This is a question that invariably comes up when Christians are faced with people that lean more towards scientific views and evidence.
So this is an article that will attempt to shed light based on the Scriptures as well as scientific evidence. Before I lose you, keep in mind that God set the laws of physics in motion as well as designing them and as such, they will need to be taken into consideration.
When did it all start? Genesis 1:1 is our foundation, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.” Perhaps The Big Bang as science looks back to the beginning and agrees that there was some kind of major event that started everything in motion. Being consistent with all of Scripture which tells us the nature and character of God, we know that He is perfect and so when He creates anything, to be consistent with His nature, it too would have to perfect.
Genesis 1:2 continues(?) “and the Earth was formless and void.” Obviously there was no one there to record these events, so when the author of Genesis penned these words in Hebrew, it was under the direction of God Almighty. The Lord uses words in Scripture with very specific purpose, and the words that have been translated into English, “formless and void” is “tohu wabohu”, meaning “becoming completely, utterly, unrecognizably ruined” or an “uninhabitable wilderness” and is only used in one other place in all of Scripture, in Jeremiah 4:23 about a nation that was a land that had been filled with milk and honey, but that was about to change due to Israel’s disobedience. Just look at Israel today and how harsh the land is for growing just about anything.
The reason this is important is that in Genesis 1:1 God has created in perfection all of the heavens and earth and by Genesis 1:2 it had deteriorated to a place that was completely, utterly, unrecognizably, ruined and uninhabitable. This is commonly referred to as the “Gap” theory, eluding to the possibility that some amount of time had transpired between these 2 verses. It can not be disputed that the state of the earth is different in these 2 verses. Started perfect, some time passes, now ruined. How much time, scripture does not tell us, but given the laws of physics and geological studies show that it just might be hundreds of millions or even billions of years. I’ll cover more on this later.
So if the Earth was created perfect but had fallen into ruin, some event had to have happened. In Matthew, Jesus says He saw Satan fall like lightning to the Earth. We also know that Satan ruins and destroys everything he touches (John 10:10). So is it possible that Satan was thrown to Earth hundreds of millions of years ago and by Gen 1:2 had completely, utterly, unrecognizably ruined the Earth turning it into an uninhabitable wilderness? Could be.
Let’s cover this “aging” issue. Yes, it would seem that God created Adam (first man) to be an adult. Let’s assume Adam was created and although he was in fact just 1 day old, he was able to be fully functional as if he was say 20 years old. Likewise, The Lord probably did the same thing when He created Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Perhaps all of the living animals may have been created as aged beings. In these cases, starting at “conception” would not have been a valid starting place. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?, probably a fully grown hen and her mate. Adam may have been created 10 minutes ago but looks to be 20 years old, can we really intelligently argue that he’s just 10 minutes old when all of science would say he was 20 years old?
Next, let’s look at the Universe. Science estimates that the Universe is 14 billion years old, meaning light has been traveling for 14 billion years at the start of the Big Bang. The Hubble Telescope has been able to view systems that light has been traveling towards Earth for hundreds of millions if not billions of years at the very least, supposedly.
So here is the 6,000 year old scenario, in Genesis 1:1, God put the light that would have been emitted by galaxies, solar systems, planets, etc. out at various places throughout the universe from it’s origin as if they were perhaps hundreds of millions of years or billions of years old but they never really existed and God simply placed the light in the right place throughout the entire universe to reach planet Earth at a time that we’d be able to see these events now.
Our solar system is 26,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way galaxy. That would mean that light has been traveling for at least 20,000 years BEFORE the creation of Earth so that we could now see it’s center. Doesn’t make any sense. What would God have to gain by tricking us when science would suggest that it was much older.
This is just a small sample of events that could be looked at that we’d need to find reasonable answers to in order to not look like we were ignorant creationists with no regard for science, science that our Almighty God put into place.
In conclusion, it is fairly easy to count backwards about 6,000 years to get to Genesis 1:3, but to hold that Genesis 1:1 and 2 were simultaneous events is in fact clearly articulated in Scripture is an assumption and I believe, just the opposite is true. What would God possibly have to gain by aging an entire Universe to make it “look” older than 6,000 years when it was like Adam, just a fraction of what it looks like? If in fact God Almighty has made everything “look” older than 6,000 years, how then can we intelligently argue that it’s not? We simply can’t.
I personally don’t have a problem with the Universe being a literal 14 billion years old give or take a few billion, the Earth being 4.56 billion years old, the Grand Canyon taking millions of years to form, dinosaurs roaming the Earth millions of years ago, an ice age that lasted millions of years some 55 million years ago and diamonds taking millions of years under millions of pounds of pressure to form. And it makes us look ridiculous to try and explain these away, ruining any possible credibility to be listened to about The Truth that can set people free.
None of these events contradict Scripture or disrupt the very nature of God Almighty. It also does not embrace evolution, especially the intra-species evolution that Darwin espoused, e.g. humans “evolving” from apes, God made man in His image (creation), not apes and then some how advanced them into humans. I believe scripture and science are compatible and it would go a long way towards moving believers from being viewed as ignorant and backwards people to intelligent people who have also embraced faith in God and received His love and forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ.
Nicholas St Jon is a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Having NO institutional training bias but an avid student of the Holy Scriptures. Some call him a heretic, others simply a strong leader and purveyor of Truth. His underlying principle of Scripture is that if it looks to be contradictory, it simply has a meaning at a level we do not yet understand, for God “cannot” lie, thus contradicting Himself.
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