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#22222 Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:33 PM
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In one of the links that rmwilliamsjr provided it talked about people such as Origen and Augustine who believed that the days of creation were not literal 24 hour days, mainly because they had trouble with the creation of the sun on the fourth day, if it was 6/24 hour days.

So my question is, did this belief on the creation affect their over all view of interpreting Scripture? Please show evidence if possible.

Also, what do you believe are the natural consequences of not believing in a literal 6/24hr. days? Please show evidence, if possible.

How would you account for the creation of the sun, on the 4th day if you believe in 6/24 hr. days?

Please understand, I am completely in favor of a literal understanding of the creation account. But thought these questions would prove to be an interesting conversation.

Tom

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In one of the links that rmwilliamsjr provided it talked about people such as Origen and Augustine who believed that the days of creation were not literal 24 hour days, mainly because they had trouble with the creation of the sun on the fourth day, if it was 6/24 hour days.

(Fred) Actually, if you read what these men wrote, they did not have problems with the creation of the sun on day four. There problem was that the creation week itself was just too long for an all powerful God. Augustine, for instance, believed the creation happened in an instant, but still maintained a young view of the universe. His comments that are often cited by long agers as being proof that Genesis has a history of being read figuratively are taken from a work that is specifically responding to long age beliefs about the universe from a pagan perspective.

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How would you account for the creation of the sun, on the 4th day if you believe in 6/24 hr. days?

(Fred) I guess my initial question is, why is this a problem? So the light holders are created on day four, so what? Why does that mean a 6/24 hour understanding of Genesis 1 is in error? I have never understood why long agers believe this day four argument is somehow the magic bullet to shut down a literal reading of Genesis. Usually they don't like light existing prior to the sun and stars, but the sun and stars are not necessary for light to exist. The new heaven and the new earth will be illumined by God himself (Rev. 21:23). God set up some source of light for marking off time for three days, until his creation of the lightholders on day four. Why is that so hard to believe? Perhaps someone can explain?

Fred


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(Fred) Actually, if you read what these men wrote, they did not have problems with the creation of the sun on day four. There problem was that the creation week itself was just too long for an all powerful God. Augustine, for instance, believed the creation happened in an instant, but still maintained a young view of the universe. His comments that are often cited by long agers as being proof that Genesis has a history of being read figuratively are taken from a work that is specifically responding to long age beliefs about the universe from a pagan perspective.

I think I am going to have to re-read what that link said. My comments were made because that is what I understood it to be saying. http://www.pcanet.org/history/creation/report.html

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(Fred) I guess my initial question is, why is this a problem? So the light holders are created on day four, so what? Why does that mean a 6/24 hour understanding of Genesis 1 is in error? I have never understood why long agers believe this day four argument is somehow the magic bullet to shut down a literal reading of Genesis. Usually they don't like light existing prior to the sun and stars, but the sun and stars are not necessary for light to exist. The new heaven and the new earth will be illumined by God himself (Rev. 21:23). God set up some source of light for marking off time for three days, until his creation of the lightholders on day four. Why is that so hard to believe? Perhaps someone can explain?

Good question BigThumbUp

Tom

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I guess my initial question is, why is this a problem? So the light holders are created on day four, so what? Why does that mean a 6/24 hour understanding of Genesis 1 is in error? I have never understood why long agers believe this day four argument is somehow the magic bullet to shut down a literal reading of Genesis. Usually they don't like light existing prior to the sun and stars, but the sun and stars are not necessary for light to exist. The new heaven and the new earth will be illumined by God himself (Rev. 21:23). God set up some source of light for marking off time for three days, until his creation of the lightholders on day four. Why is that so hard to believe? Perhaps someone can explain?

I frankly don't know, but perhaps it has to do with the Young Earth creationist claims that Genesis 1 diagrams what actually occured. Since there is no Biblical explanation for the light before the sun, the Old Earther would claim that the Young Earther is reading this into Scripture that there was another light - a light not mentioned in the creation account. That is reading a bit into the account, to be sure....but in my opinion this is reading MUCH less into the account than claiming that the days are ages, etc. etc. etc.


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Fred

On re-reading what the link had to say, I have to say you are correct. Augustine did not believe in an old earth, though he did treat the text in an allegorical manner, with his instantaneous view.
I find however, the moment someone treats the text in an allegorical or non-literal manner. What is to stop them from going to the other extreme from what Augustine did?
Someone might have some misgivings about accepting a literal interpretation, but by accepting an allegorical or a non-literal approach, it causes more problems than the literal approach.
Namely, it causes one to assume things from their own imaginations, or perhaps go outside (the scientific community) of Scripture itself for an interpretation, thus denying the sufficiency of Scripture.

Tom

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The problem of light created(day 1) before the light bearers(day 4) is perhaps the earliest recognized problem with Gen 1 being historical/scientific ordering.

Likewise "there was evening and morning" preceding the formation of either the earth or the sun.

it was exegetical problems such as these that leads into framework interpretation.

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(Fred) I guess my initial question is, why is this a problem? So the light holders are created on day four, so what? Why does that mean a 6/24 hour understanding of Genesis 1 is in error? I have never understood why long agers believe this day four argument is somehow the magic bullet to shut down a literal reading of Genesis. Usually they don't like light existing prior to the sun and stars, but the sun and stars are not necessary for light to exist. The new heaven and the new earth will be illumined by God himself (Rev. 21:23). God set up some source of light for marking off time for three days, until his creation of the lightholders on day four. Why is that so hard to believe? Perhaps someone can explain?
It is not difficult to believe, however they do have some arguments. They state for instance: (1) The two-triadic literary framework in Genesis 1. (2) The evidence that Day 4 is a return to the events of Day 1 and describes in more detail how God separated the light from the darkness. (3) The principle of continuity, showing that God established the ordinary means of sustaining a creation before he created it. (4) The argument from semantics showing that the days must mean normal solar days. Neither abnormal non-solar 24-hour periods nor long ages can be considered within the semantic range of the Genesis 1 creation 'days'. (4b) The argument from semantics concerning 'evening' and 'morning' shows that the days must mean normal solar days. Neither abnormal non-solar 24-hour periods nor long ages can be considered to fit with the very narrow semantic ranges of these words, that refer to the time of day when the sun rises/sets. (5) The metaphorical interpretation of the Exodus 20/31 passages is most consistent with the FI view on Genesis 1. (6) The eternal nature of the seventh day requires a metaphorical interpretation. (7) Moses purposely avoided using the standard grammatical pattern of enumerating time periods in his construction of the Genesis narrative. Here is a paper on the FI: Genesis One and Beyond: An Investi...stions of Creation in the Biblical Texts with its addendum One, Two, Three, and an Ordinal for Thee - Grammatical Irregularities, Definitions, and Genesis One. To have a balanced representation of the other view, maybe we can debate these with someone who supports the view, if someone would like to send the author an e-mail (at the top of the papers). shrug

Bruce Waltke, professor of OT at RTS and professor emeritus at Regent College in Vancouver, also supports this view. His book on Genesis is rather informative: Genesis a Commentary (Zondervan).


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Here is something that I believe is relevent to this conversation.


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 days.

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

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Tom,

At the risk of being called naive or unscientific I wish to suggest something that may not have been considered by some here. I will also probably be accused of having the disease, ED or "exegesis deficiency".

It is my belief that the Scripture in its entirety may be only understood properly by applying the Gospel or the doctrine of "Justification by Faith Alone". There is no reason why this idea may not be applied to the creation account in Genesis also. (In fact this is what Scripture calls us to do) Why may we not consider the Genesis account not only to be historically factual, but to be extremely prophetic and Gospel centered?

Of course our God may create light before there were heavenly bodies to emit or reflect that light. To reflect upon God's new creation in the truth and LIGHT of Christ all one need do is consider that to our God a thousand years is a day.

In the 4000th year the Son (sun) of righteousness is created and brought to us in the flesh! This is obviously true because, of the fact of sin, there were no heavenly bodies (men) to reflect or emit that light in its fullness.

It is fact that the darkness of sin took up residence in our world BEFORE the Son of light and truth.

For "scientific" men to demand that our omniscient God create the physical world and time itself in the same way that "THEY" would do it is nothing but arrogant and prideful unbelief.

To answer your first question then: The first creation account should not be impossed upon Scripture, but the Second creation in Christ should be impossed upon the first. This is simply because the New Testament has interpretive authority over the Old.

Denny

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Denny

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Denny

This is only my first reaction and because I haven't had time to think about it, I may be wrong, perhaps others will comment.

It would seem that you are spiritualizing the texts, especially by equating the Son with the sun. Other than the fact that the Son created the sun (John 1:1-3), I see no reason to spiritual this.
Also, though I have read a fair amount on this topic, if I understand you properly, I have never read anybody else say what you did.

Tom

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Tom,

I have never heard anyone say this before either.

I don't believe that I am spiritualizing the text but comparing the old creation with the new in Christ.

Also, if I am spiritualizing the text, so does Malachi in Mal 4:2, NKJV.

"But to you who fear my name The SUN of righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;"

You may be right so I'm not going to quibble over this.

Denny


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Adopted said:
It is my belief that the Scripture in its entirety may be only understood properly by applying the Gospel or the doctrine of "Justification by Faith Alone". There is no reason why this idea may not be applied to the creation account in Genesis also. (In fact this is what Scripture calls us to do) Why may we not consider the Genesis account not only to be historically factual, but to be extremely prophetic and Gospel centered?
Denny,

Your idea of making "Sola Fide" the hermeneutical foundation by which all of Scripture must be submitted and therefore understood, unfortunately cannot be substantiated from Scripture itself. There simply is no warrant to do so that I or anyone else that I have ever read have found. Can you offer your reasons for doing so? The literary context of Genesis 1 and 2 presents itself as a historical account and unless one has a valid reason for seeing it otherwise, it must be taken as it was written and intended.

In His Grace,


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Adopted said:
Also, if I am spiritualizing the text, so does Malachi in Mal 4:2, NKJV.

"But to you who fear my name The SUN of righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;"
Denny,

I would dispute the idea that Malachi 4:2 "spiritualizes" the phrase, "Sun of righteousness", again on hermeneutical and exegetical grounds. For your edification, here is a quote from T.V. Moore (1818-1871), a Presbyterian pastor. He served as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Southern Presbyterian Church in 1867. The quote is from his commentary on Zechariah, Haggai & Malachi, Banner of Truth, 1958.


Wings are attributed to the sun, poetically, in allusion to his apparent motion, just as we read of “the wings of the morning,” in Psa. 139: 9. The image of the sun seems to have been suggested by the expression “day,” used in the preceding verse, in order to make the contrast more striking between the day of terror to the wicked, and of gladness to the righteous. The phrase “Sun of Righteousness” is generally applied to Christ in popular language, and if the ultimate ground of this future gladness and righteousness is brought in view, the phrase is undoubtedly applicable to him. But we cannot think that the prophet here meant to predict Christ personally by this phrase, or indeed to look at the ground of this righteousness at all. His object was to show the contrast that this future day would present to the righteous, from the aspect it would present to the wicked; and while it is true that the foundation of this contrast rests on Christ, yet it is the contrast itself, in its bright and joyous character, rather than the foundation that is here contemplated by the prophet. To leap as a young animal, which after confinement exults in the joyousness of freedom, is a striking image of the joy that the righteous shall feel after being kept so long waiting for deliverance.



In His Grace,


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I have never heard anyone say this before either.

As Southern Seminary NT prof Dr. Bob Stein has said, "If you find something new in the Bible that no one has ever found before, there's probably a good reason why no one else ever did."


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
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As one preacher I've heard has said, and his name escapes me at the moment, "If you find something new in the Bible that no one has ever found before, there's probably a good reason why no one else ever did."

Couldn't agree more. grin


God bless,

william

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Pilgrim,

I can see that I am getting in trouble here.

The original point of the post was to show that our God does not have to comply with a cause and effect logic demanded by "scientists" in the old creation as well as the new. He is perfectly capable of creating light before He creates the physical heavenly bodies that emit or reflect the same. He is perfectly capable because He is sovereign first cause.

As I tried to explain to Tom, I believe that our sun is simply a physical (and Scriptural) metaphor for the Son of Righteousness, Jesus of Nazareth. (Mal 4:2)

I am only suggesting that there is a reason, that is illuminated by the Gospel, for the creation days order of first the evening (darkness) and then the morning (light). Along with that, that the old creation in Adam is a literal and historical "type" of the Gospel to come and the new creation.

With thought, there is actually much more to this. I have never got around to it, but maybe a very interesting essay could be written entitled "Justification by Faith and the Genesis Creation".

Denny

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I looked up Malachi 4:2 in Calvin's commentary and he says "Sun" refers to light. Putting that with the context of this talking about our Lord Jesus Christ, we see Christ being refered to as shedding the Light (Sun) of righteousness.

However, if we go back to Genesis chapter one, unlike the context Malachi 4:2, we see no indication that "light" is Jesus Christ.
Unless of course, I have missed it. If so would you please shed some "light" on the passage for me. giggle

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Denny,

I can appreciate what you are trying to do, but I have to insist that "spiritualizing" or "allegorizing" the HISTORICAL creation account isn't a valid method of doing so. Actually, when such things are forced upon a passage which are contrary to sound exegesis and to the "historico-grammatico" hermeneutic, it tends to discredit the argument as much as the other methods used.

And just in case you aren't aware, I hold tenaciously to a 6 day/24 hour creation (young earth) view. grin The fact that God didn't create the "light-bearers" until the fourth day poses no problem for me whatsoever. There is no necessity to explain how it is that there was light before the sun and moon were created. And perhaps just as important, the ability to explain the phenomena which I believe isn't revealed, means that it isn't for us to know! (Deut 29:29) Speculation on things not revealed most often cause far more problems than trying to offer an explanation. wink

That there are "types", "antitypes" and "foreshadowing" in Scripture is true. But in EVERY case, the antitypes and fulfillment of them is included. We are not to fabricate either, e.g., by imposing a fundamental "grid", e.g., the Gospel upon all of Scripture. Many have done this and wrested the Scriptures to their embarrassment and some to their own destruction. (2Pet 3:16) Therefore I would caution you to be very prudent in how you interpret God's inspired Word.

In His Grace,


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Also, if I am spiritualizing the text, so does Malachi in Mal 4:2, NKJV.

"But to you who fear my name The SUN of righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;"
But, he is writting Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit using Hebrew. What does the "phrase" mean in Hebrew? I see that Jeff answered this below, so I will only add;

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The sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings: There are several translation questions in this clause. The phrase sun of righteousness occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament, so its meaning has been the subject of debate. In Christian tradition going back to early times, this phrase has been interpreted as relating to the coming of the Messiah. While there may be truth in this interpretation from a Christian perspective, it seems unlikely that this was the prophet’s main intention, and translators should avoid building such an interpretation into their translation. A number of English versions (mft, Beck, njb, nlt, nkjv) follow kjv in spelling “Sun” with a capital “S.” This spelling does suggest a reference to the Messiah, and translators should not follow it. The same versions (with the addition of neb) translate “his wings/rays” rather than its wings, and this further strengthens the suggestion. (Beck and nkjv even spell “His” with a capital “H.”) It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word for sun, which is usually masculine, is in this sentence feminine, so a literal translation would be “her wings,” but only Hill translates like that. This is a warning to translators not to read more into a text than the original writer intended. If translators wish to point out the tradition of interpreting this verse in relation to the Messiah, they should do so in a footnote (as jb does), not in the text.

Clark, David J., and Howard Hatton. A Handbook on Malachi. UBS handbook series, Page 462. New York: United Bible Societies, 2002.


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Tom, J. Edwards and Pilgrim,

A half dozen angry Presbyterians cannot all be wrong so I must be.

I still "feel" that there is something there but I know that my feelings are hardly a standard by which to interpret Scripture.

"Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

Maybe we may all agree at least upon a common hope and goal.

Denny


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Tom, J. Edwards and Pilgrim,

A half dozen angry Presbyterians cannot all be wrong so I must be.
Well Tom is a Baptist, Jeff is a ?, and I am a Presby (at present, however I am very dissatisfied with a lot in the PCA) and we are not angry with you. However what is fantastic here is (1) you are willing to ask questions (2) you are willing to learn, and (3) me thinks will continue to study the subject out for yourself as even the three stooges above can be wrong sometimes. 3stooges


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Tom, J. Edwards and Pilgrim,

A half dozen angry Presbyterians cannot all be wrong so I must be.
Well Tom is a Baptist, Jeff is a ?, and I am a Presby (at present, however I am very dissatisfied with a lot in the PCA) and we are not angry with you. However what is fantastic here is (1) you are willing to ask questions (2) you are willing to learn, and (3) me thinks will continue to study the subject out for yourself as even the three stooges above can be wrong sometimes. 3stooges

What's a matter Joe can't you spell Presbygationalist? Or is that Congreteriaon? rofl I think we should just call Jeff Pilgrim I think that answers it all. grin


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Tom said:
In one of the links that rmwilliamsjr provided it talked about people such as Origen and Augustine who believed that the days of creation were not literal 24 hour days, mainly because they had trouble with the creation of the sun on the fourth day, if it was 6/24 hour days.

So my question is, did this belief on the creation affect their over all view of interpreting Scripture? Please show evidence if possible.

Also, what do you believe are the natural consequences of not believing in a literal 6/24hr. days? Please show evidence, if possible.

How would you account for the creation of the sun, on the 4th day if you believe in 6/24 hr. days?

Please understand, I am completely in favor of a literal understanding of the creation account. But thought these questions would prove to be an interesting conversation.

Tom

On the first day of creation, God created light. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5 ESV)

A question comes to mind in looking at this topic: What is the nature and source of the "light" created on day 1 of creation?

Is this the same "light" found in Revelation 21? And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day--and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27)

Seeking to understand the Word of God,
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And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

The only problem I see with the light in Genesis 1 and Revelation being the same (lamb). Is though in Revelation we know the lamp is the "lamb", the Genesis account does not say this.
I think the only thing certain we can say about the Genesis account, is that is was something God put in place.

Tom

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And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

The only problem I see with the light in Genesis 1 and Revelation being the same (lamb). Is though in Revelation we know the lamp is the "lamb", the Genesis account does not say this.
I think the only thing certain we can say about the Genesis account, is that is was something God put in place.

Tom

Thank you, Tom. I've read that in several commentaries on Genesis 1.

I was noodling on the ORIGINAL topic a few minutes ago and the thought dawned on me that one of the presuppositions in the "lack of sun" argument for non-24-hour "days" before God created the sun is a the presupposition that God needs the sun in order for their to be a 24-hour day.

This, of course, is MUCH too limited a view of God, in my simple mind . . . . . .

Thankfully yours,
Ted

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And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

The only problem I see with the light in Genesis 1 and Revelation being the same (lamb). Is though in Revelation we know the lamp is the "lamb", the Genesis account does not say this.
I think the only thing certain we can say about the Genesis account, is that is was something God put in place.

Tom

Of course, on the other hand, we are ignoring John 1 if we think the lamb was NOT there "in the beginning." wink

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 ESV

This is a good discussion topic, Tom. I am sorry that I missed out on it as it was developing.

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Greetings all,

I'm the author of the Framework papers listed earlier in this thread. Tom invited me to come join you for a nice discussion on the meaning of the word yom, and I happily accepted.

Interestingly I just discovered today that Andrew Steinmann's article is available online in case you'd like to read his article along with my summary in the addendum paper to verify that I understood and represented him correctly. It's now linked from here:
http://home.comcast.net/~babucher/framework_interpretation.html

So, how should I jump into this thread? Are there any questions you'd like me to address from the perspective of a Framework advocate?

Blessings,
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Hi Brian,

Welcome. I do have one initial question: in your opinion, is the framework hypothesis something that arises naturally out of the text of Genesis in such a way that skilled exegetes of the past centuries recognised it? Or is it something that we only recognised once science told us the earth was older then we thought?

Thanks.


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Excellent starting point Henry. I too would be curious where the framework theory has been taught before the 20th century. Dr. Terry Mortenson has done some excellent research demonstrating that the shift from a biblical, 6 ordinary days view of Genesis to long age views of Genesis began to take place during the 1800s when secular geologists (or really who were wannabe geologists who had the money to invest in the study of rocks) postulated that the earth was millions of years old and that the Genesis narrative was myth. The frame work theory, along with the day age theory, gap theory, et. al. emerged from that historic matrix. Before that turning point (the name of Mortenson's book) pretty much all orthodox, Bible believing Christians understood the Genesis record in a straight forward, historical manner. The same way we would understand the history of Joshua, 1 Samuel, Kings and so forth.



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Oddly enough, that's the same argument paedo-baptists use; before 1600, the Church practiced OIKOS baptism. Not really looking for a threadjack here, just showing an inconsistency.


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Just to clarify, they also taught baptismal regeneration along with their views of OIKOS baptism. Their convictions were born more along by sacarmentalism than textual study.
but, that is for another thread.

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Here are some articles that you may enjoy on creation. Some do refute the framework theory very well, while yet others deal with varying aspects of creation. Enjoy.


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Just to clarify myself, my question wasn't making so much of a point for historical continuity (i.e. the framwork hypthesis is wrong because it goes against what was previously taught, period) as it was for the point of allowing extra-biblical voices to influence our exegesis.

If we've been wrong all these centuries, then prove it from scripture, and prove we could have "been right" all these centuries had we been faithful to Scripture. But that's not what's happening with these revisionistic interpretations of Genesis: these are letting worldly "science" dictate how we interpret Scripture, which is an abandonment of Sola Scriptura.

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J_Edwards said:
Here are some articles that you may enjoy on creation. Some do refute the framework theory very well, while yet others deal with varying aspects of creation. Enjoy.

all the capo papers are off line and have been for several months. does anyone know if they are posted elsewhere? google leads to capo only.
for instance:
http://capo.org/holdfast0.html
http://capo.org/newdivines.html
http://capo.org/creationRevise.html

even much the google cache for capo is not listed
cache for only a few pages available.

....

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Henry said:
Hi Brian,

Welcome. I do have one initial question: in your opinion, is the framework hypothesis something that arises naturally out of the text of Genesis in such a way that skilled exegetes of the past centuries recognised it? Or is it something that we only recognised once science told us the earth was older then we thought?

Hi Henry,

Well, first I would take issue with the way you attempt to frame the question. It is entirely possible that a correct interpretation can be arrived at naturally out of the text, and for it not to have been seen before by skilled exegetes. As I say in the paper:

"Although an interpretation that has the majority report in church history must be taken seriously, it is simply inappropriate to let history dictate our conclusions. As our knowledge of societies and cultures much different than our own increases we must be prepared to revise our views in light of new context. Semper reformanda (always reforming) must be our motto in both word and practice as we investigate what Scripture has to say."

The discovering of the supporting arguments for the Framework Interpretation might be the product of us having to go back and revisit something we thought we knew, once we discovered that God created things longer ago than we thought. Study of nature can lead us to re-examine things. Actually, a really good question is whether or not this pattern was seen in the text long ago:

Day 1 Light----------Day 4 Luminaries
Day 2 Sky / Seas-----Day 5 Sea / winged creatues
Day 4 Land----------Day 6 Land animals
------Vegetation----------Man

[arg, having difficulty with the formatting..oh well]

I don't think there's much dispute that this parallel framework is found in the text. Did past exegetes see it? I'm not really sure. I've been more concerned with evaluating the present arguments for each side rather than the history of interpretaiton, which is certainly an interesting issue.

Hopefully that communicates my thoughts well enough. Thanks for the question.

Brian

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J_Edwards said:
Here are some articles that you may enjoy on creation. Some do refute the framework theory very well, while yet others deal with varying aspects of creation. Enjoy.

J_edwards, I'd be interested to hear what you think in those articles actually refutes the FI. If you look at the bibliography in my paper, you'll see that I took account of several anti-FI works and dealt with the objections found in them. Are there any particular points you think have not been adequately addressed or were you only offering a pointer to additional resources (which is perfectly fine of course)?

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BrianB said:
"Although an interpretation that has the majority report in church history must be taken seriously, it is simply inappropriate to let history dictate our conclusions. As our knowledge of societies and cultures much different than our own increases we must be prepared to revise our views in light of new context. Semper reformanda (always reforming) must be our motto in both word and practice as we investigate what Scripture has to say."

The discovering of the supporting arguments for the Framework Interpretation might be the product of us having to go back and revisit something we thought we knew, once we discovered that God created things longer ago than we thought. Study of nature can lead us to re-examine things.
What you seem to want to gloss over is exactly that which many of us who hold to the "historical" view (6 24-hour day creation) deem to be the fundamental issue. How others have understood the text throughout history, especially biblical history cannot and should not be relegated to an inferior source when trying to come to the truth of creation. Perhaps you have dealt with this issue in your paper(s)? I haven't read them, so I would like to give you the opportunity to address this issue.

It seems to me when I read God's infallible Word, that throughout its history, not one individual, including and particularly the Lord Christ believed anything but that God created the universe in 6 24-hour days. So, it isn't just what previous theologians in more recent history have concluded from the text, but what has been held as true from the very beginning. I will assume that it isn't necessary for me to provide the long list of texts to prove my point. grin But one cogent example would be the worship of God on the Sabbath day, i.e., one day in seven which even Adam and Eve practiced as did all who followed after them. The requirement was again reestablished by God when He gave Moses the Decalog on Sinai and which can only be logically understood if one assumes a literal 24-hour day, which the Commandment itself asserts as fact.

To posit that we must "reform" our doctrine of Scripture due to the ever changing scientific "evidence", new knowledge of cultures and societies, etc., would in essence deny that God has communicated in propositional truth with the expressed purpose of enlightening the minds of men of ALL ages. I can't help but think of how we are told one day by the "ever-reforming" medical community, that eating chocolate is injurious to our health. But not long thereafter, another "more reliable study" comes out which says that eating chocolate is beneficial to one's health. Thankfully, God, being all-wise, isn't bound by the winds of change. Nor is He subject to "Sempera Reformanda" as He gains knowledge of scientific studies, knowledge of cultures and societies, etc. But God revealed Himself in a perfect manner so that the fundamentals of truth, one of which is how He created all things, is and can be known by men; from the first to the last, and yes, even by children.

Lastly, although you will surely consider this next reason less than substantial, it nonetheless is a valid one. Can it possibly be true that for nearly 6000+ years, every man, woman and child who has ever lived has been wrong in their belief that God created the earth in 6 24-hour days? And if they were wrong about that basic doctrine, how many other things has man been wrong about concerning God, Christ, salvation, etc.?? [Linked Image]

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Brian

First of all, welcome to the Highway.

My question to you, do you get your framework view from the Scripture's themselves, or did you get it from outside sources (i.e. science) being brought into interpret Scripture?
The reason why I ask this is because (among other things) if it is the later, it would have been impossible to come to that conclusion until fairly recently in history.

Also, if I am wrong on that last part, can you give examples of the framework model throughout history?

Tom

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Yup, sounds like exactly the same argument. For (enter number here) the church was wrong in both belief and practice due to (place reason here). I bet we get that exact argument from the framework folks.


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Brian, Welcome to the forum hello

First let me say that I believe in the historic view of creation (6/24). While I do find the Framework Interpretation (FI) interesting it has only made the historic view (which is not without its difficulties) more concrete in my heart. Thus, for this reason I enjoy (when I have time) discussing it.

Second, I have had two professors in the past attempt to teach me this view (Dr Futato and Dr. Waltke) who are both highly respected in their fields of OT and the study of Hebrew and other languages, et. AL. While I appreciated other things both of these professors taught, I did not find their arguments for these views convincing. Pipa’s (From Chaos to Cosmos) does a good job IMO of critiquing Futato (Kline).

Third, the FI denies historic Christianity, which is no small matter. TMK “no” theologian of antiquity has ever embraced FI (please correct me if I am wrong here and site the source and quote(s)…). If the FI is correct why do we not even find a hint of it in the OT/NT? What we actually find in the text are pointers toward 6/24.

Fourth, to accept the FI worldview means one is accepting a scientific worldview first and foremost as truth. I know of “no” one who holds to the FI that maintains a young earth view (maybe I have not read enough). As matter a fact one of the claimed strengths of the FI is that it removes the possibility of conflict between the theories of modern scientists (old earth) and the Bible (young earth). While I am sure that is not the intent of these theologians, IMO it elevates science to the same level of truth as Scripture. Sola Scientifica or Sola Scriptura—I guess we will have to remove the sola?

Fifth, I have problems with the FI seeing Gen 1 as a mere poem versus a historical account of creation. Although Genesis one may include poetic elements, it is not Hebrew poetry. The parallel construction that is the main characteristic of Hebrew poetry is missing. The OT does contain poetry about creation (Job 38:4-15; Ps 104; Is 40:21-31), and its literary form is quite distinct from that in Gen 1. Gen 1 is an historical narrative. [Young]

Lastly, embracers of FI maintain that their view does away with the alleged conflict in interpreting Gen 1 & 2 (compare, Genesis 2:4-6; Genesis 2:19-20). Gunn points out, that it is argued that God created the whole vegetable and animal kingdoms before the creation of Adam according to Genesis one and after the creation of Adam according to Genesis two. However, I see Gen 1:1-2:3 as a general account of the creation of the universe and Gen 2:4f as a detailed account of the creation of man, woman and the garden, and the historical developments which immediately followed.

This relationship between Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25 is implied by the word translated history or generations (toledoth) in Genesis 2:4a. This word "never tells how things or persons came into being. It tells what happened after such things or persons had appeared on the scene,” (H.C. Leupold, A Exposition of Genesis). In Genesis 2:4a, the statement "These are the toledoth of the heavens and the earth" means "not the coming of heaven and earth into existence, but the events that followed the establishment of heaven and earth (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Waltke a holder of FI, himself an editor?). Just as the tholedoth of Noah, for example, do not mention his birth, but contain his history and the birth of his sons; so the tholedoth of the heavens and the earth do not describe the origin of the universe, but what happened to the heavens and the earth after their creation (C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament). [Gunn]

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Hey, I thought we were going to leave that for another thread!


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Henry said:
But that's not what's happening with these revisionistic interpretations of Genesis: these are letting worldly "science" dictate how we interpret Scripture, which is an abandonment of Sola Scriptura.

Well, it looks like you've already determined that the Framework Interpretation cannot be the best interpretation. Since it disagrees with the YEC interpretation it therefore MUST be the result of having science dictate how we interpret the text. No offense intended, but I've had my fill of this kind of closedminded thinking in other conversations.

To simply declare the FI out of bounds because it doesn't match what you already believe is the essense of closedmindeness. Besides that, you're understanding of sola Scriptura is highly flawed. Nothing in sola Scriptura says we cannot make use of extra-biblical information to help us understand how to interpret the text.

Brian

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Pilgrim said:
What you seem to want to gloss over is exactly that which many of us who hold to the "historical" view (6 24-hour day creation) deem to be the fundamental issue. How others have understood the text throughout history, especially biblical history cannot and should not be relegated to an inferior source when trying to come to the truth of creation. Perhaps you have dealt with this issue in your paper(s)? I haven't read them, so I would like to give you the opportunity to address this issue.
My paper dealt with what is the best interpretation of the text, not how it has been interpreted historically. The paper is a theory-evaluation work, not a historical work. That said, I do not call the history of interpretation of the passage an 'inferior source' as far as I know. It is important to take account of, but again, it cannot dictate our conclusions.

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It seems to me when I read God's infallible Word, that throughout its history, not one individual, including and particularly the Lord Christ believed anything but that God created the universe in 6 24-hour days. So, it isn't just what previous theologians in more recent history have concluded from the text, but what has been held as true from the very beginning. I will assume that it isn't necessary for me to provide the long list of texts to prove my point.

I don't see anywhere in the Bible that indicates anyone believed the creation was in 6 24-hour days. If you'd like to offer texts that you think require the 24-hour interpretation, feel free to do so.

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But one cogent example would be the worship of God on the Sabbath day, i.e., one day in seven which even Adam and Eve practiced as did all whom followed after them. The requirement was again reestablished by God when He gave Moses the Decalog on Sinai and which can only be logically understood if one assumes a literal 24-hour day, which the Commandment itself asserts as fact.

I don't see why that is the case. What is your evidence for this claim?



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Lastly, although you will surely consider this next reason less than substantial, it nonetheless is a valid one. Can it possibly be true that for nearly 6000+ years, every man, woman and child who has ever lived has been wrong in their belief that God created the earth in 6 24-hour days?

That's quite a claim you make there. Perhaps you could begin by showing without doubt that Augustine believed that God created the earth in 6 24-hour days.

Brian

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Tom said:
Brian

First of all, welcome to the Highway.

Hi Tom, and thanks for the welcome. It's good to be here, though I'm leaving in just a little while for a small-group retreat and will be out of touch for a few days.

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My question to you, do you get your framework view from the Scripture's themselves, or did you get it from outside sources (i.e. science) being brought into interpret Scripture?

From the text, not from outside sources. As I show in my papers, there are excellent exegetical reasons for considering the Framework view to be superior to both the 24-hour and Day-Age views.

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The reason why I ask this is because (among other things) if it is the later, it would have been impossible to come to that conclusion until fairly recently in history.

I agree with you here. I would also point out that just because we in the church don't have records of seeing something until now doesn't mean it was therefore impossible to come by. I'm unaware of anyone in ancient times seeing the parallel structure of:

Day 1 / 4
Day 2 / 5
Day 3 / 6

But does anyone here want to argue that the parallels between the days are non-existant and forced on the text?

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Also, if I am wrong on that last part, can you give examples of the framework model throughout history?

As far as I know we have no documentation that contains the FI that would qualify as 'old'.

Hope this helps,
Brian

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J_Edwards said:
Brian, Welcome to the forum hello

Hiya J_Edwards,
Thanks for the welcome, I'm grateful for the invitation and am glad to join you guys. You raise some interesting points, but I'm heading out for the weekend as well, so we'll have to pick this up when we're back. One thing I'd like to know, which arguments from Pipa did you find most persuasive? I certainly remember reading his paper and interacting with what I thought were substantive objections, but I'd be interested to hear which you personally find the most persuasive.

Regards and I'll be back in a couple of days,
Brian

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Hi, and welcome.

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To simply declare the FI out of bounds because it doesn't match what you already believe is the essense of closedmindeness.

Unless what we already believe is the truth. Simply claiming a system of belief false does not necessitate closedmindedness.


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BrianB said:
My paper dealt with what is the best interpretation of the text, not how it has been interpreted historically. The paper is a theory-evaluation work, not a historical work. That said, I do not call the history of interpretation of the passage an 'inferior source' as far as I know. It is important to take account of, but again, it cannot dictate our conclusions.
I guess I'll have to browse your "paper" and see how you exegetically find your Framework view and how the historic Grammatico-Historico hermeneutic fails to interpret the text correctly. grin

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You also remarked:I don't see anywhere in the Bible that indicates anyone believed the creation was in 6 24-hour days. If you'd like to offer texts that you think require the 24-hour interpretation, feel free to do so.

{and questioning the validity of the Sabbath being one day in seven, i.e., one 24 hour day in a 7 solar day week, which is inextricable joined with and dependent upon the 6 24-hour day creation}

I don't see why that is the case. What is your evidence for this claim?
I'll do much better than offering a few texts but rather the Analogy of Faith, which our forefathers relied upon and from which all our doctrines were derived. Since I will need to take the time to go through your "paper" to learn of your hermeneutic and critique your exegesis, if you truly desire to learn how one must hold to a 6 day 24-hour creation since the Sabbath is grounded it upon it, thus proving that ALL of biblical history supports it, go here: The Covenantal Sabbath.

In regard to my assertion that every man woman and child for the last 6000 years, until recent history has believed in a 6 24-hour day creation and thus they have been wrong in regard to this doctrine:

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you wrote:
That's quite a claim you make there. Perhaps you could begin by showing without doubt that Augustine believed that God created the earth in 6 24-hour days.
I can only guess that you would claim that Augustine's rationes seminales contradicts the historical view and can actually open the door for the theory of Evolution at worst or FI at best? What Augustine did insist upon was creavit omnia simul, God created all things simultaneously, which in itself would disallow both Evolutionary theory and your Framework view.

Aside from Augustine, my comment, albeit admittedly a bit hyperbolic, is a valid one since the overwhelming majority of people since biblical history (I've already challenged you to show me any proof from biblical history that anyone held to anything other than the traditional view of creation) have embraced the traditional view of a 6 24-hour day creation. In fact the entire ceremonial practice and civil infrastructure is grounded upon it.

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William

In the interest of fair dialogue, I think it is imperative that Brian be allowed to support his claims.
Saying that his view is wrong without giving support is in my opinion telling him that you may not be interested in what he has to say.
I for one because I invited him here (after Joe suggested it), am interested in fair dialogue. Even though I must admit, that any evidence he submits will have to be pretty convincing in order for me to embrace it.

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In the interest of fair dialogue, I think it is imperative that Brian be allowed to support his claims.

Where have I ever stated otherwise? Although I think the use of the word imperative is a bit strong.

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Saying that his view is wrong without giving support is in my opinion telling him that you may not be interested in what he has to say.

Where did I ever say he was wrong? Where did I ever say I wasn't interested? Why MUST we be interested? Does ones level of interest affect the truth?


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Brian,

I'm not going to barrage you with questions here, because I know between myself and the others you'll have a lot on your plate when you get back from the weekend, but...

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BrianB said:
Besides that, you're understanding of sola Scriptura is highly flawed. Nothing in sola Scriptura says we cannot make use of extra-biblical information to help us understand how to interpret the text.

Brian

Sorry, but no. This looks like this is going to be our biggest bone of contention. Sola Scriptura means Scripture alone. Period.

If you are wanting to get pedantic, the historical-grammatical hermeneutic does of course take into consideration information not strictly contained in the words of Scripture, in the form of historical background and other things which the author/original readers would have understood, in order to make a proper interpretation of the text. Such as, understanding Palestinian geography when we read the Gospels.

But this is simply seeking to understand Scripture as purely as we can, keeping in mind the author's intent, etc. On the other hand, we are flatly denying the authority and sufficiency of Scripture when we allow wordly Science to tell us that everything we've believed about the Bible all along is wrong. (Before the 19th century, we had no reason to doubt the literalness of the Genesis account.) If I am wrong in this, please prove it to me, don't just dismiss me as close minded.

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Ok, thanks for the clarification. Based on your answer, I misunderstood you. My apologies. blush bash

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BrianB said:
Besides that, you're understanding of sola Scriptura is highly flawed. Nothing in sola Scriptura says we cannot make use of extra-biblical information to help us understand how to interpret the text.

Brian

Sorry, but no. This looks like this is going to be our biggest bone of contention. Sola Scriptura means Scripture alone. Period.

If you are wanting to get pedantic, the historical-grammatical hermeneutic does of course take into consideration information not strictly contained in the words of Scripture, in the form of historical background and other things which the author/original readers would have understood, in order to make a proper interpretation of the text. Such as, understanding Palestinian geography when we read the Gospels.

But this is simply seeking to understand Scripture as purely as we can, keeping in mind the author's intent, etc. On the other hand, we are flatly denying the authority and sufficiency of Scripture when we allow wordly Science to tell us that everything we've believed about the Bible all along is wrong. (Before the 19th century, we had no reason to doubt the literalness of the Genesis account.) If I am wrong in this, please prove it to me, don't just dismiss me as close minded.

Scripture alone does not mean Scripture by itself.
Anymore than the analogy of faith using the eye:
faith only saves just as an eye only sees.
but faith alone doesn't save anymore than an eye alone on a table sees, both are part of a greater required matrix.

I've seen this idea of Scripture referred to as Solo Scriptura and the problem of the canon is crucial for this misunderstanding of Sola Scriptura. For the table of contents of our Bible is not itself part of Scripture but is understand with reference to things outside of Scripture, like church history.

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rmwilliamsjr said:
I've seen this idea of Scripture referred to as Solo Scriptura and the problem of the canon is crucial for this misunderstanding of Sola Scriptura. For the table of contents of our Bible is not itself part of Scripture but is understand with reference to things outside of Scripture, like church history.

The problem of the canon? Could you explain what you are trying to say here? I'm not following you.


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It's not difficult to understand.
Open up your Bible, where is the table of contents?
internal or external to Scripture?

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rmwilliamsjr said:
It's not difficult to understand.
Open up your Bible, where is the table of contents?
internal or external to Scripture?
I find that not only irrelevant but rather trite! rolleyes2 No one (okay there must have been at least one fruitcake out there) has formulated a doctrine based upon the "Table of Contents", or chapter headings, etc. The issue is, should the conclusions of non-biblical writers derived from anti-Christian/anti-biblical presuppositions influence the hermeneutic used to interpret the Bible and/or the doctrines which result from it?

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I respectfully disagree, i believe that the listing of books in the table of contents of a Bible is in fact of great importance to the issue. The canon is external to Scripture, that is why there are at least 2 major different listings (Protestant and RC), and why the WCF makes a listing of the canon the first thing it does. But nowhere in Scripture itself does it define this list.

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rmwilliamsjr said:
I respectfully disagree, i believe that the listing of books in the table of contents of a Bible is in fact of great importance to the issue. The canon is external to Scripture, that is why there are at least 2 major different listings (Protestant and RC), and why the WCF makes a listing of the canon the first thing it does. But nowhere in Scripture itself does it define this list.
And I likewise disagree with your position. Why? Because I am a PROTESTANT and not a member of the Roman State Church. The Canon is and was derived from Scripture itself and not, as the Roman Church boasts, the product of its own doing. If no man ever set forth a list of the inspired writings which make up what we know as the Canon, they would nevertheless exist and all others would be spurious. Likewise, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, although extrapolated by men, is inherently God's revealed will.

In truth the form and extent of the Bible exists independent of any man's determination. It is by the guidance of God Himself; the Holy Spirit Who leads men into the truth and thus enables them to recognize what God has created, formed and revealed.

And it is totally erroneous to attempt to justify a theory of how the universe came to be, which is based upon an unbiblical presupposition, by claiming that it is somehow remotely similar to a Table of Contents that lists the inspired writings; aka: Canon.


"Without absolutes revealed from without by God Himself, we are left rudderless in a sea of conflicting ideas about manners, justice and right and wrong, issuing from a multitude of self-opinionated thinkers." - John Owen (1616-1683)



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I respectfully disagree, i believe that the listing of books in the table of contents of a Bible is in fact of great importance to the issue. The canon is external to Scripture, that is why there are at least 2 major different listings (Protestant and RC), and why the WCF makes a listing of the canon the first thing it does. But nowhere in Scripture itself does it define this list.
So you are saying that the order of the books in the Bible are man-made and different versions commonly arrange the books in different orders: like the Jewish Bible with its order (the Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim) and our Protestant O.T. Then you are applying this principle to creation saying we can use an outside source (man’s modern logic—science) to interpret Scripture. I must agree with Pilgrim here that this is not even related to the issue.

Modern Science was not even in existence in the days when Moses wrote Genesis. To take modern science and read it upon Genesis will not interpret the “original meaning” of the text. We must understand that Genesis had meaning for the people of Moses’ time and this is the meaning we are after. What would a Jew reading Genesis in Moses’ time have thought it meant?

A common flaw in all of our interpretations “from time to time” is to jump ahead and use “our” experiences and “our” ideas to interpret Scripture. We do it all the time. A while back we were discussing Isa 7:14 and everyone jumped to the conclusion that it was Jesus, but hardly anyone saw it was a prophecy fulfilled in Isa 8:1ff, etc. While the end result is Jesus, it is Him is a more profound and definite way (holy war is inaugurated, etc.) …. Many a Baptist here must admit when they look to Romans 6 and the word “buried” they have read upon it the idea of a “US burial rite.” However, Jesus was not buried by this process … How many times have I heard Jesus was buried all the way and I must be immersed all the way…… However Jesus was also buried in a tomb sideways and I have yet to see anyone baptized sideways. scratch1 These are common interpretative flaws and if not governed by Scripture they get us into much error.


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Well, I of course take issue with the Baptism example, but if I'm not wandering too far off topic, one further example that springs to mind is 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." I don't know how many times I've heard that verse applied to the US or Canada, saying that if we Christians all repent, then "our land," that is, our modern, secular countries and governments, are somehow going to get "healed." Whether that means revivial, English/French reconcilliation (in Canada), or health care reform, it's hard to say. The blatant misuse of Scripture is sad.

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You are drawing too much out of my statement.
In this thread, it has been stated that using anything external to Scripture, for example, modern science, to help understand Scripture is not Sola Scriptura. My point is that this idea is wrong because the very listing of the books, not the order, but which books are included and which books are excluded, ie the formation of the canon, is a problem not internal to Scripture, but is a problem of history. To even print a Table of Contents for our Bibles requires the introduction of history, not the chapters and verse divisions, not the order of the books, but the ever essential which books are in the Bible. My only point is that the canon is meta-to-Scripture. It does not exist inside of Scripture, there is no listing of the canon anywhere in the Bible, it is in fact on a different level than Scripture. Where the canon is intellectually, how this relates to modern science, etc etc is well beyond my modest attempts to distinguish between Sola Scriptura and Solo Scriptura. I've made no analogy to modern science nor to i desire to, my only desire is to understand that Scripture alone, by itself, ie just me and my Bible, is not the historical understanding of Sola Scriptura but is a deformation of the crucial idea.

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In this thread, it has been stated that using anything external to Scripture, for example, modern science, to help understand Scripture is not Sola Scriptura.
First, Henry did not say anything external to Scripture is not Sola Scriptura.. In his explanation he stated,

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If you are wanting to get pedantic, the historical-grammatical hermeneutic does of course take into consideration information not strictly contained in the words of Scripture, in the form of historical background and other things which the author/original readers would have understood, in order to make a proper interpretation of the text. Such as, understanding Palestinian geography when we read the Gospels.
Thus, there are things which are useful and other things which are not useful.

Second, what science will you hold over the text of Scripture: geography, modern biology, modern astronomy, modern … ? Which science, philosophy, etc. is the key to biblical interpretation? Sola Scriptura NEVER meant for one to embrace “other sciences” upon Scripture as the rule (or exegetical miracle) for determining truth. Natural Revelation is always to be interpreted by special revelation and then appropriately applied. However, if the “other sciences” are being held up as the primary interpreter of the text then you are asserting natural revelation over special.

Would you not agree that there is some history that would be bad to read upon the text? Of course, you would. What is your grounds for determining what is good history and bad?—the text of Scripture would be a good guess. In this case concerning “creation” what we are saying is that the original audience could not have been thinking about the ever-changing “modern science” paradigm when reading the text and thus you would be in error to impose it upon the text. Modern science cannot be used as the central key of interpretation, though at times it may be confirmatory; like archeology confirming the existence of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now I do not believe in Sodom and Gomorrah because archeology has determined it existed. I believe Sodom and Gomorrah existed because the Scripture says they did. However, now I have some “scientific” confirmation that the text of Scripture is correct (however, I use this "scientific evidence" cautiously, if at all). Science can be used to confirm the “original meaning,” however it should not be used to give us the “original meaning.”


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Hi J_Edwards, I'm finally getting back to your post here.

Oh, and I'm going to work through this thread as if I were in a conversation. If something has been addressed later than some of what I write might be redundant.


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J_Edwards said:
Brian, Welcome to the forum hello

First let me say that I believe in the historic view of creation (6/24). While I do find the Framework Interpretation (FI) interesting it has only made the historic view (which is not without its difficulties) more concrete in my heart. Thus, for this reason I enjoy (when I have time) discussing it.

Glad to hear that you enjoy discussing the FI, even if you don't agree with it. Part of my task is, of course, to try and get you to change your mind, but even if you don't I hope our appreciation of the Lord grows through this exchange.

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Second, I have had two professors in the past attempt to teach me this view (Dr Futato and Dr. Waltke) who are both highly respected in their fields of OT and the study of Hebrew and other languages, et. AL. While I appreciated other things both of these professors taught, I did not find their arguments for these views convincing. Pipa’s (From Chaos to Cosmos) does a good job IMO of critiquing Futato (Kline).

Right, like I mentioned before I'd be interested to see what specific arguments from Pipa you found convincing.

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Third, the FI denies historic Christianity, which is no small matter. TMK “no” theologian of antiquity has ever embraced FI (please correct me if I am wrong here and site the source and quote(s)…). If the FI is correct why do we not even find a hint of it in the OT/NT? What we actually find in the text are pointers toward 6/24.

As far as your statement that the FI "denies historic Christianity" - I'm not very comfortable with that phrase. If you only mean that it is not the most common understanding of the church, then I agree with that (as I've stated), but to me the phrase "denies historic Christianity" applies to interpretations/people that deny those doctrines that have demarcated orthodox Christianity from non-orthodox, such as monotheism, the resurrection of Jesus, etc. I consider the interpretation of the days of Genesis 1 not even close to a central doctrine, and I'm supported by the fact that the creeds don't either.

Also, I don't think we find pointers toward the 6/24 view elsewhere in the Bible. If you'd like to bring up specific passages we can discuss them. I've already discussed some in my papers.

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Fourth, to accept the FI worldview means one is accepting a scientific worldview first and foremost as truth.

I disagree. You'll need to make an argument for that claim.

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Fifth, I have problems with the FI seeing Gen 1 as a mere poem versus a historical account of creation.

I don't consider and have never said that Genesis 1 is mere poem. It does convey some 'historical' information, but doesn't convey as much as some (YECs, Day-Agers) think it does.

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This relationship between Genesis 1:1-2:3 and Genesis 2:4-25 is implied by the word translated history or generations (toledoth) in Genesis 2:4a

I think we agree on the use of toledoth and how it links the sections of Genesis. Duane Garrett wrote a book called Rethinking Genesis in which he gives an actually supportable use of form criticism (using the ANE form of ancestor epic I think it was) to show the unity of the Genesis stories. Along with this he discusses toledoth and it's use, and I found his presentation persuasive. Good book. I highly recommend it.

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Have fun, I need to go take care of some personal business for a few days.

Thanks, and I'm now back! I look forward to your next round of comments.

Regards,
Brian

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averagefellar said:
Hi, and welcome.
Thanks, and hello as well.

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To simply declare the FI out of bounds because it doesn't match what you already believe is the essense of closedmindeness.

Unless what we already believe is the truth. Simply claiming a system of belief false does not necessitate closedmindedness.

I completely agree. I claim that both the 24hr and Day-Age views are false, and this doesn't necessarily make me closedminded. But what if I said:

"The only reason that people believe the 24hr view is because they are enslaved to man-made traditions."

To me that would communicate that I'm not willing to listen to 24hr proponents because I've already determined the source of their error (which presupposes they are in error).

That's the impression I got. So I agree with you completely.

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Brian

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Hiya Pilgrim,

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Pilgrim said:
I guess I'll have to browse your "paper" and see how you exegetically find your Framework view and how the historic Grammatico-Historico hermeneutic fails to interpret the text correctly.

It's not that the GH hermeneutic fails, it's that there was context that was missing. The tool is fine, it just wasn't used quite right. wink

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I'll do much better than offering a few texts but rather the Analogy of Faith, which our forefathers relied upon and from which all our doctrines were derived. Since I will need to take the time to go through your "paper" to learn of your hermeneutic and critique your exegesis, if you truly desire to learn how one must hold to a 6 day 24-hour creation since the Sabbath is grounded it upon it, thus proving that ALL of biblical history supports it, go here: The Covenantal Sabbath.

I await your supporting argumentation for the claim that:

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"The requirement was again reestablished by God when He gave Moses the Decalog on Sinai and which can only be logically understood if one assumes a literal 24-hour day, which the Commandment itself asserts as fact."

It looks like The Covenantal Sabbath could easily be a weeks worth of reading, so I'll just have to request that you summarize the logic leads to the conclusion that the requirement can ONLY be logically understood if one assumes a literal 24-hour day.

I see no reason God couldn't give the requirement for Israelite sabbath-keeping if the FI were the correct interpretation of Genesis 1.

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I can only guess that you would claim that Augustine's rationes seminales contradicts the historical view and can actually open the door for the theory of Evolution at worst or FI at best?

I'm not claiming anything. It was my understanding that Augustine did not hold to the 6/24 view, opting for a metaphorical view instead. I was simply asking you to back up your assertion beginning with Augustine.

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What Augustine did insist upon was creavit omnia simul, God created all things simultaneously, which in itself would disallow both Evolutionary theory and your Framework view.

Sorry, but the issue was 'Did others hold to non-6/24 views?' and I think we now know the answer is yes. Beside, it doesn't matter what Augustine believed about how God created. What matters (for this discussion) is how he interpreted the Genesis 1 text. They are related, but not the same thing.

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Aside from Augustine, my comment, albeit admittedly a bit hyperbolic, is a valid one since the overwhelming majority of people since biblical history (I've already challenged you to show me any proof from biblical history that anyone held to anything other than the traditional view of creation) have embraced the traditional view of a 6 24-hour day creation.


I don't accept that challenge. It's not relevant for my involvement for my part in this discussion, which as I said is a matter of theory-evaluation not history of interpretation.

Regards,
Brian

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Tom said:
I for one because I invited him here (after Joe suggested it), am interested in fair dialogue. Even though I must admit, that any evidence he submits will have to be pretty convincing in order for me to embrace it.

Tom, I think you have the right approach. I wouldn't have it any other way. (thumbs up!)

Brian

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Hi again Henry,

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Henry said:
Sorry, but no. This looks like this is going to be our biggest bone of contention. Sola Scriptura means Scripture alone. Period.

Sola Scriptura means Scripture alone is the ultimate source of divine revelation available to us today. It doesn't mean other things can't help us to understand it.

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If you are wanting to get pedantic, the historical-grammatical hermeneutic does of course take into consideration information not strictly contained in the words of Scripture, in the form of historical background and other things which the author/original readers would have understood, in order to make a proper interpretation of the text. Such as, understanding Palestinian geography when we read the Gospels.

Right, we take into account information not contained in scripture in order to help us with a proper understanding of the text. That's what I said. These are extra-biblical sources we absolutely have to make use of. Trying to minimize this by calling it pedantic doesn't help things. It is extra-biblical information that we use. Point blank.

I highly recommend reading Keith Mathison's work called The Shape of Sola Scriptura. He shows the difference between sola Scriptura and the modern 'solo Scriptura' and how the sola Scriptura debate was about which relationship between Scriptura and tradition was the correct relationship, not that tradition was completely without authority.

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But this is simply seeking to understand Scripture as purely as we can, keeping in mind the author's intent, etc. On the other hand, we are flatly denying the authority and sufficiency of Scripture when we allow wordly Science to tell us that everything we've believed about the Bible all along is wrong. (Before the 19th century, we had no reason to doubt the literalness of the Genesis account.) If I am wrong in this, please prove it to me, don't just dismiss me as close minded.

When we run into a conflict between our interpretation of the natural world (science) and our interpretation of the biblical texts (theology) it's possible that either one could be wrong, since both are interpretations by fallible human beings. Revisiting issues because we see a conflict and changing our understanding of biblical texts because of that isn't a denial of anything other than a claim that we are infallible interpreters of either.

I will, of course, try to offer good evidence to prefer the FI. It just seemed as though you had already decided that you knew the FI was in error and couldn't be otherwise because it was motivated by 'worldly' science. Hopefully that's not the case, because that is what I was identifying as closedminded.

Have you read my papers yet? Those will be a good starting point for discussions on the texts themselves.

Regards,
Brian

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J_Edwards said:
Natural Revelation is always to be interpreted by special revelation and then appropriately applied.

What is your basis for this?

Why do you think that your fallible interpretation of the biblical text will always be more correct than your fallible interpretation of God's natural revelation that is relevant to that text?

Given your logic, you cannot argue with a Flat-Earth person.

His fallible interpretation of the biblical text trumpts his fallible interpretation of the natural world. According to your methodology he _cannot_ compromise and let his interpretation of the natural world affect his interpretation of the text.

My stance is this:
I am fallible in my interpretations of BOTH the biblical text AND natural revelation. When there is a conflict I cannot give one automatic preference over the other. I must weigh the evidence first and see which of my positions is in error. I know the sources from which I draw my interpretations are infallible (because God's biblical revelation is consistent with his natural revelation) but I cannot claim that EITHER of my interpretations are.

Regards,
Brian

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Brian

I can not argue that it is definitely possible because we are fallible that our interpretations are wrong. However, I don't think J_Edwards would disagree with that either.
His statement (correct me if I am wrong Joe) is just saying that the Bible being infallible (despite our infallibility) should be considered as the ultimate authority, not outside sources like science.
When I say "science" I am not talking about proven facts (though that is what pure science should be), I am talking about "theories" of the scientific community.

I believe it was Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis www.answersingenesis.org that said something to the effect: "It must be remembered that YE scientists deal with the same indisputable facts that the rest of the scientific community uses. It is the conclusions that are drawn from these facts that are different."
He also went on to say that where science (theory) and Scripture collide, it is better to err on the side Scripture.
Speaking of the link I provided, I think I am going to check if they have anything on the view you take.

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My stance is this:
I am fallible in my interpretations of BOTH the biblical text AND natural revelation. When there is a conflict I cannot give one automatic preference over the other. I must weigh the evidence first and see which of my positions is in error. I know the sources from which I draw my interpretations are infallible (because God's biblical revelation is consistent with his natural revelation) but I cannot claim that EITHER of my interpretations are.
Was not natural revelation influenced by the Fall, (i.e.Noetic effect of the Fall)? Is there not the truth of the Holy Spirit for Special Revelation, etc.?

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Welcome Back,


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I'd be interested to see what specific arguments from Pipa you found convincing.
I found his Hebrew work more convincing than that of Futato (topical vs. chronological). Thus, his article is more accepted.

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Also, I don't think we find pointers toward the 6/24 view elsewhere in the Bible. If you'd like to bring up specific passages we can discuss them. I've already discussed some in my papers.
Exod 35:2


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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.

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Well...?


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Tom said:
Brian

I can not argue that it is definitely possible because we are fallible that our interpretations are wrong. However, I don't think J_Edwards would disagree with that either.
His statement (correct me if I am wrong Joe) is just saying that the Bible being infallible (despite our infallibility) should be considered as the ultimate authority, not outside sources like science.
When I say "science" I am not talking about proven facts (though that is what pure science should be), I am talking about "theories" of the scientific community.
Think of a diagram like the following:

(Please ignore the dots. I can't figure out how to preserve the multiple spaces in between the words to make it look ok. Everything collapses to the left.)

Theology------------------------Science
........|....................................|
........|....................................|
Special Revelation....................Natural Revelation


Science and the Bible (Special Revelation) are in different categories, so it makes no sense to compare them. Science is the interpretation of natural revelation. Theology is the interpretation of special revelation (or the result of it..I'm using 'Theology' as shorthand for 'the interpretation of special revelation).

It would make sense to talk about Science vs Theology because those are things we have access to and can compare. We do not have direct access to Special Revelation (words/sentences/paragraphs/etc must always be interpreted) and neither do we have direct access to Natural Revelation (data points must always be interpreted and put into theories)

So I don't think saying "the Bible is the authority for us, not science" is really coherent at all. Most of the time when we say that we mean either:
1. Theology is more authoritative than Science or
2. The 'correct interpretation of the Bible' (correct Theology) is more authoritative than Science


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I believe it was Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis www.answersingenesis.org that said something to the effect: "It must be remembered that YE scientists deal with the same indisputable facts that the rest of the scientific community uses. It is the conclusions that are drawn from these facts that are different."
He also went on to say that where science (theory) and Scripture collide, it is better to err on the side Scripture.

I disagree with this. I don't think a general statement should be made either way.

1. Sometimes we should go with our Theology and say our Science is probably mistaken
2. Sometimes we should go with our Science and say our Theology is probably mistaken
3. Sometimes we should admit that we don't know how to reconcile them at the present time. One or both could be mistaken. It's ok to not have everything resolved Right Now, especially since we are fallible human creatures.

#3 is difficult for me to accept because a big part of me thinks I have the ability to reason through EVERYTHING and make it all fit together. I am truly finding that the more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know. Becoming comfortable with my one finitude is happening, though it's not easy.

Hopefully that communicates my understanding of the relationships between the various sources of information available to us. It'll be good for us to clear up any differences we have in using the various terms like 'science' and 'theology'.

Brian

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J_Edwards said:
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My stance is this:
I am fallible in my interpretations of BOTH the biblical text AND natural revelation. When there is a conflict I cannot give one automatic preference over the other. I must weigh the evidence first and see which of my positions is in error. I know the sources from which I draw my interpretations are infallible (because God's biblical revelation is consistent with his natural revelation) but I cannot claim that EITHER of my interpretations are.
Was not natural revelation influenced by the Fall, (i.e.Noetic effect of the Fall)?
I'm not really sure what exactly we're supposed to understand happened at the fall. But for the sake of this argument let's assume something changed like "lions now eat rabbits".

How is this relevant to what I said?

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Is there not the truth of the Holy Spirit for Special Revelation, etc.?
What do you mean by this? Do you think that when people become Christians they are somehow given new cognitive insights that are superior to those of nonbelievers?

My understanding is that the Holy Spirit allows us to accept the message, not that we gain an extra ability to understand propositions.

Could you clarify?

Thanks,
Brian

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Welcome Back,


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I'd be interested to see what specific arguments from Pipa you found convincing.
I found his Hebrew work more convincing than that of Futato (topical vs. chronological). Thus, his article is more accepted.
Ok, but that's not an argument for me to evaluate.

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Also, I don't think we find pointers toward the 6/24 view elsewhere in the Bible. If you'd like to bring up specific passages we can discuss them. I've already discussed some in my papers.
Exod 35:2

35:2 In six days2 work may be done, but on the seventh day there must be a holy day3 for you, a Sabbath of complete rest to the Lord.4 Anyone who does work on it will be put to death.
(NET Bible)

Ok. What about it would you like to discuss?

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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


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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.

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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:

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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.


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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.

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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


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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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rmwilliamsjr said:
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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?

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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?


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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.


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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.)

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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!

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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?

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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!


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rmwilliamsjr said:
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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

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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).


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Henry said:
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BrianB said:
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!

Where did I say that?

Quote
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.

There's some difference, but both are extra-Biblical sources of information.

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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?

I never said that modern Science was an absolute requirement.

Quote
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.

It is the difference between a necessary requirement (need) and a helpful guide (can).

If I take a road trip to California, I can get on roads and just start driving westward until I hit the Pacific Ocean. From there I drive either North or South until I find California. Did I _require_ a map? No. But a map would have been useful even if not a necessary requirement.

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

It is an interesting discussion, and less hostile that some I've seen or been in previously. You guys are quite respectful which I appreciate.

Brian

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CovenantInBlood said:
But the Bible isn't just theology. It speaks to historical facts,

I'm using the term 'Theology' as shorthand for 'interpretation of Scripture' and so matters of historical fact fall under my use of the term, for this discussion at least. If there's a less confusing term to use I'm all for it. I just haven't thought too much about what it might be.

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and when science contradicts those facts, then we MUST err on the side of Scripture which is from God Himself.

Again, category mistake. Do you mean to say that we must err on the side of our Theology (used as describe above) over Science?

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There is no reason within the text of Genesis 1 & 2 itself to treat it as figurative account of creation.

Considering Genesis 1, there's lots of good reason. Have you read my papers yet?

http://home.comcast.net/~babucher/framework_interpretation.html

Brian

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J_Edwards said:
The argument boils down to, Scripture, not science, should establish the believer’s presupposition of the revelation of God and all that is His.

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.

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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.

What's your evidence for this claim?

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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.”

Yes, there are wrong ways of being influenced by (bad) science, just as there are wrong ways of being influenced by (bad) theology.

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Thus, the elementary foundation of FI is unstable.

How in the world have you shown that the elementary foundation of the FI is unstable???

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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.”

Nope. It's not based on a compulsion to fit evidence that 'suppresses' biblical truth. It's only that it's conflicting with your personal interpretation that's makes you think so. That, and equating your personal interpretation with the actual text of Scripture.

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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.

Yup. The use of literary devices does not _necessarily_ exclude chronology, as I said in the paper.

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Thus, there is sufficient ground for me to say FI is not biblical.

Sorry, you've given no argument at all for this other than it doesn't fit with what you already believe.

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However, there is sufficient ground for me to take the days in Gen 1 as normal.

Yup. Not just sufficient, but overwhelmingly strong ground to understand them as meaning normal days.

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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 Hebrew term 'yom' NEVER refers to a 24-hour day in the Bible. Anywhere.

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The phrase “evening and morning” also suggests a 24 hour period (Ex 18:13; 27:21).

No again.

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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.

Again, 'yom' NEVER means a 24-hour period.

From my paper:

--- begin quote ---

Much to their credit, 24hr proponents have marshaled a very strong semantically based argument against the Day-Age understanding of the Genesis days. However, and this is where things get very interesting, the evidence brought forth by 24hr proponents used to show that the yom of Genesis 1 must have the same meaning as all the others can be used with as much force against their own position as against the Day-Age view.

Implications
In his article, Gentry offers the following:

"Argument from Coherent Usage. The word yom in Genesis 1 defines Days 4-6­after God creates the sun­expressly for marking off days (Gen 1:14,18). Interestingly, Moses emphasizes Day 4 by allocating the second greatest number of words to describe it. Surely these last three days of creation are normal days. Yet nothing in the text suggests a change of temporal function for yom from the first three days: they are measured by the same temporal designator (yom), along with the same qualifiers (numerical adjectives and "evening and morning"). Should not Days 1-3 demarcate normal days also?"[24]

Gentry is correct in insisting that the first three days of the narrative must be understood in the same way as the second three. He asks "Should not Days 1-3 demarcate normal days also?"

In answer, Framework Interpretation advocates reply with a resounding Yes! and follow up by pointing out that the 24hr interpretation does not do this. As a point of indisputable fact, 24hr proponents must assume that the first three 'days' of Genesis 1 are abnormal, non-ordinary 24 periods of time because they lack the sun. They lack an essential component that all other 100+ occurrences have in common. 24hr proponents have committed the exact same fallacy that they accuse the Day-Age proponents of, and have even gone beyond that and rejected the principle of coherent usage by claiming different meanings of 'day' for the two triads of days. Not only do they use a meaning for the first three days different than those outside the Genesis creation account (which are always solar), but even use a different meaning within the very narrative of the creation account.

To bring this point home, whenever a 24hr proponent says "every time yom is used like this, it always means a normal day," a FI advocate could simply reply with "yes, every time yom is used like this, it always means a normal day, which you reject for the first three days. You appeal to utterly abnormal non-solar 24 hour periods of time."[25]

At this point additional evidence can be offered in favor of the argument. Not only does the 24hr view commit the above-mentioned fallacy, but it also uses a definition for yom that Jew would not have used. They thought of days only as solar days.

Stambaugh's attempt to respond to this objection is telling. He says:

"This objection observes that the sun was not created until the fourth day, and therefore the first three days could not have been the kind of days we are familiar with today. It seems that those who make this objection are not aware that the sun is not necessary to determine a 'day'; all that is needed is some point of light. A 'day' can be defined as follows:

'The time taken for the Earth to spin once on its axis; by extension, the rotation period of any planet. The rotation of the Earth can be measured relative to the stars (sidereal day) or the sun (solar day).'"[26]

Well of course we can define a 'day' in different ways. We could even define it as a specific fraction of the half-life of decaying Carbon-14. The point is not that we in our modern age are capable of defining it in different ways. The question is, how did the Israelites define a day? Jews in the 2nd millennium B.C. defined a day by the rising/setting of the sun. No one had a wrist watch or clock back then, and there's no evidence that a Jew in the Mosaic period even knew what an hour was.[27]

--- end quote ---

So we have zero evidence that Moses or anyone in his audience, or in all of the old testament, even knew what an hour was, or that they thought of a yom as composed of 24 of them.

See my paper here for the quote:
http://home.comcast.net/~babucher/framework_interpretation.html
(the main paper)

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Here I Stand.

Looks like you have nothing left to stand on.

smile

(friendly jab, not hostile)

Brian

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Tom said:
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

Hi Tom,

I'll simply redirect you to my paper, the relevant section being A DAY IS A DAY IS A DAY that takes the evidence for 'yom' _meaning_ a normal day, just as you suggest (sort of...see the paper) and shows how it rules out the 6/24 interpretation.

I pasted a section of it in a post to J_Edwards too.

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I'm using the term 'Theology' as shorthand for 'interpretation of Scripture' and so matters of historical fact fall under my use of the term, for this discussion at least. If there's a less confusing term to use I'm all for it. I just haven't thought too much about what it might be.

How about "interpretation of Scripture"? "Theology" is much to specific a word to be used in the way you suggest.

Quote
Again, category mistake. Do you mean to say that we must err on the side of our Theology (used as describe above) over Science?

Allow me to provide an exmaple: Scripture says that Jesus was resurrected in fact. "Science" says that resurrection is impossible. So we err on the side of Scripture.

Quote
Considering Genesis 1, there's lots of good reason. Have you read my papers yet?

I have. My objections follow:

1. Ex. 20:11; 30:17 cf. Gen. 2:3. The reason the Israelites are commanded to rest on the Sabbath is because that is the same day of the week which God sanctified because that is the same day of the week on which God rested. There is no indication whatever of there being a "metaphorical" day on which God rested and on which the Sabbath day is modelled. The seventh day of Genesis IS the Sabbath day. For you to conclude that because Ex. 31:17 applies an anthropopathism to God therefore the seventh day is not literal, is as ridiculous as concluding that because Ex. 31:18 applies an anthropomorphism to God therefore the stone tablets are not literal. BAD exegetical reasoning.

2. Regarding the literary structure itself, FI divides the days of creation into two tables, the first three being the realms, and the second three being the governors. Thus we have Day 1/4, the realms of light and darkness governed by the luminaries; Day 2/5, the realms of the seas and sky governed by fish and birds; Day 3/6, the realms of dry land and vegetation governed by land animals and man. There are some overlap problems to be noted here: the luminaries are set in the expanse created on Day 2/5 (your response to this objection is unsatisfactory as the luminaries require this space, as also the fish, birds, and animals require their spheres to be demarcated on the second day); the birds are not confined to the sky but are told to "multiply on the earth" (1:22); men are to govern not only dry land and vegetation, but also animals, and not only land animals, but also fish and birds.

However, I think you have a bigger problem to overcome than these. A pillar of FI is that daylight does not exist without the luminaries to govern it. 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. Even God is not "enthroned as Creator King" until the seventh day in FI! 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. But then FI's own raison d'etre would be subsumed into the historical interpretation, which already holds that the existence of daylight is not dependent upon the luminaries.

3. The entire grammatical structure of Genesis 1 suggests a sequential reading. You have one day; then you have second day; then you have a third day; etc. None of the citations in your first paper have this numerical structure at all. In your second paper, you extrapolate that because the structure is atypical (cardinal, ordinal, ordinal, etc., with only two definite articles for days 6 & 7) Moses must be avoiding a chronological account. But you must assume FI to make such an extrapolation! Every other instance of an ordinal with yom in the Pentateuch is sequential. Has anyone, even those who were non-literalist, ever held that the very grammar is to be read dischronologically?

Furthermore, how do you explain the use of "evening and morning"? Each of the days, with the exception of the seventh, ends with evening and morning.




There are other issues I'd like to address, but this is quite a bit right here.


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Allow me to provide an exmaple: Scripture says that Jesus was resurrected in fact. "Science" says that resurrection is impossible. So we err on the side of Scripture.

No science says anything about the resurrection, nor about miracles. Science relies on induction for its basic epistemology, if something is not reproducible ON DEMAND it is not accessible to science. At best, science is silent on the resurrection and any other miracles.

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No science says anything about the resurrection, nor about miracles. Science relies on induction for its basic epistemology, if something is not reproducible ON DEMAND it is not accessible to science. At best, science is silent on the resurrection and any other miracles.

So, is the evolution of man from a different species reproducible on demand?


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not the event itself, but the evidence of it having happened or not is accessible. Likewise a forensic investigator doesn't recapture the event, but reconstructs potential reasonable scenarios. Does he prove that X killed Y? Not in the same way that we can prove a**2 +b**2=c**2, that is why the legal system has different levels of evidence, 'beyond reasonable doubt' are the wiggle words to pay homage to the problem of induction and the problem of the historical sciences, like forensics.

so do we have access to the event?
no.
do we have access to evidence that the event might have left? yes.

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rmwilliamsjr said:
not the event itself, but the evidence of it having happened or not is accessible. Likewise a forensic investigator doesn't recapture the event, but reconstructs potential reasonable scenarios. Does he prove that X killed Y? Not in the same way that we can prove a**2 +b**2=c**2, that is why the legal system has different levels of evidence, 'beyond reasonable doubt' are the wiggle words to pay homage to the problem of induction and the problem of the historical sciences, like forensics.

so do we have access to the event?
no.
do we have access to evidence that the event might have left? yes.

And the evidence for the resurrection is, of course, eyewitness testimony recorded in both Matthew and John.


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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.
You fail to realize that GR is not complete without SR. There is a great deal of difference between SR and GR. SR sets forth true propositions, while GR (science, et. al.) is still attempting to define what is true by fallible methodologies. When examining SR we take what is known as true and examine it with fallible methods, (but with the Holy Spirit as our infallible guide), however, when examining science one takes what a fallible man (not an infallible God) presumes may be true and examines it with fallible methods. Without SR one can never fully understand GR.

Unlike another poster insinuated both the OE and the YE views have presuppositions. The only question that remains is what are the true presuppositions to follow? The Bible sets forth what is true about creation. Thus, the term “yom” (day) comes of particular importance. What would a Jew in Moses’ time have thought the term “day” to mean? You stated;

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As a point of indisputable fact, 24hr proponents must assume that the first three 'days' of Genesis 1 are abnormal, non-ordinary 24 periods of time because they lack the sun.
However this is not an undisputable fact as you have asserted. While the first three days of Genesis 1 lack the body of the sun, they do not necessarily lack sunlight itself, as God created light on DAY 1 (Gen 1:3-5). The FI does believe God created ALL light, which includes sunlight, doesn’t it? The temporal framework of creation was evening and morning (literally sunset and sunrise--J. Currid). Together they constitute a figure called a merism, which signified the end of light and encompassed the entire period of darkness. Thus DAY 1 began with the entrance of light and it ended at the departure of darkness. Day 2 began with sunrise. As Cassuto comments,

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An examination of the narrative passages of the Bible makes it evident that whenever clear reference is made to the relationship between a given day and the next, it is precisely sunrise that is accounted the beginning of the second day.
However, FI says, “how can there be a sunrise without a sun?” It was not until DAY 4 that we see the command of God, “Let there be lights.” However, there is no problem if you stay within the meaning of the text. One of the main functions of the luminaries was to divide the day from the night and as Cassuto again remarks, “To separate one thing from another means to mark the distinction between two things already in existence.” Thus the light of the sun, moon, and stars was already in existence otherwise it could not have been divided. When did it come into existence—DAY 1. Light was in existence prior to the light bodies. There is not discrepancy with the text, only in one’s limited understanding of it. So much for being indisputable and since your premise is faulty your conclusion is in error.

You may do well to read Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry's article entitled, Reformed Theology and Six Day Creation. BigThumbUp


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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.

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. We've been given Scripture from God. We live on an earth that God created. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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Just a FYI, I'm not ignoring you guys. Well, I guess I am, but it's because I have other priorities that require my attention for a few days. My church small-group must take preference over any online discussion as I'm sure you'll agree.

Thanks for your patience,
Brian

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CovenantInBlood said:
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I'm using the term 'Theology' as shorthand for 'interpretation of Scripture' and so matters of historical fact fall under my use of the term, for this discussion at least. If there's a less confusing term to use I'm all for it. I just haven't thought too much about what it might be.
 
How about "interpretation of Scripture"? "Theology" is much to specific a word to be used in the way you suggest.
 
Well, I'm trying to find a single word that will work as shorthand for "interpretation of Scripture" so that I didn't have to type that out every time.  'Theology' seemed to be a good on to me, and for this discussion I don't really see what the problem is.
 
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Again, category mistake. Do you mean to say that we must err on the side of our Theology (used as describe above) over Science?
 
Allow me to provide an exmaple: Scripture says that Jesus was resurrected in fact. "Science" says that resurrection is impossible. So we err on the side of Scripture.
 
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.
 
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Considering Genesis 1, there's lots of good reason. Have you read my papers yet?
 
I have. My objections follow:
 
1. Ex. 20:11; 30:17 cf. Gen. 2:3. The reason the Israelites are commanded to rest on the Sabbath is because that is the same day of the week which God sanctified because that is the same day of the week on which God rested. There is no indication whatever of there being a "metaphorical" day on which God rested and on which the Sabbath day is modelled. The seventh day of Genesis IS the Sabbath day.
 
The Genesis 1 narrative is used as the basis for the 6 days work and 1 day Sabbath.  Yes.
 
The evidence for the metaphorical interpretation is found in all the arguments in my paper.  Each of them is evidence for the FI (metaphorical) interpretation.
 
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For you to conclude that because Ex. 31:17 applies an anthropopathism to God therefore the seventh day is not literal, is as ridiculous as concluding that because Ex. 31:18 applies an anthropomorphism to God therefore the stone tablets are not literal. BAD exegetical reasoning.
 
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.
 
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2. Regarding the literary structure itself, FI divides the days of creation into two tables, the first three being the realms, and the second three being the governors. Thus we have Day 1/4, the realms of light and darkness governed by the luminaries; Day 2/5, the realms of the seas and sky governed by fish and birds; Day 3/6, the realms of dry land and vegetation governed by land animals and man.
 
Right.
 
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There are some overlap problems to be noted here: the luminaries are set in the expanse created on Day 2/5 (your response to this objection is unsatisfactory as the luminaries require this space, as also the fish, birds, and animals require their spheres to be demarcated on the second day); the birds are not confined to the sky but are told to "multiply on the earth" (1:22); men are to govern not only dry land and vegetation, but also animals, and not only land animals, but also fish and birds.
 
1. I don't see the overlap problem.  Perhaps you could make more explicit what you think the problem is.
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.
 
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However, I think you have a bigger problem to overcome than these. A pillar of FI is that daylight does not exist without the luminaries to govern it.
 
Close.  One of the arguments is:
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.

 
I wouldn't necessarily call it a pillar of the FI, but instead I'd call it one of the main arguments.
 
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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.
 
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Even God is not "enthroned as Creator King" until the seventh day in FI!
 
Right.
 
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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.
 
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3. The entire grammatical structure of Genesis 1 suggests a sequential reading. You have one day; then you have second day; then you have a third day; etc. None of the citations in your first paper have this numerical structure at all. In your second paper, you extrapolate that because the structure is atypical (cardinal, ordinal, ordinal, etc., with only two definite articles for days 6 & 7) Moses must be avoiding a chronological account. But you must assume FI to make such an extrapolation! Every other instance of an ordinal with yom in the Pentateuch is sequential. Has anyone, even those who were non-literalist, ever held that the very grammar is to be read dischronologically?
 
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.  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.
 
 
Quote
Furthermore, how do you explain the use of "evening and morning"? Each of the days, with the exception of the seventh, ends with evening and morning.
 
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.

You make a lot of assertions about how there are problems (the Exodus 31 comparisons, some sort of overlap problem, the relationship between realm and governor), but then don't go on to show what those problems are. You'll need to explain where you think the problems really are without leaving a lot of gaps in the logic train. I think there might be a lot of unstated assumptions that need to be made clear.

Regards,
Brian

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J_Edwards said:
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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.
 
You fail to realize that GR is not complete without SR.
 
What do you mean by this?  This is quite a vague statement that could mean almost anything.
 
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There is a great deal of difference between SR and GR. SR sets forth true propositions, while GR (science, et. al.) is still attempting to define what is true by fallible methodologies.
 
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.
 
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When examining SR we take what is known as true and examine it with fallible methods, (but with the Holy Spirit as our infallible guide),
 
Yes, this much is true.
 
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however, when examining science one takes what a fallible man (not an infallible God) presumes may be true and examines it with fallible methods. Without SR one can never fully understand GR.
 
1. No.  "Examine science" is not a parallel to "examine SR".  "Examine GR" is the appropriate parallel.  Science is the act of examining/interpreting GR.
 
2. 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.
 
3. Do you think that _with_ SR we can "fully understand" GR?  I certainly don't.  I'm not infinite and will still be finite even after the resurrection.
 
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Unlike another poster insinuated both the OE and the YE views have presuppositions. The only question that remains is what are the true presuppositions to follow? The Bible sets forth what is true about creation. Thus, the term “yom” (day) comes of particular importance. What would a Jew in Moses’ time have thought the term “day” to mean? You stated;
 
Quote
As a point of indisputable fact, 24hr proponents must assume that the first three 'days' of Genesis 1 are abnormal, non-ordinary 24 periods of time because they lack the sun.
 
However this is not an undisputable fact as you have asserted. While the first three days of Genesis 1 lack the body of the sun, they do not necessarily lack sunlight itself, as God created light on DAY 1 (Gen 1:3-5).
 
 
Permit me to tell a story.

----------

Consider Fred, a city apartment dweller who returns home from work one day to find his window smashed and his television missing. Fred takes note of these facts and asks himself what the explanation for the facts is. He thinks that it is likely that he was robbed. But, unsure, he invites over a friend, Charity, to help him figure out what has happened. Charity is a warm, kind person who thinks that other people in the world are essentially warm and kind as well. Whenever something bad happens, she always prefers to think that the parties involved had good motives driving their behaviors.

Charity looks over the situation and says this: "It is clear to me what has happened here, Fred. Some kids were playing with a ball and accidentally threw it through your window. They must have then climbed in and removed the ball. Then your neighbor, seeing the broken window, climbed in and removed your TV in order to keep it safe until you returned."

Fred considers this and asks himself what to make of it. What is more reasonable to believe here? Is it more reasonable to believe the crook story or the neighbor story?
 
Fred decides to gather a little more data, so he goes to visit the neighbor. He knocks on the door and politely asks the neighbor if he knows anything about the broken window. The neighbor shrugs his shoulder and offers no help. "Well," Fred says to Charity, "so much for your 'friendly neighbor' theory."

"Not so fast," Charity replies. "This doesn't necessarily refute my explanation. I stick by my original theory, and I think I have an explanation for what just happened here. The explanation is this: your neighbor believes that an impostor would be coming to his door trying to get hold of the television that he is protecting. When you knocked, he believed that you were the impostor and so he denied having the television set."

Fred has provided the evidence that seemed to refute Charity's hypothesis. But Charity revised her view so that it now accommodates that new evidence. She could have simply caved in and given up on here theory altogether. But she didn't. She came up with an ad hoc explanation to try and save her theory.

(story adapted from Reason for the Hope Within by Michael Murray, pgs 11-12)

----------

I'm glad we've reached this point in our conversation.  The fact that you say that the days lacked the body of the sun, but didn't lack SUNlight shows just how absurd your position becomes when pushed to the limits.  Is that _really_ what you think Moses and his audience would have thought?
 
"Gee, it was sunlight, but without the sun."
 
You see, you too can come up with ad hoc explanations to support your theory, no matter how strained and absurd they are.  I know at this point that I cannot convince you because I see now the lengths at which you are willing to go.
 
It is intellectual dishonesty to try and manipulate language like you are doing.  It won't work with me.  My point that you must assume abnormal, non-ordinary 24 periods of time is just magnified by the fact that you have to say there was SUNlight without the sun.
 
 
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The FI does believe God created ALL light, which includes sunlight, doesn’t it? The temporal framework of creation was evening and morning (literally sunset and sunrise--J. Currid).
 
Yup, SUNset and SUNrise.
 
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Together they constitute a figure called a merism, which signified the end of light and encompassed the entire period of darkness.
 

Not just the end of light, but the end of SUNlight.
 
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You may do well to read Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry's article entitled, Reformed Theology and Six Day Creation.  <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />
 
As you can see from the Bibliography in my paper, I have read it and dealt with the arguments found therein.  Gentry was one of the better proponents of the 24/6 position, but still fails because his position cannot be supported by the evidence.
 
Brian
 

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I think there might be a lot of unstated assumptions that need to be made clear.

You've obviously not paid close attention to much of what I've said. I don't have the time to reply to you right now but I'll get back to you in a few days.


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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.

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We've been given Scripture from God.

Yes

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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?).

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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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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. [Linked Image]


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Brian,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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"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?

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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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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


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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Right.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!


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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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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

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rmwilliamsjr said:

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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

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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?
 
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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.
 
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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?
 
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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.
 
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As far as the rest of your post it has been refuted…, thus further reply is not needed. [Linked Image]
 
Umm, ok. If you say so.

Regards,
Brian

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Saxman,

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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.

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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?

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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:

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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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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.

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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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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,


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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.


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