Let's be honest: the first chapters of Genesis are controversial.
There are a lot of things recorded in them that some people don't like and others don't agree with. There is a movement afoot in seminaries and academia to replace the history recorded in Genesis with a different history, one supposedly based on the recent findings of evolutionary science.
That's the primary reason we made a documentary called Is Genesis History?
We think the events and people included in those first chapters are very important. They are part of a real history that Christians need to know actually happened. Furthermore, they need to know it is a history that directly relates to our lives today.
1. Genesis is the Foundation of the Gospel
Everything starts with Adam. If Adam did not bring sin and death into the world, Christ did not need to save us.
Paul understood that. It's why he compares Adam with Jesus: "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor 15:21) Paul even refers to Jesus as "the last Adam."
Luke understood it, too. He links Jesus to Adam through a single, complete genealogy. He then tells us Jesus went into the desert to be tempted by Satan; Jesus was mirroring the temptation of Adam, but this time to obey.
Jesus knew what His mission was: undo the sentence of death on humanity and the curse of corruption on creation. No Adam, no sin -- no sin, no death and corruption -- no death and corruption, no point for Jesus.
Jesus came to save us because Genesis is history. As D. Martin Lloyd-Jones said, "I have no gospel if Genesis is not history."
2. Genesis is the Solution for our Culture
If culture is the way people choose to order their lives, then Genesis is where God shows us His order for culture.
We all know there are strange cultural ideas being embraced today. What is rare to hear, however, is someone in the public square point to Genesis as the reason why something should or should not be done. As a result, there are a lot of people in the pews and kids in youth groups who need to hear what Genesis has to say about culture.
Take the transgender issue: if God created man in his own image as male and female, then we are essentially male and female from the beginning. Our sex can't be changed.
Or take marriage: if God created Eve to marry Adam and have children, they are the pattern for all men and women. Two men or two women cannot marry each other.
Or consider climate change/global warming: if God told Noah after the Flood He would never destroy the earth again with water, and that the seasons (i.e., the climate) would remain the same for seedtime and harvest, then there's no need to fear any future climate catastrophe.
The list goes on and on: life, economics, environmental stewardship, technology, food, science... Genesis is the ultimate counter-cultural book that provides the standard for how we should order our lives.
3. Genesis is being Reinterpreted by Evolutionists
There is an influential movement today that many Christians are unaware of. Its goal is to re-introduce Darwinian evolution into Christian theology.
This idea is called 'theistic evolution' or 'evolutionary creation.' The primary organization pushing this is Biologos, and on its website it has a lot of well-known Christians and thinkers saying good things about it.
The organization is teaching heresy. It was seen to be heresy back in the 19th century when Asa Gray, an American scientist and friend of Charles Darwin, tried to take Darwin's new history of the world and use it to reinterpret Genesis.
Darwin did not think it was possible since the whole point of his theory was to replace the Genesis account. Nevertheless, some theologians and scientists have tried to merge the two histories and attempt to hold onto the gospel.
It is the devil's delusion. Here are some of the ideas theistic evolutionists promote that contradict the Biblical account and transform essential Christian doctrines:
• There were hundreds of millions of years of death in the world before Adam sinned;
• The creation has always been subject to corruption;
• Adam and Eve were two hominids out of group of hominid-type creatures that existed for hundreds of thousands of years before them;
• There are no unique 'created kinds' since everything goes back to a common bacterial ancestor;
• God used evolution (which progresses through killing off the unfit) as the primary way to create everything we see.
Clearly, this is a completely different history of the world than the one taught in Genesis.
Biologos is well-funded and spends a lot of money trying to influence pastors and seminary students. But it is dangerous: not only is it teaching bad theology, it is presenting unsound scientific theories.
4. The History in Genesis is Confirmed by the World around Us
The thesis of our documentary is that Genesis is an accurate book of history.
In light of that, the events it records can be confirmed by studying the world around us. From the huge layers of sediment stacked across the continents and filled with fossils (evidence of a global flood) to the mutually-dependent, interrelated complexity of endless biological systems and ecosystems (evidence of six day creation) to the reality of death, sin, and corruption everywhere (evidence of a universal Fall), Genesis gives us a history that is dependable and reliable.
In the film, Del Tackett spends time with over a dozen scientists explaining the world around us in light of the history recorded in Genesis. They represent just a fraction of the hundreds of scientists who see Genesis as a true and accurate record of the history of the world.
Ultimately, it all comes back to the authority of scripture. Just as Jesus and the Apostles saw Genesis as a historical authority, so must we. When Christians recognize that Genesis is accurate history, it will transform the way they view everything else.
About Thomas Purifoy Jr.: Thomas Purify, Jr. is a filmmaker, author and an educator who has produced, written and directed numerous projects through his production company, Compass Cinema. Purifoy graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English and Creative writing. He has written books on the parables, economics and the Bible. www.isgenesishistory.com