Among Christians there should be no questions or debates about the origins of life, the earth or the universe.
– How important is this for Christians to deal with?
Dr. Danny Faulkner, Author, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, retired and now on staff with Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum responded:
True, but Dr. Faulkner misses the elephant in the room. Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer and best-selling author responded:
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” :
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 –
2. God himself restated it when giving the 10 commandments
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
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
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:
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
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… Read more »
Here’s an excellent article on progressive creationism:
What’s Wrong with 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.
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.
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
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »
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… Read more »