Affirmations on Creation for Classical Christian Educators

I am submitting this to you all for a little cloud source editing. If you are in basic agreement with the sentiments presented here, and see a way the expression of them might be improved, please feel free to say something in the comments. I will incorporate them later and present you all with the final product.

As classical Christian educators:

We believe the doctrines of creation and fall rightly understood are foundational to the doctrine of salvation;

We believe the most natural reading of Genesis is that God created the heavens and earth, not in deep time, but at the beginning of recorded history, in six days of ordinary length;

Okay. So we don’t get a lot of respect in the meantime . . .

We believe that this natural reading does not and cannot exclude other important aspects relating to the Genesis text that must be taken into account as we read and interpret, including poetry, typology, the hermeneutics of the apostles, literary structuring, cuneiform styling, etc.;

We believe that Genesis 1-2 are primitive texts, written possibly by Adam, and so cannot be fitted within genre studies without gross anachronism. These passages must be interpreted sui generis;

We believe that many genuine brothers in Christ do not accept these views of creation as stated here, and we gladly accept them as brothers in Christ nonetheless;

We believe that not all alternatives to our reading of Genesis 1-2 are created equal. Some could be consistent with virtually everything stated here (e.g. Wiseman) and some positions would be inconsistent with virtually everything stated here (e.g. theistic evolution);

We believe that notwithstanding our fellowship and friendship with brothers who differ, affirmation of the biblical doctrine of a recent creation ex nihilo is a pedagogical necessity for us in our task as classical Christian educators;

We believe that through one man, an historical Adam, all agonistic death entered the world, including the agonistic death of sentient animals, and through one man, an historical second Adam, the fact of resurrection entered the world;

We believe that plant death is not only consistent with the goodness of God but is a manifest display of it. The same thing applies to non-sentient creatures (e.g. bacteria);

We believe that denial of this understanding of creational realities has four destructive effects in the education of Christian young people, and this is why we see affirmation of these truths as a pedagogical necessity in our time;

We believe, first, that such denial tends over time to erode the confidence of the students, teachers, and institution in the infallible clarity of God’s Word;

We believe, second, that such denial undercuts the ability of instructors to declare the gospel with confidence. Such a confidence simply says that just as the first man brought death into the world, so also the final man conquered death in the world. We cannot have the second Adam without the first Adam;

We believe, third, that such denial takes away from a Christian educational institution the ability to provide answers to the students concerning the problem of evil. This argument is one of the central challenges mounted against the faith today, and we must prepare our students to meet the challenge. But if agonistic death existed before the fall, and if God called it good, who are we to call it bad?

We believe, last, that denial of ex nihilo recent creation leaves our graduates singularly ill-equipped to deal with our culture-wide insistence that we blur all fixed creatioBut if agonistic death existed before the fall, and if God called it good, who are we to call it bad?nal boundaries, whether between beast and man, between male and female, or between whatever else is next and what is after that;

We believe these affirmations are consistent with the plain reading of Scripture, a grateful reading of the created world, an informed reading of the teaching of the historic church, a wary reading of the current cultural rebellions against God whether involving sex or science, and a submissive reading of the crucial task we have been assigned as educators.

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Kilgore T. Durden
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Kilgore T. Durden

Not that I have a log in this fire, but I find this to be very well done, good sir! Truth, unashamed, seasoned with grace.

You hit the important facts, highlight the relevant theological issues (death before sin, and an historical Adam), and note the current importance of these issues.

PerfectHold
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PerfectHold

Why is death before sin such a bug-a-boo?

I mean, I see how evolutionists try use it as a supposed context and tool for an innate motivation toward acquiring survival and, presumably, an ultimate utopia.

But aren’t we here presuming something of the same?
Aren’t we saying “If Adam were to die, there’d be no chance of his getting into heaven?”

Kilgore T. Durden
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Kilgore T. Durden

I would be more than happy to engage the topic of creation, but it seems clear to me that we are on different planets theologically and how we see the bible. I am just not sure how productive it would be.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Starting with either one, theology or bible — would you be able to identify an important point of diff?

Kilgore T. Durden
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Kilgore T. Durden

You are operating, or so it seems from your questions, from a postmodern type of approach. Words and concepts are squishy, flexible. You take issue with Doug putting up theological boundaries and then proceed to do the same. This type of comfort with contradictions in a system of thought drips with postmodernism. The last time you were posting you were trying to hammer pastors for not caring and slandering people…all while grossly slandered pastors. This type of egregious contradiction is not merely signs of lacking self-awareness, it is full-blown, loud and proud postmodernism. The bible plainly says in no uncertain… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

First let me compliment you yourself for not being squishy in trying to paint perceived spade black, not grayishy. (I’m saying I think I like your grinding thinking and am grateful for engaging because selfishly I think I can learn something) The kind of death that is the enemy — in the bible — is not simple expiration, though, is it? I mean, what with all the death is gain, death is advance … What you mean I think is the kind of death associated with separation of any sort from joy or living — and certainly a saint never… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
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Kilgore T. Durden

The kind of death that is the enemy — in the bible — is not simple expiration, though, is it? Of course it is. What you mean I think is the kind of death associated with separation of any sort from joy or living — and certainly a saint never dies, does he? Of course saints die. That is why we need a resurrection. I’m just saying that Lazarus’ death is not the plain bible enemy is it? Of course his death was the enemy. Why would Jesus have raised him from the dead if it was not the enemy.… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Sometimes different wavelengths played at the same time can produce tasty sounds.

“Oh death — where is they sting” = for you, still distinctly and always stingy?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

To die is ?? — you’d add, “given the circumstances” = somehow not as poetic, is it?

Kilgore T. Durden
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Kilgore T. Durden

You continue to illustrate my point. Postmodernism relishes in its relativism. Producing tasty sounds is not how logic describes contradictions.

Death is not always stingy, when Christ has overcome it. Paul is celebrating in that phrase Christ’s defeat of death, produced by Adam. But again, I suspect you already know that.

Ilíon
Member

Why is death before sin such a bug-a-boo?

Especially as God’s warning to Adam to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is pretty much meaningless if Adam did not know what “You shall die the death” means.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Don’t forget that that other tree was in the garden.
Inside the wall.
Everything is tame and tasty and beautiful and so easy one could walk around naked without packing up rash.

That tree is not bad fruit.
It is not poison.

It was not physical death or the Botany of fruit that Adam needed as a warning.

wisdumb
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wisdumb

“…primitive texts, written possibly by Adam…”

Maybe change ‘written’ to ‘articulated’, or ‘explained’, or ‘recorded’.

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

“…we gladly accept them as brothers in Christ nonetheless…”

Add: but we hope they will embrace our viewpoints, and discussions should continue.

Katecho
Member

I might even say something a bit stronger:

We believe that, notwithstanding our fellowship and friendship with brothers who differ, acceptance of ancient pre-Adamic cosmology, local Flood interpretation, and acceptance of bodily death prior to Adam, if wrong, hold the potential of incurring great displeasure from God. But, if correct, these doctrines do not hold a similar potential for any great reward from Him.

bethyada
Member

I have thought this. If creationists are wrong then their mistaken theology is of minor consequence, though in as much as they have been divisive they will be guilty.

But if the theistic evolutionists are mistaken—especially the proponents of this—then this is of enormous consequence.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

True. But I don’t think God favors conscious intellectual dishonesty. If we cannot bring ourselves to accept something as true, even after praying for guidance and faith, we should not pretend that we do.

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote: But I don’t think God favors conscious intellectual dishonesty. I can imagine the conversation: Lord God in Heaven, I know Your Word clearly says that You made Adam from the dust of the ground, and Eve from his rib, but there is this really neat modern theory that Adam arose from millions of generations of successive dead ancestors, and chose his mate from among them. I know that the vast majority of Christians before me have believed in that stuff about the dust and the rib, and that I’ve not been bothered to reconcile with those words, but… Read more »

bethyada
Member

No you should not pretend to believe what you do not. But here is the thing. If you think the world is old (as in 4 billion years) then you need to be honest about why. That you trust the scientists who claim this and think that they are generally reliable; and that you do not agree with how the young earthers exegete Genesis. Or that you think that the interpretation of Genesis is difficult and it at least allows for a millions and billions of years. That is being honest. But it also means that if a person is… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

It is a difficult question, and being a minority opinion here, I fear being contentious. I agree with much of what Demo D has said. If the earth is 6,000 years old, it is not merely the vast majority of biologists who are so spectacularly wrong. It is also the vast majority of geologists, cosmologists, oceanographers, seismologists, and so on. So many separate lines of scientific inquiry have converged to support the notion of a very old universe. To accept a young earth, I would have to be willing to believe that the scientists who have researched rates of radioactive… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Hi Jill. You have written a long response which in fairness needs a response just as long for every question. I’ll try and address some of them. Can I state with noting that most creationists (the especially the more scientific) are extremely well read in both creationism and evolution. Some evolutionists are well read in creationism, but in general it is not like that because one has to look for creationism whereas evolution is mentioned and assumed within culture. If the earth is 6,000 years old, it is not merely the vast majority of biologists who are so spectacularly wrong.… Read more »

wisdumb
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wisdumb

Pascal’s wager

Katecho
Member

Risk analysis is a key part of being a rational creature. Not to mention that we should be more motivated by personal consideration of God’s pleasure or displeasure than by merely being right about the age of the earth.

Keith LaMothe
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Keith LaMothe

Wonderful. Thank you, dear brother. I’m commenting on this as a constitutional (little-c) or confessional document intended to constrain the deceitful hearts of future (and present) board members, as opposed to a persuasive argument, so your mileage may vary. – The E-on-the-top-of-the-eye-chart thing I’d do is remove the qualification “Classical” from the title and throughout. This is a pedagogical necessity for any form of education which claims to honor the Word, Who is Christ the Lord. – “We believe the doctrines of creation and fall rightly understood are foundational to the doctrine of salvation;” “rightly understood” is an unnecessary qualification.… Read more »

bethyada
Member

They are classical educators. There needs to be some Latin in there. :)

I personally don’t like an before historical. a historical…

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Keith,

the Word, Who is Christ = thanks for that

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Doug & Keith — did God indeed create at the beginning of “recorded” history, or before (maybe well before) history was recorded?

Some reasonable folks see Genesis the book as having been compiled and laid out there for public consumption way later in the second temple era up in Mesopotamia.

Who cares if Adam scribbled down his take on the matter?
If it were important, wouldn’t the BIble have made note of that?

Keith LaMothe
Guest
Keith LaMothe

I should have been clearer in saying Genesis records the very beginning of history, and that’s why it’s redundant. There is no history which predates Genesis 1:1, and thus the “beginning of history” and the “beginning of recorded history” are the same thing. There is unrecorded history, of course, but it comes after that.

Of course, if that’s not Doug’s doctrine (if he would say that time, and perhaps the physical universe, perhaps including the planet Earth, existed before Genesis 1:1) then he’d put it differently than I would.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

So this “primitive text” idea is then a pre-emptive strike at those, like me, who’d like to interpret Scripture with Scripture and with the nature God made (the “nature” including and commencing with our rationality to interpret stuff like literature and flowers).

What do you think motivates this desire to separate this part of Scripture from the rest?

Keith LaMothe
Guest
Keith LaMothe

I’ve gotten out of theology as a hobby, so I don’t have any bright insights to offer. Suffice it to say, “In the beginning…”

Katecho
Member

Keith LaMothe wrote:

There is no history which predates Genesis 1:1 …

Is it orthodox to hold that there may be some history of angels, and a fall of Satan, chronologically prior to Genesis 1:1? Perhaps, “no history pertaining to mankind which predates Genesis 1:1″, is sufficient?

Keith LaMothe
Guest
Keith LaMothe

“The heavens and the earth” is a merism, and thus it means “the whole enchilada”. Given the lack of biblical evidence to the contrary, the same approach that yields “creation was relatively recent, because that’s the natural reading” also yields “creation included the angels”. Further, as the Apostle Paul and many pastors through the ages have found: much false doctrine surrounds speculation about angels. So the deceitfulness of our hearts is enticed by pointing or alluding to angels in our doctrinal statements (beyond the clear statements of the Word). All that said, there’s no need to say something as provocative… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Why have you here included angels as residents of the created heaven?

Interesting that He enumerates a lot of creation categories related to the earth part, but only the stars and such of heavenly arena, leaving out? the bits about angels.

When He announced “Let us make …” — you see God only there, and no created beings?

Keith LaMothe
Guest
Keith LaMothe

> “Why have you here included angels as residents of the created heaven?” Good and necessary consequence. The Word does not tell us that there were two distinct creations, and the Word tells us that all the work of creation was done in six days, and the Word records each of those six days after Genesis 1:1. Interpreting scripture with scripture, the Apostle clearly intended John 1:1-3 as a parallel to Genesis 1, and the Apostle is explicit that the creation was exhaustive. No division into two separate creations is present in the text. > “When He announced “Let us… Read more »

trey
Member

Doug,

I’ve read in different places that the word for “day” used in Genesis in Hebrew can be used either for a 24-hour period or a long period of time. If this is wrong, please correct me. If right, then what do you do about light years in astronomy that seem to indicate the Earth is billions of years old. If the word used for “day” can be interpreted as a long period of time, can’t one believe in Creation Science and Old Earth while also opposing evolution?

Andrew Kelly
Guest
Andrew Kelly

Was Adam able to write? It would take some substantial argument from historical sources to show that writing was practiced that early in history. It seems like that would distract from the main point of this statement on creation, so maybe that line should be struck? Or clarified?

bethyada
Member

Not at all. The Torah was not written by Moses because writing had not been invented by then. And the whole documentary hypothesis. Except such scepticism was driven by an anti-biblical bias and subsequently shown to be wrong. Why assume Adam could not write. Metallurgy and musical inventions followed creation very quickly. the possible seems reasonable.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Why not assume he could write.
But why do we need to speculate that the Genesis account came from his memory?

bethyada
Member

I don’t understand what you are contradicting in my comment, nor do I get what you are asking.

I think it is possible that Adam could write, I disagree with Andrew that we need strong evidence to propose this as a possibility.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

I agree — and I’m saying perhaps too sideways “Yes, why NOT assume he could write — what difference would that possibility yield? So, even if he could, what help is there to our reading of this passage in presuming that this history came from his pen or thinking?” We know, don’t we, that the account of light coming at the earth did not arise out of his observation of that act. At most we’d say he was told about it, then he wrote from the memory of what he was told. But what if say Moses was told about… Read more »

bethyada
Member

It doesn’t mean less if it is Scripture and true. But there is reason to think that Moses wrote Genesis from written material.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Shall we rely on such speculations to define the borders of the Classical Christian Educators Crew then?

bethyada
Member

No, but it can allow them. Doug’s point being that Genesis 1 may have reason to be difficult to categorise genrewise. Being very familiar with the debates, much concerns this. Therefore it is not necessarily unreasonable to say that however we classify Gen 1 in the 21st century, it needs to be read on its own terms. I suggested some changes.

Farinata degli Uberti
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Farinata degli Uberti

And anyway, the guy lived nearly a thousand years. You can learn a lot in a millennium.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

Ancient Egypt had writing. Moses would have known how to do it.

bethyada
Member

Exactly

wisdumb
Guest
wisdumb

Adam probably wrote in ‘picture’ form (hieroglyphics, or cuneiform), but writing depicting concepts that are drawn by a combination of letters was probably given by God, to Moses along with the tablets.

Ministry Addict
Member

My only humble (and admittedly nitpicky) suggestion is to add “relatively” before “recent creation.” Compared to eleventy billions years (or whatever it is now), 6000-10,000 years (or whatever) does qualify as recent, but it’s only “recently” that people have come to think of 6000-10,000 as “recent.”

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

So I can’t be a part of your classical Christian club without adhering to these details?

We can’t politely disagree?

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote: So I can’t be a part of your classical Christian club without adhering to these details? We can’t politely disagree? Wilson wrote: We believe that many genuine brothers in Christ do not accept these views of creation as stated here, and we gladly accept them as brothers in Christ nonetheless; … We believe that notwithstanding our fellowship and friendship with brothers who differ, affirmation of the biblical doctrine of a recent creation ex nihilo is a pedagogical necessity for us in our task as classical Christian educators; Polite disagreement is clearly allowed. However, Wilson is drawing up a… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Why is it important for you to speculate and guess that Adam prefall wouldn’t have died or experienced any agony?

Why don’t you just go for the gusto and say Adam would have, given who knows how long, been perfected to the point of being unable to experience sinning & death & agony EVER?

Lance Roberts
Guest

It’s not speculation. God specifically said that there was no death before the fall. He would have lived forever. I have no idea how agony would have worked in that state or if it would have existed at all. It’s interesting to think about how it will be in the New Earth.

Jane
Member

I honestly don’t get the fourth affirmation. Why would being written early by Adam mean that genre considerations are ruled out? I’m sure we all agree that Adam wasn’t a caveman and that he may have been capable of expressing himself through various genres. So what is the assumption here that leads from “primitive text possibly written by Adam ” to “applying genre studies is anachronistic?”

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Doug doesn’t want us to read Gen 1 or 2 through the lens of later Scripture, and thus potentially dilute his take on his reading.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“the biblical doctrine of a recent creation ex nihilo is a pedagogical necessity for us in our task as classical Christian educators”

Saying this doctrine = “biblical” begs the question against other classical Xian educators who’ve taken an assortment of reasonable other positions vis-a-vis “recent”.

Some of us think a few zillion years can go like a snap.

I’ll buy setting up a gate at evolution, but you don’t have to go all in at some specific time line that the Bible itself doesn’t bother to bring up, do you?

Bezukhov
Guest
Bezukhov

“We believe…” does not make it a fact.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

But it does make it a private club, which they’ve a right to construct.

But to then equate some of those beliefs with Classical Christian = inaccurate at best.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think that is okay as long as they are clear that this is Reformed Protestant classical Christian education. Just as Catholic classical Christian education should make it plain that when theological issues emerge, Catholic doctrine will be taught.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Well, to be more accurate:
Reformed Protestant Classical Christian Prelapsarian Non Carnivorian 6-day only Astoundingly Recent Creation … educators
We don’t want to come across too narrow do we.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“the most natural reading”

By whom???

— by folks steeped in Enlightenment thinking?

— by folks with an anti-evolutionary science axe to grind? (though evolutionary “science” should be ground, btw, just not with your supposed “natural” reading)

Kilgore T. Durden
Guest
Kilgore T. Durden

“the most natural reading”

By whom???

— by folks steeped in Enlightenment thinking?

You can’t critique the good Reverend using postmodern presuppositions, and then turn and criticize him for being steeped in Enlightenment thinking. This is a good case of cognitive dissonance.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

UNLESS
we were both stewed in the same soup, and both still drying off

Andrew Lohr
Member

How about “last Adam” (I Cor 15:45) instead of “2nd Adam”?

(1) The Bible actually uses the expression “last Adam;” it uses “2nd man” but I’m not sure it uses “2nd Adam.” (2) “Last Adam” rules out 3rd Adams, and did not one heretic call himself ‘the 3rd Adam’?

Also, what has “cuneiform styling” to do with exegesis of Genesis? (Not complaining, just curious. Hypothetical cuneiform possibly underlying the inspired Hebrew???)

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.”

What an awesome world He made.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And Adam looked out from behind the Tree of Life, and behold, God was nudging the prey toward the lioness
to satisfy the hunger of the lions when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in a thicket.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And again, Eve observed the ostrich as
She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand,
unmindful that a foot may crush them,
that some wild animal may trample them.
She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,
for God did not endow her with wisdom
or give her a share of good sense.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

It was Doug who reminded us that the Bible tells us to observe that even Fido carried the seed of a new-and-improved Fido to be found later.

So when Adam spied in Eden

the eagle soaring at God’s command
searching for food
so that
Its young ones feast on blood,
and where the slain are, there it is

He should have kept better care to keep himself and his bride from joining that number.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

What appalling person would authorize and even bless killing and eating animals when such proteins are certainly an unnecessary requirement?

Dave
Guest
Dave

Members of PETA hold that killing and eating animals is A-OK. That is to say People Eating Tasty Animals.

bethyada
Member

Because the Fall requires death.

Jane
Member

God, apparently. And He is pretty appalling.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Above my pay grade, for sure — but didn’t Augustine, Aquinas up to Leithart & Wright
hold to prelapsarian carnivorosity?

Such would not be allowed amongst your classical Christian educator crew?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think so. I have been taught that the death which is our enemy is spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Pre-Adam hominids died as animals do–without consciousness of time and without awareness of their loss. I was taught that Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, not for his own sake but for his sisters.’ I have always felt bad for him that he had to die twice! When you are young and healthy, death seems like an enemy. As you grow old and many of the people you love have died, not so much so. It can seem… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Sweet.
Ok for those hominids and all, but we’re asking:

if Adam expected, even hoped, to eventually die in his unfallen state (thereafter glorified with a new undyable body and unsinnable soul)

, or did he expect to mature eventually on an earth which God would glorify to a point of undyability and unsinnability.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I don’t know. If he had never seen death at all, why was death a meaningful threat? I know we must not see him as primitive, but did he have the life experience to have any meaningful thought at all about the future? Would he not have expected, before the fall, that each day would have continued like one before it?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

I’m for a certain naked childlike naivete and all, but I also suspect he was one of the most insightful humans ever was.

Jane
Member

Just thinking out loud here — children are frightened by things they’ve never seen, only imagined. They have an instinctive idea of “that would be really bad” about anything that is framed as a threat, even if they’ve never experienced it. So I think if God says “lest this happen to you,” Adam can grasp “I really don’t want that to happen to me” without fully grasping it by experience.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Are you suggesting:

The first Adam was in some respects childlike & impressionable and therefore was expected to grow in determination & practice of obedience to the point where he would resist temptations — not just because of what bad things could evidently happen as evidenced by the death of animals around him, but also because his love of God and man would increase over time?

Jane
Member

I am suggesting that even children understand that things they haven’t experienced can still be bad enough to be a disincentive. I wouldn’t expect an adult with adult maturity but a wholly undamaged mind to be able to do less.

Katecho
Member

Adam and Eve clearly understood the concepts of good and bad because God had declared goodness concerning creation, and had declared that it was not good for Adam to be alone. Eve saw that the forbidden fruit was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes, before she ate from it. So they weren’t incapable of making such knowledgeable distinctions. They were just not mature to judge good and evil authoritatively like God, which I believe is what the test of the tree was all about demonstrating. Had they obeyed, I believe God would have matured them to partake of… Read more »

bethyada
Member

When you are young and healthy, death seems like an enemy. As you grow old and many of the people you love have died, not so much so.

You are thinking like a post-Fall person.

(And pre-Adamic hominids never existed).

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

No, those herbivorous lions evolved to become the obligate carnivores they are today. Pick your poison. :)

John Lundelius
Guest
John Lundelius

Why do you hold that the heavens and earth were created in six ordinary days? There is currently circulating an absurd charge against God by Christians who wish to accept a long-day creation, that is, who find themselves unable to reject the “evidence of science” regarding our “beginnings”. This charge states that if God created the heavens and earth in six ordinary days, why did He create it with the appearance of age – just to trick us into believing evolution? These, however, are simply philosophical parlor games. How could God have placed a newly created Adam in a barely… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Doug, I would be able to sign the declaration as is. Some thoughts from my perspective about possible alternative phrasing and also noting that the document should be narrow enough that it is creationist and broad enough that it allows for differences in interpretation. Should you say “we believe” or “we affirm”? Both are fine and affirm is usually used in documents when there is also a denial. But “believe” may be a little squishy in our post-modern environment. Should you itemise these declarations? doctrines of creation and fall The Fall was an event, as was Creation; and names of… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

also might add a spot about man’s first obligation may well have included working on a way to keep those bunnies from doing too much of what bunnies do, else He’d either have to cut the whole experiment to an early close, or teach folks how to shuffle around without tramping down too hard on the cotton tails

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I see a problem with categorizing other beings as sentient or non-sentient. If we admit insects, why not worms? How is the death of a fly less awful than the death of a snail? Is it safer to keep it to bacteria and viruses?

bethyada
Member

Yes worms. Yes flies and snails. That is the point about non-sentient creatures. You will see my et cetera there.

Katecho
Member

bethyada wrote:

Use “early” or “ancient” not “primitive”.

Or use primordial, or primary.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Good stuff. The discussion here puts me in mind of that bit from Chesterton: “Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? THAT is the problem the Church attempted; THAT is the miracle she achieved.”

I would also note that none of this contradicts any of the actual science in evolutionary biology today.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

But isn’t there a bit about the lions eating straw in Isaiah 65? I wonder if Chesterton was familiar with that passage.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Naturally if the lion is to lie down with the lamb he isn’t going to be eating the lamb. But will the meaning of the lion change, if you see what I mean?

Katecho
Member

Indeed. Christ, the Lion, remained pretty fierce as He went to the cross like a Lamb.

bethyada
Member

the wolf lies down with the lamb

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Hard for me to imagine how the concept “lion” could be severable from all the elements that make lions amazing killing machines – claws, teeth, muscles, aptitude for pouncing. But just because I can’t imagine paradise doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele

I can’t join the club but I wish you well. I’d rather you be a good young earther than compromise your integrity and I’d rather stand with young earthers than with unbelievers.

bethyada
Member

We’ll let you join our club in heaven.

:)

Daniel Fisher
Member

“written possibly by Adam.”….? OK, but it is also “written possibly by Eve.” It is also “written possibly by Eve as dictated by Adam.” It is also “written possibly by Seth.” It is also “written possibly by Abel before his premature death.” It is also “written possibly by Enosh based on earlier shorthand notes taken by Seth which were based on the oral account of Adam.” It is also “written possibly by Enoch who compiled two preexisting separate creation accounts that were written independently by Jared and Mahalalel, respectively, who each had developed their accounts from shorthand notes written independently… Read more »

valerieab
Member

As classical Christian educators[a comma or an ellipsis rather than a colon]

Or reword it to a complete sentence, e.g., “As classical Christian educators we affirm the following:” and keep the colon.

Ain’t got nuthin’ substantive.

Daniel Fisher
Member

Moreover, as I look at it further, I can’t help but see the entire 4th article as unnecessary and potentially distracting. Sure, I would have no issue with the possibility that Genesis 1-2 may have existed in (largely) their present form, in perhaps either written or oral format, in antediluvian times, potentially even in Adam’s life. But equally, I would have no issue with the possibility that Genesis 1-2 may have been written into their present form by Moses, as guided by the Holy Spirit, as he compiled, edited, selected, or truncated various true oral or written accounts, details and… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Though it may not be important to state in a document intended to define pedagogical boundaries, I think it is helpful to the overall creation-age debate to say something about the importance of the Scriptural definition of the term “day” prior to its use throughout Genesis 1: We deny that the term “day” is an indefinite term, or that we must grasp at definitions outside of the immediate context (such as, “a day is as a thousand years to God”). We affirm that the term “day” is explicitly defined in the context of Genesis 1, and that this definition, in… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Maybe scratch in there something about light not requiring the presence of physical generating entities?

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote: Maybe scratch in there something about light not requiring the presence of physical generating entities? I’m happy to grant that the terms “light” and “darkness” are not explicitly defined in the text. Perhaps they are metaphors, but, if so, they are metaphors for something. Given the strict definition of “day” requiring the presence of light and intervening darkness, they are clearly not throwaway concepts, or Humpty Dumptyisms. Any theory of the span of creation must fully account for these requirements, and the careful structure of the 7-day week. Chocking the whole thing up to undefined metaphor is a… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Since this club seems fond of enlightenment-scientific language as the text’s natural and original genre, how about letting us know if you read the text as claiming that the light absents itself for a spell everyday?

Katecho
Member

Enlightenment? In context, each day is required to contain “light”, intervening “darkness”, and “morning” and “evening”. If these are metaphors for something else, then PerfectHold needs to explain what they are metaphors for, and how that works consistently across the entire creation week.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Imagine a world as they say where Darkness pervades all continuously and potentially without end day after day after day. But praise God when darkness covered all, He burst in.

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote: Imagine a world as they say where Darkness pervades all continuously and potentially without end day after day after day. But praise God when darkness covered all, He burst in. This is precisely the contextual problem that confronts PerfectHold. He assumes a continual darkness spanning multiple days, even though each day, as defined by the context of Genesis 1, requires light and intervening darkness. So whatever “Darkness” PerfectHold has in mind, it is not the darkness of the context of Genesis 1. That darkness was broken by seven periods of light, not just one. PerfectHold needs to focus… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Even the great light of the day, the day you find so untroubled and without any shadow, shines for now constricted in an orb that is not all-pervasive but is moving toward dusk

Evening approaches and brooding fear comes closer.

Take heart dear katecho.
Morning we’ll break again.
And there will come a morning without transient sun.
A day that will never end.

Katecho
Member

As PerfectHold waxes poetic, he drifts further and further from the definition of day in the context of Genesis 1. This is more evidence to me that his position can’t be accommodated by the context of Genesis 1 on its own terms.

Jane
Member

It’s what I call the “click and drag” school of interpretation. You can click on a concept in any part of scripture, drag it to where you want to plug it in to similar language, and it will fit there.

Only it really doesn’t. Unless we want to say that it’s perfectly legitimate to say that Christ was in the tomb for 3000 years and Methusaleh lived a bit under a day. You can’t just plug in metaphors willy-nilly if the context does not support a particular use of metaphor.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Did the genre Adam was using require him to not bring the Seventh Day to a close?

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote:

Did the genre Adam was using require him to not bring the Seventh Day to a close?

What verse is PerfectHold referring to to suggest that the seventh day of creation was not brought to a close?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

You find somewhere that says the seventh day ended?

Or was careful Adam a bit negligent at that point?

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote:

You find somewhere that says the seventh day ended?

Or was careful Adam a bit negligent at that point?

PerfectHold seems to be admitting that he has no such verse.

However, each of the other six days had evening and morning, followed by another day. I see no reason why this was not a continued pattern, especially since it was intended as a pattern for weekly sabbath for man’s own rest.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Did you miss the authorized commentary on this verse?

That seventh day continues even now, open-ended, inviting folks to enter in on that day before it ends.

Quick! Quick!

Get in before it ends!

bethyada
Member

That seventh day continues even now,

No

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Frankly what we are worried about is the insensitivity to obvious metaphor.

We’re flummoxed that when God says the fields are white with harvest, we’re spying y’all pull out your spectrometers to figure things out.

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote:

Frankly what we are worried about is the insensitivity to obvious metaphor.

The fear of insensitivity is misplaced, since I expressly offered that the terms “light” and “darkness” could be metaphors. What I don’t accept is the idea that these terms are Humpty Dumptyisms. So if PerfectHold embraces a metaphorical view, he needs to identify what these are metaphors for, and it needs to be consistent with the rest of the account. Will he make the attempt, or decline?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Happy to! But I’d have to rely on others like John.

The light is Christ, not spectral wavelength.

It comes to a dark and formless and the dangerous world and is the first thing needed to provide the context for everything good that would be created.

Katecho
Member

If the light is Christ, is Christ replaced by a “greater light” at day four? What is the darkness then? The proposed metaphor needs to be accounted for all the way through.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

The light that entered and conditioned creation from day one never left.

He put physical reminders in the sky both night and day to remind us that the light is present in good times and apparent bad times.

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote:

The light that entered and conditioned creation from day one never left.

But the definition of “day”, in the Genesis 1 context states a period of “darkness” between each day. What is the darkness, if the light is Christ?

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Our evenings are not all bleak nor black.

Dim lesser light will do for now.

Our mourning will end in sweet morning dew.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Our evenings shall never have that original darkness.

If Adam wrote poetry why will you not read it thus?

Katecho
Member

PerfecctHold wrote: If Adam wrote poetry why will you not read it thus? I think this is PerfectHold’s way of saying that he is not going to attempt to provide an association for these alleged metaphors that is consistent throughout the Genesis 1 account. He is going to ignore the definition of day, and its requirements, and terms like light and darkness and evening and morning will melt into Humpty Dumptyisms. This is what I’ve come to expect from those who hold his position. They are just not interested in accounting for the careful structure and features of the text.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote:

If Adam wrote poetry why will you not read it thus?

PerfectHold supposes that poetry is mutually exclusive of careful structure and specificity and factual content. I have no problem reading Genesis as highly poetic, but that doesn’t somehow suggest that it’s historical jibberish.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Times and seasons and days are signs.

As such they are reminders and indicators of God’s presence with us as we move through time.

Katecho
Member

I’d like to see a statement about the pedagogical necessity of a global Flood, as opposed to just a local event. It might be useful to say something about the dependence on external ideas, and of reading between the lines, in order to reach the ancient pre-Adamic cosmology. We believe that the suggestions of death before Adam, of an ancient pre-Adamic creation, and of a mere local Flood, do not arise from content explicit in the text itself, or from necessary inference, or from any need to reconcile the text with itself, but rather arise from the need to accommodate… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Probably wouldn’t need to get into how those nephilim showed up after the flood?

Katecho
Member

PerfectHold wrote: Probably wouldn’t need to get into how those nephilim showed up after the flood? That’s already been gotten into by many elsewhere. It shouldn’t be overlooked that the claim of Nephilim in the land of Canaan was contained in an “evil report” brought by the spies, which was contradicted by Caleb and Joshua. Moses pleaded to spare Israel when God was displeased with their display of fear and unbelief, but those spies who gave the bad report about the Nephilim were not spared. In any case, the alleged reappearance of the Nephilim presents a more serious problem for… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

So how’d God do with the intended target of your theory?

Katecho
Member

The intended targets were successfully destroyed in a global flood, with only Noah and his family spared.

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

And all lived happily ever after

gerv
Guest
gerv

“through one man, an historical second Adam, the fact of resurrection entered the world;”

What about those resurrections which occurred historically pre-Christ, such as the widow of Nain’s son? Is “the fact of resurrection” the right phrase here, as it suggests that there were no resurrections pre-Christ? Not sure what to replace it with, though.

bethyada
Member

the fact of the resurrection for all men because of the second Adam.

As in Adam all die, so in Christ we are made alive.

Katecho
Member

Christ is called the first fruits of the resurrection, which is a distinct accomplishment. This is theologically distinguished from others who were raised from the dead, but had to undergo death again. They did not pass through death to the other side, as Christ did, but were pulled back and entered death again later. Sometimes this is referred to as resuscitation rather than resurrection.

Jane
Member

Biblically are these raisings from the dead pre-resurrection of Christ ever referred to as resurrections? Or only as raisings? If so is the distinction there in the original languages or only in English?

Tim Chesus
Guest
Tim Chesus

Trey–Honest astronomers will admit that they cannot fully account for distant starlight either: “It should also be noted that secular astronomers have their own time-travel problem—called “the horizon problem” (the big bang cannot explain how light could have traveled across the universe to produce uniform “background” temperatures.” — Dr.Jason Lisle, phd astrophysicist (degreed at University of Colorado, Boulder) https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/starlight/distant-starlight-thesis … In short, few people realize that neither 6-Day Young Earth scientists nor materialist scientists can currently account for distant starlight; as more data is gathered on this issue the contradictions inherent in the materialist model on distant starlight will become… Read more »

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Folks, I strongly suggest you give the work done at Reasons to Believe a long look. Please understand that, even if correct about creation, organizations like Answers in Genesis slander/misrepresent them seemingly to get people not to consider what they are presenting. I believe that if you take all of the Bible literally AND consistantly you can’t have what Doug presented above. And as a side note, the record of God’s works He recorded in nature then completely lines up with His word. Y’all, it’s exciting to me. The book of Genesis becomes on of the strongest arguments for the… Read more »

bethyada
Member

organizations like Answers in Genesis slander/misrepresent them
seemingly to get people not to consider what they are presenting.

While individuals are not necessarily above this, such claims need to be backed up. YECs were told that they misquoted evolutionists so they reprinted books with more extensive quotes. Sarfati has quoted and refuted Ross extensively.

The fact that people don’t like being contradicted does not a slander make.

Nor does that the fact you do not agree with someone’s reasoning mean that they misrepresent another.

Any claims about slander or misrepresentation need to be documented and proven.

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Sure. One thing that I would recommend you do is watch interacts with yec and Ross on YouTube. You will start to notice that they will slander him by impugning his integrity by telling him and the audience that he came to his beliefs by a way other than what he lays out. Just start how many times Ken Ham calls him a compromiser. Not a person who honestly came to his beliefs but one seeking to comprise. Another thing that is interesting is when you watch a debate/discussion when cross examination is possible the yec position starts to fall… Read more »

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Hugh Ross vs. Terry Mortenson – Was the Flood of Noah Global or Local? This is a good example. Terry does not get too emotional in this exchange. Pay attention towards the end as Terry starts to bring up folks who have responded to Ross. Follow the trail after. Also, remember that Ross is a guy who goes on college campuses and stands in front of organizations like The Sceptics Society and denies evolution. That is not the kind of thing that a compromiser does. We can disagree honestly without calling names. Check it out on YouTube. Good stuff

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Well, I looked at my response. There were a rocking ton of autocorrects and errors. I hope you can decipher them. One clarification. When Ham says “you don’t know that” he is implying Ross is lying. We he says “you know that” he is implying Ross is trying to mislead the audience. Should you decide to listen to the discussion I told you about between Ross and Terry you really should consider chasing down the RTB position on the topic. Also, notice how Terry wants the subject change when the amount of bio deposits in the Earth is brought up.… Read more »

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Oh, heck. I can’t help myself.

Hugh Ross – Responding to YEC Criticism of Navigating Genesis

If you look this up on YouTube you will see a great example of a response to a response.

Test it all. Hold fast to what is good. Keep in mind that that is a command.

Kindest regards

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

Oh, sweet mercy. Here I am again! Should you listen to the response that Hugh Ross gave to A IN G in the last post I recommend you will notice that he draws attention to the claim in the article that A IN G that Ross ingnors the parts of the Bible that does not line up with his view. Hello slander. Not a rebuke. Not a correction. Slander. Ross believes the the Bible is the inerrant word of God. You can honestly disagree with him. You can’t honestly say that about him. It’s this kind of stuff that really… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Michael, I haven’t seen any links that you mention. I don’t really want to listen to 30 minutes on youtube just to find the point which to respond to. I don’t disagree that people can slander or misrepresent; I am just sceptical of this because people say slander and misrepresent as a rhetorical tool. So I need an example. It is one thing to disagree with your opponent. It is another that you get so upset you start saying all kind of untrue things about them. Slander exists. Claiming slander when there is non is slander itself (one is falsely… Read more »

bethyada
Member

So can you point to this part about ignoring parts of the Bible because I can see at least one way where someone might say this in a debate without it being slander.

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

K. At a computer this time. Life if better when you don’t have to use your thumbs to type. Please know that my tone is cordial. “Sarfati has quoted and refuted Ross extensively.” “While individuals are not necessarily above this, such claims need to be backed up.” Ok. In order to recognize what that do as the slander that it is, you have to be familiar with the work of Ross. (I hate having conversations like this when folks can’t see facial expressions or hear the inflection in a voice. I hope this does not come off as nasty.) You… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Hi Michael. I have read some of Ross including one of his books; I am aware of his organisation. You still haven’t given me enough to actually respond. So I can’t really address whether he is misrepresented. I for one wish to know an idea accurately. I can agree with people about one thing and disagree about another. One really needs to understand what people are saying when they debate. Challenging a position is about challenging what is claimed and whether ideas are consistent with scripture and internally consistent. People are always going to be refuted on both sides and… Read more »

Michael Flemming
Guest
Michael Flemming

I realized earlier I did not give you links. Sorry. Will do. At a bar watching UFC 208. This is something I highly commend to you. I get back later. I appreciate the tone of your responses. Thanks

bethyada
Member

If it is a video you will need to give me the time. I prefer text

Billtownphysics
Guest
Billtownphysics

As a YEC myself, I like this statement overall, although I might quibble over a few minor details. Would this then create two distinct CCE schools, YEC version and OEC version?

Joshua Butcher
Guest

I think nearly all of the above statements would be well-known and affirmed by CCE educators, except for one, which I (a CCE teacher since 2010) had never heard of before reading: “We believe that Genesis 1-2 are primitive texts, written possibly by Adam, and so cannot be fitted within genre studies without gross anachronism. These passages must be interpreted sui generis;” That Gen. 1-2 are primitive and that they ought to be interpreted in their own merit prior to any comparative approach is familiar, but that Adam wrote the texts is something I’ve never encountered. I have only ever… Read more »

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

From where did you gain the familiarity of Gen 1-2 as primitive?

Joshua Butcher
Guest

In a college corse on Genesis at Liberty the professor noted that the material of Gen 1-2 could have been passed down from its occurrence.

meyer.daniel.s
Member

“We believe that many genuine brothers in Christ do not accept these views of creation as stated here, and we gladly accept them as brothers in Christ nonetheless;” Dear Doug, Many so-called brothers do not believe the Scriptures, and their view of creation is symptomatic of that unbelief (if you probe deeper you will find unbelief all through). It may be possible to accept some rare Machen who stands on the Word of God generally despite his weakness on Genesis, but I think you’d do men a disservice to adopt such a comforting and welcoming stance as the above. These… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Daniel Meyer suggested the following language:

While we may work with some men that we are convinced are truly of the
faith despite their deficiency regarding the doctrine of creation taught
in the Scriptures…

It seems that Wilson’s goal is to be able to fellowship with such men, and maintain friendships, but specifically not to attempt to work with them in the task and goal of Christian education, as they would be at cross purposes.

Norm M
Guest
Norm M

I would humbly submit that a paragraph be included that states that scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports a young earth (which it does). This would undercut the supposed monopoly that evolutionists have on science, and makes the argument about truth rather than about the nature of the Genesis creation account. It would also minimize the disparity in the different interpretations of the Genesis creation account.

Bradley Schmehl
Guest

Trey Mays: the problem of distant starlight reaching earth faster than young-earth creationism’s timeframe allows has been addressed by a model put forth by Dr. Russell Humphries, in a video released by Creation Ministries International. It is entitled “Distant Starlight? No Problem!” and is available on CMI’s web store, along with a host of other articles on this and related topics.

Qodesmith
Guest
Qodesmith

That young-earth theory though… flies right in the face of unbiased science. I don’t see the scripture committing us to a 24-hour period interpretation of the word “day” since “yom” is used otherwise elsewhere. Plus, honest investigation of creation says otherwise. But while I disagree with you on the age of the earth (and the causal determinism that Calvinism requires, but that’s another story), I agree with much else that you say. And I really appreciate your ministry, efforts, and this blog. For a Hip-Hop head from the streets of NY, Idaho sure does have a wealth of Kingdom resources… Read more »

Qodesmith
Guest
Qodesmith

For the record, I deny theistic evolution as well. I see no evidence for macro-evolution anywhere. So while I think the earth is old, I don’t think that commits anyone to a process of theistic evolution. As John Lennox has said, I think there have been various divine providential “singularities” in history, such as the origin of the universe itself and the creation of Adam and Eve.

Katecho
Member

Qodesmith wrote: I don’t see the scripture committing us to a 24-hour period interpretation of the word “day” since “yom” is used otherwise elsewhere. Glad to see that Qodesmith does not accept evolution of mankind. I would point out that while “yom” is indeed used in different ways in other biblical contexts, we have the benefit of an explicit definition for the term “day” right in the Genesis 1 context. In verse 5 it says that God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. It also describes evening and morning for each day. So however we want… Read more »