Genesis - Again!

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A poster says: “For every complex problem there is a simple solution—and it is wrong.”

When the study committee on Creation and Science reported to Synod 1991, two of its members asked synod to adopt Declaration F: “The church declares that the clear teaching of Scripture and of our confessions on the uniqueness of human beings as imagebearers of God rules out the espousal of all theorizing that posits the reality of evolutionary forebears of the human race.” A third member agreed with this position but with five other committee members urged synod not to adopt Declaration F because, in part:

  1. “Many members of the Christian Reformed Church are working in this area and…the church should allow them to contribute to a resolution of the problem. Further study in this area is necessary.
  2. The church should not bind the consciences of its members beyond what is the clear and indubitable teaching of Scripture and the creeds” (Agenda for Synod 1991, p. 412):

Against the advice of the majority, synod adopted Declaration F. Nineteen years later Synod 2010 declared that Declaration F was no longer part of our official position on creation and science. An overture to Synod 2011 contends, “the practical effect of that decision was to allow persons within the CRC to adopt evolutionary theories for the origin of humanity” (Agenda for Synod 2011, p. 634). The overture proposes a simple solution: that synod declare a paragraph of the 1991 report to be part of our official position on creation and science. The paragraph says, in part, “However stylized, literary, or symbolic the stories of Genesis may be, they are clearly meant to refer to real events…Any interpretation which calls into question the event character of the story told in these first and fundamental chapters of the Bible must be firmly rejected, whatever difficulties this may cause with respect to the scientific evidence” (pp. 403-4).

Is this really a solution? Though not impossible to do, synods generally don’t lift a single paragraph out of a report and declare it part of our official position. It adopts recommendations of study committees.

And how are we to understand “event character?” Genesis says that God made the first man by making a mud doll and breathing life into it and made the first woman by performing a surgical operation on the man. Are these actual events to be confessed or are they stylized, literary accounts that point to the real event: God is Creator? If scientists tell us that God’s testimony in his created world indicates that God used the processes of evolution to bring human beings into existence, doesn’t this also confess the same event: God is Creator?

Synods should resist simple solutions to complex matters. In an appendix to its report the 1991 study committee said, “If scientific activities continue apace in the next few centuries, one may anticipate many new discoveries that may be expected to have important implications for questions of origins. In particular, it should be possible to make much more definitive statements about the nature and origin of both the physical universe and its many diverse life forms, including man” (Agenda 1991, p. 433). The Human Genome Project has provided important information about human origins, and we are just beginning to understand the implications of these data.

The study committee noted, “Many members of the Christian Reformed Church are working in this area.” Synod needs to encourage those devoted Christian scholars to continue their study to help all of us more fully understand God's testimony in his Word Book and in his world book (Belgic Confession, Article 2). 

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Episode 35 of Season 2 on "Genesis Week" (found on youtube or Wazoolo.com) discusses how a recent fossil find of a supposedly 70 million year old dinosaur had unfossilized dinosaur skin attached.  It also discusses the large number of fossil human footprints found around the world, in particular in Laetoli, South Africa, and in Mungo Park, Australia, as well as the Paluxy tracks in the USA.  Also Mexico (Sylvia Gonzales found those).  They are using CT scans and ground penetrating radar to analyze them, and some of them are in layers that supposedly pre-date the dinosaur periods of time.   Interesting.  

Another example of the problems with basing evolutionary theory on the geologic column.  Absence of evidence is not proof of absence.  The geologic column does not provide absolute proof of absence of particular life forms, even though it does provide evidence that certain species existed in the past.  Therefore the geologic column does not provide proof of common descent.   Evolution is the faith that does not fit the facts, says this video ...   youtube.com/watch?v=lTWZJBXAZJA

For information on supposed "out of place" fossils, you can check out :     

youtube.com/watch?v=lTWZJBXAZJA

This will give you an understanding of these fossils from an alternative perspective. 

Yesterday, I was at a pachyrhinosaurus bone bed at Pipestone Creek, in Northern Alberta, about 500 km northwest of Edmonton.  This bone bed is buried quite deep, under about 500 or 600 feet of clay or more, but exposed along the edge of a creek.  It is estimated to be at least the size of two football fields, and I was informed that thirty-two animals  have already been excavated from a small area, about 10 feet by 40 feet.  Interesting that these bones are found just under a shallow layer of shale, about 6 inches to 18 inches in thickness.  This horizontal shale/sandstone layer is found below hundreds of feet of clay, which is similar to the clay found underneath the stone.   Some kind of catastrophic event is concluded to have happened, which involved flooding and drowning.  These pachyrhinosaurus animals were about 6 meters in length from nose to tail, with the head of adult animals being more than a metre in size.  A plaster covered skull fossil weighs about 1200 pounds.  Juvenile and baby pachys were also found in this bone bed.

Interesting thing about bone fossils is that if you have a moist finger, it will stick to the fossil, and will not stick to other bones.  Also, in general, it is thought that herbivore animals have porous centers to the big bones, while carnivores have hollow centers to the big bones, but that might not be absolutely true in every case.  I don't know yet exactly how this is relevant to "Genesis Again", but thought you might find it interesting.

Correction:   in the second paragraph, I meant to say that a moist finger will stick to a bone fossil but not to stones in the same layer as the fossils.  In that way you can distinguish a bone fossil from the stone around it. 

I find it very sad that the one who started this discussion thread is still missing.   I hope he will be found, and pray that he may find hope again.  

Shaun Doyle has written an interesting article on how christian evolutionists are sometimes simply erring brothers, rather than raging heretics or Christ deniers.  The article is found on creation.com.   Some others disagree with him, but he makes the point well, especially in his responses to some outside commenters.   Following is one quote:  "Shaun Doyle responds   http://creation.com/genesis-gospel

Please also see Common ground with old-earth creationists?, which provides a counterbalancing perspective to the one offered in this article. I agree that the secular view of origins is the opposite of what the Bible says, but this does not mean that everyone who believes it has rejected the gospel. Please also see the related articles section, which expands on the issues briefly discussed in this article.

Let me also add that I empathize with you. I came from a non-Christian home, and the major stumbling block stopping me from becoming a Christian was Genesis 1–11. Basically, I thought that the Bible was so obviously wrong on basic history that anything else it had to say was utterly irrelevant. So, God made me a biblical creationist before He made me a Christian because that's the way it had to be for me. As such, I have always been perplexed at why Christians would bother trying to marry the Bible with deep time; it seems so obviously fruitless to me that it would be a waste of time. Nevertheless, I can see that many genuine Christians do just that."

 

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