Reflections on Atheism and Children’s Religious Education, and Answers to Your Questions (including Six-Day Creation?)

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24 Comments
  1. The problem with believing scientific information is that many scientists[probably most]have a biased toward or an agenda toward evolution.There are some christian scientists that I’ve read and listen to that believe the earth is 6-7 thousand years old.They also believe that a when God said a day he meant 24 hours.In my opinon when God said a day he meant what he said,”a day”which is 24 hours.

  2. I’m at a Baptist school now, and one of the professors was trained under John Sailhammer and now the Theology Department teaches this view. My understanding is that Sailhammer’s view is based off of the reading of Ha’aretz in Genesis, being the Land (of Promise), not the Earth and from mideval rabbinic commentaries, so parts of Genesis in this view are about the creation of the Land of Promise for His children, not for mankind.

    I don’t think it matters myself, I never read the Bible as a science book, cause I honestly never thought of that as the point of Scripture. I think G-d shows us His Glory in nature and in acts, beit natural or supernatural. I think the Scriptures are about G-d revealing Himself to us and the world via His acts among His people.

    Shalom

  3. The scripture says Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6) I trust this principle works whether for good or evil and that God means it to be used for good.

    Scripture also says that the child of the parent is sanctified by the believing parent or parents.
    (I Cor 7:14)

    I suppose if the unbelieving suppose that the ways of God, or the ways of those who know God, or the ways of those who say they know God are evil in their sight, they will perceive such things as a threat to them and their manner of life, and so they may seek to train up the world in some way they think they should go which is likely the way they perfer to go through life as they seek some kind of comfort other than that which is of God.

    One of the greatest threats to the unbelieving is to teach the youth the ways of God. (See Gen 18:19 which shows us why God could bless Abraham with what he promised him)

    Suppose all the church began to teach their children to plead the cause of all matters of oppression, to speak up on behalf of any oppressed by any darkness, doing so without partiality or hypocrisy, doing the same for one as for another without respect of persons, using the armor of light to find out what is right, exposing the darkness where it may be, asking for mercy that it be extended toward the one oppressed, meeting with the “oppressor”, being patient, kind, discerning, forebearing, pure, meek, and whatever else God will clothe them with as they abide in Jesus.

    Now that would be a threat to their rule and their manner of life.

    As I had read about the days of creation in Genesis, I had always considered them to be about the lengh of days such as I have seen on this earth, between the mornings and the evenings, the 24 hour period I had come to know of as a day.

    So, was God speaking of days as we know them on the earth, or was he speaking of days as they are known somewhere else, maybe where time is different?

    I don’t know for sure.

    Let’s keep in mind that it’s likely (based upon what we know of through the study of science and what not) that a scientist would likely not be able to tell the age of a wine that Jesus made at the wedding in Cana of Galilee no matter how closely he studied it without knowing where it came from. (John 2)

    Why does God at times communicate to people by dreams? He could warn them or teach them by other means. Why this kind of picture language?

    It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. It seems to me that if a picture is worth that much, it’s likely to be worth sharing.

  4. If I was a movie producer and wanted to make a movie about the Bible I might want to start with Genesis chapter 1.

    Maybe I would start it out with a dark screen, add some sound effects like the sound of a gentle wind, add some light, show some great waters out in space with light all around it, surrounding it on all sides, then separate the light from the darkness, putting the light on one side of the waters and the darkness on the other side like the waters were casting a shadow, then give it a rotation, and call it the first day.

    Dreams can be of God who is light but then there are things of darkness. There’s a difference between a nightmare and a visual revelation that God may give, a difference like the difference between night and day.

    If the devil tries to counterfeit a vision of God I think it would be like me trying to paint a priceless portrait. I’m not known for having any artistic talent when it comes to drawing or painting and I don’t think my work would stand well against a Rembrandt. I think it would show who was the real artist.

    The best I could hope for is to fool someone who has never seen a Rembrandt or anything like it.

    But the works of God are all around us, the sky with it’s clouds, the chirping of the birds with the morning sunshine, or the croaking of the frogs with the rainy mist.

    Luke 6:43.

  5. With this idea of teaching children religion being abusive, this is one view that I would have thought would never catch on, but I hear this argument more and more and I must admit it is frightening. I hear about court cases where judges determine how often a child has to go to church, against the wishes of his parents who wish him to go everytime they do, I hear about people being told not to raise their children with religious values lest they lose custody to a less capable parent in a custody dispute. The idea that a judge can mandate what or how one rasies their children religiously (but you can’t determine whether or not your child is adpoted or raised by gay and lesbian parents!)is offensive and I’m pretty sure un-constitutional. I’ve heard similar rhetoric from those involved in shaping public education, it’s a sad day. I’ve been a strong advocate for seperation of church and government, but now values that I, and most Americans, don’t support are being taught and pushed onto children and college students in the governmental system, whether it be promiscuous sex education, anti-religious sentiment, etc. I find myself more and more compelled by things I hear from Line of Fire in particular as well as other places that it may be time even for an old fashioned libertarian type person like myself to actually take a stand, cause those who push these problems aren’t going to stop just becasue some of us attempt to stay out of moral issues. It’s time for us to have our voices heard as well.

    Shalom

  6. When I took an Astronomy 101 course, I was amazed at how similar the Genesis account was to prevailing theory at that time — even including “pangea”, or all of the continents not actual separate, but one land mass — i.e., the dry land being in one place and the waters in another. As well as light being the first manifestation…

  7. “As well as light being the first manifestation…” > after the void, that is. It seemed to actually follow it stage for stage…

  8. Christopher,I agree.I think its going to take us standing up and having our voices heard.But more importantly its going to take the LORD!

  9. Dr Brown would you say that the writer of Gen 1 had a polemic theme to the creation account ? with all the other gods of the surrounding nations the writer of Genesis is saying ” No it’s not all these gods there is One God and did all this !”

    Sort of like the Shema.

    I’m reading though Dr John Waltons book on ANE and the OT and i dont find it very edyfying but i suppose it gives better insight are there anything people should watch out for while taking ANE studies seriously comparing and contrasting religons ?

    I have to say i isnt very comfortable at times.

  10. I don’t know if you have ever heard of Dr Gerald Schroeder. He is the author of the books “Genesis and the Big Bang” and “The Science of God”. His a Orthodox Jew. His Doctorate is in two fields: Earth sciences and physics. Schroeder’s formal theological training in biblical, talmudic and kabalistic interpretation.

    In his book, The Science Of God, he discuss in detail the age of the universe and the universal perception of time adopted by Genesis for the first six days, a view that sees the flow of events from the beginning, looking forward from a time when the universe (and in parallel time) was highly compressed. In essence, the 15 billion years of cosmic history compress into six 24 hour days, even as the hours remain 24 hours as we know them and the billions of years remain years. He brings the scientifically accepted concepts for this transformation of time in book “The Science of God”.

    His website is:
    http://www.geraldschroeder.com/
    http://www.geraldschroeder.com/ScienceGod.aspx

  11. JJ — yes, Genesis is clearly emphasizing the sole sovereignty of the God of Israel. Walton’s book is interesting, but I’m awaiting his more full, scholarly study. Much to think about either way.

  12. Though there may be many reasons and intentions that YHWH had in allowing the first few chapters of Genesis to start His written revelation to us, one just may be that He did, in fact, create this world in just 6 literal days. My experience is slight, but I know of no one that has been led astray into rejecting the scripture by the simple reading and believing of Genesis. There are many that have been led into compromise and worse by trying to reconcile the scripture to science.

    Did man evolve into the image of YHWH? Was man created in the image of an apelike creator and has now evolved beyond his image? Has the creator evolved and we as His image evolved right along side? These questions may seem ridiculous, but there has to be a disconnect at some point from modern scientific theories if we are to maintain fidelity to the “faith once delivered to the set apart ones.”

    One of the main things that set apart the saints (set apart ones) was the divine revelation written down for them and preserved for them. It really is difficult to look at the Sabbath commands and get some long periods of time for creation. It is actually amazing to me that He took so long (six days) and didn’t just command it all to take place all at once. He showed restraint for good reason, I’m sure.

    Genesis 2
    2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

    Exodus 20
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    We have a blessed and set apart 7th day because YHWH rested on it and He wants us to remember this fact. He wants us to remember that He did it all in just 6 days. Virtually every culture throughout history has a seven day week. It goes back past Moses. The set apart ones (saints) have a divinely inspired reason for the seven day week. They have the true revelation of how it came about and a special (blessed and sanctified) day to commemorate this fact.

    Now, we can simply believe and obey or we can invent our own “commandments of men that turn us from the truth.” We can believe “oppositions of science, falsely so called” or we can believe YHWH. I think that the true test of one that believes what YHWH says about creation is the keeping of the 7th day Sabbath. We declare Him Creator and Elohim by keeping the day that He blessed and set apart for rest.

    We declare ourselves, our science and our culture to be the true rulers when we do it differently than the scripture specifically states. As for me and my house we will serve YHWH. We will declare His power, wisdom and authority by keeping His Sabbath, that is what He calls it, on the day He blessed and sanctified. We will continue to believe it took Him 6 literal days, because it must be one of the main things He intended to communicate or He would not have made such a big deal out of the Sabbath.

    Shalom

  13. Well said Dangerous Bo. It’s interesting to note that that passage of Scripture actually written by God’s own hand includes confirmation of a six day creation!

    BTW, you have misapplied the passage “science falsely so called”. See here:
    http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use

    The original Greek word translated ‘science’ is gnosis, and in this context refers to the élite esoteric ‘knowledge’ that was the key to the mystery religions, which later developed into the heresy of Gnosticism. This was not an error by the KJV translators, but an illustration of how many words have changed their meanings over time. The word ‘science’ originally meant ‘knowledge’, from the Latin scientia, from scio meaning ‘know’. This original meaning is just not the way it is used today, so modern translations correctly render the word as ‘knowledge’ in this passage.

  14. Ewan,

    Thanks.

    I was not necessarily equating modern science to gnosis, but our modern science does operate in much the same way as gnostic religions of the past. There are many institutions of higher education that will not give degrees to those that take exception to their “Knowledge” of evolution and billions of years. They exclude some research and researchers from their publications and conveniently ignore relevant facts.

    It is convenient, I suppose, that the KJV translates gnosis as science in this passage. I would look at any idea that exalts itself against the knowledge of YHWH as false and in need of being torn down. So, even though I used the quote as a bit of slam against modern scientific assertions, I do recognize that we use the term science differently today. In saying this, I still think that the gist of what I said is appropriate.

    Shalom

  15. A question is where do dinosaur skeletons fit in with the six 24 hour day cration view. In the 5th day o fnecessity extending to hundreds or thousands of current years?

  16. Jabez H,

    Have you ever looked at any Answers in Genesis information or read any other creationist books on this topic?

    Shalom

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