Dr Griffith was born in Tokyo to US Navy parents. In
1991 he became a professor at Singapore Bible College—
specifically, to train Asian pastors in God’s Word. A guest
speaker for CMI at a major CMI conference in Singapore,
he frequently teaches on biblical creation. He told me:
No matter what issues of significance I talk about with
people, even if just for a short time, the subject inevitably
comes down to one of origins. Are we really simply the result
of random accidents, or the product of design? Creation is the
foundation of any course I teach, whether Old Testament or
New Testament, theology or practical ministry. God could
have begun His Word any way He desired, but it’s no surprise
that He started the Bible, from the first verse, with creation. 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.
I asked Dr Griffith, “Why not just teach ‘Intelligent
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. I regularly and usually refer back to Genesis 1– 3 in my
preaching, teaching, and counselling.
Order and design
A highly organized person himself, he dismisses the sugges-
tion that this ordered world could have made itself, saying:
When does order of the type seen in living things2 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. 3
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).
“What about your own college years?” I asked.
My studies in university only confirmed that this highly
systematized world must have had a designer. My psychology
professors told me there was no absolute right and wrong (they
were absolutely sure they were right!). They ridiculed my faith
in Christ. But I just studied the issue at hand, and God gave me
a heart for them, and opportunities to give a reasoned response.
Pressure to ‘reinterpret’ Scripture
We got into why Genesis should be understood plainly,
as real history. He told me that a few years back he had
forwarded something to his SBC academic colleagues:
It indicated I was a biblical, ‘young-Earth’ creationist.
A fellow professor took me out for coffee 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
doesn’t 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
“I never thought about death preceding the Fall”, he confessed.
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, after serving as a seminary professor for 26
years, I used to think other pastoral trainers like me would
hold God’s Word above the anti-God academic consensus.
Yet now it saddens me to see Bible professors blindly accept
Rick with Amartuvshin Lkhagvatseren, Principal of Union
Bible Theological College in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia