by John D. Morris, Ph.D. *
Scripture, which claims to be the written account of the Creator Himself, reveals a past time when God separately created each basic plant and animal type. These complex inhabitants all played a vital role in earth's early environment. According to His Word, creation was perfect at the start, but suffered ruination when the head steward of creation rejected God's authority over him. Soon a great worldwide flood cleansed the earth of these rebellious human inhabitants, and all the earth suffered. Today we study the remains of that once "very good" world, devastated by man's disobedience.
God's written message is totally trustworthy, for He was there, knows everything, can communicate clearly, and cannot lie. He wants us to know what really happened, and realizes we might come to error if we try to unravel past secrets without His help. Our Creator has the authority to tell us how we should live if we are to function properly. He has the authority to set the guidelines for life and the penalty for breaking those guidelines. If we live according to His "owner's manual," we can expect to enjoy life more fully than if we choose otherwise.
The fossils testify to a message written in stone that is remarkably similar to the one given in writing by the Creator. However, fossils and the other historical sciences may tell us a lot, but they don't provide the details. A complete reconstruction of past events from partial evidence in the present is nearly impossible. The forensic sciences can do much, but they can never provide certainty. In just that way, studying the fossil record only provides clues in our quest to understand the past. The trouble is, we simply don't know all truth and can't accurately reconstruct the past from the fossils alone. We can only come to a better approximation of that truth as we do our investigation under the Creator's authority. Obviously, we can never discover full truth if we have already denied truth. But with His help, we can begin to fill in the blanks.
Remember, fossils are dead things, yet the fossil record speaks eloquently of the Creator's precise design and of the truth of the Bible's message to us. There we are told of His creative power, His judgment of man's sinful rebellion, and His ultimate solution to the sin problem. When Adam sinned, God justly declared the penalty of sin to be death, eternal death. Yet He desired a relationship with sinful man, and knowing that man was powerless to overcome this sentence on his own, God moved to accomplish it Himself. This was accomplished by the death of the Creator in payment for our sins. Only in this way could God's holy and just nature be satisfied, and bring man back into right standing with his Creator.
God's plan of salvation is a free gift to any who confess their sin, turn from it, and accept the gift. He will respond with forgiveness of our sins, restoration of our standing before Him, adoption into His family, and eternal life in His presence. Such forgiveness can only be received by faith. Evidence such as that preserved in the fossil record can be a stimulus to faith, but evidence can never substitute for faith.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris, J. 2008. Creation Evangelism. Acts & Facts. 37 (11): 3.