Monday, April 11, 2016

Creation as Foundational Truth, Week 5

Following are some notes from week 5 of our Sunday school study of "Creation as Foundational Truth." 
Note:  I should mention the many resources, in addition to the Scriptures, that have helped me a great deal as I have studied to teach this Sunday school topic. These include the following: 
·  Materials from the Institute for Creation Research, including the book The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.
·  Materials from the “Answers in Genesis” website, and the book The Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham.
·  Sermons by John MacArthur from the website, “Grace to You.”
·  Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, a proponent of the Intelligent Design movement.
·  The “Got Questions?" website.
·  Various other resources, both printed books and websites.
After the Flood
There were a number of physical changes to the earth as a result of the flood.
“…The waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. They went up over the mountains; they went down into the valleys, to the place which You founded for them. You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth..” (Psalm 104:6-9, NKJV).
Examples of physical changes:
1)    The oceans were much more extensive, since they now contained all the water which once was above the atmosphere.
2)    The land areas were much less extensive than before the Flood.
3)    The waters above were now gone, so that large temperature changes began, leading to a gradual buildup of snow and ice in the polar latitudes, rendering much of the extreme northern and southern land surfaces basically uninhabitable.
4)    Mountain ranges uplifted after the Flood, with many of these regions becoming unfit for human habitation.
5)    Winds and storms, rains and snows, were possible now, thus rendering the total environment less friendly than it was before.
6)    Harmful radiation from space, no longer filtered out by water above, resulted (along with other contributing environmental factors) in gradual reduction in human longevity after the Flood.
7)    The crust of the earth was in a state of general instability, reflected in recurrent volcanic and seismic activity all over the world. 
8)    The lands were basically barren of vegetation, until such time as plant life could be reestablished.
9)    The fossils were laid down in layers. The great fossil graveyards must for the most part have been buried by the Flood and its after-effects. The record in the rocks is not a testimony to evolution, but rather to God’s sovereign power and judgment on sin. 
10)  Ken Ham  likes to say, “If there were a flood, we would find ‘billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.’ And what do we find?  ‘Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water, all over the earth.’”
Section 4:  Progressive Creationism
Progressive creationism is a form of old earth creationism which attempts to harmonize the Bible account of creation with the conclusions of modern science while still leaving God in the picture.  That is called compromise.
Hugh Ross is a chief proponent of progressive creationism. His website is “Reasons to Believe.”
Many of the arguments for progressive creationism are exactly the same arguments used for atheistic evolution, with the main difference being that they would say that God did it through new creative acts along the way.
Progressive creationism is one step away from theistic evolution, which can naturally lead to atheistic evolution, and ultimately to atheism.
"O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge (“science” ) — by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith" (1 Timothy 6:19-20, NKJV).
Following are a few of the positions of progressive creationists and brief answers to them:
Progressive Creationism says:  "Nature is the 67th book of Scripture and carries equal weight with the written Word."
There is an element of truth in this. Nature, the creation, speaks of the glory of the  Creator. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork”  (Psalm 19:1).
Since God is not a deceiver, the “book of nature” must be consistent with His written book, the Bible.
The problem comes when humans decide to place nature above the written Word.
Men look at the creation, and instead of saying, “There is obviously an all-powerful God who created all of this, and I want to know Him,” they instead ask, “Where did this all come from?” and then proceed to try and find a naturalistic explanation for what God already told us He did. (See Romans 1:18-23.)
The big problem is that fallen, sinful man looks at a fallen universe, which is under the curse of sin, and comes to faulty conclusions about the original, perfect creation.
All of creation is in complete harmony with the Bible, but attempts to harmonize the Bible to the conclusions of men, no matter how educated they may be, will only lead to disaster and ultimately to denial of God’s written Word.
While nature (“the creation”) can teach us a great deal about God if we view it through the lens of Scripture, we cannot give a fallen creation equal status with the 66 books of Scripture, nor can we consider it as reliable as Scripture.
We must always interpret our observations and conclusions in light of Truth, not the other way around. God’s word never change. Man’s knowledge of science does.
Progressive Creationism says:  "The universe started with the 'Big Bang.'"
The general consensus is that this event took place between ten and twenty billion years ago.
No one offers an explanation of where the matter came from, except, of course, the progressive creationists would say that God made the matter.
Atheists desperately want it to be true in order to remove God from the picture.
Progressive creationists are compromising with it because they actually believe that legitimate science has proven it to be true.
Those who accept the literal account of Genesis will not have to change anything.
“Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; You established the earth, and it abides” (Psalm 119:89-90, NKJV).
Progressive Creationism says:  "The universe is billions of years old.
A progressive creationist stated that God could not have possibly put life on an earth that is less than 14 billion years old.
Limiting God like that is dangerous ground. The only limits on God are those placed on Him by His own nature. "But our God is in Heaven; He does whatever He pleases" (Psalm 115:3, NKJV).
Evolutionists can’t explain miracles done by no one.
We do not have to explain miracles done by a miracle-working God.
Progressive Creationism says:  The creation days were long periods of time, not 24-hour days.
A straightforward reading of Genesis leads one to believe that the writer (Moses) intended to convey that the universe and all that it contains was created in six literal 24-hour days and that the flood was global.
Exodus 20:11 certainly reinforces this. There is no reason to believe it means anything other than what it says. "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day."
If the days had indeed been eons of time, and if the universe is billions of years old, does it not seem extremely likely that God would have told us so?
Many if not most Hebrew scholars, even those who do not accept the Genesis account of creation as literal history, tend to agree that the plain meaning the writer intended to convey is that the creation week consisted of seven literal 24-hour days, a young earth, and a worldwide flood.
Those who choose to interpret it in another way almost always have accepted a very old earth ahead of time.
It is impossible to come to the Bible with an open mind and conclude that the Scriptures teach the days were long periods of time.
The original intent is plain — a day was a day, from the very first miraculous day. “Yom” means a literal day, especially when placed with a number, like “the first day.”
Continued next week with "Progressive Creation says:  'If God created a world that appears to be old when it isn't, the He is a deceiver.'"

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments. However, since this is a blog rather than an open forum, I will determine what is and what is not posted. All comments, especially anonymous comments, will be scrutinized carefully. I will not post comments that contain profanity or are negative toward the Scriptures, God, Christianity in general, Christian schools, or the United States of America. I also will not post comments that are nothing more than generally uninformed or absurd opinions. In addition, I will not post comments that are totally irrelevant to the subject being discussed. Finally, I will not post comments that are commercial advertisements or advertisements for religious organizations which are in conflict with my biblical convictions.