Creation doesn’t matter to my faith. Right?

Note: This post is a point-form summary for a small group discussion that I compiled from the last section, “Real, Eternal Value Intended by the Original Authors”, of my previous post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Update 2017-07-29: Our small group discussion brought up some interesting points. Here’s some small updates I sent the group after the meet up…

Update 2017-07-29 (1): If anybody’s interested, here’s an AiG article on the ‘topical parallelism’ of creation days that Paul brought up (spoiler: it’s there on a surface read but the devil is in the details, as always; also like we discussed there’s no saying you can’t use various literary devices in different kinds of literature, even historical, it doesn’t take way from it): https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2011/12/10/its-not-so-parallel/

Update 2017-07-29 (2): I also didn’t know where to go with the point made about Christ needing to be a blood-relationship to a real Adam versus Christ atoning for our sin (we all sin, no Adam needed) or atoning for our sin nature (from Adam, so blood relationship required). In evolution, there’s no first Adam so we’re not blood related so biblically the kinsmen redeemer idea doesn’t work (so did Jesus act do anything?) But if Jesus only died for our sin acts then maybe a first Adam isn’t needed anyway. I don’t have a solid answer, it’s worth some googling, but apparently it has to do with Original Sin (sin nature) vs Imputed Sin (Adam’s sin is “credited” to us). The first is dealt with by the Holy Spirit through sanctification over time, the second was dealt with by Christ’s righteousness being credited to us (so would require a real first Adam for it to make any sense). http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-the-difference-between-original-sin-and-imputed-sin

Update 2017-07-29 (3): Btw, I don’t pretend perfection in understanding all this is achievable, but I just love how when you go digging usually you find these things have already been covered and they fit right in.

Note: This post is a point-form summary for a small group discussion that I compiled from the last section, “Real, Eternal Value Intended by the Original Authors”, of my previous post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Is Genesis meant to be taken plainly?

  • What was the author intending to convey?
    • Poetry, parable, etc., or history?
    • No Jewish poetic forms (eg. parallelism absent), scholars agree
  • Jesus and the Gospels said they were given by Moses
  • Genesis 12-50 are not really disputed but 1-11 are
  • Colophons on tablets indicate knowledge known to the author up to the end of the tablet indicating historical records
  • Numbered days, ‘evening and morning’ language, strong support for ordinary, 24hour days
  • Similar language structure in Numbers 7 shows evidence original language choice in Genesis 1 specifically intended ordinary 24hour days as we experience them

Reading: Should Genesis Be Taken Literally, Genesis Is History

Does Genesis really matter for the Gospel?

  • So, what if it is meant to be taken plainly, does it matter to our the gospel message and salvation?
  • Cognitive dissonance: Genesis 1-11 “obviously” contradicts secular science so I reject Genesis 1-11, accept the rest of the bible, and believe secular science for everything else
  • Most people don’t live with their faith and also believe that Genesis is wrong: They abandon their faith.
    • This has been documented by the major creation organisations, AiG, CMI, books have been written about it
  • I would even say that those who hold to their belief but disbelief Genesis forfeit confidence and power in their faith and the scripture they would otherwise have.
    • Coming to confidence in the historicity of Jesus was a central factor in the confidence I have in God, my faith, and the scriptures.

Reading: Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

What happens to your theology when you don’t take Genesis plainly?

  • The bible is complete and whole. It tells a single story and all parts of the bible build on and depend on other parts of the bible.
  • When one part of the bible is broken, scripture starts falling apart
  • One person I discussed with online said the theological and existential truths of Genesis had no need of the actual history of Genesis:
    • When do we start reading the bible for real?
      • So, if we read Genesis 1-11 figuratively, when do we start reading it as history? Just after the Plagues of Egypt? The Red Sea Crossing? Elijah and Elisha’s miracles? The Virgin Conception? Jesus’s Resurrection? They’re all equally miraculous – why should we believe them but not the account of Creation or Noah’s Flood?
    • Original Sin and the Atonement
      • “Bowler, unlike many Christians, recognizes that evolution not only destroys the creation of Adam but also the concept of original sin and the atonement of Christ.”
      • If creation wasn’t historical, there was no Adam, and therefor no Adam to bring sin into the world
      • How have “all died” in Adam according to 1 Cor 15:22?
      • Is Adam really the “first man” according to 1 Cor 15:45?
      • How did sin enter the world through one man (what man? Adam wasn’t around) according to Romans 5:12?
      • How is Jesus gift of righteousness for Adam (non-existent) and Adam’s sin (non-existent Adam so non-existent sin) according to Romans 5:17?
      • Looking at just a few pieces of scripture, we see Original Sin and Atonement theology are in a mess
    • Deity of Christ
      • Jesus said “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” (ie. not simply the beginning of mankind / the human race) in Mark 10:6
        • “Jesus was saying that Adam and Eve were there at the beginning of creation, on Day Six, not billions of years after the beginning. Jesus understood from the text of Genesis that Adam was created at the beginning of creation, which is directly opposed to the evolutionary opinion of the origin of man.”
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.

Reading: The Bible and Hermeneutics, The Consequences of Denying a Supernatural Creation of Adam,

Conclusion

  • Genesis is meant to be taken at its word (ie. historical) because of its inherent writing format, structure, and internal language evidence from other parts of scripture.
  • The Gospel salvation message is compromised because everyone in the public education system has been taught evolution and they clearly contradict each other. Therefor most people abandon the “clearly” incorrect one: The bible and their faith.
    • Most people know the crazy stats of young people leaving the church when they get on their own.
  • Theology is broken when Genesis is not taken as history:
    • There was no first man Adam, there was no first sin because there was no Adam
    • Jesus was either ignorant or misleading of evolution (if that were true) questioning His deity
    • Jesus didn’t need to die for our sins (because Adam, who brought sin into the world, didn’t exist)
    • The writings of the Apostles are in error and theologically incorrect since they assume a 6-ordinarsy-day creation.
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.
  • God meant what he said.

See The Bible and Uniformitarianism.

Misericordia, Soli Deo Gloria

Daniel Pech – Bio, Aspiring Creation Writer -Selah.ca Guest

I’d like to introduce Daniel Pech, an aspiring creatonist, biblical writer, and philosopher, amidst many other things. Daniel forwarded me his views on Genesis 1 and 2 in response to a blog of my own on the complementary nature, as opposed to a contradictory and self-contained nature, of the first two chapters of Genesis.  I hope here to provide a short meet and greet bio of Daniel to provide a more personal introduction to lead into fuller post later on one of Daniel’s papers.

You can see for yourself Daniel’s prolific writing on his Academia.edu profile. From the art and biology, to the Psalms and Noah, to music and philosophy and beyond, Daniel writes has quite a bit, to say the least. His copious writing style belies very deep and strong critical thinking on the topics he is writing on.

You will see Daniel again on this site under the title An Empty ‘Bottle of Water’ where he introduces us to his view that there are extra dimensions of Genesis that a plain-reading is missing, while holding to a young-earth reading.

I asked Daniel to introduce himself with a few questions,

Continue reading “Daniel Pech – Bio, Aspiring Creation Writer -Selah.ca Guest”

Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

Update 2016-04-06: A month or so ago, in the middle of a few comments on other things, I let Tyler know I wanted to see a reply to this post. He had just had a son, so I expressed understanding if he didn’t have the time. After all, it took me three months to write my own. He didn’t express anything to the effect that he would. He remarked something about it being too long-winded. At any rate, I often comment on his Facebook posts, acting the Devil’s Advocate to his Theistic-Evolutionist posts, and soon afterward I noticed my recent comments weren’t there. In fact, they were all gone. I couldn’t find a trace of them, not even in my own activity log. I also noticed I can longer comment on any of his posts. I suppose he got tired of someone raining on his parade and bringing up unfortunate points that he’s not willing or able to deal with (backup link). Touche. As I told Tyler many times, you can’t just keep making bold claims without backing it up. He has another post, “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer” (backup link), which sparked my interest. I started to write a response to that while I waited for him but it turned out there are two other very involved write ups on it (here and here) that Tyler did not officially respond to. Surprise, he prefers to respond in the comments ensuring his readers never have to bother with the icky details of the back and forth all truth discovery requires. Tyler fails to see the need to backup his large claims in a studious, rigorous and repeated manner. This post, then, stands as a testament to Tyler’s unwillingness to argue for his position in a way that all could make up their minds in an objective manner which claims were right and which were not. I will, however, be happy to continue our back and forth should Tyler ever wish to respond to this post on his own blog.

Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

I’m continuing the back and forth I’ve been having with Tyler, of God of Evolution.com, and his article on supposed Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions to which I’ve responded over here. As we had discussed, Tyler responded to my piece with a follow up entitled Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions. The following are a collection of his claims, attempting to prove Genesis 1 and 2 are mutually distinct and mutually contradictory creation accounts, with which I take issue and present responses to each.

Toledoth

Claim

“There are seven (not 10, as the CMI article claims) uses of this particular form of the Hebrew word in Genesis. In six of these cases (5:1, 6:9, 10:1, 11:10, 11:27 and 25:19), it introduces a genealogy. The only time the word doesn’t introduce a genealogy is — you guessed it! — Genesis 2:4.

The point being, there is nowhere else in Genesis that this word does what YEC proponents claim it does, that is, introduces a more “zoomed-in” retelling of a story that was told (and completed) immediately before it.” -Tyler of God of Evolution.com, Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

Tyler claims toledoth always introduce their section and that they do not conclude what came before. This is important because the Genesis 2:4 toledoth appears to introduce what follows as “the generations”, or ‘the account‘, with the apparent implication that it is a distinct and authoritative narration of the process of creation. This brings in contradictions between the Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 creation narratives that are not present when the Genesis 2 account is understood as a more detailed look at day 6 of Genesis 1.

Response

“These [are] the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” Genesis 2:4‘generations’, a toledoth

Regarding the toledoth point, Tyler said the toledoth issue is “an unpersuasive point to begin with.” Initially, I was tempted to agree, but having put considerable time into researching what views are out there, I’m inclined to believe this is perhaps one of the most important points in support of interpreting the Genesis 2 account as a supplemental history to Genesis 1 and not a stand-alone account. I will attempt to show why this is a better take below.

Continue reading “Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims”

A response to GodOfEvolution.com’s As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

Update 2016-10-04: Per the previous update and Tyler’s response to this post, I have responded again in my post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Update 2015-12-03: Tyler has responded in his post Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions. I am currently drafting a new response in our friendly back-and-forth in the hopes of answering his further points.

I’ve been discussing with GodOfEvolution.com’s Tyler on Facebook. In response to his article entitled As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions:

If I may respond to your article’s claims:

(1) ‘This is the account’. The CMI article covers this is much more convincing detail than you provide. JEDP also has issues with this verse that lend to summarizing the previous text and introducing new text (all in that one verse) implying the author knows the creation account is done and a new, different account begins (logically and from the text we gather it is not an account of the same things but more details on the previous). Your claim that it asserts a distinct creation account does not have the support it needs.

(2) Shrubs vs plants and trees: You assert 2:5’s ‘shrub’ equates to 1:11’s ‘plants and trees’ but don’t say why – and you should given the extra qualifications ‘of the field’ (many translations) and the implications these plants required cultivation (‘there was no one to work the ground’). The land may have ‘produced’ all vegetation in 1:11 but not all had ‘appeared’ or ‘sprung up’. It’s amusing you disparage Batten but you fail to mention Gen 2:6 (part of the same thought) ‘but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.’ So your claim to a “more important reason” why plants are supposedly not around doesn’t hold water (couldn’t resist the pun).

(3) Creation of animals: It is perfectly congruent for (a) God to have created all animals in Gen 1:24 and for God to have created more of those animals to have Adam name them (to see God actually creating things and to discover none are like Adam), and (b) to take the text to mean that they had already been made and that God “brought” them to him which is the wording of many translations. Your claim about ‘formed’ vs ‘had formed’ lacks support. 2:7 could easily have said ‘had formed’ with the prefix “Now” rather than “Then”. Additionally, when you take the Gen 2 as more details about day 6, there’s no problem reading it either way. God did ‘form’ Adam on day 6 and/or he ‘had formed’ Adam ‘earlier’ on day 6.

(4) I will make a helper suitable for him: Correct. God still had some making to do on day 6. He still had to make Eve. As the points above show, when you view Gen 2 as a more detailed accounted of day 6, the tense of the words makes sense.

(5) “risk distorting these lessons such that the real, eternal value intended by the original authors”: I think CMI sums it up about right:

“The final word on this matter, however, should really be given to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew chapter 19, verses 4 and 5, the Lord is addressing the subject of marriage, and says: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

Notice how in the very same statement, Jesus refers to both Genesis 1 (verse 27b: ‘male and female he created them’) and Genesis 2 (verse 24: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’). Obviously, by combining both in this way, He in no way regarded them as separate, contradictory accounts.”

Jesus had no problem viewing both accounts as compatible and complementary. He even drew out ‘lessons of eternal value’ from both at once. There is also no need to abandon any actual ‘lessons of eternal value’ by viewing them as plain accounts that make sense of and build on each other.

(6) “In my view, these two snippets of ancient literature contain the essence of God’s reason for making mankind, and the relationship he desires with every man and woman who now lives.” The beauty of a plain reading of the Genesis creation, not only that it makes logical sense from the text, is that you take both historical truth *and* the theological and existential truths. Creationists don’t claim there’s only one level of understanding or one set of lessons that creation provides. You get the best of all worlds when you take God’s Word at His written word. That’s the beauty of God’s written word.

The CMI article referenced is creation.com/genesis-contradictions.

#Charity365

You can’t give more than 100% but many giving even 1% can accomplish much, much more.

Five years ago I wrote about the struggle to begin giving charitably. My original concerns included questions such as “What charities would I give to?“, and “How do I donate in a personally satisfying and sustainable way?” It’s amazing to see where I am now compared to then and the relatively small, very gentle, very spread apart steps it has taken to this point in my giving. A lot has changed, and I think improved, in my giving and in my thinking about giving, but one thing is still at the core: Satisfaction, sustainability, and scalability. I’ll explain all that below.

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C.S. Lewis is Cleverer Than You Think

My good friend, Jamie, liked a Relevant Magazine article today titled C.S. Lewis’ 3 Most Controversial Beliefs. Both of us are a big fans of Lewis and it piqued my interest as much as Jamie’s, I’m sure. Some of the “controversies” noted would surely either convince his admirers that some of these claims are actually attributable to Lewis and are biblically acceptable or may shake the faith of Lewis’ more die-hard fans, such as myself, and wonder about the foundations of Lewis’ personal faith. Having read a lot first-hand from Lewis, and second-hand of the man, I nearly immediately recognized these claims were probably not what they were really claiming.

You see, the thing about really clever men and women, like Lewis, is that they’re clever enough to know when they’re beat, even when they are miserably unhappy such as on the amusing-for-us occasion of Lewis’ conversion. It is this trait of Lewis, and all truly clever men and women, that propels, or drags, an individual from one intellectual peak to the next. Such is the case with Lewis and these purported controversies.

Continue reading “C.S. Lewis is Cleverer Than You Think”

Literally: Sad, Frustrated, Distracted. But Love. Church Heresies Then and Now.

So, the latest intra-Christian controversy to blow up is popular Christian worship act Gungor’s denial of the ‘literal’ reading of scripture, particularly Genesis, the creation account, Adam and Eve, and the Flood. This of course triggering the day before our traditional day of worship when Christians come together to worship God their saviour in spirit and truth. This, of course, all comes on the heels of the Tim Lambesis story who allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to murder his wife. It’s hard to try to move one’s heart towards God when we’re distracted by emotional issues like these. Here’s a few of the articles circulating:

It’s saddening, frustrating, and distracting…

Continue reading “Literally: Sad, Frustrated, Distracted. But Love. Church Heresies Then and Now.”

Faith Shaking Scientific Discoveries (Or Not)

Take-away: You know all those big big scientific discoveries that seem to shake your faith just a little bit more each time, if you’re being honest? Actually, they usually end up on the cutting room floor. Just wait a bit, and watch some Christian sources like AIG, CMI, or ICR, and you’ll see these claims often be completely retracted or significantly eviscerated. But you won’t usually find the mainstream media covering this because after all we-were-wrongs aren’t all that exciting. Rest assured all science inevitably, eventually, ends up agreeing with the Bible. Here are just a few of the big discoveries that later turned out to be largely hype…

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In this smile…

In this smile, this beautiful creation, joy bursts forth from the form of her comely curves. From lush strokes of warm pink she speaks harmony into the world. Her song fills this place.

Continue reading “In this smile…”

The Bible and Uniformitarianism

In modern geology, “Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4

“Gould explained Hutton’s view of uniformity of rate; mountain ranges or grand canyons are built by accumulation of nearly insensible changes added up through vast time. Some major events such as floods, earthquakes, and eruptions, do occur. But these catastrophes are strictly local. They neither occurred in the past, nor shall happen in the future, at any greater frequency or extent than they display at present. In particular, the whole earth is never convulsed at once.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 2 Peter 3:5-6

“The uniformity of state hypothesis (i.e., steady-stateism) implies that throughout the history of our earth there is no progress in any inexorable direction. The planet has almost always looked and behaved as it does now. Change is continuous, but leads nowhere. The earth is in balance: a dynamic steady state.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2 Peter 3:7