Based on an interview with Creation Ministries International’s Joel Tay
Dr Rick Griffith was born in Tokyo to US Navy parents. In 1991 he became a professor at Singapore Bible College. He is a strong advocate of seven-day Biblical Creation and says most people he speaks to are concerned to know if humans are really simply the result of random accidents, or the product of design.
"In Genesis 1-3 God gives answers to four of life's most fundamental questions: (1) Identity: Who am I? (2) Origin: Where did I come from? (3) Problem: How did the world get so messed up? (4) Destiny: Where will it all end up? These constantly come up when I teach or preach, even if I'm not doing a series specifically on origins."
Asked why he doesn't just teach 'Intelligent Design' (ID) instead of literal seven-day creation, Rick says: "On its own, ID actually makes God look bad as one who intelligently created the world but messed up in many ways, resulting in disease, deformities, earthquakes, etc. It doesn't tell us our sin problem that messed up God's perfect creation, so we need Genesis 2-3 also, to teach people the full story."
Order and design
A highly organised person himself, Rick dismisses the suggestion that this ordered world could have made itself.
"When does order of the type seen in living things ever come about without someone first designing it and expending directed energy to bring it into being? One never sees self-directed chaos getting its act together. Evolutionists must assume that all the order (and often beauty) in living things is the great exception to all that we observe, since they suppose it came from millions of ultimately random events.
"This ordered complexity is apparent at a macro and micro scale. There is the amazingly designed solar system with predictable planetary orbits. Then, on the micro level, the cell is astonishingly designed. Scientists have proven that there exists no such thing as a 'simple cell', as it is incredibly complex. How else can we explain these things except that there is a Creator? Paul identified Him as none other than Jesus Himself (Colossians 1:15-17)."
Pressure to 'reinterpret' the Bible
Rick explained why he believes Genesis should be understood plainly as real history. A few years ago, he forwarded something to his academic colleagues that indicated that he was a 'young-Earth creationist' [someone who believes the Earth was created in seven, literal 24-hour days, and is only about 6000 years old].
"A fellow professor took me aside and said, 'I just want you to know that I care for you. That article you shared implied that you think Genesis 1 has literal days. I don't want you looking bad before our faculty.' I asked, 'Why don't you think you can take the creation account in its normal sense? Is there anything in the text that indicates anything other than a 24-hour view of the creation days?' 'Well,' he replied, 'Not in the chapter itself, but science tells us that the world is billions of years old ...'
"I responded, 'When I have to choose between the Bible and the ever-changing views of scientists, I'll go with the Bible. It does not change and is written by the Eyewitness (i.e., God). One other thing is death. If each day in Genesis 1 is a long era, do you think death came before Adam or do you think animals and humans just multiplied for thousands of years without death?'
"He confessed, 'I never thought about death preceding the Fall'. I suggested it was a good thing to think about, as Scripture says (e.g., Romans 5:12) that death came as a result of Adam's sin.
"You know, it saddens me to see Bible professors blindly accept secular dates for origins without expecting these scientists to prove their points.
"Nearly everyone is taught at school that the world is billions of years old. In fact, most Christians today believe in death preceding Adam, but they have never thought how problematic this is to the Gospel."
Rick is convinced that the issue of origins is the chief reason why young people leave the church in their teens. "Young minds get convinced that scientists know more than God. It's really an issue of authority," he states.
Rick believes we find purpose (instead of meaninglessness) in our origin as the climax of creation (instead of the result of millions of mutations), made in the image of God (instead of so-called ape-men). In fact, he says:
"I see Creation as the most foundational doctrine in the Bible. If we mess up the foundation, anything built upon it is doomed to fail.
"If we can't trust the first chapter of the Bible, how can we trust any of the later ones? Jesus and Adam stand or fall together. If, as some professedly evangelical scholars are starting to say, there was no literal Adam, how can we trust that there was a literal Jesus? Why would He have had to die? Romans 5:15b says it well, 'For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!' "•