The Creation Week: A Systems-Based Approach

Being a septuagenarian, I was raised in an era where all evangelical (a label that i am not in a hurry to own anymore) churches were YEC and that evolution necessarily implied atheism. But even as a child, I thought that YEC attempts to explain how light existed before the sun were lame and a real stretch to support biblically.

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But God chose to reveal the Torah in Hebrew, did He not? That has important implications for us believers today.

I’m not sure where you’re from, Shannon, but where I grew up, we use the expression “chew the fat” to describe a casual conversation. If I went to France and someone asked me to translate a paragraph that included that phrase, would I say that the French translation is …

“mâcher la graisse”?

No way! I know from the experience of living in the sub-culture I grew up in that “chew the fat” would be better translated into French as

“bavarder”

This is an example of how you have to understand the time, place, conventions, and language of a culture in order to understand and translate a literary work from that culture into the time, place, conventions, and language of another culture.

Allow me to illustrate further by translating from the Hebrew passage I quoted earlier. I will retain the conventions of Hebrew grammar in order to make my translation as faithful as possible to the original:

“A lamp to me word of you, and a light to path of me.”

There, isn’t that careful translation of Psalm 119:105, as close as it is to the original, beautifully moving?

Grace and peace,
Chris

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Would any amount of scientific evidence convince you to change you mind with respect to the age of the Earth or evolution?

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I don’t think so, because science is ‘secular’ according to YECs, and not a legitimate source of truth. They have their own faux version, and don’t get it that truth comes from reality, and (I’m beating a dead horse as far as they are concerned ; - ) including the reality of God’s creation.

@Shannon you are misusing the Word of God to mean the Bible again.

Christians are Followers of Jesus, not Followers of the Bible.

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You feel quite free to add to the word of God don’t you? We are told in the Book of Genesis that God created the heavens and earth. PERIOD. “in a very short sequence of time” and “six literal days” are your additions to the text.

We are clearly told that God doesn’t measure time the same way we do. 2 Peter 3:8 “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And since these “days” begin before the sun and moon upon which our own days are defined then we have good reason to think there is no relationship – certainly no reason to ignore everything God tells in the data He sends us from the Earth and sky.

What nonsense… Evolution is about the origin of the species not the universe. It is the physicists paying attention to what God tells us in the Earth and sky that have learned that the universe began at some point in the past just as the Bible tells us. The scientists certainly do not tell us that galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets self-assembled through random processes. It shows us the laws of nature by which new galaxies, stars and planets continue to be formed right in front of our eyes in the sky above us. With the new space telescope we will look back to the time of creation and see this happening at the very beginning.

No. Just because you believe animals and plants popped into existence as fully functioning organisms contrary to all the evidence doesn’t mean anybody believes anything like that. Instead we can record and demonstrate the billons of self-organizing physical processes in the universe and see how some could have gone beyond this to the learning process of life. And those we can watch and document for ourselves how they develop new ways of doing things including whole new species

Engineers have learned that the best way to design superior complex machines is by taking the evolutionary algorithm approach.

So… you are not a creation of God nor are any of the living things on the planet now. Sounds like your god has becomes somewhat irrelevant to those living today.

YOU would have us believe that your god used necromancy to create things 6000 years ago and the everything since simply self-assembled through random chance processes.

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Making the Bible the only source of truth rather limits your possible choices of occupation doesn’t it?

I am certainly not going to hire any of these if they use the Bible as the only source of truth
computer repairman
plumber
auto repair
doctor
roof contractor
cook
insurance adjustor
lawyer
accountant
cosmetologist
chemist
photographer
pilot

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Hi Mitchell,

You have brought a lot of true and helpful ideas into the discussion. This one, however, needs a little qualification. Perhaps you could add the adverb often? So…

Engineers have learned that often the best way to design superior complex machines is by taking the evolutionary algorithm approach.

Grace and peace,
Chris

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As an outsider looking in, this is one the oddities I often see. I often hear that Christianity is about a personal relationship with Jesus. However, this seems to be undercut when there is so much stress put on what the Bible says. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I am in a personal relationship with someone I don’t need to read their biography in order to know what they want.

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Interestingly, the original quote from the ICR has the appeal to “common sense” that modern young-earth creationism stole from George McCready Price’s efforts to support the teachings of Ellen White. Such appeals to “common sense” all to often are an appeal to disregard the biblical principle of iron sharpening iron or nobly examining to see if something is true and instead relying on the “itchy ear” rinciple of accepting what one wants to hear.

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Part of it might to get to know what Jesus is like, I guess. I wouldn’t claim to have a personal relationship with, say, a Supreme Court justice, but if there was a prospect of meeting one, it would be helpful to have some background on them and their ‘M.O.’ (there’s that term again ; - ) with a person in my position. Then, if a personal relationship did ensue, it would not be entirely out of ignorance on my part. The analogy breaks down at that point, because the ‘mechanics’ of relationship would be rather different with a justice than with God (but the latter is not entirely unlike a [F]ather-child one).

I think you just expressed a very profound Christian observation there. Why indeed is so much of Christendom obsessed with the Bible?

Perhaps a partial answer to your question is that (and here might be another ‘oddity’ for us) it is a bit like a “long-distance” relationship. You know your lover, and so you value any letters you recieve about them or from them.

And why should any relationship with any omnipresent God have to be long-distance you might reasonably ask? Embodied creatures like ourselves can relate in fleshly and physical ways with each other. But relating from flesh to spirit will entail communicating across a gap that involves even more subjectivity. I can hear my family give audible answers to my questions. But discerning among those voices which ones are attentive to God’s Spirit as opposed to others - that’s much more subjective, and where written wisdoms and testimonies become necessary.

All that said … it doesn’t lessen one bit the probing sting of your question to believers: why indeed do we obsess so over the letters while the Spirit of the bridegroom waits patiently, perhaps just wishing we would put his letters down and visit with him directly.

I think part of our preference for the gift rather than the Giver, is that the gift is easier for us to manipulate and take control over. We already know what’s there (or we think we understand it), and so it’s safe. Whereas the Giver … well, who knows where that conversation might go! Uncomfortable things might get said or demanded - or so we fear; maybe with good reason.

No … better to stick with the “known”. The letter might kill, but at least that’s a death that is familiar to us. Something comforting about those dry bones. New life from the Spirit is … well… new. uncomfortable. dangerous.

I suspect that’s probably why you see us having such love affairs with our Bibles.

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I think that’s a fair description. I think there is a fair middle ground with the concept you are describing. However, the type of behavior I am speaking of is more along the lines of picking through every little phrase and definition as if it were a legal document. At some point all of the love is taken out of that letter, or at least that’s what it looks like in some cases.

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That same line of thought was discussed in this commentary on Jordan Peterson’s book, in which he argues that we should not quibble over some of these issues but rather must act, as life is fleeting. http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/

 
There is still Bonhoeffer’s take, with which I concur:

 
If God can providentially intervene into his children’s times and places, he can certainly enter into the core of their being, as much as they will let him.

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@Mervin_Bitikofer, thank you for your response.

But aren’t you saying that Bibliolatry defeats and destroys Christianity? What is does is make people feel that they are saved when they are not. Jesus said Follow Me! YHWH said you shall have no other gods before Me! That includes the Bible.

Jesus is not dead. That is true or it is not. If He is dead that our faith is a dead letter. If it is true then He is our leader, not a billionaire, lying, narcissist

The Christianity is not about science. Itis not about 24 hour days in Gen 1. It is about morality. It is about love, while science and legalism are not.

You won’t get much argument out of me on any of that, Roger. Except maybe some clarifications below.

Idolatries of any kind lure us away.

I’m increasingly coming to believe that our long obsession with club membership has not served us well (much less served God) especially when done from a presumptuously insider perspective (which is nearly always the vantage point in use by those lending their lofty discernments to the Lord about who is not worthy.) So I agree with you that we twist the whole program of scriptures when we enlist them to show ourselves on the approved sides of all our formulaic doctrineering. You seem to want to recognize this regrettable activity about some group “out there” - but this is exactly what I’m speaking of, Roger. I’ll take it further and say that we all do this - we’re doing it right now.

I am challenged to lift my gaze up off this fear-driven “membership” obsession and instead onto the question of: what would the Lord have me be doing right now? …and preparing to do next? And how often am I even soliciting the Lord for such direction, much less responding in obedience once I have it? Those are the much, much scarier and infinitely more necessary questions to be asking. I’ve got a lot more experience grubbing about in theories and hallowed Bible verses about God rather than relating to God by being faithful to go forth as sent.

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Really well written. Thanks for this.

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I feel like we are missing a common definition of “truth”. Shannon, what do you mean when you say “Leaving off the truth of the Word of God?” What is the “truth” of the Word of God mean to you? You seem to suggest that the Bible is the only source of truth, and that your interpretation of it is infallible. I find truth in many places- this doesn’t make the Bible less true. I also accept that my knowledge and understanding of scripture is limited to my own experience, history, and interpretation. My faith is in a constant state of reconstruction because I see through a glass darkly. This I know… one day I shall meet Him face to face.

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This is actually a poor take. The Greek (transliterated) reads: En arche en ho logos, kai ho logos en pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos. The final phrase, kai theos en ho logos, presents a syntactical arrangement in which the term theos is emphasized. At the same time, the sentence is copulative, and the presence of the article with logos simply sets it out as the subject of the sentence. To explain, the sentence has 2 subjects: logos & theos (both are in the nominative case) and therefore the sentence needs only one definite article. To break it down further, it could be easily translated as:
Word=God
or
God=Word
The translators wrote the sentence the way they did to best express that concept.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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