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Believing the Bible in the Face of 'Evidence to the Contrary'

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Ken Hamrick, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    The claim has been made by many that Young-Earth Creationism drives people away from the faith. It is said that when believers who have initially accepted the teaching that the Bible is inerrant and therefore historically reliable when it comes to creation and the related chronology--when they encounter supposedly overwhelming evidence for billions of years and even evolution, that their faith in the reliability of Scripture is destroyed or irreparably damaged. I don't doubt that there are those who seem to fit this pattern. But the claim does not seem to hold water.

    Saving faith in the God of the Bible is not a faith that is founded on physical evidence. If the only reason that you believe is because you've weighed the evidence and concluded that there is more evidence for God and the Bible than against, then you will stop believing as soon as some clever person provides new and greater evidence against. To believe is to spiritually embrace the Person of God and not merely to embrace facts about Him. The reality of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the certainty of the truth He reveals to the believer--the truth that God exists, the truthfulness of the Bible, the truth of God's holiness and the coming judgment of sinners, etc.--is not something that could ever be taken away by any argument. The believer could no more honestly deny God's existence than he could deny his own.

    You might, with a good enough argument and a lot of evidence, convince me that Abraham Lincoln never really existed. We only believe he existed because of the evidences that weigh in favor of it. But you could never--no matter how much evidence you bring or what your argument is--convince me that my son or my daughter or my wife do not exist. I might lose such a debate with you. You might make me look like a fool. But you could never take away the utter certainty that I have regarding their existence--not a certainty that is merely subjective, like a feeling of certainty, but an objectively justified certainty based on the fact that they do exist. Unlike Lincoln, I've met my family, so any question is invalid from the start. It's the same with Christian faith. I know the Bible's true because the Holy Spirit has confirmed that to my spirit. I know that God, in His three Persons, exists because I've met Him, and He has indwelled me, and any question about that is invalid from the start.

    So what would happen if I encountered evidence for billions of years and maybe also for evolution, which seemed to me to be superior to anything Henry Morris and Ken Ham's people have come up with? What if there seemed to be no doubt that Scientific Creationism had no real leg to stand on? Even if that were to happen (and I don't foresee that happening), I would still see no reason to abandon the Bible's chronology of a recent creation. Even if it were proven to me that the earth is billions of years old, that would only prove how old the earth was at its creation about six thousand years ago. Who says God cannot create something that is already old? Did He create Adam and Eve as babies? Why, then, should my faith be damaged if it is proven that the earth is that old?

    Evolution has so many problems that the next question is ridiculous, but here it is: what if evolution were proven to be true, insofar as the DNA and the fossil record are concerned? Again, the answer would be that whatever condition the earth was in about six thousand years ago, it was God who created it out of nothing at that time and in that condition. If that requires it to have been created with a fossil record supporting evolution already buried in the ground, then so be it. We can argue and speculate as to why God may have done it that way, but it is no speculation that He created it out of nothing about six thousand years ago. It is divine truth revealed in inspired Scripture.

    For more on this, see:
    Admonitions to a Disappointed Young-Earther
     
    #1 Ken Hamrick, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Believe a literal Genesis 1 and an old universe. But then I have been believer since 1962.
     
  3. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    Do you believe that God created a universe that was already old?
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    I find that most who believe in an Old Universe also hold to The Gap Theory, do you?... Brother Glen:)
     
  5. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    Some believers feel so pressured by the claims of secular science that they try to find a way to fit an “old earth” into the creation account, by proposing a gap between God’s original creation (of Gen. 1:1) and the state described in the second verse (“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep”). Gap theorists maintain that God is not the Author of disorder and could not create the earth in such a state. They object that such disorder and darkness are incongruent with the Creator, and must have resulted from unmentioned catastrophe. They offer that satan’s fall from heaven to earth must have been the cause, ruining God’s previous creation and bringing chaos and darkness. They claim that the Hebrew text supports their view by the meaning of to become, such that “the earth became without form and void…” However, the Hebrew word here can also mean to come into a state of being. The text tells us that the earth came into the state of being of formlessness and disorder; but as for the prior state out of which it came into being, we have only the previous sentence to inform us. Therefore, the proper conclusion is that the earth came out of state of nonexistence and into a state of formlessness and disorder.

    Gap theorists hold that God did not begin His [second] creative work until after the earth was present, but Gen. 1:1 clearly puts the creating of the earth at the beginning of that creative work: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The Bible also clearly affirms, in Ex. 20:11, that the creating of the heavens and the earth were acts that occurred within the single, contiguous period of six 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. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” The only valid conclusion from the context, is that the earth was originally without form because that is how God wanted to created it initially, so that He could spend a full six days finishing His creating (for our benefit of learning, of course, since He could have done it all in a single moment).

    What these gap theorists (or, “Old-Earth Creationists”) propose is not supported by anything in the text of the creation account. There is no indication in the text whatsoever that this is anything other than a contiguous, uniform chronology. Regardless of the condition of the earth when God brought it into existence, the text does not interject any pause into the chronology. Rather, it is they who interject the pause, based not on the chronological indicators of the text, but on their own ideas about what the condition of the earth should indicate. An earth without form or in a state of disorder would not give even the slightest indication of a pause in chronology. If God can create an earth of any kind out of nothing in a moment, then He can certainly create an earth without form out of nothing in a moment. Where is the indication of a pause between the bringing of the earth into existence and the later creative work of God? There is no such pause indicated.

    Gen. 1 ESV

    1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.2The 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. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And 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.

    Reading the chronology as it is plainly presented, it is clearly uniform and contiguous. The remainder of the account after the first verse begins with “and…” There is nothing here to indicate a pause, a “gap,” or a beginning that was separated from the uniform, daily chronology of the remainder of the historical account. There is nothing ambiguous here from the beginning to the end of the sixth day. The question of how the earth got into the condition described in v. 2 (“without form and void”) is plainly and obviously answered in v. 1: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” Obviously, whatever condition it was in as described in v. 2 was the condition into which God created it. There is no need to seek out any mysterious complexity.

    Gap theorists object that Isa. 45: 18 contradicts the idea of God creating the earth “without form:”

    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

    Notice that “created it not in vain [without form]” is contrasted with “formed it to be inhabited.” This is not a denial that the earth was initially without form. Rather, it is a praise to God that He did not create the earth for the purpose of being without form (and thus, permanently so), but for the purpose of being inhabited. This is why one cannot merely stress definitions—the context is equally important to meaning. According to the plain, literal reading of the creation account in Gen. 1, God did indeed create the earth to be inhabited—He just took six days to do it.

    The chaotic state of the earth in Gen 1:2 was a kind of disorder that is the simple lack of complexity, in the sense that a lump of clay has not been ordered into a jar—the clay is yet without form. If the passage is to be taken at “face value,” then God created the earth in such a state—without any form yet put into order—so that He could spend six days putting it into order.

    Since the sins of angels could not put them under that physical death sentence, then neither did their sin bring that physical death into the world. Since no physical death sentence or principle of physical degeneration and mortality can apply to an angel, then—obviously—it was not the sin of any angel that incurred that sentence or caused that principle of mortality to come into the physical world. Physical death was brought into the universe only by those sinners who bear its sentence: men. Just as angels are not affected by the physical world, neither can they affect the laws of the physical world. Only man is at once spiritual and physical. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin…” (Rom. 5:12a, ESV). Not only did death come into man, it came into the world.

    The supposed gap that is theorized by many does not fit into some gaping lack of continuity in the text. Instead, it is shoehorned into a space so small as to be made merely of conjecture. It is not as if the text does not flow from v.1 into v.2 smoothly and without discontinuity—the language used works well on its own as a self-contained narrative of contiguous events. There is nothing in the text to indicate a previous order that was destroyed and turned into disorder—except when such an idea is read into the text. It is not enough to propose an alternative reading that is plausible—it must fit better than the plain reading that it is supposed to replace.
     
  6. MartyF

    MartyF Active Member

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    What if . . . .

    Great for science fiction and fantasy - not so much for reality.
     
  7. davidtaylorjr

    davidtaylorjr Well-Known Member

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    Never will be so I don't worry about it.
     
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  8. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    DNA is becoming evolutions worst enemy.
     
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  9. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Secular evolutionists likewise ridicule not just those who believe in a young earth but those Christians who believe in evolution.
     
  10. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    When Robycop3 came on here and said there was a fish older than Adam, I was skeptical... Then I open by Bible and looked... And brethren I have to hand it to him, he was right!... That there fish beat Adam here!... by one day!... Brother Glen:D
     
    #10 tyndale1946, Jul 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  11. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    D James Kennedy once said that the Louvre has literally miles of shelf space dedicated to science books which have had a great deal of their content proven wrong. At their time of publication, they were considered the factual science of the day.

    If science contradicts The Bible, science is wrong.
     
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  12. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    I agree; but the point is that there will be those who are taken in by the arguments for evolution. I can’t prevent that. But I can offer that the arguments are irrelevant to whether or not God recently created.
     
  13. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    It is a sad fact of reality that some people who used to believe in YEC abandon that for evolution—and some also abandon a belief in the reliability of Scripture. That’s worth addressing.
     
  14. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    Not necessarily— science might find rocks that, if formed by only natural process, would have taken billions of years. But rather than say “Science is wrong,” we should point out that it’s not the science but the presuppositions that are wrong. They have ruled out from the start any possibility that such rocks (and all creation) were miraculously created six thousand years ago.
     
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  15. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    As for evolution. They’re just wrong. But if some gullible person is convinced of evolution, I would tell them it had no bearing on the creation account in Genesis. If the universe is trillions of years old, and even if evolution appears to be how creatures developed, it still remains true that God stepped into the middle of a virtual trillions-of-years chronology, at the right moment 6000 years ago, and brought this world into existence out of nothing. He created the first man from the dust and the first woman from the man— and if that required them to have genetic evidence of a past evolution. Then that’s how God fashioned them when He made them. As for why, perhaps God purposely left naturalistic answers to be found by anyone hard-hearted enough to presuppose that He did not supernaturally create as He said He did. The whole point of this apologetic is to challenge those who fall for the scientific evidence that such is no reason to abandon faith in the reliability of Scripture or belief in a recent miraculous creation.
     
  16. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    If science says a rock that is 6000 years old is 2 billion years old, science is technically still wrong.
     
  17. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    Is it beyond God's capabilities to create something that's already old from the first moment of its existence?
     
  18. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    If it contradicts his nature, for example, makes God out to be a liar, then the answer would be yes.
     
  19. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    But in any case, the determination of such would not be based on any science as such, but strictly on a philosophical interpretation of a theological position. Thus, attempting to discuss it scientifically would only invite skepticism from a reasonable person yet to come to faith in the God of the Bible.

    Regarding the existence of God and the fact of creation, there are many points of evidence worth discussing with unbelievers. This is most assuredly not one of them. At best, it is a distraction, but usually tends to be extremely counterproductive. If the universe looks billions of years old, then why not cede the point and move on? It's not a hill to die on. Christ died on Calvary, and so must all who would be saved.
     
  20. Ken Hamrick

    Ken Hamrick Member

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    Every miracle makes God out to be a liar in the eyes of those who do not believe. Lazarus lived out his days, after being raised from the dead, by all appearances as if he had not died. The wine served at the wedding, after Jesus had miraculously produced it, was not different from that which took much time and effort to produce. Those who go looking for naturalistic evidence in the face of divine revelation of a miracle will find such evidence and miss the miracle. But they have deceived themselves and have not made God a liar.
     
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