First Things
A Common Sense Approach to Origins

Three Critical Origins Questions

  1. What do we believe?
  2. Why do we believe it?
  3. What if we’re wrong?

Our Most Critical Life Decision: There are decisions in life that have minimal consequences. We use our best judgment. If we are wrong, the consequences can be covered by an “oops” or a “my bad” and we can move on to the next thing. No big deal. Because the Bible exists, whether it is true or not, our understanding of origins is a very big deal. If the “natural causes” community is right, we can say goodbye to that “better place” our loved ones are supposed to be in after they die. There is no heaven. There is only a “that’s all, folks” when we are lowered in the grave.

If the Bible is true, two things are also true. There is a heaven and there is a hell. If heaven and hell do exist, gaining the one and avoiding the other is the most critical issue we face while we are on this earth – not just for us, but for all those we hold dear. It should be the quest that dominates our lives because gaining heaven defines a successful life and failing to gain heaven is the ultimate failure. Gaining heaven is a bigger issue than education, career, money, or anything else we can imagine including love and marriage and children. Jesus asked, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

An Unbiased Search: Few come to origins with a blank slate. Most of us have a view of what is the truth about origins. Given that, making an unbiased search for the truth about origins is no easy task. Given that knowing the truth about origins is the basis for how we live our lives on this earth, we can’t afford to make a mistake because of our preconceptions. If we get it wrong and it turns out the heaven and hell thing is true, we will have lots of time to regret that we were not more open minded or that we failed to investigate all aspects of the origins issues.

The Issue of Age: The natural causes version of origins has gained traction because scientists have found evidence that our world and our universe are significantly older than Bible dating allows. For a time, mainstream Christianity in America insisted the tests indicating great age were inaccurate. Eventually that approach was abandoned by most Christians and a compromise interpretation of the Genesis account of creation was developed in an attempt to harmonize the Genesis account with the discoveries of scientists.

After years of in-depth study of origins, I have concluded that the Hebrew text does not have room for billions of years. I see this as an “all or nothing” issue that must be addressed head on. If the Bible is true, creation took place in six days roughly six thousand years ago. If the universe developed over billions of years and life forms evolved over millions of years, the Bible is wrong. Since there is no doubt that there is evidence of great age in the universe and in our world, either the universe and our world were created with an appearance of great age or the Bible is wrong – in which case, natural causes is the only option left to us.

Applying logic, we have the following arguments:

Thus, it boils down to a question of the viability of the natural causes view of origins. If it can be confirmed, it is time to put the Bible on the shelf or dispense with it completely and acknowledge that our time on this earth is all that we have. As a retired preacher, abandoning the Bible would be a difficult step. Nevertheless, if the Bible is wrong, truth is always better than error

Three related issues have been raised:

All in all, that is a lot to consider – but it is the biggest issue of the biggest decision of our lives. We can’t afford to be wrong about that. We need to take the time and make the effort so that we can make an informed decision about the most important subject we will ever address. Our eternal lives may depend on how well we accomplish this task.