Posts tagged ‘creation’

November 20th, 2013

When Asked if I was Surprised to Find Evidence for a Young Earth

by Max Andrews

Several years ago I was taking a [required] course that teaches creationism. I have a few comments about the course I’ll keep to myself [as in it shouldn't be in the university] but I think most readers know where I stand on university and academia issues and standards. I was asked the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?”

My response is simply that this is a loaded question.  I don’t think I can say there’s no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence.  There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.

October 3rd, 2013

Q&A 34: Thomas Aquinas’ Understanding of Creation and Time

by Max Andrews

Question:

Hey Max I have a few questions about your cosmological argument from Thomas Aquinas:

(1) Did Aquinas believe in creation out of nothing?

(2) Did Aquinas believe that the universe existed eternally side by side with God even though it was contingent?

Also, how can be God be timeless on the view that the universe did not begin to exist? If God’s relation to the universe is always present, would that not imply an eternal relation of God with the universe, which would involve time itself? It is difficult for me to make sense of how God could be timeless on this view and not simply temporal.

Thanks,

Ben Williamson

Answer:

Hi Ben,

Here’s the short answers:

1) Yes.

2) I don’t think Thomas would phrase it that way but Thomas is okay with a creation that has existed for an infinite duration in the past–emphasizing the radical contingency.

May 16th, 2013

Face the Facts–There are Gaps in Biblical Genealogies

by Max Andrews

There’s that one question that has plagued Christians on anthropological origins.  Many young earth creationists claim there cannot be any gaps in the genealogy, which is what leads us to dating the time frame of the earth being young.  Old earth creationists, like myself, believe that there are gaps in the genealogy. The question is whether it explains anything at all and how much does it explain?

The genealogies are adequate but not complete.  No matter how you read the genealogies, you must concede that there are gaps.  For example Mt. 1.8:

Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah.

However, 1 Chron. 3.10-12 reads it differently:

Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Jehoram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah [also called Uzziah] his son.

Why did Matthew leave out three generations:  Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah? Scholars cite some reasons for the seeming discrepancy.  In many biblical lists of descendants, cadence and pattern hold great importance.  Matthew presented three groups of fourteen generations each:  fourteen from Abraham to David; another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile; and a third set of fourteen from the Babylonian exile to Jesus. 

June 26th, 2012

The New Creation–What’s Next?

by Max Andrews

We cannot imagine what is going to come next.  [God] has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end (Ecc. 3.11).  No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2.9).  Stretch your mind and strain your eyes to build a sustaining hope.

HOPE is the theme to the new creation.  The creation waits with eager (αποδεχομαι) longing (Rom. 8.19). αποδεχομαι [apodexomai] refers to an anxious, yet careful and patient waiting–a reservation of knowing something is coming but continuing in patience.  Hope that creation will be set free from corruption to bring glory to the children of God (Rom. 8.20-21).  We wait eagerly for the redemption of our bodies, we groan inwardly for the hope that we were saved by (Rom. 8.23-24).  The new creation is unique–hope that is seen is not hope (Rom. 8.24-25).

So, where is heaven and hell? Heaven and hell are physical and not just spiritual.  There is a resurrection of believers (1 Cor. 15) and a resurrection of unbelievers (Dan. 12.2; Rev. 20).  Heaven and hell continue to exist after this creation.  The Bible clarifies that heaven and hell continue after the moment God commands the cosmos to be “rolled up like a scroll” (Is. 34.4), to “disappear with a roar” (2 Pt. 3.10), and to “melt in the heat” (2 Pt. 3.12).  This of it this way: suppose I have a paper with the image of Dante’s universe on it.  It’s two dimensional (for the analogy to work I need to remove a dimension). If I crumble up the piece of paper the external dimensions where I am do not crumble up too.  I can crumble the paper with those dimensions and still not be affected by it.

May 15th, 2012

Creatio Originans and Time

by Max Andrews

The doctrine of creatio originans refers to God’s original conservation of creation–a sustaining causal relationship.  This doctrine typically entails an A theory of time.

A theory of time (dynamic):  The ultimate reality of time is tensed (God is in time)

B theory of time (static):  The ultimate reality of time is atemporal (God is outside of time)

The doctrine of creation implies an A theory of time (dynamic, tensed). If one adopts B theory of time, then things do not literally come into existence.  The whole four-dimensional  spacetime manifold exists coeternally with God.

Creatio continuans entails a B theory (a continual creation). According to B theory, all events are equally real. Yesterday is just as real as tomorrow and exist in the same moment. If creatio orignans fails, can B theory make more sense of conservation?

Can God act tenselessly on e to sustain it from t1 to t2 [a time interval]

April 25th, 2012

Word of the Week Wednesday: Creatio de Novo

by Max Andrews

The Word of the Week is: Creatio de Novo

Definition:  Latin for creation [or created] afresh.

More about the term:  Progressive creationism sees the creative work of God as a combination of a series of de novo creative acts and an immanent or processive operation.  God at several points, rather widely separated in time, created de novo.  On these occasions he did not make use of previously existing life, simply modifying it.  While he might have brought into being something quite similar to an already existing creation, there were a number of changes and the product of his work was a completely new creature.  Notice that this is completely compatible with common descent evolution and intelligent design.  This isn’t Darwinism but it may be accurate to say that creatio de novo is a categorically acceptable position for theistic evolutionists.  God takes preexisting forms and adds information to that form to have a creation de novo.

For more on this please see Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology ed 2; Hugh Ross’ A Matter of Days; and Fuz Rana’s Who Was Adam?

February 29th, 2012

An Outline of the Book of Genesis

by Max Andrews

The following is very brief outline of the book of Genesis.

Genesis:  The beginnings (This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord made the heavens and the earth.  Gen. 2:4 NASB)

Theme Verse(s)In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:1, 10b (NASB)

Author:  Moses (Pentateuch Authorship:  Ex. 17:14; 24:4; 34:27; Num. 33:1-2; Deut. 31:9)

Date, Place, and Type of Writing:  1450-1410 BC, General Middle East, Historical

Outline:

*A.  Theological Significances  B.  Practical Applications C.  Major Events  —Multiple or None Major

1.  The Creation—1-2

A.  The Creator creates everything (anything not created is God—cosmological argument—c.f. John 1:3).

  • There are supposed contradictory Creation accounts between chapters 1 & 2.  Chapter 2 is another account in supplementation to the first account by adding details (i.e. we are told that God created man (a generic term here) male and female (v 27), but this does not mean that the first creature was a male-female combination.  The details of that creation of the male Adam and the female Eve are given in 2:18-23.  Likewise, verse 5 adds details about the creation of vegetation on the third day.
  •  Creation was good, untainted by sin (1:10b).
    read more »

February 1st, 2012

Is There Scientific Evidence for Young Earth Creationism?

by Max Andrews

To answer the question, “Is it surprising that scientific evidence supports a young earth perspective?” I would respond saying that I would almost consider this a loaded question.  I don’t think I can find no evidence for a young earth; however, I find the record of nature to support the proposition that the universe is old (billions of years) by overwhelming evidence.  There is hardly any evidence for a young earth, if indeed there is any at all.

Before getting to the geologic record of nature one needs to address the cosmological record of nature (the earth cannot be older than the universe).  I initially gained my interest in cosmology (and I must say I really enjoy discussing cosmology) was the Kalam cosmological argument, which is an apologetic argument for a beginning of the universe.[1]  I’ll put aside the mathematical and philosophical arguments for a beginning of the universe for that would be off topic and I’ll stick with the scientific evidence.  If one were to analyze an extrapolation of space and time then that initial singularity for the universe would take us back 13.73 GYA (giga, billion years ago).  There are many models of the universe such as the steady state, oscillating, quantum fluctuation, and other string theory models that coincide with former.[2]  The most prominent model with the most philosophical, mathematical, and scientific evidence is the standard model (due to cosmic inflation, the big bang).  Prominent cosmologist Paul Davies comments,

November 8th, 2011

Why I Believe Young Earth Creationism is Simply Dead Wrong

by Max Andrews

I know this issue is a very large issue for some Christians.  I understand that many people disagree with me pertaining to the issue, but I do not believe the Bible advocates a young earth, nor do I believe science supports young earth creationism.  I am a progressive creationist (old earth).  Young earth cosmology just doesn’t cut it.  The scientific account is simply horrible.  I’m a proponent of the level two multiverse.  (See “Living in the Multiverse–Is it Science?” and “The Theological Attraction of the Multiverse” and “Divine Simplicity and the Multiverse–Thomas Aquinas Approved”).