Well having had the pleasure of being off for the most of the summer, I thought I’d better slip something in before the end of August. We had a great camping trip to Cornwall and rounded it of with a regional NewFrontiers church weekend at Westpoint show ground in Exeter.
The kids enjoyed their sessions immensely, looking at world mission and there were some great sessions in the main arena with Terry Virgo bringing two notable sessions and a very animated Jeremy Simpkins on Saturday evening. I decided to forego the seminars as we had no food, so a trip to Tesco was inevitable.
There had been a session on ‘Answering Difficult Questions’ by Adrian Holloway, someone I had known best as an evangelist seeing many people make commitments of faith following his preaching. I was surprised to learn that during his seminar, he had been trying to reconcile the ‘billions of years’ associated with evolution, with the creation narrative of Genesis 1, using some old an tenuous arguments.
It concerns me, because I am hearing more and more of this within NewFrontiers and there seems to be a growing swell within the movement, ready to adopt this position .
It really perplexes me. Some of these guys stand dead firm on Scripture in the face of Islam, homosexuality, feminism and other contemporary issues, but just crumble at the knees when it comes to this issue. There’s a new wave of ‘progressive creationists’ that have accommodated this view regardless of the cost.
I was catching up on Niddriepastor’s blog from the summer and found this post last night which highlights the debate that is going on at the moment. Three helpful links, Al Mohler nailing his colours to the mast is a good one and one highlighting Sailhamer’s position which I had not previously encountered.
Basically, according to Sailhamer, we have to rethink our understanding of the word translated ‘beginning’ in Gen 1:1, that way, you can either accommodate billions of years or if you don’t like billions of years, don’t worry, the new understanding also allows for that. If I have understood correctly, Sailhamer’s his lexicographical gymnastics will allow for the best of both worlds.
Read my comments in Mez’s post if you want to know what I think about that.
When I read or hear some new (Or old/rehashed/re-badged/re-engineered) position regarding the Genesis 1 account, I ask myself the following questions.
1. Does this position deviate from a straight forward reading / exegesis of the passage?
2. Has this position arisen in order to accommodate an extra-Biblical idea?
3. Do we have to translate any of the Hebrew words in a new, obscure or ‘enlightened’ way or modify my understanding of root words?
4. Do I have to try and ‘insert’ something into the passage which is not plainly manifest in the text or the narrative of Scripture?
5. Does a new position move the foundations that other key doctrines that stand upon, having a significant knock-on effect to the way they can be understood?
There are more I could write, but you get the idea. If you are answering ‘yes’ to any of the above, then warning bells should be sounding in your ears.
It’s not that the world of science is at odds against the Bible, but we cannot be ignorant of the fact that a lot of popularised theories came about in order to explain a universe without God.
Sir Arthur Keith, Anthropologist and proponent of the ‘Piltdown Man’ Hoax has this famous quote attributed to him:
“Evolution is unproven and unprovable, but the only alternative is special creation and that would be unthinkable!”
Whether or not he actually said it is up for grabs, but I think therein lies a strong thread of what is out there today. A lot of these popular scientist do not want God. They hate God and they have ruled Him out of the equation altogether. The door has been bolted firmly shut and no-one wants to open it, otherwise they would be put out of the ‘club’.
Why then is there a tour de force within the evangelical church to marry up to this thinking? What I see happening is tantamount to marrying your wife’s murderer.
When all has been said and done, at the end of all time, you will stand and give account to the one who was there at the beginning. I hope you’re going to be telling Him that you believed Him and no-one else.