As I grew up around the ministry of Answers in Genesis and worked in that ministry for many years, I was certainly impacted by the clear thinking this organization promoted when it comes to the subject of the bible and science. I know other creation apologetics organizations do similar and I am thankful for their contribution in serving God’s Church.
One of the common accusations made against biblical creationists (often known as young earth creationists) is directed toward how they treat the bible. You will hear statements such as, “The bible is not a science textbook.” This claim suggests that biblical creationists misinterpret scriptures by seeing them essentially as a scientific instruction manual rather than God’s revelation of himself. This is quite a distinct misrepresentation of biblical creationists. In all my years around creation apologetics ministries I have not met one biblical creationist who believes that the bible is a scientific instruction manual. What I have found is that biblical creationists (many are also PhD Scientists) believe the first eleven chapters of Genesis are historical narrative revealed by God and written through Moses to give an account of the history of the origins of all created things in the context of the entire history outlined in scripture. This means that the identification of biblical genres (particularly historical narrative), historical recording of genealogies in the Old and New Testaments, the use of biblical language and grammar in interpretation, and the consistency applied through all of scripture, point biblical creationists to a solid stance on a young earth originally created in a period of six normal days (and a day of rest). In short, they come to their position firstly through the historical recordings of the bible and not because they believe it to be a science textbook.
If the history of the bible had no connection to the real world in which we live, then it would be an absurd book. The commitment of our brothers and sisters in biblical creation ministries is one that comes from recognizing that faith is not blind. They believe that the historical narrative serves a very real purpose of telling us about what happened in this real world and in a real past. They believe that the real evidence we all see in this world should corroborate with the historical narrative of creation, fall, flood destruction, and animal and human diversity outlined in the text. The scientific observations they make show real and obvious connection to the historical narrative of the bible without having to incorrectly perceive the bible as a scientific textbook. In this way, the bible is not a science textbook, but the history cannot be, and is not, disconnected from scientific process and discovery. If it was, it would not be a real history. God created a real world and he recorded it in history. He put us in this real world with capacity to experience the physical realities of what he accurately revealed to us in the historical accounts of the bible. We have seen these physical realities in biology, astronomy, geology, anthropology and archeology.
This Sunday we commence a series called The Jesus of Genesis. We will be looking at the themes in scripture that run through the historical accounts that start in Genesis and lead to Jesus. Before we really get into this series, we must acknowledge that the themes of biblical history that run directly to Christ are themes that start, proceed, and finish in a real world with a real historical origin that is not disconnected to our central focus on Jesus who is our real historical Savior.
So yes, I am thankful that Answers in Genesis and other creation apologetics organizations seek to serve the church in showing how the historical account of creation connects to a real physical world in which we live. It might simply be one aspect of highlighting the importance and the authority of the bible, but it’s one that is often overlooked in its helpfulness in seeing both the spiritual and material unity of the biblical message. It helps us in knowing that the biblical themes that run to Jesus are not merely intellectual playgrounds for bible scholars but real historical lines that outline God’s purpose for us in Christ. They start in reality, they proceed in reality and they point to our future reality.