God is big, bigger than what the biggest of imagination or exploration can capture. He is not dependent on human construction; rather we depend on him to reveal himself so that we can catch a glimpse of who he is, so that we can experience him. He does that in nature, the power and the complexity of which are constantly being explored by man.
There is a limit to the information we have can even get about him even from the bible, and we should be careful about making absolute conclusions about things that God did not totally reveal in the bible and his creation, which he only gave glimpses of.
That leaves curious humanity in a state of tension between what we know and what we want to know, between our hunger for knowledge and the limitation of our faculties. Therefore we can only find rest not in our knowledge (it is limited) but in his presence, not in that fact that we know it all (we don’t) but in the fact that we know the one who knows it all, not in the fact that we have found all secrets (we have not) but in that fact that we dwell in the secret place of the most high (Psalm 91). We find rest in relationship with him, not in our accurate understanding of relativity, which in itself is relative.
The information concerning the creation of the earth given in the first two chapters of the bible were not to be totally conclusive about the origin of the world, they don’t satisfy the full curiosity of man. This is because the aim of the bible is the documentation of the redemption plan of God. It is not a science book, though it is not opposite to science. All we know was: in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. That means there was no material world before God made it. Verse two said that the earth was void and without form and there was darkness there.
And based on the nature of God, we know he cannot make what will be immersed in darkness (absence of his light) because that is not who he is; he cannot make what is formless and because he is the epitome of beauty, he cannot make anything that is void because it is his nature to fill all things. So it is conclusive that certain that the state of the earth in verse two was a state of judgement on certain inhabitants of the earth, creatures in a different order to humans were judged by God. No one can command the judgement of God other than his creatures that chose to disobey him. These things have implications on the finding of anthropology, archaeology, physics and biology on the earth.
Without the fall of man (discussed in the third chapter of the book of Genesis), there will be no need for the bible, because what there is to know will automatically be known by man when the need arises. To name the thousands of animals in the world then, Adam did not have to consult a book, go for any class on taxonomy, as the full representative of God on the earth, he just knew things, he was in full sync with God concerning any assignment he is given. So the need for writing things down arose because man lost a good measure of his God-potential because of sin, humanity now function below our original spiritual capacity.
Though there is a limitation of information of the first few chapters of the bible as it relates to the origin of the world, of man, there are depths of God that can be gleaned from it as guidelines to interpret that period.
How we should reconcile the word of God with the authentic discoveries of science is where the issues lie. We don’t need to throw away science in the face of scriptures nor do we have to throw away the bible in the face of compelling evidence of nature and discoveries of science. True believers and seekers of truth will seek to reconcile the two. When there arose any area of conflict, we must put it to a deficiency of our science, not of the word of God. That is the default inner posture of those who recognise the supremacy of God as he revealed himself in the pages of the bible.
From the first two chapters of the bile, there is no way to know how old the earth was. This is where we will agree with science not about how the earth was formed (origin) but how long it has been around (time). The earth was formed by God but science will not proclaim that, but science using its tools, which are being better refined all the time can reveal the age of the earth. Science puts the age of the earth to 4.5billions years. That does not contradict the bible.
How old is humanity?
About 6000 years is the biblically valid period from the creation of Adam till now. Or why do you think the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 3:7) was meticulous about giving the ages of people in the bible, chronologically? Is it not to help us time the duration of humans stay on earth from the time of Adam and Eve till now? The record was clear from the Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, to Moses to the last king of Judah, the seventy years of the captivity, the timeline between the call to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and the birth of the messiah as given in the book of Daniel (Daniel 9:25), all together give the picture of the length of time between creation and Jesus. And contemporary history can tell us that between the Jesus’ birth and today is just over 2000 years. We have this fact because God wants us to know for sure, not to dribble us to the wrong conclusion. That is a depth of God that God has revealed.
If we take the bible as the word of God, then the chronologies written in it must be taken seriously and literally.
Some say that there are people not mentioned in the genealogies. This flies in the face of biblical logic. There is no such evidence to show that eek for some missing link in the genealogies because they were comfortable with the implication that man duration on earth may actually be very short. Because there seems to be a specific number of generations between epochs do not mean the biblical writers wanted to hoodwink their readers. That is the display of the finger of God setting order even in history when rebellious (especially as it has to do with his people Israel) man thought he is in charge.
What about evolution?
The bible does not support evolution in any way. But that is not so difficult to imagine. Because some may ask what about the mineral resources (fossils) that are all formed after millions of years beneath the earth, what about the convolutions on the earth surface, the formation of sea-beds and mountain, does this not suggest processes that took place over millions if not billions of years? It does. (As said earlier stated, there are billions of years between the first two verses of the bible) That is why we need to understand that we need science to tell us the age of the earth but not the age of man because man was made about 6000 years ago.
When the bible uses the word “begat” (KJV) take it serious. Don’t tell me the son is mistaken for the grandson citing the example of Belshazzar who was said to be the son of Nebuchadnezzar, but was really his grandson (Daniel 5:22). That is an attempt to look for what is not lost.
We should interpret the bible plainly. What about the discoveries of human bones noted to be well over 6000 years? If true, the only conclusion is that they were life forms that existed maybe similar to man before the creation of man, but where destroyed when the first world was destroyed, and it became void and there was darkness on the face of the deep.
What about signs of human activities well before 6000 years ago which have been discovered by Anthropologists and Archaeologists? We would also put that to pre-Adamic creatures of some form or the other. We would not say science is lying without any evidence, but we have to uphold the claims of scriptures, as God’s divine communication. There need not be a conflict between science and the bible when we take the latter as sacrosanct, as the word of God. What about the dinosaur? They were on the earth prior to the judgment on the earth.
Know that according to research in history, the recording of history (man as writer) began 4 millennia BC. It must definitely be that the world before the Genesis 1:2, was one in which there was no need to record anything (whatever world that was).
‘Am I claiming that soon after the fall of man they because to write? That is true because man was not made dull, he was made brilliant and after the fall, he definitely invented writing fairly easily, just as he invented cloths too (though from leaves), even in the Garden of Eden, after falling into sin. It has be discovered that the invention of writing coincided with the Bronze Age; and in Genesis chapter four we see that bronze usage was already a well developed skill at that time (Genesis 4:22). I am biased because I try to re-explain science from the standpoint of the bible. Otherwise, I might as well declare there is no God, to my own condemnation.
Days of creation
Are the seven days of creation 24-hour literal day or was that only symbolic. It cannot be symbolic. The seven days were described as being made up of an evening and a morning. Why describe each day that way, if not to clear away any doubt to their being 24 hour cycles? Those who say the 24 hour day is not literal are deceiving themselves. Now we have genetic modification to make plants grow within a shorter time, don’t you think that when the only factor is God, as the only condition, then what should have taken thousands of years be achieved in a 24-hour cycle? Is there anything too difficult for God? If God is not capable of doing miracles, what is the point of his being God?
This is the rule of thumb: whatever conclusion that you have that seems to limit God in any way is wrong. God asked Sarah: is there anything too hard for me? How long does it take to make the one born without any eyeball see perfectly? Maybe never! What about God, how long would it take him? No time at all (John 9).
Anyone who says that the six days of creation were not literal days because there are different meaning of Day in the bible, have to give a different meaning of the Sabbath Day (the day God rested, which became an holy day in the old testament). If the days of creation were not 24-hour-days, then the fact that God rested on the seventh day does not make sense. Theologians should be careful about removing the power of God from their calculations. What takes years for man, takes no time for God. Why is he God, if he is also subjected to what man is subjected to?
The problem people have is that in trying to marry science with the bible they compromise the plain words of the bible. Using the glasses of science, it makes you want to take as symbolic what is clearly literal in the bible. But when we use the glasses of the bible to view science then we might come to different conclusions.
Science is the discovery of what God has made, when it crosses the boundaries and wants to presume it can make conclusive statements about the depths of God hidden in a past age, science has become fiction.
Note that God can park thousands of years of changes in one day (2Peter 3:5-9), and make a thousand years just a day considering the little change between the start and the end of the years. It happened in the dark ages, when there were few or no societal changes for hundreds of years.
There are things hidden that are yet to be revealed, that we need to keep searching, using various tools including the bible and scientific tools. The search is the fun. It is an endless search of eternity, because God’s depths cannot be full searched. So why search at all? I repeat: the search is the fun.
- Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? (scientistsforjesus.wordpress.com)
- Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism (slate.com)