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#22327 - Saturday, March 12, 2005 1:38 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! *****
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
Saxman said:
Brian,

Pardon me for butting in here, but as I've read through this topic the following really stuck out at me as something needing to be addressed. It seems to me (the lurking newbie) to be a recurring theme that lacks clarification.


Hiya Saxman,

Clarification is always helpful. smile

Quote:

Quote:
BrianB said:You're again confusing categories. Scripture and Science do not belong in the same category. Theology (as shorthand for 'the interpretation of Scripture') and Science do, but Scripture belongs in the same category as General Revelation. And, since both are revelations from God,
it makes no sense to say that one is over the other


This statement is either an attempt to deflect the argument, or it misunderstands the argument.


It's explaining how the 'problem' is the result of incorrect framing of the issue.

Quote:

We've been given Scripture from God.


Yes

Quote:

We live on an earth that God created.


Yes.

Quote:

If we attempt to evaluate the world we live on, make assumptions, draw conclusions, and then go to the Scripture God gave us, it appears to many here that we are taking our "scientific" conclusions OVER Scripture.


Please explain what you mean by this.

Quote:

Why? Because it can be stated that the more appropriate approach to understanding creation is to START with the Scripture God gave us and use that understanding to interpret what we observe in creation.


And where is your evidence for this assertion?

Quote:

To reply to this with something like "we can evaluate both at the same time" or "they are different categories" does not really address the argument because what we come to understand in both categories shapes our understanding of God.


There has been no _argument_ put forward to address on this as far as I can see.

Quote:

As an analogy, imagine that we were given an extraordinary invention and a verifiably true biography of the inventor. The reason we are given the invention is to reveal the superior ability of the inventor. The purpose of the biography is to reveal a more detailed view of the inventor.

What you seem to be suggesting is that the information we could gather by scrutinizing the invention is on an equal footing with information we would be given in the biography because it is in a different category, even if some or much of the conclusions made about the invention was based on data collected by those who refused the authenticity of the biography.


Ok, we can start with your analogy. Let's say we are given an advanced high-tech automobile engine invented by our friend Jimmy. We are also given a biography of Jimmy's life. If you wanted to know the details about the engine such as the fuel consumption at a certain RPM, the available power, the average temperature of the engine, and the audible volume, would it be better to start with his biography or with empirical testing of the engine?

Not that this is relevant to my point about Science (an interpretation of data) and Scripture (not an interpretation of data...it is the data we interpret) but it's an interesting way of starting to answer the question: "Must we always begin with interpreting Scripture, or can we also sometimes start with interpreting General Revelation?"

If your analogy is a good one, and it seems to be, then it shows that there are times when it is better to start with interpreting General Revelation (the engine) than with Scripture (the biography) because of the nature of the particular question we are trying to answer (what's the audible volume at 3000 RPM?).

Quote:

Can you acknowledge the problem here? The argument is worthy of more than deflection.


So far I don't see a problem other than the issue has been framed wrong (Science vs Scripture). Again, see my diagram. If you want to talk about comparing Theology and Science, that's an appropriate comparison because each is an interpretation of data external to us. Science vs Scripture is not a valid comparison because we don't have _direct_ access to Scripture, but instead to interpretations of it.

Regards,
Brian

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#22328 - Saturday, March 12, 2005 7:21 AM Re: Yummy Yom
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
Quote:
BZZZZT. No. GR is not science. GR has nothing to do with fallible methodologies other than fallible methodologies are applied to GR in the act of our interpreting it. Again, go back to the diagram I made. Science is the interpretation of GR. It is not itself GR. GR is God's creation.

Did God’s creation (GR) include knowledge? scratch1 Science (a form of knowledge) is also GR....

Quote:
When we examine GR we also know we are examining something that is known to be true because God's creation really is out there.

Since GR includes knowledge it also includes that which is false concerning everything as well. Since GR includes knowledge of ALL types (even the possibility of that which is false--God is not the author of evil, but that is a different discussion) all GR and our perceptions of it are not necessarily true.

For years, many in science asserted that light comes from the sun, et. al. However, later science itself has silenced this idea proving that light is not a substance emanating from the sun, but consists of other waves produced by energetic electrons. The Scripture (SR) speaks of the sun as a light bearer, NOT as light itself. In view of the fact that light is the condition of all life, it was natural that it should be created first (Berkhof’s ST, p. 155). Thus, while it is true that there is a sun and that there is light (both GR), it is not true that light comes from the sun (GR), though it appears it does to our eyes, etc..... (GR). GR needs SR to keep it "truthful," etc. Science needs the true presuppositions of SR!

As far as the rest of your post it has been refuted…, thus further reply is not needed.
_________________________
Reformed and Always Reforming,

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#22329 - Saturday, March 12, 2005 9:11 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Brian,

Quote:
Quote:

If we attempt to evaluate the world we live on, make assumptions, draw conclusions, and then go to the Scripture God gave us, it appears to many here that we are taking our "scientific" conclusions OVER Scripture.


Please explain what you mean by this.


I mean that if we make "scientific" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture, our conclusions will be fundamentally flawed. We cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.

Quote:
Quote:

Why? Because it can be stated that the more appropriate approach to understanding creation is to START with the Scripture God gave us and use that understanding to interpret what we observe in creation.


And where is your evidence for this assertion?


The evidence for this assertion is that the heart of all men are evil. The evidence for this assertion is that pride was the source of our fall. We cannot trust man to make objective observations, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation. To trust unbelieving man to honestly discern general revelation is to deny that the fundamental philosophy of unbelieving man will be to deny His Creator.

Or, more simply put, there is too much room for human arrogance and vanity to be at the source of his observations about creation unless the foundations of Scripture are used to govern or limit that vanity.

Quote:
Ok, we can start with your analogy. Let's say we are given an advanced high-tech automobile engine invented by our friend Jimmy. We are also given a biography of Jimmy's life. If you wanted to know the details about the engine such as the fuel consumption at a certain RPM, the available power, the average temperature of the engine, and the audible volume, would it be better to start with his biography or with empirical testing of the engine?


But measuring RPM is not the same thing as observing how the invention might have been created. Measuring the RPM is not the same thing as determining when the fuel injection was built or the last time the fuel filter was changed. At any point that requires speculation, we could either depend on our own creative abilities to discern an answer ("that filter looks 6 months worth of dirty to me"), or we could first consult the book. That way, if we read that the fuel filter of the engine never needs to be changed, we are not already having to struggle to fit that statement into our own vain conclusions.

Quote:
"Must we always begin with interpreting Scripture, or can we also sometimes start with interpreting General Revelation?"


To me, that's a rhetorical question. Of course we should always allow scripture to trump our speculations about creation. We are fallible. We are often wrong. Even within science, the prevailing theories change and new ideas correct old ones. The truth does not change, though. So, why should we come to depend on scientific speculation (regarding creation) when we have the unchanging Word of God?

Quote:
Science vs Scripture is not a valid comparison because we don't have _direct_ access to Scripture, but instead to interpretations of it.


That answer is a bit of a cop out, because what we have in Scripture is much more concrete than what we have in our own imaginations. It is easier to interpret a written word than something so extraordinary as our created universe. For example, it is obvious that there is a creator when we take in the wonder of creation, though it is still harder to interpret that data than it is to interpret "In the beginning, God".

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#22330 - Monday, March 14, 2005 2:42 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
fredman Offline
Addict

Registered: Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Posts: 593
Loc: Canyon Country, CA
Brian,
I have been following the discussion as it has moved along, but, just so I can understand you, let me summarize what I think you are saying about your understanding of YOM in the Hebrew text.

Taken from you March 3rd post to Tom, you stated:
"The Hebrew term 'yom' NEVER refers to a 24-hour day in the Bible. Anywhere."

You then go on to state (and this is where I am attempting to summarize) Genesis cannot be defining days as 24 hour periods, because Jews understand a normal day as sunset to sunset or sunrise to sunrise, and since there is no sun, this cannot be what Moses is talking about. Moreover, no Jew had any concept of what an hour was, especially 24 of them to make a day as is expressed in our culture, so that is further proof that the 24/6 view is abnormal, as you put it. Is that roughly what you have in mind?

I understand "day" depending upon context, especially those context where day is used to mark off time, to mean what all mankind has understood historically what "day" means and that is 24 hour period. The chronological markers in the genealogies, feastival season and the like would be meaningless if YOM meant anything other than a period of 24 hours. Granted, Jews may not have used 24 hours to express a day, but they did, as you point out, recognize the turning of the earth on its axis, which results in light and day being actualized. An event that takes 24 hours in our reckoning. Seeing that nothing in the historic narrative of Genesis suggest that YOM should not be undertood as anything other than a chronological progression of God creating from one day to the next until He completes His work, any other explanation to re-read the text appears to be contrived.

Moreover, I am not sure you can make such a dogmatic claim that YOM is never used in the Hebrew text to mean a period of 24 hours. I would be curious to have your Hebraist sources for that claim. At any rate, just checking Bible Works I found several references where YOM is certainly being used to express a 24 hour period of time, or morning to morning, day-light to day light. Checking Nehemiah 8:18 as one example, the Bible states,

"Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner."

I take that to mean simply one week of 7 days, all 24 hours in length. Why would it be otherwise?

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

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#22331 - Wednesday, March 16, 2005 10:38 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian


Registered: Saturday, September 13, 2003
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia
Quote:
Absolutely not. You have a MASSIVE misunderstanding of what Science says. Science can tell us that people don't naturally rise from the dead as a rule, which is what we as Christians claim anyway. It says nothing about whether supernatural resurrection is possible or not.


This is a disingenuous argument. Does science allow for the possibility that Balaam's [img]http://the-highway.com/Smileys/censored.gif[/img] spoke, that Jesus was conceived of a virgin, that the Red Sea opened up so the Israelites could pass through it? Science doesn't say anything about the supernatural because as far as science is concerned, there is no supernature. It is not empirically observable. Now, if you want to redefine the philosophical paradigm of modern science, that's a whole other issue. But as it stands, resurrection is a scientific impossibility.

Quote:
Why in the world do you think your comparison of Ex 31:18 // stone tablets is at all relevant to the anthropomorphism that applies to God's resting? If we already know that we have to take God's Sabbath metaphorically there (unless you think God actually gets tired??) then I don't see the problem, or why you think your comparison works.


It should be readily apparent why I made this objection, and it strikes me as peculiar that you didn't understand it.

Your argument is this: Because God cannot be understood to have literally rested, therefore the seventh day cannot be understood literally.

The analogous argument is this: Because God cannot be understood to have literally written with His finger, therefore the stone tablets cannot be understood literally.

Pretty basic! Both arguments are ridiculous.

Quote:
1. I don't see the overlap problem. Perhaps you could make more explicit what you think the problem is.


The overlap problem regards the parallel structure of the days claimed by FI. FI says basically that Days 1 & 4, 2 & 5, and 3 & 6 are the same. But since there are things which were created on Day 1/4, namely, the luminaries, which were placed in the firmament created on Day 2/5, you have an overlap problem: the luminaries were created before the firmament in which they were placed.

Quote:
2. I don't see the problem with birds not being 'confined' to the sky. That's not what they are known for though. Birds are known for the fact that they fly, because it is distinctive about them.
3. The position of mankind in the framework does not preclude his governing over the other realms. Like the animals, man does not live in either the sea or the sky (or the expanse for that matter), but his special relationship with the vegetation (anticipating the Trees) is what is presented in the parallel between vegetation and man.


Again, it goes to parallelism. The birds have dominion not only in the sky, but also on the earth. FI does not account for this. The same basic problem also applies to number three. I don't think these are major objections, though.

Quote:
During the creation period, God did not rely extraordinary means to sustain his creation once it was created.

Carrying this through, God did not create the light until he had established the natural means of sustaining that light. There was no 'supernatural' mechanism in place to supply the earth with a light/dark cycle during the first three days. Nothing in the text itself would lead us to believe that God used a non-ordinary means of sustaining the light/darkness cycle. Such a speculation is totally foreign to the text. In addition, Genesis 2:5 rules this out as even a possible explanation. God, in his omnipotent power, could have employed extraordinary means for sustaining his creation after the creative acts, but according to his self-revelation in the Scripture, he chose not to. He chose to use ordinary processes to sustain his creation once it was made.


The fact that the text says that God created light before the luminaries would lead very easily and naturally to the supposition that God "sustained" the light cycle by "extraordinary" means. There is absolutely nothing in the text, on the other hand, to suggest that light did not actually exist until the luminaries were created. The parallel you draw to Gen. 2:5 is simply unfounded, particularly since the vegetation there mentioned is agricultural ("of the field"), not wild. The very next verse says that the surface of the earth was watered, which certainly could sustain wild plants.

Quote:
Quote:
But the same relationship between realm and governor does not occur with seas/fish, sky/birds, land & plants/animals & men. In fact, the realms must exist prior to the governors in these cases.


I don't understand your objection. The principle of non-extraordinary means still applies in these cases.

Quote:
Even God is not "enthroned as Creator King" until the seventh day in FI!


Right.

Quote:
Does the same not apply to light/luminaries? If FI is correct, then the realms of light and darkness ought to exist prior to the luminaries, otherwise the parallel structure FI presents is very precarious indeed.


I don't see why. Only God is enthroned on the seventh day. I don't see anywhere that I've claimed anything else is enthroned that day.


You missed my meaning. This is the basic argument: the realms are created before governors are set over them. So we have the seas/sky/land/vegetation/universe created before fish/birds/animals/men/God are set as governors over them. This parallel structure is upheld throughout by FI, but for the notable exception of light/luminaries, which is (at least one of) FI's main arguments! So FI is either inconsistent because it fails to uphold a major parallel, or else it is subsumed into the historic interpretation.

Quote:
1. I'm not assuming the FI to identify the non-chronological nature of the passage. Seeing it as non-chronological is the result of a direct examination of the text.

Cardinal, cardinal, cardinal - used for time enumeration
Ordinal, ordinal, ordinal - used for time enumeration
Cardinal, ordinal, ordinal - used for NOT time enumeration, but countables

Guess which one the Genesis 1 text has? That's right. The one NOT used for enumerating periods of time.


I apologize, I misread part of your article. Nonetheless, as you point out in the article, the pattern used in Genesis is actually unique, and does not exactly follow any of the other patterns. You claim on the basis that Moses did not use the "time enumerating" patterns, and that the pattern he does use is closer to the "countables" pattern, that he must have been indicating a literary framework, which you can only conclude because you have accepted FI.

Quote:
Frankly, to say that I have to "assume FI" in order to see that Moses used a pattern not used for enumerating time periods just shows that you're not willing to see the evidence as God has left it for us. You're just too bound by your traditions.


Just like you're too bound by modern science to accept the plain reading of Scripture? Oh, right! bash Completely unnecessary.

Quote:
It fits perfectly with the FI, because the FI takes every day as a normal day, whereas the 24/6 does not. Evenings and mornings always apply to normal days, not to abnormal 24-hour periods.


Evenings and mornings always apply to a light cycle of 24-hours. Otherwise there are some days at the North Pole that aren't days at all!
_________________________
Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.

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#22332 - Wednesday, March 16, 2005 11:23 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: CovenantInBlood]
rmwilliamsjr Offline
Newbie

Registered: Thursday, November 14, 2002
Posts: 33
Quote:


This is a disingenuous argument. Does science allow for the possibility that Balaam's ass spoke, that Jesus was conceived of a virgin, that the Red Sea opened up so the Israelites could pass through it? Science doesn't say anything about the supernatural because as far as science is concerned, there is no supernature. It is not empirically observable. Now, if you want to redefine the philosophical paradigm of modern science, that's a whole other issue. But as it stands, resurrection is a scientific impossibility.


no, you are misunderstanding the philosophy of science. Certainly there are those who would propose this strong scientism, that science is atheistic. But it is not, recognizing the inaccessibility of the supernatural to natural sciences methods it doesn't dismiss the arena as non-existent but as inaccessible, not irrelevant but as outside of sciences universe of discourse. If you want, label science agnostic towards the supernatural, but to claim naturalism as a sufficiency statement is to fall prey to the arguments of Dennett and Dawkins and their ilk.

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#22333 - Thursday, March 17, 2005 3:11 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]
Tom Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Posts: 3901
Loc: Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Oh no, I actually agree with you on something you said. (sorry couldn’t resist)
Science itself is not the problem, because science only deals with what it can observe. If science was a problem, then by necessity there wouldn't be any Christians who are scientists. As you probably know there are many scientists who hold to the literal 6/24hr. creation. One ministry you can see this at is Answers In Genesis

However, the rest of what Kyle had to say, in my opinion is correct.

Tom


Edited by Tom (Thursday, March 17, 2005 3:11 AM)

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#22334 - Thursday, March 17, 2005 11:34 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question! [Re: rmwilliamsjr]
CovenantInBlood Offline
Persnickety Presbyterian


Registered: Saturday, September 13, 2003
Posts: 2375
Loc: Virginia
Quote:
rmwilliamsjr said:

Quote:
CovenantInBlood said:

This is a disingenuous argument. Does science allow for the possibility that Balaam's ass spoke, that Jesus was conceived of a virgin, that the Red Sea opened up so the Israelites could pass through it? Science doesn't say anything about the supernatural because as far as science is concerned, there is no supernature. It is not empirically observable. Now, if you want to redefine the philosophical paradigm of modern science, that's a whole other issue. But as it stands, resurrection is a scientific impossibility.


no, you are misunderstanding the philosophy of science. Certainly there are those who would propose this strong scientism, that science is atheistic. But it is not, recognizing the inaccessibility of the supernatural to natural sciences methods it doesn't dismiss the arena as non-existent but as inaccessible, not irrelevant but as outside of sciences universe of discourse. If you want, label science agnostic towards the supernatural, but to claim naturalism as a sufficiency statement is to fall prey to the arguments of Dennett and Dawkins and their ilk.


Is there sufficient scientific reason for me to accept evolution or a millions-years-old earth in contradistinction to the plain reading of Scripture? Properly speaking, are not both evolution and the age of the earth then outside the scope of scientific evaluation, since at any rate neither can be actually observed?
_________________________
Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.

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#22335 - Friday, April 1, 2005 7:01 AM Re: Yummy Yom [Re: J_Edwards]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
J_Edwards said:
Quote:
BZZZZT.  No.  GR is not science.  GR has nothing to do with fallible methodologies other than fallible methodologies are applied to GR in the act of our interpreting it.  Again, go back to the diagram I made.  Science is the interpretation of GR.  It is not itself GR.  GR is God's creation.

Did God’s creation (GR) include knowledge? scratch1 Science (a form of knowledge) is also GR....
 


No. God's creation does not include 'creating knowledge.'  God creates the Atlantic Ocean (through whatever means you think he did), this does not include creation of knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean.  Knowledge is _our_ personal interpretation of things external to us.

At the very least, for the sake of this discussion we are not considering abstract ideas as part of God's creation / General revelation. Unless you think such ideas are empirically observable?
 
Quote:

Quote:
When we examine GR we also know we are examining something that is known to be true because God's creation really is out there.

Since GR includes knowledge it also includes that which is false concerning everything as well. Since GR includes knowledge of ALL types (even the possibility of that which is false--God is not the author of evil, but that is a different discussion) all GR and our perceptions of it are not necessarily true.

 
I reject that GR includes knowledge.  That's not at all what we are talking about.  We are talking about God's creating of the natural world, things like rocks, trees, the laws of physics, etc.  Things that we can observe empirically.  I cannot empirically observe 'knowledge' and so it is irrelevant to this discussion.
 
Quote:

For years, many in science asserted that light comes from the sun, et. al.

 
SUNlight comes from the sun.  Or do you disagree with this?
 
Quote:

However, later science itself has silenced this idea proving that light is not a substance emanating from the sun, but consists of other waves produced by energetic electrons. The Scripture (SR) speaks of the sun as a light bearer, NOT as light itself. In view of the fact that light is the condition of all life, it was natural that it should be created first (Berkhof’s ST, p. 155). Thus, while it is true that there is a sun and that there is light (both GR), it is not true that light comes from the sun (GR), though it appears it does to our eyes, etc..... (GR). GR needs SR to keep it "truthful," etc. Science needs the true presuppositions of SR!

 
It looks like you're actually arguing that sunlight doesn't come from the sun.  Are you seriously claiming this???
 
I want you to be clear, because I want everyone who reads this thread to understand that you are rejecting the idea that sunlight comes from the sun, if that is in fact what you are claiming.
 
Quote:

As far as the rest of your post it has been refuted…, thus further reply is not needed.

 
Umm, ok. If you say so.

Regards,
Brian

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#22336 - Friday, April 1, 2005 7:09 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Saxman,

Quote:

I mean that if we make "scientific" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture, our conclusions will be fundamentally flawed. We cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.


What about if we make "biblical" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture?  Our conclusions will also be fundamentally flawed and we cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.

How is that different from what you claim for scientific conclusions?

If I look across the room and see a mirror, then I look away and look back, and it's still showing my reflection, how do I know whether my belief that:

"The mirror reflects my image so that I can see myself."

is or is not "rooted in the truths of Scripture"?

What in the world does that mean anyway?  What do you mean that something is "rooted in the truths of Scripture"? Looks like it might be just pious-sounding language to re-assert the position that should be proven, not just asserted.

Quote:

The evidence for this assertion is that the heart of all men are evil. The evidence for this assertion is that pride was the source of our fall. We cannot trust man to make objective observations, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation. To trust unbelieving man to honestly discern general revelation is to deny that the fundamental philosophy of unbelieving man will be to deny His Creator.


If what you say in your post is true, then we cannot trust man to make objective observations of Scripture either, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation.

How does your belief that we are prohibited from understanding God's created order correctly escape the same reasoning that we are prohibited from understanding his special revelation correctly?

Quote:

That answer is a bit of a cop out, because what we have in Scripture is much more concrete than what we have in our own imaginations. It is easier to interpret a written word than something so extraordinary as our created universe. For example, it is obvious that there is a creator when we take in the wonder of creation, though it is still harder to interpret that data than it is to interpret "In the beginning, God".


What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that the bottle top to my Gatorade bottle is orange, or the nature of the tribulation and millenium?

What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that solid water (ice) is less dense than room-temperature liquid water, or whether or not we should baptize infants?

The problem here with you and others is that, while you will give lip-service to the idea that you are not an infallible interpreter, that's all it is.  Lip-service.  You automatically assume that you're interpretation of Scripture is going to be more accurate than your observation of the natural world.  Sorry, but that's just not abiding by what you say you believe.

It is so obvious when you say:

Quote:

So, why should we come to depend on scientific speculation (regarding creation) when we have the unchanging Word of God?


You _assume_ in your mind that you have direct access to "the unchanging Word of God" when in fact you do not.  You have direct access to your own interpretation, but that interpretation could be wrong.

Not dealing with this issue is the real cop-out.

Given this type of assumption, I might even well ask the question:

"Should we allow God's revelation through the natural world to trump our speculations over what the Bible says?"

Do you have an answer to this?  I hope you're not going to subordinate GOD'S REVELATION to your own man-derived speculations.

That is all I'm going to say on the methodological issues involved in interpreting the empirically observable world and special revelation and their interaction.  It's not my primary concern.

Heh, and as far as the automobile engine analogy, if you find an actual answer to the question of "how often does the fuel filter in this particular engine need to be changed" in a _biography_ it's generally a pretty good indication that you've read something into the text that's not actually there.

Regards,
Brian

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#22337 - Saturday, April 2, 2005 10:23 AM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
BrianB said:

What about if we make "biblical" conclusions based on our own understanding, and if that understanding is not rooted in the truths of Scripture?  Our conclusions will also be fundamentally flawed and we cannot trust our conclusions because the foundation of our understanding will have come from our own imaginations.

How is that different from what you claim for scientific conclusions?


Many people have flawed interpretations of Scripture, Brian. That's obvious. There are also flawed interpretations in the field of science, to be sure. Unregenerate men will misinterpret anything, because their own selfish motives will be their central agenda.

What you seem to want, though, is for me to forsake the scriptural interpretations of REGENERATE men in favor of interpretations within science of the UNREGENERATE, when doing so allows for a more "impirical" observation of the evidence. That's not going to happen.

Quote:

If I look across the room and see a mirror, then I look away and look back, and it's still showing my reflection, how do I know whether my belief that:

"The mirror reflects my image so that I can see myself."

is or is not "rooted in the truths of Scripture"?


First, this topic is not addressing the interpretation of observable facts. It is addressing creation. The only way you could observe this is if Creation was created again and you were around to watch. It's convenient for you -- but quite unreasonable -- to compare "scientific" conclusions about a reflection in a mirror to "scientific" conclusions about how creation occurred.

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What in the world does that mean anyway?  What do you mean that something is "rooted in the truths of Scripture"? Looks like it might be just pious-sounding language to re-assert the position that should be proven, not just asserted.


An approach to interpreting general revelation (creation) that is rooted in the truths of scripture is one that allows the facts communicated in Scripture to guide us in our understanding of general revelation. It allows us to "wait out" coming to any "scientific" conclusions that require us to twist or ignore obvious Scriptural conclusions. How many obsolete viewpoints of secular scientists on the issue of creation would we have been spared having been taught to our children in school if the arrogance of scientists had been overcome by quiet patience?

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If what you say in your post is true, then we cannot trust man to make objective observations of Scripture either, because corruption of the human heart will rule out an objective observation.


We certainly cannot trust any man's interpretation of scripture to be 100% correct, but where Scripture is obvious, there is no need to trust an interpretation. How much easier to trust a godly man who interprets the simple passages of the Creation Account over an atheist scientist who determines that evolution is factual? On what evidence, other than man's desire to be godless, was evolution conceived? Okay... how about divinely-guided evolution? "Oh, you just wait, you Christian, until we find that missing link!"

I'd rather have to walk among the land-mines of errors of biblical interpretation than to tread among the nukes of secular science, especially when it is speaking to creation.

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What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that the bottle top to my Gatorade bottle is orange, or the nature of the tribulation and millenium?


Here you are, once again, comparing the ability to detect the simple with the ability to discern how creation occurred. Besides, what does the tribulation and millenium have to do with creation? Or the color of a bottle, for that matter? The Genesis account is not a man's prophetic dream. And I hope the color of a Gatorade bottle does not lead one to conclude that a prehistoric ice age was caused by a meteor striking the earth.

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What is more difficult for me to have the right understanding of, that solid water (ice) is less dense than room-temperature liquid water, or whether or not we should baptize infants?


Whether or not we should baptize infants is a trivial matter compared to the truth both side of this view support: we need the covering and forgiveness of God, and His commands should be obeyed. That is a scriptural truth that the presbyterian and babtist will take with them as they interpret their world. This makes much more sense that deciding that infants should not be baptized because room-temperature water has a different density than ice.

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The problem here with you and others is that, while you will give lip-service to the idea that you are not an infallible interpreter, that's all it is.  Lip-service.  You automatically assume that you're interpretation of Scripture is going to be more accurate than your observation of the natural world.  Sorry, but that's just not abiding by what you say you believe.


Of course it is. The plain things of scripture are very plain. And the plain things of scripture are important foundations to our thinking as we interpret the world around us. If you believe in God, and if you believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired, then there seems to me to be no reason to debate this any further.

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You _assume_ in your mind that you have direct access to "the unchanging Word of God" when in fact you do not.  You have direct access to your own interpretation, but that interpretation could be wrong.


The only assumption I have is that God did not waste His time when He gave us the Bible. I assume that He is right when He says that His Word is a lamp unto our feet. We don't need to agree on the tribulation or even infant baptism to put us on a more accurate path to interpreting the Grand Canyon, the age of the Earth, or human origins. It is just as obvious as the nose on our faces that we should begin with what He has told us and then move carefully into the realm of human speculation and interpretation. It does not require debate. It just requires obedience.

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#22338 - Saturday, April 2, 2005 1:35 PM Re: Creation . . . . . and a related question!
Pilgrim Offline

Head Honcho

Registered: Tuesday, April 3, 2001
Posts: 13345
Loc: NH, USA
Quote:
Saxman said:
What you seem to want, though, is for me to forsake the scriptural interpretations of REGENERATE men in favor of interpretations within science of the UNREGENERATE, when doing so allows for a more "empirical" observation of the evidence. That's not going to happen.

Saxman,

I think this is one of the fundamental "keys" to this entire discussion. What unregenerate scientists lack is the indwelling Holy Spirit sent by Christ. One of the functions of the Spirit is to lead the elect into all truth, although I think that this applies first and foremost to the Church and only secondarily to individual believers. We do affirm that even those indwelt by the Holy Spirit err in their understanding of the Scriptures, but mainly in regard to those things which are not clearly seen; i.e., the "hard things" of Scripture, which Peter tells us some who are "unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction".

Can it be doubted that the Jews for thousands of years, when they read the creation account naturally understood it to have been done in 6 24-hour days? Is it not likewise true that the vast majority of believers when they read the creation account naturally understand, "there was evening and there was morning" to mean a 24-hour day? The text screams a 6 24-hour day creation. And the Spirit within us testifies to our minds and hearts that the Sovereign Lord Creator brought the universe to be out of nothing by the word of His mouth in 6 24-hour days.

That there will be believers who are enticed to walk from the "old paths" into the realm of the ungodly and embrace their godless philosophies is a sad truth. The remnant of sin that we all must deal with is sometimes stronger in some than others. But what the godless scientific community is trying to do is simply to construct another Tower of Babel; i.e., they have an insatiable desire for autonomy and to become like the God; ironically the One Who they deny exists or one who they have created in their own minds (a reflection of themselves).

In His Grace,
_________________________


simul iustus et peccator


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#22339 - Saturday, April 2, 2005 3:46 PM Re: Yummy Yom
J_Edwards Offline
Needs to get a Life

Registered: Sunday, December 9, 2001
Posts: 4843
Loc: USA
I apologize for not answering sooner. I was involved in some other threads and had not even seen your post till someone else brought it to my attention..

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No. God's creation does not include 'creating knowledge.' God creates the Atlantic Ocean (through whatever means you think he did), this does not include creation of knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean. Knowledge is _our_ personal interpretation of things external to us.

So YOU think man creates knowledge by his “personal” interpretation of things? Can man have any knowledge (progressive or otherwise) that was not first known by God? idea Who is the creator of “all?” Does the Bible say that everyone has “some” knowledge of God (Ps 19:1-4; Rom 1:20)? Where did this knowledge come from? Did man create this knowledge by “personal” interpretation or did God give GR? (“God manifested it unto them,” and then it was “perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse”). Hendriksen comments;

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God has made himself known and continues to do so by means of his general revelation in nature, history, and conscience; here, as the sequel indicates, with emphasis on God’s revelation in nature; that is, in “creation.” Not as if men, acting on their own initiative, could have discovered God, but, as the passage states, God has made known to them whatever in the area of creation can be made known about him.

God created GR and it included knowledge.

Did Adam know that God created him? How did he know? Could Adam speak? How? When did Adam learn to speak, or think before communicating with God? How did Adam name the animals? Adam had knowledge, he did not create it! Where did it come from? Maybe God “manifested it unto him”? scratch1 GR includes Knowledge. As Berkhof states, GR is rooted in creation, is addressed to man as man, and more particularly to human reason, and finds its purpose in the realization of the end of His creation, to know God and thus to have communion with Him. As Calvin stated, the Scriptures are spectacles that we need to view GR correctly. You continue to view science without theses spectacles (you seem near to science and far from Scripture)! You need to put your “sola” prescription back on bigglasses

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It looks like you're actually arguing that sunlight doesn't come from the sun. Are you seriously claiming this???

I agree with Berkhof, however like on many other subjects I am not necessarily dogmatic here (especially when any measure of science is involved). However, even present day science backs up what I have stated;

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Light comes from atoms that are excited (they’ve got extra energy from somewhere—either from another light source or by colliding with other particles. One way to excite atoms is by heating them). An excited atom can give off its extra energy as light. Take the Sun for example: nuclear reactions in the Sun produce tons of energy. Particles carry this energy to the Sun’s surface, where these particles collide into atoms, which excite the atoms. The atoms “de-excite” by giving off light.

As you may clearly see the SUN itself does not produce light, but excited atoms do. Now ask yourself could God have excited an atom or two before Day 4 and created light the way we know it …. ? Again, as previously stated, the sun and the stars are merely light holders and not light themselves.
_________________________
Reformed and Always Reforming,

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