Sunday, January 22, 2012

Six Day Creation is Essential to the Gospel

"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.  Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it," Exodus 20:11.
     The creation account of the universe is the foundation of the Bible.  God, in His infinite wisdom, began the account of His word with a non fantastical, straight forward and poetically beautiful account of His great power, knowledge, grace and love proven through His creation of the universe and all that is in it.  Six thousand years later, many Christians sit in judgement of God's word and are embarrassed to cling to the biblical six day account of creation.  This dispute has great bearing on the gospel itself and is critical to a proper understanding of God's word.  I will lay out 3 views of creation briefly and answer them and their implications.
     1) Theistic Evolution: this view claims that God created the universe and its basic primordial matter and then Darwinistic evolution has carried the ball since then.  It is heretical and not compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Since TE's believe in cavemen, they do not believe in God's direct creation of Adam and Eve which Jesus explicitly states happened in the gospels.  Because of this, it is heretical and calls out Jesus Christ as a liar.  Their are other implications also like Paul comparing Adam to Jesus and our inheritance of our sin nature through Adam.  Many TE's deny a literal Adam and Eve at all and others do hermeneutical gymnastics, like Tim Keller, to explain evolution, a literal Adam and Eve and the relationship of Adam to Jesus and our sin.  The main proponents of this heresy are C.S. Lewis and Tim Keller.
     2)  Old Earth Creationism:  There are many variants to this belief but OEC'ers trust in the presupposition of uniformitarianism.  They believe the universe is billions of years old and that things change gradually over time.  This view is seriously misguided, can have fatal effects for the gospel but is generally within the realm of orthodoxy.  OEC'ers put a lot of emphasis on the findings of modern science and often reinterpret much of the first 11 chapters of Genesis to be more secular friendly.  One of their major contrivances is to argue that the Hebrew word yom which, is used in Genesis 1, depicts large epochs of time and not twenty four hour days.  There is no justification for this, especially considering that Exodus 20:11, cited above, explicitly states that God created the world in 6 days as a pattern for us to follow.  This hermeneutic(method of interpretation) has great potential for destruction if consistently applied.  For instance, when Jesus was confronted about giving a sign, he did not say, "For as Jonah was in the belly of the beast for 3 billion days and 3 billion nights, so will the Son of Man be 3 billion days and 3 billion nights in the heart of the earth," Matthew 12:40.  If we consistently use this hermeneutic, it means we are still waiting on our Lord's resurrection!  Furthermore, if we interpret Genesis 1-11 guided primarily according to Ancient Near East customs and wisdom, as so many OEC'ers are apt to do, we can and often do, make a train wreck of the gospel itself.  This may be the prevalent view of evangelicals, especially pastors, in this modern age.  They often create a creation matrix so fantastical it would make a conspiracy theorist blush.  Most often, this view can be laboriously reconciled with orthodoxy.  Those associated with it are many.  B.B. Warfield was its first modern practitioner and John Piper, John Sailhammer are a couple of its proponents today.  It seems to be especially strong in reformed circles.
     3)Young Earth Creationism: This is the biblical view that interprets Genesis 1 most strictly to the historical/grammatical method espoused by evangelicals.  This view believes that what God said in Genesis 1 was both beautifully poetic and absolutely accurate and true.  YEC'ers understand that God's wisdom is foolishness to the world and are willing to look like morons in the eyes of the world.  YEC'ers get their name because they believe the world to be between 6 or 10 thousand years old.  YEC'ers do not have to do any interpretive gymnastics concerning the gospel and creation.  One of the most difficult(perceived) questions that this theory faces is why did God create everything with the appearance of age.  This question implies that God is deceptive for creating mountains and stars that are theoretically millions of years away.  This question presupposes man's superior wisdom and morality and ignores that God created Adam as a full grown adult, with no belly button.
     In a nutshell, and this is a very abbreviated description of these views, theistic evolution is heretical and impugns the gospel because it denies God's direct creation of Adam which causes all sorts of theological conundrums.  Old earth creationism is not heretical but silly and if it is carried out to its logical implications, deforms the gospel.  Young earth creationism upholds the innerancy of God's word and puts no impediments on the gospel whatsoever.  It is foundational that we have a correct view of God's word from verse one through Revelation.  Friends, lets learn, live and love the gospel of our glorious Savior.


  1. I highly disagree with the statement that the creation account is the foundation of the Bible. The Gospel is the foundation. One will not be convicted according to how old the earth was, one is convicted based on their response to who Jesus is. Upon this rock, Christ built His church, he did not build it based on how long he took to create.

    The great commission is to preach Christ Crucified and Christ Resurrected, not to go therefore to all nations claiming the earth is 6,000 years old or 4.5 billion years old. One can have zero knowledge of creation and be saved from their reaction to John 3:16, that in a nutshell is the foundation of all of Scripture. Age of the Earth is irrelevant.

    Genesis is placed in the beginning of the Bible, and is chronologically the beginning based on it's account of all history, but it was written after the Hebrew's exodus from Egypt, while books such as Job were written around the time of Abraham and predate Moses' writings by 400-600 years. In fact the chief purpose of the creation accounts in Genesis is a direct and maximally effective counter to the false gods of Egyptian and Mesopotamian paganism.

    At the time God's people gathered at Sinai, they were just as pagan as the Egyptians who they had been living under for 400 years. A little reprogramming was needed to remind them of their Hebrew roots in Abraham. This is the purpose of the Law and the reason for the creation account in Genesis. They had been taken out of Egypt, and now the details of God's handiwork in creation and his issuing of the law was intended to take Egypt out of the people.

    Systematically, point by point, the creation account in Genesis refutes each of the Egyptian God's. The worshipped Day and Night, they worshipped the land, the Sun moon and stars, the animals and even Pharaoh was worshipped as a God.

    13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.

    14 The Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.

    15 “So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,

    16 so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

    17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,

    18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.

    19 And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

    20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today. Deuteronomy 4:13-20

  2. A further point, you should be reading the creation account in light of Revelation as God's purpose is singular and unchanging, having been established before the foundations of the world. Before God began creating anything, the Lamb had already been slain (Revelation 13:8), so that we would be adopted into sonship through the death and resurrection of the Son. (Ephesians 1:4-5).

    Only in light of the consummation of God's kingdom and his defeating of the enemy, should we tackle how it all began. Don't fall into the trap of leaving the theater early, you have to see how the movie ends. Read through the rest, then go back and read through Genesis now that you have a better understanding of God's eternal plan.