A Day is a Day is a Day

I had the privilege to attend the 2019 LCMS Convention as a lay voting delegate for New England District Circuit Three.  During the convention we discussed and passed a resolution about 6 Day Creation.  The resolution was very well crafted by the floor committee to avoid saying more or less than what Scripture said.  When it was presented, a debate occurred on the floor about the term “natural day” as on its face, and in its plain reading, natural day means a normal 24 hour day.  Some did not like this term and brought up a common argument that since the sun did not exist at the time of the first day how would you delineate a natural day?  Since I did not get through the queue before debate ended I figured I would address this objection here since it is a common argument.

To begin let us go back to Genesis and read the text:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

Let us first point out that what delineates a day is evening and morning.  This does not require a source of light though but rather requires that you can separate light and darkness.  Evening and mornings are the boundaries you traverse between darkness and light.

We can see from Genesis that light is not traveling isotropically through out the cosmos.  Rather there is a division which God puts in place.  What that division is we do not know.  It could be that light is all traveling in one direction and thus as the earth rotates you would have darkness as you move into the shadowed area (this is how day and night works currently).  Alternately you could have one side of the universe with light and the other dark with the earth as it rotates straddling the middle.  Regardless of the solution all you need to have evening and morning, from a physics point of view, is simply a rotating body with light coming from a single direction.  Morning would occur as you rotate into the direction of the light, and evening would be as your rotate into the shadow of the body.

Now this may seem a completely odd state of affairs.  However recall that God is in the midst of preforming the work of Creation. It is not anywhere near complete.  Thus we have no idea what laws are governing the cosmos at this point.  All we do know is that there was light and darkness, evening and morning when there was no source of light for the sources were made later, and that all of this occurred on the first day.  As such the argument that a day is meaningless with out a Sun (or other source of light) is false.

One could argue about the length of this day, but the plain and obvious reading of the text that is in line with the usage in the rest of Scripture is that a day is a day is a day (see “The Length of the Days of Creation” Douglas Judisch, Concordia Theological Quarterly (1988) Vol. 52 Num. 4 pg. 266-271) .  After all God is omnipotent, He can create the cosmos in any time scale He desires.  Thus we need not jump through bizarre theories about how long a day is, or get in crazy pedantic arguments that it’s not exactly 24 hours.  To do so is to have already given up on the obvious reading of the text and to import your own ideas into the text.

So please in the future do not use this argument.  It is easy to disprove with a little thought.  Instead consider and believe what the Word of God plainly says in Genesis, that the Lord created everything in six natural days by His omnipotent power.

About Dr. Paul Edmon

Dr. Paul Edmon is from Seattle, Washington and now resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has his B.S. in Physics from the University of Washington in 2004 and Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Minnesota in 2010. He is professional staff at Harvard University and acts as liaison between Center for Astrophysics and Research Computing. A life long Lutheran, he is formerly a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Seattle and University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis. He now attends First Lutheran Church (FLC) of Boston where he teaches Lutheran Essentials. He sings bass in the FLC choir and Canto Armonico. He was elected to the Concordia Seminary St. Louis Board of Regents in 2016. He is single and among his manifold interests are scotch, football, anime, board games, mythology, history, philosophy, and general nerdiness. The views expressed here are his own and do not represent Harvard University or Concordia Seminary. Twitter: @pauledmon

Comments

A Day is a Day is a Day — 62 Comments

  1. Well stated! The committee could have used a hyphenated modifier, i.e., they were six evening-followed-by-morning days, but the word “natural,” especially when defined in the resolution using Genesis 1:5, is much more succinct. I was very encouraged by the adoption of this resolution. It is clear from the text that the word “day” is being used for all six days of creation (as well as God’s one day of rest) in its natural sense of an evening and then a morning amount of time, rather than meaning an age, epoch, or general timespan.
    Now it is falls on all of us to teach and speak about Genesis this way, especially for the sake of our youth.

  2. Kudos to the LCMS Convention for adopting Resolution 5-09A. Since many Christians in our churches struggle with the age of the earth and the age of the universe (i.e., light-travel time), it is incumbent, as Erika Mildred states above, for us to become knowledgable on the issues and teach and uphold this sound Biblical doctrine of God’s creative acts in history, both to our youth, and to our adults. Our churches do not need to be intimidated by unsound conjecture and unverifiable scientific arguments from the uniformitarians and naturalists.

  3. This struck me as strange:

    > Let us first point out that what delineates a day is evening and morning. This does not require a source of light though but rather requires that you can separate light and darkness. Evening and mornings are the boundaries you traverse between darkness and light.

    How can light exist without a source? There are many problems here I think you miss by a blinding commitment to literalism. I think the key here is that these passages are *not* to be read as if you were talking to your neighbor about their weekend. The creation of the cosmos is not “ordinary” and mere human words cannot hope to capture the transcendent glory of God’s work. What’s next, a debate over how many minutes it took?

    Or as the great early theologian Origen put it:

    > What intelligent person can imagine that there was a first “day”, then a second and a third “day” – evening and morning – without the sun, the moon, and the stars … Who is foolish enough to believe that, like a human gardener, God planted a garden in Eden … I cannot imagine that anyone will doubt that these details point symbolically to spiritual meanings, by using an historical narrative which did not literally happen.

  4. @Read Origen #3

    With all due respect to Origen, I think he is wrong. Also from a physics point of view light can certainly exist with out a source. It is just self-propagating EM waves. God certainly in His infinite power can create bare photons that stream in any arbitrary direction. No source required other than God’s Word to create them. If one objects that that would require either an infinite photon field or God to continually generate them, that is no issue. God certainly can do either. Regardless He would only have to do so for 3 days until He creates the sources that generate photons.

    I also don’t see what a commitment to literalism is a disparagement of God’s glorious work? I don’t believe anyone is stealing any glory from the Lord by taking the obvious literal reading. God creates physical things that we can interact with. Its not as if taking the literal Body and Blood of our Lord in Holy Communion is any less transcendent, in fact it is the most transcendent thing as any less an understanding undermines the work God is doing in the Sacrament. So with the literal Creation.

    A literal thing does not undermine any symbolic readings. To think so is rather myopic as it is clear that texts can have multiple meanings and subtexts. After all much hay has been made by many a Church Father about various literal historical events with out endangering the reality of those events. One can in fact have their cake and eat it too. It’s a wonderful thing.

    I would also question (as many have) Origen’s own philosophical commitments and understanding of optics. Certainly I can see, being a man of his own day, that he cannot conceive of light with out a source. Given the way that optics was thought to work I am not surprised by it. His own context, like any Church Father, must be understood (a citation to that effect would be good so that we may read Origen as you suggest). It must also be understood that Origen’s theories were in many ways speculative and suspect, and in fact declared heretical in many cases posthumously.

    To be sure we should not be so pedantic as to get in to an argument as to the last millisecond of how much time is in a day. To me that is just being ridiculous and missing the point. It is trying to set up a reductio ad absurdum when one doesn’t need to exist. Evening and morning delineate day according to the text. It doesn’t take much thought to see this as a day, as even little children can do so. In fact it is pointed out multiple times in Scripture itself that the foolishness of God is wiser than man. Just because our reason can’t deal with it, doesn’t mean that God cannot do it. It just means that we don’t understand how.

  5. Read Origen #3,
    “How can light exist without a source? There are many problems here I think you miss by a blinding commitment to literalism.”

    There are many more problems you miss, brother/sister, by a misunderstanding of theology and your Christian faith. This ruse of ‘light cannot exist without a source’ is the backbone of the Hugh Ross devotees and their uncritical adherence to the Big Bang and its secular story of origins. Placing God in a box, the Hugh Ross devotee insists there must be a ‘source’ for light, ignoring and discountenancing that God Himself could be the source of that light.

    By the same reasoning, the Ross devotee believes the ‘pillar of fire’ of Ex. 13:21-22, Num.14:14, Neh.9:12,19, in which God gave light by night to the Israelites as He led them out of Egypt and through the wilderness, must have been some little nuclear fusion generating body that hovered over the Israelites and went before them at the local level but disappeared at day when the pillar of cloud appeared to take its place.

  6. To Rev. Scheer, Dr. Edmon, and the editors and staff of ‘Steadfast Lutherans’:

    Is there a way on your wonderful and God-honoring blog, to use HTML formatting in the comment threads? How difficult or easy would this be to set up with a few HTML options (blockquote, bold, italics, underline, etc.) for your readers and commentors? I realize you probably think most people don’t know how to use HTML features when commenting, but it only takes a few minutes to learn and adds clarity to any back and forth discussion.

    I do like the automatic feature you have incorporated with portraying Scripture verses when hovering over a particular verse or passage. Beautiful.

    Blessings to you all!

  7. A day implies the passage of time, and as we all know, time is relative. Using the theory of parsimony, please explain why God would create evidence that points to a universe that is billions of years old and geological evidence that the earth is very old. Is He doing this to deceive us? Are we just too stupid to understand? Even if one is a biblical literalist, can one not read Genesis as a description of creation in vividly poetic language that tries to convey a sense of the glory of God and His creation. I don’t see why we have to read Genesis as a science text. Please help me out here.

  8. How wonderful that God only rested one natural day.
    How amazing that He created wood knowing one DAY He would bear the sin of the world on the tree of the cross.
    I wonder if the Ressurection isn’t the 8th day of creation.

  9. “How wonderful that God only rested one natural day.”

    The better to show us by example that He worked six days and rested on the seventh, and that we are commanded to do likewise, honoring the day of rest and keeping it holy (Ex.20:8,11). It is also important to note the things that God created during these six natural days: 1) the heavens (the whole of the stars, galaxies, moons, black holes, quasars, exoplanets, etc., 2) the earth (the planet itself 3rd rock from the sun and the complete biodiversity of life as we know it, including that biodiversity of life buried in the rock layers laid down by water all over the earth, 3) the sea and all that is within them. Pretty much covers it all.

  10. @Dan #7

    Though a nuisance, we read Genesis as a historical text not necessarily a scientific text. It’s a text about what happened, not necessarily the how (aside from God’s Almighty Word doing what He says). For more on this I highly recommend the CTCR report “In Christ All Things Hold Together” as it explains in more philosophical detail what that distinction entails. https://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=3469

    As for how to deal with a cosmos which is to all measurement old while dealing with a Bible that confesses a young earth, there are a number of solutions. I give a brief overview of them here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/2018/02/a-laymens-commentary-on-the-large-catechism-first-article/ Also we get into a discussion on my thoughts regarding Omphalos (my preferred option) here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/2017/08/st-augustine-on-science-and-scripture/ and here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/2017/11/on-miracles-and-science/ and here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/2018/01/5-2/ and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q7HMeqaIEk and here: https://steadfastlutherans.org/2018/10/gospel-reductionism-vs-gospel-foundationism/ I should probably write a post more fully explaining Omphalos so I can easily reference it as I usually bring it up but not on its own.

    Anyways I hope this is helpful. Certainly the quandary of a old earth and a young creation is a hard one, but I don’t believe insurmountable. Also I don’t believe we need to accuse God of lying or violate His nature to do so. That said I have gotten in debates about this. As usual the maxim of “Let God’s Word be true though everyone else be a lair.”, also the humility of our own reason and wisdom in the face of God (see Job 38-39 and 1 Corinthians 1).

  11. @ Dan #7,

    “please explain why God would create evidence that points to a universe that is billions of years old and geological evidence that the earth is very old.”

    Not to step on Dr. Edmon’s response in #10, nor the links he provides to other posts and the comment threads that follow those posts (excellent discussions), I think perhaps by saying this Dan, you are only looking at one side of the equation. We’ve been bombarded in education and media from such an early age with millions and billions of years. It’s been hammered into us from all points on the compass. But there are plenty of scientific evidences that point to much younger conclusions. Have you researched those, critically read and analyzed them for validity, and paired with Scripture in its magisterial role, seen perhaps that one sides evidence is not the end all and be all that it claims to be?

    While Dr. Edmon likes the Omphalos hypothesis; that God has created a universe with the appearance of age, (that universe being old, although ‘old’ & ‘young’ are relative terms), I think the Creation Science organizations have put out a tremendous amount of good information that can be easily accessed online and in print publications for further critical study. Have you looked at any of those? If not, I encourage you to read, and critically analyze the evidence that speaks to a much younger universe than the naturalists and uniformitarians want us to believe.

    The more important issue is the theological. What does a billions of year old universe say about God, and why is that important?

  12. Revision to post # 11 above. I wish to clarify my comments about the Omphalos hypothesis. The word ‘universe’ in the parenthetical (that universe being old), should read ‘appearance’ viz. (that appearance being old) in keeping with an earlier post by Dr. Edmon in which he explains fully:

    “In the Omphalos Hypothesis the universe only appears to be 13 billion years old. It really came into existence roughly 6,000-10,000 years ago in accord with the plain reading of the text of Scripture. God makes a universe that is self-consistent and that is in full working order. Thus trees are created fully grown, starlight is created in transit, planets and stars are created in the middle of their life cycle, humans are created fully grown. Since God cannot lie, He tells us He makes all things by His Word and wants us to trust His Word. This hypothesis is also amenable to use in conjunction with Creation Science and Intelligent Design as all the Omphalos Hypothesis describes is why the universe would appear old.”

  13. Thanks for the comments. They are helpful. I will reread some of the Institute for Creation Research resources as well as Dr. Edmon’s articles on this site. At this point I still find the evidence for a young universe/young earth unpersuasive, but only a fool stops learning and studying.

  14. @ Dan #13,

    Several articles you might find interesting at ICR relate to poetry vs. historical narrative in the texts of Scripture by Dr. Steven Boyd. From the science of statistics, he analyzed the distribution of Hebrew finite verbs in both poetic and narrative texts. Use the search function and plug in Boyd’s name and the articles will come up.

    He found that Hebrew preterites dominate in Hebrew narrative and that Genesis 1:1-2:3 with its overwhelming use of preterites therefore statistically cannot be poetry.

    We should also begin to discuss the theological issues with an old universe/old earth, as these are most critical.

  15. @Dan #13

    Dan,

    TV host John Ankerberg once asked both creationist biochemist Duane Gish and ICR founder Henry Morris if they could name any scientist who had been persuaded that the earth was young based purely upon the science. Both of them drew a blank.

    Creationist paleontologist Kurt Wise once said that, if “all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism,” he would still be a creationist.

    Ken Ham makes every scientist who works for Answers in Genesis sign a pledge that they will never accept an old earth, no matter how strong the science backing it may be.

    I wouldn’t waste any time reading what “creation scientists” say about science. It’s fundamentally dishonest for them to be talking about scientific evidence for what they believe, since they will hold to their view of Genesis no matter WHAT the evidence turns out to be. Why waste time “doing science”? They already think they know all the answers!

    If they want to hold to a young earth based on their reading of the Bible, God bless them. But their minds are made up in advance of any possible scientific evidence, so why do they even talk about that stuff?

  16. @ James Gibbs #15,

    I would be careful brother, counseling another brother to forsake the clear word and testimony of Scripture and what it says. You are in danger of blaspheming the name of God and His Holy character.

    If you wish to present your arguments, then please do so, and we can debate them here.

  17. @Steve Drake #16

    Where did I urge Dan to forsake Scripture? Nowhere. I was talking about young-earth creationists (YECs) and how they hold to their views.

    I stated a simple fact: YECs will hold to their view of Genesis regardless of whether the scientific evidence supports them or not. If you need further evidence of that, just read 99.9% of the comments on this site whenever the origins issue comes up.

    YEC scientists’ minds are closed to the very possibility that the earth may be old. Whether or not that stubborn adherence to YEC is a virtue or a vice, it is certainly not a “scientific” viewpoint. Real science doesn’t start with the conclusion and look for evidence to fit that conclusion–and it’s willing to junk an explanation if the evidence doesn’t support it.

    Again–if someone thinks the Bible demands adherence to YEC, and they feel they must in all good conscience believe that, even if the evidence for an old universe is really, really compelling (as Dr. Edmon himself has stated more than once), then let them believe in a young earth. They just want to be true to what they think God teaches.

    But don’t tell people science supports a young earth while simultaneously rejecting the very possibility that they could be proven wrong by scientific evidence. That’s claiming the prestige of science while rejecting the scientific method itself.

    That’s all I’m saying to Dan: don’t waste time on creationist “science,” because, to them, it’s “Heads, we win; tails, you lose.”

    I’ve already argued the age of the earth with other people on this website. And why would I want to debate someone who begins his dialogue with me by accusing me of blasphemy?

  18. Mr. Gibbs seems to always come back to this site to sow his seeds of doubt and try to sound reasonable. The fact is that Mr. Gibbs does not get his truth from Scripture, but has a higher authority – himself. Let’s not presume him to be an expert on either Scripture or on being a Christian at this point (or even science either). He is a Christian, but an erring one who has been led on this path which yes, sadly, he tries to get others to go down as well. God may have mercy on him for the false belief, but as he continues to try to get others to believe the same lies he does he presumes to make himself a teacher. God judges teachers of the faith differently. Mr. Gibbs, I thought you had said you were not coming back to the site?

  19. @ James Gibbs #17,

    So you deny that God created the heavens and earth, the sea and all it contains in 6 natural days? (Ex. 20:11). I take it the answer is yes. Let me know if I’m wrong here.

    To counsel someone against believing this is arguing against the very words of God Himself. You can decide if counseling someone against believing the very words of God Himself is blasphemy or not.

    In all your unfounded posturing, without a hint of evidence provided so far, you are claiming the scientific evidences for both a young universe and earth are unconvincing to you. You are then trying to instill that belief into another. I caution you to be careful. Present your arguments for an old universe/old earth billions of years in the making, and let people decide for themselves.

  20. @Pastor Joshua Scheer #18

    I didn’t want to comment today on what the Bible teaches about the age issue, and I haven’t. I didn’t even say anything about any actual science concerning the age of the earth. I simply wanted to clarify the YEC approach to science.

    Read my original comment (#15). I simply stated facts. YEC scientists (or spokesmen such as Ken Ham) will never, ever listen to contrary evidence. So why would anyone consult them in matters of science? That was my entire point.

    How is that “lies”?

    If you want to believe in a 6,000-year-old universe based purely on the Bible, God bless you. But please don’t put any faith in “creation science.” That’s all I’m asking.

  21. @Steve Drake #19

    I already argued the age of the earth–as I told you before. Look up my old comments here if you are curious. Or look up any number of websites or books written by old-earth Christians. That’s not what I’m about here today.

    I am simply urging Dan to not waste his time on YEC “science.” You don’t get real science from someone who refuses to consider contrary evidence!

    If he wants to believe in a young earth based on the Bible, God bless him.

    If you and I were face-to-face in a Bible class on Sunday morning, and I disagreed with you on how to interpret the Bible, I hope you wouldn’t be so quick to accuse me of blasphemy as you have been here today. Try to be a bit more charitable, please.

  22. @ James # 21, 22,

    “Read my original comment (#15). I simply stated facts. YEC scientists (or spokesmen such as Ken Ham) will never, ever listen to contrary evidence. So why would anyone consult them in matters of science? That was my entire point.”

    You have only stated conjecture and personal opinion.

    “I am simply urging Dan to not waste his time on YEC “science.” You don’t get real science from someone who refuses to consider contrary evidence!”

    The scientific evidence from creation scientists is “contrary evidence”.

    Mr. Gibbs, you can continue to posture and huff and puff, but unless you start presenting real arguments both Biblical and scientific against the historically orthodox position of the Church for creation of both the universe and earth all they contain in 6 natural days, I am taking Pastor Scheer’s advice and not wasting my time with you.

  23. @Steve Drake #23

    One more time…

    Science is supposed to base its conclusions on evidence. Explanations (a.k.a. theories) should be modified or discarded if enough contrary evidence accumulates. YEC scientists WILL NOT not modify their explanations of origins (e.g., the earth is 6,000 years old) even if a mountain of evidence contradicts them. They are basing their position on the Bible, not science. Which is fine–but it’s not science, so they shouldn’t claim the mantle of science. And inquiring folks like Dan should not go to YEC organizations for science. Bible teaching, maybe–but not science.

    I don’t think that is conjecture or opinion. Which of the examples I cited of YEC scientists holding to YEC despite ANY contrary evidence did you refute?

    By “contrary,” I of course meant “contrary to what YEC scientists believe,” not “contrary to mainstream science,” which is what I think you thought I meant. (I believe my original context was clear enough.)

    I didn’t want to debate the actual science–just to advise Dan not to waste his time with “creation science.” Again, see my comments of months past for “real arguments,” if you are interested.

    If I advise a friend to not waste his time or money on homeopathic “medicine,” does that mean I have to engage in a full-on debate about the merits of alternative medicine? Of course not. So here. I just wanted to make one particular point. A point, btw, which I believed to be true even when I believed in YEC. Don’t base what you believe the Bible is teaching on shoddy science!

    Not wanting to discuss a particular topic–how is that posturing or huffing and puffing?

    I never wanted to argue with you, either, btw. Believe in YEC all you want, and God bless you.

  24. Pastor Scheer’s comments in #18 above regarding Mr. Gibbs are a warning to all those who wish productive discussion with Mr. Gibbs on this issue:

    “The fact is that Mr. Gibbs does not get his truth from Scripture, but has a higher authority – himself. Let’s not presume him to be an expert on either Scripture or on being a Christian at this point (or even science either).”

    We can ignore the troll (sorry, but applicable), and forge ahead with productive questions, answers, comments, etc on this very important issue.

    Those Christians wishing to defend their old earth/old universe views need only supply an argument that can be discussed and debated.

  25. To suggest that those who believe in the Biblical account of creation must recuse themselves from the pursuit of science is foolishness.

    Faithful Christians must confess, above all else, the truth of God’s Word. However, we also have the opportunity to converse with the world using the language and methods of science, to make observations about our world, to study the data that is available to everyone, and to present the evidence that supports a young earth.

    There are also aspects of the prevailing old earth theories that must be questioned, such as the popular belief that the science is “settled” beyond refutation, the presuppositions of a naturalist or materialist worldview, and the assumption that the scientists who develop and support these theories are themselves completely unbiased and objective.

    Science, to borrow a term from pop culture, is egalitarian; all are welcome to participate. The church benefits greatly from men and women who are conversant with the language and methods of science and can thus better understand and respond to the challenges of old earth and comparable scientific theories.

  26. @Steve Drake #25

    You call me a blasphemer because my interpretation of the Bible is different from yours. You cannot imagine any scenario where you might be mistaken on the age issue.

    You call me a troll because you don’t want to answer the very limited point I made. It’s easier to just dismiss me.

    You SAY Christians with old-earth views just have to present their arguments here for a fair hearing. That’s rich. I tried that, months ago. With few exceptions, everyone attacked my faith, accused me of “denying the Word of God,” etc.

    I already said what I came here to say. Have a pleasant day.

  27. @Rev. Scott Hojnacki #26

    I never said creationists couldn’t be scientists.

    I simply said that, if a scientist refuses to even consider an explanation of the data that might conflict with his pre-existing beliefs about the age of the earth, then he has left the realm of science for religion.

    That may be a laudably pious act on his part (because he wants to stay true to what he believes God teaches), but he shouldn’t then turn around and tell an inquiring person that he can give him scientific answers on that same subject (e.g., “Answers in Genesis”).

    It’s like asking the mother of an accused criminal if her son is guilty. Her mind is already made up that “her baby” couldn’t possibly be guilty! Her love for and loyalty to her child is natural and praiseworthy (to a point), but we wouldn’t ask her to sit on the jury at her son’s trial! She is disqualified from judging the evidence fairly and without preconditions.

    A closer-to-the-issue example: I once watched a 20-minute YouTube from AiG which touted “a new scientific solution” to the distant-starlight problem. Dr. Danny Faulkner (who was indeed a professor of astronomy at one time, before going to work for Ken Ham) talked for nearly 20 minutes, and then said his solution was…God worked a miracle. No offense, but you don’t need a Ph.D. in astronomy to offer that solution! He was speaking from his religious convictions, not from any real assessment of the evidence.

    You can’t get a fair assessment of the evidence on the age issue from a creationist scientist. His mind is already made up that even entertaining the possiblity of an ancient earth is unthinkable.

    (And, yes, non-Christian scientists can be biased, too, of course.)

    That’s all I wanted to communicate to Dan, based on my own experience in researching these issues.

    Have a great day!

  28. @ Rev. Hojnacki #26,

    Beautiful post and reminders. One wonders at someone who so vociferously, adamantly and repeatedly wants you to “NOT” investigate and look at something, as to what he is trying to hide. The fear is palpable. One can readily smell the incense burning at the idol of self-worship and pride. Refusing to bow the knee before their Creator and His Holy Word and what it claims, the self-worshipper exalts man and man’s opinions, claiming all other opinions invalid.

    Refusing to recognize God’s opinion on the matter, and dealing with the text of that revelation to us in Holy Scripture, the man of pride takes out another joss stick and sets it up in front of the shrine to himself, and thinks the sweet-smelling aroma is pleasing to his god. And it will be, as he is his own god.

  29. If Dan wants to check out creationist websites, I can’t stop him. I just offered advice, and said I thought he would be wasting his time. How is that “trying to hide” something? He can do whatever he wants.

    I also gave examples of creationist scientists (Kurt Wise, everyone who works for Ken Ham) who have said IN ADVANCE that they would disregard ANY evidence for an ancient earth, no matter how compelling. Those are facts. I also explained how real science lets explanation follow evidence–it doesn’t shoehorn evidence into an explanation despite the facts–and how this makes getting reliable science on origins from a creationist scientist very…problematic.

    You never refuted any of that.

    You also claim to be open to debating old-earth Christians, and keep challenging me to produce arguments or evidence for an old earth. I have said (repeatedly) that I don’t want to debate all that again.

    But then you call me a blasphemer, a troll, and, in your last post, an idolator. “They will know we are Christians by our love,” right?

    Why should anyone want to debate with you about the age issue? You’re just going to insult them as you have me.

    99% of scientists are firmly convinced the earth is old. They can’t all be dupes of Satan. Many of them are Christians!

    Speaking of “fear,” try checking out some old-earth Christian websites. You might be surprised at what you learn!

    Don’t just confine yourself to guys like Ken Ham. He’s the one peddling fear.

  30. Its interesting that the self-worshipping idolatrous man boasts proudly that a day is not a day is not a day. Making mockery of verses like Heb. 6:13, Titus 1:2, that it is impossible for God to lie, he throws these Scriptures down, gleefully stomping them into the mud.

    Stepping over to his secondary altar: the altar of deep time, he reverently genuflects and chants: “Oh, deep time, Oh old earth/old universe, I worship you. I shall have no other gods before you.’ He pulls out another joss stick, and laying prostrate before his altar of deep time he continues his incantation, corruptly channeling Psalm 19:7-9:

    “The law of deep time is perfect, restoring the soul,
    The testimony of an old universe/old earth is sure, making wise the simple.
    The precepts of vast eons with death, disease, and destruction are right, rejoicing the heart,
    The commandments of secular science is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    The fear of man and man’s opinions is clean, enduring forever,
    The judgments of secular scientists on origins are true, they are righteous altogether.”

    Rising from his prostration, but making sure the incense to his idols are still burning, he claims victimhood to those who stand on the Word of God without fear and call out the false teachers among the flock. His false gods reassure him though:

    “you are doing the right thing, keep belittling the real scientists and men of God who stand on a day “is” a day “is” a day. Their evidence is compelling and supports God’s Word, but obfuscate, tell half-truths, bellow and bluster, mock these people of God and do everything you can to “NOT” get them to investigate it. Don’t use your Bible to defend your old universe/old earth views either. You will just get yourself into trouble. Never, ever, I mean never, posit any argument from the Bible, or of our co-horts the secular scientific establishment to defend this view, you will just look like a fool when you do. That’s it for now. Burn me another joss stick tomorrow.”

  31. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;
    There is no one who does good.

    The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men,
    To see if there are any who understand,
    Who seek after God.

    They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt.
    There is no one who does good, not even one (Ps. 14:1-3).

    …in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness (Eph. 4:17-19).

    Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 4:17).

    Those Christians; those who claim to be of the household of faith, who wish to defend their deep time, old universe/old earth views, and that a day is “not” a day is “not” a day, need only supply an argument that can be discussed and debated.

  32. “Always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

    I have a particular interest in this topic in part because of my involvement with Lutheran schools. I want my students to learn good theology and good science, and be Christians of good character. I know that many of them will be challenged by this issue at some point in their lives, and I want to give them the tools to respond faithfully and intelligently. I know that they will encounter many people who share their beliefs and many who hold conflicting beliefs (in many aspects of life, not just this), and I want them to heed St. Peter’s admonition in their speech and conduct. It is a difficult task in the internet age, but we must try nonetheless.

    For those still following this thread, Dr. Edmon was on Issues, Etc. recently, talking about black holes. Excellent stuff; check it out…

  33. @ Rev. Hojnacki #34,

    And like Luther, who used polemics against the enemies of the faith, there were some who said he went too far, others who said he didnt go far enough.

  34. I’m sorry that I seem to have stoked controversy here. I was just troubled by the implications of “a day is a day” meaning that day=24 hours; well actually day=1 rotation of the earth. Day really had no meaning before there was an earth, I suppose.

    In regard to creation science, I believe all science should be “good” science to be meaningful. What is “good” science? Good question! (pun intended). Things like disproving the null hypothesis instead of proving causation seems important. Also, Karl Popper’s hypothesis falsification seems important to “good” science. I did some further reading on the Omphalos hypothesis and find it unsatisfying in relation to the nature of God and how He reveals truth. One cynic said the Omphalos hypothesis naturally leads to Last Thursdayism meaning that it’s just as likely that the universe and all in it was created last Thursday and all evidence to the contrary has been falisified by the creator.

  35. Dan #35,

    You have not stoked controversy, brother, but have come with real questions, real inquiries, real comments and questions, unlike some who come to sow dissension, discord, mockery, and doubt in God’s Word.

    Day as defined in Gen. 1:5 from God’s own mouth is the period of light and darkness, evening and morning, one day. You are right in that it is one rotation of the earth created on Day One around a light source. Since earth was created on Day 1, and it was rotating on its axis, just like it does today, around a light source, also created on Day One, it does have meaning. This same definition of day is used for days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7. This has been the historic orthodox position of the Church since its inception.

    God Himself uses this same definition in Exodus 20:8-11 as part of the decalogue and as His rationale for the 3rd commandment. I, God Almighty, worked six days (Heb. ‘yamim’) and rested on the seventh, therefore you are to work six days (Heb. ‘yamim’) and rest on the seventh. The Hebrew word used for ‘days’ in verses 9 & 11 is the same Hebrew word. It does not mean vast ages, or eons of time.

    I will let Dr. Edmon respond to your comment about the Omphalos Hypothesis, if he wishes. I myself, find the idea of a rapidly matured creation in six natural days more satisfying and
    truer to the nature of God as well. I am hopefully not violating any blog rules by doing this, but astronomer Dr. John Byl, discusses this at his website, http://www.bylogos.blogspot.com.

  36. Let me also say this, Dan. This issue does stoke controversy and contentiousness. It is one of the major battles of our day. Will we believe God’s Word and its authority, or will we believe man’s word? Is Scripture in a majesterial role, or ministerial? Over what you may ask; answer, over everything, including materialistic science’s prognostications on origins.

  37. Dan,
    Let’s be clear on what this issue entails. The ideology of deep time, and millions and billions of years, destroys the sin-death causality in Adam and the basis/rationale for the atonement. It is a thus a gospel-destroying false teaching, and an enemy of the faith. Please read Rev. Rolf Pereus blog of August 7, 2019 on ‘Beware of False Prophets’.

    You will have to do some study as to why I say this destroys the sin-death causality in Adam and the basis for the atonement. Nothing ever comes easy unless you do the work to discover from Scripture what are its truths. I will give you a hint however in where to start. Go online and print out a chart of the geologic column. Specifically, one that delineates the life forms that supposedly arose within the specific periods and epochs of ancient history. Then, with Bible in hand, and Genesis 1 in particular, see if God’s account of the life forms He created on each of the days match up to what’s on the geologic column chart. You will find that you cannot reconcile the two.

    Understand that Scripture paints a picture of sin-death causality (Rom.5:12, Rom. 6:23, Gen.2:17, Gen. 3:18, 1 Cor. 15:21). One before the other. The penalty for sin is death (1 Cor. 15:56), let me say that again, death is the penalty for sin. Look at the geologic column again, when did death start according to the geologic column? Was it the Precambrian 541 million years ago, or the Cambrian 485 million years ago? According to the geologic column when did man arrive on the scene? Can you place Adam somewhere in there at 0.01M years ago at the beginning of the Holocene, or do you want to place him later than that at 40,000-50,000 years ago? So, when did Adam sin?

  38. Dan,

    If you go to Dr. Jay L. Wile’s blog, Proslogion, and look for his Sept. 8, 2009 entry entitled, “Was There Animal Death Before the Fall?”, you will see that, despite being a young-earth creationist (YEC), he makes a pretty good case as to why the Bible does NOT require “no animal death before the Fall.”

    You may find it interesting.

  39. OK, so I just reread Genesis 1-3. It is clear that light was created twice. The first time was an undefined light that divided day from night. There is nothing to indicate it was the sun. The stars do not get created until the fourth day, so there must not have been a sun yet. I therefore can find no support for days one through three were 24 hours in length.

    As far as the death-sin connection, there is no connection for death of non-human life forms being caused by sin. In fact I cannot find anything that suggests Adam and Eve were created as eternal beings. God specifically kicks them out of the garden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life which would have conferred immortality on them, according to God’s own words.

    I’m not going to claim that I am expert in all things biblical or scientific, but for now I’m going with leaving all the specific details of creation as a mystery, much as the specifics of the Holy Trinity and the true presence of Christ in Holy Communion. I place my complete faith and trust in God and his creation of the universe, and I continue to keep searching for further understanding, praying that God will reveal to me what He wants me to know.

    Thanks so much to all the good folks here who provided me with much to ponder, pray about, and study.

  40. @ Dan #42,

    ” I therefore can find no support for days one through three were 24 hours in length.”

    Except for the rotating earth, evening and morning thing, right? And the fact that the same Hebrew word ‘yom’ is used for all six days. Or the fact that cardinal and ordinal numbers are used, one day, second day, third day, etc., or the fact that up until the 1800’s with the rise of secular uniformitarian geology, this was the historic orthodox position of the church, including Luther and the other founding fathers of the Reformation. But they were ignorant pre-scientific men, right? They couldn’t know the scientific conclusions that modern man has come to in the last few centuries. For 1800 years they didn’t see what we see and know now. We now have a handle on what Genesis 1 means in our enlightened scientific age. Ignoring all that, I suppose I see your confusion.

    “As far as the death-sin connection, there is no connection for death of non-human life forms being caused by sin. In fact I cannot find anything that suggests Adam and Eve were created as eternal beings.”

    Except the prohibition given in Gen. 2:17 and the fulfillment of the penalty in Gen. 3:19, right? If Adam was supposed to die anyway, how do those verses have any meaning? You’re seeing something that theologians and Biblical scholars for 1800 years never saw. They argued that death as an entity, both spiritual and physical, entered through Adam and affected the whole of creation that he was to have dominion and authority over. He was its representative head and all creation suffered because of his sin (Romans 8:20-23). You’re probably much wiser than 1800 years of collected church wisdom though.

    As a Christian, Dan, perhaps you can use Scripture to back up your claims?

  41. @Steve Drake #43

    There is nothing in Genesis 1 that specifically mentions rotation of the earth. It is not until verse 16 that the sun, moon, and stars are created. This must mean that the light and darkness before that were different than sunlight, starlight, and moonlight.

    And yes, chapter 2, verse 17 prohibits eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and says the day you eat it you shall surely die, but they did not die that day when they ate the fruit. But if Adam and Eve were created as eternal beings then why would they need to be kept from eating the fruit of the tree of life? Why didn’t God tell them not to eat from the tree of life? I could infer that God’s intention was to have them in a state of innocence where they could eat of the tree of life and live forever in the garden. But, since God is omniscient He knew that they would lose their innocence and be cast out of the garden and we would have to wait for the second Adam to redeem all of creation.

    I’m as orthodox as they come, but I fear that the way we are reading Genesis is akin to arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. God knows, in every detail, how he created the universe and all in it and we don’t. We have Moses’ record of creation in Genesis, but I doubt it has all the details that God used. I’m anticipating eternity with God so I can hear Him say “and now you know the rest of the story.”

  42. @ Dan #44,

    Are you forgetting what Dr. Edmon wrote in the original post above? It seems you also then take issue with Douglas Judisch in the Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol. 52 of 1988 on the Length of the Creation Days? You are doing exactly what Dr. Edmon warns against in his post when he says:

    “Thus we need not jump through bizarre theories about how long a day is, or get in crazy pedantic arguments that it’s not exactly 24 hours. To do so is to have already given up on the obvious reading of the text and to import your own ideas into the text.”

    This is the sad state of affairs that we find ourselves in: where heterodoxy supplants orthodoxy, where duplicity rules in the minds of men who trust Christ for their salvation from Scripture, but don’t trust Christ when He speaks on origins from Scripture.

    The LCMS has always been a strong defender of six-day Creation. Thankfully there were God-honoring men and women who take God at His word at this year’s convention and adopted Resolution 5-09A.

    For those interested, Ph.D astronomer Dr. Jason Lisle defends the orthodox position that there was no animal death before the Fall here: https://biblicalscienceinstitute.com/theology/animal-death-gods-fault-or-mans-fault/

  43. @ Dan #44,
    “…chapter 2, verse 17 prohibits eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and says the day you eat it you shall surely die, but they did not die that day when they ate the fruit.”

    Lest this argument (that Adam didn’t die the day he ate of the forbidden fruit) seem to have validity, it should be noted that those who don’t want to take “day” in Genesis 1 in a literal 24-hour sense, insist that “day” in Gen. 2:17 “must” be taken literally in the 24-hour sense. Quite confusing, right, and from an hermeneutical standpoint simply erroneous.

    The confusion clears up when one looks at the Hebrew. Gen. 2:17, and for that matter Gen. 2:4 as well, use a prepositional construct “beyom”. This use of the Hebrew prepositional construct “beyom” in Gen. 2:17 and Gen. 2:4 are equivalent to our English “when”.

    The following paper by David G. Graves may be helpful:
    https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_3/j23_3_119-122.pdf

  44. So I guess I’ll have to resign as an elder in my LCMS congregation and leave the LCMS because I don’t believe God’s universe and all that is in it was created in 144 hours, but God left confusing evidence to make us think it was longer than 144 hours. I’m extremely frustrated, feeling trapped between the “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” crowd and the congregations matter/”ordain women now” crowd.

  45. @Dan #47
    No, Dan, we don’t fall away because there are mysteries no man can comprehend. It’s not as creation is hardly the only one. That’s why they, we, call it faith.
    The OWN thing is an entirely different subject. There is no mystery there. If there are OWNers at your congregation who continually “dialogue” with you against the scriptures, then, sure, it is time to move to a more faithful parish. Like, post-haste!

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