Two anons, this time!

Here we go guys! Final count: 2,603 original words, starting after the second anon’s question. Whew!

Anon 1:

Well again I apologize for offending you. Could you explain why you believe in creation over scientific theories? I’m not trying to offend you, I just want to understand creation more.

Anon 2:

are there reasons other than the book of genesis to believe in creationism and not evolution? i don’t think there are.

Before hitting the jump, I warn you: This post will challenge you, regardless of who you are. This is not an easy read. Continue at your own risk.

I wasn’t offended, I was simply stating the facts: It’s irrational to deem my position as wrong without understanding my position. I’m glad to oblige you both with this brief list of scientific reasons that cause me to dismiss evolution as an irreverent, silly myth (1 Tim. 4:7). 

  1. The Law of Biogenesis - Life comes only from preexisting life. Evolution requires that life spring into existence from nothing. This has never been observed and the idea was proven false by Pasteur. 
  2. Mendelian genetics - It has been experimentally demonstrated that genetic boundaries exist and genetic variation is limited. Mendel’s experiments with pea plants also show that genes may be recombined, but that does not produce new traits, nor does it produce new genes. 
  3. Genetic Mutations - Genetic mutations do not make individual organisms more viable. That is a baseless myth. Nearly every mutation observed is detrimental, and those that are not are neutral. Genetic mutation is mathematically biased toward destroying the organism. Think about it: A mutation is a change in a highly organized amount of information. Since when has increasing the chaos in an organized system been a good thing?
  4. Natural Selection - Contrary to popular belief, natural selection limits evolutionary change and maintains a population’s functioning traits. As stated, mutations tend toward detrimental traits being manifested. Natural selection weeds out those detrimental traits, allowing the healthy organisms to survive. 
  5. Sexual Reproduction - Sex takes two to tango. It is impossible to conceive of a situation in which a complete and functioning male and female of the same species, in the same geographic area, arise at the same time, and reproduce to pass on such a mutation to their offspring. 
  6. Information Theory - Information does not arise without intelligence. DNA contains information—very specified information, at that. 
  7. Dating Methods - Radioactive dating methods rely on several assumptions that are simply untestable. That is bad science. Too many factors stand to make any confident claims about the accuracy of radioactive dating. Radioactive dating methods are therefore unreliable, and it is irrational to hold a confidence in them. 

There are just a few reasons why I reject evolution on strictly scientific grounds, as a rational empiricist. This is a simple list off the top of my head. There are many other reasons to doubt the claims of Evolutionary theory, however people far more qualified than I can inform you of that. I would like to devote some time to demonstrating why, theologically, I reject evolution in favor of Creation.

I do not expect the unbeliever to accept the following section, but that does nothing to repudiate the first section. To discount the previous scientific reasoning because I involve theology is arbitrary, inconsistent, and irrational. But for the believer, the following information may prove useful, and will certainly be thought-provoking. At any rate, before delving further into this post, it would probably be a good idea to go read Genesis 1 and 2 to refresh your mind on the text at hand.

As Christ should have the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18), I will begin with what Jesus taught about Creation. First, it is important to remember that Jesus was a real historical person, who lived, died, and was resurrected. It seems to me that the Word of God, through which all things were made (Jn. 1:3), would know much about the nature of Creation.

It must be pointed out that Christ believed the writings of Moses to be accurate to every “jot and tittle” (Matt. 5:18). Many bicker about the nature of the “days” of the Creation week in Genesis. Some say they were literal days, and others say they were ages or periods of time. I will show the former position to be the more cogent interpretation later, however we can understand that God wrote with his own finger, as recorded in Exodus 20:11, that the creation took place in six literal days: “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day.” Again, Christ accepted these very writings as accurate. We, as Christians, must do the same if we have any hope of following in His footsteps.

Christ explicitly referred to the Creation week of Genesis, when He pointed out that the Sabbath was made for man (Mark 2:27). Again, this reference is important because the Sabbath tradition is handed down for us to imitate God’s rest on the seventh day of Creation (Gen. 2:2-3). This shows Jesus understood the Creation account to be literal, 24-hour days. How else could we imitate God’s rest? 

Now to the writings of Paul. In Romans 5:12, Paul explicitly states that death is the result of sin. For evolution to be inserted into the Genesis narrative, then all aspects of the theory—including Natural Selection, which requires death—must come before Adam and Eve fell. Indeed, death, pain, and suffering, all of which drive Darwinistic processes, must be present from “day” one of Creation! But we are told by Paul that death did not enter the world until Adam sinned. The Romans text goes on to explain that this is why Christ had to come: So that through one man, life could be brought back. 

Now, there is the possibility that some would equivocate the word “death” in the passages with spiritual death. This is a proper interpretation. However, physical death, too, must be considered here. Both meanings are applicable, and without either one, the full weight of what Sin did is lost. Physical death is a reminder of our spiritual “death,” or separation from God. Just as Christ gives us spiritual life through the Cross, so also we have the hope of the resurrection, which gives us a renewed physical life as well. Thus, in both the Romans and the Genesis text, we must understand life and death in both the literal and metaphorical senses, and we cannot abandon either interpretation without losing the full meaning of the passage: By Christ’s death, we have victory over death, in all it’s forms; this is the Gospel that frees our spirit from sin and our body from death. This is the hope we have within us. Submit yourself to Christ, and find this great hope. Submit and be cleansed. Submit and find life.

Leaving Paul, we come at last to the Genesis text itself. Many have stated that this text is poetic in form. A wide spectrum of people, from Rob Bell (Love Wins, p. 44) to Jack Hoey Jr., seem to believe that Genesis 1-11 should be interpreted as a poem, and not as a literal history of God’s creation of, and interaction with, the world. This is a very recent interpretation beginning in 1924, and is inconsistent with the text. If you haven’t read Genesis 1 and 2 yet, go do it now. I’ll wait. Ready? Good. We go on.

Let us first examine why the assumption that Genesis is poetic really does nothing to deny it’s historicity—that is, it’s historically accurate nature. First of all, poetry is clearly used throughout Scripture to reveal Divine truths. The Psalms and Proverbs, for just a start, are clearly poetic in nature, but that does nothing to negate their validity. The second problem with this assumption is that just because something is related in poetic form does not mean that it is automatically a myth. The story of Job is related, in part, as poetry, however we do not dismiss what happened to Job as myth or legend. Many of the Psalms record actual, historical events, but we do not discount them (Ps. 78:9ff, 105). Poetry is not equivalent to mythology, but many people make that error. This is known as the fallacy of equivocation. Do not fall for it.

Now, to the text itself. A syntactic structure found in Hebraic writing is that of parallelism. It is found in both poetic and narrative writing. In it’s most simple form, a pair of lines repeats synonymous ideas, reinforcing some truth. Psalm 1:1 will be our source text to demonstrate this structuring.

Blessed is the man
  who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
  nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

As you can see, there are three parallels here:

  1. walks, stands, and sits,
  2. counsel, way, and seat,
  3. wicked, sinners, and scoffers.

This is the parallel structure: The same statement being repeated with subtle differences, to give us a better understanding of the original idea. Each word indicates slightly different meanings, but each meaning is equally true. Parallelism may include a second line adding to the meaning of the first line,—as in Psalm 24:3-4—contrasting the earlier statement—as in Psalm 73:26—or building on the previous idea—as in Habakkuk 3:17-18—or any blending of those styles. 

Now, is this structure found in Genesis? Yes it is, but very rarely. In the chapters you should have read by now, it is found in Genesis 1:27 and 2:23. Other than that, parallelisms are nearly absent from the Genesis text! “But Johnny!” I hear you cry, “have you not read Genesis 1:1-2? Doesn’t that sound like parallelisms?” Let’s look at another genre of Hebrew literature, Historical narrative, and we’ll come back to that question.

Hebrew historical narrative, just like poetry, has a special grammatical form. First, in the Hebrew, the verb tenses are specially crafted. The first verb in a description of a set of events is in the perfect tense, and all the following verbs are in the imperfect tense. This holds true in Genesis 1. The first verb, bara or “created”, is in the perfect tense, and the rest are imperfect.

Now, one other hallmark of Hebrew history, is the “waw—consecutive.” This is the marking that is most clearly seen in the English translation. All that “waw—consecutive” means, is the and…and…and we see spread throughout the writing. Let’s look back at Genesis 1, specifically verses 1-5:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

 And God said, ”Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

See that? Seven “and” statements in five verses. Read it out loud, and it reaches a sort of rhythm. That is the waw—consecutive structure at work. If you keep reading through Genesis 1-11, you’ll find much of the same structure. This is another issue for those who think Genesis 1-11—and specifically chapters 1 and 2—are not to be read as literal history: The grammatical structure in 1-11 is no different then that in 12 and following! This distinction between the metaphorical and the historical is arbitrary, not textual. 

Now to the nature of the days in the creation week. There are many who interpret the days to be periods of time, or ages. Some get this idea from 2 Peter 3:8, which reads “[…]with the Lord, one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” They say that this can be used to interpret the “days” of the Creation week in Genesis as periods of time. It is at this point that I would like to pass on to you, dear reader, what I received as a method of studying the Bible. It consists of three rules, of great complexity, so you may want to take notes. The rules are as follows: (1) Context, (2) context, (3) context. Did you get that? Good. Let’s apply those rules to 2 Peter 3:8.

Is Peter here writing of the Creation account? With our rules in mind, refer to 2 Peter 3:1-7 for the answer. What is the subject of “both of [his letters]” (2 Pet. 3:1)? Peter is writing in regards to the return of Christ! He is warning of false prophets, and encouraging the believers to look forward to the promises of God. He reminds us that the Genesis account of Creation and the Flood is accurate (2 Pet. 3:5-7). Well that throws a wrench in the “metaphor” hypothesis, doesn’t it? Then, in verse 9 he explains that Christ has tarried so long that all of the elect may come to repentance and the forgiveness of Sins. Peter goes on to describe the “day of the Lord” (2 Pet. 3:10). So the context of verse 8 is that of Christ’s return, not of the days of the creation week.

Another thing that is being overlooked is that Peter is quoting Psalm 90:4. It reads:

For a thousand years in your sight
  are but as yesterday when it is past,
  or as a watch in the night.

First, read the context of the Psalm. It is labeled in the ESV as “From Everlasting to Everlasting/A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.” Reading on, we see that the Psalm is speaking of God’s eternal nature, and His sovereignty over space and time. I’d suggest going and reading it in it’s entirety. It’s beautiful. However, it does not speak about the nature of the days of the creation week. 

Now let’s look at the parallelisms found in this verse. “A thousand years” is contrasted with two short periods of time: (1) Yesterday when it’s already past, and (2) a watch in the night. These are two very short periods of time. But just by contrasting the two, we see that the Psalmist is talking about a literal day; it is because the day is a literal day and the years are literal years that the contrast is so overwhelming. The very nature of the parallel shows that the metaphorical interpretation of Genesis cannot draw from these verses as an interpretive guide.

But perhaps the Genesis text hints at days that are more or less than 24 hours. After all, how could a solar day exist without the sun? Well, Jewish scholars simply said that the days were one rotation of the sphere of the earth, just as it is today. Remember, we measure our days by the earth’s rotation, not by the sun. So a 24 hour day is perfectly feasible in the pre-sun days. 

Could the days be taken as periods of time? Again, examining the sentence structure, we are forced to abandon the day-age hypothesis and read 24 hour days. The Hebrew word for “day”—yom—can indeed be interpreted as different periods of time. However, when yom shows up elsewhere in the Old Testament with the phrase “evening and morning,” or a numerical modifier like “first day,” or “five days,” it always refers to 24-hour days. I’ve already referenced Exodus 20:11, but since it demonstrates a similar grammatical structure, it is relevant here again. We see that God wants us to work six days, just as He did, and to rest on the seventh day. To read the days in the Creation week as longer than 24 hours is to mis-exegete the text horribly, ignoring context and textual evidence, and mishandling the Word of God.

If you’re a believer, I hope this post has encouraged you and strengthened your faith, as well as challenged you to learn more about our origins, and why Biblical Creationism is the best explanation of the world as we know it. I hope this has also strengthened your faith in the Scripture, and fueled your hunger for the incredible history God has left us in the Bible. Dive in deep, and feed your soul!

If you’re an unbeliever, I hope that God has convicted your heart through this post. I hope, at the very least, that God has put a stone in your shoe—metaphorically, that is—that will unsettle your faith in the dead myths of this world, and point you to the eternal truth of Christ, as revealed in the Scriptures, in History, and in Creation.

Remember that the same God who formed the universe by the Word of His mouth, formed you. He has called you to repent of your sins, and be forgiven. You can run from Him, but you cannot avoid His Sovereignty. Repent, and live, while you still have time! Submit to Christ, die to yourself, and find Life!

In Christ,

Jonathan.