“Day-Age” Creation Outline

Last summer I participated as one of three “debaters” at a friendly forum on various Creation doctrines. Hoagies & Stogies is generally a venue for men to get together, eat simple food, smoke good cigars, drink good beer, and jaw about doctrine (well for me, three out of four aint bad). I presented the Day-Age (long-earth) view, and two others presented Framework (Klinean) and Literal (7 24-hour day) views. I wish I had access to their materials to share with you as well, but I don’t. So here I reproduce only my outline. Please excuse a few character mistranslations (usually arrows). Since the outline is rather sparse (after all it is only an outline) I’d be glad to discuss any of it in more detail.

    Hoagies & Stogies 7/23/05:

    Day-Age Creation

  1. What can we truly know?
    1. Scripture infallibly presents God’s truth (<– no evidence necessary)
    2. Nature infallibly presents God’s truth (Rom 1:20, Rom 3:4, Ps 19:1-4a, Ps 31:4, Is 65:16)
    3. From Scripture and from nature, man can learn truth (but man can also misinterpret/ misunderstand!)
    4. If Scripture & nature seem to conflict, it must be because of human error regarding Scripture or nature (or both!) – what is the intended use of a passage of scripture? Not a science book!
      1. Augustine: “One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon. For He willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians.”
      2. Mustard seed (Mt 13:31-32, Mk 4:31)
      3. pi=3 (II Chr 4:2)
      4. Geocentric/Aristotelian universe (Galileo vs. church)
      5. Song of Solomon 3:1-4 à sex before marriage OK?
  2. Genesis 1-2
    1. All of this is tolerable/explainable – as long as we have no natural evidence of the age of the universe, we have no reason to look beyond 24 hour days
    2. No scriptural/historical imperative to interpret as 24 hour days: Augustine, Origen, Machen, …
    3. Light (day 1) w/out sun (day 4)?
      1. Calvin says God is demonstrating his sovereignty; note he was arguing against instantaneous creation
    4. Augustine: how can days (sun cycles) 1-3 have evenings (sunsets) and mornings (sunrises) with no sun until day 4? è not literal days
    5. Gen 1 days vs. Gen 2:4 day (if 2:4 day is >24hr, why not Ch 1?)
    6. Gen 1 : plants–>animals–>man; Gen 2 : man–>plants–>animals? (Gen 2:5-9, Gen 2:18-19)
      1. Only NIV uses “had made”
      2. If order is not chronological / intended as a literary device, why not Gen 1?
    7. Adam names all animals, gets lonely in a few hours?
    8. No 7th “evening & morning”
  3. Natural evidence: only one example
    1. Fact: The farthest detected object is a Quasar that was 4 billion light years away when it emitted the light we see now (now 23 billion light years away, due to universe expansion)
    2. Fact: We see the light from that object
    3. Conclusion: light traveled for >4 billion years to reach us
    4. Conclusion: the universe has been around for at least >4 billion years
    5. Implicit assumption: light had to travel the whole distance:
      1. God could have staged columns of photons between that and other stellar objects and the earth on day 4 when sun, moon, stars were created (Appearance of Age)
      2. If so, then God tricked us! But God is not false! (See I.A above)
      3. The cross is already a stumbling block/offense (1 Cor 1:23, Gal 5:11); we do not need to pile on more reasons for the world to see the gospel as foolishness
    6. Implicit assumption: the speed of light has always been the same as we observe it now
      1. Implications to the physics of the universe if not?
      2. If that’s the truth (as exhibited and measurable in God’s nature) then Amen!
    7. Both alternative theories (appearance of age, variable speed of light) debunked by Hugh Ross, A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy
  4. Lessons from Galileo: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0005.html
    1. Galileo offensive/antagonistic
      1. Provoked defensiveness within the church much like today’s atmosphere
      2. Can’t avoid the world’s attitude tho!
    2. Church unable to disentangle Scriptural truth from Aristotelian/geocentric assumptions
      1. Don’t entangle attack on God with attack on bad science (6-day creation)
      2. Big bang, 14 billion years is still a threat to naturalists!
        1. I mplies creator
        2. Still not enough time for self-assembly
  5. Thought experiment
    1. Assume a number of teams of respected scientists independently invent time machines, look into the past, and present “definitive” evidence that there was no resurrection.
      1. Theological implications? Total catastrophic invalidation of the Christian faith.
      2. Not likely; historical evidence abounds to confirm the Biblical account
      3. This scenario is a much more important place to draw a line in the sand and loudly denounce the science as flawed
    2. Assume God appears in the heavens, and everybody in the world hears him say “I created the world in longer than 144 hours”
      1. Theological implications? Minor.
      2. God’s omnipotence: intact
      3. Creation ex nihilo: intact
      4. Orderliness of God’s creation: intact
      5. Man in God’s image: intact
      6. Man in dominion over creation: intact
      7. Distinct roles of men & women in God’s order: intact
      8. The Fall / original sin: intact
      9. Inspiration/infallibility of Scripture: intact…just needs some reinterpretation
  6. Scientific Chronology of the Genesis Days (The Genesis Question, Hugh Ross)
    • Day 0: “God created the heavens and the earth”
      • God (the uncaused initial cause) causes the Big Bang, expanding/cooling universe, formation of galaxies, stars, sun, Earth
      • Earth is covered in water, surrounded by opaque atmosphere of dust, noxious gases, and debris.
      • Critical context: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”
    • Day 1: “Let there be light”
      • Atmosphere thins enough to let in sun’s light (translucent, not transparent)
    • Day 2: “Separate water from water”
      • Water cycle (evaporation/precipitation) continues to clear up the atmosphere
    • Day 3: dry land, plants
      • Volcanic/tectonic activity à Pangea, breaks/spreads into separate continents
      • Plant life requires divine, active intervention (usual arguments about how building blocks of life cannot have spontaneously self-generated in the conditions of the earth at that time)
    • Day 4: Sun, moon, stars
      • Finally, the atmosphere is thin enough to see the heavens
      • Same “made/had made” argument as for Gen 2
    • Day 5: Lower animals
      • (A form of theistic evolution ß off limits!)
    • Day 6: Higher animals, man
      • (Man was a distinct, from-scratch new creation 10-100K years ago; theistic evolution before the introduction of man included man-like ecological placeholder species (Neanderthal, etc.) ß off limits!)
  7. Final thoughts
    1. Occam’s razor: the simplest explanation must be correct:
      1. Literal interpretation is preferable, but conflicts between Gen 1/Gen 2/natural evidence make it awkward
      2. Reinterpretation of Gen 1 in scientific terms is also awkward – must take care that “confidence in scientific evidence overrules confidence in theological accuracy”, not “nature/science overrules scripture”.
      3. Choose your poison (which theory is simpler? which awkwardness is more tolerable?)
      4. Choose your battles
        1. 24-hour days not necessary to argue God’s existence/omnipotence/etc.
        2. Creation day theology has no moral implications
        3. Creation days less important than:
          1. Infant/mode baptism
          2. Tongues/gifts
          3. Women in leadership
    2. OPC Creation report
      1. L159—“It bears noting that these views may have non-Reformed advocates. All of them can be hijacked to serve causes that are hostile to Reformed orthodoxy. (For example, the ordinary day theory has been widely championed by Seventh Day Adventists, and the day-age and framework theories are employed by advocates of theistic evolution.) Yet it is critical for the church to resist the temptation to construct slippery-slope arguments, because non-Reformed applications of these views are not inherent to the arguments themselves. Instead, each view must be carefully weighed on its own exegetical merits. With any doctrinal controversy, there is the temptation for sound bites and bumper stickers to drown out the quieter voices of careful exegesis.”
      2. L516—(Matthew B. Hope, 1841) “There is not, we confidently believe, the smallest probability that geology will ever make good its demand for a greater change in the rece3ived interpretation of the scriptures, than did the Copernican system of astronomy: nor have harsher denunciations been dealt out against modern geologists, than were poured upon Galileo by the misguided friends of religion. Let us profit by the instructions of history.”
    3. Challenge to Christian scientists: where to draw the line between “Science can determine the answer” and “God divinely and actively intervened”? Should scripture limit the scope of research?
      1. Wolfhart Pannenberg, Theology and the Philosophy of Science: “If the God of the Bible is the creator of the universe, then it is not possible to understand fully or even appropriately the processes of nature without any reference to God. If, on the contrary, nature can be appropriately understood without reference to the God of the Bible, then that God cannot be the creator of the universe, and consequently he cannot be truly God and be trusted as a source of moral teaching either.”
    4. Challenge to theologians: where to draw the line between literal/figurative – before science makes reinterpretation necessary! (But don’t be preemptively worried about falsity of scripture)
    5. Challenge to both: how to maintain a conversation? Need humility / charity

47 Responses

  1. I’m cogitating.

    I don’t think one is forced into “God is a deceiver” conclusion with other creation views than the ‘day-age’ view. The first line of defense there is the simple word which makes a declaration for us. So, Adam, while appearing to be a late teen-ager (I know this because I have been to the National Museum in D.C. and saw for myself) is actually an infant. And we are told this (in so many words). So at worst, you have a tension, not a deception or even a contradiction.

    Where does this fit with your newly discovered, mindblowing “truth is verbal” versus “seeing is believing – (a paraphrase that is probably warping the ideas of your previous Jacques Ellul post” that seems to be a big part of your hermeneutic with this “day-age” post? Or are you undergoing a shift here?

    Did you use the home brewed perl script to automagically insert the hrefs for Bible Gateway? Nothing better than having written software for personal use. Now, the question “what doth hinder me from a liberal use of Biblical references?” has “do you have Perl installed on your home PC” for its answer.

  2. I tried a few times to get the other outlines, but the other debaters wouldn’t cough them up. I was disappointed too. You did a great job in the debate, by the way. I like the way you organized your thoughts. The position you defended is wrong, but you defended it well.

    Are you going to the next Hoagies & Stogies?

  3. Does the pope wear a funny hat?

    I plan to ascend to my glorified position at the right hand of H&S founder. Will there be a crowning ceremony?

  4. Very interesting points.. but if the day age theory IS true, then how would the plants that were created on the Third day survive? Yes they did have soil and water, but to me, the light on the first day sounds like a type of God-radiation as apposed to anything that could feed/grow a plant of any sort. So Within a 24 hour period, the sun could be created by God and allow the plants to be fed as opposed to going millions of years without life giving light from the sun. Please email me back because this is a very interesting thought and I would love a debate!

  5. If you look carefully at the outline (major point six) you’ll see I have summarized Hugh Ross’ thoughts, which fit pretty closely with the Big Bang timeline. The sun was in existence before even day 1, but not visible from the perspective of the Holy Spirit “hovering over the waters” of the “without form and void” earth, because of the impenetrable atmosphere of dust and debris. Day 1 ‘Let there be light” reaches translucence, but the sun is not actually visible. That light provided the energy the plants needed on day 3, and after that the atmosphere was thinned further so that the stellar bodies became visible. I suppose also that the thinning of the atmosphere was also necessary for the following birds and beasts.

    In order to justify this biblically, you have to wrangle the Hebrew, translating (I don’t remember which word) as ‘had made’ instead of ‘made’. This is exactly the same linguistic gymnastics literal 6-dayers have to use to make sense of the contradictory order in Gen 2 (see outline point 2.6)

    So that’s one man’s (Hugh Ross’) explanation, it’s the most reasonable I’ve heard, but I’m a mathematician, not a ‘hard’ scientist, so I’m not too terribly interested in having the answers all nailed down. What does it most for me though, is the undeniable evidence of the size and age of the astronomical universe. I readily admit that God certainly could have stretched light beams across billions of light years if he wanted, but I don’t think such a practice would be concordant with his inherent truthfulness. Calvin, on the other hand, (see point 2.3 above) apparently thought that light (day 1) without sun (day 4) was a demonstration of God’s sovereignty, and therefore I guess basically a test of our faith.

  6. You didn’t mention the glaring difference between the two versions of the Ten Commandments in Exodus and Deuteronomy. Is that something you just wave away through neglect? I’d say it clearly falls under your point 1.4: “… what is the intended use of a passage of scripture? Not a science book!”

  7. As a mathematician, I like Augustine’s jibe, in point 1.4.1 up there.

    I’m not aware of glaring differences between the Ex/Deut versions of the commandments. That reminds me though, of two things I’ve been wondering lately. Why ten? I know that the Catholics have a different ten than us (our 1&2 are lumped into 1, and coveting is split into two). Does the bible anywhere say “Ten” commandments?

    Also, does the Bible anywhere explicitly say that the ten commandments are what God’s finger engraved on stone? Could it be that God wrote more stuff on the stone tablet too?

    No time to look right now, so I’ll leave those questions as exercises to the reader…

  8. I’m not aware of glaring differences between the Ex/Deut versions of the commandments.

    There is one glaring difference between the two versions — I was going to leave you to discover it for yourself. But since you’re pressed for time, here’s a headstart:

    The Ten Commandments in Exodus chapter 20

    The Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy chapter 5

    It should jump right out at you — especially knowing that I’m referencing these passages in relation to creationism.

  9. As it turns out, today’s Sunday school lesson for 3rd and 4th graders, which I had to teach this morning, covered exactly that topic (the 4th commandment). So now I know what difference you are talking about (Honor the Sabbath day, and keep it holy because God created for six days, and rested on the seventh vs. because God brought you out of Egypt). Unfortunately, I don’t have any good idea about the meaning/purpose of that switch.

  10. Your question 1.4 deals with the intended use of a passage, and you rightly deny that Genesis is a science book. The two versions of the Ten Commandments illustrate how Genesis is, in fact, intended to be used — as a history book.

    The two different fourth commandment rationales are the only variance between the Exodus and Deuteronomy accounts, indicating that they are interchangeable: one version is just as valid as the other (nobody claims to be an Exodus Ten Commandmenter versus a Deuteronomy Ten Commandmenter). “God brought you out of Egypt” is obviously a historical reference that provides a motivating rationale for observing the Sabbath. People often view Genesis as either symbolic or historic — but Deuteronomy shows that in Exodus, Moses (and God) looked to Genesis as a historic reference.

    A counter-argument would suggest that such an equation of mode is unwarranted — that Exodus provides a theologic rationale for the Sabbath, while Deuteronomy provides a historic. But this neglects the otherwise perfectly tight equation of everything else in the two versions of the Ten Commandments. Why allow for a switch of mode in one passage when all other sentences are exactly alike, not only in mode but in word? (It also neglects the fact that the historic rationale is the only one supported by nature — we actually do work six days and rest a seventh, as opposed to working six million years and then resting another million. God certainly could have designed us that way.)

    Another counter-argument would suggest that the Deuteronomy reference does not provide a rationale for Sabbath observance as a whole, but only for Jews to allow their servants to rest on the Sabbath (which Jews themselves were unable to do as slaves in Egypt). Perhaps, this line of thinking would run, between the issuing of the fourth commandment in Exodus and its reiteration in Deuteronomy, Jews had begun to insist that their servants continue working on the Sabbath so that they themselves could rest. However, this interpretation denies the double-bind of the statement that “the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” Yes, Jews should be sympathetic to servants because they themselves knew what it meant to be slaves — but it’s not just that. Jews were prevented by Pharoah from taking days off to enter the wilderness to make sacrifices to God. Once God freed them from Pharoah, they no longer had any excuse to neglect Sabbath observance. So this historic reference serves as a rationale for all in Israel, not only servants, to heed the fourth commandment — just as the Genesis reference does.

    Your question 1.4 deals with the intended use of a passage. Between Exodus and Deuteronomy we have an even better example — actual use, by Moses and by God, who looked to both the creation of the world and the deliverance from Egypt as historical rationales for resting on the Sabbath.

  11. Four months. Still no response to #10 above?

  12. Actually, while I was spending four months toiling in the seminary library trying to answer your question, a semi-response arose from another quarter: Clark very helpfully points out that the reason the Sabbath commandment is different in the two presentations is to highlight the dual purpose of the Sabbath: it is about Creation, and it is about Re-Creation (redemption). Remember, the primary purpose of the Exodus was not bringing people out of Egypt. I would place that purpose at least third place, behind (1) Typifying the redemption to come through Christ, and (2) displaying God’s glory and power.

    So instead of history, I would say Redemptive History, i.e. Creation-Fall-Redemption. Instead of two versions both pointing historically backwards, I would say that of the two versions, one points back in Redemptive-history to the Creation, and the other points forward in Redemptive-history toward Redemption.

  13. Remember, the primary purpose of the Exodus was not bringing people out of Egypt. I would place that purpose at least third place, behind (1) Typifying the redemption to come through Christ, and (2) displaying God’s glory and power.

    May I clarify? You are saying that, as a third-tier purpose, the actual bringing people out of Egypt is not all that important to you … that if in fact the archeological sciences discover that God did not in fact bring people out of Egypt, this would not compromise in your mind the accomplishment of His first- and second-tier purposes of foreshadowing Christ and demonstrating His power.

    Can you understand why I have a hard time accepting this from the same person who argues that God would not create the illusion of billions of years through light from far-flung galaxies?

    I have more to say, but thought it appropriate to begin here.

  14. That’s a pretty silly question. If in fact archaeological science “discovered” that there was no historical Exodus, that would completely compromise the first- and second-tier purposes. If God did not in fact bring people out of Egypt, then he did not in fact foreshadow Christ, nor would God have in fact demonstrated his power.

    Similarly, if the historical resurrection were to be “disproved”, then Paul’s preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain. But that does not invalidate the parallel truth that making Jesus’ body be alive was not the primary purpose of the Resurrection. The primary purpose, again, was Redemption.

    The Sign is always less important than the Thing Signified.

  15. An excellent response — and exactly what I was hoping for: a declaration of the necessity of God’s accomplishments in history. God’s Word is not word alone, but action, and even flesh. Following your original explanation above, when Jesus asks whether it’s easier to heal a lame man or forgive his sins, and then goes on to accomplish the former, visible act, He does so to (1) typify the redemption He will soon bring, and (2) display His authority power (over the visible realm, leading us to believe He has power over the invisible as well). But if He accomplished (3), the actual healing, in story only, not in history, then according to Jesus’ own question, (1) and (2) lack any basis in reality.

    I asked my silly question because I sensed in your response #12 an attempt to leapfrog over the historical reference of exodus. Yes, in the Sabbath we are re-created, in that we’re invited to partake of the rest we have in Christ, a rest that renews us for further works. And yes, the exodus does foreshadow Christ’s delivering us out of sin. But you summed up a little too neatly here (emphasis mine):

    Instead of two versions both pointing historically backwards, I would say that of the two versions, one points back in Redemptive-history to the Creation, and the other points forward in Redemptive-history toward Redemption.

    That wording, “the other points forward,” is the magic, leapfrogging over purpose (3) to focus on (1) and (2). But if (3) did not occur — if God did not actually deliver His people out of Egypt — if no actual body exists beneath your hands to offer resistance as you propel yourself up and forward — then (1) and (2) fall apart, and no forward movement occurs.

    Although one version of the fourth commandment points to creation and the other to redemption, both provide justification and motivation by pointing backward to historical events. The exodus as a historical event; so is creation, in that a universe exists that God created. Should these historical events be taken literally? One version of the fourth commandment gives us no reason to question exodus history, written as it is by the same human author in an earlier book. The other version actually compels us to accept a literal creation, entangling as it does our seven-day week in a seven-day creation, again written by the same human author in an earlier book.

    If Genesis is not literal history but only poetic form, what we need is an explanation that (1) accounts for why Genesis is written in seven-day format that coincides with the mostly universal human experience of counting time in seven-day weeks, and (2) does so while preserving God’s first justification and motivation for following the fourth commandment.

  16. Maybe the second version of the fourth commandment was actually an edit, a correction: once Moses realized people might call God on His seven-day creation bluff, it was necessary to find a real historical justification.

    jk :-)

  17. […] geologically-determined ages of billions of years are not going anywhere. I’m a big fan of Hugh Ross’ day-age schema, but I’m looking into Framework […]

  18. (Sigh.) Still no takers …

  19. I think that it is funny how many people stray away from the bible. People are taking the parts and twisting everything it says to fit what we want it to be. Creation is the biblical account and accurate as it is. The earth was created in a literal twenty four hour day. Why would a all powerful God take millions of years to create the world. He Wouldn’t! The facts are simple the bible has never been proven wrong, there is not any shread of evidence that the bible is wrong. Yet it is funny how many people try to rip it apart in its character. Untill someone can prove the bible wrong to me, creation is the only thing that has not been disproven. Evolution doesnt make sense. How can everything that we know today come from nothing at all? All through a mutation of randomness? How is it that all the mutations worked to form even one living organism. All it would take is one mistake in the mutation of the genetic DNA and the organism would there for die.

    Evolution also started with Darwin. Darwin himself even said that if we can not explain instinct then he was wrong. And to this day, we have not been able to explain why animals do certain things. So why dont we take darwin’s own advise and realize that evolution couldnt of taken place.

    Secondly through out the years creationism has remainded the same. When i say creationism i’m talking about a literal 24 hour day, 7 day creation, with the last day God resting. We have stuck to what we believe and accepted it as truth. Evolution has changed its foundation many times. It first said that Carbon 14 methods of aging the earth were effective. Then later scientist changed their mind because they realized that the half life of Carbon 14 is under 6000 years. They realized that this was a bad and unreliable way of aging the earth. On top of that it can only be used on things that were once alive. So why would i believe in that idea of evolution if it constently changes as science changes.

    Secondly if evolution isnt true, which its not, then the only thing left is the Bible. This includes Long and Short Age Earth. Day Age Creationist still hold to the idea of a Supreme Creator but they include Evolution in the creation process. If God used evolution why didnt he tell us? The answer is simple its because he didnt. He depicted for us the creation account. After we take evolution out of the equation, the only logical reasonable explanation for How we came into the world is A TRUE LITERAL INTERPRETAION OF THE BIBLE!

    Now please can anyone give me proof on why the bible is not true. I would like informaiton on why you think that the bible isnt true. Or any information on why i shouldnt believe in a literal interpreation of the bible. I’m not just asking for the FLUFFY stuff but for hard core evidence on why the bible is not true. If you can tell me this, then i guess the whole debate is settled. Untill then creation is the truth

    or if you would like to email me that would be great to… it is jason_alajuela14@excite.com… or just post your answer or any comment on my blog

  20. Why would a all powerful God take millions of years to create the world. He Wouldn’t!

    I have no idea why he would. But my question to you is, why would an all-true God make a universe in 144 hours, and make it look like it was billions of years old? He Wouldn’t!

    Look, I agree with you that Darwinian evolution doesn’t make sense. As the Reasons to Believe tagline goes: “Gradualism isn’t verified by the fossil record, and punctuated equilibrium doesn’t have a mechanism that works” (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but there you go). The fossill record shows long periods of no change, interrupted by explosive increases in the number of species (i.e. the Cambrian explosion). Seems to me the best explanation is that God planted each new species on the earth in his appointed time. Just like the bible says.

    any information on why i shouldnt believe in a literal interpreation of the bible.

    Do you literally believe the Bible when it says that there were no plants, “then” God created man, then plants, and “then” animals?

  21. […] and Creation Posted on January 18, 2008 by RubeRad The Forester is arguing for a literal 6×24 creation from the Sabbath pattern in the 5th commandment. […]

  22. Do you literally believe the Bible when it says that there were no plants, “then” God created man, then plants, and “then” animals?

    In addition, it is generally accepted that the future events recounted by John in Revelation are largely symbolic. Since Moses was not actually a witness to Creation and therefore had to receive a similar revelation in order to write the Genesis account, can’t that be symbolic as well?

  23. God is God,

    You said: “Why would a all powerful God take millions of years to create the world. He Wouldn’t!”

    Echo responds: why does doing it in 24 hours make him all powerful, but if he does it in millions of years he isn’t? Wouldn’t the most powerful act be that which takes no time at all?


  24. God is God,

    You said: “Now please can anyone give me proof on why the bible is not true. I would like informaiton on why you think that the bible isnt true. Or any information on why i shouldnt believe in a literal interpreation of the bible.”

    Echo: I certainly wouldn’t say that the Bible isn’t true, it is. But you can’t take the days of creation to be literal until you can tell me what the source of the light is on day 1. Of course, when you’ve solved that problem, I’ll give you some more to solve, such as why 24hours would be a day before there was any sun.


  25. But you can’t take the days of creation to be literal until you can tell me what the source of the light is on day 1.

    In that case, can it even be taken as theological? What kind of Bible uses unsourced light to teach theology? If you’re arguing that unsourced light is logically impossible, that has serious implications for your theology. Would you preserve a rational universe by charging God with illogic?

    On the flip side, ever heard of cosmic microwave background radiation? Perhaps a candidate, perhaps not. But the possibility of a candidate suggests answers may exist that we still do not possess. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy chapter 29)

    such as why 24hours would be a day before there was any sun.

    The Inherit the Wind playbook is old. Where did Cain get his wife?

  26. Do you literally believe the Bible when it says that there were no plants, “then” God created man, then plants, and “then” animals?

    You’re gonna keep using that until I posit my argument, aren’t you?

  27. Why would a all powerful God take millions of years to create the world. He Wouldn’t!

    why would an all-true God make a universe in 144 hours, and make it look like it was billions of years old? He Wouldn’t!

    Why would an all-powerful and all-true God make a universe in six days, then curse it to premature decay?

    Egad, maybe He would!

    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans chapter 8)

  28. Forester,

    I’m not saying that the light of day 1 has no source. The source of the light is the sun, moon and stars.

    The narrative of Gen 1 is describing the world to the Israelites as they understand it. The point was for them to look around and say, yep, God created all of this.

    Since they would have had no knowledge of light other than that of the sun, moon and stars (and man made light via fire), to speak of light is to speak of the sun.

    What meaning would it possibly have to them to speak of God creating light that didn’t assume the creation of the sun? The point was to describe the creation that they lived in and breathed in everyday. It was not supposed to utterly dumbfound them.

    Now, the Israelites surely would have been overwhelmed at the glorious nature of the passage, but that was because they would have understood it. It was written TO them. What’s the point of writing something to them that makes no sense to them? The point is to communicate to them.

    So when it talks about light on day 1, and the sun being created on day 4, they knew right away that the days were not to be taken univocally. They understood that Moses was speaking figuratively.

    Furthermore, when God separates the waters from each other, they would have understood this from the standpoint of their worldview. Their world view was that the earth was flat, a big floating island, floating on the waters under the earth, and that a dome of heaven held up the waters above the earth. That dome of heaven is what is called a firmament (Gen 1:6 or “expanse” ESV).

    This narrative is communicated to them according to how they viewed the creation. It is put in terms they would understand because they were the audience.

    The very notion that the light of day 1 would be some mysterious light that they had no knowledge of in those days (cosmic radiation or whatever) is ridiculous and anachronistic. The point of the narrative is to describe God’s creative activity of the world that they could see, touch, smell, taste and hear according to how they understood it. The only light they knew of that God created was the sun, moon and stars.

    The source of the light on day 1 would have been clear to the Israelites: the sun, moon and stars. To talk about light that has no source makes no sense to anyone, and would have made no sense to the ancient Israelites wandering in the wilderness.

  29. Problem 2: if you take the days univocally, then you have to take the activity taking place on those days as univocally as well.

    This means that you have to believe that there are waters under the earth, that the earth is a flat, floating island, and that there is a dome of heaven that holds back the waters above it. You have to believe that when it rains, it is because of the waters above the dome leaking through said dome. You have to believe that when you drill a well you gain access to the waters under the earth. That’s what the Israelites believed, and that is the view presupposed by this narrative.

    If it was a univocal day, then the activity taking place on that day must also be univocal.

  30. Problem 3:

    Gen 2:4 These are the generations
    of the heavens and the earth when they were created,
    in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

    If the creation was created in 6-24 hour days, how could Moses possibly say that they were created in a day? Wouldn’t the Israelites have been terribly confused, saying, “But Moses, you just said it took 6 days, now you’re saying it all happened in 1 day!”

    But no such confusion took place. Contrary to popular belief, even though they didn’t have running water, the ancient peoples were quite sophisticated and clever. The Hebrew Scriptures are incredibly complex and beautiful. The Israelites weren’t quite so anti-intellectual as our society is today.

    Today, our minds have been numbed by TV and a host of other things. Thinking is evil, and no one wants to engage in it. Not so the Israelites, not so ancient peoples. They loved to think about things. They loved to discuss things. And some of them were quite brilliant, Moses being one of the most remarkable writers in all history, making Homer and Shakespeare look like amateurs.

    Today, we don’t want to think. We assume the ancients were simple, because after all, they didn’t have cars. We hate to think today, but we don’t know it. We are anti-intellectual, but we think of ourselves as very wise. The ancients, in our estimation, were simple, unsophisticated savages. They didn’t have cars or running water. It is beyond our imagination to think that Moses would have been capable of using the word “day” in any way other than signifying a 24 hour period. He simply wasn’t that clever.

    But even if he was that clever, he certainly wouldn’t have written anything that clever to the Israelites, because even if Moses was a literary genius, the Israelites wouldn’t have understood it.

    But the ancient peoples were not so childlike as we suppose. They were adults just like us. They had brains just like us. And they spent a lot less time watching TV and silly things like that. They worked hard, but their eyes had seen glorious things, things that left a permanent impression on them, things that they contemplated.

    Oh sure, they rebelled. But did they rebel because they were stupid intellectually, or because they were sinful? We read the OT with an extremely arrogant point of view. “I wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t have worshiped asherah poles. I would have killed that king, not like Saul. I would have been satisfied with the manna. I would never have put one of my own soldiers to death in order to have his wife if I were king of Israel like David. I would never have murdered a prophet.”

    Newsflash: yes you would have.

    These people aren’t stupid. They’re sinful, just like you and me. They grasped the significance of what they saw and heard, because God put it in terms they would understand.

  31. Problem 4:

    Many 6-24 types are offended at the notion that some might suggest that the creation took place over a much longer period of time. They say that God wouldn’t NEED millions of years or whatever to create the universe.

    Why would God need a week then? The all powerful Creator could have just said, “Let the universe be!” And the universe came to be.

    To say that it took place over millions of years or just one week doesn’t hurt God’s power or sovereignty at all. It doesn’t demean him one bit. Not one bit.

  32. Problem 5:

    Some 6-24 folks say that we who take the narrative analogically are using science to interpret Scripture, rather than the other way around.

    Not so. Augustine came up with a view other than 6-24 simply by looking at the text. And remember, his worldview included a flat earth and a dome of heaven! He was really simple!

    And yet it didn’t have anything to do with science. He knew nothing of evolution or geological evidence, etc.

    So to say that it’s impossible to look at this text without coming to the 6-24 view, UNLESS you’re trying to bring evolution to the Bible, is flat out wrong. Augustine is a counter-example that proves you wrong.

    In fact, in some cases, people often irrationally hold to the 6-24 view, not for good reasons drawn from the text, but simply because they hate evolution so much. They are the ones who are letting science dictate how they read the Bible. (That’s not to say that the 6-24 view is always an irrational reaction against evolution, because it isn’t.)

  33. Problem 6:

    Many 6-24 folks say that because there was evening and morning on each of the days, therefore, they are meant to be taken univocally.

    But this refrain is missing from the 7th day, which is clearly to be understood as the Lord’s eternal Sabbath rest.

    If the evening/morning refrain forces us to take the days univocally, then surely the 7th day can’t be taken univocally. And if the 7th day can’t be taken univocally, then the week as a whole can’t be taken univocally.

    Liberals say that it should be taken equivocally, but good exegetes say it should be taken analogically.

    Univocally, again, means a 1 to 1 correspondence. So if I say that my car is a lemon, I mean that my car is a little yellow piece of fruit.

    Equivocally means that the two have nothing to do with each other. So if I say my car has a lemon, what I have said is meaningless, there being nothing similar between my car and the lemon.

    Analogically means that there are some ways in which the two are similar, some ways not. So if I say that my car is a lemon, I mean that there is one or more characteristics of a lemon that my car also has. This is an analogy.

  34. Problem 7:

    If we cannot take the Gen 1 narrative analogically, then is there anything at all in the Scriptures that can be taken analogically?

    I mean seriously, if I say that my car is a lemon, you would know what I meant. It would be easy for you to understand.

    But 3000 years from now, someone will be examining this sentence, demanding that we take it “literally”, and saying that I wouldn’t lie, and that somehow a “car” must be a piece of fruit.

    And then someone will come along and say, no, it’s an analogy. He is saying that his car is LIKE a lemon, in that they’re both bitter. The lemon tastes bitter, but the car is bitter too, because it keeps breaking down. It leaves a bitter, sour, taste in your mouth so to speak.

    But the fundamentalist literalists will say, “How dare you accuse that speaker of lying! What he said was true and is still true! It’s clear that cars were pieces of fruit! To say anything else is to accuse them of lying!”

    And then the liberals will come along and talk about how “my car is a lemon” means that we should really be sweet to one another, and not be like the lemon or the car, because these things are of no value to God or to us.

    To say that Gen 1 should be taken analogically is not to say that everything in Scripture should be taken analogically, nor does it mean that God didn’t really create all things. It doesn’t harm your hermeneutics or the historicity of the narrative. You can argue that it does, but you’d be wrong. It doesn’t.

    To argue that it hurts your hermenuetics, you’d have to say that nothing in the Bible can be taken in any way other than univocally. As soon as you take one thing analogically, you’ll take the whole Bible analogically, and then none of it will have any meaning.

    But this is wrong. There’s plenty of things in Scripture that you take analogically without even thinking about it.

    Job 38:28 “Has the rain a father,
    or who has begotten the drops of dew?
    29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
    and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?

    If we can take NOTHING analogically in Scripture, then we must think there is such a thing as a womb that gives birth to ice and frost. Does God have a womb? I thought he was a male. Or is that analogical too? Does God have a wife who gives birth to ice and frost? Or is God speaking analogically here? If he MUST be speaking univocally, then there is some heavenly female being who has a womb and gives birth to ice. Perhaps it is an angel?

    But if it’s an angel, then when Jesus was asked about marriage in the age to come, he said that we would be like the angels, not married. Well, then, you say, this heavenly angelic being whose womb gives birth to ice must be guilty of infidelity, because she’s not married, yet her womb is giving birth.

    To insist on a univocal reading of Scripture, all of Scripture, is stupid. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it.

    Clearly some passages of Scripture are not meant to be taken univocally. Clearly some passages are describing some things by way of analogy in order to accommodate our ignorance about heavenly realities. Not only are we ignorant of heavenly realities, but we’re incapable of comprehending them, because our brains were fashioned to interpret the creation, to understand the creation. All of our senses are designed to gather information about the creation, and send it to the brain for interpretation. All our brains can comprehend are earthly realities. So when God speaks to us of heavenly realities, it’s ALWAYS by way of analogy, because we have not been to heaven.

    So, if we can’t take Gen 1 analogically, then I only ask, what about the text forces us to take it univocally? Clearly we can’t say that taking it analogically is automatically ruled out. There’s plenty of things in Scripture that everyone knows should be taken analogically. Some things in Scripture are MEANT to be taken analogically.

    So why not this narrative? If you have good reasons for why it must be taken univocally, then fine.

    But I have shown you a number of problems involved with taking the narrative univocally. So what problems ensue if we take it analogically? Because if we take it analogically, all the problems I mentioned go away. So there are the benefits. What are the costs?

    It doesn’t harm historicity. After all, to take it univocally DOES harm the historicity, because Gen 1 presumes a flat earth, and no one believes that anymore. Therefore the account can’t be what actually took place. So it is actually the 6-24 view that undermines the historicity of the narrative.

    If you take the days analogically, you don’t undermine the historicity, because it’s analogical history. It’s an analogy of what ACTUALLY TOOK PLACE.

    If you argue that analogical interpretations of Scripture are NEVER appropriate, then there are literally millions of problems you’ll have in interpreting the text, and you’ll probably end up believing that the Left Behind series is every bit as inspired as the book of Revelation. So clearly an analogical view of some passages of Scripture are appropriate. There, we just proved that taking the Gen 1 narrative analogically doesn’t harm hermeneutics.

    So the analogical view harms neither hermeneutics nor historicity, so what’s the problem, exactly? What drawbacks are there to the analogical view?

    There are many drawbacks to the univocal view. I’m sorry, but those drawbacks are unacceptable costs to me that I’m unable and unwilling to pay.

  35. Wow, Echo. Like many Darwinists I’ve run across, you assume I hit every step tumbling down the staircase of stupidity. I’m amused.

    I’ll return with a considered response when it suits me. In the meantime, I suggest reading this:

    seedlings: literally

  36. Forester,

    Perhaps I’ll read it when it suits me.


  37. Hey all of you debating and debating about the creation, can I have your attention for a while? I have a very special question for you all. If you die right now, do you know where will your soul be? I’ll be making it clear, that if you ‘ll make a reply for this, I could give you answers that will support more of creationism and the stand of Baptist churches around the world. Thanks.

  38. Hey mike,

    Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for your concern. You will be happy to know that most of us in these threads (at least all of the “locals”) have faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us, so we’re covered (literally, by his righteousness). And if you read this post, you will also see that we understand (even my short-earth friends) that the length of creation is not a doctrine on which our salvation hangs.

    Question to you; is it more important to be a Baptist, or a Christian?

  39. Hey ruberad,

    Thanks for your reply.
    I’m happy for you that you already knew your salvation, like me, but I do want you to know that its not the ‘on-which-our-salvation-hangs’ thing why I asked you that question regarding your surety of salvation. The reason why I asked you that (and specially Echo_ohcE) is because I wanted to know if you all believe and has known Jesus Christ personally, because if you believe on Him and has known Him, you’ll also believe that He is The Author and Finisher, and because of that you’ll believe that this Book, the Bible, has no error or contradictions whatsoever. So, if the Bible says God made all things in 6 days, then what could be any needed further discussions or debates? Wait, I think I don’t have a problem with you with what I’m standing for. Take this message as for us all in general in this blog room.

    Hope you understand.

    With regards to your question, my answer is that it’s more important to be a Baptist. The reason? Because Catholics, Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and other denominations profess that they are “Christians”, but you try to ask them the biggest question of their lives, Where would you go when you die?, and they will surely say — We don’t know.

    I don’t say that religion can save you, but I’m pointing out that Baptists are definitely, the true Christians. They are the ones that Christ built.
    Christ said, ‘I will build my church’, not ‘I will build my churches.’ I know not all Baptists will go to heaven, and those that will go to heaven are’nt only Baptists, but I do believe that they are the only ones who will be married to Jesus Christ at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

  40. Baptists are definitely, the true Christians. They are the ones that Christ built.
    Christ said, ‘I will build my church’

    When Christ said that, I can’t find anything in the context about baptism. At least when the Catholics use that verse, it is plausible that Jesus might have been pronouncing Peter to be the first pope.

    but you try to ask them the biggest question of their lives, Where would you go when you die?, and they will surely say — We don’t know.

    Well, I’m not a Baptist, but I knew the right answer to the question, and I know plenty of denominational Christians who also know the right answer. And what does that answer have to do with baptism?

    On the contrary the answer to that question has everything to do with whether you are an evangelical Christian — not in the modern sense, where “evangelical” basically just means “contemporary”, but in the historical sense, where “evangelical” means subscribing to the euangelion — the gospel: Christ’s death atoned for your sins, and, by faith alone, you can be rewarded with heaven on the basis of his righteousness.

  41. Rube,

    Kinda sounds like Mike is just trying to play around with us.

    Hey Mike, I once was Baptist, but then God saved me. ;)

    Just kidding. I have an interesting history, but I’ll tell you for sure that I knew I was going to heaven when I die from at least the age of 14 when Christ very surprisingly grabbed my heart and took it for His own and made me a new creation. I was raised Catholic and was still Catholic when that happened. Shortly thereafter, I started going to a Nazarene church, I knew the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone by Grace Alone even then. I then became Charismatic/Pentecostal and still I knew and trusted. Then I gradually grew into being a Reformed Baptist knowing still. And now Christ has matured me even more to the point that I am, by His Grace, blessed beyond all measure, as an orthodox Presbyterian (PCA Denomination.)

    So, what do you think? At one point, when I was a Baptist, I was heading for the marriage supper, but now I’ve taken a turn?



  42. Ruberad,

    Do you really believe that the ‘ rock ‘ Christ said was Peter? Haha!
    You really don’t know the Bible, do you?
    My question now is, what denomination are you with nowadays?
    And now, with regards to the ‘BAPTISM’ thing, I do believe, baptism is a must for every Christian. Christ Himself was baptized and it is always stated in the New Testament that them that believed Jesus Christ were baptized right away!

    [ When Christ said that, I can’t find anything in the context about baptism ]

    Yes, I didn’t find anything either and I don’t remember I mentioned baptism.
    The reason why I qouted that verse was to tell you that Christ is not a some kind of playboy. Christ said that someday, He will be married to that Church that he built. They are the pure ones, I’m telling you.


  43. Hey kazoo,

    Cute guy huh.


    I didn’t find your story to be interesting.
    Coz that’ll be interesting if the story have gone like this.

    I’m a catholic then but when I recieved Christ I made my way to the Baptist church.

    Hahaha! What an interesting story, isn’t it?

    [ So, what do you think? At one point, when I was a Baptist, I was heading for the marriage supper, but now I’ve taken a turn? ]

    You betcha!

    You’ve got it! You’re learning huh, that’s good! So I’m giving you a very good advice.

    Stand up, leave your chair on that PCA-Presbyterian Denomination, whatever you call it, and move your way to glory land!

    LOL again to you!


  44. My question now is, what denomination are you with nowadays?

    Presbyterian Church in America.

    Do you really believe that the ‘ rock ‘ Christ said was Peter?

    No I don’t; Catholics do. I believe the rock Christ was referring to was the truth that “Rocky” (Peter’s nickname) had just articulated, the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. But I’m not sure what you think that rock was; the way you string thoughts together ( “Baptists are definitely, the true Christians. They are the ones that Christ built. Christ said, ‘I will build my church’”), it seems you think the rock is baptism.

    baptism is a must for every Christian

    When was the thief on the cross baptized, who Christ said would be with him in paradise?

  45. Ruberad ,

    I’m having fun reading your replies. Thanks.

    [ But I’m not sure what you think that rock was ]

    Christ is the ROCK, and the nickname of Peter isn’t Rocky but ‘a stone’.

    [ the way you string thoughts together ]

    To be a part of the church, one must needs be baptized.

    THE BAPTISTS ( this is only my summarization of the whole story )

    All of them that Christ won, didn’t went out of Israel to preach the Gospel because they believe that salvation is for Israel only. But in the New Testament, people are under grace not under the law so the Gentiles claimed their chance. Paul, the only apostle who went out and made a round tour of the world preached the Gospel, and by that means, Christianity scattered abroad. Persecution was always and will always be there for the believers of Christ, and there, was the Christians persecuted everywhere. Until one day, Constantine, wanted to have a one world church and told everyone to be united and said that they will not anymore be persecuted and he will be the head of it. Of course, the true Christians rejected it co’z they believe Christ is the true head. The religion Constantine founded is the Catholic church and they are the severest persecutors of those people who rejected his offer.Later, those Christians they called Ana-Baptists meaning re-baptizers because they noticed that those people baptize those that decided to join them, knowing they were baptized already by the Catholic church. Times passed and ‘Ana’ began to disappear, and ‘ ‘Baptist’ became their trademark.

    [ Presbyterian Church in America. ]

    Presbyterians are only reformists and protestants of the Roman Catholic Church which went out from it 1541 A.D. They aren’t the true ones. In the year of 1810 A.D., Cumberland went out from Presbyterians and in 1812 A.D. Disciples went out from it too.
    If you think Baptists are also Protestants, they aren’t since they did not come out of the Catholic Church

  46. Rube,

    Oh I almost forgot!

    About that bloody thief. Hehe.

    [ When was the thief on the cross baptized, who Christ said would be with him in paradise? ]

    Yes it’s him of course. I already thought you’ll be mentioning about him. He’s not baptized because he hasn’t a single chance! It only portrays the emphasis of ‘by faith alone’ and not by works you’ll be going to heaven! But I tell you if that thief has been given a chance he will be baptized also co’z it would be better for him.

  47. Mike,

    You need to do a little more reading of history from ‘outside’ of your camp. Whoever has been teaching you has not been telling you the truth. Your bias is almost as bad as the JW’s or the Mormons.

    Today’s “Baptist” denominations are NOT from the Anabaptists. They’re from two completely separate backgrounds. Nice try, but go study to show yourself approved.


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