I listened to all the 1 hour lectures you gave at a university recently. The evidence about the life of Christ, and lack of info about other claimed messiah types like Zoroaster was very helpful. I’m definitely struggling with your views on a approx 14 million yrs old earth ( I’m not sure that number is what you said), [editor’s note: he is probably referring to the fact that I said scientific evidence points toward a 13.5 billion year old universe] I agree there is overwhelming evidence like The Vitamin C issue in common, and a tracer for the same Virus, and 98% DNA in common with apes, and orangutans, but here are my questions. [editor’s note: he it talking about evidence for common descent of humans] 1 Adam and Eve brought sin into the world but if evolution is true then death occurred over and over before sin.
2 God made man from dust, and Eve received a rib from Adam.
3 Jesus stated that Adam and Eve were at the beginning.
4 The Hebrew words for day in creation represented a 24 hour period.
5 That means God rested for probably millions of years, instead of setting an example for us to rest.
6 The animals were supposedly created for us to enjoy, and at least you could say we were given the responsibility to care for them, so why create dinosaurs that were going to die without man ever seeing them?
7 Do you think Adam and Eve were the first humans in the garden, with all the ape like human outside the garden?
8 Do you think it makes scientific sense if God created earth and the other planets in our universe with the stars in other galaxies being present for billions of years.
These are a lot of questions please answer the ones you have time for. I know you get a lot of email. Thank you for your work I can tell you are using your talents for His Glory.


I really appreciate you asking all these questions. It hope I can help clear up some of your concerns.

1. Yes, that is right.  Ever since life has existed in the earth, death was the natural lot of all living things.  Creatures were dying during the Paleozoic Era, the Mesozoic Era and the Cenozoic Era.  Creatures were dying during the Jurassic period and the Triassic and the Carboniferous and the Cretaceous periods. This is very clear from fossil evidence. It also explains how coal got in the ground. How does the fact that woolly mammoths and trilobytes and other creatures died contradict anything that was said in Genesis?  I know that certain fundamentalist preachers have claimed that there was literally no death before Adam sinned, but what passage in the Bible says this?  This idea is not biblical.

2. Whether God made Adam literally from dust or metaphorically from dust (ie from physical stuff) is debatable.  Personally, I believe that this “dust” is metaphorical.  We say that when we die we return to dust.  Well, we do not literally return to dust when we die, so we use this term metaphorically. When the Bible says that God made Adam from dust this does not amount to a doctrinal statement about the actual physical material out of which God formed Adam.  It is saying that God made animate Adam out of inanimate material, which I believe is true.  About the “rib” the Hebrew word used here is not the word for “rib.”  This is a traditional translation, but the Hebrew word means something more like “side.”  Was this an actual chunk of the side of Adam, or is God making a spiritual point about the relationship between Adam and Eve?  I do not know.  How historical, how literal and how metaphorical we should take this account to be is debatable, but in any case, the Hebrew word used here is not the word for rib.

3. Where did Jesus say that Adam and Eve were at the beginning?  In fact, Jesus did not even mention Eve or Adam even once in the gospels, so I am not sure what passage you are talking about.

4. The Hebrew word for day in Genesis is yomYom is usually translated as day, but it is also translated as time 122 times, as years 21 times, as lifetime 9 times, as period 9 times, as year 7 times, and so forth, so I am not sure where you got your information, but the Hebrew word yom often means something other than 24 hours.  Our English word day also often means something other than twenty four hours.  For example, we say, “In my day, we loved to play vinyl records.”  The Bible often talks about the Day of the Lord, and this almost never refers to a 24-hour period, so I do not agree with what you said here.

5. God is never “resting.”  God is always at work.  Jesus even said that God is always at work (for example in John 5:17).  It is true that God talks metaphorically about him “resting” on the seventh day. Exactly what it means for God to “rest” is not clear.  God was working long before Adam and Eve appeared on the earth, and God has never stopped working.  There is a sense in which, when God had created the first humans his work of creation was complete.  His work of creation had reached its final point with the creation of humans in God’s image.  Again, the exact theological meaning of the statement that God rested on the seventh day is debatable, but the fact (assuming it is true) that the Earth was billions of years old when God created Adam and Eve does not mean that God was resting during that time.

6. The Bible does not say that the animals were created for us to enjoy, but it does say that God gave us the responsibility of caring for his creation.  The fact that things existed long before Adam and Eve does not negate that God told humans to care for his creation.  If I built and owned a house, and thirty years later gave it to my daughter, telling her to take care of it, this would not mean that I created it the day I asked her to take care of it.  To be honest, I do not understand your logic here.  God created nature to glorify him, not us. We are not glorified by Creation. God is, and that includes the things that he created before humans made their appearance on the earth, such as dinosaurs.

7. The Bible does not tell us much of anything about what creatures existed when and where before God created Adam and Eve.  I believe we should let science reveal to us this kind of thing, since the Bible does not discuss it.  Science tells us that there were relatively advanced pre-human like creatures in existence before human beings.  Therefore, I believe it is true.  How does this contradict anything in the Bible?  I do not see how it does.  I am guessing that you were told to assume certain things by young-earth creationists, but these things you were told are not found in the Bible.  The Bible concerns what happens after the creation of humans in God’s image, now what came before.

8. God exists outside of time.  God is not affected by time.  God exists outside of space.  God is not affected by space.  God sees all.  The lapse of time is nothing to God.  If God decided to create billions of galaxies (apparently he did!!!), then amen to that.  God can create whatever he likes.  My human logic has no effect on what God does.  Does it make “scientific sense” that God created billions of galaxies over billions of years?  Science does not ask what makes sense. Science asks what is apparently true, and it is apparently true that God created a very very large universe which has existed for a very, very long time.  God is very awesome.  I see nothing in this which contradicts things we know about God from the Bible. Why not? Why not create a very large universe, if God wants to?  Why not create a universe that evolves over billions of years?  What is it that we know about God which makes this unlikely? The only contradiction may be between what you were told by certain conservative science-denying believers and what science tells us is true.

John Oakes

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