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« Chris Brady on Genesis 1 | Main | Creatio ex nihilo and Genesis 1 »

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John - thank you for the continued engagement. This is part of what makes me shudder to think of doing a commentary, no matter how much I might say there is more that should be said. Your defense of science from Genesis (as opposed to putting current scientific thought into Genesis). My favorite line: "it is a cosmo-logical treatise."

JohnFH

Chris,

Thank you for the ongoing conversation.

Truman Show 2

Genesis 1 does indeed explain the phenomenon of our existence. It does an amazing job in describing how God created our world in a way that is very easy to understand. I quite don’t understand why these scientists deny that the world does indeed have a definite end in time. I do however understand and agree with the alternative explanation provided by theists. Chris Brady’s description of how the names for the sun and moon were adopted to show that they are not divine beings, but created things is brilliant. He does a remarkable job showing how Genesis 1 informs us that the elements on earth are like pieces on a board game to be moved at God’s will and his will alone.

True Grit 4

Genesis 1 is always a very interesting chapter to me. I always find it interesting how some people spend their whole life trying to figure out how the universe was formed and what the human purpose in the universe is. I find it interesting because one need only look at Genesis and they will find the answer to their questions. I personally do not believe in the Big Bang. To me the odd of something like that crating everything are so high it’s impossible. All you have to do is look at things on the earth. Things had to come together the way the Bible says they did. If they did not things would have died and nothing would have been able to survive. Light had to come before life as did air and water. When I look at this world I see a design that is far more intelligent than any human mind and not just some random accident.

Shawshank 2

In this constant battle between religion and science, it’s very hard to be on one side unless you are very firm in your faith or scientific theory. Regardless of how you look at the subject, there will always be questions; nothing I don’t feel will ever be completely answered in this lifetime. I am a Christian and I feel I have a strong faith in the Bible and God. I also feel however as a Christian, that if you do not have an open mind on topics that you may disagree with, you are not receiving God’s best. The idea that God created everything is amazing one at that, and Genesis is 1 is the way we as Christians view it happening. But what if God did create everything but not in the exact way we think? What if the stories in Genesis 1 happened but in a more scientific way? At that time the ways of writing and the use of scientific knowledge were much different than now. I am not saying I am against what Genesis says but I do feel there could be more and we as humans will never know exactly. God has the power to do things we can’t even fathom and we will never know all of them. That’s why none of us are God know matter if sometimes we think we are. Science will forever be making hypothesis and searching for answers forever, so finding that middle ground regardless of your beliefs, is one of the best ways to view the subject of creation.

Breaker Morant 1

Genesis 1 leads a persons mind in many different directions. There are theorists, scientist, and normal everyday people, like Christians for example, that have their own views and perspectives on the Bible, and we will continue to live in a world based on opinions and beliefs. Whether we believe that our world has evolved due to the Big Bang Theory, or the earth has evolved from God's doings, there will continue to be conflict because there are questions left unanswered. Which leads to the conflict between religious beliefs and scientific beliefs. I agree with what True Grit 4 has said about how light, dark, air and water were there before life was. And I also like Shawshank Redemption 2's comment on how writing and logic were different back then, compared to the technology and logic we have today. Things will continue to change, and so will theories and beliefs on how the earth evolved.

Shawshank Redemption 3

Like others before me have stated Genesis is an extraordinary book in the bible. It covers so much throughout it, including our existence. One thing that really struck me in this essay is when John says: "It is the product of a single, sovereign mind. It is imbued with order, symmetry, and purpose." That in itself is just WOW! I think that statement is why so many people have such strong feeling about Creation.
To think that one "Man" Created the whole Universe, our planet, all of the living things on it including humans in a matter of several "days" (like we discussed in class we don’t really know how long these days were.) is astounding!! And to do it with such precision and detail each cell of each organism to where each star should be placed. Everything with its own unique purpose. This makes/backs up the fact that believers feel that ‘our’ God is astounding and can do wonderful things. He has been doing them since the beginning of time.

And on the other hand it could be the complete opposite to people who feel that it is impossible. Scientists having been trying to figure out how our world came to be for years and years. They may look at it scientifically and say that there is no way that our earth was formed in a matter of a few “days” (Again, we don’t really know how long these days were.). They could say also that there is No Way One man could create all that we have today. They Scientists, could argue, and do argue, the same facts that we, Believers, use to support our beliefs!
There is much to be argued when it comes to Science and Creation and who knows it there will ever be a happy medium or a final solution/answer to how we came to be, for those who don’t believe in God that is!

The Mission 2

I agree with you, Shawshank Redemption 3, that when you look at nature, God’s amazing powers shine! Off the top of my head there is no possible way that I could even come close to coming up with half the things we see in nature! The symmetry, the beauty, the diversity, everything is astounding! And to do it in six 24 hour days makes it even more amazing!! Yes, I believe the ‘days’ in the Bible are 24 hour days, because each ‘day’ in the Bible says that there was “evening and morning” on each day. It doesn’t say “and there were many evenings and mornings” on each day. The passage that was mentioned in class today: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” It’s a comparison of a day to us and eternity to God. Because God is eternal time doesn’t mean anything to Him. If it took God thousands of years to create the universe He would’ve said so in Genesis; instead He says it took only six days. Six normal 24 hour days, its mind blowing, but true!

Truman Show 4

The fact that the description of the creation of the world in Genesis 1 is so simple just goes to show how powerful God wants to be displayed. He’s trying to show to everyone who reads the Bible that he doesn’t need to fight other gods or prove his superiority over humans. By using so few of words to create a world as organized and intricate as the one we live is enough proof that anybody interested in the creation of the world would need.

True Grit 1

I agree with Truman Show 4 that God is trying to show to everyone who reads the Bible that he doesn't need to fight other gods or prove his superiority over humans. From what I think God just want everyone to know how he created the earth that we lived in right now. Also some people they don't really know who or how the earth is created. Having some background of how and who created will maybe give others the opportunities to learn God's word as well.

PrayingWithLior1

I really like in class how we discussed the Bible stating how the sun and the moon were created on fourth day. This can be important because it does show many people that God created them and that they are not to be worshipped. Another comment and question on the topic I had was on the topic of how long were days before the sun and the moon created. Why couldn’t they have been 24 hours as well? Why would God suddenly change the length of the day. God spoke and things came to be. This shows Gods almighty power and how he could create the sun and the moon in 24 hours.

Nell 2

Religion or science is a constant question that everyone seems to be curious about? Well the answer depends really on if you are firm in your faith or if you believe in the sciences and a need to prove everything. No matter which side you take there are always going to be questions that there are simply no answers for. This is one of the biggest things that can trip someone up in making an argument for either position. There is always a hole or an unanswered question for both positions in the debate. I think that I would be more set on my faith if I did have these answers, but the more I think about it the more the unanswered questions can strengthen my belief as a Christian but, after all it is called faith for a reason. My belief, especially in creation, has been challenged before and sometimes ignored as a possibility of the earth for creation in science classes. I think if the Bible was more clear or specific during creation, in a way we would understand today that it might even make faith seem less of a belief and something that everyone regards as true, but would they really believe in God or just understand that that is the way things were created? Maybe it isn’t about not being able to answer all the questions about science or creation, but finding a middle ground between the two.

Shawshank 1

I sit in my tree stand during hunting season and have the opportunity to marvel at nature. I listen as the birds, squirrels and other creatures communicate with each other. I am ever amazed by how well nature nurtures the life that resides in her, as well as the life she has inside of herself as well. It is in these brief moments that I allow myself to really appreciate how intelligent the design really is. To even attempt to imagine creating a place like nature, undisturbed by man, is hard to fathom on its own. To understand how all things work together to sustain life, leaves no doubt in my mind that this world and all in it were created in an intelligent design.

David C. Shaw

The genesis creation story indicates a closed and complete universe. The firmament and the waters above the firmament are the main expressions affirming this. The basic design of the Hebrew cosmos can be drawn as shown in Wikipedia. Search for Hebrew cosmos. I agree that the Hebrew cosmos is a scientific achievement. It is one of the bases for the rise of the universe-cosmos. The universe-cosmos lasted until Edmond Halley identified three stars that had moved in comparison with their positions recorded by Hipparcus about 134 BC. Now we all know that all the stars move, but we have forgotten that until 200 years ago every educated person (except the astronomers) thought that the sky was solid and that the stars were embedded in the vault of heaven. The universe-cosmos is over.
and we have the opportunity to create a new theory of creation.

John Hobbins

The firmament remains a trope of the solid order of the universe. Modern astronomy has not lessened our appreciation of this order. On the contrary, it has increased it.

David C. Shaw

Response to John Hobbins
When I said the universe-cosmos is over, I did not intend to deny the achievements of astronomy. I only intended to deny that the universe is the cosmos that Pythagoras perceived when he raised the common Greek word cosmos meaning order to a theological level when applied to the universe. The word cosmos became an affirmation of God's work of art. Cosmos became a word for the divine intention of creation.
Ever since Halley identified three stars that had moved, the opportunity has existed to find a new target for the word cosmos. The Hebrew veneration for community seems a worthy candidate.

John Hobbins

Now I understand better.

I see no reason not to retain cosmos as an affirmation of God's work of art. At the same time, I would be happy to entertain a new coinage such that we would see ourselves as members of the same community in the sense of citizens of the world. This would in fact be a return to an ancient usage.

We might take our cue from Emmanuel Levinas. The foundation of ethics, as he is clear-eyed enough to recognize, does not consist in a "universal moral law," but in the obligation to respond to the Other. In Being for the Other, he writes of the sense of responsibility (goodness, mercy) that the Other, in a state of vulnerability, calls forth. According to Levinas, it is the face of the Other that compels the response.

Levinas is right. One might say: Citizens of the world, unite! It is about time we write up a bill of rights and responsibilities. Not just one or the other. Both.

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