Faith can move mountains (but it can’t change history)
When a British writer was risking arrest some years ago for denying that millions of Jews had been put to death under Hitler’s leadership of Germany,1 I remember thinking:
- If he sincerely believes what he says, even to the extent of being willing to risk jail, then his faith in the contention that there was no Holocaust is a very strong faith indeed.
- No matter how fervently he might believe that the Holocaust never occurred, and no matter how many other Holocaust-deniers agree with him and vociferously support him, his belief cannot alter the fact that the extermination of millions of Jews and others really happened. Holocaust denial cannot change what really happened in the past. It’s history.
Similarly, I know many Christians whose faith in Jesus is commendable, but who equally fervently believe that the worldwide Flood of Genesis 6–9 was not global, but only local. They argue that a ‘worldwide’ flood could refer to a limited area of the planet, wiping out only the limited zone of human (and presumably, animal and bird) habitation that they posit up to that time. They also happily accept millions and billions of years prior to man’s appearance. (They usually don’t realize that this idea comes from the secular interpretation of the fossil ‘record’. This puts death and suffering, carnivory and thorns, before Adam’s sin—contradicting God’s Word.)2,3
However, even though those global-Flood-denying Christians might have a faith in Jesus that can move mountains (Matthew 21:21,4 1 Corinthians 13:25), they cannot change history. Even such ‘mountain-moving’ faith could not alter the fact that all the high mountains of the world that existed when Noah was a boy6 were subsequently submerged during his 600th year (Genesis 7:19).7
Thus for all the high mountains under the whole heaven to have been so inundated, it cannot have been a local flood, but global.8,9,10 This makes sense of the billions of fossilized plant and animal remains in sedimentary rock right around the world—even in the highest mountain ranges (e.g. Himalayas).11,12 The fossils are not the ‘record’ of evolution and extinction over millions and billions of years as evolutionists claim, but rather a legacy of the global Flood about 4,500 years ago, and events since.
Richard Dawkins has faith, too (and it can’t change the past, either)
Leading evolutionist Richard Dawkins has done much to try to rewrite history, claiming evolution, not God, explains our origin. And he says that evolution is still happening today. But when challenged to provide evidence of observed microbe-to-man mutational changes, Richard Dawkins falls short.13 His fallback position is:
“Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening.”14
That sounds like faith to me. It certainly matches the Bible’s definition (Hebrews 11:1):
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
In fact, it is more of a blind faith than biblical faith, which was always linked to evidence—e.g. the many eyewitness reports of Jesus’ resurrection. Biblical faith is never contrasted with evidence or reason, but with sight. Richard Dawkins has not seen evolution happening, but it seems he sure hopes it’s true. But his faith in a godless origin, no matter how strongly held, and no matter how many people fervently agree with him, cannot change what really happened in the past. The fact that God created the earth and the rest of the universe about 6,000 years ago is real history, and no-one can change it. Even if they can move mountains.
References and notes
- The writer, David Irving, was in fact subsequently arrested in Austria in November 2005, and sentenced to three years jail in February 2006. At his trial, Irving reportedly told the court that he had now changed from his earlier outspoken position that the gas chambers were a “fairy tale”; instead he now accepted that the Nazis had killed millions of Jews. However, returning to London the day after his early release in December 2006, Irving repeated his views denying the Holocaust. David Irving jailed for Holocaust denial, guardian.co.uk, 20 February 2006; Holocaust denier: ‘No need to show remorse’, CNN.com, 21 December 2006. Return to text.
- Smith, H.B., Cosmic and universal death from Adam’s fall: an exegesis of Romans 8:19–23a, J. Creation 21(1):75–85, 2007; creation.com/romans8. Return to text.
- Catchpoole, D., A thorny issue, Creation 34(3):52–55, 2012; creation.com/thorny. Return to text.
- And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea’, it will happen.” Return to text.
- And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. Return to text.
- The world’s pre-Flood geography and topography was very different to today’s post-Flood landscape. See “Mountains and the Flood” at creation.com/eroding-ages. Return to text.
- Note that this does not mean that Noah and his family needed a pressurized cabin at such ‘altitude’, because the sea level would also have been higher. Batten, D., Did Noah need oxygen above the mountains?, Creation 18(3):36, 1996; creation.com/noah-oxygen. Return to text.
- The waters rose to 15 cubits above the mountains (Genesis 7:20)—even with a conservative cubit, that would be about 7 metres or 22.5 feet. As water seeks its own level, it couldn’t rise to cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched. For more on this see Kruger, M., Genesis 6–9: Does ‘all’ always mean all? J. Creation 10(2):214–218, 1996; creation.com/genesis-flood-global. Return to text.
- In Hebrew, the word for all is kol. While a single kol might sometimes be non-universal, this passage has a double kol, which “disposes of the question of the universality of the Flood,” according to Leupold, H.C., Exposition of Genesis, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1942; ccel.org/ccel/leupold/genesis.ix.html. Return to text.
- Walker, T., The Black Sea flood—definitely not the Flood of Noah, J. Creation 14(1):40–44, 2000, creation.com/the-black-sea-flood. Return to text.
- Today’s mountains did not exist at the beginning of the Flood but rose towards its end. Oard, M., The mountains rose (a review of Ollier, C. and Pain, C. (Eds), The origin of mountains, Routledge, London, 2000), J. Creation 16(3):40–43, 2002. Return to text.
- Fossils found in Tibet revise history of elevation, climate, sciencedaily.com, 11 June 2008. Return to text.
- See the YouTube clip accessible via: Was Dawkins stumped?—Frog to a Prince critics refuted again, creation.com/dawkins-stumped. Return to text.
- ‘Battle over evolution’—Bill Moyers interviews Richard Dawkins, Now, 3 December 2004, PBS network, www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript349_full.html. Return to text.