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Monday, July 16, 2007

New Earth Creation

The year is 27AD. There is a celebration of a marriage in the town of Cana, in the Galilee region. One of the guests is a relatively unknown fellow who has attended with his mother, Mary. His name is Jesus of Nazareth.

During the festivities, a problem arises – the host of the wedding celebration has forgotten to have enough wine on hand for the party. Unless something happens fast, the host will be embarrassed and the party will be remembered as a failure. Discerning that her son can somehow do something about this, Mary tells her son that there is a problem. Jesus is not particularly receptive to her suggestion that he just ‘do something’. However, his mother ignores his reaction and instead tells the head servant to ‘do whatever he tells you to do’. The servants follow Jesus’ order, and where once water had been, wine now stood – the best wine at the wedding, to the amazement of many.

As we encounter the work of God in his miracles, in his actions taken and the results that follow that only he can do, we are faced with a question directly applicable to our creation dilemma: What scientific test could we perform that would tell us that the wine now in the jars was water only 60 seconds ago? What could we do to the wine to tell us of its sudden appearance, in apparent defiance of everything we know about how wine is created?

The answer is simple – nothing. There is no scientific test that would show that the wine was created instantly. There is no scientific test that would show that the woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years was healed instantly. There is no method we could use to show how Jesus made a blind man see instantly. In every case, God spoke, and it happened immediately, and not only could we not show that it was so after the fact, but we also cannot show that each was ever broken in the first place, or that it was the word of God that did the healing.

“Young Earth” creationism is the same. Some have claimed that God making a creation that seems older than it is would be an example of God being deceptive in some fashion. Laying aside the inherent (necessary) foolishness of the assumption of universality – that, for example, the amount of Carbon-14 in a living organism now is the same as it would have been 1 million years ago – there is no more deception in a creation we can’t prove its age than the same problem with the water and the wine.

In fact, I am far more likely to assume that our failure to “prove” a young earth creation from science is answered better by the Scriptures than by science. “For God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty, and the base things of the world, and the things which are despised has God chosen, yea, and the things which are not, to bring to naught the things which are – that no man may glory in his presence.” (1 Cor 1:27-29)

Jeremy has said that to believe that the earth is young, in the face of scientific ‘evidence’ to the contrary, is completely irrational. While Jeremy is a theologian of the highest degree, I would differ slightly. I would say that it may be foolish, but that it is also an expression of humility that recognizes my limitations compared to the God who the heavens cannot contain, whose works defy all the wisdom of men. While both the old and new earth theories I’ve described fit a historical view of Scripture, I will stick with a new earth theory that affirms that “evening and morning was the first day”.

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