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In the beginning. Feb. 23, 2014 Hartville Church of the Brethren. So… This happened. Did you watch?. Moses explained creation in six days, not because God needed a 24 hour day to do each task, but because creation needed to be done in a specific arrangement. 

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in the beginning

In the beginning

Feb. 23, 2014Hartville Church of the Brethren

this is not a new debate

Moses explained creation in six days, not because God needed a 24 hour day to do each task, but because creation needed to be done in a specific arrangement. 

"A Treatise on the Account of the Creation of the World as Given by Moses" - Philo of Alexandria (20bc -50ad)

This is not a new debate
st augustine 354 430 ce

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens … and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now , it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn … If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason?” “The Literal Meaning of Genesis”

St. Augustine (354-430 CE)
felix manz


Martyred for encouraging rational thought and Biblical foundations since 1527

Felix Manz
We often do OK with “third rail” topics, but not always.Do I dare even show a slide with differing millennial views?
a pastoral discussion

“The Church of the Brethren won’t exist as a viable church in another 10 years”

“You’re right.”

  • 215th, Baltimore, Maryland, 2001
A Pastoral Discussion
prof john c lennox

“As Christians study these issues, they are being watched as to how they do it.  And one of the saddest things to my mind is this: When Christians who profess to believe that Jesus Christ is the truth and that he above all brings to us the love of God, start to fight one another in a public way over issues that are not necessarily at the heart of the Biblical message and therefore bring it into very serious discredit.  We are being watched.”

Prof. John C. Lennox

Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford

earth on pillars

8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are theLord’s, And He has set the world upon them.

1 Samuel 2:8 (NKJV)

Earth on Pillars?
hangs the earth on nothing

5 You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever.Psalms 104:57  He stretches out the north over the void and hangs the earth on nothing.

Job 26:7 (ESV)

Hangs the Earth on Nothing
genesis 1 1 2 nkjv

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

  • 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

[a] Genesis 1:2 Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV
genesis 1 1 5 ylt

1 In the beginning of God's preparing the heavens and the earth --

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters,

3 and God saith, `Let light be;' and light is.

4 And God seeth the light that [it is] good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,

5 and God calleth to the light `Day,' and to the darkness He hath called `Night;' and there is an evening, and there is a morning -- day one.

Genesis 1:1-5 YLT
we need to be cautious

"Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices -- mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law -- justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel" (Matthew 23:23,24) or: But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.6For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, 7wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

(1 Timothy 1:5-7 )

We need to be cautious
views of the church


  • Shallow
  • Antiscience
  • Repressive
  • Exclusive
  • Doubtless
Views of the church
we should learn

15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. 

We Should Learn
but keep first things first

"1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1

But Keep First Things First