Creation and Time
Hugh Ross, Ph.D.:

Context of Passage
Notes: PP#
  Philo's (20 B.C. - 45 A.D.) comments on the creation account included:  "He (Moses) says that in six days the world was created, not that its Maker required a length of time for His work, for we must think of God as doing all things simultaneously, remembering that "all" includes with the commands which He issues the thought behind them.  Six days are mentioned because for the things coming into existence there was need for order.

M (Figurative usage of 6 days)  17
  Justin Martyr (A.D. 100-166) and Irenaeus (A.D. 130-200) used Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 as the support for their view that the creation days were each a thousand years long.  

M (1000 year creation days) 18
  "Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150-220) echoed Philo's belief that the Genesis creation days were not literal, twenty-four hour days.  He claimed that the creation days communicated the order and priority of created things but not the time.  As he understood it, creation could not take place in time since "time was born along with things which exist."

M (Order as opposed to time.  Metaphysical implications) 18
  Augustine (A.D. 354-430) said in The Literal Meaning of Genesis;  Seven days by our reckoning after the model of the days of creation, make up a week.  By the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in these weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but with out in any way being really similar to them.

M (Augustine on Genesis) 20
  In Confessions Augustine notes that for the seventh day Genesis makes no mention of an evening and a morning.  From this omission he deduced God sanctified the seventh day, making it an epoch extending onward into eternity.

M (7th day as an epoch) 20
  In 1642, just thirty-one years after the completion of the King James translation, Cambridge University Chancellor John Lightfoot completed and published his calculation of the exact date for the creation of the universe. -September 17, 3928 B.C.  He drew this conclusion by analyzing the genealogies in Genesis, Exodus, 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles, taking the years cited in the text as precisely 365 days. Eight  years later James Usher, and Anglican archbishop of Ireland, published his correction of Lightfoot's date for creation, making it October 3, 4004 B.C.  In a final round of academic sparring, Lightfoot concluded that all creation took place during the week of October 18-24, 4004 B.C., with the creation of Adam occurring on October 23 at 9:00 a.m., forty-fifth meridian time.  This extraordinarily precise conclusion has provoked some mirth among both Bible scholars and critics. Perhaps it was the heady atmosphere of England's intellectual ascendancy, perhaps it was intellectual intimidation or ambivalence, but some force worked effectively to ensconce this 4004 BC date firmly in the minds of millions.  It was taken seriously, with little or no question for more than  a century, though there was much room for question and critique.

M (Lightfoot and Usher Chronologies) 25-26
  William Wilson, in his Old Testament Word Studies, explains that yom is "frequently put for time in general, or for a long time, a whole period under consideration.....Day (yom) is also put for a particular season or time when any extraordinary even happens."

M (yom, ereb and boqer) 46
  In the years of human history, the extinction rate for species of life has remained high while the introduction rate measure a virtual zero.  Estimates of the current extinction rate vary widely, from a low of one species per day to a high of five species per hour.  Though humanity's influence on that rate is significant, even without it, at least one species per year goes extinct.

M (Extinction Rate) 50
  Of all life on earth, only humans have earned the title "sinner."  Only humans can experience "death through sin."  Note that the death Adam experienced is carefully qualified in the text as being visited on "all men"- not on plants and animals, just on human beings. (Romans 5:12,18-19)

M,S (Spiritual Death) 61
  I see the community of scientists, including astronomers and astrophysicists, as an ethnos.  God calls us to reach out to them as He does to every other group on the planet.

M (ethnos of scientists) 71
  Recent research shows that at least twenty-five different characteristics of the universe must be exquisitely fine-tuned for life's essential building blocks to exist.  In several cases the degree of fine-tuning exceeds one part in 10 to the 37th power.  This fine-tuning far exceeds anything humans have been able to achieve.

M (Anthropic Principles) 76
  The most recent scientific determination of the maximum time it took for the first life-form to originate on the earth is 10 million years.  The 10 million years might as well be ten nanoseconds, for such a time span is, by far, inadequate for self-assembly of atoms into organisms.

M (Self-assembly impossibility) 77
  Ironically, natural selection usually argues for stasis rather than change.  In the case of dogs, if we remove all the barriers separating different breeds and allow the breeds to mingle freely in the wild, within relatively few generations the progeny would revert back to the mean.

M (Evolutionary stasis) 78
  Interpreting the Genesis creation days as tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of Earth years in no way lends support to evolutionism.  These time frames would be too brief by countless orders of magnitude for simple life to arise and become complex by natural processes.

M (brevity of time frame) 80
  The more measurements we have for the velocities and distance of galaxies and quasars, especially for those farthest away from us, the more accurate our calculation will be.  The latest efforts by astronomers have produced results accurate to about 15 percent.  Confirmation of this expansion-time measurement comes from observations of both the temperature and the smoothness of the background radiation left over from the initial explosive event in which the universe came to be.

M (COBE.  Cosmic Background Radiation) 92-93
  The latest age estimates based on stellar burning have uncertainties of 10 to 15 percent.  However, once a few calibration problems are sorted out, that estimate should be precise to within about 5 percent.

M (Stellar Burning) 94
  We know the universe cannot be older than a certain age because some radioactive elements still exist.  Uranium and thorium, for example, with radioactive half-lives of several billion years, can still be found.  Therefore, we know that the universe cannot be as old as a trillion years, for if it were, all the uranium and thorium would have decayed into lighter elements.
  On the other hand, the universe cannot be very young because most radioactive elements no longer exist at all.  The radioactive elements with half-lives of millions of years or less (except the byproducts of other radioactive elements with longer half-lives and the products of local or cosmic radiation) are completely gone.  Enough time has elapsed for every bit of these elements to decay away.  Therefore, the universe and the earth must be at least a billion years old.

M (Radioactive decay and half-lives in cosmic aging) 95
  Studies on a particular spectral line of hydrogen from nearby galaxies shows its constancy over the last 18 million years.  New measurements on that spectral line in very distant galaxies extend that confirmation to 14 billion years.
  A significant change in the velocity of light would so radically disturb such things as the luminosity's of the stars and the relative abundances of the elements as to ruin the possibility for life anywhere, anytime in the universe.  Also note energy factor of E=MC2 in proportion to changes in C.

M (Hyperfine split spectral lines, E=MC2) 98
 A sound mind accepts reality, physical and spiritual, not to mention emotional.

M (soundness of mind) 124
 Paul Davies expressed in his 1984 book Superforce; "The laws of physics...seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design...The universe must have a purpose."  Later is his 1988 book, The Cosmic Blueprint, Davies wrote; "I see powerful evidence that there is something behind it all.  The impression of design is overwhelming." M (Paul Davies) 128
Legend for Symbols:
M = Passage Relates to Minds
H = Passage Relates to Heart
S = Passage Relates to Soul/Spirit
B = Passage Relates to Body
 
Short Review
   Between Science and Religion exists, in part, a schism forged out of a common mindset in the pursuit and understanding of Truth.  Where discovery and difference of interpretation, and  when the resulting information is varied in application, a contribution can be made to the endurance of this unnecessary separation, holding apart to fields of ideology which in fact are as long lost brothers. Polkinghorne accurately stated in Reason and Reality that "science and theology, for all their contrasts of subject matter and all their consequent differences of method, are indeed cousins under the skin."  Few issues have proven to have as much significance, or played such a dramatic role in this divorce as the ideological apportionment between old earth and new earth interpretations of the creation account.  Creation and Time does a wonderful job at addressing both the historical development of old earth and new earth accounts as well as bringing into the light current discoveries that seem to be bringing Science and Religion back together for a family reunion of tenants. 
  In the first few chapters, Hugh Ross presents the historical stance of some church fathers and hebrew scholars in relation to interpretation of the temporal duration of creation days.   I believe this helped to show that the very battlefield on which believers in new earth creationism are mentally entrenched has only recently hosted such dogmatic exchanges.  Before John Lightfoot and James Usher re-dealt the playing cards of rendition over the creation date, opinions on the length of creation days and the age of the universe  seem to have been expressed as conjecture or speculation rather than defended with such fervor and conviction.  What was once non-essential became essential, to the point of denying church membership and in some cases, questioning the very salvation of so called 'opponents' to the 'orthodox' view of new earth creationism.  Such vehement over reaction hardly seems to show good Christian Charity.  Adherence to charity, especially in regards to the creation date controversy would bring more unity into the body of Christ.  One part expressing love for the other with our Lord Jesus Christ at the head.  How beautiful to see Theologian hand in hand with the scientist.  Undoubtedly it would do us all good to unite rather than divide as St. Augustine said; "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity."
  Hugh Ross deals with recent scientific discoveries which in a sense, disarm the past weaponry of scientific humanism.  He presents the utter improbability of the molecules to life, much less the molecules to man evolution in an old earth, or young earth model.  He shows the beauty and intricacy of design present in the many anthropic principles of our universe necessary for organic molecules to exist at all.  All this with the hope that new earth creationists would come to realize that no longer is a belief in a billions of years old universe model  more of a concession to defeat than is a thousands of years old universe.  The very weaponry once raised to the shoulder of scientific humanists, atheists and agnostics aimed against the idea of a personal God has shown to be nothing more than empty philosophy rooted in Kantian Idealism and dismissed with the certainty of science.  Neo-darwinists pulled the trigger of the 'gun' of natural process evolution, expecting a bullet of great intellectual caliber to exit the muzzle and tear viscously into very idea of 'creation.'   Instead, the trigger is pulled and in the face of hard mathematics and statistical analysis, all that emerges from the barrel of the gun is a red flag with the words 'big bang' printed in large block letters showing the weapon of choice to be a mathematical impossibility and to be of little consequence, of negligent risk, to the concept of 'creation. '  If anything, the big bang adds support to creationism and serves only to turn on the unsuspecting wielder of the 'weapon' of science an even more insurmountable problem in finding that science serves not to promote atheism, but to promote truth.  If science pursues truth, truth it will find, and will continue to find.
  Creation and Time is a book which provides insight into the creation date controversy and ultimately is an attempt to promote reconciliation between old earth and new earth believers showing that the battle being fought is unnecessary and brings with it not just casualties within the church but ultimately hampers the progress of 'great commissioned' Christians called to reach out to intellectuals and scientists.  I agree with Hugh Ross when he states that; "I see the community of scientists, including astronomers and astrophysicists, as an ethnos.  God calls us to reach out to them as He does to every other group on the planet."  Let us unite in the essentials of the faith and reach out to the world, undivided and untainted by the influences of outside and comparatively insignificant disagreements.  
 
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