Sep 1, 2011

The Beginning and the Ending: Genesis Scoffers

David R. ReaganBy Dr. David R. Reagan
Lamb & Lion Ministries

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Let's consider for a moment some of the key questions that are always posed by those who scoff at the Genesis account of creation:

  1. How do you account for the apparent age of the earth?
  2. How do you explain the fossil records?
  3. How do you explain the fact that light from distant stars is reaching us — light that would have taken millions of years to arrive?
  4. How do you explain the complexity of life without millions of years for it to develop?
On and on the questions go.

From a secular viewpoint, the questions appear to present an invincible argument against the biblical story. But from a faith viewpoint, they do not present insurmountable problems.

A Fundamental Principle

That's because all of these questions can be answered by one simple observation: Special creation always carries with it the impression of age.

Thus, if I were to create a full grown tree instantly and then reveal it to you, you would argue that it was at least 10 to 15 years old. Or, if I were to create a full grown man instantly and then introduce him to you and ask you to guess his age, you would probably say he was at least 18 years old.

In both cases, there would be an appearance of age, but it would be an illusion.

A Second Consideration

Another factor to consider is that the earth looks old because it is in bondage to decay.

The original earth was perfect, and the Bible indicates that it was encased in a thick vapor canopy and that there was lush vegetation throughout the earth (Genesis 1:6-8, 20).

But that earth was spoiled by the sin of Man. When Adam and Eve rebelled, God responded by putting a curse on the earth, and all of creation was put in bondage to decay. (If you don't believe it, just go look in a mirror!)

That second earth was then further changed radically by the Noahic Flood that suddenly created great mountains and chasms. Consider the Grand Canyon, for example. It appears to have developed as the result of millions of years of erosion. But we know from the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 that such canyons can be created literally overnight. [1] They do not require great eons of time.

A Basic Issue

The lack of a need for time brings us back to a basic issue. The Bible teaches that God is omnipotent (Matthew 19:26). He could therefore have created the whole universe in the twinkling of an eye. He did not need time.

He chose instead to create the universe and all life in 6 days because the Bible says He wanted to give us a model for life — namely, 6 days of labor followed by one day of rest.

Answering the Skeptics

Let's return now to the questions posed by the skeptics:

1) How do you account for the apparent age of the earth?

Answer: The apparent age is just that: it is apparent and not real. The original earth looked old when it was created, and that appearance of age has been accelerated by the curse of God which put the whole universe in bondage to decay.

Nor is it dishonest of God to create an earth that looks old. Again, the appearance of age is a corollary of special creation. Furthermore, God has clearly told us how He created in His Word. How can He be accused of deception when He has told us how He did it?

2) How do you explain the fossil record?

Answer: The fossil record is not a record of age. Rather, it is the record of an event — the Noahic Flood.

3) How do you explain the light of the distant stars reaching the earth?

Answer: God created the light already reaching the earth. Therefore, what we observe today through a telescope is what has been happening to those stars since 6,000 years ago when they were created.

4) How do you explain the complexity of life without millions of years for it to develop?

Answer: God doesn't need time for special creation. Thus, when Jesus converted water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana, He did so instantly, proving He was the God of time (John 2:1-11). With God, there is no need for time.

Improper "Solutions"

To try to solve the contradiction between scientific theory and the biblical story by using the Gap Theory or the Day-Age Theory or both is an admission that God needs time.

One problem with the Gap Theory is that it appears to contradict Scripture. Consider this verse from Isaiah 45:18:
"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), I am the Lord and there is none else."
God did not create the earth and then allow it to become a "waste place" for billions of years before restoring it to His original intention — as a home for Mankind.

Another problem with both the Gap Theory and the Day-Age Theory is that they contradict the teaching of the Bible that death did not exist until the sin of Adam and Eve. That's because both theories propose that life evolved slowly over a long period of time, and there was constant life and death long before Mankind, resulting in the survival of the fittest. That assumption of life and death before Man is directly contrary to Scripture.

In the next part of this series on the beginning and the ending of the Bible, I'll look at why the theory of Evolution is the greatest fairy tale ever concocted by the depraved mind of Man.

[1] Dr. Steven A. Austin, "Mt. St. Helens and Catastrophism,", 1986.