By Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 11 June 2003
As a progressive creationist, I do not believe the flood to be global, i.e. over the entire face of the earth. However, there are some old-earth creation science believers who would argue for a global flood. If you want to do so, that is fine, there are no theological implications. It is perfectly acceptable to Scripture to believe in a global, or a local, flood event.
Biblical Evidence for a Global Flood (Page 150)
A. The Need for the Ark. Yes, it’s true Noah could have migrated away. However, there are several good reasons he did not. First, if he did this, others would follow. Think about the Tower of Babel…God had to introduce the various languages to scatter the people all over the earth. Before Genesis 11, people stuck together! If Noah had moved, others would have moved with him, and thus they would have been saved as well.
Also, the Ark served as a testimony. People came from miles away to see this boat. No doubt, Noah spent much time foretelling the future doom of mankind, so he was able to “preach” to the people. God always gives people a chance to repent. In this case, they had 100 years of preaching, to no avail. However, if Noah simply moved away, the people would not have the chance to repent.
B. The Size of the Ark. Although the ark was large, it would not hold all the animals in the world. Even young-earth creation science proponents have to shrink the animal population to get it to work. For instance, they say that a common ancestor, or “dog-kind” was the only pair saved, and from them came all the species we have today, dogs, coyotes, wolf, hyena, etc. The size of the Ark was well-suited for the population of animals needed.
C. The Need for Animals on the Ark. They were needed for three reasons. First, to repopulate the area decimated by the flood. Second, as a food source for Noah and his family. And third, as an illusion. Suppose the evil people had caught on that the flood was real, so they moved away, and escaped the local flood. By keeping up appearances that only those on the ark would survive, then running away from the flood would not occur, because they knew they could not escape it.
D. Birds. For the same reasons as C.
E. The Judgment Was Universal. This section has an amazing sentence. On the third line, they state that “it boggles the mind to believe that, after all those centuries since creation, no one had migrated to other parts (of the world).” Huh? Genesis Chapter 11 tells about the Tower of Babel, and how all the people lived in the same area, and eventually God had to scatter them abroad! Because everyone lived in the same area, there was no need for the flood to be global.
F. The Flood was a type of the judgment to come. “A partial judgment in Noah’s day would mean a partial judgment to come.” The judgment in Noah’s day was not partial. It affected all of humanity.
G. The Waters were above the Mountains. Obviously, God protected the rest of the world by keeping the waters only in the local area. Surely, if a supernatural rainfall occurred, then certainly a supernatural force maintaining the water in this area is possible.
H. The Duration of the Flood. We will have to ask God how and why He did the Flood. He chose to cover this part of the earth for more than one year. It was His choice.
I. God’s Promise Broken? The young earth creation science authors imply that since we have local floods today, then God broke his promise, numerous times, not to flood the earth again. Here the authors assume a small size for the local flood. However, the Flood covered an area probably several hundred miles in circumference, and thousands of feet deep, for more than a year. This flood may have been “local,” but it was by no means “small.” This was a huge flood event, one that has not been repeated on this scale again.
The covenant God made to never flood the earth again is in Genesis 9:15. He states that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.” Yes we have local floods today, but they are true to God’s covenant…these floods do not “destroy all flesh (humans).”
All People are Descendants of Noah (Page 152)
This is OK by me…I agree Progressive creationists all believe that we are descendants of Noah. The only issue would be from those theistic evolutionists who do not believe in a literal translation of Genesis.
The Hebrew Terminology of Genesis 6-9 (Page 152)
The key to the first section is in Genesis 6:13. God said “…the end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them.” When God speaks of killing “all flesh” he is talking of humankind, for humankind is the one that filled the earth with “violence.” This obviously does not represent the animal kingdom. Since humans were only living in a small geographic area, this “violence” all existed in the same area.
“All Flesh” (from page 153) only means humankind (Genesis 6:13). God set the pattern in Genesis 6:13, referring to humankind by this term, so it clearly does not mean all animals as proposed by the authors.
None of the other terms present any kind of solid argument for a global flood.
Genesis 9 – Genesis 1 Parallels (Page 153)
I agree. Adam was told to fill the whole earth (which failed by the time of the Flood), and so Noah was given the same instruction (which failed by the time of the Tower of Babel). Parallels here mean nothing.
The New Testament Speaks of the Flood as Global (Page 154)
Nowhere in any of the passages mentioned does it claim that the flood is completely global. In fact, the opposite may be true. II Peter 2:5 states “…bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” In the early chapters of Genesis, the people did not migrate away from each other and settle the whole earth. In fact, God had to change their language, and scatter them from the Tower of Babel, because of this tendency for people to live together. In the above passage, it says the world of the ungodly was flooded. In order to accomplish this, God would only need to flood the Middle East region to fulfill the goal of killing off these ungodly people. Since the rest of creation only existed of plants and animals, which corruption had not reached by young-earth standards of belief, there would be no need to kill them.
Objections to a Global Flood (Page 154)
Number 1: “All” does not always mean “all.” One must consider who is describing the Flood. From the viewpoint of humankind, which solely lived in the Mesopotamia region, the flood was most certainly “global” and killed “all” life. Yes, it would not mean “all” if you lived in America…but then there were no humans in America at the time, so “all” means “all” to those in the Flood.
Number 2: The Post-Flood geography is the same as the Pre-Flood geography. A weak, but interesting argument. Not important for the debate of global versus local.
Number 3: There is no evidence for such a flood in the geologic record. I'll say that again...there is no evidence for such a flood in the geologic record. All the evidence presented by young-earth theorists has been disproved. Here are links to some of these.
Grand Canyon: Monument to Catastrophe – Young Earth Creation Science Book Review
Noah’s Flood – Is the Young Earth Model for Noah’s Flood right?
The Floating Forest Theory Sinks. Young-earth creationists have proposed that there were floating forests to explain the coal beds that we see in the strata today. This article logically sinks this theory.
Coconino Sandstone – This rock formation in the Grand Canyon area is said to have been formed by the Flood of Noah. However, the authors missed some key contradictions.
The Desert Problem – All it takes is one wind-deposited desert in the geologic record to disprove the young earth model.
Stratigraphy - Or, can the Global Flood of Noah produce all the rock layers we see in the Grand Canyon?
Chalk from Noah’s Flood? – Young-earth creation science theorists claim that all chalk layers were produced during the Flood. However, can the Flood even produce chalk?
Dinosaur Extinction – Can the young earth creation science model explain dinosaur extinction?
Canyon Deception – Can a modern canyon that formed in six days give evidence of the Flood being able to create the Grand Canyon?
Missing Rivers – Do absence of Canyon forming rivers mean anything?
Creationist Stratigraphy – Is such a thing feasible?
Redwood Hoax? – Redwood Trees provide no evidence for Noah’s Flood
Joggins Fossil Cliffs – Are fossil trees proof of Noah’s Flood?
Yellowstone Petrified Forests – Rebuttal of the Petrified forest theory.
Human Fossils – Young-earth proponents claim there would not be any human fossils from the Flood of Noah. Can this be true?
Buried Birth – Do rapidly buried fossils prove a young earth?
Catastrophism, or Uniformitarianism? - What's the difference? Not as much as you think!
Insect Beds – Do fossil insects give evidence of Noah’s Flood?
The Fossil Record – Are old-earth theories weakened by a changing fossil record?
The flood of Noah was local, yet it was global from the perspective of all who perished in it, and from Noah’s perspective.
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