|Vol. 13 No. 3 March 2011||
David A. Sargent
Out of twelve sons, Joseph was Jacob’s favorite. As a display of his affection, Jacob made a coat of many colors for Joseph. “But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him” (Genesis 37:4 NKJV). When Joseph told his family of some dreams that indicated that his family members would one day bow down to him, his brothers hated him even more (Genesis 37:5-11). Their hatred for Joseph grew to the point where they wanted to kill him. Instead of killing him, they decided to sell him as a slave to a band of Ishmaelites who were on their way to Egypt (Genesis 37:12-28).
Now Joseph’s brothers faced a dilemma: what were they going to tell Jacob? They devised and implemented a plan: “So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood. Then, they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, ‘We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son’s tunic or not?’” (Genesis 37:31-32).
Jacob believed their scheme. Observing the coat of many colors saturated with blood, he cried, “It is my son’s tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces” (Genesis 37:33).
Jacob was honest in his assessment of the situation; he thought Joseph had been killed. He was honest, but he was honestly mistaken.
Saul was also honest in his convictions that he should persecute Christians. He said, “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9). However, when he was confronted by Christ, he understood clearly that he had not been doing God’s will. Saul was honest, but honestly mistaken.
From the examples of Jacob and Saul, we learn that it is possible for you and for me to be honest in our convictions, but honestly mistaken. We can be confident that something is the truth, but we can be wrong. How can we know then, if our convictions are true?
In His prayer to the heavenly Father, Jesus stated, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Thus, we can know our convictions are true when we derive our convictions from the word of truth, God’s Word. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Let’s be honest - the Lord requires it! Let’s also base our convictions on the Word of God lest we be honestly mistaken.
*I am indebted to Dr. Kenneth Randolph who first “planted” this principle in my heart and mind while I was a student at Faulkner University in Montgomery, AL. Thank you, Dr. Randolph!
Some still try to massage the Bible into agreement with unproven and unprovable macroevolutionary theory. Such compromises as the Day-Age Theory (redefining the days of Genesis 1:1-2) and the Gap Theory (inserting billions of years into Genesis 1:1-2) have been answered adequately and repeatedly (Niessen, Morris). So-called “Progressive Creationism” is refuted by Genesis 2:1-3 and Psalm 33:6, 9. Yet, some still attempt the impossible union of Christianity and Darwinian Evolution.
The course most Theistic Evolutionists take begins with an attempted relegation of Genesis 1-11 to the literary genre of mythology. It is not historical, they allege, since snakes don’t talk (Genesis 3) and universal floods don’t happen (Genesis 6-9). Never mind that Christians believe in other recorded miracles, like a donkey talking (Numbers 22) and a Savior’s resurrection. The consequences of such an irresponsible dismissal seem to escape them. In short, to wipe aside, or even metaphorically interpret Genesis 1-11, is to dismantle all of the Christian system.
The system of Judaism, the precursor of and tutor toward Christianity (Hebrews 8; Galatians 3), focused highly on the Sabbath rest theme. Yet, a Sabbath rest is based solely on the solar creation days of Genesis 1 (Exodus 20:8-11; Hebrews 4:4). Without the reality of Genesis 1, the entire Jewish economy collapses.
Jesus Christ (“Lord of the Sabbath” – Mark 2:28), the culmination of that Jewish system in law-keeping, prophecy and genealogy, loses all credibility if Genesis 1-11 is not historical. He taught, just as Genesis, that “from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). He further alluded to Noah’s flood as if it were fact (Matthew 24:36-39). Theistic evolutionists argue He was just thereby accommodating the masses’ false, ignorant viewpoint of Genesis’ historicity. Odd, it seems that “the Truth” (Jesus – John 14:6), who came to “bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37), promising truth’s revelation through apostles (John 16:13) and availability to all men (John 8:32) would even passively allow an erroneous belief to go unchecked. Such blatant dishonesty would destroy His claims to Divinity.
Further, the historical nature of the Christ is tediously verified by the genealogies peppering Scripture, being fully stated in Luke 3. If Genesis 1-11 is not history, then the first twenty persons leading to the Messiah (Adam through Terah) disappear. Are we called to follow a real Christ who descended from mythological creatures? That lays a blow to the credibility of Christ and the writing of Luke (and others).
The carnage to Christian Scripture does not stop. Without special Creation, Paul is wrong in Romans 1:20 to claim evidence for God’s existence from “things that are made.” The Hebrews writer would be in error by claiming “the worlds were framed by the word of God” (11:3). Peter would follow suit (2 Peter 3:5).
Perhaps theistic evolutionists could learn from Peter’s target in that chapter. Scoffers denied Christ’s return by appealing to uniformitarian doctrine – assuming things always were in history the way they were in their generation (2 Peter 3:4). Modern man bases geology on the same error, whether in dating sedimentary build-up or a rock’s radioactive decay. “This they,” like Peter’s contemporaries, “willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:5-6). In short, catastrophism is the biblically correct scientific prism. Without the Bible’s beginning, the rest of it, with its religion, is destroyed.
*Addendum: If God guided evolution from microbe to man, at what point was the soul instilled? Did any being have a half-soul? Was any creature before man subject to sin and salvation? Then, to what will man evolve? Will he have a higher soul, in need of another redeemer?
Morris, Henry. “The Gap Theory – An Idea with Holes?” First published Creation 10(1): 35-37, December 1987. <https://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v10/i1/gaptheory.asp>.
Niessen, Richard. “Theistic Evolution and the Day-Age Theory,” (n.d.) Institute for Creation Research. <https://www.icr.org/article/theistic-evolution-day-age-theory/>.