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.

Lives of Quiet Desperation

Henry-David-ThoreauMy father, on more than one occasion, has referenced this quotation in various discussions on purpose and meaning: “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation“. I’ve been thinking about that lately. So, I Googled the phrase this evening and came across this enlightening write up, entitled Quiet Desperation, on the words, the man behind them, and where those thoughts can lead, either for good or for ill. Here’s an excerpt to give you a taste,

One night very early on in a life, a young boy lay back on the rocky New England soil, contemplating the heavens,  “looking through the stars to see if I could see God behind them.” This quest became one of the primary motivators of his life — one might say he never stopped looking into nature for the ultimate truth.

But what did Henry David Thoreau mean by his famous observation, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”?

You may have seen those Facebook/Twitter/Instagram memes, the ones that say something to the effect of “Everyone you meet is battling inner demons that you known nothing about.” It’s so true. As much as we want to be open and free with our feelings and emotions with friends and family there are some things too deep, too subtle, too sensitive, to speak openly about. I think of the late Robin Williams. A man of laughter but a man of surprising inner turmoil to the point of ultimate desperation. If you don’t have a friend you can talk to, know that you have a friend in 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.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16,17

Soli Deo gloria

We have to go back

I just got done watching the entire series of Lost on Netflix for the second time. What a trip. What story telling. This time around things came a little bit easier. I more often had “aha!” moments and more than a few head-nods to the writer’s foreshadowing. For having gone as long as it did, for having kept almost all of its cast members the entire time, for having a grand story arch they stuck to and finished, and for the sheer magnitude of the undertaking, I can’t think of a better television series. Believe me, I’m a Browncoat, so you can take that to the bank. ;) So, if we have to go back, here are my main take-aways from the show’s six-year run…*spoiler warning*

Continue reading “We have to go back”

Morning for Mom

It’s been a week since mom left us. In a blur of hurry we made arrangements for visitation, reception and funeral. Two visitations on Sunday went by quicker than I thought they would. Monday’s service took a long time to approach but the day passed on in a rush. It is now a few days after the funeral. I’ll be going back to work Monday. My brother and sister have begun heading back into their lives. Dad will begin the time when it feels like there should be someone standing beside you, but you reach out and there is only empty air. I miss you mom.

It’s been a week since mom left us. In a blur of hurry we made arrangements for visitation, reception and funeral. Two visitations on Sunday went by quicker than I thought they would. Monday’s service took a long time to approach but the day passed on in a rush. It is now a few days after the funeral. I’ll be going back to work Monday. My brother and sister have begun heading back into their lives. Dad will begin the time when it feels like there should be someone standing beside you, but you reach out and there is only empty air. I miss you mom.

I don’t know how death and being lifted up to heaven works but I bet it probably works like sleeping. It doesn’t feel like any time has past. Mom will think she hasn’t lost any time at all and she’ll open her eyes and she’ll be greeted by the splendourous unknown.

Thus, our mourning is turned into morning for mom. And from that we who remain have reason to hold onto hope.

My Mother Has Passed On

Early this morning I received a call from my dad telling me mom had passed away. My mom was an amazing person, an incredible Christian and an inspiration to so many people she touched over her lifetime.

Early this morning I received a call from my dad telling me mom had passed away. My mom was an amazing person, an incredible Christian and an inspiration to so many people she touched over the years.

The only thing I’ll say for now is thank you mom and thank you Lord that you blessed me with such a great mother.

My brother wrote a blog about mom that says a lot of what I would say if I had written something like that. It’s too small to really tell you about my mom but it does highlight a lot of exceptional qualities in her.

I am happy for my mother. Her pain is gone and I can imagine her in heaven with Jesus singing and playing praises with a dozen instruments she always wanted to play and playing them perfectly.

And probably watching us from heaven as we mourn her passing but recognizing we also feel joy because our loss is her gain now that she is with Jesus.

I miss you already mom.

How a spouse swap affected two families

Friends, family and acquantances will fail you because no man or woman is perfect, so look ahead and consider God, your heavenly father, who has been calling us for all eternity

I randomly fell onto this article, entitled “How a spouse swap affected two families”, while waking up my computer and checking out one of my homepages, NewsX.org.

I knew how it would turn out but reading it was titillating enough to continue to the end.

Take away?

For those on the outside looking in, beware of being enamored by clever new ideas draped in pleasant terms that give the outward impression of sophistication, of an intellectual level your forebears must have been too clouded to consider.

For those on the inside looking out, friends, family and acquantances will fail you because no man or woman is perfect, so look ahead and consider God, your heavenly father, who has been calling us for all eternity.