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Featured It is not possible to take all of the creation account in Genesis literally.

Discussion in 'Creation & Theistic Evolution' started by Chadrho, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Active Member

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    I disagree. I think we should think well of the Bible and ask ourselves intelligent questions about it. When you take certain passages in the Bible and forget the historical and cultural context then you’ll get yourself into trouble. That doesn’t mean it’s not ultimately inspired though.
     
  2. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    I apologize Christ is Lord. I think that question was meant for someone else, but I've lost the thread. Literally.

    Oh wait, metaphorically.
     
  3. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Active Member

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    No worries. :) I knew it wasn’t addressed to me but I just wanted to give my opinion. Apologies for my unsolicited opinion.
     
  4. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    Song of Songs was not given as a narrated historical account like the Book of Genesis was, so taking it literally or not isn't a matter of life and death. I have to believe that it was an expression of love between Solomon and one of his wives which contains spiritual truths and truths about marriage which God wants me to understand- but I don't have to conjecture about the historic actuality of the events described there to understand these because of the nature of the writing which is poetic and devotional, and not historical in nature.
     
  5. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    Good point. I agree.
     
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  6. Christ is Lord

    Christ is Lord Active Member

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    Isn’t it awesome that when people refer to my handle they have to state a fundamental truth? “Christ is Lord”. :D;)
     
  7. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    That is genius. :)
     
  8. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi chadrho,

    If you believe what you've just written, then why is it that you say that God couldn't have done what He seems to have clearly claimed to have done, because you can't conceptualize the pictures of these things in your mind. You either believe that God can do what is impossible for man or you don't.

    Secondly, I disagree that the separation of light and dark that God speaks of in the very beginning of the creation account must necessarily have been the light of the sun that He separated. God speaks in the very first words that before He created anything in this realm, He did create some kind of light. Now, the source of that light He doesn't give us any further detail of, but if He did create light in this realm before anything else was created, then He could have divided that light.

    If God did create some fixed point of light, say even Himself, then if the earth was rotating upon its axis at the moment of its creation, there would have always been a dark portion of the earth and a light portion of the earth. The Scriptures do tell us that God is light. In fact, the Revelation tells us that in the new heaven and the new earth that there will be no need of the sun or moon because God will be the light that we use to see by. Is it possible that at the moment of the creation, God was also the source of the light that gave the dark and light portions of the earth just as it might be in the new heaven and new earth. The Revelation tells us that all the stars were rolled up like a scroll. Could it be that in the new heaven and the new earth we won't have a starry expanse before our eyes when we look up to the heavens? For God says that the heavens declare the glory of God, but if God is actually living with us, as the Revelation declares, then we won't need the heavens to declare the glory of God. We will see God's physical glory right before our very eyes. We will see, just as the angels now see, God in His nature and form just as they do. We won't need things like a wonderful and awe inspiring plethora of stars and planets to remind us of the power and glory of God. Something to consider.

    So, these issues can be resolved through a literal interpretation of the Scriptural account of the creation event. God asks us to believe Him. He doesn't ask us to understand everything as to what He can or can't do. With our knowledge of the natural properties, which is what you are trying to use to deny the truth of God's account of the creation event, you also can't believe that a sea of some fairly great depth could actually split and a wall of water stand on the left and right hand of a group of people passing through the created chasm. Water, as we all know and has been proven literally zillions of times upon the earth, seeks level. It is not possible that water, unaided by some sort of solid wall of some kind, can stand divided on its own.

    Based on what we know about the natural properties of this earth, it is impossible that Jesus was born. We all know that a human zygot can only be created by the introduction of human sperm into a human egg. It is not possible that a cow or sheep can impregnate a woman. It is not possible that a zygot can be formed in the uterus or womb of a woman on its own. There are all sorts of accounts of events that, as far as our being able to say, "well this is how the natural properties of what we know about the creation explains such a thing happening or prevents such a thing from happening." But if we believe the literal application of God's word in all of these events, then we believe that God did do what He claims to have done wholly outside of our being able to understand 'how' He did it.

    There is an account in the Scriptures of a shadow, cast by the sun, going backwards a distance of 10 steps. We all know that's an impossible event. For a shadow cast by the sun to go backwards, according to all that we know about the creation, the earth would have to spin backwards, or the sun move from its fixed place in the center of our solar system. However, God says that He did just such a thing to prove to a lowly king the truth of His words. That event was also given even to us today to know that when we say that it's impossible that God did something that He claims to have done...He can do it! He showed that king His power over His creation and we can use that same account to see with our own eyes His power over His creation. That we don't have to be able to explain the 'how' that He might have done something. Just believe that He did!

    God can make a shadow cast by the sun to go backwards just as easily as He can make light, such as a daylight, without the sun. God can do it! The question really isn't whether or not God can do some physical thing, as His word clearly tells us that nothing is impossible for God, but whether or not you will believe Him. God can make water stand on its heels as a sentinel guarding a pathway. He can do it! What God asks is not whether or not you can explain the physics of the event, but whether or not you will just trust Him and believe it? I do!

    I believe that in the span of time that we know today to be a 'day' (one rotation of the earth upon its axis), multiplied by six, that He cobbled together a realm of existence, filling it with plants and water and dirt and animals and people. That at the completion of that six day period, the earth and all of the universe of our realm had been created out of nothing. That at the end of that six day period, God looked over all that He created and declared that it was all good...very good. Everything was working just the way it was supposed to according to whatever master plan God had set out to complete to bring about this realm of existence for a creature that He would call man. A creature that He desired to be in relationship with just as you might be in relationship with a close friend or loved one. That it was His express and desired purpose to create such a realm. That before He even spoke, "Let there be light!", He had already purposed that He would have to send His Son to die for the sins of those who would believe. Otherwise, no flesh could be saved from His wrath and then live eternally with Him after His sure and dreadful day of judgment upon the earth for sin.

    God created this realm for a purpose. I believe that purpose was to get to the day in which He would say, "Now the dwelling of God is with men and He will be their God and they will be His people." God did all of this, and set forth this very great plan of salvation through the blood of His Son, so that one day He would have a preisthood of people who did desire of their own free will to be in the kind of relationship with God for which He first created man. A relationship just as He had with Adam and Eve before the fall of man into disobedience and rebellion and unbelief. God has done a great many things for which we cannot possibly explain the 'how' that He did them. Now He has sent His Son so that anyone who would repent of their unbelief and rebellion, could have the existence for which God created man in the first place. His Son paid the penalty due for each of our lives of rebellion and unbelief, so that once we did come to understand the truth of God, we would then be saved from His terrible day of wrath against all those who refused to repent and believe.

    Which side are you on? Are you on the side of men who deny the truth of God because their own inability to comprehend the 'how' that God could have done something causes them to deny the truth of what God has told us? Or the side of men that fully and faithfully believes that the great wisdom of great scientists have given us undeniable proof that the things that God says that He did just couldn't have been done? What God asks is that we believe Him. In the Revelation God also makes it clear that no unbeliever will be saved.

    God bless you,
    In Christ, ted
     
  9. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    Ted, you bring a lot of good points. I won't try to point out all of my favorites. I will say I like how you bring up that in Revelation God is the light. I hadn't thought of that, in relation to the first day. Interesting.

    What I find concerning is your question, "Which side are you on?" Do you assume that someone who does not take all of Genesis literally cannot be saved?
     
  10. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi again chadrho,

    You wrote in your opening post:
    I'd ask that you reply with one of your metaphors. Metaphors are general statements of comparison. They are used to describe something that we may not have knowledge of, with something that we should. They generally contain 'like' in their presentation. God is like a rock, is a metaphor. It is describing an attribute of God that we may not be able to understand by giving us an example of something that might be similar in attribute, that we should be able to understand.

    I honestly don't see any such statements like that in the 6 day account of the creation. So, if you would humor me and show me the ones that you see, I'd be grateful to look at them.

    God bless,
    In Christ, ted
     
  11. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    I am arguing that the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" is a metaphor pointing to this knowledge that humanity was not created, at least initially, to have. In other words, the tree is a metaphor. I take it you don't read that as a metaphor.
     
  12. Aabbie James

    Aabbie James A Slave of Christ Jesus

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    The Whole Creation Invoked to Praise the LORD...

    Psalms 148

    1 Praise the LORD!
    Praise the LORD from the heavens;
    Praise Him in the heights!
    2 Praise Him, all His angels;
    Praise Him, all His hosts!
    3 Praise Him, sun and moon;
    Praise Him, all stars of light!
    4 Praise Him, highest heavens,
    And the waters that are above the heavens!
    5 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    For He commanded and they were created.
    6 He has also established them forever and ever;
    He has made a decree which will not pass away.

    7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
    Sea monsters and all deeps;
    8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
    Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
    9 Mountains and all hills;
    Fruit trees and all cedars;
    10 Beasts and all cattle;
    Creeping things and winged fowl;
    11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
    Princes and all judges of the earth;
    12 Both young men and virgins;
    Old men and children.

    13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
    For His name alone is exalted;
    His glory is above earth and heaven.
    14 And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
    Praise for all His godly ones;
    Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
    Praise the LORD!
     
  13. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Hey Ted, where you wrote: "God speaks in the very first words that before He created anything in this realm, He did create some kind of light. Now, the source of that light He doesn't give us any further detail of, but if He did create light in this realm before anything else was created, then He could have divided that light." -- it's actually including some common assumptions, but if we look carefully at the text (again), we might see some other details people don't always notice (or remember):

    1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was 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.

    3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."

    Notice first that this light is beginning here on this first 'day', which itself has a morning and an evening -- it's like the rest of the 6 days, and seems just like a day as we know it now: Earth has morning and evening from the point of view of someone on Earth's surface, as it rotates. So we can see the text is telling us something about the first day light and the quality of the day that results: cyclic, with morning and evening and night, just like the remaining days, and our days today. Yes? Do you agree? If not it may be a moment to stop and say so.

    As we know today, and people would expect ever since the sun began to shine and Earth was rotating: the combination of sunlight and Earth's rotation causes this cycle. Already a viewpoint that wants the sun not to exist before the 4th day (when it is revealed) has to begin adding extra assumptions not in the text. For instance, one common one is like that of St. Augustine: that the light from day 1 through 3 was unlike the light of day 4-6. But, see, that's an addition. It's a reasonable extra-biblical idea -- an added idea.

    What we would think without so many added ideas is that the light in day one is the sun beginning to shine on the already rotating early Earth (still a water world without any dry land, it's surface formless, 'void').

    But the sun isn't visible from the point of view, which we would expect is from the surface of the Earth, in the Genesis chapter 1 vision until it is revealed on the 4th day in the vision. Please see post #35 at this point for key things on this.
     
  14. Chadrho

    Chadrho Active Member Supporter

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    That's beautiful. I love this psalm. Thank you for sharing it.
     
  15. miamited

    miamited Ted Supporter

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    Hi chadrho,

    I am just making a point concerning what it might mean to God, for one of us to say, "I believe!" Does God, when His word speaks so often concerning belief, mean to impress upon us that what He is asking us to believe is all of it? Basically, God has made a statement concerning how He created this realm. He has also made other statements as to how He flooded the entire earth; killed the firstborn of an entire city/nation in one night; parted a deep sea, so deep that when everything went back to its place an entire army was swallowed up in it; held the sun in the sky for nearly an entire day and turned back a shadow a distance of 10 steps. All of these events that we find written fairly clearly without metaphorical structure, are events that God's word tells us happened in real time among people living on the earth just as you and I do today.

    After the parting of the sea, Miriam sang a song describing the events. Does that sound like some metaphorical account to you? So, I'm just asking a question. But yes, I do wonder, when God speaks of believing Him and that all those who believe will be saved, is He merely talking about believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin and was resurrected to life, or is He meaning for us to believe it all? When we are born again, born of the Spirit of God who Jesus said would lead us into all truth; the Spirit which gives us wisdom and understanding of the things of God, for without the Spirit there is no understanding, should we expect that the Spirit would approve for us the things that God has written or encourage us to write denials of the things that God has written?

    One of the reasons that I take pause on this issue is for just what you are doing now. You have written a post questioning the validity of the creation account in its simple and literal understanding. IF God did create all this realm as He said, not once, but three times in His word and you are working to deny the truth of that account, does God see you as a believer? It's just a question that honestly we need to seek the wisdom and understanding of the Holy Spirit if we have doubts. I'm just Ted. I'm just another frail and sinful human being just like anyone else living upon this earth, according to God's word. But, I do know that Jesus had some things to say that cause me to consider this issue of what God is looking for in each of us when He says 'believe'.

    Jesus said that only the one who 'believes' and is baptized will be saved. He also said that not everyone who says to him "Lord, Lord" will be saved. I give pause in this, because those who say to him "Lord, Lord", would be, to me, those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for their sin. I mean, who do you know that declares Jesus as Lord that wouldn't immediately also agree that Jesus is God's Son who died for sin? Yet, there seem to be thousands upon thousands of 'believers' who declare this "Lord, Lord", but don't really believe God and just as in your case, actually spend their effort to teach others to deny the plain truth of God's word. Does that sound like the good and faithful servant to you?

    I'm just asking, is there any possibility that when Jesus turns to those 'christians' and says, "depart from me you workers of iniquity", could one of those works of iniquity be that we expended a part of our efforts teaching others to deny the truth of God's own account of Himself and all that He has done? Is that a possibility? If anyone's answer to that question is 'maybe', then I would encourage some deep time spent with God in prayer beseeching Him for the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Why? Because I would think that one who, on some level believes that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin, wouldn't want to be standing in that crowd that Jesus turns away. So, I'm just asking the question.

    God bless,
    In Christ, ted
     
  16. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    The Scriptures come from GOD and so they must also be perfect because they come from Him. The moment we we start to seek holes in the Bible it becomes a holey Bible (a swiss cheese Bible) and not a HOLY BIBLE that is divine in origin. In other words, we should not correct the Bible, but we should let the Bible correct us. Jesus said we will be judged on the last day by His words if we do not receive them (See John 12:48).
     
  17. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    It's good to become aware of how Augustine helped form the idea that many now use of the light of days 1-3 being some special light not the sun (though on day 4 we see the appearance of the sun, moon and stars also (a notable part, as they are part of the 'heavens'...) thus more fitting as a revealing and message about instead of a first-moment of existing). This link I just was finding looks like it may be helpful:
    St. Augustine and Cosmology | Villanova University
    St. Augustine made four distinct efforts to provide a clear and coherent interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis. ...
    ...
    And God said: Be light made. And light was made (Gen 1:3). St. Augustine made several unsatisfactory attempts to find a chronological explanation of the six days of creation in Genesis 1 while he was working on his intellectual interpretation of its literal sense. ...


    (he kept trying until he ran out of time it seems, but of course did not know what we can now see with good telescopes and just trigonometry alone: stars more distant than 8,000 light years away (with only trigonometry and telescopes this is visibly so))
    @miamited
    @Chadrho
     
  18. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

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    True, yet we're dealing here with Scripture's own internal evidence regarding the definition of its historic and cultural context. That is what I was contending for in my previous posts; and the Pandora's Box I was speaking of is opened whenever we place our own conclusions and speculation against the Bible's own authoritative statements, conclusions, directions, principles etc.

    Edit: And to say we should think well of the Bible is so massive an understatement that it could be misleading. God says that He will look to the man who trembles at His Word in Isaiah 66:2. Regarding a Righteous King, who has our natural and eternal lives at His hand, His Word ought to be much more than thought well of.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  19. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all will be fulfilled.
    This suggests no error in His Word.
     
  20. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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