32 thoughts on “The MB Herald vs. the Book of Genesis – Round 2

  1. Pingback: The MB Herald vs. The Book of Genesis – 5 Part Series « Menno-lite

  2. Pingback: The MB Herald vs. the Book of Genesis – Round 2 « Menno-lite

  3. So you know “how” God did it, do you? Then why don’t you tell us “how” in the 1656 years from the 7 24 hour days of creation to the flood, God lifted the Burgess Shale up into the top of the Rockies and tilted half of the world’s crust into astonishing forms which remained relatively static for the next 4500 some years? Having been to the Burgess Shale, I find it far more credible to believe that the 7 days aren’t 24 hours that to reinvent the laws of common sense. It wasn’t a team of godless atheists who incited me to this conclusion, by the way.
    If you make “how” the issue then give us your “how”. Of course God, having the power to do anything, could have provided some other light to a sunless world for the first 3 days. Frankly using the argument of what God could have done, He could have created the world 10 seconds after I wrote this email and supplied us with all our memories and apparent age of the earth. I will grant you that at the outset. Those are “how” explanations that I find unsatisfying.

    • James, you asked “So you know “how” God did it, do you?”

      Well, I’ve never made the claim to know how God orchestrated the physical processes in the creation event. The only mechanism of creation that I’m told about is divine speech, and the creation event is a total anomaly because of that. God’s general providence upholds all the laws of nature now, but those laws were not necessarily in effect during the creation event in the same way they are now. If you don’t like the “how”, it’s utterly irrelevant to whether or not it’s objectively true.

      Having seen some rocks, you’ve now decided to redefine simple words because not doing so would “violate the laws of common sense”? I see. So after seeing some rocks, you somehow know more about origin of those rocks than the one who made those rocks? I stand corrected! (What was that you were saying about common sense?)

      Not only that, but you even know the inner workings of your heart and can discern why you come to the conclusions you do. You have a level of personal insight that is mind-bogglingly astonishing. If it wasn’t a team of atheists, was it an act of honest truth seeking and the objective evaluation of the data of nature that led you to your position?

      I’ve never made positive claims regarding the “how”, but I do take the facts of scripture as reliable facts, and any theory that tries to explain the origin of the universe has to primarily deal with the facts of scripture. God has the power to do whatever power can do, but God has told me in propositional language what he actually did do. I know with actual certainty that God didn’t create the world 10 seconds after you wrote your e-mail because God, who cannot lie, has told me that he made it roughly 6-20,000 years ago. I also know that the mankind hasn’t been on earth for 100,000+ years because God told me, in propositional language, that he created mankind roughly 6-20,000 years ago.

  4. I realize you don’t make any “how” claims, but my point is that- if you make “how” the issue- you need to. You critique Brian for stating that “it’s important to not allow questions regarding the ‘how’ of creation to overshadow the more important revelation . . .” and then you provide no “how” to my simple question.
    By the way, are you suggesting that it was not “an act of honest truth seeking and the objective evaluation of the data of nature that led [me to my] position”?

    • Okay. I don’t make “how” claims beyond what the Bible makes, but Brian makes takes the ambiguity of the “how”, paints the entire chapter with the ambiguity brush and declares that within the sea of ambiguity there are only 6 “important details regarding creation” …

      …and I call foul on him, because his argument is one big fat non sequitur.

      I’m not going to give you a “how” answer beyond what the scripture gives, and I’m not going to play the “you can’t say I’m wrong unless you give the right answer” game, because that’s one fat logic fail too. The Bible doesn’t give a mechanistic answer to the origins question beyond the “divine speech” point, so all 900 dodecatillion questions about mechanism are moot. If you don’t like it, there’s not much I can do.

      On the second point, I’m wondering if you simply think of yourself as an honest seeker of truth who objectively evaluates data…simply because there’s no such thing. You informed me that you didn’t get to your position because of godless atheists (insinuating that your arrival at wherever you are on the spectrum of doubt was somehow more innocent), but Jeremiah 17:9 (among other passages) leads me to believe that your own insight into the inner workings of your heart and rational processes is simply self-deception.

      The Bible is pretty clear that there’s no such thing as “honest truth seekers” and all people, believers and otherwise, have the noetic effects of sin waging war against their attempts to objectively evaluate any data. I seek to understand God’s word (which is truth), but my mind is constantly pulled away from divine revelation because of the sin that affects my heart and mind. I arrive at a true and ultimate answer to the origins question (and all other questions) by studying the scripture, not by solely employing my autonomous, objective reasoning processes.

  5. James,

    What if the flood was such a cataclysmic event that it fully restructured the earth?

    “Mt. Everest and the Himalayan range, along with the Alps, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Andes, and most of the world’s other mountains are composed of ocean-bottom sediments, full of marine fossils laid down by the Flood. Mt. Everest itself has clam fossils at its summit. These rock layers cover an extensive area, including much of Asia. They give every indication of resulting from cataclysmic water processes. These are the kinds of deposits we would expect to result from the worldwide, world-destroying Flood of Noah’s day.

    At the end of the Flood, after thick sequences of sediments had accumulated, the Indian subcontinent evidently collided with Asia, crumpling the sediments into mountains. Today they stand as giants—folded and fractured layers of ocean-bottom sediments at high elevations. No, Noah’s Flood didn’t cover the Himalayas, it formed them!

    Thus we find the Biblical account not only possible, but also supported by the evidence. A pre-Flood world with lessened topographic extremes could have been covered by the Great Flood. That Flood caused today’s high mountains and deep oceans making such a flood impossible to repeat. This is just as God promised, back in Genesis. ”

    -Did Noah’s Flood Cover the Himalayan Mountains?
    by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
    http://icr.org/article/520/

    May I also suggest the following:

    The Burgess Shale and Complex Life
    by John D. Morris, Ph.D. *
    http://www.icr.org/article/burgess-shale-complex-life/

    • Hi Olive
      I didn’t read this until I had posted to MK. I’m happy to look at all kinds of “what ifs” as long as the trump card is not that my mind is depraved because it doesn’t look like common sense to me. “What if” arguments, however are generally based on a non-negotiable presupposition. That’s hard to debate. I realize that common sense is very fallible but that it is also God’s gift and should be respected. Having also been to the Himalayas, I do frankly struggle with the mechanics of how in a very few years such those mountain ranges could rise to their present place. I grant you I was just a hiker staring at those awesome stratas. Maybe . . . For reasons you can read in my post to MK it seems far more plausible that the days in Genesis 1 aren’t 24 hours.

      • Hello, James. It’s so cool that you got to visit Himalayas. I’d like to visit it sometime, too.

        Well, let me point a few things out for all of us.

        “I’m happy to look at all kinds of “what ifs” as long as the trump card is not that my mind is depraved because it doesn’t look like common sense to me. “What if” arguments, however are generally based on a non-negotiable presupposition. ”

        Please also be happy to realize that uniformitarianism is at the heart of your reasoning and belief (both directly and indirectly), which originated in the early 18th century as a means to deny the dominant catastrophist views. The contemporary catastrophists included that of the conservative exegetes and many Scriptural geologists.

        For one thing, strata is plural, and stratum is singular. Stratification has been shown to happen rather very quickly given the right condition – which is consistent with all the catastrophist view (including the creationist flood-geologists). E.g. the hurricane Katrina’s devastating flood produced a good deal of sediment deposits on the adjacent land. Also, the pyroclastic flows on the flanks and the foothills of Mount St. Helens during and after the 1980 eruption produced strata up to 600 feet thick. See the 3rd heading of the paper here — http://static.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Mount-St-Helens-and-Catastrophism.pdf

        (Keep in mind that this rapid stratification was observed by man, wheras the process of the Himalayan strata forming was not observed by man. So it’s erroneous to conclude that the latter formed extremely slowly long time ago.)

        I can tell you from my experience as well, in lab flumes I’ve been to – stratified layers of a decent thickness form quickly under moving water, within tens of seconds. Only difference between this lab demo and the mountain ranges is the implication about the quantity of water involved in forming them.

        Theologically and geologically, the rule of thumb is, 1) with a global flood catastrophe, there’s no need for creation days longer than 24-hour day each; 2) therefore the historical exegesis about ‘young Earth’, predatating the 18th century (before the rise of uniformitarianism) is the only valid option. These follow because almost absolutely all of stratified sedimentary strata (along with global scale tectonics) would have been formed under that world-wide deluge.
        On the contrary, a) with no global flood, the days of creation *have to be* longer, if one even tries to read and ‘reconcile’ the Genesis account at all; and b) all the historical exegetes, e.g. Eusebius/Clement/Augustine/Calvin/Luther in regards to the young age of the Earth were utterly wrong. Furthermore, all the discrepancies among the modern re-interpretations (gap/day-age/progressive creation/framework hypothesis) can’t be all right at the same time. Ultimately, to be more precise, God was wrong because He was inscribing Exodus 20:11 on the stone tablets and cruel for prescribing such harsh punishment (death) for breaking the Sabbath. This only leaves the conclusion that either God lacking common sense (for which you and I certainly are thankful for), cruel, or inconsiderate.

        I am not suggesting a false dichotomy here. You think through it yourself, if you’d like.

        For the early history of uniformitarianism and its willful disregard (not discredit) of Genesis,
        http://creation.com/charles-lyell-free-science-from-moses

        For giant oysters in Andean mountains, which support rapid burial of pre-Noah’s flood world (its size and the shell’s closed position), and defy any other explanation (I’d like to hear your interpretation of this kind of findings),
        http://creation.com/giant-oysters-on-the-mountain

        For creationist geologists/geophysicists’ well-simulated catastrophic plate tectonics (p 165 and on), which provides a physics that is superior to the uniformitarian version (the mainstream secular view).
        http://creation.com/images/pdfs/cabook/chapter11.pdf

        We can discuss a long time about all these, if you’d like. Alright, God bless!

      • Hi Nehe
        Unlike experienced bloggers I don’t have the mental capacity to carry on multiple conversations. I’ll have to stick with what I have going with MK. Sorry about that. I have no quarrel with 24/7 creationists who approach their hypothesis with humility. God could have done anything.
        Climbing around God’s creation is something I enjoy.
        FYI my academic background is in the Church Fathers of the first 4 centuries. I know more about the Ptolemic/ Platonic influences on early Christianity than the 18th century ones. I have read large portions of Augustine’s commentary on Genesis, for example. I think he would agree with me 🙂
        Blessings
        James

      • Cool beans, my friend.

        It’s all good that you don’t want to dispute with me, but I just want to emphasize one single point. When uniformitarianism is popular, the majority of hermeneutic attempts do not take Genesis 1 as straightforward history (18th C – now), whereas when uniformitarianism isn’t popular, the majority of hermeneutics turn out to take it as a historical narrative. Even IF Saint Augustine would agree with you. (He wanted to allegorize because he wanted the creation done in an *instant*, which is diametrically opposed to modern day *uniformitarian millions of years*, as Prof. Zuiddam explains: http://creation.com/augustine-young-earth-creationist)

        Anyhow, God bless.
        Nehe

      • I’m assuming you’ve read my conversation with MK, Nehe and you know why I believe that a “plain reading” of Genesis 1 indicates that the days of Genesis 1 are not days “as we know them.”

        I don’t know anything about uniformitianism except what you tell me so I don’t have much choice but to take your word for it. I’m pretty easy to dazzle with big words 🙂

        Question for you- do you also dismiss observations of the world around us as irrelevant? That is a big conversational stumbling block for me, if that’s your presupposition. We’ll bog down in the same place

      • ehhh did I not explain the word? I guess I didn’t, I’m sorry. Also, sorry that I have not been following your and pastor Unger’s correspondence.
        um, also.. “study to shew thyself approved unto God…” – one google search of uniformitarianism would have given you the correct hermeneutics required to read my post. haha

        Uniformitarianism simply means that all the natural processes and their rates have been more or less the same all throughout *history*. At its foundation, the concept is totally foreign to science, which is ‘knowledge gained from observation, experiment, testing, demonstration, etc.

        History is not repeatable science, and science is not unrepeatable, unique history. Every historical event is unique. Obama having been elected as the Presi in 2008 is not repeatable by scientific method. The Constitution and all the sub-legal documents do prescribe what the country ought to do (which would be science), but it doesn’t mean any exceptions cannot happen, as very often is the case with history (say, people’s revolt and overthrow of the Constitution).

        What uniformitarianism does is to apply scientific method, which is repeatable, to the past. The ramification is millions of years, in order to accommodate the vast ‘ages’ of the past. For instance, again, if you walked into a room where there is a cup of water that’s half-filled. If you
        so, uniform-ism is an attempt to preclude God’s intervention into history, like the Genesis flood, which would have greatly altered the Earth’s big time. So they would look old to those who assume uni-ism, and would look as a product of a huge catastrophe to those who don’t assume uni-ism.

        I am a scientist myself and have a degree in geology. There’s nothing wrong with making observations. The confusion over science vs. history is probably the cause of this devastating situation for non-scientist thinkers, especially Bible scholars.

        Only if the 18th century Bible readers had known the distinction between uniformitarianism (or its by product ‘natural history’) and observational science, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. But apparently, this controversy still continues, as a sign of last days, I believe, as apostle Peter had prophesied in 2 Pet 3 – all things continue as they are, and creation and the Genesis flood being disregarded by secularists.)

        Yes, speculations about the past are not flawless, therefore forensics involving lots of guesses, strictly speaking, is not repeatable science, and really should be categorized under a sort of speculative investigation.

        And you claim that the plain reading of Genesis would lead one to believe in millions of years? Apparently, the Father and the Son didn’t think that way – e.g. Exouds 20:11 and Mark 10:6, and neither did Calvin, Luther, St. George, to name a few. And how come, I (who had heard of ‘millions of years’ read Genesis 1 and had not come up with the idea that the days of creation were longer than 24-hour days?

        Sorry it got long again.. There are too many thoughts in my head whenever it comes to creation science related topic because I’m really passionate about it. Anyhow, Lord bless, bro.

      • I’m pretty sure I’m not a uniformatianist then. Are any scientists uniformianists? It seems like a peculiar belief system given what we see around us. On the one hand you say “the concept is totally foreign to science” but then you say “uniformitarianism does is to apply scientific method”. That is a little confusing.

        I’ve made no claim about millions of years being implied by Genesis I. I have made the claim that a day as we know it doesn’t follow from Genesis I. Those are very different claims.

        Unless I missed it, however, I don’t believe you have answered my question, though. I’m assuming that if you are a scientist and a geologist then observing the world as we observe it is not irrelevant. Assumptions do get us into trouble tough.

        To be a workman approved by God, I do think you should read the conversation that this is part of rather than asking me to Google some peculiar belief system you have chosen to label me with.

        What made you think I was a uniformatarianist by the way?

  6. “The Bible doesn’t give a mechanistic answer to the origins question beyond the “divine speech” point, so all 900 dodecatillion questions about mechanism are moot. If you don’t like it, there’s not much I can do.”

    Amen- I do like it! We might even agree that the divine speech is not a mechanistic explanation in the regular sense of the word “mechanistic”. You might not.

    On the matter of “honest truth seekers” I am aware that my heart is a normal human heart prone to sin. I just find it interesting that you continue to raise that insinuation on my behalf rather than sticking to answering my question. I think it would be more honest to apply Jeremiah 17:9 to your own heart and argument and not extend what I said it some kind of claim that I have no hint of impurity in my quest for truth. I make no such claim.

      • No need to. You already answered it and it appears we agree. I just thought impuning my character in the process was unnecessary and intellectually dishonest.

      • Impuning your character? What? Why did you bring up the “it wasn’t a team of godless atheists” line then, if not to somehow sanctify your quest or infer some sort of greater neutrality?

        You’re the one who insinuates that I lack common sense and then cry that I impugn your character in talking about the noetic effects of sin that affect every person in history?

        *facepalm*

  7. Let’s be clear re: my view of common sense. Trying to pull the entire cosmos and the Scriptures through a tiny 24/7 knothole someone decided to invent is not common sense, in my opinion. That knothole seems neither Scriptural [since without a solar system there was no 24 hour day as we know it, until the 4th day] nor empirically sustainable. I have no hesitation making this opinion of mine explicit. Common sense is part of my argument.

    I don’t mind debating the above paragraph- but for you to insinuate that since I have this opinion my mind must be depraved reveals an powerful trump card. If you make this position explicit then that’s fine- but the rest of the discussion becomes a charade. You win by definition.

    • – “Trying to pull the entire cosmos and the Scriptures through a tiny 24/7 knothole someone decided to invent is not common sense, in my opinion. That knothole seems neither Scriptural [since without a solar system there was no 24 hour day as we know it, until the 4th day] nor empirically sustainable.”

      (Just a note – if it’s “common sense”, why do you have to throw in the “in my opinion”? Instead of “common sense”, shouldn’t you call it “James’ sense”?)

      Are you serious in suggesting that there’s no 24 hour days without a solar system? So there’s no passage of time in deep space, or what? There has to be a sun for there to be time? Could GOD measure time by an evening and morning (however that worked) without a sun?

      Also, are you also serious in claiming that life cannot exist without the sun? So how is the new heavens and new earth going to work in Revelation 21:23, where we’re told that there’s explicitly no sun in the new heavens and new earth? Could God maybe have made there be life THAT way, even back then?

      – “I have no hesitation making this opinion of mine explicit. Common sense is part of my argument.”

      Well, I’m sure your mother is proud of what a smart cookie you are. I make no hesitation in engaging your arguments and driving my Winnebago through the holes in said arguments, as done previously.

      – “I don’t mind debating the above paragraph- but for you to insinuate that since I have this opinion my mind must be depraved reveals an powerful trump card. If you make this position explicit then that’s fine- but the rest of the discussion becomes a charade. You win by definition.”

      And if you continue to blatantly ignore what I write, then that’s fine too. I have not, and continue to not, claim that the fact that you hold your position indicates a depraved mind.

      You suggested that “It wasn’t a team of godless atheists who incited me to this conclusion”, which insinuates that it was a something more positive than that…i.e. a team of God honoring professors combined with some sort of objective neutrality.

      First, I challenged your trumpeting of your insight into how you arrived at your position, and attempted to suggest that your own self declaration of your rational neutrality is amazing…and questionable as an argument. If your heart is deceptive like the scripture says, then there’s no person on earth who would ever actually think that a “team of godless atheists” lead them to the conclusions that they hold. Articulating that is simply being cocky.

      Second, it’s impossible for me to arrive at the truth of scripture through simply employing my mind to sort through an issue where divine revelation is on the radar. Every person, believer or otherwise, can only end up at a true understanding of a position addressed in God’s word by believing what God’s word says about whatever the issue is. To suggest that one neutrally and objectively considered all the data on any issue addressed by God’s word and then came to an autonomous judgment would indicate that the rational enterprise was, in itself, an expression of a sinful heart that thought it could sit in judgment of God’s word, treating God’s word as just another piece of evidence. You never claimed that you did or did not do that.

      You did say “I think it would be more honest to apply Jeremiah 17:9 to your own heart and argument and not extend what I said it some kind of claim that I have no hint of impurity in my quest for truth.”

      Well, I wholeheartedly believe God’s word with regard to every subject upon which it touches, including the origin of the earth and all life thereupon. This is one of the ways I apply Jer. 17:9 to my heart and argument; I labor against my heart’s deceptive work by submitting it constantly to the correcting and refining work of God’s Spirit working through God’s word.

  8. “Are you serious in suggesting that there’s no 24 hour days without a solar system?” Yes. Our 24 hour day is measured by the earth spinning on its axis at a certain speed in reference to the sun. A slower rotation- a longer day etc. A day “as we know it” is based on our solar system which was created on the 4th day. What is your day based on?

    “So there’s no passage of time in deep space, or what?” I never suggested anything like that.

    “Also, are you also serious in claiming that life cannot exist without the sun?” No. What would lead you to that conclusion?

    “I’m sure your mother is proud of what a smart cookie you are.” I suspect not- but I’m know that if you had been her son she would have washed your mouth with soap for being rude. Here’s a secret- I know the experience 🙂 I suspect your mother tried her best, though.

    • “A day “as we know it” is based on our solar system which was created on the 4th day. What is your day based on?”

      Evening and morning. Those were the measure of time before there was a sun; that’s in Genesis 1:4-5. I don’t know the “how”, but I know that the Bible is true and Genesis 1 & 2 isn’t poetry.

      My question about life without the sun was drawn from “nor empirically sustainable”. It appears that I misread you on that. Allow me to apologize for making that assumption. What does “nor empirically sustainable” mean?

      “I’m know that if you had been her son she would have washed your mouth with soap for being rude. Here’s a secret- I know the experience 🙂 I suspect your mother tried her best, though.”

      Thanks for taking a shot at my mother. Did I insult your mother? Happy faces don’t change petty insults into jokes. Allow me to refer you to my “Rules of engagement” page, point 6.

      Is this James Toews I’m addressing?

  9. “Is this James Toews I’m addressing?” It is. I’m surprised by the question.

    “Thanks for taking a shot at my mother. Did I insult your mother? Happy faces don’t change petty insults into jokes. Allow me to refer you to my “Rules of engagement” page, point 6.”
    Absolutely no insult of your mother was intended. I succumbed to the temptation of repartee with you. The conversation is probably better without it. FYI the happy face was supposed to be self-deprecating.

    “My question about life without the sun was drawn from “nor empirically sustainable”. It appears that I misread you on that. Allow me to apologize for making that assumption.”
    No apology needed but I do appreciate the explanation.

    “What does “nor empirically sustainable” mean?”
    In this context it means what makes sense to a non-technical observer. ie someone climbing to the Burgess shale and observing the Rockies and trying to imagine the forces and time required to create something with the appearance of great age.

    “Evening and morning. Those were the measure of time before there was a sun; that’s in Genesis 1:4-5. I don’t know the “how”, but I know that the Bible is true and Genesis 1 & 2 isn’t poetry.”
    I don’t believe Genesis 1 & 2 is poetry either. I also believe that the Bible is true because it is the Word of God. I believe this without equivocation. You have not, however, established from the text of Scripture, that Genesis 1 presupposes that a 24 hour day existed before day 4. I have argued that such an interpretation doesn’t fit the text well.
    I claim that for the first 4 days, our current way of measuring time does not apply since there was no solar system and evening and morning without a rotating earth give no clues as to the length of a day.
    You have agreed that Genesis 1 is not a mechanistic description of creation. We could probably agree to disagree on some of the other details.

    • Okay.

      Repartee is good. Straightforward facts are less easily misconstrued.

      1. I don’t care about what “makes sense to a non-technical observer”. I have no expectation for the any unregenerate observer (or regenerate observer who has been instructed in unregenerate thought) to do anything except ultimately misunderstand the origin of the universe. God’s word is clear that no amount of naturalistic, autonomous rational creatures will arrive at the truth regarding the nature of the history and origin of the universe.

      Unregenerate man cannot properly understand the Burgess shale, the fossil record, or anything about creation because their sinful nature makes it impossible; unregenerate man is spiritually dead and this inescapably affects how they think. This doesn’t mean that they are idiots, but rather that they have a moral inability to holistically understand the universe (creation and Creator in proper relation)and will, every single time, suppress the truth of the self-revelation of their Creator.

      You may possibly drive unregenerate man, through an inescapable tsunami of empirical evidence, to accept the historic existence of a global flood. You will never drive unregenerate man, regardless of the tsunami of empirical evidence, to accept that God brought the flood as a judgment against sin. They only way that anyone understands the true nature and history of the flood (or any other topic of scripture) is through a work of the Spirit in the heart, graciously granting belief in God’s word.

      2. Genesis 1:4-5 describes a day with evening and morning, and calls it “the first day”. That same pattern of description continues on throughout days 2 through 6. If day 4 introduces the sun, did the ‘regular’ days start there?

      Also, every time that the phrase “evening and morning” is used adjectivally of “day” in scripture, it’s a regular day. Every time a “day” is used with an ordinal number, it’s a regular day. If you desire, we can look individually at every passage and concretely establish the case. I have no reason to think that Jonah was in the fish/whale/whatever for 3 “ages”, or that, and I dare suggest that the arguments about the meaning of “day” in Genesis aren’t built upon any confusion in the language of the text.

  10. I have heard a lot of different arguments for a 24/7 Gen 1- but if “every time the phrase “evening and morning” is used adjectivally of “day” in scripture, it’s a regular day. Every time a “day” is used with an ordinal number, it’s a regular day” is the pillar of your Scriptural argument then an explanation of what you mean by that is warranted.

    So far we have a couple of big impasses-
    1. I don’t agree that my observations of the world God created are irrelevant
    2. I don’t concede that you are more intellectually regenerate than I am. Not that it isn’t possible. I just don’t grant you that. As I said earlier, if you don’t take that argument off the table propositional argumentation seems meaningless.

    Given these 2 impasses I wonder if we shouldn’t call it a day. There is a lot we agree on.

    • 1. The “evening and morning” and “cardinal number” argument is pretty simple (and I admit that I had “ordinal” and “cardinal” confused. I plead that all my books are packed up and I’m still painting my suite; my memory isn’t perfect!). Whenever you see “day” ( Hebrew – “yom”) modified adjectivally by the phrase “evening and morning” (Hebrew – “ereb” + “boqer”), and it occurs 38 times outside Genesis 1, you see someone describing a regular “day”, or the components of a regular day. It’s not a poetic figure of speech and is never used in the Old Testament to adjectivally modify an indefinite period of time.

      Also, the same pattern emerges with cardinal numbers. Whenever you see Whenever you see “day” ( Hebrew – “yom”) modified adjectivally by a cardinal number (i.e “one” or “three”), and it occurs 215 times outside Genesis 1, you see someone describing a regular “day”, or the components of a regular day with the exception of 12 possible non-regular days that occur exclusively in prophetic literature. Every time “day” is modified adjectivally by a cardinal number in every single legal, poetic or historic book, it’s a regular day.

      Thereby, when an Ancient Near Eastern Jew read “day” adjectivally modified by “evening and morning” AND an cardinal number in Genesis 1, he had good reason to think that Moses was writing about a regular day. There’s no syntactical or grammatical reason to think that Moses was writing about anything other than a regular day with an evening and a morning that roughly spanned 24 hours. The only challenges to a straightforward reading of “day” in Genesis 1 come from the unregenerate scientific community.

      2. When observations from nature come up against observations from scripture, scripture wins. God did not write 2 books, and nature is not self-interpreting…especially by unregenerate observers.

      Your observations from nature aren’t really your observations; your observations are the observations of unregenerate men that have somehow infiltrated your understanding and that you’ve now accepted. You run the facts of nature through the worldview that you were instructed to apply to those facts and inevitably see those facts in that way, inescapably. Either one takes the data of nature and processes it either through a biblically informed or a non-biblically informed worldview. Your mentioning of the Burgess shale layer already assumes a non-biblically informed worldview (in this singular area, not across the whole board) that calculates the locations of events in history based on the current rates of various physical processes.

      Scripture, if it’s true, clearly instructs that the rates of natural processes have not always been constant, thus the calculations based on uniform physical processes are inherently flawed and astonishingly wrong. If you accept the testimony of God almighty with regards to the events of history, the Burgess shale layer has only been around for 10 to 20,000 years and was not formed over a period of millions of years, regardless of how it looks. Nature is not deceptive; rebellious people refuse to accept the Lordship of God in the realm of geology (among others) and uphold their own speculations above God’s divine revelation. I don’t have a clue how the physical processes occurred and it’s the joy of empirical scientists to find out, but confusion about mechanism doesn’t negate the truthfulness of God’s word. I don’t know how oven cleaner works either, but I know that it does.

      3. I have not ever suggested that I’m more intellectually regenerate than you are. I’m suggesting that as a Christian, you’re being rationally inconsistent; it grieves me to see a fellow believer committing theological seppuku. The empirical naturalism that rejects the straightforward, historical reading of Genesis 1 cannot accept the historical, bodily resurrection of Christ. Genesis 1 & 2 are core doctrine and gospel-related issues.

      I know you believe in the historical, bodily resurrection of Christ, but I don’t know why you do if you reject the straightforward, historical reading of Genesis 1 & 2. The doubt that de-historicizes Genesis 1 & 2 cannot, with any level of rational consistency, stop de-historicizing at Genesis 3, 11, or anywhere else in the Bible. I praise the Lord that you’re inconsistent and believe in the historicity of the bodily resurrection, but it’s my duty as a brother to point out your inconsistency to you.

      When it comes to the resurrection, biblical miracles, the biblical account of creation, or the supernatural nature of scripture, every honest and consistent non-Christian (i.e. empirical naturalist) must reject them all outright and does. Empirical, biblically uninformed science has no greater reason to believe in a spontaneous creation than it does a spontaneous resurrection, and they all know it.

      Every honest and consistent Christian (i.e. empirical supernaturalist) must accept them all outright, though many sadly do not. Empirical, biblically informed science has sufficient reason to believe in a young earth, a virgin birth and the resurrection; the testimony of God’s perfect, inerrant, infallible, efficacious, perspicuous, divinely inspired word.

  11. You say “I have not ever suggested that I’m more intellectually regenerate than you are.” Not only is that not true but you continue to imply this ad nauseam in the course of this post. I don’t know how you can say this with a straight face.

    • Okay.

      The phrase “more intellectually regenerate” is nonsense. You’re either regenerate or not. I’m not suggesting that you’re an unbeliever, and I never have. I’m not suggesting that I have more of the filling of the Holy Spirit, and I never have.

      I’m talking about inconsistency and always have been. You somehow do not, or will not, grasp that. I don’t know how you can miss that with such ironic consistency and it grieves me to think of the biblical inconsistency you’re passing on to those who watch and listen to you as an authority on biblical issues.

  12. Hi MennoKnight
    I got your comment because I was linked somehow and replied via email. A blog savvy friend said that it doesn’t work that way- so here is my response-

    I’m not quite sure about the nuance in this comment, but if I have saddened you by giving the impression, warranted or not, that I don’t listen, I am happy to have a personal conversation and commit myself to listen. I have wounded brothers and sisters in Christ in the past but I take that seriously and commit myself before my Master to do what I can to set things right.
    Your fellow servant in the Kingdom
    James

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