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Creation  Volume 34Issue 2 Cover

Creation 34(2):51–54
April 2012

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Jesus on the age of the earth

Jesus believed in a young world, but leading theistic evolutionists say He is wrong

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Jesus and the age of the earth

The standard secular timeline, from an alleged ‘big bang’ some 15 billion years ago to now, is accepted by most people in the evangelical Christian world, even though many would deny evolution. Some would even say that to dispute billions of years is to place an unnecessary stumbling block in the way of any scientifically-minded potential converts.

This is in contrast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator made flesh,1 as well as several of the biblical authors,2 which makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation. But in the evolutionary timeline, people have only been around for one or two million years—this puts them toward the end of the timeline. This means that He is most definitely claiming that the world cannot be billions of years old.

For example, dealing with the doctrine of marriage, Jesus says in Mark 10:6 (bold emphases added):

But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.3 In Luke 11:50–51, Jesus also says: “That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias … ”. And in Romans 1:20, the Apostle Paul says of God: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”.

Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation, was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later.

Paul is plainly saying that people have been able to perceive these attributes of God in His creation ever since the creation of the world. Not ever since people were created.

Comparing the appearance of people on the timelines below, which are both to scale, is instructive. Jesus, speaking around 4,000 years after creation,4 was correct to say that Day 6, when humans were created, was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’ as seen from thousands of years later. By contrast, a creation fifteen billion years ago on the secular timescale would put humans at the end of the time scale. It shows clearly how the acceptance of the secular timeline starkly contrasts with the statements of Jesus.

Today, the vast majority of Christians in not only secular academia, but also theological institutions, Bible colleges, etc. believe—and many teach—that the secular ‘billions of years’ is fact. When one tries to find out how they deal with these repeated references, responses vary. But the ‘explaining away’ that takes place (whenever the problem is not simply ignored) invariably makes it plain that the authority being deferred to is not the Word of God, but rather current secular opinion.

The most striking (and sad) example of this switch in authority source I know of comes from a personal experience. In Melbourne, Australia, many years ago, I had arranged to sit down over a hot drink with a distinguished university professor, a Christian who was well-known for his active opposition to a straightforward view of Genesis.5 At that time, he was actually the head of a grouping of Christian academics which had been openly set up to provide opposition to the inroads our ministry was making.6 Over the years, this group has unfortunately been very effective in persuading most Christian training institutions that compromising on biblical creation in favour of secular thinking (evolution, long ages) is the only ‘respectable’ position.

This professor himself, in addition to his secular science qualifications, was well regarded in the theological arena as well as being very biblically literate. He had at that time already been a frequent guest lecturer at several leading Australian evangelical training institutions.

During our courteous exchange, I asked him about the above comments by Jesus in relation to the age of the world. I asked, “Isn’t it clear that Jesus taught and believed that the world was young?”

A stunning response

I expected him to do as other Christian evolutionists have done—to try to find ways to torture the text to escape these obvious implications. Instead, he said that he totally agreed that Jesus believed in a recent creation of all things.

Somewhat taken by surprise, I said, “Well, how do you deal with that, then?” (He would of course have assumed, correctly, that I knew of the long-age position of this prominent organisation of theistic evolutionists.) His answer simply stunned me, to put it mildly. He said:

“Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.”

His words burned themselves indelibly on my memory, while the recollection of my response has faded somewhat. But I recall saying something about Jesus being the Creator, God made flesh; He was there at creation, He does not lie, that sort of thing. To which his reply was once again unforgettable:

“Ah, but that’s where it gets very complex—it has to do with the theology of the Incarnation, where Jesus deliberately laid aside many of the things that had to do with His pre-incarnate divinity.”

Our conversation was nearing the end of its allotted period in any case, but I recall being so stunned by this that it took me till well afterwards to fully process the implications.

What it all means

Firstly, and very importantly, the professor’s comments were a clear admission that the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as recorded in the Bible, confirm that He believed that things were recently created.

Remember that this professor was at the time the most prominent of all the professing evangelical academics that were being enthusiastically welcomed into Bible colleges and seminaries—to tell them why it was OK to believe in evolution and long ages. He obviously saw it as hopeless to try to claim other than what the Lord is clearly saying in this Bible text. And this is despite many attempts by others to ‘explain away’ this huge stumbling block for long-agers.

His way of being able to hold onto his theistic evolutionary view was to claim that Jesus was not lying, it was just that He was poorly informed. This was because when He as God the Son became flesh, laying aside aspects of His divinity included divesting Himself of all knowledge about what really happened when He had created all things.

If I had had the presence of mind, an appropriate response might have been to ask something like the following:

“OK, let’s assume for the sake of the argument that firstly, creation was by evolution, over millions of years of death and suffering—and that Jesus did perform some sort of lobotomy7 on Himself, so that He could no longer recall what really took place. So He just understood Genesis in the most natural straightforward way, not realizing what the real truth was. What you’re claiming in that case amounts to this: That God the Father, knowing the real truth, permitted not just the Apostles, but His beloved Son, while on Earth, to believe and teach things that were utter falsehoods. Furthermore, it means that the Father permitted these false teachings to appear—repeatedly—in His revealed Word. With the result that for some 2,000 years, the vast majority of Christians were seriously misled about such things as not just the time and manner of creation, but gospel-crucial matters such as the origin of sin, and of death and suffering.”

If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all?

One thing is very clear from all this. Namely, that the erroneous belief that ‘science’ insists that evolution and long ages are ‘fact’ is the most serious challenge to biblical authority, and thus to the faith in general, that Christendom has ever faced. If even Jesus’ words in Scripture can’t be trusted on some issues, how are we supposed to trust anything in the Bible at all? See also the box about the ‘kenotic heresy’.

Other leading theistic evolutionists have similarly made plain their belief that Jesus was mistaken. For example, on the American theistic evolutionary site BioLogos, led by Francis Collins, there appeared the following:

“If Jesus as a finite human being erred from time to time, there is no reason at all to suppose that Moses, Paul, John wrote Scripture without error. Rather, we are wise to assume that the biblical authors expressed themselves as human beings writing from the perspectives of their own finite, broken horizons.”8

This is all the more serious because Jesus and the apostles used the history they taught to back up the theology that they taught. The Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15), marriage (Mark 10:1–12), atonement (Romans 5:12–21), and Heaven (Revelation 21–22:5) are only a few of the areas in which compromising Christians are theologically crippled, because they don’t have the same strong stand on Genesis that Jesus and the apostles did when they taught about these areas.

What a tragedy that so many Christian leaders have been bluffed and intimidated into assuming that secular interpretations of the evidence should dictate their understanding of God’s Word. And right at a point in history when there are more scientific reasons than ever to confirm the utter rationality of trusting the Bible, not evolutionary conclusions.

Theistic Evolution and the Kenotic Heresy

by Jonathan Sarfati

This error from many leading theistic evolutionists is not a new idea. It was rejected by the Church in general as the kenotic heresy in the 4th Century already, but has been revived in modern times, and for reasons as shown in the main text.

This asserts that in the Incarnation, Jesus emptied Himself of divine attributes, which is a misunderstanding of Philippians 2:6–7:

“[Jesus] Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God a thing to be grasped; rather, he emptied Himself by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”

This does indeed talk about ‘emptying’ (kenosis1), but what does it actually say? “He emptied Himself by taking … ”. That is, He didn’t empty anything out of Himself, such as divine attributes; rather, His emptying of Himself was by taking. That is, it was a subtraction by means of adding—adding human nature to His divine nature, not taking away anything divine.2

This is what makes our salvation possible: he “shares our humanity” (Hebrews 2:14–17), and is our “kinsman–redeemer” (Isaiah 59:20); but He is also fully divine so He can be our Saviour (Isaiah 43:11) and can bear the infinite wrath of God for our sins (Isaiah 53:10), which no mere creature could withstand.

But on Earth, Jesus voluntarily surrendered the independent exercise of divine powers like omniscience without His Father’s authority. But Jesus never surrendered such absolute divine attributes as His perfect goodness, mercy, and (for our purposes), truth, so He would never teach something false. Furthermore, Jesus preached with the authority of God the Father (John 5:30, 8:28), who is always omniscient. So these theistic evolutionists really must charge God the Father with error as well.3

  1. From the Greek in this passage, ἐκένωσεν ekenōsen.
  2. For more on the incarnation, see creation.com/incarnation.
  3. See The authority of Scripture.

Related Articles

Further Reading

Related Media

References and notes

  1. See The Incarnation: Why did God become Man? creation.com/incarnation. Return to text.
  2. See Sarfati, J., Why Bible history matters, Creation 33(4):18–21, 2011, as well as creation.com/nt and creation.com/gen-hist. Return to text.
  3. The extended passage cites Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as real history, and about the same man and woman. In the parallel passage in Matthew 19:4–5, Jesus attributes Genesis 2:24 to the One who created them, i.e. to God himself. Return to text.
  4. See creation.com/chronogenealogy. Return to text.
  5. In Australia, as in most British systems, ‘professor’ means head of a department. In the US, professor simply means someone who teaches at tertiary level, which could apply to someone, for example, who would be called a ‘junior lecturer’ in a British system. Return to text.
  6. ISCAST (Institute for the Study of Christianity in an Age of Science and Technology); see creation.com/iscast. Return to text.
  7. From Greek λοβός lobos = lobe (of the brain), and τομή tomē = slice/cut. A serious and irreversible operation that cuts certain connections to the cerebral cortex, the ‘thinking’ part of the brain. Return to text.
  8. Sparks, K., “After Inerrancy, Evangelicals and the Bible in the Postmodern Age, part 4” Biologos Forum, 26 June 2010. See also Cosner, L., Evolutionary syncretism: a critique of Biologos, creation.com/biologos, 7 September 2010. Return to text.

(Also available in French)


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Readers’ comments
Hennie M., South Africa, 4 April 2012

Thanks for this excellent article. I recently have had a very similar experience with a well-known theologian, church leader and writer in one of the largest churches in South Africa who believes that Jesus only had an inadequate pre-modern worldview and knowledge with his first coming and possibly did not even know of his two natures -- God and man.

Gerry H., Canada, 5 April 2012

The scriptures answer the professor's assertion that our Lord left His perfect knowledge in Heaven at the Incarnation.

Colossians 2 verses 8-10, especially vers 9 : For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in BODILY form.

This is the power of the Word with which we can know truth from error. We are always dependent on it. We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

Al B., United States, 9 April 2012

Wow!! This is what I always knew and believed, but never took the time to really search in the Scriptures to be able to defend my faith, in this area. Thank you so much, for bringing it all out so well and easy to understand. Now I will be able to defend my faith in this area, like I can in healing, Salvation, and faith in general. My GOD has really BLESSED you, keep up the good work for HIM!

Richard G., Japan, 7 May 2012

I am reading a book lent to me called Privileged Planet by Guillermo something and Jay Richards. They are hard for me to follow because of my lack of training but they appear to be good Christian men but simply state quite often that the universe is say 15 billion years old. They remind me of Hugh Ross. Do you know of a brief review/critque of their book by someone in your camp?

Carl Wieland responds

No, but note that firstly, one can agree with someone about the privileged position our planet occupies, but disagree strongly on their Rossist position. Sometimes people have not thought through the biblical implications of such a position. The absolute no. 1 tool to point out where Rossism (and all other forms of long-agism) is both theologically and scientifically a hopeless dead end is Sarfati's classic Refuting Compromise. (See creation.com/store).

Narindra R., Madagascar, 7 May 2012

"This is in contrast to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator made flesh,1 as well as several of the biblical authors,2 which makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation."

For a true, sincere believer, this should be THE knockdown argument against evolutionism. Yet, there are sincere theistic evolutionists who have been so indoctrinated with it that they can't even view the world another way, and that's where your ministry and books like "The Creation Answers Book" are so useful ^^ .

Stephen K., United States, 7 May 2012

I'm with you 100%, but raising an issue because I expect the other side will probably raise it. We need our answer ready. What do we do with the fact that Jesus lacked information that the Father had: specifically, the date of his return? (Matthew 24:36) This would appear that He had "laid aside" his omniscience, at least partly. Of course, on a number of other occasions he knew things that could only be known supernaturally, demonstrating his divinity. But theologically, how do we grapple with this exception to omniscience, and can this be used by evolutionary theists to challenge Jesus' knowledge of creation?

Carl Wieland responds

Though I invite others to comment, I doubt that this is much help to their case, Stephen, because He actually makes the statement Himself, and it is about holding some information back, not about propagating an untruth. The whole point re origins is that Jesus was teaching an alternate history, not just professing not to know. A proper analogy to the above would be if Jesus were preaching about His coming return and giving the wrong information about it.

Actually, after I wrote the article, I realized from a comment someone made that perhaps I should have added the following point: Jesus says in John 12 49-50: "For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.

And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." Here and in other places, Jesus makes clear that He has the Father's authority to say things. As He says in John 10:30: "I and the Father are one". So the idea that Jesus teaching a false belief about history is OK because He as the son has limited knowledge is strongly refuted once more.

Derek G., United States, 7 May 2012

Food for thought:

Jesus, as God in the flesh, had unlimited access to all information, except for one piece; when He was to return.

That implies and requires that He knew every language, dialect, and tongue.

To Him, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle had no meaning.

To Him, Quantum Chromodynamics would be as child's play.

If we were to hypothetically, and I stress hypothetically, as by all theoretical and known mechanisms this would be impossible, but if we were to travel back in time to meet Him as the the incarnated God, and He were to consent, this knowledge would hurl the progress of technology and knowledge unfathomable eons into the future.

Truly, None can comprehend His worth.

THANK YOU, JESUS!!

Owen H., United Kingdom, 7 May 2012

CMI believe that the earth is around 6'000 years old. However a lot of creationists differ. It can range anything from 4'000 to 10,000 years old. So although there is often a lot of disagreement about the age of the earth from evolutionists. There is also some disagreement among creationists. Does anyone know waht the bible actualy says?

Carl Wieland responds

Thanks for this. Please see the recent article (and the links below it for further reading): How does the Bible teach 6,000 years?

Gabe A., United States, 7 May 2012

Any Christian who decides that the fickle and changing opinions of man should be taken above the word of God is not a Christian to rely on for any sensible thing. Certainly the Lord knows how long it took to create the earth. It was done instantly at his word, not by osmosis and accident randomly. I suppose that they've conveniently forgotten how the Lord fed the multitudes. He certainly didn't wait for the meal to evolve and self-propagate. He just provided what was needed ... instantly. And thus he feed thousands. To make a planet, he doesn't need to wait for the planet to make itself by accident, any more than we would expect a car or a house to sprout out of the ground on its own recognizance.

Nick Tavani T., United States, 7 May 2012

(Website URL removed as per feedback rules)

RESPONSE TO ARGUMENT

Adam and Eve were the last creatures created by God–they came at the end of the creation process. There is a parallel passage in Matthew 19:4: “Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning ‘made them male and female’?” There is no parallel to this passage in Luke or John. So what does Jesus mean in Mark 10:6? By comparing Mark with Matthew, the first thing to note is “from the beginning of

creation” is equivalent to the simple phrase “from the beginning.” What “beginning” is Jesus speaking of? The immediate context indicates he was speaking of the beginning of human history, when marriage was first instituted at the creation, not necessarily of the beginning of the creation process. This interpretation is confirmed by a study of the phrase in Mark. In the Greek New Testament the words “of creation” are a single word, ktise-os, from the noun ktisis, meaning “creation.” This word is in the genitive case in Greek (Greek has five cases in which nouns may be found, determined by the ending on the noun and

each case is used in particular ways in the syntax of a sentence).

The genitive case often is translated in English Bibles with the word “of” in front of the noun. It is used in a number of different syntactical ways. Grammarians have developed names for these different syntactical uses. For example, in each following phrase the second noun would be in the genitive case:

“son of Zebedee” (genitive of relationship or origin–tells where the son came from)

“boats of Simon” (genitive of possession–tells who owns the boats)

“wealth of the world” (genitive of description–tells what kind of wealth)

“temple of his body” (genitive of apposition; also called epexegetic genitive–identifies what the temple is)

“one of the boats” (partitive genitive–shows the group the “one” came from)

“gospel of Paul” (subjective genitive–the gospel Paul preached–shows Paul as the subject of the action)

“zeal of God” (objective genitive–zeal directed to God–shows God as the object of the action)

When we look at this list of common uses of the genitive case, we can see that the phrase “the beginning of creation” can be interpreted in several ways. In order to select the proper interpretation, one must examine the context and then compare the result with the general teaching of the Scripture.5

In Mark 10:6 the most likely use of the genitive is the genitive of apposition (or epexegetic genitive), such as the phrase “the temple of his body” (John 2:21).6 The second word refers to the same object as the first word, only identifying it with a different noun. This usage employs a second noun, in the genitive case, to

further identify a more general or ambiguous noun. In Mark 10:6, the word “beginning” could be understood in a number of ways: for example, the beginning of humanity with Adam, the beginning of

the Hebrew people with Abraham, or the beginning of Israel as a nation with Moses. Jesus clarifies the word “beginning” by identifying it as the creation of humanity, the time of the very first humans, Adam and Eve. In Mark 10:6 Jesus would be saying, “In the beginning, that is, at the creation, God made them male and female.” The use of the genitive in this place makes perfect sense, agrees with Matthew

19:4, and follows standard grammatical forms. By using the words “beginning” and “creation,” Jesus is contrasting the original creation ordinance of marriage from the much later legislation of

Moses, with its incorporation of divorce laws. He is emphasizing the ancient origin of marriage and its vow to lifelong faithfulness,as opposed to the relatively recent legislation of Moses permitting divorce.7

To claim Jesus is referring to the first part of the creation process itself (a kind of partitive use of the genitive) introduces unnecessary confusion. Jesus and his Jewish audience knew Adam and Eve appeared at the end of the creation process. The “beginning” he is speaking of is not the beginning of the history of the universe, the stars and galaxies; it is the beginning of human history with Adam and Eve. Therefore, this passage is not talking about the beginning of the universe and provides no evidence for a

recent creation.

by John Battle, Th [full article at Hugh Ross's Reasons to Believe long-age website]

Carl Wieland responds

This is one of the tortuous ways for longagers to try to get around this question, but it has huge problems. There are actually more places in the NT than Mark 10:6 that plainly accept that people were there at the beginning, just as Mark 10:6 implies and as Genesis clearly teaches (see creation.com/barr). For example, in addition to the parallel passage referring to marriage, Jesus talks in Luke about the blood of Abel ‘shed from the foundation of the world’. (It is important that it is a different way of putting it, but pointing to the same overall ‘big picture’.) And Paul in Romans 1:20 says that from the beginning of creation people were capable of discerning aspects of God from creation. That is not possible if people are not there from the beginning, in effect. If one individually attacks each instance in which this sort of reference is used with seemingly sophisticated arguments, there is a point at which it becomes sophistry, akin to a JW trying to deny the Trinity, when the ‘big picture’ is so plain and obvious that for nearly 20 centuries, the overwhelming majority of the church understood it in exactly the same way. What is this ‘big picture’? It is a 'very good' original world created fully-functioning, with people part of the original biosphere, and which was ruined by human sin, to be restored in the future. It is in fact the big picture of the Gospel.

There is not one single example in the NT where Jesus or the apostles understood things to be different from this overall framework. It is so clear from the OT that they had no reason to expound it. But there are many instances which make it plain that this picture was *assumed* by the writers – see http://creation.com/genesis-new-testament. So longagers have no choice but to try to excruciatingly tease a possible alternative meaning from each such instance, as here, but seen as a whole it comes across more like desperation to avoid the obvious.

And further, to talk of ‘stars and galaxies’ seems to somehow fudge the issue, diverting attention from a bigger picture—because even if we only talk about familiar things like the earth and its creatures, we are talking in this long-age-creation scheme of things of a creation process (a la Hugh Ross – see Sarfati’s classic Refuting Compromise) that is interminably long, such that people really do appear at the *end* of creation in such Rossist ideas. The professor described in the article here was at least being biblically consistent. The real problem seems to be an unwillingness to want to accept things that are so obvious. Sometimes this is well-intentioned – sort of a nagging belief that if the Bible is pitted against the long-age framework, they would have to abandon the faith, such is their faith in the conclusions of the modern paradigm. But it is tragic, nonetheless, because while individuals can live with all sorts of inconsistencies, cultures, institutions and even the next generation of individuals will be deeply affected by such obvious inconsistencies, and we are already paying that price in Christendom today.

Filipp T., United States, 7 May 2012

God bless this ministry! it is my number one source for the creation/evolution debate. I personally come across this issue every week and i have the confidence to defend my faith knowing that there is a well put and relaible source such as creation ministries! may the Lord bless you all abundantly!

Daniel R., Canada, 8 May 2012

If it’s not written it DID NOT happen, if written, is irrefutable as is the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ. God took a rib from Adam & made Eve….so much for evolution and the science fiction cartoonist…Satan who deceives the whole world…who believes and trembles….and all reproduce after their own kind. God made a mature man in a mature world, for all that was made was made for man and all was made in six days, including the physical dimension of time, in which God does not reside. Jesus set to go to the cross before the foundations of the world were laid in place, the corner stone. In fact all creation was built around the cross, which is timeless, stretching, even to them that never heard of Jesus, of a Saviour… the finished work of the creation of man was completed on the cross, born again of the Spirit of God, immaculate conception, from a state of spiritual death, Adam1, of whom we all were, unto Spiritual Life Everlasting, having eaten of the Tree of Life which is Jesus Christ, New Creatures, not regenerated, garden variety Adam1’s prior to having eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, which is the law of sin and death. Of course the question is why did God..the Son of God….the Son of Man, make man???? The answer of course is..for a wife… One with Christ, Christ in us! Everything in the physical world is mirrored in the Spiritual, and we are spirit, in these temporal bodies but for a moment. God hath prepared His Bride without spot nor wrinkle, presented faultless before the Father with exceeding joy. We are the Bride of Christ, going to the marriage supper of the Lamb..& who do we suppose the Jesus will marry...His Bride, because God is Love, which is above everything else … all the Law and Prophets and commandments hang on Love ,which is Perfect, which condemed us all, being sinners, but the plan is all Grace through Faith in Christ, the Gift of God and sin a non issue, taken away, gone forever…for a little leaven, leaveneth the whole lot. So the question is a marriage proposal, yes or no, blessing or cursing, Life or death, the valley of decision…everyone must chose.

Stephen H., China, 8 May 2012

"Ah, but that's where it gets very complex - ...... ." Didn't Jesus say "before Abraham was, I AM"? Jesus is in effect implying that He Himself had been around right from the beginning.

Carl Wieland responds

Just for the sake of readers who might think as I did for a while, I initially missed that you were quoting the professor, and thought that this was your objection to the article, and that your objection was based on Jesus' comment (smile).

Yes, Jesus did say exactly that. But there may be more to it even.

I have sometimes put it this way; Jesus could have said 'Before Abraham was, I (already) was. But by putting it in the present tense, he was firstly making it clear that he was in fact YHWH, the great "I am that I am" of Exodus, and also that as such He was outside of time. God/Jesus is the eternal present tense, in effect - as the Creator of time itself, He sees the end from the beginning,unlike us.

Travis F., Australia, 8 May 2012

"He said:

“Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.""

---

Given your unease around this comment, I am wondering on your views around mental/physical health issues and the likelihood that the ancient way for interpreting these was through a demonic lens.

* Did Jesus only encounter demons?

* Did mental illness not occur in Jesus' day?

* Is mental illness always linked to demonic activity?

* Did Jesus share the scientific/medical understanding of his day; an understanding that has developed over time?

These may be age-old questions for you, but I appreciate the space to be able to ask them here.

Carl Wieland responds

I will repeat your comments if I may, but firstly let me suggest that it is not just a question of any personal 'unease', what is at stake is the trustworthiness of the entire fabric of Christian doctrine, if one thinks it through carefully. And the extent to which the ancient world saw things through different lenses is not really relevant to the question of the Creator's own trustworthiness, because He has no such limitations. In short, it would not be an adequate 'excuse' for Him.

So here goes--and btw, I have in the past thought on such issues a bit, also because of having been a Christian medical doctor with a great interest in mental health issues- plus someone who has seen the reality of the demonic, as my book Beyond the Shadows documents in detail. You wrote:

* Did Jesus only encounter demons?

CW: We have no way of knowing the totality of what Jesus encountered, we can only make comments on what the Bible describes Him as having encountered. I think it likely that He encountered mental illness as such, but I have no way of knowing that. The encounters with demon possession are clearly described as such and so the presupposition of biblical inerrancy (without which we have no epistemological basis for knowing anything from Scripture) forbids us from making the leap that this is merely a way of describing mental illness (which incidentally would have to in one case have involved mental illness in a whole herd of swine causing them to have the same suicidal impulse at the same time as each other).

* Did mental illness not occur in Jesus' day?

CW: As indicated, I think it likely did, but that still has little to do with the issue here, because doubtless so did acne, and so did cancer, but there is no indication that Jesus encountered and dealt with either of these. He may have; we simply don't know. Had the Bible merely recorded the opinions of others that these were demonic possession, it would be a different story. But it clearly states the cause.

* Is mental illness always linked to demonic activity?

CW: I don't believe that for a minute, except in the most general sense of the effects of the Fall and the resultant Curse. I do believe that in today's world, much mental illness is misinterpreted as demonic. But the demonic variety (which is real, as i can testify, but extremely rare) can be clearly overcome by the Christian wielding the sword of the Spirit and the blood of Jesus, without any long incantations/rituals, etc. - and responds to it dramatically and not just by way of some shorterm improvement. Importantly, it does not respond to psychotropic medication, which true mental illness does, even if not as a total healing.

But there is a further important point to make, namely that the types of mental illness today that are most likely to be confused with demonic activity are psychoses, in particular schizophrenia. I read an important paper a few decades ago in which a secular Melbourne Prof of Psychiatry argued that one can identify schizophrenia fairly well from descriptions in early documents and from this it is reasonable to conclude that whatever the causes of this disease, it seems as if it was unknown prior to a few hundred years ago, at which time there was a virtual epidemic. And those psychoses known to be caused by genetic mutation would be subject to the accumulation of such mutations in time - all of which suggests that the types of mental illness most likely to be confused with demonic possession (because they involve hearing voices, etc.) were likely either unknown or exceedingly rare in Jesus' day.

* Did Jesus share the scientific/medical understanding of his day; an understanding that has developed over time?

CW: There is no evidence of this, and thus no reason to assume that He was merely misinterpreting things due to His limited understanding. The accounts of his demonic encounters make sense in their own right, without the 'mental illness' understanding.

I appreciate the opportunity to comment.

Johan D., South Africa, 8 May 2012

Mat 17:27. But lest we should offend them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. And when you have opened its mouth, you shall find a stater; take that, and give it to them for Me and you.

I am not a professor in anything and my math’s in school was disheartening too.

But I know this much, when reading the incident in Mathew 17.

Jesus was fully God and fully man on earth.

1. He knew (and still knows) the future like it already happened, because He kept telling the disciples what was going to be done to Him in Jerusalem and why.

2. He is aware of even the most insignificant thing that happens on earth, like when a fish swallows a coin or a coin gets lost.

3. He knew that Peter would be the one to catch that fish and that Peter needed to catch only one fish that day for this purpose.

4. I am sure He was aware of when both the coin and the fish came into existence and their purposes.

And I could go on....

Therefore I can not understand how anyone can say that God was less then God when He came as a human on earth. He was Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent here on earth too.

It looks like our own education drags us away from the truths of God.

Basil B., Australia, 8 May 2012

There is no doubt that Jesus Christ, Creator of heaven and earth, is fully God and fully man. However there is one passage in Psalms that puzzles me, regarding Jesus’ absolute knowledge of all things at all times, during His earthly ministry before His resurrection. This verse leads me to ponder on the possibility that He could only foretell the future as revealed by the Holy Spirit.

In Psalm 41:9 we read: “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me”. Would this prophesy not indicate that Jesus trusted Judas Iscariot – the man who would betray our Lord?

I would very much appreciate your view on this angle.

Best regards, Basil B.

Lita Cosner responds

I think the answer lies not so much in how we see Jesus' omniscience in His earthly ministry, but in how the Psalms apply to Jesus.

When David wrote Psalm 41, he was talking about a time when he was betrayed by a close friend--no one thinks David is omniscient, so it's no problem for him to be surprised by that. But David like several other figures in the Bible is a sort of foreshadowing of the Messiah in certain aspects. So when some things from the life of David were 'repeated' or 'recapitulated' in Christ, it's appropriate to speak of Christ as the fulfillment of the Psalms, etc.

Perhaps another example will help to illustrate. Matthew refers to "Out of Egypt I called my son" and says that Jesus fulfilled that. But in Hosea it's obviously referring to the nation of Israel. Some people say that this is just proof that the NT authors ripped the OT out of context whenever possible to add whatever they could, but this isn't the case. Jesus is seen as the Israelite par excellence, the only one who could ever fulfill the covenantal obligations from Sinai.

So basically, the NT authors are reading their Scriptures in the light of Jesus's life--so there's Adam, but Jesus is the Last Adam, there's the institution of the Sabbath, and then our rest in Christ. And on and on and on. The fundamental assumption was that everything pointed to and foreshadowed and promised about Christ and Christ was the fulfillment of all of Scripture.

Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him and made statements along those lines, so He predicted it; He wasn't surprised by it.

But I think these sorts of problems stem from a fundamentally incorrect view of what happened during the Incarnation. A lot of people assume that Jesus is simply God in a human suit, and that He could have gotten out of all sorts of things by simply pressing the 'God' button. And He could have--the temptation to turn stones into bread wouldn't be a temptation for you or me because it's impossible--so Jesus clearly could have. But why was it wrong? If someone invented a machine that could alter the molecular structure of stones so that they became edible bread, that would be hailed as the solution to world hunger!

I think the answer is that while Jesus retained His divine power, He voluntarily gave up the use of it. The importance of the Incarnation is not only the death and Resurrection, but also crucially the righteous human life that Jesus lived. He was tempted and tested in every way that we are, but unlike us, He passed the test. If Jesus hadn't done that, His righteousness couldn't be credited to our account. So during His life, He did what the Father commanded Him and empowered Him to do, and He was inspired by the Spirit. Now in His glorified state, He retains complete humanity with complete divine power.

murk P., Canada, 8 May 2012

Thanks for the great article Mr. Wieland

“Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.”

- to make this assertion - this man's ultimate authority is himself

- Since his ultimate authority is himself Jesus could never be God

(because even if he decided Jesus was God

this would be subject to his mind so his mind would still be ultimate)

- Now if one trust in himself they often do not profess this (because they know it is silly and arrogant) rather they will attempt to say they trust in science

- Is this possible?

- trusting in absolute, immaterial, universal laws in order to discover truth?

- does it not necessarily follow that these laws must be accounted for?

-does it also not necessarily follow that his mind correctly interprets reality? (unlike Jesus)

- so really to trust science one must first trust in himself

- how can he know that is reason is reasonable apart from Christ?

- This man must be a great man - able to know absolute truth. unlike Jesus, Paul, Moses etc.

If all are deceived how can anyone know what deception is?

(how can you navigate without an external reference point?)

Jesus spoke about impossibility of neutrality (Matt 12:30) and the inability of humans to serve two different ultimate authorities (Luke 16:13) The professor is quite clearly

demonstrating that Jesus was correct.

And i suppose that water-wine, control of weather, restoration of sick people, food multiplication etc. have nothing to do with the physical world - thus science.

thanks again - keep up exposing anything opposed to the truth

murk

Daniel R., Canada, 9 May 2012

6000yrs and still sitting on horse and buggy, last 150 yrs and we went to the moon, fly aournd this planet in jumbo jets, have computers, internet, MRI's, neuclear power, a billion cars, written in the last days knowlege would increase 100 fold, by what means, we can see in literature, man has literally changed little, all that is made was made by Him and nothing was made except by Him, heard the testimony of man who is a non practicing Jew and a Christian couple that helped him out of many scrapes asked if they could pray for him...he thought what could it hurt to humouor them..all they said was Jesus, reveal yourself to him...he said suddenly he was out of the building across the street on the bank of the Thames river with Jesus, Jesus pointed up to an airplane overhead, then pointed to a big cargo boat going up the river, then across to cars flying by on the freeway, He then bent over and scooped up a handful of sand in one hand and water in the other and Said..out of this and this, I created all these things...where did we think the knowlege suddenly came from? The man is now preaching in Israel. Without Him, we can do Nothing and heart would cease, and this world would oblivate, but by Him all things are possible. Man created nothing, just rearranged material created by God with knowledge given from God. And in ingnorace and arrogance and the spirit of anti-Christ, they use this knowedge to give themselves credit and try to refute the Truth and teach an entire generation the first verse in the Bible is a lie, so then is the rest, God is a fairy tale, its a Spiritual warfare and the the souls of millions hang in the balance. Fools!!! Where were they when God flung the stars in space?? We know the age of man by the generations recorded in scripture and recorded for a reason.

Jack C., Australia, 9 May 2012

Satan is very busy indeed whispering into the ears of so called Christians making them believe Jesus was wrong about the timing of creation. "Christians" effectively calling Jesus as misguided at best and a liar at worst. They really should wake up and study the Bible properly. Otherwise, they should stop calling themselves Christians as they certainly don't believe in what Jesus said.

Jimmy R., United States, 10 May 2012

Al B. wrote - "This is what I always knew and believed, but never took the time to really search in the Scriptures to be able to defend my faith"

That right there is all you need to know about religion.

David H., United States, 12 May 2012

What tortured reasoning to think Jesus did not know the past! How could Jesus, who knew the future and what people were thinking, who, at 12 years of age, amazed and taught the learned scholars about the Bible, not know about the past?

William P., United States, 12 May 2012

Jesus obviously understood when Adam and Eve were created since He created them. The word science means "knowledge". God is omniscient, having all knowledge. Opinions of "science" and of men are flawed and subjective. I would include myself in the statement. Therefore, I will let Scripture, which is infallible ,answer the objections of theistic evolutionists. Exodus 20:8-11 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Romans 5:12 " 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned —"

1) everything created in six days

2) death came through sin

3) sin entered through Adam.

4) NO death prior to Adam's sin

5) evolution-- even theistic-- God used evolution to create is A LIE.

Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Isaiah 32:6 "

For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water."

Norman W., United States, 22 May 2012

I think it is clear Jesus did not give up anything, although he chose for the most part not to employ his God powers, He nevertheless did use them to some degree. To become invisible in a crowd of people, to walk on water, to cause fish to populate Peter's net, to turn water into wine, to raise the dead and heal the sick, to state inequivicably how many times the woman at the well was married (the list goes on), were things he could only do as God. His choice not to display his full Godhood, is clear, but does not lessen his Godhood. To imply He forgot some things would discount His perfection, both as man and as God.

Teddy M., New Zealand, 22 May 2012

Sarfati splits the hair right where it should be split using the Phillipians passage. Well done. At some point, CMI needs to reconsider their collegial approach to Collins and his ilk. Jesus publicly described public figures who gave the pretense of being followers of God "Sons of Satan", and much more, to more accurately reflect their beliefs. Why should CMI not follow Christ's example in this regard? If Collins is a theist, what God is it that he believes in? Certainly not the God of the Bible. Nor the Son. The term "theistic evolutionist" is itself an oxymoron from a Biblical perspective.

Steven L., United States, 22 May 2012

It is very true that Jesus knew a lot about the beginnings of the earth, John 1states that " All things were created through Him" Jesus was the force of creation as He and he Father are one, Genesis states " Let us" the creation was made through spiritual power through Christ. But to be bluntly honest NO one on earth knows exactly what the periods of creation were. The Hebrew word used in Genesis Yowm, means a period of time, the heating part of the day, a section of time it simply does not mean a 24 hour day! I have spent many years researching evolutions and creationism in my own research I have found that the the Bible is correct while man is always wrong it seems, becasue we all lack faith!

Carl Wieland responds

Sorry, but borrowing a phrase from you and being bluntly honest, this is painfully, obviously wrong—with not even any legitimate ‘room to move’. There is a reason why even a non-believer in Genesis as history, Oxford Professor of Hebrew and OT James Barr, was able to say that the top profs in Hebrew language at ‘world-class universities’ like his own were unanimous that Genesis could only have been written to mean what it so clearly says. See creation.com/barr – in that same vein, follow up with this interview with leading Hebrew scholar Ting Wang: creation.com/wang. Typing the words *meaning of yom* into the search engine on this site reveals a slew of articles that any fair-minded person should see as hammering the last nails in the coffin of such ‘escape clauses’.

In short, and with no disrespect intended to what may be a wellmeaning commenter, it is as flat wrong as the claim that in the sentence “ It took me six days to travel across Australia by train” the word ‘day’ could legitimately be understood as ‘an indefinite period of time’, just because that is what the word ‘day’ can mean in English.

For the bulk of church history since Jesus rose from the dead, the vast majority of the church and its leadership have believed in a cosmos around 6ky old –obviously requiring straightforward Genesis days, certainly not any sort of ages, not even a thousand years each. For much more, see the classic by Dr Jonathan Sarfati Refuting Comromise.

The perceived need to find wiggle room came with Enlightenment approaches to the world, with the supremacy of human reasoning, and particularly the explicit denial of the Flood in Lyellian slow-and-gradualism in geology. There is again a wealth of material available, see in particular Dr Terry Mortenson’s The Great Turning Point.

I would like to end with a point of agreement, that the Bible is always correct while man is often (not always) wrong.

Wayne T., Australia, 22 May 2012

When it comes to the authenticity of the Bible as God’s word, I imagine our future meeting proceeding something like this:

God: You didn’t believe everything I told you.

Me: Well, the scientists told me that the Bible couldn’t be right because they have all this evidence about evolution and so on.

God: What difference would it have made to your everyday life if you had believed My Word on this and not theirs?

Me: Not much probably, but I would have been ridiculed by my friends.

God: Would you rather be ridiculed by them, or by Me?

Me: guilty silence

God: If the account in Genesis was in fact just a made up story, but you believed it anyway, how do you think I would react?

Me: You’d probably think me naïve.

God: If the account in Genesis is accurate, but you did not believe it, how do think I should react?

Me: more guilty silence.

God: Would you rather have Me think you naïve but faithful, or wise and unfaithful?

Me: silence … by now, reduced to humble obedience

God: Don’t you believe that I could have done what I said I did?

Me: Yes, but the physical evidence said that You didn’t, and lots of other people, including Christian theologians, said so, and anyway, they also said that the Bible wasn’t really Your Word.

God: What do you think now?

Me: (plaintively) Could I go back and try again?

Ian B., Australia, 23 May 2012

Jesus said in Revelation "I want you either hot or cold". You guys are hot. The truth you uncover rejoices my heart. When I read your stuff, I just say "thank you Father God for these beaut. faithful servants". Love your work. I also long to equip the Lord's sincere kids with the weapons they need to repel the present-day lies of the devil. LONG LIVE THE KING!

L. J., Australia, 23 May 2012

The Lord Jesus Christ also asserts and affirms His belief in what Moses wrote (including Genesis and a literal 7-day creation) in Luke 24:13-32 [particularly v27] (talking with two men on the road to Emmaus):

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

This not only highlights that Jesus believed the literal account written by God, via Moses, but that the need for His incarnation, death and resurrection goes right back to Adam (as later outlined by Paul).

David W., Australia, 23 May 2012

Hi there...great to see committed christians speaking their minds. I believe in the creation week to be totally true and also 7 x 24 hour periods. But I also believe fully, that there is a difference inferred between Gen 1.1 and Gen 1.2...There has to be a place before the garden scanerio that Satan sinned? It could not be in the 6 days of recreation as GOD says that it is good! This does not water down my belief in any way, I have been born again by GOD'S Holy Spirit for over 20 years, by his grace and mercy and give him all the Glory, but there is more to all this then meets the eye.

Carl Wieland responds

Dave, I am sure you mean well, but this seems to have echoes of the unfortunate 'gap' theory, with its biblically unwarranted reference to 'recreation' for one thing. For a summary of the resounding rollcall of reasons why the Gap idea simply doesn't fly, please see creation.com/cab3 - but let me first agree with you on a number of points.

1) Satan's fall has to occur before the temptation of Eve

2) It could not be during the Creation (not recreation) Week, as God declared that everything He had made was 'all very good'. But I would go further and say that this means that Satan could not have fallen yet when God made this statement at the end of Creation Week, because even fallen angels are part of what God made, and if they were fallen He could not declare that everything He had made was in fact 'all very good'. This still leaves ample time for Satan's rebellion between Creation and the Fall (in human experience, at least, it only takes moments for thoughts of rebellion to arise, and only days to persuade a rabble to follow your leadership.

Now clearly this misconception (as I could gently and respectfully claim your communication reveals) has not altered your testimony, but it is important to have biblically consistent answers when dealing with an unbelieving world, as one seeks to 'give an answer' as per 1 Peter 3:15.

David M., Australia, 23 May 2012

A few months ago I was visiting friends in Sydney. They had been to a missionary conference and had heard the (evangelical?) main speaker expounding his old earth theories of Genesis. I was rather shocked by this.

I said to my friends that I viewed the first eleven chapters of Genesis through the filter of the Gospels rather than the filter of Satan deceived, scientists. I write as someone who has had a lot of experience in the rehabilitation of people with brain injury through Cognitive Rehabilitation and I have some idea of how the brain works. I pointed out that when Jesus healed a person born blind, he not only created functioning eyes and brain circuits instantly, he instantly created the special sight neurons and programmed the brain with a dictionary of words and associated connections creating a history for him. He did this in two separate steps on one occasion. When he healed someone who was born deaf, and consequently could not speak, he instantly healed the mechanisms of speech, created the specialized neurons for hearing and speaking and created the neuronal connections that taught the person instantly Greek and Aramaic with a history attached to the words and connections to the brain areas for all the senses, instantly! When he turned water into wine he ripped apart the atomic particles of oxygen and hydrogen and reassembled them into molecules of carbon, phosphorus, iron, sulphur, etc - the elements required for wine. So here you have instantly, both atomic fission and atomic fusion taking place inside clay bottles without blowing up the whole wedding party!! That's the miracle! Not too many of his contemporaries could do this. He also taught that the new heavens and earth would be created instantly. On the last day of history perhaps as many as 20 billion people would be instantly raised from the dead.

Evolution in all its forms is nothing but an absurd pagan fantasy. The links between living creatures are so many and so precise that they all have to be there at the same time for life to exist. The planet had to be created fully formed for life to exist at all. The way the patterns for the sub-routines of the genetic code are coded means that for evolution to occur the whole genome would have to be instantly reprogrammed to add any kind of information. The vegetable kingdom, which exhales oxygen, would have to be created at the same time (within a day or so,)as the CO2 exhaling creatures because the percentage of O2 in the atmosphere must be maintained at precisely 21%. For every percent it rises above this the risk of fire increases 70%! Even a few days wait would result in terrible world wide fires which would wipe out everything.

I don't have the space here to elaborate on many other things like this such as the pseudo Big Bang, but Eric Lerner does a pretty good job of it in "The Big Bang Never Happened," and he is an agnostic! (I don't go along with his solution either.)

The very first lesson I learned as a new born 16 year old Christian (converted through YFC,) was not to deny the words of Jesus. To do that is to deny the veracity of the words of the great Father Creator and such apostates who do this will be left outside, forever forsaken and denied by the Lord Jesus and finish up on the eternal garbage dump where the maggots never die and the fires burn forever!!!

I though that I was more or less alone until I came across your site a few years ago. What joy was mine. Kindred spirits! God will bless you for your faithfulness.

KOBUS S., South Africa, 23 May 2012

I build my life on Gen. not on theories that wreak havoc with peoples minds

David W., Australia, 23 May 2012

Hi again...I need to explain myself a bit better...No gap theory as such...But in reality there must be a time and space difference here. Look at

Job 38:4-7

The Lord Answers Job

4 "Where e were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?

Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements?

Surely you know!

Or who stretched the 1 line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened?

Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together,

And all the sons of God shouted for joy? If Angels are shouting for joy, when the earth's foundation is laid, then they were already made? GOD can do anything, make all things in an instant..But I do not think he did...I will find more scripture over the next few weeks and see what The LORD will reveal to me and get back to you if you don't mind...

In Christ

David

Carl Wieland responds

Yes, it is clear that the angels were created before the foundation of the earth, which we have often said. This event could be the raising of the dry land on Day 3, though I think it more likely the creation of the earth some time on Day 1. So this does not require creation in an instant, it only requires that the angels are created first on that day, just as the sun and the moon are created before the stars on the fourth day. The key verse in all this is Exodus 20:11, in which every created thing in the heavens and on earth, period, is made in those six days. There is no great 'mystery' here, and the Hebrew professors (even though unbelievers) agree with the obvious thrust of the passage, i.e. that is what the writers are trying to tell us, that the 'whole box and dice' was made in six days. See creation.com/barr.

Philip Albert George K., United Kingdom, 23 May 2012

Re letter from David W., Australia, 23 May 2012 and your reply.

Following the 6-day creation, God saw everything was good. But as when the Lord Jesus hung on the Cross and the Father had to turn his face from the Beloved because the sins of the world was on Him, I see that God had to look away from the created of Day 2 when the Abode of the father of lies appeared and it could not be pronounced "good" as was the creation of Day-1, Day-3, Day-4, Day-5 and Day-6. Day-2 was obviously different, Yours respectfully, Philip

Carl Wieland responds

I (equally respectfully) disagree; God simply says, at the end of those six days, that everything He had made is all very good. Which includes all things made in those six days, unless stated otherwise--but there is not the barest hint of this in the record of the 2nd day of creation. See some of my other replies in the interim, especially the link to the James Barr quote. He was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford, and not a believer that Genesis was real history. Nevertheless, his quote shows that all the leading professors of Hebrew were unanimous that the intended meaning of Genesis was that the whole package was completed in the space of six days, with nothing created before then.

Johann M., South Africa, 23 May 2012

Hi there

Just consider the follwing Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

How can I ever doubt what the Creator Himself said with specific reference to Joh 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

What else can I do?

Greetings in Jesus Christ

Johann Meiring

Joel B., United States, 23 May 2012

I really want to applaud Dr. Carl Wieland and the CMI staff for taking the time to engage and respond to the comments in this post. I want to encourage you to keep this up. It is rare to see experts who wrote the articiles take the time to respond to the posts, which often need a solid response. THANK YOU!

Steven L., United States, 23 May 2012

Hey Carl Wieland Interesting response to the one day concept, BUT it is a fallacy of argument to appeal to authority, just because a scholar says some thing it doesn't mean their right!!! This is a big problem evolutionist have just as creationist! Peter writes " One day is as a thousand years to the Lord" So who is right God's word or a professor ??????

Carl Wieland responds

First, if I simply had said 'Professor Barr said this, so you should believe it', that would be an example of the fallacy of appeal to authority, as you rightly point out. However, notice my actual words, in particular the word 'even':

"There is a reason why even a non-believer in Genesis as history, Oxford Professor of Hebrew and OT James Barr, was able to say that the top profs in Hebrew language at ‘world-class universities’ like his own were unanimous that Genesis could only have been written to mean what it so clearly says." In other words, my point was that Genesis so clearly says it (even a child 'gets it', that these are Earth-rotation days, and it is the reason why the biblically derived age of the Earth, for both Jews and Christians, was for thousands of years around the 6k year mark) that EVEN an unbeliever (and not only that unbeliever, but all the Hebrew profs at worldclass unis, despite not believing Genesis as history, are unanimous on the meaning. I.e. the primary appeal as to why you should believe it was that it is overwhelmingly clear. God could hardly have made it plainer. And to explain why it is so plain in the Hebrew, I then referred the reader to the relevant articles on our site, so it looks as if you may not have read those. Re your question about Peter, of course that part of the Bible (and the second part which you don't quote, which says that to God a thousands years is 'as a day' i.e. 'like' a day, not 'equal to' a day or vice versa. If it were a formula, then it would have cancelled itself out. There are good reasons why virtually no Bible scholars of note, whether modern or ancient, see the Peter passage as having anything to do with the days of creation (just as it has nothing to do with Jonah being 3,000 years in the great fish, for example). The above hints at them; the clear meaning is that God is outside of time. Check the context--to God a (real) day is no different to a (real) 1,000 years. Note that Psalm 90:4 reinforces the point; "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." Here God uses a different simile; a thousand years in God's 'sight', i.e His perception of time, is now 'as' (again, note not 'equal to')a watch in the night. But a watch in the night is only a few hours, not a full day. So once again the 'formula' idea is gone. Not to mention Exodus 20:11 in all of this. But, had you taken the advice, you would have likely come across articles like http://creation.com/2-peter-38-one-day-is-like-a-thousand-years which explain this in detail.

Carl N., Canada, 24 May 2012

In regard to Jesus knowing science when He was here, what about John 16:30?

30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

And John 21:17?

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Both of these verses say that Jesus knew all things, even when He was here on Earth.

Carl Wieland responds

Though a determined long-age 'kenotic heretic' might choose the loophole of saying that this was only the disciples' opinion, these are important verses in this matter, definitely.

Jan B., Australia, 24 May 2012

I was wondering when sin first entered the world and affected all of creation?

Was it Satan (who then tempted adam and eve)or Adam?

Did Adam and Eve sin first and bring sin into the world?, OR did satan sin first to God and cause rebellion and then tempt eve to sin, so therefore adam is not the blame but satan is?

After having read the article from David W., Australia, 23 May 2012

However I appreciate your hard and often ungrateful work.

Carl Wieland responds

Jan, Satan clearly had to have fallen first in order to tempt Eve. So sin entered the universe with that event (obviously after the 7th day when God called all He had made "very good"). But Adam and Eve are still responsible for their sin, despite the temptation. Sin did not corrupt the physical creation until Adam fell (He had been given dominion over it, not Satan). The two were probably not far apart in time, though; the first couple were told to be fruitful preFall, yet the first conception (Cain) is after the Fall. So one can deduce that it was likely only a few weeks at most between the end of Creation Week and the Fall, with the Fall of Lucifer/Satan in that period.

Diane S., Australia, 25 May 2012

Recently I attended a 'Seminar exploring Christ's descent to the dead'. The speaker had done a theological PhD on the line in the Apostles Creed,'He descended to the dead', so I had hopes that it would be special & insightful. But when the speaker said that "Jesus believed the world was flat!(Why?) Because everybody at that time believed the world was flat." Some of us attendees quoted several scriptures to the contrary, it was noted and the speaker moved along. I was appalled to hear a theological scholar of the Apostle's Creed say such a thing.It was definitely not worth the effort to attend.Thank you once again for the clarity that CMI articles always give to my spiritual life.

Andre V., Australia, 25 May 2012

Dear Carl Wieland

Regarding “Jesus on the age of the earth”, when will CMI give it up with their heresy? Humans were most certainly not created at the beginning of creation, but at the end of creation, day 6, not day 1. Furthermore Jesus is speaking about the two sexes, from when they were made, they were made as two sexes, male and female.

Once again you blatantly distort the Scriptures to support your unscientific preaching to sincere and trusting readers. Jesus did NOT say that “people were there from the beginning of creation”. From their beginning, their creation, they were made as male and female (referring to Gen 1:27).

Then you try and worm your way out of your predicament by trying to assert that day 6 is very much still “the beginning”, what nonsense!

Humans were created at the end of the creation, whether is was six 24-hour days later or 15 billion years later.

No wonder most thinking people don't take CMI seriously.

Regards,

Andre.

Carl Wieland responds

A fascinating attempt to evade the obvious, Andre. I know that tactically, they say that offence is the best form of defence, and I suppose when one is trying to defend a difficult position, being sufficiently 'blustering' might be a way of trying to hope that people will not see the weakness of the case. To say that the view that Jesus believed in recent creation is 'heresy', 'distorting Scriptures' and something that would not be taken seriously by 'most thinking people' would mean for one thing that the theistic evolutionist, anti-creationist professor (remember, he's on your side on the age question) who spoke with me was not only involved in heretical Scripture-twisting, but was not a thinking person, and even worse than that, his concession to me that Jesus obviously believed in recent creation--and the professor's promotion of the kenotic heresy to try to explain that away -- was the ultimate moronicism, because it was not even remotely necessary! (Remember that this professor and his theistic evolutionary academic colleagues was in the thick of the creation/evolution debate within Christianity, particularly academic Christianity, and if there was a convincing way out without having to strip Jesus of his memory of what He did at creation, he would have known of it.) I shouldn't have to remind most readers that recent creation (c. 6 kya) was also the position of the overwhelming majority of both Judaist and Christian scholars, including scientists such as the great Sir Isaac Newton. It is also what honest (though unbelieving) Hebrew scholars concede is clearly what is taught in the OT(see creation.com/Barr). Since both Jesus and the NT writers believed in straightforward Genesis (see creation.com/nt) it is no surprise that it was taken for granted by them that for all practical purposes people were there, (as we shall see) from the beginning of the world (which really can only be said to have begun at the completion of Creation Week, but for those who need visual confirmation, see the scale diagram in the article above).

Thus, we see in the NT not only the Mark 10:6 passage, but the parallel passage in Matthew 19:4, which says that they were made male and female "at the beginning" or "from the beginning"; we also have Jesus' words in Luke 11:50, where he indicates that the blood of the prophets was shed "from the foundation of the world". And Romans 1:20, where Paul indicates that "ever since the creation of the world" people have been able to perceive certain things (which means that in order to perceive these things, people had to be there "ever since the creation of the world". Neither Jesus nor Paul had to flesh things out, but rather assumed that Genesis was correct. One would have to explain away each of those in a slightly different way to evade the force of it. The professor was at least being consistent with the obvious meaning of Scripture by making his concession.

Mike H., Sweden, 26 May 2012

Great article as usual and much appreciated. It is a shocking statement of the theology of the majority of "believers" that they can say some of the things they do, even the professors. Jesus clearly not only knew the past but also knew the future, it is junk to claim he only knew the future.

Nevertheless, I think there is more that needs to be done to address this old earth question. I see the challenge coming from Climate Skeptic science because one of the keys for refuting the alarmism has it's basis in the historical records of CO2 and the supposed climate over millions of years. In the end the skeptics will win their argument and would have done so already if it was not for a biased media that wants scary stories.

If our creationist view of the age of the earth is correct, there should be a christian explanation for the state of the climate. I know there are some creationist videos out there, but I never see any arguments from creationists in any of the main skeptic blogs.

When the climate skeptics win, and the inquiry starts into the whole scam, then a majority of people will have their old earth view consolidated, and it will be hard for any of us to refute.

Carl Wieland responds

Mike (speaking for myself rather than for the ministry in general), while I can understand, I am not sure if I totally agree. If the climate skeptics do prevail in this complex matter, I suspect it will need to involve much more than the alleged climate records--precisely because these are open to challenge in interpretation. No doubt in such a situation, these will *subsequently* be taken as 'proof' of the long ages, even though it would not necessarily follow in any logical sense. But then this would hardly be new. The age question is a key plank for Bible-deniers, who will hardly be inclined to give in lightly, regardless of the strength of the arguments. Given the 'big picture' creationists have exposed / are exposing of geology's world-wide sedimentary patterns and the Flood, the RATE group's findings, and the Sanford data on the recency of the human genome, for example it is not as if the ' age question' is being ignored. Nevertheless, given its prominence and its keystone nature in this whole debate, it can never be addressed 'too much'. Similarly, the biblical arguments, the way in which the long-age view turns the whole logic of the Gospel on its head, need repeating over and over, in many different ways and angles, given the grip that long-age thinking has on society in general, thus affecting many in the church.

Andre V., Australia, 28 May 2012

Thanks for your reply Carl. However, I'm not a theistic evolutionist, neither do I know this professor you speak of or his theology. I have no idea why you try and link my comments with him.

Anyway, it matters not how many scientists and theologians believed hundreds (or thousands) of years ago that the earth was only a few thousand (or million) years old, not everyone believed that. Many theologians and scientists also believed that the earth was the centre of the solar system, maybe even the universe, and some went as far as thinking the earth was a flat disc. Your pleading to authority has no bearing on the unscriptural heresy in your article. Regardless of your insistant despising of science, it has uncovered a lot of information since then.

Again you twist the Scriptures with Rom 1:20, by slipping in your own version of the verses. No, they did NOT “perceive certain things” and therefore “had to be there”. It reads, “For the invisible things of him [itself] from the creation of the world [cosmos] are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,”.

Was the blood of the prophets literally shed from [at] the beginning of creation? If you're using “from the foundation of the world” to show that day 6 was effectively ‘the beginning of creation’, then this is still no proof whatsover that man and woman were created at the actual beginning of the creation (or even 6,000 years ago), and so is nonsense. This is also no proof for your assumption that Jesus believed in a young world (by which you imply 6,000 years), therefore stop using it as such!

Humans were still created at the end of creation, and that's a Scriptural fact. I guess 4.5 billion years in God's eternal plan could still be considered as a young world to Him, but it still wouldn't prove that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

You would do well to hold the age of the earth at 6,000 years very loosely and focus your efforts of disproving macro-evolution. You have nothing to fear from a ~15 billion old universe, macro-evolution requires way more time than that to even have the slimmest hope.

Regards,

Andre.

Carl Wieland responds

Andre, I think it is time to close this exchange, as we are beginning to talk past each other. For example, had you read my response carefully, you would not have raised the red herring about me implying you were a theistic evolutionist; rather, I said that you and the professor are on the same side on the age question. Readers can weigh the rest up for themselves.

Dianne N., Australia, 29 May 2012

Thankyou CMI for your well researched,reletive, clear and informed ministry herein..

it has always staggered me how anyone, regardless of cultural, linguistic or educational background, could misinterpret Gods Genesis words of creation over 6 LITERAL DAYS... God has given us the measure of each LITERAL DAY in the form of "And the evening and the morning were the 1st -2nd-3rd... DAY." Now please tell me, I do not profess learned intelect, but how do WE, TODAY measure A DAY??? In 6ooo odd years (since CREATION) has this method of determinating of "A DAY" changed??? HELLOOOOO! Praise God for His written Word, so that we CAN and DO know the truth. Keep up the great mission CMI, I love your mag and await it eagerly each issue =D

John Allen H., Canada, 1 July 2012

"...be on guard against giving interpretations of Scripture that are far fetched or opposed to science, and so exposing the Word of God to the ridicule of unbelievers."

--Saint Augustine

Carl Wieland responds

I would hope that were Augustine alive today, he would understand how crucially important it is not to deny the biblical 'big picture', of a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored in the future - a paradigm that is so badly undermined by the neopagan revival of longagism in the Enlightenment. I would hope he would also agree that one should especially be on guard against any attempt to twist the Scripture so that it is supposed to be saying something opposite to what it is--especially the words coming out of the mouth of the Saviour Himself, as highlighted in this article.

However, see particularly the article by theologican Prof. Benno Zuiddam, Augustine--young earth creationist: theistic evolutonists take Church Father out of context.

matt L., Australia, 22 July 2012

Praise Jesus and all of his infinite knowledge and wisdom! <3

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