Skip to main content
Article
What Is the Eternal?
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism
  • Steven M. Gollmer, Cedarville University
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Date
1-1-2013
Keywords
  • Philosophy of science,
  • worldview,
  • cosmology,
  • origin of universe,
  • origin of life,
  • materialism,
  • theism
Abstract

Apologetics arguments related to the creation account in Genesis have ranged from evidential proofs for a young creation to the presuppositional consistency of the biblical worldview. Each of these arguments has its place, but the effectiveness varies depending on the audience’s background. A fundamental assumption for all arguments is that God exists and that he has purposefully communicated with his creation through special revelation. Those not holding this faith commitment resort to other answers that they feel are scientifically based. What they overlook are the faith commitments underlying their scientific answers. This paper poses the question “What is the Eternal?” to expose the faith basis for all answers related to origins issues.

For the purpose of this paper, the “Eternal” is defined to be that which is before all things and will persist after all other things are gone. It is the foundation or basis for all that is real. From the author’s perspective there are five distinct responses to this question. All other possible responses are syntheses of these basic five.

1. This is a ridiculous question. This response denies the need to address first causes.

2. Everything came from nothing. This response is not an argument for ex nihilo creation, but for the spontaneous creation of the universe from nothingness.

3. The material universe is eternal. This response retains the foundations of atomism, but adds other assumptions to address the expansion of the universe.

4. The eternal is a metaphysical essence or cosmic consciousness. This response resorts to impersonal forces beyond the physical to explain the fine-tuning of the universe and the complexity of life.

5. The eternal is a self-existent, omnipotent, personal creator. This response corresponds to traditional theism and posits that the existence of the universe is the result of a purposeful choice of a Creator, who desires relationship with His creation.

The argument outlined in this paper has historical roots predating Paul’s defense on Mar’s Hill. The originality of this approach hopefully is in its ability to expose syncretic thinking in a culture that makes science the ultimate authority. Historically creationists have debated evolution using a two-model approach: theism vs. materialism. However, it is becoming clear to the author that metaphysical explanations appear with increasing frequency in scientific literature to skirt the philosophical and moral barrenness of materialism. Presenting an audience with the distinction between “What is the Eternal” and “Who is the Eternal” will help them to respond to the One “to whom we must give account.” (Heb. 4:13)

Comments

Reproduced by the kind permission of the International Conference on Creationism

Citation Information
Steven M. Gollmer. "What Is the Eternal?" Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/steven_gollmer/19/