30 January 2015

Some Here, Some There — January 30, 2015

by Dan Phillips

Short post this week, at least for starters. And probably for keeps, though we'll see.
  • Indeed, Christopher Ames hits very hard at the "We need prestige desperately" impulse that seems to drive many Top Men and their attendants.
  • Things I Wonder: does Christianity Today have an Invention-of-squeakingly-self-important-angsty-titles Department?
  • It was great seeing all of you who supported the Sufficient Fire conference by coming last week. Phil, Frank, and I had a wonderful time bringing the word and meeting you all. David Regier was there and gave me a gift by providing his expert mad piano skilz as I sat at the (excellent) visiting musicians' drum set. David's a pro; I never was, and haven't touched a drum set in probably 5 years or more. But here is the part that Bill O'Neill — who travelled all the way from Vermont — captured:
  • To quote the late great Terry Kath, for my part of it, "It was fun! I don't know about anything else."
  • It was a terrific time, overall. Phil and Frank's talks were tremendous, the mood was joyous, and the fellowship was choice. Josh Feinberg organized the whole with many wonderful volunteers helping him. Praise God that overall, the event itself was a...
  • People who did not come ask if the sessions will be online. They are not at present. I'll let you know if that changes. But if you want to support what we did and would like to support our making it available, contact Josh Feinberg. He'll show you how.

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Anonymous said...

You packed it in this week!

Love the article about angelic visitations. Every believer (especially all the "Heaven is For Real" fans) needs to read it.

and Justin Taylor...what is up with him lately. I used to love his blog. Checked it daily.

Now, unless I'm pointed there, I almost never do.

The rebuttals to his train-wreck on creation were worth the price of admission.

Oh yeah, and "great post"!

DJP said...

Right there with you. Used to be a daily visit. Now, just as you say.

Deb W . said...

With regard to the days of creation, I consider myself a 6 day (24hr) literalist and will make my case for why I think this is the best interpretation, but, as a PCAer, I also look to the denominational study on creation and will say that the day-age (non-literal) approach, such as JT alludes to, is still within the realm of orthodoxy. And the reason why I do consider this an important distinction, is because it helps to clarify that which is truly false, ie, theistic evolution (a la biologos).

Now, I do very much agree that JT should not have presented the article as an apologetic, in an attempt to doubt on the literal 6-day interpretation. I cannot understand why he would go with that approach.

Thanks for the links, Dan!!

Deb W . said...

oops, should have been: "in an attempt to cast doubt"

Lowell Van Ness said...

My primary issue with shifting to the OEC position is that it generally heralds the following:
A. a shift away from a historical Adam; B. a denigration of mankind's place, which is lousy enough as it is; C. a general refusal to take the other "uncomfortable" parts seriously.

Terry Rayburn said...

1. Considering Justin Taylor's position at Crossway, I get this creepy deja vu feeling down my spine (angelic visitation?), reminding me of Zondervan's sad trajectory back in the '70's and early 80's, before they [literally] "sold out" to Harper Collins.

2. I agree with Sproul's statement indicating that we don't know the actual age of the Earth, but any wrinkled old granny in a rocking chair with her KJV can tell you that Genesis would be deceptive if "day" meant something else.

3. As is often the case with "scholars", Taylor writes in such a way as though his points have never been dealt with by Bible-believing scholars! I have to admit this kinda drives me crazy.

For example, I once read that the Bible contradicted itself because two different measurements were given for the diameter of the laver in the OT tabernacle.

One could be tempted to say, "Aha! An obvious contradiction!"

Except that one diameter was for inside the rim, the other for the outside. The thickness accounts for the difference. Simple solution (if you know it).

Meanwhile, Granny with here KJV is at peace saying, "I don't understand the discrepancy, but I believe the Bible."

You gotta love a Granny like that.

4. No disrespect (seriously) to scholarship, but have you noticed how many "Bible-believing" scholars, who start by twisting the scriptures, end up non-Bible-believing scholars? Then where they go from there is almost unbelievable.

Terry Rayburn said...

This might be helpful to somebody:

I had a great teacher (Professor Butrin) back in Bible Institute who taught Genesis.

He "reasoned" from the Scriptures and pointed out that if God created everything (and He did), it would make sense that he create things with "apparent age".

In other words, if one created a dog, he wouldn't create a 2-centimeter long puppy to starve from lack of milk, he would create a grown dog.

Likewise, if one created a tree, it would have rings in it, because all trees have rings, which allow it to drink, and provide the genetic structure to reproduce more trees, etc. Yet the rings imply "age".

If he were going to bless Earth with beautiful stars in the sky, he would have to create light beams reaching Earth, which would otherwise take millions of years to reach Earth.

Get the idea?

I found that immensely helpful in relating the Bible to Science. You might too.

(Nothing wrong with Science, per se -- but the best Science is always the discovery of what the Creator has done.)

AJM said...

"Sigh" regarding Justin Taylor:
"Let not many of you become teachers ..."

AJM said...

If course God created a mature Creation,: chickens not eggs, trees with rings and likely with fruit hanging from them. All prior to the Fall. However SIN entered. Now the creation looks older.
Think of SIN like Meth. A young person gets on Meth. Now they look much older than their actual age. The Meth has ravaged their body. Like SIN has the creation.

Anonymous said...

Just watched the GracePointe capitulation and Carl Trueman's response...

As an elder, I plan on proposing that our church put together a position paper on the issue to knock down the hopes of those among us who might wish that we too, would capitulate, to encourage those who fear that we may fall when we should stand, and to galvanize our leadership to take a stand no matter the cost.

Interesting times to be sure.

Lord, keep us faithful as the walls begin to fall around us.

Mark Hanson said...

My answer to the "apparent age" thing is, did Jesus turn water into wine? If so, that in itself has the appearance of age, since:
- Grapes have to be grown
- Grapes have to be harvested
- Grapes need to be stomped
- Juice needs to be cleaned
- Fermentation needs to take place
(skip this one if you believe - against Scripture - that the wine was non-alcoholic)

All these thing take time (especially the growing and fermenting). So did Jesus "lie" when He turned water into wine without the steps in between? Was such a miracle unworthy of the God-man?

DJP said...

If anyone's thinking, "But isn't 'apparent age' deceptive?", I remind you of this parable about exactly that.

Michael Coughlin said...

I deny the appearance of age folly outright. It is a form of question begging which denies the Truth and distracts people from the real issue which was properly handled here by DJP.

To even entertain the concept is to answer a fool according to his folly and 'be like him.'

David Regier said...

That was definitely a good time.

Sonja said...

I'm late to this show, but I was also "of a certain" age when saved by grace. I never really gave much thought to YEC having been a long time believer in evolution. I really didn't think it made much difference

It was the Pyros AND the commenters who showed me how deadly wrong I was. If I don't believe Gen. 1, why believe anything.

It was a post by Turk, one of his open letters to BioLogos. I don't remember which one, but it was people in the comments who brought me to repentance in my unbelief and/or my indifference and laziness to His truth.

As years have gone on -- it's just so obvious!

Post Tenebras Lux said...

Normally I wouldn't comment here, but some of the comments peaked my interest enough to check out the statement of faith at DJP's church. I see no statement concerning the days of creation or the age of the Earth. Why should people take Dan and other young-Earth advocates seriously (concerning its importance) if they don't include the view in their doctrinal statements? One would assume that if the issue rises to the importance that Dan says it does, then it should be reflected in doctrinal statements. DJP's church makes clear statements on charismatic beliefs and eschatology, so why not the days of creation and the age of the Earth?

AJM said...

I agree every church and every believer should know and defend what Gods Word teaches. Here is a "Creation Manifesto" for all to consider:

donsands said...

Very nice variety of things to look over. Your posts are always challenging and edifying. Gracias mi hermano.
Nice to listen to you all rehearsing a hymn. That drummer reminded me of Danny Seraphine a tad; one of the great drummers of all time.

Lord bless you Dan for all your hard work in the Word, and being a light in such an incredibly dark age; pitch black almost.

"Together now we've lots to hear
To warm my heart to shed a tear
So come and listen if you choose
And feel a joy you'll never lose
So everybody listen
Everybody please give a listen"

semijohn said...

I'm a little confused by what Taylor is trying to do overall, particularly since shortly before this article he wrote "5 Scientific Problems with Current Theories of Biological and Chemical Evolution", which summarized points from the Discovery Institute's analysis.

Terry Rayburn said...

Michael Coughlin,

Just saw your comment on "apparent age".

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Chariots of Fire. It's when Harold Abrahams says something to his girlfriend, and she responds in her beautiful English accent, "That sounds clevah. What does it mea-a-n?"

My point is this: by you calling "apparent age" folly and "begging the question", it seems you are merely evading the question.

And here's the question (though you can choose not to answer it, of course):

When God created things (which He did), did they have apparent age or not? Yes...or no. I can't conceive of a third possible answer.

I answer, "Yes", which does several things to honor God IMHO:

1. It assumes a pre-suppositional view of Genesis.

2. It REASONS from Scripture, a thing sometimes feared by Bible believers, but wrongly so. Our reasoning SHOULD start from Scripture.

3. It destroys, and very simply so, any pretense of Science to "disprove" the Scriptures by age arguments.

So I'm just not sure why you call it "folly", and why you think it "denies the Truth".

As to DJP's excellent article supporting the simple concept of Gen. 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth", while that is a true [and yes, hated by some unbelievers] FOUNDATION, there is no reason whatsoever to stop there.

On the contrary, I believe God is glorified by the "scientific" exploration and discovery of the nature of what He has created, not the least of which is "apparent age".

Then on to gravity, levers, molecules, atoms, protons, electrons, quasars, nutrinas, E=MC2, etc.

We, and the creation in general, are "fearfully and wonderfully made", notwithstanding the horrors of the Fall.

While a literal pre-suppositional approach to Genesis is foundational, had we stopped there we would not be communicating together in cyberspace. :)

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Terry Rayburn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Coughlin said...

Terry - Great comments and I agree with your argumentation. As always, your comments are thoughtful and scriptural.

Forgive me for my attempt to be terse which failed to properly communicate.

My point is that the appearance of age doesn't really exist. What really exists is the assumption of age based on the perceiver's preconceived notions of age. Often these notions are based on a lot of really good experience.

That's why we say things like "Wow, he doesn't look 50!" when we see a 50 year old man who is really fit, wrinkle-free and had a full head of dark hair.

But, the way I see it, a 50 year old man, well, looks 50.

Sorta like how Adam looked 1 day old when he was 1 day old. Even though, from our perspective we would say he must've looked...umm...at least 20 or so? And hold old does a person really look with no belly-button, eh?

So my point is that the world looks "6000" years old. To entertain the notion that it "has an older appearance," in my opinion, is actually feeding into the opposition's presuppositions.

But, HSAT, I do not disagree with your well argued approach to dealing with an argument whereas there would be times I'd say there's only one way to argue the point.

Michael Coughlin said...

Now, to get even weirder (to some people), I would even entertain that it is possible to believe God created the world 6000 years ago, and the earth is 6000 years old and that there are objects in our universe which are older than that! Not as a compromise, but because of various scientific models, particularly those which try to reconcile "distant starlight" which suppose it is possible for time to accelerate due to various factors.

Michael Crichton didn't teach me that, Jason Lisle did. Crichton just made it a little more animated. :)

But I would argue that what we see on our planet is ~6000 years old and any appearance of age is effectively the devastating effects of our sin on God's beautiful work of creation.

DJP said...

"Assumption of age." That's nicely-put.