Podcast Episode #30: “Listen to What the Man Said”

September 18, 2018

In this lengthy podcast episode, the first of two on the subject, I tackle the question of the authority of scripture. We hear many authorities in our culture—even within today’s Church—telling us, in so many words, “The Bible can’t be trusted.” As I argue in this episode, you may as well say, “God can’t be trusted,” because it’s clear from Jesus’ own teaching that the Bible is God’s Word.

I want us instead to “listen to what the man said” and regard scripture the same way Jesus himself did. I want this episode, along with the next one, to serve as an antidote to the skepticism about the Bible that is rampant in our culture and is harming our fellow believers—especially Christian young people.

Podcast Text: 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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Hi, this is Brent White. It’s Monday, September 17, 2018, and this is episode number 30 in my ongoing series of podcasts. You’re listening right now to a #1 hit song from 1975 called “Listen to What the Man Said” by Wings—written and sung, of course, by Paul McCartney from the album Venus and Mars.

And the reason I wanted to play this song is that I have discerned a troubling trend among my fellow Christians, not least of which my fellow United Methodist clergy: And that is, they often say that when it comes to the Bible, we need to “listen to what the man said”—the “man” in this case being Jesus—and not necessarily pay close attention to what the rest of the Bible says. Especially the Old Testament! They often speak as if the God revealed in the Old Testament isn’t quite the same as the God revealed in “the man,” Jesus. Therefore we can’t quite trust what the Old Testament has to say.

So one of the purposes of this week’s podcast, and next week’s, is to say, “Yes, by all means, let’s listen to what the man said. But we can’t even know who the man is, or make sense of what he said… apart from the whole counsel of God, which includes the Old Testament.”

If you don’t believe me, consider Luke chapter 24. This is Easter Sunday. Two disciples of Jesus were on their way from Jerusalem to their hometown of Emmaus—about a seven-mile journey. The resurrected Jesus appears to them on the road, but, Luke tells us, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him.” Jesus asks them what they’ve been talking about. They explain to him the shocking events of Good Friday and how, today, on Sunday, they heard the reports from the women who went to the tomb: that it was empty, and that angels appeared to them and said that Jesus had been raised. These two disciples were confused; they didn’t know what to make of any of this.

Jesus said, in verses 25 and 26, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then in verse 27, Luke writes, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he”—that is, Jesus—“interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Did you hear that? “Beginning with Moses and the Prophets”—which is shorthand for the entire Bible—Jesus interpreted “in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” So: they were walking on the road for about two-and-a-half hours. Assuming Jesus was with them for most of the way, then he must have spoken to them for a long time about what the entire Old Testament had to say about him. Right? There must be a great deal of information in the Old Testament about who Jesus is, why he came, what he accomplished, what his gospel means!

In spite of this, I have actually had United Methodist pastors tell me, “I don’t like preaching from the Old Testament.” Why? “Because I like preaching Jesus.” Aye-yai-yai… I like preaching Jesus, too. And I like preaching the gospel. And I do so in every sermon I preach—whether my sermon text is from the New Testament—be it the four gospels, or Acts, or the Epistles, or Revelation—or from the Old Testament. Because, as I’ve said before, I find Jesus—and I find his gospel message—on nearly every page of the Old Testament! In fact, I would venture to say that if you don’t find Jesus and his gospel there, you’re probably not reading it right!

But I know, I know… There are challenging passages in the Old Testament. What do you do with the ones that seem… at odds… with Jesus’ example and teaching? For example, the Passover story in Exodus 12… In that story, God himself passes through Egypt and strikes down the firstborn male in every family whose house wasn’t covered by the blood of the lamb. Hold on… The blood of the lamb as protection against God’s judgment and wrath? That sounds familiar… That sounds like what Jesus did… on the cross… Jesus, the very one of whom John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”[1]

Do you get the picture? The Old Testament contains historical events and stories and poems and prophecy that prefigure or foreshadow or point to Jesus, point to his atoning sacrifice on the cross, point to the meaning of the gospel. In fact, there’s a great appendix in the ESV Study Bible—my workaday Bible—called “History of Salvation in the OT.” And for each Old Testament book, it highlights verses that point to Jesus or having something to say about his gospel… What a helpful resource!

Maybe someone should show this appendix to Andy Stanley! He stirred up controversy in a recent sermon series by saying that you could “unhitch” the Old Testament from your Christian faith and remain Christian… or you could unhitch it in order to become a Christian in the first place. Not that he himself does that—he says he loves the Old Testament and believes every word of it. But, he said, if the Old Testament has proven to be a stumbling block to believing the gospel for someone outside the faith, then by all means don’t worry about it! In so many words, he said that all you really need to believe is that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.

What do you make of that?

I disagree strongly! Whether or not you can still be saved and “unhitch” the Old Testament is a separate question whose answer is, as they say, above my pay grade. But it’s not my job as a pastor to sell Christianity, or sell the gospel, or sell salvation as cheaply as possible; it’s my job to present the gospel—the full gospel, the “whole counsel of God,” and let the chips fall where they may. The Holy Spirit will ensure that God’s elect will hear and respond to the gospel accordingly. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel itself has power… it has power, through the Holy Spirit, to convict and convert people. It’s not my job to be as clever as possible, in order to hook a few more fish that may otherwise swim away—you know, by telling people they can “unhitch” the Old Testament. I trust the gospel to do its good work.

But I am more than happy to help explain the meaning of the Old Testament, to answer questions or objections that you may have about it. That’s what these next two podcast episodes are about. 

In literary terms, the Old Testament contains what are called “types”—to which Jesus himself or the events associated with Jesus, are the “antitype”—or the “fulfillment,” the person or thing to which a particular Old Testament story points. In fact, for further examples of this so-called “typological” interpretation of the Old Testament, go back and listen to podcast episodes 21 through 23, which deal with the meaning of John 3:16. That most famous verse in the Bible is replete with references to the Old Testament! So I don’t know how Andy Stanley would say we can even understand the meaning of that particular verse apart from the Old Testament!

“O.K., Brent, but surely you don’t deny that there are difficult passages in the Old Testament. What about Israel’s conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua, for instance? In some of those passages, God commands the Israelite army to kill every man, woman, child, and all livestock—to ‘devote them to destruction,’ as the Bible says. Surely you can’t find Jesus or the gospel in a passage like that! What do you make of a passage like that? How do you square the portrait of God found in those passages with the portrait of God that Jesus’ life and teaching paint. Do you believe that God really commanded Joshua and the Israelites to do that? Do you, Pastor Brent, really believe that the Holy Spirit inspired or ‘breathed out’ the words about those events in the Bible?”

Yes, I do. Why wouldn’t I? We’re talking about God’s Word here! For me, it comes down to this: Is God lying to us, or misleading us, or at least confusing us about what seem to be very clear words of scripture?

My answer is no! I believe, alongside John Wesley and the vast majority of the universal church throughout the millennia, in scripture’s infallibility. As Wesley said, “Nay, if there be any mistakes in the Bible there may as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.”[2] One falsehood.

Even today, one of my heroes in the faith, the renowned New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, says: “I believe we have precisely the Bible that God wants us to have.” 

And so do I!

And I know… I’m well aware that many of my United Methodist clergy colleagues don’t want to hear about scripture’s infallibility; and certainly not its “inerrancy”—as if there’s a big difference between those two concepts. I don’t believe in pitting “infallibility” against “inerrancy.” If you say you can accept one but not the other, go read the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy from 1978, and tell me where you think that statement goes wrong. It’s a highly nuanced document. But infallibility, inerrancy… I don’t care if you like or use those terms. What I’m inviting you to consider is this: Do you believe that God is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth through the words of scripture that he “breathed out”? Honestly, I was sharing some of these thoughts recently with a clergy colleague who said, “Then you’re a literalist.”

To be called a literalist is equivalent to being a fundamentalist, at least in United Methodist circles!

As I explained to this person, I am most assuredly not a literalist. There is an important difference between reading and interpreting scripture in the literal sense versus being a literalist. Let me explain: While it’s true that I believe we ought to read and interpret scripture—first and foremost—in the literal sense, literal does not mean literalistic. When I say we must interpret scripture “literally,” I mean that we must first do all we can to understand and interpret it the way that its authors intended for us to understand and interpret it. 

This means, first of all, recognizing that the Bible has many different human authors, of different times and places, each of whom writes with his own voice and in his own style with his own idiosyncrasies. Next, it means recognizing that these authors wrote in different genres of literature—history, poetry, prophecy, parable, and apocalyptic, and many of these genres included figurative and allegorical language. We don’t believe when Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan, for example, he meant for us to believe that he was describing a historical event. I read one time that there is a “Good Samaritan Inn” between Jerusalem and Jericho, which purports to say, “Here is the site where the Good Samaritan treated the injured victim”—something like that. But that’s misunderstanding the nature of parables. They don’t describe historical events. They are nevertheless completely true. If I were a “literalist,” I may as well go looking for the Good Samaritan Inn—or whatever. 

My point is, each of these genres has its own standards and conventions by which to understand and interpret it. The literal sense of scripture takes these standards and conventions into consideration.

So, for instance, we don’t say that the gospel writers are lying if they omit names in genealogies, or rearrange the order of events to suit the purposes of their narrative, or compress historical events to make them seem as if they happened over a shorter time period than they actually did. A modern historian would not make these choices, but we don’t judge the gospels according to standards of modern historians; we judge them according to the standards of first-century historians: how did historians back then write history? By those ancient standards, rather than our own, we can be confident that the gospel writers are always telling the truth. 

Similarly, we don’t fault biblical authors for failing to write about the world according to the scientific knowledge that we possess today. That would be unfair—not to mention useless to people living thousands of years ago who weren’t educated in our modern schools and universities! Besides, what we think we know about the universe today is bound to change or be drastically revised. That’s the way science works: scientists are constantly having to revise what they think they know. By contrast, in the creation stories of Genesis 1 and 2, God gave us an entirely truthful account of the beginning of the universe that speaks to people of all times and in all places—including both those of us living today and people living thousands of years ago. It’s remarkable when you think about it! 

In those early chapters of Genesis, God has given us the information that people of all times and in all places need to know about the creation of the world! Whether that corresponds with what a contemporary cosmologist or biologist today might be interested in knowing is beside the point!

But don’t misunderstand: I am impressed by the correspondence that I see between the Bible’s account of the universe and modern scientific accounts. At the same time I recognize that the Bible isn’t a contemporary science textbook. It’s not intended to be. So we don’t hold the Bible’s descriptions of the world to modern standards! Again, it would be foolish to do so, given that scientific knowledge is constantly being updated and revised, even radically so… to the point of contradiction! This happens all the time! This is the nature of the scientific endeavor. Its interests are not the same as the interests of God or the writers through whom he speaks in scripture.

In fact, while no one could accuse me of being United Methodist pastor Adam Hamilton’s biggest fan, even he’s not wrong, at least in principle, when he says the following about Genesis 1 and 2:

They were not written as God’s way of giving ancient people a lesson in cosmology or biology or physics. They were written to say that behind all of the magnificent beauty of creation there is One who created—who called for all that is and gave it form and shape and established the laws and patterns that govern it.[3]

That is certainly true. Hamilton says that the genre of these early chapters of Genesis is poetry—which is debatable, I know. But I give him credit for making a good faith effort to interpret the Bible as its human authors intended; he’s not saying, as he would later say of other parts of scripture, “The biblical writers got it wrong. This is not true! So let’s throw this passage away in Bucket No. 3!”[4] No, Hamilton believes the Bible’s words about creation are true, but to appreciate their truthfulness, we have to understand the genre of literature into which the creation stories fall. He’s right about that! In principle, if Genesis 1 and 2 are poetry, by all means let’s understand symbolism and metaphor and figures of speech and interpret them as poetry! 

If it’s poetry, at least Hamilton believes it’s true poetry! So good job, Rev. Hamilton! I’m agreeing with your approach, at least in principle.

[Sigh…] Alas, Hamilton goes back to “getting it wrong” on almost every other page of this same chapter in his book! 

For example, he writes about a visit he paid to the Sistine Chapel. While he was there, a docent—a tour guide for artwork—explained in detail how it came to be that Michelangelo created this masterpiece on the Sistine ceiling. The docent even cleared up some misunderstandings that Hamilton had about how Michelangelo painted it. Hamilton said of the docent, “Do you think I was less in awe by virtue of having the docent’s explanations? The docent’s insights and knowledge led me to an immensely greater appreciation of the Sistine Ceiling and Michelangelo’s artistry.”

In the same way, scientists act as God’s docents, whether they believe in God or not. By helping us understand God’s handiwork, they add to the majesty and glory of creation that, as a believer, leaves me with a greater sense of awe about the One who created all things.[5]

That sounds nice… It does! But here’s the problem with your analogy, Rev. Hamilton. Imagine that same trip to the Sistine Chapel. Imagine that same docent explaining how this masterpiece was created and then saying, “It’s clear, based on my research, that Michelangelo didn’t actually paint this masterpiece. I agree that it looks like a Michelangelo, but let me offer you some reasons why it’s not. Some other artist actually painted it.” Now, if this docent had made that case to Hamilton, and really sounded like he knew his stuff, do you think Hamilton would have left the Sistine Chapel that day with a “greater appreciation” of Michelangelo’s “artistry.” 

Of course not! He would be filled with doubt! He would be deeply confused! And I’m sorry… Hamilton himself hasn’t been paying attention to the ongoing conflicts between science and faith over the past century—especially the recent New Atheist movement of the past ten years—if he doesn’t think that the most popular versions of evolution and cosmology, which are expounded by the most popular and influential scientists, purport to explain how the universe and life originated apart from a Creator God. These scientists can’t be called “God’s docents” helping us “understand God’s handiwork” if they are, at the same time, denying that God had a hand in Creation! Read Richard Dawkins! Listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson… when they show up on popular late-night talk shows. These scientists—far from instilling within us “a greater sense of awe about the One who created all things”—are telling us that even if God exists, he must be incredibly lazy… because he didn’t do much of anything to create the universe!

Neil deGrasse Tyson

What does Richard Dawkins say? “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” Is he right?

Or what about the late Carl Sagan, deGrasse Tyson’s predecessor on the PBS show Cosmos, who used to begin every episode by saying, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.”

Was he right? 

And what about contemporary evolutionary theories, for example, that purport to offer an account of creation that denies the role of the Creator—the very thing that Genesis 1 and 2—using poetic language or not—affirm most loudly. Are these scientific theories right?

And let’s not be naive: These are the messages that people—especially our young people—are hearing and absorbing both in the classroom, in textbooks, and in pop culture every single day! Every day their loyalty and allegiance to God, and to God’s “breathed-out” written Word, are being put to the test: “Will you believe what God has revealed in his Word? Will you trust in God’s Word—even when so many so-called ‘thought leaders’ in our society are telling you that you are foolish for doing so? In other words, will you trust God himself, since he has told us that the primary way he speaks to us is through these written words of scripture? Will you have the exact same respect for the authority of God’s Word that God’s Son Jesus had?”

After all, it was Jesus himself who said, 

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Who can listen to many contemporary United Methodist pastors and teachers and not imagine that they are relaxing more than one or two of the “least of these commandments”? If you want to listen to what the man said, after all, well… here’s what he’s saying! Practice what you preach! Listen to what “the man” said!

Here’s what he also said: In Matthew 19, some Pharisees ask Jesus if it’s lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason. Jesus answered:

Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?[6]

Now, Jesus is quoting from Genesis 2, and its account of the very first wedding in history, between Adam and Eve. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24. Jesus introduces this quotation by saying that he who created them—that is, God—said these words in Genesis 2:24. In other words, God said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother,” etc.

Why am I belaboring this point? Because I invite you to turn in your Bibles to Genesis 2 and look at verse 24 in context: God is literally not the One speaking in verse 24. Not directly. He speaks directly in verses 16 and 18, but not in verse 24. In verse 24, the narrator literally speaks the words, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother…” Yet Jesus is attributing these words to God himself. Why? Does Jesus not know scripture? Heaven forbid! But Jesus understands that while a human author speaks in verse 24, at the same time God also speaks through that human author. According to Jesus himself, God’s words are not merely the words that God speaks within the quotation marks in Genesis 2; God’s words are all of Genesis 2, including the words of the narrator. Do you think that Jesus would have come to a different conclusion about the rest of Genesis, or the rest of Torah, or the rest of the prophets, or the rest of the writings of the Old Testament? The same Jesus who warned that “not an iota, not a dot,” will pass from the Law until all is accomplished? Of course not… Jesus believed that all of the Old Testament—every single word, every iota and dot—was spoken by God to us human beings. 

So again, the question remains: Is God telling us the truth? We know that plenty of so-called authorities and experts in our culture say that God is not telling the truth in his Word. And as I said, our Christian young people are absorbing this message.

And now just think: many of these same young people—Christian young people, Methodist young people, our own children, precious children who are still being formed in the faith—are going to churches on Sunday morning across our denomination, and they are hearing this same message—often dressed up in theological jargon to be sure—but it’s the same message: “Don’t trust the Bible! It’s often wrong! You can’t really believe it! You can’t really believe that God is speaking to us through it.”

Didn’t Jesus warn us about this very thing: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”[7] If we pastors are teaching these “little ones” to doubt God’s Word—which is the same as doubting the God who reveals himself through this Word—how are we not going to face judgment for that? That thought should terrify us, especially in light of Jesus’ words, “to whom much was given, of him much will be required.”[8]

So we all have to decide… Is the Bible true? When I am faced with a choice between believing God’s Word on a particular subject, or believing in a competing or contradictory idea expounded by a scientist, a sociologist, a psychologist, a pastor, a theologian, a celebrity, or any other so-called “authority,” I know which I’ll choose: I’ll choose the authority of scripture… every time.

Why am I willing to do this? Because the Bible is not wrong. Say it with me: The Bible is not wrong. The Bible is telling the truth. The Bible is always telling the truth. Why? Because God “breathed out” the words of scripture, as 2 Timothy 3:16 says. God the Holy Spirit guided its authors to write every word they wrote, which ensured that they were always telling the truth. 

And—look—if you’re an atheist or skeptic, I get it: It’s a circular argument to cite scripture to demonstrate the truthfulness of this self-same scripture. But I’m not arguing with atheists or skeptics right now… I’m arguing with my fellow Christians! Especially my fellow United Methodist clergy colleagues who deny that scripture is always telling the truth. And I’m asking them, “Why do you do that?

After all, do you not realize that as a Christian you already believe in two very large miracles at the center of your faith: You already believe that God created the universe and everything in it. You already believe that he raised his Son Jesus from the dead. Those are two bare minimum miracles we all are supposed to believe in if we are, in any sense, Christian.

Now… I would love for you to go ahead and believe in every other miracle in scripture while you’re at it. But for now, I’m only asking you to believe in one more miracle… Just one more! And a rather small one when you think about it: that God, who created the universe and everything in it and who raised his Son Jesus from the dead, also had the miraculous power to ensure, through his Holy Spirit, that the words of scripture are all entirely true… and that God used that power to ensure that they are… just as the Bible teaches.

Why is that hard to believe? Or why do we not want to believe it?

I remember sitting in Old Testament class at the mainline Protestant seminary from which I graduated… And when we got to the story of Elisha and his sons in 2 Kings chapter 6, the professor asked us if we really believed in the miracle reported there: In case you don’t know the story, Elisha’s sons are chopping wood with an axe they borrowed from someone. The axe head flies off its handle and lands in the Jordan River. And one of Elisha’s sons is worried because, well, the axe didn’t belong to them; and now it’s ruined. It’s such a strange little story that no one would bother making it up! Regardless, the sons were panicking—as I myself have done. And then verses 6 and 7 report the following: “Then the man of God—that is, Elisha—“said, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, ‘Take it up.’ So he reached out his hand and took it.”

“Do you really believe that axe head floated?” my professor asked. And of course, even the way he asked the question—his tone of voice—made us students—a large lecture hall filled with well-meaning future ministers—feel like idiots if we actually did believe it. After all, everyone today knows an iron axe head can’t float! We’re so much smarter and less naive than these ancient people, after all!

But guess what? Everyone back in the ninth century B.C. also knew that an iron axe head didn’t float! That’s the point! It’s a miracle! For all we know, an iron axe head never floated in human history prior to its happening to Elisha and his sons; and it has never happened since! To say the least, miracles are not repeatable events that we can measure with sophisticated instruments or study under a microscope! My point is, despite what my professor implied in that Old Testament class, we modern people know nothing about iron axe heads floating today that ancient people didn’t also know! They knew that fact as well as we do, regardless of whether they could explain scientifically why iron doesn’t float.

My point is, if you cast aside the underlying presupposition that God doesn’t intervene miraculously in the world, what logical reason do you have to doubt miracles in the Bible?

And yet, this is the culture of skepticism about the Bible that exists today’s mainline Protestant seminaries. I went to the Candler School of Theology at Emory, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, but it may as well have been one of dozens of other seminaries across America of all denominational stripes. Skepticism about the Bible is in the air that seminary students breathe! I know from whence I speak! I was there. I was part of it! And I’m here to tell you that it harmed me, spiritually. 

Or I should say, the devil harmed me through this culture of skepticism… because I was not equipped to stand up to my professor and say, “I’m sorry, professor, but I do believe in this miracle. Why wouldn’t I? By what logic would I not believe in this miracle—that is, since I already believe that God created the universe and everything in it, and that God raised Jesus from the dead. Why is it hard to believe in what we can agree is a far lesser miracle—that God made an axe head float on the water!”

O.K…. This podcast is over 5,000 words now, I haven’t even addressed the moral problems that many Christians have with the Old Testament. Especially the violence we find there, especially as it relates to God’s wrath. At the top of this episode I mentioned the Canaanite conquest in Joshua. I promise I’ll get to that in the next episode. And while I’m at it, I’m sure I’ll say a few words about human suffering in general… and theodicy, which is the defense of God’s goodness in a world of so much suffering. 

Among other things, I will make the case that the God revealed in the Old Testament is not different from the God revealed in the New. 

But that’s next time. See you then! Thanks for listening!

1. John 1:29 ESV

2. John Wesley, The Journal of the Rev. John Wesley, Vol. 4 (New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1922), 83.

3. Adam Hamilton, When Christians Get It Wrong, rev. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon, 2013), 26.

4. In so many words, this is his argument in Making Sense of the Bible. See my blog post: https://revbrentwhite.com/2017/09/13/adam-hamiltons-self-refuting-jesus-colander/

5. Ibid., 25

6. Matthew 19:4-5 ESV

7. Matthew 18:6 ESV

8. Luke 12:48

6 Responses to “Podcast Episode #30: “Listen to What the Man Said””

  1. Grant Essex Says:

    Well written. Well argued. I can tell you put a lot of work/thought into this. Look forward to the next installment.

    BTW- A God who could not do miracles wouldn’t be much of a God, would he?

  2. Tom Harkins Says:

    Good post. My only point would be that even though Genesis 1 is written in a “poetic” fashion, its “evening and morning was the first day,” etc., seems pretty specific to me. Exodus justifies the Sabbath by saying, “For in 6 days God created the world, and on the 7th day he rested.” So I take that over the “Christian evolutionist” “interpretation” any day!

  3. Grant Essex Says:

    If you check your “Strongs”, you will see the word translated as first/second etc. “Day” is Yown, which can also mean “time period”. This solves a lot of arguing.

    • Tom Harkins Says:

      Grant, I have certainly heard that explanation before. That is why I focused on “evening and morning.” The Jews started their day determination in the evening, so this is pretty characteristic of a “standard day” definition. Also, what do you make of the Exodus passage? Finally, if you check the “theistic” evolutionary “schedule,” they just follow the “secular” (atheist) timeline, which does not follow the scriptural account (i.e., the sun, moon, and stars were not created until several days after the earth). I don’t see any reason why I should give any ground to the atheistic viewpoint, whether or not some Christians may adopt it.


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