Re: Demonstrate what we learn is wrong...
quote:Well, I've never been a progressive creationist - it's a position that I find neither supported by Scripture nor science. At least YEC is consistent with a strong Biblical Inerrancy position; progressive creationism tries to hold inerrancy and science together and ends up being false to both. In my opinion anyway. That seems to be something we can agree on.
The problem is that I used to be a progressive creationist
quote:Of course the author is being literal - when he says day he means a 24h period (or possibly the period between sun-rise and sun-set). Attempts to say that they refer to indeterminately long periods of time just aren't being true to what is said.
six times in Genesis chapter one it says: ?and there was evening and there was morning on the (first, second?) day?? If there was morning and evening on the ?first day? then what honest reason would somebody have to conclude that the author of Genesis was not being literal?
The question is, is he relating actual events happening in those literal periods? I'll limit myself to internal evidence of the passage only, but this just doesn't seem to work - as has been recognised for the entire life of the Church, and probably by Jewish thinkers before then.
1) The order is not logically sensible. Creating light, and night and day, before the sun, moon and stars? I know there are all sort of clever explanations, but isn't it simpler to say "it's not an account of actual events"?
2) There is internal structure in the account that makes theological sense, but seem to have little purpose other than that. Here is a way of arranging the days that highlights one of those structures:
|In the beginning the earth was|
Seperation of light and dark
Creation of lights to fill night and day
Seperation of water to form sky and sea
Creation of birds to fill sky, fish to fill sea
Seperation of sea to form land and plants
Creation of animals and humans to fill land and eat plants
Creation complete, and God rests
3) The accounts aren't simple prose. They contain elements of Hebrew poetry - repetition of phrases and parallelism. Even in English there is a rythmic quality to the passage.
4) There are certain numerological factors involving the numbers 3, 7 and 10. Certain words or phrases are repeated (eg: "God said" 3 times concerning humans, 7 times about other things).
5) There are questions about the use of certain words. Why call the sun and moon simply "lights" rather than use the normal Hebrew words for them? One answer would be that it's an attack on neighbouring cultures which worshipped them as gods - they're simply created lights. Why use "bara" 3 times? The initial creation and creation of humanity make sense, but why use "bara" for creation of sea monsters? Again, sea monsters had significance in creation myths of other cultures.
These point towards the author being primarily concerned with symbolism not chronology. Is it little wonder that even before the advent of modern science Christian scholars (such as Augustine in ~AD400) reluctantly held the opening chapters of Genesis to be literal history of how the earth was created? And then as soon as modern science, initially geology and then biology, started producing conclusive proof that reading this as such was incorrect evangelical Bible believing Christians started abandoning it for other approaches - some of which like "gap theories" and progressive creation have since been shown to be equally problematic.
(BTW, please call me Alan - I only registered as "Dr Cresswell" cos my usual id "Alan Cresswell" was taken by someone else who's since vanished again)
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