Intimidation, Accommodation, and Creation

A while back, I pointed out that I was disgusted with Rob Bell’s calling Genesis 1 a “creation poem.”

I took flack for that — for being on a witch-hunt against Rob Bell. I just want to clarify that this is wrong teaching, coming from either side of the aisle. If emerging folks teach this nonsense, it’s wrong. If fundamentalists do (really big “if” here), it’s wrong still. If this heresy comes from the Mecca of reformed-conservative-evangelicalism, it’s wrong.

So it makes sense that in like manner, I was disgusted by the study notes in the ESV Study Bible in that they sent the clear message that six-day creationism was just one choice among “faithful” interpretations. I am equally disappointed that in a recent Christianity Today article, Tim Keller is put on record as identifying Genesis 1 as a poem, indicating that “its six ‘days’ may be poetically long.”

I’ve yet to see it demonstrated cogently that these divergent views arise from faithful exegesis and not from a spirit of accommodation that arose out of modernism and so-called “science.” As I read Genesis 1, the only way I can arrive at a non-literal approach is by reading it through an “intimidated” heremeneutical lens, an unhealthy fear of man that wonders what the intellectual community will think of my interpreations.

In this regard, I was thrilled to hear that John MacArthur’s opening session at this year’s Shepherd’s Conference was entitled “Why Every Self-respecting Evangelical Should Affirm Literal Six-day Creationsim.”  

Like MacArthur, we should not back down on this issue. By definition, science is limited to that which is repeatable and observable. Since evolutionary theories are based upon neither, we should not be bullied by pseudo-scientific rhetoric that is foundationally ill-equipped to weigh-in on this issue. It’s time for evangelicals who supposedly believe that the Bible is inspired and inerrant to stand up on this issue, even if it’s not popular in our intellectual communities.

  1. #1 by Andrew Zajac on June 12, 2009 - 9:59 am

    You all waste so much time debating and discussing such small things just because you like to bicker. You can say it matters in the long scheme of things, but you know it doesnt. Whether God created in 7, 3, or eleventy billion days, the fact is, he would probably prefer you to be out witnessing rather than wasting time. And….creation is not repeatable and observable. If you believe in creation, you can make it repeatable and observable, just like if you believe in evolution.
    And, the Bible is not inerrant. Inspired, well thats debatable. What makes David more inspired than D.L. Moody? What makes John more inspired than Dave Marriot? Maybe we should have another council of Nicea so we can all remember that the Bible was compiled, revised, re-arranged, and edited by men to conform to religious beliefs.

  2. #2 by clearly on June 12, 2009 - 10:19 am

    Andrew, It’s been a while man, I trust you are well.

    You wrote, “You can say it matters in the long scheme of things, but you know it doesnt. Whether God created in 7, 3, or eleventy billion days, the fact is, he would probably prefer you to be out witnessing rather than wasting time.”

    I do believe it matters — if the earth is millions of years old and if it came to be through a process of evolution, then death exists before the fall. This contradicts Genesis and Romans 5 — big problems for the Bible.

    I realize that creation is not repeatable and observable, which is why my ultimate reason for believing in a literal six day creation is because God said that’s how He did it.

    You wrote, “What makes the Bible more inspired than D.L. Moody?” As your teacher, Dr. Meyer, taught us regarding 2 Timothy 3:16, “God breathed out words, not people.” Inspiration relates to words, not to people. God used men to author inspired, or God-breathed words.

    As far as witnessing goes, I sure hope I have opportunity when I’m out later today! Praying to that end at least:) Thanks for the reminder…

  3. #3 by Chris on June 12, 2009 - 1:22 pm

    You’re right Dave, it matters very much.

    Science, it has been said, is observation. We have a reliable observer – God himself. He gave us the written word and told us in no uncertain terms what happened. To believe and teach something else is to call God a liar.

    That is a rather big deal.


  4. #4 by Dave James on June 12, 2009 - 7:06 pm

    It is no small thing and tt makes a huge difference for several reasons – but I’ll cite just two:

    1. Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me” (John 5:46) – so it wasn’t a small thing to Jesus.

    2. You say we should be out witnessing instead – but if Genesis 1-11 are not historical, we have nothing to say. If Genesis 1-2 is indeterminably long, then there couldn’t have been an original Adam and Eve from whom the human race descended, which means that we did not inherit a sin nature, which means that we do not truly need redemption, which means that the cross has no significance, which means that there is no Gospel – good news – to share with anyone.


  5. #5 by Freeware Gospel on June 15, 2009 - 4:17 pm

    Fellow witch hunter here,

    Jesus took Genesis to be a literal Creation story of at least Adam and Eve (Mark 10:5).

    If He took it to be a literal narrative rather than pure Hebrew poetry, I’ll take his word for it (He was there and all-Jn 1:1)

    Writer of Hebrews also took it to be literal (mentions by name Cain and Able-Ch. 11).

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