The Music of the Spheres

Once in a time half remembered by old men deep in their tankards, I promised to write about six day creation. That time has come.

This may be incomplete. I am always reading and studying: although I remain firmly convinced of the conclusion, it is always a labor of love to find new and better ways to express and defend it.

I wanted to get to the bottom of the issue. I could approach it scientifically, that is true. Evolution has no true proof to support it. Many other better men than I are qualified to attack it there.
The more I studied, the more I realized was that evolution is a faith. Dr. Morris of the ICR has shown this extensively. This is not in itself a proof for creationism, but it does shape the debate between the old and new earth camps. The conversation must be couched in teleological terms – for what purpose did God do things the way he did? Is it essential that he did it exactly as described in Genesis? If the answer is no, then the old earth model can be considered. If the answer is yes, then the young earth model is the only option.
Therefore, the teleological approach is, I believe, of a great deal more help than any amount of “science.” Science is very often merely philosophy and teleology disguised behind big words and fancy charts.

A discussion of typology and symbolism is unfortunately integral to our discussion. I refer the curious reader to Jim Jordan’s vast works on this subject for details. The main tenet of reading the Bible this way is that God works in certain patterns that have very deep meanings. These patterns often repeat themselves, and every action of a creature of God is inherently symbolic. We often think of symbolism as lagniappe, but Peter Leithart has argued that it is in fact often more important than the physical way it is presented. For example, the act of sticking one’s arm out towards someone’s chest might seem odd until we consider the symbolic meaning of this action in our culture: it is impossible to separate this act from the symbolism of a handshake.

Now, I understand that there are many opponents of this kind of thinking, and many within my own circles. That’s ok, but it must be understood that this is critical to understanding the Bible correctly, and by extension every aspect of life. Theology without typology is often helpful but remains incomplete! And everyone understands this to some extent whether they mean it or not.

To the point: this serves to explain why the creation account may sound more like a fanciful description than a literal story. God did things in that way to establish patterns deeply into his creation. Each new day sees God acting on the world in a Covenant sequence, taking hold and changing things from glory to glory, culminating in the creation of man, the most glorious creature of all. The argument can still be raised that this is merely embellishment…that there are unmentioned eons of time that can account for geological phenomena we see today. This is only tenable if “we think we can deduce the ages of things by looking at them” (In Six Days, Jordan). Why did the Spirit write the account this way? Is he lying? Certainly not. The world was created this way to embed God’s patterns into creation, and to teach us something about God and about ourselves.

This post should serve as a basic introduction for where I will be heading with this topic. It is now clear to me that typology is at the heart of the debate, so that’s where I’ll be concentrating my efforts. God bless.

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16 comments

  1. thecoldcomposure

    I would modify the comment that “Evolution has no true proof to support it,” to “Evolution has no sufficient (convincing) proof to support it.” One of the problems I’ve noticed with creationism is that it attributes to evolutionary scientists a sort of arbitrary and haphazard method of research that doesn’t fit with how scientists actually seem to do their work. Even if creationism is true, there should be some reason why many brilliant scientists believe in evolution beyond mere stubbornness.
    Also, I would argue that a nonliteral interpretation of the days of Genesis does not necessarily entail that God is “lying,” or that it is a merely mythical description, provided that one has some sort of warrant for the nonliteral interpretation. I think that God is trying to tell us something important in that part of Scripture–whether he is using figurative or literal language has no bearing on whether he is telling the truth.
    I eagerly await the rest of this series, and will be there every step of the way to hound you.

    • Mark

      “Beyond mere stubbornness” I have often wondered if that belief is not rooted in the fact that if it is not evolution then Creationism is correct which would mean that there is a God and now I have to do something with and about Him. Some, not all by any means, evolutionist I have met hold to evolution just because they hate God.

      • MadDawg Scientist

        For a good number of them this is true. Its a vicious circle, atheists become scientists and write science books which atheists read and become scientists…and so on.
        However, there are also Christians who have adopted this sort of worldview. My focus will be towards showing how a Christian typology makes evolution a tenuous position for the Christian (and old-earth as well).

      • Mark

        Yes, I have met them also and they are very hard to talk too. I honestly believe that one lady just stayed in church for the social connection and to beat down creationist.

      • thecoldcomposure

        That’s true, but I have a hard time believing that the majority of scientists (including many Christian scientists) would believe a theory with no evidence behind it.

      • MadDawg Scientist

        That’s true, but remember there are plenty of things we believe without studying all the evidences for simply because of time. I may believe that a macrovirus is very dangerous – but I don’t have time to research the reasons, I trust those who have.

        And that’s really the issue. Some things are simply not questioned deeply because we trust the work others have done. I’m not saying thats bad by itself – it’s the way the world works. But we have to keep that in the back of our minds. I can think of a few examples but I will save them for a future post.

      • thecoldcomposure

        That’s true (are we going to begin all the paragraphs with “that’s true?”), and I think the epistemic aspect of this needs to be kept in mind. But what I was arguing for here is simply that there is some evidence for evolution, regardless of the truth or falsity of the theory. Scientists may be misinterpreting the evidence, but it is still there.

      • MadDawg Scientist

        That’s true (I’m good with it if you are).

        The truth remains the same regardless of the interpretation, so yes, there is evidence for it (as for anything). My slant is primarily epistemological as well, because it is our preconceived notions that inform the way we view evidence as being pro our causes.

  2. Mark

    “Evolution is a faith.” How about they have faith in evolution? Ok, maybe it does not make a difference. It is either a common Creator or common origin and to believe either takes faith, even though an evolutionist would call it “fact.”
    Your study using typology will be interesting.

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