This article shows that denying the historicity of Genesis is to question the credibility of Christ and deny our identity.

Source: The Evangelical Presbyterian, 2013. 1 pages.

The Genesis Foundation

There is much in church and society in the UK today to cause alarm. Our once dominant Christian culture has been greatly eroded and is barely visible at many levels. Often there is a clearly dissemble disdain for Christian beliefs and increasing attacks on Christian values by the media and government. The result is that many of our traditional Christian norms of society are close to meltdown. Recently the focus has been on the meaning of marriage and how it is defined, while in the past there have been significant changes in legislation concerning sexuality and Sunday trading. There is repeated ongoing pressure regarding euthanasia, abortion and genetic engineering. Most of Britain can no longer be regarded as Christian.

The biblical basis for traditional Christian understanding of these things is derived foundationally from Genesis. Historically Genesis has been the main target for liberal theologians as well as atheists and infidels who recognise its crucial importance for the credibility of Christian faith. The same kind of battles continue today.

Interestingly many of the same kind of issues were around in New Testament times and Jesus repeatedly refers back to Genesis to support his case in his regular debates with the Pharisees and Sadducees. Genesis is the most frequently quoted book in the NT with over 200 references, more than half of which are related to chapters 1-11. In every case Genesis is treated as absolutely historical, true and reliable. It is impossible for one to reject the authority and historicity of Genesis without undermining and repudiating the credibility of Jesus and the whole Bible (2 Tim. 3:16). Sadly many professing Christians including ministers no longer regard Genesis as historical accurate or authoritative and even in evangelical circles there are attempts to distort its teaching through a variety of approaches.

None of these have as their starting point problems of interpretation due to other passages of scripture. Instead they are based on the unjustified assumption that the findings of science are more reliable than the teachings of the Bible and therefore interpretation of the Bible must be changed to accommodate this. Few people realise that the view that the sun rotated round the earth held stubbornly by the church and overthrown by Galileo in 1619 had been the predominant scientific axiom for nearly 1500 years. The church's view had been determined by science and its interpretation of scripture adjusted for it. The historic battle damaged the credibility of the church immensely. Understandings of science are always relative, and thus subject to revision. Recent misunderstandings of "junk DNA" and "vestigial organs" make the point. They should never, like scripture, be regarded as absolute truth. The early chapters of Genesis provide foundational teaching on the nature of God and man and how each are intended to relate to the other. They focus on the origin of the universe and its inhabitants and how God wanted society to be organised e.g. the family, work ethic and the Sabbath day. They explain why our world today is characterised by imperfection, evil, death and suffering. They chart the disclosure of God's plan of redemption which is the golden chain linking together the other 65 books of the Bible.

Genesis is arguably the most important book ever written. If it was left out of the Bible much of what is left would be incomprehensible. It tells us who we are, why we exist and what we are here for. Everyone needs to read it carefully and thoughtfully for it is foundational to the Christian faith. In subsequent articles we will deal with some of the major issues taught in Genesis and consider how they interface smoothly with science as it is correctly understood.

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