Theological implications of an old earth

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Charles Meadows, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Charles Meadows

    Charles Meadows
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    This was mentioned in the "errors" thread but not discussed alot. If we accept an old earth, and thereby accept a nonliteral Genesis 1, does this affect our approach to all scripture??
     
  2. MTA

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    This is an interesting question, but definitely not an easy one to answer. Yet, it does force us to ask if compromising or challenging Scripture by adopting other theories is dangerous, particularly for those passages that do not comfortably fit our knowledge and experience. I am persuaded that the danger in adopting comfortable positions only postures us to yield to other challenges to points of Scripture where definitive proof is absent.

    Some may say that they believe everything in the Bible except the creation account and see no harm in it. After all, there many creation theories that can be substituted for God's word, seemingly without too much harm to the remaining Scriptures.

    The problem, is where do you stop believing? Will your belief waiver if someone tells you that Adam and Methuselah lived to be over 900 years old? Do you really think the flood covered the whole world, or just the area of civilization where Noah lived? Will you attempt to qualify Solomon's wisdom and explain it away? Oh, and what about this virgin-birth issue and the resurrection story? Hmmmmmmmm, lots of questions here and some make for interesting speculation and discussion, but in the end, definitive proof does not exist and we either believe by faith, or look to man's wisdom to supply some rational theory. As for me, I'll continue to believe it all.
     
  3. Johnv

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    Not adversely, no. Each book must be viewd in light of the author's intent and context. Now, we may disagree with the intent and context, but that's a different topic.
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    I think one could hold to an old earth and still take Genesis literal. The earth was literally created in 7 days. The question is what does "day" mean. Whether you answer "24 hour" or "ages", its still a literal approach.
     
  5. Artimaeus

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    It not only affects it, it destoys any possibility for rational thought or discussion. If it doesn't mean what it says then it must mean something else. It really doesn't matter if that alternative meaning tickles your ears or not. There can be dozens of interesting and/or compelling scenerios. Why satop at Genesis? Let's just theorize about the possibilities for alternative readings in all srciptures so that what we are left with is total chaos.
     
  6. Daniel David

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    Seeing how Christ and Paul took it literally, it would behoove me to reject Chuckles' idea. Sorry about that.
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    This is why it is important to understand how the original audience understood the message. If you try to interpret through a western, 21st century mindset then you WILL mis-interpret many verses trying to literalize them. Example: Is.13 verse 10 reads:

    10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in its going forth, and the moon shall not cause its light to shine.

    Pretty plain isn't it? Read it in context and see.
     
  8. Calvin12

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    The main issue is original sin. The Genesis story is one of a very good world, and then the fall of man into sin. If your old earth theory eliminates original sin, such as a theory that man evolved from apes with God's help, then you have no fall, and thus no real need to rescue us from sin, not need for a savior.
     
  9. MTA

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    I largely agree with Artimaeus on this one; however, for the sake of argument, er . . I mean discussion, let's entertain Grasshopper's post:
    We know that a day is to the Lord as a thousand years . . . , but what are the "evening and the morning?" I guess the point is that there are plenty of instances in the Bible where the words translated from the original manuscripts do not translate equally. Still, we can find the contextual relationship of the comments in most instances and discover the correct meaning.

    Moses understood the meaning of evening and morning to be a day (as he recognized a day) and this same phrasing is used in Daniel to describe a literal day. Since Moses provided Genesis through inspiration, is it not reasonable to assume that the language was such that the people understood what kind of "day" God meant?

    The supposition that both a "24 hour" day and "ages" being literal approaches is not really true. Either definition for day could apply, although the age definition for the hebrew word for day was not common. However, both definitions cannot be correct. Only one definition allows for a clear meaning to the text that is the literal day. Gap, day-age, intermittent day and pictoral day theories are all entertaining, but each one falls by the wayside when examined in context with the literal day theory.

    This is somewhat a digression from the original post and I will apologize for that. However, I think this only emphasizes how careful we should be to not compromise God's word through careless speculation. It's an easy trap to fall into and that is just what Satan wants.
     
  10. Charles Meadows

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    Why Daniel David,

    How did you know they used to call me chuckles in grade school?

    And I recall Jesus speaking about Adam but not about a young earth.
     
  11. Marcia

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    Any theory that would cause a denial of death coming before Adam and Eve sinned (which I think an old earth theory implies) would make the plain reading of Gen 1 false.

    I am with Arti and Daniel on this.
     
  12. Marcia

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    Oops! [​IMG]

    Correction:
    I should have said any theory that would imply death coming before Adam and Even sinned would make the plain reading of Gen 1 false (and therefore could not be accepted). [​IMG]
     
  13. Daniel David

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    Chuckles is a nickname for Charles. I hope you don't mind.

    Just out of curiosity, how old are you claiming the earth is?
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    Rev 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

    Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel all knew that the earth was flat, and every good Jew knew that it was flat. And every good Christian knew that the earth was flat for 1400 years. The bad Christians who said that it was round were burned at the stake. After all, anyone who could read the Bible could see for himself that it says that the earth is flat. The ONLY reason for a different interpretation came from the devil worshipers who disrespectfully toyed with God’s creation.

    And of course all the good Christians who belong to the flat earth societies today know that the earth is flat because the Bible clearly says so. After all, spheres don’t have corners! Perhaps in another several hundred years, however, the flat earth societies will finally admit that the earth could possibly be round, and that the Bible needs to be interpreted in the face of reality. Perhaps in another several thousand years the young earth societies will finally admit that the earth could possibly be billions of years old, and that the Bible needs to be interpreted in the face of reality. But that is a very BIG “perhaps,” and I personally doubt that either of the societies will ever come to terms with the truth.
     
  15. Craigbythesea

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    International Flat Earth Research Society
    known as
    FLAT EARTH SOCIETY
    Charles K. Johnson, President
    Marjory Waugh Johnson, Sec.
    Telephone: (805) 727-1635
    PO Box 2533, Lancaster, CA 93539


    Aim: To carefully observe, think freely rediscove forgotten fact and oppose theoretical dogmatic assumptions. To help establish the United States...of the the world on this flat earth. Replace the science religion...with SANITY

    The International Flat Earth Society is the oldest continuous Society existing on the world today. It began with the Creation of the Creation. First the water...the face of the deep...without form or limits...just Water. Then the Land sitting in and on the Water, the Water then as now being flat and level, as is the very Nature of Water. There are, of course, mountains and valleys on the Land but since most of the World is Water, we say, "The World is Flat." Historical accounts and spoken history tell us the Land part may have been square, all in one mass at one time, then as now, the magnetic north being the Center. Vast cataclysmic events and shaking no doubt broke the land apart, divided the Land to be our present continents or islands as they exist today. One thing we know for sure about this world...the known inhabited world is Flat, Level, a Plain World.

    We maintain that what is called 'Science' today and 'scientists' consist of the same old gang of witch doctors, sorcerers, tellers of tales, the 'Priest-Entertainers' for the common people. 'Science' consists of a weird, way-out occult concoction of jibberish theory-theology...unrelated to the real world of facts, technology and inventions, tall buildings and fast cars, airplanes and other Real and Good things in life; technology is not in any way related to the web of idiotic scientific theory. ALL inventors have been anti-science. The Wright brothers said: "Science theory held us up for years. When we threw out all science, started from experiment and experience, then we invented the airplane." By the way, airplanes all fly level on this Plane earth.

    Our Society of Zetetics have existed for at least 6,000 years, the extent of recorded history. Extensive writing from 1492 b.c. We have been and are the Few, the Elite, the Elect, who use Logic Reason are Rational. Summed up, we are Sane and/ or have Common Sense as contrasted to the "herd" who is unthinking and uncaring. We have absorbed the Universal Zetetic Society of America and Great Britian, ZION U.S.A., the work of Alexander Dowie 1888, Wilber Glen Voliva 1942, Samuel Shenton, Lillian J. Shenton of England 1971. Zetetic: from Zeto, to seek and search out; Prove, as contrasted to theoretic which means to guess, to hope, to suppose, but NOT to 'prove'. Science 'proves' earth a 'ball' by 'scripture' words. We PROVE earth Flat by experiment, demonstrated and demonstrable. Earth Flat is a Fact, not a 'theory'!

    Our aim is not to 'disturb the herd' or wreck the Government, but rather to be an aid to the Elite Human Being in coming to KNOW earth flat...to then FREE his or her mind from such blind unreasoning 'theory-superstition' and so go on "to carefully observe...think freely...rediscover forgotten facts and oppose theoretical dogmatic assumptions." As Sir Fields, owner of newspapers in England, has said about us, "They are the Last pocket of individual Thinkers in English speaking world."

    I sometimes call myself the Last Iconclast. Science is a false religion, the opium of the masses. I myself count it as a begining of Sanity to confess 'the creation proves there was a Creator' so a God or Creator...Exists. From a life-time of study, of seeking out a proving things, from the study of 6,000 years of recorded history, from observation, from experience, from Common Sense Observation, have concluded the 10 Commandments are in fact good Laws of Living and Behavior for oneself and all in contact with you...truley 'Laws of Physics for Living.' That is my opinion. The Fact the Earth is Flat is not my opinion, it is a Proved Fact. Also demonstrated Sun and Moon are about 3,000 miles away are both 32 miles across. The Planets are 'tiny.' Sun and Moon do Move, earth does NOT move, whirl, spin or gyrate. Australians do NOT hang by their feet under the world...this is a FACT, not a theory! Also a Fact the Spinning, Whirling, Gyrating Ball World Planet, Globe Idea is Entirely 100% now and at all times in the Past, a RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE...a Blind Dogmatic Article of Faith in the Religion for the Blind unreasoning beast of prey. No earthly reason for a Sane, Upright Member of the Elite Elect Humans to subscribe to it. Also a Fact, today the Elite of Earth ALL live on the Flat World. Only the illogical, unreasoning "herd"...prefers the way-out occult weird theology of the old Greek superstitution earth a spinning ball! Both Copernecious and Newton, the inventors of the "modern" superstitions (400 year OLD modern) have said: "It is not possible for a Sane reasonable person to ever really believe these Theories." Thus sayeth Newton-Copernecious. What sayeth THOU?

    Associate Membership contribution of $10.00 a year, includes four (4) issue of FLAT EARTH NEWS and Membership Card. An 8 x 12 Color Certificate of Membership is $5.00 extra. Sustaining Member $25.00 a year; Patron $100.00 and up. One year of the quarterly (4 issues) FLAT EARTH NEWS and Membership Card and Certificate. $5.00 single copy. Each issue contains further proofs of the fact - earth IS flat. People of goodwill who seek the truth also known as the Facts are Welcome! We do not want members who are stupid, mindless, brute beasts with two feet whose only aim is to scoff or in some way 'harm' our work -- Facts, Logic, Reason, Sanity also known as commonsense, is our aim.

    In 30AD JC said... seek and find the Truth and it will set you free. Free from the Pathological Liars...the great pretenders who mislead all flesh and blood.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    SPECIAL: FLAT EARTH MAP (as featured in Newsweek, 7/2/84) $6.00 postpaid; Membership, Certificate, and Map $20.00.
     
  16. mioque

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    "We know that a day is to the Lord as a thousand years . . . , but what are the "evening and the morning?""
    '''
    Possibly the boundaries denoting the end of one age and the beginning of another.

    "The Genesis story is one of a very good world, and then the fall of man into sin."
    ''
    That's the second creation account, there are 2 after all. Account 1 might mean something completely different.
     
  17. Deacon

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    Many Christians have developed the erroneous idea that man's fall introduced evil into the world. This is clearly not the case. In Genesis 2:17 God directs Adam not to eat of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…” Genesis 3:1 states“…the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” We identify correctly that the serpent is none other than satan himself, here on the earth, from before the fall of man. God created the heavens and earth and called it, “very good” even with evil present in its midst.

    Adam was not created in the garden of Eden, he was placed there. The word “garden” suggests a protected, enclosed area; it’s a special place that God prepared for his special creation, man. The garden itself was only a part of the land of Eden (2:8). Why did God plant a garden if perfection existed all around? If the earth was “perfect”, was Eden MORE perfect?

    Romans 8:19-21ff states: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

    A YEC (Young Earth Creationist) may approach this text by assuming that creation was altered dramatically for the worse after Adam’s sin; the 2nd law of thermodynamics would have kicked in and death and the bondage decay process would have begun. We do not see a wholesale re-creation of the creation following the original sin of Adam, the curse was limited and specific (Genesis 3). The YECism theory adds much to what the Word really states.

    The OEC (Old Earth Creationist) interpret the same passage by suggesting that God subjected the world to bondage and decay from the beginning, and therefore “subject to frustration” from the initial creation, as part of His plan. This would be by the will of God, in His foreknowledge and according to His “very good” purpose, with the intent of demonstrating His glory and grace. Creation could be considered “very good” because it fulfilled His purpose.

    The death of animal life does not affect God’s goodness or His purpose, and is distinctly different from the death of men. There are many Hebrew words for “perfect” that could have been used if the intent was to say God created the universe that way.

    Didn’t God say that on the DAY Adam ate of the fruit, he would die? It didn’t happen physically, we don’t interpret the words by their literal meaning but apply the spiritual meaning; Adam died spiritually. YEC’s imply that the word means physical death. When Adam sinned he did not physically die, thus it was not physical death that God was discussing. Do animals die spiritually? Can an animal sin? They can disobey! They can “steal” from one another. It is not counted against them as unrighteousness because God does not hold them accountable. In thst position, mankind is distinctly alone, he alone can spiritually die.

    Rob
     
  18. Gina B

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    Not all OEC's do that. Some believe that the world was originally created to be inhabited by Satan and his followers, then destroyed and re-created for man.

    I don't believe it makes much of a difference in the interpretation of all scripture. Evolution will, but the majority of Christians who aren't young earth are gap theory from what I've seen. Maybe not, but I sure don't see many Christian evolutionists.

    Gina
     
  19. rsr

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    Craig, just a quibble. The Flat Earth Society, is of course, a joke. There is considerable controversy about whether educated Europeans, even in the Early Middle Ages, thought the earth was flat.

    Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Q 54, A 2

    Bede, 'De temporum ratione', C 32.

    There are numerous other examples; the existence of a spherical earth was, of course, rejected on theological grounds by some Christian writers, and there is no way to know what the common European knew, but to posit that a flat earth was the universal, or evenly commonly accepted view, especially over so long a time period, is unsubstantiated because of the extant writings that run counter to the view.
     
  20. Daniel David

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    Gina, Satan couldn't have lived on the earth prior to man's fall. What does the Scripture say?

    By one man sin entered the world...

    The laughable idea of satan living on the earth is a result of an unfortunate interpretation of an unfortunate KJV translation.

    God said to fill the earth, not refill the earth.
     

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