Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 11 (The Cosmic Temple and “Day”)

Science and Religion“Day”

Let’s return to John Walton’s idea that God made the Creation to be his temple. The scriptures certainly point us in that   direction –

(Isa 66:1 ESV) Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest?

(Act 17:24 ESV) 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man … .

But how does this impact the meaning of “day”? Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 10 (“Rest”)

Science and ReligionOne of the objections to any interpretation of Genesis 1 as other than a literal 6-day creation is God’s use of the 6 days in commanding Sabbath observance –

(Exo 31:14-17 ESV) 14 “You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you. Everyone who profanes it shall be put to death. Whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

The Sabbath day honored by the Jews each week is a literal day. Does that mean that God’s one day of rest constituted a literal day? Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 9 (the Strong Anthropic Principle and Multiverses)

Science and ReligionTo avoid the force of the finely tuned universe argument, many people have argued that there must be so many universes that, by sheer luck, eventually the dice must roll in a way that life could occur — and even more so — enough universes would be created capable of producing life that the extremely long odds in favor of life arising randomly would be inevitable.

And mathematically it’s true that, no matter how improbable an event is, if the odds of it happening are greater than zero, and if you roll the dice enough times, it will certainly happen. Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 8 (the Finely Tuned Universe)

Science and ReligionThis is an argument that began from within the scientific community. The gist of it is that the universe appears to have been designed for life because of the extraordinarily precise nature of certain physical constants.

Most of physics is mathematics, and countless equations are derived from other equations. It’s like proofs in geometry. Therefore, physicists intuitively expected to find reasons that certain constants (as opposed to variables) in the equations of physics are rooted in some other, more fundamental numbers or equations. And certainly many are. Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 7 (Quark Confinement and Six Days)

Science and ReligionGerald Schroeder, a Jew, has written a series of books on creation and science, offering perspectives from Jewish history often missed by Christians.

Moreover, Schroeder holds a doctorate in physics from MIT, making him truly qualified to address cosmological issues.

Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 6 (the Logos)

Science and ReligionI admit it. The last post was repeated from 2012 — and it was not all that controversial at the time even though it offers an interpretation of Genesis 1 that is far from the usual approach.

It simply interprets Genesis 1 for what it is — inspired, beautiful Ancient Near East literature, speaking truth in its own terms. The lesson isn’t about the literal creation of the world. Rather, Walton makes clear that such literature sought to speak of purpose and function, not time order or the like. Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 5 (God is in His Holy Temple)

Science and ReligionLately, I’ve seen several Bible scholars refer to the fact that the Creation is pictured as God’s Temple in Genesis 1 — which is hardly obvious to modern readers.

I thought I’d go looking to see what the scholars are referring to. And I eventually found Genesis 1 as Temple Text in the Context of Ancient Cosmology, by John H. Walton, an expert in the literature of the Ancient Near East.

The cosmos is portrayed in the ancient world and in the Bible as a temple, and temples are designed to be micro-models of the cosmos. Temples are built in the ancient world for the gods to rest in, which does not refer to relaxing, but to enjoying and maintaining security and order. With the mention of God’s rest on day seven, we can see that Genesis 1 is also thinking about the cosmos as a temple. God is creating his dwelling place, putting people into it as his images (representatives), and taking up his place at the helm to maintain the order he has established.

Imagine a pagan temple of the Ancient Near East. It would be a microcosm of the entire cosmos as viewed by that pagan religion. God’s temple is the entirety of the cosmos!

Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 4 (the Bible’s Chapters About Origins)

Science and ReligionFinally, it’s time to chomp the bit and actually study the Bible’s famous chapter on the creation — Psalm 104 …

Oh, you thought we’d be talking about that other famous creation passage. Well, we’ll get to Job 9 later.

Actually, the creation story (a true story, mind you) is told many times in the scriptures. And I happen to like the way David tells it in Psalm 104. So that’s where we start. Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 3 (a Young Earth that Looks Old)

apologetics2A lot of really bad teaching fills the Christianity and Science space — on both sides. On the Christian side, most of the bad teaching comes from ignoring the Bible’s teaching about science.

For example, the scriptures plainly teach us that God reveals himself through his creation.

(Act 14:17 ESV) 17 “Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

Continue reading

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Apologetics: The Bible and Science, Part 2 (a Detour into Hermeneutics and Inerrancy)

Inerrancy: An Essay

[This is a really long post. I’d normally post this about 1,000 to 1,500 words at a time, and it would take six or so posts spread over two or three weeks to do so. But, of course, that means there’d be a lot of conversation about inerrancy without the benefit of all the material I wish to bring to the readers’ attention. Therefore, I’m posting this in full, all 9,000 words at once.]

Introduction

Over the years that I’ve posted at this blog I’ve often begun work on a post on the inerrancy question, but I’ve never found a way to express my thoughts properly in a single post and never had the will to write a series — because, until now, the only reason I’ve ever studied inerrancy is because of the false accusation so frequently made that my views are built on denying inerrancy. Continue reading

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