Bible Genesis & Geology

The Necessary Dividing Lines between Science and Faith
 and the Vanity of the Ongoing Creation vs. Evolution Debate

The Great Debate

"The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you."
-- Werner Heisenberg

The God of the Holy Bible created all things through the Lord Jesus Christ.

 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."
 (John 1:1-3 KJV)

"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:"
(Colossians 1:16 KJV)

In the process, He established specific "laws of nature" that are understood from experimentation and observations, and He said they were very good (Gen 1:31). Understanding how these laws govern the order and workings of the physical universe is the pursuit of good science. Readers should keep firmly in mind, however, that the Lord God who established the observed physical laws of nature is not Himself in subjection to those laws.  The Bible is replete with instances where the Lord God has supernaturally intervened against the laws of physics and nature. Examples are the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21), the turning back of the shadow of the sundial (2 Kings 20:9), the stopping of the earth's rotation for about 24 hours (Joshua 10:12-14), the virgin birth of the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, and all the miracles performed by Him when He was on the Earth. With God, nothing is impossible. The creative and regenerative work of the seven days of Genesis is the first example of such Divine intervention in the Bible.

On the other hand, God sometimes uses the established natural laws and physical things of this world to accomplish His Divine purposes. Noah's flood is just one example:

"And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
(Gen 6:13 KJV)

Let us clearly state up front that the ongoing controversy of "Creation vs. Evolution" will never be resolved to the satisfaction of the secular scientific community. It cannot be resolved in a secular context regardless of the well-intended efforts of many on either side of the debate, or in between, because the current focus of the argument is emotionally and factually misdirected.

Armed with only the observations of current and historical geologic processes and other empirical data, and assuming natural history has been a continuum across billions of years, the present secular paradigms of geological and evolutionary theory are about the best belief system that the educated carnal mind of man could be expected to conceive and accept from the available physical evidence, outside of direct knowledge of the existence of God. The Scientific Method, however, does not allow for the existence of God or any observations from the Holy Scriptures. Without the input of Biblical Authority, current theories are incomplete and many questions and mysteries remain unresolved, especially in relation to the origins of mankind.

Secular scientists are confident to point out what they perceive as scientific inaccuracies of the Bible because they have been led to view the Bible through the distorted lenses of traditional Biblical interpretation. What these scientists have successfully contradicted is a traditionally-held Biblical interpretation: Specifically, that all things were created out of nothing only about six thousand years ago, as espoused by Young Earth Creationists.  However, when you rightly-divide what the Bible actually says, Scripture compared to Scripture, the full truth of the matter emerges: An entire ancient world order had already perished from the face of the Earth (because of sin) long before the seven days of Genesis. The seven days of Genesis are a REGENERATION of the heavens and Earth and life on this planet has not been an actual continuum.

Consequently, both sides involved in the argument are partially right, to a certain extent. Yes, the Lord God did make our present world in seven, literal twenty-four hour days and did it about 6,000 years ago. But the correct terminology, according to the Bible, should be "Young WORLD" not Young Earth (see Understanding the Biblical Difference between the Words World and Earth).

Divine creative intervention by a Holy God are not factored into the world's accepted origins model because God can't be observed or quantified in a physical system or seen under a microscope, although the results of His work can be observed and quantified by those who have understanding. For these reasons, there is an unbridgeable gap between secular Empirical Science and the Christian faith in respect to both Creation and Noah's flood, because the full truth of both subjects require faith in the word of God. Empirical Science is the pursuit of quantifiable facts and repeatable observations and is limited to the physical sphere of reality. From this purely physical perspective, the geological evidence appears to indicate that this planet and the life on it are the result of natural processes over time, and that the existence of all life forms and extinction must be credited to a natural process of random mutations and selection by nature itself. In such a paradigm of interpretation, the researcher's faith is in a theory or synthesis of theories which seems to best fit the observations. In the naturalist paradigm, DEATH is just a part of nature. In the Scriptural paradigm, DEATH comes by SIN and its presence is NOT natural.

 "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
(Romans 5:12 KJV)

This is an unchangeable, universal Scriptural truth: Death comes by Sin! This is not accepted as a Scientific observation; death is accepted as an observable fact, but the root cause is not.

The Christian, on the other hand, must also deal with spiritual things, which are just as real as physical things, but can only be seen through the agency of faith by the illumination of the word of God. An honest born-again Christian (who is also a scientist) cannot be fully objective in an empirical perspective in dealing with the question of origins. For if he or she knows this universal truth about DEATH, and also knows that the geologic record has evidence of DEATH extending back a few billion years and that the geologic record is true, then they must honestly seek in God's word to find the reason why. Inventing Creation Science and attempting to jam all of natural history into Genesis and Noah's flood is not an honest solution.

The context of Romans 5:12 is Adam's transgression which occurred only about 6,000 years ago, at the beginning of Adam's world. This Scriptural fact is not disputed. But Adam was NOT the first living creature that sinned against God, and that first sin did NOT occur in Adam's world: The passage says sin ENTERED Adam's world. Where did it enter from?: The Reason for Death in "Deep-Time" - the Ancient Origin of Satan, a.k.a. Lucifer

The Earth is old and death has been on the face of the old Earth for long, long time. The observations of geology prove this, that is one witness. The Holy Scriptures agree to this, that is the second witness (see Deuteronomy 17:6, Matthew 18:16, 2 Corinthians 13:1). Death comes by Sin! Why this is true is not a defense of Science, and certainly not a defense of the theory of evolution, it is a defense of the full-truth of the matter as revealed by the Holy Bible. The Fundamental Church today must be able to differentiate between the FALSE THEORY of 'Evolution' and the FULL TRUTH of the REASON for an old Earth and accept God's wisdom and ways on the matter, else Satan will get the victory in the minds of the lost. And if you think for one minute that the Lord God has deliberately made things look old just to deceive people, then you are misguided (Hebrews 6:18).

Behind the scenes of this entire issue, the real driving force of conflict between Naturalists and Creationists is not the existence of God. The real issue is whether all things were created by the Hebrew God of the Holy Bible and according to a designed purpose and specific time scale and that the Lord Jesus Chrst is the Son of God and the only way to be saved. The authority of the Bible and the moral issue of personal accountability to God are the hidden root of all contention in that debate. And Satan is whispering in the ears of both sides, "Yea hath God said."

It is only when we accept God and His words as the final authority in ALL matters that we are able to perceive the complete picture and resolve the "6,000 years problem" at the heart of the current debate. And resolving this controversy is the very last thing that Satan and the powers of darkness want to see happen, else he is exposed as the hidden hand that is doing his best to keep this one fact hidden: Not only is the Earth ancient, so is Satan, and so was his transgression, and so is SIN and DEATH. This in no way distracts from the Gospel message of man's need for salvation that comes only by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection from the dead. On the contrary, the revelation and knowledge of the antiquity of sin and death in the creation underscore the gravity of the matter and sheds the penetrating light of God's word on the perpetrator of the initial rebellion and the misery it has brought upon the inhabitants of God's creation across the ages, both before and especially after Adam's creation. It is only by the grace of the last Adam (Jesus), that the descendants of the first Adam can be saved. The Devil and the fallen angels, that sinned first in antiquity (and any biological prodigy they may have generated), have no hope of a redeemer.

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
(John 8:44 KJV)

So, the "Gap Theory" (which is a Biblical fact) serves multiple purposes today: First, it sheds light on why there is DEATH in geological Deep-Time. Second, it identifies the reason as SIN in Deep-Time, Third it identifies who the first sinner was, and why. Fourth, it provides the correct doctrinal explanation of what the seven-days of Genesis are all about, by providing context. 

The Bible will ALWAYS have an answer, although we may not immediately see it. For example, it was not until a few centuries ago that the Geological sciences had progressed to the point where the previously-accepted 6,000 year age of the Earth, which was dogma in both the institutions of Church and science, began to be questioned by what was observed in the geological record. Some theologians of the day who were honest enough to realize the truth of those emerging observations and were steadfast, faithful, and committed to defending the Scriptures, were inspired to observe the possibility of a time "Gap" between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 in the Creation narrative. That "Gap" had always been there - ever since the day Moses penned the book - but not many eyes were open to seeing or understanding it until the time was right. It was already there when the Scottish theologian, Thomas Chalmers, first noticed it and began to preach it in the early 19th century. Up until then, the real age of the Earth was not a burning issue. But when the proper time came, the word of God once again proved itself timely and relevant to the level of scientific understanding of the day.

This is "Progressive Revelation" in our Holy Bible and it is accelerating even in our present age. Here is another example of Progressive Revelation in the book of Revelation:

"And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves."
(Revelation 11:9 KJV)

The question is how could people all over the world, in different nations and places, all "see" these dead bodies on a street in Jerusalem at the same time? Certainly from the time John wrote it in about 90 AD, up to about the middle of the 20th century, nobody could understand how that would be literally possible. But today, with global satellite Television and Internet Web Cams, anyone today can understand how it is possible. The point is this: It was a truth that was not revealed to mankind until it was TIME, even though that literal truth had always been there in the Bible. The same holds true for the Genesis narrative. When it was time for man to learn about geology and Earth's natural history, and the full truth about origins, the qualifying verses and explanations were already there in the Genesis narrative and elsewhere in the Bible. It was TIME for those truths to unseal. IT WAS NOTHING NEW; IT WAS ALWAYS THERE, in the Bible; explaining Earth's ancient natural history by the revelation of an ancient spiritual history.

The theory of "Evolution" and theories of "Creation Science" have the same thing in common: BOTH are lame, in that they both are flawed in their foundational assumptions. The Bible has answers for the questions that science can't answer. There are souls perishing everyday because the Church is not truthfully addressing those questions from God's rightly-divided word.

Next Page: Sevens 
The Sevens of the Bible in Time and Nature

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Gaines R. Johnson, D.Th.
The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry

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