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The Bible doesn’t say much, if anything, about Dinosaurs. There are some who claim that the “beasts” mentioned in Genesis and the “Leviathan” of Job were something like Dinosaurs, but these arguments are weak at best. We cannot logically or literarily make that connection. I think people do so many unnecessary and probably unhealthy things as they try to reconcile current science with the story of the Bible. When Darwin’s theory of Evolution, which has not been substantiated according to its own observational standard, started becoming popular, Christians with good intentions started making up things in order to defend the Christian worldview, particularly the view of a recent creation (6-10 thousand years) and a literal six-day creation. Dinosaur fossils presented a problem because they were dated, mostly using radio-carbon dating processes, to be millions of years old. Well-meaning Christians began developing unhelpful and unhealthy theories to try and defend their own worldviews rather than simply reading the Bible and asking if this evidence actually disagrees with the Bible or if it only disagrees with the worldviews we have. Creationism was officially developed as a theory and argues explicitly for a recent, literal six-day creation and against any form of Darwinistic evolution and any new evolutionary theory. There are many Christians who are not ‘creationists.’
Consequently, there are many people who assume that all Christians hate science and, because they perceive Christians as being against gaining greater understanding about the universe, have no desire to explore Christianity. After all, what kind of person can believe that there is a God, that God created the universe, but fears gaining a greater understanding of the universe God supposedly created? To them, the Christian faith looks incoherent and non-correspondent. In this case, the Christian worldview cannot possibly be true. This is why men like Ken Ham and those at the Creation Research Institute have probably done more harm than good (though I really like their exhibits).
I have always loved science. If I wasn’t a professional theologian (that looks weird in those terms), I might have been a theoretical astrophysicist. I wish I could do more than merely dabble in the subject. The prospect of any creature existing for millions of years before evidence of people emerges in the archaeological record is in no way contradictory to the Bible’s account. See more on that by clicking here. Click here to see what the Bible says about God’s providence in His own creative work.
Why the Dinosaurs? That is the question that was asked. What was their purpose? Why aren’t they obviously explicitly mentioned in the Bible? I don’t know why God chose not to include them in His Bible in a way that would be obvious to us today. I don’t know if they lived during the same time period as Adam and Eve. I don’t know where they were located while the Garden of Eden was inhabited by the first people. No one does. Those who claim to know have invented knowledge or propagated invented knowledge rather than genuinely seeking a healthy understanding of Earth’s history. They have assumed that the Bible necessitates some things that it does not. I believe that is called adding to God’s word and is condemned throughout God’s Bible. The only thing I think we can do as we strive to understand the prehistoric world is allow ourselves to be filled with awe-inspired wonder. God gave us a yearning to discover the things that He has created and worked out in His providence. He has done so for His glory and in order to work out His purposes according to His will.
So, we choose to be filled with wonder at the sight of God’s creation and to pursue both knowledge and understanding honestly and joyfully. “For since the creation of the world [God’s] invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (Romans 1:20). This is why all people are without excuse, becoming futile in their speculations (1:21). Those who profess to be wise become fools, “exchanging the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man” (1:22-23). When we seek to truly understand God’s creation, the attributes of God are made evident. When we try to justify our own worldviews, we have traded God’s glory for something lesser. So we ask, “Why did dinosaurs exist.” The only biblical answer is so that the things of God may be revealed to those He has providentially given the opportunity to discover and study them.
Some of you will read this article and somehow read into it that I have said something about evolution or what I believe to be the age of the earth and of the universe. I did not include those details, here. That is not my purpose. Let us seek understanding as we consider the things that God has granted us to discover in His universe. Let us be filled with wonder!
It is quite flustering to find those who don’t see science for what it is; observations. No one can really prove that the earth is millions of years old, but neither can they prove that the earth was created in six literal days. So, in the same way, it seems that we can never really know through the scientific method if dinosaurs existed with humanity. One issue does arise though, if God really created everything good (hence no death until the fall of mankind), then it seems impossible for for dinosaurs to not exist with at least the first humans regardless of how much time passed.
I do find it interesting that the Bible never claims that there was no death before the fall, only that death entered through Adam for humanity. God allowed for plant life to die before the Fall. Animals will die when all things are perfected. Isaiah prophesies that we will eat the fatted calf at the Lord’s table.
Good point. It would make an interesting conversation!
The secret things of God belong to God.
Perhaps mere humans will never know all of the current earth’s secrets,
Just a thought; but, whatever was and is created is from the hand of our Father.
God bless you, Andrew, and thank you for your blog.
Your brother Albert