I guess my point is that in looking at Genesis (or the Bible in general) I see the overwhelming purpose as being God’s revelation of himself to humanity, rather than any side issues as to biology, cosmology, or cosmetology (although Paul does mention something about wearing too much makeup and jewelry in church, I think…)
I should probably just stay out of it since I’m no kind of creationist and therefore have no skin in the game, and I’ll happily delete this post if asked. But I did have a question regarding something several seemed to accept as axiomatic, namely that God could have created the earth any way he liked - from the beginning, beginning in the middle or presumably it could even be that time and creation are actually running from end toward the beginning but we have been designed to perceive it the other way around.
I don’t know why it should be accepted that God is capable of anything whatsoever, be it logical, whimsical or absurd. Infants over estimate their parents. Less technically developed civilizations have sometimes over estimated those possessed of more advanced technology. So why should we make such bold assumptions? Why not just admit that we are in no position to assert either what are His limitations or His capabilities may be?
Okay that’s my two cents worth. Now I’ll sit on the side and be quiet … if I can.
Nope, couldn’t do it. Edited to say I see the creation by evolution crowd here being more circumspect in what they say than the YEC crowd.
Paul also tells Timothy to take some wine for his stomach. Once I learned this, I stopped performing diagnostic workups for my dyspepsia patients. Now I just suggest wine so I can stay faithful to medical concordism. Sub-par results so far, but patients feel more relaxed
For me there is an issue of logical consistency. In other words, we must not think that omnipotence means God can accomplish things by any means that someone cares to dictate, as if the ends can be independent of the means. Indeed this principle spills over into many other topics such as ethics. I for one do not believe that the ends can be independent of the means. Establishing freedom by force, making peace by violence, expressing love by doing harm, etc… are all impossible. Now to be sure things can get complicated and thus be different from superficial appearances. Just because a surgeon cuts a person open doesn’t mean he is doing them harm. Nor is a peacekeeping force necessarily a contradiction in terms. And there is such a thing as “tough love.”
More to the point, I do not believe that living things can be designed or created instantly because this is inconsistent with what it means to BE alive.
I’ve always thought that conception made being God seem like no skill or knowledge was required. Just will things into being, or if the crowd wants to see you do it with one hand behind the back - no problem. If we’re supposed to be in His image then I think some skill must be involved, not just lucky, divine genes.
Yep, but I’m pretty sure there are many prepared to change that definition.
Earth can be a proper or a common noun. (Pssst: Don’t capitalize “earth” when it follows “the”.) For my money, creation is always a common noun.
I haven’t read all the answers, but your question interested me. Could God have instantiated the present universe - yes, at least per my understanding of the god of the bible. Would He ever have? No. That is because this iteration of the physical realm, in which God chose to have His image bearers live, being combinations of the spiritual and physical, evolves. So if God did create in an instant the present universe, He would have perpetrated an act of deception, which is against His character. If God created a livable world that was only 6,000 years old that didn’t have the appearance of age, then that wouldn’t be this particular iteration of the physical, which God seems to have wanted us to exist in.
Fine. But why would you have thought I was capitalizing it as though it were deity? You made a mountain out of a molehill.
I honestly wondered why you would capitalize it. It just struck me the wrong way, so I made a mountain out of a molehill. Sorry.
God creating the false history feels like forgery.
I never said he created false history.
I said false history. Making the light from a far out galaxy in transit so it appears to have been there billions of years ago is false history.
It seems to me that the answer to the question must be “yes, by definition”. So it must be true if the definition is correct. But I sometimes I wonder just how so many find their way from “strange and mysterious ways” to such specific definitions.
I promised @Jon_Garvey that I would always oppose rhetoric that fixated on a DOME.
The firmament was not a dome. It was like a floor or ceiling. There might be a gentle curve to it one way or another … but the dome concept was really just a flight of renaissance fancy, for the most part.
The Goddess Nun does approximate a dome… she was a goddess with stars on her… and so one might say that the Egyptians were more interested in domes than the Sumerians/Akkadians/Babylonians/Assyrians.
But @John_Warren, in regards to your notion of an “expanse”… if you look at an online Bible that lists multiple editions of the Bible… about half of them translate the Hebrew to mean “an expanse [of nothingness]”… while the other half of the Bibles stay closer to the meaning of the Hebrew, and treat the “firmament” as something “firm” - - something solid.
Reading the Enochian literature brings you more vividly to the interpretation of the firmament as a ceiling/flooring… rather than emptiness.
I’d like to add some things I got from a Youtube video series which isn’t available anymore, but it was made by an old Earth creationist Christian addressing YEC claims including the “appearance of age” theory.
Could God have created everything instantly, or in 6 days? Yes. But the evidence is that he didn’t.
He could have created Adam as an adult, with or without a belly button, but at what point does this appearance of age become deception? If Adam had photo albums of his childhood, parents, and grandparents that never existed? Or false memories of those people and events?
The same is true of the universe. What if the universe was created 6000 years ago and the starlight from things more than 6000 light years away was created already on the way?
In 1987 we observed a supernova that was 167,000 light years away. If 6000 years ago the light from that star, and then the supernova was created already on way to us, God created light that was bearing false witness of a star that never existed, and never will.
The example of “light in transit” is significant evidence for an old earth, but to put things in terms of “bearing false witness” is to take the Decalogue commandment out of context. That is all about incriminating people falsely, and I don’t think God would be condemning anyone to imprisonment by creating something we might misinterpret, even if God were bound by the Decalogue.
The more fundamental claim, about an adult, instantly created, Adam being “deceptive” is less tenable still - in the first place, nobody would have been deceived in a literalistic Genesis1- 2 scenario - Eve and Adam would have been well aware of their newness, and that of the world.
Theologically, it is clearly a weak argument in the absence of a prevailing concept of old earth and evolution, simply because for 1800 years no Christian interpreters regarded it as a problem. That’s was just the way God did it, for whatever good reasons he had.
Think of another biblical example - the miraclulous provision of a gourd plant for Jonah, which grew up overnight. presumably a passing botanist would have falsely estimated its age, but that would have been his problem, and no deceit on God’s part, having a particular reason to work in that particular way.
In a more obviously historic context, the withering of the fig tree that Jesus cursed took place overnight, an appearance which would (at least to me) indicate that it had died some while before. But Jesus had reasons apart from scientific prinicples of uniformity.
In short, I think arguments from the appearance of age are instrinsically weak, though clearly stronger when the the evidence is cumalative. They really only work when the logic is sometjhing like:
- I already believe the earth is old
- Therefore the biblical accounts must be either wrong or figurative
- But if not, then God is somehow to blame for my belief, as the only reason he would act in that way is to catch me out.
But in fact God is our judge, not we his, and any reasons he might have for “the appearance of age” would inevitably be more valid than our accusations.
A better way to argue is that (for rationally demonstrable reasons) neither Scripture nor nature entail a young earth. And there I think one is on strong ground.