How can I believe in Genesis and not feel naive?

Discussions on creation beliefs within Christianity, and topics related to creation.

I believe Genesis:

Is a literally true, historically accurate account of human creation.
25
56%
Contains truth, but is not to be taken literally
11
24%
Is a made up fairy tale, not true at all
9
20%
 
Total votes: 45

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#16

Post by Anonymous » Sat Jan 01, 2005 8:10 am

I think if you match what astrophysics and anthropological findings demonstrate with the process in Genesis you will find that the order is astoundingly the same. For a long time it bothered me how disjointed Genesis I and II seemed to each other. I have re-read it at least a hundred times, using as many different texts and interpretations of texts as I could find. I finally realized that it was not as disjointed as I supposed. God created men in Genesis I:26 and created Adam in Genesis 2:7. I think these are separate events and that this is further supported in Genesis 4:14 where Cain states that he will be killed by others whom would not exist if Adam, Eve and Able were the first and only humans.
The bible was written for everyone. It is the directions for the path to salvation. It was not intended to provide us with intimate details on biology or astrophysics but there is enough information for us to know when we have it right.
For example, Sir Isaac Newton established some basic laws that were able to predict systems very accurately. One of which was that every action is the result of preceding actions. They were deterministic at their core because they implied that everything that would occur would be based entirely on what happened right before. The Newtonian model of the universe is often depicted as a billiard game in which the outcome unfolds mathematically from the initial conditions in a pre-determined fashion. While Newton's laws remain as one of the more important concepts of physical science today, they are incomplete. They fit with rule one in that they display the pre-determination but require an initial condition that Genesis says wasn't there. Newton's laws were challenged and failed when the complexity of the stability or instability of the solar system is calculated.
Newton (who was also a Christian) wasn't wrong; he just didn't have the whole picture. When I can't make something match up, I know the bible isn't wrong; I just don't have the whole picture. Einstein spent a huge portion of his life trying to fix the fudge factor he stuffed into his calculations. Einstein, who was not a Christian had found God in his math but could not believe it. Einstein was not wrong E does =mc^2, he just didn't have the whole picture.

Be patient, scientists jump to their feet quickly and yell 'I got it!' then pace and grumble while others poke at it. By the time the general population gets a hold of it, it barely looks the same. It is the same for the Word, we frequently ingest the words and say, 'I got it!' then we poke at it, like a child trying to make it fit within our limited understanding. Remember that all your experiences and understandings before you were a Christian are that of the general population. God blessed many with the ability to read his Word where they could read no other. He blesses us with the ability to understand it too.

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#17

Post by Prodigal Son » Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:47 pm

actually, there have never been any other homo sapiens species ever found. there are no bones, skulls, fossils of cavemen. unfortunately, you, like so many of us have been misled by the scientific community. there has never been any proof of the existence of any other human species besides the one in existence today.

also, methods used to date fossils/bones are extremely flawed.

some sites you might enjoy:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/4005.asp

http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/carbondating.html

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#18

Post by Anonymous » Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:18 pm

To reconcile the two 'versions' of human creation -- try this on for size: in chapter 1 God tells of the whole of creation. In chapter 2 He zooms in and gives details of man's creation.

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#19

Post by Anonymous » Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:25 pm

I know you are focusing on evolution specifically, but for me reconciling scientific data with 6 days was a stumbling block. Hugh Ross helped me with that hurdle, but the following I was just introduced to recently and it just clinches and expands on everything Ross introduced me to. Hope it helps.

Kurieuo: Full-quoted article removed—links are your friend ;). Please refer to Gerald Schroeder - The Age of the Universe for article.

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#20

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:49 pm

salt,

If you missed it, Schroeder's model was recently discussed at http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... c&start=39. It does has some problems I see, but then he also provides some useful insights in reasoning for his creation model.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: How can I believe in Genesis and not feel naive?

#21

Post by Battlehelmet » Fri Apr 15, 2005 12:35 pm

Athiest2Christian wrote:As someone who has recently come to Christianity, I have found many things I really like about the Bible. The wisdom it contains has been truly comforting and guiding and generally helpful in my life. One thing I have been having a hard time swallowing is the creation story in Genesis as an accurate historical account of how humans came to exist on this planet. Please don't confuse this with me saying that it isn't accurate, or that I look down on people who believe it, because I have many friends who do believe it and I have nothing but respect for them. But for me, it's really not something I have been able to convince myself is true, so I am coming to you, the Christian experts, for insights into this matter.

In Genesis, God created Adam. There were no humans, then God created the very first one. But if we look at the physical evidence that is out there, we see that there were other human species in existence before homo sapiens. In fact, we can find evidence of human existence back from about 4 million years ago. I mean, we have skulls, bones, and other pieces of prehistoric people that seem to contradict that Genesis account. So with this evidence so strong to the contrary, how can I believe in the Genesis account of creation without feeling like I am being naive? It seems like I have to ignore the rational, logical mind in order to believe it. And I can't possibly see why God would give me a logical, rational mind if he didn't want me to use it.

So maybe you guys can help me out with this. Do you believe Genesis is the true story of creation, and that it is to be taken literally? If so how do you resolve the evidence which seems to point to the contrary? Thanks for your thoughts.

Chris L.



Hello Chris..

What is strong about Genesis and creationism in general is that is of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God hovered over the waters. In eisgesis, I believe the writer had such a close relationship with the Creator that the author of Genesis actually prophesied what the Creator had already made. I think the Spirit of God actually influence the author(s) of Genesis and began writing the chapter word for word by the Spirit of God.

I'm old-earth creationist. You mentioned the ancient Proverbs, I have one in my sig that is relevant to Creation.There are much more Scripture and verses that support creationism in general. Glad you are interested in this......BH

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#22

Post by Yehren » Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:20 am

Many good Christians hold Genesis to be literal. Many good Christians don't.

There are good, and God-loving, and learned people on all sides of the issue.

Not a salvation issue.

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#23

Post by meforevidence » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:51 pm

Hello

My name is Billy. I live in the north Dallas Fort Worth area in Texas. I was also a skeptic before and too many traditionalists never seemed to understand where I was coming from and the fundamentalists had no idea what I was talking about.

As I started on my journey to overcome skepticism, I found that while most Christians were delving into the "Evolution" and "Creation" teachings, there was a whole other spectrum that was not being passionately persued which was Ancient History, Ancient Archeology and the study of the Ancient texts.

While studying these topics, I found that most Evolutionists lack a true historal background. Most of them study Biology, etc.

I could go on and on and point out fallacies of Evolution and even quote some evolutionist sites such as:
see: http://www.tufts.edu/as/wright_center/c ... 1_bio.html

Notice there is no absolutes but only questions and doubt and theory.
Quote:
1. Early Cell " What were the first living cells like? Scientists don't know for sure, for we lack good data from the first 2 billion years of Earth's history—a period known as the Archaean."

2. Introduction: "It's difficult to be precise about events we cannot observe directly."

3. Qualities of Life "We are moving across the threshold connecting matter and life. And although life itself is closer to us in space and time—indeed, we are life—that doesn't necessarily mean that we understand it any better than matter. The reason is that living systems are so much more complex than any inanimate objects; a potted plant is more complicated than the most splendid galaxy. Much as some missing links hamper our current knowledge of distant stars and galaxies, gaps also plague our understanding of the history of life right here on Earth."
and

4. "Appreciating contemporary life is one thing, but understanding how it might have arisen from nonliving matter billons of years ago is quite another. Can we be sure that the basic ingredients for life were present, or would have naturally emerged, on primordial Earth? Furthermore, is it likely that those nonliving building blocks could have fashioned a simple living cell given the harsh conditions on our planet billions of years ago?"

As for why I believe in Genesis being a real historical book, let me explain:

I would also start with all Paleontologists agreeing that the earlists civilizations are found in the fertile crescent. (I might also mention that all major civilizations/cultures have "7 DAYS" ) and the fact that every continent has a creation/ flood story with a boat and animals. I can refer to some of these later.

I would show where it is likely the Babylonians, Assyrians, and Egyptians borrowed from the Hebrew religion.
see: http://specialtyinterests.net/Toledoth.html
and: http://specialtyinterests.net/ugarit.html

I would then present evidence which refutes earlier skeptics. Examples would be: Genesis 4 stating Jubal invented stringed instruments and his half brother invented Metal weapons. Excavations have found several of these exact items (including anceint bow and arrows which are also depicted in early tablets dated around this time.

I then would probably refer to texts and excavations such as the Adda Cylinder and Enumi Elish which many linguists and on-site archeologists believe are speaking of Lemech, Naama (also known as Tiamat), Jubal and Tubal Cain (also known as Marduk. The writings and some tablets indicate that Tubal Cain (also known as Marduk) killed his sister because other ancient writings indicate that since Jobal being the eldest son moved to the country probably to get away from the violence of his own family Naama would have received the tablests and Tubal Cain desired to have them. The jagged knife shown in the Adda Cylinder is held by Tubal Cain (Marduk).

I would present evidence that supports the flood. There are so many links that I can send these later but many are linked to my webpage and forum at: http://biblehistoryevi.freeforumsite.co ... ryevi.html
and: http://www.geocities.com/bkitc/BibleHis ... 4376984%20

I would then use historical evidence to point to not only the existence of Abraham, but also to some Biblical accounts related to him.
The Kings list mentiones the war and the kings spoken of in Genesis
Did Abraham exist?

Genesis 14; And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shin'ar,
Ariokh king of Ellasar, Khedorla'omer king of Elam,and Tidhal king of Go'im —

That these made war with Bera King of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah,
Shinab king of Admah, and Shem-eber king of Zebi'im, and with the king of Bela,

which is Zoar.

Thus begins the biblical tale, in chapter 14 of Genesis, of an ancient war that pitted an alliance of four kingdoms of the East against five kings in Canaan. It is a tale that has evolved some of the most intense debate among scholars, for it connects the story of Abraham, the first Hebrew Patriarch, with a specific non-Hebrew event, and thus affords objective substantiation of the biblical record of the birth of a nation.

At the close of the eighteenth century, the scholarly and religious worlds were startled by the discovery of Babylonian tablets naming Khedorla'omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal in a tale not unlike the biblical one.

The tablets describe a war of wide-ranging magnitude, in which a king of Elam, Kudur-laghamar, led an alliance of rulers that included one named Eri-aku and another named Tud-ghula - names that easily could have been transformed into Hebrew as Khedor-la'omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal. This new information confirms the biblical tale by providing support of an independent Mesopotamian source.

With justified excitement the Assyriologists of that time agreed with interpretation of the cuneiform names:



“Kudur-Laghamar”, king of the land of Elam”; scholars agreed that it was a perfect Elamite royal name, the prefix Kudur — meaning 'Servant' having been a component in the names of several Elamite kings, and Laghamar being the Elamite epithet-name for a certain deity.


“Ariokh”, spelled Eri-e-a-ku in the Babylonian cuneiform script, stood for the original Sumerian ERI.AKU, meaning “Servant of the god Aku,” Aku being a variant of the name of Nannar/Sin. It is known from a number of inscriptions that Elamite rulers of Larsa bore the name “Servant of Sin,” and there was therefore little difficulty in agreeing that the biblical Eliasar, the royal city of the king Ariokh, was in fact Larsa.


“Tud-ghula”, was the equivalet of the biblical “Tidhal, king of Go'im”; and they agreed that by Go'im the Book of Genesis referred to the “nation-hordes” whom the cuneiform tablets listed as allies of Khedorla'omer.


Verifying not only of the veracity of the Bible and of the existence of Abraham, but also of an international event in which he had been involved!
One could also point out the Tel Amarna Tablets in which several mention a King of Jerusalem described like "Melchizedek" in the Bible.
Tel Amarna: see: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/elamarna_period.html

and http://www.christiancourier.com/archives/otAccuracy.htm (there are many more)

which states: " Professor Stephen Caiger, who was not a strictly conservative scholar, nonetheless stated that: "[T]here seems [to be] no reason to question a factual basis of Genesis 14" (p. 34).

As Abraham returned from his victory over the Eastern kings, he encountered the mysterious Melchizedek, "king of Salem" ( Jerusalem), who was designated as both a king and priest. Abraham "paid tithes" to the monarch and was, in turn, blessed by him.

The New Testament makes Melchizedek a symbol of our king and priest, Jesus Christ (Heb. 7:15). But the writer of the inspired book of Hebrews makes a curious statement regarding Melchizedek. He states that the ancient ruler was "without father, without mother, without genealogy" (7:3). What does this strange phraseology mean?

Numerous speculations have surrounded this allusion. Origen, an ancient writer (A.D. 185-253) imagined that Melchizedek was an angel. Hierakas, toward the end of the 3rd century A.D., thought that he was a temporary incarnation of the Holy Spirit. Some have even suggested that he was the pre-incarnate Logos (Christ — Jn. 1:1, 14) — a concept contradicted by Hebrews 7:3; the king was merely "like unto" the Son of God.

Archaeology has shed light on the enigmatic expression "without father, without mother," etc.

A.H. Sayce, who served as Professor of Assyriology at Oxford, called attention to an inscription from the famous Tell el-Amarna tablets (discovered in 1887 in Egypt). These tablets describe the conditions of Syria and Palestine about 1400-1360 B.C.

"Several of the Tell el-Amarna tablets are letters written to the Pharaoh by Ebed-tob . . . the king of Uru-Salim [ Jerusalem ], who begs for help against his enemies. He tells the Pharaoh that he was not like the other Egyptian governors in Palestine, nor had he received his crown by inheritance from his father or mother; it had been conferred on him by 'the Mighty King'" (p. 335).

So, observing the similarity of language, we conclude that Melchizedek's kingship-priesthood had not been genealogically derived. He had received his commission directly from God Himself — indeed as the Scriptures affirm: he was an appointment "of God Most High" (Gen. 14:1 ."

I would probably then go to Joseph of Goshen where in Goshen archeologists have found numerous "Hebrew style homes" as well as a Hebrew style palace similar to Solomon's Temple. This is believed to have been Joseph's palace. Outside the palace, there is a tomb where a statue (broken down possible by thieves) was found. Intrestingly, the statue is one of someone with a Hebrew hairstyle, and Hebrew dress but was set up as an Egyptian Ruler (shown by the Egyptian Staff). Not far, beside a the river are writings of a foreign slave who was adopted into the Pharoah's family and he was set up as a leader. This leader (Imhotep, ImJoseph/ Joseph) had a dream of 7 years of famine and seven years of plenty (although written in reverse order). He was also set up as leaders of graneries which were also found in this area.
see: http://biblehistoryevi.freeforumsite.co ... out72.html

Next is the Exodus. A little hard to beleive but evidence shows that Hebrews lived in Egypt as slaves (see Brooklyn Papyri which names many slaves with Hebrew names). Other writings indicate that many lived in Caanan during the time told in the Bible, The Plagues are supported by external Biblical evidence. The Ipewer Papyri was written by an Egyptian sage who was complaining to the Pharoah about the plagues of the land. These corrospond to the plagues of the Bible.
Other evidences are the mulitple tombs under the homes of the Egyptians in which bodies of the dead were quickly buried under the homes. This was not a tradition of the time. What else was interesting of these bodies of the time period was that most of them were under the age of 2 which matches the Genesis account of Pharoah killing the male children under age 2.
Another evidence is the multiple tombs of which bodies were piled on top of each other becaus of some great pestilance.
see: http://specialtyinterests.net/old_kingdom.html
and: http://specialtyinterests.net/exodus.html
and: http://specialtyinterests.net/ipuwer.html

Other examples are: also see : http://aish.com/societyWork/sciencenatu ... Part_2.asp
which reads:

One of the main indications of an anachronism in the Bible was thought to be that of the camel. The Book of Genesis reports that camels were mainstay beasts of burden and transportation already at the time of Abraham, in the 18th century BCE. Yet it was originally thought that camels were first domesticated in the Middle East no earlier than the 12th century BCE. This anachronism was a clear indication of the later writing of the Bible. Or so it was thought.

All this changed with the turn of a shovel. Recent archaeological finds have clearly demonstrated that the camel was domesticated by the 18th century BCE. What was previously thought to be a knockout punch against the Bible, is now evidence supporting it.

Prof. Kenneth Kitchen, an Egyptologist at the University of Liverpool (retired) points out that the sale of Joseph to a caravan of Midianites (for 20 silver pieces) could have been an example of anachronism in the Bible, since 1,000 years later the price for a slave was much higher (ancient inflation). However, the price reported in the Bible matches precisely the going price of slaves in the region from Joseph's time period. This is just one example that demonstrates, according to Kitchen, that "it's more reasonable to assume that the biblical data reflect reality."

Furthermore, we find that the detailed descriptions of the court of the Pharaoh and its protocols, as reported in Genesis, are extremely accurate to that time period. Joseph's Egyptian name, clothing, and court orders are all very much in line with what we now understand to have been the norm for that time and place.
Next comes the destruction of Jericho and the Canaanite cites:
Evidence supports the Bible.
See: http://specialtyinterests.net/old_kingdom.html

and: http://www.biblicalarcheology.net/Bibli ... icho1.html

and: http://specialtyinterests.net/exodus.html

The Old Testament
and the
Ancient Near East
Jericho
by Don Jaques

http://www.georgefox.edu/academics/semi ... richo.html
Relevance for our Understanding of the Old Testament
The relevance of this issue for our understanding of the Old Testament is quite clear. One's interpretation of the evidence at Jericho will determine how one reads the Biblical account of the Israelite conquest of Jericho as found in Joshua 3-6. If a date of ca. 1400 B.C. is accepted, then one can be fairly confident that the Biblical account is indeed accurate, and that Yahweh caused a great earthquake at the moment the Israelites gave their great shout, and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. As Wood has noted, there is strong correlation between the evidence found in the destruction of City IV and the Biblical narrative:

The city was strongly fortified (Joshua 2:5, 7, 15, 6:5, 20).
The attack occurred just after harvest time in the spring (Joshua 2:6, 3:15, 5:10).
The inhabitants had no opportunity to flee with their foodstuffs (Joshua 6:1).
The siege was short (Joshua 6:5).
The walls were leveled, possibly by an earthquake (Joshua 6:20).
The city was not plundered (Joshua 6:17-18).
The city was burned (Joshua 6:24).{24}
It has not been the scope of this report to look at the archaeological data which line up with these seven points, but Wood uses each one to demonstrate how the most likely scenario for the destruction of City IV is in fact the conquest of the Israelites as described in the Bible.

Thus, Wood has successfully bolstered the confidence of those who believe the Bible accurately describes historical events. His interpretation of the data in fact does more than simply say, "it happened like the Bible says". It helps readers to understand how this miraculous event transpired, namely through a great earthquake which caused the city wall to crumble.

Those who are skeptical of Wood's conclusions, however, are in a more difficult position. The question for these people is, "How am I to understand the nature of Biblical authority in the light of contradictory (or at best, controversial) archaeological data?" The secular view would simply be to throw out the Bible as historically inaccurate, a mythological book full of religious biases that make it of no consequence in the search for what really happened in Jericho. This view is obviously a poor option for those whose life is founded upon faith in the God of the Bible.

Scarab evidence is the third area of methodology which helps to place the date of the destruction of City IV. Using scarabs to date archaeological finds is done by determining which king is on the scarab, and trying to place that king in history. In this way, archaeologists can determine at least a rough date for a particular strata. Bienkowski notes, however, that this method is risky since scarabs were often kept long after the kings noted on them had died.{18} (To use a modern example, if in the year 2997 an archaeologist unearthed a coin in my home dated 1850, the assumption that the house was built then would be erroneous. If however, that same archaeologist found numerous coins from the 1990's, the assumption that the house stood near the end of the 20th century would be much safer.)

Garstang and Wood cite the fact that both in tombs and in the city, a continuous series of scarabs have been discovered covering the reigns of the Pharaohs from Thothmes III to Amenhetep III, whose reign ended around 1385 B.C.{19} No scarab evidence of the next Pharaoh, Ahkenaton, is found in City IV, and thus it is likely that inhabitation of the city ended before his reign began around 1385 B.C.

Evidence supports the United Kingdom and the House of David
See: http://specialtyinterests.net/david_abishag.html

and: http://specialtyinterests.net/solomon.html

The California Institute of Ancient Studies refutes the few minimalists such as Dever and Finklestein who tried to excavate the lands of the Bible and came out believing that the Bible must not be true because they could not find the evidence. The few minimalist Dever-Finkelstein followers (one who authored "The Bible Unearthed") have been proven wrong simply because they have used the outdated Sothic Chronology. Even on an ABC special, the archeologists did have some embarrassing moments such as when the founder of the famous Tell Dan inscription referring to the "House of David" showed that actual inscription to the cameras and laughed at the early attempts by archaeologists to explain it away. And the program's presenter himself came to be convinced that a massive altar on Mount Ebal in Samaria was the one that Joshua had built there (Joshua 8:30). Indeed it was made of "unhewn stones" (v.31), and the archaeological data discovered around this altar seemed to fit very well that this was indeed an ancient Israelite site of sacrifice. David himself was grudgingly accorded a real existence, based largely on the Tell Dan evidence. The Ugarit excavations formerly dated 1400 to 1500 B.C. show evidence of actually being dated 7th to 8th century B.C. showing the possibility that perhaps the Hebrews did not borrow from the Babylonians/Assyrians. The Toledoth also shows an early date of Genesis. The Ebla Tablets and the Kings list show evidence of Abraham and Biblical accounts of his time.

see: http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/westsem/teldan.html


Further evidence of early Yahweh Worship: http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/westsem/passover.html

and: http://www.excel.net/~hoy/t-inscr/tinscr.html
Even a statement made by a true scholar on the subject,

Prof. Adam Zartal, chairman of the Dept. of Archaeology at the University of Haifa who had this to say about history, archaeology and the Bible: "After years of research, I believe it is impossible to explore Israel's origins without the Bible. At the same time, the research should be as objective as possible. The Bible should be used cautiously and critically. But again and again we have seen the historical value of the Bible. Again and again we have seen that an accurate memory has been preserved in its transmuted narratives, waiting to be unearthed and exposed by archaeological fieldwork and critical mind work."
I was a former skeptic but now I am a strong believer in God and his word. I have a forum also with Christian Evidences supported with History, Archeology, Ancient Studies, and Philosophy at: //biblehistoryevi.freeforumsite.com/index.php I hope I can encourage many of you as many of you encouage me. God bless

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#24

Post by hetfield » Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:34 pm

I'm undecided between YEC and OEC
"The greatest feeling is looking at something, and wondering how it works-"Albert Einstien.

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#25

Post by hfd » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:03 am

Yehren wrote:Many good Christians hold Genesis to be literal. Many good Christians don't.

There are good, and God-loving, and learned people on all sides of the issue.

Not a salvation issue.
Please define 'Good Christian'.

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#26

Post by hfd » Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:21 am

Anonymous wrote:I know you are focusing on evolution specifically, but for me reconciling scientific data with 6 days was a stumbling block. Hugh Ross helped me with that hurdle, but the following I was just introduced to recently and it just clinches and expands on everything Ross introduced me to. Hope it helps.

Kurieuo: Full-quoted article removed—links are your friend ;). Please refer to Gerald Schroeder - The Age of the Universe for article.

I read the article. The only value I find in it is an ability to devise clever manipulations in an attempt to overcome the obvious.

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