Thank you for your input Mr. McKain. Can you explain more in depth about the “hostile to science” part? I don’t exactly what you mean by this because I personally believe the Bible shouldn’t directly be involved in science even though I understand your viewpoint on how the “the Bible doesn’t have to be read” in this way. We all don’t know everything about God which is explicitly explained in Job 38. I believe in the YEC view because this makes the most sense to me and I believe that the Bible is a historical book and that God created everything already without the process of evolution. Also, I was wondering why you strongly believe that my view/faith is invalid? Once again, thank you for your time!
I really appreciate and love your response! I fully agree with you that the Bible is “to teach us what we need to know concerning love, faith, hope, and salvation” but it also is used for us to get to know God and build a deeper connection with him. Thank you for your time and the great response!!
Indeed it is to help us to get too know our Heavenly Father better but we have the best example given to us outside of the Scriptures and that is Jesus Christ who we can look at and see the Heavenly Father’s Love to ALL! It is in Jesus that we truly find the Love and Hope of the Heavenly Father to ALL humankind. I hope and pray that where ever you go on this journey that the Love of God the Father and of Christ Jesus our Lord be with you always and that you don’t get caught up in issues of debate and doctrines and have them overshadow the Gospel and Love of the Heavenly Father. Love and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Correct. Science is one of the few activities that people of different religious beliefs can join together in the same work and have worked together. This is because it doesn’t depend on a system of beliefs. Science is built upon methodological ideals according to which the Bible and our religious beliefs are quite irrelevant.
The difficult part is that the findings of science often do have an impact on our beliefs in religion. It can change the way we read the Bible for example. Now I will admit that I never faced such a challenge. I started with the scientific worldview and then read the Bible to see if I could find anything of value there. Reading the Bible in a way contrary to the findings of science was never possible for me because I was not raised Christian. I was a scientist first.
In Genesis 4:14 Cain says… and I shall be a wanderer on the Earth and whoever finds me shall slay me? What people are these? His parents? Why would you try to explain this away if you were not intentionally trying to make the Bible hostile to the findings of science which assures us that there was never less than 10,000 people on the Earth.
In the rest of Genesis 4 it says Cain had a wife and it certainly doesn’t say that Cain married his sister. In fact no sisters are mentioned anywhere. Why would you invent sisters and introduce incest into this story unless you were intentionally trying to contradict the findings of science? The explanation of who Cain and Seth married is right there in Genesis chapter 6: “when men began to multiply on the face of the ground, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair and they took to wife such as they chose.” In the rest of the OT the children of God always referred to God’s chosen people, so the sons of men would refer to other people which filled the world like in Genesis 4:14. Why would you change sons of god to angels when we are told elsewhere that angels do not marry? Why invent half-man half-angelic fairy-tale giant monstrosities spoken of nowhere in the Bible just to make the Bible contradict science?
So your personal interpretation of the Bible is your reason for responding to all the evidence God sends us from the earth and sky with calling God a liar. Seems more reasonable to simply accept that you got it wrong.
I said no such thing. I simply asked you a question. Why would you make God out to be a liar. Do you not believe that God created the Earth and the sky? Then explain why God would create the Earth and sky in such a way as to tell us an unending pack of lies?
Come on! The only disagreements here is on how the Bible should be understood. There is no disagreement between the evidence coming from so many different directions. The light from all of the stars agrees with the all of the geological evidence which agrees with all of the fossil evidence which agrees with all of the genetic evidence from all the different species on the planet.
What I meant by “a narrow view of Genesis” was essentially any one view that somebody might pick and then insist that it is the only faithful understanding of scripture there is. Don’t get me wrong … I do think that some understandings are more accurate, more insightful, more warranted by scholarship, … even more faithful than others. So I’m not trying to create some false across-the-board equivalency between all different views. But I’m not aware of any one view that successfully nails everything down, though some views may aspire to think they have. [And that may be every bit as much an EC conceit as a YEC conceit.] And if so, I think their narrowness is highlighted by the very pretension. Not saying you personally are doing that, but the more breathing room anybody situated in any of these views gives for details to work out in different ways and just let the text and its contexts speak for themselves, the less narrow their view becomes. And most importantly, I want to recognize that any sincere Christian can be (almost certainly is) wrong about a lot of stuff, including Genesis. So don’t let anybody here bully you into thinking your faith depends on your “correct answers” here to some of these origins questions. We are Christians here … not “Genesisians”.
I’m glad you want to delve deeper. Don’t ever let go of that. It’s something none of us should ever tire of desiring.
Interesting that you should frame your question including YEC, OEC and EC, because that pretty well describes my personal history, now that I’m a heretic (according to many YECs) , except that I have picked a label of ‘evolutionary providentialist’ to apply to myself. If you poke around here a little, it won’t take long to discover that I am all about God’s providence and that he is a loving Father. (You will also find, to my chagrin, that I am not spontaneously gracious and that I’m quick to return insult for insult and that I don’t take well to condescension. )
Some of the evidences for the antiquity of the earth are quite remarkable, and I would even call this one about girdled rocks fun (it’s also a favorite of mine because it includes a reference to God’s providence):
I was raised a YEC, but I realized that that view is not supported by either the scriptures or the evidence that God has given us in creation.
I posted this response to a similar question on another thread:
The first 11 chapters of Genesis are not literal history.
That is clear from the fact that there are two creation stories with different orders and methods of creation.
The first is Genesis 1.1-2.4a. It has the order of creation as plants, animals, man and woman. The method of creation is God made decrees, often telling the earth to bring forth life.
The second creation story begins in Genesis 2.4b. It has the order of creation as man, plants, animals, and woman. God creates with His hands.
The Bible itself makes it clear that we are not to read the early chapters of Genesis as literal history.
Our faith is not based on Genesis being a historical document. It is based on the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
By the way, you might want to look at the story of a notable Christian paleontologist, Dr. Mary Schweitzer. She went through the dilemma perceived differences between the evidence that God has given us in nature and a literal reading of scripture.
It is possible to keep your faith in Jesus while recognizing that we aren’t meant to read the early chapters of Genesis as literal history.
This is one of my favorite bits about the antiquity of the universe. The author is a Christian physicist and this is his blog site (I think he would probably be in the OEC camp):
Interesting. Good read. I don’t know if I buy the argument with respect to size since I don’t see how the expansion rate is made necessary by anything. But I do think there is good reason is think that 13.8 billion years is not a very long time considering all that needed to happen in order to make the life we have possible.
Furthermore the quote form Contact was about whether there is life elsewhere in the universe and I don’t think the authors arguments alters this in the slightest. I certainly do not see why the existence of life elsewhere would be a problem for Christianity in any way. I am reminded of words of C.S. Lewis via Aslan, “No one is told any story but their own,” meaning that life elsewhere is simply none of our business – and the structure of the universe seems to support this (the universe is NOT our playground). The God I believe in is certainly big enough to handle an infinite number of worlds full of life and histories.
Nor do I. I don’t think it very likely for a number of reasons (and Michael Strauss’ piece it a little part of it). C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, although it is about life on other planets in our solar system, gives some ways to think about intelligent life elsewhere, should it be discovered, and it certainly doesn’t preclude it, obviously.
The size of the universe is a double edged argument for life elsewhere. The enormity of the universe really makes it hard to believe there is no life elsewhere, but the same argument weighs against the likelihood of there ever being contact with life elsewhere. So while I don’t find life elsewhere unlikely, I find the possibility of aliens visiting us to be EXTREMELY unlikely – far far far far beyond what I can find even remotely credible. I frankly find faeries, golems, dragons, wizards, psychics, magical fruit, vampires, talking animals, werewolves and such a great deal more believable (and BTW I don’t believe in any of those).
Ha! I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that I did, but what I was thinking of, rather, was the relationships of other sapient creatures elsewhere with each other and with God. Lewis’ trilogy does address that, regardless of any creature’s appearance.
Amen! This exactly how I feel as well and hope the same for you as well. God bless you and have a wonderful time!!
This actually makes quite a lot of sense and that is also what I have learned. It is great to know this even though I am a devoted Christian.
I get where you’re coming from but the Bible definitely leaves out key facts that we just have to interpret ourselves.
I totally believe that God created everything and you might have a stronger opinion against YEC which is totally understandable! I am still trying to know God more and understand the Bible more while looking at different viewpoints like OEC and EC and etc.
I get it and thank you for the clarification. I am currently starting to learn more about different views and how people interpret the Bible so I totally understand. I’m going to admit to myself that I am quite narrow-minded about this topic and was here to learn more! I appreciate your response!!
This means a great deal to me. Thanks!
Exactly my point. I am definitely still growing as a Christian and want to explore new views and insights on how others view the Bible and science together.
That’s super cool! We just learned about these different views in class and I wanted to come here and dive deeper.
Amen! This is so true and shows how good of a God He is!
This is a very cool and interesting link. I am glad you exposed me to this and that I can research new things!
Got it. I personally still need to read the Bible more and understand it in order to come to a real consensus because I am still learning.
How exactly do you view the Bible? I am very curious and want to see where you stand on interpreting the Bible.
I fully agree with the latter but I believe the Bible as a whole is a historical document even though Genesis is a book that stirs up a lot of different views and opinions. I will definitely read more of Genesis.
That’s great. I heard that from somewhere else as well and that’s good to hear.
Thanks a lot!
The late Bruce Metzger, a Princeton theological professor, described the scriptures well:
“They are authoritative, and hence canonical, because they are the extant literary deposit of the direct and indirect apostolic witness on which the later witness of the Church depends.”
The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance
Bruce M Metzger
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So I have great respect for the scriptures and view them as both authoritative and valuable.
I don’t think we should make claims for the Bible that it does not make for itself, such as claims of inerrancy or that it is, in its entirety, the “Word of God,” or that God wrote it.
The Bible certainly includes the Word of God, which is the message of God. (There are other meanings for the Word of God, but they don’t apply to this discussion.)
Thank you for showing me this book!
Yeah and I fully agree and need to learn to not do this so often. The Word of God is made by God and shouldn’t be changed. People may interpret it differently but can’t change what it says one bit.
Thank you so much for the clarification and your help!