Creation of the earth and man #1 Planet for living beings in a pre-Adamic world

Creation of the earth and man

The earth before the creation of Adam the habitation of the angels who kept not their first estate — A geological error corrected — The Sabbath day and the Lord’s day— The formation of man and woman — The “great mystery” of her formation out of man explained — Eden — The Garden of Eden — The original and future paradises considered — Man’s primitive dominion confined to the inferior creatures and his own immediate family — Of the two trees of the garden — And man in his original estate.

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The general account of the work of the six days is contained in the first chapter of Genesis; while in the second is presented among other things, a more particular narrative of the work of the sixth day in the formation of the first human pair.

Let the reader peruse the history of the creation as a revelation to himself as an inhabitant of the earth. It informs him of the order in which the things narrated would have developed themselves to his view, had he been placed on some projecting rock, the spectator of the events detailed. He must remember this. The Mosaic account is not a revelation to the inhabitants of other orbs remote from the earth of the formation of the boundless universe; but to man, as a constituent of the terrestrial system. This will explain why light is said to have been created four days before the sun, moon, and stars. To an observer on the earth this was the order of their appearance; and in relation to him a primary creation, though absolutely pre-existent for millions of ages before the Adamic era.

The duration of the earth’s revolutions round the sun previous to the work of the first day is not revealed: but the evidences produced by the strata of our globe show that the period was long continued. There are indeed hints, casually dropped in the scriptures, which would seem to indicate that our planet was inhabited by a race of beings anterior to the formation of man.

The Creation, beginning of the antediluvian (i.e., pre-Flood) world. (Artist’s rendition by James Tissot)
Lot and his daughters flee from Sodom, his wife turned to salt behind them, and the burning cities, Albrecht Dürer

The apostle Peter, speaking of the “false teachers” that would arise among Christians “by reason of whom the way of truth would be evil spoken of” illustrates the certainty of their “damnation” by citing three cases in point; namely, that of certain angels; that of the antediluvian world; and that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now the earth, we know, was the place of judgment to the contemporaries of Noah and Lot, and seeing that these three are warnings to inhabitants of earth, it is probable that they are all related to things pertaining to our globe in the order of their enumeration — first, judgment upon its pre-Adamic inhabitants; secondly, upon the antediluvian world, which succeeded them; and thirdly, upon Sodom after the flood.

Peter says that “the Angels”, or pre-Adamic inhabitants of the Earth, “sinned”; and Jude, in speaking of the same subject, reveals to us the nature of their transgression. He says, verse 6,

“the angels maintained not their original state, but forsook their own habitation”.

From which it would appear that they had the ability to leave their dwelling if they pleased; secondly, that they were sometimes employed as messengers to other parts of the universe; this their name (ἄγγελος, angelos, one sent) implies; thirdly, that they were forbidden to leave their habitation without special command to do so; and fourthly, that they violated this injunction and left it. Having transgressed the divine law, God would not forgive them; “but casting them down”, or driving them back, “he committed them to everlasting chains of intense darkness to be reserved for judgment”. Hence, it is clear, when they were driven back to their habitation, some further catastrophe befell them by which their committal to darkness was effected. This probably consisted in the total wreck of their abode, and their entire submergence, with all the mammoths of their estate, under the waters of an overwhelming flood. Reduced to this extremity, the earth became “without form and empty; and darkness overspread the deep waters”. Its mountains, hills, valleys, plains, seas, rivers, and fountains of waters, which gave diversity of “form” to the surface of our globe, all disappeared; and it became “void”, or empty, no living creatures, angels, quadrupeds, birds, or fishes, being found any more upon it.
Fragments, however, of the wreck of this pre-Adamic world have been brought to light by geological research, to the records of which we refer the reader, for a detailed account of its discoveries, with this remark, that its organic remains, coal fields, and strata, belong to the ages before the formation of man, rather than to the era of the creation, or the Noachic flood. This view of the matter will remove a host of difficulties, which have hitherto disturbed the harmony between the conclusions of geologists and the Mosaic account of the physical constitution of our globe.

Geologists have endeavoured to extend the six days into six thousand years. But this, with the scriptural data we have adduced, is quite unnecessary. Instead of six thousand, they can avail themselves of sixty thousand; for the scriptures reveal no length of time during which the terrene angels dwelt upon our globe. The six days of Genesis were unquestionably six diurnal revolutions of the earth upon its axis. This is clear from the tenor of the sabbath law.

“Six days shalt thou labour (O Israel) and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Would it be any fit reason that, because the Lord worked six periods of a thousand or more years each, and had ceased about two thousand until the giving of the law, therefore the Israelites were to work six periods of twelve hours, and do no work on a seventh period or day of like duration? Would any Israelite or Gentile, unspoiled by vain philosophy, come to the conclusion of the geologists by reading the sabbath law? We believe not. Six days of ordinary length were ample time for Omnipotence, with all the power of the universe at command, to re-form the earth, and to place the few animals upon it necessary for the beginning of a new order of things upon the globe.

– Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 10–12). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

Globe
Globe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

The very very beginning 2 The Word and words

Genesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3

Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4

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Additional reading:

  1. A look at evolution from a Christadelphian perspective
  2. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  3. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  4. Different principle about the origin and beginning of everything
  5. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  6. Blackness, nothingness, something, void
  7. Accommodation of the Void
  8. “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
  9. Nothingness
  10. Other stories about the beginning of times
  11. Creation purpose and warranty
  12. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere?
  13. A dialogue about the earth moving and spinning around the sun
  14. Angels
  15. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  16. Where does Satan lives?
  17. Satan the evil within
  18. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  19. Around pre-existence of Christ
  20. Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

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Further reading:

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From waste and void coming into being by God’s Word

 

 

“1  In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth —  2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters, 3  and God saith, ‘Let light be’; and light is. 4 And God seeth the light that [it is] good, and God separateth between the light and the darkness,” (Genesis 1:1-4 YLT)

“Thou [art] He, O Jehovah, Thyself — Thou hast made the heavens, the heavens of the heavens, and all their host, the earth and all that [are] on it, the seas and all that [are] in them, and Thou art keeping all of them alive, and the host of the heavens to Thee are bowing themselves.” (Nehemiah 9:6 YLT)

“Stretching out the north over desolation, Hanging the earth upon nothing,” (Job 26:7 YLT)

“By His Spirit the heavens He beautified, Formed hath His hand the fleeing serpent.” (Job 26:13 YLT)

“1  A Psalm of David. To Jehovah [is] the earth and its fulness, The world and the inhabitants in it. 2 For He on the seas hath founded it, And on the floods He doth establish it.” (Psalms 24:1-2 YLT)

“By the word of Jehovah The heavens have been made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.” (Psalms 33:6 YLT)

“Whose is the sea, and He made it, And His hands formed the dry land.” (Psalms 95:5 YLT)

“Beforetime the earth Thou didst found, And the work of Thy hands [are] the heavens.” (Psalms 102:25 YLT)

“5 To Him making the heavens by understanding, For to the age [is] His kindness. 6 To Him spreading the earth over the waters, For to the age [is] His kindness.” (Psalms 136:5-6 YLT)

“The maker of the earth by His power, The establisher of the world by His wisdom, Who, by His understanding, stretched forth the heavens,” (Jeremiah 10:12 YLT)

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard? The God of the age — Jehovah, Preparer of the ends of the earth, Is not wearied nor fatigued, There is no searching of His understanding.” (Isaiah 40:28 YLT)

“Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I [am] Jehovah, doing all these things.’” (Isaiah 45:7 YLT)

“Also, My hand hath founded earth, And My right hand stretched out the heavens, I am calling unto them, they stand together.” (Isaiah 48:13 YLT)

“And thou dost forget Jehovah thy maker, Who is stretching out the heavens, and founding earth, And thou dost fear continually all the day, Because of the fury of the oppressor, As he hath prepared to destroy. And where [is] the fury of the oppressor?” (Isaiah 51:13 YLT)

“1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; 2 this one was in the beginning with God; 3 all things through him did happen, and without him happened not even one thing that hath happened.” (John 1:1-3 YLT)

“and they having heard, with one accord did lift up the voice unto God, and said, ‘Lord, thou [art] God, who didst make the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all that [are] in them,” (Acts 4:24 YLT)

“49 The heaven [is] My throne, and the earth My footstool; what house will ye build to Me? saith the Lord, or what [is] the place of My rest? 50 hath not My hand made all these things?” (Acts 7:49-50 YLT)

“and saying, ‘Men, why these things do ye? and we are men like-affected with you, proclaiming good news to you, from these vanities to turn unto the living God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all the things in them;” (Acts 14:15 YLT)

“‘God, who did make the world, and all things in it, this One, of heaven and of earth being Lord, in temples made with hands doth not dwell,” (Acts 17:24 YLT)

“and to cause all to see what [is] the fellowship of the secret that hath been hid from the ages in God, who the all things did create by Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 3:9 YLT)

“and, ‘Thou, at the beginning, Lord, the earth didst found, and a work of thy hands are the heavens;” (Hebrews 1:10 YLT)

“by faith we understand the ages to have been prepared by a saying of God, in regard to the things seen not having come out of things appearing;” (Hebrews 11:3 YLT)

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and end, saith the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is coming — the Almighty.’” (Revelation 1:8 YLT)

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Preceding articles:

Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity

The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods

The very very beginning 2 The Word and words

Genesis – Story of creation 1 Genesis 1:1-25 Creation of thing

Genesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”

How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?

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Find also to read:

  1. Between Alpha and Omega – The plan of creation
  2. The World framed by the Word of God
  3. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and movement
  4. Creation of the earth out of something
  5. Creation gift of God
  6. Man made life
  7. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  8. A viewpoint on creation
  9. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  10. Without God no purpose, no goal, no hope

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  • Heaven Pt. 161: Unmoving (josephelonlillie.com)
    The Bible says in Psalm 119:89 that the Word of God is “settled in Heaven.” The meaning of the word settled is -to be stationed or appointed to a particular place.  What the verse teaches us is that the Bible is fixed in a heavenly viewpoint. It explains Heavenly precepts. Since the foundation of our race and culture, our world system, its operation and its values have been diametrically opposed to that Heavenly viewpoint.
  • Looking Forward to God’s Reign (dailybibleplan.com)
    Today, we will all suffer through times of great trials.  We will all face times when we will feel as though we are encircled by a pack of villains.  In these times of suffering, we can take solace knowing that as the children of God, our Father in Heaven will deliver us from evil and will protect us.  We can all look forward to the day when Jesus returns to reign over everything. “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” (Matthew 16:27)  When that day comes, all of our trials that seem so pressing today will be a distant memory.  The house that we live in, the car that we drive, the phone that we carry, and the computer we use will mean nothing.  Our moments of greatest despair and agony will seem like a speck of dust floating in the wind.  We can rejoice today for the joy we will have tomorrow, and we can rest in the comfort of His love forever.
  • Light to My Path (theencouragementexpress.com)
    Some of you have been asking the Lord for direction. Go to Bible and seek it out. Go through the prophetic words and promises you’ve received. The path will become clear. Ask for grace, and the Lord Jesus Christ will fill you with the grace and courage you need to walk and stay on this path.
  • God Turns Darkness Into Light (divinedirection.typepad.com)
    We have to understand that it is only the Lord who causes our light to shine as we yield to Him. In Psalm 18:28, the psalmist declares, “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
  • Confident that You’ll Answer (tithebarn.wordpress.com)
    I remember hearing a rabbi say that the right place to start reading the Bible was in the book of Psalms. It’s an interesting thought isn’t it? You might think to begin at the beginning, or to first learn the historical story, or attempt to understand its high theology. So, why the Psalms?

Because the Psalms operate out of relationship, and that’s where your walk with God begins.

  • The Holy Bible’s Genesis Account of Creation (dedicated2jesus.com)
    I believe in the Holy Bible’s “Genesis Account of Creation”. I believe the King James Version is God’s Holy word. It is the preserved word of God without any error according to Psalms 12:7. I believe there is only one, living and true God.
  • Children of the Promise (burningfireshutinmybones.wordpress.com)
    As we read Paul’s heartfelt statement regarding his Israeli brothers and sisters, we discover that being born a Jew does not ensure they are children of God…
  • The Power Of Praise (wisdomsaves.wordpress.com)
    God dwells in the praises of His people! Who are His people? Us! We are His people! We are His sons and daughters, the heir to the throne and the righteousness of Christ. We have the Holy Spirit living deep inside of us uttering groanings too deep for words! Too deep for words! Amazing! But what is even more amazing is the power that lies in the praises that we send up to God! When we praise God we are filling our spirits as it says in Ephesians 5:18-20 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
  • How do We Restore Joy in Our Lives? (theeyesoffaith.wordpress.com)
    We must determine in our hearts to live our lives in agreement with the will and Word of God.

 

Once we have made the decision to remove from our lives all of the things that we know are displeasing to the Lord and we begin taking the necessary steps to do it, then we can trust that the Lord will begin to manifest His presence in our lives.

  • A New Poem For Lent (ellenolinger.wordpress.com)
    once all this was new
    and a challenge to learn
    when not well
  • To deep for words (genesisone.wordpress.com)
    God speaks to us in so many ways, not least in and through our everyday exposure to His creation. It is a message worth perceiving, believing and receiving. It is worth our deepest response.
  • Observations on Psalm 111 (purifyingfires.com)
    6. God’s workings are so marvelous they cannot be forgotten
    7. Those who love God delight in and seek out His wondrous works
    8. The nature and character of God is justice and holiness

    10. God has tender mercy and is actively compassionate toward us
  • Invoking Divine Wisdom (betterendingsnow.com)
    As this is to be the final blog post for the January monthly theme combining the Life Metaphor “Life Is What You Make It” with the Elder Leader archetype, I feel it is appropriate to refer to the highest archetype of the Elder Leader, which is God Itself, or Higher Power, the Creator (Great Spirit, God, Allah, SUGMAD, Jehovah, First Cause, Intelligent Design, Nature, or whatever you choose to Name divinity.)

 

Something from nothing

Is it possible to get something from nothing?

When we hear the story of the creation of the universe we might get that impression.

WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropie...
WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Holy Scriptures we get to read that there was void or a “ Containing of no matter“. There was or was not something with something ” completely lacking”. At first there was a “Having no legal force or validity” but than out of nowhere seemed to come a Voice of Some One Who spoke.

The Bible tells us that every time that One Spoke His Voice brought into being. We do find the principle of something not being there but “God said…” and it was done. The prophet Isaiah quotes the Lord as saying:

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded (Isaiah 45:12).

So, there was not only The Voice but there where also Hands. Out of nothing we do seem to get Sound, from emptiness creating things. This means that there was a power. This incredible Power we consider to be the Most High Power. It is the Force of bringing to life, or the Force of life.

English: Galaxies are very important fundament...
Galaxies are very important fundamental building blocks of the Universe. Some are simple, while others are very complex in structure. As one of the first steps towards a coherent theory of galaxy evolution, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble, developed a classification scheme of galaxies in 1926. Although this scheme, also known as the Hubble tuning fork diagram, is now considered somewhat too simple, the basic ideas still hold… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This creative Power of God is mentioned many other times in the Scriptures, but, as always, the mechanistic details are not supplied. It is hard to imagine, for example, what would have happened if instead of saying let there be light, the Bible had written out Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism. Even if the Bible had given us the formulas explaining the physical details, no one in ages past would have understood them, or if somehow they could have achieved comprehension, they would surely have abused the information!

There was the void or open space which could or could have not a continuity or a break in continuity, a vacate space.

About when and how the universe came into being, science and scripture may come up with the same unambiguous result, namely, in the beginning (Genesis 1:1).

The scientist is not let off the hook, for an eternal universe would also have solved a whole host of scientific problems. According to the model pictured by classical physics, an eternal, everlasting static universe would have been just fine, but these ideas were overturned by the astronomer Hubble in 1929, and still later unambiguously verified by observations made in the mid-1960’s on the universal microwave background.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an astronomer working at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California, discovered that all the galaxies in the universe appeared to be moving away from the earth and the further away they were from us the faster their speed of recession. The conclusion was that the universe could not be static but was undergoing dynamic expansion. (See e.g. G. E. Christianson, Edward Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae, (1995) )

Arno Penzias.jpg
Arno Allan Penzias (born 26 April 1933) is an American physicist, radio astronomer and Nobel laureate in physics who is co-discoverer of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which helped establish the Big Bang theory of cosmology.

In 1965, two physicists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey studying antenna noise discovered that the entire universe appeared to be bathed in a radiation afterglow of a singular event of vast energy taking place in the far distant past. This event has come to be known in popular terms as the “Big Bang”. We will have more to say about this in a later chapter. See: A. Penzias and G. Wilson, A Measurement of Excess Antenna Temperature at 4080Mc/s, ApJ, 142, 419, (1965).

The book of Genesis does not want to present a factual account but in a certain way wants to bring a tale or narrative comprehensible for most people.

Genesis simply and beautifully describes God’s initial creation, as well as His declaration of His creative purpose. It then describes the coming of sin into the world through the choices made by Adam and Eve, and the consequences of those choices for them and their descendants. Then Genesis follows their descendants’ decline into lawless violence — a decline that God brought to an end by sending a great flood, while saving eight people for a new beginning.

Genesis bringing an account from the creation of the world to the death of Joseph in Egypt, we may later find references to the course of events by the New Testament writers, by which John loves to construct his books in the same manner as the Bereshith, talking of the Word spoken and a Word bringing into being. He looks at the Old world and compares the happenings to the New World. He was convinced that in the Garden of Eden the Word spoken by God, the promise made to the first male and female creature of the human line or human tree, had come into existence with the birth of the Nazarene Jeshua from the lineage of king David.

Physics of Sound Sensory System of the Inner E...
Physics of Sound Sensory System of the Inner Ear & Space Time Continuum – By Doctor Emad kayyam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Out of nothingness there was sound. That What had been for ever and is everlasting, has no beginning and no end, has no birth but also no dying or no death, and Which is an incredible Power, a Supreme Being, the Only One capable to create something from nothing. this may be very difficult to believe and is what we consider the only dogma a person of faith has come to take for truth. All other thoughts in our faith are easy to proof and are particularly explained in the Book of books,which we consider the infallible Word of that One and Only One God Who is One.

The question of how to reconcile suboptimal design with special creation is one that has puzzled many Christian groups as well as the Christadelphian community.
While the existence of suboptimal design is not ‘proof’ of evolution, for any special creationist who appeals to design in nature as evidence of special creation, the existence in nature of suboptimal design that directly leads to morbidity and mortality is a problem that is too often ignored.
Too many people want to take the Bible as an minute per minute or literal day to day account, forgetting that one day in the eyes of God is like a thousand years in the eyes of man. And they are also forgetting that perhaps God does not see any reason to have a detailed scientific account of all things when the uneducated also has to understand His Word.
God has given man, created in His image the possibility to see, hear, speak and think, using their brains to make up their minds and to come to conclusions. God has given in nature proof for all things. In it we should come to see how and what and should come to understanding.
In this contemporary world there are still too many Christians who do not want to see what God provided in nature and which treasures He left behind to be discovered by man in time.
The challenge of how to explain the scientific evidence for a very old earth, filled with fossil remains of countless generations of extinct species which are increasingly complex, has been faced by Christadelphians since the earliest days of our community.
Brother Roberts and other early expositors explained this evidence as the product of numerous creations being made and destroyed by God in succession. [1] [2] [3] Later Christadelphian commentators found this solution unsatisfying. Brother Walker objected to it on scientific grounds, pointing out that there was no break in the fossil record providing evidence for the destruction of a previous creation, and that the fossils showed earlier extinct animals had a close physical relationship to modern species which were still alive, indicating a continuity of life rather than a break.[4]
However, a far more challenging problem with which Christadelphian commentators have wrestled, is the issue of sub-optimal features within the creation. Our community has long recognized the imperfections of the human eye, acknowledging it has a blind spot.[5]
We should learn from geology, geographic changes, and take not of the many findings of people who studied several sciences. We not always should accept that they are totally right. Look at some findings, which a few years ago where considered the discovery of the time and the truth which are now considered as outdated and no longer valable and incorrect.
We should not have to expect from the Bible to give a detailed account, but should see the general line. This over the whole line of the canonical Bible Books has been proven to be happened like it is told and should be enough information to be provided for all people to come to understanding the Works of God.
The Book of the Beginnings teaches us much; it speaks of a time and creation on this earth when animal life was not like it is now and people did not look like we recognise other human beings today. Appearance was totally different.
We should not expect the Bible giving us all details of the creatures, how they looked like or how they behaved. It does not want to specify that humans and apes have are missing an enzyme that would allow them to make their own vitamin C, like other animals do.
To come to faith people do not need to know all sub-optimal features of all living elements.

Many creatures may have features which are sub-optimal, and may let people think this would not be the work of an omnipotent and omniscient Designer. In fact brother Matthew’s description of creation was that “the evidence implies problem, failure and imperfect solution”.[6]

There are several people who also do want to believe like Brother Matthew who proposed that the angels were responsible for creation, rather than God and suggested that since angels are less powerful than God, and closer to humans, it should be expected that their characters and work would be subject to weaknesses and limitations similar to those of humans. Because of that we can see so many ‘faults‘ in creation.

But we should know better and follow the Biblical account which explains what went wrong with creation. The Bereshith tells us how the first human beings reposted and went against the wishes of their Maker, resulting them willing to go on their own, God allowing them to be their own master, with all consequences, we having to face so many problems.

We do not believe God left the work to unskilled, uninformed, and largely unsupervised agents who were compelled to learn on the job as they muddled through generation after generation of mistakes. We do know that every high person speaks in the plural form, using the pluralis majestatis or Royal we, to have their words being taken seriously and as important.

When looking at creation we should consider that it all happened over a long period of time, many thousands of years. God was the Only One Maker Who established a natural biological process of speciation, which accounts for the variety of creatures in the fossil record and those we see today. That process followed rules established by God in the beginning, and was not blind, random, or accidental. Man revolting against their Maker choose to go their own way and where allowed to go into their own universe. In their own world they could give plants and animals and everything they created a name. they themselves had to cultivate it and work it out how to survive in the world they chose themselves. However, being a natural process without constant guidance from an intelligent being, its results were imperfect. God has always been prepared to work with a less than perfect creation, and it is a Biblical principle that His glory shines with great brightness when His character is reflected by fallible creatures.

The tendency for the evangelical Christian church to source their information outside of mainstream science [7] tends however to blunt the impact of such scientifically informed Christian warnings both against science denialism and basing first principles on demonstrably false views of the natural world. Deconversion anecdotes such as these, culled from a 2002 TalkOrigins post of the month [8]  are representative of the one-way traffic towards unbelief that often results when science and faith are pitted against each other.

Young earth creationist organisations remain stubbornly wedded to an a priori commitment to a fundamentalist reading of Genesis. Terry Mortenson, a YEC theologian and historian regards adherence to Biblical literalism as important because he regards it as fundamental to his theological world view:

None of us, including any particular scholar (no matter how respected he is), or even the majority of scholars or Christians, can be the final authority for determining truth. God’s Word must be the authority. And it clearly teaches creation in six literal days about six thousand years ago and a global catastrophic Flood at the time of Noah. We must graciously but uncompromisingly contend for the literal historical truth of Genesis 1–11, which is absolutely fundamental to all other doctrines in the Bible. [9]

What Mortenson fails to so convincingly is justify why a Christian must interpret Genesis 1-11 literally or exactly how our salvation depends on recent creation in six days or a literal world-wide flood. Instead he damns respected 19th century Christian scholars such as Torrey, Warfield and Dana as ‘compromisers’ for being willing to follow the scientific evidence where it led them, even if it contradicted with a particular interpretation of the creation narratives.
This refusal to engage with modern science is particularly acute given that the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against flood geology and recent creationism, and in fact was recognised by conservative Christians well before Darwin. To be blunt, any Christian doctrine that hinges on a literal world-wide flood that laid down the fossils or recent creation in six days has been falsified, and no amount of appeal to a literal reading of Genesis will change observable reality. [10] Mortenson and his colleagues at Answers in Genesis may pride themselves on not compromising on what they believe to be a fundamental principle, but all they are doing is forcing believers to choose between observable reality and dogma, which as the Barna Group has shown is not a strategy for long-term growth of Christianity. More importantly, it is forcing believers to base fundamental doctrines on a description of the natural world that is demonstrably false.

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Notes:

[1] ‘Interested Stranger.—No doubt the earth has gone through changes. Christadelphian. — Have not these changes been in the nature of progress—an advance from a crude to a more perfect state? Interested Stranger.—It has doubtless been so. Christadelphian.—From what sort of a state did this process make its start? Interested Stranger.—That, I think, we cannot ascertain. Christadelphian. — Not in an exact sense perhaps; but are we not justified in saying that if we go far enough back in the record of the earth’s physical history, as written in the rocks, we come to a time when the earth was a molten mass, incapable of sustaining life, either vegetable or animal? Interested Stranger.—That is believed by the geologist; and I do not see that any thing can be said against it.’, Roberts, ‘A Page for the Interested Stranger – No. 2’, The Christadelphian (22.255.405), 1885.
[2] ‘Geology teaches us much; it speaks of a time and creation on this earth when animal life, if not totally, was nearly unknown, and only the lower order of vegetable life covering its face, and this must have existed many thousands of years; and during the whole of that long period, the earth was undergoing wonderful and necessary changes to fit it for a creation of a higher order, and evidently with the creature man in view. There are evidences to show that when this early period had done its work, it was replaced by a creation of a higher order , when animal and vegetable forms of a far more wonderful structure were brought into existence and most admirably adopted to the atmosphere, climate, and peculiarities of that creation; and this, again, must have lasted for many thousands of years, and in its turn been swept away, and a grander creation built on its ruins. And so on, stage after stage.’, Simons, ‘Why Man was not at once made Perfect’, The Christadelphian (21.238.177), 1884.
[3] ‘There can be no reasonable doubt that when the non-fossiliferous rocks were first formed t he heat of the earth’s matter was too intense for vegetable and animal life to exist. There can be no reasonable doubt that it was only in a later age that the lower forms of plant and animal life could exist . And there can be no reasonable doubt that the succeeding ages allowed the creation of still higher and more perfect forms, till we reach the age called the “Tertiary,” and the “Post-pliocene” period of that age, when we are told remains of man are found for the first time. All of this, I say, I do not doubt. The facts of old mother earth’s storehouse are too convincingly inscribed upon her crust to allow me to doubt. At the same time, and amid it all, I have the most implicit faith and unbounded trust in God and His sacred word.’, Welch, ‘Knowledge.- No., 12 Geology’, The Christadelphian (28.329.416), 1891.
[4] ‘If we suppose a sudden and absolute break some 6,000 years ago, or before, resulting in the destruction of all life, and that the creation account of Genesis describes a new creation following, we ought to find some evidence of the break, and we cannot well account for the apparently close relationship that obtains between extinct and existing forms. There are forms becoming extinct in our own day from slow and natural causes. May it not have been so in pre-Adamic times? The professors tell us for instance that some of these ancient birds, whose strides we can see for ourselves from their footprints were from four to six feet long, were like gigantic ostriches.’, Walker, ‘Genesis’, The Christadelphian (47.557.501), 1910.
[6] “So to take the human elements, the frustration, the changes of plan and the solution along with God allowing that process to work its way through, and applying it to a creative environment where the evidence implies problem, failure and imperfect solution.”, Matthew Wigzell, email on his email list “Watchmen“, 17 January, 2013; (brother Matthew has explained this email list was not private, and both he and other members have shared publicly emails by various members of the list.)
[7] Giberson K “Why Evangelicals Are Fooled Into Accepting Pseudoscience” Huffington Post 23rd September 2011
[9] Mortensen T “Exposing a Fundamental Compromise” Answers June 3rd 2010
[10] See for example Alan Hayward’s “Creation and Evolution – The Facts and Fallacies” (Triangle Books, 1985). Although his arguments against evolution were flawed even in the early 1980s, and are utterly dated now, his critique of flood geology and young earth creationism still hold up today.

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Preceding articles:

Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity

The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods

The very very beginning 2 The Word and words

Genesis – Story of creation 1 Genesis 1:1-25 Creation of thing

Genesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”

How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?

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Please do find to read:

  1. Bible and Science (2): In the Beginning
  2. Nothingness
  3. Suboptimal design and special creation
  4. Understanding God’s Word through His Creation -2
  5. Here is why an increasing number of Christadelphians are accepting evolution
  6. YECS: don’t compare yourself to Galileo. Unlike you, he had evidence on his side.
  7. The “aha” moment – Biblical Scholars Tell Their Stories. Part 5
  8. Andrew Perry shows how not to discuss evolution and creation – 1
  9. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  10. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere?
  11. Cosmogony
  12. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  13. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  14. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  15. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  16. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  17. Reconciling Science and Religion
  18. Science and God’s existence
  19. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  20. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  21. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  22. Interpretation of archaeological data
  23. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  24. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  25. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional related articles:
  1. Discovering or Destroying the “Recipe for Belief in Creationism”?
  2. Do Evolutionists Believe Darwin’s Ideas about Evolution?
  3. Deep Time Evolution

 

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