The Nature of Creation (Part 2)

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With this post, I will summarize our biblical creation classes from the first two Monday’s in February.

On February 1, I gave a brief commentary on significant articles and books cited in our 19-page bibliography (pages 100–119 of our syllabus). We also encountered a problem when a bulb in our projector burned out. In this class, we finished covering the last three of five arguments used to support the 24-hour day view (numeric qualifiers and the singular “day,” Scriptural parallels with “day,” and the sequence of events in the creation week and “day”). We concluded the class by initially looking at the first of four objections to literal creation days. This objection relates to the use of the seventh day (Gen 2:1-3) to argue against the 24-hour day view. If someone can prove that the seventh day is ongoing, then they are in a position to negate the literal substance of the previous six days in the creation week. To rebut this point, I noted that there is a twofold significance for the omission of the “evening” and “morning” on the seventh day of Genesis 2:1–3. Initially, the “evening-morning” conclusion is one part of a fivefold structure that Moses uses in shaping the literary fabric for each of the creation days (divine speech, “God said”; fiat, “let there be” or an equivalent; fulfillment, “there was” etc.; evaluation “God saw that it was good,” though it is omitted on day 2; conclusion, “there was evening and there was morning”). The omission of some of the fivefold framework, such as fiat, fulfillment, evening and morning, is because this was not a day on which any creative activity took place. Further, the “evening-morning” conclusion has another rhetorical effect in that it also functions as transition to the following day of creation. This transition is unnecessary on day 7 since creation is complete.

In our class presentation on February 8, we finished looking at our lesson on the nature of creation. We covered two areas: answering objections to literal creation days and four observations from the creation week. About the first area, I concluded looking at the first objection about the seventh day, in Genesis 2:1-3, being an ongoing day. More specifically, we looked at three biblical texts used to support the seventh day being an extended period of time: John 5:17, Psalm 95:7-11, and Hebrews 4:3-11. The second objection focuses on the use of “day” in Genesis 2:4 as supporting that day can refer to an extended period of time and thus undermining the 24-hour day view. The third one relates to two texts connecting “day” with a 1000 years: Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8. The fourth objection maintains that too many activities took place on day 6 for it to be a literal day (for my more fully developed response to these objections, see pages 112-22 of my article “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week.” Concerning the second area, we drew four observations from the creation account: God’s creative activities were supernatural, sudden, functionally mature (items such as fruit trees bearing fruit, stars visible from the earth, Adam and Eve as adults, to name a few), and God’s creative activities reflect that He is the self-existent, eternal Creator God (adapted from John C. Whitcomb’s The Early Earth).

With our lesson on February 15, the class objective is to look more precisely at the creation of the heavens and the earth.

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