The GeoChristian

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GeoScriptures — Psalm 90:4 — God’s days are not the same as our days

“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” — Psalm 90:4 (ESV)

Christians disagree with one another about the age of the Earth and the universe. Some Christians insist that the only possible way to interpret the opening chapters of Genesis is that Earth is only about 6000 years old, and that any other interpretation is an accommodation with atheistic naturalism. Other Christians, equally sincere in their trust in the Bible as God’s Word, have studied Genesis and come to the conclusion that the Bible is not so clear on the age of the world, and that there is room for alternative understandings.

An important principle of Biblical hermeneutics (the art and science of interpretation) is to let Scripture interpret Scripture. For example, there are verses in 1 John that, if taken by themselves, make it sound like a Christian cannot sin (e.g. 1 John 3:9). Well, I still sin, so if all I knew was 1 John 3:9 I would be wallowing in despair. But if I look at other verses in 1 John, I am assured that God still loves me even though I still struggle with sin. I’m thinking of 1 John 2:1-2 in particular:

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Reading 1 John 2:1-2 helps me to understand that 1 John 3:9 is not teaching that only the perfect will be saved.

I think it is fair to say that most Bible scholars interpret Psalm 90:4 to mean that God’s perspective on time is very different than humanity’s perspective on time. God is eternal, but we quickly return to dust. God knows the end from the beginning; we see the present dimly, and can only guess at the future. A thousand years is nothing to God, but is far beyond our personal experience.

The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away. (Psalm 90:10)

My desire in this brief essay is to demonstrate that Psalm 90:4 is relevant as we seek to understand what is meant by the word “day” in Genesis 1. Does Genesis 1 require six literal, consecutive 24-hour days of creation, or is there freedom to interpret the chapter in a somewhat less literal fashion? As we look at Psalm 90:4, I ask you to consider the following points:

1. The Hebrew word used for day in Psalm 90:4 is yom, the same word that is used for day in Genesis 1. In Psalm 90:4, yom is not the daily period of light between sunrise and sunset, nor is it a roughly 24-hour period from sunset to sunset. In Psalm 90:4, yom is clearly figurative.

2. Moses was the author of both Genesis 1 and Psalm 90. The title for Psalm 90 is, “A prayer of Moses, the man of God.” This title is part of the Hebrew text, not an insertion by the English-language translators. It is clear that the word yom is used in a figurative sense in Psalm 90:4, so it is not unthinkable that Moses could write of figurative days, at least in some contexts.

3. The context of verse 4 is creation, so it is legitimate to at least consider whether or not the figurative use of yom in Psalm 90 is applicable to our understanding of the days of Genesis 1. The surrounding verses (Psalm 90:2-6) all speak of aspects of creation:

2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers. (ESV)

There are several references to creation: mountains being brought forth, the formation of the earth, man being created from dust, a flood, grass growing and withering.

4. The number 1000 is used in a general sense in Psalm 90; the purpose is to show that God’s view of time is not the same as man’s view of time. It would be just as accurate to say that 1,000,000 years–or even perhaps the entire history of the universe–is as a day or a watch in the night to God.

5. God was the only witness to the events of Genesis 1, and as we have seen in Psalm 90:4, God’s time is not the same as our time.

6. Put these all together, and we get the sense that Moses–and God–is not nearly as concerned with literal 24-hour days as most young-earth creationists are.

I am aware of young-earth creationist’s (YECs) objections to this use of Psalm 90:4, so I’ll mention a few of them.

  • YECs will say that the plain meaning of yom in Genesis 1 is a 24-hour day, regardless of what Psalm 90:4 says. I will answer this objection by saying that yom is used to mean something other than a 24-hour day more than once in Genesis 1-2, and it is by no means plain that the other occurences aren’t meant to be figurative. The very first use of yom in Genesis 1 is in verse 5, where it says, “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.” Yom in this passage means “the period of time when it is light,” not a 24-hour day. Even the “There was evening and there was morning, the nth day” phrase that is repeated for each of the six days is something other than a 24-hour day, as the Jewish “day” ran from sunset to sunset, not sunset to morning, which is only part of a 24-hour day. In addition, Genesis 2:4 uses yom in a figurative sense, where it refers to the entire creation week.

Perhaps the clincher is that the seventh day is left open-ended; there is no repeat of the “evening and morning” phrase (see Genesis 2:1-3). Hebrews 4:3-11 seems to teach that the seventh day is ongoing, and that some people enter that rest, and others do not.

  • YECs also commonly object that Exodus 20:11 requires us to read the days in Genesis 1 as literal.

“For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

I will reply by saying that the meaning of “day” in Genesis 1 should drive our understanding of “day” in Exodus 20:11. If day is figurative in Genesis 1, then it can be figurative in Exodus 20:11. The reason I say that is because the seventh day of creation is a pattern not only for the weekly Sabbath, but also for the Sabbath year and the Year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25. There is no need for the seventh day of creation in Genesis to be “literal” in order for it to provide a pattern for the weekly Sabbath in Exodus 20, as well as the Sabbath year and Year of Jubilee.

  • A third YEC objection is that Genesis is a historical document, and so the days should be taken literally. I will counter this by saying that Genesis 1 clearly has a structure to it that is not found in other Old Testament historical narrative passages. Genesis 1 is not poetry, such as is found in Psalms or Proverbs, but it is clearly not strictly historical narrative, such as what is found in much of Genesis through 2 Chronicles. This needs to be taken into consideration when interpreting Genesis 1, but in general, YECs simply lump the chapter in with other historical narrative passages.

This does not mean that Genesis 1 is non-historical; I believe it is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. But its distinctive style, combined with other considerations, causes me to think that there is more flexibility in the passage than YECs will allow for.

In this brief essay, I certainly have not “proven” that Genesis 1 allows for a universe that is older than 6000 years. But it is clear that God’s days are not necessarily the same as our days, and this needs to be taken into consideration as we interpret the creation account given in Genesis.

Grace and Peace

—————————–
NOTES:

All Bible quotes are from the English Standard Version (ESV).

I stated that Moses was the author of Genesis 1. I see no significant reason to reject Moses as the primary compiler of the Pentateuch, including Genesis, though I do not rule out minor later editing, such as the updating of place names or the inclusion of the account of Moses’ death in Deuteronomy 34. Moses certainly may have worked with earlier sources, whether oral or written.

I have been a little sloppy for the sake of clarity. When I write “Genesis 1,” I really mean Genesis 1:1-2:3, which is the complete section. Genesis 1 gives the six days of creation, and Genesis 2:1-3 tells of the seventh day, the day of God’s rest.

2 Peter 3:8 is similar to Psalm 90:4 —

 “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

I chose to focus on Psalm 90:4 rather than 2 Peter 3:8 because Psalm 90 was written by Moses, the same person who compiled Genesis.

The “Report of the Creation Study Committee” (Presbyterian Church in America) gives a good summary of various viewpoints on creation: http://www.pcahistory.org/creation/report.html

The various YEC ministries all have web pages about the meaning of “day” in Genesis 1:

http://www.icr.org/article/meaning-day-genesis/

https://answersingenesis.org/days-of-creation/24-hours-plain-as-day/

http://www.icr.org/article/meaning-day-genesis/

When they mention Psalm 90:4 or 2 Peter 3:8, they tend to brush these verses off as being irrelevant to Genesis 1.

December 12, 2014 - Posted by | Age of the Earth, Apologetics, GeoScriptures, Old-Earth creationism, Young-Earth creationism | ,

22 Comments »

  1. Of course, we all often use ‘day’ figuratively – ‘back in the day’, ‘back in my day’. Jesus used it figuratively in John 8: Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.

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    Comment by Tony Whittaker | December 12, 2014

  2. Sigh. That’s a really shallow engagement with the text, Tony. None of those uses come anywhere near close to the usage in Genesis 1 and 2.

    But let’s move to “geochristian”‘s much more serious attempt to justify compromise.

    Until “long age” beliefs were accepted as dogma within “science” (by which we mean philosophical naturalism in this case), and the church sat on its hands or even lead the charge to ignore and reject scripture, it was clear to nearly all bible scholars that “day” meant a rotation of the earth (which since day four of creation has been in relation to the sun but previously was some other light source and perhaps we can turn to Revelation to better understand that, but we don’t need to, God has told us what we need to know).

    Almost no church fathers or bible scholars until after Hutton and Lyell butchered geology took the six days of Genesis 1 to be anything other than “24 hour days” or evening and morning.

    Far from brushing off Psalm 90:4 or 2 Peter 3:8, they have been dealt with in great detail in such places as
    http://creation.com/2-peter-38-one-day-is-like-a-thousand-years

    For more evidence that a literal six day creation is the obvious meaning of scripture, see:
    http://creation.com/defense-of-six-day-creation
    http://creation.com/in-my-fathers-day
    http://creation.com/how-long-were-the-days-of-genesis-1
    and http://creation.com/the-meaning-of-yom-in-genesis-1

    And geochristian, it is very poor exegesis to claim that the context of Psalm 90 is creation when the context is no such thing, and is certainly not intended to teach us how to define the days of creation which God had already clearly done in Genesis 1.

    The context of Psalm 90 is clearly “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.”

    Creation is then referring back to that. He is Creator.

    Verse four then adds to that emphasise His Lordship over creation (including us) and that He is outside time. It is meaningless to Him.

    So the verse does not teach us that we can reinterpret the days as “God days” but rather that there is no such thing. God doesn’t have another “time scale” than the one He created us in.

    The point is almost exactly the opposite of the one you want it to make.

    Day only means something to us and when God says “day”, especially when He so clearly defines it, He means day.

    We can trust scripture to mean what it says and any child (as Christ says we need to be) knows what Genesis 1 means by day, unless they have already been indoctrinated by the world’s false history.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 13, 2014

  3. Grahame,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Just as few scholars took a closer look at the “geocentric” texts until Copernicus, so also few scholars took a closer look at “days” in Genesis 1 until Hutton.

    The primary link you gave regarding Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 ( http://creation.com/2-peter-38-one-day-is-like-a-thousand-years ) doesn’t deal with the points I made for Psalm 90: context, authorship, and general use of the number “1000.” In fact, this CMI article misrepresents what many old Earth Christians say about the number 1000, as few take this as a “literal” number that would make each day in Genesis equal to 1000 years.

    I am not sure why you claim it is “very poor exegesis to claim that the context of Psalm 90 is creation.” First of all, I did not say that the entire Psalm was about creation, because it is not. The immediate context of verse 4, however, is creation, and I quoted verses 2-6, which are full of allusions to creation.

    I’ll stick with my conclusion: Psalm 90:4 is relevant and needs to be considered when interpreting Genesis 1. Note that I am not claiming that “Psalm 90:4 proves that the six days of creation in Genesis 1 are figurative.”

    I trust Scripture to mean what it says. I’m not convinced by the “any child” argument. If that were true, we would not need any sorts of Bible scholars or pastors to teach us the Word.

    Grace and Peace

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    Comment by geochristian | December 13, 2014

  4. You mean Hutton who said “‘the past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now … No powers are to be employed that are not natural to the globe, no action to be admitted except those of which we know the principle’ (emphasis added)”?

    Copernicus wanted to do good science by trying to make sense of confusion of the movement of the planets (which confusion had occurred because Greek philosophy taught that God/gods would have put the earth at the centre) and that since the God of the bible was a God of order that sense could be made of it.

    Hutton had the opposite goal of removing the God of the bible from science. (He was a deist.)

    There is a vast difference between twisting scripture to support geocentrism and seeing the clear teaching of scripture that God created in six days and it was approximately 6000 years ago.

    Geocentrism is far from a clear teaching of scripture. The passages used were VERY few (compared to the support for “young earth” creationism) and are mostly from poetical books that clearly are teaching not lack of physical movement but the Psalmist also uses the same phrase to refer to himself so clearly metaphorical and referring to stability of intent or the like.

    I agree that the link doesn’t deal with Psalm 90:4 but I was disputing your claim of dismissiveness. Perhaps http://creation.com/why-is-cmi-so-dogmatic-on-24-hour-creation-days, which more specifically deals with Psalm 90:4 and many of your claims regarding it.

    Do you agree with me on the context of Psalm 90? Do you see his point in mentioning creation?

    Do you agree that he makes no mention of the length of creation? I contend you have made an exegetical jump to go from “creation” to therefore the mention of days is talking about “creation days”.

    The broader context of Psalm 90 should be considered and the broader point of the Psalm.

    That’s what I mean by very poor exegesis. Not only is there no link in the Psalm from the days of creation to his mention of day but the broader context does not relate.

    It is as much of a stretch as to say that the Psalmist is saying “the earth does not move” is supporting geocentrism!

    How about we check Genesis to see what definition God gave to the days there? Does Psalm 90 have any effect on those?

    Bible scholars are not necessary to help us understand God’s word or Jesus was lying about the “little children” and it contradicts much else in God’s word.

    Bible scholars are useful to help us understand it better. To become mature.

    And even a secular scholar will admit ‘… probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1–11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:

    creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience

    the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story

    Noah’s flood was understood to be world-wide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark.’

    (James Barr, source http://creation.com/oxford-hebraist-james-barr-genesis-means-what-it-says)

    Almost none of them actually believe what God said and what He is clearly trying to teach, but they know what He means.

    Bible scholars help us to understand better, not to understand differently than the clear teaching of scripture.

    And I will make my point again that the context of Psalm 90 is that God is God’s greatness and His ability to supply, specifically to be our dwelling place.

    Support for this is given in Psalm 90 as God being Creator. He made all things. He is very powerful. Beyond our comprehension in ability.

    He is also outside time and a day and 1000 years (an inconceivable period of time to the Psalmist, and understandably so when 100 years is a LONG time to live) are alike to Him.

    So to then call the days of creation as “God’s days” is to make nonsense of this passage since God doesn’t have days. The term is meaningless to Him. He sees a day and a thousand years as the same. He is not limited in ability and also not limited in time.

    He can provide. Nothing that we need is impossible to Him.

    He is our dwelling place.

    Psa 90:1 A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” 4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. 5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

    To go from that to saying “day” doesn’t mean day when it is defined as clearly as it is in Genesis is to make nonsense of language. When does day mean “day” and when does it mean “period of time” or have other non-literal meanings?

    Again I point you to http://creation.com/defense-of-six-day-creation, http://creation.com/in-my-fathers-day, http://creation.com/how-long-were-the-days-of-genesis-1 and and http://creation.com/the-meaning-of-yom-in-genesis-1 and the sections of those articles that relevantly deal with your post.

    We can know the meaning of day from context. The context of Genesis 1 is crystal clear to anyone not indoctrinated to believe the world is millions of years old.

    I do agree with you though that on at least one occasion in Genesis 1 the meaning is not a “24 hour day”, a rotation of the earth on its axis. But that’s because the context makes it clear when He means “daylight period”.

    Now what does the context tell us about the other occurrences of day in Genesis one?

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 14, 2014

  5. Grahame, I believe we need to look at both God’s means of revelation to us – the written Word and the created universe, and interpret each in the light of the other. To say that the scientific evidence of the earth being really pretty old is ‘overwhelming’ is to misuse the word ‘overwhelming’ when in fact it is utterly, totally overwhelming. Any jury would convict on 10% of that evidence. The few tiny outliers (eg. depth of dust on the moon) just cannot shake it. But I’m sure I won’t shake you either! But the age of the universe is not a primary doctrine, necessary to salvation or spiritual wellbeing, since many millions of believers are able to believe in an old earth!

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    Comment by Tony Whittaker | December 15, 2014

  6. Yes, Tony, but which is pre-eminent? The plain meaning (sound exegesis) of the Word of God, or man’s interpretation of the works of God (which can be clearly shown to have been skewed in favour of “naturalism”, and here we should take that to mean anti-supernaturalism, that a natural explanation is always to be preferred over the supernatural, even if God’s word clearly says different).

    Have you checked out the works of Hutton and Lyell who essentially “created” this whole idea of an earth and universe older than 6000 years? Both hated the God of the Bible. Hutton was a deist who deliberately was looking for naturalistic (and ONLY naturalistic) explanations as I quoted from him earlier.

    Lyell was even more blatant and said it was his intention to divorce the “sciences from Moses”.

    And they both succeeded, even among people who call themselves Christians (and I’m not implying that they/you aren’t Christians but that I can’t know if they/you aren’t or not without much more evidence).

    Christianity is dominated by people who follow the express nefarious intentions of two God haters.

    And what’s about as bad is we call this mythologising “science”!! Balderdash. It’s is false philosophy and demonic religion called secular humanism or philosophical naturalism.

    And Tony, you’ve not only been lied to but you bought the lie. The evidence is far from overwhelming and if you don’t believe me check out creation.com, currently coming up on 10,000 peer-reviewed web pages by Ph.D. scientists.

    Here is just ONE example! http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth

    The evidence is actually overwhelming the other way.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 15, 2014

  7. Graham,

    I do not have time for a lengthy response.

    The http://creation.com/why-is-cmi-so-dogmatic-on-24-hour-creation-days article is better than the ones you referenced earlier, as it deals seriously with Psalm 90. Again, I never said that Psalm 90 is entirely about creation. But the immediate context of the surrounding verses is creation, and so its interpretation is relevant. Psalm 90:4 is not a “case closed” argument for non-literal days, but is a piece of the interpretative argument.

    I’ve seen the James Barr quote numerous times, about how all leading scholars believe Genesis requires the young Earth interpretation. That is sort of like saying that Richard Dawkins agrees with Ken Ham about the same topic. They are both wrong. On the other hand, you will find well-qualified Hebrew scholars at a number of Evangelical seminaries who hold to non-young Earth perspectives. I suggest you read the works of C. John Collins of Covenant Theological Seminary, and OT editor of the ESV Study Bible for starters.

    Much of what is published in the YEC “peer reviewed” journals is nonsense and should not be presented as Christian apologetics. I say this not because I disagree with their conclusions, but often neither the authors nor the reviewers have the expertise to really understand the subjects. I’ll give you just a few examples of really bad science that comes out of the mainstream YEC organizations:

    https://geochristian.com/2013/04/09/the-pleistocene-is-not-in-the-bible/ — A classic example of where YECs read stuff into the Bible that simply is not there.

    https://geochristian.com/2013/03/26/a-young-earth-creationist-magmatic-model-for-the-origin-of-evaporites/ — A “peer reviewed” article where the author doesn’t even know what some of the basic terms mean.

    https://geochristian.com/2012/11/10/jeanson-part-1/ – A leading YEC speaker gets so many things wrong that it took me a five-part series to dissect his presentations.

    https://geochristian.com/2009/10/06/six-bad-arguments-from-answers-in-genesis-part-6/ – The leading YEC geologist gives six bad answers from Answers in Genesis.

    My concern is a gospel concern. Bad arguments in defense of Christianity will backfire in the end. Young people who go into the sciences will throw away their Christian faith along with their AiG and Dr Dino DVDs. Secular scientists will continue to reject Christianity not because of the foolishness of the cross, but the foolishness of YEC science. None of this is necessary, because much of what the YECs teach is not required by the Bible.

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    Comment by geochristian | December 15, 2014

  8. Over in the thread “Six bad arguments from Answers in Genesis (Part I)”. you tried to give me the same argument about Psalm 90 Kevin. I see above you say the immediate context of vs 4 is creation. C’mon now, it just clearly is not as Grahame points out.

    The Psalm is only informing us of the timeless, self existent nature of God who is not limited by time in any way as we are. He is capable of any number of thoughts or actions at any given moment. We are not. This truth is in view when vs 2 informs us God existed before the universe. And also, therefore, time. Verse 4 only reinforces this idea. There is no reference back to the creation week here which would affect our interpretation of the word ‘yom’.

    The Holy Spirit is here contrasting His omnipotence and eternal life with our short lifespans and inability to prevent our return to dust. The mention of God existing before the Earth was made cannot be exegetically linked to Genesis 1 to show vs 4 defines the days of creation. As Grahame pointed out, God defined what he meant by the word day 6 times in Genesis 1. In Ps 90 the Holy Spirit is pointing out God’s days are not numbered whereas ours are.

    If I might digress a moment – there are those who like to say there is no time in Heaven. Revelation 8:1 shows there is. Just a point of interest.

    Please, stop using Psalm 90 to reinforce your view of Genesis. It is a misuse of the scripture.

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    Comment by Scott Bradshaw | December 15, 2014

  9. Scott and Grahame,

    As I have read your comments and looked at the articles you linked to, I don’t think you have made much of a dent in the six points I made about Psalm 90:4.

    My primary conclusion from Psalm 90:4 is that God’s perspective on time is not the same as human perspective on time. I think you would both agree with that conclusion. What we disagree about is whether or not this applies to Genesis 1.

    Certainly Moses’s main purpose for writing Psalm 90 had nothing to do with the age of the Earth. But that does not change the conclusion that God views time differently than we do, nor that the immediate context of verse 4 is creation.

    It would not be good to use Psalm 90:4 as a “proof text” for non-literal days, and that is not what I am doing. The main reason for this, as has been pointed out, is that the Psalms are poetic. What I have done, however, is point out that Psalm 90:4 is certainly consistent with non-literal days, and should be on the table when we are analyzing the text of Genesis 1.

    I need to be careful to point out that I am not defending the day-age interpretation of scholars such as Hugh Ross. Instead, my thinking is more along the lines of the analogical days interpretation presented by C. John Collins in Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. The analogical days interpretation actually allows for either a young or old Earth, and has insights that could be useful to young Earth scholars as well as old Earth scholars.

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    Comment by geochristian | December 15, 2014

  10. Grahame,

    You have committed a logical fallacy.

    The fact that Isaac Newton was a non-trinitarian does not lead me to reject Newton’s laws.

    The fact that Albert Einstein was a Jew who rejected Christ does not lead me to dismiss Einstein’s theories of relativity.

    The fact that Kepler was into astrology does not lead me to doubt his mathematical descriptions of planetary orbits.

    Likewise, the fact that Hutton and Lyell were deists does not require me to reject principles of these founders of geology, such as the dynamic nature of Earth, cycles of erosion and deposition, the magmatic origin of igneous rocks, uplift of mountain ranges, the presence of unconformities in the rock record, and uniformity of processes over time.

    ——————————-
    Notes:

    Lyell’s extreme version of uniformitarianism was not held by most of his peers, and not held by anyone today.

    Accepting “uniformity of processes over time” does not, for Christian scientists, exclude the supernatural intervention of God.

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    Comment by geochristian | December 15, 2014

  11. Grahame,

    The fact that Lyell wanted to free geology from Moses is not necessarily a bad or anti-Christian thing.

    When the geocentrism/heliocentrism debate was going on in the 16th and 17th centuries, it was not a bad thing to “free astronomy from the Bible.”

    If someone were to start a “Answers in Genesis 30” ministry promoting the idea that genetics has more to do with sticks of almond trees than with DNA, it would not be a bad thing to oppose them, thereby “freeing genetics from Genesis 30.”

    Likewise, being that Genesis is not a science textbook, that it doesn’t say anything about the formation of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks; that it doesn’t say anything about ice ages or dinosaurs, then it not necessarily a bad thing to “free geology from Genesis.”

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    Comment by geochristian | December 15, 2014

  12. Your accusation of a logical fallacy completely fails to deal with the point I made.

    I not only pointed to their religious views but how those views impacted on their science to cause both of them to EXCLUDE the possibility of supernatural intervention by God and to reject God’s word as a source of truth.

    You then reinforce your ignorance of my point by saying Isaac Newton’s religious views do not cause you to reject his science. But he did not say, for religious reasons, that certain scientific conclusions were forbidden.

    It would be handy if you did not straw-man my words when replying to me.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 16, 2014

  13. And you misquote Lyell and in so doing demonstrate again that you miss the point.

    Lyell said he wanted to free the sciences from Moses, which in his day meant not just geology but all knowledge.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but trying to free knowledge from Moses sounds distinctly bad and anti-Christian to me.

    I agree with you that the Bible is not a science textbook, in the modern definition, and it doesn’t claim to be (although it does claim to be accurate in what it DOES say).

    It does make numerous claims about history and that’s what the argument here is actually about, history. And that’s what Lyell was really seeking to change, not what we call science today. He wanted to change the history of all things from what the Bible says.

    And then again you raise the old lie about geocentrism being taught by the Bible, which has no basis in fact.

    And I’ve never heard anyone claim that Genesis 30 is seeking to teach us genetics. And it certainly doesn’t claim to.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 16, 2014

  14. Grahame — It looks like we will just continue to disagree about these things.

    No matter what I say, you will continue to believe that Psalm 90:2-6 is not in some way talking about creation, even though it clearly does.

    I don’t think I committed a straw man fallacy. I simply pointed out that people with non-Christian theology can have valid scientific insights. I did not say I believe that the Bible teaches geocentrism, but that many believed that it did.

    And you cannot see that it is one can separate the scientific insights of people like Newton, Hutton or Lyell, and yet reject their bad theology. If you want to continue to promote the really bad science of AiG, ICR, and CMI because of this, you certainly may.

    Grace and Peace

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    Comment by geochristian | December 16, 2014

  15. geochristian, I cannot leave the final comment to be a lie. I have not once said that Psalm 90:2-3 are not talking about creation as they clearly are. But you are right that vv4 is not talking about creation, it is talking about time.

    But that’s not the point. The point is that you have added “creation” together with the mention of the word “day” to make Psalm 90 speak to us about “creation days” when it mentions no such thing and does not even hint at it.

    Exactly – a straw man. Of course non-Christians can have valid insights. I never said they couldn’t. But if they allow their false religion to impact on what is considered truth and knowledge (as both Hutton and Lyell did), it creates a problems.

    And the truth about the geocentrism debate is that the belief about geocentrism came from Greek philosophy and the bible was twisted to fit. Just as you do with long ages.

    It is sad that you appear to not be able to understand English and/or logic.

    Bad science? Well, so far you have only asserted that and are demonstrating that you wish to misunderstand and mischaracterise the situation and so cannot be trusted to tell me what good science is.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 16, 2014

  16. I also read a comment somewhere from you that you have a gospel purpose in this so that people do not reject Christianity because bad science is being promoted (or words to that effect).

    And I agree with you.

    The issue is determining which is bad science. Actually more importantly, what the truth is, as there are many competing versions of history. There’s your view, mine, Ross’, Dawkins’ and many, many more and while there is overlap, they cannot all be right.

    How do we determine truth? Can science tell us with authority how the world came to be? How accurate can science be about non-repeatable events?

    But back to the gospel. I am all for promoting the gospel and not distracting people by promoting a lie. I pray that whichever of us is wrong (or potentially both) comes to a knowledge of the truth.

    God bless.

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    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 16, 2014

  17. You say you don’t think we’ve put a dent in your six points above. I think they’ve been more than dented. The whole controversy over how long a day is was effectively squashed by God Himself when He repeated Himself six times in defining the length of the six days of creation week. “Come evening, come morning….”

    Each day was comprised of one period of darkness and one period of light. Each day then is obviously 24 hours and was the length of one rotation of the Earth on its axis. Gleason Archer admits the Hebrew is saying six 24 hour days. I’m not aware of any Hebrew scholar who thinks otherwise. Archer’s objection to this no brainer interpretation was it contradicted the findings of modern science. I believe that is also your objection.

    When God Himself defines what He means by “yom” in Genesis 1, then any other use of this Hebrew word anywhere else in scripture is irrelevant. You’re gainsaying God Himself.

    Also, your last point above deals with whether Genesis 1 is purely a literal historical account. I Cor 11 adds weight to the argument that it is. Here the Holy Spirit verifies, clarifies, and supports this by letting us know man did not come from woman but, woman came from man. The account of their creation must be taken as literal, else the verse in 1 Cor 11 is nonsense. Man never gestated in the womb of any female. And Eve was created using a rib from Adam. What would you have? Adam popped out of the womb of an animal? Or He gave birth to Eve?
    To believe in subhuman hominids is profane and wicked.

    Like

    Comment by Scott Bradshaw | December 16, 2014

  18. Scott, what verse in I Cor 11 do you mean? Do you mean in I Cor 15?

    And you have not said a single thing I disagree with yet, except I am not convinced that the mention of time in heaven in Revelation proves that there is time in heaven in an ultimate sense.

    Here is a question in my mind as to why we should be careful about being dogmatic there – the account is written by John who was seeing heaven in a vision, or was taken there temporarily. Time still existed for John as a temporal being who had yet to die physically.

    I believe time does not exist in eternity and time will not exist for us in heaven. But I am also prepared to concede that I cannot be dogmatic on it and cannot prove absolutely from scripture.

    It just makes more sense of scripture to believe that God exists outside time and that therefore time did not exist before He created it in Genesis 1:1 and that it is far more likely (it seems to me) that He will wrap it up along with space and matter one day.

    Like

    Comment by Grahame Gould | December 16, 2014

  19. Grahame
    1Cor 11:8 “For man is not from woman, but woman from man” NKJV

    I think Revelation starts out with John seeing the Lord as in a vision while still on the Earth, and he receives the messages for the letters to the churches. But when he is told in Rev 4:1 to “…..Come up here,…”, then I believe he was taken, not bodily, but just his spirit into heaven. While there, in Rev 8, he apparently experiences the passage of time and estimates how much has passed. That he is estimating is indicated by his saying “about” a half and hour”. I also believe this is the fullfilment of the prophecy in Zechariah 1:7 calling for silence before God at the commencement of the Day of the Lord.

    But, how does God relate to time? Is He outside of time always. Well, I don’t know. I certainly believe he can both intrude into time space and experience time, as well as being outside of it. But even when in time space, He isn’t limited by it.

    I think John experienced time travel when going to Heaven. But I’m not going to be dogmatic about that. I haven’t thought about the time issue much. But if there is no time in Heaven, how will we make music for Him and worship Him?

    Like

    Comment by Scott Bradshaw | December 17, 2014

  20. […] of science (that was an awful pun, as the two bloggers I am talking about are the GeoChristian and Age of Rocks). When scoping how to build their city, they did not listen to religious salesmen […]

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    Pingback by Building Cities | Blog42: My Stream of (semi)Consciousness | December 17, 2014

  21. […] Geoscriptures: Psalm 90:4- God’s days are not the same as our days- Often, those who are not young earth creationists cite Psalm 90:4 as support for their position, but they do so without exegeting the passage much if at all. Here is a more extended look at the passage and its impact on the age of the earth debate. […]

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    Pingback by Really Recommended Posts 1/9/15- miracles, Newsweek, and more! | J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason" | January 9, 2015

  22. “Psalm 90:4 — God’s days are not the same as our days
    “For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.” — Psalm 90:4 (ESV)

    “An important principle of Biblical hermeneutics (the art and science of interpretation) is to let Scripture interpret Scripture.”

    You ignored that principle to come to your first statement. This scripture is simply talking about God’s perspective… not a literal statement in time. God has been experiencing His minutes, second and days from eternity past. He relates to us in real time and he has always related in real time. God’s day are the same as ours and that would be the consistent part of the story of Him relating to His people throughout history.

    The Bible interpretation of that concludes their was an old earth was never arrived at until Godless men sought to deny God altogether by claiming the earth is billions of years old.
    That new Biblical interpretation is just an attempt the conform Bible interpretation to the claims of old earth scientists.

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    Comment by ddevonb | January 9, 2016


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