I think a key thing to not is that he seems to be specifically talking about "classic dispensationalism" of the variety that C. I. Scofield (ended life as a Presbyterian) and James Darby systematized in the early 1900s. There have been several varieties of dispensationalism since then. The current version, and the one I consider to be the most correct at the moment, is Progressive Dispensationalism, which definitely does not make such a claim. In short, no, I do not believe Sproul's statement applies to all dispensationalists.
That's not exactly what I'm asserting. The Gospel message stands on it's own. However, when one begins to investigate the claims of the Gospel, all of its tenets point back to the truths proclaimed in Genesis. If we, as believers, muck up the understanding of Genesis, we run the risk of making the Gospel become nonsense to those we're trying to lead to Christ. Simplistic Example: (assume there is adequate conversation leading up to this point) Christian: Jesus died to pay for your sin Unbeliever: I'm not a sinner Christian: The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all are sinners Unbeliever: What about kids? They haven't done anything wrong. Christian: The Bible says in Romans 5:12 that we've all inherited in a sin nature because of Adam (insert explanation on how that makes us all sinners) Unbeliever: Wait, so you're you believe Adam was a real person...? Christian: Yes, of course. Unbeliever: You mean like he was the first human to evolve or like God literally created him. Christian: God literally created him, just like it says in Genesis. Unbeliever: So you take that whole creation thing literally? No way, science has proven that the earth is billions of years old. There's no way that all happened in six days. Your Bible doesn't make any sense. I'm not sinner, I live a good life.
Yes, there is traditional doctrine that completely lacks biblical support. This, however, is not one them. Your example is not a valid comparison because the Bible says nothing of structure of the solar system to indicate geocentrism (earth at the center of the solar system). If there is a similarity in your example, it is that there is nothing to be found in the Bible about billions of years for the age of the earth. Darwinism doesn't shape my beliefs, but it does shape the beliefs of our youth, new believers, and people struggling to come to faith. Therefore, it should be a concern to anyone and everyone who is concerned with evangelism and spreading the Gospel (which should be every Christian on earth).
No, Daniel and Ezekiel are both prophecy. Hebrew prophecy contains a large amount of symbolism and is usually written in verse form with a lot of rhetorical language. It is an apples-to-oranges comparison. I'm "overly worried about what the heathen are up to" because it has infected the modern church like a virus. It is turning the youth who grow up with one foot in church and one in the secular world being force-fed an atheistic worldview away from the church and away from Jesus Christ. The overwhelming majority of people who reject the faith they grew up say their journey toward atheism began with a rejection of Genesis in favor of Darwinism. For a church to concede any ground on this issue is to willfully cast a stumbling block before an unsaved youth, which was met with harsh criticism by Jesus Himself (Matt 18:6)
What I mean is its literary structure and genre is prose (as opposed to poetry or prophecy or apocalypse) and its sub-genre is historical narrative (i.e. event x then event y then event z, etc). All of these different types of writing are distinctly different. Prose is characterized by use of common-use language and matter-of-fact expression. Historical narrative is a relating of past events in chronological sequence, often interspersed with dialogue (as opposed to fictional or mythical writing).Yes, Genesis was revealed to Moses, but it was recorded as history in the style of Hebrew prose writing and not as apocalyptic literature which is highly figurative, ominous, and often poetic.
The answer is an unequivocal, yes, we define the understanding of the First Day in Genesis by the context of Moses and the culture he lived in. He was perfectly capable of understanding long expanses of time and had a language capable of expressing it. You can't assume that ancient man was ignorant and just couldn't grasp such a simple concept as time. He grew up in a relatively advanced culture that build pyramids and had a ridiculously complex pantheon of false gods. Of course he could understand if God wanted to convey anything other than a literal day. He used the language of a literal day because that's exactly the message He wanted to convey. One of the key principles of biblical interpretation is that a passage of Scripture cannot mean what it never meant to the original audience. Otherwise, it is false or incomplete revelation and that is not reflective of a God defined by truth, justice, and holiness. It is absolutely, without a doubt, 100% historical narrative prose. There are no traces or hints of Hebrew poetry, prophecy, of apocalyptic literature and there are no indications of rhetorical devices such as allegory or symbolism. It is the same linguistic structure as the historical narrative prose that follows it (i.e. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther). You're making unwarranted assumptions about the literary nature of Genesis 1 that are in complete contradiction to what just about every Hebrew scholar of every era will tell you. I apologize if I have been coming on a little strong on this one, but it is not an issue of tradition. A tradition is a dogmatic practice or doctrinal assertion that has no biblical foundation. The Catholic church has many of these, and I'm sure you know them well. However, this is an issue of sound biblical interpretation. 300 years ago your position would have made absolutely no sense to anyone capable of reading the Bible in any language. 100-200 years ago you would have been looked at cross-eyed and called out for supporting Darwin. 50 years ago you would have been accused of being on Darwin's side of the Scopes Trial. Today, there are so many Christians have capitulated to evolutionary theory being taught as fact for long that they've felt compelled to reinterpret Genesis to accommodate the evolutionary timeline at the expense of upholding biblical inerrancy. Your position, whether you believe so or not, is a concession an atheistic worldview that has been steadily beating the drum that the earth is older than the Bible says it is. Non-literal interpretations of Genesis only ever made sense after people began trumpeting deep time.
Conjecturing that Adam may have observed a Sabbath or passed down the revelation is unnecessary since Moses received the revelation from God Himself. Truly, it's irrelevant to the point. It's not about uneasiness, it's about staying faithful to what the Scripture says because that's what it says. Moving to the theological position that is closer to the world only serves the purpose of capitulating to an atheistic worldview. The only reason the six 24-hour day creation view was ever reconsidered was to try to harmonize the Bible with the atheistic worldview of uniformitarianism/evolution. To accept anything other than what the Bible plainly says is to consciously deny God's eye-witness account of creation in favor of man's theory that presumes God doesn't exist. It is no different than denying that homosexuality, or adultery, or divorce, or blasphemy, or idolatry are sins. The Bible plainly declares them to be so. Such is the case with the Creation account. I would say the third commandment rests on the fact that God created everything in existence over a 6-day timespan. It's right there in the verse: Ex 20:11 - "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Both "For" and "wherefore" are statements of purpose that explain the reason for the commandment. You may have to accept the commandment by faith, but it's efficacy rests upon the fact of a 6-day creation. I'm glad you don't believe in evolution, but you're straddling the fence between God's Word and man's denial of it.
The source of the light is largely irrelevant, but Rev 21:23 indicates that it could have been God's glory if nothing else. The presence of the sun is not necessary for light to exist. Let me ask you a question. Why do you feel that it is wrong to dogmatically assert a 24-hour day? Why look for any interpretation other than the obvious and plain meaning on this one?
I'll just go ahead and put this out there in hopes it averts any potential doubt remaining about the need to be dogmatic on this... Leading Hebrew scholar James Barr (who does not himself believe in Biblical creationism by the way) had this to say: "...probably, so far as I know, there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writes(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended to convey to their readers the ideas that: creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experiencethe figures contained in Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical storyNoah's flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those on the ark"One should also note that until the 18th century when Charles Lyell began to push uniformitarian geology and Charles Darwin came up with his theory of evolution based on Lyell's deep time, the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars, and individual churches for that matter, wholeheartedly asserted a young earth with a literal 6-day creation. Finally, and most importantly, if you compromise a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 you undermine the following, which renders them meaningless and destroys your foundation for saving faith: The 3rd Commandment rests on a literal interpretation of the creation week (Ex 21:8-11; Deu 5:12-15)Jesus understood it as a literal event to support his teachings (ex. Matt 19:8; Mark 10:6)The explanation of the origin of sin and how it was overcome (Rom 5:12-21)If you compromise here, you may as well throw the whole Bible out and make things up as you go. This is one of those foundational passages of the Bible on which the whole of Christianity rests. Without it, nothing else makes sense.
If I may, I'd like to submit as a possibility that all of the steps in this process are, in essence, one singular sin that took began at the decision to disobey which took place before the touch. As you mentioned, it all probably happened in such a rapid succession as to be indistinguishable. There is no reason to think Adam took the fruit, held it for 30 minutes while he wrestled with his conscience about whether or not to eat it. It is possible that he willfully sinned before even touching the fruit and the eating of it was merely a completion of the action. Consider Matt 5:28 in which Jesus declares that the sin of adultery occurs in the heart before action is ever taken. Perhaps, then, it should be considered one all-encompassing act as opposed to a series of actions that led to a sin?
Soooo...what exactly is the point you're trying to make about the first day and what does it have to do with the presence or absence of the sun? Is the dogmatic attitude you're talking about in reference to asserting a literal six 24-hour day creation week?
I think what you have to ask yourself is, "What's the purpose of the standard? What's the purpose of the change?" Is it being relaxed to appeal to the world or because it makes practical sense? If the purpose is to make visitors feel more comfortable and like they haven't really stepped out of the secular world, then I'd say run away now because it is more than likely an indication of deeper issues and compromises (perhaps as indicated by the debate over Bible versions). Here's the thing, I agree with everything Ukulelemike said above and all the issues about modesty and attitudes toward God; but I'm not sure how you apply that on a church-wide level with people that run the spectrum of spiritual maturity. Rather it should be a point of growth going from an new Christian that dresses for maximum comfort or to show how trendy and stylish they are to a mature Christian who's only concern for their attire is based on maximum respect and deference to a holy God and how he/she will reflect Him. I don't think you can levy a dress code for everyone who walks through the door, but you can exhort/encourage people to mature in their dressing habits just like any other aspect of Christian life.