Chapter one of Genesis is a literal battleground embroiled with emotions over opposing views about the unseen beginnings of the universe. The warriors are not soldiers dressed in military uniforms armed with military hardware. Instead, they are secular evolutionists, “Christian evolutionists” and biblical Christians. All of the evolutionists believe that science explains how the universe was created. Some of them have eliminated God since they understand that the existence of God makes their theory, viewpoint and vocation irrelevant – in fact wrong! Sadly, other evolutionists claim to believe that the Bible is authoritative and then yield to the secular evolutionist’s ultimate weapon and in the process reject the authority of scripture in order to appear wise. The evolutionists’ ultimate weapon is the claim that the universe is millions and billions of years old. The evolutionist needs “enough probabilistic time” to accomplish whatever he thinks happened or wants to theorize occurred. With this claim the evolutionist declares the Bible to be myth. Some reject God. Unfortunately, some intimidated Christians think the secular evolutionists’ speculative theory is objective science and then twist the words of scripture to make it support their theory.
The Secular Evolution Warrior
Secular evolutionists seek the cause for the universe’s existence independent of the Creator. He does not see a need for God since he claims all that is needed is “enough probabilistic time” – millions and billions of years – to accomplish his unproven theory of everything starting from an infinitesimally small piece of nuclear matter. He claims the infinitesimally small piece of nuclear matter is the origin of everything along with a starting cause. But then the evolutionist cannot explain where his infinitesimally small piece of nuclear matter came from or the cause of the cause. You see the truth is that nothing comes from nothing and nothing causes itself – well – at least according to his theory of science! Even he cannot explain where his postulated infinitesimally small piece of nuclear matter came from. This is a serious blow to the evolutionist since he claims that science explains everything including why God does not exist or at least God is not needed – an unprovable opinion. Yet, he thinks he knows what happened 14.7 billion years ago even though he was not present and does not have any videos of those events.
Many secular evolutionists reject the idea of God. Others do not see why God is necessary. For example, consider the well known evolutionist, Richard Dakwins, who when asked by Ben Stein in the video documentary Expelled if he believed that humans might have been created by aliens he said, “Yes!” But when asked if he believed if God might have created humans, he said, “No!” His answer revealed he is not really an objective scientist. He was willing to accept the idea of an alien starting life on planet earth just as long as the alien was not God.
Many secular evolutionists elusively fight to support their theory which they believe necessities the elimination of God. The weapon of choice in this battlefield is an unexpected weapon – the concept of millions and billions of years to create life. For without this weapon of “enough probabilistic time and chance” – millions and billions of years – they know that the unproven theory of everything starting from an infinitesimally small piece of nuclear matter is lost and the creationist wins the war.
The Christian Evolution Warrior
But the most dangerous combatants on the battlefield are not the secular evolutionists. The deadliest combatants are those who claim to be Christian evolutionists. They confidently reinterpret scripture in order to claim that it is compatible with the secular evolutionists’s God-rejecting claims that the universe is millions and billions of years old and that it originated from infinitesimally small pieces of nuclear matter. We must remember that the Bible reminds us that academic degrees from higher schools of education do not make a person wise or give them Spirit-filled insight. Education does not make a person wise or spiritual. It only provides facts. It takes wisdom to evaluate the information, connect the dots and discover truth. God warns us of this with these words.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . Rom. 1:20-22 (NASB)
Just because a person claims to be a Christian does not mean that they are. Even the Pharisees had the scriptures memorized and taught it with authority. They were intelligent men who governed the nation of Israel in Jesus’ time along with the Sadducees. But they did not know biblical truth and they were not born again. Also, a man or woman can quote scripture, but that does not mean that they accurately interpret the scriptures. Just listen to Christian radio or television and this truth is evident. Paul wrote,
For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 1 Tim. 1:6-7 (NASB)
Consequently, many unsuspecting, non-scientific Christians, including pastors and theologians, are deceived into accepting the confident assertions of those who support the secular evolutionist’s weapon of “enough probabilistic time” – millions and billions of years. Otherwise good, spiritual men are fooled by so-called knowledgeable Christian scientists because they themselves do not accurately handle or do not firmly hold to the Word of Truth. When this occurs the deception is like magic. The evolutionist’s weapon is then effective and the authority of scripture is severely questioned. God is rejected and “Christians” respond by employing re-interpretations of the biblical account of creation in Genesis. The result is that a high view of scripture is rejected and substituted with a low view that modifies the meaning of scripture and accommodates the secular Christ-rejecting world. Imagine Christians modifying the historic meaning of scripture in order to accommodate a secularist’s big idea – the Big Bang.
History of Deception
The wave of deception started in the 1800s with B. M. Pember when he published “Earth’s Earliest Age.” In this book the author proposed what is now called the GAP Theory in order to show the Bible was compatible with Darwin’s theory of evolution. The author expressed great concern about not allegorizing, spiritualizing, or explaining away a passage of scripture but instead accurately interpreting scripture without bias. But he did the former after all.
Later the Scofield Bible popularized the idea of the GAP Theory, that is, that there is a gap of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The GAP Theory speculates that a “pre-Adamic” race was created by God between verses one and two of Genesis 1- before Adam and Eve were created. That is, God created a race of humans which sinned bringing the world into chaos and was then destroyed by God. That supposedly accounts for the fossil record and the dinosaurs.
When the Newberry Bible was published in 1896, it yielded to a growing accommodation by Christians to Darwin’s theory of evolution when it intentionally inserted extra space between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. The GAP Theory was speculated to be a correct interpretation. The secular evolutionists – “the men of science” – had successfully intimidated the theologians into trying to harmonize scripture with the theories proposed by the “men of science.”
Then other theories followed such as Progressive Creation or the “Day-Age Theory,” Theistic Evolution, Framework, and the Compromise Theory. Each view abandoned the historic meaning of scripture, contrary to the claims of such men as Hugh Ross, an old earth advocate who supports secular evolutionary theories. Hugh Ross teaches that the early church fathers, such as St. Augustine, had a non literal understanding of the creation account, thus supporting his Day-Age Theory. However, John MacArthur has pointed out that Hugh Ross either intentionally or due to poor scholarship ignored the fact that St. Ausgustine did not abandon the concept of six literal twenty-four days of creation. Instead, St. Augustine proposed that the earth was created instantaneously or immediately. Hugh Ross ignores this fact.
Unfortunately, each view treats scripture incompletely arguing for accommodation to the supposed “men of science.” What is the accommodation? The GAP Theory, Day-Age Theory, Theistic Evolution, Framework, and the Compromise Theory have all yielded to the concept that the universe is millions and millions or billions of years old. Give the secular evolutionist “enough probabilistic time” and most folks believe that anything could have happened. Unfortunately, no one saw the Big Bang or evolution occur. No one saw God create the universe either. The truth that is ignored by the secularists is that the data fits the biblical account better.
Myth of Science
Most people just assume that scientists must be correct, but science is not always correct – accurate. True science is testable and verifiable. As a former aerospace engineer involved in the development of high tech gadgets and weapons, I am aware that the equations of science do not always reveal everything. In my experience it was common to build a weapon and then discover during testing that it did not perform exactly as we expected. So, the design would be modified and then we would attempt to make it work again as desired. We test and retest our theory on working models and the real thing. But evolutionists cannot do that. They have never reproduced the Big Bang nor the process of natural selection. They are just speculating. One of the great “missing links” in the theory of natural selection is that they have never found any intermediate transitions between the fossil layers. That is, there is no evidence of one species slowly “becoming” another species. They do not exist. So, the hunt frantically continues. It is all guesswork or theories. Evolution is one huge theory.
Unfortunately, “science” is not always true science. Evolution is one such example. No human can repeat the creation of the universe. This is a problem with many “scientific theories.” Consider the following article from ASAP, a Forbes publication.
It’s too easy, with the benefit of modernity, hindsight, and all that, to regard science as the most fearless, objective, apolitical, democratic, and open-minded of human endeavors–the seeker of truth. Never mind anything by divine right. It was, in fact, a panic-stricken reaction to a sudden shortage of truth that triggered the emergence of modern science.
Throughout the 16th century, as it gradually dawned on everybody that Columbus hadn’t, after all, hit some islands off Japan or India (where he was headed at the time) but that he had in fact come across an entirely new continent, everything epistemological hit the fan. For a comfortable 2,000 years, life, the universe, and everything had been what Aristotle and the Bible said it was. And neither of them had ever mentioned America. So what was it doing there?
Things got rapidly worse in the first decades of the 17th century, as people like Galileo started seeing other centers of attraction, such as Jupiter circled by its moons. To compound the felony, sailors started coming back across the Atlantic to Europe with hundreds of new American animal and plant species that were not described on Aristotle’s list.
Put yourself in their place. It was beginning to look as if all bets were off (or as John Donne had it: “The new philosophy calls all in doubt”). To anybody occupying a throne by the grace of church authority (i.e., most of them), this was a situation devoutly to be missed. In the desperate search for some way to bail out the sinking ship or shut the stable door, a couple of quick thinkers came up with some solutions. One was a French engineer named Rene Descartes who was run off because he was too apt to make cracks about Jesuits. Descartes suggested the only way to find the truth was to go on doubting until you stripped away all dubious elements so as to arrive at a point where what remained was so self-evident that it was beyond doubt. That would be the truth.
The other guy, an English legal eagle by the name of Francis Bacon, opted for correlation and analysis as a means of certainty. Amass enough evidence and you were halfway there. His admirers then came up with a Royal Society for doing this stuff, with correspondents all over the place sending in cards and letters filled with their observations. The Royal Society motto, “Take Nobody’s Word for It,” generated a procedure for making sure other people were seeing what you were seeing, known as “witnessing.” If enough people agreed they were all witnessing the same thing, then it was a “matter of fact.”
You know what happened next: Harvey, Maxwell, Darwin, Mendel, and Einstein. In other words, science objectively won over everything but the human heart. By the end of the 20th century, science had itself become the arbiter of truth, the wielder of its own (un)divine right.
Alas, not so. If as a scientist you believe the universe is made of omelettes, you build instruments to find traces of intergalactic egg. And if you don’t find any, no problem. Instrument failure! This kind of shenanigan goes on in spite of the fact that the other guys in your discipline are bound by duty to prove you misguided. The job of the scientist is to take theories apart and to accept them only if this effort fails.
But, of course, both theory and proof are conditioned by circumstance which colors everything. When Galileo showed the Venetian merchants from how far away his telescope could disclose the letters carved on a building across the canal, he persuaded people to accept the truth of what they saw when he then pointed that the telescope up in the air and revealed what no personal experience could confirm: mountains on the moon. Even though the telescopic magnification was lousy; even though all they saw were blurs. They could have been seeing anything. Never mind the drawings Galileo provided to show more clearly what they were supposed to be seeing through his magic thing. In fact, Galileo’s famous drawings aren’t entirely accurate). What was happening was the result of a desire to see the new Copernican cosmos, so as to settle the on-the-rack arguments still raging about what it all meant.
These desires can be so strong they induce hallucinations. In the late 19th century, at the University of Nancy, France, the recent discovery of X rays convinced people that other rays should be there too. Sure enough, once some guy demonstrated N rays (named after the town. They became a hot ticket to a Ph.D. And, no doubt, somebody got such a degree, in N-ray studies. Then one day some visiting American, who hadn’t heard about these rays, said the truth was he couldn’t see them. Sure enough, when everybody looked closer, nor could they. Collapse of theory.
This kind of collapse riddles the history of the so-called truth-finding sciences. Here’s a list of the greatest hits of scientific th3>
heory collapse: For centuries it was known that disease came from miasma, a foul air emanating from marshes and putrescent materials and such creepy stuff…until 1864, when Louis Pasteur discovered germs. For centuries electricity was a fluid…until 1820. It was a well-known fact that rotten apples spontaneously generated little worms and grubs found inside them…until 1767.
The atom was indivisible…until 1877. All organisms that exist were made at Creation…until 1858. Creation itself happened in 4004 B.C….until 1779, when the date became 75,000 years ago; until 1846, when it became 100 million years ago; until last year, when the figure rose to 13 billion.
Light was particles until 1801, when it became waves; until 1905, when it became particles again; until 1924, when it became both. And my all-time favorite, the one that really makes my point: Space and time were absolutes until 1886, when Ernst Mach introduced the insidious concept of relativity and set the stage for Einstein. In 1927, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle took things further and really pulled out the rug. According to this principle, you can find out where a subatomic particle is or what speed it’s moving at, but not both. Boring, right? Wrong. What Heisenberg meant was that at the fundamental level of things, there is no certainty. No cause and effect that you could ever see.
In the end, the can of worms Columbus opened with his trip to India is this: There is no truth to find. Truth is what you want it to be: omelettes, or miasma, or supreme deities. It’s all the product of the humongous, game-playing brain in your head. I’m not arguing that there isn’t some ultimate reality out there in the mess around us, but that all we’re likely to be able to do is interpret the mess. And today’s interpretation won’t be tomorrow’s.
Testimony of Scripture
Tragically, unsuspecting theologians have abandoned the clear meaning of Genesis 1 that the universe was created in six literal, twenty-hour days in favor of an old earth interpretation. On the one hand they inserted “enough probabilistic time” – millions and billions of years between verses one and two of Genesis 1. This concept is called the GAP Theory. It is not as popular today as it once was since the biblical support is strained and weak.
On the other hand, a popular concept is called the “Day-Age Theory.” Advocates for this concept have ignored the clear meaning of the Hebrew word YOM, in Genesis 1, which is normally translated as “day.” The Hebrew word, YOM, appears in Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, and 31. It also occurs outside of Genesis 1. YOM occurs 2,304 times in the Old Testament in 1,929 verses.[7,8] The singular form of YOM, “day” and not “days,” occurs 1,455 times. YOM occurs 150 times in combination with an ordinal number in the Old Testament. When this occurs, YOM refers to a twenty-four hour period. So, now for the key question. If YOM, when combined with a ordinal, always refers to a twenty-four hour day outside of Genesis 1, then why is it that the Day-Age Theory advocates want to change the meaning in Genesis 1? The answer is simple. Their interpretation is not driven by a faithful adherence to the meaning of the Hebrew language. It is driven by a bias to create “enough probabilistic time” – millions and billions of years to accommodate the secular and “biblical” evolutionists.
We should add that YOM can be used in a variety of ways to refer to a period of time, periods of time, or an extended period of time such as when an ordinal is not connected with the word in Ps. 102:3. But this is not the situation in Genesis 1. Also, consider that the phrase “evening and morning” occurs 38 times. Each time it always refers to a twenty-four hour period. YOM plus evening and morning occurs 23 times and each time it refers to a twenty-four hour period. Newman and Eckelman write that “. . . no clear counter examples can be cited with YOM meaning long periods of time.”
Invariably, the advocates will claim that a day is as a thousand years to God and then quote 2 Peter 3:8 which says,
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
Ken Ham points out the obvious flaw to this casual and rather unbiblical conclusion when he states, “This is not a mathematics formula.” He goes on to point out that the last part of the verse must not be ignored. If we want to say that one day equals a thousand years, then do not forget that it also says a thousand years equals one day. We cannot have it one way and ignore the other. For those who insist that one day equals one thousand years for God, then how shall we understand Daniel’s seventy weeks or that Jesus was dead for three days and nights? Was Jesus really in the grave three thousand years? It is obvious that such a misuse of scripture breaks down when seriously considered.
Another serious blow to both the GAP Theory and the Day-Age Theory is that they violate the flow of biblical history as outlined in Genesis. Both theories have missed the most obvious issue. How did death, decay, disorder and consequently fossilization occur before Genesis 3? Sin did not enter the world until Genesis 3. It did not occur in Genesis 1. Both theories ignore the clear teaching of scripture that sin and, consequently, death, decay and disorder did not occur until after the fall of man in Genesis 3 (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22). So, the formation of oil and fossils from dead animals and plants could not have occurred before Genesis 3.
Hebrew Words For Long Ages
Hugh Ross claims in his book Creation and Time that YOM can also refer to long ages since there are no other Hebrew words for the concept of long periods of time. In response, Dr Jonathan Sarfati, of Creation.com, writes the following,
On page 65 [Hugh Ross] writes, “In biblical Hebrew, no other word besides YOM carries the meaning of a long period of time” and cites his own book and Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Again, Van Bebber and Taylor pointed out that Ross’s own source contradicts him, stating that the Hebrew OLAM and its Greek equivalent AION (from which we derive the word ‘eon’) often means “long age”. There were plenty of other words that God could have used if He had wanted to teach long periods of time. God could also have used phrases like “x myriad myriad years ago” to teach ages of hundreds of millions of years. For a less precise indication of vast ages, God could have compared the years to the number of sand grains or stars. Yet God did not use any of these—rather, He emphasized literal days.
The Hebrew word OLAM occurs 439 times in the Old Testament. A careful investigation will reveal that the word is translated in our Bibles as “forever, everlasting, perpetual, perpetually, ancient, old and never.” For example, OLAM occurs in Psalm 41:13 which reads,
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:13 (NASB)
OLAM occurs twice in Psalm 41:13 and each time it is translated as “everlasting”. This means that there are other Hebrew words for the concept of long periods of time. Maybe one of the most significant verses is Psalm 77:5 which reads,
I have considered the days of old, the years of long ago. Ps. 77:5 (NASB)
The Hebrew words YOM and OLAM both occur in this passage. The plural form of YOM is translated as “days” and OLAM is translated as “long ago.” Why do both Hebrew words occur in this verse? Both occur because YOM does not have the meaning of OLAM. YOM refers to a day and OLAM must be used to communicate “long periods of time.” Botterweck in the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament states this,
With 2,304 Hebrew occurences and 16 Aramiac, it is the fifth most frequent noun in the OT, YOM is thus also by far the most common expression of time (in comparison to OLAM, “long time,” “eternity,” with 440 Hebrew and 20 Aramaic occurences, and ET, “time,” with 296 occurences). The only other derivative is the adverbial YOMAM, “the day,” with 51 Henbrew occurences including Num. 10:34.
There are many other examples that prove that YOM is not the normal word for communicating the concept of long periods of time.
God moved Moses by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21) to use the word YOM to tell us that He created the universe in six twenty-four days. Then to emphasize the point, He stated each time that the evening and morning were the first, second, third or etcetera day. We have a powerful God who can do such incredible feats. God did not need to wait on any “natural processes.” God created everything by Himself rapidly and He told us exactly how He did it in Genesis 1. What an amazing God!
Sadly, a low view of scripture is creeping into the church. Scripture appears to be something that we manipulate to make it mean what we want it to say. The authority of scripture is being lost. This attitude is apparently motivated by pride and a desire to appear wise – not stupid – to our secular God-rejecting world. But we forget that God has warned that this would be the situation. God has warned that the gospel is foolishness to the world (1 Cor. 1:18; 3:19). So, let us be faithful to the inspired text and stand up with Paul and be counted as fools for Christ. In truth, we are wise if we do.
1. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008), Ben Stein.
2. Matthew 15:2-3,6; 22:29-33 .
3. Answers In Genesis. Compromise. Petersburg, KY. 2011. pp 14-15.
4. PDF Download Link (http://www.ufgop.org/pdf/newberry-study-bible-pdf/)
5. John MacArthur. The Battle for the Beginning. W. Publishing Group. 2001, p. 70.
6. James Burke. “As A Matter of Fact.” Oct. 2, 2000. (http://www.forbes.com/asap/2000/1002/278.html)
7. Ernst Jenni, Claus Westermann. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Hendrickson Publishers. 1997. pp. 526-539.
8. G. Johannes Botterweck. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Eerdmans Publishing. 1990. Vol. VI, pp. 7-31.
9. Ibid., p. 528.
11. Newman and H. Eckelman. Genesis One and The Origin of the Earth. IntraVaristy Press., 1977., p. 6.
12. Kenneth Ham. Stop Trusting In Man. Pastor’s Conference. Sept. 25, 2013.
13. Ross, H.N., Creation and Time, Navpress, Colorado Springs, 1994. p. 65.
15. Harris, R.L., Archer, G.L. and Waltke, B.K., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Moody Press, Chicago, 1980.
17. LOGOS Bible Software