Why I Am A Biblical Creationist

00Galaxy_NGC1300I recently read an article entitled “Young Earth-ism Cost Her Faith” which my friend Mike Duran linked to on his Facebook page. The author made a case that “many apologists for young-earth creationism (including the writers of my Christian textbooks) actually appeared to have misrepresented evolutionary theory and the evidence for it in a way that I can only describe as dishonest,” which caused her to ” ‘lose my faith,’ as it were.”

I was curious where the responses to this article went, but the website proprietors closed comments which also apparently hid them. In the sidebar was another article that I thought might explore a similar subject, this one entitled “Why I Am A Darwinist–Mary Catherine Watson.” In similar fashion to the writer who lost her faith, Ms. Watson came to her belief in Darwinism through exposure to it after growing up with a creationist education: “I took AP Biology and found myself convinced that evolution made more sense in explaining the world around me than did the Bible.”

The irony is, I grew up with evolution, the Big Bang theory, Darwinism, taught in school as if there were no other possible answers. But I also grew up going to church where I learned the Bible was God’s authoritative Word, His revelation. Consequently, my experience was quite different from Ms. Watson’s.

From her study, she concluded, “And no, it is highly unlikely that every scientist is simultaneously deluded by this theory. Science is one of the most intellectually intense fields of profession around, and its workers have some of the highest IQs, they are not that naïve.” From my study, I concluded God who is omniscient, the Creator of all those high IQs, revealed that which only He could know with certainty.

Ms. Watson says she went to the Bible and found more questions. She admits evolution doesn’t answer all questions either but concluded, “in light of all the information I’ve come across from both sides, it seems to me to be the more logical option.”

On the other hand, I went to the Bible and found more and more facts that made the big picture come together in a logical whole.

Ms. Watson changed her opinions in part because of her questions about the flood recorded in Scripture.

such a flood would require steady, worldwide rainfall at the rate of about 6 inches per minute, 8640 inches per day–for 40 days and nights–so as to cover the entire earth with an endless ocean 5 miles deep, thus burying 29,000 ft. Mt. Everest (the tallest mountain) under 22 ft. (15 cubits) of water, made me think again. That is a lot of water, where did it come from, and where did it go?

Her study of Scripture seems to be less complete than her math computations. According to the Biblical record of creation, there was a considerable amount of water:

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters . . . Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. (Gen 1:2, 6-9)

Then in the account of the flood, this:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. (Gen 7:11-12)

In other words, this was not the typical modern day rain storm we’re familiar with.

But therein lies the divide between people like Ms. Watson and people like me–when the Bible records something that is outside my experience, I don’t conclude it was fabricated, mythologized, or inaccurate. I believe it is outside my experience and today’s scientific observation because things were different from what the scientists assume. And clearly, assumption plays a huge part in “observing” what transpired thousands of years ago.

The bottom line is this: Ms. Watson and the anonymous “lost her faith” writer read the same science I read and studied, read the same Bible I read, and yet we have arrived at vastly different places. I am far from thinking that I know all the details about creation, but I’m pretty confident that the scientists who deny a Creator have made a serious error. If you start with a wrong hypothesis, it’s pretty hard to believe that you are drawing closer to the truth as you persist with that line of reasoning.

Hänsel_und_GretelIn the end, I’ll take the word of omniscient, eternal God over finite, limited Man when it comes to the origins of the cosmos. After all, without God’s revelation, we’re trying to follow a bread crumb trail back to the first cause. As Hansel and Gretel discovered, bread crumbs aren’t so reliable.

Published in: on June 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

The Compatibility Of Science And Christianity

Protoplanetary_diskChristians should be the first to combat the idea that science and Christianity are at odds with one another. They aren’t. In fact science, by its nature, is a limited field, contributing only to the field of observable knowledge accessed through our physical senses.

Christianity, of course, does not purport to explain DNA or the string theory or black holes, but it does reveal God and His plan and purpose for the world. It answers the big questions of life: who am I, why am I here, what is my destiny?

In reality, science and Christianity together give us an understanding of life. No one should separate the two, and yet an artificial divide is being forced onto society.

This divide would be similar to asking someone heading into a movie theater if he’s going to listen to the movie or watch it. Well, both, would be his logical reply. No, no, the pundit says, you have to choose one or the other. Sight and sound aren’t compatible.

Well, yes, they are. They reveal different things, but those things aren’t in contradiction. In fact sight and sound complement each other and give a fuller, richer movie going experience. So too with science and Christianity.

The root to this divide seems to be in the creation versus evolution debate. Because the courts have ruled that evolution is science and can be taught in schools while creation is not and cannot be taught in schools, a line has been drawn in the sand. Choose what you believe, the pundits say–science or religion.

First, evolutionary theory is filled with unrepeatable parts that can’t be studied by the scientific method. Second, science is far greater than evolution. And third, Christianity is not synonymous with religion.

In other words, evolution requires a great deal of faith to believe–more so in my opinion than believing God designed the universe and brought it into being. Did you know that a single strand of DNA contains 3.1 billion bytes of information. A single strand. And yet we are to believe that an accidental concussion matter and energy is responsible for the process that ordered all of life. Truly, it is more believable that an explosion in a print shop resulted in Webster’s Dictionary.

The second point is equally important. Science that actually adheres to the scientific method does contribute knowledge about the physical world–knowledge which does not contradict the Bible. As a matter of fact, a host of early scientists were Christians, from Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Johann Kepler, Blaise Pascal to Isaac Newton, Samuel Morse, Louis Pasteur, and many others.

A great number of Christians working in the fields of science exist today, too, men such as the following:
# Dr. Larry Vardiman Senior Research Scientist, Astro/Geophysics
# Dr. William Arion, Biochemistry, Chemistry
# Dr. Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
# Dr. E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
# Dr. Steve Austin, Geologist
# Dr. S.E. Aw, Biochemist
# Dr. Thomas Barnes, Physicist
# Dr. Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
# Dr. John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics

Last point: Christianity is unique among religions because of Jesus Christ–no other religion has a person at the center of its faith as opposed to a system. No other religion offers grace and mercy instead of rules and regulations. Sadly, Christianity has been lumped in with those that play on superstition, guilt, and fear. Christ, in fact, brings peace and joy and hope and help. Christianity is not about a way to appease an angry God. It’s a realistic understanding of the human condition and the need of the human heart.

In no way does science step on Christianity’s toes. The incompatible is the dismissal of God as the One who is before all, created all, and rules all. But if you accept God for who He is, study science all you want. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Published in: on March 5, 2013 at 6:32 pm  Comments (12)  
Tags: , , , ,

God’s View Or Ours

I saw another discussion between Christians about evolution the other day. It dawned on me that those advocating this theory based on scientific observation are opting for Man’s view over God’s.

Science “knows” now, the reasoning goes, that life has evolved from lesser forms. We’ve “seen” this in geological findings. We have the fossil “records.” These records, therefore, are to be believed over the record handed down to us from God — His Holy Word.

The problem with choosing scientific observation over the Bible is manifold. First, science continues to change. In addition, science presupposes that The Way Things Are is exactly The Way Things Were. In other words, science has no room for things like a perfect world without death. What would that look like? How would that effect what we observe now? Science has no room for a world with one big land mass and no rain. What would that have done to geology? What would the world have been like if the atmosphere had a layer made up primarily of water? What would that have done to the way the world formed? What if the world in a bygone era allowed for humans to live nearly a thousand years? What would that do to dating fossils?

And even more radically, what if God formed a perfectly complete world, and universe, that looked old even though it was new. After all, what would a “new” mountain look like? Or a new star, a new sun, a new Man? We have no reason to believe Adam came into being as an infant. Just the opposite. Scripture would lead us to believe he was a full grown man, on the first day he lived and breathed and had his being.

Science has no room to ask these “what if” questions because they have no “hard evidence” that such things were possible. Consequently, science closes the book on what the Bible suggests or even states.

And Christians who opt for this science over Scripture approach reason that God wouldn’t “fool” us into thinking something was one way when in fact it was something quite different.

I hardly think God tried to fool us, seeing as how He wrote down His creative process. But on another level, this argument is too weak to stand up. Humans for centuries have been “fooled.” They believed, for example, that they lived on flat land. How deceptive of God to pull a fast one and actually put us on a round(ish) planet.

Of course, He wasn’t deceptive at all since the sun is round, the moon is round, and apart from the twinkles, stars are round. It is actually more a wonder that people didn’t figure out sooner that the earth is round. But there it is. Man, believing his own eyes, when in fact the truth was something quite different.

The same could be said about men who believed the sun was the center of the universe and many more “scientific” observations that have changed when new information came along.

My question is, when will we learn to believe Omniscience instead of our own fallible, imperfect, inexact observations when we are trying to figure out The True Way Things Are.

Published in: on February 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: , ,

Evolution’s Narrow View

Last night I watched part of a PBS program hosted by Alan Alda. Yes, the Alan Alda of Mash fame. The program, Scientific American Frontiers, has some really interesting material, but all from an evolutionary point of view. So, too, last night’s show.

This one discussed researcher Jane Goodall and her work with chimpanzees, in particular some of her groundbreaking observations. Chimps can and do use tools. They have minimal rational thought, not just imitative behavior. They form “nation” groups with differing traits from one another. They exhibit emotions and even prejudice or at least aggressive behavior toward outsiders—chimp groups that have broken from the main body. They operate under a set of “moral” rules, with inappropriate behavior corrected by the leader or group.

All these observations are on film, and much of the program showed footage that gave evidence of these findings.

Honestly, I find it fascinating. But here’s the key assertion. According to Alda and his research team, this look at chimps is a look at Mankind’s earliest development.

Some might find this a natural conclusion: chimps do simple cognitive reasoning; man as a more developed creature does advanced cognitive reasoning. One leads naturally to the other, thus offering further evidence that the latter came from the former.

I find this conclusion to be based on narrow thinking. Rather than looking at the facts and asking, How can this be? these scientists look at the evidence and say, Then it must be this way.

As I see it, their thinking is along this line of reasoning: a pine tree bears pine cones which aren’t edible; an apple tree is more advanced because it bears apples—an edible fruit. Therefore, pine trees must be the primitive fore bearers of apple trees.

On the surface that looks rather silly, but why so more than the idea that chimps are the fore bearers of humans? The logic follows the same lines.

The point of division is that evolutionary theory apparently only accounts for evolutionary cross-species changes in biological life, not botanical life.

Admittedly, I am ignorant of a lot of evolutionary theory, so I could be wrong—possibly evolutionary scientists extend the theory to the botanical but for some reason based on their science, do not see pine trees as the forerunner to apple trees.

Nevertheless, my point remains, which is this: evolutionary theorists are narrow in their thinking. They see a set of observations and draw conclusions based on only one possibility—that similarities in species indicate a common source (the primal ooze) that underwent evolutionary changes, giving us life as we know it today.

The fact is, there is another possibility that fits the data just as well—or better. The observed similarities in species exist because the same Creator made both chimps and Man.

In fiction we talk about an author’s voice—a kind of signature woven into novels through word choice and sentence structure and characters and theme and genre and style and mood. Those familiar with an author can often pick out which lines are his simply because they know his work so well.

Why would it be a stretch to believe that Creator God, who said He created Man in His image, nevertheless showed something of His personality in the rest of the creatures He made?

An artist paints according to his style. A sculptor, an architect, a wood craftsman … all those who create stamp what they make with their own identity. Why not God?

Seems to me, a theorists that don’t at least consider this question are narrow.

Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Science and the Bible

If God is God, can’t He do what appears to us to be impossible? It seems to me, any thinking person who believes God is all powerful and raised Jesus from the dead, would have no problem believing He also allowed Jesus to walk on water before He was resurrected to His glorified body. And that He fed five thousand men plus an un-numbered sum of women with a few loaves of bread and a couple fish. That He stopped a raging storm with a word. That He restored a blind man’s eyesight and raised a dead man to life.

Some might say, well, that was Jesus. Of course He could do those things. But the Old Testament stuff—you know, the miracle bread feeding six hundred thousand people for forty years or the non-flying version of Superman named Samson or the tall tale about an angel closing the mouth of hungry lions or brave young believers withstanding a fiery furnace when they wouldn’t bow to an idol or the sun standing still for a day. All that stuff is, well, not possible.

Not possible. Unless God, who can do the impossible, decided He wanted to do it. That’s all it takes to believe in the miraculous—a realization that God is Who He says He is: almighty. All might resides in Him. All power. That means He is not limited by anything outside Himself. That means He is not limited by His own creation.

So looking at creation and declaring, That could never happen, says nothing about God because He transcends creation. He, in fact, is the one who sustains creation:

In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
– Heb. 1:2-31 (emphasis mine)

For He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
– Col. 1:17 (emphasis mine)

The idea that He set things in motion, then stepped back and let it unfold, may be how we perceive things, but there is no Scriptural indication this is the way the world works. Science claims it is so, but in order to get there, many scientists discount the walking on water, sun standing still, and raging river stopping in midstream.

It’s much easier to say science is the best evidence of the way things work if at first you declare that contradictory Bible stories are myth. But to get to that place, a person also has to discount God’s omnipotence.

For a particularly interesting series on evolution, see novelist and one-time biology major Karen Hancock’s posts, starting with this one (and for her personal testimony, read Evolution and Me).

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 12:09 pm  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , , ,

At Least I’m in Good Company

Still tied for the January CSFF Top Blogger Award winner! And I don’t have a tie-breaker set up! I would be so grateful if you’d take some time this weekend to look over the eligible blogs and vote. Poll closes on Monday. Thank you!

– – –

On Thursday I left a comment to the post “Creation Is the Crux,” responding to some thoughtful discussion. The issue had been raised about evolution and it’s compatibility with the Bible. I made the claim that possibly God’s process of creation is inscrutable since He is capable of creating a fully developed universe that might look ancient when if fact it wasn’t. Here’s the relevant passage:

If God made a tree by speaking it into being, would it not have rings, as if it had existed for years and years? It’s the old “did Adam have a belly button” joke. Why wouldn’t he? He was also, presumable, a full grown man with a mature set of teeth. Though one would think he must have lost his baby teeth somewhere along the line, that would not be true because he never had them.

In other words, if a person believes God can create mountains, it negates the idea that we can actually figure out from the mountain, how old it is.

Just today I stumbled upon a quote from C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:

Since that [divine] power, if it exists, would not be one of the observed facts but a reality which makes them, no mere observation of the facts can find it.

So I feel like I’m in good company, though my point was that observing creation can’t of itself yield the truth about when it was created (and by extension, the process of creation) and C. S. Lewis was saying that observing facts can’t lead us to the Creator of the facts.

What we hold in common is the idea that science—observation of the natural order—is inadequate to arrive at all truth. Of course, if a person disallows the possibility of an all powerful Creator, he may think his observations are true because hypotheses emerge that account for existence.

But if God is IN the mix, then what once appeared “most likely” is no longer more valid than any other hypothesis, given that an all powerful Creator could do anything, including the unexpected and the unknown. The best we can do is say God created (and we know this because He told us so), and He might have done it this or that way.

Six day creationists may well say we know the creation process took six days because God also told us that. The problem here is two fold.

First, God said more than once in Scripture that to Him a day is like a thousand years. How can we know, then, that the “day” was a twenty-four hour period and not a thousand-year period?

Which brings up the second problem. God refers to the morning and the evening of the first day of creation before He made the sun. So how would time even be measured and what constituted morning and evening?

Understand, I believe the six-day creation theory has as much chance of accurately describing the facts as any of the other theories. The point is, We don’t know the process God used. No, that’s not quite right. We CAN’T know the process God used.

That God created the universe is unequivocal and must be affirmed at every opportunity. How He created may be speculated upon as long as our speculations don’t discount or contradict Scripture. The mistake we make is in affirming a process we cannot know.

The atheists do that, and quite frankly look silly in the process—no true scientist rules out a possibility before he looks at the data, but atheists rule out God first, then look at nature for an explanation to its existence.

Why would Christians want to look silly for a similar reason? No true Bible scholar rules out any but a literal translation of a Bible passage that Scripture itself indicates may not be literal. In other words, the scientist forces the facts to fit his preconceived theory and the adamant six-day creationist forces the facts to fit his preconceived theory.

So now I’ve irritated atheists and creationists alike. 😮 At least, if I understand C. S. Lewis correctly, I stand in good company.

Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,

Creation Is the Crux

Time and again the Bible makes reference to God creating the world. Psalm 124: 8 is an example:

Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

It seems to me that denying creation immediately removes God from His throne. At best he would be co-equal with the universe, but not over it.

As Creator, God is clearly identified as transcendent. Moreover, His ownership of all is beyond dispute, since clearly what is made belongs to He who made it.

So is it any wonder that the very fact of creation has come under attack in the last couple hundred years? Think about it. If you want to cut down a tree, you don’t start with the top most branches. You slice away at the base, and if you really want to kill it, you go after the roots.

In essence this attack on creation is clear evidence that we are involved in a good-versus-evil struggle.

With no clear answer for the questions of life (why am I here, how do I know what is right and wrong, what will happen to me after, do I make a difference), those opposed to God nevertheless declared Him dead or irrelevant, and certainly not enthroned in the heavens. He is, to them, a fantasy, conjured up by poor fools too ignorant or to scared to read a science book.

But those opposed to God reach such conclusions without any basis. They dismiss God as Creator because they think life more likely came about because of spontaneous combustion and a few trillion years of positive change, though science says the universe has a propensity to destabilize, not organize.

Never mind that such belief leaves Mankind without a moral compass, without purpose, and without a destiny.

In other words, the silliness put out for people to believe in opposition to creation provides no answers to the key philosophical questions. Instead, by denying God His rightful place and stripping Man of the answers to the questions of life, this denial of creation creates a void.

No God on His throne. No meaning to life.

But voids, like vacuums, seem to fill of necessity. Of late, it seems that Man has stepped up to be his own god. After all, no one made him. He simply came about, then figured it out. And meaning? To be happy and die with the most toys.

Who would choose such a view of life over that provided by the Bible: that Man is made in the image of God, loved by Him to the point that He satisfied His own requirements, paying for our sin, to establish an unending kinship with us. We who know His Son as Savior have eternal significance and enduring security. Here and now we enjoy the love of our Creator who identifies Himself as our Father and we have the delight of community with our brothers and sisters of like mind. Add to that the hope we have of everlasting life in His presence.

Two views. On the one hand, belief that we came from nothing, with no purpose, and we’re going nowhere. On the other, the belief that we have been created for communion, assigned a mission, and will live forever. The two worldviews are stark, stark contrasts.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm  Comments (15)  
Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: