Thursday, May 27, 2010
Truth Series - Creation, part two
I have to go back to Creation for a moment.
My daughters are taking an Old Testament 111 course at a local Christian college this spring. Last night they came home and told me that the professor does not believe in a young earth and doesn't take Genesis literally. He says that it is poetry and not meant to be a literal account.
This does not surprise me but it does tick me off.
There is one more passage that you need in your arsenal to defend literal creation. Hebrews eleven is the called the faith chapter because it starts by defining faith and then listing out the various characters from scripture who displayed saving faith as an example and encouragement to all believers. Despite the fact that the first twenty-two verses use people from the book of Genesis, implying that they were actual real people, it is paramount to note that before even one name is mentioned, the faith chapter extols those who by faith believe that God created the world in the manner He recorded in Genesis.
"By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." Hebrews 11:3
This is the first charge of faith. What we see today came from the mouth of God. It didn't come from a big bang and it didn't mutate into intelligent life. By the word of God, just as Genesis records, this world was created. What we see today did not form out of something previously existing, like a tadpole to a monkey to a human. No, what we see today came from the words of God as He created. He created finished products.
And it takes faith to believe it.
Why? Because this very foundational belief is the starting place for Satan to weaken the structure of the Christian faith. If he can convince man (and he has) that everything we see is independent from God, then he has removed the greatest evidence of God's existence. Romans 1:20 says that all men are accountable for the fact that God exists because creation displays His invisible attributes, His eternal power and His divine nature. Creation proves God's existence. This is why Satan has worked overtime to discredit what we see, to lesson the testimony of nature itself.
But it is interesting to me that the faith chapter begins with faith in God's creative activity. And that's the first thing that professors of OT Survey classes at Christian colleges discount on day one of class.
If you believe that God created through the use of evolution, that He was the source of the big bang and Genesis 1 and 2 are not literal accounts of His creative activity, then you have to discount the story of Adam and Eve as being literal as well. Evolution would demand that humans evolved as a species, not as simply two individual people. At what point did God choose to put a soul into the creatures who were mutating into humans? When Adam and Eve were chosen, were there hundreds of thousands of other humans on earth who were just not as advanced as they were? And why did the evolutionary process stop in those other human-like creatures - did God wipe them all out so that He could just start with two humans? What about their offspring? Do we get our sin natures from Adam and Eve or could we have come from one of those other human-like creatures? Or were Adam and Eve the only two humans in a sea of evolving creatures?
Here's the next problem - the first person named in the faith chapter is Abel. So if the creation week is simply poetry and not literal, making Adam and Eve representative of fallen man, then is their son suddenly a true character? Or is he representative of what faith should look like? What about Enoch? Real or make-believe? Then we get to Noah. Was that story real as well, or is it just poetry? When does Genesis shift from fictional poetry to truth? Abraham is next in Hebrews 11 and I think most would agree he was real.
Do you see the danger in allegorizing Genesis? And this fictional label has been placed on Genesis simply because people don't have enough faith to believe what it actually claims. Why is it so hard to believe God created in six days?
Sorry for the rant. But Hebrews 11:3 is a good reminder that the Christian's call is one that is grounded in faith.