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Is Genesis History?

Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby Homer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:44 am

Hi Perry,

Homer wrote:
But then I suppose they atheist would say the stars are purposeless, as is all of what we call creation.


I'm not an atheist.


I never meant to say or even imply you are an atheist. My post was about the purpose of stars and their light. If millions of years go by before light is visible from the source of light, what would be the purpose?
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby robbyyoung » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:20 pm

Perry wrote:
robbyyoung wrote:Maybe, just maybe we are deluding ourselves by not simply trusting God.


Who in this thread are you suggesting doesn't trust God?


It's a generality that pertains to all Christians when submitting to a secular opinion that purposely contradicts the biblical narrative. For example, as dwight noted, the narrative specifically states 6 days, but if someone says, phooey! Billions of years, that's a contradiction to God's testimony. Therefore, if I trust God at His word, then, the skeptic having an alien understanding does not! However, everyone is guilty, in one form or another, in not trusting God fully in every aspect of their life. YEC is just one of many examples.

But I digress to my proposed questions, do you have anything of value in response to them?

Blessings.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby Perry » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:10 pm

Homer,
I was fairly certain you know I'm not an atheist, but I wanted to clarify in case anyone else got the wrong idea.

"What purpose does it serve?"

That's a good question, and not one that's always easy to answer when it comes to why God does things the way He does.

Then again, this question of purpose can cut both ways. One might also ask, "Why create formations on the moon that look exactly like ancient impact craters, when, in fact, they're not?" Or "Why build red-shift into the light of distant astronomical bodies such that it makes it appear exactly as though it has been traversing the vastness of space over many millenia when, in fact, it has not?"

Or consider the sun. You may already be aware that of all the light that shines forth from the sun, only a small fraction of it reaches the earth. Some of it hits other bodies in our solar system, (the moon, the planets and asteroids etc). But by far, the vast majority of it radiates out into space and is never seen by anyone on earth. What purpose does all of that light serve?

I'll let you in on something that I thought of not long ago (before getting involved in this thread). I was outside, at night, looking at the stars. I began to ponder the light from the stars that was falling onto my eye. Photons that left their source millions, or billions of years ago, and traveled all that distance through the vastness of space and time until they shot down through our atmosphere, to land through the tiny little 6mm pupil of my eye so that they could interact with the rods and cones of my retina and be transmitted through nerves to my brain so that I could stand there and marvel and the creative majesty of God. Then I thought of all those photons that missed my pupil, landing either to the right or the left by a few inches, or feet, or yards, or miles, or parsecs, and I thought, "God sure does things in a big way!" Truly, when I consider the heavens, I marvel and wonder at the grandeur of the Creator.

One might ask, what purpose do all those sperm that don't fertilize the egg serve? Or what purpose is served by all those grains sand at the bottom of the ocean, or on the surface of the moon. Did we really need so many? What purpose is served by all those motes of dust that never make anyone sneeze? What's the purpose are mosquitoes, or ticks, or fleas, or chiggers? I don't claim to know, but I certainly don't see it as a reason to suppose that they don't exist.

Here's another question: Do we suppose that God miraculously creates light for distant objects as they are discovered? In other words, when Hubble discovers some distant new (old?) astronomical body, does God miraculously create the light for it right at that moment? If not, what purpose is served by the light it emitted before it was discovered?

All of this is to say that, in my opinion, it simply makes more sense to suppose that the universe is behaving just as it appears to behave, that we can learn more and more about it by assuming that it does so consistently, and that the more we learn about it, the more elevated our opinion of its Creator ought to be.

Or we can assume based on what we think we're reading in Genesis that He poofed it all into existence around 6,000 or so years ago, complete with evidence (a LOT of evidence) to make it look like something other than what it is.

For me there's no contest as to which view gives a more elevated view of the Creator.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby dwight92070 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:45 pm

Perry wrote:
dwight92070 wrote:According to your reasoning... By your reasoning... According to your line of thinking... But it appears that many on this thread just can't let go of their natural reasoning, even for a miracle.

"Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom ..."


Okay, well, it seems that by your reasoning we need not apply any reasoning at all. We don't see what we think we're seeing... we don't need to think about what we think we're seeing, because, after all, it's not what it looks like anyway, so why bother?

Dwight: That is totally wrong and an over-reaction. It is my reasoning abilities and my understanding of what I see in the Bible that leads me to my conclusions. I daresay you do the same thing.

I'm not denying that miracles occur. But by their very nature, miracles are miraculous. They are not subject to experimentation, because they are not repeatable. Indeed the only way we can classify them as miracles is because they behave in ways that are outside of the norm. But how can we even define miraculous if we don't know what normal is? And how can we know what's normal without being able to reliably believe that things consistently behave the way that they appear to behave?


Dwight: We don't disagree on any of that.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby dwight92070 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:52 pm

Perry wrote:
dwight92070 wrote:So which do we believe, science or the Bible?


I believe both.

Dwight: So do I, if it is genuine science.
Science, doesn't always get things right, so I view it with an eye of skepticism.

My view of scripture is not always right, so I view my interpretation of scripture with an eye of skepticism.

When science and the Bible seem to be in conflict, it is because my understanding of one or the other (or both) is flawed.

Dwight: Again, I agree with all of that.

Just because we interpret Genesis different than you doesn't mean we don't have respect for the Bible, and it's not very charitable to suggest otherwise.


Dwight: I never suggested that you don't respect the Bible. I did suggest that I believe your conclusion is wrong.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby dwight92070 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:01 pm

Perry wrote:Homer,
I was fairly certain you know I'm not an atheist, but I wanted to clarify in case anyone else got the wrong idea.

"What purpose does it serve?"

That's a good question, and not one that's always easy to answer when it comes to why God does things the way He does.

Then again, this question of purpose can cut both ways. One might also ask, "Why create formations on the moon that look exactly like ancient impact craters, when, in fact, they're not?" Or "Why build red-shift into the light of distant astronomical bodies such that it makes it appear exactly as though it has been traversing the vastness of space over many millenia when, in fact, it has not?"

Or consider the sun. You may already be aware that of all the light that shines forth from the sun, only a small fraction of it reaches the earth. Some of it hits other bodies in our solar system, (the moon, the planets and asteroids etc). But by far, the vast majority of it radiates out into space and is never seen by anyone on earth. What purpose does all of that light serve?

I'll let you in on something that I thought of not long ago (before getting involved in this thread). I was outside, at night, looking at the stars. I began to ponder the light from the stars that was falling onto my eye. Photons that left their source millions, or billions of years ago, and traveled all that distance through the vastness of space and time until they shot down through our atmosphere, to land through the tiny little 6mm pupil of my eye so that they could interact with the rods and cones of my retina and be transmitted through nerves to my brain so that I could stand there and marvel and the creative majesty of God. Then I thought of all those photons that missed my pupil, landing either to the right or the left by a few inches, or feet, or yards, or miles, or parsecs, and I thought, "God sure does things in a big way!" Truly, when I consider the heavens, I marvel and wonder at the grandeur of the Creator.

One might ask, what purpose do all those sperm that don't fertilize the egg serve? Or what purpose is served by all those grains sand at the bottom of the ocean, or on the surface of the moon. Did we really need so many? What purpose is served by all those motes of dust that never make anyone sneeze? What's the purpose are mosquitoes, or ticks, or fleas, or chiggers? I don't claim to know, but I certainly don't see it as a reason to suppose that they don't exist.

Here's another question: Do we suppose that God miraculously creates light for distant objects as they are discovered? In other words, when Hubble discovers some distant new (old?) astronomical body, does God miraculously create the light for it right at that moment? If not, what purpose is served by the light it emitted before it was discovered?

All of this is to say that, in my opinion, it simply makes more sense to suppose that the universe is behaving just as it appears to behave, that we can learn more and more about it by assuming that it does so consistently, and that the more we learn about it, the more elevated our opinion of its Creator ought to be.

Or we can assume based on what we think we're reading in Genesis that He poofed it all into existence around 6,000 or so years ago, complete with evidence (a LOT of evidence) to make it look like something other than what it is.

For me there's no contest as to which view gives a more elevated view of the Creator.

Dwight: And there's no contest in my mind which of the 2 views I accept, not because one gives a more elevated view of God, but because of which one I see harmonizes with scripture.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby Homer » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:18 pm

How little we know about why God made things. Out for a walk the other evening my LOML and I saw some very tough weeds growing in the gravel lane. Low and flat, they reminded us of the goathead weed (aka puncture vine) that was widespread in California where we grew up. The weed was much trouble for kids, especially when barefoot. The dried fruit had very sharp and painful spikes when stepped on, even penetrating thin soled shoes and flattening bicycle tires. Why would God make such a wretched plant? Yet this weed is used as a medicine in some parts of the world. In fact the medicines that come from plants make a very long list, including taxol, one of the most useful cancer medicines, that comes from the yew tree here in the northwest.

So it seems to me we are woefully incompetent to understand why and how God created things the way the are. The important thing is that it is a creation, not some random purposeless accident.

"We'll understand it all bye and bye...."
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby Perry » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:18 am

Homer wrote:So it seems to me we are woefully incompetent to understand why and how God created things the way the are. The important thing is that it is a creation, not some random purposeless accident.

"We'll understand it all bye and bye...."


I agree completely, which is why I thought the question about "purpose" was a bit of a non sequitur to the current discussion.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby Perry » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:23 am

dwight92070 wrote:For me there's no contest as to which view gives a more elevated view of the Creator.
Dwight: And there's no contest in my mind which of the 2 views I accept, not because one gives a more elevated view of God, but because of which one I see harmonizes with scripture.


I applaud that. That's exactly what you should do. Please just don't assume that just because you think my view is in disharmony with scripture, that I think my view is in disharmony with scripture, or that I in someway marginalize the scripture in favor of science.


I don't.

I marginalize some interpretations of scripture.

So do you.

EDIT: I wrote the above before I noticed this:

dwight92070 wrote:Dwight: I never suggested that you don't respect the Bible. I did suggest that I believe your conclusion is wrong.


:D Well, I'm cool with that. I've been wrong about a lot of things before, and I could be now...

but I don't think so.
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Re: Is Genesis History?

Postby psimmond » Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:14 pm

I used to think the first chapters of Genesis were a historical account, but I find the idea that Genesis was written as a polemic against Ancient Near East mythology to be more likely. If you're not familiar with this idea, check out this link:
https://bible.org/article/genesis-1-2-light-ancient-egyptian-creation-myths
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
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