Creative Science 2 – Religion

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27 (ESV)

Religion is a behavior pattern based on a belief system. The principle is simple. What you believe drives what you do. Religion is essentially the code you live your life by. This code may include ritual behaviors as well as boundaries for personal behavior. The real question is what code you choose to live by.

The pure form of religion handed down from Moses requires behavior conforming to codes recorded in the Torah (first five books of the Old Testament). Religion based on the Torah recognizes that God is Creator, God is good, and human life is sacred because we are created in the likeness of God. The first chapters of Genesis explain our purpose, the reason for our sin and suffering, and the hope of redemption. Death and suffering are the result of sin. God reveals more about Himself and His purposes, as well as our own history, throughout the rest of the Old Testament. The requirements of holiness given the Torah were fully met in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The death of the suffering savior was predicted by prophecy and required for atonement and redemption of sinful humanity. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is victory over the curse of death. The hope of humanity is found in acceptance of this gift and submission to the authority of our Lord. Through this submission to holiness we are set free from bondage to sin and death. Commands given by Jesus Christ concerning behavior are even stricter than those of the Torah. Jesus did not command mere outward behavior, but inward belief as the force driving the behavior.

Nearly every religion, other than Judeo-Christian religion, is based on belief in the power of something created rather than a single holy all-powerful Creator. Ancient pagans deprived of the knowledge of the Creator invented deities to worship in hope of prosperity, protection, victory in battle, and so on. They typically included vague superstitions and required idols, sacrifices, and sexual acts – all designed to prosper those in charge of the religion. Often the ruler himself was deified, particularly when the ruler was victorious in battle or otherwise brought about better living conditions for his people. Pharaoh in Egypt and the Emperor in the Roman Empire were examples of this sort of deity.

In the centuries before Christ a new type of religion began to develop. It was the rise of philosophy. Philosophy elevates human ideas and the power of reasoning. Philosophy becomes religion when the human mind and philosophical rhetoric become the objects of worship. While famous ancients like Plato and Socrates are often cited as the fathers of philosophy, the modern era’s worship of philosophy began in earnest after the reformation in the “age of reason.” There are dozens of famous philosophers who have made contributions, from Lyell or Darwin in natural science to Marx or Hitler in political science. As individuals each of these men have had a huge impact on the world, but in each case the philosophies have transcended the men. Powerful philosophies captivate the minds of men. People put their faith in philosophy. Warriors win hearts and minds through military victory, but philosophers win hearts and minds through mental victory. Just as military leaders like Pharaoh and Caesar are deified, philosophers and their philosophies are deified.

Evolution is an ancient philosophy with roots as far back as Aristotle. Charles Darwin quoted numerous sources who believed in Evolution, including his own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin. Natural selection was a recent but established scientific theory at the time of Darwin’s voyage. Darwin is credited with assigning natural selection the power of originating species. The obvious and intended implication is to foster belief in the idea that less complex (lower) forms of life evolve into more complex (higher) forms of life through purely natural mechanisms governed by chance or fate.

The merits and flaws of Darwin’s theories are to be the subject of later discussion, but the matter at hand is that Darwin’s theory is just a human idea. His notion of evolution through natural selection is a philosophy. The application of tests to determine if natural selection is the cause of increasingly complex speciation is science. Science is always applied as a technique to test the validity of philosophy.

Evolution may be presented as scientific theory, but it is more often simply assumed as fact. Evolution is a philosophy that has become a mainstream belief. Belief in Evolution results in a worldview which in turn drives choices and thus behaviors. Religion is a behavior pattern based on a belief system, therefore Evolution is a Religion.

Creation is religion. Like Evolution, Creation is also a belief and that belief drives choices – behaviors – and so it can rightly be called religion. Technically, Creation and Evolution are both religions and neither are science. Science is merely an impartial technique useful only to test cause/effect relationships. It is ultimately up to the one doing the test to accept or reject the results, however they turn out.

Mixing any other religion with belief in the Creator identified in Hebrew scripture is called syncretism. These beliefs may be called theistic evolution, progressive evolution, day/age theory, gap theory, or intelligent design, but they are all forms of syncretism because they all integrate some Evolution into Creation. By the same token, any time you introduce God into Evolution you dilute Evolution because you dilute faith in the power of nature to guide Evolution. Any time you introduce Evolution into Creation you dilute the Word of God.

Everyone believes something – whether Creation, Evolution, or something between the two. Few subjects polarize people as much as the Creation/Evolution debate. Creationists and Evolutionists each tend to think of the other as deluded. Those in the middle by definition do not accept either extreme and are generally not accepted by those at either extreme. Is there more than one correct answer? It seems highly unlikely. Either God created just as Genesis says, or Genesis is accurate only as allegory, or it is entirely fiction.

What do you believe?

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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8 Responses to Creative Science 2 – Religion

  1. eclipsenow says:

    //Religion is a behavior pattern based on a belief system, therefore Evolution is a Religion.//

    I think that’s drawing a long bow. Evolution is a scientific theory that almost any world-view can adopt. If I take a literary view of Genesis then I’m free to accept Evolution as well, even though my behaviour will be informed by my faith in Christ. If someone is an atheist they may try, like Dawkins, to insist that Evolution ONLY backs their world-view. But they would be wrong as evidenced by the stacks of Christian evolutionary biologists I know of. 🙂

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I don’t think its a “long bow” at all. Evolution isn’t science. It is a belief. Science is a technique, not a conclusion or an assumption. Conclusions and assumptions are the stuff of philosophy – human thought. Science, rightly understood, is a technique or method for testing a cause/effect relationship. That is hard science. What some call “historic science” ceases to be science once you leave the somewhat questionable boundary of forensics. No one was present for the start of the world so both evolution and creationism are beliefs. The behaviors driven by these beliefs are religions. I’ve heard several noted evolutionists say as much themselves.

      As for harmonizing evolution with scripture, you are right that you have to take a “literary view” to do it. Certainly a straight forward reading doesn’t allow it. Not only is it a matter of reducing Genesis to poetic allegory (and this is not right), there are serious theological problems with death before sin for anyone who believes Jesus overcame death by being a sinless sacrifice. It isn’t only Genesis that demands a literal reading, but Jesus, Paul, Peter, and most of the rest of the New Testament demands it as well.

      Still, what you believe is up to you. But I would ask this – what is your highest authority? Is it revelation from the Creator or philosophy from the minds of men? You may as well say you can believe in Jesus and crystals at the same time. If you’re okay with that I’m just a voice of objection – I cannot make you believe anything. Let us move on to what we can agree on.

  2. eclipsenow says:

    //Science is a technique, not a conclusion or an assumption. Conclusions and assumptions are the stuff of philosophy – human thought. Science, rightly understood, is a technique or method for testing a cause/effect relationship. That is hard science. //
    It is true to argue that science tests cause and effect relationships, and spends decades sometimes trying to eliminate variables. It’s not true, therefore, to insinuate that science never comes to “conclusions”! Conclusions could be re-termed the ‘dominant theory’. Sure it only takes one inconvenient new data set to disprove a whole hypothesis, but theories seem to have survived all of those for long enough to have them established as what we could call “Conclusions… for now”.

    PS: Death before the fall.
    Whatever TE’s believe, most of the one’s I know hold the bible to be the in-errant, sufficient word of God. This is not liberalism trying to dance around the bible. This is serious Sydney Anglicans, a growing reformed church, teaching some of the ‘creative narrative’ of Genesis and letting the theology of Genesis 1 dominate the conversation *before* we overlay the scientific questions of Darwinism on the passage.

    I agree that the biggest problem Theistic evolution has is death before the fall of mankind. However, what do you make of the verse “For the sting of death is sin”? Um, if we understand human death to be a result of sin, shouldn’t the verse be exactly the other way around? Shouldn’t it read “The sting of sin is DEATH!” Some Theistic Evolutionists (TE’s) argue that maybe there’s a hint here that:-
    * Because Genesis 1 does not make sense literally (night and day before the Sun and Moon)
    * because Genesis is largely reflecting on spiritual questions and spiritual relationships that we have to the created order and the Creator
    * because it is largely answering questions of WHY the world is the way it is, and not scientific questions about HOW the world got the way it is
    * Because it borrows significantly from the Enuma Elish, and indeed corrects it, in many places, Genesis is full of ‘intertextual references’
    …It is therefore *possible* that the real issue is *spiritual* death. Now this is a strange and horrible statement to hear, but I know some fairly ‘high up’ placed, conservative big names in Sydney Anglican theology who hold to this. I was shocked at first! But now I’m wondering? What if much of my reading of Genesis is suffering from my importing a very city, middle-class, Pollyanna “niceness” onto nature that has no business being there? EG: If a Lion could not eat meat, it would starve. It’s bowels are not designed to process grass the way a cow can. Did the Lion suddenly get changed to being a meat eater after the fall? That’s not mentioned in the bible!?

    So anyway, I’m not entirely happy with the ‘spiritual death’ argument.

    Personally, I think that IF God made the world through evolution, and if early Genesis is largely metaphorical or creative narrative based on facts or *some special kind of literature* (my non-academic words are failing me), then let’s try this scenario — just as a scenario — that neither scripture, nor science, specifically address.

    God evolves mankind to a certain point and then ‘wakes us up’ as sentient beings. At this point I think the bible teaches we have the potential to be immortal, and the potential — if we sin — to die. The picture language of early Genesis talks of a ‘Tree of life’. What if that ‘tree’ cured all genetic diseases and ageing and death? God warns that if we rebel against him, we will die. What happens at the end of the fall narrative? We are barred from the tree.
    Try J.I.Packer who seems to have this kind of take on the integration of science and theology in this regard. Well worth listening to.
    http://www.sydneyanglicans.net/media/audio/creation_evolution_problems/

    • Lance Ponder says:

      I have a lot more chapters to come on this subject. Rather than try and refute everything you just said I’ll defer at least some for those future posts where we can get down to details. I appreciate your candor in explaining the origin of your position. I would humbly invite you, though, to draw your own conclusions instead of listening to church hierarchy. I think Jesus said something similar about the religious leaders of his day too. 😉

      Regarding “For the sting of death is sin.” … James addresses this in Jas 1:14-15 “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed By his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James confirms the plain reading of Genesis in that there is temptation followed by sin followed by death. The sting of death is sin because like the poison injected by a bee that causes swelling, when sin is injected it swells but with death as the end result.

      Re light before sun: That gets addressed later in the series, but there are at least a couple of answers to this. One is that God was doing all sorts of extraordinary things that week. Second, the fusion engine that produces (directional) light may not have been pulled together until the 4th day yet it was already an engine up and running on the first day. Third, Dr Russell Humphreys has done some excellent theoretical work demonstrating that the earth may have been at the center of a “white hole” that operated during the creation week and the sun, which may have existed earlier, was not visible as a distinct point source of light prior to the fourth day. Lastly, either Genesis is a revelation or it is a human invention. Believe God’s revelation or don’t accept it as such.

      Genesis does address why, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t historically accurate. It wasn’t written by Greeks with a western way of thinking, but that doesn’t make it poetic. The grammar cues are clear. Hebrew, particularly its verbs, have primarily two forms – literal and poetic. Genesis scores well over 90% literal and the first few chapters over 98% literal. Books like Psalms and most of Job on the other hand score very high as poetic verb forms. As for answering how, it wasn’t written for that purpose. Even so, the bible reveals dozens of technical details that most modern scientists would tell you could not possibly have been known by human science in the ancient world. There’s plenty of how knowledge in scripture, including Gen 1-11. Again, much of this will be addressed in upcoming chapters.

      //Because it borrows significantly from the Enuma Elish// — That is entirely conjecture and personally I would say the other way around. The other creation and flood myths found almost universally in other ancient cultures are substantially similar in key ways, but that doesn’t mean any of them are more accurate than Genesis or that any of them served as source material for Genesis. Genesis is as a whole highly unique even in biblical literature and even from its fellows in the Torah. I would contend that another epic that similar draws from a similar original history. There are also those scholars who believe that rather than authoring Genesis, Moses merely compiled it from preexisting records handed down from the patriarchs. It is entirely possible and imho likely that the first chapters of Genesis came down from Adam and Noah and were passed to Abraham who in turn added his own history and so forth down to Joseph. The details are too perfect to have been invented and too human to have been simply transcribed by Moses directly from God. That’s speculation with my opinion in support.

      As to the meat thing, well, I’m not so sure. My cat eats grass. 😉 I suppose my off the cuff answer would be that with the curse it is possible animal meat consumption may have begun. All of creation was changed at the time of the curse. Gen also records that man was first allowed to eat meat after the flood. It is at least possible that God intervened with animal kind also at that point, though I’m not sure there’s more weight to that argument than the former when it comes to animals. By the way, many “carnivores” are capable of vegetarian diets – from spiders and mosquitoes to lions and dinosaurs.

      Thank you for being patient and for providing thoughtful input into this conversation. No matter what I say, and I do encourage skepticism of my work, I would likewise encourage equal skepticism of those theologians and church leaders who are not specialists in this subject and who would suggest God’s written revelation through the prophets is somehow not to be taken at face value.

  3. Eclipse Now says:

    I’m afraid the light before the sun answer is like so much special pleading, an argument from silence to justify a literal reading of the test. But what we need is a *literary* reading of the text. The light before the sun *proves*, beyond doubt in my mind, the framework theology of the text. There’s the form and the filling of the form. It’s a pattern. “Let there be” light, separation of the waters, and land, and then “Let there be” filling of these forms with the sun and moon, birds and fish, and plants and animals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_interpretation_%28Genesis%29

    [quote]Third, Dr Russell Humphreys has done some excellent theoretical work demonstrating that the earth may have been at the center of a “white hole” that operated during the creation week and the sun, which may have existed earlier, was not visible as a distinct point source of light prior to the fourth day. Lastly, either Genesis is a revelation or it is a human invention.[/quote]
This just sounds so far from the concerns of the passage that it illustrates the silliness of Creationism for me. This is the sort of thing I’d quote on my blog and point to in amazement. Where does he get any of that from the passage? It’s spurious. It’s as much a scenario as J.I.Packers! Worse, because at least Packer admits his is just a possible scenario trying to meld the concerns of both science and Genesis.

    [quote] Believe God’s revelation or don’t accept it as such.[/quote]
    That’s not fair at all — or logical. You should do me the kindness of accepting that what we are discussing is the literary genre of Genesis, not whether or not Framework theologians accept is as the Word of God. All you are doing here is a rather nasty Bulverism — just assuming that I’m wrong and trying to prove how I became so silly by psychoanalysing my motives, without actually having PROVED that I’m wrong!

    Do we have to read Jesus parables as literally true to accept them as divine revelation? Can we only accept the story of the Good Samaritan if we have archaeological evidence that such an attack occured, that a Samaritan actually rescued the victim, and that there really was an Inn visited by the Samaritan and a medical bill paid?

    Anyway, back to the Framework theology. This sets it all up nicely for the future theological patterns such as the Sabbath law celebrating God’s rest. I mean, if we were going to read Genesis 1 literalistic-ally we’re in trouble because we’re all still in the Sabbath! There is no ‘morning and evening’. There’s no end to the 7th Day .We’re still in it THEOLOGICALLY, but we’re not still in it literally. So I can’t for the life of me see why we should take the rest of the passage literally.

    If it is just a shopping list of facts, of what God did when, it becomes arbitrary, dead, meaningless. It would feel more like a kid’s fable, or at best a set of dry facts that we just have to memorise. Does it really matter what happened when? Really? I just can’t get into it reading it that way.

    I just can’t get anything out of it. But when I see it as the *obvious* theological bombshell that it is in comparison to the 7 stage, 7 tablet Enuma Elish, then we can see it as a metaphorical rewrite of the famous Babylonian ‘national anthem’ that used to be read out once a year on a special day! The Enuma Elish starts with watery chaos, has a water goddess, Tiamet, cut in half which results in separation of the waters, indeed, it pretty much has all the elements of Genesis 1 in pretty much all the same stages!

    And it was written something like 200 years earlier than Genesis. Basically, if it wasn’t for some sad developments in very recent church history I think we’d all be reading it as a creative narrative.

    [quote]All of creation was changed at the time of the curse.[/quote]
    Evidence please? I don’t read anything about customised carnivores suddenly appearing.

    [quote] By the way, many “carnivores” are capable of vegetarian diets – from spiders and mosquitoes to lions and dinosaurs.[/quote]
    I’ve read that they are custom built to be carnivores and would die from lack of meat. They don’t grow tofu burgers! 😉

    [quote]would likewise encourage equal skepticism of those theologians and church leaders who are not specialists in this subject and who would suggest God’s written revelation through the prophets is somehow not to be taken at face value.[/quote]
    I assume you’re discussing dispensationalism and eschatology now, and reading those prophecies literally even though Premils try to read the bits of the bible literally that the Apostles and Jesus himself don’t?

    But for a moment there I thought you said I was reading people on the Enuma Elish that were not experts. Dr John Dickson IS a specialist in exactly this area. He is both a Moore College trained conservative evangelical AND a prominent historian and scholar. John wrote the comparison between the Enuma Elish and Genesis. He’s a good guy and a personal friend and colleague. Check out his wiki.

    [quote]John has a PhD in Ancient History from Macquarie University and is a highly regarded speaker and writer. Much of his attention in recent years has focused on the ‘life of Jesus’ and challenging the arguments of the new atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Michel Onfray.
    His book, The Christ Files, was made into a documentary and shown on Network Seven at Easter 2008 as well as Christmas Day in 2009.
    Books
    Promoting the Gospel: the Whole of Life for the Cause of Christ (Aquila)
    If I Were God, I’d End All the Pain (Matthias Media, 2001)
    If I Were God, I’d Make Myself Clearer (Matthias Media)
    Simply Christianity: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Faith (Matthias Media) Australian Christian Book of the Year, 2000
    A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions: An Introduction to the Big Five (Blue Bottle Books) Australian Christian Book of the Year, 2005
    A Spectator’s Guide to Jesus: An Introduction to the Man from Nazareth (Blue Bottle Books)
    The Christ Files: How Historians Know What They Know about Jesus (2006, Blue Bottle Books)
    James: the Wisdom of the Brother of Jesus (Aquila, 2006)
    Vital Signs: the Wisdom of James for a Life of Faith (Aquila), with Simon Smart
    666 and All That: The Truth About the Future (Aquila), with Greg Clarke
    Jesus: A Short Life (Lion, 2008)
    Mission-Commitment in Ancient Judaism and in the Pauline Communities (Paul Mohr Verlag)
    [/quote]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr_John_Dickson

    • Lance Ponder says:

      Humphrey’s book to which I refer (and which is used as a major resource for upcoming chapters of my work to be posted here) is called Starlight and Time. He does not claim his is absolutely right and others are wrong, nor do I. I am saying his theory makes the most sense to me. It is a theory, but unlike evolution his theory is consistent with both scripture and the known laws of physics. He does not assume miraculous intervention apart from where scripture clearly says it is so.

      You’re satisfied there wasn’t really light before the sun. Okay. That was a hold up for me as well early in my search for answers. But it is not anymore. Scripture speaks plainly of a time when the sun and moon won’t be a bother anymore, yet there will be light. Humphrey’s work helps illuminate how such a thing is possible within the realm of real physics, but notwithstanding I am compelled to take on faith what I do not understand. The creation week contains a number of miracles which [appear to] defy normal physics. So does the resurrection, yet we have eye witness accounts of that.

      You keep mentioning framework theology. Frankly I’m not a learned scholar so I’m not as versed on that term as I should be to spar effectively with you about it. That said, I need not prove anything. I simply read the text and see what it says. Absent a good reason (like clear poetic verse or obvious rhetorical prose) not to take the words at face value I will do just that. I would be speculating to say this framework theology is a fancy form of rationalizing, yet that’s what it sounds like to me. Like I said, I’m not moved by denominational leadership saying this or that about any given doctrine issue when it parts company with scripture. Just to help you understand my own perspective, I’m a cradle Baptist with Pentecostal ties currently attending a Methodist church with a wife attending a Roman Catholic church and several of my best friends and mentors are Messianic Jews. If memory serves, CS Lewis was Anglican. I like him, but I don’t think of him as a doctrine or theology powerhouse to be lauded. He’s about the only Anglican I know anything about, but frankly the label over the door holds little clout with me.

      //You should do me the kindness of accepting that what we are discussing is the literary genre of Genesis, not whether or not Framework theologians accept is as the Word of God. All you are doing here is a rather nasty Bulverism — just assuming that I’m wrong and trying to prove how I became so silly by psychoanalysing my motives, without actually having PROVED that I’m wrong! //

      Forgive me. I am coming at this from a very different angle than you and I think we’re looking at apples and oranges and discussing them as tho they were bananas. Genre and framework theology are different things. I didn’t really address either one distinctly. I did not mean to offend, I was simply attempting to be clear. I failed in that regard. Let me just say I believe the Genesis creation account to be divine revelation. I believe it to be literally as well as literarily true and accurate. I take it to be as much a historical account as a source of answers to the greatest questions of purpose in life. How you take it or how framework theology takes it is not my decision. We’re a long way from the topic so please forgive my arrogance and let us move on.

      //The Enuma Elish starts with watery chaos, has a water goddess, Tiamet, cut in half which results in separation of the waters, indeed, it pretty much has all the elements of Genesis 1 in pretty much all the same stages! And it was written something like 200 years earlier than Genesis. Basically, if it wasn’t for some sad developments in very recent church history I think we’d all be reading it as a creative narrative.//

      If you really believe what you wrote here there’s not a lot else to talk about. We’re truly at odds about our views of Genesis as authoritative.

      //Does it really matter what happened when?//

      Does it matter if the earth is on the order of several thousand years old or several billion years old? Well, I think it does. If the evidence, when examined dispassionately with intellectual honesty shows that the earth is much more likely a few thousand years old it damns the whole notion of evolution, theistic or atheistic.

      Like so many others who are passionate about their position on Genesis I tend to jump to presenting “facts” to prove Genesis as if science is the authority and Genesis is not. As another Australian taught me though, it is Genesis which is the authority and science which is unable to disprove it. Whether you agree with creationists or not, they [we] need to be as honest as the evolutionists and say this is what we believe and here’s how that belief informs our science.

      Again, this series is only getting started.

      ps…

      //[quote]All of creation was changed at the time of the curse.[/quote]
      Evidence please? I don’t read anything about customised carnivores suddenly appearing.// — Gen 3:17-19, Gen 9:3-5

      That’s enough for today I think. Thanks again.

  4. Eclipse Now says:

    //Gen 3:17-19, Gen 9:3-5//
    Neither of these verses says that animals will be retrofitted to now feed on meat. Sorry, but you’re adding to scripture. It simply doesn’t fit with what you need it to say.

    However, this thoughtful article by a Moore College lecturer conclusively proves that ‘animal death’ is not a problem for scripture.
    http://reflectionsinexile.blogspot.com/2007/11/problems-with-creation-science-iv-when.html

    //It is a theory, but unlike evolution his theory is consistent with both scripture and the known laws of physics.//

    OK, this is getting silly. I’m going to start the “Church of the Lamb with 7 eyes”.
    Our far more GODLY church will be all about how we take the bible more literally than *any* other congregation. All those evangelicals that insist Jesus isn’t a lamb with 7 horns and 7 eyes, well, they can play their liberal genre games all they want, but I want to belong to a STRONG, BIBLE BELIEVING CHURCH that does not part company with scripture and go off on allegorising tangents.

    //Absent a good reason (like clear poetic verse or obvious rhetorical prose) not to take the words at face value I will do just that. I would be speculating to say this framework theology is a fancy form of rationalizing, yet that’s what it sounds like to me.//
    You ask for indications of the special structure of Genesis 1 but have already determined that you are not going to read it because…
    //Like I said, I’m not moved by denominational leadership saying this or that about any given doctrine issue when it parts company with scripture. //

    So that’s the game? Ask for more information, but dismiss Dr John Dickson’s
    “The Genre of Genesis” paper as ‘parting company with scripture’ and belonging to ‘denominational leadership’? Well John is not in ‘denominational leadership’. He’s just a Pastor, like you. He is, however a scholarly historian and academic. I hope you are intellectually honest enough to read it. It’s not long, only about 30 minutes, and I’m not asking you to buy a book or ‘commit’ to anything. But you DID ask for evidence of special poetic or rhetorical structures, and Genesis 1 has it by the barrow-full!
    http://www.iscast.org/journal/articles/Dickson_J_2008-03_Genesis_Of_Everything.pdf

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