The record of creation as revealed in Holy Scripture by God in his inspired and infallible word in the early chapters of Genesis, is this history or simply a myth? To suggest the latter I suggest is simply unbelief. To pose the question is the same as asking Eve the question “did God actually say” (Genesis 3:1). To tolerate doubt is to question the veracity of God’s word’s which is rebellion, apostasy even. This seriously needs to be dealt with because the church is faced with what I believe is an end-time philosophy that is now pervasive, in the Western world at least, and has infiltrated the realms of the church. And the leaven of this sin is spreading. The question is not open-house, it is not up for discussion: well does the militant and “professing” atheist Richard Dawkins mock church when he accuses us of not believing our own book. To deny the historicity of these early chapters of Genesis is a denial, of our Lord Jesus Christ. And of the Holy Scriptures (2Timothy 3:16), which he teaches us cannot be broken (John 10:35). It is an attack upon the clarity, authority, reliability, sufficiency, and the unity of those Scriptures. The early chapters of Genesis are the foundation, the very bedrock of the gospel, of our justification and the entirety of the rest of Scripture. If we are to build and give to the church and our children and grandchildren a strong foundation for the future, we must fight this apostasy with all our might.
That the natural man conceived in sin does not believe in God’s revelation regarding his creative activity is no surprise. For although he plainly knows God exists, and clearly perceives the invisible attributes, and eternal power and nature of God, he suppresses this truth in his natural-born unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-20). And with the advent of Darwinian evolution, an anti-God philosophical “theory” that has been hijacked by the unbelieving scientific world, the western world has been thoroughly indoctrinated with this lie. From the natural man, we expect no less, there are no surprises there. But what is surprising is that some who profess to be Christians have begun to embrace the “lie” also, in part at least. I say “lie” quite deliberately for that is what it is, to give it the designation of a theory, is to give it credence it does not deserve. I believe that it is necessary to hold to the Bible’s account of creation as recorded in Genesis chapter one, taking it as literal history for a credible confession of the Christian faith. Just as it has been held for generations past, that the first three chapters of Genesis are written in the plain ordinary English language (prose), without any evidence of metrical structure whatever. What is most worrying about the development of theistic evolution is that it is not coming from the liberal unbelieving. For the modernist and unbelieving do not believe the Genesis record to be historically true. It is coming from modern conservative “Christians,” intelligent, scholarly people, otherwise with a reputation for godliness. And because of this, they are held in a measure of esteem by their students and others over whom they have influence. It is time for the church to repent of this heretical teaching and to return to the way the church has always read and interpreted the book of Genesis.
To believe in any form of evolutionism is to call both God and his Son Jesus Christ liars. Take for instance the summary of God’s law given to us the divinely inspired book of Exodus (Exodus 20:11), did he not know what he was talking about? Or maybe he forgot? Or our Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels, “have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Matthew 19:4)? Did he not know that those Old Testament verses he quoted (Genesis 1:27; 2:24) were not real, that they were just poetry, just a myth, a fable? No, Jesus obviously believed that Genesis was a true historical record. If we dismiss the real Adam, if we dismiss the real fall, if we dismiss the original sin, which the New Testament doesn’t (Romans 5:12), the entirety of the gospel comes crashing down. The profession of any form of evolutionism is a profession of unbelief. The argument is that the early chapters of Genesis are not historical but a myth, poetry, just a teaching model from which to learn, but not to be taken as fact. In Genesis chapter two we are told that Adam was taken from the “dust of the ground” (v7). “Could this “dirt” be a metaphor for an ape? The genre of Genesis excludes such an interpretation. The historical nature of Genesis requires a literal reading…But there is no hint the “dust” of the ground is a figure of speech. A metaphor must have an essential feature in common with what it represents; but we can hardly think of anything so different from an ape as “dirt”” (Dr J, Lisle).
The mythologists come first. A myth is a story that explains something. Whether it be of a theological, spiritual, religious, or moral nature, but it never actually happened. If it is told in the realms of entertainment, then we call it fiction. If we bring it into the realms of theology and deem it to be factual, it is a lie. The Bible does speak about myths (i.e., the Greek word mythos) normally translated into English as the word fable. But the Bible denies that it itself is based upon such, “for we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Peter 1:16). It urges us, and particularly ministers, against being deceived by such, not to, “devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (1 Timothy 1:4). We are warned that in the last days there will be unsound teachers, yes, mythologists, “for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Did the apostle, under divine inspiration, foresee the arrival of the theistic evolutionist? Whatever, that prophecy is now being fulfilled right before our eyes. It is within evangelicalism now and becoming more and more widespread, the leaven is spreading through the lump. It is only the truth that will stop the spread of the poison.
Next, come the theologians. It is very rare to find a Seminary or Bible College where this teaching is not found or at least tolerated to some degree. This teaching of evolution is the prevailing view. As already stated, it is to be expected amongst liberal unbelieving theologians, but conservative evangelicals? To quote but one or two, “Genesis one draws on the heathen, Egyptian myths; is non-historical; is a metaphorical narration; and is, in short, stories rather than a historiographical account of creation” (Prof Stek, Calvin College). And again, “There is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that human or animal populations were ever disrupted by a catastrophic global flood. The account of the flood in Genesis is Scripture’s exaggerated, enormously exaggerated description of some local flood” (Prof Davis). And again, “It is absurd to think that the human race descended from two (married) ancestors. (Editor of the book declares this scholar “is committed to the full inspiration and authority of Scripture” (R. Youngblood, in ‘The Genesis Debate’). Once more, “Theologised history…Authoritative science has enabled us moderns to recognise the ‘childlike limitations of the understanding’ of those who wrote the first eleven chapters of the Bible. Theirs was a ‘pre-scientific simplicity’ when they told the story of ‘God’s making the world in the space of six days” (Paul Jewett). Lastly, “We must take an artistic-literary approach” (Bruce Waltke). Last of all one who says, “he is open to a figurative interpretation of Genesis one & two because of the findings of geologists that the earth is very old” (John Frame, Westminster Theological Seminary). Geology over theology?
Thirdly, we move to theology. What does the Scripture say? For some 2000 years, now the church has confessed the historicity of the Genesis record. The Reformers and those who followed hard on their heels, i.e., the Puritans of Scotland, England, and North America also confessed the same. Now Protestantism appears to have abandoned its God-appointed antithesis, that is, its spiritual separation between the church and the world. She now clambers for the world’s favours, she not only begs but shows herself willing to prostitute herself to the world in order to be seen as respectable, attractive, and credible to the world, its intelligentsia especially. She is now willing to dance to the tune of the infidel scientist and his atheistic theory (lie). It is surely ironic that these words come from a Roman Catholic writer, “the new view of the opening chapters of Bible is not exegesis of Scripture: It would be quite incomplete to account for these changes solely in terms of the internal development of biblical exegesis. Rather, the cause is the modern scientific theory, particularly Darwinian evolution…One cannot open up the possibility of holding some form of evolution without opening a pandora’s box. Those who open that box must be willing to assume responsibility for dealing with the kinds of problems which emerge in many areas of theology” (Zachary Hayes). Where does this put theology? If Genesis chapters one to three are simply a myth, untruths? Then we may pay as much attention to little Red Riding Hood as to early Genesis. We are told that we need a Redeemer as a result of man’s fall into sin. But did he really fall? If not, then we have no need of a Redeemer. We all just need to evolve more, climb higher. I submit to you theistic evolution is a piece of utter nonsense (Romans 5:12).
The early chapters of Genesis are foundational, they hold up the rest of Scripture, redemptive history. The origin of the universe, time, space, man, marriage, family, the calendar, sin, the curse, death, the brute creation, the gospel, the promised Saviour, the nations of the world, Israel and so we could go on. Is all that just fantasy, a myth too? Also every Christian doctrine in the Bible, ethical standards, the end-time destruction of the world (2Peter 3:1-7). What about the evil of mankind? If theistic evolution is the means by which God created the universe and the world, that means there has been death from the start, for that is part of the evolutionary process. This means man has been morally weak and sinful since the primates. It gets worse, it means God himself is responsible for death and sin. For there is no such thing as original sin or human guilt. Therefore, if there is no sin there is no need of a Saviour. We might as well all go home, and along with the evolutionist live in utter despair, or put our heads in the oven? “Who would want to worship a “god” who lies about how he created? Would we be drawn to a creator who took billions of years of death, suffering, disease, and bloodshed to slowly evolve the organisms he wanted to exist, by trial and error? Would a god who looked at all the pain, death and suffering in the world and called it “very good” be worthy of praise? The god of evolution seems opposite to the biblical God” (Dr J. Lisle). No, this is not the god I worship, this is an idol of the human intellect, the god of rationalism. A simple German monk could teach these people better, “through Moses (the Holy Spirit) does not give us foolish allegories; but he teaches us about most important events, which involve God, sinful man, and Satan, the originator of sin. Let us, therefore, establish in the first place that the serpent is a real serpent, but one that has been entered and taken over by Satan, who is speaking through the serpent” (Martin Luther).
A mythical Genesis leads inevitably to a mythical Christ. If there was no real first Adam, where does that put the last Adam, Christ? Jesus came to us from the womb of the first promise (Genesis 3:15). Where God speaks to us of a speaking serpent, who was no serpent at all? Was it a mythical Christ who died for our sins? Was it just a myth that he forgave my O so very real sin with its awful guilt? And more importantly, now as I have spent my three score and ten years, will a mythical Jesus Christ take me through the valley of the shadow of death? Will he really raise my body from the grave? This is the very unbelief I have been fighting tooth and nail all my Christian life, only now to be told by these theistic evolutionists that I should just have succumbed to it. Only a historical Jesus Christ did all this and more for me and for all who truly trust in him. But trusting in him means trusting in his word, all of it, Genesis too. So to his word we must hold on, without compromise. It is enough that we have to fight the enemies of God and his church without, but now we have to contend with the enemy within. We know who our friends and our best teachers are and listen to them. A man may have a name, he may be popular, eloquent, so very, very clever, but what does he teach, from the bottom up?
The darling of the Reformed faith, Benjamin Warfield, in the early days of evolution held to this very teaching, “if under the directing hand of God a human body is formed at a leap by propagation from brutish parents, it would be quite consonant with the fitness of things that it should be provided by his creative energy with a truly human soul” (BB Warfield). In consideration of Darwin’s life, a self-confessed unbeliever, an enemy of the cross, and all Christians, Warfield said of Darwin, “we stand at the deathbed of the man whom, in common with all the world, we most deeply honour” (BB. Warfield). I submit to you Warfield is still doing damage to the church, for many of these modern theistic evolutionists turn to him a Reformed heavyweight to justify their own positions. I further submit to you that theistic evolution is an assault on the biblical doctrine of creation, and biblical inspiration. Such as hold this position is no friend of Christ’s and ought not to be of ours. These are the last days, they are serious days, we must nail our colours to the mast, unbelief is rife, apostasy abounds. If men will not believe the Bible they will not believe at all (Luke 16:31).
(© James R Hamilton, written March 2016)