BioLogos Irony (YEC/OEC)


I’m not trying to pin God down. I’m simply stating if that account was literal ( that would be Him pinning it down, not me), it could make logic sense according to our laws and constants that both time beliefs are correct.

There is no need to make 7 days, but there are parallels that can be used if it was a literal 7 days. If it turns out it wasn’t a literal 7 days, it doesn’t invalidate the sabbath, but can be used as a parallel, if it did occur that way.

The same way you can be 3 separate beings and be the same one being at the same time. It’s something that we can’t comprehend, but it is true.

I never really thought about that before though, that God can’t move, as He has no need to move as He is omnipresent. Although it speaks of Him sitting on a throne, which is a location and a metaphor for in charge. Again, omnipresence is something we just can’t fathom.

But again like the pillars of fire or Jesus, physical representations of Himself can and were physical moved and if of those physical representations could have witnessed the creation in 6 days.

Since God is outside of time, there is no amount of time for Him to create everything. But for us created in time in our universe, it took 13.7 billion years. But if He wanted it to also have been created in 7 literal days (to later parallel that with working 6 days and resting the 7th), it could be assigned and witnessed by a physical representation of God to have taken 7 days.

I can’t speak for everyone, but to me outside of time doesn’t literally mean outside of it and not with us in it, rather it means not confined by it.

I agree. I think He does live with us in the time we live, but I believe He is not confined by only the time I live in. He died for me 2000 years ago and that atonement transcends time and applies to me still today if I accept it. That is what I mean by outside of time.


A glimmer of how to take Genesis 1.

And where exactly do you find that idea in Scripture? You seem to be just making this up as you go as a means to maintain a literal reading of Genesis. And another question is where in Genesis is it recorded who exactly witnessed the Creation? Where did the story come from?

(Christy Hemphill) #184

I don’t know. I guess you would have to google “history of the doctrine of transcendence.”

It is supposed to be balanced with the doctrine of immanence.


I’m not even saying (anymore) I believe this is how it is. What I am saying is if it was a literal translation, this time warp theory reconciles it, and a theory of parallels give it reasoning as to why it would have been literal.

Why did Jesus fast for 40 days? Why did it rain for 40 days? Maybe these are metaphors for a time of training,tribulation, testing and preparation? Or maybe these are literal parallels that validates each other?

If a literal creation account did occur, it would be using parallels to validate the importance of having a sabbath and resting on it on the 7th day.


I think you mean if it was literal history.

Exactly. 40 is a symbolic number that refers to a time of trial, testing or probation. The meaning is not an exactly 40 day period. The meaning is in the number not the days. Just like 7 can represent perfection or completion.


A great video explains this concept from @gbrooks9 here TEDx Talks - With Inspirational Messages on the Unity of Science & Religion

(Peter Wolfe) #188

Hi, Roger Olson (respected Christian philosopher and theologian) has a great post on God & time from some years ago.

Make sure you read the comment section as well. Good food for thought and discussion.

(Phil) #189

Thanks for sharing that wonderful article. It points up how we need theologians who have thought deeply about these things and have the background of studying other deep thinkers to help us understand difficult concepts.

(Albert Leo) #190

Thanks, Peter. This is exactly what I was looking for. ‘Divine Timelessness’ has always seemed like speculation to me, but I have not taken the time and effort to read much on the subject. (Olson’s article was very humbling in this respect.) Olson seems to express my view that a god outside of time seems incompatible with Christian devotion. From my limited contact with Karl Barth’s work, I was more impressed with his acceptance of the concept of God being “Wholly Other” than God’s “divine temporality.”

I’m glad you steered me into reading the Comment Section. It did not add much theological information to my meager store, but it did emphasize a point I long suspected: In devoting all one’s life into becoming an ‘expert theologian’, one runs the risk of losing sight of what it’s all about. Olson seems to be easily ‘insulted’ with some of the responders who express an opinion different from his own. I am reminded of an old axiom: Instead of arguing over the species and genera of the moss and lichen growing on a particular tree, one ought to admire the beauty of the entire forest that clothes the mountainside.

I am fortunate to be confident that my God is beside me at all times, even though I will never know His exact nature unless (and until) I am called into His presence. Can any religion do more?
Al Leo


It would be much simpler to conclude that God inspired the Biblical authors to write an allegorical or metaphorical creation story.

(Albert Leo) #192

Thanks to you and George for leading me to the Ted-X presentation. It is one of the best I have seen. He presents all the ideas I tried to pass on to my Adult Confirmation classes, but he is so much more effective than I could ever hope to be. I think BioLogos should give it more publicity–or have they and I just missed it?
Al Leo


[quote=“still_learning, post:187, topic:36495”]

[/quote] @gbrooks9

Thank all 3 of you for such a great feast of this food for though you provided me with.

I should start a new thread as this one has run its course, and I need help of tHe many biblical scholars here to digest some of this.

I agree, and the simpler answer is usually the correct one. I’m still learning…

I’m fine if a mod wants to close this thread of let it die naturally, whatever they prefer.


Thanks for that.
I believe the article adds to the notion that the god of philosophy is not easily reconciled with the God of the Bible.

Also, God being ‘omnipotent’ is referenced a couple times in the article but God’s omniscience isn’t. I suspect that existing ‘in time’ affects some of traits about which God can be ‘omni’ about. Olson notes in one reply that every cosmology he has encountered “runs into mystery at some point”. If one presumes that God must be ‘in time’ one will have to accept a certain set of mysteries, and a different set of mysteries if one thinks God is outside of time. Personally, I think the most objective case, based on reason, that one could make is for a god of philosophers as opposed to a God of the Bible. But people’s opinion’s vary.

(Jay Johnson) #195

The great scientist Blaise Pascal was converted by some sort of visionary experience. Afterward, he wrote this record and sewed it into his coat, where it was discovered after his death:

Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement . . . from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. “My God and your God.” . . . Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy. . . Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from him.


Good point. I have a good friend who had a similar experience during a crisis and became a Muslim. He’s been on Hajj at least once. And another friend who became a Buddhist. Plus one or two people I know who became Christians. And a number that were Christian for a while but the experience didn’t hold for them.

So no doubt that for some, a strong emotional epiphany radically sways their views. What is one person’s transformative experience can appear as a not uncommon, but far from universal, psychological transition to another. I try to withhold judgement as to whether any particular person’s experience is legitimate, but as a class of phenomena, and given the fact that it leads people to many different faiths and beliefs, it’s hard to cite these experiences as a rationale for any particular belief. The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’. Certainly not without better underpinnings.

I can see how one may have an experience where one feels in touch with some higher power or connected to the entire universe. Getting from there to the concepts of Original Sin or the Trinity is a big step, however.


I concur. I am currently trying to learn more about and differentiate between the God of the Bible rather than the god of philosophers.

Just like I grew up being taught about the bible of the church and I am now learning more (through the help of science and God’s personal revelation) about the Bible inspired by God.

Why are Christians so quick to label God as Omni anything if that is never used once in the Bible? Is there anything wrong in having a very powerful and knowing and loving God?

(Jay Johnson) #198

Absolutely. Pascal spent a lot of time in Pensees trying to explain the difference between the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the god of philosophers and scholars. I think he came closest in these notes:

  1. The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know. We feel it in a
    thousand things. I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal Being, and also
    itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them; and it hardens itself against one
    or the other at its will. You have rejected the one and kept the other. Is it by reason
    that you love yourself?

  2. It is the heart which experiences God, and not the reason. This, then, is
    faith: God felt by the heart, not by the reason.
    Faith is a gift of God; do not believe that we said it was a gift of reasoning.
    Other religions do not say this of their faith. They only give reasoning in order to
    arrive at it, and yet it does not bring them to it.

  3. The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.


A very interesting almost ironic quote to come from the guy who came up with Pascal’s wager.

(Jay Johnson) #200

You shouldn’t egg me on. Pascal is the man! haha. Anyway, he had a long series of notes on “the necessity of the wager.” Here are the key points:

We do not require great education of the mind to understand that here is no
real and lasting satisfaction; that our pleasures are only vanity; that our evils are
infinite; and, lastly, that death, which threatens us every moment, must infallibly
place us within a few years under the dreadful necessity of being for ever either
annihilated or unhappy.

This is what I see and what troubles me. I look on all sides, and I see
only darkness everywhere. Nature presents to me nothing which is not matter
of doubt and concern. If I saw nothing there which revealed a Divinity, I would
come to a negative conclusion; if I saw everywhere the signs of a Creator, I would
remain peacefully in faith. But, seeing too much to deny and too little to be sure, I
am in a state to be pitied; wherefore I have a hundred times wished that if a God
maintains Nature, she should testify to Him unequivocally, and that, if the signs
she gives are deceptive, she should suppress them altogether; that she should say
everything or nothing, that I might see which cause I ought to follow. Whereas in
my present state, ignorant of what I am or of what I ought to do, I know neither
my condition nor my duty. My heart inclines wholly to know where is the true
good, in order to follow it; nothing would be too dear to me for eternity.

Let us now speak according to natural lights.
If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible, since, having neither parts
nor limits, He has no affinity to us. We are then incapable of knowing either what
He is or if He is. This being so, who will dare to undertake the decision of the question?
Not we, who have no affinity to Him.

Who then will blame Christians for not being able to give a reason for their
belief, since they profess a religion for which they cannot give a reason? They
declare, in expounding it to the world, that it is a foolishness, stultitiam (1 Cor. 1:21); and
then you complain that they do not prove it! If they proved it, they would not
keep their word; it is in lacking proofs that they are not lacking in sense. “Yes,
but although this excuses those who offer it as such and takes away from them the
blame of putting it forward without reason, it does not excuse those who receive

Let us then examine this point, and say, “God is, or He is not.” But to which
side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos
which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance
where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to
reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you
can defend neither of the propositions.

Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice; for you know
nothing about it.

(Chris Falter) #201

In these Bible-recorded instances of self-revelation, God condescended to make an appearance in our space-time frame of reference so that we might encounter Him.

Your speculation has none of that purpose as far as I can tell. You are not proposing a self-revelation of God for redemptive purposes. Instead, you are speculating that God condescended into our space-time frame of reference for the sole purpose of reinforcing a controversial exegesis of Genesis 1 - 3. I can’t fault your motives, but your proposal is so ad hoc and speculative that I, for one, do not find it worth investigation. Sorry.

But I admire your faith and tenacity. :slight_smile: