Q. I greatly respect your ministry and gift as a teacher and recognize your growing influence in the community of believers and I happily support that. Your recent response to the 17 year old regarding Eden requires me to again raise this issue.
If oil is formed in the manner you describe, how could a single generation of plant debris be converted into the thousands of tons of oil, gas, and coal that we consume each day? I am not trying to say that Genesis is inaccurate. But the way in which you are interpreting it is. Features like the Grand Canyon cannot be explained by Noah’s flood. Our community is doing itself damage by pseudo scientific explanations that are obviously false. If the oil and gas industry spends 100s of millions of dollars each year for geologist’s salaries to aid in the search for new deposits, it is because those principles work, and they work because the are based on fact. The 17 year old is going to face real problems trying to defend the movement of continents during the flood. We need to be open to the possibility that our understanding can be flawed and not dogmatic when the evidence is contrary to our understanding.
I spent seven years working in the oilfields as a geologist and seeing 1st hand subsurface evidence from the floors of drilling rigs, I taught geology in college. I believe that God has demonstrated his existence in the creation so that no one has excuse. The very same things that make non-belief inexcusable, testify to a more complex creation model. The fossil record exists and testifies to a creation before Adam which had death in it. We know that Satan existed before Adam and that he was fallen. If he existed as a sinful creation, wouldn’t death also exist?
Please don’t be offended. I really do value your ministry and that is why I feel I have to address this issue.
A. You know that I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that it means exactly what it says. When it says there were 4 rivers in Eden and we can look on a map and see two of them, we have legitimate evidence of Eden. When it says in Genesis 10:25 that the Earth (ground) was divided (split) during the life of Peleg, about 101 years after the flood, I assume that’s what it means.
The one continent Pangea concept is a discovery of science and is taught in schools. But I don’t pretend to know how the Grand Canyon was formed and didn’t mention it in my answer about Eden.
I’m aware that there’s an alternative theory about the origin of oil, called abiotic, that it’s not a fossil fuel. But that theory is still controversial even among geologists. Even so, I didn’t say that oil is only found under the area where Eden was, I only said that the biggest deposits are there. And they weren’t formed out of one generation of vegetation. As I said, the flood occurred 1656 years after the creation. That’s about 40 generations. In the sub-tropical climate of the day several of those generations of vegetation would still be in some stage of decay. Besides, as a geologist you’ve stood on rigs that drill thousands of feet into the earth. In the post flood Middle East, oil bubbled up through the ground all by itself.
If you’ve read my articles on the Creation, you know I believe the Earth existed long before Adam, and that Genesis 1 tells of a re-creation. But I believe that for linguistic reasons, not scientific. I believe the Hebrew language says that. My views are consistent with the Gap Theory as it was originally proposed, before the “creationists” fiddled with it. But when the Bible says that death came into the world because of sin, meaning after Adam’s fall, I accept that. The fossil record is the best evidence possible of a world wide flood, not proof of a pre-Adamite race.
Science is a Johnny-come-lately in the Creation debate. And opinions that were considered cutting edge science only a few hundred years ago have been laughed out of today’s laboratories, just as today’s cutting edge science will be laughed out of tomorrow’s. God is the only witness to Creation events and He told us what happened. If I’m to be at fault, let me be so for believing His word.