As a Christian for over 23 years and as a passionate Creation apologist, I’ve often been challenged on my view that we should accept the biblical creation account.
Truly, opposition comes from all sides. On one hand we are told that Genesis is mere myth. It is true only insofar as it relates to important polemic and theological meaning, many say.
Others say that Genesis may indeed be recording history, but a specific length of time is not reflected by the text nor is it ultimately important.
And then there are those who have denounced the Christian faith altogether simply because “modern science” has all but crucified the historical teachings of Genesis 1-11.
Ministries like mine and Pat’s work tirelessly to address these claims, but I’d like to us reflect on ourselves for a few moments. Have we ever really considered the importance of the creation account?
Here are four significant factors that rely on the truthfulness of the Genesis account:
The Authority of Scripture and Biblical Creation
In his new book Preaching 101, Dr. Kenny Kukyendall explains, “Where there is no Scripture being explained, there is no authority being given.”
You see, in all matters of life and practice, the Scriptures must have the final authority. Each one of us has a worldview, and the way we assess and interpret facts and evidence will rely wholly on the fundamental assumptions and presuppositions you hold to be true–your worldview, in other words.
On the relationship between science and the Scriptures, Creationist astrophysicist and apologist, Dr. Jason Lisle, further clarifies,
“If a certain level of scientific knowledge is necessary to understand the Bible, then how can we ever know that we’ve reached that level? Surely our present understanding of the universe will be considered primitive 500 years from now. Since our understanding of science is constantly improving, we could never know for sure that our understanding of Scripture is correct. And if our understanding of the Bible is not certain, then we really cannot know anything, because the biblical worldview alone provides the preconditions of intelligibility. Thus, the position that the Bible must be interpreted to fit the majority opinion of scientists is self-defeating. People who hold such a view do not have the Bible as their ultimate standard. But knowledge must begin with God (Prov. 1:7), not man. The “Scripture below science” view is reduced to absurdity.”
In other words, Dr. Lisle is saying that since we can be confident about what the Scriptures tell us, to modify our understanding of them and biblical creation in light of the modern scientific consensus would be an exercise in futility.
Of course, the Christian who denies the straightforward reading of Genesis is usually quick to claim, by way of rebuttal, that he too holds a high view of Scripture!
But this claim is not supported by his own practice; when confronted with important textual elements of the creation account (ex., the vegetarian diet of pre-flood organisms (Genesis 1:29-30), the theological significance of death entering the world through sin (Romans 5:12), etc.), he is quick to explain these away with contrived stories and unproven scientific claims which also have no textual support.
Actions indeed speak louder than words.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)”
If we’re to have a robust doctrine of Scripture, we must let it change us–not the other way around.
The Glory of God
If God is the Creator of the cosmos–and He is–then we should expect His creation to declare His glory. It is that very admonition we find in Psalm 19:1–“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.(KJV)”
We actually rob God of His glory when we undermine His ability to clearly communicate about creation in the Scriptures.
Dr. Terry Mortenson writes, “If the early chapters of Genesis are not true literal history, then faith in the rest of the Bible is undermined, including its teaching about salvation and morality…The health of the church, the effectiveness of her mission to a lost world and the glory of God are at stake.”
As briefly mentioned above, many who deny a straightforward rendering of the creation account are the first to affirm the inerrancy of Scripture–but does this affirmation hold true in practice?
When asked why I personally affirm a young universe, I almost never start in Genesis one! That may come as a surprise–but I urge you to consider the same. I always start with Jesus, who indeed claimed to be God.
In Mark 10:6, for example, Jesus says, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.(KJV)” In context, God is answering a question about marriage and divorce, and rests His argument in the historicity of the Genesis account.
Consider His word usage: If human life was made on Day Six, and the “beginning” was on Day One, we’re only talking a span of six days over the course of 6,000 years or so. This seems reasonable. But the further away we remove those two events from one another, the less credible Jesus sounds!
Are we to believe that Jesus–the Creator Himself (John 1:1-14)–is unable to more clearly communicate when He created this world? How can He claim to have made them “male and female” from the beginning of the creation if the beginning was over 13 BILLION years prior!
To me, this seems like a clear strike to the reliability of Scripture and certainly to the glory of God Himself.
Therefore, rather than creation being relegated to a secondary issue as many would like to say, I submit that it is secondary to salvation–but primary to the glory of God. And that is a serious matter, my friends.
The Beauty of Nature and Biblical Creation
At first blush, one might wonder what the details of the biblical creation account has to do with the notion of beauty.
The objective beauty in nature is actually a philosophical assumption that most simply take for granted. Have you ever seriously considered why you think something conveys a property to which you assign the term “beauty?”
A naturalist may marvel at the astounding artistry of the Grand Canyon–yet deny the existence of the Artist! Just as it is absurd to view the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and deny that Michelangelo existed, so it is to marvel at God’s world and deny His presence at the same time.
Above, in Psalm 19:1, we observed that the heavens declare the glory of God–but don’t skip over the last part! “…and the firmament sheweth his handywork,” the Psalmist records.
Jesus also had something to say about the beauty in His creation. In Matthew 6, He speaks of the lilies of the field. He says of them that “even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Of course–marred by the fall, we realize that our view today is a mere vestige of a once “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31).
Calvin wrote beautifully, “On each of the days, simple approbation was given. But now, after the workmanship of the world was complete in all its parts, and had received, if I may so speak, the last finishing touch, he pronounces it perfectly good; that we may know that there is in the symmetry of God’s works the highest perfection, to which nothing can be added.”
If this isn’t the accurate view of world history, what claim can be laid to beauty? Surely the disgusting vision of death, disease, suffering, and bloodshed present in our fossil record cannot represent the long, toilsome formation of “beautiful” life from a purposeless, accidental beginning millions of years ago until now?
What could possibly be beautiful about the notion that “only the strong survive,” it’s “every beast for himself,” and that nature is “red in tooth and claw?”
It is God Himself who is the Ultimate Standard of Beauty.
Without a standard against which to measure, how are we to know what is beautiful in the first place? Nature is beautiful–but only in that it is a direct creation from the hand of God, and that one day, it will be restored to that perfect state once more (Isaiah 65:25).
The Integrity of Science
In The Ultimate Proof of Creation, Lisle argues,
“Evolutionists must assume the preconditions of intelligibility in order to make any argument whatsoever; they must assume things like laws of logic and uniformity of nature. But these preconditions of intelligibility do not comport with an evolutionary worldview; they only make sense if creation is true. Hence, we have an ultimate proof of creation: we know that biblical creation must be true because if it were not, we could not know anything at all.”
The “uniformity of nature” which Lisle refers to is quite possibly one of the most fundamental assumptions of human experience that must be true, and almost no one has stopped to consider why nature is uniform!
Think about the options:
God, who is the all-knowing, all-powerful, self-existing progenitor of the universe and has revealed Himself in Scripture (2 Peter 1:21), in His Son (1 John 5:10), in conscience (Romans 2:15), and in creation (Psalm 19:1), created the world. He has promised to sustain it (Genesis 8:22, Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:17), and furthermore, He is all-perfect and cannot lie (Titus 1:12).
Or, we are the product of a random chance chemical explosion (what exploded, no one knows!), we live in a universe that Alan Guth called “the ultimate free lunch,” we ought to thank the stars for dying for us instead of Jesus Christ (according to Lawrence Krauss), and “the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference,” according to atheist Sir Richard Dawkins.
While it is certainly true that the former seems to have better emotional appeal, I simply want to address this logically. Why on Earth should we expect a design-less, purposeless universe where nothing exists but “blind, pitiless indifference” to have properties such as the uniformity of nature? What is uniform and predictable about random chance? How does the ability to do science at all fit the predictions of such a universe?
Here is the contradiction: The naturalist must use science which is not available on his own professed worldview in order to argue against God–the only rational justification for science itself!
Don’t believe me? Consider that the credit for the scientific method is given largely to theists–mostly Christian theists (Newton, Bacon, etc.)! Why? It’s because their theology of biblical creation informed what they knew would true about our world, and they developed a method of discovery based on those principles which would help us to determine the likelihood of propositions/observations.
I’ve written elsewhere, “A facetious (yet powerful) illustration I like to use is the notion that a lion will not be waiting for you in your living room when you wake up to fix your morning coffee. Things do not randomly and sporadically appear in our universe. Our universe is governed by laws that all scientists recognize and have to use when conducting experiments, the problem is that a naturalistic worldview cannot account for or make sense of the existence of those laws.”
Why is biblical creation so important? To reiterate Lisle from above, “because if it were not, we could not know anything at all.”
Steve Schramm is a preacher, apologist, and writer. He helps Christians defend their faith with confidence and clarity while offering solid answers to religious skeptics on the toughest issues facing our culture. Visit www.thecreationgacademy.org get signed up for his latest project, The Creation Academy, an innovative new creation learning experience launching early 2019.