Last evening (9/22/2019) Dr. Michael Reagan, on his program, “Christ in Prophecy” left his audience in no doubt whatsoever where he stands on creationism and the age of the earth. He stated emphatically that one has to believe that the earth was created in six literal days, and about six-thousand years ago, because, if one cannot believe the opening statement of the Bible, then how can one believe anything else that is in the Bible? Yes, creationism. But not just creationism – creation in six literal days about six thousand years ago, or everything else is subject to scrutiny.
Frankly, his statement here opened up the way for me to delve into this, as I have been toying with doing for some time, but was just not willing to take the time to actually do. His insistence that one simply has to believe the opening verses of the Bible, or bunk, just served to goad me into it. Please keep in mind the fact that, although Reagan holds a doctorate degree, he has no formal theological training whatsoever. That is something that a lot of people don’t know. They assume he has a doctorate in theology. He does not. I, on the other hand, do at least have degrees in theology, although, sadly, a doctorate is not among them. Still, his position is so completely absurd that most biblical scholars and theologians have concluded that literalness need not be employed here. Only fanatics, like Dr. Reagan, today insist that this must be taken literally.
Well, let us take this literal interpretation to its rational and logical conclusion, then, shall we? As the sequence is actually stated in Genesis, in the TWO, somewhat different accounts of creation are put, more or less, together, our world was indeed created in six days. Interestingly, it took God six days to create this world, while it took him only one to create the rest of the universe. Also, in the first account, in chapter one, plants and animals came into being before humans were created. Humans were kind of an afterthought for God in the first account. Humans (that’s both, because there is no differentiation in the first chapter between men and women) were created to have (1) dominion over the earth and every living thing, as well as (2) to multiply. Humans were given every plant – every plant – with its “fruit”, to eat, just like the animals had also been given every plant to eat. And, just like the animals, humankind was expected to populate the earth, and to subdue it.
And that’s it. Nice and concise with a bow on the box all wrapped up in Christmas paper, isn’t it? This account leaves nothing to chance, even if it doesn’t make perfect sense on all points.
But, in chapter two, which gives a second account, things proceed a bit differently. Here, the creation was already completed right at the beginning. Nothing more need be done. God even started out by resting on the seventh day, following his whirlwind six-day spate of creation. Yes, he must have been very, very tried indeed! The change comes when the text begins to talk about the fact that it had never rained (one has to wonder how much time has elapsed. But, if one takes it literally, it has only been seven days, after all). But, astonishingly, the text also states that there was no man to till the ground. Wait? Had not God already created both man AND woman? Had they not already got to the business of subduing the earth and, um, procreating?
But, in this account, instead of rain, we have a mist that waters the ground. Yet, as soon as this is mentioned, God decides to create a man (but no woman) from the “dust of the ground” (I guess the text should have read “mud” since a mist had moistened it). What was the point of creating yet another man? Well, as the text explains, for whatever reason, God decided to create a garden into which he would place his newly created man. Everything grew in this particular garden, including the trees of “life” and of the “knowledge of good and evil” (one has to assume that these two trees grew nowhere else upon the earth).
Then the text goes back to water once again, as it talks of rivers flowing from the garden. All of the extra description of land areas and minerals was quite fascinating to me as a young person as I imagined some place like that, where beautiful trees, flowing waters, and precious stones were in abundance. Once one reads about this, it is almost anticlimactic to read that the man was placed in the garden to “dress and to keep it”. As a young person, it literally never occurred to me that this meant that the man was supposed to WORK! He had been placed in this paradisaical garden in order to see to its upkeep, that’s all.
The man was commanded to keep the garden up and that he may eat of any tree he wished, except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And a curse was actually placed upon such an act, in that if the man were to eat of it, he would die. In effect, the man was made to work and to keep everything up, including this tree, but he could not eat of this tree even though his work was to sustain it. That might have been galling to him – IF he had possessed knowledge. I submit that if he did not understand good or evil, he did not understand much at all. In effect, God was keeping him stupid. At least, that’s my interpretation here.
Then, as an afterthought, God somehow realized that it was not good for his man to be alone. God’s solution – to create the animals and have the man name them all. That would keep him busy for a bit. No telling how much time that took. Regardless, somehow the man was still lonely. So, God decided to create a woman for him from his own rib.
Now, keep in mind that they are both now in the garden together – naked, by the way. But, however much time had elapsed, this was clearly more than seven days because the second man, Adam, was not even created until the eighth day. That all by itself blows the myth of a six-day creation out of the water because, according to this, God continued to create after the seventh day. A LITERAL reading of the text makes this conclusion inescapable. I mean, it’s not like God started all over again, destroying the first version of creation and starting again with Adam and Eve, right?
In any case, this is where theology gets hairy. Not only had God given Adam and Eve everything they could have possibly wanted, even if the man was expected to work for his keep (no accounting for the other humans who had, literally, been created before God’s garden tender here), but somehow a rebellion had taken place in heaven, so that Satan and the angels who followed him were thrown out of the heavenly paradise. And where did they just happen to wind up? On earth with humanity. And who did Satan, in the guise of a still walking (literally) serpent who could (literally) talk decide to attempt to persuade to rebel against God too? Eve, of course – the poor dumb (one has to presume this if Adam is also dumb) woman in the garden. And, after all, she was apparently easily deceived. And Adam made no protest when she also gave him the fruit of the forbidden tree. Adam’s reply to God was basically, “Well, you gave her to me”.
Of course, for this act, curses were sent all around – to the serpent (but not Satan himself), to the woman (so she would endure painful childbirths. Frankly, painful sex too, if one reads it correctly), and to the man – the very earth was cursed for his sake so that it would produce thorns, thistles, and things less than desirable to eat, yet the man would have to eat it after hard labor.
Here, the text seeks to make it clear that the woman, Eve, was to be the mother of all of humanity. Are we to assume that all of the other humans had died out? Indeed, if Adam and Eve were the only humans to choose to rebel, why were they not simply made to die, as God had said, rather than cursed? If they had died, then the rest of humanity would, presumably, still be without original sin. All God had to do was to allow them both to die. But, apparently, this is not what happened.
But, don’t take my word for any of this. Here is the text from the good ole’ King James Version – you know, the one the fanatics insist is the only correct version.
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And 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.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 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.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
12 And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone.
13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Regardless, the text seems to make it clear that Adam and Eve had not worked at all on the procreation angle until they were cast out of their paradise. I won’t get into the questions that arise from this. In any case, this was, supposedly, the beginning of God’s great creation, ruined by the man and the woman he placed in his garden, because of whom the whole of creation is supposedly cursed – or at least, was cursed.
And all of this had to have happened about six thousand years ago, literally. See, the mind of the fanatic simply cannot fathom of millions, or even thousands, of years without at least some mention of God. The story of God literally had to begin as written in Genesis, because there is simply no way that humanity could have roamed the earth for untold millennia in a, supposedly, perfect and sinless state (or even not in such a state), populating the earth as they went. To be fair, some do posit such a possibility in what they call the “pre-Adamite world”, but this theory is quite vague since there is, literally, nothing much on which to base it. I will leave all of that to the reader’s imagination.
In any case, clearly Dr. Reagan does not believe in a pre-Adamite world. He believes that all that supposedly took place within the first three chapters of Genesis happened during, and very quickly after, the literal six days of creation. Satan and his minions had to have rebelled either well before creation took place, or sometime during the process of creation. Certainly, it must have taken place no later than a few days after the creation of the man, Adam.
So, humanity has paid the price for the supposed infraction of Adam and Eve for a mere six-thousand or so years thus far. That brings us to the culmination, which will be a literal destruction of the universe, according to “Revelation”, and a remaking of it. In between, humanity has had to go through untold misery and heartache, with most souls destined for hell because the majority of humans who ever lived were not even told of a Christ, so they had no opportunity to believe and be saved. The curse, supposedly lifted at Calvary, appears to still be in effect in every way. See, Satan still hasn’t figured out that God has won….
What all of this literally means is that the entire universe was created about six-thousand years ago, in one day, literally just for us, but we have messed things up so badly that god, in his foreordained plan, had to send a Christ to save us – but only those who would blindly believe.
It’s a pitiful story, actually. Humanity, with so much promise and ability, destroying his planet in the name of subduing it only so that Christ can return and completely destroy it so it can be created again. The real truth here, for those who wish to see it, is that everything comes back full-circle (and not the way Jonathan Cahn posits in “The Oracle”) because time is actually cyclical, not linear, and all that has been will be again, even if in a slightly altered manner each time. Everything operates in cycles, something that all of the ancient Sacred Mysteries taught, but which the monotheist refuses to recognize as a fact. Nothing ever ends, regardless of what the literalist monotheist fanatic may state.