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Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers IV

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Question #1:  

Hello Dr. L, how are you doing today, blessed I hope. I have a quick question. In Genesis 1:2 it looks like the word (became) or hayah is in the original Hebrew text. The Earth became or had become; Earth is the subject and became is the verb.

So it should be read:

Gen 1:1: In the beginning God created (bara) the heaven and the Earth: the colons after the word Earth (:) also called Soph Pasuq represents the period in Hebrew. Gen. 1:2 but (disjunctive not conjunctive) the Earth (hayah) or became without form and void...

Do I have the Hebrew wrong on this Sir? V/r

Response #1: 

You are exactly right. There are many links at Ichthys where this issue is discussed (the first one is the best place to start):

The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)

The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?

Ex Nihilo Creation

Tohu in Genesis 1:2

Feel free to write me back about any of this.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2:  

Hi Bob

I pray that this email finds you well. I was wondering if you have a summary of the events from ‘before’ creation, through the nefarious activities of Lucifer (before man’s creation, during and after) and through history to the end of time. I am thinking of a summary which excludes all Biblical references and explanations but shows only the most salient features. Perhaps a sort of diagram which can be used as the most rudimentary framework to study the ‘Rebellion’ series.

Response #2: 

I don't have précis per se (being a bit prolix in writing is a noted weak point), but this is all covered in the Satanic Rebellion series, with part 1 (and to some extent parts 2 and 3) focusing on what may be known of events that preceded the re-construction of the world we see. I'm certainly willing to answer any specific questions you may have on this, however.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Gap Questions: Recently I made it through something on my reading list called "The Gap Is Not A Theory," a book by a fellow named Jack W. Langford that serves to provide an exposition of the position (in similar depth to your treatment in SR2). I did not figure out that it was actually free on the internet (the book is the "four sections") until I bought it, but if you want to take a look at it you can without buying anything. I was almost shocked at how much his account agreed with yours, and disagreed with only a small number of things. The fellow even talked of the "original Eden" physically on the earth (though he didn't provide the exegesis for seven Edens), spiritual baptism as opposed to ritual water baptism, the textual support (mandate) for the position (e.g., the disjunctive waw in verse two connected to verse 3 instead of verse 1, the meaning of bar'ah and 'asah, etc.), and so many other things that I have seldom seen put forth anywhere comprehensively other than your site. It was quite warming to see another independent believer come to the same conclusions—and have compelling evidence. His views on rapture... well, not so hot. I am usually hesitant to read 3rd party "books" on spiritual topics, but am not sad that curiosity got the better of me in this case.

Anyhow, my reading did bring up a few questions on the interpretations of several passages that both you and he use—differently (his stuff comes from "section 2"—one of the PDFs listed on the above link). While I did read much of SR2, it was a quite a while back and I am only now going through it again, so apologies in advance if I miss something patently obvious that is already answered in what you have written.

(1) My first question deals with one of the tohu wa-bohu passages: Jeremiah 4:23-26. Contextually, it is obvious that this particular phrase is used in a sense of Divine judgement and utter destruction—exactly what you and he argue for. However, he takes it a step further, and makes a case for this passage actually being Jeremiah having a vision of the Genesis 1:2 world, the world that is tohu wa-bohu, formless and void, desolate and waste. I have found the relevant paragraph in SR2 (towards the very beginning), and it says:

"This last passage is of particular interest because of its description of the divine judgment upon the land of Israel in the exact same terms used of the ruined earth in Genesis 1:2. Jeremiah must, therefore, have understood the Genesis 1:2 description in this same way. Earth (in verse two) was a ruin, a chaos resulting from divine judgment, and thus an apt parallel to what was soon to become of the land of Israel once the looming judgment of the Lord was released."

This seems to be in line with what he was advocating, I just was not fully convinced of the "vision" thing. Before we get too much farther, another verse is apropos for the discussion: Job 38:4-7. You make it very clear in SR2 that you view the angels singing for joy at the reconstruction of the earth, while his view was that they were doing so at the initial creation of the (perfect, Edenic) earth. It so happens that interpreting the verse as he does makes a very, very convincing argument against reading Genesis 1:2 as original creation vis-a-vis the combination of Jeremiah 4:23-26 and Job 38:4-7 (not that we should dictate interpretation based on what we want to accomplish, and I firmly believe that that was not what was motivating him). For it is obvious that the angels (lit. "sons of God", as I'm sure you know) would not sing for joy at what was described in Genesis 1:2, a darkened chaos that is the antithesis of God's bar'ah—perfect creation—ex nihilo. By taking the angels to sing at the initial creation of earth, and taking Jeremiah's prediction of judgement as actually being a full fledged "vision" of the tohu wa-bohu Genesis 1:2 world, one has a very airtight logical deduction that Genesis 1:2 cannot in any way possible be speaking of original creation.

Now I am perfectly convinced of the fact of the Gap without such an argument, but I fear I am woefully unprepared to say whether or not his conclusions are valid. So my question is twofold:

(1) Is Jeremiah drawing on an understanding of a Gap (i.e., judged earth) in Jeremiah 4:23-26 to use as a metaphor for Judah's judgement (obviously referring to it in the same compelling Divine judgement language without physically "seeing" it, i.e., "borrowing it"), or is Jeremiah's description actually in terms of a vision of the pre-restoration world? (2) How do we know the angels were singing at the six-day recreation instead of the initial ex nihilo creation of Gen. 1:1?

(2) Aside from Jeremiah 4:23-26 and Job 26:4-7, which, if I am not mistaken, are rather normal verses to use when discussing the Gap, the author also used something I found surprising: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. I certainly do not want to force you do to a bunch of reading to see why he believes such, but it is outlined towards the bottom of "section 2" (starting on page 18 of the PDF) if it is absolutely new to you. Have you ever heard of this particular statement of Paul being used to support the Gap, and do you find it valid? I found it quite interesting, but again feel unqualified to pass judgement on it one way another.

(3) I am somewhat curious as to why it is common to say that "there is a Gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2" instead of saying "there is (are) Gap(s) between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:3." This is somewhat a matter of semantics, but as you put it in SR2:

"The exact space of time between Genesis 1:1 and God's creation of the angels, or between their creation and Satan's fall, or between God's judgment on the original Eden-earth and His restoration of it in Genesis 1:2 are not recorded for us anywhere in scripture and could well encompass untold eons of time"

Why doesn't the restoration "begin" on verse three with God creating light, instead of on verse 2? Are the other circumstantial clauses of verse two (i.e., not the disjunctive waw) also linked to verse three so that "darkness was over the surface of the deep" and "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters" are descriptions of the earth right before God says "let there be light?" I guess what I'm asking is how we know that the Genesis Gap, "between original creation and the eventual re-creation of the earth – a period of unspecified length," has Genesis 1:2 as its "endpoint" rather than Genesis 1:3.

Response #3: 

On the Genesis Gap, you make a good point about "where is the gap" or "is there more than one". This terminology I inherited and it is in common parlance. For those reasons I'm reluctant to change unless there would be a compelling theological reason to do so (even if more appropriate terminology could be found). In my view, "gap" is fine for referring to the time between judgment and restoration, with Genesis 1:2 describing the situation just before the restoration. I wouldn't ascribe Jeremiah's description to a vision of that earlier time; I would say that he is aware that his terminology recalls it (prophetic analogy along the lines of the "Day of the Lord Paradigm"; see the link). As to 2nd Corinthians 4:3-6, I think it is fair to say that this passage and others (as also cited: Jn.1:5; 3:19) which demonstrate darkness as the problem God fixed are supportive of the idea that darkness is bad and therefore something God did not "create" in His initial creation of the world, but was rather the result of judgment, taking away light from those who had rejected the Light (see the link in SR 2: "Darkness"). Finally, I don't exactly understand how seeing Job 38:7 as associated with original creation can be supportive of the gap (asking for clarification on this one). I am aware of those who take the opposite view. Here's a link on how I resolve that potential objection: "The Angels Sang for Joy"

Question #4:   

Hello again, Bob,

Have you read "The Genesis Gap Theory, Its Credibility and Consequences" by M.W. J. Phelan? It's published by "Twoedged Sword Publications." It's a bit over my head since it deals much with the technicalities of the Hebrew. If you have, what are your views on it?

Thank you!

Response #4: 

I haven't read the entire book (although I have dealt with some of his arguments before, specifically relating Job 38 to this discussion; see the link: "Phelan on the gap"). From that experience and from the title (where it seems Mr. Phelan is "agin it"), it is not something high on my already long reading list. I am happy to answer questions as always, technical or otherwise.

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Professor, have you ever heard of soil liquefaction? If not, soil liquefaction occurs when vibrations or water pressure within a mass of soil cause the soil particles to lose contact with one another. As a result, the soil behaves like a liquid, has an inability to support weight and can flow down very gentle slopes. This condition is most often caused by an earthquake vibrating water-saturated fill or unconsolidated soil. I believe this is how the earth was in Gen. 1:2.

Response #5: 

I've heard of it. If not mistaken, this is what happened to San Francisco during the great quake.

As to Genesis 1:2, following the judgment that took place on the far side of the Genesis gap, the surface of the earth was (apparently) frozen (no light), and the entire universe had flooded with the "waters above" (only separated out in Genesis 1:6ff on the second day of re-creation). Here is a link on this:

"The Waters Above"

Yours in our dear Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #6:  

Good Day to you.

I do understand that the truth is the Gap Fact but there is one objection that poses a problem for me and I have quoted it from the website that argues against the Gap of Genesis, my question is that they say the word male proves the gap is false, if the Gap was true then God would have used Shana, how do I answer this objection?

I have included the website and thier so called refute below: http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/gap.html

Question:

"In Genesis 1:28 it says, "And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth..."The word is used again in Gen. 1:9 and Jer. 31:35. To use this word is to suggest that something or someone cannot be replenished or replaced if it had never before existed.

This has always been a curious word in scripture for me. I believe that the Bible is admitting to the fact that there was other human type life before Adam and Eve. The difference being that the others were not made or created in the likeness and/or the image of God the creator."

from John P. 11/03/01

Answer:

Many who support the Gap Theory say that in Genesis 1:28, God told Adam to "replenish" the earth. They claim that this meant that Adam was to refill the world that had become empty and void of life due to some form of judgment from God.

But this argument is in error. For the Hebrew word "male" which was translated "replenish" in 1611 does not mean "to fill again". In 1611 the word replenish simply meant "to fill" (as in the First time). Many of the words we use today once had other meanings.

There is an entirely different word in the Hebrew which means "to fill again". This word is "Shana".If God meant for Adam to refill the earth then God would have used this word ("Shana" not "male").

Response #6: 

Good to make your acquaintance. Yes, the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2, rightly understood (not always clear from the English) most definitely teaches that there was a gap. As one seven year old once observed, "where did the earth in verse two come from if it wasn't created in verse one?". So verse two must tell of a development – the state of things on the other side of the gap.

As to the argument used here and refuted by this website, it was an incorrect argument to use, and the refutation is sound, but that means nothing. To use an analogy, if someone were to argue that the earth is round because it has "been around for a long time", it would be fine for a "flat-earther" to point out that the argument is unsound (obviously) – but the earth would be no less round just because some "round-earther" used a specious argument.

I have written quite a bit about the Genesis gap. Here are some pertinent links (where substantive proof is adduced):

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III

*Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)

The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers

Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?

Ex Nihilo Creation

Tohu in Genesis 1:2

The Origin of the Four Seasons

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill

Question #7: 

Since your last response to me (which had the spirit of trusting God more and nitpicking details less), I feel that I have come to a more full understanding of most of the issues bothering me. I think I am perhaps a bit too "scientifically" inclined even still (being in the secular public school system), but it's getting better. Somewhere, I can't exactly remember the context, I ran into a quote along the lines that "when science and the bible don't agree, it means 1 of 2 things: our scientific assumptions are incorrect, or our biblical interpretations are incorrect. I would much rather be labeled a close-minded scientist than misrepresent what the bible actually says." Thought it was rather pertinent.

In some of my reading, I came across a couple challenges to the Genesis Gap theory that I couldn't seem to find in your email responses (doesn't mean it isn't in one of the many I may have missed). The actual link is http://creation.com/genesis-13-undermines-gap-theory, and my questions center on more the latter half of the article (specifically the last two paragraphs). In a condensed form, they are:

1) If verse distinctions were not added until 1227 (Langton), exactly how can there be a gap between the two verses if the verses themselves are not inspired per se? (I am probably just looking at this in the wrong way)

2) If death was a product of Adam's fall (at least traditionally), how could any part of the fossil record be explained by the gap theory (i.e how can death precede sin & the fall)?

Response #7:

The Hebrew grammar of the original text is what presents the gap, not the much later English verse divisions. Verse two begins with a disjunctive noun clause, and that would be the case even if the medieval verse division had been placed elsewhere.

As to death, the entire universe was blacked out and flooded by God in response to the devil's revolt, and remained that way for untold eons. The seven (six actually) days of reconstruction begin everything anew. So the fossil record, such as really does date to the time before the gap, has nothing directly to do with the revivified world we now see. Not only is there no "missing link" – there is no living link at all since everything from that earlier creation died out with many lifeless years in between the prior world and our present re-created one.

Question #8: 

Thank you for the web site I have recently discovered. I look forward to studying much of your material. I see in the section of "satan’s rebellion and fall from grace" that you explain that there was another earth and from what I have gathered that would be part of the "gap theory". From what I understand most people that believe this also believe in some form of evolution and some form of creation. Can you direct me to material that addresses this issue or briefly let me know where you stand. Blessed be the name of Jesus,

Response #8: 

Good to make your acquaintance. The Genesis gap is taught at Genesis 1:2. Those who doesn't accept it don't understand the verse (it's not really a "theory" any more than the Trinity is a theory). However, it has nothing to do with evolution. You are certainly right when you suggest that a person has to "believe in evolution" – because to buy that theory (and it is only a theory) requires an incredible amount of faith, misplaced faith in secular explanations of what is visible and how it got that way. But we who believe in Jesus Christ walk by true faith, not by sight:

By faith we understand that the ages have been constructed by the Word of God, so that what we see (i.e., the material world) has not come into being from the things presently visible.
Hebrews 11:3

Not only does understanding a gap not require evolution but it also provides an alternative explanation for the "fossil record". Mind you, that is not the reason I accept the gap; I cannot read the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2 any other way (and I am always amazed when those who know some Hebrew are able to convince themselves not to accept what is clearly in the text). But it is true that if one accepts the fact that there was a world before Satan's revolt, before the Lord blacked out the universe and filled it with the universal deep, thus extinguishing all life, then it has to be that whatever may be found to date to well before ca. six thousand years ago when God reconstructed the universe in the six days of Genesis chapter one must come from that previous period. In other words, there is no living link at all between the old world and the present one; no creature on earth today is a direct descendent of the time of the original paradise which Satan defiled – because the judgment that fell from the Lord as a result destroyed everything physically alive in the entire universe (angels, of course, being immune since they lack physical bodies):

But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters.
Genesis 1:2

Here some links which deal with these subjects – do feel free to write back about any of this:

*The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)

The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers

Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?

Ex Nihilo Creation

Tohu in Genesis 1:2

Science and the Bible

The problem of science and the Bible

Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin

Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?

The origin of the four seasons

Science and the Bible II

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob Luginbill

Question #9:  

Thank you very much Bob,

This is very much appreciated and I will do further research for a more complete understanding!

I just wanted to share with you that the last couple of weeks have been life changing for me. Having had a pre trib view, always a little confused about certain things, I took a serious look at the bible with some serious prayer. I just read it in a literal sense taking it to mean what it said. The Lord opened my eyes concerning the fact of when He is coming. I was shocked for a few days and now I am becoming more excited.

Thanks again and I pray the Lord bless your ministry,

Response #9: 

You're very welcome.

And thanks for your prayers!

Here are a few links on the false doctrine of the pre-Trib rapture:

When is the Rapture?

No Rapture

Origin and Danger of the pre-Trib rapture theory

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #10: 

Dear Bob,

Thank you very much for the clarification. I wanted to share something that has disturbed me for quite a while. For the last few decades, I have believed in the Genesis gap and that there is really no disagreement between science and the bible as far as the age of the earth is concerned. The fossil record also clearly from a biblical standpoint is creation and divine destruction and re-creation as you write. I am a physician and as someone with backing in science, I am appalled when sincere bible believing Christians in ignorance talk about a 6000 year old earth. This to me is the equivalent of a group of people saying that the earth is flat or that air travel is really a hoax! This I feel is the single most destructive doctrine as far as the credibility of the gospel is concerned. How can you expect an educated person, a college graduate or a PHD to even think that the bible is credible / or even consider reading it when with today's knowledge, most Christians claim that we are 6000 years old? Like the recent debate on national TV with Bill Nye and Ken Ham debate.

I do not have the knowledge that you have; but have you ever considered getting involved in a debate/TV program or something on a national basis that can clearly let the world know that the bible is indeed credible? People may still not believe it, but at least it is not from a credibility standpoint but from a hardening of the heart.

Also, I have for a long time believed that we are all going to go into the tribulation. Yours is the only writing I have come across that agrees with the 3 core things that I feel are true: 1. that the once saved always saved doctrine is false 2. No rapture before tribulation and 3. genesis gap.

I have come across teaching by one individual person that may believe in one or two of the above, but like I mentioned you are the only person who got all three right! God bless your ministry.

Thanks

Response #10: 

Thanks for your good words, Doctor. I can assure you that there are others out there who have these three doctrines (and many others) "right" – however, it is certainly a fair point that teaching ministries which are correct in the main, truly orthodox and seeking to further spiritual growth by teaching the Bible in a substantive way are very rare. I always like to recommend my old friend from seminary, Curtis Omo, whose "Bible Academy" website, is quite an excellent resource (see the link).

The time is short. So that even if I were gifted in the area of apologetics (I am not), and were so inclined, I have far too much to do with the ministry as it currently stands to contemplate branching out in the way suggested (though your confidence is appreciated!). On top of that, there is the necessity of making a living which is somewhat time-consuming (even though I do love what I do).

We all have our own gifts, and we are all called to our own particular ministries by the Lord. Holding up the truth in the public square (apologetics) is certainly one of these – perhaps it is your calling for Christ? People respect physicians far more than they do Bible teachers (or professors), and that is often half the battle in getting a hearing.

In any case, I greatly appreciate your email. Please feel free to write me back any time.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #11:  

Hello Dr. Luginbill

I prefer the Gap view largely because of v. 2. Its Hebrew (and even English reading) seems too much like judgment to me rather than pristine original creation, just as you point out.

In the NT, Mark 10:11 says Adam and Eve were created in the beginning. Does that verse refute the Gap view? Have you covered this somewhere?

Thank you.

Response #11: 

Good to make your acquaintance. It's an interesting question. No, I don't see Mark 10:6 as being a problem. The problem lies in the English language and in our representation of these matters. The original creation happened much earlier than the RE-creation of the six days – they are both "creations" (Greek ktisis). When it comes to man and woman (Adam and Eve), they were clearly created on the sixth day of the re-creation – that is the beginning of "their/our" creation (and that is what our Lord is referring to). Whatever interpretation one would wish to put on our Lord's words here, He is clearly referring to the sixth day. So the question is whether or not the phrase "beginning of creation" in Greek (arche ktiseos) necessarily has to be the absolute beginning of the universe (it does not – we have a reference here only to the beginning of the creation of human kind on the sixth day of re-creation). The first thing I would observe is that the phrase at least cannot refer to the very first moment of creation – because man and woman were created on the sixth day, and not even as the initial act of the re-creation process by the Lord. That was, "let light appear!" (Gen.1:3). Secondly, "this creation" of which we are a part is the current regime / situation of the universe, and there have been two such already, and another yet to come (the new heavens and the new earth). Peter mentions the three in refuting the false impressions of unbelievers who believe there is only one:

(3) Keep this foremost in your mind: in the end times cynics will ridicule [the truth], acting out of their own selfish lusts (4) and saying, "Where is that 'return' He promised? Everything is the same now as it was since the beginning of the world (i.e., "creation": Gk. ktisis), since the time our forefathers passed on." (5) But it escapes their notice in asserting this, namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established (Gen.1:2ff.) out from under water (i.e., the "waters below") and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above") by the Word of God – (6) [and that it was also] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noah's day) was deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed. (7) Now the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire by that same Word (of God), preserved for the day of judgment and the destruction of godless men (i.e., at the end of history). (8) Let not this one fact escape your attention then, beloved, namely that one day is like a thousand years in the Lord's eyes, and a thousand years like one day (i.e., the final "day" will span a millennium). (9) The Lord is not delaying in the fulfillment of His promise (as some think); rather He is exercising patience for your sake, being unwilling for anyone to perish, but desiring all instead to come to repentance. (10) For the Day of the Lord will come like a thief, a day in (i.e., over the course of) which the heavens will depart with a roar (i.e., at the end of the Millennium), the very elements will ignite and dissolve, and the earth and everything which has been done upon it will be laid bare [for the Lord's inspection] (i.e., the last judgment). (11) Since all these things are destined to disintegrate in this way, [consider] what sort of [Christians] we ought to be, [devoted to] holy and godly conduct, (12) as we wait with eager expectation and apprehension the advent of the Day of God (i.e., the 2nd Advent). For on that day (i.e., at the end of it) the heavens will burst into flame and dissolve, and the elements will catch fire and melt. (13) But we are awaiting new heavens and a new earth just as He promised – [a world] where [only] righteousness dwells.
2nd Peter 3:3-13

Notice that Peter even distinguishes between the "present world/creation" and the one before the flood. So our Lord's words clearly are intended to refer to the sixth day or re-creation without at the same time being meant to be taken as a description of the pre-history of the world (or in any way ruling it out). We see "the world" we live in now – the world of mankind (and it is only this "world/creation" wherein we are "male and female" human beings – from the beginning), but as it says in Hebrews:

By faith we understand that the ages have been constructed by the Word of God, so that what we see (i.e., the material world) has not come into being from the things we now see.
Hebrews 11:3

We can certainly understand why our Lord said things the way He said them here, and why He did not feel the need to distract from His point by a long digression about the world that existed before the six days of re-creation. What He says is consistent with scriptural representations of the re-construction of the world, but is also not in any way contradictory to what we know from elsewhere in scripture about the world which existed before mankind. Perhaps there would be a problem if it said "from the beginning of all things", or if we had some phrase which would place the start point before the sixth day; however, that would not have been correct inasmuch as God did not actually create man and woman until that time.

Summary: to make this clear, I would expand the translation as follows:

"But from the beginning of [THEIR] creation (i.e., Adam and Eve's as opposed to the beginning of the universe's creation), God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE [and it has been so since that sixth day of re-creation]."
Mark 10:13 NKJV [expanded]

See also the link:  "From the Beginning of Creation"

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #12:  

Hello again Bob,

Thank you for your explanation. I have been trying to find a defense for the Gap view against the English translation of the Lord's statement in Mark 10, but to no avail until your reply. It is very helpful to me.

The absence of the article in both Hebrew and Greek for "beginning" is also informative (although I understand that its absence is a more complex matter, and I don't know these languages).

It's too bad the re-creation view has such a bad rap these days. Many Christians feel they need to defend the Bible and at the same time refute secular science's ancient worlds view to "be separate" by insisting on a young earth. They go so far as to label Gappers as heretics. That's an unfortunate assertion, since the young earth view is also an interpretation, not an absolute fact. They also believe it arrived to refute the geology theory of the 1700s, but has a history going very far back.

As to Peter, he mentions not only the earth but also the heavens (sky and space, I take it) as being reserved for fire showing that they are also not in their pristine state. That indicates further a universe-wide judgment against the Satanic rebellion that extended beyond the earth.

And the darkness - I noticed that when God pronounced everything good in Gen 1, he did not include the darkness, which I found curious, but informative, implying darkness was present because of judgment and not an original (since God is light and in Him there is no darkness). That darkness left there also foreshadows the fall of man from Paradise.

Further, in Isaiah 50 he speaks of clothing the heavens in blackness and sackcloth in connection with judgment. Since in the millennium and new heaven and earth there is no darkness (the moon shall shine like the sun), it makes it clear to me that darkness in v. 2 and beyond is vestigial.

Finally, I have long felt that, in keeping with the bible's primary theme of the redemption of man, the gap view works as an equivalency to redemption. A life begins in relative innocence as an infant, but then, a gap of time progresses during which the soul invariably sins, inducing a state of judgment of waste and desolation and darkness and a flood (I can relate to my own life!!. I was one miserable human being right before my conversion). We, being made of earth match up exactly. We need the the light of the gospel for our recreation and return to Paradise. Paul borrows v. 3 in 2 Cor. 4 to make this very point.

Thanks again for your prompt reply.

Blessings,

Response #12: 

You're very welcome.

And thank you for your insightful comments as well!

In our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #3:  

Professor, Mark 10:6 has me vexed. It says, "From the beginning (arche - Greek) of Creation (ktísis - Greek) Referencing Gen. 1:1, God made them male and female (during the six days of recreation).

Response #13: 

Mark 10:6 is referring not the original creation of the universe but to the initial creation of mankind, Adam and Eve . . . when He made them male and female. Obviously, the Lord didn't make the human race until the sixth day of re-creation.

If you are asking about the phrase, ap' arches ktiseos, I know that there are some out there who want to make these words negate the Genesis gap. In response, I can say that 1) the phrase does not specify the creation of the universe ("all things", the Greek shorthand for "the universe" is not present in the text), so we must conclude that Adam and Eve are meant, not "all things" = the beginning of [their / our / the human race's] creation – that is what the context is all about, after all; 2) in fact, not only does the context point this way, but it is the only thing the phrase can mean here. That is because Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, so that any other "creation" other than theirs could not be meant. Whether the alternative "creation" supposed is untold eons earlier or five days earlier is immaterial: in order for the phrase to mean "from the beginning of [some other] creation [other than Adam and Eve exclusively]", Adam and Eve would have had to been created at that time because in that case it would have to have been at that time that "He made them male and female". In fact, of course, God created Adam and Eve on the sixth day, and made them male and female on that day – that is the "beginning of [their/our creation]" as the human race to which this phrase refers.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #14:   

I'm sorry to be asking so many questions Professor. I know there's a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. This is what is vexing me, there seems to be a numerous amount of time between the Geological ages. Did the Most High allow His' glory to be removed over time or was it a sudden event. The geological records bear witness to both. Animals seem to be instantly killed but the layers seemed to have happened over a long time period.

Professor, if you started a church, I would relocate my family to be a part of your ministry.

Response #14: 

Happily, this ministry is on the internet exclusively, so you don't have to move in order to benefit from anything and everything at Ichthys! No plans to change the approach, but I do most certainly appreciate the sentiment! You are already "a part" of that ministry, and in my prayers day by day.

As to your question, Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 describe a sudden judgment on the devil, so we are right to postulate an equally sudden judgment on the universe. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a blacked-out water-filled universe coming to pass gradually. No doubt the Lord removed His presence from the earth in good order (to the third heaven where Father and Son are now enthroned), prior to the cataclysm.

As to how much of the fossil and geological records date to the time of the Genesis gap, to the period during the (eons long) gap, or are a result of the situation before and after the worldwide flood (whose massive hydrological effects can scarce be calculated) cannot be said for certain from scripture. Suffice it to say that the present "record" is likely a mixture of the three.

Christians need not worry too much about all that. For one thing, the data recovered by science is infinitesimally small and massively incomplete (even in representative terms), and the scientific theories developed so far for crunching what data does exist are deeply flawed (science would certainly benefit from taking the Bible's word for what happened, but of course they worship a different god, materialism). It should be enough for mature Christians who have seen this phenomenon over and over again to understand that everything in the Bible is true and makes sense, even if it may take a long time and a lot of searching to find out the "how and why" of individual questions we all have. As with everything else, this is about faith, faith in the truth (and we know that scripture is the truth), and faith in God (and we know that what He has told us is true, and that He will give us the answers we need when and how we need them, if only we persevere).

If you have not already found them, here are some links which deal with this and related issues:

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III: Creationism, Neanderthals, Fossil Record

*Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)

The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers

Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?

Ex Nihilo Creation

Tohu in Genesis 1:2

The Origin of the Four Seasons

Science and the Bible

The problem of science and the Bible

Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #15: 

Hi Bob,

A while ago, when I was corresponding with a young-earth creationist on the Genesis gap, I mentioned how the verb היה can have either a stative meaning (to be) or a dynamic meaning (to become) and that it was possible to translate Genesis 1:2 as 'and the earth became void and despoiled.' However, he retorted that if this is what God intended to communicate, then the proper idiomatic form היה would have been followed by the preposition ל. He went on to say that in the Hebrew Bible היה never ever means 'become' in absence of the preposition ל. Is this so?

To segue from the young-earth creationist viewpoint, I would like to remind you of the copious amount of ink that has been shed on the meaning of the simple noun יום in Genesis 1. As it turns out, the day-age proponents may have been technically correct in stating that יום does not always mean 'a day,' but in the most surprising way possible! In particular, I am talking about Genesis 3 and the phrase 'לרוח היום'. As it turns out, recent cognate studies in my Hebrew textbook (Zondervan's 'Introduction to Biblical Hebrew') suggest that there exists a cognate variant of יום that means not 'day' but 'storm.' If this is true, then the correct translation of Genesis 3 is the 'wind of the storm,' which brings into mind God's judgment. Based on your knowledge of Hebrew, do you think that this may be the correct translation?

Sincerely,

Response #15: 

I certainly would admit that yom can be used flexibly for other periods of time. That is not the case in Genesis chapter one, however. As to "storm", I have never heard anything about this before, and I know of absolutely no evidence for it (consider it "half-baked" at best). Also, I think anyone wanted to assert that would first have to explain why there would be storms or judgment in Eden before the fall (i.e., this seems to be not the first time that the Lord engaged in this fellowship with our first parents). Clearly, the traditional translation of Genesis 3:8, the "cool or breezy part (ruach) of the day (yom)" is correct. 

As to your first question, I would notice first that the interpretation here does not even turn on "be/become"; even if someone insists on translating "was", the situation described in verse two is still not what is expected based upon reading verse one; that is to say, there would still be a very stark contrast, and an intervening event would thus still clearly be in view. So the theology this person is trying to build is based on a distinction English makes, not Hebrew (obviously), since in Hebrews the same verb is employed for both ideas.

The idiom referred to by your correspondent is often employed when thing A "turns into" thing B; "becoming" is something else again. A seed may "turn into" a flower, but if I work too hard I don't "turn into" a "tired"; rather, I "become tired". As in English, so in Hebrew, the prepositions, "into" and le respectively, are only employed in the prior case, but in Genesis 1:2 we have the latter case. In fact, hayah is used often in the sense of things happening, arising, becoming, without the preposition le. E.g.:

Adam named his wife Eve because she became (<hayah) the mother of all the living.
Genesis 3:20

Now it is certainly possible to translate hayah above as "was" instead of "became", but consider: Adam gave Eve this name before she actually had given birth to all the children she would bear, so that if we do say "was" it is merely an English conceit. The point is, that this is what "happened/turned out/became" of Eve – a change, not a state. Absence of the preposition le is thus no proof of anything one way or another.

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #16:  

To answer your first question, the reason why there would be a storm in Eden is because after the fall of man, God was visiting judgement upon Adam, which, as Zephaniah 2:2 and other passages indicate, is strongly correlated with a storm. This is the logic of the scholar, Niehaus, author of /God at Sinai/.

However, I think the philological point of comparison is weak, as the phrase has been attested in Ugaritic as being an idiom for afternoon. Given the close linguistic relation between Ugaritic and Hebrew, that must take more precedence than the somewhat distant Akkakian on which the philological argument of Niehaus rests.

Response #16: 

I would agree. In any case, etymology can be helpful in confirming a word's meaning, but meaning is ultimately decided by usage – and it is very clear what the word yom means throughout the Old Testament (whether literally or metaphorically, it is talking about a period of time). And it is also very clear that in Genesis 3:8 it means "day".

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #17: 

Dr. Luginbill-Thank you for your website Ichthys.com. It is 'pert-ner' exhaustive for spiritual revelation and information concerning the Word of God and his plan for the redemption of mankind. I'm sure you have read G.H. Pember's 'Earths Earliest Ages', and another author named Arthur C. Custance has written a book called 'Without Form and Void' that you might be familiar with as well. Mr. Pember entertains the idea that a race of mankind may have existed before the renovated earth.

My question is, do you think there was a race of humans (preadamic), that were on the original earth before God destroyed it because of *Lucifer's fall? Since there was no sin before that *event, the geologic eras could have taken place and man would not have needed a sacrifice to return the earth back to God's plan after Adam's fall. But after iniquity was found in Lucifer, God had no choice.

Thank you,

Response #17:

Good to make your acquaintance. I'm aware of the books and the theory, but I have to say that there is absolutely no biblical evidence for any sort of race of human beings before the Genesis gap. Indeed, what makes us who we are is the image of God given us by our Creator and uniquely so, at least according to Genesis chapters 1-2 – otherwise we would be, morally and spiritually speaking, no different from chimpanzees. Secondly, there are serious theological problems with postulating such a group of prior humans: Jesus became a human being, cast His lot with us, and died for us – that is the unique event of all of history, the rock and foundation of all things. What would be the purpose of some prior group (sinless or not)? That is especially important to think about when we consider that mankind is, functionally speaking, God's response to Satan in the all-encompassing plan of God (covered in the Satanic Rebellion series; see the link). Positing a prior race of humans makes it seem or sound as if God were experimenting – whereas we know in fact that every single detail of history has been ordained in His Plan before initial creation, even the slightest swerve of the smallest quark at the end of the universe at its last moment of existence. Finally, I don't think anyone would ever have considered positing such a theory if it weren't for the so-called fossil record; in other words, the theory strikes me merely as an attempt to explain away the "evidence" for the supposed evolution of our species. I understand the urge, but Christians should believe scripture even if everything they see, hear and feel seems to contradict it – how much more so when what we are talking about is a handful of questionably dated bones admitting of all manner of other possible interpretations? I would certainly be very reluctant to graft any such speculation into my interpretation of scripture. I do accept the existence of a pre-gap flora and fauna, and if the fossil evidence reflects some prior species of humanoids, that is, creatures resembling humans physically but not spiritually, having no free will, no image of God, not created by the Lord for the special role mankind plays, and not a part of humanity in any way (any more than great apes or gibbons), well, I can't get too excited about that. Here are a couple of links that also touch on this issue:

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

Giants and Nephilim, Sumerian Myths, and Sea Monsters

Thanks for you email, and do feel free to write me back about any of this.

In the dear Lord Jesus Christ who took on true humanity to save us from our sins,

Bob Luginbill

Question #18: 

Dr. Luginbill....thank you for your quick response! I never personally thought there was another race before Adam, but I just needed some clarification on that issue. Thank you.

Below is a link to a web site you may already be familiar with.

http://www.kjvbible.org/satan.html

In Him,

Response #18:

You're very welcome . . . and thanks for the link (I see they believe in the gap, which is the main thing here).

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19:  

Dear Sir,

I've been reading the article on Angelology. May I just mention that there appears to be a mistype in the section below :

"6) Satan's last battle (the Gog-Magog Rebellion): The devil will launch one last offensive ... For immediately upon his release the devil will set to organizing the population of a world at peace and experiencing the most profound prosperity in its history under the universal rule of (this is the bit ! DS) "Jesus Christ ..... (should this not read "the anti-christ" ? DS) "to rebel against the Anointed One ... ." You may want to correct that bit.

I'm new to your website, and hope to explore it further.

I see you endorse the "gap theory" of the Creation account in Genesis. While I'm no expert, I do respect the work of "non-gap" creationists such as those of Creation Ministries International (CMI), [ http://creation.com ]. You may be interested to look up their rebuttal of "gap" theory, to study a different angle on the subject.

Also, may I ask about the idea of fallen angels having sex with women, producing the pre-Flood "Nephilim" ? I don't understand how non-material spirits, therefore presumably lacking genes, could (in quest of bodies to inhabit) pass on genes to the offspring. Surely, if they possess no body, hence crave one, they can't possess genes to pass on ? Please can you enlighten me on this one ? Thanks.

Response #19: 

Good to make your acquaintance. As to your suggested correction, I make my share of typos, but I'm not understanding your suggestion here. Is this sentence with which you find fault?

For immediately upon his release the devil will set to organizing the population of a world at peace and experiencing the most profound prosperity in its history under the universal rule of Jesus Christ to rebel against the Anointed One . . .

If so, I'm not sure what the problem is – this sentence is discussing the Gog-Magog rebellion at the end of the Millennium, not the Tribulation. By this point, antichrist has been in the lake of fire for a thousand years.

As to the Genesis gap, well, it's not a "theory"; it's in the Hebrew of Genesis 1:2. I have treated this issue in great detail over many years and would invite you to have a look at some (or all) of this selection of links:

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers III

Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers II

The Genesis Gap (SR 2)

The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)

The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.

The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers

Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.

The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.

The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?

Ex Nihilo Creation

Tohu in Genesis 1:2

As to the Nephilim, this is another passage with which many people often have "issues". I will give you another set of links below, but the bottom-line is that what the Bible states is correct, even though people have "problems" with believing it. We know that angels can do all manner of marvelous things – and that fallen angels can do all manner of horrendous things. We no doubt have no idea of the wide range of their abilities/capabilities, but it would be a mistake to assume that because we can't see, scientifically, how creatures that science cannot even detect can do something that it therefore cannot be done. Here are the links:

Fallen Angels, Demons, Nephilim, and the Devil's Methodology

Giants and Nephilim

The Paternal Origin of Antichrist (Satan's Seed)

The 7 Trumpets, the 7 Kings, Nephilim, Antichrist and Revived Rome.

The Nature of Angels

The Nephilim in Genesis 6

"The Nephilim" (in SR 5)

The Origin and Fate of the "Giants" of Genesis Chapter Six.

Antichrist and the Nephilim

Dinosaurs, the Nephilim, Noah, et al.

Eschatology Issues:  The Nephilim

Doubts about the Nephilim

Feel free to write me back about any of the above.

In our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Dear Mr Luginbill,

Thanks for that. I do appreciate getting a considered reply so quickly. Okay, it seems I was confused by the sentence structure of that passage. Rather than reading it as " .. the devil will set to organising the population to rebel against the Anointed One", the way it's constructed led me to read it as "... the devil will arrange the population into a universal rebellion against the Anointed One, - using Jesus Christ as his leader-of-the-opposition " ! I see now what you meant; but regret to say that the sentence as written does leave it open to ambiguity because there is too long a central digression (about the peace and prosperity, etc) with no punctuation to separate that millenial bliss from the devil's intended opposition.

But it's you who have achieved the writing of this article and I haven't, sir, so it's barely my place to advise you. But with humility may I offer how I might have phrased the piece ? --

e.g. " ... For immediately upon his release the devil will find a world at peace and experiencing the most profound prosperity in its history under the universal rule of Jesus Christ. At that point the devil will set to organising the population to rebel against the Anointed One. .... "

I think that order of words precludes the misunderstanding that I took from it, - namely, that the devil's plan would be an opposition to the Anointed One by organising a universal rebellion under the direction of Jesus Christ. The latter of course is nonsense, which is why I had thought it was a typo !

However, I've never noticed Christian leaders or writers to be terribly open to advice or correction on anything, sadly; so, I won't expect any change to happen overnight.

But maybe you'll prove me wrong there. ??

As for the possibility that in the future state there could be another rebellion against God by some other angel, I take your reply to mean that God will at that time restrict the range of our "free-will", – no longer being free to obey or rebel, just free to choose which tune to play on our harps, or which cloud to sit on for the nicest view. ;)So, it seems not quite the type of free-will that existed in the beginning. Do you think that's the kind of "freedom" that God would really be satisfied for us and the angels to have ? Or have I misunderstood you ?

All interpretations of scripture are just that: interpretations. And all human interpretations are fallible. Thus I call the "gap" interpretation a "theory", just as I would likewise call the non-gap interpretation a theory.

You're obviously a scholar of scripture and I'm not; so, I respect your right to hold your viewpoint. But I'm very wary, - exceedingly wary, - of anyone who is "too right ever to be wrong" about their particular interpretations of scripture, for these are the people who over many years have done much damage to the Church, and to people who might otherwise have embraced Christianity but were damaged personally by dogmatists, (e.g. by those who read too much into "obey your leaders", in order to lord it over the sheep). I am one such refugee from that sort of bullying, which has left many "sheep" with a jaundiced distrust of the Chief Shepherd from whom these bullies allegedly derived their claimed "delegated authority" to rule over the personal lives of the sheep. One can use scripture to prove almost anything; the safeguard is to be open to the possibility that one could be mistaken. Too many think they can't possibly be mistaken.

Please do yourself a favour, sir, and eschew any notion that only your interpretation, (or that of your particular "grouping"), about any scripture can possibly be the right one. I too have had to abandon such notions that I had in my youth, (let's face it, young people tend to "know it all"); and now in my 60s am much less dogmatic about doctrines and interpretations. Thus I read with concern your statement that the "gap" idea is 'not a "theory" ' but has to be right because you happen to have interpreted the Hebrew in that way. Others have read the same Hebrew words, and conclude, with just as much scholarliness as yourself, that it means something else. Both can't be right; unless both are only partially right and both partially wrong. In the end, only God really knows the truth, as He was there and we weren't !

However, I shall take time to read the various links you have kindly offered, and see what I can yet learn. I value the intensive work of people such as yourself, sir. I hope you too might see fit to study the non-"gap" version of events as proposed by e.g. CMI, that I referred you to, - even if, as is your right, you first consider seriously then decide to reject their interpretation.

Many thanks for your kind reply, sir, and may God continue to bless you and reveal His truths to you.

Yours sincerely,

Response #20: 

Thanks for the suggestion. I do appreciate help with typos, also stylistic suggestions. I admit that your version reads better; however the meaning is I think changed a bit thereby with a small shift of emphasis – making the devil's actions a heuristic reaction rather than his intent all along. I will think about it (although I will pass on the British spellings).

As to theories et al. What you say sounds reasonable, to a point. But where do we draw the line? Should a pastor say, "well, the Trinity is a good theory, one that I personally believe, but I could be wrong"? Indeed, if said pastor is not sure of the truth of the Trinity – or of any truth of scripture – then said pastor should not be dogmatic. Better yet, said pastor should get out of the pastorate and shut up altogether, especially if it is a question of absolutely fundamental doctrines. A pastor who preaches/teaches his doubts will only undermine the faith of others, even if that approach has a certain appeal to the intellectual sensibilities of some.

It is all about the truth.

The "job" of a servant of Christ who has a teaching gift is to find the truth, believe the truth, and teach the truth. The standard set up by the Lord is the standard of correctness. This is a high standard, and one I take very seriously (Jas.3:1). If I am "not sure" about something, I work hard to become sure, and keep my mouth shut unless and until I am sure – and if and when it has turned out I am wrong, I cannot correct what I have said quickly enough. And I have been working at this a long time.

I have no problem with pronouncing that those who deny Jesus' divinity (or His humanity) are wrong. I have absolute conviction about those truths. The level of importance is surely different, but then all truth is important. There is a time for research and a time for investigation, but when one has come to the end of that road and the data are in, then what is to be gained by giving lip-service to doubts one does not have? As I say, I have been working on this "problem" a very long time, and have no doubts about it. That is one reason why I say it's not a theory. The other reason is because calling something a theory indicates that it is a mere deduction without any direct evidence. That is not that the case with the Genesis gap which is very clearly evident in the difference between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. God is perfect and creates only perfection. God created the earth in verse 1, correct? But in verse 2 there is something wrong with the earth (or at least "incomplete" even with mistranslations fudged to get rid of this "problem"). God created the heavens in verse 1, correct? But in verse 2 the heavens are without light, and then we see God again bringing them into some sort of order in verses 6-8. Most people who want to make the six days original creation either pooh-pooh the literal nature of the words in verse one (marginal believers or unbelievers) or else ignore the problem, essentially (most anti-gap material I have seen is long on obfuscation, short on evidence). Recognizing the gap is merely giving in to what scripture says and following where it leads without regard to prior pet theories. When a person has let scripture speak, has done the hard work over much time, and has come to a biblical conclusion which explains all the biblical evidence, it is not humility to be open to alternative "theories" one knows very well to be wrong – rather it is intellectual and spiritual cowardice.

It's all about the truth – what the truth really is apart from any of our personal desires or egos.

Humility comes into the picture in being willing to defend the position (which, as I hope you can see from this email and from the extensive collection of links provided, I am always willing to do), and in being willing to continually explain it and answer questions about it (which inevitably approach the issue from novel points of view). However, I think it would be a mistake for me to allow myself to be persuaded to investigate all alternative claims and theories and interpretations. This would take up all the time I have for other things, and this ministry has as its objective teaching the entire realm of biblical doctrine – as any good teaching ministry should. So I leave it to those with the gift of apologetics to do that, but, as I say, I am willing to answer any reasonable objection and explain any aspect of the teaching provided at Ichthys to any Christian seeking the truth. That is how I see my "job" before the Lord.

As we say on this side of the pond, the proof is in the pudding. I certainly hope you will find when and if you delve into the details of the materials at Ichthys that this disagreement is really only "theoretical". That is to say, we may argue whether or not a piece of music we have never heard is good or bad, but actually hearing it will very quickly lead us to form a conclusion with which we are happy. I invite you to have a listen. 

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior, the Word of Truth Incarnate.

Bob L.

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