Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#121

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:34 pm

I've made many edits and additions to my previous post.
If you read it before this post, then you might want to read again.
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#122

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:58 pm

Jac3510 wrote:Words can have more than one meaning, and therefore it is possible that our words can mean something other than what we intended. What is not possible is for us not have an intention when using a word. When Moses said that God created in six yomim, he intended that word to have a particular referent.

I see four logical possibilities here that strike as as logically exhaustive.

1. He intended for it to refer to an ordinary day (in which case we translate it "day") and he intended to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case he taught what is commonly called YEC);
2. He intended for it to refer to an ordinary day (in which case we translate it "day") but he did not intend to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case, the word yom has no historical referent and is a literary device of some type);
3. He intended for it to refer to an unspecified period of time (in which case we translate it as "age") and he intended to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case he taught what is commonly called OEC);
4. He intended for it to refer to an unspecified period of time (in which case we translate it as "age") but he did not intend to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case, the word yom has no historical referent and is, again, a literary device of some kind (although I know of no one who has even tried to defend this view or what it would really even mean)).

I don't think we can get away with just saying that Moses' intention in using yom is immaterial and that we later on find out that the yomim were actually long periods of time. As I've said repeatedly, that gets us into a dictation theory in which we have multiple meanings, no objective meaning, and in which Moses is merely a material cause of the text and the text therefore was not revelation in its original setting.

edit:

As to your questions:
We now know that the Big Bang is compatible with that verse. Did Moses know that?
Not by the term "Big Bang" of course. Other than that, I don't know. I assume not, but maybe God gave him a vision of the beginning of all things.
We now know the earth is really old. Did Moses know that?
Same answer.
And there's still the issue of the ongoing 7th day, where God is still resting from His creating acts. Why would all 6 days mean 24 hours, but the 7th is a long age?
Moses doesn't say in Genesis 1 that the seventh day is still going on.
I do not believe Moses was teaching YEC.I believe Moses taught the earth is old,even when I believe the 6 days of creation are 24 hour days.Moses teaches an old earth and not a young earth.This verse right here IMO proves Moses believed the earth is old and not young.Genesis 2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and earth when they were created,in the day God MADE the earth and the heavens."

All a person has to do is know the difference between the Hebrew word for create and made.If you do? Then Moses is telling us the earth is old.

I will expand on this in Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God CREATED the heaven and the earth." The word create means to create it out of nothing,and the rest of the time in Genesis 1except when God creates life and man you see the word "MADE" .

So that in Genesis 1:3-31 God is making not creating the earth and heaven,now when you read Genesis 2:4 we see that in the beginning God created the heavens and earth and there were generations,then God made the earth and heavens,notice the earth in front of heavens and this lines up with Genesis 1:3-31.
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#123

Post by abelcainsbrother » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:39 pm

I believe I can give more reasons to believe Moses believed and knew the earth is old.I can use the rainbow that God put in the sky as a promise and covenant with man that he would never destroy all flesh off the face of the earth again,and yet Noah's flood had just passed and we know not all flesh and life was destroyed off the face of the earth and so we must believe that there was a time when God did destroy all flesh off the face of the earth and so this means the earth is old too.Genesis 9:9-17.

When you see a rainbow it is a promise that God will never in the future destroy all flesh off the face of the earth,so we know there was a time when God did,and it was not in Noah's flood,so the earth is old and not young.

Do I have to get into scientific evidence?I think we can just believe God's word that the earth is old.
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#124

Post by RickD » Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:15 am

RickD wrote:
This just came to mind while reading your response, Jac. And as I'm kinda thinking out loud, I see three possibilities which Moses was trying to convey:

1) that Moses knew, and meant yom to mean 1 twenty four hour day.

2) that Moses knew, and meant yom to mean a long, but finite period of time(an age).

3) that Moses didn't know how long the creation days were. Only that God revealed to him that they were 6 consecutive periods of time, with one other period of time as rest.


Can someone tell me why #3 can't be possible?


Kurieuo wrote:
You're on track with my thinking here RickD.

However, it's not so much that Moses did not know how long the days were, but rather was not fussed to intend either way.
If Moses was asked how long days were, the way I'm looking at the text in my Sabbatical interpretation is that he would have responded with confusion, "Don't you see the pattern of Sabbath? They're ordinary days. We reply, "Ahh, so they're 24 hours then?" Moses: "Well... err, yes, ordinary days are 24 hours in length, but they're revealing God's creative act and then rest we're to enter into."
K,

That's kinda what I was thinking too. As I wrote here:
But in my #3 example, I'm not saying Moses didn't know what the word means. It has more than one literal meaning. I'm not saying he didn't know that. I'm just saying that maybe the length of time really wasn't relevant to what Moses was saying. Maybe the 6 to one pattern was what God told Moses to convey.
After reading what Jac said were the logical choices, this one came to mind.
Kurieuo wrote:
I'm not sure my little exchange with Moses is coming out right, but I'm trying to highlight Moses isn't really concerned by a period of time whether that is 24 hours or an unspecified period as Day-Age advocates. I'll keep trying to explain this point throughout this post with the hope that the penny drops.
That's exactly where my thoughts led.

Not saying that Moses meant the word yom to mean long periods of time in Genesis 1. But just that the text allows for it to mean long periods of time.
Kurieuo wrote:
In the end, time has nothing to do with the Genesis text.
Moses neither intended nor unintended 24 hours or an unspecified age.
Yes. I definitely see this as a possibility.

I didn't quite understand when you were writing this before. But then when I started thinking of what could be logically possible, this came to mind.
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#125

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:36 pm

Okay, I hope to offer here the first of three final posts. So long as I can stay on topic, I see them as follows:

1. Response to some of the above and further commentary about the Sabbatical interpretation (with possible points to build on for strengthening it in light of what I see is a possibly serious critique);
2. Response to the general arguments from authority put forward in the latter portion of K's remarks (note: I realize that an argument from authority is, strictly speaking, a fallacy; I am not accusing K oft that fallacy in such a classification. I take the classification in the best sense, and I will comment on that more in the next post)
3. A general (re)statement of what I see warrant for interpreting Genesis 1ff, including a postscript in response to K's personal remarks to me regarding the effect of my dissents on this and other issues.

So much for prefatory comments . . . on to the final act! :)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I want to start by making my main criticism of K's Sabbatical interpretation clear, because I don't think the brief back and forth between Rick, K, and myself above has done it justice. As a jumping off point, let me revisit an important conclusion I stated earlier:
I wrote:1. [Moses] intended for it to refer to an ordinary day (in which case we translate it "day") and he intended to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case he taught what is commonly called YEC);
2. He intended for it to refer to an ordinary day (in which case we translate it "day") but he did not intend to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case, the word yom has no historical referent and is a literary device of some type);
3. He intended for it to refer to an unspecified period of time (in which case we translate it as "age") and he intended to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case he taught what is commonly called OEC);
4. He intended for it to refer to an unspecified period of time (in which case we translate it as "age") but he did not intend to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case, the word yom has no historical referent and is, again, a literary device of some kind (although I know of no one who has even tried to defend this view or what it would really even mean)).
If it isn't clear, the chief issue for me is the interpretation of yom. Now, this may seem odd given that K has granted that it means "an ordinary day," and that against the traditional Day-Age view. But I think this point really needs to be pressed more heavily. K wants to argue that "Moses [never] intended it to represent a specific period of time or literally 'unspecified period of time', and I also don't believe he intended it to represent 24 hours." This strikes me as an untenable position to hold, and that for two reasons:

1. The word "intention" points to the idea Moses had in mind when he chose the word yom. This is the whole question behind the proper translation of the word. If, per YEC beliefs, Moses intended an ordinary day (which is in the semantic range of the word), it should be translated by a word in English that catches that intention: namely, "day." If, on the other hand, he had in mind a long period of time (which is in the semantic range of the word), it should be be translated by a word in English that catches that intention instead: namely, "age." One of my critiques of the Day-Age view is on this very point, that they fail to actually recognize that their position, whether they acknowledge it or not, is based on the claim that we have mistranslated the word!

Now, that is a fair debate. What is not fair, it seems to me anyway, is to claim that Moses intended nothing at all such that we can later "backfill" the word with a possible meaning--a meaning that God, of course, foresaw and that He intended. In the first place, that creates an illicit distinction between Moses' meaning and God's meaning (so we violate the principle of single meaning); in the second place, that has Moses using a word with no intention of signifying anything. But that which does not signify is not a sign, and the definition--the nature--of a word is that it is a signification of something else.

Put simply, all words have intentions. You cannot use a word unintentionally (without presuming error). That is easy to demonstrate. Why did Moses use the word yom and not the word etz? The latter word refers to the same thing that our English word "tree" refers to. Well the answer is obvious. God didn't create the world in seven trees. He created it in seven days. And that is what Moses intended to convey It's what his words signify. To argue that we can just say that Moses was, at best, apathetic or uninterested in the signification of his words is to suggest that he was not signifying something, which violates the basic nature of communication. You can, of course, claim that Moses wasn't especially interested in or worried about the interpretation of yom. And that is probably a true claim. I submit that he would be confused by this debate. He would say, "What are you all talking about? I said that God made the world in seven yomim, and that is exactly what I meant." That, however, is a far cry from saying he didn't intend one meaning or the other.

2. Even if we could get passed that basic point, and I really don't think we can, the fact remains that the word yom has an objective meaning whether K, Rick, I, or even Moses likes it. It has a semantic range. To revisit a point above, that is why Moses was not free to use the word etz. He was forced, by the nature of human language, to use words that convey his meaning. And if he used words without intending a meaning, it would still remain that the words themselves had meaning in virtue of being words. To clarify this, let me revisit something I wrote here:
  • Boss: Did you get the email I sent?
    Employee: Yes sir, the list of supplies?
    Boss: Yes. Please pay special attention to #4 as it is very bulky and takes up a lot of storage space. Be sure you accept it when receiving the shipment!
    Employee: Will do, sir!
As I pointed out then, suppose that what the boss really intended was that the employee except--not receive--the shipment. The fact is that his words have a certain objective meaning. And just so with Moses. Even if he did not intended one meaning or the other, the fact remains that the meaning still resides in the text. So to claim that Moses had no intention is not only to imply a separation of Moses and God's meaning (so violating the single meaning principle) but to further imply a separation between Moses and his own text. Talk about layers of meaning here! I find all that just unacceptable on hermeneutical grounds.

SO!

I want to return to what I think is actually both the strength and weakness of this Sabbatical interpretation. We have in my four logical options above a way out of the problem I've just suggested. It is to claim the second option, which I'll restate here:
  • He intended for it to refer to an ordinary day (in which case we translate it "day") but he did not intend to give a historical explanation of the origins of the earth (in which case, the word yom has no historical referent and is a literary device of some type)
In other words, K could try to see yom in a way similar to that of Framework adherents. It isn't that Moses did or didn't intend ordinary days. He meant the word refer to ordinary days. But rather, it's that Moses wasn't really talking about days at all. He was using the word as a literary device. Put more plainly: Moses is not claiming that God actually created the universe in six ordinary days. Rather, Moses is describing God's creative activities in a stylized manner, and the convention he has chosen is to describe in as a seven day process.

That interpretation would, as far as I can tell, be fully compatible with the HGM if it can be sustained that Moses so intended the text to be read. And while it is not my job to defend K's interpretation (or, my interpretation of his interpretation!), it strikes me that the rules of charity insist that I critique the strongest version of the position I can conceive of. That would include some supporting evidence. Off the top of my head, three ideas immediately pop up:

A) The general six-one pattern found not just here but in all of Scripture. Moses would have been using a device that his readers would have been well familiar with and in doing so offering a theological foundation for the entire Law in creation itself. After all, the Law culminates in the Sabbath, so is it not fitting depict creation as culminating in the Sabbath, such that the Law itself is intimately associated with God's original (pre-Law) intentions?

B) The historical preexistence of the six-one pattern found in Moses' culture. As K pointed out, he did not invent it. The question here is, did his culture have a six-one pattern because God created in six yomim, such that the cultures somehow preserved some truth about creation (as an aside, that's the normal position of YEC but I think very hard, if not impossible, to maintain on the Day-Age view); or did that view/tradition develop (for whatever reason) over time and God decided to use it to convey deep theological (not scientific) truths. We have plenty of examples in Scripture of God using existing human institutions and traditions to convey His will. Why not here, too? If nothing else, such a position strikes me as defensible.

C) Egyptian Cosmology: Most Genesis studies focus on the relationship between the Genesis account and the Mesopotamian accounts of creation. If you haven't looked up the similarities with the Egyptian cosmology, though, do so. There is a general outline that both follow that I don't think can be explained by coincidence. But a major difference is that the Egyptian account all happens in one day. When your God is the Sun god, should that be surprising? If, though, the Genesis 1 account is largely written with reference to the Egyptian account to counter the false ideas of that story (which would have been popular among the Jews as they had lived there for four hundred years--more popular, dare I say, than Darwinian evolution is among Americans today!), then few things would be more effective than coopting the older story and recasting it in terms of what would become Jewish orthodoxy. And if all that is true, then we would expect less of a historical narration of real events than a stylized account of creation focused on teaching and grounding certain necessary theological truths.

Is that a strong enough case? Off the top of my head, no. The price is very high. We have to give up seeing Genesis 1 as a historical narrative. And if Genesis 1, then what about 2-11? Where does the literary account become a historical account? I see that as a serious problem. But I want to state strongly and publicly that the serious problem is not a death knell. I would encourage K, and others persuaded by his position, to begin looking at that problem and potential solutions. Perhaps a view would emerge after further refinement that is defensible and allows for an interpretation of Genesis 2-11 that is supported by the HGM. That's a lot of work, and I'm not going to try to do it! But I think it would be an interesting enterprise, and I don't at all mean to poison the well by suggesting that would be necessary. I'm simply pointing out that it would, in fact, be necessary. And why not? If K is going to suggest such a fundamental reinterpretation of Genesis 1, then he has to recognize that such would have ramifications on other parts of Scripture--most importantly those parts in its immediate context!

If he is willing to do that, I publicly concede that he has an interpretation of Genesis 1 that strikes me, at the moment, of being perfectly consistent with the HGM but that does not require the earth to be old. We have not, of course, touched on myriads of related problems, the most serious of which being whether or not there was death before the Fall (which, I contend, is the real issue that YECs get all worked up about--the "long days" are only problematic because they allow/imply death before Adam's sin). BUT, as far as it goes, I think K's interpretation is defensible and worthy of serious consideration. It some ways, I think it might well be superior to the YEC model--particularly given the issues of Egyptian cosmology and the recognition of the general importance of the six-one pattern in Moses' culture before he wrote his text. But, again, is it enough, as stated, to overthrow what I think is the traditional model (YEC?). So far, I don't think he's met that high bar. But I do want to seriously congratulate him, with no sarcasm whatsoever, of proposing what is likely the most hermeneutically serious reading of Genesis 1 I've encountered (shy, of course, in my judgment of YEC). I certainly think I would recommend his reading over the DA reading, so far as I understand those two positions, anyway.
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#126

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:47 pm

Wow, I think the hairs stood up on the back of my neck towards the end of your post.
I'm not sure that I've ever felt a higher compliment before.
Thank you for critiquing the position and providing open feedback.

One should most definitely not rush into any new interpretation.
With this, I prefer to look at it as more connecting the dots between rich theological ideas that already strongly exist.
I'm kind of scratching my head, wondering if I'm just not well read enough, to have picked up on someone else who draws the same insight.
And that is all it is I think, drawing out what I think is a strong insight, rather than adding something new if you will.

I've reflected upon it here and there for about 9 months since posting it here.
A main concern I had was why this interpretation was missed. And the only thing I can think of is because people are so fussed over days.
And when the 6-1 structure and Sabbatical correlations are pointed out, it's like: "Great, but back to day and the meaning of 'yom'... blah blah blah." So I was contemplating whether it is legitimate and have only found it enriching.

For example, I never got why the Sabbath was one of the Ten Commandments. Yes, it's important to rest and have a day to worship and focus on God, but why that structure? The importance of the Sabbath has always played a backseat to me, not just because I believe we aren't bound to keep it today, but because it seems a bit like "pick up this stick, that stick, but not that stick because I say so."

But, now it makes sense why the Sabbath was important because I have a key to unlocking some rich theological meaning.
And it's funny, because it is there in Scripture why the Sabbath should be respected because God created in six days and rested on the seventh! (Exodus 20:8-11)
It's plainly said and right before us all the time in Scripture, but the deep richness in meaning gets missed.
A main thought being that the Sabbath is a symbol of God being Head of all Creation and the rightful Lord.
The Sabbath in connection with Creation really highlights this.
So, for Israel who had made a covenant with God to not respect the Sabbath is like denying that God is their Lord -- an absolute insult to their covenant and an ultimate repudiation on par with Satan. It makes me even want to actually re-dedicate a day to God because I love that He is my King and want to celebrate that. Ahh, but moving on.

The main weakness I see in the position is also something you touch upon -- well make your crucial criticisms of.
To try to put it succinctly: What are we to make of 'yom' in passing even if Moses had a higher Sabbatical intent in mind?

Yes, Moses may have used yom as a literary device with a higher purpose of Sabbatical intent.
BUT, there still has to be a passing intention if you will, or as you put it Jac, has to be an objective meaning to the term itself.
Like in Psalm 22 where David speaks of clothes being divided and hands and feet being pierced -- David must have had a passing intention if he was not literally applying this to the Messiah. I do think it is easier to get away with explaining a passing intention in Psalm 22 though.

So if I look at Genesis 1, I believe Moses did intend an ordinary day in its plainest sense for Sabbatical association, BUT DID NOT intend all we try to associate with a literal "day" to be applied. He was firmly looking through the lens of the Sabbath. The passing intend of yom would be more a symbol full of Sabbatical intent, but devoid of things like a real rotation of Earth and the Sun beaming down, a period of time like 12 or 24 hours, or even an unspecified period.

To justify this position, the words that explain such need to be carefully thought through. They also need to draw out reasons for why yom is not just only full of Sabbatical intent (which I think is easy and even clear to you and Rick), but what reasons there are to not accept why Moses didn't also have in mind all the other stuff that normally goes with day that we see as important and often debate (e.g., in particular. sunrise and sunset, time).

You asked an important question earlier, whether the Creation is modeled after the Sabbath, or the Sabbath after the Creation.
It is something I reflected upon even before you asked, since my wife questioned my interpretation as she wasn't sure about which one to base upon the other.

In actuality I'm inclined to think it isn't a question of either/or, but BOTH if one simply accepts God divinely planned such to be in accord.
Clearly there is an association in Scripture between the Creation and the Sabbath, so God obviously planned the two to be in accord.
I'm wondering if the answer need to be deeper than that, but it's possible the response could be that simple: God planned to two together.

This isn't saying what God intended of meaning in the text that Moses wasn't aware to, but rather explaining God's reasons for utilisating a method of creation based upon Sabbath in His actual Creation. I do think however the Moses and the immediate audience would have clearly understood the importance of the Sabbath at the time Genesis 1 was written.

Why would God plan the two together? Well an idea the comes to mind is because a seven day work-rest now provides God's people with a tangible symbol where we can acknowledge God in every day life! It also forms a commandment, so it is clear that God associates strong importance to the Sabbath even if we do not understand the full theology behind why.

As for the other parts of my argument, I don't envy you in responding to the remainder of my "chapters".
I re-read over some of my writings and see that I really lay some parts on thick. Even makes me cringe a little like couldn't I have been gentler.
That's just how discussions we get passionate about play out, and that passion is often a good thing.
I won't say I didn't take any jabs, hopefully not too many below the belt. ;)
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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#127

Post by Jac3510 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:30 pm

Ok, let’s talk about arguments from authority. Just by way of housekeeping, the material I’m responding to can be found in K’s posts here, here, here, here, and here. I’m obviously not going to respond to every point in five posts in this one (just as I haven’t responded to every point in previous posts), but I’ll certainly try to be fair in responding to the major points. I also want to acknowledge how K began this whole section, and this is worth quoting directly:
K wrote: The purpose of this next section isn't to necessarily highlight rational or logical arguments.

Rather I want to provide authoritative support for belief in an old earth being compatible with Historical-Grammatical method OVER AND AGAINST a claimed YEC exclusivity to this method.

The sheer weight of authorities I will present are not persons who you would call Christians conforming to modern science.
There are also ideas floating around and being promoted that any belief other than a young Earth compromises Scripture.
These are really ad hominems that distract from the main issue which is what Scripture itself says.
Where ever people say such things they should therefore be ignored.
I take it that K is not, by quoting authorities, trying to say, “Geisler et al think OEC is the correct reading, therefore OEC is the correct reading.” Rather, I simply see him suggesting, reasonably enough, that if highly respected evangelicals think OEC is within bounds of the HGM, then YECs are probably out of line when saying it is not. And if they are not, they have, as someone once said, “a lotta ‘splainin to do!” The reason for this is all simple enough. Even Aquinas (in what some see to be a clever joke) admitted that arguments from authority are weak arguments—but they are, nonetheless, arguments.

So much for housekeeping . . .

First up, K wants to insist that “the refrain of ‘OEC interpretations’ being due to ‘modern science’ is an ad hominem” and ought simply to be ignored. He then, rather conveniently, only “wish[es] to highlight here is that Jac does not believe an OEC interpretation is warranted by the text.” Before we deal with Radmacher et al, this is an important point that must be disputed. The refrain is not an ad hominem and it cannot be dismissed. Moreover, it is not sufficient to point out that I don’t think OEC is warranted. This is very important, so please hear me on this. The heart of my whole argument is that an OEC reading of the text is unwarranted by the HGM (further discussion of your own view notwithstanding, and talking specifically here of the day-age interpretation). That’s not to say that it isn’t warranted by other methods or theological principles. But since the only warrant I accept is the HGM, I claim that the reading is unwarranted.

Now, if the DA view is unwarranted by the HGM, then what does warrant it? The only warrant I am capable of finding is modern science. But precisely because I am committed to the HGM, I regard that warrant as eisogesis. That is not an ad hominem. I am not directing the attention against the man. I am directing the attention at the method being employed in justifying a day-age interpretation.

Now, you or anybody else can defeat both arguments by supplying a textual warrant via the HGM for the day-age view. Unfortunately for our day-age readers, rather than do that, you have opted to defend a different interpretation altogether. I’m glad you did, because I think your interpretation is much more interesting and gives us a lot to think about, to say nothing of the theological value. But the practical effect on this discussion is that it leaves my argument against the DA view totally unaddressed. You’ve seen enough debates with Craig to know what that means. ;)

In any case, we see I have two distinct arguments. Having not addressed the former (that the DA view is unwarranted by the HGM), my latter argument remains, as instead of responding to it you simply dismissed it as a personal attack. The question raises itself. If OEC/DA doesn’t come from the text, where does it come from? Do you not find it telling that no one thought up, much less defended, that view until modern science made its propositions? Do you not find it telling that Hugh Ross and other day-age defenders have felt the need to falsify ancient views to try to find historical precedent? Do you not find it telling that sites and books dedicated to defending OEC/DA invariably appeal to modern science as a staple of their argument. The warrant? Systematic theology and, above all, all, modern science. Rich argues that “Augustine of Hippo believed that science could not contradict orthodox Christianity” and proceeds to point out that “40 different methods of radiometric dating and numerous non-radiometric measurements: Ice core samples from Antarctica and Greenland provide an unbroken record of annual ice layers spanning the past 800,000 years. Annual tree ring records provide a continuous record of the past 15,000 years. Coral reefs record long ages of growth (Eniwetok Reef 140,000 years, and the Grand Bahama Reef 790,000 years). Ancient annual lake varve sediments provide evidence of earth’s history dating back 15 to 20 million years.” Take science out of the picture, and what do you have? Certainly not Rich’s view. It’s in his own words . . .

As such, my argument against DA is two-fold. First, it is unwarranted. That in itself is a serious problem. That doesn’t make it wrong, but it does mean that we ought to be very, very, very cautious in holding it, and if any view provides any warrant, it is immediately to be preferred. On those grounds alone, YEC is the better model. But second, it is the product of eisogesis and therefore we ought to positively claim that we should reject it.

Given all this, your general response seems to be to turn to various authorities. In your own words, your point seems to be that the testimony of these experts “ought to make [me] pause and consider whether <I> have too hastily ruled out warranted interpretations for an older Earth.” And of course it gives me pause. I respect these men enough to give their opinions and conclusions serious consideration. Unfortunately, no argument was given from Radmacher, and while I respect the fact that he endorses Ross, that does not mean that he is of sufficient stature to render all disagreement unacceptable. Perhaps someone with no education might feel compelled to simply bow to his expertise. But without trying to sound arrogant, I do not. I have extensive education in these areas. As extensive as him or the other authorities you site? Of course not. But extensive enough to evaluate their claims. Without a doubt, yes.

So, fine. What is their claims? Again, you provide none from Radmacher, so I cannot evaluate him. What about Archer? As it happens, I have read him and have long felt his arguments in this particular area were fairly poor (for reasons I’ll mention shortly). The specific argument you offer from him is the well-worn notion that all the events of the sixth day, if Genesis 2 are included, could not have happened in an ordinary day. First off, for all your talk about how amazing a scholar Gleason Archer is, I would point out that his specialty was the classics and particularly in the documentary hypothesis. He wasn’t especially known for exegesis. And while my knowledge of Hebrew certainly pales in comparison to his, it is sufficient to point out that knowing Hebrew doesn’t solve all or even most problems. What we have here is a rather standard example of an illegitimate transfer of authority. The question is and only is whether or not Archer’s special training gave him any insight into the text.

The answer in this case is obviously no. He was impressed by the argument that the events of the sixth day had to take longer than 24 hours. I mean, REALLY? THAT is his argument? The great and amazing Archer doesn’t appeal to any super special knowledge of Hebrew or Hittite? He appeals to a logical argument on timeline that is rather easily refuted?

THAT should tell you something (about how important having a Hebrew specialty is in all this and the giant lie (or at least naivety) underlying the claim that YEC just makes sense in English, as if it were obvious from the Hebrew :lol: ) . . .

If you are interested in why no one should take that argument seriously, read this. Then, if we’re going to appeal to authority, ask yourself why NO scholar in the history of interpretation suggested that problem staring us all in the face until suddenly it became important to try to find a way to fit Genesis 1 into modern science. Sorry, that’s what eisogesis does. It makes people really smart in one field make silly blunders in another. And, to emphasize, that isn’t a personal attack. It is a very relevant observation to the basic thrust of my entire argument.

And as an aside, if you take the time to read that article, you’ll note that the so-called long sixth day actually creates a serious problem for the day-age interpretation, not YEC. And if you insist on the obvious fixes so that DA doesn’t have a problem, then the same fixes apply to YEC.

So much for Archer and Radamacher.

That leaves us with the Geisler, and I would point out, sadly, that absolutely no argument is offered from Geisler whatsoever. Instead, we have repeated in various words the idea which is made explicit in Geisler’s quote here: “[O]ne could always claim that Old Earthers are inconsistent with their historical-grammatical hermeneutic. . . but this is an assertion without demonstration. Further, this would mean that the leaders and defenders of inerrancy for last the hundred plus years from Warfield and Hodge to Francis Schaeffer and J. I. Packer were all inconsistent with their own principles, and only Young Earthers are consistent with their principles. Besides being unlikely, such a claim lacks both humility and verifiability.” That that is exactly my claim, and it does not lack humility or verifiability. Regarding the former, the truest mark of humility is being willing to bow to the truth.

Let me be very clear here: there is nothing humble about denying truth without warrant. The YEC position is strongly warranted by the text, that is, by the HGM reading of Genesis 1. The day-age view lacks any and all warrant. What, then, is the warrant for rejecting YEC and affirming DA? Certainly not humility. You would need warrant before you claim humility. The only warrant is modern science. In fact, I would strongly affirm K’s request that the reader take time to look at Geisler’s argument against YEC. Some obvious errors include, but are not limited to, affirming a possible gap between Gen 1:1 and 1:2 (anyone who really understood the argument would never affirm this), attacking the weakest version of a particular argument in pretending like if ANY gaps are found in the genealogies than YEC’s warrant is overthrown, failing to consider linguistic markers attached to yom (which is something no one with any knowledge of discourse grammar would ever do), the eisogesis of reading Heb 4 back into the seventh day to suggest that Moses intended the original audience to conclude that the seventh day is “long”, the misrepresentation of the “appearance of age” argument, the overall confusion of possible interpretations with warranted interpretations, and still others I could mention but won’t (that’s not, by the way, a rhetorical ploy; there are several others I could actually mention!).

The point: Geisler doesn’t actually attempt to offer a warrant for DA. He just attacks YEC and does so with poor and twisted logic. Now, if you want to accuse me of hubris in so blatantly attacking Geisler, feel free. I will freely admit that I have little respect for him as a scholar. I don’t know him personally, but I know and have studied under men who know him personally. If you want an appeal to authority, try this: these men have given me more than enough personal testimony that I will not share here to make me doubt Geisler’s academic prowess. I’m not questioning his contribution to evangelicalism. Nor am I questioning what he is good at: popularizing nuanced ideas for the general evangelical field. But I can promise you this: Geisler’s work is not cited among scholars—certainly not today, anyway—except as a popular representative of this or that view. Seminary students like him. Original researchers? Not in particular. Bottom line, I don't have the same level of respect for Geisler as most evangelicals do . . . that might be something we can just agree to disagree on.

And as to the verifiability comment? Again, that’s incorrect on at least two levels. First, it begs the question. If DA is not warranted, then that itself is the verification. And second, a great many of the people Geisler himself sites are verifiably inconsistent with the HGM. Warfield to take only one example, was an amillennialist. And K, while you wouldn’t hold that against him, I do. Amillennialism is in direct contradiction with the HGM. It rests on a spiritualized reading of OT prophecies about Israel. I suspect you may wish to accuse me of having my eschatology and/or systematic theology drive my hermeneutics. But I would suggest to you that it is the opposite: it is the consistent application of my hermeneutics that drives my eschatology!

That is related to the second paragraph of your last post I’m addressing here. I want to quote you directly:
Furthermore, Dr. James Sawyer of Western Seminary pointed out that when the ICBI was formed in 1978, “the founding membership held over 30 discrete positions with reference to the interpretation of Genesis 1. Only one of these positions involved a 6-day recent creation.”
Now, K, I want to ask you a serious question: as you have asked me several times whether or not my theology is driving my exegesis and possibly hermeneutics, are you willing to ask the same thing of the ICBI? Look very closely at this quote. The group had only ONE representative of YEC.

Let that sink in. That doesn’t count against my position. It counts against the ICBI as a valid witness in this debate. The claim from YEC is that YEC is the only interpretation warranted by the HGM. When you have a large group of people who reject YEC but claim to hold to the HGM, what do you expect them to say? Is it not possible, or even likely, that their eschatology is driving their positions here? Is it not possible that YEC advocates either self-selected out or were (un)intentionally excluded given their argument?

Again, I want to be very clear here: IF the YEC claim is warranted, then it is not the HGM that is discredited, but rather the consistency of HGM advocates who hold to non-YEC views! As such, YECists can affirm all in the ICBI that teaches and affirms the HGM. They are under no obligation to affirm the claim that non-YEC interpretations are consistent with the HGM. Such a claim needs to be demonstrated by the interpretation of the text itself, not by the authority of people who hold to their interpretations for whatever their reasons (we don’t know because they haven’t told us) while claiming to hold to the HGM.

So, @K, to nearly quote you, I'd seriously suggest you reconsider hammering the Young Earth belief that this interpretation demonstrates fidelity to the hermeneutics underlying Scriptural orthodoxy.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#128

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:08 am

Thanks Jac.

I'll withhold any direct response for now, if I respond later...
Although re: authority, you also say much that can be applied against early church fathers in many respects. ;)

As a side, I wonder if down the track you could espouse your Genesis 1 interpretation some time.
There's a misnomer I feel, that there is something called "the YEC interpretation."

In fact, there are several YEC interpretations I've come across. Most are admittedly similar in many respects.
But, I really haven't come across one whose interpretation I am comfortable with Scripture wise.

At some point, I think each breaks with the HGM -- if we're seriously strict about applying such in accordance to the strength that you apply.
So I'd love to critique over your own interpretation and just discuss it all purely on a Scriptural level using an agreed method...

One of the reasons I find it hard to accept YEC is because I felt/feel like it distorts Scripture.
You know, what I accept now (Sabbatical) is more inline with how I initially read days in Genesis 1.
More than the Day-Age which attempts to say a literal meaning of yom is a period of time.
Ironically, looking up the BlueLetterBible lexicon, and we have yom figuratively meaning a period of time.
Therefore, a literal meaning of yom is a figurative period of time. :lol:
THAT contradiction never sat well with me as Day-Age.

Not until you kindly provided a key to understanding when you pointed out what was meant by "literal" is in fact a plain reading.
So then a plain reading of yom we sometimes find in Scripture is that it represents a period of time.
With that, and it's not my intention to defend Day-Age here really, but I still fail to see how such doesn't pass HGM.

We're still left with what Moses could have possibly intended.
It seems to me we must remain neutral and open, because it really isn't clear.
It's an open-ended question that I don't believe can be fully determined in the text alone.
Which is perhaps a bonus to the Sabbatical.
Because it doesn't say one way or another what is the case.

But anyway...

When I accepted the Day-Age interpretation, it was because it fell more into my line with my feelings about Scripture.
I was clueless to the science, but that it seemed to fall inline was a plus. Similarly I was clueless about methods of interpretation.
Which was why I was so easily persuaded listening to Ken Ham tapes that the days were 24 hours.
That is, until I realised via G&S that there were actually multiple positions on Genesis 1.
You've heard my story. I don't know if you believe me or think I'm making it up.

Nonetheless, I'd love to critique a YEC interpretation, but I wouldn't want you defending one that you yourself don't agree with.
Obviously, whether or not YEC is supported by the HGM as you say, depends upon the specifics of a particular interpretation.

Anyway, I'll let you keep on track.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#129

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:16 am

Ok, final post!

I want to talk a little about YEC--or the narrow aspect of YEC we've been talking about--and then respond to some of K's personal appeal and offer something of my hopes for this discussion (and for other related ones).

First, let me start by acknowledging something K has said somewhere in this small book that we've been writing together and that, frankly, I don't have the time or energy to go find. The interpretation, taken as an entire system, that we call YEC is no more ancient than OEC. Technically and strictly speaking, I'm actually under the impression that YEC as such post-dates OEC, since YEC was largely developed in response to OEC (of all forms--not just day-age).

So while the entire system, complete with the handle, is new, certain aspects of the idea are not. My intention in this thread is not to defend the system of thought taken as a whole. It is to defend certain aspects that have historical precedent. For our purposes, that means two highly specific items: a) the meaning of yom as an ordinary day, and b) the HGM (or, stated negatively, the importance of not spiritualizing or allegorizing a text). Both of those concepts are as old as the church itself, even if the formalized system of thought called YEC is not. Note carefully that we have not discussed other important issues, the chief of which being whether or not there was death before Adam's sin.

Anyway, the reason I have picked so often and so hard on the day-age view is that it strikes me as the only real alternative to what is commonly called YEC among those who wish to adhere to the HGM. As I have said before, one of the reasons I was so attracted to it several years ago and actively defended it (especially on the old board that probably nobody but K and I remembers) was precisely that: it's claim to being derived from a consistent employment of the HGM. My slow but steady rejection of the interpretation came as I saw more and more places where the HGM wasn't being followed after all, until finally, I simply came to see them as incompatible. But given all this, ideas like the GT, theistic evolution, the framework hypothesis, etc., have simply never been on my radar for serious consideration. That isn't to say I haven't studied them. I'm very familiar with BioLogos to take the obvious example. Yet, as I've read those defenses, I consistently find a rejection of the HGM at this or that point of convenience.

As such, I have come to the conclusion that so-called YEC is the only view that takes all the biblical data into account using the HGM. This is the important point above all. For it has two implications I already discussed in the post above: a) only YEC is warranted by the text (rendering all other interpretations unwarranted by the text), and b) to the extent the HGM accurately reflects proper hermeneutics, therefore to depart from YEC is to depart from fidelity to biblical theology.

Yet even given my position on YEC, I am NOT claiming that non-YECs are not Christians, aren't saved, don't love Jesus or the Bible, or any other such nonsense. But neither am I denying the importance of the debate by that admission. I do believe that getting things wrong on Genesis 1ff will hamper our ability to understand the rest of Scripture and will hamper therefore hamper our spiritual lives. And that strikes me as terribly important! Is it decisive or a test of fellowship or even orthodoxy? Of course not. Is it an important part of developing a deeply Christian worldview? Yes, I think it is. If you get this wrong can you still have a truly thoroughgoing Christian worldview? Of course you can. Can you do so consistently? No, I frankly don't think so. Can you paper over difficulties and ignore problems and rig sophistic solutions? Absolutely. Bottom line: OECs of all types are perfectly capable of getting along, so to speak, in their Christian life. And I have no doubt a great many OECs get along much better than a great many of their YEC counterparts. But it is a problem, nonetheless, and it's one I don't want to see the church face.

Of course, this raises other problems, the most serious of which--which K explicitly calls a weakness--is what appears to be (and sometimes is) a refusal to interact with modern science. What do we do when science contradicts the Bible? I mean, we do have documented history of people interpreting Scripture wrong and being corrected by science . . . how many of you are already thinking of Galileo?

But isn’t it obvious that the problem with that whole fiasco was not that the church was adhering to the HGM. The interpretations that make the earth the center of the universe depart from the HGM precisely because they fail to distinguish phenomenological language from depth grammar. In other words, while the Bible depicts the sun as orbiting around the earth, it does so (per the HGM) precisely because that is how things appear to be. But it never actually says that is what is the case. It never actually says that the earth actually is at the center of the universe. That view was an illogical deduction and was ultimately informed by the science, the cosmology in particular, of the day. So in a cruel twist of irony (for day-agers), it seems to me that Galileo actually provides a historical example against the day-age view. For just as the church was drawing its interpretation not from the HGM but from so-called science (that was later discovered, by science, to be wrong), DA—I contend—draws its inspiration not from the HGM but from so-called science (and I have faith that, if we allow nature to speak for itself with our reason guided by Scripture, science will discover that these current ideas are wrong, too). Don’t think that’s possible? Look at what science is discovering about evolution! Who would have ever claimed that DNA independently evolved multiple times? Any thinking person would rightly regard that as a defeater for the whole enterprise. But, of course, when your world view (not your science) is driven by an idea, then everything has to accommodate the idea, evidence be damned. The same could be said for the chicken-and-egg problems of DNA/RNA-Protein, of specified complexity and information theory, and so on. Science refutes evolution (sorry neo, I know you disagree). And, if we allow ourselves to look at the evidence, I expect that science will refute the problems uniquely associated with YEC.

So where does that leave us with science in particular and external sources in general in biblical interpretation?

With regard to science in particular, we simply must be vigilant that our scientific worldviews do not form the presuppositions by which we approach the text. I read stories like this one and my heart just breaks. The fundamental assumption cannot be that the Bible is guilty until proven innocent (per liberal high-critics), but neither can it be that the Bible is innocent until proven guilty (per theistic evolutionists and, I suggest, other non-YEC interpreters). The assumption must be that the Bible is true, and let all else be a lie. But doesn’t that confuse our interpretation of Scripture with Scripture? No, and it’s a silly charge, because EVERYTHING must be interpreted, including science. Obviously, we can and should always be open to the possibility that we have misinterpreted Scripture. But it does not follow that because we could be wrong that we are wrong. Let me put that in a syllogism:
  • 1. I could interpret the Bible in the wrong way;
    2. I interpret the Bible to teach YEC
    3. Therefore, I could be wrong that the Bible teaches YEC
Fine! No problem. I fully affirm this conclusion. But that is no victory for non-YECists, because replace “YEC” with any doctrine and you have exactly the same thing. The question is not if I could be wrong but am wrong? So consider this argument
  • 1. I could be wrong that the Bible teaches YEC
    2. Science says YEC is wrong
    3. Therefore, I am wrong that the Bible teaches YEC
This, I am afraid, is the implicit argument behind virtually all critiques of YEC, and this argument is fallacious. It is formally invalid. We moved from what could be in the premise to what is in the conclusion. The only way to make that valid would be to include a premise along these lines:
  • Our current understanding of science is correct in its understanding of the universe
Now, perhaps you grant that, but in doing so, you are permitting the Bible be judged by our current interpretation of science. And I reject that. Our current interpretation of science ought to be judged by our interpretation of Scripture! And notice the order there. We don’t prebuild our science into our interpretation so that a particular view of science is either justified or rejected. We have to follow the HGM and interpret the Scriptures on their own, in their own, and then take THAT to science.

So the real question is this:

Does our interpretation science judge our interpretation of Scripture, or does our interpretation of Scripture judge our interpretation of science?

I say the latter. Anything less is judging God Himself. I fully admit that is a theologically driven position. I fully admit that position will be unacceptable and unpalatable by those who want to judge things based on our interpretation of science. I simply say that they are wrong in their claim. Again, what science OUGHT to do, when it conflicts with our interpretation of Scripture, is cause us to revisit the Scripture and see if we are following the HGM or if we have erred somewhere. And I have asked that question with YEC. I don’t see a place where I have not followed the HGM. It is up to critics of YEC to not only show where we HAVE erred, but more importantly, what, given that error, we ought to believe based on Scripture following the HGM.

It is at this point I want to so heavily commend K for his work in this area. I think he has done a truly remarkable thing—perhaps a singular accomplishment—in his work on this question. I know that is a high compliment. I don’t want to overstate the case as an endorsement of his views. I think it is still too underdeveloped to adopt, and I think there are other serious issues that need to be grapple with. But his work is honest and consistent with the HGM. Perhaps he or others feels the HGM is too constricting. Many so-called advocates of the HGM are perfectly willing to stop using it when it comes to OT prophecy. I’m sorry. We don’t let the end justify the means. We have to be consistent in our thinking or our thinking is pretty much worthless, being nothing more than partially justified personal preferences. Let me go on record and say that I HOPE his views turn out to be defensible across the board. I am intrigued. It’d be a nice thing if I didn’t have to wait for science to answer unresolved questions, if I could just write them off as answered in finding a justified interpretation of Scripture that doesn’t create them. I just have to be honest and say that I’m not there yet, and I am absolutely convinced that all other non-YEC views fail in a dramatic fashion that same test.

I hope, then, that gives us some clues about how to uses science in interpreting Scripture—that is, how science and the HGM meet. I also want very briefly to lay out some rules as I see them for use of extra biblical resources in general (including science). Some will, again, find these rules too constricting. I see them as the natural outworking of the HGM, and it is because of these rules I hold the views I do on a range of theological issues.

1. Scripture must be interpreted with the flow of progressive revelation. That is, later passages are not the basis for (re)interpretation of earlier passages (in practice, that means don’t use the NT to interpret the OT)—n.b., here, Scripture itself is conceived of as an “outside source.” The psalms, for instance, are outside sources when considering Genesis;
2. Contemporary and earlier outside sources may be permitted to influence the exegesis of a text so long as we have warrant for thinking that those sources effected—directly or indirectly—the meaning of the text. Such a warrant must, by nature, be demonstrated. Thus, while modern science cannot influence the exegesis of Genesis 1, a good case can be made that Egyptian cosmology can, since the Israelites were exposed to it for 400 years and since Moses was trained in that particular worldview;
3. Later explicit interpretation of a passage by Scripture is to be taken as the meaning of the original passage if and only if it can be shown that the later passage is following the HGM; otherwise, the interpretive principle of the later passage must be stated plainly and each passage interpreted in its own light (for more on that, see my paper on the Psalms);
4. Later writings from the same or contemporary authors (both biblical and non-biblical) may be taken into account in the exegesis of a text if sufficiently warranted. For instance (and this could illustrate the third rule as well), Moses’ comments in Exodus 20 on the seven days of creation can be taken as informative of Genesis 1 since it gives us insight into the original author. Likewise, studies on the use of a particular word or phrase within a related group of texts can shed light on how a word was used at that particular time. That means, though, that uses of a word separated by hundreds or thousands of years ought to be taken with extreme skepticism as being informative of understanding the earlier text;
5. Later interpretations, both explicit and implicit, of earlier texts can be informative of the meaning of an earlier text in one of three ways:
5a – if there is evidence that the later interpreter had direct knowledge of the original author’s mind, his or her interpretation should have serious weight (and so the true usefulness of tradition in light of the HGM; for example, see Clement’s comments on the purpose of the Gopel of John).
5b – if there is no evidence that the later interpreter had direct knowledge of the author’s mind, his interpretation may still have serious weight if he provides a precedent for our own interpretation, so long as that interpretation follows the standard rules of the HGM and all other means. The reason for this is that all humans possess the same nature and so the same rational capacities. If someone else came to a though independently, there must be a reason independent of one particular person’s mind for that interpretation. That sources should be explicitly identified and compared to the HGM;
5c – as a controlling factor, if an interpretation is totally new and completely unprecedented, it is most likely to be regarded as incorrect and a product of eisogesis. “Most likely,” of course, does not mean “necessarily.” But if the new interpretation purports to be the result of the HGM and yet is completely unprecedented in its totality or its individual elements (especially the latter), the interpreter is especially bound to demonstrate his warrant and explain why his interpretation was not discovered in previous generations. Again, the reasoning for this argument is that earlier interpreters possessed the same rational faculties we do, and since Scriptures were, from the time of their writings, able to be understood by their contemporaries forward, then we would expect a proper understanding of Scripture to have been noticed and upheld before.

So, I hope those guidelines further clarify my arguments for YEC and against OEC, specifically the DA flavor.

I want to close all of this by responding to K’s personal appeal. I want to say that I’ve no interest in anyone doubting their faith. I am distressed at the notion that someone would think that if OEC is shown false that therefore the veracity of their faith is in jeopardy, and that for two reasons: first, the presumption that YEC is necessarily wrong and modern science is necessarily right strikes me as absurd. The implication here is that we can only trust God if He agrees with our current scientific theories. Are we really going to put God on trial? I’m not asking for blind faith, but I am asking people to hear what God is saying in His own words before we start trying to find evidence for His claim. And even if we have no evidence than His own words on specific claims, I claim that He has given us enough evidence in other areas that we can trust Him in this one!

Further, as Craig is quick to point out, it is not our faith that is in jeopardy. At worst, it is inerrancy or our understanding of inspiration. I can promise you this: I would far more quickly revise my understanding of inerrancy/inspiration than my interpretation of Genesis 1. Geisler thinks that is too high a price to pay, but I think he is wrong. Because if the price of “inerrancy” is that we read into Scripture what it doesn’t actually say, what we have no warrant for holding, then inerrancy doesn’t exist anyway. I take it on faith that the Bible won’t contradict science or even itself. I have no more patience for theologies that reinterpret passages to fit each other to make sure there is no contradiction than I do with the day-age theory. All the same principles apply. Here’s a major point: we cannot be so afraid of contradictions that we refuse to let the Bible speak plainly!

Lastly, my faith isn’t based on Genesis 1 or on the inspiration of Scripture. It is based on the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and on His empty tomb. I could reject every word of the OT in principle and still believe that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosever believes on Him will not perish but has everlasting life. And I promise you, I DO believe that. And this is important for both apologetic and evangelistic purposes. Nobody rejects Jesus because YEC. If they claim they do, it’s a smokescreen. An excuse. Promoting OEC doesn’t make people more likely to accept Jesus. Our job is to present them with the gospel. If they want to get off track and ask unrelated questions, we just politely tell them that is an interfamily debate (in whatever words we want to use). The only question for them is whether or not they trust Jesus. And let me be very clear and, plainly, very blunt: I am not interested in the theology of nonbelievers anyway. I’ve less interest in their interpretation of Scripture than I do in ACB’s gap theory, and that should say a lot! And we are doing them a disservice by discussing such matters as if they are important. Fine if you want to humor them and give them a chance to be around and try to understand orthodoxy enough to get comfortable with it. But let’s not buy into the lie that accepting the gospel is predicated on being comfortable with orthodox Christianity. It isn’t. We learn to get comfortable with Christianity by practicing it. And, in fact, if I or anyone on these boards is fully comfortable with your faith, then I would like to suggest to you that somewhere your faith is in something you invented. Because real Christianity is about conforming us into the image of Christ, and since none of us are yet fully conformed, all of us have to change. But all change is uncomfortable. So no discomfort means no change, and no change means whatever we are, we’ve content with not being like Christ!

That doesn’t mean that to be YEC and uncomfortable is to be a better Christian. It IS to say that I don’t care about my discomfort, and frankly, I don’t care about anybody else’s. I care about our union with Christ, about letting the words of Scripture speak of themselves in any and every area. To take an obvious example, many evangelical, conservative Christians recognize what the Bible says about homosexuality. We get condemned as being a bigot for it. Science, we are told, is against us. Does my discomfort matter? Ought we to promote a view of Scripture that allows for gay marriage for the sake of evangelism?

I say no. You say the comparison is unfair, that gay marriage is a sin and OEC is not. True. But it is fair insofar as we are looking at what makes us comfortable and uncomfortable. I know YEC makes us uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. But that’s only because I don’t have the time to study science. Thank God there are people who do. Jason Lisle would respond with very specific claims that I am not schooled enough to make. But I am schooled enough to say that I think that the Bible warrants—and only warrants—a YEC understanding of Genesis 1.

The goal, then, isn’t to make anyone doubt their faith. It’s to get them to draw closer to their Savior . . . not a model of creation.

So I truly thank you, K, for being willing to engage with me on this. This ends my formal reply to your previous words. I’m sure we can continue discussing this. Again, I am highly, highly intrigued with the interpretation you have suggested. I hope you continue to develop it, and perhaps I can offer some thoughts on that as well. I hope my words throughout this have not been too sharp. I hope we can continue to express the truth as we understand it in love and continue to be humble and gracious enough to say and hear the perspective of others without demanding conformity. I think I can say I understand what I believe and what others believe better as a result of this. I’m under the impression you can say the same. And I think our fellowship is unbroken if not strengthened. So perhaps , if I may be so bold, I can even suggest that all of this is a good model of what Christian dialogue actually looks like! :)
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Kurieuo (Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:37 am)
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue
And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#130

Post by RickD » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:50 am

I sure hope this isn't the end of this discussion. If it is, it's more disappointing than the final Seinfeld episode. :crying:
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Jac3510 (Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:52 am) • Kurieuo (Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:26 pm)
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#131

Post by Philip » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:11 pm

Sometimes, I see a lengthy post like Jac's last, and I'm wondering how much older I'll be when I finish it. :lol: This is why I abandoned a two-volume apolgetics project, after several years of writing them. I thought, WHO, pray tell, has the patience to read through all of this. But great stuff, nonetheless, and well reasoned from both K and J.

But at the end of the day, WHY does it matter (to US) whether, pre-Adam, the universe was billions of years old, or almost a mere week? And, of course, that 's a different question than should we consider the Genesis texts TRUE and historical. As you can believe they are but not understand various nuances of them. We've always got to remember that God gave us MORE than just His word to ponder - He gave us His other witness: What has been created. And, as God is eternal and for whom time is but tool, and as He has patiently guided and watched a dizzying (to us) array of human events over many thousands of years, what the heck was his giant hurray to cram everything into a literal week? Think of the tasks and things Adam had to do and absorb before Eve. Adam's a "new born," and yet he's already lonely and in need of a wife? :lol: And, of course, he couldn't have even known what a WIFE was. For that matter, all of his memories were less than a week old - and so he must have spent most of his first day creatively coming up with animal names? Gee, it took us weeks to name one new puppy. I think, not having been human long, I'd probably still be trying to master going to the "bathroom." :shock: But I digress! :wave:

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#132

Post by abelcainsbrother » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:06 pm

I don't know if I should post because I don't want to offend Jac but I must say that a proper understanding of the Hebrew debunks YEC and does not support YEC,YEC's often accuse others of messing with the Hebrew to accomdate science,but they are twisting Hebrew to accommodate young earth dogma,now this does not apply to all young earth creationists as most just believe what they have been taught without examining the Hebrew themselves.

One thing that young earth creationists do in order to believe the earth is young or 6000 years old is they twist what the Hebrew words " bara" and "asah" mean they twist them to mean the same thing and in doing this they lose context of any time the bible uses the word " create" or "made" when every time you see them words Moses is in context of what he is saying.YEC's make the words "create" and " made" mean the same thing,when they do not. When God creates? He creates whatever it is out of nothing,but when you see the word"made" in Genesis God is forming whatever it is out of already existing material that had already been created out of nothing.

This causes YEC's to lose context of what Moses is telling us in Genesis 1 and Genesis in general and so if you think create and made meanthe same thing? You are not understanding what the bible is saying ,and once you do?You'll realize that the Hebrew actually refutes the young earth interpretation because Moses is teaching the earth is old and this is without getting into the meaning of yom.

YEC's commonly make up lies and say Gap theorists twist the meaning of "bara" and "asah" keep in mind they are lying,because they are the ones doing it,twisting what these two different Hebrew words mean
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#133

Post by melanie » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:28 pm

Abel, I get that you are passionate about the GT and defending it. It is a theory that cops a lot of criticism and in my opinion misunderstanding but no-one is lying or twisting scripture to suit YEC. It is a different interpretation, whilst I don't adhere to it, it is a very valid creation stance. I enjoy reading and finding out more about how it is interpreted and understood as I do the GT and all POV regarding creation.
The same uneccessary overly harsh criticisms are used repeatedly against the GT and I think that is why you not only defend it, but seem overly defensive and critical.
Take a chill pill ;)
You do a great job of putting forward the GT position, don't resort to accusing those with different stances in particular YEC of lying or twisting scripture. That argument may be used often against the GT but throwing accusations around just takes away from what your saying and understandably makes others upset and defensive.

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#134

Post by abelcainsbrother » Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:35 pm

melanie wrote:Abel, I get that you are passionate about the GT and defending it. It is a theory that cops a lot of criticism and in my opinion misunderstanding but no-one is lying or twisting scripture to suit YEC. It is a different interpretation, whilst I don't adhere to it, it is a very valid creation stance. I enjoy reading and finding out more about how it is interpreted and understood as I do the GT and all POV regarding creation.
The same uneccessary overly harsh criticisms are used repeatedly against the GT and I think that is why you not only defend it, but seem overly defensive and critical.
Take a chill pill ;)
You do a great job of putting forward the GT position, don't resort to accusing those with different stances in particular YEC of lying or twisting scripture. That argument may be used often against the GT but throwing accusations around just takes away from what your saying and understandably makes others upset and defensive.
I agree Mel but I'm only telling the truth,I know it can hurt but nothing I have said is untrue.It is no good for Christians to make up things and spread them around in order to defend their dogma and they do.I guess by telling the truth and exposing these things hurts those who admere to it,but I'm not lying.Have you ever read what YEC's say in order to defend YEC and try to make others interpretations wrong?I'm just trying to point out truth is all.This is one reason why so many reject the gap theory too.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

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Re: Hermeneutics, Divine & Human Authorship & Age of Earth

#135

Post by 1over137 » Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:35 pm

Abel, you will not offend Jac by posting your disagreement. Disagreement is fine.

Thing is whether you understand the opposing view well enough (and the Hebrew language) to say people do not understand their arguments.

Jac is very well skilled in Hebrew language. You two could have fruitful conversation about Hebrew language. Leave aside personal claims (like lying, twisting, etc.) and go ahead.
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abelcainsbrother (Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:13 am)
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
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#foreverinmyheart

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