The first C – CREATION
Devotional thoughts for teachers – God is the Good Creator:
Psalm 145:9 – “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.”
Psalm 33:5 – “He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”
Psalm 107:1, 15 – “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
Psalm 119:68 – Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.”
So is Carl Sagan right when he writes this:
If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why is he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business if there was any competition (Sagan, C., Contact, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1985).
No, our God is much, much different.
We pray in worship:
King of glory, divine majesty, every perfection adorns thy nature and sustains thy throne; the heavens and earth are thine, the world is thine and its fullness. Thy power created the universe from nothing; thy wisdom has managed all its multiple concerns, presiding over nations, families, individuals. Thy goodness is boundless; all creatures wait on thee; are supplied by thee; are satisfied in thee. How precious are the thoughts of thy mercy and grace! How excellent thy lovingkindness that draws men to thee! (Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision, The Banner of Truth Trust (2005), p. 216)
Today’s text and theme verse for the children:
Genesis 1-2, specifically Genesis 1:31
And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Frequent Questions asked by adults:
Did God create in six actual days? www.answersingenesis.org/org/days
How old is the earth? www.answersingenesis.org/go/world-born
Hasn’t science shown the earth is millions of years old? www.answersingenesis.org/go/young
What about the dinosaurs? www.answersingenesis.org/go/dinosaurs And while you explore this link, make sure you check out Utah’s testimony to catastrophe (http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n2/utah-testimony-catastrophe)
Couldn’t the Bible teach that the earth is millions of years old? Could God have used evolutionary processes to create? www.answersingenesis.org/go/compromise
Could God have used the big bang to bring about the universe? www.answersingenesis.org/go/big-bang
What does it mean that God created the animals “after their kind”? www.answersingenesis.org/go/kinds And while you explore this link, make sure you check in with Dr. Todd Wood ( http://www.bryancore.org/wood.html ), a good baraminologist.
What about the so-called “apemen”? www.answersingenesis.org/go/anthropology
Don’t Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 contradict each other? www.answersingenesis.org/go/contradictions
Don’t carbon-14 and other radiometric dating methods show the earth is millions of years old? www.answersingenesis.org/go/dating
Interestingly, LDS apostle B.H. Roberts was of the opinion that our planet was “organized” by God from chunks of other planets. Thus the existence of dinosaur fossils.
Personally, I tend to take the scientific claims at face value and accept that God could have used any processes He wanted – including evolution.
Sigh. I think you do your students a major disservice linking to the AiG site.
1. Tell me why, Brian.
Pseudo-science in your mind?
2. Seth, you have a link to that?
The kids and I are looking at Genesis 1-2 today. Let me get back to the house and converse so more on this, tonight.
I like Rikk Watts’ view of Genesis 1 (see “Making Sense of Genesis 1” at http://www.asa3.org/ASA/topics/Bible-Science/6-02Watts.html)
Rikk is at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.
Baker published his book on the importance of Isaiah to Mark’s gospel.
Seth, here is what my class, mostly my son (6th grade), posed to me today as we talked about Genesis 1.
1. Is the big bang theory science?
2. Isn’t even “nothing” a “something”?
3. How was there light without a sun?
4. How did water get separated?
5. What about the Pangea of millions of years ago?
5. Why is it called “Heaven(s)” in Genesis 1?
6. What makes good science?
And btw, Seth, is the existence of eternal matter a fundamental belief for LDS?
Chuck, cheers to you. Fascinating article.
1. All the children today, 1st – 6th grade picked up on the literary form of 2 sets of three days in Genesis 1. In today’s AiG curriculum, this is accentuated in a nifty way. But I shan’t spill the beans or the fun. (And hopefully in this HI4LDS post, I am not infringing on copyright laws.)
2. I like this quote in the article:
And Genesis 1’s answer, it seems to me, is not so much concerned with the “how” in the technical or mechanical sense as it is with the “who,” namely, Yahweh.
Yahweh is sovereignly supreme, and yet it is amazing how the Creator of all invites us to be co-regents. Wow.
3. Yet, Chuck, I cannot integrate evolution with Genesis 1. Neither can I wiggle the rest of Genesis into non-literalistic readings – insurmountable difficulties for the scriptural testimony.
4. Has Watts published a book on the importance of Isaiah to John’s Gospel? If so, I would buy the book. Is he related to John Watts?
AiG tries to explain observed phenomena in scientific terms but refuses to use all of science’s tools. Selective sampling is the definition of pseudo-science. The reason this is a disservice to your kids is that some day most of them will be confronted with this reality: that AiG is a very poor source for scientific information let alone explanation—or, that scientists are fabricating data and lies in some kind of atheist conspiracy. It’s a dichotomy that doesn’t have to exist, but AiG’s “believe this version or you lack faith” attitude forces it upon the believer.
A far, far better approach is to teach your kids whatever doctrine you believe is correct—science be damned! For example: Under no stretch of the imagination whatsoever can the stratified layers of fossils be explained by a catastrophic worldwide flood that lasted only a few weeks, so don’t try to cook up some explanation long those lines. Just tell your kids, “We believe in a world-wide flood and a 6,000-yr-old earth. We don’t know how those layers formed—the Bible is silent on stratified fossil layers—but we know it didn’t happen as the geologists say because their process would have required millions of years. God, in all His power, could have effected that phenomena through any number of miraculous ways, but He didn’t tell us exactly how He did it so we are left to wonder—to wonder, and of course to reject the geologists’ explanation. If the geologists had faith in God’s word—the Bible—they would have to reject their explanation as well.”
I think my explanation is far superior to AiG’s because I don’t misrepresent either side (i.e., I’m honest) and thus I don’t set the kids up for a conundrum later on when they find out that AiG has been hiding or ignoring a ton of data.
(Disclaimer: I don’t actually believe the Bible in the way that I present above, but I think that you do. I wrote that paragraph from a “this is what I would say if I were Todd Wood” perspective, not from my own perspective.)
The world-wide catastrophic flood lasted 150 days – not just a few weeks (Genesis 7:24 and 8:3). The waters still needed to receed for 2 1/2 months before the highest points of the land were visible (Genesis 8:4-5). The earth was not dry for nearly a full year (compare Genesis 7:11 and Genesis 8:13-14)! It takes a fraction of this time to form stratified layers as demonstrated by local floods such as that at Mt. St. Helens.
I am always wondering about individuals, scientists and theologians in the inductive process, “hiding or ignoring a ton” of factual data through specific revelation and general revelation. An evolutionist and/or a higher critical scholar can do a masterful job in presenting observable data, statistical analysis, and vivid description, I just believe they “ignore” when sharing the end interpretative story.
Fallen sinful nature is known for suppressing, holding down, and shutting out truth. I know the old Todd Wood perfected this to a science. 😉
But now in my redemption, though I struggle, I want to learn. I see and hear and taste and touch and smell and . . . wonder . . . a lot . . . so thirsty to learn new things everyday.
Honestly, Brian, in my limited exposure to AiG, they have not quenched but have encouraged within me an ongoing thirst to learn more in the specialized sciences outside of AiG for the glorifying of the marvelous Creator.
And they are all about evangelism. I like that, too.
And since you and Eirik are talking about the flood, that is the “C” for tomorrow – Catastrophe.
Still on Genesis 1-2, here are so more interesting questions that I received from my 6th grade class:
1. What day was Eve made?
2. Where do we get the English translation of Eve?
3. Why is there some repeating in a different way in Genesis 2?
4. Where was the Garden of Eden?
“fundamental” for what?
May one deny the eternal existence of matter outside of God and still be recognized as a faithful, believing LDS within the Church?
Btw, some are saying I need to cherish the apes more.
Instead of Genesis 1-2, the humans had better allow equal rights to their ancestors.
I imagine so.
We’re pretty easy-going that way.
Eirik, I have no interest debating the science behind a global flood, but I think that you missed my point entirely. Whether the Flood lasted “a few weeks” or even a few decades is completely irrelevant when geologists calculate that it took millions of years to form the stratified layers we observe.
Todd, I can’t make my case any better than I already have.
Brian, sometime we need to go to the Grand Canyon. I have never been. All I have done is soak in the beauty of Yellowstone’s grand canyon.
Sidenote – I would have taken my kids to an event like this.
My youngest boy probably would have had a blast. My wife loves science.
For this week, my wife has dubbed me:
She has been labelling thus my brown paper bag among the family sack lunches.
Todd, I taught a summer class at the Bean Museum once. It was on birds. I’ll always remember how beautiful the Grand Canyon looked right after a brief blizzard. Yellowstone, of course, is amazing as well.
Brian, it seems like the discussion went national this week:
thanks for the link!