Posted by: jesuswarrior | March 16, 2007

Old Earth, A Biblical Concept?

As the rise of evolution and millions of years began and scientists began to believe that the earth was not about six thousand years old as the Bible clearly teaches, the Church was faced with a dilemma. Should they stand up to the world and fight for the biblical truth? Or should they accept what the secular scientists were saying and modify the Bible. Unfortunately, much of the Church chose the latter. Ever since this point theories have been introduced into the Church to explain how evolution could be compatible with the Bible. The four major theories are, The Gap Theory, Progressive Creationism, Framework Hypothesis, and Theistic Evolution. In the next four posts I will take an in-depth view at each theory and show why they are not compatible with the Scriptures.

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Responses

  1. Interesting, I will look forward to reading your posts as I do not see the “Bible clearly” teaching that the earth is 6000 years old. Also, why will not include St. Augustine’s theological argument for something akin to instaneous creation or Philo’s account of out-of-time creation? Augustine has had a huge impact in Christian doctrine, why ignore his arguments concerning Creationism?

  2. I do not know what St. Augustine’s theological argument for something akin to instaneous creation or of Philo’s account of out-of-time creation, but if you add all the genealogies of the Bible together you recive a date of just over 6000 years. If you do not believe me, please read this article by Dr. Jonathon Sarfati.

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/tj/docs/v17n3_Chronogenealogies.pdf

  3. I am well aware of Archbishop’s famous dating of 4004 among others and I do believe that many Christians believe that this is “clear evidence”. Although there are numberous problems with his geneological assumptions, there is hardly any attribution in Genesis concerning the pre-Adam creation other than the use of the word “day” – which, as you may know, in the Hebrew (yom) is the exactly same word for “age” as found whenever a reference to a “Day of judgment” or the “Lord’s Day”, or the “age of the Lord” etc., although I am sure you will cover that in the Day-Age theory (Progressive Creationism? – I’m not up with the anti-atheistic Evolution terms these days, they seem to change every generation). Anyway, I don’t care to debate this (I don’t really subscribe to that theory either). I’m just saying that whenever you have a “day” before a sun is created there has to be room in the Bible itself for debate and it cannot be “clearly” anything.

  4. You know that the early questioners of belief in a young earth were Christian, right?

    There was Buffon, for one (though he wasn’t an inerrantist).

    And Cuvier.

    And Lyell.

    And yes, even Darwin was a Christian while he was on his Beagle voyage and began considering evolution.

    You act like it was some sort of Anti-Christian movement.

  5. Here we go again. Alright Abyssal, in a roundabout way, it is an anti-christian movement. For by attacking the beliefs of origins it attacks the authority of scripture. And when you attack the authority and inerrancy of Genesis 1-11 you attack the authority of the gospels. Evolution is a belief that you can explain the world without God. That is very Anti-Christian. Now I’m not saying that you can’t be a Christian if you believe in evoltion, of course not. That is why we have so many proponents of it today. Now as to Darwin being a Christian I’m inclined to doubt that, based on a theological belief that you cannot lose your salvation, which he claimed to have happened, after his daughter Annie died.

  6. Here we go again. Alright Abyssal, in a roundabout way, it is an anti-christian movement. FOr by attacking the beliefs of origins it attacks the authority of scripture. And when you attack the authority and inerrancy of Genesis 1-11 you attack the authority of the gospels.

    I can’t claim to speak for long dead people, but I have the feeling that most of them were just not literalists. So, to say that they questioned the authority of the gospels would be untrue. And besides even if the opening of Genesis tunred out to be completely fake, it would be a nonsequitur to say that it necessarily has any effect on the validity of other passages of scripture.

    Evolution is a belief that you can explain the world without God. That is very Anti-Christian.

    Evolutionary theory is about processes. It doesn’t make a claim either for or against God. It’s about as “Anti-Christian” as saying “In the beginning the heaven and the earth were created.” Notice that it’s the same as Gen 1:1 with the sole exception that it doesn’t explicitly mention God. And if it started making unfalsifiable, untestable begging-the-queston claims like that it wouldn’t be good science.

    Now as to Darwin being a Christian I’m inclined to doubt that, based on a theological belief that you cannot lose your salvation, which he claimed to have happened, after his daughter Annie died.

    I don’t know what incident you’re referring to, but I used Christian in the “a believer in the basic truth of and follower of the teachings of the Bible.”

  7. Why shouldn’t you interpret the Bible in a completely literal way. Jesus did. And if you interpret the Bible figuratively it makes God look unjust, for then there was death before sin, and that makes God the author of suffering and death, which is simply not scriptural.

    The theory of evolution states that in the beginning there was nothing, that nothing exploded and created everything, just very slowly. There is no God in that equation. Old earth scientists have just tried to squeeze God in and it doesn’t work.

    Please don’t use the word Christian to mean that. A Christian is somebody who has repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus.

  8. Why shouldn’t you interpret the Bible in a completely literal way. Jesus did.

    That’s rubbish. Jesus never gave any expositions on how to interpret the Bible, and he never said anything.

    Some Bible vereses to have fun interpreting literally:

    Song of Solomon 1:13 A bundle of myrrh is my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

    She’s in love with incense?!

    Song of Solomon 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.

    She’s a wall?! She was inside his eyeballs?!?!

    Galatians 2:20 [St. Paul:] I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

    St. Paul was crucified with Christ?! He lives, but not lives?!?!

    Lamentations 1:9 [The City of Jerusalem’s] filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O LORD, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

    The city of Jerusalem has a skirt?! City’s are capable of remembering and forgetting?! The enemy is making himself look larger than he physically is?!

    Habbakuk 1:8 [[The Chaldeans’]] horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

    Flying carniverous horses. ‘Nuff said.

    I hope you can see that literalism can distort the Bible very badly and that it’s obvious that there’s quite a lot of the Bible that can’t be taken literally and still make any sense at all.

    And if you interpret the Bible figuratively it makes God look unjust, for then there was death before sin, and that makes God the author of suffering and death, which is simply not scriptural.

    God would be the author of suffering and death regardless of whoever of us is right. If I’m right those things are natural parts of biology. If you’re right they are God’s curse on us for Adam and Eve’s sins. Either way it all goes back to God.

    The theory of evolution states that in the beginning there was nothing, that nothing exploded and created everything, just very slowly.

    That’s Big Bang theory, not evolution. It’s a completely different subject. Please don’t use the word Christian to mean that. A Christian is somebody who has repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus.

    I’ll agree there, but that’s the widest used and easiest to understand version, so I feel bound to use it. For the idea you mentioned I would probably call them “practicing Christians.” It’s amazing how complicated it can get to have even simple discussions because of the way so many factions have twisted religious terms.

  9. So not all of the Bible is meant to be interpreted in a completely literal way. I give you that, but Jesus did say, “In six days the lord made the earth” (paraphrase) This is definitely showing that he believed in a literal Genesis. Also the Hebrew is clear in regard to the days. They should be interpreted literally. WHENEVER Hebrew manuscripts give a number before the word day it ALWAYS means a literal day. WHENEVER Hebrew manuscripts use an evening and a morning to describe a day, it ALWAYS means a day. So that the Bible would use BOTH to describe the days of Genesis, then it is CLEARLY stating that the days are literal.

    GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF DEATH AND SUFFERING, HUMANS ARE. You are simply using bad hermeneutics. WE sinned, not God. You are not right it is not part of biology, and God did not create the death and suffering human sin did.

    That’s Big Bang theory, not evolution. It’s a completely different subject. Please don’t use the word Christian to mean that. A Christian is somebody who has repented of their sins and placed their trust in Jesus.

    that is not just the big bang theory and God is still left out of the picture, besides I don’t believe their is any proof for evolution. You cannot test is in a laboratory so you can’t have proof. And if you think the fossil record proves evolution I would recommend two books
    “Evolution: The fossils say NO” and
    “Evolution: The fossils still say NO”

    I will try to get the links later, I have to go now.

  10. Jesuswarrior, can you include some verses for your references. Whenever you paraphrase or quote something (or, in your case, both) you should always cite, ESPECIALLY when you are using it as an authority. So far abyssalleviathin has cited more Bible verses than you have.

  11. So not all of the Bible is meant to be interpreted in a completely literal way. I give you that, but Jesus did say, “In six days the lord made the earth” (paraphrase) This is definitely showing that he believed in a literal Genesis.

    I never said that the world wasn’t made in six days, I was debating on the nature of those days. Were they normal 24 hour days? I don’t believe so, and since your quote doesn’t clarify the nature of those days, it’s ultimately irrelevent to our discussion.

    Also the Hebrew is clear in regard to the days. They should be interpreted literally. WHENEVER Hebrew manuscripts give a number before the word day it ALWAYS means a literal day. WHENEVER Hebrew manuscripts use an evening and a morning to describe a day, it ALWAYS means a day. So that the Bible would use BOTH to describe the days of Genesis, then it is CLEARLY stating that the days are literal.

    From what I’ve heard, this is not a real law of Hebrew linguistics at all, but basically a young earth fabrication.

    GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF DEATH AND SUFFERING, HUMANS ARE. You are simply using bad hermeneutics. WE sinned, not God. You are not right it is not part of biology, and God did not create the death and suffering human sin did.

    We sinned, but it was God who dealt a punishment, which He designed. According to you, that was physical death. My belief is that the punishment He gave humanity there was spiritual death. Hell.

    that is not just the big bang theory

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but it sure as heck had nothing to do with evolution. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, and doesn’t necessarily even have to do with abiogenesis. Evolution has to do with the formation of biodiversity and that’s it. To say otherwise would be either ignorance or a dishonesty.

    God is still left out of the picture

    Just because He isn’t mentioned by name doesn’t necessarily mean He was’t involved, there’s just no way to scientifically test his involvement, so to mention Him would be bad science.

    You cannot test is in a laboratory so you can’t have proof.

    Yes, evolution can be observed both in the field and in the lab. Evolution in the past can be observed by studying the remains of fossilized organisms. Your claim is just untrue.

    I will try to get the links later, I have to go now.

    Alright, thank you. I’ll try to check your links out when I get the chance.

  12. From what I’ve heard, this is not a real law of Hebrew linguistics at all, but basically a young earth fabrication.

    You’ve heard wrong, look at the rest of Genesis for example every time the word day is used with a number or is used with evening or morning it means a literal day.
    “And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.” Genesis 21:4 Literal day there, or does in mean on the eighth age of his life or maybe it means after eight million years of his life, do think?
    “On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.” Genesis 22:4 Literal day there.
    “Her brother and her mother said, “Let the maiden remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.”” Genesis 24:55, literal day there, and the list goes on and on, even throughout the whole Old Testament, just read it.

    We sinned, but it was God who dealt a punishment, which He designed. According to you, that was physical death. My belief is that the punishment He gave humanity there was spiritual death. Hell.

    That may be but God is not the maker of suffering. Think of it like this (this is an illustration from my pastor, not an actual Bible verse, but derived from it.) “God created a PERFECT world (BTW that’s literal too.) In the world God had such power over it that man could not even hit his foot on a stone, but when man sinned God had to punish them because he is so holy. Now in God’s punishment, all he had to do was release his hold a little on the world, and now death and suffering could happen.” Besides God warned that death would be the consequence of sin. So, even though you could argue that God is the maker of death, it’s OUR fault. Another reason for this, is that SO holy he does not have the capacity to create evil and I think we both would say that death is evil.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, but it sure as heck had nothing to do with evolution. Evolution has nothing to do with the origin of the universe, galaxies, stars, planets, and doesn’t necessarily even have to do with abiogenesis. Evolution has to do with the formation of biodiversity and that’s it. To say otherwise would be either ignorance or a dishonesty.

    Alright, evolution and the big bang theory are all wrapped into one, evolutionists are big bang theorists, and most big bang theorists are evolutionists, as far as I know. And I said that evolution (I’m using that term to mean anybody who believes bot in evolution and an old universe) is the theory that states in the beginning there was nothing, that nothing exploded and created everything. Ok? And if you are going to say that I am ignorant or dishonest for saying evolution to man both evolutionists and big bang theorists the same applies to you in calling Charles Darwin a Christian.

    Just because He isn’t mentioned by name doesn’t necessarily mean He was’t involved, there’s just no way to scientifically test his involvement, so to mention Him would be bad science.

    I guess if you are a theistic evolutionist you could say that, but most atheistic evolutionists don’t say that an they are the main big proponents of evolution (but not the only ones). And most atheists I’ve heard use evolution as a proof that there is no God, could you please explain that?

    Yes, evolution can be observed both in the field and in the lab. Evolution in the past can be observed by studying the remains of fossilized organisms. Your claim is just untrue.

    So if you claim that evolution can be reproduced could you please do it for me, could you make a human evolve into something better please, isn’t it about time for that. That is just dumb. As to your claim about the fossil record well read the two books I was telling you about the fossil record does not have the answers. Here are the links, to find them.
    http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Fossils-Still-Say-No/dp/0890511128
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0890511128/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-6457240-1879337#reader-link
    The first is a link to where to buy it, the second is an excerpt. By the way you might want to read this article by Dr. David Menton about the fossil record.
    http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro11.html

  13. You’ve heard wrong, look at the rest of Genesis for example every time the word day is used with a number or is used with evening or morning it means a literal day.
    “And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.” Genesis 21:4 Literal day there, or does in mean on the eighth age of his life or maybe it means after eight million years of his life, do think?
    “On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.” Genesis 22:4 Literal day there.
    “Her brother and her mother said, “Let the maiden remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.”” Genesis 24:55, literal day there, and the list goes on and on, even throughout the whole Old Testament, just read it.

    1.) None of those passages have any reason to be suspected as anything other than literal days. Most people perceive science as having a great deal of evidence in favor of longer spans of time involved with creation. There is at least a reason (although you and many others find it unconvincing) too suspect that a literal interpretation is inaccurate.

    2.) Even if the entirety of the OT apart from Genesis 1 operated that way, that doesn’t “prove” that the week of creation followed the same pattern.

    That may be but God is not the maker of suffering. Think of it like this (this is an illustration from my pastor, not an actual Bible verse, but derived from it.) “God created a PERFECT world (BTW that’s literal too.)

    No, it says “Very good.” That’s a completely different concept.

    In the world God had such power over it that man could not even hit his foot on a stone,

    I think your pastor is greatly misusing that verse. I don’t think that passage had anything to do with the Edenic world.

    but when man sinned God had to punish them because he is so holy. Now in God’s punishment, all he had to do was release his hold a little on the world, and now death and suffering could happen.”

    Personally I feel that your views on the punishment actually compromise God’s holiness. After all, he didn’t just punish Adam and Eve, but every single human that came after them and every other organism that came after them on earth. Presumably if aliens exist, they’re getting a raw deal too, in your model. How’s that for holy? Punishing everybody with the most gruesome punishments imaginable for something they didn’t even do. And with the animals it’s for something they don’t even know about!

    Besides God warned that death would be the consequence of sin. So, even though you could argue that God is the maker of death, it’s OUR fault. Another reason for this, is that SO holy he does not have the capacity to create evil and I think we both would say that death is evil.

    Actually since death is essentially the transition from a mortal physical body to a glorified spiritual body, I would say that death is actually a very good thing! Only thing about death is that once sin entered the equation, well, it became very dangerous.

    Alright, evolution and the big bang theory are all wrapped into one, evolutionists are big bang theorists, and most big bang theorists are evolutionists, as far as I know. And I said that evolution (I’m using that term to mean anybody who believes bot in evolution and an old universe) is the theory that states in the beginning there was nothing, that nothing exploded and created everything. Ok? And if you are going to say that I am ignorant or dishonest for saying evolution to man both evolutionists and big bang theorists the same applies to you in calling Charles Darwin a Christian.

    No, because Darwin had actually fit the definition of Christian, at least in the sense I was using the word. Honestly he probably fit your definition too. You’re cramming completely different concepts together.

    I guess if you are a theistic evolutionist you could say that, but most atheistic evolutionists don’t say that an they are the main big proponents of evolution (but not the only ones). And most atheists I’ve heard use evolution as a proof that there is no God, could you please explain that?

    Because they’re using the same logical flaw you are, assuming that because the agent (God in this case) isn’t explicitly shown to be involved, that he’s not involved at all. It’s like saying that the existence of construction workers disproves the existence of architechts! You don’t see him at work on the building, but his influence is obvious!

    So if you claim that evolution can be reproduced could you please do it for me, could you make a human evolve into something better please, isn’t it about time for that.

    Yes it is. Actually there have been observations of the evolution of new traits in humans. One mutation caused the development of stronger bones than normal people have. Another conferred resistence to AIDS. They aren’t big changes, but cumulatively changes like these become big. There is no difference between macroevolution and microevolution accept the length of time given for mutations to accumulate.

    As to your claim about the fossil record well read the two books I was telling you about the fossil record does not have the answers. Here are the links, to find them.
    http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Fossils-Still-Say-No/dp/0890511128
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0890511128/ref=sib_dp_pt/102-6457240-1879337#reader-link
    The first is a link to where to buy it, the second is an excerpt. By the way you might want to read this article by Dr. David Menton about the fossil record.
    http://www.gennet.org/facts/metro11.html

    Thanks. 🙂

  14. It’s too bad Christians are so bitterly divided over the age of the earth issue. Satan must be laughing all the way to the bank. Kids are growing up and leaving the church in droves because they don’t want to be part of an institution that requires them to check their brains in at the door.

    Personally, I maintain the old earth position, but I have friends who are young earth and we fellowship together and get along fine. They know that I love the Lord just like they do.

    A good book that addresses the Genesis interpretation issue is “The Genesis Debate” by by J. Ligon Duncan III (Author), David W. Hall (Author), Hugh Ross (Author), Gleason L. Archer (Author), Lee Irons (Author), Meredith G. Kline (Author), David G. Hagopian (Editor). You can get it at some Christian bookstores and on-line from just about any distributer.

    I recently found a good web site called “Answers in Creation” which takes the old earth position. It’s url is:

    http://www.answersincreation.org/articles.htm

    Daniel Wonderly does a good job of shredding young earth geology in his book “Neglect of Geologic Data – Sedimentary Strata Compared to Young Earth Creationist Writings,” which is available on-line in .pdf format at:

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wonderly2006.pdf

    If you really want to expand your horizons and are at least open to learning about some new perspectives on the issue, check out the American Scientific Affiliation’s web page on the creation/evolution debate at:

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Evolution/index.html

    Particularly, check out “The Testimony of a Formerly Young Earth Missionary” by Dr. Joshua Zorn at:

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/zorn.html

    This paper closely reflects my history in relation to the young earth/old earth issue as well.


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