“It is significant that the portion of Genesis which has been the object of the greatest attacks of skepticism and unbelief, the first eleven chapters, is the portion which had the greatest influence on the New Testament.”Henry Morris
We are continuing our series tonight on the subject of “Origins: Creation or Evolution.” I know that there are some who are new with us tonight and some who have missed some of the prior messages, so let me just give a brief review, and I’ll try to make it brief and concise, because I have so much that I want to say, and I’m glad I have a full hour to say it tonight. But I want to begin by saying this, and I guess this sort of establishes the premise of everything I say: evolution is an impossibility. If you remember that, you’ll understand that we’re left with no alternative but creation. Evolution cannot occur.
And we have been examining why in the last couple of messages. We have been discussing the impossibility of evolution, particularly from the viewpoint of information theory. And I’ve been telling you that every living thing has a DNA code; every living organism has a genetic code programmed with the exact information to produce, preserve, and repair that living thing. It has no less than that necessary information and no more than that necessary information.
The genes in every organism limit that organism to what it is. It cannot be less than it is, and it cannot be more than it is. There is no genetic information to transform it into something other than what it is. The Bible talks about kinds of living things that can reproduce after their own kind. And that essentially is saying the same thing. There can be variations within a kind, but not anything beyond that.
Science has tried to tell us that evolution is a process called “mutation,” that living organisms have the capacity to mutate – simply means to change. But you need to understand this: mutations do not change the nature or the kind of any living organism. They don’t make it anything other than it is. What mutations involve – and this is important – is always a loss of existing information. There is never a gain of information. Mutations never add new genetic information; mutations therefore do not work toward an upward evolutionary process. Mutations are not a mechanism for upward evolutionary process.
Dr. Werner Gitt, a director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, answered this question: Can new information originate in a living organism through mutations? And this is his response, and I quote: “Mutations can only cause changes in existing information. There can be no increase in information, and in general the result of mutations is injurious. New blueprints for new functions or new organs cannot arise. Mutations cannot be the source of new information.” End quote.
Honest scientists must admit that all of life had to be designed individually by an immense, intelligent mind that programmed everything. Now when you think about the complexity of this, it is absolutely staggering. Just think about the human brain for a moment. The human brain is more complex than a 747, for example. A 747 is made up of six million components. Can you imagine a 747 evolving out of a scrap pile of metal? It’s absolutely ridiculous.
The more science looks at life, the more complex it becomes. The body, for example, is made up of trillions of cells. In just one of those cells, one out of trillions, the amount of information, the amount of genetic information in one of those cells has been estimated to fill at least one thousand books of five hundred pages. That’s to run one cell out of trillions in one human body. And most scientists think that is an underestimation of the complexity. Where did all this information come from? Better, from whom did all this information come?
To make evolution the answer is ridiculous. To make chance the energy is also ridiculous, so ridiculous as to qualify someone for a trip to the mental institution. Why then do scientists continue to advocate this ridiculous theory of evolution motivated by chance? Why do they do that? Well, the bottom line is they do it to avoid God. They do that to push God out of their lives, to avoid His law, to avoid His standards, to avoid His will, to avoid His Word, and to avoid His judgment on their lives. Evolution is nothing more than what Henry Morris so aptly called it, “The long war against God.”
Evolution is the contemporary expression of the long war against God. The Old Testament says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” That is foolish. It is not rational to reject a Creator. It is not rational to empower chance. It is not rational to assume that one kind of living organism can become another. It is not wise to reject God’s law and God’s Word and God’s gospel.
If it is neither rational nor wise, then why do men do it? And the answer is that men do it because they love sin and they love darkness, because their deeds are evil. They love themselves and they love their sin, and they refuse to worship God or submit to His Word or His law. They will not recognize Scripture. And by the way, Scripture shows us that what is in God’s world is in God’s Word. All we know about creation from nothing is what the Creator has told us, and the only place He’s told us is in the Scripture. Evolution is a war on God. It is the sort of contemporary fight, the contemporary modern attack in the long, long war that Satan has carried on against God.
In 1989 scientist Henry Morris wrote an excellent book called, The Long War Against God, and in that book he shows the impact of evolutionary theory on the world, and he reveals the irrefutable fact that the almost universe belief in evolution that permeates every area of human thinking has affected every area of human life, not just how we view the physical world, not just how we view the biological sciences; it has affected social sciences, it has affected behavioral sciences, it has affected psychology, it has affected the humanities, it has affected liberal arts, it has affected philosophy, and it has even affected religion.
Quoting Henry Morris, he says this: “Evolution’s lie permeates and dominates modern thought in every field. That being the case, it follows inevitably that evolutionary thought is basically responsible for the lethally ominous political developments and the chaotic moral and social disintegrations that have been accelerating everywhere.” End quote. He goes on in his book to show how everything from genocide, to fornication, to homosexuality, to abortion, to all matters of the destruction of human dignity, not seeing man as made in the image of God, to crime, to drugs, and everything else is all a part of the result of a materialistic, humanistic universe without God. And so, says Morris, “Evolution is nothing more than the pervasive modern version of the conflict of the ages, the long war against God.”
Evolution is empty philosophy; it is vain deceit; it is designed to attack the Creator and His glory. It denies His glorious revelation in Scripture. It denies His authority over the universe of man. It denies the dignity of man. It denies the image of God in man. It is a cunningly devised fable. It is religious harlotry. It is the latest abomination of the earth spawned by the father of lies Satan. Now if I could have said it any stronger I would have. You see, the world has always believed the deceiver. The world has always believed the liar Satan and joined him in his long war against God.
The story of the history of the nations of the world, the cyclical story of how the world repeats its same demise is given us in Romans, chapter 1. I want you to look at it. This is a very familiar chapter. I know that and I’m not going to stay here very long. But I do need to remind you that this chapter, chapter 1 of Romans, verses 18 and following, lay out how the scenario of the long war against God is played over, and over, and over. And what you have here is the history, the cyclical history of what happens in the nations of the world throughout the history of the world.
Verse 18 says, “The wrath of God is revealed” – and it’s revealed – “from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth.” Now the truth is obvious. The truth about a Creator is obvious. The truth about a God who is a person because we are persons is obvious. The truth about a God who is moral because we have a moral sense and a moral conscience is obvious. The truth about a God who has established right and wrong is obvious because it’s in the fabric of our life. The truth that there is a Creator, a first cause for this massive effect called the universe is obvious, because rationality is built on cause and effect, and leads you back ultimately to the first cause. But men suppress the truth.
Verse 19 says, “That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” And He did that by giving them reason, and reason says – reason is basically a sequence of cause and effect patterns. Anytime you do research you work on cause and effect. Anytime you come to understand a principle, you understand it because there’s a cause and effect relationship, there’s a sequence of things that builds to a conclusion. That’s rationality. Reason is the ability to link things together to come to right conclusions. And God has put into the mind of man rationality, so that he can rationally go back to the fact that there had to be a first cause. That leads him back to God.
And then God is poured into the heart of man, as Romans 2 says, law, moral law, written by God on the heart. And so, verse 19 says, “What is known about God is evident within them, that God is” – according to verse 20 – “the Creator of the world.” You can look at the creation of the world and see His invisible attributes. You can look at creation and you know that God is powerful. You can look at creation and you know that God is intelligent beyond comprehension. You can look at creation and know that the mind of God is so massively and vastly and infinitely complex as to be absolutely incomprehensible to our puny brains.
You can look at creation and you can know that God loves beauty and order. You can look at creation and see that God has a delicate touch; at the same time God has a powerful, almost overbearing, touch that can kill and crush. You can see so much about His attributes. You can see His goodness manifest in the rain, and the sunshine, and the food we enjoy, and the beauty of the world around us, and the love that He’s poured into life, and the wonder of romance, and the blessing of children, and the exhilarating joy of adventure. You can see that God is a God of beauty, and kindness, and goodness.
So much can be known about His eternal power and divine nature. So much can be known, verse 20 says, that if you don’t see God in this and you don’t come to recognize Him for who He is, you’re without excuse. The creation is not intended to point you back to a one-celled thing in some primordial soup. It’s intended to point you back to God, and it’s intended to show you everything about the mind of God, and nothing about some imaginary evolutionary process empowered by chance.
Any view like that, any progressive creationistic view, any theistic evolutionary view, strikes a blow at the intention of God in Creation, to manifest His great power. It isn’t that God is some one-dimensional God, as the theistic evolution would, evolutionist would tell us: He sort of launched it all and then evolution took over. That doesn’t give glory to God, that gives glory to the survival of the fittest, which is a viewpoint invented by Charles Darwin and his friends to explain appearances, when they didn’t know things that they know today that contradict all of that. God is not glorified, God is not honored, when we give evolution the credit for creation, when we give evolution the credit for the complexity of the universe, the complexity of the smallest, smallest microcosm of creation, or when we give evolution the credit for the macrocosm of creation. God is honored and God is glorified when we give Him the credit for all of it.
Verse 21 indicates that rationality and morality, built into the fabric of human life, rationality and morality take us to God; it’s inevitable. And so, he says in 21, “Even though they knew God,” – I mean, there was nowhere else to go but to God, but typically what they do is – “they don’t honor Him as God, they do not thank Him for His creation, but they become empty in their speculations.” They trade in God for stupid speculations. And then, “Their foolish heart becomes dark,” the light goes out. And, “They profess themselves to be wise,” and they get PhDs, and they write books – “and they are actually fools,” fools with a garbled, impossible, incoherent, irrational viewpoint. They call it wisdom, God calls it folly.
And therefore, verse 23 says, “They literally steal the glory of the incorruptible God.” They turn from the incorruptible God, the supernatural God, the God who is bigger than His creation, who is outside His creation, “And in God’s place they substitute an image in the form of corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.” They worship the creation instead of the Creator, verse 25 says. They exchange the truth of God and they believe the lie, Satan’s lie that perpetuates the long war against God, and they worship and serve the creature. That’s what evolutionists do. They literally believe that the creature is the creator, don’t they? Sure they do.
But, you know, this is exactly what Romans says. They threw wisdom away and accepted stupidity and folly because their foolish heart was darkened. Their speculations were empty, and futile, and useless because they had turned their backs on the only rational explanation for anything, which was God, because they didn’t want God crowding them with His moral standards. “They began to worship the birds and the animals, and they served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever. Amen.”
And so, you know what? God gave them up, gave them up to sexual sin, homosexuality and every other kind of sin that he lists in verse 28 to 32. That’s the way it goes, they just plunged into the depth of horrible iniquity. That’s the real story of where evolution comes from. It’s part of the long war against God. And if we had time I’d quote you voluminous quotes from evolutionists who give such blasphemous and mocking statements about God. There’s no need to listen to those.
The Bible, on the other hand, clearly and repeatedly states that God is the Creator of everything, everything. Let me just show you this, and I’m going to take a little time with this because it’s so important to understand this. Genesis 1:1 says it. It can’t be said any more clearly or comprehensively: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That’s very clear and unmistakable.
John 1, “In the beginning was the Word” – referring to Christ – “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” Now listen to this: “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Now how else can you say it? There’s no evolution in John 1:3. “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Listen, nothing is in existence that He didn’t create.
In Hebrews, chapter 11, a familiar verse, “By faith,” – it’s the only way, not by empirical analysis – “by faith we understand.” In other words, you have to believe the Bible. “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the Word of God,” – that God spoke and everything was created; now listen to this – “So that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” Now there is an absolute statement that totally discounts evolution. What you see in the created world was not made out of some other material, but rather, everything you see in God’s created universe was made by Him out of nothing, out of nothing. And that’s exactly what it says in the book of Genesis. That’s a great verse, Hebrews 11:3.
Colossians 1:16, speaking of Christ who is God the Creator, verse 16, “For by Him all things were created.” Do you notice how many times the Scripture repeats the word “all”? “All things were created.” What do you mean by that? Well, “in the heavens” – that would be everything that exists in the universe, everything – “and on the earth,” everything in our little microcosm, this earth. Everything outside this earth and everything on this earth He created, everything. And listen to this, “visible and invisible.”
You can see a mountain, He made it. You can’t see the wind, but He made it. You can see an ocean, He made it. You can’t see an electric current going through the air, but He made it, visible and invisible; and that includes angelic beings called thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities. “All things” – repeating it again – “have been created by Him and for Him.” I mean, this is absolutely beyond question, beyond question. And as you flow through the Bible it is relentless in its affirmation of this truth.
In Deuteronomy 4:32, “Indeed, ask now concerning the former days” – Moses says – “which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth.” There was a day when God created man on the earth. He is not the final stop in a multi-billion year process of evolution. There was a day, we know it to be the sixth day, as Genesis tells.
In Psalms – and I can’t take you to all of the Psalms that extol God as Creator, but Psalm 104 is a good illustration of this. Psalm 104: “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.” You know, the ridiculous, irrational perspective of evolution only tries to solve the question of how life generated on earth. How in the world do they hope to explain how you get an infinite universe? God stretched it out.
Verse 3: “He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks on the wings of the wind; He makes the winds His messengers, flaming fire His ministers.” Verse 5: “He established the earth upon its foundations, so that it will not totter forever and ever. Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment.” He made the oceans, He made the earth, and the psalm goes on like that. “He put the springs in the valleys,” verse 10 says. It was He who made the wild animals and the birds. “He’s the one that caused the grass to grow,” verse 14. And so it goes all the way to verse 24, “O Lord, how many are Thy works!”
There’s no credit here given to some irrational chance. Verse 24: “O Lord, how many are Thy works!” Listen to this: “In wisdom Thou hast made them” – there’s that word again – “all.” And the more we know scientifically, the deeper we penetrate into the incredible mysteries of this creation, the more wise the Creator becomes.
“The earth is full of Thy creatures.” That’s what that word is, “The earth is full of Thy creatures.” It goes on to talk about, “The sea, great and broad, in which are swarms without number, animals small and great. There the ships move along and Leviathan,” the sea monster, the great whales; goes on like this. Verse 31: “Let the glory of the Lord endure forever; let the Lord be glad in His works.” I mean, it’s all His. He made it all; there’s never any other explanation for it.
Psalm 148: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise the Lord in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all the stars of light! Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were” – what? – “created.”
The prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s creative power in Isaiah chapter 40, verse 28. Boy, this is just a great verse, mark this one down: “Do you not know?” You want to say this to a world of evolutionists. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” His mind is so far beyond us that we can’t even begin to approach it.
Again, Isaiah 42:5, “Thus says God the Lord.” What God are you talking about, Isaiah? “God who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and its offspring, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it, I am the Lord.” Always the Creator of everything.
In Isaiah 45, Isaiah is not through honoring God as Creator. Verse 5: “I am the Lord, there is no other; besides me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other; I am the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these. “Drip down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down righteousness; let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it.” He’s talking about what He’s going to do in the great and glorious recreation of the earth in the kingdom. It’s His creation, He can do with it as He pleases when He pleases. And verse 9, a warning to the evolutionists: “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker.”
Look at verse 12, same chapter: “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands and I ordained all their hosts.” Look at verse 18: “For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), ‘I am the Lord and there is none else.’”
Malachi the prophet emphasizes the same thing: God is the Father of us all. Malachi 2:10, “Do we not all have one father?” Listen to this: “Has not one God created us?” Man is not the end of an evolutionary chain, he is the direct creation of God, as is everything else.
Mark 10 and verse 6: “But from the beginning of creation” – Jesus speaking – “God made them male and female.” God created man, He did not just evolve.
In Mark, chapter 13, verse 19, this emphasis is just hammered home. And I’m not giving you all the scriptures; you think I am, but I’m not. Mark 13:19, “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation” – and just in case you haven’t learned it – “which God created.” “The creation which God created,” over, and over, and over this emphasis is made in Scripture. We saw it in the Old Testament prophets; I showed it to you there in the gospel of Mark. You have it in the epistles.
Ephesians 3:9, “God who created all things. God who created all things.” The apostle Peter, along with Paul, makes the same emphasis. “Therefore,” – 1 Peter 4:19 – “let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.” God is our faithful Creator.
And then, of course, I want you to turn to Revelation, because this is where everything sort of sums up. Revelation chapter 4, and let’s go to heaven and see what heaven thinks about evolution, verse 11: “Worthy art Thou, O Lord, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power;” – why? – “for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
Chapter 5, same emphasis is made. God, the great and sovereign God, is the Creator, His is the glory, His is the power, His is the dominion. He is the One who purchased for God men with His blood from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and all of heaven begins to ring with praise to God. “To Him who sits on the throne, to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
And finally, verse 13, “Every created thing,” and that’s all there are. There aren’t evolved things, there are just created things. It doesn’t say, “Every created thing and all the mutated things.” “Every created thing which is in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea and everywhere.” This is the redemption of all the created universe.
But go to Revelation chapter 10. This is a fabulous chapter. A strong angel comes down out of heaven. “But the angel,” this great, strong, angel who comes down, and has a little book which represents the book that describes the judgment of God. “And the angel” – verse 5, John sees – “standing on the sea and on the land,” indicating that God’s judgment is going to fall on the sea and the land, as Revelation points out it does; and the angel – “swears by God.” He identifies God, “Him who lives forever and ever,” – and further identifies God by this statement – “who created heaven and the things in it, and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it.” Absolutely unmistakable.
Now, finally in our moving through Scripture, Revelation 14. You know, when the tribulation time comes and terrible, terrible judgments are going to come flying from the throne of God, you can see the war machine cranking up in Revelation 4 and 5. The war machine in heaven starts to crank up. Similar language to that in Ezekiel chapter 1. As God’s war machine moved in the past, it will crank up to bring judgment in the future. But during the time when God pours out judgment, that seven-year period, particularly in the last three and a half years, at the same time the gospel will be preached. It’ll be preached by two witnesses mentioned in chapter 11. It’ll be preached also by the hundred and forty-four thousand Jews mentioned in chapter 7, and later on as well.
But there’s one other great preacher that is identified in the fourteenth chapter of Revelation, verse 6: “I saw another angel flying in midheaven.” You’ve seen messages when you were at the football game pulled by the little airplane that flew across and had the banner. You’ve seen messages put on the side of a blimp. Well, that’s sort of the idea, but not quite. You have here a flying angel in midheaven, and he’s got the eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people. That’s pretty exciting stuff. If you want to know the gospel, just look up.
And this is what the angel preaches, here’s the everlasting gospel. This is the same message that’s always been preached, it’s never changed, “Fear God, and give Him glory.” Beloved, that is the message. “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him,” – who? – “Him who” – what? – “made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.” The Creator, the Creator.
The eternal good news is, “Fear God and worship Him.” That’s the good news of salvation, that God can be reverenced and God can be worshiped, God can be glorified. The sinner can come and be brought into a capacity to know God, and to adore God, and to glorify God through the forgiveness of sins. The angel will preach the age-old gospel; and the age-old gospel is this, folks: “The Creator has become our Redeemer. The Creator has become our Redeemer.”
The same God who created in the end will be bringing judgment in anticipation of His recreation. This is the constant identification of Scripture, that the Creator is the Redeemer, that the Redeemer is none other than the Creator who created absolutely everything.
I can’t leave out Nehemiah, because it sums it up. Nehemiah chapter 9, verse 5, all these Levites get together and they say, “Arise, and bless the Lord your God forever and ever! O may Thy glorious name be blessed and exalted above all blessing and praise!” Listen to this, here’s their praise, “Thou alone art the Lord. Thou hast made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. Thou dost give life to all of them and the heavenly host bows down before Thee. Thou art the Lord.” That’s how it is always in Scripture, always. God is given full credit and full glory for the creation.
How did He do it? Psalm 33, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.” “He just spoke,” – verse 9 – “and it was done; He commanded, and it was established,” Psalm 33.
There are two great passages in the book of Acts in which Paul makes this so abundantly clear. In Acts 14 and verse 15, there Paul and Barnabas are preaching in the pagan environment at Lystra, where the people worshiped the typical gods of the day. And they say to the people, “We are men of the same nature as you, and we preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God,” – what God? – “the “God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”
It was on Mars Hill in Acts 17 that Paul ran into the philosophers. They had established an altar to the unknown god just in case they left somebody out in their pantheon of deities. So he said, “Let me tell you about the God you don’t know. I’ll tell you about Him.” Verse 24: “He’s the God who made the world and all things in it.” That’s who He is; He’s the God who made the world and all things in it.
You know, it’s not as if this is some obscure statement, right? Every time you come to these passages it’s comprehensive and it is exclusive of any evolutionary process. God created everything, and everything that exists God created. Scripture repeatedly identifies God as the Creator.
Now with all that in your mind let’s go back to Genesis 1:1. This simple statement, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” folks, you either believe that or you don’t. Given that statement and the multiplicity of other statements that I just read to you, if you don’t believe this, then you have a lot of other things in the Bible not to believe.
You know, it really wearies me to hear the critics assault the Bible. Flying in late last night I read an absolutely ridiculous article in U.S. News & World Report about the apostle Paul, which totally misrepresented the Word of God, misrepresented him, and were the foolish musings of Christ-denying and godless men. And they do the same thing to the book of Genesis, and some of it, and they all pass themselves off as religious scholars.
“It is widely held that the Genesis creation account needs to be taken not as literal history, but that it is some kind of Hebrew poetry that is allegorical.” Well, if that’s true, then you’re going to have to allegorize all those passages too. But this is the scholarly approach: “Well, we don’t take this as actual history here that God actually created in six days; this is Hebrew poetry.”
Douglas Kelly, who has written an absolutely outstanding book to which I shall be continually indebted in this series, called Creation and Change, says, “Many biblical interpreters have attempted to avoid the obvious conflict between a straightforward reading of the text of Genesis and opposing naturalist theories of origins. They have done so by suggesting that Genesis chapters 1 through 11, and especially the first three chapters, are poetic writings rather than chronological history. This position is surprisingly common among people who generally hold to a high view of scriptural authority.” That’s pretty amazing.
The great scholar of Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia – I cut my teeth on many of his writings as a student – Edward J. Young, an authority of, frankly, massive erudition in Hebrew and cognate languages, responds to these claims that Genesis 1 to 3 is poetry rather than serious history. Edward Young addressed the question in his writing, “Is Genesis Poetry or Myth?” and this is what he said: “To escape from the plain factual statements of Genesis some evangelicals are saying that the early chapters of Genesis are poetry or myth, by which they mean that they are not to be taken as straightforward accounts, and that the acceptance of such a view removes the difficulties. To adopt such a view, they say, removes all troubles with modern science.”
Then Young says, “Genesis is not poetry. There are more poetical accounts of creation in the Bible, such as Psalm 104, certain chapters of Job, and they differ completely from the first chapter of Genesis. Hebrew poetry has certain characteristics and they are not found in the first chapter of Genesis. So the claim that Genesis 1 is poetry is no solution at all. The man who says, ‘I believe Genesis purports to be a historical account, but I do not believe that account,’ is a far better interpreter of the Bible than the man who says, ‘I believe Genesis is profoundly true, but it is poetry.’” End quote.
So, don’t give us any of that nonsense about poetry, just say you don’t believe it. That’s a better approach. Genesis 1 is not written according to the laws of Hebrew poetry. You can find lots of passages in the Old Testament that are; this isn’t. There are no usages of the typical, traditional types of parallelism that occur in Hebrew poetry. And Douglas Kelly says, “No amount of exegetical straining can find the slightest poetic view of Genesis 1 to 11 in the books of the New Testament. If it was poetry, we would expect the New Testament writers to assume that it was poetry and to treat it as poetry. But when you read the New Testament writers commenting on Genesis, it is obvious that they take it as history.”
Henry Morris summarizes the New Testament usage of the Old in this way. He says, “The New Testament is, if anything, even more dependent on Genesis than the Old. There are at least 165 passages in Genesis that are either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament. Many of them are alluded to more than once, so that there are at least 200 quotations or references to Genesis in the New Testament. It is significant that the portion of Genesis which has been the object of the greatest attacks of skepticism and unbelief, the first eleven chapters, is the portion which had the greatest influence on the New Testament. There exist over 100 quotations or direct references to Genesis 1 through 11 in the New Testament.
“Furthermore, every one of those eleven chapters is alluded to somewhere in the New Testament, and every one of the New Testament authors refers somewhere in his writings to Genesis 1 to 11, every New Testament author. On at least six different occasions Jesus Christ Himself quoted from or referred to something or someone in one of those eleven chapters, six different times, including specific references to each of the first seven chapters. Furthermore, in not one of these many instances where the Old or New Testament refers to Genesis is there the slightest evidence that the writers regarded the events or personages as myths or allegories. To the contrary, they all viewed Genesis as absolutely historical, true, and authoritative.” End quote. Thank you, Henry, that’s good stuff.
Walter Brown lists some 71 New Testament references to the early chapters of Genesis and concludes – here’s his conclusion: “Every New Testament writer refers to the early chapters of Genesis, every one. Jesus Christ referred to each of the first seven chapters of Genesis. All New Testament books except Galatians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 2 and 3 John, refer to Genesis 1 to 11. Every chapter of Genesis 1 to 11 except chapter 8 is referred to specifically somewhere in the New Testament. Every New Testament writer apparently accepted those early chapters as historically accurate.”
Now if you go back to the book of Genesis for a moment the outline of Genesis further supports the historicity of the first chapters – and I’ll kind of end with this. I’ve got the best stuff ahead of me here. But if you just outline the book of Genesis: chapters 1 to 11, primitive history; chapters 12 to 50, patriarchal history, that’s where Abraham, Isaac, and all the way through to Joseph, Jacob and Joseph. You have primitive history: creation, fall, flood, dispersion. You have patriarchal history: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. It’s very well-divided.
Nobody will argue that 12 to 50 is history; why do they argue that 1 to 11 is history? They really don’t want to argue that the flood was not history, because there are so many evidences of it. They don’t necessarily want to argue that the dispersion – Tower of Babel, and the nations, and the language – is not history either. There has to be some explanation for the diversity of languages and nations.
But what they really want to argue with has to do with the first three chapters of Genesis, and what they are most concerned to argue with is creation. They think that science has made its point and debunked the Bible. But Genesis is history: primitive history, 1 to 11; patriarchal history, 12 to 50. In fact, I’ll give you a little fast – this is a fast lesson in Genesis. Look at chapter 5.
The word “generation” is “genealogy,” history, history. Chapter 5, verse 1: “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam.” Chapter 6, verse 9: “These are the records of the genealogy of Noah.” Chapter 10, verse 1: “These are the records of the genealogy of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” Chapter 11, verse 10: “These are the records of the generations of Shem.” Verse 27: “These are the records of the generations of Terah.”
Chapter 25 – I think that’s the next one – and verse 12, yes: “These are the records of the generations of Ishmael.” Verse 19: “These are the records of the generations of Isaac.” And so it goes. Chapter 36, “These are the records of the generations” – or genealogies – “of Esau.” Verse 9: “These are the records of the generations of Esau,” again indicated. Chapter 37, verse 2: “These are the records of the generations of Jacob.”
You can just divide this entire book into historical records. That’s what it is. If you go backwards, you go from the history of Joseph, to Jacob, to Esau, to Isaac, to Ishmael, to Abraham, to Terah, to Shem, Ham, Japheth, Noah, Adam, God. That’s how it goes. It’s history. It’s ludicrous when there are so many clear-cut statements that this is history to make the history part that has to do with God myth. Well, that’s enough; there’s more next time. I’ll get to verse 1. Let’s pray together.
Strengthen our faith, Lord, through this, and our trust and confidence in You and Your greatness. We praise You that You are the Creator-Redeemer. That’s who You are, and that’s how You want to be known and worshiped and glorified. We praise You for Your creation and Your redemption. Amen.