The Modern Creation Trilogy
SCRIPTURE AND CREATION
Dr. Henry M. Morris
Dr. John D. Morris
Table of Contents
1. The Biblical Record of Creation
Divisions of Genesis
Characteristics of the Creation
2. The Fall, the Curse, and the Flood
God’s Principle of Conservation
The Fall and the Curse
The Genesis Flood
Origin of the Nations
Summary of the Biblical Model of Creation
3. Attempts to Compromise on Creation
Theological Contradictions Apart from Scripture
The Day-Age Theory
The Gap Theory
The Framework Hypothesis
4. Explaining Away the Flood
The Local Flood Theory
The Tranquil Flood Theory
Gaps in Human Chronology
5. The Age of the Earth
Why Recent Creation Is a Vital Doctrine
The Testimony of Christ and the Apostles
6. Supposed Biblical Difficulties with Recent Creationism
The Calculations of Bishop Ussher
Adam and the Animals
Creation and Ecology
The Length of the Seventh Day
7. The Dangerous Route of Compromise
The Intransigence of Evolutionists
No Need for God
Compromising God’s Character
The Sad Results of Compromise
8. The Importance of Creation
Creation, the Foundation
The Dominion Mandate
Creation in All the Bible
Praise to God for His Creation
9. Jesus Christ — Creator and Redeemer
King of Creation
Pre-Incarnate Appearance of God to Man
Creation and the Cross
Jesus the Creationist
A Tale of Two Weeks
Creation and Resurrection
10. Creation and the Eternal Kingdom
The Bondage of Decay
The Eternal Earth
The Destroyed Earth
The Earth Renewed
Christ’s Final Coming
The Creationist Testimony in Heaven
11. Creation Evangelism
The Liberating Gospel of Creation
Creation and the Apostolic Witness
The Urgency of Real Gospel Preaching
The Proven Effectiveness of Creation Evangelism
The ICR Survey
The Battle for Creation
The Law, the Schools, and the Christian
Outcome of the Battle
12. Bypaths in Creationland
The Faith of Noah
The Host of Heaven
The Heat of the Sun
Dragons in Paradise
The Resting Ark, the Grounded Fish, and the Empty Tomb
There are only two basic concepts of the origin of the universe and its basic components and systems. Either they have all come about by strictly naturalistic processes that are (at least in principle) observable and repeatable, or they have not — one or the other.
Without argument, at least some have originated by strictly natural process, and have been observed to do so. But if they have not all originated by natural processes, then at least some have originated by supernatural processes that are no longer observable and are not repeatable. This is the basic difference between the evolutionary model of origins and the creationist model of origins. If the evolutionary model is correct, then no Creator is needed. Even human beings are merely the result of natural processes that somehow generated the elementary particles of matter and then organized them into stars, planets, animals, and people — “from particles to people” or “hydrogen to humans.”
If creation is true, on the other hand, then there is a Creator, and all reality must be related to that Creator and His purpose in creation. Men and women are not the products of capricious natural forces, but rather of purposeful action with specific goals, both for the universe as a whole and for each person individually.
Since the choice between evolution and creation ultimately affects every area of human life, it is extremely important that we make the right choice!
But how can we decide? That’s the question. If we merely go along with the majority view in the intellectual world, we all would be evolutionists, for evolutionary thinking clearly dominates the schools, the media, and most other spheres of influence.
The majority, however, is not always right. There exists at least a significant creationist minority in this so-called intellectual realm, many of whom were once evolutionists and later became converted to creationism for what seemed to them convincing reasons. In any case, it should be obvious that it is impossible to prove which model is correct, for the simple reason that we cannot repeat history and see what happened. Therefore, we must depend upon indirect, circumstantial evidence, and then make our decision. Ultimately, we will decide which model to believe, and then act in faith upon that belief. We will have faith in evolution, or faith in creation, then live our lives accordingly, whether that has been a conscious decision or not.
In view of the profound — even eternal — consequences involved, everyone ought to examine both models and then determine which model to believe. He or she should examine carefully the evidences pro and con in each case, and continually test these evidences, evaluating their validity and meaning.
It would seem that there are essentially just three lines of evidence that need to be considered. First, there are the factual data, the solid evidence supplied by the observed facts of science and the observed and reliably recorded facts of human history. We can call this the evidence from science. This line of evidence is treated in Volume 2 of this Trilogy, with the conclusion that the evidence strongly favors the creation model, even though it can never prove it.
But there is an important second line of evidence to consider. The Lord Jesus Christ put it this way: “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. . . . Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matt. 7:18, 20). Does the evolutionary faith generate good or evil results in human society, when it is followed logically and put into practice? What about faith in creation and a Creator — what fruits does it produce?
This line of evidence is examined in Volume 3 of the Trilogy, with the conclusion again in favor of creation. That is, evolutionism generates bad fruits; creationism generates good fruits. Thus, the creation model, on the basis of this test, is more likely to be true than the evolution model. Again, however, this does not prove creation, for we do not really know what happened in the prehistoric past. We were not there, nor can we travel back in time in some sort of time machine to see what happened. All we can really know is that the inhabitants of the earth seem designed to live and prosper under the guidelines spelled out by their designer, and seem to destroy both themselves and others when operating from an evolutionary basis.
However, there is still a third type of evidence that must be considered, for one of the two models involves a Creator, and that Creator did observe what happened, for He actually caused it to happen! Evolutionists may deny the validity of this evidence, for they tend to reject the very idea of God out of hand, not believing He even exists.
This, however, begs the question, for it is absolutely impossible to prove the non-existence of God the Creator. Even such a knowledgeable atheist as the scientist Isaac Asimov was honest enough to acknowledge this. In his later years, after authoring more books on more fields of science (reputedly finishing with over 500 books to his credit) than probably any other scientist who ever lived, he admitted:
Emotionally, I am an atheist, I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time. I-1
If anyone ever knew the whole field of science and its implications, that person was Dr. Asimov, yet he could not prove there is no God. Neither can anyone else. They may choose not to believe in God, for belief in Him may be uncomfortable to them, but wishing for His non-existence doesn’t make it so.
Therefore, to be perfectly honest, everyone should at least admit the possibility that there is a Creator, and that He may (in fact, almost certainly would) reveal the essential facts concerning the origin, meaning, and purpose of His creation to those of His creatures able to receive and understand such revelation.
Assuming that such a revelation has been given, it follows that it must now be in the book we call the Bible, for this is the only book coming down from antiquity that even attempts to give the origin of the entire universe of space, time, and matter, as well as the origin of life and man.
All other so-called sacred “scriptures” — the writings of Buddha and Confucius, the Hindu Vedas, all the cosmogonic myths of Greece and Rome, of Egypt and Babylon, and all the rest — all begin with the space/time/matter universe already in existence, and then attempt to speculate how it evolved into its present form.
Only the creation record in Genesis — which is accepted by orthodox Jews, Muslims, and Christians — deals with the origin of the universe itself. Therefore, if God does exist, and if He has revealed the essentials concerning His creation of all things to man, that revelation must be found in the Bible, especially in the creation account in the Book of Genesis.
And if these things are so — and there is at least a strong possibility that they are — then the biblical evidence concerning origins is the most important of all, more important than the evidence from either the data of science or the effects in society. This is because the biblical record — if it is what it claims to be and what it has been accepted to be by millions of people, people from every time and place and culture — is the inspired, infallible, and authoritative record of the Creator himself. He was there and knows how it was and what His purposes are.
Therefore, Volume 1 of this Trilogy on creation will examine first of all what the Bible reveals about origins. It will become compellingly clear that — not only in Genesis but all through the Holy Scriptures — this world and everything in it had its origin not by evolutionary processes but by supernatural special creation, coming into existence at the word of the eternal, transcendent, omnipotent, personal Creator God — the sovereign God of the Bible.
This evidence should be sufficient, but it will then also be supplemented by strong scientific evidence (see Volume 2) and persuasive societal evidence (Volume 3). The conclusion will be that we are certainly the products of God’s special, purposeful creation, and, therefore, must someday answer to Him.
In this volume, therefore, we shall examine only the biblical evidence, accepting it at face value, interpreting each relevant passage of the Bible literally in its intended context, and deliberately avoiding any attempt to correlate it with science. This approach will yield what we can call the biblical doctrine of creation and earth history.
Then, in Volume 2, we shall examine only the data from science and history, completely avoiding biblical references, endeavoring to develop a strictly fact-based scientific doctrine of origins and history. The evolutionary model will be included in this analysis, of course, but the facts must be allowed to speak for themselves, not merely interpreted to fit evolutionism. As indicated above, when this is done, the scientific data will also be seen to correlate better with creation than with evolution.
Thus, the remarkable fact will emerge that the scientific model of origins — developed without reference to the Bible — will ultimately be found to agree fully with the biblical record of origins when the latter is developed without reference to science. This has to be so, of course, because the God who made the world also wrote the Word!
It will come as no surprise, then, as shown in Volume 3, that the evolutionary world view has had and is having a pervasively harmful effect on society and human life in general, whereas true biblical creationism is altogether beneficial and uplifting in every area of life.
First of all, though, let us proceed to explore the Word of God and its marvelous divine record of creation and history.
The Biblical Record of Creation
In Volume 2 of this Trilogy, Science and Creation, it is shown that the basic facts of science fit the creation model of origins and earth history much better than they do the evolution model. There are, to be sure, certain unresolved problems in correlating all the scientific data with the concept of recent special creation, but these problems are not nearly so intractable as those which evolutionism encounters.
However, the details of the creation period — such aspects as its duration, the order of events, the methods used, and especially its meaning and purpose — cannot be determined from science. The scientific method is limited to the study of processes as they occur at present, not as they might have occurred in the past. Science in its strict sense can deal with the “how” and “what” and “where” questions, but only rarely with “when,” and never with “why.”
If creation is really a fact, this means there is a Creator, and the universe is His creation. He had a purpose in creation, and man1-1 is apparently at the center of that purpose, since only man is able to understand even the concept of creation. It is reasonable, therefore, that God, the Creator, would somehow reveal to His creature, man, the necessary information concerning the creation which could never be discovered by himself.
This is exactly what He has done in His book of “beginnings,” the Book of Genesis. Rather than outmoded folklore, as most critics allege, the creation chapters of Genesis are marvelous and accurate accounts of the actual events of the primeval history of the universe. They give data and information far beyond those that science can determine, and at the same time provide an intellectually satisfying framework within which to interpret the facts that science can determine.
The old arguments against the historicity of Genesis no longer carry weight. It once was maintained that neither Moses nor any of his predecessors could have written Genesis, since they could not have known even how to write. No one dare suggest such a notion any more. Writing was practiced even by the common people long before Moses, and even before the time of Abraham. Early man was a highly skilled technologist in many fields at a time far earlier than imagined by evolutionists. There is no reason at all, other than evolutionary preconceptions, that it should not be believed that man has been able to read and write since he was first created.
The general setting of Genesis, from chapter 12 onward (culture, customs, etymology, geography, political units, etc.), is very realistic — so much so that its narratives must have come originally from contemporaries of the people described. There seems no good reason, except for evolutionary preconceptions, to reject the probable historicity of the preceding eleven chapters of Genesis, which merge easily and naturally into Genesis 12.
Finally, all the writers of the New Testament, and Jesus Christ himself, accepted the historical accuracy and divine inspiration of all the early chapters of Genesis, as will be shown in this chapter. To believe these records as being altogether true and reliable is the only position consistent with accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as true and His teachings as authoritative.
The Fall, the Curse, and the Flood
Four great events changed the primeval world from the “very good” world, as it was described by God himself at the end of the six days of creation (note Gen. 1:31-2:4) to “this present evil world,” as the Apostle Paul called it (Gal. 1:4) in the first century of the present era. These were, in order: (1) the sin and fall of the first man and woman; (2) the curse pronounced by God on the whole creation as a result of that sin; (3) the Flood that physically destroyed the antediluvian world in the days of Noah; and (4) the confusion of tongues and dispersion of the nations at Babel.
These world-changing events are described in Genesis 3-11, but are, in general, completely ignored in the evolutionary world view. Nevertheless, they are vitally important to a true understanding of the present world, with all its terrible problems. They necessarily constitute important components of the creationist world view, so the biblical accounts thereof are summarized in this chapter.
Attempts to Compromise on Creation
The biblical record of creation, Fall, and Flood is so clear and straightforward, and so obviously written as a simple record of actual events, that it is amazing that large groups of influential Christians have tried to make it say something else. There seems to be no rationale for these efforts except the fear of ridicule and rejection by those of their colleagues who are committed to the evolutionary world view. Such Christians seem either ignorant or unconcerned about the fact that the evolutionary world view involves long ages of random evolutionary meandering, struggle, suffering, and death, culminating supposedly in the emergence of man.
Many of these compromising Christians profess allegiance to Christ and the Scriptures, and perhaps are quite sincere in thinking theirs is the only way that Christians can be intellectually reputable. Nevertheless, they are also quite wrong. The Bible is God’s Word, verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit, free of error (God cannot lie!), and God the Holy Spirit means exactly what He says. The foundational nature of the doctrine of creation makes it supremely important for the Scriptures to be plain and clear on this subject, of all subjects! In fact, they could hardly be more clear than they are, just as they stand.
However, since so many professed Christians have been tempted to compromise on the subject of creation, we shall in this chapter summarize the reasons that such compromises are invalid and harmful. We shall try to avoid any ad hominem remarks, however, since we are more concerned to refute these harmful theories than to criticize their advocates.
Explaining Away the Flood
Christians who feel that they must re-interpret the biblical record of creation in order to allow for the 5 billion years of geological ages demanded by evolutionary geologists (not to mention the 15 billion years of cosmic history postulated by secular astrophysicists) cannot stop there. They must also do something about the Genesis Flood.
Since a worldwide cataclysmic deluge such as is described in the Bible would have destroyed all the evidences of the geological ages, it must somehow be explained away, either as a localized flood that devastated only a small region, or as a global “tranquil” flood that did not do anything of consequence, just oozing up over the mountains, then oozing down again, tranquilly. The great sedimentary rock beds of the earth, with their fossil graveyards, comprise the essential evidence for the geological ages, and they must somehow be left intact if the geological ages (and evolution!) are to be preserved. Therefore, the biblical record of the Flood must be vastly downgraded.
The fact is, however, that the Bible, God’s inspired and inerrant Word, records a global, world-destroying hydraulic cataclysm in the days of Noah. It will allow no other legitimate interpretation, as we shall now see.
The Age of the Earth
It has been shown that neither the day-age theory, nor the gap theory, nor any other accommodationist theory can be applied legitimately to the creation record to allow for the supposed great ages of geology. The same is true for the vast span of cosmic time demanded by astronomers to accommodate their Big Bang and the subsequent eons of assumed stellar and galactic evolution. Whether we like it or not, the inspired record of Genesis has told us plainly (as God later re-emphasized on Mount Sinai) “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exod. 20:11). If the Bible is truly the infallible and inerrant Word of God, as the Lord Jesus believed and taught (“the Scripture cannot be broken,” He said, for example in John 10:35), then that should settle the question. At least it should settle it for those who claim to believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Holy Scriptures.
There may be scientific questions related to the concept of recent creation, and these are discussed in Volume 2 of this Trilogy. There, the real hard data of science are shown to be in full harmony with both recent creation and a worldwide Flood. Even if there still remain some unresolved scientific problems, however, these can never invalidate the plainly revealed Word of the eternal living God. He was there, and the scientists who reject His Word were not there. Furthermore, He cannot lie, whereas even the greatest scientists are fallible, sinful human beings, like everyone else. They can, and do, make many mistakes, and they have many biases. “Let God be true, but every man a liar!” the Scripture enjoins (Rom. 3:4).
Because this doctrine of recent creation and the global cataclysmic Flood seems to be the chief point of attack by unbelievers and the chief stumbling block for believers, we want to emphasize it further in this chapter. Even if one could manage to re-interpret the plain words of Scripture to allow the multi-billion years demanded by evolutionists, there are many other theological, moral, and philosophical reasons for rejecting these great ages. There are also many good scientific evidences for a young earth as well, but these are discussed in Volume 2.
Supposed Biblical Difficulties with Recent Creationism
Most of the objections that have been lodged against the biblical doctrines of the young earth and Flood geology are scientific in nature. These are beyond the scope of this book, but are discussed and refuted in Volume 2 of this Trilogy on creation.
In the meantime, when scientific objections to literal creationism are raised, it is always helpful to keep one important fact in mind, a fact that will keep this whole issue in clear perspective. That is, there are no written records of any historical events prior to about 2500 b.c. Everything beyond that is speculation. In fact, the historical chronology that extends back the farthest is in the Bible itself! Even allowing for possible uncertainties in the biblical manuscripts and possible gaps in the genealogical lists in the Bible, the Genesis records cannot feasibly be stretched back to more than, say, about 10,000 b.c. at most.
The traditional Ussher date of 4004 b.c. for creation week actually fits the biblical data better, although the evidence is sufficiently ambiguous to permit many other dates to be suggested by various scholars all working with the same biblical premises as Ussher (about 300 different dates have been published at one time or another, all of them, nevertheless, agreeing that the creation took place only several thousand years ago).
The Dangerous Route of Compromise
In preceding chapters we have shown that none of the expedients proposed for accommodating evolution and the geological ages in the Bible will work. All of them dishonor the Scriptures while seeking to satisfy majority scientific opinion, wresting them from their intended meaning in the hope of gaining a more sympathetic hearing for Christianity from the intellectual community.
But such compromises never work. The evolutionists just keep demanding more and more compromises; nothing short of total atheism will ever satisfy them! Furthermore, those Christians and Christian organizations that choose to travel this road are in grave danger, for the compromise mentality is reluctant ever to take a firm stand against the pressures and temptations of the world. The compromise road eventually ends in a precipice. Those who travel this broad highway will end up either in apostasy or oblivion as far as their Christian ministry is concerned.
“How long halt ye between two opinions?” was the challenge of the prophet Elijah to the people of God in his day. “If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow Him” (1 Kings 18:21). Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). We must follow the lead of Joshua, who commanded God’s people to “choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15).
In short, Christians ought to decide either to believe God’s Word all the way, or not at all. “I would thou wert cold or hot,” said the Lord Jesus to the compromising evangelical church at Laodicea, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16).
In this chapter we shall illustrate by example both the futility and the dangers of such compromise.
The Importance of Creation
One of the common misconceptions among evangelical Christians is the notion that the doctrine of creation is only a peripheral doctrine, important to scientists and philosophers perhaps, but not to ordinary lay Christians. Winning people to Christ and building them up in the Christian life, they think, are much more important. Furthermore, creationism is so controversial and generates such heated opposition whenever it is advocated that it is best just to ignore it. As long as one believes in God and that He created things, it really doesn’t matter how He did it, or when.
But that is the traditional attitude of the head-in-the-sand ostrich. Creation is not a peripheral doctrine. In fact, biblical creationism is the most important of all biblical teachings, because it is the very foundation of everything else in the Bible. That is why God put it as the very first revelation in His written Word.
Similarly, the Book of Genesis is the most important book in the Bible, for it is the foundation of every other book of the Bible, without which the whole structure of God’s revelation would collapse. Then, further, the very first verse of Genesis is the most important verse in the Bible. If a person really believes Genesis 1:1 (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”), he should have no difficulty believing all the rest. On the other hand, if he does not believe that verse, he might as well discard the whole Bible, for it becomes no different from any other religious tome or sacred book in value or meaning.
As we shall see in this chapter, creation is the foundation of all the basic doctrines of the Christian faith, and even of true science, as well as of our American nation.
Creation and the Eternal Kingdom
The Creator, being both omniscient and omnipotent, cannot fail in His purpose in creating the universe, life and man. He has allowed sin and death to come in for a little time, but these will soon be removed, and all the redeemed will have the endless ages of eternity to enjoy the fellowship with God for which they were created. “In the ages to come, He [will show] the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). Because our Creator has loved us so much that He died for our sins, and then rose from the dead, our future (if we have believed on Him as our Saviour and Lord) is secured. “Because I live,” He has promised, “ye shall live also” (John 14:19).
It was shown in chapter 8 that true evangelism and missions are founded on creationism, as is the preaching of Christ and the gospel. That being so, it follows that a sound presentation of biblical creation, as supported by solid evidence in the sciences, is an effective means of preparing people to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord, especially those who may be ignorant or skeptical concerning the Bible. This has been strongly confirmed in actual experience.
It is possible, of course, to persuade people to “come to Christ” by emotional appeals, with little understanding of creation or atonement or other basic Christian doctrines. Only God knows the hearts of professed converts, and He is fully sovereign in the means He uses to bring people to himself. The danger of emotional decisions, however, instead of intelligent and understanding decisions, is that they may often be shallow decisions that will not endure.
Christ’s parable of the sower is especially relevant here. This was His first recorded parable, and He indicated that this parable was basic to an understanding of His later parables (Mark 4:13). In the parable, the seed being sown was the Word of God (Luke 8:11), and it was to be sown in all types of ground — evidently meaning that God’s Word was to be proclaimed to all types of people.
It would only bear lasting fruit, however, in the lives of some — perhaps 25 percent — of those who would hear. Those whose minds and hearts were hardened, or whose knowledge was shallow or whose lives were cluttered with worldly concerns would be unfruitful. “Ground” that was hard or shallow or weed-infested would need first to be prepared before the seed could produce good fruit from it.
It would even be possible for a hearer to respond readily and joyfully — “immediately receive it with gladness,” Jesus said (Mark 4:16) — yet soon “fall away,” because they “have no root,” and so only “for a while believe” (Luke 8:13). They need to be “rooted and built up in [Christ as He is], and stablished in the faith” (Col. 2:7). They not only need to “believe,” but to believe the true gospel of the real Christ with genuine faith, all of which are founded first of all in the truth of real creation. They must not only believe, but they must know what to believe and why, if their “conversion” is to be real and lasting.
This is why the biblical examples of witnessing to the unsaved, especially as recorded in the Book of Acts, are so important for us to use in our own witnessing, not only in seeking to win the unsaved to Christ, but also in helping to establish young, doubtful believers in a solid and lasting faith.
Bypaths in Creationland
In the first eleven chapters we have surveyed the basic biblical teachings concerning creation. The theme of creation is so rich, however, and so vital, that one can also explore many intriguing vistas of insights into the beauties of God’s plan and the designs in God’s Word in relation to His world. After the fairly heavy going in the earlier chapters as we sought to establish the basic structure of biblical creationism, it seems good to end the book with just a few of these fascinating bypaths in “creationland.”
1-2 P. J. Wiseman, New Discoveries in Babylonia about Genesis (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1946). The “patriarchal documentary” theory of the writing of Genesis is developed fully and convincingly in this book. Also see the commentary on Genesis by Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976), p. 22-30.
For Other Articles on Evolution
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