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Feedback archiveFeedback 2012

Correcting misconceptions on creation and the gospel

Published: 13 October 2012 (GMT+10)

123rf.com/Andrey Khritin

CMI’s Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Lita Cosner help some correspondents through some misconceptions of biblical creation and the assurance of salvation believers have.

W.K. from the United States writes, and Dr Jonathan Sarfati responds, with his comments interspersed:

Dear Mr K.

Thank you for writing to CMI. As most of the questions are already addressed on our site, I will be fairly brief and refer you to the articles for more information.

I watch your TV specials and they are interesting but very much limit the power of our God.

I’m not sure how you deduce that. We teach that our God is omnipotent, or unlimited in power. Furthermore, we believe that He certainly has the power to tell us what He did and when He did it, as He did in Genesis. Many of our detractors are, in effect, denying His ability to teach us.

We teach that our God is omnipotent, or unlimited in power.

I am an engineer who studied Darwin’s theories and read some old theories on the formation of the earth. For instance the best way to refute the presumably old existence of the stars and galaxies is to realize that God created these but at the same time created the light beams that extended into our solar system.

We are aware of this idea but disagree, since this would appear to make God a deceiver: light beams that give pictures of stars and sequences of events which by this theory do not exist yet. Our Creation Answers Book chapter on “distant starlight” explains this and more.

For instance I have yet to see any Christian presentations which address the discovery of animals frozen in glaciers in Northern altitudes.

But it doesn’t logically follow from your not having seen any that none exist. See for example Mammoth—Riddle of the Ice Age and The Mammoth & the Ice Age DVD.

This would indicate that the earth ‘wobbled violently and the action was catastrophic and much quicker than the biblical account of the flood of Noah.

You might like Planetary Cataclysm DVD.

Before the flood the earth was reasonably flat with mountains extending maybe feet above the level of the oceans. There were no mountain goats on the ark. They were not even created.

But since creation was finished after Day Six (Genesis 2:1–3), we know they were not created after the Flood either. Rather, they developed from the sheep/goat kind, in a way that has nothing to do with evolution from goo to you via the zoo. The principles are explained in How information is lost when creatures adapt to their environment.

We can argue that all living creatures were on the ark. The mountains were formed after the flood. During the flood the properties of water were changed so that rainbows could form. Before and after the flood it was a new age or era.

We don’t know that. Quite often, God took already-existing things and imparted new meanings, e.g. the bread and wine at the Lord’s Supper. My article Flood models and biblical realism covers such things.

We must face the issue of languages. If indeed all humans evolved from the human occupants on the ark why the many languages. Did they evolve or were they corrupted by the demon spirits who share jurisdiction over this planet.

This is faced in articles like Towering change, pointing out the Babel event.

The Triune God has always given some creatures a freedom to serve HIM (THEM) Angels and Men fall into that category. I believe the whole creation process happened instantly in the blink of an eyelid. We have a problem dealing with the concept of time. For God there is no time except for the damned as we go into eternity. We can detect the pock marks on the planets and the moons but we blithely ignore what is seen.

But God created us as time-bound creatures, and also write Scripture to teach us. The article Why is CMI so dogmatic on 24-hour creation days? addresses the claim, “The days were ‘God’s days’ not ‘man’s days’”. There are words God could have used to mean “instant”, but He did not use them. Rather, the six-day creation was a pattern for our working week (Exodus 20:8–11).

I see tall rock structures rising out of the desert and realize these could not be formed by single wave of water flowing to the seas.

Which ones do you have in mind? Devil’s Tower perhaps (see Devils Tower and Bible glasses for a real Flood model explanation which is more than just a “single wave”)?

As a 79 year old engineer I marvel at the complexity of our creation. There is more information in one cell of our bodies (now called DNA) than in all the libraries of the world.

Not quite right, but I’ve pointed out the amazing information storage-retrieval system of our DNA.

It is amazing that we Christian Scientists fail to bring this information as more and more evidence of our awesome God

I’m not sure what you mean. I have a whole book on the design of creation (By Design, see review by an engineer), but of course I’ve only scratched the surface. Hardly surprising, as the church leader Theophilus noted in the second century in his letter to the pagan judge Autolycus:

“Of this six days’ work, no man can give a worthy explanation and description of all its parts, not though he had ten thousand tongues and ten thousand mouths; nay, though he were to live ten thousand years, sojourning in this life, not even so could he utter anything worthy of these things, on account of the exceeding greatness and riches of the wisdom of God which there is in the six days’ work above narrated.”1

Regards

Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.


123rf.com/Javier Impelluso Luzardo

Elaine H. from Australia writes:

I found this very disturbing and now unsure if I am saved. Can you shed some light on what this person has to say?

[Web link deleted as per feedback rules—Ed.]

Elaine H.

CMI’s Lita Cosner responds:

Dear Elaine,

First, I have to say that CMI doesn’t take any stand on eschatological matters, except to affirm the future return of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. So I’m only going to address the salvation issue.

While no Christian should want to be “saved as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3), and thus discussions of the minimal amount someone can believe and be a Christian can be harmful from that perspective, the Bible clearly says that “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9). And Paul clearly says that just as we receive Christ by faith, not works, we also continue in Him by faith, not works (Galatians 3). Nothing we do can make us more or less saved than we already are.

We do good works because we are transformed by God’s grace and we’re grateful for that and we desire to do His will; those works do *not* save us.

This is completely and totally separate from the issue of what good works Christians should do. Our faith should produce good works and holiness, but those good works are a product of our salvation, not the cause. We do good works because we are transformed by God’s grace and we’re grateful for that and we desire to do His will; those works do not save us.

You say that you’re unsure that you’re saved; I don’t know you, so it would be irresponsible for me to assume either that you are or that you’re not. Have you believed in Jesus, and that His sacrifice—and that alone—can save you? Do you trust Him for salvation and have you repented from your sins? Are you now trying to follow Him, trusting in His grace to sustain you? If so, then you are saved, not by any effort of your own, because then you could boast, but solely by His grace and power. And if it were by your own effort, you could be afraid to fall away, but because it’s by His power, and He never fails, you can be confident that He will keep those whom He has saved.

I hope this has helped you.

Sincerely,

Lita Cosner

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter 12, c. AD 180. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Terry P., Australia, 13 October 2012

We are saved to do good works. Heaven help us if we are slack in doing what we were saved to do. In the parables of the talents, slackness is akin to the guy who went and buried his talent in the ground until his master returned; he got thrown out.

Timothy C., United States, 13 October 2012

Okay, you know someone hasn’t read their Bible when they ask about the origin of languages. Everything from the Creation to the Tower of Babel, and from the Birth to the death and Resurrection of the Messiah should be common knowledge among Believers.

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