Dr. Brown shares some of his own perspectives on the old-earth, young-earth creation controversy, answers some of your e-questions, and catches up with the news. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
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Dr. Brown, I wanted to address some questions you brought up to the caller named, Jeremiah. (And by the way, I do disagree with the way he handled the phone call and what he said to you.) But I do want to address what you brought up to him.
You asked: “if we have a 1 day morning/evening in terms of divine creation with no sun moon or stars, how is there a time-frame for that and why does there need to be a time frame for that?”
My answer is that there was an evening and a morning on the first day without the sun moon or stars. The sun, moon and stars were not needed for this. All that was needed was the creation of light and the division of that from the darkness (which God did on day 1). So that is your answer as to how there was a time-frame. As to why it was needed, we don’t really know. God didn’t say. All we know is that God did indeed create it. He created a week of days. A week is logically made up of equal days, correct? Do you know of any other week in the entire Bible that is NOT made up of equal days in length? If so, could you reference that? If not, then why see this particular week as the one and only exception in the Scriptures? To continue, you said:
“If you have a Sabbath for the land and it happens every 7 yrs and it’s a one yr Sabbath and it’s called a Sabbath then why must the first Sabbath have been 24 hrs?”
Again, we have a week of equal days. If the Sabbath is a year than therefore each “day” is equal to one year. We have a week that is made up of equal one year “days”, correct? Why would the Creation week be any different? And if Day 6 or Day 7 were 24-hr days, why would any of the Days 1-5 not be?
To continue, you say:
“The Bible talks about a Day of the Lord and it is not a 24 hr period. Peter also talks about a day is as a thousand years.” These were not in context of a week. The Creation narrative was. Exodus 20 speaks of the whole reason for a Sabbath rest at the end of each week being due to the Sabbath rest God took at the end of the Creation week. Again, what reason do we have from the text or even from basic logic to believe that there was a Creation week of unequal days? Or if they were all uniform, then did the plants all die from not having sunlight for thousands or millions of years during the “evening” between the third and fourth days?
Did Adam live for thousands or millions of years between when he was created and the Sabbath day?
These are questions that need to be asked if we are to take a view that seems highly tortured from the reading of the text.
The text telling us of a week of days with each having an evening and morning seems to have no other logical straightforward interpretation other than a week of 7 24-hr days, don’t you agree?
Good points. I look forward to Dr. Brown’s response.
I have an old earth creationist view which I wrote an article about. Its a general explanation that can be explained deeper but please check out my article, thanks.
I find these conversations on this topic to be helpful. By talking through points, we can learn new things and gain new insight.
For example, I find Johathan’s blog entry above interesting and helpful. I find it to be well thought out.
In terms of the consideration of time… it should be noted that it happened just as God had said to Adam: “in the DAY you sin you will die” – and Adam did not live to see 1,000 years. “A thousand years is as a day.”
It seems to me that time is different in heaven, but when a day on earth is a day, it seems to be the same length of time as another day.
Yes, God told Adam he would surely die the same day he ate of the forbidden fruit, and yet we read that Adam did not physically die that very day.
From this I learn that God may show mercy, and
“repent” of what he has said he will do, or of consequence that would come as a result of sin.
I also learn that sin has some very serious consequences, for Adam was not allowed to eat of the tree of life after he had sinned. Also as a result of sin, he was found separated from God, and in hiding from him.
The Bible does say that a day with the Lord is as a thousand years, so who was it that was with the Lord during creation week?
Was the day that Adam was created a thousand years or so? It looks like one earth day to me, but then, they all look like earth days to me.
To Jesus, one day of creation week may have been like a thousand years, for just think about the laws of physics, all the laws of science, math, and all the rest that the events of one day was ordered by.
I sometimes wonder if Jesus simply said what God told him to say in a very short sentence and then saw it happen exactly as God showed him that he would do it or what?
I don’t know much about how all that went.
To see it all happen, and to have it all explained as it was happening, now that could seem like it would take a thousand years.
What is an “evening” and a “morning”? It is different at different times and in different locations… in Alaska, the sun doesn’t shine for many months out of the year I’ve heard… would that peculiar timing “evening and morning” effect the definition of “a” “day”? Could it be said “and the evening AND morning” is “time of no light/darkness AND) and morning time of light” (i.e.: that the definition of the day is light and darkness following one another)?
But Dan1el, did Adam live through the seventh day of God’s rest before he sinned? If he did, and the days were each thousands or millions of years each, then Adam would have had to have been over a thousand years old when he died. If Adam sinned BEFORE the seventh day rest, then how did God say everything was “very good” at the end of the sixth day?
Ray, I would agree that time is different in Heaven. Because time is actually really not existent at all in Heaven. There is no day or night in Heaven. God is outside of time. Time was essentially created for humans on earth.
I see things a little differently than what you proposed in post # 6 though. Here is another way to look at it:http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=797
Old earthers are correct that “day” can have a figurative sense (which could be the sense in that verse) but a figurative sense of the word just doesn’t fit in the Creation week due to what I expressed above.
Also, Adam did spiritually die that same day. He lost his intimate relationship with God right there and then. Physically, his body likely started deteriorating from that moment as well.As you pointed out, from that moment he could no longer eat from the tree of life. So in that sense, even though he didn’t physically drop down dead that day; the process of physical death likely started in his body from that literal day.
So there are quite a few ways to look at it. I’m not dogmatic about this particular point. I do agree that God can show mercy and has done so throughout human history. I’m just not sure that I see your interpretation of it as the most compelling one. I could be wrong though.
By the way, thank you for the compliment. These are issues I have though about and discussed before. In fact, I discussed them the last time Dr. Ross was on the Line of Fire. So that’s why I might have the appearance of being well thought out. It is just trial and error. LOL
Here is a good article about the “day is as a thousand years” Scripture: https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=2191
Just as that article brings up that adding a thousand years to each day does not help fit in enough years to get to an old earth neither does going by the days in Alaska (which are obviously the exception as opposed to the rule). In fact, most days even in Alaska are approximately 24 hrs. It is the exception to the rule even in Alaska for it to be anything different. So logic would have it that when God gave us a week of evening and morning days in Genesis 1 that if he did not specifically tell us there was an exception to the general rule that we should likely see it as not being an exception, correct?
Is it common that young earth scientists say, “A day with the Lord is as a thousand years.”?
Unless time has not always been the same… that is, unless time “developed” to the point it is at right now…
Adam could easily have been more than a thousand years old…
That is, if the first days (during the creation) were longer than the latter days of creation week (because time was “developing”) then it would account for it. Let’s say the first day was a billion years and the next was 1/2 billion, etc., because ‘time’ was ‘developing’.
Dan1el, does it seem to you like you are coming up with a lot of wild “what-ifs” that just don’t come up in any other place in Scripture? Ken Ham brings up that in no other passage in Scripture is the definition of “day” in dispute as it is in Genesis 1. I have to believe that is because we start with what Darwinian scientists tell us instead of starting with the Scripture. There is no indication from the Scripture that time had to “develop”. So why would we need to postulate that?
Are you sure that the sun doesn’t “set” for 6 months out of the year and “rise” for 6 months out of the year?
Also, Scripture says that Adam was 930 years old when he died (Genesis 5:5). So he really couldn’t have “easily have been more than a thousand years old”.
*i.e.: in AK?
That is a good point. Thanks for that.
That either means the ‘day’ Adam was born into had to be a literal day (not a thousand years) OR he broke God’s Law during the seventh day/Sabbath (if it were to be considered as a thousand years).
Regarding “the devil”.
I used to absolutely, completely believe in demon possession. One reason was because I had seen it with my own eyes, several times.
So, it was interesting, to me, when Dr. B has callers give their “absolute proof” of supernatural encounters with Satan.
The one that got my ear was the guy who said that he had hear demon possessed people speak foreign languages they could not have known.
This would be proof-positive that demon-possession is real.
Are there any videos of this phenomenon? If this is a common as the caller suggested, surely there is video taped proof of it.
There are approx 11 weeks each out of the year without a sunrise and conversely without a sunset. So that would mean the rest of the days of the year in Alaska do have them. See this: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/total-darkness-returns-to-barr/41510
So Dan1el, would it be breaking God’s rest to come back and judge Adam and mete out the consequences for his sin (if Adam sinned on the seventh day)?
OK so (irrespective whether it is 6 months or 11 weeks – thanks for the clarification if it is truly correct) the point is that an “evening” and a “morning” isn’t always 24 hours – even on present-day earth.
I wonder whether it would have disturbed God’s rest for Adam to sin at all. Right? Everything is peaceful and all of a sudden there is this disturbance.
It is like the Law: “don’t kill anyone – except under the following circumstances”.
“The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath” – I wonder if this means the Sabbath was actually looking forward to a need man would have had… of course, Jesus healed and did good on the Sabbath as well so… the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. The Law was broken in the Temple to circumcise babies as well.
I’m just asking questions because they should be asked… I am not committed to any view. I know Jesus is true and I think that is what matters. As far as the proper reading of “the creation account”: “When the first witness gives his testimony, he seems to be telling the truth – until the second witness testifies.” (para.)
I cannot commit to any reading yet. What ever it REALLY says I will agree with that. It makes no difference to me personally even though I realize that it could be a “make or break” thing for others (young Christians, secular people or “seekers”).
No time for a long reply, but again, if Genesis was the first book written of the Bible — or meant to be read first — then it starts with creation, with no way of knowing the length of the days recorded there. Everything that follows is then bound by normal time frames, and again, as noted in our FB interaction, “day” doesn’t always mean 24 hours. Nothing new to share here. It’s all been rehashed over and again. God bless!
I’m glad Dr. Brown jumped in here. This conversation made no sense to me.
According to the bible, day and night were created before the sun was created. Of course, there were days before the sun was created.
The sun and moon are placed on the upper part of the vault which protects us from the great sea that surrounds us.
The sun and the moon don’t create day and night, instead they help us mark observances.
Furthermore, the sun isn’t needed for plant life since vegetation was created before the sun.
I believe all of this because I believe in the bible.
I’m not being sarcastic. I honestly do believe it.
But, I don’t confuse it with science.
As for “the devil”
Have any of you seen a demon possessed person fluent speak a foreign language they couldn’t possibly know?
When I lived in India I met multiple demon possessed people and not one of them spoke to me in fluent English.
Even so, these stories are persistent among conservative Christians. I’ve been hearing them for decades. Dr. Brown doesn’t doubt them.
But, I agree, this would be very strong proof of that would be very hard to deny.
But, has this every been documented? Tape recorders have been around for a long time! And, these days, every exorcist owns a cell phone. Surely someone has documented it.
>A week is logically made up of equal days, correct? Do you know of any other week in the entire Bible that is NOT made up of equal days in length?
“A week” can also be a story-telling motif that was used in ancient oral tradition and then got included in our bible.
It has absolutely nothing, whatsoever, at all, /nada/, with science or clocks.
One thing I appreciate about you is your expertise of Biblical interpretation and rightly diving the Word of God. And I agree with you 99.9% of the time. This is one of those 0.1% times.
Given your usual excellent Biblical interpretation – I’m actually shocked to see you write:
“Genesis…no way of knowing the length of the days recorded there.”
I humbly submit to you the possibility that outside influences such as Hugh Ross eisegesis is contributing to this conclusion. I hope you will prayerfully consider the following.
1. Regarding your comments Oct 9 on the word “Day” when speaking to the caller Jeremiah.
No need to tell you that many Biblical words can have several meanings depending on context and that context is the key. As is the case with “day.”
Obviously the word “day can mean a time span as in the “Day of the Lord.” But most the time it means a normal day. Contextually, whenever the word “day” is used with a number (such as the Joshua 6 Jericho account) it means a literally normal day. The same when evening or morning are used with the word day – it always means a normal day. In Genesis 1 all three provide clear and solid context – evening, morning, number – day. The days of Creation must be normal days. The original readers of Genesis 1 would have taken this no other way.
The ONLY way to say that Genesis 1 days are NOT normal days is when someone tries to fit millions/billions of years (or the big-bang theory). A concept that has only become to main stream over the past 150+ years. Like the Pre-trib Rapture it’s no where in the Bible.
2. The “different” Time frame for Days 1-3 morning and evening?
First. nowhere in Genesis 1 does it suggest different length of days.
Second, To have a “morning and evening” there must be a light source and the earth must be spinning. Correct?
The “Light” for Days 1-3 was not the Sun (made on day 4), but probably the reveled glory of God, because He is light and He will ultimately replace the light of the Sun (Rev 22:5).
Third, again the earth must be spinning on Days 1-3 in order to have “morning and evening.” Then logically – if Day 1-3 was longer days than Days 4 and beyond, then the earth would have to be spinning at different speeds. For Day 1-3 to be spinning at 1,000 years or 1 million years per spin, then all of a sudden change to a normal earth day rotation from day 3 to 4 just doesn’t make sense at all. Again it’s extra-biblical to suggest creation week had different lengths of days.
I’ve heard all of High Ross’s arguments regarding this subject but his natural reasoning and belief in there big-bang are clouding and skewing his perspective. Praying for him.
3. You are right, the most natural reading of Genesis is a literal six-day creation and young earth (when also taking into account the genealogies).
I could say much more, but got to go.
Thank you again for all you do!
If I’m not mistaken, Dr. Brown had related (during this broadcast) that from the time in which he had begun reading it (Genesis) in the presence of the Lord, the same “impression” had been laid on him – far before he was (I’m safely presuming) exposed to Dr. Hugh Ross.
I believe Dr Brown stated he was not yet convinced either for or against young or old earth. And the reason I offered there may be “possible influences such as Hugh Ross” was because Michael mentioned having some extended contact and fellowship with Hugh. Also because Michael was echoing some of Hugh’s arguments/thoughts on the broadcast.
I believe Dr Brown said on the broadcast what he got out of Genesis long ago was more theological – on the spiritual side of things. Which reflects the depth of riches of God’s Word on multiple levels. 🙂
Dr. Gerald Schroeder, an Orthodox Jewish physicist, has “solved” the 6-day creation account vs. “billions of years,” with the help of Albert Einstein and “space-time expansion”.
Unfortunately, most students graduate from high school, and even college, with little if any knowledge of Einstein, his “Special Theory of Relativity” and his “General Theory of Relativity”–his contributions as the greatest theoretical physicist of the twentieth century. Here is a condensed version of Schroeder’s analysis of the “Big Bang” [God’s original, creative word] and the changing time element of space-time expansion.
“Einstein’s Law of Relativity
Looking back in time, a scientist will view the universe as being 15 billion years old. But what is the Bible’s view of time? Maybe it sees time differently. And that makes a big difference. Albert Einstein taught us that Big Bang cosmology brings not just space and is affected by your view of time. How you see time depends on where you’re viewing it. A minute on the moon goes faster than a minute on the Earth. A minute on the sun goes slower. Time on the sun is actually stretched out so that if you could put a clock on the sun, it would tick more slowly. It’s a small difference, but it’s measurable and measured.
The flow of time varies one location to another location. Hence the term: the law of relativity.
Light travels 300 million meters per second. So…two light pulses are separated by 300 million meters at the beginning. Now they travel through space for billions of years, and they’re going to reach the Earth billions of years later. But wait a minute. Is the universe static? No. The universe is expanding. That’s the cosmology of the universe. And that does not mean it’s expanding into an empty space outside the universe. There’s only the universe. There is no space outside the universe. The universe expands by its own space stretching. So as these pulses go through billions of years of traveling, the universe and space are stretching. As space is stretching, what’s happening to these pulses? The space between them is also stretching. So the pulses really get further and further apart.
Billions of years later, when the first pulse arrives, we say, “Wow ― a pulse!” And written on it is “I’m sending you a pulse every second.” You call all your friends, and you wait for the next pulse to arrive. Does it arrive another second later? No! A year later? Maybe not. Maybe billions of years later. Because depending on how much time this pulse of light has traveled through space, will determine the amount of stretching of space between the pulses. That’s standard astronomy.
What’s exciting about the last few years in cosmology is we now have quantified the data to know the relationship of the “view of time” from the beginning, relative to the “view of time” today. It’s not science fiction any longer. Any one of a dozen physics text books all bring the same number. The general relationship between time near the beginning when stable matter formed from the light (the energy, the electromagnetic radiation of the creation) and time today is a million million, that is a trillion fold extension. That’s a 1 with 12 zeros after it. It is a unit-less ratio. So when a view from the beginning looking forward says “I’m sending you a pulse every second,” would we see it every second? No. We’d see it every million million seconds. Because that’s the stretching effect of the expansion of the universe. In astronomy, the term is “red shift.” Red shift in observed astronomical data is standard.
(In case you want to know, this exponential rate of expansion has a specific number averaged at 10 to the 12th power. That is in fact the temperature of quark confinement, when matter freezes out of the energy: 10.9 times 10 to the 12th power Kelvin degrees divided by (or the ratio to) the temperature of the universe today, 2.73 degrees. That’s the initial ratio which changes exponentially as the universe expands.)
• The first of the Biblical days lasted 24 hours, viewed from the “beginning of time [God’s] perspective.” But the duration from our perspective [today] was 8 billion years.
• The second day, from the Bible’s perspective lasted 24 hours. From our perspective it lasted half of the previous day, 4 billion years.
• The third 24 hour day also included half of the previous day, 2 billion years.
• The fourth 24 hour day ― one billion years.
• The fifth 24 hour day ― one-half billion years.
• The sixth 24 hour day ― one-quarter billion years.”
According to Schroeder/Einstein, the six literal days of creation (from God’s perspective) have stretched/expanded into about 15 billion years, from our current perspective. This is how six literal days can equal about 15 billion years.
Now, use the above link to read Schroeder’s complete essay.
If that were really the case, and plants were created on Day 3 can I ask you what happened to those plants during the half a billion years of evening on the next day? All of those plants would have died without the sun being visible to give them nourishment and nutrients, correct?
Greg, you said in post # 31: ““A week” can also be a story-telling motif that was used in ancient oral tradition and then got included in our bible.”
I am not even aware of a week with each day having an evening and a morning that wasn’t to be taken as a literal week in any ancient account. Can you enlighten me of a specific example of this happening?
I appreciate your response. I respectfully disagree with it. I believe God would have been clear about the days being different if they were indeed different from any other week of days with an evening and morning throughout the Scripture. If there was a difference, then I would think God would have made that clear in the Scripture instead of the reverse of making almost every clue possible to tell us it was a regular 24-hr seven day week.
I wonder what God would have needed to do to make it any more clear than to specifically state that each day had an evening and a morning and that it was a 7 day week.
I think the only thing God could have done to make that any clearer would be to have specifically stated within the text “This is a 24 hr day”. It would seem literarily awkward for Him to have done so. But short of that, I am unsure how it could have been made any clearer.
Although I disagree with your conclusion, I nevertheless appreciate you taking the time to respond.
This aired over a year ago, and so I don’t know what the chances that this comment will be read: but, I have a question from my “question bag” (as William Lane Craig calls it). I note from history that it appears there was a lot of death before mankind appeared on the planet. Even if just carnivorous dinosaurs. I appreciate Dr. Brown’s honesty regarding the conclusion scientists would make regarding age of earth, and I think the same would be true regarding animal death and diet. Is it then not scriptural possible to say there was animal death or animals eating animals before humans might have been created? Does Genesis 1:30 leave no other option but to understand there could not have have been animal death before mankind were created?
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