Does The Gospel Rest on Direct Creation?

In my previous post I failed to rebut this rather surprising claim:

No. Not at all. Putting aside for the moment that most would argue that the risen Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which the Gospel rests, I must emphasize this fact:

The Bible provides few details about “direct creating” versus “indirect creating”.

Greg, do you think God directly creates each human? Or did God create the material universe and the laws of physics and chemistry which led to the processes of biology such that human males and females together produce each new human being?

Does God create each rainstorm directly?

Have you considered that God is so omniscient and omnipotent that he could have “directly created” the Big Bang (and thereby all laws of physics with it) so that everything else we observe in his creation naturally arose from it? That would make every atom, every rock, every heavenly body, and every living thing an “indirect” creation of God, wouldn’t it? Would that be a heretical thought under your viewpoint? (Could it be that you limit God and have a deity concept which is far too small?)

I would say that God is both a “direct” and “indirect” Creator—if indeed such a distinction is even all that important. In any case, whether God is solely a “direct Creator” (and never an indirect one) is NOT “the foundation upon which all other Christian theology including the gospel rests!”

I will admit, however, that your view would have fit in extremely well in ancient times when many people assumed that each and every lightning bolt was a “direct creation” of God, and usually also with some sort of judgment purpose (or at least an expression of his anger about something humans had done.)

I don’t believe for a moment that distinctions of direct versus indirect creation are at all the foundation upon which the Gospel of Jesus Christ rests. Indeed, I find the claim quite disturbing—though I nevertheless have said so peacefully. I am also quite willing to be “tolerant” towards your opinion being expressed here on this forum, even though I consider it unscriptural.


Thank you! You’ve articulated my belief perfectly. Even on evolution my view is (although I’m not necessarily married to it) that God didn’t necessarily direct evolution, merely kickstarted it and, knowing what would eventually come out of it, let it run it’s course. With a few inputs, just to make sure that everything goes according to plan. We wouldn’t want some animal stepping on our fish ancestor now, would we?

Yes, as a Molinist it is my view that God considered all of the possible universes he could have made but chose this one. Also, God is not confined to the arrow of time as we are, so he saw all space-time realities of every thing in every time period in our universe as a whole “thought”. In the mind of God it is all one big reality that he chose. (Of course, for those who have fully grasped the Molinist view, that still allows for human choice. Humans aren’t robotic pawns who can complain of not having choice. That takes some study but it definitely belongs in its own thread—although I’ve covered it so many times in so many forums that I can’t say that I’m wanting to rehash it one more time. I will probably leave it to others. There’s probably a thread about Molinism in the Peaceful Forum archives)

Of course, the fish which got stepped on by some animal may never have been on its way to being our ancestor anyway—unless it reproduced before getting killed. So perhaps God didn’t need to intervene at all. The universe reality-path God chose entailed exactly the ancestors which led to us. So no special intervention necessary.

If God is truly sovereign, “divine intervention” in biological processes would only be necessary if God was incapable of creating this universe and the laws of physics in such a way that we were the result. I believe divine intervention ideas are simply a reflection of our insistence on imposing our human limitations on God because we obviously cannot imagine having his knowledge and power. (I don’t doubt that miracles are part of the plan of God, as described in the Bible. However, in the history of mankind we have tended to assume that various events and phenomena were “miraculous” until we gained enough knowledge to recognize that they were the result of the natural processes God created. For example, lightning bolts and even tornadoes seemed like miraculous divine interventions until we started understanding the physics behind them.)

To speak of divine intervention in another way, I consider the idea of God creating the world and then having to constantly tweak and repair it to make sure that it doesn’t deviate from his plan is a failure to fully appreciate God’s power and wisdom. God is not like a human engineer who didn’t quite get it right the first time and has to keep nudging it along here and then. (I believe the Bible’s teaching of God “sustaining” the world is a concession to our limitations and language and that it refers to God’s sovereignty over the world her created, not his needing to tweak it. In other words, God created a world that is sure to fulfill his purposes for it. We don’t have to worry that it will fall apart if God somehow “ignored” it. Accordingly, today’s typical definition of deism doesn’t at all fit this idea and Molinism.)

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@AllenWitmerMiller that goes too far for me. It also seems God wants to participate directly in creation. Maybe he didn’t need to tweak or intervene, but he still could have done so. If He did or does, this is not incoherent, but an echo of the work of Jesus entering into the world to alter its course entirely.

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Certainly. And the primary or most important aspect of intervention revolves around God’s plan to eventually replace this world with The New Heaven and the New Earth. So this world is a “temporary” one on the way to an ultimate plan.

Seeing the world as operating according to the reality-path which God ordained does not mean that God is restricted solely to such material outcomes. Some speak of God choosing to intersect with that material world as part of his plan for its successor in the New Earth described at the end of the book of Revelation. Indeed, many would say that all of God’s interventions are for that next-world purpose, rather than “repairing” or “tweaking” the material infrastructure of this universe (or even the biological developments on earth.) In that view, all of God’s interventions we see described in the Bible are part of that “long view” that culminates in Revelation 22.

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That world was destroyed in AD 70. We are living in the new world.

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I never found the Preterist view of @2Peter 3:10 all that convincing. Yes, the destruction of Jerusalem and other cities by the Romans was very tragic but the comparisons with the Noahic Flood and the elements getting melted in great heat sure seems like more than the sacking and burning of a city.

I don’t think today’s world that we are living in seems much like the New Earth in Revelation 22.

Anyway, I am probably to blame for the thread topic drifting away from “What is seeking peace?”

We dont need “intervention”… God engages in natural causes and in supernatural causes. It is all Him!

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You are right that Jesus is the centerpiece of the gospel. But Jesus is also the centerpiece before man existed too. My point in declaring that the creation account is the foundation upon which the gospel is to be made sense of is this: without the fall of man and the introduction of sin, the gospel cannot be truly comprehended in its value. And in Colossians, paul speaks of Christ as our Creator. With this, the heinousness of sin against a Holy God can only be forgiven by a sacrifice of enough worth to bring justice before this Holy God because He is just that great. Therefore, the sacrifice necessary was Himself who, according to Paul is Jesus Christ “through whom and for whom everything is made.” The gift of the gospel is not a free ticket to heaven. The gift is God Himself who was worthy before man was in the scene.

I challenge you to review the mormon interpretation of early Genesis. Their gospel is not Christian so interestingly their interpretation of Genesis is just downright aweful thus conforming to their false gospel. Check for yourself.

The gospel is NOT a psychological excercise for evolving good people to their better selves. The gospel is about Jesus (who created us in the first place) recreating people who are spiritually dead in sin into life THE INSTANT THEY CHOOSE TO LOOK TO THE CROSS FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN AND GIVING KING JESUS RIGHTFUL PLACE AS LORD. In the beginning God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit created kinds, including man instantly. Adam sinned and the Better Adam (Jesus) gives man a new beginning instantly the moment we place our faith in Him! That is goodnews.

They say that if you are looking for a perfect church and you find one, if you join that church you will ruin it! I have made a muck of things in so much of my life even as a believer. Just as there is no perfect church, so there are no perfect parachurches. Groups like Answers in Genesis included. I know quite a few individuals from AIG and they are superbly intelligent, serious about the gospel and Christian tbeology and perhaps some of the most caring people i know. Has AIG done everything right? No. None of us are perfect. But i believe that they have resources worthy of being given attention which many closely tethered to the mainstream are just not willing to listen to. I just read this article for example which seems to offer seeds of doubt about the ancient earth evolutionary claims…i have a hunch that when we arrive through those pearly gates, some of us might be really surprised who was more in line with how God did things and maybe, just maybe guys like Dr. Kurt Wise and even the young earth guys at AIG are amongst the approved crowd…here is a link to an interesting article by one of my favorite young earth scientists on the planet:

It’s not clear to me whether there is an agreed-upon, rigorous definition of “direct” vs. “indirect” creation, other than a general notion that “direct” = miraculous, unique, inexplicable by the laws of nature, while “indirect” = repeatable and thus at least partially amenable to the laws of nature.

But if we regard God as the creator, sustainer, and sovereign over the laws of nature, then is “indirect” really the right word to talk about it? Is God somehow less involved or acting in a more deistic way every time He makes something happen through the laws of nature? To me, this sort of thinking is a remnant of the mindset of an adherent of scientism - the idea that finding a natural explanation for something makes it less special or less reflective of God’s presence.

Ironically, creationists and ID advocates tend to fall to this temptation more - the idea that if we can’t prove God is a link in the chain of scientific reasoning, then that means there is nothing else for God to do. Of course, this is wrong - in my opinion, the correct way to view it is God as the author of the whole chain, not merely being a link in the chain.

Some might argue that if God has to follow the laws of nature, He is restricting Himself. That could be true, but we don’t know how expansive and deep the laws of nature really are. It could be that God is able to fully express Himself even within the laws that already exist in this Universe - whether it be the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics, chaos theory, or the initial conditions of the universe - we really just don’t know. And given that God is the most perfect, omniscient Being, it makes sense that He is a rational Being as well - one whose actions are friendly to scientific, natural analysis. If God’s actions evade our analysis, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re fundamentally inscrutable. Instead, there could be a deeper rational explanation that we humans are unable to grasp, like the case of the Trinity.

So it seems to me that rather than “direct” vs. “indirect”, “unique” vs. “repeatable” or “mysterious” (in the same way that the Trinity is) vs. “analyzable” might be the more useful, accurate distinction.


If you listen to Jeansons article, you would understand that creationists allow for speciation from a created “Kind” So a form of evolution better called adaotation is permitted in the creationist worldview and i believe holds water from a scientific perspective. This model of God creating life and giving it common grace for adaptation purposes as well as common grace of Him directly intervening in nature for its survival is completely supported by Christian theology. On the other hand, even being overly accepting of a naturalist perspective that suggests that complex life occurs on the foundation of selection of mutation that arises by chance where death and suffering are the means by which the good live on and the weak are discarded as of God is to suggest a very different character in God than the one i read in the Bible.

You may say im being too analytical…well the proof is in the pudding: the general theology that seems to bind to those who embrace more of a mainstream evolutionary worldview almost always seems to be off kilter-and im talking even about how the gospel reflects itself into our lives. I guess part of this is obvious: if one tends to do theological gymnastics about how to define Genesis 1-3, then the tendency will be to have license to do the same with the rest of Scripture.

Anyway, you have shown yourself to be a reasonable voice in these tough subjects. What is your thinking in response?

If readers want to get familiar with the style and talking points of Nathaniel Jeanson’s writings, I would also recommend another of his articles. It contains virtually identical complaints about how “evolutionary scientists” are ignoring his groundbreaking discoveries and scientific predictions:

A while back I actually listened to the Herman Mays vs. Nathaniel Jeanson. Jeanson’s “victory gloating” over the exchange and mischaracterizations of the aforementioned face-off does not at all conform with what I witnessed. Frankly, I was amazed that Dr. Mays bothered to engage him, especially as Mays got more and more frustrated with Jeanson claiming that Mays was posing strawman arguments against Jeanson’s book—even while Jeanson appeared unable or unwilling to clarify exactly what Mays was allegedly failing to grasp about Jeanson’s arguments in the book. As with most of the Jeanson’s articles and presentations which I’ve observed, his claims are recycled doctrines from the “creation science” playbook and attempted citations are weak if present at all. Very frustrating. Hardly convincing. Readers will notice that the two aforementioned Jeanson articles border on nebulous whining that nobody understands him.

In the second of the aforementioned articles, Jeanson complains at length that critic and book review David MacMillan is yet another opponent who fails to understand Jeanson’s “creation science” arguments—yet MacMillan is a former Young Earth Creationist and often published and spoke in venues where he might easily have shared a stage with Jeanson. (MacMillan even used to write articles for Answers in Genesis!) As with so many others, MacMillan found his way out of the “creation science” maelstrom.

I was particularly amused at Jeanson’s recasting of history (describing an imaginary world from before he was born where Henry Morris and Duane Gish were allegedly dazzling and confounding the evolutionary biology academy. I remember those days well. I was a big fan of Morris, Gish, and Whitcomb when I devoured books like THE GENESIS FLOOD (1962, Henry Morris & John Whitcomb Jr.) Jeanson has laughably inaccurate beliefs about their importance in the science academy. Of course, those men were totally unsuccessful in promoting their “creation science” claims in peer-reviewed scientific literature. Their stubborn immunity to fact-checking and their penchant for flagrant quote-mining eventually convinced me that my passionate defense of their YEC position was ill-founded. (One of the last straws for me was when Gish would get cornered in a Q&A sessions and promise to correct various scientific and citation errors “in the next edition” of his books—but then would obliviously repeat those same errors in the same lecture at another church or Christian school campus a few weeks later. This disgusted me. I wasn’t the only one to notice this. The most cited example is probably Gish’s claims about the Bombardier Beetle. Google it along with Gish’s name. Indeed, a number of online “encyclopedias of creation science quote-mines” have lots of Gish and Morris entries. Their reputations for pseudoscience nonsense were well earned.)

The science gaffes of these three heroes of “creation science” are legend and compiled on countless websites. Among the most bizarre pseudoscience claims of Whitcomb and Morris was the nonsensical belief (with no Biblical basis nor scientific evidence behind it) that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics didn’t apply before the Fall. Yes. Seriously. I’m not making this up. (Sometimes they even claimed that none of the The Laws of Thermodynamics applied. I heard that one in a sermon at a Midwestern church.) I well recall watching John Whitcomb Jr. making this no-LOT claim with a straight face without the slightest engagement with any of the common sense incongruities of this pulled-out-of-a-hat pseudo-physics position—such as how food digestion, body heat, and walking uphill without slipping on the path was possible without the 2nd LOT.

The nonsense Jeanson promotes is extremely disturbing to me because I consider the influence of Gish, Morris, and Whitcomb in my life a very toxic one. It took me years and much investigation to free myself from their pseudoscience and sloppy hermeneutics. You will find the origins of their beliefs in the bizarre ramblings of Seventh Day Adventist prophetess Ellen White and her acolyte, George McReady Price.

One could say that I’m extremely intolerant of their unscriptural misrepresentations of Biblical truth and scientific evidence. Facts matter. Truth matters. All of the aforementioned made a lot of money promoting their bizarre claims. Is this an example of the money-changers in the Temple that you were talking about when warning us of the dangers of “tolerance”?


Really, nobody told me that. Here I have been thinking that a new world order has just begun today because my stocks are down 10%. :rofl:

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I haven’t encountered many preterists for decades now. So I’m delighted to have Mung with us to remind me of the perspectives of that position.


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