You are here A Look At Old Earth Creationism

A Look At Old Earth Creationism

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By Virgil - Posted on 25 September 2007

The web-site “About.com” lists Old Earth Creationism (“OEC”) under the heading of Agnosticism/Atheism, reflecting the apparent judgment that site that OEC belongs to a branch of skepticism, which is unwilling to accept the Biblical account of creation. Indeed, no one ever became an Old Earth Creationist (“OEC”) from reading Genesis. The sole impetus of OEC is to reconcile the Bible to the theoretical claims of atheistic science by reinterpreting it in a way that is consistent with naturalistic and evolutionary models. Atheistic evolution posits that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and that life developed slowly from simple to more complex forms over the last 100 million years. An old earth is therefore essential to naturalistic and evolutionary models. Although rejecting purely naturalistic theories of origin, OEC nevertheless accepts the claims of atheistic science regarding the age of the earth and cosmos. Confronted with the inconsistent claims
of atheistic, theoretical science and the Bible, OEC re-writes the Bible.
Traditional Interpretation of Genesis

OEC denies the creation account of Genesis as understood for four thousand years, first by the Jews, and then by the church. The Biblical account of creation is simple and straight-forward: The cosmos and all that is in it were created in the space of six days: In six days, the Lord God made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is. (Ex. 20:11) Numerous chronologies have been done over the centuries by men of faith: Eusebius, Julius Africanus, Ussher, et alia, and all date the creation to within about seven thousand years of our time. Demetrius and Eupolemus place the creation at 5507 B.C. Julius Africanus places the birth of Christ 5499 years from creation. Hyppolytus of Rome places the birth of Christ 5502 from creation. Hyppolytus of Thebes place it at 5500 years from creation. Eusebius reckons from creation to Christ 5199 years. Archbishop Ussher places the birth of Christ 4000 years from creation. We know of no chronologies before the modern era that date Biblical creation into the millions or billions of years.

Jewish authors and the Church fathers uniformly interpreted the creation account literally, as consisting of six, twenty-four hour days.

Philo Judaeus – “And he said that the world was made in six days, not because the creator stood in need of a length of time (for it is natural that God should do everything at once, not merely by uttering a command, but by even thinking of it); but because the things created required arrangement…And he allotted each of the six days to one of the portions of the whole.”

Flavius Josephus – “Accordingly Moses says that in just six days the world and all that is therein was made; and that the seventh day was a rest, and a release from the labour of such operations; - whence it is that we celebrate a rest from our labours on that day, and call it the Sabbath; which word denotes rest in the Hebrew tongue.”

Epistle of Barnabas – “The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation: ‘And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.’”

Justin Martyr – “The first day which was created along with the heavens constituted the beginning of all time (for thus Moses wrote, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’"

Theophilus – “Of this six days' work no man can give a worthy explanation and description of all its parts, not though he had ten thousand tongues and ten thousand mouths; nay, though he were to live ten thousand years, sojourning in this life, not even so could he utter anything worthy of these things, on account of the exceeding greatness and riches of the wisdom of God which there is in the six days' work above narrated.”

Clement of Alexandria – “For the creation of the world was concluded in six days. For the motion of the sun from solstice to solstice is completed in six months--in the course of which, at one time the leaves fall, and at another plants bud and seeds come to maturity.”

Origen – “Such is the objection which they are accustomed to make to our statement that this world had its beginning at a certain time, and that, agreeably to our belief in Scripture, we can calculate the years of its past duration. To these propositions I consider that none of the heretics can easily return an answer that will be in conformity with the nature of their opinions.”

“After these statements, Celsus, from a secret desire to cast discredit upon the Mosaic account of the creation, which teaches that the world is not yet ten thousand years old, but very much under that, while concealing his wish, intimates his agreement with those who hold that the world is uncreated. For, maintaining that there have been, from all eternity, many conflagrations and many deluges, and that the flood which lately took place in the time of Deucalion is comparatively modern, he clearly demonstrates to those who are able to understand him that, in his opinion, the world was uncreated.”

Julius Africanus – “For the Jews, deriving their origin from them as descendants of Abraham, having been taught a modest mind, and one such as becomes men, together with the truth by the spirit of Moses, have handed down to us, by their extant Hebrew histories, the number of 5500 years as the period up to the advent of the Word of salvation, that was announced to the world in the time of the sway of the Caesars.”

To this short list may be added many dozens of others, all testifying to the traditional (historical) teaching from the time of Moses until now, that the chronology of Genesis is to be read literally, and that the idea of an “old earth” is of purely modern origination. This does not prove the traditional interpretation is correct, but it does demonstrate circumstantially that the motive for reinterpreting Genesis stems from the claims of modern science, and not the scriptures themselves; for if the idea that billions of years had elapsed from the beginning was truly in the text, men would not have waited eighteen hundred years to discover it, but the idea would have been present with men from the start.

Adam – The Biological Parent of all Mankind - A Theological Essential of the Christian Faith

I Corinthians 15:45 states, "The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." This verse plainly names Adam as the “first man.” Gen. 3:20 calls Eve “the mother of all living.” There is no room for postulating the creation of other men based upon the Biblical record. The obvious and irrefutable teaching of scripture is that all men derive their ancestry from the common parentage of Adam and Eve. This is the basis of Paul’s argument in Romans that the whole race of mankind is descended from Adam, and made heir of his fallen nature. “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” (Rom. 5:19) If all men do not trace their ancestry to the common parentage of Adam and Eve, there is no way to account for the inherent fallenness of the race, and Paul is guilty of teaching error, for he has said that through one man’s disobedience all men were brought to ruin, not by the transgression of unnamed others. Indeed, the notion that God created other men than Adam and that Adam was merely the first man with whom God entered a covenant of works would mean that other asserted men were exempt from the possibility of the fall; for the fall applied only where there was law, but if other men were not under law and covenant, then they could not be chargeable with transgression. This would seem to open the door to Universalism via antinomianism. However, these considerations aside, the historical position of the church has always taught that Adam and Eve were the common parents of all mankind.

Having become disobedient, [Eve] was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race....Thus, the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith. ...But this man [of whom I have been speaking] is Adam, if truth be told, the first-formed man....WE, however, are all FROM him.

Tertullian - "Because by a man came death, by a man also comes resurrection" [1 Cor 15:21]. Here, by the word MAN, who consists of a body, as we have often shown already, I understand that it is a fact that Christ had a body. And if we are all made to live in Christ as WE were made to DIE IN ADAM, then, as in the flesh we were made to DIE IN ADAM, so also in the flesh are we made to live in Christ. Otherwise, if the coming to life in Christ were not to take place in that same substance in which WE DIE IN ADAM, the parallel were imperfect.

Origen - EVERYONE in the world FALLS PROSTRATE under SIN. And it is the Lord who sets up those who are cast down and who sustains all who are falling [Psalm 145:14]. IN ADAM ALL DIE, and THUS the world FALLS PROSTRATE and requires to be SET UP AGAIN, so that in Christ all may be made to live [1 Cor 15:22].

St. Athanasius - Adam, the first man, altered his course, and through sin death came into the world....When Adam transgressed, SIN reached out TO ALL MEN.

Augustine - But why does St Matthew reckon in a descending, and Luke in an ascending order?...Matthew descends through his generations, to signify our Lord Jesus Christ descending to bear our sins, that in the seed of Abraham all nations might be blessed. Wherefore, he does not begin with Adam, for from him is the whole race of mankind. Nor with Noe, because from his family again, after the flood, descended the whole human race. Nor could the man Christ Jesus, as descended from Adam, from whom all men are descended, bear upon the fulfillment of prophecy; nor, again, as descended from Noe, from whom also all men are descended; but only as descended from Abraham, who at that time was chosen, that all nations should be blessed in his seed, when the earth was now full of nations.

These are but a few of the many citations that could be produced demonstrating that the church has historically upheld the common parentage of Adam and Eve to all men, and that this is an essential tenant of the Christian faith inasmuch Paul teaches it to be the source of mankind’s inherent fallenness.

Re-writing Genesis

The Gap Theory

OCE has two ways by which it seeks to avoid the simple language of Genesis: the “gap” theory and the “day-age” theory. For hundreds of years, science had operated on the premise of a six thousand year old earth, based upon the chronology of Genesis. However, beginning in the early nineteenth century, naturalistic theories about the origin and age of the earth began to grow in popularity. Theologians, pressured by the alleged “scientific” evidence of an old earth, re-interpreted the scriptures to accommodate scientific theory. Thus was born the “gap” theory. Originally formulated in the early 19th century by Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers, the theory was conceived as a way to reconcile the Bible to naturalistic theories about the geologic age of the earth. The gap or “ruin-reconstruction” theory asserts that there is a time-gap between the first two verses of Genesis. It is based on the supposition that earth was already here (but in a ruined state) before the creative process of the seven days began. According to the gap-theory, II Pet. 3:5-7 refers not to Noah’s flood, asserting instead that it refers to the world before the beginning of creation:

“If 2 Peter 3:5-7 is a cross-reference to Genesis 1:2, then the Holy Spirit is calling your attention to something very significant that millions of 'Young Earth' Creationists are blindly overlooking. Specifically, that a glorious ancient world that God created in the distant past (Genesis 1:1), had long since been utterly destroyed, plunged into deep darkness, and overflowed by a raging flood of great waters on a universal scale at the time of Genesis 1:2.”

By removing these verses from Noah’s flood (which they admit was universal) and applying them instead to an imaginary world of which the Bible is silent, they hope to extend indefinitely earth’s existence to conform with atheistic notions about its geologic age:

The geologic and fossil records are the surviving evidence that God preserved for us to testify to the truth that the Earth is very old and was inhabited for a long period before the seven days of Genesis chapter one. Those records, written in stone, also provide evidence of a long reign of Death upon the old Earth and the sudden end of the old world order by a universal destructive event.

Proponents of the gap theory admit that the Genesis creation occurred about six thousand years ago:

“The Earth is "without form and void" at Genesis 1:2 and in darkness. There is no indication of anything being alive on the surface of the Earth, at this time, and that time is roughly about 6,000 years ago...Clearly, if we believe the literal wording of the Bible, there was indeed a universal creative event during the seven days of Genesis, about 6,000 literal years ago.”

This admission notwithstanding, they argue there is a gap preceding the instant creation consisting in hundreds of millions of years:

The Bible gives no specific time when God first created the heaven and the Earth (Genesis 1:1), but it does give the time when the Earth is found in this desolate condition and for the start of the seven, literal, 24 hour days. That time was, indeed, geologically very recently [sic]. In this respect, only, is the Young Earth Creationist fully correct. This is the context for the "gap" on which Ruin-Reconstruction doctrine is based. Exactly how long that time gap represents nobody can say for sure, but it most certainly could accommodate hundreds of millions of years, or less, but a gap is most certainly there.

Advocates of this view attempt to strengthen their position by arguing that the Hebrew word “tohu” is mistranslated, and should read, not that the heavens and earth “were without form and void”, but “became” void. They also point to the use of the plural in Gen. 2:4, "These are the generations [plural] of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens," inferring from this evidence of two creations:

“The Creation account contains the story of two creative events. Only the latter event, the seven days, is outlined in great detail.”

According to gap-theorists, this pre-Adamic world was filled with “Mammoths, Mastodons, giant ground sloth, woolly rhinos, and even a “pre-Adamic race of hominoids” whose remains are found in the fossil record.

Most gap-theorists believe that the physical universe was committed to the charge of a cherub named Lucifer, who was the heavenly choir master:

“Lucifer was second only to the throne of God and was the choir leader of the universe in the day when the Lord God first made all things…The whole of the physical universe was under the direction of Lucifer: Physical matter and spirit were one under the stewardship of Lucifer, this anointed cherub. He was second only to the Lord God in power and authority over the realm of the whole Kingdom.”

Proponents of the gap-theory assert that, about 750 million years ago, Lucifer rebelled and transgressed against God, thus becoming the first created being to sin. Lucifer’s sin caused death to pass upon all things, bringing the “pre-Adamic” world to destruction:

“With his initial act of sin and rebellion, Death and corruption, like leaven, began to permeate the physical cosmos that was under Lucifer's stewardship to rule. It started in Eden, the Garden of God on the Earth, and spread like a cancer. Because Lucifer was the steward of the whole creation under heaven when he fell, all things under his rule were also subjected to corruption.”

One can only comment at this point how much gap-theorists presume upon the silence of the scripture, finding lost worlds, species of animals, and races of men all in the silent space between Gen. 1:1 and 1:2! If all this is possible from silence, then truly “nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Gen. 11:6) The whole theory is loosely strung together upon fantastic and highly improbable interpretation of scripture. Suffice it to say, that no one ever found the gap in scripture before the false assertions of science required they find one. The assertion that II Pet. 3:5, 6 refer to a pre-Adamic world cannot be proved. Peter refers twice before to Noah’s flood specifically. (I Pet. 3:20; II Pet. 2:5) It is therefore natural that we understand him as speaking to this well known event, and not as alluding to a pre-Adamic flood about which the Bible is silent. Men could not be “willingly ignorant” about this flood, for it is nowhere so much as once described. Hence, the only Biblically defensible view is that it is Noah’s flood Peter’s has in mind.

The Day-Age Theory

As already seen, the Biblical account of creation indicates that God called the universe into existence and arranged it into orderly parts over the space of six days. Lest these be misconstrued as something other than twenty-four hour days, they are expressly defined as consisting of “an evening and a morning,” or one revolution of the earth upon its axis. “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Gen. 1:4, 5) According to Genesis, God rested the seventh day from his work of creation. In testimony of the creation week, God established the seventh day as a ceremonial rest for the Jewish nation in token of their redemption from slavery. They were to remember that they were once servants and looked for weekly rest from their labors, but were given none by the Egyptian masters. Therefore, they were to give their servants and handmaids rest one day each week throughout their generations. (Ex. 20:10, 11) The literalness of the creation week is affirmed by the writer of Hebrews, who saw in the weekly Sabbath the promise of heavenly rest: As God rested in heaven from his work of creation upon earth, so he has promised a heavenly rest to those that believe and obey him. (Heb. 4:3-9) The creation week thus became the basic standard of measure underlying the calendar year. Fifty-two cycles of seven fulfill one solar year.

Notwithstanding the obvious intention of Genesis to communicate the idea of six literal days, “day-age” advocates argue that the days of creation should be interpreted as long eons of geologic time, reaching into the millions of years. Arguments in favor of the day-age theory include:

1 – Use of the term “generations” in Gen. 2:4 implies long ages in earth’s history and creation. However, this is wrong. There are two Hebrew words rendered generations: Dowr (Strong’s 1755) and toldah (Strong’s #8435). Only the former carries the sense of time, the latter carries the sense of source. Dowr: A revolution of time, i.e., and age or generation. Toldah: Descent, i.e., family; (fig.) history: - birth. It is this latter word that occurs in Gen. 2:4. It is used to show the origins or sources of the heavens and earth, not the time in which they were made.

2 - The Hebrew word yowm (day) can mean long period of time.

The Hebrew word yowm (Strong’s #3517) is defined as derived from an unused root meaning “to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literal (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figurative (a space of time defined by an associated term).” As with all words, the meaning intended must be taken from the context. As we have already shown, the context of Genesis one clearly contemplates a literal day, and even defines it as consisting of a period of time marked by the presence of light between morning and evening.

3 – There are explicit statements of the Earth's antiquity found in scripture.
Habakkuk 3:6 (NIV) - "He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal."
However, this verse bears its own refutation, for the shaking of the earth, and the “everlasting mountains” (AV) are poetic expressions for God’s shaking of the world’s kingdoms and nations by his providential presence, as the context plainly shows. The passage says nothing about the age of the earth. It is God whose ways are everlasting, not the earth.

The exegetical hurdles one must clear in order to maintain the view that the days of creation are actually geologic ages are, perhaps, it own best repudiation. The word “day” occurs through Genesis chapter one. In Gen. 1:3-5, God called into existence the light of the sun to shine upon the face of the unformed earth. The light he called “day” and the darkness he called “night.” And the evening and an morning was “one day.” Here we have two occurrences of the word “day.” Are both figurative? If not, what is to distinguish them? In Gen. 1:14-18, God arranged the lights of the firmament so as to provide for the orderly arrangement of days, weeks, months, and years, saying, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” (v. 14) OEC’s like to argue that since God made the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day, the evenings and mornings of the first three days cannot be taken literally. However, this is mistaken. The fourth day did not bring these lights into existence, but merely established their relationship to the earth and each other so as to provide for the revolution of the seasons, and enable man to mark the regular passage of time, etc. But the point remains, if “day” means geologic age in other places, what does it mean here? What is there in the context here that signifies a literal day that is not present elsewhere, which allows us to make one literal and other figurative? The sort of exegetical gymnastics necessary to obviate these objections has caused many day-age advocates to abandon their theories and return to the simple Bible. Dr Davis Young a former day-ager commented to a science symposium at Wheaton College:

Genius as all these schemes may be, one is struck by the forced nature of them all. While the exegetical gymnastic maneuvers have displayed remarkable flexibility, I suspect that they have resulted in temporary damage to the theological musculature.

Hermeneutically Unsound

The exegetical difficulties facing OEC lead to another, more basic problem: OEC violates the most fundamental rule of hermeneutics, which requires that a writing be interpreted according to the intent of its author. No interpretation is valid merely because it is made to sound plausible; to be valid it must be the meaning the author intends. Imagine the horror of a last will and testament that was interpreted according to the court’s desires, rather than honoring the intent of the decedent. That is precisely the case with OEC; it completely disregards the obvious and intended meaning of the text in an attempt to accommodate the assertions of naturalistic science. This causes OEC not to be taken seriously by world class scholars. The April 23, 1984, letter of then Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University makes the point:

I have thought about your question, and would say that probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story (c) Noah's flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark. Or, to put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the `days' of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know.

Professor Barr states that OEC is not taken seriously. Why? Because the writer of Genesis intended to convey to the reader the idea of six literal, twenty-four hour days. This is the more telling in that Professor Barr reportedly does not himself accept the Genesis account of creation, yet does not attempt to wrest the text to accommodate his belief in naturalistic models. OEC’s should follow his example in honoring the intent of the author and stop pretending that the gap or day-age theories are hermeneutically acceptable and sound. They should either openly reject the Bible in favor of an old earth, or accept the Bible as it was intended to be read.

The Unsubstantiated and Discredited Scientific Basis of an Old Earth

We now come to the scientific claims for an old earth. It is indeed unfortunate that OEC’s feel the need to reinterpret the Bible to accommodate science, for even naturalistic scientists affirm that the dating methods are unsound. There is an abundance of material available demonstrating the unscientific basis for claims of an old earth, but these few will make the point.

Evolutionist William Stansfield, Ph.D., California Polytech State, has stated:

It is obvious that radiometric techniques may not be the absolute dating methods that they are claimed to be. Age estimates on a given geological stratum by different radiometric methods are often quite different (sometimes by hundreds of millions of years). There is no absolutely reliable long-term radiological 'clock'.

Evolutionist Frederick B. Jueneman candidly summarizes the situation:

The age of our globe is presently thought to be some 4.5 billion years, based on radio-decay rates of uranium and thorium. Such 'confirmation' may be shortlived, as nature is not to be discovered quite so easily. There has been in recent years the horrible realization that radio-decay rates are not as constant as previously thought, nor are they immune to environmental influences. And this could mean that the atomic clocks are reset during some global disaster, and events which brought the Mesozoic to a close may not be 65 million years ago, but rather, within the age and memory of man.

With these sorts of statements coming out of the atheistic scientific community, one wonders what motivates Christians to jettison their Bibles in favor of and old earth. Geologist Andrew Snelling thus states:

"It is special pleading on the part of geochronologists and physicists to say that the radioactive decay rates have been carefully measured in laboratories for the past 80 or 90 years and that no significant variation of these rates has been measured. The 'bottom line' is really that 80 or 90 years of measurements are being extrapolated backwards in time to the origin of the earth, believed by evolutionists to be 4.5 billion years ago. That is an enormous extrapolation. In any other field of scientific research, if scientists or mathematicians were to extrapolate results over that many orders of magnitude, thereby assuming continuity of results over such enormous spans of unobserved time, they would be literally 'laughed out of court' by fellow scientists and mathematicians. Yet geochronologists are allowed to do this with impunity, primarily because it gives the desired millions and billions of years that evolutionists require, and because it makes these radioactive 'clocks' work!"

Conclusion

OEC is an unhappy attempt to reconcile the Bible to the discredited claims of naturalistic and evolutionary science. Let Christians stand courageously by their Bibles; all else is sinking sand.

Kurt Simmons
www.preteristcentral.com

Dana_Nathan_Salsbury's picture

For preterist and fairly well-versed new-earth creationist who is entirely too busy, what are the top arguments that preterism necessitates old earth creationism. I'm sceptical, although I was also sceptical of Calvinism once.

-Dana
legacyhdv.com

valensname's picture

There is a lot of discussion here over the years. Look at posts from JL, Starlight, Tim Martin, Kurt Simmons, and myself for some of the discussion.

JL's picture

Dana,

Fairly well-versed in young-earth creationism? Then you know that dispensationalism is tied up inseparably with that youmg-earth creationism (YEC) (as understood by virtually everybody except possibly Sam Frost who still hasn't defined his view). You've also no doubt been through the major critiques against YEC, Ross, Gleason Archer, Stoner, Snoke, Clayton, etc. You've read Martin's book on a local Flood.

Technically, preterism does not necessitate old-earth creationism. It necessitates covenant creation. The only book on covenant creation is Milton Terry's Biblical Apocalyptics. (Terry calls it apocalyptic creation.) Tim and I hope to have the second book on the subject soon.

It has taken years to determine the top arguments for preterism. It is too early to tell what the top arguments for covenant creation will be.

Blessings,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

That was supposed to be Ross.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Dana_Nathan_Salsbury's picture

Then you know that dispensationalism is tied up inseparably with that youmg-earth creationism

I've read several books and taken a handful of college courses. I don't keep track of authors like you and Vento. ;o) I know they try to tie the two together, but it doesn't stick. Interestingly one of the profs that taught me creationism was a preterist!

Technically, preterism does not necessitate old-earth creationism.

Rock and Roll! I've been hoping to hear that. With the frequency of creation discussion I thought that I'd missed some huge connection and that I was due for another paradigm shift. I'm willing, but scientifically I don't see how a non-literal seven days is possible, since plants need water, sun, etc.

It has taken years to determine the top arguments for preterism. It is too early to tell what the top arguments for covenant creation will be.

If there's no link, I'm more interested in the spread of preterism. If I were new to this I would be overwhelmed to think that my creationism views would also have to change *because* of preterism.

-Dana
legacyhdv.com

Starlight's picture

Here’s one Preterist perspective.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Rev 21:1 Then I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a new earth, for the FIRST HEAVEN and the FIRST EARTH had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

Heb 12:8 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; … 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." … 26 AT THAT TIME his voice SHOOK THE EARTH, but now he has promised, "Once more I will shake NOT ONLY THE EARTH but ALSO THE HEAVENS." 27 The words "ONCE MORE" indicate the removing of what can be shaken—THAT IS, CREATED THINGS—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Rom 8: 19 The CREATION waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the CREATION was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the CREATION ITSELF WILL BE LIBERATED FROM ITS BONDAGE TO DECAY and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Heb 1:10 He also says, "IN THE BEGINNING, O Lord, YOU LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH, and THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. 11 THEY WILL PERISH, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. 12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

2 Pet 3:7 By the same word THE PRESENT HEAVENS AND EARTH are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. … 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, the home of righteousness.

You may notice that God already shook the “earth” once at MT. Sinai but it was only the “earth” which is terminology for the people (Israel). The Heavens were not shaken then but they will both be addressed at this next shaking. Also we can consider that the First Heaven and earth was established at Genesis and the Heavens were in existence until Christ replaced the First Heavens with the New (everlasting) one.

1 Cor 15: 45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being", the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
Rom 5: 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, WHO IS A TYPE OF HIM WHO WAS TO COME … 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Rom 5:20 Moreover THE LAW ENTERED (the MT Sinai shaking of the Earth but not the Heavens) that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The bottom line is the Bible does not address a scientific discussion concerning the manner in which God created the Physical Cosmos except to acknowledge that He is responsible. Instead it is a covenantal and spiritual story of God’s redemption of mankind using metaphorical language ala “Heavens and Earth” that just confuse the dickens out of folks like me at times.

I personally adhere to an Old Earth because scientific evidence points toward that position not because the Bible can be used to establish that proposition. Especially since that is not the Bible’s purpose. I have problems with both OEC and YEC who attempt to overly insert science into the exegesis. A Preterist perspective and investigation does not warrant such a maneuver just as Preterist have established concerning Revelation.

Norm

Dana_Nathan_Salsbury's picture

The bottom line is the Bible does not address a scientific discussion concerning the manner in which God created the Physical Cosmos except to acknowledge that He is responsible.

Well said. I am surprised you are OEC because of science. Sounds like too much television! ;o) I think if you spent some time at the Creation Research Institute you might change your mind. Another benefit to YEC over OEC is that you can completely disagree with the agnostics.

CRI is not hostile to preterism, I've found. They actually dispute the dispys concerning the alleged increase of earthquakes, etc.

-Dana
legacyhdv.com

Starlight's picture

Dana,

Thanks for the discussion.

It’s obvious that you are new to this site and to my understandings. I do not classify myself as either an OEC or a YEC as both attempts to mix science with scriptures. I actually get CRI’s weekly email on my computer and have Hank Hanegraaff’s latest book “The Apocalypse Code” of which I recommend to those who are interested in a beginner’s book on Preterism.

My theological understanding is based on the Preterist hermeneutic of using scripture to interpret scripture. That is how I approach Genesis and other difficult OT sections where we find that the NT writers have given us insights to the proper meaning of OT writings. That is how we learned to properly interpret Revelation and now we are working on Genesis. Just as Revelation is complex at first so is Genesis, perhaps even more difficult as it does not have origination literature to help define it as does Revelation. What we have to attempt with Genesis is study how the Genesis language is utilized in scripture which help us then develop a consistent Biblical view of the meaning and purpose of Genesis.

Since I consider that scripture and Genesis are not addressing the creation of the cosmos but are devoutly prophetic of the establishment of the New Heavens and earth which is spiritual I have no problems with using science to understand the physical realm. I am not by definition an OEC supporter so you need to understand the difference. OEC are those such as Hugh Ross, and David Snoke who integrate a discussion of science into Genesis 1-11. I am most definitely not of the YEC adherents though either as many of them turns the scriptures into a laughing stock of scientific extrapolations that boggle the mind. As far as TV goes I watch very little and do not even have cable, as I’m constantly reading and searching about scriptures and do not have time for it.

There is a very good and extremely in-depth book which is coming out shortly by Tim Martin and Jeff Vaughn which will set forth the Preterist/covenantal understanding of Genesis and Revelation as a whole you should latch on to it when it comes out.

Nathan you made this statement in your response to Jeff’s post. “If I were new to this I would be overwhelmed to think that my creationism views would also have to change *because* of preterism.”

That is a very good point which I have attempted to make many times to folks over the last year or so. Most people can handle one major Paradigm shift but generally not two. I came into Preterism as an Old Earth advocate so I only had to make the one NT Preterist shift. It was much easier for me as I have been through years of study and interrogation of my Old Earth ramifications so there was not turmoil for me in that regards at all. In fact discovering Preterism was one of the biggest reliefs for me imaginable because all of a sudden I finally had the proper tools to understand Genesis thoroughly.

Good luck on your understandings as you have just opened the door and it will be an adventure for those who are willing to keep learning and not let the thorns and thistles choke out their searching.

Blessings

Norm

Dana_Nathan_Salsbury's picture

Thanks Norm. I'll be interested in that book. I think we need the "evangelists" who patiently help folks understand preterism, and we need visionary "teachers" who wrestle with the meatier stuff. I'm glad for both.

One hermaneutical law that I heard many times in Bible college is the "law of first mention", wherein the first mention of a word in scripture holds the meaning for it throughout scripture. It sure hasn't helped in my studies. If it did, I would spend a lot more time in Genesis. I hope to find the trigger for that book someday.

Currently I'm trying to learn how babies work as I look at my first newborn son! ;o)

Starlight's picture

Nathan,

You said … “One hermaneutical law that I heard many times in Bible college is the "law of first mention", wherein the first mention of a word in scripture holds the meaning for it throughout scripture.”

Some how I don’t think Biblical scholars pay attention to that principal in Genesis. In Genesis 1 we have many first used words which we find later in scripture including Revelation where we continue to find those words. An example is “Heavens and Earth”, we know what it means in the NT and in Revelation but scholars scoff at the idea it means the same in Gen 1:1. It’s the same with the word “sea” we know that it is indicative of Gentiles throughout scripture along with “fish” as the sign of the Gentile believer, but woe to anyone who thinks Genesis 1 speaks to that understanding. The great sea monster is found described in its origination in Genesis 1 and is used to describe powerful nations and Satan in many areas like Isaiah 27:1 “In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.” But instead they think Sea Monster means the dinosaurs there instead of how it is utilized in scripture. Bizarre if you ask me.

Congratulations on your son, what a blessing! I’m preparing to see my only son married in a couple of months and it seems like it was only yesterday that I was in the delivery room looking at him for the first time.

Blessings

Norm

Dana_Nathan_Salsbury's picture

When Mel and I started talking about kids, she said that her biological clock started ticking. Now that he is born, I feel my mortality clock start ticking!

Genesis could be as wild as Revelation in terms of symbolism. I can't wait to teach my son all the things I've discovered. I pray he looks to the Bible with wonder all his life.

JL's picture

My fav is when the 4-toothed teething teeter-toddlers cruise the end of the bed while you are sleeping.

You don't know the definition of rude awakening until they discover your toes.

Blessings,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Norm,

Dana's been here for years. He's just not been very active this past year or so.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

tom-g's picture

Hey Norm.

I hope I am not too late for you to view this comment. I have delayed posting this since it is a painful thing to point out the inconsistent, invalid concepts so deeply held by another person.

Unfortunately I felt compelled to do this concerning the concept you have expressed involving the Genesis account of the creation of the heaven and the earth in relation to the new heaven and earth in Revelation. Your comment here states:

"Now that we have cleared up that little issue the question remains what to do with six days of creation. From my reading of scripture in the NT the correct understanding would be that they are metaphorical and prophetic and this was evident in the above writings that I listed. Since we know that the creation of the Heavens and Earth in Genesis 1 is the one that passed away in Rev 21:1 we have verification of that viewpoint. If we choose to ignore the plain literal reading of the ending of the First Heaven and Earth we are simply closing our eyes to what scripture is teaching us about the Heavens and Earth."

In the above comment you very clearly say that the Genesis heaven and earth creation is the one that passed away in Rev. 21:1

I know you are intimately familiar with the third chapter of Peter's second letter since another invalid concept of yours concerning a 1000/day is in this passage, so I won't print the chapter at this time.

However I call your attention to 3:4-13 where Peter is here directly stating that the Genesis, or first, heaven and earth passed away with a flood. The heaven and earth that existed at the time Peter wrote his letter was the second of the heavens and earth creations that came into existence after the flood. The third heaven and earth creation is the NEW HEAVENS AND EARTH of Rev. 21:1 that comes into existence after the heavens and earth, that existed at the time of Peter, are destroyed with fire.

So. as you can see Norm, the Genesis creation could not be the heavens and earth that passed away in Rev., as you state, since that heavens and earth passed away with Noah's flood.

I am sorry if it will be painful for you to give up this false concept but as honest seekers of truth we cannot hold onto a concept that is directly contradicted by a clear passage of scripture.

Regards,
Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

You have brought up a valid and important point to discuss. I originally agreed with your understanding at one time but when studying it within its context and within the totality of scriptural inference I do not now think it means what you are inferring.

Here is the quote.

2 Pet 3: 4They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, EVERYTHING GOES ON AS IT HAS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF CREATION." 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the HEAVENS EXISTED AND THE EARTH WAS FORMED OUT OF WATER AND BY WATER. 6By these waters also THE WORLD OF THAT TIME was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the PRESENT HEAVENS AND EARTH are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Peter is stating that the scoffers declare “everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” Peter does not correct that assumption but merely builds on it and thus accepts the premise. He then declares that the Heavens and Earth were formed out of water and by water which ties his reference back to Gen 1:6-9 indicating that the statement “our fathers” included Adam. “Isaiah 43:27 Your first father sinned;” Hosea 6: 7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant—
He is therefore equating Heavens and Earth with the beginning of creation and he then says that the “world of that time” was destroyed. If you notice he does not declare that the Heavens and Earth were destroyed but that it was the “world”. Don Preston in his book “The Elements Shall Melt With Fervent Heat” concerning 2 Peter 3 says that the word “world” simply means societies and cultures and is often denoted in the NT as a corrupted one.

The word “world” used here happens to be the Greek word “kosmo” which can be defined in differing ways in scripture depending upon the context. Here is one of the listed meanings from a Greek definition, “the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ” This definition seems a perfect fit to this occasion for Peters is contrasting the corrupted ungodly state of Noah’s covenant inhabitants with the present state of rebellious men (scoffers) who are coming under condemnation due to their rejection again of God’s plan for his covenant people.

If Peter had wanted to indicate that the totality of the Old Heavens and Earth had been destroyed in Noah’s day he would have used the terminology of the Heavens and Earth instead of the word world (kosmo). Looking at the definition of Heavens and Earth we find that Land was the representative term for the called people. Together when combined together as Heavens and Earth (ge or land) you have the entirety of what represents Gods complete covenant which had been established in Genesis 1. In Noah’s day only the “society” was destroyed and not the Covenant itself as again if Peter had meant covenantal terminology he would have described it thus.

In Peter’s day the Heavens and the Earth (ge/Land) were both going to be dealt with. This is what the New Heavens and Earth represent. They represent the new way of dwelling in the presence of God. God did not change the rules of Godly relationship with Noah; he merely purged the covenant people but in the New Heavens and Earth there would be a new manner of relationship with God eclipsing the old manner and purging the rebellious as well.

Rev 21: 1 Then I saw a NEW heaven and a NEW earth, for the FIRST heaven and the FIRST earth had passed away, … "NOW THE DWELLING OF GOD IS WITH MEN, and he will live with them.

Also we should consider that the section that speaks of the present heavens and earth may become misconstrued because of the confusion on our word Present. “Present” is derived here from the Greek word “nun” and it means “AT THIS TIME, THE PRESENT, or NOW”
Taking the Greek meanings we would not assign “present” to mean or indicate a different Heavens and Earth than the one Peter has earlier referred to. Present here denotes that the “Heavens and Earth” now or at this time or at the present time are reserved for fire. There is no sense intended of referring to a third created Heavens and Earth replacing the earlier first one. It is simply continuing the recognition that the Heavens and Earth of Old are about to be done away with at this “present” time.

Tom if your assumption was correct then we would also have Rev 21:1 making a false declaration as it is calling the present heavens and earth that Peter is also referring to as the First Heavens and Earth. Either Rev 21:1 must be explained away or your position is incorrect as you are postulating that Noah’s “world” was the end of the First Heavens and Earth. There is no where in scripture that your declaration of Noah’s world as the end of the First Heaven and Earth is supported.

I also believe Jesus words in Matt 24:35 HEAVEN AND EARTH WILL PASS AWAY, but my words will never pass away” lend support to there only having been one created Heavens and Earth up until that time.

We also have Hebrews quoting from Psalms 102 definitely lending support to my assessment.

Heb 1:10
"IN THE BEGINNING, O LORD, YOU LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH,
AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS.
11They will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
12You will roll them up like a robe;
like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,

In Hebrews 11 we have the worthies of Old listed who were waiting for the New Heavenly city to be consummated, this included Abel, Enoch, Noah and all the worthies up to Moses and later. If a different manner of Heavens and Earth had been in place then those listed before Noah should have been excluded from this list. They were not because the list entails the First and only Heavens and Earth up to Christ. Your proposition of two previous Heavens and Earth doesn’t hold “water” when measured theologically. That is why it is important to properly understand what “Heavens and Earth” means because we as Preterist should recognize rightly that the institution of the New Heavens and Earth in AD 70 was not a new physical entity but was the Heavenly replacement of the First spiritual limited relationship with the everlasting New spiritual full relationship with God.

Therefore we have overwhelming support for the tenet that there was only one previously established Heavens and Earth and its description begins for us in Genesis Chapter one and is declared coming to an end in Revelation 21:1.

Blessings

Norm
PS. Tom are you now stating that Genesis 1 is just a metaphorical creation that was removed with Noah?

tom-g's picture

Hey Norm thanks,

Unfortunately I can not follow the reasoning you are expressing. I do not know if you are addressing my comment and logically refuting it or if you are proposing your own reasoning as a non sequitur.

As I understand your explanation according to the passage under examination you are proposing a deductive conclusion formed from an invalid syllogism.

As you know a valid syllogism requires three and only three terms all three of which are used only twice in the three propositions that form the syllogism.

Your explanation introduces the word "World" used in this passage only one time. Obviously this word cannot validly be utilized in any reasoning involving the words "heavens and earth" as it relates in this passage without introducing it a second time and showing its relationship to the other two terms you intend to be included in your conclusion.

If it was the world created in Genesis that perished with water then either no new world was formed or another world was formed and if so then was it the world that was in existence at Peter's time and will that world exist forever or will it also be destroyed and how and when and what will it be replaced with, a new world?

Please utilize an exegesis of the scripture under examination for your explanation. What is required is not an ambiguous use of equivocal words, but a clear univocal unambiguous use.

It is only as we use words univocally that we are able to avoid the fallacy of four terms or of contradiction.

So, what are the three terms you wish to utilize and how do you wish to compare them logically as they relate to my conclusion of three different heavens and earth?

Regards,
Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Thanks for the instructions.

Why don't you just go ahead and give it a try anyway.
I think you can most likley understand enough of my post that you can work up your reply.
Don't worry about offending me concerning my limited skills as I recongnize my limitations and humbly ask your indulgence concerning my abilities.

Blessings

Norm

tom-g's picture

Thank you Norm, I am happy to stand ready to give an answer to any who ask.

But, let us understand that you are asking of me the same thing that Kurt asked of Sam. In effect he said: "Yes I realize my explanation is not logically valid but you understand what I am trying to say so answer it anyway."

and I will.

Tom

Starlight's picture

Tom,

Thanks, I'll look forward to your reply.

And yes this is similar to Kurt's reply to Sam. I do not hold myself up as one skilled as you and Sam are in the analysis of Syllogisms. You see Tom I haven't written anything of significance until a year ago when I started participating in these discussions. That's more than 30 years of inactivity and besides I didn't pay close attention in class concerning grammar anyway. I never had a class where we even had to spell Syllogisms much less understand it. So when you are tempted to ridicule my work recognize I'm an easy target but it won't deter me from participating in these discussions as people will just have to put up with my lesser skills until I improve some day.

But you know what they say about old dogs ;-)

Norm

tom-g's picture

Thanks Norm,

I would never ridicule anyone's honest expression of what they believe, just as I would not wish for anyone to ridicule me.

I am trying to organize my thoughts so that I can present them as simply and clearly as I can in my response. I hope you will not forget this article and will regularly look in if it takes a little more time.

Regards,
Tom

PS; improvement begins with the desire to improve and taking the first step. Jason is presenting a great series of lessons on logic on his website, you might want to begin there.

tom-g's picture

Norm,

I wasn't going to point this out but, if you further examine Peter's letter you will find that what you are saying is the same thing that scoffers walking after their own lusts were saying in asking where was the promise of Christ' coming and in doing so they were being willingly ignorant.

Sorry to make this point but it seemed necessary to stress its importance concerning the Parousia and Preterism.

Regards,
Tom

Starlight's picture

I want to do a follow up discussion from a post I made last week. In one of my post I responded to Kurt on his understanding of the word “day” within the context of scripture. Kurt referenced the Epistle to Barnabas which some consider should have been considered for canonization due to its date of writing around 70AD. Setting that aside though it was considered by the early Christians of the first century to be highly esteemed. What I want to point out today is something that may have been overlooked in my reference last week.

I have been postulating that Genesis Chapter 1 should be considered as a short prophetic overview of the historical covenant of Israel’s designation of “Heavens and Earth”. That is exactly what Genesis 2:4 states if we are aware of its ramifications.

Gen 2:4These 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,

Barnabas actually provides us the Jewish Christian commentary upon Genesis 1 and I believe we need to recognize how they understood its meaning and most probably under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

The bottom line is that Barnabas declares that the six day creation described in Gen 1was coming to an end with the arrival of Christ which correlates perfectly with scripture declaring an end to the Old Heavens and Earth.
This understanding was quickly lost during the formative years of Christianity especially when letters like the Barnabas Epistle were disallowed and therefore could not be utilized to help render the historical Jewish and Christian viewpoint.

Let’s look at Barnabas again.

Barnabas 15:3
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
Barnabas 15:4

Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days.

HE MEANETH THIS, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; FOR THE DAY WITH HIM SIGNIFYETH A THOUSAND YEARS; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years.

THEREFORE, CHILDREN, IN SIX DAYS, THAT IS IN SIX THOUSAND YEARS, EVERYTHING SHALL COME TO AN END.
Barnabas 15:5

And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and SHALL CHANGE THE SUN AND THE MOON AND THE STARS, THEN SHALL HE TRULY REST ON THE SEVENTH DAY.

The Barnabas Epistle could not spell it out any more clear to us than it has above. It clearly points out that the Six Days of Genesis were about to end which is what 2 Peter 3 and Rev 21 also point out. But it does not stand alone with this understanding of Genesis as the Jewish Book of Enoch reveals the same segmented time frame. All of this matches up perfectly with the OT and NT scriptures designating that Heaven and Earth will pass away.

Enoch 93
8 And after that in the sixth week all who live in it shall be blinded,
And the hearts of all of them shall godlessly forsake wisdom.

And in it a man shall ascend;
And at its close the house of dominion shall be burnt with fire,
And the whole race of the chosen root shall be dispersed.

9 And after that in the seventh week shall an apostate generation arise,
And many shall be its deeds,
And all its deeds shall be apostate.

10 And at its close shall be elected
The elect righteous of the eternal plant of righteousness,
To receive sevenfold instruction concerning all His creation.

Until on starts reading the scriptures the way that they were intended to be understood we will be susceptible to the same misconceptions that the Pharisaical Jews were encumbered with. There is a mistaken belief that the metaphorical language of the OT should have been easily understood by the Jews when in reality it was not. Jesus said one must have eyes to see and ears to hear and he had to explain the metaphorical language of the parables fully to his disciples.
I am going to quote an extensive section of Jesus discussing these ramifications with his disciples. We should pay close attention to this truth even for ourselves for as we attempt to read literal we are reading with the wrong eyes and ears according to Christ. When one starts to read properly in the manner that Christ describes then the truth that Christ presents will even today become fulfilled within your own understanding. “WHOEVER HAS WILL BE GIVEN MORE, AND HE WILL HAVE AN ABUNDANCE.”

Matt 13:9He who has ears, let him hear." 10The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"
11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
" 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people's heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.'16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
"I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world."

36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said,
"Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field."

Blessings

Norm

Starlight's picture

I want to make some additional comments concerning Kurt’s article. There may be an inclination to categorize all folks who believe the Earth is older than 10,000 years old as falling within the domain of Old Earth Creationist. This premise is false when dealing with many Preterist who recognize the lengthy age of the Earth. OEC implies that we look to our support for Biblical exegesis as deriving from an Old Earth scientific method. Comparing us to that category is similar to regarding all young earth adherents under the mantra of Young Earth Creationism ala Henry Morris and Ellen White.

The fact of the matter is that many of us assert from a study of Preterist hermeneutics that Genesis like its ending counterpart Revelation has been seriously misunderstood due to a faulty over literalizing of the language. A careful examination similar to what has happened in the past 35 years with Revelation reveals that the language utilized in Genesis is inherently similar to much of prophetic scripture found throughout the Bible.

Kurt referenced the Epistle of Barnabas in confirmation of the meaning of the word day. I thought it might be interesting to see a more contextual understanding derived from this Epistle and gain a glimpse of how the Jewish Christians understood the meaning of the word “Day” in their age.

Barnabas 15:3
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
Barnabas 15:4

Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. HE MEANETH THIS, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; FOR THE DAY WITH HIM SIGNIFYETH A THOUSAND YEARS; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. THEREFORE, CHILDREN, IN SIX DAYS, THAT IS IN SIX THOUSAND YEARS, EVERYTHING SHALL COME TO AN END.
Barnabas 15:5

And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and SHALL CHANGE THE SUN AND THE MOON AND THE STARS, THEN SHALL HE TRULY REST ON THE SEVENTH DAY.

While we are looking at contemporary Jewish literature lets look at how the Jews around 200BC understood the word day and 1000 years. Here is an excerpt from the Jewish book of Jubilees chp 4 shedding light on the meaning of “Day” and 1000 years again.

And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in the sixth year [930 A.M.] thereof, Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation, and he was the first to be buried in the earth. And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; FOR ONE THOUSAND YEARS ARE AS ONE DAY IN THE TESTIMONY OF THE HEAVENS and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.' For this reason HE DID NOT COMPLETE THE YEARS OF THIS DAY; FOR HE DIED DURING IT.

Kurt is relying upon men who were generally less enlightened than these authors that I am presenting. I could also quote from the Book of Jubilees where the epochs are described as a week.

3 And Enoch began to recount from the books and said: ' I was born the seventh IN THE FIRST WEEK, While judgement and righteousness still endured

Now skipping several weeks to the end.
And after this, IN THE TENTH WEEK in the seventh part, There shall be the great eternal judgement, In which He will execute vengeance amongst the angels. And the FIRST HEAVEN SHALL DEPART AND PASS AWAY, And a NEW HEAVEN SHALL APPEAR, And all the powers of the heavens shall give sevenfold light.

It becomes obvious from these highly esteemed Jewish writings that the word “Day”, “Week” and “1000 years” were not conventional modern renderings. In fact we now can better understand where Peter picked up his “1000 years as a day” meaning as well as Johns use of the 1000 years in Revelation. These were commonly held understandings in their day and age.

Now that we have cleared up that little issue the question remains what to do with six days of creation. From my reading of scripture in the NT the correct understanding would be that they are metaphorical and prophetic and this was evident in the above writings that I listed. Since we know that the creation of the Heavens and Earth in Genesis 1 is the one that passed away in Rev 21:1 we have verification of that viewpoint. If we choose to ignore the plain literal reading of the ending of the First Heaven and Earth we are simply closing our eyes to what scripture is teaching us about the Heavens and Earth.

We know that Genesis provides many metaphors for John’s Revelation. We have the Heavens and Earth and Sea ending, the removal of the curse, access back to the Tree of Life, and many other metaphorical comparisons. John wasn’t the only one to recognize the Genesis metaphors. Isaiah called for the destruction of the serpent and great sea monster that are introduced in Genesis and it is found following his prophecy concerning overcoming death found just a couple verses prior.

Isa 26:19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.

27:1 In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the GLIDING SERPENT, Leviathan the COILING SERPENT; he will slay the MONSTER OF THE SEA.

Gen 1:21God created the great sea monsters

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

Now that we recognize the connection we also have Christ stating that his overcoming death was the sign of Jonah. This is how “Death” was overcome by Christ which is symbolic according to Isaiah of defeating the Serpent and Great Sea monster.

Matt 12:39 But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet; for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

So we have further verification that the original metaphors that are appropriated in Gen 1-3 have their specific meanings picked up and further illustrated in later prophetic writings.

I have been illustrating these principals for the past couple of weeks in Sam’s three blogs and what I have listed here is again just the tip of the iceberg in understanding correctly Genesis.

Kurt has built his analysis upon a faulty premise and a lack of sound hermeneutical principals. It’s hard to fault folks for wanting to stay with tradition but for those who want to put error behind them just as we have concerning the understanding of Revelation there is an answer. The knowledge of the secrets of the First Heavens and Earth are now becoming available to those who have eyes to see more clearly and its not from science but from the pure scriptures.

Blessings

Norm

mazuur's picture

Norm,

"I want to make some additional comments concerning Kurt’s article. There may be an inclination to categorize all folks who believe the Earth is older than 10,000 years old as falling within the domain of Old Earth Creationist."

EXACTLY! This is what I get sick of. People like Kurt only offer two schools to belong to. Now, while my school may agree merely with the final outcome of the age of the universe (billions of years old) I am far from being an OEC.

Of course that statement will probably completely dumb-found Kurt because he doesn't understand how that is possible. In his mind there are OEC and YEC. People like Kurt will never understand because he is so busy defending his position his ears are closed. This is the same position Sam is in. There is a huge difference between reading with the intent of listening to another view point, and merely reading it to look for something to pounce on to defend ones own position.

For example, I often wonder if Sam has a stock pile of papers trying to tear apart Max King's work prior to him adopting King's position. I doubt he does. Why? Because Sam was probably genuinely interested in "listening" to what King had to say instead of merely reading what he was saying with the motive to attack on areas that didn't agree with what he believed.

This is why I have given up in taking part in these "discussions" (if you want to call them that) concerning Genesis. They will not "get it" because they won't allow themselves to "get it". Sure they say they "get it", but every word that comes out of their mouth only confirms to me they do not "get it". Kurt’s article here demonstrates that yet once again, which is why Tim and JL probably read it and yawned while shaking their heads in frustration.

Personally, I don't see how people like Don Preston does it. How he can continue to debate people (like Tommy Ice) who think they "get" Preterism, but show they do not with every word they speak. Imagine how much material Ice has read on Preterism. Yet, he just doesn't "get it". Why? Because he is so busy defending his position while he reads preterist writings, he is not "listening". It's all about the motive in the heart. You are either truly interested in listening or you're not. I am guilty of this just as much as the next guy. I have seen this work itself out in my own mind. I was at one time very much a Sproul Jr. I attacked anything that didn't agree with what I currently believed. Sure I would read their writings but I wasn't listening. I would merely look for statements to pounce on and then present them as being anti-biblical, according to my interpretation of certain Scriptures of course.

Anyway, good luck Norm, although I think you’re wasting your time.

-Rich

-Rich

Starlight's picture

Rich,

Yes, you are right when it comes to expecting some to have open minds. That is not the primary reason that I respond to these forays. I have a belief that there are others who read these articles and post and I am writing to them more than to Kurt or Sam.

I use these opportunities to introduce new understandings and concepts that will provide others with a glimpse of how the Bible opens up when read in a Preterist approach. If you have been following Sam’s three recent blogs I have used each one to introduce some new approaches to understanding Genesis 1-3. Just as I introduced the Isa 27:1 context of the Serpent and Sea Monster in the above post, I’m trying to parcel out to those who might be following these discussions some concepts that they may never have considered. Also repetitiously repeating some of these ideas (if they are sound) eventually allows for the concepts to become accepted.

So yes there is a method to my madness ;-)
It’s not all about convincing Kurt and Sam.

Blessings

Norm

Virgil's picture

Kurt,

I was going to post a longer response to your article about OEC, but I've decided against it. After reading your material for the second time, it's clear that you've decided to use other people's opinions to support your own, and that (to me) is not good scholarship...AT ALL!

I can't even count the number of articles written against Preterism along the same lines. Countless church fathers quoted to show that the second coming of Christ is yet future, thus concluding that Preterism could not possibly be true.

This is not the way we go about proving something wrong..or right for that matter. Christians like you and I really need to start considering opinions outside of the church and outside of our own circles of influence. Here are a few things Christians have been wrong about over the centuries as a result of putting the "Bible only," irrational horse glasses on...

- Dinosaurs never existed
- Fossils were created by the Devil to test faith
- Radioactive dating is inaccurate
- Disease is caused by sin and witchcraft
- Sun spins around the earth
- There is no such thing as evolution of any kind
- The earth is a few thousand years old

The last one defies almost every logical suggestion and conclusion made by anyone with any basic knowledge in history, science, physics and geology.

Just last year some oil drill in Norway found dinosaur bones half a mile below the bottom of the North Sea...and just like many people before, you will continue to ignore this kind of evidence and the evidence that people like Copernicus and others brought to the table to challenge your status quo. You are putting this evidence AT ODDS with the Scriptures when they are not at odds at all. The burden of proof is on you to show the earth is only a few thousand years old...since overwhelming evidence is staring everyone else in the face.

And one last thing; this is why Christianity continues to be mocked and ignored by mainstream scientists who are seriously and earnestly looking for answers.

Theolog's picture

If the earth is only six thousand years old then it should be easy to prove. What proof besides the bible is there for a young earth????
Until the earth is proved young we should look for a new interpretation of Genesis. 6000 years seem like lunacy to me.

Ecclesia reformata semper reformanada

Malachi's picture

Actually, there is an abundance of evidence for a young earth. There are many websites and ministries of credentialed men from the scientific community who have been compiling evidence for years. Like dating methods for an old earth, a young earth cannot be absolutely proved because we cannot subject it to empirical evidence and repeat it in a laboratory. However, there are things, such as the accumulation of silt upon the ocean floors, which is consistent with a young earth. At present rates, the amount of silt we would expect to find suggests an earth less than 10,000 years old. And there are many, many other evidences, some extremely sophisticated, others more practical. The problem is the evidences for a young earth are systematically suppressed, just like the evidences for intelligent design and the hand of God in creation - atheistic science is unwilling to look at these evidences or to allow them a fair hearing before the public. Anyway, do not be afraid to stand with your Bible. Check out some of the many creation science web sites out there and dig in deep to the evidence!
Blessings!

mazuur's picture

I also find it very amazing how you wish to fall to science as support, yet when OEC falls to science for support suddenly it's the greatest evil outside Satan himself.

-Rich

-Rich

Virgil's picture

Kurt, you cannot appeal to conspiracy theories when you invoke young earth evidence. As far as I know, nobody is supressing any evidence regarding a young earth. No reasonable scientist has a stake in the age of the earth...they are just looking at the evidence.

And if you are suggesting that dating the age of the earth cannot be absolutely proven empirically (one way or another), why then are you so quick to condemn someone who is on the other side of the argument? Why not rather be gracious and allow for the difference to exist?

Malachi's picture

Your comment betrays your naivete. When scientists found red blood cells in a T-Rex bone they were amazed. Young Earther quickly pointed out that this totally militated against the idea that these perished from earth millions of years ago as conventional thinking alleges - soft tissue could not have been preserved that long in a fossiled bone! The scientists (under pressure to keep their financing and from peer pressure, no doubt) quickly changed their minds and said the cells were just iron oxide (rust, in a bone no less)! See articles under a T-Rex named Sue. The Smithsonian has a great article on it, too. To say that they do not suppress or reinterpret evidence to meet politically correct views is simply false. Just watch public TV sometime - talk about one sided! WOW!

Windpressor's picture

***********
Stoner deals with much of these objections in his "A New Look at an Old Earth"
No, we would not agree with all his theology. And yes, the science is subject to review and revision.
Chapter 5 of Hypertext Book: A New Look At An Old Earth

G1

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

G-Juan Wind

Virgil's picture

Yes, the burden of proof is not on me to prove an old earth, but on Kurt to prove the earth is only a few thousand years old. It's obviously not realistic to expect proof from the Bible, since the purpose of the Bible is not to prove an old or young earth...so he should prove it by other means.

Malachi's picture

To Virg (and the rest),

It is a question of Hermeneutics. No one ever became an Old Earther from reading Genesis or before the claims of naturalistic science required they change their hermeneutic. I fully accept that some men take the word of science above that of the Bible. I do not feel, however, that it is playing fair with the Bible to "reinterpret" it to accommodate their beliefs. That is really the issue: either accept the Bible as it was INTENDED to be understood, or reject it. But don't pretend Moses (the Holy Ghost) wanted men to find a gap millions of years long between verses one and two, or that the days of creation were intended to signify geologic ages. To do that is to only deceive oneself. Moreover, it is not a matter of counting opinions, but demonstrating what the historical teaching of the church is and how that changed only to accommodate the claims of naturalistic science. The claim that the church fathers took the days of creation figuratively is simply false. They used them as types to predict the "end of the world" based upon the idea of a day equaling 1,000 years, but they always assumed the Genesis account was literal. It was only as the days were applied prophetically (as per their now abandoned and discredited theory) that they were stretched into long periods, but the creation days themselves they understood literally, as Professor Barr and the testimony of Josephus, Philo, and others makes plain.

I think the only honest and noble thing someone can do in the position of an Old Earth is to simply say that they think the Genesis account is wrong or is a myth, but to try to rewrite? No. It cannot be done without the greatest violence to hermeneutical norms.

Blessings,

Kurt

P.S. I appreciate Virg's attempt to keep the sarcasm out of the discussion. It really has no place in intelligent discussion.

Windpressor's picture

*********
So I should NOT accept the "word of science" and secular conventions about Time Zones OR Solar Time ???

It strains my brain to grasp the concept of the difference between a SOLAR DAY and a sidereal day.
If I am to understand a Biblical "solar day", do I now have to accept creation as "local" -- confined to a single time zone?

This is a single example of the problems with YEC and OEC attempts to reconcile the ancient mindset
with a contemporary worldview --
It does not fit;
so just quit!

There is a courtroom legal position that is approximately phrased as: "... assuming facts not in evidence ..."
It looks to me that Kurt is doing a good deal of that in his position.
Someone of keener logical perception could probably ferret out particulars better than my general overview.

G1

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

G-Juan Wind

Virgil's picture

I think the only honest and noble thing someone can do in the position of an Old Earth is to simply say that they think the Genesis account is wrong or is a myth, but to try to rewrite?

Why is that the "only" honest thing? Why is it so impossible to imagine that God created this universe millions of years ago and created human life on planet earth only recently? What is so unreasonable about that option?

Malachi's picture

Virg,

What would be the basis for this argument? The dating methods of naturalistic science? They cannot prove a rock is millions of years old. Their dating methods are horribly flawed and are based upon assumptions based upon assumptions based upon assumptions. They completely ignore that rocks are affected by their environment; that chemicals leach in and out changing their composition. The naturalistic science community admits this; they admit that there is no truly reliable way to date a rock! Just read the quotes! If then their dating methods are not truly reliable and cannot account for changes in the rock's chemical composition making it appear older than it really is, what basis would there be for assuming the universe was made millions of years ago? Besides, I do not see OEC merely arguing that matter was made millions of years ago and recently formed to the world we now live in, I hear them arguing that dinosaurs and other life forms were around millions of years ago. So, your question is kind of moot.

flannery0's picture

Well, my question is, (and I am not suggesting both of these are not wrong) but which is worse:

to elevate science above the Bible, or to elevate one's presupposed interpretive system above the Bible? It seems we have a bit of a pot and kettle situation here.

Kyle Peterson's picture

God is the:

a) Author of the Bible
b) Author of the Scientific Universe

Neither is really elevated above the other sine they come from the same source, but both require reliable but imperfect man-made judgments to interpret.

JL's picture

Kyle,

This seems so reasonable to me.

That our interpretations of the Bible are subject to imperfect man-made judgments was even reasonable to Sam when he wrote "Misplaced Hope" (see pg 29). Yet Sam and Jason "strongly disagree" with this in Sam's recent blogs, and Kurt has been all over the map with this.

How can these 3 people claim (or at least act as if) interpretation is error free? To do so is to claim they have the mind of God. Yet this is contradicted by the the obvious fact that their own beliefs have a history, they show change, development, and even complete transformation over time.

Truth needs no history. It does not change. But our understanding (interpretation) of that Truth, either Scripture or Creation, does change.

The Truth is not in any of us. We have to persue it. We have to work at it to obtain it.

Contrary to Clark's foolishness, the differential equations used to explain the physical world are not purposeless. They are just as purposeful as Clark's words to explain Scripture.

Clark's error, and Sam's, is the false comparison they make between man's equations and God's words. Man's equations are man's words. An accurate comparison would be man's words versus God's words. Clark's false comparison elevates theology and man's words to the same status as God's words.

If Clark can properly use "purposeless" to describe my differential equations, then he has condemned his own speech and his own writings as purposeless.

Blessings,

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

KingNeb's picture

Well, against my better judgment and especially in light of JL’s erroneous speculation about Sam’s blog (which he never apologized for), I’ll respond seeing that my name has been thrown out here again.

That our interpretations of the Bible are subject to imperfect man-made judgments was even reasonable to Sam when he wrote "Misplaced Hope" (see pg 29). Yet Sam and Jason "strongly disagree" with this in Sam's recent blogs, and Kurt has been all over the map with this.

JL is twisting Sam’s words to conform to JL’s ridiculous notion that we can’t know Truth at all. Sam’s point in Misplaced Hope has never changed.

Sam did not and has NEVER said that we can’t know truth. In fact, vanTillians use very much of the same language JL is using about never having the truth and that is exactly what Sam has been fighting against for as long as I’ve know him.

Here’s just one quote from his Observations article:

Where Brueggemann believes that all our theological undertakings must be left in the dock of unassuredness, I believe that we can know the Truth. I believe that we are organically developing in our understanding towards the Truth. The postmodernists simply leave us with "developing" but "never arriving." This is a logical impossibility precisely because if no one "knows" where you are going (no goal - because the goal cannot be "known"), then it is impossible to approximate that you are even close or "arriving" towards the goal. We must know what the goal is, and acknowledge that the goal can be known, in order to say we are arriving closer to the goal. The nature of the goal is intertwined with the nature of the journey. If the journey does not resemble the goal in any way, or if we could not know how the journey and the goal are related, then the journey becomes a useless effort.

JL continues: How can these 3 people claim (or at least act as if) interpretation is error free? To do so is to claim they have the mind of God. Yet this is contradicted by the the obvious fact that their own beliefs have a history, they show change, development, and even complete transformation over time.

Truth needs no history. It does not change. But our understanding (interpretation) of that Truth, either Scripture or Creation, does change.

First, Sam has never denied that our understanding changes. He makes this very explicit in both the book and Observations. Yes, our understanding has and can change. But that is not the same thing as saying “therefore, we can NEVER know any truth”, which is what JL is arguing for. It is simply absurd. And, if you read Sam’s quote above carefully, you’ll see that Sam even anticipated the kind of baloney we read in Jl’s comment, The Truth is not in any of us. We have to persue it. We have to work at it to obtain it.

Obtain what, JL? If we don’t have the truth and we can’t know what truth is, how do we know when we are working towards it? Again, Sam anticipated that very thing:

I believe that we can know the Truth. I believe that we are organically developing in our understanding towards the Truth. The postmodernists simply leave us with "developing" but "never arriving." This is a logical impossibility precisely because if no one "knows" where you are going (no goal - because the goal cannot be "known"), then it is impossible to approximate that you are even close or "arriving" towards the goal. We must know what the goal is, and acknowledge that the goal can be known, in order to say we are arriving closer to the goal.

Plain as day folks – at least for those who don’t have an axe to grind and spend their time speculating about Sam’s appearance on a podcast. “I believe that we can know the Truth.”

Contrary to Clark's foolishness, the differential equations used to explain the physical world are not purposeless. They are just as purposeful as Clark's words to explain Scripture.

Mere assertion. Fact is, last time JL and I talked about Clark, it became evident from his own admission that he had not read Clark.

Clark's error, and Sam's, is the false comparison they make between man's equations and God's words. Man's equations are man's words. An accurate comparison would be man's words versus God's words. Clark's false comparison elevates theology and man's words to the same status as God's words.

Huh? Our words, our propositions, are only true when they are in line with God’s, as revealed through the Scripture; truths given by direct and explicit propositions and/or logically deduced. It’s really just that simple.

“he was buried” and “was raised on the third day” is truth. It is Truth I have. It is Truth I know. It is Truth “in” me. Really, it is just that simple.

thereignofchrist.com

JL's picture

Is that why Sam never posted another blog?

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

JL's picture

Jason,

Who's twisting whom?

JL is twisting Sam’s words to conform to JL’s ridiculous notion that we can’t know Truth at all. Sam’s point in Misplaced Hope has never changed.

The ridiculous notion that we can't know Truth at all came from your purposeful misrepresentations. It did not come from me.

As Sam's words in Misplaced Hope and my words every where have claimed, we can't have perfect knowledge of Truth, we can only have an imperfect interpretation of Truth.

You can't abide by the possibility that we agree on something, so you torture my words into something else.

I believe that we can know the Truth. I believe that we are organically developing in our understanding towards the Truth.

Are you making Sam's words into double speak? "We can know the Truth." "We are ..developing our understanding towards the Truth." I interpret that to mean We don't know the Truth. But we are getting closer. Does Sam actually believe we will one day fully know the Truth? Do you? Your finite mind will know infinite Truth?

As for the rest of that quote, it's just silly. We have an objective standard of Truth that is outside us. We can measure ourselves against that Truth and find where we are lacking. Well I guess then Sam really is using double speak.

Mere assertion Jason? You guys like to claim that science is only useful for making better refrigerators. Not once have you given us a standard by which one refrigerator maybe judged better than another. I don't see how, by your standards, you guys can make such a claim.

I can, by those same differential equations that Clark claimed were "purposeless."

And Jason, if I have never read any of Clark, then how did I know Clark said, "Purposeless differential equations?" Oh no, that's empirical evidence. It doesn't mean anything.

Scripture says quite plainly that the Flood was a local event. It covered hundreds, thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of square miles. This Flood destroyed everything in the Land of Eden, but left Cain's city of Enoch undisturbed. I'm getting closer to the Truth every day.

I don't need to know the Truth to know I'm getting closer. I only need to know where to go to test my understanding against the Truth, and I need to avail myself of that testing.

Oh and thank-you for telling the world that I'm a van Tillian. I'll take that as a complement and an admission by you that I actually do know something about presuppositionalism. Please be sure to tell Sam.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

KingNeb's picture

JL, you said that your solution seems reasonable. You then made the comment that even Sam would approve based on pg 29 of Misplaced Hope. But then you turned around and said that now Sam and I "strongly disagree", based on recent blogs.

This implies that Sam changed his mind about something since writing page 29 of Misplaced Hope. What did he change his mind about?

The FACT is, Sam hasn’t changed his mind about anything he wrote on pg 29 of M.H. Not one thing. Sam would still argue what he did on that page that Scripture is the “final court of all appeals” and that “believers can speak truthful propositions WITHOUT ERROR, but that propositions only receive the imprimatur of truth because it is based squarely on Scripture. Scripture comes first.”

That’s what he said JL. That is what he (and I) still say today. Nothing has changed. And he did not, I repeat, DID NOT say anything like, “The Truth is not in any of us” or truth can’t be known or the best we have is imperfect interpretation.
For some ridiculous reason you have some mental block going on, leading you to think that either we can’t know any truth at all or we have to know ALL truth; demonstrated by your question which is totally irrelevant to the discussion: “Your finite mind will know infinite Truth?”

Hmmm, no. Never said we would. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean then that the best we could ever have is “imperfect interpretation” and not know any truth at all.

Sam is not saying that ANY AND ALL doctrines are imperfect interpretations. He is addressing the fact that SOME are.

“he was buried” is a simply truth with no ambiguity. You can’t possibly interpret that 50 million different ways. It doesn’t mean he swooned and was hairstyled for 4 days or anything else other than he (Jesus) was (past tense) buried (laid in the tomb).

Not all truths are that simple. There are things in the Scripture that are hard to understand – SOME THINGS, JL. NOT ALL.

You’re tying to make this an all or nothing issue and Sam never did – not then, not now. Nothing changed JL. You are trying to pit Sam against himself and doing so by reading crap into his book that he never said.

Again, if you weren’t so bent on slamming Sam down all the time (like you did with your speculative blog – I noticed you didn’t touch that), you would clearly see that Sam hasn’t changed his mind in this regards – it’s really just that simple.

“You guys like to claim that science is ony useful for making better refrigerators”

Yep, and I’ll say it again. Science can not lead to truth. Never has, never will. Unless, of course, you change the meaning of truth to an unbiblical definition of probable theory based on inductive arguments that are “true” until proven "false" by future experiments.

As far as the rest, three words: Hooked on Phonics.

1. I didn’t call you a vanTillian. I said you use similar language. Furthermore, it wouldn’t be a complement. I don’t consider vanTil a thorough going presuppositionalist and many of his students reject the label all together.

2. About reading Clark, I specifically referenced the “last time” you and I were talking about Clark – you know, that time you were calling me a Gnostic. I didn’t say anything about you not having read anything since then. How I would know if you had or not? I do know what you said back then and it was obvious you hadn’t read Clark enough to understand what he’s saying.

Stop twisting people’s words JL. Stop trying to pit Sam against himself JL. Stop reading your anti-inerrancy and empiricist stuff into Sam's words, JL.

thereignofchrist.com

JL's picture

Jason,

You still haven't told me how you know one refrigerator is better than another. The fact is, inside your paradigm, you can't. Inside your Clarkian view, the statement is false. It is a lie.

To build a better refrigerator, science must improve its interpretation of physical truth. Therefore, science leads closer to truth by the same iterative method has Sam declared that the interpretation of Scripture leads towards truth.

JL

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

Kyle Peterson's picture

And this is why the arguments don't have to revolve around Science vs. Bible or Knowing Truth vs. Never Knowing Truth. The same rules apply to our pursuit of God's truth through nature, and His Word. But that doesn't mean we can never know truth. We should continuously use our God-given intellect to reason and discover these truths. Some are more obvious than others and hopfully such a journey brings us closer to our Creator.

flannery0's picture

I agree, Kyle.

When I referred to "science" I was referring to a methodology, or interpretive system. But I think we are on the same page regarding the physical universe itself being God's revelation to us every bit as much as His written word is His revelation to us. And yes, we are continually growing in our understanding of both. And that is an eternal process.

Kyle Peterson's picture

You are correct - an accurate definition of science is simply a method of acquiring knowledge (eg. biblical interpretation is a science). However, people today seem to use the term 'Science' to refer to the observable processes of nature - anything ranging from how the Moon waxes or wanes to how the tides shift, to global temperature or the effect of gravity.

But let us not forget that we are created in the image of God and that our cognitive capabilities are reflective of His greatness as well.

Virgil's picture

...or an egg and a chicken situation :)

JL's picture

Kurt,

It is a question of Hermeneutics. Not of hermeneutics only, but I'll bite.

No one ever became an Old Earther from reading Genesis or before the claims of naturalistic science required they change their hermeneutic.False.

I fully accept that some men take the word of science above that of the Bible.Irrelevant here unless you are making a libelous accusation.

I do not feel, however, that it is playing fair with the Bible to "reinterpret" it to accommodate their beliefs.It's likewise not fair to reinterpret it to accommodate your preterist beliefs or to accommodate your beliefs in Genesis which came not from Scripture but ultimately from Ellen G. White's visions.

That is really the issue: either accept the Bible as it was INTENDED to be understood, or reject it.Again, that argument really flies with preterists. We are trying to understand it as it was INTENDED, not blindly accept what we've been told by people who quote others out of context.

But don't pretend Moses (the Holy Ghost) wanted men to find a gap millions of years long between verses one and two, or that the days of creation were intended to signify geologic ages.And still you ignore the claim of the book of Hebrews that the 7th day is ongoing.

To do that is to only deceive oneself.Who is deceiving ones self?

Moreover, it is not a matter of counting opinions, but demonstrating what the historical teaching of the church is and how that changed only to accommodate the claims of naturalistic science.Something I've done but you clearly haven't.

The claim that the church fathers took the days of creation figuratively is simply false.There you go misrepresenting us again.

They used them as types to predict the "end of the world" based upon the idea of a day equaling 1,000 years, but they always assumed the Genesis account was literal.In what sense? Sorry, but your modern sense of literal is completely foreign to them. If Genesis means what you claim it does, it would have not been understandable to any person before 1800.

It was only as the days were applied prophetically (as per their now abandoned and discredited theory) that they were stretched into long periods, but the creation days themselves they understood literally, as Professor Barr and the testimony of Josephus, Philo, and others makes plain.You're still ignoring what Scripture says about the 7th day. You still haven't read all those ancient quotes in context.

I think the only honest and noble thing someone can do in the position of an Old Earth is to simply say that they think the Genesis account is wrong or is a myth, but to try to rewrite? No.No, we should accept Ellen G. White's rewrite just as you have.

It cannot be done without the greatest violence to hermeneutical norms.What you've done is the greatest violence to hermeneutical norms. You've accepted unquestioningly, the dispensational hermeneutic for part of Scripture and denied it for the rest.

Blessings,

JL Vaughn
Beyond Creation Science

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