The house that changed colour
Following Jesus’ teaching on the importance of Moses
An atheist once declared: “I will believe in God if He turns my red house into a blue one”. He went to sleep that night as usual, but the next morning when he went outside, he noticed that the red paint on the outside of his house was now a deep blue colour.
In such an imagined scenario, what do you think would most likely happen next? I believe (and will seek to justify it from the Bible) that the atheist would probably not shout ‘Hallelujah!’ in newfound faith. Instead, he would most likely declare how amazing it was to see how the environment, cosmic radiation, chemical pollutants in the atmosphere, and perhaps some unknown natural process had effected this transformation in the chemistry of the paint.
If it achieved wide publicity, a multidisciplinary research team might even be assembled to study this unusual situation, perhaps leading to the publishing of scientific papers proposing a number of alternative theories. All of these, of course, would be restricted to purely naturalistic explanations.
The rich man and Abraham
Compare this with Jesus’ lesson about the rich man who after death finds himself facing the terrible torments of the underworld (Luke 16:19–31). He sees Abraham who is in the place of bliss, at the other side of an insurmountable gap separating these two very different regions. He asks Abraham to send someone from the dead to warn his brothers so that they can avoid that dreadful destination.
However, Abraham responds, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.” But the rich man counters, saying that “if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!” Abraham replies, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”
As always, Jesus knew what He taught. Physical, tangible things will seldom be enough for the unbelieving, not even if someone were to rise from the dead. So how much less an overnight change in a coat of paint?
Indeed, when encountering two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus did not show them the scars in his body, as He did with Thomas. He did not even declare that He was the risen Saviour. What did He do?
“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27).
Even the most profound, miraculous experience could fade away as the years went by, and the human mind could end up envisioning all kinds of explanations for it. Peter mentioned being an eyewitness to the miracle of the Transfiguration as evidence for not having followed “fables”. But he went on to say that the truth about Jesus is “more fully confirmed” by the prophetic word, the Bible (2 Peter 1:16–21). In short, there is a big difference if our confidence in the Lord Jesus is based on the Bible as enlightened by the Holy Spirit. We can experience the same as the two disciples:
“And their eyes were opened and they recognized him. … They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (Luke 24:31–32)
The ‘big picture’ of the Gospel in Scripture makes no sense without Genesis, the first book of Moses—so Jesus, the all-knowing Lord, taught beginning with Moses. With His Spirit, He also guided Paul when the Apostle started from creation in his sermon to unbelieving gentiles (Acts 17:24). Other New Testament writers, guided by the very same Spirit of God, did no less.
Commencing with Moses
Understanding biblical creation helps to strengthen our Christian worldview, and protects us against the faith-corroding effects of evolution.
It is vital we share these things with generation(s) following. I have watched with pride (and deep gratitude to God) as my eldest child devoured CMI’s Creation Answers Book (the Finnish translation). She also has a habit of asking how things—e.g. from school textbooks—fit with the history recorded in the Bible.
I do my best to unravel the core of the matter, to show how it is interpreted from the evolutionary worldview, and I then provide the biblical interpretation.
Creation arguments can also be used to soften the ‘hard soil’ of evolutionary dogma—or to hold helpful discussions with a fellow Christian whose thoughts might be affected by (unnecessary and potentially faith-damaging) compromise with secular science. In either case, it is very important that we do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).