An appeal to our leadership

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147 thoughts on “An appeal to our leadership

  1. “The Barna Group, a California-based research firm, recently (one year ago)did a survey to find out how many US adults hold a ‘biblical worldview’… The result: a steeple thin 9 percent. (virtually the same percentage for the last decade). Among 18 to 23 year olds, it was 0.5 percent, fewer people than might show up at a Lady Gaga concert. Even among “born again” Christians, it was only 19 percent.”

    “In a separate report, Barna found that more than 6 in 10 born-again Christians say they are customizing their faith, not following any one church’s theology. “Americans are increasingly comfortable picking and choosing what they deem to be helpful and accurate theological views and have become comfortable discarding the rest of the teachings in the Bible.” the report notes. The blunt implication: Scripture is no longer the sheet anchor of American Spirtuality.” – Christian Science Monitor 3/29/2010

    “A lot of people think religion is something you piece together from ideas you think are sweet and that you personally find beneficial. No… It’s an objective reality. It’s just what is.” – Mark Dever Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church

    Conclusion? The general trend of our society is the:
    1. Abandonment of a Biblical view – partucularly among youth.
    2. Creation of an individual theology – a theology that does not
    necessarily reflect the wholistic theology of the Bible or any
    church.

    Final observation? Adventist theology is objective not subjective
    Biblical theology is objective not subjective
    The Adventist faith is not a free-for-all of often diametrically opposed opinions under one large tent of subjectivity, drifting from its historical and Biblical moorings (though it may appear to be so in California).

    The developed world is hurtling towards a place where objective Biblical truth is unimportant and inconsequential as far as ‘relgion’ is concerned. Christianity is hurtling toward a place where affiliation with no church, denomination, or mutually agreed upon set of theological standards is considered to be a necessary part of ‘Christianity.’

    What will be the common denominator? Personal experience.

    Should it be any surprise when we find many in the Adventist church embracing these ideas. Of course not. The tendency will always be for the church to conform to the world. What can we do to help turn the tide?
    Post on educatetruth 😉

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  2. The long version is that inorganic radiometric dating (using measurements selected by convention and tossing out thousands of other measurements) gives a date for the age of the earth of about 4.5 billion y.a. In order to explain this date, some creationists hypothesized that the earth, as a sphere of inorganic material, was already long in existence at the creation week, only it was “without form and void.” Then, during the creation week, God created life on this planet in 6 days, about 6 to 10 thousand years ago. In this scenario, the radiometric dates for earth’s basement rocks could be accurate.

    The problem with this scenario is that (1) it isn’t suggested by Scripture or the writings of Ellen White, and (2) it doesn’t help much in trying to blend radiometric dating into a creationist model. (David Read)

    David,

    I’m afraid you’re incorrect regarding the Bible not supporting the YLC point of view. “In the beginning…” What beginning? When? Is there any beginning with God? Could it be that this refers to the Heaven where God is? Could it have double meaning? Can you say with certainty that such possibilities do not exist?

    “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” What waters? God hasn’t even created light yet!

    “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.” What “dry land”? You mean it was “wet land” before, and had not “appeared”? Why did not God say, “Let there be earth”? Could it somehow possibly be that the earth was already there?

    Of course, that is the most logical explanation. God had long before created the elements. That is why there could BE an earth to be called “empty and void.”

    Mrs. White speaks of the earth prior to its creation, and prior to Lucifer’s fall from Heaven.

    Especially was His Son to work in union with Himself in the anticipated creation of the earth and every living thing that should exist upon the earth. His Son would carry out His will and His purposes but would do nothing of Himself alone. The Father’s will would be fulfilled in Him. {SR 13.2}
    Lucifer was envious and jealous of Jesus Christ. Yet when all the angels bowed to Jesus to acknowledge His supremacy and high authority and rightful rule, he bowed with them; but his heart was filled with envy and hatred. Christ had been taken into the special counsel of God in regard to His plans, while Lucifer was unacquainted with them.

    So, it was the council among the Godhead in heaven over what to do with earth that stirred up Lucifer’s jealousy of Jesus.

    What is lacking in the creation week? God never says:

    “Let there be water.”
    “Let there be earth.”

    Why? Because they were already there. What does God do instead? Gather the water together into seas, and cause the land to dry out. Once there is dry land, God names it “Earth.” (Yes, there is a capital letter on that name in Genesis 1.) This is the same “earth” referred to in the Ten Commandments which God created within six days. Likewise, the “Seas” [sic] were the gathered waters. These are the same seas mentioned in the Ten Commandments. But God does not say in that fourth commandment that He created water or land in those six days, only the shaped-and-formed versions of them.

    True science follows the Bible, and approaches the Bible with the same objectivity as for nature.

    Erik

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  3. @Erik:
    Erik,

    I would like to point out to you that the writers of the Bible like to state the conclusion first and then fill in the details later. So please do not make your analyses without noting that fact.

    So Genesis 1:1 is a statement of completion and after the details are filled in. Then Genesis 2 goes on to focus more explicitly on the 6th day and on man, the crowning achievement of the creation.

    Please note this supporting text:
    Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

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  4. Erik:

    I think you make the best argument from Scripture that can be made, but it still isn’t very good. There would be no reason to suspect a “gap” between the creation of the world and stocking it with living things, were it not for a perceived need to accommodate old age theories and radiometric dating.

    Your Ellen White quote doesn’t help at all. If she had said, “the anticipated creation of every living thing that should exist upon the earth,” it would be helpful, but instead she says, “the anticipated creation OF THE EARTH and every living thing that should exist upon the earth,”

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  5. “The fact is, Geanna, that one who has true faith in God does not question His clear, unambiguous word.” (Jonathong Smith)

    Ouch…you’ve just pierced my side.

    “Final observation? Adventist theology is objective not subjective Biblical theology is objective not subjective The Adventist faith is not a free-for-all of often diametrically opposed opinions under one large tent of subjectivity, drifting from its historical and Biblical moorings (though it may appear to be so in California).” (Victor Marshall)

    I’ve reached the conclusion that the Adventist faith has lost its mission of preaching the gospel and loving people into the church. it has become tragically focused on theology, doctrine, rules, and self-governance.. Argue all you want people. I no longer see a place for me in the Adventist church. I used to find love and acceptance but now things have really change. I need a new home.

    It is finished.

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  6. David,

    I explained what the creation of “Earth” meant. Perhaps you will catch it if you review my earlier post again.

    Answer just one question for me, David, would you?

    When did God create the water? Please use scripture to back up your answer, if possible.

    Erik

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  7. Let me open that question to everybody. Can anyone tell me when God created the water?

    By the way, I have no “need” to accept the radiometric dates. I could care less what scientists think about the age of the earth. I am merely being honest with my Bible here, and am obliged to interpret it with wisdom and fairness, allowing it to explain itself.

    In other words, my beliefs regarding the creation are not hinged upon modern scientific “facts.” Whatever the Bible says trumps all such “science.”

    So, God divided the waters on the second day of creation week, some placed above the firmament, and some left below it. But when did God create this water?

    Erik

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  8. @Geanna Dane: Please remember, Geanna, that despite their own pretensions these guys actually are not the exclusive representatives of (a) Jesus, (b) Christianity or (c) Seventh-day Adventism. Spending some time away from this discussion, with loving believers in a local church and out in the created world, is a great antidote to the frustration and helplessness engendered by trying to engage with many here. Why do you think I’ve been so scarce around here lately?

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  9. Erik:

    I disagree with your argument that “the earth” that was created in six days, as indicated by Exodus 20:11, is the “dry land” of Genesis 1:9. The Hebrew word is the same in Genesis 1:1 as in Exodus 20:11: ha·’a·retz. (Strong’s 776). The “earth” that God created in Genesis 1:1 is the same “earth” that Exodus 20:11 indicates was created during the creation week. By contrast, the “dry land” of Genesis 1:9 is translated from the Hebrew term ” hai·yab·ba·shah” (Strong’s 3004). Therefore, I cannot go along with you that the “earth” (Ha’aretz) was created before, and pre-existed, the creation week of Genesis 1 (if that is in fact what you were arguing).

    I’ll concede that you make a very interesting case for pre-existent water. There does seem to be a Hebrew belief that the world was made out of water; Peter states that, “the earth was formed out of water and by water.” 2 Peter 3:5. The Hebrew cosmology doesn’t seem to correspond to ours. The Hebrew word translated as “heavens,” shamayim, seems to literally mean “upper waters.” In Genesis 1:6-7, we are told that God created a “rakia” (ususally translated as “firmament”) to separate the waters above from the waters below. But in our cosmology, we only have the waters below. Thus, according to our cosmology, it would seem that the “heavens” or “upper waters” would correspond to outer space and the “firmament” to earth’s atmosphere, or the sky.

    All this is interesting but irrelevant to the radiometric dating issue, because it is clear from Scripture that the “earth,” ha’aretz, was created during the creation week.

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  10. Geanna:

    Dial back the melodrama. People here have tried to dialog with you, and patiently explain things to you, and you’ve been completely dismissive of everyone’s opinion but your own. You’ve latched onto weaknesses in the creationist model (chiefly re: biogeography), have not treated these subjects in a helpful or constructive way, have seemed obtuse and unable to understand creationist interpretations and approaches, have refused to acknowledge weaknesses in the mainstream origins model, and have been determined to interpret and misconstrue Scripture to make it fit with mainstream scientific assumptions.

    It is clear that you are mainly interested in accommodating Adventism to mainstream, Darwinian science. I’ve warned you repeatedly that if you pursue this course, you will be an ideological opponent of all traditional Adventists. So please don’t be shocked and surprised when we treat you as such.

    Your assertion that there was a time when Adventists didn’t have a strong doctrinal structure is just as fantastical and unreal as your previous assertion that Adventists only recently became creationists. The reality of the situation–and the only explanation for the Geanna Danes of the world–is that we are LESS “focused on theology, doctrine, rules, and self-governance” than we’ve ever been in our history as a movement. How in the world did we ever get to the point where we are producing people who imagine themselves to be Adventists yet seemingly have no clue what Adventism is? If we don’t get back to focusing on “theology, doctrine, rules and self-governance”, we’re going to become completely incoherent as a movement. Sadly, as demonstrated by LaSierra and the need for this website, this is already happening to a significant and substantial extent.

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  11. David,

    You must have missed Jonathan’s statement that Genesis 1:1 was the summary before the detail, and I agreed with that.

    I agree with you that it is the same “earth” in Genesis 1:1 as Exodus 20:11. In fact, that is exactly what I was saying earlier. What you are overlooking is how that “Earth” came into being. It came from “land” that was made “dry” as the “waters” were gathered together and given boundaries. Interestingly, God did not say “let all land be called Earth,” but rather, “And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas.” (Genesis 1:10) In other words, God divided the wet from the dry. Previously, the land had been submerged, and not visible at the surface, which is why the Holy Spirit hovered over waters, and not over land/earth.

    It is expected, David, that when one names something, it is a new word as compared to the former. I don’t name a tree “tree,” but I can name it “Oak.” Likewise, we expect the “dry land” to be a different Hebrew word from the name God assigned to it of “Earth.” Before it became dry land, and before it was given this name, there was no “Earth” on this planet. Nor were there any “Seas” until God gathered the waters together and named them thus. This is why God is fully accurate in saying He created the Earth and the Seas within those six days of Creation, even though the materials for these were already there.

    The other word in Genesis 1:1, “heaven”, also is a summary, preceding the mention of the naming of the firmament in Genesis 1:8. It is singular for a reason: “the heaven.”

    In other words, both words “heaven” and “earth” are specific names, and should not be treated as common nouns. They are titles which God gave to portions of His creation on days 2 and 3 respectively. Their common-noun equivalents are “firmament” and “dry land.”

    In like fashion, God created man on the sixth day from pre-existing dust/clay. Because He shaped it up, and gave it life, He can rightfully claim to have “created” Man on that day, even though the materials were already there.

    I see that you have not answered as to when God created the water. Telling me about Hebrew cosmology does not give me a date. Dates please!

    David, at the very least, I expect you cannot rightfully declare my interpretation to be unbiblical. You will have a hard time using the Bible to prove your belief against mine. This belief in which the elements themselves pre-existed the creation of life on this planet is not at all like that of theistic evolutionists which must chuck Genesis 1-11 entirely in order to continue in their belief.

    I accept the Bible, all of it, and in no way do I claim that “well, that just didn’t mean what it says,” nor do I discredit any passage or cast doubt on it in order to support God’s special creation in six days using pre-existing elements. It’s all Bible-based.

    Erik

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  12. Erik makes some good points and one could add to that point – what we see in each of the “evening and morning” sequences is the formatting of the Earth and the atmosphere and also the creation of the various living systems in mature form as well as the creation of the sun and the moon.

    We also have the fact that the earth is “formless and void” in both Genesis and in Jer 4:23 during the Millennium.

    On the other hand – 2 Peter 3:5 says the earth was “formed out of water and BY water” indicating that the “formless and void” condition may well have been a hydrogen-oxygen state that did not have much else to it.

    In any case – guessing about the starting conditions before the 7 evenings and mornings – is not so much the point of the exercise as accepting the plain teaching of each “evening and morning” and the fact that in that literal 7 day period of time – everything said to have been created inside each timeboxed unit – was in fact created in a single evening and morning.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  13. @David Read:

    How in the world did we ever get to the point where we are producing people who imagine themselves to be Adventists yet seemingly have no clue what Adventism is? If we don’t get back to focusing on “theology, doctrine, rules and self-governance”, we’re going to become completely incoherent as a movement. Sadly, as demonstrated by LaSierra and the need for this website, this is already happening to a significant and substantial extent.

    I call it “the dumbing down of Adventism”. Our own members have assumed that they need not know their Bibles for themselves – they can pick and choose what they prefer to believe and no need to “do the math” no need to work out an exegetically sound Biblical position — just embrace “believism” of good sounding phrases and ideas. Cultural Adventism may be “fun” but it is not salvation.

    In 2Thess 2 the wicked perish “because they do not have a LOVE of the Truth”. In John 14 Christ said “I am the way the TRUTH and the life”.

    Many are claiming to know Christ and love Christ – while at the same time showing that they do not have much of an appetite for hungering and thirsting after more truth.

    And sadly – as the congregations have become more and more dependent on their pastors to “teach them” – the pulpits are less and less inclined to cover doctrine. (In fact I notice that more and more pulpits are less and less ABLE to cover doctrine).

    I guess what I am saying is that evolutionism took root and began to grow “inside the church” while the church slept!

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  14. @Geanna Dane:

    I’ve reached the conclusion that the Adventist faith has lost its mission of preaching the gospel and loving people into the church. it has become tragically focused on theology, doctrine, rules, and self-governance..

    If we go back and look at “real history” we discover that neither Adventists nor Millerites “invented Christianity” and Adventism certainly did not “invent” the doctrine of the Sabbath or the idea that Christians believe in a literal creation week less than 10,000 years ago!

    Neither of those groups “invented the Gospel”. The Christian Church already existed before both. The Millerite 1844 movement introduced (restored) the lost doctrine of a pre-millennial 2nd coming and it also introduced a Biblically correct method for evaluating the 2300 day timeline of Daniel 8.

    Adventism later came into being and it restored a number of other doctrines regarding 1Cor 12 spiritual gifts – especially the gift of prophecy, the state of the dead, a better understanding of Revelation, the need to keep the 490 year timeline of Dan 9 in one piece instead of slicing and dicing it up and scattering the pieces all over history, AND the church even introduced a number of advanced concepts in the areas of health and education.

    WE were not the first loving, Gospel oriented Christians to come along. We were not the first to discover that standing up for what the Bible says in opposition to humanism and man-made-tradition is “unpopular”. We were not the first to discover the truth of Christ’s words in Matt 10 “I came not to bring peace but a sword”. Matt 10:34.

    Very often when someone comes along making a railing accusation against the Adventist church, they then “are offended” if inconvenient details are exposed showing that their accusation was without a factual foundation. And perhaps that is the only recourse left once the facts are on the table if one is determined not to embrace a full and balanced view that accounts for all of the details.

    Bravus’ has given us the “that is just your interpretation of the Bible and Ellen White” solution, followed by the “well then Ellen White was wrong in 3SG 90-91” solution — and now recently has treated us to the “take my toys and go home” solution.

    @Bravus:

    I don’t think that Bravus is the only evolutionist here to try that three step program.

    And as I said before – holding to the position that the Bible is accurate and trustworthy, as compared to doctrines based on tradition and/or humanism, has never been the popular view.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  15. I’ve reached the conclusion that the Adventist faith has lost its mission of preaching the gospel and loving people into the church. it has become tragically focused on theology, doctrine, rules, and self-governance.. Argue all you want people. I no longer see a place for me in the Adventist church. I used to find love and acceptance but now things have really change. I need a new home.

    It is finished.

    Geanna,

    In some respects I can relate to how you feel. I comment often on AToday and Spectrum and disagree with 90% of the junk they publish. There is a temptation to become disillusioned, but a all I need do is remind myself that these sites do not represent the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many of the commenters aren’t even Adventist or even Christian.

    As far as beliefs go, Educate Truth endorses Belief #6. Granted there have been those who disagree who have commented on this site, but that’s to be expected.

    I would caution you against your statement about finding a new home. The Adventist church has about 15 million members of whom a fraction of 1% comment on this site. Do not let a few people who disagree with you discourage you from being a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Making a judgment like this based on so few people is unfair to yourself and the body of believers that make up the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    If this is the kind of affect that this site is having on you, perhaps it would be better just to refrain from commenting etc. on Educate Truth. It would be better to abandon Educate Truth than the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

    With that said I want to reiterate that the Seventh-day Adventist Church believes:

    1. God created the heaven and earth in 6 consecutive days, quite similar to our days, in the recent past (roughly 6,000 years ago).

    2. God sent a universal flood, and only eight people survived with those animals saved on the ark.

    This is not unique to our church, there are many other denominations that believe this.

    If a Christian cannot accept the historicity of Genesis 1-11, then on what basis can she accept the gospel as truth? I submit that there is NO rationale for believing the gospel is true if its foundation is false. Ultimately, all those who do not have a firm foundation will be shaken and their faith lost. I don’t want this to happen to anyone, especially you.

    This is why I am so against what LSU is doing in their biology department. They are destroying the foundation of our faith.

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  16. I no longer see a place for me in the Adventist church. I used to find love and acceptance but now things have really change. I need a new home.
    It is finished.

    Geanna,
    So let me get this straight.
    You enter into dialogue with Adventist creationist strangers on a forum containing heated debate over a broiling controversy. The creationsts admonish you (sometimes kindly, sometimes not so kindly) to believe the world-wide Adventist perspective on the biblical creation account. You refuse their admonishments and then declare yourself a martyr that is leaving the Adventist church. In other words because of what strangers said to you on a heated forum – you are now turning your back on Adventism.

    You must know that what was said to you was said because these people sincerely think that belief in evolution can have a profoundly deliterious effect on ones spiritual condition. What they said (more often than not) was said because they cared enough in their own way to try and warn you.

    You can of course find another ‘home’ where Christians are more ‘loving.’ You can find a church that is not concerned about doctrine, or theology, or rules or governance. You can find a fellowship that says, ‘It doesn’t really matter what you do or what you believe – as long as you love Jesus.’
    There are such churches.

    Love cares enough to admonish and correct – not just enable.
    When I got tired of my earthly father’s discipline I ran away from home and disowned him. When I finally accepted Christ, at 30 years of age, I returned to him and confessed his wisdom and my foolishness.

    If you do leave, I encourage you to own your decision. Not to blame it on educate truth.

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  17. Erik,
    God created the waters at creation of the earth. In the beginning relates to the time of our planet for God is without beginning.

    Heb 11 tells us all we see were made out of “nothing” so that includes the waters. Exo 20:11; Neh 9:6; Rev 14:6; Psa 95:5; 146:6; Jonah 1:9 all include the earth (dry land) and seas in the creation statement so the waters – now called seas since it is separated from the land – were the first part of this planet’s creation.

    When a babe is born in the womb it is also in the waters but those waters were not always there but came after impregnation. It is correct to compare creation and birth/new birth.cf 2 Cor 5:17.

    So the key texts are Exo 20:11 and Heb 11:3. Read them carefully. Water was also made by the word of God and made from nothing – Heb 11:3 – and it was made in 6 days – Exo 20:11, Rev 14:7

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  18. Geanna was indeed a bit melodramatic. There she was using crucifixion symbolism to depict our response to her thoughts.

    Frankly, I do not see any of the posts being unkind or unchristian. It seems like Geanna and Bravus want to be with Seventh-day Adventists, want to be accepted as Christians and do not like when some SDAs want to stick to a plain “thus saith the Lord.”

    Man must live by EVERY WORD OF GOD (Luke 4:4) and Exo 20:11 tells us explicitly that God used a mere six days to create what we now see.

    Are we unchristian to believe the Bible?

    Should we encourage false teachings and call that love?

    I am afraid for some people. The mystery of iniquity does indeed work. What a day has come upon us! Suddenly the people who want to stick to the clear and simple and plain words of God are now villains! Have mercy!

    Prophecy is being fulfilled right before our eyes. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 shows the Bible is indeed correct.

    If Geanna and company are wounded, then we pray it will be to their healing.

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  19. Jonathan,

    There’s no question about where the water came from. The question is, when?

    The text you quoted includes all of the worlds. I am sure God spoke them into existence as well, but when? You’re not trying to tell me, I hope, that all creatures of other worlds were created during OUR creation week, are you?

    Erik

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  20. Jonathan,There’s no question about where the water came from.The question is, when?The text you quoted includes all of the worlds.I am sure God spoke them into existence as well, but when?You’re not trying to tell me, I hope, that all creatures of other worlds were created during OUR creation week, are you?Erik  

    Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    For in six days the Lord made (created)
    the heaven
    For in six days the Lord made (created)
    the earth
    For in six days the Lord made (created)
    the sea and all in them

    Psalms 148:1-5 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

    In the context of the creation texts, sun, moon, stars, heavens, earth, waters above and below were created at the same time. That interpretation is based on the context.
    ========================
    The order
    1) The foundations of the earth (like any building)
    Psalm 104:5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

    2) The waters cover them – which implies that the foundations preceded the waters
    Psalm 104:6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

    3) Then God commands the waters to separate and collect in pre-specified places.
    Psalm 104:7-8 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

    4) The have boundaries they should not pass
    Psalm 104:9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

    5) The have a function to provide drink for life.
    Psalm 104:10-11 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
    =======================================
    This text also clearly implies that the waters were not before the foundations of the earth

    Proverbs 8:22-29 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

    Read this text carefully Erik!

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  21. Ok, Jonathan, back to square one. You have not yet grasped the concepts.

    Genesis 1:1 is a summary. You said so yourself.
    Genesis 1:2 is God’s assessment of the pre-creation state of this planet. If you hold that this verse is still a portion of the summary, then you essentially side with theistic evolutionists, in saying there wasn’t much here when God had finished. Empty, void, and dark.

    In Genesis 1:2 we note that the water is already there. Read that verse carefully. Where did that water come from? Why is it already there? God did not say “Let there be water!” And, no, the Holy Spirit didn’t conceive the water as a pregnancy.

    At this time, before God began His work of creation, the following things did not exist: Earth, Heaven, Seas, etc. These were all given names during the days of creation, after God had formed them from the elements that were already present.

    Perhaps you would agree that fountains, rivers and clouds are not “seas.” Yet, I think you will also agree that all of the above are made of water. Therefore, water does not equal “Seas.”

    God did not say in Genesis 1:2 that the Holy Spirit hovered over “Seas.” He said “waters,” and the reason for this is that God had not yet formed the Seas. Those seas did not exist until Day 3 of Creation, when God brought up the land out of the water (and in the water, as Bob noted from 2 Peter 3–for our continents are certainly still couched in water). At that time, God set boundaries upon the waters, and named them “Seas.” Proper noun. This entity had not previously existed on this planet, although the waters had been here before.

    Even David has conceded the point regarding the waters. I appreciate your multitude of texts, but you will notice that none of them clearly disproves the facts I bring forward from Genesis 1, and if they did, we would have a contradiction in the Bible.

    The “foundations of the earth” were laid on Day 3, when God formed the earth out of the land masses that had lain below the waters. This is why it is correct to say that God “created” the Earth on that day. Note: “Earth” does not equal “world” in this context. It is referring simply to our continents (which of course were not like what they are now, after the flood). As I already brought out from Mrs. White, the rocks were the “bones” of the earth. We might think of them as being a portion of the earth’s “foundations.”

    Your text in Psalm 148 is not literal. Waters that praise God from the Heavens represent God’s righteous people. Waters represent people in prophetic imagery.

    I understand that Psalm 104:6 references the waters covering the mountains during the flood. There were no mountains before Day 3 of Creation, which is also the day the foundations of the earth were laid.

    Erik

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  22. Erik, I think I understand your argument now, although the Socratic method was probably not the most efficient way to get it across.

    You’re saying that Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth” is a summary ahead of time, or “proleptic” summary, and that the actual creating starts in verse 2. You’re also saying that the “earth” that Exodus 20:11 indicates was created in six days was the “dry land” that God created in Genesis 1:9 on day three (not the solid matter that you believe pre-existed the creation week).

    Well, it is a good argument, but not compelling. First, verse 2 states that “the earth was without form and void,” and if there was preixisting matter then surely this formless and empty “earth” is it, because God had not said, “let there be” anything yet. But the word for “earth” in Genesis 1:2 is again Strong’s 776, “ha’aretz” or “erets,” the same “earth” that God named the “dry land” in verse 9, and the same “earth” that Exodus 20:11 says was created in six days.

    In other words, there isn’t a different word to distinguish the hypothetical pre-existing solid matter from the “earth” that was created by gathering together the waters below the firmament into “seas” and thereby creating dry land. If Moses was trying to communicate that some solid matter pre-existed the Genesis week, why not use a different word for it? Why use the same word for everything? I again mention the very different cosmologies, because we may be trying to fit Moses into what we know about our cosmology. But maybe Moses was trying to describe not an empty solid sphere of inorganic matter, but empty space, or a cloud of gases, or who knows what?

    Second, we’re still dealing with a gap theory of sorts, because you’re not denying that God created the formless and void “earth,” you’re just denying that He did so at the creation week. He must have created it long ago, 4.5 billion years ago, if convetional dating is to be trusted. But it doesn’t sound like God’s way of doing things to create a formless, void, chaotic, unfished, lifeless sphere, then wait for billions of years, then take a week to finish it off and stock with living creations. Does that sound to you like God’s way of doing things?

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  23. But it doesn’t sound like God’s way of doing things to create a formless, void, chaotic, unfished, lifeless sphere, then wait for billions of years, then take a week to finish it off and stock with living creations.Does that sound to you like God’s way of doing things?  

    Well, I’m jumping into this midstream, and with no intention of bringing the debate to a conclusion. But David, have you thought about the other planets in our solar system? Are they not “formless, void, chaotic, unfinished, lifeless spheres”? Why would it be unacceptable for our world to have been like that prior to the events of Genesis 1?

    You might say they are not “formless” because they are planets; and whether “finished” or not, who can be sure? But all that depends on how we interpret ideas like “formless”, “void”, etc. The planets have never been formed into living biospheres, so in that sense they are unformed, i.e., “formless”.

    As far as I’m concerned, God may very well have scattered empty, lifeless worlds and dark nebulas across the cosmos in some spectacular pre-creation in the long-distant past, millions or billions or umpteenillions of years ago, and ever since He has been going around one by one and turning them into living worlds surrounded by their own stars and suns. To me this is perfectly consistent with the progression of creation in Genesis 1 and 2, in which each successive thing is not made out of nothing, but is formed from something pre-existing. God creates a foundation, and later builds on it.

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  24. David,

    When you start arguing “does that sound like God’s way?”, you have moved away from a “thus saith the Lord,” to a “thus saith opinion and/or logic.”

    I have no answer to that. I am not well enough acquainted with God to know how He did it all. Are you?

    I think you might have gotten the short end of the stick with the questions God posed to Job. “Were you there when…?”

    Erik

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  25. @Michael Prewitt:

    Michael,

    Hebrews 11:3 tells us that what we see were formed from nothing. As far as I am concerned, this refers to creation week for the Bible has not set out to describe the state of the universe before the Great Controversy.

    Exo 20:11 tells us that it is in SIX days God created HEAVEN, EARTH, SEA and ALL in them. So why should anything be before? Just go back and see what the text is. We do not have to speculate.

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  26. @Erik:
    Erik,

    Gen 1:1 is a summary of the creation, but it is not ONLY that.

    There must be a start too, and that you are overlooking. So Gen 1:1 is also the start.

    1) God created the heavens and the earth. Observe: Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

    2) In this day the foundations of the earth were made and then (~simultaneously) the depths (or deep) were created. This is possibly talking about waters.

    Why I say is is because Heb 11:3 is telling us the things we see were not formed from things that appeared (or existed). God does not need pre-existing material to create.

    3) So why can’t the water (or depths, deep) be there before?
    Exo 20:11 tells us all was made in SIX DAYS. Why overlook that?

    Also, Prov 8:23-25 clearly indicates there were no depths (deep); no fountains abounding with water. Reading carefully, the waters did not appear BEFORE the earth.

    Proverbs 8:23-25 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

    So here is the sequence I can stitch together from Scripture (not conjecture, etc)

    Day 1
    First there was nothing
    Then God laid the foundations of the earth
    Almost simultaneously it was enveloped in the depths (deep)
    There was darkness
    God called for light.
    End of day 1

    Start of or sometime in day 2
    God separates the waters of the deep (by a firmament or expanse). The one above apparently formed some sort of protective cover, the waters below were both on the earth and under the earth
    End of day 2

    Start of or sometime in day 3
    The waters below were collected into seas so that the dry land could appear. Some water is on dry land.

    Sources: Genesis 1:1-9[ Gen 2:4; Heb 11:3; Prov 8:25-29

    You said

    Your text in Psalm 148 is not literal. Waters that praise God from the Heavens represent God’s righteous people. Waters represent people in prophetic imagery.

    Note that Psalm 148 must be literal and not prophetic. Why?

    Psa 148:1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
    Psa 148:2 Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts.

    Angels and hosts are literal – no symbolic language here.

    Psa 148:3 Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light.

    Sun, moon stars of light are literal. Else, what are they symbolic of.

    Psa 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.

    The waters above the heavens are the same in Gen 1:7-8

    Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created.

    This is not figurative, as this is exactly what happened. See Psa 33:6, 9

    Psa 148:6 He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass.

    Isaiah 45:18 tells us the same thing

    Finally, below the people come in. The Psalmist is here highlighting all of God’s creation and even things praise the Lord. Not necessarily with words but by performing their function and testifying of their Maker. See Rom 1:20

    Psa 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
    Psa 148:8 Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
    Psa 148:9 Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
    Psa 148:10 Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
    Psa 148:11 Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
    Psa 148:12 Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
    Psa 148:13 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven.
    Psa 148:14 He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.

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  27. Exo 20:11 tells us that it is in SIX days God created HEAVEN, EARTH, SEA and ALL in them. So why should anything be before? Just go back and see what the text is. We do not have to speculate.

    You are exactly right. The texts are clear. God created the firmament, and named it Heaven, on Day 2. God created the dry land, and named it Earth, on Day 3. God gathered the waters, and named their new form “Seas” on Day 3. And God created all life in them beginning the third day and following.

    But, although God spoke the worlds into existence, we are never given to understand that all the worlds were spoken at the same time. This world, we are told, was God’s crowning act of Creation, ergo, the last. There was much which God created in this Universe before ever He began molding the shapeless and empty form of this world.

    Are there not many angels in this world? Were they spoken into existence during the creation week? Obviously, some things pre-existed that time.

    One must be careful not to overgeneralize or misinterpret God’s Word.

    The “all that in them is” is a clear reference to the language of Genesis 1 which says “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” (verse 22) “…and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (verse 28)

    The “all” refers to all living things. This is further proven by the language of Exodus 20:11– The only non-living things which God created during that week are these:

    Light
    Heaven/firmament
    Seas
    Earth/dry land
    Greater Light
    Lesser Light
    Stars
    Night/evening
    Day/morning
    Sabbath

    — End of List —

    Therefore, if the “all” of Exodus 20:11 truly applies to everything created that was not already mentioned explicitly (heaven, earth, seas), you would find the earth needing to contain the Sabbath, the stars, our sun and moon, etc.

    If you choose to say “heaven” refers to outer space, then you would necessarily accept that God also created His own place of residence and “all” stars and planets that are “in” outer space within those six days.

    If, on the other hand, the “heaven” is our “firmament” (atmosphere), then you must somehow fit the sun and moon, etc. into it if “all” truly refers to everything created that week.

    Those lines of thought make no sense to me, however, as I interpret the “all” to fit the verbiage of Genesis 1 in speaking of life on earth, in sea, and sky.

    I recognize that I am pushing a bit hard on this concept. The reason is this:

    We need to be more honest with the Bible, and less bent on upholding tradition at all cost. Mrs. White spoke to BOTH groups of people, scientists and theologians, when stating that the Bible and science will agree when properly understood. It implies, to me at least, that there may be room for adjustments on both sides. If we as creationist Bible students do not show any willingness to re-examine the Biblical evidence and be open to understanding the truth for ourselves apart from tradition, we have no leg to stand on in trying to ask our scientist brethren to do likewise.

    Erik

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  28. You are exactly right. The texts are clear. God created the firmament, and named it Heaven, on Day 2. God created the dry land, and named it Earth, on Day 3. God gathered the waters, and named their new form “Seas” on Day 3. And God created all life in them beginning the third day and following.

    Erik,

    You are pushing it. The Bible in Exo 20:11 says the SEAS were created.

    In Genesis 1 there were waters which were later separated vertically and those below were later separated horizontally. The horizontally bunched set was called SEAS, but is this a CREATION?

    Proverbs 8:23-29 and Heb 11:3 tell us that nothing pre-existed creation. Please be aware that you cannot exclude Scripture that disagrees with your thesis.

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  29. Jonathan,

    I have not sufficient time to address your entire post just now, but here are a few items for starters.

    Sun, moon stars of light are literal. Else, what are they symbolic of.

    The sun symbolizes Christ. He is the “greater light.” See John 1:9, Revelation 1:16, Revelation 22:16.

    The moon represents the spirit of prophecy and/or the prophets. See Revelation 12:1, 2 Peter 1:21. (Note: Jesus is source of all light/truth. The moon can only reflect this light, which is what the prophets do–they speak as they are moved by the Holy Ghost.)

    The stars represent the saints of God and the angels of God. Literal stars do not sing and praise God any more than our literal sun does. You cannot be serious to believe these are literal, can you?

    The waters above the heavens represents the righteous, who are heavenly-minded. The waters on the earth represent the worldly, and they would not praise God even if commanded to do so. Hence, the Psalmist does not address them.

    Yes, I agree with you that these are the same symbols used in Genesis 1.

    Erik

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  30. If you choose to say “heaven” refers to outer space, then you would necessarily accept that God also created His own place of residence and “all” stars and planets that are “in” outer space within those six days.

    Actually, Psalm 148:4; 1 King 8:27, 2 Chron 2:6 speak of where God’s throne is as the heaven of heavens. This Paul calls the third heaven (2 Cor 12:12).

    So don’t put words in my mouth. Anyway, God existed from before the third heaven since He is from everlasting. There is evidence however, that where His throne is existed long before our tiny section of the universe.

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  31. @Erik:

    Obviously, If you had read the rest of the Psalm you would not have drawn these stretched, erroneous conclusions. People appeared later.

    Further, God’s INANIMATE works can praise Him. Their testimony of His handiwork is praise (Rom 1:20).

    Psalms 145:9-11 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

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  32. Conflict Between False Science and Religion.

    I have been warned that henceforth we shall have a constant contest. Science, so-called, and religion will be placed in opposition to each other, because finite men do not comprehend the power and greatness of God. These words of Holy Writ were presented to me: “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” This will surely be seen among the people of God, and there will be those who are unable to perceive the most wonderful and important truths for this time, truths which are essential for their own safety and salvation, while matters that are in comparison as the merest atoms, matters in which there is scarcely a grain of truth, are dwelt upon and are magnified by the power of Satan so that they appear of the utmost importance. {Ev 593.1}

    The moral sight of these men is diseased; they do not feel their need of the heavenly anointing that they may discern spiritual things. They think themselves too wise to err. Men who have not a daily experience in the things of God will not move wisely in dealing with sacred responsibilities; they will mistake light for error, and specious error they will pronounce light, mistaking phantoms for realities, and realities for phantoms, calling a world an atom, and an atom a world. They will fall into deceptions and delusions that Satan has prepared as concealed nets to entangle the feet of those who think they can walk in their human wisdom without the special grace of Christ. Jesus wants man to see not men as trees walking but all things clearly. There is only one remedy for the sinful soul, and unless it is received, men will accept one delusion after another until their senses are perverted.–Manuscript 16, 1890. {Ev 593.2}

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  33. The water thing is a bit complicated, but it brings up a related topic. We know for instance that the trees were much larger than today (EGW) and we know Adam/Eve/the animals/etc were created as adults. What do you guys think about the possibility that the rocks etc were created with age? Even though God created them instantly, they could be created in a mature state?

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  34. It’s a simple matter, really.

    “In the beginning…” There is no beginning for God. This can only refer to the beginning of our world as we know it.

    “God created…” This affirms who and how the world came into being.

    “the heaven and the earth.” This condenses the whole of Creation week into two broad categories encompassing the entire orb and all it contains. This is the summary before the details.

    In verse two, those details begin.

    “And the earth was…” We now start with a discussion of what form the “earth” had when God began His creative work. Although we do not see it put this way in the record, it would be a bit like saying “and man was just a pile of dust and clay in the Creator’s hands.”

    “without form and void…” The “earth” was at that time unformed and empty.

    “and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The earth’s depths were cloaked in darkness. One cannot have a depth without having something to measure. Something is there.

    “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” God has come to take a look at what He has to work with, and is hovering over the waters, but has not yet begun to speak.

    “And God said…” Now, creation week begins.

    “Let there be light.” The first creation is that of light.

    “…and the evening and the morning were the first day.” If there had been nothing but empty space here at the end of the first day, it would have been impossible to have an earth where both evening and morning could coexist. You would have either darkness (no light at all) or only light–for light spreads through empty space until all is lit. Yet these evenings and mornings, once begun on the first day, continue through all seven days.

    “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Day 2 will also start with the “evening,” indicating that already we have the diurnal cycle established, meaning there must be a rotating orb here already.

    “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” God does not need to say first “Let there be water,” for the water is already there. It was there before God started His work.

    Likewise, God causes the dry land to appear, but does not first call it into existence, for it is already there.

    Did God create the water? Certainly. Did God create the land? Of a certain, yes. Did He speak them into existence? Most probably so. When did He do this? We simply do not know. The Bible never reveals this to us. It is not important for us to know.

    When God creates the seas, He is not creating the water…for that already existed before Day 1, and He even mentions dividing the water on Day 2 before He has created the seas (on Day 3). So the water most obviously existed before the creation of seas.

    “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    God did not call the waters “Seas,” but rather, the “gathering together of the waters.” This is significant. If the waters were called seas without having been gathered together, we could make a case for saying that the seas were not actually created on Day 3, only named. This would also render Exodus 20:11 factually incorrect.

    Of course, God does not dissimulate. He is honest with us. He lets us know that the water was already there. The facts are all in agreement.

    Erik

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  35. @Erik:
    I don’t think I want to continue discussion with you. You are forcing your opinion on the whole thing.

    Let your opinion remain as opinion.

    When reading God’s word we must consider ALL APPROPRIATE SCRIPTURE. The fact is, you choose to ignore Heb 11:3 and Prov 8:23-29 and I have to wonder why.

    This world was made from NOTHING, but you will have God making from something. And we will not argue on semantics either. I am talking about creation week because ultimately all matter came from nothing.

    And curiously enough, there is some element of truth in the Big Bang theory. God spoke and Bang the earth was in place without form and void.

    Scriptures tell us that before the earth was formed there were NO depths, NO water, NO fountains. Proverbs 8:23-25 cannot be ignored (NKJV)

    23 I have been established from everlasting,
    From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.

    24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    When there were no fountains abounding with water.

    25 Before the mountains were settled,
    Before the hills, I was brought forth;

    The language of this text associates no earth, no depths, no fountains of water. Heb 11:3 said “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” NKJV. KJV said things which do not appear.

    So opinion is not needed. The evidence is that at the START of creation week there was nothing. And I believe I am being truer to Scripture than you. Gen 1:1 is both a comprehensive statement of fact and the beginning of the details. There were no depths and no earth when God started.

    Dr. Gentry has also found polonium radio halos which tell the same story of a recent earth. The magnetic crust tells a similar story.

    All of the earth’s creation is recent.

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  36. Jonathan,

    Proper Bible interpretation means doing one’s homework accurately. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

    This includes recognizing that if A = B, it does not mean that C = D.

    You say that the worlds started from nothing. I agree! You say that this means they started with nothing 6000 years ago. Where did you get that? Where did your Bible text tell this detail? You see, I can only agree if I have a solid basis for it in Scripture.

    The laws and operations of nature, which have engaged men’s study for six thousand years, were opened to their minds by the infinite Framer and Upholder of all. They held converse with leaf and flower and tree, gathering from each the secrets of its life. With every living creature, from the mighty leviathan that playeth among the waters, to the insect mote that floats in the sunbeam, Adam was familiar. He had given to each its name, and he was acquainted with the nature and habits of all. God’s glory in the heavens, the innumerable worlds in their orderly revolutions, “the balancings of the clouds,” the mysteries of light and sound, of day and night,–all were open to the study of our first parents. {CE 207.1}

    Adam was able to study those worlds mentioned in Hebrews.

    If men could see for a moment beyond the range of finite vision, if they could catch a glimpse of the Eternal, every mouth would be stopped in its boasting. Men living in this little atom of a world are finite; God has unnumbered worlds that are obedient to His laws and are conducted with reference to His glory. When men have gone as far in scientific research as their limited powers will permit, there is still an infinity beyond what they can apprehend. {CT 66.2}

    There are an infinity of worlds out there! Where does it say, in the Bible, that these worlds were all made 6000 years ago? Hebrews 11:3 does not say this. It simply tells us Who made all the worlds.

    Jonathan, those who are honest with themselves will recognize that the verse in Proverbs is speaking of a different time period than that of Genesis 1:2. Take a closer look:

    “When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    When there were no fountains abounding with water.” (Prov. 8:24)

    VERSUS

    “…and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2)

    Those two verses either contradict each other, or speak of different times. There can be no other explanation.

    Creationists who are unable to open their minds to the Bible truths and to re-evaluate them carefully, instead preferring to continue believing according to tradition, cannot ever hope to serve as ombudsmen with their evolutionist friends.

    Is EducateTruth a place open to getting to the bottom of truth? or only a place bent on forcing church tradition upon all? I hope that we can free our minds of tradition in order to more fully comprehend the truth.

    Erik

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  37. Eric,

    I am not in any discussion about other worlds. I am talking about earth and the heavens mentioned in Genesis 1.

    Hebrews 11:3 tells us – which you apparently cannot see – that whatever we see came from nothing. You cannot then say there was an earth without form and a deep and THEN God started His creation.

    God started His creation FROM NOTHING. I defy you to prove that God created an earth and some deep and then left it for some indeterminately long period of time and THEN created the heavens and the earth in SIX days.

    That is distorting the Scripture. God created the world approximately 6,000 years ago (I am not speaking of the entire universe in this time frame) from nothing. So don’t you add something before His creation. Please do not, as you have been trying, to get me saying something I have never said.

    The Proverbs text, if you have a concordance, show the same Hebrew words for earth, deep or depths, as Genesis 1.

    That Proverbs text, speaking about Christ, is declaring that Christ pre-existed everything. Sure the text can be taken back umpteen trillions of years ago. But you miss the point. There is a reference to the creation of THIS EARTH. Please look again.

    Prov 8:23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was .
    Prov 8:24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
    Prov 8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
    Prov 8:26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
    Prov 8:27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
    Prov 8:28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
    Pro 8:29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

    This passage is a very useful passage on the creation of the earth, as it tells what existed before creation week.

    The Hebrew word for depths (Prov 8:24) from Strong’s concordance; code H8415 is the same Hebrew word for deep in Gen 1:2.

    teh-home’, teh-home’
    (Usually feminine) from H1949; an abyss (as a surging mass of water), especially the deep (the main sea or the subterranean water supply): – deep (place), depth. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

    The Hebrew word for earth in Gen 1:1, 2, 10 H776 is the same in Prov 8:23, 26

    ‘erets or eh’-rets
    From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land): – X common, country, earth, field, ground, land, X nations, way, + wilderness, world.
    Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

    What is Proverbs 8:23-29 saying?

    There was a time when there was NO earth, NO depths (deep), NO fountains of water. That is the point.

    Now I challenge you to find anywhere in the Bible where any depths or deep or formless, void earth existed before creation week.

    Your problem is that you are trying to dishonestly start creation week in Gen 1:3. You want to impose a land mass and water that God depended on or put down before (for what purpose????)

    You want to confine Gen 1:1 to a summary alone. That is selective and dishonest interpretation.

    Gen 1:1 tells the start of creation week.

    Action 1. Create an earth without form and void and immersed in a deep (waters).
    Action 2. Call for light
    Action 3. Vertically divide the waters by the firmament (heavens)
    Action 4. Horizontally divide the waters by the land

    And so on

    The Work of Creation

    The work of creation can never be explained by science. What science can explain the mystery of life? {8T 258.3}

    The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth. {8T 258.4}

    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3.

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made;
    And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. . . .
    He spake, and it was done;
    He commanded, and it stood fast.”
    Psalm 33:6-9. {8T 259.1}

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  38. (raises head above battlements for a fraction of a second to point out that a majority of the recent creationists who have posted on this site disagree with you on this point)

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  39. Jonathan,

    In your desperation to hold an untenable tradition, you have resorted to changing your own explanations, and to apparently contradicting yourself. Would it not be easier to let go of your former views, and take another look at scripture for the beauty you might find in a new perspective?

    [Jonathan Smith, March 30, 2010] Erik,

    I would like to point out to you that the writers of the Bible like to state the conclusion first and then fill in the details later. So please do not make your analyses without noting that fact.

    So Genesis 1:1 is a statement of completion and after the details are filled in.

    Compare your statement above, saying Genesis 1:1 was the “conclusion” and “statement of completion” with your statement below.

    [Jonathan Smith, April 1, 2010] Your problem is that you are trying to dishonestly start creation week in Gen 1:3. You want to impose a land mass and water that God depended on or put down before (for what purpose????)

    You want to confine Gen 1:1 to a summary alone. That is selective and dishonest interpretation.

    Gen 1:1 tells the start of creation week.

    Was it dishonest for you to state that Genesis 1:1 was a summary when you wanted to counter my questions regarding it potentially having a double meaning, and then to now state that it was NOT just a summary when you see that you need it to state otherwise?

    In the course of this discussion, you were the first to say Genesis 1:1 was a summary. I agreed. David Read agreed. Now you are the first to claim it was not just a summary.

    So, perhaps we need to explore this a bit more, since to me it appears you contradict yourself. Maybe I have not understood. Would you say that Genesis 1:1-3 are all part of the first day of Creation? If so, what do you understand Mrs. White to be saying in the following:

    The same Voice that at the beginning said, “Let there be light,” in these last days declares that a knowledge of God’s Word shall not be confined merely to a few places. {PM 192.3}

    In the manifestation of God to His people, light had ever been a symbol of His presence. At the creative word in the beginning, light had shone out of darkness. {DA 464.2}

    Jonathan, the following statement has special relevance to our discussion here, as Mrs. White addresses Genesis 1:2 in the light of the Holy Spirit and the contrast with modern science.

    Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning “was brooding upon the face of the waters;” of that Word by whom “all things were made;” of that “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Genesis 1:2, R.V., margin; John 1:3, 9), can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned. Only under the direction of the Omniscient One shall we, in the study of His works, be enabled to think His thoughts after Him. {CT 530.2}

    The Holy Spirit was “brooding upon the face of the waters” “in the beginning.” The Holy Spirit, being God, has no beginning. This is speaking of the beginning of earth, not of the Holy Spirit. But there were waters already there at that beginning. Mrs. White further states that only in this light of the Spirit can we properly understand science.

    That is what we need today. We need to come to a proper understanding of where science and the Bible meet in agreement. If science misinterprets the facts, we can never have agreement. Conversely if theologians misinterpret the Bible we will also not have agreement. It is important that BOTH sides have open minds to God’s truth.

    Erik

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  40. @Bravus:

    (raises head above battlements for a fraction of a second to point out that a majority of the recent creationists who have posted on this site disagree with you on this point)

    1. In Gen 1:1-1:2 there is the possibility of a gap since the story starts with water and the Holy Spirit after stating that God is the Creator of all. That water “could” be water on top of a geothermally active planet or it could simply be a hydrogen-oxygen cloud with no rocks at all in the mix.

    (Hint: God can do his own nucleosynthesis thank you 😉 )

    Either way – it does not solve the problem of old-life evolutionism being taught at LSU.

    2. Where everyone is in agrement is on the events that happen inside the 6 “evening and mornings” and the fact that “evening and morning” is a day just like the Bible says. Thus the “very details” most objectionable to the story of evolutionism are the very details we all agree upon.

    There is no form of evolutionism that can allow for all life on earth, the atmosphere, dry land and the Sun and Moon to all come into being in a literal 7 day week.

    3. IF The only thing going on at LSU was a debate over “the water” of Genesis 1:2 – we would not even have this web site.

    in Christ,

    Bob

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  41. Bob, quite true. This website exists because of non-Biblical bases for scientific beliefs (a form of religion, actually, though most evolutionists do not recognize the degree to which they depend on “faith” to frame up their beliefs).

    Regarding the “gap” you mentioned, and the water vs. land concepts, there is an interesting statement by Mrs. White where she indicates both forms were present when God started His work of Creation.

    In the work of creation, when the dawn of the first day broke, and the heavens and the earth, by the call of infinite power, came out of darkness; responsive to the rising light, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” {ST, January 8, 1880 par. 1}

    So not only the water was present in that darkness, but apparently there was also the substance of both heaven and earth. As it puts it in Genesis 1:2, however, these had not yet been formed (without form). They are not formed until God works upon them in Days 2 and 3.

    Certainly, however, any truly Bible-based perspective would be accepted at LSU (apart from twisting it into error). But to cast out whole portions of Scripture and of Ellen White as being irrelevant, inaccurate, or simply a fiction with a nice moral is…traitorous.

    Erik

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  42. Erik,

    I am not just changing my tune. Go to this post and see what I said:
    http://www.educatetruth.com/la-sierra-evidence/an-appeal-to-our-leadership/comment-page-3/#comment-10960

    Note that the purpose behind the post must be considered. The first post was not to debate when or what but was just to point out useful things to consider in your analysis. But now you are stretching things beyond Scripture, so I am attempting to refute your strange conclusions.

    Also, go to this one too:

    Erik,

    Gen 1:1 is a summary of the creation, but it is not ONLY that.

    There must be a start too, and that you are overlooking. So Gen 1:1 is also the start.

    1) God created the heavens and the earth. Observe: Genesis 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

    2) In this day the foundations of the earth were made and then (~simultaneously) the depths (or deep) were created. This is possibly talking about waters.

    Why I say is is because Heb 11:3 is telling us the things we see were not formed from things that appeared (or existed). God does not need pre-existing material to create.

    Gen 1:1 is a statement that is a summary, a conclusion and a beginning. It is simple.

    At no point in my arguments am I ever trying to discuss other parts of God’s creation – some obviously pre-existed our heavens and earth.

    At no point am I ascribing a beginning to God (Father, Son, Spirit). The in the beginning in Gen 1:1 relate to OUR world.

    No amount of dancing, blustering, twisting and turning can defeat two fundamental points that are very clear.

    1) God created our worlds from nothing.
    2) Proverbs 8:23-29 tell us that at some time when there was NO earth, there was NO deep, there was NO waters, nothing (in relation to our world).

    Therefore, honesty and proper exegesis requires us to accept that in the beginning of our creation there was NOTHING.

    The Holy Spirit brooding upon the face of the waters (vs 2) AFTER God placed it – waters – there (vs 1). Remember, 2 comes AFTER 1.

    By the way, Ellen White used Psalm 104 in PP as creation text. Note the following:

    Psalms 104:5-6 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

    Sister White said that when the earth was created there were mountains – not like after the flood – but were still there.

    “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.” “For He spake, and it was;” “He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6, 9. He “laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed forever.” Psalm 104:5. {PP 44.1}

    As the earth came forth from the hand of its Maker, it was exceedingly beautiful. Its surface was diversified with mountains, hills, and plains, interspersed with noble rivers and lovely lakes; but the hills and mountains were not abrupt and rugged, abounding in terrific steeps and frightful chasms, as they now do; the sharp, ragged edges of earth’s rocky framework were buried beneath the fruitful soil, which everywhere produced a luxuriant growth of verdure. There were no loathsome swamps or barren deserts. Graceful shrubs and delicate flowers greeted the eye at every turn. The heights were crowned with trees more majestic than any that now exist. The air, untainted by foul miasma, was clear and healthful. The entire landscape outvied in beauty the decorated grounds of the proudest palace. The angelic host viewed the scene with delight, and rejoiced at the wonderful works of God. {PP 44.2}

    I will close with this thought. None of us was there and we should not be too presumptuous about it, either. All we should do is to compare Scripture with Scripture and try not to force in the Scripture what is not written.

    Job 38:2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
    Job 38:3 Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
    Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    Job 38:5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    Job 38:6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

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  43. Jonathan,

    Have I ever said that our earth never went through a period of nothingness? No. You pointed out Heb. 11:3. I pointed out that it is speaking in the context of all worlds created by God, and did not specify a time. You said you were only talking about our world. Perhaps so, but then use a different text.

    I agree with you, as I have pointed out before, that all of God’s creation has come from nothingness. However, I do not see any dates given in scripture for this. Heb. 11:3 is in the universal context. You wish to apply it to our global context. Can you, who are advocating “proper exegesis” to me, support this?

    Erik

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  44. I agree with you, as I have pointed out before, that all of God’s creation has come from nothingness. However, I do not see any dates given in scripture for this. Heb. 11:3 is in the universal context. You wish to apply it to our global context. Can you, who are advocating “proper exegesis” to me, support this?

    Sure. Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    The writer of Hebrews was talking of what we see. Where else do we see more clearly than this earth?

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  45. I see plenty of stars and planets at night, how about you? “The heavens declare the glory of God…” Were they all made 6000 years ago according to you? (You won’t find it in the Bible or Ellen White.)

    Erik

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  46. Quite frankly, we do not know what God created beyond our solar system 6,000 years ago.

    In all my discussion I am limiting myself to our solar system. That is what we see more than anything else. These bodies are included in Genesis 1 in the creation.

    The worlds that are seen came from nothing. That is good enough for me.

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