Highlights From Recent Online Articles: Ezekiel’s Temple, Creation
Just a quick look here at some interesting recent online articles:
Fred Butler has begun an interesting series look at Ezekiel’s Temple (three articles so far). In my daily Horner-style genre reading (list 4 in a set of 9 lists) I have again come to this part, a very detailed description of a temple structure, with specific measurements and details, a narrative section clearly of the same type that I usually skim-read through, getting a few details but not spending too much time reading (similar to reading the last chapters of Exodus). Fred’s latest in this set points out several of the interesting details and why this passage must be understood in a literal manner (recognizing normal sentence structure and figures of speech within it). Indeed, in reading through Ezekiel these last few days, the style of Ezekiel 40 is quite striking, as different from Ezekiel 34 or 36: those chapters with symbolic pictures are overall shorter in length, with several different ideas in distinct sections, and simple terms: types of shepherds, types of sheep, and descriptions of mountains and mountain life. Nowhere do those chapters use numbers and measurements. Ezekiel 40’s main words include specific numbers: seven, ten, and other, plus measurement terms (cubits, handbreadths, reeds). In some places seven steps are used, and in another ten steps: far more complexity and detail than symbolic passages such as the previous chapters of Ezekiel.
From ICR.org’s January edition of “Acts & Facts”: a clear and simple article (and written by a Ph.D. scientist), “The Two-Book Fallacy”. A few months ago I heard the term “two books” (several times) from an Old Earth Creationist, one who often appealed to scientist authority (see this conversation). ICR’s article points out what should be obvious, the difference between a book and the world around us:
It is not something that is comprised of statements in human language. It is not something that a person can literally read or interpret in the same way that we interpret a sentence. … The advantage of a book is that it is comprised of clear statements in human language that are designed to be understood by the reader. The meaning of a book is the intention of the author. But that’s not the case with nature. What does a rock mean? What does a fossil mean? They don’t literally mean anything because they are not statements made by an author who is intending to convey an idea. …. a record is an account in writing that preserves the knowledge of facts or events. Rocks and fossils are not in the written form and are, therefore, not a record. … the primary purpose of nature is not to teach, but to function. Consequently, the world is not comprised of statements that are easy to understand. Moreover, nature is cursed due to sin. Therefore, God gave us a clear, inerrant account of the major events of history in writing so that we can begin to properly understand nature.