(Preface: This post ties in many of the topics I have already posted about. Many of the topics I will lightly touch on again and others I will discuss in a different light.)
In the topic of origins and the formation of the world and universe, there tends to be two distinct view points. Thirteen billion years ago (give or take a few million) a monstrous, dense mass of matter exploded bringing everything we see now, such as stars, planets, galaxies, etc., into existence (Also known as the Big Bang), or, that an intelligent being, or God, created the world and the universe in a period of six earth days. The former is generally accepted as “truth” or “fact” and is widely taught. The latter is mainly accused of being “pseudoscience” and religious and is therefore shunned from schools.
Many Christian students (This doesn’t just happen for Christians. This could be the same for Jews or Muslims or anyone who believes in a “creation” event) are confronted with the theories of the Big Bang and of evolution and question their faith (I don’t believe questioning what you believe is incorrect, however. A faith is not actually faith unless it is tested and doubts arise sometimes). Many times students brush aside any previous beliefs and instead just take what their grade-school teacher tells them. Others still, not wanting to relinquish their beliefs, accept the theories being taught to them and adapt their beliefs to the modern science of man. This belief system is often called “theistic evolution” or even “progressive creation.”
At first glance or thought, this sounds great. The individual retains their faith and is in agreement with the current theories of the day.I would agree, however, one must also agree with the claim that most of the book of Genesis in the Bible (or at least chapters 1-11) is not historical fact, but instead is merely a story.
The key topic that theistic evolutionists choose to “change” or debate within Genesis and the creation account is time. In the creation account, Genesis states that the figure of God created in six twenty-four hour days. This does not allow for the possibility for billions of years. So, the claim is that the “day” described within Genesis is not a “day” as it is in human eyes. It does not merely translate into twenty-four hours periods of time (These individuals are called day-age theorists).
Instead, day-age theorists claim that the Genesis account is vague about the amount of time within the six days. They state that a “day” could actually be billions of years (also called the day-age theory). This thought process now allows for the possibility that God used evolution and billions of years explanations to create. They ask, “How can we positively state we know what God meant or what time means to God?”
Again, this sounds like a great explanation, but when one looks at the ancient Hebrew (original language Genesis was written in), one can see that the definition of “a day” is not as “fuzzy” as the viewpoint theistic evolution may claim.
(In my previous post, A Flood of Truth, last month, I describe more in-depth the writing style and verbiage of the ancient Hebrew of Genesis.)
In Hebrew, the word for “day” is Yom. Although the Hebrew uses this word as a twenty-four hour day, on occasion the word has been attempted to be linked to larger periods of time or shorter periods of time (However, this is by no means near millions or even billions of years). This is another piece of “evidence” that is of cited by theistic evolutionists to bring doubt on the belief of six actual days. However, if one is to read the surrounded context where Yom is not directly used as a day, the context does not support their claim. Regardless of this, there are other pieces of Genesis that defines what a “day” in the creation account was meant to be.
Genesis 1:5, in English, reads, “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day,” (NIV version). This is stated after God has finished creating light. Already, we can see an aspect of the Bible discussing the rotation of the Earth as describing a day. Also, each day is written with a number, such as, “the fifth day.” So, this shows us that the use of Yom is a single twenty-four hour period. Jonathan Sarfati, scientist and researcher for CMI, in his book, The Genesis Account, records Yom used “410 times outside Genesis 1 – always normal length day.”
There is also a better translation than “the first day” from the Hebrew. A more accurate translation would be, “And there was evening and there was morning – one day.” (Emphasis added).
“Also, God himself in Genesis 1:5 is defining what a day is: a darkness (night) and light (day) cycle, ‘there was evening and there was morning, one day.’ One rotation of the earth equals one day.” (Emphasis original).
The days following the first have a number with them (Example: A fifth day). This translation shows that God defines what a day is meant to be and what a day is according to the creation account. Sarfati goes on to quote some of the great theologians such as Basil ‘the Great’ who agreed with this translation and meaning. They did not need the modern science we have now to understand the Bible. We do not need experts and the “elite” to understand God’s word.
This brings us to the day-age theorist claim of “God’s time.” The day-age theory claims that “God’s meaning is different from man’s meaning…” (Sarfati). Let me ask the question, “Does God have to obey or be constrained by such a concept such as time?” I will use an illustration to help draw my point. Let’s say that I draw a comic or cartoon world. I decide to make the world square; the planet, people, trees, etc are squares. I then decide that my square people must “hop” to move and can only speak in ten word sentences before pausing. Do I, as the cartoonist, have to follow the new rules and laws of the square world? Do I have to hop or speak in ten word sentences? No, I don’t, because I am outside of this world. This is similar to the way God is related to time. He created the universe and its laws of time, gravity, etc. He can intervene and act in the universe, but he is not constrained to these laws. He is outside of it.
“Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of time itself. God must have created time (‘all things’ – John 1:3), and it had a beginning (Genesis 1:1). Conversely, God, having no beginning or end, is eternal, which should properly be understood not as infinite time but beyond time.” (Emphasis original).
This means that there is no time that is different from time for man. In addition, there is not a “God meaning” for words that are different from man’s meaning. If there was a difference, how could God communicate what he meant to us? Also, if there are other meanings that only God understands, how can we trust any other part of the Bible? The commandments could mean something completely different. Loop holes in meaning and truth can be validated and justified with this thought process. God spoke and wrote down the creation account as he commanded it to arise and to have happened. He did not use alternate meanings for words or speak it differently so that early peoples could understand it. Why would God speak the account of creation in a way that is not understandable to us? He is not creating the account for himself. This kind of thinking greatly undermines the authority of God’s word. God, instead, recorded history for us exactly how he acted it out.
Lastly, the compromise of combining “particles to people” evolution (That is chemical evolution of the first cell as well as the evolution of apes to humans) is not Biblical. The General theory of evolution states that the first cell was created from a primordial soup of chemicals struck by some form of energy. From there on, natural selection and mutations carried organisms forward until humans arose. This requires millions of millions of organisms dying and perishing before humans finally arrive on the scene. This is vastly different from the Bible. Not only did God create already functioning and living animals filling the land, air, and seas, God created the world without sin, and therefore without death. Without death, the general theory of evolution falls apart. Only after man sinned did death enter the world.
(In the future I will write a post about evolution and the Bible. The Bible does not disagree with speciation, that is the formation of new species from already living ones).
If God had created with sin and death already apart the world, this would challenge his goodness and the truth of his word. 1 Corinthians 15:26 states that, “The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” (NIV version). Why would God state in Genesis and other books of the Bible that he created a perfect world without sin or death yet supposedly create in a completely different way that opposes his very being? This obvious contradiction would make God a deceiver and would bring into question the entire Bible.
Theistic evolution, progressive creation, day-age theories, etc desperately attempt to combine the claims of modern science and theories of evolution but in doing so go directly against the teachings of the God’s word. This combination is not Biblically accurate or Biblically supported. As I stated in my last post, Jesus himself quoted Genesis and claimed Adam, Eve, and Noah to be real people and their stories to be history.
(This all being said, I am not against science alongside the Bible. Exploring and using science to understand the wonders of God’s creation and how he formed the world and universe around us is my passion and love. I do not believe that there should be a sharp divide between science and faith, but the attempts to harmonize modern science and faith I have written about can be detrimental.)
Sarfati, J. D., Hunt, J. M., & McCabe, R. V. (n.d.). The Genesis account: A theological, historical, and scientific commentary on Genesis 1-11.
The Holy Bible NIV Version
The illustration I used to discuss God’s time is adapted from points drawn from a presentation by author and speaker, Peter Heck. He speaks on Christianity and Science as well as many other topics.
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