Section I
Creation Theories

The Ages of the Old Testament

God has a plan and a purpose. Nothing will divert him from it. In every step while developing it he reveals his glory and excellence. In spite of a powerful adversary, men of every age who were willing to see it, saw it, and passed it down to later generations.

The apostles brought his ultimate purpose before the Church at the start, especially Paul, but later on, most of the Church lost sight of God's purpose. The ones who in the a postolic period who understood, turned the world upside down with the gospel.

The goal prepares sinful men for a role in God's plans for eternity. It is a role which glorifies God, because it is his plan being perfected. The glory attained by men in this process is added praise to his glory, since it is through him that they obtain it. For instance, the goal for this particular age simply put and as mentioned in nearly every epistle in the New Testament is to be ready for the next step of his plan when they meet Jesus in the air;thus the many references to his coming. Looking ahead to this time is our blessed hope. It is not just the desire to be caught up, to have a glorified body and live in paradise as ma ny would think. It is the joyful anticipation of earning a place of service in his ongoing kingdom, the reward.[i] he goal requires the development of the character of Christ by obtaining t he fruits of the Spirit and incorporating them into one’s character, whi ch is impossible outside of complete submission to the Holy Spirit.  This makes a believer closer to the nature of the perfect man, Christ Jesus. But beyond that it also involves getting to know God by prayer, study of his word, observing his ways, walki ng in the Spirit and learning his plans for the future. Thus when we believers stand before Christ at the judgment seat he can pronounce us ready for the next step, rewarding us a place of reign in his literal kingdom on earth. But even this is not the end of his purpose. Instead it is a kind of an apprenticeship of a thousand years, learning how to reign. But the real purpose comes after that: Eternity.

By creating man with a will of his own, God complicated the process. Mankind in general keeps rebelling against God’s plan by doing his own thing, his own way. Nevertheless, as God reveals more and more of his character and ways to each generation thro ugh the ages, he calls out of each age those who will hear him. These he preser ves for his purpose.

In this book we will try to show what God accomplishes in each passing age as he works toward making mankind ready for his greater plan. We will tell it first in prose, then illustrate the ramifications of it with a chart at the end.  By illustrating his plans both in words and picture our goal is to encourage his saints to study these truths that we might all be ready when he comes!

 

 

 

SECTION I: THE PREFACE TO THE AGES—CREATION

 

Genesis and the creation story have always been in contention between men with faith and man’s intellectual power of reason—”science so called.” Many “philosophical reasonings” propose to eliminate God by thinking. (The rebellious nature of man needs to be convinced that there is no God so he can live however he pleases without consequences.) Such thinking has gone on throughout the ages. Howev er, as man learned more and more about the universe in which he lives, the atta ck on the existence of God has become even more fierce, especially since the Nineteenth Century when the theory of evolution was introduced as an answer to our beginnings. Then the industrial Revolution gave way to the Technical Revolution, just as faith in God as creator gave way to godless evolution. Unbelievers, who never question the teaching, assume evolution is truth, si mply because it is taught. The teachers are right aren’t they?

Modern day Christian youth, being taught in school a still unproven theory as factual, have a dilemma.  Which is true—the Bible, taught in their family devotions or ungodly men’s theories believed by the world? As a result several theories about creation have become popular among Christians to explain what God says and counter godless science. The centur ies before the Industrial and Technical Revolutions, God’s existence was not questioned. But now it has become a real stumbling block, because in this present age, not even Christians can agree. We will briefly go over these creation theories, plus some of my own, showing in essence what is believed and the problems with each.

Creationism

The theory of seven day/24 hour Creationism (they would argue that it is not a theory), is probably the most widely held position today among fundamental Christians. They take creation from the text in Genesis literally as written in the Bible—seven literal 24 hour days. They believe the time involved is short—a young earth as opposed to the millions of years claimed by godless evolutionists. They are to be commended for the studies in the sciences that point to a young earth. They believe m ost of the fossils in the rocks can be explained by the moving of the waters in the great flood of Noah’s day, bringing them in contention with Christian geologists.

They suggest catastrophe as the answer to the geological ages and see verse two of Genesis as part of the process of creation. However, there are many problems with this verse, which we will address when discussing other theories. Also, they are lacking in historical evidence of other catastrophes in Genesis besides the flood. They hold fast to the idea that the sun was created on the fourth day, so cannot explain the light God spoke in the beginning. Stephen L. Dill argues with them on this point in his book, In the Beginnings saying: 

 

“If there were three days and three nights before day fo ur,what was the source of light? Some Young-Earth creationists believe there w as a glowing ball of matter somewhere out in space, but it wasn’t the sun. Where they find that in the Bible is beyond me. It doesn’t fit with any known scientific discoveries either. Other Young-Earth creationists say that God Himself was the source. “God is light,” they will quote. (1 John 1:5) While it is true that God is light, the text doesn’t say that God is the source of that light. That is an assumption, not a revelation. If God was the source of that light, then what happened to God during the night? Did he quit being light? Did his attributes change? As you carefully read the text, you will see that God reveals no distinctions between the source of the light for the first three days and the last three days. God didn’t say he was the light for the first three days and then the sun became light after that. That’s what Young-Earthers want you to believe, but no Bible verse states that.

 There is no Bibl ical indication that the source of light for days one through three differs from the source of light for days four through six. Both of these light sources divided the day from the night in the exact same way for the exact same duration. This would imply that the sun was the source of light for all six days. This would further imply that the sun was created before the fourth day. That agrees w ith Genesis 1:1 . . .”[ii]

 

Stephen Dill, himself a young-earth creationist, until he discovered many of the scientific claims of their arguments were faulty, many based on “super faithR 21; in their position rather than the actual truth of God’s word. 

Day/Age Theory

The Day/ Age Theory came into existence back in the early eighteen hundreds as a compromise with the theory of evolution. Recognizing that the earth was very old, they tried to reconcile its age with   God’s word by making each day an age. They put special interpretation on 2 Peter 3;8 “One day is as a thousand year s . . .” and by changing the meaning for the word ‘’day.” Wikipedia on line gives a brief history as follow s:

“Scottish lawyer and geologist Charles Lyell published his fa mous and influential work Principles of Geology in 1830–1833 which interpreted geologic change as the steady accumulation of minute changes over enormously long spans of time and that natural processes, uniformly applied over the length of that existence uniformatarianism could account for what men saw and studied in creation.

In the mid 19th century, American geologist Arnold Guyot sought to harmonize science and scripture by interpreting the "days"of Genesis 1 as epochs in cosmic history. Similar views were held by a protégé of Lyell, John William Dawson, who was a prominent Canadian geologist and commentator, from an orthodox perspective, on science and religion in the latter part of the 19th century. Dawson was a special creationist, but not a biblical literalist, admitting that the days of creation represented long periods of time, that the Genesis flood was only 'universal' from the narrator's limited perspective, and that it was only humanity, not the Earth itself, that was of recent creatio n.

American geologist and seminarian George Frederick Wright was originally a leading Christian Darwinist. However reaction against higher criticism in biblical scholarship and the influence of James Dwight Dana led him to become increasingly theologically conservative. By the first decade of the 20th century he join ed forces with the emerging fundamentalist movement in advocating against evolution, penning an essay for The Fundamentals entitled "The Passing of Evolution". In these later years Wright believed that the "days" of Genesis represented geological ages and argued for the special creation of several plant and animal species "and at the same time endowed them with the marvelous capacity for variation which we know they possess." His statements on whether there had been a sepa rate special creation of humanity were contradictory

Probably the most famous day-age creationist was American politician, anti-evolution campaigner and Scopes Trial prosecutor William Jennings Bryan. Unlike many of his conservative followers, Bryan was not a strict biblical literal ist, and had no objection to "evolution before man but for the fact that a concession as to the truth of evolution up to man furnishes our opponents w ith an argument which they are quick to use, namely, if evolution accounts for all the species up to man, does it not raise a presumption in behalf of evolution to include man?" He considered defining the days in Genesis 1 to be twenty-four hours to be a pro-evolution straw man argument to make attacking creationists easier, and admitted at Scopes that the world was far older than six thousand years, and that the days of creation were probably longer than twenty-four hours each.

American Baptist preacher and anti-evolution campaigner William Bell Riley, "The Grand Old Man of Fundamentalism", founder of the World Christian Fundamentals Association and of the Anti-Evolution League of America was another prominent day-age creationist in the first half of the 20th century, who defended this position in a famous debate with friend and prominent young Earth creationist Harry Rimmer.

One modern defender is astronomer Hugh Ross, who in 1994 wrote Creation and Time defending the day-age view in great detail, and who founded the day-age creationist ministry Reasons to Believe.

Although this theory is still believed by people today, they interpret words by taking them out of con text removing their modifiers, which often define a word in the Hebrew. Theiststic evolutionists hold the same day/age theory .  Most creationists reject their theory.

 

The Intelligent Design Theory

The “Intelligent Design” theory, held mostly by a community of scientists, philosophers and other scholars who seek evidence of design in nature. The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection. Through the study and analysis of a system's components, a design theorist is able to determine whether various natural structures are the product of chance, natural law, intelligent design, or some combination thereof. Such research is conducted by observing the types of information produced when intelligent agents act.[iii] argue that everything in the universe is too complicated to have evolved by itself. Therefore, it had to have a “designer”—which most think is the Judeo/Christian God. 

These garner little respect from either the creationists, or the scientists who call it a pseudoscience.  The intents seem to be mainly intellectual without the spiritual input. They were defeated in their attempt to admit their teaching in to the schools of Pennsylvania  as an alternative to evolution in science classes.

There is yet another view of creation put forth by Barry Setterfield, an investigator of Geology, Physics and Astronomy involving the latest in plasma physics. He discusses the subjects of the speed of light, the changing mass of sub-atomic particles, the quantization of the red shift, the measured changes in something called Planck’s Constant and the fact of the atomic clock, as measured by atomic processes does not run at the same rate as our orbital clock, or the way we measure time by our motion through space. With his degree in Geology, he has used these subjects to match up the entire geological record in the rocks with the Genesis record.  Awesome! This is way beyond my meager understanding of scientific subjects. But I mention this theory for you that may want to pursue this investigation. Check out his wrtings on his website at: www.setterfield.org/000docs/timeline.htm

My Own Evolution Through Various Theories

For years I held to the “Gap” theory [taken up next] because of my degree in geology, as well as a footnote in my first Bible supporting this theory. Satisfied for years that God did it, I never questioned how.

Confronted with an opportunity to speak to college students about the Bible, I decided to look at Biblical creation again. I knew the subject would surely come up and I needed an intelligent answer. What I found switched me over to the Creationists, at least as far as the report God surely gave to Adam.

 I had already thrown in my lot with the plasma theorists when it came to the universe, so it made sense to me that the first thing God would have created would be ionized atoms—enough to make the whole universe. In a simplified explanation, these are incomplete atoms without all their electrons before they join together to form molecules. This is a state of matter that scientists call plasma, deemed the fourth state of matter. Although it most resembles a gas, it is not technically a gas, a liquid or a solid. However, one of its main properties is the conduction of electricity.   The universe, contrary to past understanding does not stretch out into emptiness, but is full of these atoms, albeit thinly stretched out. Some say plasma occupies 99.99% of the universe. So when God said . “Let there be light,” he simply added electric energy to his plasma of atoms, which I liken to “primordial soup.” Physics tells us that electrical energy plus plasma equals light—always. Just like switching on a florescent light. The ionized gas inside lights up.  So, when God said, “Let there be light,” his energized word automatically created light everywhere.&nb sp; Actually, there could be nothing but light. This made perfect sense to me. However, the main work—to my thinking—accomplished on that first day was in creating the darkness. This is what changed my mind.

In order to create darkness, God had to sepa rate out of this lighted soup all the atoms that when assembled were capable of creating light themselves. That would have meant separating out all the material making up the galaxies, suns/stars of the universe into independent bodies, ordering the non light producing atoms to clump together in reflective bodies such as terrestrial planets and their moons leaving the remaining pl asma to stretch out into a vast expanse of darkness. My explanation is, of cours e, a simplistic rendition of an obviously extremely complicated process. Yet God’s word reduces it even more. He simply divides the light from the darkness—same truth! He didn’t say how he did it.  After all, how would Adam understand the complicated physics I refer to; he started out with a totally blank adult mind unless God programmed it.

  Telling Adam the sequence of the original creation beginning with the light had to be after the fact anyway.  Obviously Adam was not an eye witness since he had not yet been crea ted.Did God show it to him in a video vision? In any case he reported it to his descendents afterward.

The seven day /24 hour problem does not exist when you look at creation in this manner. I know this is simplistic, but I want to point out that God can satisfy our wonderings about our beginnings in a very simple way even if the process is in Quantum physics. Following on with my simplistic explanation, there is no problem with there being light before t herwas a sun, as skeptics scoff.  Nor does the word say the sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day. They were already there. They just couldn’t be seen because of the dark swaddle clouds in Genesis 1:2, mentioned also to Job, concerning creation. When the clouds were removed the lights appeared in the atmosphere, according to what it says on day four. Letting the sun rule the day simply means no other body in space was close enough to over shine its light during the day. Neither could any star out shine the moon’s light at night. Everything else happens in natural order: light energy for plants; plant food for animals and after that the animals, and then the crowning glory of creation—man. All that’s needed to accomplish this is an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God, which he is!

However, I found a flaw in my scenario—time. There appeared to be gaps between the days. I knew from my geology studies that the earliest plant fossils found in the rocks did not propagate with true seeds, but from spores. Plants with true seeds were found in the higher, later rock strata. Did God fast-forward over that part?

Not only that, but there were fossils of primitive animals and plants encased in the rocks that did not include mammals, which were included in the six day creation. This suggested another creation and its destruction before the seven day account. Besides that, the second verse interrupted everything. Believers all the way back to New Testament times held differences of opinion about creation. I had come full circle. I was back to the gap theory.

The “Gap” Theory

The “Gap” theory is popular among many with geology in their education. In it they see a time for the earth to pass through the geological age time chart before the present age.

Geologists created the time chart over a per iod of many years of intense study comparing the rocks all over the earth.  They determined and classified the rocks layers according to the fossils found in them. By comparing the consistent placement of the certain fossils in the same layers of rocks where ever fou nd around the world, the truth of the fossil record has become carefully refined and well established into an order. The time element, however, cannot be trusted, because none of the measuring devices are stable and can yield no certain dates. As discoveries in science move ever on, men of science are finding that many of their so called “constants” have changed over time, for instance the rate of decay in radio active rocks or the speed of light. [iv] Nor can all the men studying these things be dismissed as godless men. Many were God fearing Christians who recognized the record in the rocks as God’s truth reco rded in the natural realm.

 But other adherents to this theory see a spiritual reason for a gap. They hold that Genesis, verse three, begins a record of a new creation after an earth ruled by Satan was judged and destroyed.  This theory provides a time for Satan’s past when he became a satan (adversary). It was also popular among such scholars as Schofield in the late 1800’s, and because of the influence of the popular Scofield Bible, formed the fundamental doctrine on creation among evangelicals for years. Today this view is in decline.

However, aside from inserting the belief of Satan’s fall from favor, between verse one and verse two of Genesis,  philological Hebrew scholars (mayb e as far back as the earliest days of the Church), argued over the arrangement of the first three verses of Genesis. So, contrary to popular belief today, the gap theory is not a recent teaching, brought about to contradict evolutionary geology, but one that has been around for a long time.

T he main controversy revolves around the translation of “waw” or “vaw” found in the second verse. Gap scholars maintain this indicates a break from that which proceeded it (verse one), and since there is no future perfect tense in Hebrew, the past tense is used reversing the normal position of the verb in order to indicate it. Thus they believe that the verb translated “was“ into English should be translated “had become,” making verse two say:  “And the earth had become void and without form . . . “ creating a gap between the two verses.  Arthur C. Cus tance writing about the history of this controversy gives a long list of scholars that believed in the break, in fact, even some who did not agree that Satan was involved, subscribed to the break. They saw the grammar alone indicating an unknown interval of time.  Custance says:

We are in no position at present to deter mine precisely how the Jewish commentators made the discovery [of the break], but their early literature (the Midrash for example) reveals that they had some intimation of an early pre- Adamic catastrophe affecting the whole earth. Similarly, clear evidence appears in the oldest extant Version of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Ta rgum of Onkelos) and some intimation may be seen in the "punctuation marks" of the Massoretic text of Genesis Chapter One. Early Jewish writers subsequently built up some abstruse arguments about God's dealings with Israel on the basis of this belief and it would seem that Paul in his Epistle to the Corinthians is at one point making indirect reference to this traditional background.
                A few of the early Church Fathers accepted this interpretation and based some of their doctrines upon it. It is true that both they and their Jewish antecedents used arguments which to us seem at times to have no force whatever, but this is not the issue. The truth is, as we shall see, that the idea of a once ordered world having been brought to ruin as a consequence of divine judgment just prior to the creation of Adam, was apparently quite widesprea d. It was not debated: it was merely held by some and not by others. Those who held it referred to it and built up arguments upon it without apparently feeling the need to apologize for believing as they did, nor for explaining the grounds for their faith.
                During succeeding centuries not a few scholars kept the view alive, and medieval scholars wrote about it at some length - often using phraseology which gives their work a remarkably modern ring.[v]

The Targum of Onekelos mentioned above was the first translation of Hebrew into the Aramaic language. It was recognized as being free of the rabbis’ “h alakha” [arguments about the law] opinions, consisting instead of the plain meaning of the Torah.  Here the Aramaic passive participle of the verb meaning “to cut “ or “to lay waste” was compounded with the Hebrew to render verse t wo “and the earth was laid waste.”

Custuce< /span> goes on to produce a long list of men who believed that a gap existed between verses one and two. I will only mention prominent names most Christians today would recognize, beginning with early Church Fathers: Gregory Nazianzen, Justin Martyr, St. Basil, St. Caesarius, Origen. Later subscribers were: St. Augustine, Theodoert, Episcopius, Calvin, Bishop Patrick, Dr. David Jennings, Luther, Alfred Edershiem, and G. H. Rember. But in spite of all Custuce's painstaking research he says in conclusion:

By and large, therefore, I suggest that the rendering, "But the earth had become a ruin and a desolation", is a rendering which does more justice to the original and deserves more serious consideration as an alternative than it has been customary to affor d it in recent years.
It is, after all, quite conceivable that some catastrophe did occur prior to the appearance of Man for which we do not yet have the kind of geological evidence we would like. Only twenty years ago Uniformitarianism reigned supreme - but recently the Theory of Continental Drift has shaken this long established doctrine to its foundations. There could be other to hit upon the exact truth.[vi]surprises yet in store for us. For myself, in the meantime, the most important thing of all is to know as precisely as it can be known, exactly what the Word of God really says.... even if for the time being it does conflict with current geological theory. All we can hope to do is to contribute light to minds of greater precision, who may thus be enabled< /span>, who may thus be enabled to hit upon the exact truth.[vii]

Conclusion

Thus we end up withou t a scenario that completely fits scripture, perhaps because all of these other theories are missing relevant facts. Putting together a puzzle with missing pieces distorts the picture. We know that God created the heavens and the earth. What we don’t know is how. Do we need to know that? Does that particular knowledge add anything to life? Do we have to defend God? Of cou rse, the answer to all these questions is no. Yet the mystery of it intrigues us and we go on searching for the full truth.

I recently came aware of material that may add more data to the mix. I learned that while the early theories of geology were being proposed, Christian scholars were investigat ing the catastrophes of the past through the writings of ancient cultures. Some were even eye witness accounts of the catastrophes passed down through cultures. For some reason this knowledge was lost to the Church, probably because of the unequivocal acceptance of the Darwinian "et al" theories of the world’s beginning. What the earlier Christian scholars uncovered was the literal physical interaction of the planets with the earth during which time God revealed his majesty in his mighty acts, acts modern expositors have dismissed as poetic writings, robbing God of His glory. In the next section we will begin to show how the planets contributed to God’s truth, giving reason for the chaos recorded in the rocks.

As concerning the age of the earth, the record in the rocks does not necessarily prove age as much as it proves the earth’s susceptibility to catastrophic events, which may well have deposited the rock record quickly in the same manner as the layers laid down when Mt. St. Helen exploded. Noting the catastrophes remembered by ancient cultures, the earth may well be only a few thousand years old, not millions. However, this can only be understood in the cataclysmic clashes of the early Solar System with the Earth.



[i] See Appendix One

[ii] Steven L. Dill, In the Beginnings, Xulon Press, © Steven L. Dill 2010, pp 208,209

[iii] Intellpgent Design Website http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php

[iv] Helen Setterfield, A Basic Summery, Writing to clarify her husband, Barry Setterfield̵ 7;s research of the change of the speed of light for the average person to understand.

[v] Custuce, Arthur C., Without Form and Void, http://www.creation days.dk/withoutformandvoud/1.html

[vi] http://www.creation days.dk/withoutformandvoud/1.html