Why Does the Universe Look So Old? | Albert Mohler Transcript at ICR

Excerpt from Talk

Why does the universe look so old? First, the most natural understanding from Scripture on the age of the universe is this: The universe looks old because the Creator made it whole.When He made Adam, Adam was not a fetus; Adam was a man. He had the appearance of a man, which by our understanding would have required time for Adam to get old. But not by the sovereign creative power of God. He put Adam in the garden. The garden was not merely seeds; it was a fertile, fecund, mature garden. The Genesis account clearly claims that God creates and makes things whole.

Secondly, the universe looks old because it bears testimony to the effects of sin, and thus the judgment of God seen through the catastrophe of the Flood and catastrophes innumerable thereafter. The world looks old because, as Paul says in Romans 8, it is groaning. It gives empirical evidence of the reality of sin. And even as this cosmos is the theater of God’s glory, it is more precisely the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption that takes place here on this planet in telling the story of the love of God. Is this compatible with the claim that the universe is 13.5 billion years old?

In our effort to be most faithful to the Scriptures and most accountable to the grand narrative of the Gospel, an understanding of creation in terms of 24-hour calendar days and a young earth entails far fewer complications, far fewer theological problems, and actually is the most straightforward and uncomplicated reading of the text as we come to understand God telling us how the universe came to be and why it matters. The universe is telling the story of the glory of God, the Ancient of Days.

Source: Why Does the Universe Look So Old? | The Institute for Creation Research

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What Was the Light On Day 1 Of Creation And How Come There Was Night When The Sun Was Created On Day 4? | Domenic Marbaniang

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Gen 1:3-5)

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Gen 1:14-19)

On Day 1, pure physical light was created. The earth was covered with waters and deep darkness. The only movement was the movement of the Spirit over the face of the waters.

When God created light on Day 1, darkness was still there. Light was divided from the darkness in the sense that where light shines, darkness cannot be – light travels, darkness can’t. Light is energy. The creation of Light signified the beginning of the Time-Clock. The time run down begins here. This is when the clocks begin to first tick. This is when the ancient symbols of time run – night and day – take charge. It doesn’t mean that day is day because of the sun and night is night because of the moon. It signifies the beginning of physical time in the universe with the first act of God.

Of course, there are many opinions and suggestions given regarding the identity of this light. For examples,Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber documents a few rabbinic views such as the buried light view (that the original light got buried and withheld from sinful men), the unfixed lights view (that the lights on day 1 and 4 are identical but not fixed yet on day 1), and the placed in the sun view (that the light was placed in the sun to limit its radiance and heat on day 4). But, these are mere opinions and conjectures.

The fact stated is clearly that God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. It doesn’t say “lights”, but “light” signifying the creation of the generic light.

Source: What Was the Light On Day 1 Of Creation And How Come There Was Night When The Sun Was Created On Day 4? | Domenic Marbaniang

Gospel in Words and Gospel in Deeds | Domenic Marbaniang

Jesus ministered in word and in deed. He said His works testified of Him.The Gospel is not only communicated by words but also by deeds. Preaching, talking, apologetics, discourse, conversations exemplify the Gospel in words. But, the Gospel can and is expected to also be communicated by deeds.One may confess with his mouth that Jesus is Lord (Rom.10:10). But, they may deny the Lord by their works.They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Tit 1:16)Many times, the Gospel is more effectively communicated with great conviction by actions, without words.Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, (1Pe 3:1)

Source: Gospel in Words and Gospel in Deeds | Domenic Marbaniang

Creation-Faith and the Value of the Cosmological Argument | Domenic Marbaniang

The cosmological argument takes off from the common-sense idea that every effect must have a cause. From a rational point of view, the idea of something being created or effected out of nothing is absurd. Therefore, in many religious cosmologies, God is seen as either the material cause or the formal cause or the final cause of the world. In many cosmogonies, the universe is looked at as created out of something (and not nothing), many times the body of God (the eternal One). The idea of creation out of nothing does not originate in reason, though it may seem sensible to the imagination. Immanuel Kant had raised an important issue with the cosmological argument that looked to God as the source of the chain of cause-effect phenomena (or the world). He said,”If the supreme being should itself stand in this chain of conditions, it would be a member of the series, and like the lower members which it precedes, would call for further enquiry as to the still higher ground from which it follows. If, on the other hand, we propose to separate it from the chain, and to conceive it as a purely intelligible being, existing apart from the series of natural causes, by what bridge can reason contrive to pass over to it? For all laws governing the transition from effects to causes, all synthesis and extension of our knowledge, refer to nothing but possible experience, and therefore solely to objects of the sensible world, and apart from them can have no meaning whatsoever.” [The Critique of Pure Reason, Trs by NK Smith, 518-19)While there has been much significant work done on the cosmological argument, the argument itself is not supposed to function as the proof for the existence of God. Of course, attempts to debunk the cosmological argument do not accomplish much than the popular “If God created the world, who created God?” or “If God could be eternal, why can’t the universe be eternal?” And, apologists have devised strong arguments as an answer.Perhaps, the greatest value of the cosmological argument lies in exposing the irrationality of cosmogonies that are bereft of the idea of an uncaused, transcendent cause. For instance, it argues that an infinitely temporal universe would be impossible. It would certainly be too hasty for cosmologists to find evidence in a big bang theory or the similar. The cosmological argument, however, does allow a rational anticipation of the belief in a creation out of nothing.Ultimately, the idea of creation out of nothing is not a mere common-sense tenet of reason, but is a tenet of faith. And the revelation is particular to the Biblical account of creation. Therefore, we are told:”Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb 11:3)

Source: Creation-Faith and the Value of the Cosmological Argument | Domenic Marbaniang

Does the Moral Law Require a Moral Lawgiver? | Domenic Marbaniang

One popular version of the moral argument for the existence of God has been that the reality or rational necessity of the moral law proves the existence of a moral lawgiver. However, we must admit that there are religious philosophies, especially in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism that do not find a leap from moral law to moral lawgiver necessary at all. In fact, in these, the moral law exists independently to any concept of deity. So, how justified is the argument from law to lawgiver?I believe that the concept of a moral law and God are inseparable. Perhaps, the name God is better than the term Lawgiver, because the moral law doesn’t exist because of an arbitrary command of God (as in divine command theories). Certainly, the moral law doesn’t exist apart from God as if He only discovered or knew the principle and gave interpretations to humans in the form of rules and norms. The moral law is not just a set of commandments. It is the law of relationship between persons. Persons have the faculty for self-awareness and self-determination, which takes into account inter-personal relationships. A natural law is a law of relationship between elements or forces of nature. But, the moral law is the law of relationship between moral beings.To say that the moral law can exist independent of God (Triune Inter-personal Being) is to claim that the moral law is not personal, or if it is personal, it isn’t absolute and eternal. Obviously, it couldn’t be absolute and eternal if it were restricted to just the flux of this-worldly phenomenon.Also, this argues against the idea of an impersonal God. If God is impersonal, only impersonal laws would exist. The Eastern views consider personal consciousness as imperfect and impersonal existence as perfect. Thus, in their ultimate argument, the moral law would be very illusory. However, they cannot establish how such an idea could be justified by a “person” whose status of existence is “personal” and not “impersonal”.We know that the moral law exists by the fact that moral beings have concepts of justice and retribution. It is another thing if some call evil as good and good as evil. People usually resort to moral reasoning to settle these differences. However, moral reasoning about what is just and what is unjust would be baseless if there is not a law above the cultural or political “commandments”, “traditions”, and “customs” of men. Morality would then be highly relative, as some already accept so. But, to say that morality is relative is to make an absolute statement with the normative implication that relative laws ought not to be regarded as either good or evil. The relativist position is self-defeating.This implies that the moral law does exist eternally and absolutely, not somewhere in the outer space but in the way in which persons are naturally inter-related. This involves the emotional-attitudinal-actional inter-relationship between persons. Such inter-personal relating cannot be the result of impersonal forces– for if it were, then the idea of personal justice would be ultimately absurd. This effect of moral inter-relations cannot be caused by amoral causes. The cause must be Absolute, Eternal, and Inter-Personal. Therefore, we say that the reality of the moral law invites us to acknowledge the reality of the Triune God.

Source: Does the Moral Law Require a Moral Lawgiver? | Domenic Marbaniang