“Science tells us how the heavens go” – or Not!

In a post yet to show up here I critique Norman Geisler’s and Bruce Waltke’s use of Galileo’s little catchphrase, “The Bible tells us how to go to heaven.  Science tells us how the heavens go.”

I appreciate quite a lot of Norman Geisler’s work.  I am not a big fan of his four-volume Systematic Theology, although I do recommend Volume Four.  And while I can’t get on board with his classical apologetics views, he has provided good arguments for many questions about the Bible and Christianity.  His stance against the definite erosion of Inerrancy is Evangelicalism is greatly welcome.

However, His Old-Earth views are just not reconcilable with a version of inerrancy which I can accept.  You cannot point your finger at one group of Evangelicals and say they are making the word “inerrant” too malleable, and at the same time hold to a teaching which demands similar pliancy.

Anyway, I think Jason Lisle has done a terrific job of answering Dr. Geisler at his blog.  See what you think: http://www.jasonlisle.com/2015/01/29/answering-dr-norman-geislers-comments-on-genesis/


Thx to Alf Cengia

8 thoughts on ““Science tells us how the heavens go” – or Not!”

  1. I haven’t read the whole article yet, but so far it has been interesting and helpful. I have always been a young earth adherent, although recently I have changed my view slightly to allow for a “old earth possibly, but young ‘life’ definitely”. In other words, maybe the gap theory has something to it, but the gap theory does absolutely nothing for the age of life on earth.
    Something that needs clarification i think is that the article towards the beginning makes the claim that “But, clearly nothing that God created could have existed before the beginning of creation – by definition.” referring to Genesis 1:1. But then later on it turns around and says that Satan (and by extension the rest of the angels) must have been created before the creation week, and Satan’s fall ocurred sometime before Day 1 of the Creation week. I agree, but only if God had done some creating before Day 1 of the creation week. so what’s going on?
    Further, In Gen 1:1, when it says “heavens and earth” is it referring to the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd heaven? or all three? Could the text allow for Gen 1:1 referring to all 3, including angels and the angelic realm, and sometime between this and Day 1 of the creation week, Satan rebelled and the earth was just sitting there, formless? Which would allow some time between Genesis 1:1 and when God created light, at least. Or is that view not consistent?

    1. the only other alternative i can see is that God created that which exists outside the universe before Genesis 1:1. That is, the 3rd heaven to include the angels, God’s throne room, etc, etc. Basically everything that is not in our “space-time” continuum, if you will. This would mean God created the spiritual realm (to borrow some terminology) before Genesis 1:1, and the physical realm at Genesis 1:1. It’s an intriguing idea, seeing as how time itself is a physical property and is invariably married to physical matter. But the article seems to deny this possibility, saying that everything that was created, everything that exists (other than God Himself) came into being at Genesis 1:1.
      The creation and fall of the angels had to either happen before Genesis 1:1 or sometime after, yet before Day 1 when God created light. The article seems to deny both possibilities, and doesn’t really offer a third. Any thoughts?

  2. Just today, D. Wilson said this on his blog:

    “If you can read a text that says that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground, and fashioned his wife from Adam’s rib, and from that text come to think that what God was really trying to get us to think was that all life arose from the sea, and that such life struggled across millions of years to eventually reach a gaggle of primates, so that God could give a couple of them a haircut and a bit more smarts, then frankly, putting up with a sex change operation should be a trifle.”

    Obviously, he wasn’t seeking to make the same primary point as above, but the way he worded this was terrific.

    1. Yes. Very well said. But of course it cries out for parody. Wilson’s own theology does exactly this kind of thing with scores of biblical passages (think of Rev. 7:1-8)!

      Miss you brother!


  3. I have to say I’m still trying to understand the different types of apologetics – presupositionalism is quite difficult for me to understand it fully.

    I’ve read so far 2 apologetics books: Reason for God by Tim Keller and Geisler’s I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.
    Tim Keller was a solid, good book – But Geisler blew me away. His logic was impecable, the flow of the argument was amazing, simple, clear, a fantastic read. I lent it to a friend of mine and he was blown away, too. Now, the book was coauthored by Turek, so I’m not sure which one I should give credit to (maybe both ?)

    I’m curious dr. Paul, which books on apologetics would you recommend ? I’m not familiar with this domain. I’ve heard that D. Groothuys wrote a book recently – what do you think about it ?
    William Lane I understand is also considered a very good apologist.

  4. Emanuel,

    If you want to understand presuppositionalism, at least from me, just read my ‘A Brief Summary of Presuppositional Apologetics’ – https://drreluctant.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/a-brief-summary-of-%E2%80%9Cpresuppositional-apologetics%E2%80%9D/

    If you wish to see it working you might try this set of posts – https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/antitheism-presupposes-theism-by-dr-reluctant/

    I am not a fan of Geisler’s apologetic method, which I think places reason before faith. But I have benefited from his works, along with those like Craig.

    For some brief thoughts on this see this set of short chats about apologetics: https://drreluctant.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/telos-videos-on-christian-apologetics/

    Finally, if you want to see it fleshed out against against the background of worldview see – https://drreluctant.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/now-complete-twelve-videos-on-apologetics-worldview/

    I have often thought about providing a bibliography on apologetics. I’ll think it over in the New Year.

    God bless you and yours,

    Paul H

  5. Thank you, brother. Before stumbling into your blog I didn’t even know there are other types of apologetics besides the classical one.

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