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.

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

An Empty ‘Bottle of Water’ with Daniel Pech -Selah.ca Guest

Why do we espouse Young Earth Creation? Earth is a member of the total cosmos that God created. Would it not be more accurate to call it Young Cosmos Creation? Today, it is popular to think of Earth as a member of ‘the cosmos’. Secularist cosmologists even think of her as entirely the product of him. But not even the cosmological constants are sufficient; their fine-tuning for life is necessary, but not central. There must be an Earth.

I’m happy to introduce a paper by Daniel Pech, an enthusiastic creationist with lots of ideas, in which he proposes a reading of Genesis 1 that includes subtly more nuanced perspectives between the heavens and the earth while retaining a young-earth creationist perspective..

Daniel contacted me after reading my post concerning the complementary nature of Genesis 1 and 2 (as opposed to a self-contained and contradictory nature).

You might be interested in getting to know Daniel a little bit more. If that’s the case, head over to my post entitled Daniel Pech – Bio, Aspiring Creation Writer -Selah.ca Guest.

The first section below, The Best of Both Worlds, is a primer to Daniel’s main idea in his paper on a reading of Genesis that highlights what Daniel believes is a lack of reading the full ‘dimensionality’ of the text.

The second section is an excerpt to Daniel’s paper which more fully reveals his argument and direction.

I hope you enjoy the introduction and take a look at his full paper if you’re interested.

The Best of Both Worlds
by Daniel Pech

The best of both the physics and terrestrial readings conceivably can both be that meant by the author of the account.

By a perhaps very simplistic analogy, suppose we wanted to make a pictograph of a particular portion of a particular year of the Tour De France in which some or even all of the riders saw, on a particular portion of the road, an unusual event in which a flock of birds were on and near the road eating seeds. Here is a single pictograph every bit of which serves to account this particular instance of this particular year of the Tour De France:

O<O O<O
O<O O<O
O<O O<O

Notice that the selfsame set of data comprising the above series of shapes can serve simultaneously to tell both halves of the whole basic story.

Continue reading “An Empty ‘Bottle of Water’ with Daniel Pech -Selah.ca Guest”

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”

Building the case for ancient blood and DNA

A team of international researchers led by the University of Victoria’s April Nowell has discovered 250,000-year-old protein residue – the oldest ever found – extracted from stone tools used by early humans. –Animal residue on ancient stone tools shines light on early humans

Keep an eye on more and more discoveries of blood and blood proteins on ancient artifacts and in ancient fossils – something experimental science deems impossible until it now becomes unavoidable with many recent discoveries.

Now, even without a plausible mechanism for preserving this organic material, science is beginning to say it is possible for blood artifacts to last hundreds of thousands and millions of years, in spite of the clear and obvious conclusion from experience that they decay far, far faster.

What is happening is a case is being built that blood can last millions of years in order to avoid the contradiction with claimed ages of presumed ancient species such as dinosaurs. The truth is blood, blood proteins, and DNA can last thousands of years, not hundreds of thousands or millions of years.

In the near future it will become common place to extract blood and DNA from fossils thought to be millions of years old but it’s not because they are, it’s because they’re thousands of years old, as the blood testifies to and as the Bible book of Genesis plainly says.

Further Reading

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.

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.”

Is this the ultimate Christian love song?

Ever since I made a concerted effort to explore the Christian music scene, and discover the “good music” that I knew was out there, I’ve been aware of the controversy of Christian love songs. Controversy? Yes, in between the awkward attempts and lame lyrics, there were a number of good sounding attempts (for their time), but I found, like many, they played on sophomoric sleight of hand with ‘God is my girlfriend’ lyrics. There are Christian songs that appear to easily swap out “Jesus” for “girl”, and vice versa, without harming the content in anyway. And if the lyrics stand on their own, some are so ambiguous as to cast doubt on who exactly is the subject of the love. Astoundingly, for a faith that holds love as the highest ethic and motive, there are woefully few good Christian love songs. Now, however, I think I’ve found a truly exemplary one: And, if you’re reading a blog like this, I’m sure you’ve heard it and probably already love it, too.

Continue reading “Is this the ultimate Christian love song?”

Happy Easter

So the LORD God said to the serpent [in the Garden of Eden], “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Continue reading “Happy Easter”