BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD FAITH


Monday February 1, 2021


By GILDA PINEDA DIONELA
KINGDOM ADVENTURE

Rock and Fossils – Record of Time (Dorset, England)

It seems as though time is the only aspect of life on earth that is fair. Not long ago, I came across a city built on a beach coastline that was so impressive. It was not like a hotel or travel inn next to the beach, but a place where buildings, restaurants, commercial shopping centers, and neighborhoods were just a few steps away. The sight stood out compared to the pristine beaches found back in the Philippines. We had been invited by a friend in our church cell group to one of the ancient counties in Southwest England; a place of panoramic views, Dorset. We visited Weymouth, Durdle Door, and a couple of other places. In a few words, Dorset is like the jewelry adorning the body of a giant lady. What I mean by this is, I had never seen so many beautiful colors of raw rocks on cliffs, as well as in the stores, as I had Dorset. Oh yes, such beautiful and attractive colors on massive rocks!

The rocks of Dorset have been a focus of study in advancing the science of geology for the last two hundred years. The best exposures of the rocks of Dorset are evident along its coastline. One of the most popular rocks is the Durdle Door. It is shaped like an arch, standing on the blue sea. The seascape and landscape are well-suited for the artistic mind of any painter, prolific writer, and ordinary nature lover. Durdle Door means “Open Door”. Let us come through this door and unravel the past. As we walked the hills, the first thing I noticed was the chalk-covered cliff of Dorset. White chalk (calcium carbonate) was used on the green board in schools during my childhood. Chalk is one of many types of limestone comprised of the shells of tiny marine animals known as foraminifera, in addition to the calcareous remains of algae known as coccoliths, which are only visible through a microscope. It occupies many parts of the landscape, from Southwest England eastward into Kent, passing under the English Channel and into Northern Ireland, Germany, and Poland, then to Israel, Egypt, the USA, and Australia.

HISTORY OF THE EARTH

Aristotle first observed the slow rate of geological change in 400 BC, or 2400 years ago. But the father of modern geology, or the study of rocks and physical activities of the earth in order to comprehend its origin and history, was James Hutton in the 18th Century. He was one of the founders of the principles of uniformitarianism, which describes the characteristics of the earth’s crust over geologic time, beginning 4 to 2.5 billion years ago up until the present. However, many modern geologists who went through the same rigid discipline of studies, even with the benefit of numerous technical scientific tools & inventions not available in the old days, believe that the Bible is one of the oldest and most reliable references of the history of the earth. Michael Oard, John Matthews, Andrew Sibley, and Andrew Snelling of Creation Ministries International are among many chartered geologists who theorize that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. Both secular scientists and biblical believers have the same specimens in their possession, along with layers of rocks and fossils, yet through their respective fields of study, they have come up with different histories of the earth. For those of a religious persuasion, one of the focal points of their scrutiny is the chalk of Dorset. The largest source of argument between secular and biblical belief is the interpretation of time. While geologists and non-geologists both understand the measures of time: days and years, in secular points of view, the chalk in Dorset was deposited about 65-73 million years ago. However, Bible-believers conclude that it is less than 10,000 years old, including all the other parts of the rock column.

In my personal pious opinion, I choose to believe that the Bible is true. The Hebrew word “yom”, found in Genesis 1, translates to “24 hours”; a literal day. What I cannot wrap my head around is that, a day is measured – both by the Bible and scientists – based on the movement of the Earth around the sun. This has been widely accepted since the beginning of time. To posit the age of the earth based on the sedimentary layers of chalk alone, undermines the Bible. Furthermore, consider that Jupiter is 11 times bigger and has a mass 318 times greater than that of the Earth; it takes 11.8618 Earth years to complete a single orbit of the sun. I just think it is pompous of man to extrapolate the exact age of the universe without considering the movements of other planets like Jupiter around the sun, as well as other galaxies in the universe. For me, it simply should not be accepted at face value. I believe the Creator of the sun, earth and other planets in our solar system, and the entire universe, gave us a glimpse of how to calculate time through His written Words; the Bible. Man is fallible but the written Word of God is not!

Bearing this in mind, the Creator is not bound by time He created. He is outside of this pattern, and not governed by the 24 hours of Earth time. There are witnesses in the cosmos, in nature around us, in archaeology, and geology. These omniscient eyewitnesses offer up testimonies. We even have the testimonies of the chalk in the cliffs and hills. This is formed underwater and yet we find it on top of the land. This is true not only in Dorset, but in different parts of the world. Some hills, like the Niobrara chalk in Kansas, buried crinoids, fish within fish, dinosaurs, and bird fossils, in addition to marine fossils. It is of my mindset that this could only be possible through a catastrophic global flood, like that of Noah’s described in the Bible.

The word “chalk”, in the original Hebrew of Isaiah 27:9, translates to: “Therefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be expiated, And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: When he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in pieces, So that the Asherim and the sun-images shall rise no more” (JPS Tanakh 1917). Even at about 2750 years ago, the Bible recorded and knew the characteristics of chalk. The prophet Isaiah knew the day would come when the Lord would destroy the altars of false gods and false teachings, which were usually in high places. Like a chalkcovered mountain, the Lord will easily knock it down. But to those who believe in the Messiah of Isaiah 53 – Jesus Christ – it is their sins that will be erased easily like chalk and will be remembered no more. The suffering and victory of Jesus Christ is for each and every one of us who believe. And after living on earth, we will then transition into timeless eternity in His glory in the future. Thus I conclude, then and only then will we realize that the “time” set by man to dismiss the reality of God is the same measure that betrays them, but also gives glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever.



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