Young earthers..

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Spurgeonite

Puritan Board Freshman
A question to people who believe in a literal account of Genesis...

Would you be ok with attending a Church where the Pastors believe and teach old earth, 13 billion years old, because science proves this etc. and it wasn’t a literal snake or actual tree and so on. But everything else was solid and reformed preaching?

How would you go about this? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
I will answer with a qualified "yes", but I would strongly (i.e. politely but firmly) challenge the pastor in question on his views. I would also explain that while I hold to a literal six-day creation, I also hold that God created a mature earth. Of course, there are various factors that are not explained here that may be necessary to give a well-rounded answer.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Also a VERY VERY qualified yes...I have also mellowed in my views on this. I am no TE, far from it; I actually came out of the Biologos movement! The only good option I have heard for a not literal snake is that the Hebrew word is wide enough to include 'seraph' (put forth by our own Dr. Gonzales).
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
If the pastor is able to twist the scriptures to adapt to the 13 billion year theory, what else can he twist. I agree with Daniel that I believe God created a mature earth. However, how long was the pause between the creation of the universe/earth and man. And we know Adam only lived to 930 (in comparison to 13 billion years).
I used to be very strong on the 6000 yrs (due to some time charts made by people much smarter than me). But I have mellowed on this that I would accept up to about 10 000 yrs...but no more.

I even remember doing a project with my Sunday school kids about 10 yrs ago, about how many people would exist only based on the first 8 from the ark up until present day...and it lines up, easily. If it was billions, there's a huge gap in time that is not necessary in my opinion from creation of non life to creation of life.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
No. Hard pass for me.

If the pastor doesn't trust the Word of God enough to not twist it, then I must go elsewhere, even if it is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Also a VERY VERY qualified yes...I have also mellowed in my views on this. I am no TE, far from it; I actually came out of the Biologos movement! The only good option I have heard for a not literal snake is that the Hebrew word is wide enough to include 'seraph' (put forth by our own Dr. Gonzales).
Believing in a literal 6 days is different than struggling to exactly identify the snake in Genesis.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Believing in a literal 6 days is different than struggling to exactly identify the snake in Genesis.
That's why I provided my link showing the creation reports in the PCA and OPC. A lot of PCA and OPC ministers I have sat under their teaching and/or preaching are Old Earth who I would not call compromisers. For some various examples of famous Reformed old earthers I would present Thomas Chalmers, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Herman Bavinck, James Montgomery Boice, E.J. Young, etc. that would be hard to reject as your pastor on that issue alone.

You mentioned fundamentalist: even C.I. Scofield and William Jennings Bryan were old earth (well, Scofield was a firm believer in the gap theory and an old earth, as his study notes show; Bryan was open to the idea the earth was millions of years old in the Scopes Monkey Trial and didn't take a firm position).

However, it's another thing to start chipping away at saying the tree or snake were not literal and were just metaphors. I'm wondering if the OP is trying to get at a different view than some of the standard Old Earth Creation views or if he is conflating that if someone says the earth is old then he must also believe these other things.
 
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Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
A question to people who believe in a literal account of Genesis...

Would you be ok with attending a Church where the Pastors believe and teach old earth, 13 billion years old, because science proves this etc. and it wasn’t a literal snake or actual tree and so on. But everything else was solid and reformed preaching?

How would you go about this? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
No, I could not attend such a church because if the pastors did not accept the creation account then I would assume they might well pass judgment on other Scriptures they found problematic. I know you said they were otherwise solid, but to reject the biblical account given to us by our Creator is a dangerous and unnecessary position.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Also a VERY VERY qualified yes...I have also mellowed in my views on this. I am no TE, far from it; I actually came out of the Biologos movement! The only good option I have heard for a not literal snake is that the Hebrew word is wide enough to include 'seraph' (put forth by our own Dr. Gonzales).
I’ve seen some movement around the theory that there was a “separate gene pool” that existed prior to Adam and later mixed in. The supposed objective is to compromise between creationists and evolutionists.

For the record I don’t accept this at all. But are there sound arguments to contend against this? I cited Romans 5:12 in a recent discussion, but that didn’t seem to deter my opponent whatsoever. I would appreciate any assistance with this specific subject.
 

Spurgeonite

Puritan Board Freshman
That's why I provided my link showing the creation reports in the PCA and OPC. A lot of PCA and OPC ministers I have sat under their teaching and/or preaching are Old Earth who I would not call compromisers. For some various examples of famous Reformed old earthers I would present Thomas Chalmers, B.B. Warfield, Charles Hodge, Herman Bavinck, James Montgomery Boice, E.J. Young, etc. that would be hard to reject as your pastor on that issue alone.

You mentioned fundamentalist: even C.I. Scofield and William Jennings Bryan were old earth (well, Scofield was a firm believer in the gap theory and an old earth, as his study notes show; Bryan was open to the idea the earth was millions of years old in the Scopes Monkey Trial and didn't take a firm position).

However, it's another thing to start chipping away at saying the tree or snake were not literal and were just metaphors. I'm wondering if the OP is trying to get at a different view than some of the standard Old Earth Creation views or if he is conflating that if someone says the earth is old then he must also believe these other things.
I am only saying that this Pastor has said these things. I believe he said something like “let’s be real here” before stating that it probably wasn’t a real snake or tree. This bothered me a bit... this is where I question how far can this go? What about other supernatural events in scripture?

I admit my understanding on this topic is very limited. I have sympathy for an “old earth” view after further reading on the topic, it’s not so much a belief of an “old earth” that continues to bother me but a mix of the things mentioned.

He said that “6 day creationists and those who believe in intelligent design are welcome here”, what is the alternative to intelligent design??

Anyway, we have just left our church and thought this is where we would go, until this came up, after praying about it over the last 2 days it seems another good option has come up. We will visit there this Lords Day, looking forward to it.


I appreciate all the responses and input.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
I’ve seen some movement around the theory that there was a “separate gene pool” that existed prior to Adam and later mixed in. The supposed objective is to compromise between creationists and evolutionists.

For the record I don’t accept this at all. But are there sound arguments to contend against this? I cited Romans 5:12 in a recent discussion, but that didn’t seem to deter my opponent whatsoever. I would appreciate any assistance with this specific subject.
Depends on how he is arguing.
Since there are two totally different presuppositions, its unlikely he'll come around.
Just push the logical outcome of his conclusion. Don't let him weasel out with the idea that he won't accept or believe those outcomes.
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Freshman
Depends. Yes to old earth, but I think I would avoid a church that didn't teach Satan in animal form literally physically tempted Eve. Also I wouldn't attend a church that taught theistic evolution.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I am only saying that this Pastor has said these things. I believe he said something like “let’s be real here” before stating that it probably wasn’t a real snake or tree. This bothered me a bit... this is where I question how far can this go? What about other supernatural events in scripture?

I admit my understanding on this topic is very limited. I have sympathy for an “old earth” view after further reading on the topic, it’s not so much a belief of an “old earth” that continues to bother me but a mix of the things mentioned.

He said that “6 day creationists and those who believe in intelligent design are welcome here”, what is the alternative to intelligent design??

Anyway, we have just left our church and thought this is where we would go, until this came up, after praying about it over the last 2 days it seems another good option has come up. We will visit there this Lords Day, looking forward to it.


I appreciate all the responses and input.
Fair enough. I see now where you're coming from in your first post. It sounds like this pastor is going further than many of the folks I mentioned.

To answer one of your questions, intelligent design is a particular movement. It's mainly folks who believe in an old earth, but use God's continuing work in creation to explain variations that appear over time instead of natural selection. Michael Behe is one of the main voices I associate with this view. While intelligent design is sometimes used more broadly to refer to creation by an intelligent being, it generally refers to a specific movement. This is similar to how young earth creationism is often closely linked with views of flood geology.
 

RWD

Puritan Board Sophomore
A question to people who believe in a literal account of Genesis...

Would you be ok with attending a Church where the Pastors believe and teach old earth, 13 billion years old, because science proves this etc. and it wasn’t a literal snake or actual tree and so on. But everything else was solid and reformed preaching?

How would you go about this? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
Better old earth subscribers would never say they believe in an old earth because science proves it. Surely they appreciate that God could have created apparent age. Therefore, they realize that science can’t prove their position unless they deny that the relevant texts of Scripture are to be taken literally.

I believe they’d say that the genre of creation text(s) should not be taken literally, which then opens the door to a good God not being willing to deceive through the things he has made. Science is the de facto authority once a lenient genre is established. In other words, science alone is not their appeal. They’d never say science is dictating genre.
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Freshman
Hesitant yes to old earth but a no on rejection of literal tree and snake (with caveat of trying to understand snake's identity according to the word of God).

The "let's be real here" comment, if I am understanding it accurately, along with "science proves it" is very troublesome and sounds like human rationality overruling the clear teaching of Scripture.
 

Wretched Man

Puritan Board Freshman
Hesitant yes to old earth but a no on rejection of literal tree and snake (with caveat of trying to understand snake's identity according to the word of God).

The "let's be real here" comment, if I am understanding it accurately, along with "science proves it" is very troublesome and sounds like human rationality overruling the clear teaching of Scripture.
What is the general view on Satan as a snake? I’ve never been fully clear on this... was Satan actually in the form of a snake? Was he in the form of something else and then his form transformed to that of a snake which produced actual offspring? Was the snake species created to symbolize him?
 

TylerRay

Puritan Board Graduate
I am only saying that this Pastor has said these things. I believe he said something like “let’s be real here” before stating that it probably wasn’t a real snake or tree. This bothered me a bit... this is where I question how far can this go? What about other supernatural events in scripture?

I admit my understanding on this topic is very limited. I have sympathy for an “old earth” view after further reading on the topic, it’s not so much a belief of an “old earth” that continues to bother me but a mix of the things mentioned.

He said that “6 day creationists and those who believe in intelligent design are welcome here”, what is the alternative to intelligent design??

Anyway, we have just left our church and thought this is where we would go, until this came up, after praying about it over the last 2 days it seems another good option has come up. We will visit there this Lords Day, looking forward to it.


I appreciate all the responses and input.
I definitely wouldn't sit under preaching that taught that the tree, serpent, garden, etc. aren't to be taken literally. I can't bring myself to believe that such a man is sound in every other area.

Who is the man? He said these things publicly, as an exercise of a public office, and he's subject to the scrutiny of the public.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You can be old earth and still believe the Nachash (serpentine being[ if it is read as a substantival adjective], not a copperhead) is real.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
A question to people who believe in a literal account of Genesis...

Would you be ok with attending a Church where the Pastors believe and teach old earth, 13 billion years old, because science proves this etc. and it wasn’t a literal snake or actual tree and so on. But everything else was solid and reformed preaching?

How would you go about this? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
No. And I would expect that if the minister were teaching these things there would, inevitably, be a lot of other stuff I'd take issue with.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
A question to people who believe in a literal account of Genesis...

Would you be ok with attending a Church where the Pastors believe and teach old earth, 13 billion years old, because science proves this etc. and it wasn’t a literal snake or actual tree and so on. But everything else was solid and reformed preaching?

How would you go about this? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated!
Really depends on the context and my other options. "Science" likewise proves donkeys can't talk, water cannot turn into wine instantly, and people cannot be raised after being dead for years.
 

LadyCalvinist

Puritan Board Junior
This happened to me once. Some years ago I was sitting in a OPC church and the pastor, it was Robert Letham by the way, said in his sermon something against taking Genesis 1-2 literally. I got up and quietly walked out.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
What is the general view on Satan as a snake? I’ve never been fully clear on this... was Satan actually in the form of a snake? Was he in the form of something else and then his form transformed to that of a snake which produced actual offspring? Was the snake species created to symbolize him?
I don't know what the general view is, but I will say what I think.

Granting there are other interpretations, I see nothing amiss or incredible about simply allowing for a physical (or apparitional) form taken by Satan that was serpentine. It seems to me that anyone arguing against it, shouldn't do so on the supposition that this interpretation defies common sense, or the physics of speech, or some other "rule" of spiritual convention.

As for divine judgment, Gen.3:14-15. People have an unnecessarily hard time with this. Mythicists think this portion proves the Bible at this place offers up a "just-so" story (ala Kipling). Fundamentalists often posit a "transformation" of the animal-form, because that seems to many of them a necessary demonstration of the divine curse.

The curse incorporates a sign. The sign is laid upon the creature that most resembles the form which the Tempter took. Delivery of the sign is the content of v14. The way God employs signs is this: typically, he takes a convenient object or emblem or place or persons, etc.; and then he assigns a meaning to it. This item or place thenceforth carries with it that meaning for those who know the sign.

So, whenever men see a serpent, from then on (assuming he knows what the assignment is) he is put in mind of the story of the temptation and fall. It has nothing to do with "fear of snakes," or the idea that these lizards "lost their legs" at some point. A biblical sign-assignment is not typically something that was never seen before; but something that never had such a meaning before.

The terms of v15 are directed at the Tempter himself, not the form taken. These are the words from which we have recognized the proto evangelium, the first hint of the Hope promised in Scripture, the rescue and redemption of the fallen.
 

J.L. Allen

Puritan Board Freshman
I've sat under academic leadership that held to varying views of the Earth's age. I used to not care one way or another. However, hearing their takes on such topics actually pushed me to look into the subject more and ultimately take a literal 6 day view. My wife also encouraged me towards a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3. I don't believe the literary symbolism is lost whatsoever when read literally. I wouldn't have sat under teaching on Lord's Days that presented what the OP has described. I certainly wouldn't now that I've "firmed up" on my views regarding creation.
 

Josh Williamson

Puritan Board Freshman
No, I wouldn't attend that church as I would not want my children growing up in a congregation where the Pastor takes man's word above God's Word.
 

Seeking_Thy_Kingdom

Puritan Board Freshman
No. If you do not take the creation account as literal, when exactly DOES Genesis start being literal?
I always point this out as well. If you are going to deny a literal 6 day creation narrative, what about the genealogies or the Arc? The Noahic covenant? The entire first third of the Book falls apart quickly.
 
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