Accepting the reality of God’s works in the Tiding’s Magazine

The December 2017 Tidings Magazine caused a small stir with an article that referenced at least 10,000 years of human activity.  The comments were challenged and responded to in the February 2018 issue.  It is great to see our community’s old (but often neglected?) view of God’s word and works being applied and the facts of God’s creation being accepted rather than brushed aside.  Increasingly people are coming to positions not dissimilar to COD’s, because of the God’s facts.Dear Bro {Editor}

I was startled to read some of the comments in the exhortation “The Purpose of God” in the December 2017 Tidings.  For example “sugar cane has been cultivated in New Guinea since prehistoric times” (8,000 plus years) as well as “the remarkable drink combines ingredients commercialized as far back as 10,000 years ago” (my summary).  It appears from this that Bro XXX is in disagreement with our understanding of God’s time line for creation.  Could this be clarified for me please in case I or anyone else is misunderstanding his comments?  Sis YYY

Dear Sis YYY

Heb 1:1 tells us that God has spoken in various ways and as in Psalm 19 and elsewhere I believe God speaks through His works and not just His words.  I also believer that beginning with His conversations with Adam in Genesis 2, God has called His children (humankind) into true partnership with Him in caring for and giving order to the world.  To this end God has made knowledge of both the world and the universe beyond accessible to us.  Using the powers of observation that God has given us alongside the rational and consistent operation of His laws, myriad amazing things have been discovered, designed and created over the history of humankind.  So it does seem improbable to me that with observation and science having led to so many tremendously complex yet reliable inventions, that the current working theories around the history of the globe would be completely misguided.  If our faith in the clarity of Gods revealed natural laws and man’s ability to draw rational conclusions from observation was so low would be drive down crowed freeways at 75 mph, connect our houses to the electrical grid, give complex medicines to our children or board airplanes…?

But as Romans also says, while God’s works reveal one type of truth, His Word reveals transcendent Truths.  Understanding the nuts and bolts of creation has helped man extend the life and health of many, but this cannot be compared with the eternally saving power of His Word.  And I also believe that the Word tells an overarching story of God’s plan for salvation, where He unquestioningly frames it into the pattern of creation with what I believe is a 7000-year plan mirroring the 7 days of creation, to finally bring about rest.

This will probably be tremendously unsatisfying as an answer to your letter, but I will confess that I’m not troubled by a need to force these things to be compatible with each other in a way that I can understand right this minute.  There are lots o suppositions floating around with regards to what a ‘day’ could really mean in Genesis 1 and you can find several in our own literature.  However, none of them fully resonate with me, as they generally seem to have to work too hard to make things fit.  I simply don’t think the Word is at all concerned with addressing our natural history questions – God answers those questions elsewhere in His works.  The Word is purely focussed on revealing a message of salvation. Hope that helps!

With love in our hope

Bro XXX

It should be clearly stated that COD has no contact with the relevant parties nor have any insight into Bro XXX’s views other than what is reported in the Tidings.  Clearly we disagree with the 7,000 year plan.  Despite this minor quibble, the response nicely summarises the issue facing our community – an issue many have resolved like Bro XXX despite the strident protests from some conservative quarters.

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