Is Green Godly?

August 9, 2010

Whether it be the three R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle, questions about man-made climate change, questions about things farther away like the BP oil spill, or things closer to home like the use of the Marcellus Shale, we all have opinions on the environment. Some say that we should do everything in our power, and at any cost, to be as “green” as possible and protect the earth from the unfortunate influence of man. Others see the earth as being solely for the unfettered use of mankind with no cause to consider any harmful effects we might be having. But for Christians, the question arises, “is green godly” or simply, does the Bible have anything to say about how we should treat the environment?

While the Bible states that when God created man He gave him the mandate to have dominion over the creation (Genesis 1:28), it does not mean we have the authority to destroy what God had created. Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary recently said in Christianity Today that “A proper understanding of dominion includes stewardship.” God created the earth to magnify His glory and we are entrusted with it to use it and care for it so that it continues to magnify the glory of God. It does not mean that humanity is a blight on the earth as some would argue but if God demonstrated His love and care for the universe in His creation of it, we too should care for it in the same way.

In fact there are a number of reasons why Christians should care about the earth. Psalm 24 teaches us that the earth is the Lord’s. If it is the Lord’s, it is not ours to destroy! Psalm 19 teaches us that it reveals to us the power and glory of God. If we destroy it, we mar the opportunity we have been given to magnify God! God Himself has asked us to care for it in Genesis 2:15. And, God’s plan for the earth includes its restoration to full glory in eternity (Romans 8, Revelation 21).

Like so many things, creation care takes balance. We are to use the resources available to us as God has provided for our benefit. But that must be balanced with a desire to preserve and care for the earth as well, not to pillage it and leave it stripped of all that is good. Ultimately, God called the earth good when He created it. He called people to care for it and use it. Christians understand that we must care for the creation because God Himself cares for it! So is green godly? Well, for those who love God and call Christ their Lord, to care for what God cares for certainly is pleasing to Him!

Robert McCabe on Literal 24 Hour Day Creation

April 27, 2009

My former Old Testament and Hebrew professor at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Robert V. McCabe, has authored 3 excellent posts over at SharperIron. In these 3 posts McCabe defends the position that God created in six literal 24 hour days. Check out his excellent posts here:

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 1

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 2

An Apologia for the 24-Hour Day Creation View, Part 3

Also, be sure to check out McCabe’s excellent blog, Old Testament Studies.

How Did we All Get Here? A Brief Defense of Creationism over Evolutionism

April 27, 2009

What is the Issue?

The essence of the issue before us is simply, how did we all get here? How did the universe originate? How did people end up on this earth? Was it all by chance or did God create the universe and man? These are the questions that we are seeking to answer briefly here. They have a great impact on our understanding of the nature of the Bible, or God, and humanity.

Arguments for Evolution

The main argument for the formation of a billion(s) year old universe and the arrival of man for the evolutionist is quite simple: it is one of a presupposed opposition to the possibility that God created the universe. Those who argue for those things generally hold to an approach to viewing reality called naturalism. “Naturalism is the view that every law and every force operation in the universe is natural rather than moral, spiritual, or supernatural. Naturalism is inherently antitheistic, rejecting the very concept of a personal God.”[1] This sweeping belief of antitheism is the driving force behind attempts at argumentation for the validity of an old universe and evolution. While there are those who argue that they can maintain being old earth creationists[2] or completely embrace evolution[3] and still be Christians, the vast majority of those who argue for an old universe and evolution are reflecting a naturalistic view of the universe and in no way clearly reflect the Scriptural teaching on the issue. Every bit of scientific “evidence”[4] is manipulated to support their naturalistic assumptions.

There is truly no scientific evidence to substantiate an old universe or evolution because it cannot be reproduced. Therefore, all arguments for an old earth and evolution fall under a desire to remain naturalistic.

Arguments for Creationism

The arguments for young earth creationism are derived directly from the Scriptures. In summary, the Scriptures argue that God created the heavens and the earth in six twenty-four hour literal days[5] and that this happened only thousands of years ago, not billions.

The Use of “Day” and “Morning and Evening”

In the context of the creation account, there is found a use of the singular form “day” with increasing numbers to indicate which “day” is in view. This is used throughout Scripture to indicate a literal day. When the singular “day” is qualified by a number it is almost invariably understood to be literal.[6] The use of consecutive ordinal numbers modifying the word “day” also indicates a literal 24 hour day. “The sequential use of the ordinal numbers ‘first’ through ‘sixth’ for each day of the creation week, followed by the ‘seventh day…’ indicates a chronological progression of days.”[7]

Another argument for literal creation days is the usage of “morning and evening.” Throughout Scripture the usage of “morning and evening” often describes a literal day. In the creation account specifically, it indicates the non-creative portion of the day, i.e. night. Evening indicates the beginning of night whereupon God suspends his creative activity, and morning which indicates the end of night, whereupon God renews again His creative effort.[8] This approach is consistent with the rest of the Scriptural usage of “morning and evening.”[9]

Exodus 20:8–11 and Exodus 31:14–17

Other usages of “day” occur in other portions of Scripture which specifically point back to the creation event, yet are speaking of literal 24 hour days. In Exodus 20:8–11 we have the giving of the fourth commandment regarding the keeping of the Sabbath. V. 11 makes it very clear that keeping the Sabbath was based upon the pattern set in creation. It was because God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh that the Israelites should therefore work for six days and rest on the seventh.  It is undeniable that the fourth commandment is connected to the creation week.[10]

As well, Exodus 31:14–17, which is a command again to observe the Sabbath, connects it clearly with the creation week. Once again it makes the connection between observing a literal six day work week and a requirement to rest on the seventh because God created in a literal six day work week and rested on the seventh.

There are other passages which could be shown to agree with the literal 24 hour day creation[11] but these suffice to demonstrate by connection to the creation week that creation was accomplished in six literal 24 hour days.

Image of God

Man was created in the image of God (Gen 1:26, 27; 5:1; 9:6; 1 Cor 11:7; Jas 3:9). This is an incredible theological truth. Man was unique from the rest of creation in that he possessed the spiritual characteristics of God.[12] This essentially is the essence of personality. We possess the same spiritual characteristics of God in that man is spiritual, self-conscious, self-determining, living, active, and intelligent.[13] If man evolved from animals this would negate the unique and special creation that is man. Man is the only one that possesses the image of God and it was through the unique creation of man.

Scientific Evidence

In contrast to what modern science teaches, much geological, physical, and biological evidence point to a young earth and away from evolution. It is not the scope of this post to deal with this scientific data[14] but to simply make the point that it is the inherent presuppositions that people possess that indicate how they view science. Scientific “evidence” clearly fits within the biblical data for young earth creationism if one does not allow science to trump the Bible.


The Bible is clear. God created the universe in six literal 24 hour days. Man did not become man by the process of evolution but by the special creation of God Himself.

[1]John MacArthur, The Battle for the Beginning: Creation, Evolution and the Bible (n.p.: Word, 2001), p. 11.

[2]Like Robert C. Newman, “Old Earth (Progressive) Creationism,” in Three Views on Creation and Evolution, ed. J. P. Moreland and John Mark Reynolds (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), pp. 103–133.

[3]Like Howard J. Van Till, “Theistic Evolution,” in ibid, pp.  161–218.

[4]The determination of the age of the universe or evolution can hardly be called scientific. MacArthur writes, “The notion that natural evolutionary processes can account for the origin of all living species has never been and never will be established as a fact. Nor is it ‘scientific’ in any true sense of the word. Science deals with what can be observed and reproduced in any laboratory. By definition, then, true science can give us no knowledge whatsoever about where we came from or how we got here. Belief in evolutionary theory is a matter of sheer faith” (The Battle for the Beginning, p. 12).

[5]For an excellent interaction with non-literal viewpoints on creation see James B. Jordan, Creation in Six Days: A Defense of the Traditional Reading of Genesis One (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1999).

[6]Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., “Reformed Theology and Six-Day Creation,” Chalcedon Report 398 (September 1998): 28.

[7]Robert V. McCabe, “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week,” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 5 (Fall 2000): 105.

[8]Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., “From Creation to Cosmos: A Critique of the Non-Literal Interpretations of Genesis 1:1–2:3,” in Did God Create in Six Days? Ed. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. and David W. Hall (Taylors, SC: Southern Presbyterian Press, 1999), p. 184.

[9]McCabe, “A Defense of Literal Days in the Creation Week,” p. 106.

[10]Gerhard F. Hasel, “The ‘Days’ of Creation in Genesis 1: Literal ‘Days’ or Figurative ‘Periods/Epochs’ of Time?” Origins 21 (1994): 29.

[11]For creation in the New Testament see Douglas F. Kelly, Creation and Change (Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 1997), pp. 129–134.

[12]Kurt P. Wise, Faith, Form, and Time (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2002), p. 142.

[13]See Culver for details regarding these characteristics of personality that God possesses and that we also bear through the image of God (Robert D. Culver, Systematic Theology [Fearn, Scotland: Mentor, 2005], pp. 66–74).

[14]See John C. Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis Flood (Philadelphia, PA: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1961); Henry M. Morris, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984); and John C. Whitcomb, Jr. The Early Earth, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1986).

Book Notice – Charles Darwin’s Religious Views by David Herbert

March 23, 2009

2009 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of the Species.  Darwin’s writings and theories have had a profound effect on Western thought and society.  David Herbert considers the man, Charles Darwin, and the influences on his life which resulted in his journey from creationist to evolutionist.

A fascinating and important study of Charles Darwin, one of the most significant figures of our time.  The book is a tour de force in its analysis of the creation-science debate, as well as an insightful account of the man himself.  It includes a careful and cautious study of the so-called ‘Lady Hope Tract,’ suggesting a deathbed conversion.  I highly recommend it, especially for those embarking on scientific study at any level.

It is published by Joshua Press and available for $20 from Sola Scriptura Ministries International here.

Evolution Necessary for Scientific Discovery?

March 19, 2009

I work in the riding where Gary Goodyear represents the fine people as Member of Parliament in the Conservative minority government. Gary, a former chiropractor, has served as MP of Cambridge, Ontario  since 2004. He is a devout Christian and a member of Forward Baptist Church in Cambridge.

In Tuesday’s Globe and Mail in an article by Anne McIlroy titled, “Minister won’t confirm belief in evolution” we have the finest example of hardcore scientism and secular humanism determining who should serve in a particular office than I have ever seen. Goodyear is the federal Minister of State for Science and Technology. And while not a scientist per se, as a former chiropractor, Goodyear certainly took his share of classes in science in university.

What is the problem that the article is expressing? Essentially, when asked whether Goodyear believed in evolution his answer was “I’m not going to answer that question, I am a Christian, and I don’t think anybody asking a question about my religion is important.” What has irked the scientific community is that Goodyear has not confirmed nor denied a belief in evolution.

Jim Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers writes, “The traditions of science and the reliance on testable and provable knowledge has served us well for several hundred years and have been the basis for most of our advancement. It is inconceivable that a government would have a minister of science that rejects the basis of scientific discovery and traditions.”

The assumption is that since evolution is a scientific fact to deny so is to deny the very basis of scientific discovery and therefore Goodyear would be hurting scientific research in Canada. This is of course a non sequitor. Just because someone denies evolution does not mean they are opposed to scientific discovery. The historical reality is that most scientific inventors prior to Darwin and other evolutionists did not believe in evolution but in creation. The biggest issue though here is the continued confusion between facts and theories.

A scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation. So, in some ways, evolution is a fact in that changes in populations of organisms can be observed over time (these facts only relate to micro evolution [change within a species] not macro evolution [change from one species to another]). The theory of evolution is quite another thing. The theory of evolution is what the scientific community has developed to explain those changes within a population of a species. Therefore, one can interpret those “facts” in a different way, i.e. from a creationist standpoint. One does not have to accept the theory of evolution in explanation of these facts.  It certainly does not mean that one must believe in the theory of evolution to be a firm believer in scientific discovery.

The real problem in this discussion is not whether one must believe in evolution to be the Minister of State for Science and Technology. The real issue is that people do not like Christians. And they especially do not like Christians who seek to consistently live out what they believe.

No one truly believes that there are not reputable scientists in the world who are Christians. The problem is they do not want them to truly be reputable scientists. So they complain, they chide, they do anything besides actually listen to what they have to say. Who are the ones that are against scientific discovery? It is the atheistic secular humanistic scientists who are against it as they do not approve of Christian scientists.

This is of course no surprise to Christians. Christians in the public sphere are always criticized and denigrated. Yet, they persevere and keep moving on. They continue to serve the scientific process because they serve God. And in the pursuit of God’s truth they pursue all truth. Some of the best scientists in the world are Christians, in my opinion, simply because they are scientists.

So, I am glad Goodyear is Minister of State for Science and Technology. He is a great man with a proven track record of faithfully representing the people who has a scientific background. He’s the perfect choice for this portfolio. And, he will be willing to ask the tough ethical questions that come up with regard to the scientific process. I for one am thankful for that. The scientific process is one that, for too long, has been allowed to go it their own without control or guidance. Having a scientific man who is a Christian working in this area will be just what we need to hold scientists accountable.

Goodyear is the man for this job and I applaud the Conservative government for giving him this portfolio. Now, all we need is for all the naysayers to be quiet and actually get to work on all those scientific discoveries that we need. In the end, I’m pretty sure we do not need to believe in evolution to find a cure for cancer or build the tallest building.