Why Are Creation and the Flood Important?

Why Are Creation and the Flood Important?

 

First, let’s acknowledge why some people reject Genesis and are not willing to carefully consider

  • how the universe, earth, and life began, and
  • the flood, earth’s defining geological event.

 

The following reflects attitudes I once held.

 

In our scientifically “enlightened” age, don’t educated people accept that evolution happened? Most of my teachers and professors, people I greatly respected, accepted evolution. It appeared to me that those who believed in the biblical version of creation did not grasp the immense age of the earth and universe. Don’t we sense great age when we see the Grand Canyon or galaxies that are billions of light-years away? Given billions of years, vast changes will occur. To believe that a worldwide flood occurred seemed ridiculous. Just look at a globe. Where could so much water come from to cover, as the Bible clearly states, all the mountains of the earth? Mount Everest rises almost 6 miles above sea level. If that much water once covered the earth, where did all that water go? Obviously, the Bible was written in an age when people were relatively uneducated and little was known about the earth—or so I thought.

 

Was I curious enough to study origins? No. I thought it was a complex subject and would take too much time. Besides, I felt the case was closed a century ago—certainly after the famous Scopes Trial in 1925. Those who accepted the biblical version of creation and a global flood were a little embarrassing to be around. I became a Christian in high school, but held the above attitudes until my early 30s. I was at Position 1, shown in Figure 164.

 

 

Five stations

Five stations

Figure 164: Views on Origins. People generally fall into five categories when it comes to the question of origins. Individuals of all ages and academic, scientific, and theological backgrounds occupy each category.

 

 

Others reject the theory of evolution, believe that God created everything relatively recently, and accept a global flood. Although their beliefs, usually based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, clash with evolution (taught in almost all schools and universities), they tend to ignore the conflict. The reasons are many: they may not recognize all the contradictions between evolution and the Bible, or they may feel powerless to resolve them, they may not realize how scientifically flawed evolution is, or they may have only a vague understanding of the flood. (Major consequences of the flood became false arguments for evolution.) They may wish to avoid controversy or involvement in unfamiliar scientific topics, or they don’t realize that evolution is a major stumbling block for countless nonbelievers. These people take Position 3.

 

Other people know how foundational Genesis 1–11 is to the entire Bible. (Genesis 1–11 tells of the creation, fall, and flood—three of the most significant events of all time.) All New Testament writers and many Old Testament writers referred to those chapters. [See “Does the New Testament Support Genesis 1–11?” on pages 398400.] If those writers were wrong about ancient history, why should we believe them when they say that a man rose from the dead? Jesus Christ also spoke of events described in each of the first seven chapters of Genesis. If Christ was mistaken about ancient history, why should we believe Him when He speaks of eternity? If Genesis 1–11 is in error, then the rest of the Bible contains many mistakes and contradictions, opening the door to differing interpretations of the entire Bible and a comfortable, pick-and-choose view of Scripture. If evolution happened, then death existed for a billion years before man evolved. Death would not be a consequence of Adam’s sin; Adam’s sin would simply be a fiction, believed only by “literalists.” And if sin is a fiction, we don’t need a Savior!  Without sin—or without a Creator—moral absolutes disappear. [See “What Are the Social Consequences of Belief in Evolution?” on pages 404406.]

 

These are scary thoughts for countless Christians. Some search for ways to reinterpret the Bible to harmonize it with evolution. They are called “theistic evolutionists.” Others who have great confidence in and a broad understanding of the Bible know that these reinterpretations produce more contradictions than they resolve. [See “Is Evolution Compatible with the Bible?” on pages 392398.] However, the last thing they want to do is argue with scientists. For some—including myself at one time—image and intellectual respectability must be preserved. Scientific answers often seem more credible and objective than theological positions. Also, churches strive for internal harmony; raising this issue could bring disharmony. For any or all of these reasons, some Christians prefer to avoid the origins issue, even if evangelism suffers. They hold Position 4.

 

Finally, those holding Positions 2 and 5 are examining the evidence. Most are surprised and excited by what they are learning. In fact, after seeing the evidence, the frequent reaction is, “Why haven’t I been told this before?” Rather than being intimidated by science, a subject they may have disliked in school, they are amazed at the compelling evidence for creation and a global flood. Hundreds of topics and scientific discoveries supporting creation and the flood fascinate most people and are easy to discuss, even with strangers. In effect, this becomes a powerful pre-evangelistic tool. While no one has all the answers concerning our origins, be assured that the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly consistent with Genesis 1–11. In fact, it is extremely difficult to find any knowledgeable evolutionist willing to debate the issue—orally or in writing—with someone who understands this evidence.

 

Most Christians feel a burden to evangelize—to take seriously the great commission. What are the major obstacles to evangelism? People give many reasons for rejecting Christ:

  • Christians are hypocrites, judgmental, and dogmatic.
  • My past misdeeds could never be forgiven.
  • I prefer to live without biblical constraints.
  • I am too busy to consider the matter.
  • I prefer another religion.
  • Evolution happened.
  • God is unnecessary.
  • A loving God would not allow the suffering and evil we see in the world.
  • The Bible is outdated; it contains myths and is filled with errors.

 

A correct understanding of origins overcomes several of these objections directly.  Other objections result, to a large extent, from a nonbeliever’s diminished understanding of the Bible. For those who do not believe the Bible is accurate, it does little good to assert, “The Bible says so !” What better way to establish the accuracy and authority of Scripture than by showing that Genesis 1–11 (the most discredited portion of the Bible to the secular world) is remarkably accurate? Understanding Genesis helps the Bible come alive. Ignoring the origins issue leaves evolution, a major obstacle to many, unopposed. For the church, evolution is like an elephant that has occupied the church’s living room for over a century. Instead of accommodating the beast, why not remove it?

 

When speaking to the Jews, all of whom knew there was a Creator, the Apostle Paul could begin with Jesus Christ and the gospel. However, when speaking to Greek pagans, Paul first had to explain that there is a Creator (Acts 14:15, 17:24–28). Because we live in an increasingly pagan society that is bombarded daily by claims of evolution, helping others recognize the Creator seems to be a logical first step in bringing them to Christ.

 

But Christ was more direct. When confronting some of the religious leaders, Jesus said in John 5:46–47,

 

For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?

 

What did Moses write that has been widely rejected for the last 150 years? He wrote Genesis 1–11, the most ridiculed—and, to many Christians, embarrassing—portion of the Bible. Elsewhere (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16) we are told that Christ was there in the beginning and “all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Also, Genesis 3:15 gave us the first hint of Christ and His work of salvation.

 

For the first half of my life, I held Position 1. During the next few years, I shifted from Position 2 to 3 to 4. Since then, I have been at Position 5. Christians are in all five positions. Where are you?


 
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