John Bradshaw - Conversation with Dr. Gary Wagner - Part 2
He is a minister of the gospel, church administrator, missionary, and the author of a book about faith and science. His name is Dr. Gary Wagner. I'm John Bradshaw, and this is our conversation.
John Bradshaw: Dr. Gary Wagner, great to have you back on "Conversations". Thank you for being here.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Thank you very much for having me back.
John Bradshaw: So how have things been in the intervening days, weeks, months, or years, or however long it's been?
Dr. Gary Wagner: I've been way too busy.
John Bradshaw: You have?
Dr. Gary Wagner: Yes, yes.
John Bradshaw: Good news.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Yes, good news. God has blessed me in many remarkable ways and I'm thankful to be here.
John Bradshaw: The last time you were here, we had you here to talk about your book, this book, "Operation Time Box". We kinda got sidetracked talking about some pretty incredible things, some remarkable experiences that you've had with God. I said at the time, we're gonna have to have you back and talk about your book. So, let's see how we do this time. Based on our last conversation where we didn't get to open the book up, I cannot claim to have 100% confidence we're gonna do this thing justice, but we'll try.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Thank you.
John Bradshaw: So talk to me about why you wrote a book about faith and science.
Dr. Gary Wagner: I've been interested in creation probably all my life. But a few years ago, as I was pastoring a district of seven churches, I began to look back in Revelation 14:7, where it talks about the fact that just before Jesus comes again, we are being asked by God to focus in on creation. And we've looked at the passage for many years, thinking, "Well that's telling us that we need to be sure to keep the Sabbath," and I agree. But to me it says, "We need to be looking at what all of creation is saying to us about who God is and what worshiping him is all about. So everything that God made in these six days of creation, and the seventh being the memorial, everything about that week of creation has things in it that call us to worship him. Particularly in the last days, there are ways that probably many even good Christians who believe that they are worshiping God have fallen away because they're not paying attention to the cues is that God has given to us through creation about how he wants to be worshiped, and what does it mean to worship him.
John Bradshaw: Yeah, that verse, Revelation 14:7, that's the one that says, "Fear God".
Dr. Gary Wagner: Yes.
John Bradshaw: "And give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea and the fountains of waters".
Dr. Gary Wagner: That's exactly right.
John Bradshaw: So we're gonna go back to a very basic question. How do I say this? What I'm tempted to say is, "Leave the Bible out of this for a moment". That's what I'm tempted to say. So maybe that's what I'm saying. Leave the Bible out of this for a moment. What convinces you that we are here as the result of special creation on the part of a God, rather than we're here as the result of some cosmic accident? If I we're asking you, "Tell why I can believe that," and you couldn't give the, "Well, the Bible says," as an answer, where would you start pointing me?
Dr. Gary Wagner: I would start looking at science, of course. That's the only other place we can look because, frankly, science and scripture both come from God, and because of that, they're going to give the same answers. If it seems to us that they're not in agreement, it's because our understanding of one or the other, or both is wrong, and we need to reevaluate it. We have a pretty good idea that the way we look at scripture is appropriate and is right. So, then we need to take another look at science. Some Christians deny science altogether, and that's no good. Some Christians look at things in science like paleontology and the fact that there were dinosaurs, and they say, "Well, that's wrong. Dinosaurs never existed," because it's hard for us to be able to justify all those millions of years that science tells us it took to develop the dinosaurs, and then for them to be lost, and 65 million years ago. Well, we can look at science and say, "We know that those animals existed". It's foolish for us to try to deny it because we see the skeletons all over the place.
John Bradshaw: Sure.
Dr. Gary Wagner: All over the world.
John Bradshaw: Yeah.
Dr. Gary Wagner: They're there. Somebody planted them there, and in some process, they were put there. So we need to begin to find how does science bring us to the same conclusion? Is it possible that it does? And frankly, since I started working on this, I've begun recognizing that science, in many ways, is giving us evidence of creation.
John Bradshaw: Talk to me about some of that. What's some of that evidence that we're seeing? Because it's fascinating even to hear somebody say this, because we've been told so much, so often, so very frequently, that what science does is undermines the Bible. The loudest scientific voices appear to be saying that the Bible cannot be trusted when it comes to origin. But not all scientific voices...
Dr. Gary Wagner: That's right.
John Bradshaw: by any stretch of the imagination. Talk with me a little further about that, and where science is leading us, and how our understanding perhaps is, shouldn't say "evolving," but developing.
Dr. Gary Wagner: There are so many ways. Since we were talking about dinosaurs already...
John Bradshaw: Yeah.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Let's look at that.
John Bradshaw: Yeah.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Dinosaurs are so said to have ranged the earth from 150 million to 65 million years ago. The reason we lost all of the dinosaurs, according to much of science, is because of a great cataclysm when a comet hit the earth and caused environmental destruction. The dinosaurs all just died out because they couldn't breathe, they didn't have sunlight, all of these things. That doesn't explain how they got buried. So science has been telling us that. In recent years, just since the time I started studying it, science has been learning, because their methods have been improving, and good scientific method is always a very positive thing. They've been learning that as they've dug up some of these large dinosaur bones and they put them under an electron microscope, and they find within the tissues, soft tissue. Within the middle of the bone, they find soft tissue, which means tissue that is soft. One electron microscopist was doing his analysis, and when he reported it, he said, "This bone, then, is about six to 7,000 years old". And he got fired for it because they didn't like that response. He was the second person who had come to that conclusion. Naturally he sued and got his job back. They've been finding more and more soft tissue within dinosaur bones because their methods have improved. This soft tissue, then, has DNA in it.
— Well now, that's really interesting, isn't it?
— Yes, it is.
— Oh yeah.
— So Jurassic Park may actually come about one of these days. But it's a fascinating thing to see that as the methods for the scientists improve, they're beginning to find evidence that's been there all along, that helps us to see that the world isn't a couple of billion years old.
— Why do you think it is that there are not more scientists seeing the signs like this one and speaking out? Why do you think that might be? There may be plausible, very good reasons for it. Why do you think it is?
— Well, scientists are people, and there are a lot of reasons, and some are good and some are not so good. For many, the scientific community is a very tight-knit community and for a scientist to work, somebody has to pay them, and the people who pay them are generally, say pharmaceutical companies, or companies that are doing research to develop some new gadget. For example, maybe somebody's looking for a new vaccine. Well, because the people who are paying for the science want a specific response back, then if they give a different response, then they won't get paid or they'll lose their job. So, there's a very high degree of pressure put on scientists to get the answers that are expected.
— I spoke with a young PhD, happened to be an Australian fellow, and this was in Boston, Massachusetts. He was attending some meetings we were holding and described himself as a recovering atheist. I asked him that question. I said, "Why does it appear that atheism is so very prevalent among the scientific community"? He said this, he said, "When you're coming up through the ranks, your progress or your forward momentum is often depended on peer reviews". He said, "You learn pretty quickly that if the people who are the gatekeepers over your advancement think a certain way, then it's best for you to think that way as well".
— Yes. "And minds are formed and molded". And he said, "Sometimes it's just a cold, hard decision. This is best for my future. I'll drink the Kool-Aid and go down that road".
— That's right.
— It must have been interesting to sit in God's seat and know that for thousands of years, the majority of people who identified alongside of you believed a certain way about creation, and then pretty quickly, frankly, there was a switch, a turn, an absolute change, and evolution, for example, and other scientific or pseudo-scientific understandings came into the picture, that had to have been devastating for God, to watch the planet, and just say, "This thing is just running amuck," and relatively suddenly. Put yourself in that situation there and look down from heaven and watch this thing just start going wild. What's happening behind all this?
— Well, God knows that he's got the last word. He plans to bring about his plan at a schedule and at a time when it's going to do the most good, and that, of course, is just before Jesus comes back again. That's when the most people are gonna be affected by the truth that he's going to reveal to us. That's one of the reasons I think why so much science is coming to the place where they're proving things now. It's no accident that we have Revelation 14:7, just seven verses before in chapter 14 Jesus comes. We are being told now the things that God wants us to understand. Let me look at the beginning of creation.
— Yeah, let's do that. I'd like to do that.
— We see that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and it talks to us about it was dark, and the fact that the Spirit was moving on the waters. So we know that there was water involved as God created the heavens and the earth. There was water. We also know, because on day two, we find it talks about dirt, earth, ground, but it didn't say when that was created, so that was created on day one, too. So when God put all of this water and dirt into this place in space, what did it look like...
— other than just being dark? Well, we go to science. What are the conditions of space? We know it's dark, we know it's huge, we know it's timeless. It's also very cold.
— Very cold, Yeah.
— And in this part of the universe, space out there is 455 degrees below zero. So what happens when you just speak and that water and everything is there in that place in space? You have ice. Well, we've never talked about ice, but Job talks about ice.
— Yes, he does. Yeah.
— Yes, and he talks about how God spoke and there was the ice. And he also talked about how he breathed on it and it melted. Well, this ice began to be that mass. And then God said, "Let there be light". And with light comes, according to science, heat.
— Sure. It began to melt that water. And those waters with all of the elements, and all of the rocks that were frozen there together started melting and running in toward the center, because the gravitational pull was pulling it. So there's laws of science involved with this gravitational pull, and was pulling everything together. And then as it continued to heat up, as everything got melted, a process known as hydrostatic equilibrium. It's a process that causes everything, because there's the earth having its rotation, and it's shaking, and all this stuff is coming together, and everything starts molding into a round globe. But we've never looked at creation from a scientific perspective before. What happens when you put all that water together in 455 degrees below zero? We want to see that if we look at creation of the earth with some science involved with it, we can get a new idea. We can begin to see what God did. And that becomes important when we start looking at the flood. Where did all the water come from for the flood?
— Well, I started asking that question in 2013 when I started looking at this, because that was a big show stopper. We don't have that water now, do we? Well, science in 2014 then, learned that there were oceans of water 400 miles below the surface, three times more than there is on the surface. And we know where the water for the flood came from. The Bible tells us that it was raining, and it was also...
— The fountains underneath them.
— Gushing out of the deep. So we can also see that there are vents that go down into the deep, where that water came up, and where the water went back down again. And since that discovery, science has actually changed their attitude about the water coming on comets to the earth. Now they won't tell you that very much. It was in the news for a very short time, and now you have to look for it because they don't want you to know that.
— Fascinating. The book is fascinating. The whole approach, the conversation is not only fascinating, but it's pivotal. It's foundational to actual biblical Christianity. I'm glad we're having it. The book is "Operation Time Box". It's author, Dr. Gary Wagner, he's my guest, and I'll be back with more from our conversation in just a moment.
John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations" brought to you by "It is written". I'm John Bradshaw. My guest is Dr. Gary Wagner, the author of "Operation Time Box," a book about faith and science, a book about creation. And at this juncture in human history, it's imperative that we discuss creation, and discuss it from a very supportive point of view. Once the creation story goes out the window, I mean, in all seriousness, Gary, once creation's gone, honestly, what are you left with?
Dr. Gary Wagner: Exactly, if we don't believe in creation the way God tells us it was made, then we have no foundation for us to believe in anything else the Bible says. We have no foundation to be able to believe that God has a savior for us, or that there is a heaven after this life. Everything else goes out the window.
John Bradshaw: And if God is not the creator, how can he be the re-creator?
Dr. Gary Wagner: Exactly.
John Bradshaw: And then, it's fascinating to me too, as you read through the Bible, I try to keep reading through the Bible on a constant basis, the amount of creation stories that there are. Oh, I don't mean the Genesis account. But I'm saying you get over into the Psalms, and the Psalmist will take an entire Psalm where he goes through God's wonderful works and dealings, and speaks about creation. And over here, he's speaking about creation. This is not incidental to the story. Creation is the story.
Dr. Gary Wagner: That's right.
John Bradshaw: So looking at it from the big picture, what are the fascinating aspects of the creation story to you? You mentioned before something about foundations. I would love to ask you to elaborate on that, extrapolate that.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Jesus was speaking in parables and his disciples asked, "Why do you do that"? And he said, "It's because in the parables are contained the secrets of the foundations". In other words, the secrets of creation, things that God hid in plain sight in creation that help us to be able to understand who he is and what he's doing.
John Bradshaw: I love that idea of things being hidden in plain sight.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Yes.
John Bradshaw: So what were some of those things that God hid right there where we can see them?
Dr. Gary Wagner: Well, one of the ways that God did that is in the writing of the Bible, and you see this in other areas besides creation. When God had something specific that he wanted to focus on, emphasize, he used different tools of literature, we might say. One is that he would repeat it. He would say it a number of times. Let's go to day three, when plants were made, and he said, "In all the plants are seeds". These plants, these trees, the flowers, the vegetables, all of them have seeds, and seeds are mentioned five times in a few verses. And we look over that because to us seeds are very common. But what are the purpose of seeds? The purpose of a seed is to grow another copy of what it came from.
— And to us, that's just the way things are. But I don't believe that's the way things have ever been anywhere else in the universe that God created, because why would you need something to grow something new is because it died. God knew that sin was going to be coming into the earth, and so he had to make a new process whereby after sin came, after sin entered and things started to die, he would need to be able to have those things continue to live until the plan of salvation could be accomplished. He wanted everything to live, man included, so that we could survive until the plan of salvation could be accomplished. So he made seeds in plants. And when it gets to the animals, he allowed animals to be able to recreate themselves after they're kind, and that's the same process of a seed. And when he got to humans, the fact that God made man to be male and female had never been done in the universe before, and he was building up to something very special. So he made man in his own image, he made him male and female. Well, why would this be necessary? And how can we be sure that that's the case? Well...
— When Jesus was here, he was being accosted by some of the religious leaders who asked him a question about this woman who was married to a man and he died, and so she married his brother, and then he died and she married the next brother. Who's whose wife will he be? Jesus said, "You ask this because you don't know scripture," because in heaven, there is no marrying or giving of marriage in heaven. The angels are neither male nor female. Male and female never existed before this earth was created, because there was no need for male and female. Why would there have been a need for and female here? It was so that God could become God among us, Jesus, the savior. The purpose for all for this creative process was to bring us to the place where God could introduce to us the savior, Jesus, in a way that we would accept him. Now, I was born in 1951. In that year, I think, or possibly '53, there was a movie that was done called, "The Last Day on Earth," or something to that effect. There was this flying saucer that came and landed on the earth. And so all of the armies of the world started coming together with their big guns to circle it, to make sure that nothing happened from it. The robot came out and everybody was horrified. And then a man came out, a being. Long story short, he started telling them, "We've been watching you from the rest of the universe and you're a terrible people. You're always in war with each other and you're gonna destroy yourselves, and so we've come to give you a solution. This is a matter of life or death. If you do what we say, we'll let you live. Otherwise we're gonna wipe you out because you're going to become a hazard to the rest of the universe".
— Oh, that's interesting, isn't it, from a spiritual perspective.
— That parallel there.
— Exactly. Everybody was afraid of this savior coming to help them. And indeed, if God had sent Jesus in any other way, probably we would've been frightened of him then, too. As it turns out, that itself had to be a part of the process because those who were leading God's people at the time did destroy Jesus, but that had to be done. Let's go back just a little bit. Jesus had to be born of a woman in order to be partly human.
— And he had to live a sinless life, and he had to die the death that he did not deserve. So all of this had to be orchestrated in a way, and I'm not saying that God forced all of this to happen, but he knew what was going to happen. So he put things into the fact that would bring about the consequences that come to all of us when we sin, and comes to the world as a result. This was necessary in order to be able to save the earth and the rest of the universe. So the seed became that which in Genesis 3:15...
— would be what would be the savior of the man and the woman who sinned because they turned against God.
— You spoke about the secret foundations. What else is there? What else is there that Jesus spoke about or was alluding to that shine a light on the creation account of the Bible?
— Well, Jesus, how do you make life? Science has been trying to answer that question for as long as there has been science.
— Oh and it amuses me, every so often someone in Silicon Valley has announced that we're studying how to achieve immortality, or how we're gonna all live to 150. I saw three or four days ago, a man says he's gonna live to be 180. He definitely won't. There's no question about it. But these are the kind of pursuits that science, ar least likes to tell us they're all about.
— Well, I wanna hit that in just a minute. But how did God make life happen? Well, he had already created something that he put into place here on this earth, and that something was DNA. Life in the rest of the universe had DNA. God has DNA. Everything that lives has DNA. We didn't learn about DNA until in the middle of the last century.
— Very recently, really.
— And frankly, I remember when they first showed pictures of the DNA helix, and that was an amazing thing. I was in elementary school at the time, and that fascinated me to see that. But how do we know that there is DNA? Did God ever talk about DNA in the Bible? Well, I think he did. In 1 Corinthians 15, he talks about the fish having one kind of body, the birds another...
— That's right.
— and the animals another, and people have another. Well, besides that, he tells us that when it's time for Jesus to come, and he raises up the saved, he recreates us in the form of his glorious body. He has DNA also. And he simply renews our DNA in a fashion that will be eternal along with eating from the tree of life. So God has always used DNA in everything that lives. I'm relatively certain that that's one thing science is not going to be able to duplicate.
— Yeah, it's mind boggling, isn't it? When you look at the complexity of nature, and sometimes that complexity is found in profoundly simple things like leaves, or a blade of grass, or some such thing. You look at the great complexity in nature, you consider the vastness of the universe, I mean, how do you arrive at the place that we just got here? I was reading sometime in the last 24 hours, I might have read it to one of my children, where the account was that everything currently in the universe... That's right, I was reading about black holes, I think it was, as you do. Everything in the universe once fit inside like a very small pin prick. And then there was the big bang and everything that we see now had been densely and tightly packed, and now it's the sun, the moon and the stars, and galaxies and billions of galaxies. Dr. Wagner, how can a person believe that? Just, I mean, I don't wanna pick a fight with scientists. I don't think it'd be a fair fight. I probably wouldn't last half a round. But how does a person let themself believe that once everything was jam packed into something smaller than the period at the end of a sentence? That doesn't make sense.
— And fortunately, science now is beginning to doubt that. Of course, it goes back to Einstein when he developed his theories of relativity. In the last three, maybe four years, some really good scientists have been saying, "We're not so sure that actually works out anymore". And I expect that that will grow and grow to the place where more people will recognize it had to have been something pretty amazing, but that wasn't it. Let me go back to DNA for just a moment.
John Bradshaw: Yeah, sure.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Do you remember that when man sinned, and in Genesis 3:15, Jesus came to Adam and Eve in the garden.
John Bradshaw: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed".
Dr. Gary Wagner: Yes, exactly, and the seed is very important there. And then to man, "I will cause you to have to labor by the sweat of your brow". And it was at that point then it says, and the plants began to change, they started getting thorns. This was the beginning. The curse on the ground was the mutation of the DNA began, which caused the thorns to begin to form. And because DNA mutation was in the ground, and of course the ground is where all life comes from according to science. Everything that lives has in some way it's beginning from what comes out of the ground. God, at the very beginning, created the elements that would make life possible. So DNA mutation began at that point and has been going ever since. Now, there's a scientist in Cornell who was not a Christian, but he was studying plant DNA and he began to learn more and more about it and how it worked. One of the things that he learned was, they got to the place after DNA was mapped that they knew how many genes there are in a person.
John Bradshaw: Sure.
Dr. Gary Wagner: They also can tell how many of those genes are mutated. So by looking at the number that are mutated and how many there are, and recognizing the rate of mutation, they have been able to calculate how long mutation has been happening.
John Bradshaw: Oh, that's fascinating. I'm completely unaware of this.
Dr. Gary Wagner: And it's been happening between six and 8,000 years.
John Bradshaw: Isn't that something?
Dr. Gary Wagner: So, as I said, science is an amazing thing that is coming around to prove exactly what God has been telling us. But one of the things that that also tells us is a geneticist who is not a Christian, who sees the same thing that this man saw, says that the reality is genetic mutation has been going at this rate. And we are, and he said, either less than 100 years, or three to four generations before humanity is no longer fit to be able to survive.
John Bradshaw: Is that so, he's talking about what, the breakdown of DNA or the continuing weakening of the human family? What's your reference here?
Dr. Gary Wagner: No, the breakdown of DNA itself, that we psychologically, physically, mentally, are getting to the place, and we can see this happening all over the place, getting to the place mentally, where we won't be able to continue to survive. And this happens at the same time, this mutation which is bringing us down, happens at the same time that science, with its artificial intelligence, is coming to the place where they're expecting to have the singularity occur, some say by 2050, but because of new advances that have been being made, others are saying by 2028, where these two lines are now coming to the place where we will become incapable of surviving on our own at the time when computers will be completely taking over the world.
John Bradshaw: Yeah, you've heard that phrase, "You ain't seen nothing yet". It just does make me wonder what we are looking ahead at as a human family, what lies just down the road a little bit.
Dr. Gary Wagner: Exactly, and of course, I'm not saying how long it's going to be before Jesus comes, but I know that he's never going to allow us to get to the place where machines will begin to destroy us.
John Bradshaw: No doubt about it. Very, very fascinating. "Operation Time Box" is the book. Dr. Gary Wagner is my guest. I'll have more from our conversation in just a moment, brought to you by "It is Written".
John Bradshaw: Welcome back to "Conversations" brought to you by "It is Written". My guest is Dr. Gary Wagner, and he's the author of "Operation Time Box," a book dealing with creation, with faith and science. It's very interesting, a moment ago you were talking about the intersect between humanity and technology, that intersect, just where we go with that. It's gonna be very fascinating to see. You've also mentioned, Gary, that science is starting to help out Christianity a little bit, now. More and more scientists are looking at the evidence and interpreting it in a way that's not hostile to the Bible. At the same time, and this might be a relatively delicate thing to discuss, but it's out there, science is also undermining some of the most basic fundamental building blocks of creation. Here's what I mean. We're seeing it in the news these days, how individuals who were born as biological males are now competing as females after taking testosterone suppressants and identifying as female. You know, once upon a time, that idea would've been laughable. Whether it's laughable now or not, or whether that's appropriate or not, I don't know. But once upon a time that just wasn't how things were done. So the distinction between male and female, so absolutely crucial to the Bible story, that distinction itself is under a pretty ferocious attack. I don't raise this to be critical of somebody who may see this different, though I do, but it's a fact. Male and female created he them. Jesus was born a male, born of a virgin, born of a woman. What in the world, if you were to take this to an illogical conclusion, I just wonder if there's way more to it spiritually than a person choosing to identify however they want.
— I believe you're exactly right. At a perspective on this, recognize that in the Talmud, the word for woman is "ish," the word for man is "ishah". Those two words in the Hebrew are exactly the same, except ish has a yod in it, it's not in ishah. And ishah has a yael in it, that's not in ish. You take those two letters and put them together, and you have Yahweh.
— Yes. So God, right from the very beginning, made man not just the people that they are, but also in the very language of the people that he chose. These symbols, these signs that help us to see that when you have a man and a woman that it creates the image of God. And if you have a yod and a yod, it's not. And if you have a yael and a yael, it's not. Only when it's a male and a female who are joined together, does it represent the image of God. Now, today, as I said when we began, a lot of people are getting this turned around because of whatever reasons. And just like you said, I'm not here to criticize a person who feels that their gender or their sexuality is something different than what they were born with. So much of this is happening, right now, it's happening a lot more than it ever has, because it's a popular thing, and particularly young people are getting caught up in the popularity of it. That being said, again, we recognize that every person is loved by God.
— That's right.
— And every person is offered salvation. And God is working in the mind and the hearts of every person to be able to bring them to a recognition of who he is and what he wants for them. However, we see then with this change, why science, and maybe not just science, but also culture, has been working so hard to change this image of God that he built within each one of us, and to make it so that we can no longer see... When God made marriage, he said to them, he gave the command that they should join together and that they should procreate and fill the earth with people who love him. So that's what he wants to do. He also tells us throughout scripture that he compares a husband and a wife to himself.
— It's one of the major images that he helps us to see who he is. If culture and society and science are working to combat that, then you have to recognize that there's some deeper purpose behind it. And I believe that it is the devil who is leading this culture and so much of science to completely turn away from who God is. And that's one of the things that I say we don't recognize in many ways how we're actually turning away from worship of God by getting into some of the things that science and our culture, our societies are leading us into. And if we did understand it, maybe it would make a difference for some, and let's hope that that's the case. But I know that God will continue to work for the salvation of each one of those persons, the same as he does for me.
— We don't have a whole lot of time left here. So I just want to be as broad as I can to give you an opportunity to focus where you wanna focus. But as we look at creation week, you've spoken about signs and the secrets of the foundations and so forth. But what are some of those things that we just might be missing from creation week? Do we ever look a little too narrowly? Do we ever fail to see the forest because of the trees? What are some of those beautiful things about God that we might see more clearly if we focused a little more as we looked at creation week?
— That's a good question. One of the things that I recognized as I was going through is when you start learning about creation and you start looking at the science behind it, we tend to look at the things that are easy for us to see. We still may not understand it very well, but we still look and see part of that is time. Time was actually created at the beginning of creation as well, because in eternity, there's no time. There's no measure of time in eternity. But we didn't have a measure of time until day one. And there, it said, "And the evening and the morning were the first day".
— First day.
— So it actually says to us days didn't exist before this. This was the first day and it measured it also, the evening and the morning, so that we could tie time to the spinning of the earth on its axis.
— That might give me a headache if I think about that too much. No time before creation week.
— That's right.
— That's just a very difficult concept, I think.
— It is pretty challenging. And frankly, I've been continuing to consider this for these years. And it wasn't until just the about three months ago that I was listening to a Christian philosopher who was talking about time. He came up, one of his students, in fact, asked him a question about how some people have talked about time of being a box. And quite frankly, I was amazed when I heard that, because I'd never studied that before. I had come up with this title for the book...
— "Operation Time Box".
— on my own, without recognizing that somebody else had already said that somewhere along the way. We look at the direction society is going today. We see it not only in the areas of gender and sex, but we also see it in abortion. The question has always been, what is a child? And when did life begin? When we recognize that a child was brought into this world for the purpose of saving all of us, and every child that is born is a type of that child. Every child that is born is intended to point us to Jesus, the baby, who was God with us. In fact, for any of us who have been parents, when we first look at that tiny baby that's born, I don't know of a single mom or dad who didn't say, "What has God done here"?
— Yeah, it's a profound, profound moment, isn't it?
— He draws us to himself through that new life, and that was the intent for it to be. Not only are we destroying that image of God, that type of Christ, that soul that God put there for the purpose of drawing us to him, when we do that, we begin hardening our hearts and turning away from him in a way that we may never get back. Of course, God continues to call us. These are the things that are at stake as we get closer and closer to the time when Jesus will return.
— You like to think that there'll be an awakening of some kind, a revival, a repentance of some kind. I don't see it happening, not any kind of great, general, "We as a human family have got it so wrong for so long. We fall on our face before God and tell him how sorry we are". How do you see the general forces in society going? It seems to me now we're at a critical mass, and the devil has pressed his foot down hard on the accelerator, and there's not gonna be any, "Wow, we got it so wrong". I don't mean to indicate that individual human beings are not gonna repent. Thank God that's gonna happen. It's gonna happen in great number before Jesus comes back. But wow, this world just seems to be outta control, doesn't it?
— Yes, it does. It seems to be getting worse and worse. I happen to believe that God is still in control. And as we look at many incidents through history, and some that are even mentioned in the Bible, for example, with Nebuchadnezzar, God's people were turning away from him, and so he allowed them to be taken over by Babylon.
— Right. Right.
— But then he saved the Babylonian leader.
— Yeah, the worst of the worst.
— The worst of the worst. And then God's people had a little more time to be able to start over and do what they need. We see this happening time again throughout history of man. And we see it actually happening right now in our own country, in the world. COVID, I don't think was an accident. I think the devil had his hand in it right from the beginning.
— And one of the purposes for it may well be to help us to recognize that God is bringing us back to himself. In talking with people, I find that many of them are saying, "You know, all of this science that we've been hearing has been questionable". And they're even admitting now that it was questionable. So what can we believe in? And I believe that God is going to bring us continually back to creation and faith and true science to help us to recognize who he is and what he's doing for us. And he will use these events to bring the world back.
— Oh, I pray so. The world needs God, like maybe never before. We only have a couple of minutes left. And I often like to ask guests on "Conversations" before we're done, tell me what the gospel means to you, what the experience of the gospel can look like in a person's life. The whole creation story, God created a universe, a planet for the purpose of redeeming us for his glory. Things went badly. Jesus came into the world. Jesus will make a difference in your life. What kind of difference? Where's the power of the gospel? What does the gospel story mean to you?
— Thank you for asking that. When I was 10 years old, shortly after my grandmother died, somebody from the church came and put their hand on my shoulder and said, "Someday you'll make a great pastor". I was so angry. I was so angry at that person. I could hardly stand to be in that person's presence, because I said to myself, "I will never be a pastor. I want to have fun".
— Oh. As I grew up to try to have fun, I recognized that God just wasn't leading me the way I thought I wanted to go. And it wasn't until our previous discussion that we had, that I saw that he took me completely out of what I was planning for myself, and of course I accepted it all along the way, because he's not going to do something that I'm not willing to accept. He reached in to the depths of my depravity and he changed things, whereas I look back in my life, I'm so grateful to God that he took over where my foolishness seemed to be taking me. That doesn't mean everything is still good, but he's leading me to a time when it will be.
— That's right.
— And I can hardly wait for that. I'm not eager to die, but I know I don't have to worry. The gospel to me is the privilege to be able to know who God is, and his is great love for me, and everybody who I love, and everybody else also, and the way he continually works everything, moving it to the direction so that I will be ready despite myself.
— Yes. Fantastic. God offers us hope, doesn't he? We were creation's rescue mission. We were created, not here through happenstance. I saw a famous atheist recently. Maybe I read it. He's dead and gone now, but he's a very famous guy. Maybe he was a philosopher, an author. And he said, "I would love to be able to believe in God. I would love to be able to believe that life has meaning simply beyond this life, and that one day we're gonna live in a perfect place with our friends and our family". He said, "I'd love to be able to believe that". I don't know what it was that was keeping him from believing it, but he'd come to the place where he was not even capable of believing that. Where would you be without that hope? Where would you be?
— I hate to think where I would be.
— Where would you be? Well, thank God that through Jesus, we have an eternal hope that we were created to exist, and that we will be recreated one day, and in the presence of God, we'll live forever. Dr. Gary Wagner, thank you for wholeheartedly, enthusiastically, vigorously speaking up in behalf of creation, and in behalf of the creator. I appreciate it very much.
— I just want you to know that this was my first book I've written, and as I read it now, I'm not satisfied with it. So it's being revised and updated so that the new science can be put in, and the new book will be called "Creation Revealed".
— How about that? A book about creation recreated. We're looking forward to that, "Creation Revealed". Thanks very much. This has been a joy.
— Thank you.
— Thank you for being part of our time together. He is Dr. Gary Wagner, I'm John Bradshaw. This has been our conversation.