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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | Comments (59)

First, listen to this 10-minute clip:

Launch Player  |  Download  |  Full Sermon

Here's the topic for today's discussion:

Genesis contains a detailed genealogy that traces the development of the human race from Adam to Abraham and beyond. The genealogy includes a chronology that records the exact ages of individuals at the birth of their children and at their own death.

The Bible’s genealogies have more than one function, but they provide a connecting link to the earliest days of humanity and are invaluable dating devices. More pertinent to our discussion, they help us determine the age of the earth. The bottom line is that man has been on the earth since the beginning, a beginning Scripture dates around 4,000 B.C. Hard to believe? Check out how John explains it…

Now that you’ve heard John MacArthur's explanation, think about this: What do we stand to gain from the detailed genealogies of Genesis 1-11? (Remember, Matthew and Luke record portions of those genealogies in the New Testament.)


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#1  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 5:28 AM

Two questions about what John says concerning the speed of light:

1. If the light between distant stars and the earth was created in progress, then why would we see events like supernova explosions occurring seemingly before the creation?

2. If we assume that the speed of light could have been significantly faster in the past, then should not distant galaxies appear greatly distorted rather than uniform like they do? Considering that these galaxies are hundreds of thousands of light years in size, and if the universe were only a few thousand years old, then for the light we see today, the rate that light was traveling when it left the far side of a galaxy must have been exponentially greater than the light that left the near side of the galaxy, right? Would that not give the galaxy a severely warped appearance to us today?

#2  Posted by Brian Jonson  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 5:29 AM

Thank you, John, for this message.

Clearly, what Grace To You has proven through this extended series of messages is that science, rightly interpreted and utilized, has never and will never supplant the truth of God's word. God created all that is and He did so in six days, exactly as the Bible says.

#3  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 7:53 AM

Joey,

Before proceeding, I am just curious if you have made any effort to research these things out yourself from the available resources from biblical creationists who are experts in astrophysics? Jonathan Hartnett comes to mind who has written extensively on the subject of starlight, time, and the biblical creation model:

http://creation.com/dr-john-hartnett-cv

Additionally, it is rather disingenuous to think big bang cosmology is settled "science" and biblical creationists are rejecting reality, when in fact a good deal of big bang cosmology is theoretical. I am reminded of a comment by Bob Bergman about modern cosmology from the July 2004 issue of Astronomy magazine, which is a secular publication and is in no way related to young earth creationism,

Suddenly, we’re imbedded in a frothy quantum foam of unlimited possibilities. It’s a free-for-all where each solemnly presented theory is soon changed or rebutted. In one sense, it’s very cool. Imagination rules! It’s a unique period in cosmology’s history. Throw the math this way, that way, tweak the equations, set fire to the physics building, nothing matters. It’s Alice in Wonderland meets Stephen Hawking. Unfortunately, cosmologists are starting to resemble naked emperors parading before the mass media. Hey, we love you, but you have no clue about the universe’s true origin or fate, and little knowledge of its composition. Yet each pronouncement is delivered with pomp and flair. Maybe you need a serious “time out.”

And for the interest of others who may be coming around here for the first time, I noted an article toward the beginning of our series outlining the academic intolerance among elites in the cosmological sciences. It's worth re-linking here:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v2/n1/history-intolerance-in-cosmology

#4  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 10:02 AM

Hi Joey:

"If the light between distant stars and earth was created in progress, then why would we see events like supernova explosions occurring seemingly before creation?"

You are presupposing that the uniformatarian view of light is correct. The key words are "before creation" and you mean them to be a QED. The problem with this is that your observations assume, based upon what you said, that we really understand what is happening in space. Here are some of the issues:

1) Does the speed of light remain constant through out time?

2) Does E=MC2 mean that there is an equilibrium between C and M? In other words- does a decrease in M = an increase in C?

3) Since there are models of the universe that have faster then C (today at ~300K, meaning that the speed of light was faster then - then now ), how does this effect your question.

From what I have read in literature, there is more fable then fact. The fact that the mathematical models are so complex, it leaves one wondering how much is really known and how much is supposed. If you ask the question as a question, the answer is unknown, in my mind. If you ask the question as a person who expects that "this is un-answerable objection, that is not so, the Bible says that God stretched out the heavens (Psa 104:2, Isa 40:22,Zach 12:1). That alone would tell you that the universe is bigger the it would have been if he had not done so.

Further, since you mentioned Supernovas, go to this web site and read the article. http://creation.com/exploding-stars-point-to-a-young-universe Just a thought

#5  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 11:16 AM

Fred,

Before proceeding, I am just curious if you have made any effort to research these things out yourself from the available resources from biblical creationists who are experts in astrophysics?

Yes I have quite a bit. All of the data I have been able to find, including data on both the websites you mentioned (creation.com and answersingenesis.org) point to the same issues I mention and acknowledge them as problems, but as yet, I have been unable to find where anyone has proposed answers to them. In fact they both recommend not making the argument that JM did in the audio about the creation of light in progress.

I did find the idea that Dr. Hartnett mentioned about cosmic relativity very interesting. Of course that theory seems somewhat (but not exactly) consistent with “gap theory” since the idea that time has passed much faster in distant galaxies than it has on earth, means that it would be correct to consider the universe to be older (perhaps 14.5by) than the earth even if they were created simultaneously.

Additionally, it is rather disingenuous to think big bang cosmology is settled "science" and biblical creationists are rejecting reality, when in fact a good deal of big bang cosmology is theoretical.

Agreed. Who suggested either one?

Paul

You are presupposing that the uniformatarian view of light is correct.

Actually, I didn’t do that at all. That wasn’t even what JM’s original comment or my question was about. He seemingly offered two suggestions to the light-travel problem. The first one only concerned the creation of light in progress. The behavior of light is irrelevant to that question, for the light itself carries information about the source of that light, regardless of how fast it might travel. My question is simply why might the light carry information that only gives the appearance of what happened source?

The rest of your post only sets up my second question about how galaxies should appear differently if the speed of light was much faster in the past. In fact, my question about the effects of a change in the speed of light is somewhat stated in “The Creation Answers Book,” found on the website both you and Fred reference, when it says, “…these consequences should still be discernible in the light from distant galaxies, but they are apparently not.”

#6  Posted by Tony Koonce  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 12:43 PM

Mr MacArthur,

You spoke of the timeline from the beginning of mankind. I completely agree with you on this point. What are your thoughts on how long the earth was here before man. There is strong evidence to show that there was an Ice Age and dinosaurs. What is one supposed to do with all this information. I would like to know how you can refute the Gap Theory. It seems to me that in my study of Genesis, that the world was reformed in 6 days, after the fall of satan. The war in heaven, could be one cause of the earth to be without form and void. There is just to much evidence to the contrary. I have to believe that the earth and universe, have been here much longer than mankind.

#7  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 1:50 PM

Hi Tony,

Thank you for commenting.

I'll allow others to address the Ice Age and dinosaur issue, but I will address the idea of the earth becoming void.

First of all, can you point me to the Scripture that refers to the "war in heaven"?

Genesis 1:2 says that the earth "was", not "became" without form and void. The root verb can indeed be used in both ways, but the particular form of the word in the context is definitely not "became"--it is "was".

I have to believe that the earth and universe, have been here much longer than mankind.

Actually, you don't have to believe that at all :). You still have the problem of death prior to the Fall and the lack of biblical accounting for a lengthy humanless existence. God created the physical world, not for the sake of itself, but for the sake of mankind. Mankind is the crowning glory of His creation. To add millions or billions of years of meaningless physical existence makes little sense from the biblical worldview.

Non-creationists like to use Psalm 19 to say that creation glorifies God regardless of the existence of man. The truth is creation glorifies God when man sees and observes it and gives praise to God for it. Romans 1:19-20 make this clear that creation puts God on display for man to see. The ability to consciously give praise and glory to God is a unique aspect of mankind unshared by rocks and trees and gerbils and bees--and not dinosaurs either. Therefore millions and billions of years of a physical world full of death not only doesn't fit in Genesis or in the biblical worldview, it also means that the vast majority of the physical universe's existence God received no glory from His creation.

That is something I cannot believe.

Hopefully others will give links to or provide exegetical refutations of the Gap Theory, but that is my brief philosophical/theological answer. Hope it helps :)

#8  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 4:08 PM

I had written,

Additionally, it is rather disingenuous to think big bang cosmology is settled "science" and biblical creationists are rejecting reality, when in fact a good deal of big bang cosmology is theoretical.

and then Joey responds,

Agreed. Who suggested either one?

Forgive me if I misjudged your comment. Generally, when I have had these discussions with long aged individuals in the past (which you may or may not be), the suggestion is that YEC view of cosmology maintain all of the problems, where as big bang cosmology has worked them all out. This is hardly the case. Big bang cosmology which is undoubtedly the reigning paradigm has tremendous problems that does not solve all of what it suggests. It also operates under a set of presuppositions, the two biggest ones being the universe is unbounded and there is no particular center. There is no reason to hold to those presuppositions and they often cause more physical problems for big bang cosmology than they solve.

Additionally, big bang cosmology has its own light time problem with the horizon problem, see here:

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

to get a basic grasp of the problem, and also here (under #2)

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524911.600

#9  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 4:10 PM

Tony, #6,

I would recommend a couple of popular resources,

www.answersingenesis.org

www.creation.com

Both ministries are related and have similar articles addressing dinosaurs, the ice age, and a number of other subjects. Check them out and do a search for what you are interested in.

#10  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 5:00 PM

From a strictly scriptural position if one references Isaiah 45:18 with the creation account of Genesis 1:1-2 the answer is clear...no foundation for a gap theory:

"For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else." NASB

Matthew Henry comments on this passage:

v. 18): "Thus saith the Lord, that created the heavens and formed the earth, I am the Lord, the sovereign Lord of all, and there is none else.’’ The gods of the heathen did not do this, nay, they did not pretend to do it. He here mentions the creation of the heavens, but enlarges more upon that of the earth, because that is the part of the creation which we have the nearest view of and are most conversant with. It is here observed, (1.) That he formed it. It is not a rude and indigested chaos, but cast into the most proper shape and size by Infinite Wisdom. (2.) That he fixed it. When he had made it he established it, founded it on the seas, (Ps. 24:2), hung it on nothing (Job 26:7) as at first he made it of nothing, and yet made it substantial an hung it fast, ponderibus librata suis—poised by its own weight. (3.) That he fitted it for use, and for the service of man, to whom he designed to give it. He created it not in vain, merely to be a proof of his power; but he formed it to be inhabited by the children of men, and for that end he drew the waters off from it, with which it was at first covered, and made the dry land appear, Ps. 104:6, 7. Be it observed here, to the honour of God’s wisdom, that he made nothing in vain, but intended every thing for some end and fitted it to answer the intention. If any man prove to have been made in vain, it is his own fault. It should also be observed, to the honour of God’s goodness and his favour to man, that he reckoned that not made in vain which serves for his use and benefit, to be a habitation and maintenance for him

Here are two resource that may be of help with regards to the the issue:

Article #1

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Rooker-Gen1Pt2-BSsac.pdf

Article #2

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Rooker-Gen1Pt2-BSsac.pdf

#11  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 7:12 PM

Sorry, I double posted article #2 above.

Here is article #1:

http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/Ted_Hildebrandt/OTeSources/01-Genesis/Text/Articles-Books/Rooker-Gen1Pt1-BSsac.pdf

#12  Posted by Garrett League  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 7:59 PM

Hey Fred, just out of curiosity, do you believe that earth lies at the center of the universe? Is that even a valid question or is it like asking "Do you believe Jerusalem lies at the center of earth's surface?" I thought it was either everything is at the center or nothing is at the center. What do you think?

As for the starlight question, Dr. MacArthur's two staple solutions have big problems. Fred your more familiar with this than I am; are those two arguments still used by YEC astronomers? Have you read Jason Lisle's new book? Anywho, here is how a Biologos article responds (then maybe you can link me to good YEC responses?):

1.) Light made in transit: "This...option is often promoted by those who argue God made the universe with the appearance of age. To do this, however, God would have had to do much more than simply create photons en route: God would have had to set numerous aspects of matter and energy very precisely so that multiple lines of evidence would converge in a way that would mislead us about the universe’s true age. Such deception seems inconsistent with a God who is the author of truth. The clearest and most natural explanation is that the universe is billions of years old, just as it appears."

2.) Speed of light has slowed: “The speed of light is a property of the fundamental laws of electromagnetism (Maxwell’s equations). If the fundamental laws had changed, those alterations would have impacted the lines of light spectra (that is, patterns of emitted light) that emanated from the atoms of individual elements. Since the spectral lines are identical in the ancient light compared to light generated today, the laws operating at the time of the emission of the ancient light must have, in effect, been the same as those in operation today. No change in the laws, no change in the speed of light”

What do you guys think?

"What do we stand to gain from the detailed genealogies of Genesis 1-11?"

I think, ultimately, the genealogies link the 1st and 2nd Adams together. I think that's why God put them in there; to show that Jesus was descended from David, Abraham, and Adam.

#13  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 10:20 PM

Speed of light decay, big bang, ice age, gap theory.

All issues where you can find "experts" on both sides of the issues.

I believe God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, day by day as found in Genesis. Plants old enough for the animals to eat them. Animals old enough to be fruitful and multiply and to get to Adam to name them. Adam old enough to talk with God. Eve old enough to start helping Adam be fruitful and multiply.

Not just the appearance of age, but actually with age, relatively speaking.

When the bible says Adam lived 930 years, I think it means days on earth. How old did Adam look when God created him?? How old did Eve look when God created her?? .

All this just to say the "appearance of age" is a fact science hasn't yet been able to explain. But it's a fact none the less.

I think the genealogies must be accurate to within a few years.

#14  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 11:38 PM

Hi Joey: Hum...thought that you were asking why we see supernovas... light years distant. Interesting... so is the idea that God would presuppose what would occur and transmit the light data "early" so that we could see it as it "happened", is that what your asking? Don't know that this is an issue, I suppose that God could do so if He desired to, and it was consistent with his program. He certainly has the power,but why ask such a question?

You set up a conditional question, If this is so, then why is this so... You actually proposed a second class conditional statement. And thus expected a Quod Erat Demonstrandum (QED) response. Your second question gives the balance of your assumptions. The truth is that what we see is not what is there, movement is occurring and we have not seen the results as yet. Part of the problem was answered in Fred's blog if you were digesting what was said. Current cosmologies do not explain the phenomena which we "see". I gave you a blog which shows what we can know, based upon current scientific evidence. Things that have not been hashed out will need to wait for an answer. And not the "prettiest" one that comes along.

As to your response blog, apparently there are things that appear to be moving faster then the speed of light, Quasars sometimes appear that way. (at least the last time I read on them). As to Galaxy movements, I'm not so sure enough study has been done to really say. It's kind of like the picture I see from time to time. it is a picture of a Galaxy with the words "you are here" and a little arrow pointing to a spot. We know that no one has traveled to that point in space and taken a picture of our spot in space. It is someones idea of where we are at in our galaxy. Just so with current theory. Just a thought

#15  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, June 29, 2010at 11:42 PM

Question, when God said that He stretched out the heavens what picture do you get?

#16  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 12:10 AM

Speed Of Light May Not Be Constant, Physicist Suggests

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/10/991005114024.htm

My fuses burns just by looking at the mathematics in your links.

It must happen to everyone, to reach a point where you are brought to silence and then God speaks - Where are you Adam? Can't you hear Me calling?

We are nothing but dust.

#17  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 6:37 AM

Dear, dear Garrett! You really are a burden to my soul!

When are you going to step out of the boat into real faith?

(Can you imagine how Peter must have felt when he did that?! It was absolutely impossible to walk on water, yet he did it! Go figure!)

And when are you going to stop looking for answers about God from men (& youtube & Biologos)? God has revealed Himself to you & me in His word. What’s so hard about that?

If I can paraphrase what you are quoting here:

“COULD GOD REALLY...…set numerous aspects of matter and energy very precisely so that multiple lines of evidence would converge in a way that would mislead us about the universe’s true age???” [Well, COULD HE??? Do you doubt that HE COULD??] “Such deception seems inconsistent with a God who is the author of truth.” Sarcastic & lame argument, but typical tactic, (actually satan’s tactic): turn the doubt & deception around to discredit the author! God is NOT deceptive! He clearly told us how he made Adam, complete & mature; & how He made Eve, complete & mature; & neither of them made the way the rest of us have been made – (inconsistent with current the process, hmmm). That is not deceptive. He also clearly explained how He made the universe: in 6 six days. He may not have given us all of the precise biological explanations for how He made Adam & Eve, nor the precise astronomy & physics explanations for how He accomplished creating the universe in six days, but HE WAS NOT DECEPTIVE, HE TOLD US HOW HE DID IT! You just can’t accept what you don’t “see” with your worldly, earthly eyes! Thomas was told by the other disciples that Jesus was alive, they had SEEN Him. But he said he wouldn’t believe it until he saw the nail prints & the gash in Jesus’ side. God’s word tells you about creation, you just don’t want to believe it. Don’t accuse God of being deceptive; question man, but NEVER QUESTION GOD!

With regard to the fundamental laws of electromagnetism & “Maxwell’s equations,” when have men ever been known to be wrong with their equations? ;)

According to John MacArthur’s comments above, Danish astronomer Remer was the first to carefully measure the speed of light in 1675, [is that the “ancient light” referred to in your 2nd note?], & Austrialian Barry Setterfeld has graphed an exponential curve showing its slowing based on Remer’s & Bradley’s measurements. OK. You might want to say Setterfeld’s equations are wrong. Somebody’s must be, because they disagree with each other. This is where you have to start choosing Garrett, which “side” of the argument you are going to believe, & on what basis. Will you continue to base all of your beliefs only on that which you can see & touch & understand with your finite mind, or are you ever going to step out of that boat into FAITH and accept what God has said even though is seems impossible & you can’t grasp HOW it could be true? It is true if God said it is true. That’s faith Garrett. I’m still praying for you.

What do we stand to gain from the detailed genealogies of Genesis 1-11?

History. Common ancestry. I find it encouraging that a converted prostitute, a converted pagan Moabitess, a number of adulterers, etc. were all in the genealogical lineage of our Lord Jesus! Have you ever thought that the Bible is STILL being written in Heaven & OUR stories are there as well? We look at those in the past & see their sins exposed, but we also see how God worked in their lives even when they rejected Him at times. God is working in our lives today in just the same way, and though we fail Him so many times, He loves us & wishes to deliver us from an eternity separated from Him. Praise Him for His unfailing & infinite love!

#18  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 7:16 AM

so is the idea that God would presuppose what would occur and transmit the light data "early" so that we could see it as it "happened", is that what your asking? Don't know that this is an issue, I suppose that God could do so if He desired to, and it was consistent with his program. He certainly has the power, but why ask such a question?

Ah, I see where you misunderstood my question. Apparently you have not yet listened to the audio posted with this blog topic. That’s one of the things JM was suggesting in the clip. From what I’ve read in other posts on this forum as well as the most referenced creationist websites, this line of reasoning is pretty much universally dismissed from all sides. I happen to find some merit in it, since as you agree, “it was consistent with His program.” I guess you and I are more sympathetic to JM’s suggestion than everyone else on this forum who are seemingly against it. That’s okay.

You set up a conditional question, If this is so, then why is this so... You actually proposed a second class conditional statement. And thus expected a Quod Erat Demonstrandum (QED) response.

I think if you go back and listen to the clip and then re-read my question, you will see that this is not the case. JM set up the conditions in his audio clip. I was only using those conditions in my questions.

Your second question gives the balance of your assumptions.

Actually my second question was based on JM’s second suggestion which was presented as an alternative to the first suggestion. The conditions he presupposes are different in each scenario and are likewise different in each of my questions. Each question has a completely different set of conditions.

Part of the problem was answered in Fred's blog

I actually spent a good deal of time yesterday afternoon reading the references both you and Fred mentioned and I never saw where anyone addressed the problems, other than to simply restate that they are indeed problems.

I’m not trying to prove a point by asking these questions. I would just like to know if anyone has proposed any answers to the problems associated with such suggestions. It gets a little frustrating when instead of anyone offering ideas, or at least willing to explore possible answers, all I get are red herrings about problems with the big bang model or responses that dismiss my questions as pointless (while assuming the original suggestion behind the question is full of merit) or disingenuous.

#19  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 8:23 AM

Question, when God said that He stretched out the heavens what picture do you get?

If you are referring to texts such as Psalms 104:2 and Isaiah 40:22, then the picture I get is based on the imagery they contain. The similes of tents and curtains imply God protection, providence and total sovereignty. They also reflect a somewhat two-dimentsional understanding of the universe as tents and curtains were functionally two-dimensional objects.

#20  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 8:27 AM

Post #12, Garrett League:

Why would you ask Fred about geocentrism? You know that it is perspective that answers that issue. The same with the issue of Jerusalem, I usually only hear such questions from OE folks who wish to make fun of their YE counterpart--- usually when their arguments have been answered but not accepted. I will be interested to hear Fred's reply.

Since you opened up the conversation for your two questions:

The speed of light, as well as the other "laws" of the physical universe are created things, no matter if you are OE advocate or YEC. I do not know how you see the words "stretched out" from Zach 12:1, where creation was described for us, but I visualize it kinda like God stretching out a big round pizza doe (sp). Doppler would not necessarily have to be involved in that process. It would be more like each photon getting off the bus at its stop. I suppose it depends on how fast something is stretched- but as Jeremiah says "Is there anything to hard for God?"

I mean this is what we are talking about, what God is able to do and what he has done. This whole series has been about that issue. On the one hand we have a conglomeration of (so called) scientific evidence that says changeable stuff,(because every few years some new theory takes the place of an old one), on the other hand we have God's unchanging word. Who you going to stand with? There is plenty of evidence to show the YEC position, though not every question has been answered, most of what has been answered is honest work. I cannot say the same for some of the work in OEE (not so much so in TE to give credit where credit is due). OEE will suppress or deny evidence if it only has an appearance of a problem, because they don't want God in the picture. I'd don't know how plain it can be, their central issue is denying God and not "science". Just a thought

#21  Posted by Tony Koonce  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 9:28 AM

Keith #10,

Isaiah 45:18 is exactly my point, for the Gap Theory, God did not create the an earth that was not inhabitable, some type of cataclysmic happening had to occur. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that something happened between Genesis 1:1 and 2.

#22  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 9:52 AM

Joey...

Can I ask how an answer (any answer) to your probing question regarding light data does anything to assist with the purpose for which God has left Christians here on this earth?

2 corinthians 5:11-21 details that purpose. Here is the gist of that purpose from verses 16-19:

"16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us."

Now again...how does the "light data" help fulfill that purpose...the purpose of reconciling men to God?

Here is a link to John MacArthur speaking on this very subject if one cares to hear it:

http://www.christianity.com/ligonier/?speaker=macarthur1

Funny that you and others ask such probing questions. When you have time read Job chapters 38-42 where God Himself asked very similar questions of Job. My hunch is that we will not be able to figure out how God spoke everything into being...that is why He pushed Job in such fashion (just a hunch).

And, just so I make myself clear here...I am responding on this blog site with one goal in mind...to defend the faith as urged in Jude. I see an attack on Genesis as an attack on the entire plan of redemption...so I must speak out. In terms of "light data" I really do not see the importance. If the "light data" serves a similar purpose in your ministry then I will fully understand your interest.

#23  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:01 AM

To Paul Tucker #63 (Creation Series - A La Carte)

If your not any smarter than a 5th grader, what does that make me? :)

Thanks for all of your contributions! I've been out of the loop & am trying to catch up! What an ordeal! Thanks for staying on top of things & keep up the good work, along with all the fantastic GTY staff & the other bloggers!

#24  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:21 AM

Tony,

When Isaiah refers to creation I don't think you can legitimately say it is referring to Genesis 1:1 to the exclusion of Genesis 1:2-31. Scripture refers to creation all over the place and it refers to it generally as a whole.

There is nothing in Isaiah 45:18 that should lead you to think something happened between 1:1 and 1:2. The entire chapter of Genesis 1 is exactly what Isaiah 45:18 refers to.

If anything that would be a good verse against an old earth and evolution because God wasn't just the catalyst that got evolution going; no, He created the world completely to be inhabited. According to Isaiah God did not create an empty world that took billions of years to fill itself, as evolutionists and old earth folks would have us believe; He created a filled world in a matter of 6 days.

#25  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:24 AM

Hi Joey:

I went back and re-listened to JM. Joey maybe I just don't get the questions you ask or something. John's first statement is not provable empirically because one would have needed to be there to observe it. We might be able to do a model of some sort on it to explain why we think it happened that way.(Just as evolutionist do).

The second model that John gave has evidence that C has changed, therefore your question regarding supernovas would have been answered by the data he provided. That is that we see the light of the supernova as it occurred 4000+/- years ago and forward. If you remember the website I sent you to confirmed this to some degree. In other words we don't have the numbers of supernovas that we should expect if the universe is as old was OE proponents suggest.

Joey, please do not think that I did not read your question, I actually spent about an hour looking at what you were asking prior to answering. I probably assumed where I should not have. Maybe I still don't get what you are asking- enlighten me if possible. (I'm still thinking)

#26  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:45 AM

Joey writes,

I actually spent a good deal of time yesterday afternoon reading the references both you and Fred mentioned and I never saw where anyone addressed the problems, other than to simply restate that they are indeed problems.

I’m not trying to prove a point by asking these questions. I would just like to know if anyone has proposed any answers to the problems associated with such suggestions. It gets a little frustrating when instead of anyone offering ideas, or at least willing to explore possible answers, all I get are red herrings about problems with the big bang model or responses that dismiss my questions as pointless (while assuming the original suggestion behind the question is full of merit) or disingenuous.

Again, like I noted in my follow up response to you, the common perception is that secular astronomy is dealing with settled science where as the YEC position is not. That is why I raised the notion of disingenuousness among YEC dissenters. It is just assumed YEC has to be on the defensive always because it is automatically assumed it is a kooky position to hold. This response from YEC detractors blinds itself to the myriad of problems with their chosen models of cosmology. That is all I am pointing out. But let me put that behind us. The book by Hartnett on the starlight, time and the new physics does go into some detail that offers solutions to your questions. I know he has also written similar papers. The book by Lisle also has his model that goes into offering solutions to these questions.

Garrett writes,

Hey Fred, just out of curiosity, do you believe that earth lies at the center of the universe? Is that even a valid question or is it like asking "Do you believe Jerusalem lies at the center of earth's surface?" I thought it was either everything is at the center or nothing is at the center. What do you think?

The short answer, yes. I believe the earth has been placed near or at the center of our universe. However, a couple of theological points. We know from scripture that God is eternal. The only conclusion I can draw from the whole of revelation concern God is that He is infinite where as anything created has limitations. The universe has to be finite and exist within established, created boundaries. Secondly, because we have the ability to see into the vastness of this created universe from every direction on our planet, I would think we are near its center on purpose. The "Privileged Planet" position if you will. As I understand big bang cosmology, and I am thinking primarily of what I have learned from Carl Sagan and his PBS specials, the universe is not limited, and could very well by infinite, or at least an infinite series of expansions, contractions, and expansions over untold number of billions of years. The Bible does not support such a view of creation.

As to your question about light. Again, from Sagan's PBS specials, light also acts as a particle. It is effected by gravitational force. Which means there could be something to say about gravity impacting its transmission across the vastness of space, along with the time we track from it.

#27  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:47 AM

Tony #21...Perhaps you did not take the time to read the two articles I posted in #10 and #11. Just FYI here is the section on the Gap Theory from paper #1 by Mark Rooker:

The Gap Theory The restitution theory, or gap theory, has been held by many and is the view taken by the editors of The New Scofield Reference Bible.5 This view states Genesis 1:1 refers to the original creation of the universe, and sometime after this original creation Satan re- belled against God and was cast from heaven to the earth.6 As a re- sult of Satan's making his habitation on the earth, the earth was judged. God's original creation was then placed under judgment, and the result of this judgment is the state described in Genesis 1:2: The earth was "formless and void" (UhbovA UhTo). Isaiah 34:11 and Jeremiah 4:23, which include the only other occurrences of the phrase UhbovA UhT, are cited as passages that substantiate the understanding of "formless and void" in Genesis 1:2 in a negative sense, because these words occur in both passages in the context of judgment oracles. Waltke points out that this view conflicts with a proper under- standing of the syntactical function of the waw conjunction in the phrase Cr,xAhAv;, "and the earth" (Gen. 1:2). The construction of waw plus a noun does not convey sequence but rather introduces a disjunctive clause. The clause thus must be circumstantial to verse 1 or 3. It cannot be viewed as an independent clause ("And the earth became")7 as held by the supporters of the gap theory. Furthermore Waltke rejects the proposal that the occurrence of "formless and void" in Jeremiah 4:23 and Isaiah 34:11 proves that Genesis 1:2 is the result of God's judgment. Scripture nowhere states that God judged the world when Satan fell.8 3 Waltke, Creation and Chaos, 19. 4 See especially Allen P. Ross, Creation and Blessing (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), 106-7, 723; and Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1-17, New Interna- tional Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 117. 5 The New Scofield Reference Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1967), 1, n. 5, and 752-3, n. 2. For an extensive defense of the gap theory see Arthur C. Custance, Without Form and Void (Brockville, Ontario, N.p., 1970). 6 Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 are often cited as biblical support for this teaching. 7 Waltke, Creation and Chaos, 19. Also see Gordon J. Wenham, Genesis 1-15, Word Biblical Commentary (Waco, TX: Word, 1987), 15. 8 Waltke, Creation and Chaos, 24.

318 Bibliotheca Sacra / July-September 1992

In view of these objections, the gap theory should no longer be considered a viable option in explaining the meaning of Genesis 1:1- 3. The view is grammatically suspect, and Scripture is silent on the idea that the earth was judged when Satan fell. Waltke's critique of the gap theory is devastating.9

#28  Posted by Tim Helble  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 11:21 AM

To Paul Tucker and others:

Those who want to talk about C changing in time need to know something about the implications of what they're saying and ought to at least take intro courses in physics and astronomy. As I maintained at the end of "Creation a la Carte" thread, those who want to criticize mainstream geology should first take a college geology course or two or at least read through an up-to-date college geology textbook such as "Understanding Earth" (Grotzinger et al.). Problem with such textbooks is that they tend to cost a mint! A more accessible book written by a Christian that addresses young earth creationism and geology is Davis Young's "The Bible, Rocks, and Time."

This thread is kind of straying from the topic of this discussion -- "What do we stand to gain from the detailed genealogies of Genesis 1-11? (Remember, Matthew and Luke record portions of those genealogies in the New Testament.)" My answer would be very much. One can believe the Earth is old and that Genesis 1-11 is real history. Too bad the debate is being framed here as Christians vs. scientists. Young earth believers would rather take refuge in people like Setterfield than investigate the science for themselves. They look for every opportunity to skewer the word "science" as if it's something that was founded for the very purpose of leading people away from Christ. Even the phrase I've seen repeated in this blog more than once... "is falsely called 'science'..." takes 1 Tim 6:20 out of the context of its own chapter. Verses 3-5 of chapter 6 make it clear Paul was talking about the gnostics who were stirring up trouble in the church by claiming that they had special knowledge about God. Verse 21 confirms this by stating that this "knowledge" led (past tense) some people astray from the faith.

#29  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 11:55 AM

"One can believe the Earth is old and that Genesis 1-11 is real history."

This goes directly back to what I have stated many times...the bible does not contain nor does it allow for double truths. "one" may believe as you say but I dare say that Christians cannot believe that way for long else that very possibility would cast an ominous shadow on the work of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us in part to guide us into ALL truth...John 16:13. If He, the Holy Spirit, is not a reliable source then we must turn to evolutionary science...is that it??

Also, the word "science" as it has become known by secular society today connotes evolutionary-science. Therefore, mainstream "science" and theology, in terms of world views, are completely at odds. While the "facts", or the evidence...what is observable, are the same for all interpreters the world view one approaches "science" from dictates the outcome of the deductions.

#30  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 11:58 AM

Finally...

Al Mohler's speech from the Ligonier National Conference is up for viewing...do not hesitate to watch now:

http://www.christianity.com/ligonier/?speaker=mohler2

#31  Posted by Rudi Jensen  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 12:27 PM

Here is a (shortened) quote of Dr. Jason Lisle from “Feedback: Worldviews and Occam’s Razor”

It is significant, that the most common view by far in the scientific community is methodological naturalism. They are irrational: being either internally inconsistent or arbitrary in their foundational assumptions. Christians who operate within a naturalistic framework are professing God with their mouths, but rejecting God in terms of their actions. Imagine that you knew a bridge was out, but you decided to act as if that were not so by trying to walk across it anyway. Would that make sense? Likewise, those Christians who acknowledge with their lips that God exists but act as if He doesn’t are being irrational.

See it here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/05/02/feedback-worldviews-occams-razor

You can also read his online book: “Taking Back Astronomy”.

Here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tba/introduction-tba

Or see: "Evolution: The Anti-science"

Here: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v3/n1/evolution-anti-science

#32  Posted by Mary Kidwell  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 2:56 PM

Tim Helble (#28)

I don’t think the debate here is Christians versus scientists. There are many Christian scientists, whose writings have been linked to in this series of blogs, who uphold the Biblical teaching of a miraculous 6 day creation by God who spoke the world, and all that is in it, into existence. Rather the debate is between a) those who look first to the prevailing belief of scientists in an old earth due to their interpretation of processes that they observe today, and who then try to adjust their interpretation of scripture to fit an old earth versus b) those who view scripture as God’s inerrant Word and thus the ultimate authority and source of truth and who then adjust their interpretation of scientific evidence to fit what God’s Word plainly teaches.

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all scripture is God breathed” and 2 Peter 1:21 tells us that “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke [as they were] moved by the Holy Spirit.” God tells us plainly that He created the earth in six days. The genealogies confirm that there has been only about six thousand years since God created Adam on the sixth day. If the scientific evidence seems to indicate an old earth then the scientific evidence is being interpreted wrongly. There is so much that scientists don’t know. To put more faith in the prevailing consensus of scientists than in God’s Word is misplaced faith.

Carol Gayheart: Nice to have you back. I always enjoy your posts.

#33  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 4:33 PM

A supplement to our discussion here is this recently published article by Kurt Wise:

"What Science Tells Us About the Age of Creation"

http://www.sbts.edu/resources/files/2010/02/sbjt_111_wise.pdf

#34  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 10:40 PM

Tim Helble wrote:

[Those who want to talk about C changing in time need to know something about the implications of what they're saying and ought to at least take intro courses in physics and astronomy. As I maintained at the end of "Creation a la Carte" thread, those who want to criticize mainstream geology should first take a college geology course or two or at least read through an up-to-date college geology textbook such as "Understanding Earth" (Grotzinger et al.). Problem with such textbooks is that they tend to cost a mint!]

Problem: Science so often falls short of truth because of interpretation.

Tim Helble wrote:

[Young earth believers would rather take refuge in people like Setterfield than investigate the science for themselves. They look for every opportunity to skewer the word "science" as if it's something that was founded for the very purpose of leading people away from Christ.]

Problem #2: "skewer the word science," - no one is changing what science means. The stance of us YEC's is against the interpretation of others.(Correct me if I need to clarify that guys.)

The Bible is our final authority. Not a hypothesis.

#35  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Wednesday, June 30, 2010at 11:13 PM

Hi Tim: I will probably take you up on another course, however most of the issues we talk about are founded more in the study of methods of knowing. And foundations of knowing are often steeped in our philosophy or theology. Much of what has been presented at this website is founded upon the labors of others, I claim no originality. And the studies that have been referred to are creditable works based upon data. And as to the value of C, it has been some time coming, but there is new thinking.

Hi Joey: A tent huh, he he. OK.... ; ) (Bring tear to eye), my idea would have been much tastier.

#36  Posted by Garrett League  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 12:03 PM

#20 Paul Tucker: "Why would you ask Fred about geocentrism? You know that it is perspective that answers that issue."

I ask because in post #8 he said "It [Big bang cosmology)also operates under a set of presuppositions, the two biggest ones being the universe is unbounded and there is no particular center." Hence, I figured that he probably placed earth at the center of the universe (NOT stationary at the center of our solar system, as in the Ptolemaic geocentrism of old). And my hunch was right: "The short answer, yes. I believe the earth has been placed near or at the center of our universe." Not making fun. Me and Fred are cool; I wouldn't accuse him of being a backwards flat-earther or geocentrist or anything like that.

"I do not know how you see the words "stretched out" from Zach 12:1, where creation was described for us, but I visualize it kinda like God stretching out a big round pizza doe (sp). Doppler would not necessarily have to be involved in that process. It would be more like each photon getting off the bus at its stop. I suppose it depends on how fast something is stretched- but as Jeremiah says "Is there anything to hard for God?"

I don't think Zechariah 12:1 had red shift/doppler in mind. I think that's reading modern concepts into a text that only bears a superficial resemblance. The language of "stretching out the heavens" borrows common ANE imagery of tent making, as in Isiah 40:22b: "He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in."

#26 Fred: "As I understand big bang cosmology, and I am thinking primarily of what I have learned from Carl Sagan and his PBS specials, the universe is not limited, and could very well by infinite"

Nope, it's not infinite, that's outdated.

#37  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 2:22 PM

Hi Tim: I will probably take you up on another course, however most of the issues we talk about are founded more in the study of methods of knowing. And foundations of knowing are often steeped in our philosophy or theology. Much of what has been presented at this website is founded upon the labors of others, I claim no originality. And the studies that have been referred to are creditable works based upon data. And as to the value of C, it has been some time coming, but there is new thinking.

Paul, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. Here's how I see it worked out here:

1) YEC assume a priori that their interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is correct

2) Any scientific evidence that conflicts with this view is rejected as being due to the biases of the scientists

3) Any lack of understanding of scientists with regard to theory, or any modification of a theory, is seen as proof the theory is weak.

4) Any scientific evidence (be it mainstream, or from creation science) that seems to support a YEC interpretation, or to cast doubt on a particular TE model, is held up, regardless of source.

And while YEC may find it offensive when they're told they need to do some further reading, I'm very offended when my very salvation is called into question based on my view of the earliest chapters of Genesis.

#38  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 4:00 PM

Keith,

Can I ask how an answer (any answer) to your probing question regarding light data does anything to assist with the purpose for which God has left Christians here on this earth?

I’m glad you asked. First, if the answer demonstrates that the objection (a) definitely is, (b) probably is or (c) possibly is, overcome by the available data, then it will assist in silencing the objection(s) to God’s revealed truths and help confirm a common interpretation of scripture. It will also assist in the discipleship of believers in the matters addressed in 2 Timothy 2:14-26.

On the other hand, if the answer demonstrates that the objection (a) definitely is, (b) probably is or (c) possibly is, valid by the available data, then it will also assist in silencing the objection(s) to God’s revealed truths and help confirm a common interpretation of scripture. It will likewise also assist in the discipleship of believers in the matters addressed in 2 Timothy 2:14-26.

If the answer points toward truth, it’s a good thing.

Paul,

Maybe I still don't get what you are asking- enlighten me if possible. (I'm still thinking)

Please allow me to further clarify. First, you seem to be hung up on supernovas. I only mentioned that in my first question as an example, and it is only relevant assuming (and only assuming) the light in progress assumption. You keep trying to apply it to the second question which I find very peculiar since the assumptions of the second question do not present a problem for supernovas to begin with. The second question only has to do with the visible effect on galaxies assuming light was traveling at vastly faster speeds in the past. Supernovas are irrelevant to that question.

I really appreciate Fred’s reference to Dr. Hartnett’s work. I’ve spent some time studying several different resources of his. I find the idea of so-called “cosmic relativity” very interesting. Although I still have yet to find any ideas in his work that addresses possible explanations to my second question, it at least is acknowledged as a problem. That shows that even if he is wrong, he does know something about how to do real science.

What I’m wondering is how his ideas are specifically received by the majority of Young Earth proponents? As I understand what he is suggesting, according to his model, the earth and the rest of the universe began pretty much simultaneously, (in the same week if you will) but there was an event that rapidly “stretched out” the rest of the universe and due to this “cosmic relativity” time passed exponentially slower on earth than it did in the rest of the universe, resulting in a universe that really is around 14by old along side an earth that is only a few thousand years old. This is similar to gap theory, but perhaps a critical difference is that in gap theory, the earth and the universe did not begin “simultaneously.” The interesting thing is that, although the conditions are somewhat reciprocal to general relativity (time should pass faster on earth in these conditions… not slower,) the axioms of time being a variable along with gravity and velocity, is common in both theories.

Any thoughts on this?

A tent huh, he he. OK.... ; ) (Bring tear to eye), my idea would have been much tastier.

Okay, what was your idea?

#39  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 4:39 PM

"1) YEC assume a priori that their interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is correct"

No assuming here. The truth of Genesis as a literal/historical account from God Himself is based on mountains of internal scriptural evidence backed up by external scientific evidence. This is not about an "interpretation"....this is about a special revelation. This is about reading the text as it is written, comparing it with the volume of references in a literal/historical fashion found in the bible, and disregarding any contradicting "science" that is based on atheistic naturalism as an external source.

"2) Any scientific evidence that conflicts with this view is rejected as being due to the biases of the scientists"

Again the "scientific evidence" in reference here is evolution based; which is based in Naturalism; which is Godless by its very definition. Why would I (or any Christian) even consider a source that totally throws God out the window over His special revelation found in His Word? Nonsense.

"3) Any lack of understanding of scientists with regard to theory, or any modification of a theory, is seen as proof the theory is weak."

Well?

You know, when Creation science was much younger men such as Kurt Wise admitted weakness in some of its models. The trust, however, is that God's revealed truth trumps science when there is any perceived conflict...it must or we have no foundation to build our faith upon.

"4) Any scientific evidence (be it mainstream, or from creation science) that seems to support a YEC interpretation, or to cast doubt on a particular TE model, is held up, regardless of source."

Again...well?

If the shoe fits...and YEC absolutely fits with Genesis (because Genesis is revealed truth) Why would a Christian not embrace scientific evidence that supports the straight forward reading of the text? And TE is, as Al Mohler says "the consummate oxymoron".

Here is Kurt Wise's take on the issue (from the article posted by Fred Butler)

http://www.sbts.edu/resources/files/2010/02/sbjt_111_wise.pdfSee More

"...it seems somewhat surprising that any believer in the living God of Scripture would accept the ubiquity of science’s success. The high view of science held by the church may be a sad measure of how much the church really does not believe in a prayer-answering God."

"I'm very offended when my very salvation is called into question based on my view of the earliest chapters of Genesis."

Dirk, I cannot find where anyone has called "your salvation into question".

#40  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 4:44 PM

Joey,

Are you saying that in your world the whole thing (what you finally embrace as truth) rests on what you can observe?

#41  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 5:22 PM

Dirk writes,

1) YEC assume a priori that their interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is correct

Yes, because there are exegetical Hebraic factors that set the foundations for our a priori interpretation of Genesis 1-3. It is an interpretation that is both established by the grammar of the text and the historicity of the interpretation of the text. Hence, there are not multiple ways to interpret Genesis. Only one. All recent interpretations that handle the language like puddy so as to mold the text into what ever accommodationist shape the interpreter pleases ignores those exegetical factors and in the end only dishonors the intention of what God historically communicated. He communicated about the history of our creation in exactly the same way He communicated about the history of the life of Jesus Christ. One who invokes some "specialized" hermeneutic to treat Genesis in such a malleable fashion can do the same with any other portion of scripture. And because evangelical accommodatists generally see the Gospels and Acts as history, it only demonstrates a major inconsistency in their overall view of interpreting the Bible.

2) Any scientific evidence that conflicts with this view is rejected as being due to the biases of the scientists

Again, evidence does not stand uninterpreted. All evidence is interpreted through a set of presuppositions about the world. In my case as a biblical creationist, I seek to understand the world in the manner God has revealed to us how He created in time, space, and real history. Thus, "evidence" is interpreted in that frame work, so in a sense there isn't any real "scientific evidence" that conflicts with our view. However, this comment comes down to which authority one wishes to have as the overriding principle. I personally take God's Word correctly interpreted as that governing principle.

3) Any lack of understanding of scientists with regard to theory, or any modification of a theory, is seen as proof the theory is weak.

No. Not at all. Of course you are conflating several things here, assuming that all so-called "scientific theory" falls under the same rubric. The often repeated false example of evolutionary theory of man's origins is exactly like the theory of gravity. What you have in mind is probably "theories" about the deep time history of the earth, cosmos, etc. They are not the same thing as the theories of fluid dynamics or chemical reactions.

4) Any scientific evidence (be it mainstream, or from creation science) that seems to support a YEC interpretation, or to cast doubt on a particular TE model, is held up, regardless of source.

No. That isn't true either. All scientific investigators work from specific models. Those models change over time if they need to be adjusted. Why the TE model is in error has to do with the authority of God's Word informing us clearly and precisely how He created.

And while YEC may find it offensive when they're told they need to do some further reading, I'm very offended when my very salvation is called into question based on my view of the earliest chapters of Genesis.

You may find it offensive someone calls into question your salvation as it relates to your views of the earliest chapters of Genesis, but you need to face the fact that your views of those chapters have foundational theological impact upon how you read the rest of the Bible, understand the Christian faith, and how you understand salvation to begin with. They don't stand alone as some secondary issue that we can rigorously debate but don't have to divide over to borrow a cliche from the Bible Answer Man. The TE and other OEC positions cannot escape this plain reality, and honestly, from my vantage point, it doesn't appear to me those in your camp have seen the severity of how their views are so diametrical opposite biblical Christianity.

#42  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 6:55 PM

Hit em hard Fred!!

In 1 John chapter 2 John wrote to three distinct groups of believers. He wrote to "little children", "Fathers", and "young men". These passages, and the folks John addressed, can teach us much about false doctrinal issues, those who would fall prey to such false doctrines, and those who promote such false doctrines.

With regards to old earth theories, evolution, naturalism, TE (yawn), and "show me and I'll believe" false doctrines I suggest anyone embracing or promoting these false doctrines to thoroughly review John's writings.

Here is John MacArthur commenting on these passages:

1. The victims of false doctrine

John used two different words for "little children." The Greek word he used in 1 John 2:12 and 28 is teknia; the one he used in verse 13 and here in verse 18 is paidia. What's the difference?

a) The different terms

Teknia means "offspring." It's a broad term that has nothing to do with age. However, paidia refers to an infant. The English word pedagogy comes from it, which means "to instruct someone who is unlearned." We can conclude that John is talking to spiritual babies in verse 18.

b) The deliberate warning

John is warning spiritual babies about false teachers because they are most susceptible to confusion. We know it is not possible for the elect to be ultimately deceived from following Christ (Matt. 24:24), but it is certainly possible for them to be confused. Why does John speak only to spiritual babies about false teachers? Because those who have matured into spiritual young men are no longer victimized by false doctrine. First John 2:14 says, "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you." Ephesians 4:14 says the spiritually immature are "tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine."

#43  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 10:59 PM

Fred & keith are the Sons of Thunder for these blogs. I love it.

Dirk & Joey and anybody else who would feel offended:

A difference of science and of theology. In the first page of Kurt P. Wise's " What Science Tells Us about the Age of the Creation", he references some good points,(1) science is difficult to define, but easy to identify, (2a) science's attention is the physical creation[which makes itself the standard of truth], (2b) I'll add- theology's attention is God, which makes God it's standard, (3a) scientific method's change a lot over time, (3b) proper hermenutics have not changed, there is one way to interpret God's word.

The struggle of the non-YEC is that the view has not shifted from what the creation tells us, to what God tells us. Truth hurts, reconcile with God what your view is just like you would reconcile the rest of your life.

We have peace that though we may not know why something is as it appears, we can trust God that He will one day enlighten us of these subjects.

what I thought about the last few hours: Is this view of holding science over the Bible idolatry?

Earlier people posted with reference to Tim; it is confusing, so would you mind addressing me as Tim Boan :-) thanks!

#44  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Thursday, July 01, 2010at 11:45 PM

Sorry- (2b & 3b) are my additions.

#45  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 12:16 AM

Dirk, thanks for the blog:

The reason that the church as a whole and individuals in particular have a problem with YEC interpretation is due to a basic belief. That belief is that we take the Bible on it's own terms. (And I hear you from where you are at saying that you do... But there are some assumptions I think you might have that I, for one, do not have. The perspective I speak of is that God would not accommodate ANE myth (not using myth as a liberal scholar would do but in its classical sense) to teach his truth. As to Metaphor, simile, etc. no one has a problem with such uses. ( And I will admit that I might have your perspective wrong), but as I have said before- God could have told Moshe anything and he would have believed it. He was the one God used to part the RED SEA, and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt, (unless you think this is myth as well, we should be on the same page with that).

And I must say that my "narrow" perspective has led me to being jaded with modern scientific thought. Not only because of the flagrant fabrications of evidence, but the closed minded attitudes of professedly open minded people. Folks loose their jobs for even the slightest suggestion that a "theory" might be wrong, even when it is known that they do not have the answers, and that discovery is always a work in progress.

And finally (aren't you glad, he he) It appears to me that TE/C should remember that folks like Carl Sagan are the ones who "control" the science you use. And the assumptions that you use for TE are based upon their philosophical framework which is materialism. They are biased to find evidence which works against your faith. How do you think the first "numbers" were figured out for the first geologic column -- they pulled it out of their nether regions. They had to because no one knew anything about how long it should take. And that is why it has been revised backward over the last at least 50 years. And while you do honest labor in your field of TE, you use their framework. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. A few blogs ago we talked about how big the universe is. NASA said on its web site that it is infinite, another science web site said 163 billion light years across (that figure is approx- it may have been 193), anyway- another did something else. One said that "we" can only see 8 billion light years out. While I can appreciate the effort- the mathematics, the models they use... I don't buy it cause they don't know. They are using their best guess. That guess is based upon their presuppositions of billions of years, not hard data because the measurements are biased. (just thinking)

Hey Joey: I just thought things were getting a little heavy- (that's a hippie term), thought a little levity would help. Guess I should go back to my day job. Just a thought.

#46  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 4:54 AM

Keith writes:

Joey,Are you saying that in your world the whole thing (what you finally embrace as truth) rests on what you can observe?

Are you familiar with the concept of reductio ad absurdum? This seems to be what your question is doing. It’s like if I say I don’t like raisin bran, you respond by asking if I’m saying I hate all cereal.

The obvious answer to your question is, “no.” Anyone who would suggest such a thing isn’t thinking very clearly.

But, as long as we are playing this game, let me ask you something:

Does what you embrace as truth include anything that you observe?

Tim Boan writes:

proper hermenutics have not changed, there is one way to interpret God's word.

This is a truism. The problem comes in with the application of the interpretation to the text. A lot of assumptions go into any stated interpretation of Genesis because the text only gives the bits and pieces of data that God wants us to have.

The struggle of the non-YEC is that the view has not shifted from what the creation tells us, to what God tells us. Truth hurts, reconcile with God what your view is just like you would reconcile the rest of your life.

I would say to that, the struggle of the YEC is that the view has not shifted from what imagination tells us, to what God tells us. Truth hurts, reconcile with God what your view is just like you would reconcile the rest of your life.

I do not dismiss a YEC interpretation to Genesis. In fact, the reason I am participating in these discussions is to find support for the position (which few really seem interested in offering.) But whether you like it or not, it is not the only interpretation that fits the data from the text including the whole of the Bible. Since God is the source of the data, then the data must be sufficient for His purpose. Suggesting there is more than is written can lead to, as John Wesley put it, “fanaticism.”

Now while we are on this subject, I’m still waiting for anyone to offer thoughts on Dr. Hartnett’s theory concerning “cosmic relativity.” Is that compatible with a YEC interpretation of Genesis or not?

#47  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 5:45 AM

Dirk, # 37

I don’t think anyone here is calling anyone’s salvation into question BASED on their VIEW of Gen 1-3, however, I do believe people’s salvation is being called into question BASED on their VIEW of God! (Based on their view of God’s Word, God’s authority, God’s abilities, God’s character!) It’s this “questioning of God” which is so identical to Gen 3 & satan’s tactics & which causes YEers to question one’s salvation. And if you were to switch YEC with TE & visa versa in your argument, you might see the other side of the coin. The argument remains the same – it’s not the evidence that’s seals the conclusion, it’s the “presuppositions” and the starting point. If you start with the Bible as your authority, then you will accept the “evidences” which support your foundation. If, however, you start with modern science as your authority, you will only accept the “evidences” that support that foundation.

It all takes me back to “define a Christian.” That’s another whole argument, yet the same underlying argument with regard to salvation.

Ooops. Just read Keith & Fred’s comments, sorry, I didn’t mean to be somewhat redundant.

#48  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 7:59 AM

"...do you believe that earth lies at the center of the universe?"

In contemplating this question several things come to mind...mainly that Christ is the center of everything and as such a proper understanding of earth's position in the heart and mind of God, in my opinion, would be that the earth is God's focal point to reveal and display His glory. In that regard indeed the earth is the center of God's created universe:

1a) Romans 11:36 (Christ is the center of all things)

For from him and through him and to him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.

1b) Colossians 1:16-17 (Jesus created everything for His own pleasure and glory and He holds everything together both seen and unseen...without Him nothing could remain for a nano-second)

16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

2) 1 Corinthians 10:26 (from Psalm 24:1) (The earth is His possession)

For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

3) Revelation 5:9-10 (the earth is Christ's inheritence and as such our as well)

9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“ You are worthy to take the scroll,

And to open its seals;

For You were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood

Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;

And we shall reign on the earth.”

4) Psalm 97:6 (the heavens declare God's righteousness and we, who are on earth, see God's glory on display)

The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

There are numerous other passages that support the fact that God created earth to facilitate a habitat for His crowning achievement in terms of creation...mankind. This habitat is situated such that all its inhabitants witness the glory of God on display in the heavens and on the earth itself:

Isaia 6:3 (the whole earth is full of God's glory)

3 And one called to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

Isaiah 40:4–5 (everyone on earth will see God's glory)

4 Every valley shall be lifted up,

and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

and the rough places a plain.

5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,

and all flesh shall see it together,

for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."

Habakkuk 2:14 (the entire earth will be filled with the knowledge of God's glory)

14 For the earth will be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD

as the waters cover the sea.

#49  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 8:41 AM

Hey Joey: I just thought things were getting a little heavy- (that's a hippie term), thought a little levity would help. Guess I should go back to my day job. Just a thought.

Ha! Now I get it. Yes, heavy indeed. Thanks for hanging in there Paul!

I'm getting ready to head out of town, so I may not have a chance to respond to any further discussion for another week or so, but I'll be sure to at least read the responses when I get back even if I'll no longer be able to respond to them if the topic has closed.

In the mean time, I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday (assuming you are in the U.S.) and that the Father will continue to bless you and your family.

I pray that we all will heed the words of Paul to the Philippians: "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Take care!

#50  Posted by Dylan Perkins  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 8:44 AM

#45

What has been revised backward over the last 50 years?

Who has been fired for the suggestion that a theory might be wrong?

#51  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 10:18 AM

"Are you familiar with the concept of reductio ad absurdum? This seems to be what your question is doing. It’s like if I say I don’t like raisin bran, you respond by asking if I’m saying I hate all cereal."

Perhaps you will have to read this when you get back Joey...

I am familiar with reductio ad absurdum and bottom line the question is legitimate. When one says I will believe when I see proof (which is what I hear you saying) where is the faith that is necessary to please God? Now, I am not saying you don't believe in God...but you are, in my opinion, casting doubt on His Word waiting on science to give you some answers...is that correct or no?

Hebrews chapter 11 deals with such "show-me" belief:

"1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Jesus dealt with religion that demanded a visible sign. His response kind of reminds me of my posture with what I asked you...sigh:

11 The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. 12 He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it." 13 Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side

Was Jesus engaged in reductio ad absurdum? I mean His question back to them was about as reduced as possible...but was it absurd?

My question to you is based on the fact that we have an eye witness account of creation by the Creator. If one demands further proof from atheistic/evolutionary science (or even creation science for that matter) that is absurd!

Jesus said to the religiously blind of His day that even though He was standing right in front of them they STILL refused to believe:

John 6:36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

I choose to do as 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: "We live by faith, not by sight..."

#52  Posted by Lois Dimitre  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 2:04 PM

"Dirk Gently" (#37) wrote, in part:

"And while YEC may find it offensive when they're told they need to do some further reading, I'm very offended when my very salvation is called into question based on my view of the earliest chapters of Genesis."

~ Shouldn't we as Christians be ultimately concerned about offending God rather than being offended by men (YEC or OEC, notwithstanding)?

-As a Christian, that is my utmost concern.

--As a Christian who also happens to be a scientist, that is still my utmost concern.

Should it not be the same, regardless of one's 'profession' or 'position' (scientist, lawyer, teacher, father, mother, child, etc.)?

Consider this excerpt from J.C.Ryle's sermon, "Are You Born Again?":

-"Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world" (I John 5:4)-

"...A man who is born again does not use the world's opinion as his standard of right and wrong. He does not mind going against the world's ways, ideas and customs. What men think or say no longer concerns him. He overcomes the love of the world. He finds no pleasure in things which seem to bring happiness to most people. To him they seem foolish and unworthy of an immortal being.

He loves God's praise more than man's praise. He fears offending God more than offending man. It is unimportant to him whether he is blamed or praised; his first aim is to please God. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?" (JCR)

#53  Posted by Elaine Bittencourt  |  Friday, July 02, 2010at 3:41 PM

There was a time when I rejected a LOT of the Word of God. I thought I was a born-again Christian, but all through those many years I knew there was something not right, something missing. Until one day, not long ago, I confessed my self-righteousness, my ignorance of Him, and everything changed inside of me. I suddenly was confronted with God and all that He is, and that made me see who I really am.

From then on, I never questioned His Word again. You can call me naive, fool, not-intellectual enough, none of that move me. I know where I stand.

"If you argue with Scripture, if you twist the Scripture, if you manipulate the Scripture, if you force the Scripture to say what you want it to say you are not doing the will of the Father, you're imposing your own will on the Word of God, and you may be a part of the many, not the few. You have failed perhaps to come through the narrow gate." (John MacArthur)

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/2255_Empty-Words

I am not saying, as JMac also doesn't, that whomever denies anything in Scripture is not saved. But if you do, if you reject or resist it based on some extra-biblical presuppositions, you would do yourself a great favour considering the question of why do you reject It.

Grace and Peace,

E.

#54  Posted by Dirk Gently  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 7:31 AM

People rarely directly question another's salvations, but there have been plenty of intimations by various posters that if you reject YEC, you've undermined the Gospel somehow.

If I may, I'd like to address something tangentially related. A lot of you reject biological, geological, and astrophysical scientific conclusions because of their naturalistic presuppositions. But as stated before, all science operates with naturalistic presuppositions. That's what science is looking for, a natural explanation to observed phenomena.

A field like medicine is no different. Just because a doctor looks for chemical, hormonal, or other causes and treatments to disease, is he rejecting God as the author of healing? Of course not. But God works in and through the natural world. A naturalistic explanation is not mutually exclusive to an active and involved deity. Gravity is another example. While I wholeheartedly affirm that God does indeed "hold all things together" I also understand that the way God holds things with mass together can be described by the physical, naturalistic laws that physicists have discovered.

I'll conclude with a story. I was in an outdoor wedding last weekend. It was very, very hot and humid. Suddenly, a gently breeze blew in and cooled us all off. My gut reaction was, "thank you God for sending that breeze." I believe that God sent the breeze. But I also know that a meteorologist could have studied that breeze and come up with a completely naturalistic explanation for it. However, I don't believe that the fact that something has a scientific explanation makes it any less of a miracle.

#55  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:43 AM

Dirk,

The problem with your examples of healing and weather is that they are issues related to the present about which Scripture speaks very generally. On the other hand creation is a historical event which Scripture describes in detail as a series of miraculous events.

So yes, we can say that God brought the weather but there are "natural" explanations for it (God's providential acts). We can also say that God healed a person even though there is a natural explanation (medication). But we cannot say that God said "Let light be" and light appeared and then come up with a natural explanation. We cannot say that Jesus turned water into wine and then come up with a natural explanation. We cannot say the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and the ground was dry with walls of water on either side, and then come up with a natural explanation.

We cannot mix God's providential acts mediated through natural events with God's miraculous acts mediated through His power alone.

#56  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:43 AM

#54 Dirk Gently few things in want to comment on:

1) Dirk writes:

"I'll conclude with a story. I was in an outdoor wedding last weekend. It was very, very hot and humid. Suddenly, a gently breeze blew in and cooled us all off. My gut reaction was, "thank you God for sending that breeze." I believe that God sent the breeze. But I also know that a meteorologist could have studied that breeze and come up with a completely naturalistic explanation for it. However, I don't believe that the fact that something has a scientific explanation makes it any less of a miracle."

I think your understanding of a miracle is off, correct me if I am wrong. The breeze or how biology, astrophysics, or geology work in there everyday functions is a miracle?

Definition of a miracle : Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology ch.17; " A miracle is a less common kind of God’s activity in which he arouses people’s awe and wonder

and bears witness to himself.

A) Definition (355): A miracle is a less common kind of God’s activity in which he arouses people’s awe and

wonder and bears witness to himself.

1) This definition takes into account our previous understanding of God’s providence

-->God preserves, controls, and governs all things.

2) Common explanations of definitions of miracles

a) A direct intervention of God in the world (assumes Deistic view) (Mat 5:45; Heb 1:3)

b) God working without means to bring about the results he wishes

-->It is hard to think of a miracle that came about with no means at all. (Mat 14:15-18)

c) An exception to natural law or God acting contrary to the laws of nature.

-->This assumes that God must intervene or “break” these laws for a miracle to occur.

d) An event impossible to explain by natural causes.

i) It does not include God as the one who brings about the miracle

ii) It assumes that God does not use some natural causes when he works in an unusual way

iii) It will result in a significant minimizing of actual miracles and an increase in skepticism, since

many times when God works in answer to prayer the result is amazing to those who prayed but

it is not absolutely impossible to explain by natural causes, especially for a skeptic who simply

refuses to see God’s hand at work.

e) Therefore, a definition where a miracle is simply a less common way of God’s working in the world

seems to be preferable and more consistent with God’s providence.

Next: to keep it short, I'll say that it is impossible to study a miracle, the creation was a miracle, just like when Jesus made water into wine and multiplied fish and bread to feed the 5000. God made cycles to keep everything in maintenance, when we study what God has made, we can only study the cycle of what He sustains.

Therefore, It is impossible to use science to study what happened in creation. So we take what Genesis says. Study it in its context, and we have a young earth.

Your salvation is not at risk if you understand you are in sin, and you repent, and you believe in Jesus as your substitution.

But Give up the science as having so much authority in your life, and trust what God has revealed to you, friend.

I hope that helps.

#57  Posted by Tim Boan  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:45 AM

haha, i just posted that last post and Rudi's post popped up on my email. Ironic.

#58  Posted by Gabriel Powell  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 10:46 AM

I don't believe that the fact that something has a scientific explanation makes it any less of a miracle.

I'm sorry, Dirk, but you cannot make up your own definition of "miracle". If something has a natural explanation, then it is in no way a miracle. Remember, science cannot study miracles. Miracles by definition are outside the purview of science. Call the scientific explanation amazing, fantastic, or whatever other superlative--but it is not a miracle if there is a scientific explanation.

#59  Posted by Keith Farmer  |  Saturday, July 03, 2010at 8:11 PM

"I also understand that the way God holds things with mass together can be described by the physical, naturalistic laws that physicists have discovered."

What you are describing is what Berkeley would label as secondary qualities. What one can know through empiricism...knowledge based on our sense perceptions and limited to the physical.

God however maintains essence...which we cannot perceive. He operates not only in the physical but also and primarily in the metaphysical realm. He is transcendent and His perception of reality is beyond what is perceptible to the senses of men. Isaiah wrote in 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Paul would say in Acts 17:28 that in Him (not naturalistic laws which God can and does override when He deems necessary such as when Jesus passed through solid doors/walls with His physical body in John 20:19) we live, and move, and have our being. All things are held together by the omnipotent power of God and governed by the omniscience of the Creator and Sustainer of everything.

So, Dirk, the way you understand how God holds everything together must by His definition of man's thoughts fall way short of the reality that God alone can know. We simply must live by faith...God is God alone.