Beneath the Surface: An Editorial Comment -- By: Henry B. Smith, Jr.

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 19:2 (Spring 2006)
Article: Beneath the Surface: An Editorial Comment
Author: Henry B. Smith, Jr.

Beneath the Surface: An Editorial Comment

Henry B. Smith, Jr.

The explosion of the modern-day creationist movement began in the early 1960s with the publication and release of the Whit-comb/Morris classic, The Genesis Flood. It was a much needed and overdue response to 100 years of Darwinism, which had reshaped the educational establishment and indoctrinated millions with evolutionary dogma. Since the release of The Genesis Flood, the Christian community has risen up to refute the bankruptcy of evolutionary thought and demonstrate that Biblical creationism is a much more viable explanation for the origin of the universe and its biological life forms.

The situation regarding the history of the rest of the Bible, however, has been much different. The Biblical record has always been under attack in one way or another. There are certain attacks, however, that direct thousands away from the truths contained in the Bible, ultimately causing them to reject their need for salvation through the Son of God. One such attack was Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis in the late 19th century.

Wellhausen hypothesized that Moses was not the author of the Pentateuch. Instead, the first five books of the Bible were written centuries later by multiple authors. Although much work has been done to refute Wellhausen, his theory caused severe damage in the church and in seminaries—damage still being felt today.

Seminaries had already begun moving away from emphasizing apologetics,1 and combined with compromise regarding the doctrine of inerrancy, the end result was an almost universal acceptance of Wellhausen’s theory both outside and inside the church. Great institutions like Princeton Theological Seminary began their tragic slide into liberalism. When Wellhausen’s theory was combined with the effects of Darwinism and Marx’s Communist Manifesto, the result was devastating. Skeptics were emboldened, and many within the church were “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming”(Ephesians 4:14). An unfortunate circumstance, indeed!

In the late 19th century, Biblical archaeologists began to uncover evidence that upheld the history of the Bible. Many discoveries undermined Wellhausen’s theory. In fact, the church at large was involved in the funding of Biblical archaeology. Unfortunately, this did not last for long. As seminaries began to churn out new graduates who did not see the great need for apologetics, churches simply became disinterested in funding archaeological research. Today, the church does very little to fund evangelical Biblical archaeological researc...

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