Monday, July 06, 2009

Response to Dr. Van der Meer

I posted this as a comment here:

JvdM writes:
“The clarity of Scripture means that Scripture is sufficiently clear for salvation. I agree that no one needs an expert to understand what is needed for salvation. Certainly, creation, fall, and redemption are included in what is sufficiently clear. The clarity of Scripture does not mean that Scripture provides information that satisfies the requirements of contemporary science.”
GvP comment: The Word of God is clear even to the blind (BC 5). It sufficiently and clearly teaches all we need to know for both salvation and service (gospel and ethics) (BC 7). The Bible is not a textbook for science. I think JvdM and I would agree on this.

However, when the Bible makes the (non-scientific) point that Adam was, at one time, alone (Gen. 2:18) then the premise that Adam had parents is in conflict with that scripture. When scripture makes the (non-scientific) point that Adam had no progenitor but was “the son of God” (Luke 3:38), then the premise that Adam did have human (and/or non-human ancestors) conflicts with that non-scientific point.

The plain reading of scripture would lead one to conclude that there was a time that Adam was alone, and that Adam was a direct creation of God.

JvdM asks me to explain how the Belgic Confession can affirm creation out of nothing (BC 12) and creation of man from the dust of the ground (BC 14). Scripture teaches that God created the heavens and the earth by his word. He spoke, and it came to be. Then he took some of the stuff of the earth, dust, and formed Adam from it. Eve he formed from part of Adam. He created them with the possibility of reproduction; from them came the human race. The Belgic Confession echoes these truths.

JvdM concludes: “
… that ‘creation from nothing’ does not exclude the possibility of creation by natural means such as creating man out of dust of the ground, letting plants grow from the ground, biological reproduction, biological evolution and cultural historical development.… this does not exclude that God used the body of a non-human ancestor to create Adam, and that this explains the ancestral features left in the human body.”
Scripture and confession exclude the premise of “biological evolution.” Scripture and confession exclude the idea that God used the body of a non-human ancestor to create Adam.

As for how to explain the ancestral features left in the human body…. that begs the question: “Are ‘ancestral features’ left in the human body?” I am not a scientist, so I cannot judge the premise scientifically. My hunch is that if you were to put five scientists in a room to discuss this, you’d get five different opinions on man’s DNA, chromosomes, “features,” etc.

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