Again a popular “Christian celebrity” said something outrageous about the Bible and the Christian belief system. Michael Gungor, contemporary Christian music artist, actually says the first eleven chapters of Genesis are poetry, not true narrative. But yesterday a prominent Creation apologist talked back to him.
Michael Gungor questions Jesus
Michael Gungor leads the popular contemporary Christian music band named Gungor. Earlier this year, he returned to a theme he first sounded two years ago. He explained it on his site, in his essay A Worshiping Evolutionist. In it he observed Genesis is a poem. He sees the phrase “and God said that it was good,’ not as an important note, but as a recurring theme. Heather Clark, at Christian News Network, treated the controversy on August 6. She discussed Gungor’s departure from a literal Genesis, and how his fans took it. (Some did not like it at all.) But Michael Gungor didn’t stop talking about it. In fact, as Heather Clark wrote today, Michael Gungor now says Jesus might have lied when He cited Adam and Noah as historical characters.
Ken Ham answers
Ken Ham, head of Answers in Genesis, answered Michael Gungor sharply yesterday. “Outrageous,” he said of Gungor’s claims. Ham objected most of all when Gungor said this: “No reasonable person takes the entire Bible completely literally.” That, said Ham, was bad enough. Then Gungor and radio host Mike McHargue doubled down on that statement in an August 11, 2014 podcast. Michael Gungor explained it this way: “And even if He was wrong, even if He did believe that Noah was a historical person, or Adam was a historical person, and ended up being wrong, I don’t understand how that even would deny the divinity of Christ. . . . The point is it wouldn’t freak me out if He was wrong about it, in His human side. But I still don’t see the issue. If Noah and Adam were mythical ideas, the point of what Jesus was saying still applies to me.”
Ken Ham, in yesterday’s answer, was having none of that. “So not only does Michael Gungor deny the historical accuracy of the creation and Flood accounts—but he believes Jesus Christ was probably wrong, too! Or worse yet, that Christ might have just lied to the Jews about it. This is a sad place for a professing Christian to be in,” Ham said. He called for prayer for Michael Gungor. He also said Gungor made the same mistake many others made: accepted science as somehow less fallible than God’s Word.
Walt Brown: Jesus wouldn’t lie
Walter T. Brown, of the Center for Scientific Creation, agrees. Today he repeated to this correspondent what he includes in his next edition of his book, In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood. He discusses differences between “theistic evolution” and the literal creation account. As he explained today, “A man who attends my church, came to see me several times. He laid out his position as I print it. I wrote it down and asked him, ‘Is that your position?’ And he said, ‘Yes.'”
That position reads in part: “People living in biblical times did not have the scientific knowledge to understand how the universe, earth, and all life evolved. Therefore, Jesus did not try to clarify the allegorical statements and misleading history presented in the scriptures (especially Genesis 1–11).” And that the writers of the Old and New Testament books were no better informed than the ordinary folks. Brown attacked that head-on. “Jesus always spoke the truth,” he says. “In fact, He said He was the truth (Jn 14:6), and scripture is the truth (Jn 17:17). Certainly, Jesus knew the truth, because He was there in the beginning, and all things came into being through Him. (Jn 1:3) To say that Jesus knew the Bible contained false history, but didn’t want to tell people the truth, belies who Jesus was. He didn’t hide false ideas; He exposed them. He called the Old Testament writers, including Moses, who compiled Genesis 1–11, prophets. (Jn 5:46–47) By definition, prophets, when speaking God’s message, always spoke the truth. False prophets were stoned to death.”
Brown goes on to cite sixty-eight separate mentions of Genesis chapters 1-11 in the New Testament. Some come from Jesus, some from Paul of Tarsus, and some from John the Apostle. Brown’s point: Jesus mentioned Adam and Noah as historical figures far too often to be yielding to popular tradition.
Brown also agreed that Jesus challenged the Pharisees on their tradition-bound ways of doing things. If He were not afraid to do that, He would not be afraid to correct the people, if they did misconceive the science of creation. If Jesus treated Genesis literally, says brown, so should we.