Certainties and Facts in the Discussion of Origins
by Jim Brenneman
Comments are welcome, but not if you call me a liar, or if you advocate against all things originating in the Creation Week about 6000 years ago. Discussion is welcome for those who share the views of Creation Conversations as found in our Statement of Faith here.
What is genuine? What has God given us that is real? 1 John 1:1-4; John 17:3; 20:31. This is the TRUE GOD and Eternal Life – in contrast to the substitutes offered by the world.
But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing, ye might have life through His name. John 20:31
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13
In a discussion in social media one young man [LB] said
LB: On this subject, let’s talk about interpretation and scriptural evidence... because believe me, there is no evidence for many things that we believe and take for granted. . .
I think the point he is making is that much of what is put forward as “biblical truth” is actually mere conjecture, and assumption with no real basis in reality. He wanted to make the case that there is much uncertainty in Scripture. He wanted to emphasize the things in Scripture that are mere theory to his mind. So, he said, “Let’s talk about the uncertainties. . .”
But why focus on things that are unknown? No, let’s not talk about those things here.
Let’s talk about them, but not in this question. This question is about Origins – about starlight and time. And yes, there are so many things that are uncertain; but wouldn’t it be more productive if we keep our focus on what we know as certain?
There are things that we can know. Right? What do we know?
LB: Let’s talk about the problems we face as creationists when it comes to cosmology and the speed of light. Even though we don’t all agree on scientific explanations well all have to agree on the facts...
- The speed of causality is a constant,
- light can move at the speed of causality or slower
- but nothing in the physical world can move faster than the speed of causality – the speed of light.
So, here I had asked that we establish our certainties – and the young poster provides three points of science – possibly even accurate science – as his certainties. Not at all what I was expecting.
So we now live in an age in which discussion about the Truth are not based upon biblical realities, but upon supposed scientific realities. Still in the train of establishing “Certainties,” the young poster continues:
LB: God created the laws of physics, I am sure He would work through them and not just bypass them (even if He can), this is just my opinion because I do believe God wants us to know or try to figure out how He did it, He created us with a need to know more, and this doesn’t make faith less important, we believed before we started looking to know how. If we are not allowed or supposed to figure out then Sir Isaac Newton went against his faith when he started the science revolution with modern day physics…
We won’t get into Isaac Newton here. Actually, it was because he confidently followed his Faith that brought him to laws of motion. Furthermore, this discussion is not about whether or not we are allowed to “figure out laws of science.” It is about what is certain and knowable about the origins of the universe.
The poster is sure that God “would work through [the laws of physics] and not just bypass them (even if He can). So the Bible reveals that everything that is came into existence in just six days, but we are sure that God worked through the laws of physics? Clearly, the two of us are commencing the discussions with two entirely different sets of certainties! God worked in subjection to (“through”) the laws of physics OR God created the entire complex universe that is so immense as to be way beyond our ability to begin to visualize it:
Astronomers claim that a “Big Bang” produced our universe of 300 sextillion stars, now said to be a septillion (1亿美元). It is also supposed that the age of the universe is 13.7 billion (137亿美元) years. Astronomers calculate that the edge is 46.5 billion light years away (465亿光年), or 93 billion light years in diameter (930亿光年).
The beginning of this universe was never observed by any human. How can it be known what caused it? (Isa. 40:21-28). The curious poster has made the assumption that it came into existence under the same laws of physics by which it is now operational.
The poster then begins to articulate some of the issues that arise from this approach.
LS: How do we solve problems like –agree on the facts...
- the speed of light, or
- galaxies colliding or
- supernova light only reaching us now if they exploded millions of years ago?
The problem with the current theory of stretching out the heavens is that it doesn’t make up for supernova light only reaching us now or galaxies colliding...
But this is only a “problem” for those who insist on the “certainty” that God “would work through [the laws of physics] and not just bypass them (even if He can). The poster continues by adding another problem.
LS: Also, the Bible doesn’t tell us when God stretched out the heavens – on the first day, or only after the fourth day...? If we had to use that theory we would be going on speculation and interpretation that might as well be seen otherwise...
However this is only an issue for those who are sure that God “would work through [the laws of physics].” What does it matter? If it was done on one of those two days, it is still going to involve utter abrogation of laws of physics. There is no problem at all for those of us who believe that Genesis One is a narration of actual events that took place in six days of a single week of time about 6000 years ago. So there is a difference about what is “certain” here.
LS: It is the same boat I am in with you guys and my time theory.
I really don’t believe we are all in the same boat. I am sure that God would NOT work through [the laws of physics]. My fine friend is commencing his thinking with a different set of certainties. He has begun with what he views as certainties of NATURE. Creationists should begin with the certainties of the SPIRIT – of the Scripture.
I am certain that He did not work through the current laws of physics. I am certain because the Scripture has declared this certainty –
Is this certain or not? Is this the truth or not? Is this a fact or not? Plainly stated, God brought light into existence in an instant on the first day of time.
Further, the fact that God created in an instant, and not by working through laws of physics is stated over and over in HIS ACCOUNT OF ORIGINS:
This is what is certain. Are these words of God certain or not? Are you sure of these things?
The young poster then seeks to educate us on how to approach divine revelation with more caution and circumspect wisdom [uncertainty and revisionism].
LS: I brought those things up so you can realize that many things we take as biblical fact is just theories with no real evidence to support what we believe, they are assumptions and interpretations...
How should we respond to the deep wisdom of the young poster? I used his own wise words, but turned them to faith in the certainties of divine revelation.
JIM B: Just as you said, I bring these things up so you can realize that many things you take as “Science” are just theories with no real evidence to support what is being theorized; they are just assumptions and unsound interpretations that do not accord with the knowable biblical facts that are clearly stated in the simple language of Scripture.
The “science” has now become, for all intents and purposes, “just what we believe,” and these theories are assumptions and interpretations that are now replacing the certainties of Scripture.
This has always been the tendency for those who have developed theories - they begin to treat the clear biblical revelation as being non-real, non-factual - as if anything and everything that has to do with origins in the Bible is uncertain. Gradually, or suddenly, it is now the Bible that becomes “just an assumption and man's opinion.” The Bible becomes more plastic/ puddy-like – and it is then forcibly hammered into the mold of the newest theory.
Now even strong creationists have taken to straining the common-sense language and vocabulary of Scripture into what is possible or plausible for a meaning of the text. Somewhere Huxley laughed at Christians and how malleable the Scriptures are for them – whatever is convenient to the theories, then that is what they will make the Scriptures mean – as long as it supports the theory.
But not so, 1000 times not so. The Scripture means exactly what it says. That is what the Scriptures mean. They have the meaning of the simple sense of the language and vocabulary.
This is what it says, and all of our theories must bow to the certainties of Scripture.
These are the facts. This is not theory, this is not opinion or a "view, or an interpretation. This is historical reality. It is not “just what we believe.” It is what God says took place. It is inalterable, non-negotiable fact.
If we all, all who are joining in any discussion of origins, if we DO NOT AGREE on these facts, then there can be no discussion. All conversation and modeling erodes into muddled confusion and debate about uncertainties and speculation.
The divergence between the two approaches – that of the poster in contrast to the approach of taking the Scripture as certain – could not be much wider. How can we discuss biblical origins if we do not begin with the shared understanding of these fundamental biblical certainties?