Re: The miracles of the Genesis creation account
Sean, the problem with your thinking is you aren't precise with your words, and it muddles your ideas. Let me explain:
No, science declares that a 3 day old corpse will not animate on its own. There is a difference. Specifically, Science does not, can not, declare that a miracle that will re-animate a 3 day old corpse is impossible. Science can only speak on the natural. But even to that end, there is nothing that says that at some future time, it will remain impossible to reanimate a 3 day old corpse.
Originally posted by seanD
Far too broad a brush. For example, the opening phrases very much concord with what it known of the initial moments of creation. Further, science does not say that creation is impossible over a period of 6 days - miraculously. Indeed, it says that from the correct reference frame, the 13.7 billion history of the universe could indeed be perceived by a human to pass in a mere 6 days.
Science declares that the descriptions in Genesis cannot be true.
What science tells us is that the universe has 13.7 billion years of history within its own reference frame. And that everthing in it is absolutely and perfectly consistent with that much time having passed. It is the Bible, which tells us God is a God of truth and not a God of deception and lies, that causes us to believe that the current state of the universe is not a miraculous fabrication by some Loki like supernatural entity. It is the Bible which tells us time for God is not like time for us, and which even makes the direct comparison for us, telling us 1000 years is like a 'day' to God, even like a watch in the night. It is the Bible which tells us in Romans 1 that the heavens reveal to the carnal man certain aspects of Gods majesty and glory. And in the end, it is the Bible, which in light of what is known about nature, which tells us that our traditional understanding of Genesis is in fact a misunderstanding. Hence the Bible itself helps us to understand itself as we grow and learn about God's creation.
OK - I just remembered you hate me carving up your responses:
Now you will see why I tend to break up your responses. There are so many mis-statements here it is just difficult to reference them all one by one without stringing them out. But in deference to your preferences, I will simply say that I do not use science to determine what is true in the Bible. But I do use my understanding of the natural world to guide me in interpreting certain aspects of scripture, especially when the scripture is speaking of the natural world. For example, I do not interpret the 'foundations of the Earth' as literal stone pillars or foundations upon which the Earth sits, though that is one possible meaning. And the reason I don't is because I know the Earth does not rest on large stone foundations. But I did not get that understanding from the Bible.
Since you rely on science to determine what can and cannot be true of Genesis, why are dismissing science on what it declares about the resurrection of Christ? If the Jews were writing mythology and using symbols and allegory to create Genesis, what makes you believe they were not writing a resurrection myth? The NT writers used elements of the Genesis myth to incorporate into their stories, so why do you believe they were actually describing fact and history in the case of Jesus? Risen in three days, twelve disciples, the Trinity, all sounds just as symbolic as Genesis by your criteria. You choose to put faith in one, but not other. What's the difference exactly?
How do I know how to interpret the NT if symbolism is used in some places in the old testament? Again, far too broad a question. But one thing that tells me I can't interpret certain things in the NT as symbolic is the ancient creeds which define the critical elements of our faith. Another is to look at what the natural world tells me about those texts, is there evidence that directly contradicts the stories? Is there a body in the tomb? Is there credible evidence the disciples faked the resurrection? Is there any textual indicator these stories are meant to be taken in some figurative fashion. And on all these fronts, the answer is no - unlike the Genesis 1 account.
Again - you must also factor in a distinction so many in your ranks do not or will not make:
The difference between what God can do and the evidence declaring what He did do.
God could have raised Christ up to heaven having never sent Him to the cross. But the evidence does not show that is what He did do. Likewise, God could have made the world in a literal 6 days and simply told us exactly what He did. But the evidence is that is not what He did do. The evidence is that God made the world over a very long period of time and then told us about it in a very general and figurative way.
"Let the hand not say to the foot - I have no need of thee ..."
"I assume you have prepared new insults for me today ..."
- Spock (the younger)