The historicity of God’s Word is under attack today like never before. Even the Smithsonian’s official statement on the matter states that, even though the Bible is historically accurate in many regards, it’s certainly “not a book of history.”
But we know the Bible is more than a compilation of moral teachings. It’s the foundation for our Christian worldview. It’s the inerrant Word of God. And it’s a history book.
Interestingly, the portion of Scripture most under fire is Genesis 1-11, which Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham says is the foundation for many Christian doctrines, including marriage, the origins of sin, God’s plan for salvation, and more. These chapters answer common questions such as “Why do we wear clothes?”; “Why do we have a seven-day week?”; “Why is there evil and suffering in the world?” and even “Why are there so many languages, ethnicities and people groups?”
Genesis 1-11 isn’t an allegory or cultural folklore, Ham says. It’s a historical account of the universe.
“If the church doesn’t understand this, we’re going to increasingly lose our generation,” he warns. “We're growing up in a culture where the Bible has been attacked as a book of history and people have been indoctrinated to believe that science is the answer to everything.”
Even some churches have fallen for this line of thinking. Instead of believing that God created the world in six literal days (and rested on the seventh), some preach that creation took millions of years and that Genesis 1-11 is merely metaphorical.
The Problem With Saying the Bible Isn’t a Book of History
“Have we brought up generations to understand the Bible is not just a book of stories, that it's God's history book to us?” Ham asks. Sadly, for many, the answer is no.
A 2019 Lifeway Research study found that most teenagers drop out of church when they become young adults. And as Ham’s book Already Gone reveals, one of the major reasons for this exodus is a lack of trust in the accuracy of God’s Word.
The danger behind this lack of trust is that denying the Bible’s historical accuracy casts doubt on the rest of Scripture, too. After all, if the Bible is wrong in one regard (such as the creation account), who’s to say it’s not wrong in other areas, too (such as morality)?
This slippery slope can be quite attractive to a culture that emphasizes feelings and experiences as heavily as ours does. The prophet Jeremiah saw the same problem in his day and offered a timely warning: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV).
The only way young people in the church will grow up to trust God’s Word more than their own feelings is if we equip them with the truth—along with reasons why they can trust that truth. This can include teaching apologetics in our sermons, our Bible studies, and even our homeschool classes.
“We need to be teaching people to have a truly Christian worldview,” Ham says, “to understand why they believe what they believe and be able to defend what they believe against attacks of this day.”
Do we want to see a generation stand firm for the gospel and sound doctrine? If so, we must train them how to respond to accusations that the Bible isn’t a book of history. The souls of our young people depend on it.
Listen to Ken Ham preach live at the Ark Encounter during the 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music. Reserve your spot today!