عصير كتاب: الأيام السبعة لـ جون لينوكس Seven Days By John Lennox

Posted: يناير 26, 2016 in تدوينات سريعة

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Seven Days That Divide the World

The Beginning According to Genesis and Science

By: John C. Lennox

لتحميل عصير الكتاب: (PDF) (DOC)

Seven-Days-John-Lennox

Chapter One: But Does It Move? A Lesson from History

· After all, it made a lot of sense to ordinary people: the sun appears to go round the earth; and, if the earth moves, why aren’t we all flung off into space? Why does a stone, thrown straight up into the air, come straight down if the earth is rotating rapidly? Why don’t we feel a strong wind blowing in our faces in the opposite direction to our motion? Surely the idea that the earth moves is absurd? [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 104-107). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Tremble before him, all the earth; yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. (1 Chron. 16:30) Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. (Ps. 93:1) He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. (Ps. 104:5) For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them he has set the world. (1 Sam. 2:8) [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 112-115). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Historian John Hedley Brooke writes, “Whether Luther really referred to Copernicus as a fool has been doubted, but in an off-the-cuff dismissal he remembered that Joshua had told the sun, not the earth, to stand still.” [John Hedley Brooke, Science and Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 96.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 129-131). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· John Calvin, on the other hand, clearly believed that the earth was fixed: “By what means could it [the earth] maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it?” [John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), 4:6–7.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 131-133). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Chapter Two: But Does It Move? A Lesson About Scripture

· Interestingly, the first hard evidence that the earth moved was not found until 1725, when James Bradley, Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford and later Astronomer Royal, deduced it from his observation of the aberration of the star Gamma Draconis. (A star that passes directly overhead in London. Bradley detected an annual variation in the apparent position of stars that was due to changes in the earth’s velocity. Such calculations lead to an estimate for earth’s orbital velocity of 30 km/sec.) [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 344-346). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Finally, we see that there are two extremes to be avoided. The first is the danger of tying interpretation of Scripture too closely to the science of the day, as the fixed-earthers did — even though, as we have seen, it is hard to blame them in light of the fact that this view was then the reigning scientific paradigm. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 362-364). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Chapter Three: But Is It Old? The Days of Creation

· First, there are those who believe that the days of Genesis are the twenty-four-hour days of one earth week, and that the universe is young (created around six thousand years ago). Then there are those who believe that the universe is ancient. It is important to take on board right away that both the young-earth and the ancient-earth creationist views go back a long way. Neither of them is a recent invention. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 406-409). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The word creationist, however, has changed its meaning over time. Originally it meant simply someone who believed in a creator, without any implication for how or when the creating was done; nowadays, creationist is usually taken to mean “young-earth creationist.” [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 410-411). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Through the ages many have held that straight lines can be drawn from the creation week of Genesis to the week of ordinary life. The Jewish calendar, for instance, has for centuries taken as its starting point the “Era of Creation,” which it dates to 3761 BC (2010 is the Jewish year 5770—which runs from September 2009 to September 2010). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 412-414). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Some of the early church fathers, such as Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho, and Irenaeus, in Against Heresies, suggested that the days might have been long epochs, on the basis of Psalm 90:4 (“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night”) and 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 426-429). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Irenaeus applied this reading of Genesis to the warning God gave regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (“In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” [Gen. 2:17]): “On one and the same day on which they ate, they also died (for it is one day of creation) … He (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit.” [Irenaeus, Irenaeus Against Heresies, book V, in Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Gathers down to A.D. 325, vol. IX (Edinburgh: T&T Clark), 118.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 429-432). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Clement of Alexandria (ad 150–215), writing, like Justin and Irenaeus, in the second century, thought that creation could not take place in time at all, since “time was born along with things which exist.” He therefore understood the days to communicate the priority of created things but not the timing of their creation. [Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Christian Library: Translations of the Writings of the Gathers down to A.D. 325, vol. II (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899), 513.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 432-435). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Origen (ad 185–254), the most prominent theologian of his time, pointed out that in the Genesis account the sun was not made until the fourth day. He made the obvious objection: “Now what man of intelligence will believe that the first, the second and the third day, and the evening and morning existed without the sun, moon and stars?” [G. W. Butterworth (tr.), Origen on First Principles (Gloucester: Peter Smith, 1973), 288.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 435-438). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In the fourth century, Augustine, who wrote much about Genesis, openly stated in his book The City of God that he found the days of Genesis 1 difficult: “As for these days, it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think, let alone explain in words, what they mean.” [Augustine, The City of God: Writings of Saint Augustine, vol. 14 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan/Fathers of the Church, 1947), 196.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 439-441). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In his famous commentary On the Literal Meaning of Genesis, he added: “But at least we know that it [the Genesis day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar.” [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 441-443). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Indeed, the Hebrew word for “create” (bara) is used in the Bible only with God as subject. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Location 532). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In the three-part structure of Genesis 1:1–2:3 mentioned above, the initial creation act (Gen. 1: 1–2) is separated from the six days of creation that follow it. You will find this structure followed, for instance, in the section in the esv. The reason is that there is a clear pattern to the days: they each begin with the phrase “And God said” and end with the statement “and there was evening and there was morning, nth day.” This means that, according to the text, day 1 begins in verse 3 and not in verse 1. This is made clear in the original text by the fact that the verb “created” in Genesis 1:1 is in the perfect tense, and “the normal use of the perfect at the very beginning of a periscope is to denote an event that took place before the storyline gets under way.” The use of the narrative tense begins in verse 3. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 574-581). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The initial creation took place before day 1, but Genesis does not tell us how long before. This means that the question of the age of the earth (and of the universe) is a separate question from the interpretation of the days, a point that is frequently overlooked. In other words, quite apart from any scientific considerations, the text of Genesis 1:1, in separating the beginning from day 1, leaves the age of the universe indeterminate. It would therefore be logically possible to believe that the days of Genesis are twenty-four-hour days (of one earth week) and to believe that the universe is very ancient. I repeat: this has nothing to do with science. Rather, it has to do with what the text actually says. There is a danger of understanding the text as saying less than it does, but also a danger of trying to make it say more. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 583-589). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· However, there is another possibility: that the writer did not intend us to think of the first six days as days of a single earth week, but rather as a sequence of six creation days; that is, days of normal length (with evenings and mornings as the text says) in which God acted to create something new, but days that might well have been separated by long periods of time. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 599-602). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· On first hearing this, some of my readers will react negatively: “But isn’t this rather far-fetched? Surely it goes against the natural, plain, straightforward reading of the text? In any case, isn’t it clear that no reader in ancient times would ever have thought of it?” [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 604-606). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The following comment on the moving-earth controversy by a leading young-earth creationist is noteworthy: “Only when such a position became mathematically and observationally ‘hopeless,’ should the church have abandoned it. This is in fact what the church did. Young earth creationism, therefore, need not embrace a dogmatic or static biblical hermeneutic. It must be willing to change and admit error. Presently, we can admit that as recent creationists we are defending a very natural biblical account, at the cost of abandoning a very plausible scientific picture of an ‘old’ cosmos. But over the long term this is not a tenable position. In our opinion, old earth creationism combines a less natural textual reading with a much more plausible scientific vision … At the moment this would seem the more rational position to adopt.” [Moreland and Reynolds, Three Views of Creation and Evolution, 73 (emphasis added). I am not myself convinced that the old-earth reading is less natural than the young-earth reading, if we are simply thinking in terms of the age of the earth. The reason for this is that since, as we saw earlier in this chapter, the text of Genesis 1 separates the initial creation from the first day, the age of the earth is a logically separate matter from the nature of the days.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 707-713). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Chapter Four: Human Beings: A Special Creation?

· In a similar vein, John Gray, Emeritus Professor of the History of European Thought at the London School of Economics, says that, over the past two hundred years, philosophy “has not given up Christianity’s cardinal error — the belief that humans are radically different from other animals.” [John Gray, Straw Dogs (London: Granta Books, 2003), 37.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 806-808). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Genesis does not deny what chemistry tells us — that all life has a material substrate of common elements. In Genesis 1:11 this fact is implied for vegetation and animals: “let the earth sprout vegetation”; and also in 1:24: “let the earth bring forth living creatures.” In Genesis 2:7 it is explicitly said of humans, “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Therefore Genesis affirms that (human) life has a chemical base, but Genesis denies the reductionist addendum of the materialist— that life is nothing but chemistry. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 815-819). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Moreover, in saying that God made man of the dust of the ground, Genesis seems to be going out of its way to imply a direct special creation act, rather than suggesting that humans arose, either by natural processes or by God’s special activity, out of preexisting hominids or, indeed, Neolithic farmers. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 820-822). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The New Testament supports this understanding of a special creation of man. Firstly, the genealogy5 of Jesus given in Luke tracks backwards to “Adam, the son of God” (Luke 3:38). Secondly, Jesus, in his famous discourse on marriage, says, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6). Thirdly, Paul explicitly mentions the making of man from the dust of the ground: “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 823-826). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· We have already noted that the yawning gulf between inorganic and organic matter is underlined in Genesis by the fact that on day 3 God spoke twice. This feature also characterises day 6, when God also speaks more than once: the first time to say, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures …” and the second, “Let us make man …” This, surely deliberate, repetition is a clear indicator that, according to Genesis, you cross neither the gulf between nonlife and life nor the gulf between animals and human beings by unguided natural processes. God has to speak his creative Word in both instances. Without God speaking there is an unbridgeable discontinuity. The image of God in man was not produced as a result of blind matter fumbling its unguided way through myriad different permutations. Thus Genesis challenges atheism’s fundamental assertion that human life has appeared without the activity of God’s mind, so that there is nothing special about human beings. I am tempted to add that it looks as if the writer of Genesis foresaw the contemporary debate! [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 827-834). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The difference between animals and humans is further underscored by the fact that God assigned to humans the responsibility of stewardship “over” the animals (Gen. 1:26). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 835-836). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· However, it is important not to confuse things that differ, namely, the age of the universe, the age of the earth, the age of life, and the age of humanity. Clearly, the earth is younger than the universe, biological life is younger than the earth, and human life is younger than biological life. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 897-899). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The idea that the earth may have existed long before the creation of human beings creates a theological problem — the existence of death before the entry of sin into the world. This matter arises because of the statement of St. Paul: “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned …” (Rom. 5:12). The argument is simply that, since death is a consequence of human sin, no death could have occurred before man sinned. This is clearly a serious issue with profound implications for the doctrine of salvation, since, as has often been pointed out, if Paul is wrong in his diagnosis of the origin of sin and death, how can we expect him to be right regarding its solution? [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 900-906). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· With this all too brief sketch we turn to see exactly what Paul says about it — and what he does not say. He says that death passed upon all human beings as a result of Adam’s sin; he does not say that death passed upon all living things. That is, what Scripture actually says is that human death is a consequence of sin. That makes sense. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 934-937). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In a similar way, the view that animal death did not exist before humans sinned makes the existence of predators problematic. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 944-945). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· If there was no death of any kind before the first human sin (and therefore no predation), did these exquisitely complex neck muscles, poison sacs, electrical organs, and camouflage systems come into existence as a result of that sin? If that is so, would it not make that sin the trigger of a creation process — a feature that seems very unlikely, and on which the Bible appears to be silent? Or did God foresee the change, build the mechanisms into the creatures in advance, and then do something to set them in operation? [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 947-951). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Occam’s Razor: Attributed to the 14th-century English Franciscan thinker William of Ockham, this is the general principle that one should favour a hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions among competing hypotheses that are equal in other respects. It does not (falsely) assert that the simplest explanation is always likely to be the correct one. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1086-1088). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Now, the question will at once arise as to what Paul then means by his later statement: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20–21). Surely, it will be said, this must mean that all death is a result of human sin? [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 953-956). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Is it therefore possible that corruption, disease, and human death may well be a consequence of sin, but that plant and animal death, as part of the cycle of nature, are not? One might then reasonably argue that Romans 8:20–21 is carefully written to refer to decay and corruption as distinct from death. Once more the key is to observe exactly what Scripture says. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 962-965). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· This leads to the question, at creation did human beings have essential, inherent immortality that was removed when they sinned? Or, in light of the New Testament’s explicit statement, “[God] alone has immortality” (1 Tim. 6:16), does it follow that Adam never had intrinsic immortality, but was dependent from the beginning on regular access to an external source of food (the Tree of Life) for continued existence? [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 972-974). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Now some people will dismiss all of this as primitive mythology. I do not. Indeed, I find it rather ironic that many people who summarily reject this account as having nothing to do with reality are perfectly prepared to accept without question the verdict of scientists who inform them that the universe must be teeming with extraterrestrial life (even though they have not as yet discovered evidence of its existence). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 995-998). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· I simply wish to make the point that, according to Scripture, evil in the universe appears to antedate the sin of Adam and Eve. C. S. Lewis puts it this way: It is impossible at this point not to remember a certain sacred story which, though never included in the creeds, has been widely believed in the Church and seems to be implied in several Dominical, Pauline and Johannine utterances — I mean the story that man was not the first creature to rebel against the Creator, but that some older, mightier being long since became apostate and is now the emperor of darkness and (significantly) the Lord of this world. [C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 119.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1012-1017). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Lewis goes on to say, It seems to me, therefore, a reasonable supposition, that some mighty created power had already been at work for ill on the material universe, or the solar system, or, at least, the planet Earth, before ever man came on the science; and that when man fell, someone had, indeed tempted him … If there is such a power, as I myself believe, it may well have corrupted the animal creation before man appeared. [C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 122–23.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1017-1020). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Of course I am well aware that the biological theory of evolution demands an ancient earth, and for many people this is a major factor in their thinking. However, the cosmological evidence is completely independent of biology, and it is therefore perfectly possible to accept that cosmological evidence without committing oneself to the belief that life has arisen by an unguided materialistic evolutionary process. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1033-1036). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The honest and admirable admission of prominent young-earth creationists that “recent creationists should humbly agree that their view is, at the moment, implausible on purely scientific grounds. They can make common cause with those who reject naturalism, like old earth creationists, to establish their most basic beliefs.” [Paul Nelson and John Mark Reynolds, “Young Earth Creationism,” in J. P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds, eds., Three Views on Creation and Evolution (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 51.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1046-1049). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Chapter Five: The Message of Genesis 1

· THE BOOK OF GENESIS is foundational for the rest of the Bible. Its opening chapter does something of incalculable importance: it lays down the basis of a biblical worldview.1 It gives to us humans a metanarrative, a big story into which our lives can be fitted and from which they can derive meaning, purpose, and value. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1107-1109). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The central tenet of the biblical worldview is that the ultimate reality is God: “In the beginning God …” Genesis is here making a profound truth-claim: that there is a God. The claim is first stated without any supporting evidence — a circumstance that should not mislead us into deducing that the author of Genesis had no evidence. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1111-1113). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Genesis 1:1 thus majestically announces the fact of creation. This is not only a truth claim about God; it is a truth claim about the physical universe. Although the text does not explicitly say that the universe was created from nothing (sometimes expressed by the Latin phrase ex nihilo), there are strong arguments for understanding it this way, as many scholars do. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1117-1120). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Furthermore, in possibly the clearest New Testament statement of all on the topic, Revelation 4:11 says, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1125-1127). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· إشعياء 44 / 24 هَكَذَا يَقُولُ الرَّبُّ فَادِيكَ وَجَابِلُكَ مِنَ الْبَطْنِ: «أَنَا الرَّبُّ صَانِعٌ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ نَاشِرٌ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَحْدِي. بَاسِطٌ الأَرْضَ. مَنْ مَعِي؟

· الرؤيا 4 / 11 «أَنْتَ مُسْتَحِقٌّ أَيُّهَا الرَّبُّ أَنْ تَأْخُذَ الْمَجْدَ وَالْكَرَامَةَ وَالْقُدْرَةَ، لأَنَّكَ أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَ كُلَّ الأَشْيَاءِ، وَهِيَ بِإِرَادَتِكَ كَائِنَةٌ وَخُلِقَتْ».

· It is important, of course, not to confuse the fact of creation with the manner or the timing of creation. I mention this because it sometimes happens that failure to sort out problems connected with the manner and timing of creation stops people believing in the fact that creation occurred. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1132-1134). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Genesis 1:1 anticipates the fuller revelation given to us by John at the beginning of his Gospel in the New Testament: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1 —3). The word translated “made” means “came to be.” God is eternal and uncreated; he did not come to be; he always was. The universe, on the other hand, did “come to be.” It was not always there — another strong confirmation, by the way, of ex nihilo creation. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1138-1143). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In the final step God creates human beings in his image. They represent the pinnacle of God’s creation: they alone are said to bear his image. Planet Earth is special. It was created with an ultimate purpose—that of having human beings on it. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1195-1197). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· This biblical teaching, that the earth was specifically designed as a home for human beings, fits well with what contemporary science tells us about the fine-tuning of the universe. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1201-1203). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The Nobel Prize—winning physicist Arno Penzias comments on these remarkable findings: “Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing, one with the very delicate balance needed to provide exactly the right conditions required to permit life, and one which has an underlying, one might say ‘supernatural,’ plan.” [Arno Penzias, “Creation Is Supported by All the Data So Far,” in Henry Margenau and Roy A. Varghese, eds., Cosmos, Bios, Theos: Scientists Reflect on Science, God, and the Origins of the Universe, Life, and Homo Sapiens (La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1992), 83.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1205-1207). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Paul Davies’s testimony is again helpful: “I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate, an accident of history, an incidental blip in the great cosmic drama. Our involvement is too intimate. We are truly meant to be here.” [Paul Davies, The Mind of God (London: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 232.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1207-1210). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· C. S. Lewis pointed out: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1260-1261). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· One cannot read Genesis 1 without noticing the constant refrain, “And God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25), culminating in the final assessment on day 6: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (1:31). God is not some distant deistic figure uninterested in his work. He regards his creation with the enthusiasm and joy of a skilful artist who is delighted at what he has done as he sees it formed and organised step by step, until the wonderful harmony of his completed work lies before him, thoroughly fit for the glorious purpose for which he intended it. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1357-1361). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Appendix A: A Brief Background to Genesis

· Attention has been drawn to certain similarities between the Genesis account and Enuma Elish. For instance, Enuma Elish is written on seven tablets, and the Genesis account speaks of seven days; there is a similar order of creation — heavens, sea, and earth; and in the sixth tablet, as on the sixth day, human beings are created. These correspondences have led some scholars to surmise that the Genesis account is derived from the Babylonian Enuma Elish (and, arguing similarly, that the Genesis narrative of the flood derives from the Epics of Gilgamesh and Atrahasis). [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1503-1508). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Appendix C: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science

· “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” These magnificent opening words of the Bible have been much studied. The definite article attached to “beginning” in the translation is missing in Hebrew. This circumstance is understood by some as having the effect of shrouding the beginning in mystery. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1909-1912). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Houghton deduces: For human beings to exist, it can be argued that the whole universe is needed. It needs to be old enough (and therefore large enough) for one generation of stars to have evolved and died, to produce the heavy elements, and then for there to be enough time for a second-generation star like our sun to form with its system of planets. Finally there have to be the right conditions on earth for life to develop, survive and flourish … But that is not all. Our current understanding is that for the universe to develop in the right way, incredibly precise fine-tuning6 has been required in its basic structure and in the conditions at the time of the Big Bang. [Houghton, Search for God, 33–34.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 1935-1940). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

Appendix E: Theistic Evolution and The God of The Gaps

· The main points of this version of theistic evolution would appear to be as follows: 1. God causes the universe to come into being. 2. God sets the laws of physics and the fine-tuned initial conditions. 3. God sustains the universe in being. 4. The universe develops and life subsequently emerges without any more special discrete supernatural input from God, until God creates human beings. 5. At a particular moment, God specially conferred his image on a hominid that had already emerged from the gradual evolutionary process. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2068-2073). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Some gaps are gaps of ignorance and are eventually closed by increased scientific knowledge — they are the bad gaps that figure in the expression “God of the gaps.” But there are other gaps, gaps that are revealed by advancing science (good gaps). The fact that the information on a printed page is not within the explanatory power of physics and chemistry is not a gap of ignorance; it is a gap that has to do with the nature of writing, and we know how to fill it—with the input of intelligence. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2175-2178). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Amir Aczel, a mathematician, writes, “Having seen how DNA stores and manipulates tremendous amounts of information … and uses this information to control life, we are left with one big question: what created DNA … was it perhaps the power, thinking and will of a supreme being that created this self-replicating basis of all life?” [Amir Aczel, Probability 1: Why There Must Be Intelligent Life in the Universe (New York: Harvest, 1988), 88.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2226-2229). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Léon Brillouin, in his classic work on information theory, writes: “A machine does not create any new information, but it performs a very valuable transformation of known information.” [Léon Brillouin, Science and Information Theory (New York: Academic Press, 1962).] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2232-2233). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· The idea of a special creation of human beings will be challenged by the following evolutionary argument. Human beings and animals share many common features in terms of large-scale structures of bones and organs, down to the similarities in their genetic material. These features imply that there is a seamless evolution, by natural unguided processes, up through the forms of life from primitive to complex. [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2266-2268). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In his book The Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome, systems biologist Denis Noble explains in more detail how tiny differences in genome sequence can encode enormously complex differences in function. However, Noble also points out, regarding the genome (and, indeed, the brain), that “we need to recognise that these are databases that the system as a whole uses. They are not programs that determine the behaviour of the system.” [Denis Noble, The Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 130.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2278-2282). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Noble likens the human genome, with its roughly thirty thousand genes, to an immense organ with thirty thousand pipes (there are such): “The music is an integrated activity of the organ. It is not just a series of notes. But the music itself is not created by the organ. The organ is not a program that writes, for example, the Bach fugues. Bach did that. And it requires an accomplished organist to make the organ perform.” Noble then asks: “If there is an organ, and some music, who is the player and who was the composer? And is there a conductor?” [Denis Noble, The Music of Life: Biology beyond the Genome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 32.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2282-2286). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· In our context, one of the most interesting statements by Jerry Fodor comes in an earlier article: In fact an appreciable number of perfectly reasonable biologists are coming to think that the theory of natural selection can no longer be taken for granted … The present worry is that the explication of natural selection by appeal to selective breeding is seriously misleading, and that it thoroughly misled Darwin. Because breeders have minds (italics added), there’s a fact of the matter about what traits they breed for; if you want to know, just ask them. That strains the analogy between natural selection and breeding, perhaps to the breaking point. What, then, is the intended interpretation when one speaks of natural selection? The answer is wide open as of this writing. [Jerry Fodor, “Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings,” London Review of Books, 18 October 2007, 20, 29.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2301-2306). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Biologist William Provine, in a remarkable afterword published in a new edition of a classic work, explains that his views have “changed dramatically”: “Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for, or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favour, maintain, push or adjust. Natural selection does nothing. Natural selection as a natural force belongs in the insubstantial category already populated by the Necker/Stahl phlogiston or Newton’s ‘ether’ … Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection. Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for Darwinists now. Creationists have discovered our empty ‘natural selection’ language, and the ‘actions’ of natural selection make huge vulnerable targets.” [William B. Provine, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 199–200.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2308-2314). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· More recently biologist Robert G. Reid has added to the question marks over natural selection in his comprehensive work Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment, of which a reviewer, Christopher Rose, wrote, “Reid argues convincingly that the selectionist paradigm is a conceptual dead end for understanding innovation since it mistakenly views natural selection as a creative force in evolution.” [Christopher Rose, review of Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment by Robert G. Reid, in Integrative and Comparative Biology 48, no. 6 (2008): 871–73.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2315-2318). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

· Reid is well aware of the risks of his undertaking: “Since neo-Darwinists are also hypersensitive to creationism, they treat any criticism of the current paradigm as a breach of the scientific worldview that will admit the fundamentalist hordes. Consequently, questions about how selection theory can claim to be the all-sufficient explanation of evolution go unanswered or ignored.” [Robert G. Reid, Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007). p1.] [John C. Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Kindle Locations 2319-2321). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.]

الحمد لله الذي بنعمته تتمّ الصَّالِحات

تعليقات
  1. yamatowaryo قال:

    بس الكتاب يفيد المسلم من اي جهة؟

    • التاعب قال:

      يفيده من جهات كثيرة جداً
      من ضمنها مثلاً إنه يعرف الإشكاليات الموجودة في نص الكتاب المقدس، وهذا يساعد في مجال الحوار الإسلامي المسيحي
      يفيده في معرفة كيفية تعامل النصارى مع نصوص كتابهم فيما يخص التوفيق بين النص الديني والعلم، وهذا مفيد أيضاً في مجال الإعجاز العلمي للقرآن الكريم
      مفيد من جهة أن المسلم أيضاً يؤمن بأن الله عز وجل خلق السموات والأرض في ستة أيام ثم استوى على العرش

  2. yamatowaryo قال:

    ماهو انا اللي فاهمها ان الكتاب يعتاب يعتبر دفاع لاهوتي حديث ان صح التعبير
    فقصد حضرتك اننا نعرف كيف يردون هم على انتقادات الكتاب المقدس فنفندها؟

  3. yamatowaryo قال:

    تمام
    يعني نستفيد منه في معرفة الشبهات من خلال طرحه لها
    تمام

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