“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…”
Peter now answers the objections of the scoffers. First, he turns to the principle of catastrophism.
For this they willfully forget:
Scoffers want to deliberately forget that God created the world. They chose to conveniently forget the actions of God. They cannot bear the idea of holding the reality of who God is and what He has done in their mind. God’s truth passes unnoticed by them.
The phrase “this they willfully forget” is literally “this escapes them. These people do not want to know truth because they purposely shut down their volition toward God’s truth. They shut their eyes to the facts. The world is not eternally stable. Things are not eternally and forever the same. Cataclysms can come.
God’s truth is hidden from them due to their own will. Peter’s condemnation of evolutionary and uniformitarian cosmology of “latter day” intellectualism centers on the principle of catastrophism. The evidence of this is so clear to him that to deny it is “willful ignorance” on the part of those who reject it.
Many scoffers shut their eyes to the facts. They cannot face the facts of God’s Word. Their ignorance is culpable. Any other idea than uniformitarianism is strange to them. That is why catastrophism escapes their thinking.
Negative volition continues to plague people today.
People negative to God are not open to truth about God. Therefore, they are willing ignorant. They do not know because they do not want to know. This is willful ignorance.
Some people do not want to believe the Bible. They study every thing that they can find that assaults the validity of Christianity. These people are negative in their volition toward God and His Word. It is one thing to be ignorant of the Bible but it is another thing to be “willingly” ignorant of it.