THE GENESIS CREATION ACCOUNT by John Oakes, Ph.D.
As most of us are aware, many in today?s rationalistic/materialistic world would
claim that the creation account in Genesis is simply a myth.? What is our response
to this claim?? Many who believe that the creation account is a myth are professed
Christians.? What is the effect on a supposed believer who assumes that the Genesis
creation account is a myth?? The effect is a relativist perspective.? In other
words, if the Genesis account is a myth, then major parts of the Bible can be
considered as not verbally inspired.? If that is true, then different ?Christians?
can hold to radically different beliefs, even on the foundational doctrines
of Christianity.? It is all a matter of opinion, anyway.? It is true for you,
but not true for me.? In fact, the Christian ?tradition? as well as the traditions
of Islam, Hunduism, Buddhism and the rest are all just different paths to the
same God.? Where does this logical progression leave a person?? It leaves them
in a position to pick and choose those parts of the Bible they are willing to
accept as relevant to their lives.? This cafeteria style Christianity represents
the predominant form of religion in our culture.
Which is the cause and which is the effect?? Did a relativistic perspective
cause people to assume that Genesis is a myth or did caving in to the belief
that Genesis chapter one is a myth cause people to accept a relativistic view
of religion?? Probably the former is the case.? For this reason, the truth of
the Genesis creation account may be a secondary line of defense for Bible believers.?
Those who use the claim that the creation account in the Bible is a myth as
an excuse for their taking the Bible only half-seriously are probably not revealing
the true cause for their unbelief.? Anyone who accepts the world?s philosophy
that what is right for you does not have to be right for me will probably end
up in the same place.? They will flee from taking any radical stance.? They will
flee from the true Jesus.
But this brings out the real problem in the basic assumption of our modern world
culture.? The assumption is that there is no absolute truth in areas of morality
and religion.? The problem with this assumption is that it is patently false.?
Two diametrically opposed beliefs cannot both be true.? Jesus and Muhammad cannot both
be true prophets because their teachings are radically opposed to one another.
That being true, then one cannot have it both ways on the Bible either.? If
the Bible is inspired by God, then Genesis one cannot be a myth.? Therefore
the Bible believer must face up to the question.? Does the creation account
on Genesis show the marks of a man-made myth or of an inspired account?
For a more thorough treatment of this question, the reader may want to look
at Douglas Jacoby?s book, Genesis, Science & History, or at my book Is there
a God?, but I would like to bring out a few points here.
The fact is that there are dozens of ancient cultures whose creation accounts
have been recorded.? Such accounts include fanciful details like turtles, giant
milk bowls, lumps of mud and the like.? None of these accounts can be taken
seriously on a scientific basis.? None of them.? But there is one exception, which
is the Biblical account of creation.? In Genesis chapter one the creation is
initiated with the words ?Let there be light.??? It just so happens that cosmologists
(those who study the physics of the history of the universe) believe that the universe
began with a unimaginably huge flash of light commonly known as the big bang.?
The Biblical creation account goes on to relate from the perspective of the
earth how an ocean and an atmosphere appeared first.? As the earth?s crust hardened,
the lighter rocks pushed to the surface, and eventually dry land pushed above
the water.? Science and the Bible agree here (Genesis 1:6-10).? Finally, life
appeared, with ever-increasingly complex life forms, from plants to birds and
mammals.? Finally, according to Genesis chapter one, man appeared on the earth.?
That which we know from science does not appear to conflict with what is revealed
about creation by God in Genesis chapter one.
Given all we can know from science about the life history of the universe and
of the earth, the creation account in Genesis is a simplification.? But would
one expect anything else?? Considering the original audience, the Hebrew nation
over a thousand years before Christ, would one expect a detailed account of all
the epochs and eras discoverable by paleontologists?? Should we expect that
God would have described the physiology of trilobites in his creation story
to his people given that they were long extinct?? Obviously not.
In his creation account to his people, God reveals that he and he alone created
the universe and everything in it.? God?s account is a radical departure from
the man-made myths of ancient cultures for a good reason.? God was around when
it all happened.? He can provide an ?eye? witness account!? The relativistic
position of modern religion is standing on shaky legs.? There are not many paths
to truth.? The world needs to be confronted with the real Jesus:? the one who
holds the entire creation together, for by him all things were created:?? things in
heaven and on earth (Collossians 1:15-18).
And God saw that it was good?.