Ian Juby’s recent video linked below also summarizes some of this.
For over a hundred years naturalists have attempted to undermine Genesis as history. Christians who accept the naturalist’s worldview think they can add God to deep time, abiogenesis or evolution leaving their Christianity unharmed. What they do, however, is undermine Christianity from within making a similar mistake the Trojans did when they accepted that horse given to them by the Greeks.
Weekly Bible Reading:Zechariah and Malachi Commentaries: David Pawson, Zechariah, Part 58 and Malachi, Part 59, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Zechariah and Malachi Weekly Torah Readings 14 Tevet, 5782, Vayechi: ParashatExodus 47:28-50:26; HaftaratI Kings 2:1-12
When I was about ten years old, I recall reading how chickens evolved from dinosaurs in some publication for children telling me about “science” to help improve my reading skills. At a party I told my aunt all I knew about it which wasn’t much. She thought I was funny, but played along. My uncle with more concern over what I was reading corrected me, but he didn’t have the authority in my child’s mind that the publication I could now read did.
Today, decades later, I still have to trust authorities, but I am more skeptical realizing these authorities serve an underlying set of presuppositions. They explain observational data to support their presuppositions. That is really what “explanation” means. Given a set of presuppositions and some facts come up with some rationalization so that the presuppositions do not have to be falsified. Then try to convince others that those explanations are plausible.
If one’s presuppositions are true, there is nothing wrong with that. So one has to be careful not to throw out true presuppositions for false ones. One would be deceived in rejecting one’s original presuppositions if they were true.
For a Christian, the Bible should be the way to test one’s presuppositions and one understands the Bible through the Holy Spirit. Realizing this I am wary of any argument that attempts to undermine either the Holy Spirit or the Bible. As I’ve come to realize, they are more consistent, more coherent, and in line with more operational science than evolutionary alternatives.
So, what about those chickens that allegedly evolved from dinosaurs?
The evolutionist presupposition is that species evolved from non-living chemicals building up their genetic diversity over hundreds of millions of years. This allows them to either reject a creator God entirely or assign God a role of guiding this evolutionary story. They believe that mutations and adaptation, not creation, are the mechanisms allowing life to build up its genetic information.
The biblical creationist presupposition, based on Genesis, is that God created mature baramin. These baramin, or created kinds, can be seen as loaded with genetic diversity at the time of creation. Adaptation allows them to diversify into the various species we see today. These adaptive changes occurred within each baramin, not across baramins. In contrast to the evolutionist view, mutations drive a species to extinction by eroding away genetic information. They do not increase it.
To justify the speculation that the chicken evolved from the dinosaur, the evolutionist needs to find intermediate fossils showing creatures that look like both birds and dinosaurs. They have tried to describe some fossil data, such as Archaeopteryx, Scansoriopteryx, and Microraptor, as “feathered dinosaurs”. However, not even all evolutionists find those explanations plausible.
From a creationist perspective Jonathan Sarfati and Robert Carter remarked, “Scripture explicitly teaches that God made birds (and other air creatures) and sea creatures on Day 5 of Creation Week. He made land animals and man on Day 6. Since dinosaurs were land animals, they have a different origin from birds, and indeed came after birds. Therefore the Bible contradicts dino-to-bird evolution.” Any “feathered dinosaur” would be interpreted as a bird or a land animal, not some mixture of both.
As I see now my uncle was right. I regret I did not realize that when I was ten years old. I could try to excuse myself pointing out that I was still young, but I am tired of making excuses. Besides, it is repentance, rejection of the “wicked way”, that leads to the “way everlasting” of Psalm 139.
Weekly Bible Reading:Haggai and Zechariah Commentaries: David Pawson, Haggai, Part 56, and Zechariah, Part 57, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Haggai and Zechariah Weekly Torah Readings 30 Kislev, 5782, Mikeitz: ParashatGenesis 41:1-44:17; HaftaratI Kings 3:15-4:1
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Given that the universe is only a few thousand years old, which you may not accept but at least assume for the sake of argument, there is not enough time for an extraterrestrial civilization to build a space ship and brave the dangers of interstellar space to reach Earth. Before we might have been worried about nearby inhabitants of Mars or Venus, but I doubt anyone today thinks there is life of any sort on those planets.
Indeed, the only reason we thought in the past that such civilizations might exist at all was due to a belief in the myth of evolution over deep time. However, there is no mechanism for evolution. Genetic entropy put an end to the speculation that mutations filtered by natural selection over a lot of time and with a lot of luck could pop out life without God’s creative power. Mutations lead to extinction not evolution.
So, assuming the age of the universe is only a few thousand years and recognizing that evolution has no known way to occur, we do not have to worry about these material aliens from other planets nor any star wars scenarios with them.
That leaves spiritual aliens such as angels or demons. Indeed, there is evidence from the Bible (see Ephesians 6 quoted above) that we do “wrestle” with these “spiritual forces of evil”.
Ian Juby fills in some of the details in his four-part series on UFOs and aliens.
We should not forget that from a different perspective we ourselves are aliens, that is, foreigners, exiles, sojourners, strangers, or pilgrims in this world (1 Peter 2:11). From that perspective we should be storing treasures in heaven, our true home, not here (Matthew 6:20).
Weekly Bible Reading:Habakkuk and Zephaniah Commentaries: David Pawson, Habakkuk, Part 54, and Zephaniah, Part 55, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Habakkuk and Zephaniah Weekly Torah Readings 23 Kislev, 5782, Vayeishev: ParashatGenesis 37:1-40:23; HaftaratAmos 2:6-3:8
The geologist Michael J. Oard is writing a multivolume account of the Earth under a biblical creationist perspective. The chapters of his first volumes are freely available on Flood/Ice Age Research for download. The one I have been reading is Earth’s Surface Shaped By Genesis Flood Runoff. This volume gave me an introduction to geology and the philosophical presuppositions surrounding the science.
In the 18th century the narrative of the catastrophic global flood in Genesis 6-9 was replaced by a narrative presuming that uniformitarian processes visible today along with local catastrophes operating over deep time shaped the Earth into what we now see. The problems are these uniformitarian processes are low-energy while the permitted, non-global-flood-like catastrophes are not large enough. All they are able to do is erode away how the Earth is currently shaped.
Does it look like a catastrophic, global flood formed the present geological structures?
Yes, it does. For example, given wide and high plains (planation surfaces) all over the globe with hard, rounded gravels like quartzite transported hundreds of miles on top, the global flood would provide the high energy water force over a large area needed to accomplish that. See Chapter 27. Rivers or local floods do not have the power or width to deposit these gravels or smooth that surface.
Could this have happened only a few thousand years ago?
Yes, it could have. For example, given current measured erosion rates, the formations we now see can not be very old. See “erosional remnants” in Chapter 9. These are structures like Devils Tower in Wyoming or Ayers Rock in Australia. They were once buried in sediment. How long ago could that have been? Given current erosion rates, in 10 to at most 50 million years the entire continent would be flattened to sea-level from typical erosion one sees today. So these structures could not be older than that. But one can reduce that age further. Based on the debris at the base of Devils Tower, the events exposing the formation should have completed less than 10,000 years ago. If someone should claim it is older, where is the debris that would have fallen over that period of time? Why is Devils Tower still standing?
Should one find a fossil allegedly hundreds of millions of years old all that means, given present erosion rates, is that there is something wrong with whatever dating method was used. Those deep time dates are not consistent with present erosion rates. See Chapter 35.
Once we reject the uniformitarian detour taken in the 18th century we can start asking the right questions about why the Earth is shaped the way it is.
Weekly Bible Reading:Micah and Nahum Commentaries: David Pawson, Micah, Part 52, and Nahum, Part 53, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Micah and Nahum Weekly Torah Readings 16 Kislev, 5782, Vayishlach: ParashatGenesis 32:4-36:43; HaftaratHosea 11:7-12:12
Although I mainly remember that Jonah was in a great fish (whale as I heard it told) for three days, David Pawson noted that there were eight miracles recorded in the book. He further claimed that if you believed any one of them you might as well believe the other seven.
Although I find the story of Jonah to be rather humorous, I realize that the prophet Jonah son of Amittai was an historical figure mentioned in 2 Kings 14:25 and the events were not recorded to make fun of him. The only sign Jesus said He would give was the “sign of Jonah” (Matthew 12:38-41), that is, His Resurrection after being dead for three days.
Here are the eight miracles that Pawson listed.
God sent a wind when Jonah fled in the boat. (Jonah 1:4)
The sailors cast lots to find who was responsible and God made the lot fall to Jonah. (Jonah 1:7)
After they threw Jonah overboard, God calmed the sea. (Jonah 1:15)
God sent a fish to swallow Jonah. (Jonah 1:17)
At God’s command the fish vomited Jonah alive onto dry land. (Jonah 2:10)
God provided a plant to shade Jonah in one day. (Jonah 4:6)
God told a worm to eat the plant the next day. (Jonah 4:7)
God sent an east wind with a hot sun to torment Jonah. (Jonah 4:8)
What makes all of these events miracles is that each event explicitly involved an action by God. God sent that wind. God told a worm and a fish what to do. It was not that the wind blew by chance. It was not that the worm just happened to be nearby and hungry. Explaining the miracles with naturalistic explanations that do not involve God’s action would not be explaining them as they were told in the book.
Since the naturalist, and likely the deist as well, rejects God as a cause, the naturalist would have to reject all eight of these miracles. I would expect the naturalist to dismiss the entire book as myth.
Others who do accept, say, the east wind blowing since God sent it might as well accept the part about the fish that God sent, because ultimately they would be expected to believe the truthfulness of the “sign of Jonah” that Jesus referred to: Jonah died and three days later came back to life.
Weekly Bible Reading:Amos and Jonah Commentaries: David Pawson, Amos, Part 50, Jonah, Part 51, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Amos and Jonah Weekly Torah Readings 9 Kislev, 5782, Vayeitzei: ParashatGenesis 28:10-32:3; HaftaratHosea 12:13-14:10
To caricature my position I tolerated ideas of evolutionary and cosmological deep time as long as I could sugar-coat them with some kind of spirit “guiding” evolution or somehow squeeze in the kalam argument to assert the existence of that spirit. By accepting deep time I was, unwittingly, throwing original sin under the bus along with the rest of the Bible. And all for what? My goal was to assert the existence of some spirit without checking first just what that spirit was.
I now realize that whatever that spirit might be it could not be Yahweh as revealed in the Bible because I had replaced the historical chronology of Genesis with the pseudo-scientific mythology of deep time. Rejection of Genesis is a rejection of the entire Bible. Atheists understand this which is why they ridicule Creation, Noah and Babel. Compromising Christians do not. What I needed was an apologetics directed back at myself that would lead me to take the Bible seriously.
All of that changed when a fellow member of our Men’s Group briefly mentioned the rapid geological change that happened as a result of the eruption of Mount St Helens. Looking into this, I was shocked to realize that places like the Grand Canyon did not need millions of years of deep time to form. The catastrophic global flood and its aftermath could explain the present state of continents, oceans, mountains, coal deposits, canyons, fossil-filled sedimentation layers and glaciers.
Furthermore, if I started with God creating the universe in a functionally mature state, that is, if I took Genesis as seriously as I should have, I could get to the present state of the universe with only a few thousand years of change using processes identified and measured by modern operational science.
By contrast, if I started with the Big Bang and over 13 billion years of deep time, I could not get to the universe I see today. Too much entropy would have occurred over that span of time. Indeed, the evidence is so overwhelming against deep time that Don Batten could provide 101 separate lines of evidence suggesting that the earth and the universe could not be anywhere near as old as deep time mythologies claim it to be. I began to see that the hypothesis of deep time had been falsified over and over again.
The reason I mention all this is because experimental, operational science (not naturalistic speculations presented as “science”) has matured to a point that no one needs to shy away from the historical creation and fall accounts in Genesis.
Weekly Bible Reading:Obadiah (Audio), Joel (Audio) 2 Kislev, 5782, Toldot: ParashatGenesis 25:19-28:9; HaftaratMalachi 1:1-2:7 Commentaries: David Pawson, Obadiah and Joel, Part 48, Part 49, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Obadiah and Joel
I have been studying Biblical Hebrew primarily using the YouTube videos from the Aleph With Beth channel by Andrew and Bethany Case. The Bible Society in Israel offers the Hebrew Bible with a dramatized audio reading and dictionary. They have also translated the Greek New Testament into Modern Hebrew and made this available with an audio reading. One can add a column to compare two versions of the text. As an alternative, I have also used the Step Hebrew Interlinear Bible.
I recommend all of these resources if you are interested in learning Biblical Hebrew. If you have other resources you are using that you find helpful, let me know. I still have a long way to go.
My goal is to be able to read the Masoretic text found in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia without needing a dictionary. I am not there yet. Here is a song by Miqedem on Psalm 23 that I am trying to understand by hearing it sung without following along with the Hebrew-English text.
The Old Testament was written in Biblical Hebrew. Douglas Petrovich provided evidence that the Israelites possessed an alphabet centuries before Moses. If that’s true there is no longer a compelling reason to follow theories like the JEDP/Documentary Hypothesis which claimed that Moses could not himself have written the first five books in the Bible because he did not have the means to do so. Moses had what he needed to write those books and the Israelites were able to read them.
I used to think that Aramaic was the language Jesus spoke. However, Jeff A. Benner provided evidence that most of the New Testament was originally written in Hebrew which was also the language spoken by Jesus and his early followers. If that’s true then what we have today are translations of the Hebrew originals into Greek from which English translations were later made.
Some early form of Biblical Hebrew may have been the original “one language” (Genesis 11:1KJV) spoken until the time of the Tower of Babel. For arguments for and against this, including Isaac Mozeson’s Edenics, see Bodie Hodge’s discussion of language before the time of Moses. Mozeson notes that many Jewish commentators see this one language as Biblical Hebrew. For further information on his view see A Garden of Edenics 2021.
Weekly Bible Reading:Daniel (Audio), Hosea (Audio) 24 Cheshvan, 5782, Chayei Sarah: ParashatGenesis 23:1-25:18; Haftarat1 Kings 1:1-1:31 Commentaries: David Pawson, Daniel, Part 46, Hosea, Part 47, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Daniel and Hosea
John Sanford and Christopher Rupe provide evidence that our galaxy is near the center of the universe in a paper at LogosRA. They write, “Astronomical data shows that the universe displays a striking pattern in its arrangement. Not only that, the universe may have a central position and it appears that our galaxy is at or very near it—far from what we would expect from a random, cosmic accident.“
Here is a summary of the evidence offered for that view.
Redshift Data Regardless of whether we are in an expanding universe or not the galaxies furthest away from us have a stronger red shift. This is evidence that we are near the center of the universe. Edwin Hubble who discovered this redshift phenomena realized this. However, he found it philosophically intolerable, but not disprovable. Sanford and Rupe remark, “the cosmic redshift phenomenon clearly revolves around our own location, and this when taken at face value indicates we are near the center.“
Galactic Shells In 1977 William Tifft discovered that the galaxies were patterned on their redshifts forming concentric spherical shells around our galaxy at the center.
Uniformity of the Cosmic Microwave Background From all directions we see a uniformity in the cosmic background radiation. Were we not at the center we would not expect to see this uniformity.
Symmetry of the Cosmic Microwave Background In 2001 the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe found evidence for a cosmic north-south pole and equator centered around our galaxy.
Spatial Distribution of Galaxies As Sanford and Rupe put it, “galaxies appear to be organized into gigantic web-like structures, and these structures form concentric rings around our own special position“.
On the fourth day of creation God created lights in the firmament for signs. Sanford and Rupe suggest: The universe’s countless galaxies may be designed for no other purpose than to be seen by us in these last days – so that it might be clear to all humanity that “The heavens declare the Glory of God…” (Psalms 19:1)
We are in the year 5782 in the Jewish calendar. It represents the number of years since the creation based on the ages of people in the Bible. This would put creation in 3761 BC (that is, 5782-2021). However, others using various biblical texts calculated this differently. For Luther the creation occurred in 3961 BC. For Kepler it was 3993 BC. For Josephus it was 5555 BC.
Robert Carter gives reasons for these discrepancies in his Origins interview. At about 23:00 in the video he offers as an estimate 4220 BC as the year of Creation using the Masoretic text. This estimated date has a range from 3822 BC to 4339 BC. If that estimated date is correct, the earth would be about 6241 years old within a range from 5843 to 6360 years old.
Given these estimates of the age of the Earth we can construct more detailed chronologies of when things happened. Those with competing chronologies can do the same with their estimates. The problem with having a very old estimated age of the Earth is that we also know rates of erosion or entropy. The older the estimated age, the more likely it will be falsified by some rate of decay. For example, a fossil cannot be older than the time it would take for erosion to wash the fossil away.
The Biblical account also provides the means by which the Earth (and universe) began. God was responsible through creation meaning there was an all-powerful intelligence right at the beginning.
Those who reject such a starting point need to come up with some plausible way for the universe that we see today to even be here. They need to provide a coherent explanation of a starting point and identify mechanisms for any evolutionary steps taking us from that starting point to our current state before entropy of some sort washes it all away.
Weekly Bible Reading:Ezekiel (Audio) 10 Cheshvan, 5782, Lech-Lecha: ParashatGenesis 12:1-17:27; HaftaratIsaiah 40:27-41:16 Commentaries: David Pawson, Ezekiel, Part 42 and Part 43, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Ezekiel(1-33)
In Genesis we read that God created (bara) creatures which came forth after their own kind (min). From here we get the term baramin, a created kind. A baramin may contain a single species, such as mankind being the only species within its own baramin or a baramin may contain many different species, coming and going, but staying within their own kind as they change. That means what is fundamental is the baramin, not the species.
Peer Terborg notes that pluripotent baranomes provide the source for the diversity of life we see today. Life did not start from something simple and evolve into something complex. It started wondrously complicated, designed for change.
That means that Adam was not a primitive human being who evolved into us over time. He was more advanced biologically than we are.
This view of life and change based on DNA does not require deep time to reach the sort of world we experience today. Indeed deep time, even one hundred million years of deep time, would destroy the fossil record through erosion many times over or destroy life itself through genetic entropy. Deep time, along with evolution, are modern myths unworthy of our attention.
I used to have a science fiction view of reality. I thought our species would continue for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of years. We would visit other planets inhabited with intelligent life and settle uninhabited worlds. I did not realize that mutations would stop all of that no matter how many spaceships we sent to other stars.
Today, I don’t think there is life of any sort on those distant planets. The reason is because there is no known mechanism for life to pop into existence outside of God’s deliberate creation.
That realization put a brake on my former fantasies and having given up on the schemes of Man my prayers took root in desperation. We live after the Fall revealed in Genesis and before the Kingdom prophesied in Revelation. It is humbling to realize that there is no way out of this but the coming of the Lord. There never has been. Maranatha!
Weekly Bible Reading:Jeremiah (Audio), Lamentations (Audio) 3 Cheshvan, 5782, Noach: ParashatGenesis 6:9-11:32; HaftaratIsaiah 54:1-55:5 Commentaries: David Pawson, Jeremiah, Part 40, Lamentations, Part 41, Unlocking the Bible Bible Project, Jeremiah and Lamentations