Sunday, July 13, 2008

A letter to a theistic evolutionist

Recently I was asked by someone who comments on this blog why I take the Bible literally. Since this individual is a Theistic Evolutionist I believe he was primarily referring to Genesis as we were discussing the creation account. I would like to start by saying in its truest definition I do not take the Bible literally. I take it plainly for the genre and the context, with the intent for which it was written. We see that Psalms are songs, poems, and praises to God, Proverbs are wisdom, Song of Solomon is a poetic love ballad, there is history, law and narratives in the Bible. On top of this we see metaphors, analogies and similes being used in the Bible especially by our precious savior Jesus Christ. So how do we know what we are reading?

To answer this I think we need to look in the text itself to see how we should read the Bible. Since the Bible is axiomatic (which if you don't know what that means, it simply means it is self provable). The Bible tells us and when read plainly it is obvious what genre something is in. In Genesis it is refers to itself as a history. If it is not a history and a mythology or fiction as some theistic evolutionists have proposed now we have a dilemma with God's Word. Either God is trying to mislead or the author changed what God wanted him to write. This creates a problem because now we are attacking the actual inspiration for the Bible. We also have another issue, Genesis is quoted in the New Testament many times (some examples and by no means comprehensive are Hebrews 11:3, Hebrews 4:4 2 Peter 3:5, Ephesians 4:24, 2 Corinthians 4:6, James 3:9, Colossians 3:10) so now this verses and the many other verses that refer back to Genesis are referring to a fictional book to drive home truth? Jesus himself quoted the Bible. Am I to believe that Jesus in trying to make his point about a man and woman being linked as one was referring to a work of fiction (Matthew 19:4)? Even more troublesome for an Evolutionist here is when he quotes this verse in Genesis about a man leaving his mother and father to become one with his wife in reference to Adam, is was God saying this about some type of early apelike man? If that is the case then we would have to assume that Pre-Neanderthal man had enough reason to accept monogamous marriage. If the Theistic Evolutionist does accept this premise now we have come full circle because this contradicts what science currently says about this topic.

We read the Bible plainly for the context it was written in. There is nothing to suggest that Mark is poetry so we read it as a Historical Narrative. I understand that there is a small debate about Genesis 1-2:4. I do not see any proof for this but will accept that there is a minority who contend with that early passage at least among some scholarly circles. But to say all of Genesis is mythology you have to give something in the literary style that would reveal this. Naturalistic presuppositions do not allow us to change the genre of Scripture.

side note
(Starting with the premise that Science somehow has all its facts straight will still lead the Theistic Evolutionist to a problem with Science sooner or later. When I was a kid Pluto was a planet, and those who argued against it were shunned, cast out of their field, or failed their tests in 8th grade Science. When Columbus was a kid Science KNEW for a fact the earth was flat, Columbus had read in the Bible that the earth was a sphere and he bet his life on that book..... to all of our benefit.)

Besides these points, lets delve into the fact that Genesis was similar in some ways to at least one or two of the neighboring cultures accounts of how the world began in particular the Enuma Elish. Many things set the Biblical account apart including the Genealogy that we see (Genesis 5). Fictional books do not give an exact and accurate Genealogies. If Genesis is an accurate account then it would make sense that we see similarities in other cultures explanation of how the world began. Which is exactly what we do see. Including 270 disparate cultures that all have some form of a major flood in their history. This is well beyond coincidental.

If Genesis is fiction then are its principles then fiction? Should a man leave his mother and wife to marry? Is God really angry at Sin that he would flood the world? What about the redemptive nature of what happened in the Garden when God covers them with animal clothing after the shedding of blood? Once we start asking these questions the bigger question then looms. Do we really consider the Bible God's Word? And how much do we believe in God's Word? This then will attack precious truths like Christ death on the Cross and even the Resurrection. I would say that those who take a Theistic Evolutionist standpoint AND believe that Genesis is merely fictional have a very low view of scripture, and more so have a low view of what Jesus said because he quoted it. How then are the able to discern truth? I would contend that it then becomes based upon subjective experience with naturalistic presuppositions from the theistic evolutionist.

Saying that Genesis is a mythology is like saying the Bible says "there is no God". It would be a wrong understanding of Psalm 14:1

Psalm 14
For the director of music. Of David.
1 The fool says in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

Yes it does say that "there is no God" but not when read in context. The context is that only fools will say that.

To further prove the Genesis account I believe without the presupposition of evolution the facts we see in geology, biology and anthropology line up more accurately with the Genesis account. Dinosaurs are one of the biggest issues and evolutionist must face. There are so many scientific problems with these animals living in the time frame that scientist claim about 20 million or so years without evolving that it in itself would defy the theory altogether. The dinosaurs we see in the fossil record some dated 60-80 million years old are unchanged when looking at the same types. I think this is a big issue. We see zero transitional fossils from Dinosaurs to mammals not to mention the complete lack of reptilian transition to birds which is the accepted theory today. (Please Archaeopteryx has been proven to be a hoax).

Even the age of the earth which is what is needed for evolution to take place is in serious examination these days among at least a few scientists. They just recently pulled a T-REX bone out of Montana with red blood cells still in it. I have yet to see a valid scientific explanation for blood cells surviving millions of years. In fact because of this you have to date that bone to under 10,000 years old and even still must be in extreme conditions which the bone was not in. Even more disturbing for science is the continual finds in South America, China and Europe of ancient culture hieroglyphics depicting men and dinosaurs together! This would reasonably suggest that they saw and interacted with these creatures since they were able to draw these depictions. Or maybe they were just accidentally drawing accurate pictures about the future fossil record? These proofs again support the Biblical account of creation.

Finally these are all areas that point to Genesis as a true history of the world. Again the burden of proof is not on a plain read of Scripture because for 2000 years Christians have read Genesis to be an accurate account of the history of the world with some minor exceptions. (Please do not use Aquinas as a rebuttal here because he did not believe in a literal 6 day creation, he actually thought it might be an instant creation) And prior to that we have around 3000 years where the Jews believed in Genesis as being a historical account of the world. God would allow us all to misunderstand Genesis until modern science stepped in to correct us? I think therein lies the problem, it is when people start believing they are above the Word of God, they start importing into the Bible, this will allow them to not have to submit to the rest of the Bible.

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Thomas Rasmussen said...
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Anonymous said...

To deny the writings of Moses in Genesis is to deny the very words of Christ: John 5:46-47 "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”