Evangelical Responses to a Literal 6 Day Creation

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TylerR's picture

Editor

The author cited Augustine as believing in instantaneous creation, in order to demonstrate that faithful Christians have disagreed about a literal interpretation of Genesis. Funny. I wonder if this same author is familiar with 2 Esdras 6:35-59? The book of 2 Esdras is a composite work, the largest portion of which (also known as 4 Esdras) is a Jewish apocalyptic work likely written soon after the destruction of the temple, in 70 A.D. Behold this sample (2 Esdras 6:35-41):

Now after this I wept again and fasted seven days as before, in order to complete the three weeks as I had been told. And on the eighth night my heart was troubled within me again, and I began to speak in the presence of the Most High. For my spirit was greatly aroused, and my soul was in distress. 

I said,

“O Lord, thou didst speak at the beginning of creation, and didst say on the first day, ‘Let heaven and earth be made,’ and thy word accomplished the work. And then the Spirit was hovering, and darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of man’s voice was not yet there. Then thou didst command that a ray of light be brought forth from thy treasuries, so that thy works might then appear.

“Again, on the second day, thou didst create the spirit of the firmament, and didst command him to divide and separate the waters, that one part might move upward and the other part remain beneath. 

etc., etc.

This author clearly, plainly, and absolutely affirmed a literal reading of the Genesis account. He was Jewish, and lived about 300 years before Augustine.

So, there ... 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Bert Perry's picture

....of paying due homage to the First Fundamental and Sola Scriptura.  Bauder's article is short, sure, and in such a short article, he's got to short-cut some of the arguments.  And while I come out on the six day side of the debate, I also have to note that if I am going to interpret Genesis 1-11 as a prose narrative or a historical narrative, establishing this is really the work of a PhD dissertation in many ways.  I'm sure others have done better, but I've personally been blessed by the work of those like AIG and CRI in taking a look at things like the usage of the word "yom" in Hebrew.  I'm also grateful to the same people for simply asking questions about whether the science is as monolithic in support of evolution as is claimed.

Having read "Origin of Species" for myself, and having taken a look at some of the evidence, my take at this point is that the gruel is thinner than advertised by a long shot.  Darwin in particular often seems to use a "And then a miracle occurs" type of logic in transitioning between his narratives of naturalistic observations (which are good reading, really) and his conclusions.  

It does really lead to a legitimate question of whether the issue is really at its core theological, or whether the desire is to accommodate secular science without subjecting it to nearly as much analysis as Genesis.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.