Arking up

These made me laugh.

From here.

And this one from the Friendly Atheist.

Almost as much as the lecture I got from a couple of premillenial dispensationalists last night. Sometimes different elements of Christianity can be funny. And I’m all for self deprecation.

I’m fairly convinced by my take on both Genesis and Revelation – but I’m much more convinced that neither actually truly matters. I don’t get people who make these bits of the Bible the big deal. Or points of division and distinction. Though I do get how your eschatology shapes your actions here and now… so I can see how it is important (but not essential).

25 thoughts on “Arking up”

  1. I think Genesis is important; Revelation less so. Genesis tells us not only about creation (and in doing so, a lot about God's character) but also about the beginnings of Israel, God's chosen people, upon whom virtually the entire bible is based.

  2. I think Genesis is important too. My phrasing was poor. I don't think your interpretation of the first two chapters of Genesis is important. I would not start a ministry called "Answers in Genesis" that looked at anything except the problem of sin and an argument for a creator.

  3. I would disagree that Answers in Genesis look at anything except the problem of sin and an argument for a creator.
    I would say that is what they mostly look at. Am I thinking of the wrong organisation, or am I missing something?

  4. In my opinion, and this is my opinion only, they have a pretty narrow scope and largely conduct pseudo science that to me suggests they're asking the wrong questions of Genesis. They're single issue voters on the wrong issue.

  5. Our Creation Magazine subscription ran out recently and we haven't renewed because it got boring. They seem to say the same few things over and over again, just using different examples. Which is great for the first few issues, but starts to get tiring. They also use too much bold and italics. But one of those things they say over and over is how science points to a creator.

    That said, however, I had agreed to the subscription initially because I'd been to a few of their talks that were all about why believing in Creation matters to your whole worldview, and how Creation fits with the gospel. It did change my thinking a lot, and I'd love my brain to be functioning better so I could elaborate a little more.

  6. I don't disagree with their sentiment. I disagree with their science. I think it's dumb.

    Of course science points to a creator. If you're a Christian that's a pretty fundamental belief. But Genesis is not a science text book. Treating it as though it is, even though it predates the scientific method just seems silly.

    I don't care how old the earth is, or how old you think it is. I care if you brand yourself by a non core, non gospel issue and tell Christians who disagree with your point of view on the matter that it's an essential issue.

    I think they're guilty of this.

  7. I don't know. I'm more and more convinced that we should worry about convincing people about Jesus first.

    Any other assumptions about the world should be made from that point.

    I don't think the Creation v Evolution issue is the issue we make it out to be. All the good Christian scientists I know say that both creation science and the current iteration of the theory of evolution have some issues. Intelligent Design is pretty dumb too.

    I think as Christians we should believe that God created the world. That there is order. That people are special and set apart. And that we're inherently sinful in our pursuit of autonomy. That's what Genesis teaches.

    Any attempt to add science to that framework is likely to be pretty messy. I'm prepared to let the scientists try to figure out how God did things while believing that he did them.

  8. I agree with everything you just said, but I think there are plenty of people who need convincing that God made the world before they can be convinced that they need Jesus. Others have other things standing in the way.

    I also think that there are a lot of Christians who don’t believe God created the world because they’ve never been taught that.

    I like your summary of Genesis.

  9. AIG does have a narrow scope, but that's their field. I wouldn't expect a literary publication to tackle the scientific aspects of Christian faith.

    I also think AIG tackles an important issue. It's not normally salvation-important, but sometimes it is. There have been multiple times that an evolution-believing atheist has been converted because they came to realise a) evolution is not as definite as they thought and b) perhaps a God-created world is viable after all.

    Of course it's not AIG's scientific arguments that do that, it's the Holy Spirit's work in their life, but that can be said for any evangelistic tool.

    I also feel AIG is generally aimed at Christians, so the idea that we should be focusing on convincing people of Jesus first is compatible with AIG's aims. I don't think they would suggest Creation is the most important aspect of the bible.

    You might think "science points to a creator" is a pretty fundamental belief, but it's amazing how many "Christians" out there don't think so.

    1. "I also think AIG tackles an important issue. It's not normally salvation-important, but sometimes it is. There have been multiple times that an evolution-believing atheist has been converted because they came to realise a) evolution is not as definite as they thought and b) perhaps a God-created world is viable after all."

      There have been just as many, if not more, "Christians" who deconvert because they're convinced the world is more than 6,000 years old. The fact that we make this a doctrinal sticking point is stupid. I'm quite comfortable with the idea that the world is very old. This says nothing about the truth of Jesus Christ.

      I also feel AIG is generally aimed at Christians, so the idea that we should be focusing on convincing people of Jesus first is compatible with AIG's aims. I don't think they would suggest Creation is the most important aspect of the bible.

      I don't think they're primarily for Christians. Their motto is "Believing it. Defending it. Proclaiming it." Two thirds of that motto is outsider focused.

      Their mission statement, similarly, has a confused focus…

      * We take the absolute truth and authority of the Bible to the world.
      * We teach the relevance of a literal Genesis to the mission fields of the world.
      * We obey God’s call for global evangelism for all ethnic groups in the world.

      Where is Jesus here? I know he's implied in the first and the third – but if I were running a gospel ministry I'd want it to be explicit.

      I did a search for the word "Jesus" on their home page and it came up "phrase not found"…

      "You might think "science points to a creator" is a pretty fundamental belief, but it's amazing how many "Christians" out there don't think so."

      I've never met a Christian who disagrees. We might disagree on the mechanism of creation.

      1. (Apologies if this double-posts, it apparently didn't post the first time I tried).

        By 'mechanism' of creation, are you suggesting evolution is one?

        That's the problem I think AIG is trying to combat. Once you get Christians believing God used evolution to 'create' the world, you get them essentially not believing the first few chapters of Genesis. Because Genesis says God spoke, and it was. That doesn't leave room for evolution. So if you get a 'Christian' dismissing those chapters, what stops them dismissing any other chapters they think don't fit with their views?

        Also, I think their idea of "defending it" and "proclaiming it" means Christians should be able to defend it and proclaim it if need be. I don't think they're suggesting the "Genesis" or "evolution vs creation" arguments are the primary arguments necessary for evangelism.

        AIG resources are tools for just a fraction of our ministry as evangelists, not what it should be entirely based upon. Of course in evangelistic conversations we should try to be pointing to Jesus first and foremost. But if a sciencey person is insistent upon discussing the scientific aspects of creation/God/Jesus/origins/evolution, then I think it's necessary to have some understanding on the faults of evolution and those scientific discoveries which might support the bible.

        Just as a minor example, some people like to dismiss the bible based upon its 'stories' that 'couldn't possibly' have happened, like Noah's Flood. The fact that there are many geological discoveries that support the idea of a major, catastrophic flood is helpful there.

        Certainly it is not the main focus point of evangelism, but you get some people who want to discuss those parts of the bible. I think that is where AIG is helpful.

        1. By 'mechanism' of creation, are you suggesting evolution is one?

          I don't think evolutionary theory as it currently sits disproves the notion of the God of the Bible.

          I think we have problems when we assume Genesis 1-2 is an eyewitness, journalistic, scientific account of the mechanism of creation rather than a theological account of creation.

          God did it. It was good. It was for us (as humans) to rule over. Humanity stuffed up. We need saving.

          To me that's all Genesis 1-3 tells us. If I was going to talk about Answers in Genesis I'd talk about how Jesus is the answer to Genesis.

  10. "scientific aspects of Christian faith" being the idea that the Christian faith supports the notion of a creator God rather than evolution.

  11. I also think it's dodgy to accuse them of pseudo-science, because pretty much all (if not all) of their writers have (sometimes several) science degrees.

    1. The rest of the scientific community accuse them of pseudo-science.

      They do the same thing atheists do. Start with a philosophical premise and then find "science" to support it.

      Having science degrees does not make you a scientist. It makes you a university graduate.

      I have a journalism degree but I'm not a journalist – I am quite the reverse. I use journalists as a vehicle to spread my companies ideas.

  12. "Where is Jesus here? I know he's implied in the first and the third – but if I were running a gospel ministry I'd want it to be explicit.

    I did a search for the word "Jesus" on their home page and it came up "phrase not found"…"

    Thanks for pointing that out, I think that is really relevant and important. I have the same issue with Veggie Tales. They make great DVDs (when I can get past the annoying voices), but don't ever mention Jesus. So they're really just moral tales.

    I've always been borderline, but more recently leaning positive, towards AIG. But, just for something completely different, maybe even a first, you've possibly changed my mind, Nathan.

    Ha, I have a music degree, and a teaching degree, and, well…

  13. Also, since when is Jesus more important than God?

    Both AIG and Veggie Tales mention God if not Jesus.

    (Btw, if you did a search of the AIG website, and not just their homepage, you’d find 11,500 hits for “Jesus”).

  14. Since we call ourselves "Christians" and not Godians.

    Without Christ there is no Christianity. I'd go so far as to say that without Christ I wouldn't believe in God (applying my own logic to the discussion and ignoring for a moment the doctrine of election).

  15. Just went and had a bit of a look at their website. It's very American is all I can say. There is a button up the top that says 'good news', and that seems to have a pretty straightforward gospel presentation in it.

    I still think they are a bit extreme at times. And the magazine got boring because it was repetitive in its themes. It's useful what they do, but maybe could be more gospel oriented.

  16. Jesus isn't "more" important than God. Nor is God "more" important, more to the point. Jesus is central to the gospel, so it does matter if he's not mentioned.

  17. And another little comment that again highlights the problem, from an article criticising two Christian scientists for suggesting that Christianity and Evolution are compatible…

    "Still, we are thankful for the continued attention on the Creation Museum, which continues to be the best chance many have for beginning to understand the creationist’s perspective—and for meeting the Creator."

    Huh? The best chance for meeting the Creator is at a museum where children can ride dinosaur statues?

  18. I should point out that I actually don't think it matters which way you read Genesis. This is the entirety of my argument. I'm not trying to convince you either way is correct. I'm just suggesting that setting up an evangelistic ministry that argues from a position of a young earth, rather than from a position of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, has got things a little bit messed up.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top