Rational Faith

Time to End the In House Debate

Among Christians there should be no questions or debates about the origins of life, the earth or the universe.


At the end of the Up for Debate Episode titled "Should Christians Embrace the Big Bang?" Host Julie Roys wrapped it up with the following two questions:

 - How important is this for Christians to deal with?
 - Why do you think it's important?

Dr. Danny Faulkner, Author,  Distinguished Professor Emeritus, retired and now on staff with  Answers in Genesis and its Creation Museum responded:

"I believe it's important because it's a Foundation of scripture integrity. What does the Bible say, what does God say, what does it mean to us?

True, but he misses the elephant in the room.

Dr. Hugh Ross, Astronomer and best-selling author responded:

"Well notice that the time of creation is not in any of the biblical creeds. What's important is who creates and how he creates. And this is what's exciting about big bang cosmology. It identifies the who as the God of the Bible, it identifies  his creation intervention just like the Bible says.  I don't think we should get hung up on the when.1

Dr. Ross' answer not only misses the elephant in the room, but it is also very misleading.  Why do the biblical creeds not mention the time of creation? (More importantly the duration.) Because that is not one of the issues they were dealing with at the time. In the first few centuries after Christ's resurrection, the church was besieged with Christological issues - docetism (Christ only seemed to have a body but was really just spiritual), gnosticism (a whole range of errors regarding God from which we get the phrase "children of a lesser god"; errors regarding Christ;  and the nature of good and evil), monophysitism (Christ had only one nature), and so on. So they were concerned with clearly and correctly defining who Christ was - that he was "very God from very God" (from the Nicene Creed) and "one person with two natures" (From the Definition of Chalcedon). The Nicene Creed was written in 325 AD; the definition of Chalcedon was written in 451. The issue of the length of creation didn't come up until needed for evolution, and Darwian didn't publish "Origin of Species" until 1859.  So of course the creeds don't deal with that.

Dr. Ross also states big bang cosmology identifies the who of creation as the God of the Bible. Really? Perhaps he should tell that to cosmologist and Big Bang advocate Lawrence Krauss who is telling everyone who will listen that there was no creator - everything came out of nothing2.  And while he's at it,  he should tell cosmologists and Big Bang supporters Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok whose Brane cosmology theory (brane - short for membrane - a theory that is a result of  their work with M theory; which is a culmination of String theory)  states the Big Bang is just one of many recurring Big Bangs going back endlessly -  and thus no creator is needed - the universe is eternal.3  

Thus contrary to the assertion that the big bang identifies a creator, the fact of the matter is the standard Big Bang theory only implies a beginning; and not even that for cosmologist who see the big bang as one of an infinite series. Moreover,  it says nothing about how that beginning came about, or who or what had a hand in it's beginning. And if Dr. Ross doesn't think we should get hung up on the when, then why doesn't he just go along with the 6 day creation? He won't because it is, in point of fact, very important to him because as a scientist, he's trying to reconcile evolution with scripture and his solution is Theistic Evolution - another incorrect theory that requires millions of years. Thus he wants to keep long ages in creation to preserve the millions and billions of years needed for evolution.  But as a Christian, the truth regarding the length of creation should be important to not only Dr. Ross but all Christians, because of what Dr. Faulkner pointed out - the importance of the integrity and veracity of the Bible.

But there's more to it than just incorrect views of the big bang.  There's the aforementioned elephant in the room that no one seems to want to mention: Darwinian evolution.  Materialistic science needs to keep Darwinian evolution because that's the only mechanism they have to explain the origin of life on earth, though in truth - Darwinian evolution doesn't explain that - Darwinian evolution can not work until you have already existing two reproducing members of a species. To explain life, you need neo-Darwinism with a boost from chemical evolution theories. But that's a topic for another time.

The main point here is those who reject the 6 day creation account do so in order to keep a "millions of years" time frame for the age of the earth and universe.  The elephant in the room is the need of  scientists who only believe in the material realm,  whose theories require millions and billions of years. For them "Time is the hero" for it allows (in their mind anyway) things to happen that are normally impossible, and thus it is the only mechanism which allows even a semblance of plausibility to any of their already implausible theories of origins (namely the big bang and Darwinian evolution).

But why are we afraid to speak against the theories of scientists which are not only incorrect but irrational? (Standard Big Bang cosmology requires a universe to pop into existence out of absolute nothingness. Is that a rational concept?)  John Lennox nails our reluctance on the head in his book 7 Days that Divide the world. Lennox wants to have his cake and eat it too: he attempts to hold to both 24 hour days, and millions of years in between them. But he nails it on the head as to why we're afraid to speak up against the nonsense of scientists who propose irrational theories like "a universe from nothing" :

We don't wish to appear scientifically illiterate4

And all the while our kids are falling away from the faith because we can't come up with reasonable answers to the questions they pose based on the scientific stories they're being taught. How many times do we have to hear stories of people turning away from the faith after learning about Evolution? This should not, and need not be the case. Clearly evolution can not be true if the creation is young - so evolutionists fight creationists tooth and nail on this point. But in house between Christians - there should be no debate because scripture is clear.

Host Julie Roys closed with two points: 1) She wasn't there and honestly doesn't know. and 2) Doesn't believe there is only one interpretation of the Genesis account.

But we're often called upon to make judgments on things we didn't personally witness, and we can do so confidently given enough evidence - as when we sit on a jury. So since this is an in-house discussion (the house of God), let me provide the evidence that should make this a slam dunk, no brainer case for Christians on why the Bible means what it appears to mean in Genesis 1 when it talks about "evening and day" the (nth) numbered day:

1. In context of Gen 1 -
Six - 24 hour days  is the clear meaning

Much has been written about a numbered  day following the evening.  The context is clear. When's the last time you squeezed a million years into an evening before the dawn came?

2. God himself restated it when giving the 10 commandments
After the Exodus, God lays out how they will order their lives and describes the work week in the decalogue. Thus the context is the work week for the Israelites:

9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11 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.
Ex 20.9-11

God then wrote it on tables of stone (Ex 24.12).  Either this is a regular week with  6 days for work and 1 day for rest, or God is expecting the Israelites to work  6 million years (or multiple millions of years for each "day"), then rest 1 million if you insist on saying the days represent millions of years ages. As Dr. Faulkner said, whenever day is used, we know what it means because the context determines the meaning. Both here and in Genesis 1-2 a day is clearly a 24 hour period.

3. Millions of years puts death before Adams sin
For Christians the strongest case against millions of years for the creation is a correct understanding of sin, death and redemption. If you go along with millions of years in the creation, you're forced to conclude:

a) The sin of Adam and Eve was not really the cause of death
Contrary to Gen 2.17 ("...for when you eat of it you will surely die.")
 - Because death has been in the world for millions of years while creatures evolve

b) Creation is no longer "very good" (Gen 1.31)
Consider the following picture. How can creation be "very good" when God finally gets around to creating man (after millions of years have passed while other creatures evolve) if it's littered with death and decay from millions of years of evolution?
Did God Create over Billions of Years?
Did God Create over billions of years

c) Death is a natural part of creation instead of an enemy to be
Why does Jesus need to destroy death (1 Cor 15.26) if God saw it as a good tool to create with?

4. The Big Bang has the order of creation events out of sequence
There are a number of items, but lets just take one:
Gen 1.1-2 starts with the earth;
The Big Bang starts with gases that (after millions of years) form stars, then after millions of more years form planets.

Why did God tell Moses the earth was first if the stars were first? God is not a God of confusion. (1 Cor 14.33) Why would he bring in confusion here?

I submit that our desire to please the Lord should be greater than our fear of man, or more appropriately our own fear of appearing foolish before man. We who live in the 21st century are blessed in that fear is mitigated because there are many scientists - Christian and otherwise - who are coming up with many scientific evidences that validate what scripture has taught all along (like a young universe).  The question for us then becomes are we going to be the good and faithful steward of God's word, or are we going to be ashamed of God's word - and then have to explain that to the Lord?

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."
Mark 8.38

As for me and my house, we're going to be faithful to the word as God gave it.

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-21-2014

1. The rest of Dr. Ross' statement:

"...It's not a crucial issue for salvation, it's not a crucial issue for biblical inerrancy, so if we could just relax on that issue and deal with the most important issues of using the who and the how to bring people to faith in Christ. We should be rejoicing over all the people who are being brought to Christ over big bang cosmology and what the Bible says about the universe."

While perhaps not crucial for salvation, as shown above, an incorrect theology of creation makes death a needed tool in God's arsenal instead of an enemy to be overcome.

2  Krauss, an atheist, is author of "A Universe from Nothing" - believes in the Big Bang, but doesn't believe it implies a creator

3 Steinhardt and Turok give a summary of their theory in  Through the Wormhole Episode What happened before the beginning?

4 Lennox, John C Seven Days that Divide the World Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011 p. 31