How Disbelief in Genesis History Undermines the Gospel
Welcome to another session of Literal Genesis, where we'll discuss the evolutionary ideology and ways that it may not make a lot of sense in terms of real, actual science. In this chapter we're going to talk a little bit about evidences for the flood. We talked about one evidence in the last session, we'll look at another evidence today, and how the flood of the Bible of Genesis six, seven, and eight must have been a recent event. We'll discuss the evidences that point to that.
From there, we'll go into Christian compromise. Exactly what's the big deal about compromising Genesis and what that might lead to further down the road? So to start, we're going to talk about proteins. I know that sounds like an odd place to start, but it's important for what's coming up next with the evidences.
I picked two proteins to talk about. One is collagen. So you can see a nice picture of collagen there and its inner-weaving architecture. Collagen is a very plentiful protein in the body. In fact, it makes up one-third of all the proteins in our bodies. Our bodies are able to produce somewhere around 300,000 different proteins, and collagen makes up a large part of that.
Collagen is found in bones, it's found in muscle tissue, it's found in ligaments and tendons. It's also found in blood vessels. It's found in our corneas, it's found in our teeth- actually the gums that hold the roots, holding our teeth firmly into our jaw. So it's literally prolific throughout our bodies. It is an amazing protein structure.
You can think of collagen as like a glue that holds our bodies together. And in fact, the word collagen comes from the Greek kolla, which literally means glue. So it is the glue that holds us together. When we're young, our collagen is plentiful and our body produces really high quality amounts of this collagen, but as we age, we produce less and less collagen. And unfortunately, a lower quality of collagen as well, which is one of the reasons why our skin wrinkles as we age, It's one of the reasons, there are other reasons, but it's a primary reason.
I know that everyone here is going to rush out and buy those collagen supplements after we're done, right? But hold on to that, do your research. There's more than one type of collagen, so make sure you're getting the right type there.
And if you look at the structure above, it really looks like someone has woven this together, like it's been knitted together.
It's no wonder when we read passages like Psalms 139:13 where David says,
"For you created my innermost parts. You wove me in my mother's womb."
- Psalms 139:13
Now, I don't think that David as a shepherd out there watching his sheep had any idea about what collagen was, I don't think he knew that. But doesn't it take this scripture to another level when we see how intricately woven this collagen is and how David used the language that he used, "You wove me in my mother's womb?" So this is one of the proteins I want us to keep in mind as we go forward. Collagen is very fibrous, it's very sticky. It's a very rigid type of a protein.
The next one is a hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to our bodies, throughout our bodies, and if you look at the above image, it's a picture of a red blood cell that's kind of split apart. What you see in the middle of that is a hemoglobin protein. Now, it's not drawn to scale, we'll talk more about that in a moment, but it's drawn here large enough so that we can see it. The hemoglobin protein is- think of it like a four-door taxicab. And it's got four seats in it, and there's room for exactly four oxygen molecules. There's no need for a driver because the hemoglobin taxi is inside the red blood cell and the red blood cell takes it where it needs to go. It's just like a taxicab.
And at the right time, at the right place in our lungs, these taxicab doors will open, and the oxygen that we breathe in from the air diffuses into the red blood cell and it finds one of those empty seats in the taxicab. From there, the red blood cells are distributed throughout our bodies. And once it gets to where it needs to go, another amazing thing happens. Again, at the right time and the right place, these doors fly open, the oxygen diffuses the other way, diffuses out of the red blood cell and into the tissues and organs where it's needed.
And at the same time, when we breathe- this breathing process as humans, we take in oxygen and we exhale carbon dioxide. Well, that carbon dioxide actually hitches a ride back on the taxi back up to the lungs where it can be exhaled. That's one of the ways our bodies get rid of carbon dioxide. There's about 250 million of these hemoglobin taxis inside of one single red blood cell, which means every red blood cell in our bodies is capable of carrying about a billion oxygen molecules. It's fascinating how it all intricately works together.
When we don't have enough red blood cells or we're low on red blood cells, that's called anemia. That directly affects the amount of oxygen that our blood is able to deliver through our bodies and we feel fatigued. We get this tired feeling.
There's something else that you should know about this system, this mechanism. It was designed to transport oxygen, but there's another molecule that wants to get in these taxicabs even worse. In fact, it's attracted to these seats even more than oxygen, that's carbon monoxide.
So this isn't meant to be an ad against smoking or anything like that, but when we smoke, we produce carbon monoxide. And whether it's secondhand smoke or we're the primary smokers, what happens is this carbon monoxide in our lungs rushes into these taxicabs. It's attracted to iron atoms, actually. And it's very difficult to get rid of it. And so these red blood cells are transporting, not oxygen, but carbon monoxide, which could lead to tissue starvation of oxygen, and a lot of bad things.
So it was designed to do what it does, but it's not really designed to take on these extra carriers like carbon monoxide. That's not good at all.
And when we think about this mechanism here, these iron atoms that are inside of these taxicabs, think about what's present in the red blood cell: we have iron, we have oxygen, and we have water. There's plenty of water in a red blood cell.
So what happens, typically, when we take something that's iron and we place it in water? Well, it's going to rust. So isn't it amazing that we don't rust from the inside out, because we have iron and we have water and we have oxygen? But again, the hemoglobin taxi is designed so integrally well that these iron atoms are sealed off. They're protected from water. The oxygen can get to them, but not a water molecule. Now, this isn't a session on intelligent design, but you can see how just one process of our body is very well designed. And in fact, if these iron atoms weren't inside of these hemoglobin molecules, these hemoglobin proteins, the oxygen wouldn't enter the taxicabs at all and we wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be alive.
So when I see things like Leviticus 17:11, when God is speaking here and He says,
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood."
- Leviticus 17:11
God himself ties life to blood. And it's no wonder the way that this works in the cell.
Okay, enough about the proteins there. And before we go to our next slide, I want to just ask a question. How long do you think that something like collagen or hemoglobin, which scientists refer to as soft tissues, how long do you think that they would survive once an organism dies? Do you think it might be a year, 10 years, 20 years, 100,000 years, a million years? Well, that's a very good question, and it's an important question.
Scientists have figured out a way to calculate the longevity of these soft tissues. What they do is they'll take bone, because collagen is plentiful in bone, they'll chop it up into chunks and then they put it in an oven, basically, and they heat it to 194 degrees Fahrenheit. Then at different periods of time they take measurements of the decay rate, just how long has it decayed? And in order to determine what that lifespan might be on the surface of the earth, they use something called the Arrhenius equation.
What they find out is that these soft tissues can last thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands- definitely not millions- of years inside of bone. Now, hold that thought, keep that in mind. This is very important because if I'm a Christian scientist, going back to our last session, and I go out and I study the rock layers and maybe I'm studying bones, I need to have my science start with my worldview.
My worldview as a Christian is going to be based on scripture. Scripture tells us of a worldwide flood that happened less than 5,000 years ago. So as I'm examining these fossils, I want to make sure that I'm examining them in light of the flood so that I'm liable to get the right interpretation at the end. Otherwise, I may get it wrong. And I want to stress this word interpretation, because fossils are just data, they're just rocks. They don't come with tags. They don't tell us when the animal lived or when it died or how long it lived or what it ate or who its friends were, what its favorite books were. We don't get these tags. That would be great if we did, but all we have is a rock. And how we interpret that rock is primarily going to be based on our worldview, whether we include God in our worldview or whether we exclude God and scripture in our worldview.
Salamander Fossil: Muscle Tissue
So look at the picture here of this salamander. Here's a fossil salamander, it's no longer got any bio matter. It's a rock, it's fossilized. It was buried in muddy sediments and became a fossil. Now, how long it took to become that fossil, that's going to be a future lesson, so hold onto that thought. But according to secular dating mechanisms, this fossilized salamander was 18 million years old. That's not really all that old when we consider secular science believes that the earth is 3.8 billion years old. That's a lot of zeros in there. But look at the first bullet point, this was "dated"- that's again another lesson- dated to be 18 million years old. But guess what they found inside of this rock, this fossilized salamander that was found in a dry lake bed in Spain? They found muscle tissue.
Remember, we said collagen was present in muscle tissue. This is one of the proteins. This is one of the soft tissues that they found inside of this salamander that's supposed to be 18 million years old.
Now, remember scientists have done these tests. They have calculations and they have an estimated range of how long these tissues can survive inside of bone. It wasn't millions of years, was it? It was thousands of years. Some proteins, maybe the very fibrous, rigorous ones might last hundreds of thousands of years, but not millions. Nobody would expect these to last millions of years, especially 18 million years. Now, as a Christian scientist, I may anticipate that there may be soft tissues inside of fossils. I'm not expecting to find a lot, if the flood was 4,700 years ago- we'll just say less than 5,000 years ago- much of that soft tissue should be decayed by then. And this is the case in the salamander.
It's not like when they opened it up they found all this soft tissue inside. No, they found fragments, fragments of the muscle tissue, fragments of proteins. And this is totally expected if my science is based on a worldview that's based on scripture because of the flood.
Now, the Bible doesn't touch on every area of science, I'm not saying that at all, but where it does touch on science, it's reliable, we can depend on it. However, if my worldview doesn't depend on the Bible or scripture as my starting point, this is a shocker, I would not expect this. And in fact the first time this happened was a report in 2005. It was from a scientist named Mary Schweitzer from the University of North Carolina. Her and her team discovered soft tissues in a T-Rex bone, it was quite by accident. I think there was a bone break. Normally, you're very, very careful when you're transporting fossils. This one happened to break. And what they noticed inside right away was this tissue that looked soft and stretchy. In fact, some of it looked red like blood vessels and blood cells with hemoglobin inside. It was very surprising to this team of scientists. They took it back to the lab, they ran tests on it. They published their paper in 2005, and guess what happened? The scientific community critiqued, critiqued, critiqued. They said, "No way! There's no way soft tissue could survive in a dinosaur bone that's supposed to be 68 million years old." And basically, it was pretty much discounted at the time. However, it kept happening.
Now, this is impossible, it's impossible for these soft tissues to survive for millions of years, let alone 18 million years in this fossilized salamander. But you know what it is consistent with? It's consistent with the biblical timeframe of a worldwide flood that buried trillions of organisms all around the earth in muddy, sedimentary layers.
And by the way, when we compare the fossilized salamander with living species of salamanders, there's virtually no change. Now, this is for free, this has nothing to do with the evidence that I'm talking about, but this is a critical question that we need to be asking: Evolution is all about chance and change, and there's nothing immune to it. Well, how can salamander species survive 18 million years without macro evolution taking place? Why are they still salamanders? I think the answer is because of what we read in Genesis chapter one, and that is God created the kinds to reproduce after their kinds, and they only reproduce after their kinds, and that goes on and on and on.
Now, could there be small changes in the species? Absolutely. We see that, that's observational, that's experiential. What we never see is one species changing into another. We don't even see that in the fossil record.
This is one example, but we see it over and over again. Here's a quote from a Phys Org article in November of 2009. It says,
"The scientists claim that their discovery is unequivocal evidence that high-fidelity organic preservation of extremely decay-prone soft tissues is more common in the fossil record, the only physical record of the history of life on earth."
- Phys Org, 2009
I just want to make two comments about this quote. One, the article recognizes that soft tissues are being found by this time, by 2009- remember the first case was 2005. Well, by 2009 this had become a fairly common experience to find soft tissues inside of these fossils that are supposed to be millions of years old.
The second part is this last statement where he says the fossil record is the only physical record of the history of life on earth. That one I've got a little problem with, because when we look at the rock layers and the fossils within them, if I have a secular or non-biblical based worldview, I might try to fit history into all those layers, all the earth's history. But when I have a biblical worldview, I'll look at those same rock layers, and really what I want to do is say that's a snapshot in time, a very, very small snapshot in time. In fact, I think most of it happened in a year-long deluge of the global flood talked about in Genesis.
Same data, two different ways to look at the data. Which one makes more sense? Well, given that these fossils have soft tissues inside, I don't think that the fossil record was laid down over eons of time. That doesn't make much sense to me at all. And secondly, when we do find fossils in the fossil record, we see no change from one species to the other. So there's two things that you can take from that as well.
Hadrosaur Fossil: Bone Tissue
Hadrosaur is like a duck-billed type of dinosaur. This fossil was dated to be 80 million years old. So we go from 18 million to 80 million years old, and what'd we find? We found bone tissue, collagen. Remember, collagen is plentiful in bone tissue, so this is what was found in this hadrosaur, some collagen proteins. And again, it's not like they opened the hadrosaur up and they found all this collagen and soft tissues inside. They found fragments. That's what I would expect if the hadrosaur had been buried in the global flood less than 5,000 years ago. Most of the collagen had decayed, most of the bone tissue, but there were some left for us to examine.
Could this have survived 80 million years, if that's the other view you want to take? And some Christians take that view. Let me just say that that's okay. You can believe in the long timeframes, if you want. I really don't think, and this is my opinion, I don't think that God's going to say on judgment day that, "You believed in the millions of years, I'm sorry. I can't let you in." I don't see that happening. I don't think it's a salvation issue. However, as we'll see in a moment, this could lead to bigger issues for some Christians. But it's impossible, either way you look at this, it's impossible for the soft tissue to survive 80 million years for us to find it later. But it is consistent with the biblical timescale.
And oh, by the way, the collagen, when we look at it under a microscope, is identical to modern collagen. So once again we have these huge amounts of time on the evolutionary paradigm where we see no changes in something. In this case, it's the structure of the protein collagen. It's really unbelievable. Here's a quote from Nature in 2009 about this find of the hadrosaur, it says,
"'Three years ago, I entered this field as a complete skeptic,' says Phillip Lars Manning, a bioengineer who heads paleontology at the University of Manchester, "but now I do think the Schweitzer group is onto something."
- Nature, 2009
Now, who is he referring to about the Schweitzer group? Well, this is the group that found that original accidental find in the T-Rex bone that was published in 2005. And this is the same group or the same scientists publishing in Nature in 2009, and this person from Nature says, "I think they might be onto something." So four years later, the paradigm has shifted.
So initially, "There's no way, you contaminated the specimen, there couldn't be any soft tissue," to "Okay. This is becoming a common thing. I think that they were onto something all along."
Conodont Fossil: Keratin Tissue
The next example, here's a conodont fossil dated 252 million years old. We've gone from 16 million, to 80 million, now to 252 million years old. And did they find soft tissues inside of this conodont? Yes, they did. Again, this is a fossil, it's rock. This conodont had long fossilized, but inside they found fragments of keratin, keratin tissue.
Keratin is like protein, it's not a protein, but it's like a protein. Instead of being built off of chains of amino acids it's built off of chains of amino sugars, but it is a polymer, so it is a chain-like structure. And here they found keratin. Keratin is plentiful in hair, and claws, and horns, and fingernails, and the outer skin layer of us humans. Two-hundred fifty-two million years, do you think keratin, the soft tissue, could survive that long? It's impossible, it could never happen.
Now, you may be wondering, well, what is the general scientific community saying about these finds? Not a lot. There's still a lot of controversy, a lot of talk about, "Well, there must be a way that nature could preserve it, because the evidence is there, you can't deny the evidence. So there must be a way this could survive for 252 million years."
Just think, even if you're not a scientist or even scientifically minded, this doesn't make sense at all, but it does match the biblical timescale of a worldwide flood that buried trillions of organisms where they lived, where they stood, less than 5,000 years ago. And the decay process of this keratin is such that it hadn't all completely decayed away. Maybe in another thousand, couple thousand years, there won't be any left, I don't know, but I do know that keratin doesn't last for 252 million years, that's unbelievable. And oh, by the way, another freebie, this conodont resembled modern lamprey eels.
Where's the evolution in 252 million years? When I say evolution, I mean, macro evolution. Is this conodont species evolving into something else over time? It's absent in the fossil record. We know it today, geologists know it today, paleontologists know it today, Darwin knew it back in his day. It was one of his own biggest objections to his theory, that there was a lack of fossil evidence, and all this time later, it's still a big issue. It's a big problem.
Tube Worm: Chitin Casings
Okay, I've got one more example to go through. This has to do with tube worms. Tube worms live in the ocean. They're a marine creature. They live anywhere in depths from 300 feet down to 30,000 feet. And some of these environments are very, very hostile with what's in these waters around these vents that they live around. This one was dated 551 million years old. Now again, dating is a whole other session that we'll cover down the road, but for now, notice that I didn't put fossil in front of the word dated. This casing, not the worm itself, but the casing that surrounded the worm, wasn't even fossilized. It was still the original biomaterial. Think about that for a moment. Here's biological material that's not surrounded by a fossil, that's supposed to be 551 million years old. That's impossible, it could never happen. They would long be broken down and decayed away in thousands of years, let alone 551 million years. However, it is consistent with the biblical timescale of a worldwide flood that would have buried these tube worms. In fact, they probably would have been among the first things that were buried. Where are they going to go? How are they going to get away from muddy sediments coming their way? You can see the picture on the right, which is a modern tube worm, compared to the picture on the left, which is what was found- they're identical, there's no difference. Where is this supposed evolution in 551 million years?
Now, you may think that I've cherry picked a few examples here. I haven't. I just picked some that showed a wide date range so that we can get an idea of just how prevalent this problem is.
You can go do your own research. You'll find plenty of other examples. Journal of Paleontology is commenting on these chitin casings of the tube worms. It says,
"Minerals have not replicated any part of the soft tissue and the carbonaceous material of the wall is primary."
- Journal of Paleontology
That means not replaced. When something is fossilized it's replaced by minerals in the sediment. It's called permineralization. But here, that hasn't happened, it's still original biomaterial. And they go on saying,
"Preserving the original layer of the wall, its texture and fabrics."
- Journal of Paleontology
I talk to Christians all over the world. I talk to people who aren't Christians- atheists, agnostics- but primarily I want to target this next comment to Christians. When a Christian compromises the plain and straightforward history that we read in Genesis, they create a lot of problems for themselves that they may not even be aware of.
And when I ask a Christian, "Why compromise? Why not believe in the Bible as it is written?" The number one answer I get starts off something like this, "Well, because science says." And then I have to stop them, I have to interject and say, "Science says?"
Now, let's be clear. Maybe I'm nitpicking here a little bit, but science doesn't tell us anything, does it? Science is a practice, it's what we do, it's what we set out to do. It's scientists who speak on behalf of the data while they're carrying out their science. And who are scientists? They're people, they're humans just like you, just like me. I talk to scientists all the time. They'll be the first to admit, "Yeah, I make mistakes. I've made mistakes in my hypothesis. I've made mistakes in my theories." We're human, we do that, right? What happens when we do that? We go back, we readjust, and then we go forward following the evidence where it leads. At least that's how science should be carried out.
And so when I talk to these Christians and they say, "Well, science says that the universe is much older, that the things that we see today took more time than the Bible allows, when we add up the genealogies. Therefore, the history of Genesis must not be correct." Remember our last discussion when I said we must hold firmly to scripture, we hold loosely to theories. Theories, if you keep up with the scientific literature, they're in constant flux, they change all the time. They're under constant criticism, constant attack, especially the weaker ones. And when they change, if that's what you're banking your information on, you have to change right along with it. Wouldn't it be better just to hold firmly to scripture and not have to go through those changes?
God and Time
Let's just take a step back and let's talk about God and time, because this seems to be one of the primary issues for some Christians. And that is, the appearance of age in our universe versus the appearance of a young creation when we look at the Bible. Well, they can't both be right. I just want to remind us of this: if we look at the graph below- I have just a few examples, there's lots more we could refer to- of things that it took God an instant to do, but at the same time man or nature, for that matter, never would be able to do it. Even if you had an infinite amount of time.
Look at Mark 6:41-43. How long did it take Jesus to take those few pieces of bread and fish and feed 5,000 people with it? It was instant, as He was taking the food out of the basket, it just kept coming and coming and coming.
Now, I know I may get the skeptic at this point say, "Well, I could take that same amount of food and chop it up and slice it up into tiny slivers. I could feed 10,000 people." Okay, granted, that may be true. But if we read this passage of scripture, what we find out is everybody ate and they were full. I'm sorry, a sliver is not going to fill anybody up. But when Jesus did it, you were full, you are satisfied. Not to mention there was 12 basketfuls of scraps that were picked up. Now, you try that with a small amount of food and a large amount of people, it'll never happen.
Well, what about John 2:7, where Jesus turned water into wine? How long did that take Him? It was instant. When the servants drew out the water, it miraculously became wine. How did that happen? I have no idea, but Jesus did it, and He did it instantaneously. He didn't need time to do that. How long would it take us to make wine out of water today? Well, never. I don't know much about the process, but I think you need more than just water to make wine.
And I would look at one more, Mark 4:39-40. We find Jesus and the disciples, they'd just gotten into a boat and they were going to go across the lake to the other side. At some point in their journey across the lake the wind started to pick up, as it can often do on open water. If you've ever been on a lake and this happened, you know what I'm talking about. And the wind became gale force, is what scripture says. And the waves became bigger until they were sloshing over the edges of the boat. And the boat began to fill with water. And the disciples were panicking. Now, where was Jesus? He was in the back of the boat on a cushion sleeping. He wasn't bothered by this at all. But the disciples in their panic mode woke Jesus up and said, "Master! Don't you care that we're perishing?" And Jesus sat up and He said, "Hush, be still." And instantly the waves and the wind became perfectly calm.
That's not something I could do. In fact, in nature, at the end of a storm, it doesn't just completely die and become calm. There's a little tapering off there usually, but Jesus did it instantly. Think about what He says after that. He turns to His disciples and says, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" I mean, by this point, they had seen Jesus do miracles. They had seen Him raise someone from the dead. They'd seen Him heal the withered hand. They'd seen Him cure the blind. They'd seen Him cure a leper. They'd seen all these amazing things. And He said, "Do you still have no faith?"
Comprise Creates More Compromise
It's almost like this today for some Christians who want to compromise. It's almost as if Jesus is saying, "Why are you afraid? Why do you want to take the ideologies of humans, which are flawed and change all the time, and instead compromise my word that I've given to you? Do you still have no faith?" When it comes to compromise, it tends to lead to more and more compromise. It is kind of like those lies we used to tell as children that just snowballed and got so far out of control we didn't know what the truth was anymore or how to keep our story straight. It's a similar way with compromise.
When we start in Genesis, particularly those first 11 chapters, those chapters that everybody wants to doubt because scientists say something in opposition, it leads to a lot of problems down the road.
Let's look at an example. In Genesis 3:17-18, this is God speaking. This is after Adam and Eve have sinned.
17"Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you saying, 'You shall not eat from it,' cursed is the ground because of you, with hard labor you shall eat from it all the days of your life. 18Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you, that you shall eat the plants of the field."
- Genesis 3:17-18
So here's God talking directly to Adam and saying, things are going to be different from now on.
And one of those differences, He calls it out. He takes time to make sure this is recorded in His Word- that thorns and thistles would grow, indicating that they had not grown before. Now, in case you're a little confused about thorns and thistles, we'll talk about this in another session, but do your homework, research here. Thorns and thistles aren't what you think they are. So this makes perfect sense that there wouldn't have been thorns and thistles at this time. But He said that now they're going to happen. It's going to make things harder for you.
Well, we have a problem. If I'm a Christian and I've compromised the literal history that I read in Genesis, what do I do with something like this? Above is an image of a fossilized thorn. There's many of these. This one happened to have been found in Nova Scotia. Perfect outline of a stem there with thorns. And this is supposed to have been dated 400 million years before there were humans on the earth. What do I do with Genesis in this case? Four hundred million years before there was an Adam.
Now, a lot of Christians and a lot of scientists even have gone back to this idea of a historical Adam. They don't believe in the Adam of the Bible, but there was a first human pair that started the human race, they can agree on that.
But long before this, there were thorns already. So what did God mean, "that there shall be thorns and thistles?" We've got a problem with our theology if we say that there was a lot of time here before there were the first human pair on earth.
Below is a picture of the place where these fossil thorns were found. You can see the arrows, kind of, pointing to the bottom layers there. This is the carboniferous layers. This is the so-called layers of our rock layers that are before humans show up on the scene.
So thorns are a problem. Now, if this evolutionary ideology is true, even if you're a Christian, you believe in evolution, plenty of Christians do, I talk to them all the time, what do we do with this verse? Either God didn't know about thorns, or He lied about them. If He didn't know about thorns, He cannot be God, because one of God's properties, one of His characteristics is that He is omniscient. He is all knowing, He knows all facts. If there were thorns, He would have known about them. Yet, He indicated to Adam they will grow. The Hebrew there means, cause to grow. They weren't there yet at the time, but God caused them to grow. How He did that, I don't know. I've got my ideas. That's not the subject of this class here.
So we know God knew about thorns. Or did He lie about them? Well, that can't be the case either, because scripture says that God cannot lie. He is the source of all truth. So of course He knew about them.
So we've got sort of a, I don't want to call it a dichotomy because we can always find a third horn to that, a third way out, but we have a problem. We have a decision to make. Are we going to trust scripture as it is written, as God has preserved it for us right up to this present day, or are we going to go with the ideas of flawed humans that are in constant flux and change? Before you answer that, this is just the beginning of that slippery slope. This is the beginning of the compromise.
New Testament References to Genesis
(See power point slides to view additional reference pages link)
I've got seven pages of scripture here, only from the New Testament, which reference back to Genesis. And in every instance it seems to reference Genesis as actual history. It's not just Genesis that you can sweep under the rug. There's a verse in Exodus, Exodus 20:11, where God says in seven days He created everything: the seas, the earth and all that is within them. What do you do with that verse? There's others in the Old Testament, I'm just looking at the New Testament now. I've got seven pages of these references back to Genesis. Well, now you're going to have to do something with all these verses. You're going to have to figure out a way to explain those, basically explain them away.
I'll give you an example. Look at number six and seven on the list, Matthew 19:4-5. In Matthew 19:4, here's Jesus quoting from Genesis 1:27. If Genesis 1:27 is allegorical or illusory, why would Jesus quote on it when referring to marriage? In this passage, the question came up about marriage and divorce. Why would He refer to an illusion in order to establish doctrine? That doesn't make sense to me.
What about the next one in the very next verse? In Matthew 19:5 He quotes, this is Jesus still, quotes Genesis 2:24, which is a quote of Adam. So Jesus is not only quoting Genesis, but He's quoting a quote of Adam when Adam said, "Hey, here's Eve, look at her, bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh." I'm paraphrasing. And again, Jesus is teaching on marriage. Why would He take something that's doctrinal and then refer to a mythical person if Adam never existed, if he wasn't a real person? These are just two examples.
I'll skip through these pages. Definitely not going to go through all of them. I'll leave it up to you to do that on your own. But you get the idea. When we compromise Genesis, it leads to further compromise and it leads to a lot of inconsistencies in our theology.
In fact, when we look at those seven pages of scripture, what we find out, this is kind of interesting, is that every New Testament author refers back to Genesis as if it were literal history. And this is more than 103 times, 103 times to the book of Genesis.
Now, 60 of those times refer specifically to the early history in Genesis. What I keep referring to are the Genesis chapters one through 11. So again, a non-historical approach to Genesis leads to theological inconsistencies. I'm not saying you can't figure out ways around it, but man, it sounds like a lot of work, right? Why not just take the Bible as it's laid out for us?
And then there's another conflict probably even more dire than the ones I just talked about, if those weren't serious enough, and this has to do with the idea of evolution. I remember talking to an atheist, it's about 20 years ago now, and we were talking and the idea of evolution came up. I knew he was an atheist, he knew I was a Christian. I kind of steered the conversation towards Christianity and we got to talking about evolution. And he says, "Well, I take it you don't believe in evolution." I said, "No, I don't believe in evolution. I believe in creation just as the Bible laid out for us in Genesis." And he paused for a second and he says, "That is so refreshing." I said, "What do you mean refreshing?" He says, "I talk to Christians a lot because I'm curious about where they stand on certain things, particularly evolution." And he says, "Most of the time Christians will say, "Yeah, okay, God could have used evolution." And they agree. They agree with him that evolution was the mechanism that God used to bring about life. And he says, "Kim, that doesn't make sense to me." Now, here's an atheist that is saying, "Evolution doesn't make sense to me from a Christian perspective." And I said, "Well, how so?" He says, "It is the cruelest possible way to bring about life. It's based on death and disease and suffering and extinction." If you think about the idea of survival of the fittest. One branch of species surviving over another branch. It's not a pretty picture.
And even though he wasn't a Christian, it did not seem to be compatible with his idea of God. And you know what, he's absolutely right. It is the worst possible way that you could bring about life. I don't think the evidence supports it. That's what some of the future lessons will be about. So for now, just think about this process itself. It doesn't make sense for God to have gotten to the end of His creation and say, "It is all very good," if at the end of it there were things like disease and death.
Well, how do we know that there were disease? Well, take a look at this article. It references a supposedly 77-million-year-old fossil of a horned dinosaur, centrosaur. And notice what it says here,
"There's evidence of a malignant cancer."
- Ian Randall
Now, they looked at this many times over, and it turned out it actually is cancer.
So there was cancer long before the first man and the first woman. Now, if you're a Christian, how do you reconcile with that, that God's very good creation involved disease like cancer? That's not the only evidence that we have.
Above is a turtle that's even supposedly older, 240 million years old, that also had a malignant tumor, had cancer. This doesn't fit with the character of God, does it? It doesn't seem like He would bring about life this way. Not that He couldn't, of course He could. It doesn't seem compatible, is what I'm saying.
And to further complicate things, we'll take it a step further, in Genesis 2:16-17, this is God speaking to Adam before he sinned.
16"The Lord God commanded the man saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may freely eat, 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it, you will certainly die."
- Genesis 2:16-17
So here's God giving Adam a warning: All the trees are here for you. You can have your fill with anything that grows on them. Eat everything on the trees. But one tree, this is His law, one tree you can't eat from. And He says, "When you do, you will surely die." And in the Hebrew here, from my understanding, it means something like dying, you shall die. Which means you're going to start dying, you're going to continue dying until you're dead.
Adam is not with us today, he died. He brought death into God's very, very good creation. In fact, if there was no sin, if there was no death before sin, yet evolution is true, then death has been going on millions and millions of years.
Think about those dinosaurs that had cancer. Well, the dinosaurs still wouldn't have been around by the time Adam had come around or the first man, according to the secular view anyway. So you've got trillions and trillions of dead things before you had the first humans.
Paul says this in I Corinthians 15:21,
"For since by a man death came, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead."
- I Corinthians 15:21
And just in case you're kind of fuzzy on who was that man that death came by, he says,
"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive."
- I Corinthians 15:22
It's very clear from scripture, there was no death before sin. Now, down the road, another session, we may get a little bit deeper into this, because this is where some Christians want to argue, "Well, animals could have died. Well, what about plant? Adam ate fruit, didn't the fruit die when he was eating it?" And none of that really makes sense to me. What makes sense to me is that there was no death.
Evolution has placed humans on earth as long as 1.4 million years before the biblical Adam. Now, what I mean by biblical Adam, again, when you start with Adam, you add up the genealogies, you get a short timeframe of, give or take, 6,000 years. There are some gaps in there that we can't know about, but it's not millions or billions of years. Those gaps may be a couple of hundred years, maybe 500 years tops. We're still going to wind up somewhere around 6,000 years. There's no way around that.
If you're a Christian and you want to compromise the history in Genesis by saying there was all this time before Adam, 1.4 million years, there were humans before the biblical Adam, how does that fit into your theology? I don't think it does.
In I Corinthians here, this is the big one in my eyes, notice how Paul describes death. What is this about death? He says,
25"For He (Jesus) must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death."
- I Corinthians 15:25-26
God says death is the enemy. Why would He create a very good and perfect creation and say it is all very good if He introduced the enemy in there during that creation? That makes no sense to me theologically. I think we're on pretty shaky ground when we do that. And when we do this, when we compromise these first few chapters of Genesis, it's not just about us. Now, you may think, "I can have my own ideas and it's not hurting anyone." If you have children, if you have nieces, nephews, if you have grandchildren, they're watching you, they're learning from you. And when you so easily dismiss something that God has said in scripture, you don't think that can affect someone else? Of course, it can. It can have a tremendous, profound effect on someone else's life. But the thing about sin is that we've all done it. The scripture says,
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
- Romans 3:23
There's no exceptions here.
Now, you might say, "What about babies?" Okay, I get into these conversations a lot. People always have exceptions, right? Okay, well, we can go to scripture and show that this isn't talking about babies. They're not culpable, they don't know about guilt. They don't even know about sin. We do, right? We know about sin and we've all done it. The problem with that is the wages of sin is death. Now, without literal history in Genesis, this might not make sense. I don't understand, God, if I break your law, why is that death for me? It goes all the way back to the garden, when He told Adam,
"The day you eat this fruit," (the day you break my law), "you will surely die."
- Genesis 2:17
And Paul says that's when death came in. This makes sense, that the end result is death. We all do it and we all deserve death. But look at the second half of the verse,
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."
- Romans 6:23
What is that gift? If we've all sinned and deserve death, it seems like there might be a way out of this, what is it? John 3:16, we should all know this.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
- John 3:16
When we as Christians compromise the history in Genesis, we may do this unknowingly, but we end up undermining the gospel- the very reason Christ came and died and paid that punishment, took our punishment of death. That goes all the way back to the garden. When you compromise that, it makes no sense why Christ had to physically die, does it? Careful what we do, careful what we think, careful what we say.
So in summary, remember, God doesn't need time. Doesn't require it, He can do things in an instant. He could do things over a thousand years. He could do things over millions of years if He wanted to, but how He did it, that's the way He chose to do it and that's the way it's recorded for us. The soft tissues and supposedly millions-of-years-old fossils, they only make sense in the light of a recent flood. It makes no sense to date these fossils back to hundreds-of-millions-of-years old and still have soft tissues inside. We'll look at plenty of other evidences for a flood. This just gives us evidence for a recent flood.
And then finally, when we compromise Genesis, it just leads to further and further compromise. Don't even go down that slope. It's okay to have questions. I'm not saying don't ever have questions. Ask the questions, be curious, be critical thinkers. Even on the things that I'm telling you, be critical thinkers, do your own research. You'll be blessed for it in the long run.
Next we're going to take a little deeper dive into more of the technical aspects of the apologetics. Apologetics doesn't mean you're sorry for anything. It's a defense. And that's what we're here to do- is to learn how to give a defense, to give an answer, a reasonable answer. And as you can see so far, a lot of it is based on science, on the evidence as well. We'll take a look at DNA. So if you want to do some looking ahead, start looking at DNA. We'll talk about the structure and its uses. And there's lots of evidence for intelligent design in DNA. This is what we'll get into in the next lesson- more on the intelligent design aspect of apologetics.