Saturday, June 15, 2024

Positions Statements BAM

 

BAM Positions Statements Regarding A Variety Of Issues

Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., M.Sc., PEI (and editors)

 Biblical Authority Ministries, June 15, 2024

 

I’m often asked about various scientific, moral, and biblical positions regarding issues that surround creation and biblical authority. Some positions are easy to give answers to—and others are not as easy simply because there are multiple models on some issues. 

I’ve been involved in lists like this for years, but I wanted to make this one available as a training tool. It is designed to give succinct position statements to hosts of issues outside of the Statement of Faith—like secondary tier positions. I included links to articles and chapters when available for more information so that these position statements could be kept as short as possible.    

Bible

·       Creation of angels: they were definitely created during creation week. Job 38:7 could mean that angels were created early on Day 1, so they could witness the formation of the Earth, or the passage could be referring to the separation of the dry land (also called “Earth”) from the sea on Day 3.

·       Seasons: started from Genesis 1:14, which strongly suggests an axial tilt from then. Reject the idea that there were no seasons before the Flood, although the seasons may be more extreme now. Leave open the possibility that the seasons referred to are the moon cycles as per Psalms 104:19.

·       Genesis 2:19: most appropriately translated as the pluperfect “had formed”, which would eliminate any perceived contradiction with the order in Genesis 1.

·       Fall of Satan and the demons: definitely after God had declared all His creation “very good”, and there is also no hint of anything to spoil the 7th day that God blessed, so most likely on Day 8 or later but soon, prior to the serpent’s deception of Eve.

·       Fall of mankind: after Satan’s fall, but before the conception of Cain. Therefore, the Fall could not have occurred too long after Day 8 because Adam and Eve were commanded to “fill the Earth”, they would have obeyed in their unfallen state, and their physically perfect bodies would have been capable of conceiving immediately.

·       No gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, and they are strict chronologies. See New Answers Book 2, General Editor, Ken Ham, chapter by Larry Pierce and Ken Ham on Gaps in the Genealogies.

·       The Masoretic Text preserves the correct chronology in Genesis 5 and 11; the Septuagint is demonstrably inflated, and contains the (obvious) error that Methuselah lived over a decade after the Flood.

·       Genesis 6:3: 120 years is the time until the Flood, not individual longevity.

·       Genesis 10:25: Peleg and “earth was divided”: refers to linguistic division at Babel and subsequent territorial division.  Reject idea that it refers to continent division.

·       Terah was 130 when Abraham was born—Genesis 12:4 says Abraham was 75 when he left Haran soon after Terah died at 205 (Genesis 11:32).  Genesis 11:26 means that Terah was 70 before any of those sons were born.

·       Genealogies of Christ: currently the most plausible explanation of the differences between Matthew and Luke is that Luke traced His line through Mary while Matthew traced it through Joseph.

·       Matthew’s genealogies have gaps, but they are intentional, and there is no chronological information, unlike Genesis 5 and 11.

·       Cainan in Luke 3:36 seems best explained as a later copyist’s insertion.

·       Jesus was the physical descendant of Mary.

·       Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1: the correct translation is “… of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”, as per the Granville Sharp rule of NT Greek grammar.

·       Creationist apologetics: should be presuppositional (Van Tillian) rather than evidential.  It should also be two-pronged — it’s important to develop biblical and scientific models in various disciplines, but it’s also important to oppose anti-God evolutionary thinking (2 Corinthians 10:5). See Always Ready by Dr Greg Bahnsen and The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr Jason Lisle.

·       Bible Chronology: Ussher (The Annals of the World) and Jones (The Chronology of the Old Testament) are arguably the best…though neither is without error. Even remedial calculations reveal approximately 6,000-year creation having 4,000 from Creation to Christ.

·       Number of books in the Bible: 66 (Absolute on this) in accordance with Christ through the prophets and apostles: the 39 books of the Old Testament as per Christ’s inclusion in the 3 major divisions of these 39 books of the Jews in Luke 24:44 (Law, Prophets and Psalms/Writings). New Testament books came through the authority of the Apostles as per Christ in John 14:26, John 15:26-27, Luke 11:48-49.

·       Apocrypha: Reject it as the authoritative Word of God. However, it can be useful to understand the history of the times. The books of the Apocrypha were never classed as Scripture by Christ or the Jews, nor did the writers of the New Testament use them. One such reason is that it never claimed to be Scripture, unlike other books of the Bible that often claim such things. Even one of the apocryphal books affirms there was no one speaking on God’s behalf at that time (1 Maccabees 9:27) when it says: “There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people.”

 

Science

·       Distant starlight: The secular position has the same problem with no actual solution (Horizon Problem).

·       De-emphasize arguments that claim the distances to stars are inaccurate.

·       Reject light-in-transit as deceptive.

·       C-decay still has some unresolved problems so we are cautious, although there are some secular scientists use c-decay (CDK) to solve problems with the “big bang”.

·       Humphreys and Hartnett’s Relativistic Models (which are different) have descent aspects but still need work (Humphreys recently amended his view).

·       Lisle’s Cosmological Time Zone Model (ASC) is the most plausible scientific model so far. (Another model based on ASC was released at an ICC (international Conference on Creationism) as well as the Carmelian model)

·       Hartnett’s Carmelian Physics Model assumes aspects of the ASC model to get started (ASC). 

·       Leave open the miraculous for Adam to see it on Day 6 [this is creation week, and keep in mind we do not understand all the properties of light and that God created then separated light on Day 1 (Genesis 1:4); Genesis 1:17 reveals God made then set lights in the expanse (sun and moon), so there is biblical precedence that God can do what He wishes with physical light, light sources, and other bodies like the moon during creation week.] The Dasha Solution by Danny Faulkner is based on this model, and though it solves the problem during Creation Week; it doesn’t solve it thereafter.

·       Also, leave open models and possibilities that have yet to be discovered.

·       Longevity decline: emphasize genetic factors and the two major population bottlenecks (the Flood and Babel); de-emphasize environmental changes, while keeping options open, e.g., Shem was born before the Flood and only lived 600 years. 120 years in Genesis 6:3 is the countdown to the Flood from that point (which is prior to God instructing Noah to build an Ark in vs. 13). 120 years is not to be understood as a maximum individual lifespan, as several from Shem to Abraham exceeded this amount significantly.

·       Catastrophic plate tectonics (or even a shortened version of it[1]) seems to be the best explanation of continental shifts in the Flood so far—based on an idea first proposed by creationist Antonio Snider in the 1800s. However, BAM recognizes that some reputable creation scientists disagree with plate tectonics. Note it appears that many of the major plate movements likely ceased by Day 150 per Genesis 8:1-4 as the mountains of Ararat would have formed [if our current models of mountain building are correct] by the collision of the Eurasian, African, and Arabian plates (with influence by the Indian plate). Further massive movements would possibly cause another global Flood and remove the Ark from its resting place in the mountains of Ararat. The springs of the great deep and windows of heaven were closed at this time.

·       Adam’s naming all the animals: emphasize that it was only selective groups (beasts of the field), cattle, and birds, and that kinds are much broader than today’s species; de-emphasize Adam’s allegedly far greater intelligence [first, even a genius doesn’t have super-fast reaction times; second, Adam’s intelligence may have been a mean like skin tone, although most of us would think that due to subsequent degenerative mutations, and evidence of latent “genius” capacities in humanity, even the “mean” back then was probably vastly superior to today].  It may also be that God “pre-programmed” Adam with a vocabulary for the animals, as He would have had to do for some other everyday concepts for which words are “learned” by experience through childhood.

·       Woolly mammoths—best explanation so far is that most were buried in dust storms near the end of the post-Flood Ice Age (Mike Oard, TJ 14(3):24–34, 2000).  Reject “snap freeze”.

·       Age of the Earth: should be based on the Bible, not fallible ideas that are derived outside of Scripture (e.g., uniformitarian methods like radiometric dating or uniformitarian assumptions about geological rock layers, starlight, alleged cooling of the earth, etc. 

·       Radiometric “dating”: scientists observe isotope ratios; age is an interpretation of these ratios.  Possible correct explanations of the observations include geochemical factors, initial created amounts, and accelerated nuclear decay rates, depending on the specific cases. And of course, other assumptions that can lead to faulty results. Carbon 14 is no exception.

·       Mt. Ararat is probably not the landing site of the Ark since it is a post-Flood volcano sitting aloft on Flood layers without massive evidence of pillow lava (which results from volcanoes going off underwater) and Flood fossils. We have records of numerous eruptions of it over the years. Mt Cudi (Judi) near the beginning of the Tigris River is attested to in more ancient literature as Mt Ararat, so this is a strong possibility but leave it open.[2] Also, leave open the possibility that Ark remains, if they still exist, may not be on a mountain but perhaps a sub-basin within the mountains of Ararat. Lean toward Genesis 8:5 (“tops of the mountains became visible”) as being either being on a mountain where others were much lower in elevation or that the water vapor and water level restricted their vision.   

·       Ice Age: there was one (Ice Age—usually denoted in caps when referring to the one that followed the Flood) that was triggered by the Flood (having warm oceans and cool summers which is a rare recipe for an ice age). Warm oceans yield more accumulation of snow in the winter and cool summers prevent the snow and ice from completely retreating each year.  Over several years the accumulated snow and ice result in an ice age. There were surely fluctuations in this Ice Age. Mike Oard, a retired meteorologist and biblical creationist, estimates the peak of the Ice Age (in caps denotes the post-Flood ice age, so as not to be confused with the many alleged ice ages in the secular view over tens and hundreds of thousands of years.) This Ice Age would have removed water from the oceans and deposited it on land opening land bridges to North America as well as Australia, permitting animals to migrate there after the Flood. Recognize that there are two creationists’ models by Mike Oard and Larry Vardiman that have many similarities but also some differences. Vardiman’s model begins with a predominantly wet earth at the end of the Flood but in light of Genesis 8:13-14, this may not be the best presupposition to begin a model with.

·       Reject traditional Egyptian chronology, which is based on Manetho and Sothic theory – of which, neither should be used for strict chronologies. Manetho did not record that multiple pharaohs were ruling at the same time in either the Upper, Middle, or Lower Kingdoms.  Egyptologist David Down’s revised chronologies (see Unwrapping the Pharaohs) bring the dates within about 60 years of Ussher and Jones anyway. But biblical chronologies should be favored over revised Egyptian chronologies.

·       The meaning of the bene elohim and nephilim in Genesis 6 are lent toward the fallen man views where godly men fell into sin with ungodly women and their children became very wicked and fallen from grace. 

 

Moral, ethical and social issues

·       Abortion: we believe that individual life begins at conception or in today’s medically-defined terms “fertilization” (Psalm 51:5). [note: to clarify, this is when the sperm and egg combine, which is the traditional definition of conception not the new medically redefined definition of when the combined sperm and egg implant in the uterus. Fertilization is the new medical term for the egg and sperm combining]. Refutations of abortion excuses are available here.

·       Cloning: artificial human cloning is immoral, animal cloning acceptable in principle under Dominion Mandate of Genesis 1:28. Though extreme care should be involved in the debate.

·       Stem cells: Research on embryonic stem cells is morally wrong to due to murder of an unborn baby that has a right to life. Using adult stems does not involve the taking of a life and is permitted. 

·       Genetic engineering, including GM foods: acceptable in principle under the Dominion Mandate for research, but advocate caution in applying little-known technology, and point out the dangers in the evolutionary framework that much of this technology operates in.

·       Euthanasia: This absolutely goes against the principles outlined throughout the Bible on the sanctity of life.

·       Global Warming: At this stage (2009), the only global temperature changes that have been measured are in the “tenths” of a degree. The fluctuations of this actually mimic the solar output – so any global warming or cooling (which was the scare in the 1970’s) is more reflective of the sun’s output as opposed to anything man-made. Reject the idea that increased CO2 (which is a common greenhouse gas) is the primary reason for this fluctuation. The fact that water (H2O) vapor is the most common greenhouse gas should be a sign that CO2 was not the major culprit—though does have minor affects. In the long age scenario, they view the globe as having precious little change over long periods of time, so they see small fluctuations and assume we messed everything up. However, from a biblical view, there was a global Flood, which wreaked havoc about 4350 years ago.  Most creationists hold to a post-Flood Ice Age as temperature fluctuations were expected and we are still seeing small effects of that today. So minor fluctuations are expected.          

·       Environment/Environmentalism: we must take into account that God created things “good” even before man’s arrival, and that God has given man dominion. Overall, it’s a “wisdom” issue, avoiding extremes of careless destruction of the environment and nature worship. But we should take care of God’s world.

·       Teaching “creationism” in public schools? We reject such compulsion. Such campaigns mobilize fierce opposition and usually make it even harder for Christian teachers to teach the problems with an evolutionary worldview. We would be happy if teachers were allowed to freely teach evolution “warts and all”. Besides, if evolution-believing teachers were forced to teach creation, they would likely misrepresent it anyway because they are unfamiliar with the actual arguments. Our strategy is to distribute creation and biblical authority material through Christians in their local churches. We find that the message permeates right through the community, inadvertently affecting kids and teachers in the schools, using this strategy. We are called to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Great Commission), not to change the culture. Cultures change as a result of the gospel. Though we respect rulings that religions are not to be taught in government sponsored schools, we ask that other religions such as the religion of humanism (which includes evolution, millions of years, and big bang) and sexual humanism (LGBT, promiscuity, etc.), which currently has free reign in the schools be removed as well. 

·       Pre-Flood boundary: BAM recognizes that the exact onset of the Flood isn’t always cut and dried evenly throughout the world. However, it tends to lie about at the Camrian/Pre-Cambrian layers when fossils begin to be laid down at the onset of the Flood.

·       Post-Flood boundary: BAM tends to prefer a high post-Flood boundary because Eocene and Miocene rock layers are intricate to the mountain-building process in the mountains of Ararat which formed by Day 150. Though, we recognize there are respectable creationists who put it a little lower in certain places. Much of this depends on the correlation and mapping of strata as well. Reject Robinson’s “vanishing Flood” model or any tranquil Flood model.

 

Positions that need more research

·       Shrinking sun.

·       The boundaries of the created kinds in specific instances are closer to a family level [in the Linnaean Classification System] or Baramin level in the Biblical Classification System in most cases, but order, genus, and species in others. All humans are one kind and reject that man is part of Hominidae, which would include apes like chimpanzees as secular models places man. Our preference is to classify things based on internal biblical taxonomy, which currently needs more research.

·       Some Scriptural passages seeming to teach modern scientific ideas that the original readers would not have read into the passages.

·       The geologic column—stratigraphy is an area that more research is needed especially horizontal correlations.

BAM corporately has a non-negotiable ‘no-position position’

·       Certain denominational matters on which people who agree with our SoF may differ, e.g., subject and mode of baptism (but reject baptismal regeneration as denying Sola Fide, so contrary to our SoF), Calvinism/Arminianism, church government, Saturday vs. Sunday worship, speaking in tongues (but reject this as essential to salvation), eschatology (although reject the idea that Sunday keeping is the “mark of the Beast”) or views based on “new revelation” and so on. These will only be published on a case-by-case basis.  

[Editor’s note: there are those rare cases where some of these issues may conflict with our Statement of Faith.  If this is the case, then BAM may get into it. For example, in hyperpreterism, it is denied that Christ will have future return and that the curse has been removed, hence death before sin and other theological problems that violate the Statement of Faith].

[Editor’s note 2: in reality all doctrines are interconnected and this makes it difficult to remain silent in some areas and vocal in others. So, it is fine line that BAM has to walk and we ask for a little forgiveness as we walk this line. Some prefer us to dive into one area more and other prefer that we not dive into some areas at all so we have to draw the line someplace and this is done so that do not lose our focus on biblical authority surrounding origins which is among the biggest debate in today’s culture.  We do want to encourage you to know what you and your denominations believe and do respect its importance.]  

·       As a ministry, we do not have political party or candidate allegiance.

 

 



[1] That is run it backwards, but as far Pangaea.

[2] Crouse, Bill; and Franz, Gordon. 2006 Mount Cudi – True mountain of Noah’s Ark. Bible and Spade 19/499-113.

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