Comments on The Answers Book
(Answers to the 20 most-asked questions about creation, evolution, & the book of Genesis)
One is very sympathetic to the objects of the writers of this book and there is no intention whatever to debunk it. The early chapters of Genesis often show how and why things came to be, for instance, how the cosmos (heavens and earth) came into existence. How evil came into the world. Why we wear clothes. Why mankind is superior to the animal creation. Why we have different languages. Why mankind is spread all over the globe. Why women have pain in childbirth. Why we have to work hard to survive. Why we die. Why there are different races. Why we have rainbows. One could think of others.
On page 3 the evil results of evolution are pointed out. One has thought that the atheistic aspect of evolution was prominent in Communism, its survival of the fittest aspect in Nazism and the current aspect is in the thought that animals should be treated as if they were humans (apes are our cousins !). Communism has largely been discredited. Hitler lost the second world war. The animal rights people perpetrate crimes and sometimes end up in prison.
In reading chapter 2 one is left with the impression that anyone who thinks the days of Genesis one are anything other than days as we know them is seeking a compromise with evolution. This may well be so in some or indeed in many cases, but I do not believe in all. See my book on this website “Creation as presented in the Bible and to Common Sense” for a discussion of the subject under ‘The Seven Days of Genesis 1-2’ in Part I Chapter 7.
Regarding page 28 which treats of the seven day week: God probably intended to show what He could do in six days compared with what man can do in that time ! Further I think that what was done in the seven days has spiritual equivalents as I have sought to demonstrate in my articles ‘Was it just coincidence ?’ in Part I Chapters 12 and 13 of my book.
Regarding page 30 Heavens and Earth probably covers the cosmos as we know it, but does not necessarily mean the creation of everything that has ever been created. There is nothing about the creation of heavenly beings such as angels. They were no doubt witnesses of the creation. Again see my article: ‘The Creation of Angels’ in Part I Chapter 6 of my book.
Regarding page 32 one would say that I have no pretension to be a geologist or a paleontologist. However one stands in grave doubt that all (or almost all) of the fossil record is accounted for by the Noachic flood. The layers seem too orderly. Further there is a lack of creature made artifacts (birds nests, termite mounds and beavers dams for example). One is not speaking here of frozen mammoths and the like. Are we absolutely sure that the fossils are all a record of death ? May they not be the impressions left in the earth of the creatures that God made and which came out of the earth ? May not many of the layers been laid down when the earth was covered with water as described in Genesis 1 verse 2 ? Some may laugh this idea out of court, but it would certainly solve a good many problems. After all, Scripture uses in a number of cases the words ‘Let the earth bring forth’ and similar expressions (Genesis 1:11, 24 and 2: 19). Only the sea creatures are not actually said to be made from the ground. The meaning of chapter 2 verse 5 appears to be in accord with the foregoing. As to man himself one should consider what is said in Psalm 139:15 “Curiously wrought in the lower parts of the earth.”. One can see that if there is any truth in the above it would turn palaeontology upside down.
On page 37 we have the question of what Adam did in a day considered. If we assume that day six was no longer than days as we know them, there is a problem. The animal creation was made on the sixth day and then Adam and Eve. However, Genesis 2 shows that after Adam was created, he named the animals. Then he was put into a deep sleep leading to the creation of Eve. Cramming all this into one day suggests that there may be a flaw in our understanding of what happened. We don’t know everything and if people do not want to believe the Bible there are things that give them something that, to them, justifies their scepticism.
On page 44 we have a quotation from Luther which one thinks would have been better left out. Qualifying what he says using the words: “unless an article of faith compels him to understand them (the simple words of Scripture) differently”. Why our understanding of Scripture should be limited by an article of faith I do not know. It is not really any different from saying that we are to stay with the simple words of Scripture unless the findings of science compel us to understand them differently !
In chapter 3 the first few verses of Genesis 1 are considered. The so-called gap between verses 1 and 2 is shown to not really be there. However see my book on this subject. The article entitled: ‘Genesis Chapter 1 Verses 1 and 2’ in Part I Chapter 4 of my book covers this section of the first chapter of Genesis. The main point of the article is that the first verse is simply a statement of what is detailed in the rest of the chapter. This is confirmed by what is said in Exodus 31:17 which says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, not at the beginning of the first day or as someone has said: “On the eve of the first day”. If one says that the heavens and the earth were created on the eve of the first day, then the first day was hardly the first day. Further, if we turn to Deuteronomy chapter one verses 1 and 2 we find a summary of what is found in the rest of the book. Verse 3 starts the detail and begins with an And. The use of And cannot mean that what follows is additional to what is said in the previous verses. Rather it begins the expansion of what is said in the first two verses. The same reasoning applies to what is found in the first verses of Genesis one and probably also in other places in Scripture.
One has no comments to make on chapter 4.
Regarding chapter 5, page 88 one notices that it has been said that the earth is apparently near the centre of space. If the source of the light that shone in day one was relatively near the earth and this was broken up to form the Sun, Moon, planets and stars and at the same time expanded (multiplied like the loaves and fishes, if you like), and moved extremely rapidly away from the earth the light reaching the earth would not have started on its journey to us from umpteen million miles away, but from relatively near the earth. It would not therefore have had to travel vast distances to reach us. This solution seems too simple, so what is wrong with it ? Scripture tells us that God stretched out (or spread out) the heavens, so we are not violating Scripture in suggesting that this is what happened.
One has nothing particular to say regarding the problems set out in chapter 6. However, one would make the point that the creation came into being in the presence of what was adverse. For instance, we have the darkness (a swaddling band - Job 38:9). Was this not for the protection of the newly born earth ? Then we have the hovering of the Spirit of God suggesting that the earth needed caring for (Deuteronomy 32:11). Further, we find that Adam was given the job of guarding the garden as well as tilling it (Genesis 2:15), clearly indicating that there was danger around. Adam failed in this job of guarding the garden and was in a way replaced by the Cherubim which was given the job of guarding it (Genesis 3:24). That it was usual for gardens and vineyards to be walled is indicated by such passages as Song of Songs 4:12 and Proverbs 24:30/31. It is not said that the garden of Eden was walled, but the fact that the Cherubim was placed to the East of Eden would suggest that it was there that the garden had an entry. Maybe there was no other way in so that the whole did not need guards all round it.
Chapter 7 is very convincing, especially in debunking the so-called proofs of evolution. However, it may be mentioned that behind the making of creatures there was no doubt God’s hidden work. Saul was converted on the Damascus road, but there was an underlying work in him before then, else why was it said to him: “[It is] hard for thee to kick against goads” (Acts 26:14) ? God made creatures before they were in the earth (Genesis 2:5), not while they were on the earth. Evolutionists make everything happen on the earth. They make everything a matter of adaptation. While creatures have a built in ability to adapt in greater or lesser degree, they had to be created in the first place. To illustrate: I may adapt a chisel for use as a screwdriver, but will probably spoil it for use as a chisel in the process. However, the chisel was made in a factory before it came into my hands !
Regarding what is said on page107 as to the unborn child one would draw attention to my article: “Unborn Child, The” on my other website. I am no advocate of abortions unless to save the life of the Mother, but, on the other hand, I do not regard an unborn child (phoetus using current terminology) as a living soul. It is not that until it has breathed (Genesis 2:7), before then it is part of its Mother. There is no idea in Scripture that unborn children will have part in the resurrection, whether of the just or unjust. Their responsible history does not begin until they are born, hence what Christ says as to Judas (Matthew 26:24). I realise that this is not the popular evangelical view, but Scripture bears it out. What an unborn child is potentially is not in question. Verse 23 of Genesis 25 speaks of two nations in Rebecca’s womb. They were not that then actually; only potentially. In Psalm 139: 13-16 we get the formation of the body in a womb, but all this is before the baby becomes a living soul. If we use Jeremiah 1:5 to support the idea that an unborn child is a person before it is born we could just as easily use it to support the idea that it was a person before it was even conceived. What we have in this passage involves God’s foreknowledge and election; as also Paul (Acts 9:15; Galatians 1:15). As to Luke 1:41-44 I will not comment on this as it is dealt with in my aforementioned article.
In chapter 8 the problem as to who Cain married is considered. I have put my thoughts as to this in my book under the heading: “Cain’s Wife” in Part I Chapter 10. The substance of what I have said is that Scripture does not tell us who Cain married and therefore we should not say dogmatically that he married one of his Sisters, although that seems likely because we have no evidence, scriptural or otherwise that I know of, for any other explanation. Further, I am always nervous of making dogmatic statements based on the premise that some things can’t be and therefore something else must be. There may be something that God has not told us and we are therefore ignorant of, which means there may be another solution.
In chapter 9 the question as to who the sons of God were is considered. This problem is considered in my article: “The Sons of God” in Part I Chapter 11 of my book. As the Answers Book says they were not extra-terrestrials in the sense of being creatures from another Planet. Neither do I think they were the children of Seth for the reasons given in my article. They were much more likely to have been angels that sinned. Like the UFO phenomena Satan was no doubt behind what happened.
It is made clear in chapter 10 that the Bible teaches us that the Noachic flood was worldwide and not just a local flood. One wonders though how it is that we have layers of earth covering a large part of the world if the underlying sedimentary rock formations were laid down then. The same question arises if the evolutionist’s scheme is accepted. The soil contains massive amounts of bacteria and small creatures such as worms. When the waters retired it happened slowly, probably to disturb the flora as little as possible (Genesis 8:1-5). The dove brought an olive leaf to Noah showing that at least one olive tree had survived the flood. Note: the olive leaf was plucked off (Genesis 8:11). The olive tree must have remained rooted in soil.
Chapter 11 which deals with plate tectonics is interesting if none too simple to understand. The only question one has as to it is: “Were the earth’s movements due to the flood or were they part of God’s creatorial work as recorded in Genesis 1 ?” One strongly favours this latter view, because although there may well have been some movements of the earth at the time of the flood, we do know that there were high mountains before then (Genesis 7:19). Psalm 104:7 speaks of the waters as fleeing and hasting away at God’s rebuke. There was no recorded rebuke at the time of the flood, though at the creation the gathering together of the waters must have been rapid - in one day. It was the result of God speaking.
Regarding chapters 12 and 13 it may be noted that Scripture does not mention the sea (or seas). It was creatures that were on the dry land that were said to have died (Genesis 7:21-23). That some sea creatures could well have died is true, yet it seems that the majority of fossils are of sea creatures (Note on page 177). Though there are two references to the fountains of the deep and two references to the windows of heaven, the emphasis appears to be on the pour of rain (Genesis 7:4,12; 8:2). One has been led to believe that the water vapour canopy idea has been around a long time (from the 1800's). However some have always had doubts about it. My own doubts have always centred on the fact that the waters above the expanse are still there as mentioned in the note on page 163 regarding Psalm 148:4. That there may have been changes in topography as a result of the flood is quite likely. However, ‘high hills’ in AV (Genesis 7:19) could just as well have been translated ‘high mountains’ as in JND. The question as to whether the ark was large enough to have contained all the animals has been around a long time. Mr Darby in combatting F. W. Newman’s book ‘Phases of Faith’ wrote: “It has been proved over and over again that it was” (Collected Writings Vol. 6 page 145). (Incidentally, it is understood that Charles Darwin read at least two of F. W. Newman’s books which had a bad effect on him - The Darwin Legend page 15)
What impresses one in chapters 14 and 15 is the vast time discrepancies between the creation and evolutionist models. If we think of the present day, there is quite a bit of alarm because of the understood effect of greenhouse gases. It is expected that the earth’s climate could become considerably warmer, not over millions of years but in a few decades ! The cause is said to be man’s activities, but if man can affect his environment in a short space of time there is no doubt that God could. Remarkably, a perusal of the book of Revelation indicates that many of the judgments fall on mankind’s environment rather than on man directly.
Remarkably only recently I visited a hawk conservancy. A man in pointing out certain remarkable features of a species of owl said something to the effect that they were remarkable whether you were a creationist or evolutionist. This was in England where a few years ago it was assumed that all or almost all persons were evolutionists, that is, before the intelligent design movement came to the fore.
Regarding chapter 17 it has been well said that we don’t know everything and it is wholesome sometimes to remember this. We need to concentrate on what we do know rather than become occupied with speculations (John 9:25; Deuteronomy 29:29)
Regarding skin colour in chapter 18 it is noticeable that Job said: “I go about blackened, but not by the sun (Job 30:28). See also verse 30. The point Job was making was that his blackened skin was due to disease and not to being exposed to the sun. In the Song of Songs we have the female speaker saying “I am black, but comely”, going on to indicate that this was because of the sun, saying: “Look not upon me, because I am black; Because the sun hath looked upon me”. In other words don’t look down upon me because the sun hath looked down upon me (chapter 1:5/6). See my article “Black races in Scripture, The” on my other website.
One has no particular comment on chapter 19. In a general way one would say that the sedimentary layers in the earth are necessary to produce the variety of flora that exist on the earth. If the layers did not largely exist before the flood, are we to assume that there was little or no variety in the habitat of the life forms that then existed ?
Regarding chapter 20 one would support what is said, though as to terminology one would speak of Christ as the Son of God rather than use the theological term God-man which is not found in the Bible.
16 June, 2007
References amended 28 May, 2010