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A Vital Issue for Todays Church

The Creation or
Evolution Debate:
by Anthony Dallison
T
he Creation/Evolution debate is a
subject which is not only vital for
the Church in the 21
st
Century but is
coming increasingly to the fore even
in scientic circles as more and more
honest scientists and evolutionists are
being faced with the facts of evolutions
inadequacy to explain the origin of the
universe and of all animate life within it.
Let me begin by reminding you
of the well-known words of Genesis
1:1, In the beginning God created
the heavens and the earth. Tis often
memorized opening verse of the Book
of Genesis has been the answer, from
the beginning of recorded history until
recent times, to mans question How
did the cosmos begin? But today, in an
age of skepticism and unbelief which
has inherited the rationalistic criticism
of the Bible from way back in the nine-
teenth century along with the so-called
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Genesis 1:1
5 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
indubitable ndings of modern sci-
ence, can we say that statement is still
relevant in this computer space-age? Is
this a valid and believable account of
our origins?
One thing at least can be said about
this opening verse of the Bible, even by
its enemies and detractors: it relates
time, space and matter in a stunning
economy of words, all the more re-
markable for that the fact these three
most basic entities are not mutually
exclusive. (Tat is to say, no one entity
can exist without the other two). Taken
quite literally, the statement oers the
reader a straightforward explanation
for the origin of the universe and all
that it contains, making no apology for
the fact that the account involves su-
pernatural creation ex nihilo, creation
of something from nothing.
We are probably all aware that un-
til the beginning of the 19th Century,
the main-stream Christian Church had
generally accepted the biblical account
of creation as literal and historical fact,
those who questioned the account be-
ing pretty much on the fringes. How-
ever, with the rapid development of the
sciences and scientic enquiry in the
nineteenth century, and particularly
with the rise to notoriety of men like
the geologist Charles Lyell (1797-1875)
whose book Principles of Geology es-
poused the age of the earth being, not
thousands but millions of years in age
- and Charles Darwin (1809-1882) who
published his On the Origin of Spe-
cies in 1859 and his Descent of Man
later in 1871, the climate began rapidly
to change. Previously, it had been gen-
erally accepted that the fossil record
had been laid down rapidly in the sedi-
mentary rock formations as a result of
the great universal catastrophic Flood
(recorded in Genesis 6-9), that the earth
itself was of a relatively young age and
that the creation of the universe, plant
and animal life (including man) had
taken place as recorded literally in Gen-
esis chapter one. But now, in the light of
Lyells teaching based on the millions of
years required for the fossil record, and
following Darwins famous sea voyage
to the Galapagos Islands (1831-1836) on
board HMS Beagle (where he assumed
that the micro evolution he observed
there (i.e. changes within certain spe-
cies of animal/plant life to adapt to
their own unique environment) could
be transferred to the principle of macro
evolution, (i.e. changes from one actual
species into another and higher form
of species), things began rapidly to
change. Evolutionary theory was about
to become respectable and to be em-
braced almost universally, sadly even in
great sections of the professing Chris-
tian Church.
So, we have come ourselves to
the 150th anniversary of the publica-
tion of Darwins On the Origin of the
Species. And, somewhat ironically, as
some of you will also be aware here to-
night, this year happens to be the 400th
anniversary of the birth of the great Ge-
Charles Lyell
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
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Te Creation or Evolution Debate
nevan Reformer, John Calvin in 1509.
John Calvin would have been aghast
to see how radically great sections of
the Protestant Church have abandoned
the biblical teaching on creation and
adopted either wholesale, or with sup-
posed modications, the evolutionary
hypothesis with all of its unscientic
bases and its undermining of the au-
thority, inspiration and perspicuity of
the Scriptures of Gods Word.
I want to do four things in this pa-
per, time permitting: (1) to briey out-
line the teaching and assumptions of
the evolutionary hypothesis, pointing
out as I do so its inadequacies. (I believe
that Alastair Matthews will be dealing
more fully here in his treatment), (2) To
outline the attempts of Bible-believing
Christians to compromise the biblical
account of creation with the evolution-
ary hypothesis, (3) To focus attention
on the biblical account of creation in
Genesis 1, and (4) nally to summarize
the eects of evolution upon certain vi-
tal biblical doctrines.
I. Teaching/
Assumptions of
the Evolutionary
Hypothesis
We are all aware, Im sure, that the
teaching of evolution has become the
major hypothesis for explaining the
origin of all animate life, if not of the
origin of the universe itself as we know
it today. Tis teaching has been in
vogue for the past 150 years, popular-
ized through Charles Lyells work in ge-
ology and especially Charles Darwins
On the Origin of Species, published in
1859. (I refuse to call it the evolution-
ary theory, because the denition of a
theory is that it is an explanation of a
phenomenon which has been tested and
proved to be a workable explanation,
whereas evolution is not a theory at all
but merely an unproven (and unprove-
able!) hypothesis). Its basic teaching is
that all forms of life have evolved from
single cell organisms, over a period of
millions of years, to become animate
life as we know it today... .plants, sh,
birds, animals and nally man himself.
Tis is macro evolution, as opposed to
micro evolution, I.e. a vertical change
of one lower species into a much higher
species of life, and not a horizontal
variation within a certain species itself
(We see the latter evidenced continu-
ally in our world today, e.g. the dierent
breeds of domestic dogs, but they are all
still dogs!).
We must say that this whole hy-
pothesis is a highly speculative one,
without any foundation in actual fact
through empirical evidence, and that
it is not even a science but rather a
bizarre philosophy or even a religion
Charles Darwin
7 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
in its own right. Tis is doubtless why
an increasing number of modern biolo-
gists, paleontologists, geneticists and
scientists of various disciplines are be-
ing forced to criticize and even deny the
validity of evolutions claims as to the
real origins of life.
(1) Te fossil record does not vindi-
cate evolutions claims. Darwin recog-
nized that this should be able to provide
indubitable conrmation, by way of em-
pirical records showing the transitional
forms of one species changing into an-
other and higher species of life. He rec-
ognized that the records available back
in his day were inadequate but he was
condent that further developments
and research would bring this empirical
evidence to light in years to come. For
instance, if monkeys gradually changed
into men, there should be abundant evi-
dence left in the fossil record. Whereas,
there is a complete absence of any tran-
sitional forms whatever in the fossil
record. Tis conrms creation, rather
than evolution. Moreover, whole mas-
sive rock strata are often without any
fossils at all, it is claimed that 150 mil-
lion years are needed for invertebrates
to become vertebrates, but no record
has been left throughout this assumed
time-frame! Moreover, all the fossil
records show clearly dened species -
sh, amphibians, reptiles, birds - many
of which are recognizable species today.
(2) Modern research into DNA re-
veals that while there may be horizon-
tal variations produced, there are never
any vertical variations (i.e. producing a
higher form of life or change of species).
(3) Supposed extinct species are
still being discovered today. (E.g. Japa-
nese shermen o the coast of New
Zealand in April 1977 caught a 4,000lb
dead creature in their nets identied as
a plesiosaur (a sea- dwelling dinosaur),
previously only found in fossils and
thought to be extinct).
(4) It is well known that human
footprints have been found in the same
rock sediments that hold the footprints
of extinct dinosaurs, yet evolution-
ists claim that a vast period of seventy
million years separates the age of the
dinosaurs from the rst appearance of
mankind.
(5) Darwins hypothesis requires
that mutations are to be benecial,
whereas modem medical research has
shown that they are almost always
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
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Te Creation or Evolution Debate
harmful and even dangerous to life, not
benecial, and that they normally re-
vert back to their original forms.
(6) In order to account for the ab-
sence of fossil evidence in the rocks, a
punctuated equilibrium theory has been
propounded (i.e. evolution happened in
short spurts, followed by long periods
of inactivity, hence the absence of fos-
sils). Tis cannot be observed or proven
and there is no evidence for this process
empirically. It is subjective and arbitrary,
merely yet another attempt by modem
secular man to salvage Darwins in-
creasingly challenged hypothesis.
(7) Complexity of the cell structure
is another challenge to Darwins hy-
pothesis. Modern research has shown
the almost unbelievable complexity of
the structure of even the simplest cell
with one hundred proteins. Tiny ma-
chines, amino acids, memory banks,
blueprints etc! Yet macro evolution
depends on a single cell being formed
by accident, some scientists saying this
would require a 10 to the power 20
chance for it to happen! Surely this
points to a supernatural creation be-
ing necessary! Te more so when you
consider the sheer complexity of but a
single organ in the human body, e.g. the
human eye.
(8) Evolution contradicts both the
First Law of thermodynamics (the en-
ergy level in the universe remains con-
stant) and the Second Law of thermo-
dynamics (that everything is gradually
running down).
(9) Various physical phenomena
indicate that the earth is comparatively
young, and not the millions of years old
required by the evolutionary hypothesis.
For instance, the salt level in the oceans
of the world would be very much higher
than they are now; the earths magnetic
eld is known to be decreasing slowly
and even secular scientists have come
up with an estimated age of the earth of
only about 10,000 years at most; 14 mil-
lion tons of space dust are deposited on
the earths land masses and oceans an-
nually, which would have left a deposit
220ft thick if the earth were many mil-
lions of years old; it is well known that
when the rst American astronauts
landed on the moons surface, the legs
of the landing craft had been tted with
special pods to prevent it from being
completely swallowed up in the thick
layer of space dust that scientists sup-
posed covered the surface of the moon
because of its immense age, whereas the
dust was barely one half inch in depth,
once more evidencing the young age of
the universe; and earths gravitation is
slowing down, which would currently
be impossible if the world were of an
immense age; the moon is also slowly
receding from the earth, but it would
be much further away if the earth were
millions of years old!
(10) Te supposed missing links
in human fossil remains has proved
notoriously unreliable. Tere have been
9 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
outright hoaxes (such as the famous
Piltdown Man), and other discover-
ies of supposed ancient human remains
have often comprised so few fragments
that it has been pure guesswork to
imagine what the original animal
looked like!
(11) Te much-vaunted carbon
dating methods cannot be relied upon,
tests having showed that their accuracy
is limited at most to a few thousand
years, and even the dating methods
based on the decay of uranium are
based on certain questionable assump-
tions (e.g. has the rate of uranium decay
remained constant?)
(12) Finally, we observe that the
supposed long age of the earths exis-
tence is based on the geologic column,
which was supposedly formed over mil-
lions of years and which has the most
primitive forms of life, therefore, at its
base. But we note that the geologic col-
umn does not even exist anywhere in
the world! It is a pure assumption: that
is, the column has been organized ac-
cording to the preconceived notions of
natural evolution, with the oldest rock
formations being those which have the
most primitive life forms as fossils and
the youngest rocks the most advanced
ones! (If ever there were a case of circu-
lar reasoning. its surely just here! Te
rocks are dated by the fossils, and fos-
sils dated by the rocks!) So, if there are
contradictions in the rock formations
- e.g. older rock sediments overlaying
younger ones! - this is simply explained
away as an aberration. Or, if fossils are
found in rock layers where they should
not be, this is explained away as strati-
graphic leaks!
Summary
Macro evolution is indeed a religious
belief that is not only not based on em-
pirical evidence, but it is contrary to the
overwhelming evidence which bears
testimony against it, some of which we
have just cited. Whereas, the evidence
points much more directly and con-
vincingly to creation by an Intelligent
Designer, with the explanation for a
young age of the earth, the fossil record,
etc., arising from creation followed by
catastrophism (i.e. the universal Flood
in the days of Noah).
So, we need to take just a moment
to reect on why evolution is destruc-
tive of the biblical faith:
(1) It is openly antagonistic towards
biblical revelation, desiring to deny and
undermine biblical authority. It claims
to put the supposed ndings of sci-
ence above Scripture, thus promoting
atheism, secularism and theological
liberalism, leading inevitably to the rise
of such gures as Karl Marx and Julian
Huxley in the secular realm and the
promotion of modernism in the eccle-
siastical realm.
(2) Tere is no place for a personal
Creator God nor any need for Him.
Hence, for instance the rise of the Big
Bang theory for the origin of the uni-
verse, where pure chance (not God) rules.
(3) It denies the Person and au-
thority of the Lord Jesus Christ, who
armed the doctrine of creation and
who quoted or alluded to the Book of
Genesis some twenty-ve times in the
course of His ministry.
(4) Scripture arms the reality of
the 1st Adam and Jesus Christ as the
2nd (or last) Adam. Te denial of Adams
creation by divine at as the federal head
of the human race undercuts the whole
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
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Te Creation or Evolution Debate
basis and plan of mans redemption
through Christ the 2nd Adam.
(5) Death is no longer the result of
mans sin as a divine judgment upon
him, but merely a natural phenom-
enon. (We need no reminder that these
views resulted in the rise of Naziism
and Communism and even in our own
culture, the increasing loss of any sense
of the sanctity of human life and the
seriousness of mans sinful condition
before God).
So, there can be no compromise
between evolution and creation. Evolu-
tion, in its essence, implies the destruc-
tion of evangelical Christianity. Tere
can be, and ought not to be, any com-
promise with it.
But we should be thankful, never-
theless, that we are living in days when
more and more honest and enquiring
scientists are questioning the valid-
ity of Darwins hypothesis because of
many newly discovered factors and who
are therefore no longer in agreement
with Tomas Huxleys arrogant asser-
tion that evolution is no longer theory
but fact and cannot be questioned any
more than that the earth goes around
the sun.
II. ATTEMPTS BY BIBLE-
BELIEVING CHRISTIANS
TO COMPROMISE
1) THE GAP THEORY
A widely held opinion among funda-
mentalists is that the primeval creation
of Genesis 1:1 may have taken place bil-
lions of years ago, with all the geological
ages inserted in a tremendous time gap
between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Te latter
verse is believed by these expositors to
describe the condition of the earth after a
great cataclysm terminated the geological
ages. Te cataclysm, which left the earth
in darkness and covered with water, is ex-
plained as a divine judgment because of
the sin of Satan in rebelling against God.
Following the cataclysm, God then re-
created the world in six literal days de-
scribed in Genesis 1:3-31. (Henry Morris,
Te Genesis Record p.46)
Tis is most popularly known as the
gap theory or ruin and reconstruction
theory. Sadly, it was popularized in the
mid-nineteenth century by a Scotsman,
Tomas Chalmers (1780-1847), who
was one of the foremost gures in the
formation of the Free Church of Scot-
land at the famous Disruption in 1843,
when the Free Church left the Church
of Scotland over the issue of patronage.
Interestingly, and again sadly, this view
has also been popularized by the notes
in the Schoeld Reference Bible (which
bases its view on Isa 45:18, For thus
saith the Lord that created the heavens;
God Himself that formed the earth and
made it; He hath established it, He cre-
Thomas chalmers
11 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
ated it not In vain, He formed it to be
inhabited: 1 am the Lord there is none
else). So, this view has been taught in
many of the Bible Institutes and fun-
damentalist seminaries of the United
States for the past century, and it was
also held by A.W. Pink, C.S. Lewis, and
Donald Barnhouse.
Te real purpose of this gap the-
ory is to try to harmonize the biblical
chronology of a literal six day creation,
with the accepted system of long geo-
logical ages which was becoming prom-
inent in the days of Tomas Chalmers.
Te idea was to get rid of the problem
of long evolutionary geological ages by
simply pigeonholing them in the gap
and letting the geologists have all the
ages they wanted.
What shall we say
of this supposed gap
theory?
(1) Even from an evolutionary perspec-
tive, it fails. Te evolutionist believes
in uniformitarianism (the belief that
physical processes have always func-
tioned in the past essentially as they do
at the present time), which of course
precludes any worldwide cataclysm as
required in the gap theory. Moreover,
a cataclysm of such dimensions which
would leave the earth in darkness and
inundated with waters would have
been nothing less than an immense
global explosion which would have
obliterated the earths sedimentary
crust and all its (supposed) fossils, thus
leaving no evidence whatever of the
geological ages which the gap theory
is attempting to accommodate.
(2) Not only is it impossible to ac-
cept scientically, but it is also destruc-
tive theologically. Te moment we
accept the geological age system, we
are also accepting the fossil record by
which these ages are said to be identi-
ed. However, fossils speak of suering,
disease and death - of a world where
often violent, widespread death was
a universal reality. So, if that kind of
world existed prior to the supposed pre-
Adamic cataclysm, then it existed be-
fore the sin of Satan (which is supposed
to have resulted in the cataclysm). Tat
is, suering and death existed for a bil-
lion years before the sin of Satan and
the subsequent sin of Adam.
However, the Bible says explic-
itly that death came into the world only
when Adam brought sin into the world
(Rom 5:12 & I Cor 15:21).
Furthermore, if suering and death
existed then, God Himself was respon-
sible for such a state. And it is inconceiv-
able that a God of love and order would
create and use a system based on ran-
domness and cruelty in His creation.
Also, the most natural reading of
the text (Genesis 1:1 & 1:2) does not in
any way indicate a gap, any more than
the other pairs of verses throughout
Genesis chapter one indicate any gap
in time. Tere is also no biblical foun-
dation for rendering the Hebrew word
was (the earth was without form and
void) as became.
Conclusion
Te natural reading of Genesis 1:1-2
suggests no such idea of a gap theory,
nor is it warranted either scientically
or biblically.
(2)THE DAY-AGE THEORY
Another attempt by Bible-believing
Christians to reconcile biblical cre-
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
12
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
ationism with the evolutionary hy-
pothesis is the so-called Day-Age
Teory. Sadly, again this was popular-
ized by a Scotsman in the mid nine-
teenth century, named Hugh Miller.
He lived in the little village of Cromar-
ty, near Inverness in NE Scotland, and
I actually visited his cottage on a trip
to Scotland last year, the cottage being
a national heritage building and under
the care of the Scottish National Trust.
Hugh Miller was a stone-mason for
much of his life and this occupation
had made him very familiar with the
fossil records in the rocks of NE Scot-
land. Although a staunch Reformed
Presbyterian and a leading gure, like
Tomas Chalmers, in the formation of
the Free Church of Scotland in 1843,
Miller was convinced that the fossil
record required long aeons of time for
its formation, which could not be rec-
onciled with the views of a young
earth as held by the main-stream
Christian Church for centuries previ-
ously. (Tis view was also adopted by
James Boice, E.J. Young, and B.B.
Wareld.)
So he inaugurated the day-age
theory, maintaining that the six days
of creation recorded in Genesis chap-
ter one were not literal 24-hour days
at all, but long periods of geological
ages. He popularized this view in his
book Footprints of the Creator. He
also maintained that Noahs ood
could not have been a universal ood
as Scripture arms, because the fossil
record indicated such diversity of spe-
cies that Noah could not possibly have
gotten all the living animals and birds
into the Ark! Sadly, in spite of Millers
undoubted orthodoxy in other theo-
logical matters and his great usefulness
in maintaining the biblical principles
of the newly-formed Free Church of
Scotland, he was defying the normal
accepted interpretation of Genesis 1&
Genesis 6-9, challenging the infallibility
of Scripture and denying the obvious
implications of the language of Genesis
1 (which speaks clearly of normal solar
days.... evening and morning being
the cyclical succession of day time and
night time). Moreover, there are several
other overwhelming objections.
(1) Te order of creative events in
Genesis 1 is very dierent from the ac-
cepted order of fossils in the rocks rep-
resenting geological ages. (e.g. the rst
life developed on land not in oceans;
plant life came rst, not marine life; the
earth was created before the stars, not
vice-versa; birds before sh & insects;
marine life created instantly; stars cre-
ated on the 4
th
day, not still evolving etc.)
(2) Te necessity of geological ages
is based on the fossil records, and fos-
sils speak unequivocally of suering
and death being present in the world.
Hugh Miller
13 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
So, we have the same contradiction of
Scripture as in the gap theory, i.e. that
suering and death are a divine judg-
ment brought into the world because
of mans original sin (Rom 5:12). In con-
trast, the day-age theory must assume
that suering and death comprises an
essential part of Gods work of creating
and preparing a world for man, which
is inconceivable for the biblical God of
love, grace and omnipotence.
(3) As we have said, the biblical re-
cord itself makes it plain that the days
of creation are literal days, not long in-
denite ages. Te days are literal days
and the events described happened in
just the way described. Although the
Hebrew word for day (yom) may refer
occasionally in other parts of the Bible
to longer periods of time, the most nat-
ural and obvious meaning of the word
in Genesis 1 is to the literal twenty-
four hour day and therefore cannot be
stretched into millions of years! Tis
is further borne out by the clear ratio-
nale given by the Lord when he insti-
tuted the Fourth Commandment later
at Mt Sinai, For in six days, the Lord
made heaven and earth, the sea, and all
that in them is, and rested the seventh
day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sab-
bath Day and hallowed it (Ex 20:11).
No compromise is possible between
evolution and creation! E.g. creation ex
nihilo, compared to evolutions insis-
tence on pre-existing matter; creation
in six days. contrasted with billions of
years; oceans were created before land
not vice versa; profound dierences in
the areas of the hydrosphere and atmo-
sphere; life originated on land not in the
oceans; plant life rst, not marine life;
fruit trees before sh, not vice versa;
stars created on the fourth day, not still
evolving; birds created before sh and
insects; whales before reptiles, not vice-
versa; man created before rain; man cre-
ated before woman,. light existing before
the sun; plants before the sun; marine
life created instantly; mans body cre-
ated from the dust, not evolving from an
animal ancestry; man as a vegetarian;
mans dominion over all creation from
the very rst; mans Fall causing death
both spiritual and physical, not there-
fore something already existing previ-
ously for aeons of time.
(3) THEISTIC EVOLUTION
Even though the rst two attempts by
Bible-believing Christians to reconcile
the evolutionary hypothesis with the
biblical account of creation (the gap
theory and the Day-Age theory) are
false, misleading and dangerous, never-
theless they had the merit of at least at-
tempting to treat seriously the account
of creation in Genesis 1. However, the-
istic evolution does no such thing. Its
essence is to impose the conclusions of
atheistic scientic assertions above the
Bible and in place of the Bibles clear
teaching about divine creation.
It maintains that step by step, God
directed the process of macro evolution,
changing one species of life into a pro-
gressively higher order through aeons
of time, so that Genesis chapters 1-11
are pure mythology or allegory and not
to be taken as a literal account of mans
beginnings. Tis is the ocial teach-
ing of the Roman Catholic Church, for
instance, and it has been embraced by
countless Protestants as well.
It is not my purpose to go into a
detailed refutation of this teaching,
because of time-constraints, but it is
worth noting that this whole position is
plainly contrary to the express teaching
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
14
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
of Scripture. For instance, Dr. Henry M.
Morris in his ne commentary on the
Book of Genesis, Te Genesis Record
points out that:
(1) Tere are at least 200 direct
references to, or quotations from, the
Book of Genesis in the New Testament.
(2) All the books of the New Testament
except Philemon, II & III John, contain
allusions to Genesis. (3) More than half
of the 200 New Testament allusions to
Genesis are found in the rst eleven
chapters of Genesis. (4) Sixty -three
allusions are to rst three chapters of
Genesis. (5) Twenty-ve of the referenc-
es are directly from the lips of Christ
Himself. (Appendix 4, pp.677-682)
In other words, all the inspired
writers of the New Testament scrip-
tures accepted the accounts in the Book
of Genesis as literal, historical facts, our
Lord Jesus Christ Himself referring to
the creation events and the great Flood
as literal and historical events. Teistic
Evolution is logically and invariably the
death of biblical religion (Davis Young)
(4) THE FRAMEWORK
HYPOTHESIS
Tis is the most recent attempt to
harmonize the creation account with
the evolutionary hypothesis, allowing
Christians to believe in a process of
millions of years. It has been popular-
ized in our day, sadly, by a professor at
Westminster Teological Seminary in
Philadelphia, Meredith Kline, although
the origin goes back to around 1924 in
Germany, where a German rationalistic
theologian observed a supposed paral-
lelism between the rst three days of
creation and the second three days in
Genesis 1 (i.e. two trios).
Te reasoning is very involved, but
as I understand it, it amounts to this:
the six days are in essence merely a
framework for the real emphasis on
the 7th Day (when God rested from all
His work of creation). So they are mere-
ly a device to give us only general infor-
mation, not to be taken as literal days,
but just two triads. So the six days are
designed to teach us, not how long God
took to create, but the emphasis instead
is upon the three spheres (heavenly,
earthly, and marine). So that Genesis
1 is merely describing some heavenly
truth, which we can only understand in
earthly and inadequate language.
Te eect, of course, is to eliminate
a literal understanding of Genesis 1, be-
cause Genesis 1 is unconcerned about
chronology & time, and to replace it by
becoming merely a poetical and meta-
phorical description of creation. What
are we to say of this extraordinary posi-
tion? It must be rejected, because:
(1) No other Scripture is safe from
similar treatment! (I.e. artistic struc-
ture/poetic form). E.g.: Christs resur-
rection!
(2) Tis was never espoused earlier
than the 20 Century. It is, after all, an
assault upon the perspicuity of Scrip-
ture (cf WCF I:VII). Te Bible becomes
a meaningless book.
(3) Once more, this bizarre expla-
nation assumes that death and destruc-
tion were present in the world prior to
mans Fall.
(4) It denies and overlooks the plain
fact that there is a climax in the six days
of creation, leading up to the emphasis
upon the 7th Day as the culmination of
all of Gods creative work.
(5) Tis whole position is con-
tradicted by the Lords words in the
institution of the 4th Commandment
15 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
(Exodus 20:11, For in Six days, the Lord
made the heaven and earth the sea, and
all that in them is, and rested the sev-
enth day: wherefore the Lord blessed the
seventh day and hallowed it).
III. THE BIBLICAL
ACCOUNT OF CREATION
(GENESIS 1)
(1) SOME GENERAL COMMENTS
Its worth recalling the magnicent
language of the Westminster Confes-
sion of Faith (Chapter IV, Section I)
dealing with Creation.... It pleased God
the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for the
manifestation of his eternal power, wis-
dom, and goodness, in the beginning
to create or make of nothing the world
and all things therein whether visible
or invisible, in the space of six days and
all very good. After God had made all
other creatures, he created man, male
and female, with reasonable and im-
mortal souls, endued with knowledge,
righteousness and true holiness, after
his own image, having the law of God
written in their hearts and power to
fulll it, and yet under a possibility of
transgressing etc.
Once more, we must admire the
amazing skill of the Westminster di-
vines to set out the doctrine of bibli-
cal creation with such conciseness
and economy of words, merely two
short paragraphs amounting to only
150 words in length! Indeed, it sum-
marizes the short, terse statements of
Gods creative acts in Genesis 1-2, in
six literal days namely, the beginning
of time/space/matter...the creation of
light, the separation of the rmament,
the gathering of the oceans, creation of
plant life, the sun/moon/stars, animal
life and nally man himself.
But, did you know? Te rst chap-
ter of Genesis is one of the most God-
centered chapters in the whole Bible! He
is mentioned by name some 32 times in
31 verses....and, adding personal pro-
nouns, some 43 times! So that, in the
Bibles opening chapter, the Holy Spirit
brings us into the presence of GOD and
keeps us there! No wonder, therefore,
that Genesis 1 is a main focus of Sa-
tans assault, because abandonment of
the God-centered truths of this chap-
ter inevitably leads to Satans triumph.
Moreover, if the Holy Spirits inspira-
tion of Scripture cannot be trusted in
the matter of Gods work of creation,
how can He be trusted later in Scripture
when he deals with the vital matters of
mans need for salvation? If he cannot
be trusted in the rst chapter of the
Bible, so also( for example) in the great
salvation text of John 3:16! And if what
he says about the earth in Genesis I can
be questioned, what condence can we
have of His description of heaven in
Revelation 22?
Te magnicent opening verse of
Genesis 1 is a sublime statement which
sweeps away atheism (by asserting Gods
existence), polytheism (by declaring He
is one) and pantheism (by separating
Himself from matter). Similarly, since
we have every reason to believe that Mo-
ses was the human author of the book
of Genesis, it is striking and instructive
that he did not write the account of cre-
ation according the theories of his own
day and age! Tat is to say, even though
he was learned in all the Egyptian wis-
dom (Acts 7:22),he did not reect any
of these erroneous and absurd views in
Genesis chapter one, viz. that there was
once a primeval ocean, out of which ap-
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
16
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
peared an egg and from which emerged
the sun God, who in turn had four chil-
dren (GEB, SHU, TEFNUT & NUT), and
their rivalry among themselves led to the
creation as we know it! What a blessing
that the account of Genesis is not at all
like that, but instead like a snow-capped
Himalayan peak rising majestically to-
wards heaven. Moses wrote contrary to
all the accepted learning of his day....he
must therefore have written by divine
revelation. (Take just one instance as ex-
ample: the record states that on the third
day of creation, all the waters were gath-
ered into one place to form the worlds
oceans. How could Moses possibly have
known that all the oceans of the world
form one interconnected body
of water, when all that he
could possibly have
been acquainted with
was a limited ac-
cess to the Red
Sea and the Med-
iterranean Sea?
It must therefore
have been shown
to him by divine
revelation!)
N.B. Peter
Stoner, a modern
mathematician, has
noted that the thirteen
steps of creation recorded
in Genesis 1:1-26 have all been cor-
rectly listed and named by Moses in
their proper orderand he calculates
that Moses chances of being able to do
this were one in thirty-one sextillion
(i.e. 31 followed by 2l zeros)! Yet secu-
lar humanism today would rather be-
lieve Charles Darwins unsubstantiated
evolutionary hypothesis, which com-
pletely lacks empirical evidence, rather
than Moses divinely inspired account
of creation! Whereas, apart from any
other consideration about the falsity of
Darwins hypothesis, there is one ex-
pression, used no less than ten times in
Genesis 1, which spells the death-knell
to Darwins claims...namely, the basic
command of God for all living things
to reproduce after their own kind (vv.
11,12,21,24,25). Tis alone is surely the
rock on which the evolutionary doctrine
founders!
(2) SOME SPECIFIC
OBSERVATIONS
Te Westminster Confession of Faith is
undoubtedly correct when it states, so
succinctly, the reason for Gods per-
forming the work of creation,
viz. It pleased God...for
the manifestation of
His eternal power,
wisdom, and good-
ness, in the begin-
ning to create or
make of nothing
the world etc.
As John Calvin
aptly put it, the
world is designed
to be the theatre
of Gods glory. Tis
is a constant theme
throughout the Bible, of-
ten used as the motive for men
to worship and honor the true God (e.g.
Ps. 33:6 By the word of the Lord were
the heavens made; and all the host of
them by the breath of His mouth ; Ps.
95, 100, 136 similarly call for the Cre-
ator to be worshipped; Ps 33:5 reminds
us that the earth is full of the goodness
of the Lord; Jer 10:12 that he made the
earth by His power; and in the New
Testament, Paul reminds us that the
17 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
invisible things of Him from the creation
of the world are clearly seen, being un-
derstood by the things that are made,
even His eternal power and Godhead
so that (men) are without excuse etc.
(Rom I:20f) Moreover, a number of
prayers begin with references to Gods
work of creation, e.g. Neh 9:6, Jer 32:17,
Acts 4:24. And we need to remember
that even the last book of the Bible rec-
ognizes Gods work of original creation,
and ascribes all honor and power to
Him because he created all things, Rev
4:11 Tou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive
glory and honor and power: for Tou
host created all things, and for Ty plea-
sure they are and were created.
In other words, the creation account is
woven into the texture of the whole Bi-
ble. OT & NT alike!
We surely need no reminder, too,
that the Bible asserts that the work of
creation involved each Person of the
Trinity, the Father (Gen 1:1 & Psalm 8);
the Son (Heb 1:2, John 1:2, Col 1:15-16);
and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2). And
that it was indeed creation ex nihilo
(i.e. not from pre-existing materials,
even though in the later stages of cre-
ation, the Creator did use pre-existing
materials, e.g. in the creation of man);
and that it was at creation (He spoke
the universe into existence); and that
there was nothing else outside of God
Himself which he did not create. Surely,
too, the repeated expression and the
evening and the morning- at the close
of each act of creation - most naturally
and logically implies six literal twenty-
four days of creation, and not long ages
of millions of years (vv.5,8, 13,19,23,31)!
And all was very good.
We need no reminder, too, that the
creation of man had a distinct place in
Gods purpose, as evidenced for instance
by his being created after everything
else (in a world prepared and amply
furnished for him), and by deliberation
(Let us make man in our own image), as
the image-bearer of God in knowledge/
righteousness/holiness, and therefore
distinct from the other animal creation
entirely, with Gods Law written upon
his heart and with a reasonable and
immortal soul. Moreover, the record
clearly states that mankinds origin was
from one human pair, conrmed again
in Genesis 10 (the genealogy of the na-
tions) and in the Apostle Pauls address
to the men of Athens in Acts 17:26. Tis
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
18
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
is fundamental to the biblical doctrine
of original sin and the doctrine of the
resurrection, as stated clearly in Romans
5:12-19 and I Cor 15:21f).
Dr. Henry Morris, in his ne com-
mentary Te Genesis Record states the
fundamental importance of the biblical
creation account as follows (pp.18-20):
(1) ORIGIN OF THE UNIVERSE
Te Book of Genesis stands alone in
accounting for the actual creation of
the basic space-mass-time continuum
which constitutes our physical uni-
verse. Genesis 1:1 is unique in all lit-
erature, science, and philosophy. Every
other system of cosmogony, whether in
ancient religious myths or modern sci-
entic models, starts with eternal mat-
ter or energy in some form, from which
other entities were supposedly gradu-
ally derived by some process. Only the
Book of Genesis even attempts to ac-
count for the ultimate origin of matter,
space, and time; and it does so uniquely
in terms of special creation.
(2) ORIGIN OF ORDER AND
COMPLEXITY
Mans universal observation, both in
his personal experience and in his for-
mal study of physical and biological
systems, is that orderly and complex
things tend naturally to decay into dis-
order and simplicity. Order and com-
plexity never arise spontaneouslythey
are always generated by a prior cause
programmed to produce such order.
Te Primeval Programmer and His
programmed purposes are found only
in Genesis.
(3) ORIGIN OF THE
SOLAR SYSTEM
Te earth, as well as the sun and moon,
and even the planets and all the stars of
heaven, were likewise brought into exis-
tence by the Creator, as told in Genesis.
It is small wonder that modern scien-
tic cosmogonists have been so notably
unsuccessful in attempting to devise
naturalistic theories of the origin of the
universe and the solar system.
(4) ORIGIN OF THE ATMOSPHERE
AND HYDROSPHERE
Te earth is uniquely equipped with a
great body of liquid water and an ex-
tensive blanket of an oxygen-nitrogen
gaseous mixture, both of which are
necessary for life. Tese have never
developed on other planets, and are
accounted for only by special creation.
(5) ORIGIN OF LIFE
How living systems could have come
into being from non- living chemi-
cals is, and will undoubtedly continue
to be, a total mystery to materialistic
philosophers. Te marvels of the re-
productive process, and the almost-
innite complexity programmed into
the genetic systems of plants and ani-
mals, are inexplicable except by special
creation, at least if the laws of thermo-
dynamics and probability mean any-
thing at all. Te account of the creation
of living creatures in Genesis is the
only rational explanation.
(6) ORIGIN OF MAN
Man is the most highly organized and
complex entity in the universe, so far
as we know, possessing not only in-
numerable intricate physico-chemical
19 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
structures, and the marvelous capaci-
ties of life and reproduction, but also
a nature which contemplates the ab-
stract entities of beauty and love and
worship, and which is capable of phi-
losophizing about its own meaning.
Mans imaginary evolutionary descent
from animal ancestors is altogether il-
lusory. Te true record of his origin is
given only in Genesis.
(7) ORIGIN OF MARRIAGE
Te remarkably universal and stable
institution of marriage and the home,
in a monogamous, patriarchal social
culture, is likewise described in Gen-
esis as having been ordained by the
Creator. Polygamy, infanticide, matri-
archy, promiscuity, divorce, abortion,
homosexuality, and other corruptions
all developed later.
(8) ORIGIN OF EVIL
Cause-and-eect reasoning accounts
for the origin of the concepts of good-
ness, truth, beauty, love, and such
things as fundamental attributes of the
Creator Himself. Te origin of physi-
cal and moral evils in the universe is
explained in Genesis as a temporary
intrusion into Gods perfect world, al-
lowed by him as a temporary conces-
sion to the principle of human reason
and responsibility, and also to manifest
Himself as Redeemer as well as Creator.
IV. EVOLUTIONS EFFECT
ON VITAL BIBLICAL
DOCTRINES
I have alluded to these eects through-
out this paper this evening and there is
therefore the need only for brief sum-
mary, as follows:
1) Denial of the Inspiration and Au-
thority of Scripture
If we cannot trust the creation account
in the early chapters of Genesis, doubt
is cast upon the inspiration and veracity
of the rest of Scripture as well. More-
over, we have seen that all the books of
the New Testament, except for Phile-
mon/II & III John, contain allusions to
Genesis, and that more than half of the
200 NT allusions to Genesis are found
in the rst eleven chapters of Genesis.
Sixty-three of the allusions are to the
rst three chapters of Genesis. Twenty-
ve of the references are directly from
the lips of Jesus Himself (including His
referencing chapters 1-3 of Genesis).
2) Denial of the Person and Authority
of the Lord Jesus Christ
He was involved in the work of creation
(John 1:1-4 & 10; Cot 1:15-16 & Heb
1:2), He armed the divine creation of
Adam & Eve (Mark 10:6-7), their being
one esh(Mark 10:8), and he referred
to the creation which God created
(Mark 13:19). It was the Son of God
Himself who taught His followers to ac-
cept the historical accuracy of the Old
Testament in general and the Book of
Genesis in particular (Matt 19:4, 23:35.
24:37-39, Luke 17: 19,32)
3) Denial of the Need for the Doctrine
of Redemption
Sin, suering and death, according to
evolutions teaching, are natural phe-
nomena and not the result of divine judg-
ment upon mankind through its federal
head, Adam. Mankind is therefore in no
need of divine redemption, in contradic-
tion to the Bibles plain teaching that sin
was introduced by Adams disobedience
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
20
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
and can only be remedied by the work
of the second (or last) Adam, the Lord
Jesus Christ (Romans 5:19).
As Morris & Whitcomb say (in Te
Genesis Flood) Uniformitarian paleon-
tology dates the formation of the major
fossiliferous strata many scores and
hundreds of millions of years before
the appearance of human beings on
the earth. It assumes that uncounted
billions of animals had experienced
natural or violent death before the Fall
of Adam; that many important kinds of
animals had long since become extinct
by the time God created Adam to have
dominion over every living creature;
and that long ages before the Edenic
curse giant esh-eating monsters like
Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the earth,
slashing their victims with ferocious
dagger-like teeth and claws
But how can such a description
of the history of the animal kingdom
be reconciled with the early chapters
of Genesis? Does the Book of Genesis,
honestly studied in the light of the New
Testament, allow for a reign of tooth
and claw and death and destruction
before the fall of Adam? If not, we have
further compelling reasons for ques-
tioning the uniformitarian scheme of
reading (the fossil record in) the rocks
and....strong encouragement for nding
in the great Genesis Flood the true ex-
planation of for fossil formations in the
crust of our planet (pp.454f).
Moreover, such clear-cut passages
as Romans 5:12-21 and I Corinthians
15:21-22 indicate that Adams sin and
fall introduced spiritual and physical
death into the human race. In the Ro-
mans passage we learn that through
one man sin entered into the world, and
death through sin; and so death passed
upon all men, for that all sinned;....by
the trespass of the one many died...the
judgment came of one unto condemna-
tion...by the trespass of the one, death
reigned through the one....through one
trespass the judgment came unto all
men to condemnation....through the
one mans disobedience the many were
made sinners.... Likewise, we are told
also in the Corinthian passage that by
man came death and in Adam all die.
Te Bible further teaches that all
human beings have descended from one
human pair (Gen 3:20 Eve.., was the
mother of all living; conrmed by Acts
17:26 He made of one every nation of
men to dwell on all the face of the earth)
and that these rst human beings were
created directly by God wholly apart
from any evolutionary development of
mans body from animal forms.
Te Lord Jesus Christ stated
that he who made them from the be-
ginning made them male and female
(Matthew 19:4)
Genesis 2:21-23 clearly indicates
that Eve came out of Adam and not
from the animal kingdom by some evo-
lutionary process! Tis is conrmed by
the apostle Paul: the man is not of the
woman; but the woman of the man (I
Cor 11:8) So, if Eve received her body
in this purely supernatural way out of
Adams side, why should anyone pos-
21 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 4 2010
Te Creation or Evolution Debate
tulate an evolutionary development for
Adams body?
Te Bible teaches that Adams
body was formed from the dust of the
ground (Gen 2:7), not of evolved ani-
mal forms.
Terefore, in the light of this biblical
revelation regarding the origin of Adam
and Eve. Christians must insist on the
essential unity and the supernatural,
non-evolutionary creation of the human
race. Otherwise there could be no such
thing as human sin or eternal salvation
through the blood of Jesus Christ (Rom
6:23; Heb 2:9,14: I John 1:5 - 2:2)
4) Denial of the Future State of Per-
fection and Glory in Heaven
If there has been no Fall of man and
no need of his redemption, there is no
place for a future state of mans full
restoration. Whereas, the Genesis ac-
count is not only important as a history
of mans origin, but also as a prophecy
of mans future. Te Book of Revelation
makes this clear, where Paradise lost, in
Genesis, becomes Paradise regained, in
Revelation. For example, note the fol-
lowing comparisons between the origi-
nal world and the nal world:
Probationary World(Genesis)
Eternal World (Revelation)
Division of light & darkness (1:4)
No night there (21:25)
Division of land and sea (1:10)
No more sea (21:21)
Rule of sun and moon (1:16)
No need of sun and moon (21:23)
Man in a prepared garden (2:8-9)
Man in a prepared city (21:2)
River owing out of Eden (2:10)
River owing from Gods throne (22:1)
Gold in the land (2:12)
Gold in the city (21:21)
Tree of life in midst of garden (2:9)
Tree of life throughout the city (22:2)
God walking in the garden (3:8)
God dwelling with His people (21:3)
(Even more striking is the contrast be-
tween the world under Gods curse and
the eternal world renewed, e.g. Cursed
ground/no more curse, ... daily sorrow/
no more sorrow..., thorns and thistles/
no more pain sweat of the face/tears
wiped away... eating herbs of the eld/
twelve manner of fruits. . . .returning to
dust/no more death....evil continually/
nothing that deleth...coats of skins/ne
linen; white & clean... .Satan opposing/
Satan banished...Kept from tree of life/
access to Tree of life...banished from the
garden/free entry to the City... Redeemer
promised/redemption accomplished.
For these and many other reasons,
it becomes evident that an understand-
ing of the early chapters of Genesis is
vital to an understanding of the eternal
purposes of God.
YES, indeed, THE CREATION
OR EVOLUTION DEBATE IS IN-
DEED A VITAL ISSUE FOR TODAYS
CHURCH!
Anthony Dallison