Concordism and Genesis 1-2

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

Yes, let the text speak! My conclusion is that it’s not a scientific text (based on both genre and details in the text that don’t match modern science thinking) and thus should not be forced into that grid.

I don’t understand the logic or point here. If one statement is a consequence of the other than they are already related to each other. And, yes, the textual and theological investigation proceeds.

And if that inherently consequential relationship leads to a greater level of scientific concordance, you’re okay with that? That it’s not a teacher’s place to predetermine what levels of potential concordism are okay? Instead, simply to assure the case that any such argument is well-made from the text? While, perhaps remaining agnostic about the specific claim being made?

Yes. But technically there is no such thing as concordism if the text is not trying to speak scientifically. If the moon had turned out to be a source of light like the sun, or if it turned out that the sun reflects light like the moon–none of this would change my view of Day 4 of Genesis 1, since my working assumption (based on lots of decisions of other things) is that the author (human or divine) is not attempting to describe things scientifically, but phenomenologically. If someone brings other assumptions to the text (or conclude a different perspective from studying the text), then concordism comes into play.

As a teacher, I try to let my students know of the options (large and small), and then (if necessary) let them know my bias.



I agree with you that the language of phenomenology is all through the text --as well as all through modern culture. The notion that a modern scientific understanding must somehow be closely satiated in a quest to understand the text is, agreed, to be ill-conceived from the start.
But it’s also rather marvelous at the degree to which there are no “inexcusable” or irreconcilable differences between the two that I know of. It can be a multiperspectival, interdisciplinary matter to “reconcile” them, but the track record has been very good so far.

1 Like

I agree that Genesis, and the Bible as a whole, is not a science text. We expect more specificity from a science text than the Bible gives us. The Bible uses everyday language instead of technical terms. But this lack of precision doesn’t mean the Bible is wrong about the topics on which it does speak.

Genesis 1 is clearly an historical text, not a science text. Realizing that, Genesis 1 also gives us far more testable claims about the universe and the world than any other ancient holy book. Hugh Ross discusses a number of these.

In this video physics professor Erica Carlson makes the statement:
“The Bible is far more accurate scientifically than any human author could have made it.”

Do you agree with Carlson’s statement?

The doctrine of inerrancy, to which I subscribe, states that the Bible is true in all it intends to teach (not everything an author believed, even if it shows up as an incidental in the text, e.g., the rising of the sun). The question/conflict comes when we disagree about what it is teaching.

This assumes the Genesis 1 is making scientific claims , which I don’t see (other than there was a beginning to the universe*). So, no, I don’t agree with the statement. The historical nature of the Bible is another issue…but let’s not chase that rabbit (I affirm the historical claims of Scripture, but the topic is more complex than often assumed).

*[I believe the Bible teaches creatio ex nihilo, but I’m not convinced Gen 1 does.]

1 Like