Mount St. Helens and the Global Flood

For many decades, secular scientists have influenced public thinking about the chronology of the geologic proecesses. This teaching has resulted in the belief that millions of years are required to deposit and form rocks and their layers, to carve canyons, to produce petrified organic remains and fossils, and to form coal beds.

The fact is that this assumption is based upon bad science, and more importantly, a worldview that contradicts1
the Bible.

In the spring of 1980, the world was shown in a horrendous way that such a belief was totally unnecessary. When
Mt. Saint Helens2 erupted two and a half decades ago, scientists, and the public in general had before them a prime example of geologic processes in action – fast paced action!

The eruptions of Mt. Saint Helens in the early 1980’s resulted in stratified layers hundreds of feet thick being deposited in a matter of days and weeks3. One section of the layering, measuring about twenty-five feet thick was deposited in a matter of one day. Further, in 1982, a hot mud flow produced by a small eruption melting the snow cap, carved out a system of canyons about 16 miles long and up to 140 feet deep.  This nearby canyon resembles a miniature version of the Grand Canyon, and is called appropriately enough, the Little Grand Canyon of the Toutle River.

The catastrophic effects of the initial eruption and the subsequent geologic events4, proved without a doubt
that millions of years are not necessary to form layers of rock (either volcanic or sedimentary), to carve canyons, or even set into motion the formation of fossils and coal beds. And this volcano was a smaller one by historical standards.

How does this relate to the Global Flood mentioned in the 6th through 9th chapters of the Biblical book of Genesis? First it shows that geologic processes do not require millions of years to take place. A careful examination of the Genesis text shows that the Global Flood was indeed a very geologically active event. Among other phenomena, there appears to have been much volcanic activity during the early part of the Flood5. Likely there was very erosive water run off produced by tectonic plate activity towards the end of the Flood when, as Psalm 104:6 – 9 indicates, the
mountains rose up and the valleys sank down, so that the water would recede from areas of the earth, forming habitable land areas.6

During this time when mountains and valleys were being formed, and vast quantities of water were retreating to
lower basin areas, great amounts of sediments would have been laid down, and canyons would have been carved out very quickly, just as has been shown by this comparatively small volcanic eruption.

Thus, there is no need to believe that “it takes millions of years” to produce geologic formations. In fact when we examine the Global Flood of Genesis 7 – 9 closely we can safely assume that this great catastrophic event was
what resulted in the vast majority of the geologic characteristics and formations seen today. The destructive results of the eruptions of Mt. Saint Helens in recent years show how powerful just one “smaller” volcano is – extremely small in
comparison to what would have occurred during and directly after the Global Flood.

Additionally, just as people living prior to the Flood ignored Noah’s warnings7 of impending cataclysmic judgement, people continued in rejecting the pleading of those urging them to evacuate only days and even hours before the
destructive eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. Ultimately these scoffing and disbelieving people were killed in the

As Christians, we must remember the Apostle Peter’s warning, which is as true today as it was nearly two thousand
years ago:

“…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”8

Because of a belief in uniformitarian interpretations of evidence, which in reality screams out “catastrophe”, many people today disbelieve and even scoff at the idea of a worldwide catastrophic flood destroying the entire earth as God’s judgment on wicked mankind. Consequently, they will be and are just as likely to disbelieve and scoff at the promise of a coming fiery judgment engulfing the entire world at God’s final day of judgment.  Additionally, when Christians attempt to “harmonize” scripture with “science” by embracing secular, uniformitarian views of science, they work against themselves by presenting two conflicting views to the unsaved (i.e. “… science shows there wasn’t really a global flood… but Jesus is coming again soon and will destroy all the wicked so you better repent!”).  God’s Word is Faithful and True, we must not force uniformitarian views into His-Story that tells of catastrophic judgement on those who scoff at His Word9.

In closing, when we see such geologic formations as Mt. Saint Helens, the Grand Canyon, fossil beds, etc, we should remember the effects of Mt. Saint Helens and the warning that Peter gave us.  Geologic processes can and do occur
rapidly. God’s judgment on sinful men is coming soon, and will come rapidly.  We must heed His warning and
command to repent and be ready for that day and help others realize the urgency in their need to do so as well.
Thankfully, just as the Ark had a door open to those who had faith in God’s saving grace, we have The Door, Jesus
Christ.  His arms are open to receive and save from the fiery judgment of eternal damnation all that trust in Him as Savior and obey Him as Lord.10


1 For a more detailed explanation of the contradictory aspects of the Biblical Creation worldview and the
secular, uniformitarian worldview please read my article “Two Histories of the Universe: A Demonstration
of the Incompatibility of the Biblical Worldview and the Evolutionary Worldview:”.

2 For more information about the 1980’s eruptions of Mt. Saint Helens go to:
wiki/Mount_Saint_Helens. For a creationist perspective on the results of the 1980 eruption visit:


4 I.e. subsequent “minor” eruptions, pyroclastic-flows, mudslides, etc.

5 The “fountains of the deep” mentioned in Genesis 7:11 are believed to have been subterranean water and lava chambers, which burst out producing steam jets and lava flows.

6 Genesis 8:1 – 4.

7 Genesis 6:8,9; Hebrews 11:7; 2 Peter 2:5.

8 2 Peter 3:3b – 7.

9 Proverbs 30:5, 6; Romans 3:4

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