Home Alone in the PCA

All,

In order to make some space for a #NoQuarterNovember post today, I am serving up a truncated letters section today. In order to keep life simple, I am just publishing letters on the PCA, R.I.P. post.

How does the story of the Southern Baptist Convention fit into your paradigm of the slippery slope toward inevitable liberalism? I don’t know that story in any depth, but from what I understand, some decades ago the Southern Baptists were almost lost, and conservatives rescued the denomination. Maybe that they fought, that leaders emerged who refused to be cowed into silence? We currently attend a PCA church, and the pastors are well aware of the drift, and have mentioned it from the pulpit. I wonder how they fit. Anyway, thoughts appreciated.

Mike

Mike, I believe that the SBC was saved from liberalism once, but is on the brink of going under again. It was saved the first time by men who fought, and who need to fight again. The same thing is true of men in the PCA.

Re: PCA, R.I.P. Pastor Wilson, you wrote: “The fight about southern slavery was not an apologetic for slavery at all. It was an apologetic for the plain teaching of the Bible.” I concur. And would say the same thing about the PCA’s move in the early 2000s allowing our elders to hold multiple views of the days of creation. If the PCA General Assembly held such a dim view of the authority of Scripture that it allowed our elders to turn 6 days into 6 billion years, I figure we were pretty much toast even back then. Revoice affirms this, and is a sign (to those who are paying attention—see the Parable of the Ten Virgins, Matthew 25) that the end is coming sooner rather than later.

Bill

Bill, yes, particularly as these things have a way of picking up speed.

Thank you for the critique of the PCA’s handling of the Revoice. I was a ruling elder in Louisiana Presbytery during the several presbytery meetings addressing the internal and external forces being directed toward the FV adherents. It was relentless and personal. When we found no grounds for charges, we were told to look again until we did from the hierarchy. I distinctly recall one pastor, a Covenant grad, buckle and reverse course under the pressure which portended even more serious fecklessness to come. The Book of Church Order and Presbyterian polity is only as good as the men who are involved and procedure cannot substitute for character. I would recommend continuing to shine a light in that direction. Thank you.

C______

C______, yes. Constitutions and BCOs are made out of paper, and paper doesn’t have a backbone.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for writing this stuff! I have been blessed beyond measure by your faithful teaching for many years. I have also recently met some PCA folks and have encountered their blind hatred for you—the kind that you cannot have a reasonable conversation with, and also the kind that cannot be bothered to actually read your writing for themselves. (Why else would someone claim you teach salvation by works?) So as someone who had no dog in the FV fight but has still been shamed for picking the wrong side, I really enjoyed this article! Your very existence triggers them, but articles like this raise my enjoyment from a hamburger cooked in a frying pan on the stove to a burger cooked on the grill with melty cheese and bacon and all the good stuff! Keep making them cry!

Rachel

Rachel, thanks very much.

Doug is exactly right; the denomination I came into as a young believer and now pastor in is/has left me far behind. BTW, I believe you are also right that many will not speak out clearly on the Revoice conference because it carries a much heavier weight with regard to consequences.

Henry

Henry, yes. Consequences are always the issue.

I have greatly enjoyed your work for many years. Whether sermons, books, or your always interesting blog, I’ve been blessed with solid biblical thinking as well as logic and laughs. So THANK YOU! Now on to the PCA R.I.P. which has been a long time coming. I was an elder for 8yrs in the PCA. It never ceased to amaze me the “process . . . patience” meetings that never seemed to deal with what we, as shepherds, were there to actually DEAL with. An issue as black as a tar-covered crow could be right smack down in the middle of our consideration and someone would want to wait to see if that bird was actually a snow covered toad. Whether in Session meetings or at Presbytery, I found far more hand folding than fist pounding. We were supposed to be godly men serving God and His people. I thought we were raised up to be men of courage, conviction, and faithful warriors for our King. We were to be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong, and do all in love. Instead I saw and heard too many brothers bow out without so much as a word of challenge from the Word, or unashamedly swooning over the latest Keller book. Blah! So good call on the Revoice issue. If the PCA doesn’t have the stones to handle this problem, then the only stone they will get is a tombstone. Sad, but evidence of the times we are living in. Again thanks for being the man, Doug.

Rob

Rob, thank you.

Thank you for writing this. I have seen the drift in the PCA for years, and finally had to pull my credentials out in January. I had men telling me that the vows we took with the BCO and WCF were not really that important, since the presbytery I was trying to join was focusing on becoming a big tent presbytery. That means, as you know, that everyone is welcome except those of us who are confessional. If you know of any CREC churches in the states that need a pastor that are not listed on the church’s website, please let me know. . . Keep up the good work, and thank you for writing what needs to be said. In Christ,

Timothy

Timothy, thanks.

Re: PCA, RIP, I’m thinking that your thoughts will be ignored. That seems to be the way that libs are dealing with (rather not dealing with) any sane opinions, evidence or observations. It is a coward’s strategy, but will serve our Lord’s purpose as well as any. They are winnowing His church for Him.

George

George, right. God is also up to something.

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demosthenes1d
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Bill, “If the PCA General Assembly held such a dim view of the authority of Scripture that it allowed our elders to turn 6 days into 6 billion years, I figure we were pretty much toast even back then.” This seems odd, since the father of the modern conservative presbyterian movement was a day ager who stated: “The meaning of “day” in Gen 1 has been debated in the church at least since the days of Augustine. The literary form of the passage in its relation to other scriptures is important for its interpretation. Responsible Reformed theologians have differed as… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Regardless of anyone’s view on the age of the earth, that’s a fair point. I don’t think Augustine is that clear, but Machen (post-Darwin) certainly is. However, DW is completely right on the PCA’s handling of Revoice vice the Federal Vision. I’ve thought that since Revoice was announced. And now we have Ligon Duncan embracing “woke” theology. The PCA’s days are surely numbered unless they clean house.

demosthenes1d
Member

Completely agree about the PCA. I watched as a nearby PCA church went from being a great church with a strong group of elders and an apparently engaged congregation to a happy clappy “contemporary worship” cultural engagement church with a huge focus on “racial justice.” In the process about 2/3 of the congregation left – including my friends.

This all happened in a 5 or 6 year period. There is definitely rot in the PCA but it is certainly not due to an elevated reverence of the Old Princetonians (and their views on Genesis).

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

It is rather clear that Augustine considered the days of creation to be an open and legitimate debate. It’s not just that he believed that the world was created instantaneously and God then allowed development thereafter, it’s that he knew he could be wrong and welcomed other interpretations. “Whoever, then, does not accept the meaning that my limited powers have been able to discover or conjecture but seeks in the enumeration of the days of creation a different meaning, which might be understood not in the prophetical or figurative sense, but literally and more aptly, in interpreting the works of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Augustine wrote:

“I myself may possibly discover some other meaning more in harmony with the words of Scripture.”

Uncompromising humility is admirable, but Augustine himself apparently didn’t think his own conjecture was sufficiently “in harmony with the words of Scripture”.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

My main point is that Augustine wasn’t an old earther. He said a lot of things about Creation, including: “He spoke and they were made, He commanded and they were created. Creation, therefore, did not take place slowly in order that a slow development might be implanted in those things that are slow by nature; nor were the ages established at plodding pace at which they now pass. Time brings about the development of these creatures according to the laws of their numbers, but there was no passage of time when they received these laws at creation” “Unbelievers are also… Read more »

Katecho
Member

JP Stewart wrote:

My main point is that Augustine wasn’t an old earther.

Indeed. Jonathan has tried to recruit Augustine to the ancient earth view in the past and been corrected on it. Augustine may have conjectured about non-literal days in the creation week, but he explicitly rejected the ancient earth view.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You are bearing false witness, and it is a fault witness that I have already corrected before. I explicitly said that Augustine did not preach a literal 6-day creation, I did not say that Augustine preached an ancient Earth view.

That’s twice today that you spoke falsely about my past comments. As I have asked you numerous times before, I insist that you MUST quote me when referring to my statements, as you so often speak falsely about what I have said.

bethyada
Member

He debated the duration of the creation days, thinking 24 hours was too long. I don’t know that he thought the world older than biblical chronology teaches; but other Augustine scholars may wish to weigh in.

demosthenes1d
Member

Bethyada, “He debated the duration of the creation days, thinking 24 hours was too long.” Not exactly. He actually held, due to christological and theological (proper) reasons, that all creation came to pass in an instant a sub-“time” interval. God then described his work in days in order to accomodate it to his creatures frame. This would be more similar to an analogical days view, or a literary framework view than a YEC view if you tried to shove it into the modern taxonomy (which you shouldn’t). I don’t think anyone believes that Augustine was an old earther. The point… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Demo, I remember a long while back we had a discussion about this topic. I don’t wholly disagree with your point in this post, so let’s get that on the record, but you must be willing to concede that once plain verses like Exodus 20:11 (connecting the six days of creation to the 24 hour-Sabbath), which are clear and have a history of interpretation that is unambiguous, are tossed aside for any number of other interpretations that the hermeneutic door is open to real problems. Would you at least be willing to concede the hermetneutical parallels? Or do you and… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Hey, BJ. Well met! I guess I would have to see what particular hermenuetical problems you have in mind. I think scripture is pretty loose with concepts of time and that a human institution (set up by God for man) with a referent in God’s work is a complicated thing. There are also Sabbath years and sabbaths of sabbaths (Jubilee) which follow the creation pattern (but obviously aren’t 24-hour days). Daniel in 8:26 uses the creation formula of setting and dawning (often translated as plural – mornings and evenings -but the Hebrew is singular) for an extended period of time.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: I think scripture is pretty loose with concepts of time and that a human institution (set up by God for man) with a referent in God’s work is a complicated thing. We can certainly grant that the term “day” is used to describe an age, someone’s lifetime, or a complete cycle of light and darkness. The word “day” is used that way in English, and in Scripture. However, Genesis is very explicit in giving us a key requirement to define how the word “day” is about to be used in the rest of the chapter. Genesis 1:5 is… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho, I don’t see the problem here, surely a section of scripture can use the same word in different ways. You could easily do the same in english. You could read a story that went: Henry was born in the day (age, era) of the telegraph and steam engine. his mother had a difficult pregnancy and couldnt wait for delivery. That day (24-hour period) came on November 3, 1878. Little henry was born right as day (period of light) broke over the horizon. That is a little clunky, but I’m no novelist. The point is that calling the light “day”… Read more »

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: I don’t see the problem here, surely a section of scripture can use the same word in different ways. So demosthenes1d is suggesting that Scripture gives one, and only one, marker to define the term “day”, just prior to its contextual application, and then goes on to immediately use the term in a way that abandons that key marker completely? That’s his answer? Scripture just gives us an irrelevant criteria for the term day? I think this is demosthense1d’s way of saying that he simply does not have a definition of day-age that can meet the contextual requirement… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho,

Scripture doesn’t function like a term paper, it isn’t defining the technical term “day” in Gen 1:5. The separation of darkness and light, “day” and “night” is one of a number of divisions.

Day-night, water-water (firmament/dome), earth-seas.

You are expositing in the wrong direction. There is no problem using a common term like day/yom in multiple ways within a passage.

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: Scripture doesn’t function like a term paper, it isn’t defining the technical term “day” in Gen 1:5. The separation of darkness and light, “day” and “night” is one of a number of divisions. Yes, Scripture is defining the term “day” prior to its use. “And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.” This is a straight up definition of terms. There is no way for demosthenese1d to get away from this fact. There may be a number of other features of the term day in other contexts, but the presence of light is the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho,

I want to make sure I understand you here. Are you saying that day/yom in Gen 1:5 (both instances), 1:8, 1:13 etc., 2:3, 2:4b, and 2:17 are all referring to simply a period of light?

What does “there was setting, there was dawning – one day” from Gen 1:5 mean in that context? (Note the setting first in the Hebrew – days begin at sundown)

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Demo,

I am curious as to why you have translated Erev and Voqer in Genesis 1:5 as present participles in English rather than using the nouns evening and morning? The Hebrew words are nouns.

demosthenes1d
Member

BJ,

Good question. I would have to get back to you as i dont recall whose translation that is (certainly not mine). I believe the concern was that ereb is derived from the word for place of setting and to translate as evening loses the sense of setting as in the setting of the sun. Obviously “time of sunset” would be problematic in 1:5. It is probably from Everett Fox.

I’m not at all wedded to it and it is eccentric. Evening and morning is fine.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Thanks. It is eccentric, but not totally off-base. The words are directly linked to the time when light can be seen without the sun, namely twilight (colloquially, dusk and dawn), and indicate the movement of time.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14114-sun-rising-and-setting-of-the

The translator in me just got curious. Unless one has good cause, it is best to try and keep a grammatical parallel between parts of speech. Not always possible, but always preferable if so.

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: I want to make sure I understand you here. Are you saying that day/yom in Gen 1:5 (both instances), 1:8, 1:13 etc., 2:3, 2:4b, and 2:17 are all referring to simply a period of light? No doubt demosthenes1d is aware that Genesis 2:4 begins a distinct recounting of creation events with a focus on Adam and Eve and the Fall, rather than on the structure and content of the creation week itself. Perhaps demosthenes1d thinks he is setting some sort of trap by ignoring this potential context break. While it would be perfectly reasonable for me to appeal… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho,

Just for the record, I don’t hold a day-age view. I did point out that Machen was a day-ager.

I may just be dense, but after reading your long post I still can’t tell if you are saying:

A: Genesis 1:5 defines day as the period of light. Therefore, for the remainder of Gen1:1-2:4a “day” means the presence or interval of light.

Or

B: Gen 1:5 defines day as a light, and then uses day in another natural sense meaning something equivalent to (or analogous to?) an ordinary solar period (in the Hebrew night+day, as they begin accounting at sunset).

Katecho
Member

It’s quite simple. God calls the light day, which is exactly how the word day works in English. There must be some interval of darkness to separate one day from another (one period of light from another). Each such cycle of light (with its separating darkness) is called a day. This is exactly how the word works in English as well. When we say “four days from now”, we are referring to the distinct periods of light, but we are also including the separating period of darkness. This isn’t rocket science. What remains is for demosthenes1d to provide an account… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho, “This isn’t rocket science.” I agree, it isnt rocket science. Yom is used as a normal bit of language not as some specialty term defined as “period of light”for the purpose of this account. “Each such cycle of light (with its separating darkness) is called a day.” This seems like an issue if the first day (evening amd morning) includes the evening part which separated it from exactly nothing. If the intervening dark part was important than the creation narrative would have necessitated the colloquial English accounting where a day begins with morning and ends with the next morning.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: Yom is used as a normal bit of language not as some specialty term defined as “period of light”for the purpose of this account. Indeed, the definition given in Genesis 1:5 is not a “specialty” definition. It is the normal definition. But it also happens to be one simple statement that doesn’t admit of any day-age shenanigans without identifying what the light and darkness are referring to, if they aren’t referring to sunlight. The presence of light is the only defining characteristic of the term “day” given in this context. Demosthenes1d knows it, but it’s increasingly apparent that… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Thanks for the explanation. This highlights the exact nature of what I was getting at. Can you not hear liberals saying, “I think scripture is pretty loose with concepts of [sexuality/gender/marriage] and that a human institution (set up by God for man) with a referent in God’s work is a complicated thing.”? The very author of Genesis 1 (Moses) directly connects the days of creation to one of the ten commandments. Of course there are Sabbath years, but not in Exodus 20:11. In that verse, the meaning throughout all of Jewish and Christian history of interpretations has been to see… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

BJ, “Can you not hear liberals saying, “I think scripture is pretty loose with concepts of [sexuality/gender/marriage] and that a human institution (set up by God for man) with a referent in God’s work is a complicated thing.”?” I can imagine it (though it isn’t the most likely line of attack) but I would wait to read their explication. I don’t think that God accomodating his divine work in creation to his creatures scale and to an ordinary work week creates any sort of hermenuetical problems. The Sabbath is an image of God’s rest after creation. Similar images are all… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I have read their explications and they point directly to this topic. They also point to other issues, too, so I am not just fixating on this topic.

Any hermeneutic that allows extra-biblical ideas to lead us to dance around pretty clear verses sets up a very dangerous precedent. I know you disagree, so I won’t press the debate, but the more I listen to liberals and unbelievers, you may not realize just how many of them point to this issue as a justification for their unbelief.

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote:

I can imagine it (though it isn’t the most likely line of attack) but I would wait to read their explication.

…and wait, and wait, and wait.

Still no explication from demosthenes1d on how day-age can be fit into the requirement of the presence of light, given in the direct context of Genesis 1. Brushing the requirement away is not an explication.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

This thread has clearly moved at a bit of a quick pace, and I’ve missed the outset. I’ll pick here to put in my three cents. Demos, you seem to be repeating the idea that there isn’t inherently anything to directly disprove the days=ages interpretation. You seem to be, and I’m sorry if this sounds eerily familiar, actually interested in making a case for why this interpretation is correct. See, this isn’t a situation where there are two equally natural interpretations of Scripture and it’s open to debate what precisely happened. There is one direct and obvious interpretation. Now, there… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Justin,

The debate might feel dull and secondary, but there are serious issues in view.

Briefly, there is the issue of scriptural authority, which you touch on. But also, any deep time position distorts the relationship between sin and death. Both Moses and Paul draw an explicit causal connection between sin and death. All deep time positions remove that causal relationship and place death as part of the original creation and spiritualize the consequences of sin.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

“The debate might feel dull and secondary, but there are serious issues in view.” There is no shortage of serious issues to discuss. I was merely suggesting what was the more profitable to focus on. You can have a wife who’s cheating on you, and a son dealing with homosexual desire at the same time. Since you can only be in one place at a time, and are trapped within a linear progression of time, you have to pick one to deal with first. Choosing one doesn’t negate the relevance of the other. “All deep time positions remove that causal… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Because Adam’s fall brought death. Deep time has death before mankind.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that deep time as it is typically presented has death before mankind? For example, one could hypothesize that if the “days” in the Bible are not literal, they could be vastly different intervals between one another. So you could say that while separating the light from darkness and land from ocean took eons, the creation of animal and human life was rapid, so you could have both an old earth and keep death as starting with the fall. But this is deeply in devil’s advocate land. I’ll definitely consent that the way they… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Except when you start playing around with ideas like that you lose the need for deep time. Dead animals are in the rocks (and so are thistles). And these rocks are dated to deep time.

Katecho
Member

Justin Parris wrote: So you could say that while separating the light from darkness and land from ocean took eons, the creation of animal and human life was rapid, so you could have both an old earth and keep death as starting with the fall. This is something that I’ve alluded to with their day = light dilemma. Light is the only defining feature of the day which is given in the context of Genesis 1. However, we also know that rule of the day (light) changes in a significant way after the first few days. While there is no… Read more »

Robert John
Guest
Robert John

I would appreciate it if someone here could suggest how best to respond to this question: If there was no death before sin, how is it that predatory animals are perfectly created for killing (i.e. why do they have “tooth and claw” in the first place)?

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Robert,

The short answer is that able to kill is not the same as designed to kill. A baseball bat is a very deadly thing, but it was built to smash home-runs not skulls. Plus, there is the uncertainty of how the animal kingdom has changed since the Fall. Though we have good tools to deduce some changes, we simply don’t know what changes have occurred.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

“I would appreciate it if someone here could suggest how best to respond to this question: If there was no death before sin, how is it that predatory animals are perfectly created for killing (i.e. why do they have “tooth and claw” in the first place)?” I could speculate if you like. If God is both omniscient and omnipotent, he is not in any way confined to the linear progression of time. He would then know in advance that the fall was going to take place, and created the earth knowing what would be required in a post fall world.… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Last Thursday-ism

Gordon Wilson
Guest
Gordon Wilson

Hi Justin, Follow this link. I address this topic in an abstract I wrote for the Creation Biology Society called “The Origins of Natural Evil” (2004). https://s3.amazonaws.com/ClubExpressClubFiles/201240/documents/004.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIB6I23VLJX7E4J7Q&Expires=1542843361&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D004.pdf&Signature=LOv0KuY32v0hnnhStsqN79AzYJQ%3D

demosthenes1d
Member

Hey, Robert. Here is what Thomas Aquinas had to say: “In the opinion of some, those animals which now are fierce and kill others, would, in that state, have been tame, not only in regard to man, but also in regard to other animals. But this is quite unreasonable. For the nature of animals was not changed by man’s sin, as if those whose nature now it is to devour the flesh of others, would then have lived on herbs, as the lion and falcon. Nor does Bede’s gloss on Genesis 1:30, say that trees and herbs were given as… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Demo,

This is also consistent with Aquinas’ contention (which is admittedly exaggerated by some, but still true) that the effects of the Fall were not absolute. The noetic effects on human reason were quite limited in his view. So, it isn’t surprising to see him limiting the effects of the Fall here, as well.

demosthenes1d
Member

BJ, A fairly limited view of the extent of the falls effect may be part of it, bit i expect he also held that animal death is not in and of itself an evil. This was certainly Augustine’s view: “But it is ridiculous to condemn the faults of beasts and trees, and other such mortal and mutable things as are void of intelligence, sensation, or life, even though these faults should destroy their corruptible nature; for these creatures received, at their Creator’s will, an existence fitting them, by passing away and giving place to others, to secure that lowest form… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Thanks for quote. That view is consistent, though, with a limited view of the Fall’s effects. For those who see animal death as good, I would simply note the tranquility of animals and the lack of eating one another is used numerous times in the prophets as a vision of what the future Messianic reign will entail. If animal death is “very good,” then why the need to overcome it? Why are carnivorous animals, like lions, eating “straw”? The prophets were working on the assumption that animals eating each other was problem enough to overcome under the reign of the… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

BJ, I don’t have a short, or satisfactory, answer, but my inclination is to take those passage as representing human affairs using symbolic language; lions -kings, oxen – Gods people/Jacob, serpent – satan/the demonic. I have trouble viewing the Isaiah passages as the end state of God’s re-creation. Isaiah 65:20 says indicates that people will still be dying “one who dies at 100 years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of 100 will be considered accursed.” This is in the same section as lions eating straw and serpents eating dust, and is a recapitulation of Isaiah… Read more »

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d wrote: The logic here is that the death and passing away of some creatures to give way to others is beautiful and glorifying to God. God was also glorified in the crucifixion of Christ, but that’s not an argument that crucifixions should have been conducted in the Garden. The logic is completely at odds with Paul’s logic of all creation groaning under subjection to futility because of the curse, and the longing to be released from it. The logic is also completely at odds with the anticipation of the wolf lying down with the lamb, and the child placing… Read more »

demosthenes1d
Member

Katecho,

“They came from a need to accommodate a completely foreign paradigm. There is an evolutionary tail (tale) wagging the theological dog.”

I know! If I see Augustine write one more Biologos post I’m going to give up reading him. Compromiser.

Katecho
Member

demosthenes1d jokes, but Augustine was dealing with evolutionary tales in his own day. Darwin wasn’t as original as he’s made out to be. He simply gave evolution a scientific air.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I am not concerned with theoretical could-be positions. I am only interested in addressing actual positions people take. At present, no interpretation of Genesis which allows for deep time presently asserts that there was eons of time without death. If someone held that position, I would address it, but it would have different problems.

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

“Except when you start playing around with ideas like that you lose the need for deep time. Dead animals are in the rocks (and so are thistles). And these rocks are dated to deep time.” -Bethyada I totally agree. I was presenting the argument as it could best be made, not presenting an argument I thought was useful. Your phrasing of the error of the theory left a hole, and as I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I am wholly and fundamentally as a person incapable of resisting the urge to argue that hole. “While there is no suggestion from… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Additionally, Genesis explicitly defines the term “day”, in context, prior to using the word. In Genesis 1:5, we read, “and God called the light day”. Whatever meaning someone wants to attach to the word “day”, it must be limited by the presence of light, and the absence of darkness. This requirement is inescapable in this context, regardless of how the term “day” is used elsewhere in Scripture. Was there a repeating cycle of light and darkness that lasted for longer than 24 hours? What was this light and this darkness? I’m happy to grant that light could have meant something… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Katecho, “the conclusion I’ve come to is that they just don’t care about reconciling their view with the text.” I feel the force that motivates this statement, I really do, but I am not sure how true this is. I don’t suspect this describes Demo. I also know other deep time proponents in my church where I pastor (much to my dismay) who this wouldn’t describe. I do think it is fair to say that they are allowing intellectual ideas from outside the text to force their hand on the reading. That is where I think the danger lies. But… Read more »

Nathan James
Member

The slippery point is that they may believe the text matters to them, and yet it may not actually matter.

The important part of this discussion isn’t whether the earth is 6,000 years old or 6,001. The crucial point is how we would know. It is a matter of loyalty to God’s revelation as the truest source of knowledge.

Devil: “Yea, hath God really said the earth is young?”
Man: “Now that you mention it, I’m not really sure he did!”
Devil: “Hard to say, isn’t it?”
Man: “Now I can agree with Science and still hold that scripture is infallible. Gee, thanks, devil!”

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

That is why we have to address hermeneutical issues. Indeed, how do we know?

But, having a different hermeneutical approach doesn’t’ mean that the text is not important to them. I am convinced that all deep time positions do way too much damage to the text, and that is why I oppose them. But someone refusing to admit that they had opened pandora’s box by interpreting Adam as a metaphor and day as a symbol and the Fall as something else is different from them simply not caring about the text.

Nathan James
Member

“But someone refusing to admit that they had opened pandora’s box by interpreting Adam as a metaphor and day as a symbol and the Fall as something else is different from them simply not caring about the text.” Turning Adam into a metaphor is not a mistake one is likely to make while faithfulness to scripture is your driving motive. A man who does this hasn’t misunderstood the text, he has willfully misunderstood the text. We may say that the text is still important to him, in that it is very important to him that he be able to misunderstand… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I get this, I really do. I frame the issue in terms of authority and the battle between who gets to decide truth. So, I am with you in that regard.

But there is a real difference between someone who is accommodating deep time (to whatever degree) and trying to look rigorously at the text, and someone who simply dismisses the text as wrong or “doing something other” than teaching truth and accepts the teachings of modern evolutionary dogma.

One really does care about the text, even as they do real damage to Biblical theology, and the other doesn’t.

Nathan James
Member

I’ve been there myself. Not on the deep time issue, but on others. There’s a world of difference, practically speaking, between looking rigorously at the text AFTER deciding what it is not permitted to say, and letting the text speak authoritatively. In one case we say the bible is the authoritative word of God, in the other, we act like it. I know I’ve been banging on this hard, and I don’t mean to be argumentative. I think Wilson was right on with the “BioLogos Unbelievers” post. I believe Christian deep time advocates are in the same boat as theistic… Read more »

Katecho
Member

BJ wrote:

I feel the force that motivates this statement, I really do, but I am not sure how true this is. I don’t suspect this describes Demo. I also know other deep time proponents in my church where I pastor (much to my dismay) who this wouldn’t describe.

I could have qualified my statement to allow for some exceptions, but I’m just not aware of any, and, besides, this is no-quarter November. Argghhhhh!!!

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Yes, indeed!

I need to adopt this no-quarter November idea into my church and just let loose one day. It is tiring at times to be consistently diplomatic.

drewnchick
Member

If those men did not hold to a literal 24-hour, 6-day Creation, then yes, I would not vote for them to serve as elders on my session. It’s not really a hard choice.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

It appears the PCA is headed toward about the same end as the PC(USA) in any case. Being smaller, it might just get there sooner.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/11/which-u-s-religious-groups-are-oldest-and-youngest/

Nathan Smith
Member

What about the seventh day? Gen 2:1-3. “…and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done…” Seems like he’s still resting from his creative work. I haven’t seen any new moons appear lately, but I can’t count the stars. He obviously didn’t rest from EVERYTHING even on the seventh day. For everything holds together by the word of his power. The seventh day sure seems like it is a lot longer than 24 hours. So maybe the others… Just thinking. I affirm a young earth creation theory, but I can’t say I’m completely convinced.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I affirm a young earth creation position because I have not seen a compelling argument, either hermeneutical or scientifical, that either requires or permits a deep time view. I have also decided in which direction I’m willing to be wrong on this issue on the day that I stand before God. I am not willing to be wrong in the direction of believing man’s word over the straightforward interpretation of God’s Word and finding out that the straightforward reading of days was correct. I would be ashamed to have doubted God’s Word. However, I am very content to be wrong… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

On an unrelated note, I would like to apologize for my rampant typos the last couple weeks. A wine glass was spilled on my mechanical keyboard. I’ve been working on a low quality mini keyboard and all my muscle memory is wrong. I don’t even think to proofread mistakes, as my brain “knows” what it was that it typed. I’ll be more careful.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

When you include wine, typos, and memory problems, I don’t think the problems are mechanical! Sounds more like some drunk posting at Mablog. :)

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

lol. Fair enough. I suppose I walked into that one. To be more specific, reacting to my son suddenly deciding to jump towards me off the top of the couch by quickly swiveling my office chair caused the wine glass to fall. Any poor quality in my posts is just me being plainly unintelligent.

It was sad too. I’m a gamer. That was a $200 keyboard.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

(Whistling quietly and looking up at the ceiling)…

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Justin, is that you in the video clip? C’mon man, keyboards aren’t that expensive!

Justin Parris
Member
Justin Parris

lol. Mechanical keyboards are pretty expensive. But this one was fancier still. It had an extra row of keys on the left hand side that were programmable to execute a command or series of commands with one press. So suppose in a game you wanted to open up your inventory, select specific alternative pieces of equipment, equip them, and immediately use a particular item. You could program the 1 key to enter all those commands in succession. It also had a slot at the top to insert and sync with your phone, to display other information on a secondary screen.… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

“You could….”

Huh? I doubt *I* could do any of those things. It would be functioning keyboard that would cause me to run and scream!

I do see where it could be pricey though, and the loss a Gah!! moment. I understand hobbies. I spend some money for none other than the very good purpose of having fun, and it’s worth it.