A Closer Look at Genesis 1

Two groups of people insist that Genesis and modern science are incompatible: Secularists and Young Earth Creationists. Both camps have damaged the credibility of the Jewish creation story. But today I would like to suggest to you that there’s a 3rd way.

A modern literal interpretation of Genesis 1 matches modern cosmology, geology and the fossil record… exactly.

As we read this chapter together, I would like to make three simple assumptions:

1) The events are described as they appear from the surface of the earth starting with verse 2.

2) We’re going to assume “day” is a period of time, not 24 hours. The Hebrew word for day (“yom”) has a variety of meanings in Genesis. A “day” can be a million or even a billion years.

3) Living creatures in verse 24 are “livestock” – not all land animals, but advanced mammals.

Genesis
Science

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

The text literally means “At the beginning of time God (who already existed) created everything out of nothing.”

Today we understand that the Big Bang was the beginning of matter, energy, space and even time itself, all expanding from a single point in a very precise manner.

The Big Bang theory was resisted for decades in part because of its resemblance to Genesis 1 and its metaphysical implications.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This verse establishes the physical vantage point that is used from here forward.

4 billion years ago, following the “Hadean” period, the earth was a hostile, stormy, turbulent, water-covered ball.

The Hebrew word for “hovering” is also used elsewhere in Genesis to describe an eagle protecting her young in the nest.

Science tells us that the earliest life forms began in the ocean ~3.5 billion years ago and I believe this verse hints at this.

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

4  God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness.

5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.

The atmosphere changes from dark to opaque. Light can now shine through earth’s thick clouds. Now there is day and night on the surface of the earth.

The phrase “There was evening and there was morning” is an ancient Jewish expression of completion.

6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”

7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.

8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.

The water cycle begins. Clouds condense and form the ocean. Water evaporates from the ocean and forms clouds.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.

10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

The continents (“Pangea”) rise above the surface of the ocean, forming land and sea.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.

Plants appear before animals. Notice that the wording in the Bible says the land produced vegetation. It does not rule out an evolutionary process.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17  God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth,

18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.

Up to this point the atmosphere has been thick and opaque. It is not possible to see the sun and moon as distinct objects in the sky. The atmosphere clears. Now sun and moon are visible.

When it says “God made two great lights, the Hebrew word for “made” is a different word than “create.” Create means from scratch, made means “made evident.”

The moon and stars were already casting their light on day 1 (see verse 3), but were not visible as distinct objects until day 4. Notice that 24 hour days are not even mentioned before day 4.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.”

21  So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”

23  And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.

Day 5 spans from 500 million years ago (after the Cambrian explosion) to 50 million years ago. The earth is dominated by birds and fish. Insects and dinosaurs are also present on the earth during this time but are not mentioned in Genesis 1.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.

25  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Day 6 is the busiest day (50 million years ago to less than 100,000 years ago). The earth is dominated by large mammals. Jewish people would have thought in terms of livestock.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

God refers to Himself as “our” – God is plural. The first reference to the Trinity.

27 So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

Man is a spiritual being, the first creature made in God’s image. Unlike the animals, man is both body and spirit.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Man is given responsibility to take care of the earth.

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day.

The text says all was very good. It doesn’t say it was paradise or perfection.

Chapter 2 verse 1: Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

God ceases from his creative work on the 7th day.

There is no statement “And there was evening and there was morning, a 7th day.”

We are living in the 7th day now.

If we had to make obtuse, complex assumptions in order to make this fit, we would have a serious problem. But our assumptions are simple, even elegant. This poetic 3500 year old text matches modern science exactly.

As little as 100 years ago, the prevailing scientific view disagreed with Genesis 1 (the “steady state” theory of the universe was in vogue). Genesis produced a testable hypothesis. Since then, astronomy, geology and biology have shown Genesis was right and the science of the time was wrong.

No other ancient text, scripture or religious tradition has a creation story that even comes close to Genesis in its accuracy. The Jewish scriptures compete admirably in the marketplace of ideas in the 21st century.

How did a bunch of nomads roaming around in the desert in 1500 BC get this sequence of events exactly right? I submit to you it’s because God told his prophets what He did.

Elsewhere on this site I make an bold case that living things have a Designer. I argue that evolution is not random or accidental, but an engineered process. But it’s the remarkable accuracy of Genesis that persuades me to be a Christian and not an agnostic or deist.

Augustine said, “God wrote two books: The Bible and the book of Nature.” It’s important to acknowledge that modern science also informs our interpretation of Genesis. Each tells us about the other.

In an upcoming post I’ll look into Genesis 2 and the origin of man and woman.

I invite you to listen to Hugh Ross’s lecture “New Scientific Evidence for the Existence of God” where he explores the history of Big Bang science and its relation to Genesis in much greater detail.

Perry Marshall

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249 Comments

David of Hawaii says:

Dear Perry,

You say: “A modern LITERAL interpretation of Genesis 1 matches modern cosmology, geology and the fossil record… exactly.”

I Agree! However with some slight differences:

A. Gen 1:1 Frequently asked question: Who created God?
My suggestion: At sometime this Universe, another or previous Universe, or Multi-verses became SENTIENT. There is only one thing which is all powerful, all knowing, and omnipresent. That can only be the Sentient Universe Itself and thus is one and the same as God.

B. If you wish to say that the Torah is LITERAL, the only way that it makes sense is that there are at least several gods lumped under the one term “God”
1. The Creator God ie, the Sentient Universe. Gen 1:1,25 Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient

2. On Item #26 you stop being LITERAL. The gods who created Man in their own image, male and female created he them. Gen 1:26,27, 5:1,2 (It says this 3 times)
These gods also wanted gold Gen. 2:11 & 12. And mankind to work the garden 2:15
This god preferred the roasted meat and fat given by Abel over the vegetables brought by Cain. Gen 4:4
The sons of god had sex with and children by human women again proving they were genetically similiar physical beings. Gen 6:2,4

3. The God of Laws who told Moses; Thou shalt not kill, steal, bear false witness, covet anything that is thy neighbors. Ex 20:13

4. The capricious God of War of Joshua who proscribed genocide, murder, covetousness and theft against the remainder of Abraham’s seed. 
Who are Abram’s seed? Eight Sons
By Hagar, first born, Ishmael, who married a Canaanite wife, was blessed by God to be a great nation. Gen 17:20
By Sarah, 2nd born, Isaac who married a Chaldian (Iraq) wife, Rebekah.
By Keturah, Zimran,, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Gen 25:1.

In an attempt to identify who is speaking, we recall that Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matthew 7:16
“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20

I believe this is also true of how we identify which “God” is speaking both in the Bible and to individuals.

For instance when GW Bush said that “God” told him to invade/bomb Iraq, was this a “God of Love” or a “God of War, Hatred, Greed for oil, and Division?”

I would appreciate your thoughts on this, whether these gods were real or just the figment of the individual or the author’s minds.  The resultant actions were the same.

God is uncreated. God has no beginning and no end.

The universe is not the same as God. They are separate and distinct. This is a key difference between eastern religions and Judeo-Christian theology.

The sons of God in Genesis 6 are demonic beings, not God. See the book of Jude for more on this, or the Lost Book of Enoch for a thorough treatment of the subject.

Regarding the “genocide” of Joshua, see http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/evil-and-suffering/comment-page-1/#comment-246

I’m surprised that anyone would say GW Bush’s alleged statement that God told him to invade Iraq has anything to do with this conversation.

GMEstes1 says:

This very informative, the Bible states a human cannot communicate with God because God is Spirit and we humans are flesh and blood. Flesh and blood don’t enter the presence of God. The body and all our elements return to the ground from which we came. If all the body had to content with was thorns and thisels, life wouldn’t be so complex and quality of life wouldn’t be held in the capable hands of health care professionals.
If GW Bush made such a comment…I dismissed it as a laps in memory and have totally forgotten it.
A classic question, “where did God come from”. I really don’t think anyone can answer that question. It has no answer. Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, “The Grand Design” book gives us the probability data and mathematical models of the begin of the universe and the expansion therory of time/space(different demensions of time). They even address the theory of nothingness….the beginning of the universe didn’t nessarily have to have a beginning, beginning is indicative of being time sensitive. If this sounds familiar, it should for Biblical scholars, it’s the start of Genesis; third word in.
After much thought about the Bible and reflection on theories learned in class, I have come to the conclusion the Bible is a collection of solutions, with the question missing so it can apply to multiple epochs. Framing each historical event as a solution of the Bible hasn’t disappointed me yet. It answers many questions anyone can pose, except the unending question of authenticity of authorship,general theme, suffering of the good, the Holocaust, and generally the preying upon by outsiders.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi GME,

I should not have used the Bush example but here are a couple of links:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2005/10_october/06/bush.shtml
http://www.rense.com/general64/gostalk.htm

Yes, I agree that God is a Spirit and those who worship him, must worship in Spirit and Truth. John 4:24
Many people think of God as some being like Michelangelo painted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. However, I think that this God is too small and actually is much more than this. When God created the physical Universe, it became his sentient body through which He experiences Himself.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: Jn:21
God worketh all in all. ICor 12:26
…that God may be all in all. ICor 15:28
Christ is all and in all. Col 3:11
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all. Eph 4:6

True, Flesh and blood can’t enter the full presence of God anymore than we could survive on the surface of the Sun. However, God experiences through us as we are his eyes, ears, hands, and feet in this 3 D world. We communicate with him with our every thought.

A statement was made by an unknown author:
There is no such thing as Cold, only a lack of Heat.
There is no such thing as Darkness, only a lack of Light.
There is no such thing as Evil, only a lack of God.

GMEstes1 says:

God says if you walk in Me you won’t walk in darkness.

genera says:

At Gen 1:6 you state the first hint of a trinity?? Prov 8: shows that the word of God Jesus Christ the first thing created by God was the other when it says let us.

GMEstes1 says:

I have studied the Bible for many years.
The Bible can be interrupted as a book of fools.
The Bible is a book of recorded events and if people don’t won’t to believe everything, that is their business.
If everything could be explained in the Bible then it wouldn’t be miraculeous.
People speak heavenly language on earth today, not understanable but by interpretation given to certain people.
Heaven is for heavenly people…science is for earthly inhabitants.
Life is good.

David of Hawaii says:

GME writes “The Bible can be interrupted as a book of fools.”
Only fools interrupt it that way.

“The Bible is a book of recorded events and if people don’t won’t to believe everything, that is their business.”
The Bible is easy to understand if we put aside the religious dogma and misinterpretations that leads to confusion. When you look at each passage under the light of what Jesus says: “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matthew 7:20 Compare both “gods” and men, it puts an entirely different light on Biblical events and as well as on current events. You will then understand why Jesus said, “Ye are of your father, the devil” John 8:44. You will also understand why many politicians promise one thing while doing exactly the opposite.

“Heaven is for heavenly people…science is for earthly inhabitants.”
Science is also for heavenly people because a knowledge of science helps to explain the Bible. Science and the Bible march hand in hand. The difficulty lies in the fact that some religionists have their own tiny idea of God and see nothing else while on the other hand many scientists are blinded to the fact that the Universe is Sentient and thus is far greater that their individual study of dead bones, rocks, or stars.

Why is there a controversy over Evolution versus Creation. Both sides are stuck in the mud of their own little world because God both creates and evolves. The Universe is His playground, where He experiences Himself, and He uses us as his hands, feet, eyes, and ears in this 3D world.

GMEstes1 says:

The Bible is full of miracles, and doesn’t meet the criteria for scientific study. I personally can’t find any experiments or miracles that are repeatable in the Bible. God alone offers hope for a better eternity. Medical science offers hope for a better life on earth as we travel toward eternity for responsible people who use their time wisely.
A person isn’t foolish to believe in God, our only hope.
The Bible teaches Jesus is mankinds only salvation; to miss hell prepared for Satan, Satan’s fallen angels, past, present, and future humanity. God’s Holy Ghost is on earth today taking care of Godly business. “By my Spirit you shall know them”.

GMEstes1 says:

I am implying if a person doesn’t believe the Bible, they are foolish.
The Bible states,” the fool says in his heart there is no God, this very night your soul will be required”.
I’m sure you know this and I don’t need to continue.

GMEstes1 says:

Thank you for your reply…if you understood it that way others may have too.
Sorry if there was any misunderstanding.
The entire book of Romans states my position. Romans 1:18-2:16…states plainly the behavior of foolish people.
They are not my words…but God’s.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi GME,
Not disagreeing, but was mostly commenting and elaborating on your comments.

In process of creating the Universe, whether created, evolved, or both, God also created Science, Geology, Archeology, Paleontology, Chemistry and all the rest. Just because people who call themselves Scientists, etc do not correctly interpret the data under their nose does not mean that Science is not of God. For example, is the Universe Gravity based or Electric based? http://www.electricuniverse.info/Introduction
Sir James Jeans said, “The universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine..”

By the same token, just because many people create new religions on their understanding or lack thereof of the Bible does not mean that the Bible is not a book of Science as well as a book of Spirituality. Unfortunately many do not apply Jesus’ statement “By their fruits ye shall know them” to their own lives, to the world and nations around them and as the result become seduced into worshiping the God of War and Hatred instead of the Creator God of the Sentient Universe.

If mankind truly understood the Bible, instead of making religions out of it and if mankind truly understood science instead of creating dogma because of their vested interests, there would be no conflict.

GMEstes1 says:

Hi David

Thank you for the follow up. My belief is, we come up empty handed when attempting to verify Bibical contents using scientific data and natural laws. (check sum)
The general cove all answer by Bible thumpers is,”God said,I believe it, and that settles it for me.” For them it is a slam dunk and they never attempt to explain anything.
When we read Genesis 1:1, it descibes the earth being created before the sun.
Recorded Biblical history is flawed from the beginning.
The book of Job is the oldest thing ever written, Moses and Job co-authored the book. Job stays away from creation. Moses jumps blindly into the soup.
Characters of the Bible were either the recipents of miracle understand and voices or mentally ill. I think it is a miracle.

Gravity is a combination of volume and mass…the more you have the greater amount of gravity.
Electrical force is a combination of electrons moving in a orbital path around the nucleous bound by the laws of attraction.
Gravity has to be present for the electrical force to be present, without gravity we wouldn’t exist.
A psychologist told me, “God is gravity.” If we have to have a definition of God, that can’t be proven wrong as far as I know. They run a career placement service, 6 digit income and above. They are Jewish and don’t adhere to the traditions of Christianity.

“My belief is, we come up empty handed when attempting to verify Bibical contents using scientific data and natural laws.”

I think I have made an excellent case of the exact opposite in this blog post, GMEstes. We find that with a very few simple, elegant assumptions, a children’s sunday school story matches modern cosmology and the fossil record tit for tat. My other site http://www.coffeehousetheology.com investigates many other things such as the resurrection and comes to the same conclusion. The Bible is extremely accurate as a source of archeological information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_archaeology.

You said, The general cove all answer by Bible thumpers is,”God said,I believe it, and that settles it for me.”

That may be true of your average southern baptist devotee but it does not necessarily describe the serious theologian or scholar of the Bible. They may believe that if the Bible says God said it then it is absolutely true, but they put their interpretation of what it means to constant scrutiny.

GMEstes1 says:

I re-read Genesis chapter 1 and can’t find any supporting scientific data to verify, the earth was present when God created the sun. The Bible plainly teaches earth was dark and then the sun ignited to rule the day and the moon rules the night(lesser light). According to Big Bang all element fused into atoms and combined to form molecular and masselements.
What was Moses thinking(?), the sun, moon,and stars all were round.
I believe science and the Bible are as far separated as day and night trying to support the Bible with science…well good luck.
I certainly am not trying to prove the Bible is worthless. My interest are in math and science( behavioral, astroarcheological, cosmology, biogenetics, social, and nuclear). I have let the Bible and religious studies 20 years ago.
Looking over coffeehousetheology, presupposes we’re living life with our heads buried in the sand. I feel sick when reading the 7 lies religion tells…these are subjects, I studied for 35 years. They just created more questions.

Read my original blog post, above.

David of Hawaii says:

GME writes: “I believe science and the Bible are as far separated as day and night trying to support the Bible with science…well good luck.”

I guess that we will have to agree to disagree. My interests are similar to yours and like yourself I left the Bible for 20 or so years in favor of scientific discoveries. Then I begin to realize that many things in the Bible that I had learned in Sunday School had been misinterpreted by Bible scholars because they were still stuck on theories from the 16th century. As well as the fact that many things in science are also misunderstood or misinterpreted by scientists.

I have to agree with Perry on his interpretation in his blog above mainly because I believe that the Bible mirrors God’s Science and God will not create a lie. I can not write in a few paragraphs what it has taken me over 40 years to learn.(I am now 77)

To this point in my discussions I have used only the Bible to point out my understanding of Genesis 1. It was with great reluctance that I gave up the teachings of my childhood to come to new conclusions concerning the many Gods of the Old Testament. There are also many ancient manuscripts which parallel or predate the Bible that tell of interaction between Mankind and Extraterrestrials.

Correctly interpreted, the Bible shows that for thousands of years, many nations and peoples, while believing to worship the Creator God, have actually been seduced into worshiping the God of War, Hatred, Lies, and Greed, Satan.

genera says:

Gen 1:1 states created heavens and earth I believe the sun to be part and parcel of the heavens.

GMEstes1 says:

Your points of a paradox are well understood. “The Bible and science are both literal and true”.Unfortunately science has only begun to uncover mis-interpretations of the Bible for all these years. The Haden period is recorded history and true, the evidence is adundant.
Read Gerald L. Schroeder, Ph.D.” Genesis and the Big Bang” , this gives the best interpretation of Genesis I have ever read. The Torah gives a better picture of creation than the Bible. The Bible is sufficient for most Christians. The book of Genesis is written by Moses and Job most likely from stories and alligories told to them. Neither were highly intelligent as far as I can tell by todays standards. Few schools of recorded information were available.
The creation acts of Genesis are as follows; all start with a night preceeding day and the first day correctly has water as an abundant element. Water being 2 atoms of hydrogen and 1 of oxygen. Unfortunately I don’t see oxygen being created in the Torah, Bible, or any place. Is this a mistake or oversight. Did everything living have lungs? I won’t get into the science of life and the support system for life as this isn’t this blog site’s goal. But oxygen is relativiely heavy and affected by gravity, lighter than helium.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi Perry, June 8, 2011

Just found this website which I thought that you might find interesting because it agrees with a literal interpretation of Gen 1:26/27 that the gods who created man in their own image were not the same as the Creator God of the Universe, as mentioned in item 2 above.
http://humansarefree.com/2011/01/oldest-metropolis-on-earth-was-built-by.html

MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2011
The oldest Metropolis on Earth was built by the Anunnaki!

“Something amazing has been discovered in an area of South Africa, about 150 miles inland, west of the port of Maputo. It is the remains of a huge metropolis that measures, in conservative estimates, about 1500 square miles. It’s part of an even larger community that is about 10,000 square miles and appears to have been constructed — are you ready — from 160,000 to 200,000 BCE! …”

“…Regarding the most ancient gold mines of Monotapa in southern Zimbabwe, Zulu legends hold that they were worked by “artificially produced flesh and blood slaves created by the First People…”

Former President Bush made the comment, you certainly can express your opinions. I agree with your statement, which God told him to do such a thing. The writers of the Bible do project God as a character who has all of your observed behaviors and emotioms. They really had vivid imaginations.

roger drake says:

Paradise, you say “Moses and Job added the rest”
The Bible is only metaphorical- value for object lessons only. Figure of speech, not literal. Interesting, so in your simple view the physical resurrection of Jesus was not real? . . If that’s the case friend, you have NO hope, your faith is vain and worthless and you are still in your sins (I Cor 15:14) As to the former, if Moses and Job added the rest, does that make it non inspired of God? I’ll let you argue that point with the author, at the end of time. Have a nice day

roger drake says:

Perry, thank you for providing this forum. I thoroughly enjoy the comments and your responses. So many wonderful pithy and perceptive observations. I wonder how many of these responders are really seeking the truth. Some, I’m sure, just want to bloviate extensively about theories and misinformation. Blessings on you as you attempt to provide a safe place for discussion and expression.

roger drake says:

Perry, I’m surprised you would use Hugh Ross as a reference for a discussion on creation. In his book “Creation and Time” he is very insulting and critical of Christians who believe the Bible account of anything. page 72, He says Christians are driven by fear because they know science will soon prove that the Bible is wrong. p 97, 138. p 125 science is always right. He says every respectable Christian must deny the facts of science and they have a burdensome walk with God and a terrible advertising to the world (p 160). Interesting, Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.
Question, If the 6 day creation was not a 24 hour periods of time- when did the 24 hour day finally come into existence? After the creation, after the fall??
If not 24 hour period of time how could green trees and shrubs be created on the third day and the sun not come around for another thousand years on the forth day. The context seem to be days of the week as in Exodus 20. God gives the Law. You should not lie or bear false witness etc. vs 9 (Ex 20) days of the week (context) thou shalt not lie! He blessed the sabbath day and rested. He created the world and all in six days. Did He lie? Did he bear false witness??
Maybe we really can’t believe anything He says??? Does Hugh Ross believe in the virgin birth?? or the resurrection?? Does it matter? Science doesn’t! Maybe we could just believe anything we want and all truth is relative?? Was Jonah in the belly of the big fish for three thousand years? Did the Isrealites march around Jericho for 7 thousand years?? Maybe they did- what do I know
Perry, I highly respect your site but, you need to error on the side of the Biblical account more than what science believes. Science can not believe the Bible mainly because belief in Biblical account requires responsibility to God and science, you know, is smarter than God..

This is an inexcusable mischaracterization of Hugh Ross. Did actually read the book yourself or did you base this on some book review you found somewhere?

Ross would never say science is always right. What Ross is saying – and what I am saying – is that the original Hebrew does not say a day is 24 hours. The Hebrew word for “day” has multiple usages in the book of Genesis. To insist that a person does not believe God because they don’t interpret Genesis the same way you do is insulting. You are saying that because Hugh Ross interprets Genesis differently than you, he doesn’t believe in the virgin birth etc etc.

You don’t seem to have read my article with much care. The answers to most of the question you ask are implicit in my interpretation.

Few things have done more damage to the credibility of the Bible than Young Earth Creationism and its insistence on interpreting Genesis in a very rigid, hyper-literal way. I’m not sure which is worse, the theology of YEC or the science.

If you’re going to have a serious discussion here, then carefully read the material I present, and Ross’s writings. If not, then I request that you take the straw man arguments and character assassinations elsewhere.

Loyal says:

Perry,
I have been doing research on Biblical Creation. I began with a neutral point of view; if I had any preference, it was the “Day – Age” interpretation. I read many of your articles, including “Where did the Universe come from” and “A new Theory of Evolution”, taking notes and checking Scripture. I did the same at other websites including “Reasons to Believe” and “The Institute for Creation Research”. I found that most present very clear and compelling arguments. Knowing that both views cannot be true and that “God is not a God of confusion”, I disconnected from the web and began carefully reading Genesis 1 and 2. I devoted myself to eight or more hours per day in Bible study and prayer for a week. I tried to imagine that I was hearing Moses tell the Creation story. I challenge you to do the same.
Your website promotes the idea that God created the universe by utilizing a “Big Bang”, Billions of years ago. You are assuming that your interpretation of nature is true and that Scripture must agree with that interpretation. The foundation of your belief is not the Bible, but un-provable assumptions.
If you begin with full trust in the Bible, the Creation story is a beautiful reflection of the universe. If, however, you begin with preconceptions or put limitations on the power of God, both Creation and the Bible become a confusing blur. When “Day” is changed to “Age”, it starts a chain reaction. Scripture after scripture must be manipulated. It makes full-circle back to Genesis 1:4 and questions the meaning of “Good” (which questions the integrity of God).
Again, I challenge you to clear your mind, read your Bible and pray about it.
Loyal

David of Hawaii says:

Hi Loyal

You write, “If you begin with full trust in the Bible, the Creation story is a beautiful reflection of the universe.”

True I have studied the Bible for most of my almost 78 years. At times rejecting it because of the perceived inconsistencies between the Bible and Science. Mostly I could not understand how “God” could both be the loving God of Jesus as in John 3:16 and the God of Laws of Exodus 20 and also be the capricious God of Joshua and the instigator of numerous atrocious deeds such as: Num 31:17, 1 Samuel 15:3, Judges 11:30-40, 2 Kings 2:23-24 and numerous others

When I finally realized that that there had to be more than one God lumped under the term “God” in the Bible. As Jesus said, By their fruits ye shall know them. Matt 17:20

Realizing this also helps us to understand why certain nations such as the US, Israel, Britain and others even those claiming to be Christian, who worship this God of War are addicted to war and are constantly at war with their neighbors.

Back to your statement. As I studied the Bible, I also realized that many have misinterpreted the Bible because they were not aware of the above, but that also many scientists were mistaken in the way that they look at their theories. Creation vs Evolution: It is not all of one or the other. The Spirit of the Sentient Universe uses BOTH. There is no conflict.

GOD’S SCIENCE IS PERFECT. We just do no understand it. There is no such thing as a miracle. Jesus walking on water, making water into wine, the seven loves and two fishes feeding a multitude, the resurrection, the taking up of Jesus into a cloud. I do not understand how he did these things, but Jesus did and he utilized universal laws to do it. GOD’S SCIENCE. Sure I could make guesses such as in the resurrection, Jesus body was replaced with a replicated cloned body by the angel(ET), or the cloud that Jesus was taken up into was a UFO because they did not have another term for UFO in those days, but like so many other things these would be suppositions.

And that is all that many people use to create religions over, or go to war because they are beguiled by the God of Confusion. Personally I leave the details to the Creator God of the Universe and allow IT to reveal ITS Self to me in Word and in Nature.

roger drake says:

Hi Perry, It is good to see you are still on the “air” or I guess technically on the cable. Yes God is good
I am a little concerned that you refuse to look at the lack of truth of the Hugh Ross Book- Creation And Time. Did YOU read the book or did you just “assume” he, being so educated, must always be right. To repeat, pg 125, paraphrase, Christians have a fear that science will someday find evidence that the Bible might be wrong??? I have NO fear that God’s word will stand against ALL the insults of science. “Every respectable Christian must deny the facts of science” pg 160. You mean like the recent “facts” of science that Al Gore has been spouting about man made global warming and the destruction of the planet. And the last example, to be very brief, pg. 138 God does not create anything with the appearance of age. So what you’re telling me is that when God created the garden of eden, Adam was Not an adult and eve was not an adult when she came from the side of Adam? Every act He created, at the beginning, was in the MATURE FORM. I recently heard a brilliant response to those who said God uses evolution over millions of years- The smarter a creater is, the less time He needs to create anything. The original developers of the automobile would be amazed if they could visit a modern day auto factory. Computers represent intelligence. Some day maybe a car can be built in a 3D copy machine in a matter of seconds.
God doesn’t need a computer He just speaks and the water is changed in wine.

GMEstes1 says:

I would never be so bold as make a statement, science is smarter than God.
Anatomically it is impossible for a human to pass through the throat of a whale.
The human body contains 7 raised to the 27th power number of atoms, atoms make up every cell in our body.
For anything or any person to float, mass has to be smaller than displaced medium.
Theologians can’t agree on the time frame of creation, 24 hours verses a day is a thousand years.

GMEstes1 says:

I hope everyone knows this is referenced to our number system of the base 10.
I’m not making reference to the computer languages; bit counters to 8,16,32, 64, 128 and higher.

roger drake says:

So GME, Before you start commenting on the Bible you should read the Bible. Jonah wasn’t swallowed by a whale. It says it was a big fish- maybe dinosaur. Oh my, I stepped into it now didn’t I, ’cause science says dinosaurs existed millions of years ago and God really doesn’t what He’s talking about. No, the Bible compares the day of Genesis to the work day of mankind. Sorry, You still need to read you Bible before you read Hugh Ross or Carl Sagan. Have a nice day.

Jonah 1:17 “God prepared a great fish”. Likely it wasn’t any fish now alive if Jonah was in any type fish, enzymes of carnivorous species break down meats. So this was a miraculous fish prepared by God for Jonah to live or die in a suspended state for 3 days and 3 nights. Most likely it is pure complete embellished delusional story’s not having any supporting evidence.Except it as a pure miracle, only logical explanation.

Henry Morris, PH D (?)… I’ll have to go back and re-read the book on creation.

What I wanted to say; you stimulated my thought process about a 24 hour day question. I have been exposed to both the gap theory and 24 hour period theory. Mr. Marshall teaches the 24 hour day theory. The first time I heard about a gap theory…I said to myself that is weird.

Our Savior Jesus, we see His birth and only one glimps into His life, left in Jerusalem by His mother and father. I was taught Jesus was born God but didn’t reveal his idenity until the public ministry began.

God requires humanity to believe Exodus 20:2. I’m taught Moses and Job added all the rest of Exodus chapter 20.

I’m more interested in the Rome Empire at the moment and the divisions that took place there.

Recently I was reminded by PHD’s in religious ministries, all of the Bible is metaphorical. It was written to teach object lessons, ONLY!

Per says:

Dear Perry,
I personally find it very difficult to understand how you abuse the history of mankind that we do have. Either there is a God and he is what he says he is and he did it the way he said he did it.
Let me quote James Bar, a late professor of Hebrew, Oxford University
QUOTE
Probably, so far as I know there is no professor of Hewbrew or old Testament studies at any world class University who does not believe that the writers of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:
1) Creation took place in a series of 6 days which are the same as the 24 hour day we now experience.
2) Noah’s flood was understood to be world wide and extinguised all human and animal life except for those on the ark –

or to put it negatively: the apologetic arguments which suppose the days of creation days to be long periods of time, the figures of year not to be chronological, and the flood to be taken merely as a local mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any of such professors as far as I know.
UNQUOTE

As you may be aware, there is no other explanation for the seven day week other than the creation week that has ackomapanied mankind from the creation. there is no rythm in nature, similar to the yearly and monthly rythm that make out a week.

Why would God ask us to “REMEMBER the Sabbath day to keep it holy” if he used long eons of time to create?

Kind regards
Per

You have not met many professors of Old Testament.

shands says:

Mr Perry, i have followed your courses on science and the Bible that you’ve been sending. I found them most enlightening.
I must say, however, that the topic of Genesis vs science has let you down for the following reasons:
1. If the creation week is not leteral, then our weekly cycle falls away, and yet history shows that we haven’t lost the cycle.
2. If the weekly cycle falls away, then the Sabbath, which Jesus our saviour kept every week, falls away therefor robbing Jesus of His Dignity.
3. If the Sabbath falls away, then Jesus is a liar because He is Lord of the Sabbath.
4. The story in Genesis talks of evening and morning, signifying literal days.
Science is man’s way of trying to understand our universe and if we can’t understand how God made all things in a week, we should not throw Him away.

Shands,

“Evening and Morning” is a Jewish expression for completion.

Notice that on day 7 there is no evening and morning, a 7th day. We’re in the 7th day now. Those who fellowship with God experience life as restful – those who don’t, don’t – that’s what Hebrews 4 is all about:

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’ “[b] And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.”[c] 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”

The 7 day week and the Sabbath / Sunday is a miniature model of the flow of creation.

GMEstes1 says:

Yes…how true this is. In my 3 years of theological study the faculity couldn’t agree on this topic or is God 2 persons or 3 persons. They weren’t dogmatic about these doctrines, you choose which you want to believe. I chose the trinity, it just complies with the Bible in most references. Their are many more doctrines of personal choice, Calvinism, Armeanianism, a biggie is the church age and the last unfulfilled prophecy of the 70th week of Daniel.
Science is founded on natural repeatable laws.

GMEstes1 says:

I have met many college level professors,Masters and Phd.’s, even studied under many for years. Some teach it was a 24 hour day and some teach it was, a day is a thosand years with God.
I look at the recorded history of people who can support each theory and lean to it must have been a day is as a thousand years. That makes the Bible and its recorded history consistent with the 6000 years theory.
Science teaches that life began 400,000 years ago, not life as we know it today but life in the earliest form of evolution.
Many need to study the quantum biological facts,gene therapy, and DNA…the human race may be the end result of the cycle. We humans for example have hormones of each sex.

darren says:

I agree we are living in the 7th day of creation.
But I have a few questions. Is God resting and not doing anything now?
Is He totally not doing anything? And that any miracles that happened while mankind were present occurred naturally, preplanned before the 7th day? And since Jesus is God, he would knew that God is resting, why did he still pray to a God that is resting? Or did He just rest from creation but is still doing other things like other non-creation miracles?

And since God and Science does not contradict, is there any known scientific explanation for miracles like virgin birth, raising from the dead, sun standing still in Joshua 10:12?

Thank you for your time.

GMEstes1 says:

Great questions, I can’t imagine any scientific explanations for the events you described. If we hold to the theory that a day is a thousand years, Joshua 12, the oceans would have evaporated and life on the planet would vanish. The writer thought the sun rotates around the earth and the earth doesn’t rotate on its axes. The false assumption that the earth is the center of our solar system. I place this in the category of impossibilities. There are biological ways to explain an unknown pregnancy by the mother?
No one observed the ressurection directly,only the ascention. This must have been a legitimate question in the Apostle Paul’s era… I Cor. chapter 15 discourse given in AD55.

roger drake says:

Why don’t you read Hugh Ross. Get the book Creation and Time and read his own comments. Then, attempt to answer simple questions of context and reasoning. The word in Hebrew means 24 hours, and other meanings but 24 hour is ONE of the meanings. To suggest that God used millions of years is a possibility but you sir, havn’t answered the simple questions of logic and context. Occam”s razor. He also denigrates Christians for believing God would create anything with age built in, but, did He not create Adam as a full sized adult and was Eve then, created as an embryo in some womb where Adam had to care for her?? Makes no sense. He created them as adults and probably created the garden and trees as mature items. Therefore, He could very well have streached out the heavens, as He said (Ps 103) with age built in. This could account for rocks that look like they are millions/bilions of years old. Also, there would be a center and an edge which would indicate that time would travel slower at the center than at the outer edge. Seems like recently it has been proven that time is not constant!! Oh my, now science does agree with the Bible, (how odd.) It is so interesting to me that if there is any disagreement between “science” and the Bible it is always the Christan bible believer that MUST be wrong and he is bringing shame to the Christian community. Let me suggest that it is faith in these unstable and unbiblical beliefs that have brought confusion and mischaracterization which is inexcusable. Why don’t you sir look at some real evidence as (answersingenesis.com) Do your homework and please don’t automatically look down on Christians because we believe what God says rather than the suppositions of men of little faith.

GMEstes1 says:

I am reading the book presently, Hugh Ross, “The Genesis Question”. He states his position perfectly through capter 6. He is approaching Genesis from the prespective of a Christian , my observation so far. He explains the scientific
method perfectly. I have concluded from the book, he supports the science of eons for creation along with Mr. Marshall. I have to agree completely with the book so far. Moses and Job didn’t have the advantages science has discovered to date in microbiology and genetics.
Because the Bible is elementary in its message it is easy to understand and misunderstand. I personally don’t believe the writers ever meant for it to be taken literally. My understanding of the Bible is, it portrays humanity as sinners with a sin nature and it is really a book focused on God’s attempts to regain His creation. For me that is all.
Submitting the Bible to scrutinization of science leads people to perform all sort of, what I call Biblical gymnastics. I detect it most of the time from spiritual leaders. The wise ones stay away from questional subjects.
Hugh Ross and Mr. Marshall raise the question, where did life come from. Not , where did God come from or how did did God get into heaven.
The gap theory and an old earth satisfy a lot of science.

frantony says:

“6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.”
7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so.
8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.”

There must have been a bubble of water around the world (water above) that protected the world from harmful radiations; instead of clouds. That must have been why the first rainbow was seen after Noah’s flood. The flood might have been caused due to the breaking of the bubble.

billj says:

Frantony,

(FYI for others, frantony is quoting Genesis 1:6-8 NIV).

The notion of a “bubble” of water, as you call it, has been proposed from the Young Earth Creationist camp for some time, and derives from the necessity to have a source of water to support the Young Earth argument that the entire planet was immersed by the flood of Genesis 7. ( It doesn’t solve the problem of where did the water go later.) But the further use of the word “sky” in Genesis 1:14 leads one to question just how high up that bubble was – higher even than the stars? I argue that it is more consistent to interpret “sky” to be in contrast to “earth”, and so the clouds and water vapor are in the sky. And God’s selection of the rainbow as the symbol for his covenant does not require that rainbows had never appeared prior to that time.

This whole global vs local flood argument has been debated exhaustively inside the Christian church for decades now. At the risk of restarting that argument here I’ll point out that the whole world, i.e. all humans, would have been impacted by a local flood, so a global flood was not necessary. It is also interesting to note that the leaders of the Young Earth camp have proposed some radical evolutionary processes to account for the large numbers of species that could not have been carried on the ark built by Noah.

If you are interested in digging further into the young-earth old-earth argument I would recommend you include Hugh Ross’ books in your investigation. He succeeds in being faithful to both Scripture and science.

Bill

frantony says:

Bible in Basic English
I will put my bow in the cloud and it will be for a sign of the agreement between me and the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be the sign of a covenant between me, and between the earth.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth

King James Bible
I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

I do not have the resources to get the actual meaning in the original language, but from the foregoing quoted texts in English, we should understand that the rainbow was set in the clouds after the floods.

The water-bubble need not have been necessarily higher than the stars. It could have been at a stratosphere level, or even lower, and was probably made of very clear water, that allowed stars to be visible through.

And the bible clearly says that God “created “an expanse called “sky”, between water and water, after which, did dry land appear. Clouds would have been present even before God created this “expanse”.

The problem of the “disappeared water” may be solved if we consider that a lot of water is locked up at the poles; which is why we fear that many lands may go under water if the polar ice caps melt due to global warming.

billj says:

Frantony,

If I understand your post correctly, you’ve pointed out that there are some alternative interpretations of these verses that rational humans can defend. So, the question then becomes, do you agree that an inspection of God’s general revelation can be used to help us decide how to interpret his specific revelation?

If so, then the evidence for a global deluge 4000 years ago is the true debate. And, to my earlier point, that’s been debated within the Christian church for decades now. In either case, the most important point is the impact on the human race, which most Christians agree on.

Bill J

GMEstes1 says:

The writers of the Bible used a lot of the writing technique ,” hyperbloe”.
Maybe because it was a woe factor for the time.
I’ll check out Hugh Ross.
A hypothesis, “gap theroy” was taught to me in school. The Hadean Period could possibly have occured during the gap.
I need also to go back and study that theory.

solensherre says:

Really? This is in my opinion the weakest of your arguments, all you really do is find a verse and interpret it in whatever way you wish, if evidence is found which suggests a different series of events, you still would be able to couple the various verses with the events, and such thinking is called having an imagination. The various passages can be interpreted in any way you like. For example, I could interpret God to be an alien vessel with advanced technology who manually assembled the building blocks of the universe into some semblance of order in our solar system, and thus left to never be seen again. See what I did there? I used my imagination to see a non-existent pattern.

duodu says:

Over the years I have also thought on the same thing as you are teaching. I thought of a harmony between science and christianity and between creation and evolution. In my thought I realized that the Bible account of the creation of the world is telling us WHY the world was created. It’s main focal point was to allow humans to know basic questions like who am I, Where did I came from and Where am I going. This question is well explained with creation story than evolution. This is because it anwers the questions as- we are from God, we are here for His purpose and We will return back to Him. I also beleived that Evolution is dependent on creation and that Creation theory teaches why the world was created and the Evolution theory teaches HOW the world was formed. One direct to a person called God and one also direct to a process the person used called Evolution. I also beleived in my thought that the days the bible said God used it to create the world may possible mean more than 24 hours for even the bible says a thousand years is like a day before the Lord. So I agreed that then each day may represent a thousand years. And the CREATION WAS COMPLETED WITHIN 6000 years process. Yes it is true God created the world by His words as Hebrews 11 makes us understand but it may not happened just as we imagine but it took many years for those words to come into fulfullment. I beleive that words are substances like atoms which we cannot see but they take part in a reaction with Spirit and to enforce it reality. So therefore God Spoke and His words were reacted with the Spirit of God and the seed which is also the words germinated or evolutioned till it became what the seed(word) meant. We can recall that the SPIRIT OF THE LORD WAS MOVING/HOVERING OVER THE SURFACE OF THE DEEP. I beleive the Spirit of God broaded on the words till it hatches them like the hen broad and hatches its chicks. To me IF EVOLUTIONIST WILL ACCEPT THE BIBLE THEY WILL UNDERSTAND THE EVOLUTION PROCESS BETTER AND IF THE CREATIONIST WILL ACCEPT EVOLUTION THEY WILL UNDERSTAN THE PROCESS BETTER. Perry these things we are sharing does not only relate to Evolution but also it solve much of the anxieties and misunderstanding in Christian doctrine between FAITH AND WORKS and will also solve Science puzzles which I believe is WHERE DOES LIFE CAME FROM. True knowledge and explaination on this will even save our societies from sin and pollution which are destroying us. The bible says The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters covers the sea. Habakkuk 2:14. I also beleive that this knowledge shall be the stability of our times in every area of Life including science, business, social, political etc… Perry I pray for you that God will grant you enough knowledge and understanding between science and God in other to bring harmony in our days to ensure stability. God bless you. Tell me if my concepts are true. God bless you.

eolichez says:

I just have a simple question: If God is so omnipotent and smarter than anyone on earth can imagine, then why didn´t he write his Bible so any dumb jackass could understand it and not have to interpret it any old way he deems it convenient? Why is there a different meaning of the Bible for practically every living Christian or Jew on this planet? Most humans are dumb, and obviously He knows that, so I repeat the question: why?
Ernest Hemingway, one of our best writers made it a point to write simply, even at seventh grade level. Why? Because he wanted his stories to be understood.
Did God write his Bible in such confusing and contradictory manner in order to play with us? To laugh at us? To make us hate each other? Is that why humans have historically killed in His name throughout history, simply because he wasn´t clear enough in his message. And I´m not even going into the question of Who wrote the Koran. I just want to know why without getting an intolerant, insulting, or fanatic answer. For Heaven´s sake, give me a cohorent answer as to why His message wasn´t clear enough for humans to understand it without having to “interpret” what he meant.

This is actually a great question and I’m glad you asked it. Allow me to give you several approaches.

1. U of Michigan historian Rodney Stark in his book “The Victory of Reason” points out that in Christianity, theology is a 10X bigger enterprise than it is in any other world religion. In Christianity, a considerable amount of CPU time is devoted to sorting these things out. Stark asserts that the entire Western tradition of intellectual debate and discovery was born in the Judeo-Christian practice of theological debate.

So you have questions like “Why doesn’t the Bible just come out and say slavery is wrong?” Well it doesn’t say that, what it says is, “In Christ there is neither male nor female, jew nor greek, slave nor free, all are equal in Christ Jesus.” If you study history, that statement more than any other overturned slavery. But it was a process of deduction and debate rather than a list of rules.

This is a key difference between Christianity and Islam. It’s why Jewish and Christian countries are highly literate and Muslim countries are highly illiterate. Because Christianity FORCES you to think. (To the extent that anything can force anybody to think, anyway.) Islam tells you what to do.

2. I would suggest to you that there is not really a different meaning of the Bible for every Christian and Jew. For example almost every church in the world basically accepts the Nicene Creed, except for Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The former added their own scriptures and the latter completely re-wrote the Bible and have their own version.

Yes you can find major differences between Catholics and Protestants for example but they’re about the minor stuff not the major stuff. They make it SOUND major but it’s not major.

3. The New Testament is completely and unambiguously clear that we do not kill people for believing differently than us. I don’t know how it could be more clear than it is. The Koran, well that’s a different story.

4. You are right, scripture is confusing. Jesus was asked a similar question in Matthew 13:

10The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a] 16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Later in that chapter he says:

44″The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45″Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

5. I would like to suggest that ANY dumb jackass can understand the following statement by Jesus:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

6. The Bible IS written at a 6-7 grade level, truly it is. Go to http://www.addedbytes.com/code/readability-score/ and paste any section of scripture in the box and you can verify it for yourself.

The concepts and the theology, however, will keep you busy for a lifetime. The Bible is actually like science. It’s plain and simple at its roots and it’s right in front of your eyes, but you can spend a lifetime unraveling it’s mysteries.

metaprogressive says:

Perry Marshall said, “Islam tells you what to do”
So just to clear up, here are some quotes from The Quran which suggests otherwise:

Chapter:38 Verse:29
(This is) a Book(the Qur’ân) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may PONDER over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember.

Chapter:47 Verse:24
Do they not then THINK deeply in the Qur’ân, or are their hearts locked up?

Chapter:45 Verse:13
And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth; it is all as a favour and kindness from Him. Verily, in it are signs for a people who THINK deeply.

Chapter:3 Verse:191
Those who remember God standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and THINK deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.

Chapter:46 Verse:4
Say: “THINK! All that you invoke besides God show me! What have they created of the earth? Or have they a share in the heavens? Bring me a Book, or some trace of knowledge (in support of your claims), if you are truthful!”

Thanks for adding these comments. I stand corrected.

I must mention, though, don’t see the level of priority on education and thinking in Islam that we see in Judeo-Christian culture, especially as pertains to women.

I do not say this to insult anyone who is Muslim. But I do think it’s valid to raise this question.

waleed says:

Hello everybody,
It is really interesting topics that you guys discussing. let me add extra notes and forgive me for my bad english:

I cannot understand how you guys (Christians) relay on a bible while all of you couldn’t agree on one version of it.

I belief that Jesus Chris received a holy book from God however during the ages it has been changed ? and not worth to relay on it. Jew have a major role in the changing process as well as killing Jesus Chris. so also I cannot relay on Judaism

while in Islam all Muslims agree on one holy book one version which hasn’t been changed over the time.

another issue regards to the period which the God spend on creating the universe. it is not realistic that a smart God and fully controlled person need a rest on the seventh day (what a joke???)
looking forward your comments,
thank you

alexk says:

Hi Waleed,

In regards to the statement about the bible, judging from your statement, I believe that there might have been some misunderstandings about the bible. Jesus did not receive a book from God, he claimed to be the Son of God and demonstrated the divine power which made many people believe his words. The bible is made of many writings by followers of Jesus.

Christians do agree on one version of it. The many translations are merely different translations: different language used by different scholars at different time in history to describe the same thing. In the thousands of ancient manuscripts of the bible, there are very few differences and they are very minor. The dead sea scrolls were an important archeological find because they provided a much older manuscript for large portions of the bible which were virtually unchanged from the other, old manuscripts. You can even examine the greek text and make a translation for yourself, if you would like.

In regards to the comment about resting on the seventh day, I don’t believe God needed to rest, I believe he set an example for us to take a day to rest. Modern science has backed up the belief with studies that show that humans perform better when we rest on a regular basis. I hope that makes sense.

roger drake says:

I realized this is not a discussion on Islam or the validity of the Bible but, some explanation needs to me made. There are no verifiable written documents of the Koran (Qur’an) prior to about 750 AD. Arabs were an oral culture or the documents became aged and disintegrated. in Contrast, there are more than 24,000 New Testament manuscripts all written well before the 8th century which have been verified as original and authentic and without major error. The Qur’an was basically written by one man and has plagiarized many portions of the Bible including Genesis. The Bible was written by 66 authors over thousands of years and has been proven without major error. (Evidence Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell) Have a nice day.

GMEstes1 says:

I concur 100% except the comparison to science. I believe english grammer is a better rosetta stone.
Some people in leadership positions do take out Bibical passages and mount personal agenda of their denominations.
Using grammar to sort out main topical teaching is my key to correct principles.
This site is dedicated to language and its construction of DNA. Unfortunately many people rely too heavily on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible and don’t think for themselves. When I married the first time it was into the Baptist religion and I heard so many weird things I’d never heard before, I enrolled and studied for 3 years at night the Bible before understanding embellished remarks. The Bible and religion are extremely simple studies.

sam9lb says:

well… thanks for answering guys … u have written plenty words and said that quran tells u what to do and u are write… but none of u answered me how come such facts are written in quran 1400 years ago… lets say at 750 AD as some of u implies…. how can those facts be know… was a long time before hubble space telescope? how was it mentioned that man is reponsible fore sex gender long before chromosomes were known? how was a nebula was described to blow in the shape of a flower and that pic wa taken by hubble in the 90s?
how was the voice of a neutron star descibed and a door knock? again 1400 years ago?
none of of u has answered … its like turning around the question by minimizing its content and comparing it to judaism and christianity… we r not discussing which religion is true….
asking how come such facts exist a long time ago …?????????????

roger drake says:

frantony, great comment! Years ago I read an article, which I seemed to have misplaced, that originally there may have been a canopy of ice around the earth before the flood. This encapsulating structure allowed for not only more humidity but a higher oxygen content on the earth which may explain why vegetation was so plentiful all around the world This also would help to explain why men lied so long before the flood (some to 969 years) At the time of the world wide flood ( not in agreement with Hugh Ross) this canopy broke and the deluge covered the whole earth with water. Also, it is believed that that is the time when the original continent Pangea split and all the separate continents were formed. Just speculation but it does fit a lot of the evidence. Knowing that the world wide flood covered the highest mountains by around 21 feet.
By the way, I did check my references to Hugh Ross’s book page numbers and statements , which are correct. Maybe Mr Perry chooses not to look at the evidence. This is a great topic for comments!!!

David of Hawaii says:

Perry writes: God is uncreated. God has no beginning and no end.

Due to your greater background and knowledge, I am willing to concede this point, however I can not find it in the Bible using Bible Gateway search engines.

http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=%22God+has+no+beginning+and+no+end.%22&qs_version=KJV
Sorry. No results found for “”God has no beginning and no end.”" in Keyword Search.

NIV Sorry. No results found for “”God has no beginning and no end.”" in Keyword Search.

KJV Sorry. No results found for “”God eternal”" in Keyword Search.

KJV Sorry. No results found for “”God has no beginning”" in Keyword Search.

Results of Search for Alpha and Omega:
1. Revelation 1:8
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
2. Revelation 1:11
Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
3. Revelation 21:6
And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
4. Revelation 22:13
I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Only Keyword Search for “eternal God”.
Deuteronomy 33:27
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Is saying that God is the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” the same as saying that God had no beginning?.

I know that this is sort of nitpicking but I would like to discuss this more if you do not mind, or if you could point to another link on the subject?

Thank you

David of Hawaii says:

After further research, I found the following, which probably means that God had no beginning or end as Perry says:
Psalm 41:13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting:
Isaiah 9:6 …and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Romans 16:26 … the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

billj says:

David,

I agree those verses are relevant. You might also look at Proverbs 8 and Hebrews 7.

For me, it was also helpful to realize that Moses is also the author of Psalm 90. And Peter quotes him again in 2 Peter 3:8.

So, Moses clearly understood that God is not bound by our clock – he is outside of our timeline.

It’s amazing to consider that no other holy book even comes close to expressing a sense for time as a created dimension. And scientists have only proven this to be the case within the past few decades.

Bill

MARKCOLE says:

Hi Perry,

Great text this, thanks!

I listened to Dr. Hugh Ross’ speech and also had a look on youtube for some of his videos…

I also happened across a debate between Ross and Kent Hovind and clearly see your point, totally agree.

Kent sounds like a bit of a lunatic to be frank – Ross puts up a credible / evidentially based argument and Kent simply calls him a “heretic” “part of a cult” and rubbishes everything he says but without coming back with his own credible argument…it’s just a LOT of opinion.

Kent made me feel embarrassed to be a Christian!

Thanks to you I now see clearly that it is indeed young earth creationists who are achieving nothing bar exactly the opposite of what they say they’re trying to achieve….however, they are only widening the divide between the world and Christianity.

You can’t simply run about rubbishing science.

Ross is right, whilst he didn’t explicity say it (*) – over time the flat earth society has become a clear “cult” and if YEC’s aren’t careful they will soon be viewed as a “cult” too.

Ross – in the debate – was very poised, never once lost his cool, never once threw out an insult…Hovind called him a heretic at least 10 times, accused him of misintepreting the bible numerous times and insulted him many times….

I’m sure you’ve already noticed that the Hovind (YEC) tactics are so similar to atheist tactics!

All the best

Mark

Mark,

Unfortunately, yep, you’re exactly right. It does make one embarrassed to be a Christian, because they are rubbishing science. I know the founder of a home school company who was on the receiving end of severe political backlash from members of the YEC crowd when he decided to sell materials advocating the Old Earth position. Being privy to the communication that went back and forth, I can tell you it turned into a smear campaign that was inexcusably ugly and VERY political.

This is what people act like when they’re losing an argument. Very similar to the atheists. Actually there are two groups of people in the origins debate that deep down are scared to death, that is YEC and atheists.

One time I heard a tape set by famous YEC Ken Ham. Because I am a sales, advertising and marketing specialist I was extremely conscious of the construction of his rhetoric, which was brilliantly devious. He began with a description of how the world is sliding into moral decay (a message that conservative evangelical Christians strongly resonate with) and then attached it to rejection of the Bible, then zeroed in on rejection of literal interpretation of the days in Genesis.

When he was done with his opening remarks he had falsely led people to believe that the moral decay of western civilization is due to people not interpreting the Bible Ken Ham’s way.

Which really was an amazing act of sleight of hand.

I was riding in our van and nearly put my fist through the ceiling. My wife had to calm me down.

It is a crime to equate respect for the Bible with someone’s extremely rigid interpretation.

Mr. Ham is also on record many places saying that prior to Darwinism and modern science, all Bible scholars and church fathers universally interpreted Genesis as 24 hour days. This is simply NOT true. I will respond to some other comments in the queue later and firmly lay that notion to rest.

I cannot possibly imagine that Mr. Ham is unaware of what early church fathers and Jewish scholars have written about this. (One Jewish scholar in the 12th century estimated the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years based on elements of Judaism that most Christians are unaware of, I’ll find this reference sometime soon.)

I can only conclude that Mr. Ham is lying or in denial. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume it’s the latter.

In any case the real crime is forcing people, especially students, to make a false choice between faith and science. The Bible is totally fine with modern science and vise versa, so long as you’re willing to ask yourself which interpretations make the most sense. When a science-oriented person believes that the only possible way to interpret the Bible is YEC, many times they will walk away from the Bible because they can see with their own two eyes that it makes no sense.

And THAT is tragic.

solensherre says:

Hello, I don’t really like that blatant criticism of atheism. In fact, it annoys me a great deal. Especially when being compared to the obvious idiocy of YEC. As I previously commented, you can interpret the Bible anyway you like, there is no specific answer, and that is the clear advantage of vague texts. The only difference between you and them, are that you go from science —> Bible, they go from some sort of ancient, retarded view on how to interpret the Bible, and completely ignore evidence. This is a big leap, granted, but still allows your fairytale to exist, despite internal debate on your own subjective view on how to interpret the Bible.
But backing up to my main concern, you compare me (being an atheist) to a YEC in being scared? punching through the roof is not even close to my internal rage at that, seeing as I am scared of alienating all you poor Christians who assume that “proving” the necessity of a God means that it is your God, not the Muslim, Judaic or Hindu God. Not to mention rather weak evidence for “proof” (an unanswerable dilemma is not, by far, proof).
Of course this should not be a rage rant, so I hope you could explain yourself, in what way is “Actually there are two groups of people in the origins debate that deep down are scared to death, that is YEC and atheists” true? Specifically for atheists in my case, the hacks of YEC are not to be considered in the equation that is intelligence. I don’t feel it necessary to be argued against in the previous rantings of this comment, although you may do so if you wish, as I have given up on explaining peoples ignorance, at least for now.

Thank you for your time!
Andreas

Andreas,

I did not mean to insult you, and I’m sorry it came across that way.

Not all atheists are the same. So let me put it this way: I’ve been having conversations about these topics for 5+ years online, just like you see here, and there is a type of atheist of the Richard Dawkins variety who is a sold-out evangelical zealot. I can see them coming a mile away. And I just have to say, beneath the bluster and hubris is a tremendous amount of insecurity. They quote Dawkins books as though they were scripture and many times they are former Christians who were converted to atheism and they’re just as religious and dogmatic now as they were before.

If you follow the Infidels thread (www.cosmicfingerprints.com/infidels) you’ll see the fear and insecurity that I refer to.

Not all atheists are this way but some most definitely are. Very similar in texture to the YEC crowd.

Having said that, I don’t think that atheism is any more rational than YEC. It just exchanges one kind of irrationality for another. I think the arguments against me that you see at the Infidels thread and here on this website illustrate that sufficiently.

P.S.: I don’t think Dawkins’ arguments are any better constructed than Ken Ham’s. Again, a great deal of similarity there.

solensherre says:

Well, I agree in some areas of fanaticism in atheism, although the fact is the atheism I recognize is different from YEC in that it uses sciences as an argument, instead of rejecting it, like YEC rejects Carbon-14 dating and the likes.

Unfortunately I am a fan of Dawkins, albeit not one of his fanatics, and I recognize his slightly eager criticism of religious beliefs, but greater still respects his use of rhetoric in rather degrading the value of religious beliefs instead of actually explaining every aspect of his argument. He does so, since he has written several books on the subject which I dearly hope you have read, his harshness does exist in his “the God Delusion” and the various debates he has partaken in, but not equally in “Climbing Mount Improbable” “The Blind Watchmaker” but first and foremost for your part I recommend “The Greatest Show On Earth”. It explains the question you are wondering about, indeed it explains all evolution in the elegant and loving method only a biologist can.
I hope I don’t seem like an utter imbecile for my admiration of Richard Dawkins’ works and debating skills.

Thank you for your time!
Andreas

solensherre says:

Oh, by the way, thanks for the infidels forum, you have actually been proven wrong repeatedly there so I don’t get why you’re having such a hard time understanding and admitting defeat. Just check the Moderator’s note in the original post.

Thank you!
Andreas

I heard Dawkins on a Boston radio station in 2005. He was asked about the origin of life.

He replied that it was a “Happy Chemical Accident.”

One thing I can tell you is, he wasn’t joking. I don’t know how to take a man seriously when he answers a question like that with an answer like that.

When Dawkins talks about the origin of life in other contexts, he offers a few remarks about how it might have grown from clay or crystals and “the chemists will someday figure this out.” But you can’t derive the genetic code or any kind of coded information from the laws of physics because the rules of all codes are arbitrary not deterministic.

Dawkins’ latest book “Greatest Show on Earth” says the following:

“Mutations are the random changes in genes that constitute the raw material for evolution by non-random selection.” He’s been saying this for 35 years.

Random mutations are not what drives evolution; this has been extensively documented for the last 50 years starting with Barbara McClintock (she won a Nobel prize for this in 1983) but the random copying errors argument is still being propagated mostly by atheists. The fact is, evolution is driven by natural genetic engineering and highly ordered transpositions, gene re-ordering, genome doubling and horizontal gene transfer. See http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/21st_Cent_View_Evol.html – I encourage you to read this paper with great care. It’s profound.

In the broadest strokes, Dawkins book is just fine. I have no problem with his story of evolution in general. But his explanation overlooks the real punchline – which is that evolution is driven by an algorithmic process not random copying errors. Making this entirely different from a philosophical point of view – with this in view, the fact of evolution only adds to the evidence that there is design behind the universe.

Dawkins’ central thesis is: “Evolution makes God unnecessary and highly improbable.” Yet at the same time he doesn’t deal with the implications of the underlying mechanisms of evolution (which are driven by cognition and computation – read Shapiro’s paper) and he completely dismisses the origin of life and turns it into a joke. I find this highly disengenuous.

So his conclusion that evolution eliminates God is a complete non-sequitur – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even gotten into the philosophical problems of his theological arguments.

I invite you to read McGrath’s book “The Dawkins Delusion” for yourself from cover to cover and see if Dr. McGrath does not in fact present a serious challenge to Dawkins’ philosophy. This is no mud-slinging book, it’s a serious philosophical and logical treatment of Dawkins’ work. Again I challenge you to buy the book and read it. If nothing else you will be a much more informed atheist.

As for your claim that I’ve been proven wrong by infidels, I’m sorry but I firmly object to your statement. If you think I’ve been bested then show me one person who has met the criteria I outline at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/solve/

solensherre says:

Well, number one, the real punchline argument against is, why would something that is so complex not require an explanation? if we need a designer, then surely God, much more advanced than any human, needs an explanation too? If not, why cannot the universe as it exists today also not require an explanation in it’s own way?
Secondly, I have read the Dawkins Delusion, and although I pride myself on reading capabilities and seeing both sides of an argument, this was hard. He ignores humor, as it seems so often anti- atheists do, (point of case, “Happy Chemical accident” makes me smile, and although you note his seriousness, the fact is that it was a happy chemical accident, as I will attempt to refer to a source about later, but also a quite inaccurate and humorous way of stating the situation). Dr. McGrath is unfortunatly also hypocritical, and allows his own method of thought no scrutiny, but provide plenty for Dawkins. Arguably, Dawkins does the same in his book, “the God Delusion”, but it is the natural subjective view which means that all readers of “the Dawkins Delusion” will instantly have their faith proven right, and readers of “The God Delusion” will have the same response based on their religious affinity. But the main argument against this is the fact that I myself disagree with some of the statements Dawkins makes, but agree with his statement as a whole, therefore I am able to find holes in Dawkins’ own argument, and I rather doubt you would find the holes in your own. McGrath is hopelessly illogical, but I may yet leaf through it again, merely to cite my extravagant claims.
And on a third and final note, the exact proven wrong is taken from the alternate, logical explanation which requires no complex extra being is http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?p=6067200#post6067200
But most persuasively is
http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?p=2703572#post2703572
in that it actually step by step goes trough your argument. Other sources are http://www.atheistpropaganda.com/2008/08/atheists-riddle-oh-no-im-so-scared.html
which tells you why the argument is invalid, I warn you however, he is slightly more disrespectful than could be hoped. Last amongst sources is my friends statement; “Even when the DNA is misspelled it gives meaning. Lot’s of these meanings are stops, meaning the cell dies instead of being able to copy itself and causing harm towards the body” There are other meanings as well, but when the body produces such useless or harmful anomalies they get rid of them, through immune systems, or the body dies, because of the cancer that has been created. A useful mutation of a cell, causes the cell to reproduce in the body therefore it may seem like the cellular evolution has a goal in mind.

Thank you for your time and your comments, there is no better way to become intelligent than through intelligent debate,
Andreas

solensherre says:

Are we not allowed to post links? because I’m having a hard time making my comment shown, tried thrice thus far :S

solensherre says:

I’m sorry, it seems my comment didn’t get posted, so I’ll sum it up anew. However I do not have the patience to rewrite all my statements except to mention the fact that I have read the Dawkins Delusion, and disagree with his reasoning especially several hypocritical statements, and contradictions.
And a final referral to a comment by a friend of mine: “Even misspelled DNA has meaning” and often that meaning is STOP, and without the ability to produce real amino-acids and proteins these “incomplete” cells die. Or cause cancer, although die is more usual. Therefore Darwinian Evolution exists even within the cell, making it more probable as the mutations have occurred several times in every human body (thus even the vast amounts of possible mutations have probably occurred)
These are the parts without sources, trying to post them separate.

I’ve got about 40 comments in the queue and I’ll respond as I’ve got time.

“Even mis-spelled DNA has meaning” – This is no more true in DNA than it is in English. Garbage in DNA is no different than garbage in any other communication protocol. Garbage In, Garbage Out is as true in biology as it is in computer science.

The “STOP” you refer to is called Apoptosis which is programmed cell death. It is performed by the error checking mechanisms. If the error cannot be corrected then a program will tell the cell to kill itself. Failure of this mechanism causes cancer.

Therefore Algorithmic Evolution exists even within the cell itself, making it more probable as the mutations have occurred several times in every human body.

alexk says:

Solensherre, I checked the spam filter and retrieved your original comment. As a note for the future, links are fine as long as they are to legitimate content, but if you post more than one link in a comment, it will automatically get flagged as spam.

solensherre says:

Aha, in which case, so everyone can see:
http://www.freeratio.org/showthread.php?p=6067200#post6067200
Which presents an alternative to your theory which requires no God.

I’m familiar. Bob’s been debating with me on this site and he hasn’t posted in awhile; I’m waiting for him to respond. Most recent posts are at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/new-theory-of-evolution/comment-page-4/#comment-4307

Desi says:

Are you kidding me? How much better constructed can Ken Ham’s argument get than this? http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/could-god-have-created-in-six-days What part of Ken Ham’s argument does not directly stem from scripture? What are you using to construct your argument? You have supplied no scriptural references to support your view of this topic.

Desi says:

Speaking of lying or being in denial, this is a total mischaracterization of Ken Ham’s view. I suggest you carefully examine his whole case before you reach a verdict. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/could-god-have-created-in-six-days This is very disappointing, Perry. It’s not like you to make an emotionally-charged, straw man argument like this. You have not addressed or even mentioned Ken Ham’s strongest points. You have provided no biblical support for your view on this topic either.

The article you quote says:

“It is a good exercise to read Genesis 1 and try to put aside outside influences that may cause you to have a predetermined idea of what the word “day” may mean. Just let the words of the passage speak to you.”

I fully agree that the simplest, most straightforward reading of Genesis 1, using the most literal interpretation possible, one will likely conclude that God created the earth in six 24 hour days. I agree with you there.

However I do not agree that the simplest, most straightforward reading of scripture is necessarily the most accurate, or the intended meaning.

When Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again he was speaking in metaphors. We all know that. But Nicodemus didn’t know that at first.

When Jesus said this temple would be destroyed and raised up again in 3 days, he was talking about himself. His listeners didn’t understand and he didn’t attempt to clarify what he meant.

When Genesis says Adam walked with God in the cool of the day; when it says Adam heard God coming after the fall; nobody believes God literally had legs and shoes and made crunching sounds in the forest.

When Genesis says man was made in God’s image, nobody believes that God actually has a nose and eyebrows. We believe that is making a spiritual statement.

Many OT prophecies about Jesus were never clearly understood by anyone, so far as we know, until after they were fulfilled.

In all Biblical exegesis that I know of, the unfolding of later knowledge, archaeology, new revelation, understanding of history, and cultural context is always allowed to inform our understanding of the Bible. How many times has your pastor told you things about, say, the Corinthian church or Nero’s persecution of Christians or whatever, and in so doing helped you understand what the Bible was saying? We do it all the time. How many OT prophecies only make complete sense in the light of Jesus’ fulfillment of them?

Outside knowledge is used to understand the Bible ALL THE TIME.

So why is scientific discovery suddenly forbidden when we’re interpreting Genesis – EXCEPT WHEN SOMEONE FROM AIG MAKES THE DISCOVERY?

Why is human history allowed to be brought into Biblical interpretation and natural history is not – unless it already appears to agree with everything that the church believed before the discovery was made?

Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again – not by water but by spirit.

God breathed the breath of live into Adam and he became a living being. That breath was not oxygen. It was spirit.

My father was a minister. I’ve been exposed to theology for almost all of my 40 years. Been listening to Greek and Hebrew being exegeted since I was 6 years old. I know quite a bit about Biblical interpretation. And I know from both Jewish and Christian tradition that there are MANY ways to read Genesis 1.

I know from experience that when somebody tells you there is one and only one way to interpret a complex passage of scripture that’s been debated by scholars for centuries – his way and only his way – he’s piling a bunch of legalism on your shoulders.

When he tells you there’s primarily been only one way Genesis has been read for 2000 years and it’s his way, frankly he’s significantly misrepresenting a good bit of the scholarship.

I know Ken Ham’s positions. They started teaching them to me when I was a teenager. But see, when I see stars 1 million light years away through Ken’s interpretation, I have to believe that I’m looking at an apparent history of the universe. The findings of modern science, according to Ken Ham, are an illusion. Unless they agree with what he says is the most common traditional interpretation.

Why is new information forbidden?

Desi, I am more sure that a star 1 million light years away really is 1 million light years away, and that the light is really that old, than I am that the most simplistic, literal interpretation of Genesis is the correct one. It basically comes down to that.

Now I realize that for people who do not share my background, a very simple, extreme literal interpretation of the Bible seems more trustworthy than science. I respect you for that. But I’m an electrical engineer, I’ve measured the speed of light in a physics lab myself, and Ken Ham is wrong- the speed of light is not changing and has never been changing. If it were, the Internet would not work. If it were, dozens of laws of physics would break down. Mr. Ham does not even understand the vast implications of a belief that the speed of light is changing. It would make nonsense of the laws of physics.

Now maybe he does believe that the laws of physics used to be nonsense. In which case it is impossible to ever use any kind of science to confirm what the Bible says. I passionately disagree with that because I believe Romans 1 – that God’s divine nature and eternal power are revealed through what has been made.

Desi, what has been made is not an illusion. It does not lie. Science is provisional and always subject to revision. But it is basically trustworthy.

Go back and read my blog post at the top of this page. If we assume day is a period of time and the story is described from an earthly point of view, Genesis 1 and modern science match tit for tat. Very simple assumptions elegantly harmonize the Bible with what we know.

Just as the death and resurrection of Jesus harmonize Jesus’ statement “Destroy this temple and in 3 days I will raise it up again.”

Desi says:

Thanks for the reply, Perry. I still think you’re misunderstanding Ken Ham’s position and you’ve failed to address many critical points of his argument. All of your objections and criticisms are properly addressed in the Answers in Genesis literature.

My issue with you here is not so much that you would entertain an alternate view of Genesis but rather that you would refuse to consider a plain reading of scripture as a viable option, accuse Big Bang skeptics of damaging the creation account, and equate the construction of Ken Ham’s arguments to those of Richard Dawkins. I feel these attitudes and conclusions are unreasonable, unfair and unfounded.

You are welcome to be specific.

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I think the real core of the YEC argument is a belief that there is no death before the fall. In fact many YEC’s can’t conceive of God making a world that had death and carnivora etc. That is certainly Ken Ham’s position.

The Bible does not teach this. If you read Romans 5 very carefully (“Death entered into the world through Adam”) you see that it is not talking about physical death, but spiritual death.

The only reference to immortality in Genesis 1-2-3 is the Tree of Life, which God does not allow Adam to eat.

The assumption that all earth was paradise before the fall is a key plank of YEC and AIG but the Bible only teaches that the Garden of Eden was a very special place. The Bible does not teach paradise before the fall; it doesn’t even say that there was no death. It implies that death did exist because Adam & Eve had some idea of what it meant to die. How can you eat fruit without killing it?

jrunyon says:

I agree. Death is essential for life. There is no place in nature where exceptions are found. Death is a result of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics that has been in place from the beginning. In fact, Christ submitted himself to this law when he died for us so that we can have life!

Here’s another thought on the Garden of Eden. The Bible only says that it was “GOOD” and that humans were “VERY GOOD”. Good, no matter how very, very, very Good doesn’t equate ‘perfect’. A good ‘garden’ might be a paradise for humans but it is not perfect according to God’s standards.

Jim Runyon

GMEstes1 says:

This makes perfectly logical sense. The earth would have been over run if death hadn’t always been present.
After reading Hugh Ross, “The Genesis Question”, it’s difficult to read to the elementary language of the Bible.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi,

This body is a wonderful complex computer operated, electromechanical chemical machine designed to operate in this 3D world. It dies, but we move on just like you as a driver leave a wrecked automobile and get a new one.
This Earth is only a kindergarten to prepare us of the next level, heaven. If when we arrive in heaven, we are able to just think something into being, or out of being, we would be like a bull in a china closet.
Our purpose here is to learn and also to teach love, patience, long suffering, etc.
When the body dies, we graduate. Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. 2 Cor 5:8.
Graduation time! Who wants to stay in kindergarten forever?

GMEstes1 says:

This is weird for me, because I was taught humaity didn’t die before the fall. Mr. Marshall is correct in his interpretation, that is primarily a Baptist doctrine. My teacher graduated from Bob Jones University and they teach the old earth theory. My teacher was wise not being dogmatic about the theory, the school was founded by Baptist.
When I joined the Methodist Church, my first affliation with any church, I had to agree that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I was 13 years old and really had no clue why I needed a Savior, it was probably explained to me but foreign. I was focused on playing sports in Sunday School, going to camp, and dating girls as friends…not as lovers or being a sinner. Later I was educated to the fact that my behavior had nothing to do with God and my separation. I wondered Who was I praying to all those years and later was educated to the fact that Who I discovered at the age of 5 or so is in fact God. It was on an elementary level. Seems to me the Church attempts to dictate the behavior of God.

qraal says:

Hi Perry

You’ve pointed out some nice examples of the lack of consistency in the literalism of the YECs. There’s a couple of other points that a close reading of Genesis reveals.

(1) At no point does YHWH tell the sea creatures what to eat.

(2) At no point does YHWH tell the animals to eat meat, even though he did tell Noah & family they could, and would, eat meat.

Does make me wonder how YECs can be so attached to the “no animal death before the Fall” concept. I suspect it comes from many YECs being of a Seventh Day Adventist background and being vegetarians for religiously inspired reasons.

I think you’re right – good points. There is a hint of animals not eating meat, but only a hint:

“And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.”

The hint is in the omission of giving some animals to others as meat. But technically, even then, there’s still death before the fall if people are eating green plants.

Desi says:

Proverbs 18:13 says, “He who answers before listening–that is his folly and his shame.” Again, all of these objections are properly addressed in the Answers in Genesis literature.

Biblically, Could Death Have Existed before Sin?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/03/02/satan-the-fall-good-evil-could-death-exist-before-sin

Do Leaves Die?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n2/do-leaves-die

Second Law of Thermodynamics
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/11/02/second-law-of-thermodynamics

Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old?
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-starlight-prove

Desi says:

Perry, I’m confused as to why you welcomed me to be specific when the article I cited includes all kinds of specific points that you have yet to address. For example, regarding the meaning of “day” in Genesis 1:

* A typical concordance will illustrate that yom can have a range of meanings: a period of light as contrasted to night, a 24-hour period, time, a specific point of time, or a year.

* A classic, well-respected Hebrew-English lexicon8 (a dictionary) has seven headings and many subheadings for the meaning of yom—but it defines the creation days of Genesis 1 as ordinary days under the heading “day as defined by evening and morning.”

* A number and the phrase “evening and morning” are used with each of the six days of creation (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).

* Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with a number 359 times, and each time it means an ordinary day.9 Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?10

* Outside Genesis 1, yom is used with the word “evening” or “morning”11 23 times. “Evening” and “morning” appear in association, but without yom, 38 times. All 61 times the text refers to an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception?12

* In Genesis 1:5, yom occurs in context with the word “night.” Outside of Genesis 1, “night” is used with yom 53 times, and each time it means an ordinary day. Why would Genesis 1 be the exception? Even the usage of the word “light” with yom in this passage determines the meaning as ordinary day.13

* The plural of yom, which does not appear in Genesis 1, can be used to communicate a longer time period, such as “in those days.”14 Adding a number here would be nonsensical. Clearly, in Exodus 20:11, where a number is used with “days,” it unambiguously refers to six earth-rotation days.

* There are words in biblical Hebrew (such as olam or qedem) that are very suitable for communicating long periods of time, or indefinite time, but none of these words are used in Genesis 1.15 Alternatively, the days or years could have been compared with grains of sand if long periods were meant.

Does this sound like an argument no better constructed that those of Richard Dawkins? Do the verses you cited as examples of metaphors and symbolism meet this kind of criteria to be taken literally?

There are many more points that need to be addressed including the whole section “Refuting Common Objections to Six Literal Days”. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/could-god-have-created-in-six-days

(I mistakenly posted another version of this without replying to your comment. Please delete it. Thanks.)

Desi,

Based on normal standards of textual interpretation, I think it would perfectly reasonable to assume that Genesis 1 means a day is 24 hours. But the text certainly does not force us to a 24-hour conclusion. There are several reasons for this:

1) In verse 14 it says, “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years.”

From the above text we have no basis whatsoever to even TRY to argue that a day is 24 hours until “day” 4.

I can certainly understand why a person might prefer the interpretation that the days are short periods of time. But just from verse 14 I cannot fathom how anyone feels justified in being dogmatic about this.

2) On the 7th day there is no statement “There was evening and there was morning, a 7th day.” We are in the 7th day now.

3) There’s a very interesting statement in AIG’s article http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/does-starlight-prove “Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old?”:

~~~

Light that would take billions of years to reach earth (as measured by clocks in deep space) could reach earth in only thousands of years as measured by clocks on earth. This would happen naturally if the earth is in a gravitational well, which we will discuss below.

Many secular astronomers assume that the universe is infinitely big and has an infinite number of galaxies. This has never been proven, nor is there evidence that would lead us naturally to that conclusion. So, it is a leap of “blind” faith on their part. However, if we make a different assumption instead, it leads to a very different conclusion. Suppose that our solar system is located near the center of a finite distribution of galaxies. Although this cannot be proven for certain at present, it is fully consistent with the evidence; so it is a reasonable possibility.

In that case, the earth would be in a gravitational well. This term means that it would require energy to pull something away from our position into deeper space. In this gravitational well, we would not “feel” any extra gravity, nonetheless time would flow more slowly on earth (or anywhere in our solar system) than in other places of the universe. This effect is thought to be very small today; however, it may have been much stronger in the past. (If the universe is expanding as most astronomers believe, then physics demands that such effects would have been stronger when the universe was smaller). This being the case, clocks on earth would have ticked much more slowly than clocks in deep space. Thus, light from the most distant galaxies would arrive on earth in only a few thousand years as measured by clocks on earth. This idea is certainly intriguing. And although there are still a number of mathematical details that need to be worked out, the premise certainly is reasonable. Some creation scientists are actively researching this idea.

~~~

I must say this is rather amusing. Basically this article admits that based on our normal understanding of the speed of light, light doesn’t travel nearly fast enough to get here in 6 days. I salute the writer for acknowledging that this is a very serious problem. So the writer introduces HUGE unspecified fudge factors, even allowing that time proceeds at different speeds depending on where you are.

He has not backed up anything he has said with hard science. Nor has he made any definitive statement. All this is just wild, hand-waving speculation. As an engineer it gives me the creeps. He has said nothing that anyone can nail down. He does not sound like someone who is well trained in the scientific issues he is discussing.

But what’s funny is that he seems to be OK with almost any view as long as it’s 6 literal 24 hour earth days. Scientifically and mathematically, his argument is just a mess. He’s trying to have his cake and eat it too. He’s trying to tell me that in one sense a day HAS to be 24 hours but in a different sense it can be anything you want it to be. He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth.

I need to be clear in stating that THIS is why I reject “day absolutely equals 24 hours.”
The 24 hour view so far as I can tell CANNOT be reconciled with simple, basic things in science like the speed of light. I have been exploring this issue for years and I have never encountered anyone who could find their way around this. All the ones who do are in denial of straightforward constants like the speed of light.

My personal belief is that the writer of Genesis 1 is unconcerned with the actual length of a “day” – it is a peripheral issue at best. The writer is making much more important points.

If I assume that a day is a period of time – acknowledging that this is a departure from tradition and straightforward textual interpretation – I don’t have to mangle science. Not one single bit. Nor do I have any significant theological problems attached to using a different meaning of “day.” (I only have Ken Ham who shakes his finger at me and warns me that I’m on a slippery slope and pretty soon I’m going to be denying Jesus too.)

On the other hand if I am forced to assume a day is 24 hours – which I still insist is not clearly stated in the text in the first place – then I have to rip very basic things in science to shreds. Like the speed of light and the passage of time.

I am unwilling to do that.

I advise you to follow your conscience and I respect whatever you choose.

Desi says:

Perry, if you’re unwilling to “rip very basic things in science to shreds,” then what do you make of the resurrection? How about Jesus turning water into wine, healing the sick, feeding the 5000 and calming the storm? How do you explain these events without mangling science?

What’s funny is that you’re probably going to tell me that you’re OK with the miracles in the New Testament as long as they are not used to compromise your naturalistic view of the speed of light, passage of time and age of the earth. So I guess you also are trying to have your cake and eat it too. You’re saying that in one sense God is not bound by the laws of nature and scripture reveals what really happened, but in a different sense God must have operated within the bounds of science and our observation is what most reliably reveals the truth. Am I talking out of both sides of my mouth?

Distant starlight and the appearance of age aren’t a problem for me because I don’t use natural processes as my starting point when trying to understand supernatural acts that God has specifically revealed in his Word. When Jesus turned water into wine he created an aged product. The storms were calmed instantly by His command, no time was needed for things to blow over. When the lame were healed they didn’t need months of physical therapy to rebuild their muscles and regain their coordination. At the time of His resurrection Jesus was instantly healed and transformed. In the future all the dead will be raised imperishable in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye.

Indeed, Adam and Eve were fully formed and mature at the moment of their creation. But without God specifically revealing to us how he made them, and if we were able to examined them at the beginning, then we’d have to conclude, based on what we observe today, that they were conceived 20-30 years prior.

So does God deceive us with the appearance of age? No. We deceive ourselves by doubting God’s Word and assuming that we know better. It started in the Garden of Eden when Satan, that serpent of old, said, “Did God really say…?”

With all this said, I’m not opposed to Christians holding old-earth views. I actually think you make a great case for why even an evolutionist can’t avoid the inevitable need for a creator. Even in the apostle Paul’s appeals to the Greeks he used some of their own knowledge (though corrupt) to make his case. And I agree with the Answers in Genesis statement of faith which says, “The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”

My problem with what you’ve done here is how you have thrown some of your fellow brothers and sisters under the bus. I think your piece would be less offensive and more helpful if you remained respectful toward the more plain reading of scripture and left it open as a strong possibility. After all, it’s how God wrote it. And for the record, I speak highly of you and often link to your blogs when I’m sharing resources with others.

Desi,

You said:

“Distant starlight and the appearance of age aren’t a problem for me because I don’t use natural processes as my starting point when trying to understand supernatural acts that God has specifically revealed in his Word.”

From a philosophical and theological perspective, that is absolutely fine. You can take that position and be consistent. I do not fault you for that.

But you cannot turn around and say that you also have scientific evidence for a young earth.

Answers in Genesis does that and it’s patently dishonest. Science clearly shows us that the universe is very old. Ken Ham says it’s young and he says all the scientists out there are frauds and liars. He says “millions of years” is a great deception.

So, let’s assume Adam was created as a complete adult. So If you could imagine Adam himself showing up 10 minutes after his creation, a normal person would look at him and say “He’s 5 foot 10 and 170 pounds and he’s 20 years old.” Ken Ham would say, “No! Heretic! He’s was created only 10 minutes ago and you are deceiving people with your satanic lies and delusions about months and months and years and years.”

Substitute 20 year old Adam for 13 billions year universe and that’s exactly what AIG is doing.

You can claim a miracle or you can claim a normal naturalistic process but so far as I can tell you can’t claim both at the same time.

So if you want to believe that God created a very old-looking universe 6000 years ago, go ahead. But you have serious theological problems then because the universe has EVERY indication of age. Did Adam have scars on his knees from when he fell down playing at age 6 even though he never was 6? Did he have a belly button even though he didn’t have a mother? Does God DISGUISE things to look old when they’re really young? The universe has scars on its knees AND a belly button.

I believe in Jesus calming the storm, and I believe in the resurrection. And I believe those are EXCEPTIONS to normal naturalistic processes. Therefore I do not attempt to use normal scientific processes to explain them.

By the way I would like you to notice that the resurrected Jesus had and still has scars from the nails in his hands and feet. Even the miracle of the resurrection is not so complete as to erase all the evidence of what happened.

I see this as one more reason believe that if the universe appears old, that its apparent history is real.

The key difference between my view and yours is I simply invoke fewer miracles in the process that got us to where we are now. When I look at the universe I see a very long natural process that did start with a miracle – the Big Bang, the singularity.

Scientific inquiry and physical laws break down at the moment of the singularity, any physicist will tell you that. I believe that natural processes give you clues to where the miracles are and aren’t. I believe the resurrection of Jesus was a singularity event. Any scientist observing the raising of the dead would have to admit that a whole bunch of normal physical laws somehow got miraculously reversed. Science can tell you that his person is in fact alive.

In any case, all the YEC’s that accuse scientists of being frauds and liars are themselves talking out of both sides of their mouth. I am deeply ashamed that they are doing it. Again, you can’t have it both ways.

I think AIG’s piece would be more helpful if they remained respectful toward the more plain reading of science and left it open as a strong possibility. After all, it’s how God wrote it.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi, May I enter the fray.

It is obvious that both of you are more widely read than I, but I still contend that both man’s science and man’s understanding of the Bible are flawed and that is why we have so many theories and religions.

GOD’s Science is Perfect. Mankind still has a limited understanding of it. We also have a limited and sometimes misconstrued understanding of the Bible.

I believe that not only is there often a deliberate attempt to hide some scientific and archeological findings, but there is a deliberate attempt by the God of this World to blind the minds of men as to the truth of the Bible.

Aloha

ericg says:

Desi,
Probably the best comment I’ve read on here. I know this is an older post but still had to comment. You absolutely destroyed Perry Marshall’s argument. The main difference as you mentioned is your starting point. You start with the Word of God and Perry starts with science. And therein lies his mistake.

ericg says:

Oh and also. Perry simple ignores your excellent points about Jesus creating aged final products (as Jesus also did with creation). In fact I like that Perry views these miracles as “exceptions.” Duh! All of Gods supernatural acts are”exceptions” to the rule.

Desi says:

Perry,

The universe “has EVERY indication of age” only if you interpret the evidence that way. As just one example, evolutionists view the fossil record as proof of an old earth and evolution, but biblical creationists view the same fossil record as evidence supporting a young earth and worldwide flood. In reality, neither view is provable. Evidence has to be interpreted. Interpretations depend upon presuppositions. This is the heart of the origins debate. God’s Word or human reason? You said yourself, “When I look at the universe I see a very long natural process…” Well, when I look at the universe I see biblical creation.

Answers in Genesis has written a lot about presuppositions and starting points. I included one example at the following link, but this topic is touched on in almost all of the material they produce. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/02/04/do-creationists-reject-science

Regarding “the more plain reading of science…” I get the impression that you put man’s reasoning (man’s interpretation of science) over God’s Word. But shouldn’t God’s Word be used to correct man’s reasoning as 2 Timothy 3:16 teaches?

When has AiG accused scientists of being “frauds and liars”? And regarding your problem of having “Ken Ham who shakes his finger at me and warns me that I’m on a slippery slope and pretty soon I’m going to be denying Jesus too,” what are you basing this accusation on? I think that, once again, you’re misunderstanding and/or misrepresenting the arguments of Ken Ham and position of AiG.

The Answers in Genesis statement of faith says, “The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ as Sovereign, Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.”

Ken Ham says, in regard to whether or not a person can believe in an old earth and an old universe and be a Christian:

“First of all, let’s consider three verses that sum up the gospel and salvation. 1 Corinthians 15:17 says, “If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” Jesus said in John 3:3, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Romans 10:9 clearly explains, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

(Still quoting Ken)

“Numerous other passages could be cited but not one of them states in any way that a person has to believe in a young earth or universe to be saved.

And the list of those who cannot enter God’s kingdom, as recorded in passages like Revelation 21:8, certainly does not include “old earthers.”

Many great men of God who are now with the Lord have believed in an old earth.

Scripture plainly teaches that salvation is conditioned upon faith in Christ, with no requirement for what one believes about the age of the earth or universe.

Even though it is not a salvation issue, the belief that earth history spans millions of years has very severe consequences. Let me summarize some of these…”

Read the rest of Ken Ham’s article, Does the Gospel Depend on a Young Earth, at: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v6/n1/gospel-young-earth

Desi,

The issue here is not whether I respect God’s word. I do. The issue is whether I accept Ken Ham’s interpretation of God’s word.

Ken Ham’s interpretation of God’s word is incompatible with the speed of light, the known size of the universe and the laws of physics.

I do not believe God lies. We can plainly measure the speed of light and I do not believe God made a contradictory universe. Thus I embrace an interpretation of scripture that is consistent with easily verified facts.

I’ve heard Ham’s slippery slope argument. He came and spoke at an ICHE home school conference in Illinois and he began his presentation talking about all manner of moral ills in America, disrespect of scripture etc. He described the “slippery slope” – if we don’t interpret day as 24 hours then maybe the deity of Jesus is next. I’m a connoisseur of rhetoric – I’m in advertising and marketing – and I knew exactly what he was doing. Highly manipulative.

After he got everyone all bothered about that he connected it to our compromise of not interpreting Genesis literally enough – that it all starts there.

His presupposition is that the most literal possible interpretation of scripture is the only valid one. I’m sure his eye has caused him to stumble but he’s still got two – he didn’t take that verse literally. When it says Adam and Eve heard God walking in the cool of the day I doubt he interprets that to mean God has legs and shoes. So he’s being inconsistent.

Desi says:

Perry, This isn’t about Ken Ham’s interpretation of God’s Word, it’s about YOURS. YOU’RE the one who’s manipulating the text (go back and read your own “A Closer Look at Genesis 1″).

The Bible gives us principles of interpretation in 2 Corinthians 4:2 and Proverbs 8:8–9. We are to read and understand the Bible in a plain or straightforward manner taking into consideration the literary style, context and authorship. This means that literal history is literal history, metaphors are metaphors, poetry is poetry, etc. Genesis records actual historical events. It was written as historical narrative.

You’re unwilling to accept the biblical creation account because you feel that it compromises your understanding of the speed of light, but when you change the Bible to accommodate your naturalistic view you compromise every foundational aspect of Christianity. Throughout the entire Bible the Genesis creation account, including six days, Adam and Eve, the fall and the flood, is cited as literal history. The gospel message and all biblical theology stem directly from the events and the timeline of events recorded in Genesis. Instead of needing to rewrite the Bible, is it possible that you need to rethink the speed of light, or at least its place in regard to God’s supernatural act of creation?

Jesus, our eternal creator, does have legs and feet and would have walked in the Garden of Eden. In John 8:58 Jesus tells us, “…before Abraham was born, I am!” And we learn in Colossians 1:16 that, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

Consider also this explanation of the Christophany In Genesis 3:8. http://healtheland.wordpress.com/2010/12/24/the-christophany-in-genesis-38-and-its-stunning-meaning/

Desi,

Where does the Bible say that Jesus walked in the garden of Eden? Show me the verse. My book says “the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.” KJV says “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

Why do you interpret it to mean “Jesus” when it says “God”? Do you not interpret this scripture literally?

I’ve been a Christian for 37 years and this is the first time I’ve ever heard that it was actually Jesus who was walking through the garden. This doesn’t appear to be a widely held interpretation. Are you suggesting that the pre-incarnate Jesus had a physical body? Was Jesus born twice?

Why do I have to be rigid with the word “day” but you get to be creative with the word “voice”?

David of Hawaii says:

Taking my life in hand, I enter the fray.

Desi says: “…evolutionists view the fossil record as proof of an old earth and evolution, but biblical creationists view the same fossil record as evidence supporting a young earth and worldwide flood…. …You (Perry) said yourself, “When I look at the universe I see a very long natural process…” Well, when I (Desi) look at the universe I see biblical creation.”

When I, David look at the universe, I see both creation and long natural process, each as God pleases, sometimes doing things HIMself and at other times, allowing HIS OTHER CREATED BEINGS, ie. Angels, ETs do the job. A couple of thoughts that may partially resolve the debate.

Genesis 1 KJV
1 In the beginning God (The Spirit that created and inhabits the Sentient Universe) created the heaven (Created and evolved over 13 billion years) and the earth (Created and evolved over 4.6 billion years).
 2a And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Why this turmoil? Perhaps because of a collision between Tiamat, now earth and Nibiru. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sumer_anunnaki/esp_sumer_annunaki22.htm
This collision could have displaced Tiamat/earth from being the fifth planet to the current orbit as the third planet, created our moon and killed the dinosaurs)
2b And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Still God is not in a hurry and allows everything to settle, cool and the continents to shift)
 
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Now begins the FIRST DAY, in which God could have speeded up the process of allowing the sun to shine through to again make earth habitable.)
 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the FIRST DAY.
 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the SECOND DAY.
 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so….
 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
 13 And the evening and the morning were the THIRD DAY… ETC

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, Notice the word “replenish” START OF YOUR 6000 YRS.

David of Hawaii says:

Desi writes: “…This means that literal history is literal history, metaphors are metaphors, poetry is poetry, etc. Genesis records actual historical events. It was written as historical narrative…”

It seems that you have boxed yourself into a corner.

Gen 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (It does not say how, or how long it took, just that it was a sequence and periods of time, which men have argued about for centuries. Personally I do not care because they are ignoring the truth of Genesis that there are more than one God lumped under the term “God”.)

However, Gen 1:26 in the creation of man things get specific: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”

Again, Gen 1:27 is also specific: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…”

A third time Gen 5:1,2 In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them;

Matthew 18:16
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

You cannot ignore the true meaning of these verses and the fact that man was created by an intermediate created being!!! So who was this god or gods that created man?

These gods also wanted gold Gen. 2:11 & 12. And mankind to work the garden 2:15
This god did not want mankind to have knowledge Gen 3:17 ( Like slave owners in southern plantations.)
This god was heard walking in the garden. Gen 3:8
This god had to ask where Adam was. Gen 3:9
This god was concerned that mankind was now like themselves Gen 3:22
This god preferred the roasted meat and fat given by Abel over the vegetables brought by Cain. Gen 4:4 (A human like trait)

The sons of god had sex with and children by human women again proving they were genetically similar physical beings. Gen 6:2,4
(They had to be genetically compatible. Dogs can’t breed with cats, etc.)

(Why would a Spiritual God, the ESSENCE that created, inhabits, runs the entire Sentient Universe consisting of billions of galaxies, with trillions of suns and planets, come to a puny little planet circling a minor sun on the outskirts of a minor galaxy to have more respect for a roast leg of lamb than for a platter of vegetables? Surely this is a trait more befitting a being much lower in the hierarchy.)

Desi writes: “Jesus, our eternal creator, does have legs and feet and would have walked in the Garden of Eden. In John 8:58 Jesus tells us, “…before Abraham was born, I am!” And we learn in Colossians 1:16 that, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

Yes, I totally agree with Col 1:16 “IN HEAVEN AND EARTH, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE, THRONES, DOMINIONS, PRINCIPALITIES, POWERS. Which of these were the beings that created man in their own image, male and female. Not likely to be the seraphims of Isaiah 6 or the cherubims of Ezekiel. They had to be similar in image and likeness to mankind and genetically compatible to have children with the daughters of men.

I’ll go along with your statement above that Jesus may have been present at the creation and assisted in the creation of the beings that created man in their own image, but not that he was present in the garden nor would he have shown a preference over one offering versus another as with Cain and Abel, nor would his children have had sex with the daughters of men.

Perhaps I am wasting my time here and should keep my mouth shut as the Rabbi Moses Maimonides says;
[i] “Whoever shall find out the true sense of the Book of Genesis ought to take care not to divulge it…If a person should discover the true meaning of it by himself, or by the aid of another, then he ought to be silent, or if he speaks he ought to speak of it obscurely, in an enigmatical manner, as I do myself” – (Rabbi Moses Maimonides)[/i]

Desi says:

Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity and therefore has always existed.

Colossians makes it clear that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was the one who created all things: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16–17).

We also know that Jesus is in fact called the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1–3).

Now, consider Exodus 20:1: “And God spoke all these words, saying . . . .” Because Jesus is the Word, this must be a reference to the preincarnate Christ speaking to Moses.

John 1:18 states: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” There is no doubt, with rare exception, that the preincarnate Christ did the speaking to Adam, Noah, the patriarchs, Moses, etc.

More on context and interpretation:

“What is Biblical hermeneutics?”
http://www.gotquestions.org/Biblical-hermeneutics.html

What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?
http://www.gotquestions.org/exegesis-eisegesis.html

More on tangible manifestations of God:

What is a theophany? What is a Christophany?”
http://www.gotquestions.org/theophany-Christophany.html

Desi says:

David of Hawaii, regarding your comments and beliefs, please read: Is the Trinity Three Different Gods? http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/07/19/trinity-three-different-gods

(I guess this IS a slippery slope, huh, Perry?)

David of Hawaii says:

Hi Desi,

I read your: “Is the Trinity Three Different Gods?” http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/07/19/trinity-three-different-gods

This is an entirely different subject REFERRING ONLY to the God head and does not change my statement that there are other gods in the Bible lumped the term “God”.

Desi says:
July 25, 2011 at 9:40 am
Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity and therefore has always existed…
…We also know that Jesus is in fact called the Word: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1–3)…

I’ll agree that there were 3 in 1 in the original creation by the Creator God. Gen 1:1,25 The Word is also sometimes interpreted as “the Essence” and definitely present in the creation of the Sentient Universe.

Desi quotes: “John 1:18 states: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

This is true that “No Man has seen God” because we cannot see the essence of life, the spirit that inhabits the Sentient Universe but on the other hand, we do see God’s physical self everywhere we look, even in the mirror. We are God’s hands, feet, eyes, and ears in this 3 D world. Jesus said, “Ye are gods.” Jn 10:34
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: Jn 17:21
God worketh all in all.  I Cor 12:26
…that God may be all in all. I Cor 15:28
Christ is all and in all.  Col 3:11
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all and in you all. Eph 4:6

Desi writes: “There is no doubt, with rare exception, that the pre incarnate Christ did the speaking to Adam, Noah, the patriarchs, Moses, etc.”

Perhaps in some cases, but if you try to put Jesus as the personal physical creator of Mankind in Genesis, then there is a very slippery slope indeed.
 Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 5:1 In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them;

So what I am understanding you to say is that Jesus took on a human like form to create Man in his Own image. To what FEMALE was He speaking when he said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”?

And was Jesus the God that preferred Abel’s roast meat to Cain’s vegetables? Very un-Christ like!

You place Jesus as the God who spoke to Moses and made the tablets of the 10 Commandments? Why was he so unobtainable? Shaking the mountain with thunder and lightening, allowing no one to approach? And taking so long to write the tablets when He could have done it almost instantly with a laser.? But the importance is in the writing, Thou shalt not kill, steal, covet. etc.

So then, in the book of Joshua, was this an impotent Jesus or Satan who called himself “THE LORD” or “THE LORD, YOUR GOD” that was unable to change the Arabian Desert into a land flowing with milk and honey in 40 years, as it had been 10,000 years before, but instead told Joshua to murder the remainder of Abraham’s seed, to steal their land, and inhabit their cities in the Land of Canaan.

Nothing you have said or quoted tells me other than that the Bible has many gods lumped under the term “God” and some of these gods were lesser created beings or indeed evil. Matt 7:16 Jesus said: “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

Desi, asks:
“What is Biblical hermeneutics?”
“What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?
“What is a theophany? What is a Christophany?”

Sorry, but I don’t know and I don’t care. More big words for theologians to run in verbal circles?

The fact that you don’t care about hermeneutics simply reveals an anti-intellectual bias on your part. Frankly it’s insulting. If you want to put down people for making such distinctions and caring about them, then you are not welcome here.

I need to point out one thing you said:

“And was Jesus the God that preferred Abel’s roast meat to Cain’s vegetables? Very un-Christ like!”

This was the first murder in the history of mankind. It was between brothers. It was over jealousy about worship. Specifically, over the issue that God would consider some kinds of worship more pleasing than others.

This is the DNA of all religious conflict.

You can take one of two approaches:

1) You can blame it on God

2) Man can take responsibility for listening to God.

Surely if God exists in any form, and has revealed Himself in any particular way, He would care about how He is understood. I for one accept that God considers some forms of worship acceptable, and others not. If you disagree, then I’d like to know, on what objective basis would you disagree?

In my opinion, Islamic terrorism is driven by the jealousy and inferiority that Muslim extremists feel – knowing their countries are full of poor and illiterate people ruled by dictators, yet the west is prosperous and free. They seethe with jealousy. Jihad Terrorists = Cain murdering Abel. Some things never change.

David of Hawaii says:

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/genesis1/

Perry Marshall commented:
“The fact that you don’t care about hermeneutics simply reveals an anti-intellectual bias on your part. Frankly it’s insulting. If you want to put down people for making such distinctions and caring about them, then you are not welcome here.”

It is time that I eat humble stew again for my foot in mouth disease. And I guess that it is time I break out Webster’s finest. I do not have an anti-intellectual bias; in fact a better term might be “jealousy”. I wish that I had a photographic memory to recall every verse I had ever learned, or to be able to speed read complicated books and documents. At the hospital where I volunter, when a doctor speaks with another doctor, he may mention that the patient has “Paroxysmal atrial tachycardia” and the other doctor knows exactly what he is talking about. To me, it is the Tower of Babel.

On the other hand, God has given me the health and talents as a handyman, so that even though I am 78, I still do repair work for the local Baptist and Congressional churches, the local hospital, and volunteer for the Red Cross and several other civic organizations as well as doing repair work for various widows and orphans.

Being intellectual has advantages and disadvantages. I consider my wife who finished college while I didn’t to be more intellectual than I, but while she watches home improvement and cooking shows by the hours, none of it translates into repair work on the home or meals on the table. She, however does AARP Taxaide for over 300 clients each year so uses her talents in this manner.

Perry commented:
“You can take one of two approaches:
1) You can blame it on God
2) Man can take responsibility for listening to God”

It is the Creator God’s Universe. He can do anything he wants.
I meant no insults either to Jesus or anyone else here. I simply do not believe that either the Creator God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit was the “Preferential Roast Meat god” who’s children later married the human women and had children by them.

My hermeneutics (if that is the proper use of the term) from the very first post on 4-17-10 has been that there are other created intermediate beings who have been lumped together with the term “God” in the Bible and they are sometimes something else, given Jesus statement that “By their fruits, ye shall know them.

In the more than a year and numerous posts, neither you or anyone else has commented on my statement “If you wish to say that the Torah is LITERAL, the only way that it makes sense is that there are at least several gods lumped under the one term “God”.
No one as far as I know has attempted to refute it using scripture, although several have mentioned the Trinity, which refers to the Creator God only, and not to some of the other intermediate created beings in the hierarchy which have different attributes and I have defined them accordingly.

It is your website, and if you agree to disagree, you can delete my posts at any time.

Aloha,

David

qraal says:

Probably explains why Hovind is doing time for tax evasion and Ross’s ministry is being blessed.

roger drake says:

Qraal, you might want to get your facts correct before you make extreme accusations! Kent was put in jail for structuring not tax evasion. He simply took checks that were given to him as donations and deposited them into his checking account or cashed them. Any contractor does the same thing.
Let me also remind you that Hugh Ross is not really accepted that much in the Christian community. He is read and does his presentations but basically supports the evolutionary theory.
I have a question for anyone who understands this process of hierarchical organization? as explained by Shapiro- a 21 Century View of Evolution. per your reference in this blog. I’m sure he is much smarter than me but could anyone explain to my simple mind how inorganic elements which form into complex molecules some how form an architectural computational system. Where does the design, intelligence inside the inorganic molecules come from? How does it know what decision to make to preserve life?. Tell me again how this is science and has been observed and proven??? How is the inorganic elements in a kitchen plate different than the inorganic compounds in the formation of a sentient being with conscience and intelligence (a mind)? And please don’t tell me it just happened over millions of years- that would be laughable and a pity.
Thank you for your response.

roger drake says:

I’m amazed by all the rhetoric, language lacking in sincerity and meaningful content. Why Perry are WE (YEC) making a choice between faith and science? WE have to walk away from the Bible?? Because the Bible is confusing WE are losing the argument?? Wow, Are YOU engaged in leading the witness or pettifoggery, which?? good luck!
Most of you (all) are coming from the premise (assumption ) that the Bible must be wrong or not able to be understood. The Bible requires no defense it is inspired of God and these words are true and faithful (Revelation) If you are not able to understand then, It is not God’s fault. You should pray for wisdom. But you having the “itching ears” ( I Timothy) are the one’s on the defense. So you make up theories that seems to agree with what you see and they are always changing. I suggest that the only reason Hugh Ross likes the old earth concept is because some things look very old( millions of years old) what ever that looks like? New science information in (answersingenesis.com) .org? Look at 6 day creation possible. Interesting, God stretched out the heavens Ps.103 etc. so there really is a center and an edge. And the outer edges could really be much older than earth at 6000 years. Remember Naaman (II Kings 5) Syrian army captain had leprosy well, did he really have leprosy? He was healed when he obeyed the prophet and Miriam, Moses’ wife because of her constant negativity, became a leper Well, did they really have leprosy or was it a slight of hand trick by the prophet? I’ll let all you experts decide. The point is, God has power to make things appear one way then the other. God has the ability to cause things to appear old and diseased for His purposes. Don’t be caught in the camp of the foolish. God is smarter than all mankind combined and He will confound the foolish. Now, why don’t you just admit you really don’t know how God created something from nothing, how He created all the laws of science, all the logic, all the intricate parts that make up the human body, all the purpose and love He has enveloped in our lives and then, heaven too! now that’s the real story. Have a nice day.

Roger,

You are exactly making my point.

Did Naaman really have leprosy or did he only appear to have leprosy? I say he really had leprosy.

Is the universe 13.7 billion years old for real, or does it only appear to be 13.7 billion years old?

Does God make universes that have every appearance of being 13 billion years older than they really are?

How is that any different than me telling you you were created 60 seconds ago and all your memories are just an illusion?

If God made a universe with an appearance of age then I don’t know how you can tell me that Naaman really had leprosy. For that matter maybe Jesus just appeared to die on the cross. Where does this kind of reasoning stop?

What kind of science epistemology can you establish if you believe that God builds an entire universe to… what, trick us?

Simply assuming a day is a period of time – which is neither a misuse of Hebrew nor without historical precedent, going back 1000+ years – solves all those problems. I for one seek the most parsimonious explanation.

I’ll get to your other posts as I have time.

David of Hawaii says:

I agree with Perry on this “Day” equals “eons”. Just because we misinterpret the term “Day” does not mean that the Creator God would create the Mother of all Lies to fool Scientists.

Looking at the archeological, astronomy, and scientific evidence that has been found just in my lifetime of 77 years, I have to go with the “eons” even though my father believed and preached differently up to his death 40 years ago.

I certainly am not arrogant enough to tell God how to create HIS/Her/Its universe, and if He chose to create some things, evolve others, and to have some of his creations create even other beings or things, so be it. After all, it is His universe where our earth is like a small grain of sand on the Sahara Desert. And it is God’s Spirit that gives us the spark of life, irregardless of how we came into being, and also despite the fact that we too often follow the Gods of War and Greed.

solensherre says:

In the words of George Carlin; “I truly believe God is a man, because no woman could or would ____ this up so bad”

Just in comment to your very polite “HIS/Her/Its” part.

Not intended by me to be very offensive, though I felt it humorously befitted the situation.

qraal says:

There’s always Gerald Schroeder’s idea to consider – that the 6 days of creation are from God’s point-of-view and relativistically time-distorted compared to our own.

JOHN says:

Dear Perry.
I have been receiving your articles for sometimes and all i have to say is that you are somehow trying to bend biblical facts to suit Western Views of the Bible.
As time goes i will be sending you my observations.
what Roger Drakes has said are facts that no scientist or even a man with a carnal Mind can understand, Am not a member of YEC but note the Followings;_
1. When God creates, whatever is created appears the way he wants it to be. because His word is creative. Take for example, the leprosy of Naman the asyrian, it was there and all that was required was a deep in Jordan River 7times. Science would take weeks to cure such Leprosy
2. The man who sat at the Beautiful gate that got his healing through Peter and John stood up the moment he was commanded. Gods way are higher than our own. It does not take time it takes the word of God.
3. Consider the miracle of Wine in cana in galilee. If the Wines were served to a Modern day scientist they scientist would have said that the Wine had been kept for Hundreds of years because oldest wines taste better. Yet the whole event took place in few Hours.
4. when Christ Blessed the Five Loaves of Bread and Fish and fed over 5,000 People, if modern Scientist were there, they would have said that the well-dried Fish had been caught for Months and well dried. Yet it took place between when Christ gave thanks and made poeple to sit down.
They ways of God are not the same as ours. The Bible in the Book of genesis said there was one super Continent. It also said that God later split them in smaller continents. That was why One of abraham great ancestor was called Peleg. God divided the Continents and scattered people on them by the power of his words(Remember that God uphold all things by the power of his Words- read the Book of Hebrews)
Am saying all these( and i will continue to write) because in your interpretation of genesis you said some animal evolved. The Bible said creations produce after their own kind. If you played Micheals Jacksons “Thriller” a billion times it can never become Dolly Partons ” Coat of many Colors. Genes does not allow for evolution.
Please answer the following questions.
1. The eyes and the skull, which ones comes first. If its the Skull, who dug those two perfect holes that the eyes are kept? If its the eyes, what protected it before the skull was formed/
2. The eyes work flawlessly with the brain to produce vision. My question is which one comes first. I once asked Dawkins this question and all he ccould reply was that he guessed the brain Comes first.
Its either you believed that God created everything or you an evolutionist.
Remeber the Bible said that the World would produce wisdom (science) that would not acknowledge the existence of God.
If God commands a tree to grow today and be 300 feet high, it would appear just like that. when you call a scientist all he would is to measure the rings inside the three and pronounce it hundreds of years old.
please ponder on all the questions asked by Rogers. Just saying that the YEC are creating credibility problems for Christianity yo me is not exactly true.
Remain Blessed of GOD

Yes, I agree that God can do many things very fast. No problem there.

If God formed Adam as a complete adult in an instant, then I contend that Adam did not have scars on his knee from cutting himself when he was a kid. Because he never was a kid.

Likewise, if God formed the universe 6000 years ago then it should not have the appearance of an exquisitely detailed 13 billion year history.

My bias is: If God used a process to make something a long time ago, then we can study the process and learn more about God than if God snapped his fingers and it happened instantly.

Regarding evolution, this article may help:

http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/evolution-untold-story/

roger drake says:

Your question “If God” Seems to be a little similar to the statement made to eve, by the serpent, who apparently was walking on legs. “Did God really say”
The unbelief is STAGGERING. Doesn’t it say somewhere, must be in that mythical book, whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Oh, that’s right, some really don’t believe in sin any more. I know! Adam was really nurtured by Mother Earth.

dave12350 says:

Perry, do you reject the idea that Time flowed exceedingly faster just after the Big Bang than it does today, therefore enabling the first 6-7 billion years of time to fit into one of our current 24 hour days? If so, why?

I don’t see any way to make such a view coherent. There’s a book called “Starlight and Time” which takes a related view. Dr. Hugh Ross dismantles this view at http://www.reasons.org/age-earth/animal-death-before-adam/avoiding-dangerous-trap

I think it’s much more plausible that the Bible can be taken to be saying that a day is a period of time. Which is a very parsimonious explanation.

qraal says:

Both Dr. Humphreys, who wrote “Starlight and Time”, and Dr. John Hartnett, who has published quite a few ‘mainstream’ papers, use time-dilation to produce an old universe in just a few days of Earth-time – and I don’t think their latest cosmological solutions have been critiqued by Dr.Ross & associates as yet. Humphreys has modified his ideas significantly and now believes he can produce a ‘no-time’ state so that Earth under went a ‘time freeze’ while God created the distant universe. Hartnett has developed a space-time ‘stretch’ which has a very large time-dilation that allows the distant universe to form over billions of years while day 4 passes on Planet Earth. It’s interesting that the “Whitehole cosmology” that both advocate has recently featured in two new mainstream cosmological theories – Smoller & Temple’s Shockwave universe and Poplawski’s Black-Hole/White-Hole scenario. All valid cosmological solutions, but from startlingly different assumptions.

Of course the Young-Earthism of Humphreys & Hartnett is untenable from a geological/radiological point-of-view – contrary to all the claimed evidence otherwise – but the cosmological angle isn’t as secure as it once seemed. And it’s odd that the next obvious ‘solution’ – that time flowed different in the Garden of Eden to the rest of the Earth hasn’t been adopted by some ‘Young’ Earther yet.

qraal says:

BTW My own view is, that if necessarily true, then it’s possible a literal Adam & Eve were placed in an enclosed Garden somewhere in the Middle East (Zagros Mountains) about ~6000 years or so ago. Natural question: But what about all the other humans at the time? Here’s my thought, that Adam was the Last Common Ancestor of all the humans alive at the time of Jesus, even though he wasn’t literally the First & Only human of his day. Thus he could’ve been the Forefather of all humans in the days of Jesus & Paul, from whom the “metaphysical terminal illness” of sin had been inherited. Doesn’t mean humans prior, or contemporary, with Adam were perfect or immortal – remember even Adam only had the chance at immortality, not the reality, since he needed the Tree of Life (whatever that was.) Adam might’ve been only the most recent ‘failure’ at receiving the Fruit of the Tree, while Jesus was the first success, in his human nature, since he didn’t sin.

As for all the other humans, contemporary with Adam, who knows? Perhaps they’re the ‘spirits in prison’ from the time of Noah who get cryptically referred to in the NT?

jrunyon says:

Graal -

Dr. Humphrey’s theory of “Starlight and Time” has no scientific credibility. During a 10 year window, he modified his theory at least five times. To date, there are exactly ZERO scientific findings that support his theory. That, in the final analysis, is the key to even considering a theory. With 0% confidence after ~15 years, we can safely dismiss his theory.

Even Dr. John Hartnett has encouraged Dr. Humphrey’s to discontinue the push for his ‘theory’. This is somewhat strange in that he is proposing another not-disimilar theory that, again, is not supported by any scientific data.

If you would like to hear Dr. Harnett’s weak defense of his own theory, check out the May 29, 2009 SPECIAL EDITION podcast of “I Didn’t Know That” at http://www.reasons.org/resources/radio-broadcasts-and-podcasts/idkt Note: You’ll have to scroll down the page to find this podcast.

I think it is safe to say that neither Humphrey’s or Hartnett’s theory are supported by anyone other than those not willing to accept scientific theories that are proven to ~100% confidence (e.g., Einsein’s theories of Relativity, …)

Jim Runyon

L00ktothelight says:

Dear Perry:

Many thanks for all your doing here at CosmicFingerprints and at CoffeehouseTheology. I wonder, though, if you are familiar with the research and ministries of Dr. Walter Veith and Dr. Kent Hovind…?

These two mind-boggling series of lectures, fantastic for viewing by the entire family, use only logic, reason, the scientific method, and the bible to definitively prove that the theory evolution is not only false, but is built entirely on calculated fraud; also contain reams of scientific facts and data that all support Divine Creation exactly as described in the bible…

—–

Genesis Conflict: Evolutionism vs. Creationism. (Complete Series)
http://amazingdiscoveries.tv/c/29/Medium_Quality/

—–

Dr. Dino: (select Creation Seminars to start with “The Age of the Earth”)
http://www.drdino.com/media-categories.php

Not familiar with Heath but I am familiar with Hovind.

I’m sure it disappoints you for me to say this but I don’t find Mr. Hovind’s science to be credible. I remember when I was about 15 a guy came to my church – I forget his name but he was very similar to Hovind – he gave a wonderful fascinating presentation on creation science and how Noah’s flood explains geology and the earth is 6000 years old etc. He explained how Carbon 14 dating is invalid and all those secular scientists are opposing God’s Holy Word etc etc. I thought it was great and given my level of science knowledge at the time it was entirely believable.

When I got much older I found that Young Earth Creationism cannot be squared with modern science at all. Neither astronomy nor biology nor geology nor paleontology.

The very first problem you run into is the speed of light. Those stars really are hundreds of millions of light years away – that’s not just an illusion. The speed of light is not changing and if you assume God made the universe to appear billions of years old even though it’s only thousands, you create a horrific epistemology problem that’s far worse than any Bible interpretation problem you’re trying to avoid.

I don’t think there is any conflict in the Bible with either some form of evolution or a very old universe. The Catholics have known this for 150 or maybe 1500 years. Some very high-strung protestants still have a hard time with it. But I submit to you that if you interpret Genesis in the straightforward way that I have above, you do not have to go through any gyrations and you have an ancient creation story that exactly matches modern science – to the surprise of many a modern skeptic. The Big Bang was first described by Moses in Genesis 1:1.

Carbon-based Machine says:

Please don’t ruin the Intelligent Design movement by trying to turn it into a tool for a particular organized religion. I consider God to be very probably, although I also consider any specific religion to be very improbable. While the creation myth in the Bible may loosely overlap with the real creation, this does not mean that Judeo-Christianity is more valid than other religions. Honestly, would a rational God care about religion at all?

billj says:

CBM – I don’t understand your assertion re “ruin the intelligent design movement.”

The phrase “intelligent design” doesn’t show up on this page except in your posting. Perry refers to a Hugh Ross lecture, but Hugh is not a member of the intelligent design movement, although he argues for an intelligent designer, just as Perry does.

The intelligent design movement doesn’t own the concept of an intelligent designer, so they have no claim on others who argue for an intelligent designer. Perhaps you could explain your point.

To your point about organized religions. I would personally agree that God doesn’t care much about organized religions. It seems likely that he cares about relationships since that is a dominant characteristic of several species, especially humans. So, if this rational God cares about relationships, and relationship with humans, then… I’ll let you fill in the blank.

Organized religions are clearly the attempts by humans to gain some relational status with God. Have you suggestions for what attempts God may have made to gain some relational status with humans?

Bill J

Carbon-based Machine says:

Personal relationships with God (or the Intelligent Designer) are not possible during life.

alexk says:

I am one of many who would disagree with you because my relationship with God is very personal.

billj says:

CBM

You state that with a level of authority usually associated with revealed truth. Is that your source, or is it a personal opinion?

Bill J

Carbon-based Machine says:

Well, if evidence emerged demonstrating that God forms personal relationships with people, then I would accept it. Is there any? Logical and scientific arguments for the existence of God cannot be extrapolated to validate specific religions, and they do not mean that God is personal.

billj says:

CBM,

I respect your question:

“Well, if evidence emerged demonstrating that God forms personal relationships with people, then I would accept it. Is there any?”

That just might be the most important question a human can ask, IMHO. And I believe the intensely relational makeup of humans prompts many people to eventually ask it. Some people who prefer a rational/intellectual analysis have actually studied and compared the scriptures from all of the world’s religions in pursuit of the evidence – Hugh Ross has written at length about his own studies in that regard.

It would be nice to find some short-cuts around that approach, but unfortunately there’s been very little objective research published regarding the validity of the various holy books, except for the Christian Bible. My personal favorite analysis of the Bible is this book: http://www.amazon.com/Bible-True-Jeffery-L-Sheler/dp/0060675411 because I found it to be the most objective of any source I’ve encountered. And my favorite logical argument for Christianity is http://www.amazon.com/MERE-CHRISTIANITY-C-S-LEWIS/dp/B000QMXU18 .

The authors of each of these books prefer a rational/intellectual approach, which is why I like them. In the end, I believe the Bible is the best written evidence that God forms personal relationships with people.

I generally agree with you that scientific arguments don’t apply so much to issues of relationships, whether it be human to human or human to God. So that makes the investigation into that ultimate question a personal one for each of us.

Earlier you said:

“Personal relationships with God (or the Intelligent Designer) are not possible during life.”

You left open the possibility that a relationship with God may be possible some time after life, ie in the afterlife. So I think my question to you can be slightly modified: Has the intelligent designer God done anything to gain some relational status with humans in the afterlife?

Bill J

Eagle777 says:

Hi CBM if you are really looking for evidence have a look at this page http://www.williambranham.com/ and see how God’s relationship with one of His prophets.

Enjoy

Chris.

David of Hawaii says:

Hi,

I agree that the Creator God is not the God of Religions. As I noted in the first post on this thread, I believe that If you wish to say that the Torah is LITERAL, the only way that it makes sense is that there are at least several gods lumped under the one term “God”
1. The Creator God. Gen 1:1,25 Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient
2. The gods who created Man in their own image, male and female created he them. Gen 1:26,27, 5:1,2
The sons of god who had sex with and children by human women… Gen 6:2,4
3. The God of Laws who told Moses; Thou shalt not kill, steal, bear false witness, covet anything that is thy neighbors. Ex 20:13
4. The capricious God of War of Joshua who proscribed genocide…Book of Joshua
5. The God of Jesus John 13:34
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
6. The Gods of Money, Power, and Greed. Most widely worshipped today, second only to the God of War.

This is the only way that I can make sense out of the Bible, because otherwise, the contents of the Bible disproves itself because it says that the gods show favortism for one group of people by proscribing genocide and theft on others while at the same time saying that “Thou shalt not kill, or steal.” It is either distinguish between the Gods or throw the whole Bible out as many do. You need to remember that all the so called holy books stand alone in describing only the author’s people as those chosen by a god.

GMEstes1 says:

Studying the Bible…we study miracles of God.
Some even speak heavenly language and some interpret the language as they are given utterance.
I don’t understand it but when people speak the language of heaven, I know it is from God. I don’t know why people speak heavens language on earth but it is real. God’s Spirit can remove the bonds of sin on earth that rob an individual of hope. WE can view the miracle of life in a electon-microscope but can’t explain or replicate it in its base form.
LIG

GMEstes1 says:

Hi David

I believe Mr. Marshall in the introductory blog; addresses the Hadean period.
For me is the only logical explanation science and the Bible can compliment each other.
The hypothesis combines scienctific evidence with Biblical simile, metphoric, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, aliteration, imagery, and symbolic language.

Studying in other places, I suppose I forgot mircles left earth with disciples of Christ of the NT but maybe didn’t leave when Christ superceded the OT Law, also that would mean they’re fully applicable today, the principles of the Old Testament giving rise to Judism.
True, Christ took care of the sin problem.

Young Earth Creationists insist on a series of vast miracles for the creation of the earth, largely rejecting natural processes for the formation of the solar system etc; the stated reason is that they take the Bible literally.

But you know what’s ironic?

Typically the very same group of evangelicals emphatically denies that miracles happen today the way they did in the New Testament, i.e. on request by gifted people and laying on of hands. When Jesus said in John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” they do not take this literally.

They say that miracles ceased with the disciples. Where does the Bible say this?

I don’t understand why we’re forbidden to take the word “day” in Genesis as anything other than 24 hours (the word ‘yom’ does mean several different things in Hebrew, after all; to the Lord 1000 years is as a day and a day is as 1000 years)… yet it’s perfectly OK to shrug off what Jesus and the early church leaders clearly demonstrated to be hands-on literal.

Parts of the protestant church are actively disobeying scripture with regard to the gifts of the spirit. Paul said to earnestly desire the greater gifts (1 Cor 12:31). He said to be eager to prophesy and not forbid people to speak in tongues (1 Cor 14:39). Yet tongues are laughed at, prophecy is forbidden and credit for healing is given to demons. What was it that Jesus was saying about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit…?

I take the exact opposite approach. I believe that God has been increasing his grace and his revelation in stages since the beginning of time; that there were few miracles long ago and many now. I believe there has never been a time when it has been more possible to know more about God or experience God more than we do now. See http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles/

fredcb says:

Hi Bil J, Perhaps John 3:16 Is at least one answer to your question re attempt(s) by God to gain relational status with humans. It reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” Given not in the sense of a blood sacrifice as commonly explained, but as an action aimed at changing things within ourselves; to make us different.

billj says:

Fredcb

I guess I don’t understand where you are coming from. I see the verse meaning both a sacrifice and an action to help us.

Regarding God’s attempt to gain relational status with humans….

I posed the question specifically to carbon-based-machine because I believe the question is a logical result of considering the creation. That is, why would God make humans to be so relational if God is not also relational? And, if God is in fact relational, has God done anything to gain relational status with humans?

I’ll elaborate…
Human relationships teach us that if one party in a relationship wrongs the other party, then the relationship is harmed. The steps to restore the relationship require:
1. Restoration of truth into the relationship, usually with a confession
2. Honest remorse and an intention to not harm the relationship again (repentance)
3. Justice, or a making of amends.

You see these 3 steps demonstrated over and over in the arts and literature. Many movies from Hollywood have also portrayed them. That convinces me they are not solely a Christian religion view, but fundamental to humans.

In terms of human relationships with God… If I believe I have wronged God, then it is within my power to take steps 1 and 2. However, step 3 is not possible for me. How could I possibly repay the creator God of the universe? Fortunately, as you point out with John 3:16 and many other verses, God has a solution such that justice is served and relationship is possible.

I find it interesting that none of the other Holy Books in the world recognize that it is not possible for humans to make amends to God.

This point, more than anything else about the Bible, convinces me it is true.

Bill J

FredCB says:

Hello Bill, Thank you for your thoughts. Sorry for long delay in responding.Too many others matters calling for time and attention unfortunately. And, being a slow two fingered typists doesn’t help matters, compounded by the fact that I have upgraded my Computer; as a result of an unexpected gift, moved to the world of Apple Mac.

Now that you have clarified your thoughts somewhat, I see that my little contribution to the consideration was perhaps a bit off field. I agree completely with the points you have outlined but respectfully question your comment in connection with point 3.

Why is it always seen that payment of the debt incurred can only be met by God? This always conjours up in my mind a picture of ‘buying off’ God, but being short in change, having to go to Him to cough up the money needed for the payment. So due to the nature of the transaction, God comes to the party by letting His innocent son, make the payment. That doesn’t seem like justice to me.

To repair a broken relationship, is it not better that the payment come out of the pocket of the one who spoiled the relationship?. But everyone says we can’t do this, we do not have the where withal. Is this really true? Hasn’t Christ provided us with the where withal? How one might ask? By showing us what type of sacrifice is acceptable to God and calling upon us to emulate it. The way I see it the reason why Christ died the way He did, was because of His love for His Father and for us. That love brought Him into a head on conflict with ‘SIN’. SIN manifest in those who opposed Him. SIN which resulted in HIS death. Christ demonstrated what it means to live a sacrificial life, rejecting the impulses of the ‘flesh’ to deal with and respond to SIN, in the common/usual way.

The love Christ showed toward His Father and us was greater than the love that can be mustered by a ‘flesh’ motivated person. The best they can ever offer, is to die for a friend, but Christ died for His enemies. How incredible is that? What was His point? To my way of thinking, it was to show how to resolve the dilemma that lead up to your point 3. This means that in order to satisfy point 3, it is us that has to make the payment, and we do this by following the example shown to us by Christ, crucifying the desires and affections of the ‘flesh’ so that we can walk after the Spirit and not after the ‘flesh’. It boils down to “not my will, but yours be done” Am I making any sense?

Fred CB

billj says:

Fred,

There are two specific points in your comments I want to make sure I understand. Paraphrasing you:
1 – we humans are able to make amends to God for wronging Him, and
2 – the way we make amends is by emulating Christ, symbolically crucifying our sinful natures.

If that’s what you are saying then there are a couple of problems that come to mind:
1 – why did Jesus have to die? He could have left it at leading the life we are to emulate.
2 – since no human is capable of perfect emulation of Christ, i.e. we continue to sin even after choosing to emulate Christ, how can our continued harming of the relationship with God have the effect of repaying Him?

The historical facts are very strong: Jesus did actually die. And the Bible explains that as a result God is no longer counting our sins against us. The justice part of reconciliation has been addressed, and the rest of the reconciliation is now in our hands (see 2 Cor 5).

Fred, your comments don’t square with the Christian Bible. Is there some other theological perspective you are representing?

Bill

FredCB says:

Hello Bill, Sorry for delayed response. I don’t get a lot of time to do Computing. Thank you for your queries. I will address your last query first – “Is there some other theological perspective you are representing”. Not really. In fact, I attend a small country Baptist Church. It is just that I have a lot of questions about conventional theological understandings, after reading the Bible for myself many times over. I have raised them from time to time at Church, but they don’t get a hearing. Too many get very defensive about understandings held and don’t believe that I should question long held traditional view points, so I cool it rather become some sort f trouble maker. Hope that clears that concern. What I am doing here is airing understandings I have formed to see what arguments/thinking/reasoning is raised against them, so that I can think some more if need be. Your paraphrasing pretty much summarises what I was trying to say.

With regards to Point 1, I guess this rests with how we understand what it means when we read “bringing forth fruit/works meet for repentance” – Matthew 3:8 and Acts 26:20. The ‘works’ involved being ‘works of love’ (Galatian 5:6 and James 2:20, 26) as opposed to ‘works of law’ (Romans 3:20)

As to the question of why did Christ have to die, it seems to me that He died to show us the way to be set free from sin. God requires obedience, even if it means that we die in the process (Philippians 2:8) Christ’s death was a product of what He set forth as being the way of life that is well pleasing to God, as spelt out in the Sermon on the Mount. It is a way of life that that can and has lead many to follow exactly in the footsteps of their master and is to be expected I gather, if we are to live godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12, Hebrews 12:14, Matthew 10:38, 1 John 3:13)

I am not sure that I understand your second question, but if I do, perhaps you can then explain to me what these references mean 1 John 3:3, 6, 8, 9, 10 especially in light of 1 John 4:4

Perhaps that will do for now. I shall watch for your comments in due course.

Fred CB

billj says:

Fred
I want to say first that I am appreciating this interchange, in part because of the respectful and sincere pursuit of truth that you bring to it. I really do sense that you are not hiding an agenda and are in fact humbly pursuing to know God and His word better. So then I am also prompted to observe that your questions run very deep and I can not claim to bring the final and authoritative answer to them, but only that I can offer some reasonable ideas for your consideration. This is an “iron sharpens iron” discussion, and I am benefited by it.

Second, I can’t begin to tell you how much I understand and relate to the situation you described whereby your searching questions are not welcomed in the Christian community that you find yourself in. Looking for other forums to air your ideas and questions makes sense to me. I wonder if we may be getting somewhat off-topic for this forum, we can let the moderator decide that. I know we’re not off-topic in the larger context of Christian belief.

Third, this communication medium struggles to achieve the level of dialog that could come out of your questions. That is why my responses tend bring it back to more specific “nuggets” of interchange…. So, now some specific replies for you to consider and respond to:

Regarding your reference to Matthew 3:8 et al. I understand the Bible to say that Fruit/Good Works are the normal result of a person’s salvation. It can even be regarded as a cause-effect relationship, and the Bible is clear that works will be found in any true believer. Some people elevate works to a higher standing, to the point of being the instrument of salvation, and I believe that is not supported by any reading of the Bible, and the verses you referenced are not exceptions. Works are the result of and evidence of salvation but not the cause of it.

Regarding your explanation of why Christ had to die: I agree that his execution is not surprising when you consider that the political/religious power structure felt seriously threatened by the followers his works and teaching produced. And it’s likely that if he had lived today instead, and in the USA, a similar outcome may have resulted. But are you saying that God expects his followers to also literally die as a result of following him? Very few believers have been martyred and I’m hoping that those of us that have not can still be counted as real followers. I believe Christ had to die, because there was a debt to be paid that no one else could pay. More specifically, I have personally incurred an indebtedness to God that I am not able to repay nor is any other human able to repay it on my behalf since every other person that’s ever lived has their own debt problem, except Jesus. And, according to the Scriptures, he did in fact repay it on my behalf. I’m sorry if that seems like some sort of “buy off” to you – it strikes me as really good news.

Regarding your references to 1 John 3:3, et al. I understand that to mean that no one who has trusted the saving work of Jesus will adopt a willful on-going lifestyle of sinning. It’s back to the issue of “repenting”. I also believe that my ability to adopt a lifestyle of obedience and good works is not imparted upon me immediately at the point of my salvation, but is something I grow into gradually, never reaching perfection in this life. And, more good news here, it’s OK that I’m not perfect, and that not all of my works are good, and that I still sin on a frequent basis, because Jesus’s work has substituted for my shortfalls. Yay! Do you find this belief to be consistent with your reading of the scriptures?

I don’t know if you would find this video on YouTube relevant, but it was helpful to me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7azfoonNqpc

Bill J

FredCB says:

Hi BillJ, Thank you for your and your further thoughts. Again my visits to this site are few and far between. Have tried to checkout that Video that you have referenced, but not a lot of success in this area. Living in a small country town doesn’t help much, as Internet service to regional areas still leaves a lot to be desired. When I try to access videos, they take a lot of time to download and viewing takes places in intermittent intervals, making it painful to watch. So on each occasion I have tried, have ended up aborting in despair/frustration.

With regard to your other thoughts I would like to expand on them somewhat, time and circumstances permitting, but tend to agree with you, that this is not the forum in which to do such. Hence perhaps you could contact me from a WEB page I recently setup at http://www.bethuel.weebly.com using the email address that you will find there? I will watch to see if you act on this suggestion.

Best regards,
Fred C.B.

allison olakunle says:

MR PERRY MARSHALL: MY THOUGHTS!

I don’t know so much about science and technology but I respect them because I need them. Neither do I have a degree in Hebrew language and Latin studies, but I seek the truth IN all things!
Now the controversy between Science and Faith is an enduring one but, in my humble view, not unsolvable. The scripture gives us an impressive account in Hebrews 11 of the Heroes of Faith; those who subdued kingdoms, shut the mouth of Lions, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, quenched the fury of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weaknesses were made strong, women received their dead back, others were tortured not accepting deliverance etc. Hmmm! Any true believer that reads this account in the 21st Century and does not bleed in his heart has probably lost his faith, because of what “faith” has come to be identified with. But that is not my contemplation.

I am waiting for the account of the Heroes of Science to be printed. I imagine it would be quite impressive too, don’t you think? But why do I have to imagine? I live in such a time in history where Heroes of science can be fairly assessed with the benefit of hindsight. Let’s try this. Heroes of Science; those who confused kingdoms, fed some to “Lions”, wrought deception, fabricated promises based on hypotheses, destroyed the old Sword but devised a sophisticated new, made weak the strong, women could not receive their dead back and science can explain why, some are tortured but the “Almighty Formula” cure is available. This is no sarcasm.

My point exactly is that Science fundamentally and intrinsically is anti-Faith and vice versa. Science has been of tremendous help in understanding the Cosmos, and also improved the physical wellbeing of living species in an ever hostile climate. Science has merits and I am grateful for it. Does it sound like I’m approbating and reprobating at the same time? Not at all. Just trying to give a fair judgment. I however believe the so-called controversy between science and faith question is out rightly baseless. The problem we have on our hands now is the one we created with our own hands just like every human dilemma. Who do we blame? Definitely, not God. Maybe not man either. But God judges. There is however a subtle observation I have made.
MY OBSERVATION
What English language is to modern Communications, Science is to modern Ideals (the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain). English language is magnanimous and inventive at the expense of timeless truths that pre-existed it. Very generous and wide enough to accommodate excesses, the type we do not need. That’s why preachers can have fun with rhymes, clichés, word-plays and mentally soothing quotes void of truth. Thanks to English. In the same vein, one of the reasons why some class of people believe the Bible lacks tested credibility and grossly archaic is because there is NONE of “science” and LOTS of “faith” in it. Science has been so good to us, so magnanimous. It has answered our age-long questions (at least with convincing proofs) but at the expense of improvable truths. Life and Living seems better, thanks to science. BUT I put a challenge to scientists not science because science is only as good or bad as the handlers make it.
THE CHALLENGE
Now to: the age of the Universe (17billion years?), the computation of a “Day” in Genesis 1 and subsequent chapters in Old Testament, the Creation process analysis (who is up to this task?)=Rom 11:33 O how deep is the wealth of the wisdom and knowledge of God! No one is able to make discovery of his decisions, and his ways may not be searched out [BBE], the inconsistency of intelligent empirical findings, the Big Bang theory (what triggered this?) and the beginning of Creation vis-à-vis the Creation of Life! I concede that science “rescued” us from the dark alley of Myths and the cold grip of superstitions. Science brought to light the flagrant lies and evils in certain aged beliefs, and made man the lord of his own ring. It brought man’s destiny into his own hands. I vote for science, not conjecture! But (and it is a big BUT) WAS IT EVER GOD’S DESIGN THAT WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND SCRIPTURES ONLY WITH THE ADVENT AND HELP OF SCIENCE? If the answer is yes, then what scripture did Jesus Christ understand, and how? If the answer is no, then why the fuss about science? My thinking may be crude or parochial but not useless. It serves a purpose. Because if truth is supposed to be timeless, borderless, independent, fixed, absolute and transcendent the mere assumption that astrophysicists and a particular field of science can shed more light on it renders such “truth” self-defective. What then is truth? Because if truth needed science to be discovered as truth, those who never had science as we know it never knew the truth. They were simply unfortunate to have lived in an era other than that of the Albert Einsteins of this world. They died miserable ignoramuses. The truth is: knowledge fades and “what is” is usually not “what was” or “what will be”. That is the simple definition of science, and also its pride! WHAT WAS PROVED, HAS BEEN DISPROVED AND WHAT COULD NOT BE PROVED HAS BEEN PROVED (Of course waiting to be disproved). It is all about articulation and proof. The fact that science can now proof that God exists does not make me feel better, as if I needed to feel better, neither does it make me feel “Wow at last”. Science or not, the truth remains that there is a truth far beyond the reach of science, technology and reason but it can be reached and has been reached. Those who never knew the Hypotheses knew this truth. It is ageless. No Age or Generation can lay an exclusive right of claim to it. Moses knew it. Noah did too. Daniel was privileged to know it. We can. They couldn’t prove it because it couldn’t be proved, it was just evident! It takes as much to identify it as it does to know it. I appreciate God for the breakthroughs of science in that we now understand our world better, but science has not made it better! That is truth that is evident. Truth is the end of arguments. Truth is silencing. Even the Holy Book says nothing can be done against the truth but for it.

How do I know a man’s version of “truth”? Simple. His emphasis! Show me a man’s emphasis on any topic and I’ll show you what he honestly believes to be truth. Your “truth” is not what you believe, it is not only what you say. It is what you SAY AT THE SLIGHTEST OPPORTUNITY! For example, if I always say that women are sexually repressive and men are sexually aggressive, it is most certain that I honestly and vehemently think this as truth and the end of all controversies. The same logic suffices if I always say that the white race is more scientifically inclined than the black race. The other side of the same coin however is complimentary not contradictory. And that is that your emphasis will soon become your version of truth if it is not already. Say something all the time and your essence starts to accept it as truth. I think the latter is the mother of all heresies i.e. it gave birth to them. Someone said something he sincerely and strongly thought to be truth ALL THE TIME, he was persuasive and charismatic even noble about it, then people began to see some credibility in it. They began to say it too. They even have experiences to back it up (forgetting that “Experience” is a prostitute, everyone has it). Then generations inherit the same self-styled “truth” from fathers who thought they nailed it. The cycle continues, and then it becomes a sin to question it, then our justice system and moral code takes cognizance of its veracity and sanctity. In a moment it becomes OUR LIFE. Lies become “truth” because men mouth it for too long a time. Now instead of investing our time in knowing the truth we invest it into knowing the difference! That I believe is at the root of what experts like you Sir (Mr. Perry Marshall) seek to do. It is all about ‘let us compare what they found with what we’ve found, and then you choose’. The world is so full of lies that even the Church has been forced to pursue a different agenda i.e. a Battle of Difference. We are not about knowing the truth, we are about discerning error. Not that that is bad, but it is if it lingers. Jesus did not tell us to “avoid lies and you shall be free indeed”, rather the command was, and still is to “know the truth…shall set you free”. What is the truth about science and its drivers? It is always premised on seeking to debunk what has been erroneously believed, practiced and said. That is often the goal, the back-drop, the soul and the spirit of science of the Scientist. The goal of science is not to herald truth; it is often to show proofs. Something for people to believe. If it can be proved it can be believed. Truth is constant whether it is 200years ago or 200years to come. It is independent that is why it can set free. It is evident whether it is proved or not. It is not what some tell others, it is what we all need! The mere fact that someone shouts into the microphone, “I tell you the truth!” does not mean he will, and it does not mean he never intended to. Does this sound like a sermon? Please indulge me, it is my emphasis.

Sir, I think science lacks what it takes to detail the Creation week (or the weeks prior, if any) process. The age of the Universe is a fact no man can fix with accurate arithmetic precision, just as no man can say with accurate precision the time of his birth. He only believes what he is told! When I say ‘precision’ I mean: “Allison Olakunle was born on the 6th of May, year 1980 at such hour, such minute, in such second of such microseconds and so on…” And when actually is a baby born? Is it when he starts to kick in the womb? Is it when the mother starts to push in the labour room (some of this issues are not as clear-cut as they seem)? Is it when the baby’s head is conspicuous from the vagina? Is it when the whole body is out of the mother? Or is it when the baby eventually cries? This is a simple analogy that even some scientists may find insulting, but truth is not often highfalutin! This is what I want every astrophysicist to consider: If you can’t speak with such detailed mathematical precision of your own time of birth, and have to believe what you were told of it (even if is wrong), then I think it is out of place to seek to know the date of birth of God’s universe! And no amount of research done by you can provide you with a perfect timing of the time of your birth down to the attosecond (i.e. one quintillionth of a second, the least computation of ‘seconds’-time known to man). And just as controversy looms as to when life (of a fetus) begins, so it is with when life started in the universe. Even the year of my birth is not as less controversial as it appears. Of course I heard that there is an Invention that can determine the age of Species or Beings that once existed (whatever). This was said to have been used to determine the age of certain fossils and the likes. But I think the scientific efficiency and usefulness of this invention is one thing while its near-perfect arithmetic accuracy is another. That is, it may be able to tell us ‘how long ago’ they’ve existed for, but not ‘when long ago’. It is like saying: “Billy Graham is very old because all the characteristics are present and provable, but no one knows exactly whether he is 90, 95 or 100years. But the symptoms fit any of the three options”. That is the story of those who seek and claim to determine the age of God’s Universe through man’s Invention. Quite unreliable, though useful. I really don’t care what the age of the universe is. It does not account for judgment (that is if I don’t know and I don’t care to know), but every wrong judgment will be judged! So my question is: why the fuss?

Now to the issue of “Day” in Genesis chapters One and Two. My contemplation here is the 7th day which Mr. Hugh Ross claims we are still in. He said we are still in God’s 7th day of rest in his Lecture’s Question and Answer session. He said this is so because there was no ‘morning and evening’ mentioned after the 7th day of rest to indicate completion like the days prior to it. And if we are still in the 7th “day” since that time then it stands to reason, according to Mr. Ross, that the previous days too would have been as long, maybe thousands or millions of years. More so because the Hebrew word for “day” could mean ‘a space of time defined by an associated term’. I am not here to disclaim or disprove this but to bring our attention to a salient point in grammar, or else we may have to throw the English Translation away to the trash Can of history as having no interpretational credibility whatsoever. I don’t think this is the case. The English or King James translation of the Bible may be weak in its appreciation of Hebrew words and tenses, but not in its effort to deliver the intent and purpose of the maker of those words and tenses. Let us look at Genesis chapter 2 verses 2 & 3. It reads: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”(KJV). I don’t understand too much of English except what I was taught at school. But I do know the implications of past tenses, present tenses, present continuous tenses, perfect present tenses and perfect past tenses etc. Without these, thoughts and intents will be confusing and communication impossible. The key words above are “ended”, “rested” and “had rested”. Here we have not just past tenses but one past perfect tense-“had rested”-which to my mind (or to any thinking mind, anyway) is suggestive of the undisputable fact that the maker of the statement of the verse above intends to tell the reader that the action had already taken place sometime in the past, and was not ongoing, happening or continuing at the time of narration or recording. So when one understands this it is no longer difficult for anyone to see my problem with the Astrophysicist’s position on the 7th “day” theology. It seems self-defeating! The ‘rest’ and ‘day’ the scripture speaks of in Hebrews 4 verses 2-11, I humbly submit, were misconstrued by the learned Astrophysicist. Just like the ‘rest’ in that context is not physical or therapeutic rest, the ‘day’ also is not a “Sunday of worship” or a measurable time-span in a material world. I believe it is a Promise of a rest not yet known to the human experience; therefore “the day” is also yet unknown. Because if we have been in the 7th day of rest since the time of the end of the creation week, then it does not seem to me that anyone will any time soon enter into it. Just check out human ordeals and pains even after Christ died and consider if rest is imminent or close at hand. I think not. So the scripture as explained above can only make sense. But praise God that day still stands, therefore we have hope!

At this point I will not venture into the Big Bang theory because I do not seek to give opinions on an issue I have not been sufficiently informed about. Not that I love to give opinions than I love to share my thoughts on issues of interest. I will drop my hints here and hope my thoughts have been fair enough on this core issues. Trust me; if I hold a different thought on what I’ve shared later you’d be one of the first to know. But for now these are my treasured thoughts. I however would like a better understanding of the Big Bang Theory.

Thanks Sir.

ALLISON OLAKUNLE FEMI
The “weakest” man alive
The learning Lawyer.
2nd May, 2010.

GMEstes1 says:

Steven Hawking’s book, “The Grand Design”, is written without a lot of technical jargon. You may gain insight on the, “Big Bang”.
I have just stated to read Hugh Ross,” The Genesis Question”. The book so far has a bias to the recorded history in the Bible, upholding it as a source of scientifically proven facts and is free of contraditions. He must not have read, “Misquoting Jesus” and “God’s Problem” by Bart D. Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman shows with scriptual reference how the Bible does contradict itself.

I am very familiar with Bart Ehrman.

Ehrman’s work is like a guy who creates a statistical scatter plot. His curves show a very definite pattern through the middle, but he throws out the middle, points at the fringe dots around the edges, and declares the data unusable.

Clearly the Bible we have today translated into English is not error free. It could have been originally but it’s not now. To defend the Bible as infallible is a rather difficult task.

But that’s not that big of a deal because the problems that do exist are minor not major. I don’t feel it is necessary to assert that the Bible is 100% free of contradictions in order to hold it out as an extremely reliable book that tells the truth about the human condition. And I do agree with Hugh Ross that the cosmology in the Bible is 100% compatible with the cosmology of modern science.

GMEstes1 says:

What you are describing is the belle curve, I didn’t know he dismissed the data in the nominal area.
I don’t dismiss all recorded Biblical history just because it is impossible to believe.
I adhere to the sin nature doctrine. As an adult I don’t waste time listening to others expound the scripture or THEIR fabricated stories.

Thank you for recommending Hugh Ross, it is very indepth in its postulations.

charlieal says:

Wrong!!!, God did not create every things from nothing. All things were created from spirit. The “nothing”, as we understand it, we can’t explain it with our human language!!!, just, does not exist in the physical world. Nothing, is a wrong term used to try to explain every things we can’t perceive with our (5), physical human body senses, but it does exist and we call it the nothing. There exist two worlds. Primarily, the spiritual world, the essence of what God is made of. And, the physical world, which origin is spiritual, because it was made by God’s word. For example the oxygen we breath we can’t feel it with our five senses, and can’t see it. But without it we wouldn’t be alive, physically, because after death, we don’t need it any more. So, the nothing is the microcosm and the macrocosm. All things that exists beyond the perception of the human physical senses. The term nothing should only be used to describe human events and activities in the physical world, but , not to describe or try to explain the creation of God. So, what is the nothing???….it is a wrong used word!!!…

GMEstes1 says:

If you can get a grip on, “nothing”, you are a super human.
I believe hearing voices come out of air is mental illness so people assign imaginary friends to define what only they can hear.

charlieal says:

Space and time are also wrong used terms, and doesn’t exist, except in our minds. First, space means that it is empty of all kind of matter, and the universe was made of matter and energy, which are equal to the Einstein equation :E=MC2. So, space can’t be an empty entity without matter or energy. Space should be eliminated as a term in sciences and instead should be used the term: “distance”.Because when God talked and said, be the light, spiritual entities were transformed into matter in what we call today; the Big Bang. And we accept the big bang theory to explain creation, because even the sound needs matter to travel through, and it didn’t yet existed, but it is understood that God’s word sounds like thunders. That’s why the theory is called the Big- Bang. And, concerning the term time, it is only the earth rotational movement. So the term “space-time” is WRONG..it should say, instead, “singularity”, because singularity is the unification of all four forces, and the virtual particles are the ones that runs the creation, it is NOT the space, neither time. In the universe, time does not exist, it is relativity, and to relativity, time neither exists.

GMEstes1 says:

You are implying the universe doesn’t change with the passage of time as it expands.

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