A Young Earth Friendly Old Earth Creationism

Agreed. So many times over the years I’ve gone over that traditional “made vs. created” argument, and I’ve always ended up with a long list of Hebrew concordance entry counter-examples. I can understand why a clear distinction would be exegetically appealing—but it just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

Likewise. It would be nice if dependency clauses resolved everything—but they don’t. I have read countless journal articles over the years putting tons of exegetical weight on vav-consecutive (or waw-consecutive, for those who prefer) in the early verses of Genesis. And there’s that whole “The vav-consecutives in Genesis 1 absolutely prove that it is an historical narrative meant to be interpreted literally—exactly as I am interpreting it so you must agree with me!” arguments that totally put me to sleep after several hundred pages. [I’m not referring to Chad Marinelli’s Wordpress article. I thought he did a nice job of summarizing his positions. I’m just reminiscing on the Genesis 1 topic in general.]

I can see how how the Days of Proclamation view can seem overly concordist. But it is something I always share in presentations in churches so that those who require a concordist solution can reasonably resolve their discomfort—and it illustrates for all of the other students that there is certainly more than two ways to read Genesis 1. I will admit that I’ve gone back-and-forth on it over the years. Sometimes it seems really comfortable and yet at other times I feel like it is hard to study the context of the ancient culture and not feel like Days of Proclamation is an anachronistic imposition with a crowbar and a backache.

I’ve thought it but don’t usually have the guts to say it. Kudos. (And that is despite the fact that I’m a very die-hard Molinist who wouldn’t necessarily seem to be put off by causation time-loops.)

@deuteroKJ is certainly far better trained in the Genesis text than I will ever be but it appears my conclusions even in my long ago seminary days were not that different from his.


POSTSCRIPT: I’ve not told an old-rambling-professor story in a while (paging @Dan_Eastwood) —but memories flooded back when Marinelli talked about John Sailhamer and his Genesis Unbound. Back around 1986 or so, John invited me to his house when we were working on an informal project together, and I was surprised that such a young Assistant Professor could afford a lot of expensive computer equipment and such an impressive private library while raising a large family in a expensive suburb with very high property taxes. Then this huge bear of a dog walked into his study (I forget the name of the breed) and John said, “She’s about to pay for the difference between what I really need to cover my sabbatical and what the school will be paying me.” He explained that her pups would sell for about $350 each and she produced between nine and eleven per liter each year. I no longer can recall which of his writings were produced in that next sabbatical but I rarely see mention of a John Sailhamer book without wondering if his home dog-mill helped sponsor it.

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love this backstory! I loved John, crankiness and all. I just wrote a chapter in my book outlining his position. I had to distinguish his “hard version” from a “soft version” that I find more palatable. Brilliant mind with great insights, but still went to far to press his points at times.

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How exactly are they concordist?

historically concordist, i.e., having to find a real week where such-and-such happened.

That seems to beg the question.

Concordist, as I understand its negative connotation, means reading modern scientific knowledge into Scripture. But, it doesn’t take modern scientific knowledge to think the 7 days are ordinary days (but it does to think they are 24-hour days). So that can’t be concordist, certainly not how Proclamation Day works or how Walton’s view works. They think it was real days, but not days corresponding to days in material creation, so they are not arguing that modern scientific knowledge is in Scripture.

What you seem to be saying is merely “that isn’t what I think it says,” which isn’t really connected at all to concordism in a negative sense.

What am I missing?

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Introducing Chad from Middle Ground

@swamidass you are correct. A concordist interpretation is one that works hard at fitting scientific views into Genesis. Demanding a literal fulfillment of Genesis is the antithesis to concordism. In fact, I would argue that views which have figurative days are heavily concordist. I was once an Analogical Day adherent (convinced by Poythress), but I realized that I had no exegetical support for the shifting meaning of yom from Genesis 1 to Genesis 2, or thereafter.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Introducing Chad from Middle Ground

Concordism, as you know, has many definitions (I laid out many in my Biologos article: Discordant Views on Concordism - Articles - BioLogos). I don’t consider it necessarily negative in principle. I’m using a broader sense of the word in trying to harmonize the biblical text with history or science (whether that means reinterpreting the text to fit with modern notions or vice versa). Since I don’t think the text is trying to make specific historical or scientific claims, I find concordism (broadly construed) unattractive. I could be wrong, of course. But right now I don’t find the textual claims to be saying something definitive about the timing or order of creation (or proclamation). Walton, as far as I understand does see these as actual 24 hour days of God pronouncing functions. I don’t find this necessary.

He would not see them as 24 hour days (hours is a modern concept), but he does see them as ordinary days. His pretty clear about this, and I’ve asked him directly to be sure. For Walton, the 6 days of Genesis one are 6 ordinary days during which the temple is inaugurated.

So if we got in a time machine and went back, there would actually be a 6-day period in which this temple inauguration happened? That’s how I understand him.

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Yes, that’s right. So (for Walton) the six days of the Genesis 1 text correspond to six actual days in history. I don’t think that makes him a concordist.

Of course, that view is subject to criticism. Perhaps he is wrong. But it is hard to see this idea as “concordist,” unless we just mean concordism to say “that guy interprets this passage with more historical reality than I think is warranted.” But in that case, the term “concordism” really distracts from the real questions of whether there is any warrant to that interpretive layer of the text.

Curious your thoughts on this @chad: A Telling in Six Ordinary Days

Distracting or not, it is how “concordism” is sometimes used. In the end, I don’t think it’s necessary to find an actual six days in history where these events/proclamations happened.

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As I’ve laid out, this is only one definition of concordism (and not the one I’m using).

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@deuteroKJ so you aren’t willing to consider my literal exegesis because of supposed historical concordism, yet is not your figurative exegesis induced by scientific concordism? Would you be looking for a figurative interpretation of you had no access to modern science, billions of years, evolution, etc?

@swamidass this appears to be the classic Revelatory Day View. At one point I considered it, but was quickly deterred when confronted with Exodus 31:17, which tells us that the 6 days applies to God’s work (and by analogy our work week), not to Moses telling/revealing God’s work.

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I considered your exegesis (I don’t know what “literal” means) and agreed with some points and disagreed with other points. Historical concordism is a larger issue, not settled by exegesis alone.

I don’t know what you mean by figurative exegesis, and would likely reject the identification. But no, my approach is not driven by scientific concordism.

I’m looking for authorial intent.

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From the article…

However, the simplest way to understand the word “day” in Genesis 1 is a regular 24 hour day. As a traditional YEC, I stood by the fact the author says “and there was evening and there was morning” between each day, in a series of sequential days. I still stand by this fact! Nowhere else in scripture is such a convention used to convey long undefined periods.

The proviso I see, is that poetic and metaphoric use of words and entire concepts, in English, Hebrew, or any other language, is not constrained by dictionary definitions or other usage in the language. The use of a particular image can be unique to a given work. So evening and morning could legitimately be a poetic flourish.

I’ve got to do a Zoom meeting now but sometime soon I hope to describe my approach to Exodus 31:17— that the emphasis is not so much on the YOM/days per se as on the sevens. And that theme of sevens is not just about the sevens of days but the sevens of years (sabbatical years) and sevens of weeks of years (culminating in the Jubilee year.)