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A New Earth

A New Earth

Postby Theophilus » 07 Jun 2009, 18:37

The Bible ends with God creating a new earth to replace one which had been destroyed because of the sins of its inhabitants. A careful reading the the first chapter of Genesis shows that it begins in the same way.

The Bible begins with the statement that God created the heavens and the earth. But the next verse describes an earth which is imperfect and needs work done on it to make it suitable as a habitation for humans. There is no indicator of time in the second verse to show if this is still the time of the original creation or a description of conditions at a later time. If this is still the same time as verse one we would have to conclude that God created an imperfect world and then had to do some more work on it. It seems more likely to me that the world was created perfect but something happened to destroy this perfection. It seems probable that the condition of the world was one of the consequences of Satan's rebellion and the six days are not the original creation but the restoration of the world to its original state of perfection.

This view eliminates some of the alleged discrepancies between the Bible and the results of scientific research. Those who believe in a young earth say that all of the fossils of extinct animals are the result of the flood in Noah's time. The problem with this is that God told Noah to take two of every living animal onto the ark, and there are so many kinds of animal fossils that Noah could not possibly have had room for all of them. It seems more likely that most or all of these fossils were formed in God's original destruction of the earth. It is evident that when he restored the earth he didn't make as many kinds of animals as he did the first time.
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Re: A New Earth

Postby john » 07 Jun 2009, 18:55

Or you could go with the idea that God took material from other worlds he created (long dead) to create the earth, which would explain the presence of old fossils of creatures that never existed on the earth.

That was the thinking of a Mormon scholar named Cleon Skousen, who wrote a book called The First Thousand Years.
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Re: A New Earth

Postby Bluegoat » 07 Jun 2009, 19:54

I think that reading it as a moment by moment play is a mistake, generally. From God's point of view, there is no process, he acts eternally and completely. Time exists only as part of the created universe.

But is the only purpose of the universe and creation to have people on it? If there is a process whereby the universe develops in some way, who are we to say that development is not as good and holy and reflective of God's nature as the end state of that development? That would imply that creation was somehow imperfect up until the ed of the world - after all, it continues to change until it is finished. Do roses only exist to bear some relationship to humans? I think that is manifestly not the case, in fact, I think that humans may exist partly so that roses can be appreciated as things in themselves.

The Bible, naturally, concentrates on the human perspective, human concerns, and human actions. I don't think we can assume that all of God's purposes are therefore related to humanity - he simply doesn't feel the need to tell us the other parts of his plan, perhaps it is none of our business. I think that there is a tendency to try and interpret Christianity through a kind of Hegelianism that is very misleading.
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Re: A New Earth

Postby friendofbill » 07 Jun 2009, 23:10

Do roses only exist to bear some relationship to humans?


An intriguing question, really. I am in mind of a photo our pastor brought back from Costa Rica. It is of a beautuful flower -- blooming at the very top of the rain forest canopy, in an area that would rarely have human presence. So if that flower, and probably hundreds like it, bloom in an area not accessbile ordinarily to humans, for whose pleasure are they blooming? Is it possible that Revelation is right is stating that "for Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are created?" (using KJV translation)

It also brings to mind consideration of the timeline of the universe, all 14.5 billion years of it. If the progresss of its formation were tracked from the Big Bang to the present day, on a scale small enough for us to visualize it, humanity would occupy only the last 2 or 3 seconds. Why was it there for all of those 14.5 billion years before we came along? And is it not possible, in view of the fact that innumerable species have come along and gone extinct in those millennia, that our species will follow the same pattern and vanish, making way for another -- perhaps one not stupid enough to destroy itself with bombs? In other words -- perhaps man is NOT the "pinnacle of creation." And perhaps roses are not made to pleae man, but simply to please God, who kindly allows us to share in the pleasure.
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Re: A New Earth

Postby Jesse Hove » 13 Jun 2009, 05:43

More importantly a renewed Earth means that the final judgement is not just about who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, but a tangible earthly understanding of God putting the world to rights like that of the prophecies in the Old Testament like Isaiah 11.

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