FAITH IN GENESIS 1
By J. Bellott, MSEE
What is involved with faith in 6-day Creation of the earth and the universe per Genesis 1?
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that the Bible is the Word of God (the Greek translates as the Bible is “God-breathed”). Creation of the earth and the universe is told in Genesis 1.
God created the world as a world in progress. He created it to look old recently (about 6000 years ago by many scholarly estimates) for all of the many advantages to the way he created it. The earth is a living laboratory of science that helps us study the laws of science God created and their effect on the earth over time. For God, it was simple to just adjust what matter He created and it’s radiation levels (this is how scientists measure the age of igneous rock in the earth’s layers) when putting together mountains, canyons, plateaus, and all of the other amazing features of the earth’s landscape that appear to have different ages. His divine construction reveals, scientifically, how these things and the matter underground changes over time in a completely scientifically consistent manner. The detail in God’s Creation is a superlative example of His omnipotence and glory.
The Bible says in Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’”
GEOLOGICAL AND CREATION TIMELINES
We need to look at Creation as a subject related to faith, like all subjects in the Bible. We can note that the Creation timeline of faith goes back 6000 years. Also, there is a geological timeline of science that God provided extending back to the infinite past on the earth and in the universe. The oldest volcanic rock on earth is about 4.5 billion years old, based on its low radiation levels. There is a lot in Creation to give us a sense of awe about God.
God, in His Grace, made the earth in such a way that we can learn about the laws of science that apply to geology, chemistry, and physics by observing their effects over time as represented in Creation. The old age appearance of the earth gives us a view of how the earth will continue to age into the future. I think he wanted us to have these pieces of information, only made available by His decision to create the earth with an old age appearance.
With the old age appearance design, he was able to include from the get-go matter and structures that would take far more than 6000 years to form, including diamonds, coal, oil, gas, the Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and an abundance of other natural resources and wonders of nature. Genesis 1 tells us the story of the sequence He followed during the week of Creation - a record of Creation that He gave us to understand as a matter of faith.
As a matter of faith, God created the fossil layers on the earth recently. Why would He have created mineralized fossils of animals of the past that never lived? One answer is their usefulness to mankind as another piece of scientific information on the geological timeline. The fossils themselves give off no radiation, but scientists have been able to place the layers of fossils that exist on the geological timeline by measuring the age of the igneous rocks in nearby layers. Then, where fossils of an identified time period exist elsewhere on earth, a geological time reference for that terrain can be established.
Courtesy Nasa Web Photos
A VIEW OF THE EARTH FROM SPACE
The fossils are invaluable in helping man locate underground resources found at certain ages on the geological timeline. For example, fossils from the Carboniferous Period are associated with the presence of coal in the same period. Other fossils from the Jurassic Period indicate the age when oil was formed. An earth core drilling sample that discovers these fossils represents a good place to prospect for oil. In a similar manner, other fossils indicate the type and age of strata where they are found, and point to the possible existence of other resources valuable to man.
The fossils are examples of God’s handiwork for us to think about and enjoy today. Perhaps they are examples of plants and animals that He could have created for each time period in the geological timeline. As a matter of faith, He created them recently and placed them on the geological timeline. Not only are “fossil fuels” available to us, but also we have fossilized information represented in the geological timeline about the plants from which oil was formed, in addition to fossils of the dinosaurs whose teeth were just right for eating those plants! Again, the history information that God created and placed on the geological timeline is scientifically consistent throughout.
Not just fossil fuels, but also other valuable resources including iron, tin, and copper currently exist in their present locations with good accessibility because of complex series of events in ancient times that scientists have identified on the geological timeline by studying the science of geology. In the case of copper and tin, geologists believe that they dissolved deep underground in brine (saltwater) and were carried and deposited at the earth’s surface in ancient times by geothermal circulation of the brine above hot underground magma. Copper and Tin can be mined on the earth’s surface using open pit mining. As a matter of faith, the underground magma, brine, copper, and tin were created by God recently and given an old age appearance on the geological timeline in a manner consistent with the earth’s geological science.
Similarly, iron oxide (used by the iron industry) is abundantly available in bands inside rocks with shale that scientists believe formed on the bottoms of ancient oceans. Today many of these deposits are close to the earth’s surface because of changes to the earth’s topography over the eons including continental drift. As a matter of faith, God created these resources recently as a blessing and placed them on the geological timeline in a scientifically consistent manner.
Some Christians who are science-minded who believe the story of Creation in Genesis 1 think that fossils of human-like remains (hominids, including Neanderthals) were placed in the ancient past on the geological timeline as a test of faith by God. God tested man in the Bible. An example was God’s test of Abraham’s faith after He told him that Isaac would be the first in a generation of people who would number like the stars in the sky. Unlike Neanderthal fossils in Europe, Christians believe that Adam and Eve looked like people today and were created recently on the sixth day of Creation when God’s Word states that He created man in His image.
Pre-historic fossils of human-like beings are not a blessing to man. They seem to represent a test of faith.
The fossil record is not proof of the theory of evolution; it is a secular theory. To Christians who have faith in the Bible, strengthened by their personal relationship with Jesus and the Holy Trinity, evolution is a man-made school of thought. It’s a theory that was never proven.
Romans 1:17 says that the righteous shall live by “faith from first to last.” There is no proof of Christian subjects in the absence of faith. We find proof for faith in Christian spirituality by seeking God and calling on His name. It does not work to look for pieces of information about the fossils in order to prove the account of the Creation of man by God’s Word, nor is it supposed to - As the bible says, faith is required.
As scientists study the universe, the same consistent laws of science that exist nearby earth apply. Stars and the light from them, for example, were deployed across the reaches of space just as the light from our Sun shines on the earth. The light spectrum from stars reveals the composition of the matter in the stars. Scientists can duplicate this effect by heating matter in a laboratory on earth.
Telescopes give us a glimpse of stars that were put in place by God at various stages in what scientists believe to be stars’ lifecycles - patterns that will continue into the future that we can study today!
Scientists believe that old stars grow to be much larger than their original size after a long period of time. Later, without high levels of fusion reactions taking place, the matter at the core of an old star collapses to form a “dwarf star.”
As a matter of faith, God created the stars as described in Genesis 1 and placed them on a geological timeline of immense proportion, revealing how stars age over time.
Gulf Islands National Seashore, Richard A. Weaver (CC BY-SA 4.0)
MILKY WAY GALAXY ABOVE THE SHORELINE
Psalm 136:1-9 (NIV)
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever.
4 to him who alone does great wonders, His love endures forever.
5 who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever.
6 who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
7 who made the great lights—His love endures forever.
8 the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever.
9 the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.
These scholarly books discuss events on the geological timeline.
1. “Fossil Hunting,” Annes Publishers; (Annes Publ., 2009) pp.12-13: Geological eras.
2. “The Rough Guide to the Earth,” Ince, Martin; (Penguin Books, Ltd., 2007) p.81: Composition of Igneous rocks from magma, lava plus metamorphic rocks.
3. “Earth Science,” Medina, Phil; (Career Press, 2005) p.75: Formation of igneous rocks; molten minerals crystallize from magma.
4. “The History of Life,” Barton, Michael J.; (Oxford, 2008) p.17: Radiometric dating of igneous rocks.
5. “Earth Science,” Medina, Phil; (Career Press, 2005) p.176-178: Radiometric dating.
6. “The History of Life,” Barton, Michael J.; (Oxford, 2008) p.91: Coal.
7. “The Story Of The Earth – The First 4.5 Billion Years, From Stardust To Living Planet,” Hazen, Robert M (Pearson, 2012) p.197: Banded iron formation.
8. “Geology,” Rothery, David; (McGraw-Hill, Ed. 3, 2008) p.161: Petroleum wells.
9. “Geology,” Rothery, David; (McGraw-Hill, Ed. 3, 2008) p.168: Hydro-thermal transfer of deep ores.
10. “The Story Of The Earth – The First 4.5 Billion Years, From Stardust To Living Planet,” Hazen, Robert M (Pearson, 2012) p.241: Formation of coal.
11. “Geology,” Rothery, David; (McGraw-Hill, Ed. 3, 2008) p.169: Locating resources underground.
12. “The Life Cycle of Stars,” Dr. Tim O’Brien (Institute of Physics, London UK; Educational Video, available on IOP.org website or YouTube) Formation of red giant stars, planetary nebulas, and dwarf stars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Bellott has served as a leader of a faith inquirers class and as a leader of small group Bible studies. He has also served as a member of a home Bible study group central planning ministry and a men’s ministry planning committee among other ministry activities, he has been involved in over the years at his prior home church in Bethlehem, PA and in central New Jersey.
Jerry Bellott is also an electrical engineer with experience designing products for the personal computer, data networking, cellular, and office communication systems industries. At AT&T Bell Labs, he designed the first circuit board using a microprocessor with on-chip Flash for program downloading. The board also used the first highly integrated 2G digital cell phone chips, and was used by Motorola to design the world’s first truly compact digital flip-top lid cell phone, the StarTac. Mr. Bellott provided design support to PALM as they designed the world’s first wireless internet connected product with application icons in 2000, the PALM VII. As a senior engineer at a start-up in 2000, he co-designed the world’s first fiber-to-the-basement broadband switch capable of delivering services to up to 240 offices. As an engineer at Valley Technologies in eastern PA, he co-designed a 64-core processor board using the advanced MathStar digital signal processor chip. He has designed computer system test plans and written user manuals for two central NJ engineering companies since then. In recent years, he has been a volunteer serving the IEEE electrical engineering professional society where he is the Princeton/Central Jersey Section Signal Processing Society Chair and has delivered more than a dozen technical seminars. He has authored several Christian books published on Amazon.com and has a special interest in Creation science. He has an MSEE from Georgia Tech (1980), and a BSEE from WVU (Cum Laude, 1979).