This is a prelude to The Models. I’m sure I’ll be misunderstood so I thought I would spell out some details. But it grew.
I started with certainty, knowing God and knowing He created all things. The order of the model presentation is roughly a sequence that I wrestled with. The conclusion in Which model is correct? clearly shows this, but before you start I would like you to know succinctly where I ended.
The conclusions I reach were not pressured by ever changing scientific opinion, but by the Word of God and the nature of God revealed in His word. They relegate debates about the mechanics to the background and soundly put a focus on God’s timetable that started 6 thousand years ago when God created Adam and Eve.
I acknowledge and applaud those who have defended the literal biblical time scale of creation as 6 days because they like me understand Adam onwards as factual. In the end I’m not that fussed about pre-Adam time scales. Some of my models seem to acknowledge the possibility of billions of years, but even that gets reconciled via “God’s Acceleration Factor” described in the Universe Model.
Though I present 6 models with varying merits, a final comparison gives a big Tick only to the Literal Model and “God’s Timetable”. But wait a minute, if I endorse the Literal Model, how can I affirm that the 7 days of create were 7 millennia? This is explained in subsequent Game Start articles – you just need to see that it’s the way God works and stop making restrictive assumptions.
When I make an assertion based on my understanding of scripture I sometimes use the phrase, “it is my opinion”, in preference to “I believe”. I have taken the liberty of using “I believe” here to clearly show you where this is going but, if you put me in front of a firing squad and insist I say that creation took, “six 24 hour days”, or else, then OK it was 6 days. But if you ask me to deny God or Jesus then fire away.
So you say, I don’t really believe this – no, I do, but if you insist on seeing things differently then we can agree unshakably on Jesus, the only name by which man can be saved. Your challenge is then to find a better revelation from scripture and I think it will be hard for you to invalidate mine. However, I still use the literal concepts in many places because it still conveys the revelation God intended it to carry. This is not being inconsistent, but best pictured as an extra layer on top of the plain understanding.
June 2009. After writing many of the Game Start articles and becoming more aware of the range of theological positions held by other believers, I felt the need to include this. I hope it helps to reconcile these various camps. This conflict in positions manifests itself most in this section dealing with the Models so this seems like the right place to insert this discussion.
Let me make myself vulnerable for a minute. In my Game Start – Acknowledgements I share how I started. I knew Adam was real and I was not too fussed about long age time scales for the days of Genesis. But I also knew that God created and so I was clearly against evolution theories that deny God. You cannot have evolution and God as a creator. Out of this the Symbolic Model, World Model, and Universe Model were born. My heart was to acknowledge these interpretations of the mechanical details, but to bring the time scale back from millions and billions of years to just one millennium per day. And then, without fighting a battle over mechanical details, to see Adam as real and created 6,000 years ago. Then, from this point, everyone could see God’s timetable. At that time I also felt that they would see how Genesis 1 was accurate, even if we ourselves were not sure of how to interpret it.
Why one millennium? Because, if you dare to read on, you will see that God seems to work at this rate in a variety of places in scripture and God Himself introduces the interplay of day and millennium; man and son of God, in various mysteries.
I was armed with an important key before I started this. It is is the Day-8 View outlined in Chapter 12 of Page-1-God. This says that Adam was created after God rested on day 7. This is an essential understanding because without it, any understanding apart from the 6x24 hour days of the Literal Model falls down because they corrupt Adam’s lineage. Initially I thought this understanding of Adam as a day-8 man was the major revelation of this site. It involved huge challenges to conventional Christian theology, but I felt the Holy Spirit helping me see each step in turn.
However day-8 man was not what the Holy Spirit was planning to release. It’s incredibly valuable in seeing God’s timetable starting 6,000 years ago, irrespective of the mechanical details of creation. But God had a surprise for me. I then saw the Summary Model, which may have just been a stepping stone, because that led me right into “God’s Timetable”. This timetable works whether you subscribe to a 6 day or 6 millennia creation. It does not depend on day-8 man assumptions but works best with that understanding. This timetable is something for the Church in this day – a mystery revealed to the generation that will see Jesus return.
Late Update: Nov 2010. I saw the starting point in a radical new way that affects everything. See chapter 23 “The starting point” in Page-1-God.
This theology or revelation leads me into conflict with Long Age theology which asserts millions and billions of years and often acknowledges evolution, as well as Young Earth Creationists. I knew little of the debate between these sectors of Christianity. In fact my understanding of terms like Theistic evolution, Gap theory, and Progressive Creationism, that seem to comprise the Long Age options, came only recently from episodes 7, 8 and 9 of creation-magazine-live.
For some reason I never wanted to fight a battle with these Long Age theologies. CMI do it quite well. Rather, it seems to me that I have just suggested a shorter time scale, one millennium, and reminded them of God’s power, and then in combination with “God’s Timetable” and day-8 man I expect/hope they will see the light. The light is not the mechanical details of creation but the relevance of the times we are in today.
All during the development of these articles, I knew I was challenging strongly held Christian theology. I was not actually corrupting any classic understanding as much as extending it, well, at least in my opinion. When I first published this site in August 2008, and out of my great respect for CMI as experts in the Genesis area, I submitted it to them for review. My Feedback section has the unflattering response. However I learned a lot from this. I’ve stepped out of my quite little back-water into the premier league. The battle is ferocious between YEC, Long Age Creationists, and Atheistic Evolutionists, and other names I don’t understand. No one will concede anything in this pitched battle.
YEC sees the battle lines as the clear and plain revelation of Genesis. I value this understanding and believe that God is pleased with that understanding. I applaud its defence. But, in the guise of a mystery revealed, held back for the last 6,000 years to be specifically revealed to this generation, I make my offering. However so many attempts to pervert God’s word have preceded my offering that most YEC champions reject it without consideration. Initially this grieved me, but in hindsight I don’t care, they have grasped Adam and 6,000 years ago. All I want is for them to see God’s Timetable forward from Adam.
Having said that, the battle to defend God’s word in Genesis has led to the adoption of certain theological positions that have some negative impact. If I was discussing technical or scientific evidence for some opinion it is understood that occasionally the science is flawed, and such opinions must be abandoned. Well, in the same way some theological positions have been developed that need to be seen as flawed and abandoned. The Word of God is not wrong or abandoned, just our understanding. Several articles in the Game Start series deal with this. This gets personal, because personal understandings are involved and arguments that have been used need to be modified.
On top of this, some YEC believers will view what I am suggesting as a capitulation rather than a revelation. They don’t like that and what’s worse; it looks like Christians are changing their position. I agree. However, a change from 6 days to 6,000 years is nothing compared to 12,000,000,000 years that the world offers. It’s still young! Stick with 6 days if you will but see God’s timetable.
Also try and see the theology on this site that presents a consistent picture of the image of God who does not suddenly curse man and animals with death, but is always working to restore man to eternal life with Him. I was surprised at how many more ways I saw Jesus revealed in God’s plan as I developed this site. Keep an eye out for those.