In case you didn't see the debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham the Creation Guy, I have posted it below for your viewing pleasure. If you do not have the 170 minutes to watch it right now, I understand. Please take the time to watch it when you get a chance. Its here, so come back to it later. I highly recommend carving time out of your schedule to watch it. I will not be summarizing the debate in this blog. Instead, I want to talk about why I, like Ken Ham, believe in young earth creationism and hopefully, in the process, will encourage you to believe the same.
What does the Bible say about creation?
When you open up the Bible and begin reading in the first book, Genesis, you read "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." If that was all the Word of God said about our origins, I could see how there would be room for something like theistic evolution. However, the Bible doesn't stop there. God's Word gives a very detailed description of creation in the first chapter of Genesis.
Spoken into Existence
Genesis 1:3 says, "then God said let there be light and there was light." On every single day ordered in Genesis 1, God speaks things into existence. Whether written or spoken, God's Word has always been alive and active. When God speaks, things come to life. That is what happened in the very beginning and that is what happens to dead souls today. The Word of God is spoken to the spiritually dead through the Bible and by that Living Word, the Holy Spirit brings people to life. We are here, not by chance, but because the Sovereign God of the Universe created us and spoke everything into existence.
Six Literal Days
We also read in Genesis 1 that God created the world in six literal days and rested on the seventh. Some debate the meaning of the word for day in Genesis 1. However, God made it clear that the six days were literal twenty-four hour periods of time. The distinctive language surrounding each day "there was evening and there was morning" paired with the numbers "first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth" and "seventh" clearly indicate they were normal, ordinary days.
If, however, a simple reading of the text does not convince you of this, looking at Exodus 20 should. In Exodus 20, God gives His people the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:1 says, "Then God spoke all these words...". That means, the explanation given for the Ten Commandments was Moses directly quoting God. I for one, believe every single stroke of the pen (Matthew 5:18) in the Word of God is without error and 100% inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). That being said, I want to make it abundantly clear that the claim being made in Exodus 20 is that the Ten Commandments and their explanation are a direct quote from the mouth of God.
In Exodus 20:8, we are given the fourth commandment "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Verses nine and ten explain what God means by remembering the Sabbath day and keeping it holy. God uses the same word for day that is used in Genesis 1 in his explanation. He then goes on to say that in six days we are to do our work but on the seventh day of every week we are to rest. Most of us reading that would think, "yes, that makes sense, because that is what God did." However, God apparently wanted to make that simple understanding crystal clear. The next verse tells us the reason for the Sabbath day and God speaking says that He made the heavens and the earth and everything in them in six days and rested on the seventh. The only possible way the Sabbath concept makes sense with God's explanation is if He created the world in six literal twenty-four hour days. Any other reading of the text is not logical and disagrees with the clear context of Exodus 20.
God created the world "good". It was perfect and sinless. Sin did not enter into the world until Genesis 3, when man fell. The fall was the result of disobeying God's command by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Both Adam and Eve committed this sin, and the curse of sin brought death along with every other kind of pain and suffering.
Because man was created sinless and the earth and everything it is was created "good", there was no death, no decay, no pain, no suffering, and nothing less than good before the fall. This understanding is critical when it comes to our sinfulness and our need for a Savior. Romans 3:23 states that "the wages of sin is death." A Biblical worldview tells us that death is the result of sin. Nothing died before sin. The first animals ever killed were killed by God to provide a covering for Adam and Eve's nakedness in Genesis 3. In other words, there were no carnivores before sin. This might shock you, but as vicious as a T-Rex looked, before sin, all dinosaurs ate only plants. Even the king of beasts, the lion, was vegetarian before sin. Genesis 1:30 says that God created everything that lived to be vegetarian before sin. In fact, it wasn't until after the worldwide flood that man and animals started eating meat (Genesis 9:1-3).
If animals killed each other for food before Adam and Eve sinned, then Romans 3:23 is a lie. If Romans 3:23 is a lie, and death isn't a result of sin, then we didn't need Jesus to die for our sins because Genesis 3 must be fiction as well. Do you see the problems that are caused when it comes to the authority of Scripture? If we do not take Genesis 1 literally, we open ourselves up to attack. If the Creation account in Genesis isn't to be taken literally, and the Exodus 20 account, where God refers to it as historical fact, is also considered, then anything in the Bible is potentially fallible.
So does it really matter what we believe about Creation?
The simple answer... YES! I know that there are scholars, pastors, and other Christian leaders that claim it doesn't really matter how we got here. They say, "all that matters is that God did it." I couldn't disagree more. If God says that He did it one way, and Christians claim that it doesn't matter if we believe that or not, then what we are really saying is that what the Bible says really doesn't matter. And if what the Bible says really doesn't matter, then it doesn't really matter what we believe about Jesus.
If we cannot accept Genesis 1 as the infallible Word of God, then how can we accept Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Ken Ham said, "If you cannot trust what God said He did about Creation, how can you trust what God said he did when it comes to the Resurrection?" When we start to pick and choose what parts of the Bible we do or do not believe, we might as well toss the whole thing in the trash.
What we as pastors and Christians believe about Creation matters a great deal. Not because belief in a six day creation is required for salvation but rather the Word of God that says there was a six day creation is the same Bible that claims we are sinful in need of a Savior. The Bible tells us that Jesus was born through the power of the Holy Spirit, conceived by Mary, who was a virgin. Yes, that defies science, yet I believe it to be true because the Bible says it is true. Coming back to life three days after being crucified also defies science and logic and experience, yet I believe Jesus did it because the Word of God says He did. I am drawing a comparison to these events and the Genesis account of creation because they have two major things in common. They all defy science, logic, and reason and are all stated as historical facts in the Bible. It is a matter of faith, and my faith is rooted in the Bible. That's why, when I read something in the Bible, I believe it. I believe the Word of God to be truth, even if there is no "evidence" to back it up. It all boils down to faith, and I have placed my faith and truth in Jesus and in the Word of God.
I'd love for you to watch the debate and share with me your thoughts in the comments below. Most of all, I want you to dig into the Word of God. Dig deep, study hard, meditate long, and pray over it. God created us to know Him. His Word is the best way for us to get to know Him today. You will read parts that sound absolutely unbelievable, but believe me, that's just more proof of how great our Creator truly is.