Interpreting the Creation Account
A correct interpretation of Genesis 1 – 3 does not necessitate compromise with scientific hypotheses. Nor should we attempt to read more into the historical narrative of Gen 1 – 3 simply so the academia will respect us because we, too, appear “scholarly”. Yet, some Christians are beginning to throw in the towel and suggest that the fallibility of science holds more authority than the infallibility of scripture and that we should begin interpreting Genesis in light of recent scientific findings. Such reasoning is fallible for the following reasons:
First, we are told in Num 12:6-8 that God spoke to Moses “clearly, and not in riddles.” Ex 24:4 tells us that Moses wrote down these words. These words were authenticated on Mt. Sinai by great powers and miracles intended to produce godly fear in the Israelite recipients (Ex 20:18-21). Even Joshua was told not to turn from these words “to the right or to the left” (Josh 1:6) and later encouraged the Israelites in the same (Josh 23:6). That being said, while the bible does indeed contain different genres of literature, the Creation account was never intended to be a mysterious, symbolic description of obscure events. It was intended to be a straight-forward, historical narrative to produce faith.
Second, various references to the Creation account from the rest of scripture show the Holy Spirit inspired authors interpreting it as literal history – this includes God Himself (Ex 20:8-11), David (Psa 33:6-9; 104-5-19; 136), Matthew (Matt 1:1-17), Luke (Luke 3:23-28), Paul (Rom 5:12-19; 1 Cor 11:8-9; 15:21-22, 45-47; 2 Cor 11:3; 1 Tim 2:13-14), and Jesus Christ (Matt 19:3-6; Mark 10:3-9). We can either believe these individuals or we can concede their authority to fallible, intellectually driven men. Considering that the inspired words were confirmed by miracles, signs, and wonders, they hold greater weight than even the “evidence” of science.
Third, scientific assumptions continue to change, and in many cases these changes are diametrically opposed to assumptions derived from previous evidence. In other words, science as a whole is fallible, subject to error, biased, limited, and ever-changing. And yet “the word of God endures forever” (1 Pet 1:25). We need to think about this when we’re tempted to exalt science to heights it cannot eternally sustain. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Luke 21:33).
Christians, we must guard our hearts and minds against the temptation to identify with the academia and intellectuals of our age. Of those who are saved, Paul said it is not many wise and not many noble (1 Cor 1:26) but those who believe (1 Cor 1:21).