Click for Gospel Way home page

Creation as Miracle: Consequences for Evolution and Genesis

Creation as a Miracle:
Consequences for Theistic Evolution and Genesis as Literal History

Creation as a miracle: Should we take Genesis as symbol, myth, or legend to harmonize with science? What are the consequences for evolution, Genesis as history, and our faith as Christians?

How important is it that Christians appreciate creation as a miracle? Should we take the Genesis record and the days of creation as symbol, myth, or legend in order to harmonize with science? If we weaken faith in creation as a miracle, what effect does that have on the evidence for the all-wise, all-powerful, true and living God and in Jesus as His Son and in the Bible as His revelation? What consequences follow regarding theistic evolution, modernism, liberalism, atheism, and agnosticism?

Click here to listen to this material as a free recorded MP3 audio Bible study.

Introduction:

Bible miracles are a fundamental part of true Biblical faith.

Miracles are used throughout the Bible as evidence that God exists, that Jesus' claims were true, and that apostles and prophets were sent by God. This, in turn, constitutes proof that the Bible is the word of God.

This explains why unbelievers, atheists, agnostics, liberals, modernists, skeptics, and believers in evolution continually deny or undermine Bible accounts of miracles. It likewise shows why true believers must recognize and defend Biblical miracles.

Nevertheless, in order to accept theories of science, some professing believers compromise the Genesis account of creation by saying it is symbol, legend, or myth, not necessarily literal history or fact. Some say the days of creation are not literal days but were actually long ages. Such views (whether intentionally or not) have the effect of undermining Bible faith and weakening the force of creation as evidence for God, Jesus, and the Bible.

The purpose of this study is to examine the Bible account of creation as a miracle.

Does the Bible claim creation was a miracle? If so what consequences follow if people deny the literal truth of various supernatural aspects of creation?

Note: Please see our other studies for evidence of the importance of the doctrine of creation in a Christian's faith. This is the faith that is undermined when miraculous aspects of creation are compromised.


I. Evidence that Creation Was a Miracle.


A. Creation Fits the Definition of a Miracle.

Psalm 72:18 - Wondrous things (miracles) are things only God can do. Bible examples show that a miracle is an event which is impossible by natural law, but which occurs by the supernatural intervention of God.

The Bible repeatedly affirms that no one but God could create the universe.

Neither man nor other "gods" could do so. It follows that creation must fit the definition of a miracle: an event that cannot happen naturally, but only God can accomplish it.

Psalm 95:1-7 - God is above other "gods" and deserves to be worshipped as God, because He made the earth and us. We can't do it and gods can't do it. Only God can.

Isaiah 40:25-28 - God made the heavenly bodies. This proves there is no one like Him. There is no searching of His understanding - no one else can understand how He could do it.

Nehemiah 9:6 - The Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. He alone is God. The fact He made these things proves only he is God. No one else could do it.

1 Chronicles 16:25-27 - God should be feared above all gods. They are idols, but He made the heavens. Creation is something the idols cannot do. Only God can do it.

Jeremiah 32:17 - The fact God made the heavens and earth proves nothing is too hard for Him. Creation is at least as great as any other miracle and proves God can do any work He chooses. Can He miraculously heal the sick, part the sea, cause a virgin to conceive, or raise the dead? We know He can, because He created the universe!

No other power in existence can do what God has done in creation. Only God can do it. By definition, that means creation was a miracle.

[Job 38:4-11; Heb. 11:3; Jer. 10:10-12; Psalm 100:3; 86:8-10; Job 9:8-10; Ecc. 11:5; Rom. 11:33-36]

Specifically, living things were created supernaturally, not by natural reproduction.

Genesis 1:11,12 - God made plants to yield fruit, whose seed was in itself. So after creation, plants reproduced by means of seed that grew in the fruit. That is natural reproduction. But originally God produced them directly, not by natural reproduction.

Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7,21-23 - After God had made man and woman, He commanded them to reproduce and populate the earth. That is natural reproduction. But the original man and woman were made, not by natural reproduction, but the man was made directly from the ground and the woman was made from the man's side.

These passages clearly distinguish natural reproduction from how God made the living things at creation. The original creation of living things was not accomplished by the natural laws of reproduction. It was therefore supernatural. Only God could do it. By definition, it was a miracle.

B. Creation Is Described by the Kind of Language that Describes Miracles.

The Bible uses various descriptions to refer to miraculous works of God. The may be called "wonders" or "wondrous things" or "signs" or other terms that emphasize their supernatural purpose or character (see examples under next point).

Notice how these descriptions are used for creation.

Job 9:8-10 - God spreads out the heavens. He made the constellations. He does great things we cannot understand, "wonders" without number. Creation is describing as beyond our understanding and as "wonders." This is the kind of language used for miracles.

Psalm 139:13,14 - Observing the formation of his body, the psalmist praises God saying, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works." The works of God in creation cause us to marvel. That is how miracles are described.

Psalm 33:6-9 - The heavens, sea, earth, and everything in them were made by the word and command of the Lord. So we should stand in "awe" of Him. Creation is amazing - awe-inspiring.

Psalm 65:5-8 - God did awesome deeds for His people. Specifically, He established the mountains by His strength. So the people shall be afraid of His "signs." Again, creation is an example of power that only God has and is included among His "signs" - common Bible language for miracles.

Who would deny that such descriptions are intended to convey to our minds that creation was miraculous? Surely that is the clear intent of such language.

[Psalm 86:8-10; 89:5-13; Neh. 9:6-15]

C. Creation Accomplishes the Purpose of Miracles.

Miracles served to prove that God was at work through a person or an event. They thereby proved that God exists, that God is the true God, or that a certain man or message was from God. Miracles confirm Divine claims to be true.

[See Mark 16:20; Acts 2:22; 2 Corinthians 12:11,12; Hebrews 2:3,4; Exodus 4:1-4.]

Specifically, many miracles proved that God exists and that He is the true God.

Exodus 7:3-5; 8:10 - God said that, as a result of His signs and wonders in Egypt, the people would know that He is the Lord.

Exodus 14:4,30,31 - Because God parted the Read Sea, the people feared and believed the Lord.

Deuteronomy 4:32-45 - Signs and wonders God did in Egypt and at Mt. Sinai occurred so Israel might know the Lord is God, and there is none other besides Him.

1 Kings 18:36-39 - When God sent fire from heaven, the people concluded, "The Lord, He is God."

We could include here the miracles of Jesus, since they proved His Deity. See John 5:36; 20:30,31; Acts 2:22; etc.

Since only God can do miracles, their occurrence proves that God exits and that He is the true God.

[Psalm 72:18]

Like other miracles, creation is repeatedly used to prove that God exists and is the true God.

Old Testament Passages

2 Kings 19:15 - God alone is God. He made heaven and earth. [Isaiah 37:16]

Nehemiah 9:6 - You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it.

Psalm 95:1-7 - The Lord is the great God and King above all gods. He made the sea and His hands formed the dry land. Worship the Lord our Maker, for He is God.

Psalms 100:3 - Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.

1 Chronicles 16:25-27 (also Psalm 96:4-6) - How do we know we should praise and fear God instead of some idol? Because God made the heavens and established the earth, that's why!

New Testament Passages

Acts 17:24-29 - Again idol worshippers were taught they should not worship idols of gold or silver. The true God who rules heaven and earth is the one who made the world and gives us life. We are His offspring. [Acts 14:15]

Romans 1:20 - Creation clearly reveals God's power and Godhead. They prove that He is God, and those who fail to recognize Him as God are without excuse.

In the New Testament and the Old, creation proves who is the true God. This is the purpose of miracles.

Hence, creation fits the definition of a miracle, it is described by the kind of language used for miracles, and it accomplishes the purpose of miracles. Who can deny that the Bible claims that creation is a miracle? Those who would deny it are not true believers.

[Acts 4:24; Psalm 86:8-10; Isaiah 45:18; 40:25,26; 42:5-9; Jeremiah 10:11,12,16; 32:17; 51:15-19]


II. Consequences of the Miraculous Nature of Creation


Since creation is a fundamental proof that God exists and is the true God, it follows that we must avoid any doctrine that weakens or undermines the force of that miracle. Specifically:

A. True Believers Must Always Accept Bible Records of Miracles as Literal, Historic Fact.

The power of miracles as evidence rests entirely on their validity as historic fact. Unless they are events, which are contrary to natural law, but which nevertheless occurred as true, historic fact, then they prove nothing at all about God or His will.

It follows that, to deny the literal, historic descriptions of miracles as recorded in Scripture - to claim that some aspects are legendary or symbolic instead of historic fact - is to deny the accuracy of the Bible and to belittle the force of the miracle. This encourages the ultimate rejection of our evidence for God, for the Bible as His word, and for Jesus as His Son.

The more important and fundamental a miracle is to our faith, the greater are the consequences if we deny the historical accuracy of the Bible record of the miracle. Consider some examples.

The virgin birth - Luke 1:34,35

The Bible says the virgin birth is impossible by natural law, yet it happened by the power of God. This is how it proves Jesus is from God.

But some folks point out that, for a virgin to conceive without a physical relationship with a man, would be impossible according to science. (Of course! That's the point of miracles: they are impossible by natural law.)

So some try to reconcile the Bible and science by saying that the virgin birth was not literal. They say the Bible account is a legend, or just conveys some spiritual concept, but it is not historic fact.

But denying the literal, historic fact of the account has the effect of removing the miraculous element. This eliminates the power of the event as evidence to substantiate Divine claims!

Such views constitute modernism or liberalism. Those who hold them are not true believers.

The resurrection of Jesus - Romans 1:4

The Bible says Jesus' resurrection is impossible by natural law, yet it happened by the power of God. This is how it proves Jesus is from God.

But some folks point out that, for a dead man to come to life again after three days, would be impossible according to science. (Of course! That's the point of miracles: they are impossible by natural law.)

So some try to reconcile the Bible and science by saying that the resurrection was not literal. They say the Bible account is a legend, or just conveys some spiritual concept, but it is not historic fact.

But denying the literal, historic fact of the account has the effect of removing the miraculous element. This eliminates the power of the event as evidence to substantiate Divine claims!

Such views constitute modernism or liberalism. Those who hold them are not true believers.

Creation - Romans 1:20

The Bible says creation is impossible according to natural law, yet it happened by the power of God. This is how it proves the existence and power of God.

But some folks point out that, for everything in the universe to suddenly come into existence in six days, would be impossible according to science. (Of course! That's the point of miracles: they are impossible by natural law.)

So some try to reconcile the Bible and science by saying that the creation was not literal. They say the Bible account is a legend, or just conveys some spiritual concept, or it is just accommodative language written for people too primitive to understand the facts. But it is not historic fact.

But denying the literal, historic fact of the account has the effect of removing the miraculous element. This eliminates the power of the event as evidence to substantiate Divine claims!

Such views constitute modernism or liberalism. Those who hold them are not true believers. They become instead believers in some form of evolution, natural or theistic.

This illustrates why it is so important to our faith for Christians never to compromise the literal, historical character of Bible accounts of miracles.

B. Specifically, True Believers Must Never Compromise Any Supernatural Element of a Miracle.

The importance of the supernatural characteristics of miracles.

We have learned that we must accept the Bible records of miracles as historic fact, not legendary or symbolic or figurative. But what makes an event a miracle is that it involves certain specific characteristics that only Divine power could accomplish. Bible accounts of miracles usually involve several such supernatural elements. It isn't enough just to claim that we believe the event as a whole is a miracle. If we are to accept the Bible record of a miracle as historic fact, we must accept as literal fact the specific supernatural elements that make up the event. To deny or undermine the supernatural elements that make an event miraculous is to deny or undermine the miracle itself!

Satan has always offered false prophets, false churches, false plans of salvation, etc., which will cause people to be lost if they accept them. (See Matthew 7:15-23; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Acts 20:28-30; 1 John 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Titus 1:9-14; 2 John 9-11; Romans 16:17,18; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter chap. 2.)

In order to get people to accept his false teachings, note some things Satan does:

(1) Satan offers "false miracles" - 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (Acts 8:5-13; Exodus 7:10-13; 1 Kings 18:20-40; Acts 19:11-17).

Just as true miracles lead people to accept God's true teachings, so Satan's false miracles lead people to believe His false teachings. False miracles are those which claim to be from God, but which do not have the characteristics of true Bible miracles. But by believing these events to be miracles, people are deceived into believing false doctrines.

(2) Satan belittles the supernatural elements of God's miracles - Matthew 28:11-15 (Matt. 12:24; Ex. 7:10-13).

Since the supernatural characteristics of miracles are what convince people to believe in God and His will, those are the aspects Satan attacks. He doesn't necessarily insist that people deny the whole event occurred. He just wants people to believe the basic elements of the event could occur by some natural explanation or by some power other than God.

If people do not recognize the supernatural elements of a miracle, then the miracle cannot produce faith. This is why it is so important for believers to defend the historic, literal truth, not just of a miracle as a whole, but of the supernatural elements of the event that make it a miracle. We must never accept views that allow natural explanations to be substituted for the supernatural elements of a miracle. Again, the more important and fundamental a miracle is to our faith, the more important this is.

Consider some examples.

Examples of the consequences of failing to recognize the supernatural characteristics of miracles.

False "miracles" of faith healers, the Occult, etc.

True miraculous healings always involve certain fundamental characteristics: They involve obvious ailments which are cured obviously, completely, and immediately. These elements are what make miraculous healings clearly supernatural.

Modern faith healers fool people into believing miracles have happened, even though the elements that make an event a miracle are missing. If someone seems to gradually improve, some folks may claim a "miracle."

When people accept these false miracles, it is easy for false teachers to convince them to believe other false doctrines (they are saved without baptism, etc.). Other people see that these "miracles" are not really supernatural, so they reject all "Christianity" as fraudulent superstition, etc.

Similar observations can be made about the supernatural claims involved in sorcery, witchcraft, etc.

Folks end up in error because they failed to recognize the supernatural elements of true miracles. They call events "miracles," but the events can be explained naturally. The only way to avoid this danger is to steadfastly defend the supernatural elements of Bible miracles!

The virgin birth, the resurrection, etc.

One way that people have compromised the miraculous nature of Bible accounts is by accepting views that eliminate or deny certain supernatural elements of the Bible record. The may not deny the whole event, but they compromise the basic elements that make it a miracle.

Some claim Mary conceived by a relationship with Joseph or some other man. Some claim Jesus never really died on the cross, or that His disciples stole the body, or that He just fainted then revived. This is often done to harmonize the event with "scientific facts."

All these views must be rejected because they deny or compromise some supernatural element of Bible accounts. People may still call the event a "miracle," but it becomes easier to explain the event naturally. It weakens the force of the event as supernatural proof of Divine intervention. The only way to avoid this danger is to defend the historical accuracy every supernatural elements of these events!

Creation

One way that people have compromised the miraculous nature of creation is by accepting views that eliminate or deny certain supernatural elements of the Bible record. The may not deny the whole event, but they compromise the basic elements that make it a miracle.

Some deny that woman was created from the side of man. Others say man was created from other animals, instead of from the ground. Some say man was not created in the image of God. And some say creation did not occur in six literal, consecutive days. Again, this is often done in order to harmonize the event with "scientific facts."

All these views must be rejected because they deny or compromise some supernatural element of Bible accounts. People may still call the event a "miracle," but it becomes easier to explain the event naturally. It weakens the force of the event as supernatural proof of Divine intervention. The only way to avoid this danger is to defend the historical accuracy every supernatural elements of the creation accounts!

C. In Particular, True Believers Must Never Compromise the Supernatural Time Element in a Miracle.

The importance of the time element

Among the elements of a miracle that demonstrate it to have occurred by the power of God, one such element is often the time element. The length of time the event takes gives one reason to believe God must have done it. Specifically, many accounts of miracles specify that they happened suddenly - very quickly. Given a much longer time period, one might believe the event could have occurred by nature. But the shortness of the time demonstrates that God must have done it.

If so, then it follows from the above discussion, that we must recognize that time element to be historic fact. To believe it to be symbolic, figurative, or anything other than historic fact is to compromise the Bible account and defeat the purpose of the miracle as evidence for our faith.

Consider some examples

Miraculous healings

Bible accounts of healings often specify that they occurred immediately. They did not take days, weeks, or months to gradually develop. The time element confirms that only God could do it. See Acts 3:7; Luke 13:11-13; Mark 2:10-12; 5:25-29; 5:35-42; Acts 13:11; 14:8-11; John 9:1,6,7; Mark 1:42; Luke 7:14,15; etc.

By contrast, in most modern so-called miracles, if healing occurs at all, it takes days, weeks, or months. Such gradual healings could be explained as simply natural processes. They are claimed as miracles, but the time element proves they are not really miraculous.

So, the power of a Bible miracle as evidence is defeated or seriously compromised if people conclude that the time element is just figurative or symbolic or legendary. When God states a specific time element in a miracle, then we must accept the Bible account as historic fact.

The same can be said of other Bible miracles. God sometimes revealed when they would happen, and at that time they would occur immediately. The fact that they happened at exactly the time God specified, or that they occurred so quickly, gives one reason that they must have been supernatural.

[1 Kings 18:25-30,35-39]

Creation

The Bible repeatedly states that the creation occurred in just six days. See Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31; 2:2,3; Exodus 20:11; 31:17; Heb. 4:4.

Since the Bible clearly presents creation as a miracle, then for all the reasons described above, true believers must take these accounts as literal, historic fact. If so, we must believe that creation occurred in six literal, consecutive days, followed by a literal day of rest.

Yet many people claim that creation occurred over long time periods of millions of years each. They claim the "days" of creation were figurative or symbolic or that long ages occurred between the days. They may take this view to harmonize the Bible with the claims of "science." But the effect of these views is to compromise a basic supernatural element of the Bible account of the miracle.

This in turn weakens the Bible evidence that creation was impossible by natural law. Evolution requires billions of years of gradual development. When we ask why we cannot see new kinds of living things evolving today, we are told that the process is too slow to be observed. But "given enough time," natural selection and mutations could produce all the kinds of organisms, including man. So to say the Bible account includes billions of years would promote faith in evolution.

On the other hand, if the Bible account literally teaches that the universe came into existence in six literal days, then no one could believe that such a thing could happen by natural processes. It must be by the power of God.

Hence, the time element, revealed in the Bible, is one supernatural element of the Bible account of creation. To take it as including long periods of time encourages people to accept a natural explanation. The result defeats or seriously weakens the force of the Bible account of creation as evidence for God.

Conclusion

If we can compromise the supernatural time element of creation as described in Scripture, why can't we compromise other supernatural elements? If we can take the days to be figurative or symbolic, why can't we take other plain statements of the account to be other than historic fact? In short, what is there to prevent us from simply accepting Theistic evolution? And then what is there to prevent us from taking other Bible miracles as being figurative or symbolic, till all the supernatural elements of all Bible miracles are removed? The result is a faith that is a mere shell with no substance and no reason for existence.

In short, the Bible claims that creation is a miracle made possible only by the supernatural intervention of God. This means that true believers must defend every supernatural element of the account as historical fact. To compromise any supernatural element of it - including the time element - is to undermine and weaken faith in the Bible, faith in other Bible miracles, and ultimately faith in God.

Note: We have a number of related study materials on our web site that may interest you. Click for more Bible studies relating to creation or evolution.

Use your "back" key to return here.

(C) Copyright 2000, David E. Pratte
Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale.  Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To enroll in a free online Bible course or to receive free Bible study materials by e-mail or to read other online Bible studies, click on the links below.

Use your "back" button to return to the previous page.

Gospel Way Home Page Go to the Bible Study Online Library (the Gospel Way)

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) if you have questions about this site or about the author.

Bible Study Lessons
Free Online Bible Courses

MP3s
Free audio Bible
 study recordings

Free monthly Bible
 articles
by 
Email or Blog

Email
Contact Us

Free E-Books
Commentaries
or Class Books
or Electronic Books

Tweet   Pin It            RSS Feed 

Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hit-meter: 25844896