Concordism and Genesis 1-2

That’s interesting. I studied Hebrew in seminary. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but his handling of the text in Genesis seems quite reasonable to me. Where do you think he is most obviously wrong?

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I do think those new terms are more descriptive/useful. My concern is that mostly people seem to pick-and-choose or, to put it more positively – how we resolve apparent conflicts between science and the Bible is determined on a case-by-case basis based on a variety of factors (tradition, our understanding of inspiration, how does it affect core doctrine, how much we know the science, etc.).

I’m more confident in my interpretation of certain parts of the Bible than others. Similarly, I’m more confident in certain areas of science than others. I’m sure people will generally lean more one way than another, but there may be almost as much disagreement within each “camp” as between camps. That’s why I question whether “concordism” is a very useful term in science & faith discussions.

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Offhand, his view of “day” as epoch; his view of the sun only appearing on Day 4 rather than being created; his assumption of scientific concordism in the details of the text (but skipping over other details that don’t match modern science); and the weird overlap of the creation days that the model proposes (to fit the scientific order of events). As for Job, it begins with his wrong assumption of the date of the book, and the overall treatment of chs. 38-41 as a creation text using scientific concordism (and failing to see the mythopoetics involved, e.g., with Behemoth and Leviathan).

I’d like to know more about this. Can you elaborate? What are these areas?

I’ve seen critiques from others more scientifically adept, but I could mention treating the sun as distinct from stars, calling the moon a light, putting bats with birds and whales with other sea creatures, and, of course, evolution. On another note (on which I published in a young-earth creationist journal[!], led by Todd Woods), “kind”–if matching modern taxonomy–is broader in Gen 1 and 6-7 than the food laws in Lev 11 and Deut 14, so there’s inconsistency if one assumes “kind” to be a specific scientific term. I’m not saying Ross can’t address some of these (I’m sure he has…the man is brilliant and relentless), but I find it confusing to treat the text as scientific on one hand (at least with the concordist details), but phenomenological on the other (which I know Ross does as well). It’s back to genre and expectations of an ANE writer for me and many of my colleagues.

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2 posts were split to a new topic: The Meaning of The Genesis Kinds

This is where the critiques of Ross get all fuzzy. I’m not sure if it is because people really don’t understand what Ross is saying or what. Yes, of course the sun is distinct from stars. Its nearness to the earth makes it unique. I can’t think of anything Ross says about the sun that would be contrary to science.

Regarding “calling the moon a light” it seems to me that your problem is with the author of Genesis and not with Ross. Calling the moon a light seems perfectly acceptable to me because it is reflecting light. The text doesn’t say that it is the ultimate source of light, but everyday language refers to moonlight. People write songs about it.

Regarding “putting bats with birds and whales with other sea creatures” doesn’t give me much to go on. I don’t recall anything specific that Ross has said here. Perhaps you are expecting my knowledge to be greater than it is. Perhaps this is where Ross’s interpretation is the weakest. I would like to know.

Regarding evolution, the text doesn’t mention evolution and while evolution is the conclusion of many scientists, it is not the conclusion of modern science. The history of science is filled with scientific debates. As I’ve said, I’m persuadable on evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life, but the evidence is just not enough for me yet. And the research on OOL is showing abiogenesis to be an untenable hypothesis.

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I think this is exactly right. I also am more certain of essential passages and doctrines than I am of less essential and obscure passages. In a similar way, I have much more confidence in astronomy and geology proving the ancient age of the universe and planet than I am of other fields of science proving their claims. I’ve looked into the claims of some of the OOL researchers and found that they are, frankly, dishonest in the way they deal with their own data. James Tour pointed this out in his talks and papers.

That said, I think most people find themselves falling into either the Bible-confident concordist group most often or into the science-confident concordist group most often. But there is nothing hard and fast about these descriptors that say people can’t be in one group for one passage and the opposite group in another passage.

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How it is applied will vary person to person -that certainly is an understatement. Certainly the scientific understanding of the world is progressing faster and faster as new data emerges. And everyone’s beliefs are constantly changing as they live their lives. Why even bother going back to an ancient book for answers when you already know it is either mistaken, silent, or misinterpreted?

I could make the same statement about science…

The answer would also be the same. Because people derrive value from it. Which they cannot derrive from any other source.

You can’t unless you plan on using the same model of iphone the rest of your life. As well as not taking the new medicines discovered for the new maladies you contract as you age. Are you going to still be driving a car after driver-less cars becomes commonplace? Science and technology progresses whether you like it or not. You don’t have to believe in the science nor accept it. As human (H. erectus) cognitive abilities has been increasing for two million year, H.sapien cognitive abilities are accelerating. Sapiens will (or maybe already has) evolved into a more cognitively advance species affectionately called H.deus.

I question what value people derive from the Bible. In my opinion the Bible’s values, ethics, and morals are horrendous and not of any value in today’s world.

That’s engineering Patrick… it’s far more precise than science… less margin of error… more extensive testing.

Yes Patrick. That’s your opinion. Not every bodies…

The advancement of technology is based on the advancement of science. Try developing a better flat screen TV without a more advance understanding of the science of Quantum Mechanics.

Yes, and that is why we have so much division in the country and around the world. Christians fighting Christians about what God did or hasn’t done in the past 13.8 billion years.

This is true to some extent… and its true vice versa also… Try explaining biology without the microscope… or astrology without the telescope…

However science as a discipline involves theories/understanding which is false more often than true.

This is a gross misrepresentation of science. All truths in science are only provisionally true until new data comes around. That is how the progress occurs. Take a look at this video:

Which means that if there 3 competing explanations for something… at most only 1 is true… if at all…
There is no misrepresentation…
Unless there is a new provisional definition of truth.

It means that none are absolutely true.

My point is that Gen 1 is not a science text. My problem is not with the author of Genesis, but those who try to turn it into a science text. When Ross or others do this, I object. It’s clear this cannot be done consistently.

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Sorry I wasn’t clear. I’m saying that if you’re going to go with scientific concordism, then why not go all the way, including taxonomic distinctions and evolution? I grant, however, that a minority are not convinced by evolution on scientific grounds (though I’ve heard YECs Kurt Wise and Todd Wood and OEC Fuzz Rana say if it weren’t for the Bible, the evidence would lead them to embrace evolution). Again, my problem is with the assumption of concordism at the level of details.

Is that a conclusion, or a premise, @deuteroKJ ? Shouldn’t we let the text shake out as it may? For example, when the text notes that a consequence of the “gaining of the knowledge of good and evil” is “greatly increased pain in childbirth,” is it automatically wrong to ask the question of how one may be related to the other?
That’s simply a matter of how one builds a forensic case from offered testimony.