19 Questions and Commentaries – TV

In episode 19 – do we need a new Genesis commentary; how to sort out the real science from false in evolutionary articles; how to ask questions for us to answer; excursions coming up.

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We Need a New Commentary

I am taking part in a study on how to read the Bible. I will not name the study guide; there is much in it which is good, and much which is not. However, reaching a section on how to interpret narrative history, like Genesis, a commentary recommendation was made. As soon as I saw the name of the author of the commentary recommended—Bruce Waltke—I knew that I could not recommend that commentary.

The Six Days of Genesis
Perhaps I need to expand this book, to cover the whole of Genesis.

It isn’t good to be negative all the time. So what commentary would I recommend? This is where I hit a problem. The overwhelming majority of the commentaries on the whole of Genesis are written from an old-earth, or evolutionary point of view. Granted, there are some very decent books about Genesis; The Book of Beginnings, by Henry Morris III, Understanding Genesis by Jason Lisle, and Jonathan Sarfati’s excellent partial commentary, The Genesis Account, which covers up to chapter 11. Even I have written a commentary on the first 11 chapters. The only whole book commentary, remaining faithful to the early chapters, appears to be Henry Morris The Genesis Record—but this was published in 1976, and the science (though not the theology) needs to be developed.

Perhaps this is too great a task for one person. Perhaps we need a small team to produce a good commentary. Or maybe I need to get on with expanding my “The Six Days of Genesis”.

Whatever the answer is, it definitely needs doing—fast! If someone is writing such a commentary, please let me know. If someone would like my input to a team implementing such a project, let me know. But let’s have a proper chapter-by-chapter commentary on the whole of Genesis, and let’s try to see it done within 12 months.

17 Genesis 12 and Abram

Theistic Evolutionists and Creationists alike have, for different reasons, given an impression that the book of Genesis is actually 2 books: chapters 1 through 11, and chapters 12 through 50. In this podcast, Paul Taylor shows that we cannot understand the life, work and faith of Abraham aright, without believing the literal truth of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Therefore, the book of Genesis should be seen as a unified whole.

Wretched in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

One of the first Christian podcasts that I ever got into listening to was Wretched Radio. This show is presented by my good friend Todd Friel. It often seems like I have known Todd forever. However, I recently came across a show that we recorded the very same day that we first met.

Todd's show is usually live every day. But during this holiday period, Wretched Radio is rightly broadcasting some old shows. Yesterday (Wednesday December 28th 2016) they broadcast a show recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland. Todd was visiting various places in Europe. At the time, I worked for Answers in Genesis at their UK office in Leicester, England. I flew up to Edinburgh for the day, and we recorded several segments – climbing up the Castle Mount steps to Edinburgh Castle, talking about the father of old-age geology James Hutton, and sharing part of my sermon on Can and Abel – this latter was recorded in the car, while they were driving me back to Edinburgh Airport!

I have taken the liberty of grabbing the show and placing it here, so that you can enjoy it over again. It was recorded, I think, in 2009, and it was great fun to do.

Stanley and the House of Cards Religion

It is disappointing when a well-known speaker uses a sermon to cast doubt on the authenticity of the Bible. That is what happened recently, when Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Church, preached a series of sermons on what he referred to as apologetics.

Of course, Stanley denies that he is undermining people’s belief in the Bible. His purpose, he says, is to talk to those who have given up on Christianity, and show them that they have thrown out the baby with the bathwater. This is an honorable aim. But, in the view of this writer, he has not achieved it.

In one of his talks he refers to a “Bible tells me so” religion as a sort of “house of cards”. This, says Stanley, is where we believe something simply because the Bible says so. The reason why he says this is problematic is because, he claims, it causes problems for our young people. These young Christians have been told to believe the Bible, but then get to college and find out that the walls of Jericho did not fall down, and that the universe was not made in 6 days, but started 14.7 billion years ago in the Big Bang. Stanley claims that a Christians foundation should be in the truth of the Resurrection, rather than the truth of the Bible.

There is an obvious problem with his statement. Where do we find out about the resurrection? We learn about it from the Gospels, which are in the Bible. We learn about the theological importance of the Resurrection from 1 Corinthians 15 – again, this is in the Bible. So, in order to put our trust in the Resurrection, we have to start by believing the Bible is true.

Stanley, at one point, claimed that early Christians did not accept the teaching about the Resurrection because it was inspired, but because it was true. He, therefore, affirms the truth of what is written in the Bible, but not the inspiration. This, however, is a problematic position. He has to rely on his version of church history, in order to maintain the truth of the biblical accounts. But this is putting the proverbial cart before the horse. His reason for accepting the truth of the Resurrection accounts is actually personal and subjective, because he is relying on an individual’s rationality, to make a judgment on the truthfulness, or otherwise, of a biblical account. This is the wrong way around. Our position is that we accept the truthfulness of the accounts of the Resurrection BECAUSE they are in the Bible, which is the inspired word of God. His comments about the origin of the universe are the giveaway. Stanley has shown that he will judge the truthfulness of the Bible, by reference to external standards, such as the Big Bang theory. The opposite angle would be the correct methodology – that is, we should judge the truthfulness or otherwise of cultural concepts, such as the Big Bang, by whether or not they agree with the biblical account.

One aspect of Stanley’s criticism is justified. Simply repeating “the Bible says so” as a mantra is insufficient. It is legitimate to delve further and ask why the Bible says something, or research the corollary of the truthfulness of a particular account. But at no point should such research place a higher authority on external standards than that of biblical truth. God’s word does not require our authentication. We require its authentication for our opinions.

Christmas Appeal at the Volcano

Christmas Appeal Slider

After our most successful season ever, in 2016, we are looking to the future of the Mount St Helens Creation Center. In 2017, we need to find permanent new premises for the ministry, if possible. With that in mind, we know that the building we are looking at needs refurbishment – painting and decorating. We also need to design, create, and install new displays for our Center, and have roadsigns posted at I-5 exit 49, to bring people to the Center.

All these things cost money. So we are asking that you would consider making a donation to our Christmas Appeal 2016. You can find the full details of our appeal, watch a video, and find out the benefits, by visiting our special FaithLauncher page.

FaithLauncher PageAny funds that we receive in this appeal will be used for:

  • Decoration of our hoped-for new premises.
  • Creation of new displays
  • Our podcast, The Mountain And The Word
  • Our Roku TV Channel – the Mountain Word Channel
  • A new venture: the Mountain Word Academy, training in apologetics and general education.