Mike Trutt is an evangelical Christian with a Jewish background. He believes the Bible is inspired by God, recorded by man, and given its life by the Holy Spirit. You can read about and discuss his Old Earth views on scripture, science, history, and other topics at his blog,http://geocreationism.com.
Geocreationism – Evolution and God
As the reader proceeds, I request an open mind. With many of my theories on Creation, I often get the question of “why”? I cannot always answer. But consider how often God does not explain Himself to you. Quite often, He tells us what He did and what He will do, and we have only to believe Him. Abram was promised a son in His old age. He believed God and it was accounted to Him as righteousness; Zechariah on the other hand laughed, and God shut him up mute until his son John the Baptist was born. And so I take a risk with Creation, attempting to be righteous and not mute, and trusting God’s hand will be gentle if I am wrong. If in the end you still need an answer as to “why” then I offer you this: whatever God did, it was for His glory.
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Evolution is not an easy topic for Christians. Whatever the version, Evolution does not appear to require God any more than God requires Evolution. It is enough to keep atheists and Christians apart, but do not be fooled into picking sides. Such thinking is a trap of the enemy, as either choice is the result of a common theological fallacy… that God would not create using natural or “random” means. But, what if scripture showed otherwise?
Consider this passage in 1 Chronicles 14:15-16…
15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.
God went before David to strike down the philistines; David’s armies went and struck down the philistines. God and David took separate actions, yet accomplished the same defeat. To say then that Evolution is false because God created everything is like saying that David did not achieve victory over the Philistines, because God obviously did. This not only limits God, it contradicts the plain meaning of scripture. If Evolution is true, then Biblically speaking, it is as much God’s instrument as David’s armies above. But, just as a secular historian may study the defeat above and see only David’s army, a scientist studying the species will only see mutation, adaptation, and Natural Selection… but the blindness of man does not negate what he sees any more than it equates to an absence of God.
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On Day 1, God hovered over the deep. As recorded in the size and age of the moon’s craters, meteor strikes devastated the earth’s early oceans, causing clouds and torrential rains throughout the world. From where God hovered in Genesis 1:2, the sun’s still-dim light could not be seen through the rain and clouds, and while the meteors continued it would be so. With His pronouncement to “Let there be light,” the meteors ceased and the light of the sun pierced the darkness. This was 3.9 billion years ago. The rains would not yet stop, but an atmosphere would begin to form. There would now be sunlight, though the sun itself remained unseen.
On Day 2, the torrential rains continued to fall so hard, there was no perceivable separation between the clouds above and the seas below. With God’s declaration to “Let the waters separate from the waters,” the rains started to let up. Was Moses aware of these conditions when he wrote of them? Given their parallels with Egypt’s creation myths, I would say not. However, their alignment with modern secular scientific theories should be enough to give one pause.
On Day 3, the skies were still hazy and the world was still covered in water. God said to “let the water gather together in one place, and let dry ground appear.” Plate tectonics began around 2.4 billion years ago, as the earth hardened beneath the water and earthquakes thrusted the earth’s crust above the seas. God then said to “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”
According to their various kinds? Most people take it to mean that the vegetation will be capable of reproduction. But examine the King James translation: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.” God specifically listed seeded plants. What of the non-seeded, specifically succulents and spores?
The Bible says the land produced seeded plants at God’s command. It reminds me of David’s victory above. God went before the land to produce seeded plants, and then the land went forth and produced seeded plants. And if the land’s production was as physical as David’s victory, then why be surprised that it left behind some trace? Why be surprised that production of seeded plants required spores and succulents to develop first, each giving way to the next? Why be surprised that God didn’t even wait for the seeded plants to appear before He moved into the sunset and starting His work on Day 4? That’s right. Seeded plants did not appear until 300 million years ago, long after Day 4, which we discuss below. But once again, God’s work for Day 3 was done. It was time for the land to do its work.
On Day 4, as algae and fungi made significant inroads on the land, God said “Let there be lights in the heavens to separate the day from the night.” Scientists believe the Oxygen of these primitive plants cleared up the sky around 1.9 billion years ago. The sun, moon, and stars could be seen clearly in the skies, when they had been completely obscured before.
Day 5’s pronouncement reads, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the skies.” Day 6 reads, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds,” and it goes on to list their groups. If interpreted as the initial appearance of sea life, birds, and land mammals, then Days 5 and 6 must overlap, because whales appeared after land mammals in the fossil record. Such overlap of Days is not Biblical, but through scientific discovery we can find a meaning that explains it.
65 million years ago, a giant meteor struck the earth. It is referred to as the KT impact, and it nearly decimated all life on the planet. It killed nearly every dinosaur, bird, sea creature, and mammal around the world. According to the fossil record, the first to recover was sea life. Placing Day 5 after the KT impact, a time when mere life was scant but there, God’s pronouncement becomes apropos, “Let the water teem with living creatures.” Next would be the birds. Why? It was the first time in their existence when they had no natural predators. And, just as Day 3 began a process leading to seeded plants, so Day 5 began a process eventually leading to whales. But wait. This required a recovery of mammals on the land, because they are what eventually led to mammals in the seas. What of the mammals of Day 6? The most comon theories have these days overlap.
According to the fossil record, the mammals that evolved on Day 5 were almost wiped out around 33.5 million years ago, after the whales appeared. The event is called the Grand Coupure. Then, almost as suddenly, the mammals that survived gave way to new varieties, the ones we see today, the ones listed in scripture: “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” Once again, the specificity of scripture, when compared with the discoveries of science, provides an answer.
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It was hard to fit my treatise on Evolution into the word limitation of a blog, but I hope the point comes through, that secular science is useful and God is sovereign. The next installment will discuss the doctrine of Original Sin, and why death before Adam is compatible.