“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen 1:1 (KJV)
The Creation model, like the Materialism model, establishes a comprehensive outline of cosmic, geologic and biologic origins. The first chapters of Genesis provide a brief yet amazingly complete foundation for the Creation model. Since Genesis is regarded as revelation from God, any scientific theories associated with the Creation model must not contradict scripture. Although science can only deal directly with material reality, the basic premise still applies: the model makes predictions that either do or do not fit the evidence.
Before exploring the content of Genesis, it is worth taking a moment to consider the origin of the book itself. Genesis is the first of the five books comprising the Torah. Torah, which means “teaching,” also includes Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Moses is credited with these first five books of the Hebrew scriptures. One major difference with Genesis is the fact that all of the events in the book take place before Moses was born. This is often a stumbling block for believers and a powerful objection for non-believers. The solution is that Moses compiled older documents into the form we know now as Genesis. Although Moses almost certainly did not write the content of Genesis from scratch, he is rightly called the author because he weaved a literary tapestry from those earlier documents under the direction of the Holy Spirit. Jewish tradition also holds that Moses also compiled the book of Job from pre-captivity documents in much the same way. Whether God guided Moses in the compilation of pre-existing documents or dictated the book of Genesis from scratch, the important point is that God instructed Moses to include Genesis at the front of the Torah. The Torah has ever since been revered as collectively the most holy writings of all time.
Most major divisions in the book of Genesis occur where a phrase similar to “these are the generations of…” The first such division occurs at Gen 2:4 (generations of creation). Everything up to this point must be direct revelation from God. The next section logically includes everything from Gen 2:5 to Gen 6:1a (generations of Adam) and may have been written by handed down from Adam. The next section includes Gen 6:1b to Gen 10:1 and was most likely originally passed down from Noah. The remainder of Genesis most likely came from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph consecutively.
The Creation model is based primarily on the text of these first eleven chapters of Genesis because they describe the original creation of the universe and life, a planetary hydraulic cataclysm that destroyed life and radically changed planetary climate and geology, and the cause of language and culture diversity. The key points are described below. There are many references to original creation spread throughout scripture. For example, Jesus refers to details in each of these first eleven chapters of Genesis. The opening of John’s gospel draws on the powerful theme of Gen 1:1 with the words, “In the beginning…” John describes the relationship of God the father and Jesus Christ and attributes the act of Creation to the efforts of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ first miracle described by John was the creative act of turning water to wine. Isaiah, Job, and some Psalms are particularly important and will be discussed where appropriate later in this [blog series].
Genesis 1:1-2:4 succinctly describes the process of original creation. Space, matter, time, and energy (light in particular) were created on the first day. A cycle of dark and light were established on the first day. On the second day God caused an expanse to form which divided water. On the third day water under the expanse was pooled into seas and dry land appeared. Plant life formed on the third day. On the fourth day the sun, moon, and stars became visible as distinct objects in the expanse. Sea, air, and swarming animals were formed on the fifth day. Land animals and man were formed on the sixth day. All plant and animal life is described as being formed whole, complete, and as unique kinds from the beginning.
Gen 2:5-25 gives a detailed account of the creation of the first humans. Adam is described as having language, purpose, and free will. Eve is described as being formed from Adam. Together Adam and Eve are described as the source and example of God’s intended family unit.
Gen 3 describes the presentation of temptation through deceit, original sin corrupting humanity, and the consequence of the curse of death put upon the entire earth. Perfect community with God ended there. A number of lessons may be learned, but the effects of sin and the reason for death and suffering become clear in the context of Cain and Abel.
Gen 4 describes the effects of corruption passed along to the first two sons of Adam – self-righteousness, envy, rage, murder, denial, fear and rebellion. A brief genealogy of Cain is given along with scant details about his descendants. Some were farmers and ranchers, some were musicians, and some were mechanics. The few details given are enough to suggest that these earliest people were at least somewhat technically advanced. They must have had some knowledge of mathematics, geology, forging, and animal husbandry and management.
Gen 5 provides a detailed genealogy of the male descendants of Adam to Noah and his sons. The great life spans described seem incredible by modern standards. Clues in preceding chapters along with information about the flood and its effects on the planet suggest major climate and water cycle changes. These changes are suspected of being the principle cause of reduced life spans following the flood. Great attention to detail is given in this chapter so that we have an account of the exact number of years from original creation to Noah. Since Gen 7:6 indicates the exact age of Noah when the flood occurred, we can easily calculate that the flood occurred 1656 years after creation.
Gen 6-8 describes the flood of Noah. The flood was a planetary catastrophe ending all air-breathing land and air life except what God preserved on Noah’s ark. The waters are described as erupting from beneath the surface and falling from the sky. Noah, his family, and all the animals preserved in the ark remained in the ark for slightly over one year. The cataclysmic violent forces of nature unleashed by God in this flood are a vital to the overall creation model because this flood explains the fossil record and a myriad of fascinating geological phenomena from coal to limestone to certain precious gems like rubies and sapphires.
Gen 9-11 is important to the creation model because this series of passages fill in the gap from the flood to rise of early cultures. Gen 9 describes the early post-flood family activity of Noah and his sons. One incident in particular resulted in a curse being placed on the descendants of one Noah’s sons and blessings prophesied for the other sons. Gen 10 is known generally as the “table of nations.” This chapter lists the earliest tribal civilizations which were dispersed in an event described in detail in Gen 11:1-9. Gen 11:10-32 provides another highly detailed genealogy similar to the one in Gen 5. This one, however, details the male line from Noah to Abraham.
Genesis opens with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This one statement directly confronts, contradicts and refutes all forms of naturalism – Pantheism, Animism, Big Bang, Materialism, Atheism, and Evolution. God is established as the single supernatural mind who personally and purposely created everything.
The creation model makes numerous predictions. The universe had a beginning. Time is not infinite. Neither is matter, energy, or space. There is more to reality than the material universe. God exists eternally – without beginning or end and without limitations of time or space. Time, matter, energy and space came into existence instantly by the force of divine will. Natural mechanical laws (physics) were put in place at the beginning although subject to supernatural manipulation during the creative week. Initially all matter was water with some rotational energy. Light existed before the sun, it was directional, and there was a distinction between light and dark in space. Space began expanding. Earth then became a distinct planet, fully formed, with regions of water and dry land. God then made plant life. Stars, the sun, moon and presumably the other planets in our solar system were fully formed and operating essentially as we see them today by the end of the fourth creative day. Calendar and time keeping methods are made possible by the regular mechanics of our solar system. Like plants, animal life was also created whole, complete and mature by distinct kinds. All organic life has a natural powerful will to procreate and to procreate only within kind. Scripture indicates that all animals have souls, but human life is distinct from animal life in that man was made “in the image of” God. Man was given the specific duty of caring for creation. The first humans definitely had complete oral language and may have had written language. Humans are both biological (body) and spiritual (soul). Humans have free will. All humans today descend from an original single pair of humans.
Initially creation was perfect – no death and no suffering, but suffering and death entered material reality as a result of human sin. A catastrophic flood of water that lasted several months covered all dry land on the planet. All air-breathing creatures died except those preserved in a single wooden ark. Almost all fossils and many geological features on the earth today are the result of this flood. All animal and human life existing today descend from those who survived on the ark. Genealogies given in scripture indicate the flood occurred about 1656 years after creation. Genealogies after the flood indicate the flood occurred about 561 before the house of Israel entered the land of Egypt. There is some scholarly debate about the duration of Israel’s stay in Egypt with the maximum period being 430 years, but the departure of Israel is reliably dated (within a decade) to about 1446 BC. Taken together, this means the flood occurred no more than about 4400 years ago and creation occurred roughly 6000 years ago. The vast diversity of language and culture in the world today are the result of the supernatural division of language and dispersion of humans not long after flood.
The following chart attempts to put into perspective some the major differences between the two models for origin processes:
|Materialist Model||Creation Model|
|Sun & Stars||before earth||after earth|
|Land||before oceans||after oceans|
|Rain||before man||after man|
|Sun||before land plants||after land plants|
|Life||from non-life||life from life only|
|Array of Life||continuum||distinct kinds|
|New Kinds||Appearing||no new kinds|
|Mutations||often beneficial||neutral or harmful|
|Natural Selection||creative process||conservation process|
|Man & Ape||common ancestor||always distinct|
|Civilization||slow and gradual||since first man|
|Death||before man, before sin||after man, after sin|