Friday, September 24, 2010

We’re Jamin, but are we certain? (AgeOfEarth)

Jamin Hubner, author of The Portable Presuppositionalist, has a most excellent site on apologetics. He has recently written on the topic of the age of the earth. Stephen Boyd’s research on the verbs in Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 is referred to, but Thousands … Not Billions by Don DeYoung is not. Neither is the second volume produced by the RATE team which contains the details of Dr. Boyd’s work.

Hubner is ambiguous on Genesis and states that it’s narrative in a “general sense” and that the events recounted occurred “one way or another.” In contrast, Stephen Boyd’s results on preterite verbs is aptly summarized by Andrew Kulikovsky, “In the case of Genesis 1:1-2:3, it was statistically classified as narrative with a probability of 0.9999. This is an extraordinary level of confidence that amounts to virtual certainty.” [1]

Hubner states that, “No one denies that Genesis 1 fits with the rest of the book … ;” whereas, Bernhard Anderson, Emeritus Prof. of OT at Princeton, admits, “There is increasing agreement that the creation account belongs to the genre of story, not history. Even conservative ‘evangelical’ scholars are moving in this direction …” [2]

One also wonders how familiar Hubner is with the following creation periodicals:
Creation Research Society Quarterly
Acts & Facts
Answers Research Journal
Journal of Creation
A more complete list may be found here.

Hubner is under the false impression that the 10 toledoths (“generations,” “historical account”) in Genesis appear at the beginning of a section. They actually occur at the end. [3] Many of Hubner’s concerns are dealt with in the festschrift for John Whitcomb (co-author of The Genesis Flood, 1961) – Coming to Grips with Genesis, ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury. Also, Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati is a relevant resource.

Hubner claims that, “The only citation of Gen 1 in the NT is of man being made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27 in Matt 19 and Mark 10), a strongly theological point; there is no reference to chronology of Gen 1 in any of the NT …” Both Matthew and Luke contain a genealogy which implicitly yields a chronology. The NT uses the Seven-Day-Week which derives from the original Creation In Six Days (CISD) and the one day of rest. Time IS important in the NT, “… when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Gal. 4:4, ESV). Jesus came to earth according to God’s timetable (Daniel’s 70 weeks) – time does matter. In 2 Cor 4:6 we read, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ …” citing Ge 1:3. According to Andrew Snelling, “There are at least 100 quotations or direct references to Genesis 1-11 in the New Testament.”

Hubner brings out the issue of forming and filling during Creation Week. When we make things, we do so in an orderly manner. Building a house involves days of forming and days of filling. We are God’s image-bearers and imitate the work of Creation Week. When we build a house we do so in an orderly manner – first the foundation (with electric and plumbing lines), then the framing, windows, skylights, insulation, drywall, roofing and siding. We put plants, pets, an aquarium, ceiling fans and maybe some reptiles on the inside of the house – a virtual jungle.

Regarding the 3 days of forming and 3 days of filling, Hubner comments, “This could just be irony and genius in the creative order and have no conflict with chronology, but it is central to the account and it must be given attention” (emphasis added). Actually Day 3 of Creation Week was a day of filling since plants and trees were created then. According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism what is central about creation?

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Hubner posits, “… if we have a question specifically about chronology, Gen. 2 would probably be the first place we should go …” Ge 1 shows that Adam was made on Day 6 of Creation Week – that is Adam is 6 days younger than the universe and Ex 20:11 makes it clear that these are regular days. Chronology is found in Ge 5&11.

Hubner makes this shocking admission, “… I am hesitant to say ‘I'm a literal 24-hr 6-day young earth creationist’ even though much of what I believe falls into that camp.” Even non-creationist scholars admit to the 144 hour framework. Gerhard von Rad said that, “The seven days are unquestionably to be understood as actual days and as a unique, unrepeatable lapse of time in the world.” [4] Hubner admits to gaps in the chronology of Ge 5&11 and holds that mankind may be as old as 15,000 years. There are no gaps.

Hubner confesses, “I really doubt if there is adequate information in Scripture to plainly tell us how old our expanding and mind-boggling universe is.” Possibly he is unaware of the proposed solutions of the distant starlight problem provided by Russell Humphreys, John Hartnett and Jason Lisle.

Orthodox Protestants who take Genesis as Historical Narrative (OPGHN, “opgane”) should take Genesis as teaching creation in six standard days about six thousand years ago (Y6K). Francis Turretin proclaimed, “Nor does the sacred history written by Moses cover any more than six thousand years …” [5]

1) “Higher Critical Hogwash” by Andrew Kulikovsky, Journal of Creation, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2008, p. 33, emphasis added.
2) quoted in Kulikovsky, emphasis added.
3) Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), pp. 152, 295.
4) quoted in “Can Deep Time Be Embedded in Genesis?” by Trevor Craigen in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 203.
5) quoted in “A Brief Overview of the Exegesis of Genesis 1-11: Luther to Lyell” by David Hall in Coming to Grips with Genesis ed. by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2008), p. 71.