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

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Mon Feb 20 2006 - 17:10:13 EST

I would commend watching a lecture by John Walton, an OT scholar at
Wheaton Genesis and Cosmology
<> in which he
speaks of viewing Genesis 1 through the filter of "ancient eyes". The
discussion in the present thread has assumed (conventionally) the
creation of "things". Dr. Walton makes a case that this is not the way
that the creation was conceptualized by the writers of Genesis. It is
well worth watching and considering as it helps with a resolution of
some of these order-of-creation issues. Dr. Walton recently presented a
nicely updated version of this lecture (Reading Genesis 1 with Ancient
Eyes: What does it mean to create?) at Canyon Institute for Advanced
Studies <>' annual lecture series in Phoenix.
The lecture is available in recorded form
<> via the
CIAS website.


Iain Strachan wrote:

> Peter,
> 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 church).
> 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..
> Iain
> 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 17:11:18 2006

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