Dinosaur Theology

I have spent a lot of time Tyrannosaurus Rex these days – and Stegosaurus, Triceratopsand Raptor. I also met some less familiar characters, such as people with long necks and small heads Diplodocus and overhead Ctenosaurus (Once you get the hang of it, it actually rolls off your tongue).

I am not a paleontologist or a museum curator.Haven’t watched the latest episode Jurassic legend. I’m just the dad of a 2 year old boy. Like many little boys, he reads, plays and growls at dinosaurs.

Over the past few months, his dinosaur shirts and books (as well as figures and stickers) have unearthed ancient charm, mostly buried land before time and a book Brontosaurus I read it when I was a kid. They also found some new problems, especially when I was trying to help my son track down God’s design in dinosaurs.

If the heavens proclaim the glory of God (Psalm 19:1), and his marvelous deeds proclaim his praise (Psalm 104:24), surely these giant reptiles long extinct have something to say about him. but what?

These old bones?

Of course, what we tell our kids about dinosaurs will depend on whether we think they roamed the earth millions of years ago or relatively recently. Both views have biblical value. Both also have difficulties. Like most of us, I have my own take on this question, but for the purposes of this article, I’m going to sidestep it entirely.

I wouldn’t mind too much if my son embraced a young earth or an old earth view of creation; I would mind a lot if he connected the dinosaurs (and the earth in general) to the God who created them. In my opinion, the most important lesson dinosaurs taught me has little to do with the age of their bones. Whether they lived in the Mesozoic or Noahic era, many things were the same: many were fierce. Many are fantastic. Many are absolutely huge.

So what can we learn from these incredible creatures? Among other classes, consider three.

Believe in the God of Wisdom

2018 Bestsellers by Steve Brusatte The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs A fascinating story of dinosaur rule. Unfortunately, it also represents and reinforces the popular view that dinosaurs had nothing to do with God.Natural evolution plays gods in Brusatte’s telling – a blind and mindless force somehow endowed with great vision: “evolution created” beasts like the giant sauropods (108) ; “Evolution brings together all the parts [and] put them together in the correct order” (117); T. Rex And his ilk is an “incredible feat of evolution” (225).

The naturalistic worldview may be relatively new. However, the underlying impulse shown here is anything but. God’s people always need to acknowledge God’s masterpiece, not popular mythology.In the ancient world, Israel’s Canaanite neighbors believed that Tannins (a terrifying sea creature, sometimes translated as “snake,” “dragon,” or “monster”) to represent “the forces of chaos that Baal faced in the beginning” (Derek Kidner, Genesis, 54).Meanwhile, Moses wrote in Genesis 1:21: “God created great sea creatures [tannînîm]. ” The Canaanites can say what they want. We know that even monsters are the work of God.

In a similar fashion, God’s final speech in the Book of Job describes them as God’s creations with a gigantic land animal behemoth and a ferocious water beast Leviathan (another monster in Canaanite lore) Object: “Behold, the beast, I created” (Job 40:15); “All that is under the heaven is mine” (Job 41:11). We also don’t have to wonder if God would say the same thing about dinosaurs. Many scholars have compared behemoths and leviathans to hippos and crocodiles, but the poetic descriptions have striking proportions. Behemoths and Leviathan can easily be mistaken for sauropods or tyrannosaurs.

“Divine Wisdom adorns every living thing down to their bones.”

Children who grow up in the age of naturalism need to hear often and happily the poet’s creed of creation: “How many are your works, O Lord! You created them with wisdom; the earth is full of your creations” (Psalm 104:24). Divine Wisdom adorns every creature down to their bones. Well, dinosaurs first invite us to name and trust their true creators.

fear the god of power

Imagine the largest elephant, with seven tons of meat and bones extending from trunk to tail. Now imagine, if you could, a creature seven times the weight of this elephant and three or four times its length, waddling about on land with a towering neck, barrel-shaped belly, and tree-trunked tail And go.You have some vague feelings now Argentine dragonpossibly the largest land animal ever discovered.

Now consider another creature, much smaller than Argentine dragon, but also much more ferocious. It’s the same tonnage as our elephant (but ten feet longer), it roams around with its muscular thighs, its massive head bears a jaw that would snap under the pressure of six tons – in fact, in its Smash cars under force.you have some vague thoughts right now T. Rexpossibly the most ferocious land animal ever discovered.

Now imagine yourself standing in front of these beasts.We are right about them, as God said to Leviathan, “No one is so fierce as to provoke him.” We are right to conclude accordingly: “Then who can stand I? ” (Job 41:10).

Dinosaurs should make us tremble — but mostly not before dinosaurs came along. Like hurricanes, they preach the power of the living God, the God of our lives, actions, and beings, before whom we will one day stand. As Matthew Henry said of the behemoths, we can say this about every dinosaur:

Consider whether you can stand up to him who created that beast and gave him all power, and whether it is not your wisdom to obey him and reconcile with him. (Explanation of the Old and New Testaments223)

God made every tooth T. Rexmouth; he adds every ton to Argentine dragons frame. Though dead, their bones still speak and teach us not only to trust the wisdom of their creator, but to fear his power.

Praise the God of Miracles

In Christ, however, the most terrifying manifestations of God’s power become occasions of praise. Faith turns the terrible into the awesome: thunder becomes the voice of God (Psalm 29:3), the vast universe is his finger (Psalm 8:3), the raging sea makes the way for our Lord (Matthew 14:25) ), the most ferocious beast shines in his glory.

God’s children know how to look at Leviathan (and by extension, dinosaurs), seeing not only his beast, but his “good figure” (Job 41:12). They can sit in his footprints and worship the miraculous God (Psalm 104:31-32). They can trace his scales, like King David under lightning, shouting “Glory!” (Psalm 29:9).

Psalm 104 provides a good understanding of what a dinosaur-inspired praise sounds like. Here, the poet marvels not only at the gentle beauty of God’s creation—the flowing stream and the singing birds—but also at its harder edges: young lions roaring for their prey, and even Leviathan himself frolicking in the sea (Psalm 104:21, 26). Derek Kidner writes that some may hold the bones of long-lost species and see only “a bunch of meaningless lives.” But the poet teaches us to see them as “some hint of the riches of the Creator, and of the extent and precision of his thoughts” (Psalm 73-150405).

“Hold right, the fossils of these ancient beasts are tuning forks of praise songs.”

Paleontology allows us to sing Psalm 104 in roles that the poet may not have imagined, but God has long enjoyed and is looking forward to our discoveries. Properly held, the fossils of these ancient beasts are tuning forks of praise songs.

Evangelical Chisel

A century before the first discovery of dinosaurs (circa 1820), the priest and nature lover James Hervey (1714-1758) responded to the new Newtonian science of his day, saying: “We should Always look at the visible system from an evangelical point of view. telescope . . . and evangelicals microscope” (The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism, 150). Study the stars if you like: map their routes; measure their distances. Also study cells: label their characteristics; describe their functions. However, think of both as the work of God.

In the Age of Dinosaur Discovery, We Might Add an Evangelical to Hervey’s Evangelical Telescopes and Microscopes chisel. Study dinosaurs: learn their names; consider their age; read dozens of children’s books about them. However, don’t ignore the larger lesson they teach.

My son’s dinosaur mania may subside.But at the same time, we will trace the wisdom of God in him Ankylosaurus character, and the power of God in him T. Rex T-shirt, praising God in his 2-year-old roar.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: