Kathy Petersen’s Blog

“Show Me God” by Fred Heeren, a review

Posted in Bible, Christianity by Kathy on February 9, 2008

I just finished reading Show Me God and must say that I’m a little disappointed in it. As a Bible-believing Christian, I assumed that this book confirmed the Bible. And it does….except for the literal Creation story in Genesis. If you don’t believe the Bible is literal and accurate, then you won’t have a problem with this book.

First, the good parts–Heeren shows through interviews and quotes and scientific deduction/logic that the Big Bang is the only theory that fits what science currently knows or believes; and that eminent scientists such as Albert Einstein have no possible explanation for the universe as it exists today, except for a Creator. Simplistically, according to their calculations, the universe cannot possibly have always existed, so it must have come about somehow, and matter cannot come from nothing. Since it cannot come from nothing, it must have come from someone or something outside of this universe. In that, it does not necessarily confirm the God of the Bible, but he does point out that no other ancient deity was presumed to have created everything; but that all other religions show the gods coming out of the natural world. Further, it shows that proceeding from the Big Bang theory, there must have been exceedingly precise adjustments in order for the universe to exist as it does (something like 1 to the 10 with 40,000 zeros behind it). It is written in “accessible” language with a minimum of jargon, so the average person should be able to understand it. However, it does rather boggle the mind, simply because of the necessary technical discussion of the world of astro-physics. If a person believes that the Big Bang theory precludes a creator, then this book shows that idea to be inaccurate.

Now, what I had against the book. Perhaps it was that it’s been so long since I’ve been in high school and college, but there seemed to be some loopholes in the theory and presumptions that the Big Bang is built on. I was reminded many times while reading this book that prior to the days of Galileo and Newton, there were pretty plausible theories on how planets moved, and the earth was the center of the universe; and only after the laws of planetary motion and gravity were discovered were these old theories shown to be completely false. I can understand that so far the calculations line up with the Big Bang theory; but there are some unanswered questions that are not so far answerable, and that makes me think that there are other better theories out there yet to be discovered.

This book demotes the Genesis account to myth or fabrication. Those aren’t the words of the author!–he affirms the accuracy of the Bible, and speaks very well of the truth of the Creator-God of the Bible, and Jesus, and those things. However, he accepts the Big Bang theory as truth, and thereby demotes the first chapter of Genesis. He says that the Big Bang theory confirms the creation account, but never explains how this theory which has the stars forming from plasma or a cosmic dust cloud hundreds of billions of years ago jives with the Genesis account which says that God created the stars on the 4th day. Further, the author declares that the earth is millions of years old, and ascribes to “punctuated equilibrium” as his method of believing that God created the animals–the “six days” aren’t literal days, but eons of time. My biggest problem with that theory is that in order for the fossil record to exist for millions of years, these animals must have lived and died prior to man arriving on the scene and sinning; yet the Bible is extraordinarily clear that death came about as a result of man’s sin, so I can’t quite understand how millions of animals lived and died for millions of years without sin being the cause of it. I also reject the evolutionists’ interpretation of the fossil record, and a good book on that is The Genesis Flood, which very handily exposes the logical and scientific fallacies of geologists as they assume evolution to be true and then bend the facts to support that conclusion.

Heeren’s main logical argument for a Christian to believe the Big Bang theory instead of the Bible (in addition to believing scientific theories to be completely accurate) seems to be the following argument: As we look deeper and deeper into space, we can see light coming from stars that are billions of years away; therefore, these stars must be billions of years old. To see a supernova explode that must have happened millions or billions of years ago, when the universe is only thousands of years old, would make God be deceptive, since that event did not actually happen–He just made it appear to be so. And the only reason for that appearance would be to make us believe that the universe is millions or billions of years old when it actually is not. The alternative is that the Genesis account is lying, and that means that God definitely would be a liar to tell man through His inspired Word that He created the universe in 6 days, when He actually accomplished it over the course of billions of years. Or else, the Genesis account is inaccurate; and then that puts the accuracy of the whole Bible into question. Now, which scenario makes God to be the bigger liar? Did it make God to be a liar to have created humans as adults? They were only one day old, but had the appearance of being years old. Was that deceptive? Or is man perhaps willingly deceiving himself when he looks through a telescope and builds theories upon suppositions on theories?

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92 Responses

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  1. Steve M said, on March 26, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    At the beginning of the fourth paragraph above, you stated: “This book demotes the Genesis account to myth or fabrication.”

    I am confident that this is not the view of the author, and indeed of many Christians, especially those whose understanding of cosmology and the apparent age of the universe align closely with Heeren’s. It is possible, and indeed is the position many hold, to believe that Genesis is the inspired Word of God, inerrant and infallible in the original autographs, without understanding the days of the creation account to be literal days. It might surprise you to learn that there is even a possible explanation that allows these days to be literal days, AND billions of years at the same time. However, in my opinion, we are often too quick to take issue with science if there is a perceived conflict with the Bible. We do well to carefully remember that God is the author of both the Bible and Science/the Cosmos, and so in the end there can be no conflict between the two.

    • Anna Crandall said, on June 24, 2009 at 11:16 pm

      I am confident that this IS, in fact, the view of the author, as we have spoken to him in person when we attended the same church. He does not believe that the book of Genesis is true.

    • Gary Jensen said, on January 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      I love Fred Heeren’s book. As a pastor in a denomination which is rather insistent that the days of Genesis must be interpreted as 24-hour, I thought it important to take a fresh look at the first chapters of Genesis in the original Hebrew language. I conclude with complete conviction that the first chapter of Genesis is not arguing the 24-hour interpretation. Each of the above concerns expressed about the “day-age” position seem founded more on hear-say rather than thorough Biblical study. The biggest challenge for Christians today is to dare to revisit this text with all of its richness. Is that not to be the goal of every Christian who believes, as I do, that the Bible is the revealed word of God? Please write me for a copy of my essay, “The Biblical Demand to Take Another Look: Ten Compelling Reasons the Days of Creation are Non-24-Hour.” My blog is titled “Christianity on the Offense.”

      • Kathy said, on January 8, 2013 at 8:20 pm

        First, I wonder if you are aware that *nobody* **ever** thought that the creation story in Genesis was anything but 6 literal 24-hour days until atheistic and agnostic scientists demanded that the earth and universe had been around for millions of years, and even then, all Hebrew scholars admit that the author intended to convey 6 literal 24-hour days, though some will try to work around that, so your assertion that a “fresh look… in the original Hebrew language” does not argue for 24 hour days is, well, just an assertion, although you’re welcome to put a link to your essay if you wish.

        But aside from the above objection, let’s say that you’re right, and that when God inspired the author of Genesis to write, “there was evening and there was morning, day one”, etc., that He really intended to convey millions or even billions of years. If that is true, then what *should* God have said if he intended Bible readers to interpret the creation story to be six 24-hour days?

        • Steve Millikan said, on January 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm

          Hi Kathy! I hope this finds you doing well.

          If the author was speaking of the days figuratively, your question doesn’t have any meaning. Your point is well taken – if he was speaking about literal days he would have used the same or similar language. But if he was not intending to convey literal days, it doesn’t really make sense to ask what language God would have inspired him to use had he wished to convey something different, because it would be a moot point.

          Additionally, the young earth position is not really strengthened if it is true that no one ever questioned the literal interpretation of 6 – 24 hour days until the last couple centuries. It would simply mean we didn’t find out until more recently what the truth is, if indeed the earth is “old” and the creation did not take place in 6 literal days. As I wrote some time ago, I am intrigued by the 6 days = 15 billion years concept as propounded by some.

          • Kathy said, on January 8, 2013 at 10:32 pm

            I don’t think it’s a moot point at all. If I say a man robbed a bank, when I really meant that he hijacked an armored truck, one might well ask why I didn’t say what I mean or mean what I said; and if I say “robbed a bank” when I didn’t mean “robbed a bank”, one might well ask what language I might employ to *really* mean “rob a bank”. It’s not exactly sarcasm, but I hope that it is showing the absurdity of taking such a position in which language doesn’t mean what it says. And I’m highlighting the fact (which you seem to accept) that there is no way for God to have been any clearer or more explicit that it was six 24-hour days, than to employ the language used. It’s a similar question that I ask when confronted by so-called Bible believers who say that Noah’s Flood could not have been global. The Bible uses terms such as “all the mountains and high hills were covered” and “whole earth” and “only 8 people saved” and “and only those land-dwelling & air-breathing animals that were on the ark”, etc. If that is the language of a local flood, I might well ask what terms would be employed to indicate a global flood, since I can’t think of anything more wide-ranging than “all” and “whole” and “only”.

            And as to your second point, that “It would simply mean we didn’t find out until more recently what the truth is”, far from “not strengthening” the YEC position actually proves my point. My point is that if you simply read the Bible, you’ll come away with the belief that God created the universe and everything in it within 6 days approximately 6,000 years ago. It is only when you read INTO the Bible that you can find justification for anything other than a YEC position. If the Bible clearly indicates that God created everything in 6 earth days a few thousand years ago while it really *means* that God used evolution over the course of billions of years, and “the truth” is obscured by false language, then that comes perilously close to calling God a liar. I certainly hope you don’t take that position.

            Oh, and Jesus also took a “young earth creation” position when He said that “from the beginning” God created man male and female. It’s another distorting of language beyond all reason to say that “from the beginning” means 15 billion years after the beginning. And all the NT writers also accepted a YEC position since they all referenced the first 11 chapters of Genesis (the creation and the flood) as real history, with Adam and Noah being literal and not figurative people.

            • Steve Millikan said, on January 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

              Not sure you understood what I meant about the moot point, but it’s not important enough to quibble about.

              At some point I hope you are able to come to grips with the fact that the scientific evidence is stacked against YE & young universe. Not necessarily to agree with the opposing viewpoint – just to objectively consider the scientific difficulties with your position.

              • Kathy said, on January 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

                I do understand about the moot point, but disagree with you on it. If language doesn’t mean what it says, then why attempt to speak or communicate, if the other person gets to define the terms any old way he chooses, instead of using them in the common way?

                And I hope that at some point *you* are able to come to grips with the fact that much if not all of the so-called “scientific evidence” that is “stacked against YE & young universe” is actually primarily assumption, hypothesis, and/or circular reasoning, with much evidence actually against the prevailing evolutionary assumption, but typically ignored and even actively hidden and suppressed; and actually a great deal of “evidence” for evolution is imagination, like large quantities of “dark matter” and most of the presumed missing links between different types of animals in the “evolutionary tree of life”. Further, I hope you will look at not just the united front that atheistic scientists put forth in which they loudly proclaim that evolution is a proven fact, but will look deeper into their arguments with each other in which one disproves the other’s pet theory. While “the Big Bang” is the reigning theoretical (or perhaps I should say hypothetical) idea on how the universe began, numerous atheistic evolutionary scientists have shown serious, even fatal, flaws with the idea and the assumptions underlying it, and how it does *not* fit observed things today. Yet it remains the reigning paradigm, because there is currently no better godless origin known. Much like Darwin’s original theory of evolution was maintained in the face of increasing difficulties (even to the point of scientists’ not accepting Mendelian genetics, because it completely contradicted Darwin’s theory) until somebody finally figured out how to work the proven genetics into the old Darwinian supposition, giving us neo-Darwinism.

  2. womantowomancbe said, on March 26, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    Steve,

    I would like to hear more about this–literal days and billions of years. I remember reading something many years ago, that I believe was written by a Jewish author (maybe a rabbi, even?) who tried to make that assertion. I’m thinking now it’s something about the time-space continuum and time slowing down as you reach the speed of light or something. If you could direct me to someplace where I could read more about it, I’d appreciate it–right now, I don’t even have a clue what to Google for. 🙂

    I agree that Mr. Heeren’s intent was not to demote the Biblical account; however that is the inevitable result of the acceptance of the Big-Bang, billions of years of the existence of stars, millions of years of evolution, and millions of years of death on this planet before the first human ever existed. The two main things that I simply cannot reconcile are (1) that Genesis declares that the earth was created before the stars, whereas Mr. Heeren’s book falls in lock-step with the atheistic evolutionists who declare that the stars existed for billions of years before the earth ever formed; and (2) that death was not the result of Adam’s sin, but rather was firmly established and in place for millions of years prior to that. Both of these monumental differences Mr. Heeren mentions, and agrees with both the Big Bang and the evolutionary theories. He accepts without any apparent hesitancy the “geologic record” which evolutionists say demonstrates millions of years of life and death, although Whitcomb and Morris do an excellent job in their book “The Genesis Flood” of showing that the Biblical account is at least as plausible (and actually more so) as the evolutionary theory, which is built upon the baseless and untested declaration of “the principle of uniformity” which is that the way things are now are the way they’ve always been.

    I agree that there can be no conflict between the Bible and *true* science; but there is an awful lot of stuff masquerading as science that presents quite a bit of conflict between it and the Bible. And as far as your statement that we are too quick to take issue with science… I can but rebut, “Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). I’d rather be too quick to say that, than too quick to say, “Well, let’s reexamine the Bible, and see if we can conform it to these new theories.”

    This is not to say that accepted theories based on the Bible can never be wrong–I know the Catholic Church condemned Galileo (or was it Kepler? or both?) for his theories about the movement of the earth, claiming that it undermined the teaching of the Bible. However, that was at best a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what the Bible truly taught. I don’t see how there can be just a simple misunderstanding about the earth and the water and the plants being created before the stars, when it actually was the other way ’round, and by billions of years.

    If you can point me to theistic evolution that does not depend upon millions of years of death prior to the life of Adam, I’d appreciate it. Also, if you can point me to an alternative explanation of the beginning of the universe that does not depend upon the stars being created before the earth, water, and plants, I’d equally appreciate it. Until that time, I will continue to say, “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”

  3. […] Big Bang Previously, I mentioned Fred Heeren’s book Show Me God, in which he discusses the Big Bang Theory of the […]

  4. Steve M said, on April 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I think you will find that the majority of serious scientists who are Christians believe in an old universe. I personally would be very slow to take issue with them because of my very limited understanding of science. I find most Christians

    1)read a couple paperbacks and find some quick arguments and

    2)accept with very little thought a very literal western leaning rendering of the first chapters of Genesis

    and conclude that the serious scientific evidence against young earth/young universe has to be wrong, based on their ‘experts’.

    I also take a different tack on the “Let God be true…” thought. God’s truth is not limited to the written word. As you know, it is also found in the physical universe. We find that the evidence points overwhelmingly to an old universe, Whitcomb and co. notwithstanding.

    Sure, it could all be recently created, but for my money, Heeren gives a pretty strong argument for the alternative.

    I haven’t landed on old earth and theistic evolution – but I’m open to the possibility. I think it is especially important that we not build walls with unbelievers and other believers on this issue. There are bigger fish to fry, and there is too much evidence on the other side to die on that hill.

    I can’t think of the name of the book or author in question, but I’ll try to rack my brain and see if it will appear.

    • Danny said, on May 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      I am an agnostic, and bible-ignorant, person. I’m not saying that I won’t read it. I’m only saying that I never have. I would like to embrace faith, but I am not satisfied with my options. Hearsay goes: many versions of the Anglo biblical text have been mistranslated, misread, miscommunicated, and in some cases altered completely.

      However, I enjoyed reading your post. Encouraging everyone not to “build up walls,” is good advice. Even before I stepped up from atheism to agnosticism I tried to keep an open mind, and even encouraged others’ faith when it faltered.

      So many people have slapped me in the face with religion. In such cases I have always felt harassed. Often, I have met someone in the street, and have argued for hours. At the end of the day we would both be exhausted; and would have only heard the sounds of our own opinions.

      This didn’t feel that way. I feel like I can calmly consider the things that you’ve said. It may help that I went looking for the information too.

    • Julian said, on September 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      I have read Wonders Vol1 and have been looking for the remaining 3 volumes in the series. Cannot find them. Any suggestions? I have a strong background in engineering sciences and math and am a strong Christian. I think Wonders is absolutely right on.
      Julian

  5. Kathy said, on April 11, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Steve,

    Here is a website you may be interested in: In the Beginning. Among other things, it shows many of the problems that science must deal with, if the earth and/or the universe is millions or billions of years old. You can use the search engine in the website for the word “young” and come up with over half a dozen different major problems that arise for scientists who hold to the “old universe/earth” position, as well as evidence which points to a young earth, solar system, sun, milky way, etc.

    Although I just recently read this online book (so it’s fresh in my memory), I read it fairly quickly, so it tends to get jumbled up in my mind; however, some of the big problems with current theories include the law of gravity as it relates to the moon and the moon’s receding from the earth, and the fact that there are “old” elements in supposedly “young” galaxies (that is, that there are galaxies which are classed as being too new to contain heavy metals like iron, yet they apparently do).

    He also speaks of “dark matter” and “dark energy” with much more skepticism than Fred Heeren, and also shows real problems with that hypothesis. “Show Me God” says that the Big Bang theory predicted a constant universal temperature of 3-5 degrees Kelvin, which prediction was found to be true when it was finally measured (forgive me if that’s not the correct term, I’m going on memory here, but I think you understand what I’m meaning). This website says that the “Big Bang” theory predicted a constant temperature of some 30 degrees Kelvin, and then the theory had to be reworked, and calculations had to be altered to explain the discrepancy.

    Further, “In the Beginning” gives a very valid reason why “the majority of serious scientists who are Christians believe in an old universe.” It’s all they were ever taught. Further, students who don’t believe in evolution will fail tests (because they refuse to answer questions that presume evolution to be fact), or will not be allowed to advance and hold prominent positions, simply because they don’t toe the party line. (This is not just in evolution; I just read a doctor’s post in which she bemoaned how she had to learn wrong answers so that she could pass her state board’s licensing renewal program. Specifically, she has found that when she eats sugar, she gets acne; but the “correct” answer is that sugar intake does not cause acne. So she had to answer the wrong but correct answer on the test so that she could continue to practice medicine in her state; however, you can be sure that she does not actually believe what it is she wrote.)

    Anyway, check out that website. It makes more sense to me than Heeren’s book.

    Kathy

  6. Kathy said, on April 11, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Oh, and this blog post also delves into this topic: The Incompatibility of Biblical Christianity and Evolution.

  7. Steve M said, on May 23, 2008 at 4:29 am

    Hey, I remembered the book:

    The Science of God by Gerald Schroeder

  8. Kathy said, on May 23, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Ok, thanks. I’ll check it out. Here’s the Amazon link, for some reviews.

  9. Ernesto Ortega said, on May 24, 2008 at 7:43 am

    I’m sorry that I did not read 99% of the content of this page soon I will read it all.
    But reffering to the top portion I have read.
    “”I assumed that this book confirmed the Bible. And it does….except for the literal Creation story in Genesis. If you don’t believe the Bible is literal and accurate, then you won’t have a problem with this book.””

    The thing is that the book of Genesis states that the world was created in days.
    The all mighty God created the whole universe,time and space becomes one as it spands.It is not one of our days on earth.Not a 24 hour earth day that is one cycle around the sun.Expand your imagination,the whole solar system turns like a clock of time,where it stands as the galaxy turns and that is not a day for God.
    The super master mathematician did not say one earth day or to be more clear he did not say a solar day that for us is 24 hours and for planets farther away are longer that the one holding life.The bible is not wrong the interpreters will always create ideas that are not from God.
    egambit1@hotmail.com

  10. Kathy said, on May 24, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Yeah, except the Bible was written for man, who has 24-hour time periods called a “day.” It just seems illogical to me to have these first six days in Genesis be completely different from all the other days since that time, when the same words are used, and they have the same implication all the other times they are used.

    But my main problem with those who would stretch the six days of Genesis into long epochs of time, is that they usually do it to accommodate the theory of evolution (which Mr. Heeren does). Evolution points to the fossil layer, which is a geological “evidence” on an enormous scale of widespread death and destruction. This death and destruction happened prior to the appearance of the first man on earth, according to them. I will refer you to this blog for a fuller explanation of the incompatibility between the Genesis account and the evolutionary theory; but, in brief, the Bible makes it clear that it was Adam’s fall that introduced death and destruction into the world — the OT greatly implies this, and Romans says it explicitly. Death comes from sin. Prior to man, there was no sin in the world — indeed, God looked at His creation and pronounced it “very good.” How could it be very good if there had been millions of years of death and destruction (according to evolutionists) prior to the end of the 6th Genesis day — which could only be the result of sin?

  11. […] found another blog that has a better review of the book than I can […]

  12. Tom H said, on July 3, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Kathy, I agree totally with your skepticism about “historical science” and with your very correct theological and hermeneutical questions about compromising positions.

    I also agree with Steve M’s point about Christians who read a couple of books and assume that they know the whole story. The issues are more complex than a couple of books can express in any detail; kudos, however, to people who expend the energy to do that, since most Christians don’t bother.

    A key hermeneutical point is that the Genesis day is defined as a single dark/light cycle. While each part of the cycle may be long, this doesn’t allow for a figurative “day is as a thousand years” kind of interpretation. The definition doesn’t force a 24-hour length on a day. For the 4th-6th days, a 24-hour length is required, however.

    A proper reading of Genesis 1 has the deep, light, and some kind of shuttering to separate light from darkness being created on the first day. The deep includes no land–just a big mass of water. Assuming gravity, this would take the shape of a sphere (I’ll call this the Big Ball of Water–BBOW) and would be the biggest black hole ever, which conforms with the description that “darkness was on the surface of the deep.” The Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the deep–I suspect He was causing it to rotate to prevent a collapse.

    The black hole would have caused the formation of heavy metals from oxygen and hydrogen. The energy in the middle of the BBOW would have been so great that all matter would have broken down to its most basic components–it would have had more energy than the sun and would have occurred within fractions of a second. The energy was sufficient to create radioactive decay products very quickly in the BBOW, so that it would have an “appearance of age.” There is nothing deceptive about this; the error is in the assumptions of science about the starting percentage of daughter isotopes.

    All that being said, the issue is profoundly philosophical; since scientists by and large are ignorant of most philosophy of science, their opinions about the cosmological issues are no better than those of the average man on the street. I am a member of the Creation Research Society; there are some in the society who believe that the most effective and correct approach to the cosmology/evolution issues is philosophical. The main line of attack is to assert that the “historical sciences” aren’t truly sciences–that true sciences are able to experiment and observe. Observation of processes–not merely of the detritus of the past–and specification and control of experimental conditions and processes (as demonstrated by repeatability) are what provide our real knowledge in science.

    Glad you posted your comments!

  13. Ren said, on July 21, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    For me, as a scientist and a Christian, it’s easy… The known Universe began with the Big Bang, and that’s it. Imagine if the writer of Genesis got caught up in explaning in detail how the world came to be? The people back then would have dropped Genesis even faster than I dropped my physics book. Genesis, and the entire Bible, was written to the people of its time, but it was also written for us. Getting caught up in whether it was 6 days or 6 billion years takes so much away from the story as a whole. Too much, in fact. So I ignore the “discrepancy” and go with the fact: God created the world. Period. Let’s move on…

  14. Craig said, on September 14, 2008 at 3:47 am

    I can’t believe you guys are arguing this stuff. It’s like fighting about star trek. Assumption built upon assumption. Creationism might help you sleep better at night, but it doesn’t penetrate the search for truth to any degree.

  15. Steve M. said, on October 13, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Craig,

    Debating the question of whether the universe is old or young, and whether it conforms to a particular Biblical model is not the same as star trek, but it was an entertaining comparison.

    Many creationists believe what they do not because of it’s Tylenol PM qualities, but because they believe it to be true. And there is a lot of diversity within the Creationist camp – not everyone is in lockstep with the caricature to which you might be referring.

  16. Grant Miller said, on October 13, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Kathy,

    Sorry to disagree w/you, but as a former “young earth creationist” I think SHOW ME GOD is an excellent book. It shows Believers and skeptics alike that the Bible creation account is not a bunch of non-sense and that God does not expect us to just have blind-faith.
    Many respected, conservative, evangelical theologions(including Billy Graham) will confirm that a wooden, literal interpretation of Gen 1 is not the only viable literal interpretation of Gen 1.
    Please carefully read all that takes place on “day” 6 from Gen 1 and 2, there is just too much to think that this is a single day. Also, day 7 has no “evening and morning” because it continues into the present. I could go on, but won’t.
    God Bless.

  17. RG said, on November 16, 2008 at 3:30 am

    I just read this while searching for info on getting vol 2-4 of the “Show Me God” series. If you have that info I would like to get it.

    I wanted to drop a few thoughts into this mix so anyone interested can chew around on it. A very important thing that seems to be overlooked by multitudes of Christians is that the so-called creation account in Gen 1 and then in more detail in 2, (beginning with Gen 1:2) is a very localized event. It is NOT the creation of the entire universe.

    The Bible is clear (Isa 14 and Ezek. 28 as well as some references in the new testament) that this object we call the earth was here before Gen 1:2. It had a social order on it that was operated by angels. One of those was the source of trouble, Lucifer. There was a war. He lost. Jesus told the disciples he had witnessed Satan fall.

    All that happened before Gen 1:2. In fact it was that collection of events that caused the destruction of the surface of the earth that existed at that time. Light was not made in Gen 1:3. It was let in. Also, remember that our word “light” is talking about a very small segmet of the whole electromagnetic spectrum. In the two chapters mentioned earlier, talking of an earth surface and structure that existed before mankind came into being, it is clear that light was present there as well as other things we would call objects in space.

    Jeremiah lets us in on an idea that the earth went through a period of being put into darkness. To borrow the star trek theme, they called it a cloaking device. Jeremiah 4:23 starts with the same wording as Gen 1:2 and includes the idea that the light was shut out.

    While I am certainly not a language scholar, things I have read from authorities I respect suggest the word “the” is not in the Hebrew of Gen 1:1. It doesn’t seem very important but that word makes a great difference. If it is read as “In THE beginning…” we would naturally take it to be talking about some specific point in time. While not identified in any particular manner, THE beginning is talking about the very start of the beginning of something.

    However, if it is read “In beginning…” we can easily infer that it might very well be talking about the beginning of some particular action or process, not the start or beginning of a point in time. So what is the action? I submit it is talking about the whole enterprise of the creation of this present universe with significant details about the creative activity on the earth being shown in the next two chapters. “In beginning the business of creating this present cosmos (Greek word often translated “world” or “age” in the Bible) God made the heavens and the earth”. I offer this as a simple paraphrase to illustrate what I am talking about. Some time after that (and no one has any idea when) the earth ended up void and without form. As a side note I would suggest there are no examples anywhere else in the Bible where God’s creative skill, genius, power, knowledge, etc. ever made anything that was “without form and void”. I believe it is very much in keeping with Bible doctrine to state the earth getting into that condition was not because God made it that way but because of the events of that pre-Adam war.

    It was left sitting in darkness and we have no idea how long that status was in force. Sometime after that the first thing God did was end the shielding of the earth from the light (and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation we know to exist and probably lots of stuff we do not yet know about) and began the very localized RECREATION of the surface of the earth; completing that activity with the introduction of an entirely new species of creature; the human being.

    I have taken up enough time here. Thanks.

    R Goodrich

    • David Whitlow said, on June 12, 2009 at 5:02 am

      Amen. There are so few (it seems) that have ever even heard of or much less considered a “pre-Adamic” period. I believe this is where our “fossil record” comes from . Pre-Adamic war in Heaven. What we are witness to is the remnants of that war between Lucifer and God.

      • Kathy said, on June 12, 2009 at 11:57 am

        The reason few have heard of or considered a “pre-Adamic” period is that the Bible is clear that the earth was made in 6 days. Besides, how does a Pre-Adamic war in Heaven translate into millions or billions of animal deaths on earth? Particularly when many of the animals were made on the same day as Adam.

        However, I do agree that what we are witness to is the remnants of that war between Satan and God — that is, Satan is still fighting God, and his tempting of Man to sin was part of that war, and the curse that followed Adam’s sin which plunged the world into sin and ultimately led to the Flood and destruction of the world except for those on the Ark is due to the “father of lies” who was “a murderer from the beginning.”

        • dave said, on June 6, 2010 at 6:30 pm

          Actually the Hebrew word for day that is used in Genesis is used to denote a planetary rotation (ie day) a long expanse of time or a period in time.
          Since the first few chapters of Genesis is a work of poetry, your going to have a real hard time taking it as a scientific account of creation. On the other hand, it shows relationships quite well.
          the word day can indeed be understood to be a long period of time.
          If you disaggree I would refer to you the vines dictionary and let you read it yourself.

          • Kathy said, on June 7, 2010 at 1:42 am

            Dave, it’s obvious you haven’t read any of the preceding comments, because I’ve already gone over this multiple times. The Hebrew word for “day” is “yom” which does have multiple connotations, much as the English word “day” has. We can say “back in the day” without it being any specific 24-hour period, but meaning “in the time that…”; we can say “in Luther’s day” meaning not a specific 24-hour time period, but “the time in which Luther lived.” However, if I said, “We went on vacation in Minnesota and the first day we were there the toilet stopped up and overflowed,” could anybody honestly say that “the first day” was a non-specific period of time? that it was perhaps a long expanse of time? In the literal translation of the first chapter of Genesis, the Hebrew literally says, Gen 1:5 God called the light “Day”, and he called the darkness “Night”. Evening was and morning was; day one. and Gen 1:8 God called the expanse ‘Heaven’. Evening was and morning was the second day. Here is an excellent article which effectively deals with everything you’ve written; and see this link for more information specifically on “yom” and this link for whether Genesis is poetry or not.

            So, I agree that “yom” can mean different things, just as the English word “day” can — but the context denotes what the meaning is, and there is no reputable Hebrew scholar that believes that “yom” in Genesis ought to be translated as long periods of time. The specific Hebrew construction of the numbers and the word “yom” requires it to mean a single day. Plus, creation week is the basis of the Jewish week and the Sabbath, “For in six days God made the world, and on the seventh He rested.” That would make no sense if the six days of creation were nonspecific long periods of time.

            I strongly disagree that the first few chapters of Genesis are poetry; you’ll have to provide some evidence of that. Please also explain what you mean by “it shows relationships quite well,” because I’m not understanding you.

  18. John said, on April 25, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Hi:

    I found Alan Hayward’s books to be of interest, particularly when dealing with the evidence of those of the “young earth” view.

    I don’t know what the answer is (as to the correct interpretation of the six days of Genesis) but I do feel man does have the ability to see things according to his heart. Thus if a scientist has one kind of heart, he may be allowed to find something to confirm that (as though God gives people over to a certain kind of mind if they hold down the truth as in Romans 1).

    It was kind of interesting that the paleontologist who found the soft tissue in the T. Rex femur was a Christian.

  19. John said, on April 25, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    I forgot to comment that I really appreciated Heeren’s book, especially after reading Isaacson’s biography of Einstein.

    Heeren really has a gift for explaining things so a novice can understand. I believe what he uncovers somewhat matches what is uncovered at the biological level in Michael Denton’s book “Nature’s Destiny”.

    The point of both of these books is that science has the ability to point honest skeptics to a Creator.

  20. Steve M said, on July 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Just surfing by, and curious if you have changed your position on any of this, Kathy. I am just as convinced as ever that the universe is old, and started with the Big Bang, except for the unlikely possibility that God only created it to look like there was a big bang. How many well-respected scientists are you aware of that think the universe is young? Should we not think long and hard about how the Bible and what cosmology tells us can mesh, rather than treating the first chapters of Genesis like a western 20th century textbook?

    • Kathy said, on July 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm

      Nope, I haven’t changed my position, and am just as dissatisfied as ever, if not more so, with the old-age position. I’ve read and heard more from a creation perspective and am satisfied with their scientific explanation.

      The problem is, there is evidence… but evidence of what? The old-agers start off with that presupposition, and then try to force all the data to support their position; then when something doesn’t support it (for instance, radiometric dating that has dates much too old or young to fit the preconceived notions are summarily discarded, rather than casting a shadow onto the validity of the tests themselves; or the scientific problems with the Big Bang [scroll down]), these difficulties are ignored as far as the mainstream press and schools go, with only a few of the elite evolutionists actually trying to tackle the problems of the impossibility of evolution, leaving most everybody else deceived about how “accurate” and “proven” evolution is. For instance, in my college astronomy class, I was taught positively that there was a thing called “the Oort cloud” of objects at the edge of the solar system that were occasionally pulled into the solar system to form comets. Never was it hinted that this was just a hypothesis — a guess made by someone who recognized that there was no other good explanation for comets in an old universe, since all such objects would have been burned up millennia ago. Many other guesses have been promulgated as facts, with the majority of people just blindly believing these lies.

      The majority is not always right, as you well know. Also, you may or may not know that whenever a scientist or professor — no matter how educated, smart, or respected — professes doubt about evolution or leans towards intelligent design or a young earth, he is roundly ridiculed. Perhaps it is because the idea is ridiculous; perhaps as a form of peer pressure merely to keep people in line.

      Check out the entire creation.com website, because there is much information from serious Christian scientists that support a young-earth/universe idea. One book they have for sale (that I recently bought and read) is Refuting Compromise, which goes through some of the arguments by Hugh Ross (and other Christians who want to place the Bible lower than “science” — i.e., evolutionary theories), showing how theistic evolution is simply not compatible with either the Bible or evolution.

      The Bible frequently makes mention of God “stretching out the heavens” — it is possible, then, that God created everything just as the literal Genesis account states, and “stretched out” the sky, which put the stars and galaxies in their current places, without needing billions of years of earth-time or created time for them to be “billions of light years away.” Plus, there is also the possibility (perhaps even a probability) that the rate of the speed of light is not constant, and even some prominent evolutionists have come forward with this idea, which might also cause some (more) problems for the Big Bang theory, even while it attempts to solve other problems.

    • Burl said, on February 13, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      What is “a western 20th century textbook?”

      • Steve M said, on February 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm

        Maybe that’s a bit cryptic. I was referring to the practice in some circles to treat the Bible as though it were written in our “western” cultural context. The word “western” was in contrast to “eastern” or “middle-eastern.” Sorry for the confusion.

  21. Steve M said, on July 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Of course God could have, and may have, stretched out the heavens 6,000 years ago to pretty much their present position. I don’t know why He would need to do that though, since time probably is not confining for him (although some Christian scientists would argue that he is not strictly outside of time). I believe the evidence points strongly to an old universe. Even if all the extra time happened in the first couple verses of Genesis, that makes more sense to me. Not sold on the speed of light being vastly different elsewhere in the universe, and it doesn’t seem to me that many reputable scientists take that position.

    My faith is unchanged whether the earth and universe are young or old. God has spoken truly, but the first few chapters of Genesis are intriguing in their uniqueness, and they have spawned a great variety of interpretations from ancient Hebrew commentators on down to the present time. With such a wide range of opinions, it seems likely to me that whichever I choose, I am quite possibly wrong. Hence, I am comfortable with Christians who run the gamut from Creative evolutionists to young earth young universe 6-dayers. I am least comfortable with those who hold uncharitably to one view. Christians through the centuries don’t have the best track record when it comes to their integration of Bible interp with science…

    When you say the “old agers start off with that view” I would respond that that is because the best science we have indicates the universe to be billions of years old.

    BTW I am sure you are aware there are numerous dating methods extant, so to find flaws with carbon 14 e.g. doesn’t seal the deal for one particular viewpoint.

    I know we are not going to come to agreement – you are firm in what you believe, and I am rather committed to a fluid position (a quarky cosmology if you will!) until such time as irrefutable evidence is presented in one direction.

    Sorry if I seem a bit uncharitable ~ as I reread this post, I could have been gentler in some ways, but I have to go mow the lawn!

    • Kathy said, on July 15, 2009 at 3:50 am

      Steve, it blows my mind that you can say that “God has spoken truly” and then say that you cannot take the Bible literally for the first few chapters of Genesis. Seriously.

      This isn’t a point of time “confining” God — just taking what He said as truth, rather than bending and contorting plain language to fit a new theory — and one which has significant problems even from an evolutionary standpoint. If you read long enough, you’ll see that even the most avowed evolutionists and Big-Bang proponents come up against impossibilities in their theories, and basically say, “We don’t know how… we just know that evolution MUST HAVE HAPPENED…” when really it is just an assumption. They just assume that sometime, eventually, somebody will come up with a theory to reconcile their current atheistic ideas to scientific facts, or to come up with a better atheistic model in the future. But, really, if you look at what they say — stripped of high-falutin’ scientific jargon designed to conceal rather than reveal the truth — you’ll find that belief in evolution takes as much faith as special creation. Actually, more faith, imo.

      Although you seemed to ignore the links I put up, I will give you one more: 101 different evidences for a young earth, from various disciplines including astronomy, radiometric dating (it’s more than just C-14, btw), biology, geology, and human history.

      You’re just flat-out wrong when you say that “the best science we have indicates the universe to be billions of years old.” What we have is a group of scientists who have a deep and almost fanatical belief that there is no God, and can be no God, or if there is a God, He must be kept out of “science” at all costs. And this article shows how that a top proponent of evolution and a former professor is just fine with using false data and disproven theories in textbooks (such as the false drawings of embryos supposedly showing human embryos going through a “fish” or “frog” or whatever stage), as long as it gets kids to believe in evolution.

      Oh, and here’s a list of prominent creationists from the present and the past (including such no-names as Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler), along with links to articles demonstrating a suppression of evidence and also bias against creationists simply because they don’t toe the evolutionary line. In fact, one of the creation scientists in this list, whom I know personally, said that either he or a fellow creation scientist he knew submitted a paper that was rejected because it slightly accepted creationism, so he edited the paper to remove the offending word, sentence, or paragraph, and the paper was accepted without any other alteration. Basically, the modern scientific tyranny seems to be this: “Creation is not science; therefore, anyone who believes in creation is not a true scientist.” Kinda hard to get published when you’re not a “true scientist,” even if you have all the qualifications and doctorates for being published, simply because you don’t hold to the evolutionary dogma.

      But more to the point of the post — mixing the Genesis creation account with atheistic evolution — you can read more about the problems with that here.

      Oh, and I just quickly scanned your post — I didn’t say that the speed of light was different elsewhere in the universe — just that it’s not always at a constant speed. That may include it being one speed here and another speed at another point in the universe; but that’s not what I thought when I read it, nor what I meant to imply. Just that it’s not a constant, which means that it may have been faster or slower in the past, and we have little or no way of knowing if that’s true, since we didn’t exactly have a video camera set up with a timer on it to record past events.

      • Steve M said, on July 15, 2009 at 12:09 pm

        I did look at the links you included in your previous post. As to one of the links you provided here: I checked out the Creation Ministries International site and noticed the prominent list “Scientists alive today* who accept the biblical account of creation”. I would tend to not even read on such a site – and here’s why.

        Whoever controls the content on this site is essentially saying – if you are not a young earth, literal 6-day creationist, you don’t accept the biblical account of creation. That is neither correct nor gracious, nor even an intelligent way to write. I don’t like discussing such things with people who will not accept what I say I believe – but rather impose their categories on my opinions and are done with it I don’t think I want to take the time to explain how some old-earth and non-6 day individuals view the creation account in Genesis, as there is absolutely no chance you will change your view.

        That is one major difference between us – I am open to arguments from all comers, and willing and ready to change my view if I am convinced. That is what lead me to my position today. As it turns out, whether I have articulated it or not, I am undecided – and am comfortable with a wide range of views as is my church, though the elders tend toward young earth, and all are, to my knowledge. By the way, it’s nice to attend a church where matters relating to cosmology, the gifts, eschatology and other controversial matters are treated with openness and humility.

        The caveat for me is that God has spoken truly. Of course that sets off alarm bells for you because ‘God speaking truly’ can only mean we interpret the creation account with your hermeneutic. There is no other possible interpretation than yours – correct me if I’m wrong.

        Can you back up this statement with substantive and deeply thoughtful writing from scientists?:

        “You’re just flat-out wrong when you say that “the best science we have indicates the universe to be billions of years old.””

        I am not aware of the ostensibly overwhelming evidence that the universe is young, and haven’t read any such evidence, but I sure would like to. I’ve heard a couple debates that involve creationists, and read a few facts written here and there that do lead to thoughtful consideration, but not anything conclusive.

        • Kathy said, on July 15, 2009 at 3:15 pm

          My daddy used to say, “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” I think that is a wise saying. There is a time for open-mindedness; but there is also a time not to be “blown about by every wind of doctrine.”

          We have discussed this in some length before, so this discussion is getting a bit tiresome. Let me go back to my first reply to your original (a year ago) first comment.

          The Bible teaches that “For as in Adam, all die.” How do you reconcile the evolutionary notion that death reigned NOT “from Adam to Moses” (as Paul says somewhere in Romans) but from the time of the primordial soup until Adam, with this Biblical teaching? Or do you not believe that there were millions of years of evolution and death prior to Adam’s existence? How do you reconcile (or do you?) the clear Biblical teaching that God created Adam as a unique creation, an adult male, from the dust of the earth, with the evolutionary proposition that humans descended from animals by a long, slow process of small changes accumulating over time? — and that the first “true human” was somehow born to a pre-human hominid?

          Also, how do you reconcile the Biblical account that the stars were created on the fourth day, with the Big-Bang Theory that stars existed prior to the existence of the earth itself?

          In short, how do you read the Genesis account, if not literally?

          Onto the CMI website — you may consider them to be close-minded, but perhaps you should be a bit more open-minded about them. The whole point of their website is to give scientific evidence of literal Biblical creation. They do speak at some length (in some of the books I have, plus other articles which you can look up — look for the name Hugh Ross, as one example) of theistic evolutionists who try to reconcile the Genesis account with the Big Bang Theory and millions of years of evolution, and show the problems with that, which are, naturally, exactly the problems from atheistic evolutionists who believe the Big Bang Theory and millions of years of evolution.

          Here’s an analogy that shows what your position appears to be: I present you with a website from notable doctors who all claim that smoking is detrimental to your health, and you criticize them for being close-minded for not having doctors who claim that smoking is either benign or possibly beneficial on occasion. Is it really being close-minded if they’re right? Of course not. It’s being logical and accurate. It would also make no sense to say, “We strongly believe that the literal Genesis account is true, and we have these proofs or evidences (for a young earth, for a young cosmos, against an old earth, against an old cosmos, against “goo to you via the zoo” evolution, for special creation), and we think that people who try to mix the literal Biblical account of creation with the atheistic evolutionary account of the origins of life are just wrong, and fail both on the “theistic” and the “evolutionary” arguments… but since we’re so nice and open-minded, we’ll allow them to post on our website, and say that they believe the literal Biblical account of Genesis… even though they don’t.” You see the problem here? I understand that you seem not to see any problems with reconciling the Biblical account to the atheistic evolutionary account; but there are actually huge problems with it — and those that I consider to be insupportably huge. I’ve listed two in this comment, plus two in my original first reply to you, which you never took up. The doctors and scientists on CMI also believe there to be fatal errors in theistic evolution — if you explore the website a bit more you will see even more — so why should they invite and welcome those whom they to be fatally wrong? In the name of “open-mindedness?”

          Here’s another problem with your complaint about CMI not being “open-minded” enough to include non-literal accounts of Genesis — you said yourself that you would tend not to read them. What is this but close-mindedness on your part? Perhaps you need to give them and their scientific objections a chance, rather than just continuing to steep yourself in atheistic or theistic evolution. C’mon — be open-minded yourself! 🙂

          As to your last paragraph — keep reading the links I provided in my last response, because at least one of them was to a list of articles that dealt with problems with an old-age universe and an old earth. Problems which are insurmountable for the current Big-Bang models. Scientific evidence against the Big Bang and against a universe billions of years old. Plus, I also linked to some in my original responses in our old conversation. If you choose not to read the evidence against your position, then you can remain willfully ignorant of such evidence, and there’s nothing I can do to elucidate.

  22. Steve M said, on July 15, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I wouldn’t read CMI because they have already shown their colors by their determination that their interp of Gen 1 is the only one that can possibly be biblical; the implication of course is that you are a heretic if you don’t believe what we believe. I don’t respect that approach – it disourages real and open discussion, and builds walls with non-christians needlessly. This is the same type of nonsense that so many denominations put out there. My suspicion is that you feel the same about your denomation as you do about your cosmology, but I hope I’m wrong. Undoubtedly you consider C.S. Lewis a dangerous author because he is so broad on so many such issues.

    If this is a hill to die on for you, then stand you will. I have 5 or 6 hills of my own, but this is no longer one of them. I was on that same hill a couple decades back.

    Your analogy was humorous, and a good metaphor for how I view your position on these matters. If you wish to be fair and objective, why not reverse the positions – you’re presenting me with info from notable doctors who say smoking is good for me….and so on. And I don’t respect your authorities any more than you respect mine.

    I don’t agree with the hermeneutic that the bible must always be interpreted literally unless that is impossible or exceedingly difficult. It just may not be that simple, although it might be easiest if we can just take that position and be done with it. And please don’t go to the “but if we say that, then we can’t be sure about…” argument. Just because a particular viewpoint, if taken, makes bible interpretation even more difficult, does not disprove the viewpoint – it simply makes our job trickier.

    Has it occurred to you that the author of Genesis may have had a different primary goal in mind than a literal, propositional explanation of creation? Have you seriously considered that your hermeneutic may not match Yahweh’s? Is it possible that our western minds in 2009 may be really missing a lot of what was intended by the author from a vastly different time and culture? Have you thought about the possibility that God WANTS it to be somewhat obscure and somewhat cryptic so that we will continue to think and search and wonder? Or does your belief system require that he works through authors in such a way as a child can always get it, that he is required because of our personal beliefs to always lay all the cards on the table?

    As to your last paragraph – instructions to keep reading the links etc – I would be curious if you are continuing to search out and read opposing viewpoints. I disagree that there are insurmountable problems for the Big Bang model. I would suggest that the evidence is against you at this point.

    Yes, this is getting a bit tiresome. I am currently debating with some atheistic evolutionists who don’t like my injection of God into the equation, nor my scathing indictment of evolution as Darwin propounded, and I think my time is better spent there. Additionally I have a life to life – family, ministry, soccer coach, etc, etc, same sort of list you have. This is your blog, I give you the last post.

    • Kathy said, on July 17, 2009 at 2:08 am

      From this CMI webpage:

      [part of a letter which the CMI author is taking point by point] In sum: while the YECs’ over-all schema concerning the age of the Earth may be correct, it is possible that they are wrong. And we ought not to assume that those who question their interpretations are anti-Bible. Moreover, we cannot simply decide to trust one man’s interpretation of Scripture (say, Archbishop Ussher’s calculations) and say, “He is right, and whoever comes to a different conclusion is a scoffer and an infidel!”

      [The CMI author’s response]: We don’t say these things. YECs do not say that OEC proponents, as persons, are anti-Bible infidels and scoffers. What we say is that OEC interpretations of Genesis 1–11 are not exegetically defensible and that OEC hermeneutics in Genesis 1–11 cannot be consistently applied to the rest of Scripture without seriously damaging or destroying the Bible’s teaching. And who is trusting any one man’s interpretation? The YEC interpretation is the overwhelmingly dominant view in the history of Christendom.

      And from another page, quoting evolution scientists on the problem with the Big Bang (which is why I say that it’s not based on the “best science” — it’s based on assumption):
      “Dr James Trefil, professor of physics at George Mason University, Virginia, accepts the big bang model, but he admits that there are fundamental problems:

      There shouldn’t be galaxies out there at all, and even if there are galaxies, they shouldn’t be grouped together the way they are.

      He later continues:

      The problem of explaining the existence of galaxies has proved to be one of the thorniest in cosmology. By all rights, they just shouldn’t be there, yet there they sit. It’s hard to convey the depth of the frustration that this simple fact induces among scientists.2

      This page, in the section just after these quotes, has another theory listed that sounds rather like what you mentioned in your original comment at the top — that of the theory of relativity bending or slowing down time or something, so that things that take extraordinary amounts of time can actually happen within a day or two of “earth time.”

      And then from this page:
      There are many examples where the dating methods give ‘dates’ that are wrong for rocks of known historical age. One example is rock from a dacite lava dome at Mount St Helens volcano. Although we know the rock was formed in 1986, the rock was ‘dated’ by the potassium-argon (K-Ar) method as 0.35 ± 0.05 million years old.9 Another example is K-Ar ‘dating’ of five andesite lava flows from Mt Ngauruhoe in New Zealand. The ‘dates’ ranged from < 0.27 to 3.5 million years—but one lava flow occurred in 1949, three in 1954, and one in 1975!

      What happened was that excess radiogenic argon (40Ar*) from the magma (molten rock) was retained in the rock when it solidified. The secular scientific literature also lists many examples of excess 40Ar* causing ‘dates’ of millions of years in rocks of known historical age. This excess appears to have come from the upper mantle, below the earth’s crust. This is consistent with a young world—the argon has had too little time to escape.10

      * If excess 40Ar* can cause exaggerated dates for rocks of known age, then why should we trust the method for rocks of unknown age?

      Another problem is the conflicting dates between different methods. If two methods disagree, then at least one of them must be wrong. For example, in Australia, some wood was buried by a basalt lava flow, as can be seen from the charring. The wood was ‘dated’ by radiocarbon (14C) analysis at about 45,000 years old, but the basalt was ‘dated’ by the K-Ar method at c. 45 million years old!11 Other fossil wood from Upper Permian rock layers has been found with 14C still present. Detectable 14C would have all disintegrated if the wood were really older than 50,000 years, let alone the 250 million years that evolutionists assign to these Upper Permian rock layers.

      These are just some of the thorny problems for big-bang and old-earth theorists to tackle.

  23. Kathy said, on July 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Actually, I enjoy C.S. Lewis — what I’ve read of him — primarily the Chronicles of Narnia, Surprised by Joy, and a few minor works.

    I think that CMI is just being strong, in a good sense, in what they believe, rather than being wishy-washy. Would that more Christians would be bold in what they believe! Not to say that it is always the right course of action to take — to say that we should shove “the truth” in people’s noses — we are to be “wise as serpents but harmless as doves” — but it makes no sense for them to say, “There is this great body of evidence” [which you refuse to even look at, unfortunately for you] “to uphold what Genesis literally says, evidence which we believe to be clear and convincing; but we want to be open-minded, so we’ll equivocate on our beliefs, so that we can have a big tent.” It would be like inviting a Muslim to speak about Allah during “Campus Crusade for Christ” or “Promise Keepers” or some other Christian organization or meeting.

    You really should read the book “Refuting Compromise” that I mentioned earlier. As well as read the many links I sent you about the problems of the Big Bang. You would not expect evolutionists to go trumpeting about the weaknesses of their pet theories, so you need to talk to those who are skeptics of the evolutionist position to find the weaknesses.

    Yes, I sometimes read pro-evolution things, but evolution is not that big a deal to me; my hobby is birth, so that tends to take up most of my spare time. I do read things that are antagonistic to my opinion in birth, for the purpose of finding weaknesses in my own stance.

    There’s no point in repeating myself, but just in case anyone scrolls down to the bottom w/o reading most of the above, I will reiterate: two main problems arise from discarding the literal interpretation of Genesis and substituting theistic evolution — that is, accepting the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe over the course of billions of years, and a gradual change from inanimate matter to a single cell which eventually gave rise to all forms of life over the course of millions of years — and that is, the problem of death prior to Adam’s sin (while Romans declares death to be as a result of sin), and the formation and existence of stars billions of years ago, prior to the existence of the earth, which is directly contrary to the Genesis account.

  24. Steve M said, on July 15, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Yeah, I was going to be done posting. Kathy, I grew up espousing the young earth position, and held it through college and beyond. To say that I refuse to look at the great body of evidence is just not the case. I did mention I didn’t want to look at CMI’s stuff, though I did peruse some of it. You might consider using less hyperbole or generalization when making such claims about someone else.

    You know as well as I there are viable arguments and explanations about the 2 problems that you mention above. Clearly, they are arguments you don’t buy, but they do exist.

    Gotta say, I’m intrigued by the statement ‘my hobby is birth’!

  25. Kathy said, on July 15, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    In a previous statement, you said that “the best science we have shows that the universe is billions of years old,” and I brought up several links that show distinct problems with the theory that the universe is indeed billions of years old — that there are things that ought to exist and be quite numerous, perhaps, if the universe is as old as they claim (but don’t), and things that ought not exist (but do) if the universe is as old as the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution are true. Yet you continued to claim that you had yet to see evidence of such… so I naturally assumed that you refused to look at the evidence.

    Actually, I don’t discuss this topic with too many people, particularly those of a “theistic evolution” bent, and since this isn’t a high priority or hobby on my list, I don’t seek out theistic evolutionist sites to discuss it. Most of what I’ve read have been things like Heeren’s book, which don’t attempt to answer these questions, being concerned with other topics. You are one of the few theistic evolutionists I’ve actually encountered (perhaps the only one — most evolutionists are atheistic, so it has been pointless to discuss the Bible with them and the order of creation), so I have actually never had those questions answered.

    Here’s my main blog and that which takes up most of my spare time (in addition to reading other blogs, and emails, and other such stuff — mostly related to birth).

  26. Steve M said, on July 15, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Okay, I’ve been bad and read a bit on your Woman to Woman childbirth page, even though I don’t meet the criteria for reading it, and found it fascinating. Our 2nd out of four was born c-section, and I was deeply privileged to hold her for a long time after birth, as my wife was not doing well. We have mused about the possible effects that had on that particular daughter, who now is the supervisor for a ministry to older orphans overseas.

    BTW I don’t consider myself a theistic evolutionist – I am in a state of flux, and haven’t really landed. I probably present that point of view more strongly than I feel it. Maybe I’ll check back in a few years if this site is still here and confess my current state of belief.

  27. Kathy said, on July 16, 2009 at 1:05 am

    LOL — I don’t mind if you don’t mind! 🙂

    Some people are deeply committed to the idea that the way a baby is born and also treated in the first few days after birth has a profound impact on how s/he reacts to and looks at the world. It’s a pretty fascinating topic, and I can see arguments on both sides. Have you found that you felt more bonded to her than your other children, perhaps due to that long early neonatal time of holding her? (Just an informal poll.) Many people have testified that they feel closer and/or more bonded to their children based on these experiences — mothers who had an unmedicated birth versus a medicated one, or a vaginal birth versus a C-section; or fathers who attended their wives in labor, perhaps receiving the baby upon birth, versus not even being able to be in the room — that sort of thing. It’s especially curious to see this view from someone not a “birth junkie” — not necessarily the bonding, which I’m reading into, but just the effect of the C-section — and it lends credence to the idea.

    You may be interested in looking up studies on epigenetics and also Dr. Michel Odent (French obstetrician), who has spent some portion of his long career in exploring the possible long-term effects of prenatal, intrapartum (during labor) and early neonatal experiences on the baby. There is more than just a touchy-feely component to this, too — there may be strict scientific/medical justification for this — the interplay of hormones in labor that may serve to prime a baby to better respond to life stresses; the rhythmic contractions themselves may better prepare a baby for breathing; being squeezed through the birth canal may be yet another physical method of change or “priming”. Babies born by C-section may miss out on some of these things, that may be beneficial.

    Ok, gonna stop! That’s the problem — I could type for hours on subjects such as this. And do — which is why I have so many blog posts! 🙂 But I will force myself to stop. Feel free to read as much as you want to in my blog – I’ve actually got a post brewing in my mind from some links I’ve recently read, about this whole topic. I probably won’t write it for another week or two, but it could be quite interesting.

  28. Paul said, on July 26, 2009 at 4:31 am

    This appears to be a two person running dialogue between Kathy and Steve. Hopefully, my interruption will be well received.

    I stumbled upon this blog when performing a search on Fred Heeren and his book Show Me God. It has been several years since I read the book. My recollection is that the major thrust of the author is to unite two concepts that the majority of people, both believers and unbelievers, think are mutually exclusive – that God created the heavens and the earth and that the big bang accounts for the origin of the universe. His conclusion, which he has a logical progression to arrive at, unequivocally confirms that the only way the universe exists based on the observed measured evidence (albeit from generally secular atheistic scientists – much to their frustration) is that God created it.

    I believe the debates about evolution, the fossil record, radioisotope methods of dating, biogenesis theory, etc. are distinctly separate issues. The focus of this book is cosmology. In fact Mr. Heeren apparently originally intended to write three sequels to address some of these subjects. Unfortunately, to this point these books are at best still forthcoming.

    Kathy, from what you have written this controversy boils down to two opposing positions: either the universe is billions of years old as secular scientists aver or the earth is 6000 years old according to a literal rendering of the Bible.

    I believe that the universe is several billion years old and I believe in the literal 6 day creation account in Genesis. These are not contradictory.

    The only science in which I will indulge in this discussion is the nature of time. Clearly, we understand from the work of Albert Einstein that time is relative, hence the title of his thesis being the theory of relativity. So, while the perspective of man on the earth is that several billion years have elapsed, the perspective of God is that same interval of time is six days.

    However, I believe it is better to go to the Biblical account in Genesis 1 because people can debate science indefinitely. I have several points that hopefully I can unify into a cohesive line of reasoning.

    What transpired on the first day of creation? The emergence of light (verse 3) at the command of God. The heavens and the earth are a distinctly separate creative act. I say that for a couple of reasons.

    First, from an exegetical standpoint the creative acts of all of the other days begin with “Then God said…” Why would the first day be any different?

    Secondly, verse 2 implies that something happened to the original creation of the heavens and the earth. That verse literally reads “The earth became chaos and vacancy.” Because the earth became chaotic and vacant implies that originally it was ordered and not vacant.

    God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Something occurred that led God to bring judgment against this primeval creation. This would necessarily require some unspecified amount of time to occur. Therefore, Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 are not contiguous; rather, there is a gap between them.

    Sin did not originate with Adam. It began with pride in the heart of Satan. By Genesis 3 Satan had already fallen. Whether the fall of Satan is connected to the earth becoming chaotic and empty is not certain. Surely judgment from God could bring death to any creatures that were part of this primeval creation. Scripture is otherwise silent on this matter.

  29. Kathy said, on July 27, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Paul,

    Welcome to my blog! (You get extra points for using “aver” in a sentence — it is a favorite of mine, but so rarely used.) 🙂

    You are right about the “separate issues” of the book — that this book is primarily cosmology (about the Big Bang), with things relating strictly to earth (fossils and all that) are beyond the scope of the book. Yet, Heeren does introduce it in the final chapters (the last time I read it was right before writing the initial post, so it has been a year and a half for me as well), confirming as truth what anti-theistic scientists say about the history of the earth (as they do of the history of the universe)… except sliding God in edgewise, imo. But the necessity of accepting what “scientists” say about the Big Bang also requires the acceptance of millions of years on earth and evolution, just like the atheists say (but “sugar-coated” with God). They are separate issues but joined, because with no need for long ages of time for the universe the need for long ages of time on earth likewise disappears; and vice versa.

    I can agree to a point about the theory of relativity. There are some 6-day creationists (and by “day” I mean 24 earth-hours, not long ages of time being as a day in God’s economy of time) who also have theories that run along this line — that time slows down as you approach the speed of light, so it could be only a day or a few days here and billions of years there. This could be accomplished by “God stretching out the heavens” which is said repeatedly throughout the Bible, both in the Creation account and in the Psalms. God exists outside of time, above time; so there is no need to say that it was “just a few days” for God even though it was millions and billions of earth-years.

    But you’re right — let’s not argue science, but Scripture. I am aware of the “gap theory” argument that the Hebrew word translated “was” in “…the earth was without form…” *could* be translated “became.” First, that appears strained — are there any eminent Hebrew scholars that choose that translation, other than those who are trying to force a space of millions of years in this space? Since I’m not a Hebrew scholar, I will link to this pdf (starting at p. 4/13), which says:

    “5. It is grammatically impossible to translate the verb היה (hayah) as ‘became’ when it is combined with a vav disjunctive—in the rest of the Old Testament, vav + a noun + היה (qal perfect, 3rd person) is always translated, ‘was’ or ‘came’, but never ‘became’. Moreover the qal form of היה does not normally mean ‘became’, especially in the beginning of a text, where it usually gives the setting.

    “6. Also, the correct Hebrew idiom for ‘become’ is to attach the verb ‘to be’ היה (hayah), e.g. ‘was’, to the preposition ‘to’ (Hebrew ל le). The verb ‘to be’ does NOT mean ‘become’ without this preposition. Since Genesis 1:2 lacks the preposition, it cannot mean ‘became’.”

    Here is an online Bible that has a literal word-for-word translation of the OT which I’ve found to be quite interesting, and they translate it as “was” also.

    I don’t know that there is as much of a space or difference that you imply in the term “distinctly separate creative act.” First, I’m not so sure what you’re saying when you highlight, “Then God said…” and ask why the first day should be any different. The “then” implies a continuation of acts from one to the next (first I put on my shoes, then I tie them, e.g.); if there is a gap between Gen. 1:1 & 2, why is there not a gap between every other verse in the creation week as well? If you’re pointing out the difference between “God created the heavens and the earth” and then speaking various things into existence — i.e., why is it not said that God spoke and the heavens were created — I will point out Gen. 1:20-21, in which the creation of birds and other creatures are said twice — once by God speaking them into existence, and another time it said that He created them. Obviously, these are not two separate acts, but two slightly different angles of recording the same act. It is obvious from verses like this, as well as various NT passages in which Jesus, the Word of God, is said to have been the Creator of the world, and that the universe was formed at God’s command (Heb. 11:3), that God’s speaking and His creation are basically synonymous.

    The Hebrew PDF that I linked to before goes on to undertake the passage usually translated “without form and void” (or something similar). You are requiring that the word “formless” be translated as “chaos” or “chaotic.” That is one possible translation of the term, but it is not necessarily the “literal translation” of it. From what I can tell of the usage of it in the Bible (Strong’s concordance usage of it) “place of chaos” is next-to-last on its possible usages, while “empty” and “formless” are the top ways to translate the word.

    So, if the verse does not (indeed, my source linked to above says it *cannot*) literally read “became”, but rather must be “was,” the original creation must have been created, not “become” formless and void:

    “7. The Hebrew phrase tohu va bohu ( תהו ובהו ), translated ‘without form and void’ in Genesis 1:2, is claimed by gap theorists to indicate a judgmental destruction rather than something in the process of being built. But tohu occurs several times in the Bible in which it is used in a morally neutral state, describing something unfinished, and not yet organized, but not necessarily evil. Hebrew scholars and the church have for centuries taken the view that Genesis 1:2 is not a scene of judgment or an evil state created by the fall of angels, but a description of the earth in its undeveloped state. The plain and simple meaning of what Moses says is that on the first day there was a mass covered by water, with no dry land involving features such as hills (tohu = ‘unformed’), and no inhabitants yet (bohu = ‘unfilled’). The following verses simply describe the forming and filling.”

    Let me give you my rendition of your view, and see if it is accurate — if there are any inaccuracies, let me know, so that I can better understand your view:
    At some point billions of earth-years ago, God ignited the Big Bang which went as atheistic scientists teach, forming stars and galaxies and so forth, eventually forming also our own galaxy, solar system, and planet. God may have had a hand in this, but it was primarily just natural systems at work. At some point in earth history, God created an earth system which Satan corrupted, leading to millions of years of death and destruction (as evidenced by the fossil layers). Then, starting at Gen. 1:2, God re-created the earth in six earth-days, pronouncing it “good” and “very good.”
    Is that an accurate assessment?

    Problems I have with that — other than the eisegesis required as opposed to exegesis — include the following objections:
    1) It still has the formation of the stars, sun and moon much prior to the Biblical account of their creation on day 4, and in conjunction with the light they now produce, as opposed to separate, which is how the Bible describes them.
    2) God called His completed creation not just “good” but “very good”; yet you say that just beneath the surface of Eden lay the bones of destroyed carnivorous animals (which I assume God created sometime after 1:1 and before 1:2). This, in effect, calls death and destruction “good” or “very good,” since God was pleased with His creation when He completed it. It also implies that Satan and his rebellion were also contained within the “good” creation that God saw.
    3) The fossil record shows numerous animals that are identical (and many other that are very similar) to animals that currently inhabit the planet, or only recently became extinct. If the animals in the fossil record which were (you say) destroyed because of Satan’s rebellion — if they are identical to the animals created in Gen. chapter 1, why did God destroy them in the first place, only to recreate them exactly the same? God did not completely start over with Noah’s flood (do you accept the straightforward interpretation of the Flood?), but instead saved a remnant of man and animals alive to repopulate the earth. Why not save a remnant of the “gap” world’s animals alive to repopulate the earth after destroying Satan’s evil?
    4) Why would God not have completely destroyed all remnants of Satan’s evil on the earth — including the millions of years of fossil remains — if He were starting over? God gave the earth and all the animals to man to rule over. Why would He give man an already fallen world? — which is what you imply by saying that God just covered up the evidence of the millions of years of death and destruction by putting a beautiful Garden on top of it.
    5) Sin did not originate with Adam — Satan is the “father of lies” as Jesus said. But God did not put Satan in charge of the earth — he put Adam in charge. Romans 5:12 is crystal clear on this point — sin entered into the world not due to Satan, but due to “one man’s sin” — i.e., Adam. Eve sinned before Adam in eating the forbidden fruit, but it wasn’t until Adam likewise sinned that “the eyes of them both were opened.” And in Gen. 3, God cursed the ground, not for Satan’s sake, but for Adam’s sake.
    6) Judgment from God certainly can bring death to any creatures that are in the way — just as Noah’s flood killed millions of animals who had not “sinned” like men sin. But is it not a better interpretation to say that Scripture is silent on the matter of a “primeval creation” because there is no such thing?

    Here is another interpretation. Genesis is straight history (with a little prophecy here and there, of course). There was no primeval creation; no gap. God created the earth formless and void, and then formed it (by calling the dry earth together into one place), and filled it (by creating the various plants and animals and man). The creation was called “very good,” which implies to me that there was no sin at all in whatever God created. At some point after that, Satan rebelled against God and was cast down to earth, where he deceived Eve, who then gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, who ate it. [This was probably in quick succession, since God commanded the perfect couple to “be fruitful and multiply.” They likely would have been at least as fertile as currently normal (unless the frequency of the human female cycle was speeded up as one of the curses of the fall), yet they obviously did not conceive a child prior to their sin (because he would have been as perfect as Adam was; yet all humans are Adam’s seed and sinful). So, Satan’s “window of opportunity” is likely at most to be 4 weeks.] Adam’s sin against God thrust the whole creation (everything under his purview) into sin, which is why it is now “groaning and travailing” waiting for the redemption and the restoration into perfection.

    Sorry for the length of the reply, but I’m wordy. {shrug} Also, I think it is important, so I’m willing to go into depth on this topic.

  30. Paul said, on August 3, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Kathy,

    I guess I am the new Steve M.

    I appreciate your forthright response. Let me comment on your numbered items first. I will try to be more succinct (try is the key word).

    1. I believe the sun, moon and stars were part of the initial creation, “bara” in the Hebrew, of the heavens and the earth of Genesis 1:1. I believe When God judged the primeval order, their light was obscured from the surface of the earth. Scripture is silent on how this judgment was physically accomplished. My conjecture is that a sizable meteor struck the earth, raising up a substantial amount of sediment, blotting out the life giving life of the sun, that led to the ice age. Once the sediment began to settle, light was able to penetrate. Initially, this was the light of Genesis 1:3; as the process progressed, the sun, moon and stars could later be distinguished as distinct entities as depicted in Genesis 1:14. In Genesis 1:14 the sun, moon, and stars are “asah” in the Hebrew; they were designated by God as “signs” (among other things). I believe this matter of serving as signs refers to Mazzaroth (Job 38:32) to provide God with a witness before the recorded word of scripture was given (Romans 10:18). The story of salvation is found in the Hebrew zodiac (aka Mazzaroth). The word zodiac originates from the Hebrew word “sodi,” meaning the “way.” This was known by the ancients as evidenced by the Sphinx, which has the head of a woman (Virgo – the virgin who gives birth to the Messiah) and the body of a lion (Leo – the Lion of the tribe of Judah who returns triumphantly in judgment). Later Mazzaroth was bastardized by the idolatrous nations beginning with Nimrod and the tower of Babel (tower of the heavens). A good reference for this can be found in a book by the late Dr. James Kennedy.

    2. Having the creation of Genesis 1 placed upon the imperfect but dead primordial order is not inconsistent with spiritual truth. In fact it is congruent with it. Do not we as believers have the dual nature of the flesh with the spirit, the imperfect with the perfect. Will not the incorruptible resurrect from the corruptible (1 Cor 15:42)?

    3. Admittedly, I do not have much response to this point. The reason again is because scripture is silent about this primeval creation. The only reason I can conjecture for the silence of scripture is that just as the things of this world will be remembered no more in the eternal state (Isaiah 65:17), so God has blotted out the memory of this initial creation state. I could expound down a rabbit trail on this point later if you wish.

    4. I believe my comments in #2 apply here as well. Why doesn’t God after our justification through grace by faith take us immediately to glorification? Why do we have to mess around with the process of sanctification?

    5. For the most part I agree with you on this point. I do not think there was any significant time lag between the moment Eve ate the forbidden fruit and the moment Adam indulged. On a separate note scripture describes Satan as the ruler of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Cor 4:4). I believe he has attained this by virtue of being the usurper. That is why Jesus Christ, as incarnate man, is our kinsman redeemer for the fallen race of Adam (Revelation 5:5).

    6. I have three responses to this. First, I want to give you an analogy. The word “trinity” is not found anywhere in scripture, yet without a shadow of a doubt we believe in the triune nature of God because of what is inferred in scripture. Secondly, according to your reckoning, when did Satan fall? When did he utter the six “I will” statements of Isaiah 14? Thirdly, the reason for the layout of the creation week is to serve parabolically for the redemption of mankind. Admittedly, I am not well versed in this subject; it is my father’s passion (I’m sure he would correspond with you in more detail if you would like). Originally, we were created perfectly like the creation of Genesis 1:1. Once sin entered the world we were as the creation in Genesis 1:2 without form and void. Then God while we were yet sinners sent His Son, the light that shines in the darkness (John 1:5). I won’t do justice to this concept, but the sixth day concludes with God breathing life into Adam, just as He bestows eternal life upon us before we enter His eternal rest, the sabbath.

    Now let me respond to your rendition of my viewpoint. You are correct except for one point. I do not believe that God “may have had a hand in the process.” He most certain had to carefully and specifically direct the process. In particular it is impossible for this process to have occurred spontaneously. That is what frustrates secular scientists. Because the scientific evidence indicates that there is a beginning, if they are intellectually honest, they have to admit that there is a creator. Let me explain why, and I will use RC Sproul’s argument and expound on it. Dr. Sproul presents his reasoning from a philosophical viewpoint; I add a scientific twist.

    There are only three possibilities for anything to exist
    1. It always existed
    2. It was created
    3. It created itself

    The “big bang” (I personally don’t like that term because of the negative connotations associated with it) effectively rules out option 1. It implies a beginning. I believe that was the principal point of Fred Heeren’s book. To assert a beginning affirms a creator. Dr. Sproul quotes the Latin maxim “ex nihilo nihil fit” or “out of nothing nothing comes.” If the only possibilities remaining are option 2 or 3, option 2 is the only logical conclusion. He argues based on the philosophy of ontology that it is impossible for something to create itself because it would have to exist before it was.

    Here is the way to restate that from the perspective of physics. Scientists can extrapolate back to the singularity. Great. The obvious question is where did the singularity come from? Dr. Sproul recounts listening to a renown secular cosmologist on the radio while driving one day, describing how at the instant of the “big bang” the universe exploded into existence, and he was so stunned that he nearly crashed his car. For the universe to “explode into existence” is impossible. The first law of thermodynamics states that the energy of the universe is constant. The law was modified with the theory of relativity to say that the total sum of matter and energy in the universe is constant. Energy and matter can be converted into one another, but their sum total is a fixed amount. Therefore, the problem with saying that the universe “originated” from the big bang is impossible. That attempts to assert that nothing existed, then in the instant of the big bang everything existed. That violates the first law of thermodynamics. So, the “big bang” resulting in the heavens and the earth as secular scientists would lead people to believe is not a matter of being very unlikely, with a probability of 1 in 10 to the nth degree, it is impossible. To arrive at their conclusion the fundamental nature of matter and energy has to be violated.

    So, as believers, we aver (I had to slip that one in again) that God created the heavens and the earth “ex nihilo,” or “out of nothing” as scripture says in Hebrews 11:3. We do not presuppose that everything came from nothing. That is an absurdity. We presuppose God, the eternal One, as the origin of all that exists.

    So much for being succinct.

    God bless,

    Paul

  31. Kathy said, on August 8, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Paul,

    Let me break up and intersperse the comments so we don’t have to go back and forth between the various lengthy comments; my previous comments are in bold and yours are in italics.

    1) It still has the formation of the stars, sun and moon much prior to the Biblical account of their creation on day 4, and in conjunction with the light they now produce, as opposed to separate, which is how the Bible describes them.
    1. I believe the sun, moon and stars were part of the initial creation, “bara” in the Hebrew, of the heavens and the earth of Genesis 1:1. I believe When God judged the primeval order, their light was obscured from the surface of the earth.
    You first have to give Scriptural proof or evidence of there being a judging of the primeval order.

    Initially, this was the light of Genesis 1:3; as the process progressed, the sun, moon and stars could later be distinguished as distinct entities as depicted in Genesis 1:14. In Genesis 1:14 the sun, moon, and stars are “asah” in the Hebrew; they were designated by God as “signs” (among other things).
    Your take on the zodiac is neither here nor there — an interesting theory, and quite possible. But there is no difference in the account of God speaking the light into existence or the sun, moon, and stars into existence, and Him speaking plants and animals into existence. Why do you not say that these things were already there, but merely came to be seen as the light that filtered through as the sediment illuminated the earth? Why do you accept the creation of plants, animals, birds, and creeping things by God on the days they were said to take place, but say, “Well, the Bible says that God spoke and it was done, but I think they were already created, and it just appeared on the earth that way”? There was no human observer for this (Adam wasn’t created until the 6th day; there weren’t any animals of any kind, either, until the following day at the earliest), so we “only” have God’s word as an eye-witness account for this. There is a difference between God creating something and something just becoming visible to… what? the trees and flowers? Finally, supposing you’re rendering of the words of the Creation account are accurate — what should God have said to have indicated a 6-day (24-hour day) creation, creating light on the first day, and the sun and other heavenly bodies on the 4th day?

    2. Having the creation of Genesis 1 placed upon the imperfect but dead primordial order is not inconsistent with spiritual truth. In fact it is congruent with it. Do not we as believers have the dual nature of the flesh with the spirit, the imperfect with the perfect. Will not the incorruptible resurrect from the corruptible (1 Cor 15:42)?
    Yes, but notice vv. 50, 52 & 54 particularly of that same chapter — flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and “we shall be changed,” and “death is swallowed up in victory” — not merely covered over with dirt to be uncovered at a future time and obscured — but “utterly vanquished, forever” as the Amplified Bible reads.

    Skipping point 3…
    4) Why would God not have completely destroyed all remnants of Satan’s evil on the earth — including the millions of years of fossil remains — if He were starting over? God gave the earth and all the animals to man to rule over. Why would He give man an already fallen world? — which is what you imply by saying that God just covered up the evidence of the millions of years of death and destruction by putting a beautiful Garden on top of it.
    4. I believe my comments in #2 apply here as well. Why doesn’t God after our justification through grace by faith take us immediately to glorification? Why do we have to mess around with the process of sanctification?
    Well, God obviously has His own purposes to work out “for good” for us — as Paul said, “whether to depart and be with the Lord, or to stay here for your benefit” [paraphrase]. Also, though we are saved and justified, we still have the sin nature with us [“O wretched man that I am!”] which was due to Adam’s sin, through which the world fell. Again, I will emphasize that it was not through Satan’s sin, which is what you presuppose for there to have been a pre-creation creation.

    5) Sin did not originate with Adam — Satan is the “father of lies” as Jesus said. But God did not put Satan in charge of the earth — he put Adam in charge. Romans 5:12 is crystal clear on this point — sin entered into the world not due to Satan, but due to “one man’s sin” — i.e., Adam. Eve sinned before Adam in eating the forbidden fruit, but it wasn’t until Adam likewise sinned that “the eyes of them both were opened.” And in Gen. 3, God cursed the ground, not for Satan’s sake, but for Adam’s sake.
    5. For the most part I agree with you on this point. I do not think there was any significant time lag between the moment Eve ate the forbidden fruit and the moment Adam indulged. On a separate note scripture describes Satan as the ruler of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Cor 4:4). I believe he has attained this by virtue of being the usurper..

    I *think* I agree with you on this point, but just to clarify my position on this point, since it seems to be at odds with other things you have said: God put man in charge of the world; when man listened to Satan’s lies instead of God’s truth, God cursed the world for Adam’s (not Eve’s, not Satan’s) sin. Since man listened to Satan, that allowed him to usurp man’s previous, God-given position in the world, and Satan became the ruler of this world. But note that this assumes that prior to man’s sin, Satan was *not* ruler of the world, which seems to be what you are saying by insisting on a primeval judgment between Gen. 1:1 & 2.

    6) Judgment from God certainly can bring death to any creatures that are in the way — just as Noah’s flood killed millions of animals who had not “sinned” like men sin. But is it not a better interpretation to say that Scripture is silent on the matter of a “primeval creation” because there is no such thing?
    6. I have three responses to this. First, I want to give you an analogy. The word “trinity” is not found anywhere in scripture, yet without a shadow of a doubt we believe in the triune nature of God because of what is inferred in scripture.
    Yes, but I can point to numerous verses that say that the Father is God, Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. I cannot point to other verses which indicate anything other than that the world was made perfect and man screwed it up; I cannot point to anything that implies or gives reasonable inference that there was a creation before the creation.

    Secondly, according to your reckoning, when did Satan fall? When did he utter the six “I will” statements of Isaiah 14?
    Well, I think that the fact that God made the creation “very good” (in His own eyes, and you know He has the highest standards), that Satan could not have fallen prior to the end of Creation Week. It is entirely plausible that God made the angels during the week of creation as well, although their creation is not specifically noted; yet they must have had some beginning — when that is, is conjecture.

    As to your second question — I have long thought that the idea that the “light-bearer” is Satan prior to his fall, is inaccurate. If you read the context, it makes the most sense to have this speaking in metaphorical language of the Babylonian king — since the context is most clear that it is a prophecy (telling the future, not the past) about Babylon. Metaphorical language is often used in prophecies — see Israel’s prophecy about his sons, as an example — it certainly doesn’t mean that Judah changed into a lion’s cub, but just that he was *like* one in some ways; likewise, the king of Babylon did not literally “fall from heaven” but was predicted to fall from his lofty place as the powerful ruler of much of the known world. Which is exactly what happened. The remainder of the prophecy also literally happened to Babylon (the notes I have in the Bible at my side specifically mentions v. 23 as evidence of that).

    But even if I’m wrong on that point, I would still say that when God said that everything He made was “very good,” He meant it; therefore Satan’s fall had to happen after that pronouncement but before Eve could conceive. It wouldn’t necessarily take long — it does not, in fact, take long to sin. It’s usually a very short time!

    Thirdly, the reason for the layout of the creation week is to serve parabolically for the redemption of mankind…
    That’s an interesting parable — I’ve never heard it before. While I would be loathe to “sell God short” in His ability to put such types and shadows in parable form in the Old Testament, I’m equally loathe (perhaps more so) to interpret plain words in a figurative way, when a literal interpretation has been given and works just as well. [I’ve heard that some men preach that when David picked up 5 smooth stones on his way to kill Goliath, that those correspond to the 5 points of Calvinism. That’s an example of reading far too much into Scripture. Yet Paul and/or the writer of Hebrews make many inferences that are not readily apparent, so I do not necessarily dismiss such out of hand, just because they’re not explicit in the NT.] However, the Law of Moses states that the Israelites were to rest because of the pattern of Creation week — just as God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th, so they were to.

    I will point out that if you are correct in your assertion that God created the sun, moon and stars with the Big Bang, prior to the “primeval judgment” which blocked the light of the sun and stars until the sediment began to settle, then that leaves God doing no work on days 1 & 4, which messes up the pattern that Moses said was the basis of the Sabbath — namely, that God worked each day for 6 days, then rested.

    The rest is an argument from science, not Scripture. I will point out that numerous Creation scientists look at the evidence the secular scientists (who insist on there being no God, or if there *is* a God, He’s not allowed to interfere in the physical realm) put forth to explain the universe, the age of the universe, the age of the earth, etc., and point out numerous flaws, fallacies, hypotheses, and baseless assumptions on which they build their anti-Biblical worldview. You can go to creation.com to read more about the evidences for a young earth & young universe, and evidences against an old earth/universe, as well as numerous other fact-filled articles. Considering that all of these assumptions are built on the presupposition that there is no God, I would be even more hesitant to accept their interpretation of the evidence as fact, rather than accepting the plain truth of God’s Word. As I said earlier in this comment — if the account of creation says what you say it says, what would it look like if God intended to teach a literal 6-day creation?

    Finally, what do you believe the Bible to teach about Noah’s flood? Most people who accept long ages of the earth/universe, either from a strictly anti-Biblical view or a theistic evolutionist (or theistic Big-Bang) perspective, don’t accept a literal worldwide flood that destroyed everything except what was on the ark. What is your view?

  32. Paul said, on August 8, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Kathy,

    There are several rabbit trails to potentially go down, but permit me to characterize my position. With respect to what I perceive that secular scientists propose as the origin of the universe and life I have three principal points of contention:

    1. I disagree with any assertion that implies that the “big bang” resulted in the universe “exploding” into existence for the reasons I have already emphatically delineated that first, this contradicts Genesis 1:1, John 1:3, Colossians 1:16 and Hebrews 11:3 and secondly, this contradicts the first law of thermodynamics. The big bang does not refute the existence of God; it confirms His existence as Creator.
    2. I disagree with the theory of biogenesis that asserts that a “reducing atmosphere” resulted in the formation of amino acids, simple sugars and lipids, which were the building blocks from which life spontaneously originated. I believe only God can breath life into the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). Scientifically, this claim is impossible as well. When an organic compound is formed from a solution of inorganic salts, the product that is synthesized is a racemic mixture containing equal amounts of dextro and levo stereo isomers. However, in living creatures the ammo acids, sugars, and lipids comprise only one of the two possible types of stereo isomers. The stereo isomers have exactly the same physical properties: density, freezing point, boiling point, etc. The sole property in which they differ is the rotation of a polarized beam of light passing through them. The only way to separate the stereo isomers in a racemic mixture is to precipitate them with an already optically active solution of a different compound containing entirely all dextro or all levo isomer. Therefore, the reason all amino acids in the human body are L-ammo acids is because God created them that way. The same is true for D-glucose. It is impossible for all amino acids in the human body to be the L-isomer or all glucose molecules to be D-isomer spontaneously, based on the second law of thermodynamics.
    3. While the theory of natural selection is reasonable in limited circumstances (for example the varying pigment of moths in different geographic regions), I disagree with the assertion of the extrapolation of the theory of natural selection to rationalize that human beings evolved from primordial slime. That is ridiculously laughable. Species always produce “after their kind” (Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25).

    However, when Carl Sagan says that the big bang occurred “billions and billions” of years ago, I can reconcile that reasonably in my mind with the literal creation account of Genesis 1 including holding to a literal 6 day creation based on the dilation of time understood from the theory of relativity. Or if some paleontologist claims that dinosaurs roamed the earth 100 million years ago, I can reconcile that with the gap theory of Genesis 1:1-2, which is also referenced in Jeremiah 4:23. I can reconcile the existence of light as well as evening and morning on day 1 even though the sun, moon and stars are not presented until day 4 with how I have already described the judgment of a primeval order. I personally do not find that to be a huge distortion of the text, and it leaves no contradictions in my reckoning.

    What do you believe is the source of light in Genesis 1:3? In Genesis 1:5 the light is associated with day and the darkness with night. According to your reckoning the sun will not be created until day 4.
    .
    Ultimately, whether the universe is 6000 years old or 6 billion does not change our salvation in Jesus Christ and is not a vital doctrine worth causing division in the body of Christ. I believe it is healthy to discuss these matters to help us prepare an apology. But as my Pastor Chris says, this issue is not a hill I am willing to die on in debate. I am not trying to be wishy washy. I know what I believe about the creation and why I believe it, but in my opinion its importance does not supercede unity within the body of believers. Alternatively, if someone denies the deity of Jesus Christ or His crucifixion or resurrection, I will defend those truths to the death.

    With that being said let me give you one more example to provoke you to once again consider the possibility of a gap by getting you to agree on the existence of a gap elsewhere in scripture which is not readily apparent in the text. I hope you are familiar with the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. Suppose you and I lived in the year 100 BC, and we were discussing that prophecy. In this scenario I tell you that there will be a “gap” between the 69th and 70th weeks of that prophecy that would encompass a duration of at least 1900 years. You look at me incredulously and tell me that there is no way to infer any gap of time in that text. Yet, we know now that gap certainly has occurred and continues on “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Romans 11:25). In fact it is because of that gap that you and I exist and that we have any opportunity for redemption in Christ Jesus. The gap in the prophecy in Daniel 9 does not confirm the gap in Genesis 1, but it does indicate that a gap may exist even when the Holy Spirit does not make its presence overtly obvious.

    I believe in a literal world wide flood that destroyed everything except what was on the ark. God designated the rainbow as His promise that never again would there “be a flood to destroy the earth” (Genesis 9:11). To assert that the flood of Noah was a local phenomenon and not a global catastrophe effectively calls God a liar. Since that promise was given there have been numerous devastating regional floods. The only way to rightly read that passage and preserve the integrity of God and the Noahic covenant is to affirm that the flood was a world wide phenomenon. Notice, though, that God did not promise not to destroy the world again in the future. The promise is specific to destroying the world by flood. 2 Peter 3:6-7 states that Jesus Christ will judge the earth with fire just as God judged the earth with the flood.

    God bless,

    Paul

  33. Kathy said, on August 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Paul,

    I agree that the secular scientists’ adherence to their best theories of the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life on earth and the beginning of man’s existence ultimately fail. You seem comfortable in pointing out that the theories are ultimately fallible while still holding onto them by injecting God into the mix; I believe that the theories are ultimately fallible and should be scrapped.

    However, when Carl Sagan says that the big bang occurred “billions and billions” of years ago, I can reconcile that reasonably in my mind with the literal creation account of Genesis 1 including holding to a literal 6 day creation based on the dilation of time understood from the theory of relativity.
    We can agree that the Theory of Relativity can come into play to reconcile the apparent billions of years of starlight with a 6-day creation approximately 6,000 years ago. Creation.com which I’ve previously mentioned has several creationist theories along these lines that they are exploring. One of them includes the phrase repeated numerous times in the Bible about God “stretching out the heavens”, which may imply the mechanism for the stars being billions of light-years away, yet the universe being only 6,000 or so years old.

    Or if some paleontologist claims that dinosaurs roamed the earth 100 million years ago, I can reconcile that with the gap theory of Genesis 1:1-2…
    But you don’t have to. That’s my point. There is plenty of evidence which suggests that dinosaurs did not die out 65 million years ago — one of those evidences being that there have been dinosaur remains found (and other remains that are supposedly millions and millions of years old) that had soft tissue remaining in/on it, which could not possibly have lasted millions of years. Yet, instead of revising their theories — or if I may say, their dogma — on the timescale of the earth and of dinosaurs in particular, they try to come up with some alternate (and fantastic) explanation for how red blood cells and tendons could have survived for millions of years.

    You see, this whole long-age earth and universe started with the “principle of uniformity”, in an effort by anti-Bible scientists to do away with God, and particularly, the God of the Bible. In a stroke, they did away with the global flood (because there aren’t any other global floods), and insisted upon slow and gradual changes as the way everything came about — at first, the layers in the dirt (such as those clearly seen in the Grand Canyon, for example) which they said, “It takes a year to lay each layer, so let’s count the layers and see how many years this outcropping took to form.” But that’s a faulty premise; and known formations — such as what happened when Mt. Saint Helens erupted 30 years ago are evidence that massive layers can be laid down in a matter of hours or days, and then a channel cut through in a matter of another few hours, days or weeks, but looking like like it took “millions of years to form” based on uniformitarianism — provide unimpeachable *eye-witness* evidence that it did not have to take millions of years for the Grand Canyon and other features to form.

    But because they have the Principle of Uniformity set in stone, they base all dating methods on that — if there are fossils in lower layers, the lower layers “obviously” are millions of years old, therefore all fossils in those strata are likewise millions of years old. Then because those fossils are millions of years old, when they occur in other strata, that dates those layers to the same time period. Circular reasoning, it’s called. Then they come up with various ways of dating, but it all depends on the starting assumptions, which may be wrong; and when there are multiple dates given for the same sample material, only the ones which fit the preconceived dates are allowed. Scientists have taken samples of lava from known volcanic eruptions (in Hawaii and places like Mt. Saint Helens, which are only 20-60 years old, and we know this because of the eye-witness accounts), and had them dated by the radiometric dating methods, and have come up with dates ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of years old. Yet they’re only 20-60 years old. Which makes the dating methods themselves suspect.

    the gap theory of Genesis 1:1-2, which is also referenced in Jeremiah 4:23. I can reconcile the existence of light as well as evening and morning on day 1 even though the sun, moon and stars are not presented until day 4 with how I have already described the judgment of a primeval order. I personally do not find that to be a huge distortion of the text, and it leaves no contradictions in my reckoning.
    I think you are incorrect on your reading of Jeremiah 4:23 — latching onto the statement of “I looked at the earth, and it was formless and void” and saying, “See! This is talking about the creation! And look — there was judgment then.” The context is the destruction of Jerusalem — Jeremiah is seeing in a vision and is pronouncing a prophecy that Jerusalem and the whole country will be laid waste. The context includes **people** — men — who were not created until day 6, well after any supposed gap inserted between Gen. 1:1 & 2.

    Also, I will reiterate that the Bible says that God *created* the light on day 1, and *created* the sun, moon, and stars on day 4 — not merely that they were *visible from the earth* at that point. So, yes, I find that to be a distortion of the text.

    What do you believe is the source of light in Genesis 1:3?
    God. Perhaps the first visible manifestation of the Son of God (“in Him was light” and various other verses which speak of God being light). Whether it is light emanating in a visible form from the person of God, or merely light shining on the earth from no physical body — just to prove that God can make light shine from nothing, just as He can make the world from nothing — is not said. My conjecture is as good as anyone else’s.

    Ultimately, whether the universe is 6000 years old or 6 billion does not change our salvation in Jesus Christ and is not a vital doctrine worth causing division in the body of Christ… Alternatively, if someone denies the deity of Jesus Christ or His crucifixion or resurrection, I will defend those truths to the death.
    Well, you will find without looking too far that numerous Christians have been led astray by both the old-earth/universe creationist compromise and the old-earth/universe evolution/Big-Bang theory. By the Christian compromisers by giving too much credence to the anti-Biblical teachings that they can see don’t coincide with the Bible; and by the secular scientists who exploit the weakness of the compromise position by pointing out that theistic evolution doesn’t hold water, Biblically speaking. Also, the secular scientists which most promote evolution/BB deny the deity of Jesus Christ and certainly deny his resurrection, and seek to lead others away from the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ. So, I think it is important. That doesn’t mean I’m judging you in any way; but I do think it is important. Many have made shipwreck of the faith, which is not to be taken lightly.

    As far as the “gap” in Daniel — actually, no, I don’t think there is a gap. I know that is popular in Christian teachings, but I think it is obvious from the context that the setting is the end of Jerusalem as a city (which obviously happened in A.D. 70), and Israel as a nation, special in the sight of God — that is now transferred to Christians of any nation. I think that God made an end of Israel, just as He said in Daniel, with no significant gaps — certainly not 1900 years+.

    I’m glad you believe in a literal world-wide flood. Would you not, then, expect to find tremendous evidence of catastrophe in the world, related to that? Yet, every time evidence is given of a catastrophe, you are willing to point to a primeval judgment, rather than the Noahic judgment. The Christian young-earth Creationist scientists that I am familiar with will point to the Flood as being the reason for the fossils and layers of earth, with no need for any Genesis gap.

    Secular and Christian scientists deal with the same data — but the interpretation varies widely, based on the presuppositions that they bring into the work — the “glasses” they are wearing, if you will. Evolutionists see millions of layers of dirt and see millions of years; creationists see those same layers of dirt and see them deposited in the course of the Flood year. What evidences of the Flood do you see that are definitely not evidences of the primeval judgment?

  34. Kathy said, on August 8, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Paul, just today, Creation.com posted this article which deals with the subject of “time dilation” and how that might have operated on Day 4 of creation, with “earth clocks” measuring 24 hours, while “star clocks” would measure billions of years.

    • Paul said, on August 9, 2009 at 4:00 am

      Kathy,

      I thought you would respond that God is the source of the light of Genesis 1:3. It is the only other possible logical solution. From the perspective of looking at the creation account as a parable depicting the fallen nature of man that I previously mentioned I agree that God is the source of the light, as He is the source of light of all men (John 1:4-9). However, I do not believe that the physical reality that leads to that metaphor indicates that God is the source of that light.

      If God is the source of the light, it makes Genesis 1:4-5 very awkward.

      God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

      From your rejection of the gap of Daniel 9 I presume you hold to a preterist view of eschatology. I would find that hard to understand coming from you, since you have emphatically exclaimed to hold to a literal view of scripture. Will not Jesus literally reign for 1000 years here on earth (Revelation 20:4)? Will not that reign occur at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation depicted in Revelation 4-18?

      I cannot accept that the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD fulfills the 70th week of Daniel 9 because I do not believe that all of the conditions of Daniel 9:24 have been fulfilled. Also, I cannot reconcile when the 70th week bagan and ended if the 70th week was fulfilled in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The fulfillment of the first 69 weeks is clear and mathematically exact with the interval of 173,880 days from the decree by Artexerxes in Nehemiah 2 in March 445 BC to the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday by Jesus Christ in April 32 AD, as delineated by Sir Robert Anderson over 100 years ago.

      In conclusion I believe when Messiah returns, He will disclose the precise truth about the timing of the origin of the cosmos and life (1 Cor 13:12). In the meantime I still maintain that this issue is not worth being divisive within the body of Christ.

      God bless,

      Paul

      • Kathy said, on August 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm

        I thought you would respond that God is the source of the light of Genesis 1:3. It is the only other possible logical solution. From the perspective of looking at the creation account as a parable depicting the fallen nature of man that I previously mentioned I agree that God is the source of the light, as He is the source of light of all men (John 1:4-9). However, I do not believe that the physical reality that leads to that metaphor indicates that God is the source of that light.

        If God is the source of the light, it makes Genesis 1:4-5 very awkward.

        There are actually three possibilities in saying that “God is the source of the light.” The first is that the light emanated from God. The second is merely saying, “God made the light without a need for a physical source.” Finally, and this is the most presumptive, and that is that “God made the light from a physical source, which source is now not exactly in existence.” Just as we might say, “God is the source of life,” — for indeed, He is — He created it and now sustains it; that does not preclude the physical ways in which God works to sustain life — oxygen to breathe, food to eat, sunlight for warmth, etc. We are not told exactly what the source of light is on day 1; yet we *are* told that God made the sun on the 4th day.

        In the Revelation, it speaks of there being “no more sun,” yet there being plenty of light. The same arguments for “what is the light?” in Rev. can be made for “what is the light?” in the early verses of Genesis. I again maintain that if the sun is the source of the light when God said, “Let there be light,” then that left no work for God to do on the 4th day, which means he then rested on that day, which breaks the type on which the 6-day work-week and the 7th day of rest that the Mosaic law was founded on. It also causes great problems with the language of Genesis, for the same words that speak of active creation of the plants and animals are used for the creation of the sun, moon, and stars on day 4.

        I recently watched one of these videos — “Hubble Bubble, Big Bang in Trouble,” and it mentioned a scientist (Halton Arpwho had a theory or hypothesis about the red-shift that is renegade to the current scientific understanding. He pointed out that many galaxies have pairs of quasars on either side of them (if the galaxy is viewed edge-on, like a plate, then it’s above and below), within about 20 degrees of vertical; and that these quasars have much higher red-shifts than the galaxies. Of course, the scientific community says, “Nope — Hubble Law requires these higher red-shifts to be farther away, so this is just an optical illusion, that they seem to be close and/or connected.” It’s tremendously upsetting to them, and they have their ways around this theory. Fair enough — I don’t have enough scientific knowledge to say one way or the other. Arp’s idea is that the higher red-shifts are not due to further distance, but to higher velocities. There are enough pictures, taken of both visible light, as well as X-rays and gamma rays, that do seem to indicate that these apparent galaxy-quasars clusters are indeed connected by bands of radiation or gas or star-dust or whatever, to lend credence to Arp’s ideas, and to make me question the scientific community’s response.

        I know I won’t do the explanation justice, which is one reason why I didn’t mention it before (plus I didn’t want to take this much time in an already-long response). Anyway, the idea was that a large quasar or group of quasars, “exploded” like fireworks to create galaxies, vertically blowing out of the center another pair of quasars, which may be “seeds” of yet more galaxies. The idea has merit, since most galaxies are actually galaxy clusters, and how would that happen (scientifically) if star/galaxy formation happened randomly from the Big Bang explosion.

        So, I wrote all that long explanation to say, that perhaps the source of the light was the grand-daddy of all quasars, and then when God made the sun, moon, and stars on day 4, He did it using the original light source, which He divided into galaxies and stars. (Just fyi, this isn’t what the scientist on the DVD said — it’s just my applying of what he said in a way that makes sense to me.) Then using either a special miracle (since He is not bounded by His own physical laws), or perhaps by “stretching out the Heavens” or by use of the Theory of Relativity and time dilation, or by use of white holes, he created the galaxies and stars within 24 hours of “earth time,” but it took billions of years in “star time.” So, when we look with huge telescopes into deep time, we may be looking back through time to the very week of Creation itself.

        That there is some gap in Daniel is allowable due to the breaking up of the “70 weeks” into portions. But note the context — “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

        If this is talking about an end of all sin from all humans and devils, then, no, this has not happened yet. But if this is talking about the downfall of Jerusalem (the holy city) and Daniel’s people (his fellow Jews, as a nation, special in the sight of God), and bringing both the city, the people, and their national sins (nullifying the law of Moses by the better sacrifice of Jesus) to an end, and “casting out the husbandmen” that said, “Let us kill the son/heir,” then, I can make a pretty strong case that this has indeed happened.

        I won’t get into eschatology & prophecy much, except to say that I do not insist on a literal interpretation for the poetic nor all parts of prophetic literature in the Bible. As I said before, “Judah is a lion’s whelp” does not mean that Jacob’s son Judah became a lion’s cub, nor does it mean he literally had a scepter between his feet from the time of the prophecy until “Shiloh came.” Nor do I think (from the poetic literature of the Psalms) that God is actually a rock, nor has wings and feathers like an eagle or a mother bird, nor physically has “everlasting arms” since He is a spirit. Some things are types, or meant to be understood figuratively.

        I look at some texts of the OT that pertain to Jesus, and think how confusing it must have been to the Jews of those centuries to think how all those prophecies which were seemingly at odds could fit together (for example, the Messiah was going to be born in Bethlehem, yet be a Nazarene, yet be “called out of Egypt” — seeming contradictions, but we can see the fulfillment of it in a way which gives great credence to the Bible, from a skeptic’s point of view.), and think that probably these prophecies which we wrangle over now did/will likewise fit together in a strange and beautiful way, that only God could have foreseen or made to happen.

        I will say that I am sympathetic to the partial preterist position, and find it to be quite literal (for instance, when Jesus said, “This generation shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled,” then the literal interpretation requires that those things were somehow fulfilled prior to the death of the people then living; and other similar passages, which most other interpretations render in a non-literal way); in some ways, it is *too* literal, which is why I do not fully accept it. Nor do I fully accept any other position — and I’ve heard pre-, post- and a-millennial positions preached, and know preachers who hold to each of those positions — preachers who are good friends and do not let eschatology separate them, though they each think himself to be right and the others wrong. My pastor for 20 years when growing up was pre-mil, so I am quite familiar with that position; my husband is a-mil, so I understand that one somewhat. Although we don’t discuss it too much. There are too many opinions and ways of looking at things that may have come to pass or may yet be future. We can have friendly conversations; and my favorite position is, “God wins; the devil loses — end of story.” I *know* that one to be true, regardless of exactly how that all works together.

      • Kathy said, on August 9, 2009 at 9:06 pm

        Oh, I got distracted from what I had meant to say in regards to taking the Bible literally. To recap right before the rabbit trail — there are some verses in the Bible which are metaphorical or poetic, and not to be taken absolutely literally. Most of these are obvious, some are undoubtedly disputed among well-meaning and very good Christians. However, history does not fall into this category, and that’s what I see happening when people try to make the Creation account figurative. I’ll reiterate that I’m not Hebrew scholar, but those who are have said that the first 11 chapters of Genesis are written like history, just like the remainder of the book, and also the other books of history (Exodus, Kings, Chronicles, etc.), and cannot therefore be taken figuratively. Some people deny the flood as a literal flood, saying it was merely metaphor; others say it wasn’t a global flood, but merely local — and they say this on the basis of making the historical language of these chapters of Genesis into figurative, metaphorical, perhaps poetic — anything but history. Hebrew scholars say that’s not allowed. Not for the flood account, and not for the Creation account.

        It is true that there are types and shadows, or allegories built into at least some of the stories in the OT — for example, Paul makes much of “the son of the bondwoman” (Hagar and Ishmael) vs. the son of the free-woman (Sarah and Isaac); also the story of the giving of the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai, in Hebrews becomes, “We are *not* come unto Mt. Sinai” [that fearful and quaking place] but we are come unto Mt. Zion. Both of these speak of being free from the Law of Moses. Undoubtedly there are other types we could draw from — Joseph forgiving his brothers, the ram caught in the thicket when Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac, etc. But they work as types, shadows and allegories because they really happened just as God said. Some people attempt to make everything in the OT that they don’t like into an allegory — “Well, that didn’t **really** happen like that — that was just a story they told for teaching purposes.” If it didn’t *really* happen the way it says it did, then that makes God a liar to include such stories as plain history (as opposed to parables, etc.) in the Bible. If it didn’t really happen, it fails as a type.

        So, short story long, that is why I insist on the literal meaning of the historical parts of the Bible. Poems and prophecies have more leeway. But history… either it happened that way, or it didn’t. If it didn’t, it’s not good enough to be a valid allegory, type, or shadow.

  35. Paul said, on August 9, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Kathy,

    I was discussing this with my 13 year old daughter, Marissa. She made a good observation worth sharing. She proposed in Genesis 1:4 that the separation of the light from the darkness could refer to the fall of Satan.

    Switching topics, I want to respond to something you wrote.

    “You seem comfortable in pointing out that the theories are ultimately fallible while still holding onto them by injecting God into the mix; I believe that the theories are ultimately fallible and should be scrapped.”

    I don’t believe that everything that comes from secular science is fallible and needs to be scrapped. To me that notion is untenable. Secular science has made numerous contributions that have benefited mankind. However, I disagree with their conclusions that attempt to deny the existence of God or invalidate His word, especially with the three issues I previously identified. The reason I outright reject these are first because they contradict scripture but also secondly because they are bad science. With that being said if scripture says one thing and secular science makes a completely contradictory claim, scripture trumps every time. I never begin with the position that secular scientists are correct and “inject God” into their theories.

    So when I contemplate this particular issue, the age of the universe, does the claim by secular scientists that the age of the universe is 20 billion years old directly contradict scripture? The next question is where in the Bible do Christians that advocate a young universe have the understanding that it is only 6000 years old? The answer that I have come up with is that the value of 6000 years is derived from taking events in the historical record of scripture with a definatively known date when they occurred and calculating backwards using the ages of the patriarchs. When I evaluate the conclusion that the universe is 6000 years old, it is valid only if the creation of the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1 occurs on day one of creation.

    With respect to scripture I believe I take it quite literally. That is why I cannot accept an amillenial view, no offense to your husband. The prophecy given to David in 2 Samuel 7 and reiterated to Mary by Gabriel in Luke 1 states that Jesus will reign on David’s throne. Jesus has not fulfilled that yet.

    Getting back to Genesis 1, when I exegete the text, I will get back to a point that I have already made. Days 2-6 all begin with “Then God said…” If that is applied to day 1, then the event of day 1 comprises the emination of the light which is separated from the darkness. The creation of the heavens and the earth of verse 1 would then be a creative act distinct from the appearance of the light in verse 3. To say that verse 1 is included in the creative act associated with verse 3 and that verse 3 is a continuation of that creative act breaks with the literary format of all of the other days 2 through 6.

    If that were all to the matter, it would be a weak position to propose a gap, but there is more.

    Notice that verse 3 never specifically says “God created light” but rather “God said, ‘Let there be light.'” Is this splitting hairs? Maybe. Or is the Holy Spirit specifically arranging the text of scripture to read a particular way?

    In the Hebrew there are two words used in Genesis chapter 1 associated with the creation account, “bara” and “asah.” Are these words just synonyms? I do not believe so. The only three events associated with “bara” are verse 1, verse 21 and verse 27. Otherwise, the word used is “asah” and is found more commonly in chapter 1 in verses 7, 11, 12, 16, 25, 26, and 31. To my reckoning “bara” means to create anew from scratch and “asah” conveys the idea of ordaining/specifically designing/proclaiming the intended purpose of/consecrating. So in verse 21 God “bara” the sea monsters… He made them from scratch. In contrast the literary structure of verse 25 does not state that God created from scratch the beasts of the field but rather that God ordained/specifically designed/proclaimed that the beasts of the field will procreate after their kind.

    This distinction is repeated in verses 26 and 27 with respect to the creation of man. In verse 26 God purposes/ordains that he will create man in His image and in verse 27 He follows through with the specific creative act. This is seen again in Chapter 2:7 where the creative act of man is repeated. In this verse a third word “yatsar” is used. This verb conveys the notion of forming or fashioning like a sculptor fashioning a piece of clay. So my take on Genesis 2:7 is that God fashions man from the dust of the ground, breaths life into him, and consecrates (“asah”) him as a living creature. I am probably not giving the best connotation of the word “asah” because I do not think there is a good equivalent word in the English.

    From this perspective I have made the statements that I have previously asserted in other posts. The other events of Genesis chapter 1 are not necessarily newly created phenomenon. The fourth day is not the creation de novo of the sun, moon and stars. They were created with the original creative act of Genesis 1:1. On the fourth day they were assigned by God to serve as signs (mazzaroth) and seasons. Therefore, the work done by God on the fourth day is not creating the sun, moon and stars, but the work is assigning their meaning and purpose. The work of the first day is assigning the purpose of the light to serve as the designation of day and the darkness to serve as the designation of night.

    In my opinion this makes the concept of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 possible if the phenomenon of Genesis chapter 1 are not a depiction of entirely new creations but rather in several instances only a reappearance of light to the surface of the earth, the germination of dormant seeds in the soil, etc., a reversal of the condition of being without form and void.

    In my opinion the Old Testament text is frequently abrupt in its transitions talking about one subject in one verse then completely changing subjects in the next verse. Specifically, an example from the Old Testament of a covert gap of time in the text is Isaiah 61:2.

    “To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn”

    When examining this verse there is no time gap that is overtly apparent. However, we understand now that a gap of at least 2000 years occurs in the middle of that sentence. My authority for making this claim are the words of Jesus Christ in Luke 4, who intentionally stopped in the middle of the sentence because the second half of the verse “and the day of vengeance…” alludes to His second advent.

    In conclusion could the universe only be 6000 years old? Sure. But it is hasty judgment to assert that individuals who hold to the notion of an old universe do not interpret the Bible literally or accept the conclusions of secular scientists as firm truths and then attempt to justify God and the biblical account in that context.

    Are there secular scientists who are enemies of Jesus Christ and His gospel and wish to sabotage the Bible as a book of quaint fables? Certainly. Could they perpetrate a deception which claims that the age of the universe is 20 billion years old when it is in fact only 6000 years old, a difference of seven orders of magnitude? I am not sure. Could their bias that the universe is 20 billion years old influence their interpretation of data to support their claim? Certainly. But it could also be equally argued that those who claim that the universe is only 6000 years old are prejudiced to interpret the data to support their position.

    Because the affects of the flood skew the findings in the geologic record I do not believe the evidence to determine the age of the heavens and the earth can be found in this venue. Fortunately, the flood will never be duplicated; the only unfortunate consequence is that any hypothesis derived from the geologic record will always remain only a hypothesis because the experiment to repeat the flood and double check the resuts is impossible to perform.

    Therefore, I believe if there is any firm evidence to determine the age of the universe, it will need to come from evaluating the heavens. The heavens would be unaffected by the flood. Could they have been affected in the fall? Perhaps. But the curses associated to the fall seem to be limited to the earth and those who dwell upon the earth. So my next step is to go back to Russell Humphrey’s book “Starlight in Time.” I read it shortly after it was released 15 years ago.

    Once again I want to emphasize that even if an unregenerate individual has an epiphany that the entire universe is not just a chance occurrence but that God created it all, that person is still doomed to hell without accepting God’s free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. It is one thing to believe that God is creator of the universe; it is a completely different matter to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

    God bless,

    Paul

    • Kathy said, on August 10, 2009 at 1:37 am

      “You seem comfortable in pointing out that the theories are ultimately fallible while still holding onto them by injecting God into the mix; I believe that the theories are ultimately fallible and should be scrapped.”
      I don’t believe that everything that comes from secular science is fallible and needs to be scrapped. To me that notion is untenable. Secular science has made numerous contributions that have benefited mankind.

      Let me clarify — I don’t believe that *everything* that comes from secular science is fallible and needs to be scrapped. Well, actually, if the meaning of “fallible” means “able to be wrong” or “able to fail”, then, yes, there is the possibility of anything man does or creates to be wrong; yet I do not think that everything from secular science needs to be scrapped. I was referring strictly to the theories we are discussing — namely, that of “historic” science, of things that happened in the past, such as the beginning of the universe, the creation of the world, and the creation of creatures including man. “Operational science” — which is what put man on the moon, gives us computers and cars and so forth — is an entirely separate thing. Operational science can be tested and proven or disproven; historical science cannot test events which do not repeat themselves. It’s actually more philosophy than science at that point, although still wrapped in the guise of science. “Science” as we know it (the Scientific Revolution starting around the end of the Middle Ages or so) began because of a return to believing the Bible — “I am the Lord, I change not” led believing men to recognize that because God didn’t change, there could be and *was* order in the world; that physical laws could and did exist; and that these laws could be understood by men. And these men were creationists. The foundation for science was not laid by evolutionists, but by people who believed in a literal 6-day creation and a 6,000-year-old universe. So, I don’t say “throw out all science” — not remotely! But I do say, there is a difference between operational and historic science; and although we can accept operational science, we don’t have to accept evolutionists’ interpretation of historic data to suit their presuppositions.

      So when I contemplate this particular issue, the age of the universe, does the claim by secular scientists that the age of the universe is 20 billion years old directly contradict scripture? The next question is where in the Bible do Christians that advocate a young universe have the understanding that it is only 6000 years old? The answer that I have come up with is that the value of 6000 years is derived from taking events in the historical record of scripture with a definatively known date when they occurred and calculating backwards using the ages of the patriarchs. When I evaluate the conclusion that the universe is 6000 years old, it is valid only if the creation of the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1 occurs on day one of creation.
      But the only literal interpretation of the remainder of the creation is for all the plants and animals to have been created after — not before — your alleged gap. There is no hint of there being any gap, for one thing; and for another, there is no hint of a pre-creation creation! Oxford Hebrew Scholar James Barr who does not actually *believe* Genesis, says, “…probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: 1. creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; 2. the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story; 3. Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.” So, if you’re going to find a gap, it will not be because the Hebrew says nor even suggests it. It is noteworthy that as many doctrinal and practical issues that have split or troubled Christians throughout the millennia, there was no argument among Christians about Genesis prior to the widespread acceptance of secular (and perhaps probably already atheistic/agnostic) scientists that the earth had been in existence for millions of years. Everyone believed in a literal 6-day creation and a young earth prior to the fiat issued by atheists that it took millions of years for layers of dirt to form. And they did that because they wanted to, not because it is science.

      The prophecy given to David in 2 Samuel 7 and reiterated to Mary by Gabriel in Luke 1 states that Jesus will reign on David’s throne. Jesus has not fulfilled that yet.
      “He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” Sounds like He’s already reigning.

      In my opinion this makes the concept of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 possible if the phenomenon of Genesis chapter 1 are not a depiction of entirely new creations but rather in several instances only a reappearance of light to the surface of the earth, the germination of dormant seeds in the soil, etc., a reversal of the condition of being without form and void.
      So, basically you’re saying that God created the heavens and the earth in Gen. 1:1 pretty much as we see it now; and then destroyed it for Satan’s sin, killing everything (or nearly everything), which things we now see as fossils that are indeed millions of years old. Then, when everything was basically destroyed, God built a second earth on top of the bones of the previous creatures. Some of the things, particularly the plant life, were not new creations, but were instead sprouts from the old earth. Possibly the same thing could be said of other things as well. So, life in Eden was pretty much like what was buried in the destruction of the pre-creation creation. Except that the fossils bear signs of carnivory (when Genesis is most clear that the creatures all were herbivorous); and also signs of many types of death and disease, including cancer and arthritis. So, if cancer existed in the pre-creation creation, and God pretty much recycled stuff from the pre-creation creation, then life in Eden was not perfect. Why, then, should it be lifted up as perfection?

      In conclusion could the universe only be 6000 years old? Sure. But it is hasty judgment to assert that individuals who hold to the notion of an old universe do not interpret the Bible literally or accept the conclusions of secular scientists as firm truths and then attempt to justify God and the biblical account in that context.
      The Hebrew scholar I quoted previously would disagree with you. And I maintain that you are accepting the conclusions of secular scientists as firm truths — like the compromising churches in the 1700s onward, particularly in the mid-1800s with the advance of Darwin. Prior to that time, NO ONE believed that Genesis indicated anything other than a young earth. Then churchmen became concerned that they were on the wrong side of “fact” and began trying various theories to fit the “fact” of millions of years into Genesis somewhere. Rather than disputing the interpretation of the layers of dirt, they capitulated to the supposed science which dictated millions of years. There is an alternative explanation — one that accepts both the literal interpretation of Genesis that existed for millennia prior to Charles Lyell and Charles Darwin — for the supposed millions of years. There is much data that do not support the atheists’ claims. The evidence they point to for millions of years of evolution, which you accept as millions of years of gap between the first two verses of the Bible, is evidence which creationists use to confirm the flood. While not everything can be scientifically tested per se, they can do small-scale experiments (testing lava of known age, for instance; or making a miniature flood in a tank and seeing layers of dirt form, and the automatic “sorting” of animals based on size and weight within layers of dirt, even though they were all dumped into sludge at the same time), and find that the flood that the Bible describes produces evidence which is consistent with what we see in the field today. In fact, there are numerous predictions evolutionists have made which have been falsified — for instance, they claimed that it took thousands or millions of years for Niagara Falls to form, but more recently it has been discovered that most of the gorge was formed in a short period of time.

      Therefore, I believe if there is any firm evidence to determine the age of the universe, it will need to come from evaluating the heavens.
      But most of the evidence you will be presented with is atheistic interpretations of data. Atheists that are firmly committed to the “fact” that there is no God, and there must be an explanation for everything without resorting to any deity. Atheists that refuse to see that “the heavens declare the majesty of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Everything — atheistic or creationist — will be, as you said, “prejudiced to interpret the data to support their position.”

    • Kathy said, on August 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Let me also point out (about the “bara” vs. “asah” question, and your contention that one implies creating from scratch while the other implies recycling from older materials), that the verses which describe God’s creation of man belies your contention. In the English, it says that God said, “Let us *make* man in our own image,” and then the next verse says that God *created* man — using both bara and asah to describe the same event. Different connotations, yes; but these verses seem to indicate that the two terms are used more synonymously than you seem to believe.

      • Paul said, on August 16, 2009 at 8:46 pm

        Just because bara and asah are used in succession does not make them synonyms. The Bible often has two adjacent statements which are unique. One example of this is Isaiah 9:6.

        Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

        human child
        Son of God

        God bless,

        Paul

    • Kathy said, on August 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm

      Therefore, I believe if there is any firm evidence to determine the age of the universe, it will need to come from evaluating the heavens. The heavens would be unaffected by the flood. Could they have been affected in the fall? Perhaps.

      Well, the Bible says that there will be a new heaven as well as a new earth, which seems to indicate that the current heaven is under the curse of Adam, since it will be destroyed.

      • Paul said, on August 16, 2009 at 8:39 pm

        I believe the heavens were tainted at the time of Satan’s fall and not Adam’s fall. That is why this is the first place Jesus Christ purges upon His second coming.

        Isaiah 34:5 For My sword is satiated in heaven, Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.

        God bless,

        Paul

        • Kathy said, on September 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

          Exodus 20:11 says, “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

          This certainly appears as if the stars, being among the things that are “in” heaven would have been made within the six day time-frame of Genesis, just like Gen. 1 indicates happened on the fourth day.

          Also, this plainly says that “all” that is in “earth” was made in six days (the Creation week), which would have to include the rocks and therefore, whatever animals have been fossilized in them, as opposed to your idea of some pre-Creation week catastrophe that happened trillions of days ago, over the course of millions and billions of days.

  36. […] untenable (despite the protestations of the theistic evolutionists I encountered after writing this post), but also to be intellectually untenable as well. It includes quotes from various atheists about […]

  37. Gary T. Mayer said, on October 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Kathy,

    I read your comments above on “Show Me God.” I can appreciate your comments because I am sixty-seven and have had many years to consider these things. In fact, I finally studied it for about eleven years and wrote a book on it because no one had answers that satisfied me. I found mathematical evidence from the genealogies that the descendants of Adam and Eve married into an existing human race. I found that a proper study of the Genesis Hebrew shows that this is what the Bible teaches. I also found that the New Testament does not contradict these findings. The name of the book is “New Evidence for Two Human Origins: Discoveries That Reconcile the Bible and Science.” Its on Amazon.

    Best Wishes,
    Gary T. Mayer
    Email: garytmayer@gmail.com
    Website: http://www.garytmayer.com

  38. Kathy said, on October 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    What a crock!

    • Gary T. Mayer said, on December 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm

      Kathy,

      I was very shocked when I read your reply–“What a crock!” I looked up this word to see what you were calling me. Websters says: “anyone or anything worthless, useless, or worn-out, as from old age.” I think you owe me an appology. You might want to check out what some others have said about my book:

      http://www.theologyweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=116770

      http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/07/evangelicals-and-evolution-selected.html

      “I find Gary T. Mayer’s book, ‘New Evidence for Two Human Origins’ to be the single best book that harmonizes a literal Adam and evolution.”

      Respectively yours,
      Your brother in Christ, Gary

      • Kathy said, on December 11, 2009 at 12:23 am

        I wasn’t referring to you personally, but your theory. And, I don’t need to check out what others have said about your theory, because I’ve read the Bible, and found nothing to support your idea of any created person prior to Adam. Also, there is no need to harmonize a literal Adam with evolution — you should check out creation.com for more information on that.

      • Kathy said, on December 12, 2009 at 1:16 am

        I did read a bit from the links you included, and saw that one of the things you base your theory on is the fast drop in lifespan after the Flood. Here is a different take (scroll down to the section titled, “Changes in the ageing process after the Flood”), which does not require an extra-biblical insertion of a group of short-lived people prior to Adam’s creation. If the Flood history as given in the Bible is correct, then the world was repopulated from a total of 4 couples. That’s quite a genetic bottleneck. Today, we know that close marriages (incest) can lead to certain genetic conditions (good or bad) becoming extremely prominent in the offspring. Starting with Adam and Eve, who had perfect genetics, there was no problem with their children intermarrying; but as time went on and the effects of the Fall became more pronounced (errors and mutations in the genetic code), close marriage eventually became a problem — so much so that God prohibited it in the Jewish Law. Because of the destruction of the Flood, it was necessary for first cousins (or siblings) to marry each other, being the only humans alive; but this bottleneck could have caused or concentrated a lot of genetic mutations, which might have increased the disease susceptibility, or accelerated the aging process, or in some other way shortened lifespans.

  39. richard said, on October 21, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I stopped reading about your Fred Heeren book review, after I realized that there are still millions of peole that still believe everything that is in the bible. Wake up ! the bible was written by human beings and was not dictated to them by any creator. If you believe what’s in the bible, you must believe in all the other fabrications conceived by the human mind’s imagination. Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, easter bunnies, etc.

  40. kay said, on November 11, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Good dicussions. May I through in another site to check just to add to the discussion…”Reasons To Believe”.

    Glad that most of the dialog is respectful.

  41. José Gerardo said, on December 1, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    TIME is diferent … Fred says that Time is a unmesurable problem… and i believe it so!

  42. Ron Coleman said, on January 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    There is really nothing in the Bible itself that requires a ‘young earth’ interpretation.

    • Kathy said, on January 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      Uh, you mean, besides the creation taking place in 6 days, with straight-forward historical language and a straight-forward historical genealogy from Adam (created on day 6) on down? Every Hebrew scholar of note says that a literal creation and literal 6 days and literal young earth are what is *meant*, even though they don’t believe that it is *true*.

      But I would ask you this — if the Bible did not intend to imply a “young earth” interpretation, what language *should* have been used to indicate millions of years, or whatever it is you believe?

  43. Steve M said, on January 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Read the Humphrey’s book “Starlight and Time.” Interesting. Can’t do the physic or math, but he’s the first guy from the young earth camp I’ve heard of that allows for an old universe (albeit not in ‘earth-time’ but in starlight time).

    Reminded me I’m a true hacker when it comes to this stuff. Hadn’t heard of white holes, and learned facts about black holes I didn’t know that are pretty basic, assuming he’s accurate. There’s probably a LOT of the story nobody knows yet – which is why I try more and more to err on the side of charity and not militancy in my viewpoint.

    • Kathy said, on January 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      I have since heard about this book and the theory, which is intriguing and would seem to fit the facts and evidence very well. You can read more about Humphreys and other articles and things he has written here on the creation.com website. God “stretching out the heavens” as is repeated several times in the OT is an interesting theory to reconcile stars being billions of light-years away while the created universe can only be several thousand years old, according to a literal interpretation of Genesis.

  44. David King said, on March 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    In his reflection on Genesis, the author makes a point of the usage of the word “day”. My copy was lost in a fire 10 years ago so I cannot be completely specific, but the phrase “in his day” sticks in my mind. Fred H. pointed out that in at least two places this is used when the passage clearly points to an epoch of time not a specific calendar day. He asserts that in a collection of epochs they need not all be of exactly the same duration, and are more likely defined by other characteristics related to what events were occurring therein.

    Taking this (to me) very reasonable viewpoint of the “days” of creation, the author goes on to show how the Biblical creation story meshes so well with what science has so far observed.

    If in fact the earth is 6.000 or 7,000 years old, as some assert, what are we to think about the fossil record? For it all to have accumulated in the time some imagine, the rates of deposition would have to have been immeasurably greater than any observed since we started writing things down.

    I take it as sure that God does not lie. He is Truth and the very basis of Truth. The analysis of genealogies is no less dependent on human assumptions and interpretation than the analysis of the physical record. We have to be very careful of putting restrictions on God or demanding His children believe in something of our own making.

    • Kathy said, on March 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      Certainly, we use the word “day” to mean more than a 24-hour period, but the context lets us know what is meant. If I said, “In the day of George Washington, adultery was punishable by fine or imprisonment,” no one would assume that I meant one specific 24-hour period, but rather that time period. However, if I said, “When George Washington was alive, one day there was a terrible earthquake,” no one would think that the earthquake went on for an epoch, nor the entire time George Washington was alive! [Nor that the earthquake lasted a whole 24 hours, even — just that on some specific day, an earthquake lasting a few minutes occurred.] The Hebrew is similar — although I’m no Hebrew scholar, I can refer to those who are. In fact, not one legitimate Hebrew scholar believes that the days in Genesis were meant to convey anything other than literal 24-hour time periods. Few Hebrew scholars believe in a literal 6-day creation, but they attest that a literal 6-day creation is precisely what is meant.

      What has “science so far observed”? They’ve observed fossils that were rapidly buried (many of them necessarily so, such as soft-bodied animals like jellyfish which disintegrate within a day of dying, and we see clear imprints of things like raindrops, footprints, feathers and scales; it is a reasonable inference for much of the rest, since decay and scavengers quickly degrade and eliminate dead bodies and bones today before they fossilize), and huge amounts of sediment. You’re right that current rates of deposition could not account for the amount of sediment that we see, but you’re not exactly right that it is “greater than any observed since we started writing things down,” considering the huge amount of upheaval and sedimentation that must have occurred with “the breaking up of the fountains of the deep,” and it raining 40 days and 40 nights, and water covering the face of the whole earth, with even the highest mountains covered. Noah perhaps did not “observe” it, being shut up in the ark with the rain pouring down, but it is a reasonable inference from the description of the Flood in the Bible, which was observed and written down. There have been creationists that have done experiments that showed that many fine layers of sediment can be laid down in a short period of time (rather than each layer taking a year and needing to be hardened); and also that dead animals will naturally “sort” in water and sediment, depending on their body type. It’s also natural to assume that slower and smaller animals would have a harder time getting away from the rising flood waters, so would have been caught and drowned, or trapped in mudslides from the rain, while larger animals could have made it to higher ground.

      Here is a link with numerous evidences for a young earth, for your perusal.

      I’m glad you believe that God does not lie. However, when you start taking the clear and literal interpretation of Genesis and start convoluting it by saying we shouldn’t believe the literal truth because “science” says something else happened, it sounds like you believe that the Bible is not accurate, and that God did in fact lie. When you say that God did not make the sun on the fourth literal day of time, then that sounds to me like you say the Bible is lying. Be very careful of putting human interpretations in place of what God has so clearly said, and believing something of your own making.

      • Steve M said, on March 12, 2010 at 12:40 am

        No one will think less of you if you don’t act like it is impossible that you could be wrong on any of this. Perhaps your acquaintances that share your viewpoint respond this way, so you can’t break out of their rigid way of describing other’s ideas – but you win no friends, and end up influencing less people because of the mildly demeaning tenor of your comments.

        I’m guessing there’s not a large following for this blog or more people would be responding, so it seems to me we should think of this as a reasonable conversation between a few friends, not a public debate before a large crowd, where hyperbole and acerbic comments play well to the crowd.

        • Kathy said, on March 12, 2010 at 12:51 am

          I do think of it as a reasonable conversation between a few friends; nor did I think my tone demeaning. I’m just being honest, and honestly defending the truth of the Bible as written, not as interpreted by those who want to read into it some alternate forced interpretation. Maybe I need to change my tone; I’m competitive by nature and nurture, so perhaps that seeps out when I don’t intend for it to.

          My blog stats are available at the bottom of the page and are currently around 32,000 hits. Whether that’s a lot or a few depends on who’s asking. Apparently, I have 2 subscribers through WP and 10 through Google Reader. Frankly, I think those numbers are low (compared to my other blog which has well over 200,000 hits and some 200 subscribers). This is just my blog that I write whatever I want to, which covers a variety of topics, from frugality to Christianity to politics.

          This post is also two years old, so probably dates to when I had no subscribers or nearly so.

          But, yeah, I get a bit irritated by people who believe atheists first and the Bible second, which is what it sounds like, in the typical comment from you and others who believe in an old universe despite what the Bible says, rather than because of what it says: “science has proven the earth is old, so we must reinterpret the Bible to fit that.” I present information that counters that dogma, if people choose to read it.

          • Steve M said, on March 12, 2010 at 1:44 am

            News flash: not all thinking Christians/Jews from time immemorial have subsribed to the young earth-young universe model.

            And to pretend that the Bible clearly says the universe is young is just not going to fly. It’s just not that simple. It MIGHT be, and one might think it highly probable, but it doesn’t HAVE to be.

            So, if the “people who believe atheists first” statement blows your hair back as you write it, it is your blog, after all, so you can of course write such silliness and it won’t get edited away.

            • Kathy said, on March 12, 2010 at 2:43 am

              Perhaps not all, but clearly most, until the uniformitarian concept became embraced by atheistic scientist, which caused church leaders to rethink what Genesis literally says (you know, the whole six day creation thing, with the chronologies down to Noah and then beyond).

              It’s my blog, but I haven’t deleted nor edited anything you’ve said. Nor anyone else on this post. What Biblical evidence do you have that the universe is old? Which Christian or Jew prior to, say, the 1800s believed that the earth/universe was old?

  45. Paul Dreyer said, on April 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Kathy,

    I wanted to write back to you about few issues.

    I have meditated quite a bit about this issue regarding the age of the universe, and I have reconsidered my position. A more accurate statement is that I have repented of holding to a claim of a universe that is billions of years old. I now affirm a young age of the universe. I readily acknowledge that God Himself in Exodus 20:11 clearly states that He made all of creation in six days. I also agree that there is much evidence, especially from the geological scientific arena, to support a young earth.

    However, previously my difficulty had been how to reconcile a young universe with astronomical observations that suggest that the universe is very old. Specifically, I could not grasp how some celestial objects were measured to be billions of light years away. God never lies (Titus 1:2), so to conclude that God created the heavens to appear older than they actually are seems deceptive to me, and I do not want to impugn God’s character. Perhaps these measurements could be off, but by six orders of magitude? I found that possibility to be highly unlikely.

    Dr. Humphreys may have the explanation in his book “Starlight in Time” that rightly resolves this paradox, but like Steve admitted above, I also lack the expertise in mathematics and physics required to quantitatively understand his theory. However, I do praise his efforts.

    The scientific observation for me that corrected the error of my reasoning which led me to challenge the Bible’s posit of a young universe is that the speed of light is slowing down, proposed by Australian physicist Barry Setterfield. When I recognized that the speed of light a few thousand years ago was more than a million times faster than it is today, I instantly understood that what appears to be billions of years required for light to travel from very distant objects to the earth only requires 6000 years to arrive here.

    The other issue on my mind is what inspired me to write back to you. What follows only comes after weeks of prayer and meditation.

    Your manner of responding to those that dare post on this blog is frankly offensive. Scripture explains that the gospel is offensive; that does not mean that when we correspond with others that we are to conduct ourselves offensively towards them. To the contrary, scripture admonishes us to be gentle towards others:

    Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

    Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

    For example, Gary Mayer wrote above that he was shocked at your harsh response. From the little he wrote I would also disagree with his statement; I believe it is impossible to label Jesus as the last Adam if Adam was not the first Adam. Be that as it may, the fact that I disagree with his statement does not give me license to ridicule him or belittle his theory. I agree with him that you owe him an apology, and I would encourage you to contact him to offer him one.

    My fear is that you will rationalize away this criticism. Somehow in your mind you will tell yourself that because you did not intend to be offensive that you are exonerated of any wrong doing. Plain and simple, Kathy, your treatment of him was sin.

    You may win a battle in an argument over the age of the universe (and I’m not sure that you have even accomplished that) but you will lose the war on spreading the gospel. That is ultimate tragedy.

    God bless,

    Paul

  46. Kevin said, on November 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Kathy,

    Some info you should know. Please send me an e-mail if you have any comments.

    ———————————————————————————————————–
    Atheists Beware—A Bona Fide Reason for the Existence of God
    ———————————————————————————————————–
    When one questions the greatest minds in astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., Albert Einstein, Steven Hawking) about finding a “Creator”, they could not propose a universe with no beginning, and found the task impossible. Show Me God is a scientific account of the cosmos written by Fred Heeren, Science Journalist, pointing directly to (a) God.

    In 1927 an astronomer by the name of Edwin Hubble was able to determine from distant red shifted galaxies, that they were all retreating from us at high velocities. One would think with so many possible origins, life’s got to exist on more than just earth. Hence the SETI Institute (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) came into being.

    To date, the search of exoplanets or any life at all, has turned up empty. Approximately 470 exoplanets (outside our solar system) have been discovered. According to Planet Quest: New Worlds Atlas, exoplanets found so far are a maximum of 300 light years from our sun, none are earthlike, and very few are in the habitable zone.

    What is called the “The Goldilocks Zone – NASA Science”, is the habitable zone around a star where temperatures demand the existence of liquid water. There no element is as flexible as carbon for making multiple varieties of complex compounds, in a medium that is perfectly suited to liquid water in which complex molecules can react with one another.

    “Habitable” specifically refers to planets which have the right temperature range year around—not gas giants, or planets orbiting in and out of the “Goldilocks” zone. In all, 12 major “bottlenecks” exist that block the road to intelligence on most planets. But, for some reason, intelligence on our planet seems special.

    But low and behold, a discovery by Francis Crick and James Watson found what SETI had been saying all along—the clear message of extraterrestrial intelligence. They found the code in 1953 that had been left on this planet 3.85 billion years ago, and were awarded a Nobel Prize. The code is embedded in each of our own cells. The cracked code was for Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid, or DNA – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    Minus the scientific code speak for DNA strings; all combinations specify a particular protein. Carbon, oxygen, and water were the tools. With a myriad of ‘ideal conditions’, and set rules (fastest speed of anything limited to 186,000 miles/sec), something was planned.

    From the proposed Drake Equation, where “N” equals the proposed number of technological civilizations in our galaxy [N=R(*) x f(p) x n(e) x f(l) x f(i) x f(c) x L] (p 49), to BETA [billion-channel extra-terrestrial assay], which scans over 2 billion channels every 16 seconds, we have gotten no response in 37 years since SETI started.

    A few other influences should NOT be overlooked:
    1) Assuming 10 billion years for the age of the Milky Way galaxy, there was at least 2000 chances for all additional civilizations (#16, p.48, Show Me God) to settle the entire galaxy. Italian physicist Enrico Fermi asks, “Where are they?” Hence, Fermi’s Paradox.

    2) Without Jupiter’s gravitational pull, comets/asteroids would strike earth between 100 and 10,000 times more frequently than current collisions with earth [George Wetherill/ Carnegie Institution]. Because many would be planet-killers, earth’s population would likely have ceased to exist.

    3) For civilizations 15 light years away, they should be receiving signals from TV shows transmitted by earth, such as “I Love Lucy”. Their signal to earth should be arriving back about now. We’ve received nothing.

    Logic demands a cause for all effects. The universe is such a large effect, that it demands a very great cause. The 20th century has brought us undeniable evidence that the universe did have a beginning.

    The widely believed Big Bang Theory dictated to Hubble that the velocity of any galaxy’s movement away from us is directly proportional to its distance from us. (p.152) This very precise linear relationship of distance to velocity (acknowledged by all modern astronomers) directly indicates a starting point for all galaxies in the distant past.

    Physicists tell us (p. 207) the proton is 1,836x heavier than the electron, and if it was much different, the required molecules would not combine, resulting in no chemistry, and no life. Fred Hoyle and N.C. Wickramasinghe‎: calculated the odds of all proteins necessary for life forming in one place by random events at 1/10^ 40,000 power—a number not in the realm of finite possibilities. (p. 227)

    Hawking wrote, “If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, the universe would have re-collapsed before it ever reached its present state.” A rate of expansion slightly faster than the critical rate would have dispersed matter too rapidly for stars/galaxies to form. (p.395)

    The Bible actually states several places that the dimension of time is something God fabricated for us, and that ‘time’ does not exist in heaven. Many earth creationists believe the universe is only 6000-8000 years old. But the word ‘day’ in the Bible could actually mean eons, or longer, to God whose existence is not measured in time. Amazingly, some of us humans still think in terms of what we can think of—not God.

    The universe being 13-15 billion years old, the distance to the farthest measured star is well over a million light-years out, all evidence point to the Big Bang as the beginning of the universe, a proton is always 1876x heavier than an electron for chemical combinations, existing ideal laws, Goldilocks zone’s 12 bottlenecks, Plank’s constant, electromagnetic and gravitational forces, fastest attainable speed (186,000 mps), Hoyle’s calculation for miniscule likelihood of formation of proteins necessary for life, and Hawking’s calculation for the universe not collapsing in on itself or expanding unconditionally, are only a few of the miracles occurring in our universe.

    With all these maxi-miracles already known to have occurred, likely due to an Intelligent Designer, you’d think God changing bread and wine into His own Body and Blood was child’s play.

    “Child’s play” is metaphorically speaking, of course.
    ————————————————————————————————————
    Kevin Roeten can be reached at roetenks@charter.net.

    • Kathy said, on November 14, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      If the Genesis story really means that God actually created the earth via the Big Bang and using evolution over millions and billions of years, what words should God have used, had He wanted to describe a creation that took only 6 24-hour periods?

      • Gary Jensen said, on April 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        Dear Kathy,
        In the middle of my last reply to you, just a few minutes ago, my message went somewhere into cyberspace. I hope it reached you. I just want to add that the scientific foundations for Big Bang cosmology are based on such a wide variety of observational data that it is not susceptible to being overthrown by skeptics. Please express an awareness of the fundamental facts supporting it before you so casually dismiss it as an atheistic plot. The Big Bang, to the contrary, is heavily damaging to atheism, not belief in the Bible.
        Sincerely, and in Christian encouragement, Gary Jensen

    • Kathy said, on November 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm

      Also, the Big Bang Theory has serious problems with it, as pointed out by multiple atheistic evolutionists. This is interesting.

  47. Dan said, on April 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Not as much as your beliefs are concern that makes Christians look like imbeciles. You do not have any degrees in geology, plate tectonics, genetics, astrophysicists, biology, cosmology etc. nor do you have any degrees in theology. To take the literal interpretation of the Genesis account in 6 days is ludicrous. You have been brainwashed. Do you know the original Hebrew text? A thousand days can be day, as mentioned in the Bible so if the reinterpretation of scripture could mean 6 periods etc. All you have to do is take the date of Noahs flood and calculated the number of Jews that would be around to build the great pyramids in Egypt. If you considered that the great flood wiped out all mankind in the flood and only Noah and his family was spared than there would only be a few hundred Jews around to build the pyramids in 2600BCE. It would require tens of thousands to build the pyramids so where did the Egyptians come from if the world was only 6000 years old?

    • Kathy said, on April 5, 2012 at 3:43 am

      I’m willing to look like an imbecile, if that means believing God’s Word rather than man’s theories and hypotheses.

      Do you have any degrees in geology, plate tectonics, genetics, astrophysicists, biology, cosmology or theology? If yes, please tell me which ones and from where; if not, then you have no more reason to complain about what I say that I have about what you say. Neither of us can perform scientific experiments to back up what we believe: we must take the experiments and knowledge of others, although we can look (somewhat) to see if what they say about things actually is true.

      Why is it ludicrous to take the literal interpretation of the Genesis account and 6 days of creation? You say I/we have been brainwashed, but what proof do you have of that? Do you realize that up until “science” determined that the earth was millions or billions of years old, that no single reputable Bible scholar believed that the Creation account meant anything but 6 literal days? And even now, Hebrew scholars will uniformly say that what is intended in the Creation account is six literal days, even if they don’t believe that the Bible is accurate, or don’t believe that that’s what it means? Here is an article that goes into it more. If you have a Bible scholar that believes it is otherwise, please link to them — but before you do, please verify their credentials, because most of the so-called Bible scholars who do not hold to a literal 6-day creation are not actually trained in Hebrew so are of no more authority in that matter than you or I.

      Please reread the Bible, before you say so blithely, “A thousand years can be a day”. When are we to take “day” literally as a 24-hour period, and when are we to take it as some thousand-year period? Was Jonah in the belly of the sea creature for 3,000 years? Did the original Passover week take 7,000 years? What the Bible says is that God is outside of time, and time does not mean the same to Him — 1,000 years is **as** a day TO HIM!!, and a watch in the night when it is over. What it is meaning is that these long expanses of time that seem so great to us are nothing to him; it does NOT mean that we get to reinterpret every (or any) passage of “day one”, “day two”, etc. as meaning “a thousand years” or even more.

      If there was a global flood as described in the Bible, then all people except Noah and his family died, and the Egyptians came after the flood. In fact, the Bible calls one of Noah’s grandsons “Misraim”, who is the person the Egyptians trace their ancestry back to. I do not necessarily accept the dates of the building of the pyramids. This article goes more in depth on the problem with current dating of Egyptian historical artifacts. This article doesn’t go into it in depth, but another problem is that the current chronology has all the Pharaohs as being consecutive, when there is evidence that many of them ruled together — either as co-regencies of father and son, or two dynasties ruling different parts of Egypt. According to Biblical chronology, the Exodus must have been around 1447 BC, rather than 2600 BC, and the flood would have occurred somewhere around 2300 BC. Read these two articles [here and here]; I will quote from one of them:

      …data from the Bible (Genesis 10,11) shows that the population grew quite quickly in the years immediately after the Flood. Shem had five sons, Ham had four, and Japheth had seven. If we assume that they had the same number of daughters, then they averaged 10.7 children per couple. In the next generation, Shem had 14 grandsons, Ham, 28 and Japheth, 23, or 130 children in total. That is an average of 8.1 per couple. These figures are consisent with God’s command to ‘be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’ (Genesis 9:1).

      Let us take the average of all births in the first two post-Flood generations as 8.53 children per couple. The average age at which the first son was born in the seven post-Flood generations in Shem’s line ranged from 35 to 29 years (Genesis 11:10–24), with an average of 31 years,7 so a generation time of 40 years is reasonable. Hence, just four generations after the Flood would see a total population of over 3,000 people (remembering that the longevity of people was such that Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth, etc., were still alive at that time).8 This represents a population growth rate of 3.7% per year, or a doubling time of about 19 years.9

      If we continue with that doubling time, and if Abram lived about 500 years after the flood, then were about 17 more doublings; if there were only 10 (perhaps death, disease, famine, war, or reduction in the number of offspring per couple made it take longer to double the population), that would still be about 1.5 million people on the earth at the time of Abram (although there could be 7 more population doublings, if average fertility remained high and death from unnatural causes remained low). Abram lived over 100 years, so by the time he had Isaac, there could have been another 5 doublings, but if it were only one or two, there would have been 3-6 million people at the time of his death — as a conservative estimate, and very likely more.

  48. Mark M said, on March 25, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Kathy, a book you would enjoy, and I recommend to any readers of this blog, is “Should Christians Embrace Evolution”, subtitled “Biblical and Scientific Responses”, edited by Norman Nevin.
    Getting back to the subject of this blog article, Fred Heeren’s book, is something that has saddened me. I enjoyed his book for much of its content, but there are no subsequent volumes unfortunately. And the reason is, that Fred has been converted to agnosticism, if you will. He has accepted that what some scientists believe, has refuted thoroughly what God has said. God will be proven true.
    It was much the same in the garden. God said that man would die if he ate the forbidden fruit. The serpent said not so. The scientific evidence, to Eve, was that the fruit seemed good in every way. She believed her eyes rather than God’s word. Scientific study and observation is always a good thing; but the devil is in the interpretation of those observations, figuratively speaking.


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