The Seven Keys to History Part One
Creation is God’s handiwork. It is the starting point for a correct understanding of everything about humankind, history, and life. So we begin this series with creation, the first of seven keys to understanding world history.
Three Main Views
There are three main views concerning the world’s origin. The first is evolution, which is heavily emphasized and widely taught. The second is theistic evolution, a view held by people who attempt to reconcile the Bible with evolution. And the third is creation, which follows the Bible. Not all evolutionists are alike; not all theistic evolutionists are alike; and not all creationists are alike. These are broad categories.
Evolution. Evolution has three basic tenets: (1) The universe started with a big bang, (2) life began completely by chance, and (3) organisms developed over time. The Big Bang theory claims that sometime in the distant past, an uncaused explosion created matter. Then, by chance, the first and simplest-celled protozoan somehow came into existence; and, over time, life as we know it evolved.
A formula would be Mutations + Natural Selection x Time = Evolution. Mutations would be changes occurring along the way. Natural selection claims the best changes were preserved; and, over time, they evolved one from another. That’s evolution in a nutshell.
Of course, there are many scientific problems with the evolutionary theory. (A wonderful source of information is Answers in Genesis, www.answersingenesis.org.) One problem is that mutations are extremely rare and usually detrimental. Nor do mutations explain the creation of new genes. For a protozoan to develop an eye, for example, it must acquire new DNA.
Second, inferior mutations often survive. In the laboratory, scientists often enable the improvements to survive. But with evolution, the selection must be natural, or it is not evolution.
Third, the time required for evolution is not credible. The following is from Dr. Charles C. Ryrie’s Basic Theology, a book I highly recommend:
While probability is expressed by a fraction (e.g., one in five million times), and when the fraction is as small as these are for the chance production of a protein molecule, then the mathematician would declare the probability of its happening as zero. The evolutionist would likely point out that there still exists a chance, however infinitesimal, of evolution happening because of the billions of years involved. However, even billions of years will not reduce the probability enough to put it in the range of reasonable probability. Davidheiser [Scientist Dr. Bolton Davidheiser, 1912–2007] tested the well-known statement that if a million monkeys were permitted to strike the keys of a million typewriters for a million years, they might by chance type a copy of a Shakespearean play. Setting up a controlled experiment with only capital letters, continuous typing at a uniform rate of speed, and requiring only the first verse of Genesis, he shows that a million monkeys could never type Genesis 1:1, let alone a Shakespearean play in billions of years. Even to type the first line of Hamlet (“Ber: Who’s there?”), would require on the average of a number of repeated experiments 284 trillion years, a period considerably longer than it took evolution to do all it supposedly did.
The obvious conclusion of this is simply that it requires an incredible amount of faith to believe that evolution could have caused by chance all life that ever did or does now exist.
Could life have evolved by chance?The probability of forming one protein molecule by chance is one in 10243, which is a figure of 1 followed by 243 zeros.1
That figure merely expresses the probability of a single protein molecule being created accidentally. Our bodies contain millions of cells. A mathematician would say there is no reasonable probability.
A fourth problem is the second law of thermodynamics, called the Law of Entropy. Though matter is neither created nor destroyed, every transfer involves a loss of energy. Thus the uni-verse is declining, not increasing. It requires more faith to believe evolution is the source of complex creatures, laws of gravity, and all other laws of the uni-verse than it does to believe in God.
Theistic Evolution. Dr. Ryrie provides a succinct definition:
Theistic evolution holds that God directed, used, and controlled the processes of naturalistic evolution to “create” the world and all that is in it. Usually this view includes the idea that the days of Genesis 1 were ages, that the evolutionary processes were involved in the “creation” of Adam, and that the earth and prehuman forms are of great antiquity.2
Creationists who want to embrace evolution reject natural selection in favor of supernatural selection. Thus theistic evolution tries to ride two horses going in opposite directions. All true evolutionists reject theistic evolution, as do all true creationists. It is an unsatisfactory attempt to bring two divergent views together.
Creation. Regardless of their differences on other matters, most creationists hold the following principles:
- The Bible is the sole authority, and the book of Genesis teaches about creation.
- God created everything from nothing, ex nihilo. He did not take something that already existed (there is no eternal matter) and form something else from it, as you and I do. God created from nothing. In the beginning, there was only God. He exists in a spiritual, supernatural realm; and He created the natural realm. He created the elements, the universe, and so forth—all from nothing.
- Adam was the first man. There were no prior stages of man. Adam was created in God’s image, as a person able to think, feel, and determine.
- The universe is much younger than evolutionists claim. Some Bibles place Genesis 1:1 at 4004 B.C. because Bishop James Ussher (1581–1656) meticulously studied Scripture and computed the dates. He concluded Genesis 1:1 occurred at 4004 B.C.
We may not be able to be so conclusive. However, the Bible indicates a young Earth, perhaps 6,000 years old, based on God’s human calendar in Genesis 5 and 11. Because something appears old doesn’t necessarily make it so. God created Adam and Eve fully mature and able to cohabit. The trees and animals He made were also mature. So it stands to reason the uni-verse was created mature.
You cannot be an evolutionist and uphold Scripture. Nor can you be a theistic evolutionist and be consistent with God’s Word.
Laws of Creation
There are laws of creation:
- God created everything that exists. “‘To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing” (Isa. 40:25–26; cf. 45:11–18). “For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
- God owns everything. “The earth is the Lᴏʀᴅ’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1). “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness” (50:10, 12).
- God created in six days. All biblical evidence argues for six 24-hour days. (See Exodus 20:11; 31:17.)
- God created by speaking. John 1 confirms this fact. Jesus is the Word who was with God and the Word who made everything. All three members of the Godhead were involved in creation, according to Scripture.
- God has given man dominion over the earth. Man has authority and responsibility over the world.
BIBLICAL CREATION, DAY BY DAY
|DAY ONE||“God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Gen. 1:3). That light was not the sun, moon, or stars. God, who is light, gave light from Himself to His creation.|
|DAY TWO||“God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters’” (v. 6). God infused the water with light, then separated it and put water above and water below, creating the heavens.|
|DAY THREE||“God said, . . . ‘Let the dry land appear’” (v. 9). On dry land He created trees, plants, flowers, and vegetables.|
|DAY FOUR||“God said, ‘Let there be lights’” (v. 14). He created the sun, moon, and stars and spread the stars out into the universe. Job 38 describes the angels watch- ing the process.|
|DAY FIVE||God created the fish of the seas and the birds of the air (Gen. 1:20).|
|DAY SIX||God created the animals and, ultimately, man as the crowning aspect of His creation (vv. 24–26). In man He infused a God-likeness that characterizes who and what we are. Then He gave man dominion over everything (v. 28), telling Adam to rule over the earth and subdue it (vv. 29–30).|
|DAY SEVEN||God rested (2:2).|
The Fallout of Unbelief
If you refuse to accept Genesis 1, you undermine the authority of the entire Book. You must be a creationist, or you might as well throw away the Bible. Some people have done exactly that. They have rejected the authoritative nature of God’s statements about creation in the Bible. Doing so, however, undermines the authority of “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:16). Destroying authority for one part of God’s Word raises questions about the authority of the rest of it.
Furthermore, if you reject Genesis 1, you reject the very reliability of God Himself. Over and over, in dozens of passages, God said He made everything. If evolution were true, then God would be a liar.
We all need some type of compass for life, or we’re lost. God’s infallible Word is that compass. Without it, you have no foundational truth. You and I were created by God and have a responsibility to Him, and one day every one of God’s created beings will answer to Him—even those who claim they are the product of evolution.
The world did not merely happen. It was designed by God for a purpose. He is the source, support, and end of all things (Rom. 11:36), as well as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He created you and loves you; and if you understand creation, you possess the first key to understanding history.
- Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1986), 201–202.
- Ibid., 196.