Dr. Brown Interviews Dr. William Lane Craig and Takes Your Apologetics Questions

[Download MP3]

In the first hour, Dr. Brown will interview Prof. William Lane Craig, one of the world’s foremost Christian apologists, and they will take your calls as well. In the second hour, Dr. Brown will share some of his own apologetics principles and will continue to take your calls.  Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Never be intimidated by objections to the faith.  Never be intimidated by people telling you that no one reasonable, intellectual, or educated believes the Bible.  It is simply not true.  The answers are as solid as the God we serve.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: I encourage you to put your faith in the living God with full confidence, with full assurance.  It’s not a myth.  It’s not something hyped up.  This is not something that man made up.  We’re talking about the real God, a real resurrection, a real salvation. It’s here, it’s true.

 

 

SPECIAL OFFER! THIS WEEK ONLY!

Prof. Craig’s book, On Guard, and the CD of the Line of Fire Interview with Prof. Craig

For Only $22 Postage Paid!

Call 1-800-278-9978 or order online!

 

Other Resources:
61 Comments
  1. I am living testimony that I came to Christ via argument; good, objective reasons for belief were the starting point for me. I am college educated and needed deep, methodical reasoning to get me to find Christianity credible. Greg Koukl and William Lane Craig for general reasons. And as I have said several times before, Dr. Brown, your answers to Jewish objections made it possible to think aobut taking the plunge (so to speak, in the Holy Immersion) for this secular Jew. Willian Lane Craig is one of the great pillars of Christian apologetics in our day.

  2. I was shocked to see Dr. Craig accuse peshaṭ readers of the Genesis account of reading into the text, only then to go on to say how animals would have attacked and eaten each other, when Genesis clearly says that God gave green herbage for ALL animals to eat (before the fall), like it will be in the millennial reign:

    The cow will feed with the bear (eating grass),
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox. Isaiah 11:7

    The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox,
    and dust will be the serpent’s food. Isaiah 65:25

  3. Not to mention that EVERY time in the Bible it numbers a day and says evening and morning it means a day.

    For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand. 1 Samuel 17:16

    Did the Philistines come forward for forty periods of time, perhaps thousands or millions of years?

    Modern “popular” science is based on the fabricated history set forward by Charles Lyell who publicly proclaimed that he wanted to “free the science (Geology) from Moses(‘s history of the world).”

    What Christians have to get through their heads is:

    You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Ya’aqov 4:4

    Christians want the world to respect them and treat them like enlightened, smart, intellectual people, so they buy into the millions of years so they won’t have to experience the scorn of the world. Try believing in the Tora’s history, and everyone will attack you from all sides.

    101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe:
    http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth

  4. Funny how we hear things differently. I heard Dr. Craig say that one could make a decent case for a young Earth from reading the Bible, but he found it pushing against the scientific knowledge of our time – but that overall it has hurt evangelism when people think that the only valid choice for a Christian to believe is a yhoung Earth.

    Also as to each day and evening, Dr. Craig (and Dr. John Lennox) both point out that nowhere does it say in Genesis that each day of Creation was in immediate succession of the previous day of Creation. We assume that in the reading because of the way we are raised to think and read in our culture.

  5. @mbabbitt,

    It was the 9th of September 2012, and Jimmy started a new diet and workout. He did one hundred push ups, and ate no icecream, evening came, then the morning came – day one. Then Jimmy ran around the block ten times and ate 6 eggs, evening came, then the morning – the second day. Then Jimmy…

    Ok, so you’re telling me that when you read that you were thinking, oh there’s millions/billions of years somewhere in there?

  6. @Dan1el, I’m glad you enjoyed the link.

    I was disgusted at Dr. Craig’s intellectual offence at a supernatural quick creation of the plants and the trees in one day. He obviously worships a naturalistic god who is limited in how he creates things. He forgets that:

    The Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the plant. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the plant so that it withered… the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. Jonah 4:6-7, 10

    The same kind of thinking rejects the supernatural miracles of Jesus, because we don’t see much supernatural events in the west, therefore Jesus couldn’t have grown people’s limbs and walked on water. I mean, how long does it take a limb to grow from a fertilised egg? That’s the exact kind of logic. Yet many times Jesus did it simultaneously!

    The TRUE and LIVING GOD IS supernatural. Maybe he should read Craig Keener’s book – Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts

  7. Dr. Brown,

    I would like to hear your specific opinion, as a O.T. and Semitic scholar, regarding Genesis 1 and the length of days concept. I have heard the various guests that you’ve had in the past and their opinions, and I’ve also heard you quote the wide range of scholars on both sides; however, I have not heard you declare where you stand based upon your exegesis of this chapter.

    Shalom,
    Brian

  8. @Brian,

    Dr. Brown specifically answered your question in the show @70:23.

    I felt it was partially honest, but not fully.

  9. David,

    I know you normally try to be respectful here (when I’ve read your comments), but this is totally out of line re: Dr. Craig: “He obviously worships a naturalistic god who is limited in how he creates things.” Future posts like this will be pulled as violating our guidelines.

    As for my answer to the question about “day” in Genesis 1, what was not “honest” about it?

  10. Dr. Brown,

    It was good to hear your view on the day-age question from Genesis 1. To be honest, I find myself a bit baffled by the justification from scholars who advocate the old earth theory. I heard Walter Kaiser attempt to say that the first usage of yom allows for millions of years and that all of the reputable Hebrew lexicons (i.e., BDB, Holladay, Baumgartner) have it wrong. Again, Dr. Craig’s rationale, being based upon the need of time for vegetation to grow is absurd, when referring to our supernatural G-d.

    What I see as fundamental to the Christian faith as a whole, especially in the reading and interpretation of Genesis, is accepting the validity of Scripture when it is explained in a basic manner. This lies in the hermeneutical principle of logic – that the writer means what he says – and that one should adhere to the literal meaning of a word or phrase, unless there are compelling reasons for adopting a figurative or derived interpretation.

    If G-d really meant that the “evening and the morning” did not constitute a day (as we know it) then we have no reason to believe anything else that is recorded to be true. When one reads Genesis 1 in the most plain sense of its meaning, one will not draw a hidden, millions of years in time to be confined within a day, unless he has allowed his scientific influence to draw such a conclusion.

    Every little child and seeker of the truth has been told that every word in the bible is true, and that it means what it says; however, we must now tell them that it really doesn’t mean what it says – even though it is written in clear language. I do not believe that one must perform eisegesis to understand G-d’s message of creation, and that the simplest of minds, standing on faith and His Word are being deceived in trusting that G-d meant “a day” when He said, “So the evening and the morning were the — day.”

    I am don’t dogmatic in advocating a young earth based upon the genological lines within Scripture, but I refuse to submit to the influence of science, which will in turn force me to perform scriptural gymnastics simply to satisfy the skeptics and human reasoning.

    Shalom,
    Brian

  11. Brian,

    Thanks for your answer, and I have no problem at all with your position. For numerous reasons, all biblically based, I have come to the conclusions I have about Genesis 1 and, as stated on the radio, it’s pretty clear that Hebrew yom has the same range of meanings as the English word day. More importantly, I’m convinced that the purpose of Genesis 1 is to teach us about God (and I also accept it as being accurate and true in whatever it says). Again, the more natural reading of the text points to a young earth; but it is absolutely not the only possible reading of the text, as I mentioned on the air as well.

  12. @Dr. Brown,

    David,
    I know you normally try to be respectful here (when I’ve read your comments)

    I do try.

    but this is totally out of line re: Dr. Craig: “He obviously worships a naturalistic god who is limited in how he creates things.”

    Ok. I re-read what I wrote, and I apologise and take back saying “who is limited in how he creates things”. Clearly Dr. Craig believes God is all powerful, but just choose to create the universe the way the atheists would choose to believe it – specifically, with millions of years. Dr. Craig would not see that as a weakness on the part of God, but rather how God choose to do it. Is there anything else you would like me to take back?

    As for naturalistic, I was referring to his statement at 44:10,

    He says, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation, bearing seed after its kind, and fruit trees, bearing fruit after their kind.” Now we all know how long it takes for an apple tree to grow up and blossom and bear apples.

    The Oxford English dictionary’s primary definition of naturalistic is:
    “derived from or closely imitating real life or nature”
    i.e. how long nature takes to grow up and blossom an apple tree.

    I meant naturalistic in the sense of non-miraculous, but as to his statement “we all know how long it takes”. Yes, we do.

    The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff… had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Numbers 17:8

    The Lord God provided a leafy plant and made it grow up over Jonah… It sprang up overnight and died overnight. Jonah 4:6, 10

    That’s the scriptural knowledge we have of how long it takes – overnight. The context of Genesis is the miraculous creation of the world by God from nothing, not your everyday event. With that knowledge, for Dr. Craig to go onto say,

    In order for that to happen in twenty four hours, this author would have to be imagining

    Moses was not imagining anything.

    שמעו נא דברי אם יהיה נביאכם יהוה במראה אליו אתודע בחלום אדבר בו לא כן עבדי משה בכל ביתי נאמן הוא פה אל פה אדבר בו ומראה ולא בחידת ותמנת יהוה יביט ומדוע לא יראתם לדבר בעבדי במשה

    My spirit was deeply grieved at how you both laughed at what Dr. Craig called “time-lapsed”, but I call the miraculous work of God.

    As for my answer to the question about “day” in Genesis 1, what was not “honest” about it?

    The pure emeth is what the late Hebrew scholar James Barr said in a personal letter to David C.C. Watson, 23 April 1984. He acknowledged that it was only the perceived need to harmonise with the alleged age of the earth which led people to think anything different—it was nothing to do with the text itself.

    So far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew, or the Old Testament, at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of GENESIS chapter 1, verses 1-11, intended to convey to their readers the ideas that:
    (a) Creation took place in a series of six days, which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience;
    (b) The figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided, by simple addition, a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story; and
    (c) That Noah’s flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life, except for those in the ark…
    To put it negatively, the apologetic arguments which suppose the “days” of creation to be long eras of time, the figures of years not to be chronological, and the flood to be a merely local Mesopotamian flood, are not taken seriously by any such professors, as far as I know. The only thing I would say to qualify this is, that most such professors may avoid much involvement in that sort of argument and so may not say much explicitly about it one way or the other. But I think what I say would represent their position correctly.”

    To find out how qualified he was to make a statement like that, you can check him out here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Barr_(biblical_scholar)

    A fully dishonest answer would be to say that Genesis could equally point both ways. Your answer was half way between that and Barr’s honest admittal.

    As for me, I’ll go with what the finger of God burnt into the two tablets of stone as an everlasting memorial and focal point of faith.

    כי ששת ימים עשה יהוה את השמים ואת הארץ את הים ואת כל אשר בם וינח, ביום השביעי על כן ברך יהוה את יום השבת ויקדשהו

  13. David,

    Thanks for your detailed and literate post. Much appreciated. As for James Barr, I’ve been reading and appreciating his work since the mid-1970’s. But I’m also a biblical and Hebrew scholar (although surely not comparing myself to Barr), and for exegetical (not philological) reasons, I don’t see the biblical text as decisive in terms of the age of the earth. Again, how in the world can you say there is anything dishonest about that? Some of the top medieval rabbinic exegetes felt the same way, obviously without any science arguing for an old earth. Were they dishonest on any level?

  14. David Roberts,

    I think that the main reason that old-earthers cannot handle the straight forward reading of Genesis is because distant starlight would then be a trick instead of really coming from billions of light years away. So they find a way to insert billions of years into Genesis. The other reasons are not as hard to answer.

    I think that the main reason that young-earthers cannot handle the billions of years inserted into the text, other than the the plain reading being obvious, is because it would make death come before Adam’s sin.

    So the entire argument is back and forth between a view based upon so-called scientific knowledge and a view that is based upon the language and context of the Bible. Can we mix the two safely?

    The presupposition that the Bible cannot be in opposition to what we know from science is the bowing of the knee to man and his ideas when we change the meaning in the scripture to match what man’s ideas have produced faith in. Man becomes his own elohim/judge/god in this system.

    The presupposition that real science cannot be in opposition to what the Bible declares is true is bowing the knee to an intelligent Creator that can say what He means since He invented language and made all things by words.

    If we happen to misunderstand YHWH’s words, but trust Him fully and are made to look dumb because of our mistake by man’s science, we are better off than twisting YHWH’s words to get along with today’s secular cosmological view. Trusting is better than twisting.

    I am sure that we misunderstand YHWH’s word sometimes and that we misunderstand the universe sometimes. Let’s make our concessions to YHWH before we do to our understanding of the universe. In this approach we do not end up having to do so much damage control.

    There are more Christian youth denying the faith because of so-called science than there are secular youth becoming Christians because of a old-earth view of Genesis that seeks to harmonize the Bible to science. At best this harmonization will only prevent a handful of Christians from denying YHWH altogether and help another handful of intellectuals give mental assent to an elohim that has been made in their own image.

    The young earth view has a much better record at preventing apostasy and in producing wholehearted disciples…even if there are only handfuls of these people too.

    Pragmatism alone should convince us of which view is more correct.

    Psalm 24
    3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
    4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

    The philosophy of materialistic science is not some innocuous, amoral system of knowledge. It is lifting up our souls to vanity. It is an enemy of faith in the true Elohim. And when I say faith, I do not mean to say mental assent but mindful ascent up the narrow path.

    James 2
    18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    Shalom

  15. @Dr Brown,

    I’ll look into the “top medieval rabbinic exegetes”. My guess before looking into it, would be because though they didn’t believe in millions of years, some in the scientific community were disputing certain aspects of the history of Genesis, pushing for an earth thousands of years older than what a peshaṭ reading of Genesis would have it.

  16. David,

    First, you’re quite wrong about rabbinic exegesis. It was not based on scientific discussion. Second, your accusation about lack of honesty in my exegesis is a false accusation that should be retracted should you wish to continue in dialog. Third, Dr. Craig worships a supernatural, majestic God. He differs with your view of how God might work in creation. Fourth, none of my views about the Scriptures are based on science. I do not consider myself capable of arguing the matter either way. Clear?

  17. @Dr. Brown,

    Second, your accusation about lack of honesty in my exegesis is a false accusation that should be retracted should you wish to continue in dialog.

    I’ll say that for me to say you were only partially honest, is to say that you knew better in your heart, but said otherwise anyway. And for that, I apologise. Only God knows what’s in your heart. Not I.

    Third, Dr. Craig worships a supernatural, majestic God. He differs with your view of how God might work in creation.

    A God who grew the trees at naturalistic rates, not the miraculous rate of one day, like Numbers 17:8, Jonah 4:6, 10.

    Clearly creating the heavens and the earth in six days is more miraculous, than slowly using naturalistic processes over millions/billions of years.

    Fourth, none of my views about the Scriptures are based on science.

    Ok, but I would say that Moses didn’t believe that the earth was millions or billions of years old.

    I do not consider myself capable of arguing the matter either way. Clear?

    I heard you speak on the show about how you view yourself with regards to science and how you have your field and other’s have their’s. All parts of the body working together. I hear that.

  18. David Roberts,

    I read Russell Humphreys “Starlight and Time” as many years ago as it came out and have read some of Jason Lyles ideas also. I have no problem with the general theory of relativity explaining how time runs at different speeds, but YHWH could have made starlight in place and functioning so as to be signs in the heavens for us, or He could have stretched out the heavens in a different way than the GTR can explain. I simply believe what is said in Genesis. Thanks for the link.

    I doubt that Dr. Brown would be less than completely honest. I think that he is wrong sometimes, but never dishonest.

    In this case, I see that he can argue for what could be the possible interpretations of “yom” but I think that it means what it would have meant to the people to whom He was speaking with originally. The context of the story and the people that first read it seem to indicate that the days were quite literal.

    If death only came after sin and sin entered the world with Adam’s transgression and all of creation was subjected to vanity and groans for the restoration of what was in the beginning, then billions of years cannot work no matter what the possibilities of the meaning of “yom” might be. We cannot have animals killing and eating other animals for billions of years before sin entered the world if death came by sin. We do not see that anything but green herbs being food for animals in Genesis and I never knew an animal to disobey YHWH in the scripture. Fish are especially obedient.

    That we might see a “possible” alternative to this type of reading that “might” be in harmony with billions of years is not likely to be the probable meaning. It does seem that old-earthers are arm chair quarterbacking and re-engineering the intended meaning, if you ask me.

    Shabbat Shalom

  19. @Dr. Brown,
    As for being quite wrong about rabbinic exegesis and it not based on scientific discussion.

    The Rambam in his “Guide for the Perplexed” (2:25) said,

    Owing to the absence of all proof, we reject the theory of the Eternity of the Universe: and it is for this very reason that the noblest minds spent and will spend their days in research. For if the Creation had been demonstrated by proof, even if only according to the Platonic hypothesis, all arguments of the philosophers against us would be of no avail. If, on the other hand, Aristotle had a proof for his theory, the whole teaching of Scripture would be rejected, and we should be forced to other opinions. I have thus shown that all depends on this question. Note it.

    Thus demonstrating that popular scientific theory, when it seems to have been proven true, should determine how we read the Bible.

    Jews were being taken away from the faith by philosophy and science, so Rambam was trying to harmonise them to bring Jews back to faith.

    Rambam however did highly regard Ibn Ezra’s commentary which says,

    One day refers to the movement of the sphere.

  20. @Dr. Brown, who were these top medieval rabbinic exegetes that didn’t believe the six days of creation were six rotations of the earth?

    From my studies, I’ve learned that almost all of them did hold to the six days of creation being six rotations of the earth.

  21. David,

    Apology accepted, but you really need to back off from the false accusation against Dr. Craig and just drop it. Also, you should be aware that James Barr, with all his Hebrew and Semitic brilliance, is also a strong opponent of fundamentalism (just FYI).

    Re: rabbinic interpreters who did not press a literal six-day creation, I’ll get you some references ASAP.

  22. @Dr. Brown,

    I appreciated your response.

    I did realise James Barr was an opponent of fundamentalism, I just value how he made a distinction between

    …what the writer(s) of GENESIS chapter 1, verses 1-11, intended to convey…

    And his own personal beliefs. i.e. He didn’t try to read his own personal beliefs into the text.

    But again, I shouldn’t have said what I said before.

    I have read Ramban’s commentary.

    But what I found profound from Rash’bam and Kimchi was why they said the Torah said:

    ויהי ערב ויהי בקר

    Instead of

    ויהי לילה ויהי יום

    Kimchi said that we might have been confused by the word יום, which can mean a single day or a period of days, and it was precisely for this very reason that the Torah said בקר which is a specific time of the day when the intensity and quality of the light is visible far greater than the light available during the night, likewise with ערב.

    Rash’bam said the words ערב ובקר were used to let us know that the first of the six days of God’s creative activity of which He spoke in the Ten Commandments had come to an end.

  23. I once heard a Jew say, to find out if something is AntiSemitic or not, apply the exact same scenario to a Black person and see how your conscience feels about it. I’d like to do something similar.

    Imagine if a Believer said most people understand that Aaron’s rod sprouted, budded, blossomed and produced almonds overnight. Now we all know how long it takes for an almond tree to grow up and blossom and bear almonds. In order for that to happen in twenty four hours, this author would have to be imagining something like time-lapsed photography where the tree would sprout out of the ground, it would erupt and grow up into a big tree. All the blossoms would pop out, and then the fruit, bang bang bang – all over it. And I can’t believe in that the author of the Torah thought he was describing something like that, like a film being run on fast forward.

    This is why I think that the text is not meant to be taken as a twenty four hour time period.

    i.e. Because he can’t believe it.

    If, the Bible truly does teach that it happened overnight, that would mean Dr. Craig does not believe what the Bible teaches with regard to this. You can say it’s a disputed text if you like, but from where I’m standing, this is like Churches that embrace Homosexuality and say it’s not because society has biased them in favour of Homosexuality, but rather that the Biblical text can also be read in a way that affirms Gay relationships.

    The original at 44:19.

  24. @Dr. Brown,

    I just want to state that I do not intend to create strife. It’s the last thing I want. I just take these issues very seriously, that’s all, and feel compelled to say something about it.

    I want to make very clear that I think that the vast majority of the time I think you’re doing the Lord’s work. And you’re doing such a commendable job.

    My soul, heart and spirit long for the day when Elijah comes and brings unity to us all, when we can all be united, as a team, sided together.

  25. David,

    I appreciate your heart in all this and I thank you for your kind words. I just don’t understand why young earthers often respond with such intensity to those who for exegetical grounds differ with the dogmatic nature of their position. That’s something that concerns me.

  26. The answer to that is that from the stand point of many young earthers, this is a matter of doctrinal truth, and that to go against it undermines the entirety of the Scripture. Because if Genesis doesn’t have to be read in a straight, matter of fact way, neither does the rest of the scriptures. And though you don’t go around with the insanity of Gay Marriage in the Church, and I commend you for that! more and more Churches sadly are, and you’ll notice they tend to be old earthers, while young earthers tend to be more traditional/fundamentalistic.

    I would be very interested in knowing how many of the older earther churches are pro-Gay marriage, and how many young earthers (if any) are pro-Gay marriage.

    It comes back to how much wiggle room one believes there is within the text – how much is left up to one’s own interpretation.

    My greatest concern is that once you open that door, it might not be a problem in your generation, but several generations down the line, they might be saying there are exegetical grounds for Gay marriage and that those who oppose it are dogmatic fundamentalists.

  27. I think apologetics is an important aspect of a believer’s walk with the Lord. However, I believe it is of upmost importance that any “defense” be in-line with the Word of God. First of all, let me just state, that I believe apologetics is a very broad term. It is ANY “answer/defense for the reason of the hope that is within us”…not just a particular type of answer. With that said, however, most of the apologetic material I’ve read (particularly just after I got saved) tended to be slated toward deep, philosophical, humanistic methods of justifying a particular aspect of the Christian faith. While much of this material was (and is) intellectually stimulating (making good for debate & conversation), I think the trap that one can fall into with this type of reasoning is to limit God to our realm of thinking – effectively putting Him in a box for the purpose of intellectual peace…yet sadly, limiting His power to scope of that box. I can remember reading pages and pages of apologetic arguments without a single Scripture being referenced. While I do believe God to be a reasonable & personable being (given that we His creation, being made in His image, are reasonable & personable ourselves), the Bible is very clear:

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Is 55:8-9

    Furthermore:

    “Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Pro 3:5-6

    The apostle Paul, throughout the entirety of the 2nd chapter of 1 Corinthians contrasts the wisdom of men with the wisdom of God…endeavoring that those who came to faith through his vessel should not have their faith “rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

    Therefore, as I stated before, yes, we as followers of Christ need to, as 1 Peter 3:15 states, “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” However, let us ensure that that answer exalts the power of God through the use of his Word as opposed to limiting it through earthly reasoning. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” ~ Heb 4:12

  28. @Dr. Brown,

    how many exegetical grounds are there for the old earther position?

    Could you do a show on it sometime?

    I can’t accept an old earth for many reasons, but I would like to have a real meeting of the minds, to understand where you’re coming from, even if I can not agree.

  29. Dr Brown, (RE: #31)

    You said, “I just don’t understand why young earthers often respond with such intensity to those who for exegetical grounds differ with the dogmatic nature of their position.”

    What exegetical grounds have been demonstrated? All I have heard have been philosophical reasoning based upon scientific reconciliatory influence. Believing a billion years “gap” in time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is hardly concise biblical exegesis. Neither is believing that long periods of time are needed for vegetation to grow demonstrating the same in like manner.

    Regarding Ref # 14, you said, ” it’s pretty clear that Hebrew yom has the same range of meanings as the English word day.”

    This is true in a general sense; however, the hermeneutical principle regarding the rule of definition is understood in the concept that a word is defined based upon the context it is rendered. Hence, when the Tanakh uses ‘yom’ as associated with a definite numeral, the evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly that solar days are meant.

    You also said, ” Again, the more natural reading of the text points to a young earth; but it is absolutely not the only possible reading of the text, as I mentioned on the air as well.”

    Based upon exegesis alone, what is a old earth rendering that you would agree with from Genesis 1?

  30. David and Brian,

    Check out older shows I’ve done here on Genesis 1. And I don’t read Genesis 1 in isolation from the rest of the OT.

    One quick note though re: Brian’s comment that “when the Tanakh uses ‘yom’ as associated with a definite numeral, the evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly that solar days are meant.” Whether that’s true or not, when you have a context in which the sun doesn’t exist, how does that prove your point?

    This much is clear to me: When I see people respond in ways that are not Christlike, it makes me wonder what is behind their position. I absolutely hold to the full and total authority of Scripture, period, and science is a non-issue for me here, as I’ve said repeatedly. Yet when someone crosses the line in attacking me (and others) who differ on the young earth view (actually, I’ve never made a dogmatic statement about this either way!), what I see is something wrong in their spirit.

    Perhaps my question could have been better phrased: Why do some young earthers so quickly get in the flesh and engage in non-Christlike rhetoric when their position is challenged exegetically?

  31. @Dr. Brown,

    when you have a context in which the sun doesn’t exist, how does that prove your point?

    Easy, the lamb was the light of the world until we could see the physical sun, and the day refers to the rotation of the earth. More importantly, is the meaning of ערב ובקר, can you show me anywhere in the Bible where those words mean millions/billions of years?

  32. Dr. Brown,

    I have listened to your older shows and don’t recall hearing your exegesis of Genesis 1 that would validate the possibility of an old earth view, this is why I asked for you to demonstrate substantiation on this thread.

    As far as your question regarding the use of yom, you asked, ” when you have a context in which the sun doesn’t exist, how does that prove your point?”

    What is so very important is that G-d is the one who has established what a day is from the very beginning of His creation and there would be no reason to have a morning and evening up until the day he created a sun and moon, if they were so radically different.

    What we discover on day four of the creation account is that the sun and moon were established in the heavens as a servant to the earth; hence, there is absolutely no reason to force a conclusion that the length of time within the same morning and evening has been condensed from billions of years in time, now to be merely 24 hours.

    The consistent language for each day cited has remained the same; therefore, I would tend to believe that it would be exegetically sound to realize that the sun and moon didn’t establish a 24 hour timeframe from morning to evening, they simply submitted to what G-d had already set forth from the first day.

    It is His wonderful creation on this earth that has discovered the revelation of what a day is through these great lights that have been set in the heavens to declare His glory through the ages to come.

  33. David and Brian,

    As you know, I don’t have time to get into extended discussions here with virtually anyone, and I’ve already posted more than I usually do. What saddens me is your responses to a very serious and important question.

    Look, folks challenge me constantly on some of the most critically important issues of the faith — some from within the Body — and I don’t reply to them the way some young earthers do when attacking old earthers, yet I’ve seen an ugly spirit come out over this issue all too often, including right here.

    I’d encourage you to do some serious soul searching here rather than simply challenging my views.

  34. Dr. Brown,

    I’m a bit surprised to be accused of being charged with attacking you. I’ve only communciated with you from an exegetical perspective alone.

    I have tremendous respect for you and your scholarship, and have both followed and supported your ministry for almost 20 years, from the days you preached at Times Square Church onward.

    I have asked for your opinion because of my respect for you, so as to make me think and to consider the old earth view from an exegetical view alone.

    I apologize to both you and to any readers for my offense towards you and this blessed ministry.

    Shalom,
    Brian

  35. Brian,

    I apologize to you for implying that you had attacked me. I was referring to David’s attacks on Dr. Craig and me (which I addressed earlier) along with the general spirit I’ve all too often seen from other young earthers. By speaking in generalities to both of you, however, I wrongly implicated you. Please forgive me, and thanks for the very kind words.

    I’ll try to locate the past show(s) where I’ve addressed the issue, but in short, I don’t see Genesis 1 teaching us primarily about science but rather about the nature of God the Creator (in keeping with the ANE cosmologies), so while I have zero problem with an exegetical reading of the passage that points to a young earth, I don’t see it as required by the text. (Sorry for the short reply.)

  36. @Dr. Brown,

    Again, I’m sorry for attributing heart attitudes to you.

    But to me, though Genesis is not primarily teaching science, it is primarily teaching history, and any scientific theory that disregards true documented history should be discarded.

    I don’t believe that just because there was no sun for three days that standard hermeneutics don’t apply.

  37. David,

    As I said, I fully accepted your apologies, and, to repeat, I’m not able to get into lengthy interaction here on this site (which, as you know, exists mainly for the involvement of others). I still have not received any adequate explanation for the wrong spirit I so often see when the young earth view is challenged, and that continues to disturb me.

  38. @Dr. Brown,

    I appreciated that you can’t get into a lengthy interaction.

    As to why those who hold to a young earth view respond they say they do. Many of them see it as blasphemy, and can’t fathom someone whose conscience doesn’t bear witness against them. So by default, Believers should know better and to deny the six days is to be dishonest and play games with the text, because it goes without saying that Genesis conveys a young earth.

    Or to put it more simply, like some Christians hit the roof over Gay marriage, they hit the roof over what they see as a denial of the true history of the world revealed by God to Moses.

    That said, I’m going to do my best to be very careful with my words in future.

  39. David,

    You should realize that the more they/you “hit the roof,” the more it makes their/your position look suspect, and the fact that they/you can’t see how people would see things differently — even based on the wording of 2 Pet 3 re: the Lord and a day — in honest interaction of the text makes them/you look suspect in your position.

    There’s one young earther I know and I would love to give him far more exposure, but he’s too caustic.

    So, a word for the wise. If you’re convinced you’re on the side of truth in a critically important subject, then seek to present in a way that will win over those who differ.

  40. @Dr. Brown,

    I appreciate your response. I’ll do my best to keep it in mind!

    Regarding 2 Peter 3, I understand that the context is the day of the Lord being a thousand years – the millennium. That the six days of creation represent 6000 years from Adam to the second coming, and the seventh day representing the 1000 year reign of Messiah.

  41. Dr. Brown,

    I have and do engage in discussions with OECs and TEs regularly and I can tell you that they do not often take the high road. I suppose we could say that both sides are often wrong spirited.

    I was listening to your program yesterday and had just turned it on when I heard Dr. Craig respond to the caller in reference Homeschoolers that teach their children from a YEC viewpoint. Dr. Craig’s respose was, in a nutshell, that they are hindering evangelism. as a homeschool Dad and a YEC, to say that I was offened would be an understatement. I did not hear your response as I turned my radio off at that point, But I am guessing that you did not accuse him of being wrong spirited.

  42. @ David and Brian,

    To be honest I don’t know a single believer that the topic of the age of the earth is of the vital importance you guys are giving it. This isn’t a criticism so please don’t read this wrong.

    While I can understand your line of thinking the reality is that if people want to explain away God and his creation they will. If you can intellectually “argue” someone into the truth someone else can come along later and argue them out of it because their foundation was one of reason rather than conviction in the heart…with our HEARTS we believe and are justified, not our minds.

    I don’t say this to belittle the importance of accurate doctrine but the simple truth is this…if God gave the same weight as you believe he does concerning this topic he would have made it much more clear to us in his word. He leaves many things in his word “loose-ended”, for lack of a better word. While that may sound heretical to some the reality is he is more interested in our relationship with him built on the foundations of repentance, faith and love.

    I actually believe the earth is about 6000 years old myself, but it’s not the theory of evolution that is destroying faith. The theory of evolution is simply a fruit of a cold, faithless heart From out of the mouth(words/thoughts/theories) the heart speaks….the hearts of the people have grown cold and faithless as the bible predicted. We need to address people’s hearts, then the mind will follow.

Leave Your Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*