November 30, 2001
Have you ever tried to nail jello to the wall? It will, of course, just break up and fall to the floor. Sadly, particularly when it comes to the book of Genesis, some Biblical material is being presented to the church in the name of ‘conservative’ Christianity, but is nothing more than what I call ‘theological jello.’
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I have often quoted from many different church leaders who admit that if they take Genesis in a straightforward way (reading it as history—in the same way Jesus and Paul did when quoting Genesis), then it’s obvious God created in six ordinary days and the Earth can’t be billions of years old.
Most of these leaders insist, however, that we must accept the billions of years for the age of the Earth (which they call ‘science’), and thus interpret Genesis accordingly. But if we use science to interpret the Word of God in Genesis, then if these leaders were consistent, they would have to reject the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Birth. After all, science would regard such events as impossible. The reason I believe in the bodily Resurrection of Christ, and the Virgin Birth is because of the words of Scripture. I believe in six days of Creation because of the words of Scripture (not because I am interpreting them in any way—I’m taking them at face value, as clearly written). Thus because of the words of Scripture, I judge man’s theories accordingly—if they don’t agree, then man’s theories must be discarded. This is how the church leaders should be teaching their congregations, but this is not happening in most cases.
Recently, Baker Book House published a major work Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by a Christian scholar and theologian, Dr Norman Geisler, which is supposed to help Christians defend the faith. It’s sad to read the ‘theological jello’ in this work that in my opinion undermines the authority of Scripture, particularly in Genesis. Thus, a door is unlocked to undermine the authority of God’s Word elsewhere. (This is not to say there is not some very useful material in this work. ) This book is typical of much of what is coming out of Christian circles today, applying a different way of interpreting the Scripture in Genesis as compared to the rest of the Bible.
For instance, the author admits, ‘there is prima facie evidence to indicate the days of Genesis 1 are indeed twenty-four-hour periods.’ However, he then lists all the supposed problems with this view. Dr Geisler comments, ‘If, of course, the days of Genesis are long periods of time, then there is no conflict with modern science on the age of the Earth. But even if the days of Genesis are twenty-four hours, there are still ways to reconcile long periods of time with Genesis 1-2.’
After reading this section, you really don’t know what to believe, except that a person cannot say for sure if they are or are not twenty-four-hour days. When one reads his section on the Resurrection, numerous arguments for and against this event are given. Nevertheless, the reader is told in no uncertain terms that one must accept the bodily Resurrection of Christ. Even though the author points to many evidence, he writes that ultimately it’s God’s Word that should be used to insist on the bodily Resurrection of Christ.
Now, here is the inconsistency I see time and time again in the church today. The majority of Christian leaders reject six literal days of Creation on the basis of so-called ‘science,’ yet they insist on the literal Resurrection of Christ, when science has never shown it to be possible.
The real issue is whether or not we are prepared to take God at His Word and use it to judge the fallible theories of sinful man or whether we use the fallible theories of man to judge the infallible Word.
‘Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He reprove you and you be found a liar’ (Proverbs 30:5-6).