Is Genesis history? That is the title of an intriguing new film, hosted by Del Tackett, who created and hosted "The Truth Project" (for Focus on the Family), which was seen by some 12 million people worldwide.
I spoke with Del Tackett on my radio show recently about this new movie. I asked him: Why does it matter? Some think God made the world through evolutionary processes. Who cares?
He answered, "Well, it matters a great deal ... One of the key things that spurred me on to do this was I began to see a very aggressive rise within what I will call 'evangelical hierarchy' ... within our seminaries and pastors and authors, and so forth, a tendency to buy the current scientific paradigm ..."
"Deep time" is a phrase Tackett uses to describe "the current scientific paradigm," which means millions of years. He continues: "... you end up without a real sin and fall. You lose the whole perspective of God's announcement of the coming Messiah in that great proto-evangel that God speaks there in the garden [Gen. 3:15]. You lose the understanding of God's judgment in the flood." In short, you have death apart from man's sin.
He added, "our worldview is rooted ... in those historical narratives" of Genesis.
He was impressed with the various scholars (mostly scientists) in the film, whom he interviewed in the field. He called them "scary smart."
These guests include Doctors Kevin Anderson, microbiologist; Steve Austin, geologist; Steve Boyd, Hebraist; Robert Carter, marine biologist; Arthur Chadwick, taphonomist; Danny Faulkner, astronomer; Paul Nelson, philosopher of science; Douglas Petrovich, archaeologist; Marcus Ross, paleontologist; Andrew Snelling, geologist; Kurt Wise, paleontologist; and Todd Wood, biologist.
I also spoke with film-maker Tom Purifoy, Jr., of Compass Media. He is the producer, writer, and director of "Is Genesis History?" He explained that the origins of this film go back a few years ago when his then ten year old daughter was trying to understand some questions about the Bible related to creation/evolution.
The film showcases evidence not widely known — such as the theory that the Grand Canyon was created quickly through rushing water, not slowly over millions of years. Or evidence that dinosaurs are not as old as we're led to believe. Noah's flood is the key to all these things.
Tackett told me that when a scientific paradigm, e.g., evolution, captures the culture, "it reigns supreme. And there are really no other questions that are allowed to be asked. No other evidence."
Tackett says we then end up without the whole picture: "We wall ourselves off to any contrary evidence. And so it's not surprising that we're now finding soft dinosaur tissue in a number of bones, and yet the current paradigm doesn't know how to deal with that and so, therefore, in many cases it's just ignored."
Indeed, we are never told about soft tissue found in connection with dinosaur bones, for the creatures supposedly died off 65 million years ago. But in making the film, Tackett was amazed at some dinosaur remains he was able to see and touch: "When we were in the lab looking at the soft dinosaur tissue, it was absolutely fascinating. I saw it under the microscope. I held it. It is stretchy. This cannot occur in a dinosaur bone that is millions of years old. That protein breaks down rapidly."
I'm grateful for this film to bring these kinds of discoveries to light.
For this column, I reached out to Dr. George Grant, one of the "scary smart" scholars in the movie. He is a theologian, and in the movie he comments about a literal Adam and Eve.
George wrote me, "The truth is, Del is one of the great thinker-apologists of our day. Though he is astonishingly omni-competent, he persists in humbly questioning, learning, stretching, and growing — and this shows in the various video series he has produced. Where 'The Truth Project' left off, 'Is Genesis History?' picks up .... I was delighted to be able to be a part of this very important project."
When I asked George why the issue matters, he told me, "Our understanding of history necessarily shapes our operational worldview, our understanding of the reliability of Scriptures, and our sense of moral coherence."
It is my view that those who see "Is Genesis History?" which is beautifully shot, will come away with the same conviction. Perhaps, the tagline for the film says it all, "Two competing views ... one compelling truth."
*Note: On February 23, at 700 select theatres across the country, the film will be shown on the big screen, for which it was filmed. After that, it will be available for use in homes, classrooms, including Sunday schools, on the "small screen." To find out if it's playing in your area, see www.isgenesishistory.com.