Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 6 August 2005
The opening statements about God's seventh day of rest are generic and have no bearing on the age of the creation.
He Finished His Work (Page 180)
In the second paragraph, he states concerning the seventh day of rest, "This argues powerfully against the evolutionary doctrine, which suggests that creation is a work still in process." The Christian who believes in Theistic Evolution would agree that the process of evolution carries on...but by God entering his rest, He is no longer guiding the evolutionary process.
He goes on trying to prove that the first law of thermodynamics supports the fact that creation is finished. I have no problems with this as it has nothing to do with the age of the earth. He then goes on to the second law of thermodynamics, and as is typical with young earth creationists, he misuses this law. This already appears on another website's review of the book, so I will not discuss here. Click here to read this brief review, paying attention to the comments about page 181.
After the second Law of Thermodynamics discussion, he slips into a God of the Gaps mentality, describing God's creation with emotional words, appealing to them without ever mentioning facts to back up these emotions.
In the middle of 183, he says, "The amazing excellence revealed in the creative work of God is forfeited to a very large degree if we abandon the days of creation in favor of an ages-long evolutionary process." Having friends who are Christians and evolutionists, I can say that they are just as amazed at God's creation as MacArthur is...so to claim that belief in evolution forfeits the wonders of God's creation is patently false and cannot be proven.
He then tries to claim that long ages negate the symbolism of the seven day week that God gave us. Given that modern society, both Christians and non-Christians, are bound by calendars which proclaim the seven day week, there isn't one ounce of merit in this empty claim...just look at your calendar!
MacArthur is probably alluding to the fact that you cannot compare six long creation days, which were millions of years, with one literal 24-hour rest day...the two are like comparing apples and oranges. Of course, this assumes that the seventh day is a literal 24-hour day, which it is not. More on that later.
He Rested (Page 184)
He goes into a laundry-list of items related to the Sabbath, which have no bearing on the age of the earth. On page 187 he comes to the issue of the length of the seventh day, and says that since Scripture is clear that the days of creation are 24 hours (as interpreted by young earth creation science advocates), then the seventh day was also a normal 24-hour day. Let's consider the words of Hebrews 4:4-6;
4 For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 And again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,
This passage clearly talks about God's seventh day of rest, and the author says that some will still enter into this rest. How could God's seventh day of rest have lasted only 24 hours, when Christians are entering into it thousands of years later?
MacArthur makes the claim that God's rest that he commenced on day seven could have continued, had it not been for Adam's sin. But when Adam sinned, did God exit His rest and start creating again? No, he did not, so there is no connection between Adam's sin and the length of God's rest.
He Blessed the Day (Page 188)
He claims that "...if creation was spread over eons of time, there was no seventh day. Thus any view of this passage other than a literal six-day creation totally confounds the blessing of the seventh day." This argument falls apart when you consider the seventh day itself is not a 24-hour day.
He continues by saying, "On the other hand, if we believe what the Bible says, then every seventh day is a memorial and a reminder that God created the entire universe in one week." I believe the Bible, and I accept the seven day pattern that God gave us, without compromising the literal, inerrant Scriptures. I take exception to this implication that I do not believe the Bible. I interpret the Bible differently from MacArthur, but we both believe it!
He then goes into a discussion of the origin of evil, which has no age implications. In the end, he comes back to his false statement which he has phrased many times in the book in several different ways..."The glory of God's original creative work is diminished by any theory that stretches creation out over long ages of time..." Rest assured, we old earth believers are just as amazed at God's creation as young earth creationists are, and I would dare say, even more so, since we understand and utilize science properly without twisting it to fit our theories as young earth creation science does.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
Feel free to check out more of this website. Our goal is to provide rebuttals to the bad science behind young earth creationism, and honor God by properly presenting His creation.