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Genesis - Who would make this up?

One of the things that truly lends credibility to the historic nature of the Old Testament is something that is often referred to as "the embarrassment factor".  If something would be embarrassing to the main character, or "hero", then it is most likely true.  Especially if those people are held in high esteem or leaders, since you would not expect that anyone recording the history of their founders or heroes would record these types of details if they were seeking to hold that person in any sort of reverence.

I like to refer to this as the "who would make this up?" factor.  I listened to the first 25 chapters of Genesis today.  And it is just crazy how numb the patriarchs were.  Now, this isn't really a dig against them, because if someone were to record my history, it would be just as humbling.  But it does help to demonstrate the point... if my kids write my biography, and include all the dumb stuff, the stuff you will most likely believe is the stuff that shows me to be truly human, and you would probably take with a grain of salt the stuff that compares me to Billy Graham and the apostle Paul.  (sorry... I know, that's just waay over the top)

Anyway, here's just a few examples of what I'm talking about:

Noah gets drunk and lays around naked (Genesis 9:20-25).  Think about it... You have just taken 120 YEARS to build a boat because of your tremendous faith in God.  The Lord's promise stands, and He destroys the entire population of the earth with a flood that covers even the highest mountain by 20 feet.  You, out of the entire human race, have been saved.  Noah, what are you going to do?  "I think I'll build a vineyard, make some wine, get drunk, and lay in my tent naked."  Follow this up by one of his sons making fun of him, and getting cursed by Noah.  Hero of the faith?  PRECISELY!

The interaction between God, Abraham, and Sarah (Genesis 18:10-15).  Sarah is overhearing a conversation between God and Abraham.  She is around 90 years old, and Abraham is about 100 years old.  God is telling Abraham that Sarah is going to have a child.  Sarah's response?  A big old barren belly laugh.  Then God asks Abraham, "Hey man, why's your wife laughing when I said she's going to have a baby?"  Sarah says, "I didn't laugh", and Abraham says "Yes you did, You think He can't hear you?" (my translation)  Too funny.

Abraham negotiating with God for the number of righteous people in Sodom (Genesis 18:23-32).  God tells Abraham He's going to check out Sodom and Gomorrah and see if it's as bad as everyone's telling Him.  Abraham then promptly asks God if He'd save the city if He found 50 good people in it.  God says, "sure, if there's 50, I'll save it."  At this point, Abraham starts this whacky reverse auction, and whittles God down to 45, 40, 30, 20, and finally 10 people.  Why not just ask for 10 in the first place?  To repeat myself, "Who would make this up?"

Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:6-8 and 19:30-36).  One word - whacked.  Lot has angels visit him at his home in Sodom.  In the first passage, he tries to ward a crowd off of his visitors by offering them his two virgin daughters.  What?  How about a servant or two first?  How about a little bit of a fight?  Nope, just take my daughters.  In the second passage, these daughters, whose virginity was protected from the crowd and who were rescued from the destruction with which God pounded Sodom and Gomorrah, decide that the only way they can have kids is to get their dad drunk and sleep with him.  Two nights in a row.

And I'm only halfway through Genesis.

Again, I ask... "who would make this up?"


So I'm taking an Old Testament Survey course through the external studies program at Southern Evangelical Seminary.  I've started the reading (there's a ton of it) and hope to get the classes and Bible books on my IPod in the next couple days to use on my commute.

I hope to spend some time on a topic that was in the news today.  Ken Ham and team opened the Creation Museum today.  Looks like a really cool place, and kudos to these folks for putting together something that is top notch.

So, how old is the earth?  What a huge question, and let me say right at the outset how much I have to learn about everything that goes on in this debate.  Ken Ham and team have done an awesome job defending the Bible as true scientifically, but it seems like a long row to hoe when new discoveries are being made all the time.  What baffles and amazes me is how many different views there are on this topic from among evangelical scholars. 

They all seem to agree that the secular principle required of the Big Bang, which is "something coming from nothing and from no one" is entirely irrational and leaves all the big and important questions unanswered.  After this point, evanglical scholars seem to be across the board when it comes to "how long" God took to create, and "how" He created.

It amazes me how many authors choose to sidestep the debate entirely.  JI Packer, my favorite author of all time, has not published anything that I have found relating to the topic.  I discovered his views on the topic by listening to his systematic theology classes on my commute.  He was the first to expose me to the "Literary Hypothesis" or "Framework Hypothesis", which, boiled down, simply relates that Genesis celebrates the fact of creation by God, while not giving Moses a scientific degree as it relates to all the whens and hows.

Packer leaves all of the details to Henri Blocher, another favorite author of mine.  His book, In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis, is a masterful work that is detailed and sensitive to other points of view.  I recommend it highly.  Hugh Ross expounds the old earth in A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy, a lot of detail I haven't had enough time (or brainpower) to truly delve into, but he's a strong Christian and has lots and lots of good points.  John MacArthur pretty much slams him around in Battle For The Beginning, but leaves a number of questions unanswered as well.  And all of Ken Ham's stuff is a good read as well.

If you get through all the material in the above paragraph, you'll be in good shape to have a somewhat intelligent debate with someone about the age of the earth.  But let's please, please, please remember the Gospel of Jesus Christ is foremost.  All creation points to Him, and is waiting for His return.  How long God took to speak its existence is secondary.


Welcome to TR

"But is it true?"

This question was posed to me years ago by Dr. Win Corduan in a class at Taylor University.  He challenged me to test out the Christian faith and determine if it was true or not.  Since that time, apologetics, or defending the Christian faith, has been a passion of mine. 

This blog is dedicated to helping people learn about the evidences for Christianity as well as helping Christians be better able to defend Jesus Christ against so many philosophies that are constantly springing up and do not meet Paul's criteria of being "true and reasonable".

Dr. Corduan has written a book entitled No Doubt About It.  For the average person, this is one of the best books on apologetics that you can find.  There are some deep parts that need to be read a few times, but it is well worth the effort. The chapters on the nature of truth, the existence of God and the problem of evil are excellent. The vignettes at the beginning and end of each chapter really help to make the content of the chapter practical. You can get your copy of No Doubt About It by clicking on the link to the right.  Corduan continues to teach at Taylor University, you can visit his blog by clicking here.