It might help those struggling with Genesis to realize that God’s time is measured differently. The Genesis authors may have felt God’s creation in the only way they could understand, days. We now know that 10,000 years can pass on earth and be but a day far out in the universe. Do we need to calculate it-no. We just need to create room for faith and science to co-exist. The language of Genesis is written as one standing next to the tree of Abraham trying to peer at the buried roots with glasses with so many different lenses that it is hard to describe what is seen, with words that they had then. The whole known world was the middle east and that was true to the early story tellers. God knew this and left us many ways to find him. Those trying to force fit scientific formulas to understand the bible are hurting faith, however the beautiful and true general descriptions of nature and science in the bible that are awe-inspiring are to draw us back to God.There is just enough of a thread in the scripture of matching science a little, to keep us going. God breathed perfect word on imperfect people until Jesus. We are to learn from all of them. If we have any doubts on God- just look at what we are doing now. We, are made in the image of God, are gaining incredible powers over energy, communication and life itself as we seek to advance our powers. This is no accident and we told from scripture to do all with Christ as our guide. Don’t give up your faith, give up needing an exact answer. If God gave us the exact answer, it would not require us to have faith and hope, only a formula and a law.
Thanks for your thoughts – and not knowing if you’ve commented much before, welcome to the forum in case you are new here. Sorry if you’ve been a long-time commenter/lurker and I just haven’t noticed.
This makes it sound like those who want to take all of Scripture seriously are trying to stand on a concordist foundation – a seriously eroding one at that. There are many here I think, including myself, who would gently insist otherwise.
Amen to that! Especially the last sentence an exhortation toward the Christian believer. And I would add that if that believer is also a scientific thinker, she or he can even insist on looking for the right answers (any that can be investigated scientifically) as long as they don’t let that quest replace or become their highest faith.
Thank you. This was my first post. Sorry if I conveyed a theologically constrained position. I wanted to extend the hope that I see science in scripture bringing our divisions together instead of leaving people in doubt or denial of God; or in denial of science; for example trying to force fit dates to the universe or the converse, walk away from the bible as untrue. I see that theme in some of the blogs and feel badly for those people that are struggling and need a way to fit both into their understanding, without compartmentalizing their science and their faith separately. They are our neediest audience. I hope this reaches them somehow.
Do you think there needs to be a thread in Scripture matching science? If there wasn’t, would it negatively impact your faith?
Hi DVGrieve -
Thanks for coming to the forum and sharing your heart and insights. I agree with you that we are dealing with mysteries, and that the way that God inspired godly prophets and apostles in days past got expressed in the cultural terms of that time. Indeed, there was no other way for the prophets and apostles to express the inspiration God had given them.
I feel that we need to confront issues other than timeframes as we reflect on Genesis and science. Since the forum does not seem to have a tool for creating an html table, I cannot list these other issues in 2 columns, side-by-side. So instead I will simply a woefully incomplete list of elements in Genesis, then some scientific findings that do not, at first glance, seem to agree with them:
Prior to God’s act(s) of creation, the earth existed in a formless, water-covered state
Morning and evening can be defined in the absence of any heavenly bodies other than the earth
Light existed before sun and stars
Plants existed before the sun
Birds existed before there were any land creatures
Prior to God’s act(s) of creation, nothing existed
Morning and evening are defined with reference to the earth’s rotation vis-a-vis the sun
The sun and stars produce light
The sun was shining long before plants existed
Land creatures existed for hundreds of millions of years before there were any birds.
Please understand that I am not for a moment suggesting that the Bible and science are irreconciliable. What I am saying is that we have a lot of ground to cover to reach our goal. We can get there, though, if we apply proper hermeneutical methods to the Scriptures.
Again, welcome @DVGrieve! Thanks for caring and sharing.
The Forum supports HTML, BBcode, and Markdown languages, although Markdown is the easiest.
Here’s an easy tool: http://www.tablesgenerator.com/markdown_tables
Sort of off topic, but relates to time and the various YEC explanations for light speed etc., I was just reading how the spacecraft that photographed Pluto now requires 5 hours and 20 minutes for a command given from Earth to reach. And that is still far inside our little solar system.
One might still wonder how fruit-trees were created before fish, however long the ‘days’ were.
You mean we can put html right in our comments?
(used the h3 html tag for that)
ThanksI hope they know enough to not allow script tags.
Another great way to think of this is the relativity of time caused by immense gravity in the form of Black Holes. The closer you get to a black hole, time does not slow down for you, but an outside sees you falling for ever. Literally. Therefore, if one were to orbit around a black hole and then go back to earth, he might be a lot younger than the people who stayed on Earth. It is comforting to know that God is not bound by time, because he is its Creator, and therefore with the black hole analogy, one can more understand “A day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” Luckily, we can be assured that God does not spend all his time in orbit around black holes. He doesn’t need to, since he has absolute power over everything.
I am concerned about YEC and those that continue to press this idea in the face of scientific evidence to the contrary. I wonder how many they are turning away from God rather than bringing them toward God. YECs claim that it is the scientists that are turning them away from God, and so many seek to send their children to home school for this reason. Perhaps both are wrong.
Indeed this concept of how God measures time should be embraced by YEC and simply say yes time is relative, and we are misleading people with our hard view a 6 day creation. Don’t condemn scientists the way that the Catholic church did Galileo.
Some suggest God is not bound by time, but indeed time exists and God exists within it. The trinity can explain how the Father exists in all time and controls by His will, the Son with knowledge and truth sees the will of the Father and the Holy Spirit implements the will of the Father with the knowledge and the truth of the Son. And this is all from scripture.
Can’t YECs just give it up and accept this. Can’t scientists also? I hope so. I pray for this. Then both can bring people to God by showing them a plausible solution consistent with the bible and science, rather than pushing them away.
I have this link bookmarked, from a physicist that deals with the days in Genesis and how it matches with the age of the universe. Thought it might be worth posting here, as it seems relevant: https://sixdayscience.com/six-days-2/
When trying to understand Creation, we should not interpret the text with philosophy. The biblical authors were not philosophers. They could not even imagine the existence of time. They never once mention that God created time. They never mention time at all. They used change markers, seen in nature, to record when. The Biblical prophets could not imagine an invisible time continuum. Time does not exist either for God or man.
Yet, we confirm the biblical creation in the visible history of the universe. Probably several trillion galaxies exist scattered in all directions at many ranges. We can see past the near one to the creation era. Not a shred of evidence exists for time. All we see is change. In fact, we see the very changes the Bible mentions in the creation text. Elohim continues (imperfect verb) to command the lights in the heavens to become spreading things (Hebrew noun raqiya). The spreading raqiya are to shine on the Earth and serve as markers for days and years. Indeed, we can see how galaxies grew from tiny globs, streams of stars globs emerging and spreading out, often into local growth spirals. The atomic clocks and the orbits accelerate together.
In the original languages, the Bible never mentions time. Ancient people could not imagine it. They could not measure it. The Bible refers to many timing EVENTS. Change and time (science) are opposite worldviews.
Since we observe the creation exactly as stated in the text.
Since scientists have filled the universe up with 99% magical things (like space time, invisible matter, vacuums that stretch light) etc.
We can be sure that the Bible will vanquish Western science, for the Creators great glory. Change and science are opposite worldviews.
jpm - as far as the photons are concerened (as I understand it) they’re here more or less instantly. Not sure how that advances the discussion, but it does remind us that time is not a constant even within creation.
Sometimes you have to whet a person’s appetite to get them to click on a link…
Your link to the powerpoint presentation is important!!
It is a brilliant presentation on how to logically see the first 6 days of God in a physically realistic way … and best of all, it will drive the YEC’s crazy…
Below is a sampling of the presentation’s logic and conclusions !!! Worth doing a Save-As onto your computers!!!
Intelligent Design makes more sense than BioLogos
This should be a part of everyone’s “thinking cap equipment” who hopes to make the connection between the 6 Days of Creation … and how the reality of SpaceTime might look to humanity vs. how it looks to the Divine…
This is false. Would you please stop saying it?
Yes, time is not a constant, as general relativity explains.
No, photons are not here more or less instantly. In the frame of reference of the solar system, photons require about 8 minutes to travel from the sun to the earth. And they require many hours to travel between the earth and the “New Horizons” spacecraft.