Creation doesn’t matter to my faith. Right?

Note: This post is a point-form summary for a small group discussion that I compiled from the last section, “Real, Eternal Value Intended by the Original Authors”, of my previous post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Is Genesis meant to be taken plainly?

  • What was the author intending to convey?
    • Poetry, parable, etc., or history?
    • No Jewish poetic forms (eg. parallelism absent), scholars agree
  • Jesus and the Gospels said they were given by Moses
  • Genesis 12-50 are not really disputed but 1-11 are
  • Colophons on tablets indicate knowledge known to the author up to the end of the tablet indicating historical records
  • Numbered days, ‘evening and morning’ language, strong support for ordinary, 24hour days
  • Similar language structure in Numbers 7 shows evidence original language choice in Genesis 1 specifically intended ordinary 24hour days as we experience them

Reading: Should Genesis Be Taken Literally, Genesis Is History

Does Genesis really matter for the Gospel?

  • So, what if it is meant to be taken plainly, does it matter to our the gospel message and salvation?
  • Cognitive dissonance: Genesis 1-11 “obviously” contradicts secular science so I reject Genesis 1-11, accept the rest of the bible, and believe secular science for everything else
  • Most people don’t live with their faith and also believe that Genesis is wrong: They abandon their faith.
    • This has been documented by the major creation organisations, AiG, CMI, books have been written about it
  • I would even say that those who hold to their belief but disbelief Genesis forfeit confidence and power in their faith and the scripture they would otherwise have.
    • Coming to confidence in the historicity of Jesus was a central factor in the confidence I have in God, my faith, and the scriptures.

Reading: Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims

What happens to your theology when you don’t take Genesis plainly?

  • The bible is complete and whole. It tells a single story and all parts of the bible build on and depend on other parts of the bible.
  • When one part of the bible is broken, scripture starts falling apart
  • One person I discussed with online said the theological and existential truths of Genesis had no need of the actual history of Genesis:
    • When do we start reading the bible for real?
      • So, if we read Genesis 1-11 figuratively, when do we start reading it as history? Just after the Plagues of Egypt? The Red Sea Crossing? Elijah and Elisha’s miracles? The Virgin Conception? Jesus’s Resurrection? They’re all equally miraculous – why should we believe them but not the account of Creation or Noah’s Flood?
    • Original Sin and the Atonement
      • “Bowler, unlike many Christians, recognizes that evolution not only destroys the creation of Adam but also the concept of original sin and the atonement of Christ.”
      • If creation wasn’t historical, there was no Adam, and therefor no Adam to bring sin into the world
      • How have “all died” in Adam according to 1 Cor 15:22?
      • Is Adam really the “first man” according to 1 Cor 15:45?
      • How did sin enter the world through one man (what man? Adam wasn’t around) according to Romans 5:12?
      • How is Jesus gift of righteousness for Adam (non-existent) and Adam’s sin (non-existent Adam so non-existent sin) according to Romans 5:17?
      • Looking at just a few pieces of scripture, we see Original Sin and Atonement theology are in a mess
    • Deity of Christ
      • Jesus said “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” (ie. not simply the beginning of mankind / the human race) in Mark 10:6
        • “Jesus was saying that Adam and Eve were there at the beginning of creation, on Day Six, not billions of years after the beginning. Jesus understood from the text of Genesis that Adam was created at the beginning of creation, which is directly opposed to the evolutionary opinion of the origin of man.”
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.

Reading: The Bible and Hermeneutics, The Consequences of Denying a Supernatural Creation of Adam,

Conclusion

  • Genesis is meant to be taken at its word (ie. historical) because of its inherent writing format, structure, and internal language evidence from other parts of scripture.
  • The Gospel salvation message is compromised because everyone in the public education system has been taught evolution and they clearly contradict each other. Therefor most people abandon the “clearly” incorrect one: The bible and their faith.
    • Most people know the crazy stats of young people leaving the church when they get on their own.
  • Theology is broken when Genesis is not taken as history:
    • There was no first man Adam, there was no first sin because there was no Adam
    • Jesus was either ignorant or misleading of evolution (if that were true) questioning His deity
    • Jesus didn’t need to die for our sins (because Adam, who brought sin into the world, didn’t exist)
    • The writings of the Apostles are in error and theologically incorrect since they assume a 6-ordinarsy-day creation.
    • …and this is just a few things that don’t make sense without a plain reading of Genesis.
  • God meant what he said.

See The Bible and Uniformitarianism.

Misericordia, Soli Deo Gloria

A response to GodOfEvolution.com’s As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions

Update 2016-10-04: Per the previous update and Tyler’s response to this post, I have responded again in my post Answering Genesis 1 and 2 Contradiction Claims.

Update 2015-12-03: Tyler has responded in his post Continuing the discussion about Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions. I am currently drafting a new response in our friendly back-and-forth in the hopes of answering his further points.

I’ve been discussing with GodOfEvolution.com’s Tyler on Facebook. In response to his article entitled As different as morning and evening: Genesis 1 and 2 contradictions:

If I may respond to your article’s claims:

(1) ‘This is the account’. The CMI article covers this is much more convincing detail than you provide. JEDP also has issues with this verse that lend to summarizing the previous text and introducing new text (all in that one verse) implying the author knows the creation account is done and a new, different account begins (logically and from the text we gather it is not an account of the same things but more details on the previous). Your claim that it asserts a distinct creation account does not have the support it needs.

(2) Shrubs vs plants and trees: You assert 2:5’s ‘shrub’ equates to 1:11’s ‘plants and trees’ but don’t say why – and you should given the extra qualifications ‘of the field’ (many translations) and the implications these plants required cultivation (‘there was no one to work the ground’). The land may have ‘produced’ all vegetation in 1:11 but not all had ‘appeared’ or ‘sprung up’. It’s amusing you disparage Batten but you fail to mention Gen 2:6 (part of the same thought) ‘but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground.’ So your claim to a “more important reason” why plants are supposedly not around doesn’t hold water (couldn’t resist the pun).

(3) Creation of animals: It is perfectly congruent for (a) God to have created all animals in Gen 1:24 and for God to have created more of those animals to have Adam name them (to see God actually creating things and to discover none are like Adam), and (b) to take the text to mean that they had already been made and that God “brought” them to him which is the wording of many translations. Your claim about ‘formed’ vs ‘had formed’ lacks support. 2:7 could easily have said ‘had formed’ with the prefix “Now” rather than “Then”. Additionally, when you take the Gen 2 as more details about day 6, there’s no problem reading it either way. God did ‘form’ Adam on day 6 and/or he ‘had formed’ Adam ‘earlier’ on day 6.

(4) I will make a helper suitable for him: Correct. God still had some making to do on day 6. He still had to make Eve. As the points above show, when you view Gen 2 as a more detailed accounted of day 6, the tense of the words makes sense.

(5) “risk distorting these lessons such that the real, eternal value intended by the original authors”: I think CMI sums it up about right:

“The final word on this matter, however, should really be given to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In Matthew chapter 19, verses 4 and 5, the Lord is addressing the subject of marriage, and says: “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

Notice how in the very same statement, Jesus refers to both Genesis 1 (verse 27b: ‘male and female he created them’) and Genesis 2 (verse 24: ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’). Obviously, by combining both in this way, He in no way regarded them as separate, contradictory accounts.”

Jesus had no problem viewing both accounts as compatible and complementary. He even drew out ‘lessons of eternal value’ from both at once. There is also no need to abandon any actual ‘lessons of eternal value’ by viewing them as plain accounts that make sense of and build on each other.

(6) “In my view, these two snippets of ancient literature contain the essence of God’s reason for making mankind, and the relationship he desires with every man and woman who now lives.” The beauty of a plain reading of the Genesis creation, not only that it makes logical sense from the text, is that you take both historical truth *and* the theological and existential truths. Creationists don’t claim there’s only one level of understanding or one set of lessons that creation provides. You get the best of all worlds when you take God’s Word at His written word. That’s the beauty of God’s written word.

The CMI article referenced is creation.com/genesis-contradictions.

Literally: Sad, Frustrated, Distracted. But Love. Church Heresies Then and Now.

So, the latest intra-Christian controversy to blow up is popular Christian worship act Gungor’s denial of the ‘literal’ reading of scripture, particularly Genesis, the creation account, Adam and Eve, and the Flood. This of course triggering the day before our traditional day of worship when Christians come together to worship God their saviour in spirit and truth. This, of course, all comes on the heels of the Tim Lambesis story who allegedly attempted to hire a hitman to murder his wife. It’s hard to try to move one’s heart towards God when we’re distracted by emotional issues like these. Here’s a few of the articles circulating:

It’s saddening, frustrating, and distracting…

Continue reading “Literally: Sad, Frustrated, Distracted. But Love. Church Heresies Then and Now.”