A long while ago, I had the pleasure of reading a book titled “Already Gone,” and it had some amazing insights that I wanted to share in this article. Older Christians who were never taught evolutionary doctrine in school may be asking, “What’s the point? We all believe that God created the world.” Not necessarily! Research done over the broad spectrum of religions in America will shock you because although we realize we have great doctrinal differences between us, the same trends affect us all (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Continue reading » Already Gone
(Editor’s Note: A while back, I started a series of five minute videos on YouTube, designed to teach fundamental principles concerning God, the Bible, Salvation and the Church. To see the videos themselves, look elsewhere on this site, or click here. Because the scripts are designed for verbal speech, the style is significantly different from my usual writing. It dawned on me that the scripts from that series might benefit some for use as bulletin articles or other teaching materials. As of this posting, seven videos have been produced. The scripts to these will be posted in the next couple of weeks. After that, each new script will be posted following the release of the video. Feel free to use these!)
To see this video, click here…
Does God exist? This is perhaps the most important question that man can ask. I freely admit that I can’t prove His existence empirically. That is, I can’t see Him, touch Him, or perceive Him with the five senses I possess. Others could speak more authoritatively on the subject. Moses, for one, who spoke directly with God. Our Lord Himself is another, as he descended from Heaven and God’s presence, and returned there after His resurrection. (Of course, that is another thing to prove, and we will reserve that for another broadcast).
I accept that God exists on Faith. I believe. Mind you, it is not a blind faith. I contend there is compelling evidence of His existence. In fact, we are surrounded by it!
Approximately 3,500 years ago, the inspired scribe recorded in the book of Genesis the events which signaled the beginning of physical creation. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." The first chapter of Genesis records in straightforward, concise language the origins of the universe, life, and man himself. For thousands of years men accepted at face value what the inspired writer penned, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done" (Genesis 1:31-2:2).
The presentation of the Genesis account, together with the geneologies contained in that book present a clear history which shows the creation of the universe and the history of mankind to be of recent origin in relation to the claims of great antiquity advocated by evolutionary theorists.
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I read Phil Robert’s recent response to the five articles I wrote for Watchman in absolute amazement. If he is now a friend of the literal view of the Genesis account, then it needs no critics, it needs no opponents, and it needs no enemies!
It is also passing strange that everything he has accused me of, he is himself guilty of in respect both to his original lecture, and to this present brief “review” which he has written. The difference between us, as is so very obvious from his cursory response to our series of articles, is that I have shown myself completely willing to discuss these matters in a public venue, while he prefers to talk about them behind closed doors in private meetings without tape recorders or others means for verification of precisely what was and was not said. With this in mind, let me take this opportunity to renew our offer for a public discussion of these issues with one or more of the principals involved. Phil’s recent speeches and writings, along with the clear declaration of his stance on the fellowship question, now makes him one of the principals. We therefore extend the offer to Phil. If he is willing to enter into a public discussion, let us begin the process of working out acceptable propositions, terms and conditions, to that end. Continue reading » The Author’s Reply to Phil Roberts
In a recent series of articles published in this venue, Dan King asserts that I have rejected the literal-day approach to Genesis 1 in favor of the day-age approach. This is not true. I have a long history (including my classes this year) of presenting the various interpretations of the days of Genesis 1 and noting that I accept the literal-day approach as the most natural reading of the text, though I would not argue that it is the only possible interpretation.
I would also add here that I do not necessarily consider a brother unworthy of fellowship for considering or even accepting an alternative interpretation, as long as he respects the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures. Devout conservatives, totally opposed to the theory of evolution, have, for many years, noted difficulties in the literal-day interpretation of Genesis 1, difficulties which have led them to suggest alternatives. And while I have not found any one of those alternatives convincing (gap-theory, day-age, etc.), I cannot in good conscience simply ignore the questions they raise. In this position, I stand in the tradition of a long line of brethren, including such men as David Lipscomb, W. W. Otey, and the editors of Truth Magazine in the early 1970s. Of course, these men are not my authority, but their commitment to the authority of scripture is well known.
In a final handout to the preachers and other invited guests assembled at Florida College this summer, brother Phil Roberts, under the heading Do You Accept the Literal Sense?, persisted in his argument against believing the Genesis account of creation is to be taken literally. Regarding Genesis 1:7 and Joshua 10:12-13, he wrote, "What would a person who knew nothing about modern astronomy assume that the passages were saying? What is the "plain sense" of the passages? Would somebody who rejected the "plain sense" in favor of an interpretation adjusted to fit modern knowledge of astronomy be a false teacher?"
In the next section of brother Robert’s response to my own article and the writings of brethren who maintain a literal approach to the creation week (six consecutive 24 hour days), he derides simple and straightforward principles of biblical hermeneutics. To begin with, he questions our usage of terminology such as "the normal sense of the word ‘day’." Surely he does not imply by this that words do not have what we might describe as a "normal sense"? Such talk as this reminds us of the double-talk which we so commonly hear from the modernist and liberal who does every sort of dance around the ordinary and accepted meaning of words in order to avoid what common sense would suggest is the "normal sense" of the words employed by the inspired writers of Scripture. We have become accustomed to these word-games from them, but it will take us a while to acclimate ourselves to this new hermeneutic which is presently making itself felt among our brethren. Most pronouncements which we make in our language are not subject to interpretation. They simply say what they say. It is only the occasional remark which is subject to interpretive methods, because of certain contextual features which require a second look.
How Many Extra Generations Needed?
The second presentation handout about which I would like to comment is a page entitled How Many Extra Generations Needed/Allowed by King’s Methodology? It begins with a relative date of 1700 BC which he claims is the "approximate date of Abraham give(n) (sic) by King." More than once in his material Phil misrepresents me on this point. He takes off from the relative date which was cited in my article: "The approximate dates for the life of Abraham obtained from the biblical data and archaeology are 2000 to 1700 BC" (p. 1). He knows that liberal critics date the life of Abraham at 1700 or thereafter, since they offer the Nuzi and Mari material cultures and their documentary evidence as establishing a late date for the patriarchal age. Phil is well enough in tune with that argument to know that I do not accept the late date for the age of the patriarchal period. Many archaeologists do, however, opt for this later time slot. That is why I mentioned it in the article — not because I accept it. Note that in our earlier quotation from Hill’s handout, Hill himself mentions a date as late as 1800 BC!
We shall begin our treatment of these matters with a word about our earlier article: Let it be understood that we stand by what we wrote, and are happy to offer comment upon the criticisms of others as to the soundness of our essay. Our detractors make it sound as if they wish to maintain the sacred text against the speculations of one who compromises it with observations from history and archaeology. Nothing could be further from the truth. And it assuredly sounds as if the “pot is calling the kettle black” when we read such allegations flowing from the pen of someone who is defending Hill Roberts’ views as more inherently biblical than our own! Believe it who may! No one among conservative brethren in the past half century, in my experience at least, has represented an agent of change on such matters related to science and the Bible any more than brother Hill Roberts. And his brother Phil is now publicly casting his lot with him.
In the April, 1999 issue of Watchman Magazine, this writer penned an article on The Primeval Chronology wherein we reviewed an essay under the same title by Dr. William Henry Green of Princeton University, which appeared originally in the journal Bibliotheca Sacra in April of 1890 (more recently reprinted in Classical Evangelical Essays in OT Interpretation, edited by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Baker: 1980). The general topic of discussion was the question of what the age of the earth actually might be, especially in relation to Archbishop Ussher’s date of 4004 BC (or his alternative date of 4138 BC). We asked, “What is the foundation of a chronology of this sort? It is the assertion that the chronologies of Genesis 5 and 11 do not allow more than a few thousand years from Adam to Abraham” (p. 1).
This being the assumption which underlies Ussher’s date, in that brief article we set out to discuss the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 under the guidance of Green’s helpful dissertation. At the time the material was not viewed as particularly controversial or even important, because most everyone assumed that the points made in it were fairly simple and non-threatening, and especially so since everyone seemed to agree on that which was the basic thrust of the material. Certainly, no one raised public objection to that article at the time. And I received no correspondence taking issue with that study. This is so, I believe, because in my experience as a preacher and teacher of the Word, I have yet to encounter anyone who seriously entertains the propriety of Archbishop Ussher‘s chronology. This does not mean that they do not exist, it just means I have not run into them yet. I am sure they are out there! But they are rare, of that I am certain from my own experience.
In the June 29, 2001 issue of the Daily Texan (The University of Texas’ daily student newspaper), staff writer Devin Griffiths reported on an Austin based company, Cycorp, which is a leading force in the development of AI, (artificial intelligence). Simply put, AI is the capacity of a computer to reason and learn on its own, without any outside help. Readers may be familiar with the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which had as a lead character a thinking, feeling, lying, and ultimately killing computer named HAL. Recently another theatrical release has captured the imagination of filmgoers. AI: Artificial Intelligence, has as its premise the creation of a robotic child programmed with the capacity to love.
There is often a vast gulf between the imaginative world of science fiction and the reality of hard science. What sounds plausible in movies and books may in reality either be impossible or beyond the realm of man’s actual technological achievements. This is certainly true with regard to the state of AI development at the present time. As Griffiths states in his article, “…despite vast technological developments, researchers in the real 2001 are still trying to get computers to read.”
Much has been preached and written on the first chapter of Genesis by men who are more qualified than I, and are much better known. However, the controversy seems to be growing rather than abating.
Some think the days described in Genesis one may not be seven consecutive twenty-four hour days. They try to reconcile creation with current scientific conjecture. Paul warned us that having this much unquestioning faith in science is a dangerous road to travel (1 Timothy 6:20-21). With all the conflicting teaching, I know of no one who does not believe that God has the power to have accomplished the creation in six literal, twenty-four hour days. Those who find problems with the literal days say other scriptures make it improbable, if not impossible, for the creation to have occurred in six literal days (God resting on the seventh). They attempt to reconcile the discrepancy by saying that even if each item of God’s creation had been in an embryonic, or youthful, state and then allowed to mature (evolve) until time for the next day’s creation, it would still have been God doing the work – part miraculously, and part through his laws of providence. If we but give him the credit, he will not mind what we believe (has a familiar ring, doesn’t it?). Of course, since creation was not completed until after the sixth day, all his providential laws would not have been enacted and in force on day one, two, three — in fact until all creation was complete. Even without all his natural laws being in force, this maturing, or evolving, still occurred and could have taken thousands or millions of years.
Bible believers accept the Bible record as absolute truth in whatever it teaches, regardless of how things may appear to be. The Bible is always true. “Let God be found true, but every man a liar,” Romans 3:5. The Bible teaches us that God is absolute perfection and everything He has ever done has been perfect for His purpose. Deuteronomy 32:4 says,
Hebrews 11:3 says “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” The word “framed” comes from katartidzo which means “to make perfect,” “to furnish completely.” We must conclude that the universe, as God created it, was perfect for what He intended, even to declaring his power and divinity, Romans 1:18-23. The testimony of inspiration is that God only had to “speak” what He wanted and it happened. It was framed “by the word of God.” Genesis one simply records that “God said” and it was so. Isaiah 48:3 sums that up by saying, Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: The Universe and the History of Man
The following lines represent an open letter to brethren Hill Roberts, Shane Scott, the Bible faculty and administration of Florida College, with particular reference to Colly Caldwell and Ferrell Jenkins:
In Mark 2:1-12 and Matthew 9:1-8, the parallel accounts of Jesus’ healing of a bedridden paralytic are given. The text affirms that Jesus’ divine power was demonstrated through this miracle when He told the sick of the palsy, “I say unto thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thy house.” Mark’s account then says that the man “straightway took up the bed, and went forth before them all.” Faithful brethren in discussions with Pentecostals and charismatics generally, have pointed out two obvious characteristics of miracles from this and other cases: (a) there was instantaneous action to accomplish fully the intended result, and (b) the action was not explainable by natural law. Continue reading » An Open Letter: The Creation Account and Florida College
I remember learning the General Theory of Evolution as a schoolboy. I remember that I was taught that the theory was supported by an overwhelming body of evidence. My teachers did mention that there were still people on the planet who did not believe the General Theory. However, they also mentioned that there were still people who believed the earth to be flat. In other words, the implication was that anyone who did not believe in the General Theory was backward and ignorant. At the time, it did not occur to me to question this point; like most school children, I merely accepted it and tried to learn it so as to do well on the tests. As I grew, however, I began to learn to think for myself, and eventually came to realize that the “evidence” for the General Theory is not so overwhelming, after all.
It is important to note that evolutionary processes do take place. Over time, we see new breeds of dogs being developed. We see new types of bees result from the crossing of two or more similar species of bee. I do not know anyone who questions the fact that such changes occur. However, all of these changes occur within the same kind. What we do not see – and what no one has ever seen – is a completely new kind of creature evolving. No one has ever seen, either in nature or in the laboratory, one kind of creature evolve into another kind of creature. In other words, microevolution – evolution within natural boundaries – is a proven fact. The theory under question – and the theory that contradicts the Bible – is the General Theory, or macroevolution. Macroevolution teaches that all forms of life currently on the planet evolved from the same single-celled organism. Moreover, macroevolution teaches that all life is the result of natural processes, and not the design of an omnipotent Creator. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: What the Fossil Record Shows
Those who preach the theory of evolution have a tendency to pride themselves on being very scientific in their approach. They assert that they do not rely on myths and fables to discern the origin of the universe, but on hard, physical evidence. They assert that all the known facts point to the truthfulness of evolution. They also affirm that anyone who does not believe in evolution is backward, ignorant, naïve, superstitious, or prejudiced. However, when the facts are examined, they do not favor the evolutionist.
As an example, let us consider the origin of species. If the general theory of evolution is true, then all life as we know it had to evolve from one primitive life form: some sort of single-celled organism. In order for this to have occurred, organisms must have changed their form, or mutated, from one kind of organism to another. At some point, some fish (or fish-like organism) must have mutated into another kind of fish. Some fish or other had to mutate into a reptile. At another point, a reptile must have mutated into a mammal. Of course, the list goes on and on and on: in order to produce the vast multitude of species that exist, such mutations must have occurred countless times. However, when this scenario is compared to known facts, it becomes very difficult to believe. Continue reading » Evidences of Faith: Stubborn as a Mule
One of the main features of our work in Lithuania is the weekly Bible lectures. We started having lectures when we first started working there in April, 1992, and have continued the practice until the present date. A variety of subjects have been addressed in these lectures, but the one we want to concentrate on in this article is one that I preached in November, 1998. The theme of the lectures that day was, “Creation or Evolution?” The first lecture called into question a number of the main tenants of evolution while the second one was simply an exegesis of Genesis 1. Doing the lectures in this order one has the opportunity to clear away many of the misconceptions which “science falsely so called” has spread concerning the origin of man before approaching the Bible’s account of creation. The advertisements for the lecture brought unexpected interest and I was invited to give it again to a loosely knit Protestant group the following Sunday afternoon. About 70 people were in attendance. I hope to repeat this lecture in other places.
The lecture constituted more work than any lecture I can remember. At least 20 charts were presented, most of which had to be translated into Lithuanian. It was introduced with a chart showing the difference between the general theory of evolution which teaches that everything evolved from a common ancestor and the Genesis account of each “kind” or species having its origin with the creating word of God. We next looked at a picture of the geologic time table as the evolutionists see it from John Clark and David Eakin’s booklet, The Theory of Evolution and Special Creation. This table presents the view of the earth’s rock strata so vital to the evolutionist’s theory which, according to their interpretation, allows billions of years for man to evolve from non-life. Continue reading » White Unto Harvest: Teaching on Evolution and Evidences in a Foreign Land
Anderson, J. Kerby, and Coffin, Harold G. Fossils in Focus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977.
Baker, Sylvia. Bone of Contention. Sunnybank: Creation Science Foundation, Ltd., 1980.