Friday, July 13, 2018

Furrows of Love


I know I said my next post would be about the Sabbath, but then today happened.  And, that changed my blogging trajectory for this one post.  I hope you'll indulge me today, my 60th birthday, as I share about the goodness of God and His great love for me.

That last part sounds unbelievably arrogant, doesn't it?  Well, it could be, if the basis of His love were ME.  The truth is - - His love for me is all about HIM.  I am completely undeserving; He is the very definition of love.  And, that is why He loves me.

The truest example of His overwhelming, never-ending love for me is my life story, the good, bad and ugly. 

I was born into a middle-class,Christian, American family in 1958.  My childhood was spent in the foothills of the beautiful Appalachian mountains, in a small community called Hollingsworth.  My parents both worked full-time but were also musicians in our small, Southern Baptist church.  I was their first-born and also the first grandchild on both sides of my family. Needless to say, I was adored and spoiled, lol!
At age 9, the Holy Spirit drew me.  He called to me through a sermon about Hell.  I accepted Jesus as my Savior, in a revival service at my home church.  This was the most life-changing moment of my life.  Nothing that came before or after has been a greater moment than this, because it began my eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Everything changed as the Holy Spirit came to live in me and began to change me.
Mother had begun to teach me how to play the keyboards.  So, also at 9, I began playing the piano and later the organ for our church services.  As a teenager, I attended several Christian camps and was a camp counselor.  It was there that I committed my life to serving Him, wholeheartedly.  
I attended Bob Jones University for four years and graduated with a degree in music education.  At college, I met my first husband.  We went our own ways after graduation, but kept in touch. In 1984, we were married.  Together, we served churches in the music ministry for 7 years.  He was an extremely gifted musician.  In our 7th year of marriage, we divorced.  This, and the events leading up to the divorce, were the most devastating life events I had experienced.
In 1993, Bill and I married.  He was a bachelor until age 51.  He says he was just waiting for me!  Precious man! We have been blessed with two fine sons, Jesse and Will, who are now 23 and 21, respectively, and are on target to graduate from college this year in December.  Our sons were, in my heart, dedicated to God from the moment I realized I was pregnant with them.  I love them dearly and pray for them fervently.
After a 30-year career in education, the last nine years of it as an elementary school principal, I retired from full-time work.  These past 7 years I have worked part-time in my small, home-based business called Hood Educational Services.  Through that, I blog (as you know).  I serve in my young, fledgling church.  I sell the best make-up and skincare on the planet.  And over-arching all of that, I seek to love and minister to my family, friends and everyone God places into my path.
 
So, that is "my story". 
You may wonder why the title of this post is "furrows of love".  I borrowed the phrase from a John Piper devotional I read this morning, based on Galatians 6:8.  A furrow is a trough in the ground the farmer makes in order to sow seeds.  After putting the precious seeds in, the farmer then mounds the dirt up over the seeds.  Soon, plants appear!  Hopefully, as you read my story, you were able to read between the lines and see how God has sown love and mercy into the furrows of my life.  The story itself is not that remarkable.  What IS remarkable is how God has blessed me with His love and salvation.

As I look back over these 60 years, the best thing in my life is just that.
The love of God does not manifest itself in material possessions or "good luck" or good health or great friends.  All of those blessings flow FROM God's love.
The core of God's love is - - Him.  HE is life's greatest blessing.
Knowing Him, loving Him, worshipping Him - - allowing His Spirit to mold me more into His image, day by day....that is my source of Joy and my life's greatest Treasure.

In order to make me more like my Savior, He has dealt with me as the loving Heavenly Father He is.  At times, He has disciplined me severely.  My besetting sins are, without doubt, selfishness and pride.  The devastatingly sad parts of my life have been designed by Him to break down those strongholds in my life.  This is still a "work in progress", unfortunately.  You know, if God changed us instantly, this would prevent our faith from being strengthened; we would begin to depend less on His mercy and more on our own merits, which would be the very antithesis of faith.

I am so very, very grateful for how He has loved me through the years.  When I woke up 60 this morning, that was one of my first thoughts....how His love is incomparable, and how incredibly blessed I am to be the recipient of it.

Again, I am no one special.  His love is available to every human being who desires it.  I hope and pray you won't miss out on life's greatest blessing.  On the surface, to become a follower of Jesus Christ looks like you are giving up your independence or your way of living life on your terms.  And, that is true.  But, what I hope you can see through this post is that you gain SO much more by giving up those things.  Every day is a JOY to me, regardless of its events and circumstances, because I am His, and He is mine.  And, I want that for you, dear reader, as well.  My birthday prayer is that, if you do not know Him, that you will call out to Him today.

Sources:

https://www.cru.org/us/en/how-to-know-god/would-you-like-to-know-god-personally.html

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-moves-you-to-minister

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/the-christian-debate-over-sexual-identity

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Order! Order!!


Order.  It is a beautiful thing.  And, we serve a very deliberate, yet endlessly creative, God who began to reveal Himself to us through His initial creation.  Today, we are going to celebrate the order of the seven days of Creation Week.  (An order so much more impressive than the Dewey Decimal System, as pictured above, lol!)

It is impossible to study the book of Genesis and avoid the manmade theory of evolution.  I was thinking this morning that I can't remember hearing a sermon (certainly not in the past few years) preached from the pulpit on this topic.  I guess many preachers shy away from preaching the truth of creation as revealed in Genesis because they don't want to open themselves up to accusations of being anti-intellectual or downright ignorant.  Still, the choice between these two positions (evolution vs. creationism) is stark. 

Why?  Because the two positions cannot be reconciled without severe manipulation of the Word of God, specifically in changing the order of the seven days of creation.  I think we need to be very careful to refrain from doing that, mutilating the Bible.  That I might inadvertently do that here in the blog is one of my biggest fears.  God spoke this through the prophet Isaiah:

2All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.
Isaiah 66:2

We need to "tremble" inwardly at the written Word of God, the holy scriptures.  Yet, all sorts of manipulations and distortions have been attempted, in order to force the scriptures to align with "modern science".  This has been going on since the 1800s.  Examples include philosophies such as Progressive Creationism and Theistic Evolution.

In the last post, we looked at the creation of Light.  Through the seven days of creation, there is a specific order.  Why do you think God gave us this information?  Probably because that order was important.  After each category, He proclaimed His creation "good" or "very good".  There is no hint that the order should (or could) be rearranged to suit man's prevailing philosophies.

The order of creation matters.  Below are a few of the points of divergence in that order.  There are many more, which can be found at the Source link (see end of post).

Evolution says:                                                   Creation says:

Sun before Light                                                   Light before Sun

Sun before Earth                                                   Earth before Sun

Death before Man                                                 Man before Death

Reptiles before Birds                                            Birds before Reptiles


Here, then, is the order in which God created all that was and is:

  • Wisdom/Truth (Gen. 1:1-2; Prov. 8)


  • Light (Gen. 1:3)
  • Day and Night (Gen. 1:4-5)


  • Earth's Atmosphere (Gen. 1:6-8)


  • Dry Land and Oceans (Gen. 1:9-10)


  • Earth's Vegetation/Plants/Trees (Gen. 1:11-13)


  • The larger Universe, including heavenly bodies
  • Time  (Gen. 1:14-19)


  • Animal Life of the water and of the air (Gen. 1:20-23)


  • Animal/Insect Life of the earth/land (Gen. 1:24-25)


  • Man and Man's assigned dominion over all creation (Gen. 1:26-29)


  • Rest and the Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3)

Ok, so, I know you are in shock that I blew through the rest of chapter 1 in this post, after spending the previous nine posts here!  Well, there IS hope we will finish Genesis in this century! 🤣
Seriously, thank you for going along with me into this long and exceedingly complex book.

Genesis 2:4-25 is a closer look at Day Six of creation, as initially revealed in Genesis 1:26-31.
We'll take up again there, after we examine the creation of the Sabbath more closely in the next post.

Source:

https://answersingenesis.org/why-does-creation-matter/evolution-vs-creation-the-order-of-events-matters/

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fireworks!


Today is Independence Day in my country, the United States of America.  My favorite thing to do on this day is enjoy fireworks displays.  It is so exciting to sit there as darkness falls, waiting for that first burst of gorgeous light.  Why is it we enjoy fireworks so?  We even refer to the kindling between a man and a woman as "fireworks".  Why?  I have some ideas about that.

In today's Genesis post (#9), we are going to explore the first created thing mentioned in the Genesis account:  Light.  Here's Genesis 1:3 - -

And God said, "Let there be light."  And, there was light.

From Genesis 1:2, recall that there was darkness, emptiness and waters, with the Spirit of God moving over all of that.  As God came onto the scene, He created light.  This light emanated from Him.  It was a visible manifestation of the Triune God's very nature.  It was not light from any physical heavenly body.  Those lights - - the sun, the stars, planets, etc., were created later.  This light sprang forth from God Himself.  What fireworks those must have been!

The Hebrew word translated "light" is  ’ō·wr , which means a physically observed type of light, in nearly all it's Old Testament appearances.  In the Greek New Testament, the word most often translated "light" is  φῶς, and the meaning is almost always spiritual, as opposed to physical.

When God created light as His first creation, I believe this created thing embodied both those attributes.

You know, when some people enter the room, they bring a certain presence with them.  Have you ever felt that?  It can be either a transcendent, luminous, glorious presence; or, it can be more of a malevolent sort.  When God came on scene in Genesis 1:1, He expressed Himself onto the formless void by creating light, because He IS Light.

The apostle John loved to emphasize this attribute of the Godhead and also of the Christian walk.  See 1 John 1:5 - -

God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

And, John recorded Jesus' own words in John 9:5 - -

"I am the Light of the World." 

Therefore, it is inescapable that when God began His creative process those thousands of years ago, He first birthed into His creation His essence: Light. 

When you love someone, you bring light into his or her life. "Fireworks!" That's what God did for us.
If you will recall, there was a spectacular light show the night Jesus was born.  The witnesses were the shepherds, watching their flocks in the field.  Do you think it was an accident Jesus was born in the "dead of night", and that as He was born, light burst forth onto the scene?  The German composer, Johann Rist, penned this truth so beautifully!

Break forth, O beauteous heavenly light,
and usher in the morning; 

O shepherds, shrink not with affright,
but hear the angel’s warning. 

This child, now weak in infancy,
our confidence and joy shall be, 

the power of Satan breaking,
our peace eternal making.


So, where God is, there cannot help but be light. 

But wait a minute - - -
If you will recall one of my recent posts from Proverbs, Solomon claimed that Wisdom (or Truth) was the first created thing.  Consider these verses from Proverbs 8 - -

22“The LORD possessedb me at the beginning of his work,c
the first of his acts of old.
23Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
27When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28when he made firm the skies above,
when he establishedd the fountains of the deep,
29when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily hise delight,
rejoicing before him always,
31rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the children of man.

Wisdom is another attribute of our Triune God, the Godhead so called.  Although God's speaking forth Wisdom is not explicitly mentioned in Genesis 1, there is no indiction from Solomon that Proverbs 8 could be taken as allegorical or merely "poetic".  As you have no doubt discovered, the Bible is not necessarily laid out in a linear, progressive fashion verse after verse, which is why it is so complex.  The whole of God's Word altogether paints the most complete picture.  Even so, I don't fully understand where Wisdom fits into the Genesis Creation Story; but, that's ok.  We don't have to fully understand every detail of God's work - - can't, actually.  Moving on.... ;)

Truth and Light.  In His initial creation of the heavens and the earth, God gave us a picture of how He would redeem the world, by sending His Son as the Light of the World.  The apostle Paul recognized this and declared the following in 2 Corinthians 4:6 - -

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Isn't that beautiful and glorious?! 

As God's divine light invaded the dark nothingness on Day One of creation, so His divine light is the only remedy for the sinner's dark, lost, empty soul.  The soul without Jesus Christ dwells in spiritual deadness and darkness, hopeless chained in sin, unable to effect our own redemption.  In the midst of that hopeless state, God's Son bursts forth!  By grace, we can receive light and life, God's own Son, as we believe in Him through faith.

Not only that, His mighty power can transform the filthiest soul into men and women "of whom the world is not worthy" (Hebrews 11:38 and Daniel 12:3).1

So, when you watch fireworks today or this weekend or whenever you see them, remember God's beautiful creation of light, both in Genesis and in your own soul.  And, if you have not yet embraced Jesus as Savior, what better day than today?  May today be your own personal Independence Day, your Eternal Peace Day!2

"The power of Satan breaking
Our peace eternal making." 3

Sources:

1    https://answersingenesis.org/the-word-of-god/let-there-be-light/

2    http://resplendentdaughter.blogspot.com/2014/07/the-main-thing.html . (I just realized I wrote this post exactly 4 years ago today . . . Soli Deo Gloria!!)

3    https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-break-forth-o-beauteous-heavenly-light

Friday, June 29, 2018

Ruin and Reconstruction


In order to "reconcile" evolutionary theory with Genesis 1, some Christians attempt to "create" (sorry!  Genesis pun!) millions of years of geologic time in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  Back in the late 1970s, even the chancellor of my very religiously conservative alma mater said from the pulpit he subscribed to this.  (At the time, I had never heard of it...)

This belief, which began to be propagated in the 1800s by men such as G.H. Pember (Earth's Earliest Ages), is sometimes called "The Gap Theory" or "The Ruin and Reconstruction Theory".  It essentially says that God initially created all things (Genesis 1:1), a "primitive creation" so called.  This process lasted an untold period of time, during which the fossil record was established.  And then a cataclysm of some sort caused all of that creation to be utterly destroyed.  Some theologians place the fall of Satan and 1/3 of the angelic host within this "gap period". The cataclysm is often referred to as "Lucifer's War", in that it resulted in all of creation becoming "null and void".  Genesis 1:2, then, is said to be essentially a literal 6-day "re-creation", and the beginning of the modern era (the last 6000-7000 years).  This position is an imposition of outside ideas onto Scripture, even though I can certainly understand the lure.  I mean, if God has always existed, is it reasonable to believe that He created nothing until about 6000 years ago?  Still, we must stick to God's written revelation, since that is the information He has given to us on this topic.

1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Genesis 1:1-2 (ESV)

Those who subscribe to this Ruin and Reconstruction belief use as proof the Hebrew language itself.  They claim that the first word translated "was", at the beginning of Gen. 1:2, would more accurately be translated "became".  Here is what respected mechanical engineer and Christian apologist, Bodie Hodge, has to say on that topic:

Actually, recognized grammarians, lexicographers, and linguists have almost uniformly rejected the translations “became” and “had become.” It is a basic exegetical fallacy to claim that because Strong’s Concordance lists “became” as one of the meanings of haya, it is legitimate to translate it this way in the particular context of Genesis 1:2It is simply grammatically impossible when the verb haya is combined with a waw disjunctive—in the rest of the Old Testament, Waw + a noun + haya (qal perfect, 3rd person) is always translated, “was” or “came,” but never “became.”

Indeed, most Bible translations yield the Hebrew "haya" as  "was".
The earliest Greek translations of the Old Testament around 250 BC (The Septuagint) reject this translation of these two verses; "was" was accepted as "was" until the 1800s.

There is an even bigger problem with the gap theory.
It concerns when sin entered into the world.

In order to support the gap theory, one must believe that sin and death occurred prior to the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden.  This is directly contrary to Scripture, which describes all that God created in Genesis 1 as "very good".  A specific characteristic of that "very good" is found in Genesis 1:29-30, where we learn that before the Fall of Man, all animal life was vegetarian.  😳
Yeah.  So, there's that.

Furthermore, if the gap theory were true, carnivores, sin and death would have had to existed before the supposed "Satan's War", since death is a result of sin and since carnivores and death are firmly established in the fossil record.  Who would have been responsible for that death over millions of years?  God?!  It supposedly occurred before the fall of Satan..... An additional problem is that, if all creation were destroyed in "Lucifer's War", would not that fossil record have been totally wiped out too?  For that matter, what about Noah's flood?  Would it have left virtually no trace in the fossil record?  So, in this way, this position completely nullifies the point it is trying to prove. 

From 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5:12 we are reminded by Paul that Adam was the first man created and that it was because of his (and Eve's) sinful disobedience that sin and death entered into the world.  As we will explore in more depth in the coming days, things got so bad God had to utterly destroy the world of Noah by a global flood, which laid down the intriguing, mysterious fossil record so clearly observed by scientists and historians today.

The approach gap theorists and others who seek explanations contrary to Scripture adopt is to extrapolate the past from viewing the present...believing the observable present is the undisputed key to the past.  One facet of this is to believe that the rate of decay and fossil formation observed today have remained constant over time, commonly called "uniformitarianism".  It says that the layers of the earth formed at an even, regular rate, over millions of years.

There is ample evidence for a young earth - - evidence which gap theorists and secular scientists studiously ignore.  Some of those phenomena are:  the activity within the earth's magnetic field, the behaviors observed in spiral galaxies, the amount of salt in our oceans, to name a few.  There are many more.

Today's post has only scratched the surface of this flawed explanation of creation.  I invite you to study it more on your own, if you have the interest.  I find it sobering to note that this line of reasoning began in the 18th century, in order to harmonize with secular scientist's faulty "discoveries" in that age.  When students schooled in "gap theory" began to realize its logical inconsistencies, they went with the only other "intellectual" alternative, evolution, even though there are many flaws with evolutionary theory (the most notable being the more recent discoveries about DNA, which were not known in Darwin's day).  The point is this - - when you begin to compromise, add to, read into, "stretch" God's word a little bit, you open the door for future generations to further expand the apostasy. 

As supernatural (surprise! God!) as it sounds, the book of Genesis is very clear and straightforward.  It is time for the Church to return to the authority of, the amazing truth of, God's Word, to firmly plant our feet there, to become knowledgeable of the many proofs for a young earth and to, like Martin Luther, say "here I stand".

{Hey, if you have read this far, I hope it is because you get a blessing from my blog.  If that is true, please go to my blog page and click "like" and "follow".  Then, if you will on a regular basis, and if you are a Facebook user, do the same for my Resplendent Daughter Facebook page.  Any comments you make on that page give it more exposure and help to give my scriptural expositions wider audience.  Thank you!}

Sources:

Pember, G.H., Earth's Earliest Ages, 15th ed., 1942.

Fields, Weston.  Unformed and Unfilled, Burgener Enterprises, 1997.

https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/gap-theory/what-about-the-gap-and-ruin-reconstruction-theories/

Saturday, June 23, 2018

What Difference Does It Make?




The past couple days I was at the lovely Callaway Gardens, spending quality time with a distant cousin who is also one of my best friends.  One of the sights there is the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Conservatory, which is celebrating its 30th year.  (Mr. Day, who died relatively young at age 44, started the Days Inn motel chain.)  I had not visited for the amazing conservatory for several years.  One new feature is sort of a "butterfly nursery", where they have scores of chrysalides in a glass case, for our viewing.  Over time, the butterflies emerge.

First of all, the difference in the appearances of the chrysalides is stunning.  Then, to see butterflies emerging and drying their wings...well, I just can't even find the words.  I'm posting both a pic of the nursery as well as a short vid of a gorgeous specimen inside the conservatory proper.

A few years ago my pastor made this statement from the pulpit.  He said, "Whatever sin you dabble in, your children will wallow in."  In other words, if we take a casual attitude toward any sin in our lives, our children will take that as permission to go further with it, and will be at peril for enslavement to it.  At the time, I found that to be a startling thought.  Since that time, I have often observed this to be true, though not always, of course.  Sometimes, thankfully, parents are "a cautionary tale".  More commonly, specific sins appear to be "inherited", that is, the predisposition toward those sins is either in the DNA of the children, or it is taught.  

The same principle applies to taking a casual attitude toward the authority of the Bible.

Have you ever started a non-fiction book and discarded the reading of it because you discovered some major fallacy of reasoning or fact, some information that completely derailed or discredited the entire presentation?  Secularists have realized that if they can discredit the Creation Story they can then cast doubt upon the remainder of the Bible.  If the Bible can be discredited, then its gospel message can be ignored, allowing mankind to gleefully, permissively worship the god of Self.
So, the reality, the literalness, of Genesis 1-11 are vitally important, fantastical though they may appear.  They are not "just a good story".

I ran across a great and easy-to-digest article this morning from (again) Answers in Genesis, about the importance of this point.  

Here is the link, if you care to read it.  Have a blessed day and weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

B'reshit - - When WAS "The Beginning"

Bereshit

As if the idea of God speaking all-that-is, seen and unseen, into existence were not contentious enough in the academic/scientific world, we must confront the concept of "the beginning".

Genesis 1:1 states that God created the heavens and the earth "in the beginning", if you adhere to the Greek translation (the Septuagint).  If you go with a Masoretic vocalization (how the Masoretes used hundreds of years of oral tradition to apply vowel sounds to ancient Hebrew), you get "In a beginning", which some believe indicates this is the account of "this" beginning, but that it was one of many "beginnings" God performed.  I suppose it is reasonable that an infinite God with no beginning and no end COULD have created other universes.  But, if so, the Bible does not tell us about them, and it would be inappropriate for us to speculate on that.  Goodness knows, we have our hands full simply trying to understand the written revelation He HAS given us.  I only mentioned the "a" beginning interpretation because it appears in some writings on the subject. 

Still others place Wisdom present at creation, based on other scriptures, and translate b'reshit as wisdom, since b'reshit was used as a synonym of the word "wisdom".  Several first century Aramaic translation of Genesis 1:1 open like this: "With wisdom did God create and perfect the heavens and the earth."  I wrote on this topic about 10 months ago, after studying Proverbs 8, a proverb of King Solomon, where he personified Wisdom and proclaimed Wisdom as the first creative act of the Creator God, whom John 1 and Hebrews tell us was Jesus Christ himself.  You can read that blog post here:  http://resplendentdaughter.blogspot.com/2017/09/gods-first-creation.html

However, I made one possible mistake in that post by claiming that Genesis 1:1 does not mention "wisdom" as being the first created entity.  If, though, you embrace the Aramaic translation, the presence of Wisdom is implied.  Very interesting....Seems even the Jews themselves can't fully agree on the very first word of Torah (b'reshit).  Our God is mysterious!

The Hebrew word b'reshit (or bereshit) has as its root the word "rosh" (as in Rosh Hashanah, for example - - head of the year, beginning of the year - - Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year....).  Rosh means "head, chief, summit". B'reshit begins with the Hebrew letter "Bet", which alone means "house" and is composed of 3 Vavs (see graphic above).  Added together, the 3 Vavs equal 18, the same value associated with "chai" (L'chaim) or "life".  The first letter of the word (Bet), and the last letter together form the word "covenant".  The four letters in between form the word "fire".  This connotes within the word b'reshit that the act of creation by God was a covenant of fire.

The scientists who debate the age of the universe can be divided into "Old Earth" scientists and "Young Earth" scientists.  If you interpret Genesis 1-11 literally, as do I, you would subscribe to the belief that our universe (not just the Earth) is quite young, between 6000-7000 years old.  I ran across two interesting scholarly articles which cite several proofs (in addition to the Bible) of this "Young Earth" position.  Here are the links: 

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/age-of-the-universe/evidence-for-a-young-world/
 and
https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/age-of-the-universe/deflating-billions-years/

Fascinating stuff!


Additional Sources:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Bereshit/Zohar/zohar.html

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Glossary/Word_of_the_Week/Archived/Bereshit/bereshit.html

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Bereshit/Fire/fire.html

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Scripture/Parashah/Summaries/Bereshit/bereshit.html

http://kehillatisrael.net/docs/dt/dt_bereshit.html

Monday, June 18, 2018

Some Thoughts on Creation and Science


The Bible is a supernatural book.  It begins with a "bang" (if you'll pardon the "origins of the universe" pun).  Right out of the gate, we are confronted with what many deem "the preposterous".... a Triune God, speaking the universe into existence.

Originally (there I go with the puns again), "science" meant "knowledge".  Traditional science and faith are largely incompatible.  Here's why:
Observational Science operates on the premise that, if something can't be proven (tested and repeated), it can't be fact.  Usually, scientific proof is derived through the "scientific method" (on the face of things not a bad way of doing things), which depends heavily on observation via use of the five human senses and other observational tools.  "Preconceived notions" or "prior knowledge" are not allowed unless that information has been similarly proven.  Specifically, because some "god" declared truth - - that information is irrelevant to most traditional scientists.  Faith is considered to these people a liability because it works against "objectivity".

Another kind of science is Historical Science, that is, science which deals with the past and so can't today be directly tested or observed.  Historical Science must be "discovered" or "interpreted" according to a person's worldview, because it extrapolates current rates and processes, back into the past.  Christians who are also historical scientists begin differently than do traditional scientists.

Christian scientists (not the denomination) begin with the declarations of God, found in Scripture.  They then interpret natural phenomena in light of God's written revelation.  They have found a remarkable amount of congruence, as technology has progressed, as additional discoveries have been made, etc.  Obviously, this method of deciphering our physical world is diametrically opposed to the traditional method in many ways.  However, Christian scientists also apply the scientific method, using their five senses, where applicable.  They believe that, properly applied, the scientific method supports the biblical account.

Creationism, or Creation Science, is the belief system, founded on the Bible, which asserts that God created all, living and non-living.  One of the most contentious aspects of science is when and how life originated.  Answers in Genesis, a historical scientific organization promoting Creation Science, calls origin of life the "holy grail" of traditional scientists seeking to explain how life "randomly emerged out of nothing". The theories and models of Creation Science are based on beliefs and suppositions which stand in opposition to evolutionary assumptions.  (Note:  assumptions, not "facts" because we are talking about historical science here).  Creationists deem the Bible as the basic, irreplaceable source of information, adopting that information as the key to understanding our natural world.

When interpreting the Bible, it is best to interpret it literally.  The Jewish rabbis have a methodology called PRDS (pronounced "par-des").
  • P stands for P'shat, the plain, clear meaning of God's Word, the literal meaning.  
  • R stands for Remez, which takes into account the phenomenon of "precedent".  In other words, where was the concept or truth first mentioned?  What was the context?
  • D stands for Drash - - the application level.  "How do I apply this in my life?"
  • S stands for Sod, the more obscure level, sometimes even the hidden level, where symbolism is present; the deepest level of meaning
Notice in all the above that "literal" interpretation is first.  When a literal meaning is present, it should be respected and embraced.  

There is nothing in the biblical account of creation that argues against a literal interpretation.  Some would argue that it is just too incredible to be taken literally - - that the infinite, triune God could somehow not create all that is in six, 24-hour days.  Others would argue that "it really doesn't matter".  The following quote is quite relevant to this point:

"The same scientific majority that denies all of Genesis 1-11 also insists that science shows that virgins don't and can't have babies, and dead men don't and can't rise from the dead.  All those biblical accounts rise or fall together."  - - Mortensen

Some Christians think that the biblical account can be reconciled with evolutionary theory if the "six days" are viewed figuratively, instead of literally.  However, when followed through in detail, the order of events in Genesis 1 do not line up with the order of events put forth by evolutionists.  It is not just a matter of how much time passed during creation; the order of events are divergent between the two belief systems.

Therefore, I will choose God's Word over all others.  In this ongoing exposition of Genesis, the literal, six days of creation account will be embraced as utter, complete Truth.

Ok, next post . . . B'reishit (really!)  ;)


Source:

https://answersingenesis.org/creation/