Genesis 1:2
Preached by Dr. John E. Marshall

How long did God’s Spirit hover over the chaos? Genesis 1:2 raises the question of the age of our Universe and Earth. This is one of the most controversial aspects of the creationism/evolution debate.

The Bible seems to indicate a relatively young Earth, thousands of years old. Evolution would require billions of years.

To my grief and horror, when Earth’s age is debated, evolutionists are sometimes easier on creationist than creationist are on each other. I am a young earth creationist. Many believers and all evolutionists disagree with me. Literature supporting each of the three positions is prolific.

A strong argument favoring the Old Earth position is, why would God give so much evidence that can be interpreted as Earth being old if this were not the case. My response is, God is not a deceiver. He told us what He did. Adam was an adult from the first moment. Likewise, the whole creation was instantly old, taking the nature of the Ancient of Days at the inception of creation.

Real creation, bringing something out of nothing, would have to create apparent age. What is truly created, called into existence out of nothing, has to look as though it had existed before it was created. Thus it has the appearance of age.

In our limited paradigm we think in terms of light-bearers emitting light which takes millions of years to reach Earth, but God created light before He created the light-bearers. Light emanated from God (GN 1:3) before it was delegated to Sun, Moon, and Stars (GN 1:17). It would be no more difficult to create the light-bearer already in place than the rays emanating from it.

Adam and Eve were “newborns,” but looked totally mature. Vegetation was made with seeds in it. Pecan trees take thirty years to produce seed, but were accomplishing this from the first moment. It is safe to assume God instilled maturity in the entire creation.

Evolutionists call this deception. How can this be? God told us what He did. He kept no part of it a secret.

Let me state why I believe Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is extremely plausible.

I believe YEC is what Moses intended to convey in his writings. If Moses meant to say creation took place in twenty-four hour segments, he couldn’t have found a way to state his position more clearly. By repeatedly inspiring the phrase “evening and morning,” God was trying to make it obvious these time periods were ordinary days. Some say this is too literal an interpretation of the text, but whether we like it or not, it’s what the words actually mean.

YEC lets us interpret the whole book of Genesis consistently. Archaeology continues to confirm the historicity of Genesis 12 onward. Why is it reasonable to reject Genesis 1-11 as actual history?

Historical research supports the Bible, all of it, including Genesis 1-11. Records of Egypt and Sumeria indicate civilization began near Mt. Ararat about 5000 years ago. The oldest human archaeological sites are about 7000 years old. Population statistics show the probable date for the beginning of human population to be about 4000 years ago.

YEC presents solid scientific evidence worthy of consideration. The rate of sedimentary erosion would have dissolved the continents by now if the earth were billions of years old. Earth’s magnetic field is decaying so rapidly that its origin could not be more than 10,000 years old. The aquifer under Mid-USA America holds 6000 years of rainfall (how long it would take to fill if it went empty).

Helium influx to the atmosphere shows the maximum age of the atmosphere to be about 12,000 years. Little accumulation of meteoric dust on Earth points to a shorter life span. Red blood cells and hemoglobin, which last only thousands, not millions of years, have been found in dinosaur bones.

YEC seems to agree with how New Testament writers understood Moses. They refer to Genesis 1-11 some eighty times. Each New Testament writer refers to it at least once, and seems to view it as they did Genesis 12-50. Jesus referred to Genesis 1 (Matthew 9:4), 2 (Mark 10:7-9), 3 (John 8:44), 4 (Luke 11:51), 6 (Matthew 24:37-38), 7 (Luke 17:27). To reject Genesis 1-11 as history, we first have to reject the New Testament understanding of it. (Young Earth, see Morris, p. 92)

I feel arguments for Old Earth creationism a strong, but not compelling. Much geologic dating relies on methods often shown to be inaccurate. Much geology also seems to be intertwined with what evolutionism believes geology should say.

The whole evolutionary system hinges on billions of years. If Earth is young, creation is our only option. Many are uncomfortable with thoughts of a holy God who requires morality and will judge all at the end of time. They don’t want this kind of God closely connected to their world and to their personal lives.

YEC holds true to our Christian understanding that God is, always has been, and evermore shall be, vitally involved in His creation. God is not an absentee landlord. Christians reject Deism, the notion God wound up the creation like a clock and left it to operate on its own. I fear old Earth theistic evolutionists sometimes have a hard time explaining how their position is not merely a modernized, dusted off, adaptation of Deism.

YEC logically and clearly explains the world in which we live. Rather than rising through many ages of chaos and disorder to finally reach man, the world started perfect, precisely prepared for humans, and then quickly, through Adam and Eve’s sin, fell into chaos and disorder.

I think facts of science concur with this conclusion. With regard to the age of the Earth, facts of science do not disprove or disagree with Scripture, as is often alleged. Instead, the two most basic premises of science, its two most universally accepted laws, are recorded in Scripture.

The first two laws of thermodynamics are scientific ways of stating two premises revealed in the Bible. The first law says the total amount of mass and energy in the Universe remains constant. This scientifically states creation is finished, originally completed by God, as the Bible says.

The second law states the total amount of energy available for work is running out. Entropy is increasing. Order tends toward disorder. All processes tend toward decay and disintegration. This is a scientific way of saying the curse of death has been superimposed on perfection. As a result of man’s sin, the whole universe groans and travails (Romans 8:22).

An interesting sidelight of this second law is that a random jumble won’t organize itself. It has to be “fixed” from outside itself. This too agrees with the Bible’s understanding of the Universe.

After man’s sin, the creation ground on in discord, but God intervened to “fix” it. He sent spokesmen and a Book, and then came Himself in human form. Someday He will “fix” it entirely. When Jesus comes to Earth again, the whole creation shall be delivered (Romans 8:21), there shall be no more curse (Revelation 22:3), there shall be a new heaven and a new earth (II Peter 3:13). Someday my deaf sister will hear my voice and my autistic grandson will know who I am. He who made the creation perfect will someday undo our usurped imperfection and recreate all things perfectly