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Creation by Command

In my earlier post on the Biblical Doctrine of Creation, my second element of a Biblical doctrine of creation was that God creates by simple command, in other words, God’s word and will is reality.

This is commonly used as an argument against theistic evolution, and even in some cases against old earth creationism. Duane Gish used it against Hugh Ross in debate by questioning the continuing process of stellar evolution, something that Hugh Ross acknowledges. The transcript that was on TalkOrigins is currently unavailable online, but there is a copy at ASA.

There are some Biblical points, however, that I believe overturn this argument. There are multiple creation accounts. We have a simple command in Genesis 1:27, but is described as a process in 2:7. Then we have a description of the constant creative activity of God in Psalm 104. Even futher, God states that he created Israel (Isaiah 43:1). This is both the accomplishment of his word and his will, but it is also a very long process. Again, God’s word in prophecy promised and predicted the Messiah, and the fulfillment is the accomplishment of God’s word. Nonetheless there was a lengthy process involved.

The key is that God’s word “does not return empty” (Isaiah 55:11). Even now Christians hold to just such a promise. Jesus promised to return, and yet he is not here. Much time has passed, yet we still wait. Why? Because we believe that ultimately God’s word is sure.

Thus I would suggest that all of the views of origins that I have described in this series fulfill this doctrinal requirement for a Biblical doctrine of creation. Each has its own view of the way in which God’s word is fulfilled in creation, but each is certain that God’s word is and will be fulfilled.

I would note that if God’s word is certain, and if we can see God’s word in action when we observe the processes of evolution, we are justified in deriving some of our understanding of the character of God from these observations. Theology may not make science, but by virtue of the fact that it is so good at collecting data, science can impact religion.

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