Different views on creation

Dear AntWoord

It seems to me, by looking at the content of some of the links on your website, that AntWoord does not support a Biblical view of creation that describes the creation of the world in six literal days (cf. Genesis 1-2). It seems that you have a compromised view of Scripture, one which starts with science as the basis of truth rather than with Scripture. This is a dangerous slippery slope that can only lead to liberalism and the erosion of the foundations of the Christian faith.

Regards

Smithy

Dear Smithy

AntWoord Ministry is fully committed to the truth in Scripture which describes God as the Creator of all things (creatio ex nihilo), especially of Adam en Eve reflecting the image of God, the fall of humanity through Adam’s sin, the redemption plan of God through his incarnate Son, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, His physical resurrection as victory over sin and death, and the final restoration of all creation at Christ’s imminent return. We view these as elements essential to being a Christian believer and any compromise on these matters can definitely lead to something else than Biblical Christianity.

With regards to the relation between faith and science, we at AntWoord find it necessary to be particularly aware of not letting our understanding of what we think Scripture is saying, overrule what we think we have discovered through science (and, of course, vice versa). We believe that when Christians are too dogmatic and convinced of their particular interpretation of matters to which both Scripture and science seem to speak, then they might end up distorting the truth of both.

In our opinion, there is a polarity between faith and reason, precisely because many Christians have so divorced their understanding of Scripture from scientific discovery, that the two domains of knowledge have become utterly irreconcilable and contradictory in the minds of not only many Christians, but sadly of non-Christians as well. It is this cognitive dissonance that invokes contempt for Christianity in the world today and which is the reason why so many Christians often start questioning the foundations of their faith.

The members of AntWoord Ministry believe that faithfulness to the divine authority of Scripture does not necessitate believing in a doctrine of creation whereby the Bible would teach that God created the universe a few thousand years ago. This means that although a valid interpretation of Genesis 1-2 might include the possibility of a recent creation, it is by no means certain that it is the only valid interpretation or even the most feasible one. In fact, from our studies and reflection on this matter we have concluded that there is room for several different understandings of what the author intended when he wrote the first chapters of Genesis. Please visit the following webpage to see a brief summary of different approaches, all of which have been held or are held by serious and thinking Christians:

Six Views on the Creation/Evolution Debate

For example, one understanding would state that the author (writing in a very specific cultural and religious context) really did not intend for some kind of penetrating exposition on scientific matters such as geology, cosmology or biology. On this view one would have misread and misunderstood the purpose of the creation story when one tries to rigorously infer exactly how or when creation took place. On this view it would seem that the writer had the purpose of setting the scene for the relational theme that runs right through the Bible. By structuring his writing in a very specific way in Genesis 1, he describes some elements of the character of a Creator God who is, among other things, powerful, creative and purposeful. In Genesis 2 he then continues and focuses on man’s relation to this particular God, showing that it is a personal relationship and that humans owe their very existence and purpose to Him. Then, in Genesis 3, man’s rebellion against the authority and nature of God is described, how man attempts to establish himself in independence of God, how it severs the relationship with God, and how such rebellion will ultimately result in total demise. The rest of the Bible is the story of how God wants to bring people back in a relationship with Him and what it ultimately costs Him to do so.

Might the above understanding be a valid interpretation? Yes, considering some of the factors involved, we think it might well be. Does this interpretation of how to understand the purpose for the writing of Genesis 1 and 2 in the light of the relational theme of the Bible, make a mockery of the literal truth of God’s Word? No, we don’t think so, because a literal understanding can never be divorced from the intended meaning of what is to be understood. Does this view undermine a high view of Scripture? Again, considering some of the factors involved, we don’t see how it does or that it must.

AntWoord recognises that faithful Christians often differ in their interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2 (and many other passages!). We at AntWoord even differ among ourselves on some points. But we have investigated and reflected on many of the complexities and subtleties that influence different understandings of Genesis 1 & 2, as well as some of the complexities and subtleties that influence different understandings of what have been discovered of our world through science. This has brought us to the conclusion, mindful of all kinds of factors involved, that it is grossly inappropriate and disingenuous to claim that those Christians from whom we differ are simply ignorantly or even willfully mistaken in their views. This means that we WILL NOT (as some Christians do) doubt other Christians’ integrity and commitment to the radical truth and importance of the Bible’s message simply based on their different understanding of Genesis 1 & 2. Therefore, with regards to Genesis 1 & 2, we believe that there is simply NO EXCUSE for informed Christians in their fellowship with one another, to entertain derogatory notions such as “compromise,” “liberalism” or even “fundamentalism.”

AntWoord is a ministry that partners with a variety of different church denominations, para-church organisations and individuals of different theological persuasions. All of these partnerships are for the sake of building God’s kingdom, where a relationship with Christ is central and where God’s Word guides and informs everything we say and do. We gladly invite everybody who can identify with this purpose and values to be in partnership with us.

Kind regards

The AntWoord Team

See also:

1 Comment

  1. Rather than focusing on what I think are sideline issues, which ultimately takes the focus off Christ, we should agree that all of Scripture testify of Him (ref. Gen. 3:8 for example, where He was walking in the garden; John 5:39).

    I have had many discussions with Udo, and even though we do not agree on everything 100%, we do agree, amongst many other things, on that which Christianity stands or falls – that Jesus Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third by God the Father for our justification.

    I think hell will freeze over before Udo/Antwoord goes down the slippery liberalism slope. 🙂

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