You are hereBeyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 1

Beyond Creation Science: How Preterism Refutes a Global Flood and Impacts the Genesis Debate – Part 1

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By MiddleKnowledge - Posted on 29 December 2005

by Timothy P. Martin
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of responses to Beyond Creation Science since its release in 2001. I received feedback from preterists around the United States and even a few from outside the United States. What continues to amaze me is how few negative responses there have been compared to the many favorable reviews. Many who read that little book had never thought of the preterist implications regarding Creation Science ideology. A few said they saw these same implications years ago. The overwhelming majority who responded found my original presentation, why preterism and Creation Science are incompatible, convincing. For that I praise God. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of responses to Beyond Creation Science since its release in 2001. I received feedback from preterists around the United States and even a few from outside the United States. What continues to amaze me is how few negative responses there have been compared to the many favorable reviews. Many who read that little book had never thought of the preterist implications regarding Creation Science ideology. A few said they saw these same implications years ago. The overwhelming majority who responded found my original presentation, why preterism and Creation Science are incompatible, convincing. For that I praise God. The issue of young-earth creationism for many conservative Christians remains an emotional issue. I was expecting a stiff headwind of opposition from preterists who generally come from the same conservative Christian background which is the bastion of Creation Science ideology. So far, this expected opposition has not materialized. The few negative responses I have received from preterists have been uniformly lacking in their interaction with the main elements of my thesis. Some relied on the “scientific evidence” of a young earth as proof my thesis is in error. Others dismissed the presentation as common liberal skepticism and unbelief – no refutation necessary. To date, no preterist dedicated to young-earth creationism has attempted to deal with the substantive issues or main thrust of my thesis in print. Maybe there are fewer preterists dedicated to the Creation Science paradigm than I thought.

Those who read the first edition of Beyond Creation Science will remember it as a narrow project limited to a critical examination of the global flood doctrine. As a result of this limitation, there was one recurring theme in much of the feedback I received. Over and over again, I was asked that same question so many preterists struggle with in various ways: what now? Where does a refutation of a global flood and Creation Science ideology leave us in the wider Bible-Science and Creation-Evolution debate? Part two of this new edition is dedicated to exploring that question.

I have avoided strong conclusions because the modern biblical origins debate is a 500 – pound gorilla. Those who approach it without respect in some closed-minded, overconfident manner will likely be thumped back into reality sooner or later. Yet, I do believe the theological advance of biblical-redemptive understanding we call preterism has much to offer the discussion about biblical cosmogony.

There are a few people I would like to thank for their help in this project. I thank my wife who puts up with my erratic study and writing habits. I thank my children who give me the excuse I need to escape with them on long wilderness treks. I thank Steve Wagner, a fellow elder in congregational ministry, in whose walk-in closet this project began. I also thank Bo Stuart, another fellow elder in congregational ministry, who is not too sure about my thesis. His input has kept me honest. I also thank all the members of Covenant Community Church, Whitehall, Montana, who have signed their lives into the bonds of Christian covenant living. I also thank Jeff Vaughn for his insightful suggestions and his family for their help in proofreading. I also thank Marcus Booker whose conversations with me are more stimulating than he realizes. I pray God will use this project to further His eternal kingdom in whatever way He sees fit. To God be the glory!

A Necessary Introduction to Beyond Creation Science

There are few issues among conservative Christians surrounded by greater controversy than the proper understanding of Genesis. Today, many Christians with a high view of Scripture give their full attention to Genesis. This is not just a modern phenomenon. Augustine focused on Genesis when he developed many of the seed ideas we today call “Historic Christian Theology.” No one suggests he explained every detail properly, but he was right about one thing. The book of Genesis is at the heart of Christianity. Without a proper understanding of Genesis, the biblical revelation of salvation in Jesus Christ is in jeopardy. A proper understanding of the Bible begins in the book of Genesis. Mistakes made here will inevitably ripple across the rest of the Bible.

This is why the controversy over Genesis is important. On the surface it appears the historic battle lines are drawn. Very little has changed for at least a couple centuries. There is a long history in Church tradition supporting different interpretations of Genesis. Think of the debate over the “days” of Genesis.[1] Those who understand them to be literal, 24-hour days follow the lead of Ambrose and the Puritans. Those who deny a 24-hour interpretation follow Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Augustine and the Dutch Reformed. Add to these historic views the fight between Fundamentalism and Modernism in the 20th century and the contemporary stage is set. The various debates over Genesis roll on with flaming rhetoric: old earth vs. young earth, figurative vs. narrative, allegory vs. literal, local flood vs. global flood.

While many Christians spend tremendous effort furthering their own side, few examine the roots of the disagreements. Only rarely does anyone ask if the assumptions which support the continuing debates are, in fact, the right assumptions. Have we asked the right questions? Do we understand the fundamental character of the debate? Is the matter really as simple as those who reject the Bible versus those who believe the Bible? That is how many view the origins debate surrounding Genesis. This work attempts to reach the core of the debate at one particular point: the flood as recorded in Genesis.

The Creation Science movement blossomed in the 20th century as a response to the wide acceptance of naturalistic evolution as well as popular old earth creationist perspectives that many deemed as unholy compromise with Darwinism. Practically speaking, the entire Creation Science movement rests on the belief the flood was a global event. Creation Scientists claim this is the direct and unambiguous teaching of the Bible. All geological, anthropological, astronomical and biological data is explained through this axiom. Many conservative, Bible-believing Christians have made this a point of absolute orthodoxy. They see belief in a global flood specifically and the Creation Science paradigm generally as a pillar of the Christian Faith in the modern world. I must admit that this was my belief at one time as well. However, my view changed after embracing covenant thinking which led me to understand New Testament prophecy from a general preterist viewpoint.

I hope to introduce you to a new perspective on the Genesis flood debate, an approach which offers tremendous potential to move the wider Bible-Science debate beyond the entrenched lines of the stalemated conflict we witness today. The following pages are offered as an introduction, not as the last word. What follows is an investigation, not a dogmatic conclusion. Though I am convinced the case is sound, I am also painfully aware of just how many proposals related to Genesis have been born in the last two hundred years with high expectations only to be buried later in unmarked graves in the backwoods of history. Their numbers are great. That sobering historical reality should foster care, temperance, balance, objectivity, and most of all, humility, among all who have an interest in this controversy, regardless of their own position. I offer the following with all humility in light of the messy past. At the same time, I offer it with hopeful confidence that a paradigm shift we can scarcely imagine today awaits us in the future of the Genesis origins debate. The truth will win out in the end: in God’s providence, it always does.

This book is a critique of the main Creation Science presupposition from the perspective of covenant eschatology or what is known broadly as preterism. I hope to demonstrate a methodological, theological and historical correlation between the rise of Creation Science ideology and the prevalence of dispensational theology in America during the 20th century. I hope to convince those who have already abandoned dispensational futurist eschatology in favor of preterism (regardless of any particular brand) of the need to completely re-examine the Creation Science paradigm. As preterism grows to eclipse dispensational futurism in American Christianity, I believe this re-examination will lead naturally to the wholesale abandonment of Creation Science ideas.

This critique of the Creation Science movement is a call to consistency. My argument is simple. It is time for those committed to a general preterist understanding of Matthew 24, 2 Peter 3, and Revelation to think through the logical implications of their beliefs as they relate to the rest of the Bible.

Footnotes:

1. For an excellent overview of the current state of this debate and how it relates to the wider Bible-Science debate see David G. Hagopian, ed., The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation (Mission Viejo: Crux Press, 2001).

To be continued…

Copyright 2005 by Timothy P. Martin. All rights reserved. Reprinted by Permission

[This book will be available through the Planetpreterist bookstore.]

JeffE's picture

There's not much unpreterist about basic Creation Science except for the dispensationalism and entropy they tend to espouse, which has nothing much to do with Genesis. I am a six-day Creationist and a preterist. Why doubt certain parts of the Bible? We've got the end down, now let's get our act together on the beginning. Is String Theory incompatible with six-day Creation taking into account relativistic time dilation (away from the earth in outer space) as proposed by Dr. Russell Humphreys? Also, consider the granite radiohalo evidence for a young earth.
-Peace, Jeff

JL's picture

Jeff,

Do you understand Humphrey's work in Relativity? Have you read any of the rebuttals? Do you understand those?

Do you understand Gentry's radiohalo work? Have you read any of the rebuttals? Do you understand those?

You've accepted two authorities on what basis? You already agreed with their presuposition that the earth is young. So you accept their demonstrably bad science without question. Take circular reasoning and add false appeal to authority.

If you don't understand the science, please don't spread it around like you think it's gospel.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JeffE's picture

If I'm naive in believing that Moses knew what he was writing about, then so be it.

JL's picture

In other words then, we are doubters and unbelievers because we disagree with you on what Moses said.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JeffE's picture

Did I really say or imply that?

Windpressor's picture

Jeff,

If you have just scanned through the previous posts, you may have missed some pertinent links in the text.

Earlier, JL listed one link as primary:
"As for the science, start with this list of arguments to not use."
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp

I watch Carl Baugh's TBN show and have questioned some of his and guests' presentations.

Even the AIG folks recognize the problem with faulty science and warn that Baugh is capable of unsound material:

"Many of Carl Baugh’s creation ‘evidences’. Sorry to say, AiG thinks that he’s well meaning but that he unfortunately uses a lot of material that is not sound scientifically. So we advise against relying on any ‘evidence’ he provides, unless supported by creationist organisations with reputations for Biblical and scientific rigour. Unfortunately, there are talented creationist speakers with reasonably orthodox understandings of Genesis (e.g. Kent Hovind) who continue to promote some of the Wyatt and Baugh ‘evidences’ despite being approached on the matter (ed. note: see our Maintaining Creationist Integrity, our response to Hovind’s reply to this article [LINK AT: http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1011hovind.asp] ).
---------------

Also check the old earth site --
http://www.answersincreation.org/index.htm

There are other links to follow. As JL has said, check out both sides and the rebuttals.

G1

...................

G-Juan Wind

JL's picture

Jeff,

Why doubt certain parts of the Bible?

Please show us where Tim (or any of us) doubted any part of the Bible. That's your implication.

In addition, you implied that anyone who doubts or disbelieves a 6 24-hour day creation doubts or disbelieves Genesis.

No one in this discussion doubts Genesis. We only doubt a particular (common) interpretation of Genesis. You made that interpretation equivalent to Scripture. How else can we to take your words?

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Jeff,

I was curious if you have you read my entire (available) work? I am not suggesting at all that we doubt our Bible. I suggest that we should try to understand it properly.

How would you understand the biblical comparison between the flood and coming of Christ? Do you believe the parousia of Christ involves global physical events? Do you believe the language of the book of Revelation speaks of global physical events?

If you read my material carefully you'll see that I argue that Creation Science's global flood reading of Genesis 6-9 is a function of their dispensationalism. For those of us who reject that method in the New Testament, I suggest we should also reject that method in Genesis.

What it boils down to in my mind is that our preterist understanding of the end has logical implications for our understanding of Genesis. I think its only a matter of time before Christians get their act together in Genesis. This may be bad news for the Creation Science movement.

You may be unconvinced by my material but will you at least read it with an open mind in the weeks to come? Could you show me where I am mistaken in my presentation and arguments? Then we can both receive a great benefit.

Thanks,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

After reading the posts and the material at Tim’s website and some of the chapters in The Origins Solution, this is what I understand you to be saying:

Summary
God created the Universe billions of years ago. Big Bang theory and evolution where things have evolved from simple to complex is true (ie., “Ishites” evolved from simple bacteria to “humans”). Then about 6,000 years ago, God created Adam and Eve, a separate act of creation. They were a special creation that God had a covenant with. He placed them in the Garden and Adam named the animals that were in the Garden. The Fall happened. Cain’s mark was for the Ishites not to harm him. Mankind (the Adamites) became evil. I assume then that the “daughters of men” are Ishites and the “sons of God” are Adamites. Then the mixing of them created the giants. “The purpose of the Flood is stated quite clearly as being for the destruction of adam, that is adamites. Ish, that is, the rest of mankind is not to be destroyed.” – JL. So then the Flood was local/regional and destroyed all the animals in that area and all the Adamite line except for Noah and his family. After the flood, Noah continued on the Adamite line and the Ishites continued on and there were still mixed people from before as well, the giants.

“Adamites had exceptionally gorgeous women, Gen. 6:4 and the accounts of Sarah and Rebekah. Adamites matured in 50 years and lived 900+ while Ishites matured in 20 and lived 70. Mixed race Adamite/Ishite lived exceptionally long lives and when grouped as tribes, persisted as giants (fast Ishite growth with slow Adamite maturity.) for nearly two thousand of years, until wiped out by Israel (Deut. 2). This long life gave them an advantage over the pure Ishites around them.

Eventually, the Adamite genes were so diluted as to give no advantage. That is, by the time of Solomon, the giants were wiped out and the Israelites were genetically essentially Ishites not Adamites.

As a preterist, I add. Jesus was the last Adam, covenentally. In AD 70 essentially all of the remaining (but well diluted) Adamite gene stock was destroyed. So literally, the last Adamite died with Jesus' generation.” – JL

Implicatons?
These are some inferences I believe would be results of the following view:

1. Since Genesis refers to man (Adamites) as being destroyed in the Flood and the last Adamite died with Jesus’ generation – then all us humans today are Ishites or sometype of cross between them. Thus people today are all or partially evolved from simple life forms (ie., bacteria?). Is this not what evolutionists are saying? Than humans are no different animals? I’d go to say that since man was destroyed in the Flood, we today, per this view, I suppose aren’t really men? This sounds no better than a so what attitude towards abortion – we are just animals or from bacteria anyway.

2. If the covenant was made to the Adamite line and they all died with Jesus’ generation, then would us not today be part of that covenant? The covenant was only made with them and was completed at the Parousia in AD 70. Thus we today are not in a covenant relationship with God, especially since we aren’t really “man.” We can’t be Christians.

3. So the Ishites, God just made but were no more important to Him than the plants and animals?

4. Where does sin come into play for the Ishites? They must not have even been important enough for Satan to tempt them?

I have to add, this made me laugh, “Adamites had exceptionally gorgeous women…” guess that says all women today can never be a beautiful as Sarah and Rebekah.

I don’t mean for any of this to be offensive, but that is what the above summarized view seems to be saying from my understanding of it.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

One more point I ought to make clear.

Dick Fischer's model is very literal. It is as literal as the dispy YECs try to pretend their model is.

One of the points of Tim's Book is that dispy-literalism is part of the problem. So Tim isn't likely to accept Fischer's model which is dispy literal.

Take care,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Paige's picture

Glenn,

I realize I'm coming late to the table. However, I had a few thoughts regarding this post:

I think it might be helpful to remember that God made a covenant w/Israel. In making that covenant w/Israel, was God saying that He didn't care about anybody non-Israelite? Or, was the covenant He made w/Israel to benefit the rest of humanity? I think in both the old and new testaments we can see that the latter statement is the bigger story.

Lets apply this to the Ishites/Adamites. Could it have been God's original intent in the creation of the Adamites to use them to reveal Himself to the Ishites? Try to picture the Infinite God just "BANG" showing up to His primitive creation. Would He have been understood? Could they take in all His glory? What I see instead is a God Who would slowly reveal Himself to a particular individual/group, and then use that group to introduce Himself to the rest of the world. We know that the first Covenant man failed. The Bible is God's record of redemption. It tells us the story of God reclaiming His creation and the ends He was willing to go to do that. It is not a record of the history of the entire world. It tells the story of Israel and the foundation of Israel (Genesis), and then finally revealing the true Israel of God, Jesus Christ.

I hope you can use these brief thoughts to help you in your understanding.

Paige

valensname's picture

Paige,

But does not the Genesis account show that God did just that? He showed up right from the start with Adam and Eve. I can't see God creating Ishites and just letting them do whatever with no contact of any kind besides the physical creation to show there is a God, and then billions of years later creating the Adamites. That sounds like an absent father who had children before, didn't show any responsibility whatsoever and then had more children and now decided he'd be a father to the newer ones. (I work with CPS children).

I don't see where this "big" distinction you are saying is in the text nor the rest of the Bible.

Glenn

Paige's picture

Glenn,

Are you basing your assumptions on the idea that humanity started off fully grown? Everywhere we look we see that life progresses in stages. Embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, etc... I don't see why God's creation would have begun any differently. I also see the whole account told in story form to convey as simply as possible, what would be difficult to grasp.

If you want to read it literally, did snakes talk? How long were Adam and Eve in the garden before they ate from the wrong tree? There really is way too much detail left out to understand it in a wooden, literal way (for me anyway).

I think where the trouble comes in is that we read Genesis without any knowledge of the sacred creation narrative. It brings the same kind of confusion that reading the book of Revelation does without any knowledge of Jewish apocalyptic literature.

Anyway, I find the understanding that Tim Martin and JL (and many others besides) are developing very fascinating, and also very useful in helping me to fill in pieces of the story that weren't making very good sense as told traditionally.

Paige

valensname's picture

Paige,

Our current understanding of DNA indicates that the only way for life to have existed was fully formed in the beginning.

I just don't even see how one can come up with these ideas. I mean you can atleast suggest to someone that the eschatological time statements have a fulfillment and its not completely off base, but this Ishites/Adamites - I don't even see where you guys are even getting this.

Glenn

JL's picture

"Our current understanding of DNA indicates that the only way for life to have existed was fully formed in the beginning."

I agree. So does Fischer. http://www.origins-solution.com/myths.asp Has anybody on this forum said anything that disagrees with that statement?

You need to take a bit more care.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

Oh, excuse me JL, but did not Paige just say that in the post above mine?

"Are you basing your assumptions on the idea that humanity started off fully grown? Everywhere we look we see that life progresses in stages. Embryo, fetus, infant, child, adolescent, etc... I don't see why God's creation would have begun any differently. I also see the whole account told in story form to convey as simply as possible, what would be difficult to grasp."

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

Okay, her statement was ambiguous. I see how you could interpret it that way. I didn't.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Paige's picture

I'm glad you didn't because that wasn't my intent. :)

valensname's picture

JL,

No problem :-). One last thing on this post (will keep it on Post 2)...

Can you give me more references to this Adamite/Ishite view? Only thing I can find is that Adamites were some 3rd/4th century group.

Glenn

JL's picture

Sorry, my only reference is Dick Fischer.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

Glenn,

My view at this time bears no resemblence to your summary,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

valensname's picture

Tim,

The summary portion (most are quotes from JL) or the implications that I see from the views I read about (more than one source)? I knew no one would probably agree to any of the implications.

Sorry if I misrepresented. I would like to know more regarding the theory of the Ishites.

Glenn

JL's picture

Try Dick Fischer's book. http://www.origins-solution.com/

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Glenn,

I can't speak for Tim. But I believe you have a lot of misunderstandings of my position. Tim has said nothing on most of these issues. You are certainly not being fair to Tim, and your errors in my position are significant.

I'm a proponent of the Big Bang. The Big Bang speaks of a beginning of time, matter, and space. So does Gen. 1:1.

I've already said Dick Fischer is a TE. Not me. Nothing evolved.

Mankind were/are the Ishites. The Adamites were different. The Hebrew says daughters of Adam, so they are Adamites. Fischer has assumed that the "sons of God" are Ishites and I concur.

1. We are all essentially 100% Ishite. We were created in Genesis 1, not Genesis 2. I have consistently denied evolution. Your conclusions are unfounded.

2, 3. We were grafted in. Since you've gotten so much critical stuff wrong, I'll let you off easy.

4. I'm still trying to get what happened straight. Someone else can work on the theological implications. Besides, someone might come up with something even better.

As for your laugh, what does Scripture say about their beauty? Sarah was 90 years old and 10 years past menopause. A young king who could have any woman in the kingdom he wanted her. Give me a break? Not even Liz Taylor or Tina Turner are that well preserved.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

Where do you get the idea that God created people (however you say it, fully formed or evolved into man) before Adam and Eve?

Where do you get this “Ishites” idea from? It seems made up to me?

And just because Sarah is described as a beautiful woman and Rebekah had beautiful eyes, I think it is a stretch to say in general Adamites were. And Sarah besides being beautiful may have looked different than the Egyptian women. Kinda like seeing an Asian woman for the first time when all you have seen are white women. Maybe it could be explained as simply as the he wanted to experience a different type of woman.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

You believe Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 are about the same event. I used to believe that also. Why? The Bible does not say that. All you have to do is consider that Gen. 1 and Gen. 2 might be different events.

There are two different Hebrew words translated "man." Ish and Adam. There are several passages that make a distinction between the two. Therefore Ish and Adam are different. You can't find it in an English Bible, but it's in a Hebrew one.

Gen. 6 made a big deal about the beauty of Adamite women. Dick Fischer has come up with a literal interpretation of Scripture that seems to account for all the evidence. I got all this and more from his book.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

I have heard before that they are two different events although I can't see how one can say that. Usually I'd say the view is that chapter 2 is an expansion of chapter 1. I really don't see how you can separate the two.

I don't read Hebrew but do have a Hebrew interlinear and Young's. It appears you are talking about the word aw-dawm (strong's 120) and eesh (#376)? But from what I looked up only #120 is found in the opening chapters of Genesis.

Which passages are you referring to?

So you are saying the "daughters of men" are the Adamites and the "sons of God" are the Ishites? That just doesn't seem right at all but the opposite. If Adamites are the covental people how can the Ishites be referred to as the sons of God?
I don't see this passage as being any different than when the Isralites started taking "foreign" wives. I guess I may have to read the whole book. The chapters I read didn't seem very convincing to me.

Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

You can pick apart every detail with suggestions of other possibilities. And yes, you might even discover problems with Fischer's model.

But why don't you try to do the same with your model? Your model doesn't explain much at all.

AiG makes the false claim that number-day always refers to a normal day. They no longer say that in public debates though, because they know it's false and they don't want to give their opponents an easy point. The same for the false claim "evening and morning always means a normal day." And again for their false claim that "generations" in Gen. 2:4 doesn't mean generations.

That means in debates, they've given up arguing for a young earth on Scriptural grounds. But they still put these same false arguments in their books and on their websites. What does that say?

AiG has a list of science arguments YECs should not use. Where did the list come from? From losing public debates with Hugh Ross.

They agree with Hugh Ross on every significant detail except timing and the specific nature of the Flood. They do not argue science anymore, because science is against them.

So there's no science left for AiG. There's nothing left except their interpretation of Scripture which starts from the begining with false claims that they won't back up in public debate but know that you true believers won't question either.

So in public debate, AiG has quit fighting Ross' claim that Gen. 1, refers to ages way past and has quit fighting the science against a recent global Flood. If AiG has given up that fight, then why are you still fighting for it?

Now what else is wrong with the YEC model?

Cain was afraid of strangers in a foriegn land. The YEC model is that these strangers are his brothers and sisters. If he had to fear his brothers and sisters, the brothers and sisters who knew what he did were a more serious threat than the ones he didn't know. And it can't explain how Cain eventually ruled over enough of them to build a city. Would you let your murderous older brother be your king? Jacob's sons recognized Judah as their leader after his 3 older brothers did far less to disgrace themselves.

Unless you claim a miracle or claim the "sons of God" in Gen. 6 are demons, you can't explain the giants.

Noah's ark was barely big enough to hold food for the elephants for one year.

The YEC model claims some 15,000 kinds on the ark (more animals than 8 people could care for) evolved into some 3 million species over the next 1000 years or so. Therefore all global-flood YECs are Theistic Evolutionists.

Following Usher's dating, Noah and all of the generations to Abraham were contemporaries with Abraham. Noah's grandson Nimrod, found enough people to rule to build how many cities? All this before Abraham was born.

And what about Hugh Ross' option? Push Gen. 2 back to 60,000 BC or farther. Push the Flood to 20,000 BC or farther. Invent culture and technology that were then forgotten after the Flood and had to be invented all over again. Along with it, throw away all chance of the geneologies or the historical descriptions being meaningful.

So along comes Dick Fischer. He conceeds everything that AiG has conceeded in public debate. He tries to accept everything AiG hasn't conceeded and has worked to remove the contradictions.

AiG has conceeded that Gen. 1 is very ancient. They still fight for a recent Gen. 2. AiG won't fight for what they believe. Dick Fisher has accepted as truth what AiG still fights for.

I'm rambling. I hope you get the picture. The YECs have quit fighting for a lot of what they believe. Dick Fischer accepts their defeat on those issues and takes Ross' view. On those things YECs still fight for, Fischer has in his model. He has then straightened out the contradictions as best he can. His model is quite literal. His model fits a literal interperation of Scripture better than Ross' or the YECs'. His model fits history, archeology, and science better than the others.

Take care,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

Guess I just have to go read all the debates and study what everyone else has said before I can make a comment?

I'd rather just stick to the bible and the geology of the planet and not quote or refer to what everone else has been saying.

G

Writerx's picture

From what I recall of the book (which I read a few months ago), there never was the final "blow" to Creation Science. Yes, I agree, it COULD have been local. God COULD be using metaphoric/symbolic language in the creation story.

However, this is precisely my point. All that the author managed to accomplish (from my recollection) is to establish the flimsy either/or notion of what COULD BE, and then assert that we must interpret the global language figuratively because it is used so elsewhere.

Hence why I remain in favor of the literal interpretation. What I did not manage to find in the entire flood story was a SINGLE TIME where the ACTUAL intent of God's word was manifested. There is not a single iota of evidence in that text that would make us want to localize the event. The language is consistant. It starts of with man's heart had become evil and all his works. It is not necessary to assume that this is only a portion of the globe that had this happen. In fact, God repented that he had made man at all, so he decides to wipe them out, except for Noah. Then the language continues on with "all living things" "the face of the earth" "all that creeps on the earth" etc.

I'm not saying that it absolutely could NOT have been local––only that there's yet to be a reason to assume that it should be. God never zooms in on his intended target, and the myth only continues to get rehashed by Peter later on in the NT.

And a brief note on evolution. Okay, here's how it simplifies for me. Anyone please feel free to correct me if I'm making a mistake here. This process couldn't have happened without a miracle. Matter can't spontaneously spring from nowhere; nonliving things can't produce living things; information is lost in a mutation, not gained, and always results in some kind of damage to the creature.

If it took a miracle, then why not just assume that God created it all in six days as the text plainly reads? In order to get the idea of theistic evolution, you have to have accepted the theory that pagans came up with against all reason in the first place.

It just seems like weak stance to take. You start off by accepting an unscientific, unfounded, unproven and unprovable theory, and then you take that and plant it in the Scriptures contrary to the plain reading of the text, and then proceed to assert that you MUST take the language figuratively.

I'm sorry guys, but you'll have to do a lot better than that. The theology is lacking.

-A.J.

P.S. I have watched about six or seven debates with creationists and evolutionists (both theistic and non)––and as far as it goes with scientific evidence, I feel the creationists have done a much more consistant job. While I still have a lot of questions, there has yet to be a single reason to deny the literal view. Maybe I'll do an article explaining myself a bit more thoroughly. Any conversation is welcome.

JL's picture

Cain was driven from "the face of the earth." You believe he went into outer space?

This literal view you assume isn't literal. It is Seventh Day Adventism, warmed over to fit Dispensationalism. Price invented it in the 1920's and '30's. Morris plagiarized it. And it requires and end of the world within the next 1400 years.

A young earth implies an earth that can't last much longer. And old earth implies that we have a lot of time still left. This is what Young Earth Creationism teaches. You can't separate Young Earth Creationism from Dispensationalism. It can not be done.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Writerx's picture

Hi JL,

The literal view I assume isn't assumed, either. It's based upon the context of the whole passage. I agree completely with you that numerous, NUMEROUS places in the Old Testament ERETS and global language are used figuratively. You can read this by the context and then what biblically did happen. I agree. We agree.

However, what I want to point out is that global language can also be used...globally. Go figure?

I was wondering if you could clarify for me your specific position. See, I gleaned that you were an theistic evolutionist, but apparently this might not be the case. So, do that for me and we can move on.

I have not ruled out the Old Earth issue. Frankly I'm not sure the bible is clear one way or the other. Hence why I study. Some of the arguments like star distance and red shift seem to have holes in them, though, such as the parallax trigonometry and whatnot. But I'm working on it. And even if we can prove the earth is billions of years old, it doesn't mean that God didn't create it that way just a few thousand years ago. There are other issues, but maybe we can take them in stride, eh?

I would like to formally apologize to you if I was out of line before in our last discussion. On the internet it is difficult to guage emotion, and I was slightly frustrated by what I felt were very presumtive counter-points that did not match my position just as many of mine probably did not match yours. Anyway, that's all past.

So I guess let's do this thing. Brace yourselves. I'm working on an article with many of the points I feel have been unsanswered. I do not see the correlation between old earth and local flood as a necessity. I do not see six thousand years and dispensationalism as necessarily related either. And remember, if the earth ends at all we probably have a violation of the first chapter of Ecclesiastes :(

Thanks bro,

-A.J.

JL's picture

AJ,

My position is this. The most consistent biblically literal position I've ever seen is the one by TE Dick Fischer in his book, The Origins Solution. The Bible allows a great deal of evolution, but I don't think evolution can work for science reasons. Old Earth Creationism is certainly not excluded from Fischer's interpretation.

Or simply. A literal interpretation of Scripture allows either TE or OEC. Science does not allow TE. That makes me OEC by default.

I wonder if erets is every used globally. I prefer to do so in a couple places, but I don't see why it's required.

I'd love to see someone work out the details for a consistent YEC/preterist paradigm. So far no one has bothered. I don't think it's possible. If I thought it were, I would have tried.

But be warned, you will have to invent YEC from scratch. A lot of stuff on YEC websites and in YEC books concerning Scripture is fraudulent. You will have to test everything carefully. Once you eliminate the fraud, there's really not much certainty left. Most individual statements in Scripture can easily go either way.

As for the science, start with this list of arguments to not use http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dont_use.asp .

Is there anyone here who isn't either a YEC or a former YEC? Abandoning YEC and abandoning dispyism just go together. I did both at about the same time for precisely the same reasons. A lot of us did. That's ultimately the thesis of Tim's book.

Take care. Have fun with your project. I'll give you whatever assistance I can.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Writerx's picture

Going along the lines with the comment above mine, the more I study the issue, the less of an issue it becomes. The Old Earth vs. Young Earth thing is really a nonissue. As I said, even if we can prove the earth is old (which both sides present tough, tough arguments for and against), it doesn't prove that it wasn't done via the intent of God for man to see starlight or something... Who really knows?

However, as I've also said, I don't think that you can prove hermenuetically that the flood was local. I think you can make a case for it, but at the end of reading Martin's work all I saw was a "well it could be this..." sort of idea that seemingly ignored the contextual basis of who exactly was being judged (and this sort of thing gets into original sin and all that stuff, too).

I've read all those do not use things, and Kent Hovind––whose videos I enjoy and whose theology I do not––does not use any of them to my recollection. I have seen Ken Hamm's stuff on video before, too.

I never was a dispensationalist. I'm pretty much a born and raised Preterist who never gave the creation issue much thought. I saw some of Hovind's stuff, did some research, watched some debates, and I'm at the point where YEC seems more likely than OEC, but am not stone-solid on the approach.

On Erets, in Genesis 1:28 God said be fruitful in multiply, fill the earth (erets) and subdue it. I think it is clear from the context that this is a global use of the word, since man was a "good" creation intended to multiply and continue. There's one that I think you can argue for.

I've noticed that a lot of guilt by association tactics are going on with this debate. Dispies and YECs, TE and OEC, global flood with YEC and local with OEC. Frankly I think there's far too many lines drawn in the sand this early in the game.

Oh, and by the way, just to show you how much you knew from before about grading and teachers, I got a 4.0. IN YOUR FACE! WHOOO! (J/K)

-A.J.

JL's picture

Congratulations. You pulled it off. My daughters have a classmate who's a white male who would have graduated with a 4.0 except for one D. Three of my daughters had the same teacher, one was in the same class.

Being black and female, my daughters could get away with calling the liberal, white, female professor a racist bigot. After my first daughter got through with this professor, she never uttered that racist pejorative "Saturday Night Special" again.

This young man couldn't open his mouth without getting shouted down. Daughter #3 could repeat what the young man said and the teacher would cave.

Daughter #4 has this woman this spring.

As for erets and Gen. 1:28, that is one verse that I prefer to use a global interpretation. But neither you nor I can prove that was what was meant.

I've tried to compare every instance of erets in Hebrew to how it's translated in the Greek LXX. Every case was translated "ge." Look up ge in the Greek New Testament. You will find that preterists understand almost every occurence (or maybe every occurence) as being limited or "local." Erets and ge mean the same thing. ge is usually local. Erets is usually local.

Here's the example I first gave Ed.

"Evening and morning" always means a "normal day." YECs claim this statement is true. It is false. Not only is this statement false. YEC leaders know it is false. They say it anyway because they know you will believe them and not check it out for yourself. That is, they are liars and guilty of fraud.

In his book, Creation & Time, Hugh Ross gave the example of Daniel 8:26. The Hebrew is "evening and morning" singular. Look it up in the King James which translates the verse literally. The meaning is a long period of time. Look it up in any modern translation. They all are translated as "evenings and mornings" because the translators all agree that it is a long period of time.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/overheads/pages/oh20020208_104...

Specifically, van Bebber and Taylor are guilty of a direct lie. The wrote a book condemning Ross. In it, they never discussed Ross' counter example. Instead, they made claims as if Ross gave no example at all.

AiG and ICR have both made claims leading people to believe they've read Ross' book and accept van Bebber & Taylor's explanation. Both organizations have been informed directly by many people over the years about this one exception (there is another). They still make the claim.

Again, the YEC leaders know this claim is false. They make it anyway. They think you won't check it out.

Over the years, I've given this example to many YECs. I only know of one who has had the integrity to actually look up this one example. How much integrity does it take to look up one little verse in two versions of the Bible and reflect on it? Yesterday, a YEC told me, "Even if you're right it doesn't matter."

It doesn't matter that YEC leaders knowingly tell such a trivially easy to check lie? It doesn't matter that this person called me an unbeliever based in part because he accepts a blatant lie? This is the issue. Every bit of Scripture and every bit of science that YECs use to "prove" a young earth is either proves nothing, it can be read old or new, or it's a lie and the YEC leaders know it.

Yes that last one is a strong statement on my part. I'm willing to back it up.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Writerx's picture

I'll look up the passage tomorrow (actually I already read it, but I want to check some other stuff surrounding it, too). Not a problem for me; I'm trying not to be overly dogmatic about this. I'll say it again, I'm not opposed to the old earth business, because in the end you still cannot prove nor disprove that God simply made a mature creation.

I'm sure there's a lot of bad information out there. I'm sure Kent Hovind has some in his work as well. I'm sure there's bad old earth information circulating too. If they know it's a lie, then that's something they'll have to deal with. I'd personally simply dismiss the bad info.

But as to my immediate reaction to the passage, the primary difference I note (actually two) is that first the passage is given in the clear structure of a vision, hence the context itself could mandate a figurative interpretation. Also, I find the passage to be ambiguous as to what the "evening and morning" are actually referring to––the process of the vision itself, or the fulfillment of the vision. I'll study it tomorrow to see if I can figure it out. I'm too tired right now. Secondly, the evening and morning phrase is not coupled with "day." Yes, yes, I know it's Yom which can be interpreted "age," but when they are placed together, it reads funny to interpret them both figuratively. "And there was an age the first age," or "there was evening and there was morning the first age."

I don't know. That just seems like a silly stretch.

Anyway, I'll get back to you. You got an e-mail address since this article is about to go off the main page?

-A.J.

JL's picture

AJ,

In this case, it's not a case of bad information. They know and they purposefully misrepresent Hugh Ross. These two among a series of examples in van Bebber & Taylor's book is what changed my mind. It's one thing to disagree on something that's ambiguous. It's another to make an outright lie. Van Bebber & Taylor made several in a row in their book. Ken Ham copied two of them right there.

I've got an email address, jl@planetpreterist.com

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Ed's picture

Jeff,
I was only a dispie for a short while WAAAYYYYY back in 1980 timeframe. I soon adopted an amillennial position until 1986 when I became an optimistic amillennialist (or neo-postmillennialist, as opposed to a classic postmillennialist). By 1990, I was a partial preterist, and remained so until about 1999 when I attempted to become a "maximized orthodox preterist." I soon found, with all due respect to Mr DeMar, that being a MOP didn't work. So I became a full preterist.

It wasn't until around the time that I became a full preterist that I finally realized what you had been telling me for years was correct - that the earth was old, and that the bible was still true.

I don't spend countless hours studying the subject. Needless to say, I am unconcerned ultimately with what I believe, or anyone else believes. Christ saves, not YEC, or OEC, or TE. It is much the same as eschatology. I care not any longer what one embraces. I know what I know. And that is that GOD loves us more than we first imagined. He loves us more than we can EVER imagine. He will never stop loving us.

I will say JL that, were it not for you, I would probably still be a young earther, even though I only held to dispensationalism for less than a year.

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

JL's picture

Ed,

There are quite a few people here who came from North's school of partial preterist/postmillenialism. Some of them were never dispies.

I thought we first met on the internet in late 1998. I'm certain the occassion was Arnold Jagt combining 2 forums he ran into one.

I'd abandoned YEC for Ross' version of OEC by that time and had long abandonned dispyism for confused preterism, that is, I never quite understood North and company.

Right about that time, I started reading Fischer's book, which was as hard for me, as it was for you to read my stuff. So you went from YEC to OEC based on Fisher's literal TE during the same period of time that I went just the last step. We got to the same point but for very different reasons.

Ultimately, I think this is the real issue. Dispyism with YECism is internally consistant, but not consistant with Scripture. Full preterism and an old earth is internally consistant, and hopefully more consistant with Scripture. This is the message of Tim's book. But we are so blinded by YECism, that it is difficult to see. It is still difficult to see.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

MiddleKnowledge's picture

JL,

I love your summary. Can I use that?

I was heavily involved in the North school of partial preterism and reconstructionism more broadly. I could tell you some great stories.

Looking back on it what seems to be clear to me is that partial-preterism was accepted and promoted for one over-riding purpose in the reconstructionist movement. It was accepted in order to place the Great Tribulation into our past so that it would not be allowed to interfere with Postmillenialism. The books that come to mind where this is clearest is "Millenialism and Social Theory" and "Rapture Fever" both by North.

Probably the greatest irony in the Reconstructionist movement (besides the fact North married Rushdoony's daughter and then had a falling out with Rushdoony)is what it does to theonomy.

Theonomy was another distinctive of Reconstructionism, yet theonomy placed a great deal of emphasis on Matthew 5:17-19. Without that text, I don't believe Greg Bahnsen had a case (there were some other problems, too, from my point of view). But if you go back and look at Matthew 5:17-19 from a preterist understanding, it refutes Bahnsen's whole paradigm. That is the irony. Reconstructionists argued for preterism to make postmillenialism viable, yet by doing that they undercut theonomy.

I will say this about the Recons, though. They put out a few dandy preterist books (like Chilton's "Paradise Restored" and "Days of Vengeance" and Gentry's "Before Jerusalem Fell.") Chilton did end up becoming a real preterist and I'm sure he took a few people with him.

Just thought that might explain a few things,

Tim Martin
www.truthinliving.org

JL's picture

Tim,

It's yours.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Ed,

While recounting that history, I just realized, all of my views on creation came from books. With preterism, all I got from books was confused. I never thanked you and the other full preterists at that old forum for helping me see. I never even realized until just now what I owe you guys.

Thanks.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Ed's picture

First of all AJ, let me say that I love you in the LORD. I say that because I am going to be a little harsh here - I want you know that it is NOT personal, but trying to show you the fallacy of your argument against Tim, me, or JL (or anyone else who is an "old earther").

Old Earth Creationism is NOT synonymous with theistic evolution. MOST old earth creationists do NOT accept evolution (meaning the evolution of one species into another). However, many of us believe in adaptation (meaning the evolution within a species - e.g., the differences between penguins found in different parts of the world).

So, PLEASE, and I am asking this as nicely as I can, STOP SLANDERING YOUR BROTHERS IN CHRIST by claiming evolution every time you enter this argument. It is a lie, a violation of the ninth commandment, and it is a violation of love, the greatest law.

Now, regarding the literalness of Gen 1. It is my contention that Gen 1 is poetry (note the structure of the text - "and God said...and it was so...and God saw that it was good...the evening, the morning, the....day"). Secondly, the author of Genesis was NOT PRESENT at the creation, so was sharing what he had heard. Now, some would argue here that he heard directly from God...dictation, you might say. Well, nothing in the text signifies that. Nowhere does it say "Thus says the LORD." This was perhaps the author's writing down an oral tradition from "the fathers."

I find it interesting that preterists want to demand a "literal" view, while rejecting the process of allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Tim and JL have both shown examples of how the argument for a wooden literalness is difficult to prove when applied to the words or phrases use in other NEARBY sections of scripture.

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

Writerx's picture

The reason I bring up the evolution theory here is because in my last run-in with JL and those of his position, no position was every clearly stated. Anything I say is simply what I have been forced to glean, and a comment in a blog was what led me to assume that theistic evolution was the topic on the table. It went something like "...creation lovingly worked out over billions of years." The blog is long gone so I cannot quote it directly. But in any case, my deepest apologies if I have offended you. I'll take my share of the blame for not asking, but in the future you would do well to specifically state where you are coming from (and maybe I am guilty of the same).

I'm glad the reprimand wasn't as presumtive as the ones in the past. Again I apologize for misrepresenting your viewpoint. I will take care not to do so in the future. I did it in ignorance.

However I want to be clear that I haven't ruled out the "old earth" portion of Creation just yet. This is a topic I am studying constantly. The issue on the table, however, is a flood, and the hermenuetics which you are applying (and based upon Mr. Martin's work) are less than suitable, I feel. I am presently working on an article with all the questions/points that need answering.

The rule that you must be consistant in the interpretation of global language despite the context is unconvicing. I'll explain that more in the article.

Sincerely,

-A.J.

Ed's picture

AJ,
Personally, I don't care if you never embrace an old earth theory. That is not what saves us. I am happy that you and I can agree to disagree on this, and other issues, and still find it within our hearts to be brothers in Christ, and share a genuine care and affection for one another (because I do towards you).

I am convinced that the earth is old, as is the universe. I am also convinced that Adam was NOT the first human on the planet, but that he was taken from "the dust of the earth" which in other places in scripture is used to designate humanity. Someone else may have a different opinion on Adam and Eve and still be old earth. Just as on the website that I directed Glenn (valensname) to, they allow both theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists (like myself) to write commentary, etc.

I send to you my best wishes, and my love in Christ. I am not angry with you at all concerning the evolution comments - I can understand how if a position is not clearly laid out that assumptions can rule. However, there have been more than a few people who, though knowing better, have immediately attacked us old earth creationists as "evolutionists" simply as a "guilt by association" tactic, as well as an ad hominem attack. I know that neither of these was intended by you.

In His Infinite Grace,

ed

ed

Papa is especially fond of us

valensname's picture

"I am also convinced that Adam was NOT the first human on the planet, but that he was taken from "the dust of the earth" which in other places in scripture is used to designate humanity."

Ed,

Could you elaborate more or send me to a site on your view that Adam was not the first human on the planet.

Thanks,
Glenn

JL's picture

Glenn,

Ed first got it from me. (I don't know what else he's seen, if anything.) I got it from Dick Fischer's, The Origins Solution.

The basic argument is this. Gen. 2 is not a retelling of Gen. 1. Instead it is a later separate act of creation. In Gen. 6 and elsewhere, a distinction is made between "ish" and "adam." The purpose of the Flood is stated quite clearly as being for the destruction of adam, that is adamites. Ish, that is, the rest of mankind is not to be destroyed.

Adamites had exceptionally gorgeous women, Gen. 6:4 and the accounts of Sarah and Rebekah. Adamites matured in 50 years and lived 900+ while Ishites matured in 20 and lived 70. Mixed race Adamite/Ishite lived exceptionally long lives and when grouped as tribes, persisted as giants (fast Ishite growth with slow Adamite maturity.) for nearly two thousand of years, until wiped out by Israel (Deut. 2). This long life gave them an advantage over the pure Ishites around them.

Eventually, the Adamite genes were so diluted as to give no advantage. That is, by the time of Solomon, the giants were wiped out and the Israelites were genetically essentially Ishites not Adamites.

As a preterist, I add. Jesus was the last Adam, covenentally. In AD 70 essentially all of the remaining (but well diluted) Adamite gene stock was destroyed. So literally, the last Adamite died with Jesus' generation.

Don't pin this on Tim Martin. It belongs to Dick Fischer. I pretty much accept it as written here. I know Ed accepts the basic premise, but has some disagreement with the details. He has spent far more effort on the theological implications than I have. (Maybe Ed should write a book too.)

Tim's got some different ideas, but like you, Ed and I think you'll eventually come around. Of course Ed thinks I'll eventually come around to his view and I think Ed will eventually come around to my view. But so far our track record is we both come around to some view we never previously considered.

I can say though that I accepted Dick Fischer's model of creation and preterism before I first read Tim's original book. But I never felt comfortable with either until after.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

JL,

Thanks for the info. I'll keep reading and looking into it. I found the origins site and they have several chapeters online.

But I have to admit Adam not being the first man is "out-there" sounding to me right now.

Glenn

JL's picture

As it was for me. It took me 6 or 7 months to get through a book that should have taken a week.

But it solves a lot of problems. Like where did all those people Cain was afraid of come from? How could Cain eventually rule over them? Where did the giants come from? How did these giants survive the Flood without being on the ark? Why was Jacob's age such a big deal to Pharoah?

So if it takes you only 6 months to come around, I think that's exceptional.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

valensname's picture

Hmmm...who says I'll come around? :-)

How do you know the giants survived the Flood?

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