The other night I was watching The Bible in the Beginning. This is the movie made by Dino De Laurentiis back in 1966. It was quite a big deal at the time. My parents took me to see it back when they still had intermissions and even gave out a special program for that movie.
I was not a Christian then. And this was the first time I was really confronted with the realities of the Bible. The church I grew up in taught little of the truth of these things. For example, children were shown illustrations depicting Noah’s ark looking like a big bathtub. And Noah was this old guy with a beard that had a whole boat full of warm, fuzzy animals. Oh, yeah, and there was a lot of water. The end.
I didn’t hear about how man was sinful and needed forgiveness for that sin. About the whole world covered in water above the highest mountains. About the ship he built, that took 100 years to build, that was about the length of one and half football fields. And how God brought all the animals from all over the world to Noah. And how all the rest of the people of the world were drowned in the flood.
Something really hit me about this movie. I couldn’t explain it right away. Their version of Noah’s ark was impressive, but it would have leaked like a screen door in a submarine. And the animals coming into the ark weren’t explained either. How did they get there? Why did they come?
The End of Naturalism
What really hit me, was how the whole ark record in Genesis does not make sense unless God is directing the whole show. God had to be a part of everything that was involved. This wasn’t just about some guy building a boat before a big flood. This was one miracle after another that all had to fit perfectly together to work.
To believe this, you must reject Naturalism. You must believe that God is there and He is fully active in all events and details. It is all or nothing.
When we approach Biblical miracles and events, we must build upon the details of scripture in order. This is a task done verse by verse and point by point. Only then can we hope to accurately understand what God is saying.
The recent movie Noah is a perfect example. What a total piece of crap. The only thing I liked about that movie was the rainbow at the end. Period. That was, what, 10 seconds? Could have just done that and saved a whole lot of money. The whole thing was a rejection of the Biblical record.
The Minimalist Gospel
All of the literal Genesis record is critical for a proper belief of scripture. In fact, it is critical in properly understanding the Gospel. We cannot eliminate anything and think we are faithful in presenting the Gospel. To pick and choose what we will accept or to fudge over areas of scripture that we are a bit ashamed of is sin. The scriptures cannot be broken.
We must believe the whole counsel of God. We must believe that the 1st word of Genesis is as valid and literally straight forward as the last word of Revelation. I know many brothers in Christ that would like to back off on this. Their own scientific or educational pride has made them ashamed of the literal truth. They believe that the educated world around them cannot accept a Gospel that relies so heavily on a literal Genesis belief. To them it is not socially or scientifically popular. So we are told to remove the “unnecessary” stuff.
Even Christian pastors and leaders are softening and trimming the “basics” of the Gospel by not requiring a literal belief in Genesis. They back off on the 6 literal days. They back off on a worldwide flood. And the list goes on until we have nothing worth offering the world.
At that point, maybe we can talk about sin and talk about the Savior. But there is no longer a rock-solid foundation of truths we can point to in building the Gospel message. Those have already been negotiated away so as not to offend people.
We can talk about Jesus. But at that point, which Jesus?
I really am praying for pastors and leaders that are tired of being “relevant”. For men of God who know the Bible and are willing to stand upon it above all else.
“If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)