HISTORY OF THE WORLD

The idea that there would be just 7,000 years of human history before God ended this time when death and suffering marred His creation is very old. We know from non-biblical sources that the Second Book of Enoch stated that there would be 7000 years of history and that the beginning of the 8,000th year would mark the start of the Eternal State (2 Enoch 33:1).

The idea the world is billions of years old is young. It gained acceptance along with the theory of Evolution which requires billions of years to go from “goo to you” without a creator and by unguided chance. At the same time, Noah’s flood which explains the alleged billions of years in the fossil record was relegated to the world of myths and legends despite the fact most people groups around the world have a flood story in their history and a catastrophic flood which buried animals and vegetation quickly is the best explanation for the fossils location and state of preservation.

Receding water of Noah’s Flood shapes the earth

The oldest existing Jewish reference to the Week of Millenniums is probably the one found in the Talmud which references a statement attributed to the prophetic school established by the prophet Elijah: Six thousand years is the duration of the world. Two thousand of the six thousand years are characterized by chaos ended by Noah’s Flood; two thousand years are characterized by Torah, from the era of the Patriarchs until the end of the mishnaic period; and two thousand years are the period of the coming of the Messiah (Sanhedrin 97a).
This concept is echoed in a 10th Century AD midrash called Tanna D’vei Eliyahu. (A midrash is commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures.) It reads as follows: The world is to exist 6,000 years. In the first 2,000, there was desolation (no Torah, from Adam to Abraham), 2,000 years the Torah flourished, and the next 2,000 years is the Messianic era (He should have come at the beginning of the last 2,000 years; the delay is due to our sins). Of course, we know Jesus did come as the “suffering servant of Isaiah 53.

“He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with His wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:3-6

This concept of 6,000 years of human toil and conflict followed by 1,000 years of rest is still alive among Jewish rabbis and is being taught by them. Take, for example, Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson, of Brooklyn, NY who is a writer for Chabad, an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement. When asked about the 7,000 year theory, he replied: The Talmud tells us that this world, as we know it, will last for six thousand years, with the seventh millennium ushering in the cosmic Sabbath, the Messianic Era. Six days a week we work, and on the Sabbath we rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor; the same is true with millenniums. The widespread acceptance of the 7,000 year concept among Jewish sages today is illustrated by the fact that the idea is accepted across the Ashkenazi-Sephardi divide, the Hasidim-Misnagdim divide, and across the rational Talmud and mystical
Kabbalah perspectives.

The Jewish Millennial Day Theory was picked up by the earliest fathers of the Christian faith and espoused by them. For example, Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), in his Dialogue with Trypho, asserted his belief that the earth will last for 6,000 years followed by a Sabbath of rest lasting 1,000 years. But even earlier than this, the concept was expressed in detail in The Epistle of Barnabas, the complete text of which is preserved in the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears immediately after the New Testament and before the Shepherd of Hermas. Scholars estimate it was written between 70 and 132 AD. The author describes the Millennial Day Theory in these words: “God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day,
and rested on it, and sanctified it” (Gen. 2:2). Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implies that the Lord will finish all things in 6,000 years, for a day is with Him a thousand years . . . Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in 6,000 years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This means: when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the 7th day.” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter 15)

Late in the 2nd Century, Irenaeus (130-202 AD), the Bishop of Lyons, France, wrote: “For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded.” He then added that after the Antichrist has devastated the world, the Lord will return and provide the world rest on “the hallowed seventh
day.” One of the most influential theologians of the 3rd Century, Hyppolytus of Rome (c. 170-235AD) asserted that “6,000 years must needs be accomplished in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works.” The widespread belief in the Millennial Day Theory among early Christians is attested to by Edward Gibbon in his history of the Roman Empire. He wrote: The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection. But despite this early popularity of the concept, it fell out of
acceptance after 400 AD when the Roman Catholic Church, under the influence of the spiritualizing nterpretations of Origen and Augustine, adopted the Amillennial viewpoint which argued that Jesus was never going to return to reign over this earth for a thousand years.

The Millennial Day Theory experienced a renaissance following the Reformation as people began to obtain copies of the Bible in their own languages. The Premillennial viewpoint of end-time events was revived and with it, the idea that 6,000 years of history would be followed by the 1,000 year reign of Jesus.

Distinguished Christian doctrinal expert, Mike Gendron, echoed the 7,000 year theory in an article he published in 2013 when he observed: The first 2,000 years of human history ended when the wrath of God was poured out on sin in the Flood. The second 2,000 years ended when the wrath of God was poured out on sin at the Cross. And the third 2,000 years will end with God pouring out His wrath on an unbelieving world following the tribulation during the 70th week of Daniel with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements in The Scroll.

INTELLIGENT DESIGN VERSUS EVOLUTION

Three important contributions in major scientific publications over the past three years supporting Intelligent Design indicate it is growing in support. The four general areas where ID is forging ahead are : (1) scientific advancements and peer-reviewed papers, (2) failed attempts by critics to suppress ID, (3) ID’s performance in high-level debates against top critics, and (4) a growing community of ID-friendly graduate students and scientists. 

In 2018, a paper was published in BIO-Complexity by computer scientist Winston Ewert. He applied the concept of “common design” to produce a “dependency graph” model of organismal relationships based upon the principle that software designers frequently re-use the same coding modules in different programs. Ewert tested his model by comparing the distribution of gene families in nine diverse organisms to a treelike pattern predicted by Neo-Darwinism versus a dependency graph distribution used by computer programmers. His preliminary analysis showed that a common design-based “dependency graph” fit the genetic data 103000 times better than a Darwinian evolutionary tree!

In 2019, a paper on human origins published in BIO-Complexity. This paper used population genetics to refute those who cite evolutionary models to claim that human genetic diversity indicates we could not have originated from an initial couple.

 In 2020 a major article came out in the Journal of Theoretical Biology which supported “intelligent design” by name, noting that “ID aims to adhere to the same standards of rational investigation as other scientific and philosophical enterprises, and it is subject to the same methods of evaluation and critique.” The authors predicted that we will “establish fine-tuning as a sustainable and fully testable scientific hypothesis, and ultimately a Design Science.”

Flowers that testify of beauty and design

DEBATING INTELLIGENT DESIGN

There’s no better tribute to the power of ideas than a changed mind. Erik Strandness is a physician in Spokane, WA, practicing neonatal medicine. He watched a new exchange between biochemist Michael Behe and computational biologist Joshua Swamidass on the excellent and always thoughtful series Unbelievable? with Justin Brierley. He writes to differ with Swamidass and to describe his own change of ideas, from theistic evolution to intelligent design.

Joshua Swamidass is a biologist and Christian who is strongly critical of ID. He engages with Behe on the Kitzmiller-Dover case and the ID proponent’s most recent book ‘Darwin Devolves’ which critiques evolutionary theory.

The timing and circumstances of Erik Strandness intellectual evolution aren’t totally clear from the article. It preceded the Behe/Swamidass discussion. But his account is a valuable read nevertheless. As Dr. Strandness points out, Professor Swamidass doesn’t call himself a theistic evolutionist, but “he seems to share its favorable stance towards evolution and its opposition to intelligent design.”

God in a Box

Strandness reflects on his Lutheran upbringing. He “always had a place for God in my life, but that was exactly my problem: I had a place for God in my life….Part of the reason I compartmentalized my faith was because I was a science guy and science told me I was just an evolved chemical.” The compartmentalization, characteristic of theistic evolution, was unsatisfying to him. “While Swamidass’ goal is admirably to harmonize Christianity and science, I feel like all he has really done is say it’s OK to live with the tension.”

The theme of disappointment with a theistic evolutionary approach runs throughout his essay:

Interestingly, many theistic evolutionists don’t find God under the microscope but do in the courtroom. It appears they are more convinced of God’s existence by the moral argument than the scientific argument. 

I’m glad that they find assurance for their faith in this minimalist approach, but it leaves a huge chasm between an awe-inspiring Big Bang and the appearance of morality and consciousness in human beings. A gap which they fill with a rather bland series of naturally selected mutations. 

They give God credit for the big-ticket items, but don’t want to bother Him with the mundane task of speciation. Sadly, they reduce the book of nature to a Rorschach ink blot that offers us a vague psychological rendering of God’s subconscious rather than fine biological literature that reveals the sharpness of His mind. 

Common Ground with Intelligent Design

On the other hand, Strandness, as a physician, finds common ground with Professor Behe and his arguments for the irreducible complexity of certain biological structures. Swamidass in the discussion on Brierley’s show says he believes “God was involved in the rise of humans but I don’t actually see any biochemical evidence of God’s design there.” Dr. Strandness does see that evidence, however.

I have to respectfully disagree with him because I treat my patients based on an irreducibly complex physiological template that I didn’t create, but which I dismiss at my own peril. I’m able to successfully practice medicine because my patients are fearfully and wonderfully made, not because they were naturally selected to survive.

Interestingly, a whole field of science called biomimetics has emerged that takes the superior design of irreducibly complex biological machines and tries to replicate them at the macro level. It appears that rather than dismissing design, science is beginning to imitate it as the sincerest form of divine flattery. 

Swamidass made the case that biological machines are not machines in the traditional sense. However, I think he would get some push back from the biomimeticists who know that nature has given them a template for a better mousetrap, which, if successfully replicated, will inspire the world to beat a path to their door. 

Strandness concludes:

Richard Dawkins famously said that Charles Darwin made it possible for him to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, but I found that [intelligent design] made it possible for me to be an intellectually fulfilled Christian.

For me, it was sad to observe that both Behe and Swamidass were comfortable with man evolving from some apelike creature, and yet both claim to be Christians. It is obvious from this belief that both do not believe in the inerrancy of God’s Word nor do they spend much time reading God’s Word. It is difficult to comprehend how Swamidass believes that man is made in God’s image and at the same time could have evolved from an ape.

IS GOD REAL?

This is probably one of the most important videos I have seen on the arguments for a theistic world view versus an atheistic world view.

John Lennox is always a delight to listen to and I am now a fan of Dr. Stephen Meyer. Both men have Ph.D. qualifications from prestigious universities, Lennox, Oxford, and Meyer, Harvard. What has to be a first, Oxford University Professor Dr. Lennox in Mathematics and Philosophy. Both men exhibit a humility that is only evident in devout Christians.

Intelligent design proponent Stephen Meyer sits down for a conversation with Oxford mathematician, and debater extraordinaire, John Lennox. Both have explored the intersection of science and faith, and challenged the atheistic materialism pushed by many scientists and scholars. Here they discuss the science that leads them to believe in a purpose driven universe from the origin of life to biological evolution to the fine-tuning of nature and the universe. The conversation comes in advance of the forthcoming one night only film “Against the Tide: Finding God in an Age of Science.” The movie stars Oxford University mathematician John Lennox and actor Kevin Sorbo, and highlights debates between Professor Lennox, arguing the case for theism, supported by science, against prominent atheists including Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens. You can see it on November 19, for one night only, in theaters across the US. Be sure to reserve your tickets here: https://againstthetide.movie/.

YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY IS AT STAKE

Are our worldviews merely philosophical speculations with no right or wrong answer and therefore with no consequences. No! One of them begins with the basic premise that God does not exist, the other with the premise that He does. They are therefore mutually exclusive therefore one is true and the other is not.

It is essential you know whether or not God exists as there is no third option. How we relate to God is the foundation for our thinking because it determines the way we view our world.

You need to make the right choice, as I pointed out in a recent post there are only two outcomes: eternal life offered as a free gift by your Creator or face the judgement of God and then the second death in the Lake of Fire.

Your choice of worldviews will shape how you live your life on earth. If you believe God exists then you will want to live your life according to His statutes but if not, then their are no restraints on how you live your life, only those imposed on you by society. You are the product of blind chance random mutations. There is no basis for good or evil, right or wrong. There is no hope of life after death. This is all there is so make the best of it. There are no answers to the big questions of life – why am I here , what is the meaning to life, what is my purpose, what is my ultimate destiny?2

Oxford Professor of Mathematics John Lennox says it well: “What divides us is not science… but our worldviews. No one wants to base their life on a delusion but which is the delusion? Christianity or atheism?”

Sadly, I think most people are afraid to look reality in the eye because it may take them in a direction they do not want to go. It is probably one of the great flaws in human character. We stubbornly hold on to our beliefs because it is how we want life to be rather than how life should be as established by our Creator.

Dr. Francis Collins was Director of the Human Genome Project (ENCODE). Dr. Collins directed over 2000 scientists work on ENCODE. It was the most complex biological research project of all time. He has a powerful testimony on coming to faith in God.

The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium is an ongoing international collaboration of research groups funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute

“As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked “What do you believe, doctor?”, I began searching for answers.

I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as “What is the meaning of life?” “Why am I here?” “Why does mathematics work, anyway?” “If the universe had a beginning, who created it?” “Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?” “Why do humans have a moral sense?” “What happens after we die?”

I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds. My earlier atheist’s assertion that “I know there is no God” emerged as the least defensible. As the British writer G.K. Chesterton famously remarked, “Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a universal negative.”

But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.

For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more about God’s character led me to the person of Jesus Christ. Here was a person with remarkably strong historical evidence of his life, who made astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and whose claims about being God’s son seemed to demand a decision about whether he was deluded or the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became a follower of Jesus.

What about your journey? What worldview do you live out? Does it answer all of the difficult questions of life? When you become a follower of Jesus, God the Father sends the Holy Spirit to be your counsellor, comforter and teacher. You will then know God exists and you are one of His children.

ORIGIN OF FIRST SELF-REPRODUCING CELL?

A huge problem for naturalistic evolution is how life with its complex coded information could have arisen spontaneously in evolution’s very first living cell. I would suggest it is adequate proof for an Intelligent Designer and a good reason to take a look at the Bible’s account of Creation in Genesis. We learn God created a perfect world and humans made in the image of their Creator. Man’s SIN is the reason for death and suffering in this world. The Good News is that our loving Creator has provided the solution to restore our relationship with Him and overcome death. Jesus is His name.

Image result for picture of dna replication

Extract from editorial in Creation Magazine Vol 30 No.4 2017.

We have previously written about how scientists have attempted to determine the simplest self-reproducing cell (see creation.com/simple). This hypothetical cell was said to require a minimum of 256 genes. The problem for
evolutionists is that they cannot appeal to natural selection to explain the first cell. That’s because natural selection requires a living, reproducing cell to pass on any trait selected for! Further research in 2006 increased this figure to 387 protein-coding and 43 RNA-coding genes.
In 2016, the minimalist genome was once again increased with the creation of a synthetic self-reproducing bacterium: this time, to 473 genes (531,560 ‘letters’), including 65 whose function are unknown but which were essential for the survival of the cell. This is not much less than Mycoplasma genitalium (482 genes, 582,970 letters)—which itself is a parasite of even more complex organisms.

How then can evolutionists explain the origin of the very first self-reproducing cell? It is a mathematical impossibility for just one gene to have arisen by chance—much less 473.

The Bible says in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the WORD” and of course we now  know that every living thing has at its nucleus, DNA, a word of thousands of letters controlling all the functions of each cell. What follows in John 1:1  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Research highlights, Nature 439(7074):246–247, January 2006 | doi:10.1038/439246a.
Glass, J.I. et al., Essential genes of a minimal bacterium, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 103(2):425– 430, January 2006 | doi:10.1073/pnas.0510013103.
Hesman, T., Scientists build minimum genome bacterium, sciencenews.org, March 2016.

WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS CREATION MINISTRIES

Listen to Dr Mark Harwood tell you why the church needs Creation Ministries. Let me commend this ministry to you. It played a large role in my conversion at age 47. Evolution being a major stumbling block to my acceptance of Biblical inerrancy.

Many church denominations and their associated Bible Colleges have accepted evolution and billions of years of earth’s history. As a result, they have rejected the Genesis account of creation. This is devastating, as Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible where most of church doctrine is established.

EVIDENCE OF COMPLEX DESIGN

The caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. The impossibility of this ever having evolved and from what, is convincing evidence of intelligent design, and yet universities and schools can only teach evolution. Why? The only reason is not sound science, it is because “they” claim science can only deal with the natural not supernatural and intelligent design requires a designer who is outside of his creation. Science should take us to wherever the evidence leads.

Watch this 2 minute video explain why only design explains this incredible organism.

Image result for picture of caterpillar turning into butterfly

Does God give us a picture of this ugly caterpillar being changed into a beautiful butterfly that is now capable of so much more, imagine flying, to give us a glimpse of what He has promised us – resurrected bodies capable of so much more than those we now occupy.

HOW BIOLOGY CONFIRMS LIFE BY DESIGN

I have abbreviated the review by Joel Tray, Creation Ministries International, of the book Undeniable: How biology confirms our intuition that life is designed by Douglas Axe. For the full review go to http://www.creation.com.

undeniable

The book is written for the non scientist. For this reason, much space has been devoted to the use of elaborate analogies in order to simplify complex technical details. Interwoven between these analogies are personal stories and an overall narrative approach to the book. At times, this causes the book to come across as slow, repetitive and unnecessarily drawn out.

By comparison Jonathan Sarfati’s By Design (2008) is far more concise and easy to understand.—both books discussing design—the feel is that one chapter of Undeniable would have the same amount of scientific content as two or three pages in Sarfati’s book. Apart from the excessive wordiness, the science contained in Undeniable is sound, though it falters when it comes to its philosophy of science. However, this book will prove to be a challenge for those who hold to naturalistic evolution.

Unfortunately, as it is with most ID books, Undeniable comes across as somewhat naive from an epistemological  viewpoint. Axe correctly draws a distinction between creationists and the ID movement. At times throughout the book, Axe even appears to hold to contradicting philosophical positions. For example, he rejects scientism on the basis that our intuition tells us that design requires a designer (p. 49) yet at the same time rejects the inference to God by creationists since “Intelligent Design takes a minimalist view”, and there is a jump from intelligent designer to God (p. 50) that goes beyond science.

But if one cannot infer beyond science, then how is one not stuck with scientism? Either we infer beyond science, or we are stuck in scientism (which Axe also rejects). A naturalistic intelligent designer is still a designer within naturalism. But if the designer is not naturalistic, then one must infer beyond the boundaries of mere science. Worse, towards the end of the book, Axe himself does what he says creationists ought not to do, by saying that the designer only makes sense if it is God.