Bruce Jones – Is Genesis 1-11 Historical and Accurate?
Written by Teddy on May 21, 2016
Part Two – “The Infallible Word of God or the World of God”
Today we continue our new series entitled a Biblical Defense of Genesis 1-11 as Historical and Accurate and talk about the role the Word of God should play in the debate on this question. As regards to Scripture the fundamental difference between traditional creationists and now progressive creationists or theistic evolutionists as I see it is whether or not the Scriptural Inspiration of the Word of God should trump any Scientific interpretation of the World of God, or visa-versa when there is a conflict? For example regarding the “Big Bang” the theory that underpins much of the discussion. “20 years ago is nothing like the Big Bang of today. We know that the vast majority of what science has authoritatively said over the years about the past is wrong”. Then much of what is said about an old earth is based on their preferred inference so we have to wonder if we can trust all it says. As one author says “from the perspective of observational science no one can prove how young (or old) the universe is. Only one dating method is absolutely reliable- a witness who doesn’t and has all the evidence” Who that is for the Christian is God, as He has revealed it to us in His Word. When we think we need to correct God’s Word in the Genesis account we need to be reminded of His words to Job in chapter 38 especially verses 4 where He says “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Tell Me if you have understanding.” And there are instructions or rules given us how we should approach the study and interpretation of His Word. Here are the guiding principles.
- First of all I believe in the absolute inerrancy and infallibility of the Word of God in all matters of faith, including it’s instructions on Creation. Now we know that “God cannot lie” (Titus 1:2) Jesus reminded His disciples that until heaven and earth pass away ”not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law’ (Matthew 5:18) In prayer to His Father Jesus said “Thy Word IS Truth” it is not some neo-orthodox view that it contains truth. Or the liberal view that it doesn’t always speak the truth. Or those who say parts are myths, which by definition is then not true.
I approach this debate believing in a verbal word by word inspiration explained in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “ALL scripture is inspired by God” who cannot lie and that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of a human will, but men moved by the Hoiy Spirit spoke from God .“ (2 Peter 1:21) So there are no myths or mistakes anywhere in God’s Word including Genesis 1-11
- Second God makes it very clear that we should not add to the Word of God or subtract from it. And this is repeated several times to warn us.(1) Deuteronomy 4:2 says “You shall not add to the Word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it” (2) Deuteronomy 12:32 Whatever I command you, you shall not add nor take away from it.” (3) Proverbs 30:6 ‘Do not add to His words the lest He reprove you and you be proved a liar” Finally (4) Revelation 22:18-19 the final warning of God is ‘if anyone adds to the prophecies of this book, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book and if anyone takes away from the words of this book, God shall take away his part from the tree of life.” I think this addresses the issue of exegesis versus eisegesis when interpreting the Scriptures. True exegesis seeks to understand what the text says. Eisegesis inserts something into the text to change the meaning into what the reader wants it to say.
- Third a principle of good hermeneutics (how we study the Bible) is that a truth will often be stated more than once on the principle that in the mouth of two or three witnesses a truth will be established, And while obviously it is not required for all truth it does seem relevant to some truth God wants to make clear. And a second principle is that to make one text clear often includes consideration of what the immediate context or another text says to get a proper interpretation. I’m reminded that the Devil’s line of attack on the Word of God is to say “Has God said” so as to have us doubt God said what He meant to say. Then comes a denial of what God said, which leads to a distortion of what was said and God who said it, as I will illustrate in this presentation.
As I proceed to the presentation I will show why I believe Genesis 1-11 is historical and to be understood in its most plain and literal sense. To the best of my ability I purpose to refute the claims of many current evangelicals that hold to a “progressive creation” or “theistic evolution” under two categories of Textual Considerations and then Theological Considerations though at times they may overlap. While I may at times include what I consider true science versus theoretical science my main apologetic is derived from the Word of God and principles of hermeneutics I have just described. First I will show why I believe Genesis 6-9 is an accurate and God authored historical account of a universal flood. Then I will show why I believe Genesis 1-3 is an accurate God authored historical account of the six day creation of the universe and a direct creation of Man. So as we proceed have your Bible on hand. But first let me describe the paradigm or perspective Progressive Creationism operates by to study scripture.
To illustrate this let me backtrack to several months ago when I met an old friend of mine and in the course of the conversation I mentioned a prominent scholar who promoted an historical and accurate record of Genesis 1-11. As I did, he became highly energized in warning me of the damage this man has done to believers by leading them astray down the path of a literalist exposition of the text. So we started a email debate on the subject. But I was very disappointed that in all of my biblical defense of that position and simple questions I would ask him about a text he would say “I don’t know” and refer me to science and scholars who hold to the PC paradigm but he never once tried to substantiate his view based solely on Scripture. Instead here are a few excerpts from his responses. When I first sent him a copy of a prior radio series entitled “In The Beginning God” But he said the following; “The issue is not and never has been the authority of scripture as you imagine but how the creation accounts in the Bible are to be understood They were never intended to teach science. There is no way that our universe is only six to ten thousand years old.” So I wrote back and said “Who says?” they were never intended to teach science? To which he said the Bible “is not a scientific textbook.” I replied the Bible very often reveals scientific facts sometimes many hundreds of years before science discovered those facts so why would God the creator of the universe get it right elsewhere but not in Genesis 1-11? So how did he respond? His further answers were (a) a referral to scholars to prove his point, not Scripture. And (b) he was very clear that it was his position that the opening chapters of Genesis are neither history nor science. So again I replied “Why would God the Devine author of the Bible be correct on all these other science facts long before they were discovered and get it wrong on Creation?” He never answered that question. Then after several email exchanges he made his final point very clear when he said “It is plain silly to ask someone to prove an ancient earth from scripture because the purpose of Genesis is not to teach science, to tell us how God created” the universe. I have since discontinued my dialog with him but the interchange charged me with a responsibility to investigate this conflict further and then produce this series.
It is now very clear to me that those who hold to progressive creationism in the final analysis believe Science trumps Scripture. Part of their apologetic says Science is the 67th book of God (thereby putting nature or general revelation on an equal par with scripture) but many times in practice placed above scripture. I will comment on this more as we go but one simple answer I would give is found in Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. According to this verse man was there at the beginning of the creation not as their dogma declares billions of years later. More to come.