Paging Dr. Bahnsen

Greg Bahnsen is not afraid of Hare Krishnas. If he’s ever confronted by them in an airport, rather than shying away, he wields his powerful apologetic, until they are backed into a corner, at which point their last defense is “You know what your problem is? You’re trapped within the confines of your Western logic. Our religion follows its own higher logic, a logic that transcends your rigid Western exactitude.” I love Bahnsen’s response: “Well then, step up to the microphone! Please make sure the world understands that to accept your religion, one must deny logic — that your religion requires and embraces irrationality.”

A similar response is warranted when Steve Hays says (via Wacky):

We’re told that, when measured in light-years, the scale of the universe entails its multi-billion year age. But this inference rests on a number of assumptions, viz., the initial size of the universe, the speed of light as a cosmic constant, the relative rate of expansion, the ordinary emission and transmission of starlight from its point of origin to the earth, and so on.

Well then, step up to the microphone! Please make sure the world understands that to accept Young Earth Creationism, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature — that Induction cannot be relied upon to provide the bedrock required for conducting science. By recoursing to laws that are not universal, absolute, and invariant — to constants that are not constant, Hays has knocked the crutch of Induction out from under Old Man Science (at least any older than a few thousand years ago).

Every junior presupper knows that page one or two of the TAG playbook tells the Christian to attack the materialist on the Problem of Induction. For the Christian agrees with Bertrand Russell that “without this principle [Induction], science is impossible,” and with Paul Davies that “You couldn’t be a scientist if you thought the universe was a meaningless jumble of odds and ends haphazardly juxtaposed.” But although the Christian disagrees with the materialist about why science is possible, the Christian affirms that science is, in fact, possible!

If Hays et al are right, then ICR and AiG should close up shop, because without UN and Induction, there is no hope to discover any scientific YEC interpretation of ancient-appearing phenomena from astronomy, geology, paleontology, etc. The only possible answer is “God changed the rules; appearance of age. Move along, nothing to see here.”

And still, even if Hays is right, the implications for secular science are negligible. At most, every research paper would need to carry a footnote with the caveat, “This paper details observations, and conclusions from those observations which are dependent on the Uniformity of Nature and the validity of Induction over the time span relevant to the observations.” And doesn’t every result over millenia of science implicitly carry that disclaimer already anyways?

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136 Responses

  1. My Bahnsen “quote” is just a paraphrase from memory. If anybody can lay their hands on an exact quote, paste it into a comment, and I’ll be glad to update the post.

    Ironically, Bahnsen was a 6-dayer. Anybody know if he ever dealt with the relationship between UN/Induction and the YEC camp’s felt need to justify themselves scientifically?

  2. Great post Rube. Fantastic.

  3. Thank you for the invitation. I will certainly weigh in. I owe some responses elsewhere first.

  4. Great post, as usual.

  5. Rube,
    Wonderful. Very well done.

    Bahnsen was a 6-24 hour guy? Really? So he had the beginning and the end wrong.

  6. Rube,

    1) I’ll try to get the exact quote later – you’ve mixed a few quotes together.

    2) Hays is a scientific anti-realist. You’re gonna run out of ammo real quick if you tangle horns with him; especially considering your admitted ignorance on that topic.

    3) Hay’s main defense of YEC is *exegetical.* Surely you must agree that if the Bible says that X, then ~X cannot be true.

    4) I didn’t see how he denied induction. That part wasn’t clear to me. If it is true that, say, the speed of light isn’t constant, then how does this deny induction? If it is, say, gettings lower at a specific rate then this would seem to fit just fine with induction. if its decile was *part of* the original design plan, then it fits in just fine with onduction. A wind up toy may slow towards the end of its cycle. This doesn’t deny induction. Seems to be you begged some major questions.

  7. Please make sure the world understands that to accept Young Earth Creationism, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature

    Just a quick question — how do you, RubeRad, reconcile the miracles in Scripture (water -> wine, Red Sea parting, sun standing still) with the Uniformity of Nature?

    You wouldn’t say that to accept Christianity, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature. So how would you put it?

    Not an attack, just collecting information.

  8. Bahnsen was a 6-24 hour guy? Really? So he had the beginning and the end wrong.

    Almost laughed out loud on that one.

  9. Miracles are the result of God’s intervention, and are thus indeed examples of non-Uniformity of nature. Another significant non-Uniformity of Nature is the origin of life from non-living material. From here, I say

    once agreement on the Uniformity of Nature is agreed upon, the problem becomes to explain the Non-Uniformity of Nature (NUN?): given a godless, mechanically-dependable, uniform nature, how to explain organization, creativity, apparent design/purpose in the universe, the appearance of life from non-life, etc.

    But my point is, if the answer is going to be “the laws of nature just aren’t what they used to be”, then there is no point in YEC engaging in science at all, and the best secular science could (and should) do is proceed on the assumption that UN and Induction hold now as always, and report how their observations show a universe and an earth and fossils that are millions/billions of years old.

    And this takes me back to the old standard of, “Why would God deceive us like that?”

  10. Wacky, the changing speed-of-light hypothesis has had its chance, and it just doesn’t fly. As I see it, there remain three possibilities:

    1. The speed of life is an invariant constant, and has been since God established it at the beginning of time (billions of years ago)

    2. The speed of light is changing, but at a rate slower than we can detect, which means that it has remained within, say 1% of its current speed over the past billion years (which doesn’t give room for YEC)

    3. The speed of light has undergone (is undergoing?) drastic changes, but because everything else changes in parallel (to establish appearance of age in a short time), we cannot in principle detect the change. I.e. if God wants the universe to “appear” old, he is not going to allow mortals to peek behind the curtain of his illusion.

    Which reminds me of this other Hays tidbit:

    Suppose that the world was made at an accelerated pace—say, in six straight days. Would it look old or new? Would it appear different than if it happened in the normal amount of time it takes to run through the life-cycle of a star or galaxy or mountain chain? Unbelievers often dismiss this approach as sleight-of-hand.

    This believer also dissmisses this approach as a cop-out. I don’t see any meaningful distinction between “God sped up time so that billions of years fit within 6 ‘days’ with evenings and mornings” and “God created the universe over billions of years, and figuratively named the epochs of his creation ‘6 days’ with evenings and mornings.” Those are equivalent ways to express day-age.

  11. Almost laughed out loud on that one.

    It’s the internets, dad! Nobody knows you’re a dog — or that you didn’t actually laugh out loud. Live large, and just say ROFLMAO!

  12. Please make sure the world understands that to accept Young Earth Creationism, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature

    Miracles are the result of God’s intervention, and are thus indeed examples of non-Uniformity of nature.

    Does acceptance of miracles constitute denial of the Uniformity of Nature?

    What is Uniformity of Nature if it is not uniform? In other words, how do you, RubeRad, reconcile non-Uniformity with Uniformity?

    Another significant non-Uniformity of Nature is the origin of life from non-living material.

    Do you consider the origin of life from non-living material a miracle?

    Do you consider the origin of matter ex nihilo a miracle?

    Sorry to pester, RubeRad. Better that I ask than to (mis)guess your answers and prepare an off-target response. You’ve already surprised me.

  13. I purposely avoided the canonical LOL for nearly the same reason I don’t have a cell phone and have never seen a single episode of Seinfeld.

    Somehow acronyms like FWIW and IMO etc. – which I have used – don’t seen to taint me in the way that some of the others do.

  14. Rube,

    Regarding the OP, I don’t see how they deny induction. You’ve not proven that point, yet, IMO. We could debate the other issues, but that would detract. If the “mature creation hypothesis” is correct, then “science’ isn’t allowed to render a judgment here since the even is not repeatable, testable, empirically verifiable, etc. At this point the only rebuttal has been “I dismiss this as a copout” or, some may say, “This makes God a deceiver. A liar.” And of course one doesn;t need a Ph.D. to see that these aren’t very cogent responses. So, my only purpose here is to see how you think you’re proving your conclusion.

    (And, as an aside, miracles are not “examples of non-Uniformity of nature.” I also don’t view things in the non-reformed way, viz., “God is intervening into what would run just fine without his intervention.” Providence governs all. Miracles are extraordinary providence. That is, God goes outside of his *normal* governance of His universe.

    Here’s a response I gave to someone else on this issue:

    “i) This is God’s world, it’s no ‘violation’ for him to do has he pleases.

    ii) What is a “law of nature?”

    a) The ultimate principle that governs the world? That’s the decrees of God. In this sense natural laws are never broken.

    b) The regular processes by which God usually governs creation? These are those regularities in the natural world we see. God’s normal SOP. In this sense, natural laws would be, in some cases, made exception to. but not always since God dried up the sea by a “strong east wind.” That’s a “natural” event. And, ‘usual’ is a matter of degree.

    c) Human expectations concerning the workings of nature? Well, on this sense since one’s “expectations” is somewhat subjective, an exception to natural law is something essentially subjective. And, I think Hume (and those like him) are trying to make a metaphysical point.

    d) The basic created structure of the universe? This is probably closest to Hume’s. It’s not the first, and the second and third can be too subjective. This seems to assume that ‘natural law’ is some kind of mechanism, and God suspends this mechanism. I reject this view for a few reasons:

    1) Scripture doesn’t define miracle this way.

    2) I don’t know if there are any natural laws in this sense. It’s more deistic. On my view, God governs all events, even the number of hairs on our head. God brings the wind, rain, snow, and the fog, says Scripture.

    3) Even if there are these laws, no one knows for sure what they are. How would the Biblical writers, less knowledgeable than people of today, known when to call something a miracle? And, since we don’t know enough, they might be ‘violations’ of natural law in the same sense that an airplane ‘violates’ the law of gravity. I don’t take this view, but I’m just saying that a lot would have to be known to even claim a ‘violation’ has occurred.

    4) Scripture even says that “natural phenomena” are used to bring about miracles. The parting of the red sea was by a “strong east wind.” Surely a very strong wind could do things like this.

    iii) So, I call a miracle an event caused by God’s power for the purpose of attesting his word of prophets, or making his name known, so extraordinary that we would usually consider them impossible, or extremely unlikely.

    The above was a summary of a subsection on Natural Law in John Frame’s chapter on miracles in his excellent book, The Doctrine of God. Refer to that book for a more detailed look at a reformed concept of miracles, pgs. 241-273.

    Laws of nature are not “absolute.” So they don’t require the notion of holding every cotton pickin’ instance; you’ll pardon the non-scientific language there! :-) Even atheist philosopher Michael Martin doesn’t think the ‘laws’ are ‘absolute.’ Says Martin,

    “Frame has argued correctly that science does not presuppose the absolute uniformity of nature, but I do not suppose that it does.” – Michael Martin)

    Anyway, other than getting cheers from the anti-Bahnsen crowd, it’s not clear to me how you think you’ve established your main contention in this thread.

  15. Rube,

    If the White Hole Cosmology theory was workable or true, then why would this induction argument be a problem for YEC’s?

    And as a side note, why is pushing so hard on this subject seemingly so important to you? Are you embarrassed by your YEC brethren? It seems like this is just another issue that could contribute to ‘weaker’ brethren to doubt scripture. I don’t really see the fruit of arguing to make the Bible fit into ‘scientific’ views, especially since history has shown science to constantly have to change its theories and admit it was wrong. Okay, mini-rant over.

    Kazoo

  16. Just so my stance is clear. I’m not even necessarily defending YEC (though some of that is involved in what I’m doing), I’m critiquing the elitist attitude some have here, so it seems to me. As if YEC was an irrational and unreasonable position to hold. That it’s just “obvious” that they are wrong. I have also proven, and none has responded or contradicted what I argued, that “science” laughs just as much at OEC creationists as they do YEC creationists. It’s not like you guys are more respected by the unbelieving community. It’s not like, as was intimated, *now* we can convert people to Jesus becausethe world will see that we believe in “billions and billions” of years – in the words of The Dawkins.

  17. Kaz,

    I just heard a lecture by E. Calvin Beisner two nights ago (he’s no friend of the FV, as we know!), and he mentioned how two cosmological models had fallen out of popularity just this last century, and the big bang theory is facing heavy attack by the multi-verse guys – thuis it may be on its way out too.

    Scientific theories change, the word of the Lord stands forever.

    Anyway, Rube shouldn’t be embarrassed by us. In fact, if he wnet into the science department at almost any major university and told them that he believes that a donkey struck up a conversation with some dude, or that a burning bush talked to someone, or that axe heads flew around without strings, or that an invisible being “spoke” and “made everything” just like a magician says “abracadabra,” they’d laugh him right out of their department and he’d be standing next to his YEC brother with a dunce cap on.

  18. why is pushing so hard on this subject seemingly so important to you? Are you embarrassed by your YEC brethren?

    I don’t mind the pushing. Let’s work it out. :-) (I just can’t always keep up due to time constraints.)

  19. A mature creation theory cannot be disproved by present or future observations. It is also not illogical, and thus not contrary to reason. It is not empiricaly or logically able to be disproved. It is furthermore consistent with all the facts of our experience, i.e., it can explain all the data.

    Indeed, since Rube allows for miracles, and doesn’t think they are arguements against induction, it appears to me that he actually has *ntohing* here by way of argument that cannot be argued against himself. He is committing a self-excepting fallacy.

  20. Wacky, I always enjoy your comments. Good stuff.

    I have another question for Rube, if God made Adam from the dust, is this just another analogy speaking? Did He maybe form an egg first and providentially make it grow up into a full grown man, and then maybe he breathed him into a living soul? If not, and he just created a full grown man from the dust, how old did Adam seem to be? Same with Eve being made from Adam’s rib.

    I would really like to know your thoughts on this event.

    Kazoo

  21. Does Rube think Adam had a belly button?

    If so, was God a “liar” since if we saw him he would have appeared to have had an umbilical cord.

    What would modern science have concluded about Adam?

    :-D

  22. One wonders:

    1) What evidence or conceptual distinctions underwrites the dubious assumption (the crucial assumption for Rube) that “general revelation” = “interpretations of the world by contemporary scientists.” That’s been an unargued bias here.

    2) Creation ex-nihilo commits one, it seems, to the creation of some things that would have the appearance of age. For example, suppose a science team could travel back to one minute after the creation of the first thing, or couple of things, God created. What would they conclude?

    3) Was the wine Jesus created for his first miracle a “good wine?” Seems so. Would the science and evidence for good wine via the connoisseurs proclaim that his wine could be no less that 10 years old?

    4) How about the fish and loaves of bread? Would “science” demand that they weren’t created instantaneously since they were fully grown fish?

    5) Seems to me I’ve stale-mated Rube. Rendered impotent all his arguments for OEC. He can say, “Okay, that’s fine given the miraculous. To which I respond: Exactly, and what do you think creation was if not nothing short of miraculous. Of course Rube could start affirming theistic evolution, at which he only needs the creation of some particles and a swamp, and then the rest follows by means of evolutionary progress. But at that point we’ve seen the slippery slope claim another victim which wishes to ski down it.

  23. Whoa! I step into the garage for a few hours to exercise my creational dominion over some trees, and this place explodes!

  24. It seems like this is just another issue that could contribute to ‘weaker’ brethren to doubt scripture

    It would seem that you consider the “weaker” brother to be one who chooses science over Genesis. I’m more concerned with one who sees an old universe, and is too weak to hold any tension, so he chucks the whole Bible altogether.

  25. What’s your beef, that God sometimes chooses to act in what we call miraculous ways, and sometimes in ‘ordinary’ ways? To my mind, it’s all miraculous. The very act of ex nihilo creation is by definition a miracle. So what? We’re arguing about the mechanism He used. That’s His business and makes no difference to the real purpose of creation.

    What evidence or conceptual distinctions underwrites the dubious assumption (the crucial assumption for Rube) that “general revelation” = “interpretations of the world by contemporary scientists.”

    No one has made that point and you’re making an assumption that someone here holds that view. Apologetics Info provides several traits of general revelation, only one of which is that God is revealed in nature. A more proper understanding is that science is the observation of nature. God’s hand may be revealed to a scientist through his observation of nature, or that scientist may choose not to see it. That doesn’t change science or nature — or God, for that matter.

    The OEC/YEC ‘debate’ is arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Is the purpose to show ourselves to be giants who can baffle each other with sparkling bits of rhetorical wisdom?

    It’s an interesting discussion, but it ain’t the Gospel. As I’ve said before, it can hurt our presentation of the Gospel when we use faulty logic (or faulty science) to argue someone into the kingdom.

  26. Do you consider the origin of life from non-living material a miracle? Do you consider the origin of matter ex nihilo a miracle?

    Of course! And guess what — the occurrence of both of these miracles is confirmed for us by observing nature. What is the Big Bang but ex nihilo? And science can’t make life from non-life in the lab by concerted effort, and much less can they explain how it arose by chance.

    Does Rube think Adam had a belly button?

    No. Nor scars, nor wrinkles, nor memories, unless…

    Did He maybe form an egg first and providentially make it grow up into a full grown man, and then maybe he breathed him into a living soul?

    Maybe. The Bible is silent. Even in a literal 6×24 scenario, he could have created an egg from dust, fertilized it by the Holy Spirit, and then caused Adam to grow to adulthood (Jewish bar mitzvah age of 13? Priestly min. age of 30?) in X seconds/minutes/hours. Note that the second Adam developed from conception, rather than appearing instantaneously on the scene as a full-grown messiah. (And if we can’t make inferences from the 2nd Adam back to the 1st, then we can’t even understand the Covenant of Works!)

  27. A mature creation theory cannot be disproved by present or future observations.

    It is equivalent that a mature creation theory cannot be proved by present or future observations (no more than it can be conclusively proved that you or I or the entire universe existed 5 minutes ago). So why do ICR and AiG exist? If God created the universe with the appearance of age, what kind of blasphemy is it to expect to be able to reveal what God has hidden, and show scientifically that the world is actually only thousands of years old?

  28. Rube,

    It would seem that you consider the “weaker” brother to be one who chooses science over Genesis. I’m more concerned with one who sees an old universe, and is too weak to hold any tension, so he chucks the whole Bible altogether.

    No, that’s not what I consider the weaker. I don’t accept the idea that science and Genesis contradict one another. (Unless you mean modern atheistic old earth science).

    I mean a person other than you or me. Maybe a new convert. Actually, someone like you describe here.

    Kazoo

  29. “No. Nor scars, nor wrinkles, nor memories, unless…”

    Nor hair over 1 second day growth! ;-) No hair on head, face (including eyebrows), chest, or genitals. If he did have said hair, that would be have the appearance of age.

    Also, I don’t regard the belly button, or wrinkles, or scars as intrinsically evil. Indeed, Jesus bore them in his glorified body. Probably wrinkles too. I see no reason to deny them to Adam if our Lord could posses them.

    “It is equivalent that a mature creation theory cannot be proved by present or future observations (no more than it can be conclusively proved that you or I or the entire universe existed 5 minutes ago). So why do ICR and AiG exist? If God created the universe with the appearance of age, what kind of blasphemy is it to expect to be able to reveal what God has hidden, and show scientifically that the world is actually only thousands of years old?”

    Fraind points are missed:

    1) No one is talking about *conclusive* proof.

    2) I deny the “appearance of age” assumption. That’s a relative assumption. Indeed, it’s close to begging the question. I agree that given certain non-scientific *interpretations* of the universe it has the appearance of age.

    3) You are, again, and without proof, assuming that there are *no* empirical arguments for a young earth. So, you beg the question again.

    4) What “scientific” evidence could have been proffered for the fish and bread Jesus instantaneously created being “second old?” WHat kind of blasphemy is it to think we could not have discovered this by means of empirical investigation.

    5) Rube dusts off the old “5 minute old” argument and tries to reason by parity.

    i) The case for a young earth is based on more than philosophical *possibility.*

    ii) For example, adherents think that it is at least grounded upon the testimony of the LORD. For example, Genesis tells us that animals were created as *kinds,* thus undercutting theistic evolution. But, one could still argue for the philosophical *possibility* of theistic evolution.

  30. Also, I don’t regard the belly button, or wrinkles, or scars as intrinsically evil. Indeed, Jesus bore them in his glorified body. Probably wrinkles too. I see no reason to deny them to Adam if our Lord could posses them.

    Who said they were evil? They are no more evil than memories and personal history. But Jesus earned his (in particular the belly-button, having spent 40 weeks in the wilderness of an earthly mother’s womb); a newly-created mature-appearing Adam would not have.

  31. I don’t accept the idea that science and Genesis contradict one another.

    To the extent that God used “appearance of age” (or “mature creation”, if we’re calling it that now), science will not be able to penetrate the old appearance to see the true youth, and Genesis and science will contradict each other.

  32. I thought you denied it because it was pre-fall. Now I see that you simply deny it based on conjecture.

    It is dubious, at best, to deny Adam wrinkles et al and not hair and a stature of 6 ft., or so.

    Did Adam have a deep voice? That is “earned” through puberty. Could he acheive an erection? That is also something “earned” through time.

    Did it take Adam a year or so to be able to walk? If not, how did he “learn” balance and everything else needed.

    Perhaps Adam, like the rest of creation, had these things created too? For example, the light “from” stars was als *created* in an immediate way, already en route.

    Anyway, I think at this point the original arguments have been nullified. It’s now a matter of presuppositions, and not “science.”

  33. To the extent that God used “appearance of age” (or “mature creation”, if we’re calling it that now), science will not be able to penetrate the old appearance to see the true youth, and Genesis and science will contradict each other.”

    How does an “mature” Adam not “contradict” science?

    God didn’t use “appearance of age,” that’s a relative concept. Relative to certain humans and their conceptual schemes.

    I never knew there was such a thing as “science.” Indeed, many scientists will say that Gensis contradicts science for myriad reasons not even having to do with YEC.

    So, you’re in the same boat. You keep excepting yourself from your own arguments.

  34. Rube,

    I seen this post on the WordPress dashboard when I logged in a few minutes ago. Pretty cool.

    Mike S

  35. RubeRad: Well then, step up to the microphone! Please make sure the world understands that to accept Young Earth Creationism, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature

    RubeRad: Miracles are the result of God’s intervention, and are thus indeed examples of non-Uniformity of nature. Another significant non-Uniformity of Nature is the origin of life from non-living material.

    the forester: Do you consider the origin of life from non-living material a miracle? Do you consider the origin of matter ex nihilo a miracle?
    RubeRad: Of course!

    I’m not clear on why I should step up to the microphone to deny the Uniformity of Nature when you’ve already done so yourself: “Nature is uniform, except when it’s not” (paraphrased). What is uniformity if not uniform?

    Your denial of the Uniformity of Nature is trivial compared to your denial of the foundation of the Laws of Logic. You insist both Uniformity and non-Uniformity, which is no different from insisting both “A” and “not A.”

    And guess what — the occurrence of both of these miracles is confirmed for us by observing nature.

    You’re suggesting that exceptions to the Uniformity of Nature are permissible as long as science confirms them.

    No team of scientists confirmed the chemical composition of the water before the Cana wedding, then the chemical composition of the wine afterward. Many miracles in the Bible cannot be confirmed by observing nature — yet I doubt you would conclude we must reduce them to crafty sleights of hand or freaks of weather that abided by the Uniformity of Nature.

    In this paragraph you’ve got an intriguing point, and I mean to make a full response:

    If Hays et al are right, then ICR and AiG should close up shop, because without UN and Induction, there is no hope to discover any scientific YEC interpretation of ancient-appearing phenomena from astronomy, geology, paleontology, etc. The only possible answer is “God changed the rules; appearance of age. Move along, nothing to see here.”

    One aspect of this I hadn’t thought of before, and will be agreeing with. Another part I will dispute, offering a more reasonable solution.

    Before writing my response, though, I’d like to know why you can make exceptions to the Uniformity of Nature for scientifically unobservable miracles, but I cannot.

    Maybe you’ve got an ace in your hand I don’t know about. In that case I implore you to play it before I Mountain Dew myself into another late-night writing session, all for naught!

  36. No team of scientists confirmed the chemical composition of the water before the Cana wedding, then the chemical composition of the wine afterward.

    No scientists, true, but there were regular joes there who all knew the jars started out full of water (they knew that all they filled them up with was water), and ended up as wine.

    What I’m saying is that, when God does a miracle, it will not be possible for anyone to honestly, reasonably, claim “I observed that that miracle didn’t happen.” The Pharisees tried to deny the resurrection by paying soldiers to lie — that was dishonest. Suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

    We know today of “faith healers” that are charlatans, using actors to pretend to get healed. It’s possible for someone to produce observations demonstrating that the miracle did not happen as represented.

    But for any healing God actually did, there will be no such possibility for authentic empirical evidence to contradict that it happened. Given God’s sovereignty, that would be for God to detract from his own glory with truthful evidence to the contrary.

    Maybe it’s an abuse of terminology, but I guess what I mean by UN and Induction is something like the Perspicuity of General Revelation. When God does miracles, I don’t expect him to cover them up and make it look like he did something else.

    Before writing my response, though, I’d like to know why you can make exceptions to the Uniformity of Nature for scientifically unobservable miracles, but I cannot.

    What are you calling a scientifically unobservable miracle? We can see, right now, God’s miracle of creation, in the state that it was billions of years ago. With electromagnetic radiation traveling from the event to the observer, it is no different than seeing events in front of my face that happened nanoseconds ago, or seeing the sun from 8 minutes ago. Geological and paleontological evidence is less direct; somewhat less than a photograph of a past even that requires interpretation, but nonetheless, it is analogous to a photograph of events that actually happened, not an animated fictional tale.

    As for a card up my sleeve, I dunno; I have an incomplete draft entitled “Because it had not rained.” I’ve been waiting until I finished reading the Genesis Debate book, to see if there are any obvious refutations of Kline’s argument before sticking my neck out. I finally finished the book this afternoon. I’m also planning a post titled “Not very good.”

  37. Rube,

    “What I’m saying is that, when God does a miracle, it will not be possible for anyone to honestly, reasonably, claim “I observed that that miracle didn’t happen.”

    here’s a whole host of terms there that could be debated vigorously. For example, one’s notion of “reasonable.” There’s hundreds of gallons of ink spilled just on this debate alone.

    Anyway, I think you’re missing two points about miracles:

    1) Right in front of the *risen* Lord: “Matt 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

    2) Miracles, by definition, and the reformed have almost unanimously held this view, are *revelatory.* They are supposed to *reveal* things about God, his plan, his disposition, etc. These are not things science can infer from observation *alone.* Theological *presuppositions* must be had in order for it to be accepted. As C.S. Lewis correctly claims, “the debate about whether the supernatural is *possible* must be settled first, before we can settle the question of whether a miracle occurred.

    Indeed, this is why Kai Neilson, in his debate with resurrection specialist J.P. Moreland, said of Moreland’s rather convincing arguments: “Okay, even if you have proven by good historical standards that Jesus rose from the dead, what you haven’t, and what you can’t prove by the scientific standards, is that a *miracle* took place. That is, you haven’t proved that “he was raised by God for our justification before the father and a demonstration of the foolishness of the powers of death and the devil. Al you’ve proven is that a man who was once dead, came back to life. Perhaps there’s a scientific explanation for that. After all, in a improbable universe, stranger things have happened.”

    So, I’ve shown that people did deny that the miracle happened (and my hunch is that your use of “reasonable” will beg the question since reasonableness is a function of your more basic presuppositions), and I’ve also shown that they might not deny the observation, but they would deny its *miraculous* nature.

    See, mere *empirical* observation may determine or falsify a belief for us, but the kicker is that what belief is generated or falsified is underdetermined by the empirical evidence.

    In the philosophy of science this phenomena is known as the position that all observation is theory laden. It seems to me that Rube’s arguments here presuppose (though he may not be self-consciously aware) that “facts” are neutral, and that empirical evidence demands we believe what said evidence points to. The Bible denies this naïve assumption. Jesus says to those who think seeing miracles performed will lead to belief in God that, “’If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:31).

    This point can be made using a pagan illustration. Imagine an ancient Greek, Apollinaris. He believes both (a) that Apollo is a god and that (b) all gods are immortal. Now, image that Apollinaris sees a great battle take place. During this battle, Apollinaris sees Apollo die. And so the question is, which belief does Apollinaris give up? (a) or (b)? Well, depending on which belief he was more committed to, he could give up either. The Bible recognizes this fact. And so when people are witness to Jesus’ miracles and teachings, they might give up the belief that “this is the Messiah,” instead forming the belief that “this man is demon possessed” (e.g., John 7:20; John 8:48-52; John 10:20-21). Or, some might give up the belief that Jesus fulfilled of the prophecy regarding Jesus’ silence before his accusers (Isa. 53:7; Matt. 27:12-14), and hold on to the belief that Jesus was a weak man, not worthy of fulfilling the role of a strong, warrior messiah.

    So again, I’d just like to reiterate the point that Ruben’s arguments do seem a bit naive (this isn’t meant to be a pejorative). There are so many philosophical assumptions that need to be cleared up first. I don’t see Ruben being able to overcome many of the objections, or becoming conversant enough in them (at least *now,* he’d need further study, but don’t we all!, especially me) to properly defeat YEC and defend his own position.

  38. As for a card up my sleeve, I dunno; I have an incomplete draft entitled “Because it had not rained.” I’ve been waiting until I finished reading the Genesis Debate book, to see if there are any obvious refutations of Kline’s argument before sticking my neck out.

    There’s quite a few actually. Of the many is a book length treatment of just that one verse, and Kline’s interpretation, by Ken Gentry and Michael Butler. Then, there’s the majority of respected commentators on Genesis as well.

    But, let’s wait until the neck comes out before we get ourselves a Thanksgiving turkey! ;-)

  39. So again, I’d just like to reiterate the point that Ruben’s arguments do seem a bit naive (this isn’t meant to be a pejorative). There are so many philosophical assumptions that need to be cleared up first. I don’t see Ruben being able to overcome many of the objections, or becoming conversant enough in them (at least *now,* he’d need further study, but don’t we all!, especially me) to properly defeat YEC and defend his own position.

    Is this helpful?

    Let the discussion unfold as it may. We all have much to learn from each other — and I, for one, look forward to subjecting my thoughts to a thorough vetting. I hope for nothing less than an all-out gauntlet.

  40. Forester,

    I even explicitly stated that I was not using those terms in a pejorative way. I don’t understand your comment. Not letting my explicit statements speak for themselves isn’t helpful. I don’t think I’ve been rude or mean or jerkish in any of my comments. This *despite* the initmated comments that 6-day guys are ignorant fundy hicks, that we have caused people to leave Christianity, etc. Yet no one says anything then. Perhaps I’ll have to run off again because I just can’t seem to get a break here. Always geting judged for being a big meany.

    Anyway, the carefull reader will not that not only did I say that I didn’t mean my words to be taken pejoratively, I even directed my claim of naivety to Ruben’s *arguments.*

    FWIW, I ask forgiveness if I offended Ruben.

  41. Sorry, Wacky Fundamentalist, I don’t mean to run you off. You contributed a point earlier that I value and will be using going forward. I appreciate your perspective.

    I’ve done some dishing out myself from time to time, to my regret. So I shouldn’t be one to judge. But I know RubeRad personally, and naive isn’t a word that fits him. I couldn’t help bristling on his behalf.

    Please stick around. I’m sure to get stuck in some rough spots and will need a helping hand.

    But, let’s wait until the neck comes out before we get ourselves a Thanksgiving turkey! ;-)

    Odds are, before this is over I’ll serve myself up as quite a meal at least once!

  42. But I know RubeRad personally, and naive isn’t a word that fits him. I couldn’t help bristling on his behalf.

    i) I’ve known Rube for, I think, ’round 25 years.

    ii) Rube should have no problem admitting that in some areas he is naive. I am. We all are. That’s why guys go on to *specialize* in areas. Kline may be an OT expert, and AN expert, but I bet he’s (was) naive when it comes to, say, the concept of ‘defeaters’ in epistemology. There’s rebutting defeaters, undercutting defeaters, defeater-defeaters, back dorr defeaters, internal/external defeaters, etc., etc., etc.

    iii) I called Ruben’s *argument* naive. Not Ruben qua rational anthropod.

    iv) I have no problem with Rube being OEC. I don’t think it’s heretical. I don’t think he’s one step away from denying innerancy, I don’t think he should be ridiculed, etc. I don’t think we should divide over it.

  43. I meant that Kline was an “ANE” expert, not an “AN” expert.

  44. Thx guys, I feel the love. Can’t really interact from work today though…

  45. Rube,

    one of my posts has been trapped in cyber world for over a day now. I offered some links in there. [RR: Freed!]

  46. Some good critiques (and some mere comments) of Framework:

    1) V.S. Poythress (who is not YEC, and who also studied directly under, and then was a professional colleague of, M.G. Kline) evaluates it in his book Redeeming Science, Crossway Books 206, pp. 341-45.)

    2) Derek Kidner’s commentary on Genesis (see esp. comments on Gen. 2).

    3) C John Collins touted, and very nice (overall, for many purposes) “linguistic, literary, and theological” commentary on Gen. 1-4.

    4) A summary of Butler’s contribution to the book “Yeah, Hath God Said?”:
    http://butler-harris.org/archives/114

    5) http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/framework-interpretation-critique-part-one

    6) http://www.oldtestamentstudies.org/writings-articles-old-testament/creationism/literal-days-creation-week.php

    7) http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/Framework.pdf

    8) http://www.creationontheweb.com/images/pdfs/tj/j11_1/106-110genesis.pdf

    9) http://www.pressiechurch.org/Theol_2/From_chaos_to_cosmos.htm

    10) The reports of the majority of *OT* scholars. I recall that my friend, ex-WSC prof, and OT *specialist*, Ian Duguid, was one of the only remaining members at WSC who was not Framework. He had some pretty good critiques of that view (told in person) , but never published them out of charity – perhaps he’ll make some available now. But the point, why is it that being a specialist in the *OT* will decrease your chances of becoming framework? Anyway, that’s juts a point Duguid pointed out.

    11) My friend who pastors a church in Texas said, “I believe it is error, mostly because it militates against the perspicuity of Scripture (considering most PhDs can’t explain it). I cite that because I think it is funny.

    12) A main basis for accepting and formulating the theory is based on weak thinking, one any philosopher worth his salt could tear apart. Kline says,

    Our conclusion is then that the more traditional interpretations of the creation account are guilty not only of creating a conflict between the Bible and science but, in effect, of pitting Scripture against Scripture. The true harmony of Genesis 1 and Gen. 2:5 appears, however, and the false conflict between the Bible and science disappears, when we recognize that the creation “week is a lower register metaphor for God’s upper register creation-time and that the sequence of the “days is ordered not chronologically but thematically.

    47 In this article I have advocated an interpretation of biblical cosmogony according to which Scripture is open to the current scientific view of a very old universe and, in that respect, does not discountenance the theory of the evolutionary origin of man. But while I regard the widespread insistence on a young earth to be a deplorable disservice to the cause of biblical truth, I at the same time deem commitment to the authority of scriptural teaching to involve the acceptance of Adam as an historical individual, the covenantal head and ancestral fount of the rest of mankind, and the recognition that it was the one and same divine act that constituted him the first man, Adam the son of God (Luke 3:38), that also imparted to him life (Gen. 2:7).

    This is exactly why Warfield didn’t deny theistic evolution. He couldn’t contradict the “contemporary consensus of the world offered by scientists.” Anyway, if I’ve done one thing in these threads it’s to undermine the whole “contemporary science” point that drives many framework guys.

    I also find their position arbitrary. I see no reason why a *consistent* framework guy couldn’t deny the *literal* Adam and the *literal* fall.

    13 Okay, I’ll stop for now.

  47. “most PhDs can’t explain it”

    Nor can most PhD’s answer legitimate objections to the univocal 6-24 view from the text.

  48. thx for the lnx Wacky. Of course, I’ll never be able to chase them all down — much less read them all. I also have the objections of Messrs Duncan and Hall in the Genesis Debate book, that sparked all my current thoughts on this topic. Unfortunately, D&H’s rebuttal seems to me to amount to “Did Not!”

    I am most intrigued by the Poythress perspective. Dad, can you fetch me that from the WSCAL library some time?

    My friend who pastors a church in Texas

    Hey, I have a friend who pastors a church in Texas! But I can’t see him using the term “perspecuity”…

    If I’ve done one thing in these threads it’s to undermine the whole “contemporary science” point

    Not so’s my certainty in an old universe has been undermined at all. To the extent that your anti-realist arguments (as you admit) also prop up geocentric and even flat-earth worldviews, I grow very unimpressed. What I want to see is an argument that shows why theologians who resisted the heliocentric model were WRONG where theologians who are clinging to 6×24 are somehow different. What you’re giving me is “if you’re clever enough, any worldview is justifiable”

  49. Rube,

    Two things for you. I say “for you” because my arguments don’t get answered.

    1. 6-24 entails flat earth as described in Gen 1.

    2. Perspecuity of Scripture doesn’t mean a 5 year old can understand it at first glance when just beginning to read. Anyone that thinks apocalyptic literature is easy to figure out is fooling themselves. Perspecuity means that what is necessary to be understood for salvation is abundantly clear in the Scriptures.

    E

  50. What I want to see is an argument that shows why theologians who resisted the heliocentric model were WRONG where theologians who are clinging to 6×24 are somehow different.

    Yes, absolutely! I’m having trouble finding time to stay in this, but you’re right, this is critical.

  51. I) I find it funny that the one point of mine getting the most attention is the one I labeled “FUNNY.” I even gave the reason I cited it: “Because I think it is funny.” I certainly didn’t think it had any argumentative weight. Anyway, I guess when one’s position is weak they need to attack the admitted weaker points of their interlocutor. :-)

    On a serious note, my friend is a respected pastor, why is he mocked by Rube and Echo? He is good friends with Pipa and Guy Waters. Served as an elder at their churches. He graduated from RTS Jackson. He’s not some dummy and so why would you guys act as if he doesn’t know what “perspicuity” means? No one mentioned a “5 year old.” The evidence and prima facie case for 6 day creationism, the majority of literal days when ordinals and the phrase “evening and morning” are used, the existence of structures like Gen. 1-2 yet still maintaining a chronological order, the reference to the Sabbath, etc., seek to support the perspicuity argument. Indeed, Kline has even admitted that his position is not even explicitly found or argued in the text!

    II)

    To the extent that your anti-realist arguments (as you admit) also prop up geocentric and even flat-earth worldviews, I grow very unimpressed.

    i) I have not given even one anti-realist argument. I cited that as a philosophical position you may have to wrestle with.

    ii) I also never admitted that anti-realism “props up” those two positions. And you can’t cite me saying that. Byl doesn’t argue for geocentrism given anti-realism, though he is an anti-realist.

    iii) Anti-realism is a respected position in the philosophy of science – so says Moreland, Pothers, Frame, and a whole host of secular guys. But I guess it’s okay to sound like an ignorant fundy here. ;-)

    iv) Even if what you said were correct, an argument from consequences that you don’t like is notoriously fallacious. Sounds to me like an argument I once heard an atheist use: “To the extent that your view of Christianity allows for men to suffer for an eternity in hell, I grow very unimpressed. ” Or, “To the extent that your Bible teaches about a talking donkey, I grow very unimpressed.”

    III)

    ” What I want to see is an argument that shows why theologians who resisted the heliocentric model were WRONG where theologians who are clinging to 6×24 are somehow different. “

    Apparently the above is “critical.” Well, says The Forester. And, Rube brought it up, and he’s a sharp guy, so this point must be a critical one. I, for one, find it vague and ambiguous and so as is my want I’ll have to offer some analysis of the claim so we can see precisely what weight it is attempting to carry. So, let’s work through this and see if we can’t prove an answer (actually, there are many answers given the multifarious ways we can take Rube’s claim).

    By way of response:

    i) How should we understand the term “WRONG” that Rube is employing? Let’s look at this:

    a) it could mean “immoral.” If so, we’d need to see precise arguments for this claim. Perhaps someone means that one is immoral if they contradict the scientific consensus of the times? If so, then Rube and myself are “WRONG” for denying evolution. Also, it would have to be true that heliocentrism was the consensus of the learned community back then. If it wasn’t, then they weren’t even “WRONG.” (More on that below.) So if this is how we are to take it, maybe I can’t explain how. But so what? I’ve shown that this “argument” would be superfluous to be used against YEC.

    b) It could mean deviating from truth or fact; erroneous. But this is almost to easy to answer. Assuming that heliocentrism is the case, then the theologians were “WRONG” because they deviated from the truth. Their thoughts didn’t correspond to the real world. So, how could six-day-creation (SDC, hereafter) theologians not be “WRONG” while geocentric theologians were? Well, if what SDC states is the case, is the case, then that’s how. But this seems too simple. This can’t be what Rube meant. Or, maybe it is. Maybe he reasons thus: “The geocentrist theologians were “WRONG” and so are the SDC theologians, that is, they both deviate from the objective, settled facts of the matter.” But then assuming Rube is right, I can’t explain how SDC differs. But this only has force due to being a petitio principii.

    c) Perhaps Rube means “WRONG” in terms of “illegal.” The set of “WRONG” things here is not the same as in (a) so this answer could be different. But, do I really need to look at this one?

    d) I think maybe the best way to understand Rube is “WRONG” in the sense of not proper or usual; not in accordance with requirements or recommended practice: the wrong way to hold a golf club. But, this will take some fleshing out. So, let’s look at this option. On this reading we have something like an argument from analogy (AA). I’ll express that argument now:

    ==========

    (AA) The older theologians held a view that (they thought) was taught in Scripture. When faced with overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, and when faced with the general consensus of the scientific community, they didn’t accept these accepted methods of how to form beliefs according to the evidence, or how to act in the face of decisive evidence to the contrary, and held on (“clinging” as Ruben intimates) to a defeated view of the universe all because they had good exegetical arguments from the Bible to the contrary. It seems to be the consensus that these older theologians were wrong to deny heliocentrism. Today, we are in a similar situation. Today the SDC theologians are denying an old earth. They do so because of what they think the Bible teaches, yet they do so in the face of overwhelming and decisive evidence, not to mention almost universal agreement from the scientific community. And so the question before us is: Since the older theologians did formally the same thing, how can the SDC advocate say that the older theologian should not have “clinged” to geocentrism while at the same time saying that it is acceptable for him to cling to YEC. Proper forms of reasoning, accepted methods of consistency, etc., would seem to demand that the SDC theologian say that the older theologians were right in what they did. But, we now know that they were not right in their belief, or what they did. Since the two are sufficiently similar, the SDC theologian cannot say that the older theologian was “WRONG,” for all he did was to not live up to the proper epistemic standards, he didn’t use his mind appropriately in the sense that he denied obvious evidence and held to only what he thought the Bible taught. But the older theologian should have given up his belief. Thus SDC says that people who should give up their beliefs shouldn’t, and this is a absurd stance to hold.

    ==========

    I think this best explains the argument and places “WRONG” in its proper normative context. Let’s see if we can get around it. Since it is an argument from analogy, then relevant disanalogies are destructive to Rube’s argument. I actually think his argument is an argument from analogy, minus the analogy (and argument!). Let me note some disanalogies:

    1) The theological (exegetical) evidence for geocentrism is not even on the same planet, let alone ballpark, as the biblical evidence 6-day theologians say is in the text. I think almost any honest theologian would admit that the SDC guys can make a strong and compelling exegetical case for their position, not the same with geocentrism.

    2) What non-Christian theories hold to SDC? None that I know of (except perhaps Christian heresies such as Islam, modern day Judaism, Mormonism, etc). Conversely, many non-Christians, even the brightest minds of the time, held to geocentrism. Geocentrism was developed by Greek philosophers.

    3) Apropos (2), the majority of the evidence, at the time, was on the geocentrist side. As Kuhn and many other historians and philosophers of science point out, the observational evidence either is the same, or favored the geocentric model. For example, in the real world, heavier objects do fall faster than lighter ones. Common sense was supposed to be on the side of the geocentrists, as well as many observational evidences.

    4) The leading astronomers of the day were the Jesuits. They told Galileo that he had strengthened the case for heliocentrism, yet the question was still open and he had not clinched the case. Indeed, as all admit, the greatest astronomer of the day, Tyco Brahe, continued to support geocentrism and said Galileo’s proofs were insufficient. Even after Brahe died many astronomers would not convert to Copernicanism. That was how well respected he was. This would be like a world renowned expert on some scientific subject declaring that someone had not proven their case and that the evidence favored another theory.

    5) Apropos (4), the conceptual scheme at that time, the one accepted by almost all the “learned” men was that of Aristotelianism. This presupposition affected how men “saw” motion – that is, how they interpreted what they both saw. But, the point is that the best logical arguments of the day favored the Aristotelian conception.

    6) Apropos (5), even if Galileo had presented the strongest and undeniable of evidence, had managed to present a more logical conceptual scheme, and had not had some wrong proofs which he was using to support his theory, the scientific dogma of the day was geocentrism. Anyone conversant with the history of science and how paradigms change will know that they do not happen over night. As two great thinkers have correctly pointed out:

    “Theories have four stages of acceptance:
    i) this is worthless nonsense;
    ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view.
    iii) this is true but quite unimportant.
    iv) I always said so.”
    – J.B.S. Haldane, 1963

    “All great truths began as blasphemies”
    – George Bernard Shaw

    So, there is nothing too different here than what happens time and time again. Scientists hold on to theories and deny new theories, which happen to be correct, all the time. Thus any force Rube thinks his challenge has applies to almost all of science!

    7) What is more, Galileo was unable to explain satisfactorily how the telescope worked. Yet he expected the philosophers to overturn centuries of knowledge on the basis of this mysterious metal tube.

    8) Apropos (3) – (7), I’ve just proven that Rube should say that what the older theologians did back then was not “WRONG.”! Indeed, this reversal is quite damaging. Given his claims of how YEC guys deny the majority and accepted theories of the scientists of our time, and how this is a mark against us, then by parity of argument, and standards of consistency, Rube would be bound to agree that the church was eminently rational to deny heliocentrism given all of the factors I’ve listed. (Indeed, there are many more arguments which support my position here. But I doubt what I write here will be read, and so why bother going on for pages.)

    9) I take it that this axiom cannot be denied by an orthodox Christian:

    (*) If the Bible truly teaches X, and anyone, even the “scientific community” teaches not-X, then those who teach not-X are incorrect.

    And so if your position issupported by good exegesis, and is the most warranted view of the text, then you are allowed to hold to X, indeed, that is what is most rational. The older theologians had nothing like the exegetical arguments SDC guys have. The Catholic church had Aristotelian and Ptolemaic categories which informed their view of nature, and Scripture. This is not good exegesis.

    10) There is plenty of evidence which points to a young earth. This is evidenced by men like Kurt Wise, who, btw, is working on his magnum opus which should be out soon.

    11) A mature creation theory is not a scientific theory. Thus empirical observations do not affect this view as they did the heliocentric debate. That is, where as in the one scientific observations were relevant, they are not in the other.

    12) Since the older theologians had hardly anything by way of exegetical argument for their position, they were not warranted to be as dogmatic as they were.

    And so those are some relevant disanalogies which undercut Rube’s argument.

    ii) Turning the tables again, how can Rube say that men like Warfield were “WRONG” for holding to theistic evolution?

    iii) How can Rube deny theistic evolution. The majority of the scientific world believes it—at least the evolution part. His method here can be matched every step of the way.

    iv) Again if anti-realism is correct, neither model—helio or geo—is true, heliocentrism is a useful frame of reference. Now, Rube can simply name call and laugh at this. But that undercuts his position. Some of the sharpest minds in non-Christian acedemia are anti-realists. Furthermore, it makes Rube look unlike a “scientist” who is not afraid to have his beliefs be challenged, who holds his views tentatively, and admits that they are falsifiable.

    v) My main argument against the older theologians would have to be, then, exegetical. Given the melieu of their day no one, not even Rube, can say that they were being irrational since they were holding to what most people—Christian and non—thought had the best arguments on its side.

    Rube,

    Two things for you. I say “for you” because my arguments don’t get answered.

    Hey, Echo finally putting himself in my shoes. ;-)

  52. On a serious note, my friend is a respected pastor, why is he mocked by Rube and Echo? He is good friends with Pipa and Guy Waters. Served as an elder at their churches. He graduated from RTS Jackson. He’s not some dummy and so why would you guys act as if he doesn’t know what “perspicuity” means?

    If you follow the link I provided, you’ll see which pastor from Texas I was talking about. He didn’t graduate from RTS Jackson, he may not even be familiar with Pipa & Waters; much less is he one of their good friends or former elders. And I maintain that MY pastor friend from Texas would not be likely to say “perspecuity”.

    The rest will have to be read later.

  53. Please quote where Kline said that his view isn’t in the text. Thanks.

  54. Perspecuity: often assumed to mean that Scripture is supposed to be easy to understand.

    Ergo, if the framework view taxes the mind, then it MUST be wrong.

    This is a stupid argument. Sorry.

    First, perspecuity does NOT mean that all Scripture is simple and clear. There are LOTS of tough to understand passages in the Bible, and yet we still confess that the Bible as a whole is perspicuous.

    The WCF says that not all passages are equally clear, but that we should use the more clear to interpret the less clear.

    Second, the framework view is not actually hard to understand, unless of course you hate the very words and aren’t interested in giving it a fair hearing. If you think it’s WRONG, it becomes very difficult to understand, because you don’t want to understand it.

    I find the analogical view and/or framework view pretty straight forward, and I’m not exactly a brilliant guy.

    Meanwhile, we think amillennialism is a pretty simple view, but dispensationalists just CAN’T seem to understand it, and RC Sproul can’t seem to get the point. Should we accept “Left Behind” as gospel truth because this is the way to interpret Revelation that would at first glance occur to a junior high school student?

    I’m really sorry, but your argument is downright silly. That doesn’t mean you are stupid, because you’re clearly a bright guy, but this argument just doesn’t hold water.

    E

  55. Rube, I knew who you were talking about. it still seemed that both you and Echo mocked the guy, echo more so.

    Echo,

    Please quote where Kline said that his view isn’t in the text. Thanks.

    i) Notice that I never said that he said that his view “[wa]sn’t in the text” I said he said it wasn’t *explicitly* found or argued in the text.

    ii) Here’s the relevant quote:

    “The Creator did not originate plant life on earth before he had prepared an environment in which he might preserve it without by-passing secondary means and without having recourse to extraordinary means such as marvelous methods of fertilization. The unargued presupposition of Gen. 2:5 is clearly that the divine providence was operating during the creation period through processes which any reader would recognize as normal in the natural world of his day.” Kline, “Because It Had Not Rained.”

    Perspecuity: often assumed to mean that Scripture is supposed to be easy to understand.

    Ergo, if the framework view taxes the mind, then it MUST be wrong.

    This is a stupid argument. Sorry.

    Hey, didn’t I get reamed for telling an atheist that his arguments were “stupid?” Anyway….

    Your comment is stupid since I never intimated that that was how I was using the point.

    Nice straw man, brohymn.

    “Second, the framework view is not actually hard to understand, unless of course you hate the very words and aren’t interested in giving it a fair hearing. If you think it’s WRONG, it becomes very difficult to understand, because you don’t want to understand it.

    argumentum ad psychological evaluationdum.

    Meanwhile, we think amillennialism is a pretty simple view, but dispensationalists just CAN’T seem to understand it, and RC Sproul can’t seem to get the point. Should we accept “Left Behind” as gospel truth because this is the way to interpret Revelation that would at first glance occur to a junior high school student?

    This critique is based on your uncharitable mischaracterization of my point, and your assumption that I don’t know what perspecuity means. Second, most high schoolers I know wouldn’t read revelation the way the dispies do. Perahaps you know different high schoolers. I’ve never taken a poll.

    I’m really sorry, but your argument is downright silly. That doesn’t mean you are stupid, because you’re clearly a bright guy, but this argument just doesn’t hold water.

    Hey, at least I can thank you for demonstrating why I don’t interact with you. Oh, yeah, you take it to mean “we can’t answer your arguments.” Anyway, why not stay out of the convo if you can’t even bother to try and understand a point.

  56. Hey Wacky, I read your whole post. Your effort isn’t going to waste. I just can’t find anything to disagree with.

    Echo, your comment on framework reminds me of how I feel with you guys and theonomy.

    Second, the framework view is not actually hard to understand, unless of course you hate the very words and aren’t interested in giving it a fair hearing. If you think it’s WRONG, it becomes very difficult to understand, because you don’t want to understand it.

    would read:

    Second, theonomy is not actually hard to understand, unless of course you hate the very words and aren’t interested in giving it a fair hearing. If you think it’s WRONG, it becomes very difficult to understand, because you don’t want to understand it.

    ;)

    kazoo

  57. The good Rube: “You YEC guys are in the scientific minority. The majority of specialists in the field agree that the evidence should be interpreted as saying that earth is billions of years old. Since you go against the general consensus of the community, you are probably wrong. Indeed, why should we take you seriously?”

    The evil Rube: “You Framework guys are in the theological minority. Almost all the experts are not Framework guys. The majority of the specialists agree that Gen 1-2 should not be read in the Framework way. Since you go against the general consensus of the community, you are probably wrong. Indeed, why should we take you seriously?”

    Painfully yours,

    ~Ouch

  58. 6×24: “Good Rube is in the theological minority. The majority of orthodox theologians agree that Gen 1-2 should be interpreted literally. Since good Rube goes against the general consensus of our community, he is probably wrong. Indeed, why should we take good Rube seriously?”

    So I guess if there is no reason to take each other seriously, there is no possibility of discussion between Good Rube and 6×24.

    FWIW, I have not come out of the closet as a flaming Frameworker, so don’t assume too much…

  59. Rube,

    Did the reductio fall on deaf ears?

    And, you will come out Framework, if my inductive reasoning capabilities are still functioning. After all Kline, the most brilliant theologian since Calvin, has endorsed it. And, my Dad and friends at WSCAL believe it. Whatever WSCAL says is the Gospel truth.

    Is that close enough?

    :-)

  60. And, there is possibility of discussion. For example, me pointing out the illogical (at times) and specious (at times) and self-excepting (at times) and unwarranted (at times) nature of your arguments should cause a properly functioning individual to chill out on the claims they are making which are underdetermined by attendant arguments.

    :-P

    Anyway, my point has been to get you to lay off the 6-dayers. To help you see that the arguments you were presentin were not that good. If I have succeeded then I am happy. You can hold to whatever you like. I mean, it’s not like you’re a postmiller, a theonomer, or a federal visionary!

    Is that a can of worms?

  61. Fine, Wacky, put your money where your mouth is.

    1. Define perspecuity.

    2. Tell me how your intended point about PhD’s not understanding the view, and let me know how exactly that point can be distinguished from what I figured it was.

    3. Tell me how Kline can say that his position on the operation of providence during the Gen 2 narrative is implied, and how you jump to saying that he says his position is not in the text? If there should be nuances on your claim, make them, and connect your view to what Kline is saying. Because from where I’m sitting, his claim is merely that his position is not EXPLICIT in Gen 2:5, but IMPLICIT. So it’s not like he’s MAKING STUFF UP, which you seem to want to imply.

    If my interpretation of what you’re saying is uncharitable, it is because you are trying to make the truth look ridiculous, and making fallacious arguments to do so, and that doesn’t exactly arouse feelings of charity. Yep, just like what I reamed you out for when you were interacting with the atheist. You got it.

    E

  62. Hey Wacky,

    Regarding your last post…..

    Ahem.

    Kazoo

  63. Oops. number 2 should read:

    2. Tell me your intended point about PhD’s not understanding the view, and let me know exactly how THAT point can be distinguished from what I figured it was.

  64. Echo,

    1. Either you’re setting a trap or you are showing your ignorance. Not even all scholars agree with how the clarity of perspicuity of Scripture should be understood. A comment above that you made, rather ignorantly, was about 5 year olds. Well, in the OT the saints were told to teach God’s law to their children. Grudem states that the clarity of Scripture means that even the “simple” can understand it. “The unfolding of your word…gives understanding to the simple” (ps. 19:7). The Hebrew word there for simple (peti) refers to one who lacks intellectual ability and sound judgment. So, even that kind of person is said to be able to understand Scripture. So Grudem claims that perspicuity means that all who read God’s word should be able ti understand it.

    But then you have guys like Reymond who are strictly in the line fo the confession. The tradition here is that only those things necessary for salvation are so clear that anyone, even the “unlearned“, can understand them. Certainly 5 year olds are unlearned.

    Or, Augustine, “[T]he meanings of the text can be clear to the ordinary reader, that God uses the text of the Bible to communicate His person and will.” This seems more in line with Grudem’s broader notion.

    Or Hank Hanegraaff, “When the Protestant Reformers spoke about the perspicuity of Scripture, they meant that the Bible was clear when it came to its central message.” This is in line with Reymond.

    But no matter what, we still don’t have a clue as to what, exactly, this entails. Echo stated, ” Perspicuity of Scripture doesn’t mean a 5 year old can understand it at first glance when just beginning to read.” But we have seen that the Scripture, theologians, and the confession seem to mitigate against our learned friend, Echo. There needs to be more clarity and development from both sides, then.

    So, we have to make room for little children, as well as the unlearned, as well as the one who lacks intellectual ability and sound judgment to be able to make sense of Scripture. But, we also have to allow that there are some teachings, says Jesus, Peter and Paul, that are “hard.”

    Basically, the contention of Rome was that all men needed an infallible interpreter to illuminate the true meaning of the Bible to them. Whereas the Reformers held that Scriptura Scripturae Interpres. And so if we follow Berkoff, who stands in the line of the confession, then we would say that perspicuity is that doctrine which claims that even though what is needed for salvation is not clearly taught on every page, it is overall conveyed to man in a simple and comprehendible way, such that any regular man who so desires to know its truth can, by the help of the holy spirit and reading and studying, easily obtain this knowledge for and by himself without the aid of the Church or priesthood.

    But, of course, the debate has been whether the doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is only applicable to just those passages that teach about how man is to be saved, or all things considered “essential,” or does it cover further topics? Of course this question is not a settled one. And, even if it were, there are debates about what doctrines should be considered “essentials.” Some would put the Genesis narrative in there.

    We must also remember that when the Reformers were propounding this doctrine the average man in those days were probably more stupid (in terms of education, literacy, etc) than today’s 5 or 6 year olds. This is one reason the Reformers were so big on education. The average man had to be able to read so that, and this was most important, he could read God’s word for himself. Indeed, Luther even intimated that the Bible was the easiest book to understand, out of all the books on earth. In his comment on Psalm 37, Luther said: “There is not on Earth a book more lucidly written than the Holy Scripture; compared with all other books it is as the sun compared with all other lights.”

    At any rate, I have a sufficient understanding of the doctrine, I have read many of our systematics texts on it, but the devil is in the details. If we agree with the majority—that Scripture is clear in its essentials—then we still need to have the debate about what are the essentials. And, this entails that Scripture is clear enough on these issues that anyone who attends to the word of God will understand what is being taught. Now, many six-day guys will claim that the vast majority of the Church have read Gen 1 and 2 and concluded that it is history, and that history is giving us the correct chronology of events vis a viz a 6 literal day creation. So, they can mount an argument from perspicuity here. Whether we agree with them or not is another matter. The bottom line is that my very learned pastor friend was not all that off. I would have thought you would have at least understood this rather than your straw man arguments.

    Also, Did I or did I not say that my reason for posting that point was because I thought it was funny? I said,

    “11) My friend who pastors a church in Texas said, “I believe it is error, mostly because it militates against the perspicuity of Scripture (considering most PhDs can’t explain it). I cite that because I think it is funny.”

    I said nothing to intimate that I thought it was a devastating point.

    I find it funny that out of all the comments I have made here that was the one you picked on. Shows me you just want to sit back and pick off the weak. How very Darwinian of you! :-)

    2. It should be obvious, even though my friend was being dramatic, and using sarcasm, and I said I posted it because it was funny, that if it were true it would violate the clarity principle as understood by many reformers. Now, unless it is one of these teachings “hard to understand” than perhaps it wouldn’t. But that is the debate, isn’t it. And, no one can exegetically demonstrate that Gen 1 and 2 is to be included in those “hard sayings.” So, if it is a basic or essential doctrine, which many 6-day guys think it is, then the point about the Ph.D.s would stand. So, good job, you blew a head gasket all over your penchant to beg questions.

    3) I already explained this point.. Your inability to read your opponent charitable is amazing. Your inability to understand the word “explicit” boggles even the brightest of minds. Let’s quote you:

    ECHO_OCHE: “Because from where I’m sitting, his claim is merely that his position is not EXPLICIT in Gen 2:5, but IMPLICIT. So it’s not like he’s MAKING STUFF UP, which you seem to want to imply.”

    WACKY FUNDAMENTALIST ORIGINALLT STATED: ” Indeed, Kline has even admitted that his position is not even explicitly found or argued in the text!”

    – Wacky Fundamentalist, on January 30th, 2008 at Said

    EMPHASIS ADDED!!!

    But, that’s not half has bad. Even after you misread me for the first time, I stated on the same day, “i) Notice that I never said that he said that his view “[wa]sn’t in the text” I said he said it wasn’t *explicitly* found or argued in the text.”

    Emphasis added!!!!

    The good thing is that the perspicuity of Scripture even applies to those half-illiterate, such as yourself. Sheesh, try reading your opponent before flying off the handle and playing the part of the fewl.

    There, I “stepped up” to the plate. Anyway, it’s always fun, Echo. Glad I could help you see why people don’t respond to your “arguments.” And no, it’s not because they are paradigms of stellar reasoning.

    Boy, if I even reasoned half as bad as Echo the OEC guys here would be having a field day with the “stupid and ignorant fundy 6 dayer.”

  65. Well, you’ve got me on Kline, and I admit to feeling a bit foolish on that. I don’t know what else to say about that one.

    About number 1, I didn’t think it was funny, since so many people make that argument. However, given your very lucid explanation of perspecuity, I gather that while you made the comment in jest, you nevertheless feel that perspecuity does in fact have something to say in this debate.

    But anyway, I did think “how Darwinian of you” was funny. I laughed at that one.

    Regarding the creation narrative, I find that those things that are essential about it, that God created all things of nothing by the Word of his power, is clear as a bell. Since God really DID create all things of nothing, therefore the narrative is historical. It doesn’t need to be in 6 univocal days in order to count as a historical narrative.

    That the earth is not flat, and that Gen 1 describes it as if it were, does not make it non-historical.

    So I’ve got a couple of questions.

    First, do you acknowledge or disagree that Gen 1 describes a flat earth, complete with the dome of heaven, etc?

    Second, if not, why, how? If you do acknowledge it, how can it still be considered historical? For example, what waters did God separate with a firmament in which the stars are placed?

    Third, if you acknowledge that it does describe a flat earth, and that it is yet a historical narrative, why can’t it still be considered a historical narrative if the days as well are not univocal, but analogical?

    Well, that’s enough for now. I recognize and acknowledge that you got me on Kline, and so now you figure that you’ve embarrassed me and pulled my punk card, so to speak, and so discredited everything I’ve ever said, and as such, probably feel no compulsion to answer these questions either. That’s understandable. Nonetheless, here they are, answer them if you will.

  66. Regarding the creation narrative, I find that those things that are essential about it, that God created all things of nothing by the Word of his power, is clear as a bell. Since God really DID create all things of nothing, therefore the narrative is historical. It doesn’t need to be in 6 univocal days in order to count as a historical narrative.

    But you have to understand that this is what is in dispute. (Some) 6 day guys think that to undermine the clear and prima facie intended intention of the text opens up a floodgate of problems. But, I don’t need to re-hash all these arguments since I’m assuming the non-6 day guys are familiar with them. The point is, you can’t just wave your hands and make their concerns disappear. The bottom line is, and you must agree, if they are right in their arguments then the Framework view does undermine the perspicuity of Scripture. That’s the point.

    First, do you acknowledge or disagree that Gen 1 describes a flat earth, complete with the dome of heaven, etc?

    Second, if not, why, how? If you do acknowledge it, how can it still be considered historical? For example, what waters did God separate with a firmament in which the stars are placed?

    1) I disagree.

    2) I’d need to see your exegetical case that Moses “describes the earth as flat.” I don’t even see your point.

    3) Certainly the arguments are very different. 6 day guys don’t *simply* look at Gen 1. They look at that information, and then look at the *rest of* the Bible, and then given how *the rest of the Bible* uses “day” as attached to ordinals and phrases like “morning and evening” etc., as well as (and this can be debated) its Sabbath correlation, etc., and also the *explicit* propositions in Genesis 1 (which you’d have to admit that you’re simply arguing from *inference* since Gen. 1 does not have the words “flat” in it). The word for “earth” in Gen 1 is too equivocal for you to make any interesting conclusions from it. It’s not like “yom” with the attendatn qualifiers, at all. So, your argument from analogy is disanalogous in relevant ways, IMO.

    4) I wouldn’t say that “everything you have ever said is discredited” due to the Kline thing. That would be a fallacious hasty generalization—which if I reasoned thus, you would have a chance to pull my punk card! Anyway, I’ll forget the Kline thing. No problem. But, you have to agree that if the a receiver is going to jump up for the ball and expose his whole body, the cornerback is gonna take his shot at full speed. :-D Anyway, the play is over. You can go for another touchdown. :-)

  67. Echo: Regarding the creation narrative, I find that those things that are essential about it, that God created all things of nothing by the Word of his power, is clear as a bell.

    Above, “those things” is plural; you offered just one example. Steve suggested here that that single example is the only thing essential about the creation narrative:

    Steve: As a previous poster pointed out, we weren’t there. God could have created it in 6 days or in 6 seconds or 6 billenia (is that a word?). We can make our best guess as to how it transpired, but the most important part of the creation narrative remains Gen 1:1. God did it for us. Everything else is of lesser importance.

    I personally agree that “those things” should be plural. I’m just curious to know what else you, Echo, would include as essential.

  68. Sheesh, I can’t keep up with you guys! I still haven’t carved out time to read all of this (and I haven’t even skimmed that over there yet!)

    But little comments pop up as others do my reading for me. As for essential things from the Creation account, I would offer this guidance on examining candidates for ordination, from the OPC Creation Report:

    Does the candidate’s view uphold the following and can he explain what they mean:
    1. creation ex nihilo
    2. the federal headship of Adam
    3. the covenant of works
    4. the doctrine of the Sabbath
    5. the sufficiency and perspicuity of Scripture
    6. the historicity of the creation account

  69. Rube,

    Surely you are aware that 6-day guys can make arguments that Framework directly affects (4), (5), and (6), as well as *logically* makes room for denying (2) via a denial of a literal Adam.

    The report you cite leaves the above ambiguous.

    This is why Im know of a few OPC presbyteries that block ordination of candidates that hold to the framework hypothesis.

  70. Wack,
    You haven’t shown that an OEC view, framework or otherwise, would violate any of those six items. I can still believe in a literal Adam (and a literal creation account, for that matter) within the context of an multi-billion year creation account. At the appropriate time — 6-15,000 years ago, depending who you believe — creation was ready for man to appear, and God created Eden.

    And I will hold to my earlier statement, with a slight modification: with regard to the the question of origins of man and determination of a creation timeline, the most important point is Genesis 1:1. All else may be of academic and theological interest, but is irrelevant to the Gospel.

    A person could hold to a framework, day-age, or even theistic evolutionary view and still up the six points above.

  71. Does the candidate’s view uphold the following and can he explain what they mean:
    1. creation ex nihilo
    2. the federal headship of Adam
    3. the covenant of works
    4. the doctrine of the Sabbath
    5. the sufficiency and perspicuity of Scripture
    6. the historicity of the creation account

    I think there’s a good one missing.

  72. How about:
    7. Are you a godless pagan who dares to deny that God created the earth in 144 hours?

  73. I think there’s a good one missing.

    Keyword: good.

  74. Wack,
    You haven’t shown that an OEC view, framework or otherwise, would violate any of those six items.

    *Yawn*

    I haven’t tried to. Your inability to use basic reading comprehension skills is annoying.

    How about:
    7. Are you a godless pagan who dares to deny that God created the earth in 144 hours?

    *Roll eyes*

    You already told us that you had a bad experience. No one has played this card on your here. But, keep tugging at the heart strings. I can tell that’s all you got.

    A person could hold to a framework, day-age, or even theistic evolutionary view and still up the six points above.

    Yes, you can hold them by *defining them a certain way.* No one has denied that you can’t *interpret* them in such a way as to make them fit. The 6 day guys will define them differently, and understand them differently than you, though. That’s the debate. You’re simply begging the question. I mean, on your rubber approach to confessionalism, even the Mormon’s can be Christian. They always say that they can hold to all the Christian teachings.

    And, FWIW, the OPC report that Rube posted *explicitly* stated that theistic evolution was ruled out by Gen. 1. So, do your homework before posting.

    Your assertions and over-simplistic analysis of the facts is bothersome. But, I guess I shouldn’t bee too upset, you’re doing a good job sullying your own position.

  75. Wack,
    Give it a rest. As a former recovering-fundamentalist, I can safely say that you have given me that extra push I needed to graduate to ex-fundamentailst. I have recovered. Thanks for you help.

  76. The report you cite leaves the above ambiguous.

    Intentionally — to give room for doctrinal flexibility, and to ensure that the examining presbytery remembers to have a candidate show himself orthodox on those doctrinal issues.

    I think there’s a good one missing.

    How about the reliability of natural revelation? I mean sheesh, there should be at least one point in there to make the 6-dayers squirm!

  77. RubeRad said:

    How about the reliability of natural revelation? I mean sheesh, there should be at least one point in there to make the 6-dayers squirm!

    No there shouldn’t. :)

    Kazoo

  78. Wack,
    Give it a rest. As a former recovering-fundamentalist, I can safely say that you have given me that extra push I needed to graduate to ex-fundamentailst. I have recovered. Thanks for you help.

    Steve, another unsubstantive drive-by comment? If your intellectual abilities are indicative of graduating fundamentalism, consider me a returning senior!

    Oh, and I just love this comment by Alvin Plantinga, I think it is apropos:

    I fully realize that the dreaded f-word will be trotted out to stigmatize any model of this kind. Before responding, however, we must first look into the use of this term ‘fundamentalist’. On the most common contemporary academic use of the term, it is a term of abuse or disapprobation, rather like ‘son of a bitch’, more exactly ‘sonovabitch’, or perhaps still more exactly (at least according to those authorities who look to the Old West as normative on matters of pronunciation) ‘sumbitch’. When the term is used in this way, no definition of it is ordinarily given. (If you called someone a sumbitch, would you feel obliged first to define the term?) Still, there is a bit more to the meaning of ‘fundamentalist’ (in this widely current use): it isn’t simply a term of abuse. In addition to its emotive force, it does have some cognitive content, and ordinarily denotes relatively conservative theological views. That makes it more like ‘stupid sumbitch’ (or maybe ‘fascist sumbitch’?) than ‘sumbitch’ simpliciter. It isn’t exactly like that term either, however, because its cognitive content can expand and contract on demand; its content seems to depend on who is using it. In the mouths of certain liberal theologians, for example, it tends to denote any who accept traditional Christianity, including Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Barth; in the mouths of devout secularists like Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett, it tends to denote anyone who believes there is such a person as God. The explanation is that the term has a certain indexical element: its cognitive content is given by the phrase ‘considerably to the right, theologically speaking, of me and my enlightened friends.’ The full meaning of the term, therefore (in this use), can be given by something like ‘stupid sumbitch whose theological opinions are considerably to the right of mine’.

    – Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief

    LOL

    Steve, do let me know if you ever plan on offering anything other than emotional rants rooted in a bad experience you had with 6 day creationists. Hey, I was given a swirlie by a bunch of OEC guys, they gave me a wedgie too, thus today starts my one-man mission to troll blogs everywhere and play the part of Jabba The Hut’s annoying side kick in Return of the Jedi, Salacious B. Crumb. Then I’ll balance out the force given that Steve is the opposite end of the extreme.

  79. How about the reliability of natural revelation? I mean sheesh, there should be at least one point in there to make the 6-dayers squirm!

    Sheesh, didn’t I already touch on this? I think Rube doesn;t even bother to read my comments. Rube, you should be aware that you have serious defeaters I’ve left in your comboxes.

    Anyway, can Rube actually demonstrate his rather weird understanding that “natural revelation” = “the newest fads of many scientists?”

    And, Rube, it’s too bad that you continually exempt yourself from your own critiques. Says the theistic evolutionist: “How about the reliability of natural revelation? I mean sheesh, there should be at least one point in there to make the special creationists squirm!”

    Or, how about the anthropological physicalists: “How about the reliability of natural revelation? I mean sheesh, there should be at least one point in there to make the dualists squirm!”

    I can keep going….

  80. The Rev. Lane Keister—friend of R. Scott Clark and world renowned FV slayer—offers some thoughts on framework:

    http://greenbaggins.wordpress.com/2006/11/13/difficult-passages-in-scripture-part-3-genesis-1-and-the-creation-days/

  81. Wack,

    I liked that article. Nice that it wasn’t very long and yet was thorough. Great quote from him:

    One has to wonder if the desire to have science inform our understanding of Scripture has not trumped exegesis.

    Kazoo

  82. Jeff,

    Sshhhh, don’t say that to Rube.

    Whatever science says is correct, ’cause, like “science” has never been wrong ‘n all, and since it’s correct then the Bible can’t contradict it since special and general don’t conflict.

    Shoot, you know that T-rex blood and soft tissue they found? Well, at first they couldn’t believe it because those things wouldn’t last 65 million years, then somce scientists said it was the real deal, others said it wasn’t. They jury is still out as far as a consensus. But, some take it serious enough that “neutral” paleontologists have told excavators to start looking inside the bones.

    Anyway, here’s where we’re at:

    1) It’s probably not real T-rex blood and soft tissue since that wouldn’t last 65 million years.

    But,

    2) If it turns out that it is, then I guess we were wrong about blood cells and soft tissue not lasting for 65 million years.

    Yeah, there’s no “agenda” or presuppositional bias going on here, right?

    So, if science says that stars are X number of years old, well, they are! They are just interested in the truth, ya know.

  83. Forester,

    Agreed that the report should have added that all created things are “good”. However, that’s already in the OPC’s confessional standards, the confession and catechisms, so that’s already a given.

    E

  84. Someone asked what I would consider essential about the narrative.

    I had already said that God created all things of nothing by the Word of his power. This already counts as “things”, plural. That he created all things of nothing is already plural: he created this, he created that, he created that too. That he created them out of nothing is another point. That he created by the Word of his power is yet another point. And Rube’s addition from the OPC creation report is a good addition of what is essential. Forester’s addition that all things are very good is also a good addition. So there are the essentials of the narrative.

    But I further am very sympathetic to Godfrey’s position. Gen 1:2 describes 3 problems with the universe making it uninhabitable for man.

    “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.”

    1. Darkness
    2. Without form
    3. Void (empty)

    Day 1 solves the first problem. Days 2-3 solve the second, and days 4-6 solve the third problem. Finally, with these problems solved, God creates man.

    This view points to the importance of the covenant between God and man, demonstrating that the purpose for creation was for God to enter into a covenant of works with man. This is the central purpose for creation. This is how you preach Christ out of the narrative, since Adam is a type of Christ because he was a covenant head of all mankind.

    This is pretty much the extent of the view. It doesn’t take a position on the length of the days, but instead prefers to insist that that isn’t the POINT of the passage.

    E

  85. How does Gen 1 describe a flat earth?

    The key is day 2.

    Gen. 1:6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

    Here you have waters above an expanse, heaven, and waters below the earth, UPON which the land is placed on day 3.

    Gen. 1:9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so.

    So you end up with the worldview that was commonplace all the way until Copernicus. This entails that there is a dome of heaven that holds up the waters above the “expanse”. The expanse is the dome of heaven. This is kind of like the dome of a snow globe that keeps the air out and the water in. Just reverse the air and the water, and the dome holds air in and water out.

    So then you have waters under the earth, which is why when you dig a hole in the ground, you get water. These waters under the earth are the same waters that make up the seas and oceans. All land was thought of as big floating islands.

    Now the sun, moon and stars of day 4 are place in the expanse that holds up the waters above the earth.

    Gen. 1:14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,* and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so.

    The lights are IN the expanse, just like the ancient worldview that entailed that the lights were IN the dome of heaven, little tiny lights, not giant balls of fiery gas millions of light years away.

    All of this is in keeping with the medieval worldview, which was the predominant worldview ever since the beginning, which entailed a flat earth.

    This is not a problem, because the narrative tells the story of creation from MAN’S point of view in some ways. It describes the world as people thought of it and experienced it, so that they could understand that the world that they experienced was created by God.

    The point of the narrative is to describe the cosmos as human beings perceived and experienced it. Therefore, if one were to claim that the light of day one was something other than the light of the sun, the light which people experienced, they are undermining the point of the narrative. After all, the light of day one has to be light that the people experience and know about, because the narrative is describing the world they KNOW and are familiar with.

    So for this reason, I think the INTENT of the author is for the light of day one to be light that comes from the sun, which is not created until day 4. Therefore I find that the position I explained in the previous post is the best one, namely that the point of the narrative is to set the stage for the covenant. After all, the POINT of the Old Testament is the covenant, and this is historical preamble to the covenant.

    You see the same covenantal form being used in Exodus 20, which begins with a historical preamble: “I am the God who brought you out of Egypt.” In the Gen narrative, we have the historical preamble to the covenant of works. “I am the God who created all things by the Word of my power.”

    So the essential things about the narrative are the covenant and the efficacy of the Word of God, as well as God’s identity which is wrapped up in what he has done. He is the God WHO has created, just as he is the God WHO has redeemed his people, etc. Today we know him as the God WHO has become flesh and dwelt among us, and laid down his life for us, and rose again from the dead, and is coming to judge the living and the dead.

    The notion of historical preamble being a preamble to a covenant is a very commonplace form in the Ancient Near Eastern literature. Especially with the discovery of the Hittite Empire, which Kline has done a TON of work on, we see quite clearly that there was an international treaty (covenant) form that made use of lots of things we see all the time in the Bible. Kline’s “The Structure of Biblical Authority” makes this abundantly clear and obviously correct.

    So that the narrative of Gen 1 describes the earth as flat according to the prevailing worldview of the time is not a problem, because it is condescending language, meant to communicate the truth to people in a way that they, at the time, could understand it.

    E

  86. About the Framework view: I think it’s helpful to point out that the days 1-3 involve kingdoms, while days 4-6 involve the creature kings of those kingdoms. However, that’s the extent of its value in my opinion. It helps us understand that the point of the narrative is, once again, to point us to the covenant, because man was supposed to rule as king, which is what the covenant of works is all about. But I wouldn’t say that the framework view is MY VIEW. My view is that the narrative’s point is a covenantal one.

    So I really take issue with the 6-24 view, because it seems to me to say that the point is HOW God created. In other words, for one to insist on the 6-24 view, in my opinion, is to say that the POINT of the narrative is not the covenant, but the creation. It is not God revealed through his covenant, but the nature of the creation that is revealed, the nature of God’s ACT of creation. This is not the point of the narrative in my opinion. The point of the narrative is God as Creator, God as covenant maker, and man as party to the covenant.

    And of course, this sets the stage for man’s failure in chapter 3, which sets the stage for Christ to come and be successful where man failed. And the Sabbath points to the rest Christ would earn for us, which man SHOULD have earned for himself. All of this is set up by the creation narrative. It supplies us with the proper categories, to help point us to Christ.

    E

  87. forester: I think there’s a good one missing.
    Keyword: good.

    Echo: Agreed that the report should have added that all created things are “good”.

    (Applauds.) Kudos to Echo for catching my wordplay! Considering that God notes the goodness of His work seven times in Genesis chapter 1, it’s not a point to be left out.

    Salvation assumes the fall, and the fall assumes prior goodness.

    Plus, we have little explanation for that age-old existentialist angst, suffering, if we brush past the original goodness of God’s creation.

    However, that’s already in the OPC’s confessional standards, the confession and catechisms, so that’s already a given.

    Fair enough! I just didn’t want it left out of our scope here.

  88. I think Rube doesn’t even bother to read my comments.

    I’m still catching up. I just read this one yesterday morning…

  89. So, Echo, you’re reading Copernicus back into non-explicit statements in Gen. 1 and saying, “See, it looks like, if we know of the Copernican model, that we could possibly read Gen. 1 as implying that the earth is flat given an anachronistic reading.

    C’mon, Echo, you go to Westminster. You know better, don’t you? Have you taken exegesis classes? You nowhere EXEGETED your flat earth reading out of THE TEXT, or the history OF THAT TIME which would supply extra-biblical context for the exegetical process.

    All of this is in keeping with the medieval worldview, which was the predominant worldview ever since the beginning, which entailed a flat earth.

    That is demonstably false. You guys need to do your history. You have butchered the Galileo case, and now you’re slandering the past.

    The round shape of our planet was a conclusion easily drawn by watching ships disappear over the horizon and also by observing eclipse shadows, and we can assume that such information was well known to New Testament writers. The Greeks and MANY OTHER ancients had spherical models of the earth. Sure, there have been *crackpots* from time to time, but nothing like Echo is imagining. I mean, why wouldn’t Galileo and his friends try to prove a spherical earth when they saw that everything else was spherical with their telescope?

    And, here’s a small paper on the history of flat earth ideas:

    http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/russell/FlatEarth.html

    Also, you are using *pheneomenological* language to make a theory independant point. But this is precisely what is in dispute! The 6-day guys take great pains in trying to show that the “days” should be taken *literally.* They do this by *exegesis.* You haven’t even *attempted* to show that a *literal* rendering should be given to spacial terms like “in.” Indeed, it would appear that on your assumptions the Bible is in error for saying that the rabbit chews the cud! ’cause we have to take that literally. No phenomenology allowed. Now, there is an *obvious* gap between these phenomenological terms and the arguments 6-day guys employ for “day” etc.

    What’s worse is that Echo has proved NO footnotes for his claims. He has simply expected us to take his WORD for it. He makes dubious links, employs historical fallacies by reading anachronistically into the text, and makes flat out false statements.

    Is this the best the OEC guys can do? What lengths will they go through to have their views? What amnout of poor scholarship will be employed? It’s starting to get pretty sad here.

    For further study, here are some more papers on the Bible and flat earth geography

    http://www.tektonics.org/af/earthshape.html

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v14/i3/flat_earth.asp

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v15/i2/flat_earth.asp

    http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/97/cm9711.html

  90. Wacky,

    Apart from calling my claim ridiculous, you have not given me any reason why I shouldn’t take the Gen narrative as describing a flat earth, which was the predominate Ancient Near Eastern world view.

    If your links make arguments as to why Gen 1 doesn’t describe a flat earth according to the WELL KNOWN Babylonian world view of the time, let me know. Otherwise, I’m not going to read a bunch of links. Make your argument yourself, or summarize a link you want me to read.

    E

  91. Echo,

    I suspect those links are support for the statement that most people DID NOT assume the world to be flat in times past. I don’t have time to go read them either, but I have heard of a book recently written by a guy who documents the fact that this whole idea that most people thought the world was flat was a type of ‘conspiracy’ in the educational institutions to make Christians of Columbus’ time look stupid. Every textbook refers to people thinking the world was flat, and yet he shows that as total bunk. So, we’ve been duped into thinking ancient people were stupid on that account, but they weren’t.

    Kazoo

  92. I don’t think ancient people were stupid for thinking the earth was flat. That’s how we experience it. We still talk about the sun rising.

  93. Wacky,

    Apart from calling my claim ridiculous, you have not given me any reason why I shouldn’t take the Gen narrative as describing a flat earth, which was the predominate Ancient Near Eastern world view.

    If your links make arguments as to why Gen 1 doesn’t describe a flat earth according to the WELL KNOWN Babylonian world view of the time, let me know. Otherwise, I’m not going to read a bunch of links. Make your argument yourself, or summarize a link you want me to read.

    E

    Typical tactic of minimizing my set of claims against your post.

    I suggest reading my post again, you’ve not instilled in me the greatest confidence that you can fairly represent an opponent, let alone that you even carefully read what he writes.

    Anyway, I should have thought that my pointing out the FACT that you couldn’t EXEGETE the flat earth idea out of the TEXT was enough to dismember your claim.

    Now, perhaps you thought what you did was exegesis. In that case, there’s not much left to discuss. If you are of that opinion, though, then I think WSCAL has failed you…miserably. I would sue them and ask for a refund.

    Now, knowing many of your profs personally, as well as hearing them talk to me (many times by private email) about how they cringe when their students get all loud in public and bring embarrassment on the faculty and school, I wouldn’t call WSCAL on the carpet. Indeed, perhaps this is why you post anonymously. Anyway, you strike me as another seminary know-it-all. Those guys are frequently accompanied by horrible arguments, many of your posts are case in point.

    Anyway, perhaps you are very dense and so I will spell it out in caps for you: 6 DAY THEOLOGIANS CAN EXEGETE THEIR POSITION OUT OF SCRIPTURE. YOU CANNOT *EXEGETE* THE FLAT EARTH CONCEPT OUT OF SCRIPTURE. AND, YOUR ABOVE ATTEMPT TO WAS NOT *EXEGESIS.* I FURTHERMORE SHOWED *RELEVANT* DISANALOGIES BETWEEN YOUR ARGUMENT AND THE 6 DAY GUYS. ACCORDING TO CANNONS OF LOGIC AND PUTATIVE PARADIGMS OF RATIONAL ARGUMENTATION, DISANALOGIES ANNIHILATE ARGUMENTS FROM ANAOLOGY. NEWS FLASH: YOU NEED MORE THAT A *PURPORTED* ANALOGY, FULED BY MAJOR *ASSERTIONS* AND *ANACHRONISTIC READINGS*, TO MAKE THE CASE THAT YOU’RE *TRYING* TO MAKE.

    Tell you what, take your post to R.S. Clark or Horton and ask them if your above posted EXEGETED the flat earth concept from the TEXT of Genesis. Or, should I email them for you and post their replies???

    Get real Echo.

    Oh, and the links showed that the flat earth couldn’t be EXEGETED from the texts. Basically, the only way they can be is by lazy, sloppy, flacid, anachronistic and embarrassing arguments. They undermine the rationality of any attempt to derive a flat earth teaching from the Bible. Sure, you can pose a broad logical *possibility,* but that doesn’t mean that your view is even remotely *probable.* Shore it up. Remember, you’re training to be a future shepherd of Christ’s sheep. According to James, you are held to a stricter standard than the rest of us. I’d start taking your studies more seriously. Just because no one is grading your posts here (well, God is) doesn’t give you a right to peddle half-truths and decrepit arguments. Anonymity isn’t a free pass to pawn off sophomoric thought and bully people with assertions. Sorry I’m not “scared” or the seminary student like some other people are. Especially given all the comments your profs have made. Indeed, R.S. Clark told me to NEVER take one of his students seriously. That I should always check with him first. That I shouldn’t base any of my critiques on anything a student of WSCAL has said unless verified by a faculty member. I know that your “exegesis” of Gen 1 would get an F by any of your profs. Since they would fail you, why should I give your post a passing score?

  94. I don’t think ancient people were stupid for thinking the earth was flat. That’s how we experience it. We still talk about the sun rising.

    Yet another blunder. You confuse phenomenology with ontology. Yes we speak phenomenolgically when we talk about the sun rising, but we don;t think our language represents extra-linguistic facts. Conversly, people who spoke of a flat earth *were not*simply speaking phenomenologically while *also* recognizing that the *ontic* state of affiars differed from their linguistic conventions.

    You’ve made yet *another* disanalogous claim.

    But, I would agree that (some) ancient people were not *irrational* for believing in a flat earth.

  95. I should also note that in John Walton’s authoritative book, _Ancient Near East Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible_, he lists several verses that he finds some commonaltiy with ANE cosmic geography. Gen. 1 is not one of them. Thus that option wasn’t an *obvious* choice for the author, otherwise why not include it?

  96. Notice the shifting goal posts and broken thought patterns of Echo.

    In his FEB 2 post he said:

    All of this is in keeping with the medieval worldview, which was the predominant worldview ever since the beginning, which entailed a flat earth. (emphasis supplied)

    After I responded to this false claim, he just shifts gears and acts as if he never said the above. . he gives the impression that my first set of comments were off. Says Echo on FEB 4:

    If your links make arguments as to why Gen 1 doesn’t describe a flat earth according to the WELL KNOWN Babylonian world view of the time, let me know. (emphasis supplied)

    He can’t even keep his thoughts and arguments straight from one post to the next! He jumps from Medieval times to ANE times! I have caught Echo doing things like this numerous times.

  97. I’m beginning to wonder if we aren’t being taken for a ride by ‘Wack’. Awhile a few very similar parody blogs popped up: Blogs for [Sam] Brownback and a little later Republican Faith Chat. They parrot extreme Christian/conservative views, damning all heretics, liberals, everyone else they can find, all “in the name of Jesus.” WordPress finally fessed up that they were parody sites and not necessarily tied to Brownback or anyone they purported to support.

    Originally they had some very creative posts about ‘the plot against geocentricity’ and the fact that electrons and subatomic particles were actually angels in disguise. Later they became just a parody of themselves.

    Like these blogs, Wack’s use mockery and disdain for anyone with an opposing view, all “in the name of Jesus,” is beginning to look and feel a bit too contrived.

  98. Unfortunaelt for Steve, I have maintained several times now that I do not consider OEC to be “heretical” or a cause for division. I even stated that if Steve’s story was correct 9there’s always two sides), then what his old church did was wrong. So, Steve is making demonstrably false claims. He is also underming the *arguments* I am giving, which are hardly being responded to, and simply fallaciously tries to poison the well against me and appeal to peoples emotions. Steve is an unstable thinker. he lets his emotions get the better of him. He has also resorted to libel, lying about me. His emotional tactics are all too typical of the establishment who would rather silence opponents than engage in reasoned dialogue. Indeed, can any one cite me to where Steve has interacted with my posts in a substantive manner?

  99. There’s a difference between mockery and showing how a person’s arguments followed to their logical conclusions can be absurd. Instead of dealing with the arguments, which Wack has supplied in full, why is it that you must go after personality? Wack’s posts are nowhere near what Luther or Calvin wrote in opposition to their oppenents. I suggest that people stop being so sensitive (like a child) and deal with the actual arguments.

    Kazoo

  100. Back to Echo-

    “with extraordinary few exceptions no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat”

    —Russell, Jeffrey B.. The Myth of the Flat Earth. American Scientific Affiliation.

    “there never was a period of ‘flat earth darkness’ among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology.”

    S.J. Gould, (1996). “The late birth of a flat earth”. Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History. New York: Crown: 38-52.

    It is also interesting to note that pretty much the only guys who make the arguments Echo is trying to make are the liberal theologians and the atheologians. You won’t find many, if any, orthodox biblical scholars saying what Echo is saying. he thus reminds me of the Muslims who appeal to liberal theologians to try to undrmine the Bible’s credibility.

    We can also ask why Echo, the trained seminarian, was 8simply* appealing to the *English* text of the OT which is based on the LXX?

    In the Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Old Testament scholar W.E. Vine makes the point that:

    “While this English word is derived from the Latin firmamentum which signifies firmness or strengthening,…the Hebrew word, raqia, has no such meaning, but denoted the “expanse,” that which was stretched out. Certainly the sky was not regarded as a hard vault in which the heavenly orbs were fixed…. There is therefore nothing in the language of the original to suggest that the writers [of the Old Testament—BT] were influenced by the imaginative ideas of heathen nations (1981, p. 67).”

    Regarding the Babylonian concept of a flat earth and it being taken for the historical context when attempting to exegete Gen.1 , William White says,

    “Numerous authors have assumed that the use of this term indicated a specific system of cosmology involving a hollow concavity of the celestial sphere. There is no evidence for this in the literature of the Near East or in the occurrences of this rare term (1976, 2: 540, emphasis supplied).”

    —“Firmament,” The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney , 2:540.

    So, given the above, especially the translation of the *hebrew* of the *greek*, we have basically ruined Echo’s entire “argument.”

    I thus mainatian that the YEC side as, yet again, avoided the challaneges Blogorrhea has proposed.

    I think I’ll have to bow out of these discussions now, given time restraints and all. Hopefully I’ve at least given reason to pause when treating YEC as a bunch of ignorant, stupid fundies who couldn’t possibly defend their position. Oh, and I’ve done all of this without even getting into any scientific evidence for a young earth! That could only strengthen the case, Baut, for me, I don’t hold to YEC for scientific reasons, I hold to it for exegetical ones.

    Cheers!

  101. Wacky,

    The medeival flat earth is the same as the Babylonian, that was my point.

    This BLOG is not an exegetical paper. I’m not going to write an exegetical paper for you.

    I explained why I think the Gen narrative describes a flat earth. What I said was quite reasonable. You have offered nothing to contradict what I said except a lot of posturing and important sounding claims. Then you throw a bunch of links on your post, and pretend as if you’ve made an argument. You haven’t. You may have pointed me to some other peoples’ arguments, and that’s fine. I’m telling you I’m not reading them. I’m not interested.

    I’m sure there were some people who thought the earth was round prior to Copernicus. But the vast majority of people have always thought the earth was flat, because when you look at it, it looks flat. It’s very simple. The flat earth world view is throughout the Scriptures. That’s why the Roman Church thought people who said it was round were heretics. It’s not rocket science.

    But look, this doesn’t mean the Bible is flawed somehow. It means it spoke to people in a way they could understand. I don’t understand why this is such a big deal to you. Apparently it is a big deal to you. I guess you can’t allow the Bible to be describing a flat earth, because then the Bible wouldn’t be inerrant anymore. But I confess that the Bible is inerrant, and I also confess that it describes the earth as flat.

    Just how far IS the east from the west? Just where ARE the four corners of the earth? Just what IS that expanse that holds back the waters?

    Come on Wacky, this stuff isn’t that hard.

  102. And your last post demonstrates that any similarity between the OT and ANE literature is purely coincidental, and we should make nothing of it. Right.

    It is well documented that ANE literature and the Bible have much in common. *GASP* Does this mean that Moses was inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Baal Epic? No, it means he used that language, because people were familiar with it, in order to polemicize against the prevailing mindset of the times.

    It would be like if I used “Achilles heel” to describe some theological point. It’s just commonly used and understood language.

  103. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Echo forges on, making sure to psychologize my motives in the process. He also slanders me and tries to find some “motive” for why I make the arguments I do. What is missing in his posts? Any interaction with my arguments….whatsoever

    Anyway, I know how the ANE plays in with the OT. I used much of it in my arguments for paedobaptism and in general exegesis of the OT. Yet Echo violates the 9th commandment and tries to give the *impression* that I *totally disregard* the ANE and extra-biblical history, while this couldn’t be further from the truth. Notice that he must paint the debate in black and white, either-or extremes. As if a denial of *some* ANE thought means a *total* denial of *all* ANE thought. This is characteristic of a simplistic mind.

    Anyway, notice that Echo *totally ignores* the LINGUISTIC points I made which totally undermine one of his main “flat earth” points. But, never mind, meeting arguments head on has never been Echo’s forte.

    ANYWAY, notice that AGAIN I have caught Echo being an unstable thinker.

    Notice above that he said:

    ECHO SAID: First, do you acknowledge or disagree that Gen 1 describes a flat earth, complete with the dome of heaven, etc?

    I REPLIED: 2) I’d need to see your exegetical case that Moses “describes the earth as flat.” I don’t even see your point.

    (HINT: NOTE THE WORD ‘EXEGESIS’)

    ECHO REPLIED TO MY REQUEST: Echo_ohcE, on February 2nd, 2008 at Said:
    How does Gen 1 describe a flat earth?

    The key is day 2.

    THEN, WHEN I POINT OUT THAT HE NEVER EXEGETED HIS CLAIM, WHICH IS WHAT HE **NEEDS** TO DO, HE SAYS,

    ECHO SAID: This BLOG is not an exegetical paper. I’m not going to write an exegetical paper for you.

    LOL!!!!!

    Uh, so I guess we’re back at square one! Echo wants to know why I can accept 6 day and not a flat earth. The answer is, Echo: BECAUSE YOU CAN EXEGETE THE ONE FROM THE TEXT AND NOT THE OTHER.

    Why am I even typing, though? This will be yet another post that Echo doesn’t read.

    I have shown Echo to be a sloppy thinker and an even sloppier scholar. When his bluff gets called he tries to paint me as some dummy who sees no use in looking at ANE thought for interpreting the text. He ignores the scholarly points that undermine his claim, doesn’t respond to even *one* of my arguments, and makes patently false historical claims, doesn’t understand philosophical distinctions, and appeals to emotion and dogmatic pulpit pounding to get his point across.

    Echo, I’d spend more time studying the basics of critical thinking, your world history, exegetical skills, etc., instead of “blogging” with your admitted hatchet job posts.

  104. Echo: how can you say that Gen 1 doesn’t describe a flat earth?

    Wacky: How can you say it does?

    Echo: Well, the key is day 2, etc, blah, blah, blah.

    Wacky: You’re an idiot Echo! Here’s all these fundamentalist arguments that PROVE that some people before Copernicus believed in a round earth. You’re stupid Echo, and your argument is anachronistic. You’re reading a flat earth into the text. Make your exegetical argument.

    Echo: I explained how the TEXT indicates a flat earth. I explained how the waters being separated from the waters makes sense when put alongside the flat earth world view. Do you have some other explanation for what the separated waters refers to, or the expanse?

    Wacky: You’re irrational Echo, and your posts prove it. Your thinking reflects the intelligence of a 5 year old.

    Echo: Wacky, get a grip. Take a breath. Calm down. This is the most ridiculous conversation I’ve ever been in on a blog. You asked for an argument from the text, and I explained the text to you. You said it wasn’t an exegetical argument. I said I’m not writing you an exegetical paper, explaining the Hebrew grammar and detailing exactly and precisely what the text says. The last exegetical paper I wrote took 50 hours. If you think I’m going to spend that kind of time to work out a detailed exegetical argument to explain Gen 1 to you, you’re dreaming. I gave you a nice, simple explanation of how I understand the text. If you disagree, fine. Explain, if you will, why you disagree. The idea of cosmic waters above the expanse of heaven makes no sense to me, because what’s outside our atmosphere is a vacuum. It makes sense on the ancient common-man world view of a flat earth though. So ok, fine, that explanation fits the text. That’s how they thought of the world. No big deal. I don’t understand why this is such a problem for you.

    But you just keep coming back to accusations of sin, slander, and appeal to emotions. This totally dumbfounds me. It makes absolutely no sense. I’m not trying to appeal to anyone’s emotions. I’m not trying to make everyone hate you. I doubt anyone is reading this but you and me at this point, maybe Rube and Kazoo, but that’s about it. I have no idea why you insist on this personal attack. I’m not trying to attack you. I laid out an honest explanation that anyone could understand of how I view the text. And all I got in response was personal attacks about how I’m a vicious slanderer and how I need a lesson in critical thinking, how my seminary profs would be terribly disappointed in me, and how I have a whole lot of reading to do, in order to overcome my irrational and emotional ways of thinking.

    I don’t think I deserve that, and the charges dumbfound me.

    Please feel free to continue to insist that anyone who believes in an old earth is an irrational child, and that anyone who doesn’t take the days of creation univocally is undermining the historicity of the text. Feel FREE to continue to do so. Don’t let me stand in your way. You’re spending way too much emotional energy trying to attack me. I’m not worth it. Feel FREE to continue thinking the way you do.

    I’ll see you in heaven, and then we’ll have a good laugh about who was wrong, and how foolish we used to be. For now, let’s let it go. This has gotten way out of hand.

  105. Here’s all these fundamentalist arguments that PROVE that some people before Copernicus believed in a round earth.

    Wow, Steven Jay Gould is a “fundamentalist.” LOL.

    I explained how the TEXT indicates a flat earth. I explained how the waters being separated from the waters makes sense when put alongside the flat earth world view.

    Wow, the kid thinks that ASSERTING that that “indicates” a flat earth means that he showed that the text *does* mean that. He never showed that this could be EXEGETED from the text, and he even admits that he never showed that.

    Echo thinks he has shown that a flat eath geography can be exegeted from the text (oh, strike that, he says he never showed that), so let’s look at what he wrote:

    The key is day 2.

    Gen. 1:6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

    Here you have waters above an expanse, heaven, and waters below the earth, UPON which the land is placed on day 3.

    i) Above I made and then quoted from OT shcolars regarding the hebrew word for “expanse.” I thyus undercut Echo’s argument. But, eh just SKIPS RIGHT OVER my comments and forges ahead with his post because, GASP, a seminary student can’t be wrong. He’s edumacated.

    Now, Echo can’t site ANY orthodox thrologians who agree with his tendentious argument. But(!), all is not lost. Echo is simply reheating the old arguments from the liberal theologians and the atheists. For example, God hater Isaac Asimov states,

    QUOTE==========

    “First comes the creation of the firmament. The first syllable of the word “firmament” is “firm,” and that gives an accurate idea of what the writers of the P-document had in mind. The firmament is the semi-spherical arc of the sky (it looks flattened on top and rather semi-ellipsoidal, but that is an optical illusion), and it was considered a hard and firm covering of the flat earth. It was considered very much like the lid of a pot and was assumed to be of much the same material as an ordinary lid would be…. From the scientific view, however, there is no firmament; no sky to be viewed as a material dome (Asimov’s Guide to the Bible: Volume One—The Old Testament 1981, p. 33, parenthetical comment in orig.).

    END QUOTE==========

    Next, Robert Schadewald, an atheistic science writer, claims that the Bible writers believed in a flat earth:

    QUOTE==========

    “The ancient Hebrews, like their older and more powerful neighbors…were flat-earthers. The Hebrew cosmology is never actually spelled out in the Bible but, even without knowledge of the Babylonian system upon which it is patterned, it can be read between the lines of the Old Testament. The Genesis creation story itself suggests the relative size and importance of the earth and the celestial bodies by specifying their order of creation. The earth was created on the first day, and it was “without form and void” (Genesis 1:2). On the second day a vault—the “firmament” of the King James Bible—was created to divide the waters, some above, and some being below the vault….

    Schadewald, Robert J. (1983), “The Evolution of Bible-science,” Scientists Confront Creationism, ed. Laurie R. Godfrey, p. 290

    END QUOTE==========

    So, the “exegesis” Echo is following are those of the spiritually blind, God hating atheists and liberals!

    But, more than my guilt by association argument, I demonstrated that a key for Echo’s reading was based on the GREEK translation of raqia, which didn’t do the word justice.

    In the Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, Old Testament scholar W.E. Vine makes the point that:

    “While this English word is derived from the Latin firmamentum which signifies firmness or strengthening,…the Hebrew word, raqia, has no such meaning, but denoted the “expanse,” that which was stretched out. Certainly the sky was not regarded as a hard vault in which the heavenly orbs were fixed…. There is therefore nothing in the language of the original to suggest that the writers [of the Old Testament—BT] were influenced by the imaginative ideas of heathen nations (1981, p. 67).”

    Regarding the Babylonian concept of a flat earth and it being taken for the historical context when attempting to exegete Gen.1 , William White says,

    “Numerous authors have assumed that the use of this term indicated a specific system of cosmology involving a hollow concavity of the celestial sphere. There is no evidence for this in the literature of the Near East or in the occurrences of this rare term (1976, 2: 540, emphasis supplied).”

    —“Firmament,” The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney , 2:540.

    So, given the above, especially the translation of the *hebrew* of the *greek*, we have basically ruined Echo’s entire “argument.”

    I should next point out that OT scholar Bruce Waltke, in his magisterial new work _An Old Testament Theology_ points out that *evien if* Gen. represented the three tired, flat eath structure of the world, this would simply be based on *appearance.* Thus I now point out a *crucial* disanlogy between Echo’s flat earth argument (assumed for arguments sake) and the arguments of the 6 day theologians. The 6 day theologians ARE NOT saying that it “appeares” that the word was created in 6 literal days! Echo is confusing phenomeology with ontology! Epistemology with metaphysics. This argument ruins much of Echo’s argument. Recall that he originally began by asking how I can hold to the one and not the other. I have met my burden. All Echo has offered is specualation and suppositions.

    I should also point out that Echo seems to be assuming that similarity implies identity. Even if some similar language was used, that does not mean that identical *popositions* are employed, for if this were so, ANE myths also speak of “god” but that doesn’t mean that they are teaching the same God we do! Waltke (idid, p.201) pointsa out that in *both* accounts God stands over chaos (Gen. 1:2, per Waltke), but we are hardly justified in saying that the Bible was teaching the *same* thing as the Babylonians were! Lastly, in his section on comparison of Genssis with ANE cosmonogies, there is no mention of a similarity in “flat earth” teaching (pp. 201-202). And this coming from a fellow framework guy! Why did he leave this so obvious of a fact out?

    If my above posts weren’t enough, this one now serves the burry Echo.

    I doubt anyone is reading this but you and me at this point, maybe Rube and Kazoo, but that’s about it. I have no idea why you insist on this personal attack. I’m not trying to attack you.

    But in actuality you called my argument “stupid” before I even said a WORD to you in this forum. You then try to psychologize my motives. You say:

    ECHO: “I guess you can’t allow the Bible to be describing a flat earth, because then the Bible wouldn’t be inerrant anymore.”

    BUT THIS IS SOMEHTING YOU *JUST SAID* YOU WEREN’T DOING!!! How amny times, Echo, do I have to catch you backpeddaling and not even recalling the claims you (or I, for that matter!) have made??? This is really said.

    You then claim this:

    ECHO: “Please feel free to continue to insist that anyone who believes in an old earth is an irrational child, and that anyone who doesn’t take the days of creation univocally is undermining the historicity of the text.”

    But I have nowhere claimed such a thing! In fact, one reason I believe this isn’t divisive, settled, heretical issue is because RATIONAL Christian, spirit indwelt Christians, can (and do!) hold both sides. I only posted here because that is how YEC guys were being portrayed! Oh the irony! In fact, I was INVITED to comment here. Rube said there were no YEC guys commenting in this thread. He wanted his arguments interacted with. And, as what happens many times I offer strong arguments, the debate got dragged down (by Steve, and to a lesser extent you) into an emotional, heart-tugging, context shifting, argument ignoring, and fact slandering dibacle.

    Then, what is also strange, is this claim you make:

    ECHO: “This is the most ridiculous conversation I’ve ever been in on a blog. You asked for an argument from the text, and I explained the text to you.”

    But let’s remember that YOU ASKED ME how I would get around the flat earth problem while holding to 6 day creationism!!!! I didn’t ask you! I was perfectly fine correcting you on Kline. You then asked me about another argument. I told you the reason why I could hold to the one and not the other. Here are the reasons again, in all caps this time:

    I CAN HOLD TO 6 DAY CREATION AND NOT FLAT EARTH GEOGRAPHY BECAUSE THE EXEGESIS OF THE TEXT SUPPORTS THE ONE AND NOT THE OTHER!

    What is so hard to grasp???? Now, what you COULD DO is show that the EXEGETICAL INTENT of Gen.1 is to teach a flat earth, not just that, but to teach an historical, literal flat earth (so as not to beg the question against 6 day). but you don’t want to do that. Okay, fine. THEN YOU GOT NOTHING.

  106. I accidentally hit a key and the above posted. I wasn;t done and I didn’t spell check it. I got what I needed to across, though, and I’ll assume you can work through the spelling errors!

  107. I never said the point of the narrative was to teach a flat earth.

    And again, you need to take a breath and calm down.

  108. I never said the point of the narrative was to teach a flat earth.

    I know you didn’t. But you’re too biased to even see how this admission hurts you. C’mon Echo, you’ve just answered your own question!!!

    The 6-day guy WOULD SAY that the point of the narrative IS to teach a literal, 6 day creation!

    That’s how one can hold to the one and not the other!

    The 6 day guy CAN exegete his view from the passage. The flat earth guy CAN’T. Indeed, you JUST ADMITTED that he can’t. You can’t “pull out the point” if it’s, well, not the point!

    So, the ONLY way your original question had any force was because you were ASSUMING that 6 day creation was ALSO “not the point.” Is your penchant for begging questions something you’ve displayed all your life, or did you just pick it up attending WSCAL? :-)

    You would have caught on much earlier had you taken a breath and chilled out.

    So, you started our discussion. You asked for an answer. Now, with my help, you have been able to answer your own question.

    Got any more brain busters?

  109. LOL. Seriously, I can’t believe we just came to this.

    Echo: Why can you believe 6 day and not flat earth.

    Wacky: Because that’s the one is “the point” of the text and the other isn’t.

    Echo: I know, but so what?

    Wacky: Uhhhhhh, what do I say to that?

    Wow.

  110. Wack,

    Isn’t guilt by association a fallacious way to reason? I mean, so waht if God haters propose an argument. Isn’t the point to disprove the argument instead of say Echo is wrong because he argues like the God haters?

    Don’t slam me too hard, okay? :)

    Kaz

  111. Hi Jeff,

    i) I gave a litany of arguments. Even if you disregarded my my first comments, my conclusion still stands given my *other* arguments. So, I did disprove the argument even without my first part of my post.

    ii) I don’t subscribe the first year position on fallacies a beginning student might be taught. My position would be more in line with Douglas Walton’s position. See his book _Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation_. Why?

    a) Fallacies arise in specific *contexts of dialogue*. This is why presuppositionalists will claim that circular argumentation isn’t *always* fallacious; for example, in the *context of dialogue* over “ultimate authorities.” Walton, an atheist, even claims that not all circular arguments are fallacious (see the above book as well as his entry of circular argumentation on the _Oxford Companion to Philosophy_).

    Or, take the argument from authority. In some *contexts of dialogue* they aren’t always fallacious. For example, a doctor telling you that you have X wrong with you. Why do you believe it? Because a *doctor* gave you that diagnosis. You don’t personally check all the data etc.

    Now, guilt by association is a species in the genius of arguments known as ad hominem arguments. These are not always fallacious. Indeed, Van Til said that our argument is largely ad hominem in nature. That is, the *man* cannot account for X given *the man’s* entire worldview. Walton also points out that circumstantial ad hominem arguments are not always fallacious. Again, it depends on the context of dialogue.

    b) The context of dialogue depends on many things. A couple are that there is a burden of proof. There is also a set of assumptions both sides hold. There’s more, but these two are relevant. Now, many fallacies are fallacies because in the dialogue one interlocutor employs one of the argumentative strategies to *avoid* a burden of proof, or incorrectly shift it. I don’t think I did that. In fact, Echo had the burden to show that a flat earth could be exegeted from the text of Gen. 1. Also, given reformed presuppositions, that Echo shares in oru common set of assumptions, God haters are not the best exegetes. It should give cause for concern if you are employing the same arguments that only God haters are—we’re speaking about *exegesis* and *theology* now.

    c) I never once reasoned: “Because X-god-hater takes Gen. 1 that way, *therefore* it *must* be wrong. fallacies try to establish conclusions that don’t follow. That is, we can’t trust fallacious reasons to offer *necessary* conclusions. So, I never used my guilt by association as a positive argument against a flat earth reading.

    iii) Jesus employs guilt by association argumentation:

    John 8:43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

    So do other apostles. They point out that certain doctrines are the doctrines of those who seek to twist the Scriptures.

    iv) The point is, Echo doesn’t endorse their exegesis, so why should I buy what he’s selling if even he doesn’t think the text says that? I used the atheists and liberals to force his admission—which we saw above—and thus exonerate my original claim, i.e., a flat earth cannot be exegeted from the text.

    v) I would recommend that all Christians do a deeper study in both formal and informal logic. The issues involved are much deeper than your intro studies suggest.

  112. Thanks for the clarification. And, thanks for not slamming me. Logic indeed is an area I would like to learn more about, even to master. I’ll get that book. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Kaz

  113. Jeff,

    I try not to slam sincere questioners.

  114. Wacky,

    You still haven’t taken a breath. Your hostility is not warranted.

    If the point of the passage is to teach a 6-24 creation, then the text is also teaching a flat earth. That’s doesn’t mean the POINT of the passage is to teach a flat earth. Texts can teach things that aren’t the POINT of the passage.

    The reason I say that if a 6-24 creation is the POINT of the passage, then the text also forces you to accept a flat earth is this: if you take the days univocally, then the activity of those days, what was created on those days, must ALSO be taken univocally.

    In other words, if they have to be 24 hour days, then the narrative has to be describing the exact manner in which God created the world. Then there really has to be waters that were separated, waters held up by an expanse, etc.

    You have made NO argument that disproves this.

    Try disproving THIS precise point: if you take the days univocally, you have to take the activity of those days univocally.

    Start THERE. Disprove THAT. That’s what I’m asking you to make an argument for.

  115. Echo,

    Your argument is at this level: If you take the days in the framework day, as not literal, then you must so take Adam.

    The reason I say that if a 6-24 creation is the POINT of the passage, then the text also forces you to accept a flat earth is this: if you take the days univocally, then the activity of those days, what was created on those days, must ALSO be taken univocally.

    I deny that assertion. It would be like if I argued that: “If you take Christ’s literal, physical, historical return to be literal, then the activities on those days must also be literal.” Or, if you take the binding of satan to be literal, then you must take HOW he is bound literal.” Or, if you take the New Heavens and earth to be a real, physical place, then you must take all that is mentioned there to be real, physical (such as a real city with gates that aren’t shut, a cubical temple, etc).

    Your argument is a non-sequitur.

    I furthermore, have shown, and provided links which you’re too lazy to read, that your argument from the text doesn’t say what you were trying to make it say. That is, I disproved your reading of the text. Why are you trying to hamstring me to the ENGLISH words? I furthermore showed that even if I granted your view I only had to say that the one was *phenomenological,* I then pointed out that it was *absurd* to think that we think the *days* are *phenomenological!*

    I’d suggest re-reading all the comments. You have said nothing to overturn my arguments. You have also said that a flat earth cannot be exegeted from the text, and so you must be begging the question against my view.

    Take a breath and calm down. You’re proving Dr. Clark right. Showing why he is embarrassed when his students go around popping off.

    In other words, if they have to be 24 hour days, then the narrative has to be describing the exact manner in which God created the world.

    Again, I deny your simplistic non-sequitur. You’re simply not conversant with 6 day arguments. I’d hit the books some more before I continued to embarrass myself. Indeed, let’s say that 6 day was correct (since you’re not infallible it could be, right?). Then, let’s say that a flat earth is not correct (granting your unproven assumption that the text should be read the way you intimated). We would then have a true antecedant with a false consequent. But this can’t happen.
    So, from theology, to history, to philosophy, to logic, you’ve been outmatched.

    I HAVE disproven it. Go read the comments. Then re-read them. That you don’t accept (or grasp) them doesn’t mean that I haven’t. Saying so doesn’t make it so. So, interact with my arguments. Stop asserting. Stop dodging. Stop throwing a temper tantrum because I dare question your framework assumptions. And, tell you what, why don’t you go up to Ian Duguid the next time he comes to your school and try your (sad) argument out on him. Perhaps you can bring him to see the light.

    Good think you post anonymously. If any boards say your posts they might take WSCAL’s accrediation credentials away!

  116. I try not to slam sincere questioners.

    Wack,
    I read your comments with the same morbid fascination that causes people to slow down at a car wreck. Fundamental concepts like grace and humility seem foreign to you. Are you a Christian? If not, why are arguing the YEC position? Just curious. Your level of arrogance and irritation is similar to what comes out of TalkOrigins and other similar sites.

    Rube’s posts and the resultant comments are always enlightening and thought provoking, and your bombastic responses are very entertaining.

  117. Wacky,

    You don’t cease to astonish me. Why do you insist on being such a jerk about it? Why do you act like one of the psychotic liberal pundits on the talk shows that feel the need to shout everyone down as soon as they say anything?

    You’re being completely unreasonable, and you have sprinkled your posts with uncharitable comments and personal attacks simply to make me feel stupid and embarrass me.

    What the heck is your problem?

    Do you suppose that anyone is looking at your post and saying, yeah, that’s a REAL Christian there! Sure is!

    You’re right, I’m too lazy to read your reams of nonsense. You’re right, I don’t accept your arguments as legitimate. You’re right, I continue to insist that you’ve disproved nothing, even though you’re quite certain you have. You’re absolutely right.

    And yet here I am, and I’ve made all my arguments already, which you haven’t said anything that frightens me away from them.

    And I’m sure that your continued references to my anonymous posting is gaining you no credibility either. This is the pot calling the kettle black, Mr. Wacky. Your continued slander that “even Clark says his students are stupid”, and your continued point that Clark would be SO disappointed in me, doesn’t serve to soften my position or make me feel embarrassed either. Clark is not my Pope, and I don’t have to agree with him on everything, nor does he have to agree with me on everything. But YOU act as if he’d find YOUR comments more reliable or something! He doesn’t say, “Don’t listen to my students, they don’t know what they’re talking about; 5 year olds can make better arguments.” No, he says don’t listen to his students all the time when they say, “Dr. Clark says…” because it may be that they haven’t understood what he said. He says not to listen to yourself and your own irrational bantor, as if you’re smarter than seminary students by definition, his point is to listen to the TRUE expert, which is HIM, not YOU.

    And yeah, you’ve put your finger right on it. I post anonymously for a good reason. Because there are irrational people out there, like you, who only want to cut people down for holding another view.

    No, we who hold to non-literal views have to be nice and charitable to our fundamentalist brothers, but the fundamentalists treat us like heretics, like you’re doing here to me.

    Yep, you’ve made your case exceptionally well.

  118. Rube,

    I vote that this thread is done. I doubt there really is anything more to be said. :)

    Echo,

    I can understand your feelings you express here after reading the Wack Attack (he he), but I want to point out something you just wrote. Maybe there is something to what Wack is saying:

    You’re right, I’m too lazy to read your reams of nonsense. You’re right, I don’t accept your arguments as legitimate. You’re right, I continue to insist that you’ve disproved nothing,

    I’m not so sure it is a good thing to admit you haven’t read his arguments, yet you’ve concluded somthing about the thing you haven’t read. Just a brotherly nudge.

    Wack,

    I have read everything on this thread. You make good strong arguments. I don’t have as much of a problem with strong, even inflammatory, language among men. Luther and Calvin used far stronger language than you have here. However, I think you’ve made your point and I don’t think you’re going to get the last word. So, head on over to my blog instead and have a blast! LOL

    :)

    Kazoo

  119. Kazoo,

    If I tell you to go read a book that makes my argument for me, have I made an argument? Have I even had an honest conversation?

    I thought the 6-24 view was supposed to be simple enough for a child to understand it, but now I find out that there’s reams of nonsense I have to wade through. I’ve got better things to do than sit around for 5 or 6 hours reading a bunch of nonsense that’s only going to serve to get my blood boiling, just for the sake of allowing Wacky to make his incoherent point.

    If someone wants to be 6-24, especially a layman, that’s fine. But when they want to paint the position of many ministers in good standing as fallacious, well, sorry, but that’s just out of line.

  120. Rube,

    I agree the thread could be shut down.

    But I guess Wacky might want the last word or something.

    E

  121. Even though I still haven’t read everything on here yet, I agree that this discussion stopped moving forwards quite a while ago. So I’ll call a soft halt for now by just asking everybody to refrain from commenting unless they have something new to contribute. If it keeps circling the drain, I’ll just close the comment thread down.

    I have material in my head for probably 5-6 new posts in this vein, but I am leery of posting them if this kind of thread is all that’s going to ensue. Why can’t everybody just submit to the awesomeness of everything I say?

  122. Well, rather than get dragged down into posting a response that is *only* made up of emotive rhetoric, I’ll actually, as is my wont, post more substance.

    Since none of my arguments have been addressed, then this post only piles more rubble on top of my interlocutors.

    As an aside, Kazoo, don’t let Echo snow you. He intimated that he just isn’t responded to my links. And that posting them doesn’t constitute an argument (in fact, it actually does, but that’s another matter. In short, an argument is objective no matter who presents it.). The facts are, as any one who reads the thread can tell, he hasn’t responded to *any* of the arguments I posted, let alone the links.

    I also find the holier than though attitude funny. I also find the *ad hominem* attacks quite irrelevant. My arguments should be addressed on their own merits. This is why you will NEVER see me SIMPLY posting emotive rhetoric. Now, since the ball got rolling by these two statements by Echo:

    ECHO TO WACKY: “This is a stupid argument. Sorry.”

    AND

    “I’m really sorry, but your argument is downright silly.”

    So, since Echo is perfect, I will proceed with my arguments and will not use any arrogant, nasty, mean-spirited, rhetoric.

    My response:

    Echo’s stupid and silly argument is essentially this:

    [1] If you take one part of the passage as literal, then you so must take all.

    [2] You take the days as literal.

    [3] Therefore you must take the rest of the passage as literal.

    [4] Part of the rest of the passage includes the idea that the earth is flat.

    [5] Therefore, you must take it literally that the earth is flat.

    There, I’ve distilled his stupid and silly argument. Very stupid. Very silly.

    I have denied [1] (I’ve also asked that [4] be exegeted, Echo can’t do that, though). But, let me do some more damage. I’ll draw out what I intimated above. This is a disproof by counterexample. In logic, if the form is valid, then you can switch in whatever premises you like, and, as long as they are true, the conclusion follows. So, here goes:

    [1*] If you take one part of the passage as figurative and not literal, then you so must take all.

    [2*] Echo takes parts as figurative and not literal.

    [3*] Therefore he must so take all.

    [4*] Part of the rest of the passage includes something about Adam.

    [5*] Therefore, you must take Adam figuratively, not literally.

    QED.

    What’s that!? I haven’t utterly proven my point? Oh, Echo denies my first premise??? Well then(!), it appears we’re at square one. Well, perhaps Echo thinks that he can deny [1*] but I can’t deny [1]. If so, we would need a convincing argument for such *prima facie* arbitrary moves.

    What’s my point? I have denied Echo’s main premise. He has done NOTHING to prove it. Recall that *he* made the assertion. So, he has the burden.

    Next, as I said above, why do I hold to 6 days and not flat earth. Again, it’s simple. Echo tries to say that it is hard, but he’s just trying to con you guys. Can’t con a con, though. Here’s my Simple Argument:

    [SA] I believe that 6 day can be EXEGETED from the text while flat earth CANNOT be EXEGETED from the text.

    There, simple as that.

    Now, the ONLY ways to Defeat my argument are:

    [D1] Show that flat earth can be exegeted from the text.

    [D2] Show that [1] above.

    Now, Echo won’t do [D1] since who wants to say that they truly *exegeted* the literal flat earth teaching from the text. I also shows that [D2] was based upon a fallacious non-sequitur.

    Not only that, I have made the eminently plausible assumption that if we are correct then the teaching on the days is an ontological point rather than an phenemenological one. It is the old time distinction between appearence and reality. Other parts of the text use either phenomenology or figuring in their propositions. Thus Echo confuses metaphysics with epistemology. And, if we grant the ANE point and conclude that Moses employed phenomenolgical language to report things like the heavens, etc., why think he did the same with the *days?* I think that is absurd. I can see how the sky would *appear* to someone a certain way, but I don’t see how the earth would *appear* to have been created in 6 days.

    Therefore, in the thread I have PROVEN that Echo’s comment falls flat on it’s face. I have now laid out the premises in clear and compelling fashion.

    Why was this easy to do? Because Echo’s argument was STUPID and SILLY. That’s right, STUPID and STILLY. Indeed, UBER STUPID and UBER SILLY. And, guess what, no one can complain because I’m simply employing Echo’s holy terminology.

    Lastly, I was ASKED to come here and comment in this thread by Ruben. I didn’t come here on my own, as Steve tries to intimate. Trolling, as he said. Oh, but Steve’s perfect too, forgot that.

    Anyway, note how Echo still takes a shot:

    If someone wants to be 6-24, especially a layman, that’s fine.

    Notice the “especially the laymen” comment Here he’s trying to tie the 6 day view to the uneducated masses. He intimates that it is more fine for them to believe it, well, because they don’t know any better. This is a slam. So I give my slams as well. The only difference: my posts include substance as well as slams. My slams are not dressed up pigs. I put them out in all their dirt. But, a pig is still a pig no matter if you perfume the sow.

    So, I think I have answered every single challenge thrown my way. Now, if you don’t have any more brain busters, I’ll go on my way.

  123. I agree the thread could be shut down.

    Oy vey! Here I am, finally, chugging Mountain Dew at 5am to draft my response, only to see this. I knew I was running late — didn’t realize I’d miss the whole party.

    I’ll write it anyway. It’ll probably be ready to post by late evening. I’m sorry, I haven’t meant to be dodgy — our recent transition to two-child parenthood has been stressful. Family over wonkery.

    Last week I did steal some time to address the more critical issue of Darwinism. These posts may read as a fresh diversion:

    seedlings: evolutionary psychology — it’s all in your mind

    seedlings: vestigial proof of evolution

  124. It’s never poor form to respond to the original post, is it? Please forgive me if from poor memory I cover ground already discussed.

    RubeRad: If Hays et al are right, then ICR and AiG should close up shop, because without UN and Induction, there is no hope to discover any scientific YEC interpretation of ancient-appearing phenomena from astronomy, geology, paleontology, etc. The only possible answer is “God changed the rules; appearance of age. Move along, nothing to see here.”

    And still, even if Hays is right, the implications for secular science are negligible. At most, every research paper would need to carry a footnote with the caveat, “This paper details observations, and conclusions from those observations which are dependent on the Uniformity of Nature and the validity of Induction over the time span relevant to the observations.” And doesn’t every result over millenia of science implicitly carry that disclaimer already anyways?

    This isn’t all that different from a comment I left here in 2006:

    forester: If God made a man in one day, a physician might calculate him to have an age of 18 or 25 or 40 or however old he appeared, when instead he was only a few hours old. Making the calculation itself isn’t the problem (indeed, I find geological studies interesting) — it’s the assumption that the calculation can authoritatively determine what happened in the unobservable past. Perhaps science wouldn’t even be able to detect the traces of such a supernatural event, which admittedly throws this into the realm of tautology (I maintain that ultimately this is a battle of opposing tautologies).

    Limejelly, itchythumbs, I suspect you’ll have a field day with that. And thus I retreat back to the acknowledgement that I have little to question concerning geological origins (you’ll notice none of my PMFT questions address geology), but prefer instead to suspend final judgment.

    Thus I have no problem with the second paragraph of your conclusion. The footnote would be sufficient. I believe more happened in the past than science, apart from special revelation, either can notice or will notice (a case I will be building later). But that does not mean I intend to obstruct inductive inquiry. I trust I spelled that out clearly enough here:

    forester: In the meantime, I support science. I’m grateful to Darwin for honest inquiry, as I am to evolutionists and other scientists for their continuing to collect evidence. I don’t expect them to begin with baseline assumptions from the Bible, nor to investigate non-materialistic issues; I do expect them to give honest consideration and grueling scrutiny to published studies based on creationist hypotheses. Since I suspect evolutionists of unquestioned assumptions and groupthink, I poke and prod their studies with questions — and as a Christian who welcomes challenges from all comers, I’m extremely suspicious of the evolutionary community’s entrenched attitude toward questions from outsiders. But scientists must continue investigating, hopefully with truly open inquiry without an a priori commitment to evolution that borders on the tautological. Then, if the evidence continues to lead us away from what we see in Genesis, that’s God’s problem, not ours.

    (Incidentally, since then I’ve rethought that last sentence; when I get to it, I’ll be suggesting that the problem may still be ours.)

    Thinking about the first paragraph of your conclusion, please remember (ancient history now) that I nullified your no-Induction-for-YEC challenge (prompting you to reword it) by showing that everyone who subscribes to miracles denies the Uniformity of Nature. Uniformity is nothing if not uniform; miracles, as exceptions to the Uniformity of Nature, necessitate non-Uniformity. In this, regardless of the flavor of our creationism, we are both regarded by science as exceptionalists (which is a polite synonym for the word enemies).

    Creation ex nihilo necessitates an appearance of age that strict induction may not detect. Yet contradictory evidence is possible: the first man and woman surely had blood-borne nutrients coursing through their veins already, but were their bowels empty? An endoscopic exam within ten minutes of their creation may have had a physician in fits: “You look twenty years old, but from what I see here you’ve never had a bite of food in your life! How’d you get so big?” A manicurist would marvel: “Here you are, gardeners, the both of you — with the most unblemished nails I’ve ever seen!” A barber would despair: “Never a haircut in your lives, you say? Time for me to close up shop — at this rate you won’t need a cut ’til you’re five hundred!” Such biological signs are easy to imagine; what are their geological or cosmological parallels? I don’t know, but I can guarantee you strict materialists would explain around them, just as they explain around the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record (punctuated equilibrium!).

    Here, then, is how I would reformulate your conclusion’s first paragraph: “If Hays et al are right, then ICR and AiG should continue their work. Although UN and Induction may be largely unable to detect creation ex nihilo, they may yet detect indicators likely to be overlooked by strict materialists. We need the full story, not 99% of it — and if God left signs capable of being detected through inductive science, we’d be fools to trust the Philistines to report them to us.”

    Of course such YEC findings would need to stand up to the full rigors of inductive science.

    More from me later. I’ve drafted a lot but am finding the prospect of getting it all out at once unwieldy. This seemed like a good place to begin.

  125. Please make sure the world understands that to accept Young Earth Creationism … Induction cannot be relied upon to provide the bedrock required for conducting science. By recoursing to laws that are not universal, absolute, and invariant — to constants that are not constant, Hays has knocked the crutch of Induction out from under Old Man Science (at least any older than a few thousand years ago).

    Science: take it or leave it. Accept it all or reject it all. Funny that the scientific establishment works hard to bundle Darwinism with fields like physics and biochemistry (prompting me to write this mockery), and here you foist on me a similar Hobson’s choice. That’s intentional, of course: Old Earth Creationists seek to dovetail natural observation and Genesis, keeping friends with cool kid scientists while leaving young earthers like me out in the cold. The line in the sand doesn’t separate faith and science, it separates rational versus irrational — and you’re in the in crowd, baby!

    Demonstrating that Christianity can hang with the rational is honorable (go, Nancy!). But you yourself don’t abide by such a take-it-or-leave-it approach to science — despite Darwinian insistence that evolution is the product of strict induction, you take exception to it (emphasis added):

    RubeRad: What Duncan and Hall fail to recognize (and which Ross et al specialize in explaining), is that, while Darwinian evolutionary biology may be teetering on the edge of a collapse, old-earth astronomy and geology are not going anywhere.

    I can hear Darwinists leveling a similar challenge at you: “Well then, step up to the microphone! Please make sure the world understands that to accept Old Earth Creationism, one must deny the Uniformity of Nature — that Induction cannot be relied upon to provide the bedrock required for conducting science.”

    Unlike Hays’ astronomical objections, of course, you claim your objections to Darwinism are the result of strict induction, not a departure from it. Understood. My point here (developed against a backdrop of ignorant fundy hick Darwinism!) is that bundling generally isn’t fair. You seek the freedom to address evolutionary overreach without being accused of rejecting all science; I seek the same for geological and astronomical overreach. We both proceed according to the same principle: when justified, one may take exception to particular scientific findings without rejecting science as a whole.

    “But Hays’ objections aren’t justified!” you respond. “They really do undermine the basis of all science!” Yes, I know this is your real point. My task could be to demonstrate that Hays’ objections are justified, but Hays means little to me; I feel myself under no compulsion to restrict myself to his arguments. My real goal is to suggest that natural observation cannot be trusted to calculate the age of creation — an exception that does not reject science as a whole. In doing so I will be building on my halftime distillation:

    forester:
    1. General revelation and special revelation cannot disagree.
    2. Natural observation indicates other than a six-day creation.
    3. A literal reading of Genesis indicates a six-day creation.
    4. Deuteronomy seems to indicate Exodus intended a literal six-day creation.
    5. If natural observation can be trusted to calculate the age of creation, Exodus cannot have intended a literal six-day creation, Deuteronomy notwithstanding.
    6. If natural observation cannot be so trusted, and if no other Scripture indicates otherwise, Exodus did indeed intend a literal six-day creation.

  126. Genesis 1 and 2 and ANE

    http://www.christian-thinktank.com/gilgymess.html

  127. Creation ex nihilo necessitates an appearance of age that strict induction may not detect.

    Why?

    Although UN and Induction may be largely unable to detect creation ex nihilo, they may yet detect indicators likely to be overlooked by strict materialists.

    UN and Induction already have detected creation ex nihilo. Atheists resisted Big Bang cosmology tooth and nail because it implied a beginning and thus Beginner, but in the end, they had to bow to the evidence.

    Your rhetorical description of new adult Adam serves my point; when God supersedes UN, its miraculousness is evident. So a suddenly-appearing mature Adam would confound your hypothetical endoscopist, manicurist, barber. The discontinuity of the fossil record is evidence of just such non-Uniformity. But the Astronomical/Geological records exhibit no such discontinuity.

    I take that back; the Big Bang is a prime example of such a non-uniformity; and there are probably many fine-tuning events that point to an Intelligent Designer continually adding complex mechanisms to his wonderful watch (as opposed to a “blind watchmaker”).

    But my point is, when God wants to demonstrate a miracle, he will make the fact of that miracle apparent to natural observation.

    My real goal is to suggest that natural observation cannot be trusted to calculate the age of creation — an exception that does not reject science as a whole.

    What it does is set up two parallel “sciences” — secular science (which cannot be expected to temper their natural observations with special revelation) and “Christian science” — and never the twain shall meet. The former will continue to believe “we can make reliable inferences about the past from evidence we observe in the present”, and the latter will believe, “well you know, we just can’t.” I.e. General revelation and special revelation WILL disagree.

  128. forester: Creation ex nihilo necessitates an appearance of age that strict induction may not detect.

    RubeRad: Why?

    Fair enough. Reworded: Six-day creation necessitates an appearance of age that strict induction may not detect.

    Just curious: how far does your ex nihilo go? How much further past the Big Bang — years or hours or nanoseconds? Did God create all matter ex nihilo in the Big Bang, then only reshape from there? Folks like limejelly would say the cosmos is all swirls and eddies from the Big Bang; the eddies (planets) formed more complex eddies (single-celled organisms) that became yet more complex eddies (neural networks). But the Big Bang produced all matter that exists.

    You and I agree God created, and we agree God rested from creation. What I don’t know is where your view places God’s rest from creating, allowing secondary causes to take over from there. We both agree that God upholds all secondary causes, so I’m not suggesting you subscribe to a blind watchmaker. But I think (correct me if I’m wrong) you believe God intervened in secondary causes to bring about the cosmos and to allow biological life to form and evolve. How do you differentiate that intervention from God’s current governance (understanding that stars still form, species still evolve, etc.)?

    I may need a refresher on your existing view of origins — can you point me to a concise summary?

    RubeRad: Your rhetorical description of new adult Adam serves my point; when God supersedes UN, its miraculousness is evident. So a suddenly-appearing mature Adam would confound your hypothetical endoscopist, manicurist, barber. The discontinuity of the fossil record is evidence of just such non-Uniformity. But the Astronomical/Geological records exhibit no such discontinuity.

    Please refer back at the point I was establishing:

    forester: Unlike Hays’ astronomical objections, of course, you claim your objections to Darwinism are the result of strict induction, not a departure from it. Understood. My point here (developed against a backdrop of ignorant fundy hick Darwinism!) is that bundling generally isn’t fair. You seek the freedom to address evolutionary overreach without being accused of rejecting all science; I seek the same for geological and astronomical overreach. We both proceed according to the same principle: when justified, one may take exception to particular scientific findings without rejecting science as a whole.

    I’m not trying to score yet — I’m only laying out a baseline of common denominators. I haven’t laid out a justification (yet) for taking exception a particular scientific finding — I’ve only argued that, if justified, such an exception can be made without rejecting all science.

    RubeRad: UN and Induction already have detected creation ex nihilo. Atheists resisted Big Bang cosmology tooth and nail because it implied a beginning and thus Beginner, but in the end, they had to bow to the evidence.

    I’ll address your commitment to the Big Bang later.

    RubeRad: What it does is set up two parallel “sciences” — secular science (which cannot be expected to temper their natural observations with special revelation) and “Christian science” — and never the twain shall meet. The former will continue to believe “we can make reliable inferences about the past from evidence we observe in the present”, and the latter will believe, “well you know, we just can’t.” I.e. General revelation and special revelation WILL disagree.

    Remember when I said in email that I needed to post my argument as a whole, not in pieces? This is why. When I finish let’s look back at this objection and see if it fits.

    As for two sciences … the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. I don’t particularly care how near either pole you place the pin — just don’t stick it on one end.

  129. What We Observe

    You take exception to Darwinism. In doing so you assume that Darwinistic conclusions are constructs with the potential for error despite the inductive processes used to reach them.

    Darwinists claim to observe, in rock layers and fossilized remains, billions of years and the seamless evolutionary progression of life, but they do not; they observe only rock layers and fossilized remains. Billions of years and seamless evolutionary progression are constructs with the potential for error despite the inductive processes used to reach them.

    Let’s bring this home to claims about starlight:

    RubeRad: We can see, right now, God’s miracle of creation, in the state that it was billions of years ago. With electromagnetic radiation traveling from the event to the observer, it is no different than seeing events in front of my face that happened nanoseconds ago, or seeing the sun from 8 minutes ago.

    You claim to observe, in starlight, billions of years, but you do not; you observe only starlight. No stopwatch has ticked off billions of years. That is a construct with the potential for error despite the inductive processes you used to reach it.

    We live but a moment on a small speck of dust in a great big sky. No sweeping vantage on the cosmos, that.

    The only point I’m establishing here is that billions of years is a construct. Whether or not that construct is correct or trustworthy remains to be argued.

  130. I find that your ‘bring it home’ hits nowhere close to home, but I have a post in draft about exactly this topic, so we can save discussion for there.

  131. RubeRad: I find that your ‘bring it home’ hits nowhere close to home, but I have a post in draft about exactly this topic, so we can save discussion for there.

    That didn’t take long. We might as well stop here, pending the other discussion.

    I’ll say up front that I don’t see any difference between this:

    forester: That is a construct with the potential for error despite the inductive processes you used to reach it.

    … and this (emphasis added):

    RubeRad: I agree with Echo’s postulate + Steve’s caveat. Both general and special revelation are infallible; our interpretation of both is fallible.

    Again, I’m not trying to score, just laying out a baseline. I would think you could acknowledge billions of years is an interpretation of general revelation without impeding in any way your ability to support that interpretation as trustworthy. I’m the one going uphill.

  132. Not that quick — the post has been in draft for almost a week now…

  133. Did God create all matter ex nihilo in the Big Bang, then only reshape from there?

    I don’t want to be unnecessarily dogmatic, but I believe yes, God created a universe’s worth of matter, energy, anti-matter, anti-energy, and whatever else ‘stuff’ there is to the universe, all at the Big Bang. We understand there can be an interchange between matter and energy that can change the amount of either, but the ‘total’ is conserved.

    I believe all of the physical stuff of the universe was created in Gen 1:1, and 1:2 describes the ‘formless’ state of the earth prior to ‘Day 1’. (I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I would guess that you consider ‘created’ in 1:1 to be merely a summary of what is to come, not a specific creation act).

    So I believe all of the ex nihilo fits into 1:1 — nothing physical was created ex nihilo after that. Man’s body, for instance, was created ‘from the ground’. God putting his image into man, and breathing the breath of life into him so that he became a “living creature,” could be considered an ex nihilo creation of non-physical ‘stuff’.

    For a most-concise summary, see the outline below top-level point 6 here. But note that I am not necessarily 100% convinced by Hugh Ross’ particular formulation. Only 70-80%. But when you ask for “a concise summary”, of course many important details have to be left out.

  134. Speaking of the Big Bang

  135. Funny!

    You and I agree God created, and we agree God rested from creation. What I don’t know is where your view places God’s rest from creating, allowing secondary causes to take over from there.

    I believe that God’s active creation fiats, and ordinary, secondary causes, were intermingled before God crowned his creation with Adam & Eve, declared it very good, and commenced 7th day of rest.

    I don’t want to start Wacky on a whole ‘nother anti-Framework kick, but I do find Kline very convincing on the particular point that Gen 2:5-6 specifically instruct us that God used natural means along with his supernatural creative acts during the creation week. This is the subject of another post I have in an incomplete draft (and have had for at least a month now), but in the meantime, you could just read Kline’s own article.

  136. […] Comments RubeRad on Paging Dr. Bahnsenthe forester on Paging Dr. BahnsenRubeRad on Paging Dr. BahnsenRubeRad on Paging Dr. Bahnsenthe forester on Paging […]

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