Making sense of science, faith and Genesis (Creation Magazine LIVE! 8-01)
Articles,  Blog

Making sense of science, faith and Genesis (Creation Magazine LIVE! 8-01)


Creation, evolution and the first book in
the Bible: Genesis. How important are those things to today’s
Christian? Is creation a secondary issue? Whether you believe creation or evolution,
does that impact the Gospel at all? Those are the kinds of questions we’ll be
exploring this week on Creation Magazine LIVE! Welcome to Creation Magazine LIVE! My name is Richard Fangrad, and I’m Matt Bondy. This week: making sense of science, faith
and Genesis. We’ll dive into questions about whether different
beliefs about origins have any impact on today’s Christian and what Jesus did to save sinners,
we need to start by defining some terms to understand what the issue is really all about. Some say that it’s a battle between science
and religion. That’s very popular. And others say that it doesn’t matter at all,
“that’s for scientists to argue about, I just focus on Jesus”. And we definitely need to keep the focus on
Jesus. He’s our saviour, He’s our Lord and King,
and, according to Scripture Jesus is also the Creator. Colossians 1: 16-18 says, “For by him [referring
to Jesus here] 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. And he is before all things, and in him all
things hold together.” Also in John 1 we read, “In the beginning
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without
him was not any thing made that was made.” And in verse 14 we discover who ‘the Word’ is, “And
the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the
only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” So, Jesus is the Creator. So, Jesus’ existence didn’t start as a baby
in Bethlehem. Jesus is the Creator. So, as we focus on Christ as Creator, let’s
try to wrap our heads around what the origins debate is all about. Is it really science VS religion, as is often
portrayed? Well, what are some of the features of science? Most of you can probably remember this from
science class, right? Science involves, among other things, making
observations in a lab or out in the field, often using a variety of tools. It also involves repeatability. You do an experiment, and anyone who does
the same experiment should get the same result. But given those requirements neither creation
nor evolution fit the bill. Have any of you observed God creating? Or did you observe ape-like creatures evolving
into people? No one observed those things. And they can’t be repeated. God created once; we don’t see Him creating
the universe again today. And no one lives long enough to see molecules
evolve into microbiologists either. These are one-time processes that happened
in the past. Or didn’t happen as is the case with evolution. Right. So that means, any account of origins, creation
or evolution, is primarily a historical account, not a scientific account. At a foundational level creation and evolution
are two conflicting historical accounts about how we all got here. But what about all the geology and astronomy
and palaeontology that is often associated with the origins debate? Well, those are certainly sciences, but those
scientific disciplines share a lot in common with forensic science that involves a mixture
of science and history. But it’s at the level of history where the
‘debate’ happens. No one debates the science, the observations. Like in forensic science the science part
is: they dust for fingerprints, collect DNA samples, look there’s a knife on the floor,
here’s some drops of blood, there are muddy shoe prints going out the door. And once the data is collected a story, or
history, is made up that attempts to link all the observations together to draw a conclusion. And there could be many different stories,
or histories invented using exactly the same data. The butler did it. No, the maid did it. Creation and evolution are similar in that
way. Both of those histories are trying to tell
us how all that we see around us came to be the way we find it. Either God created, and there was a global
flood that reshaped His creation, or everything is a product of millions of years without
God. The thing to remember is: one of those stories
is wrong. They can’t both be true. Either God created the way He told us He did
in His Word, or He didn’t. So, one of the things that we need to be certain
about is interpreting God’s Word correctly. And we’ll look into that in just a minute. In some parts of Africa, it is actually an
advantage to have mutated, oddly-shaped red blood cells. This condition, known as sickle cell anemia,
is usually a disadvantage, but, ironically, it can actually help protect someone from
malarial infection because a sickled red blood cell is less appetizing for the malaria parasite. Many people mistakenly view this sort of change
as an example of evolution in action-because a mutation in DNA has made people better adapted
to their environment. But if microbes really did turn into mankind-which
is what evolution teaches-this would require the addition of new DNA information to turn
the relatively simple genome of a microbe into the vastly more complicated one of a
person. In the case of sickle cell anemia, the opposite
has happened, because DNA information has been corrupted and lost, not gained, because
the crippled blood cells are less able to transport oxygen. To find out more from Creation Ministries
International visit our website creation.com Ok, now to begin to understand the origins
debate, one of the things we need to be very sure about is that we understand the genre
or the literary style of Genesis. There are different types of literature in
the Bible. There’s Poetry, as in the Psalms. There are parables, Jesus used those as teaching
tools. There’s Prophecy-as in the books of the last
section of the Old Testament (Isaiah to Malachi). There are Letters-as in the New Testament
epistles written by Paul, Peter, John, and the others. There’s Biography-as in the Gospels. There’s also Autobiography-like in the book
of Acts where the author, Luke, is recording events that he is participating in. And there are historical records-as in the
books of first and second Kings, and many other books of the Bible that contain accounts
of events that actually took place, like the birth, life, death and physical resurrection
of Christ. So what’s Genesis? If it’s poetry or meant to be understood as
some kind of metaphor, then perhaps the millions of years we hear so much about could just
be a part of how God created. English poetry often features rhythm and rhyme,
in other words, sound patterns. Those features are hard to translate into
another language. The great thing about Hebrew poetry, like
in the Psalms, is that it features different kinds of parallelism and a particular verb
structure that translate well into other languages. Hebrew scholar Dr Steven Boyd, whose PhD is
in Hebraic and Cognate Studies, performed statistical comparisons of verb type frequencies
between historical and poetic Hebrew texts. And he came to the conclusion that Genesis
1 is clearly historical narrative, not poetry with a 99.997 percent probability. So, not 50/50, well, maybe it’s poetry, maybe
it’s describing real historical events; could go either way. It’s crystal clear that the author of Genesis
was describing actual historical events. Dr Boyd concluded, “There is only one tenable
view of its plain sense: God created everything in six literal days.” And that’s how Christian thinkers throughout
the history of the church have understood Genesis. The early church fathers, the Reformers for
example, even Orthodox Jews today understand that Genesis is history, not myth or poetry. Oxford Hebrew scholar, Professor James Barr
said that, as far as he knows, …”there is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at
any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of Genesis 1-11 intended
to convey to their readers the ideas that: a) creation took place in a series of six
days, b) the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition [present] a chronology
from the beginning of the world up to later stages in the biblical story and c) Noah’s
flood was global…” Jesus and the Apostles understood Genesis
as real history. In fact, they quote Genesis as real history
so often that you could reconstruct the main events of creation and the flood from New
Testament books alone! And they base key Christian doctrines on those
events. Genesis means ‘beginning’, or ‘origin’, and
many key doctrines originate in Genesis, such as those listed here. Genesis is important! So, at this point panic is setting in, right? Since Genesis is a historical account, and
if you read it, interpreting Scripture with Scripture, it’s not really difficult to deduce
that God created recently, in 6 actual days [and we’ll get into the age of the earth and
days in Genesis in more detail in a couple weeks] but the question is: what do we do
with science? Doesn’t science point to the earth being way
older than biblical history suggests? Okay, take a deep breath. Calm down. The good news is we don’t need to throw out
any science. Science is good! Science is our friend. Remember what we just said a few minutes ago,
no one argues about the observations, the science, the debate is all about the history,
that no one alive today observed. …except God… Well, right… God is alive today… We’ll yes, God is alive today. Thank you Captain Obvious. No one who is alive today, except God, has
observed things from long ago, because no one except God has observed events in the
past. And the past is what is being debated in the
creation/evolution issue. Let’s look at an example. When palaeontologists find a fossil it doesn’t
come with a nice little label indicating when it died or what it ate or how fast it ran. It’s dead, it’s not running anywhere or eating
anything. Ok, so we have a mixture here of science and
history. The fossil itself is the science. It’s what can be observed, and no one debates
the science. Look it’s a fossil in some rock. Yup. No debate there. But just like in forensic science, what’s
debated is the history that isn’t observed. Did this animal really die 75 million years
ago? Or 70 million years ago? Or 7000 years ago? Or maybe 700 years ago? Well, that’s open for debate! And we’ll look at scientific discoveries that
support biblical history when we get back. What are the theological consequences of adding
millions of years to Genesis? How does it impact doctrines such as the Gospel,
sin, the atonement? Refuting Compromise is the most powerful biblical
and scientific defence of a straightforward view of Genesis. Loaded with scientific support for a recent
creation in 6 real days, it demolishes all attempts to twist the biblical text in order
to insert millions of years, bringing clarity into an area usually mired in confusion. Must reading for Bible college students and
anyone involved in church leadership or teaching. Get your copy at creation.com. Welcome back. Let’s play a game. This is gonna be fun. It’s called, “Which history fits best?” Scientific discoveries can sometimes give
us clues as to which history is true, either biblical history or the millions of years
history. We’ll do a few examples and you’ll get the
idea. Let’s look at some scientific observations
and try to figure out which history provides the best framework for understanding them. Okay, rivers are like freight trains, constantly
moving land into the sea, eroding the continents. Now, given the current erosion rate the continents
should be eroded to sea level after only 10 million years. But evolutionary history says they are about
2 and a half billion years old. Which history fits best? Biblical history! See I told you this would be fun. The Bible wins! Actually, in 2 and a half billion years, given
current erosion rates, a continent that began 150km tall would be eroded to sea level in that huge amount of time. The evolutionary timeline just doesn’t fit
the data! Geologists who believe the Bible consider
that the mountains and continents we have today were formed as a consequence of the
Flood. The continents were uplifted at the end of
the Flood and the incredible energy of the retreating floodwaters rapidly carved the
landscape. So, there’s a scientific observation that
supports the history recorded in Scripture, not millions of years. Let’s look at another scientific observation:
supernova remnants in our galaxy. A supernova remnant is the left-over dust
and gas from a star that has exploded. Now, the two competing histories give very
different predictions for how many supernova remnants astronomers should find in the Milky
Way. And the data supports… biblical history! The Bible wins again. The Milky Way is not billion of years old. This is fun! And there are literally hundreds of examples
like this where the Bible’s history provides by far the superior framework for understanding
the observational data from science. Science supports Scripture. It’s great! Let’s consider one more: canyon formation. If you have visited a beautiful canyon you’ve
likely been told that it is the result of long slow processes of river erosion. You’ve been given only one perspective, one
history to explain the canyon, and it’s not the one in the Bible. You see, the Bible describes a global flood. At the end of that flood, the water rushed
off the continents producing massive erosion, erosion capable of producing canyons like
Grand Canyon. The bible’s history, once again, provides
the best framework for understanding canyon formation. And we’ll talk in much more detail about what
the flood could have accomplished geologically in a couple weeks, this is just a hint to
get you thinking about the importance of the flood and what it did to the surface of the
planet in a very short time. Okay, what about the Gospel? Does interpreting Genesis in different ways
impact the central teachings of Christianity? Absolutely. And to illustrate that consider this question:
where do the fossils fit? Where in biblical history was the fossil record
established? Let’s do a walkthrough of some key events
in the history of the universe and consider the different options for where the fossils
fit. Okay, God creates in 6 days. And, yes we will talk about the different
meanings of the word ‘day’ in detail 3 weeks from now when we look at the age of the earth
debate. But at the end of creation week, God calls
His creation “very good”. Now that is a key point. Another one is, when Adam and Eve sinned,
they ate the fruit they were told not to and it was at that point the creation went from
very good to more like what we see today. Yes, today there is both moral evil; that’s
evil people doing evil things. And all of us contribute to that sadly, because
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And there’s also natural evil: hurricanes,
mudslides, drought, famine, diseases like cancer that cause pain and kill people. This is not the ‘very good’ world that God
created. This is the ‘very good’ world that has been
cursed. Big difference. Those things didn’t exist in the very good
world. Before sin, Adam and Eve didn’t need to worry
about diseases, or being buried in mudslides, or attacked by wild animals or venomous snakes. In Genesis 1:29 they were commanded to eat
plants, and in verse 30 the animals were too. There was no carnivorous activity in the very
good world. No bloodshed whatsoever. The Bible refers to death as an enemy that
will be destroyed. And in Revelation 21 we read that the curse
on creation will one day be removed and there will be a restoration, of sorts, back to a
world where there’s no death, mourning, crying or pain. The next major event is the flood that totally
reshaped the surface of the earth and rebooted human population from the 8 people who were
on the Ark. So, there’s a snippet of the early history
of the earth from the Bible. And where do the fossils fit in? Well, we’ll explore possible answers to that
in just a minute. Imagine hearing that someone has just won
the lottery three times in the same year, or a golfer has hit five consecutive holes-in-one! We approach such improbable stories with healthy
skepticism. Considering the formation of the first living
cell by a perfect arrangement of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and genetic material in a
‘warm pond’, Nobel Prize winner, Francis Crick, said: “… it seems almost impossible to give
any numerical value to the probability of what seems a rather unlikely sequence of events
…. An honest man … could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears
at the moment to be almost a miracle …” The evolutionist Robert Shapiro at this point
would prefer to abandon all skepticism, “Why need the event have been probable? We can just stare at the odds, shrug, and
note with thanks how lucky we were …” When we abandon healthy skepticism, only gullibility
remains-to invoke miracles without God. To find out more from Creation Ministries
International visit our website creation.com Where do the fossils fit into biblical history? To help you answer that here are some things
that scientists have discovered in the fossil record. It’s, of course, a record of dead things,
plants and animals, it’s also a record of pain, diseases, extinction, carnivorous activity,
there are fossils thorns and there are fossil humans. Well, clearly those things are the result
of the curse on creation so, where do they fit? They fit here, right? The flood is a great mechanism to rapidly
bury plants and animals after Adam sinned. It all fits. There are fossil thorns; clearly thorns weren’t
a part of the ‘very good’ world, but a result of the curse. Here’s a picture of a T-rex tooth embedded
between two vertebrae of a hadrosaur. Ouch! Of course, that must have happened after Adam sinned, not before. Not in the “very good” world. And obviously, the fossil record is a record
of death (along with all these other bad things). Biblically, death was the result of sin. When Adam sinned God said, “Adam, you’re going
to die”, I made you from dust, your going back to dust. Physical death was a result of sin as it says
in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death
through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” This is an important part of the Gospel, isn’t
it? Physical death resulted from the First Adam’s
sin. Then Jesus, who is nicknamed the Last Adam,
pays the price of physical death to redeem us from sin. Physical death is required to pay for sins
as Hebrews 9:22 says, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” And with the fossil record established at
the flood, it works. But we’ve all heard that the fossil record
took millions of years to form, and you can’t even make a fossil quickly. If that’s the case, then the fossils would
need to fit here. But can you see the problems with that? Well, it puts death, pain and diseases long
before Adam sinned, which was actually only a few thousand years ago during the time when
God referred to His creation as ‘very good’. This is the picture you end up with. Can God call things in the fossil record like
violent death, pain and diseases like osteoporosis, TB and cancer ‘very good’? I mean, that makes no sense! If we go with this, were forced to reinterpret
God’s declaration of ‘very good’. That needs to go. That doesn’t make any sense at that point. We also end up breaking the link between Adam’s
sin and its penalty of death. Adam’s sin really didn’t do much. It didn’t result in death since death was
already there. And the global flood needs to go too, or it
needs to be interpreted as some kind of little flood. It can’t be global because a global flood
at that point would have ripped all the fossils and redeposited them. What about that last one? That’s the central event in Christianity on
which our faith is based. But if we blend the millions of years into
biblical history, that is, if the fossils really are millions of years old, then death
is not the penalty for sin, since death has always been around, so then Jesus didn’t die
to pay for our sins! And that’s how, by adding millions of years
into the Bible, you end up destroying the central teaching of Christianity. This is not a side issue! Any temptation to alter the history in Genesis
by adding in millions of years, if you follow the logic through, as we’ve done here very
briefly in the last 5 minutes, you end up with the destruction of Christianity. And we’ll add more detail to this next week
and in the weeks ahead. But when we come back, we’ll show you a very
exciting benefit of learning about biblical creation. Creation Ministries International staff, many
from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, have produced thousands of articles now available
in a massive online database. Some of the topics covered include:
The feasibility of Noah’s Ark and evidence for a global flood
Scientific arguments that explain observations in astronomy within a ‘young earth’ time frame. Recent discoveries that support dinosaurs
fitting with Biblical history. Evidence from biology that shows that the
type of change that is observed in living things has absolutely nothing to do with evolution. Got questions? Get answers at creation.com So as you can see, this issue is not a side
issue. Genesis is the foundation for the Gospel and
what Christ did on the cross, which is central to Christianity. Teaching on the evidences for biblical creation
is proven to have a dramatic, positive impact on teens, college and university students
and adults. Our US office interviewed many college students
who had a church background and a clear pattern was revealed. He’s a short clip of some of the interviews. Creation or evolution – which do you believe? Umm, I’d probably have to say evolution. Evolution. Evolution. Is there any powerful argument that makes
you think evolution is true, that causes that confusion? I think the studies that have been done on
apes and monkeys are pretty compelling. I think that the genetic sequence can change
over time, over billions of years. Mostly fossil records, and databases of… Really just the fossil records. In your church background, were you ever exposed
to any scientific evidence for Creation by the church leaders, pastors, anything like
that? Definitely not. Nothing in particular, no. No, I don’t believe so. Do you still attend church today or not anymore? Only for holidays. We kind of stopped going together as a family. Did your church leaders, student leaders,
bring in any Creation teaching that showed you there was scientific evidence to support
the Bible’s account of Creation? Yes. Yeah, we learned a lot about different Creation
scientists and proof of young earth creationism. What are you studying now? Biology. Biology – right – steeped in evolution. But you’re not convinced by the evolutionary
argument in your biology classes? No. Still attend church today? Yes. Yes, sir. Yeah, every Sunday. Would it be fair to say then, that being able
to discuss Creation openly at church has helped strengthen you in that area, prepare you for
what you’ve learned here at college about evolution? Yes. Isn’t that incredible? Remember, all of the students interviewed
grew up in the church, but only those who were presented with the evidence supporting
the Genesis creation account continue to attend church. But, is it really that amazing? It sorta seems like a no-brainer that if you
teach teens the evidence for the accuracy of the Bible, they’ll continue to believe
the Bible! Right! Even when they are bombarded with evolution
and millions of years when they’re in their 20’s and beyond. When they’re given that information in the church as they grow up from their parents, wonderful. God commands us in his Word to always be,
“prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is
in you”. A believer must understand what he believes
and why, and be able to articulate those belief’s humbly and thoughtfully to non-believers And people who can do that will obviously
be more solid in their faith than those who can’t. Those people who’ve watched this TV show over
the years and have studied the biblical and scientific evidences that the show presents,
send in testimonials, like this one “I can speak from experience, raised a Christian
then left it when I was led to believe Genesis couldn’t be trusted. Evolution and etc. (Hence logically the whole Bible couldn’t
be.) It was great when I learned it actually was
true and could be trusted completely. (Thanks to CMI and others. A lot of research, And God.) Now my faith is so much more solid.:).” Wonderful. Great testimony Christianity is based on history. The theology of Christianity is tied to events
that include, a perfect creation with no sin, suffering, disease or death. Adam’s sin which brought a curse on the creation
and spiritual separation from a Holy God. If those events didn’t actually happen then
Christianity falls apart. And even atheists understand that you can’t blend these ideas together. Doesn’t work if you destroy the history in Genesis. In an “Atheism VS Christianity” debate, one
atheist said, “Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central
myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve there never
was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there
is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is
no need of a saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or
otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death
knell of Christianity.” There’s an atheist who gets it. You can’t blend these ideas together. As much as we want to do that, because is so tempting, the millions of years are everywhere. They gotta fit into the Bible somehow. We’ll add some more detail. Some of you maybe have questions, and we’ll get to those next week. And we receive a lot of feedback about lives
changed just for this TV show, and God has drawn people to Himself through many other
things too. There are hundreds of books and videos available,
there are more than 10,000 faith-building articles at creation.com, those are free,
and there’s Creation magazine our flagship publication that has changed lives around
the world for more than 40 years. If you want to view a free sample copy of that, go to creation.com/free-mag We’d love to hear from you can go to the contact section on our website. See you next week, and remember, Christianity
is an evidence-based faith. And science supports Scripture.

14 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *