Age of Star Light

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Age of Star Light

#1

Post by cubsfan » Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:59 am

Hi, I am new to this forum. I'd like to invite a conversation about the very broad topic which forms the very premise of the GodandScience website: How does one reconcile the legitimate practice of science with the legitimate worship of the God of the Bible? I come as a student of the Bible with more questions than opinions, but I do have some tentative opinions. Not seeing a topic listed in this forum that deals with my specific areas of interest, I thought it best to launch a limited, specific sub-topic: For now, the age of star light.

I have read several articles on the website, including "Appearance of Age - A Young Earth Problem" by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html. I was struck by comments like these:
The following [11] verses suggest that God created the universe through an expanding universe - what science has called the Big Bang. In many cases the Hebrew text indicates present tense - a process still continuing. ... [E.g.,] "It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, And I ordained all their host." (Isaiah 45:12)
... Since we know that objects in the universe are 13 billion years away, it must have taken the light 13 billion years to reach us. Therefore, the universe must be at least 13 billion years old. Either God created the universe at least 13 billion years ago or He deceived us by making it seem to be 13 billion years old.
If we believe that God himself is supernatural, i.e., outside of the creation, i.e., outside of Nature, i.e., outside of the material, visible, scientifically discoverable realm, and if we believe he is the creator of the universe, i.e., what we call Nature, why do we keep applying the so-called 'laws of Nature' to the inferred processes by which he performed the creation? Specifically, we would know very little about his creative acts, their chronology, and how he approached accomplishing them, absent a direct revelation via the Biblical accounts. This is because no one but He witnessed the creation, and because there is nothing obvious in Nature which points to the order of creation expressed in the plain language of Ge 1 (e.g., light created before any light source would not be expected to occur in Nature). Mr. Deem asserts that the light streaming to earth from distant starts is like a time machine, showing what has happened historically. While this is logically possible, and scientifically plausible, this theory is no necessarily true. It is wrong to assume it is true without first allowing God to be God.

To put this plainly, we posit an omipotent, omniscient, supernatural God who can do anything he wants and whose ways are infinitely beyond our power or ability to understand. Indeed, he created our ability to understand and revealed only what he wanted to reveal about his hand in creating Nature, and about his own nature. Why do we tend to insist that what he revealed plainly in scripture cannot be correct because it does not match our present ability to piece together what He did (via scientific methods)? On Day One He creates light with no light source. Does that not, by its nature, scream "supernatural act?" If he is supernatural enough to create the heavens and the earth ex nihilo or out of something in the spiritual realm, depending on your view, why is he not powerful enough to create an effect, i.e., light, without an obvious source, such as a star? Is the changing of water to wine by Jesus any less amazing, when you consider there was no source for the grape juice and no time for the fermentation process, etc.? So, why is the lack of a day one light source so troubling to us? He's God, demonstrating he is God.

He then separates the darkness from the light, because his creation of light apparently lit everything. He has evening and morning in that order, perhaps, because after he created the light he created a transition to darkness on the earth and a transition to morning, possibly via spinning the earth before a fixed point of light. What was that point or source? Why does it have to be anything? Why can't God just make it be, like scripture says he did, speaking things into being? The key here is that we have no idea what all this means in detail. So, do we really hope to get there via our scientific knowledge? Can we in good conscience really test a plain reading of scripture against our scientific theories? What God via Moses describes defies the ways we expect things to work in Nature; (those 'ways' are what we call the 'laws of nature', perhaps.) Mr. Deem says, in a different article,
I have yet to hear one reasonable explanation of how there can be day and night on the Earth without the Sun shining until 3 days later. "Is the Young-Earth Interpretation Biblically Sound?" http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/youngearth.html.


Mr. Deem is not permitting that the light of Day One was miraculously created and sustained without a 'natural' light source. To even suggest such a phenomenon would be irrational for him. This is because, from a scientific point of view, light without a light source is a mystery to be investigated, not a miracle explainable only by reference to the power of God. So, I wonder if Mr. Deem considers his expressed faith that God had the power and supernatural character necessary to create the universe, to be rational. Isn't he abandoning reason and science to put his trust in this God? Indeed, there is no scientific explanation for a supernatural God doing anything, including a miracle like creating the universe at his will. So, I ask, why not let God be God in this? Does the fact that Mr. Deem can conceive of no rational explanation for what God clearly reveals he did make God a liar? No, it makes Mr. Deem a very intelligent man whose understanding is yet infinitely less than that of God's. It makes Mr. Deem a man who doubts the Word of God because of what his brain is up to.

Day Four, there is this creation of the sun, moon and heavenly host, explicitly visible from the earth -- this is key. First, from that point forward the light on the earth is a function of observable phenomena, i.e., actual light sources. Second, where ever these light sources are positioned when God is done on the 4th day, their light is already visible from the earth. God says so:
14Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so. 16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. Ge 1 (NASB)
Again, whether or not it is true that most of the stars and galaxies and so forth that are visible from earth today are actually millions and billions of light years away right now, we know that the light was already visible from them on Day Four. Now, how could that be? Mr. Deem and other old universe advocates posit 6 ages instead of days, and others posit the "gap" between Ge 1:1 & 1:2. Lots of time is needed to accommodate their faith in the science of dating star light. But, the plain reading of Genesis does not suggest more than 6 normal days as Moses, the writer, would have known them. (I realize a word study would show longer periods used by the same term in other locations, but the context apparent in a plain read of Ge 1 demonstrates they were 24 hour days, at least because of the evening and morning references. Exodus supports this as well, quoted below). While a scientist who insists that the light needed billions of years to travel to earth may be right, that is the whole point about God: He is supernaturally miraculous. He could have caused the light to be observable from the earth instantaneously. How could he do that? Well, when we figure out how Jesus made water turn to wine, we will be qualified to start figuring out how God could get that light here or at least make it visible (could there be distinction?). Mr. Deem suggests the universe is expanding, per scripture, because God stretches out the heavens. (see quote at top). Well, that could well be. And that could well explain why star light that is not billions of years old is visible on the earth. God spread the light out from where the stars were "placed" or he moved the stars from close to the earth to far away, as only He could do, in a miraculously fast manner. The point is, I don't know, and neither does Mr. Deem, and neither will any of us until we are in His presence, providing he is willing to reveal that information at that time, and provided we care by then.

Do I disparage science? Absolutely not. Do I disparage old earth proponents. Absolutely not. Am I a young earth proponent? Absolutely not. I am a God-of-the-Bible proponent. He is great, and our limited faculties are not meant to completely search out his ways. E.g.,
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"
35"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. Eph 11 (NIV)
On the other hand, I agree with Mr. Deem that God wants us to be rational and to understand as much as we might. We are not to be blind fools. He quotes Romans 1 about those who have no excuse if they cannot see in the creation the invisible and awesome qualities of God. This is true, in general, but to suggest this means we can understand everything God has done and in detail is really a very low view of God and his miraculous character. Indeed, it is to commit categorical errors of epistemology and metaphysics, which i could discuss further.

So, while I think it fascinating scientists can theorize a vast distance to the stars, and I am greatly impressed with this, I am troubled by attempts of people to "naturalize" the scriptures. The Bible asserts 6 days in a plain reading of Ge 1, and in Exodus:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exodus 31:17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he abstained from work and rested.' "
This 6 day creation is implied by scripture to be a miracle. Why do people, then, try to assert that a 6 day creation is impossible? Of course it is impossible. If it were possible it would not be a miracle, by definition. If that makes God a liar, then I must say, there is something defective in our faith.
1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward. "
2 But Abram said, "O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?" 3 And Abram said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir." 4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir." 5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Ge 15 (NIV)
God gave Abram eyes to see, and reason to put 2 and 2 together, which he did, and God contradicted that understanding. Abram chose to believe God over his own understanding. It seems faith and science must conflict in this sense and on those occasions. And faith must win over our ability to observe and reason over what we observe.
9We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5 (NIV).
It is not those who interpret the scripture plainly who make God out to be a liar. It is those who deny He did what he said he did who call God a liar. (The history of those denying the plain statements of God is long, beginning with Satan at Ge 3:1-3.)

I do not advocate a plain reading dogmatically or with any malice. On the other hand, Mr. Deem's caricature of the young earth view focuses on those who do not argue very well, or is a straw man argument attempting lump all such arguments together so as to usurp the field by labeling the opponent as irrational. I realize some arguments out there on certain subjects can succeed in usurping a given field, but in this case Mr. Deem's unfounded presuppositions about the nature of the Creation have undermined his analysis.

That said, I am open and eager to learn from anyone with greater and further insight, including Mr. Deem. This is not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg on this subject, as the range of topics of the many articles on the GodandScience site attest. For one thing, Mr. Deem's verse by verse interpretation of Genesis is fraught with textual, epistemological and metaphysical questionability. I ask, has Mr. Deem found the only true way to read Ge 1, or is it that no one is able to 'prove' what the correct interpretation is? One thing I am certain of about biblical hermeneutics is that for a believer in God to deny that God could have done miraculously what Ge 1 plainly says he did is just plain silly. So, what do we do with that?

Striving to remain teachable in Christ, cubsfan 8)

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Re: Age of Star Light

#2

Post by Gman » Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:18 pm

No one here is calling God a liar nor his word... What it basically boils down to is a skewed interpretation of God's word. The young earthers go to a skewed interpretation of Genesis then try to "fit" science into it. It is not possible... In other words, they are getting worked up over nothing. A problem that does not exist.. Then non-believers, who are up on their science, think that the Bible is a laughing joke. The effect turns millions away from the Bible as being a reliable source of information. And for what? Nothing.... Well pride maybe...

I would explain more, but we get this question so often I think this link explains it best..

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ation.html

Cheers..
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Age of Star Light

#3

Post by cubsfan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:42 am

Thank you, Jon, for responding to my post. Since you took the time, so kindly, to write, I want to respond to your points, including your article from the GodandScience website, which you incorporate by reference, especially since it "explains it best." This will take a bit of time, because you rely on seconday sources so heavily. Rest assured, I am on the job. cubsfan. 8)

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Re: Age of Star Light

#4

Post by Gman » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:40 pm

cubsfan wrote:Thank you, Jon, for responding to my post. Since you took the time, so kindly, to write, I want to respond to your points, including your article from the GodandScience website, which you incorporate by reference, especially since it "explains it best." This will take a bit of time, because you rely on seconday sources so heavily. Rest assured, I am on the job. cubsfan. 8)
Jon? Who is Jon?
The heart cannot rejoice in what the mind rejects as false - Galileo

We learn from history that we do not learn from history - Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

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Re: Age of Star Light

#5

Post by cubsfan » Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:03 pm

Jon W. Greene wrote the article you referred me to. I guess I assumed it was your article, and, as your moniker is Gman, without thinking about it I assumed you were Mr. Green. Didn't mean anything by it. :oops:

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Re: Age of Star Light

#6

Post by cubsfan » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:37 pm

Re: Age of Star Light
by Gman on Mon Dec 29, 2008 12:18 pm
No one here is calling God a liar nor his word... What it basically boils down to is a skewed interpretation of God's word. The young earthers go to a skewed interpretation of Genesis then try to "fit" science into it. It is not possible... In other words, they are getting worked up over nothing. A problem that does not exist.. Then non-believers, who are up on their science, think that the Bible is a laughing joke. The effect turns millions away from the Bible as being a reliable source of information. And for what? Nothing.... Well pride maybe...

I would explain more, but we get this question so often I think this link explains it best..

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ation.html

Cheers..

Gman, I will not make a practice of writing such long responses as this one, I hope. However, your reply opened the door for me to express some views on a wide array of topics I felt needed addressing.

The Points you Made:
1. No one is calling God a liar.


General Response: Actually, in “Appearance of Age - A Young Earth Problem,” http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html, Mr. Deem rhetorically presented the false dilemma,
Either God created the universe at least 13 billion years ago or He deceived us by making it seem to be 13 billion years old..
The logical fallacy of a false dilemma is evident here, in that there are other possibilities beyond those two, but that is a digression. Mr. Deem is emphatically saying that he is right, and those who disagree with him are as wrong as someone who would call God a liar:
Not only does the Bible say that God never lies, but it declares that God's creation does not lie. The appearance of age doctrine is directly refuted by the Bible itself. … Appearance of age claims that God created a world with a false history. Such a claim is directly refuted by the Bible, which claims that God's creation declares His glory and righteousness. Nowhere does any biblical author make the claim that God's word contradicts any historical facts. Ultimately, the claim that the God of creation would lie to us with a false history of the universe, is a direct attack on the righteous character of God and cannot be tolerated within the Church! The God who would deceive His creatures with lies is not the God of the Bible.


Thus, it is not true that folks like Mr. Deem would agree that “No one is calling God a liar.” Mr. Deem is explicitly saying young earth creationists are calling God a liar. His position assumes or asserts the following general propositions:

I. Science has demonstrated that the universe is billions of years old, and Christians need to accept that conclusion as a metaphysical or ontological fact.

II. The universe is God's creation, so Christians need to accept the fact that God created the universe billions of years ago (and progressively since that time).

III. “The God of the Bible does not (and even cannot) lie.” As Jon Greene puts it in the article you referred me to, “The Days of Creation: A Closer Look at Scripture,”
Both young-earth (calendar-day) creationists and old-earth (day-age) creationists consider the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. Both believe the Genesis creation account is an historical narrative—not an allegory, myth, legend, or poetic expression. And both support an ex nihilo creation and reject Darwinian evolution. Thus, both views come from believers who are merely seeking truth and trying to understand God's message in Genesis 1. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ation.html.
IV. The desire to get the truth and to understand God's message in the Genesis 1 account of God's creative acts requires the scripture to be read in a manner that is consistent with the known scientific and metaphysical/ontological facts (I & II).

v. If Ge 1 is not read as consistent with facts (I&II), that makes God out to be a liar.

vi. Saying that the features of the created universe were created instantaneously with the “appearance of age” is a contradiction of the facts (I & II). Therefore, the appearance of age view calls God a liar.

vii. Young earth creationists hold the appearance of age view. Therefore, the Young earth creationists call God a liar.

Specific Response:

(1) Not all young earth creationists adhere to the appearance of age view. Some simply choose to deny alleged fact I, i.e., that the universe is known to be billions of years old. Some say science has its facts wrong or assumes too much, etc. Those who deny the billions of years of age are not calling God a liar, because they are not interpreting Ge 1 to contradict something they take as true. They interpret Ge 1 to contradict what they view as inaccurate conclusions. That, of course, is the weakness of the old earth view: It claims the contemporary scientific views of the day express metaphysical/ontological facts. But as Mr. Greene points out in his article, quoting Charles Hodge:
The Church has been forced more than once to alter her interpretation of the Bible to accommodate the discoveries of science. Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1981), I:570-571, cited in C. John Collins, Science & Faith: Friends or Foes? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 81.
No doubt this need to keep reinterpreting scripture by those who put their faith in science will occur again and again, because “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” 1 Cor 13:12 (NASB). But those who read the scripture plainly do not have to accommodate science. They know that science will progressively show, if it is honest, that the plain sense of the Bible is accurate. (The issue of what the original words in Hebrew or Greek meant will be dealt with below).

(2) Those who do adhere to the appearance of age view admit that the science is correct that the universe is billions of years old in terms of maturity, but they assert it was created mature to begin with, which means it is mature but not really so ancient. They would say that by the end of the fourth 24 hour day, many of the stars were already millions or billions of years old. Whether this was an accelerated aging process or just an instantaneous age ex nihilo is unknowable, though one can hypothesize that the stars, like the plants of Day Three and living creatures of Days Five and Six, experienced accelerated growth. The key from this view is that by the end of each respective day, the created features of the universe on that day were completely as mature as necessary to play the role they were created to play. — As an aside, the point of my first post was that any good faith attempt to interpret scripture cannot use as its guiding principle that it would be impossible for God to do as much as the plain reading of scripture implies he did on a given day. Of course it would be impossible. Creation of anything ex nihilo is impossible. If God can do that, why can't he break the laws of nature and defy time and space to accomplish his works? My overall point in writing to begin with is that this “impossibility” line of reasoning is absurd and fallacious. You can argue that God did it a different way, but don't give as a reason for that view that God could not have done it this way or that. He can do what he wants. As Deem says,
God can do anything. The question is not what He can do, but what He actually does. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html
So, if the earth appears old, because it was created just 6,000 years ago as an old thing, and the Appearance of Age advocate (AAA) thinks God is saying in his Word he created it matured and functional 6,000 years ago, how is an AAA saying God is a liar? No, the AAA is saying God has roughly explained why we should not be surprised if the earth appears to be older than 6,000 years. Rather than saying God is a liar, the AAA argues God has explained the phenomena scientists claim they have discovered. Thus, the Appearance of Age Advocate is a friend to science, and certainly does not make out God to be lying to scientists, because they say God says plainly in his Word what he did. But because God's method is not naturalistic, but supernaturalistic, old earth advocates feel they have to reinterpret the scriptures. That's why they are so vulnerable to my cheap shot attacks in my original post. They contradict themselves on their belief in miracles, and think it is up to them to pick and choose which miracles God is capable of and which he claims he did.

(3) Finally, as I pointed out in my first post, if an old earth creationist wants to argue in support of his position, he first has to stop denying God has the supernatural (miraculous) ability to do anything which he plainly appears to have done.

A plain read of Genesis 1 leaves the impression that by the end of each day, each successively new component of Nature was functionally mature:

1. Earth, Water, Darkness (“night”), Light (“day”), Evening, Morning
2. Sky (1st Heaven) as an expanse between the waters below and above
3. Land (called “earth”) and vegetation upon it
4. Sun, Moon, Stars placed in the expanse of the heavens (1st and 2nd heavens are sky and universe)
5. Creatures of the Water and Birds
6. Land Creatures and Mankind (with the spirit of life (spiritual life) within him)

First, I don't think people like Greene deny the plain reading of the modern Bible in its various translations asserts these features of the creation came into being in this order and on their respective 24 hour days. He writes:
… For Christians who hold the young-earth view, being true to God's word necessitates believing the universe, Earth, and life were all created in six 24-hour days, six to ten thousand years ago. This is based on the contention that the “simplest explanation of the [Genesis 1] text... is that Moses intended the days to be thought of in the most common sense of that term.”1 Thus, any interpretation that goes beyond a clear plain meaning of the text is considered to compromise Biblical authority and capitulate to evolutionary theories.
… Both young-earth and old-earth creationists believe the Bible is inspired and defend their interpretations as being literal. The issue is the interpretation of the text of Genesis 1.28 According to Bruce Waltke, the young-earth exegesis is hindered by an adherence to a “woodenly literal” reading of Genesis.29 Gordon Wenham concurs, stating the problem is “six days has been seized on and interpreted over-literalistically, with the result that science and Scripture have been pitted against each other instead of being seen as complementary.”30


In other words, they concede the literal reading is as plain reading proponents suggest.
… Well before Big Bang cosmology proved a creation billions of years old, Charles Hodge (1797-1878), a very conservative theologian, wrote the following: “It is of course admitted that, taking the [Genesis creation] account by itself, it would be most natural to understand the word [“day”] in its ordinary sense; but if that sense brings the Mosaic account into conflict with facts, and another sense avoids such conflict, then it is obligatory on us to adopt that other [view]….”
In fact, Greene does not argue that our modern translations do not imply six 24 hour days to the initial creation. Instead, he argues that the modern translations most people rely upon are wrong:
One difficulty with this view is most young-earth creationists interpret the Genesis creation account through the lens of the modern English Bible. While English translations can make it sound as though the creation days were 24-hour periods, textual and grammatical elements of the original Hebrew narrative suggest otherwise. Indeed, a literal reading of the Hebrew text provides compelling exegetical clues pointing to prolonged creation days. To understand why this is the case, one only needs to consider the chain of translation. From original Hebrew, the text was translated to the Greek Septuagint, to Latin Vulgate, to English Wycliffe, to English Tyndale, to the King James Version, and finally to the NIV, NASB, ESV and other modern translations. Because every language is unique, nuances of the original text have been lost in the translations leading to the modern English Bible.
Greene is saying the OT we know in English today is a translation of a translation of a translation, and the same errors from earlier versions have been carried over to what we have today. As support for this he relies on some exegetical views of C. John Collins, a “Professor of Old Testament, and department chair at Covenant Theological Seminary. He served as chairman of the Old Testament Committee for the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible and holds a PhD in Hebrew linguistics.”

Greene writes:
The verbs used in Genesis 1:1-2 (i.e., God “created” and earth “was”) are in the perfect tense32 and distinct from the wayyiqtol verb form used in the remainder of Genesis 1. As Hebrew linguist C. John Collins33 notes, the wayyiqtol verb functions as “the backbone or storyline tense of Biblical Hebrew narrative discourse,”34 while the perfect verb “denotes an event that took place before the main storyline got underway.”35 Thus, the verb forms indicate the creation of “the heavens and the Earth” was separate from, and preceded, the events of the first creation day.
Greene is saying you can't say the heavens and earth were created over the 6 days listed in Ge 1, because they are already created before 1:3. That means that when light is called into being on Day One, and the sun, moon and starts are “placed” on Day Four, the text is really telling us that the light from the stars was allowed to show through the atmosphere of the earth, which up to then was opaque. (The atmosphere creation of Day Two really happened prior to Day One, don't you know.) In other words, Greene takes the plain reading of the scripture we find in any modern translation, including the NIV, NASB and ESV, and says it is translated wrong. A smart guy, Dr. Collins, has said so, and we should believe him. Why? Because he presided over the translation of the ESV OT. That is quite a qualification. Let's look at the difference between the NASB, the NIV and the ESV in Ge 1-19 (Days One to Four (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/):
Genesis 1:1-19
New International Version (NIV)
Genesis 1
The Beginning
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Genesis 1
The Creation
1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
3Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
6Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."
7God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.
8God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
9Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
10God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.
11Then God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them"; and it was so.
12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.
13There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
14Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
15and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
16God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.
17God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.
19There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

English Standard Version (ESV)
Genesis 1
The Creation of the World
1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters." 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear." And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth." And it was so. 16And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


For a guy who had a position of great influence on the translation of the ESV, as the OT chair, he does not seem to have been very effective in convincing his committee to adopt his view of how to translate the scripture. In fact, it is nearly identical to the NIV and NASB. Why were his great insights not incorporated? Why does the ESV saddle us with this absurd translation that makes the weak minded read it as errantly as we are forced to read the NIV and NASB? Could it be that Dr. Collins' views are in the minority and not well accepted? He is not without his critics. See “THE ANTHROPOMORPHIC DAYS OF C. JOHN COLLINS Parts I and II” by James B. Jordan http://reformed-theology.org/ice/newsle ... .97.08.htm and http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/biblica ... ns-part-2/

One thing is for sure, Collins blew his chance to set us all straight with a truer translation of the Hebrew. We are stuck with another text that plainly reads the way new earth creationists say it reads.

Now, second, since Greene and everyone else has to agree that the plain reading of the modern translations is an accurate interpretation of the English as written, it does the old earth creationist (OEC) no good to claim it would be impossible for God to miraculously do what the English translations say he did: Create each feature of the creation functionally mature in 6 single, respective days. He has the power, so OEC's really need to quit saying it is impossible for God to do the impossible.

Third, it is a better argument to say other parts of the Bible, say Ge 2, contradict a 6 day creation as the plain read of the English translations would show. At least the impossibility is based on alleged contradictory interpretations rather than on God's lack of miraculous power. While I think this argument is still weak, and I can explain why, that is not the thrust of my point here. I just want to show that old earth creationists can do a better job of arguing than they have, and they need to quit making a straw man out of the plain read view.

Fourth, this leaves the question of whether all modern translations really are wrong. The old and new earth creationists agree that the Bible is inerrant and true in its original languages, says Mr. Greene. This brings us to Gman's second point:
2. What it basically boils down to is a skewed interpretation of God's word. The young earthers go to a skewed interpretation of Genesis then try to "fit" science into it. It is not possible... In other words, they are getting worked up over nothing. A problem that does not exist.
I have already shown that the problem is not an incorrect interpretation of the English translations we work from. The problem, according to Greene, is we are all starting with a messed up translation of the Hebrew. Because so few of us are Hebrew linguists, we absolutely depend upon those who have provided useable translations to us. We hope they did a good job. In fact, we even stake our beliefs on a view that God preserves the scriptures and gives the billions who have read it in English what they need to properly believe. If that is not the case, at least in a general way, then billions have been deceived for many centuries. That does not mean fundamental error did not happen, however.

While we rely on Hebrew scholars, we can point to their credibility, i.e., their qualifications, reputation, training, publications, associations, etc. We can point to their motives: What do they try to prove via their intepretations? Are they theology driven, linguistically driven, science driven, etc. Are they biased?

I have no patience to get into a debate about whose expert is more reliable. All I can say is that science advances based on consensus, what Simon Altman calls “Scientific Mesh”. http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Supernatur ... 220&sr=1-3
Scientific consensus is the collective judgement, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the scientific method. Nevertheless, consensus may be based on both scientific arguments and the scientific method. Consensus is normally achieved through communication at conferences, the process of publication, and peer review. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus
I don't know what to call a situation where all the modern translations barely differ, unless that is what is meant by a consensus.

So far as this idea that the original Hebrew has been lost in translation of translation of translation, I suggest Mr. Greene the prefaces to each of these Bibles. As an example, look at the preface to the NIV http://www.hissheep.org/kjv/preface_to_ ... bible.html:
PREFACE TO THE NIV BIBLE

The New International Version is a completely new translation of the Holy Bible made by over a hundred scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. It had its beginning in 1965 when, after several years of exploratory study by committees from the Christian Reformed Church and the National Associations of Evangelicals, a group of scholars met at Palos Heights, Illinois, and concurred in the need for a new translation of the Bible in contemporary English. This group, though not made up of official church representatives, was transdenominational. Its conclusion was endorsed by a large number of leaders from many denominations who met in Chicago in 1966.

Responsibility for the new version was delegated by the Palos Heights group to a self-governing body of fifteen, the Committee on Bible Translation, composed for the most part of biblical scholars from colleges, universities and seminaries. In 1967 the New York Bible Society (now the International Bible Society) generously undertook the financial sponsorship for the project - sponsorship that made it possible to enlist the help of many distinguished scholars. The fact that participants from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand worked together gave the project its international scope. That they were from many denominations - including Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Wesleyan and other churches - helped to safeguard the translation from sectarian bias.

How it was made helps to give the New International Version its distinctiveness. The translation of each book was assigned to a team of scholars. Next, one of the Intermediate Editorial Committees revised the initial translation, with constant reference to the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Their work then went on to one of the General Editorial committees, which checked it in detail and made another thorough version. This revision in turn was carefully reviewed by the Committee on Bible Translation, which made further changes and then released the final version for publication. In this way the entire Bible underwent three revisions, during each of which the translation was examined for its faithfulness to the original languages and for its English style.
All of this involved many thousands of hours of research and discussion regarding the meaning of the texts and the precise way of putting them into English. It may well be that no other translation has been made by a more thorough process of review and revision from committee to committee than this one.From the beginning of the project, the Committee on Bible Translation held to certain goals for the New International Version: that it would be an accurate translation and one that would have clarity and literary quality and so prove suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing and liturgical use. The Committee also sought to preserve some measure of continuity with the long tradition of translating the Scriptures into English.

In working toward these goals, the translators were united in their commitment to the authority and infallibility of the Bible as God's Word in written form. They believe that it contains the divine answer to the deepest needs of humanity, that it sheds unique light on our path in a dark world, and that it sets forth the way to our eternal well-being.

The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation and its fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers. They have weighed the significance of the lexical and grammatical details of the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. At the same time, they have striven for more than a word-for-word translation. Because thought patterns and syntax differ from language to language, faithful communication of the meaning of the writers of the Bible demands frequent modifications in sentence structures and constant regard for the contextual meaning of words.

A sensitive feeling for the style does not always accompany scholarship. Accordingly, the Committee on Bible Translation submitted the developing version to a number of stylistic consultants. Two of them read every book of both Old and New Testaments twice - once before and once after the last major revision - and made invaluable suggestions. Samples of the translations were tested for clarity and ease of reading by various kinds of people - young and old, highly educated and less well educated, ministers and laymen.

Concern for clear and natural English - that the New International Version should be idiomatic but not idiosyncratic, contemporary but not dated - motivated the translators and consultants. At the same time, they tried to reflect the differing styles of the biblical writer. In view of the international use of English, the translators sought to avoid obvious Americanisms on the one hand and obvious Anglicisms on the other. A British edition reflects the comparatively few differences of significant idiom and of spelling.

As for the traditional pronouns "thou," "thee" and "thine" in references to the Deity, the translators judged that to use the archaisms (along with old verb forms such as "doest," "wouldest" and "hadst") would violate accuracy in translation. Neither Hebrew, Aramaic nor Greek uses special pronouns for the persons of the Godhead. A present-day translation is not enhanced by forms that in the time of the King James Version were used in everyday speech, whether referring to God or man.

For the Old Testament the standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text as published in the latest editions of Biblia Hebraica, was used throughout. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain material bearing on an earlier stage of Hebrew text. They were consulted, as were the Samaritan Pentateuch and the ancient scribal traditions relating to textual changes. Sometimes a varient Hebrew reading in the margin of the Masoretic Text was followed instead of the text itself. Such instances, being variant within the Masoretic tradition, are not specified by footnotes. In rare cases, words in the consonantal text were divided differently from the way they appear in the Masoretic Text. Footnotes indicate this. The translators also consulted the more important early versions - the Septuagint; Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion; the Vulgate; the Syriac Peshitta; the Targums; and for the Psalms the Juxta Hebraica of Jerome. Readings from these versions were occasionally followed where the Masoretic Text seemed doubtful and where accepted principles of textual criticism showed that one or more of these textual witnesses appeared to provide the correct reading. Such instances are footnoted. Sometimes vowel letters and vowel signs did not, in the judgment of the translators, represent the correct vowels for the original consonantal text. Accordingly some words were read with a different set of vowels. These instances are usually not indicated by footnotes.

The Greek text used in translating the New Testament was an eclectic one. No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament. Where existing manuscripts differ, the translators made their choice of readings according to accepted principles of New Testaments textual criticism. Footnotes call attention to places where there was uncertainty about what the original text was. The best current printed texts of the Greek New Testaments were used.

There is a sense in which the work of translation is never wholly finished. This applies to all great literature and uniquely so to the Bible. In 1973 the New Testament in the New International Version was published. Since then, suggestions for corrections and revisions have been received from various sources. The Committee on Bible Translation carefully considered the suggestions and adopted a number of them. These are incorporated in the first printing of the entire Bible.

As in other ancient documents, the precise meaning of the biblical texts is something uncertain. This is more often the case with the Hebrew and Aramaic texts than with the Greek text. Although archaeological and linguistic discoveries in this century aid in understanding difficult passages, some uncertainties remain. The more significant of these have been called to the reader's attention in the footnotes.

...

Like all translations of the Bible, made as they are by imperfect man, this one undoubtedly falls short of its goals. Yet we are grateful to God for the extent to which he has enabled us to realize these goals and for the strength he has given us and our colleagues to complete our task. We offer this version of the Bible to him in whose name and for whose glory it has been made. We pray that it will lead many into a better understanding of the Holy Scriptures and fuller knowledge of Jesus Christ the incarnate Word, of whom the Scriptures so faithfully testify.

The Committee on Bible Translation June 1978 Revised August 1983
Mr. Greene does not mention the use of the Masoretic text, the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Samaritan Pentateuch, which have helped to refine and validate the accuracy of the translations relative to the Septuagint, etc. Does this mean I reject out of hand the exegetical theories of Collins and everyone else? Absolutely not. I am just saying I'd like to see this corrected Bible we get tiny snippets of information about from these smart guys. How about a complete translation we can read and study and assess? Anyway, for old earth theorists to say their smart guys' interpretations are better than the young earth theorists, or vice versa, is sort of futile. For one thing, it is to commit one or more logical fallacies of “appeal”:
A common form of fallacy is, rather than to present an objective argument that stands on its own legs, makes some form of appeal, pleading with the listeners to accept a point without further questioning.
• Appeal to Authority: Referencing an 'expert'.
• Appeal to Belief: see Appeal to Common Belief.
• Appeal to Common Belief: If others believe it to be true, it must be true.
• Appeal to Common Practice: If others do it, it must be ok to do it too.
• Appeal to Consequences of a Belief: see Wishful thinking
• Appeal to Fear: Gaining compliance through threat.
• Appeal to Force: see Appeal to Fear
• Appeal to Emotion: If it feels good, it must be true.
• Appeal to Ignorance: see Argument from ignorance
• Appeal to Novelty: Newer is better.
• Appeal to Pity: Going for the sympathy vote.
• Appeal to Ridicule: Mocking the other person's claim.
• Appeal to Sympathy: see Appeal to Pity
• Appeal to Tradition: It has always been done this way, so this way is right.
Many of these appeals may also appear using their Latin names that either start with 'Argumentum Ad' or just with 'Ad', as below:
• Ad Absurdum: see Appeal to Ridicule
• Ad Baculum: see Appeal to Fear
• Ad Hominem: see Attack the person
• Ad Hominem Tu Quoque: See Personal Inconsistency
• Ad Ignorantium: see Argument from Ignorance
• Ad Misericordiam: see Appeal to Pity
• Ad Nauseum: see Repetition
• Ad Novitam: see Appeal to Novelty
• Ad Numeram: see Appeal to Common Practice
• Ad Populum: see Appeal to Common Belief or Bandwagon
Ad Verecundiam: see Appeal to Authority http://changingminds.org/disciplines/ar ... appeal.htm
We see these sorts of appeal fallacies all over the writings of old and new earth creationists alike. I have pointed out a few already.

My point is that it is inappropriate to use faulty or fallacious arguments in attempts to upset the mainstream interpretation of Ge 1. So far as trying to do it by saying we all read something that is not really the words of the true Bible, that is an uphill battle, and it marginalizes your own viewpoint. If you want to argue, give good arguments. Stop this posturing and these pompous appeals to ridicule like I pointed out in Mr. Deem's article. And most of all, don't overstate what you can establish with solid argumentation and evidence.

Mr. Greene says:
This paper has attempted to provide cogent arguments for old-earth creationism based on the Hebrew text of Genesis. Reasons often cited to support the young-earth view fade in the light of newer scholarship that has superseded Lightfoot and Ussher's mid-17th century calculations. In addition, Hebrew linguists acknowledge “day” (yôm), even when accompanied by ordinals and the “evening and morning” refrain, does not necessarily refer to a 24-hour day. Yôm can most definitely refer to a long “day-age” or epoch, and creation can literally be said to have occurred long ages ago.
But if the article is “cogent”, we would not know unless we spent weeks reading his secondary sources. He makes the appeal to Novelty in the second sentence as to “newer scholarship.” He appeals to anecdote by citing opinions of 2-3 Hebrew linguists who very likely have biased old earth views compelling their interpretive decisions. Basically he is preaching to the choir and is confusing the uninformed. But apparently Gman and Mr. Greene think this article is doing a service to God, by opening up the Bible to the scientifically minded person who would otherwise reject the Bible as nonsense.

This brings us to Gman's third big point:
2. Then, non-believers, who are up on their science, think that the Bible is a laughing joke. The effect turns millions away from the Bible as being a reliable source of information. And for what? Nothing.... Well pride maybe...
This is perhaps the very most important issue to be dealt with here. Mr. Greene addresses it this way:
The problem lies in our external witness. Many unbelievers hold a naturalistic worldview because they cannot reconcile the Bible with science. One of the best ways to engage these skeptics is to use science apologetics to demonstrate the agreement of science and Scripture. However, the insistence on a six-to-ten thousand year old Earth undermines this effort and prevents a large segment of society from taking the Bible seriously.
“Many non-Christians are driven away from the God of the Bible by the young-earth claims which are, frankly, ridiculous to most people who love science. It is a shame that people who love science, who would like to know the One who created the universe, reject, out of hand the Christian God, because they see Christianity as so unscientific.5 College professor quoted in John Ankerberg ministry letter, April 2004.
Science is respected and holds a prominent place in our culture. That doesn't mean that science is always correct. However, where mainstream science can be used to defend biblical creation, we should take advantage of that opportunity rather than relying on pseudoscience. For example, here are several statements by mainstream scientists that clearly support the biblical worldview.
The real thrust of Gman and Greene's motivation is alleged to be concern for the poor lost sinners of the world who are stopped from knowing the only true God by their aversion to a childish or contradictory cosmology in the Bible.

I. I agree that “many unbelievers hold a naturalistic worldview,” but it is not “because they cannot reconcile the Bible with science.” It is because they are fallen sinners who are worldly. What else would we expect them to do? I preach to the choir, I hope. Until we are born again, i.e., regenerate, having the Spirit of God dwelling within us, we all fall short of the glory of God because we are sinners. In fact, our minds are darkened, and we are slaves to sin, depravity, the flesh, and the ways of the world. Romans 1, 5 & 6. They have been taken captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Col 2:8.

Wikipedia defines Naturalism well:
Philosophical naturalism is, as a position, the idea that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws. In its broadest and strongest sense, naturalism is the metaphysical position that "nature is all there is and all basic truths are truths of nature."[1] This is generally referred to as metaphysical or ontological naturalism. Another basic form, called methodological naturalism, is the epistemology and methodological principle which forms the foundation for the scientific method. It requires that scientific hypotheses are explained and tested by reference to natural causes and events.
… Many modern philosophers of science[3] use the terms methodological naturalism or scientific naturalism to refer to the methodological assumption that explanations of observable effects are practical and useful only when they hypothesize natural causes (i.e., specific mechanisms, not indeterminate miracles). In other words, methodological naturalism is the view that the scientific method (hypothesize, predict, test, and repeat) is the only effective way to investigate reality.
Methodological naturalism can be contrasted with metaphysical naturalism or ontological naturalism, which refers to the metaphysical belief that the natural world (i.e. the universe) is all that exists and, therefore, nothing supernatural exists. In metaphysical naturalism's paradigm observable events in nature are explainable only by natural causes.
This distinction between the two types of naturalism is made by philosophers supporting science and evolution in the creation—evolution controversy to counter the tendency of some proponents of Creationism or intelligent design to refer to 'methodological naturalism' as 'scientific materialism' or as 'methodological materialism' and conflate it with 'metaphysical naturalism'.[2] These proponents of creationism use this assertion to support their claim that modern science is atheistic, and contrast it with their preferred approach of a revived natural philosophy which welcomes supernatural explanations for natural phenomena and supports theistic science. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)
Now, for every scientist who restricts his worldview to methodological naturalism instead of metaphysical or ontological naturalism there are a thousand who do not, and there are very few lay non-Christians who divide the two. The whole point about the Gospel is that it usurps all of mankind's methods and philosophies:
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. 26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 1 Cor 1 (NIV)
II. I agree that “the insistence on a six-to-ten thousand year old Earth … prevents a large segment of society from taking the Bible seriously.” Anyone with a naturalistic viewpoint will tend to believe in scientism (the view that natural science has authority over all other interpretations of life, such as philosophical, religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations, and over other fields of inquiry, such as the social sciences. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism)

However, my big point here is that attempting to bring in the naturalists and scientismists by naturalizing God or the Bible is futile. Whether they believe the Bible really says 6 ages instead of days, they are then asked to believe an omnipotent God created it all, and worst yet, he expects them to not sin against him, and to seek him, and to enter into a faith relationship with him. Don't tell me the age of the universe keeps these people from swallowing the latter propositions. A young earth is a lot easier to swallow than the idea I can't ignore a supernatural God who requires me to conform to his will, lest I go to Hell, and that I can only escape it by putting faith in his resurrected son as a substitutionary sacrifice for my sins. Again, God is miraculous and has extraordinary plans for mankind that we are invited to participate in, with a penalty if we don't. You are either convicted of that or you are not. Remember, the Pharisees and many others watched Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, but many did not believe. Thus, the ability to believe something miraculous or less miraculous is not the test. The test is whether you have come to understand your own true spiritual condition. Faith is not a matter of reconciling empirical experience with scripture. It is a matter of seeing things God's way, and recognizing he is right about us; it is a matter of coming to know the experience of walking with the Lord. Nothing convinces us of the supernatural but an experience of it, and nothing can make us doubt it if we experience it and take hold of it in our heart. The Pharisees could not or would not take hold.

Greene says John Ankerberg says the 24 hour day requirement of Ge 1 accounts for the apostasy attrition rate when kids go off to college. Obviously, the science professors, who are metaphysical/ontological naturalist scientismists, bash the ill-equipped youth with how stupid their Bible is. But this can and is done on every subject, not just the 24 hour day business. I have seen it first hand, and I have heard countless stories. The “Expelled” movie illustrates the environment in another way. These kids fall away, not because they can't reconcile science, but because they see a need to reconcile science, because they have not been prepared philosophically to deal with these assaults on their faith. The problem is not one of whether science can be reconciled or not. It cannot. The creation was a miracle in EVERY respect, not just at a big bang, etc. They fall because their idea of God and his ways is too small. For this reason, the efforts of people to reconcile science with scripture via lowering scripture are both futile and even damaging to the process.

III. Now that the young believer has been taught to jettison the plain reading of the Bible whenever his empirical opinions differ with it, all verses are now highly suspect, and the inerrancy and literal interpretation people like Greene claim they adhere to is itself the new “joke”. All the moral authority of the bible is now a matter of empirically testable propositions. This, coupled with policies at universities that try to get sleeping and bathroom areas coeducational, which try to say modesty and abstinence are prudery, and coupled with the media and popular culture kids have to grow up in, leads young Christians to fall away. Once they start being promiscuous and drinking and all that, they find they can't reconcile their empirically based opinions, about what is good for them, with the Bible. It becomes obvious in their minds that the Bible doesn't say or mean what they thought it did anymore, and so on. To accuse the 6 day creation of corrupting young minds is itself a “joke”. If you have a personal testimony, like Greene, of falling away or coming back in spite of a science/scripture conflict, then when you fell or had to overcome, (a) you were not philosophically prepared to meet the challenge and/or (b) you were not an authentic and mature believer who takes sin seriously to begin with. The truly regenerate may stumble, but they don't apostasize. As Paul says at 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (NIV).

So, evangelism is a spiritual endeavour seeking to help the unbeliever recognize their true spiritual condition. If science or naturalism or any other worldly philosophy is getting in the way, the solution is not to deny what the Bible says. The solution is to demonstrate the limitations of that other view, and clear a way for the Words of the Gospel to be heard. This is not an endeavour of convincing someone by helping them develop a Biblical world view that demonstrably reconciled to a naturalistic or scientismic world view.

[Obviously, I am not saying our interpretations of the Bible cannot and should not get revised over time with better and better exigetical information. I am saying that we don't do it lightly, and we don't do it to please others. We do it because the Lord leads us to the truth and develops a consensus among those he has gifted to translate. I already said I did not think Greene's exegetical support was in the least bit convincing. It is going to take a lot more than that.]

This brings us to Gman's Fourth and Final Point:
4. We get this question so often I think http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth ... ation.html explains it best.
I think I agree with you, Gman, that Mr. Greene explains your viewpoint pretty well. The problem is, I am still waiting for someone to make a convincing argument, and I consider the motivations behind this viewpoint to be highly suspect. Naturalizing the Bible so naturalists will accept it is misguided and futile, both spiritually and practically. But there is a better way. Show them the ends of their own philosophy, preach the Word of the Gospel, that they can acknowledge that the God of the Bible has a message that transcends their philosophy. That message is that there is a God who draws you despite the fact you are a miserable sinner. If that message turns a person off, no amount of naturalizing the text will turn them on to that God. Cubsfan :eugeek:

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Re: Age of Star Light

#7

Post by zoegirl » Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:58 pm

cubsfan wrote:Naturalizing the Bible so naturalists will accept it is misguided and futile, both spiritually and practically. But there is a better way.
We are not naturalizing the Bible. God's word is true. God's creation is also a true testament to Him and His acts. If our studies of either show a contradiction, then neither is wrong but rather our interpretation of one is wrong. There are hundreds of pieces of evidence that the universe is old, many of which come from scientists who are not against God. There are plenty of Hebrew scholars who examine the Hebrew and see it as being flexible as to the meanings.

YOu know what Hebrew word would be used to connote a long period of time? Yom....

We simply look for harmony between both God's creation and God's word and see that they do agree with one another. THe science of YEC is greatly suspect. And appearance of age has problems.

I have no problems saying that we don't know all of the issues with the creation. And someone who wants to believe in YEC for no other reason than the simply trust the word and the word alone...that is fine. But saying that the evidence points to YEC is not an option.


cubsfan wrote: Show them the ends of their own philosophy, preach the Word of the Gospel, that they can acknowledge that the God of the Bible has a message that transcends their philosophy.
This is great but telling an honest scientists that he/she must reject the evidence of their own eyes in order to believe in CHrist makes God out to be a fool. Essentially it is the same as us telling them...."no, the sky is red, forget about what you see and test the sky is red, and for you to be saved you must believe that the sky is red". There are thousands of scientists out there who are frinedly to God and others who are interested who see science as a means of investigating God's creation. They examine God's creation not to discredit Him bit to honor HIm. see http://www.asa3.org/ They are not looking to discredit the Bible.
cubsfan wrote: That message is that there is a God who draws you despite the fact you are a miserable sinner. If that message turns a person off, no amount of naturalizing the text will turn them on to that God. Cubsfan
Again, examing the scripture and seeing that it points to an old earth is not mutually exclusive to the message of salvation. This is a common problem with YEC. Someone we are corrupting the message of the Bible. We do not say that Genesis is an allegory or untrue, merely that God took a long time based on the evidence we find.

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html
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Re: Age of Star Light

#8

Post by cubsfan » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:13 am

We do not say that Genesis is an allegory or untrue, merely that God took a long time based on the evidence we find.

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html
Ms. zoegirl. I have great respect for you for responding to my post. I have been very critical in my main 2 posts. But I am trying to be iron sharpening iron. I would not waste my time on this site if I did not respect those who are valiantly attempting to engage the world with the truth of the Bible. I also respect the intelligence and learnedness of those who write on this site. So, if I have been forceful or rude, please forgive me.

I am being honest here.

In an attempt to see things your way, I have re-read all three of the following articles:

Does the Bible Say God Created the Universe in Six 24-Hour Days?
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html

Genesis Clearly Teaches that the Days Were Not 24 Hours
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis.html

Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? Day-Age Interpretation
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/day-age.html

None of these pierce a hole in the plain read viewpoint. I challenge you to show me how any of these articles, or any other argument you are aware of or wish to make yourself, somehow shows the plain read is wrong.

In the third article listed here, Mr. Deem, at most, shows it is logically possible from a plain read, to interpret the heavens and earth in all their vast array to have been created on Day One (Ge 1:1). [Remember, I did not say I was convinced; I just said I agree it is a logically possible plain read interp of the text. More reasons than he has given are needed, by a long shot, to concede his point. Perhaps that is part of the problem: What is the standard for a convincing argument? Maybe you are someone can comment on that. It seems Mr. Deem thinks the standard is a scientific one, which, categorically, it cannot be.]

I agree that would be a lot for God to get done on Day One. However, Just because that is a lot for God to do in one 24 hour day, that doesn't mean God is not up to that task. By shifting all the creating to Day One, Mr. Deem has made days 2 thru 4 more leisurely for God. On those days, all he had to do was move things around a bit, mostly involving clearing up the atmosphere to let light shine through, draining some swamps and sprouting some greenery. That's not much work for those days. Sounds like God was a slacker after his big first day. I realize Mr. Deem doesn't see it that way. He thinks these are 6 eons or ages of varying lengths. Other than his presupposed scientific opinions he injects into all of his attempts to interpret Ge 1, what in the text defies 6 days of creation? Still haven't seen a thing.

On the other hand, Mr. Deem also seems to be saying his reading may not be as plain as that of others, but it is at least logically possible, without violating the principles of a literal read.

If Mr. Deem would emphasize that point, and demonstrate how it is so, and kindly limit his view to that position, instead of saying he has shown the YEC view to be wrong, he will clear away a lot of what is so objectionable in his articles. When he goes on the offensive against the plain read/YEC position, he should stop acting like he has overrun their camp until he has actually shown they are wrong. This pretending that his competing scientific views discredit the plain read viewpiont undermines the strength of what he could otherwise possibly demonstrate.

This leads to a necessary comment on your statement that the YEC do crummy science. I have to agree that they overstate the significance of their evidence all the time. I have to agree that their attempts to prove the plain read is accurate are often unprofessional. But, just because they have yet to scientifically win over anyone in the mainstream, that does not mean the plain read of the Bible is wrong. Indeed, I could launch an assault on their practices similar to the one I am expressing here against the OEC's. When it comes to argument, they throw in the kitchen sink, without systematically sound argumentation, including the weak with the strong in their arguments. Why do it? They should stick to the solid and leave out the rest. But when it comes to these three articles I list here from the GodandScience site, if the writers were to leave out the weak, there wouldn't be much left but the title and by line.

I am being serious here.

Help me out. If you are right, I will acknowledge it, but I don't think the articles on the website would pass a peer review among lay or clerical Christians, either one. If you alienate most Christians, or win them over with shoddy arguments, what is being accomplished here? If you really succeed in converting naturalists to your brand of Christianity, they will be a new faction, separate from the mainstream Christians. If that is the intent, be warned, the names, Christ Scientists and the Church of the Scientology, have already been taken.

Not in the least bit bitter about this, but waiting for a clear, sound argument, cubsfan. :esmile:

p.s., I think your other points are worthy of response as well, but I will wait a bit.

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Re: Age of Star Light

#9

Post by zoegirl » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:15 pm

cubsfan wrote:
We do not say that Genesis is an allegory or untrue, merely that God took a long time based on the evidence we find.

http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html
Ms. zoegirl. I have great respect for you for responding to my post. I have been very critical in my main 2 posts. But I am trying to be iron sharpening iron. I would not waste my time on this site if I did not respect those who are valiantly attempting to engage the world with the truth of the Bible. I also respect the intelligence and learnedness of those who write on this site. So, if I have been forceful or rude, please forgive me.
Zoegirl is fine...Ms is uneccessary :ebiggrin:
cubsfan wrote: I am being honest here.

In an attempt to see things your way, I have re-read all three of the following articles:

Does the Bible Say God Created the Universe in Six 24-Hour Days?
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/sixdays.html

Genesis Clearly Teaches that the Days Were Not 24 Hours
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/genesis.html

Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? Day-Age Interpretation
by Rich Deem http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/day-age.html

None of these pierce a hole in the plain read viewpoint. I challenge you to show me how any of these articles, or any other argument you are aware of or wish to make yourself, somehow shows the plain read is wrong.
By itself, I would have no problem with anyody *settling* for a "plain" reading. Although I would argue that it is the plainest. There are plenty of scholars who do not view Yom as a long time as straining the text. MAny Jewish scholars view this as aceptable as well as CHristian scholars.

In addition, once we look at God's creation we see a contradiction. God's creation testifies to a long period a time. God's word can also tell of a long period of time. Seems simply to me.
cubsfan wrote: In the third article listed here, Mr. Deem, at most, shows it is logically possible from a plain read, to interpret the heavens and earth in all their vast array to have been created on Day One (Ge 1:1). [Remember, I did not say I was convinced; I just said I agree it is a logically possible plain read interp of the text. More reasons than he has given are needed, by a long shot, to concede his point. Perhaps that is part of the problem: What is the standard for a convincing argument? Maybe you are someone can comment on that. It seems Mr. Deem thinks the standard is a scientific one, which, categorically, it cannot be.]
Why can't it be?!?!?! God's creation is His creation. We are examining it. Again, God's creation is a true refelcvtion of WHAT HE DID. If there is a seeming contradcition it is not that God's word is wrong, but that our understanding of it is. For the longest time (Henry MOrris really set the foundation for this) it became the norm to accuse anybody that even looked at the Hebrew and understood it differently of heresy. Oh no!! We are looking at GOd's creation....how dare we!!! :roll:
cubsfan wrote: I agree that would be a lot for God to get done on Day One. However, Just because that is a lot for God to do in one 24 hour day, that doesn't mean God is not up to that task.


By shifting all the creating to Day One, Mr. Deem has made days 2 thru 4 more leisurely for God. On those days, all he had to do was move things around a bit, mostly involving clearing up the atmosphere to let light shine through, draining some swamps and sprouting some greenery. That's not much work for those days. Sounds like God was a slacker after his big first day. I realize Mr. Deem doesn't see it that way. He thinks these are 6 eons or ages of varying lengths. Other than his presupposed scientific opinions he injects into all of his attempts to interpret Ge 1, what in the text defies 6 days of creation? Still haven't seen a thing.

WHOA WHOA!!! NObody NObody NObody that accepts an Old Earth does so because of a lack of faith on what He COULD accomplish. We do not look at the creation and presume that GOd "couldn't" have done it. He could have made the universe in a nanosecond if He wanted to. THe arguement is not *what He can do* but one of *whaT He in fact did*
cubsfan wrote: On the other hand, Mr. Deem also seems to be saying his reading may not be as plain as that of others, but it is at least logically possible, without violating the principles of a literal read.

If Mr. Deem would emphasize that point, and demonstrate how it is so, and kindly limit his view to that position, instead of saying he has shown the YEC view to be wrong, he will clear away a lot of what is so objectionable in his articles. When he goes on the offensive against the plain read/YEC position, he should stop acting like he has overrun their camp until he has actually shown they are wrong. This pretending that his competing scientific views discredit the plain read viewpiont undermines the strength of what he could otherwise possibly demonstrate.
Ummm....Rich has established that it is quite within the realm of the Hebrew to interpret it as long periods of time (again, the best Hebrew word for a long period of time is, in fact Yom). Examining Gods creation shows quite an exhaustive gathering of evidence that shows it to be much much longer than the 6000 or even 10,000 years of age that YEC demands.

I will gladly provide you with other articles that show this.
cubsfan wrote: This leads to a necessary comment on your statement that the YEC do crummy science. I have to agree that they overstate the significance of their evidence all the time. I have to agree that their attempts to prove the plain read is accurate are often unprofessional. But, just because they have yet to scientifically win over anyone in the mainstream, that does not mean the plain read of the Bible is wrong. Indeed, I could launch an assault on their practices similar to the one I am expressing here against the OEC's. When it comes to argument, they throw in the kitchen sink, without systematically sound argumentation, including the weak with the strong in their arguments. Why do it? They should stick to the solid and leave out the rest. But when it comes to these three articles I list here from the GodandScience site, if the writers were to leave out the weak, there wouldn't be much left but the title and by line.
Yes, their sciecne is crummy and it rests entirely on their stubborness that the "plain" read MUST in fact be true. They strain God's creation and its testimony at the expense of ( get this!!) for a different reading of scripture.

Let's see....Accept one view of scripture and totally mess up the "plainest" reading of God's creation= YEC
Accept another acceptable view of scritpure and accept the "plainest" reading of Gd's creation= OEC



cubsfan wrote: I am being serious here.

Help me out. If you are right, I will acknowledge it, but I don't think the articles on the website would pass a peer review among lay or clerical Christians, either one.


Ummm, there are plenty of Biblical scholars out there who HAVE accepted the OEC as an acceptable reading. The PCA, Seminaries, multiple CHristian colleges, have published and established guidleines for understanding scripture that totally accepts OEC. To think otherwise shows an ignorance of the scholarship out there. SImply because the YEC publications out there are vocal does not change the fact that many many solid CHristian established organizations have accepted this interpretation of the scripture.

cubsfan wrote: If you alienate most Christians, or win them over with shoddy arguments, what is being accomplished here?


They are not shoddy arguents (bias coming out here) and we are not alienating most CHristians. I don't know why you think this!?!?!??

cubsfan wrote: If you really succeed in converting naturalists to your brand of Christianity, they will be a new faction, separate from the mainstream Christians. If that is the intent, be warned, the names, Christ Scientists and the Church of the Scientology, have already been taken.
We are not succeeding in creating new factions. This is typical YEC scare tactics!!! We seek to not make a mockery of God's creation and as such understand that God's creation is a true testmony to Him.
cubsfan wrote: Not in the least bit bitter about this, but waiting for a clear, sound argument, cubsfan. :esmile:
NOt bitter? y:O2 y:-" :roll: :poke: The large font and the WARNING doesn't clue you in that you are extreme?!?!?

Hey if someone wants to believe in YEC, that's fine. I may not agree and I will gladly debate the point, but I don't go to the YEC websites and start arguing or claiming that they are starting factions within the church. It is when YEC start claiming heresy and claiming that we are supporting the Bible that I get angry.
cubsfan wrote: p.s., I think your other points are worthy of response as well, but I will wait a bit.
Go for it.
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Re: Age of Star Light

#10

Post by cubsfan » Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:49 pm

Zoegirl, is that what the purpose of this forum is, to just spout off? :sleep:

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Re: Age of Star Light

#11

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:44 am

cubsfan wrote:Zoegirl, is that what the purpose of this forum is, to just spout off? :sleep:
Your posts are interesting, Cubsfan, but way too long... way, way too long and thus easy to ignore. And while I'm complaining, please cut out the huge font. It's juvenile.

Oh yeah...you do have a point. A literal reading of the Bible is best.

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Re: Age of Star Light

#12

Post by zoegirl » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:20 am

ah, but what is literal? The Hebrew allows for a literal understanding of old age....
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Re: Age of Star Light

#13

Post by zoegirl » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:21 am

cubsfan wrote:Zoegirl, is that what the purpose of this forum is, to just spout off? :sleep:
Ummmcare to clarify?
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Re: Age of Star Light

#14

Post by cubsfan » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:08 am

Points well taken, Fürstentum Liechtenstein. I confess that the placement of childish icons and different fonts on the board by its host has led my peurile mind astray. When no one responded to my thoughts when exressed with a normal font, I thought I might get a response with a big font. It serves me right. I got a response commensurate with writing with a crayon.

To the point: I decided to write my first post because Richard Deem said:
... Since we know that objects in the universe are 13 billion years away, it must have taken the light 13 billion years to reach us. Therefore, the universe must be at least 13 billion years old. Either God created the universe at least 13 billion years ago or He deceived us by making it seem to be 13 billion years old. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html
In my first post I gave multiple reasons why that is a false dilemma, in that God could have created light ex nihilo on Day One without a light source. To suggest he could not is to deny his ability to do the miraculous.

However, Mr. Deem also said,
God can do anything. The question is not what He can do, but what He actually does. http://www.godandscience.org/youngearth/appearance.html
My position is that it is typical human hubris which thinks it can understand what God did as to everything. Just because right now there is this theory of how to date light, that does not mean that opinion should dictate how we read scripture. But that is precisely what all this old earth Biblical interpretation business is about. I gave several arguments that no one has responded to.

So far as exigetical issues, saying lots of people agree with Greene is not an argument. In my 2nd major post I buried his attempts at an exegetical argument. How about arguing the issues, instead of spouting off terse defenses, that ring like, "oh, yea?!"

Now, I am familiar with the articles by Mr. Deem and others. People should stop referring me to them with no specific reference to what is said there, as if to say, "Jane, you ignorant s--- " (reference to SNL of the 70s). You are saying, 'obviously you have not read or understood what has already been established beyond doubt.' From the start I have said I have read the articles. I have said I don't find them convincing, and I have given reasons. When you then refer me to the articles, it is like James 2:16: If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

Are there no "valued members" of this forum who want to live up to its stated purpose?
the general purpose of this board which is to show that Christianity and Science are not incompatable ... Our purpose is to constructively dialogue with Christians who wrestle with these issues ... the idea that Christianity requires a rejection of science or embracing of ignorance of issues in this area. http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... f=1&t=2517
I don't know. Maybe all the mission minded "valued members" are on vacation or busy making money. Maybe I'm under the wrong topic. I think I'll go phishing in the philosophy department.

cubsfan :beat:

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Re: Age of Star Light

#15

Post by zoegirl » Sat Jan 03, 2009 12:35 pm

Cubsfan,

I do take issue with the fact that you think we haven't dialogued with you. YOu have essentially argued the same things that we here over and over again, about the fact that there are scholars that think the literal meaning of the Hebrew points to simple 24 hour days. That is why most of us point YEC'ers to the articles here. IT is essentailly us saying "look, we have done this many many times before....here is our foundational beliefs", instead of going round and around. I will gladly bring up other evidence for Hebrew scholars supporting OEC but....let's face it....would it even remotely change your mind? ?!?! WOuld you even consider it valid?

There are plenty of Christian scholars that think it is quite legitimate to see the Hebrew as stating long periods of time. Let me know if you want to see what they have written.

YOu take issue with Rich's argument about the light because you think
cubsfan wrote:" To suggest he could not is to deny his ability to do the miraculous."
But I said and Rich points out that this is not why we believe what we believe. God could do anything He wants and it is perfectly within the realms of HIs power. THe issue is whether this falls in line with what we know of His character from HIS WORD. To look upon His creation and understand what that evidence says and then reject that evidence from His own creation seems akin to not trusting HIm. Especially when you even admitted that an interpretation of long periods of time in scripture IS possible, albeit weak from your perspective.


FOr another take of the age of starlight and the idea that creating light in transit is not a good understanding of scripture and GOd's character.
http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5639 (I quoted it below)
koukl wrote:A young-universe creationist is in a very difficult spot. If he holds that God created the light in transit, he also has to hold that we have no way of knowing that anything further than 10,000 light years away actually exists. We can't see it. We're not seeing it; we're seeing an image that God created in transit. The light from it won't reach us for a billion years.
You see, the argument from young-earthers regarding star light is that God not only created the galaxies in deep space, but He also created all the light between that star and earth. This is why we can see them now even though the universe is young.

My question is, how do you know the stars are really there? You don't see the light of anything that existed. You're seeing an image created in transit of an event-- watch this-- that never took place.

If all we're seeing is an image that God created in transit, then the only way we're going to see the actual thing that exists is if we wait around another billion years for the light of the actual star to reach us. Who of us believes the Lord will tarry that long? Not a billion years. Which means we'll never see it, will we? We'll never see what God actually created, not the thing itself.

Doesn't that throw into question the existence of anything in outer space at all? Because, in fact, since we'll never see the thing itself-- and what we see is not the thing, but an image God created in transit-- well then, why would God ever need to create the thing in the first place? The image would be fully adequate for God's purpose. The only thing God would have to create is the light image, because we'd never see the thing itself anyway. But doesn't the Scripture seem to indicate that what we see are the very things that God created?

You see, this "God created light in transit" view is kind of misleading, because we think of it like the steady glow of a light bulb. There's a light bulb way out there in space and just a steady glow in between. God could put that glow from me to it and I could see the glow.

But the images we actually see in outer space-- that, according to young earthers, were allegedly created in transit by God-- are images of turbulent events, not just a steady glow.

Let me give you an illustration. Astronomers looking through their telescopes see a super nova explosion a billion light years away. (Super nova is when a star explodes and sends its material spewing out into space.) What exist now, at this moment, are the random bits of the old star which, allegedly, is the condition God actually created six to ten thousand years ago.

What this means is that the star the astronomers saw explode never existed. The super nova never happened. This seems to suggest that God created the illusion of the universe and not the universe itself, because that which allegedly exists, we will never see. That which allegedly exists, we'll never see, and that which we actually see never existed.

If that's the case, then I think it's fair to ask ourselves what else we think exists, but doesn't? How much more of the world is just an illusion created by God? How do we know what is real and what is not?

At this point, you can't fall back on the Bible, for two reasons. First, the Bible seems to say that God created actual heavenly bodies, not just images to aid us in some way. Yet in this view, that is not the case. Second, even the words on the pages of my Bible reach my mind through light images. Why should I trust that what I see looking down when I'm reading is real when I can't trust what I see gazing up at the night sky?

Doesn't this begin to create a skepticism about the existence of real things? A skepticism that could collapse into solipsism, the theory that the self is the only thing that can be known: I'm the only one that exists, and my perceptions.

This view, then, undermines all observational disciplines, including science and history. Because we don't know if we're seeing the thing itself or merely a fabricated image, an illusion of something that doesn't exist.

Let me say it again. What's really there, we never see. What we do see was never there. There were no super nova explosions billions of years ago. Those things never happened. The only thing we see are images of explosions that never took place.

This would mean that virtually everything I see in the heavens-- anything outside our solar system-- isn't real. It's simply a light image of events that never took place, an illusion.

Why make stars so far away that we can't see them? Why make events appear to our eyes that never happened? There's a simple word for it. It's called deception. That's what God would be guilty of if that's really the way it happened.

As an old-earther, I'm going to say that evidence for an ancient universe is in the heavens because scientific testing shows us that these stars are far away and their light takes a long time to reach us. Therefore, if we're seeing light from those stars, and they're a billion light years away, then those stars must have existed for at least a billion years.

The counter from a young-earther is, No, wait, you don't understand. God actually created the light in transit. If God created everything in six days, then He had to create the star, too, because it does say He created the heavens and the earth. I'm thinking this is what they're going to hold.

So, He created the star and the earth and the light in between, which sounds fine if you're thinking of the star like a light bulb that is giving off a steady glow. But what we have in the galaxies are not just simply light bulbs giving off a steady glow, and you have this undifferentiated stream of glow flowing through the universe that God creates. Rather, what we have are light images of specific events in the universe, like super nova explosions, for example. So, if we see a super nova explosion that appears to be a billion light years away, this suggests, from my view, that it actually happened a billion years ago.

But a young-earther is going to have to say, No, that image is just something God created in transit. He just created it. It didn't really happen because there was no "billion years ago." Instead, the only thing that God actually created are all these little bits and pieces floating around in the universe that look like they were the result of that explosion that never happened.

You call that deception? That's my point. God doesn't do that, I suspect.

There's one other point to that, too. If this is the case, actually-- if the earth is only six to ten thousand years old-- then nothing outside of our solar system...

[tape ended here]

What a young-earther is going to have to say is that the star never exploded because it's just a light image that was created in transit. It looks like it exploded a billion years ago, but there was nothing here a billion years ago. What we actually have here now are just bits and pieces floating around. And what we see that looks like a billion years ago is not the super nova that exploded and gave us the bits and pieces we have now, but instead is simply an image that God made in between.

My point is simply that we have observational evidence that seems to indicate an ancient universe. And the solution-- the way young-earthers would get around that-- creates an absolutely unacceptable situation in which we'd have to admit that all galactic phenomenon are simply images and illusions created by God. And we have no way of knowing whether things actually exist out there today that somehow correspond with those phenomenon, because we can't see those things yet. It will be a billion years before we actually see those things.

I think that this view leads to an absolutely untenable situation and encourages incredible skepticism. Because if that's the case, and what I see are simply images created in transit, then I have no confidence that there's anything beyond those images. Because, actually, God didn't need anything more than the images. He doesn't need the thing itself, because we won't see the thing itself for a billion years.

WE know His creation is trustworthy, we bank on this for our studies on engineering, science, and medicine. To declare that we can't trust the evidence and then to declare that God's creation is not trustworthy? Would God do that? IF you want to believe it that's fine, but that, in my opinion strains what God's words declare about Himself more that looking at Genesis 1 and saying, wow, long time.
cubsfan wrote:Just because right now there is this theory of how to date light, that does not mean that opinion should dictate how we read scripture. But that is precisely what all this old earth Biblical interpretation business is about. I gave several arguments that no one has responded to.
IT is entirely your idea (and other YEC) that interpreting scripture as long periods is straining the meaning and therefore looking at the universe and examine scripture is tantamount to rejecting scripture.

YOU think it is a wrong interpretation, there are plenty of others that don't and these are valid CHristian scholars (and it isn't ridiculous to bring that up. To have strong CHristian scholars supporting this shows that it is a valid interpretation). Therefore it *isn't* straining the meaning.

You have already admitted that it is possible that the Hebrew indicates a long period of time.
cubsfan wrote: So far as exigetical issues, saying lots of people agree with Greene is not an argument.
I said there were plenty of CHristian scholars who are perfectly fine with this. That is, after all, why people study the scritpures. YOu bring up the "mine is the best interpretation". Why do you trust that? Because of Hebrew understanding brought about by scholars. Well, plenty of scholars understand the flexibility of YOM.

cubsfan wrote: In my 2nd major post I buried his attempts at an exegetical argument. How about arguing the issues, instead of spouting off terse defenses, that ring like, "oh, yea?!"
Would it really make any difference :esurprised: ?? TO be honest, I bet I could bring up hundreds of papers showing the exegesis and you still wouldn't be convinced. Here is another take.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2003/PSCF12-03Fischer.pdf

and still another

http://www.pcahistory.org/creation/report.html#d2

From the PCA report
wrote: That since historically in Reformed theology there has been a diversity of views of the creation days among highly resected theologicans, and, since the PCA has from its inception allowed a diversity, that the Assembly affirm that such diversity as covered in this report is acceptable as long as the full historicity of the creation account is accepted.


THe PCA report is great, because it is very thorough in covering all creation models.

FOr another exegesis
http://www.reasons.org/resources/fff/20 ... ssil_lines

Cubsfan, if we seem terse, then you must know, we have been through this time and again. VArious YEC come here at first very nice and just "wanting to dialogue". It doesn't take long before the colors are revealed to show that all they want is to ram their "plainest read" down our throats. Hopefully it won't turn out that way. I will continue to bring up more arguments, if the arguments don't convince you, that's fine. Great and peace be with you.

ZG
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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