THE Bible is a fabric, and the doctrine of a direct, supernatural creation by a transcendent, personal God is part of the most elementary warp and woof of that fabric. What the foundation is to a house, what the root is to a tree, what the keystone is to an arch, what the skeleton is to a human body, what protoplasm is to all forms of animal and vegetable life, what the interlocking steel girders are to a skyscraper, what the cables are to a suspension bridge, what the keel is to a boat-so is the doctrine of a divine creation to the whole edifice of Scripture. It is the primal, elemental, all-pervading factor, the "irreducible minimum." It is the indispensable matrix and justification of the whole scheme of divine revelation. This initial Bible doctrine gives significance, coherence, relevance, and direction to all the rest.
God's creatorship and ownership are laid down in the Bible as the ultimate foundation of all revealed religion, all morality, all reverence, all worship. Creation is the most profound and unshakable absolute of Holy Scripture. Creation is the ultimate basis of divine authority. Creation is the ultimate soil from which all Christian obligations, duties, values, ideals, and standards of conduct grow. Creation is the ultimate justification for the divine claim to superiority over all false gods. Creation is the ultimate justification for all divine claims to love, loyalty, and obedience upon man. Creation is the ultimate justification for the doctrine of human accountability and divine judgment. Creation is incipient redemption-the seed or embryo from which the whole plan of salvation grows!
If we were to remove from the Bible all of the passages which affirm the doctrine of an outright creation by sovereign act of God, the Book would literally fall to pieces in our hands!
Consider just a few of the positive and unequivocal affirmations of creationism that are found in Holy Scripture:
(See Pdf for verse listings)
Creationism Is Deeply and Unshakably Rooted in the Heart of Man
Men everywhere have a wistful hunger for a transcendent God. This is what all thoughtful men want to be true. It is what they hope to be true. Whoever heard of a rational man who does not wish there is a God? Or who does not wish that God is almighty? Or who does not wish that God is kindly disposed toward him? Or who does not wish that God can be trusted? There is satisfaction in this world for all other instinctive hungers—is there no satisfaction for this one?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American philosopher, said: "When God wants to carry a point, He plants it in the instincts!" Accordingly, our Creator has planted an invisible ally in every human heart, namely, the instinct to believe, to wonder, to worship; the instinct to pray; the ineradicable conviction of the existence, integrity, and absolute sovereignty of Another Presence in the universe, who is infinitely greater, wiser, and holier than ourselves!
Consider for a moment the fruits of creationism. Creationism gives the largest and fullest value to human life and personality; the greatest stimulus to noble endeavor; the greatest hope in times of disillusionment; the greatest reinforcement in times of failure; the greatest reassurance and comfort in times of fear, grief, or disaster. Creationism fits the fundamental needs of the human heart, as a key fits a lock.
Creationism is the ultimate fountain of personal responsibility, of reverence, of decency, of self-respect and respect for others. It is the fountain of personal dignity, honor, truth, and integrity. It is the balance wheel of all true culture and of all enduring civilization.
a. The Intellectual Implications. If there were no transcendent and omnipotent God; if behind the mask of seeming reality there were no face; if behind the appearance of creative imagination, organization, beauty, and purpose there was only a vast emptiness, a soulless blank, a stupendous nothing, a mindless vacuum, the universe would be a gigantic cheat, a fake, a hollow mockery, a contradiction, a colossal lie!
There is in the heart of man a powerful and instinctive recoil against this bleak and barren philosophy. It is intellectually intolerable that nothing could give birth to something; that vacancy could give birth to mind; that impersonal matter could give birth to personality; that chaos could give birth to organization; that blind chance could give birth to design, adaptation, and purpose; that blundering, wanton, mindless force could give birth to beauty, precision, and harmony; that confusion could give birth to orderliness and law; that darkness could give birth to light; that death could give birth to life; that a vast, sterile darkness, emptiness, stillness, and silence could give birth to form, vibration, motion, energy, color, music, love, and joy!
If this philosophy were true, man would be an orphan in a trackless maze, and life would be self-contradictory and utterly meaningless.
Was there ever a wilder or more total incredibility than this? The whole intelligence of man revolts in indignant protest against such a jarring incongruity! It is too trivial, too paltry, too shallow, too frivolous for serious thought. To believe it would mean intellectual suicide!
Reject the hypothesis of an omnipotent, personal Creator, and you are obliged to endow impersonal matter, force, chance, evolution, or nature not merely with personal qualities but with all the attributes of a personal God. Why not acknowledge God from the start and be done with it?
b. The Ethical Implications. If creationism is not true, then it doesn't matter what a man believes or how lie behaves. The alternative to creationism is atheism, and total atheism spells total irresponsibility, anarchy, vandalism, and barbarism. Under this philosophy there is no such thing as authority, morality, reverence, honor, integrity, or decency. There is no such thing as beauty, truth, or goodness. There are no standards, no rules, no values, no ideals, no rewards. If a man has a brute's ancestry and a brute's destiny—why be bothered with inhibitions of any kind? All moral restraints and anchors are thrown away as if they were garbage, and man becomes the plaything of impulses that are as wanton, capricious, callous, and destructive as the whirlwind. The law of the jungle! The weak to the wall! The survival of the fittest! Every man for himself, and the devil take the hindmost! Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die! Outside the context of creationism these pagan maxims have as much dignity, authority, and meaning as the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, or the twenty-third psalm!
What decent, rational man would dare to live such a philosophy as that to the limit?
c. The Religious Implications. To many modern religionists, even to some professed Christians, the doctrine of creationism is no longer relevant. It does not disturb them in the least when the great creation passages of the Bible are classified as myth. However, the absolute integrity and dependability of the Bible doctrine of creationism is of the utmost importance and relevance to the Seventh-day Adventist Christian. It is the ultimate foundation of his whole house of faith.
Analyze the logic of creationism. If this be myth what other part of the Christian edifice can be allowed to stand? If the foundation be gone, how can the house survive? If we cannot believe the words of the Bible about Creation, how can we believe the words of the Bible about Christ? If we cannot believe what the Bible says about beginnings, how can we be sure of what it says about endings? If the Bible cannot be trusted when it speaks about the past, how can it be trusted when it speaks about the present or the future? If we cannot believe God's testimony when He speaks about His work of creation, why believe what He says about His work of redemption? Why believe His laws? Why believe His warnings? Why believe His promises?
Without creationism we are left groping in a bleak and menacing chaos of insoluble questions, doubts, confusions, contradictions, and apprehensions.
With creationism we are anchored to unshakable bedrock, where we have authority, reality, finality, consistency, satisfaction, security, vitality, companionship, comfort, and hope.
The total relevance of creationism has never been better expressed than in the following sensitive words:
No intangible principle, no impersonal essence or mere abstraction, can satisfy the needs and longings of human beings in this life of struggle with sin and sorrow and pain. It is not enough to believe in law and force, in things that have no pity; and never hear the cry for help. We need to know of an almighty arm that will hold us up, of an infinite Friend that pities us. We need to clasp a hand that is warm, to trust in a heart full of tenderness. And even so God has in His word revealed Himself.—Education, p. 133. (Italics supplied.)