Creation 26(4):6, September 2004
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‘But Genesis is not a science textbook’
How many times have you heard that? My favourite short answer is, ‘Thank goodness it’s not—textbooks always have mistakes and go out-of-date in a few years; the Bible has no errors and is always current!’
History vs. science
Actually, Genesis is about history more than science (of course it touches upon, and is highly relevant to, aspects of anthropology, biology, geology, etc.). Normal (operational) science that puts men on the moon and cures diseases is based on repeatable observations in the present. Genesis claims to be an eyewitness account about the past, which can’t be repeated. In particular, Genesis is an account of world history from creation to the beginning of the Messianic people, Israel.
Some might say, ‘But … Genesis is not a history textbook either—it was written for simple people who wouldn’t have understood long ages or evolution.’ But as we show in ‘Genesis according to evolution’, there were plenty of ways to communicate that alleged ‘truth’ in simple language, if that’s what God intended.
Genesis and science
Historians of science agree that modern science really blossomed in Christianized Europe, while it was ‘stillborn’ in other cultures. Surprised? You shouldn’t be! Science requires that our thoughts should be rational, the universe is orderly, that man can investigate the world, and that results should be reported honestly. The Bible explains that: we are made in the image of a rational God (Genesis 1:26–27), God is a God of order not of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), God gave man dominion over creation (Genesis 1:28), and He commanded honesty (Exodus 20:16). But if evolution were true, there would be no logical basis for any of this.
That’s why almost every issue of Creation has articles featuring Bible-believing scientists. This time we feature a leading satellite scientist (pp. 18–23) and one of the pioneers of life-saving MRI (pp. 40–42). The latter also reveals discrimination against creationists today, often blasted as being ‘not real scientists’. Thankfully, these discriminators were not around in the days of Newton, Faraday and Pasteur, to name a few of the many great creationist founders of modern science!
Just about faith and morals?
‘But … the Bible is a book about faith and morality—that’s the important thing.’ However, the Bible’s doctrine and morality cannot be separated from its historical/scientific aspects. Without the Resurrection of Jesus, there would be no Christianity—it is a historical fact that Jesus had vacated the tomb on the third day, and appeared to 500 people at once (1 Corinthians 15:1–6). But this also impinges on science—naturalistic scientists assert that it is impossible for dead men to rise.
Furthermore, the meaning of Jesus’ death and Resurrection depends entirely on the real history of Genesis 3. That is, a real first man, Adam, really sinned and really brought physical death. Therefore, the Last Adam, Jesus, really died for our sins and really brought physical resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1–4, 21–22, 45).
What about marriage? This is a moral teaching if ever there was one. Yet when Jesus answered on this subject, he cited Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 as real history, not allegory (Matt. 19:3–9, Mark 10:6–9). Furthermore, Jesus said that the first human couple was there ‘from the beginning of creation’, not billions of years afterwards. This is a major problem for Christians who have reinterpreted the Bible to fit into the big bang. (See ‘Big bang can’t explain’ (p. 7) for scientific problems that might mean that these Christians have to reinterpret their reinterpretations!)
Even the Ten Commandments, obviously about morality, are meaningless without the history. The Fourth Commandment, about the Sabbath, is completely based on the history of Creation Week, ‘Six days you shall labour and do all your work, … for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day’ (Exodus 20:9–11).
Jesus asked Nicodemus: ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if we can’t trust the Bible about earthly things (such as the timeframe of creation), why should we trust it on heavenly things (e.g. faith and morals)?
What it’s all about: authority
Ever had people asking, ‘What’s the big deal? Why don’t you spend as much time arguing over baptism, the Sabbath, predestination vs. free will, last days, whether charismatic gifts are for today, or forms of church government; as you do over what Genesis means?’
Here’s the difference: all these debates presuppose that the Bible is the authority, and argue over what it means. The creation issue is about whether the Bible or modern ‘science’ is the authority on what happened in Earth’s past. [See also the later article End-times and Early-times for more explanation.]
But the Bible is the Eyewitness account of the Maker who was there, knows everything and never errs. Jesus accepted that Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). But scientists weren’t there (Job 38:4), don’t know everything, and make mistakes.
This shows the folly of demanding that creationists ‘leave the Bible out of it’. As ‘Don’t answer—do answer!’ points out, this is ‘answering a fool according to his folly’. This approach effectively abandons the Bible’s truth claims, and concedes defeat. It confirms the unbeliever in his sinful view that man is the ultimate arbiter of truth, and puts God on trial—what Christian would knowingly want to do that?
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