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LCMS kerfuffle

Started by Donald_Kirchner, December 08, 2017, 09:55:49 AM

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SomeoneWrites

#90
Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
Again, simply false.  For one thing, there are distinct theories of microevolution (non-controversial) and macroevolution (very controversial).
No, there's one scientific theory on evolution.  Microevolution isn't a thing.


Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
Merely making predictions is insufficient to qualify as a scientific theory.  What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  There is no such thing, because the theory requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?  "Science of the gaps" is no better than "god of the gaps" in this regard

Science with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science. 

Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM

We can compare the two maps with the actual terrain to ascertain (objectively) which is more accurate.  We cannot do that with evolution, since we cannot directly observe the billions of years that it allegedly required.  We can only recognize and interpret (subjectively) the evidence that we find long after the fact, in accordance with our presuppositions.

With all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

aletheist

Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMMicroevolution isn't a thing.
Because you say so?  The constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection is one thing.  Life from non-life and complex life forms from simple life forms are something else entirely.
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMScience with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science.
Your faith in science is impressive.
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMWith all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
Test them how, exactly?  You did not answer my questions.   What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

SomeoneWrites

Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:36:50 PM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMMicroevolution isn't a thing.
Because you say so?  The constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection is one thing.  Life from non-life and complex life forms from simple life forms are something else entirely.

No, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution. 


Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMScience with gaps is science.  For EVERY thing we've discovered there's a gap.  Look through all of scientific history, and see where those gaps were filled by science.
Your faith in science is impressive.
No, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science. 

Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 08, 2017, 11:16:41 PMWith all the evidence from multiple sources and lines of inquiries, and test them
Test them how, exactly?  You did not answer my questions.   What experiment could we conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution?  More to the point, what experiment could we conduct that would potentially falsify the theory of (macro)evolution?

This should get you started.
Also, again, there's no theory of macroevolution.  It's the Theory of Evolution
https://futurism.com/how-to-test-and-disprove-evolution/
LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

aletheist

Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMNo, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution.
As should have been clear, I am using the term to refer to the constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection, as opposed to the development of life from non-life and of complex life forms from simple life forms.  These are different phenomena that require different theories to explain them.
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMNo, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science.
Again, your faith in science is impressive.  In human endeavors, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMThis should get you started.
The article is about various kinds of evidence that is allegedly consistent with the theory of (macro)evolution.  As I have said repeatedly, the recognition and evaluation of all such evidence is subject to each person's presuppositions.  Needless to say, I draw very different conclusions from the cited examples than you do.

What I specifically requested (twice) was an experiment that we could conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution, or that would potentially falsify it.  My point in doing so is that there is no such experiment, because (again) the theory explicitly requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  Since it is effectively unfalsifiable, even over the the entire span of human history, it is in that sense profoundly unscientific.
Jon Alan Schmidt, LCMS Layman

"We believe, teach and confess that by conserving the distinction between Law and Gospel as an especially glorious light
with great diligence in the Church, the Word of God is rightly divided according to the admonition of St. Paul." (FC Ep V.2)

Jonathan Priest

Dr. Jurchen and other members of his family were classmates and part of my circle of friends at Concordia College, Seward in the 90's. My vicarage in San Francisco coincided with his graduate studies in Organic Chemistry at UC Berkley. His father Arnold Jurchen is an LC-MS pastor who was the interim pastor for Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst, NE. Coincidentally, Rev. Jurchen is well known in my current circuit in Seattle since he served on Vancouver Island, BC for many years.

The Wyoming district neighbors the Nebraska district. Granted, it's a 9 hour drive from Casper, WY to Seward. I've driven it several times! Still, I wish the resolutions from these conferences spoke to whether they had engaged Dr. Jurchen or others professionally or personally closer to him in communication prior to their submission.

Jonathan Priest

Dave Benke

Quote from: jebutler on December 08, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a 'litmus test' for
orthodoxy" (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

SomeoneWrites

Quote from: aletheist on December 09, 2017, 12:37:31 AM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMNo, because that's because there's no theory of microevolution.
As should have been clear, I am using the term to refer to the constant (and observable) interplay of variation and selection, as opposed to the development of life from non-life and of complex life forms from simple life forms.  These are different phenomena that require different theories to explain them.
This is not accurately said.   Micro is a species over short period of time.  Macro is over taxonomic groups.  They use the same principles - natural selection, mutation, genetic drift, gene migration, etc. 

Quote from: aletheist on December 09, 2017, 12:37:31 AM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMNo, just overwhelming evidence.  And the history of science.
Again, your faith in science is impressive.  In human endeavors, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

No, again, this is pattern recognition. 
Motion of the planets, digestion, disease, germs, radiation, blight, earthquakes, comets, fertility, crop growth - the list goes on and on about what people thought was supernatural. 


Quote from: aletheist on December 09, 2017, 12:37:31 AM
Quote from: SomeoneWrites on December 09, 2017, 12:14:02 AMThis should get you started.
The article is about various kinds of evidence that is allegedly consistent with the theory of (macro)evolution.  As I have said repeatedly, the recognition and evaluation of all such evidence is subject to each person's presuppositions.  Needless to say, I draw very different conclusions from the cited examples than you do.
You're still invited to investigate. 


Quote from: aletheist on December 09, 2017, 12:37:31 AM
What I specifically requested (twice) was an experiment that we could conduct right now whose results could be predicted by the theory of (macro)evolution, or that would potentially falsify it.  My point in doing so is that there is no such experiment, because (again) the theory explicitly requires "immense periods of time" to produce its posited outcomes.  Since it is effectively unfalsifiable, even over the the entire span of human history, it is in that sense profoundly unscientific.
This is a fairly common misunderstanding about how science works.
This is not how the evidence was gathered to work with plate tectonics.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/techist.html
There's a long time frame for the continents to move as they have, but the theory has more evidence - particularly now to support it. 

Evolution can bet tested by predictions made for things like
https://ncse.com/library-resource/predictive-power-evolutionary-biology-discovery-eusociality
and
https://ww2.kqed.org/quest/2009/03/02/predicting-fossil-finds/

You can also look at human chromosome 2 and the fusion site.  This was also predicted, examined in a lab, and would have falsified evolution if not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosome_2_(human)
http://www.pnas.org/content/88/20/9051.full.pdf

LCMS raised
LCMS theology major
LCMS sem grad
Atheist

Matt Staneck

Quote from: peter_speckhard on December 08, 2017, 04:18:04 PM

That's what resolutions are for. Let it come to convention and get voted down, with people at the microphone rebuking it before the vote. Why circumvent the process?

Who said anything about circumventing a process? They asked for President Harrison to deal with the matter. I agree that he should. I don't understand why so many people accept the terms of "debate" set out by a group of folks who have continually shown an inability to enter into conversations in good faith. These are not even conversations at all. They go like this: assumed assertions followed by an attempt by the listener to address concerns and move the conversation forward followed by more assertions. No thanks.

M. Staneck
Matt Staneck, Pastor
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

John_Hannah

#98
Quote from: Dave Benke on December 09, 2017, 08:49:08 AM
Quote from: jebutler on December 08, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a 'litmus test' for
orthodoxy" (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

Thanks for this, Jim.  A few basic questions point out the fallacies in the Wyoming District's resolution, which only beg the question of why they chose the resolution route over the conversational route.  My own sense from a few years ago was that the pastors out there had enjoyed participating in the Koinonia Process, which was (and is) by nature a face-to-face intensive conversational mode.  The switch by them to the more inflammatory toss-off-a-resolution-of-condemnation route, which in this case reveals the fallacious nature of their argumentation, is not salutary.

Dave Benke

Conversational vs. Resolution. You are correct. I was at both conferences with Wyoming. My observation was (and is), It all depends on who is leading the way. The majority prefer conversational; a minorirty prefers resolution. The minority prevails when they raise the "heresy" question (. . .not to be tolerated in the church of God because the moderate majority does not know what to do with this. They are sort of paralyzed by fear.

Can we label it "heresy panic"?

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

Charles Austin

Believe it or not, folks, I have encountered a few such people in the ELCA.
I believe it is "insecurity panic," that is, their "faith" is so insecure that they must have everything nailed down tight and denounce anything that seems outside of what they believe they have nailed down. If anyone holding views outside theirs is "tolerated," they feel their own faith is under attack.
I dealt with one "young earth creationist" person by saying that she could indeed believe as she does; but that on those particular issues, we do not teach that way in this parish. I said that if she insisted on teaching her views and declare that others are wrong and un-biblical, then should would probably not be very comfortable in that particular parish. She left.
When you have such a specific "check-list of orthodoxy," I believe you are headed for trouble that cannot be peacefully resolved. Part of the otherwise distinguished history of the LCMS is that many keep trying to make that check-list and will not tolerate those who cannot put their initials in every box on the list.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

Donald_Kirchner

Quote from: Charles Austin on December 09, 2017, 12:16:24 PM
Believe it or not, folks, I have encountered a few such people in the ELCA.
I believe it is "insecurity panic," that is, their "faith" is so insecure that they must have everything nailed down tight and denounce anything that seems outside of what they believe they have nailed down. If anyone holding views outside theirs is "tolerated," they feel their own faith is under attack.
I dealt with one "young earth creationist" person by saying that she could indeed believe as she does; but that on those particular issues, we do not teach that way in this parish. I said that if she insisted on teaching her views and declare that others are wrong and un-biblical, then should would probably not be very comfortable in that particular parish. She left.
When you have such a specific "check-list of orthodoxy," I believe you are headed for trouble that cannot be peacefully resolved. Part of the otherwise distinguished history of the LCMS is that many keep trying to make that check-list and will not tolerate those who cannot put their initials in every box on the list.

That's what Fundamentalism does, Charles. Faith becomes a house of cards.

This came up some years ago with a former ELS pastor (No, not Rolf) who became the darling of the self-designated confessional crow calling themselves the Minnesota Faithful. He advised a lay person on the list: "If the Bible is wrong about creation, there is no Gospel. It's as simple as that"-  that if one Biblical doctrine such as a literal 6-day/24 hour creation fell, your faith would fall because one's faith is based on a conviction that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant word of God (a Fundamentalist view) rather than the other way around (the Lutheran view), that, coming to faith through the Gospel, we then confess an inerrant Scripture. The layperson was thereby led astray into thinking that inerrancy and the Gospel is a "house of cards" (her term) and that if one point falls the gospel falls. I explained to her that faith is not such a precarious thing that she should be placed in doubt. I was booted from the list shortly thereafter for opposing the teaching of heir darling.
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it's not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Brian Stoffregen

#101
Quote from: aletheist on December 08, 2017, 05:58:04 PM
Different people have different interpretations of the same evidence, because they have different presuppositions.


Some of the interpretation make more logical sense than others. Some better explain all the evidence available rather than just selected parts.


Often the discussions about Genesis 1 ignore what I consider to be an obvious intention in the structure: The events of Day 1 correspond to those on Day 4; Day 2 corresponds to Day 5; and both Day 3 and Day 6 contain two acts of creation. (There are 8 "God said ..." organized into the six days.)


I seldom hear people talk about the use of the Hebrew word 'adam in the first account. It occurs in 1:26, 27. It refers to humankind - both males and females. If it does in those verses, why couldn't it have the same meaning in chapter 2? ('adam occurs in 2:5, 7, 8, 15, 16, 18, 19 twice, 20 twice, 21, 22 twice, 23, 25; but most translations don't translate it the same way every time. We do not hear the passage in the same way that the Hebrews who heard the same word in all of those verses.


These details need to be part of the interpretation.
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

Mark Brown

Quote from: jebutler on December 08, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
There are many things that disturb me about this. But one that jumped out at me in the Wyoming District resolution was their rejection of this statement: "[W]e must not present the appearance that the age of the earth is a 'litmus test' for
orthodoxy" (p. 73). They go further and state, "these words of Dr. Jurchen contradict the Holy Scriptures, deny their clarity, and are not to be tolerated in the Church of God, much less excused or defended."

Before I go on, does anyone disagree with me that these words are stating that the age of the earth should be (or is) "a 'litmus test for orthodoxy"?

If the age of the earth is a litmus test for orthodoxy, then I want a definitive, exact, answer about how old the earth is. I want to know what the 'litmus test' is.

Is there any wiggle room within that litmus test? What if I think the earth is 5,000 years older? 25,000? 50,000? 156,297 years?

I reject young earth creationism. And I triple dog dare any professional church worker in the LCMS to charge me with false doctrine for rejecting it.

If someone wishes to charge me with false doctrine, among the questions I will ask are these:

1) Show me where Scripture definitively states an age of the earth. Not, as some have argued, that by implication the Scriptures require a young earth. I want to know where Scripture says that definitively.  One person, in reply to my objection to YCE, asked me, "How do you know Jesus is present in the supper?" I replied, "He clearly says, 'This is my body. This is my blood.' I want something equally definitive."

2) Show me where the Confessions teach a young earth.

3) Aside from the Brief Statement, which does not give a date for creation (and was written by a geocentrist) show me where the LCMS in convention has passed a resolution requiring a YCE viewpoint. (As an aside, I was quite amazed at reading the BJS comments where a pastor was told that LCMS pastors are required to hold to YCE. I do not hold that position. I never have. I was never told that I had to hold to that position.)

4) In Genesis 5, Moses says that Adam was 130 years old when Seth was born. Was that 130 years from the date of his creation? If so, how was time reckoned prior to the Fall? Did they have seasons? Or could it be argued that his "age" was reckoned from the time of the Fall?

5) How many years where there between Adam's creation and the fall?

6) Genesis 1 lists four rivers. Two are the Tigris and Euphrates. What happened to the other two?

While I accept a six day creation (and I affirm a literal Adam and Eve and a literal garden and fall), I do not know how many years ago the world was created nor do I think it is wise to bind the consciences of pastors or members. I have people who have come to the congregations I have served from Evangelical and Fundamentalist churches that have required Young Earth Creationism and are glad to have been freed from it.

I just want to say again, I think you are right about not binding consciences on this matter.  I have no interest in charging heresy against anyone.  But instead of getting in a twist, let me try and answer your questions roughly as I was taught and how I think someone who does want to charge heresy would answer them.

1) Genesis 1 says everything went from formless and void to humans in the garden in 6 days.  That is pretty definitive.  If you follow Bishop Ussher's counting through the rest of the bible counting up literal years in genealogies you get ~6000 years.  We can agree that there are some gap points, how long Adam and Eve lived pre-fall, maybe some telescoping of genealogies, but those gaps if conceded are not Billions of years.  Compared to any evolutionary theory, the bible if you read it naively would lead you to a young earth.  And this is the big step, if you can't acknowledge that it is akin to Zwingli not understanding "is". As much as you think they aren't reading, they think you are gaslighting them.

2) The confession are silent on this, but that is largely an argument for "the dog that didn't bark".  It was only with the age of Darwin that the age of the earth became a modern question.  The church fathers confronted this question when replying to cyclical theories of the universe and it can be shown from some of them that they averred answering or held to slightly different time schedules, but as paganism died out they converged on the simple understanding of genesis.  Hence, when the small catechism confesses that "god has made me and all creatures" the assumed time frame is short.  It was a settled issue.

3) The brief statement only doesn't give a date if you both: a) reject the simple reading of the Gen 1, because it does cite "six days" and b) reject that this was not a question.  The brief statements' concluding sentence on this asserts that both scripture and the confessions in the small catechism teach six days from nothing to humans.  If you want to say 25,000 years, fine.  But any simple reading can't come up with billions.  As far as others, they were not necessary because the brief statement was present, surprisingly early for the LCMS.  And if you were not taught this, that just goes to prove how deep the rot went in many places.

4) The simple way to understand this is from the time of creation, but you are right.  It could be reckoned from the fall.  It could be reckoned from the death of Abel.  Go ahead and add 10,000 years.  But you are breaking what words mean if you slip in a Billion.  And questioning "how time was reckoned" is a tricky little step that assumes God's inspiration was unable to express himself clearly.  You can question what words mean, but when you head down that path, where do you stop?  The answer of modern times is that you don't.  And you end up in a place where words are meaningless.  The only thing that has meaning is power.

5)  We don't know.  The rabbis hold almost no time at all.  The simple understanding would be a small time.  But sure, add 10,000 years in a blessed state.  Maybe that is how all those other people seem to be present.  But adding a billion doesn't make sense.  It wouldn't take long for a human race in perfect health and deathless to fill the globe.  Run the geometric growth calculation.

6) The flood changed a whole bunch of topology.   

That is roughly what I was taught.  And I was taught that as a reasonable middle ground.  Personally I think we would be better off not having any dogmatic statement on the age of the earth.  The test of orthodoxy is "did God create it" not an unknowable timetable.  (And those who are convinced would scream at me for that unknowable because they would say, "but you can, it is right there in scripture".)  But there is a clear pattern in modernity of a) dissent, b) asking for dialog, c) spending time in dialog while assuming positions of power, d) when enough power is assumed shutting down dialog and and shooting survivors. So common is it that it is captured in Neuhaus' law, "in any institution not dedicated to orthodoxy, orthodoxy will eventually be disallowed".  If we were being honest, we wouldn't just reject a negative motion, we would advance one that make a positive statement of this is what we believe and teach.  That statement could simply be that the age of the earth is unknowable, hence we don't dogmatically bind consciences on this question.  That way we could have real concord either in bring our teaching in line with the statement or in no longer walking together because  the lack of concord has been revealed.  But no, we are gutless, we put forward negative charges,  we deny the plain meaning of past statements and words, we rally politically to beat the rap, we counter rally to get a scalp or two in our regions, and the fight goes on.

Harvey_Mozolak

I like this Mark: "the age of the earth is unknowable."

Alas, I always have a howeverish hovering nearby...  until recently, even the smaller, microscopic, atomic and subatomic was unknowable and unknown but now what is known about gene structure and how chemicals and electrical energy and stuff I have no idea about relates to life and all just on this planet and of course is assumed when we get pictures from space craft and samples studied in space....

and how does scientific observations fit into the theological stances we take...   

I hate to move the age of earth into mystery, creation sure... the how and why of what God did and does... but the age of earth unknowable maybe but not a mystery in the sense of the mysteries of salvation and incarnation and Trinity and all, not so much so...

what do you think?
Harvey S. Mozolak
my poetry blog is listed below:

http://lineandletterlettuce.blogspot.com

Brian Stoffregen

If יום has to mean "a 24-hour period" in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; 2:2, 3; shouldn't it mean the same thing in 2:4b: "In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." That story talks about one day. Shouldn't that also be a 24-hour period?


Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 2:17b which says: "for in the day that you eat of it you shall die." They didn't die that day, but Adam died 930 years later. Exactly the same word and grammar is used in 3:5 (although not usually translated the same): "... in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." With this verse, we understand the results of eating: "your eyes will be opened, etc." happened at the time that they ate.


How long is "a day"? Can it vary depending on the context?
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

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