We live in a society that loves to learn new ideas but never arrives at a knowledge of the truth. Men look to account for the creation of the world apart from the testimony of Scripture. The sudden eruptions of Mount St. Helens devastated and altered the surrounding landscape to look much older. The ensuing geographical changes corroborate the biblical record of the Flood in that a sudden, cataclysmic event is responsible for the Grand Canyon, mountain ranges, and the world as we know it today. We can trust God’s Word in every part.
From our research and study together, we’ve discovered there are numerous elements to our planet that make it not only a beautiful place to live – in living color, no less – but without these elements, life would not be possible.
Oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, things to eat, water to drink, the sun – just the right temperature and at just the right distance away; a personal moon, orbiting at just the right speed and distance creating currents and tides and gravitation and at just the precise pressure. All of these needed to be in existence at just the right time in order to sustain life.
Isaiah the prophet records God Himself speaking – and God informs us that He created the earth to be inhabited, as opposed to the uninhabitable space of the universe (Isaiah 45:18).
The odds of planet earth just so happening to have all the elements necessary, and at just the right amounts, and at just the right time and to the right degree are even in your lifetime being understood as mathematically impossible.
Let me illustrate it this way.
• If you took a quarter from your piggy bank and wrote #1 on it; and then took another quarter and wrote #2 on it . . . and wrote number 3 on another quarter and so on until you’d numbered 7 quarters, 1 through 7;
• then suppose you were able to take truckloads of quarters and lay them out on the floor of this auditorium 3 feet deep.
• Actually, suppose you covered the entire state of North Carolina in quarters, three feet deep.
• And then someone from Washington D.C. took your seven quarters . . . blindfolded you; and then went and
dropped your quarters in seven different places in North Carolina.
The odds of planet earth being able to sustain life without having been designed to sustain life, would be just as likely as you getting into a helicopter to find your quarters:
• and you decided to touch down in Asheville and you got out and, still blindfolded mind you, but you reached down and dug around and then pulled up a quarter and it was marked – #1.
• and then you decided to fly to Myrtle Beach . . . and you got out, blind folded and waded around in those quarters and then you reached down and grabbed a quarter and it was marked #2.
• then you flew to Charlotte and the first quarter you picked up was marked #3 . . .
• and then you had the pilot fly over to Carthage where you picked up #4
• and then you flew to Burnsville, North Carolina, population 1,638 and blindfolded, you just so happened to pick up #5 . . . and you get the point.
I don’t know about you, but I have trouble finding my car keys . . . in my house . . . and I’m not blindfolded.
For you to pick up all 7 quarters – and only those 7 – and in numerical order – are the same statistical odds of Earth somehow being ordered perfectly to sustain life.
In our last study, we ran out of time on the subject that addresses the question, “If God then created the earth, without using evolution – but He spoke and it was so (Genesis 1)” – which according to biblical records and genealogies would place earth around 8,000 years old – then why does earth look so much older?
That’s a legitimate question to address. And we began by being reminded that earth is old – only if you hold to the evolutionary model of uniformitarianism.
You remember what that means from our last discussion – that means whatever you see happening in nature around you has been happening that way since the beginning of earth’s evolutionary birthdate – which evolutionists now say is 4.5 billion years ago.
I mean, if it takes that drip of water 1,000 years to wear out that granite stone, then it must have taken 6 million years for the Colorado River to carve out the Grand Canyon.
With regional flooding and the erosion of the rock and sediment by the Colorado River, it supposedly took millions of years to pull off that stunning piece of real estate – 6 million years is the prevailing geological estimate.
But that’s assuming the normal rate of erosion which we can measure under normal circumstances. But what if something that normally doesn’t happen, suddenly happened?
In our last discussion we talked about the earth experiencing something that had never happened before, and God promised it would never happen again. The global flood.
If it was a regional flood, Jesus was misinformed because He said it wiped out the entire human race (Luke 17:27); and not only was Jesus misinformed, but God the Father lied to Noah – and to the human race – because He promised it would never flood again (Genesis 9:11); but it floods locally and regionally, in different parts of the world, every year.
Let’s go back and get a running start today in the Book of Genesis chapter 7 where it records for us something that happened that doesn’t normally happen – in fact, it had never happened before. In verse 11b, Moses records:
The fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights . . . (v. 18) the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth . . . (v. 19b) so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered . . . (v. 23) thus God blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth . . . only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.
The fountains of the great deep burst open . . . in other words, great volcanic eruptions and channels of water beneath the surface of the earth and beneath the ocean floor burst in seismic eruption and destructive power while rain poured down from above.
We can’t imagine the tumbling of the earth’s surface by massive flooding and erosion; by the tsunami’s that resulted from underwater plate shifting – sending great walls of water literally racing across the continents.
As the continents uplifted and shifted, mountain chains would have buckled up. Entire mountain ranges would have been forced upward and virtually created, where during the days of Noah, the topography was much more level and the tallest mountains not nearly as tall.
By the way, it’s interesting to discover that Mount Ararat, where the ark finally came to rest, is made of molten lava, like many of the mountain ranges in the Pacific Northwest.
They’re called Volcanic Mountains – the result of multiple eruptions. Mount Ararat was literally formed and pushed upward during the flood by molten lava from deep inside the earth’s crust – erupting on cue from God. And this explains the presence of marine fossils at the top of these high volcanic mountain ranges.
Even Mount Everest – one study documented – they’ve found ocean fossils near its peak – 29,000 feet above sea level – fossils of fish at the highest mountain peak on planet earth . . . how did fish get up there?i
Even the evolutionary world is allowing more and more credence to the idea of catastrophism – some catastrophe from ancient days, which shaped the topography of earth and caused millions of animal fossils and sediment to be laid down on a global scale. Geology is catching up to Genesis.
I remember when our twin sons were in first grade – they were in a public magnate school in Raleigh. And one night at dinner, the boys told us that a scientist was going to come to school the next day with dinosaur fossils and give a presentation.
So I decided to go to school that next day to listen in on the presentation so I’d know what to talk about and how to explain from a creationist, biblical world view what Benjamin and Seth heard that day at school.
The specialist got up in front of a packed auditorium of all these elementary school children. I was standing at the back under a little balcony alcove – my boys didn’t even know I was there. I didn’t want them to know – I just wanted to be prepared.
At the end of the presentation, the specialist said, “You know, we’re not sure what caused so many dinosaurs to be killed around the same time, after which they pretty much went extinct. We don’t really know what happened.”
And at that moment, Seth raised his hand. I thought, what in the world is he raising his hand for – the guy wasn’t asking for questions.
The scientist spotted him and said, “Yes?” And Seth hollered out, “It was the flood.”
Yea! That’s my son . . . go get him boy.
This expert in the field actually responded, “Well, that may be . . . there are people considering that today as a real possibility.”
The Bible says it did happen – when it normally doesn’t happen – where Earth was tumbled and refashioned, mountains pushed upward and ocean valleys and river basins and canyons carved out for a new planet that suddenly looked much older than it really was.
But there are still many intriguing questions – I’ve encountered more of them than we’ll ever cover in here; but what about coal which takes 300 million years to form; what about all those sedimentary layers which take millions of years to layer one on top of the other – which you can see in the canyon walls.
Where is the evidence that this could have happened quickly? It’s as if God answered yet again . . . especially for our generation . . . and something happened that has been considered the greatest geological event in 100 years. One secular author called it the most catastrophic event in the history of the United States.ii And it became nothing less than a laboratory to study the results of a massive eruption and local flooding – and the evidence it provides has been staggering.
I’m referring to the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State, which occurred in 1980.
The geological community, primarily driven by evolution and uniformitarianism, made amazing observations and discoveries, but never connected the dots between the evident staring them in the face, with the evidence of a global flood on a young earth.
As I researched this event, I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s description of the intelligence of our world when he wrote,
Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:7
Let me give you something right out of the script of Genesis chapter 7, which occurred only a few decades ago. And along the way, we’ll connect some of the dots.
On May 18, 1980 the beautiful setting of Mount St. Helens in Washington State was dramatically changed. Mount St. Helens erupted and the top and side of the mountain literally blew off in a massive explosion equaling the detonation of several nuclear bombs.
The blast from Mount St. Helens traveled at 650 miles an hour and destroyed the forests in the surrounding 230 square miles. If you can imagine it, the blast leveled 3.2 billion feet of timber in less than 10 minutes. One report said that Douglas fir trees 200 feet tall were snapped like toothpicks.iii The timber leveled by the blast was enough to build 600,000 homes.
As some of the side of Mount St. Helens literally canon balled into nearby Spirit Lake, the rock slide created waves, 800 feet high.
The water from the lake rushed up the surrounding forest areas and then, as the water returned back down to the Lake, it carried 4 million trees – back into Spirit Lake, creating a massive log mat.
One of the most shocking results was discovered 5 years later – in 1985 – where all the timber had intermingled with volcanic sediment.
Up until then, the prevailing viewpoint – again, created by an evolutionary, uniformitarian world view by observing how things normally happen over time – the prevailing view was that the coal beds we mine today would have taken at least 300 million years to form.
Yet here, in Spirit Lake, the timber that had sunk to the bottom – creating at some points a timber bed 300 feet deep – the timber had intermingled with the lava and the rock along with intense pressure and heat and guess what they found?
Right there in Spirit Lake – and by the way, I think this Lake is appropriately named – because the Spirit of God is giving mankind some incredible evidence – in living color – right here at Spirit Lake – you have the formation of coal.
The standard geological, uniformitarian viewpoint is that it takes a thousand years to form just one inch of coal – one inch. But in Spirit Lake you had – not one inch – but three feet of coal, in its early formation.
So let’s connect the dots. Just imagine what a global flood did to earth’s vegetation and trees . . . imagine the massive volcanic eruptions around the globe; and all the forests of the earth immediately tumbled together with lava and sediment and water and heat and pressure . . .
The coal beds we have today could easily have been formed several thousand years ago in this global catastrophe.
And by the way, I want to make another point or two that reaffirms the Genesis Flood and the young age of the earth – but let me throw in here the news report – because you never saw this on TV and it never made it into your children’s geology books.
In June of 1992, a large sample of volcanic rock was taken from this site at Mount St. Helens and dated using the standard methods radiometric dating.
The rocks they dated were created by the eruption and they were 10 years old – but using the standard methods of dating rock, they were determined to be 350,000 years old; one report admitted that the minerals packed inside the rock in the eruption, were dated to be 2.8 million years old.iv
Geologists were stunned. And some of them even went so far as to say publicly, and I quote – uniformitarianism and Darwinism is hindering our studies in geology.
Today, the top of Mount St. Helens is gone – sediment and ash were hurled into the air 16 miles high . . . closing airports and impacting 11 surrounding States.
Topography was instantly crafted and entirely changed. If you’d just stumbled onto the scenery, you could easily imagine that it took millions of years to carve out the canyons and gullies and lakes around Mount St. Helens.
But if Mount St. Helens’ eruption in 1980 wasn’t enough to impact the religious faith of Darwinism and uniformitarianism, God in His patience and grace designed yet another eruption from Mount St. Helens to occur – two years later, in 1982. And this one received even less of an effort to connect the dots.
One author wrote that the water and debris from that eruption created a massive ice/lava/rock flow which became the largest debris avalanche ever observed in human history.
That is, unless Noah looked out the window of the ark 4,000 years ago. He probably observed that one himself.
In 1982, this ice/lava/mud flow:
• Initially traveled 40 miles an hour
• Changed the topography of 23 square miles
• Carved out canyons with elevated plateaus
• Cut through bedrock 600 feet deep
• Created a 1/40th scale model of the Grand Canyon
Now follow this. According to the evolutionary time-scale model, it took 6 million years for the Colorado River and other water flow off the plateaus to carve out the Grand Canyon – 6 million years. And now, in a matter months, you have the results of a massive avalanche that has created something 1/40th the size of the Grand Canyon.
And if you’re doing the math in your head – it should take around 150,000 years to create that . . . but you can drive over there and see it now.
• Granite canyon walls were supposed to take 6 million years to be carved by water – Geologists watched canyon walls of granite, 140 feet deep, cut out in 1 day.
• Coal should take 300 million years to form –
It’s forming in Spirit Lake 5 years later.
At one of the canyons formed by Mount St. Helens second eruption, there’s a man – I brought you a picture – wearing a red sweater, standing at the base of one of the canyon walls.
And this particular canyon wall shows the strata of sedimentary layers, perfectly and symmetrically laid down in a matter of hours.
One article I read said that geologists were staggered that sediment layers 600 feet thick could be separated into distinct strata even though this catastrophic avalanche was moving at freeway speed.v
In fact, evolutionary Darwinism has been printing in textbooks for years that it takes up to one million years between each layer of sediment observed in canyon walls and rock layers – and yet these sedimentary layers were formed in a matter of hours while traveling 40+ miles an hour.
That should rewrite the textbooks. This volcano should have changed everything!
• has there been a massive revival, especially in Washington State?
• has there been a rush to redo the geological standards of measurement;
• has there been an acknowledgment in school books and online scientific resources that the Grand Canyon could have been formed in a year, given what we’ve seen forming at Mount St. Helens in a month?
No . . . I went online last night, just to see that absolute latest estimate before preaching today – and I googled, “How long did it take to form the Grand Canyon?” And the answer at the top of the page, next to a stunning picture of the Canyon read, in bold letters, “6 million years.”
How long does it take for coal to form? And the answer still reads, “300 million years”.
Why? Because our world is always learning, but not able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Never mind the discovery . . . never mind the observations . . . and definitely, never mind the warnings from God.
I uncovered one article about a man who operated a Lodge for more than fifty years, located a mile away from Mount St. Helens.
He became a folk hero when he refused to evacuate the region. Even though Mount St. Helens was giving all the signs of an imminent eruption – there had been plenty of time and warning given – and just about everybody had evacuated before 8:32 am on May 18, 1980.
But this elderly man had become a brave hero – sitting out there on his porch; had there been social media, he would have gone viral in his recorded statement – and I quote – “The mountain is a mile away – that mountain ain’t gonna hurt me!”
Within 10 minutes of the eruption, he and his lodge were buried under rock and debris 150 feet deep.
God issued a warning through Noah that a judgment of water was coming – and the earth literally erupted all around the globe. Noah warned his world for 120 years.
God has issued a warning through the Apostle Peter that another judgment of fire is coming – and that warning has lasted now for nearly 2,000 years.
Listen to the warning: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking . . . saying . . . “All continues just as it was from the beginning of creation . . .”
2 Peter 3:3-6
What’s that they’re saying? They are declaring their faith in uniformitarianism . . . “we believe that everything is continuing in the same way as it’s always continued since the beginning of time.” In other words, everything that’s happened is what always happens and nothing that doesn’t usually happen is never going to happen.
And Peter uses the global flood to challenge them – notice what he says next in 2 Peter 3:
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God . . . the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.
But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the Day of Judgment . . . the heavens (universe) will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
2 Peter 3:7 & 12
The next global judgement will not be water, but fire. Listen, let’s just take God at His word. The first world perished in judgment, and the second world will perish as well.
The only safe place in Noah’s day was in the ark and nobody beyond his own family took him up on the invitation.
There’s a day coming when God will destroy the universe and planet earth and remake them new and eternal. And for those who’ve taken their refuge in the living Ark –the Lord Jesus Christ – will arrive safely home.
You will safely emerge from that universal judgment and eventually inhabit a newly created earth, made eternal . . . along with a newly created universe . . . and we’re going to enjoy it all in living color like we’ve never seen color before . . . And all because of our refuge and safety in our Creator God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amazing love, how can it be,
That Thou my God, should’st die for me.
i Above observations and thoughts adapted from John Whitcomb, The Geology Book (Master Books, 2006), pp. 25-65
ii Quotes in Rob Carson, Mount St. Helens (Sasquatch Books, 2015), Introduction
iii Andrew A. Snelling, Vertical Floaters; cited in Answers in Genesis.org
iv Adapted from Andrew A. Snelling’s article, New Lava Dome with Old Radiometric Dates & John Morris, The Geology Book, p. 52
v Adapted from Andrew A. Snelling’s article, Thirtieth Anniversary of a Geologic Catastrophe (answersingenesis)