpful.

#62  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 12:21 PM

So basically Ken,

You wrote all of that to say you ain't gonna answer my question? I don't get it. John Walton is one guy. He's one guy that has an odd ball view of Genesis to boot. In light of the history of translation work on Genesis, one of which every major translator believed God clearly conveyed a creation of the world in 6 solar days as we know days, how exactly does John Walton provide any additional light that explains we need to abandon the historic, biblical understanding of Genesis? Come on, Von Rad was a redaction critic and even he had to be honest and say Genesis means what it says.

#63  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 1:17 PM

re # 50, Arthur

"Any suggestions?"

Hi, Arthur, I feel your pain. Asking someone to admit to their unbelief is hard. Only God can change someone's heart. Let us hope God has chosen your friend to himself. Only then will you know He (God)will) show him His truths. Hope this helps. Bye for now.

#64  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 2:03 PM

Please don't consider these blogs as entertainment.

You must understand that these issues are nothing less than a matter of life and death. This is about the one and only Truth - God’s Word.

As Christians we have no other goal than to glorify our Creator and Savior by living in love and obedience to His commands. These topics do have implications for our lives. We are living by faith, and faith comes by hearing (And all is connected to the Gospel somehow).

So please be serious. If you are new, please review the series first.

We do have a great responsibility:

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants

Luke 20:9-18

Jesus is coming back. Let Him find you ready.

#65  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 2:13 PM

Donavan:

Thanks for providing the link on “Animal Death Before the Fall.”

I read the entire article and, in spite of the author’s efforts I remain utterly unconvinced of his position. In my estimation, he was grasping for straws throughout the entire article (perhaps that accounts for the short length). Granted, he at least appealed to Scripture for his arguments (which I appreciated), but his points were very weak, especially his argument on Romans 8 (creation groaning).

The strongest point in his article was his discussion of the Greek terms in Romans 5, but as Gabe has already pointed out, there is very little (if any) distinction between animal and human death in the Bible. So claiming Romans 5 refers exclusively to human death does nothing to advance your argument, really.

Ditto what Bryant # 55 said about the author’s comments on Genesis 1:30. He could have salvaged some credibility had he not mentioned that one at all. I think he shot himself in the foot. Re-read that section and maybe you’ll re-think linking that post for YECs in the future :)

The argument he presented based upon Psalm 104 is a stretch. In his own words, it’s a “poetic reflection” on creation. His hermeneutical logic is absurd if rigidly applied to the entire Psalm. Read it through the grid he introduces and see what interpretation it yields. Had that text been presented as part of the Genesis 2 summation of creation, we’d have a problem. But God already gave a summary in Genesis 2, didn’t He? Remember . . . “It is good.”

I had to grin reading his introduction, where he comments on his “death before the fall” view and says, “. . .this conception of the pre-Fall state presents a jarring contrast with the typical Sunday School picture of Adam and Eve in the garden, dwelling peacefully in an idyllic state, where all the animals were herbivores and the wolf was dwelling with the lamb.”

Of course it does! Why? Because a plain reading of the text in Genesis has informed the “Sunday School” presentation of Eden for a long time.

Regarding your comment on the strength of an alligator’s jaws, it comes dangerously close to mocking Genesis 1:30. I don’t know what kind of jaws an alligator had six thousand years ago. And truthfully, neither do you. But I know God created them and gave them every green plant for food. That text presents absolutely no problem(s) for my view of creation.

#66  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 2:29 PM

#65 Tommy

Yep, you are right. I will not link to their site in the future, (it was late, I guess).

#67  Posted by Shauna Bryant  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 5:10 PM

Shauna Bryant here.

A book by John Walton, The Lost World of Genesis One, was mentioned in a post.

I found some of the initial parts of the book rather appalling. Take for instance this on page 21 in speaking of Creation: "....All of these are modern issues imposed on the text and not the issue in the culture of the ancient world. We cannot expect the text to address them, nor can we configure the information of the text to force it to comply with the questions we long to have answered. We must take the text on its own terms-it is not addressed to us. Much to our dismay then, we will find that the text is impervious to many of the questions that consume us in today's dialogues."

The text is not written to us? How can he claim that as though it is a fact? John 5:46-47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

and

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Wow - is there a guide somewhere that is available to all of us so we know which verses to pay any attention to? I mean which books/verses apply to each generation of people....specifically our generation? I believe God speaks to all men in His Word, some will believe by Grace, some will not.

Mr. Walton goes on to say that God write to that culture in a way they could understand in their ancient environment, which quite frankly assumes a quasi evolutionary view of men. The pre flood peoples presented in the Bible are not presented as simple 'cave men', though thoroughly wicked yes. Man assumes, particularly in this age, that we are getting better, more advanced. Look around, for that surely is not the case. It didn't go so well for the Japanese when they tried to build a pyramid. People still sacrifice their babies - maybe not on the altar of Baal, but rather on the alter of themselves and their convenience. People still worship false Gods - even Science, people still hate God and they still make idols of their own design and worship themselves! Can anyone name an abominable practice in the OT that isn't done today....and openly at that!? Uh, maybe a few....for it seems the 'ancient culture' had magicians that could do some pretty spectacular feats if we are to believe Gods Word in Exodus, which I do. I know I've never seen a magician turn a rod into a serpent or turn a river into blood........I am guessing I'm not alone, sci fi withstanding!

Mr. Walton postulates (on page 95) that the days refer to the Creation of a cosmic temple and not the material phase and therefore there is no biblical position on the age of the earth. Hmmmm.....then why did God tell us when He Created Adam, how old he was, how old his progeny were and how old Noah was when he entered the ark? If these things don't really mean what they mean, then what do they mean? Call me a simpleton, but I'll take God at His Word.

Mr. Walton then goes on to say that evolution is the current scientific consensus to explain the many observation that have been made. (though he doesn't claim that as his view in this book)

Well that reminds me of some verses for sure.........

Job 38: 1-21

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.........

Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? or because the number of thy days is great?

Science makes observations from it's limited point and we should remember that. It shouldn't matter to us what 'current scientific consensus is' for it is ever changing, and only by standing firm on scripture, as God has written it to us-all of us throughout the ages- are we able to stay with the unchangeable Rock. Modern mankind is just as ignorant and arrogant as ancient man - that hasn't changed! You know Daniel himself wanted to know the meaning of some things and he was told to 'go thy way' .......Daniel had to just know what was written even if he didn't understand it. He took it by faith that it was true and we are called upon to do no less. I take it by faith that Genesis is true as written even if science doesn't agree. Who knows, science may catch up...........nah.

#68  Posted by Gregory Peters  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 5:35 PM

You're being silly. God can give any animal He wants any kind of teeth he wants. Or don't you believe in the millennial reign of Christ when the wolf will once again lie down with the lamb.
#69  Posted by Webster Hunt  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 5:50 PM

In the creation account, God blessed the animals and gave them plants to eat - since creation (with the exception of man) obeys God's commands, those animals would have only eaten plants. It's not until Job (in the chronological setup of the Bible) that I remember we hear that animals are given prey to eat; so according to the Word, it could only be after the fall that animals began eating each other. Don't forget that before Adam sinned, God blessed everything, and afterward, he cursed the creation because of Adam. How could death be a blessing when it will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of everything - it can only be a curse because it's associated with sin (sin brings forth death).

If you theistic evolutionists are saying that death came before the fall, then you're saying that sin came into the world before the fall too, and that's John's point. He's trying to warn you of your dangerous position, as am I. The consequence of your idea of "theistic evolution" will eventually drive you to the same place a man by the name of Sparks over at Biologos is - where he believes Christianity because it works for humanity, and that when it doesn't he'll just find something else. Everyone is an inerrantist, as Dan Phillips has said - either you believe that your interpretation of scripture is inerrant, or you believe God's Word is inerrant.

#70  Posted by Scott Christensen  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 6:53 PM

#57 Ken,

You quote Walton as saying:

"The English reader must face a difficult fact: one cannot comprehend the literal meaning of a word in the Old Testament without knowing Hebrew or having access to the analysis of someone who does."

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what Walton is saying here, but it sounds like he is advocating a kind of gnostic brand of hermeneutics. So as a pastor am I supposed to tell my congregation that unless they know Hebrew or a Hebrew scholar then they cannot understand the OT? Just as well toss out your English Bible and head ye to Hebrew school ASAP.

This sounds more like a way to hide behind an esoteric interpretation of Genesis (which of course explains Walton's uniquely unorthodox view) instead of reading the text plainly like 99 percent of every other believer has throughout the course of history. It is amazing what some fallible scientists can do to convince some interpreters to twist the clear and infallible meaning of scripture.

#71  Posted by Rick White  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 7:23 PM

Donovan,

In your post #56 you state that "the enemy" in 1 Corinthians 15 is spiritual death. If you read 1 Corinthians 15 carefully you will see that it is obviously speaking of physical death. Or are you saying Jesus was raised from spiritual death? v.13 and 14. And are you saying that those raised who are Christ's at his return are being raised from spiritual death? It's clear from the context that physical death is "the enemy".

#72  Posted by Chad Smith  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 9:11 PM

Im just really shocked at some of the so called logical debates that have come up here . I didn't see the severity of the old earth creationist until this blog started in march and I haven't been commenting much because I just dont feel the need to debate alot of those useless ,hallow ,sandy disagreements I mean a day is a day PERIOD. How hard is that to understand? I mean what did God do have these 400 yr old days and just decided one day to change them to 24 hr days. No he didnt he never said that he did that . There was no sin before the fall if there were then the whole Bible doesnt make sense, why did Jesus even come? why didnt he let them just live in there perfectly sinful world,whats the use for grace and forgivness.People please use your brains you all seem like very smart people, far more intelligent then I, STOP listening to sinful ,fallen man and start listening to God ,he means what he says and says what he means . He isnt trying to play tricks on us or hide things from us . The Bible is the word of God(2 Tim 3:16) and God can not lie or change his mind(Numbers 23)...brothers make a B line to the cross and press on toward the goal of christ in us(Phil 3:12-14).Thaks for reading my thoughts. I will keep praying for this whole situation and for GTY and the body of Christ that we would lean not on our own understanding but on the Lords and his alone.Trust in the Lord I love this psalm.......Those who trust in the LORD are like mount Zion which cannot be moved but abides forever(psalm 125:1) thanks

#73  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 10:00 PM

#71 Rick

1 Corinthians 15 is difficult as an example it's like going to Revelation, I don't know about you but I have an embarrassing amount of books about the subject of 1 Cor. 15, to me we should always try to make proof scriptures out of clear books in the Bible.

But anyway here it goes:

1 Cor. 15:14 "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith".

Here it seems that Paul is expounding on how important Christ's resurrection was and what it meant (the spiritual part) he is making a direct connection to Christ's physical death and saying that part didn't matter. Other scripture that comes to mind is:

1Th. 4:13 ¶ "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope".

This is another passage that is pointing away from physical death and toward the spiritual hope we have beyond the grave.

The logical fallacy of Equivocation is happening on this blog way way to often because of (Newspaper/Literal Hermeneutics). Physical death and spiritual death are completely different ideas in the Bible many on this blog are using the meaning for physical death when the context is spiritual death.

example: Here is someone equivocating the word death. (sorry)

"How could death be a blessing when it will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of everything - it can only be a curse because it's associated with sin (sin brings forth death)."

Death, the same word is being given two definitions, but being referred to in the same way.

#74  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 10:09 PM

Well folks this is my last blog on this subject- lots of repeat. So take care. Keep going for the LORD. PaulT.

#75  Posted by Garrett League  |  Monday, July 19, 2010at 10:44 PM

This is a problem for TE (and OEC), but let's not kid ourselves; YEC has plenty of problems of its own. Here are a few:

1.) If there was no death at all before sin (excluding plants and possibly some lower invertebrates) then why did God design tons of animals for eating flesh? Vegetarian T-Rex; does the bible demand that? That would cause lots of suffering for, say, lions and tigers and bears, and the earth would be overpopulated and overgrazed. Did God tweak animals to make them carnivores? Did they evolve afterwards? What did sharks eat pre-fall? etc., etc... This has been brought up millions of times before and there just isn't a good answer.

2.) I don't think a fallen angel tempting A&E as a serpent is "very good." Angelic sin and temptation, pre-fall? That would make God an ogre. See what I've done? I made "very good" mean "whatever tickles my fancy" when the text itself defines it by virtue of it NOT being good for man to be alone. Hence, "very good" means complete and functionally whole. Night has its stars, Day has its sun, the ocean has it's sea creatures, the air has its birds, the land has its cattle, and the man has his woman. All good. Has nothing to do with lions being vegetarian. That's reading between the lions (get it!).

3.) If there was no death at all, then what was the tree of life for? What did it grant that A&E didn't already have?

4.) Aren't we forgetting the goal of creation? Get out there and rule, subdue, multiply, divide and conquer! Have dominion, have babies, eat of the tree of life, etc.??? Wasn't there work to do, a better life to be had, or was it all pretty much maintenance? They had pretty much already arrived? What about the probationary period? What did Calvin mean when he said "Truly the first man would have passed to a better life, had he remained upright; but there would have been no separation of the soul from the body, no corruption, no kind of destruction, and, in short, no violent change." What better life would A&E have passed onto if they hadn't rebelled? Would they have just hung out on earth for eternity, just as they were when they were created? You know the old saying "Earth is not my home, I'm just passing through." Wasn't that as true for the original creation as it is for the intermediate state? Wasn't something bigger and better always planned? Or did "very good" mean "absolutely perfect in every way; it's only downhill from here!"

5.) If there was no pain, then why would the pain of child birth increase? Increase assumes that it was already present. Plus, without pain, you could have your hand on a hot stove and not know it. Pain has good purposes.

6.) To quote this article (http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2010/07/houston-heres-the-situation-rj.html#more) from Jesus Creed on the theological difficulties of YEC: "If this 'history' [i.e., indicators of age, decay, deterioration, etc. in geology, astronomy, biology] is the result of sin - creation groaning - then an appearance of age YEC position suggest the sin of Adam is written backward in virtual time rather than real time." That's a huge problem.

7.)If the "animals dwell peacefully among them" then why did God say to subdue and have dominion over them? What's to subdue?

8.) Need I mention the fossil record? I need. Since it can't be explained by a global flood without tremendous special pleading, it shows that animals died for a long time pre-fall. This is pretty much a slam dunk, unless you feel obliged to attribute most fossils to the flood, which just creates more problems.

So, TE/OEC have problems. Yep. But YEC has some whoppers of its own.

"How has the “whole creation…been groaning…until now” (v. 22)?"

Here's a good answer (by C. John Collins in "Genesis 1-4: a Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary"):

"Seen this way, the creation is ‘in bondage to decay,’ not because of changes in the way it works but because of the ‘decay’ (or corruption) of mankind, and in response to man’s ‘decay’ God ‘brings decay to’ (or ‘destroys’) the earth to chastise man. The creation is ’subjected to futility’ because it has sinful mankind in it, and thus it is the arena in which mankind expresses its sin and experiences God’s judgments. No wonder it ‘waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God,’ for then the sons of God will be perfect in holiness, and sin will be no more.” (Genesis 1-4, p. 184)

Things got worse when God kicked A&E out. Man's sin makes it groan (we tend not to be the best stewards we can be). If the entire world was an Edenic paradise, then what was unique about the garden planted east in the land of Eden? Was the whole earth a similar garden paradise? What were A&E kicked out into?

#76  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 12:05 AM

#71 Garrett

Why do Christians who use a newspaper/literal system of interpretation generally have a disdain for logic, I think it's because there are so many logical problems that come up with this type of interpretation. Not just Genesis but the entire Bible. Logic is truth it can't be refuted (or it would be illogical) just like God and God's true meaning of the Bible. All truth is Gods, even when you have to change your belief in the Bible to accommodate it. Traditional systems of interpretation that are illogical are sinful. God is not illogical.

#77  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:18 AM

#74 Paul Tucker - May God bless you brother. One day I'll give you a big hug.

I'm out too. Evolution is dead, and that's how I'll treat it.

#78  Posted by Rick White  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 3:59 AM

Donavan,

I guess you missed my point in post #71. Regardless of what it says in Matthew 10:28 or 1 Thessalonians 4:13 the context of 1 Corinthians 15 shows that "the enemy" of 1 Corinthians 15:26 is physical death, not spiritual death as you imply. So, the points Gabriel makes in post #54 still stand and have not been refuted.

#79  Posted by Alan Reid  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 5:19 AM

#27 Donovan. I don't know if anyone else has answered you so i apologise if i'm repeating someone else.

You said it requires a second creation. It doesn't. After the fall animals only began to hunt and eat other animals. Some either did not do that, or were unable to. This could be due to their location, in that they didn't have the right stuff to kill the other animals there, and either stayed with vegetation or were forced to do so.

Over the past 6000 years animals have each adapted to their roles in the animal kingdom.

The only reason we have the evolution theory and the only reason people believe it is fact is because of speciation. Speciation is the adaption of animals within their kind. This is clear when you see Polar and Grizzly bears. They are both bears, but they are not the same. Based on their environment they have adapted to survive. However they will never switch places, and they will never go back to a common ancestor, yet they will always share the same traits that make them both identifiable as a bear.

So there is no need for a second creation.

You then go on to say, "doesn't the potter have the right to do with the clay what he will" after questioning our right to say that God couldn't have used death in his good creation.

Well that to me is very simple. God does not think that sin is in anyway good. In fact sin is an act against God. Death was only a result of the sin man brought on the earth. It is then God cursed the ground so that we have to labour to eat from it.

So there is no sin or death before the fall. Death is not good, it is a result of sin. As God told Eve she would surely die.

Just as I said with the animals man has also changed a lot since the fall. We are not prone to disease, and after an incestuous beginning we no longer have the perfect bodies we once did. The curse of sin dominates. Now it is even popular to destroy your own body by your own means purposefully. So this is not "good"

This is what it says in God's word. So I am not telling the potter what he must do with the clay. He did it, he told me about it, and I believe him.

My question to you would be, "but how do you have the right to say that God did anything else but what he said he did?" In all honesty we shouldn't explore any other possibilities, but we do so because we are labouring to survive on the earth and get from it what we can. So we must learn from it, and such is the need for science. It's only when science tries to alter God's account of things should we be more critical, and in the case of evolution, if we are critical we will see that it is not true.

#80  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 6:57 AM

1 Corinthians 2:9 says: "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'" We are so accustomed to living in a cursed world and are so limited by our finite minds that we have trouble understanding God’s plan and wisdom and certainly don’t comprehend the glorious heaven that awaits or the Eden that He first created. But that is no excuse to doubt what God’s word says.

All the “problems” that Garret has thrown out are only the problems of unbelief. Do I perfectly understand God’s plan? No. But I trust what God has said. To address some of Garret’s “problems”:

1)God’s word says God gave the animals plants to eat (Gen. 1:30). It is again the uniformitarian belief of false teachers that says because animals eat meat today they must have eaten meat from the beginning. Can one really be concerned that God could not have provided enough food for all the animals, the same God who was able to provide manna in the desert, and made water come out of a rock?

2)God in His perfect plan allows temptation today. Is He, in Garrett’s words, an ogre?

3)Does the Bible say that the Tree of Life was necessary for life or just that its access provided life? Adam and Eve were never commanded to eat it.

4)To quote Calvin is not to quote the Bible. Man’s responsibility to have dominion the animals does not necessitate that they were eating each other. Perhaps man would plant gardens for them. We really don’t know but again that is no excuse to contradict His Word.

5)Going from the sensation of childbirth prior to the curse to the pain of childbirth after the curse would be an increase in pain. An article which addresses this is: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/06/22/satan-the-fall-good-evil-pain-before-fall

6)I won’t respond to this as I don’t have time to read the article right now.

7)This question seems to be repeating #4

8)Why would I let man’s fallible interpretation of a fossil record cause me to doubt what God has said in His word? I will stand on the Word of God, not the foolish wisdom of men.

We may never have all the answers but we can believe what God has said and trust Him for what we don’t understand. We should ask Him for greater understanding but we are never justified in contradicting His Word.

#81  Posted by Rob Stiles  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 7:22 AM

Just to add my "two cents".

God had Moses and all of the other authors of the Bible write down exactly what He wanted us to know. He demands that we accept it by faith. Any "opinion" beyond what is written is just that. It belittles God, and attempts to make one as smart or smarter than God. You can try as you might, but you will never out think God. You're debate is just to prove who is "smarter" than the other guy you are debating. When you let questioning into God's creation, you in the end lead people away from God and not to Him.

In the end, you either believe God by faith, or you don't. God demands we come to Him by faith and that is the only way to please Him. It is after all, all about Him. If none of us existed, the earth and all creation would still glorify Him. "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones would cry out." Jesus said that.

#82  Posted by Larry Bucar  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:36 AM

Garrett and Donavan,

I'm assuming your both saved but you're both lost when it comes to origins. Gabriel, Fred, Travis, and YEC bloggers since Winter 2010 have graciously shared their understanding and reasons for an old earth (<10,000 yr). In your last thread Garrett, you asked over 2 dozen questions; that combined with the hundreds you've asked previously helps gives evidence to what Shawn Hannity identifies one as a "seminar caller". So I hope you continue the question onslaught to prove me right. LJB

#83  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:48 AM

Garrett,

Here are my brief answers to your so-called problems:

1) No one, including scientists, knowing anything about the state of the world prior to the Fall. There is no way for man to know what animals ate, what kind of teeth they had, or their creaturely natures. The only way to get that information is from the Bible. The Bible is clear: all living things with the breath of life were given vegetation to eat. You reject that because of your uniformitarian and evolutionary doctrine. The earth would not be overpopulated and overgrazed because God knew when the Fall would happen. If you had a holistically biblical worldview, you would see this isn't a problem. Instead, you have an evolutionary worldview. Since you don't seem to have a problem with God interfering in evolution (right?), why do you have a problem with God changing animals in some way after the Fall? You're inconsistent at this point.

2) The "very good" pronouncement came before the temptation. The Fall refers to humanity, not angels. Very good may has something to do with complete and functionally whole, but it also, if not primarily, has to do with quality. That's why "God saw that it was good" is repeated throughout the narrative, and only until it is completely finished it is "very good". Everything was done excellently piece by piece, and when the whole was finished it was very good--yes fully functional--but very good. Can you tell me where "good" means "whole" or "complete"?

3) The tree of life is a different discussion. We're talking about "was there death" not "what prevented death or gave life".

4) Again, if you had a biblical worldview you'd see how the questions under this section are pointless. There is no such thing as "what would have happened if the Fall didn't happen?" If you want an answer, man would have continued in perfect fellowship with God for eternity just like we will have in the eternal state on the New Creation. Adam and Eve were not "just passing through" prior to the Fall. They would not have died; they would have lived forever in blissful fellowship with God along with all their progeny. (and all this while ruling, subduing, and multiplying on the earth)

5) If pain is so necessary, do you deny the truth of Revelation 21:4?

6) There you go again... assuming that science has infallibly interpreted all the features of the earth. Your question demonstrates once again that OEC/TE is based on religious faith in the high priests (scientists).

7) If you read the text carefully you'll note that man is not to subdue animals. Man is to subdue the earth and have dominion over animals. You know... like the government has dominion over you. It's really not that complicated.

8) I don't mean to contradict your faith, but science can't explain most fossils at all. If you want a definitive answer to every fossil that exists on the planet, you won't get one from science OR Scripture. The Flood explains a lot of fossils, but it doesn't have to explain all of them.

So far I haven't found any whopper problems for YEC. They are only whoppers if you 1) don't have a biblical worldview, and 2) believe science is infallible.

I have read (last year) that entire commentary by Collins and was appalled by his interpretations. Exegesis clearly is not his forte. I read it in conjunction with an actually exegetical commentary (by Kenneth Matthews in the NAC series), and there was a marked difference between the two. In that quote you mentioned he explicitly ignores Genesis 3:17-19 where God actually curses the ground, and it is the cursed ground the causes man trouble and labor. I looked at pages 182-184 where he discusses Romans 8 and he never mentions that God actually cursed the ground itself.

Adam and Eve were kicked out in the world. They were in a pre-prepared garden, and God had commanded them to subdue the earth. Perhaps He intended the garden to be the blueprint for how man was supposed to make the rest of the world... we don't know. Nevertheless, the question is moot since it isn't a biblical issue.

#84  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:54 AM

Garrett in #75 writes,

This is a problem for TE (and OEC), but let's not kid ourselves; YEC has plenty of problems of its own.

But it is a significant problem for theistic evolution because it pertains the whole teaching of scripture on the theology of death and suffering and our restoration. How our biblical theology works itself out consistently has a much greater bearing upon our entire understanding of God than nit-picky practical things like what sharks ate before the fall. Our understanding of God has greater ramifications for our overall theology than those other things you mention.

In response to your objections:

#1 - God didn't design tons of animals for eating flesh. Lots and lots of animals have sharp, carnivorous teeth that only eat plant matter. It should also be noted in reference to overpopulation and overgrazing, that we have absolutely no idea how that would work seeing that the world change rapidly after Adam's sin, so to proclaim no good answers exists is the same kind of question skeptics ask about "what would had happened if Adam didn't fall?"

#2 - I would agree with you about what "very good" means. I think most of your opponents would agree with your definition of "very good." Thus, you just made a strawman to knock down. Deal with the argument about death. Death, however, is not "very good." It was not part of God's fully functional creation. The whole of Scripture affirms this.

#3 - What did it grant that A&E didn't already have? It granted fellowship and communion with God. I also think there were some intrinsic health benefits from it also.

#4 - Your fourth objection is another strawman argument. I am guessing you must have had this conversation with some other Christians and you are projecting what you perceive as their non-answer onto us. As for Calvin, he meant that man wouldn't die physically and face eternal judgment for His sin. Which is the point of this post.

#5 - No one has argued there was "no pain." We are arguing there was no suffering leading to death. Here in lies another strawman argument. Pain is a good thing as it pertains to telling your body not to hurt itself. The issue is pain and suffering that leads to death.

#6 - The person who wrote that article needs to study his opponent's convictions on the matter of the appearance of age. At this point it demonstrates an incompetence as to what I believe and is an article written merely to rant against, what is again, another strawman.

#7 - As we have already noted in previous comments, subdue has the idea of ruling over. Horses, for example, dwell peaceably with men. We still have to subdue them. The same can be said about all other domesticated animals. Crops, trees, rivers, lakes, also fall into this category.

#8 - The 8th objection is hardly a slam dunk and is more special pleading regarding one's ignorance of geology (I think you are into microbiology or something), the flood, and ultimately unbelief regarding the clear historical record of a global, catastrophic flood. In other words, you are committed to long ages and evolution so of course you will read the fossil record according to your worldview.

Things got worse when God kicked A&E out. Man's sin makes it groan (we tend not to be the best stewards we can be). If the entire world was an Edenic paradise, then what was unique about the garden planted east in the land of Eden?

A question I asked under a previous post that you either missed or failed to answer for one reason or another. How exactly was the tsunami of 2004 related to man's sin making creation groan? Your original comment had to do with man-made environmental catastrophes. Tsunamis that sweep away thousands of people are not man-made. It's just natural forces acting. Is that a good thing? bad thing? neutral thing where we all just shrug our shoulders and say "it happens."

#85  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 9:07 AM

Donavan,

Can you demonstrate how anyone here disdains logic? We only disdain fallacious logic. Can you provide a logical formula regarding Genesis that has been rejected here?

The only logical issue you've brought up is the fallacy of Equivocation. But you haven't demonstrated your point. You tried to make the point that 1 Cor 15 and 1 Th. 4:13 have to do with spiritual life/death, not physical. But you seem to ignore the fact that, for the believer, we already have spiritual and eternal life. What we look forward to is a new physical body that will not die. I have already been spiritually resurrected from the dead (Colossians 2:13). My hope is for a physical resurrection.

Christ's physical death and resurrection conquers physical death and guarantees that those who trust in Him will physically live forever. If you will, Christ's death conquered spiritual death by paying the penalty for sin, and Christ's physical resurrection conquered physical death by showing His power over it.

So your only logical point thus far in this discussion is baseless. Do you have something else to demonstrate that we "disdain" logic?

Also, you still haven't told us what you actually believe. If I remember right you have disowned evolution, and you are fighting tooth and nail against biblical creationism. So what position are you arguing for?

#86  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 9:08 AM

Donavan complains,

Why do Christians who use a newspaper/literal system of interpretation generally have a disdain for logic, I think it's because there are so many logical problems that come up with this type of interpretation.

But Donavan, a newspaper, literal interpretation is appropriate for reading historical facts, which is exactly what Genesis is. Do you complain about the newspaper interpretation as applied to Acts? 1 Samuel? Nehemiah? Why not? Genesis is exactly the same. Worse is to appeal to some Platonic alchemist interpretation that re-reads the Bible as some kaleidoscope of symbolism that makes the text meaningless. I take it you hold to some form of preterism? I say that because preterists use the "newspaper interpretation" slur all the time against their opponents and employ the kaleidoscope view of the Bible.

Traditional systems of interpretation that are illogical are sinful.

Then you should be passionately opposed to both amillennialism and postmillennialism.

#87  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 9:43 AM

Genesis is to be taken as literal. It shows the promise of Messiah, real

Eden, real flood, promise to Abram, noble Joseph how he save his family,

Genesis is to be embraced not worry ourselves over killing before the fall. I will explain again Smiles. There was no killing before the fall.

Fear is what we have, it's a sin to do so, remember before the fall, there was absolute no fear. As well no sin. Fear after the

fall when Adam and Eve was taken out of the garden so they had to protect themselves from the killer animals. Adam lived 930 yrs. so

he may have kill animals to protect his family or hide in a cave.

Seems I have learned to blog is not to argue against the point but

to just make my self clear. Believe me if we read Genesis over and over again, we would receive the truth. Just letting you know that.

Christ's peace.

#88  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 10:04 AM

Was there caves before the flood?? I am not sure.

#89  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 10:33 AM

YEC answer me this: With respect to death and animal design, the alligator didn't slowly adapt after the fall, there is more that a microevolutionary change in their body type between them and plant eaters. So simply how do you explain an animal that is so obviously designed to kill other animals.

1) I'm assuming you believe the Bible as Gods word and believe Genesis as Literal Historical Narrative.

2) I'm assuming you believe in microevolution (change within kind)

3) I'm assuming you think the world is less that 10,000 years old.

4) I'm assuming you don't think there is a second creation after the fall.

My answer is this, God made the alligator as he is now, because his creation was not a compromise looking forward to the fall, the alligator killed other animals because that's what God designed him to do and because God designed him that way it was very good.

#90  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 11:10 AM

Fred and Mary

Thank you so much for your posts your really encourage me.

Please don't feel discouraged that people are not understand you (I get discouraged about that).

This is a neat way to minister.

#91  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 11:22 AM

Donavan in #89 writes,

With respect to death and animal design, the alligator didn't slowly adapt after the fall, there is more that a microevolutionary change in their body type between them and plant eaters.

Pray do tell: How exactly do you know this bit of trivia?

#93  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 12:59 PM

I have to answer a lot of questions sorry if I miss some.

#85 Gabrie

When I say people on this blog disdain logic I mean that it seems clear that there is a certain attitude that science is in the evolution (anti Bible) camp, and is set against the YEC model. I used the word logic because it is more neutral than the word science. As I always say all truth is Gods.

When I mentioned equivocation I meant that it is being used heavily through out this blog in terms of death, obviously A&E did not die when they sinned. Science is a means of finding truth, it has a double meaning in this blog. But most of all the equivocation comes from YEC trying to justify there position using opposite arguments that they would never accept from evolutionists, like trying to say that claws and sharp teeth were an adaption after the fall, everyone on this blog knows that there are many many more differences in the physiology of a meat eater over a plant eater, this upsets me, because it is the worst kind of dishonesty it's dishonesty concerning Gods word.

What I actually believe:

I am a fundamentalist Christian, I believe very strongly in a literal interpretation but I mean literal in a different way than you do I really try to study the Bible not in a normal sense of everyday language but in a way with respect to the type of literature the Book is. I understand that only the Holy Spirit illuminates true understanding of Gods word, so honestly I must say I don't understand the beginning of Genesis.

#86 Fred

You said:

"a newspaper, literal interpretation is appropriate for reading historical facts, which is exactly what Genesis is". I understand that Genesis uses Hebrew in a way that supports a historical narrative but the beginning of Genesis is different, written directly by God perhaps, doesn't fall into a neat, clean category.

I would never look to some liberal platonic alchemist interpretation of Genesis, I would rather error with the people I respect the most in my beliefs when I don't know the answers, like JM.

Also:

Yes I hold to partial preterism (your good), It is very interesting that so many of the interpretational themes are the same ones concerning eschatology. I discovered partial preterism in a very honest way, I saw the logical problems with dispensationalism, I know dispensationalism well Chuck Smith dedicated me for goodness sake, and now the Bible makes so much more sense it was like a light bulb went off and everything (almost) fell into place. I haven't had the same Holy Spirit illumination of creation even though I have prayed and put in much study, I hope people like you can help me.

#94  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 1:21 PM

Donavan # 76 said "Traditional systems of interpretation that are illogical are sinful. God is not illogical."

I agree. So tell me, how logical does this sound to you?

God says - "to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food."

Donavan says - "Animals ate meat before the fall"

I'm just putting your statement into perspective. You don't have to answer the question . . .

#95  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 1:43 PM

#94 Tommy

I would love to answer I hope I'll make an important point about literalism.

I think you inferred that since God gave every animal on earth green plants for food they couldn't or wouldn't eat anything else. What part of this scripture makes you think that animals couldn't or wouldn't eat anything else. Also if you really want to be literal the animals could eat only green plants and nothing else, no bananas, hey it's you guys who want to be literal. To borrows Mary's story if I leave somewhere and tell my kids there are peas in the refrigerator does that mean I only want them to eat peas, no , I think it does say that I want them to eat peas, but it says nothing about only eating peas.

#96  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:04 PM

# 85 Gabriel

Just wondering. Do some literal christian hold theory of killings before

the fall and how do I explain it to my brother whom believes in killing

before the fall. What's the right response?

Tks.

God bless.

#97  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:11 PM

Donavan,

I appreciate your honest, but I am very confused.

You have said that you don't understand Genesis, and when you don't understand you prefer to depend on others, specifically naming John MacArthur. But here you are, arguing as if you have a certain interpretation and rejecting our explanations of something you've already admitted you don't understand.

That just doesn't line up... you know... logically.

Speaking of logic, it is a poor substitute word for science (remember the formula: nobody + nothing = everything?). If you have followed the main blog posts since March you would see how we do not reject science in general; we reject science that attempts to describe the miraculous origins described by Scripture because it is not true science and stems from anti-supernatural presuppositions.

This is off topic, and perhaps I'm overstepping my bounds here, but the Holy Spirit has already given you the ability to understand Scripture. Now you need to do your part to study. You don't need to wait for the Holy Spirit to *ding* turn the light on. That happened the moment you were made alive together with Christ. If you don't understand, then that means you either haven't studied it enough, or there is something in your own thinking (like a presupposition) that is clouding your thinking.

As an example of careful study that you need to do, read Genesis 1:29 again and you'll see why your comment to Tommy in #94 is without merit. God didn't give only "green plants" for food. Green plants in verse 30 are a general description of everything described in verse 29. It's not "green plants" (as opposed to red plants). The word for "green" is a generic term referring more to "greenery" or "vegetation" if you will. Proof? Genesis 9:3. God is talking to Noah and his family and says that He gave mankind "green plants" to eat. This is clearly a generic term for all plants, fruit, and vegetables as mentioned in Genesis 1:29.

#98  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:15 PM

Dan,

You would do well to listen/read the full sermon of this audio blog. Just go up to the top and click "Full Sermon" right under the audio player.

#99  Posted by Tommy Clayton  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:16 PM

Donavan: "Green" as in "foliage." I suspect you already understand that. The animals could eat things from the plants and trees, just not other animals in the trees. :)

#100  Posted by Alan Reid  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 2:51 PM

#89 Donovan, I don't know, and neither do you, know exactly what the alligator was like when it was created. We don't even know what Adam and Eve looked like. What was their skin colour? Don't know.

God created a various array of animals. Yes God likely knew what was going to happen (i'm not going to say he did cos i dont have the scripture to back that up, although i'm sure there is some) and perhaps he did make animals in such a way, but that is then assume they instantly began killing one another after the fall. That what we see in animals today has been the case since then.

I'm not convinced that's true, in fact there's no reason to think it is.

So you are making assumptions all over the place.

God may have though, created animals in a way that they would survive by killing one another come the fall, so that they would all last until now.

Or it could be as i've already said that God created all the animals in different shapes and sizes, and the animals have adapted in different ways to environment and to survive. In a perfect garden they'd have no trouble surviving.

To really understand what you're proposing though you must think why would we even eat when we would not die? It could be as you say, that our bodies were predesigned for after the fall. Instead eating could simply have been for pleasure, as was just about everything else, and that it was also a model in which God could implement free will with the forbidden fruit.

I am un-subscribing from this but i will check back in the next few days in case you don't understand what i'm saying.

#101  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 3:15 PM

#97 Gabriel

Thanks for the great post, I understand. We just have a different definition of the word science, now I understand yours, fine. What you said about the holly spirit is interesting I fully understand and agree with what you said about the Holy Spirit giving us the ability to understand scripture. I stand corrected.

#102  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:08 PM

A clear reading of Genesis would indicate that "death" refers to spiritual death, not physical death. Gen. 2:17 says "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." When Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, they didn't die physically. At least not that day. I guess day doesn't really mean day here. The common interpretation is that they died spiritually, not physically.

If there was no death before Adam and Eve were created, this pronouncement by God wouldn't have had much meaning to Adam and Eve. This would be like trying to describe “ice” to the ancient Polynesians. They would have no concept of what "ice" was. Adam and Eve however, apparently knew what death was. And they knew what it was because they had seen death in nature around them.

Fred, in your comment to me in the last post (comment #31) you said ”How long have critics been critical of Christians who believe the Bible seriously as an historical document? Machen experienced similar opposition in his day.”

I’m glad you brought up Machen. I assume this is the same Machen that refused to testify in the Scopes trial because he considered evolution to be a side issue. What’s most revealing about the discussions you’ve been having here the last few months is that the theological giants of early fundamentalism considered this to be a secondary issue. Hodge, Warfield, and Machen all held to an old earth view and Warfield and Machen, especially, were sympathetic to theistic evolution.

Today’s fundamentalists have decided to resurrect a secondary issue, move it to the forefront and make it a “hill to die on”. Frankly, I agree with Karl Giberson, when he said this is making a theological mountain out of an exegetical molehill. The fundamentalist, theological heavyweights of the past would agree with him.

I know you’ll try to deflect this by saying ”Warfield and Hodge had a problematic apologetic methodology that placed too much stand alone sufficiency upon various lines of evidence for the Christian faith.” That’s your opinion. There’s not a theologian that has ever lived that hasn’t had someone challenge his positions, including Calvin, Hodge, Warfield, Machen, Kuyper, Barth, etc. I think I’ll be on fairly solid ground if I stick with Hodge, Warfield and Machen on this. I’ve read that ”Warfield’s formulation of inerrancy was one of the most profound articulations of the Westminster Confession's doctrine of Scripture. And yet, given his understanding of biblical authority and infallibility, he, like Hodge before him, did not regard evolution as a threat to the truthfulness of specific portions of the Bible.”.

The mission here seems to be to throw out red herrings and in general, muddy the water. The basic strategy seems to be to question established science and try to make it look as though everything is “up in the air”. Most of these questions have been answered adequately by legitimate scientists. Unfortunately, most of your audience is scientifically illiterate and consequently your “challenging the status quo” strikes a resonant note with them. And don’t take being “scientifically illiterate” as an insult to the intelligence of you or your audience. Most Americans don’t even take general Chemistry in high school let alone college.

Whenever the issue of geocentrism is brought up you do an end run and claim that this isn’t the same as the issue of interpreting the beginning chapters of Genesis. Of course, you have to do this because the issue is so damaging to your position. The only ones who believe your logic and reasoning on this issue are the loyal YEC’ers. That’s the reason it keeps coming up over and over even though you feel you’ve given it a knock down punch.

Ina previous comment I linked to an article in Modern Reformation titled “PCA Geologists on the Antiquity of the Earth”. In the July/August 2010 issue, the Executive Editor had this to say,

”Modern Reformation as an organization does not take a view on the age of the earth other than to say that Genesis was not revealed in order to provide a scientific description of origins but as an historical prologue justifying God’s lordship over all creation. According to the best of Reformation theology, the specific question of the age of the earth is not a matter of biblical interpretation as much as it is an issue for readers of the book of nature, and therefore an issue best left to those willing to develop the necessary skills to handle such a marvelous “text” that everywhere displays God’s handiwork.

A few letters we have received display a surprisingly hostile view of scientific readings of the book of nature, once again confusing a high view of Scripture with an exaggerated notion of its scope, function, and purpose in matters creational. Geological questions aside, we prefer a strong theology of creation and general revelation, as well as a biblical understanding of the possibility of its interpretation by believers and unbelievers alike in view of God’s common grace.”

You would do well to heed the advice given in “Modern Reformation” (as well as by Hodge, Warfield, and Machen).

#103  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:25 PM

Steve,

If this is such a secondary issue, why are evolutionists like you and BioLogos so intent on wiping YEC off the face of the planet? What's the big deal to you?

Also, if Adam and Eve didn't know what death was, how did they know what evil was? How did they know what a creature of the sea was if they hadn't seen one? How did they know what disobedience was if they never experienced it? How did they know how to talk if they didn't grow up learning from parents? How did they know how to walk without having crawled first? The answer is simple: God created Adam and Eve as intelligent beings who had knowledge without needing to learn it previously. If they could talk to God and know the meaning of words, they could certainly know what death meant even if they didn't experience it.

#104  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 8:46 PM

Gabriel,

"If this is such a secondary issue, why are evolutionists like you and BioLogos so intent on wiping YEC off the face of the planet? What's the big deal to you?"

I don't want to speak for Steve, but I think a lot of people feel young earth creationism brings disrepute to Christianity, and that's why they wish it gone - or at least certainly not a primary issue. Why stake out this "hill to die on", as Steve says, over an issue that, until the last few decades, wasn't really an issue at all?

#105  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, July 20, 2010at 10:09 PM

I can't speak for either of you, but a lot of people think inerrancy brings a disrepute to Christianity. A lot of people think believing in Christ as the God-man brings disrepute to Christianity.

I'm not really interesting was people think. I'm interested in what Scripture says.

Clearly you,Steve, BioLogos, and many others consider this to be a primary issue otherwise you would simply ignore these blog posts. My guess is neither of you came to this website prior to the creation series, but somehow you were compelled to come and continually debate this issue. For my part, I don't go around looking for blogs on Preterism, infant baptism, or whether we should sing hymns only. Those are secondary issues that I have positions on, but I'm not searching around trying to argue about them.

If you truly believed this was a secondary issue, you would have ignored it.

#106  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 3:40 AM

I can't speak for either of you, but a lot of people think inerrancy brings a disrepute to Christianity. A lot of people think believing in Christ as the God-man brings disrepute to Christianity.

I think what was meant is that it brings unnecessary disrepute to Christianity, much in the same was as would a prominent evangelical preaching that gays should be put to death in the United States.

If you truly believed this was a secondary issue, you would have ignored it.

I don't say this to be mean, but this surely is the type of thinking that allows you to hold such wildly inconsistent views as evidenced by your posts over the past months. Now it's a rule that one can only argue doctrines that one thinks are primary? So I should go find a blog where the Resurrection is being questioned and post there? Sorry, friend, but you, me, and everyone else on this board deal with secondary and tertiary issues everyday.

#107  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 5:34 AM

Gabriel says in comments #103 and #105, ”If this is such a secondary issue, why are evolutionists like you and BioLogos so intent on wiping YEC off the face of the planet? What's the big deal to you? If you truly believed this was a secondary issue, you would have ignored it.”

The big deal to me, as Dylan says, is the disrepute it brings to Christianity. This isn’t just your faith Gabriel. It’s also my faith and I don’t like individuals elevating secondary issues into primary issues that bring unnecessary ridicule on the church. If this was an issue that affected only a small group of Christians such as KJV onlyism, I wouldn’t bother.

Unfortunately, it’s grown like a cancer and affects much of conservative evangelical Christianity today. This isn’t an issue like inerrancy and preterism which are largely internal church issues. This debate over science and the Bible has spilled over into the public arena and creates major news headlines when supporters of “alternative science” try to force their views of science into the classroom.

Your hostile view of science does nothing to further the gospel, and I will go so far as to say that it actually hinders it.

Living the Christian life is difficult enough without creating a false choice between science or the Bible. The more I see of this debate, the more respect I have for men like Warfield and Machen.

#108  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 6:19 AM

If I could jump in for a moment…

If this is such a secondary issue, why are evolutionists like you and BioLogos so intent on wiping YEC off the face of the planet?

I for one have no interest in wiping YEC off the face of the planet, and I don’t think many others on here or at places like BioLogos do either. I may disagree with the position, but that doesn’t mean I do not sincerely want to learn more about why you hold it and carefully consider the arguments presented.

My guess is neither of you came to this website prior to the creation series, but somehow you were compelled to come and continually debate this issue…. If you truly believed this was a secondary issue, you would have ignored it.

I have been familiar with JM for years and have heard him speak and have participated in studies he’s created. When I found this forum a few weeks ago, the ongoing issue was the creation/evolution debate. I for one would have liked to have moved on to other topics by now, but that’s the subjects we are continually given to discuss. It’s not like there are a ton of options out there for this level of theological discussion. I’m not bored yet at least.

What's the big deal to you?

There is one thing that makes this a big deal to me. While I don’t have a problem with those who choose to hold to a YEC position, when I see statements that equate belief in evolution with a rejection of Scripture, dishonesty and even worse, I am concerned that some modern Christians have failed to learn from mistakes of the past, with grave consequences. We often bring up the issue of Calvin’s adherence to geocentrism as a Biblical truth, but it is not that his believing that was a problem. With the data available to him at the time, it was a perfectly reasonable position to take. The problem was that in zealously defending his position, he inadvertently called God himself demon-possessed, since God designed the earth to move and turn, and Calvin said that anyone who asserts as such is demon-possessed. With this in mind, I think every YEC should carefully consider other viewpoints before assuming that they have the best interpretation of Genesis all wrapped up, allowing for some possibility that they may have gotten something wrong. Be especially careful of such harsh words for those who hold to evolution. Don’t be concerned about hurting our feelings, we are asking for it, but if God ordained and sustained evolution as part of His plan, then be very concerned about blaspheming Him in the process.

#109  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 6:22 AM

A hill to die on is the authority and inerrancy of God’s written Word. The belief that man’s ideas are truth, and the Bible can be interpreted away from its plain teaching to fit with man’s ideas is antithetical to Biblical teaching. Once this belief is accepted, as it so widely is today, those who would call themselves followers of Christ pick and choose what they want to believe from scripture and rationalize the rest. It is this practice that leads to acceptance of sins such as homosexuality, divorce, and abortion.

#110  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 7:06 AM

Dirk opines,

I think what was meant is that it brings unnecessary disrepute to Christianity, much in the same was as would a prominent evangelical preaching that gays should be put to death in the United States.

and Stephen agrees,

The big deal to me, as Dylan says, is the disrepute it brings to Christianity.

The problem with these statements is neither of you have shown how it brings disrepute to Christianity. Additionally, why do I have to be the one who has to abandon biblical infallibility and inerrancy in order to show how creationists are in disrepute? Something I don't have to do in order to demonstrate biblically why Fred Phelps and his crowd are sinful. You may cite Warfield again, but he was wildly inconsistent as many of his admiring detractors have demonstrated. Keep in mind that when he wrote, Evolutionary theory as outlined by Darwinianism, was still in its infancy.

Stephen writes,

The basic strategy seems to be to question established science and try to make it look as though everything is “up in the air”. Most of these questions have been answered adequately by legitimate scientists. and in another comment, Your hostile view of science does nothing to further the gospel, and I will go so far as to say that it actually hinders it

Really? Where exactly have we questioned established science? Or been "hostile" to science? I believe what we have questioned is their reconstruction in the present of historical events allegedly in the deep time past. Events none of them were present to observe and is constructed upon an extrapolation of their interpretation of the evidence. Legitimate scientists can tell us the girder strength of steel. They cannot provide an infallible window into the history of the world in deep time past. Only God can, our creator, who repeatedly tells us in His word when He created. By the way, do the atheists respect your convictions on the Resurrection of Jesus because you so willing concede to them the plain teaching of Genesis 1 and 2?

Stephen writes,

Unfortunately, most of your audience is scientifically illiterate and consequently your “challenging the status quo” strikes a resonant note with them.

So basically you are saying we're a bunch of morons? We should just shut our mouths and not inquire upon things we don't know anything about?

Stephen continues,

Whenever the issue of geocentrism is brought up you do an end run and claim that this isn’t the same as the issue of interpreting the beginning chapters of Genesis.

That's because it isn't an issue. Want to show us how? Again?

Stephen warns,

You would do well to heed the advice given in “Modern Reformation” (as well as by Hodge, Warfield, and Machen).

I'll stick with scripture, not the fear of men. Similar to this elder in the PCA, who is a geologist, who is a young earther, which makes me wonder after reading your comment if he was educated right:

http://www.reasonablehope.com/node/117

#111  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 9:41 AM

Fred

Why do you say " I'll stick with scripture, not fear of men". This is the kind of un neutral statements that show a commitment to a interpretive system rather than a committed follower of Bible truth. In reading through the previous months posts that type of statement "I'll just trust what God said" is a montra for Christians with a YEC literal view. People who have a background in science take pride in evaluating problems from a neutral standpoint, they see statements and read this attitude over the past few months and smell blood in the water, yes this type of bias to a system is disrepute to Christianity.

#112  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 9:54 AM

So I take it Donavan, even as a committed preterist, which I would think you are Calvinistic, you don't hold to the noetic effects of the fall?

#113  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 10:51 AM

Fred #110 said: "I'll stick with scripture, not the fear of men. Similar to this elder in the PCA, who is a geologist, who is a young earther, which makes me wonder after reading your comment if he was educated right:

http://www.reasonablehope.com/node/117"

You forgot to give full disclosure. The author of this article, John K. Reed is also the geology editor for "Creation Research Society Quarterly". His position should come as no surprise. His article is basically a rehash of all the arguments that have been addressed by mainstream geologists and dismissed. Dr. Gerardus D. Bouw has a PhD in astronomy and supports a geocentric view of the earth. If you look long enough, you can always find someone with a PhD to support your position.

You leave your readers with the impression that whichever view you choose is a tossup. You can find experts on both sides of the issue and in your words "experts are a dime a dozen". Bit of a hostile statement there isn't it? Or maybe demeaning would be a better description. The overwhelming majority of geologists would take issue with John Reed's rebuttal. When 99 plus percent of geologists accept the old earth position (including Christian geologists) there's a high probability that they are correct.

You said: "So basically you are saying we're a bunch of morons? We should just shut our mouths and not inquire upon things we don't know anything about?"

This seems to be another basic strategy of yours. Lift a phrase out of context and then twist it to say what the author didn't mean. The very next sentence where I mentioned scientific illiteracy, I said "And don’t take being “scientifically illiterate” as an insult to the intelligence of you or your audience. Most Americans don’t even take general Chemistry in high school let alone college." Scientific illiteracy is pandemic in the United States. It has nothing to do with being dumb or morons. Most people take as few science course as they can get away with in high school and college.

When your followers are weak in science, it's easy to convince them that established science isn't really settled science. Whether you like it or not evolutionary biology is established science. None of your arguments carry much weight with scientists who actually know and understand science. But to your followers, your arguments are the gold standard. They trust you not to lead them astray. You preach the YEC gospel which ends up being a lot of rhetoric and very little substance.

#114  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 1:03 PM

#112 Fred

You said:

So I take it Donavan, even as a committed preterist, which I would think you are Calvinistic, you don't hold to the noetic effects of the fall?

Yes I am Calvinistic, I partially agree with the Noetic effects of the fall in that I feel the Holy Spirit allows believers to see spiritual truths.

Also:

Funny you should mention preterism (orthodox by the way, not Hyper preterism) and Calvinism, JM surprised so many people when he preached that a good Calvinist should be a Dispensationalist, still haven't figured out that sermon at the Shepherds Conference.

#115  Posted by Ciprian Fachiol  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 4:13 PM

Dear Donovan,

What kind of argument, or "answer" is this:

"When Satan said to Eve "You won't surly die" she didn't say whats death, she already knew what death was."?

If you use the Scriptures to bring forth arguments, then do just that.

Moreover, the kind of teeth and defensive atributes are more of evolutionary arguments than Scriptural. It seems to me, also, that there is a confusion here between evolution per se and adaptation. If you think "JM" has a wooden interpretation of the Bible about this issue, what do you say about Paul, who clearly says that death came in the Cosmos (nb!) through Adam? Before Darwin, how was this issue understood in the Church? "AD FONTES"! Or not?

#116  Posted by Garrett League  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 4:42 PM

#80 Mary: "Can one really be concerned that God could not have provided enough food for all the animals, the same God who was able to provide manna in the desert, and made water come out of a rock?"

So in other words, I'm not sure how, but God could have done it. That's fine with me. Frankly, I think it would have to be a miracle too.

"2)God in His perfect plan allows temptation today. Is He, in Garrett’s words, an ogre?"

No, He isn't. And those aren't my words (see post #3). I was being facetious.

#83 Gabriel: "There is no way for man to know what animals ate, what kind of teeth they had, or their creaturely natures"

So you think it's a gratuitous assumption to say that animals with sharp teeth now had sharp teeth before the fall?

"The Bible is clear: all living things with the breath of life were given vegetation to eat."

Sharks don't breathe air, so was it cool for them to eat fish? Also, where does it say that God didn't give meat for carnivores to eat? In other words, what you quote is not exclusive; it's just a generalization about our overall dependence on plants. "[Meredith] Kline suggests that this passage has a special literary purpose. [4] It was not given to define man's diet comprehensively, but to set the stage for the prohibition of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the following chapter (Gen. 2:16-17)." Neither does God saying "I give every green plant for food" mean that all green plants were edible. I think you're reading between the lines.

"why do you have a problem with God changing animals in some way after the Fall? You're inconsistent at this point."

Where does the bible say that? It's not mentioned as one of the curses and, since it's kind of a biggie, why wasn't it?

"Can you tell me where "good" means "whole" or "complete"?"

Yea, as I said, I think Genesis 2:18, as well as the "goods" in Genesis 1 imply that. Fred agrees w/ me too. Can you tell me where "very good," in the same context, means "no animal death/carnivory pre-fall"?

"The tree of life is a different discussion. We're talking about "was there death" not "what prevented death or gave life"."

Here's why it's relevant. If God said, post fall, "He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever," then what would the tree have given them pre-fall, if, in your words, "They would not have died; they would have lived forever in blissful fellowship with God?" anyways? You seem to make the tree of life superfluous.

"If pain is so necessary, do you deny the truth of Revelation 21:4?"

Necessary, on some level, in the 1st creation, as Fred and I agree. Rev 21 is completely different, since it concerns the new heavens and the new earth, which are WAY better than the 1st ones. And resurrection bodies, like Jesus', aren't like our 1st dusty ones (1 Corinthians 15:47).

"assuming that science has infallibly interpreted all the features of the earth. Your question demonstrates once again that OEC/TE is based on religious faith in the high priests (scientists)."

I was raised YEC and left it, kicking and screaming, because of the data. You seem unwilling and/or unable to accept the possibility that a Christian could honestly find the evidence for YEC lacking, unless he somehow presupposes that whenever some pointy-headed scientist says something, it must be taken as if it were spoken ex cathedra. Well, given that one of my favorite old hobbies was finding holes in everything my professors said about evolution, that little argument doesn't hold to well. Please, read your comment aloud and tell me that it doesn't sound deeply cynical.

"7) If you read the text carefully you'll note that man is not to subdue animals"

You beg the question "So then what about the earth needing subduing if it was all perfect"?

"I have read (last year) that entire commentary by Collins and was appalled by his interpretations."

But you don't have to take my word for it! (Ba-na-na!) Sorry, I was a big "Reading Rainbow" fan growing up.

#117  Posted by Garrett League  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 4:44 PM

#84 Fred: "#1 - God didn't design tons of animals for eating flesh. Lots and lots of animals have sharp, carnivorous teeth that only eat plant matter"

I think it's safe to say that He did, since so many animals' physiologies (think T-Rex, sharks, etc.) are predicated on meat consumption. Either there was a re-creation event post-fall (nowhere mentioned in scripture) or carnivores evolved post-fall at unbelievable rates. You mention that lots of animals w/ sharp teeth only eat plants, so maybe they all once did. As I've already pointed out, that's a converse accident fallacy that doesn't really explain much. Pandas have sharp teeth. They eat bamboo. Therefore, all animals that have sharp teeth (even those whose physiologies are tailor made for meat consumption) may at one time have eaten only plants. I think that’s problematic.

"It granted fellowship and communion with God. I also think there were some intrinsic health benefits from it also."

So without eating of the tree of life, A&E would not have had that sort of fellowship and communion with God? Since God said eating it would make them live forever, again, "What did it grant that A&E didn't already have?"

"No one has argued there was "no pain." We are arguing there was no suffering leading to death. Here in lies another strawman argument"

No one, besides AiG. Mary linked me to an article that says: "Increased physical pain doesn’t mean there was pain before, but merely sensations that were useful. So, pain wasn’t a part of the original creation, but sensation—the sense of touch—was." And, my personal favorite: "So, when the Lord spoke to the woman and said that she would have increased pain and sorrows in childbearing, this is not to be taken as compared to the pre-Fall point, but from the Fall to the point when the Lord spoke."

"Horses, for example, dwell peaceably with men. We still have to subdue them."

Why do we have to subdue them? Because they are afraid of us. They dwell peaceably (mostly) w/ each other, not with man. Thought that didn't happen until after the flood when God put the fear and dread of man in animals? This blog states that "animals dwell peacefully among them. No sign of conflict, fear, violence or death appears, until the day Adam sinned against God." So no fear, and yet if you walked up to a “peaceably dwelling” horse, it would try to kick you and then run off into the distance? Trust me, that's what subduing a horse involves.

"The 8th objection is hardly a slam dunk and is more special pleading regarding one's [and, apparently, nearly all geologists, including those pesky PCA geologists] ignorance of geology (I think you are into microbiology or something) [mostly genetics], the flood, and ultimately unbelief regarding the clear [apparently only after you don Ken Ham's biblical glasses and presuppose a global flood prior to honestly examining the evidence, which, of course, no one can possibly do anywho, so it's all good] historical record of a global, catastrophic flood. In other words, you [who, until fairly recently, was a die-hard YEC advocate] are committed [or, maybe just simply scientifically convinced of, given that I originally presupposed the exact opposite] to long ages and evolution so of course you will read the fossil record according to your worldview [which apparently I had to presuppose prior to finding, as a committed YEC, any of the evidence even slightly convincing, since any reasonable person starting from the bible cannot help but be convinced of the obvious record of the global flood]."

In principle, I don't have a beef with presuppositional apologetics. But you need to heed the advice of the late iMonk:

"This is all about the presuppositions that both “sides” have before any evidence is discovered or discussed. (If you read the review I have taken the comment quoted above from, that’s the major point: presuppositions make any consideration of evidence useless.) Instead of being a discussion of the evidence raised by “Ardi,” this is a “war of the worldviews,” in which considering evidence is apparently simply a casualty or, at best, a waste of time.

And if that sounded completely postmodern to you, too, then I’m glad to not be the only one.

Let me be simple: if we can’t discuss evidence, but are simply playing gorilla warfare with worldview weapons, then our young people aren’t coming to conclusions. They are simply deciding whether to stay on our team and play the game."

"How exactly was the tsunami of 2004 related to man's sin making creation groan? “

Piper gives the best explanation of that particular natural disaster that I've ever heard (http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/1678/Audio/). I think, had we not sinned, that would not have occurred or those people would not have perished. Somehow, in a way I don't pretend to even begin to grasp, I think, had man not sinned, we would have had access to the tree of life (again, don't know all the details there either) which would have allowed us to overcome our natural mortality. So death, human death, both spiritual and physical, is tied up in sin. By sinning, we doomed ourselves to the absolute inevitability of death by losing access to the tree of life. Before our rebellion, we could have avoided that. But to conclude, "tsunamis therefore must not have existed until man sinned" is, in my opinion, a leap that scripture does not demand. In fact, "surd evil" appears to have been present even before the fall, and all of it need not be a result of sin (just our death by it). In his Genesis commentary, Waltke says this:

"The precreated state of the earth with darkness and chaos suggests that everything hostile to life is not a result of sin. This is Job’s discovery (Job 38-41). Job is mystified by his whole experience of suffering. God’s response is to make clear that everything negative in creation from the human perspective is not a result of human sin. The chaotic forces—sea, darkness, and the like—are a mystery to human beings. Although these forces seem, for the moment, hostile to life, human beings can still trust the benevolence of the Creator because the malevolent forces of creation operate only within his constraints. (p. 68f)"

#118  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 5:39 PM

#115 Ciprian

Sorry I sent out an incorrect, and unclear post.

What I said that was unclear and incorrect was:

"When Satan said to Eve "You won't surly die" she didn't say whats death, she already knew what death was."?

Gen. 2:17 "but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” I mentioned this verse for many reasons:

1) How did Eve actually know about death? Well I understand that God could have put that knowledge in her, but then we would have to contend with all those ramifications like did God tempt by setting up a stumbling block in A&Es mind.

2) If someone has a literal view of scripture the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has the knowledge of good and evil in it so why would Eve be culpable at the point of biting into the apple, she didn't know (hey, the devil made her do it).

3) Also, This verse is clearly referring to the spiritual death of A&E not physical.

4) This verse speaks to the idea that after we read on in the Bible we discover that God's term death must have meant spiritual death because A&E were still alive in later chapters. This not an idea gained in the grammatical context it an idea gained later in the story deduced by logic so a strict literal view of physical death in this verse may give you the wrong answer.

Silly arguments like this are possible because of wooden literal paradigms that YEC show.

Just for the record I do not believe any of these arguments about this verse are true, I just used them to show how so much eisegesis has arisen

#119  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 5:53 PM

#102 Posted by Steve Gentry

Steve,

I was once taught in high school Evolution. I almost believe it then

I became a day age believer. I was wrong to be that way.

I understand you might not listen but just bear with me for a moment.

I was 10 when I recieve God's Word. No one told me about Jesus and who

he is. I read it 2 times but had no understanding. Now listen carefully

what I will tell you that happen next. ok?

Two years later a young girl in my class in school. She told me she will kill herself by cutting. She told me God was evil and Satan was

good. I told her God was good and Satan was evil. I talked her out of

it and she understood the next day I was telling her what the truth was. It was'nt me that saved her. It was God!!!

Evolution is a fairy tale. Believe Jesus. God created the heavens and

the earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th day. God made the 7th day

holy.

Steve,

Just to let you know that and listen to what Christians are saying.

Please don't harass us. It won't do any good to do it. God made you

and when you reject Him. It hurts God. God rejects those who rejects

Him. It says it in God's Word.

Jesus love you.

Repent and Jesus died for your sins and He is alive forevermore.

#120  Posted by Donavan Dear  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 5:56 PM

#115 Ciprian

To answer you 2nd question

you said:

"Moreover, the kind of teeth and defensive atributes are more of evolutionary arguments than Scriptural".

This is an important argument that I didn't get an answer to. I was making the point that anyone with the smallest knowledge of biology would know that there are more differences in a flesh eater and a plant eater than simply teeth and claws. I used an alligator as an example because it is so clearly designed by God as a meat eater because of its physiology. I went on to say that if God designed the animals with the fall in mind (as some YEC say) and somehow made alligators eat plants before the fall even though they weren't actually designed to eat plants then his first creation was compromised by definition. This is an argument that no creationist would accept from any non believer so don't be hypocritical when the same argument is turned around on the YEC.

#122  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 9:30 PM

re # 120 Donovan wrote:

"I went on to say that if God designed the animals with the fall in mind (as some YEC say) and somehow made alligators eat plants before the fall even though they weren't actually designed to eat plants then his first creation was compromised by definition."

Hi, Donovan , did you ever listened to or read the "Battle for the Beginning" sermon series? I don't think yo did. Believe me, it would be beneficial to you. You keep making the same comments and quoting all kinds of sources that clearly show a poor interpretation of scripture (there, I said it).

Just for starters, you're making the same mistakes Darwin did. Taking appearances and going wild with them and taking them as fact.

I think these alligator references have to stop. If God created the alligator with the ability to eat flesh, it doesn't necessarily mean it did it from day one. Here's a wild idea. Could God have created plants that were just as tough as meat??.

#123  Posted by Ciprian Fachiol  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 10:28 PM

Dear Donovan,

Myself, I tried to be as clear as I could: If you want to talk Scripture, than do that- Talk Scripture! That is, talk about what IS written, not about what it seems logic to infer about what is NOT written, and possible reasons why. Those are called speculations.

About teeth and what not, see the point above. Understand what the Scripture is about, and its limits.

I asked you a question, and conveniently you prefer to talk about your inferences from Scripture, than to talk about it is written. Paul gives no room for speculation, he says that the death came into this Universe because of Adam. It seems to me that Paul, in presenting the Gospel, was not very concerned about... crocodiles and how they fit into the great scheme of things! Too bad for him, the wooden YEC, right?

And one more thing: Who or What assists you in understanding the Scriptures? The Scriptures themselves state that is the Holy Spirit who help us understand. Well, guess how the Church understood this issue until Darwin! Was there NO guidance whatsoever in this regard until Darwin illuminated the Church?

But to you, Donovan, it is AD DARWIN, not AD FONTES!

#124  Posted by Ciprian Fachiol  |  Wednesday, July 21, 2010at 11:13 PM

One more thing, Dear Donovan.

@120, I'm not sure what this means: " then his first creation was compromised by definition." From God's atributes, and directly from the text of the Scriptures (unless that is the wooden literal "view"), we understand that God knows everything and He had a plan way before the fall (And yes, before the crocodile dilemma, too!).

Man cannot surprize God; He does not need to wait for the next move. So, if you want, if I understand you rightly, yes, the game was and had been rigged, and that well before there was death, time and even matter, for that matter! ;)

#125  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, July 22, 2010at 5:26 AM

Hi,

Can you help me know the abbreviations of the words you mention. It

will be a big help for me to understand what you are saying

YEC?

TE?

OEC?

It's on #75. I was confused of what they stand for? I appreciate if one

can help me know what those words are.

#126  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Thursday, July 22, 2010at 10:23 AM

Dan Wilson #125:

YEC = young earth creationism

TE = theistic evolution

OEC = old earth creationism

#127  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Thursday, July 22, 2010at 5:14 PM

Steve,

Thanks. God bless.