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Genesis 1 and ‘seed faith’

The ‘seed-faith’ principle was a term first coined by early televangelist Oral Roberts. In essence, it means, “When we put our faith in God’s hands like a seed we plant, we are giving Him something to work with, and He will send the miracle we need.”1 There are severe biblical problems with such a perspective.2 But what of applying it to Genesis 1 and the creation of the world?

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J. writes:

To whom it may concern;

In a quote of Russell M. Grigg from the article, (Creation, How did God do it—1991) he says “creation, by definition, has to be instantaneous—it cannot be a process.”

Really? I saw his picture, he seems like a nice guy, but what a pompous, arrogant statement to make. Who died and left HIM God? Was he there?

I can give you 3, very well known scriptures you can probably recite from memory, that will refute his claim.

Mark 4:26: “And he said, so is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed in the ground”; v. 28: “For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself …”

God’s entire kingdom operates according to the seed faith principle, God can not violate His own word. He sowed the word as a “seed”.

Ecclesiastes 3:1… “To EVERYTHING there is a SEASON and a TIME for every purpose under HEAVEN”

Gen1:1 … “ In the beginning God created the ‘heaven … ” EVERYTHING that follows the word ‘heaven’ must be according to the “seed faith principle” No instantaneous creation, no 24hr solar day, (no sun, duh).

God is eternal, He has no need of time, no need to rush anything. Besides, who was He trying to impress? It’s for that reason we don’t get zapped up to heaven the moment we get saved! We have a purpose, and 120 yrs (give or take) to sow God’s word in other’s lives, all while trying to navigate the seasons of our own lives.

There’s more, but I think you have enough to chew on for now.

Ok, just one more thing! There was NEVER, night or darkness at ANY time during creation, until “day” 7 when God went back to His throne to rest.

I John1:5—”God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all”

Rev 21:23—”And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon … and the Lamb is the light thereof”

As long as those two were on the scene, it was ALWAYS light.

In conclusion, creation was a process that took a thousand or more years to complete. It can be no other way.

Thanks for hearing me out;


CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:

Dear J.,

Thanks for writing in.

I actually have a degree of sympathy with the first point you make: God’s creative act need not be instantaneous. There may have been processes involved (‘Natural law’ in the Creation Week?, Did God create plants on Day 3 out of nothing?, and Is Genesis poetic?).

Nonetheless, Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11, and Exodus 31:16–17 are all abundantly clear that God made the world in six days and rested on the seventh (How the Scriptures affirm a literal and historical six-day creation). Indeed, the timeframe is the specific point of identity between God’s creative activity and Israel’s work week. That makes it clear that, if there were processes at play in some of God’s creative acts in Genesis 1, they occurred way too fast to be explained by natural causes. So, there is little practical difference in the outcome of an instantaneous creative act and a miraculous creative act of sped up process: both are demonstrations of God’s supernatural power.

And how do you propose to get around this? First, you pull together some supposed ‘principle’ from Mark, Ecclesiastes, and Genesis, and impose that ‘principle’ on Genesis 1. However, none of the verses you cite for your principle actually substantiate its relevance to Genesis 1.

Mark 4:26–28 is about the kingdom of God; not God’s creative activity in Genesis 1. Jesus said that the kingdom of God had come near in His ministry. It may have been a hope before that, but it wasn’t a reality.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 is about life lived ‘under the sun’. In other words, ordinary life. It has no application to Genesis 1.

Obviously, Genesis 1:1 is a relevant verse. However, you stop reading that verse at an absolutely arbitrary point. What about the “and the earth”? The “heavens and earth” language is a way of expressing totality: God made the totality of creation. As such, you can’t leave off the last few words of the verse and think you’re understanding it properly.

Your theological reasons for rejecting the clear time-frame of Genesis 1 are no better. God’s eternality is a far deeper and more difficult subject to fathom than you seem to realize (How does God relate to time?). We never said God was trying to impress anyone by creating everything in a week. And, whatever reasons God has for working through our ordinary lives to make us fit for eternity with Him, there is no guarantee that those principles governed how He chose to create the world, especially when we consider what Genesis 1 actually says. And the idea that there was no night or darkness in creation until ‘day 7’ is flatly contradicted by Genesis 1:2, 5. Each day is clearly demarcated by a night and a day.

The only commonly used exegetical objection you float against our views is alluded to when you say “no 24hr solar day, (no sun, duh).” Question: Who is Lord of the day? The sun, or God who made the sun? Obviously the all-powerful Lord of the day can arrange for three days to go by before He makes the sun. So, why not believe what is actually written? See Literal days before the sun.

Kind regards,
Shaun Doyle
Creation Ministries International

Published: 27 April 2023

References and notes

  1. Roberts, O., 3 Keys to the Seed-Faith Principle inspiration.org/spiritual-life/seed-faith-principle, 5 October 2022. Return to text.
  2. What is seed faith? gotquestions.org/seed-faith.html, 4 January 2022. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

The Genesis Account
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $39.00
Hard cover
15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History
by Dr Don Batten, Dr Jonathan D Sarfati
US $4.00