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

From: Peter Ruest <>
Date: Tue Feb 21 2006 - 03:36:15 EST

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).

Sorry, Iain, I didn't realize you were not presenting your own view but that of
YECs. I was misled by the idea of "literal" reading of Gen.1, because I consider
what Armin Held and I published to be a _more_ literal reading than the YECs' -
fully compatible with traditional dating and full-fledged evolution, including
that of humans, as it is.

> 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.

I also think at least most YECs do.

The term "made" in Gen.1:16 you refer to has been discussed in our paper
( The crucial points are:
- (1) that we translate the Hebrew /^asah/ as "to develop", in the sense of God
using a preexisting entity and working through secondary ("natural") processes,
without any "supernatural intervention" being necessary, in contrast to the term
/bara'/ which we take to indicate some crucial "supernatural" creative activity,
in the sense of creating some fundamentally novel reality, even where it is in
some preexisting creature (or otherwise arisen by "natural" means; thus,
"create" is also applied to every human individual);
- (2) what I wrote you, in my last post, about the different Hebrew terms /'or/
etc., all usually translated as "light", and their different meanings;
- (3) that we translate /raqia^/ as "expanse" in the sense of the lower
atmosphere (cf. my post of 20 Feb. to Dave Siemens);
- (4) that we translate the Hebrew /nathan/ in Gen.1:17 as "gave" (which is the
primary meaning of the word), rather than "set" (or even "affixed"!).

> 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..

If that's their only modification, while keeping the 144-hour framework, it's of
no great use.


Dr. Peter Ruest, CH-3148 Lanzenhaeusern, Switzerland
<> - Biochemistry - Creation and evolution
"..the work which God created to evolve it" (Genesis 2:3)
Received on Tue Feb 21 03:38:20 2006

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