It has been noted that the Christian faith has suffered as much at the hands of certain of its adherents as those of its enemies. A strictly literal or concretist interpretation of scripture alienates many ordinary people and of course many scientists, who would otherwise be receptive to the gospel message.
This book addresses the question of the duration of the creation days of Genesis in the light of both scripture and science. Still dividing the Christian community, the matter revolves around the Hebrew word "Yom" in the creation account. Young Earth Creationists ascribe a concrete meaning of 24 hours to these days whilst Old Earth Creationists consider the word to mean a long period of time.
In a spirit of civility, the author weighs up the evidence from the Bible and from nature, that is, God's revelation and God's creation. Sympathetically considering the reasons why Young Earthers are so dogmatic about the duration of these creation days, Ross firmly believes that the controversy ought not to divide the community of believers.
From the earliest times, Jewish and Christian theologians like Philo, Josephus, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine and Eusebius have held a tolerant attitude towards differing interpretations of the length of the creation days. It was only in the 17th century that two British scholars, John Lightfoot and James Ussher introduced the dogma of 24-hour days.
Chapter 7: Anchored In Scripture, looks at 21 major scriptural passages that address creation. The meaning of the Hebrew words Yom, Ereb and Boqer are analyzed here in their biblical and linguistic semantic contexts. It is clear as daylight to this reader that the word Yom may signify a long time period; it certainly does so in the Bible itself, for example the end-time Day Of The Lord.
Amongst other fascinating insights, Ross demonstrates how the Biblical account and the Big Bang theory are in complete harmony. He addresses the evidence offered against an old earth and refutes it point by point. Ross deals patiently and respectfully with even the nuttiest of theories for a young earth.
Other topics include the reliability of radiometric dating, scientific signs of old age and the significance of mankind. Occasionally the writing becomes highly scientific but it is still accessible to the general reader. The author also provides information on several Creation Day Church Councils that attempted to resolve the differences in a spirit of reconciliation.
There are three appendices: A - The Meaning Of Faith In The Bible; B - Creation Passages In The Bible; C - The Voice Of Nature. The book concludes with 36 pages of notes, an index, short biography of the author and information on his organization Reasons To Believe. Illustrative figures and tables enhance the text.
A Matter Of Days is a well-written, thoroughly researched work written in an engaging style and a spirit of civility. It proves, inter alia, that belief in an old earth does not equate to belief in evolution. With this book, Ross has made a valuable contribution to the accumulating proof that science and logic support the message of the Bible. I also recommend the book Who Was Adam? by Fazale Rana.
on 25 November 2007
I had read years ago an explanation of genesis (first creation account) as written for the 'perhaps slightly dumb pastoral society of the old days, and I wasn't very convinced of this summary. This book goes into the 'day-age' theory in a lot of detail, as well as outlining the various ideas about literal six day creation, and the historical pespective on the interpretion of 'days' in the creation account. What I found so facinating is the establishment of the perspective of the viewer of the creation. We are used to looking at the earth via pictures from space, but it dosn't say in genesis that God's spirit was in orbit around the earth, looking down, it says that God's spirit hovered over the water, so the perspective is drawn down to God's perspective, above the water, but under the vault of the sky. This little bit of interpretation is just one of the evidences which makes this book so interesting to read. So the viewer of events of creation 'looking around and up' makes more sence than the sun being created after the earth, as in some interpretations I've heard, daft. Another thing here which might get you thinking is the authors idea of.. it's like creation is done outside of time, instantly by the thought or word of God, and then in time, creation occurs in creation 'days'. Read the book anyway, it'll explain it better.
And then our Darwin throws in the spanner of evolution. I can also recommend 'Who was Adam' by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross.
on 6 January 2009
Hugh Ross bless him, may have a genuine heart and desire to see people not put off by trying to marry the Bible to science. However in his analysis and conclusions on this topic he is I am afraid wrong.
I am not going in to why that is as I cannot do it justice. There is plenty on the internet to challenge his biblical interpretations that do in fact conclude the days in Genesis do actually mean a period of 24 hours.
Ross is too keen to interpret the Bible in light of science rather than the other way round.