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They are writing as though they know more than people who have spent their lives studying the inerrancy of Scripture.
Christian musicians Michael and Lisa Gungor, members of the Dove-award winning band Gungor, made headlines this week with their denial of the inerrancy of Scripture in Genesis. Then Michael Gungor declared in a clarifying blog post, “NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally” (emphasis Gungor’s).1
Of course, that is a misrepresentation of those of us who believe in the complete inerrancy of the Bible. When we take the Bible literally, we are reading it in what is called a natural manner—recognizing that the Psalms, for example, are poetry, that there are parables in the Bible, and so on.
Michael Gungor studied jazz guitar at Western Michigan University and the University of North Texas. His wife, Lisa, studied music at Oral Roberts University.2 Neither is a Bible scholar nor scientist. And yet, they are writing as though they know more than people who have spent their lives studying the inerrancy of Scripture and who—in many cases—have come to different conclusions.
On the Gungor Music blog, Michael uses a mocking tone to explain his view of the Bible’s account of history:
Do I believe that God literally drowned every living creature 5,000 years ago in a global flood except the ones who were living in a big boat? No, I don’t.
Why don’t I?
Because of science and rational thought.3
So in other words, man’s autonomous reasoning and what Gungor calls “science” supposedly mean we can’t take the account of the Flood in Genesis as a historical record.
So in other words, man’s autonomous reasoning and what Gungor calls “science” supposedly mean we can’t take the account of the Flood in Genesis as a historical record. But as we’ve explained many times on our website and elsewhere, “science” means knowledge. And there is a big difference between observational science (that builds our technology) and historical science (beliefs about the past—e.g., concerning origins). As you read his post, you realize that what he calls “science” is man’s beliefs concerning evolution and millions of years. So, when Gungor asks why he doesn’t believe in the literal Flood account from Genesis, he is really answering this way: “Because of my autonomous reasoning as a fallible sinful human taken with fallible man’s evolutionary views based on naturalism, I can’t take God’s Word as written in Genesis.”
In his rant against the biblical account of the global Flood, Michael Gungor attacked many aspects of the account. For instance he claims, “There is really just NO way to fit two of every kind of animal species on an ark.”4 First of all, Noah had to only take two of each kind—not species. Creation scientists have good reason to conclude that in the majority of instances, the Hebrew word translated “kind” in most instances corresponds to the family level of classification. For example, Noah probably only had to take two dogs on board, as all the different types of dogs today are most likely from a single canine “kind.” Secondly, taking into consideration the latest research of creation scientists, Noah may have only needed fewer than 1,000 kinds of animals on the Ark, thus needing only 2,000–3,000 animals.
Gungor also uses straw men arguments in his attempt to mock those of us who take the Flood account literally. Concerning the distribution of animals after the Flood, he just makes up the idea that Noah built “hundreds or thousands of boats” to hold all the animals “to send to every continent and island,” or that, he states, “God just did it Star Trek style and performed a beam me up miracle to everything.”5 Of course, all of this is written to misrepresent and make fun of those Christians who hold to a literal Genesis.
Ultimately, Gungor is declaring that he knows better than what the Bible writer clearly states. Furthermore, Gungor defends his views with a series of claims about science and the Bible:
We can prove that there are no “corners” of a flat earth (like some other pre-scientific writers in the Bible seemed to think). We can prove through the fossil record that the diversity of life gradually arose over millions of years and that there was never a global flood that made everything go extinct except for a single pair of every animal species 5,000 years ago. With archeology, DNA evidence, and common sense, we can prove that all human beings did not come from two individuals 6,000 years ago.6
To his first point, the writers of the Bible did not believe the earth was flat. Scripture repeatedly affirms the spherical shape of our planet. For example, Isaiah 40:22 mentions the “circle of the earth,” while Job 26:10 talks of a “circular horizon on the face of the waters”—put there by God Himself!7
Now, what about the supposed proof that life arose over millions of years and that there never was a global Flood? Scientists have not proven these beliefs—and they can’t. There is no evidence to confirm molecules-to-man evolution or long ages. We do not dig up fossils with tags on them telling us how old they are! But the fossil evidence does confirm a rapid burial from a catastrophic cause, consistent with the global Flood described in Genesis. What’s more, the layers in the fossil record appear to have been deposited by the Flood waters in a certain order, with single-cell fossils buried first and land animals buried last.8
In the same way, scientists cannot prove the origin of human beings. The fact that we descended from Adam and Eve is a divine revelation from God, found in Genesis.9 Now, certainly observational science confirms this. For instance, the Human Genome Project (2000) found that all humans belong to one race.
Evolution and creation, for example, are both part of historical science, because they are worldview-based and cannot be proven.
Gungor has been taught to believe in long ages (millions/billions of years), and he confuses observational science with historical science. Observational or experimental science can be tested and observed; it’s the science that can make things like the guitar Gungor plays. But historical or origins science cannot be tested or observed. Evolution and creation, for example, are both part of historical science, because they are worldview-based and cannot be proven.10
Gungor states, “I would be very surprised to find a single respected and educated theologian or biblical scholar that believes that one MUST read Noah’s flood completely literally down to the last detail to be ‘orthodox.’ That’s crazy!”11
But, even Friday and Saturday of this week, the Creation Research Society is hosting a conference here at our Creation Museum. This meeting features leading scientists, with PhDs in geology, biology, astrophysics, and so on, as well as scholars with qualifications in theology—and all are biblical creationists! And of course, AiG employs PhD scientists and trained theologians who certainly believe God’s Word in Genesis.
Gungor reveals his ignorance about what the Bible teaches about Bible/science matters. Does he know that Jesus quoted Genesis regarding the historicity of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:3–6), Noah, and the Flood (Matthew 24:38–39)? If Gungor says that we cannot trust the Bible when it comes to Genesis, then he is essentially calling Jesus a liar—as well as the Apostles Peter and Paul!
All of our doctrines ultimately come from Genesis. A denial of Genesis is an issue of authority: taking man’s word and undermining the very Word of God. If you accept millions of years of history, then you are saying that there was death before sin—clearly contradicting God’s Word, when the Bible states that the creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Michael Gungor also states the following:
And you can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth . . .
Gungor is not, and has never been a fundamentalist band seeking to spread young earth, biblical literalism across the planet.12
Now if Genesis is myth, then the gospel is also myth, as the first time the gospel is preached is in Genesis 3:15. Not only that, but the foundation of the gospel is in Genesis, where we read about the origin of sin, death, and our need for a Savior. And if, as Michael Gungor states, “With archeology, DNA evidence, and common sense, we can prove that all human beings did not come from two individuals 6,000 years ago”—then where did sin come from?13 If we are not all descendants of Adam, then where did we come from, and what does it mean that Jesus is the “last Adam”? Also, it is clearly taught in 1 Corinthians 11 that woman was made from man—just as Genesis 2 details. (Also Jesus refers to man and woman being “one flesh” in Matthew 19.)
Jesus and the Bible writers quoted the account of Noah in the New Testament. So if Genesis is myth, then Jesus is a liar and passages like Hebrews 11 can’t be trusted:
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. (Luke 17:26–27)
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
Now I want to be clear here: I am not saying Michael and Lisa Gungor aren’t Christians. If they profess Christ, no matter what they believe about Genesis they are still Christians. But as popular musicians, the Gungors have a responsibility as role models for the younger generation—a generation that mainly attends public schools and are being taught millions of years and evolutionary ideas.
If we can’t trust God’s Word in Genesis, then why are we to trust His Word in the gospels, particularly when Jesus affirmed Adam and Eve, Noah, and the Flood?
For those that look up to him, Michael Gungor’s statements could very well lead them to doubt or disbelieve the Bible altogether. If we can’t trust God’s Word in Genesis, then why are we to trust His Word in the gospels, particularly when Jesus affirmed Adam and Eve, Noah, and the Flood?
That point is my great concern—that the Gungors are influencing young people regarding the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible. The majority of our youth are already hearing from the public schools, media, museums, and so on, that evolution and millions of years are true and that the Bible is made up of fairy tales. Increasingly in this culture, we are hearing from professing Christians who say we do not have to trust the Bible in Genesis. As I state in my coauthored book Already Gone, two-thirds of young people are walking away from the church by the time they reach college age. This exodus is a big problem, and Christians need to stem this walking away by standing on the authority of God’s Word beginning with Genesis— and give answers as to why we can trust the Bible and its gospel message!
I would say that Gungor’s blog post comes across as an emotional, angry, and arrogant outburst, without any hint of wanting a respectful dialogue. Frankly, he should be held to account for his harsh tone in his blog. One church recently canceled an event with Gungor, and I think more churches will cancel his events once they realize the way in which they could lead young people astray by undermining the authority of God’s Word.14 And the church as a whole needs to demand that he apologize for his tone (as well as for his clearly anti-biblical teachings). At the very least, he should write respectfully about these issues.
As I said to the Baptist Press reporter who interviewed me on Friday, “We want to invite Michael and Lisa Gungor to the Creation Museum. If they get themselves here, we will put them up for the night and give them free passes to the Creation Museum and also give them access to our PhDs to talk to. We want the Gungors to understand the importance of taking God at His Word, from the very first verse.”
You can read Gungor’s mocking rant at this link—and maybe you will consider posting a firm but respectful comment about his teachings and his tone.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.