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

Forcing the writing instinct… in the (earlier) morning

Yesterday, I managed to start a search for better mornings, after experiencing very enjoyable mornings in PEI on vacation, by waking up an hour earlier with the hope that I would have time for coffee, breakfast, and time to just relax in the morning before going to work. As my brother so often does, I’ve been attempting to write blogs as something to keep productive, yet relaxed, these mornings.

Micah, my brother, writes about anything and everything, from Bible prophecy, creation, and coffee, to living on the island, mowing his yard, or working on his seadoo. Nothing earth shattering, just normal, everyday stuff. It sounds like a  good idea just to get the juices flowing in the morning and keep the mind active.

And, so, my first two early morning blogs are about (surprise) early mornings and blogs. It’s been interesting. Before this, I thought I’d be too foggy or tired to have the will to write something but actually it’s been okay. This isn’t the greatest or deepest prose in the world but it’s nice to put something out there and be part of the ongoing conversation online and between friends and family.

Who knows were I’ll go next, but in attempting to find better mornings, I’m glad I can do something I’ve enjoyed at other times and in other places.

In Search of Better Mornings

Since I came home from vacation last week, I’ve been considering changing my morning habits to wake up an hour earlier to give me a chance to have some coffee and actual breakfast, and to relax and actually have some time in morning just to sit for a little bit, like we were doing in PEI at my brother’s place each morning.

It will probably come as no surprise but it took until this morning for me to wake up an hour earlier and even then it was a struggle! Today’s alarm went off at 7am and I rolled over for a few minutes wondering whether I would really get up this time. The past two mornings I’ve just slept right in to 8am, my normal wake up time. Guess my mind likes mornings more than my body likes waking up to them!

Well, I’ve finally done it, and I’m doing what Mic does in the mornings – blogging! Not sure I’ll keep this up but who knows. The one thing I am missing is some place to just sit outside in the open air and drink coffee and relax before the rush to work starts. Oh well. One step at a time.

My Mornings

Having just come back from PEI, I enjoyed waking up with Micah, my brother, and Lindsey and Arden, his wife and daughter, to sit out on the front porch, fresh roasted coffee in hand, overlooking his yard stretching down to a small bridge crossing a small river. While I was there, the bridge was under construction, making lots of noise, and, in spite of this, we would actually sit in the sun, watching and talking, for close to an hour each day.

My mornings here, in Ontario, on the other hand, are hectic, uncomfortable, and stressful. I usually wake up resentfully clinging to a few more moments rest. Then, I struggle dozily out of bed and down the stairs to the computer where I check email for about 10 minutes. I don’t have coffee or breakfast here. I save that to eat at work (usually just a bagel, anyway). I then start daily personal hygiene, like shaving my head and showering. Then, I head back up stairs to my room where I read my Bible for about 20 minutes, alternating Old and New Testament and either Psalms or Proverbs. Then, it’s off to work in Toronto traffic on the 401.

I’ve always said I enjoy the first few moments of the day at work when I just plop down in my seat and nothing’s begging to be done yet. Maybe that’s because it’s my least stressful part of the day…

Would I change things up to achieve mornings like those I had in PEI? Should I? I’m sure it’s not half as great as it seems as I didn’t have work on the horizon of my morning to bother me as I relaxed on the porch. I certainly couldn’t find the same job out there and I don’t think I’d be as satisfied with the work, itself. And what’s a morning, anyway, without people to spend it with? As surely I presently have no one to spend it with anyway.

I guess I will just keep doing my thing. I do have something in mind. I don’t intend to live without attempting to get to a better place. But, for now, I just need to trust God to walk me through.

Powerful Last Words

I finished the reading the Book of John today and my next chapter in the Book of Psalms was Psalm 22, a Psalm of David, to the tune of “Doe of Morning.” I didn’t plan it but I was instantly piqued by Jesus words on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), Jesus quoting Psalm 22. By choosing those near final words from Psalm 22, Jesus was using the Psalm to speak more words than his tortured body had left. Psalm 22 is a prophetic, crazy accurate picture of exactly what Jesus was going through there on the cross. But not that only. Psalm 22 goes onto describe the glory of God and His Salvation for ever after that crucifixion moment. Selah.

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.