Catastrophism Evidenced

When you and I look at the earth’s geologic features all around us, we are looking at evidence of God’s judgment on mankind’s sin. 

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you” (Genesis 3:17).

This was the curse God pronounced upon Adam for his sin. The creation, the very ground, is cursed. From that day onward, what we call “natural disasters” or more accurately “acts of God” would become commonplace. What we call “famine” and “drought” and “floods” would become commonplace. Wars would now scar and scorch the earth. And, in the year 2023, chemical spills from train derailments. 

The curse leaves its mark everywhere.  


This view is often called catastrophism. And it has proven itself far more believable and accurate than standard atheistic geology based upon Darwinian evolution (millions and billions of years / geologic epochs). This is especially the case when we consider the worldwide cataclysm of Noah’s flood. 

Contrary to popular children’s picture Bibles and paintings, the flood God sent during Noah’s day, as recorded in Genesis 6-8, was far more than a month of gentle rain showers. It was a global upheaval the likes of which have never been seen before or since. 

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights . . . the flood continued forty days on the earth. The waters increased and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth and the ark floated on the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed above the mountains, covering them 22 feet deep. And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, livestock, beasts, all swarming creatures, and all mankind . . . He [God] blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man, animals, creeping things and birds of the heavens . . . and the waters prevailed upon the earth 150 days” (Genesis 7:11-24).  

I have often asked tour guides in caves or in State Parks, who inevitably promote the Darwinian model of geology, if those features we are observing could have been the product of some kind of massive, either local or regional or global catastrophe. From time to time, I get an honest answer. “Yes, I suppose so.” The caves and canyons may well have been produced by a large-scale geologic or meteorologic  cataclysm. Indeed, if the Word of God is truthful about the Noahic flood (and it is), then we would expect to see what we actually do see, and find under the earth’s surface, what we do find, all over the planet. As Brother Ken Ham (Answers in Genesis) has so often said, “If the global flood of Noah is true we would expect to find millions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth.” And by George, this is what in fact we do see! 

Now, I realize the Grand Canyon is gorgeous. Waterfalls are breath-taking. Red River Gorge is stunning. Cave formations and rivers and lakes and oceans are beautiful. We spend thousands of dollars to go on vacation to see these marvelous sights. And yet, they are reminders. Scars. Of judgment. 

How great is our God that even His works of judgment leave us in stunned silence, gazing upon the beautiful after-effects? Only God can bring beauty from ashes! 

God judges sin. The earth’s crust and oceans and deep volcanoes and geysers are monuments to this fearful reality. Darwinian Geologists assume the slow processes we see today have always been so, and mostly uninterrupted. If we see trickling water taking forever to erode rocks today, that’s how it’s always been. So, extrapolate and you get their epochal timetables. But so much of what we are told took hundreds of thousands if not millions of years to form happened quite rapidly! The earth’s history is one of catastrophe and cataclysm. Once on a global scale. And non-stop on local and regional scales. And, of course, such destructive events more often than not re-set if not totally reconstruct the clocks of rocks (which is why carbon-dating is so notoriously inaccurate). 

Typhoons. Tornados. Tsunamis. Volcanoes. Lightning strikes. Floods. Sink-holes. Earthquakes. Wars. 

Our planet is one of constant catastrophe. And geologic features can be formed very rapidly by said catastrophes. Take a look at this new canyon and gorge formed overnight by the recent earthquake in Turkey: 

Now, imagine if we could return to that sight 4,000 years from now, only to hear Turkish Tour Guides telling tourists that scientists and geologists believe it took 70 million years for that canyon to form! We could say, “Poppycock! I was alive when that thing formed overnight due to a magnitude 7.2 quake.” 

Well, Noah, though dead, still speaks. If only we will listen to him. 

God judges sin. Our earth groans, along with those redeemed by the blood of Jesus from our sins, to be set free from this bondage to cataclysm.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21).  

There is hope for our scorned and scarred planet. For the greatest cataclysm that has ever been, even far greater than Noah’s flood, was when the Son of God bore the wrath of God against the sins of His people as He hung on a cross 2,000 years ago. Jesus was buried in the earth. Jesus rose from the earth three days later. And Jesus will return to earth to “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). 

That event on Golgotha outside the walls of Jerusalem literally shook the world and raised the dead (see Matthew 27:51-54). So shaken was the crusty Roman centurion standing by Jesus that even he cried out, “Truly this was the Son of God!” 

Indeed, the Son of God was overwhelmed by the flood of God’s judgment against our sins. But He rose victorious! And like our planet, Jesus still bears the scars. But the scars are good news for those who by grace turn from sin and trust in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

For those who believe in Jesus, judgment has already fallen. And sin and the grave are already conquered. Our hearts are already made new, and our bodies even after physical death await resurrection glory. And we shall dwell with our Savior-King in the New Heaven and New Earth. Forever. 

And there shall be no more cataclysms. 

God, send us Your Holy Spirit, open our eyes, that we might see the salvation of our sins in Jesus when we gaze upon scars.

by Keith McWhorter