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Natural Revelation and God's Creation discuss The Creation of Earth in the Theology forums; It was about 6000 years ago, no? I wouldn't even think to ask if it weren't for a sermon I heard last Sunday. A guest ...

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    Cottonball is offline. Inactive User
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    The Creation of Earth

    It was about 6000 years ago, no?

    I wouldn't even think to ask if it weren't for a sermon I heard last Sunday. A guest pastor at the church I'm attending for the summer (it's Congregational) was preaching about how scientific discoveries prove the existence of God, and he mentioned that the world was created through the Big Bang billions of years ago.

    I was pretty surprised to hear that said right out in a Congregational Church. What do you guys think?
    "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Eccl 9:10

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    Theistic evolution?

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    Cottonball is offline. Inactive User
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    Glad you see it the same way as I do. I wondered where he got that from, and how he justified it. We didn't see the creation of the world, so we don't when or how. But the Bible tells us it was about 6000 years ago, and it was done by God's hand, and it took 6 days. I know there are loopy churches that find ways to interpret it differently, I just didn't think Congregational was one of them.
    "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Eccl 9:10

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    6 literal 24 hour days. And the seventh was a sabbath.

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    rmwilliamsjr is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
    Theistic evolution?
    not necessarily and probably not.
    OEC accepts a very old earth and yet believes each kind created supernaturally.

    OEC, ie long ages for the days of creation is acceptable under the creation reports for both the OPC and the PCA, which BTW are extraordinarily good committee reports on the issues.

    http://www.pcanet.org/history/creation/report.html
    http://www.opc.org/GA/CreationReport.pdf

    both rule out theistic evolution as an acceptable stand for a teaching elder.

    ....
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    Originally Posted by paul manata| Anyway, since you think I'm usually about 6 months behind you, why waste the time typing back and forth when you can just wait 6 months and I'll agree with you?
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    Bladestunner316's Avatar
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    I thought it was around 10'000 years ago?

    blade
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    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.

    However, a historical Adam-garden-covenant is important and necessary. Theistic evolution is totally destructive to the Gospel.

    But, you mention the AGE of the earth. If that's all that was considered, it's really no problem. Everything else must be in place though.



    r.
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    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.

    However, a historical Adam-garden-covenant is important and necessary. Theistic evolution is totally destructive to the Gospel.

    But, you mention the AGE of the earth. If that's all that was considered, it's really no problem. Everything else must be in place though.



    r.


    I believe in a young earth and I am virulently opposed to any kind of macro-evolution being imposed on the scriptures and yet I would assert that it is of the most blindest dogmatism to assert a definitive age of the earth and a '24 hour' period for the days of creation (Please note that this is not in reply to anyone here; just a blanket statement opposing fundamentalism).

    I think the following statement is very balanced:

    We believe that the whole creation was accomplished in six days (Gen. 1:31-2:2; Ex. 20:11). The creation days are to be understood as regular (solar) days, (Gen 1:14) and not as periods, times or years. The creation days are clearly defined as having morning and evening (Gen 1:5b, 8b, 13, 19, 23, 31b). We believe, therefore, in a young earth, and not one that is millions of years old.
    http://www.burlingtonocrc.com/creation.html
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    Westminster Confession, Chap. 4:

    I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,(a) for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness,(b) in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.(c)

    (a) Heb. 1:2; John 1:2, 3; Gen. 1:2; Job. 26:13; Job. 33:4.
    (b) Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:12; Ps. 104:24; Ps. 33:5, 6.
    (c) Gen. 1 chap.; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16; Acts 17:24.
    John Calvin and Others on the Age and Creation of the Earth

    John Calvin:
    "They will not refrain from guffaws when they are informed that but little more than five thousand years have passed since the creation of the universe... Must we pass over in silence the creation of the universe? No! God's truth is so powerful, both in this respect and in every other, that it has nothing to fear from the evilspeaking of wicked men." [John Calvin, Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 2, edited by John T. McNeill (Philadelphia, PA; Westminster Press, 1960), p. 925 -- emphasis added]
    Martin Luther:
    "We know from Moses that the world was not in existence before 6,000 years ago."
    James Ussher on the Date of Creation

    Evolutionist Stephen J. Gould stated that if Bishop Usher was right about the Bible being true, then the date would be correct.
    Johannes Kepler's Estimated Date of Creation: 3993 B.C.
    Isaac Newton's Estimated Date of Creation: 3998 B.C.
    Eusebius' Estimated Date of Creation: 3184 B.C.

    Robert Dabney on Creation

    Answers in Genesis on the 'Young Earth'

    Answers in Genesis on Creation Compromises

    Ken Gentry on the Reformed Faith and Six Day Creation

    Ken Gentry on 'In the Space of Six Days'

    GPTS Statement on Creation

    Robert Shaw:
    According to the generally received chronology, the Mosaic creation took place 4004 years before the birth of Christ. If, indeed, the accounts of the Egyptians, Hindus, and Chinese, were to be credited, we should believe that the universe has existed, in its present form, for many millions of years; but these accounts have been satisfactorily proved to be false. And as a strong presumption that the world has not yet existed 6000 years, it has been often remarked that the invention of arts, and the erection of the earliest empires, are of no great antiquity, and can be traced back to their origin.
    Evidence for a Young Earth

    Creation Library
    Andrew

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    Puritan Sailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.
    Why do you believe the Genesis genealogies are not accurate? Particlularly the specific numbers of ages and years? God put them there for a reason right?
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    Out here at WSC they really push the framework hypothesis (which, BTW, it cannot be called, according to some, unless you also say "six-day hypothesis"!). I am not in agreement with this at all, as it is a skewed hermeneutic employed with the goal of defending the impact of the Gospel from the derision of the intellegensia who think that scientific claims demand something other than a "biblicist rendering" of the creation account. It claims to be sensitive to a Hebraic understanding of the peotic/literary nature of the creation account, while never answering the question, "Well, O.K., now that we've discussed all of the literary techniques and artistry, just what was the actual temporal/sequential nature of those days?" It is driven by a concordist impulse at heart, although they try their pastoral and scholarly best to deny it.

    One thing that I must agree with however, is that the geneologies, while inspired by the Holy Spirit, and while completely accurate in all that they set forth, do indeed have omissions in places. Dr. Estelle did a fine and irrefutable job of showing this by comparing various geneologies in Scripture, and pointing out where there is no doubt that for theological reasons the various authors of these geneologies omitted certain names that had been included in other listings. That does not mean that they are not in the geneological line, but that these geneologies are not strictly successive and chronological at all places. He emphasised that all of history is theologically shaped (even the historiography of secular historians), and that God has also directed the authors of Scripture to set forth the history of redemption with utterly truthful, yet divinely shaped, perspective.

    The purpose of this was to show that even if you uncompromisingly support a six solar-day creation, as I myself do, that you must still allow for the possibility that the age between Adam and Noah allow for larger time spans than you would get if you just plugged in the numbers of the geneologies. There were also examples of "ben-*****" (son of so and so) being employed, in Hebrew fasion, where actually the individual was a grandson or even a great grandson. I don't have my notes at hand, for exact references, but these things were definately there when we looked them up.
    Archlute

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    daveb is offline. Inactive User
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    This thread brought to mind something I read the other day:

    "...when ministers seek to tell the geologist the age of the earth, although the Scriptures are entirely silent on the point, they too transgress the limits of their sphere."

    Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, 103.

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    rmwilliamsjr is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    It is driven by a concordist impulse at heart,

    i'm curious. if God is the author of both the book of nature and the Scriptures, why does the word concordist have such a negative connotation in the conservative community?

    ....
    motto:God does not subtract from man's allotted time on earth, the hours spent reading.

    Originally Posted by paul manata| Anyway, since you think I'm usually about 6 months behind you, why waste the time typing back and forth when you can just wait 6 months and I'll agree with you?
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    Originally posted by puritancovenanter
    6 literal 24 hour days. And the seventh was a sabbath.
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    I think what bothers me the most about it is its failure to challenge the unbelieving presuppositions at work in the findings of much "scientific evidence", and realigning the Scriptures' plain sense with that without much of a challenge to the interpretation of those findings (and, yes, I understand and agree with the concepts analogous language in Scripture, anthropomorphisms, yada, yada). While agreeing that God wrote both the book of nature and the Scriptures, I also am convinced that unregenerate scientists are blinded and actively opposed to a proper and fully Scriptural understanding of those facts, and the inconsistency of some of my professors on this point, and the Van Tillians that they profess to be, is maddening. I mean, on one hand, he just finishes ingraining into our brains the idea that "there are no brute and uninterpreted facts, and all knowledge is theologically shaped" when explaining the passages of Scripture on creation, and then he turns around the next moment and discusses the interpretation of certain scientists as if they were "brute facts" and our Scriptural interpretations must bend to them. Very inconsistent and frusterating.

    I realized that the above statement is not very well defended and nuanced, but after spending over a full third of last semester having "Framework" ground into my head for a Penateuch course (yes, we had to fit the rest of the pentateuch into the remaining nine weeks) I am not very keen about an extended discussion. Sorry.
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    Originally posted by rmwilliamsjr
    It is driven by a concordist impulse at heart,

    i'm curious. if God is the author of both the book of nature and the Scriptures, why does the word concordist have such a negative connotation in the conservative community?

    ....
    I apologize for not listing this referent in my response, still figuring these things out.

    [Edited on 7-20-2005 by Archlute]
    Archlute

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    rmwilliamsjr is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    While agreeing that God wrote both the book of nature and the Scriptures, I also am convinced that unregenerate scientists are blinded and actively opposed to a proper and fully Scriptural understanding of those facts,
    the work in geology that presents an ancient earth was done by Christians who were trying to prove that the flood had occurred planetwide.
    so either this blindness includes lots of Christians, not just then but in the intervening 2 centuries.
    or the blindness is specific to honoring God as God and has little to nothing to do with the physical sciences.


    .....
    motto:God does not subtract from man's allotted time on earth, the hours spent reading.

    Originally Posted by paul manata| Anyway, since you think I'm usually about 6 months behind you, why waste the time typing back and forth when you can just wait 6 months and I'll agree with you?
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    ChristianTrader is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    Originally posted by rmwilliamsjr
    It is driven by a concordist impulse at heart,

    i'm curious. if God is the author of both the book of nature and the Scriptures, why does the word concordist have such a negative connotation in the conservative community?

    ....
    Because, it usually means that a person is going to use scientific experiments in order to reveal to us what the Bible must really be saying.

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    The point is, the minister got his information neither from general revelation nor special revelation. Nor did he receive any commission from God to preach it. If the laying on of hands means anything anymore, then it ought to mean that the person is commissioned by God through duly ordained ministers of His. What this particular incident amounts to is a man preaching his own gospel, not God's. There is only one view that is properly from general and special revelation, (not one or the other, but both in reference to each other saying the precise same thing), and that is the six-day view. Anything else is speculative at best.

    We can come up with theories that fit into the Scriptural wording, and seem to fit the modern scientific speculations, but that does not mean a whole lot because that's all it is. What we have to look for is irrefutable (not just unrefuted) truths, and we may base things only on those truths, especially if we are going to preach God's Word. And when we do that, preach God's Word, we have to even more sure before we preach. We can't play tug-of-war with each other, with the Holy Spirit as the chord we're tugging on.
    JohnV

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    ChristianTrader is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    Originally posted by rmwilliamsjr
    While agreeing that God wrote both the book of nature and the Scriptures, I also am convinced that unregenerate scientists are blinded and actively opposed to a proper and fully Scriptural understanding of those facts,
    the work in geology that presents an ancient earth was done by Christians who were trying to prove that the flood had occurred planetwide.
    so either this blindness includes lots of Christians, not just then but in the intervening 2 centuries.
    or the blindness is specific to honoring God as God and has little to nothing to do with the physical sciences.


    .....
    For your question to have teeth, I think you have to assume that it is not possible to mix Christian with non Christian presuppositions. Since I do not see any reason to believe that the two cannot be mixed (however badly the result is), I do not see where you are attempting to take the conversation. Just becomes one takes the presupposition that the flood was global (a very good presupposition) does not mean that all other presuppositions are consistent with scriptures.

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    I agree John. It was clear to me in class that the obvious meaning of the text was an intellectual embarrassment to some, and that the main reason these ideas were trying to be wrapped around the words of Scripture was to make the creation passage look more scientifically respectable. Exegetically speaking, they are clearly speculative.

    It is also a matter of simple truth. This hit home when I was leading a congregation in reciting the decalogue one Lord's Day. We came to the part in the fourth commandment regarding the six days for work and one for rest and worship being linked with the six days of creation, and it hit me like a lightning bolt that if a priest in Israel were to have recited this to the people, all the while winking at the "simple meaning" of the passage while knowing the "true and hidden meaning", he would be a hypocrite and unsuited to lead the people of the God of all truth in worship. Likewise, for God to have Moses state this relationship between creation days and worship days, all the while knowing that he could have had Moses write about the "first through six era/ages/generations", or what have you is a flight of fancy. God is not so trancendent that he cannot convey clear concepts in Scripture regarding time and structure (look at the instructions for the tabernacle, etc.)

    Also, as much as critics like to stress that "yom" has many shades of meaning, it is obvious that "yom" in this context means solar days. No one from that camp has yet given a convincing explaination of how else to understand yom in the context of this - "wayhi ereb wayhi boqer yom echad" (then it was evening and it was morning, the first day/day one). Regardless of the timing of formation of the sun, moon, and stars, since these distinctions carry themselves through the entire week. Evening and morning (ereb weboqer) are certainly clear in their meaning elsewhere in the Hebrew text.
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    That's right, Adam. God was not fishing for a way to state His commandment, worried about the limitations of a so-called "pre-scientific" audience. His Word will stand forever, even long after our scientific speculations become the joke of future generations. It is still just as reliable in every word, and still just a true to His meaning; not limited to that generation's understanding, or lack of it. There is only one creation view found in Scripture, and you've stated it, as you found in the decalogue. Anything else is nothing more than speculation. We are not just miles away from putting God's stamp of approval on other views, we are lightyears away from that. We are not even close to equating the six-day view to any other view. We have no right to be waving our Sola Scriptura flag in one hand and holding the flags of speculative views with the other.
    JohnV

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    Originally posted by daveb
    This thread brought to mind something I read the other day:

    "...when ministers seek to tell the geologist the age of the earth, although the Scriptures are entirely silent on the point, they too transgress the limits of their sphere."

    Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, 103.
    This is the objection I face quite regularly. I certainly affirm the literal 6 day creation with 24hr days and believe the earth is ~6000 years old.

    What do you think of Horton's statement? Is he being careful not to exegetically go where we do not have warrant? Is this a denial of Scriptural evidence?

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    quote]
    "...when ministers seek to tell the geologist the age of the earth, although the Scriptures are entirely silent on the point, they too transgress the limits of their sphere."

    Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, 103.
    What do you think of Horton's statement? Is he being careful not to exegetically go where we do not have warrant? Is this a denial of Scriptural evidence? [/quote]

    I don't have Horton's context of that statement, so I can't say what his intention is. But the bare statement itself supposes more than is actually true. We do have warrant to speak on some things that are stated in Scripture that bear on the age of the earth, though the references are not specific as to exact times. It is a greater stretch, by far, to suppose that time frames theorized by man can also fit into the Biblical scheme. A forced fit is a forced fit, no matter how you slice it. If the objection is that the "ministers seek to tell the geologist the age of the earth", then it ought also to objected that geologists try to tell the ministers the age of the earth, for both are equally in the dark, forensically. But what I would object to more is the geologist telling the minister the proper exegesis of the Bible when it comes to what is received by faith (Heb 11:3)

    Why are Christians so skiddish about telling the geologist anything, but can't see that it is the geologist who is trying to do the dictating outside his field, not the ministers preaching outside of theirs? Hypothesis is not fact, it is just hypothesis; but the Bible is the Bible. And other theories of origins are not doctrine, but just hypotheses. However, God said that we were to keep the seventh day separate as He did at creation; and we are merely hypothesizing if we make of it other than the plain reading of the text. We have no warrant to do that, and could easily be guilty of subverting God's own deliberate reference by doing so.

    What I was objecting to was the illicit trust in man's theories on par with trust in Scripture. It is God who makes the tie of the creation to six normal days, so that is not jsut human theory; it is revelation. I object strongly to putting down God's reference and elevating man's theories, so that they appear to be on par, as if we have a multiple choice of equal weights here. This completely confuses the actuality of the case. We have man's theories compared to God's Word, and they are not even close to being on par. There are theories, and as theories they may be fun to think about as possiblities. But we don't have a multiple choice of equal views to choose from, each being equally obedient in faith as the other (Heb 11:3). Listing them side by side is like lining up dandelions against a Redwood tree to see which is biggest.
    JohnV

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    daveb is offline. Inactive User
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    Thanks for your insight John I appreciate it very much. We only have certainty with the revelation we have received from the Lord. The theories of men, no matter how enticing they may appear, are simply not to be considered on the same level. I often have to remind myself to speak where Scripture speaks and be silent where Scripture is silent.

    In the book Horton mentions that scientists should not comment on spiritual realities since it is out of their "sphere". My apologies for not including this portion.

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    Thanks, guys! I've enjoyed reading your replies, and I'm glad to know you agree with me. I guess the question to ask now, then, is: what was with that minister?!
    "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Eccl 9:10

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    Lack of proper oversight.
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    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by puritansailor
    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.
    Why do you believe the Genesis genealogies are not accurate? Particlularly the specific numbers of ages and years? God put them there for a reason right?
    The reason for the geneologies are to attest Christ and the unbroken thread of the Gospel. The geneologies are not complete - they are accurate - but not successive, meaning recording one patriarch after another. The point is to prove God's awesome work in preserving the Gospel thread from Genesis 3:15. Likewise, the point of the Creation story/days is to attest God as Creator, in power and majesty...NOT to calculate the age of the earth or further speculation beyond the Text's content.

    r.
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  30. #30
    Puritan Sailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by puritansailor
    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.
    Why do you believe the Genesis genealogies are not accurate? Particlularly the specific numbers of ages and years? God put them there for a reason right?
    The reason for the geneologies are to attest Christ and the unbroken thread of the Gospel. The geneologies are not complete - they are accurate - but not successive, meaning recording one patriarch after another. The point is to prove God's awesome work in preserving the Gospel thread from Genesis 3:15. Likewise, the point of the Creation story/days is to attest God as Creator, in power and majesty...NOT to calculate the age of the earth or further speculation beyond the Text's content.

    r.
    God placed those numbers there right? There are inspired correct? Did Methuselah actually live to be 969 years old? Did he actually have a son named Lamech at age 182? Or is this just more Hebrew poetry which needs a framework spin?

    I'm talking about the Genesis geneology here. I fully understand that Matthew and Luke took some inspired license in their accounts (even though Luke's account is almost identical to Genesis). But Matthew and Luke don't have specific numbers either. Genesis has specific numbers. They can't be ignored.
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  31. #31
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    I do think it's pretty neat/impressive of Ussher to have done all of that math, adding up the generations. Perhaps I especially appreciate it because my roommate, when hearing about it, shreeked, "What an idiot!"
    "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Eccl 9:10

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  32. #32
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    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?

    I wouldn't even think to ask if it weren't for a sermon I heard last Sunday. A guest pastor at the church I'm attending for the summer (it's Congregational) was preaching about how scientific discoveries prove the existence of God, and he mentioned that the world was created through the Big Bang billions of years ago.

    I was pretty surprised to hear that said right out in a Congregational Church. What do you guys think?
    October 14th, 4004 BC at 9 AM.
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  33. #33
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    Originally posted by puritansailor
    God placed those numbers there right? There are inspired correct? Did Methuselah actually live to be 969 years old? Did he actually have a son named Lamech at age 182? Or is this just more Hebrew poetry which needs a framework spin?

    I'm talking about the Genesis geneology here. I fully understand that Matthew and Luke took some inspired license in their accounts (even though Luke's account is almost identical to Genesis). But Matthew and Luke don't have specific numbers either. Genesis has specific numbers. They can't be ignored.
    Genesis 5/10 present real hermeneutical challenges, don't they? They are certainly written in a way that seems to imply chronology. And yet, there are demonstrable gaps in them, when one compares them with the gospels. Another challenge is that we have recorded histories that go back that far: Egypt, Sumer, etc. We might expect that going back to c. 2800 BC (Ussher's Flood date roughly), but not before.

    I used to argue for an unbroken genealogy in Gen 5/10, but now I just don't know.
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  34. #34
    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by puritansailor
    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by puritansailor
    Originally posted by Robin
    Originally posted by Cottonball
    It was about 6000 years ago, no?
    The age of the earth is NOT in the Bible. The geneologies in the OT are not successive. Plus, the age of the earth does NO harm or question to God's creative authority; the Gospel or salvation.
    Why do you believe the Genesis genealogies are not accurate? Particlularly the specific numbers of ages and years? God put them there for a reason right?
    The reason for the geneologies are to attest Christ and the unbroken thread of the Gospel. The geneologies are not complete - they are accurate - but not successive, meaning recording one patriarch after another. The point is to prove God's awesome work in preserving the Gospel thread from Genesis 3:15. Likewise, the point of the Creation story/days is to attest God as Creator, in power and majesty...NOT to calculate the age of the earth or further speculation beyond the Text's content.

    r.
    God placed those numbers there right? There are inspired correct? Did Methuselah actually live to be 969 years old? Did he actually have a son named Lamech at age 182? Or is this just more Hebrew poetry which needs a framework spin?

    I'm talking about the Genesis geneology here. I fully understand that Matthew and Luke took some inspired license in their accounts (even though Luke's account is almost identical to Genesis). But Matthew and Luke don't have specific numbers either. Genesis has specific numbers. They can't be ignored.
    Hey Pat... Rev. Carroll is onto something.

    There are many factors that affect interpretation of how God works in history. Some are: the use of numbers in Scripture can be quite different than our uses; motifs (trees; water; wine; clotheing; rocks, Etc.) This will accomplish a double-purpose: the items are literal and historical to the moment AND also symbolize a broader point in the whole story of Redemptive history. Literal AND symbolic. It may shock our arrogant sense of superior-knowledge, but the qualities of genre in the Bible are continuing to prove quite different than expected. Our problem is mostly cultural/historical ignorance - and then those pesky times when God simply insists that He is God and is silent on details of things we think we need to know. Clearly, THE one point not worth distraction is date-setting - especially, when it comes to using it as an apologetic (which is NO apologetic.)

    Setting dates is impossible - because God has FIXED it that way. Why? He requires faith in the Gospel - validated by the works He has done, so the glory goes entirely to Him.

    As an aside, I'm studying the qualities of OT prophecy language, now...so far, it is fascinating to learn that the content of them are mixed with many different "timelines." It's right and prudent to consider these differences and to have a more reserved, respectful stance towards the Text, which IMO, has many intricate facets.

    I am humbled by God's works in history...and more arrested with the knowledge of His continuing orchestration of Redemptive history via the Gospel.



    r.

    [Edited on 7-22-2005 by Robin]
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  35. #35
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    The geneologies are not complete - they are accurate - but not successive, meaning recording one patriarch after another. The point is to prove God's awesome work in preserving the Gospel thread from Genesis 3:15. Likewise, the point of the Creation story/days is to attest God as Creator, in power and majesty...NOT to calculate the age of the earth or further speculation beyond the Text's content.
    It may be difficult to accept one assumption, but that does not make the other one automatically right, whether or not it is hard to accept. There could be many reasons for what appears as a broken genealogy, especially if the ages mentioned are correct. It is not impossible to have uncles hundreds of years younger than their nephews; a man could marry a woman who could be counted as two generations previous; or the father of one son could have more years separating him from him than a grandfather or greatgrandfather of his friend or neighbour. Things like this would really mess up the intention of a genealogy, and could easily lead to unaccustomed accountings. It is obvious that a lot was left out, such as why one generation was passed over in the redemptive genealogy, when another generation not necessarily as faithful was counted in. It isn't just a matter of accuracy, and I don't doubt that accuracy. We also have use common sense. You can't just shrug it off as if it is only symbolic; nor can you count the generations like we would in our day, with our much shorter life-spans.
    JohnV

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  36. #36
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    Originally posted by kevin.carroll
    Originally posted by puritansailor
    God placed those numbers there right? There are inspired correct? Did Methuselah actually live to be 969 years old? Did he actually have a son named Lamech at age 182? Or is this just more Hebrew poetry which needs a framework spin?

    I'm talking about the Genesis geneology here. I fully understand that Matthew and Luke took some inspired license in their accounts (even though Luke's account is almost identical to Genesis). But Matthew and Luke don't have specific numbers either. Genesis has specific numbers. They can't be ignored.
    Genesis 5/10 present real hermeneutical challenges, don't they? They are certainly written in a way that seems to imply chronology. And yet, there are demonstrable gaps in them, when one compares them with the gospels. Another challenge is that we have recorded histories that go back that far: Egypt, Sumer, etc. We might expect that going back to c. 2800 BC (Ussher's Flood date roughly), but not before.

    I used to argue for an unbroken genealogy in Gen 5/10, but now I just don't know.
    Which histories you are refering to? As I understand it, we have about 3000 years of written history (which puts us to about 1000 B.C.) apart from the Bible. The rest is implied history (i.e. interpreted by presuppositions).

    Matthew and Luke had points to make in their geneaolgies. They did not contain the specific numbers. But Genesis contains specific numbers of ages and lifespans. How can we not take them to be what the natural reading would say? What would justify denying the literal understanding of that account knowing that it is a narrative history, not prophecy or prose? To say those numbers aren't important, as some would seem to imply, seems to me to fly in the face of the great details God purposely left us.

    [Edited on 7-21-2005 by puritansailor]
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  37. #37
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    Originally posted by puritansailor
    Which histories you are refering to? As I understand it, we have about 3000 years of written history (which puts us to about 1000 B.C.) apart from the Bible. The rest is implied history (i.e. interpreted by presuppositions).
    Egyptian, primarily. But you may be right about the presuppositions.

    Matthew and Luke had points to make in their geneaolgies.
    And you don't think Moses did?

    They did not contain the specific numbers. But Genesis contains specific numbers of ages and lifespans. How can we not take them to be what the natural reading would say? What would justify denying the literal understanding of that account knowing that it is a narrative history, not prophecy or prose?
    Do we know that?
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  38. #38
    biblelighthouse is offline. Inactive User
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    Originally posted by kevin.carroll
    Originally posted by puritansailor
    God placed those numbers there right? There are inspired correct? Did Methuselah actually live to be 969 years old? Did he actually have a son named Lamech at age 182? Or is this just more Hebrew poetry which needs a framework spin?

    I'm talking about the Genesis geneology here. I fully understand that Matthew and Luke took some inspired license in their accounts (even though Luke's account is almost identical to Genesis). But Matthew and Luke don't have specific numbers either. Genesis has specific numbers. They can't be ignored.
    Genesis 5/10 present real hermeneutical challenges, don't they? They are certainly written in a way that seems to imply chronology. And yet, there are demonstrable gaps in them, when one compares them with the gospels. Another challenge is that we have recorded histories that go back that far: Egypt, Sumer, etc. We might expect that going back to c. 2800 BC (Ussher's Flood date roughly), but not before.

    I used to argue for an unbroken genealogy in Gen 5/10, but now I just don't know.
    Same here.

    I think some of the difficulty can be resolved by looking at the Hebrew, rather than looking merely at our English translations.

    Of course, I am not a Hebrew scholar. But from what I have read about Genesis 5 and 10, the word "begat" in Hebrew does NOT mean the same thing that it does in English. In English, it is unmistakable. If I say, "John begat Vinny at age 65", then that means Vinny is John's child, and was born when John was 65 years old. But in Hebrew, the usage can be much looser.

    It is my understanding that it would be just as accurate to translate the Hebrew word for "begat" as "became the ancestor of".

    (The RSV gets a little closer to this translation by using the phrase "became the father of" in Genesis 5 . . . but of course you know that "father" is often used in Scripture as synonymous with "ancestor" [cf. Gal. 3:29].)

    Now, if I say, "John became the ancestor of Vinny at age 65", that could still mean that Vinny is John's child, and was born when John was 65 years old. But that is not the only possible meaning. It could also mean that, at age 65, John fathered Vinny's great-great grandfather. We are told that John became Vinny's ancestor at the age of 65, but we have no idea whatsoever how many years there were in between the birth of Vinny's great-great grandfather, and the birth of Vinny himself.

    In other words, a strict dateable chronology might perhaps be true in Genesis 5 and 10, but we can be in no way sure that is the case. There might be hundreds or thousands of years in between Jared and Enoch. We just don't know.

    (However, it does seem clear that there were no interceding generations between Lamech and Noah, since we are specifically told that Lamech named Noah. But we are not told that information about those between Seth and Lamech.)
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  39. #39
    Robin is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Originally posted by daveb
    Originally posted by daveb
    This thread brought to mind something I read the other day:

    "...when ministers seek to tell the geologist the age of the earth, although the Scriptures are entirely silent on the point, they too transgress the limits of their sphere."

    Michael Horton, Beyond Culture Wars, 103.
    This is the objection I face quite regularly. I certainly affirm the literal 6 day creation with 24hr days and believe the earth is ~6000 years old.

    What do you think of Horton's statement? Is he being careful not to exegetically go where we do not have warrant? Is this a denial of Scriptural evidence?
    Horton is doing what we should do: not speak beyond Scripture. As to the literal day conclusion, a 6,000 year-old earth cannot be derived from it. The dots are not connected. Calculating the age of the earth is speculating.

    APOLOGETICS ADVICE

    What I've learned, so far...when in apologetical discussions, we should refrain from concluding the earth's age and steer towards the historical FACTS of God's creation power to the existence of Adam and Eve.

    From here, I argue the fact of Adam and Eve from Christ -- since Jesus attested their reality. That way, the opponent is confronted with Christ's authority. (Btw, I have never seen the opposition prevail, here. It seems not many are ready to deal with Jesus' words. Must be something powerful in the name?)

    Admitting the mistakes and knuckleheadedness of our forebears is also good to do. Move back to Christ's teaching a historical Adam; Noah; Jonah. The point is: not to defend incredible claims of a God that spoke the universe into existence; talking snakes; a global flood; a man living inside a fish - but to defend: Jesus Christ, who lived, died and was raised on the third day. Let the Gospel defend God's existence and power.

    This is what Scripture does...and I think we're wise to do the same.



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  40. #40
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    Originally posted by Robin
    Horton is doing what we should do: not speak beyond Scripture. As to the literal day conclusion, a 6,000 year-old earth cannot be derived from it. The dots are not connected. Calculating the age of the earth is speculating.

    APOLOGETICS ADVICE

    What I've learned, so far...when in apologetical discussions, we should refrain from concluding the earth's age and steer towards the historical FACTS of God's creation power to the existence of Adam and Eve.

    From here, I argue the fact of Adam and Eve from Christ -- since Jesus attested their reality. That way, the opponent is confronted with Christ's authority. (Btw, I have never seen the opposition prevail, here. It seems not many are ready to deal with Jesus' words. Must be something powerful in the name?)

    Admitting the mistakes and knuckleheadedness of our forebears is also good to do. Move back to Christ's teaching a historical Adam; Noah; Jonah. The point is: not to defend incredible claims of a God that spoke the universe into existence; talking snakes; a global flood; a man living inside a fish - but to defend: Jesus Christ, who lived, died and was raised on the third day. Let the Gospel defend God's existence and power.

    This is what Scripture does...and I think we're wise to do the same.



    Robin
    Robin, I may be completely misunderstanding what you are saying, and if I am, I apologize in advance.

    Are you saying that God speaking the universe into existence, the temptation of Eve by Satan, a global flood, and Jonah in the belly of the fish are not historical facts? Are you saying that we need to gloss over the "difficult" parts of the OT and focus only on Christ and the NT?

    Again, if I am misunderstanding what you are saying, I apologize. I'm really not trying to put words in your mouth.

    But, if that is what you are saying, how in the world do you expect an unbeliever to accept the historical fact that a virgin got pregnant by the Holy Spirit, gave birth to the Son of God incarnate, this boy became a man who was perfect, never sinning, that He was cruicfied, was dead for three days and then came back to life, after which His physical body ascended into heaven where He waits until the Last Judgement? I mean, really, which is more "difficult" to believe? Personally, the fact that I believe in the above stated historical facts makes it easy for me to believe the "difficult" passages of the OT. A virgin giving birth. A man being dead for three days and then coming back to life. A body ascending in to heaven. And you think a talking snake is a stretch?
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