Only Genesis:

A summary by Pieter Crow of Only Genesis as described in John Rankin's First the Gospel, Then Politics...

In an age increasingly hostile to biblical faith, we who claim to be Christian face a difficult challenge. How can we demonstrate the truth of the Bible and of Christ the Redeemer? A serious question indeed, for if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we are still in our sins and we have the most pitiable faith of all.

The apostle Peter said we should give an apologia, an answer, to everyone who asks the reason for our hope. (1 Peter 3:15). For centuries, the discipline of apologetics has provided answers to the toughest questions of skeptics and seekers alike. In truth the evidence for the biblical worldview is tremendous. Yet few people today ask the questions which are answered by classical apologetics. Why bother? Common wisdom says science is suspect, history is unknowable, absolutes are relative, the Bible is irrelevant, and the truth claims of Jesus unprovable. Moreover, biblical illiteracy is widespread and appeals to the Bible sound absurd to many people.

What’s needed is proto-apologetics, an approach that precedes and sets the stage for apologetics. Before many skeptics and unbelievers will consider the truth claims of Jesus, they need to see positive and persuasive evidence for the biblical worldview as a whole. Which brings us to Only Genesis.

In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, God created a universe that was good. More than that, He declared it very good. Nothing marred the goodness of creation. No death, no divorce, no tears, no pain, no disease, no poverty, no sin, no brokenness. Now compare the goodness of Genesis with the origins of every other religion or philosophy. Consider the gods and goddesses of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon, and the Vikings. Compare Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, animism and the religions of aboriginal peoples. Look at every culture in history, every religion on earth back to its source. Such a survey leads to a profound conclusion:

  • Only Genesis starts with a good God who made a good creation.
  • Every other origin text assumes the presence of human brokenness.

On this basis there are several positive elements in Genesis that are unique to biblical faith. They are not to be found in the initial assumptions of other religious traditions. Some of these elements may be found in the final form of other religions. But only in Genesis do we find positive elements prior to the introduction of human brokenness and sin.

The phrase Only Genesis summarizes this idea. Only Genesis refers to the positive nature of Genesis chapters 1 and 2, in comparison to every other religious and anthropological origin text in history. In summary:

  1. Only Genesis has a positive view of God’s nature
  2. Only Genesis has a positive view of communication
  3. Only Genesis has a positive view of human nature
  4. Only Genesis has a positive view of human freedom
  5. Only Genesis has a positive view of hard questions
  6. Only Genesis has a positive view of women and sex
  7. Only Genesis has a positive view of the scientific method
  8. Only Genesis has a positive view of verifiable history
  9. Only Genesis has a positive view of covenantal law
  10. Only Genesis has a positive view of the First Amendment

Before looking at these positive elements, it is necessary to define terms and explain some paradigms found in creation.

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