Slide 1 - Confident Christians

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Feb 5, 2013 (4 years and 4 months ago)

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THE QUESTION: Science tells us
that the earth is billions of years
old, but the creation account in
Genesis seems to indicate that
the earth is really just thousands
of years old. How can the Bible
be true if it can’t get that right?

“The problem is get [people] to reject irrational and supernatural
explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their
imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus,
Science, as the only begetter of truth.”


-

Richard Lewontin, Harvard Geneticist

“I am all in favor of a dialogue between science and religion, but not
a constructive dialogue. One of the great achievements of science
has been, if not to make it impossible for an intelligent person to be
religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be
religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”


-

Steven Weinberg, Physicist

“Any debate with creationists would give them the oxygen of
respectability.”


-

Richard Dawkins, Evolutionist/Atheist

“In some ways these chapters [Genesis 1
-
11] are the most important
ones in the Bible, for they put man in his cosmic setting and show
him his peculiar uniqueness. They explain man’s wonder and yet his
flaw. Without a proper understanding of these chapters we have no
answer to the problems of metaphysics, morals, or epistemology,
and furthermore, the work of Christ becomes one more upper
-
story
“religious” answer.”


-

Francis Schaeffer,
Genesis in Space and Time

Primary Cause

Secondary Cause

Theism

Naturalism

1.
Naturalistic Evolution


No God involved in creation; things
emerged by pure, natural processes.

2.
Naturalistic Creation


No theistic Creator beyond the world;
only a creative Mind within the universe that creates.

3.
Theistic Evolution


God directly created the universe, but
living things emerged under His control by largely natural
processes.

4.
Theistic Creation


God directly created the universe, living
things, and human beings.
How many things were originally
created and how much time it took to create them is debated

4

Basic Views of Origins

1.
Time

2.
Force

3.
Action

4.
Space

5.
Matter

Herbert Spencer on categories of reality

“In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth.”




Genesis 1:1


Time Force Action Space Matter

Spencer was an evolutionist and coined the phrase “survival of the fittest”

I.
Young Earth


Earth is thousands of years old.

1.
Standard Six
-
Day Creation

2.
Ideal
-
Time


II.
Old Earth


Earth could be millions/billions of years old.

1.
Long ‘Days’

2.
Revelatory
-
Days

3.
Day
-
Age

4.
Literary Framework

5.
Gap View

7

Orthodox Views of Theistic Creation


Young earth category


Interprets Genesis literally and chronologically


Natural reading of the text presents the case that the six
days in Genesis 1 are six normal 24
-
hour days


The normal use of the word ‘Yom’, the numbered series,
and the repetition of ‘evening and morning’ support six
days of creation

Six
-
Day Creation View


Comparison with a six
-
day work
week (Ex. 20:11) supports six
days of creation


Young earth category


All things were created with the appearance of age. For
example, Adam may have looked 30 years old when he
was created but was only seconds old


Applies to all things including the earth, trees, etc.


Would cause certain scientific tests to arrive at incorrect
conclusions

Ideal
-
Time View


Old earth category


Proposes both biblical and scientific evidence to support
the view that the ‘days’ of Genesis are actually long
periods of time


‘Yom’ (Hebrew word for day) often means more than just a
24
-
hour period of time. “Day” is from God’s perspective

Long ‘Days’ View


"This is the account of the
heavens and the earth when they
were created, in the
day

that the
Lord God made earth and
heaven." (Genesis 2:4)


Seventh “day” has been
thousands of years long (God still
resting


Third day may be longer than 24 hours. "The 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." (Genesis 1:12).
Process seems to be natural, not supernatural


Sixth day may be longer than 24 hours. Land animals,
man, woman created, and Adam names the animals

Long ‘Days’ View


Speed of light and rate of
expansion of the universe


Scientific dating of rocks and the
rate that salt runs into the sea
and the amount of salt there
seems to indicate long ‘days’


Old earth category


Asserts that the six days were 24
-
hour days of revelation
that God gave to Moses who wrote Genesis


Just as God used visions to reveal future events to his
prophets, this view asserts that God revealed a past
series of events to Moses regarding creation


Some say “asah” used in Exodus 20:11 can mean “reveal:

Revelatory Days View


“For in six days the Lord
made

the heavens and the earth, the
sea and all that is in them, and
rested on the seventh day;
therefore the Lord blessed the
sabbath day and made it holy."
(Exodus 20:11)


Old earth category


Asserts that the six days were 24
-
hour days of actual
creation


Between each day there was a long period of time where
things took place


Third day indicates a process may be involved that took
longer than 24 hours.

Day
-
Age View


"The 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." (Genesis 1:12)


Old earth category


Asserts that the six days were an ancient literary device
that was sometimes used to frame certain periods of time
in order to encapsulate them in literary form much like we
use a ‘chapter’ in a book to do the same


“Morning” and “Evening” were natural ways to point to a
beginning and an end

Literary Framework View


Held by Augustine who believed
God created everything instantly,
but used a allegorical framework
to convey His work


However, Genesis doesn’t seem
to be the genre of poetry


Old earth category


Thomas Chalmers early champion


States that there is a gap of time either between Genesis
1:1 and 1:2 or there was a gap of time that occurred prior
to 1:1


Lucifer was originally given dominion of the earth as the
‘covering cherub’, but when he sinned, God judged both
him and his domain

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View


The six days of creation in
Genesis are not an original
creation, but a reconstruction of
the earth


God then granted a new steward


man


to be in charge of the
remade earth

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

Original creation

of Heavens and earth;
Lucifer given dominion

Untold number of years

Fall of Lucifer;
he and earth
judged by God

Gen. 1:1

Untold number of years

God remakes
earth and gives
it to Adam

Gen. 1:2
-
31

Is. 14:12
-
14

Ez. 28:12
-
17

2 Peter 3:3
-
6

Human history up until now…

Fall of man;
Satan regains
earth

?of years

Gen. 3

" In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The 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." (Genesis 1:1
-
2)

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

“formless” = “tohuw”; literally “a wreck/chaos”

“void” = “bohuw”; literally “a waste”

"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the
God who formed the earth and made it, He established it
and did not create it
“tohuw”
, but formed it to be inhabited),
“I am the Lord, and there is none else." (Isaiah 45:18)

Only used in 2 other places (Jer. 4:23, Isa. 34:11);
describes divine judgment

" In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The 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." (Genesis 1:1
-
2)

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

“formless” = “tohuw”; literally “a wreck/chaos”

“void” = “bohuw”; literally “a waste”

"I looked on the earth, and behold, it was formless and void; And to the heavens,
and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
And all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all
the birds of the heavens had fled. I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a
wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the Lord, before His fierce
anger." (Jeremiah 4:23
-
26)

Only used in 2 other places (Jer. 4:23, Isa. 34:11);
describes divine judgment

" In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
The 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." (Genesis 1:1
-
2)

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

“darkness” = “hosek”; never used in Bible for good

“deep” = “tahom”; ancient symbol for chaos

"Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it
separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the
waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the
expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening
and there was morning, a second day. Then God said, “Let the waters below the
heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and
God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:6
-
10)

Lexicons define it as ‘flood’, ‘deluge’,

"For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by
the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth
was
formed out of water and by water
,
through which

the
world
at that time

was destroyed, being flooded with water."
(2 Peter 3:5
-
6)

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

Goes back to Gen. 1:6

Could go back to Gen. 1:2

"Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him,
‘Thus says the Lord God, “You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom
and perfect in beauty
. “
You were in Eden
, the garden of God; Every
precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the
emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was
in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. “You were
the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the
holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You
were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until
unrighteousness was found in you. “By the abundance of your trade You
were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast
you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O
covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted
up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your
splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see
you." (Ezekiel 28:12
-
17)

Gap/Ruin
-
Reconstruction View

When did Lucifer fall?

I.
Young Earth


Earth is thousands of years old.

1.
Standard Six
-
Day Creation

2.
Ideal
-
Time


II.
Old Earth


Earth could be millions/billions of years old.

1.
Long ‘Days’

2.
Revelatory
-
Days

3.
Day
-
Age

4.
Literary Framework

5.
Gap View

7

Orthodox Views of Theistic Creation

The Only Options

“There are not many options


essentially
just two. Either human intelligence
ultimately owes its origin to mindless
matter; or there is a Creator. It is strange
that some people claim that it is their
intelligence that leads them to prefer the
first to the second.”


-

John Lennox,
God’s Undertaker

Naturalistic/Evolutionist View

Creation

An eternal universe

An eternal Creator

Ultimate reality is impersonal matter


no God

Ultimate reality is an infinite, personal,
loving God

Everything we know came about by
chance, with no ultimate purpose

Universe lovingly created by God for a
specific purpose

Man is the product of impersonal matter
plus time plus chance. Consequent
result is that man has no ultimate
dignity nor any meaning than what is
subjectively derived

Man is created by God in His image and
is loved by God; therefore all men are
endowed with eternal value and dignity
which is not derived from themselves
but from the Source, transcending
themselves

Morality is defined by every individual
according to his views and interests. It is
ultimately relative as every person is the
final authority for their own views

Morality is defined by God and is
immutable because it is based on God’s
unchanging and holy character.

The afterlife brings personal annihilation
and extinction for everyone

The afterlife involves either life with God
or separation from them.

The Core Positions

The Big Questions…

Evolution contributes nothing to answering this question as it
involves the supposed change that occurs in
already

existing

biological entities. Evolution tries to explain
how

something
works, not
why
something exists.

“It is self
-
evident that only mind can create mind.”, J. S. Mill

Such as case violates what we know from the study of
causation, namely that a cause cannot give what it doesn’t
have.

The Cosmological Argument


Everything that begins to exist must have a cause


The universe began to exist


Therefore, the universe had a cause

“I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise
without a cause.”
-

David Hume, Scottish Skeptic

“Nothing can come into being from that which is not”
-

Demokritos,
Greek Philosopher

The Cosmological Argument

"By faith we understand that the worlds were
prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen
was
not made out of things which are visible
."
(Hebrews 11:3)


Rebuke to Platonic cosmogony (Demiurge forming the world from
pre
-
existent matter)


Rebuke to theistic evolution

Conclusions


Creation is the best and most reasonable stance to hold when
examining how everything we know came to be


Primary reason natural man rejects creation is because an
impersonal universe cannot call him into moral account like a
personal Creator can


The seven orthodox views of Genesis should not be a test for
faith and do not violate any core Christian doctrine


Young vs. Old Earth should not be a stumbling block you put
before a person considering Christianity