Creation Summit, The Master’s University

The Master’s University hosted the Creation Summit 2017 on February 24-25. Dr. Abner Chou opened the summit with his TMU Chapel message on Friday, February 24. On Saturday, February 25, Dr. Todd Wood, myself, and Dr. John MacArthur spoke in the day’s three sessions. The sessions were well attended for the topic, “God’s First Man.” The sessions looked at the historicity of the biblical Adam from the viewpoint of biblical narrative, paleontology, genetics, history, and theology. The links below provide PowerPoint presentation (in pdf format) and the link to my chapter in Searching for Adam.

PowerPoint pdf (38MB)

Searching for Adam, Chapter 1, by William D. Barrick

Noah’s Flood and the Biblical Record

Over the past two weeks the Dispensational Publishing House Blog published a two-part article on what the Bible reveals about the global and catastrophic Flood of Noah’s time.

What Does the Text Actually Teach?

What Actually Happened at the Flood?

The blog features a variety of authors on this topic and you will find all of them thought-provoking and stimulating to read. God not only dedicates nearly four chapters in Genesis to this key world event, but also speaks of it throughout both Old and New Testaments.

Enemies of Truth Willingly Falsify

Isn’t it amazing how truth attracts falsehood and how enemies of truth will even manufacture a falsehood as their weak attempt to battle truth? Jesus pointed to the source of such falsification when He said that Satan was “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Yes, Satan was and is the archenemy of divine truth. Indeed, Satan used every possible falsehood and slander against Jesus, who, as He said, is  “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Long before Jesus, Solomon confirmed that “An evildoer listens to wicked lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue” (Proverbs 17:4). So it remains true to this very day. When someone speaks truth, you can bank on it that a liar will arise to speak against it–even if he has to make up his own “facts” and twist what the truth-sayer actually said. The liar’s purpose is destruction and his tongue and pen are dedicated to destruction, even by means of false accusations.

A very recent example of twisting another’s words and then creating a slanderous lie was brought to my attention today. It evokes a terrible disappointment. No, I’m not talking about all the mud-slinging taking place in the American political scene. Instead, I’m speaking about an example of slander, of twisting the truth, among so-called evangelicals. A blog entitled “Theology for the Church” posted a false accusation against Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis today–the day after Resurrection Sunday! The writer claims that “Ken Ham Embraces Evolution.” Anyone who knows anything at all about Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis will recognize the blatant falsehood immediately. The writer appeals to “Reimagining Ark Animals” by Tim Chaffey and Michael Belknap published in AiG’s Answer 11, no. 1 (January-March 2016): 56-62.

Reading the article in the Answers magazine and the “Theology for the Church” blog, note the following:

Falsehood                         vs.                                Truth

  • Blog: “Ken Ham Embraces Evolution.” vs. Answers: Ken Ham does not embrace evolution!
  • Blog: The Answers article argues for macro-evolution. vs. Answers: No mention of macro-evolution at all–the article is about speciation.
  • Blog: Answers in Genesis has embraced macro-evolution. vs. Answers: Answers in Genesis does not embrace macro-evolution!
  • Blog: Answers in Genesis acknowledges that the fossil record gives evidence of transitional life forms. vs. Answers: No mention of fossil evidence for transitional life forms.

It is a very sad thing when someone claiming to be an evangelical decides to manufacture and publish a deliberate falsehood. The blog’s author knows full well that what he claims is totally and undeniably false. The writer misrepresents the position of Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham, because he cannot find any legitimate, honest way of battling the truth.

Brazilian Creation Conference PowerPoints and Notes–in Portuguese

In June 2015 I had the great privilege of participating in teaching and preaching in Fortaleza, Brazil. The organizers translated my PowerPoint presentations and conference notes into Portuguese. The topic for the conference was Creation. I hope that making these materials available online will be an encouragement to many Portuguese-speaking Christians, lay people and pastors alike. My thanks to Pastor Jenuan Silva Lira of Igreja Biblica Batista do Planate and to Diego Ramos (one of my students when he was at The Master’s Seminary) for arranging the conference and managing the translation of the materials.

In the Beginning: Creation and Biblical Authority /

No Princípio: Criação e Autoridade Bíblica

Conference Notes: English / Portuguese

1.  Creation Outside Genesis: The Biblical Testimony / Criação fora de Gênesis: O Testemunho Bíblico

Many Bible students make the mistake of thinking that the sole potential witness to Creation resides in Genesis 1-2. Enemies of literal six-day creationism believe they only need to create doubt and suspicion about the authenticity or the integrity or the historicity or the accuracy of the text of the Bible’s first two chapters. However, evidence for six-day creationism permeates much of Scripture–it is part of its warp and woof.

2.  The Creation Record: Is It Poetry? / O Relato da Criação: Narrativa ou Poesia?

One attack on the historicity of Genesis 1-2 appeals to an argument based upon the genre (kind of literature). If those two chapters are actually poetry, does that mean that the content cannot be understood as an accurate account of historical events?

3.  The Historicity of Adam and Eve / A Historicidade de Adão e Eva

Today’s hot button topics in the area of Old Testament studies includes the raging debate over the historicity of Adam and Eve. Was Adam the physical, historical, genetic head of the human race? Are Adam and Eve the characters of history? legend and myth? or neither?

4.  Creation and Fall: The Problem of Death / A Criação e a Queda: O Problema da Morte

When did death enter God’s created world? The issue involves more than just human death–it involves the deaths of billions of living creatures in the geological fossil record. What does the Bible have to say about the topic theologically? Paul’s epistle to the Romans provides some of the most specific teaching on this topic.

5.  Noah’s Flood: Global and Catastrophic or Local and Gradual? / O Dilúvio de Noé: Global e Catastrófico ou Local e Gradual?

The entire issue of the age of the earth involves two different interpretations of the geological record. The purely secular science viewpoint argues for uniformitarian models. The purely biblical viewpoint responds with an alternative explanation based upon the Flood of Noah’s day. For this second viewpoint to be a legitimate model explaining the fossil record the Bible must teach a global and catastrophic Flood as opposed to a local and gradual Flood.

The Noahic Covenant’s Impact on Caring for Creation

For the 2012 National Meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society I presented a paper providing what I believe to be a biblical contribution to the topic of environmental ethics. Coming on the heels of Earth’s greatest destructive event (the Flood), God’s covenant with Noah provides a window on God’s intent for the restored creation as well as how mankind should rule over it and use it.

The Noahic Covenant’s Impact on Caring for Creation

Elihu and Moses (the Book of Job and Genesis)

Starting in Job 33, Elihu, the youngest of Job’s friends, addresses Job, Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad regarding their erroneous views about God’s character and Job’s problems. As he makes his case, Elihu expresses himself with words and phrases, concepts and imagery that appear to echo the early chapters of Genesis. If the Book of Job was written close to the time of the events it depicts, it comes from the era of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), 2100-1800 B.C. That placement means that the Book of Job predates Moses’ writing of Genesis (1445-1400 B.C.). Elihu’s echoes of the early chapters of Genesis might testify to a pre-Mosaic oral tradition or perhaps the existence in the patriarchal period of a written text of at least the creation narrative, if not all of Genesis 1-11. Moses might have used that document to compile his book, in much the same way that Luke used extant written and oral sources to compile his gospel.

Let’s look at some of the parallels between Elihu and Genesis in order to examine the nature of these echoes:

  • Job 33:4 (“the breath of the Almighty gives me life” NASU) and Genesis 2:7 (“breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”) — Both speak of the “breath” (נשמה, nśmh) of God producing life for a human being.
  • Job 33:6 (“I too have been formed [קרץ, qrṣ] out of the clay [חמר, ḥmr]”) and Genesis 2:7 (“Then the Lord God formed [ישר, yṣr] man of dust [עפר, ʽpr] of the ground”) — Different vocabulary, but identical imagery.
  • Job 34:13 (“the whole world”) and Genesis 1:1 — Psalm 19:4[Heb. 5] uses the same word for “world” (תבל, tbl) and the same verb “placed” (שים, śym) for placing the sun in the created order of the universe. We might also compare the vocabulary and imagery of Proverbs 8:26.
  • Job 34:14–15 and Genesis 2:7 and 3:19—Again, the topic is God’s “breath” (נשמה, nśmh) and the creation of human life. This time, however, the phraseology is very striking in a seemingly direct allusion to Genesis 3:19:

              Job 34:15   “And man would return to dust” –  ואדם על¯עפר ישוב  w’dm ‘l-‘pr yšwb

              Gen 3:19    “And to dust you shall return”      –  ואל¯עפר שובת      – w’l-‘pr šwbt

These types of parallels or echoes occur outside Elihu’s speech in other Joban texts–especially in the speech of God reporting His appearance (theophany) in chapters 38-41. Such echoes demonstrate:

  1. The unity of biblical revelation regarding creation.
  2. The biblical writers’ and speakers’ literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3.
  3. The ancientness of the revelation concerning creation–most likely predating Moses’ penning of Genesis.