Lifeway Calculations

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Lifeway Calculations

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:32 am

In the church where I was preaching yesterday, I sat in on an adult Sunday School class. It was using Lifeway Curriculum, and the teacher was largely reading from the teacher's guide. In it, she read that there were 5,200 years between Adam and Christ. Does anyone have info on how that calculation is made by the "new earth" folks. She also read a line that said everyone from Adam to Jesus was lost until Jesus came. I'm curious about the theology of these statements. This is not an attack but a question to try to help folks understand what they are being taught.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Bruce Gourley » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:00 pm

The 5200 years comes from Eusebius using the Septuagint. Don't you love LifeWay's stuff? :)
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby William Thornton » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:42 pm

What was the curriculum?
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:18 pm

William Thornton wrote:What was the curriculum?

It was their standard Bible study with the lesson focusing on John's account of Mary Magdalene at the tomb after the resurrection. I wasn't sure how the mention of creation fit into this at all.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Dave Roberts » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:20 pm

Bruce Gourley wrote:The 5200 years comes from Eusebius using the Septuagint. Don't you love LifeWay's stuff? :)

Bruce, I knew someone out there wiser than I am would know where that came from. Usually the "young earth" folks use Bishop Usher's 4004 years, so this was one I had not encountered or remembered. I did have to read some of Eusebius at some point.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Haruo » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:51 pm

5200 is much more meaningful and biblical than 4004. After all, it is a year's weeks of centuries. Also, Bishop Ussher is mispeld I think.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Dave Roberts » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:52 am

The second assertion in that was one that bothered me more than dates--the idea that no one went to heaven before Jesus came.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Haruo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:08 pm

Dave Roberts wrote:The second assertion in that was one that bothered me more than dates--the idea that no one went to heaven before Jesus came.

Well, the word "lost" might be a bit of a stretch. How about "not yet saved", as in "sitting around in the anterooms of Sheol waiting for the folks upstairs to get their salvific act together"? If they were asserting that only those who lived at the time of Christ or later are saved then there's a real theological problem. But if they were merely claiming that salvation wasn't available to them until Jesus came (and left the first time) then their only failing is in idolizing Time. If by "lost" they meant undergoing eternal (or even interim) torture in the lake of fire and having diabolical pitchforks applied to their tender parts, then they're loons. After all, if salvation wasn't yet available then, neither had the Judgment occurred yet, nor has it to this day if you want to get all tempolinear about it. Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration don't look to have been acting like the "lost" to my reading.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Mrs Haruo » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:32 pm

Does Lifeway carry a curriculum that claims hand tools have a gender? I nearly got tossed out of a "lady's home bible study" that asked the question "Do your sons know the use of such masculine tools as a hammer, screwdriver, and adjustable wrench?" The leader's husband was home from work that day, working on some project in the next room. He had to go out to the garage he started laughing so hard. :lol:
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:56 pm

William Thornton wrote:What was the curriculum?


It sounds like it was Baloney. :wink:
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby William Thornton » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:18 am

It's the Explore the Bible series but I haven't been able to find a copy yet.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Ed Pettibone » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:40 am

William Thornton wrote:It's the Explore the Bible series but I haven't been able to find a copy yet.



Ed: William is it Lifeway's Explore the Bible Series or does it come from the
Founders Ministries | Sunday School Teacher Helps
www.founders.org/ss/

These helps are provided as a service of Founders Ministries to teachers who use the LifeWay Explore the Bible and Bible Studies for Life Sunday School


I am less than impressed with Lifeway (although they may have some decent stuff.
But an interpretation of it with Tom Aschol's imprimatur is an immediate red flag for me.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:36 pm

Maybe I've now been out of the SBC too long to relate. I do read the statistics that there are still a lot of Christians who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old and buy into the Creation Museum kind of theology.

But when I was a Southern Baptist I could believe that the SBC didn't want to support women clergy, though I did, and I could believe that the fundamentalists wanted to push the idea of Biblical inerrancy. But if someone had told me that SBC Sunday School curriculum would one day support the idea that the earth was formed in 4004 BC (or some time there about) I'd have laughed at you.

I'm not a scientist, and I don't play one on TV. :D But the evidence is all around us that young earth creationism is just bunk.

It really disturbs me that any modern Christian born in the 20th or 21st century could believe such a thing much less that it be taught by a major Christian denomination. The more I think about it, how depressing!
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby William Thornton » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:40 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:Maybe I've now been out of the SBC too long to relate. I do read the statistics that there are still a lot of Christians who believe the earth is only 6,000 years old and buy into the Creation Museum kind of theology.

But when I was a Southern Baptist I could believe that the SBC didn't want to support women clergy, though I did, and I could believe that the fundamentalists wanted to push the idea of Biblical inerrancy. But if someone had told me that SBC Sunday School curriculum would one day support the idea that the earth was formed in 4004 BC (or some time there about) I'd have laughed at you.

I'm not a scientist, and I don't play one on TV. :D But the evidence is all around us that young earth creationism is just bunk.

It really disturbs me that any modern Christian born in the 20th or 21st century could believe such a thing much less that it be taught by a major Christian denomination. The more I think about it, how depressing!


There is a very successful push for YEC and a large market of homeschoolers and Christian schools. Look for my piece on this in the near future.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:45 pm

I'll be interested William.

I realize that I have my own biases. But I have a hard time buying a view of God that gives us YEC. That isn't new. I argued for theistic evolution in a speech in High School more than 30 year ago.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Sandy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:24 pm

Let's put this in perspective for just a minute. Sunday School curriculum is not authored at Lifeway, it is only edited there. The writers are independently contracted. Obviously, if something didn't fit with their perspective, it would not be published, but that may make a difference when it comes to the presentation of this material.

Most of what I've seen on this subject along this vein traces the human history recorded in the scripture back to the fall, not creation itself. That's easily done using the genealogies that are recorded.

The majority of Protestant Christians are conservative evangelicals, and among them, there are very few who accept the theory of evolution. Most of them are YEC and their doctrinal statements reflect that. That means the majority of American Christians believe in literal, Biblical creation.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Dave Roberts » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:43 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:I'll be interested William.

I realize that I have my own biases. But I have a hard time buying a view of God that gives us YEC. That isn't new. I argued for theistic evolution in a speech in High School more than 30 year ago.


To me, the idea that God would plant false evidence in creation as a test of faith in him makes God appear to be capricious and far from dependable. To believe that God has involved himself in the life of our little second-rate planet across millions of years, to me, multiplies his greatness rather than diminishes it. I have read Francis Collins' presentation of biologos and find it quite plausible. Genesis is richer to me allowing it to be the presentation of the "who and why" of creation and not to see it as a scientific account.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:01 pm

Sandy wrote:
Most of what I've seen on this subject along this vein traces the human history recorded in the scripture back to the fall, not creation itself. That's easily done using the genealogies that are recorded. (Emphasis TB)


You gotta be kidding. Even the genealogy of Jesus leaves out some people. You are going to tell me that someone can accurately use the OT to trace back to the date of the fall? No way.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby William Thornton » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:06 pm

Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Most of what I've seen on this subject along this vein traces the human history recorded in the scripture back to the fall, not creation itself. That's easily done using the genealogies that are recorded. (Emphasis TB)


You gotta be kidding. Even the genealogy of Jesus leaves out some people. You are going to tell me that someone can accurately use the OT to trace back to the date of the fall? No way.


The genealogies are tight enough to be limited to just thousands of years. I'm guessing that Sandys school is YEC?
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:15 pm

William Thornton wrote:
The genealogies are tight enough to be limited to just thousands of years. I'm guessing that Sandys school is YEC?


I guess so. :o
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Sandy » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:15 pm

William Thornton wrote:
Timothy Bonney wrote:
Sandy wrote:
Most of what I've seen on this subject along this vein traces the human history recorded in the scripture back to the fall, not creation itself. That's easily done using the genealogies that are recorded. (Emphasis TB)


You gotta be kidding. Even the genealogy of Jesus leaves out some people. You are going to tell me that someone can accurately use the OT to trace back to the date of the fall? No way.


The genealogies are tight enough to be limited to just thousands of years. I'm guessing that Sandys school is YEC?


The genealogies are accurate, and close enough, that they fall well within secular historical standards in measuring the time back to the fall.

Yes, we are YEC. And so is 95% of our constituency, which is about 10% Baptist, with maybe 2-3 Southern Baptists in the whole student body. I'm not aware of a single church, among the 70 or so represented in our student body, which would not have an affirmation of BIblical creation in their doctrinal statement. And the majority interpret that as YEC.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Timothy Bonney » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:22 pm

OK then Sandy, not intending to be insulting, but I don't want to get into this one with you then. Wow :!: I find the very idea to be totally out of the realm of possibility. So I don't think I'm going to argue with you about it.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Haruo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:42 am

I don't understand why so many Young Earth folks are so firm in the date of the fall and so loose on the duration of the elapsed time preceding it. I mean, we have Moses' inspired word for it that the fall occurred during the first 130 years of Adam's life, probably at least a few decades earlier (since Seth's birth postdated the births of Cain and Abel, and all three came after the fall), and we know from the same source that Adam was created within a few days of the creation of the earth. The iffiness in the Scriptures seems to be mostly postpatriarchal, and to get worse as we approach modern times.
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby Sandy » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:38 am

Haruo wrote:I don't understand why so many Young Earth folks are so firm in the date of the fall and so loose on the duration of the elapsed time preceding it. I mean, we have Moses' inspired word for it that the fall occurred during the first 130 years of Adam's life, probably at least a few decades earlier (since Seth's birth postdated the births of Cain and Abel, and all three came after the fall), and we know from the same source that Adam was created within a few days of the creation of the earth. The iffiness in the Scriptures seems to be mostly postpatriarchal, and to get worse as we approach modern times.


Moses says that Adam was 130 when Seth was born. Was that 130 years inclusive of the time before the fall, in Eden, when essentially humans were eternal beings, or does that mean 130 years after the fall?

How much time passed from the end of the description of an already created earth in Genesis 1:2, and God's "let there be light" in Genesis 1:3?
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Re: Lifeway Calculations

Postby rfuss » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:40 pm

I taught that lesson on Feb. 16, and I don't remember anything about no one being saved prior to Christ. My teacher support material from Lifeway was the teacher's book and commentary. I read both completely and do not remember anything about no one being saved before Christ (I would have challenged that). I suspect she was reading from some supporting material material that I do not have.

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