Bruce Jones – Is Genesis 1-11 Historical and Accurate?
Written by Teddy on July 2, 2016
Part Eight – “The Creation of the World-Part One”
As a student of the Bible for over six decades, I am always delighted to dig deeper into the treasures of His Word to not only confirm what I have believed, but also to clarify and amplify the truth it contains. Such is the case regarding the Creation narrative of Genesis 1-3. What is amazing to me I that sometimes the simplicity of the scriptures addresses a great many more specifics that I had previously discovered. Such is the case regarding the opening statement of Genesis 1:1 which is foundational to all our theology. It simply says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So I leaned from one author that these ten words alone refutes seven major philosophies as follows: (1) It refutes Atheism because the universe was created by God (2) It refutes Pantheism because God is transcendent over what He created. (3) It refutes Polytheism for one God created the universe (4) It refutes Materialism because matter had a beginning (5) It refutes Dualism because God (in three persons-John 1:1) was alone when He created (6) It refutes Humanism because is the ultimate reality (and therefore “man is NOT the measure of all things.” Finally (7) it refutes Evolution as God created all things. All that in just ten words.
Now it’s important for our discussion to note this text says God created, the Hebrew word “bara” similar to the Greek word ‘ex-nihlo”-(out of nothing), making it clear that in that moment God initiated a time/space/ matter universe when there had been nothing before. Romans 4:17 says He “calls those things which be not as though they were” and even clearer is Hebrews 11:3 which says “the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear”. And then after God created the raw materials for His universe He then used it to construct it as was meant to be. First He created it, then He constructed it, as the text says in seven days. But here is our current conflict with other evangelicals who have accepted the “scientific” presuppositions of evolution to propose theistic evolution or progressive creationism as the hermeneutic lord over the text saying it was billions of years. So to understand the conflict I will now analyze several key points in their platform regarding the creation narrative of a six-day work-week for God.
A THEOLOGICAL EXAMINATION
Principle Number One-They believe that nature (as observed by science) is on the same level of revelation as the Scriptures and is called “the sixty seventh book of the Bible, just as “perfect” as the Bible. Herein lies the crux of the matter as science can trump scripture when the two disagree. The implication is that it is always reliable and truthful, not the Bible. If we can disassemble this foundation the rest of the arguments will prove invalid. As one theologian put it science needs to be interpreted by scripture not the other way around. Now the Bible talks about general revelation, but when we examine it there’s no assumption or announcement to support this idea. Let’s see what Scripture says, and doesn’t say. Here are a few verses that does say God has revealed Himself through nature, but it does not say to the degree this claim makes. Psalm 19:1-4 says “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, Night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun.” Now to properly grasp the intent of this revelation we fast forward to Romans 10:18 which teaches us nature does reveal something about the character of God (not the details of His creation as revealed in the Genesis creation account) to hold man accountable to God. Romans 1:18-20 confirms this: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness s since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.” This universal general revelation shows God exists, is powerful, all wise, great and good. It is that evidence which shall be brought forth in God’s court on Judgment Day. It makes no claim as to details of Creation. Following the Teleological argument the design and order of the universe and its “irreducible complexity” does point to an incredible Creator. But nowhere does the Bible suggest that science should reinterpret scripture as does progressive creationism does using this principle to justify its claims. Paul in Acts 17:24-25 and Acts 14:17 used Creation to show God’s design to care for man, as Jesus in Matthew 6:26. But nowhere in the Bible is their support for the claim made that “in addition to the words of the Bible being God breathed so also are the words of God spoken through the work of His hands” The distinction as stated is subtle because in the final analysis “the proofs for Progressive Creationism came mainly from the field of science, not the Bible.“ So in the end two forms of revelation are not really equal at all. According to one source this unequal yoke between science and scripture is “viewed by many professional scientists as unscholarly and even as a dishonest and misguided sham” So what do they do when science disagrees with them? Use the Bible?
Principle Number Two-Relying as they do on science more than Scripture, their time line from the beginning of creation stretches out to sixteen billion years. The whole of history is likened unto one year and human history at the end less than one minute. Given their preference for science over scripture they accept the Big Bang Cosmology (rather than the biblical cosmology) and some state the universe maybe only 13 billion yea’s old and the late arrival of the earth is about four to five billion years old. Man’s creation (which I will address next) is somewhere from ten to fifty thousand years ago with their leading proponent saying it was 24,000 years ago. Now that raises some real issues for me (apart from thereby shredding Genesis one) because the Bible seems to say that when God made whatever he made, He made in a moment of time just as He always does in many miracles He recorded for us. Psalm 33:6-9 says By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars. he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” The living Bible says “when He but spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command! Genesis one says in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth, at the same time! (Genesis 1:1) When He says again and again in that passage “let there be” there immediately was what was to be. The text in no way supports a re-interpretation of Creation stretched out over billions of years as Progressive Creationists want us to believe. At the moment He spoke, the text says “it came to be.” My questions for the progressive creationist is: (a) What kind of God do we have that it would take Him billions of years to get to goal line of creating Man in His own image? According to them during that time: (b) They see death, disease and destruction endlessly repeat itself and when some species died out He had to start all over again. Who says and why? Was it to correct His mistakes in not getting it right the first time? My God is perfect and powerful and with Him “NOTHING is impossible” So if God could create the world in seven days, why would He not do it that way? As yet I haven’t seen any theological justification for this view. Which brings me to the another plank in their platform.
Principle Number Three I just mentioned this plank in their platform and now need to elaborate on it. It seems that the standard system of evolution has been adopted by them except in order to keep God in the equation they attribute the various phases as a series of miracles by God. That raises a question that if miracles are instantaneous how does this fit into the progressive creationism paradigm? So for billions of years before Adam there were pre-Adamic people and animals who died through major disasters (which obviously is not really “very good” as God said it was in Genesis 1:31). And when a major disaster wiped out a “species” God created new models. But isn’t that similar to the evolutionary perspective that this random and wasteful process requires “unfit organisms” to die which as I said says to me God couldn’t or didn’t get it right many times before we finally get to the end of their time line of billions of years. Really?