As a typical boy with an unbridled imagination, my summer days were filled with adventures fighting gory monsters and aliens galore (long before Monsters vs. Aliens). As I got older, my tastes became a bit more sophisticated—I voraciously consumed sword and sorcery, science fiction, and other flights of fancy.
When God graciously redeemed me as a college freshman, however, my interests changed radically. My new life in Christ was exhilarating, as I began learning many new things about my Maker and Savior. While I continued to love great literature and pursued English Lit through grad school, I must admit that the innocent thrills of my childhood imagination seemed lost forever.
Then two decades later, when I moved to Answers in Genesis to work with creationists, my mind was opened to new ways to see and appreciate God. Reading the thoughts and words of Jonathan Edwards, in particular, showed me that we can see God’s character in all things He has made. We don’t have to give up our imagination. We just need to constrain our imagination within the bounds of Scripture (Philippians 4:8).
Creationists informed me that we don’t have to abandon all the work of secular scientists; we can often co-opt their work into a biblical worldview.
At my salvation, I had rejected all the secular stories about dinosaurs and the other “ancient” creatures, but I had not fully assimilated them into my new understanding of God’s dealings throughout history. Creationists informed me that we don’t have to abandon all the work of secular scientists; we can often co-opt their work into a biblical worldview.
In the 1940s, for example, creationists first proposed that the rock layers from Noah’s Flood may represent distinct environments coexisting at the same time. As the rising Flood waters destroyed one ecosystem after another, they buried a snapshot of each unique habitat.
A creation paleontologist friend explained to me what this means. Many murals in secular science museums may not be that far off. The problem is not the scenes themselves but the words labeling them as separated by millions of years. They could represent a patchwork of many different, coexisting environments, as we see today.
This insight liberated me. I could now walk into any museum and—exercising caution and discernment—imagine how some of the reconstructed scenes could have been part of Noah’s world. For instance, when I visited Royal Tyrell Museum in Canada, I thoroughly enjoyed their “walk through time” because I reimagined it as a “walk through locations.” I saw myself traveling through the shallow seas, swamps, and forests of Noah’s day!
The thought that today’s biological diversity is only a hint of the total diversity that has ever flourished on earth humbles me. I banish any presumption that I might have a good handle on everything God has done or could do.
I get excited about a God who can do all these marvelous things and who has promised His people “pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).
We can’t out-imagine God. Lost World and Jurassic Park are only gibberish in contrast. Even The Divine Comedy is a nursery rhyme. God has done great things and promises greater—a world without pain and suffering where joy is unceasing, where children play in vipers’ dens and lions eat grass like oxen.
I can only imagine.