Genesis and History

Article by Director Thomas Purifoy Jr.: Six Reasons Reformed Christians Should Embrace Six-Day Creation (original source here)

When ‘Is Genesis History?’ opened in theaters last year, we had no idea it would be the top-grossing Christian documentary for 2017. We were even more surprised when our distributor said it was bringing it back to theaters on Feb 22, 2018, for an Anniversary Event.

Why did this film resonate so much with audiences? Perhaps it demonstrated that it’s intellectually reasonable for Christians to embrace 6-day creation.

By ‘6-day creation,’ I’m referring not just to one’s view of Genesis 1, but to an entire chronology of historical events. These include the immediate creation of everything in six normal days, a Fall that brought corruption and death into the universe, and a global Flood that destroyed the world. I recognize that among some Reformed Christians this is not a popular view of history. Instead, some have adopted the framework hypothesis, analogical days, or the cosmic-temple model to interpret Genesis 1.

They then accept the conventional chronology of universal history. This includes the slow formation of everything over billions of years starting with a Big Bang, the corruption, and death of trillions of creatures before the arrival of Adam and Eve, a Fall that introduced death only to mankind, and a local flood during the days of Noah.

I realize that intelligent and godly Reformed Christians hold to this model of Earth history. Nevertheless, many seem unaware of the actual events they must inevitably adopt when affirming a 13.8 billion-year-old universe. After all, one cannot extend history for billions of years without attaching new events to it. Those events have theological consequences. This is why Reformed thinkers like Geerhardus Vos, Louis Berkhof, and D. Martin Lloyd-Jones embraced 6-day creation. They understood it is the events included in 6-day creation that are essential for Christian theology.

Here are six theological reasons worth considering:

1. God’s Goodness Must Be Reflected in the Original Creation
Ligon Duncan observed in an interview for ‘The Gospel Coalition’ that affirming the goodness of the original creation is non-negotiable. As the Westminster Confession states, the goodness of the original creation is the manifestation of the glory of God’s own goodness. (WCF 4.1)

What does that goodness look like? It is full of life-giving power and bounty. This is what we see in Genesis 1. God pronounces His original creation ‘good’ and ‘very good.’ It was a world of plenty and beauty without animal carnivory (Gen 1:30) and without corruption and death (Rom 8:21).

Yet this picture of an artistically-designed, beautiful world only fits within the chronology of 6-day creation. If one adopts the conventional chronology, one must accept that the Earth was absent from the universe for its first 9 billion years. After a galactic cooling event, the Earth slowly formed through billions of years of uninhabitable environments. God eventually created the first complex marine life, then progressively created or evolved different types of organisms. These experienced death and massive extinction events that led to the destruction of trillions of living creatures. All this happened long before the appearance of Adam and Eve.

I realize that some Christians may not be interested in these sorts of details. Yet anyone who chooses to accept an old universe implicitly accepts the historical events that go with it. It is a history filled with lifelessness and death, not the goodness of God.

2. Adam’s Sin Resulted in Universal Corruption and Death
According to the conventional chronology, corruption has always been a part of the universe. This can be seen in the fossil record which supposedly represents 540 million years of animal suffering and death. It provides snapshots of a world often full of thorns and thistles. Continue reading

Noah’s Flood – Fact or Faction?

It all comes down to this. Do you or do you not believe Noah’s Flood is a fact of history?

“What do marine fossils on the top of Mount Everest tell us about the Biblical Flood? Well, we find fossils of marine creatures in limestone near the summit, which means that this area must have been under the sea in the past. Everyone agrees that the top of Everest was once under the sea.

However, many people do not associate these rocks and fossils with Noah’s Flood because they think there is not enough water to cover the highest mountains. However, they are not considering how the Flood changed the earth’s topography.

The mountain ranges formed at the end of the Flood. With vertical earth movements towards the end of the flood, the mountains rose and the water flowed off the continents into the newly formed oceans basins. Indeed, such mountains must have formed quickly and recently, otherwise they would have eroded as quickly as they formed.

That’s why we have marine fossils at the tops of high mountains.”

– CMIcreationstation

Evidences of a Young Earth

Original source here including the links provided in the article)

Without millions and billions of years, evolutionary history completely falls apart. Here are just a few of many credible evidences from various branches of science that tell of a world much younger than evolutionists claim.

Evidence 1 Geology: Radiocarbon in Diamonds
Far from proving evolution, carbon-14 dating actually provides some of the strongest evidence for creation and a young earth. Radiocarbon (carbon-14) cannot remain naturally in substances for millions of years because it decays relatively rapidly. For this reason, it can only be used to obtain “ages” in the range of tens of thousands of years.

Scientists from the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) project examined diamonds that evolutionists consider to be 1–2 billion years old and related to the earth’s early history. Diamonds are the hardest known substance and extremely resistant to contamination through chemical exchange.

Yet the RATE scientists discovered significant detectable levels of radiocarbon in these diamonds, dating them at around 55,000 years—a far cry from the evolutionary billions!

For more information, see Radiocarbon in Diamonds Confirmed. To learn more about diamonds and their formation, read this article by Dr. Andrew Snelling.

Evidence 2 Astronomy: Recession of the Moon
The gravitational pull of the moon creates a “tidal bulge” on earth that causes the moon to spiral outwards very slowly. Because of this effect, the moon would have been closer to the earth in the past. Based on gravitational forces and the current rate of recession, we can calculate how much the moon has moved away over time.

If the earth is only 6,000 years old, there’s no problem, because in that time the moon would have only moved about 800 feet (250 m). But most astronomy books teach that the moon is over four billion years old, which poses a major dilemma—less than 1.5 billion years ago the moon would have been touching the earth!

For more information, see Lunar Recession (based on this article) as well as The Age of the Universe, Part 2. We also recommend Video on Demand: Our Created Moon.

Evidence 3 Geology: Earth’s Decaying Magnetic Field
Like other planets, the earth has a magnetic field that is decaying quite rapidly. We are now able to measure the rate at which the magnetic energy is being depleted and develop models to explain the data.

Secular scientists invented a “dynamo model” of the earth’s core to explain how the field could have lasted over such a long period of time, but this model fails to adequately explain the data for the rapid decay and the rapid reversals that it has undergone in the past. (It also cannot account for the magnetic fields of other planets, such as Neptune and Mercury.)

However, the creationist model (based on the Genesis Flood) effectively and simply explains the data in regard to the earth’s magnetic field, providing striking evidence that the earth is only thousands of years old—and not billions.

For more information, see The Earth’s Magnetic Field and the Age of the Earth and section two of The Age of the Universe, Part 2.

Evidence 4 Biology: Dinosaur Soft Tissue
In recent years, there have been many findings of “wondrously preserved” biological materials in supposedly ancient rock layers and fossils. One such discovery that has left evolutionists scrambling is a fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex femur with flexible connective tissue, branching blood vessels, and even intact cells!

According to evolutionists, these dinosaur tissues are more than 65 million years old, but laboratory studies have shown that there is no known way—and likely none possible—for biological material to last more than thousands of years.

Could it be that evolutionists are completely wrong about how recently these dinosaurs lived?

To learn more, see “Ostrich-Osaurus” Discovery? and The Scrambling Continues. We also recommend the article Fossilized Biomaterials Must Be Young by Brian Thomas of ICR.

Evidence 5 Anthropology: Human Population Growth
It’s amazing what basic mathematics can show us about the age of the earth. We can calculate the years of human existence with the population doubling every 150 years (a very conservative figure) to get an estimate of what the world’s population should be after any given period of time.

A biblical age of the earth (about 6,000 years) is consistent with the numbers yielded by such a calculation. In contrast, even a conservative evolutionary age of 50,000 years comes out to a staggering, impossibly high figure of 10 to the 99th power—greater than the number of atoms in the universe!

Clearly, the claim that humans have inhabited the earth for tens of thousands of years is absurd!

For a better look at these calculations, see Billions of People in Thousands of Years?

Evidence 6 Geology: Tightly Folded Rock Strata
When solid rock is bent, it normally cracks and breaks. Rock can only bend without fracturing when it is softened by extreme heating (which causes re-crystalization) or when the sediments have not yet fully hardened.

There are numerous locations around the world (including the famous Grand Canyon) where we observe massive sections of strata that have been tightly folded, without evidence of the sediments being heated.

This is a major problem for evolutionists who believe these rock layers were laid down gradually over vast eons of time, forming the geologic record. However, it makes perfect sense to creationists who believe these layers were formed rapidly in the global, catastrophic Flood described in Genesis.

To find out more, see Rock Layers Folded, Not Fractured.

Does the age of the earth really matter?
While each of these evidences reveals reasons why the earth cannot be billions of years old, the real issue is not the age of the earth. Instead, the real issue is authority. God’s infallible Word must be our ultimate authority, not the unstable foundation of human reasoning. Are we trying to fit our interpretations of the world (e.g., evolution) into Scripture, or will we simply let God speak for Himself through His Word?

If we can’t trust the first chapters of Genesis, why should we believe when Scripture says that faith in Jesus Christ as the only way of salvation? (Romans 10:9; Acts 4:12; John 14:6)

But when we take Scripture as written, it’s clear that the earth can’t be more than a few thousand years old—and from a biblical worldview, the scientific evidence agrees!

The use of Genesis in the New Testament

Article by Lita Cosner (original source here)

I am often asked why someone specializing in the New Testament would care about the “Old Testament” issue of creation. After all, one’s view on the first chapters of Genesis seems peripheral at best when it comes to interpreting the New Testament. But I believe that one’s interpretation of Genesis has implications for many doctrines which are taught most clearly in the New Testament.

First, a New Testament scholar’s view of creation matters because Genesis was important to the New Testament authors. Every New Testament author quotes or alludes to Genesis. The New Testament has a total of 60 allusions to Genesis 1–11 specifically, and when we widen the search to include all of Genesis, the number grows to 103. For such a tiny body of literature, the New Testament has a staggering amount of references back to Genesis (see the list below).

But simply giving a list of references to Genesis proves nothing—we must look at how the New Testament authors used Genesis in order to discern their view. Overwhelmingly, it is presumed to be a historical document; the only place where it could even be argued that it is not necessarily used historically is in the borrowing of Edenic symbols in Revelation to describe the New Jerusalem (depending on one’s eschatological view1). But this is the exception, and in any case, even a symbolic use has an underlying literal reality—the figurative “strong as an ox” would mean nothing unless an ox were literally strong, and the allusion to an Edenic paradise underscores the reality of this pre-Fall world without a curse.

Jesus and the Gospels

Jesus’ use of Genesis sets the tone for how it will be used in the rest of the New Testament. He uses it both to explain doctrine and to draw historical analogies. An example of the former use is in Matthew 22:15–22 (parallels in Mark 12:13–17 and Luke 20:20–36) where the Pharisees and Herodians questioned Him about taxes. For Jesus, because the coin bears Caesar’s image, it is Caesar’s property and should be rendered to him—but He adds the command to give to God what is God’s. In the context, the image on the coin determines who owns it, so specifically what is in view here is that which is in God’s image. Jesus is referring back to Genesis 1:26–27:

“In the present, proper humility before God requires the payment of Roman taxes, but if it is true that some of one’s money should go to the Caesar, it is so much more true that all that one is needs to be handed over to the God in whose image one is made.”2
Of course, if humanity had not actually been made in the image of God like Genesis teaches, the whole precedent would fall apart.

Luke’s genealogy back to Adam, who is called a son of God (not the son of ape-like creatures or pond scum). There is absolutely no evidence that Luke takes the earliest ancestors to be less historical than the more recent ones. Continue reading

Josephus on Genesis

Article: Josephus says, ‘Genesis means what it says!’ by Frank Luke (original source here)

Many people who compromise on the plain meaning of Genesis claim that the literal interpretation is a modern invention. Instead, they claim that most commentators in the past took a long-age view.

On the contrary, the vast majority interpreted the days of Genesis 1 as ordinary days. Furthermore, even those who did not, such as Origen and Augustine, vigorously attacked long-age ideas and affirmed that the world was only thousands of years old.1 Among the Jewish commentators, the first-century historian Flavius Josephus (AD 37–ca. 100) stands out from the rest.

Having been born in Judea and living there in his formative years, Josephus is unquestionably the most important Jewish historian outside of Scripture. Were it not for Josephus, entire periods of Jewish history would have been lost in the mists of time. Like any good Jew, Josephus recognized that one could not understand Jewish history without first understanding its religion. As Scripture defines Judaism, Josephus first explained Judaism by defining Scripture and the Jewish love of their holy books.

“For we have not an innumerable multitude of books among us, disagreeing from, and contradicting one another, [as the Greeks have], but only twenty-two books, which contain the records of all the past times; which are justly believed to be divine;2 and of them five belong to Moses, which contain his laws and the traditions of the origin of mankind till his death. This interval of time was little short of three thousand years; … the prophets … in thirteen books. The remaining four books contain hymns to God, and precepts for the conduct of human life.”3

As always, Josephus cuts to the heart of the matter. No further explanation is needed to clarify his plain words. He explicitly states that man had been around for only 3,000 years by the time of Moses. He goes on to say that Jews hold Scripture so sacred that they would rather die than add to, subtract from, or change any of the divine doctrines of Scripture!4

In the preface to Antiquities, easily his most important work, Josephus further explains his interpretation of Scripture. When explaining why Moses began with the creation account, Josephus records that Moses taught humanity that God blesses those who love and serve Him.

“Now when Moses was desirous to teach this lesson to his countrymen, he did not begin the establishment of his laws after the same manner that other legislators did; I mean, upon contracts and other rights between one man and another, but by raising their minds upward to regard God, and his creation of the world; and by persuading them, that we men are the most excellent of the creatures of God upon earth. Now when once he had brought them to submit to religion, he easily persuaded them to submit in all other things; … while our legislator speaks some things wisely, but enigmatically, and others under a decent allegory,5 but still explains such things as required a direct explanation plainly and expressly.”6

After explaining his methodology, Josephus launches into the Creation account. He quickly established that he considers Moses’ account to be quite literal. He comments, ‘And this was indeed the first day’7 and ‘in just six days the world, and all that is therein, was made.’8 Josephus gives no indication that he considers these words to be enigmatic or allegorical. His comments are as plain in their meaning as Moses’ words in Genesis. Continue reading

The Most Offensive Verse In The Bible

Excerpt from an article “The most offensive verse in the Bible” by Dan Phillips (original source here)

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

“The most offensive thing I believe is Genesis 1:1, and everything it implies. That is, I believe in a sovereign Creator who is Lord and Definer of all. Everything in the universe — the planet, the laws of physics, the laws of morality, you, me — everything was created by Another, was designed by Another, was given value and definition by Another. God is Creator and Lord, and so He is ultimate. That means we are created and subjects, and therefore derivative and dependent.

Therefore, we are not free to create meaning or value. We have only two options. We can discover the true value assigned by the Creator and revealed in His Word, the Bible; or we can rebel against that meaning.

Any time you bring up questions about any of these issues, you do so from one of two stances. You either do it as someone advocating and enabling rebellion against the Creator’s design, or as someone seeking submissive understanding of that design. You do it as servant or rebel. There is no third option.

So yeah, insofar as I’m consistent with my core beliefs, everything I think about sexuality, relationships, morals, the whole nine yards, all of it is derived from what the Creator says. If I deviate from that, I’m wrong.

To anyone involved in the doomed, damned ‘you-shall-be-as-God project,’ that is the most offensive truth in the world, and it is the most offensive belief I hold.”