>Bible glasses

>Young Earth Creationism claims that the world is about 6000 years old and God created it in 6 24-hour days. Geology is interpreted as being in a large part due to Noah’s flood. These views are held because it is claimed that the meaning of the Bible, especially Genesis, demands this chronological interpretation and that the Noachian deluge was global in its extent. There is good grammatical reason to assert this belief. And I see few difficulties with scientific data finding it more compatible with this belief than biological or stellar evolution.

While my initial creationist beliefs were strengthened thru scientific evidences, my conviction is probably stronger now because of biblical considerations. Not because the science is less convincing than the biblical evidence but because philosophically I think that truth is more firmly grounded in Scripture.

This change to a more biblical approach has been quite helpful. When I was younger I wondered how the Bible could be reconciled with secular evidences, especially archaeological “facts” that pre-date creation, ie. are “older” than 6000 years. This “problem” is actually more acute as these “facts” only need to pre-date the Flood to cause a dilemma given the Flood’s removal of antediluvian artefacts. This led to ideas like favouring the Septuagint chronology because it “gives more time.” My approach now is, “How can secular claims be reconciled with Scripture?” The Bible is assumed to be true and contrary claims are treated with scepticism.

This is actually quite reasonable. Why should every secular interpretation be held up as the standard that the Bible is judged by? Especially given that these interpretations change, are inconsistent with each other, and often derive from an anti-biblical bias. Further, the Bible has been vindicated multiple times, and its documentation of the failings of its heroes points even more so to its authenticity.

The Flood was approximately 4500 years ago. Any claim for artefacts that pre-date this I assume is incorrect. I assume some bias by the claimants, even if it is not revealed. And I think that the true solution will be compatible with the biblical record.

This is my default position. I think that God intended for Scripture to be a true description of reality: historical, moral and prophetic. It is not exhaustive for sure, but correct in what it does assert.

Is this a biased approach? Definitely. But all approaches are biased. Do I base my bias on the pride of men or on the revelation of the true God? The secular bias is very real. It assumes that its foundations are firm, that Middle East dating should be based a reconstructed Egyptian dating, that any ancient historical text should have precedence over the Bible. All of these assumptions are based in the ideas of men and there are even good non-biblical reasons to reject them.

It is astonishing how much of what we read and hear has this bias. Claims about history are especially affected by secular assumptions. These secular biases are frequently present in study Bibles which give a multitude of unlikely synchronisms, conservative reasoning based on underlying liberal theology, wrong assumptions about the the origins of monotheism. I think it is prudent to hold secular historical claims and several other factual claims very tentatively.

And there is a need for developing a completely biblically based history and chronology thru which all claims, historical, archaeological, and others, can be filtered.

  1. Ba
    2008 April 11 at 09:01

    yep, I think that this is the way to approach it :)

  2. Mark Call
    2008 April 11 at 14:23

    Very good, bethyada. I once took the secular position by default, and have come to recognize that the Bible is in fact a more reliable source as well.

  3. TMAC
    2008 April 14 at 19:42

    I’ve been reading Lee Strobel’s “The Case for a Creator.” It’s interesting. I’ve got a few other books waiting to be read after I finish this one. I am a devout Christian who takes the Bible as the authoritative Word of God and I am still wrestling with the idea that Genesis might be more analogous than strict historic fact. I see the problems of sin and depravity when we see man “progeressively” developed but I also don’t think God wanted to give a “blow by blow” account of every single thing that took place in creation (and even if He did, would we understand?) Some of the reformers claimed that the Genesis account simply was the author’s way of showing that God created the world purposefully and with order.
    It’s hard to debate the “evidence” that the world is very old. Maybe it is only 6000 years old, but does it have to be?

  4. 2008 April 15 at 11:00

    TMAC, My post was not so much a defence of this position, rather some of the consequences of it. May I ask what you would find more useful, scientific evidence of a young earth or biblical evidence that Genesis 1 is literal?
    A good place to start is to read a general introduction to what creationism believes and what it does not believe and why. The Creation Answers Book is free if you don’t mind reading books online.
    I would consider posting on a specific issue that you raise, I would be more interested in dealing with an issue that you consider a stumbling block to accepting a younger earth—biblical or scientific.

  5. TMAC
    2008 April 15 at 16:30

    I guess I feel a little odd expecting God to have spelled it all out in obvious language. I know He did it and He could have done it anyway He wanted to. I also know the He is always honest and wants us to understand His truth. I just don’t know if I’ve come to the conclusion that those things nessecarily mean that He is obligated to divulge every detail and not speak in more general “big picture” language.
    If He did do it in 6,000 years, then why all the evidence that the Earth appears much older? Why no explanation about what the evidence (carbon dating, etc…) seems to indicate? Surely God must have know we would make extrapolations based on how things “appear.” I know God could have made Earth with the “appearence” of age but can we then be faulted for saying “It looks like God did it, but it was a long time ago”?
    Can God say how He created the world using broad terms and still be literal? Example – Genesis talks about the “light”, but the sun isn’t created until later. To my eyes, the sun gives us light. So where did the light come from before the sun? Yes, God is light and Jesus is our light and He will shine in Heaven, but from an explanatory standpoint in Genesis, there seems to be something going on that God doesn’t fully explain (at least to us). It really doesn’t matter because I believe He was involved down to the finest detail, but I don’t know if I should force it to all make detailed sense to me.
    The bottom line is that I believe the Bible is the authoritative, innerant Word of God. When we get to Heaven, I feel confident that there’s going to be lots of “Oh, so that’s how You did it.”
    God is awesome.

  6. 2008 May 17 at 20:08

    I’m with TMAC on this one. There’s no reason to discard natural revelation in explaining creation. Genesis is not a cookbook describing the ‘how’ of creation, but rather the ‘why’. God made everything ex nihilo in a manner know to Him. We put God in a pretty small box when we force him to do everything according to our literal 6x24hour construct. Genesis (and the rest of Scripture) is not threatened by a longer creation period.

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