The Real Story of The Real Story of Creation

Concordia Publishing House has mailed to all congregations a picture book on creation written by Dr. Paul L. Maier and beautifully illustrated by Robert T. Barret.  It is for 8 year olds and up.  It starts out telling the farfetched pagan stories of creation, moves into the Biblical account, and ends with the Gospel.  So who could not like this book?

Perhaps the Board of Directors of the Montana District?  They submitted an overture (8-71) “To Ask Certain Members to Leave Synod” these being those believing in the theory of evolution.  Of course that most useful tool called an Omnibus resolution made sure it never made it to the floor.  One wonders what the good folks in

Montana think of this new book.  Is this book an example of how creation is to be taught among us?

The book seems to go out of its way not to confess the six day creation as plainly taught in Genesis 1 and confessed in Exodus 20: 11, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  The one thing evolution will not abide is a 6 day creation.  God can design; God can create in our modern world, but He can’t do it six days. (Interestingly enough Augustine first wondered why God took 6 days when He could’ve done it 6 moments.)

What possible reason could Maier have for leaving the 6 days out?  Too technical?  He’s not afraid of explaining creation out of nothing.  Too much detail?  He begins with the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek creation accounts.  Not once does he refer to a 6 day creation.  He only refers to the Sabbath day, but as you can see from Exodus 20 quoted above Scripture links this to the 6 days before.  The concept of day, a 24 hour day, you know evening and morning, is central to the creation account.

The epilogue explains Maier’s approach.  Maier writes and our Synod publishes, Science often tells the story of our beginnings a bit differently.  Is that an understatement or what?  He goes on to say that while the Big Bang is harder to believe than the Bible, it amounts to the same thing: God’s instant creation.  There is truth here but he leaves out the trenchant detail that the Big Bang assumes pre-existing matter.  He goes on, Science tells us matter and energy are the two great building blocks of nature.  So does the Bible. Again, most in science say matter and energy are evolving things upward.  We’re getting better.  The Bible teaches the opposite.  Maier continues, Science requires light before vegetation.  So does the Bible.  Science of course does require light before vegetation.  However, those who think Genesis is evolution in poetry ignore the fact that God has vegetation on the scene on the third day but no light bearers till the fourth.  Finally, and here Maier almost can be heard to trill: The various stages of developing nature involving creatures in the sea and sky before mammals on land runs parallel in both the Bible and science.  Is this true?  Evolution, which is what most people understand when they read in a creation context that “science says,” says that sea creatures evolved into sky creatures into land creatures.  The Bible doesn’t portray nature developing but a complete creation made of complimentary parts.

I can see no good reason to strain to find compatibility between the current constructs of science and the biblical account except if you want to make kids feel comfortable in that milieu.  And isn’t this what many of the Synod’s decisions have in common.  From serial prayer being okay, to women having authority over men, to open communion being a difference in practice not doctrine, to diversity in worship being a good thing, the message is we are a mainstream church body.  The proper name is mainline.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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2 Responses to The Real Story of The Real Story of Creation

  1. Dear brother in office,

    Thank you for a well-thought, well-written post. Were it not for my procrastinating nature, I might have said the same thing. Anyhow, and on another topic, you’re now listed among other confessional Lutheran bloggers in the BBOV.

  2. Mark Young says:

    How did this pass doctrinal review in the LCMS?

    Doesn’t the Brief Statement of 1932 still apply? Or the last action of our 2004 convention, affirming preaching / teaching creation?

    This is very disappointing. I was very excited by prospects of this book, as well as “The Real Story of the Flood”, initially, and was very disappointed after reading through these (just got my copies earlier this week). I’ll probably be sending these back to CPH for a refund. It appears that similar offerings from Answers in Genesis will serve our need for such children’s materials better than this CPH offering.


    Brief Statement / Of Creation

    Last action of convention affirms preaching, teaching creation

    Creation in Six Days?

    Age of the Earth

    Answers in Genesis

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