Reasons not to compromise with theological compromisers

According to William Loader:

We recognise these pre-scientific accounts [in the book of Genesis] as attempts to explain why things are the way they are. With them belong also the explanations of why people speak different languages (Babel) and where rainbows come from (Noah and the flood).

In the light of these realities it is important to exercise caution in appealing both to creation and the fall. The Paper [The Uniting Church’s Discussion Paper on Marriage] avoids the dangers by its brief definitions. Concretely, this means that we can talk of creation only in the light of what we now know about such matters as the age of creation (not 6000 but 13.5 billion years) and the formation/creation of the human species through millions of years of evolutionary development, not in an instant.

Sin remains sin, but the notion that there was once a perfect creation and an Adam and Eve is no longer plausible in a literal sense.

But Ken Ham does an able job of exposing Loader’s premises:

One of the problems with compromise in one area of Scripture is where do you stop compromising? If Christians accept the idea of human evolution, then why not accept the idea that our sinful tendencies are really just evolved tendencies?

But this completely changes the Bible’s definition of sin and why we sin and face the penalty of death for our sin, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). A belief in evolution strikes right at the heart of the gospel!

(To be clear: there are Christians who believe in evolution and their salvation is not in doubt if they have placed their faith in Christ—but their compromised position regarding Genesis does undermine the authority of God’s Word.)

Quote sources

  1. Loader, W. (n.d.) Comments on the Uniting Church Discussion Paper on Marriage. Available http://wwwstaff.murdoch.edu.au/~loader/LoaderCommentsonMarriagePaper. Last accessed 5th Sep 2015.
  2. Ham, K. (2015). Adultery—Justified by Evolution? Available https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2015/07/01/adultery-justified-by-evolution/. Last accessed 5th Sep 2015.
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The precise details of Genesis exist for a reason

As John MacArthur wrote, proponents of the “framework hypothesis” argue the language and details of Genesis 1 are unimportant; they are only meant to show that divine Providence guided the evolutionary process.

But, if that’s really what God intended for us to take away from the first few chapters of Genesis—Providence guided evolution—then why did God provide such exact details with precise language?

Quote Source
Grace to You (n.d.). The Fallacy of the “Framework Hypothesis”. Available http://www.gty.org/resources/print/blog/b100609. Last accessed 28th May 2015

Doug Phillips smacks down Michael Gungor’s compromised theology

Michael Gungor asserted that:

And you can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us. Not all of you will be ready to do that, and that’s perfectly ok. But know that if you create these dichotomies where we force people to either fall into the camp of scientifically blind biblical literalism or a camp where they totally write off the Bible as a complete lie, you’re going to rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers.

But that’s facile theology. In contrast, witness Doug Phillips’ theological tour de force:

Consider the implications of our understanding of Genesis on just one doctrine—the atonement of Jesus Christ. The entire hope of the Christian rests on the existence of a:

1. literal Jesus Christ, described by Scripture as the Second Adam, who

2. literally offered up His body as a sacrifice for sinners loved by God, and who paid the price for their sins on a

3. literal cross—a Jesus Christ who

4. literally was the Son of God. It was this God-man who

5. literally died and was

6. literally resurrected on the

7. literal third, 24-hour day after His crucifixion. This was necessary because the

8. literal first man, named Adam, who was created on the

9. literal sixth 24-hour day of creation with all of creation in a state of

10. literal deathless perfection, and was

11. literally declared by God to be

12. literally perfect. Adam lived in a

13. literal garden called Eden, broke a

14. literal commandment which was

15. literally spoken to him by God Almighty, a commandment which instructed him not to eat of a

16. literal tree of knowledge of good and evil, thus causing

17. literal death to fall on all men and animal life. Now all of creation is

18. literally dying, the subject of entropic forces of decay, and creation is waiting for the final redemption in which the earth will

19. literally be restored to its original glory—the same

20. literal sinless/deathless perfection of the

21. literal first creation as described in Genesis 1.

Quote sources

  1. Gungor, M., cited in Blair, L. (2014). Baptist Church Cancels Gungor Event Over Views on Bible; Band Insists ‘No Reasonable Person Takes the Entire Bible Literally’. Christian Post. Available http://www.christianpost.com/news/baptist-church-cancels-gungor-event-over-views-on-bible-band-insists-no-reasonable-person-takes-the-entire-bible-literally-124485/. Last accessed 23rd Aug 2014.
  2. Phillips, D.W. (1998). An Urgent Appeal to Pastors. Institute for Creation Research. Available http://www.icr.org/article/847/. Last accessed 23rd Aug 2014.

The historicity of Genesis, from maths and archaeology

[Margaret] Hunter quoted a letter from the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology, which says “the Bible, in particular the historical books of the Old Testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories.”

Ultimately, says Hunter, “The Bible is not a book of mythical stories of made up people fighting made up enemies, but a factual history confirmed by archaeological evidence at least as far back as archaeology has been able to take it.”

Quote source

Haley, G. (2013). ‘Less Than 1 in 479 Million’: Mathematician Calculates Impossibility of Contriving Creation Account. Christian News Network. Available http://christiannews.net/2013/11/18/less-than-1-in-479-million-mathematician-calculates-impossibility-of-contriving-creation-account/. Last accessed 26th Jul 2014.

Dismantling the supposed ‘framework hypothesis’ in Genesis

The ‘framework hypothesis’ is probably the favourite view among respectability-craving seminaries that say they accept biblical authority but not six ordinary days of creation.

It is strange, if the literary framework were the true meaning of the text, that no-one interpreted Genesis this way until Arie Noordtzij in 1924. Actually it’s not so strange, because the leading framework exponents, Meredith Kline and Henri Blocher, admitted that their rationale for this bizarre, novel interpretation was a desperation to fit the Bible into the alleged ‘facts’ of science…

Clearly, the framework idea did not come from trying to understand Genesis, but from trying to counter the view, held by scholar and layman alike for 2,000 years, that Genesis records real events in real space and time.

My two cents

I always hated the framework hypothesis, but I like how the quote reveals the motivation behind the hypothesis: the push by ‘respectability-craving’ (as opposed to faithful) seminaries who are only too willing to reframe the word of God in light of naturalism and scientism. Seminaries like this remind me of insecure teenagers who are preoccupied with obtaining approval from their peers in the schoolyard.

I hadn’t realised the hypothesis was only invented within the lifetimes of my grandparents. It would be interesting to go back to 1923 and see what people thought of it then. Humanists have an evolutionary view of law and morals, and the hypothesis makes me think that Christians want to follow in the wake of humanists by having an evolutionary view of origins. This sounds like salt losing its savour.

Quote source

Batten, D et al. (n.d). Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history? Critique of the Framework Hypothesis. Available: http://creation.com/is-genesis-poetry-figurative-a-theological-argument-polemic-and-thus-not-history. Last accessed 14th Nov 2013.

Compromise on Genesis, compromise on anything

Liberal scholars attempted to save Christianity by compromising on creation, but this only led to compromises throughout the rest of the Bible.

My two cents

Normally I do quotes of about a paragraph in length, but I came across this sentence (actually a photo caption) and thought it would make for a good change of pace.

Lately I’ve been thinking about whether one is supposed to compromise on any part of the Bible; I suppose in that slippery slope kind of way, one could pander to one’s anti-Christian/self-appointed superiors—but I don’t think there’s much to gain from that. In that sense, ‘liberal’ Christianity is exposed as a failure that’s more set on driving a wedge between the true believers and those who are half-hearted.

It often bothers me when anti-Christians use phrases like “taking the Bible literally” or “treating Genesis as literally true”. The next time I hear them say that, I’ll have to counter by describing their beliefs with mirrored language i.e. as “taking Darwin literally” or “treating the works of Dawkins as literally true”.

Quote source

Cosner, L. (2010). Is Genesis poetry? and Who was the father of hermeneutics?. Available: http://creation.com/genesis-poetry-father-hermeutics. Last accessed 29th Oct 2013.

Andrew Snelling’s action-packed defence of Genesis

It is impossible to reject the historicity of the book of Genesis without repudiating the authority of the entire Bible. If Genesis is not true, then neither are the testimonies of those prophets and apostles who believed it was true. In the Old Testament, for example, Adam is mentioned in Deuteronomy, Job, and 1 Chronicles, while Noah is mentioned in 1 Chronicles, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. There are at least 100 quotations or direct references to Genesis 1-11 in the New Testament. Furthermore, every one of those eleven chapters is alluded to in the New Testament, and every one of the New Testament authors refers somewhere in his writings to Genesis 1-11.

My two cents

This is a part of a scan of an historical docu...
The Nuremberg Chronicle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow, that was an action-packed and concise defence of the historicity of Genesis. I had probably assumed these points by implication, but this solidifies it and reinforces the internal consistency of the Biblical books.

When the facts are laid out like this, it shows the flimsiness of believing that Genesis (especially the first 11 chapters) were just an allegory. More to the point, it shows how those who keen on fitting evolution/old earth creation with Biblical revelation are forced to squeeze the plain meaning of the Bible like it were a tube of toothpaste.

Quote source

Snelling, A.A. (2009). Genesis: Real, Reliable, Historical. Available: http://www.icr.org/article/4824/. Last accessed 13th Sep 2013.