God don’t make no junk
The Baptist Student Ministries of Texas Tech University once asked me to come to their campus to discuss creation and evolution. They publicized the event campus-wide and staged it in one of the biology department’s lecture halls. The entire biology faculty attended, no doubt alarmed that a Baptist preacher had come to discuss this volatile subject with their students.
At the beginning of the hour I set out my ambition: to discuss what the Bible actually says on the subject of creation. As everyone knows, it states that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Does it tell us how long ago he did this? Does it tell us the specific means he used? In biological terms, his word claims that he made birds and fish (vs. 20-21), livestock and wild animals (vs. 24) and humans (v. 26). But how he did so, we are not told.
I explained to the biology faculty and the rest of the students packed into the lecture hall that I was concerned only with discussing and defending these truth claims. According to Archbishop Ussher (mid-17th century), the genealogical records of the Bible require that creation occurred in 4004 B.C., but the Scriptures nowhere make this assertion. Some have defended a “gap” theory whereby creation occurred ages ago, then Satan “fell” between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 so that God “restarted” creation some 6,000 years ago. I felt no need to defend such speculation.
“Flood geologists” suggest that Noah’s flood would have compressed the earth’s geology so that our planet appears older than it is. “Mature creation” proponents reason that God made a mature planet which of necessity would seem more ancient than it is. If he created a 200-foot redwood today and you cut the tree down tomorrow, you would count rings which would make the tree seem ancient. Of course, these theories are just that.
As we noted last week, the Bible is a practical book but we are speculative people. The Scriptures tell us all we need to know about creation—God made us and our universe for his providential purposes. You are not here by chance but by creative design. How long ago God created our universe and what process he used in so doing is of secondary significance to this revelatory declaration.
When the Texas Tech biology faculty learned that I had not come to convince their students that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark, we got along very well. We’ll continue our conversation on Monday, but for today let’s claim this significant fact: God made you for a reason. The world has more than six billion inhabitants—we didn’t really need one more. Yet God thought his universe needed someone with your exact gifts and abilities, challenges and struggles. Ethel Waters, whose birth was the result of her mother’s rape, spoke for us all: “I know I’m somebody ’cause God don’t make no junk.”