and Six-Day Creation
The early chapters of
Genesis are difficult to reconcile from a scientific and
Biblical point of view. Not too long ago, I went through a
time of re-examining 6-day creation. I did not find the
argument as compelling as theologians and scientific
creationists make it out to be. One really runs into the
problem of language. Scholars with similarly impressive
credentials differ on the meaning of terms in Genesis, such
as, yom (day). (For the record, yom is used
immediately in Genesis 2:4 to represent the entire creation
week, not a 24-hour day—a departure from its 24-hour use in
the 2nd chapter of the Bible!)
There are, however,
some guiding principles that are central in the evaluation
of Bible and science.
1. The Bible is God’s
revelation, inerrant and infallible. In my analysis, and in
agreement with Gordon Clark (GHC), it is the only truth that
we will know in this life. Everything else has some
relativity, probability, and dependence on interpretation.
2. That these issues
around creation ever come up is the presence and pressure of
evolutionary “science”—pure and simple! While we want to be
honest with the “facts” of science, we have to realize that
the only reason such issues abound is an atheistic,
3. Science is
empiricism, ever changing. The evolutionists don’t agree
among themselves. Their facts differ and are incoherent.
Creation scientists do not agree. Their facts differ and
are incoherent. All these differences make reference to
what was thought “then,” what is thought “now,” and what we
will think “then.” This tenuous nature of science exists
because of its inductive method which can never
4. So, without going
further. Empirical science is “iffy,” and Scripture is
truth, and the gulf is probably unbridgeable.
Thus, the problem
becomes what Scripture really says—a language-hermeneutic
problem. The language does allow some laxity, as I have
5. “In the
beginning…” of what? Space, matter, energy, AND time. And,
time began with “evenings” and “mornings.” Throughout
Scripture, especially in reference to the fourth
commandment, the readily apparent reading of Scripture is a
literal day. All this Biblical interpretation is great
evidence to overcome with “mere” science. If you want
probability, I would estimate in the 99.9 percent range.
6. I have decided
that dualism is a test of orthodoxy. Simply and plainly,
that is what the Scripture teaches. I favor idealism, and I
can speculate that position as a philosophy. I can build an
evidential base for it, but it would still be speculation.
God has posited the spirit world and the physical world.
Man is both body and spirit. Jesus Christ was both—the
Incarnation seals it.
7. We should look at
the “worldview” of those who differ on 6-day creation. When
an otherwise orthodox, systematic theologian says something,
for example, John Jefferson Davis, we ought to evaluate
carefully what he says. But, if Barth or Bultmann says
something, we have to remember that they are coming from
their worldview which does not include Biblical inerrancy
(above). That does not mean that they are wrong, but they
are less likely to have something of value for Biblically
8. The genealogies
beginning with Genesis 5 have to be taken as literal years.
There is no other reasonable way to interpret them in an
inerrant Bible. Two different scholars, working more than
300 years apart, came to the exact same year for creation
9. We have to
remember that Adam was the most intelligent man that ever
lived. Even post-Fall, he was not a descendent of
generations under the noetic effects of sin. So, as far as
man’s intelligence is concerned, he is devolving, not
evolving. Technology blinds us to that fact; because we
have a lot of gadget, we equate that possession with
intelligence and knowledge. There is considerable evidence
that people are less able to learn today. Of course, modern
education is a factor as a “dummer downer.” But, it seems
that many Christians who discuss science and Genesis assume
the evolutionary scenario of man evolving to become more
intelligent and more “civilized.” The anthropologists do
not like to admit it, but the most backward tribes of the
world have a vocabulary that is incredibly and exhaustively
10. The differences
between young earth creationists and Christians with longer
time frames should be more tolerant. It is not automatic
that “old earth” Christians are going to throw out Biblical
inerrancy, just because of this one issue. (However, most
strong Bible believers are young earth.) There does need to
be more grace and kindness here.
11. There is the
issue of “life.” What gives life? A scientist may compound
all the chemicals that make up a human being, but what gives
them life? I think that life comes from the Spirit of God.
Man can never create a living thing. Life can only come
from life—the Living God.
Almost 20 years ago, I
wrote that something must regulate the DNA; it is only a
blueprint. There was the mad dash to map the human genome.
Now what? Where are the genetic cures? There is more to
matter than matter. We had better not forget that, as
Christians. Here, we have dualism again.
I am not impressed
with the orthodoxy and Biblical depth and breadth of the
American Scientific Affiliation (worldview above).
Therefore, anything that they say is highly suspect. The
same holds for the Christian Medical and Dental Society and
The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity at Trinity
I grant hermeneutical
problems in early Genesis, but I do not think that anything
in empirical science has sufficient standing as probability
and temporary knowledge to challenge anything that is
generally considered to be orthodox.
One must have his
“spectacles” (as Calvin would say) that is, those Biblical
teachings that are sound in place. Otherwise, a Christian
is listening to voices that do not share his worldview.
Again, I do not think
that 6-day creation should be a test of orthodoxy, but
Biblical inerrancy and other central doctrines should be,
including dualism. I am not all that familiar with the
literature in these areas, but it seems to me that most of
these voices are non-orthodox or borderline orthodox and