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Creation’s Story (2)

R W Cargill, St Monans

The Beginning: "The Foundation of the World"

A unique and majestic statement makes up the first verse of our Bibles. In a few words is contained the answer to a fundamental question before it was even asked. Down the ages many have wondered: "Where did everything come from?"; "What was the beginning of it all?". Genesis 1.1 tells us!

"In the beginning God created…". He is the first cause and origin of everything. Accepting this statement by faith (Heb 11.3) is the most reasonable thing to do. It matches everyday experience that every single thing has a maker, a designer, an author, a cause, a creator. This surely applies to the marvellous, intricate, beautiful, natural world, but evolution theory says it does not. This is not reasonable or logical, and it is not truly scientific either, in spite of loud claims that it is. Real science is based upon actual observation and measurement, and nothing has ever been observed happening without a cause, or evolving out of chaos, or coming from nowhere.

Every painting has its artist, every structure its architect and builder, every book its author. Due credit and even glory are given to the creators of works of merit and beauty which people appreciate. Now we believe that "without him was not any thing made that was made" (Jn 1.3). From the tiniest sub-atomic particle to the greatest galaxy, from the smallest single flower and its pollen grain to the working arrangement of bees in a hive, or ants in a colony, or deer in a herd, we admire beauty and complexity. We give glory to their great Creator. Evolution theory denies Him that glory, indeed denies that He exists. Why? Because that is its starting point, not its conclusion. It is what its followers want to believe.

But what do we believe, particularly about when and how and why everything began? We are clearly told why: "…for thy pleasure they are and were created" (Rev 4.11). As to when and how, it is important to give proper weight and meaning to the statements of Genesis 1, and at the same time not to import into that chapter what is not there.

No Dates

We are not told when "the beginning" was, when the earth was created, or when Adam was made. No dates are given in the text of Genesis 1. Some calculations have been made, but all these calculations contain certain assumptions which probably are not valid.

Evolutionists claim that the earth was formed about 4.5 thousand million years ago. Their calculation is based upon the measured rate of radioactive processes in certain rocks. It contains two major assumptions: (1) the rate has not changed over vast periods of time and in extreme conditions; and (2) none of the elements produced in these processes were in the rocks to begin with. Both of these assumptions are probably not correct for good scientific reasons. So, although that figure is often quoted, it is not a reliable fact. There are other scientific methods to measure the age of the earth, and they come up with much smaller numbers, some less than 10,000 years1. These are neglected, in fact rejected, just because they do not fit the requirements of evolution theory and its interpretation of the fossil record.

Archbishop Usher in 1664 calculated that Adam was created in 4004 BC. His calculation used genealogical lists in the Old Testament, working back from more recent dates. This method also contains assumptions which might be quite wrong, e.g. that the genealogical lists have no missing generations, which sometimes they have. Indeed, using similar methods others have arrived at dates which range from 6984 to 3616 BC2. This just means that we cannot be sure of exactly when Adam was created, or when the world began. The date 4004 BC does appear in the margin or column notes of many Bibles, but remember it does not exist in the inspired text and should not be taken as a serious fact!

No Gaps

The narrative of Genesis 1 is a continuous one. To introduce breaks or gaps is to force an idea which is not in the text. The case for the once popular "Gap Theory", which inserts "geological ages" between verses 1 and 2, is at best extremely weak indeed, based on a possible meaning of two words. It also creates more problems than it tries to solve, and at worst it misrepresents God and compromises the truth. Again, its appearance in margin or footnotes in certain editions of the Bible has influenced many readers. But it too is not in the inspired text!

The Gap Theory was a well-meaning but misguided attempt to deal with attacks being made in the nineteenth century by "science" on the veracity of Genesis 1. It was claimed that millions of years of "geological time" were required for the earth and its strata to be formed, complete with their fossils. A scientist, Georges Cuvier of Paris, first proposed that repeated catastrophic floods produced fossils, and that these took place in prehistoric ages long before Adam. In the UK this idea was actively promoted by the theologian Thomas Chalmers, and then followed by several well known Bible teachers. They claimed that an "original creation" described in Genesis 1.1 was laid waste in judgment by God, its "pre-Adamic creatures" fossilised, then, ages later, God "remade" the earth as described in the rest of Genesis 1. Many who were concerned about the threat of science to Scripture thought that things "harmonised" by putting this gap between two verses.

In fact they did not, and real problems exist with it! The clear teaching of Scripture is this:

The creation of Genesis 1 was perfect, not a reconstruction of a something that "became" without form and void.

As we shall see later, the best and most consistent explanation of fossils, strata, and geological phenomena is provided from the effects of the great flood in the days of Noah. This is a well documented event with profound results on mankind and his environment, not a tenuous theory with imaginary causes or effects of which there is no evidence in the divine revelation.

No Defects

All God’s works are perfect. When He made everything as recorded in Genesis 1 He made it all perfect at the first attempt. It was not, as some would teach, that God started the process off, then used evolution to advance and complete it. This "theistic evolution" is another serious compromise which insults God and His Word, for evolution is an extremely wasteful and callous process, involving many life forms which did not survive. God is never wasteful or callous of any of His creatures.

Man needs many attempts at achieving an objective, has to experiment and improve on earlier versions, but not God. In the beginning God made every creature without defect, male and female, ready to reproduce and take their place in a benign and unspoilt earth. It was also a mature creation, which would appear to be a certain age, e.g. Adam might have looked like a 30(?)-year old man; trees might contain 20(?) annual growth rings, bearing ripened fruit, whereas they were created the day before; stars appearing to be very old (to allow time for their light to travel through space) had been created with their light already seen.

The defects and deficiencies so prevalent now are the result of the Fall. Disease and death face us daily. The animal and vegetable kingdoms contain many evidences of decay and degeneration. Many species have become extinct, while many subspecies have developed in response to environmental pressures and conditions. The present world is vastly different from how it left the hand of God. It has degenerated into something inferior, not evolved into something better.

In conclusion then, when was the beginning? Three things to note:

To be continued.

1 More details in And God Said; F Abou-Rahme, Ch. 9
2 Young’s Analytical Concordance: "creation"


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