Is a day a day or a thousand years or a million?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Andre Smit, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. Man only can learn what he perceives because of our degradation from sin. We can't even read the word of God without the Holy Spirit's help. We don't have all the information to come to a satisfactory conclusion on anything. It's not possible. Since the Garden of Eden, God has wanted but only one thing from man - faith. A strong belief that God knows what's best. Adam chose his own path and everyone since must also make a choice. This is why by one man, Adam, we all sinned, and yet by One Man, Jesus, we are not all automatically saved. It seems to me that God can't save us automatically. This statement is true, because God gave man certain gifts, one of them is freedom to choose. Moses said that we are to make a choice: to live or to die. That choice is Jesus. We do it God's way and live, or our way and die. Everyone must choose Jesus (or trust God if they do not know His name) to live in order to be saved. Everyone knows this because His word is written in our hearts. Everyone makes a choice at some point in their lifetime.

    Science is the study of what we perceive or invent to perceive, yet we are incapable of perceiving the truth without God's help. Solomon figured that one out. We are pushed to study God's creation so that we can see His awe and fear Him respectfully. God said that whatever we can imagine, we can do. Wow! What a gift! Still, no matter how much we know, in the end, it's all still a matter of faith and trust in God and His promises.
     
  2. Since it is documented in the Bible that a day for God can be 1000 years, I believe that in terms of creation it is possible that what is referred to in Genesis as a day, could well be millions of years in our perception of time. I have heard people argue this point quite vehemously and my answer to them is what is more important: That you are right about your own personal theory, or that God did indeed create the universe, the earth, and us? I opt for the latter. When you are considering a being so powerful that He can not only make time stand still, but reverse the movement of the sun in the sky, I would say that anything is possible, including creating things in a day or in a million years. I'm just grateful that He created man in His image and took interest in us to where we became not just His creation, but His children... an actual emotional attachment of caring what happens to us. God is great and we are so fortunate to have him as our Heavenly Father.
     
  3. Many viewpoints, Many voices

    Many who sincerely believe in Young Earth Creationism teach it as unambiguous Biblical teaching. But consider the wide acceptance of an ancient earth and the correctness, at least in principle if not in detail, of evolution.

    In his Humani Generis Encyclical, Pope Pius XII stated that there is no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation. This stand was again referenced (and expanded) by Pope John Paul II.

    Even those Christian leaders far removed from Catholicism and the Popes have many who embrace the principle of Darwinian evolution.

    For example, Pat Robertson


    Further evidence of trained Christian leaders who value evolution is the Clergy Letter Project, which sought signatures from practicing preachers. It said in part:

    We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God’s loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.


    http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/Christian_Clergy/ChrClergyLtr.htm

    They collected over 13,000 signatures of Christian leaders (as well as more signatures from letters specific to Rabbis, Unitarians, and Bhudists).

    This controversy is certainly not new. In the early church, when Christianity was beginning to reach those who had been trained in Greek natural philosophy started accepting Christ, there was a debate concerning the Aristotelian view of the Universe. According to them, the structure of the universe consisted of a series of concentric spheres.

    This would have perplexed Paul and Peter and the other leaders of the early church, and caused as great a controversy as evolution does now.
    Augustine de Hippo provided much wisdom on this matter. Without ever coming out and stating that the Greek view was correct, he wrote:

    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful graceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand stand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.
    John Hammond Taylor; Augustine. St. Augustine: The Literal Meaning of Genesis (Kindle Locations 496-508). Kindle Edition.​

    There is much more that Augustine had to say about the interpretation of Genesis. He asks many wonderful questions, but either considers the answers obvious, or leaves many of them unanswered.

    What is interesting is that Christians who were schooled in Greek thought went back through the scriptures, noting which words were used for which ‘spheres’ of heaven, and reinterpreted the ancient texts with ‘Greekified’ presumptions. Since that time, many have held that this is the Biblical view of the structure of the Universe. What they actually showed is that the Bible really doesn’t unambiguously teach anything of the kind, but it IS compatible with that view. I believe that the Bible is also quite compatible with an old earth, modified Darwinian evolution view, although I certainly do not say that it teaches such.
     
  4. My only question is: since the theory of evolution says that something mutates into something greater than itself, where are the billions of steps between an ameba and a human? Why did evolution stop then? Evolution requires more faith than believing the universe is 6,000 years old. In fact, scientists are saying that this "reality" isn't real. Quantum physics is proving this to be true. Without knowing it, learned scientists, ignorant of the word of God, are proving His words to be true. The word of God says this "reality" is just a shadow, pale in comparison. With the speed of light, atmospheric pressure, particle bombardments from the sun, as constants now being questioned, we have real plausible theories that can explain everything within the 6000 year limitation. In the grand scheme of things, in all our years of advancements, we are only able to understand that 1+1=2 in God's creation. We have a planet-wide event that we know happened and it changed everything. We know the planets were in a different orbits from information all across the planet. Every single calendar in history changed in 701 BC. This is a fact. Why? The word of God explains it. By the word of God we can go back to only 5992 years to Adam today, who was 130 when he had Seth... all the way to me. God said He made Adam from the dust of the earth which is where his name comes from, Adamah - dirt/soil/ground. We don't have but chalk and a slate tablet for information. Everything observed can be explained in the word of God. Evolution is a lie and has no reproducible products to show for its theory -- not a fact. If you stick to the word of God, you can't go wrong. That's how I know on Sep 21, 2017 it will be exactly 5993 years from Adam's birth. To find the truth, one must first have no opinion. My irrelevant to the facts opinion is:

    1 Corinthians 1:25 (KJV)
    Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. ​

    That means, no matter how much we learn about creation, it will never be revealed to the point we don't need, or know more, than God, and He will always be true, and we will remain in our ignorance.
     
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  5. Ok, to try to answer some of your points, but first, I’ll give you a thumbnail sketch of one scholar’s thoughts regarding Genesis One

    In my next post, I’ll present a short sketch of Hugh Ross’s approach, which I find keeps closest to a concordant approach to reconciling the Bible and evolution (It will probably come sometime later this week).

    Much of this is beyond my expertise, except that these questions have stayed with me as one with a Bible based faith, but a background in and belief in the sciences I gained at my father’s knee (he was a physicist who worked on missiles for the US Navy).

    In terms of the original Hebrew text, I find interesting the book, Reading Genesis One – Comparing Biblical Hebrew with English Translation by Rodney Whitefield. Although there are some things that make me cautious (for example it is a self published book and I would prefer similar studies in similar depth for comparison), I find it very interesting, although he quickly gets past my ability to comprehend as he explains about “Wa-consecutive” and conjunctive “waw”, etc. I barely know an English participle from an English gerund. He goes into great detail and provides his own translation as well as a modified KJV for Genesis 1.

    Regardless, Mr Whitefield asserts that YOM refers to creative time periods (which will be echoed when I present Mr Ross's reconciling Geneiss and science). Mr Whitefield provides the following in his conclusion:

    At the present time the opposition to the theological message of Genesis One is opposition to a Creator God who acts in history and in time. The tactic is to interpret the “when” and the “creative acts” in a way that introduces conflict between the interpretation and the observable geological record. The Darwinist assumes a God that does not act in history or geologic time, or assumes there is no God at all. The Bible reveals a God that does act in History and in geologic time.


    Things Genesis One Does and Does Not Say (A partial list)


    Genesis One does not specify an age for the Earth or an age for the Universe

    Genesis One does say that there was a beginning to the Universe and planet Earth.
    Genesis One does say that God created the heavens and the earth.


    Genesis One does say that the planet Earth was not always as it is now; changes have occurred.
    Genesis One does say that God acted to bring the present condition of the Earth into being.

    Genesis One does not say that the creative times (yom) are 24 hours in duration.
    Genesis One does not say that the creative times (yom) followed immediately one after another.
    Genesis One does not say that the commands of God were fulfilled immediately, like a bolt of lightning.


    Genesis One does say that God acted and issued commands for changes in the physical environment.
    Genesis One does say that God commanded the land to bring forth plants.

    Genesis One does not mention algae, diatoms, or any microscopic plant or creature.
    Genesis one does not categorize “life” in agreement with modern characterization of “life.”
    Genesis One does not say when fish appeared or how they were brought into being.


    Genesis One does say that God commanded the appearance of air breathing creatures in the water.
    Genesis One does say that God commanded and created air-breathing animals of the land.
    Genesis One does say that God created Adam (mankind).

    Genesis One does not say that the creation of Eve was accomplished quickly.

    Rodney Whitefield, Reading Genesis One, 2003, Page 137
     
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  6. As I promised, here is (my take on) Old Earth Creation as presented by Hugh Ross, and I pray that I do him justice. There are several areas where I would differ with him, but my purpose is not to present Siloam’s beliefs, but those of a leading (and much more qualified) Old Earth Creationist. I may not properly understand all he put in his books. His books are studded with comments concerning the original Hebrew words, and their meaning, as well as scientific insight. I only included some of them here.

    Although Dr Ross is an Old Earth Creationist, he does not subscribe to biologic evolution, at least as the only, or even principle source of changes in species

    ---

    Precondition: The Earth is shrouded in darkness (caused by debris in space, and clouds in the atmosphere)

    Day 1 (4.5+ Billion Years ago)

    Light appears (Earth’s atmosphere changed form opaque to translucent, able to pass some light to the surface). Dr Ross credits the moon (and a cataclysmic collision) with blasting away much of the atmosphere. Otherwise the atmosphere would be expected to be many times denser than it is.

    That collision also increased the mass of the Earth and enabled it to retain water vapor; elevated the iron content and helped salt the Earth’s crust, and adjusted the Earth’s rotation rate to better support life.

    Day 2

    God prepares for the water cycle that would be needed. He forms the Troposphere. Dr Ross points out the various fine-tuned features of the atmosphere as demonstrations of God’s purposeful power.

    Day 3 (~2.5 billion years ago).

    Dry land is formed. Plate tectonics transform submerged heavy basalts into lighter silicates and pushes them up above the world ocean (~2.5 billion years ago). As soon as it emerged, weathering started to wear it away, turning some of it into fine dust.

    Green plants (deshe’) appeared (not necessarily seed bearing). Dr Ross takes pains to explain that the Hebrew words translated as “seed’, “trees” and “fruit” have less specific meaning in Hebrew. This is important because it helps explain that the Hebrew text is consistent with the findings of science.

    Day 4

    Until this time, the atmosphere was continuously overcast. Between the water vapor in the air and the debris from frequent volcanic eruptions (possibly as well as meteoric bombardment) kept a dense, cloud covering the sky. Fossil evidence confirms the atmosphere had lots of carbon dioxide and water, and little oxygen.

    As plant life consumed the carbon dioxide and volcanism decreased, the atmosphere stabilized and changed from translucent to transparent, making the Sun, Moon, and stars visible to creatures on the Earth, and allowing the seasonal changes in the solar track to become visible as higher chreatures are created in days 5 and 6.

    Day 5

    Sea animals appear. Hebrew words used are “sheres”, and “nepesh”. “sheres” refers to small creatures (in water includes mollusks, crustaceans, small fish, and amphibians). “nepesh” refers to higher creatures capable of having emotions and will, like birds and mammals. These are also considered as ‘soulish’ the ancient Hebrews.

    Day 6

    Land animals, particularly those necessary or useful for Mankind.

    Day 7

    At this time, all was prepared for the creation of Man. Man was/is unique as a reflection of God Himself.

    With the creation of man, God rested (ceased His creation efforts). But it does not say He stopped. According to Dr Ross, this day will remain until the creation of the new Heaven and new Earth.

    As far as evolution goes, Dr Ross believes that life required at least three supernatural interventions:

    1st The creation of lower/simple forms on Day 3

    2nd The creation of higher forms on Day 6

    3rd The creation of Adam & Eve on Day 7

    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dr Ross has degrees in physics and astronomy, performed postdoctoral work in astronomy. He has written several books showing the harmony between science and the Bible. He also founded the Reasons to Believe website (www.reasons.org).

    -----------
    Another site promoting a partnership between faith ans science is www.biologos.org, which presents another old earth viewpoint, this one much more consistent with modern biology.
     
  7. I find it interesting that scientists keep proving the word of God as being correct and yet they still don't understand.

    "...Darkness was upon the face of the deep..." Gen 1:2

    "Soon after the Big Bang, the universe went completely dark."
    Researchers propose how the universe became filled with light
    August 30, 2017
    https://phys.org/news/2017-08-universe.html

    They must use "create" because it's the truth:

    "The intense, seminal event that created the cosmos churned up so much hot, thick gas that light was completely trapped."​

    Again they prove the word of God, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Gen 1:2 The Hebrew word for "moved" is actually "brooded" like a hen over her eggs, so yes, the light was trapped by the Spirit Who was incubating the light.

    This is how light came to be, it says:

    "They think black holes that dwell in the center of galaxies fling out matter so violently that the ejected material pierces its cloudy surroundings, allowing light to escape."​

    Oh, but we're not done... speaking about black holes, "They're producing these strong winds that could be opening an escape route for ultraviolet light. That could be what happened with the early galaxies."

    When someone speaks, breath, air, wind, is created,

    Genesis 1:3 (KJV)
    And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.​

    Lastly:
    Exodus 20:21 (KJV)
    And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.​
     
    sandpiper, CoffeeDrinker and Siloam says Amen and like this.
  8. Amen.

    It is one of The Enemy’s greatest works that many who work in science, which is the study of the universe made by God, come to view God and the worship of Him as unnecessary. They understand more and more of the details but miss the greater purpose which is to bring glory to God by showing His nature.

    And to make the work of The Enemy more effective, many of the Body of Christ falls into the enemy's trap by rising to the bait and declaring that the things of science are humanistic atheism, when their proper purpose is to _add_ a believers eye to the interpretation of nature.

    It reminds me of an illustration I heard from the pulpit regarding a different matter:

    A very bright young man enters school and begins learning to add and subtract.

    At first he is given simple problems, like 5 - 3 = [ ? ].
    He groups 5 pencils and removes 3 and sees that 2 remain.

    He thinks he has it mastered

    Then he is presented with 3 – 5 = [ ? ].
    He begins to argue with the teacher.
    He says to the teacher “you can’t take away 5 from 3”.
    The teacher then tells him about negative numbers.

    He thinks he has it mastered.

    He then is taught about multiplication and division.
    He is given 6 / 3 = [ ? ]
    He groups 6 erasers in a pile and then separates it into 3 equal piles of 2.

    He thinks he has it mastered.

    He is then given 7 / 2 = [ ? ]
    Again, the bright young man argues with the teacher saying that it can’t be done.
    The teacher tells him about fractions.

    Throughout his schooling this bright, conscientious young man continually thinks he knows all about math, when he has only started.

    It continues through rational and irrational numbers.
    It continues through complex numbers (e.g. those involving the square root of negative numbers).
    It continues through higher levels of complexity (complex roots of complex numbers).
    It continues through irrational numbers.

    At each point he thinks that his school or teacher is wrong when it only went beyond his prior thinking.

    Many of the body of Christ do similar things when it comes to science. If it isn’t what we thought before, it must not be true. If it is different from how we interpreted scripture previously, we know it can’t be scripture that is wrong, and of course our interpretation is even more infallible than the scriptures. It must be that science is against the Bible.

    Having a spirit of true skepticism when confronted by new concepts is healthy, and we should not go running after the latest ‘discoveries’ willey nilley, but there is a time when healthy skepticism becomes stubbornness.

    Many (by no means all) researchers in the sciences are atheists. And we should not count on them to see (or report) on the personal nature of God. Those scientists that ARE believers must still report in manner consistent with the rigors of science. But we should not refuse to learn what God is trying to tell us through His creation just because we have improperly understood what is in His word, and what we have supposed that it meant.
     
  9. Rather than argue the things that scientists have gleaned from the study of God’s creation (even if they do not acknowledge God as the source), we should be engaging the sciences. If not for the sake of the scientists, then for our own understanding of God Himself, so that we do not fall into the path of ignorance about God that Paul laments in Romans 1:18-23.

    The great thing about science is that over periods of time, it becomes self correcting, at least in terms of understanding the laws of nature (which reflect the nature of God). Misunderstandings will eventually be uncovered as more and more evidence from nature is gathered. Science is an unending process of refinement of what is known by incorporating ever more observations of the universe.

    However, there is an area where the scientists often do fall into the trap of the enemy. This is where they see all the intricate variety of forces and physical laws working together in the universe and come to the conclusion that there is no need for a deity to set it up, nor do they see nature as caring for man. Nature, for them is an uncaring machine, as uncaring as an unimaginably complex clock.

    This is currently most apparent in the concept and discussion among cosmologists and theoreticians concerning the anthropic principle.

    In the weak form, it merely holds that wherever intelligence arises, the conditions necessary for that intelligence occur. As Christians, we can recognize the weak anthropic principle as closely related to the observation that the universe is finely tuned to support life, particularly our own. For the Christian, it is a strong indication of the existence of some kind of deity, which we hold as being THE God.

    In the more insidious strong anthropic form, it holds that the universe had to be structured in such a manner to support intelligence. This form of the anthropic principle (which, I am sad to say has been held by professing believers) goes so far as to replace the creator by endowing creation with the powers of the creator.

    This is a basic problem that will remain with man and his view of nature until the Lord returns. In the mean time we, as Christians, should welcome the study of God’s creation. And while there are many areas where we can say ‘the Bible said is first’, there are also many areas where our misapplication of scripture to processes that were never addressed by those verses. We should learn to recognize where we may need to revisit scripture in humility to understand what is being said, even if we have to admit that the 'athiestic' scientists understood something about God's nature that we had missed. If the pronouncements of science are wrong, the truth will be eventually be brought to light as more and more information is amassed.
     

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