Sunday, April 17, 2011

Did the global flood happen?

Undoubtedly it did. Why? Because the sacred scriptures tell us that it happened. I see no reason why we unhesitatingly submit to the theological content of Gen. 1-2 but shove our tails in between our legs at chapters 6-9. The global flood provides a linking point between creation and eschatology (2 Pet. 3:5-7). It is the symbol of the baptismal waters, by which Christians enter new life through the chaos of God's judgment (1 Pet. 3:20-21; "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck!" "You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas..."). Not to mention the fact that our Lord believed and taught it (Mt. 37-39). The "days of Noah" form the very presupposition of the time and season of the Son of Man's judgment! It means precious little that geologists and other scientists have found no evidence of a global flood (and no, those books written by the fundamentalist young earthers do not furnish a counter-claim for the scientific community). Nor does this mean (in keeping with the neo-gnostics) that the flood was a mythological or theological event. Like creation, and like the coming eschatological judgment, the flood is purely an event of this earth, it happened in historical time, to real historical people. When? The scriptures do not reveal a date to us. My guess is that the event occurred some time in the early history of mankind, possibly 150,000 years ago. And it will do no good for "neutral science" to try to adjudicate the problem, as if they could for even the smallest of God's judgments and activities in history! None of these are ever available beyond the testimony of the Word and the faith which comes through the hearing of the Word. "Your judgments are on high, out of his sight!" (Ps. 10:5b, NASB). Since the LORD created the heavens and the earth, it is hardly difficult for him to keep events of cosmic significance from our pea-brain perceptions.


Richy said...

Yeah Emerson, I've had similar thoughts before. Jesus furnishes his teaching in Matthew with the understanding that there was(!) a global flood. That is a far better proof than a creationist can offer ---BTW, I've been reading some creationists lately; we should talk about it sometime soon---

Trouble is, material investigations do in fact inform our theology. The body of growing knowledge DOES tell us stuff about how, when, and why events happened in the scriptures. Does the flood get placed into a different category, because of its antediluvian age, even though it is a material event? Concerns to consider I suppose.

Emerson Fast said...

Richy, consider this:

If the event of the global flood (note: AS testified and described by scripture, down to the last jot and tittle) could be verified or falsified by the scientific community, the judgment of God would cease to be a matter of "revelation" (cf. Rom.1:18).

There may or may not be evidence now or in the future for a flood that wiped out most of humanity and perhaps even covered earth's landmass...there may be. Catastrophe is not foreign to natural history, even on the global level. But to make the leap from this event to the event proclaimed in scripture will always be blocked off by a catena of problems.

Mankind does not have access to the "antedeluvian" or even "patriarchal" secrets of its history. The historical and geological project, seen from the heavenly perspective, can never be grasped by us.