Wednesday, February 24, 2021

God Continues Creating

The immediate reaction from some people would be that God stopped his creation work, as stated in Gen. 2:2, Ex. 20:11 and 31:17. It may be surprising to learn that God is still creating today, but in a different way than he did in the beginning.

It may surprise many, but the answer to  the question of God still creating today is a decisive no - and yes. New things are important to Christians.
Credit: Photos Public Domain
This is not like some owlhoots who say God is still creating today through theistic evolution. No, he didn't transform a pre-Adamite group of subhumans by giving them souls in a mangled metaphor of Genesis. There are certain acts of creation that are still happening today. God created both man and animals with nephesh, which means life or soul (see "Brain and Body are not the Soul" for more in-depth material that also refutes naturalistic claims). He is not creating new stuff like he did during creation week, but makes some things out what already exists. Then there's the news in 2 Cor. 5:17 that is so important to Christians.
But didn’t God rest from His creation work on Day Seven? The correct answer would be “yes” . . . 

To appreciate the specific ex nihilo creation works3 God has done for every believer in Jesus Christ, it is necessary to review the usage of the verb “create” in both the Old and New Testaments. (This review only concerns humans, so God’s creation of nephesh-life for animals in Genesis 1:21 will not be analyzed in this article.) An exhaustive review of the relevant verses reveals four specific creation works that together define the created life of each Christian living today:

To read this article in its entirety, see "'New from Nothing': Is God Still Creating Today?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

After Question Evolution Day — The Narrow Path to Creation

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

February 12 was the 10th annual Question Evolution Day, an event in which almost anyone can participate. People may object, thinking that origins is an academic issue. Some even think that there is a message of hope in evolution, but that is the opposite of the truth.

People get excited and make commitments, but then grow cold. Creation science enthusiasm and the Parable of the Sower are considered.
Image for the 10th annual Question Evolution Day by Why?Outreach
Seekers after the truth become excited after attending seminars, reading articles and books, watching videos, and so forth about how recent creation affirms the Bible and refutes evolution. Then many lose their enthusiasm. Indeed, people were excited about QED and promised to get involved, but failed to keep their promises (there were some, however, that did their part, and even more. I am grateful to them.) There are parallels in the Bible to consider.

What Kind of Soil?

While the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) is about people who hear and receive the word of the Kingdom, similarities between enthusiasm for Question Evolution Day and the creation message can be seen. People listen to the truth, but the devil snatches it away from them. There are others who are excited to share the biblical creation science message, but have no root and fall away when challenged by seemingly reasonable evolutionary claims. Another group will hear the message but are more concerned with other things, so they do not learn and grow in this area. The last group is excited, perseveres, learns the material, and the people grow in it. Like the Christian life itself, learning and standing up for the truth of creation requires dedication, perseverance, and obtaining solid teaching. Biblical creation science upholds good theology.

Biblical History

Rejecting observed truth goes all the way back to Adam. Both Adam and Eve were perfect and had not only seen the glory of the original creation, but had also spoken with God as well (Gen. 2:16). Even so, they listened to the serpent and rebelled against the truth that they already knew (Gen. 3:1-13).

Moving forward, the Israelis had prospered in Egypt until they were enslaved. God heard their cries for deliverance and sent Moses. Israel was delivered out of Egypt, led by the Lord with a pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke (Ex. 13:21-22). They saw the miraculous parting of the sea (Ex. 14:21-22) and the drowning of the pursuing Egyptian army (Ex. 14:28). Even after these experiences, the Israelis "got up to play" by indulging in immorality and idolatry (Ex. 32:1, 6) — while Moses was still on the mountain talking with the Lord! Sometime afterward, they were punished for their disobedience, Korah had the notion to rebel against Moses and Aaron (God's appointed leaders). It did not go well (Num. 16:31-35).

In the New Testament, many disciples who had seen and experienced the feeding of the 5,000 were offended at the words of Jesus and turned away (John 6:66). Indeed, the Twelve had seen and participated in miracles and the teachings of Christ, but Judas betrayed Him (Luke 22:47-48), Peter denied Him (Matt. 26:75), and the rest ran away (Matt. 26:56).

Later, we read that false teachers would arise and deceive Christians. Jesus warned that false teachers would come (Luke 22:8). In Jude 1:7-11, Jude hearkens back to the rebellion of Israel and likens false teachers to the rebellion of Korah. Peter spent a great deal of time warning against false teachers (such as in 2 Peter 2:1-3 and following). Much of the epistle of 1 John is written as a warning against Gnostic heresies.

Applications for Today

Question Evolution Day was something that I initiated and put a great deal of time, effort, and heart into. It was intended to take off by its lonesome, but I've helped it along for all this time. If it dies out, it's not from lack of effort. One major reason is apathy on the part of Christians.

In case someone wants to assert that we claim that belief in recent creation is a requirement to be saved, well, that is the opposite of the truth. Remember, we are considering how some people get excited and then wander away for various reasons.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14, NASB)
Using the narrow path as well as the Parable of the Sower, the similarities become quite clear. To be blunt, spiritual things are not exciting or entertaining to fleshly desires. In addition, the study of origins is not entirely about evidence. (If it were, then Darwinism would have been plopped alongside the dusty trail decades ago.) Instead, the study of origins is a spiritual matter — very important one.

Many believers in dust-to-Darwin evolution have been conditioned in what to think, knowing naturalistic paradigms. Add to this the facts that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4) and they are unable to understand deeper spiritual matters (1 Cor. 2:14). These problems are compounded by the drift away from not only biblical authority, but from truth and reality in postmodernism (Phil Johnson has an MP3 titled, "A Beginner's Guide to Postmodernism" linked at the bottom of this post.). Christians on the narrow path are to uphold the truth. We must not treat unbelievers poorly, but remember that presenting biblical creation in the right way is honoring to God.

I have to remind myself of these things after the apparent failure of what I had hoped would be the biggest Question Evolution Day yet. I had thought that being a nobody was an advantage, that people could make things happen at a grass-roots level, but apparently this needed creationist celebrity support. Broken promises and apathy on the part of Christians are distressing. Not just because of QED, but I have seen indications that there is far too much country club Christianity. That is, there carnal Christians as well as CINOs (Christians In Name Only) who may not even know the Lord and need to examine their faith. These types of professing Christians are in a dangerous place.

One major problem is that modern society and social media contribute to short attention spans. Captioned pictures do not equip people to defend the gospel or refute evolution, pilgrim. It is necessary to become rooted, first and foremost in the Word of God, and also in biblical creation teachings. That way, people can be knowledgeable as well as enthusiastic when sharing material.

If someone sees flaws in my theology, I want to know. 


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Augustine Did Not Support Old-Earth Views

There are professing Christians who falsely claim that the church fathers believed that the earth was far older than Scripture indicates, and that biblical (young age) creationists are wrong. It would be a mighty big help if they did their homework on people like Augustine.

Professing Christians who claim that Augustine and other church fathers should do their homework. They dishonestly claim that those were old-earthers.
St. Augustine in his Study, Sandro Botticelli, 1490
It is important to note that Augustine did not consider his writings to be sacred writ, his views changed in some areas, and he freely admitted that his understanding was imperfect. It did not help matters much that he was unskilled in Hebrew and Greek, and he had access to weak Bible translations. He believed that everything was created in an instant (he should have consulted Exodus 20:11, 31:17). Old-earthers must reject the global Flood as well. While Augustine was in no wise a young-earth creationist as we understand the term, claims that he believed like the pagans that Earth was far older are disingenuous.
Old-earthers claim Augustine as support for figurative interpretations of Genesis 1. But what did Augustine really say? In the video series The Great Debate (watch | buy), AiG’s Ken Ham, Jason Lisle, debate astronomer Hugh Ross (of Reasons to Believe) and Bible scholar Walter Kaiser (of Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary). Both of the latter are Christians who believe that the creation is billions of years old. The debate series was hosted by old-earth proponent John Ankerberg on his television show in early 2006.

On AiG’s DVD release of the debate, AiG historian of geology Terry Mortenson offered extensive commentary from a young-earth creationist perspective. The following article is rooted in Dr. Mortenson’s commentary on Ross’s and Kaiser’s appeal to Augustine in defending old-earth ideas.

This may seem like a study for academics, but it is both interesting and relevant. To finish reading, see "Augustine on the Days of Creation". 


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