Genesis is history and can't be forced to fit with evolutionary theory

Who gets to decide which parts are literal history and which are figurative? No one questions that almost all of Revelation is figurative (except the Left Behind crowd) but mention that Genesis could be figurative and people lose their minds.

Job 38
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

But yet in Genesis 1, the stars were created on the 4th day … AFTER the earth was created.

So which is it? Who is telling the truth? The author of Genesis (whoever that is) or God speaking in Job? The stars sang when the earth was created but the earth was created four days before the stars?

The problem with taking Genesis as history and saying that believing it is insanely accurate in its accounts of Creation or the Flood or the Tower of Babel sets you up to eventually become an atheist, an agnostic, or a deceived Christian who utilizes PMMD – the Perpetual Miracle Machine Defense. Once that pillar is shaken (and it will be shaken if not completely destroyed), it becomes an either/or proposition. For too many in the YEC/AiG crowd, Genesis [as real history] has become their god.

@Sealkin said it best in a reply to @Jay313 : “I would call it counter-evangelism. and yes, YEC sets up the mindset of compromise, “either the Bible or science” when in truth we can have both.”

If Genesis is history, do you really believe that the Chinese, the Japanese, the Aleutians, and the peoples inhabiting the Americas 5000-6000 years ago all came to Egypt for grain? The Bible says that all the people of the earth came to Joseph for grain … How did they know, in Japan, when there was a great famine, that there was grain in Egypt? At some point, we have to get real.

Much of Hebrew history in the Bible is rife with hyperbole and exaggeration. That doesn’t detract from the lessons it teaches nor does it detract from the majesty of God’s creation. It also doesn’t mean that Paul, Jesus, or the disciples were uninformed idiots going about peddling a pack of lies. What it DOES mean is that you have to study to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. What is the author trying to convey? What does this teach us about God? What can we learn about his character?

What’s so often forgotten is that all these stories were passed down for thousands of years before the Hebrew language even emerged, yet we’re supposed to take these stories as if they were a blow-by-blow commentary of HOW rather than an exposition on WHO, WHY, and WHAT … all finally written in Hebrew around 800BC.

I’d recommend John H Walton’s books as well as his teachings on YouTube.

6 Likes

I will get back to you on this. Here, as I stated, “you shall know them by there fruits” solidify’s this… Evolution leads to the scriptures to be “allegory”… except where it isn’t against a theory. There is no Hebrew scholar to agree with that reading from talmud to Masonic, etc.

You will know them by their fruits… To me very fitting to the allegation “have lost their faith”… Evolution produces distrust in the written manuscript we call Bible. If evolution can be inserted in a “gap”, then why not discard the rest of scripture. “nothing was made that was not made by him”. made, as in an evolutionary process?. Its obvious it is not solid enough.

Exactly. Which is why we shouldn’t be putting our trust “in the Bible” in the first place. We are supposed to be putting our trust in Jesus Christ, crucified, risen, and exalted. Evolution and the ancient earth don’t have anything to say about whether Jesus can take away sin and reconcile us to God. And the people who believe that, believe it because they have encountered God and experienced grace, not because a perfectly reliable document tells them so. If all you have to ground your faith is a reliable document, you don’t have very solid ground.

Evolution doesn’t have anything to do with the Bible. People who interpret Genesis in various figurative ways are doing so because of the interpretive method they use to address the text itself. All the OECs reject evolution, but take parts of Genesis figuratively because of its literary form and content.

And how is quoting a verse about spiritual fruit appropriate in the context of the question “Is evolution a good scientific theory?” Scientific theories cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit or produce fruit of righteousness, only people can. Are you saying that Christians who accept evolution don’t produce spiritual fruit?

your decision to align with Gen 1-11 to be allegorical aligns nicely with Evolutionary prof’s of many of our current academics. “you shall know them by their fruits”… To me, this is the tree of knowledge God forbade… I also find that those who support Gen 1-11 as historical, God breathed as, stand up the firmest to defending the bible. An old prof was told me the bible speaks for itself. I just run out of words trying to find one that strikes the meaning needed… “and God saw that it was good”, was not good enough, natural processes needed to finish it up

would not any subject associated with gen1-11 be allegorical, even the sin of Adam… yet, we understand what it is he did, what Cain did, and is repeated in the NT, not as allegorical, but real figures…

That’s an interesting allegorical take on the tree of knowledge. Clever irony!

5 Likes

I don’t think it’s a valid interpretive move to apply blanket statements like “allegorical” to wide swaths of Scripture. And figurative language is used all the time to describe reality. You can describe the reality of sin and the fall in symbolic figurative ways. Figurative does not mean false, or fictional, or counter-factual.

2 Likes

Why not just say then, that science is of the Devil and ignore it then? Instead we get bizarre conjectures about the simple measurement of the speed of light, speeded up radioactive decay that doesn’t melt the earth or irradiate Noah’s innards, algae blooms creating limestone formations, hyper evolution disproves macro evolution, dinosaurs disembarking the ark, and all sorts of nonsense which is not only pseudoscience, but is nowhere to be found in the text of the Bible.

These extra-biblical assertions are not exegesis. These are purportedly scientific assertions, and they do not stand up to scrutiny regardless of one’s worldview.

3 Likes

You can say this all you want, but it is not true. Not even if you tack on the one word sentence: “Literally.”

So here is what I believe: I believe that the eternal Jesus Christ, son of God, became fully human, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and bore my sins. I believe on the third day he defeated death and rose. I believe he makes constant intercession on my behalf as my high priest and my king. I believe on judgement day at the end of history I will be welcomed not for anything I’ve done but because I will be clothed in his righteousness.

In short, I believe the Gospel. Is your gospel different from mine?

My thoughts on creation are independent of the gospel. There is nothing from the gospel that is lost or altered if I believe in an old earth. You cannot, without intense question-begging, connect those dots. You are, in effect, making a slippery slope argument. It is fallacious. Literally.

I don’t get upset when people disagree with me–which is good because I’d live in a constant state of agitation. But unsupportable dogmatic Henry Morris like statements about how disagreement with a YEC view on creation negates the gospel really press my buttons.

8 Likes

While true it is indeed sad that a lot of people from the Dispensationalist camp tend to take the future prophecy of revelation as literal as possible (which I doubt and sure they don’t truly think a literal beast/dragon from Rev. 13 pop out of the waters with seven heads wearing ten crowns and forcing the people of the world to worship it. Some Futurist like I who take a Historic Premillennialist point of view do see it a future prophecy but not as literal but as figurative symbolism of telling future events such as the best from Rev. 13 being the man of lawlessness/antichrist. He won’t be a literal dragon beast but he will act like one. Historic Premillennialism tries to balance what Revelation meant for the original audience and what the symbolism means for us today in terms of prophecy. Same is with Genesis 1. It gives a blow by blow of creation but doesn’t go into full detail. The Bible isn’t a science book.

1 Like

as I listen to John Lennox, i see my new friends here. You left standing up for the Historicity of scripture.

1 Like

Sounds like our friend needs to talk to an Old Testament Hebrew language scholar. “The adam” is humankind . That can’t be literal, and that’s just the beginning. Even more importantly, when we look at the New Testament, Jesus taught “theology” almost exclusively through parables. Where did that tradition come from? It came from the Old Testament. Gen. 1-11 (Primeval Prologue-which means pre-history) is an ancient form of theology. When the scientific experts get together, the “science” of young-earthers is easily refuted. The Word of God is the most important and Gen. 1-11, the more one studies it, is easily recognized as theology, not physical history.

6 Likes