I received a communication recently from someone that clearly has some skewed views of the Jews’ attitude toward Gentiles. I’ll leave that at that.
We can wonder why self-identifying Christians see Israel and the Jews through the wrong lens. Today I’d like to talk about one of those reasons, one that isn’t talked about a lot.
I realize there are differing views in the Church regarding origins, but I’d like to give you my view, for what it’s worth.
For 10 years, I was senior editor for Master Books, the “creation-evolution” publisher. Co-founded by Henry Morris and Tim LaHaye, Master Books presented the “creationist” perspective in science. It was the first professional effort of its kind. I always found it interesting that Morris, a strong creationist, also loved Bible prophecy and LaHaye, the prophecy icon, embraced creationism.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that much of the leadership in either camp views the other warily. Not these men; they blended what I believe to be a biblical worldview: Scripture speaks plainly about both our origins and where we are going.
I knew both men and will always be grateful to them for their uncompromising beliefs.
Interestingly though, I have also noticed many more leaders over the years that fully embraced creationism yet gave the cold shoulder to prophecy, or vice versa. I could name them, but you know most of them. I did have a top creationist whisper to me once at a conference that he believed as I do about prophecy; he just couldn’t say it publicly!
Why? His constituents are, for the most part Lutherans, Presbyterians, and evangelical groups that are, in my view, “good” on creation but lacking in prophecy understanding.
As I’ve written before, my good friend Dr. Thomas Sharp of Creation Truth Foundation, said something to me 10 years ago that was profound.
He was researching his latest book and said that he felt in his spirit that he was guilty of only teaching “half the Bible.” One of the top creationist speakers in the world, he said to me, “Jim, I cover Genesis 1-11 just fine. It’s Genesis 12-50 that I need to shore-up!”
It hit me like a thunderbolt. It explained this oddity to me, creationists cool to prophecy and vice versa.
In essence, Doc was telling me that the two camps so emphasize their respective biblical passions that they minimize the other. I think he’s entirely correct.
We’ve been taught in this country for the last 95 years (since the Scopes “Monkey Trial”) that evolution can be compatible with the Bible. Today, many evangelicals identify as “Theistic Evolutionists,” those that harmonize the Bible with “modern science.”
I think this is a serious error for many reasons, but for our purposes today, this view severely impacts how we see the Jews, both in history and prophetically.
It’s fine for us to disagree and dialogue, but to me it is very clear that the Bible’s early chapters are very clear. In fact, as a journalist, I see them as a strict piece of news reporting. In the beginning, God did this, and that. It isn’t complicated and more importantly, it isn’t open to a harmonizing with the philosophy of naturalism, that everything we see came about through random processes. This is classic Darwinian philosophy.
What I’m attempting to say is this: if one makes any allowance for some of Genesis to be myth, then that opens a door for the rest of it. If we say that Genesis 1-11 is partly true history, then the same holds true for Genesis 12-50.
And what is Genesis 12-50?
None other than the beginnings of the Jewish Nation.
It is all history, rooted in revelation we would not otherwise have access to. God told us how He made the world, and He told us then how He brought His Chosen onto the stage of history.
I have no problem at all believing that God created the world in six days, just as I have no problem believing that a man, Abram, was called out of Ur. I have no problem believing that a 600-year-old man and his sons built a rescue ship to ride-out the judgment of God’s worldwide flood, just as I have no problem believing Joseph set the stage for the 12 Tribes of Israel.
It’s all history, and it’s all true.
A faulty understanding of our origins puts us on a slippery slope of not understanding the Jews in history. We can then believe that they are “Christ Killers.” If we open the door to Adam and Eve being partly or wholly myth, that mindset easily can continue through Jonah, Solomon, and even Christ Himself.
In my years at Master Books, I had many, many conversations with young people that had been influenced to believe in evolution. Their logical outcome was that it is now difficult to believe that Jesus had ever existed. Or that He was indeed resurrected from the dead. The list goes on of bedrock beliefs jettisoned on the ocean of Darwin.
Edward J. Young, a wonderful scholar a couple generations back, once stated something profound about Genesis:
“Genesis one is the prelude to a severely historical book, a book so strongly historical that it may be labeled genealogical.”
Wow! This one statement is the clearest rebuke to theistic evolution, or full-blown Darwinian philosophy, that one could make. It also maintains the centerpiece of the Jewish people in God’s Redemptive Plan.
All this is fodder for further discussion, I know. But I hope you can begin to think that what I’ve written here this week has some foundation. One certainly can believe in Theistic Evolution and be saved. I have never conditioned salvation on one’s view of either origins or prophecy.
What I want you to consider is that when we allow any part of Scripture to be called into question historically, we bad outcomes await the Jewish people.
Think about it.