SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Age of the Earth
Part 8: Hebrew-Judaeo World View
By Steve Webb
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Continued from Page One
The fact is that whether or not you have read or even heard about Plato, you have been influenced by him. The same goes for Aquinas and Augustine. It extends from the most educated to the least educated of our society. It is part of our inherited culture. Our culture has specific philosophical roots and we are a product of it.
We in the Western world are inheritors of two primary cultures — Greek classical and Hebrew-Judaeo-Christian. Therefore we are a Greek philosophy-influenced culture. We read our Bibles heavily as if it were written by Greeks and it was not, so we have trouble understanding some of it. The typical way we read it, is as if it were written by someone who was interested in intellectual doctrine and science. The Hebrews were not interested in that; the Greeks were. The Hebrews were after something much more vital. The Greeks had admirable philosophical systems but in some ways they are diametrically opposed to Hebrew-Judaeo theology, which can introduce distortions in our reading of the Bible. We have trouble grasping the fact that the Bible has virtually no philosophy or science in the proper definition of those words.
This journey in our time machine is difficult for us to take; for we are Greek rather than Hebrew in our orientation, and under the influence of Greek thought. It is only by the exertion of considerable effort that we can understand the biblical world. We pursue knowledge by the road of dissection rather than by the path of fusion. When we want to understand something, we pull it apart; we break it into its constituent parts and examine each particle microscopically. This is our habitual pattern in philosophy, psychology, history, literary criticism, physical and biological sciences, no less than in our study of the Bible.To try to be as specific as possible, the following is a list of points that contrast the two world views in my best attempt to summarize them.
Renchkens, Henricus, 1964, Israel's Concept of the Beginning
• Hebrew-Judaeo man (HJ) is concerned with the cargo; Western man (WM) with the cart
• HJ with spiritual meaning; WM with meaning in science and technology
• HJ with personal relationships; WM with physical relationships
• HJ with unity of knowledge; WM with specialized partitioned knowledge
• HJ with metaphor and symbol oriented language; WM with fact-oriented language
• HJ with comprehension of concepts; WM with comprehension of intellectual doctrine, study techniques, methodology, inductive reasoning, syllogism, etc.
• HJ with the flow of time; WM with the chronology of time
• HJ with harmony in relationships; WM with harmony in science
• HJ with wisdom; WM with knowledge
• HJ with unity of community; WM with emphasis on the individual
• HJ with organizations that emphasize personal relationships; WM with organizations that emphasize structure and efficiency
• HJ with spiritual things; WM with physical things
• HJ is tolerant of mystery and paradox; WM insists on answers for the unknown and unclear
The biggest negative impact Greek influence has had on Christianity if that we tend to trivialize the Bible by looking for facts instead of meaning, structure instead of relationship, doctrine instead of wisdom, and minute detail instead of spiritual depth. In so doing, we nourish a love for factual knowledge instead of a love for God and our fellow man.
I hope you can see how this applies to the current discussion at hand, namely the age of the Earth in Genesis. The Bible is not talking about science. It never intentionally gives us scientific information. Why is this? First and foremost, science is simply unimportant compared to the other information the Bible is conveying to us. The only way we manage to see any science in the Bible is because of our cultural predisposition to do so. We read into it what we want to see. Secondly, if God actually conveyed science to us, it would not have been understood in the past and it would not be understood today. The reality that underlies all things that has been created by God would be too much for our feeble minds to comprehend. Third, intentionally giving us science would be a harmful thing. We have already attained the capability of blowing up our world with nuclear bombs. There are good reasons why God has not allowed our science and technology to progress any faster than it has.
Once again I hope you are patient and forgiving of me tackling such an ambitious topic in so few words. This blog article alone deserves book-length treatment, but I deemed it better to say this much than to say nothing at all.
Blessings and keep the faith!
Please note, as a ministry, GotQuestions.org officially holds to Young Earth Creationism. We truly and fully believe that Young Earth Creationism best fits with the biblical account of creation. However, we recognize that Old Earth Creationism is a valid viewpoint that a Christian can hold. In no sense is Old Earth Creationism heresy and in no sense should Old Earth Creationists be shunned as not being brothers and sisters in Christ. We thought it would be worthwhile to have some articles that positively present Old Earth Creationism, as it is always good for our viewpoints to be challenged, motivating us to further search the Scriptures to make sure our beliefs are biblically sound.
Age of the Earth: The SeriesPart 1: Introduction
Part 2: Radiometric Age-Dating
Part 3: Dinosaurs
Part 4: Tree Rings
Part 5: The Meaning of Yom
Part 6: Other Scriptural Difficulties
Part 7: Noah's Flood
Part 8: Hebrew-Judaeo Worldview
Part 9: Who were the Cavemen?
Part 10: The Garden of Eden
Part 11: Bible Genealogies
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Tags: Controversial-Issues | Current-Issues | Science-Creation
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