Why would God create such a vast universe if it is only for those on the planet Earth? What purpose does the universe hold? Frankly, God has not revealed all the answers, but he has shared at least some of the reasons:
“O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens! …When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou has ordained; …O Lord, our Lord, How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!”
It is important to remember that the and planets were not created billions of years before Earth. According to the , Earth is not the result of billions of years of stellar evolution during which many other planets were created. Earth was created before any other planet or star existed. Earth came into existence on the first day of Creation (). God withheld the creation of the , and until the fourth day (). Earth is unique and holds center stage in God's Creation.
Furthermore, the Bible clearly indicates that the fate of the universe (every other planet and star) is forever linked to God's timetable for mankind and the Earth. One day, Christ will return to Earth and complete the final act of man's redemption (). He will destroy this present universe and create a new heavens and Earth (; ). All the stars and planets will be destroyed, along with the Earth.
What bearing does this have on the question of extraterrestrial life? The timetable (and the whole reason) for this destruction and re-creation clearly seems to be based on God's plan for us Earthlings. If God had created intelligent life on other worlds, it is hard to imagine that their lives would be calibrated by the failures of Earth's inhabitants. It seems unlikely and unfair that their distant planets would be destroyed by God because of His plan for Earth. The implication of Scripture is that there are no other intelligent beings besides man, animals, and the angels.
Young-earth creationists commonly explain where Cain got his wife by asserting that she was a daughter of Seth, even going to great lengths in pointing out that there was plenty of time for this scenario to happen. This explanation presumes a two-generation gap between Genesis 4:16 and verse 17 (one for Seth to be born and grow up, plus one for Seth's daughter to be born and grow up and marry uncle Cain). People who object to jumpy narratives with big gaps between verses should not propose them. These claims damage their insistence that the first chapters in Genesis are strictly sequential. Furthermore, no matter how you think Cain got his wife, the narrative in Genesis 4 clearly jumps back many years to Adam between verses 24 and 25. A "jumpy narrative" is not a valid scriptural objection to the Days of Proclamation theory.
I have seen a hint of the "created recently but looks older" idea on one creationist web site, but most other creationist literature insists that all the natural processes must take place over 10,000 years. So unfortunately, because some Christians have chosen this path, this is the path I must address. The theory of evolution depends on having more than 10,000 years in which to work, so the natural age of the earth is important.
Through key research I will explain what the Earth Charter is and why it was founded, describe one of its four parts along with the goals and overarching philosophy, and share the impact it has on my life now and in the future....
Ken Follett, author of The Pillars of the Earth, uses symbolism frequently throughout his novel (which is set in 12th century England and follows the dramatic events surrounding the construction of a cathedral).
Until the sixteenth century when Capernicus figured out that the Earth was another planet, which revolved around the sun, Greek astronomers thought the Earth was the center of the solar system.
But the original Hebrew word has more meanings than that. can mean the planet, the land and its inhabitants, ground, soil, country, or territory (Zodhiates, page 1600-1601). When the late Menachem Begin and other Zionists speak of , or Greater Israel, they are referring to Israel's pre-1967 boundaries plus Jerusalem and the West Bank of the Jordan River. They are not laying claim to the Himalayas. If we understand to mean the region of the Middle East, then the story of Noah's flood does not have to cover Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet.Let the Earth Bring Forth.
The phrase "let the earth bring forth..." occurs three times in Genesis 1 (verses 11, 20 with water, 24). It does not refer to simple growth from nutrients, because this chapter is about creation. The literal meaning of this phrase matches theistic evolution better than any other creation theory! It's almost a definition of theistic evolution, which is why I put it at the top of this essay. God commanded the earth to produce animals, and the planet did so according to His command.These verses contradict the idea of direct creation of non-human life forms. Carnivores
There are several verses in Genesis that are taken to mean that animals were vegetarian until the Flood. Genesis 1:30 states: "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." After the Flood, God states in Genesis 9:3 "Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things."I like the idea expressed in Genesis 1:30 of God's providence for all creatures. I also like the idea of the Peaceable Kingdom, where the lion lies down with the lamb and there is no violence. We don't have a clear indication of when the carnivorous animals switched to eating meat, because Genesis 9:3 refers only to mankind. Job 39:27-30 could indicate that eagles were created as carnivorous animals, but it's not clear enough by itself. I have looked at the sharp teeth of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and they don't look like something created by an to chew vegetation. Since I understand the references to death in Romans 5:12 to mean spiritual death, the presence of carnivorous animals does not pose a theological problem. This issue is not essential for salvation. I simply don't know how Genesis 1:30 fits in with what I can observe about animals. When taken with verse 29, the two verses could be merely a description of who gets to eat what kind of vegetation (man - seeds and fruit, animals and birds - grasses and plants). I do know that verse 30 occurs in a section that describes God's providence for all creatures, and that is the faith message I can take from it.With regard to pre-history and evolution, we do not know how long satan has been allowed some measure of influence and interference in the world. The Garden of Eden sounds somewhat like a sanctuary set up by God to guard Adam and Eve against the outside world. Was there trouble and danger out there even before the Fall of Mankind?In any case, the creation account in Genesis 1-2 is incomplete. Astronomy shows us this in a spectacular fashion. I think that the biological account in Genesis is also incomplete. Who can completely describe the mighty work of creation in just 2 chapters? Not Moses, nor any other possible human author of Genesis. God Almighty rested for the only time recorded in the Bible! I think there is a lot more that happened historically than just those relatively few words in Genesis 1-2. I think a few sentences cover millions of historical years, such as in Genesis 2:7: "The time came when the Lord God formed a man's body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And man became a living person."Is the Bible incomplete? Yes, John says so at the end of his Gospel, in 20:30-31: "There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name." John repeats the "incomplete" assertion in 21:25: "There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written."What we have is sufficient for Faith. The details left out are interesting, but they are not needed for Faith and Salvation. So we need not worry about the Bible being incomplete. We have enough testimony, both for our own faith and to witness to the world. I don't usually grind through the beginning of Genesis verse by verse, trying to match each one individually with a scientific or historical finding. I think that that approach obscures the greater faith message of the Author.
Some young-earth creationists assert that the earth is 10,000 years old, and others assert that the earth is 6,000 years old. That's a big difference: 4,000 years, or 67%. Bishop Ussher's chronology, derived from the Bible, clearly states that the earth is 6,000 years old. Extending the age to 10,000 years conveniently places the date of Creation and the Flood beyond the oldest trees, and beyond the pyramids and dynasties of ancient Egypt. I have heard the following accusation from young-earth creationists: You are interpreting the Bible in the light of science; you should be interpreting science in the light of the Bible. (I have not heard a Bible verse to back up that charge.) 10,000 years is not what Bishop Ussher said. What is the reason for changing his number? Creationists who claim 10,000 years, unless they do so for purely Biblical reasons, should hear that same accusation ringing in their ears at least once.