Yes, God Hath Said

It pains me whenever an evolutionary creationist is accused by a young-earth creationist of having the mindset of Satan. YECs are notorious for leveling the accusation that we are saying, “Hath God said?” when it comes to origins issues. My friends, that just isn’t the case.

According to 2 Timothy 3:16, all of Scripture is God-breathed. That means that it finds its ultimate origin in the mouth of God. Whatever is written in the Scriptures is God speaking. So, yes, God hath said. God spoke Genesis 1-11. God spoke the entire Bible. The question then shifts from, “Hath God said?” to “What meaneth God by what he hath said?” (or in modern English, what does God mean by what he’s said). The issue, friends, is not one of authorship or authority, but one of interpretation.

It is here that some of my YEC brothers and sisters begin to chafe. They assume (incorrectly) that their reading is void of interpretation. “Just read the text,” they say, as though they were not interpreting it through their post-Enlightenment Western eyes, allowing their modern presuppositions to seep in and color the text. Everyone interprets: YECs, OECs, ECs; everyone comes to the text with certain presuppositions that shift the way they interpret the text. The ultimate goal, of course, is to set aside those presuppositions as much as possible and read the text as the original audience would have; but that requires interpretation of archeological evidence and the interpretation of other biblical passages that may shed light on Genesis. There is no avoiding the fact that we must interpret, and oftentimes, interpretation is difficult work that requires careful study and diligent scholarship.

What am I not saying here? I am not saying the Bible is some code book that only scholars can read. Anyone can pick up a copy of the Scriptures and profit from them. But not all passages are alike in their clarity of expression or as transparent in their meaning. I believe Genesis 1 especially is a text that can be hard to understand, simply because it is written in the context of a culture that no longer exists and had a different mindset than we do. The central message is clear, that God is creator of all, that mankind is made in his image, that the seventh day is to be honored as holy; but the length of the days or how days even existed before the sun was created or whether or not the seventh day ever ended or what the firmament was like, etc. etc. – these are all questions that must be addressed through careful reading and study of the text.

I’d better stop now before I wander too far afield. Suffice it to say that evolutionary creationists by and large do not question that the Bible is God’s Word. We simply differ as to what it means. There certainly are some that are far to my left who deny inerrancy and otherwise fail to uphold the Scriptures as infallible and authoritative, but they are often liberal in other areas anyway and thus demonstrate their own apostasy through ardent feminism or promotion of the gay agenda or the denial of supernaturalism or what have you. Conservative Christians like me who see no issue with the science of evolution and the big bang will still continue to speak of Scripture’s absolute authority and infallibility; we’d never be caught dead acting like Satan.

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