Bruce Jones – Is Genesis 1-11 Historical and Accurate?
Written by Teddy on August 6, 2016
Part Thirteen – “The Creation of a New World”
Today as I conclude this series on Genesis 1-11 being historical and accurate I want to elaborate on more final apologetic affirming this position. Now if we were to compare the original creation account in Genesis, with the new creation account in Revelation, we should interpret scripture by scripture correct? (1 Peter 1:20) True the Westminster Confession admits that not all scripture is equally plain (2 Peter 3:16) and particularly taken out of context can lead to error. But again what does it mean when Genesis 1:1 says “in the beginning (of time) God created the heavens and the earth.” The Hebrew word as you know is “bara” or as we say in the Greek “Ex-nihllo” or “out of nothing.” Now let’s fast forward to the end of time as both Old Testament and New Testament say God will someday create (out of nothing) a “new heaven and a new earth.” Of course this was revealed in the Old Testament (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22) implied in Psalm 105:24-27 and Romans 8:19-22. It’s also in Hebrews 12:26-27 and 2 Peter 3:2-13. Let’s pause for a moment to look at that verse to compare scripture with scripture for it says (a) ‘you look forward to the day of God. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat’ And (b) in keeping with his promise (See Isaiah) we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. The curse of Genesis 3 must be removed.
Now even though some scholars will argue the earth will be renovated, I think God will first of all through Jesus Christ, Who holds the universe together let it go and split all the atoms according to Colossians 1:16. Then according to 2 Peter 3: 12-13 “we are now looking for the coming day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Never the less we according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”. Again, God will create a heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1) that’s brand new. Revelation 20:11 confirms this and says I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
In other words, they disappear, so we have to have a new heaven and a new earth created. After the final judgment “time shall be no more” and eternity will begin. So then we read in the first few verses of Revelation 21 Then I saw a new earth (with no oceans!) and a new sky, for the present earth and sky had disappeared.” It clearly says “there was found no place for them” which says to me they disappear (2 Peter 3 says “dissolve”) Jesus did say heaven and earth would pass away (Matt 5:18, 24: 34-35). Revelation 21:2 agrees that the first heaven and the first earth “passed away” (three times) and “no place was found for them” which says to me they completely disappear.
Now in reading these texts do you agree that the second or new creation of a heaven and earth is instantaneous and doesn’t even require six or seven days? And if you do then here is my question, if God can create a new heaven and a new earth without an interval of billions of years, then why according to the old earth view did it take Him so long to create the original? And if someone does not agree is there a biblical reason as to why not? I argue that all the miracles of the Bible are done instantaneously which tells me He didn’t need billions of years to evolve a heaven and earth. Or are some “old earther’s” going to tell me that it will take him that long to do a new creation? I would argue from the nature of God than since He has chosen to create man in His image, and someday He will recreate us in his image, then why would He wait so long the first time or the second time to get to the object of His affection, you and me! Does someone have a biblically based concept of God I don’t know about that would justify a second multi-billion year wait for a new heaven and a new earth? Let me further support my approach with a few new points.
There are three heavens (1) the unknown residence of God is the first heaven that existed before time but is called the third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12;2 and that’s not in view here. (2) The second heaven is identified in Ephesians 6:12 as the place where “spiritual forces of wickedness abide in the heavenly places” (Col 1:16) See Job 1-2) (3) the other heaven is the sky above the earth. Question then again is the old heaven and earth (a) replaced or (b) renovated?” Based on based on Psalm 102:25-26, and Hebrews 1:10-12.some say renovated. But I agree with another scholar who says ‘The most natural interpretation of the fact that the earth and heaven flee away is that the present earth and heaven are destroyed and will be replaced by the new heaven and earth. (2 Peter 3:10-11 says “all these things shall be dissolved”) So where-ere the curse is found God creates all things NEW. And I am told the word new (karios) means new in character and new in the sense of recently made. So again I want to press the point that the second creation of a heaven and earth will virtually take no time at all. Then I would also point out that The New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven already exists and is the residence of Old Testament saints and the Church (Hebrews 12:22-24) But then there are millennial saints who are destined to live on earth and Revelation 21:24 says ‘the nations shall walk in its light and the kings of the earth shall bring glory into” the New Jerusalem that before came down from heaven”
Revelation 22:2 also says there will be “trees for the healing of the nations” Please note that all these nations would have to have been saved before this time. And there will be saved nations in the millennium including the nation of Israel. So a sub-question to my main question is, if the second creation takes billions of years again then where will these earthy saints live? I see no reason to see anywhere in the text that it will take any length of time to create a “new heaven and a new earth” for their eternal residence (otherwise why create a new earth at all?) So if God can create a new heaven and a new earth in no time, why take billions of years to create the first heaven and earth in just six days’ time? When I asked my friend, he had no answer!
When PC apologists do answer there’s one major issue to face. There are several others relative to the proper use of the Hebrew text, the consistent use of bad hermeneutics or the arbitrary use of other texts taken out of context and applied to Genesis 1-11. Then there is the misrepresentation of church history and earlier scholars that in my mind underscore the main reason why I reject their position. The main reason is that they allow contemporary science to trump the Word of God. Here are a few quotes to make that point: (a) “many times they do not allow Scripture to speak for itself, but rather reinterpret it in line with secular science” (b) As such “they elevate science to the level of Scripture, but then in practice put science above Scripture by reinterpreting Scripture to fit the ideas of science all the tine claiming the approach is scriptural.” (c) It is more than interesting that many evangelical PC advocates will admit the Scripture seems to teach 24 hour days in Genesis One, a recent creation and a universal flood but they do not believe it because of science. It is both sad and surprising that many otherwise staunch evangelicals who signed onto the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy in 1978 now almost four decades later have in practice abandoned the claim that the Bible is our final authority in ALL matters of faith and practice. In practice there’s an exception to the rule and that is the claims of atheistic evolution, not coopted by Almighty God’s evolution and relabeled Progressive Creationism. I wish I were as brilliant as some others are and had the time to use the PC apologetic toolbox to rewrite the entire Bible using their hermeneutics and apologetic logic in other matters of history and doctrine. But if I did I guarantee I’d have to write several different bibles and you could pick whatever one you wanted base on your presuppositions. But instead as I close let me refer you to the best comprehensive “Biblical and Scientific refutation of Progressive Creationism” written by Jonathan Sarfati titled Refuting Compromise who is so brilliant he once played twenty of the top chessman in the world blindfolded and beat them all. You won’t be disappointed.