“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words last forever.” (Mt 24:35)
Is The Creation Account Reliable?
Recently a close Christian friend expressed skepticism about the idea of a literal six day creation. This idea contradicts the popular notion that the universe has evolved over millions of years. I was somewhat taken aback by my friend’s comment, because he is a former missionary colleague and I just assumed he believed in the veracity of the biblical account. I myself have long since come to the conclusion that if the creation account in Genesis cannot be trusted, then neither can any part of the Bible.
Here are some other things the Bible got wrong if the creation account cannot be taken at face value.
Stars Mark the Seasons
If you believe in the long ages theory of creation, you also no doubt believe that the earth is 4 billion years old and the universe is over 14 billion years old. The reason you believe so is because scientists have been telling you that the light from distant stars has been traveling towards the earth for billions of years. But the first chapter of Genesis says that vegetation was created on the third day and the stars were created on the fourth day. So according to the biblical account, there were no stars when the first plants appeared on the earth. Therefore if you believe the Bible, the earth is actually older than the stars.
Furthermore, if the lights from distant stars has really been traveling across the universe for billions of years to reach earth, they would have appeared one at a time in the night sky, beginning with the closest star. So it would have taken four years for the light from the first star to reach earth. We would continually be seeing the light from more distant stars as it arrives within our view. But the Bible says God put the stars in the sky to mark the seasons. So the sky had to be full of stars in the very beginning.
Every Day Had a Morning and Evening
The first chapter of Genesis describes a six day period of creation in which God made day and night on the first day; the sky on the second day; land, sea and vegetation on the third day; the sun, moon and stars to fill the heavens on the fourth day; living things to populate sea and sky on the fifth day; and animals and man to fill the earth on the sixth day. Each of these days had a morning and an evening. The question for skeptics is, how long were those days? Did they constitute literal 24 hour periods or was each day a much longer period that would allow for millions of years of evolution?
If these days were actually millions of years, and if each day had a morning and an evening, they had to be long ages of light followed by long ages of darkness. If this were true, there would have been vast differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures as on the moon. The plants and animals created during the day would have perished in the cold and dark of the long night that followed. Also, the earth would have barely rotated at all, creating huge differences in air temperature on the two sides of the planet. This in turn would produce monstrous storms and enormous tidal waves that would scour the surface of the earth and drown all living things. The lack of rotation would also cause the magnetic field to collapse. The earth would lose its protection against harmful radiation, solar flares, and asteroids, searing all living things and exposing the earth to cataclysmic collisions with asteroids and meteors. Therefore the notion of a period of alternating light and darkness called “morning and evening” cannot refer to long ages of light and dark or nothing would have survived.
The intricate interdependence of living things so characteristic of our world would not be possible if the things that depend on each other were created on subsequent days that were millions or billions of years apart. Plants and animals depend on each other for respiration. Plants would all die if there were no animals to produce carbon dioxide for them to breathe. Animals would die if there were no plants to produce oxygen for them to breathe. Flowers could not cross pollinate if there were no bees. And females could not reproduce if there were no males. All these had to appear on the scene in very close succession.
The Hebrew word for “day” used in Genesis is “yom.” It is the same word used over 1900 times in the Old Testament to describe a literal 24 hour day. Every single time it is used with a counter like “first,” “second,” “third,” etc., as in the first chapter of Genesis, it refers to a literal day. In Genesis 20:8-11, the same word for ‘day’ in the original language is used to describe both the Sabbath day on which God rested from the work of creation and the day of the week set aside to commemorate that event:
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God… For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
Creation Only Took a Word
The book of Genesis tells us that the world was created fully formed by the word of God, not from elemental particles, a single cell or even an embryo. Genesis begins the account of each step of creation with the words, “God said” and ends with “and it was so.” There were no intermediate steps. When God spoke, it happened. First there was nothing and in the next instant the earth was filled with living things and the sun, moon, and stars were all in their respective places.
Second Peter 3:3-7 says that in the last days, “scoffers …will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, … But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
The statement, “For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation,” describes the assumption on which the evolutionist’s conclusions about origins are based, i.e. that natural processes have always been the same. Consequently, they assume that if they can trace time backwards far enough, they will find the elemental building blocks from which the universe sprang. Everything started from zero in their view. But creation by definition does not start from zero. Creation brings forth that which is fully formed out of nothing.
Jesus gives us several examples of creation in the New Testament. He created enough fish to feed a multitude of people on two occasions and enough to fill his disciples’ nets to overflowing twice. In all cases the fish appeared instantly. Neither the people in the crowds nor the disciples had to wait for the fish to grow from an embryo. He created wine from ordinary water at a wedding feast in the time it took for the steward to dip a ladle in the jar and draw a sample to taste.
God Saw That it Was Good
The phrase, “And God saw that it was good,” is repeated by the writer of Genesis after each day of creation. God was pleased with what He had made. There was nothing wrong with it. No flaws whatsoever. Everything worked perfectly. This contradicts the scientific account of origins which says that evolution produced an almost endless series of flawed organisms until one could survive the harsh realities of an inhospitable environment. This history of repeated failures is supposedly chronicled in the fossil record.
But the fossil record is a record of death and destruction, certainly not something that God would call ‘good.’ According to the biblical account, there was no such thing as death until man disobeyed God. The main message of the Bible is that death came by Adam and life came through Jesus Christ (Rom 5:12-15). So according to the Bible, the fossil record cannot predate the creation of man. Furthermore, if death came before the fall, God is the author of death, not Adam. But the Bible says that death came by one man’s sin (Rom 5:12). Life comes by Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17). So Christ’s atoning work on the cross would be needless.
Creation Has Ceased
The Bible says God rested from his act of creation on the sixth day. But evolution never stops. So there should be light from new stars still reaching the earth and new species of plants and animals constantly appearing. But that would contradict the Law of Entropy which says things are not evolving but devolving. Species are disappearing. The fossil record shows a far greater abundance of life than exists today. Many of those creatures no longer exist. There were a wide variety of dinosaurs. We have none today. And scientists can observe stars disintegrating but they have yet to find evidence of one forming.
What to Trust? Science or God’s Word
The previously quoted passage from 2 Peter 3:7 that talks about the unbelief of those who reject the Creator concludes, “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”
When it comes to origins, science is based on assumptions that rule out the actions of a God who could create an entire universe just by speaking a few words. But the Bible is the authoritative word of God that has never been proven wrong. Numerous archeological findings confirm historical accounts in the Bible. It predicted the events of Jesus’ life and ministry hundreds of years before His birth. It predicted the rise and fall of ancient empires, described the conditions of their reign and collapse, even named one leader long before he was born. The fact that it predicts a coming day of judgment should be a source of real concern for unbelievers.
So do we put our faith in the theories of man, many of which have been proven wrong, or in God’s word? As Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words last forever.” (Mt 24:35).