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Today's Creation Moment

Nov
23
The Birth of Deep Time
Psalm 78:15
“He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.”
I was on an open-topped tour bus, seeing the sights of downtown Edinburgh—the capital city of Scotland. From this vantage point, our guide stopped frequently, to tell us about John Knox’s grave and...
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History

James Ussher’s Legacy

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2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The years between 1639 and 1651 were times of great turbulence in the British Isles as a series of deadly conflicts were played out. James Ussher was right in the middle of these events, being Image: Armagh Cathedralborn, as he was, in Dublin in 1581. In a previous Creation Moment, we related Ussher’s precocious childhood, that led to his famous calculation of the date of creation as 4004 BC.

James Ussher’s Education

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Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it

James Ussher is famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view, for his work on creation. It was Ussher who calculated that the Earth was created at 6 pm on the evening before October 23rd 4004 BC. Because of his exactness in choosing this date, he has Image: James Ussherbeen criticized and held up for ridicule in recent years.

Abandoned at Coldwater

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Psalm 23:1-2
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Coldwater Lake in Washington State looks so pretty, nestled between the mountains. This scene of tranquility is very popular among the fishing community.

The Prophecy of Abel

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Luke 11:49-51
Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Jesus described Abel as a prophet. He referred to all the prophets who had been killed, “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Luke 11:51). Prophecy refers to that forthtelling, which comes from the Holy Spirit. The words of the prophet are the words of God. Prophecy can sometimes, though not always, be predictive.

Cain Tilled the Ground

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Genesis 4:3-5
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard.

As a child, attending Sunday School, and listening to so many disconnected Bible stories, I was confused by the account of Cain and Abel. In particular, I found it strange that God accepted Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. There didn’t seem to be a reason. I remember asking my Sunday School teacher, who didn’t know either. “Maybe Cain wasn’t very nice in the way that he gave his offering,” she suggested.

Where Did All the Water Go?

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Psalms 104:8
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them

“There can’t possibly have been a worldwide Flood. Where would all the water have gone after the Flood?” This is a common objection to belief in the biblical account of the Flood of Noah’s Image: Mariana Trench location on globetime. Did the water drain away, or evaporate?

Were Stone Tools Primitive?

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Genesis 11:8-9
So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

One of the most persistent rumors of popular evolutionary mythology is the concept of a primitive Stone Age. While serious evolutionists do not view such a time in the same way as the popular thinking, particularly in the media, the idea that there Image: Castlerigg Stone Circle, site of many Langdale axes. were early human societies that had no technology, save the ability to use rocks, is deeply ingrained.

Jolly Hockey Sticks

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Genesis 8:22
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

The world’s most infamous hockey stick was probably the graph produced for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 1998. The purpose of the graph was to show how global temperatures had changed over time and what had caused these  Graphchanges. Over the last millennium, the graph showed a steady but gentle increase in temperature until about 1900 when the graph showed a sharp increase.

Sea Level During the Flood

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Genesis 7:19-20
“And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”

“You can’t possibly believe that there was a worldwide Flood. If the Ark was floating above Mount Everest, the air would be so thin that they would not be able to breathe.”

This objection to the Flood is a very common one that I hear  Mountainsfrequently. It is also one that is most easily disproved. In fact, I am always very surprised that so many people think this must be a valid argument. 

Progress in Technology

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Genesis 4:20-22
“And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”

I was talking to a group of young children, perhaps 10 or 11 years old, and they were looking at a partly mud-covered house. This house had got covered in mud at the time of the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens. Meanwhile, close by was a fridge, which had been Artist rendering of technology deviceswashed out of the house, at the time of the mudflow. One boy was incredulous.

Quick Fossil Forest

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Psalms 95:4
“In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.”

The devastating blast from the eruption of Mount St Helens, on May 19, 1980, tore down huge, mature trees. Old growth forest was flattened north of the volcano in an area covering 230 square miles. Trees were demolished up to 17 miles away. 

Stonehenge and Babel

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Genesis 11:7-8
“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”

It often surprises visitors to England, to see how close it is to the main road. Perhaps they imagine it should be remote, miles from civilization. However, when Stonehenge was built, whatever Stonehengepurpose it was built for, it was clearly at the center of civilization at the time. 

A Herald of Righteousness

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2 Peter 2:5
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"

In 2 Peter 2:5, the apostle remarks, almost parenthetically, that “[God] did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a Painting of Noah's ark on the waterflood upon the world of the ungodly.” Noah was a herald of righteousness—someone proclaiming the Good News!

A Pure Faith and a Clean Earth

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Genesis 2:15
"And the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."

The first book that urged us to take good care of the earth was the Bible. The Bible also reminds those who would be careless about their responsibilities that there is a Creator who is going to hold us accountable for how we carry out our responsibilities. Why, then, does Christianity always seem to be taking the blame for The sunflower is an internationally recognized symbol of Green politics.destruction of the environment?

Beethoven and the Lamb of God

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John 1:29
"The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

One of my favorite classical composers is Ludwig van Beethoven. While Bach wrote theological notes in the margins of his manuscripts, and his well-thumbed Bible also contained Painting of Beethovencomments, Beethoven’s music is honest in its skepticism. There is power and passion in it, as well as a great deal of anger.

Sepphoris

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Matthew 6:2
Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Nazareth, the town in which Jesus grew up, is often portrayed as a tiny backwater town. As a result, Jesus is often portrayed as an unsophisticated man. He has been painted many times as someone who could more easily relate to farmers and shepherds than to the city dweller. Biblical researchers point out that this is not an accurate picture of Jesus of Nazareth.

A Not-So-Hard Saying of Jesus

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Matthew 8:22
“But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”

Twice in the Gospels, Jesus is asked by a disciple for a leave of absence to bury his father. In each case, Jesus tells the disciple to let the dead bury their own dead.

The Northwest Passage

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Genesis 8:22
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

The Northwest Passage is, in many ways, the stuff of legend. It is the idea that there could be a shipping route around the North Coast of Canada. This would provide a much quicker route, than existing routes, for ships to get, for example, from Europe to India and China. For centuries, explorers have tried to find this route. For example, during Elizabethan times, English privateer Sir Martin Frobisher undertook three voyages to try to find it.

The World Before the Flood

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Genesis 4:20-22
And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

What was the world like before the Flood? It is almost impossible to say. We know, from Genesis 6:5 that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Even so, we know that there were some people who worshiped the Lord—probably descendants of Adam’s son Seth (Genesis 4:26).

Lamech

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1 John 3:12
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.

Lamech was the great great great grandson of Cain, the world’s first murderer. We don’t know much about him, but what little we do know is not good. We know, for example, that he took two wives, despite the fact that the created order of things was for there to be one man and one woman in a marriage. We also read that he had four children, three of whom were significant pioneers in culture, as the world’s first nomadic herdsman, musician, and metallurgist.

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