Dr. S. Lewis Johnson provides the theological framework for the Creation of the seen and unseen world.
[Prayer] Father we thank Thee for another opportunity to study the word of God. We thank Thee for the doctrine of the creation. We thank Thee for the insight that is given us in the word of God concerning the origin of all things. Enable us Lord to receive the revelation in faith, and trust Thee for all of the explanations of the truths that are bound up in these chapters. Enable us Lord also to understand what men say about the origin of the world and enable us by Thy grace to answer their objections with the word of God and with the truth. We commit each one to Thee and pray Thy blessing upon our hour of study. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
[Message] Tonight our subject is “Creation, or the Origin of the Natural and Spiritual Worlds.” And we will, of course, lay our greatest stress upon the origin of the natural world saving the origin of the spiritual world for the studies in Angelology, which we will ultimately comment in our systematic theology course.
Now, I think it would be well for us, for our Scripture reading, to turn back to the first chapter of the Book of Genesis and read the first chapter of Genesis slowly through the second chapter in the third verse in order to have in our minds the creation account as Moses has written it for us; so turn to Genesis chapter 1 and we’ll begin with verse 1.
Now I think in a moment or two the men in the hall will stop talking and disturbing us.
So have you found Genesis chapter 1, verse 1? “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
Now I think that it is important for us to notice that there was light upon the earth before the sun began to shine and this is some other form of light, sometimes called cosmic light.
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters, which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
By the way you’ll notice too, we won’t have time to deal with all of the problems that touch the creation, but you’ll notice that in the account of the creation, day-by-day, there is the use of a numeral with the word “day.” Now it is often said that the term “day” in the Old Testament is a figurative term. And it is true that occasionally the term “day” is used figuratively. It may be said, for example, in the day of Adam or it may be in the day of the prophets that really means in his lifetime or in his age. And on the basis of this, some have thought that perhaps the opening chapter of the Book of Genesis is written with that meaning, an age. But whenever we have the word “day” with a numeral attached to it, it never means anything but twenty-four hours in the Old Testament. Now be careful to remember that.
Now that is information derived from exegesis not from science, but from exegesis from the Old Testament. When the numeral is attached to the word “day,” it always means twenty-four hours. Now, for this reason I find it difficult, myself, to believe that the days of Genesis are ages. Now I know, of course, that there are many scientific problems with either interpretation. But I would rather stick with the usage of the scriptural terms than seek to find an explanation scientifically that harmonizes with that. If there is no explanation wait until we have fuller information.
Now verse 9, “And God said, let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he seas: and God saw that it was good. And God said, let the earth bring forth vegetation or grass — as you have it in your old version — the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation and herb yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after its kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
Now since our astronauts have circled around that second light that light is not so great anymore, of course, to us. But nevertheless, the Bible says two great lights.
“God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life,” — and you’ll notice here that we have reference specifically to that life — “and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created sea monsters, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, let the earth.”
Well I should have mentioned, you’ll notice that in verse 21 we have the second occurrence of the word created, “and God created great sea monsters.” Now that is the word that we have in Genesis 1:1. It is the word which we call bara. For those of you that are Hebrew scholars, it looks like this. Now it occurs in verse 1 and then it occurs again in verse 21 and we’ll have it again in a moment.
Verse 25, “And God made the beast of the earth after its kind, and the cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after its kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
And the key word is the word dominion; rule. It was in the beginning God’s purpose that man should rule over the creation. As a matter of fact, implicitly we have the first reference to the kingdom of God upon the earth, in verse 26 when we read, “And let us make man in our image after our likeness and let them have dominion,” where man is to rule under God in the kingdom of God.
Now verse 27 we have our third use of the word created. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Now notice in verse 1 he created the material universe, the heavens and the earth. In verse 21, the great sea monsters or organic life, and then in verse 27, man and there is progression.
Verse 28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it:” — there is our word, dominion in a different way, subdue it — “and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for food: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work, which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work, which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
Now if you’ll remember all the way back to the time before Christmas, we were studying in our last study the doctrine of the decrees. Now the doctrine of the decrees leads to a consideration of their execution. How does God carry out the decrees, which he has purposed? And of course, from the human standpoint the decrees in their execution begin with creation and so we are going to study tonight, “Creation or the Origin of the Natural and Spiritual World.”
The question how did the earth originate is really an unanswerable question. We do not have any scientists intelligent enough to give us an answer to this question. Of course we have many scientists who suggest hypotheses to us, some of which are interesting, some of which may have some apparent probability attached to them, some of which are just wild guesses, but so far as really knowing the origination of things we cannot know how the earth originated apart from divine revelation. We may have these hypotheses. We may have these theories. And probably every one of us in those areas, even when we speak of revelations, those areas in which revelation has not spoken so plainly, we probably as Christians have our own theories about how we explain the texts of Scripture, but we cannot really know creation apart from divine revelation.
I think it would be well for us as Christians to remember that the scientific method is a very important thing. It’s a very important method. Now I don’t know that I’m enough of a scientist; I’m not a scientist. I’m not sure that I even know enough about science to tell you what the scientific method is. But I would presume it is something like this. That when we speak about the scientific method for science we would say science is any knowledge that is arrived at by the scientific method and then the scientific method involved these steps, first of all, observation.
Now every scientist begins with observation. His observation may come from a deliberately contrived experiment or it may come from something over which he really has no real control. For example, if he’s an astronomer, he doesn’t really have the power to experiment with the stars or with the moon or the suns or the planets but he can observe. But after he has observed, whether by his contrived or uncontrived experiments, he suggests an hypothesis or arrives at an hypothesis. And then he tests this hypothesis; now an hypothesis is a sort of guess that all scientists do a lot of guessing. You could never really be a good scientist if you didn’t guess — that’s the creative part of his work — I suppose. And so he would say, “If my hypothesis is true, such and such will happen” and he will experiment and if it happens, well it may be that his hypothesis is true. If he experiments enough and his hypothesis proves to be true enough, his hypothesis may become dignified enough to be called a theory until somebody explodes it with an experiment, which demonstrates that his theory was not such a good theory after all.
Now I don’t see anything wrong with this form of investigation and after all, all of us who want to know anything about that which we don’t have any light like the light of revelation, we should surely think a great deal of the scientific method. But just remember that this method has its limitations. It can never really prove anything negative, for example. I don’t know whether you know it or not, but scientists can never really prove that there is no such thing as a ghost.
Now we’ve often said that they can. You know, you have people say, “Well, you know scientists have proved there is no such thing as a ghost.” But that’s not true and really a man who follows the scientific method would have to agree because let’s just suppose for a moment that ghosts did appear. But they appeared usually or let’s say for the sake of our experiment that ghosts only appeared when there was no scientist present. Now, of course, a scientist could never demonstrate, therefore, that there was no such thing as a ghost. If the one condition for its absence would be the presence of a scientist. So from the scientific method we can never really prove anything that is negative.
Consequently, I think that we live in an age in which there has been a great deal of worshipping of science, some of which is good, some of which is bad. But let’s not be overly disturbed because we read in the paper “Scientists say,” “Scientists Theorize,” “Scientists Have Suggested This,” let’s don’t be disturbed by that. Let’s look at it, examine it, see what the evidence is and then be willing to listen as that is tested.
John Dewey — to whom we are indebted for a lot of bad things — was a worshipper in the temple of science. And he once said, “The future of our civilization depends on the widening spread and deepening hole of the scientific habit of man.” But perhaps there is more truth, someone has said, in an old wisecrack of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Science is a good piece of furniture for a man to have in an upper chamber provided he has common sense on the ground floor.” Now let’s remember then as we talk about creation the limits as well as the values of science.
Now quickly tonight we want to talk about:
1. The Idea of Creation.
2. The Divergent Theories of the World’s Origin.
3. Very briefly, the Scriptural Account of Creation.
Now I haven’t put three on the board yet. But first of all, “The Idea of Creation.” Now from the early days from the church fathers, the earliest students of Scripture, through the Reformers down to the present day, most evangelical Christians have believed that God created the universe by a free act on his part out of nothing. That is, it came into existence out of the will of God. He purposed and the creation came into existence. He didn’t have to; he did it freely out of his own will. That has been the evangelical view. It is, I think, beyond question the teaching of the Bible itself. Now let’s analyze these facts about the creation.
Capital A: It is an act of the triune God. That is the Bible presents the creation not only as the work of the Father, but also as the work of the Son, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at a couple of passages, three passages to be exact.
1 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 6; 1 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 6. Now in this text you will notice that the creation is attributed to the Father. We read, “But to us there is but one God, the Father of whom are all things, and we in Him, of whom are all things.” The Father is referred to in the Bible as the originator of everything. Now let’s turn over to Colossians chapter 1 and read verse 16. That’s Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Colossians 1, verse 16. Now the context speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ and in verse 15 we read, “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation.” Now, verse 16, “For by Him,” now that little preposition is really “in him” in Greek at this point and I think the voice this “in” is that Jesus Christ is the architect of the universe. That is “in him,” in his mind the plans of creation were drawn. But let’s drop that and read on. “For in Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth visible and invisible whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him.” “All things were created by Him,” that is by Jesus Christ.
So we have God the Father referred to as the originator of everything. We have the Son referred to as the creator — all things created by Him. And then did you remember Genesis chapter 1, verse 2 suggests to us, it does not say it specifically, but it suggests to us that the spirit was active in creation for we read, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the earth was without form and void and the darkness was upon the face of the deep and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In other words the spirit was active in creation too. I think it is probably true to say that the Father in creation initiated the work, the Son carried it out, the Spirit administrated that word, as is usually the case in the Trinity. But nevertheless the Bible attributes the work of creation in some measure, at least, to each one of the persons of the trinity. And almost all evangelicals have felt for the centuries that creation is an act of the triune God.
Capital B: Creation is a free act of God. But that we mean that God did not have to create. The creation is not part of God. It was not necessary. He was not forced to do this by the nature of his being. It is a free act of God. Now let’s turn over to the last book of the Bible and read Revelation chapter 4, verse 11. Now we have read this text before, some of you may remember it. But here it bears on our doctrine again. Revelation chapter 4, verse 11; the four and twenty elders say in verse 11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Now this word pleasure does not mean what we think it means, not something that might be a toy in the hands of God. He did not create this earth in order to have a plaything. Now when the Bible speaks of the good pleasure of God it means his purpose. And bear that in mind because when we study Ephesians, ultimately, in the doctrine of election that will bear on the meaning of election. It is according to his pleasure. That is his will. It was a free act of God.
Capital C: The creation is a temporal act of God. In other words, it had a beginning. It is not an eternal thing. Matter is not eternal. Genesis 1:1 said, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” There was a time when the earth did not exist and yet God existed.
By the way, what was he doing all of that time? What do you think God did all of the time between the creation of the angelic beings and the past ages of eternity? What was he doing all of that time? Sitting in his rocking chair, in his Lazy Boy? Planning? I wish we had about fifty minutes to discuss that remark theologically. That’s a very good remark. But maybe next term, when we study some of the other things, I’m going to revise this a little so we’ll have a little more discussion. And that’s a good thing; I’m going to have to drop it though because we won’t get anywhere if we discuss it. He did plan, but I don’t really know how much time it took him to plan. Anyway that question is interesting. What did he do before creation? By the way if any of you would like to write a paper on that and present it at our next class [laughter], I’d be glad to read it to the audience here. [Dr. Johnson laughs] David Simpson said I could read all the papers in two minutes, probably true, mine included.
Capital D: An act, which brings forth something out of nothing. Now let me just say this about this point. Here is another big point. The word to create, this word bara does not really, by itself, mean to create something out of nothing. For example, it’s the word that is used of the creation of man and we know that God took the dust of the earth and he breathed into the dust of earth the breath of life. But this is true of the word bara which means to create. This word is nowhere used of a human production. Never in all of the Old Testament do you read that man bara-ed anything. It’s a word that is reserved for God. And then never do you read that a man bara-ed something out of something. That is in any particular text. True man was created by God. In another place it says God took the dust of the earth and breathed into the dust of the earth the breath of life, but you do not read that God bara-ed man out of the dust of the earth. So this word is a word that means to create by the will of God. Never is it used with an accusative of the matter, never is it used of man. So it’s a word that, I think, in Genesis 1:1 does mean to create out of nothing, but the meaning is not derived from that word specifically, but from the context in which it is found in the Old Testament.
I guess I should have said if the creation is an act, which brings forth something out of nothing then we must say that this is something that is scientifically impossible, so far as we know. That is it is supernatural. It’s something, which a scientist cannot verify, put it that way. So when a scientist says that’s impossible, well he’s right because it’s his principle. But he’s wrong if he thinks that his scientific method disallows this. That’s the limitation of his method.
Capital E: The creation is a distinct but dependent existence. Now what I mean by this is that the creation is not God. It is not part of God. It has a distinct existence. It is dependent upon God, but it is not part of God. You know, we say when we talk about God theologically that he is transcendent which means that he is exalted above everything. He is not part of this creation. He is transcendent. But we also say that he is eminent. That is that he is in his creation. When we Christians meet, he is with us. He is in me by the Holy Spirit. He is eminent in this world. When Abraham offered up Isaac he said, “We’ll call this mountain Jehovah Jireh.” And in the text of Authorized Version says that means, “in the mount he shall be seen.” Or remember the text “Thou God seeist me.” Now that means that God is eminent, but he is also transcendent. The creation is distinct from God. He has transcended over it, but it is also dependent upon God. It doesn’t have any independent existence. We’ll see in a moment why that’s necessary.
Capital F: The purpose is the glory of God. That is why God created, remember Revelation said, “For thy pleasure, they are and have been created, all things.” Will you turn to Romans chapter 11 for just a moment? Notice it’s a text — Romans 11:36 — that is full of little brief one syllable words. But I don’t know whether there is any text that is more important than this. I gave my students in Romans at the seminary an assignment to write on Paul’s philosophy of history. And quite a few of them wrote various things that they saw in the Epistle to the Romans and some things that they didn’t see in Romans on their paper. Some things they didn’t see anywhere in the Bible were on the papers too. But I remember one paper particularly, he said, “It seems to me that Romans 11:36 is Paul’s philosophy of history in a nutshell.” And he said as he quoted it, “For of him and through him and to him are all things.” And he developed the “of him” and he said everything came from God, the creation. He’s the originator.” All things are through him. That is everything that happens, happens by his agency, his instrumentality. He’s responsible for everything, all the things whether it be history, science, or whatever it may be. It’s all through him. And it is all to him, for him, for his glory. Well, it is a pretty good philosophy of history. And that’s just about the truth of it. That’s Paul’s philosophy of history. Everything comes from God. God has his hand on everything that is happening. And God is designing that everything ultimately glorify him, and the creation, of course, was created for his glory.
Now let’s go on to Roman II: The divergent Theories of the World’s Origin. Some of these are not so interesting to us, but thinking men down through the years suggested different explanations of the earth’s origin. And one of the theories is the dualistic theory.
Capital A: The Dualistic Theory. I’ll just refer briefly to this. This theory says that God and matter are two self-existent principles, which are distinct but are co-eternal. Matter is eternal. God is eternal. Now a man who would hold this would be a scientist for he would say nothing can come from nothing. Consequently, since we have something, something must be eternal. But then if matter is eternal, we would say it, therefore, must be infinite. And if it is infinite how can we have two infinite absolute beings. You just cannot have two infinite absolute beings. If you have two eternal beings you cannot have one absolute being. Of course, we would also ask the question how can we prove that matter is eternal. That’s a theory, of course.
Capital B: The Emanation Theory. Some say the world is simply an emanation of God. I was reading in Charles Hodge’s Theology and he said that once he was studying in the German University in which Augustus Tulloch, the great German scholar and who was an evangelical, was eating at a table with some theological students and Charles Hodge was there and they were talking about the creation and Tulloch took a pencil out of his pocket and asked his students, “What is this pencil?” And Charles Hodge said that he was surprised to hear that the students all said that pencil was God.
That is, since everything emanates from God, ultimately everything is God. And many have suggested that the world is the necessary emanation of the divine being and what we see about us is just a phenomenal manifestation of God. It’s God. We all have known some wild-eyed people who think that the trees are God, the buildings are God, the canyon there, the Grand Canyon that’s God. Haven’t you heard people say that? I’ve stood in the presence of the people who are not theologians at all, of course, who would say that is so wonderful its God. It has to be God.
Well that kind of language is the phenomenal language of a man who believes in the emanation theory of creation. I’m sure you would shock a person like that, say you must accept the emanation theory of creation. [Laughter] He probably wouldn’t know what in the world you were talking about, but nevertheless that’s it. But, of course, if that’s true then that presupposes that the existence of God is divisible. That is that you could have a being who is invisible and then you can see the manifestation of him as a visible thing. How can you divide up God in this way? Makes God ultimately responsible for evil, too.
The third theory is very popular of course and that is the theory of evolution. Now this is too big a subject to consider in detail. And to be perfectly honest with you I don’t think I’m really capable of considering this in much detail. But a few simple points at least may help us to think straight with regard to it. There are two forms of evolutionary theory. One is Atheistic Evolution. That’s the theory of evolution with which most of us come into contact. It may, for example, today be stated something like this, there are different theories. Everything began with an unformed shapeless mass of gas and out of this has evolved the creation. There are different forms in which this theory may appear, of course. This may be out of date by now. But nevertheless in one form or another that is the Atheistic Theory. Things began that way. Began with an atom of this or a molecule of that or some unformed gas, some of this or that kind, and out of this has evolved the creation that we see about us today.
Of course, it’s most popular form is that man was, at one time or another, a monkey. I’m sure that a thinking scientist today doesn’t accept that. Mr. Spurgeon used to ridicule it by saying “Now that the theory of evolution is so popular and is so accepted by so many that we should no longer pray our Father which art in heaven, but our Father which art up a tree.” [Laughter] Now which is, of course, an odd homonym kind of argument and not very scientific at all, but at least it made a hit with his audience.
Then there is a form of evolutionary theory, which is popular among some Christians, and that is Theistic Evolution. Now Theistic Evolution posits the existence of God, but that in general God has let things evolve as an evolutionary theory but at key and critical points he has stepped in to do a little necessary work. For example, he created life in the beginning and then he allowed life to naturally evolve. But at a key point when man came along it was necessary for him to step in again. And so he stepped in again and helped out the evolutionary processes.
Now Theistic Evolution is a type of theory that is acceptable and is usually appealing to a man who wants to harmonize present day science with the word of God. And he thinks that by this compromise theory that he can satisfy the Bible and also satisfy science. And so he may accept much of evolution, which seems to be scientific to him and at the same time accept the Bible. Most theologians have regarded this, of course, as impossible. After all, the Bible does not tell us that man evolved. It says that man devolved. It does not say that man managed to ascend to the place where he became a man, but it states that he was a man and he has fallen. In fact the whole history of the human race is not a history of ascent but descent. It, of course, would make it impossible for us to understand the person of Jesus Christ. So there are many theological objections to this theory.
Let me just say a few things about evolution which may help us keep our feet upon the ground. Do you remember when I taught this subject or something similar to it came up before? I talked about my friend out in Albequerque, who is such a good scientist, and he really is an outstanding scientist, one of the outstanding men in this country. He knows he’s a pretty good scientist too. He told me that he had won the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the Western United States for one of his scientific papers or some of his scientific work. But he is a very intelligent man and he said — and he’s a genuine Christian — he said, “Lewis when people ask me does science agree with the Bible, I always say,” remember I told you, “What science? You mean the science of 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, and so on.” Because he says, “Science is constantly changing.” And he said, “Lewis I usually tell them if science did agree perfectly with the Bible, I probably could not accept the Bible because tomorrow science would change if that’s a necessary thing for acceptance of truth.” So let’s remember evolution is a “by faith” theory, “by faith.”
Let me read you some things that men have written. Listen to Professor L. T. Moore, “The more one studies paleontology the more certain he becomes that evolution is based on faith. The only alternative is special creation which may be true, but is unreasonable.” Now that’s man who is not a Christian. But he acknowledges that evolution is by faith.
Listen to Professor D. M. S. Watson, “Evolution is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logically coherent evidence, but because the only alternative is creation which is clearly incredible.” [Laughter]
One of the most interesting things that has occurred in the last ten years has been the book issued by J. A. Kurkut of the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry at the University of South Hampton, and these are some of the things that he says. He notes that evolutionists often write — and he by the way is an evolutionist — but he has written a book in order to puncture the views of most of his evolutionist friends and to show the weaknesses of their theories. He says he knows that evolutionists often write as though they have had their views by some sort of revelation, the same thing as a believer in the Bible. In spite of “many gaps and failures” in their system, it is “taken on trust” by “blind acceptance” and “closing of the eyes” to many important facts, thus revealing an arrogant — his word — arrogant rather than a truly scientific spirit. As far as we know scientifically today the universe arose suddenly.
Now the Bible of course says that God spoke and the earth came into existence. Isn’t it interesting and only interesting because we cannot base our acceptance of truth upon what a scientist says, but isn’t it interesting that today there is a great deal of scientific evidence for sudden creation. Listen to Professor Harrison Brown, who is a geochemist of the California Institute of Technology, “Latest research seems to indicate that the known universe is all of one piece created all at one time as indicated in the Book of Genesis.” Isn’t that interesting? “It may also be admitted that other satellites of our sun would not be suitable home sites for human beings. We would freeze, burn, or suffocate in most instances.” Listen to Professor Edward McCrady of the University of the South Sewanee, he says that modern study indicates that all known elements in the universe came into existence practically at one time within an half an hour or so. Before that time there could have been no chemical elements at all.
This morning I was reading in the paper and there was a little letter from Sydney Kraft. I’ve noticed his name in the letters to the editors. He writes all the time. He hasn’t got any sense whatsoever [laughter] but he writes in there all the time. Pardon me Mr. Kraft, I don’t know who you are, I’ve never seen you, but this is what he wrote this morning. “Did the Apollo 8 crewmen in failing to find any harpist, golden streets, or imaginaries in space? Why should you find any harpists, golden streets? Why should you? He’s stupid. He’s utterly stupid. You don’t find such things with these eyes.”
Remember what LaPlace, who said he looked at space and he could find no evidence of God or angels and President Sawyer said he might just as well have swept in his kitchen. You cannot find God by the use of a telescope. And so he said, did the Apollo 8 crewmen in failing to find any harpists, golden streets, or other imaginaries in space become doleful or was the reading of the trite story from Genesis satire from their space hotel? It’s hard to ascertain. Well he’s a stupid fellow. [Laughter] They’re the scientists and they read from Genesis. And I think it was very fitting that they should read from Genesis, not just because they were scientists who apparently have a belief in the existence of God, but that’s the more acceptable scientific theory.
Listen to Professor [Indistinct] a geologist, “If I were in forty lines to sum up the most authentic acquisition of geology I would copy the text of Genesis, the history of the creation of the world as seen by Moses.” Isn’t that interesting? What he would do is copy the text of Genesis. From what we know now the order of the creation scientifically is the order as set forth in the Book of Genesis.
Our time is up. We will say just a word about the scriptural account of creation but for our last study, we will study providence. Of course we could say other things and I’m not an expert on the second law of thermodynamics but the second law of thermodynamics shoots all kind of holes in evolutionary theory. We discover, of course, that energy is constantly decreasing, not increasing. And that the basic make up of our universe is opposed to evolution scientifically. And some of you men who are scientists in the room and there are some of you, could probably explain that better to us than I could.
I remember a fellow was once lecturing on the age of the world and he says the universe is running down. And he pointed out that when this process was over the world would be cold, dark and uninhabitable with temperatures way below zero. All life would long ago have ceased, of course, and we’d all be gone. Some fellow jumped up very excitedly and said, “How soon did you say this would happen?” He said “seventeen billion years.” He fell back in his seat with a sigh of relief and said, “I thought you said seventeen million.”[Laughter]
Let’s close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father we thank Thee that we can turn to the word of God and we can know that the creation has come from Thee. We realize Lord that we believe this by faith as the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews has put it, “By faith we proceed,” that the things which have come to be have not come into existence out of the things which appear. And we thank Thee Lord that we do have revelation from Thee tested in many other areas and proven through in which we can trust. And we know Lord that while we respect science and want to know more about science, for we know that it ultimately will take us to Thee if we are honest and sincere in our seeking for the truth. That ultimately we cannot find any solution that is contrary to Thy word. And that the theories of men which often appear to be reputations of the truth of the word they too are theories of faith. [End of Tape.]