My neighbor claims to be an atheist. After successful service as an engineer for Philips Corporation, he left his native Holland and taught science for 25 years at the University of California. A modest man, he doesnt say much about accomplishments, but he has pictures of himself with many Nobel prize winners. He authored a very technical book on magnetism.
Since I have absolutely no scientific training, I asked him a question involving creation. Doctor, my Bible says, God said, Let there be light; and there was light (Gen 1:3). What is light?
My neighbor smiled. Youre asking, What is light? No one really knows for sure. He went on to explain: We talk about light waves and light particles, but we have a limited knowledge of light.
In a recent article, another author agrees: Scientists dont fully understand what light is or what it can do (Joel Achenbach, The Power of Light, National Geographic, October 2001, p. 5).
I said to my neighbor, My reason for asking about light is that the Bible tells us God made light on the first day, then waited until the fourth day to create the sun, moon, and stars.
His response came quickly. You need light in order to make the sun, moon, stars, or anything else. Light is a tool, light is energy, light is power. What this long-time University professor said next surprised me. Evolution is a theory. The nice thing about theories is they can be changedand they are usually changed frequently. He added, I want to keep an open mind.
Im praying he will keep his mind open to the truth of creation. Thats what this issue of Adventists Affirm is about. Articles are written by men and women who believe the Bible account of a literal creation in six days. We believe that God is light (1 Jn 1:5, NKJV throughout this article).
Understanding what God made on the first day gives me a new sense of His amazing power. Light reveals the world to us. Body and soul crave it. Light sets our biological clocks. It triggers in our brains the sensations of color. Light feeds us, supplying the energy for our plants to grow. It inspires us with special effects like rainbows and sunsets. Light gives us life-changing tools, from incandescent bulbs to lasers and fiber optics (Achenbach, p. 5).
The same author quotes George Gilder: I believe that light was made by God for communications (p. 26). Achenbach concludes, Light permeates our reality at every scale of existence. Its an amazing tool, a carrier of beauty, a giver of life (p. 29).
Jesus, the source of both physical and spiritual light, declares, I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (Jn 8:12). Christ is the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him (Jn 1:9, 10).
I have a question for my friends who want to harmonize science and Scripture by making the six days of creation symbolic of long periods of time. If creation week is symbolic, what about the second coming of Jesus and the resurrection? If it took a long period of time for God to bring man out of the dust of the earth in the beginning, how long will it take for Jesus to recreate us at the resurrection? A million years? A hundred thousand years? Either way, the millennium would be long gone before angels could take us up to the cloud to meet Jesus.
God has a better plan. Jesus will call, the trumpet will sound. The dead will rise in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52). Its instantaneous. And if Jesus can do this, He had no problem doing what He says He did during creation week. The Creator wrote on stone with His own finger, For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them (Ex 20:11).
Jesus says, I am . . . the truth (Jn 14:6). If creation took thousands or millions of years, He would have told us. I dont understand how He did it in six days, but I believe it. The miracle of light, what Jesus created on the first day, helps me believe.
Laser light! I open a file and click a mouse. Particles of toner move around inside my laser printer. Out comes a perfect picture of my wife. This technology now can even form three dimensional objects like hulls of boats. Likewise, the Creator of light knows exactly how to form humans from particles of dust. His power will raise the dead at the glorious second coming. He gave us the Sabbath to help us remember His power.
In This Issue. All of our authors this time are new to the pages of Adventists Affirm. We welcome them, grateful for their faithful, helpful insights.
We begin, as usual, with a Bible study article. Dr. Randall Younker, a professor at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University, presents little-known evidence showing the harmony between Genesis 1 and some puzzling statements in Genesis 2. Where some have thought there was a contradiction, he reveals the unity.
Dr. Ariel Roth, an author and the long-time Director of the General Conferences Geoscience Research Institute, wrote Adventism and the Challenges to Creation. Dr. Roth helps us understand these challenges and shows why we should not accept alternatives to Bible creation.
Dr. William Shea, formerly a professor at the Theological Seminary at Andrews University and recently retired from the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference, looks at the Bible text for evidence showing the creation account found in Genesis is talking about literal 24-hour days. Be sure to read, How Long Was the Creation Week?
The late Dr. Frank L. Marsh, well known for his writings on creationism, gives solid reasons in The Conflict Over Origins why the Bible believer need not be intimidated by science. His companion article, Evolution and the Bible shows that there is no middle ground when it comes to our belief in Creation.
Dr. Earl Aagaard, of Pacific Union Colleges biology department, wrote The Importance of the Intelligent Design Theory for Seventh-day Adventists. He invites us to vaccinate ourselves against all seductive materialistic influences and to make it abundantly clear that we accept the Bible account of Creation as true.
Walter Veith, Ph. D., heads the zoology department at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. In My Difficult Journey, you will thrill at how God worked miracle after miracle in leading him and his family to Bible truth.
Patricia Guthrie, a physicians wife, home schools her four children. Her thoughtful article, Creation: A Revelation of Gods Love, views creation science and Gods plan to save the human race in the light of the cross and the Sabbath.
After reading the Time magazine cover story, How Apes Became Human (Time, July 23, 2001), James R. Schaffer responded, We have two choices: the speculations of anthropologists or the Book of Genesis. Both are beyond proof (Letters, Time, August 13, 2001).
Proof? No. Evidence? Yes! You see it every time you look in the mirror. God created man in His own image; . . . male and female He created them (Gen 1:27). God will bless us as we ADVENTISTS AFFIRM His creation and stay ready for the soon coming of Jesus.