“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Gen 1:31)
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.
Plants Came Before Stars
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. If you don’t, the Bible got it wrong.
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 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, the plants and animals created during the day would have perished in the cold and dark of the long night that followed. 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 Hebrew word for “day” used here 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.
When God Spoke, It Was So
Not far from my home is a research facility dedicated to discovering the most basic particle in the universe. It is a huge underground accelerator ring that breaks subatomic particles into ever smaller pieces in the hope of finding the original building blocks from which all matter came into being. But 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 is bringing something to completion out of nothing.
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. So according to the Bible, the fossil record cannot predate the creation of man. It is most likely the result of a global judgment recorded in Genesis 6 when God drowned the earth because mankind had grown so wicked.
Jesus Himself Showed Us How Creation Works
Science cannot draw inferences about origins based on direct observations because there were no scientists around at the time to make any observations. It has to make assumptions based on conjecture about what can be known from the present world. There are only five other acts of creation recorded in the Bible and scientists weren’t there to observe those either. They were all repeat performances by the original Creator. Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana (Jn 2:9). He multiplied a few fish into a banquet of thousands of fish on two other occasions (Mt 14:17; Mk 6:43). In those instances, He did not starve the hungry throngs while He evolved their meal. He created full grown fish instantly. Two other times he filled his disciples’ nets full of fish when they couldn’t catch anything. (Lk 5:4; Jn 21:6) Thus He proved that He does not need evolution to do His creative work. If He could instantly multiply fish by the thousands for hungry multitudes on earth and fill His disciples’ nets to overflowing with a word, He could certainly create them in the the first place without starting from a single cell or even an embryo. And if He could do it with fish, He most certainly could do it with other living things.
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 pure conjecture based on false 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. 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 their leaders in some cases. 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 false, or in God’s word? As Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words last forever.” (Mt 24:35).