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Monday, August 07, 2006

Reading between the verses 

I had the beginning of an interesting conversation last night that I thought I'd share. It was spawned by a children's book about God which mentions something about the mountains already beginning to age before the first man walked the earth (which we decided was technically accurate, based on the fact that God gathered the waters to allow the dry land to appear on day 3, and didn't create man until day 6, giving the mountains at least a three-day head start) but grew into a discussion about (1) the significance of heavenly bodies to mark hours, days, months, seasons and years not being established until the fourth day, (2) the possibility of some indeterminable gap between Genesis 1:1-2 and Genesis 1:3ff, during which the pre-time conflict between Lucifer and God resulted in a third of the angels getting kicked out of glory, (3) the nature of the difference between humans and angels, and (4) the question of whether angels have free-will.

What think ye?

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If I gather correctly you are interested in our opinion on the "Apparent Age" theory where God created everything to look as if it had been around awhile already moments after its creation. Personally, I have no problem with this theory and this is why. God almost certainl;y created Adam with "Apparent" age, he was described as an adult or at least not an infant. Each animal was most likely created in large amounts and in a more adult form as they roamed the Earth. I believe the chicken most likely came first not the egg, and as such I don't think it would be a stretch for God to "Age" the mountains and such in some fashion. The most common argument I receive against a "Apparent Age" theory is that it is evidence that God is being deceptive when He made the Earth look much older than it actually is. And I know how Paul would answer a query like that. (Read the middle of Romans) Also I find that this might be the only way for New and Old Earth Creationists to come together because there is clearly evidence on both sides which I think can be explained with an Apparent age creation.



Dean -

I appreciate your insightful comments. I think you have rightly summarized a cogent argument for the "Apparent Age" theory. However, my query is more along the lines of the nature of "time" that elapsed after creation - particularly in two intervals:

(1) The possible gap between "In the beginning God created..." and "Let there be light." Could He have fashioned a formless earth with all the "raw" materials for what he would later organize into the glory of His creation?

(2) The potential span of time that comprised the first three days of creation in the absence of heavenly bodies to measure out 24 hours. Could He have reckoned "...there was evening and there was morning" to be the equivalent of our current understanding of "a thousand years" until establishing the sun, moon and stars "for signs and for seasons, and for days and years..." on day four?

The corollary to these questions is what else might have ocurred in Heaven during these intervals while God was doing His work on earth?



For the first Gap, I have no answer because I don't know if there is much to go on. But possibly nonetheless.

As for the second, I would think that the span of time for "evening and morning" would be the same throughout. So even though heavenly bodies are absent for a time, I still think the same time table was in place. Since the pasage is being recounted to people who have an understanding of how long a time "Evening and Morning" is I would assume that God would have said things differently if A. It took longer than an ordinary day. or B. He wanted us to know it took longer than an ordinary day. So my conclusion is that either all of them were the same ordinary day, or God does not feel that the distinction if any is worth recounting to us.

As for the activities of Heaven I can only guess....Cloud Volleyball perhaps? That would have to be so fun.


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