Does God get to break the rules whenever He wishes? Is science opposed to Christian belief? How can science function properly when Christians believe in a God who sometimes just does what he wants without recourse to the ‘normal way of life?’
As an example, in Genesis One, God created the plants. This in itself is not a problem because God, if He can create anything, can surely create plant life. What seems to be more difficult is the order of creation. At this point in time, according to Genesis, there was no sun, moon or stars. So how did the plants live without light from these sources? Here is the problem restated:
If God can suspend the “laws of science” at any point as He wishes then how can science function at all in such an unpredictable environment? Indeed, how can people function logically if God chooses to act in ways which seem random or unforeseeable?
In this little series of dealing with some objections to the Christian belief in the literal reading of Genesis, I come now to Creation: Day Three. The objection which was made says this:
On the third day he makes plants and grass despite the fact there is no sun so they could not live.
You can see where this objection intersects with what I have just said. God causes plants to live and yet does not provide them with what we observe now as requirements for plant life. How can this problem be resolved?
First, we must once again be sure we read Genesis in its own worldview. If Genesis is truly accurate then the plants were only without sunlight for one day. Is it possible for plants to survive without sunlight for a single day? Surely the answer to this question, in the case of the vast majority of plant species, is affirmative. Plants could be locked up in a dark cupboard for twenty-four hours and then brought out without any great harm being done to them at all. So to suggest the plants could not live without the sun is to take a verse from Genesis out of its context. Could plant life be sustained for millions of years without light? No, of course not. Genesis never says this. Genesis says God created the plants on one day and the light source for the plants on the next day. If God can create these things then there is no contradiction here nor does God violate any laws by doing so.
Second, again within a Christian worldview, God creates and sustains life all on His own. We can observe the processes by which plants grow and reproduce and we can note the role light from the sun plays in this. Yet we can also insist that no life exists independently of God’s will. So God can will plants to live and He is perfectly capable of keeping things alive simply by His decision. Indeed, God Himself is light. What other light source is required? None. In the book of Revelation, after Heaven and Earth are re-created, there will be no sun or moon or stars. Light will come from God alone. Is this a contradiction or an impossibility? It is not if God is real.
Finally, after having put the alleged contradictions to rest, let me make a simple point about how the very objection points to the feasibility of Christian belief. The objection, stated in a different way, is this:
All the plant life which we can observe is governed by law and order. Plants, under this systematic way of living, require light in order to live. How is it possible for plants to live without light from the Sun? This violates the order we observe in the universe.
The issue here is that the universe is extremely well-ordered. How did the universe arrive at such a high state of order without input from a Creator? Science, without God, cannot explain this phenomenon. Science puts forward laws that state the universe moves from a state of higher order to a state of less order due to entropy. How then did the universe arrive at such a high state of order when it is supposed to have begun in a thoroughly non-ordered, random manner?
Good luck, indeed.
I find it far more reasonable to believe in a God who is orderly who creates a universe which is orderly.
Genesis: Fact or Fiction?