Why couldn't God have made the universe instantaneously?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #22

Good point. I stuck to just two parts of Physics (astrophysics and radiometric decay). Many other fields could be covered in a similar fashion (geology, paleontology, biology, linguistics, archaeology, etc.).

(John Warren) #23

Why would it make the most sense?

(RiderOnTheClouds) #24

Because God is omnipotent

(Jay Johnson) #25

Absolutely. “Appearance of age” is the ultimate special pleading. Once we are willing to take that step, all bets are off. Anything and everything becomes a possibility. The only limit is the human imagination…

(GJDS) #26

This is a curious (and perhaps novel) view - Genesis states that God created Adam and Eve and they were in a place that differs radically from what we know as nature. Adam and Eve communicated with God - that to us if far more difficult for us than talking and walking. I must say that this outlook seems to me to be an attempt to state a dogma derived from a naïve view of how evolution may be ‘overlaid’ onto Genesis.

(Jay Johnson) #27

Oh, no, not a “dogma” by any means. It’s just a little something I like to call “logic,” but not everyone accepts its validity. :wink:

I haven’t shown you my view of that yet! It’s actually not too far from the view expressed by Fr. John Breck of the Orthodox Church in America. Fr. Breck was Professor of New Testament and Ethics at St. Vladimir’s Seminary and Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Ethics at St. Sergius Theological Institute, Paris, France.

(Randy) #28

Well yes, but in my church it comes from honest ignorance. They think that maturity of the earth would mean full grown trees and adult first couple, not evidence of mutation, vestigial organs, etc. If one says that the evidence if she meant a belly button and scar from appendectomy, that’s not what they mean…and I think they would understand better. It just shows how much there is to learn for all if us.

(Jay Johnson) #29

I’m sorry. What is “it”? On the rest, I agree that most folks just haven’t thought through their opinions on creation and Adam. But, if it doesn’t affect their faith one way or the other, I feel no great need to force them to “face facts.” I’m mainly concerned with the folks who cannot help but notice the facts around them, and they can’t help but seek answers.

Very true. Two years ago, when I showed up at BioLogos, I knew next to nothing about evolution because it wasn’t a problem for me. I had to educate myself in order to speak to those who do have a problem with it, because the conflict was destroying their faith. I have still barely scratched the surface of what there is to learn…

(GJDS) #30

I am sympathetic to the view that Genesis may pose more questions than answers to our scientific view, and I do not pretend to have a comprehensive/scientific/theological understanding (far from it :laughing:). However I feel that adding ;things’ that seem obvious to us does not make Genesis more comprehensible - for all it may be worth (:flushed: ) I try to grapple with what if given in Genesis, and than see if science can add anything to that.

So my point is to state what is there, and the central point is that a couple were placed in a garden and communed with God - a big, big, thing to consider.

(Randy) #31

Sorry! I meant the belief that God made the earth to look old. They think it is maturity, not evidence of age. I agree that I also have tons to learn. I sort of stopped learning evolution with a text by Gould in my capstone biology course, 23 years ago. I am amazed at your knowledge if it only started 2 years ago…but you have a theology or Bible background don’t you? That would help with answering a lot of those questions relevant here. I never took college level courses other than one from Moody in Acts, which I dropped because I could not keep up with the papers while working!

(Jay Johnson) #32

Just 20 years of study, a good memory, lots and lots of books, and a never-ending desire to learn more of the Lord. I suppose this is my form of loving God with all the mind, despite all the messiness and error it entails.

(Paul Allen) #33

What is the basis or assumption behind of these numbers - because I hear them quoted regularly?

(George Brooks) #34


I suppose the basic parameters of the numbers come from Ussher:

“James Ussher (or Usher; 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and church leader, who today is most famous for his identification of the genuine letters of the church father, Ignatius, and for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation as “the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004”; that is, around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 bc according to the proleptic Julian calendar.”

(George Brooks) #35


In case someone thinks Ussher was some kind of crank, or crackpot:

“Ussher’s chronology represented a considerable feat of scholarship: it demanded great depth of learning in what was then known of ancient history, including the rise of the Persians, Greeks and Romans, as well as expertise in the Bible, biblical languages, astronomy, ancient calendars and chronology. Ussher’s account of historical events for which he had multiple sources other than the Bible is usually in close agreement with modern accounts—for example, he placed the death of Alexander in 323 BC and that of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.”

“Ussher’s last extra-biblical co-ordinate was the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, and beyond this point he had to rely on other considerations. Faced with inconsistent texts of the Torah, each with a different number of years between Flood and Creation, Ussher chose the Masoretic version, which claims an unbroken history of careful transcription stretching back centuries - - but his choice was confirmed for him, because it placed Creation exactly four thousand years before 4 BC, the generally accepted date for the birth of the ‘Jesus’ of the Christian faith…”

“…moreover, he calculated Solomon’s temple was completed in the year 3000 from creation, so that there were exactly 1000 years from the temple to Jesus, who was thought to be the ‘fulfillment’ of the Temple. Ussher remains extremely popular amongst creationists, even though they reject his methodology of using the most up to date contemporary scientific, chronological, historical and biblical scholarship to date the age of the world.”


“Ussher’s work is now used to support Young Earth Creationism, which holds that the universe was created thousands of years ago (rather than billions). But while calculating the date of the Creation is today considered a controversial activity, in Ussher’s time such a calculation was still regarded as an important task, one previously attempted by many Post-Reformation scholars, such as Joseph Justus Scaliger and physicist Isaac Newton.”

(Timothy Willett) #36

I think it’s helpful to consider that from God’s perspective, creation was an act of emptying himself not “adding” something. God by definition is infinite so you can’t add anything to him. Infinite plus anything is still just infinite.

Thus for God to create, he had to empty himself and make room for creation.

As multiple people have already mentioned, salvation is about an ever increasing communion with God. Thus creation was created in need of salvation and then slowly God refilled his creation, until the final state would be “god will be all in all” and we will “be in the image of Christ”.

If he made the final product instantaneously, there wouldn’t really ever be a creation distinct from God, because everything would never have experienced a time of being anything distinct from God.

In the way he did, it however, his creation mirrors the ideal form of marriage of 2 different beings coming into complete union with one another.

Reading Genesis 1 as something that “already happened”, is in my opinion a mistake.

It’s a bit more of a symbolic/mystical account of creation depicting the world going from being void of the presence of God (chaos , darkness, no life) to filled with the presence of God (order, life and God resting in his temple).

Creation, thus is something that is still going on, which is hinted by the fact that the 7th day has no evening and morning and the New Heaven and earth in Revelation is described as having no night.

(Phil) #37

Good thought, Timothy. Also, I see you are pretty new here, so welcome to our little community. It is always good to hear fresh voices.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #38

Yes, there is. God is not a liar.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #39

Note the following is not a direct response to you Roger as I was being facetious when I wrote the question about Last Thursdayism. My post a little after outlines why I reject it for the same reasons you do in a 25 minute presentation I put together on the issue.

Now for the random thoughts of mine:

Interestingly enough, rejection of Last Thursdayism also implies a rejection of the special creation of Adam and Eve or any living thing ever. I’ve heard possible attempts at work arounds like with Hugh Ross with RTB suggesting that while fully grown, Adam would not have had any signs of say his skin aging by the sun and you could tell that he was just made a few minutes before if you inspected. You are still left with challenges that @Jay313 mentioned above AND the overwhelming evidence of common descent with other primates. So on the surface level perhaps you can have some signs that Adam is actually freshly off the press so to speak, but on the inside he contains hundreds of millions of years worth of genetic history that must have been implanted by God. This would be sufficient to reject any special creation of Adam and Eve regardless of whether or not one accepts other evidence of common descent.


In the book of Job, God remonstrates with Job about his inability to understand the complexity of the creation of the universe. Science points us in the direction of understanding, but only in a provisional way. Even then we have trouble keeping up with science. In the 20th Century, Einstein shared with the world his two theories of Relativity. Experiments tend to confirm the theories. I don’t pretend to have fully grasped his theories, but it does seem evident that time is a dimension of this universe, and its rate of flow is affected by the other three dimensions. For example, if we traverse across the other three dimensions approaching the speed of light, time itself slows down. If we compress the other three dimensions in a Black Hole, time may come to a complete stop. Time is thus a part of the Creation, and as an entity who pre-exists the Creation, God must exist outside of time. If so, what sense does it make to speak of God doing anything “instantaneously”?

I believe the theologians speak of all times being present to God. I am not sure I can get my head around that, so Job and I must have something in common!

God speaks to us, not only through the Bible, but also through Nature. The universe is created in, through and for the image of God in Christ. (Colossians 1: 15-16) What we hear and see in Nature thus provides us with a corrective concerning the genre of Biblical literature and the way we interpret it. To suggest that God has created the universe in such a way as to make us think it was created over billions of years when it was not, is to suggest that God is a great deceiver. That is a description and action attributed to Satan in the New Testament (Rev. 12:9) The idea seems to be that God acts in a way that contradicts his own nature just for the sake of some who want to preserve a literalist reading of the two Creation stories. That sounds to me like a genie coming out of a bottle for those who are clutching at straws.


I particularly believe that God did create everything instantly, including the future and the past (I accept the B theory of time in philosophy). Which I think is consistent with a God which lives outside of time (I don’t think God is subject to time). Thus I think that that issue is more about God creating a universe where the present and the past are causally related than to whether he could have made the universe in its present state without a past.