IS IT REASONABLE TO BELIEVE THAT GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE IN SIX LITERAL DAYS
1. Are the six days of creation to be thought of as long periods of time or six literal days?
This is answered in two ways:
theistic evolution; and
six literal days (traditional orthodox view).
1.1. Theistic evolution
God created the physical universe and life and then guided the evolutionary process through long period of time. This position allows for the geological ages, evolutionary processes, and the active involvement of a creator God.
1.2. Six literal days (Traditional orthodox view)
Many interpret the six days as literal days. The term "literal day" refers to the time for one rotation of the earth on its axis, approx. 24 hours, resulting in a day / night sequence. But according to Genesis 1, whereas light and the day / night cycle were created on day one, the sun wasn't created until day four, so there was no sun during the first three days. In Scripture, however, there is no differentiation between the length of the first three days and the last three, and the entire week is referred to as being "6 days" long, followed by a day of rest. According to the Scripture, God Himself is the source of light (John 1:1-14; Revelation 21:23; 22:5, 16). He can provide temporary light energy to the universe in the first 3 days of creation.
1.3. Is it reasonable to believe that God created the universe in six literal days?
The length of time for the creation-week days has been demonstrated conclusively by many Bible-believing scholars to be only six literal days, the reasons are summarized as follows:
The interdependence of the created universe (Can green grass or living animals exist over a prolonged period of time without the sun?).
The words "evening and morning," which always mean a true daily evening and morning.
In Exodus 20:8-11, God instructs us to work 6 days and rest one day because He worked 6 days and rested 1 day - during which week He created the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all things in them.
God is omnipotent, surely He is capable of creating the entire universe instantaneously. This is to provide a pattern for our work week. We are to work 6 days and rest one, just as He did. The seventh day rest is a commemoration of His perfect work of creation.
2. How to explain the seemingly long geological ages?
The seemingly long geological ages are a problem with this position. Several solutions are suggested:
Creation scientists showed that the age of the earth is less than 10 thousand years (i.e. the earth is very young).
The universal flood, known as the Genesis Flood, had major effects on the topography of the earth (Genesis 7-8).
Since God created man with the appearance of age (Adam was created full-grown), He may also have created the earth with the appearance of age.
The interdependence of the created earth conditions.
3. What is the age of the earth?
Various theories are suggested:
Big bang theory;
Radioactive dating; and
Biblical creationism (Traditional orthodox view).
3.1. Big bang theory
According to this theory, billions of years ago there weren't any stars, or planets, or people, or anything else. All of the energy and matter in the universe was crammed together in a big ball, or "cosmic egg." Where did the cosmic egg come from? How did it get there? No one knows! The cosmic egg exploded with a "big bang." How long was it there before it exploded? Why did it explode? No one knows.
The Big bang theory must be wrong due to the universe is very orderly. Such complicated universe cannot be formed by chance. Has anyone ever seen an explosion create order? Of course not! Explosions don't create order, they just leave a mess.
3.2. Radioactive dating
It measures geological time by studying the rate of decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, potassium, and rubidium. According to this method, certain earth minerals are 3,500 million years. Another method uses radiocarbon dating.
Problems with all radiodating methods are listed below:
W.F. Libby, inventor of the C-14 dating technique, found that, prior to 1600 B.C., the radiocarbon dates go wild. But, since he assumed earth was millions of years old, he went ahead with his work and ignored the problem.
F.B. Jeaneman noted that just one catastrophe, such as a worldwide flood, would throw all the dating clocks off.
These systems of dating are not exact, for they assume a uniformitarian geology, conditions available only in a scientific laboratory. Uniformitarianism either presupposes the absence of a personal God who acts in His creation.
3.3. Biblical creationism or young earth theory (Traditional orthodox view)
Genuine Christians hold a creation date of approx. 6 thousand to 10 thousand years. Archbishop Ussher (AD 1581 - 1656) worked out a series of dates from the genealogies in the Bible and concluded that the world was created in 4004 BC. Creation scientists suggest that the creation of the universe cannot earlier than 10,000 BC (Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976, p. 45).
If creation is recent, and the literal interpretation of Scripture favors this, the interpretation of long geological ages must be challenged. What is the answer to the seemingly astronomical expanse of time necessary for the earth's formation? Answers can be found in the following ways:
mature creationism (i.e. appearance of age);
the interdependence of the created earth conditions;
flood geology; and
3.3.1. Mature creationism (i.e. appearance of age)
The fact that Adam was created full-grown seems obvious from Genesis 2. Therefore, in at least the creation of Adam, we have the appearance of age. Is it not also conceivable that the whole creation of God had the appearance of age, perhaps even including the fossils. If God created the universe with the appearance of age, then we can see that we have no zero reference point in measuring the exact age of the earth.
For example: When we want to know the length of a rod, we usually use a ruler to assist us to measure the length of it. If we don't have such zero reference point in our ruler, then how can we accurately measure the length of the rod?
3.3.2. The interdependence of the created earth conditions
Can sea animals exist in pure water? It is obvious that the salt concentration of the sea must be suitable for the habitation of sea animals. God must have created the sea with suitable initial salt concentration, otherwise all sea animals could not survive. Likewise, the soil and atmospheric conditions must have created with initial suitable compositions, otherwise all plants and animals could not survive.
3.3.3. Flood geology
The Bible teaches a universal flood (Genesis 7-8), and such a cataclysmic event would have far-reaching effects upon the topography of the land.
3.3.4. Creation science
What do scientific facts tell us? They declare that our planet is only a few thousand years old. The following paragraphs are some of the scientific facts to prove it:
Evidence From Our Sun. The sun must be quite young obtained from the direct measurement of its diameter. "Jack Eddy, of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, claimed that the sun was shrinking at such rate that our local star would disappear within a 100,000 years." (John Gribbin, The Curious Case of the Shrinking Sun, New Scientist, Vol. 97, March 3, 1983, pp.592-594) This means that our sun, as little as 50,000 years ago, would have been so large that our oceans would boil. In less time in the past (25,000 years or so), all life on earth would have ceased to exist.
Evidence From Our Own Moon (Moon dust). Ultraviolet light changes moon rocks into dust. It had long been predicted that a thick layer of dust (32-96.5 km), caused by ultraviolet radiation on the moon's 4-billion-year-old surface, must cover the moon's surface. But scientists were astonished to learn that there is not over (5.08-7.62 cm) of dust.(Harold S. Slusher, Age of the Cosmos, San Diego, Institute for Creation Research, 1980, p.76).
Evidence From Earth's Atmosphere (Atmospheric Helium). The amount of helium we have is too small if our world has existed for long ages. Henry Faul estimated that the age of the atmosphere should be several thousand years (Henry Faul, Nuclear Geology, New York: John Wiley, 1954).
Evidence From Civilization. If mankind had been living on earth for millions of years, we should find records extending back at least 500,000 years. But, instead, records only go back to about 2000-3000 B.C. The earliest dates are Egyptian based on Manetho's king lists (H.R. Hall, Article, Egypt, Archaeology in Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956, p.37, Vol. 8). Studies of ancient agricultures in Europe point to similar conclusion (J. Troels Smith, Neolithic Period in Switzerland and Denmark, Science, Vol. 124, Nov. 2, 1956, p.879). The earliest Chinese date is approx. 2250 B.C. (Ralph Linton, The Tree of Culture, New York, Alfred A., Knopf Publishing Company, 1955, p.520).
3.4. Weakness of the Non-Biblical Positions
Many philosophies deny the doctrine of creation and postulate other origins for the universe. Atheism, which denies the existence of God, must either make matter eternal or find some other natural cause.
3.5. Why God Created the Universe?
God created in order to display His glory. The Scriptures declares, "Our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, who hast displayed Thy Splendor above the heavens" (Psalm 8:1); "The heavens are telling of the story of God" (Psalm 19:1); and "Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together" (Isaiah 40:5; cf. Ezekiel 1:28; Luke 2:9; Acts 7:2; 2 Corinthians 4:6).
God created in order to receive glory. The Bible commands, "Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name" (1 Chronicles 16:29); "Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array" (Psalm 29:1f); and "Give glory to the Lord your God" (Jeremiah 13:16). The responsibility of the church is to glorify God (Romans 15:6, 9; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 2 Corinthians 1:20; 1 Peter 4:16).
3.6. Correct Interpretation of Genesis 1:1-31
The correct meaning of Genesis 1 is summarized as follows:
In the beginning God created the heaven (i.e. space) and the earth (i.e. matter, raw materials, etc.) (Genesis 1:1).
And the matter so created was at first unformed, empty and uninhabited (Genesis 1:2).
Moses continued to tell how it was made into an inhabitable place for man in six literal days (Genesis 1:3-31).
The initial creation was of basic elements and raw materials rather than of a completed system. The created cosmos was a tri-universe of time, space and matter. Initially there were no stars or planets, only the basic matter component of the space-matter-time continuum. The elements which were to be formed into the planet earth were at first only elements, not yet formed but nevertheless comprising the basic matter - the "dust" of the earth.
In Genesis 1:2 we are told that in the beginning the earth was without form, and void. The earth was void, or empty. When initially created, the earth had no inhabitants, it was "void."
Moses continued to tell the steps by which God brought form to the unformed earth and living inhabitants to its empty surface.
Let us suppose that there is a vacant lot where someone is going to build a house. Suddenly, one day, you notice that the builder has placed bricks, sand, sacks of cement, and other building materials on the lot. At that time, we would say that the house is without form - it hasn't been built yet. And we could certainly say it is void, or empty. Obviously, no one can live in it yet. That is the way it was in the beginning. Everything was there that God needed to make the earth, but He had not yet formed the earth and put living things on it.
There is a vacant aquarium tank where someone is going to build a marine aquarium. The builder has placed rocks, sands, sea shells and water inside the aquarium tank. And then, he has mixed salts to the water inside the tank in order to reach the optimum concentration suitable for the survival of marine fishes. Finally, he has placed marine fishes inside the tank. He has spent total 6 days in building the aquarium tank. However, you deny that the tank is purposely built by a builder, you want to know the age of the aquarium tank by measuring the concentration of the salt water inside the tank. You assume that the water originally should be flesh (i.e. zero concentration), the flesh water dissolve the rocks and sands inside the tank naturally to reach the required concentration, you estimate the amount of time required and then make a conclusion that the aquarium tank must be existed for very long period of time.
Christianity affirms that creation came through the sovereign will and working of an infinite God The doctrine of creation is a doctrine of faith (Hebrews 11:3). Therefore, the Biblical record must be accepted as the final authority.
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