What Did Jesus Say

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, May 19, 2016 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

This week we will be answering two questions in the series responding to a theistic evolutionist’s blog post called “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer.” This will conclude answering the questions, although a wrap up post will soon follow. I’ll be answering 2 questions because I already answered the first unknowingly already. Question number 9: Why is incest wrong? I answered this question in December and you can read it here: God must be crazy. I’ll just make a couple notes here and we’ll move on to question 10.

This theistic evolutionist, again, makes an assault on the Biblical narrative. He’ll claim he’s attacking those of us who actually believe it rather than the Bible itself, but I think we’re all smart enough to see through that fairly easily. He makes the claim that “...this is problematic because, biblically, incest is repeatedly and consistently described as a sin.” As I noted in the blog post linked above, not only is incest NOT described as a sin early on in the Bible, it was the ONLY means of procreation. In fact, the father of our faith—Abraham—was married to his half-sister, and the father of the theistic evolutionists’ faith—Charles Darwin—was also married to a close relative. Isaac and Jacob were as well, and Moses was the result of such a relationship. Tyler is unable to critically analyze a different culture from a very different time without using his 21st century lenses to view it. Taking things in context is not a strong point for theistic evolutionists. He also claims it’s inserting something extra-biblical to interpret the Word in this fashion. I’m not sure how else we can read the accounts in question, but he seems illiterate when it comes to the Bible as it is. Let’s move on to question 10. I hope you don’t feel I cheated on number 9.

Question 10: If it is so vitally important that Christians take Genesis literally, why did Jesus never once instruct us to take Genesis literally? I’ve seen this question a number of times from theistic evolutionists and even old earth creationists. They feel it’s a good question—almost a stumper. But the truth is it’s a very superficial question that, again, fails to understand things outside a 21st century mindset. Why didn’t Jesus command, “Thou shalt take Genesis literally”? Because that would be like Jesus commanding us to eat when we’re hungry. The rational, intelligent, consistent, and simplest way to view Genesis is to read it naturally. Those in the crowds that followed Jesus likely had no reason to be told to do something they never thought about not doing. Does that make sense?

It’s true that over the centuries some have come and gone who suggested perhaps that the creation account was not an historical one. Very few did so since Christ’s time until the 1700’s, but they did exist. Some went the opposite direction as the deep time advocates do and suggested the creation account broke down for us what God did instantaneously. St. Augustine was actually pointed to by the author of “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer” as an example of someone that believed as he does. That’s dishonest or a total misunderstanding—it must be one or the other. Augustine believed the creation was an instantaneous act of God. This is the exact opposite of Tyler’s beliefs that God really had little if anything to do with creation as He allowed natural processes (to date completely unknown processes that defy all observational data) to do all of the creating. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that skepticism began to emerge which led to an all-out assault on the Bible, championed by Lyell and Darwin as well as others. Now the narrative commonly told by deep time proponents is that “young-earth creationism” is a new thing only recently developed in the 1800’s. This is totally nonsense and contrary to the facts as I outlined here. But the short of the answer to this question is nearly everyone at the time read the account as historical and believed that God created the earth several thousand years earlier with the power of His Word. This is confirmed by Josephus. Why would Jesus need to emphasize to them something they already knew fundamentally as part of their faith? Hopefully, those who deny the clearly presented creation account will remove their blinders. Let’s note a couple other things here.

Tyler here says “Genesis.” This makes me wonder if any part of Genesis is historical to him. It seems like the entire foundation of the Bible is put up here as a fable that, although it has no truthful, factual information, teaches us something. He didn’t say “creation” or “Genesis 1 and 2” or even “Genesis 1-11.” He said Genesis. I have asked several times of old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists that if Genesis is an allegory—a story that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning—at what point does it stop being an allegory? Is it after the creation account? Is it after Noah? Is it after Babel? Is it after chapter 50 meaning when Exodus begins? I’ve asked this several times and I get a bunch of “hooey” (sorry for the technical term) in return. The question is rarely even acknowledged let alone addressed. This should tell you something about the integrity and validity of the movements we call OEC and TE.

Tyler also uses the word “literally.” This is what we call a strawman argument and it’s possible he is unaware it’s a strawman. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. No one claims that Genesis should be taken “literally.” Some creationists may use that term in discussions, but it’s rarely the proper word. Most generally, the term “natural” reading rather than “literal” reading is better. In other words, read the text and allow it to mean what it says. If something seems like a figure of speech, allow it to be that. If something is written as an historical account and uses a fairly normal structure as such, allow it to be that. If something is written in the style of a parable (or, as is frequently the case, if it’s introduced as though it’s a parable) let it be taken as a parable. Often times, someone you are having a discussion with will falsely represent your position in order to make it easier to argue against. This is what we call a strawman. A strawman is built up to be knocked down. Another example would be if a skeptic tells you there is no way the Ark could have held 7 million species of animals. This is true. The Ark likely could not hold 7 million species of animals. That’s why the Bible doesn’t say anything like this. The Ark likely had somewhere around 20,000 animals (many of which were likely small). In this series, I have identified numerous strawmen that theistic evolutionists frequently employ. I hope you’ll be better equipped to identify this tactic in the future so you can deal with it appropriately.

I feel this is frequently a tactic because it’s difficult to argue against the truth. It’s obvious that Biblical creationists may be incorrect on some things—details—that we simply can’t know and make guesses about. This is true regardless of what position you hold to. Everyone has some sort of “We can’t say for sure but...” issues in their beliefs. But the gist of the matter is the truth of the creation account followed by the Flood and embedded with genealogies with time frames attached make a fairly clear case from the Bible for a more recent creation that occurred in just under a week’s time. This was followed by a massive Flood that destroyed and rearranged the planet’s surface and killed all living animals not on the Ark. As a result of disobedience and pride, man was later dispersed at the Tower of Babel. This eventually led to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who are the founders of the Judeo-Christian faith. I can’t find a decent place to insert a break there from fable to historical.

Not only did Jesus not need to tell us we had to take “Genesis literally,” He actually did seem to indicate that He took it as such. He talked about “From the beginning of creation...” and referenced a male and a female (Adam and Eve). Jesus also said that if we fail to accept what Moses wrote, we could not accept what Jesus said. This is a clear warning against changing the natural and obvious meaning of the text in Genesis. Some have argued that perhaps Moses didn’t write Genesis. That’s fine. Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 both indicate God created the heavens and earth (that is, He created everything) in six days. Not many argue Moses didn’t write the book of Exodus. Jesus also talks about Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, as though He believed He was a real person martyred for his faithfulness. Not only that, but He introduced the list of the righteous killed for the faith with the phrase “from the foundation of the world.” There are many other Old Testament miraculous events Jesus seemed to think actually happened. Do theistic evolutionists believe these things occurred? Jesus talked about the Flood. Did He not think it was a real event that destroyed the surface of the earth? Seems like He did. I won’t belabor this by getting into how Jesus is the Word and the Word states repeatedly that God created the earth in 6 days. We’re running out of space in this blog post.

Jesus quite obviously, as well as all the Jews of the time Christ walked the earth, believes in a six-day creation that occurred about 6,000 years ago. This fact is very clear in Scripture. The integrity of the Bible is critical and the fact that the Bible is set apart from other religious works because of its historical accuracy tells me reducing the history to a fable sets up a terrible precedent that can easily lead to its logical conclusion—nothing in the Bible actually happened. But if we read it as historical rather than as an allegory, myth, or fable, we understand the authenticity of its message because the events recorded did happen.

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