Feedback archive → Feedback 2016
Biblical creation: the only real way?
We not only try to convince people that biblical creation is true, but we also try to show why it is the best way to approach both the Bible and the physical evidence in the origins debate. G.S. writes:
You mean, how to get others to think and believe the way you do as if it was the only real way? Instead why not help others see that ancient biblical documents were first of all written to the people and cultures that are foreign to us? How about helping needy Christians and nonbelievers see that God’s revelation in His ancient words and in His really ancient world can be trusted even if we don’t understand everything in them both?
CMI’s Shaun Doyle responds:
Of course we believe that biblical creation is the only correct option in the origins debate, and of course we would advocate believing that—we think it’s true! Truth excludes falsehood by the very nature of truth; does that mean truth is by nature arrogant? But that doesn’t work; truth is a concept, so it can’t have emotions or will, and so it can’t be arrogant. If truth can be arrogant, then a principle can be a principal! Of course, people (including biblical creationists) can be arrogant in the way they present truth, but that has nothing to do with the truth; it has to do with the moral weakness of the person presenting it.
This idea that ‘exclusivism = arrogance’ is perhaps one of the most influential (and ironically, arrogant) falsehoods in the Western world today. And yet, Jesus believes that He is the only real way to God (John 14:6). And please don’t think I mean that we have to believe in biblical creation to be saved. I don’t think that (Do I have to believe in a historical Genesis to be saved?), and I wasn’t saying that. I’m merely making a point; if Jesus can be exclusivistic, then it’s clearly not intrinsically arrogant to be exclusivistic (assuming you’re a Christian, of course; after all, the New Testament is clear that Jesus is sinless. If you’re not a Christian, that’s a different discussion … for which I would invite you to read Christianity for Skeptics).
Moreover, we are not merely convinced that the historical reading of Genesis 1–11 is correct; we are also convinced that it is clear. In other words, even though Genesis 1–11 was written in a time and culture very different to our own, our culture retains the ability to translate the text and render it generally understandable to the average person. And yes, there are some parts of Scripture that are not so easy to understand, but Genesis 1–11 is not one of those passages, at least as regards understanding the general gist of the passage. And the general gist of the passage clearly contradicts deep time and evolution in numerous ways. See our Genesis Q and A page and Genesis Verse-by-Verse, and our resources The Genesis Account, 15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History, and Creation, Fall, Restoration for more information.
As for how we can trust God’s word even when we don’t understand everything in it; we have articles that do just that. Please see e.g. Jesus Christ on the infallibility of Scripture and The authority of Scripture. The idea is very simple. Since Jesus believed the Scriptures to be entirely trustworthy, and we can trust Him and the Spirit to vouchsafe His message to us in the New Testament as securely as God did for Israel in the Old Testament (John 16:13), then we don’t have to worry about things we struggle to understand, or even how to reconcile supposed ‘discrepancies’ in the Bible, because we know that Christ’s view of the Bible is the right view of the Bible. Who has better credentials to tell us what to believe about the Bible than the risen Lord of all? But if that’s the case with the Bible, then it’s also the case regarding the interpretation of the Bible; and Jesus clearly accepted Genesis 1–11 as history: Jesus on the age of the earth. In other words, we can use the same principle to establish the truth of biblical creation that we use to establish the trustworthiness of Scripture—Jesus’ personal endorsement.
john P., Australia, 2 January 2016
If Jesus believes Genesis to be literal history hat should be good enough for us. He is, after all the Way , the Truth and the Life and our Creator and Saviour. The world is old-6000 years old- and as the Bible says it will wax old like a garment. A lot has happened in the past 60 centuries. The only reason the earth is called young is to contrast with the secular and evolutionary millions and billions of years,which is pure fantasy and philosophical speculation with its roots in ancient cultures like the Greeks and Babylonians. Just because this stuff is dressed up as "science" doesn't make it so
Maybe this is the point G.S. does not understand.
Biblical creation, or revelation, is the best way and God bless CMI for doing it.
Richard L., United Arab Emirates, 2 January 2016
Please think back to your childhood, to parental correction. If you are like me, this was sometimes painful. Pride was at stake. There was temptation to rationalize and preserve thinking in which I had psychologically invested. Pressure to spin my parents' correction into meaning something other than what they said.
We all have to do self-inspection about the danger of our doing such with biblical instruction.
Can you victoriously answer "yes" to the following, increasingly difficult, levels of scriptural hearing/seeing?
Level-1 Accepting information new to you.
Level-2 Doing so when it corrects your thinking psychologically invested in wrong ideas. Having humbleness to accept correction.
Level-3 Accepting this correction to the point of publically defending it. If we are not willing to speak up about it, we come under incredible pressure not to notice that corrective teaching in the bible text.
Level-4 Doing all this at a counter-cultural level, where pressure for thought-conformity is extremely high. Especially if from respected but wrong church leaders.
Level-5 Doing all this at a science-correction level, including origin-cause and biological history.
Level-6 Doing all this in all areas of science--including timeframe issues, geology, etc.
(2 centuries exist of evang tradition shying away from noticing Level-6 info in the Bible. Large-scale correction started with "The Genesis Flood" in 1961.)
ONLY AFTER success in all 6 levels can we then safely assess bible-text signal CLARITY. Clear: prophetically hold the line, not negotiate. (Here is CMI's stance.) Not totally clear: graciously agree to disagree with other Christians.
Your first question should only be asked about non-determinate-signal stuff only after this delineation is made.
Guy W., United Kingdom, 2 January 2016
I have to say that I disagree heartily that Jesus is in any way exclusivist because He says 'I am the Way the Truth and the Life' Man is fallen and Satan has a claim on him on account of sin. God is offering a way out of this bondage through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is no more exclusivist than if they had plenty of lifeboats on the Titanic and there was space for everyone (historically and sadly not the case) but for our illustration say there was. Not everyone even wanted to go into the lifeboats until it was too late on account of the fact that they BELIEVED the lie that the ship was unsinkable. This is the principle of the Kingdom of God - everyone is welcome to a place in the Lifeboat! People exclude themselves because of what they believe.
Shaun Doyle responds
Jesus’ exclusivism isn’t found in the first half of John 14:6; it’s found in the second half: “Nobody comes to the Father except through me.” The point about Jesus’ “exclusivism” is not that he is a way to salvation, but the only way to salvation. That claim is considered by many to be ‘exclusivistic’, and I tend to agree. I just don’t think it’s necessarily a problem.
Hansruedi S., Switzerland, 4 January 2016
Biblical creation is realy the only possible way. The materialistic world decays. It follows the second law of thermodynamics, called entropy. Entropy in a closed system is always positive. The Universe is a closed system, therefore it decays and never develops to a more complex intelligent information content. Hence biblical creation is truly the only real way in creating the universe with everything in it. "In the beginning was the WORD".
William W., Canada, 4 January 2016
I'd rather risk a door slam than never have my knocks answered. The idea that we don't have to believe in biblical creation is counterproductive in any context, including salvation. By conceding ground here how can CMI gain a hearing, particularly from those who oppose us by saying the Genesis account doesn't matter? Would a better apologetic not be to question the veracity of conditioning salvation to believing the historicity of Genesis? Having read all the articles regarding the so-called "inconsistent Christians" in the archive, I still feel it legitimizes unbelief or doubt. One wonders, "What else don't I have to believe to be saved?"
Peter N., Australia, 5 January 2016
Clear and to the point. Well said!