Connecting the Creation Dots in the Larger Biblical Story

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This is video from a class I taught back in June. Someone recently asked for more discussion on the 24 hours days of creation. If you zoom out a bit in order to read Genesis in its context and through its intended purpose and genre these things become consistent with an older earth approach to creation. This is a conservative approach to an old earth conclusion. The audio is a little low. I have since purchased a mic so we won’t have that issue again. Thanks for watching!

4 Responses

  1. Sorry Matt, I’ll have to leave it till later in the week, as I have barely enough online bandwidth for what I’m working on, and streaming videos clobbers my budget. However, just because I was worried that Young Earth Creationists had gone over the score in attributing 24hr Creation days to God, does not mean that I advocate ’embracing’ your local palaeontologist! I think there are some deep issues here that are maybe a consequence of the Early Church’s adoption of a Greek outlook on the universe in contra-distinction to the Akkadian cosmology of the Bible (Old and New Testaments). At that point, they lost touch with the multi-leveled heavens and earth Creation that Jesus and the Disciples refer to. Until our world-view reconnects with that I think we need to be really careful of what we accept as immutable reality. (Given 2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12, re dinosaurs and mesosaurs maybe remarking, as some in the Dallas ICR have done, “Granny, what big teeth you have!” might not be such a bad question.)

  2. So that there is no confusion, I mean by Akkadian cosmology, the system of the heavens an the earth that underlies that described in the 2nd century BC Book of Enoch, once you have seen your way thru the domicile metaphors used to explain their simple observer statements. There is good reason to believe that Peter and the Lord’s brother Jude made use of the book in their Letters. And there a couple of unique descriptions in the book that make me think that the author had access to knowledge only recently discovered by some of our biggest telescopes. So where did it come from? The Watchers?

    1. Peter and Jude undoubtedly reference Enoch. That means Enoch contains some truth but it not necessarily entirely true just as Paul can reference pagan poets in Acts 17 without meaning everything they wrote was also true.

  3. Matt, sorry for the delay, but I was battling a persistent cold, and it seems to have put me into a philosophical state of mind. I watched your video and I generally agree with the comments you made, though I would not go as far as accepting an Ancient Earth Creation viewpoint. I think getting the correct cultural context to understand the Scriptures is very important, and I think we’ve missed things in our interpretations. Working on the assumption that the same laws of physics hold today as back in the Creation time, the furthest back I can push pre-history from the Scriptures is an Ice Age. The key is in Genesis 2: 4-6. The conditions described there would match an Ice Age climate, where the amount of moisture in the air was so low (mainly locked up in the polar ice-caps) that capillary action in the ground and the daily warming of the sun would produce a rising mist. This condition would no longer apply after a global flood, as much of the flood’s excess water would be taken up by the air or be absorbed into the dehydrated ground.

    Moreover, I think you need to be wary of two things:-

    (1) As a result of all the education and media coverage of things like the Big Bang Inflation Theory and the search for Theories of Everything, people have got into a way of assuming that everything starts from simple beginnings and builds up by itself over time. Whereas, the Bible tells you that God constructed everything not unlike a child building a Lego farmyard (say) – except that He called the parts into being as He went along – and then history began (from the time of the Garden of Eden) when He started to play with ‘the farmyard’ that He’d made. There is no necessity to push everything back to a really simple primitive start-up and let it evolve from there, and the language of Genesis 1, 2 and Job 38 suggests that with the right level of perception, one could have witnessed the Master Craftsman at work.

    (2) Living in these latter days, we possibly need to be aware of the implications of 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-12. We have a so-called scientific world-view presented to us by the media, etc. It is a totally materialistic view that has no place for spiritual and supernatural aspects of existence, and it, by its dependence on Occam’s Razor arguments, has no place for God except possibly in those things that it cannot explain away. This, I believe, is why Young Earth Creationists do not like the idea of God accomplishing His great miracles using natural effects, for it could be argued by agnostics that it just might be the way of things, and not necessarily the determinable action of God… but the Master Craftsman alone selects His way of working [Colossians 1: 16] and knows who He teaches [e.g. Job 38: 7, John 16: 13-15]. As believers, we need to come to terms with (say) Jesus walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee, as well as the Creation and the Noahic Flood, not the sort of thing that any natural theory can explain away. We believe in a supernatural religion, and to seek a natural explanation for the Creation seems like an avoidance of a key doctrine that need to be faced, i.e. that God also created supernatural aspects to existence such as the heavens and their inhabitants when He created the physical reality [Genesis 1: 1]. If we can adequately describe how the natural and supernatural aspects interact and are structured, then maybe we can adequately address the problem of when and how the Creation was accomplished, but surely not before; for, they may interact and influence each other’s unfoldment. We can’t trust knowledge not vouched for by God’s Word itself. That means we need to know the meaning of what is written in the contexts for which it was written rather than retro-fit it with the current world beliefs about knowledge of the universe.

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