Time to End the In House Debate

 

Among Christians there should be no questions or debates about the origins of life, the earth or the universe.


At the end of the Up  for Debate Episode titled “Should Christians Embrace the Big Bang? Host Julie Roys wrapped it up with the following two questions:

 – How important is this for Christians to deal with?
– Why do you think it’s important?

Dr. Danny Faulkner, Author,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus, retired and now on staff with Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum responded:

“I believe it’s important because it’s a Foundation of scripture integrity. What does the Bible say, what does God say, what does it mean to us?

True, but Dr. Faulkner misses the elephant in the room. Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer and best-selling author responded:

“Well notice that the time of creation is not in any of the biblical creeds. What’s important is who creates and how he creates. And this is what’s exciting about big bang cosmology. It identifies the who as the God of the Bible, it identifies  his creation intervention just like the Bible says.  I don’t think we should get hung up on the when.”1

Dr. Ross’ answer not only misses the elephant in the room, but it is also very misleading.  Why do the biblical creeds not mention the time of creation? (More importantly the duration.) Because that is not one of the issues they were dealing with at the time. In the first few centuries after Christ’s resurrection, the church was besieged with Christological issues – docetism (Christ only seemed to have a body but was really just spiritual), gnosticism (a whole range of errors regarding God from which we get the phrase “children of a lesser god”; errors regarding Christ;  and the nature of good and evil), monophysitism (Christ had only one nature), and so on. So they were concerned with clearly and correctly defining who Christ was – that he was “very God from very God” (from the Nicene Creed) and “one person with two natures” (From the Definition of Chalcedon). The Nicene Creed was written in 325 AD; the definition of Chalcedon was written in 451. The issue of the length of creation didn’t come up until needed for evolution, and Darwin didn’t publish “Origin of Species” until 1859.  So of course the creeds don’t deal with that.

Dr. Ross also states big bang cosmology identifies the who of creation as the God of the Bible. Really? Perhaps he should tell that to cosmologist and Big Bang advocate Lawrence Krauss who is telling everyone who will listen that there was no creator – everything came out of nothing2.  And while he’s at it,  he should tell cosmologists and Big Bang supporters Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok – whose Brane cosmology theory (brane – short for membrane – a theory that is a result of their work with M theory; which is a culmination of String theory – states the Big Bang is just one of many recurring Big Bangs going back endlessly – and thus no creator is needed – the unverse is eternal.3

Thus contrary to the assertion that the big bang identifies a creator, the fact of the matter is the standard Big Bang theory only implies a beginning; and not even that for cosmologist who see the big bang as one of an infinite series. Moreover,  it says nothing about how that beginning came about, or who or what had a hand in it’s beginning. And if Dr. Ross doesn’t think we should get hung up on the “when”, then why doesn’t he just go along with the 6 day creation? He won’t because it is, in point of fact, very important to him because as a scientist, he’s trying to reconcile evolution with scripture and his solution is Theistic Evolution – another incorrect theory that requires millions of years. Thus he wants to keep long ages in creation to preserve the millions and billions of years needed for evolution.  But as a Christian, the truth regarding the length of creation should be important to not only Dr. Ross but all Christians, because of what Dr. Faulkner pointed out – the importance of the integrity and veracity of the Bible.

But there’s more to it than just incorrect views of the big bang.  There’s the aforementioned elephant in the room that no one seems to want to mention: Darwinian evolution.  Materialistic science needs to keep Darwinian evolution because that’s the only mechanism they have to explain the origin of life on earth, though in truth – Darwinian evolution doesn’t explain that – Darwinian evolution can not work until you have already existing two reproducing members of a species. To explain life, you need neo-Darwinism with a boost from chemical evolution theories. But that’s a topic for another time.

The main point here is those who reject the 6 day creation account do so in order to keep a “millions of years” time frame for the age of the earth and universe.  The elephant in the room is the need of  scientists who only believe in the material realm,  whose theories require millions and billions of years. For them “Time is the hero” for it allows (in their mind anyway) things to happen that are normally impossible, and thus it is the only mechanism which allows even a semblance of plausibility to any of their already implausible theories of origins (namely the big bang and Darwinian evolution).

But why are we afraid to speak against the theories of scientists which are not only incorrect but irrational? (Standard Big Bang cosmology requires a universe to pop into existence out of absolute nothingness. Is that a rational concept?)  John Lennox nails our reluctance on the head in his book 7 Days that Divide the world. Lennox wants to have his cake and eat it too: he attempts to hold to both 24 hour days, and millions of years in between them. But he nails it on the head as to why we’re afraid to speak up against the nonsense of scientists who propose irrational theories like “a universe from nothing” :

We don’t wish to appear scientifically illiterate4

And all the while our kids are falling away from the faith because we can’t come up with reasonable answers to the questions they pose based on the scientific stories they’re being taught. How many times do we have to hear stories of people turning away from the faith after learning about Evolution? This should not, and need not be the case. Clearly evolution can not be true if the creation is young – so evolutionists fight creationists tooth and nail on this point. But in house between Christians – there should be no debate because scripture is clear.

Host Julie Roys closed with two points: 1) She wasn’t there and honestly doesn’t know. and 2) Doesn’t believe there is only one interpretation of the Genesis account.

But we’re often called upon to make judgments on things we didn’t personally witness, and we can do so confidently given enough evidence – as when we sit on a jury. So since this is an in-house discussion (the house of God), let me provide the evidence that should make this a slam dunk, no brainer case for Christians on why the Bible means what it appears to mean in Genesis 1 when it talks about “evening and day” the (nth) numbered day:

1. In the context of Gen 1 –
Six – 24 hour days is the clear meaning
Much has been written about a numbered  day following the evening.  The context is clear. When’s the last time you squeezed a million years into an evening before the dawn came?

2. God himself restated it when giving the 10 commandments
After the Exodus, God lays out how they will order their lives and describes the work week in the decalogue. Thus the context is the work week for the Israelites:

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Ex 20.9-11

God then wrote it on tables of stone (Ex 24.12).  Either this is a regular week with  6 days for work and 1 day for rest, or God is expecting the Israelites to work  6 million years (or multiple millions of years for each “day”), then rest 1 million if you insist on saying the days represent millions of years ages. As Dr. Faulkner said, whenever “day” is used, we know what it means because the context determines the meaning. Both here and in Genesis 1-2, a day is clearly a 24 hour period.

3. Millions of years puts death before Adams sin
For Christians the strongest case against millions of years for the creation is a correct understanding of sin, death and redemption. If you go along with millions of years in the creation, you’re forced to conclude:

a) The sin of Adam and Eve was not really the cause of death
Contrary to Gen 2.17 (“…for when you eat of it you will surely die.“)
– Because death has been in the world for millions of years while creatures evolve.

b) Creation is no longer “very good” (Gen 1.31)
Consider the following picture. How can creation be “very good” when God finally gets around to creating man (after millions of years have passed while other creatures evolve) if it’s littered with death and decay from millions of years of evolution?
Did God Create over Billions of Years?
See Did God Create over billions of years

 c) Death is a natural part of creation instead of an enemy to be conquered. Why does Jesus need to destroy death (1 Cor 15.26) if God saw it as a good tool to create with?


4. The Big Bang has the order of creation events out of sequence
There are a number of items, but lets just take one:
Gen 1.1-2 starts with the earth;
The Big Bang starts with gases that (after millions of years) form stars, then after millions of more years form planets.

Why did God tell Moses the earth was first if the stars were first? God is not a God of confusion. (1 Cor 14.33) Why would he bring  in confusion here?

I submit that our desire to please the Lord should be greater than our fear of man, or more appropriately our own fear of appearing  foolish before man. We who live in the 21st century are blessed in that fear is mitigated because there are many scientists –  Christian and otherwise – who are coming up with many scientific evidences that validate what scripture has taught all along (like a
young universe).  The question for us then becomes are we  going to be the good and faithful steward of God’s word, or are we going to be ashamed of God’s word – and then have to explain that  to the Lord?

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Mark 8.38

As for me and my house, we’re going to be faithful to the word as God gave it.

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-21-2014 | print format


1. The rest of Dr. Ross’ statement:

“…It’s not a crucial issue for salvation, it’s not a crucial issue for biblical inerrancy, so if we could just relax on that issue and deal with the most important issues of using the who and the how to bring people to faith in Christ. We should be rejoicing over all the people who are being brought to Christ over big bang cosmology and what the Bible says about the universe.”

While perhaps not crucial for salvation, as shown above, an incorrect theology of creation makes death a needed tool in God’s arsenal instead of an enemy to be overcome.

2  Krauss, an atheist, is author of “A Universe from Nothing” – believes in the Big Bang, but doesn’t believe it implies a creator

3 Steinhardt and Turok give a summary of their theory in  Through the Wormhole Episode What happened before the beginning?

4 Lennox, John C Seven Days that Divide the World Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011 p. 31

10 thoughts on “Time to End the In House Debate

  1. It’s been pointed out to me that Dr. Ross does not consider himself a theistic evolutionist, but rather a progressive creationist. What’s the difference between the two? This article argues none:
    http://www.bible.ca/tracks/b-hugh-ross.htm

    I made a statement to up4debate that Dr. Ross appears to be an evolutionist to me, and until he acknowledges the undisputed parts of the creation accounts that all Christians can agree on, such as the Genesis account clearly indicates that the creation of the earth was before the stars, fruit trees came before fish, etc. he will remain in my book as an evolutionist in creationist clothing – more concerned with upholding scientific status quo and thus long ages than the truthfulness of God’s word.

  2. Here’s an excellent article on progressive creationism:

    What’s Wrong with Progressive Creation?
    https://answersingenesis.org/answers/books/new-answers-book-2/progressive-creation/

    I didn’t see it before I wrote this article, but Ken Ham and Dr. Terry Mortenson further explain the problems of Hugh Ross’ position – progressive creationism as well as affirm points above regarding problem for those who hold to long age theories – problems such as death before sin and the problem with the Bing Bang order of things.

  3. Way to speak the truth in a loving way, brother! As Christians, we should trust what God’s Word says about creation, rather than creating our own, illogical, irrational or inherently inconsistent theories.

  4. Thanks brother.
    Trying to gently instruct as we’ve been instructed:

    Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
    1 Tim 2.25

  5. Hi Duane. I am thankful that you care enough about the connection of the mind of the faith enough to make a ministry of it, and I wish you the very best. Having said that, I am sorry for this article. It truly reflects a genuine lack of knowledge in much of the content, especially its attacks on Dr. Ross. He is a Biblical inerrantist and is consistently and loudly outspoken against Darwinian theory so it is really ignorant to claim anything otherwise. I honestly dont care how old creation is, but I do care about the faith of those who are told the Bible absolutely claims creation is a few thousand years and when they discover tremendous evidence to the contrary, that faith becomes compromised. Most of the Christian apologists I know take an old earth position, and they are ALL Biblical inerrantists. This keeps us out of the exceedingly unfortunate circumstance I give and also keeps us from being perceived as ‘anti-science’ in the way that the young earth position is. Honestly, if we are to insist on a few thousand years, we really dont belong in the schools. I wish you the best but know that this brother will continue to represent the opposing view hoping to limit the damage I believe is being done by your viewpoint. God speed, my friend.

  6. Hi Pepper,

    I don’t consider this article an “attack” on Dr. Ross. It is merely a brief exposition on the consequences of his beliefs with regards to origins. I don’t dispute that Dr. Ross considers himself one who believes in the inerrancy of the scripture. The question this article deals with is not “are there errors in the Bible”, but rather, “what is the meaning of what the Bible says?” Dr. Ross and I disagree over what the Bible means with regards to origins.

    I agree Dr. Ross has spoken against Darwinian evolution, but my point is, he still believes in evolution. He calls it “progressive creationism” but I’m sure you’ve heard the saying – if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – it’s probably a duck. Dr. Ross proclaims himself to be a creationist, but he walks, talks and defends his points like an evolutionist. In my book, that makes him an evolutionist. Let me give you an example.

    As you know, Dr. Ross’s organization is Reasons to Believe. On the site, with regards to Adam and Eve, it states:

    “In a nutshell, RTB holds that all humans (including the Australian Aborigines and American Indians) descended from Adam and Eve, who were a historical couple existing sometime between 6,000 and 100,000 years ago.”

    (http://www.reasons.org/articles/rtb-s-position-on-humanity-and-hominids)

    A good creationist answer – except for the 100,000 years part. But then if you were to ask, where did Adam and Eve come from?, note the answer:

    “Toward this end, recent advances in molecular genetics are quite provocative. As Hugh Ross and I discuss in Who Was Adam?, numerous studies indicate that humanity originated: (1) recently (around 100,000 years ago, plus or minus 20,000 years or so); (2) at a single location (East Africa)—close to where some Bible scholars think the Garden of Eden was located; and (3) from a small population of individuals.”

    (http://www.reasons.org/articles/were-they-real-the-scientific-case-for-adam-and-eve)

    So Ross’s organization RTB is stating Adam and Eve came “from a small population of individuals.” That, my friend (and sister in Christ I assume) is not the direct creation by God described in Genesis 1. That is evolution from an earlier “small population of individuals.” But the Bible is rather clear: Adam and Eve came by direct creation from God, in the likeness of God – not like any another kind, and not from a “small population of individuals.” This “small population of individuals” is an evolutionary idea; it’s not what the Bible teaches about the first couple.

    And the problem is – Dr. Ross does that to many Bible doctrines – changes them to accommodate his understanding of science – which may be faulty. He does the same thing with Gen 1 and the days of creation. The bible is very clear “And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day.” And likewise with the succeeding days. Yet Ross states Day one is a billion year period. Here’s a graphic:
    http://www.reasons.org/files/articles/creation_timeline_chart_color_201107.pdf

    When’s the last time you went to bed and woke up and a billion years had passed? The meaning of the text is clear. Dr. Ross does violence to the text to accommodate his Big Bang – Old Earth scientific views.

    As for the number of Christian apologists who take an old earth position – isn’t what matters is who is correct – not the numbers on each side? If you just followed numbers you’d follow the people taking the broad road to destruction; instead of the constricted and narrow path to life. (Matt 7.13-14) Besides there are plenty of apologists who believe in a young earth. You should visit http://creation.com some time. That is particularly true if you want to see how science is applied to a young earth position. Contrary to what you’ve apparently been taught and believe, “young earth” does not mean “anti-science.”

    My prayer for you is that this day you re-read Gen 1 and Deut 5.12-14, pretending you had never heard of evolution or the Big Bang (like the people God originally gave the scriptures to) and see if the normal meaning and context does not dictate that God is speaking of 24 hour days.

    It’s unfortunate that Dr. Ross keeps intentionally confusing the matter by pointing out that “day” can be used in Hebrew four different ways just as it can be in English. But context determines meaning, and I’m confident that you understood my use of the word “day” above as the 24 hour period in which you read this response; – not a day “age” – a billion years from now. If so, then you also understand the meaning of “day” as spoken in Genesis 1 and in the forth commandment; and any resistance to it’s obvious meaning is no doubt to accommodate bad science or bad theology or both.

    Remember – do it this day.
    And you know what I mean.

  7. Duane,
    1. What difference does 100,000 make? I assume you don’t have a problem with 10,000 versus 6,000 because you understand the genealogies are incomplete. So the only difference in the numbers is how many generations are missing. Even if you insist on 24 hour days, I don’t understand why those 24 hour days could not have been 100,000 years ago?
    2. You are misunderstanding the RTB (Ross and Rana) position on Adam and Eve. They have ALWAYS maintained that Adam and Eve were a special creation of God, never that they were part of ANY evolutionary process. The quote you reference was a conclusion of the study, not of theirs. In fact, if you go on to read the entire article they actually argue that the study does not contradict their view that the ‘small population of individuals’ is actually a population of two.
    3. I am going to assume you did not really intend to say that Dr Ross ‘intentionally confuses the matter’. Dr Ross is simply giving his point of view including his defense of that view, and to question his motivations is disingenuous at best. I believe that Dr Ross view of the options for YOM are completely defensible both grammatically and scripturally.
    4. I am not going to belabor the translations issue. For all I know you may be an OT Hebrew scholar and are completely certain of your view of Genesis based on the original text. I tend to question everyone who ascribes inerrancy and infallibility to their interpretation of the Scripture, rather than to the Scripture itself. This was the problem for Galileo, and it strikes me that we are possibly making the same mistake today that was made back then. (The impact is similar also, what would be the impact of the church if we insisted today that the earth was the center of the universe?) My point is simply that there are lots of really smart people who believe that inerrancy and billions are NOT mutually exclusive. Honestly, I would love for the correct answer to turn out to be thousands, but given the overwhelming evidence we have today I think that dogmatically taking the thousands view is unwarranted and dangerous.

  8. Hi Pepper,

    1. What difference does a 100,000 years make?
    When God says things happened in 1 day, (evening and morning) and man says it took 100,000 years (hundreds of thousands of evenings and mornings) – to allow for evolution – that’s a big difference.

    2. I will grant you that RTB says Adam and Eve are a special creation. My problem is when they explain what they mean, they keep couching things in evolutionary terms. Like this:

    “A sudden and early appearance with two periods of stasis interspersed by rapid change defines bipedalism’s natural history. These characteristics perfectly match the pattern special creation would predict.

    A biblical creation model, in which God creates large bipedal primates, predicts long periods of stasis; a perfect Creator could be expected to bring about a form of bipedalism ideally suited for His creatures’ environmental, predatory, and competitive challenges.”

    http://www.reasons.org/articles/the-leap-to-two-feet-the-sudden-appearance-of-bipedalism

    Bipedal creatures and Adam and Eve were created on the 6th day, (a 24 hour day) with no “long periods of stasis” interspersed. That is evolutionary talk that RTB seems to endorse.

    3. I do believe Ross is confusing many Christians like yourself and others by claiming 1 day = 1 Billion years; and justifying it by saying that “a day can by used in 4 different ways.” So what? It doesn’t matter how many different ways it can be used, what matters it how it was in fact used in context; the intended meaning. The intended meaning is absolutely clear for those who want to be honest about what “evening and morning” entails. And you don’t need to be a Hebrew scholar to get that meaning.

    4. I assume you’re not going to belabor the translation point because you knew exactly what I meant when I used “day” in my comment above. I believe you also know what day means in Genesis 1 too, but your desire to defend Ross’s evolutionary, long age interpretation is hindering you.

    My advice to you: This day follow Hebrews 12.1

    “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

    I believe it is Ross and those proclaiming long ages for the days of creation that are doing great damage to the faith and hindering people from the faith; not young earth Christians.

    Again, you know what I mean by “this day”.
    Why are you having such a hard time with what it means in Genesis 1? Could it be that Ross is confusing you?

  9. Hi Duane.

    Last post, I think. It feels to me like you started with your conclusion and you filter everything through that lens. This is what Darwinists and Atheists in general do. If you have the truth, it is an entirely unnecessary approach.

    Your response to the 100,000 completely misses the point, it has nothing to do with 24 hour days. The question was…why could those 24 hour days not have happened 100,000 years ago? The ONLY reason you have to reject that length of time is because the genealogies wont take you back that far. But we know the genealogies are incomplete, so the only difference between 6,000 and 100,000 is the number of generations that are missing. As a believer in 24 hour creation days, I do not see why it matters to you how many years ago those 24 hour days took place. Has NOTHING to do with evolution.

    2. Speaking of evolution, that you cant separate time from evolution perhaps explains your constantly bringing it up when it has nothing to do with the conversation. You acknowledge Ross is vocally opposed to it, yet you insist on continuing to use the term as though he is supporting it. The example you use has NOTHING to do with evolutionary theory. The passage is talking about the CREATION history of bi-pedal primates. Ross and Rana and the entire RTB team have NEVER expressed any sympathy whatsoever to evolutionary theory, theological or otherwise. In fact, Ross’s common observation is that ‘4 billion years is hopelessly too short a period of time for Darwinian processes to produce humans. You could give them a trillion years and it still would not be enough time’.

    3. ‘Just read the passage and the meaning is obvious’ is not an argument and you should go beyond this. Virtually everyone that will respond to you is very familiar with the passage and for some reason disagrees with your interpretation, so just telling them to read the passage is a waste of everyones time.

    4. A day to the Lord is like a thousand years – Moses. Moses didnt say a day to the Lord is like 24 hours. The point being that God transcends time. Who was around during the creation period? God and God alone. So why are you limiting God to 24 hour days when even Moses, the author of Genesis 1, did not do so.

    5. Hebrews 4 tells us the 7th day of rest is still in progress. There was no evening and morning for the 7th day. If the 7th day was not 24 hours then why would the first 6 have to be?

    6. In an otherwise action packed day, Adam named ALL the animals in less than 24 hours? really?

    7. There are other day-age Biblical arguments but I will leave it at that. And I am familiar with all the objections, the Sabbath equivalent, YOM with an ordinal number, Romans 5:12, nature red in tooth and claw, evening and morning, etc. I am familiar with them and in my opinion there is very little doubt the earth is billions of years old.

    8. I could be wrong. I think it would be GREAT if I was wrong. But there is nothing in your arguments or Ken Ham’s or Jonathon Sarfati’s or John Morris’s or any of the others, that I find a good reason to believe that I am.

    9. Because here is the deal. What if you are wrong? I know you think your interpretation and knowledge are inerrant, but what if you are wrong? and then some kid (or adult for that matter) who buys your argument comes to the conclusion that they cant trust the Bible because…our nearest galaxy is 2 million light years away so it takes the light 2 million years to get here (ah, go read Russell Humphrey’s explanation of how ALL the other physicists and astronomers are completely wrong because I have this theory about light travel time they dont accept)…or… because there are 250,000 annual ice layers in greenland or millions of years of rings in the coral reefs (well, go read about how the flood caused all of our geological formations and how ALL the geologists of the world are wrong about those formations resulting from time)…and any other number of evidences from nature that says the earth CANT be six thousand years old (because ALL those other scientists are ALL wrong about EVERYTHING when they disagree with us). Are you willing to risk that kids faith in something that should be sacred for the sake of your interpretation of Genesis 1?

    10. I see ZERO use for six thousand years from an evangelical standpoint and a lot of use from an evangelical standpoint for NOT standing dogmatically on six thousand. For that reason I would be day-age even if the evidence was 50-50. Whether it is an individuals faith or us getting clobbered in the courts, there is a price to be paid for being YE and it is an unnecessary price.

    However, I do wish you the best and appreciate that you are taking a stand. God bless you in making a difference for Jesus Christ.

  10. Hi Pepper,

    I obviously won’t persuade you; nor will Ken Ham or Jonathon Sarfati or John Morris or any other creationist apparently. and since you are not interested in reading Genesis 1 in context (or any other scripture for that matter apparently – liberally taking many out of context), I leave you with your same question:

    What if you are wrong? I know you think your interpretation and knowledge are inerrant, but what if you are wrong?

    What if it is you that is leading children (and adults) astray) (As many creationists believe.)

    As to our disagreement – at the risk of your taking yet another scripture out of context, I leave you with the advice of Romans 14 which seems appropriate:

    5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
    6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
    7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.
    8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

    I realize he’s not talking about length of days, but the principle applies.

    When we stand before the Lord, we shall find out who’s correct, n’est ce pas?

    Regards,

    Duane