From: Jan de Koning <>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 18:02:51 EDT

The discussion on YEC has been going on for many ,many years, and probably
will be going on for a long time. I have been in the past part of these
discussions, since the early eighties as a matter of fact, if not much
earlier. That is why I seldom let myself be drawn into these discussions
again, but now that it is going on again for a while, I feel compelled to
say something again.

The issue is not just how to read the bible. I hope that all of us indeed
accept the Bible as God's Word. But, if that is so, it was written for
God's people in different times. It was simply impossible for people
living before Abraham's time to know science as we know it, even when we
accept that our science is directly descended from the science the people
in Mesopotamia (Iraq) had thousands of years ago. These people had another
language, another background, were living in another climate (though
fertile, where now the desert is, thanks to human intervention), and
consequently they did not "know " as much as we think we do. Still, the
Lord was the same Lord as the Lord we have. The Lord speaks to us now in a
language we can understand, with the background we have in science. The
Lord in His grace to us taught us gradually what we "modern people" think
we know. To be honest, most of us do not know very much, and go by what
"scientists" who studied in a certain area tell us. Realize now, that we
usually take what they say for granted, and leave discussions about areas
we did not study to those who studied the areas.

I would like that to be true anyway. However, in the discussions about
Genesis everyone seems to know everything. If you are YEC, you take for
granted that those who studied Theology know what they talk about, until
you realize, that they do not know very much outside their very narrow
terrain. For example, it strikes me as totally irresponsible to assume,
that ways of thinking and studying 5000 years ago are the same as they are
now. They were not. What happened when languages developed differently in
different areas?
As a matter of fact it strikes me time and again how our present-day people
know very little about the way people 500 years ago were thinking and lived
their life. But God wanted to talk to them as well as He does to us, and
if the world does not end soon, to our children 500 years from now. They
will not be able to understand our way of thinking anymore than we do the
thinking of Reformation times.

But God stays the same, and guides the development of the world, even the
world after the fall. He does not talk to us like He did to Adam, or to
Abraham, but we are as much His children as they were. If God gives us now
knowledge about evolving history, evolving science, evolving nature, which
He did not give to my forefathers who fled from France to Holland because
of persecution, I have to accept their position that they as Protestants
would be persecuted by the rulers in Northern France at that time. Times
changed so I could teach at a RC college. Our knowledge changed, politics
changed, churches changed. But we would not understand their language, and
would find their way of life rather primitive. Still, thanks to them we
are now members of Christian Churches, who can understand each other better.

Now go back 5000 years. God was talking to the people of Israel. These
people had a certain knowledge of the world, but their world was
comparatively small. But God did want them to know that He was the Creator
of stars, of galaxies, of meteors, of mountains, of the seas etc. It
would not have made any sense to these people if God used 21st century
theoretical language, so God used the language they were used to, which
included what they saw close-by, and told them I made it all. And why
can't you understand the people on the other side of the mountain? Even if
they descended from the same families as you do? Because you were wiser
than God you thought and you were going to make sure of that. But God
said: "I'll make sure that they are not becoming too powerful",and their
understanding each other stopped.

Tha is still so. We may think that we can fix the politics in countries
far away, but God is still the same God. If we are still working in our
own power, it will not succeed.

This long story, too long, is only written to try to tell others, that God
speaks to every generation in their own language, so that they understand
Him. It would not have made sense If God had talked to people 5000 years
ago in 21st century scientific language. So, now my wife calls me, and we
have to eat.

Jan de Koning
Received on Fri Apr 16 18:02:04 2004

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