Re: [asa] Re:

From: David Opderbeck <>
Date: Fri May 11 2007 - 09:17:41 EDT

* If left the way you stated it would be senseless. How can some admit old
age on one hand and hold to a young age on the other?*

Though this is not my position, I could see how a person could hold an
epistemology that would permit both an "old" and "young" earth view to be
held simultaneously. This would *not* be an "appearance of age" view, which
I think flies in the face of Biblical theology's insistence that God is
consistent, truthful and faithful.

In this "both old-and-young" rather than "either-old-or-young" view, the
universe we now inhabit has a functional and historical integrity, but it is
nevertheless different in some fundamental ways from the universe people
originally inhabited. The natural history we observe today is real, but it
is not exactly the same natural history that would have been observed before
the fall and/or flood. The fall and/or the flood resulted in a cosmic
judgment and a sort of re-creation or recapitulation of creation, along the
lines of what we anticipate in the eschaton. This re-creation or
recapitulation of creation was not an "apparently old" universe dropped into
place, but a truly old universe which humanity now inhabits.

"Creation" then encompasses the universe we now inhabit, as well as the
universe-as-it-would-have-been absent sin, and as well as the
universe-as-it-will-be in the eschaton. "Creation" from God's perspective
encompasses all three of these simultaneously. From the prespective of
God's decrees before the foundation of the world all of these
re-capitulations of creation hold together and have a meta-integrity in the
teleology of God's ultimate plans for creation.

Although this seems to violate the law of non-contradiction, that may be an
artifact of our limited understanding of how the universe / universes work,
and/or of how time works in relation to the universe / universes.
Certainly, theoretical physics and cosmology have hinted at scenarios that
are at least this strange. From God's perspective, could a re-capitulation
of creation work -- really and not only "apparently" -- backwards as well as
forwards? Or, could we now inhabit one parallel universe from among
multiple alternatives? Moreover, it might be well to ask whether the law of
non-contradiction should be held as absolutely and foundationally as some
want to hold it, given that it is a human construct and not an exact
God's-eye representation of reality.

For some further thoughts on a similar kind of epistemic perspective from a
Van Tilian Reformed stance, though stripped of much of the above
cosmological speculation, see Vern Poythress, "Redeeming Science."

Again -- I'm not proposing this as "my" view. It seems rather undeveloped
and full of epistemic and theological potholes. I prefer a more critical
realist perspective ala Torrance and McGrath. Yet, I think a certain amount
of "outside the box" speculation can be healthy, particularly given our poor
understanding and lack of scientific consensus concerning anything outside
classical cosmology. And a critical realist has to admit that his/her views
result in tensions with the non-Western, pre-modern cosmology and worldview
of scripture. Maybe those tensions are well-resolved through heremeneutical
principles such as accomodation; but maybe they aren't. I wouldn't want to
commit to an epistemic stance that is rationalist rather than simply

On 5/10/07, Jack <> wrote:
> That would be incomplete. If left the way you stated it would be
> senseless. How can some admit old age on one hand and hold to a young age
> on the other? There would have to be another statement explaining how "some
> Christians" resolve the conflict.
> I think we need to make a firmer stand and claim that not only the
> physical evidence supports an old earth, but that biblical interpretations
> that claim that the earth MUST be young, are incorrect.
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* Bill Hamilton <>
> *To:* ASA List <>
> *Cc:* George Murphy <>
> *Sent:* Thursday, May 10, 2007 10:39 PM
> George wrote
> A good deal has been made of the fact that there are a few scientifically
> trained YECs who are honest about the fact that present-day science points
> to an old earth but who themselves believe in a young earth because of their
> theological position. It might be unfortunate if they had to leave ASA
> because of the organization taking an old-earth position but that may be the
> prcise for organizational integrity and credibility. & there have always
> been intelligent fellow Christians who didn't meet the criteria for
> membership.
> Possibly we could enable some of these folks to stay in, if our policy
> stated'
> 1. The physical evidence points to an old earth
> 2. We recognize that some Christians, while admitting the above, hold to a
> young earth on Scriptural grounds
> Bill Hamilton
> William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
> 248.652.4148 (home) 248.821.8156 (mobile)
> "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
> "A theory that you cannot explain to a bartender is probably no damn good"
> --Ernest Rutherford
> ------------------------------
> Don't be flakey. Get Yahoo! Mail for Mobile<*>and
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Received on Fri May 11 09:17:50 2007

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