Creationism – How Old is the World?

from Aish.com by Dr. Gerald Schroeder

How did I get to this site?  My thought process was something like

  1. How old is the world?
  2. How old is the world according to Scripture?
  3. How can we best understand what Scripture means (answer: find out what the people who wrote it and originally read it thought it meant.)
  4. Who would know better what the ancient Jews thought…than ancient Jews?
  5. What is the closest we can get to that?

A lot of this made my head hurt.

Dr. Gerald Schroeder earned his BSc, MSc and double-Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics and Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…

So…he’s a smart guy  ;-)

Now…add to that, the Bible commentary he uses is all pre-1300 (so, no modern science has affected the reading of Scripture.)

In 1959, a survey was taken of leading American scientists. (…)Two-thirds of the scientists gave the same answer: “Beginning? There was no beginning. Aristotle and Plato taught us 2400 years ago that the universe is eternal. Oh, we know the Bible says ‘In the beginning.’ That’s a nice story, but we sophisticates know better. There was no beginning.”

That was 1959. In 1965, Penzias and Wilson discovered the echo of the Big Bang in the black of the sky at night, and the world paradigm changed from a universe that was eternal to a universe that had a beginning. After 3000 years of arguing, science has come to agree with the Torah.

Okay – when do the Jews say the universe began?  They start with Rosh Hoshana – the Jewish New Year.

Hayom Harat Olam ― today is the birthday of the world.”

Does it mean that (about)5,700 years ago, the universe came into existence?  According to this article, the “birthday of the world” celebrates, not the cosmos, but rather the creation of the human soul.

So (to use the article’s wording) the Bible has two clocks.  The first “clock” is the time leading up to Adam, the second clock begins with the soul of Adam.

One of the reasons for seeing this concept is the language.  Is there anywhere else in the Bible where a “day” is described as “morning and evening?”  This bizarre word usage is used until Adam; after Adam “normal” human time is always used.

Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations;(Deut 32:7 ESV)

Nachmanides (died 1270 AD) saw this verse as “split time” – “days of old” = pre-Adam; “many generations” = post Adam.

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The Marriage Pledge

Phil and I have been discussing this exact topic – how Christian should respond to the state’s newly revised definition of “marriage” and what to do when pastors can no longer, with good conscience, act as state administrators

In many jurisdictions, including many of the United States, civil authorities have adopted a definition of marriage that explicitly rejects the age-old requirement of male-female pairing. In a few short years or even months, it is very likely that this new definition will become the law of the land, and in all jurisdictions the rights, privileges, and duties of marriage will be granted to men in partnership with men, and women with women.

As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-­habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are ­being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.

The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.

Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings. We will preside only at those weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles ­articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church’s life.

Please join us in this pledge to separate civil marriage from Christian marriage by adding your name.

Drafted by:

The Reverend Ephraim Radner

The Reverend Christopher Seitz

Link here

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Mark Driscoll Derangement Syndrome

1) Remember “Palin Derangement Syndrome?” It happens with other people also.

When you are so determined to see bad in all things that even tangentially touch a person, you’ve got DS (Derangement Syndrome)

2) I am in NO WAY supporting or agreeing with the sins that Mark Driscoll as committed in his time at Mars Hill. I hope that he, his family, his church, and all those who have been injured by Driscoll’s leadership find healing, repentance and forgiveness.

~~~

Warren Throckmorton has been making much hay over Mark Driscoll.

Some of the posts have been right on target. Others miss the mark.

Still others are full on “MDDS” (Mark Driscoll Derangement Syndrome)

When you go on the attack, aimed at John Piper, because he didn’t say everything that you think he should have said in an ELEVEN MINUTE podcast, you’ve got MDDS

When you question the integrity of other authors, based on the fact that they use the same publicist as Driscoll, you’ve got MDDS.

When (this was a commenter) you suggest that Christian authors should not sell their work, but give it away as a PDF and wait for folks to “donate” what they think the work is worth—forgetting that the HOST of the blog you’re commenting on is an author who (wait for it…) SELLS HIS WORK, you’ve got MDDS.

I’ve been following Throckmorton for a while, and his encouragement of the haters is disturbing and disheartening.

The information he puts out there is (perhaps) necessary, for those who have sat under Mark Driscoll, and want to keep tabs on the information in one place.

BUT…in order to keep the true haters (and MDDS) under a little more control, I’d suggest closing comments on all new posts concerning Mark Driscoll. If readership continues, Throckmorton will know that his information is still getting through to the right places.

If readership falls if commenters cannot continue ranting – that’s a clue that Throckmorton’s most common function has been to provide a venue for MDDS.

that should be worth thinking about.

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For the Life of Me…

Since I last posted, I’ve left my apartment (homeless,) retired (jobless,) married and moved to California.

The process of name changes, document changes, new drivers’ license, change of address…and unpacking…is daunting.

but I’m happy.

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Keeper From Gay Patriot

I’ve been quoting this, and since it’s now PAGES back, I want it posted here so I can find it quickly:

To the Progressive Socialist Totalitarian Left, Christianity is a threat to the primacy of the State. The Totalitarian Left believes the Authority of the State must be absolute, because the left can control all the apparatuses of the State and impose their moral beliefs on the population. For example, the belief that unborn children can be sacrificed in the name of personal convenience and the sick and elderly can be sacrificed to save the State money. Christianity, on the other hand, teaches that there is a Higher Moral Authority than the State; and that the conscience of the individual… not the Collective Will as embodied in the State and its organs.

It isn’t necessarily because of Gay Marriage, per se, but Gay Marriage is a cudgel that the left can use against Christianity; forcing Christians to bow to the State (e.g. being forced to participate in gay weddings as bakers, photographers, and florists). The ultimate goal is to eradicate Christianity and its tenet that each individual has a conscience and a moral imperative.

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Worship Matter by Bob Kauflin (chapter 1)

This is my second time through this book, the first time I breezed through, this time I want to get at what he wants to get at.

Worship matters. It matters to God because he is the one ultimately worthy of all worship. It matters to us because worshiping God is the reason for which we were created. And it matters to every worship leader, because we have no greater privilege than leading others to encounter the greatness of God. That’s why it’s so important to think carefully about what we do and why we do it.

The first chapter is about how Kauflin started his career, and about a really dry spot he went through. Frustrated and tired, he was pointed again at the cross (a good thing.)

What I hope to get from this book HOW worship matters, as well as WHY worship matters.

There is a line that Sunday morning groups need to grapple with, that many don’t: what is the difference between being in a performance group, and being in a group that deliberately leads a congregation in corporate praise?

That’s not a matter of how to choose songs, that’s a matter of leadership technique.

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Book Fail: July

Every once in a while, there is a book that I just cannot finish – it’s not worth my time.

This month, it’s a fiction book (murder and general mystery book) titled “Liquid Fear.”

Even with the plot already laid out, I don’t get it.

well, I do get it, but I’m not enjoying it. Others might, it’s just not my deal.

For me, Book Fail

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Philippians 1:1-7

I am starting on a task: to memorize the book of Philippians. So far, I have chapter 1, verses 1-7 (7 is shaky)

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

It struck me again, the “why” – it’s the Gospel.

Why does Paul thank God for the Philippians? Because of their partnership in the Gospel.

What is the good work? the partnership in the Gospel.

Why does Paul hold them in his heart? they are partakers with him of grace (the Gospel)

I am puzzling over verse 7.

NIV renders it

whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.

vs the ESV

or you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

It seems a little thing, in the NIV Paul comes first, in the ESV, the Philippians come first.

But it is a big thing:

In the NIV Paul puts himself first, and (given the lack of punctuation in the translation, is taking the credit for himself.

whether I am in chains or [whether I am] defending or confirming the Gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.

The two acts are as one – in chains or defending and confirming

In the ESV, Paul puts other first:

YOU are all partakers with me, BOTH in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel

the “both” specifically makes them two different acts.

The Philippians shared grace with Paul while he was imprisoned and they shared grace when they defended and confirmed the Gospel.

To me, that becomes important in knowing the character of Paul.

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Then vs. Now

I have heard it said (correctly) that the early Christians faced a moral world that in either the same depravity, or worse than what we see now.

Well, farther back than that.

If the Hebrew people had not lived surrounded by idolators and other evils, they would not have fallen in WITH them. So the evidence is that their world saw evil, as ours does.

The Jews just before Christ had forcibly dispersed, and some had returned; and the evil that they saw was as evil as today.

I think (purely subjective) that today seems more difficult for us because it appears so new to us. And (objectively) we do see things that we have NEVER seen before.

Was immorality rampant in 1st Century Rome? Absolutely. Was it worse than today? I don’t know. Some say yes, others say no.

I think that we feel it more because Western Christians have long enjoyed “majority rule,” thus staying safely wrapped in the insulation of tunnel vision.

The phrase “total depravity” best describes the world, and always has. We expect it.

We grieve – yes, for that depravity, but we grieve having to stand by, seemingly helpless, watching the DECLINE of our country and culture, at a breakneck speed.

Homosexuality is the best example.

Only a couple of decades ago, we (collectively) viewed same-sex-sex as abnormal. We knew gay people, we loved them as friends and family, but we loved them, not their chosen lifestyle.

Gay people sometimes (perhaps often) faced bullies and that should never have happened. People should never see bullying as acceptable.

In (culturally speaking) a very short amount of time, we see a decline.

- Traditional family unit (dad, mom, kids) and the gay community as outliers.

– A move away from the traditional family unit with the introduction of “consequence free sex” and “no-fault-divorce” (note: we do find good and Biblical reasons for divorce, and I don’t find “nobody’s fault” on the list.)

– With the traditional family unit undermined, open acceptance of the homosexual becomes tolerated by the culture

– As single motherhood becomes more acceptable, homosexuality becomes not only tolerated, but acceptable as a viable option.

– Demand of recognition of gay relationships becomes more popular, as does public spending for single motherhood.

– Demand of recognition of gay relationships becomes the demand that the culture view those relationships as identical to heterosexual relationships.

– The demand to see homosexual relationships as identical becomes the demand for culture (via “we the people”) to sanction these relationships.

– the demand for sanction becomes the demand for approval

– the demand for approval becomes the demand for celebration by all people.

– the demand for celebration becomes the demand for participation, regardless of sincerely held religious convictions.

As Christians today look around and see our spiritual siblings SUED and FORCED to provide services to ceremonies found morally offensive, I find myself able to identify with Christians in other times and places, who steep in total depravity through no fault of their own.

We, who enjoyed cultural insulation for centuries, may find this a difficult transition. No, we WILL find this a difficult transition. From power to weakness, from majority to minority, from peace to persecution.

Is the “remnant” ready? I want to be part of the remnant – and I know I’m not ready. If the “steps of grieving” can be applied to this – I’m still in the “denial stage” but we need to get ready.

We need to be in the world, but not of the word. Persecution awaits, Jesus promised. Whether we will be found worthy of the persecution that HE endured, is yet to be seen.

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Left vs. Liberal; Right vs. Conservatism.

(In preparation for the upcoming election cycle – with an eye toward “where faith and politics intersect.”

when I discuss the “contraception mandate” or the “gay agenda”, I specifically use the term “leftist” instead of “liberal.”

I’ve heard the question asked again and again, “why can’t we reach a compromise?”

I believe the answer lies in the “rise of the wings” – classic liberalism and classic conservatism had much in common. When the “wings” – right wing and left wing – move further and further apart, compromise becomes more difficult.

Classic conservatism and classic liberalism had, more or less, the same goals. Left wing politics and right wing politics do not.

One problem is that modern politics don’t use Biblical meanings. Christianity stresses personal responsibility, while the following thoughts on political conservatism stress societal responsibility. Liberal politics stress individual rights, but not responsibility.

A couple of basic definitions:

Conservative: A traditional conservative will support any social institution (public or private) that promotes and maintains social order and public good. A traditional conservative will emphasize the social/societal (both social responsibility and social benefit) over the isolated individual. (link)

Liberal: When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, it was founded on an unwavering belief in individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, private property, and laissez faire economics. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch, generally identified as the period from 1815-1914.

I’m looking for a simple comparison between “conservative” and “right wing” – which will be useful. But for time being, here is a short comparison between “liberal” and “leftist:”

Similarly, a liberal believes in and defends our Western heritage, while desiring to make it more egalitarian. A leftist is instinctively hostile to the Western heritage, regarding it as fundamentally unequal and therefore bad, and only redeemable through radical change. link

we are seeing it more and more, most publicly in both the “gay marriage” debate (you WILL celebrate the gay, or be sued) and the Hobby Lobby decision (Leftists are getting ever more open about wanting to eradicate religious liberty.)

And so it begins.

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