Tuesday evening opened with a few songs by Buddy Davis. Buddy writes his song with the goal of upholding the authority of God's Word, especially in Genesis. He has also been involved in several videos produced by Answers in Genesis. His latest DVD, based on a dinosaur fossil dig Buddy led in Montana, was released this past week and will soon be available from our online store.
Dr. Steven Boyd: The Power of Genre in Genesis 1–11
Up until the nineteenth century, the vast majority of Christians believed that God created everything in six ordinary-length days approximately 6,000 years ago. As a result of the growing consensus in the scientific community that the earth was much older, many Christian leaders sought to find ways to harmonize the text of Genesis with the idea of long ages. The earliest attempts (the Gap Theory and the Day-Age Theory) were somewhat literal in their approach to Genesis 1. They interpreted certain words or phrases in a figurative or spiritual fashion, but treated the majority of the chapter as literal.
Over the years, the many flaws in these ideas have been pointed out, so those who seek to harmonize the text have developed another tactic—reclassifying the genre of Genesis 1 as something other than historical narrative. Many modern scholars, including many considered to be conservative evangelicals, have claimed that Genesis 1 is poetic, semi-poetic, or even myth.
Dr. Boyd highlighted the various problems with these attempts to reclassify Genesis. Specifically, he demonstrated how a genre is marked by certain features. In fact, those characteristic features are what we use to determine the genre.
About ten years ago, Dr. Boyd was involved in the RATE group and he performed a statistical analysis of various passages considered by scholars to be historical narrative and others that are poetic. Two clear examples of the differences between these genres are found in Exodus 14–15 and Judges 4–5. Exodus 14 consists of the historical account of the Israelites’ Red Sea crossing and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. Exodus 15 is a song of Moses, which is the poetic account of the same events. The differences in the language used are readily apparent.
The same is true in Judges 4, the historical account of Sisera’s defeat, and Judges 5, the poetic account of that event. Based on a statistical analysis of the type of Hebrew verbs used, Dr. Boyd concluded that we can be extremely confident that Genesis 1 was written as historical narrative. When read as historical narrative, the meaning of Genesis 1 is clear: God created everything in six normal-length days, and He did not use any evolutionary processes.
Dr. Jason Lisle: The Ultimate Proof of Creation
Based on his book by the same title, Dr. Lisle’s presentation describes a devastating critique of all naturalistic theories of the origin of life and the universe. Dr. Lisle explains that science is only possible because the Bible is true, since only the Bible provides us with the “preconditions of intelligibility.” Three of the most important preconditions are laws of logic, morality, and uniformity of nature.
Since naturalists (this term is not being used to refer to field biologists, but to people who hold to a naturalistic philosophy) believe only in the material world, it is inconsistent for them to believe in laws of logic. While it is true that many naturalists use logic, they cannot account for its existence from their own worldview. After all, laws of logic are immaterial, they are concepts. You can’t stub your toe on a law of logic. So they could not exist if naturalism were true.
Morality would not exist in a naturalistic world either. If we were simply the result of random chance processes and there was no God to set the rules, then morality is relative. Each person could decide for himself or herself (or each society decides for itself) what is right or wrong. There cannot be an “ought” in a naturalistic world.
Finally, if evolution were true then nature would not be uniform. In other words, we could not expect today to be like yesterday or tomorrow to be like today. After all, if everything is constantly changing, then how could we perform experiments and expect the same results over an extended period of time? (Note: uniformity in nature is not the same as uniformitarianism, which is the underlying philosophy of every old-earth view. Popularly defined as “the present is the key to the past,” uniformitarianism uses modern rates and extrapolates them into the past.)
In short, if evolution were true, science would be impossible.
I’m looking forward to another great day at the Mega Conference. Keep praying for the speakers and for those in attendance. Thanks for reading!