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Sunday, August 01, 2010 | Comments (44)

Among the many issues discussed in this creation series, one emerges as central—the final authority of God’s Word. Not only is God’s Word sufficient to answer our most challenging questions about origins, it is superior to every other explanation. When Scripture speaks, it speaks with the full weight of divine authority. Science, archeology, and any other system of study must bow the knee.

The Genesis account simply will not accommodate naturalistic presuppositions and customized hermeneutics. The biblical text must be the starting place for the interpreter, not the last stop. This saying bears repeating: Science makes a great servant but a poor master. God’s Word must be central in our quest to understand the universe.

As you read John’s final word in the creation series, ask yourself these questions: Do I have a high view of Scripture? Do I put more stock in the unchanging claims of God’s Word, or in the constantly-in-need-of-revision theories of science? What is your final word to answer questions of origins? Your approach to the first three chapters of Genesis will betray your answer.

The Bible gives a clear and cogent account of the beginnings of the cosmos and humanity. There is absolutely no reason for an intelligent mind to balk at accepting it as a literal account of the origin of our universe. Although the biblical account clashes at many points with naturalistic and evolutionary hypotheses, it is not in conflict with a single scientific fact. Indeed, all the geological, astronomical, and scientific data can be easily reconciled with the biblical account. The conflict is not between science and Scripture, but between the biblicist's confident faith and the naturalist's willful skepticism.

To many, having been indoctrinated in schools where the line between hypothesis and fact is systematically and deliberately being blurred, that may sound naive or unsophisticated, but it is nonetheless a fact. Again, science has never disproved one word of Scripture, and it never will. On the other hand, evolutionary theory has always been in conflict with Scripture and always will be. But the notion that the universe evolved through a series of natural processes remains an unproven and untestable hypothesis, and therefore it is not "science." There is no proof whatsoever that the universe evolved naturally. Evolution is a mere theory—and a questionable, constantly-changing one at that. Ultimately, if accepted at all, it must be taken by sheer faith.

How much better to base our faith on the sure foundation of God's Word! There is no ground of knowledge equal to or superior to Scripture. Unlike scientific theory, it is eternally unchanging. Unlike the opinions of man, its truth is revealed by the Creator Himself! It is not, as many suppose, at odds with science. True science has always affirmed the teaching of Scripture. Archaeology, for instance, has demonstrated the truthfulness of the biblical record time and time again. Wherever Scripture's record of history may be examined and either proved or disproved by archaeological evidence or reliable independent documentary evidence, the biblical record has always been verified. There is no valid reason whatsoever to doubt or distrust the biblical record of creation, and there is certainly no need to adjust the biblical account to try to make it fit the latest fads in evolutionary theory.

A biblical understanding of the creation and fall of humanity establishes the necessary foundation for the Christian world-view. Everything Scripture teaches about sin and redemption assumes the literal truth of the first three chapters of Genesis. If we wobble to any degree on the truth of this passage, we undermine the very foundations of our faith.

If Genesis 1-3 doesn't tell us the truth, why should we believe anything else in the Bible? Without a right understanding of our origin, we have no way to understand anything about our spiritual existence. We cannot know our purpose, and we cannot be certain of our destiny. After all, if God is not the Creator, then maybe He's not the Redeemer either. If we cannot believe the opening chapters of Scripture, how can we be certain of anything the Bible says?

Much depends, therefore, on a right understanding of these early chapters of Genesis. These chapters are too often mishandled by people whose real aim is not to understand what the text actually teaches but who want to adjust it to fit a scientific theory. The approach is all wrong. Since creation cannot be observed or replicated in a laboratory, science is not a trustworthy place to seek answers about the origin and fall of humanity. Ultimately, the only reliable source of truth about our origin is what has been revealed by the Creator himself. That means the biblical text should be our starting place.

I am convinced the correct interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is the one that comes naturally from a straightforward reading of the text. It teaches us that the universe is relatively young, albeit with an appearance of age and maturity—and that all of creation was accomplished in the span of six literal days.

To those who will inevitably complain that such a view is credulous and unsophisticated, my reply is that it is certainly superior to the irrational notion that an ordered and incomprehensibly complex universe sprung by accident from nothingness and emerged by chance into the marvel that it is.

Scripture offers the only accurate explanations that can be found anywhere about how our race began, where our moral sense originated, why we cannot seem to do what our own consciences tells us is right, and how we can be redeemed from this hopeless situation.

Scripture is not merely the best of several possible explanations. It is the Word of God.


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#1  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 4:54 AM

Genesis is our foundation. Amen! Genesis is our true history. Praise the

Lord.

#2  Posted by Rick White  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 4:55 AM

I've been following this blog series from the beginning and it still amazes me at professed Christians' direct attack on the perspecuity of scripture. I've watched as John MacArthur has been criticized for his "wooden literalism" and yet the only alternative is some nebulous, fluid, and undefinable interpretation of Genesis 1-3 by the Theistic Evolutionists. I've yet to hear any clear or precise exegesis of the text by any of them. Even their answers to the challenges on this website are vague at best. John MacArthur has again come through with his precise, understandable, and direct refutation of the arguments of those who are willing to attack the clear meaning of scripture in order to accommodate some humanistic idea.

#3  Posted by John Adams  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 7:17 AM

This post is just another rehash of the same old canards and untruths that have been written about here for quite some time now; evolution is an "unproven and untestable hypothesis, and therefore it is not "science,"" "evolution is a mere theory," etc. etc.

I feel I have to once again refer you to the words of Todd Wood - http://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html

"Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well.

I say these things not because I'm crazy or because I've "converted" to evolution. I say these things because they are true. I'm motivated this morning by reading yet another clueless, well-meaning person pompously declaring that evolution is a failure. People who say that are either unacquainted with the inner workings of science or unacquainted with the evidence for evolution. (Technically, they could also be deluded or lying, but that seems rather uncharitable to say. Oops.)"

So which of the above does the author of this article consider himself or herself to be? Unacquainted with the inner workings of science, unacquainted with the evidence for evolution, deluded, or lying?

#4  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 9:27 AM

Comment deleted by user.
#5  Posted by Millard Lightfoot  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 11:41 AM

#4 Post

Greg,

Praise God that he has called you, me and others to live "Watchful"(ly) as wheat amongst the tares. I’m one of those senior to you by about ten years but I’m trying to convince all that the evolutional theory does not harmonize with God’s Word. I’m also not the sharpest tack in the pile but God has armed me with wisdom and knowledge of His creation which was accomplished in six days just a few thousand years ago and we should expect, because God said so, that we will live as sheep amongst goats until the final harvest.

God Bless,

#6  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 11:57 AM

Re # 3, John wrote:

"I say these things not because I'm crazy or because I've "converted" to evolution. I say these things because they are true."

John, evolution IS a mere theory. It's the best the world has come up with. Some of Darwin's ideas have been shown wrong by today's true science (can you deny that?).

So, even the theory of evolution is "evolving" itself! Do you want to put your faith in that?

The bible has overcome more scrutiny than evolution ever will, and it has come through spotless. That's why I believe what it says.

#7  Posted by Chad Smith  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 1:52 PM

John....I would love to see these gobs and gobs of true sciencetific "facts" because I have seen people give evidence on here to try and prove evolution and every single time its either not evidence at all or its alot of assuming go on which therefore isnt evidence either. Let me ask you a question to John if you dont mind. Would you consider your self to be a good person ? And what are you claming to be as far as what you believe? ( ex. Christian, Christian that believes in OEC,atheist....ext.)

#8  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 2:54 PM

A believer in God and the truth of His inspired Word. That is who I am and what I believe. A literal six days of creation,the seventh day of which our God rested. It is not that deep. You either believe it or not. Anything else is blatant heresy.God said it,I believe Him....period.

#9  Posted by Steven Hals  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 8:16 PM

What are the evolutionists after? What do they really hope to accomplish? To convince people that we came from nothing, are accountable to no one, and therefore, have no meaning? Evolution at its core is NOT about proving origins as it is about disproving God. If you look at all the motives behind evolution, it is clear it is motivated, propigated, and disseminated by the prince of this world, satan himself. He says this because in his heart of hearts, he really wishes there was no God either, because that would un-seal his doom as God has declared. His lies are so clever, and sound so close to the truth, that if it were possible, even the elect could be deceived.

I pray for all my brethren elsewhere to take God at His Word. I can't think of a bigger waste of time than to spend 40-50 years of your life "studying" and "researching" only to find out that the answer was in the first sentence of the first chapter of the first book of the Bible. Imagine if all the lost years were devoted to God & His Glory, furthering His Glorious Gospel of Christ.

To all people out there who name the name of Christ, yet cannot take God at His Word about Creation: if you cannot trust that God created this world, how can you trust that Christ's blood redeemed it? How can you trust there really IS a Heaven? How about the 2nd Coming? The reality of Judgment? Noah's Ark? King David? You're walking on slippery slopes that could land you into apostasy. Quit seeking out the world, and start seeking the Creator, asking Him if His Word is true. God would NOT have written a book for all mankind to reveal Himself & His Creation that only University-educated PhDs in Geology & Science could properly interpret.

#10  Posted by Garrett League  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 8:27 PM

Wow. Never thought this day would come, but here it is. Thanks to the regulars (Fred, Gabe, Carol, Don, etc.) for interacting with my ideas and to GTY and Travis for actually letting me express them in the first place. My discussions here have prompted me to "go public" with my concerns. Had a long look in the mirror a time or two, talked with the folks, my pastor, etc. Good stuff. They all disagree with me, but good stuff nonetheless! As usual, there are so many problems with the post it's just not going to do me any good to try and address them here. Maybe I'll respond in full on my blog or something. Just a few quick points:

1.) I have a REAL big problem saying that the bible is "scientifically accurate." It's not trying to be! It's just a false expectation to seek accurate scientific descriptions of the world in the bible, yet you continue to say things like "It is not, as many suppose, at odds with science. True science has always affirmed the teaching of Scripture." That's a category error. Kim Riddlebarger put it this way:

"There is a scene in the movie Young Frankenstein, in which Frau Bleucher leads Dr. Frankenstein to his grandfather’s forbidden book describing how he created the first Frankenstein monster, bringing the dead back to life. The title of the book–“How I Did It!” This is precisely how we are not to understand the creation account. God does not tell us anything in a scientific sense about how he created the universe other than to say, he spoke and it came to pass!

What we do find in the creation account is God’s amazing declaration that he created the heavens and the earth from nothing and that creation reflects God’s order and purpose. Let me say it again! Genesis 1 does not contain a scientific explanation of creation. This is not Moses’ intention! Well, what then is Moses’ intention?

Moses’ intention in the opening chapter of Genesis is essentially polemical and doxological."

He's right.

"I am convinced the correct interpretation of Genesis 1-3 is the one that comes naturally from a straightforward reading of the text."

In his new book "The God Who is There," D.A. Carson said this: "There is more ambiguity in the interpretation of these chapters than some Christians recognize. [...] I hold that the Genesis account is a mixed genre that feels like history and really does give us some historical particulars. At the same time, however, it is full of demonstrable symbolism." And Carson doesn't do this to accommodate evolution (which he rejects) or an old earth (which I believe he affirms) but because the text seems to lend itself to that conclusion. You may disagree, but things aren't as simple as MacArthur says they are.

"Indeed, all the geological, astronomical, and scientific data can be easily reconciled with the biblical account."

Boy, I just don't see it that way. Assuming YEC, it's actually really, really, really, really, really difficult to make the data fit. In all honesty, I can't imagine anyone thinking otherwise. It's a huge challenge. I guess I'm not smart enough to be a YEC.

"Do I have a high view of Scripture?"

I like to think so. I hold to the three "I's" so, I try my best.

"Do I put more stock in the unchanging claims of God’s Word, or in the constantly-in-need-of-revision theories of science?"

Again, I think this question presents a false dichotomy. The bible doesn't communicate truth on origins in the same way scientists do. To say otherwise is to do the bible injustice, imposing modern expectations on the text and asking it to deliver on questions it's just not built to answer.

"What is your final word to answer questions of origins?"

Science gives no final word on anything. So, the bible, but not in an exact, scientific sense.

#11  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 8:58 PM

Hi John: From my experience only those folks who can not take the truth are those who fabricate or stage evidence. OEE proponents have been challenged time after time in this debate. The fact that material has been offered that has serious implications but is routinely dismissed, shows how feeble the Theory is. And there has been no attempt at answering the issues which is a fundamental admission that OEE can not stand up to the test.

Materialist like Sagan have admitted that they are committed to OEE "in spite of" any "evidence " to the contrary, because of their philosophy of atheism.

And finally, just as with the RCC and science debates of a few centuries ago- the RCC's position was untenable and was therefore over turned despite the persecution - the OEE position has demonstrated it's own weakness in not allowing debate, hence Ben Stein's complaint. If they were not running scared they would seek the truth and allow the science say what it says.

#12  Posted by Janet Young  |  Sunday, August 01, 2010at 11:01 PM

John #3:

If you profess to be a Christian, then why do you so obviously place scientific theory over the Word of God? I don't care how "valid" a theory may appear to be, if it conflicts with the Word of God, then the Christian is obligated to believe the Word over that theory, no matter how logical it may seem. Even conflicting hard evidence (which, btw, does not exist for macroevolution), if come by, should not make the Scriptures invalid, because they are perfect, and always true. Rather, it is the hard evidence that remains to be interpreted differently. You speak, or rather your friend speaks, with an authority on evolution: an authority that is pebbles compared to the incredible, solid, monolith authority of God's own Word. This series has already thoroughly laid out that evolution conflicts with the Biblical account of creation. And the ONLY way you would have the SLIGHTEST chance at arguing this is to say that you believe in animal death before the fall, and I just hope that you are not so ignorant as to believe that. If you are a Christian, why would you ever want to be on the side of the debate that conflicts with Scripture??

#13  Posted by Andy Bailey  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 5:31 AM

#3 Posted by John Adams

"So which of the above does the author of this article consider himself or herself to be? Unacquainted with the inner workings of science, unacquainted with the evidence for evolution, deluded, or lying?"

Which of the above are you going to accuse God of being? Why should I accept your word or the words of those you quote from a website as being truthful?

Ya know, the entire theory of evolution kind of reminds me of what my brother used to do in college. He was an accounting major and every once in a while, he liked to have a little fun at the expense of his teacher and classmates. The teacher would give them homework assignments, complex problems that sometimes took hours to solve. My brother would work the problem, come up with the correct answer, and then start working the problem backwards, throwing in all kinds of random equations and figures into it. The next day, the teacher would go through the answers in class. He would call on my brother, "what answer did you get for question #4 ?" My brother would give the correct answer, but then the teacher would ask, "how did you come up with that answer?" My brother would start throwing in the confusing figures and equations that he had come up with earlier, leaving everyone scratching their heads, wondering how he possibly came up with the right answer when it looked like he went about solving it all wrong.

It LOOKS LIKE evolution has the right answers, because here the world is in front of us; but they have gone about getting their answers in all the wrong ways.

#15  Posted by Steven Hals  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 11:15 AM

So to the OECs/TEs out there who are telling everyone Gen 1 is NOT an actual Creation account, I have a question: how do you account for Jesus in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 quoting word-for-word Genesis 1:27 and 2:24? If our Lord Jesus, the same Lord you claim to be saved by, believed in the Genesis account of Creation (as well as other Genesis accounts such as the flood of Noah) then how do you, or any other Christian come along and trump what he had to say to the Pharisees & Disciples? Not only are you challenging the authenticity of Genesis 1 & 2 now, but you're also taking words out of the Lord's mouth, or saying He was incorrect.

#16  Posted by Chad Smith  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 3:17 PM

Andy #13.....

"It LOOKS LIKE evolution has the right answers, because here the world is in front of us; but they have gone about getting their answers in all the wrong ways".

That is a really good point...Thank you for that thought . Praise The Lord Jesus Christ that name which is above every name, the name that one day every knee shall bow in heaven and earth and every tounge confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD wow that is just reassuring to me ,Im studying the book of Phil. right now and I just love to read that part, so simple to understand but so wonderfully powerful. Praise the Lord also for all the GTY leaders that are taking a strong stand against this that is just to encouraging to me that there are believers out there that actually take the Bible for what it says and not try to twist it or make it say what they want it to say or add too it , Praise the Lord....Thanks again and for all the believers,keep fighting the good fight

#17  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 4:12 PM

Thank you all and I learned alot from the blog.

Take care and I pray for O.E.C and the T.E.

God bless.

#18  Posted by Josué Morissette  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 6:14 PM

The supposed gobs and gobs of scientific proofs out there that is supposedly pointing to evolution are merely observation of God's creation made through scientific means and arbitrarily attached to the theory of evolution having itself but one goal: the elimination God Himself. That was the intent from the beginning and is still the aim today. The fact is in all of this that the Bible is in no way compatible with evolution. You not only have to deal with Genesis 1-3, but all of Scripture, for it praises God for His miracle of creation from beginning to end. If you want to foolishly accept evolution you have to deny Scripture and therefore God, for He holds His word above even His name. There is no compromise to be had. Holding the belief of evolution and affirming a belief in the God of the Bible, is lying to yourself, for the two are diametrically opposed.

It's nice to observe all that which God has created, but looking at two things and concluding that it got from one to the other by the process of evolution without being able to explain, show or recreate how that happen, is pure speculation and a serious lack of any scientific integrity. Science will never be able to come up with undeniable proof about evolution and it also leaves too many unanswered questions. God is the only trustworthy response for everything, human wisdom is foolishness, for man's intellect is far inferior, so inferior in fact that it can't come to the reality of a God that is excedingly superior to his own intelligence. Until people stop trying to bring God down to their level, more and more foolish ideas as evolution will take hold. It seems to me that if evolution were true we'd get more intelligent as time passed, but the total opposite seems to be happening. How can anyone come the belief that a god would create or, for the sake of evolutionist, let live people with the same intellectual capacity as himself?

Don't try to explain miracles, of which creation is one, believe that God is in all aspect infinitely greater than we could ever hope to be. For even if creation were to be explained to us, we could not and would not understand the vastness of it. So don't try to understand it. Pray that God may give you the faith to believe His wonderful works. Praise be to almighty God of creation.

#19  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 7:30 PM

I have been reading this blog from the beginning. I have enjoyed the wonderful input from those who understand the truth regarding six twenty four hour days of creation. The creation/evolution debate was interesting. Faith in His word is all we need. Sheep are not the brightest creatures on the planet. Wolves are a different animal. These creatures plan. The enemy,Lucifer,is just that. The idea of evolution comes from the same. To find a way to explain away accountabilty to a soveriegn God is found in hearts unwilling to trust Him. Evolutionist are digging in the wrong place. His word is where we must dig. His Book is a sword and it slays all falsehood. All the undestanding we need is in it. Nothing more. Greg L. Tegman, Edmonds Washington.

Proverbs 2

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

1 My son, if you accept my words

and store up my commands within you,

2 turning your ear to wisdom

and applying your heart to understanding,

3 and if you call out for insight

and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver

and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD

and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the LORD gives wisdom,

and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

7 He holds victory in store for the upright,

he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

8 for he guards the course of the just

and protects the way of his faithful ones.

9 Then you will understand what is right and just

and fair—every good path.

10 For wisdom will enter your heart,

and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

11 Discretion will protect you,

and understanding will guard you.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,

from men whose words are perverse,

13 who leave the straight paths

to walk in dark ways,

14 who delight in doing wrong

and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,

15 whose paths are crooked

and who are devious in their ways.

16 It will save you also from the adulteress,

from the wayward wife with her seductive words,

17 who has left the partner of her youth

and ignored the covenant she made before God. [a]

18 For her house leads down to death

and her paths to the spirits of the dead.

19 None who go to her return

or attain the paths of life.

20 Thus you will walk in the ways of good men

and keep to the paths of the righteous.

21 For the upright will live in the land,

and the blameless will remain in it;

22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land,

and the unfaithful will be torn from it.

#20  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 7:34 PM

P.S. Thank you Millard. God Bless.

#21  Posted by Madalena Machado Da Cruz  |  Monday, August 02, 2010at 11:35 PM

DEAR PEOPLE,

IF GOD SAID, IT SETTLES IT! IS ANYBODY GREATER THAN HIM? If there is let him come forward and speak.....!!!

My dear John, keep up the good work for God's GLORY!

#22  Posted by Robert Jones  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 3:34 AM

*** I have been witnessing to a friend who is twice my age about The Bible being the "Final" Word of God. He is a smart man concerning worldly wisdom. He believes in creation yet not in 6 literal days because he has studied carnivorous plants most of his life and believes creation through evolution. In this conversation he then went on to say "Why would God create Satan and allow him to rebel, fall, tempt man to rebel against God, and plunge the world into suffering and death until He returns to right all the wrongs?" I confess I don't understand why either and could not counter an explanation. What is the answer to his "Why" question?

#23  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 5:49 AM

It really saddens me to see those who are otherwise so passionate about obeying, honoring, serving and worshiping our Lord and trusting in the words of His revelation, continue to handle the texts so recklessly and self-indulgently. It should be no surprise that our enemy employs this tactic. He tried the same thing with Jesus in the Wilderness, Luke 4:9-11.

I would encourage everyone who reads this, whether you consider yourself YEC, OEC, TE, CE or something else, to pray for wisdom according to James 1:5. This is one of the most pragmatic scriptures I know. Also while you have your Bible open there, read through verse 8, then read James 3:13-18. One thing is certain, that regardless of your position on origins, you can fall into the trap of jealousy, selfish ambition, and boasting in your zeal to defend it.

I thought it might be a good idea to offer a few tips for having a healthy debate on these and other topics in the spirit of Proverbs 27:17. Again this goes for all sides of the discussion.

1. Avoid reading your own opinions into Scripture. Consider carefully what is actually said in the text. Refer to your Bible study notes and cross-references often, especially if you are uncertain about what a particular text means. Pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit, but do not assume any thought that pops into your head is of divine origin. Test it carefully against the rest of Scripture.

2. Avoid straw men. This is the logical fallacy of restating and misrepresenting an opponent’s position in order to make it easier to defeat. For example, if someone argues that their Ford Fiesta gets better gas mileage than a Honda Civic, and you argue in response that foreign cars get batter gas mileage than domestic cars, that would be a straw man.

3. Avoid Ad Hominem. This one is a bit understood. Contrary to popular opinion, ad hominem is not simply “name calling.” It is a fallacious argument where rather than respond to a point with arguments against the point itself, the credibility of the person bringing the argument is brought into question. It sends a message that you are unable to answer the opponent’s point. For example, if someone argues that pizza is bad for you, and you argue that the other person isn’t a doctor, that doesn’t say anything for or against the actual point.

4. Avoid Red Herrings. This is another logical fallacy whereby rather than defend a point against a positive argument, a different, often more frivolous, argument is introduced to divert attention away from the first one. For example, if someone argues that a restaurant has bad service, and you respond that they have great deserts, you did not address the issue, but rather attempted to change the subject.

5. Avoid Begging the Question. This fallacy involves assuming a premise in order to prove it. For example if someone argues that ghosts must be real because spirits are everywhere.

There are others, but these are the main things I see going on here pretty much every day. They are unnecessary and are simply a hindrance to healthy, beneficial discussion that could potentially help us to grow in our walk and correct our deviations from Scripture when we all inevitably do that.

May God’s mercy and blessings be on you all.

#24  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 5:57 AM

#11 Paul writes:

From my experience only those folks who can not take the truth are those who fabricate or stage evidence.

How true! Oh how true.

And there has been no attempt at answering the issues

Paul, you are going to need to back up this statement. You are speaking in generality, but which issues have not been answered satisfactorily? Please let me know. I would be happy to help answer them. Are you considering OEE a naturalist position? Or are you including theistic positions (OEC, TE, EC) in your statement as well?

#25  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 6:11 AM

#15 Steven writes:

So to the OECs/TEs out there who are telling everyone Gen 1 is NOT an actual Creation account

First of all, this is the very definition of a straw man (see post #23 above.) OEC’s/TE’s are not telling everyone Genesis 1 is not an actual creation account.

have a question: how do you account for Jesus in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 quoting word-for-word Genesis 1:27 and 2:24?Why would He not quote it word for word? These are the texts that they had, learned and taught by the inspiration of God. Why do we quote them word for word today? They are true… that’s why.

Not only are you challenging the authenticity of Genesis 1 & 2 now, but you're also taking words out of the Lord's mouth, or saying He was incorrect.

Steven, this is a common misunderstanding. Neither OEC nor TE proponents challenge what is said by Jesus or in the texts of Genesis. On the contrary, we stand firmly upon them. We challenge carnal, presumptuous interpretations that go beyond what is stated in the texts.

#26  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 6:16 AM

A comment on the Todd's blog website:

I read pretty much the whole blog, and I did not see any "evidence". I have read a book by Wood (I believe) on bariminology which I thought interesting and shows a lot of promise because it begins with a scriptural as well as logical basis. It does not appear to support evolutionary theory, although the finding could be used in any context of biology.

John Adams quotes Todd Wood : "Evolution is not a theory in crisis. It is not teetering on the verge of collapse. It has not failed as a scientific explanation. There is evidence for evolution, gobs and gobs of it. It is not just speculation or a faith choice or an assumption or a religion. It is a productive framework for lots of biological research, and it has amazing explanatory power. There is no conspiracy to hide the truth about the failure of evolution. There has really been no failure of evolution as a scientific theory. It works, and it works well."

It is amazing that the book "Understanding the Pattern of Life" has anything in common with that statement. And the "Theory of Evolution" has a real problem when it's foundations are exposed. The fact that Wood seems to be back tracing does not change the facts. Creation Research Scientist are not simply "Boobs and Dullards" who do not know their "science" from a hole in the ground. They do not use simple "rhetoric" when they question the "facts" of evolutionary based sciences. They bring examples of why the tenants of a particular theory are not taking into account the reality of the facts. And there have been many examples of this on this blog. Evolutionist only say they have the facts but are unwilling to produce a counter to the arguments provided by such websites as YEC "Answers in Genesis" blog. The answer that I have gotten most of the time for any question raised by OEE/TE proponents is that "You don't understand... evolution is true and there is proof" but I have never seen it. To be sure I have seen the explanations on theories of geology, biology, etc. but what I have not seen is proof, I only see folks who ask me to believe them- in spite of evidence to the contrary, I might add.

And I should add this disclaimer: I am not sure what Todd Wood believes, short statements have a tendency to be misconstrued when taken out of a larger context. And I would want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The fact that materialist are unwilling to accept any evidence to the contrary shows how weak the foundations of the "theory" are.

#27  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 6:27 AM

Paul writes,

I am not sure what Todd Wood believes, short statements have a tendency to be misconstrued when taken out of a larger context. And I would want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

John Adams citation of Todd Wood in favor of his evolutionary position is a good example of how long agers frequently violate those various laws of logic Joey is so quick to reminds us all about in his previous comment up above.

Way back toward the beginning of this series, Adams was rebuked for his dishonest use of Wood's material. I even chatted with someone who is a personal friend of Todd Wood's and even he said Todd was being misrepresented. You have to read Todd's comments with in the greater context of his entire writing and academic ministry. If you do, you will note that he is not a rock of safety for the desperate theistic evolutionist.

#28  Posted by Greg Tegman  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 8:54 AM

Are we done yet?. Next topic please?. I am enjoying this.

#29  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 9:19 AM

Re # 22, John wrote (about his friend..)

"Why would God create Satan and allow him to rebel, fall, tempt man to rebel against God, and plunge the world into suffering and death until He returns to right all the wrongs?"

Hi, John, trying to answer "Why" questions is perhaps one of the hardest subjects for a christian to tackle when confronting unbelievers. I feel for you.

Remember:

1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness,"

1Co 3:20 and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile."

and:

1Co 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

and:

1Co 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

Maybe you knew all this, but the question is: How do we "teach" those truths to the unbeliever?

I don't think we can. We can quote scripture until we are blue in the face, but ultimately it is up to God alone, and the Holy Spirit (as indicated in the verses) to open anyone's heart to be able to understand.

Another point, the questions your friend has would fall under the category of setting up a "red herring" as defined by Joey in # 23 (great stuff there, Joey).

Then think about this, even if you were able to "explain why" God does things the way He does, your friend will come up with another "set" of questions and remain in his unbelief.

May God grant you the patience, wisdom and understanding to cope with your situation. Hope this helps.

#30  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 10:37 AM

Paul #27 writes: And I should add this disclaimer: I am not sure what Todd Wood believes, short statements have a tendency to be misconstrued when taken out of a larger context. And I would want to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I think if you visit the link posted in comment #3, you will find that Todd Wood is a dedicated young earth creationist. The difference between Todd and most of the YECer's commenting on this blog series is that Todd knows something about biology and is honest enough to admit that evolutionary biology is real science. Todd, like Kurt Wise, has chosen to reject conventional science because of what he perceives to be a disconnect between science and allegiance to the Bible. This disconnect is only present because of the influence of modern fundamentalism's insistence on literal creation days in Genesis. Conservative theologians disagree on this issue and there is room for a non-literal interpretation of the days of Genesis.

Pastor Daniel Jepsen did a review of Ken Ham's "The Six Days of Creation" which is similar to the series that MacArthur has presented here. He addresses several of the fallacies and in particular discusses the issue of the "days" of Genesis. You can read it here

Paul Tucker says: Evolutionist only say they have the facts but are unwilling to produce a counter to the arguments provided by such websites as YEC "Answers in Genesis" blog.

The truth is that the evolutionists have produced a counter argument to almost every one of the arguments provided on the AIG website. Do a google search or visit BioLogos. If you're not finding counter arguments, then you're not looking very hard.

What I find at the AIG website and here at Grace to You are misrepresentations, half truths and faulty reasoning mixed in with enough truth to give the impression of an authoritative and intellectual response to the imagined attack of science on Scripture.

#31  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 11:30 AM

Steve writes,

This disconnect is only present because of the influence of modern fundamentalism's insistence on literal creation days in Genesis. Conservative theologians disagree on this issue and there is room for a non-literal interpretation of the days of Genesis.

We have already been over this before, so we are pretty much going over plowed ground, but you’re both historically and textually wrong. A literal interpretation of Genesis is not a unique “modern fundamentalist” viewpoint. This has been the historic position of the church since the first century. Rob Bradshaw demonstrates on his website: http://www.robibrad.demon.co.uk/Contents.htm

The Westminster Assembly affirmed creation in the space of 6 days. Ussher, as well as a number of other theologians, developed histories of the world up until that point based upon a literal reading of the book of Genesis. And again, there is no room for a non-literal interpretation of the days of Genesis. Sorry, but the text will not allow it. All, and I mean ALL hermeneutics, that attempt to spiritualize the creation week in the manner many of the theistic evolutionists and OE position have during the course of our series are of recent origin, within the last 300 years due to Enlightenment ideology infecting theology in general and the wrong-headed belief in the “infallibility” of the geologists who claimed the earth was millions of years old.

Continuing.

He addresses several of the fallacies and in particular discusses the issue of the "days" of Genesis.

They may be “fallacies” in his mind, but all this guy does is just rehash the same argumentation all of Ken Ham’s critics have leveled at his presentations. If this pastor seriously wants to interact with exegesis, instead of swinging at a lay level presentation of the facts, he would actually do well to review and critique Stephen Boyd’s massive work that demonstrates without doubt that Genesis 1-2 is historical narrative that demands to be interpreted literally, just like we do with any historical narrative in the Bible. http://www.icr.org/article/statistical-determination-genre-biblical/

The truth is that the evolutionists have produced a counter argument to almost every one of the arguments provided on the AIG website.

Of course they have. They have much invested in who wins this battle for men’s minds and souls

Do a google search or visit BioLogos.

Biologos has done nothing but to show they are actively opposed to Christian orthodoxy at every level with their view of scripture and creation:

See here: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/07/socinianism-in-lab-coats.html

What I find at the AIG website and here at Grace to You are misrepresentations, half truths and faulty reasoning mixed in with enough truth to give the impression of an authoritative and intellectual response to the imagined attack of science on Scripture.

Or so you claim. I haven’t seen any attempt to genuinely prove that assertion except to whine about B.B. Warfield being a theistic evolutionist.

#32  Posted by Dan Wilson  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 12:17 PM

I am y.e.c. I firmly believe in 7 days is one week. To y.e.c.,

stand firm always. Pray at all times. Learn and teach others 100%

of God's Word. I believe literal Genesis and Let's take Genesis 1-3

literally. Thanks J.M. for your sermons on Creation. I am sadden when

some wanted the bible in their own interpretation. I may be the only

Y.E.C. in my family. I will stand for the Truth with God's help. Give

glory to God! Amen.

Look into Answers in Genesis and It will be helpful.

Glory to God, most high. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty!

He reigns on high. Full of splendor is He. All powerful God who holds

everything in His hands. Let's give God the glory forevermore.

God is our maker, One living God!

#33  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 12:25 PM

Joey laments under #23

It really saddens me to see those who are otherwise so passionate about obeying, honoring, serving and worshiping our Lord and trusting in the words of His revelation, continue to handle the texts so recklessly and self-indulgently. It should be no surprise that our enemy employs this tactic. He tried the same thing with Jesus in the Wilderness, Luke 4:9-11.

You mean like the type of ham-fisted hermeneutics that totally ignore the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax I have seen defended by theistic evolutionists and old earth creationists commenting here? The fact that I can probably count at least 5 different interpretive frameworks to understanding Genesis 1 and 2 advocated here by old earth proponents clearly shows a reckless, self-indulgent attempt to read Genesis as anything but normal, historical narrative. You would do well to heed your own points of logic when it comes to reading the text of Genesis.

#34  Posted by Steve Gentry  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 6:35 PM

Fred says: "We have already been over this before, so we are pretty much going over plowed ground, but you’re both historically and textually wrong. A literal interpretation of Genesis is not a unique “modern fundamentalist” viewpoint. This has been the historic position of the church since the first century."

Yes, we've been over this before. The same issues keep resurfacing, why would you expect my answers to change. It isn't as cut and dried as you'd like to make it out to be. Jepsen addresses the positions of some of the early church fathers at the end of his review and I won't repeat it here. We're not as historically and textually wrong as you'd like to think.

Thanks for the link to Rob Bradshaw. I love the way you keep providing references to prove my point. I realize that I’m quote mining here, but I can’t reproduce everything and keep this response to a reasonable length. Your fan club is welcome to read what Bradshaw says.

For example he says, ”I think it is fair to conclude that at least in its knowledge of Hebrew modern Christian scholarship has the edge over the church of the third and fourth centuries”. He also says, ”many of their conclusions appear to us bizarre, until it is realized that their hermeneutic was radically different to ours. And further, "most modern theologians and Bible students seek to identify the meaning God intended a biblical text to have to its original audience." And again, "the fact that a doctrine was held by the early church fathers does not mean that it cannot be challenged or even rejected at a later date…when one comes to evaluating the importance of the historical interpretation of a doctrine there are no set rules to follow”. And finally, ”in many ways modern Christians are in a better position than the early church, with regard to sophisticated linguistic aids, historical and archaeological studies and the benefit of centuries of church history to learn from. Modern Christians therefore have a least as good a chance as they had to interpret the texts correctly. We should acknowledge that the early church cannot answer the scientific questions that we are asking of the text of Genesis, because they could never have asked them for themselves…Augustine of Hippo struggled for most of his life with the text of Genesis.”

So your argument that ”ALL hermeneutics, that attempt to spiritualize the creation week in the manner many of the theistic evolutionists and OE position have during the course of our series are of recent origin, within the last 300 years” just doesn’t hold any weight for me (and thousands of others, I might add).

Fred continues, ”They may be “fallacies” in his mind, but all this guy does is just rehash the same argumentation all of Ken Ham’s critics have leveled at his presentations.”

Perhaps, but they are still valid criticisms.

Fred further says, ”Biologos has done nothing but to show they are actively opposed to Christian orthodoxy at every level with their view of scripture and creation:

See here: http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2010/07/socinianism-in-lab-coats.html”

I’ve read Phil’s post and disagree with it. It’s typical Phil – full of hyperbole and overstatement.

Lastly, Fred says, ”Or so you claim. I haven’t seen any attempt to genuinely prove that assertion except to whine about B.B. Warfield being a theistic evolutionist.”

Stating facts is a far cry from whining. The issue is not only evolution but the age of the earth in general, and the support for an old earth includes Hodge, Warfield, Machen, C. S. Lewis, Torrey, and a host of other theological giants.

#35  Posted by Paul Tucker  |  Tuesday, August 03, 2010at 11:03 PM

Joey #24, Hi there, thanks for the info. I read the site on Ken Ham first, so let us deal with that. I would agree with Fred here,this pastor has not really done himself justice. The quickest way to refute Ken's position is to take the "facts" he presents and show how they are not true. If I were to do so I would have taken every place where his rules takes me and see if his assertion follows.(I am sure that Ken will give a starter set of scriptures. When someone says "every" or "all" I would pin him down on what he means, and ask for any exceptions. Then I would look for myself. None of the arguments provided for me on the website had examples of how Mr Ham was wrong. The passage in Hosea doesn't fit the paradigm mentioned in the rules so it may be that this is not one of those places where those rules apply. No one that I know would say that every instance the word "day" is used means 24 hours necessarily although it may. e.g. "the day of the Lord, the day of Jacobs trouble".

As has been pointed out by many others, Biologos is not Orthodox in any manner of speaking, their basis for argumentation is similar to that of a materialist. That founding principle, i.e. that there are material/ natural reasons, and only material/ natural reasons for the "creations" existence. Issues that we have discussed regarding radio isotopes, fossils, geology, etc. are found at the web sites mentioned by Fred and several others. The objections regarding how strata are formed, evidence that light speed may have not been constant, and even the issue of "pillars" of the earth have been answered with reasonable answers. But it seems to fall on deaf ears.

I understand that when talking about issues that are dear to your heart, you might overlook arguments against your position, however to say that our arguments lack logic seems to call into question the definition of logic. The material that has been presented here has been fair, and logical. You may not accept the conclusions - much as a coon doesn't accept the logic of a coon dog, but it is still there and won't go away.

#36  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Wednesday, August 04, 2010at 5:48 AM

#33 Fred writes,

You mean like the type of ham-fisted hermeneutics that totally ignore the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax I have seen defended by theistic evolutionists and old earth creationists commenting here?

Possibly, but I’m more talking about the inconsistent hermeneutics, which also ignore the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax that I have seen defended by young earth creationists here. That seems much more rampant anyway. Perhaps it’s just because there are more of them than there are other ideologies represented here.

The fact that I can probably count at least 5 different interpretive frameworks to understanding Genesis 1 and 2 advocated here by old earth proponents clearly shows a reckless, self-indulgent attempt to read Genesis as anything but normal, historical narrative.

I am a big believer in the historical-grammatical hermeneutic method of Biblical interpretation. Mr. MacArthur and others here claim to be big believers in it too, but he and others are not applying it consistently. To conclude that the YEC position is an acceptable position using this method is one thing (which I would agree it is,) but to insist it is the only interpretation that fits the text is to totally ignore the principles of this hermeneutic to begin with. The anchors used to come to such conclusions are based on mere assumptions about the first few chapters of Genesis, such as who recorded the text, what was the means of revelation concerning the information it contains, who was the intended audience, what literary genre is used, etc. None of these are answered within the text itself, or anywhere else in the Bible. Again, these are not simply principles used by some archeological or secular historians, these are the long-standing principles of Biblical hermeneutics that the YEC’s claim to employ.

It’s no surprise that a variety of interpretive frameworks are suggested to fit the text because this hermeneutical method has too many loose anchors to arrive at a singular literary interpretation. That doesn’t mean the text is not useful though. The various frameworks do demonstrate a consistent theology, especially when compared with other inspired texts that make reference to it. Many here have tried to overstate this fact in an attempt to draw a connection between the “theology” of the texts and the principles of YEC ideology. This fails of course because the connection only works when using circular reasoning.

You would do well to heed your own points of logic when it comes to reading the text of Genesis.

Have I used any fallacious reasoning? Have I applied an eisegesis? If so, please point it out.

In your reply to Steve:

A literal interpretation of Genesis is not a unique “modern fundamentalist” viewpoint. This has been the historic position of the church since the first century. Rob Bradshaw demonstrates on his website:

That’s not what I was understanding Steve’s to be saying. (Correct me if I’m wrong Steve) but the point I understood was not that only “modern fundamentalists” interpreted the text literally, but rather that they are the main ones who insist it be interpreted that way.

This is a quote from the link you posted. On the “Summary” page, Mr. Bradshaw writes:

“It has to be said that the doctrine of creation did not rank high amongst the early church’s priorities.” Does this ring any bells of recent forum topics?

Did you read Chapter 3? It clearly shows that the question of how to interpret these texts has never been considered settled throughout church history, long before Darwin ever came along.

Once again, I think you have posted a link that does more damage to your position that it helps it.

#37  Posted by Roberta Jackson  |  Wednesday, August 04, 2010at 2:42 PM

I have commented on a previous page, but want to voice another opinion or two:

First, there seems to be an argument on this site that we have to have either a scientific explanation (which ultimately means evolution on this blog) or simply have faith that God created the world in 7 days and science entered into it not at all.

I would offer this. After all this time, evolution remains a "theory" because with all our technology, we are STILL unable to provide enough evidentiary proof to make it a "law." There is as much if not more questionnable uncertainty about the ability of "nothing" to turn itself into the universe than there is about a Supreme Being who had the capacity to do it. Believing in a Creator seems much more plausible than a speck of something turned itself into what we have now. But you still have to wonder how the speck came into existence.

Another point, one which I made in an earlier blog, is that I believe the earth itself is not young, but the current creation is, and was created just like it states in the Bible. I believe there is a gap between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2. Again, it's merely a belief based on some fairly believable but not necessarily scriptural points. It would explain the fossils and rock formations, and other phenomena. When you think about it, in the creation story, everything was created perfectly formed EXCEPT the earth, in the Genesis account. Why did God not make that perfectly in Genesis 1:1 like he did everything else further into the chapter?

If you notice, herbs and other plants sprouted. Odd that it doesn't say God just created/placed them there. Sounds like the seeds were already in the ground. But this is just speculation on my part, and something interesting to think about.

I say all this about the earth and plants, because I believe God obviously put scientific principles and laws into place via his design. I do not believe that scientific laws put the world into place. You would then have to wonder who/what put the scientific laws into place.

The whole point of Christianity is faith in God. If explanations were there for everything, in what would we place our faith? The only way our future hope is made real to us is actually seeing the promises of God and His truth become real to us through our daily lives. Someone who is not saved would not be able to truly experience the miracle that is God living in us and through us. He creates a new creature every time someone accepts His son. That's not science. That is the miracle of God.

#38  Posted by Jorge Alvarado  |  Wednesday, August 04, 2010at 3:31 PM

Re # 10, Garret wrote:

"It is not, as many suppose, at odds with science. True science has always affirmed the teaching of Scripture."

But it does; I believe the bible affirms scientific principles. When I read "In the beginning God created..." That means, He used matter, with all of it's chemical characteristics. He used biology and zoology for the plants and animals. He did not violate any of our known "scientific" laws. The fact that He could create a living planet in 6 days in no way contradicts any scientific law. He just did it in an incomprehensible way (to us).

Re "I guess I'm not smart enough to be a YEC."

I don't consider myself "smart enough" either, I just believe there's no limit to what God can do.

Re "Science gives no final word on anything. So, the bible, but not in an exact, scientific sense."

True about science (it changes constantly). The bible, on the other hand, does give the final word on anything (it is God's words).

#39  Posted by Rick White  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 3:54 AM

Roberta #37,

The following article explains the many problems with the "Gap Theory".

http://creation.com/the-gap-theoryan-idea-with-holes

There are also other articles at creation.com that explain the fossils and rock formations from a YEC perspective.

#40  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 5:30 AM

#38 Jorge writes:

When I read "In the beginning God created..." That means, He used matter, with all of it's chemical characteristics. He used biology and zoology for the plants and animals. He did not violate any of our known "scientific" laws. The fact that He could create a living planet in 6 days in no way contradicts any scientific law. He just did it in an incomprehensible way (to us).

I think you are onto something here Jorge, although I believe God actually created the scientific laws to begin with, so “In the beginning God created” means that God was not working with pre-existing material or laws, but formed it all from literally nothing. He was not obeying any scientific laws to begin with, because they did not exist to begin with. He created them. They are in fact His laws. The funny thing is, despite the abundance of atheistic and naturalistic influences in the scientific community, and make no mistake, I never claimed that wasn’t the case, the majority of modern scientists concur that these laws actually came into existence when the universe began. There’s no law of logic which dictates that gravity must work, or that matter must exist or that light must travel at a certain speed, yet they do… why? I think the answer is obvious… these laws were intelligently designed by the creator of the universe. Thus He did not have to overcome these laws to create anything. For Him to have to do that would mean God would be resisting himself and dealing with self-conflict during the creation process. I don’t think that’s the case at all. On the other hand, God has the liberty to create whatever He wants any way He wants, so He is certainly free to do one part of the creation process differently than He does another part. There would be no self-conflict there. For example, if God wants to create volcanoes that will produce surface rocks and also just create some surface rocks too, He can do that. I can’t speculate if He did one or the other or both just because I see both volcanoes and surface rocks, unless there was something in the Scriptures that told us exactly how He did it. But there’s not.

I think the key is your last statement, “He just did it in an incomprehensible way.” I agree. We can’t fully comprehend it, which is probably why He didn’t give us much detailed information about it to start with. That’s why forcing a singular detailed interpretation into the Genesis 1 text without much justification for it is a bad idea. It's trying to make the "incomprehensible"... "comprehensible." It’s best to leave the science out of it and understand the text on theological grounds… how Moses understood it… how Jesus understood it… and how Paul understood it.

#41  Posted by Todd Murray  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 8:06 AM

This final blog is about the authority of scripture, that God has the final word, and it quickly went right back to the arguments of who has what evidence to prove/disprove evolution.

The bottom line, IS scripture the final authority of those that call on the name of Christ? If it is, then why continually interject man's opinions and theories that constantly change? There is a great deal of arguing over origins, and yet someone else asked the questions about Christ miracles. Some claim to readily accept them as the Bible teaches them, like walking on water, feeding 5,000 men (not to mention women and children), healing a man born blind, raising a dead man from the grave, but refuse to accept the Genesis account as it is written without interjecting all kinds of comments that it is not meant to be taken as it is written. I don't understand that.

So my question(s) for all those that don't take the Genesis account as it is written, yet you claim to take the rest of scripture as it is written. When do you change your mind? When does scripture become scripture for you? How many other things do you question because you can't accept it as it is written? At what point does God's word become the final authority for you? Why is it so hard to believe that God created the heavens and earth in 6, 24 hour days, and yet you claim you have no problem believing that Jesus is coming back again?

#42  Posted by Fred Butler  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 8:32 AM

Joey writes under #36,

… but I’m more talking about the inconsistent hermeneutics, which also ignore the fundamentals of Hebrew grammar and syntax that I have seen defended by young earth creationists here. That seems much more rampant anyway. Perhaps it’s just because there are more of them than there are other ideologies represented here.

As confident as you may think you are in your statement, you haven’t demonstrated your assertion. Certainly you have made nit-picky complaints about how you think our views violate your perception of logic and what not, but you haven’t shown us linguistically or exegetically WHY Genesis 1 and 2 are NOT to be understood as God’s creating in 6 consecutive days by miraculous divine fiat roughly 6,000 years or so ago.

Continuing,

… The anchors used to come to such conclusions are based on mere assumptions about the first few chapters of Genesis, such as who recorded the text, what was the means of revelation concerning the information it contains, who was the intended audience, what literary genre is used, etc. None of these are answered within the text itself, or anywhere else in the Bible. Again, these are not simply principles used by some archeological or secular historians, these are the long-standing principles of Biblical hermeneutics that the YEC’s claim to employ.

The text of Genesis can only have one meaning and one way to interpret it. It can’t have multiple ways to be interpreted which are all equal in value, as our postmodern critics want to believe. Genesis is not ambiguous seeing the fact that the text has been interpreted consistently by Jews and Christians as an historical record of God creating out of nothing, by divine fiat, in the space of 6 days.

Continuing,

It’s no surprise that a variety of interpretive frameworks are suggested to fit the text because this hermeneutical method has too many loose anchors to arrive at a singular literary interpretation.

No it doesn’t have “too many loose anchors.” Boyd’s statistical research demonstrates the fallacy of this claim.

Continuing,

That’s not what I was understanding Steve’s to be saying. (Correct me if I’m wrong Steve) but the point I understood was not that only “modern fundamentalists” interpreted the text literally, but rather that they are the main ones who insist it be interpreted that way.

Steve’s original charge under the comments of a previous blog post implied that the interpretation of Genesis has been in dispute throughout the history of the church. This is not true, as Rob Bradshaw’s work points out.

Joey writes,

Did you read Chapter 3? It clearly shows that the question of how to interpret these texts has never been considered settled throughout church history, long before Darwin ever came along. Once again, I think you have posted a link that does more damage to your position that it helps it.

and Steve concurs in #34,

Thanks for the link to Rob Bradshaw. I love the way you keep providing references to prove my point.

I am guessing neither one of you two actually read Rob’s research at any length. Just the first couple of chapters and maybe the summary? If you would have, Rob points out that the disagreement between various early church theologians was on the application of how to interpret the spiritual nature of Genesis. For example, making the connection of God’s statement to Adam, “…in the day that you eat, you shall surely die” to the fact Adam lived to be just short of 1,000 years and drawing the application that one day to God is a thousand years and then building the 1,000 year theory of history and so forth. Even though there was disagreement among Jewish and Christian commenters on such spiritualized application (a Philonic allegorical hermeneutic being rampant among early Christian writers), the one thing they were agreed upon was that the earth was just around 6,000 years old and the biblical chronologies literally affirm this. Rob makes this comment in the last chapter,

It would be equally incorrect, however, to argue that all of the central tenets of creation science are of modern origin. Mark A. Noll, for example implies that the belief that the earth is less than 10 000 years old was invented by Ellen G White. In fact the early church, together with the majority of the church up to the eighteenth century, held that the world was less that 10 000 years old. The majority of the church up until the mid-seventeenth century also believed that the Flood was both geographically and anthropologically universal. Belief in creation ex nihilo, far from being a modern development became an established part of the church’s tradition by the end of the second century. The length of the days of Genesis 1 was clearly an issue of debate in the early church. Nevertheless, the literal 24 hour view has a long history and sound Biblical support.

The improvement of our understanding of the Hebrew language since its recovery during the time of the Reformation, instead of making the text of Genesis more clouded and ambiguous as to what it means, has strengthened the understanding that it is a genuine, literal history of the world just like the gospels are a genuine, literal history of the life of Christ.

#43  Posted by Millard Lightfoot  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 11:30 AM

2 Timothy 2:14b-19 (KJV) “---charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

This is a good passage for those lacking discernment abilities for proper understanding of scripture to study. I would also suggest they study John MacArthur’s sermon of this passage; ‘The Danger of False Teaching’ Code: 55-9. If they cease not their multiple understandings of scripture at Genesis then where do they or is that even to incomprehensible for them? In closing it must be pointed out that Jesus understands the text on both theological as well as scientific grounds.

God Bless

#44  Posted by Joey Hodge  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 3:05 PM

#42 Fred writes:

you haven’t shown us linguistically or exegetically WHY Genesis 1 and 2 are NOT to be understood as God’s creating in 6 consecutive days by miraculous divine fiat roughly 6,000 years or so ago.

Of course not. I have not set out to do such a thing to begin with. I said as much in post #36, “To conclude that the YEC position is an acceptable position using this method is one thing (which I would agree it is)…” It is perfectly acceptable both linguistically and exegetically to understand Genesis 1 & 2 in such a way. My challenge would be to the logical and reasonable consistency of the position more importantly its claim to exclusive compatibility within the texts.

The text of Genesis can only have one meaning and one way to interpret it. It can’t have multiple ways to be interpreted which are all equal in value, as our postmodern critics want to believe.

You are absolutely correct. This is what I’ve meant by the texts being “singularly objective.” It only has one meaning and it is a theological one. To read more into the text than what is there is merely prooftexting a position, whether it be a YEC or an OEC position. Make no mistake, multiple positions cannot all be correct, but multiple positions can be consistent with what is known from the texts. For instance, in my volcano rock example in post #40, if you were to find a surface rock that looked like it came from a volcano, you might could make your case that the rock actually came from a volcano, or you might make the case that God created it instantly in the very spot where you found it. Which one is right? At least one certainly is not. You can’t know, but you can know that both theories are consistent with the facts and you do know some facts. You know there was a rock there, and you know God made it (one way or the other.) That’s all you know.

No it doesn’t have “too many loose anchors.” Boyd’s statistical research demonstrates the fallacy of this claim.

Are you referring to Stephen Boyd? If so, I don’t know which research you are referring to, but I have read several things he has written. I’ll certainly stipulate to his expertise in interpreting the texts. He does make some compelling arguments for the literary genre used, but I’m certain even he would admit that the amount of hermeneutical data that can be derived from the Genesis 1 & 2 texts alone is extremely limited compared to most of the rest of the Old Testament. The stuff I read only dealt with literary genre, not autograph, audience or revelation, all of which are things we know a lot more about in other texts and are important for proper application of a historical-grammatical hermeneutic.

Steve’s original charge under the comments of a previous blog post implied that the interpretation of Genesis has been in dispute throughout the history of the church. This is not true, as Rob Bradshaw’s work points out.

Admittedly, I’m coming in late on the conversation, but I would concur that the interpretation of Genesis has been “unsettled” (I think this is a better term than “disputed”) throughout the history of the church. I think that is true and is seemingly confirmed by Mr. Bradshaw’s work.

I am guessing neither one of you two actually read Rob’s research at any length. Just the first couple of chapters and maybe the summary? If you would have, Rob points out that the disagreement between various early church theologians was on the application of how to interpret the spiritual nature of Genesis.

I read quite a bit of it and I have to say, I am at a loss for how you are taking this work to in any way support your position. What point are you trying to make by referencing it? It’s good information. It seems to support the points both Steve and I are making. So what’s the problem? It wouldn’t make sense for either the “literalists” or the “figurativists” of the early church to believe the earth was any more than 10,000 years old. I would say that was a very reasonable assumption given the evidence available to them at the time. That has little to do with how one interprets the text themselves.

From your quote of Mr. Bradshaw,

The majority of the church up until the mid-seventeenth century also believed that the Flood was both geographically and anthropologically universal.

I don’t want to get off on a tangent here, but this is a good example of the kind of thing I think the YEC’s are missing. Would you interpret “universal” to mean that the majority of the church up until the mid-seventeeth century believed the Genesis flood, flooded the entire universe? I don’t think you would. You might interpret “universal” to mean “global.” But that seems to me to be an equally ridiculous assumption. I’m not questioning God’s ability to flood the planet or the entire universe for that matter. I just don’t think the text says as such. I would concur with what Mr. Bradshaw characterizes as the majority of the church at that time, the Genesis flood was both geographically and anthropologically universal.

#45  Posted by Carol Gayheart  |  Thursday, August 05, 2010at 7:05 PM

Have been out of touch lately due to LIFE & have missed staying plugged in as this topic winds down (& am STILL not caught up!) but wanted to say I took my oldest grandson (& a few other relatives)to the IMAX movie HUBBLE yesterday, & am so thankful for God's Word which has given me a solid foundation to RECOGNIZE what's being SOLD for truth these days. The Hubble images were fascinating! However, even my grandson asked if all those pictures were from the telescope. NO! At one point they claimed they were looking into a new star system being formed billions of light years away & "took you through the gas cloud" as it's being formed. "No, some of that is just good computer graphics" I told him. Later I thought about the "good artwork" that has been presented since I was a child showing dinosaurs, when in fact they are just artistic renditions, as NO ONE TODAY HAS EVER REALLY SEEN A DINOSAUR WITH SKIN ON! This blog has been great in reminding me to be observant of unsubstantiated claims being made & of presuppositions that distort conclusions. My "truth-detector" is on, & brighter for all of the in-depth discussions which have taken place here! Thanks GTY staff & Pastor John for continually presenting "God's truth, one verse at a time!" I'm forever grateful!