There is a lot of controversy among Christians with the accounts of Genesis 1-11 and whether it is historical or poetic writings. It is not my goal to answer every argument because books have been written to address this issue even though I will try and present a few arguments here.
Genesis chapters 1-11 do play a giant role in how you interpret the Bible and how you develop your world view. It is important for Christians to know what they believe because we are living in a world that is trying to say that God does not exist. We have a responsibility to not only tell people there is a God but that they can know Him through Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)
2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
People are being taught lies and as Christians we have the responsibility to do our part and help clear up the confusion. John 8:32 says “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. As Christians we are supposed to break down the gates (Matthew 16:8) that are holding people captive. In order to do that we have to do it with the arguments they present and give them answers that point them to Jesus Christ.
One of the issues you will discover is that some answers will never be good enough for some people because no matter what you say they will not change their thinking. The world view they hold is so strong that no amount of evidence or proof will convince them otherwise. One world view sees God as Creator and the other is trying to see everything as coming from nature. This is called naturalism that says that there is an explanation of how the world came into being without a supernatural power or God. Because people are looking at things from two different viewpoints they will look at the same evidence and claim victory for their belief. This is what makes the Creation debate so difficult.
Read Genesis 1:1-2:3
1) The World had a Beginning.
The argument that most naturalist have is where did God come from? Of course we believe God always existed and will always exist. Naturalist, when pressed on how we began, have to say that matter has always existed. So one believes God always existed and one believes matter has always existed.
In 1916 Albert Einstein did not like where his calculations were leading him. If General Relativity was true, then that meant that the earth had a beginning and did not always exist. Einstein even tried to change his numbers to make it not work which other scientist later termed Einstein’s fudge factor.
In 1919 British Cosmologist Arthur Eddington conducted and experiment and proved General Relativity to be true. Eddington also did not like the conclusion but he knew there was no loophole for him to use to disclaim the proof that the world had a beginning.
In 1927 astronomer Edwin Hubble witnessed the universe expanding away from us which meant it had a beginning. This was important because there was a time that people believed the earth and the cosmos had always existed. Science, astronomy and mathematics was now proving that to not be true.
Science tells us that everything that is caused has to have a powerful force behind it for it to begin. It was because Scientist knew this they began their search for a new way to explain how the Earth came into existence.
2) God spoke it into being
Psalm 33:6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
God created everything out of nothing. Again, either God has always existed or matter has always existed. It comes down to what you want to place your faith in. Faith is not some blind hope or dream. Faith is established in something or someone you can put your trust in. When you say, I have faith that they will show up’, you are saying you trust the person to do what they said they would do. If you have faith in a bridge then you are saying you trust those who built the bridge and you trust the materials to do what they are supposed to do. So if we accept by faith that God created the world then we can trust Him to show us that He did so. If you accept, by faith, that matter has always existed, then you should see evidence of that. The proof that we are a designed planet and that we did not come from an accidental explosion shows the difference of where you should place your trust and faith.
Is the earth old or young?
The debate among Christians has to do with the Hebrew word for Day. The word Yom in the Hebrew language can mean 24 hour day or a period of time. The word day or Yom is used 359 times outside of Genesis and it means an ordinary day. Again, many books have been written on this subject and it is not my intention of going through every detail of the argument here.
Those who believe in an old earth will quote verses like Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8
Psalm 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
Those who believe in a young earth quote verses like Exodus 20:11 and Joshua 6:14-15
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy
The debate if the earth is old or young is not just The Bible verses The Theory of Evolution. People that believe in God’s word believe that the earth could be older because the days of creation are not literal 24 hour days. The belief is that before the Sun was formed God took millions of years in His creating process as He designed a perfect world for mankind.
I believe in a young earth because the way the passage is written in the Bible. Also, in John 2 Jesus turned water into wine without it having to ferment. Jesus spoke into existence wine that should have been years in the making. In Matthew 14 Jesus also produced fish and bread that was cooked and ready to eat. There was not a long process to which Jesus had to wait. God being supernatural can overcome the natural whenever He wants. If you have a hard time believing that God can speak creation into a fully functioning universe immediately, then you are going to have a hard time believing a lot of the scriptures.
The main problem people have with it being a literal six days of creation is that they have been taught the opposite for years. We have heard millions and billions of years so much that people are trying to fit the Bible into Scientific Theories instead of the other way around. Revelation 21 talks about the new heaven and new earth and we do not believe that will take billions of years.
A) Day One: Light
Those who believe in the gap theory or old earth, believe that the literal days did not start until later because the Sun was not created. As Dr. Norman Geisler says in his book when critics ask “The sun is not the only source of light in the Universe” Revelation 21:23 says that in Heaven there will be no sun because the glory of God will light it.
Light itself could have been created and then the sources of which God uses to show light created on the fourth day. Physicist have a hard time describing what light is. It is something with all the scientific research that is how there that is still not fully explainable.
The appearance of everything we see is because of how the light reflects off the objects we are looking at. The speed of light is 186, 282 miles per second and this stays the same no matter if you are moving toward it or away from it. Nothing else has this property in the universe.
God even named it by calling the light day and the darkness night
B) Day Two: Atmosphere (1:6-8)
God now separates the waters so that there is water in the sky and down below. Some believe this protective barrier was thicker before the flood occurred. The theory is that this canopy of water made the earth like a hyperbaric chamber increasing growth in all plants, animals and humans.
On this day God does not say it is good. It was an incomplete day that would not be finished till day three.
C) Day Three: Sea, Dry Land and vegetation
God drew the sea into one place. Many geologists believe that the world started out as one land mass.
Psalm 104: 5-9 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth
Then God spoke again and vegetation appeared. Evolution cannot disprove this because evolution cannot explain how things evolved without having all the other parts in place. Our Eco- System is so dependent on itself that if things did evolve over time then it creates more questions than explanations.
The way the passage is written is that they were mature plants that had fruit on them. People that believe in old earth believe God planted the seeds and allowed them time to grow.
According to its kind. Each plant has a DNA code that will reproduce another fruit like it. Yes, cross pollination can happen but only to a certain degree.
Henry Morris says “It should be mentioned that the formation of plants, even in such complex forms as fruit trees, occurred before the creation of any form of animal life. This, of course, is quite logical, but it does flatly contradict the accepted evolutionary system, which has marine animals, both invertebrates and vertebrates, evolving hundreds of millions of years before the evolution of fruit trees and other higher plants. Furthermore, many plants require pollination by insects, but insects were not made until the sixth day of creation, which argues against the possibility that the days of creation could have been long ages. The idea of theistic evolution is counter to the biblical record of creation in practically every passage. “ (The Genesis Record, pg 64)
D) Day Four: Sun, Moon and Stars
Psalm 8:3-4 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
From day four on the earth received its light from the Sun. Scientist are still not certain how the sun sustains its energy. It gives the perfect amount of ultraviolet rays for photosynthesis and is perfectly positioned away from the earth to allow life to happen on this planet. If the suns temperature was decreased or increased by only a few percentage points life would not exist on this planet.
The Sun is so big that it would take over a million earths to fill it.The Surface of the Sun is estimated to be 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is 93 Million miles away from the earth and the light it produces takes 8 minutes to reach the earth.
Some Scientist believe that the earth and other planets used to be part of the sun. If that were true then Earth, Mars, Venus and Mercury would have the same or similar compositions, but they do not have those same compositions. Also, Venus, Uranus and Pluto (pluto is now known as a dwarf planet) spin the opposite direction of the rest of the planets.
The Moon goes around the earth every 27.3 days traveling almost a million and a half miles each month. The Moon is so fascinating to scientist that they have spent over 20 Billion dollars trying to figure out how it evolved. They have yet to come up with any conclusions.
Stars are like fingerprints and snowflakes in that each one is different, something you would not expect from a universe that evolved out of itself. One of the reasons people believe in a very old age earth is because the stars are so far away and the light traveling from them would take years to get to us. The closest star Alpha Centauri is a little over 4 years away so light we see from it originated four years earlier.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity says time is not constant and so that could explain in creation it not taking years to reach the earth. Some believe the light traveled instantly and those who believe in the big bang theory believe it was instantaneous or in their words a miracle.
There are 100 billion stars that cover a distance of 30 trillion miles. If the stars were closer together or farther apart, planetary orbits would be affected.
Psalm 19 says the Heavens declare the Glory of God.
Isaiah 40:25-26 says we are to look to the heavens to ponder how big God is.
See Also: Psalm 19; 103:11; Isaiah 40:25-26; Psalm 33:6-9
Let them be signs and seasons and for days and for years
We know sailors have used the stars for years to guide their ships on the ocean. We use them to determine our days, months and our years and they determine our seasons.
The earth’s rotation on its axis determines 24 hour days. If the rotation was any slower than our days would be longer. So earth as we know it has been described in Genesis and even though many have tried to prove the Bible wrong it has always been proven true.
E) Day Five: Birds and Water Creatures (1:20-23)
Trees and plants are nowhere mentioned in scripture as living creatures. Todays society would make you believe that they are but there is no scientific evidence that proves that plants and trees have feelings. Animals do have feelings.
The evolutionary process claims that things evolved over time and it was survival of the fittest. According to scripture each one was made of its kind and the scientific discoveries have once again proved the Bible to be true. There is not one discovery of a creature that is in transition of going from one animal to another. The more science discovers about genetics the more of a problem it poses for evolution.
F) Day Six: Land Animals, Man and Women (1:24-27)
According to its kind is said 5 times here and a total of 10 times in Genesis 1. Each animal and insect has a unique set of features that shows they did not evolve from each other. A cow that has a stomach that is divided into four chambers. An ant can carry 50 times their weight and survive under water for days. Plants and Ants are so dependent on each other that one could not survive without the other ruling out any evolutionary process for them.
Every animal has a unique design and purpose which goes against the theory of an evolutionary process over millions of years.
Every time God said “it was good” it indicated that it was completely done. On the 6th day He said it was very good indicating completeness of the world.
G) Day Seven: God Rested (2:1-3)
Rested means God abstained from His creative work
God took a step back to enjoy His creation and the work He accomplished. The first law of Thermodynamics rules out the possibility of ongoing creation because energy is not increasing. The second law of thermodynamics eliminates that an ordered universe evolved from chaos.
God established for the rest of creation that we should rest. Our calendars are established by 7 day weeks because it is the way God designed us to be at our best.
France and the Soviet union tried to do away with this format. The French from 1793-1805 Divided the calander into 10 days and 3 week months.The Soviet Union 1929-1940 experimented with 5 and 6 day weeks. Both of them abandoned them when productivity went down.
God resting does not mean that God has abandoned His creation. He did not set us into motion and then go off somewhere.
Colossians 1:15-17 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
See also Exodus 20:9-11; 31:16-17
3) You are not crazy for believing in Creationism
You will hear that creationism is a fairy tale, outdated and from an irrelevant religion. Richard Dawkins will call you dumb or insane for not believing in evolution or naturalism.
Anything in our world that is designed we know has a designer (Watch, building etc.) Our solar system is so unique that it is unexplainable and is only explainable through there being a God. For example, if gravity was slightly stronger stars would flame out in a year. If gravity was slightly weaker stars would not form. The margin of error is so slight that the chances of the earth and the universe evolving or impossible.
“Over the past 150 years, paleontologists have examined an estimated 1 billion fossils representing 250,000 species. Millions of these fossils have been found with the earth’s Cambrian strata of rock, a layer said to be the oldest in which fossils of living creatures have been found. Interestingly, all of these remains found with the Cambrian rocks are fossils of fully formed Creatures.” (Ten most common objections to Christianity, Alex McFarland, pg. 59)
They call it the Cambrian explosion because its as if the animals just exploded onto the scene. Atheist Richard Dawkins “We find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history” (The Blind Watchmaker, pg229)
Science is still struggling to determine how the universe was formed apart from God. Some now have to say that life started on other universes and were planted here by aliens because the evidence shows we had a beginning and that we were created. Many scientists are looking for other solutions because they realize that Evolution does not stand up to science. They are in essence saying that the earth was started by something outside of nature or the natural order of things. Those who believe in the Bible have been claiming this all along by saying the earth had a supernatural beginning.
Evolution cannot be proven by science because it has never been observed or has there ever been found one bit of evidence that shows the changes they say took place. They are accepting Evolution by faith. One of the claims of Dawkins and others is that God has not made Himself known clearly. There is a lot of proof that shows creationism is true and you have to turn a blind eye to it in order to ignore God created this Universe.
Thomas Nagel, professor of philosophy at New York University said, “… I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.” (Jesus among other gods, Ravi Zacharias, pg. 50)
We can trust God because He is the designer and sustainer of this world. It really comes down to if you really believe in the beginning God. The reason people do not want to believe in God is because they want to be god of their own lives. If we admit there is a God then we have to find out what He wants us to be and do.
God has made Himself known through His Creation, Through His word and even by coming to the earth in Jesus Christ. None of those can be disproved and yet many people will continue to deny the evidence that is before them.
God created us for a reason and a purpose and this life does matter. God did not just create us and leave us but He sustains us as well and goes with us wherever we go. He cares about every decision we make and what we do with our daily lives. He is a loving and caring God who wants the best for His creation.
When is the last time you paused to look at the stars and think about what a great God there is. Have you given your life to Jesus Christ and accepted His free gift of salvation? John 3:16-17 tells us that He loves us and wants to provide a way to God through His work on the cross. That may not make complete sense to you but if this world is designed and there is a designer shouldn’t you take the time to find out if it is true?