Re: Believe it even if it isn't true theology

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Mon Feb 20 2006 - 16:22:12 EST


Much of what you say is to do with "long periods = days" - I was arguing
specifically against a literal 6-day 144 hour creation (the vicar in my
church has rashly invited a Young Earth Creationist to come and speak to the

But I can't understand why you say the sun was already created by the second
day, and that it wasn't created on the fourth day. Again, literal reading
of the text says:

Gen 2:16: God MADE two great lights, the greater light to govern the day
and the lesser light to govern the night. He also MADE the stars.

This all happened, according to a literal reading of the text, on the fourth
day. So I can't really see how you can say from a literal reading of the
text that they weren't created on the fourth day. I'm pretty certain YEC's
say the sun was created on Day 4.

Incidentally, I raised this point about Day 1 and Day 4 with someone at
church who says that the Jehovah's witnesses come up with this explanation
of cloud-cover being broken to reveal the already created sun..


On 2/20/06, Peter Ruest <> wrote:
> Iain Strachan wrote:
> > ...
> > A thought that has occurred to me recently as well is that if one
> interprets
> > the seven days as a chronological sequence, then one has to invoke lots
> of
> > artificial miracles (bodges) to get around the inconsistencies implied
> by a
> > strict chronological model.
> Such claims of inconsistencies are very common, unfortunately, but they
> usually
> are based on particular models and ignore other possible models, which are
> just
> as chronological, but don't produce the inconsistencies.
> > For example, one might ask the a simple
> > question about the light that was created on Day 1, three days before
> the
> > Sun and stars were created:
> >
> > "Where does the light on day 1 shine from?"
> >
> > In order to answer this, one has to posit that God made some temporary
> light
> > to make do before He got round to creating the sun, which then took
> over.
> > Such an absurd notion seems to me to make a mockery of the text. What
> the
> > text is telling us, it seems to me is that God defined the properties
> light
> > would have.
> "...darkness was over the face of the deep... 'Let there be light /'or/,'
> and
> there was light /'or/... God saw that the light /'or/ was good. And God
> separated the light /'or/ from the darkness... God called the light /'or/
> Day,
> and the darkness he called Night... 'Let there be lights /ma'orim/ in the
> expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be
> for
> signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights
> /ma'orim/
> in the expanse of the heavens to give light /'or {verb}/ upon the earth.'
> ...
> God made the two great lights /ma'orim/- the greater light /ma'or/ to rule
> the
> day and the lesser light /ma'or/ to rule the night- and the stars. And God
> set
> them in the expanse of the heavens to give light /'or {verb}/ on the
> earth, to
> rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light /'or/ from
> the
> darkness." (Gen.1, passim)
> Hebrew words:
> - /'or/: light in general, brightness;
> - /'or/ {verb}: to give light, illuminate;
> - /ma'or/ (singular), /ma'orim/ (plural): light emanating from a light
> source,
> light rays, light as what reaches the eye when looking at a light source;
> - /ner/ (not used in Gen.1): light in the sense of a luminous body, light
> source, lamp;
> - /menorah/ (not used in Gen.1): candlestick, lamp carrier.
> "God created the universe, called 'the heavens and the earth,' including
> time,
> space, and energy... Starting with verse 2, the existence of the sun,
> moon and
> stars is taken for granted. Now the scope narrows to the surface of the
> planet
> Earth... The entire earth was covered by water and darkness. As the sun
> already existed, the reason for the darkness appears to have been a cloud
> cover.
> The darkness was restricted to the earth, excluding 'the heavens.'...
> The
> earth was bombarded by planetesimals, differentiated into an iron core and
> a
> siliceous mantle in the molten state, and collected a secondary atmosphere
> and
> hydrosphere from volcanic outgassing and meteorite impacts. Sufficient
> cooling
> let a global ocean condense. At a relatively high temperature, a thick
> cloud
> of water vapor enveloping the whole earth prevented the penetration of any
> light
> to the ocean surface... Further cooling and chemical change of the
> atmosphere
> later permitted the sun's light, still diffused by a permanent cloud
> cover, to
> reach the surface, producing day and night... the /raqia^/ (expanse)...
> is the
> relatively thin layer, the lower atmosphere formed around the earth... the
> /raqia^/ between the waters as the air space between oceans and clouds.
> The two
> were separated when the atmosphere cleared, after its temperature fell
> below the
> dew point, generating the global water cycle... Diffuse light,
> penetrating the
> clouds since day 1,... On day 4, celestial bodies were not created, but
> became
> visible as 'lights.' Their origin goes back to the cosmological
> development
> initiated 'in the beginning.' Here, the earth is in focus; 'sun' or 'moon'
> are
> not named. Previously, light of celestial bodies had reached the earth's
> surface only in scattered form, such as on an overcast day. The text does
> not
> say that bodies were 'affixed to the firmament,' but that God 'gave' the
> lights
> (the light rays, _not_ their sources) 'into the /raqia^/ of the skies,'
> the
> region which previously could not be reached by direct light. Now changed
> atmospheric conditions caused the previously permanent cloud cover to
> break
> open, so that for the first time the celestial bodies appeared as 'lights
> in the
> sky.' Over some time, the lights were being 'prepared' /^asah/, coming
> through
> hazily first, more clearly later. Literally, God said, 'Let it be
> (singular)
> lights (plural)!' The single process of the atmospheric change caused the
> appearance of a multitude of lights. They were to provide space and time
> indications required by many organisms..." [A. Held & P. Rüst (1999),
> "Genesis
> reconsidered", PSCF 51/4, 231-243;
>, passim]
> > Another miracle that has to be invoked is that all the plants etc had to
> be
> > produced from the earth in a single day. (Well, it was before day 3, so
> I
> > guess this temporary light was pretty special in that it could produce
> > accelerated growth).
> Day 3, as all others, is not a 24-hour-day, but a long period. And
> whatever
> characterizes such a creation day will naturally continue in effect
> throughout
> the following creation days (in this sense an overlap of the "days"). New
> plants
> are produced by the earth and evolve throughout days 3 to 7 (day 7
> continuing to
> the present), altogether during a billion years, as first macroscopic
> plants,
> algae in the sunlit shore waters, were growing out of the earth, as were
> the
> later plants on the dry earth. There was sunlight reaching the surface of
> the
> earth, diffuse from day 1, direct from day 4. Nothing special, no
> accelerated
> growth: no miracle required.
> Peter
> --
> Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
> <> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
> "..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)

After the game, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
- Italian Proverb
Received on Mon Feb 20 16:22:52 2006

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