Creation or evolution / Article by Dieter Zimmer 00
The days of creation. / Article by Dieter Zimmer 01 2002-11/12
Is the earth the center of the universe? / Commentary by Andre
Aubert 00 2003-11/10
The interpretation of the Bible - a danger area? / Reply
by Christian Bollmeyer 00 2004-12-14
Would God have been able to create the whole universe in a single
instant? / Reply Peter Buschauer 00 2005-01-26
The search for intelligent life in the
Right on the very first page of the Bible we read: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the
earth" (Gen 1,1). It is a matter, then, of creation and not of evolution. That excludes any kind of accident, any kind
of development without the existence of God. In the beginning was not the Big Bang, but the eternal God. We may well
wonder where this bang can have come from. Where nothing exists, you won’t get a bang. Nothing will come of nothing.
Any schoolchild can tell you that. And if all life is thought to have developed from a unicellular organism, we may well
ask where this unicellular organism came from. From a combination of chemical elements? But where did the elements come
from? Did they originate from the Big Bang? But who caused the bang? Did it happen by chance? But who caused this chance
happening to occur?
Look at it from any angle you like - without an original author of creation, nothing could ever have come into existence.
+) This extract as well as the following quotations are taken from the article "Creation or evolution" by Dieter Zimmer, in "Philadelphia Kreuz und Reich" ["Philadelphia Cross and Kingdom"], no. 6/2002.
(Dieter Zimmer / https://www.philadelphia-verlag.com)
To come straight to the point - the article quoted above highlights the essential weaknesses of the
theory of evolution in a very accessible way, and the author also shows with great clarity the consequence of
evolutionist thinking: without God there is no creation, and so no evolution either - "nothing will come of nothing".
And he also points to the old trick of evolutionary theorists, who answer questions as to how things are supposed to have developed (Latin evolutio = development) by invariably postulating a prior phase of development, together with chance and lengthy periods of time. In accordance with the present state of scientific knowledge, however, this will at best only take us back as far as the Big Bang. When we put the question what there was before the Big Bang, or who was responsible for the Big Bang itself, the evolutionists are at a loss.
And here it is astonishing that even highly trained minds can attribute to chance or "Nature" an intelligence and creativity (in conjunction of course with extended periods of time) that they would otherwise not even be prepared to concede to a Nobel prize winner. If we were to assert to these people that a computer - say a PC - "develops" if we just leave a bunch of copper wires and a few kilos of plastic long enough to their own devices and the working of chance, they would probably conclude that we were out of our minds. And yet this is just what they are claiming with their theory of evolution.
(See also Discourse 81: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?")
But all this, now, applies only to matter - starting with the Big Bang, that is to say, and extending
from galaxies, stars and planets right through to vegetable and animal life on this earth. Scientists and evolutionists
are completely in the dark if we put the question how space or the universe is supposed to have developed - the
universe, that is, in which this matter was able to exist and expand, as it continues to do, and without which it could
not have come into being at all.
The Bible has the right answer to the question of the origin of these two phenomena - space and matter: it was God who created these things as a "creatio ex nihilo" - creation from nothing - without preliminary stages, without the operation of chance and without any extended periods of time. And rather in the same way as a human being resorts to planning in order to realize a complex project, and ensure after it is completed that the effects will last, so God’s creation too is based on a plan. We recognize this not just in the miracles of the macrocosm and in the billions of galaxies, some of which are traveling through space at the speed of light. The planned design of the creation is to be seen as well - and in particular - in the microcosm, as for example in the human body with its unbelievably complex functions, for many areas of which (the brain for instance) science even now has not been able to provide anything like a satisfactory explanation.
Now whereas the author’s first statements in the extract quoted above were entirely logical, and so could hardly be denied even by people of a different persuasion, the continuing course of his argument is questionable in a number of respects.
So the author opines:
"Does God really need millions of years to make something happen? If we open the Bible at
the first page - and we can be certain that the account we are given here is the accurate and infallible Word of God -
we find it stated that God’s creation of the world was a work of six days. This rules out the idea of millions of
In the first place, he postulates here that the Bible is the accurate and infallible Word of God. And
here, even as believing Christians, we must express certain reservations.
(See also Discourse 40: "Are there errors in the Bible?")
But if I am not mistaken, believing Christians can hardly be the audience that the author is hoping to
convince that the theory of evolution is wrong. For believing Christians it is an established fact that God created the
world. They do not need to be convinced of this. The argument thus must be addressed to those people who think that
evolution has all the answers - people, that is, who still deny that there ever was a creation.
And anyone who has discussed such matters with evolutionists knows very well that if you support your argument by referring to the Bible as the infallible Word of God, they will immediately make their point of view plain by asserting that the discoveries of science are more real than the information contained in the Bible. And with that the discussion has reached a point where neither party any longer listens to what the other has to say.
While we must completely agree with the author’s argument against life’s having evolved from a unicellular organism, we nonetheless have to correct his statements relating to the creation of the universe, both for the sake of intellectual honesty and in the interest of biblical truth. He writes here:
Now there are some very clever folks who tell us that the word used in Genesis 1 for ‘day’ does not
necessarily have to mean a day that contains 24 hours. It could also be an extended period of time. Theistic
evolutionists then stuff this period of time with millions of years.
We would refer, in this connection, to the Ten Commandments. What is God’s reason here for the injunction to keep the Sabbath holy? It is this: ‘For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy’ (Ex 20,11). So how long is a person supposed to work for - six days, or six epochs? And how long should he rest, for 24 hours or for an age? Well, really... - if God at this point means days of 24 hours, then he also means days of 24 hours in the account of creation. The same word cannot mean one thing in one passage, and something different in another. Anyone who attributes willful inconsistency to Scripture is a slovenly biblical commentator.
Days, what is more, only come about through the revolution of the earth. How long then must the earth have turned on its axis to begin with, to produce one day only after millions of years? And how long would the plants on the side turned away from the sun have survived without sunlight? Evolution? Surely not!
This extract is taken from the article "Creation or evolution" by Dieter Zimmer, in "Philadelphia Kreuz und Reich" ["Philadelphia Cross and Kingdom"], no. 6/2002.
(Dieter Zimmer / https://www.philadelphia-verlag.com)
This argument is reminiscent of the story of the boy whose playfellows were already at the door, waiting
for him to join them, when his mother told him to eat the soup which had just been put on the table. He thought he was
being smart in saying that he couldn’t eat the soup because he felt sick, supposing he would be able to go out and
play with his friends the sooner. But to his horror his mother grabbed him and put him to bed, saying "Seeing that you’re
ill, you’re not going out today at all".
It was a case of out of the frying pan into the fire - and the author’s argument suffers the same fate. His assertion that God created the world in days of 24 hours is the frying pan, as this circumstance is not to be proved but only to be believed. The attempt to make up for this deficiency, by explaining that the creation must have taken place in days of 24 hours because the earth’s intrinsic revolution of 24 hours results in the entire surface of the earth being turned to the sun in this time, so giving us a 24-hour day, is the fire into which he then falls.
If we take a look at the Bible, at Gen 1ff, we do find it stated at the end of each day of creation that "there was evening and there was morning":
The first day.
Gen 1,5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was
evening and there was morning, one day. Gen 1, 5;
The second day.
Gen 1,8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a
second day. Gen 1, 8;
The third day.
Gen 1,13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day. Gen 1,13;
According to the views of the author we have been quoting, at this point (Gen 1,13) three days of 24
hours must have gone by. And as he correctly argues, in this time the earth must have revolved on its axis three times,
so that it has been day three times on the side turned to the sun and night three times on the side turned away from the
But now it comes as a major shock when we are told, in the very next verses, that for these first three days there hasn’t been any sun in existence. Only on the fourth day does God make the two great lights: the greater light to govern the day - the sun - and the lesser light - the moon - to govern the night.
The fourth day: God made the two great lights.
Gen 1,14 Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate
the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 1,15 and let them be for
lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth"; and it was so.
1,16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. 1,17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 1,18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. 1,19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. Gen 1,14-19;
And here the author has some explaining to do. How can a 24-hour day - or any kind of day - happen on
earth, when God has not yet created the sun?
We must admittedly accept the earlier statement - that anyone who understands "day" in Gen 1,1 and "day" in Ex 20,11 in two different senses is "attributing willful inconsistency to Scripture" and so falling into into "slovenly" habits of biblical interpretation - if it is the case that the identity of these "days" can indeed be confirmed on the basis of Scripture. But as has been demonstrated above, this is not so. The "days" of Gen 1,1-13 cannot be normal days of 24 hours because the sun had not yet been created. This "slovenliness" of biblical interpretation is thus an attribute that may be applied to those who want to postulate the existence of a 24-hour day where in accordance with Scripture this cannot yet be the case, because the fundamental condition for any day’s existing at all - not to speak of a day of 24 hours - had not yet been created: namely the sun.
The attempt at this point to "bring forward" the creation of the heavenly bodies, putting it three days earlier, would again be a way of falling out of the frying pan and into the fire. In interpreting the Bible, the only latitude ever allowed us is that of examining what translators have translated and commentators have supplied. It is not our business to "transpose" the original text - not unless Scripture itself gives us an unambiguous indication in this respect. Seeing that this is not the case here, naturally what Scripture says must in this case be taken as valid. Otherwise the evolutionists could fault us by pointing out that on the one hand, with reference to the significance of the "days", we are taking our stand on the authority of Scripture, while on the other, in connection with the creation of the heavenly bodies, we are ignoring the Bible’s unambiguous statements and pushing them around to suit our personal preference.
Incidentally, the short-sightedness of this theory of a day of creation lasting 24 hours is shown in the fact that even today it is by no means the case that we have a 24-hour day on earth everywhere and universally. The meteorologists engaged in climatic research in Franz Josef Land in the Arctic have to get used to a day that lasts half a year, and a night of the same length.
Of course we can ask ourselves why it is that in some Christian groups the fallacious view that all the days of creation, according to Scripture, must have been days of 24 hours is so often advanced. An incapacity to understand what one reads can hardly be supposed as the reason, seeing that anyone who expresses an opinion - in writing, what is more - must have attained to a certain level of intellect.
But neither is the alternative - that these people actually have not read Gen 1-13 - at all plausible, as we must assume that these are believing Christians and so conscious of their responsibility to God and to humanity.
The only explanation left to us is the same that we hit upon repeatedly in connection with many other thematic issues of biblical interpretation (the bride of the Lamb, the woman in heaven, the time of the Rapture - to mention just a few) - namely, that these people are adopting, more or less uncritically, those views and interpretations that have been brought forward without being substantiated by any detailed analysis years and decades, or even in some cases centuries ago, and since then have been copied over and over again by superficial or self-indulgent commentators.
(See also Discourse 15: "Who is the bride of the Lamb?")
(See also Discourse 16: "Will the Rapture take place before the Great
(See also Excursus 10: "The woman in heaven.")
Even at the time of Copernicus, who realized that the earth orbits around the sun (the heliocentric
picture), people were still arguing for the supposedly biblical opposite point of view, according to which the earth is
situated at the midpoint of the universe and the entire universe therefore revolves around the earth (the geocentric
picture). Johannes Calvin (1509-1564), the Swiss Reformer, asserted at the time that any movement of the earth
"was impossible in the light of the teaching of the Bible", while Martin Luther (1485-1546)
said: "The fool (sc. Copernicus) will stand the whole science of astronomy on its head." And it was just such
leading divines who by appealing to the teachings of the Bible for a long time prevented Copernicus from publishing
these new discoveries - which our author will not venture to cast doubt on today.
If we now seriously analyze the account of the creation given in the Bible, we find that these old interpretations fall seriously short. With his command "Let there be light" God the Almighty did not just create this little sun of ours - rather, this was the moment of the Big Bang, when the entire universe was suddenly bathed in unimaginably brilliant light as if with billions and trillions of suns, when light came into existence for the first time and lit up the darkness of space.
God created everything in one supreme act of creation, and so what science has discovered up to today in the way of serious facts about the coming into being of the universe (not about the fictitious evolution of man!) is nothing other than God’s "handwriting" in his creation. Those theologians who want to see Holy Scripture - the Word of God - as being in contradiction with these new discoveries, and think it is up to them to defend Scripture against science, are in actual fact only defending their own intellectual laziness, their own reluctance to come to grips with these findings and with their implications for the statements made in Scripture. If we are convinced that the creation is the work of God and the Bible is the Word of God, we have no reason to be scared of the results of scientific research when these are such as demand to be taken seriously. Whatever science discovers, it cannot be anything other than what God has previously created - which therefore cannot possibly contradict what we are told in the Bible.
(See also Excursus 12: "The Creation.")
best thanks for your wonderful summing up of god’s plan and the deep reverence and clear
acknowledgement of his words. on the development of the earth and the question whether it is the center of god’s
creation or not, i would like to make the following contribution - stephen hawkins says that all stars and all matter in
the universe are expanding steadily as a result of the impulse given by the big bang. but if we now look for the center
from which everything expands, where it seems logical to suppose that the big bang occurred, we must take the view that
the center is this earth, seeing that all the stars are steadily receding from it. stephen says that this is naturally
hard to refute, as we cannot take measurements from any other point except here where we are. according to his theory,
though, it should be assumed that this perception is common to all parts of the universe - the center, that is to say,
is wherever you are when you are carrying out the measurements. this would fit in with the father’s gift of authority
to the son, who is the beginning and end of all things, behold i am with you forever, until the end of the world.
likewise as david says in the psalms - though i should take the wings of morning and fly into the uttermost parts of the
earth, even there shouldst thou be with me, and with him of course is also the beginning and the end. with joy in the
truth of god’s revelation.
Andre Aubert firstname.lastname@example.org
I am fully in agreement with your views here. The universe is indeed expanding, as is well known (as
shown by the Doppler effect), and thus the starting point of this movement (the Big Bang) could theoretically have been
anywhere. However this phenomenon is restricted, so far as I know, to the galaxies, which are all moving away from one
another. The stellar systems within a galaxy remain on the whole stable in their relative positions. Thus our solar
system has a relatively fixed position in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and is moving (in the general expansion) only
together with the galaxy, in relation to other galaxies.
If now, looking at it from a scientific point of view, we would like to assume a home source for the starting point of the expansion or Big Bang, we would have to relate it to the entire galaxy - it could not be limited just to our single planet as you propose ("that the center is this earth…").
At all events I can concur with your views to a certain extent, as I also hold that the creation of the earth happened independently of and before the development of our stellar or solar system. Here I am following the statements of Holy Scripture in Gen 1,9-13 and 14-19, where we are told of the creation of the earth, and only after this of the creation of the sun - that is to say, the solar system. The fact that the coming into being of the moon is also mentioned at this point invites the conclusion that our solar system, with the sun and all the planets, came into being in an astrophysical and "natural" manner, just like other systems, whereas the earth was created by God in a unique creative act.
(See also the table in Excursus 12: "Table: The
Creation - the universe and the earth.")
From this, then, we could also infer that our solar system, our galaxy and even the entire universe was
created by God, so that this planet earth might then be positioned in this universe, this galaxy and this solar system
at this one specific point where - uniquely in the entire universe - all the conditions on and around the planet were to
be met with (water, air, oxygen, limited temperature range etc. etc.) which make it possible for humanity to survive in
a viable environment.
One of the major weaknesses of science, or the sciences, is precisely this point - namely that the planet earth is located in this very specific position. People try to turn this around, by claiming that it is just because of the conditions that favor life that life has actually developed here on this earth. But in view of the many shamefaced and unsuccessful attempts to find human beings, living creatures, or even organic life, unicellular organisms, water, air, oxygen etc. on other planets, an increasingly flailing and threadbare argument seems to emanate from scientific circles today.
Well, I had approached the passage (Gen 1,1 / FH) in a spirit of juridical precision, so that I
assumed that ‘earth’ actually means the earth (in the sense of the planet). This assumption is unanimously confirmed
by the five biblical translations I have been able to consult (unfortunately I don’t have Buber’s). Plainly Buber’s
‘literal’ translation conveys something more, and reveals more of the detail. Against this background, the view of
the creation of the world and the other heavenly bodies that is expressed in Excursus 12 also becomes a lot more
plausible - at any rate if we assume that the account in Gen 1 does not start with the earth itself, but rather with the
universe as a whole. In my Bible (Scofield, rev. Elberfelder), I could find no indication whatever in the text. Hence
too my clearly over-hasty conclusion that a ‘day’ means a day in the sense of 24 hours. All the same, I have taken
the text of the Bible as my starting point and have based my conclusions on this firm foundation. It may well be that
there are points I have missed as a result, but this calls for interpretation, and interpretation is a danger area,
because as we know different people can arrive at completely different results. Hence my caution.
Christian Bollmeyer, Hamburg / email@example.com
The interpretation of the Bible is indeed a danger area. As we see from the above, just the word "earth"
calls for us to specify whether we mean the planet, or quite simply the soil, the dust of the ground from which God made
Adam - or perhaps just the matter that is common to both of them. This is why it is so important, especially in
connection with such crucial passages, that we stay as close as possible to the original text - as Martin Buber and
Franz Rosenzweig (who sadly died before the work was complete) take such pains to do in their translation from the
Hebrew. They even go to the lengths of creating new German words in order to reproduce the meaning of the original
Hebrew as faithfully as possible.
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep.
Gen 1,1 In the beginning God created the heavens
and the earth. 1,2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was
over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the
surface of the waters. Gen 1,1-2;
In the very first verses of the Bible we at once recognize the difference between the conventional translations (which
have hardly been subjected to any fundamental analysis for centuries) and that of Martin Buber. While other translations
of Gen 1,2 more or less concur in saying
"The earth was formless and void"
for "formless and void" - in Hebrew "tohuwabohu"
- in Buber’s version this becomes
"Die Erde aber war Irrsal und Wirrsal" ["But
the earth was error and confusion"].
On a superficial view we might perhaps not think the difference particularly deserving of attention. The
careful reader, though, will quickly recognize that if the earth was really "error" it could hardly be "formless",
and if it was "confusion" it definitely cannot have been "empty".
Or when the traditional version goes on to say
"and darkness was over the surface of
we find in Buber’s version
"Finsternis über Urwirbels Antlitz" ["darkness
over primeval vortex face"].
While the "deep" is a concept with which we are thoroughly familiar, "darkness over face of
primeval whirl" is hardly a standard expression for us. This forces us, when we try to interpret the passage, to
rethink the significance and the implications not just of this term, but of the whole verse and perhaps even the whole
of this section.
For centuries the conclusion of this verse has been much the same:
"and the Spirit of God
was moving over the surface of the waters".
And here again Buber finds novel German expressions:
"Braus Gottes schwingend über dem Antlitz der Wasser" ["Effervescence
of God swinging over the face of the waters"].
Significantly, Buber call his work not a translation but a "Germanization". And he speaks of the
problems posed by earlier Old Testament translations in his introduction, in the following words:
"The original characters that were first penned, along with the words and the sense, have
been thoroughly overlaid by standard conceptions - some of theological, others of literary origin - so that what a
person reads today when he opens ‘the Book’ is so far removed from that listening speech that has here been set down
that we would have every reason to regard such pseudo-understanding as inferior to the shoulder-shrugging indifference
of people who ‘can’t be doing with this stuff’. This applies not only to the reading of translations, but also to
the reading of the original: even the Hebrew sounds have lost their immediacy for a reader who is no longer a listener -
they have been penetrated by a voiceless form of theological or literary loquaciousness, being compelled as a result to
utter a compromise based on the spiritual developments of two millennia rather than the spirit to which they originally
lent a voice. The Hebrew Bible itself is read as a translation, and as a bad translation - a translation into a stock
terminology, into terms that are supposedly familiar but in reality are no more than common currency. Instead of a
reverent familiarity with the sense and the sensuousness of the words, we now find a mixture of uninformed respect and
This "uninformed respect" to which Buber refers is also a major risk when we seek to interpret
Scripture. The Bible has been repeatedly presented by theologians as the "inerrant Word of God". But if we look into
the knowledge and understanding of Scripture that such people have, we often find that they themselves have taken very
little thought about the content and real meaning of the Bible - instead, in an almost Pavlovian way, they are just
rehashing interpretations that have been traded around for centuries.
The same complex of problems is also addressed by the well-known scriptural commentator Werner de Boor (Wuppertaler Studienbibel [Wuppertal Study Bible]) in his interpretation of Paul’s Epistles to the Philippians and the Colossians:
"(... to ‘read’ the Bible means) to turn to a passage with a selfless openness in
which I can faithfully and exactly take in what the passage is really saying, and set aside all my own habitual and
favored trains of thought which otherwise would immediately penetrate or creep into my understanding of the text. What
serious effort, what dauntless struggle, goes into this genuine mode of ‘reading’! - when whole churches and
communities, on the other hand, are all too prone to see passages of the Bible immediately and exclusively in the light
of their familiar dogmas, simply as a matter of course, and without the remotest idea that Scripture itself says and
means something very different. But this applies to us too, in our personal Bible study - how difficult it is for us
really to ‘read’ these texts! We have grown up with ideas that are so familiar to us that we take them to be correct
and ‘biblical’ without question. We have certain favorite thoughts - perhaps closely linked to decisive spiritual
experiences we may have had - which form and dominate us without our being aware of it. We then involuntarily read all
this into the biblical passage we are looking at, and do not notice that we are no longer really ‘reading’ it but
are attaching our own feelings and opinions to the words of Scripture. We glorify Holy Scripture, we proclaim it to be
the one rule and guiding thread, the unerring Word of God; but when it comes down to the practical level, we quickly
bounce off the biblical text into our favored mental ruts, rather than having enough reverence for the Word of God to
engage in the careful and painful labor of finding out what is written there, and what the text itself actually states.
You can open the Bible anywhere you like in some good Christian groups, and find that what is actually written is not a
matter of interest to them at all - people just do not assimilate it, instead they quickly go on to talk about the same
monotonous verities that this group treats with particularly high regard. This leaves us still poor, and may actually
distort our growth - at all events we fail to benefit from the full depth of the treasure that God offers us in his
This may perhaps suggest that the statement in the reply quoted above - "All the same, I have taken
the text of the Bible as my starting point and have based my conclusions on this firm foundation" - should be seen in
a relative light. As for the interpretation of the "days" of Gen 1,1 to which my friend Mr Bollmeyer also refers,
perhaps I might yet again have recourse to his background in law for the argument that follows. As has been fully
demonstrated in the light of the relevant scriptural passages, both at the outset of this Discourse and still more so in
Excursus 12 God the Almighty did not create the sun until the fourth day. In the first three
days of creation, Scripture tells us, the earth may well have existed but the sun did not. But seeing that it is
actually the sun that constitutes the basis for our 24-hour days, the first three days of creation cannot possibly have
been days of that kind. It is on a par with the juridical question as to whether a person who has not (yet) committed a
murder can fairly be described as a murderer.
Mr Bollmeyer’s final remark - "... but this calls for interpretation, and interpretation is a danger area, because as we know different people can arrive at completely different results. Hence my caution." - can now also be explained in the light of what Werner de Boor tells us in the above passage. We only have to open the Bible and start reading, and right away we are fully embarked on interpretation. We can hardly read a single line of Scripture without immediately falling into "our favored mental ruts" - in thought, and to a large extent unconsciously - and this often prevents us from recognizing the actual background to the passage we are reading. Instead our old, well-worn conceptions will be conjured up - "ideas that are so familiar to us that we take them to be correct and ‘biblical’ without question."
But this means that if we do so much as to read Scripture we are of necessity and invariably - whether or not we are conscious of it - going to be involved in interpretation. It follows that we should not make a point of being on our guard against interpretation - rather we should endeavor to be open-minded, critical and exact, in order to research into the real significance of the written words and perhaps succeed in discovering new connections. Of course there are many Christian circles where such an attitude will attract suspicion, or even rejection and exclusion. But the important thing about biblical interpretation, after all, is not to uphold a random set of dogmas or hang onto traditional errors, but quite the opposite: it should be our concern to show up and put right ancient, encrusted and above all false conceptions that have been formulated over centuries as a result of the superficiality and personal ambition of individual biblical interpreters and commentators - this on the basis of meticulously accurate analysis that is thoroughly grounded in Scripture.
Finally, two more considerations with reference to the topic with which we are here concerned, that of the story of the Creation:
1. If in this report in the first chapter of Genesis God communicates to us every single step of the
process of creation, extending from the creation of the earth, the heavenly bodies, the plants, the animals right
through to the human race, why should this account not include any mention of the creation of the universe itself, and
above all of the very first act of God’s Creation, namely the creation of space and matter?
2. If we are reluctant to regard the first day of Creation in Gen 1,1 as the creation of the
universe, God’s command in Gen 1,3, "Let there be light", would not mean the very first appearance of light in
existence in the universe, and the filling of space with a radiance as if coming from billions and trillions of suns -
instead it would just be referring to the light of our own, comparatively minute sun, the creation of which would then
in any case be duplicated by the subsequent report in Gen 1,16.
Does God exist?
Recently I saw a documentary program given by and involving
Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and theoretical physicist, on "The Origin of the Universe from a Scientific Point of View".
As an illustrative example to underline his final conclusion that there is no God,
he got a workman to march across the steppes with a shovel and then dig out a
(Watch video by and involving Stephen Hawking, The
Origin of the Universe from a Scientific Point of View.)
And similarly the idea of some scientists that the Big Bang arose
from the collision of two different universes only relocates the problem. You can
postulate as many universes as you like, but the question still remains who created
the first one. But I am quite confident that within the next hundred years we will
have the conclusive answer to the question, demonstrating that God actually does
(See also Discourse 122: "Still
224 years to go till the Millennium")
As I have already indicated, I have been having some thoughts about your Excursus on "The Creation".
I hope you will understand what I am trying to say here.
If I have understood this Excursus correctly, you take as your starting point the idea that God created space and primal matter, and then caused the latter to explode. By means of this ‘big bang’ God launched evolution on its course, and so over billions of years created the universe that we find today.
I am absolutely not a scientific expert, but I suppose that the scientific theory of the coming into being of the universe is the logical consequence of extremely far-ranging observations, measurements and calculations (to express it in a simplified manner).
Now just assuming that the scientific theory of the coming into being of the universe is correct, God could nonetheless have created the whole universe, earth included, as it is today in the space of an instant, without anything being the least bit different in the facts that are today known to science.
In just the same way it is also possible that in these six days of Creation (however long they may have lasted) God did not need billions of years, but simply spoke, and there it was. (I think that when God speaks the effect just has to happen, without any need of prior development.) Here again, this would make no difference to the observations, measurements and calculations - or even the actual results - of science today.
The thing that disturbs me about science is that even in connection with so-called facts which compel the recognition that there is a creator God (like the explosion of primal matter), science nonetheless denies his existence. The fundamental principles of today’s science exclude God, and so in my view must be based on false foundations.
As for the scientific facts about the coming into being of the universe (evolution), I find myself inclined to ask - In what way do they actually differ from a theory? And as science in its inmost being takes it for granted that there is no creator God as he is presented in the Bible, but rather is moving towards the belief (if it has not reached it already) that there is an intelligent power that acts in accordance with certain cosmic laws, and that will lead us to perfection if we adopt the right techniques (I am thinking of New Age type ideas), I find it difficult to imagine that scientific theories can be made to agree with the biblical account of Creation. The Bible, God’s Word, is the only thing on which we can really rely when it is a matter of finding out the truth.
If science were to take the facts of the Bible just as seriously as it does its observations and measurements, and involve the biblical facts in its calculations and attempts to explain things (which doesn’t apply just to the coming into being of the universe but to all other areas as well), there would be nothing left for this world to do but to stand amazed and give its Creator the honor to which He is entitled.
In connection with the theme of "light", Rev 21,23 comes to mind. The scientists of this world have enough facts available to make it possible for them to recognize God, but only very few of them draw the correct conclusion and opt for a life under the direction of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ said, ‘No one comes to me unless the Father draws him.’ Then another verse also comes into my mind - ‘The word of the Cross is a folly to those who go to perdition, but for us it is the power of God.’
I would be very pleased to hear your comments.
Peter Buschauer Buschauer Peter,Annette,Susanna / https://members.vol.at/buschauermusik/Index.html)
To make this Discourse a bit more interactive, I will provide separate comments on the various remarks
made by this visitor (in black frames) to the website.
"If I have understood this Excursus correctly, you take as your starting point the idea that God
created space and primal matter..."
This is not just an idea of mine, but a fact - a conditio sine qua non for the entire business of
creation. Without space and matter there could be no sun, no earth, nor anything else. It is rather as if you were to
say, "You take as your starting point the idea that God created Adam." There isn’t any doubt about that, surely?
"...and then caused the latter to explode. By means of this ‘big bang’ God launched evolution on
its course, and so over billions of years created the universe that we find today.
I am absolutely not a scientific expert, but I suppose that the scientific theory of the coming into being of the universe is the logical consequence of extremely far-ranging observations, measurements and calculations (to express it in a simplified manner)."
That is correct. The theory of the Big Bang was worked out by George Gamov amongst others, who in
1949 predicted the discovery of the background radiation (the residual radiation left over from this massive explosion,
and still to be found in the universe). Two American radio astronomers, Penzias and Wilson, discovered
this cosmic background radiation in 1965, more or less by accident, when calibrating a microwave antenna which they
planned to use to search for astronomic sources that could generate radio interference. This discovery resulted in their
being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1978.
(See in this connection a report published by the University of Karlsruhe, "Die Grundlagen der Urknalltheorie" ["The Foundations of the Theory of the Big Bang"], (https://fam-pape.de/raw/ralph/studium/urknalltheorie/)
"Now just assuming that the scientific theory of the coming into being of the universe is correct, God
could nonetheless have created the whole universe, earth included, as it is today in the space of an instant, without
anything being the least bit different in the facts that are today known to science."
Of course! Certainly he could have done so. But did he? Let me
suggest to you a parallel case, by way of illustration: when the Lord Jesus set
out to feed the five thousand (Mk 6,30-45), it would have been possible to him
to bring it about through the Holy Spirit that these five thousand people should
have their hunger satisfied in a moment. But did he do this? No, he did not.
Instead he took the five loaves and two fishes that were available, and divided
them up among the multitude until they had all eaten their fill, and there were
still twelve baskets of bread and fish left over. The Bible shows us that God,
in his creation, always acts with his creation and also keeps Himself to
the laws of nature that he has established. Adam, similarly, was not "conjured
up" by God, but created from the already existing matter (dust of the ground).
"In just the same way it is also possible that in these six days of Creation (however long they may
have lasted) God did not need billions of years, but simply spoke, and there it was. (I think that when God speaks the
effect just has to happen, without the need of prior development.)""
Yes, certainly. But in just the same way it is equally possible that God opted for billions of years -
which in comparison with God’s eternity would be no more than a moment -
to let his creation develop itself
in accordance with his plan.
God created Adam, too, and thereby he existed. But this does not mean that humanity has not developed in any way since then. Things will happen when God wants them to happen, and not when we think that they are bound to happen.
"Here again, this would make no difference to the observations, measurements and calculations - or
even the actual results - of science today.""
That is perfectly correct.
"The thing that disturbs me about science is that even in connection with so-called facts which compel
the recognition that there is a creator God (like the explosion of primal matter), science nonetheless denies his
existence. The fundamental principles of today’s science exclude God, and so in my view they must be based on false
And here too I am in complete agreement with you. Please do not confuse my
above point of view with that of an
advocate of science! I completely share your misgivings (including those expressed in the next extract), and take the
view that scientists are in a special position of insight which should enable them to recognize that there is a creator
God. But their human arrogance and spiritual folly prevents them from recognizing
(accepting?) God as the Creator.
So I am not arguing here for any scientific point of view - my position is rather one of biblical pragmatism. Here is a trivial example, to make matters clearer: Scripture tells us that "God created man" (Gen 1,27). Now medical research has shown that human beings have a brain, a heart, lungs and so on. These are acknowledged facts, and so we can conclude from this that God created man with a brain, a heart (the organ), lungs etc. etc., which we would not know from Scripture alone. Just that and nothing else is my approach here.
"As for the scientific facts about the coming into being of the universe (evolution), I find myself
inclined to ask - In what way do they actually differ from a theory? And as science in its inmost being takes it for
granted that there is no creator God as he is presented in the Bible, but rather is moving towards the belief (or has
reached it already) that there is an intelligent power that acts in accordance with certain cosmic laws, and will lead
us to perfection if we adopt the right techniques (I am thinking of New Age type ideas), I find it difficult to imagine
that scientific theories can be made to agree with the biblical account of Creation."
I also find it difficult to imagine. I think that science is already much too far removed from any
knowledge of God ever to get back to it again. But that is not the thing I am concerned with. I do not want to make
scientific theories agree with the account of Creation, but rather to understand and explain the account of Creation in
the light of serious scientific findings available to us. It is a sad fact that for the most part scientific research is
carried on by those who deny the existence of God. All the same, they of all people cannot deny the existence of
realities (even if they don’t have any thought of God when conducting their research), and so the results they come up
with - those that deserve to be taken seriously - enable us to recognize the "handwriting" of God in the created
A further brief example showing that serious scientific results are just bound to confirm the truth of the Bible is the maximum age attainable by human beings, known as the ‘Hayflick limit’. This has to do with the chromosomes and their propagation methods. Chromosomes are long, spindle-shaped structures made up of DNA. The mechanism of their propagation involves the fact that every time they divide they lose a bit of their ends, known as the telomers. The total available length of these thus determines the maximum age that it is possible for human beings to attain to. And some 30 years ago this biological upper limit was experimentally demonstrated by Leonard Hayflick, Professor of Anatomy at the University of California in San Francisco, thus finding out what God the Almighty had resolved in Gen 6,3 after the Flood:
My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.
Gen 6,3 Then the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever,
because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." Gen 6, 3;
(See also Excursus 08: "The first and the second death.")
"The Bible, God’s Word, is the only thing on which we can really rely when it is a matter of finding
out the truth."
My study of Scripture started 37 years ago, and you can believe me when I tell you that I am pretty
familiar with the Bible. All the same, we need to be cautious with our generalizations. For instance, Scripture says
nothing about jet planes. Does that mean that such things do not exist? You see, here we must involve reality with our
scriptural study, and establish a connection. Not of course necessarily with reference to jet planes, but purely as a
matter of principle.
"If science were to take the facts of the Bible just as seriously as it does its observations and
measurements, and involve the biblical facts in its calculations and attempts to explain things (which doesn’t apply
just to the coming into being of the universe but to all other areas as well), there would be nothing left for this
world to do but to stand amazed and give its Creator the glory to which He is entitled."
My own opinion exactly. But what prevents us, actually, from taking the serious discoveries to which
scientific research gives rise, with all its calculations and explanations, and bringing this into agreement with the
biblical facts - so offering those who are willing to understand and to believe the possibility of giving glory to our
"In connection with the theme of ‘light’, Rev 21,23 comes to mind."
Rev 21,23 And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the
glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. Rev 21,23;
Yes indeed, God is light, and the light that there is in this
universe emanated from him - it cannot, after all, have been otherwise - at the
beginning of the Creation. Light is energy and energy can be neither created nor
destroyed, as is known, it can only be transformed from one form into another.
Every energy - "creation", which man carries out, is only a transformation of
energy (e.g. from wind energy, solar energy, water energy, atomic energy etc.
Therefore also the light existing in the universe has an eternal existence and can come only from God, the Eternal. With his command "Let there be light" in Gen 1,3, God the Almighty did not just create this little sun of ours - rather, this was the moment of the Big Bang, when the entire universe was suddenly bathed in unimaginably brilliant light as if with billions and trillions of suns, when light came into existence for the first time and lit up the darkness of space.
And yet this created world will pass away.
From whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
Rev 20,11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence
earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. Rev 20,11;
And God will create a new heaven and a new earth (in a new universe, perhaps?).
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
Rev 21,1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first
earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. Rev 21, 1;
But before this happens, God - as at the time of the Flood - will change heaven and earth yet once more,
in order to prepare the earth that has been desecrated and laid waste by human beings for the Millennial Kingdom of
Peace of his Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is also the Messiah of the Jews.
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they broke the everlasting covenant.
Isa 24,3 The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the
LORD has spoken this word. 24,4 The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the
people of the earth fade away. 24,5 The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws,
violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 24,6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in
it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Isa 24, 3- 6;
Heaven and earth will be shaken and transformed.
Hbr 12,26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet
once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven." 12,27 This expression, "Yet once
more," denotes the transformation of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things
which cannot be shaken may remain. Heb 12,26-27;
(See also Chapter 08: "The reorganization of heaven and earth.")
"The scientists of this world have enough facts available to make it possible for them to recognize
God, but only very few of them draw the correct conclusion and opt for a life under the direction of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. Jesus Christ said, ‘No one comes to me unless the Father draws him.’ Then another verse also comes into my
mind - ‘The word of the Cross is a folly to those who go to perdition, but for us it is the power of God.’"
Yes, indeed it is!
The search for intelligent life in the universe.
For decades humanity has been trying – with massive
scientific research, and enormous financial and material outlay – to
investigate the cosmos in search of intelligent life. For any correctly
believing Christian and one familiar with the Bible, however, this is just
money thrown away, which would have been better spent on aid to the needy
of this world.