I become concerned when professing Christians fail to believe the Genesis account of Creation and prefer to lean towards a long-age view of what Moses wrote.
Yes, it can be difficult to believe the ages of the people who lived after the fall; many scientists discard The Flood and talk in millions of years, sometimes hundreds of thousands of years when in fact Creationists believe the world is only approaching about 6,000 years old.
However, if Genesis isn’t a correct version of how God created the earth in six days and rested on the seventh, then can we believe the rest of the Bible?
As believers in Jesus and serving as His followers, then it’s fair we believe in what He himself believed in (Matthew 19:3–6; Mark 10:6–9; Luke 17:26–27), what the Apostle Paul believed in (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22,45; 1 Tim. 2:13–14) and the Apostle Peter believed in (2 Peter 3:3–7).
Some professing evangelical Christians accuse creationists of taking a naïve literalistic view of Genesis, and claim creationism is a 20th century aberration.
Is it an aberration of the 20th century?
No, it doesn’t appear so. It was also the view of the vast majority of the Church Fathers, including the faithful defender of the Trinity, Basil the Great. See Genesis means what it says: Basil (AD 329–379).
And the great leaders of the 16th Century Protestant Reformation, in returning to biblical authority, also accepted a straightforward view of Genesis. This includes the Father of the Reformation, Martin Luther — see What was Martin Luther’s stand on Creation/Evolution?
John Calvin, the great reformer
One of the most influential of the Reformers was the French lawyer and theologian John Calvin (1509–1564).
He became leader of Geneva (Switzerland), which became a refuge for 6,000 Protestants. Calvin founded the University of Geneva in 1559, which attracted many foreign scholars, and still does today.
His monumental Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) proclaimed the grace of God and salvation in Jesus Christ.
He was also a skilled commentator on books of the Bible, including Genesis. His teachings influenced many confessions, catechisms, preachers, leaders of modern Christian revivals, and were brought to America by the Pilgrim Fathers.
- The earth is ‘young’:
“They will not refrain from guffaws when they are informed that but little more than five thousand years have passed since the creation of the universe.”
God created in six consecutive normal days: “Here the error of those is manifestly refuted, who maintain that the world was made in a moment. For it is too violent a cavil to contend that Moses distributes the work which God perfected at once into six days, for the mere purpose of conveying instruction.
“Let us rather conclude that God himself took the space of six days, for the purpose of accommodating his works to the capacity of men.”
“I have said above that six days were employed in the formation of the world; not that God, to whom one moment is as a thousand years, had need of this succession of time, but that he might engage us in the contemplation of his works.”
- The day-night cycle was instituted from Day 1 — before the sun was created [commenting on ‘let there be light’ (Genesis 1:3).
“Therefore the Lord, by the very order of the creation, bears witness that he holds in his hand the light, which he is able to impart to us without the sun and the moon. Further, it is certain, from the context, that the light was so created as to be interchanged with the darkness … there is, however, no doubt that the order of their succession was alternate …”
It is thus clear, if we accept the authority of Scripture alone, we must believe Genesis should be taken at its plain meaning.
Sadly, one hotbed of anti-creationist, theistic evolutionary/long age ideas even includes a college named after Calvin — Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Some of their staff have even invoked Calvin in support, although, as we have seen, Calvin opposed all such compromises.
Today the church needs a new Reformation to return to the authority of the Bible, the written Word of God, rather than trusting the fallible conjectures of unbelieving scientists.
Ref: Jonathon Safarti, Christian Ministries International
John Skinner served as an infantry soldier in Vietnam then the Tasmanian Police before taking up the position of CEO of the Australian Rough Riders Association (professional rodeo based in Warwick Qld). Before retirement to his small farm, he was a photo-journalist for 25 years. He is married with 3 children and 7 grandchildren.