O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Covenant Creation Conference: "From Darkness to Light" (Mickey Denen)

Listen to Mickey's presentation here.


Being the concrete sequential thinker that I am, I am always looking for rules to follow. So when Tim and Jeff included the suggestion on their conference CD jacket that we listen to the messages "in order" I didn't even consider the idea of veering from that suggestion. I listened to the first message from Mickey Denen first, entitled "Darkness to Light."

The other suggestion I wisely followed was to use the power point presentation provided with the message. And Mickey's, in addition to adding clarity to his points, includes an entertaining element which many of you will enjoy. Mickey has a very warm personality and a disarming, endearing humility that you will find yourselves drawn to. He has always had my respect on a personal level, but after hearing what he presented in this message I will be paying more attention to his theology in the future. I found his message both impactful and insightful.

And so I wanted to introduce a new discussion topic centered on Mickey's message, with subsequent topics of the other messages to follow, each having its own separate heading. I hope others here will take advantage of what is sure to be a substantial discussion of some very exciting material, if this first message is any indication at all of what we are in for.

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That was a great lesson from Mickey and one that resonates with me especially. Mickey is reading scripture the way the story was intended to be read and understood. It is so refreshing to continue to encounter those who are willing to challenge the status quo and find the better way. This lecture just continues to give me great hope for the future as good men and women search through Genesis and keep unlocking its truths.

Mickey’s delving into evolutionary principles reminds me of a book by a Christian Evolutionist that I’m currently reading. That book highlights through his scholarly work how evolution reveals God. When Christians begin to understand that evolution is our friend and God’s handiwork then we will be able to step back and take a big sigh of relief. It will be realized then that the battle has taken a turn that will dispel the tension between science and religion for the past 500 years and especially the last 150. That will truly be a new day.

Here is the book and a couple of review excerpts.

Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe
by Simon Conway Morris

"Are human beings the insignificant products of countless quirky biological accidents, or the expected result of evolutionary patterns deeply embedded in the structure of natural selection? Drawing upon diverse biological evidence, Conway Morris convincingly argues that the general features of our bodies and minds are indeed written into the laws of the universe. This is a truly inspiring book, and a welcome antidote to the bleak nihilism of the ultra-Darwinists." Paul Davies, Author of Mind of God”

“Praise for previous book... "Having spent four centuries taking the world to bits and trying to find out what makes it tick, in the 21st century scientists are now trying to fit the pieces together and understand why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Simon Conway Morris provides the best overview, from a biolgical viewpoint, of how complexity on the large scale arises from simple laws on the small scale, and why creatures like us may not be the accidents that many suppose. This is the most important book about evolution since The Selfish Gene; essential reading for everyone who has wondered about why we are here in a Universe that seems tailor-made for life. John Gribbin, Author of Science: A History”


Are human beings the insignificant products of countless quirky biological accidents, or the expected result of evolutionary patterns deeply embedded in the structure of natural selection?

Statements like this are just silly.
Norm, I too appreciated Mickey’s “delving into evolutionary principles” because of the way he did it in the context of the character of God. Regardless of how we come to understand “natural processes” and what we may conclude about their origins through the study of science (which I personally will leave to the scientists), we agree as Christians that God’s design and purposes are preeminent. Mickey, in a non-confrontational, non-combative way, with subtle finesse, refuted the erroneous notion that evolution and atheism are synonymous terms. Of course we know that equation is nonsense, but it never ceases to amaze me how many Christians (specifically YEC Christians) equate evolution with atheism.

Moving on…I thought his comparison of Genesis 2:7-9 and Ezekiel 37:1-5 was brilliant. And then he brought in Revelation 11:7-13 and summed up the connection with these two statements:

Breath of life communicates the bringing of people into the presence of God.

This is also the imagery of resurrection.

Confirming once again that the story of resurrection begins in the garden. Now, is it any wonder why Paul goes back there in 1 Corinthians 15?

Also, throughout Scripture, “resurrection” is synonymous with being brought into “the land.” We have been showing this over and over again in our study of the prophets.

Another thing I appreciated was his discussion of the Hebrew word for “formed” (yasar) which I think Tim gets into as well. Mickey presented a solid case that it is not necessary or even necessarily logical, even within just the isolated context of Genesis 2, to interpret Adam being “formed from the dust of the ground” as referring to a biological process. And of course as we have been discussing, the “biology textbook” view of that account in Genesis in not compatible with a spiritual or covenantal understanding of “resurrection” in 1 Corinthians 15 (or the Old Testament prophecies upon which Paul bases his teaching). So if a straight reading of the context of Genesis 2 doesn’t even demand a physical interpretation as the YECs claim, and the rest of Scripture refutes a physical interpretation, we should certainly be free to abandon the physical interpretation in favor of one that harmonizes with the rest of Scripture.

He went on to elucidate the usage and context of the words “dust,” “breath,” and “garden, ” as Norm wrote, “reading scripture the way the story was intended to be read and understood.” And yes, I agree with Norm, that is most refreshing.

Over all this was an impactful, substantive message.
I also want to mention that it was such a treat to recieve Jim Kesslers artwork in this package today. I immediately put it up beside my other two pieces of his work from Tim and Jeff's book here in my office. I get many comments from my customers and I'm expecting this new added piece will really catch their eye.

Thanks Jim

Tami and Norm,

Did the packages arrive in good condition? It was a little dicey trying to send both parts in the same piece of mail. Let me know if there was any damage.

Tim Martin

The prints showed yesterday. (Perfect condition.) The CDs still haven't made it.
Very good condition, Tim.

Thanks for your kind comments concerning the artwork. Tim and Jeff are great guys to work for.

I'm looking forward to reciving my copies and prints as well.


Jim K
Tami, I liked a lot of the same things as you. Especially the "dust", "breath of life", "garden", and "resurrection" theme. Adam came from the dust (progeny of the "earth") and was given the "breath of life" (ie: planted in the garden, in God's presence). The connection to Ezek 37 and Rev 11 was quite profound.
Hey Guys,
I know it's been over a month! Although i had listened to the audio before, today at work i had time to listen and utilize the power point presentation along with it.It's definitely the best way to get the most out of the lecture.

I would agree with your previous comments especially the connection with Ezk and Rev. And Tami's remark "Confirming once again that the story of resurrection begins in the garden".and “resurrection” is synonymous with being brought into “the land.

Micky said "our worldview effects how we understand what God has done". Amen to that! I also agree "we are on a journey to understand what God has done".

Great presentation and a lot of food for thought.

Thanks for the book recommendation Norm i put it on my list.I have always shunned away from evolution..guess i am one of those Tami mentioned and held "the erroneous notion that evolution and atheism are synonymous terms.


It has taken most of my adult life to rid myself of the Evolution boogey man that evangelical Christians have constructed in opposition to evolution. I have been a staunch opponent of evolution until recently mostly due to statistical models and probabilities. What I didn’t come to grips with was that these statistical probabilities were based upon atheistic evolution with no regard to a fine tuned designed physical and biological created Universe. There are many scientist that have recognized the physical nature of the fine tuned Universe but many of us have not realized that the same exploration is going on among the biological examination of life as we often seem to only hear from the atheist on this subject.

What really jolted me out of even some of my Old Earth special creationism was the realization that if I was going to rule out a YEC view of scriptures then I need to put the OEC view to the same test. If I decided that God would create in special events throughout the age of the earth then why could he not do so recently with a YEC proposed solution? It seemed that it would be hypocritical and inconsistent to say that God could specially create by introducing miraculous out of nothing the different species throughout the millions of years of life here on earth but he could not do so recently.

When it dawned on me that I was being hypocritical as an Old Earth special Creationist then it opened my mind to actually start looking at what Christian biologist have to say about how evolutionary principles work and to examine these ideas under new statistical models and probabilities. I started with the most recent occurrences of biological diversity that can be explored most accurately, namely the last 100,000 years and became knowledgeable about how climatic extremes have had an effect upon the different continents and drove some species to extinction and some to flourish. You develop a microcosmic understanding that then can start to be extrapolated over the millions of years and things start to make better sense.

The bottom line though is that we Christians are all Creationist whether we believe that God created the world from the get go such as the Big Bang or if we think He did so 6000 years ago. How God facilitated the diversity of life and us is an examination that science helps investigate as the bottom layer of Walton’s cake. When it comes to special creation of Spiritual mankind we have the testimony of the inspired word of God comprising the top layer. Both layers are extremely complex as we Preterist are finding out in our examination of the Top Layer but the bottom layer is no doubt a complex subject worthy of solid investigation as well.



Olivet Discourse Movie

How the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in the first century.
Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21
Riley O'Brien Powell



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