Last night, like many Americans, my love for sharks was renewed for a week. With the start of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel we as a nation turn to the deadliest of ocean predators. It started off with a special called “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives”. It was a fascinating kick off to the week. “Megalodon” followed a small crew examining what sank a ship off of the coast in South Africa.
Without ever delving into the world of being over dramatic, it did a great job of running through the options of what could have sank a near 30 foot ship before eventually suggesting that it could be a shark known as the megalodon. The megalodon was supposed to have gone extinct 2 million years ago.
Cue lots of Christians tuning out.
For some, it is still hard to see the harmony of God and science, so I want to take a quick blog moment to share some thoughts on creation.
First, let me start by saying this is an open handed issue. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of Christians who love and follow Jesus who believe in a young earth and those who believe in an old earth. There are those who believe that God created whole and complete creatures and those who believe that He worked through evolution. These are things that can be great discussions among Christians. What shouldn’t be a debate (in Christian circles) is that God was the Creator. He was the one who formed the earth and everything on it.
With that, here are some brief thoughts on the topic of God, science, and creation…
God and Science are not enemies. Too many Christians mistakenly assume that God and Science do not get along. This couldn’t be more untrue. God created and Science is the discovery of the way God operates. However, what can happen is scientists with different worldviews can distort Science to support their worldview. Most of the conflict that happens between Christians and scientists is when the scientist has a naturalist worldview. Naturalism essentially only believes in science that can be measured by experimentation. Such a belief has no room for a creator God because He cannot be measured. True Science, performed without an agenda, will always point towards God and His process for creating and maintaining the universe.
The Genesis Creation Story
When we look at the first two chapters of the Bible from the book of Genesis (which literally means “beginning”) we read a poem that explains creation through a story of God forming things ex nihlio (“out of nothing”) over a six day period. There are a lot of interpretations as to this passage but I want to look at two of the more popular views.
Young Earth Creationism – This group believes that through the genealogies of the Bible, humanity can be traced back 10,000 years and the creation of Genesis 1 took place immediately before that. They take Genesis 1-2 as a literal time frame. This view takes the Bible as a book that is intent on scientific accuracy.
6 days. Young earth. Young humanity.
Historic Creationism – This group believes that God also created ex nihlio but the sentence “In the beginning” can be an indefinite time frame. From one second to one trillion years, the phrase is not meant to specific a time so much as it is meant to express that God was at the beginning and He was there as the sole creating force.
Historic Creationists also believe in a literal 6 day creation period. There are many views now that believe in old earth and a non-literal 6 day period but this group believes that the evidence in the text continues to suggest that after an unspecified period of time God created in a literal 6 days.
Old earth. 6 days. Young humanity.
Even though I grew up a young earth creationist, I now believe that to be a Young Earth Creationist it requires to deny a lot of scientific discovery, or at least it requires us to play the conspiracy card that everyone is out to get us Christians.
If you read this blog and you’re not a Christian, you may feel that the majority of Christians feel this way and if you’re like a lot of my non-Christian friends you may find it laughable that someone could still deny science considering all the information we have today.
Again, I know lots of people who believe this and they are good people. God fearing, Christ following people.
In my opinion, this historic creationism is the view that creates the greatest harmony between the ultimate, one and only, Creator God and the process of discovering His majesty which we call “science”. It allows me to see scientific discovery as revealing the beauty of His work and not an enemy to it.
Regardless of your stance on this issue the important thing to remember from this post is that there is a Creator who in power and beauty created the earth and everything in it and who created us in His image. Whether a young earth creationist or a historic creationist, we are united in this belief.
And if there’s a second thing to remember, it’s that “Megalodon” and Shark Week are awesome.