Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Does the Christian faith depend upon its historical teachings? Definitely! Paul wrote that without the resurrection as a historical fact, there can be no hope for the Christian:

·       And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19; NIV)

If Jesus hadn’t been raised from the dead, there is no reason to hope that we will be. In contrast, many teach that we cannot trust the Bible’s teachings about history. In “Handbook of Christian Apologetics,” Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli (K/T) offer the example of one Neo-orthodox theologian who denied the necessity of a historical basis for the faith:

·       Rudolph Bultmann said that “if the bones of the dead Jesus were discovered tomorrow in a tomb in Palestine, all the essentials of the Christianity would remain unchanged.” He thought Christianity was essentially an ethic, a blueprint for a good life rather than “good news.” (214)

This, of course is absolutely absurd. If Jesus didn’t historically die on the Cross for our sins, we are still in our sins, and there can be no theology of the Cross. Nor can there be any gratitude, joy, or any rational reason to follow Him. Consequently, Christianity would not even serve as a “blueprint for a good life.”

Besides, there are no compelling reasons to believe that the Bible teaches historical inaccuracies. K/T write:

·       Has archeology found nothing to invalidate the claims of the Bible? Nothing. In every single case where the two overlap, the results have been that some biblical claims have been proved, some rendered probable, and none simply disproved by archeology…All claims of contradiction have suffered the fate of the walls of Jericho and some tumbling down. (217)

K/T claim that this same principle also pertains to Biblical prophecies:

·       No prophecy has ever been disproved, and many have been proved true by history. Jesus fulfilled at least thirty, perhaps as many as three hundred, specific and distinct Old Testament messianic prophecies. (217)

K/T claim that today, many cite alleged contradictions between science [evolution] and the Bible. Others claim that evolution can be reconciled with the Bible. In “Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution,” Karl Giberson tried to do just that—to wed the Bible and Darwin. However, in the process, he describes how the acid of Darwin’s theory corroded his faith in the Biblical account:

·       Acid is an appropriate metaphor for the erosion of my fundamentalism, as I slowly lost confidence in the Genesis story of creation and the scientific creationism that placed this ancient story within the framework of modern science….[Darwin’s] acid dissolved Adam and Eve; it ate through the Garden of Eden; it destroyed the historicity of the events of creation week. It etched holes in those parts of Christianity connected to the stories—the fall, “Christ as the second Adam,” the origins of sin, and nearly everything else that I counted sacred. (9-10)

How did Giberson reconcile the Bible with Darwinism? By denying the historicity of the Bible, specifically the first 11 chapters of Genesis! No history, no contradictions between the two parties! If Adam wasn’t historically created by God from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), then room becomes available for evolution to creep in. Giberson and many other theistic evolutionists have accomplished this by degrading the Biblical account to a merely spiritual message, having stripped it of its historical content.

However, K/T correctly observe that to deny the Bible’s history is also to deny the Bible’s theology:

·       If the Fall didn’t really happen in history, then God rather than humanity is to blame for sin, for God must have created us as sinners rather than innocents. If there was never any real unfallen state, then we were sinners from the first moment of our creation, and God was wrong to declare everything he made “good.” (213)

Did Giberson have any compelling reason to strip Genesis of its historical content? Not according to K/T, who claim that the theory of evolution fails to receive the expected scientific support:

·       The scientific problems include the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record, the suddenness of the appearance of new species, and the total absence of any empirical evidence for the inheritance of environmentally acquired characteristics, except within a species. In other words, there is no convincing empirical evidence of one species evolving into another. (219)

To make matters worse, in order to defend a history-less Genesis 1-11, the theistic evolutionist must then deny the clear meaning of many New Testament references to these chapters, all of which regard Genesis as history.

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