Thursday, December 14, 2006

Old Earth Arguments: a response to David pt. 4

The Scriptural Evidence -- The Order of Creation

Even though Genesis 1 in Hebrew accomdates and, I daresay, plainly teaches an ancient Earth and universe, there is still the problem of order. Regardless of how long each day is, does Genesis 1 teach that we had light on Earth during day 1 even though the sun and stars were not created later, until day 4? And how did plants survive on day 3, when plants depend on photosynthesis and there was no sun until day 4?

Since when is it a requirement that we must have the sun in order to have light? Is God not capable of creating light without the sun? David's approach here is completely backwards. What he should be doing is to first approach the Bible in an attempt to find out what it actually says. Are these literal days? They are modified by a number, as well as evening and morning, so there is no reason to doubt that God is communicating us literal days. And once we have established that these days are literal days, then we should go to the text and sort out the apparent problems or contradictions. But is there a problem with having light with no sun? Surely not, for there would be a huge problem in the new heavens and the new earth, "where the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Rev. 21:23) Apparently for David, we have a huge problem in the new earth because there is no sun!

Also, Genesis was written in such a way as a refutation of the paganism of that day. For example, having the sun appear after the light would have been very significant to the pagans who worshiped the sun as the source of all life. It seems that God was making it very clear that the sun is secondary to Himself as the source of everything. He doesn't "need" the sun in order to create and sustain life, which is unfortunately not the case for Old Earthers.

To my knowledge, the following sequence/order is well accepted in the scientific community: first we have the Big Bang; then the Milky Way and our solar system formed; then the Earth cooled and liquid water appeared, followed almost immediately by bacteria and photosynthetic algae; then Earth's atmosphere became transparent as it became oxygenated; then multicelluar animals and insects appeared; and then mammals and ultimately mankind appeared.

That sounds nice, but it's too bad Moses, the Israelites, and Bible believers for the last 4,000 years were completely wrong about the true history of the Universe. And its also too bad that Moses was too ignorant to communicate truth to his original audience. Thank God for the anti-biblical thinkers like Darwin and Lyell, who came up with the real history of the Universe so that we could finally show how mistaken those "primitive" christians were!

That order is exactly what we find in Genesis! Day 1 starts at the beginning of time and God instantaneously creates light and darkness. That sounds a lot like the Big Bang, in which "light literally broke free as electrons bond to atomic nuclei." (Schroeder, The Science of God, 67)

What David fails to mention is how truly different the Big Bang is from the Biblical account. First, he forgets to mention that in the secular model, you have star and sun formation before the earth. But the Biblical account has the earth before the sun and the stars. As we shall see, David will only mention the similarities between the secular model, while ignoring the glaring differences that the Biblical model presents.

On Day 2, the "heavenly firmament" which took shape is the disc of the Milky Way, which are pretty much the only heavens we can see unaided from Earth.

Genesis 1:6-8 says,

"Then God said, 'Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.' God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven."

If we allow the Bible to speak and read it with the original audience in mind, the best way to understand "the firmament" would be where the sun, moon, and stars reside: interstellar space. And while I disagree with David's idea here, I don't see a point significant enough to respond to, besides the obvious time scale difference in the Big Bang and the text.

Day 3 describes the formation of our own planet, Earth, and its dry land. Day 3 also marks the appearance of liquid water and plants, which were the first form of life on Earth.

Again, notice how David fails to mention the stark contrast between models. The Biblical model says that water appeared before land. Is David suggesting that uniformitarian geology agrees with this? No, for the evolutionary model says that dry land was here long before water. What about the first life forms? Genesis 1:11-12 says that vegetation such as seed-bearing plants and fruit trees (land plants) were the first life forms. But even if we conclude that this includes marine plants, we still have a problem because the evolutionary model has invertebrates in the seas long before vegetation appeared on the land.

On Day 4, Earth's atmosphere became transparent due to the increased oxygen from the plants, which "gave light on the Earth" and allowed us to see the sun and the stars that had already been formed and were continuing to be formed.

Wrong again. The text is clear that the plants were created on day 3 while the sun and stars were created on day 4. In order for us to accept David's assertion that the sun and stars had already been formed, he must provide evidence from the text.

On Day 5, birds, insects, and sealife appeared -- after plans but before mammals, just like biologists have insisted for decades.

The only thing evolutionary biologists have insisted over the decades is a model completely contrary to the Bible. First, the secular model says that reptiles were before birds. In fact, they believe that reptiles evolved into birds! But the Bible tells us that land creatures were created after the birds! And the same is equally contradictory with the creation of insects and sealife as well!

Finally, on Day 6, God created cattle and other mammals, which were ultimately followed by His creation of mankind.

No dispute there, except for the fact that evolutionists insist that man evolved from "other mammals!" If so, then we have the biggest problem yet in the order of appearances. If we hold to the evolutionary model of human origins, then I submit to you that none of us has any hope for salvation in Christ. The Bible is overwhelmingly clear that all humans are descendents of Adam and Eve, who were the first humans (Lk. 3:38, 1 Cor. 15:45, Acts 17:26). But given that the genealogies in the Bible can only have so many gaps before we render them absurd, Adam and Eve can only go back so far. But what does this have to do with the cross? Why does it matter if Adam was the first man? Hopefully these texts will make the answer known:

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:20-22)

Did Adam bring death into the world or not? If the evolutionary history of man is true, then humans were dying long before Adam. But notice something: if death doesn't come through all in Adam, then the only logical outcome would be that all will NOT be made alive in Christ. Death must come through Adam and only Adam or else the resurrection cannot come through Christ. The two cannot be separated.

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come." (Rom. 5:12-14)

Again we see an implicit denial of original sin in Old Earth theology. If death was in the world, then sin was in the world. If death was there before sin, then we cannot say that the wages of sin is death, which makes Romas 6:23 false. I try to avoid using emotional language as much as possible so that I don't distract my readers from my actual arguments. But I can't help but be saddened by the logical outcome of Old Earth thinking. When we deny the trustworthiness of Genesis, we deny the foundation for the cross. Without the bad news, we have no good news left to proclaim. If we cannot say with absolute confidence that we are all sinners because Adam fell, then we have no message left. All we are left with is a history of death; a history in which God is constantly messing up through the sloppy process of evolution. In order for evolution to work, death is essential and a natural part of God's creation. In fact, if evolution is true, then death was here from the beginning; the original "paradise" in Eden was not the paradise that Christians once thought. Eden was a horrible place filled with disease, violence and cancer. If this was paradise lost, then what is paradise restored?

It is an unfortunate reality if we allow Old Earth thinkers to become consistent in their approach. This is why this issue is so important. This is why Christians must stand on the authority of God's word in all matters in which it speaks. And if we don't give an answer to those who oppose us, then why should we be surprised at the state of Christianity today where liberal thinking has seeped into the very fabric of evangelicalism? That is why I write these blogs, in hopes that you, the reader, will become more equipped to "make a defense for the hope that is within you." (1 Peter 3:15)

So the Bible teaches us that God's order went like this: The Big Bang ---> The Milky Way, including the sun -----> Earth, followed quickly by water and plants -----> transparent atmosphere -----> multicellular animal life -----> complex mammals -----> Man. And that's exactly what science tells us, too.

And as I demonstrated in the last section, the secular order is diametrically opposed to the Biblical order.

Note that this view resolves the "light/sun" problem and the photosynthesis problem because the light in Day 1 comes from the Big Bang, and our sun is actually formed at the end of Day 2; but it doesn't become visible until after plants have already appeared.

Again, this isn't a problem if you don't allow naturalism to determine what the text of Scripture means. And as I said before, David's point about the sun "not becoming visible until after plants" is completely false until he demonstrates from the text how this is so. But to David, it doesn't matter if his idea is supported by the text or not. If evolutionary scientists have confirmed it, then it must be so!

Note also that the order of Genesis 1 is silent as to whether humans in particular evolved from these other mammals; it just says we appeared after them.

Where does David get the idea that Genesis 1 is silent on this issue? Clearly, the biblical time scale isn't silent, and neither is the rest of Scripture that clearly tells us that Adam and Eve were the first humans. In my opinion, the reason David is using "silence" as an excuse, is to avoid the fact that Scripture is so completely opposed to anything regarding human evolution.

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