In the previous portion, we examined to tools used in research. In this portion, we will look at the deliverables of research. In contract language, a deliverable is a specific item that the contractor will hand over to the entity that holds a contract. All research should produce deliverables that may be used again and again. The technology of the present time makes this easy. The student may now generate computer files that may be indexed, stored for reuse. A key element in this process is to do the research well the first time, and document sources. Once the research deliverable has been prepared it should not be necessary to the same research again.
Timelines represent an orderly sequence of events. God is a God of order and this attribute is evidenced throughout the Bible. Start a timeline of the creation discussion with the Biblical account of creation. Continue by studying all other Bible verses that deal with creation and place them in the timeline. The student should then add significant events to the timeline until it extends to the present. Timelines can become unwieldy, so the student may want to break their timeline into segments.
In addition the student may develop several separate timelines for different elements of the creation discussion.
Glossaries are very important. God’s word is precise and when Christians communicate, they should attempt to communicate with precision and perspicuity. Where possible try to find the Biblical definitions of words and incorporate these definitions into a glossary. An example is the word “flood” in reference to flood event beginning in Genesis 6. Per Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, the Hebrew word for flood is “deluge” (mabbul) and this word appears 12 times in Genesis 6-11. It also appears once in Ps 29:6 in reference to the Genesis Flood. Similarly, the Greek word (Kataklu), deluge, washing down, only appears in reference to descriptions of the Genesis Flood.
The student needs to recognize that a single word in an English translation of the Bible may have multiple translations in the original languages of the Bible. For example, per Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible the word “flood” in English has at total nine definitions in Hebrew and a total of four definitions in Greek. After researching a concordance, the student can now at write their own definition for the word “Flood”, as applied to the Genesis Flood for their glossary. Here is an example:
Flood: The term “Flood,” when capitalized, refers to the flood event of Genesis 6-8. This flood is sometimes termed the Genesis Flood or Noah’s Flood. The word used to describe the events of Genesis 6-8 means deluge in Hebrew. This word appears only 13 times in the Old Testament and always in reference to the events of Genesis 6-8. The word used to describe the event of Genesis 6-8 means deluge in Greek. This word appears only four times in the New Testament and always in reference to the events of Genesis 6-8.
Contributors to creation discussion are important. The student needs to know who the contributors are, their character, their times and their motivation. A study of contributors to the creation discussion should begin with God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible contains references to creation from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation. God himself is the first and most important contributor to the creation discussion.
Quotations are the words of the contributors to the creation discussion. Most of us have already memorized potions of Scripture. The advantage of Scripture memory is 100% recall of both the verse and the context of the verse.
Quotations by contributors are helpful in fixing and documenting what they are communicating. Quotations may be taken from books and websites. Be sure to list the source of the quotation and it the case of websites list the date that material was excerpted. The following is an interesting quotation taken from page 159 of the book The Creationists by Ronald L. Numbers (1993, University of California Press):
“I believe in the whole Bible as originally given, to be the inspired word of God, the only unerring guide of faith and conduct. Since God is the author of this Book and well as the creator and sustainer of the physical world about us. I cannot conceive of discrepancies between the statements of the Bible and the real facts of science.”
The above statement was required to be signed by each founding member of the member of the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) in 1941.
The above quotation is illustrative of a presupposition that there can never be a conflict between the Bible and “science.” This presupposition stated in various ways by adherents to the Day-Age view and theistic evolution; interestingly, the term “science” is not defined.
In practical terms, the “…real facts of science…” means the official position of the scientific consensus. This consensus is based on a presupposition that there is no evidence for God. The scientific consensus does not reflect the diversity of opinion within the scientific community. The ASA quotation illustrates the use faulty presuppositions and faulty logic by those support theistic evolution.
Next month we will begin to examine R-2, Reason.