Some people seem to have a problem with the talking snake of Genesis. They say that it suggests that the Creation account was meant to be taken as allegory or fable, something that teaches truth but is not historically true.
OK, so those of you who keep up with this site know that once upon a time I responded to a post called 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationist Can Answer, written by Tyler Francke, founder of the YEC-bashing God of Evolution site [I’ve provided a summary of my 3 part response]. The talking snake was presented as “unanswerable” question #7.
To review, here is the question and my answer in brief. A fuller response is made in Part 3 of my answer to Tyler Francke’s “unanswerable” series]:
7. Can you name any other piece of literature in which the existence of a talking snake and trees with magical powers would suggest to you that it was meant to be taken literally?
A: Tyler here reveals his double-mindedness where it concerns the supernatural in Genesis because science chained to pure naturalism forbids a literal interpretation of the Creation account, even though he allows for supernatural elements in history as revealed in the Bible elsewhere. Of course, all-natural science also says no to supernatural agency of any sort, so Tyler is guilty of straining gnats and swallowing camels. What Tyler’s double-minded objection fails to take into account is the question of what a history book that allows for supernatural things would look like. To back his objection, he notes two Scriptures where the Tree of Life is spoken of figuratively, failing to take into account other passages where it is mentioned as actually existing. Once again, context determines meaning, Tyler.
So at that point, I was starting to think Tyler was just an instigator, that he likes to strut his stuff and throw down the gauntlet, but that he always has a convenient reason to be elsewhere when someone takes him up on that challenge. The only response you’ll get from a reasoned rebuttal of Tyler Francke’s arguments is snark, hand-waving, and a few insults. So basically he insulates himself from criticism by pretending like his critics have no real points and goes on with the Great and Wonderful Snarkomatic Show! OK, that was over the top, but my point remains. He never truly defends himself without a great deal of snark, reminding me of the old tongue-in-cheek preacher’s adage: “Pound pulpit here. Point weak.”
So I started to ask myself why he never gave his opponents the respect of a proper response? Why didn’t he at least have the integrity to defend his own arguments? It turns out that it’s part of his strategy. He first proposed this strategy in an April 2013 called “Maybe it’s time from the evolution-creationism discussion to evolve” [Note that he poisons the well by tagging his opponents’ position with that pernicious suffix “-ism”. At least, it let’s you know where this article’s headed…]:
“When it comes to evolution and creationism, the Church is in a rut. The camps are well established, as are the talking points. In personal discussions, I haven’t seen a lot of willingness on the anti-evolution side to budge the slightest inch. It’s not about the evidence for them. And though I’m still somewhat of a newcomer to the larger debate taking place in various forums across the Web, I can’t say there’s much progression there, either.
He went on to say that his strategy was to ignore his critics and just go on spouting his views as if such criticism neither existed nor mattered.
Compare his strategy to the one proposed by Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
“A little plain speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watchdogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of His glory, and man of his hope!”
Biblical compromisers like Tyler Francke don’t want to engage the debate because they for the same reason a cockroach or a thief or dare I say a snake doesn’t want to be exposed! Insulated in the darkness, they can pretend they are perfectly alright, but the light exposes them for what they are.
And lest we forget, it is those who try to impose long ages and/or microbes-to-man evolution onto to the plain meaning of Scripture who echo the question of the Edenic Serpent: “Did God reeeeeally say that?” And now they don’t want to engage the argument they started! Instead they’ll pretend they’ve won, even if someone refutes them. But who do you suppose they think they’re fooling?
In the spirit of Spurgeon, I say we sound the alarm and turn over every rock so that these Modern-day talking serpents may be exposed for what they are. If they have the better argument, let them prove it. The Word of God stands sure.
“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” [1 Corinthians 1:20]