Last night I watched and heard an answer to this question in a documentary entitled “Is Genesis History?” aired in a local theater. I almost missed the movie, as it flew under my radar. One email alerted me to what was described as a “fascinating look at the biblical, historical, and scientific evidence for Creation and the Flood” in which we can “learn from more than a dozen scientists and scholars as they explore the world around us in light of Genesis.”
I now know that this movie will be shown again in selective theaters on March 2. The producers of this movie point out how Dr. Del Tackett, creator of ‘The Truth Project,” invested a year traveling to the right places to ask the right questions of the right people for the new documentary “Is Genesis History?”
The movie answers Is Genesis History? with a resounding yes. It’s well worth seeing, though a wee bit technical for children. The young teenagers on my left grew restless. Many adults found the introductory advertisements and “vetting of quoted scientists” more than a bit tedious. However, publicizing the qualifications of these Creationist experts did enhance the credibility and persuasiveness of this documentary.
Since the movie is swimming against the overwhelming tide of secular scientists and their view of science and non-creationist evolution, we can well understand the concerted effort to emphasize the academic credentials of these Christian scientists. One Creationist reviewer, G. Shane Morris, writes on his blog: “If young-age creationists are right, we face nothing less than a massive, multi-generational mistake near the heart of science.” We need the most gifted “Davids” to take the field!
One of the scientists quoted in the movie, Dr. Paul Nelson, has objected to this documentary presenting what he calls a “false dichotomy” between the “conventional paradigm” that believes in a non-designed, evolutionary, 13.7-billion-year (“deep time”) explanation for our life on this planet within our universe and the “historical Genesis paradigm” that believes in a God-created “young earth.”
Although he firmly believes God created us and our universe, he also believes there is more than this one “young earth” paradigm for Christians. He refers to Christians like William Lane Craig, Alvin Plantinga, Michael Behe, and others who see “unmistakable evidence of design in biology and the universe but also accept the standard 13.7 billion year scale.”
One of my close friends, a reading-thinking-questioning Christian, found the movie both enjoyable and enlightening and made him rethink his “old earth” view. Whether we are Christian believers in an old earth or young earth, this movie has much to say to all of us who believe in Genesis! I especially appreciated the point in a postscript that our authority as Christians rests on the solid rock of Scripture and not the fluctuating theories and opinions of scientists and an ever-changing scientific landscape!
Tim Challies observed in his blog that the movie “begins at Mount St. Helens where Tackett shows how its eruption made immediate, catastrophic changes to the area around it – the kind of changes we might assume would take hundreds (thousands if not millions) of years.” Dr. Tackett surprises us when he says that the dramatic landscape where he was walking was “created” after he was born. His interviews question the 13.7 million time scale and offer a viable alternative view based on a catastrophic flood.
There is also the questioning of an evolutionary model that has serious flaws in the fossil record and the millions of missing “transitional” links. The viewer is left with the haunting question: Why is it that the fossils are embedded in a strata that only seems to fit into a catastrophic cataclysm like the Genesis Flood?
Regardless of whether or not a Christian is completely convinced in the “young earth” Creation one fact stands out: There needs to be corrective of the current secularized and exclusionist evolutionary theory which not only leaves God out of the picture but rules out any real open-minded discussion of design and order. There is something closed-minded and intolerant about the philosophy of the National Association of Biology Teachers with their dogmatic declare that all life is the outcome of “an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process.”
A well-used textbook by Prentice Hall describes evolution as “random and undirected” working “without either plan or purpose.” Where is the humility and open-endedness at the heart and soul of the best science? Where and how did all studied by scientists originate apart from what Genesis tells us in its simple but sublime words – that cannot be so easily denigrated and discarded except by atheistic scientists who have strayed away from the facts of science into opinionated speculations rooted in their biased disdain for God and His Laws.
Is Genesis History? Yes, and it tells us like no other how our human problems are rooted in self-centered arrogance. Every one of the Christians scientists interviewed had a spirit of humility that was in and of itself compelling and convincing!