STANDING FIRM ON THE BIBLE

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Geologist Dr Timothy Clarey

Geologist Dr Timothy Clarey earned a B.S. in geology summa cum laude, an M.S. in geology from the University of Wyoming, and an M.S. in hydrogeology and a Ph.D. in geology (1996) from Western Michigan University. Tim spent nearly 10 years in the oil exploration industry and 17 years in academia which gives him a unique perspective for his work at the International Creation Research Institute. Tim joined ICR as a full-time geologist in 2013. His first major (and current) research project is called the Column Project. Tim explains:

It entails plotting stratigraphic columns from oil well, outcrop, and even seismic data into a database, continent by continent. Basically, I’m plotting the actual rocks that are in place all over the globe. So far, I have three continents completed and another nearly finished. All the continents show the same sedimentation patterns that reflect a single watery catastrophe. They all begin with minimal sedimentary coverage and rock volume, and reach a peak in coverage and volume on all continents at the same time. The results are showing the true global nature of the Flood.

Although Tim’s work deals with rocks and fossils, it is significant for affirming the trustworthiness of the Bible and the integrity of the Gospel. Tim explains:

The truth of God’s Word is on the line, and ultimately, salvation is on the line. The Bible makes it clear that God created everything in six literal days some 6,000 years ago. He put the genealogies in the Bible for a reason. We must believe He did what He said. Sadly, evolution and long-age thinking are turning people away from God. We need to show people that they can trust God and His written Word.

If God’s Word is shown to be untrue or even partially untrue, it would undermine Jesus’ credibility. If the parts of the Bible that says certain events happened when they really didn’t—are merely stories—then who’s to say whether other parts of the Bible, like the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, aren’t just stories, too? We have to believe all of God’s Word, from the very first word to the last. And the biggest problem most people have in doing that is with the book of Genesis and its accounts of creation and the global Flood.

I’m excited that my research is showing people the global Flood as described in the Bible really happened, and that the evidence, correctly interpreted, shows how the water rose and covered the entire planet. That’s why I am so passionate about it. God’s Word is truly true! And Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Believing and accepting the truth of Jesus’ sacrifice and His shed blood is what salvation is all about. I am just thankful that God is able to use me in this way.

Taken from article in the Creation Magazine Volume 41 Issue 4: Shaun Doyle talks to Dr Tim Clarey about his research career in Flood geology

DOES GENESIS HAVE GAPS IN THE GENEALOGIES?

OT scholar: Genesis teaches a short timescale

More from Dr Travis Freeman. He serves as Professor of Old Testament at the Baptist College of Florida in Graceville. He is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University (B.A.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Ph.D.). He has been a young-earth creationist for over twenty years and is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society Creation Fellowship. He chats with Dr Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries. Go to http://www.creation.com for more from Jonathan.

Sadly, many Christian colleges teach that there are gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. Dr Freeman points out that there can be no time gaps, because: The biblical text gives the number of years between the births of the descendants of Adam in the line leading to Noah. By adding these numbers together, we can calculate the number of years from Adam to Noah. These numbers would be superfluous, even misleading, if generations are missing between fathers and sons. In fact, one strains without success to even imagine why the author of Genesis would include these numbers unless he meant to tie the generations together in a continuous sequence without chronological gaps.

“This type of genealogy seems to be designed for chronological purposes and never contains gaps, at least none that anyone has ever demonstrated. In fact, every biblical genealogy of this sort has been shown to be without gaps.Thus we can calculate that Genesis 5 and 11 record that about 2008 years passed between creation and Abraham’s birth around 1996 BC, thus rendering a creation date of about 4004 BC.”

Dr Freeman also pointed out that this understanding is hardly a novelty. Rather, “nearly all Bible scholars, Jewish and Christian, from the first century BC to about AD 1800 understood Genesis 5 and 11 as setting forth a no-gap chronology of ancient history. So, unless we are prepared to show how all of these scholars were wrong, we should reject the idea of gaps.”

Why was this clear understanding doubted from around AD 1800? Dr Freeman reminds us this is when old-earth ideas started to become popular in ‘science’, due to the Flood-rejecting uniformitarian dogma of Hutton and Lyell, explicitly designed to “free the science from Moses.” Long-age beliefs almost invariably come from such outside ideas being imposed upon the text, rather than anything in the text itself.

But don’t other genealogies, such as the Matthew 1 genealogy of Jesus, have gaps? Dr Freeman points out that this is a different genre, and a key difference is that Matthew 1 does not record the number of years between generations. This type of genealogy often contains generational gaps, that is, some names are omitted for the sake of brevity or symmetry.”

The doctrine of creation

One of Dr Freeman’s most popular classes is his ‘The Doctrine of Creation’, which he summarises in three statements:

  1. God created all things in six twenty-four-hour days about 4004 BC in mature form.
  2. God created all living things according to distinct kinds that were programmed to produce only their kinds but able to adapt to their environment within their kinds.
  3. God ravaged the earth with a catastrophic flood which began about 2348 BC, lasted about a year, covered the entire world, destroyed and rebuilt Earth’s crust, left behind millions of fossils, left behind vast coal and oil deposits, and permanently altered Earth’s environment.

Since Dr Freeman teaches at a school that affirms the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, I asked how all that is supported by the Bible. He pointed out that Genesis 1 declares that God created all things in six days. He explained that when modified by a number or by the phrase ‘evening and morning’, the Hebrew word for ‘day’ always means a solar day, not an indefinite period of time, in the Old Testament.

Also, the same chapter describes Adam, Eve, fruit trees, and other living things as mature at the time of their creation, and it says that they would reproduce after their kinds. That is, one created kind did not evolve into another, leading eventually to a group of human-like creatures.

Dr Freeman also stresses that Genesis 7 and 8 describe the Flood of Noah’s day as year-long, worldwide, earth-devastating, and deadly to all land vertebrates but those on the Ark. These things would be responsible for the formation of most of Earth’s sedimentary rock layers and fossils. Moreover, it is encouraging that more geologists now recognise that catastrophism provides a better explanation for the geomorphology we observe today than uniformitarianism.

EVOLUTIONARY AGE OF EARTH INVALIDATES BIBLICAL INERRANCY

The original creation, which was declared by God to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31), did not contain such aberrations as death and suffering. Evolution claims, without any mechanism that could accomplish it, goo turned into you as a result of natural selection, survival of the fittest and therefore death, suffering and disease. Mutations don’t help, as they involve loss of DNA information not an increase, which is what would be needed to go from goo to you by way of the zoo.

The Bible provides the true reason for death, suffering and disease, the historical event of “The Fall” caused sin and death to enter and corrupt the created order (Romans 8:20–22). This can only be true within a ‘young-Earth’ framework.

Sadly, many Christian apologists who accept the evolutionary long-age paradigm of earth history are unaware of the massive inconsistency. Old-Earth belief directly undercuts the biblical defence against objections posed by death and suffering. The secular paradigm is built upon ‘dating’ methods and assumptions which place death, suffering, disease, cancer and carnivorous activity long before the Fall of man. Thus, pointing to the Fall as the terminus a quo2 for death and suffering is logically inconsistent, and many thoughtful sceptics have picked up on this.

Here is a typical sceptic question: “ … knowing the world as we see today, if extrapolating back millions of years, we have millions of years of death (as the engine of evolution), suffering, cancers, parasites and diseases. How is all that equated for if “The Fall” is responsible for it?”

The point made is that you cannot use “The Fall” as a response to why we have death and suffering if you also accept the evolutionary time scale, because they contradict each other! If you want to accept the old-earth view then you must acknowledge the history that goes with it, i.e. millions of years of death, disease and bloodshed before the Fall. But once you accept that, you have no option but to say that God did in fact create these things and even pronounced them “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Long age Christian apologists will invariably say, “the effects of “The Fall” are a spiritual issue rather than a physical one”. And yet, the description of the effects of the Fall clearly includes physical elements: the serpent is cursed above all livestock, women will experience unpleasant pain in childbirth, the ground is cursed and will bring forth thorns and thistles, and growing food will be a laborious task (Genesis 3:14–19). Also, and most importantly, man was to die a physical death; ‘dust to dust’ (v.19). These unquestionably are physical changes.

The age of the earth is not a secondary, peripheral issue, related only to the creation-evolution debate. It is absolutely pivotal in determining how we answer fundamental questions relating to death and suffering. If we are inconsistent, astute sceptics will pick up on it. It also demonstrates the irrational fear that so many Christian apologists have over the age issue, causing them to repeatedly make these types of contradictory statements. This fear seems to be driven by the incorrect assumption that deep time has been irrefutably demonstrated. However, such an assumption is unwarranted given the abundant evidence available today that the deep time paradigm is flawed.

The solution really is quite simple: rather than trying to invent different explanatory models or interpretations of Genesis that can accommodate millions of years, we need to realise that the Bible can and should be taken at face value. Its explanation for the origin of suffering and death needs no alteration and the problem only appears when secular evolutionary assumptions are imported into our theology (see Plumbing and paradigms). It is those compromising assumptions that need to be thrown out! Only then can we present the biblical explanation of death and suffering without contradictions.

Excerpts from another great Creation Ministries article by Thomas Fretwell, “Christian apologists trip over the age of the earth … again

WHY CREATION IN SIX DAYS? DOES IT HAVE SIGNIFICANCE FOR TODAY?

The immediate significance of a six days creation was as a pattern for man, six days you will work and the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. The finger of God wrote this fourth commandment, one of ten, on a stone tablet for Moses. We still have a seven day week but do we uphold God’s Sabbath?

Equally important, and of more significance in our day, is the prophetic significance of the six days of creation. Six thousand years of man’s reign on earth and the seventh, the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

The Bible’s history is clear on a young earth with genealogies in both the OT and NT giving us a six thousand year history. Sadly, the world does not acknowledge that God judged mankind with a worldwide chaotic flood, which reshaped the geography of the entire planet, laying down the fossil layers and creating the fossil fuels. The flood lasted one year and created what the world believes took billions of years.

It is enlightening to see what the early church fathers had to say on the subject.

St Justin Martyr had this to say “But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare. And further, there was a certain man with us, whose name was John, one of the apostles of Christ, who prophesied, by a revelation that was made to him, that those who believed in our Christ would dwell a thousand years in Jerusalem.”

Iraneus was another early Church Father who taught that the Church will face Antichrist during the Great Tribulation and after that Christ will return and usher in his Millennial Kingdom: “But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that “many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

The Seventh Day: Iraneus mentioned the Seventh Day, but the Church has forgotten this critical teaching, which in and of itself proves the Millennial Kingdom. It is very well explained by the Epistle of Barnabas  cited by Clemens, Alexandrinus, Eusebius, Jerome, and many ancient Fathers (even Origen.)

“And in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and rested the seventh say, and sanctified it.

Consider, my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end.

For with him one day is as a thousand years; as himself testifies, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, that all things shall be accomplished.

And what is it that he says, And he rested the seventh day: he means this; that when His Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars; and he shall gloriously rest in that seventh day (a thousand years)”. (Barnabas 13:3-6)

This wonderfully explains the understanding of the Great Creation Prophecy explained by Peter and the Writer of Hebrews which has been forgotten by the Church.

The writer of Hebrews clearly explains this teaching within the canon of scripture: “For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:  Again, he limits a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Jesus (or Joshua) had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb. 4:3-11)

It is incredibly important to understand this passage which clearly speaks of the Millennial Kingdom, a Seventh Day. Notice the Writer of Hebrews says that  Joshua (it is most likely Joshua, his name and Jesus’s are identical in the Greek) did NOT provide us rest upon entering the promised land and that is why a Seventh Day, a seventh 1000 years, is still coming.

Of even greater interest is what follows this statement. It is obvious that the seventh day (the 1000 years) and the rest of God was still remaining when Hebrews was written! We are told we must labour to enter the 1000 year rest. Our discussion of Amillennialism should end right here, but there is more, much more.

Peter speaks of this same 1000 years and calls those who claim there won’t be a PAROUSIA or Rapture are mockers or scoffers: “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming (PAROUSIA or rapture)? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water (the Creation) through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgement and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.  The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.” (2 Pet. 3:3-10)

Peter demonstrates that all the ages of the creation prophecy “days” are 1000 years long.  Peter is clear that the mockers don’t know the date of Jesus’s return because they don’t understand the creation account (in which the seventh day is mentioned) and its prophetic meaning. If they did, they would know that Jesus returns 6000 years after creation; and that a 1000 year day of rest remains after that.

John of course, re-enforces this teaching in the Book of Revelation: “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.They had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4-6)

John’s testimony is the same as the writer of Hebrews, Peter, and the early Church Fathers. There is a thousand year reign of Jesus in which the resurrected will reign with him.

Summary: So the teaching of the “Seventh Day” is fundamental to our understanding of the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus. The concepts of seven millennia as prophesied by Genesis has been ignored and forgotten by much of the Church, but as we can see, it was an integral understanding of the Apostles and the early Church Fathers and framed their understanding of eschatology.

JESUS ON THE AGE OF THE EARTH

Jesus believed in a young world, but leading theistic evolutionists say He is wrong. article by Dr Carl Wieland, Creation Ministries.

The standard secular timeline, from an alleged ‘big bang’ some 15 billion years ago to now, is accepted by most people in the evangelical Christian world, even though many would deny evolution. Some would even say that to dispute billions of years is to place an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of any scientifically-minded potential converts.

This is in contrast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator made flesh, as several of the biblical  authors, which makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation. But in the evolutionary timeline, people have only been around for one or two million years—this puts them toward the end of the timeline. This means that He is most definitely claiming that the world cannot be billions of years old.

For example, dealing with the doctrine of marriage, Jesus says in Mark 10:6 (bold emphases added):

But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.

In Luke 11:50–51, Jesus also says: “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias … ”. And in Romans 1:20, the Apostle Paul says of God: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”.

Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation, was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later.
Paul is plainly saying that people have been able to perceive these attributes of God in His creation ever since the creation of the world. Not ever since people were created.

Comparing the appearance of people on the timelines below, which are both to scale, is instructive. Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation, was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later. By contrast, a creation fifteen billion years ago on the secular timescale would put humans at the end of the time scale. It shows clearly how the acceptance of the secular timeline starkly contrasts with the statements of Jesus.

Today, the vast majority of Christians in not only secular academia, but also theological institutions, Bible colleges, etc. believe—and many teach—that the secular ‘billions of years’ is fact. When one tries to find out how they deal with these repeated references, responses vary. But the ‘explaining away’ that takes place (whenever the problem is not simply ignored) invariably makes it plain that the authority being deferred to is not the Word of God, but rather current secular opinion.

Jesus and the age of the earth

The most striking (and sad) example of this switch in authority source I know of comes from a personal experience. In Melbourne, Australia, many years ago, I had arranged to sit down over a hot drink with a distinguished university professor, a Christian who was well-known for his active opposition to a straightforward view of Genesis. At that time, he was actually the head of a grouping of Christian academics which had been openly set up to provide opposition to the inroads our ministry was making. Over the years, this group has unfortunately been very effective in persuading most Christian training institutions that compromising on biblical creation in favour of secular thinking (evolution, long ages) is the only ‘respectable’ position. This professor himself, in addition to his secular science qualifications, was well regarded in the theological arena as well as being very biblically literate. He had at that time already been a frequent guest lecturer at several leading Australian evangelical training institutions.

During our courteous exchange, I asked him about the above comments by Jesus in relation to the age of the world. I asked, “Isn’t it clear that Jesus taught and believed that the world was young?”

A stunning response

I expected him to do as other Christian evolutionists have done—to try to find ways to torture the text to escape these obvious implications. Instead, he said that he totally agreed that Jesus believed in a recent creation of all things.

Somewhat taken by surprise, I said, “Well, how do you deal with that, then?” (He would of course have assumed, correctly, that I knew of the long-age position of this prominent organisation of theistic evolutionists.) His answer simply stunned me, to put it mildly. He said: “Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.”

His words burned themselves indelibly on my memory, while the recollection of my response has faded somewhat. But I recall saying something about Jesus being the Creator, God made flesh; He was there at creation, He does not lie, that sort of thing. To which his reply was once again unforgettable:

“Ah, but that’s where it gets very complex—it has to do with the theology of the Incarnation, where Jesus deliberately laid aside many of the things that had to do with His pre-incarnate divinity.”

Our conversation was nearing the end of its allotted period in any case, but I recall being so stunned by this that it took me till well afterwards to fully process the implications.

What it all means:

Firstly, and very importantly, the professor’s comments were a clear admission that the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as recorded in the Bible, confirm that He believed that things were recently created.

Remember that this professor was at the time the most prominent of all the professing evangelical academics that were being enthusiastically welcomed into Bible colleges and seminaries—to tell them why it was OK to believe in evolution and long ages. He obviously saw it as hopeless to try to claim other than what the Lord is clearly saying in this Bible text. And this is despite many attempts by others to ‘explain away’ this huge stumbling block for long-agers.

His way of being able to hold onto his theistic evolutionary view was to claim that Jesus was not lying, it was just that He was poorly informed. This was because when He as God the Son became flesh, laying aside aspects of His divinity included divesting Himself of all knowledge about what really happened when He had created all things.

If I had had the presence of mind, an appropriate response might have been to ask something like the following:

“OK, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that firstly, creation was by evolution, over millions of years of death and suffering—and that Jesus did perform some sort of lobotomy on Himself, so that He could no longer recall what really took place. So He just understood Genesis in the most natural straightforward way, not realising what the real truth was. What you’re claiming in that case amounts to this: That God the Father, knowing the real truth, permitted not just the Apostles, but His beloved Son, while on Earth, to believe and teach things that were utter falsehoods. Furthermore, it means that the Father permitted these false teachings to appear—repeatedly—in His revealed Word. With the result that for some 2,000 years, the vast majority of Christians were seriously misled about such things as not just the time and manner of creation, but gospel-crucial matters such as the origin of sin, and of death and suffering.”

[Added by author Nov 2014: The Lord Jesus repeatedly made it clear that His words and actions were on the Father’s authority, in all respects. Some examples are firstly John 8:28: So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me”. And John 12:49–50: “For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”]

If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all?
One thing is very clear from all this. Namely, that the erroneous belief that ‘science’ insists that evolution and long ages are ‘fact’ is the most serious challenge to biblical authority, and thus to the faith in general, that Christendom has ever faced. If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all? See also the box about the ‘kenotic heresy’.

Other leading theistic evolutionists have similarly made plain their belief that Jesus was mistaken. For example, on the American theistic evolutionary site BioLogos, led by Francis Collins, there appeared the following:

“If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.”

This is all the more serious because Jesus and the apostles used the history they taught to back up the theology that they taught. The Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), marriage (Mark 10:1–12), atonement (Romans 5:12–21), and Heaven (Revelation 21–22:5) are only a few of the areas in which compromising Christians are theologically crippled, because they don’t have the same strong stand on Genesis that Jesus and the apostles did when they taught about these areas.

What a tragedy that so many Christian leaders have been bluffed and intimidated into assuming that secular interpretations of the evidence should dictate their understanding of God’s Word. And right at a point in history when there are more scientific reasons than ever to confirm the utter rationality of trusting the Bible, not evolutionary conclusions.