One tactic that is employed far to often is reductionism – not so much in the technical sense, but in the sweeping generalization or hasty conclusion sense.  It may make the point easier to make, it may play into the hands of those already predisposed to such thinking – but it is also a fallacy.

Whether it is an ODM blog, or a comment made here, far too often we see the fallacy employed when a label (such as emerging, emergent, or even fundamentalist) is applied – then reduced to a caricature by ignoring nuances and exceptions – then the caricature is attacked.

I am not sure why ODM’s and their allies are quick to employ this fallacy: it may be laziness (they won’t take the time to discern nuances); it may be dishonesty (they know better but choose to ignore the nuances); it may be self-delusion (they have convinced themselves that though nuances exist, they are too minor to worry about); or they may just be ignorant (they do not know that nuances exist).

So, to all ODM and Commentors who have ever reduced “Emerging Churches” to a fallacious caricature of post-modern relativists who cannot make truth claims, who will not acknowledge sin, who think all roads lead to the same God… I offer this simple exception: Vintage Church. 

This is all it takes to abort the reductions claims about “Emerging churches” – or the fundamentally worse employment of “All” or “Every” – …one example of a theologically sound emerging church exposes the broad-brushed, reductionist caricature for what it is…

As a reminder to us all, though history has prove that “fundamentalists” tend to be a lot more unified, they too have nuances and therefore should not be reduced to a caricature for mocking.


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53 Comments(+Add)

1   Chris P.    
January 26th, 2008 at 11:59 am

“I am not sure why ODM’s and their allies are quick to employ this fallacy: it may be laziness (they won’t take the time to discern nuances); it may be dishonesty (they know better but choose to ignore the nuances); it may be self-delusion (they have convinced themselves that though nuances exist, they are too minor to worry about); or they may just be ignorant (they do not know that nuances exist).”

At the risk of sounding crudely reductionist; put it where the sun don’t shine.
This blog is going to criticize others for sweeping generalizations?
I pray for the soon return of the King.

2   Chris L
January 26th, 2008 at 1:24 pm


You asked yesterday about our policy of moderating certain commenters, including yourself. This response is a case study in ‘why’.

You continue to ignore admonitions on tone, and many of your responses (like this one), contain no data or argument – just name-calling and self-righteous sanctimony.

If you disagree, then please, by all means, lay out a case for disagreement. But please do so in a manner that is congruent with Christ…

3   Phil Miller
January 26th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

All reductionists are stupid…

4   Tim Reed, Owosso MI
January 26th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Oh snap!

5   jazzact13
January 26th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

–This blog is going to criticize others for sweeping generalizations?–

I find it ironic that the topic right under this one contains this statement…

–As far as I can tell mostly just complains about other Christians. Seriously, can you find an actual example of them actually doing something? Google shows me nothing.–

Really, is that not reductionistic? Saying Way of the Master does nothing?

I have to agree with Christ P, if not in his tone then at least in his contention.

6   Keith
January 26th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I am no fan of the emerging church per se, but in general, I could agree with most of what I saw on the Vintage Church website (a very quick reading)…except for

“…whether someone holds the belief that the universe was created in 6 literal days or that it was created in 6 billion years –we will hold as a core essential that God created everything.”

Just my opinion here, but I think that one is pretty important. Accepting a 6 billion year timeframe makes for a difficult reading/interpretation of Exodus 20:11.

I was encouraged Vintage does not require a “rockabilly” ala Dan Kimball hairstyle for membership.

7   Brendt
January 26th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Tim (as quoted by jazz): As far as I can tell mostly just complains about other Christians. Seriously, can you find an actual example of them actually doing something? Google shows me nothing.

jazz: Really, is that not reductionistic? Saying Way of the Master does nothing?

One minor flaw with that argument. Tim never said that WoTM does nothing. He asked what they had done, then noted that he had found nothing.

HINT: If you’re gonna misrepresent a statement, it’s better not to quote it right before your misrepresentation.

8   Brendt
January 26th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

BTW, what’s the over/under on how many comments before anything relevant to Neil’s actual point gets addressed?

9   Chris L
January 26th, 2008 at 3:20 pm


There are others who see the literal 6-day view as contradictory to such passages as Romans 1. Part of it boils down to the word yom, part of it to textual analysis – Genesis 1 is Hebrew poetry, in similar form to the Song of Songs, which is used to convey truth in picture-format rather than (or sometimes, but not always) in literal format, and part of it to the 4,000+ years of interpretation prior to the 20th century – which never sought to reconcile whether “day” was literal or figurative (also noting that day and night weren’t created until day 4…).

Regardless, VF has put the focus on the key to distinguishing between a Christian world-view and a non-Christian view – “God created”.

10   Chris L
January 26th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Brendt – 30 posts +/- 5

11   iggy
January 26th, 2008 at 5:43 pm

At the risk of sounding crudely reductionist; put it where the sun don’t shine.
This blog is going to criticize others for sweeping generalizations?
I pray for the soon return of the King.

How truly offensive! I am thinking of posting this and linking it to your blog in hopes it shames you…

You have become and shallow shadow of a real man… let alone a man of God… I wonder if you are becoming like the god you serve… angry and bitter… thank God I know the fuller counsel of God’s word as I would gladly become an atheist if it was all as you believe.


12   Keith
January 26th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Chris: I agree that “God created,” but how do we get around “morning and evening” qualifying the duration of the days…beginning with day 1? Just asking your opinion–I still think it’s 6 literal 24 hour days.

Could you also clarify the connection to Romans 1?

13   Chris L
January 26th, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Keith -

Actually, it is “there was evening, and there was morning” (not “morning and evening”) – which is important to the picture painted.

According to Hebrew teaching prior to Jesus (and never contradicted by him) and after 70 AD, the opposite of God is chaos (which we see in Gen 1:2 in the Hebrew words tohu a vohu – “formless and empty”.) As God creates, the chaos (tohu a vohu) is replaced with His Creation.

This is why in Genesis 1 and in the Jewish calendar, the day begins in the evening (not the morning). The day begins in darkness/chaos and moves to light/creation – from evening to morning. So, in each “day” of creation, God moves from a position of chaos to one of Creation. Later, he leaves some work for man to do (prior to the fall), such as naming the animals. Man, who was made in His image, also then takes on the role of a mini-creator with that God has already created.

Romans 1 speaks of the “evidence of Creation” as evidence for God. Many (including the Answers in Genesis folks, who are young-earthers) see this to mean that God’s creation points to its Creator in that it does not contradict Him.

So, explanations of creation that suggest that God created fossils in place, moving galaxies, and starlight in transit (among other old-earth evidence) “to test us” (which would contradict the evidence of Creation) contradict Romans 1.

Personally, I take the same position as VF (before I knew their position). The importance of Genesis 1:1 is “God created”, and the mode of creation may have been literal or it may have been figurative/poetic, and becoming dogmatic on it is not all that useful as it pertains to orthopraxy…

14   Keith
January 26th, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Chris: I taught through Genesis 1 and 2 last month in our Sunday School class. I also noted then that the actual order was “evening and morning,” however I don’t see how your explanation eliminates a 24-hour period. In fact, it seems to affirm it. Should I assume that Aaron and his sons served at the tabernacle for an undetermined time? Exodus 27:21: “In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the LORD.”

I figured that’s where you were head with the link to Romans 1, but wasn’t sure—sometimes you guys (CRN.Info) come from a different angle. 8^)> No arguments here.

“God created fossils in place”? I’ve never heard that one.

I find it amazing that God apparently created birds–only minutes old–with the ability to fly and the ability to procreate. No waiting/maturing process. Same goes for the sea creatures.

15   Bruce Gerencser
January 26th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Are not most of the arguments we make (myself included) for whatever creation position we hold to…….just theory? Let’s face it the text gives us little more than God created.

Believing that God created all things is a faith statement. We will never be able to prove God created. Either we accept it or we don’t . (and I do)

Genesis was never meant to be a science text and we have to be careful that we do not make the text say what it never was intended to say.

I have studied the various positions and all of them have strengths and weaknesses. I would not make this a test of orthodoxy or fellowship.

At this point in life it is enough for me to believe God created it all……..and the rest is just details (not that the details are meaningless, but that we tend to argue over the details and miss the BIG picture)

16   Keith
January 26th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Bruce: Agreed. I wouldn’t make it a “test of orthodoxy or fellowship” either. It’s just always seemed pretty cut-and-dried to me, so I’m always curious as to how others arrive at a different conclusion/interpretation.

17   Chris L
January 26th, 2008 at 10:18 pm


Exodus is written in a style of prose, whereas Genesis 1 is a poem (with lots of interesting patterns if you read the Hebrew, I might add, as it was used to teach mathematics to Jewish children), so I would still suggest that it is possible that Genesis 1’s “evening and morning” is a picture of chaos to order (as is written in Genesis Rabba, the first commentary on Genesis, which was begun circa 200 BC), whereas Exodus is a combination of plain prose with some key wordplay when structuring the Law.

18   Neil    
January 26th, 2008 at 10:18 pm

–As far as I can tell mostly just complains about other Christians. Seriously, can you find an actual example of them actually doing something? Google shows me nothing.–

Really, is that not reductionistic? Saying Way of the Master does nothing?

I have to agree with Christ P, if not in his tone then at least in his contention.


I would say that one difference is the fact that the post about WOTM makes a statement about one particular ministry – the post gives Tim impression of WOTM, particularly in contrast to xxxchurch whom they were criticizing.

There have lots of comments on that thread pointing out what WOTM accomplishes.

Reductionism, on the other hand, whether performed against emerging churches or fundamentalists takes a supposed category of people and creates a caricature of them – regardless of whether or not the caricature fits.

If the ODM stuck to making specific claims against specific ministries for specific reasons – then they would be doing what Tim did in his post comparing WOTM and xxxchurch.


19   Neil    
January 26th, 2008 at 10:23 pm


I understand your position and if pressed I too am a 6 day literalist – though I;m much more open to other explanations than I used to be.

Bottom line though – if this is the only issue you have with their theological statements – I’d say that’s pretty good.


20   Keith
January 26th, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Chris: However you slice (no pun intended) it: it’s “evening” and I’m tired; I am teaching a Sunday School class in the “morning”…so I’m off to bed. Thanks for the dialog.

21   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 1:08 am

Have a good one, Keith…

Neil – I think one of your comments above is in the wrong thread :)

22   iggy
January 27th, 2008 at 2:13 am


I know you went to bed… but i am a six day literalist also… but with a twist


23   Neil    
January 27th, 2008 at 8:20 am

Chris L.

If you are referring to my post at 10:18pm where I quote Jazzact, it does look out of place because of the WOTM reference. But that is a quote from him, on this thread, at 2:42pm – in which he agrees with Chris P.


24   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 8:32 am

Iggy: Good morning! Unless I am (speed) reading the linked article incorrectly, it sounds like you believe in a “young earth.” If that is the case, you and I have more in common than I thought.

Nobody here, or at Vintage, has denied “God created,” but I thought this was interesting. Just sharing.

Herbert Spencer, one of Darwin’s earliest advocates, outlined five “ultimate scientific ideas”: time, force, action, space, and matter. According to Spencer, these categories comprise everything that is susceptible to scientific examination. In other words, EVERYTHING that can be known or observed by science fits into one of those categories.

Interestingly enough, Genesis 1:1 accounts for all of Spencer’s categories:
“In the beginning” = time
“God” = force
“created” = action
“the heavens” = space
“and the earth.” = matter

25   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 8:50 am


Without going through the Kabbalist proofs (which I partially understand), I would agree, as well, with the possibility you have suggested – that, due to relativity, the first 24 hours (as we experience them now) would have been experienced as about 8 billion years, decaying down to the point of habitation and stability of time on the seventh day…

26   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 8:56 am

I obviously didn’t read the article slowly enough. So, you’re saying from creation of Adam to today is approx 6k years, but the first six days were longer spans? Or am I all fouled up here? It is a little early here and I’m not quite awake.

27   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 1:08 pm


Our understanding of time is that it is a fixed dimension and that 24 hours today would be the same as 24 hours a thousand years ago and be the same as 24 hours six thousand years ago.

What the unified theory of physics deals with is that time is actually slowing down as the universe expands, and that if we removed a day 1,000 years ago and brought it to the present to measure it, it would be slightly shorter than a 24-hour today. So, if we took the first six days of creation (as we measure days now) and took into account the force of creation and the decay of time, the human experience of those six days would seem like 15 billion years, even though those days – measured by today’s standards – would total to about six days…

28   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

So visiting my in-laws “seem[s] like 15 billion years,” yet in reality it’s still only a couple of hours?

Just my opinion here, but I think we’re making this too hard with all this talk about “Kabbalist proofs” and decaying time, etc. If God is God, what’s so hard about Him creating a universe with the appearance of time? What would be so bad if the 6-days of creation only took 6, 24 hour periods? Is that an impossibility? Just asking.

29   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

If God is God, what’s so hard about Him creating a universe with the appearance of time? What would be so bad if the 6-days of creation only took 6, 24 hour periods? Is that an impossibility? Just asking.

God could have created it however He wanted to. I believe, pre Romans 1, that God does not contradict Himself in creation, so I suspect that a literal 6, 24-hour reading of Genesis 1 is probably not the correct reading – or that something else is afoot in creation that does not contradict God (i.e. that God and natural science are not diametrically opposed).

Regardless, I would not consider interpretations of Genesis 1 which hold to the principle “God created” but disagree as to the manifestation of “day” as being suspect or heretical. Even Westminster Theological Seminary – that bastion of the Calvinist faith – agrees on this:

Committed, as the Seminary is, to the inerrancy of Scripture and standing in the Augustinian and Reformed theological tradition, the precise chronological duration of the six days of creation has never been regarded by the Seminary’s Board or Faculty as a matter on which the Scriptures themselves speak with decisive clarity. The Seminary has always held that an exegetical judgement on this precise issue has never of itself been regarded as a test of Christian orthodoxy or confessional fidelity, until some have sought to make it such in the modern period.

In reality, the tenor of some intra-church squabbles over “young-earth” vs. “old-earth” truly baffles me, as neither has a bedrock scriptural ‘proof’, and the implications have no impact whatsoever on orthopraxy.

30   iggy
January 27th, 2008 at 3:17 pm


The article has more than just “kabbalist” teachings… it has other rabbinical views as well matched with current science…

What I see is it lays our well together and compliments each other… I see it “explained” and as I read Genesis, God still created all things through Jesus Christ and the planet was perfect for mankind.

I also thought it interesting this was all understood before quantum physics and the theory of relativity was around… based on what the Bible stated.


31   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 5:28 pm

1) I’m still not understanding where “pre Romans 1″ negates a 24-hour day or contradicts God.

2) If His attributes are “clearly seen [since the creation of the world], a 24-hour understanding seems the simpliest, i.e. clearest.

3) I’m not trying to make this issue one that determines salvation. I’m not really that concerned with the opinion Westminster Theological Seminary may have. Again, I thought Genesis was pretty easy.

4) One thing that really frustrates me about this site is that I have to Google/Wikipedia a lot of the words or phrases before I can understand or repsond to a post. Can you guys just dumb this down a little and just speak English? Really, it takes all the fun out of it and honestly makes me feel like you’re talking down to me…and isn’t that sorta what you don’t like about Ken, Ingrid, etc.?

Tell ya what– We’re not going to agree on the 24-hour thing, so we can just drop that part of the discussion. BUT–but if you could consider using simpler words for those of us with day jobs and little time to memorize Kabbala books or textbooks on quantum physics, …that would be great. Oh yeah, and don’t forget those cover sheets on your TPS reports.

32   merry    
January 27th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

About the literal 6-days of creation thing– I’m not sure that this has anything to do with it but it might– don’t Jewish days start at sundown? So if it says “and then there was evening, and there was morning (and afternoon)– the first day”, that makes sense to me. I know Moses wrote Genesis, I don’t know if the Hebrews at that time started their new days at sundown, but I would think they would have.

God created a mature earth– He made it look like it was thousands of years old when it was brand new. Adam and Eve were full grown adults. I think God definately could have created earth in six literal days– I believe He did! :)

33   Phil Miller
January 27th, 2008 at 5:59 pm

I don’t quite know how a thread about reductionism became one about Creation theory, but hey, it doesn’t matter does it?

I think to get back to Neil’s point, reductionism does play a big role in the whole young earth/old earth debate. I think it comes down to people making claims that one has to be a young earther to be a Christian. No one on this thread has done that, but I have heard other Christians say that. Ken Hamm at Answers in Genesis basically takes the position that one doesn’t treat the Bible seriously if he’s not a young earther.

The problem with that is that for some it asking them to be intellectually dishonest to say they believe in a young earth. Evidence points one way, and to ask one to go against that evidence is just asking them to ignore too much.

34   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 6:19 pm


Just wondering – what big words have I been using? I didn’t think I’d been using anything esoteric (like “Christianese”), but I could be wrong…

I think Phil just summed it up well…

If you’re interested more in the “old-earth” creationist theory, you can check out Hugh Ross’ site.

35   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 6:41 pm

“Orthopraxy” (and “esoteric”) and is a lot harder to work into a conversation than “grits” or “Friday night football”…at least where I come from.

36   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Ahhhhh…. I will attempt it, but sadly these words are part of my every day conversation because of the economy in speech they offer….

37   Keith
January 27th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

Chris: I don’t mean to put you down. In fact, I wish I understood more than I do, but it really would help if contributors just used simple words. Also, a detailed disection (sp?) of the Hebrew word for “day” really isn’t necessary (for example). Just say: “That word can mean ‘day’ or ‘period’ or whatever.” People like me just come looking for answers or another view…not confusion. Sometimes “less is more” (i.e. “economy of speech”) just muddies the water.

If you really want some of us to trully understand what you don’t like about the ODM’s and their tactics, we gotta be able to understand you.

It’s kinda like my dad; he’s “old school” and thinks that he has to pray in King James English. Who uses the word “thee” and “thou” in everyday conversation for cryin’ out loud!

38   Neil    
January 27th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Sometimes I just skip over that kinda stuff -

39   Chris L
January 27th, 2008 at 10:38 pm


I will try to do as you’ve asked – just know that my wife has been at the same thing for almost 20 years, and I’ve come a long way to this point :)

40   jazzact13
January 28th, 2008 at 12:31 pm

–One minor flaw with that argument. Tim never said that WoTM does nothing. He asked what they had done, then noted that he had found nothing.

HINT: If you’re gonna misrepresent a statement, it’s better not to quote it right before your misrepresentation.–

If I misrepresented it (and I think you did a good job in showing that I did) while putting the quote, it was because the misrepresentation was unintentional. My apologies for having done so, though.

41   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Throwin my young-earther 2 cents in…

Chris L, I challenge your claim that Genesis 1 was written poetically, or that the majority of the people who read it saw it as poetic in nature. The grammar, and my Hebrew wife would be pleased with me saying =), suggest a historical-written style of Genesis, all throughout. I’m glad I didn’t live 1000 years ago…because then my starting assumption might be that the earth is flat, and heck, I could make the Bible fit that if I wanted to. There’s a heavy temptation to do the same sort of thing with ‘modern science’ today, and the Bible.

Young-earth was increddibly difficult for me to accept, mostly because of growing up in Boston MA and being an Atheist most of my life. But I had to realize I couldn’t hold on to theories with no operational scientific value. I couldn’t hold on to principles developed originally by people who needed an alternative worldview to Christianity. That kind of stuff quickly became a red flag to me.

When all is said and done though, I don’t think it effects one’s orthopraxy. Which is where the rubber meets the road anyways.

When it comes to reductionism though, what we have to realize is that we all do this in some form or another, pretty much all the time. By painting broad strokes, it’s easier to keep the ‘witch hunt’ going, and it’s easier to ’show we’re right’.

A good example is when your wife does something you don’t like, and she does it every once and a while. However, it ticks you off so much, that as soon as she does it, you say “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THAT!”, and turn it in to an all-encompassing personality defect of hers. You can tell I’m speaking from personal experience =).

We do that kind of stuff all the time, I think it’s something in our very nature, and it says something about how…deceitful and dare I say deluded we really are.


42   Phil Miller
January 28th, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Joe C.,
I understand your position, but one thing I would say is that not all people who study evolutionary theory are looking for an alternative to the Christian worldview. That in itself is a sort of reductionist claim.

The person that naturally comes to mind is Francis Collins. He headed up the Human Genome Project, and is both a Theistic Evolutionist and an Evangelical Christian. It was actually his study of science that led him to God, in a way.

Also, the statement that evolutionary theory has no operational scientific value isn’t quite true. A lot of work in modern molecular biology is based on evolutionary theory. I guess an argument could be made that this is micro-evolution, but it is still evolution. And whether Christians like it or not, Darwin is at the root of the original idea.

I’m not saying you’re stupi or anything. I really don’t have much of a desire to debate the issue. It’s just that I find I have a strong desire to push back when people make certain claims. My wife, who is a strong Christian, makes a living doing research based on evolutionary theory.

43   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Phil, you misunderstand me I think…

I said certain theories came about from people looking for an alternative worldview to Christianity (this is all in the distant past, I’m not talk about modern times with Christians who believe in NDE by God), and they approached the issue with that particular bias. I was trying very hard NOT to make a reductionist claim, I hope you can see that now.

“Also, the statement that evolutionary theory has no operational scientific value isn’t quite true”

I should have been specific. I believe NDE theory to be of no value operationally, when pertaining to testable matters. By this I mean, taking Natural Selection, Genetic Drift, “micro-evolution” and extrapolating it 2 Billion years in to the past is absolute logical fallacy and it has no grounds in operation, testable, repeatable science. It’s historical scientific theory, and it will ALWAYS stay just that.

Now, molecular biology etc is very useful to modern science, but it has nothing to do with single celled organisms evolving in to human beings, with or without God.

I’m trying not to sound or be stupid about this, and I’m sure your wife is very intelligent on these matters and could school me thoroughly, but I have been studying for a while now, and am workingv to get in to the field of molecular biology. I have a lot to learn, so I lean heavily on the PhDs out there in the field…

But plenty of them are young earthers too…so…looks like it can go either way based on starting assumptions. To me it seems that way at least.

Darwin was an atheist. His scientific views and work, which many Christian now neo-ize and follow, bears that out. I consider his work legit, but extrapolated (in to the unknown past) at such a high level of logical fallacy “variations in finches over massive ammounts of time = new animals”, that it really tarnishes what he said, and what came after. I guess I’m saying I find “Macro-evolution” to be one of the greatest logical fallacies in existence, based on no operational evidence, to boot.

Like I said, and will say again: This kind of stuff doesn’t really effect how we live out the Kingdom, our orthopraxy, so it’s just a point of friendly debate, a worst, I think.


44   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I’m sorry I got us back in to this undesirable (why’s that anyways? I love this subject, but then again, I’m a huge science fan too lol) subject matter again. Mucho apologies guys.

I think we’re all very ignorant when it comes to the in’s and out’s of Creation. I’m one of them. So much information to assimilate.


45   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Iggy, your ‘6-days with a twist’ link that you sent is pretty cool. Interesting thoughts. Though I don’t like how they see the some of the rabbinical commentaries as authoratative as the Torah itself. That kind of rubs me the wrong way, kind of shows their bias big time.


46   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

From: Iggy’s Link

“In a similar manner by which cosmologists have measured the age of the universe, they have estimated that the general relationship between time near the beginning and time today, is a million million. This means that if a pulse were to be sent at one point in time every second, it would arrive in one million million seconds. Due to the expanding universe, after receiving the first pulse, the succeeding pulses would not arrive every second after that. As time goes by, the universe expands, and thus the time it relationship between time would rise. In viewing the six days of creation as this “pulse” which was being transmitted, we find, that the first day, (of whom’s hours numbered 24) would have been experienced by us to be 8 billion years. The second 24hr day, would be experienced by us as 4 billion years. The 3rd – 2 billion. The 4th – 1 billion. The 5th – ? billion. The 6th – 1/4 billion. 8+4+2+1+1/2+ 1/4 = 15 3/4 billion years!!!!! “

I would agree with this statement. I’m young earth, but all things considered, I’m young earth within the context of Gravatational Time Dilation.

As for after the 7th day, I find there to be only about a 6000 regular earth-years passage of time, as born out simply by the Biblical record.


47   Phil Miller
January 28th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Joe C.,
I’ve heard a few different stories about whether or not Darwin was actually an atheist or not. It’s hard to know what to believe to some extent, because I feel many Christians have tried to villify him. I’m not saying he should be sainted or anything.

One thing I’ve wondered is that when we look back and see the process of Creation, it might not just appear as evolution. In Genesis, the words used to describe God making man are the same words that are used to describe a potter working with clay. It’s a very intimate form of creation. Well, what if God was working carefully to form Creation, and to us looking back it looks like things happening randomly, but to Him, it’s was a very guided process.

I guess I think of it like this. Say you drive by a construction site every day on your way home where the workers are already gone. The first day you see a hole in the ground. The next week a foundation. Soon some structure, and then walls, etc. From your perspective, the building is evolving. From the workers, who you never see, the building is being created. It’s a rough analogy, I know, but to me it shows how God could guide Creation in a way He wants, but to us who look through a glass dimly, we may perceive something else.

48   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 4:42 pm

I got you Phil. That’s very reasonable. I’ve definitely considered it, still consider it (how often do YE’ers say that? lol). Where I hang up is the “All powerful” part of God, where you can turn around on what you’ve said and someone could say:

Why couldn’t God just have made man out of the dust, bam, fully formed, like He did with say…the Universe?

Why does God need to use a very human-esque process of death and decay, a slow grinding (scientifically untestable) process, to create His prime creation, Man?

Besides, I thought the whole point of Genesis was to showcase God’s power to just speak things (by The Word) in to existence, you know?

So, it goes both ways Phil. It’s just yours has a basis in modern scientific thought, mine sounds insane lol.

You win. =)


I like the construction worker analogy by the way.

49   Phil Miller
January 28th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Joe C.,
Yeah, well, He could make everything instantaneously – He’s God. I guess what strikes me is the care that the writer of Genesis takes in using the language the way he did in the Creation account. Even the word “hover” used Genesis 1:1 is an ornithological term used to describe an eagle hovering over her nest. The writer’s not decribing an impersonal, distant God. He’s describing the God who is near.

It’s also interesting to compare the Genesis account to other accounts from the Near East. Other accounts have the earth being created almost as an accident or by-product. The Babylonian account has one god killing another, and the land is formed by the dead god’s flesh and the water by his blood. The Hebrew account is unique in that it shows God creating with a purpose and intent.

50   Chris L
January 28th, 2008 at 4:57 pm


Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 tell essentially the same events, but Genesis 1 (Actually Genesis 1:1 – Genesis 2:4a is written in poetic form, whereas Genesis 2 is in the format of chaistic prose.

One source you might look at for literary analysis, might include this one. To be honest, I’ve never heard the literary form of Genesis 1 (i.e. poetry) to be questioned, as the texts I had at my Christian college and the books/sources I’ve read since have always referred to it as “the Creation Song in Genesis 1″, or simply as Hebraic poetry in format.

In examining the differences between old-earth and new-earth, you might check out Hugh Ross’ site.

51   iggy
January 28th, 2008 at 5:01 pm


I had been thinking on lines of this and had heard of one of the “Rabbi’s” mentioned had a thought that there were 10 dimensions in Genesis 1.

I was also thinking about multi dimensional effect on time and other weird stuff… so Googled and that site came up

Now I am not saying every thing there is something I agree with, but I do see where both ideas can be true… and see that in the over all view how it all works out regardless to it being from a Jewish perspective.

I also liked how the rabbi’s mentioned are not present day but from a few centuries ago… so it shows that biblical thought precedes science for a few centuries… even if it is “kaballism”. (which again I do not think “biblical” other than they interpret things from the bible)


52   Joe C
January 28th, 2008 at 5:24 pm


Yeah I’ve read some of Ross’ stuff. He makes many good points. Thanks for the heads up.

I’ve never heard the literary form of Genesis 1 (i.e. poetry) to be questioned,

I find that interesting, as almost all Jewish, or Hebrew scholars will tell you that Genesis, including Chp 1 was written as a historical account, to be understood as historical fact, allbeit written in a poetic style. There’s a difference in Hebrew between style and substance. That still would definitelty not negate God creating in 6 days. My thoughts are always “how would Timothy or Paul have understood Genesis 1?”

I’m trusting the plain reading of Genesis and my wife (OF ALL PEOPLE!?!?) on this one, sorry to say. Just to make sure, we are only debating the difference between poetic interpretation and a more historical literal interpretation, right?

My wife doesn’t know anyone else who would interpret Genesis 1 to be a poem that can mean “this this or this”.

And I don’t know why everyone sees conflict between Gen 1 and 2, I got it my first time reading Genesis.

First a general description of all of the universe, then a specific description of the Garden.

Anyways, thanks for the links Chris, as always I’m excited to look in to them.


53   Scotty
January 28th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Not trying to highjack here but, I just want to say one thing real quick. I agree with Keith and often have the same problems he has in reading what goes on here. He said what I’ve been wanting to mention for a long time. thanks Keith!

Mebbe it’s because I fall into the “OF”(old fart) class as Keith does. I too would appreciate it too! tanks, guys…When you reach my age and with my current attention span, I’ll forget where I am when looking up a big word….and THEN forget where I was ;-)

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  1. Ken SIlva Threatens to Sew Me! « Online Discernment Mafia    Feb 10 2008 / 4pm:

    [...] Now, Ken what I am really worried about is that if we let compromisers like some who use potty language (I have read a few comments by Chris Pajak where he tells people mean things and one he tells people to stick things in places that might not let plants grow). Now that sort of thing is OK when we all get together at the Discerners regionals and we are behind closed doors smoking our Spurgeons and drink Lutherite beer from our Steins, but if we someone is out and about trying to convince others that we are more holy and righteous than them, we need to not go all Driscoll on people and use such potty mouth language. [...]