Category Archives: Articles

Is Genesis History?

Is Genesis History?
Watch this important film.

Whether Genesis is actual history or not is of crucial importance to Christians today. The historicity of Genesis is under attack as never before, particularly in seminaries formerly considered to be conservative evangelical. Pastors are often teaching either that Genesis is to be interpreted, in accordance with deep time views, or that its interpretation does not matter to Christian theology.

It will surprise nobody that the Mount St Helens Creation Center rejects both these compromise positions, and argues strongly for Genesis not to be interpreted at all, but to be read as it appears—as literal historical narrative. So this ministry welcomes a remarkable new film; Is Genesis History? The film is the brainchild of Dr Del Tackett, and is filmed in 4K. Dr Tackett has visited a large number of places associated with deep-time geology, and shown them to be better interpreted within a biblical framework. His film includes interviews with a large variety of scholars and scientists, who hold to biblical principles and opinions.

The film will be seen at its best in a one-night-only screening, in a variety of movie theaters around the country. I will be attending one of these screenings – probably in Olympia, WA. I urge you all to consider getting a ticket for the movie, and watching it. The tickets can be purchased through the Is Genesis History website – isgenesishistory.com. Although I expect the movie will be available in a variety of formats later, the full 4K effect will be best seen in a movie theater.

Please note that, although this ministry supports this movie, we are not part of the production, and will not gain financially from it. However, we would like YOU to gain from it. For that reason, we are offering our book “The Biblical Age of the Earth” for the special event rate of $4 (normally $6.50). In addition, you can have the book sent via free shipping! Simply purchase the book, applying first the coupon code “isgenesishistory” (without the quote marks, and with no spaces), and make sure you select the “free shipping” option that will appear, after the coupon is applied. This special offer, to celebrate the launch of Is Genesis History will end on Friday February 24th 2017.

We Need a New Commentary

I am taking part in a study on how to read the Bible. I will not name the study guide; there is much in it which is good, and much which is not. However, reaching a section on how to interpret narrative history, like Genesis, a commentary recommendation was made. As soon as I saw the name of the author of the commentary recommended—Bruce Waltke—I knew that I could not recommend that commentary.

The Six Days of Genesis
Perhaps I need to expand this book, to cover the whole of Genesis.

It isn’t good to be negative all the time. So what commentary would I recommend? This is where I hit a problem. The overwhelming majority of the commentaries on the whole of Genesis are written from an old-earth, or evolutionary point of view. Granted, there are some very decent books about Genesis; The Book of Beginnings, by Henry Morris III, Understanding Genesis by Jason Lisle, and Jonathan Sarfati’s excellent partial commentary, The Genesis Account, which covers up to chapter 11. Even I have written a commentary on the first 11 chapters. The only whole book commentary, remaining faithful to the early chapters, appears to be Henry Morris The Genesis Record—but this was published in 1976, and the science (though not the theology) needs to be developed.

Perhaps this is too great a task for one person. Perhaps we need a small team to produce a good commentary. Or maybe I need to get on with expanding my “The Six Days of Genesis”.

Whatever the answer is, it definitely needs doing—fast! If someone is writing such a commentary, please let me know. If someone would like my input to a team implementing such a project, let me know. But let’s have a proper chapter-by-chapter commentary on the whole of Genesis, and let’s try to see it done within 12 months.

Wretched in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle

One of the first Christian podcasts that I ever got into listening to was Wretched Radio. This show is presented by my good friend Todd Friel. It often seems like I have known Todd forever. However, I recently came across a show that we recorded the very same day that we first met.

Todd’s show is usually live every day. But during this holiday period, Wretched Radio is rightly broadcasting some old shows. Yesterday (Wednesday December 28th 2016) they broadcast a show recorded in Edinburgh, Scotland. Todd was visiting various places in Europe. At the time, I worked for Answers in Genesis at their UK office in Leicester, England. I flew up to Edinburgh for the day, and we recorded several segments – climbing up the Castle Mount steps to Edinburgh Castle, talking about the father of old-age geology James Hutton, and sharing part of my sermon on Can and Abel – this latter was recorded in the car, while they were driving me back to Edinburgh Airport!

I have taken the liberty of grabbing the show and placing it here, so that you can enjoy it over again. It was recorded, I think, in 2009, and it was great fun to do.

Cross Encounters

Cross Encounters
“A Decade of Gospel Conversations”

Cross Encounters is the name that evangelist Tony Miano uses for his ministry. It is also the title of his new book, which is clearly a labor of love – love for the lost, and love for the Savior.

What is the difference between a teacher and a mentor? A teacher instructs the class and offers explanations. A mentor lives by example, and invites you to imitate him. A good teacher will often be a mentor, and vice versa. Tony can fulfill both roles. I have heard him teach in evangelism conferences. But in the book Cross Encounters, Tony fulfills the role of mentor. The subtitle of the book is A Decade of Gospel Conversations. Page after page, Tony explains how and why he got into conversations, and he reports on those conversations. As readers, we are invited to get as close as we can, in the pages of print, to watching an evangelist in action. The advantage of reading these encounters, rather than just watching, is that we are able to get inside Tony’s head, because he explains what he was thinking at the time.

Part of the mix in the book is a set of helpful Evangelism Tips. My favorite one is #5 – “Hello Officer”. You must remember that Tony is a former Law Enforcement Officer. He has also seen the “other side”, having been arrested while evangelizing in London, England, and in Scotland. In “Hello Officer”, he explains how one must remain polite and respectful, while maintaining a gentle and firm witness. Tony’s wisdom is illustrated in quotes like this:

“It is important for Christians to keep in mind that while the Declaration of Independence promises citizens ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,’ God makes no such promises to His people in His Word. Sadly, somme Christians take to the streets convinced that they must fight with people for ‘their rights’ instead of fighting for the souls of people through the proclamation of the gospel.”

When I first saw the reports of this book’s advent, I hoped that Tony would be exercising the work of a modern day Ichabod Spencer (look him up…). I was not disappointed. If you are already involved in street evangelistic ministry, you need this book, to encourage you. If you are not yet so involved, you need this book to encourage you! Christians, you need this book.


(I will be trying to get hold of copies for our bookstore. In the meantime, use the link below)

Buy Cross Encounters here

The Voyage Begins Again

The Ark Encounter
The Ark Encounter, by Answers in Genesis

Our friends at Answers in Genesis have built a full-size replica of the Ark. This magnificent construction, in Kentucky, is witness to God’s grace and His work of salvation. This is how their Ark Encounter website describes the project.

“The Cross is the greatest reminder for us of the salvation we can have in Jesus Christ. The Creation Museum was built as a reminder that we can trust the authority of God’s Word in every area. Other than the Cross, the Ark of Noah is one of the greatest reminders we have of salvation. The Ark Encounter project was born out of a desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to millions of people across America and the world.”

The full-size Ark will house a wonderful, God-honoring and faith-building exhibition about the Flood. We commend AiG Ken Ham, and all his colleagues, on this achievement, and pray that it will be mightily used of God to bring people to salvation in Jesus Christ.

The opening date for this project is Thursday July 7th 2016.

For more information, please see their special Ark Encounter website.

Meanwhile, the link below opens up their latest drone footage of the project.

 

Origins TV

Origins TV

Origins TV

During 2015, I recorded 4 shows in the Origins TV series, broadcast on the Cornerstone Network, in which I was interviewed by presenter Dr. Donn Chapman. These shows can be viewed, using the Cornerstone Network, or through their Roku channel. Or you can watch them here!

To enable us to keep these sort of activities going, please give generously, using the donation button on the right.

The Language of Evolution
Deconstructing Dawkins
Truth, Lies and Science Education – Part 1
Truth, Lies and Science Education – Part 2

 

New Location for 2016

Mount St Helens Creation Center

We are very excited to announce that we have a new base for the Mount St Helens Creation Center for the season of 2016. We are going to be located from May 1st 2016 at The Silver Lake Grange, 3104 Spirit Lake Highway, Silverlake, WA 98611.

Directions: to find us, simply leave Interstate I-5 at junction 49, signposted for Castle Rock and Toutle. Use State Highway 504 Eastwards towards Toutle, and Mount St Helens. After 5 miles, you will see the state-run Mount St Helens Visitors Center on the right. We are just less than a mile after this, on the Left. You will therefore reach our new Center 3 miles before our old center.

Directions to Silver Lake Grange
Directions to Silver Lake Grange

Costs: Renting this building gives our ministry 2 sorts of costs, and, if possible, we would love to have your help.

  1. We need to pay rent for just 6 months for the building. Please consider whether you could give us a regular donation of $50 per month for just 6 months. We only need a small number of such donors to cover this rent.
  2. There will be some temporary signs, paint, portable display units and a portable projection screen needed. If you have such items to donate, please get in touch, or please consider a one-off gift to enable us to purchase the items. We estimate that we need to spend about $2,000 to get the Center working for the season, and we need that money as soon as possible.

You can give for either or both of these targets by going to our donations page, or using the link to our FaithLauncher appeal below. We will also shortly have some exciting options, whereby you could pay for a private family tour of the mountain area now, at a discount of as much as 50%, to be used later in the Season! Please come back for details of these offers within the next day or two. These offers will be listed as products in our store.

FaithLauncher Appeal

Many thanks for all your help. God-willing, we will have a very successful new season with the Mount St Helens Creation Center, @ Silver Lake Grange.

Silver Lake Grange
Silver Lake Grange

A Presuppositional Young Earth Creationist

Tinkinswood Burial Chamber: Early post-Flood
Tinkinswood Burial Chamber: Early post-Flood
Tinkinswood Burial Chamber: Early post-Flood

“Why are you a Young Earth Creationist?” I often get asked. It has taken me a while to get the answer right on this. But I now know what the answer is. I am NOT a Young Earth Creationist.

Shock! Horror! Is this international creation speaker backsliding?

No. For the record, I will not budge from the biblical truth that God made the world in six literal 24-hour periods approximately 6,000 years ago.

But why do you call me a Young Earth Creationist? Because I believe the world is only 6,000 years old? So, is 6,000 years young?

Six thousand years is only a young age if you start from the paradigm that the Earth should be 4.5 billion years old. Compared to that, 6,000 years is young. It’s all relative, right?

Wrong! I do not believe the world is 6,000 years because some evidence has convinced me that the 4.5 billion years is wrong – even though there is plenty of evidence inconsistent with 4.5 billion years. I believe the 6,000 years because the Bible says so, and it is my presupposition that the Bible is true. If I call myself a Young Earth Creationist, the very term “Young Earth” is predicated on the existence of the mainstream view that the earth is a lot older than that.

In the village of St. Nicholas, near Cardiff, in Wales, is one of my favorite megalithic monuments, called Tinkinswood Burial Chamber. This structure is dated by secularists at 6,000 years old. It cannot be that old, obviously, but I am willing to accept it must have been built by the earliest post-Flood colonizers of Great Britain. When you stand there, you are in the presence of something ancient. The Earth is older than that! The Earth is 6,000 years old! That is ANCIENT! The Earth is not young – unless you have borrowed from an evolutionary paradigm. The Earth is, in fact, very old. It is 6,000 years very old.

I am not a Young Earth Creationist.

I am a Biblical Creationist.


Blood Vessels in ‘Ancient’ Dinosaur Fossil

Where Birds Eat Horses

Dinosaur Soft TissueA few people have contacted me about this month’s news regarding blood vessels in allegedly ancient dinosaur fossils. Researchers have confirmed the presence of this soft material, and its similarity to the soft tissue of living creatures. However, their evolutionary presuppositions do not allow them to draw the obvious conclusion – that these dinosaur fossils are not ancient.

I will be referring to this news item in the next edition of The Mountain and The Word. In the meantime, here is the news item, placed in the same format as the articles cited in my book Where Birds Eat Horses. This download shows all the Fuzzy Word Analysis.

Thoughts on Post-Flood Animal Migration

Australian Marsupials
Australian Marsupials
Australian Marsupials

In 2006, I was asked to contribute a chapter on post-Flood animal migration to the New Answers Book 1, which was being compiled by Answers in Genesis (for which I worked at the time). My chapter was entitled How Did Animals Spread All Over the World from Where the Ark Landed?[1]

In this chapter, I put forward a model to help explain the possible migration of animals from the Ark around the world. It was not my purpose, nor that of the publisher or editor, to provide a definitive statement on what all creationists are supposed to believe on the subject. Indeed, I made it clear that “we can build scientific models that help us explain how past events may have come about. Such models should be held to lightly, but the Scripture to which they refer is inerrant. That is to say future research may cast doubt on an actual model, without casting doubt on Scripture.”[2] Rather than laying down the law on the subject of post-Flood migration, which is not specifically explained in the Bible, it was my purpose to provide one possible model. The existence of such a rational model refutes the notion that only an evolutionary explanation of such migration is possible.

Recently, an evolutionist has published an article online, which specifically attempts to refute part of my model – notably, the migration of marsupials to Australia, together with the failure of placental mammals to migrate to Australia in significant quantities.[3] The idea that an evolutionist would reject my model is not startling, and I would not normally respond to such an article, placed on an amateur website. However, Answers in Genesis (UK) received a question about it, from one of their supporters (who I will refer to by his initial J), asking if they could refute the article. Therefore, this response is written, not for Mr. Kuban, but for J.

It is important for Christians to approach such a subject correctly. Our two axioms in building an explanatory model are: 1. To analyze the situation as it is, so that we know what we are trying to explain and 2. To recognize our essential presuppositions that God exists and the Bible is true. The reason for this second axiom is found in a study of presuppositional apologetics[4]. Kuban accepts the existence of God, but rejects the idea that the Bible is true. My friend, Jay Seegert, has explained, in his book Creation & Evolution, why the failure to accept the truth of the Bible leads to error. It is not surprising, therefore, that Kuban’s article contains a number of logical fallacies, as well as an incorrect presupposition.

In criticizing my model of migration to Australia, Kuban states:

Some YECs such as Paul F. Taylor (2007) suggest that perhaps a large land bridge from Asia to Australia existed after the Flood –ignoring geologic evidence that no such recent bridge existed (with the most recent connection to other continents being over 40 million years earlier), and that even if it did, it would not explain why virtually no placental animals used it.

It should be noted that Kuban assumes that there has been no land bridge connection between Australia and elsewhere for 40 million years. This underlines the importance of presupposition. In my chapter, I quote Michael Oard’s research on a post-Flood Ice Age, which demonstrates that such a land bridge, shortly after the Flood, is entirely plausible. It is therefore Kuban who is guilty of ignoring research, not I. His citation of “40 million years” merely underscores his presupposition of the existence of deep time – a concept not found in the Bible. On many occasions, creationists have shown the fallacy of accepting the unscientific concept of millions of years. The very same New Answers Book 1 contains chapters by Terry Mortenson and Mike Riddle which refute the concept of millions of years, and articles by Michael Oard and Andrew Snelling which underscore the reliability of Flood Geology.

Kuban’s objections to my chapter are fourfold. He states:

YECs need to explain:

  1. After the Ark landed, why were almost all the animals that ended up in Australia marsupials and monotremes?

  2. If scores of marsupials could somehow make the journey, why did virtually no placental do the same?

  3. How did animals such as koalas that are slow moving and depend on very specific foodstuffs and environments that would have been sorely lacking after the Flood even survive the required long journey, especially with a major ocean barrier?

  4. How did animals like the flightless kiwi, the blind marsupial mole (which lives only in sand), or the sugar glider (a gliding marsupial superficially resembling flying squirrels, which lives in trees) make the incredible trip?

In answer, I will make 5 points, beginning with point 0!

  1. I do not refer to myself as a Young Earth Creationist. When a creationist defines themselves as a Young Earth Creationist, they are suggesting a comparison with evolutionary timescales, which I reject. I do not believe the Earth to be young[5]. I believe the Earth to be very, very old. I believe it to be just over 6,000 years old! Ken Ham, the President of Answers in Genesis, and the editor of the New Answers Books, also rejects the title YEC[6]. Both he and I prefer the term Biblical Creationist.
  2. When we start with the correct presupposition, it will be seen that my chapter aptly answers each of the four questions that Kuban posed. On the subject of why almost all the animals that ended up in Australia were marsupials or monotremes, the answer is clear – it is because their shorter, or non-existent, gestation periods allow for faster migration. Moreover, Kuban’s objections to my migration model ignores the fact that, of the five existing species of monotreme in the world today, only two live in Australia (the echidna and the platypus); the other three live in New Guinea. It would appear that even an evolutionary position requires a land bridge or similar between New Guinea and Australia, and, given that evolutionary dating systems are based on faulty presuppositions, the date placed by Kuban on such a phenomenon is irrelevant.
  3. The reason why few placental mammals would make the same journey is also due to the speed of migration caused by breeding patterns.
  4. Kuban complains that koalas would be too slow to make the journey. But he ignores two issues; first, that the speed of migration is not really related to the speed of the animal’s locomotion, but rather their breeding patterns, and second that modern koalas have probably developed by speciation (within the biblical kind) from faster moving animals. The dietary specialization of the koala is also probably an adaptation to environment, which would have occurred, after the koala’s ancestors had reached Australia. I need to emphasize that this adaptation is not evolution. It is adaptation within an existing animal kind, by selection from within an existing gene pool, whereas Darwinian evolution requires the spontaneous generation of new genetic information.
  5. Kiwi
    Kiwi

    Kuban assumes that creationists believe that kiwis arrived in New Zealand flightless. This is unlikely. It is more likely that these birds lost the use of their wings for environmental reasons, and that this would again have happened by selection within an existing gene pool. Speciation of blind marsupial moles and sugar gliders is likewise easy to understand within a creationist framework.

Evolutionists often accept adaptations and variations to their models. Likewise, they should expect that, within a creationist paradigm, there will also be development of scientific ideas and models. So the model that I proposed in my chapter is not presented as the final word, and I would not expect every creationist to follow it or agree with it. The reason for its inclusion in the New Answers Book 1 is simply to show that a creationist model is feasible. When Kuban criticizes the model as being against “the vast bulk of scientific evidence”, he merely commits the logical fallacy known as elephant hurling, whereby an outrageous claim of overwhelming scientific authority is made, in order to hide the fact that he has no real scientific evidence for his so-called “refutation” at all.

[1] Taylor, P.F. (2006), How Did Animals Spread All Over the World from Where the Ark Landed? In Ham, K. (ed. 2006), The New Answers Book 1, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), pp141-148

[2] ibid.

[3] Kuban, G.J. (2014), Marsupial Distribution Refutes YECism, < http://paleo.cc/ce/marsupials.htm >, retrieved 11/04/2015

[4] I am currently engaged in writing a book, to explain presuppositional apologetics and its application in a simple way. I hope that the book (provisionally titled Only Believe) will be published by Spring 2016. In the meantime, for a brief explanation, see the appendix on presuppositional apologetics in Seegert, J. (2014), Creation & Evolution, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books), pp286-298

[5] Taylor, P.F. (2014), A Presuppositional Young Earth Creationist, < http://justsixdays.com/j6db3/2014/02/a-presuppositional-young-earth-creationist/ >, retrieved 11/04/2015

[6] Ham, K. (2014), What Does Bill Nye Really Think of Me—and Christians in General?, < https://answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2014/02/17/what-does-bill-nye-really-think-of-me-and-christians-in-general/ >, retrieved 11/04/2015