[[ Download ]] ✤ Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science Author John C. Lennox – Tactical-player.co.uk
I am not a scientist, but a Christian who has always found the world to be too wonderfully made to be an accident Most obvious is the Bible is not a scientific paper The author has some interesting ideas about the words written in Genesis chapter 1 and also explains some scientific theories I intend to re read this book as it has lots to make me think about Would I recommend it Yes What Did The Writer Of Genesis Mean By The First Day Is It A Literal Week Or A Series Of Time Periods If I Believe That The Earth Is Billion Years Old, Am I Denying The Authority Of Scripture In Response To The Continuing Controversy Over The Interpretation Of The Creation Narrative In Genesis, John Lennox Proposes A Succinct Method Of Reading And Interpreting The First Chapters Of Genesis Without Discounting Either Science Or Scripture With Examples From History, A Brief But Thorough Exploration Of The Major Interpretations, And A Look Into The Particular Significance Of The Creation Of Human Beings, Lennox Suggests That Christians Can Heed Modern Scientific Knowledge While Staying Faithful To The Biblical Narrative He Moves Beyond A Simple Response To The Controversy, Insisting That Genesis Teaches Us Far About The God Of Jesus Christ And About God S Intention For Creation Than It Does About The Age Of The Earth With This Book, Lennox Offers A Careful Yet Accessible Introduction To A Scientifically Savvy, Theologically Astute, And Scripturally Faithful Interpretation Of Genesis Very interesting clear discussion of the Genesis account in the biblePresents a strong case for the Conservative old earth creationist viewDoesn t engage though with the young earth views specifically, just seems to dismisses them as ignoring the evidence.So one would need to look elsewhere to find their arguments for ayoung earth If you need the conflict between new earth and old er to be clearly and logically explained followed by a reasoned conclusion which offends neither scripture nor science this book is for you John Lennox is a master of clear explanation. A well written contribution to the subject.Worth reading whatever your current viewpoint He gently challenges some of the weaknesses of opposing positions and makes you think.I particularly liked his Radio 4 style Long View looking at the parallels with other areas where science and faith have taken opposing positions in the past.Dealing with such a big topic in such a short readable book inevitability means that some issues are skirted over.The extensive appendices and scholarly references in each chapter allow you the opportunity to dig deeper. Not always a easy book for the lay person This was balanced by the questions raised and thought provoking answers I have already recommended this book Persevere it is worth it. There is much to commend in Seven Days that Divide the World For example, the author points out that it was Galileo who believed in the Bible who was advancing a better scientific understanding of the universe He was doing so, as we have seen, not only against the obscurantism of some churchmen, but and first of all against the resistance and obscurantism of the secular philosophers of his time, who, like the churchmen, were convinced disciples of Aristotle Philosophers and scientists today also have need of humility in light of facts, even if those facts are being pointed out by a believer in God Lack of belief in God is no a guarantee of scientific orthodoxy than is belief in God What is clear, concerning both Galileo s time and ours, is that criticism of a reigning scientific paradigm is fraught with risk, no matter who engages in it p35 The author rejects the idea that Adam adopting the Septuagint version of the Patriarchal ages Chapter 40 of City of God expresses a similar sentiment For as it is not yet six thousand years since the first man, who is called Adam, are not those to be ridiculed rather than refuted who try to persuade us of anything regarding a space of time so different from, and contrary to, the ascertained truth 2.Given that Augustine questioned the 24 hour day, yet held a YE view, it is not unreasonable to suppose that many most other ancient authorities did the same I am not myself familiar with the works of the ancient authors, and therefore refrain from further comment But creationist Jonathan Sarfati3, using documented quotes of Josephus, Basil, Ambrose, Lactantius, and Irenaeus, challenges the claim that these authors rejected a 24 hour interpretation of Genesis 1 Sarfati also provides a quote from Origen, which shows his belief in a YE The onus is therefore on Professor Lennox to provide documented quotes from those who held an old earth view Even in the case of those ancient authors who held the day age theory, would they really have countenanced the view that a day could be interpreted to mean billions of years I hardly think so Indeed, can Lennox himself who does take the Bible seriously justify so extreme a hermeneutical approach The Professor suggest a 3 part structure to Genesis 1 1 2 3 p48 p52f He claims that day 1 begins in verse 3 and not in verse 1 p52 , and justifies it on textual grounds This implies that the beginning of Genesis 1 1 did not necessarily take place on day 1 as is frequently assumed The initial creation took place before day 1, but Genesis does not tell us how long before This means that the question of the age of the earth and of the universe is a separate question from the interpretation of the days quite apart from any scientific considerations, the text of Genesis 1 1, in separating the beginning from day 1, leaves the age of the universe indeterminate It would therefore be possible to believe that the days of Genesis are twenty four hour days of one earth week and to believe that the universe is very ancient p53 So in the beginning, God did not create the universe instantly, but caused it to evolve over a period of about 9 billion years, up to day 1 when he started to create the earth But wouldn t the evolution of the universe have produced, not just the gas clouds followed by the galaxies and stars, but also the solar system and the earth It seems somewhat contrived to exclude the earth and possibly the solar system from that evolutionary development.The Professor further suggests that the six creation days could well have been days of normal length, spaced out at intervals over the entire period of time that God took to complete his work The outworking of the potential of each creative fiat would occupy an unspecified period of time after that particular creation day p55 So God s creation commands only initiated the process, which then took unspecified periods of time to evolve He does not explain how he views the sudden appearance of novel body plans Did these come about on each creation day, or during the unspecified period of time after that particular creation day In any case, I cannot take seriously the assertion that this strained interpretation is not influenced by the modern scientific concensus Lennox sees a problem with day 4 pp58 59 , i.e the phrase evening and morning deos not make sense because the sun had not been created, and we know nothing about another light source Yet Genesis 1 4 5 clearly says that on day 1 God created light, and divided the light from the darkness Hence evening and morning makes perfect sense to me.In order to persuade readers that the sophistry commonly employed by old earth evangelicals is not an attempt to harmonise Scripture with the scientific concensus pp60 61 , the author claims a parallel situation arose half a millenium ago Some church authorities took the foundations and pillars of the earth Ps 104 5, 1Sam 2 8 to mean a fixed earth, instead of allowing the science of their day to guide their interpretation I fail to see any parallel If those church authorities had applied the principle of interpretating Scripture with Scripture e.g God hangs the earth upon nothing, Job 26 7 they would have realised that the pillars and foundations are to be interpreted as metaphors This nullifies the claim that the metaphorical interpretation relies on new scientific knowledge It does not.On the creation of the sun, moon and stars on day 4, Professor Lennox says It is, surely, the purpose of the sun, moon, and stars that is being emphasised in day 4, not how and when they came into being p105 Allowing, for the sake of argument, that this is true, it still does not imply that they were not created on day 4 The two ideas are not mutually exclusive.One common objection to the day age, old earth view involves the question of animal suffering prior to the Fall In order to avoid this problem, The author raises the possibility that the Fall of the human race was preceded by a fall in the animal kingdom, and quotes C S Lewis for support pp82 84 I am puzzled by this It seems to me that a fall in the animal kingdom would presuppose moral awareness and responsibility on the part of animals But surely animal behaviour is driven by instinct, not guided by moral sensibility The earlier fall must surely have occurred in the angelic realm, and has nothing to do with the animals Satan can possess an animal, just as easily as he can possess a human being.In spite of disclaimers, my overall impression is that the ultimate reason for resorting to the kind of sophistry so common among old earth evangelicals is their belief that the secular concensus must be right regarding the question of age, rather than a true conviction that Genesis 1 really is compatible with such vast time scales This herd instinct is so strong that they never bother to invest the time and energy to investigate the technical literature produced by YE creationists YECs on this issue.They simply assume it must be wrong This leads me to, respectfully, ask the Professor whether he has made any serious attempt to research the scientific thinking of YECs on the question of deep time Has he, for example, consulted the detailed research done by scientists at the Institute for Creation Research, i.e Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth This was published in two volumes in 2000 and 2005 respectively, totalling nearly 1,500 pages, and available as a free download Has he consulted geologist Andrew Snelling s two volume work, Earth s Catastrophic Past , published in two volumes in 2009 and totalling 1,100 pages Has he read anything from the Proceedings of the International Conference on Creationism, or the Journal of Creation, or the Answers Research Journal the last is freely available online If the answer is no, then on what grounds did he exclude the YE view from discussion in his book Instead of interacting with the scientific model that creationists have constructed, Lennox contents himself with quoting the totally unrepresentative view of Paul Nelson, while ignoring the views of the vast majority of informed YECs Many scientists who are now YECs have testified to the fact that they came from either a theistic evolutionist or an atheistic background, and came to embrace the YE view for scientific reasons Of course, questions and anomalies arise within the YE model, and there is discussion and debate between YECs who are working at resolving them Anomalies arise in any widely encompassing scientific model, and most certainly in evolutionary cosmology.Professor Lennox is evidently convinced about the validity of the establishment view on cosmology Yet John Barrow , Ellis argues For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with earth at its centre, and you cannot disprove it based on observations Ellis has published a paper on this You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.5The effect of this philosophical straitjacket is illustrated by the recent experience of physicist John Hartnett 6in early 2013 I published a cosmology paper in a special journal7, where I found that using a finite bounded expanding universe, with a unique centre and an edge, one could describe the observed large scale structure of the universe very well.And one could do so without including dark energy or dark matter , the fudge factors assumed in the standard big bang model.Soon I received a call from my university s publicity department who wanted to write a press release on it She asked me what I felt was important about the paper I told her that the paper was consistent with the notion that our galaxy could be located in a privileged location in the universe.This was contrary to the oft quoted cosmological principle which states that there are no privileged locations that our location is purely random and the universe has no centre or edge My paper suggested that that is not necessarily so.Once she understood what I was saying, her facial expression told me everything She said I don t think we can do anything with this I never heard from her again.I had published the science, passing secular peer review, but the real story could not be told because it was contrary to the one the establishment promoted.Modern day cosmology has developed a good story The general public know it very well The system adheres to the usual script If you don t depart from that you can get out your message But if you suggest something different for example, that our galaxy is in a special location in the universe the response is deafening silence You, the author, will be ignored But those who accept the standard paradigm the big bang story won t have any problem getting their message out.I have to say that Professor Lennox s confidence that ideologically driven evolutionary scientists are prepared to modify their theories if evidence warrants it p86 is somewhat naive Yes, they would modify individual theories held within their given paradigm, but they would never compromise on their evolution deep time paradigm That is non negotiable It is sacrosanct It is the scientific equivalent of political correctness And that is the intractable problem facing creationists when it comes to discussing the question of deep time The Professor is surely aware of this Let me end by saying that, having previously read three of the author s other books, I have come to develop a great respect for the Professor Although I do not accept the central thesis of Seven Days, and am somewhat disappointed by the book as a whole, my high regard for him as a champion for the Christian faith has not in any way diminished I wish him God s blessing.References1 Can be accessed at Christian Classics Ethereal Library website2 Christian Classics Ethereal Library website3 Refuting Compromise, Master Books, 2004, pp110 116.4 The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Oxford University Press, 1988, p434.5 W Wayt Gibbs, Thinking Globally, Acting Universally , Scientific American Oct 1995, p29.6 Creation Magazine vol.39 no.2, 2017, p48.7 Hartnett, J.G., A valid finite bounded expanding Carmelian universe without dark matter , Int J Theoretical Physics 52 12 4360 4366, 2013. Some of the material he has covered in other works but a worthwhile apologetic on the 7 days however you want to understand it To be honest I somehow feel that as a scientist his works could be shorter and summarised to a concise thesis on the topic Lennox looks at creation from every angle Not his best book which I view as Daniel but a worthwhile contribution to the subject.