Christianity and Science, Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Science, Young Earth Creationism

Responding to “Nine Questions for the Old Earth Creationist”

exoplanetOne of the podcasts I enjoy listening to is “Issues, Etc.,” a conservative Lutheran radio program that addresses a number of different views. As is the case with anything, however, once you talk to someone or listen to something long enough, you find things with which you disagree. Recently, I heard a podcast which was discussing Christianity and Science. During this podcast, the guest alleged that the Bible contradicts things like the Big Bang theory or any interpretation of millions or billions of years. As that is an area of great interest for me, I did a little more digging and found that Pastor Todd Wilken, one of the primary speakers on the radio program, had written a series of questions for Old Earth Creationists in an article titled “Nine Questions for Old Earth ‘Creationists.‘” [Note that he uses scare quotes around the word "Creationists."]

Here, I shall respond to the Nine Questions asked of Old Earth Creationists. Before I dive in, I want to offer one major disclaimer: these topics are far more complex than one blog post can cover. I fully realize I am leaving objections unanswered and some questions unasked. Feel free to comment to clarify. Second major disclaimer: I realize that there is diversity within old earth creationism. However, I have striven to answer the questions in as broad a manner as possible.

I will be leaving the questions from Todd Wilken in bold and italic  font and my answers in this standard font. The questions are direct quotes from his article, and I take no credit for their wording.

1. What in the text of Genesis 1 requires or suggests an old Earth?

I admit that I know of no Old Earth Creationist (hereafter OEC/OECs) who holds that Genesis 1 requires an old earth. I think the question is mistaken to even use that word, but I would be happy to be corrected should someone find an OEC who does allege that the text requires an old earth. Thus, the question must be what is it that suggests an old earth? Well, as readers of this blog may know already, I think this question itself is mistaken. The text is not referring to the age of the universe at all, anywhere. On this view, although an old earth may be permissible according to the text, it is not suggested; nor is a young earth suggested. The text just isn’t talking about the age of the universe.

Now, many OECs do hold that the text suggests an old earth. Hints of this, they argue, can be found in the fact that evening and morning occurs before there is a sun. Moreover, it is not until the fourth day that days may even be measured. Others hold that the terminology in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” suggests that the creation occurred in that verse, and that the rest of the chapter (and chapter 2) narrow the focus to earth or even the Garden of Eden.

2. What are the referents of the words “morning” and “evening” in Genesis 1?

I find it extremely telling that Wilken decided to switch the order of these words around. It absolutely must be noted that the text says “evening” and morning.” Why is this? Well, if the first day is really the first 24 hour period in the history of all that exists apart from God, how is it possible for evening to come before morning? [One insightful reader noted that the Hebrews saw evening as the beginning of the day anyway... but my point is that the fact there is an evening implies there is a sun to set... which isn't created until later.] That is a question with which the literalistic young earth creationists must contend. If they choose to read the Bible literal[istical]ly, they must be consistent. The fact that they cannot when it comes to things such as evening coming first shows that their reading is self-referentially inconsistent.

Now, to answer the actual question, that really depends on which OEC you are referring to. I would tentatively suggest that most OECs hold that the referents are simply ways to mark the beginning and ends of creation periods.

3. What in the text of Genesis 1:26-27 requires or suggests the creation of man over millions of years?

I admit that this was where I really started to wonder whether Wilken understands the distinctions between OECs and other views of creation. In asking this question of OECs, Wilken betrays an apparent ignorance of the views of major proponents of OEC.

Representative is Hugh Ross, the founder of Reasons to Believe, which is itself the largest Old Earth Creationist organization. In his work, More Than a Theory, he writes regarding human origins: “God created humans in a deliberate, miraculous act” (182, cited below). In other words, Ross (and this is the position of the entire organization, along with every other OEC I know of) holds that humankind was specially created by God in a single miraculous act. “Ah, but wait!” one might cry. “That doesn’t deny millions of years for the creation of humanity.”

Very well, a very small amount of digging shows Hugh Ross again writing, this time with Fazale Rana (also of Reasons to Believe and another Old Earth Creationist) in their work Who Was Adam? “God created the first humans… both physically and spiritually through direct intervention… All humanity came from Adam and Eve… God created Adam and Eve relatively recently, between 10,000 and 100,000 years ago” (44-45, cited below). 

Therefore, it seems this question is nonsensical. OECs hold that humankind was created specially by God and not over the course of millions of years. I admit that I think just about any OEC would be scratching their head trying to figure out why this question is even being asked because it is so far off the mark of the actual views of OECs. It is particularly remarkable because this feature is one of the very things which distinguishes Old Earth Creationism from other, non-creationist models. Gerald Rau notes this distinction: “Although differing in the timing, both [Young- and Old- Earth creationists] believe God created two humans… without progenitor. This, of course, is a radically different perspective from the evolutionary models” (147, cited below). Note his wording: “of course”; “radically different.” Frankly, anyone who has done even a cursory study of varying Christian views about the timing and means of creation would know this.

4. Where in the text of the Genesis 2 and following is the transition from epoch-long days to 24-hour days?

This question seems to be a bit strange. The word “day” is only used in Genesis 2:2, 3, 4, and 17. In verse 4 even Young Earth Creationists (YEC) have to admit that the word is being used as more than one day (the text says “These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens” (ESV).

Verse 17 is also of great interest because it says, “…’but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die'” (ESV).

Did Adam die on the 24-hour day he ate of that tree? No. In fact, he and Eve went on to have children and raise them to some point. So again, we find that “day” is not referring to a 24 hour period.

But where is the transition? I don’t know. I think the question itself is confused because the word is used four times in the chapter, two of which cannot be 24-hour days.

5. What creative actions described in Genesis 1 require more than six 24-hour days to accomplish for a God Who creates ex nihilo?

The use of the word “require” is again extremely problematic. Of course any OEC would agree that God could create in any time period God wanted. God certainly could have created anything God wanted in any amount of time in which God wanted to. So no OEC that I know of would say that God required more time.

However, some OECs do argue that Adam may have needed more time to accomplish everything it is said he accomplished in the allotted times. Naming all the animals, given the untold thousands of species which exist, would have taken quite a bit of time. (Genesis 2:19 is still part of the sixth day because God is still creating and has not yet made woman.)

But, again, I do not think any OEC would say that the text “requires” God to use more than 24 hours.

dinofeeding6. Where else in Scripture is the word “day” used to designate billions of years?

Here we find yet another question that is just so incredibly off base that it is remarkable. Of course, the Bible does use the word “day” to denote that such a period, for the LORD, is like a thousand years. And the meaning of “like a thousand years” is debatable, but surely it is a long period of time [and much longer than 24 hours]. But the question of “billions of years” is just the wrong question. Again, the text is not trying to tell us how old the earth is.

If Wilken desires to dispute this, I would gladly ask him to present me with a verse in the Bible which sets the date of creation.

7. How are we to understand the connection between the six epoch-days of creation and the sanctification of a literal seventh day in Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:11?

I am often confused when YECs bring up this argument. Yes, Exodus 20:11 parallels Genesis 1-2 by having 7 days and denoting the seventh as a day of rest. Now, what about that somehow entails that they are exactly the same? I mean think about the Biblical categories of typology. Very often things correspond to each other but are not exactly the same. One might think of the use of Hosea 11:1 to Matthew 2:15. The passage in Hosea is clearly discussing the nation of Israel. In Matthew 2:15 it is applied to an individual, the Son of God. Does this automatically mean that in Hosea we must assume that “son” is being used in the same sense as “Son of God”? Obviously not. Then why ignore typological categories in other texts?

Okay, but how would an OEC answer this objection? By pointing out that the words “day” and “Sabbath” are used variably in the Pentateuch, so a direct 1 to 1 correlation is off-base. Sabbath, for example, may refer to the span of an entire year as opposed to just one day (Leviticus 25:4). Day may refer to a thousand years (Psalm 90:4).

8. Are there considerations outside the text of Genesis that require an old Earth?

I’m not sure if Wilken means to express the question of other texts, or whether he wishes to address the issue of extra-Biblical evidence.

Regarding the first possible meaning, again the answer would be “No.” I will continue to maintain that I know of no OEC who holds the Bible requires an old earth. Many would follow my own reasoning and note that the Bible isn’t trying to discuss time periods. That just isn’t a concern of the text.

9. According to the Old-Earth theory, what is the relationship between death and human sin? When did death enter the world?

Frankly, at this point it should be abundantly clear that Wilken has not interacted very much with the works of Old Earth Creationists. As was noted in the answer to question 3, many OECs hold to the special creation of Adam and Eve. Therefore, this question is similarly extremely easy to answer: human death entered the world because of sin.

A Major Issue

I think one of the main problems with Wilken’s comments are that he doesn’t seem to distinguish between Old Earth Creationists, Theistic Evolutionists, and the various varieties of design theorists. This leads him to a few confused questions which he directs towards OECs that make no sense when directed towards them. I admit that the series of questions here leads me to wonder whether Wilken is simply unaware of the distinctions between these groups or just over-simplifying and obfuscating. I suspect the former.*

Conclusion

I have endeavored to provide brief answers for the Nine Questions Wilken asks of Old Earth Creationists. I believe that some of the questions he asks demonstrate confusion about the actual category of Old Earth Creationism. Moreover, the questions that are on target have been answered repeatedly by various OECs. Whether these answers are taken as convincing is another story.

*It should be noted that Wilken’s article was published in 2002, which is prior to the works cited here. Therefore, Wilken could not have known about the works I have cited to show some of the difficulties with his paper. However, I cited these works specifically to show how mistaken these questions are. If one is going to attempt to educate concerned Christians about a topic like this, it is vastly important to be aware of the distinctions to be found within each group, and Wilken fails to show awareness of these distinctions. Moreover, we will explore Wilken’s very recent article next week, in which he continues to make these errors.

Sources

Hugh Ross, More Than a Theory (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2009).

Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana, Who Was Adam? (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005).

Gerald Rau, Mapping the Origins Debate (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2012).

Todd Wilken, “Nine Questions for the Old Earth ‘Creationist,'” 2002.

SDG.

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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. His interests include theology, philosophy of religion--particularly the existence of God--astronomy, biology, archaeology, and sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Discussion

31 thoughts on “Responding to “Nine Questions for the Old Earth Creationist”

  1. Interesting questions. Here are my own answers….
    1. Genesis 1:1-3 reads, “1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

    In other words, before God “let” there be light, He was hovering over the deep. It does not say how long it was there. It could have been there a very long time.

    2. Yom is the word for day, and refers to ones experience of the sunset. The Holy Spirit was hovering over the rotating earth beneath the light He created. Evening is when He hovered into the sunset. Morning is when He hovered into the sunrise. The duration between evening and morning could therefore be any amount of time.

    3. Genesis 1:26-27 records the creation of man and woman. By itself, this does not require millions of years. Combine it with Genesis 2 however, and it creates a problem. It means Adam was created at sunrise, put in the garden, needed a helper, looked through and named all the animals looking for a helper, then took a nap while God created Eve from his rib, then work up and met her, and received God’s blessing to be fruitful and multiply. I do not see how this could have happened in one day, so Day 6 had be longer than 24 hours. By itself this does not suggest millions of years, but “millions of years” is the only competing theory, which is what suggests it to me.

    4. We have never had a precisely 24-hour yom. Ever. Every single yom (sundown-to-sundown) has been just a little shorter than 24 hours (Summer and Fall), or just little longer (Winter and Spring).

    5. When God let the earth bring forth life, His action to “let” was immediate. The action that he “let” the earth take — the bringing forth of life — took longer, as it followed the physical laws God had put in place. God’s action did not require more than 24 hours (not even 24 seconds!) but the earth’s action took much much longer.

    6. “Yom” only designates from sundown to sundown. It is never a precise duration.

    7. God has rested from creating. We are in Day 7.

    8. Yes. Psalm 104 describes the first 4 days of creation, but only for a perspective that acknowledges the existence of the sun on Day 1. Ditto for Job 38.

    9. Forget old earth theory on this one. Paul says that the relationship is this: sin is the sting of death. Jesus then does not prevent death, but removes its sting. Logically therefore, death precedes sin.

    Posted by Mike | September 30, 2013, 9:00 AM
    • Where did Paul say “sin is the sting of death?” Paul said “For the wages of sin is death.” Sin, therefore, logically precedes death.

      Posted by DogTags | October 3, 2013, 5:47 PM
    • Where did Paul say “the sting of death is sin”? Paul did say “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23. So, logically, therefore, sin precedes death. (Forgive me if this is a repost. My computer was acting up.)

      Posted by DogTags | October 3, 2013, 5:50 PM
      • I Corinthians 15:56 does not suggest death preceded sin. It means that, because of sin, death separates us from God.

        Posted by DogTags | October 3, 2013, 5:57 PM
      • 1 Cor. 15:55a says, “Death, where is your sting?” Verse 56 answers, “The sting of death is sin.” But don’t conflate the wage of sin with the sting of death. They are two different things. We still die because of our sin, just as Romans 6:23 says. However, if we die in Christ, then that death will have no sting.

        To restate in terms of Adam: before Adam sinned, death existed but was not the result of sin, and it had no sting. After Adam sinned, he paid for it by dying… but Jesus removes the sting.

        Posted by Mike | October 4, 2013, 12:15 AM
      • Sin is the sting of death therefore death preceded sin therefore millions of years etc. etc.?

        That is very eisegetical of you. God said in Genesis that all living creatures were herbivores before man sinned. There was no animal death before sin. Yet we have all these fossils of animals with the remains of other animals in their stomachs. God is not a liar therefore no animal ate other animals before the Fall. The fossil record is most likely the result of a worldwide flood than the product of millions of years.

        You can’t use the fossil record to impose on Scripture.

        Posted by DogTags | October 6, 2013, 6:43 AM
  2. “What creative actions described in Genesis 1 require more than six 24-hour days to accomplish for a God Who creates ex nihilo?”

    This one made me laugh. One could just as easily ask, “Why would a God who creates ex nihilo require six 24-hour days?” He’s suggesting that it belittles God for creation to have taken millions/billions of years…but by that logic, isn’t it also belittling to suggest that it would have taken six entire days?

    Posted by Matt | September 30, 2013, 10:04 PM
      • Instantaneous creation? You mean the big bang? j/k

        Posted by Mike | September 30, 2013, 11:04 PM
      • Wow, that was weird — I read Augustine to be saying exactly the opposite, that the Bible seemed to be teaching a long duration even though God could have created in no duration.

        Actually, though, taking all the evidence into account, I’d say that Augustine was teaching against the background of gnosticism, not against the background of geology. Gnosticism required a long creation not in order to fit observation, but in order to fit a false theology. The trouble is that although Augustine was orthodox, he wasn’t orthodox in everything and at all times; you can see some of his Marcionism seeping through sometimes, as when he left his commonlaw wife and son to become a Christian (he doesn’t seem to be in the least concerned about that even in his Confessions). I strongly suspect that wavering on the length of creation from instant to a long time is another example of that.

        Oh, I’d also tend to distrust Augustine’s ability to parse Hebrew well — I’ve found that to be very rare at his time, and his particular education gave him very little possibility of gaining it at more than a chickenscratch level. His reading of Genesis 2:4 (cited in the article) is therefore highly suspect.

        (Si hoc legere potes, nimium eruditionis habes.)

        Posted by wm tanksley | October 11, 2013, 11:08 PM
      • I should add that Augustine’s non-linguistic arguments aren’t bad — I find them useful to consider. I just wanted to point out that he’s as much subject to the winds of his time as we are to ours.

        Posted by wm tanksley | October 11, 2013, 11:09 PM
  3. J. W., I think that you did a great job of addressing these questions. I could not help noticing that most of the questions were phrased as “complex” or “loaded questions.” https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/loaded-question

    Posted by imhavoc | September 30, 2013, 10:50 PM
  4. We may differ on whether we hold to a young earth or old, but there are two things that we can all agree upon pertaining to an Old Earth viewpoint: 1) That an interpretation of an Earth age in the scale of millions of years, right or wrong, has come to be as a result of scientific (and I would add: philosophical) conclusions, not theological ones, and 2) The world created by God prior to the Fall is vastly different from that of a Young earth perspective. Answers in Genesis, though not at the top of my apologetics list, has rightly pointed out that this world is one of death and disease and natural catastrophe. We may side-step the theological implication of death by citing it was not human, but we cannot escape the fact that such a world invariably means that God finds death, disease and suffering “very good” — even if that death is limited to non-human subjects of His creation. This cannot help but fundamentally change our view of God as it relates to His view of death.

    Though not necessarily convinced of YEC model, I also personally find an OEC position awkward in that it must propose that God, in the midst of a world full of death, specially created humans to be without death, but then they Fell and shared in the death that already existed elsewhere in the “very good” creation. It is not impossible; it just seems a bit inconsistent.

    It is for these reasons that I am not forcefully convinced of an OEC position either. I would be interested to here the reasons why others find an OEC position so necessary.

    Posted by dpatrickcollins | September 30, 2013, 11:19 PM
    • DPatrick, you said that “we cannot escape the fact that such a world invariably means that God finds death, disease and suffering “very good”. I might point out that Jesus’ death and suffering on the cross was “very good.” It was the ultimate act of love. Death and suffering is therefore not sinful per se. Paul writes in 1 Cor 15:56 that the sting of sin is death, meaning sin precedes death. If Paul go it backwards however, and it were the other way around sin precedes death, then redemption from sin would prevent us from ever experiencing physical death, but Christ’s own sacrifice would not cover our sin, because you cannot cover sin with sin.

      Posted by Mike | October 1, 2013, 8:43 AM
      • Thank you, Mike. Your response actually supports my claim: Because we cannot escape the inevitable conclusion, it forces us to provide theological explanation for why and how it can be that God finds death and suffering “very good,” as you have thoughtfully done. I want to give your points some further thought (thanks for that) but for starters, I think the only thing that makes Jesus’ death and suffering good is that out of supreme love, it achieved a greater good. That is, the Cross is the ultimate good because of the love demonstrated, and also prize achieved (our salvation), not because God finds subjecting His Son to the most horrible death imaginable “very good.” I think it would be accurate to say Jesus’ suffering and death was not very good but rather necessary to achieve the very good.

        Posted by dpatrickcollins | October 3, 2013, 4:48 PM
    • DPATRICKCOLLINS:
      A thoughtful post. I have two replies:
      1. There’s nothing inherently wrong with insight stemming from science, as opposed to theology. Our understanding that the earth revolves about the sun came directly from science, too. That doesn’t make it somehow wrong or faulty. The Bible doesn’t purport to answer all of our scientific questions.
      2. You say that it’s inconsistent that, on OEC, God would create (immortal) man in a world already filled with death. But isn’t that what the Bible — read literally — implies? In Genesis 2, God creates Adam and Eve in the midst of a localized paradise. But what was outside of that paradise? Presumably not more paradise. Adam and Eve are also given access to the Tree of Life. But why, if they were already created immortal? And what about those animals outside of the Garden of Eden that did not have access to the Tree of Life?
      I don’t think the situation for non-YECs is any more difficult, here.

      Posted by Jordan | October 1, 2013, 12:28 PM
      • Thanks for the reply, Jordan.
        1. I agree. It is important however to acknowledge the basis for an OEC position. It helps us to look at the foundation for this position which is beneficial for a myriad of reasons.
        2. If I may: I believe you are allowing OEC (or other) theology to presuppose your reading of Scripture. As most YEC’s will point out, the Bible — read “literally” (that is, free of external ideas) — does not establish (nor I would say even suggest) death before the Fall. Nor does it state Adam and Eve were in a “localized paradise” as you have defined it: A place where there is no death in contrast to the place outside of which there is death. Death in fact is not mentioned until and only in association with Adam and Eve’s disobedience and the Fall of mankind. And death is strongly associated with sin from that point forward to the end of the Bible. Now this does not mean the Genesis account as you described it cannot be true. You and I are looking at the same scripture and I realize that it could. At the same time, I cannot help but notice that for an OEC position to stand, such an interpretation must be true. That is, we must have a localized Paradise in which is no death, outside of which is death, in order to reconcile animal death prior to man, and also creation of immortal mankind in the midst of a world of death. This is the awkwardness I am referring to which your interpretation seeks to resolve. But I am not convinced we would arrive there with a “literal” reading of Scripture. Cheers.

        Posted by dpatrickcollins | October 3, 2013, 5:15 PM
      • Hi again, DPATRICKCOLLINS:
        1. I appreciate your concern for remaining faithful to the Bible, but as we both agree, faulty ideas have been promulgated before on the belief that they were “biblical”. That said, I find this appeal to be somewhat simplistic and not very helpful.
        2. I certainly agree that we come to the Scriptures with biases. In fact, it’s refreshing to hear this from a YEC. Many times I’ve heard YECs say “same data; different interpretations” with respect to science, but I’ve never heard them say this with respect to the Scriptures. I appreciate your candidness.
        That being said, while you may think my interpretation is awkward, I think it stems very naturally from Genesis 2. For one, it makes sense of the Tree of Life. Otherwise, what purpose does it serve if man was already created immortal? It also makes sense of questions such as where Cain found his wife, or why Cain feared retaliation for murdering his brother (i.e., there were people outside the Garden, too). On YEC, we must infer that God sponsored incest, and that Adam and Eve rapidly populated the land with countless numbers of untold children who were also intent on killing their brother. I don’t think that’s any less awkward than the interpretation I’m advocating. And all this is to say nothing of the theological problems of YECism that JW discusses elsewhere (http://jwwartick.com/2012/03/12/against-yec-theology/).
        God bless!

        Posted by Jordan | October 6, 2013, 10:13 AM
      • Hi Jordan: Thanks:
        1. I must admit, I was surprised to find you object to my response that amounted to an “I agree!” :)
        2. I will provide a separate response for clarity.

        Posted by dpatrickcollins | October 6, 2013, 10:31 AM
      • Okay what a bummer: Firefox crashed on me while typing up my comment :) Onto responding to point 2:

        First, I am not a YEC, which means I may have more in common with your position than you realize. For example, JT’s question concerning starlight has not escaped my intention and I would agree with him. (But I do not find the rebuttal against animal death as a result of sin convincing, since the question of death before the Fall has more to do with God’s relation to death than it does about justice.)

        But to your points, I believe you are saying that even without science, you would arrive at an OEC position, or at least one where death was present and ubiquitous before the fall of mankind. One reason you say is that it makes sense of the Tree of Life. You have asked twice now “why would we need a Tree of Life if they were already created immortal?” By this, I presume you are claiming Adam and Eve were not in fact immortal beings, at any time. Instead, they were kept alive, so to speak, by a Tree in the Garden. As far as Christian doctrine goes, I believe this is a rather extreme position.

        But there are other problems with it. For one, we are not told that the purpose of the Tree of Life was to keep Adam and Eve alive. We do not hear God saying, “Be sure to keep eating from the Tree of Life, for if you do not, you will die. But we are told instead that that God said to Adam, “You are free to eat of any plant in the Garden with one exception.” I am just not seeing anywhere in scripture where the Tree of Life is given the significance you assign to it. I would suggest there is not problem here needing resolution.

        But we are told that God commanded Adam and Eve not to eat from one tree, and that the consequence of that would be death. And we are told later in the New Testament that sin entered through one man, and death through sin, which is the very sin Jesus came to redeem. To suggest that Adam and Eve were in a mortal state prior to sin contradicts pretty core Christian doctrinal belief.

        Cheers

        Posted by dpatrickcollins | October 6, 2013, 11:37 AM
      • My apologies for shoehorning you in with the YEC camp, DPATRICKCOLLINS. Admittedly, I’ve only been reading this blog for a very short while, and am not familiar with your position. Thanks for clarifying.
        To be sure, without studying God’s creation, I doubt that I would arrive at an OEC position, because there’s really nothing in the Bible that attests to an old earth. I’m also happy to concede that, if one wanted to milk historical insight from the biblical genealogies, one could arrive at a relatively young earth. That said, I think it’s abundantly clear that the genealogies weren’t written for this purpose.
        Regarding the Tree of Life, Genesis 3:22 tells us that it provided eternal life, which is why Adam and Eve were locked out of the Garden after the Fall so they could never eat from it again and live forever. Once more, I don’t see what the point of this tree would be if man was created immortal. I’m curious to know how you make sense of it. You might see my position as extreme, but there are in fact many Christians who would agree with me.
        And you’re right to point out that Adam and Eve were threatened with death “on the day” that they ate from the Tree of Knowledge. Yet they did not physically die on that day. In that case, you can’t help but wonder if maybe God was referring to something other than physical death after all.

        Posted by Jordan | October 6, 2013, 8:00 PM
      • Jordan:

        I forgot to follow up. Yes, I will definitely give your points some thought.

        Rereading your post, I was especially struck by your comments regarding the YEC camp. Whether we discover one day the YEC are right after all, or no, I too have noticed many YEC seem to carry a life-or-death intensity concerning the interpretation of Genesis. I respect their conviction, as I (like you I am sure) hold the authority of Scripture very highly, and realize that at some point, we are no longer interpreting but compromising the integrity of Scripture, but I think fear is a bad motivator for discussion.

        Cheers

        Posted by dpatrickcollins | October 12, 2013, 7:48 PM
  5. Adding on Q7, when could see another typology in Jesus’ 40 days in the desert with Israel’s 40 years in wilderness. Same number after Jesus’ resurrection.

    I pray that our YECs would begin with understanding OEY views first before disagreeing or offering challenges. Our love in Christ and the fellowship of Spirit calls us to faithfully and Christ-honoring understand each other even if we disagree. Thanks Jw for a thoughtful response.

    Posted by Prayson Daniel | October 1, 2013, 12:19 AM
  6. Very easy to have light before the sun was created. As in revelation Jesus will be the light. Jesus the creator is also the light at creation. Day is a 24 hour period of time. We only now measure it by revolutions around the sun. Time would still go on even if the earth stopped revolving around the sun. Alaska has months of daylight with no setting sun yet we do not say they do not have the same amount of days because there is no sunset. Man could not have been created over millions or billions of years. Adam was created on day six and lived 934 years. If day six was considered millions of years he would not have lived past day seven God’s rest. OEC seem to do a lot of stretching to make the bible fit their science. If anything (and this is not Biblical based but within reason) God created the earth with mature systems and rock layers just as Adam, Eve and all other life were created mature. I believe the river Euphrates and Tigris are mentioned in Genesis. This also suggests a mature creation as the flow of water and river beds were already cut and in place.

    Posted by Chris huff | October 1, 2013, 8:32 PM
    • I’m not sure how to interact with this comment as it seems to be a series of assertions. In particular, you seem to have missed the very explicit point I made, which is that OECs agree on the special creation of humankind. You wrote, “Man could not have been created over millions or billions of years,” which seems to me to betray this confusion. OECs agree here. So where is the argument?

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | October 1, 2013, 9:14 PM
  7. The fact is it took God 6 days because that was given to us as a model of the work week. Also, Adam died to God spiritually before he died physically.

    Posted by Mike W (@Didactic138) | February 6, 2014, 1:49 AM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Responding to “Nine Questions for the Old Earth Creationist” | A disciple's study - October 2, 2013

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  3. Pingback: Answering “More Questions for Old Earth Creationists” | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - October 7, 2013

  4. Pingback: What options are there in the origins debate? – A Taxonomy of Christian Origins Positions | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" - February 10, 2014

  5. Pingback: What options are there in the origins debate? – A Taxonomy of Christian Origins Positions | THINKAPOLOGETICS.COM - February 10, 2014

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