While biblical truth has always faced attack, perhaps no attack has been as aggressive and unremitting as the attack on the historical reliability of the opening words of Scripture – the account of Creation. A growing body of scientists & theologians professing to be Bible-believing Christians have embraced an evolutionary understanding of origins.
Many Christians, anxious to be seen as intelligent, rational beings, are succumbing to the accepted wisdom of evolutionary thinking – whether full-blown Darwinian evolution or some form of theistic evolution. However, there is another way. There are many scientists, philosophers and theologians who have not given up on Genesis. And you do not need to give up either.
Creation Ministries International (CMI) is one of several evangelical ministries devoted to reminding Christians that the Bible they hold in their hands is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In this vein, CMI has produced 15 Reasons To Take Genesis As History, a helpful, accessible defense of the historical veracity of Genesis.
Believing Genesis to be a true record of what actually happened negates all forms of evolutionary theory – theistic evolution included. If Genesis is true, Adam & Eve are historical persons – the very first people to populate the planet. If Genesis is true history, then God did create our world in six 24-hour days, resting and contemplating a perfect creation on the seventh day.
Don Batten & Jonathan Sarfati present these fifteen reasons for understanding Genesis as true history:
- Jesus understood the Old Testament as history.
- Jesus regarded Adam, Eve and Noah as historical people.
- Genesis was written as history.
- The rest of the Old Testament takes Genesis as history.
- The New Testament takes Genesis 1-11 as history.
- Genesis history is consistent with God’s nature.
- Genesis as history explains the origin of death and suffering.
- The Gospel presupposes the historical events of Genesis.
- A consistent Christian worldview depends on Genesis as history.
- Denying the history of Genesis disconnects Christianity form the ‘real world’.
- The early church leaders accepted the timeframe and global Flood of Genesis.
- The Reformers understood Genesis as history.
- Atheism requires naturalism – Christians should not deny Genesis as history to accommodate it.
- Abandoning Genesis as history leads to heresy and apostasy.
- Why not take Genesis as history? Only the fallible speculations of historical ‘science’ stand in the way.
Each reason is followed by a simple, to-the-point explanation, complete with biblical references and footnotes to other supporting resources.
We might expect a resource like this to be written by theologians, but in this case, Don Batten (Ph.D. in biology/plant physiology) & Jonathan Sarfati (Ph.D. in chemistry/physics) are scientists with a passion to equip Christians in answering the challenges posed by materialistic, humanistic, and atheistic worldviews. Both men are published scholars in secular scientific journals as well as apologists for biblical creation and Christianity.
I am aware that there are many sincere Christians who hold that the opening chapters of Genesis are not meant to be read as literal history, but as a metaphor or story given to an ancient people who would have no understanding of the complex scientific categories and explanations. Though sincere in their desire to find a harmony between science and the Bible, the trajectory of such a view, if followed to its logical conclusion, will inevitably erode their confidence in the inspiration and authority of the Word of God. Tragically for some, it will lead to renouncing the Christian faith.
This is a great introduction to a critically important topic. Indeed, if we cannot believe that the biblical account of our origin and human condition is as recorded in Genesis, we can have no real confidence that the solution offered is true and reliable either.
I recommend this resource as an introduction to a conversation that needs to be taking place in our homes and churches.