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THEOLOGY > God > Work of Creation > Science or Scripture 


Why are some believers so determined to transform “day” into “age”? And why are they so forceful in their scorn and intellectual contempt for one who believes that the plain teachings of the Bible should be taken seriously? Why do a growing number of interpreters look with somewhat disdain upon a believer who embraces a six-day Creation week, a twenty-four hour six-day Creation week? Is it because these interpreters are devoted to establishing a synthesis between Scripture and science? In this endeavor at synthesis Scripture is interpreted in light of scientific theory and adjusted in order that it might conform to current scientific teaching and belief.

But evolutionary science takes one approach to the age and development of the earth, while the Bible offers a different alternative. This raises a fundamental question.

How can precisely defined opposites be legitimately harmonized?

Evolution is based upon the uniformitarian principle which states that all physical and chemical processes were essentially the same in the past as they are now; hence, present processes plus vast periods of time (ages) have produced the universe and life as we know it. The present, therefore, is the key to the past. In this scenario the universe is a closed system. Nothing, or more importantly, no One, outside the system is affecting the system; it originated, operates, and develops on its own. It is this closed system that dictates that the word “day” must mean “age.”

In contrast, the Biblical view is that catastrophic events (Creation and the Flood; both were, relatively speaking, very brief events) produced and explain all that we know today. But these events were not self-directed; they were not the result of so-called “chance” happenings. Most profoundly, the Bible teaches that the universe is an open system (see: God is Sovereign), open and exposed to the omnipotent God, who rules over all things and continually exercises His rule (see: Theistic Determinsm). In other words, the past is the key to the present (rather than the present being the key to the past). And in the past, at the beginning, God worked for six days. And the days, in the account in Genesis, imply nothing more than twenty-four hours.

Should science be interpreted in light of Scripture, or is Scripture to be interpreted in light of science?  Which has the priority? This is a fundamental question.

What establishes the parameters—science or Scripture?

On the one hand, the Bible is not a scientific book; but, on the other hand, the Truth of the Bible provides the only perspective by which to evaluate and to interpret properly the enterprises and findings of science. Despite its assertions, science is not autonomous; it is continually in need of critical assessment because its claims and theories are ever changing. Its findings must constantly be revised. Science’s ability is severely limited in that it can only investigate and speak with any authority on current processes. It has no capability of investigating origins or that which is even superior to origins, namely eternity. Metaphysics cannot be reduced to the laboratory; therefore science should be humble and confess its inability and limitations, for it does not have the final word.

In contrast to the limitations of science, there is the authority and infallibility of Revelation. In Scripture God has spoken (see: Revelation and Foundations). God has informed man of Himself and of His acts, and His initial act was that of Creation. Origins, therefore, can be known because the One responsible for origins has informed us (see: The God of Creation). Part of the information He revealed is that origins took place over a brief period, six days to be exact. If He misleads as to the amount of time it took Him, how can we be sure that He is the One responsible for origins. The totality of the story must be accepted. One part of the account cannot be acknowledged (God created) and another part jettisoned (It only took six days). How can a believer defend the fact that God created, but question how long it took when the One who created told exactly how long it took?

The Bible is the solitary reliable source which can be used by man to critique his reasoning and subsequent judgments. Origins are known by Revelation, and only by Revelation.

Scripture must take priority over the musings of science.

One’s basic philosophical approach conditions one’s interpretations of both Scripture and science. And the philosophical foundation of modern science rules out God and Divine Revelation. Ultimately, this is not reflective of an intellectual problem but a moral problem, a moral condition that affects intellectual reasoning (see: Evolutionist versus Theist).

Genesis is not to be transformed into something that is acceptable to the modern mind, but it is to be believed.

For in six days
Yahweh made the heavens and the earth,
the sea,
and all that is in them.
Ex. 20:11

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