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#22297 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:08 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! *****  
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Brian,

Just out of curiosity, would you consider your epistemological perspective/apologetical approach to be more along evidentialist/natural theology/Thomism lines or Presuppositional/Van Tillian lines?

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
#22298 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:16 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!  
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The argument boils down to, Scripture, not science, should establish the believer’s presupposition of the revelation of God and all that is His. As is already known and has been somewhat discussed, this revelation takes on three basic forms: (1) God’s revelation in nature and history (natural revelation), (2) God’s revelation by His Word (special revelation), and (3) the illumination of the Holy Sprit. As John Frame says though these revelations must be taken together, “natural revelation must be seen through the spectacles of Scripture, illuminated by the Spirit.” If not then we get a distorted view of truth. Though secular science may look upon natural revelation and discover many things (wisdom of the world), apart from God it suppresses truth (Rom 1:18-12) in its evaluation of natural revelation. As John Frame says, “there are wrong ways of being influenced by science.”

Though my memory is flawed at times, I believe Frame lectures saying; Anyone who admits to any special creation at all must grant the reality of apparent age! Science suppresses this truth. Some even argue that God would be lying to us if God made stars appear to be billions of years old. However, God never told us that the methods that scientists use to calculate the age of stars are absolutely and universally valid. The stars are not a book that literally tells us their age and thus do not prove an old earth view. What starlight says about the age of stars depends on your perspective. On the common scientific theory the light we see in the stars began its journey to the earth (in most cases) many years ago. So, on the scientific view, the stars we see appear more recent than they really are. So, if theology presents us with an “apparent age” theory of the stars, astronomy presents us with an “apparent novelty” theory of the stars (Steve Hays).

Any newly created being, whether star, plant, etc., if created mature, will contain data that in other cases would suggest events prior to creation. If Adam and Eve were created mature, their bodies would have suggested that they had been born of normal parents in the normal fashion. Science in suppressing biblical truth does not take this into account. Herein we also see the importance of Special Revelation for interpreting Natural Revelation, et. AL.

Thus, the elementary foundation of FI is unstable. However, based upon the evidence of this type of scientific investigation, which suppresses biblical truth, it feels compelled to assert a presence of a literary or poetic structure in Gen 1 to the exclusion of a chronological sequence or “normal days.” However, Scripture often uses literary devices in narratives that are clearly historical (Gen 2:4; 5:1; 6:9). Thus, use of literary devices do not exclude chronology, for many narratives within these literary structure are chronological.

Thus, there is sufficient ground for me to say FI is not biblical. However, there is sufficient ground for me to take the days in Gen 1 as normal. Though the term yom does not always refer to a 24 hour day, it most often does refer to a 24 hour day when accompanied by numerals. The phrase “evening and morning” also suggests a 24 hour period (Ex 18:13; 27:21). Additionally in the 4th commandment (Ex 20:8-11, compare Ex 35:2), we are told to work “6” days and rest “1” in imitation of God’s creative activity. But, if the days were not normal days it would not be clear what we should imitate! Lastly, the plural days used in Ex 20:11, is NEVER used figuratively elsewhere.

Here I Stand.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#22299 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:17 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!  
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See below.


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#22300 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:52 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: Henry]  
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You may be getting to it, but just in case you missed it, I'm still waiting for a response to this post:

Quote
Henry said:
Brian,

For the sake of argument, let's say we can use extra-Biblical information like science to help us interpret Scripture (although I react strongly against this- more later). Granted this, we still are driven to the conclusion that the generations alive before modern geology, cosmology, etc., all the way back to the anceint Israelites, were completely handicapped in their understanding of Scripture because they didn't have access to the latest C-14 figures, etc. What we are basically saying is that only we modern folks are able to correctly interpret Scripture. I don't know about you, but that sounds a bit troubling to me.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
#22301 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 5:58 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: Henry]  
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Quote


Any newly created being, whether star, plant, etc., if created mature, will contain data that in other cases would suggest events prior to creation. If Adam and Eve were created mature, their bodies would have suggested that they had been born of normal parents in the normal fashion. Science in suppressing biblical truth does not take this into account. Herein we also see the importance of Special Revelation for interpreting Natural Revelation, et. AL.


You are deeply confusing a system of knowledge with the people building that system. Romans 1 states that people suppress the natural knowledge of God that exists both in the universe and in themselves. What you are doing is skipping this principle and jumping to science is suppressing the truth of God. This is an unwarranted step especially considering the enormous numbers of believing and confessing Christians who are doing their best to honor God with their efforts in their chosen fields. They are doing the creation mandate consciously as Christians and as believers in their work as scientists. What you are fundamentally doing is to confuse the levels in the discussion between scientism-that extension into the metaphysical realm and science. You essentially see Dawkins and Dennett and Gould and think that since they are atheists and use science to support their worldview that science is tainted and suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness. No, people are doing this, and those Christians involved in the field are NOT under some strange delusion, but rather are as free as you are to see the wonders and marvelous beauty of God in creation.

#22302 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 7:57 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]  
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Quote
You are deeply confusing a system of knowledge with the people building that system. Romans 1 states that people suppress the natural knowledge of God that exists both in the universe and in themselves. What you are doing is skipping this principle and jumping to science is suppressing the truth of God. This is an unwarranted step especially considering the enormous numbers of believing and confessing Christians who are doing their best to honor God with their efforts in their chosen fields.

You really need to re-read what was written “in context.” I DID NOT say ALL science suppresses the truth of God. As a matter a fact, I stated in another post that some science in confirmatory of biblical truth. However, if as you say “believing and confessing Christians are doing their best to honor God with their efforts in their chosen fields” then as Christians they will “see the importance of Special Revelation for interpreting Natural Revelation, et. AL.” As I previously stated one should not change the truth of God into a lie, and worship and serve the creature [of science] more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Rom 1:25). If one does they greatly err, just like the FI. A proper view of science must begin with a proper view of Scripture. An old age view of creation is a presupposition based on science first and foremost and is a suppression of the truths taught in Scripture concerning creation.

Please post your responses to the proper person. This should have been posted in response to this post, not Henry’s. scratch1


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#22303 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:33 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: J_Edwards]  
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Quote

An old age view of creation is a presupposition based on science first and foremost and is a suppression of the truths taught in Scripture concerning creation.


It is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion.
Look at the history of the formation (of the scientific principle) of geological ages, it was dominated by Christians who did NOT want to see long ages but wanted to find geological evidence for a young earth. Essentially they went looking for evidence of the Noahic flood and found an old earth.

Last edited by rmwilliamsjr; Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:35 PM.
#22304 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:40 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: Henry]  

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Quote
Henry said:
Brian,

For the sake of argument, let's say we can use extra-Biblical information like science to help us interpret Scripture (although I react strongly against this- more later).


Not just Science, but understanding Greco-Roman rhetoric techniques, the honor/shame dynamic in the Mediterranean, other texts written in Hebrew/Aramiac/Greek/cognates (to help us understand how the same words were used in the Bible), etc. There are differences in how we go about using these sources of information to help us understand the biblical texts, but they all do so.

Quote

Granted this, we still are driven to the conclusion that the generations alive before modern geology, cosmology, etc., all the way back to the anceint Israelites, were completely handicapped in their understanding of Scripture because they didn't have access to the latest C-14 figures, etc.


Some would be. Those in the original audiences and closer to the time the documents were written would have understood them. Moses' original audience would have understood them.

Quote

What we are basically saying is that only we modern folks are able to correctly interpret Scripture. I don't know about you, but that sounds a bit troubling to me.


That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we moderns are able to see things that aren't in a lot of the literature from the past that we have.

Part of this is because we have more extra-Biblical information to help us. Part is due to the fact that we have more refined historical investigative methods. Other things as well I'm sure.

Did the Mosaic Jews understand that the structure of the covenants was just like the international treaties of the surrounding nations? Sure. Is this understanding missing from the bulk of the literature of the Church until recently? As far as I know. But now we know (thanks to Mendenhall, Kline, and Kitchen) that the covenants followed the formal structure of ANE international treaties/covenants.

The right interpretation was there, and it didn't _require_ that we have the results of modern scientific investigation. It's just that now we have had more reason to re-examine our thinking on the interpretation of the text.

As a side note, my comments will come in spurts. I don't have tons of extra time, so please be patient with my putting up replies.

Brian

#22305 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 8:44 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: fredman]  

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Quote
fredman said:
Brian,

Just out of curiosity, would you consider your epistemological perspective/apologetical approach to be more along evidentialist/natural theology/Thomism lines or Presuppositional/Van Tillian lines?


Don't know for sure. I guess I might say that I hold to a critical-realist epistemology, built on top of presuppositionalism (because all epistemologies have to have presuppositions).

Brian

#22306 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:11 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]  

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Quote
rmwilliamsjr said:
Quote

An old age view of creation is a presupposition based on science first and foremost and is a suppression of the truths taught in Scripture concerning creation.


It is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion.


Conclusion based on what?

Quote
Look at the history of the formation (of the scientific principle) of geological ages, it was dominated by Christians who did NOT want to see long ages but wanted to find geological evidence for a young earth. Essentially they went looking for evidence of the Noahic flood and found an old earth.


On scientific principle? What about biblical interpretation? I thought scripture was our sole infallible source?


God bless,

william

#22307 - Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:26 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!  
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Brian,

But the Bible isn't just theology. It speaks to historical facts, and when science contradicts those facts, then we MUST err on the side of Scripture which is from God Himself. There is no reason within the text of Genesis 1 & 2 itself to treat it as figurative account of creation.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#22308 - Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:20 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!  
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Quote
BrianB said:
Not just Science, but understanding Greco-Roman rhetoric techniques, the honor/shame dynamic in the Mediterranean, other texts written in Hebrew/Aramiac/Greek/cognates (to help us understand how the same words were used in the Bible), etc. There are differences in how we go about using these sources of information to help us understand the biblical texts, but they all do so.

There's a big difference between those things you mention here and modern science, but we'll leave that for later (like you, I'm strapped for time as well.)

Quote

Some would be. Those in the original audiences and closer to the time the documents were written would have understood them. Moses' original audience would have understood them.


So the ancient Israelites had access to modern science, which helped them interpret Moses' writings? News to me!

Quote

That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that we moderns are able to see things that aren't in a lot of the literature from the past that we have.


Like science which has been unknown in all of history to the last couple of centuries hence?

Quote
Part of this is because we have more extra-Biblical information to help us. Part is due to the fact that we have more refined historical investigative methods. Other things as well I'm sure.

Did the Mosaic Jews understand that the structure of the covenants was just like the international treaties of the surrounding nations? Sure. Is this understanding missing from the bulk of the literature of the Church until recently? As far as I know. But now we know (thanks to Mendenhall, Kline, and Kitchen) that the covenants followed the formal structure of ANE international treaties/covenants.


Again, I'm surprised you can't see the difference between, say, the covanental structures and allowing modern science to affect how we interpret the scriptures.

Quote
The right interpretation was there, and it didn't _require_ that we have the results of modern scientific investigation. It's just that now we have had more reason to re-examine our thinking on the interpretation of the text.


Oh, so now we don't need science to help us interpret Scripture- but simply a correct understanding of scripture? Then, out of real curiosity, how come we've been arguing that we can allow science to affect our interpretation of Scripture? I may be wrong, but it seems like you are changing your tune once you're in the corner.

I am most enjoying this exchange, and am more then able to understand your time constraints- like I said, they are shared!


(Latin phrase goes here.)
#22309 - Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:33 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]  
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rmwilliamsjr said:
Quote
It is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion.
Look at the history of the formation (of the scientific principle) of geological ages, it was dominated by Christians who did NOT want to see long ages but wanted to find geological evidence for a young earth. Essentially they went looking for evidence of the Noahic flood and found an old earth.


You are mistaken here, what you are actually talking about is theory. These people may have been sincere in the conclusions that they found, but that doesn't mean that the conclusions were correct.
YE scientists such as those at answersingenesis.org have come to the conclusion based on the same facts, that the Earth in indeed young.
These YE scientists however, are willing to admit where fact and theory end. Choosing instead to let Scripture be their guide. As someone at Answers In Genesis said, they have yet to see one fact conflict with the YE view (not exact quote).
If you have, something specific in mind that you disagree with the findings of YE scientists, please by all means post it.

Tom

#22310 - Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:05 AM For Brian [Re: Tom]  
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As you probably know I believe that Scripture interprets Scripture.
In Genesis chapter one there is a word (yom) that has probably been one of the most debated words of the Genesis account of creation.
The following is basically what I believe the word (yom) means in the context of Genesis chapter one.

“Yom” (Day)


Normally "yom" is used in Scripture to mean a 24 hour day. But there are exceptions such as Is. 61:2 where it is used for longer periods of time. Or in the case of Genesis 2:4, where it is used as an idiom "when".
However, in Genesis chapter one it must be interpreted as a 24 hour period.
1.) Elsewhere, whenever "yom" is used with a number, it means 24 hour periods.
2.) The Decalogue bases the teaching of the Sabbath day on the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest.
3.) From the 4th day on, there are days, years, signs and seasons, suggesting that the normal system (24 hour day) is entirely operative.
4.) If "yom" refers to an age, then the text would have to allow for a period of "night". But few would argue for the night as an age. It seems inescapable that Genesis presents the creation in six literal 24 hour days.

(From Creation & Blessing 'A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis by Allen P. Ross Page 109)

If you have a dispute with what is said here, please by all means fire away.

Tom

#22311 - Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:54 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]  
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Quote
It is not a presupposition, it is a conclusion.

Every conclusion began with certain presuppositions. [Linked Image] Moreover, to deny that presuppositions exist in the Old Earth Theory (OET) is not only a presupposition itself, but a very definite giggle joke.

Quote
Look at the history of the formation (of the scientific principle) of geological ages, it was dominated by Christians who did NOT want to see long ages but wanted to find geological evidence for a young earth.

Do you remember reading about, Buffon who was a deist or secret atheist, as were Lamarck and Hutton. Laplace was an open atheist. Werner, Cuvier, Smith, and Lyell were probably deists or some sort of vague theists. These developers of OET were hardly objective, unbiased, let-the-facts-speak-for-themselves observers of the physical evidence. As Terry Mortenson, Ph.D. concludes, “the Genesis-geology debate was really a conflict of worldviews—that is, deism, vague forms of theism and atheism joined together against biblical Christianity….While these old-earth proponents had varied opinions about the existence of God, they all rejected the God who is revealed in Scripture and operated with the assumptions of philosophical naturalism in their interpretation of the astronomical and geological evidence.”

As Nevins wrote so many years ago,

Quote
Historical geology is the field of study which seeks to decipher the clues and records bearing on the earth's history. Since the historical geologist cannot observe the history he attempts to interpret (he cannot relive ancient times), scientific methods involving repeatable observation and experimentation cannot be utilized. The method relied upon is much like that used by a detective as he seeks to unravel the many evidences and furnish a tentative description of a crime. The conclusions reached by the historical geologist, as those of the detective, rely on numerous assumptions and much fragmentary evidence making scientific proof impossible. The conclusions made in any type of historical investigation—no matter how "scientific" they are claimed to be—depend largely on the basic conceptual framework (values, beliefs, and methodology) used by the investigator.

Unlike geology and a host of other so-called scientific evidence, the inerrant Word of God is not based upon numerous assumptions, but on God himself. However, the interpretation of Word of God can be faulty if our study is not based upon a proper hermetical framework for interpretation. A proper hermeneutical framework does not include “improvable" science, but Sola Scriptura. Are you going to believe The Rock or an unsupported tale about a rock? scratchchin

Please read the article BIBLICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS AND HISTORICAL GEOLOGY: A CASE STUDY (the normal disclaimers apply).


Reformed and Always Reforming,
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