Adventism and Creation Problem

Human speculation and the word of God.

By GEORGE MCCREADY PRICE, Veteran Science Teacher, Pomona, California

We are all familiar with the language of Revelation 14:7, and we contend from its phrasing that in the last days of human history there will be an evangelical message given to all the world to call people back to the worship of the Creator. We argue also that, in view of the great modern apostasy, such a message is timely today. But other phases of this message have been overlooked by some.

We have a right to believe that real angels will assist in this work. It also follows that the Spirit of God will be active in inducing all the people of the world to become inter­ested in this problem of the making of heaven and earth; that is, in the inescapable problem of creation, and the right of the Creator to command the allegiance and obedience of His created beings. The history of the last hun­dred years shows that a great interest in this subject has been aroused all over the earth among the thinking classes. We may be sure that the widespread modern interest in this subject is of God.

But the vast majority of the race of mankind are not obedient to the plain commands of God. Hence we might expect that the influences of the Spirit of God to bring this subject of creation to the front would be perverted and misunderstood. When the Father once spoke audibly from heaven in attestation of the mission of Christ, the people standing by said that it thundered. That was all they under­stood of the message. Similarly in our day, when God by a thousand scientific discoveries has sought to bring this subject of creation to the sober consideration of mankind, the great majority are so warped in their thinking that they hear "evolution" instead of "creation." In other words, they twist God's message until it means to them that all the things of nature originated by what they are pleased to term "natural" processes, similar to those which we see going on around us.

And all this fits into the picture given in Daniel 12:4. This prophecy declared that in the last days many would be running to and fro, and knowledge would be increased. It specifically refers to knowledge of the Word, but obviously includes general knowledge. However, increase of knowledge among sin­ners and reprobates may have its disadvan­tages. Machine guns, mustard gas, and depth bombs are some of the products of this in­crease of knowledge ; in fact, they are quite as truly characteristic of this last-day increase of knowledge as are the radio and the automobile. Even the latter are far from being unmixed blessings. And in the realm of true under­standing of nature, in the deeper lessons to be read from the animals, the plants, and the rocks, this increase of knowledge on the part of the enemies of God has resulted in f an­tastic fables by radical "critics" of the Bible, and in hideous effigies of "primitive man" which confront millions of school children who visit the scientific museums of the civi­lized world.

Light Discolored by Human Speculation

Obviously God's efforts to enlighten man­kind regarding this subject of creation seem to be largely negatived or misunderstood—not by all, but by the majority. The light of God's truth has become discolored by being filtered through the sin-laden fog of perverse human speculation. And the great mass of the race completely misunderstand its message. As the angel said to Daniel: "None of the wicked shall understand; but they that are wise shall understand." Dan. 12:10, A.R.V.

But it is in 2 Peter 3:3-7 that we find the clearest and fullest picture of the theories of the last generation of unbelievers concern­ing this problem of creation. Limitations of space oblige me to assume that MINISTRY readers are familiar with this passage. Here we have the unbelievers of the last days mocking at the idea of a catastrophic end of the world at the second coming of Christ, and grounding their unbelief upon the idea that "all things continue as they were from the be­ginning of the creation." In other words, they take their stand squarely on the present order or uniformity of nature. They say that there has never been any world catastrophe in the past, and hence there will never be any such event in the future.

Anyone who is familiar with the current ideas of evolutionists and skeptical philoso­phers will marvel at the accuracy of Peter's delineation of their views. For the very essence of the evolution philosophy is that the present is the measure of the past, and of all the past. With the advocates of the theory, evolution is simply an extension of what are termed the laws of nature, to cover everything in the past and also in the future. This rules out anything like miracles; for miracles are out of harmony with natural law, as they wish to have us understand it. And it rules out a miraculous creation at the beginning, as well as a catastrophic end of the present order by such an event as the second coming. Accord­ingly, this passage in Peter's epistle is indeed a marvelous picture of the way in which the unbelievers of our time scoff at the second coming, and try to deny that creation itself was anything different from the processes of nature which we see all around us.

This is the obvious meaning of the curious language which Peter attributes to these last-day mockers, that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." In other words, they say that the present order of nature can be extended back to the very beginning of things. All differences between creation and the present processes of natural law are smoothed out, according to them, and the past made like the present in all essential respects.

But the Bible declares that creation was radically different from the present processes of nature. For the record is that at the end of the creation, God "rested" or ceased from the progressive steps of creation week. And the Sabbath was given to mankind as a memo­rial of a completed creation. It is a perpetual protest against the theory that creation was like the processes of nature now going on. In other words, the Sabbath is a divine protest against the very essence of the evolution theory. And its timeliness for our day be­comes more manifest as we study such pas­sages as the one before us, together with the other passages quoted above.

My space will not permit me to expand on Peter's answer to these modern evolutionists—an answer based on the record of a universal flood as recorded in the book of Genesis. Peter quotes the record of the flood as proof that one great world catastrophe has hap­pened in the past, contrary to the false theory of uniformity; and he argues from this that another world destruction will take place in the future, this time by fire. Throughout the entire passage we have a most marvelous picture of the theories now prevailing in our modern world—denial by many of the second coming, because they have grown accustomed to explaining away creation, and also because they have become accustomed to ignoring the record of the destruction of the world by the flood.

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By GEORGE MCCREADY PRICE, Veteran Science Teacher, Pomona, California

March 1940

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