The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

A few additional thoughts on Ham vs. Nye

I’ve had another 24 hours to think about the Ham vs. Nye debate, and I have a few additional thoughts:

  1. I’m struck by how little evidence Ken Ham presented in his main presentation or in his rebuttals. He briefly mentioned a few standard YEC arguments for a young Earth, such as woody material dated at 40,000 years by carbon-14 dating contained in a 45 million year old basalt flow. But he didn’t spend much time developing this or any other young Earth argument.
  2. Ham spent most of his time talking about world view, and propounding his postmodern-ish insistence that no one can really know anything about the past through scientific investigation. This world view talk was good for preaching to the YEC choir, but was not very useful for convincing skeptics or fence-riders.
  3. Ken Ham, as he has often done in the past, gave a false choice between believing in God’s infallible and unchanging Word, and believing in man’s fallible and changing science. Ham doesn’t see that both Scripture and the creation contain truth, and that the processes of understanding either Scripture or creation is done by fallible people. In other words, Ken Ham might have the Word of God in his hands, but Ken Ham can be wrong about the best way to understand certain passages. I have many reasons for believing that Ham (and YECs in general) over-read the text of the opening chapters of Genesis. Here are a few.
  4. I have already stated my main critique of Bill Nye–he lacked the necessary background in geology to participate in a debate like this.
  5. As a Christian, I wanted Ken Ham to win the debate, which I believe he could have done if he had taken a “mere creation” approach rather than having a narrow YEC focus. Despite my training in science (and perhaps because of my training in science), I have much more in common with Ken Ham’s Christian world view than I do with Bill Nye’s naturalistic, atheistic world view.

I had heard that 500,000 people watched the debate live. Now I’ve read that the number was closer to 3,000,000 viewers.

There are a number of excellent reviews of the debate on the internet. Here are a few that I have found helpful:

J.W. Wartick — Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye- An analysis of a lose-lose debate.

“[Ham] continued to paint a picture of the Bible which rejects any but his own interpretation. In other words, he presented a false dichotomy: either young earth creationism or compromise with naturalism.”

Faithful Thinkers — Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye: The Aftermath.

“Each respective candidate won with their supporters, but both lost with their skeptics. This exchange was certainly not “the debate of the decade.”

Jay Wile — Talking Past One Another – The Ham/Nye Debate.

“While there were plenty of opportunities for the debaters to interact, they rarely did so. As the title of this post indicates, they spent most of their time talking past one another.”

Al Mohler — Bill Nye’s Reasonable Man—The Central Worldview Clash of the Ham-Nye Debate.

“In this light, the debate proved both sides right on one central point: If you agreed with Bill Nye you would agree with his reading of the evidence. The same was equally true for those who entered the room agreeing with Ken Ham; they would agree with his interpretation of the evidence.

“That’s because the argument was never really about ice rods and sediment layers. It was about the most basic of all intellectual presuppositions: How do we know anything at all? On what basis do we grant intellectual authority? Is the universe self-contained and self-explanatory? Is there a Creator, and can we know him?”

Evolution News and Views (an I.D. site) — The Ham-Nye Creation Debate: A Huge Missed Opportunity.

“For goodness sake, Bill Nye was the one defending Big Bang cosmology. Viewers would never know that the Big Bang is one of the best arguments for the design of the universe ever offered by science.”

“People will walk away from this debate thinking, “Ken Ham has the Bible, Bill Nye has scientific evidence.” Some Christians will be satisfied by that. Other Christians (like me) who don’t feel that accepting the Bible requires you to believe in a young earth will feel that their views weren’t represented. And because Ham failed (whether due to time constraints, an inflexible debate strategy, lack of knowledge, inadequate debate skills, or a fundamentally weak position) to offer evidence rebutting many of Nye’s arguments for an old earth, young earth creationist Christians with doubts will probably feel even more doubtful. Most notably, however, skeptics won’t budge an inch. Why? Because Ham’s main argument was “Because the Bible says so,” and skeptics don’t take the Bible as an authority. They want to see evidence.”

Grace and Peace

 

February 5, 2014 - Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, Christianity, Evolution, Geology, Old-Earth creationism, Origins, Theistic evolution, Young-Earth creationism | , ,

36 Comments »

  1. Thanks for another informative post. Those who believe in The Gap Theory or a version of The Day-Age (like Hugh Ross). believe in modern science, and therefore must believe the beginning of Genesis one lasted about nine billion years! After all, both “the heavens and the earth” were made in this beginning. And they believe earth was made about nine billion years years “after” the heavens, which I also believe. This is one of the reasons I don’t think this beginning is the very beginning found in John one. Day-Agers and Young Earth Creationists both think the Genesis 1:1 beginning is part of day one. But that would mean God created without Genesis telling us that He spoke. It would also mean, if He did speak without Genesis telling us, God did not pronounce it “good” before He spoke again in verse three. In the very beginning of John one, there’s no mention of “the heavens and the earth” or of the six days! And if Genesis one is about the very beginning, why is such an important thing like water left out? I contend it’s because water was already there on earth “before” Genesis one. And that’s why God is not shown “speaking” earth into existence. And if Genesis was the very beginning, why didn’t God make earth perfect in the first place, rather than making it look like it had just been judged?? Covered with water and darkness??
    In Christ, Mike Riter

    Comment by Mike Riter | February 6, 2014

  2. […] A few additional thoughts on Ham vs. Nye […]

    Pingback by Science, As a Christian - My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate | February 6, 2014

  3. In general (despite being “YEC”), I agree with most of what you said. Especially considering how you could have been far more harsh on Ken Ham. But I think most of what you said of him is right (with the obvious exceptions due to me agreeing with him fundamentally on origins).

    I hope you’ll forgive me, though, if I dispute your points 2 and 3.

    Insisting that science cannot be trusted to tell us with authority about the past without being sure that we have the right foundational assumptions in interpreting the evidence is not wrong and certainly not post-modern.

    It is instead entirely accurate. I’ll give what I hope is a decent example that illustrates this.

    If my wife is found dead in my home with my palm prints on her in my blood and there is no evidence of any other person’s presence in the room, a careless investigator may conclude that I murdered my wife. However, there are numerous other factors to be considered, which all of us who watch any TV probably think we know very well (but I wouldn’t trust a TV drama to accurately represent real life, especially how biased and careless human beings can be in real life, especially if over-worked, rushed, pressured, experiencing difficulties in their personal life and for numerous other reasons).

    The worldview issue is extremely relevant here. The atheistic materialist must of necessity exclude any explanation for anything except a naturalistic one.

    Christians start with the right worldview (in a general sense – none of us are perfect) – especially if their worldview is truly biblical (i.e. accords with God’s revelation, not only as recorded in scripture but also as expounded to us by His Holy Spirit).

    Now I have not yet listened to the debate and am inclined to think (especially based on reviews I’ve read, including yours) that it would be a waste of my time. If I was a mentor or advisor to Ken Ham, perhaps I might find it useful, but if I was, I should be sacked anyway, based on what I’ve read about the debate and the rest of the things I have gleaned about Ken from a distance.

    Whether Ken actually said that “no one can really know anything about the past through scientific investigation” or that’s your interpretation of his view is a question I would have to resolve for myself by watching the debate, but I’m happy to leave it unresolved in my mind for now.

    I might agree with your second sentence in point two but would have to watch the debate to comment further.

    So on to point 3.

    Now here, unless Ken has done a far more appalling job of explaining himself than any time I have listened to him or read his work, I doubt that you are accurate that he characterised the situation exactly as you have portrayed it.

    Even if he did, I will deal with what (the better) YEC’s actually argue in this area.

    The choice is between believing the clear teaching of God’s word and holding God’s word in the magisterial position over all else rather that re-interpreting God’s word in what I dare say is a very post-modernistic way to get it to say things that it definitely would not have meant to the original readers/hearers to fit with the consensus.

    And don’t trust me on this, read the best scholars of Christian thought (and I don’t mean just in the past few decades or even centuries) but the totality of Christian scholarship for the past nearly 2000 years. And you will find differences of opinion and some will not expound the view I outlined the previous paragraph but the core will represent that the Bible is the final authority on all issues it speaks to.

    (And note I do not define the “core” as “those who agree with me” but the central thrust of the totality of the best of Christian scholarship).

    And note also what leading Hebrew scholars say about the meaning of the text – including non-Christian experts in the language, customs and other relevant fields.

    So I’ve dealt with two issues above – what should our attitude to God’s word be in relation to finding truth? And what does God’s word mean?

    So the choice is between trusting science that agrees with the clear meaning of God’s word, and in fact going further and starting with making the Bible our foundation for how we think, or trusting the fallible interpretations of those who are biased against truth (generally unknowingly) and will never come to correct conclusion about (especially) the issue of origins.

    One other factor I feel is important to mention here is that materialist interpretations (“old” earth, universal common descent of all living things, the big bang) are all the approved beliefs. Questioning them is met with derision and far more serious punishment. Secularists (and others) frequently fear a theocracy from the religious right but we already live in a virtual atheocracy of secularism, materialistic naturalism, humanism etc.

    And many Christians seem to be unaware of how much they have bought into this religion.

    Well, that’s the first sentence of point 3.

    Sentence 2 of point 3.

    Balderdash. Ken Ham absolutely does understand that creation contains truth. He promotes it all the time. It’s just that he doesn’t promote your interpretation!

    Sentence 3.

    Sigh. Yes, because Ken Ham is unique in his view and thought it up in the backyard growing up in Australia.

    Most of the Church Fathers agreed with him. If you dispute that – do more research.

    I realise that Ken’s and my view is currently among those who call themselves Christians in the West, but for most of Christian history it has been the predominant view in the West, including among non-Christians for a large degree of that time!

    This view that “young earth creationism” as it is known is a minority view and is a modern invention is one of the biggest and most persistent lies of the current time – and one of the easiest to refute.

    A couple of minutes on creation.com will bring up many well-researched and referenced articles that dispel this myth.

    I have not turned to your “many reasons” found “here”, but I have heard “many reasons” in the past and am fairly confident that I’ll find little new (or true) in that link.

    However, it’s possible that I’m wrong and am being hasty in my previous sentence.

    I am prepared to read the page and even critique it if the time and inclination presents itself.

    I hope you (or even someone else) finds this useful, even if I’ve convinced you of nothing.

    And I pray that my tone has not been unloving.

    God bless bro

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 6, 2014

  4. One minor edit to the above (and I don’t see an edit option anywhere):

    I realise that Ken’s and my view is currently *in the minority* among those who call themselves Christians in the West, but for most of Christian history it has been the predominant view in the West, including among non-Christians for a large degree of that time! [asterisks signify change to the original text]

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 6, 2014

  5. It makes sense that for most of Christian history a literal reading of Genesis may have been accepted, but in the last 250 years science has learned a lot about the earth. The evidence from Geology and Cosmology point overwhelmingly to an ancient earth. If Nye and Ham talked past each other, it is because they were talking about different things: Nye about evidence, Ham about faith. The first tragic thing about Ham is that he has a lot of people convinced that it is his way or atheism, and that today is really a minority position. Many scientists who do the work in these areas see this evidence every day and still believe. The second tragic thing is that children who are raised in YEC traditions often abandon their faith altogether when they enter science fields, especially geology, because it becomes clear that there is no way you can fit that vast amount of evidence from many science disciplines into the Genesis story and it remain scientific. It does not have to be that way.

    I applaud the efforts of this website to counter YEC claims.

    Comment by Lisa Keith-Lucas | February 6, 2014

  6. I first admit that I come from a biblical worldview. I have great difficulty with this conversation being between true Christians. I fail to understand why the biblical narrative, which is theological (truth), has to be defined in naturalistic terms. My sense is that a naturalistic view of creation must find a way to fit in with the biblical narrative, not vise-versa. If a person believes that science trumps the biblical narrative, then, for that person, the biblical narrative has lost its authority. Until that person has “seen” that scripture is truth, the bible has no validity or rule in his life – any “faith” he has is without a firm foundation.

    In my opinion, the Nye-Ham debate is like two ships passing in the night – neither one affects the other. Romans 1:18-32 speaks to the differences that we see in this debate. I appreciated Ham’s commitment to the fact that the answers the naturalist are looking for are in the “book”. I also agree with Nye in his assessment that there are billions of religious people that disagree with Ham. Obviously the path of truth that Jesus spoke of is narrower than we want to believe.

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 6, 2014

  7. Bob — Thanks for your comment.

    I agree that worldviews are important in debates like this. I have far more in common with Ken Ham than with Bill Nye. For a summary of where I am at as an old-Earth Christian, take a look at my Creation Creeds.

    Are you saying that you question whether old-Earth Christians are “true Christians?”

    Do you wonder the same thing about Christians who differ from you on issues such as baptism, gifts of the Holy Spirit, communion, church government, predestination, and a long list of other topics? Do they all lack a “biblical worldview?”

    If you acknowledge that someone who differs from you on these issues can be a true Christian, what is it about the age of the Earth that makes it so important that it bumps an old-Earther into the “maybe not a true Christian” category in your mind?

    Comment by geochristian | February 6, 2014

  8. Bob — It’s not that science “trumps” scripture, but that our observations of God’s creation can, and rightly should, *inform* our understanding of scripture (just as they eventually did in the geo-centric helio-centric dispute). And note that Old Earth *Creationists* do not promote evolution; that would the Theistic Evolutionists. I assure you that we OEC believers, as a whole, hold the scripture in the highest regard.

    Comment by Lawrence Dol | February 6, 2014

  9. Lawrence — I am probably somewhere between old-Earth creationism (as in the OEC of Hugh Ross, who is as much an anti-evolutionist in some ways as is Ken Ham) and theistic evolution (as in BioLogos). But in either case, science does not trump Scripture.

    One of the best posts I’ve ever written was this: What the Bible says directly about biological evolution.

    Comment by geochristian | February 6, 2014

  10. geochristian, I appreciate your response. I do think that many, if not most, issues become very polarized today, primarily because of politics and culture.

    I do not believe that differences in issues like baptism, spiritual gifts, etc carry the weight of the issue of naturalism vs the biblical narrative since there is room within the pale of orthodoxy for honest differences of opinion in those issues.

    Naturalism, as I see, hear and understand it, requires all historical events (creation, flood, etc) to have a naturalistic source rather than God choosing to perform a miracle outside of nature. (An example would be Joshua 10:13 – I believe that Nye said that natural forces always operated as they do now.) I image that you would agree that the purpose for that thinking is to explain, at best, how God works or. even worse, eliminate God. My sense is that most evangelicals today would see a lessening of the authority of Scripture, not only in the culture, but also within the Church. Although I see that as following biblical prophecy and should be expected – I can and feel I must push back against it.

    I understand that there are some people that work in a scientific environment who find their livelihood is at stake if they voice a biblical view of origins. I do not find myself intellectually crippled following the literal interpretation of scripture, especially since there is no compelling reason to allegorize it. This morning I came across a discussion with John MacArthur that I felt described the issue a well as I have ever seen it:

    In answer to the question as to why so many evangelical Christians are confused about the issue (of creation), MacArthur responded:

    I think this reflects the failure of evangelical leaders to take the issue seriously, deal with it boldly, and teach Genesis with genuine conviction. … Frankly, however, even among creationists, … not enough emphasis has been given to the actual text of Scripture. While the ‘intelligent design’ movement has gained a little bit of helpful ground, it is a serious mistake and a very bad tactic to shift the argument away from Scripture, making scientific, cosmological, and teleological arguments bear all the weight of our case. The effect has been a diminishing confidence in Scripture among evangelical creationists—some of whom now act as if they are embarrassed to cite Scripture as any kind of authority. Throughout the movement there seems to be a general unwillingness to draw any explicit connection between the intelligent Designer and the God of Scripture.2 If every major scientist finally acknowledged that intelligent design is a clear necessity, but apologists bartered away the authority of Scripture in the process, it would be a very foolish bargain. It’s a prospect that genuinely concerns me.

    For me, that seems to be a picture of much of the church today. I am greatly concerned about evangelical Christians allowing anything – even science – to trump the authority of Scripture.

    So for me, this issue of how we, as evangelical Christians, interpret Genesis 1-3 is critical as to how we will interpret the rest of the Scriptures. As Christians, it does matter how we approach the Scriptures.

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 6, 2014

  11. Bob — I don’t have much time to respond right now, but it looks like what you are saying is that what a Christian believes about something like baptism (adult-only or infant, immersion or sprinkling, baptismal regeneration or mere symbolism) is not as important as what they believe about the age of the Earth. Is this correct?

    Comment by geochristian | February 6, 2014

  12. Lawrence, thank you for responding. I have talked to many who struggle with this issue that I felt you very well describe. I do not want to minimize this struggle, however, I do not minimize the effects of evolutionary teaching in our schools throughout these many years. That was not an issue for me since evolution was not taught when I was in school. Years later, I remember telling my high school sunday school class in the 1980s of my concern that evolution being taught and the resulting devaluing of life, would lead many teenagers to commit suicide. As I understand it, there were several years of substantially heightened numbers of suicide among teenagers before it did taper off. I was not a prophet – what we teach people has consequences. I believe that is what is happening today.

    What settles this whole issue for me is the issue of original sin. Original sin was not an act of “the ‘sinful choices’ of early hominids” as I recent saw. It was the willful act of disobedience by Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12-14). As a result, man needed redemption and that is why was it necessary for Jesus Christ to come to earth as the God/man and die on the Cross? Because of what Paul described in Romans 5. Then Jesus arose from the dead – that is what gives me hope for eternal life.

    Now – what happens if death came before Adam and Eve’s sin (which is exactly what must have happened if evolution is believed)? It seems to me that the entirety of the gospel hinges on this single issue.

    That is why I feel so strongly about this issue.

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 6, 2014

  13. I apologize if I stressed the importance of the age of the earth. My intent was to stress the authority of Scripture – the Word of God. God has never revised His Word – how many times has science revised its stance on many, many issues.

    If I must stand, let it be on the authority of the Word of God – certainly not what science is currently believing and teaching today. If science is wrong, they will just change what they are saying and not apologize. If God’s Word is wrong, none of us has any hope – period.

    My position is not that the Bible teaches the earth is 6,000 years old – rather, following the genealogies in the biblical narrative, we can come to the conclusion that around 6,000 years ago, God spoke creation into existence. It seems to me the primary message is the act of creation – however, tied to that event are events that have a timeline.
    So, is the Bible a science book – No, however you cannot escape the timeline or explain it away.

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 6, 2014

  14. Was there sin (and therefore maybe death) on Earth “before” Adam sinned? The Bible teaches, “Yes!” The Bible tells us the devil was on Earth, full of sin “before” Adam sinned. The devil lied to Eve on Earth “before” Adam sinned. Eve ate the forbidden fruit (sinned) on Earth “before” Adam sinned!! So Adam did not bring sin to the physical Earth! Why then does Romans 5:12 say, “through one man, sin entered into the world, and death through sin”? Like in English, many Greek words have several meanings. The word translated “world” here is “cosmos”, which means the physical Earth, the people of Earth or the world system. As we’ve seen, it cannot refer to the physical Earth and therefore must refer to one or both of the other meanings. Since Romans 5:12 dosen’t prove there was never sin on Earth before Adam sinned, preadamite races could’ve experienced sin and death on Earth in an earlier world (cosmos) system. In Christ, Mike

    Comment by Mike Riter | February 7, 2014

  15. Thanks for your analysis, geochristan.

    Grace and peace to you too.

    Comment by Andrew Buckingham | February 7, 2014

  16. Grahame (#3):

    In regards to my third point (infallible Word vs. fallible science), I’ll fall back on what I’ve often said before:

    Fallible people misunderstand God’s Word.

    Fallible people misunderstand God’s world.

    Therefore great humility is required as we study the Word and the world,

    and great humility is required as we interact with those with whom we disagree.

    The common mistake of young-Earth creationists in this regard is to equate the authority of their interpretation of Genesis 1 with the authority of the Word of God itself.

    I agree that most church fathers and most theologians up until the 1700s believed that the Earth was only a few thousand years old. But these same scholars also believed that the Earth was at the center of the universe, and adamantly defended that position from the Scriptures. It wasn’t until the Copernican Revolution forced them to take a closer look at what the Bible actually said and didn’t say on the topic that the church changed its mind, and that process took about a century! It wasn’t that they read science into the Bible, but science did prompt them to dig deeper into the Word.

    The current situation with the age of the Earth parallels the geocentric/heliocentric debate of 500 years ago. As biblical scholars have looked closer at the text, some have concluded that it is more ambiguous regarding the timing of creation, and others (the YECs) have stuck with the traditional 6000 year old Earth interpretation. Both can view the Bible as authoritative in the matter.

    Here, very briefly, is what I offer, based on the authoritative Word of God, as a case for biblical ambiguity regarding the age of the Earth:

    1. The word yom (day) is used figuratively at least once in the creation account. Genesis 2:4 states,

    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)

    “Day” in this verse is yom, and it refers to the entire creation week. If yom is used figuratively once in the passage, could it not also be used figuratively elsewhere?

    2. There are other instances in Genesis 1-2 where words are used figuratively. For example, God’s speech is not like our speech. When God says, “Let there be…” something happens. Our speech is not like that. Furthermore, God’s speech wasn’t necessarily something we would have heard with our ears, as that would imply that God’s action was limited by things like the speed of sound (or even the presence of matter through which sound could propagate). Likewise, God’s rest isn’t like our rest. We rest because we get tired; God rested because he was finished. If God’s speech isn’t like our speech, and God’s rest isn’t like our rest, is it too much of a stretch to say that God’s day just might not be quite like our day?

    3. It was pointed out (by men like Augustine and Origin) many years before the development of modern geology or astronomy that it is somewhat odd to talk about ordinary Earth days before the creation of the Sun. Augustine looked at the days of creation as figurative. Does that mean he denied the authority of Scripture?

    4. Young Earth creationists oversimplify things when they say that Genesis 1 is historical narrative. It is certainly more like “historical narrative” than “poetry,” but those are not the only two literary genres in the Old Testament. There are different kinds of poetry (compare Psalms and Proverbs), there are different styles of prophetic writings (compare Jeremiah and Ezekiel), and there are different kinds of narrative. Genesis 1 is almost unique in its structure in Hebrew literature. There is nothing else that really parallels its structure of day 1, day 2, etc. This tells us that one cannot simply do a mathematical analysis of different passages (as some YECs have done) and proclaim that “Genesis 1 is historical narrative.”

    I hope you can see by now that I am not just “reading science into the Bible.” We may have been prompted to take a closer look at Scripture by science, but the arguments for biblical ambiguity regarding the age of the Earth are based on what the authoritative Word of God actually says and doesn’t say regarding origins.

    So Ken Ham (and most YECs) are mistaken in saying that this is primarily a debate about the authority of Scriptures.

    Grace and Peace

    Comment by geochristian | February 7, 2014

  17. Grahame (#3) — Yes, the tone of your comment was entirely appropriate and loving. Thank you. I strive for the same, and sometimes fall short.

    Comment by geochristian | February 7, 2014

  18. Bob (#10):

    “I do not believe that differences in issues like baptism, spiritual gifts, etc carry the weight of the issue of naturalism vs the biblical narrative since there is room within the pale of orthodoxy for honest differences of opinion in those issues.”

    I am bewildered when YECs say things like this. How in the world can something like the age of the Earth be more important than something like baptism (unless one thinks baptism is unimportant)? Old Earth Christians do not buy into naturalism, but you place us outside of the “pale of orthodoxy!”

    I like John MacArthur, and use some of his commentaries for my personal study. But he can be a bit my-why-or-the-highway on a number of issues, and creation is one of them. If you don’t agree with him (on gifts of the Spirit, alcohol, end times, creation, etc.), then there isn’t a whole lot of “grace to you” from John. I’ve written a response to MacArthur before: John MacArthur on the age of the Earth and theistic evolution.

    (#12):

    I’ve addressed the issue of death before the fall elsewhere: Death before the fall — an old-Earth Biblical perspective. There are better expositions on the topic elsewhere, but I’ll summarize by saying that the Bible simply does not teach that there was no animal death before the fall. Take another look at Gen 3, Rom 5, Rom 8, 1 Cor 15, and you will find Adam’s sin tied to human death, but never to animal death.

    As an old-Earth Christian, I believe in a real Adam, committing a real sin, causing real human death. The only solution to our enmity with God is Jesus Christ.

    Where is the compromise in the gospel? There is none.

    (#13):

    “God has never revised his Word.” But Christians have often revised their understanding of the Word. We differ on many things, as I have already said. The doctrine of creation is one of many that have developed and diversified over time.

    I’ll stand on the authority of the Word of God as well. Not on the authority of Answers in Genesis or any other YEC organization. There is a big difference.

    At the most, the genealogies in the Old Testament can take us back to Genesis 4. And that is only if they are complete (which is questionable in some cases), and meant to convey chronology. The genealogies tell us nothing about the interpretation of Genesis 1-2.

    Please note that my arguments have all been Biblical arguments. None of these have depended in any way on science.

    Grace and Peace

    Comment by geochristian | February 7, 2014

  19. To all –

    I am grateful for the responses generated from my comments – its seems to me that is a reflection upon, not only the climate of the culture we live in today, but also, a reflection upon the state of the church in our generation. I would like to respond to as much as I can, but I will have to do it incrementally.

    I am confounded by those who state that I am a “young-earth creationist”. That must be my fault for conveying that. As much as I can understand, I am placing my eternal security in the Scriptures – the authority of the Word of God – and nothing trumps or modifies that. In my personal study I do try to make a distinction between what it is that God is intending to convey – to those originally and to me. My default position is virtually always a literal interpretation, unless the passage is implying otherwise. I also understand that some passages, even taken literally can also stand the test of truth even when allegorized (example: Revelation 2 & 3).

    I realize that my beliefs and thought processes are held by far less than 50% of Christians today. I would not be so bold as to say they are wrong, however, I do believe they are on less than solid foundation. The reason I say this is because of what we are seeing in our culture today – Christian denominations and churches that have fallen (compromised) with the culture we live in. I agree with those who say that the real test is in the days ahead. The churches and denominations that will likely continue to stand are those who have the theological (doctrinal) resources to stand up to the culture. This is my concern with a belief system based on allegory – it seems to me that it relies too much upon me to know where to allegorize.

    To geochristian – thanks for the opportunity you give us to discuss the truths of God’s Word. I do believe that “iron sharpens iron” but the internet is no place for the timid. I probably would not place the same level of importance upon understanding the world as I would understanding God’s Word. My life should and must reflect my understanding of God’s Word regardless of how I understand the world. By saying this, I do not want to minimize our need to understand the culture we live in – that is to address the responsibility I have to individual unbelievers. Further, I agree with your assertion that we need to exercise humility is our discussions, however, no apologies for what we believe; nor condemnations of another’s belief. I do not belief that pointing out weaknesses in belief equate to condemnation. I would also point out that where my belief and understanding of Scripture is today, is just that – what I believe today. God could certainly change my mind – he has done it before. If I am not honoring this kind of discussion, I will ask you to point it out.

    One issue that greatly concerns me is trend within our generation to view the Scriptures as a “book” and not “God’s revealed Word to us.” We have privileged information. I am convinced that is what we see in much of Christian academia today and probably for the last 100 or so years. I believe this to be a primary factor of influencing Christians in what we see as apostasy in the church today – Christians are being led away from God, not toward a closer relationship with Him.

    Finally in this post (I realize I am rambling – there is a lot to cover), this discussion between Ham and Nye has virtually nothing to do with the world – but with Christians who are being drawn into the world’s secular worldview – I see that as the primary concern. If our stand is on the Word of God, what difference does it make if the world thinks it is ridiculous. My life needs to reflect my biblical worldview, regardless of what the world thinks. Changing the way individuals in the world think is the work of the Holy Spirit, not me.

    Bob Myers

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 8, 2014

  20. Mike,

    I appreciate your response. I have truly had great difficulty trying to understand how a believer can see “millions or billions of years” from the text of Scripture. You have obviously spent a great deal of time studying and for that I commend you. Could it have happened the way you propose? Absolutely – who am I to say that he did not.

    For whatever it is worth – I just do not see God working that way. Although the words of scripture were put down by men, I believe the order and preciseness of the words in the Bible are God’s – not man’s. Taking God for what He said and the way He said it – I cannot make the reach that you do. It seems to me that if that kind of assessment is required to interpret God’s Word, that there would have been very few that would reach that interpretation. Again, it seems to me that God is telling quite precisely what He is conveying to us. I understand that God chose for certain things to be mysteries to Israel and he did not reveal them until much later (Ephesians 3). I also suspect that there are many other things that God chose not to reveal – in those cases, it seems to me that God knew that information was not necessary for me.

    “Preadamites” ? My mind just cannot grasp that – it seems to me that is too important an issue for God to leave out. The issue of fallen angels versus Adam/Eve and how Paul looked at it. Remember that Paul just came off of a 3 year intensive in Ephesus when he wrote that. It seems to me that Paul did not struggle with the issue and that he said exactly what the Holy Spirit led him to write. Maybe I have oversimplified the concept but it seems pretty straight-forward to me.

    Again, God can do whatever He wants – but I believe that it is/was imperative that God not lead us astray in His Word. I do not want to close off any potential illumination, but I just cannot get there.

    Again, thanks for the response.

    Bob Myers

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 8, 2014

  21. Dear geochristian,

    I believe there is a fundamental inconsistency in what you believe. At the start of this thread you refer to it as Ken Ham’s view (I’ll note also that it was extremely deceitful of Nye to repeatedly use this same tactic) but you have now correctly admitted that for the majority of christian history it was the majority of view.
    So if one takes scripture just on its own one comes to so-called young earth creationism.
    but so-called science has convinced us differently and so Christians have gone back and reinterpreted the bible.

    Do you see what you have admitted?

    This is not really about interpretation at all. This is about authority.

    If “science” says something we question our “interpretation” of scripture not of science. In reality, this demonstrates what I said earlier about authority. Is scripture (and what it clearly says) our authority, or “science” (and I put the word in scare quotes because that is where the interpretation is truly questionable!)
    And Augustine is a perfect example. According to the predominant science (actually philosphy) of his day, a perfect God would create instantly and so creation would take no time therefore Genesis one must be figurative (creation.com have articles demonstrating these points). However as he got older, he moved to rejecting the pagan views he was imposing on scripture (CMI also have a well referenced article showing this).
    It is quite ironic that modern day compromisers (and I don’t use the word accusatorially or to attack but simply as a statement of what seems to me to be clear fact) use Augustine as support.

    And Origen is no help to you as he was very unorthodox (on numerous issues) compared to the rest of the “church fathers” (and the totality of the history of Christian scholarship).

    There is a chapter in Numbers that almost directly replicates the skeletal form of Genesis 1 which I will find.
    Oh and geocentrism is another case of irony.

    Aristotle believed that God would create the earth at the centre (and I’ve heard that it was due to our special place in creation, but also there was the (pre-)gnostic belief in spheres and everything in the “heavens” is perfect and only on earth is any thing corrupt). The reason is immaterial – the basis of geocentrism can be easily demonstrated to be greek philosphy not the bible.

    Ptolemy, however, is credited with geo-centrism because he developed Aristotle further.

    Note that neither man was Christian, and are even preChristian.

    Due to Greek philosophy being a major basis for “science” in Europe until Copernicus, this system of geocentrism continued as the concensus position of science. (How dare anyone challenge the godlike Aristotle?)

    And here is where you’ll hopefully start seeing the irony. The church of their day relies on science as being more authoritative than scripture and interprets poetry as being literal to fit (there’s at least two layers of irony!) and persecutes and deride

    s the non-consensus science of (“young earth creationists”) Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo (and he partially made a rod for his own back by being arrogant and abusive!).

    All the above can be found on creation.com, carefully documented and referenced from scholars of all beliefs.
    There is, of course, much more I could say, but I hope I’ve shown that at the very least you should do some more research on some of the things you’ve said.

    Oh and the phrase “in the day” in Genesis two is not the word yom but a compound word beyom that means “in the time when” and is so understood by all Hebrew scholars. It has relevance to the meaning of “yom” in Genesis 1 only for the desperate, it seems to me.

    A better argument would be that “yom” is also used mean “daylight hours” in Genesis one, but I have not even checked if that’s actually the word “yom” and even if it was, context would exclude this being an effective argument. All the days that “young earth creationists” argue were 24 hours have an ordinal or cardinal number and morning and evening (except the seventh which lacks the latter two).

    Please note also that Exodus 20.11 has God telling Moses that He made the heavens and earth and all that therein is in six days and rested the seventh so therefore the Israelites should work six days (does anyone dispute these are “24 hour” days (or earth days as I prefer to call them)?) and rest the seventh. We have no trouble agreeing that a week is seven revolutions of the earth on its axis.

    Here are some examples of articles on CMI’s website that relate to the days

    http://creation.com/the-meaning-of-yom-in-genesis-1

    http://creation.com/the-bibles-days-are-numbered

    http://creation.com/the-numbering-pattern-of-genesis

    And Galileo and geocentrism

    http://creation.com/the-galileo-twist

    http://creation.com/the-galileo-affair-history-or-heroic-hagiography

    http://creation.com/galileo-quadricentennial

    http://creation.com/galileo-revisionism-and-god-could-have-used-evolution (a feedback “article”)

    http://creation.com/the-church-v-galileo-how-the-church-accepted-the-science-of-its-day

    http://creation.com/answering-another-uninformed-atheist-galileo-miller-urey-probability (another feedback article – this one with more topics than the directly relevant one)

    And for good measure this is a page that lists numerous articles on the topic

    http://creation.com/galileo-geocentrism-and-joshuas-long-day-questions-and-answers

    Well, again, I hope that helps at least one person.

    God bless bro.

    Grahame Gould

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  22. Fallible people misunderstand God’s Word.
    Fallible people misunderstand God’s world.
    Therefore great humility is required as we study the Word and the world,
    and great humility is required as we interact with those with whom we disagree.

    Exactly, so why should it be our interpretation of God’s word as understood by the majority of Christians (including the majority of Christian scholars) for the majority of Christian history that gives way to a recent re-interpretation of God’s world that can be easily demonstrated to be founded in the sort of sceptical uniformitarianism (including “neo-catastrophism” that at heart is the same spirit as uniformitarianism) that Peter speaks of as rejecting the clear words of God regarding creation and the flood and as rejecting God’s word.

    It seems abundantly clear to me that many people who call themselves Christians frequently fall into the category of scoffers/mockers as described by Peter. And I don’t know anyone except myself well enough to be sure whether anyone else is a Christian – and I even have doubts about me!! – so don’t get distracted about what I mean by “people who call themselves Christians” and accept what I say in the best possible light as any Christian should.

    And I say that with a very heavy heart, and with no lack of consideration of the meaning of what I’m saying. I pray that every person reading this will very carefully and seriously consider my words and prayerfully read the relevant passage in his epistle allowing the Holy Spirit to tell you what He wants you to hear (rather than what I may be saying in error – but which I am very firmly convinced to be the truth, with all sincerity and knowledge that I possess).

    God bless, all!

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  23. I still have not found the article comparing Genesis one to another chapter in (perhaps) Numbers that has the same structure and is clearly 24 hour days so ignore that point for now.

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  24. Grahame — Geocentrism (Earth-centered universe) was once in the category of “our interpretation of God’s word as understood by the majority of Christians for the majority of Christian history.”

    As an old-Earth Christian, I certainly do not mock or scoff at the biblical accounts of creation or the flood. I do strongly criticize some of the “science” that comes out of the YEC organizations, such as AiG, CMI, and ICR. Bad science backing up the Bible is bad apologetics.

    Comment by geochristian | February 9, 2014

  25. Do you have the slightest skerrick of support for that claim, geochristian, especially as an attempt to nullify the fairly extensive and well referenced claim that I made in opposition to it?

    Here’s the problem with your claim – what support do you have that people held that view BECAUSE of the Bible rather than BECAUSE of “science” – JUST as others do with evolution/long ages/etc? They (it seems obvious to me) twist or ignore the Bible to support science rather than trust what it says in the child-like (rather than childish) way that Jesus says we are to come into His kingdom – i.e. with simple trust that what God says He means.

    Now you can claim that Genesis (and the rest of the Bible) means nothing like what YECs claim it means, but the evidence is overwhelmingly in the majority to the opposite it seems to me and nothing you have done so far has swayed the balance much at all (except to convince me that you actually have an extremely faulty understanding as I have abundantly demonstrated by responding to only part of your claims) – e.g. that for the majority of Christian history, the majority of Christians (includling the majority of Christian scholars) believed that the Bible taught the world and universe were created around 4000 BC in about 6 six days (see Exo 20.11) and there was a global, universal, world-wide flood that covered all the mountains on the face of the WHOLE earth (as it then was, not the mountains as we have them today) and it wiped out all but 8 humans and every land animals and bird outside the ark. And once you strip away the naturalistic/materialistic assumptions behind much of the “science” of evolution and long ages, the

    The comparison to geocentrism is highly flawed and very inadequately posed by you. You will have to substantiate your claim far more fully and deal with what I see to be quite significant differences between the two (e.g. YECs do not claim a young earth primarily because of the evidence – well, some do. Those who used to be athiests (most (or all?) of CMIs staff scientists are in this category) but could not get the evidence to fit the naturalistic religion popular today. A number of them came to young earth creationism and belief in some sort of creator before they came to the God of the Bible. Their testimonies can be found on creation.com. e.g. David Catchpool, Carl Wieland, and I believe Don Batten all fall into this category. I believe Jonathan Sarfati is the same. And Gary Bates. I’ve just mentioned probably the top five operators within CMI.

    My point is that if you start with the Bible alone, you do not come up with anything except YEC. If you start with the Bible alone you may be tempted to posit geocentrism and many were but it would be far more shaky ground.

    The only time the Bible says the earth does not move is in poetic literature where it uses the phrase the same way the Bible says that other things “do not move” that clearly do and is clearly meaning (to anyone who has any respect for the Bible being God’s word) that the item (or whatever) is established figurately (e.g. David’s throne). The clear meaning is that of continuance in time, longevity rather than geographical or physical immobility. Unless you’re influenced by pagan “science” (i.e. pagan philosophy) that you allow to dictate to you over the clear teaching of scripture. i.e. that you hold scripture in a ministerial rather than magesterial role.

    However, I am glad to hear you do not scoff at the biblical accounts of the creation or the flood! It’s a pity you don’t believe them for what they are clearly saying and instead start with pagan/humanist interpretations of history and then try to get the bible to fit.

    And I apologise if that seems harsh but your statements seem just as harsh to me – not to mention highly inaccurate on occasion. YEC is excellent apologetics if properly presented and understood. Either you have not seen a good presentation (and based on the organisations you list, I doubt it) or you have not understood it (but based on your scant responses to my attempt to educate you, or at least have a sensible conversation, it seems you haven’t even read any of it properly – and also based on your frequently misrepresentations of the YEC position – which possibly indicates that it is lack of comprehension in which case I would posit that it stems from your blindness to your adherence for a faulty worldview that you are not even aware you have).

    I get back to saying to you, that it seems to me that you have borrowed far too much from the atheopaths and biblioskeptics (or bibliosceptics as I would normally spell it).

    Do I question your Christian faith, your love of God or your sincerity in wanting to trust His word? Not at all! Absolutely not. God forbid!! (or even “No way!” which is a more literal translation of the phrase “God forbid” which is found in the KJV)

    What I do question is your self-awareness and your ability to turn the skeptical spotlight on yourself as easily as you turn it on others. And you can respond in kind if you wish, but at least do me the courtesy of considering that I may have already done that, do try as much as I can to do that, and have been far more honest with you about my presuppositions and assumptions than it appears to me that you have been with me.

    God bless, bro. I look forward to a far more detailed response that takes you far longer to post than your previous one.

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  26. This debate was the greatest event EVER for YEC creationism. Those who insist Genesis is right .
    I heard it might reach 10-20 million people before too long.
    This is a event that will define TEC ism until something bigger happens. In fact it defines the origin contentions.
    ID people have done a great job in attacking in high levels but YEC reaches large numbers of humans.
    Ham clobbered Nye in so many ways.
    Ham did a fantastic job in even more ways.
    Its a embarrassment of riches that came from this debate.
    I’m sure no one knows what to do now.
    In fact YEC needs a endgame for all this.
    Its possible even greater audiences could be reached in greater venues like the big networks.
    One can feel the sucking loss of breath from evolutionists after this.
    They must now do better or die as a movement.
    The people are getting wise to them.
    Ham has become, I think, a celebrity but at least a science celebrity like Hawkins or Sagan or anyone who reached large audiences. Or Nye.
    Nye is just a mechanical engineer and couldn’t make a case. in fact he seemed to be reading points off a page.
    I think creationists now COULD finish the job.
    Surely God did bless this event. YEC is high as a kite.
    The good guys once again show they can win.

    Comment by Robert Byers | February 9, 2014

  27. Grahame (#25),

    My presuppositions:
    — The triune God of the Bible is the creator and sustainer of all.
    — God has revealed himself truthfully in the Bible. The Bible is authoritative for the life and doctrine of the church and of individual Christians.
    — Genesis contains a true account of origins: Creation of a real human pair in a real garden with a real fall into sin and real spiritual then physical death as a result of that sin. Noah’s flood is a true story of God’s judgement on sin.
    — All truth is God’s truth, whether recorded in the Bible or in nature.
    — Humans can err in their interpretation of the Bible, and they can err in their interpretation of nature.
    — Some things in the Bible (e.g. the deity of Christ and his atoning death on the cross) are much clearer than other things (what in the world were urim and thummim?).

    I agree that the geocentrism/heliocentrism debate involved both science and biblical interpretation. But the parallelism to the current debates about Genesis and geology is real. Before 1500, people believed in geocentrism because it was scientifically in vogue, and because they believed the Bible taught it. I think you and I can both agree that they were wrong on both points.

    Before 1700, people believed the Earth was created in roughly 4000 BC, and hadn’t really given much thought to the science. As the science of geology developed, people tried to fit their interpretations of field evidence to what they thought the Bible taught, but didn’t really give much thought to the actual text of Scripture. Over the next century and then some, it became clear to most geologists that the age of the Earth was likely much older than 6000 years. Christians were then faced with options:

    1. Refuse to look at the evidence (like the church scholars who refused to look through Galileo’s telescope).

    2. Force the Bible to fit science.

    3. Force science to fit the Bible.

    4. Take a closer look at the Bible to see if it was being properly understood.

    5. Take a closer look at geology to see if it was being properly understood.

    You and I would probably agree that #1 is not the best approach.

    You would probably say that I have done #2. I would certainly say that YECs have done #3, and I can point to a long list of examples of really bad YEC science that has been presented to the Christian world as “apologetics.” I point to the YEC “salt magma” hypothesis that you have commented on before. From what the author of that study has written, I’m not even sure he understood the definitions of some of the terms, but it was still worthy of print in CMI’s technical publication. Does pointing out the numerous problems with YEC geology mean that I have a “pagan,” “atheopath,” or “biblioskeptic” worldview?

    To me, the best approach would be doing #4 and #5 in conjunction with each other. I think the YECs have refused, for the most part, to do #4, and have done a very poor job with #5.

    My brief argument in comment #16 was a biblical argument, formed within a thouroughly biblical world view. It is not a capitulation to naturalism or atheism, and is not dependent on scientific findings. You might not agree with my interpretation, but that is another matter.

    I used to be a YEC, and understand where YECs are coming from. Where have I misrepresented YEC teachings?

    Grace and Peace

    Comment by geochristian | February 9, 2014

  28. There’s a sentence I didn’t finish above but continuing would not change what I wanted to say much. Naturalistic science (including biological evolution, chemical evolution (abiogenesis) and stellar evolution, and long ages) is bankrupt, empty, vain, blank, void, deceptive, shallow. And wrong.

    The chapter in Numbers I was looking for is Numbers 7. It covers 12 days of sacrifice where princes bring their offerings in succession during those twelve days and the structure of the Hebrew is the same as the six days in Genesis one.

    Or maybe it’s 12 million or 12 billion years – it’s really hard to be sure because “science” tells us the meaning of yom far more clearly than Hebrew scholars can when considering the context.

    A sacrifice like this clearly happened very, very slowly and so must have taken a really LONG time to accomplish all those offerings being brought it. If you think how long it takes wind and water to move a sheep …

    (sorry – sarcasm ended for now)

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  29. Those are excellent presuppositions, but I question if those are truly how you practically operate.

    As I said already, SOME believed that the earth was the centre of the universe based on scripture (and poor exegesis – the Bible does NOT say that, it has to be poorly logically extrapolated). But science DID teach it! And the Bible WAS massaged to fit (whether that worked or not).

    So the parallel is at best inexact. I doubt you will find much in Christian scholarship prior to 1700 on geocentrism – certainly nowhere near as much as with origins.

    If you do find even half as much, I’d be interested to see it.

    Your attempt then to skim through the history of how naturalistic uniformitarianism hijacked first geology, then biology and other sciences does you a disservice.

    The truth is more nuanced than that and nowhere near as prejudicial against YEC belief as you characterise.

    Making the earth (which was where it started) older than it was believed by the majority (including non-Christians) to be stated by the Bible was started deliberately by James Hutton and Charles Lyell to deliberately divorce history from the Mosaic grip (their words, not mine).

    And at the time people had already started to buy in to a “tranquil” flood (what an oxymoron) as the explanation for geological history.

    See here’s the problem (with a slight but I think highly relevant rabbit trail) – Noah’s flood reminds us of sin and judgement and the coming destruction of all by fire, and the final Judgement.

    Our flesh, yours, mine, theirs, rejected this with a passion. The devil hates the idea. The world loathes it.

    A tranquil flood is far more appealing. No flood, or only a Mesopatamian one, is more appealing again.

    No creator is also appealing. (And note, I’m not accusing you of this, but they all certainly tie together very neatly for most people. They all have the same foundation.)

    I’ll post 2 Peter chapters 2 & 3 as I think they are highly relevant.

    Chapter 2

    1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

    4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority.

    Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; 11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord. 12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

    13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e] 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer,[f] who loved the wages of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

    17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[g] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

    Chapter 3

    1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

    3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

    8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

    10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]

    11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

    14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

    17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

    Copied from http://www.biblegateway.com/ in the NIV (which just happened to be the translation it opened in).

    I could go on, but I wonder what the point is if after my voluminous and probably tedious prose, you can ask “Where have I misrepresented YEC teachings?”

    I’m obviously failing to communicate. In which case this is a waste of both our time.

    Anyone who is interested in pursuing this has both my wordpress and google accounts to hand and can chase me should they so desire.

    As I’ve said all along, this is about worldviews and we are obviously speaking different languages due to being in different worlds.

    God bless.

    Comment by Grahame Gould | February 9, 2014

  30. Grahame,

    I appreciate your tenacity. However, you have not demonstrated any place where I have misrepresented YEC teachings, either biblical or scientific. I disagree with YEC teachings, but I don’t think I am misrepresenting them.

    Comment by geochristian | February 10, 2014

  31. Grahame (#29),

    You copied a majority of 2 Peter in your comment.

    2:1 — Am I a “false prophet” because I interpret the text of Genesis differently than you do? Do you apply this same label to fellow believers when they disagree with you on other doctrines?

    2:1 — Have I anywhere in my writings denied the sovereign Lord who bought us?

    2:2 — Am I guilty of depraved conduct?

    2:3 — Am I greedy? Have I fabricated stories?

    2:5 — I believe that God brought a flood on ungodly people, but protected Noah. Am I facing “chains of darkness” because I disagree with parts of your interpretation of this passage? (see Reading the account of Noah’s (local) flood and “All the earth” doesn’t always mean “all the earth”, which are both biblical arguments for a local flood)

    2:10 — Are you accusing me of being bold and arrogant?

    2:12 — Am I blaspheming?

    2:13 — Am I carousing in pleasure in broad daylight?

    2:14 — Are you accusing me of adultery? Am I unstable? Am I an expert in greed?

    2:15 — Do I love the wages of wickedness?

    2:17 — Is blackest darkness reserved for me?

    I think you get the idea. I’ll skip to chapter 3…

    3:3 — Am I scoffing at God? Am I following my own evil desires?

    3:4 — Have you seen anywhere where I question the real, physical return of Christ?

    3:5 — Am I denying that by God’s word the heavens and the earth were created? (I don’t fully understand the “out of water and by water” part, but YECs don’t either.)

    3:6 — Am I denying that God sent a flood to judge sin in Noah’s time, or that God saved Noah and his family?

    3:8 — I admit, this verse applies to me. I do believe that a day may be different to God than it is to us.

    I will be the first to admit that I am a sinner. But do you really feel comfortable applying these verses to a brother in Christ, when the passage is clearly talking about unbelievers?

    Grace and Peace

    Comment by geochristian | February 10, 2014

  32. geochristian, I came upon your blog after I watched the Ham-Nye debate. I neglected to use the principle that I am committed to using before reading a new book – that is to make sure I understand the background of the author as that will provide the context of his writing. I should have done that before posting to your blog – only so that I was aware of the context of your blog. As I researched further I found you to be very explicit about the context of your blog.

    Although I have a substantial business management background, I do not have a scientific background and I believe it was unfair for me to post as I have. I am not apologizing for my beliefs and biblical understanding – that is what it is until the Lord changes it. But I am afraid that it is much like 2 people speaking different languages.

    I so much appreciate your stated position concerning Scripture and the Chicago statement. Although there may be some allowable room an for old-earth viewpoint that provides for death before Adam’s sin (if so, I admit I truly do not see it – sorry), I definitely do not see any allowable room for any belief system that provides for any level of error or mis-statement within the Scriptures (sorry if I have over-stated my position as this is an absolute conviction).

    I have a very dear friend and brother in the Lord who is a nuclear physicist. He is a true Bible student and it is so obvious that he truly loves the Lord. I really enjoy being around him and especially in Bible study with him, but there is a strange phenomena – I can only talk with him one on one for about 5 minutes – he is absolutely over my head – and I consider myself to be fairly intellectual. God chose to make us different and that is OK.

    With this, geochristian, thanks for allowing me to blog with you. May God bless you as you provide a meaningful ministry for like minds.

    Bob Myers

    Comment by Bob Myers | February 10, 2014

  33. Grahame Gould
    David Catchpoole only became a creationist 10 years after becoming a Christian.
    Robert Byers
    Just 8% of those voting here thought that Ken Ham won the debate.

    Comment by ashley haworth-roberts | February 10, 2014

  34. Bob — Thanks.

    Comment by geochristian | February 10, 2014

  35. Hello Kevin, i kno this is a little long but i have never heard a good explanation of why General revelation actually takes precedence over Specific Revelation, none of the OEC ministires use this argument i got from the Evangelical Free Chrurch. What do you think of it? Among Christians it is commonly held that Particular Revelation is the more important and authoritative of the two. Indeed the very phrase “final authority” as found in our statement of faith is often misunderstood to mean

    that the Bible always governs other types of revelation. This is something of a misunderstanding, however, for two reasons:
    2.b.1 Nothing which is true can be more true than another truth. Some true propositions may be more precise than other true propositions, of course, and we generally favor the most precise propositions available19. However, one fully true proposition cannot be said to be more true than another fully true proposition. Consequently, there are no grounds for saying that a truth derived from the Particular Revelation is more authoritative than a truth derived from General Revelation. The issue is not authority, but clarity. Particular Revelation broadly, and the Bible more narrowly, by its very nature, has the virtue of being generally clearer and therefore ought to be considered more dependable simply because it is less likely to be misunderstood. It is perhaps more accurate, however, to say that the Bible should be initially considered more authoritative than other sources because of its clarity and tangible, unchanging nature. There have been a small but significant number of instances in which a common interpretation of the Bible has been shown to be false in light of data derived from other sources. It was not, of course, the Bible which was false, but only a particular interpretation of it.
    2.b.2 To say that the Bible always governs other types of revelation is also an overstatement because we cannot make use of Particular Revelation without the prior existence of General Revelation. Particular Revelation, whether found in the Bible or in a dream or a prophetic word, makes use of things such as language and logic. Visions are imparted using the symbols of human experiences, audible words are spoken in a recognizable human language, the Bible comes to us in human speech and rules of logic govern our interpretation of it. All of these foundational necessities belong to the realm of General Revelation. Consequently, we cannot claim that some form of Particular Revelation is more authoritative than the General Revelation that makes Particular Revelation accessible. On these grounds, the flat earth theory (as could be inferred from such Biblical If our understanding of Scripture could never be adjusted because of discoveries from the realm of General Revelation, then we would probably continue to hold false propositions as true. In the same way, the true proposition that God is responsible for the creation of human beings (which clearly is not a matter of interpretation) must have primacy over supposedly scientific theories of spontaneous organic genesis.

    Comment by Daniel Hiegel | February 14, 2014


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