Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More on the old earth:

I received two replies to last week's post. Dwight writes again:

I am serious and happy and see a lot of humor in this ridiculous thing called life and do laugh out loud a lot. Most people do not have this benefit.

The 6,000 year old scam is just that no matter who tries to claim it or believes it. There is no claim of this in the Bible nor is that what it implies, if read closely with good reading comprehensions skills. You are not dealing in facts but straw dog arguments--Dwight

Interesting. So you, Dwight, see no claim in the Bible of a 6000 year old earth. As you wrote before, you think "it is made clear there is time distortion" in Genesis and that "one of God's days is like...a thousand years". You are expressing the day-age hypothesis, that is, that each "day"in Genesis could have been thousands of years long. As I mentioned previously, this claim only scratches the surface in reconciling Genesis with science. Why does Genesis list a different order of species origination from the order that science has found? Why does Genesis put birds before land animals? Why fruit trees before fish? And why do the genealogies of Genesis indicate that the first man lived 6000 years ago, when we have found human relics long before then? Do you have answers to such questions? If not, the day-age hypothesis doesn't come close to resolving the conflict.

It would be easier to accept that Genesis teaches that each "day" of creation was a long period of time, were it not that other Christians are equally insistent that the Bible is clear on something else. In the previous post, for instance, we saw an email from LC claiming that the six days of Genesis were not 6 periods of creation, but represented instead 6 days of revelation to a scribe.

So if the Bible is so clear about the meaning of Genesis 1, which way is it clear about? Are you right that Genesis 1 refers to 6 long periods of creation (apparently totalling 4.5 billion years), or is LC write that Genesis 1 clearly refers to 6 literal days of revelation?

If the Bible is so clear, why cannot the two of you decide if this refers to 6 literal days or 4.5 billion years? If the Bible is so clear, why cannot the two of you decide if Genesis 1 describes the actual periods of creation, or a time of revelation to a scribe?

And if the Bible cannot make such a simple matter clear, how can you trust anything you think you understand in the Bible? In the second letter I received this week, LC addresses this:

Merle, it's a pain-in-the-butt to leave a comment on your blog so I'll just pass one along here.

You state: "If the writer of Genesis 1 is universally misunderstood, is it also possible the writer of John 3:16 is universally misunderstood?"

Absolutely, and you are living proof. Millions also misunderstand John 3:17. They think Jesus is returning to earth to make things all better, He ain't.


OK, so I am living proof that people misunderstand John 3:16??? How is that? For I think the writer of John 3:16 is trying to tell us that God sent his son so that we could have everlasting life by believing in him. Is that not what it means? If I misunderstand John 3:16, please enlighten us as to what John 3:16 is really saying.

So do I, and the millions of Christians that agree with me on what John is trying to teach, completely misunderstand John 3:16? If so, how are you so certain that you do not also misunderstand John 3:16?

But if I, and the millions of Christians that agree with me, are correct in what we think John 3:16 is saying, why do you insist that I am living proof that John 3:16 is misunderstood?

Many resolve the problems in the Bible by finding symbolic meanings in the text. But as our correspondents have shown here, a Bible filled with cryptic, symbolic messages does little to clear up the confusion about the state of reality.

If someone wants to learn how the current world came to be I recommend science. Searching for cryptic meanings in ancient texts seems to work only if you first find the answers in science, and then reverse engineer your findings to determine a cryptic meaning in the text to match science. As we have seen here, the process of working back from science to symbolic meanings in scripture leads to conflicting symbolic interpretations.

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