Mike Matthews Editor in Chief
Our resident astronomer, Dr. Danny Faulkner, recently gave a brown bag talk on “The Duration of the Flood”—did it last 365 or 371 days? After explaining the uncertainties whether Noah used a lunar or a solar calendar, he provided his own tentative conclusion. Afterwards, Answers in Genesis’s president joked about renaming our ministry “Questions in Genesis.”
That was funny, but over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a similar theme elsewhere.
At two separate creation science conferences, for instance, speakers emphasized sharp differences about the similarity between chimp and human DNA, feathers on dinosaurs, and the boundary between the Flood and post-Flood fossil layers.
My Sunday school class ran into difficulty with passages in Proverbs about alcohol consumption and the promises of earthly rewards for good behavior. In another series on Ezekiel, the commentaries agreed on only one point about his prophecy of a future temple and sacrificial system (chapters 40–48): there is “a continental divide” on the interpretation of this passage.
Interesting. Here I work at a ministry called Answers in Genesis and I edit a magazine called Answers, but I keep running into unresolved questions. What’s with that?
A Seeker Who Already Has the Answer
One thing I know. These questions have nothing to do with the perfections of God and His Word. Every believer can hold these truths with certainty.
But we’re always learning, and learning requires questions. “Things hard to understand” drive us to dig deeper into God’s Word, exploring the wonderful and intricate nuances of God’s “altogether lovely” person that we might not otherwise seek or find.
Even the question of this editorial—why the Lord throws a pile of questions into our lives—drives me back to the Word for answers. The Bible is, after all, “sufficient for doctrine . . . and instruction in righteousness.”
God miraculously made finite creatures with the capacity to fellowship with Him—to discover new truth about our Creator and then overflow with such joy that we feel compelled to share our discoveries with others. (See “The Difference Maker,” p. 74.) It’d be a sterile, boring world if believers acquired everything that could be known about their infinite God in an instant.
My work fuels this thrill of discovery and increases my sense of humility.
My work at Answers magazine fuels this thrill of discovery, and increases my sense of humility as I recognize even more clearly the gulf that separates me from my infinite, glorious Creator and Savior.
This doesn’t mean we don’t already know many things about the Lord. God makes one thing, in particular, unmistakably clear in Scripture: the gospel. God doesn’t want any confusion about this. (See “Truth Everyone Can See,” p. 30.) All these other matters are secondary.
Yet the Bible’s apparently “limited” clarity is actually not so limiting. It opens the door for every sinful human to enter the light of God’s presence. There we come to recognize the beauty of His holiness, and grace keeps building on grace. As we see Him more clearly, we recognize our own shortcomings, and God’s grace lifts us higher “into heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6).
Questions about the details of science and theology matter. But finding answers is a growth process. Throughout our lives, we wrestle through difficulties and debate them passionately. (By the way, Dr. Faulkner thinks the Flood lasted 365 days.) Yet the overriding goal is to glorify the holy Father and point sinners to the saving work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Our faithfulness to seek answers, while pointing others to the One who has all the answers, pleases Him and helps fulfill His ultimate purpose for our time here on earth.