Sunday Walk 58 – Creation Order

The Fall, contra to what you may have seen…in Sunday School, is not simply the eating of the forbidden fruit…. What happens in Genesis 3…is actually an attack on creation order.

Owen Strachan, Issues in Biblical Anthropology, Lecture 3 (about 57:45)

Creation order is the order of Genesis 1 and 2. As Strachan put it: “There’s God and under God there is the man who’s called to this position of headship as the New Testament will call it. There’s the woman underneath him. There are the animals underneath them.” (about 59:00)

Biblical anthropology does not take the creation order from the world but from the Bible. The world blurs distinctions the Bible makes and creates distinctions the Bible doesn’t.

  • The world blurs the distinction between fathers and mothers by calling them “parents”. Strachan recommended that we avoid words like “parent” that undermine the distinction between fathers and mothers.
  • The world blurs the distinction between men and women and the rest of creation in particular the animals. Strachan told us to maintain the distinction. Both men and women, and only they, are made in the image of God. The animals are not.
  • The world creates more distinctions between the sexes than there are and then blurs those distinctions through gender fluidity. Strachan recommended the use of the word “sex” for its specificity of only two biological sexes over the word “gender”. We capitulate theologically to the world by using its preferred language.

Owen Strachan wanted the future pastors in this seminary lecture to see clearly the creation order so they could effectively lead their churches and not be themselves led by the world. He said, “Are you feeling how alien Christianity increasingly is from what our secular culture teaches? Are you feeling that? I hope you are. If you are, good. That’s what you should feel. You should feel that Christianity is distinct from the world.” (about 42:45)

Owen Strachan, Issues in Biblical Anthropology

Weekly Bible Reading:  Psalms (Audio), Proverbs (Audio)
Commentaries: 
David Pawson, Psalms, Part 32, Proverbs, Part 33, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Psalms and Proverbs

Sunday Walk 57 – Greg Bahnsen on Miracles

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Proverbs 26:4-5, King James Bible 1769, and expounded in Greg Bahnsen’s Always Ready.

In one of Jim Lee’s posts he linked to Reconstructionist Radio, a site offering Grey Toombs’ narration of Always Ready, a collection of essays by Greg Bahnsen. Bahnsen was a proponent of Van Til’s presuppositional apologetics. Keeping Proverbs 26:4-5 in mind, this apologetics answers the fool without capitulating to the fool’s presuppositions.

After reading C.S. Lewis’s Miracles, Bahnsen’s essay, The Problem of Miracles, reprinted as Chapter 34, caught my attention.

At the beginning of the essay, Bahnsen explained why miracles are a problem for the modern mind: “Miracles would disrupt our simplistic and impersonalistic views of the predictability and uniformity of the world around us.”

We should be careful not to accept Naturalism’s presuppositions by becoming aware of what they are. For example, there needs to be a reason for the uniformity of nature. Can the Naturalist presupposition of the existence of impersonal laws of nature provide that reason? Given that “impersonal” implies those laws arose by chance, it is not likely. Furthermore as Bahnsen claimed at about 21:30 in the narration of the chapter, “God’s self-revelation in the scriptures offers no support for the idea that there are impersonal laws of nature which make the world operate mechanically and with an inevitability which is free ordinarily from the choices of God’s will.” So, there is no need for a Christian to capitulate to the Naturalist’s presupposition of impersonal laws of nature.

The Christian presupposition is that the Bible is the Word of God. The creation account in Genesis 1-2 provides a reason for the uniformity of nature since the creation was good and Genesis 3 provides a reason for the disorderliness of evil (rebellion) that we also see.

Is the source of the orderliness we experience personal or impersonal? If we accept that it is personal (rather than arising from impersonal chance), does the Bible reveal the true personal source or might there some other source such as panpsychism, Brahma or some Baal? The Christian presupposes that the Bible reveals the true source and, given that source, miracles are possible.

At the end of the chapter, Bahnsen warned us to be careful with miracles. They are possible, but the presence of a miracle, or perhaps better put, a sign or wonder, does not mean that God was responsible for it. Signs or wonders, given the serpent in Genesis 3, may also come from demonic sources seeking to deceive.

Greg Bahnsen, The Uniformity of Nature: Atheism’s Philosophical Problem

All knowledge is deposited in Christ. Man’s knowledge of the truth depends upon God’s prior knowledge, begins with the fear of the Lord, and it requires submission to God’s Word.

Greg Bahnsen, Always Ready, Chapter 6

Weekly Bible Reading:  Psalms (Audio)
Commentary: David Pawson, Hebrew Poetry, Part 30, and Psalms, Part 31, Unlocking the Bible