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Summary Principles of Creation, The Fall, and The Flood (Cosmology)

In philosophy, the study of first things and origins has a host of words that include this concept: cosmology, ontology, metaphysics, ultimate reality, religion, worldview, ethic, metaphysics, epistemology, and other such terms. By contrast, a Biblical cosmology is the only true cosmology.  The following are Summary Principles for its historical and scientific origins.

Philosophies of science that deny the supernatural realm, believing only in the physical universe, include such terms as naturalism, materialism, positivism, empiricism, and pragmatism. All these stand against the Biblical truth of two equally true dimensions: the natural and the supernatural (spiritual).

1. God “Is.” The Bible assumes God's past, present, and future existence. “In the beginning (of time), God created the heavens and the earth.” Before anything physical came into being, God existed. God told Moses at the burning bush, “Before Abraham was, ‘I am.’” God has always been and always will be. His existence is independent of, and supernatural to, His creation. He is above and beyond time and matter.

2. Immanent and Sustaining. “All things are upheld by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Having created, He is omnipresent, everywhere in His creation, yet distinct from it. Being omnipotent, He is the source of all sustaining power in the universe. Being omniscient, everything in the universe, including the minds of natural and supernatural beings, is known to Him.

3. Creation. God created the entire physical universe ex nihilo, out of nothing, in six days along with the spiritual nature of Adam and Eve (the parents of all men and women). Any concept of evolution, including theistic evolution, is inconsistent with Biblical truth. It is also inconsistent with the best scientific understanding of the fossil record, the complexity of mature living things, the geologic column, and the commonly accepted scientific classifications of genus and species.

“Very Good.” At the end of Creation, God pronounced all that He had made as “very good.” Thus, everything in the universe, as He created it, is inherently moral. Man or Satan may use nature to evil purposes, but these acts are not consistent with God’s original intentions.

4. Natural and Supernatural. There are two extant dimensions. One is nature or natural, the physical realm, that may be examined by the senses (empirically): touched, seen, felt, heard, and tasted with or without instruments. The other is supernatural, which cannot be examined by the senses. Herein exists God and the supernatural beings (angels, Satan, demons, cherubim, seraphim, etc.). Neither dimension is more “real” than the other. These supernatural beings may assume physical properties, and thus be perceived by man’s senses, but they primarily exist in the non-physical dimension.

Mind. The concept of mind links these two realms. See Image of God below.

5. Image of God in man before and after the Fall. Man was created in the image of God. This image is primarily man’s mind, which is not part of the physical, although linked to it through the brain. The Fall of Adam diminished, but did not destroy, this image. Man is able to think rationally and logically, although prone to errors.

Intelligence and communication comes from God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). “Word” is a broad and deep concept. John Calvin in his commentary on the Gospel of John translates “Word,” as “The Speech.” Gordon Clark discusses that hundreds of words are needed to represent adequately logos, Greek for “word.” (The Johannine Logos, (The Trinity Foundation, 1972), page 14.

Effects of the Fall. The physical universe was affected by man’s Fall in cataclysmic ways (Romans 8:19-22). Bible-believing scientists differ on exactly what these effects were. However, the Bible is specific on some changes (Genesis 3). A) Pain in childbirth for women. B) Man’s struggle to produce and provide sustenance for himself and his family. C) Disease and death of living things. D) Serpents made to slither on their bellies.

Scientific studies of the effects of the Fall are complicated by changes that occurred because of the Flood. Since evolution is neither consistent with the Biblical record of creation nor with the scientific evidence, geological and biological records from archeological and sedimentary study show profound changes that cannot be explained without these extraordinary events.

6. Effects of the Flood.  Again, Bible-believing scientists are not agreed exactly what processes were involved in the Flood or the changes in the natural world that were affected by that cataclysmic event. However, there are Biblical clues in that the “fountains of the great deeps were broken up and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). It is likely that the earth’s crust was changed markedly, as were many other natural processes.  These effects contrast with the concept of Uniformitarianism (below).

Only eight people survived the Flood: Noah and his wife, their sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth) and their wives. They are the fathers and mothers of all subsequent generations.

7. Effects of the Last Days. As God wraps up human history, he will destroy the present universe and create a new one (II Peter 3:10-13). Thus, the natural world will not exist forever.

8. Uniformitarianism. The philosophy of science that all natural process are the same yesterday, today, and in the future. The Creation, The Fall, The Flood, and The New Creation destroy this concept. Almost certainly, non-uniformity of natural processes, caused by events of the Flood, is the cause of mistakes being made in the dating systems of modern physics.

9. Creation Mandate. “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Man is to rule the earth and all that is in it under God’s authority, as His stewards, and by His Word to give direction for this task.  John Murray has named seven mandates: (1) "the procreation of offspring, (2) the replenishing of the earth, (3) subduing the same, (4) dominion of the creatures, (5) labor, (6) the weekly Sabbath, and (7) marriage"  (Principles of Conduct, page 27).

Some Christians have posited that "dominion" is limited to plants and animals, not to politics and government.  However, one cannot have proper dominion, that is, freedom to manage rightly plants and animals, unless one's government has laws that protect and give him the freedom to manage those things under "dominion" on his own property.

Cultural Mandate. The verse above applies not only to dominion over nature, but the transformation of cultures towards the system that God has devised and written in the Scriptures.

10. Biblical History and Modern Science. Modern science believes that only “science” can make statements about natural events in history. A Biblical position would include Biblical history. This position gives final authority to the Biblical account because 1) God caused the events and 2) He was there to observe what happened and to have His Spirit write about these events through his chosen scribes in the original autographs. While this history is not recorded in scientific language, it is recorded as factual history, and therefore cannot be voided by natural science.

Actually, science can make no statements about creation (cosmology).  Science is limited to theory and experiment.  What happened in the past may be constructed, as theory, but it is just that, theory.  Since the past is past, no experiments can be made upon it, so experimental science can say nothing about the past.  In fact, the study of the past is an historical endeavor, not a scientific one.  Thus, rules of studying and making conclusions from history apply to the study of origins, not science.  Since the only Person who witnessed Creation was God Himself, only He can record the observable events.  And, He has done so!

11. Age of the Universe. The precise age of the earth and the universe is unknown. However, their age is likely much closer to the estimate of Bishop James Ussher of approximately 6000 years than any estimates of tens of thousands of years or more which is a capitulation to evolutionary science.

12. Providence of God. “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established” (Westminster Confession of Faith, III:1).

“God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy” (Westminster Confession of Faith, V:1). See WCF.

13. Miracles. “God, in his ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure” (Westminster Confession of Faith, V:3). Miracles are rare events after Biblical times. Before something is labeled a “miracle,” it ought to examined intensively with extensive documentation. Even, then, mistaken conclusions may be made.

14. Theory of Evolution. Although the theory of evolution claims “evidences,” close examination reveals that they are presumptions, rather than proofs. The theory was promulgated and supported by atheists as a necessary process, in the place of God, to explain the origin of all plant and animal life. Not only does it fail to account for the variety and complexity of living things, it fails to account for the origin of matter and energy.

15. Second Law of Thermodynamics. All of the chemical and physical processes in a closed system tend to drive that system toward maximum disorder (entropy). Evolution violates this natural law.

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The following additions were made after the original posting of these principles.

16.  The fallacy of Creation Science.  Over the past 40 years, scientists who are Christians have developed an understanding of science that is compatible with the Creation accounts in the Bible.  This development has been a great boon and comfort for many Christians to know in some detail how modern science and scripture might be compatible.  But, there are also dangers in Creation Science. 

No one version of this science can believed as true over all others.  Indeed, there are serious conflicts, if not breaks in fellowship, among many creation scientists over their particular paradigms.  In this conflict, their science has been made an authority over Scripture.  If science is properly understood, all science is limited to its own theories and constructs.  (See Summary Principles of Science.)  No science, even Creation Science, can ever be considered to be unchanging truth.  To do so is to misunderstand the nature of science and the truth of Scripture.  Much of the debate between Young-Earth and Old-Earth defenders concerns their scientific theories and "proofs." 

The differences in their science should be matters of interest, novelty, and debate over the concerns of "good and bad" scholarship and science.  Their differences over Scripture are infinitely more serious, as they are concerns for truth.  But, personally, I believe that most differences over Scripture on both sides would be resolved, if science were left out.  For example, would the concern over yom and its length of time have ever been an issue apart from scientific theories of evolution?  I think not.

17. Cosmology and first principles. As I read and meditated on Numbers, Mathematics, Formulas, and Geometric* Designs, the foolishness and incoherence of the humanistic, evolutionary worldview has become more apparent. Nothing in this universe exists without complex order and design. Even to postulate that such complexity could come from a Big Bang, random order, and chance defies any reasonable argument from first principles.

Even to allow for chance demands an underlying structure. If I come to a crossroads, be it two or five or more open avenues for choice or chance, the avenues themselves  exist because of some prior order, design, or creation. If one goes to a roulette wheel to bet on his “chances,” there is a structure in which the “chance” takes place. (If the “house” has rigged the bets, then there is even less “chance” of winning.  Chance, as a totally random concept, has an infinite number of possibilities.  Therefore, random chance can never give direction for order or design, no matter what billions of years of time that it is given.

Arguing on a philosophical basis, instead of accepting the cosmology of the pagans.  Christians have not recognized, much less taken advantage of the philosophical arguments that Christianity has given them. In many places on this website, I have stated that all religions and philosophies start with first principles or presuppositions (axioms). If one only “knows the Bible,” he is lost in this understanding, throws away his power of reasoning with unbelievers, and assumes the worldview of the pagans to argue against them! Now, I am not so naïve to believe that learning to think logically and rationally about first principles will necessarily suddenly overcome the opposition, but they can be painted into a corner that makes their position seem ridiculous by any philosophical standards that have been accepted for centuries.

 

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