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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments My conviction is that there is only ONE reason Christians choose to believe in an OLD EARTH ... and that is EVOLUTION .

I am interested in what BIBLICAL reasons believers have to believe in an OLD EARTH .

Please list the Scriptures that lead you to believe the earth is OLD .
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Many FREE resources on our ministry web site: www.Christ-like.net


message 2: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn The wording in the Genesis creation account concerning time was always accurate…is still accurate today in terms of a brilliant balance in giving just enough information without being too technically specific in details…achieving just the right sweet-spot to be functionally informative…yet carefully and reservedly economical in its information content…before and after modern science.

The four variations of the sophisticated use of the word day in the Genesis creation account have their best interpretation as periods of time that are not twenty-four hour durations (see the book Seven Days That Divide The World by John C. Lennox, pages 39-63).

The first use of the word day in verse 5 in chapter one…is not a 24-hour day…because it describes light as day and darkness as night…so day as used here is not a full 24-hour period…but is only a part of a full day.

The second use of the word day in verse 8 in chapter one…describes the evening and the morning as a day…the traditional Hebrew description of a 24-hour day.

In Genesis chapter two…verse 3…it says that on the seventh day… God rested from all of His creative work…starting a period of time in which God is still not creating…ongoing until the present time…and therefore definitely not a 24-hour day.

The fourth variation of the word day occurs in chapter two…verse 4…which says: “in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens”…describing a completely different use of the word day than a 24-hour day.

An additional argument for an old earth dating…is that the words of Genesis chapters one and two give no indication of the lengths of time between the end of day one of creation to the start of day two of creation…throughout all seven days of creation described in the Genesis creation account.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1) has no direct correlation to the start of day one of the seven “days” of creation.

An open-minded person could ask: “in the beginning…when was that?” The Bible does not say.

If modern astrophysics tells us that the Big Bang of the universe occurred at 13.7-billion years ago…then human scientific investigation gets a well-deserved pat-on-the-back for using our innate intelligence within the divinely created reality of the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world…for discovering this critical scientifically fact-based evidence…fixing this “in the beginning” open question at 13.7-billion years.

There is no conflict here between science and biblical scripture on this point.

The totally inaccurate dating of the creation of the earth at 4004 B.C. by Bishop Ussher is understandably excusable…in historical hindsight…made centuries before the start of the modern science of geology in the early 1800’s with Georges Cuvier, Charles Lyell, and Louis Agassiz…and long before the 1929 discovery by Edwin Hubble of an expanding universe.

If the days of Genesis are interpreted correctly as not being 24-hour consecutive days…then the centuries-long debate over a literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis becomes mute and evaporates.

When interpreted correctly…in my opinion…the Genesis creation accounts in chapters one and two have no conflict with the modern scientific dating of 13.7-billion years ago for the beginning of the universe…4.5-billion years ago for the formation of the earth…and 3.8-billion years ago for the start of primitive life…and instead serves as a subtle argument for the divine origin of this wording in Genesis chapters one and two.


message 3: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn I am definitely NOT a proponent of Darwinian macroevolution...which to borrow the phrases of Douglas Axe...a PhD microbiologist and a Christian...does not "hold water" or "stack-up" in this modern Information Age.

If interested...watch the "Bonus DVD Features"in the DVD Darwin's Dilemma by Illustra Media...a brilliant refutation of Darwinian evolution.


message 4: by Robert (last edited Apr 29, 2019 05:15PM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "I am definitely NOT a proponent of Darwinian macroevolution...which to borrow the phrases of Douglas Axe...a PhD microbiologist and a Christian...does not "hold water" or "stack-up" in this modern ..."

My response: You may not be... but Christians did NOT embrace an old earth for about 1800 years or so... until Darwinism became widely accepted as truth...

...then believers started MAKING things up so that they could FIT IN with the world and its THEORIES.

100% of the time in the Bible when the word "yom" (day) is used with the words "evening" and/or "morning" and/or with ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.) it is always a 24 hour literal day.

There is only ONE reason to CHANGE this fact in the early chapters of Genesis...

selling out to EVOLUTION (at least with regards to the age of the earth).


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments The Holy Spirit, through Moses, tells us that the Creation week was a LITERAL WEEK, when He used it to validate the Sabbath rest (a literal week).

If God says it was SEVEN DAYS… it was seven days!


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments By the way, I requested a list of Scriptures that state that the earth is billions of years old... I noticed that you did not give any. Why? (Hint: None exist!)

Scripture is the source of sound doctrine... do you have any?

I am interested in Scripture alone... nothing that mandates your private interpretation in order to say what you want.

God said it...that settles it!

For example: I believe EXACTLY what is below this line... with no personal commentary or interpretation needed...
____________________________

Exodus 20:11  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:17  It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.


message 7: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Hello Robert...nice debating with you. It is now 9:00 P.M. and tomorrow (Tuesday) I am busy all day...so give me a few days and I will get back with a reply. Thanks, Barton.


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "Hello Robert...nice debating with you. It is now 9:00 P.M. and tomorrow (Tuesday) I am busy all day...so give me a few days and I will get back with a reply. Thanks, Barton."

My response: No rush.

Since sound doctrine comes from the Scriptures... the Bible is the starting point and ending point for me regarding doctrine.

I have never seen any verse that clearly states (or even implies) that the earth is billions of years old.

I have seen verses that clearly state that the Creation week was six days and a day of rest... just like the work week and the Sabbath day.

Scripture please! Clear Bible passages that need no personal commentary to make them mean something.


message 9: by Barton (last edited May 05, 2019 08:16PM) (new)

Barton Jahn I believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Jn. 1:1)…and therefore scriptures in the Bible are non-contradictory.

The verses cited by Robert…Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…are divinely inspired and absolutely, unequivocally true:

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Ex. 20:11).

“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17).

But the scripture verses Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 are also divinely inspired and absolutely true.

Resolving a difference of opinion in this case in scriptural interpretation…which Robert and I clearly have…is not a matter of exegesis (letting the text speak for itself) or eisegesis (bringing into the text our own outside bias)…because in the four Genesis scriptures it is the context around the word “day” in each verse that defines its meaning…not the Hebrew word “yom” by itself.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:5).

John C. Lennox…whose book I cited above and I would recommend to anyone interested in this topic (after all this is Goodreads)…said that the language in these four Genesis verses is very sophisticated…and that we must be careful in how we interpret them.

In Genesis 1:5…God calls the light Day, and the darkness Night. Clearly here Day is not a 24-hour day…but is roughly 12 hours…that portion of a day that is daytime.

Compare this with John 11:9…where Jesus said: “Are there not twelve hours in the day?”

The second of the four verses…is the standard Hebrew description of a full day:

“And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” (Gen. 1:8).

In the third of the four verses…no mention is made of “evening and morning”…in contrast with the six days of creation:

“And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he rested from all work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:3).

God rested on the seventh day from creating…and is still resting from creating until today…although God is still working in the areas of salvation and redemption…as noted in the response by Jesus to the accusation that He is breaking the Sabbath: “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (Jn. 5:17).

The context of the word “day” in the fourth verse is clearly not referring to a 24-hour day:

“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.” (Gen. 2:4).

There are three ways that these Genesis verses have been interpreted historically:

1. The 24-hour view…The days are seven 24-hour days of one earth week, about six thousand years ago.
2. The day-age view…The days are in chronological order…each representing a period of time of unspecified length.
3. The framework view…The days exhibit a logical, rather than a chronological order.

Luther and Calvin held the 24-hour view.

Justin Martyr and Irenaeus…two of the early church fathers…thought that the “days” of creation in Genesis might have been long epochs…based on Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8.

Origen (AD 185-254)…the most prominent theologian of his time…wrote that in the Genesis account the sun was not made until the fourth day:

“Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first, the second and the third day, and the evening and morning existed without the sun, moon, and stars?” G. W. Butterworth, Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), 288.

In the fourth century, Augustine wrote in his commentary On the Literal Meaning of Genesis:

“But at least we know that it [the Genesis day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar.” Augustine, The City of God: Writings of Saint Augustine, vol. 14 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan/Fathers of the Church, 1947), 196.

There is an excellent thread in the Goodreads group Christian Goodreaders on hermeneutics (methods of interpreting scripture) which discusses some relevant issues…such as:

“The clear must interpret the unclear.” Nathan…message 1

“Scripture interprets scripture.”

“If one attempts to interpret one Biblical text by using a misinterpretation of a second one, the first one is apt to wind up misinterpreted as well.” Werner…message 6.

I want to conclude this post by quoting from the book Seven Days That Divide The World by John C. Lennox…page 55:

“We are considering the idea that the six days encompass a sequence of creation acts, each of which involved at least one creative fiat introduced by the phrase “And God said.” This helps us understand what the New Testament means by saying that all things were made by the word of God. At each stage of creation God injected a new level of information and energy into the cosmos, in order to advance creation to its next level of form and complexity. On this view, therefore, the six creation days themselves could well have been days of normal length, spaced out at intervals over the entire period of time that God took to complete his work. The outworking of the potential of each creative fiat would occupy an unspecified period of time after that particular creation day. One consequence of this is that we should expect to find what geologists tell us we do find---fossil evidence revealing the sudden appearance of new levels of complexity, followed by periods during which there was not creation (in the sense of God speaking to inaugurate something radically new).

I like this method of interpreting the Genesis days…as normal 24-hour days separated by long periods of time.

The idea that an old earth supports Darwinian evolution is not valid.

Darwinian macroevolution falls apart on its own. Modern science itself has discovered in the last 4 to 5 decades that the information content in living systems is way too complex to have been produced through a random-chance, mindless, unguided, indifferent, and trial-and-error process.

The paradigm of Darwinism is slowly dying day-by-day. It is not necessary to argue for a young earth in order to combat Darwinian macroevolution.

This takes an entire book to discuss. See these excellent books on this topic…amongst many others:

1. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.
2. Darwin On Trial by Phillip E. Johnson.
3. Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe.
4. Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed by Douglas Axe.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "But the scripture verses Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 are also divinely inspired and absolutely true...."

My response: NOT ONE of these verses states that the earth is "billions" of years old...

NOT ONE!
_____________________________

Since God tells us that sound doctrine comes from the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:16)… and there is NOT ONE verse that espouses an evolutionary age of the earth...

It is unsound doctrine to embrace an "old earth" theory.


message 11: by Robert (last edited May 08, 2019 02:45PM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "...is not a matter of exegesis ..."

My response: It is PURE EISEGESIS to force theology to fit evolution!

There is NOT ONE verse of Scripture that states the earth is "billions of years old".

(Every verse you referenced does NOT say the earth is old unless you ADD your copious private interpretations to the passages.)

There are MANY passages that state and clearly indicate that the earth is young.

If the HOLY SPIRIT says that the Creation week was SIX DAYS of creating and a day of rest... JUST LIKE that given in the Law regarding the Sabbath...

I am going to completely agree with the HOLY SPIRIT … and disagree with the various authors you cited.

Romans 3:4  - God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar ...


message 12: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Below this line is exactly what I believe... NO private interpretations or multiple paragraphs of personal commentary needed!
_________________

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.


message 13: by Robert (last edited May 06, 2019 04:49PM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "John C. Lennox…whose book...
Luther and Calvin held the 24-hour view...
Justin Martyr and Irenaeus…two...
Origen (AD 185-254)…the "


My response: You referenced many sources but gave ABSOLUTELY ZERO Scriptures that state the earth is old.

No wonder you embrace unsound doctrine ! (such as an old earth)


message 14: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Since this is Goodreads...and people recommend books for others to read...you might try reading any of the four books I cited at the end of message 9.

Darwin On Trial by Phillip E. Johnson is a brilliant book...very readable...that explodes Darwinian evolution.

I cannot imagine anyone who reads this book with an open mind...could not conclude that Darwinian evolution is a bogus theory.

But you are confusing an old age of the earth with evolution.

These are not the same.

I believe in fiat creation by God.

Common descent needs long periods of time to be plausible...but common descent is not persuasive...irregardless of time.

Darwinists can throw hundreds of billions of years at evolution...and it still does not work.

Random-chance, unguided, mindless, trial-and-error progressive evolution cannot possibly produce the complexity of the DNA code in living things...along with the architectural body plans and lifestyle habits of literally billions of the life-forms on the earth.

Darwinian evolution is falling apart daily as college students across the world in biology and chemistry look at the facts...and conclude for themselves that evolution does not hold water...does not stack up.

Get a copy of Darwin On Trial and read it...it is in the public library...and is free.

Keep the argument for the age of the earth...and Darwinian evolution separate.

They are two different issues.


message 15: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "But you are confusing an old age of the earth with evolution...."

My response: NO condusion here! Christians did NOT believe in an old earth until Darwin's evolution became popular and accepted by the world...

...then Christians started embracing the world's wisdom.

As for me... I believe exactly what the Bible says without need of copious personal commentary and private interpretation.

God says He created everything in six days and rested on the seventh... and uses this to support the work week and Sabbath day...

He did it ALL in SIX DAYS!
____________________

By the way, those old theologians who you CLAIM supported an old earth... did NOT. I noticed that you did not quote or reference your allegations.

I have looked them up before and when read in context... they are NOT alleging a billions of years old earth.


message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "Since this is Goodreads...and people recommend books for others to read...you might try reading any of the four books I cited at the end of message 9..."

My response: Feel free to build your doctrine on the opinions of men... as for me... Scripture and only Scripture... is my source of sound doctrine.

And since you do NOT have even ONE verse that tells us the earth is billions of years old... it is false doctrine!

God says...

2 Timothy 3:16 - All SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine , for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


message 17: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Several points here are very important…in my opinion.

The theory of Darwinian macroevolution has been a huge benefit toward exposing and highlighting the truth about God’s creation of the universe, the earth, and the vast diversity of life.

Over the last 160 years…this has come at a cost in making our modern cultures more secular…and has challenged the Christian faith of many believers over this time-span.

But people who have a personal, supernatural relationship with Jesus Christ…do not need science to confirm what they know without a doubt is real in their Christian discipleships and callings.

That being said…the beauty of the theory of Darwinian macroevolution is that it is slowly but surely being refuted by science itself…without involving theology at all.

The complexity, specificity, and integrated coherence of DNA…to name only one thing amongst thousands of examples being investigated by science in the natural world…is way beyond any plausible origin coming from the theoretical mechanism of naturalistic materialism…of unguided, mindless, indifferent, random-chance, trial-and-error processes.

Trying to use a naturalistic program to explain DNA, RNA, the folding of amino acids to form functional proteins…is like building a 20-foot long bridge attached to the top of one side of the Grand Canyon…as a way to get to the other side.

Darwinian macroevolution may have appeared plausible in the past to many people…but it is totally inadequate today to explain the coordination of the incredibly large quantities of complex information systems in the living and non-living natural world.

Origin-of-life studies using the evolution paradigm…stalled-out a few decades ago…because of the truly unimaginable jump from non-living things to the “simplest” single-cell bacteria having essentially the same DNA requirements…along with the same complex cellular micro-machinery needed for both survival and reproduction…to start and sustain life.

This gap in the origin-of-life studies is simply too large to fill-in…even using our imagination.

If science reaches the point in the near future of abandoning the random-chance, accidental nature of Darwinian macroevolution as being unworkable…the only remaining explanation for the existence of the universe…is an intelligent designer God.

There are only two choices.

If science in this area runs its course and ends-up exactly where God knew it would end- up…pointing to God as the only plausible choice as the explanation for the origin of the universe, the earth, and the living natural world…this massive discovery will have come about through human scientific investigation alone…without any assistance from theology…the best possible outcome in this skeptical and unbelieving world.

This would…again in my opinion…be a huge discovery coming at the start of the end-times…the end-times that will see the Spirit of God poured out upon the entire earth (Joel 2:28-32)…empirically establishing for positive evangelical purposes one of the central claims of the Bible…that God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1).

One major problem with the young earth interpretation is that it has zero apologetic value.

The natural world has two critical pillars that enable human scientific investigation…which are the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world…from the micro-world of atoms to the vastness of the galactic universe.

Certainly God could create the universe and the earth together at the same time at 8,000 years ago…inserting false signs and evidences of being much older…but why would He do that?

Why would God be disingenuous in the creation of the earth and the universe…building-in the appearance of oldness…when in fact everything is young?

Why would God create humans with the intellectual capacity for scientific investigation of the natural world…a natural world having orderliness and intelligibility that enables such investigation and discovery…yet do so with the confusing element of designing planet earth and a universe that appears to be old…yet in actuality came into existence only a few thousand years ago?

Why would God create a universe that is expanding outward with great speed…discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 looking through the then massive new telescope at the Griffith Park Observatory…evidenced by the red-shift of the light coming from receding distant galaxies…creating the opportunity to mathematically calculate a beginning point in time of the universe at roughly 13.7-billion years ago…if in fact the universe was created only recently.

It is not valid to say that the Bible does not specify 13.7-billion years for the beginning of the universe…or 4.5-billion years for the age of the earth…and then use this as an argument in favor of a young earth.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)…does not tell us when this was.

God is under no obligation to tell us everything about the natural world…in the Bible.

God does not have to tell us in the Bible about dinosaurs, or the creatures of the Cambrian Explosion, or about plate tectonics, or mountain building, or solar eclipses…that allowed astrophysicists in the late 1800’s to discover the existence of the element helium…and to figure-out the composition of the sun…and the origin of stars.

When God gives us His explanation for the method of how He created…He limited this to: “And God said”…and goes no farther into the absolute mathematics, physics, and chemistry involved…in the Bible.

The idea that Genesis should tell us specifically that the earth is 4.5-billion years old…and that because it does not…therefore this is an argument for a young earth…is not well-thought out.

Conservative scholars date the writing of Genesis to be around B.C. 1,450. No one at that time used the number billion for anything.

There were no billionaires back then…no national budgets for countries in the billions…no deficit spending in the billions. There were not billions of people on the earth in B.C. 1,450. Nothing in human reality required the use of the number billion.

Conservative scholars date the writing of the book of Revelation to be around A.D. 90…roughly 1,500 years later than Genesis.

Yet in A.D. 90…the number used to describe a large contingency of angels “round about the throne” of God…was “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” (Rev. 5:11).

I am not a historian of mathematics…but I would guess that the term “billion” was invented in English sometime around Copernicus and Galileo…when it was needed.

I am also not a scholar in Hebrew…but I would guess that the word “billion” does not exist in the Hebrew language.

People who want to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) should include Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 along with Exodus 20:11 and 31:17.

I have provided five verses…four taken as a group in the Genesis creation account…and one in the gospel of John verse 11:9…that question the interpretation of the creation “days” as being 24-hour days.

The Hebrew word “yom” in the four Genesis verses translated as “day” have four different usages…Genesis 1:8 being the only usage that refers to the standard Hebrew description of a 24-hour day…as discussed above in one of my previous posts.

Jesus spoke Aramaic…I do not…so I do not know the Aramaic word He used here for “day”…but John 11:9 is translated into English as: “Are there not twelve hours in a day?”…clearly not referring to a 24-hour period of time by any stretch of interpretation.

In terms of “copious personal commentary”…maybe that is one of the problems of people who assert a young earth.

People who assert a young earth based upon a “literal” interpretation of verses like Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…do not realize that theirs is also a personal interpretation.

A natural reading of these verses suggests a 7-day week of consecutive 24-hour days…but the words themselves do not have to have this interpretation.

The four Genesis verses…along with John 11:9…allow for the usage and interpretation of the word “day” to be other than 24-hour periods of time.

I quoted John Lennox in an earlier post above…that he suggests that a reasonable interpretation of the creation days is 24-hour days for each phase of “And God said”…separated by vast periods of time in-between.

I think this is the best explanation…the best interpretation.

Entire books have been written on biblical interpretation.

In Acts 15:2…Paul and Barnabas disputing with the Judaizers who came up from Jerusalem…was over biblical interpretation.

As far as I can find…there is nothing specific in the Bible about Gentile Christians in the first-century church regarding circumcision and the keeping of Jewish religious rituals.

When Peter stands up at the Acts 15 council in Jerusalem to resolve this issue…he recounts his experience with the Gentiles receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 10).

This event occurred early in the beginning of the Christian church in Jerusalem…but was not recorded in the book of Acts until around A.D. 60-62…roughly three decades later.

My point here is that this Acts 15 account of the council in Jerusalem…was not as yet inspired, recorded scripture at the time of the council.

Next Paul and Barnabas testify before the council of the works of God among the Gentiles.

Finally, James gives his Holy Spirit inspired opinion on the matter.

Stephen disputing with the members of the synagogue of the Libertines, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians (Acts 6:9)…was over interpretation of scripture (verse 11).

When Jesus answered the question posed by the Sadducees regarding the resurrection of the dead (Mt. 23-33)…Jesus referred to Moses at the burning bush…saying that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living”…which astonished the people who heard Jesus say this (verse 33).

This is because the Old Testament is not definitive on this issue…requiring a “dividing of the word of truth” that the Jews had not previously considered by to this statement by Jesus…the authority and final word on biblical interpretation…being the eternal Word of God Himself.

The Bible does not address every issue. Otherwise it would be 15 inches thick…or 15 feet thick.

In my view…it is God’s prerogative to specify or not specify using numbers…thousands, millions, billions…the age of the earth or the universe. In His timeless foresight and foreknowledge God knew that human scientific investigation would discover these facts…apparently at the right time to be useful for apologetics…in the long expanse of human redemptive history.

Darwinian macroevolution has ruined science for some people…but scientific investigation…and the facts about the natural world that it turns up…belongs just as much if not more to Christians…than it does to skeptical, atheistic unbelievers.

Jesus Christ…the Son of God…created absolutely everything…the galaxies, our solar system…our privileged planet earth…and every living creature…including ourselves (Jn. 1:1-3).

It is a mistake for Christians to allow the theory of Darwinian macroevolution to spoil their appreciation of science.

References to ancient writers who did not think the Genesis days were 24-hour days:

Irenaeus: Irenaeus Against Heresies, book V, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Gathers down to A.D. 325, vol. IX (Edinburgh: T&T Clark), 118.

Origen: G. W. Butterworth (tr.), Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), 288.

Augustine, The City of God: Writings of Saint Augustine, vol. 14 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan/Fathers of the Church, 1947), 196.

References to Philo, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria…are in Seven Days that Divide the World by John C. Lennox…pages 39-42.


message 18: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Part 2:

Finally, liberal theology has attempted to distort many of the orthodox doctrines in biblical interpretation.

But this does not allow us to abandon our God-given intellectual and Spirit-born capacity to study to show ourselves approved unto God…not needing to be ashamed in our understanding and interpretation of scripture…rightly dividing the word of truth (paraphrased from 2 Tim. 2:15).

Jesus spent 3-1/2 years with the disciples. As John writes: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14).

Yet Jesus told the disciples that it was imperative that after His departure…the Holy Spirit would come to lead them into “all truth” (Jn. 16:13)…implying that there was more for them to experience and learn through guided journeys of faith.

An old earth interpretation of the Genesis account of creation…is not false doctrine.

It is simply a second…and in my opinion a more correct and true interpretation…of the scriptures.


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "People who want to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) should include Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4 along with Exodus 20:11 and 31:17...."

My response: Too bad you DON'T want to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

NOT ONE of those verses states that the earth is billions of years old.

The Holy Spirit clearly states that the work week and Creation week are comparable and says that in SIX DAYS God created everything!

Your doctrine comes from Charles Darwin... NOT the Bible!

You embrace the Darwinian age of the earth... and try to FORCE the Bible to agree with you.

PURE EISEGESIS!



message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "In my view…it is God’s prerogative to specify or not specify using numbers…thousands, millions, billions…the age of the earth or the universe. ..."

My response: Absolutely and He is NOT a LIAR!

IN SIX DAYS GOD SAYS HE CREATED EVERYTHING!


message 21: by Robert (last edited May 16, 2019 07:52AM) (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "An old earth interpretation of the Genesis account of creation…is not false doctrine...."

My response: Old earth theories ARE FALSE doctrine based on evolution... NOT on the Bible.

All Scripture is profitable for sound doctrine...
...you have ZERO Scripture that states the earth is billions of years old...
...therefore old earth doctrines are FALSE DOCTRINES!

Just like satan in Eden... God said "don't eat"... satan questioned it...

God says He created everything in "SIX DAYS"... satan questions it!



message 22: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 105 comments Barton wrote: "Yet Jesus told the disciples that it was imperative that after His departure…the Holy Spirit would come to lead them into “all truth” (Jn. 16:13)…..."

My response: Jesus NEVER stated that the Holy Spirit would CONTRADICT the Bible!
_________________

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is , and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Exodus 31:17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.


message 23: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Part One

The “literal” interpretation of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 days of creation…taken as a whole to describe a standard week of time…is unbiblical.

The one-week interpretation of the seven days of creation is unbiblical for two main reasons.

First, it assumes a meaning for seven days of creation as consecutive 24-hour days…when the words themselves do not actually say that.

The words say that there were seven distinct days of creation…but they say nothing about this being a one-week period of time.

A one-week period of time is the natural conclusion that people can draw from the words…but this is not the one and only plausible interpretation…not even the best interpretation…as history has shown.

As I said in an earlier post above…the wording in Genesis and Exodus regarding the days of creation is perfect and divinely brilliant…because these verses were true and accurate when they were written in around 1,450 BC…for both pre-modern “sciences” before the Scientific Revolution and for modern science today.

The words chosen for these verses in Genesis and Exodus are not vague and ambiguous…they are precisely measured to allow for future, additional progressive truth.

Only a God possessing divine foresight can reveal truth in a progressive manner over time…that is true as earlier prophecy or as statements about the natural world…which still remains true and are improved upon by the addition of further information…as in the cases of Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53…for example.

The language of the words conveyed in the four verses in Genesis 1:5, 1:8, 2:3, and 2:4…and in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…can also be viewed as 24-hour periods of God creating…with long periods of time in-between.

It is unbiblical to say that these verses in Genesis and Exodus regarding the creation days…are the last word…are the final word on the age of the earth…because this removes one of the most compelling apologetic arguments for the divine origin of the Bible…the argument that only the living God could inspire statements about the creation of the universe and the earth…recorded in the Bible…that seamlessly accepts additional revisions of new enlightening information…hundreds and even thousands of years later…while still remaining true at the original time they were recorded in writing in the Bible.

This leads to the second major problem with a literal interpretation of the days of creation as being one-week.

The hugely misguided viewpoint that the investigations of modern science into the workings of the natural world…somehow fall outside of the Bible…as if the dating of an old earth according to modern geology…is information that is extra-biblical or anti-biblical…rather than being an important part of God’s progressive revelation of truth…removes a large portion of God’s revelatory testimony about Himself.

Human scientific investigation into the workings of the natural world…is as orthodox as can be…because God takes complete ownership of the origin and creation of the natural world…throughout the Bible.

God is not afraid of modern human scientific investigation…even when it gets temporarily off-course…as the theory of Darwinian macroevolution has for the last 160 years.

God set-up the conditions of the orderliness and intelligibility of the natural world…and the human capacity to comprehend and unravel the mysteries of the living and non-living world from microscopic DNA to how stars are formed in the massive universe…that even atheistic scientists trying to prove Darwinian macroevolution will eventually come to the dead-end of the impossibility of random-chance trial-and-error over long periods of geological history…ever being able to bridge across the huge divide from non-living materials to the “simplest” living things like a single-cell bacteria…requiring all of the DNA, RNA, amino acids, and complex cellular machinery modern bacteria now have…to be able to survive and to reproduce.

The viewpoint that the findings of human scientific investigation into the workings of the natural living and non-living world…would not yield over time a progressive revelation of the truth of the intelligent designing brilliance of the God of the Bible…confirmed through the empirical evidence of systems of information far too complex, specified, and coherently integrated to be the product of anything other than design…for modern-day Christians is uninformed, misguided, and unacceptable…from a defense of the Bible standpoint.

The Bible places a clear and unmistakable flag of ownership atop the hill of the origin and creation of the universe and our earth…expressed throughout the entire Bible from the first verses in Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation.

Christians have nothing to fear from modern scientific investigation…which inevitably leads to the correct final conclusion of the intelligent design of the masterpieces of creation we can see with our own eyes.

An old-age dating of the earth at around 4.5-billion years ago has enormous apologetic value for the argument of the divine origin of our planet.

A young-age dating of the earth has zero apologetic value.

If the modern field of geology…that started with Charles Lyell in the middle to late 1820’s…says that the earth is older than previously assumed based upon the evidence in the natural world…this is progressive revelatory truth that is 110% part of the Bible…because God created the “heavens and earth” (Gen. 1:1)…and He created human beings capable of performing and comprehending science (Gen. 1:26-27).

Discoveries about the natural world through scientific investigation are not “extra-biblical”…because the God of the Bible created the natural world.

If Edwin Hubble discovers the “red-shift” of light coming from distant stars…as viewed from the Griffith Park massive-sized telescope in 1929…that revealed an expanding universe whose age can then be mathematically calculated in reverse to reach a Big-Bang creation in time at 13.7-billion years ago…this is progressive revelation of truth every bit within the sphere of the Bible…because the God of the Bible says that “in the beginning”…He created the heavens and the earth…which was a concept unique to the Bible prior to Hubble’s scientific discovery…a further progressive revelatory truth about God’s creation…that places the Bible above all other cosmologies prior to 1929.

It is true that Darwin enlisted an old-age of the earth as part of his theory of macroevolution…but Darwinian macroevolution is disintegrating daily as an explanation for the vast diversity of life on earth…because of our recent scientific understanding of the massive amounts of information required to produce and maintain living systems…which is unattainable though any purely naturalistic mechanism…easily understood now on a popular level thanks to our current Age of Information…thanks to our understanding of the exact precision of computer language code to enable error-free operation of software programs like Microsoft Word and Excel…for example.

Scientific investigation itself is bringing down Darwinian macroevolutionary as being a dead-end theoretical explanation for the origin and diversity of life…because it is based upon the mindless and unguided process of naturalistic materialism…a pursuit doomed to failure…as Christians should expect in a universe and an earth that is God-created to have orderliness, intelligibility, and purpose.

The empirical evidence produced through human scientific investigation…that confirms the theistic origin and creation of the natural world…is every bit as “biblical” as progressive revelatory truth in the explanation of the phenomenon of the natural world…God’s created world…equal to that of the John 16:13 scripture that says that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all truth in the spiritual and moral realm.

This is part of the fundamental divide between the young-age and old-age of the earth interpretation of the creation days in the Bible.

Sorry for this long post…but this may be of great interest to some Goodreaders…and it takes time to develop these arguments.

Revealed truth in the Bible and in God-composed journey of faith life-scripts is not evolutionary, unguided, mindless, relativistic, or produced through random-chance trial-and-error.

But revealed truth in the Bible is progressive. This is an orthodox biblical statement.

Numerous examples of progressive truth…revealed over time…are found throughout the Bible…discussed later in this essay.

If taken too far, however, this can devolve into liberalism. The progressive revelation in scripture requires balanced interpretation…as described by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:15…

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

In Genesis 3:1-5…Satan introduces a subtle lie at the start of humanity that was unparalleled in its malicious and destructive intent…because it was a deliberate, well-crafted, precisely targeted half-truth.

“Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”…only works if this knowledge is accompanied by the divine capacity of elevated character and foresight…thus being able to make the correct choices in life…to choose by nature to be righteous…like the God of the Bible.

One underlying issue at stake in the Garden of Eden…is that through the subtly vailed and disguised temptation of Adam and Eve…Satan is making his own defense…that without a divine nature and the benefit of foresight into the future…that God cannot expect perfect character from His created beings…and cannot fault Satan for his rebellion in heaven.

What does this have to do with the time element in the young versus old-age earth debate?

For God to properly answer the charge against Him by Satan in the Garden of Eden…takes time (Heb. 11:1).

That revelation of truth in the Bible takes time and is progressive…is an orthodox biblical concept. Biblical interpretation only falls into liberalism when this is abused and taken too far.

The issue that as non-divine created beings, humans can place their faith and trust in God…is such a fundamentally critical question for the successful relationship between God and people for an eternity in heaven…that this challenge by Satan regarding the loving and wise authority of God’s word…cannot simply and briefly be refuted…by God showing-up in person in the Garden of Eden during the temptation of Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit…rebuking Satan’s allegations about God’s character with a well-worded discourse and concise rebuttal…”on-the-spot.”

Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 are perfectly and absolutely true…but they obviously did not at the time of their writing…when viewed in hindsight…tell the whole story.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:8 that if the religious leaders understood the Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 scriptures, and the other Old Testament prophetic scriptures regarding Christ…”they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

In other words…if these scriptures were plainly straight-forward and required no future progressive revelation…if they spelled-out in advance exactly what Jesus Christ the Son of God would be like…then the Pharisees and scribes would not have unwittingly instigated the crucifixion of Jesus…and we would have no salvation today through the blood shed by Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

The life and ministry of Jesus is itself a revelation of new information (Jn. 1:1-5, 21:25).


message 24: by Barton (new)

Barton Jahn Part Two

The Sermon on the Mount is a revelation of new information that expands and clarifies the “law and the prophets” (Mt. 5:17, 7:28-29).

The appearance of Jesus on the road to Damascus…for Paul…was a life-changing, progressive revelation of new information that Jesus was indeed and in-truth the Messiah…the Christ.

The preaching to the Bereans by Paul and Silas (Acts 17:10-15) that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Christ and Savior…is a new revelation of information for these Jews that sheds light on the scriptures…inspiring the more “noble” Berean Jews to search the scriptures to see if this new revelation was true.

Jesus tells us in John 14:16-17, 14:26, 15:26, and 16:7-15 that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth…inferring that there is additional progressive truth to be revealed.

The Jerusalem council in Acts 15 is dated at AD 49…with the book of Acts not written by Luke until around AD 60-62.

Scripture was not definitive…was actually silent…regarding precisely how and to what extent newly converted Christian Gentiles should follow Jewish laws and religious rituals…such as circumcision and festivals.

Peter, James, Paul, Barnabas, and the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem used their own God-inspired judgment and wisdom…based upon scripture informed by recent experiences (Acts 8:5-17, 8:26-40, 10:1-48)…to reach the correct doctrine for the Gentile Christians (Acts 15:20)…which was then memorialized as divine scripture years later in the book of Acts.

My point here is that the God of the Bible…possessing divine foresight and foreknowledge…is not taken off-guard, surprised by, or adversely challenged by human scientific investigation of the natural world…even by the atheistic components of Darwinism.

Finally, to say that the Bible in Genesis and Exodus do not use the word billion to describe the age of the earth…is a nonsensical argument.

When God wants to describe to Abraham the large number of his descendants as the “father of faith”…God uses the words: “so if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered” (Gen. 13:16).

Hebrews 11:12 again uses the language of Genesis: “so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable”…to describe a large number.

Revelation 5:11 uses the words: “and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”…a number that is one-hundred million…which is ten times short of the number one-billion.

The Hindu-Arabic numeral system that contained zeros was not even invented until the year 628 AD by the astronomer/mathematician Brahmagupta in India.

The Vedic period in ancient history (1500-500 BC) used a series of names to describe large numbers.

Arybhata (499 AD) used short phrases using Sanskrit consonants for large numbers up to a billion.

If used in Genesis and Exodus…the words/methods used to describe an earth billions of year old would have revealed India as its source for expressing large numbers.

A universe created 13.7 years ago…and an earth that is roughly 4.5 billion years old…contains the context for all of the compelling apologetic argument for the divine creation of the universe and our earth.

What then would be the motivation for staying with a “literal” interpretation of Exodus 20:11 and 31:17…when the four Genesis “days” of creation are not all literally 24-hour days?

What is the upside to asserting that the words of Genesis and Exodus cannot receive further explanatory revelation…even when it comes from the modern discoveries in the field of geology…starting with Charles Lyell in the 1820’s…that proposed a longer period of time for the earth than 6,000 to 8,000 years?

This is not “liberal” theology…and it is certainly not false doctrine.

The natural world is God’s creation.

God put into His design of nature that it would be orderly and intelligible…enabling scientific research…to dispel the errors of old-wives tales, superstition, and witchcraft in the pre-scientific age.

God knows that a 160-year long intensive search for the transitional intermediates in the fossil record…hypothesized by Darwin to be there in his 1859 book The Origin of Species…will come up empty…because they are not there…and because the theory of macroevolution based upon purely naturalistic processes…is false.


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