Showing posts with label Creation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creation. Show all posts

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kilmer; Trees

Another poem my mother likes to quote is "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918). It's not so long as Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life". With a little work, I might even be able to master this one!

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

-- This was originally published in Trees and Other Poems (Joyce Kilmer. New York: George H. Doran Company, 1914).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Green Heron and Evolution

I was reading today about one of God's amazing creatures, the green heron (a "fishing" bird). It is a bird that knows how to use tools. The green heron uses insects to bait or lure a fish in so it can grab it in its beak.

When the green heron catches the fish, it flips it to swallow the fish head first. This protects the heron's throat from the fish's fins and scales. The fins would poke out going down tail first, but folds up when going down head first. 

Smart bird, eh? Wonder where he learned this? This is much harder to accept in evolutionary theory than with creation. In evolution we must believe that two green herons -- a male and a female -- just happened to evolve at the same time in history, and that they were both smart enough to figure out to swallow the fish head first before killing themselves swallowing the fish tail first!

Friday, June 21, 2013

7 readings about creation & evolution - 6 links and 1 quote

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

15 Questions for Evolutionists
Created or evolved?
Humming for Creation
In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
Richard Dawkins and a Young Earth Creationist (Interview)
Theistic Evolution vs. Evolutionary Creationists

"I think the Evangelical Christians have really got it right, in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution -- I think they're deluded....There really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity." -- Richard Dawkins

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Very Good!

Genesis 1:27,31 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them...And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Genesis 1-2 says the male was incomplete without the female: "It was not good for man to be alone." The woman was created to be a suitable companion for the man. Indeed, as the rabbis were to say later, the woman is seen as the crown of creation--that which not merely completes creation, but prompts the benediction that now finally all was
tov m'od--very good.
Ben Witherington in Was Sodom into Sodomy?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

3 paramount truths re creation

In Jesus and the Doctrine of Creation, Bert Thompson writes about Christ's direct words regarding the creation.He has noted three paramount truths in Jesus Christ's words regarding creation in Mark 10:6. He declared: “But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them.”
(1) The first couple was “made”; they were not biological accidents. (2) The original pair was fashioned “male and female”; they were not initially an asexual “blob” that eventually experienced sexual diversion. (3) Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning of the creation.”
Jesus placed the first humans at the very dawn of creation. To reject this one must either contend that:
(a) Christ knew the Universe was in existence billions of years before man, but, accommodating Himself to the ignorances of that age, deliberately misrepresented the situation; or (b) The Lord Himself, living in pre-scientific times, was uninformed about the matter.Either of these allegations, of course, is blasphemous.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Hot topics: Historical Adam

Adam and the Fall, or any Adam at all? cogitations on the historicity of the first Adam

In modern Christianity, serenely subjugated to science, the historical Adam teeters in the balance and is about to take another fall. Is Adam and the Fall an historical imperative that is foundational to Christian theology? Or was there ever any Adam at all?

Last month I broached the subject with Repackaging the Gospel: Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam?. A couple of years ago Christianity Today took up the issue in a lengthy article by Richard Ostling, The Search for the Historical Adam. I think this provides a good overview of the topic.

10 Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam (not)
Does Evolution Cancel Out the Fall of Adam? Depends on Whose Adam You Have in Mind
Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam?
Ten Really Bad Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam

A biblical and scientific Adam
10 Reasons to Believe in a Historical Adam
The Importance of an Historical Adam
What Depends Upon An Historical Adam?

More than two options
Historical Adam: Embracing the questions

The Importance of the Historical Adam

"As you're reading through Genesis 2 and 3, the author clearly believes that these events happened, because he explains present reality on the basis of what happened. For example, Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife...If the event didn't happen, the explanation for the present reality breaks down." -- Robert B. Chisholm, Jr. speaking of "etiology" in the above video discussion

Science and Faith, Science or Faith?

A friend asked if I might comment on Peter Enns’ blog post concerning Episcopalians on Science and Faith. In it Enns highly recommends the Episcopalian view – as supported in a resolution of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church “Affirming the Compatibility of Science and the Christian Faith” – and suggests that evangelicals might be able to learn something from them. No doubt evangelicals, as all of us, need to learn something, but we might first wonder just who they are. The Episcopalians we know, but who are the evangelicals?

Michael Luo tells us that even Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of 'Evangelical'. According to the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals,* “The term 'Evangelicalism' is a wide-reaching definitional 'canopy' that covers a diverse number of Protestant traditions, denominations, organizations, and churches.” They apply it to “the religious movements and denominations which sprung forth from a series of revivals that swept the North Atlantic Anglo-American world in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.” Merriam-Webster gives one meaning of evangelical as "Protestant" while another is "of, adhering to, or marked by fundamentalism." Now that is a wide enough range to have little clarity! Considering the context of Enns' piece, I have to think that what he refers to as evangelical leans toward fundamentalism, at least holding the classic fundamentals of the faith and certainly inerrancy of the Bible. Wikipedia claims, “Evangelicalism may sometimes be perceived as the middle ground between the theological liberalism of the mainline denominations and the cultural separatism of fundamentalism.”

Peter Enns is a religious instructor on the liberal end of the theological spectrum. He is an Affiliate Professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA.** Enns is author of The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins, a book that "offers a way forward by explaining how this tension is caused not by the discoveries of science but by false expectations about the biblical texts" and "helps readers reconcile the teachings of the Bible with the widely held evolutionary view of beginnings..." A focus of Enns is "re-educating" people on the Bible so they can reconcile it with "scientific truth."

Evangelicals, fundamentalists, and biblicists might not strongly object to the many of the things said in this Episcopalian resolution, but would strenuously object to its intent. For example, the archives research report found this resolution was "directly related" to a 2006 resolution which stated: “That the theory of evolution provides a fruitful and unifying scientific explanation for the emergence of life on earth, that many theological interpretations of origins can readily embrace an evolutionary outlook, and that an acceptance of evolution is entirely compatible with an authentic and living Christian faith...”

First, a few statements from Enns' piece, whether his or from the Episcopal catechism, with some brief comments

This Catechism is a breath of fresh air compared to the handwringing and fear that dominates the evangelical discussion.
I am not sure what "handwringing and fear...dominates the evangelical discussion." No doubt Enns has something in mind, but he does not explain. There may be some who are wringing their hands in fear of the discoveries of science, but the rest of us do not fear that God-given revelation will be overturned by man-driven specialization. Skeptics will come and skeptics will go. Heaven and earth -- the very textbook of the scientists -- shall pass away, but God's Word shall stand. It is forever settled in heaven.

The Bible, including Genesis, is not a divinely dictated scientific textbook. We discover scientific knowledge about God’s universe in nature not Scripture.
All but the most rigid fundamentalists would agree with both of these statements. But this is the wrong question. It is not, "Did God give us a science textbook," rather "Did God get some of His information wrong in His revelation to man?" Science as we understand it in this discussion is in its very essence a study of nature and not Scripture. The real dividing line is between those who believe that the Bible is the accurate revelation of God through inspiration to men of God to write the Scriptures, or a hodge-podge of information from various ancient sources which are variably reliable and unreliable. What can we believe?

The Bible’s theological declarations about God and creation remain true because they are not dependent upon the ancient world-picture in which they appear.
It seems useful to many to separate the "theological declarations" of the Bible from the extraneous historical and scientific material within which they appear. But this is pipe dream. Why should anyone believe that the theological declarations are any more valid than the “ancient world-view” within which they appear?  Why believe what the Bible says about God if we can't even believe it about the subjects we can "test"? Whom will we trust to divide the true from the false? If the Bible is not an inspired book, why should we expect it to have true theological declarations about God and creation? Why not the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita or the Zend Avesta? Might they not serve just as well?

Until evangelicals find a way to get to these points–quickly–there will be no true conversation on science and faith.
Maybe a simpler (and more honest) statement would be for Enns to write that if evangelicals don’t give up what they believe and acquiesce to the view held forth by scientists, then we have nothing to contribute to the conversation. Sounds like the “true conversation” mainly agrees with him!

Three observations about Peter Enns’ post and the religion vs. science debate

Peter Enns and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church prefer science above religion. No, they would not say it that way. That might say that they are compatible, each valid in its own sphere. But the preference is seen in that religion – particularly the statements of the Bible – are a priori excluded from informing us on nature, creation and evolution. They are not valid because they do not complement, and sometimes contradict, what they think they observe in nature. And, of course, we could not be wrong about what we observe in nature. Obviously, “we understand the physical world more accurately than ancient people.”

Peter Enns and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church exude arrogance toward those with whom they disagree (not that there is no arrogance among evangelicals). Obviously, “we understand the physical world more accurately than ancient people.” Truthfully, we understand some things about the physical world more accurately than ancient people, we think we understand all things about the physical world more accurately than ancient people, and in some cases we do not understand the physical world as accurately as ancient people. Before you write that statement off as an exercise in ignorance, search out some scientific or academic research that tells about not understanding how something was accomplished by some ancient civilization – or how the same thing could be accomplished by modern civilization. In what we know, we stand on the shoulders of the people who went before us. We have also lost some of the knowledge of those who went before us. And maybe, just maybe, Moses, Paul, and the 21st century believers who accept them at face value aren’t quite the Neanderthals you perceive us to be. But if we are, hey, we’re just too stupid to know it.

Peter Enns and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church are not the final authority. Well, Enns probably is the final authority in his classroom when he’s grading papers. And the General Convention of the Episcopal Church does exercise a degree of authority over the church in the United States. But if I were to search for a final authority above all authorities, I would settle my search for that authority in Jesus Christ. If He is who He says He is, we know He understands the physical world more accurately than all ancient people and all modern people combined. He understands it absolutely accurately. Speaking to the Pharisees concerning marriage, Jesus said “...from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. (Mark 10:6).” Jesus credits the creation of man to God, Who made them from the beginning and not through billions of years of evolution. He also places their son Abel as an historical person in the beginning of time (Luke 11:50-51).*** Could Jesus be a credible Saviour and Son of God and not know these things more accurately than any people?


I find myself on opposite sides of the river from Peter Enns on the subject of the compatibility of science and religion. I don’t identify myself as an evangelical, though the world may thus label me. I don’t refer to myself as an evangelical, but I probably fit Enns’ description of those who need to learn something. But I resolutely refuse to learn his “something” represented in “Episcopalians on Science and Faith: gettin’ it done.” I freely own that Enns is more intelligent than I. I don’t doubt he is sincere. But on the subject of creation and evolution, faith and science, I self-consciously submit to the wisdom of Jesus Christ, who knows all things, both in the physical world and the spiritual world, more accurately than Peter Enns or I, more accurately than the General Convention of the Episcopal Church or the National Association of Evangelicals, more accurately that all the scientists and all the theologians. 

Is our Saviour credible? Can we believe what He said about creation? Or look we for another?

* The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals is a research center and a program of Wheaton College.
** Eastern is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. One might expect the university's Doctrinal Statement to be understood as "evangelical" and that the statement "We believe that God created human beings, male and female" should be taken in its simplest meaning to the exclusion of evolution. It apparently is not necessary, though, since every teacher is to subscribe to the Doctrinal Statement or "withdraw from all connections with the University" if they are not in accord with it.
*** Jesus matter-of-factly spoke of the events recorded in Genesis (and elsewhere in the Old Testament) as historical facts and did not allegorize them. He described them in the manner they were recorded. For examples: Adam and Eve as the first marriage, Abel their son as the first person murdered, that God made the Sabbath, Noah and the Flood, Moses and the serpent in the wilderness, the manna from heaven to feed the Israelites, Lot and his wife, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Repackaging the Gospel: Does Paul’s Christ Require a Historical Adam?

Modern theologians feel the need to repackage the Bible to pacify the proclivities of pretentious people. One day it's the gender issue and another day homosexual marriage. Now it is the gospel, or more specifically, how to repackage the need for the gospel without an historical Adam.

Since prevailing scientific attitudes have dispensed with the existence of a real Adam made in the image of God -- and who fell from that blessed estate -- pandering theologians must follow suit. It's as if the theologian and the scientist are dancing and the scientist is the lead partner. Enter J. R. Daniel Kirk of Fuller Theological Seminary, musing whether Paul’s Christ Requires a Historical Adam? He seems to conclude that “...the gospel does not, in fact, depend on a historical Adam or historical Fall...”

“In short, if there is no historical Adam with whom we are enmeshed in the guilt and power of sin, how can we affirm that in Christ we participate in the justification and freedom of grace?”

“Where, then, are we left, if the pressures of scientific inquiry lead us to take down the spire of a literal, historical Adam?...Might it be possible that we could retell the stories of both Adam and evolutionary sciences such that they continued to reflect our conviction that the endpoint of God’s great story is nothing else than new creation in the crucified and risen Christ? For many, the cognitive dissonance between the sciences and a historical Adam has already become too great to continue holding both...To accompany Paul on the task of telling the story of the beginning in light of Christ, while parting ways with his first-century understanding of science and history, is not to abandon the Christian faith in favor of science.”

J. R. Daniel Kirk's article notwithstanding, this theory attacks the biblical record, questions the inerrancy of the Bible, and compromises man's need for redemption. It seems even to contradict the doctrinal statement of the very institution that employs Kirk, Fuller Theological Seminary:
“IV. God, by his word and for his glory, freely created the world out of nothing. He made man and woman in his own image, as the crown of creation, that they might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, they rebelled against God. Being estranged from their Maker, yet responsible to him, they became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from grace, incapable of returning to God.”

Let us accompany Paul in continuing to tell the story of the beginning in light of Christ, while parting ways with the likes of Daniel Kirk and their twenty-first-century understanding of science and history. They have abandoned the Christian faith in favor of science. Let God be true, but every man a liar.

Friday, March 22, 2013

When the lights come on

While studying at Westminster Theological Seminary, Ted Turnau* tells of how he was driven by apologetics and "wanted to build a fool-proof philosophical argument for God's existence." One day he went to visits his apologetics professor, David Clowney, who wasn't in his office. So he knocked on the next door...
"It was Vern Poythress, one of the New Testament profs there. He opened the door and asked what I wanted. I told him I needed to talk, and proceeded to tell him the whole story of my time at Westminster, why I’d come, what I was looking for. I said, “I just want some solid, logical proof that God exists. Then I could believe in him.” Vern thought for a moment, and then said, “Let’s say that the phone rings. It’s your Dad. You talk for a bit, and then hang up. I ask you who it was, and you say, ‘It was my Dad.’ And I say back to you, ‘Prove it. Give me an airtight, logical proof that you were just talking to your Dad.’ You wouldn’t be able to. And yet you know that you were talking to your father. How? Because you know your father’s voice. Well, that’s exactly the experience of Christians when they read the Bible. They know their Father’s voice.” And I said, “Oh,” and a light bulb came on over my head (just like the cartoons)."**
There is much confirming evidence and many philosophical arguments for God's existence -- and for the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a "hot topic" this time of year. But we must also understand that we approach Him by faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It is by that faith that we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. It is by that faith we believe that God is

According to the starting point for apologetics is "hearing God's voice, and seeing the world through those lenses." And those are scriptural lenses. Amen!

* Turnau has recently published Popologetics: Popular Culture in Christian Perspective (P & R Publishing, 2012, ISBN 1596383895).
** This story is taken by permission from an interview with by Jared Moore, and published on his blog site This is God's world

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

7 things about the first 7 days

The word "day" is used three ways in the Bible -- an entire revolution of the earth (i.e. 24 hours); the period of time between sunrise and sunset (i.e. daylight); or some unspecified period of time (i.e. figurative). This would introduce the possibility that the "days" of creation -- those mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis -- might theoretically be any one of these. Which is it?

7 reasons that the first 7 days are 24-hour days rather than 1000-year days or extended periods of time
1. Though "day" is sometimes used of prolonged periods, in all five of Moses' books (the Pentateuch) when "day" is used with a numerical adjective, its meaning is restricted to a literal 24-hour day. Genesis One is no exception.
2. The specific mention of "evening" and "morning" indicates that the Bible is speaking of 24-hour days. These terms would be meaningless if referring to some unknown period of time. Evening and morning refer to a 24-hour day; Bible days began at sunset rather than at midnight as our days (Cf. Gen. 1:5; Exod. 12:18; Lev. 23:32).
3. If the evening were the first half of an extended period of time and the morning the second half, what happened to the plants created on the third day when the evening of the fourth day came? Could they survive 500 years of darkness? The same goes for the animals.
4. Adam was 930 years old when he died (Cf. Gen. 5:5). If Genesis One days were 1000-year periods, Adam would have been over 1000 years old on the second day of his existence, and over 2000 by the time he died -- since he was created on the sixth day. The first seven days were the same kind of days Adam lived all of his life, and by which the days of his life were counted. If each day were a 1000 years, Adam would have been around 334,800,000 years old when he died. 
5. Why would it take God 6000 years to create the world? God didn't need 1000-year days -- it's the theistic evolutionists who need that period of time to explain their views. The Genesis account tells of a God who spoke and things came into existence.
6. None said these days were ages before the scientists said the earth was billions of years old. The motive behind lengthening the first seven days is make the Bible conform to science -- to fit the belief that the earth if billions of years old. Many scientific theories oppose God's Word. No proven scientific fact disagrees with the Bible. Should scientists every arrive at the truth, they will find Bible-believers are already there!
7. Man's six work days correspond precisely to God's six work days. Man's day of rest corresponds to God's day of rest. Man's seven-day week is the same as God's seven-day week. See Exodus 20:8-11. 

The first seven days are the same kind of days as our 24-hour days -- the first week a week by which all weeks thereafter are patterned. The truth is plain and simple in Genesis, if we have eyes to see and aren't searching for something else.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beauty of creation

Sometimes in this busy world we don't take the time to slow down and breathe in the beauty of God's creation. Last night about 9:30 p.m. I went outside at my Mother's house. Her house sits on a hill, and to the south is a creek bottom. The night was dark but a dim light from a hazy quarter moon. Looking down the hill to the south gave something of the impression of a bowl or maybe a amphitheatre. The trees made a sort of semi-circle around an open bit of field, and I could vaguely make them out. Against this backdrop God had dozens of his little lightning bugs turning their lights on and off. The scene made it appear they were in the trees, but I really couldn't tell. A light went on and off here and there, then seemed almost electric at times when dozens would light up almost simultaneously.

What we call lightning bugs are lampyridae, known to many as fireflies. This one little bit of God's creation alone makes us stand in awe. The mathematical impossibilities of just this one creature evolving are mind boggling. And it is just one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Biblical Case for an Old Earth

From a review by Paul R. Bruggink: "Since Young Earth Creationists believe that God's Word trumps God's works every time, the only approach that would have a chance of succeeding in getting YECs to consider the possibility of Old Earth Creationism would be to demonstrate that the Bible can be interpreted to support (or at least not preclude) OEC."

I recently ran across the book A Biblical Case for an Old Earth, by David Snoke on the internet/Amazon. I thought this sounded interesting. It purports to contain "a biblical case". And as the above reviewer notes, the only approach that would succeed in getting biblicists to consider "Old Earth Creationism would be to demonstrate that the Bible can be interpreted to support" it. But as I considered to read about it, it sounds suspect whether the book really makes "a biblical case". In her Review, Lita Cosner calls it "a pathetic case" rather than a biblical case. It sounds like Snoke's views may be driven as much or more by science than by the Bible. A very different Review by Martin LaBar.

I had originally thought this might be an interesting read, but now I don't think I'll bother. Has anybody out there read it?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Biblical timeline from creation

The following is one way to approach estimating the age of the earth, adding and comparing the ages of the patriarchs, reigns of the kings and other dates mentioned in the Old Testament.

1656 years from the sixth day of creation until the flood.
620 years from the flood until Joseph was sold into slavery.
(2276 years from the sixth day of creation until Joseph was sold into slavery.)
430 years sojourn in Egypt.
40 years journey to Canaan.
450 years period of Judges.
40 years reign of Saul.
40 years reign of David.
40 years reign of Solomon.
369 years existence of the Southern Kingdom (Judah).
40 years captivity.
483 years (of Daniel's 70 weeks) till the coming of Christ.
4238 years from Creation to Christ.

Obviously there are variations of interpretation and addition. For example, when do the 430 years of affliction start? If started with Abraham instead of Joseph then approximately 4048 years from Creation to Christ.

[Note: I got the period of Judges by adding the servitude years plus the years of rest. Some students believe there could be some overlap in the different judges' years. I got the years of Southern Kingdom by adding the reigns of the kings, but also cross-referencing them against their reigns compared to the reigns of the Northern kings. And then there is when the 70 weeks hit in reference to Christ -- his birth? triumphal entry? etc.]

Monday, September 22, 2008

Human Origin

A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race appear?"

The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had children and so was all mankind made."

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question.

The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."

The confused girl returned to her mother and said, "Mom, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?"

The mother answered, "Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his."

-- as posted by Hoyt Sparks on the Predestinarian forum

Friday, February 01, 2008

The glory of God in creation and providence

Part of Watts' PSALM 104 (

The glory of God in creation and providence.

My soul, thy great Creator praise:
When clothed in His celestial rays,
He in full majesty appears,
And, like a robe, His glory wears.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

The heav'ns are for His curtains spread,
The unfathomed deep He makes His bed.
Clouds are his chariot when He flies
On winged storms across the skies.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

Angels, whom His own breath inspires,
His ministers, are flaming fires;
And swift as thought their armies move
To bear His vengeance or His love.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

The world's foundations by His hand
Are poised, and shall for ever stand;
He binds the ocean in His chain,
Lest it should drown the earth again.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to Hhis name?

How strange Thy works! how great Thy skill!
And every land Thy riches fill:
Thy wisdom round the world we see;
This spacious earth is full of Thee.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

His works, the wonders of His might,
Are honored with His own delight;
How awful are His glorious ways!
The Lord is dreadful in His praise.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

In Thee my hopes and wishes meet,
And make my meditations sweet;
Thy praises shall my breath employ,
Till it expire in endless joy.
Great is the Lord, what tongue can frame
An equal honor to His name?

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719.