Dr Mark Harwood
Last week I felt a bit like a Raphus Cucullatus. Raphus Cucullatus is what well educated people call the Dodo. I remember sitting in Biology class in Standard 6 listening to a teacher citing the Dodo as evidence that evolution is happening right around us. In case you missed the memo the Dodo was a flightless bird that has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. You see, I’m a fundamentalist (now that I’m out the closet how do I get back in?). Maybe I should qualify that: I’m not a fundamentalist in the dirty-modern-crazy-zealot-strap-on-a-terrorist-bomb kind of way but rather in the traditional doctrinally conservative way (maybe you think that’s still a bit bonkers). I believe in such outdated truths as the inerrancy of Scripture, substitutionary atonement, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Jesus and the 6 day creation of the universe. Not easily palatable by modern standards hence my fear of being on the verge of extinction. Turns out though there’s more Dodo’s out there than I thought.
This morning the church I attend hosted a Creation Seminar. The speaker was Dr Mark Harwood, an affable (no, not infallible), middle aged, bearded Australian “rocket scientist” touring South African churches chatting about Beginnings (yes, with a capital B). He spent the morning covering an entire volume of interesting information such as man, the flood, the tower of Babylon, dinosaurs, planets, galaxies, red shift, blue shift, radiometric dating… (you get the point I’m sure). Much of presentation I had heard in bits and pieces of before, but never compiled and addressed in a single sitting.
Being a green and gold South African I often find Ausies painful to listen to and with the conference scheduled from 9 and 12:30 things could have turned out awfully. My concerns amounted to nothing. He had a resonate voice, fascinating content and a good solid doctrinal bent. When he spoke of salvation he spoke of sin, man’s ineptness to stand before an awesome and holy God by means of his own works, faith and grace.
A lot of the content I fully bought into. The most fascinating to me was a brief presentation on redshift (click on the link to see a well researched document with 60 footnotes). It was also the only part of the presentation that left me with questions. The premise was: “all galaxies are moving rapidly away from our little neck of the wood so our galaxy is the center of the universe.” My thinking was (and I may have missed the point entirely) if the universe is likened to a balloon and galaxies are represented as painted dots all over the surface, then, as the balloon is inflated all the dots would move away from each other at equal speed. Movement wouldn’t mean center, it’d just mean movement. The analogy has three dimensions, but I’m sure it fails in other ways, it’s just the way I understand it, which means I missed the way the presenter understood it. I struggled towards the end. There’s only so much I can take in before my head starts to implode and I think 3 hours of lectures may have been a bit excessive.
The seminar was a success. The gospel was presented in part. People got to chat and engage in “the conversation” (ha, I practically sound emergent). God was exulted and glorified.
If you’re interested in creation in general or have specific questions www.creation.com is a must view website. Also if this subject interests you, you might find edification by reading The heavens were put there for a reason, Science vs Religion and What do you do with foolish 6 day creation thoughts?.
What do you buy into? The gap theory, evolution, old earth, young earth, the world resting on the back of four elephants standing on the back of a turtle floating through space?