I must admit I lacked enthusiasm for last month’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. In fact, I dreaded it. In terms of advancing people’s trust in the reliability of God’s Word, I doubted this encounter would prove helpful.
However, God has a way of working all things together for His good purposes. While many people tuned in just for the spectacle, the amount of attention the debate received indicates a significant level of interest in the ongoing creation-evolution conversation. Thus, it brought some collateral attention to Reasons to Believe, including a burst of social media activity and a number of radio interviews. For that I’m grateful.
The debate and the flurry of discussion around it also brought me this observation: People seem more confused than polarized on the topic of creation and evolution.Although the media and certain organizations tend to play up the polarization for their own purposes, most people are left with only a vague notion of what or how to think about life’s origins, especially humanity’s origin and development.
Does this widespread confusion bother you as much as it does me? Who we are, how we got here, and why we are here—these are some of life’s biggest and most important questions. The answers have everything to do with our everyday existence, our decisions and actions, values and relationships, and with what we live for.
The significance of these questions is what prompted me to add one more book, Navigating Genesis, to the plethora of books on Genesis. Additional motivation came from a growing consensus among Christians that Genesis chapters 1–11 simply cannot be read and interpreted as a historical account of actual events in the natural realm.
The more I learn from both science and Scripture, the more convinced I am that it is possible to read the text as a truthful account, both scientifically and theologically. That’s not to say my view of the text is the one reliable interpretation. My principal objective in writing this book is to show that a scientifically plausible, literal reading of Genesis is possible.
Who could have known when I was working on the book over the past two years that it would be released almost simultaneously with a major Hollywood production on Noah? Whether or not it follows the biblical text, the film holds potential to open up a wide-ranging discussion of a spiritually significant story. My hope is that the four chapters in Navigating Genesis devoted to the flood account will equip you and all who read the book to discuss the movie in a spiritually productive way.
The Reasons to Believe team has built a web page reasons.org/theflood and assembled an array of resources to assist you in taking advantage of the opportunities the movie offers us, not just to defend but also to advance people’s trust in the God who loves us enough to rescue us from the deadly grip of rampant evil. As my friend and colleague Kenneth Samples loves to remind people, the Noah story foreshadows the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have a merciful Savior who invites us to “come aboard” and ride out the drowning storm of sin safely in Him.
I’m sure you’ve heard me say many times that our demeanor is as important as our content when addressing people’s questions and comments and skepticism. Perhaps you’ve discovered, as I have, that preparation makes a world of difference in our ability to maintain a gentle, respectful demeanor. By preparation, I mean spiritual as well as intellectual.
The core of RTB’s mission is to support you in your preparation for kingdom-advancing conversations. It’s what we’ve been about for 28 years and what we’ll continue to be about until the moment the Lord says, “Mission accomplished!”
*** Will Myers
The Great Debate on Science and the Bible Ken Ham and Dr. Jason Lisle (representing the young-earth view), and Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Walter Kaiser (representing the day-age view) debate various creation questions on The John Ankerberg Show.