The Bible’s Take on Creation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 23, 2018 16 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

This week, Worldview Warriors is looking at what the Bible says about creation. There is far too much to say on this topic in one blog post and this has been a topic discussed by myself, Steve Risner, Bill Seng, and others on occasion in great detail. Today, I want to boil it down to the core issues and remind us what the creation issue is so important. There are three major aspects I want to address: the details of the creation account given, the purpose of the creation account, and whether it is a primary or secondary issue.

There are many who try to minimize the importance of the creation account. Some do this because they really have not thought about the purpose of the account and see it as a distraction. Others, however, do this for the intentional purpose of inserting their opinions (namely evolutionary aspects) into the mix. Now, the Bible does not say “About 6000 years ago, God created the heavens and the earth.” Many old earthers use this as their primary argument to insert their opinions of pagan origins (yes, I said that intentionally). But they purposefully ignore what the Bible does say about the creation in doing so.

The Bible gives five major details regarding creation, and most seem to only recognize one of them. The Bible tells who created the universe: God. Then the whole rest of the Bible proceeds to describe God in who he is and his interactions with mankind. Most old earth creationists and young earth creationists will agree on this point, however, I do question the OEC’s understanding of who God really is.

The Bible gives the order of how God created the universe. That’s Genesis 1 in a nutshell. Every old earth models gets this aspect wrong; I’ll explain why next week. The Bible tells us the mechanism God used to create the universe: his voice. He spoke it into existence. He did not use any natural means. Hebrews 11:3 reveals that which is seen was made by that which is not seen. “Seen” and “natural” are virtually interchangeable in this context. Old earth models fail at this point as well.

The Bible tells us how much time has passed since creation. Old earthers will cite Genesis 1:1 as saying God made the earth billions of years ago, then he did the rest of it over six days. Yet God himself, when addressing the full congregation of Israel while he gave the 10 Commandments, said he made the heavens and the earth and everything in it is six days. The first four words of the Bible are “In the beginning, God…” There’s where the calendar = 0. The Bible then counts forward, using the genealogies, the rules of the judges and the kings, and even some references to secular rulers to give specific time frames for the events. To this day, the Jewish calendar is based on this and has yet to hit year 5800. Bishop Ussher’s calendar is about 200 years different and most of that has to do with the alignment with secular history and our modern calendars. These differences are negligible in the context of the big picture. The old earth creationist constantly struggles to address this point, so often they outright ignore it or try to make it seem irrelevant.

The Bible gives a fifth detail: the condition of the creation. Genesis 1:29-31 describes how both man and animal were given plants for food and God calls it “very good.” Decay, sin, thorns, thistles, and death were not present. Old earthers love to suggest the Bible never says animals did not die prior to sin. It never says any did die prior, and the first death it does describe was a direct result of sin: providing clothes for Adam and Eve. None of the old earth accounts accurately describes the conditions the Bible does give. They are not great in detail, but enough to know which models line up and which ones do not. It is critical to understand that the world behaved very differently than it does today under the curse of sin and the judgment of the Flood.

Why does the Bible give an origins account? First off, this account is not a myth, nor parable, nor allegory, nor metaphor. I’ve read my share of those types of accounts and the Bible fits none of them. It is written as history. Whether one accepts the history or rejects it is another matter. The reason people suggest that Genesis is not history is because they know what the Bible says and what they believe on origins do not agree but they want to still sound both smart to the world and religious to the Christians. God calls such notions foolishness. Believe him or don’t, but don’t be lukewarm as the Laodicean church was as I wrote about last week.

The purpose of origins is to give the Gospel message a foundation rooted not in myth, but in reality. If Genesis is just a feel-good story, then everything else that follows is just a feel-good story and Christianity is just another useless religion. But if Genesis is correct in its history, then sin is a very real problem with only one real solution: the cross of Jesus. To the many who love this world, that is unfathomable, mostly because of pride. The Bible makes it clear that the world and God are enemies. It is impossible to believe God’s authority and the world’s “experts” at the same time.

It is critical to understand that origins must NOT be an isolated event. Every word of the Bible is not meant to be taken as a stand-alone. It all points to one thing, or rather one person and one event: Christ and Christ crucified. Paul, a very educated man, said he determined to know nothing except Christ and the cross. He did not reject his other knowledge, but he made it all point to that central point.

So does that make Creation a secondary issue? Beware of this one, because many false teachers will try to make it one for the purpose of sneaking in their poison. Take notice WHO is declaring that creation is secondary. It’s not the ones who believe and defend the authority of Scripture over the world. It is those who believe the world over Scripture. This approach is the “minimal requirements” approach which I wrote about just over a year ago. It is a ploy to get the bare minimal to “get by” and retain as much of self and the world as possible. This is also a Satanic tactic: bring the false teaching in not by directly attacking Christ but through “secondary” issues. Any military strategist would attack this way. This approach is not of God. They want Christ’s name to get out of hell, but will not let go of their own sin. Such people won’t make it in because Christ will not have anything to do with it.

So is creation secondary? Yes and no. It is only secondary in the sense that it points to Christ who is supreme. It is primary because it is the foundation which holds the cross upright. No one likes a plain foundation for a home; they want the home. But the home is a very weak home unless it is built upon something very solid that won’t give. The reason we can trust the Gospel and the cross is because we can trust every single word of Scripture and that includes Genesis. If we cannot trust God to get his origins account right, how can we trust him about salvation? It is an issue of authority and which one should be believed. That is a primary issue.

The Bible makes Genesis so simple and clear that a child can read and understand it, and yet the most learned and “wise” people of this world cannot embrace it. God purposefully chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. And Jesus said unless we become like a child, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. God approves of child-like faith: those who hear him and trust him as a child is supposed to trust his parents. But unlike the fallible parents of this world, God will not fail. Only the humble will see the creation account and the cross for what they are. The proud will never see it. If the creation account is too difficult for you to understand or accept, then follow the advice of Martin Luther and let the Holy Spirit be more learned than you.

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16 comments:

ashleyhr said...

Old Earth models correct much of Genesis. As Billy Graham said in 1997: "...I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science...".

I agree that the Bible implies that Earth and the stars are young. Asteroid Oumuamua is just the latest falsification of that from nature.

Charlie said...

Thanks for finally leaving a decent comment Ashley. I am aware that Billy Graham leaned in the Old Earth direction but that was an area he simply got wrong. Old Earth models can't correct much of Genesis because they get both Genesis wrong and the science. He was wrong in that YEC take science as a scientific book. I agree that the Bible is not a book of science. So does every YEC. NO YEC actually teaches that the Bible is a science book nor practices that. We teach Genesis is a HISTORY book. Big difference. The problem is that people like you have greatly confused science with other every field out there. We use science as a tool but we know its limits. If you are going to call the Bible wrong, call it wrong. At least be honest that you don't believe it. That is the only thing you have above all OEC. I did not agree with all of Billy Graham's doctrines besides origins. He's not the standard. The Bible is.

Regarding Oumanmua, this is from the wiki post on it. Opening paragraph.
//ʻOumuamua's system of origin and the amount of time it has spent traveling amongst the stars are unknown.//

I asked you about that data which you MUST have if you are going to claim it is evidence against YEC and you never responded. I figured you would not because you cannot. You have no idea about this thing other than it is BELIEVED to have not originated in the solar system. We can guess it didn't but we actually do not know. The extreme lack of data on this asteroid only gives evidence for two things: it exists and its current velocity. We know NOTHING else. Everything else is speculation. You can't claim it as evidence against YEC, nor can we use it as evidence against deep time. We don't have the data to make such claims and that you think you can shows precisely how clueless you are about evidence and the nature of science. This asteroid is just like all the other evidences for deep time. They fail basic scrutiny and very likely will show to actually back up the YEC position over time as more proper studying takes place. I'm not going to comment on this further because doing so over non-data is futile.

ashleyhr said...

"Old Earth models can't correct much of Genesis because they get both Genesis wrong and the science." They don't get the science wrong - if they attempt to harmonise science with Genesis but fail that's because Genesis (and the genealogies) are wrong (or are being misinterpreted somehow). Yes - the opening chapters of Genesis are mostly wrong.

As for Oumuamua, Answers in Genesis (Danny Faulkner) admitted on their website that it must be interstellar in origin. "This asteroid is just like all the other evidences for deep time. They fail basic scrutiny and very likely will show to actually back up the YEC position over time as more proper studying takes place." Total rubbish. And YECs DO use other things that cannot be 100% verified as a weapon against 'deep time' - such as the fact that Oort Cloud comets have not been observed (when in the Oort Cloud). In what possible way could Oumuamua sometime 'back up' the YEC position? You and your friend Steve Risner (so far censoring me once again under his latest and an earlier post) just double down on the rhetoric every time something real and tangible falsifies a young universe. As if you were trying to convince yourselves. There ARE Oumuamua data btw.

I am posting this at the BCSE community forum so it will be visible somewhere even if you fail the comment.

Charlie said...

//They don't get the science wrong - if they attempt to harmonise science with Genesis but fail that's because Genesis (and the genealogies) are wrong (or are being misinterpreted somehow). Yes - the opening chapters of Genesis are mostly wrong.//

Secularism and the Bible are completely incompatible. One always gets trashed. You only say the opening chapters of Genesis are mostly wrong because you are judging it from a different worldview. Of course you are going to say Genesis is wrong. You can't believe both. The earth CANNOT be 6000 years as Genesis very clearly indicates and 13.5 billion years old at the same time. It's one or the other. Any attempt to harmonize them will get both sides wrong. However, there is a huge difference between secularism and science...a difference you have yet to recognize. I believe the Bible is true as written. That is not the only reason I reject the secular accounts of origins and the secular interpretations of science. I reject it because I examine the claims of both sides...FROM the worldview of their respective sides and the secular accounts fail to stand on its own two feet. The Bible does.

//As for Oumuamua, Answers in Genesis (Danny Faulkner) admitted on their website that it must be interstellar in origin. "This asteroid is just like all the other evidences for deep time.//

So? You don't know where it actually came from nor how long it has been traveling. No one does. So it came from outside our solar system? That's a decent guess, but since we never saw it prior, we really cannot say. I know where the evidence starts and where it stops. As I have told you many times, I don't hold AiG as my guru. I do agree with much of what they say, but not everything. They are not Scripture. They get science wrong at times too. But they do have a correct framework to start with. I know how to think logically and in doing so, I have to check out what my side says as well as what the other side says. It's a practice you ought to consider trying: holding the experts you listen to with the same standards of scrutiny as you hold us. It is possible for you to conceive that I do that with AiG and ICR? I examine their statements with the same standards of scrutiny as I do the secularists. I doubt you will believe me on that, but I don't give them free passes because I am a YEC. I know you use a different set of standards and I'm fine with that. But please hold your own side to the SAME standard that you use for us. I doubt you will because if you honestly did, you'll find your side never hold up.

//They fail basic scrutiny and very likely will show to actually back up the YEC position over time as more proper studying takes place." Total rubbish.//

You ought to study the history of the evidences better before you make that remark. Junk DNA. The fossil records. CBR. "Vestigial parts". The list goes on. What was initially proclaimed to be evidence for Evolution really didn't turn out to be such (a few secularists have realized this, but most are determined to hold onto their ideology more than actually following the evidence), and with further study, they are actually showing to support our models better. SOME science will lead to Evolution. More science will show it to be the hoax it is. Will this asteroid show to be evidence for YEC? I don't know. But I know the history of the evidences and I know the secularists frequently miss many details we creationists pick up on, often intentionally so.

Charlie said...

//And YECs DO use other things that cannot be 100% verified as a weapon against 'deep time' - such as the fact that Oort Cloud comets have not been observed (when in the Oort Cloud).//

Nice Tu-Quoque Fallacy. Yes, there are times when YEC have had to resort to rescuing devices. But we recognize when we use them and we have a basis and reason for doing so. Again, I looked up the info on the asteroid. I saw nothing that supports either position. We simply don't have the data to make such claims. Sure, you can calculate the would have been trajectory of where it may have come from based on what we have seen, but could one of the outer planets have sent it on a different course? I don't know. What I do know is that we don't have enough data to really know anything real. So I'm not going to make comments on things I can't say one way or the other. That is one thing I have disagreed with AiG and others on. I did not like how they rushed to make a judgment on Naledi where had they waited they would have realized the evidence for identifying it as any kind of creature is rather unfounded. There is no evidence the skull halves go to the same creature. I especially found it interesting how Nat Geo initially refused to publish Lee Berger on it. He had to go to e-Life. Then Nat Geo jumped on board. But AiG and ICR made a mistake by rushing a response which is why they gave conflicting answers.

//You and your friend Steve Risner (so far censoring me once again under his latest and an earlier post) just double down on the rhetoric every time something real and tangible falsifies a young universe. As if you were trying to convince yourselves. There ARE Oumuamua data btw.//

Steve is not censoring you. He just hasn't gotten around to answering you. Your comment is still waiting for him to deal with. And as I said above, can you see the rhetoric you use every time something real and tangible falsifies an old universe. You are the one trying to convince yourself. It's not my fault none of your evidences actually do what you think they do.

//I am posting this at the BCSE community forum so it will be visible somewhere even if you fail the comment.//

Suit yourself. I have no need to chase you over there.

Anonymous said...

//As Billy Graham said in 1997: "...I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science...".//

The Bible is a book of history not science but when it addresses science or anything else, it is correct. Typical atheist to use the late Billy Graham to appeal to authority to support a faulty view.

ashleyhr said...

Typical young earth creationist to claim they 'know' better than anybody else - including the evangelist Billy Graham.

I've also asked (post awaits moderation) another young earth creationist under Steve Risner's post dated 22 February "What is this 'evidence of the Bible's accuracy' you mention (I mean give us a couple of examples)?" I'm challenging you too over your 'scientific correctness' claim. Perhaps you would care to explain the waters above the sky mentioned in Genesis 1. Or show how and why the Bible does 'not' support a flat (possibly circular but still flat) Earth. Which a minority of creationists defend, presumably because they have concluded that they have some biblical support for their position: http://www.philipstallings.com/2015/06/the-biblical-flat-earth-teaching-from.html

ashleyhr said...

That Graham quote (from 1997) in full: "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God."

But of course 'biblical creationists' know better than Billy Graham (or those who take a similar view of the Bible in 2018).

Charlie said...

Ashley, the real sad thing here is that you really have no clue what you are talking about. You can read a full quote in context and still completely miss the entire point of what is being said. Billy Graham is only saying one thing in that quote: "I'm not getting into the origins debate and I don't see the point in fighting it." That's it. He didn't care which side you took. And you quote-minded him by trying to make him say something other than what he said.

Billy Graham was a good man, but he did not have perfect doctrine. He was off on other issues too. I know this is a strange concept to you, but we don't look up to men as our ultimate authority. We test what each man says to a common standard. So yes, we check what the atheist says with the same standard as we do Billy Graham or any YEC scientist. We aren't comparing him or someone else to ourselves but to the same standards. And the interesting thing is that NONE of us can make that standard. It is absolute perfection. That is WHY we need a Savior. Because we can't do it. So why believe in a standard you can't keep? My belief or anyone else's had no bearing on whether the standard is true or not. We believe it and preach it because it constantly proves itself true both through those who believe it and through those who don't. That includes both of us. We both prove the Bible true, Ashley, like it or not.

Only one man was able to perfectly keep that standard and he was Jesus Christ so while I am not perfect, while Billy Graham is not perfect, nor any AiG/ICR scientist is perfect, we all did one thing correct: we all looked to Jesus. That is how we can have fellowship with each other despite our doctrinal differences. Christianity is not like any other religion. If it was, then many of the objections against it would be quite valid. But it is not. The differences between Christianity and many other religions are too numerous to count, and one of them is being able to be united despite doctrinal differences. Billy Graham was wrong on a few things but he pointed towards Christ the best he knew how. He was wrong on the origins issue and I say that not because I am a super-intellectual, but because he missed the point of Genesis in that regard and what the young earth creationists are doing. He didn't understand it, but he did the right thing in not getting involved in it. Too often people get into trouble for sticking their feet in their mouth and Billy Graham would not do that. He aimed for the same goal YEC aim for: Jesus Christ. He simply preferred to not go through origins to get there. That is all he said.

Charlie said...

Well, Ashley, you seem to think you know better than the PhD's you like to reference. Few of them will say half the things you say. We don't "know" better than everyone else. We check what everyone else says as I explained above. There's a difference.

Scientific accuracy. You ask about waters above the sky. We've found them. Here is where some of them are. This is from 6 years ago. And it fits our model, nor yours. The article says it fits the deep time "predictions" but deep time "predictions" tend to come after the fact, not before. The Bible talked about it 3500 years ago. THAT is a prediction.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/02/water-140-trillion-times-earths-oceans-surround-a-voracious-black-hole-at-the-edge-of-the-universe-t.html

We've learned since that water pretty well forms the entire border of the known universe which has been in expansion (or more accurately 'stretching'). I have no need to defend against Flat Earth thinking other than get some reading comprehension skills because those who think the Bible teaches that need some. Because it does not teach any such thing.

ashleyhr said...

You appear to be in a hole or are becoming ill-tempered - so you are lying that I "read a full quote in context and still completely miss[ed] the entire point of what [was] being said". I did no such thing - otherwise you would explain to me exactly how I missed the 'entire point' (I did not even attempt to summarise Graham's words I simply quoted them so how could I have 'missed' his point(s)). And my alleged 'quote mine' on 23 February was apt - Graham said "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today [he didn't mean young earth creationism] and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science" ie he was saying that if the Bible implies a young Earth it was not making a scientific statement so therefore there's no conflict. And I never suggested anything contrary to your suggestion now that Graham declined to enter into the origins debate. Did I?

I suggest you also view the British Centre for Science Education community forum, see my earlier post above, where I commented further in late February following your post here dated 25 February.

I will view that Daily Galaxy link. My initial reaction is that a very distant (optically invisible) black hole is not exactly above Earth's 'sky'. Whereas the Earth has plenty of water below the sky (so that Genesis 1 verse, if taken literally, was half right).
I have saved this text.

Charlie said...

Ashley, your first post in response here:
//Old Earth models correct much of Genesis. As Billy Graham said in 1997: "...I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science...".//

You used Graham's quote to defend your claim that OE models correct much of Genesis. THAT is where the quote-mine is. His quote is completely unrelated to your statement. So yes, you missed it...badly. You used the quote to suggest that he WAS entering the debate by "correcting much of Genesis". His quote said something quite differently than what you were using it for.

I see no point, purpose, nor benefit of following you to your site, Ashley. My life is not dedicated to trying to refute you. I know my answers do not satisfy you. That's not my problem. You've not shown to be a quality judge on most anything for your opinions to be deemed to have value...because that's pretty much all you have...opinions.

You are aware that the earth is at or near the center of the universe, right? That has been scientifically demonstrated by near uniform red shift in all directions...in quantized amounts (which is problem for Big Bang). So that black hole would be "above" the earth's sky. I purposed to give you a secular link to show that we are not making up stuff, but we've found overall is that water is pretty well everywhere in the outer reaches of the universe. We don't know the details yet, but that sure seems to line up with what the Bible had all along.

ashleyhr said...

My use of the Graham quote was not out of context and it was concise and to the point (I then when challenged did not hesitate to show the full quote).

I could have said, less concisely, in my opening post:
"Old Earth models correct much of Genesis. As Billy Graham said in 1997: "I don't think that there's any conflict at all between science today and the Scriptures. I think that we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say, I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man. ... whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God"."
My point would have been the same. Graham's words could have been taken as implying that Genesis suggests a young Earth - but it's not a scientific book so therefore there's no conflict with contemporary old Earth science.

The only difference between myself and Graham would have been that I say old Earth science corrects Genesis whereas he says because it's not a scientific book therefore old Earth science isn't correcting Genesis and instead Christians have misinterpreted Genesis. Maybe I should have spelt that out. If I implied that Graham in 1997 would agree with me now then I regret that since it is impossible to know that.

I did not however say that "Billy Graham said that old Earth science had corrected Genesis" I simply quoted some of his words - in context not out of context. Not a scientific book to me means Genesis/Bible science is often wrong eg on the age of the Earth - whereas Graham thought that it's not a scientific book so we should not derive 'science' from it and there's no conflict with modern science (assuming that is correct). The Bible not being a scientific book (so not in conflict with science, in 1997 at least) WAS Graham's main point.

No 'quote mining' was intended on my part. I have since fully explained what I was trying to say.

Charlie said...

Yes, your point would have been the same...unsupported by the quote. If you miss the original intent of the quote and use what you think it means instead, that is a quote-mine, intentional or not. Yes, you have explained what you were trying to say. So next time you quote ANYONE, make sure the original intent is clear enough to back your point. If you want to make the claim that OECs try to correct Genesis (which I would agree that from THEIR worldview they are trying to do that, despite being wrong in doing so), then find someone who actually say anything along those lines. Finding someone who says "The Bible is not a science book." does not support your claim. If you want to use that quote, then make a different claim where the quote helps you.

ashleyhr said...

Whilst I accept that the (abbreviated or full) Graham quote did not directly support the view I expressed in my first comment, I did not 'miss the entire point' of what Graham stated or 'quote mine' him misleadingly. Whilst he may have wanted to avoid the origins debate the main point of what he actually said was that some Christians had misinterpreted some scriptures and regarded the Bible as a scientific book. (I only really mentioned Graham here because his recent death was in the news - and I had found his words from 1997 and flagged them at the BCSE community forum as I thought they were wise words; I think his words were relevant to this blog but as stated I accept that his words did not directly back up my comment and perhaps my initial comment could have been better thought through - though I suspect Graham accepted that Earth is not young and that Genesis and the genealogies appear to imply a young Earth and universe if interpreted 'scientifically'.)

On 9 March it was not clear to me what point you were making. Yesterday that became clear. Also, I normally think of a 'quote mine' as being an out of context partial quote lifted out of a fuller argument in order to give a misleading impression. But I accept that a partial quote whilst in context with the full quote could still be used inappropriately and I accept that since Graham might never have said "Old Earth models correct much of Genesis" therefore my first comment gave the misleading impression that Graham's words fully supported my statement.

(I'm not insisting upon the last word btw. And I am grateful that all my responses have been published - Nathan Buck, one of your colleagues, cravenly censored me from the outset recently, as again reported at the BCSE page.)

Charlie said...

As long as you aren't hurling insults and mocking, you won't be censored. I know not about the comment on Nathan Buck's posts which were censored. I saw other comments to his post, but not from you. I will ask him about it, but I really can't say. I'm glad you have learned how to be more careful in how you cite your sources.