"This doctrine of six day creation was ... the consensus of the theologians, ministers and elders at the Westminster Assembly"

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dgszweda's picture

ChrisS,

 

I don't think anyone is bashing AiG or their approach to creationism.  I don't think it is the best spent energy, but I don't think it is wrong.  What we are concerned about is the $30+ million spent on the Museum, and what I have just found out is really a $50+ million ark.  I am just surprised that people think that $80-$100 million theme park to explain the Bible is a good use of money.  A lot of people are defending it because 1) it looks nice, 2) there is a gospel message.  No doubt it looks nice.  For $80 million, I would assume it would be very cool.  But do we really need to spend this money on this type of a message.  I feel that it has limited impact at the end of the day and maybe even negative impact.  The numbers of people visiting are way down year after year, which has now required them to install zip lines and other "non-creation", "non-biblical" activities to continue to stay interesting.

 

Jason Lisle is their star scientist, most of the other people I would not call "world-class".  What defines "world-class" is 1) place where they received their advanced degree, 2) amount of post doctorate work, 3) are they speaking in the field of their degree, 4) are they well published in peer review journals, and 5) do they have broad respect within the scientific community?  These are the keys.  Remember quality of science is all about peer review and peer acceptance.  Something that doesn't equate well in terms of a creationist view.  But I know lots of great YEC scientists that are world-class, just not in the area of creationism.

 

And bottom line, good science does not necessarily support Scripture.  This is a hugely false assumption that many creationists have.  If you don't agree, explain to me in scientific terms how the water was turned into wine?  Or maybe specifically how Lazarus was raised from the dead?  If I hold to the idea that many creationists do, that science supports Scripture and then I hit into the wall where it doesn't, where does that leave me?  Abandon scripture over science.  And if you don't believe me, I challenge you to go to our leading Christian schools and ask the young people who are getting science degrees from PCC, BJU and see how many of them believe in a YEC view.  The results may shock you, and I can almost tell you without a doubt that it was a result of first believing that "good science supports Scripture".  Almost 100% of the time this has been my experience.  Give these young people some more time out of college, and do you know what happens next (which I have seen), well the Flood was just regional, and Adam wasn't real......  I know that many of you view Creation Science as being good, but I can tell you that I have seen more harm come of it from our young kids.

Greg Long's picture

How are they supposed to get published in peer reviewed journals who would categorically reject any submission with a non-naturalistic, evolutionary perspective?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Also, your last paragraph, dgzweda, is comparing apples and oranges (or maybe grape juice? Smile ). Jesus turning water into wine is not comparable to creation vs. evolution. There is no physical record of that miracle left for archeologists and scientists to analyze and interpret. On the other hand, we have to do something with the earth, because it is here. How old is it? Where did the fossils come from? Where did man come from? Etc. The Bible gives the definitive answers to those questions, and so we would expect the world God created to accurately reflect what God tells us in His Word. Proper science is just the discovery and understanding of God's created world that should lead us to further glorify Him, and in my mind, creation science is just science with a Christian and biblical worldview.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

ChrisS's picture

dgszweda, Greg just answered it best, regarding a Christian using science.  I'll just add that for my own family and children, Scripture never gets set aside in favor of science, and science is never meant to prove anything that is Biblical, nor do I demand a scientific explanation for anything in the Bible.  God tells us a source for the Flood was fountains of the deep.  There is science that could support that, but I don't need it to believe. Christians, however, will look to secular science and doubt Creation because of an interpretation of the fossil record, for example.  And if those Christians have their faith rattled by secular science, there is a deeper problem, and I'd agree we need to teach our young better.  Some Christians lean on the fossil record to support evolution, not needing a supernatural creation.  I would turn that thinking around on them when they deny a supernatural creation, asking them to explain the resurrection, the most important supernatural event ever.  Science will never show raising one from the dead, as with Jesus, and you mentioned Lazarus, and so on.  So we personally do not start with science and try to match up Scripture and explain everything.  But when I can explain fossils and a catastrophic flood, and scientifically refute evolution, I can prayerfully get people thinking about general revelation, pointing them then to special revelation and the need for salvation. 

And indeed, our young kids, my own young kids, IMO need to be able to intelligently answer skeptics, giving a reason for their hope 1 Peter 3:15, but even that verse begins with a call to a good testimony to even get people to hear them.  But I would also pray they never try to prove God, and it's my job to help them (MY kids) understand.  AiG is a resource, and my own interest in them is unrelated to an ark project.

It really is all about Jesus, I'm told, and I agree.   And when you see in John 1 that His first miracle was Creation, it all ties together perfectly.

dg and Greg, thanks for the sharpening.

Darrell Post's picture

"Proper science is just the discovery and understanding of God's created world that should lead us to further glorify Him, and in my mind, creation science is just science with a Christian and biblical worldview."

 

And this comment dovetails with something I was thinking about last evening. Lets say the Christian community decides as a whole, that we no longer will engage in any apologetics (pre-suppositional or otherwise) in any areas that involve science. So the next time something odd is found, say in the field of astronomy (i.e. something that appears to be like radio signals coming from a distant galaxy), and it hits the news. Bible believers would naturally want to know what all the possible explanations for this could be, but the news reports only seem fixated on one option, that is alien life out there trying to talk to us. So believers contact Jason Lisle and he then has to respond with, "well, in the research I have done, I know there is a completely logical and natural explanation to this, but I cannot share it with you, because that would be engaging in the apologetics we decided would be off limits." So then it immediately becomes pointless for Christians to study astronomy, and the next natural step would be for the Christian community to avoid sciences altogether. But imagine a world where Christians never looked into anything via the scientific method.

 

By the way, I asked my kids a question last night. They have been to the creation museum and have listened to some of the Jonathan Park programs. I asked them if it is important for science to prove the Bible is true or do we just rely on the authority of Scripture regardless what science claims. My daughter quickly responded that the Bible is true and it is our authority, not science, but its good to study science because "the heavens declare the glory of God."

Wayne Wilson's picture

Jason Lisle is their star scientist, most of the other people I would not call "world-class".  What defines "world-class" is 1) place where they received their advanced degree, 2) amount of post doctorate work, 3) are they speaking in the field of their degree, 4) are they well published in peer review journals, and 5) do they have broad respect within the scientific community?  These are the keys.  Remember quality of science is all about peer review and peer acceptance.  Something that doesn't equate well in terms of a creationist view.

I think AIG's Dr. Georgia Purdom would likely rank pretty high by this standard as well as Jason Lyle.  She has published peer review articles in her field of molecular genetics.  I have heard her on a number of occasions and asked her some difficult questions related to biology.  The lady knows her stuff!

Overall, I think AIG is blessedly careful about making absolute claims or relying on science to "prove" the Bible. There are some embarrassing ministries focused on Creationism. I would say AIG along with ICR set a high standard. 

dgszweda's picture

Greg Long wrote:

How are they supposed to get published in peer reviewed journals who would categorically reject any submission with a non-naturalistic, evolutionary perspective?

 

I agree, and never said it was fair, but that is how science dictates quality.  What you do find is that a lot of creation scientists are arguing in areas of lets say geology, but their background is genetics.  That is where a lot of the problem is.

dgszweda's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Also, your last paragraph, dgzweda, is comparing apples and oranges (or maybe grape juice? Smile ). Jesus turning water into wine is not comparable to creation vs. evolution. There is no physical record of that miracle left for archeologists and scientists to analyze and interpret. On the other hand, we have to do something with the earth, because it is here. How old is it? Where did the fossils come from? Where did man come from? Etc. The Bible gives the definitive answers to those questions, and so we would expect the world God created to accurately reflect what God tells us in His Word. Proper science is just the discovery and understanding of God's created world that should lead us to further glorify Him, and in my mind, creation science is just science with a Christian and biblical worldview.

 

I believe it is 100% comparing apples to apples.  What we have in regards to a physical record with no real understanding of how it all fits together.  Just some ideas.  I will hit this with a few points.  And again, don't get me wrong, I am about the hugest YEC guy there is, but:

  • Explain to me the science behind breathing a breath of life?  You can't.  It is outside of the bounds of scientific reasoning, just as turning water into wine.  It is not something that should scare us or worry us.  Creation in and of itself breaks every concept and understanding within science, so how can we expect looking at shells of a picture 10,000 years to 700,000 years later as helping us drive to a conclusion of "how it was actually done"?  We just don't know.  We take the arguments that scientists use and try to craft them to fit how we believe the Bible explains it.  Since the Bible is not a scientific textbook, we have no idea.  That doesn't mean that the Bible doesn't show elements of science, and on those areas where it is scientific it is absolute, but the creation account is not a picture of pure science and wasn't meant to be.  It doesn't mean it is not true, there is not the detail there to the level that science demands.
  • Just try to use a scientific theorem, law, theory or equation that either 1) explains God, or 2) takes God into effect.  You can't.  You can craft theories that work around the understanding of a god, but God in and of himself doesn't fit into science.  Nor should it.  That is what theology is for.
  • Again, we don't know how God did what he did.  He could have supernaturally held all of creation as a spec in his figurative hand and blown it across the universe at speeds exceeding light (because he hadn't set that law yet), or he could have just blinked it into existence.  Either way would have produced, or could have produced a different way in how we view them, both are conceptual and doesn't really get us to a better answer, and at the end it doesn't matter.  We just know that a God beyond our comprehension created it miraculously going beyond the physical boundaries that he set up to create what he wanted to out of ex nihilo.
  • Science is all about modeling.  It is ever changing.  An explanation that is created today is no longer relevant tomorrow.  Even a model created with the wrong suppositions can still be useful.  Having an understanding that the universe is 30 billion years old, helps us further model other elements, even if it is not correct.  For example, Newtons law on gravity is great.  It works 100% of the time for the view that Newton had of his surroundings.  Once we got past dropping an object on earth, and we begin to look at planets, universes and other things, the model of Newtonian physics breaks down.  Then we have to wait until Einstein comes along to develop a new model around gravity.  That works great for both an apple on earth and two planets.  Now we look at the subatomic area, and both Newton and Einstein fail and we have to look elsewhere.  Were either of them wrong?  Not really.  There were limitations in their models.  And so science keeps changing.  Can we use evolutionary theory to do good science?  Certainly.  Does it mean that this explains origins?  No.  It just fits our limited understanding of our model. And until Christ comes back and reveals all things to us, our understanding will go on (both secular and Christian science) building models based only on what we know at that moment, which happens to never be a complete and accurate picture.

Science will, always, always, always never be fully aligned with God (creation science or secular science) as long as we have a sinful man, with a flawed nature and view, and a limited understanding of every element of God.  We have only been given Special Revelation that reveals those elements that God has chosen to reveal for His Purposes.  That is totally awesome.  Why? Because at some point God will reveal all to us, and yes at that moment our understanding of what science really is, will be totally transformed beyond anything we could ever hope imagine.  Theology, science, philosophy both natural and supernatural will be wholly and totally unified.  That is the hope that we have in the future.

dgszweda's picture

Darrell Post wrote:

So then it immediately becomes pointless for Christians to study astronomy, and the next natural step would be for the Christian community to avoid sciences altogether. But imagine a world where Christians never looked into anything via the scientific method.

 

That is not the case.  I am (or was) a scientist and a Christian.  I had many collegues that were, and we never chose or had a burning desire to explain everything via science, or even to have an explanation.  We can also choose to answer, we don't know.  We can even choose in our career to investigate the signals.  Until an alien shows up on our doorstep it is still all about theory and investigation.  What we view about blackholes today is almost entirely different than it was 10 years ago.

Darrell Post's picture

dgszweda, my point was, it would be absurd to study if we were never going to engage in dialogue about what was learned, observed, etc. And I chose that example, but there actually has been a story about signals that seem to come from another galaxy.

Christians are going to study, they are going to research, propose solutions to problems, and so on. And as long as the Scriptures are the final authority this is all productive and helpful, regardless how others propose solutions based on their presuppositions.

Todd Wood's picture

There is a brother in our church who is a nuclear engineer.  He is currently involved in the Center for Space Nuclear Research in Idaho Falls.  Pretty cool young scientist.  Got some others in the church family as well.

" . . . at some point God will reveal all to us, and yes at that moment our understanding of what science really is, will be totally transformed beyond anything we could ever hope imagine.  Theology, science, philosophy both natural and supernatural will be wholly and totally unified.  That is the hope that we have in the future." 

I can understand what you are saying, bro.

Ron Bean's picture

Doesn't the Bible seem to state that the facts of flood and creation are matters we accept by faith? All my life I've seen Christians trying to "prove" creation and the flood through science (Glen Rose, Texas anyone? They've even found Noah's Ark a couple of times.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Darrell Post's picture

Ken Ham was in town so I went to hear him speak. His message to Christians was to never abandon the Scriptures, as God's Word is the sole authority. He absolutely affirmed that the unregenerate are dead in their trespasses and sins, and no amount of argumentation over theories of historical science will change their views--only the work of God in their hearts. He spent considerable time talking about the distinction between historical science and observational science, and said that too many believers don't realize that textbooks, media, professers, etc., blur the two, and convince Christians to toss aside the Bible and get involved in arguments of reason over issues in historical science as though they were talking about observational science. In short, I found Ham to be everything I had argued above. Very much pre-suppositional apologetics approach, and very committed to the authority of the Scriptures.

DavidO's picture

He absolutely affirmed that the unregenerate are dead in their trespasses and sins, and no amount of argumentation over theories of historical science will change their views--only the work of God in their hearts.

 

Which work is accomplished (or at least aided) by the erecting of an ark. 

Darrell, what he says really does sound good, but it seems inconsistent with what he does.  On the one hand he says, "they have Moses, the prophets, and apostles, let the lost hear them!"  On the other he says, "We need a multi million dollar ark so the lost will hear Moses, the prophets, and apostles." 

Do you see no tension there?

Darrell Post's picture

David, he hasn't built the place yet. So it is hard to comment on it because I have yet to see the strategy they have developed on how to use the ark as an evangelistic tool.  God is absolutely sovereign in matters of salvation of sinners, and at the same time he has called upon us to actively participate as tools he will use to accomplish this task. Ken Ham actually raised your very question last night. Not in those exact words, but the question of why do we engage our culture in gospel discussion while at the same time it is God who saves? Ken stated that we have absolutely no human power to see anyone converted. But because it is God who turns dead people into live people, and because God has called us to share the gospel, and be ready to give an answer (defense), then we reasonably conclude that God intends our role is to know the Scriptures, and use whatever opportunities we have to share the Scriptures to see what God will do. As an analogy, he mentioned the raising of Lazarus. Christ could have commanded the stone to roll itself away, just as easily as he commanded Lazarus to come forth. The people who rolled the stone away had no power at all to bring Lazarus to life. But Christ did command them to roll the stone away. He views the Christian's role in our culture is to obey the command of God just like the men who rolled the stone away, and then stand there and watch what God will do.  

It could be that in our culture, where most children have never even heard of Jesus and know nothing about the Bible, that something as bold as a full-sized ark could be used by God as an entry point to draw people to Christ.

But again, I do not see any tension. Missionaries will conduct soccer clinics and draw huge crowds, and give them the gospel. I heard of one missionary in a country whose people had never even heard of frizbees. So he took his dog to the park and did toss/catch with his dog and large crowds gathered to watch it. So I don't see any tension with using a tool to draw a crowd and then point them to Christ.

You may argue that Ken's ark project is too expensive, and that is a legitimate question, but my main reason for posting here today is to give a first-hand report which backed up how I argued further above in this thread, against those who had characterized Ham's theology and approach to ministry as something that it was not.

DavidO's picture

Darrell,

Happily, I agree with you on your two points.  1) God is absolutely sovereign in the saving of the lost (perhaps Hershberger/Ryrie convinced you as t/he/y did me?).  2) God has chosen to use human instruments in accomplishing His reaching of the lost.   Where we part ways, I think, is on the methods of gaining a hearing.  And we've probably both made our case on that pretty clearly at this point.  Be well. 

Darrell Post's picture

and again I believe my overall point was being charitable toward other believers whose vision for a ministry tool is not the same as one's own. That was my initial point on this thread. I am in no position to build a project like Ham envisions, so I do other things.  But I want to take great care in being critical, or worse, mocking [not saying you were] a brother who wants to implement a project that in the end, God may very well use. I just wanted to encourage folks to not end up throwing rocks at someone God is using....just because one disagrees with the tool. I have not done all the research Ham has done into this particular method of gaining a hearing, and I am willing to be charitable and wish that God would use it.

DwightD's picture

Amen, brother.  I'm 100% in agreement with you.  What some seem not to have asked themselves is, "What if God has called Ken Ham to undertake this project?"  I would not want to have to explain to Him why I mocked someone He may have called to do a particular task.  At the very least, this could be a useful educational tool for Christians.  Just going by the dimensions listed in the Bible I had no earthly idea how big the ark was.  To find out it was as big as an aircraft carrier simply boggled my mind and showed me an even deeper perspective of the Creator and Redeemer.

James K's picture

I think it would have been helpful for this discussion if a NT author, like Peter maybe, referred to the ark in some way and then presented Jesus as the antitype.  Had that happened, then it would be obvious how the ark could have relevance to a salvation message.  If only Jesus maybe referred to Noah and massive destruction in a way that would indicate severe wrath was coming.  Sometimes I beat my head against the wall wishing such obvious things would have been employed.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

DwightD's picture

James K wrote:

I think it would have been helpful for this discussion if a NT author, like Peter maybe, referred to the ark in some way and then presented Jesus as the antitype.  Had that happened, then it would be obvious how the ark could have relevance to a salvation message.  If only Jesus maybe referred to Noah and massive destruction in a way that would indicate severe wrath was coming.  Sometimes I beat my head against the wall wishing such obvious things would have been employed.

 

Peter did mention the ark; it's recorded in 1 Peter 3:18-22

DwightD's picture

DwightD wrote:

James K wrote:

I think it would have been helpful for this discussion if a NT author, like Peter maybe, referred to the ark in some way and then presented Jesus as the antitype.  Had that happened, then it would be obvious how the ark could have relevance to a salvation message.  If only Jesus maybe referred to Noah and massive destruction in a way that would indicate severe wrath was coming.  Sometimes I beat my head against the wall wishing such obvious things would have been employed.

 

Peter did mention the ark; it's recorded in 1 Peter 3:18-22.  And Jesus mentioned Noah in His Olivet Discourse, Msatthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27

 

Bill Green's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

There have been fundamentalists who have held to a literal six day creation but not to that of a young earth.

 

Silly gappers! Wink

INACIAS

DwightD's picture

I hold firmly to a literal 6-day creation and to a young earth as do all my fundamentalist friends I associate with.  It's the only way to go

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