The debates over creation and the correct interpretation of Genesis inevitably focus on intellectual arguments. Unfortunately, amidst arguments over the meaning of yom, the reliability of radiometric dating, and so on, it’s easy to lose track of the spiritual. But in fact, our faith is a spiritual matter; God is spirit, and we are created in His image. We must consider the spiritual when seeking truth, or else we degrade the faith into mere religion, or worse, some sort of religious philosophy.
This is perhaps the real challenge that science has brought to the faith — the belief that discerning truth just involves using the natural mind. Because of the success of science in many arenas, it’s easy for us to forget the fact that Scripture teaches against this viewpoint.
If we think about this as we approach the study of origins, it is quickly obvious that the debate is completely unbalanced. This seems to be largely the result of the fact that Young Earth Creationism (YEC) promotes a largely natural understanding of the opening narratives. This essay explores some of the problems with that approach. Continue reading
There are many aspects of the science faith debate, but some of the most central questions have to do with creation. The most fundamental one is whether we should interpret the beginning of Genesis as literal history, or some sort of figurative narrative. In the first case, there is a conflict between a literal interpretation and conventional science, while there is no conflict in the second case.
This essay outlines one viewpoint, based on both spiritual and Biblical perspectives, for why a figurative interpretation is best. The idea is to avoid overspiritualizing the text by including spiritual elements only when there is some clear reason for doing so, but to also avoid a purely natural perspective while missing valid spiritual elements. This latter error is the one that Jesus warned the disciples against. Continue reading
One of the clearest pictures of an old earth comes from carefully looking at the bottoms of lakes. The evidence there gives a very convincing argument that the earth is at least tens of thousands of years old, hundreds of thousands of years old, or even millions of years old. Continue reading
So far, most of the articles written on Creation Reality have had to do with Biblical observations or spiritual reflections. In my next post, I’m going try something new: Short “Simple Science” articles that present scientific topics in (hopefully) simple terms, yet faithfully relate the most important concepts.
In studying creation topics, it’s apparent that much teaching concerns the science of creation — whether science “proves” an old earth or a young one, whether evolution is true or not, and so on.
Often, these teachings are technical enough that many people struggle to follow them if they don’t already read a lot of science, either because the articles are long or technically deep. Other articles are straight-forward enough to be more accessible, but for some reason these seem to be mainly YEC-focused and don’t faithfully represent complete views of the science (in my opinion). The net result is that the most easily accessible materials are often the most misleading.
The goal of the Simple Science articles will be to introduce a single scientific concept in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Some of the articles will present concepts that clearly point to an old creation, while others will treat YEC perspectives that are easily shown to be false. Of necessity, these articles will be only introductions, but there will be links to dive deeper for those who are interested.
I’m very comfortable with science (working in the high-tech industry), and enjoy teaching, so this seems like a natural activity. However, I’m admittedly not an expert in most creation sciences, so am merely summarizing here. Feedback is more than welcome as to whether these work, and whether this is a useful activity.
In an earlier post, we explored the use of “Adam” in Genesis, and how common translations obscure the true nature of his name. When that nature is revealed, the sense of the text changes a lot. It turns out that something similar happens with the name “Eve”. In this post, we’ll briefly look at the similar confusion that occurs with her name, and then bring these observations together to see what they suggest about the beginning of Genesis. Continue reading
Recently, while doing some word studies in the New Testament, I realized how much of what we read is colored by the choices made in translation. Often, there is no direct English counterpart for words in the original language, so the translators have to make decisions between multiple imperfect options. Ideally, the choices accurately convey the original meaning. But once in a while, traditions develop that obscure details that are evident in the original languages, making it difficult to appreciate how the text would have been read by the original audience. This isn’t very common, but it can be interesting when we run across it. Once such example is the way “adam” is translated in Genesis. Continue reading
In an earlier post, we looked at Genesis 2:1-4 and saw how the description of God’s rest agrees best with other Scripture when it is interpreted as “repose” — a picture of ceasing work and being refreshed. This became clear when considering the immediate Sabbath context of the passage, as well as both Scripture passages that refer to the creation timeframe. However, that analysis was a little abstract and, at least for me, didn’t really convey how a reader of that time might have interpreted the text. In this essay, we’ll try to bring those details together in a way that paints a better picture, and then take a look at how something that’s really quite clear in Scripture can be so misrepresented in YEC writings. Continue reading