Final Term Assignment for Richard Peachey, Willingdon School of the Bible. Genesis 1-11 From Creation to the Flood
(A hypothetical, but pretty close to real scenario)
At the end of a rockhounding day, above Harrison, a sharp piece of shale punctured the tire of my Sunfire. No spare and miles out of cellphone range, so friends in the second vehicle took my tire down to the nearest garage.
Jackie and I settled down for a long wait. With coffee and sandwiches we discussed life, the universe, and everything. Naturally we talked about the fossilized brachiopods, trilobites and ammonites we’d found that day.
Jackie said, “It’s so awesome that paleontologists date our fossils to the Paleozoic, 500 million years ago.” She hadn’t noticed how easily those dates get re-assigned. Carbon-dating is only good for some 50,000 years, and other methods for dating rocks and fossils are based on assumptions built into computer models. Fossils are assigned dates by the rocks they’re found in, and the rocks are dated by these fossil markers. Circular reasoning, round and round, arriving at a desired date, largely pre-determined, by an a priori commitment to long ages necessary to sustain the theory of the evolution. However, rocks from known volcanic eruptions, within recorded history, yield wildly differing, incorrect ancient ages.
Jackie was astounded when I said God created the world in six days, some six-thousand years ago. “Take this aspirin.Obviously you hurt your head falling off the back of that turnip wagon.” I thanked her and shared my chocolate bar with her. The ultimate truth of the age of the universe and all life in it, is revealed to us in the Bible, by God who was there, in the beginning, who created everything, and who gave us his book about our origins, our ancient history and his will for our lives.
Jackie continued, “The Bible is just one of many Near Eastern creation myths.”
I knew this was a challenge far more important than a flat tire and asked the Lord for his Spirit to communicate his truth to my friend. “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him.” – James 1:5
Our beginnings as recorded in Genesis are foundational to all that follows in the entire Bible. Christians who think we can skip over creation and the flood, forget at least twenty-five New Testament passages that refer to Genesis and take 1 to 11 literally. Satan, the enemy of our souls, works to destroy trust in Genesis. “Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.” 1
The panorama of rivers and valleys cut through sedimentary deposition below us was breathtakingly beautiful, and I said, “Jackie the flood and catastrophism of Noah’s day wiped out all animal life on the face of the earth, and left radically altered geologic features. These fossils, once vibrant life, were caught up in mass upheavals when God opened up the deeps, and the sky poured rain, forty days and nights.”
2 Peter 3:5…… “fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.”
Jackie: .. “Hey my Sunday School teacher was a respected professor from Trinity Western University who taught the flood in Genesis 6 was limited to the area of the Black Sea, about 5,000 years ago.”
“But“, I replied, “The Bible tells us waters covered all the high mountains, to a depth of fifteen cubits, (twenty feet). Should we believe the mere man, who was not there, or the Creator God who was?”
Jackie knew fossils are found at the highest elevations everywhere, worldwide. She said, “Well that might suggest a global flood is a better explanation for marine fossil’s on mountain tops.”
We’d often gone to the McAbee Fossil Beds, south of Cache Creek before the BC government made it a heritage site. High above that valley, billions of dead things are buried in rock layers, many embedded in paper thin layers that captured bugs, bees, spiders, flowers, fish, birds, plants and trees,…… and slammed them into a cementing matrix, in the midst of vibrant life. Those rocks proclaim a massive, violent, worldwide catastrophic event. We hold the story of Noah’s flood in our hands at McAbee, in China, Morocco, England, the U.S. Everywhere on earth sedimentary rock layers, containing billions upon billions of every life form, preserved in perfect detail, past life from tiny insects to massive T-Rex,… all a witness to the global flood.
Richard Peachey wrote this for a children’s lecture: “SADDLE CATNAP”
Jackie’s liberal church said the Bible copied earlier Mesopotamian myths. These are bizarre scenarios of multiple gods and their myriad intrigues. I drew on Richard’s summary of ‘Enuma elish the Epic of Creation, and his overview of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an alternate creation account and an ancient flood story, as we talked about stories from Ancient Near Eastern literature. These are probably the creation of contest literature, ….stories to fill the hours around camp-fires, desert caravans and long sea voyages. ANE history is fragmentary, so it’s not clear how much influence these fables had on the lives of ordinary people.
“The main Babylonian flood legend [i.e., in Gilgamesh tablet Xl], p. 2680 in particular, is ‘steeped in the silliest polytheism, ‘to quote the words of Dillmann. The gods are divided in their counsel, false to one another and to man; they flee in consternation to the highest heaven and cower like dogs in their distress; they quarrel and lie and gather over the sacrificer like a swarm of hungry flies! In the Babylonian accounts the moral or ethical motive is almost completely absent……3
Jackie said, “Reams of evidence confirms our ascent from lower creatures to our present form”, so I told her about a book I’m reading, in which …..”Our evidence for the first appearance of man or of man-like creatures, sometimes called hominids, and of their gradual evolution over hundreds of thousands of years is distressingly meager.”..……page 6, “The origins of Modern Man (homo sapiens) are shrouded in mystery.” page 7. 4
Maybe it’s just as well that Jackie lost interest in church early in life. There was so much teaching there to erode a child’s ability to trust the Bible is true. Her church taught her that in our modern times, scientists have proven we’re here today as the result of primeval microscopic life forms slowly and gradually, through mutations and natural selection, producing more complex creatures, over many millions of years.
She said, “God used the process of evolution, but he knew Adam and Eve and those brutish early humans were not educated, like us, so he had to tell them fiction stories about creation and a big flood”
What’s a kid like Jackie to do when Kenton L. Sparks who declares himself to be an evangelical, says, “There is ample evidence that the authors of Scripture were not modern historians or scientists, and equally compelling evidence that evolutionary biology provides the best explanation for life’s origins, including human origins.” 5
Jackie, I said,…..”A ‘god’ who tells falsehoods to his people is not worthy of the love of our ancestors, nor would this ‘god’ be worthy of our worship. Adam and Eve were the creme de la creme of all humanity. There will never be humans to match their perfect beauty, intelligence, strength and health, because they were made in the image of the creator himself. Adam and Eve were the ultimate in human perfection.”
Admittedly, It is a profound puzzle why they chose to disobey God, making big trouble for themselves and everyone of us born after their sinful rebellion.
Evangelical churches allow false teachers to distort the clear teaching of Genesis 1:26 where God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion,……vs. 27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”……..vs. 31: And God saw everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.”
Pattle T. Pun, though accepting the theory of evolution wrote: “It is apparent that the most straightforward understanding of the Genesis record, without regard to all the hermenuetical considerations suggested by [evolutionary] science, is that God created heaven and earth in six solar days, that man was created in the sixth day, that death and chaos entered the world after the Fall of Adam and Eve, that all of the fossils were the result of the catastrophic universal deluge which spared only Noah’s family and the animals therewith.” 6
Jackie said, “You Christians are no better than the rest of the human race. Every day’s news tells about corrupt Christians in government, clergy caught in immoral behaviour, sports heroes who cheat, and divorce in church families ”
I agreed, “That’s why we can’t place our faith in any fellow human, since, ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. Jesus Christ alone committed no sin. He, the sinless one bore all our sins on himself, when he died on the cross of Calvary, two-thousand years ago. PBPGINFWMY was a button we used to wear in the ’70’s. ‘Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet’.
God created us all, rich, poor, people of every tribe, nation and colour. We’re all created in God’s own image, one race, back to Adam and Eve, starting again with Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their three (unnamed) wives, after God destroyed all life on earth except those on the Ark, by his terrible flood. We lost our beautiful home in Eden, but two thousand years ago Jesus Christ, God incarnate paid the price for our sins, once for all. Now Paradise is waiting for everyone who believes in Jesus our Saviour. Death which no longer has power over believers, is now the entrance to eternal life, forever with our Creator, Saviour and friend.
Take teachers with a generous dollop of critical thinking. Here’s the esteemed church father Origen, (184 to 254 AD): “What man of intelligence will believe that the first and second and the third day, and the evening and the morning existed without the sun and moon and the stars? And that the first day, if we may so call it, was even without a heaven? And who is so silly as to believe that God, after the manner of a farmer, “planted a garden eastward in Eden,” and set in it a palpable “tree of life”?……I do not doubt these are figurative expressions which indicate certain mysteries through a semblance of history and not through actual events.” 7
John Sailhamer, a current day church hero teaches that everything in the universe was already created by the time we get to Genesis 1:1, that everything had come about by some indefinite deep time process. Having denied God’s revelation, Sailhamer must mangle the rest of Scripture in his attempt to make it harmonize with his distortions, and attempt to accommodate the Bible with evolution.
God forbids tampering with his holy words, “I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” – Revelation 22:18
Evolution has disease, destruction, violence and death existing millions of years before Genesis. Don Batten’s “Age of the Earth: 101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth and Universe” is really worthwhile reading. 8
I said, “Jackie, someday I hope you will see the Lord Jesus Christ is your dearest friend because “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
It was dark and cold when we saw lights bobbing up the mountain track With relief we greeted friends, repaired tire, and coffee and donuts.
Homeward bound, I reflected that someday I will leave this world for my eternal home. I hope Jackie can share heaven because I have lived for a time on earth with her.
1 G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, -1 1.American Atheist, p. 30, February 1978.
2 ‘SADDLE CATNAP’ — Ten Reason Why the Genesis Flood Must Have Been a Global Event” – Richard Peachey
3 Alexander Heidel, The Gilgamesh Epic. [2nd edition]. [Chicago; The University of Chicago Press, 1949], p. 2680 writes: “The main Babylonian flood legend [i.e., in Gilgamesh tablet Xl],
4 ‘A Survey Of European Civilization’ Wallace K. Ferguson and Geoffrey Bruun, Houghton Mifflin Company/Boston – 1964, page 6
5 Charles Halton, ed., quotes Kenton L. Sparks Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters [Grand Rapids, Ml: Zondervan, 2015] page 111
6 (Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, March 1987,p.14)
7 G.W.. Butterworth, Origen on First Principles (London: SPCK, 1936), 288.]
McAbee Fossils below: