The Biblical Evidence Reconsidered
The account of Cain in Genesis 4 has always been a difficult passage, and the difficulty comes from the text, long before Darwin and dinosaurs. For example,
(Gen 4:10-17 ESV) 10 And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”
3 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.
For the longest time, I refused to read about ancient humans and pre-humans. I preferred not to know because it made it easier to read Genesis 2 – 9 literally. But additional experiments and observations have only strengthened the case that man first appeared in Africa and that man had spread across the globe — to all continents other than Antarctica and nearly all islands — long before 4004 BC.
So what does all this mean for Adam and Eve? And more importantly, what does it mean for Paul’s theology that is often built on the existence of Adam and the fall of man in Genesis 3?
Now we have to be careful not to build our position on just one or two verses. There are quite a few passages that bear on the question. It’s not a simple question, and we should not answer simplistically. A lot of work has been done by Christian apologists and others to deal with the Big Bang. Much less has been done with Eden and the Flood. Continue reading
Just posted Part 18 prematurely by accident. I’ll most likely post it for real tomorrow or Saturday.
I’m going to take a day or two off — even staying away from the comments. I’m through researching Young Earth Creationist claims. I need to spend my time working on the next phase of this series.
You are welcome to continue to comment while I’m gone on the following conditions:
1. Rather than expecting me or someone else to respond to Young Earth Creationist claims, before you post yet another one, Google the key words and find the websites that take the opposite view, and if you still want to post the claim, post links to both the source of the claim and to the counter-arguments made by others.
It’s critical that the church be willing to have its fact claims tested. We can’t be making false claims and expect our legitimate claims to be accepted. We can’t listen to just one side of the argument — the side we want to win.
And I would say the same thing in the other direction. I’ve read a LOT of Creation Science materials. When I say that science teaches X, I’ve read the Creation Science position and considered very carefully — so carefully that for a while I believed them to be right.
2. No challenges to orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. (And if someone breaks the rule, no responses to a violator.)
This is the last post on Genesis 1. From here, we move on to Eden, Cain, the Flood, and Babel — and the pace will pick up quite a bit.
However, I could not leave this topic without dealing with the dating controversy. You see, it all began with James Watt and Alfred Nobel. Watt invented the steam engine and Nobel invented dynamite. And these two inventions led to the railroad and the need to build tracks through mountains and hills — which steam engines and dynamite allowed. Continue reading
In the Big Bang Theory, the universe begins as chaos, with intense energy but no visible light because other particles get in the way so that light could not be seen. It was dark.
But then, the dark and the light were separated, so that the light of the newly created matter became visible. But there were no stars just yet. Hence, there was light but no stars — which come later – just as in Genesis 1. Continue reading
Many different hypotheses have been suggested for how to reconcile Genesis 1 with the evidence of the earth and the stars.
1. The Creation/Re-creation Theory argues that Genesis 1:1 describes God’s initial creation per science, and that there’s a long time gap between v. 1 and v. 2, reading “was” as “became” –
(Gen 1:1-2 ESV) In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth [became] without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
The six days of creation happens billion of years later, about 6,000 years in our past. It’s a popular theory. Continue reading
Those who argue for Young Earth Creationism and claim that science supports this view are not actually doing science.
If you claim to be a scientist, you put forward theories that explain why the observations that point to an ancient earth really prove an earth only 6,000 years old. And you predict what new discoveries will show. You theorize; you don’t just criticize.
Technically, true science has to be falsifiable, that is, there must be experiments or observations that could be done that would disprove the science or theory. Thus, the theory of general relativity is good science, not just because it’s been validated by countless tests, but because, had the tests gone the other way, the theory would have been disproved.
But YEC makes no such predictions, and when their claims are disproved, their position remains unchanged because their position is not really a scientific hypothesis but a belief that Genesis 1 must be read as God creating the earth around 4004 BC — which is fine as a faith claim but it’s not science.
We need to have an honest, straightforward talk. About evolution. And the age of the earth. And the universe. And a few other things.
To this point, I’ve said nothing about evolution. A few readers have felt the need to mention evolution in the comments — something about me having some kind of pro-evolution agenda or some such . But I’ve said nothing about evolution for a very good reason.
You see, the topic here is apologetics or Christian evidences. And proving or disproving evolution has very little to do with apologetics. After all, if we disprove evolution convincingly, we’ve not proven God or even made a serious step toward so doing. The earth would still be billions of years old, as would the universe. Disproving evolution does not take us anywhere near proving an earth 6,000 years old. Continue reading
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