As we watched his little brother and preschool friends color the bills of their dinosaur hats, I realized my young friend was probably confused by his classroom schooling in evolution. Change (evolution) is an obvious reality in biological and archaeological science, but it is confusing when the lessons go beyond scientific fact and claim to be the mechanism for the origin of all species. True science, because of DNA and mathematics, has debunked the theory of life’s origin beginning with a single primordial cell. But academia always lags behind in teaching the latest scientific advances. Thus, a child might think that, if the existence of dinosaurs proves evolution, then teachers might be right about our ancestors being rat-like creatures scurrying around the feet of the dinosaurs.
So, in answer to his opening question “When did God make dinosaurs?” I said to him, “God made the dinosaurs before He made us, that’s for sure.”
“Then why did He make the dinosaurs and then just kill them all?” He’d been thinking about these things for a while. He needed to be heard and taken seriously.
“You ask an important question. I can tell you’ve thought about this quite a bit.”
He nodded soberly, never taking his eyes away from my own.
“You’ve thought about this, so tell me how you think God killed all the dinosaurs.”
“The scientists think a huge asteroid crashed in Mexico and killed them all.” He was well versed in the school-book rhetoric. He’d passed the tests.
“Yes, they think a huge asteroid did crash into Mexico and wiped out about 70% of all the creatures on the earth. But some scientists think the dinosaurs were beginning to starve out already and others think there were dinosaurs left on the other side of the earth from where the asteroid landed. They argue all the time over what happened because it’s really hard to know for sure—it’s been so long ago.”
I wanted him to think about where the blame lay for the loss of dinosaurs. “But I’m wondering if God is the one who killed them off.” He raised his eyebrows, then nodded. He wanted to hear what I had to say. “If a bunch of nuclear bombs or a weird disease killed almost everyone on earth, would that be God’s fault?”
“I don’t know.” He was guarded, not sure where this was leading.
“If the wiring in your house wore out and caused a fire that burned your house down, would that be God’s doing?”
“No, it would be an accident,” he corrected himself.
“When anything bad happens, whose idea is it according to the Bible?”
“The devil’s?” He also remembered what he had been taught in Bible class.
“I want to show you something. Is that OK?”
I grabbed my phone and pulled up my favorite Bible app, selecting an easy-to-read version for his sake. “Do you remember the story of Adam and Eve and how they listened to Satan and did the one thing God had asked them not to do?” He nodded “Yes.” “That’s where all the bad began. Before that, God said everything was good.” I added with a smile, “Except that Adam needed help.” We both laughed.
After reading God’s response to the fall in Genesis 3:14-19, I explained, “After Adam and Eve got into trouble–and Satan, too–God sentenced Satan to a miserable existence and doom to come. Then he sentenced Adam and Eve to pain and hardship and physical death. But God also indicated that One Day He would make things right again for those who wanted to be friends with Him again.”
I stopped and faced him and, putting my hand on his shoulder, continued. “But there’s more to the story. Did you know that the earth suffered, too, from Satan getting involved and poisoning everything he touched.” Turning to Romans 8:21-22 we read, “…the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. Not only this, but we ourselves also…groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, making our bodies free.”
He looked at me, somewhat confused but also intrigued.
“So you see, God didn’t kill all the dinosaurs. The whole universe was broken by Satan. But just for now.” Turning to Revelation 21:1-5, I showed him where God promises to make all things new..not just our bodies, but an entirely new world with Him.
He sat for a moment, mulling over all this new information. But he had more questions. And since we were on a roll, he continued. “But when did He make them and why weren’t there any on the Ark?”
That question will be answered in Part III. Meet me there next week.