The Sabbath, a day set aside to honor the Creator, provides an important opportunity to review briefly two spiritual riches, among many, of the Genesis Creation narratives.
A Creator Worthy of Worship
Thankfully, God created through a death-free method of creation in six days, rather than over long ages as deep-time evolutionary theory suggests. As evolutionist David Hull rightly observes: “The God implied by evolutionary theory is not a loving God who cares about His productions . . . [He] is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.”[i] The worship-worthiness of God is at stake here in the method of creation God uses. The biblical, benign, six-day Creation renders God a good Creator worthy of worship, and not Darwin’s cruel Devil who creates savagely over long ages.[ii] This means that the seventh-day Sabbath is a memorial of a method of Creation which establishes the worship-worthiness of our Creator.
A Creator Able to Justly Forgive Sins
The Sabbath is also a memorial of the sin-forgiving power of the Creator. Deep-time evolutionary theory requires that not only the animals, but even Adam and Eve were under the curse of physical death from the beginning. In this model, death did not enter planet Earth through the disobedience of our first parents, as indicated, for instance, in Romans 8:20-21 and Romans 5:12. Theologian Nigel Cameron observes that this circumstance “overthrows the sin-death causality, and in so doing pulls the rug from under the feet of the evangelical understanding of the atonement.”[iii] If deep-time evolutionary theory is true, the death of Christ on the cross is not the wage of sin. However, if a six-day Creation is true, death in all living things appears after human sin meaning that the sin-death causality is preserved and the blood of Christ still forgives sins.
The Fossil Record and the Global Biblical Flood
The biblical model of a recent, death-free, six-day Creation is dismissed by those who consider the fossiliferous geologic column as the record of millions of years of evolutionary history. However, the biblical account of a global flood resulting in massive destruction of life neutralizes the deep-time geologic criticism based on the fossil record. A global biblical flood responsible for the accumulations of fossil-bearing strata disentangles the six-day Creation from the contention of a preceding record of death, and thus preserves the sin-death causality and the efficacy of the Cross to justly forgive our sins (Rom 3:25; 1 John 1:9). To those skeptical about considering the biblical Flood in the construction of geological models of earth history, Leonard Brand offers these instructive comments: “To use our biblical worldview as a basis for scientific predictions is compatible with the scientific process because it does exactly what science is supposed to do. It puts our theories and hypothesis out in the open to be discussed, to be supported by accumulating evidence, or refuted by the evidence.”[iv]
This brief discussion suggests that the Sabbath is thereby a weekly memorial of a benign method of Creation showing that the Creator is worthy of worship. Secondly, the Sabbath is also a memorial of the truth of the sin-death causality and the power of the Creator to justly forgive our sins. The truth about the six-day Creation, testified by the Sabbath, encourages us all to worship our Maker joyfully with the deepest conviction possible and with thankful praise without end.
John T. Baldwin, PhD.
[i] David Hull, “The God of the Galápagos,” Nature 352 (August 8, 1991):485-486.
[ii] Writing to his friend, J. D. Hooker in a letter dated July 13, 1856, Charles R. Darwin states: “What a book a Devil’s Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horridly cruel works of nature,” (“Darwin Correspondence Project,” The University of Cambridge [2015[:http:/www.darwinproject.ac.uk., accessed May 20, 2015).
[iii] Nigel Cameron, Evolution and the Authority of the Bible (Greenwood, S.D. Dak.: Attic Press, 1983), p. 66.
[iv] Leonard Brand, “Worldviews and Predictions in the Scientific Study of Origins” Origins 64 (2015): 10.