Monday, April 30, 2012

In Defense of Genesis


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God... (2 Timothy 3:16)

Genesis is a book that draws fire (as one might expect) from atheists and evolutionists; but unexpectedly, it also draws “friendly fire” from the Christian camp.  The atheists and evolutionists (typically one and the same) are, for all practical purposes, a lost cause.  They reject Genesis because they choose to; no amount of “evidence” will change their minds.  They simply do not want to believe; but the Christian compromise on Genesis is troubling.  This is the battle ground that creationists must conquer.

Although the term “compromiser” carries a negative connotation, I choose to use that term to identify Christians who will not accept the message of Genesis literally.  I do not mean to imply that these compromisers are unsaved or that they purposefully want to discredit God’s word; but in attempting make God’s Word more palatable to an unbelieving world, and to deflect the fiery missiles hurled against the book of Genesis as being unscientific, they unwittingly diminish the power of God to perform the mighty acts that Genesis describes.

Compromisers attempt to soften the impact of Genesis by claiming that it is only an allegory written to acknowledge God as Creator.  They will claim that the book is poetry, and that it is not intended to be historically or scientifically accurate.  The purpose of Genesis, they say, is to teach “who” created, but not “how” things were created.  The “how” can only be answered by science, or so they have been told, and so they say.

As for the claim that Genesis is allegory or poetry, expert scholars in Old Testament and Hebrew will attest to the fact that Genesis is written in narrative form, and as such it attempts to present these acts as facts.  Dr. John Morris wrote in an article entitled “Does Genesis Address the Time of Creation, or just the Fact of Creation?”  In it he emphasizes this point:

Hypothetically, consider a person fluent in Biblical languages who knows nothing of either Scripture or the various claims regarding the age of things, but who can read, carefully analyze, and understand a written document. Given the Bible for the first time, such a reader would certainly understand Genesis 1-11 to teach that creation occurred only thousands of years ago, not millions or billions, and he would cite several reasons.

He would note that the word "day" (Hebrew, yom) in Genesis 1 is best understood as a literal day (either a 24-hour day or the daylight portion of a day). While this common word can mean an indefinite time period, it almost always means a literal day and is so defined the first time it is used in Genesis 1:4-5.  Furthermore, it always means a literal day when modified by a number (i.e., 2nd day) or evening and/or morning, as it is in Genesis 1.  To cap it off, it always means a literal day when used in the plural form (i.e., six days of creation, Exodus 20:11).

Next, he would note the narrative character of those early chapters. They are telling a story, and there is no indication that it is figurative. He would find the poetic portions are no less "historic" than the prose portions. It all appears to be chronological, with each event followed by another.[1]

So the argument that Genesis cannot be taken literally because it is allegorical is based on a false premise.  In fact, even atheists would defend against that point.

In regard to the historical and scientific accuracy of Genesis, one only need look at the rest of the Bible for support.  If Genesis is not historically and scientifically accurate, then how can the rest of the Bible be trusted?  In the first place, God vouches for the integrity of His Word, which happens to include Genesis:  Psalm 119:89, 152, 160; Psalm148:4-6; Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25, etc.  Jesus cited Genesis as factual (Matthew19:4-6; Luke 17:26).  If the events recorded in Genesis are merely poetic allegory, then the deity of Christ is severely compromised because He presented it as historical fact.  Other writers of both the Old and New Testaments also regarded the Genesis account as fact.  To devalue the historical accuracy of Genesis is to cast doubt upon the whole of Scripture.

The Bible, however, has in all areas of scrutiny been proven true.  Modern archeologists use the Bible to locate ancient historical sites.  Even in those areas where the Bible was thought to be in error, e.g., the existence of the Hittite nation, or the reign of Belshazzar as recorded in the book of Daniel, archeology has proven the Bible to be accurate.

In all the instances where the Bible speaks to science, it is consistently found to be true.  Even in the accurate calculation of Pi (π) rounded to a whole number (2 Chronicles 4:2), the Bible is accurate.  So, if the rest of the Bible is historically and scientifically accurate, then it is unreasonable to doubt the accuracy of Genesis.
The “how” of creation is not addressed in Genesis nor can it be answered by science.  Surely the mind of man cannot approach the knowledge and understanding of God in order to fathom the “how” of His creation.  According to Genesis, God created out of nothing, and all that He created, He spoke into existence.  As incredible as this may sound to mortal beings such as ourselves, to doubt it in the least is to deny God His omnipotence and omniscience.  This is what compromisers must understand.
Science has no factual answers to the “how” of creation.  They propose theories, and their theories, especially with today’s technology, are continually proven false, and so the theories have to be continuously modified.  Science demands observation.  Creation cannot be and has never been observed.  Evolution from one “kind” into another has never been observed, and there is no evidence in the fossil record that it has ever occurred.  Science demands experimentation with repeatable results.  All attempts to “evolve” something in the laboratory have failed miserably.  Science has no answers for the “how,” and our compromisers need to understand that.

“Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).  Genesis is the Word of God.  It is true; it is historically and scientifically accurate.  To doubt its veracity, is to cast doubt on all of Scripture.  There is no room for compromise.

[1]  Morris, John D., “Does Genesis Address the Time of Creation, or just the Fact of Creation?” (

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