Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 4

You’ve probably seen one of our favorite posts — The Earth Is Flat! There we quote numerous bible passages describing the Earth as flat, and none of them are contradicted anywhere else in the bible. Nevertheless, most of the creationist websites we visit somehow deny what the bible says about the Earth’s shape, while insisting that the Earth is young, Adam & Eve were real, Noah’s Flood actually happened, etc.

In an attempt to show how reasonable they are, AIG has repeatedly posted that despite the things they do believe, they don’t believe that the Earth is flat. The last time was Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 3.

Like AIG’s last three attempts, this new one was written by Danny Faulkner. Here’s AIG’s biographical information about him. They say he taught physics and astronomy until he joined AIG. His undergraduate degree is from Bob Jones University.

Danny’s newest effort is The Book of Enoch and the Flat Earth. The Book of Enoch? We went to our post with all the flat Earth bible passages, and saw that we never mentioned the Book of Enoch. What’s going on here?

So we visited Wikipedia. Their article on the Book of Enoch explains the situation. They say:

It is not part of the biblical canon as used by Jews, apart from Beta Israel. Most Christian denominations and traditions may accept the Books of Enoch as having some historical or theological interest, but they generally regard the Books of Enoch as non-canonical or non-inspired. It is regarded as canonical by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, but not by any other Christian groups.

So this time around, Danny is ignoring all of the uncontradicted bible passages describing the flat Earth, and instead he discusses the Book of Enoch, which virtually all denominations regard as non-scriptural and therefore irrelevant. We’ll give you some excerpts from his very long essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis.

His “Abstract” summarizes everything in his article, so we’ll quote that in its entirety:

The Book of Enoch is an important source for those who promote the notion that the earth is flat. A few portions of this rather long book teach that the earth is flat, but other passages are ambiguous about the earth’s shape. Flat earthers are selective about which portions of the Book of Enoch that they cite, because other passages clearly contradict aspects of the flat-earth model promoted today. The book of Enoch almost certainly is pseudepigraphal because there is considerable doubt that the patriarch Enoch wrote it, despite the claim within the book that he did. The Book of Enoch is not canonical. Therefore, it ought not be used to interpret Scripture, particularly in claiming the Bible teaches that the earth is flat.

So what? The creation scientists at AIG claim to be bible-believers, so why do they care about something that isn’t in the bible? Anyway, Danny says:

In a previous article, I discussed a few of the biblical passages that, according to some people, teach that the earth is flat. There I made the point that the Bible doesn’t endorse any cosmology, but instead gives only bare details regarding cosmology that could be understood several ways. For instance [various bible passages]. These statements briefly describe God’s creative acts during Creation Week, but they hardly teach any particular cosmology, such as geocentrism or heliocentrism, whether the earth is flat or a sphere, or whether the universe is expanding or static. God exemplified his wisdom in not endorsing any of man’s cosmologies in his Word. If God had done otherwise, it would have needlessly exposed the Bible to ridicule in nearly every age, for man’s cosmologies have changed continually over time.

As we’ve said before, with not much more effort, AIG could — like other denominations — dismiss the bible passages that support their young-Earth creationism, but of course they don’t. Why? Because it’s The Truth.

After picking on the Book of Enoch, which isn’t difficult to do, Danny talks briefly about the bible and tells us:

Forget what the Book of Enoch says — what are the pillars of heaven in Job 26:11? That isn’t clear at all. First, note that God isn’t speaking in Job 26, but rather it is the beginning of Job’s long response (Job 26–31) to Bildad’s comments in Job 25. Therefore, the thoughts expressed here are those of Job’s, and may not necessarily reflect God’s truth. Furthermore, since Job is a poetic book, we ought to be very careful about reading this too literally.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s easy to dismiss those parts of the bible that now appear to be in error. Too bad that AIG isn’t consistent in doing that.

Then Danny returns to the Book of Enoch and devotes a zillion paragraphs to ridiculing it. That’s all there is to his essay.

So what has he accomplished? Nothing. Nothing at all. Oh wait — he has done one thing. He’s shown us that he’s not crazy. Although he’s a young-Earth creationist, he’s not one of those flat-Earthers. They’re crazy!

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18 responses to “Answers in Genesis & the Flat Earth, Part 4

  1. Theodore Lawry

    Faulkner has been on a crusade to disprove the Flat Earth with simple astro observations see here
    or google “A Lunar Occultation: Another Test for the Flat Earth”

    He complains “How much longer will flat-earther’s believe this nonsense?” Now you know how it feels, Dr Faulkner.!

  2. It does not take much work to apply the rhetoric about the globe of the Earth being compatible with the Bible to evolution being compatible with the Bible.
    There were not the necessary concepts in the Ancient Near East to formulate a theory – something to be asserted or denied in the Bible would be anachronism. Even the majority of life – the microbes and the extinct – is beyond the concepts of the ANE, in general and Biblical literature, in particular.
    But I think that this display of apolgetic rhetoric may falll short when applied to geocentrism.

  3. Eddie Janssen

    Do people who believe the earth is flat also believe in a flat sun and a flat moon?

  4. Perhaps God is ignorant of cosmology.

  5. I’m not an expert on Flat-Earth-ism, but ISTM that the Flat Earth people are not worried about making their beliefs as acceptable as possible. What I’ve seen of FE, they also believe that the Sun and the Moon are not very big objects, not very far away. ISTM that it’s hard to doubt that the Moon – as far as the side tha we can see – is mostly a globe (but anything goes as far as the Far Side – they can just as well deny the photos of the Far Side). We can see the sunspots moving with the rotation of the Sun almost with our bare eyes (with a pin-hole projection, for example).

  6. Dave Luckett

    Flat earth thinking is another example of exceptionalism. We know of no other body planet-sized or larger made of contiguous matter that is a disk. (Galaxies can be lens-shaped, because a galaxy is mostly vacuum.) If the Earth were a disk, it would be completely unique. Which is fine, by the standards of the flat-earthers. As far as they’re concerned, the Earth is special.

    Forgive me if I ascribe this to their feeling that they are special.

  7. Deliberate indulgence in ignorance and derision of the scientific establishment seem to have picked up momentum in recent years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Creationist movement, which is unapologetically and thoroughly anti-scientific, widens to include flat-earthism and geocentricism within the next decade or so.

  8. I would add that I detect a note of beleaguerment in Faulkner’s article as he pushes back against growing numbers of Creationists in the flat earth / moon hoax / conspiracy theory crowd. Some of the authors these people follow like treating Enoch as an authoritative book, for reasons I can’t really understand. I guess it’s the new Nostradomus, but for Christian fundamentalists.

  9. It is true that creationism has retrogressed from Old Earth in the early 20th century to the extremes of Arkeology and Baraminology. Flood Geology was abandoned 200 years ago.
    Isn’t ID losing its characteristic aloofness?

  10. Ross Cameron

    There are a number of ‘books’ mentioned in the bible that never made the cut, including Enoch. I argued with a believer if the bible is wholly inspired, why would non-canonised books be mentioned. Got some babble about ‘they were known to the people at the time, so the authors included them for credibility’. Yeah, right.

  11. Wait, I can do that too:
    “Furthermore, since Genesis is a poetic book, we ought to be very careful about reading this too literally.”
    “Furthermore, since Leviticus is a poetic book, we ought to be very careful about reading this too literally.”

    Gheh, that’s easy.

  12. Hmm, this is not phpBB is it? Damn.

  13. See the Wikipedia article “Noncanonival books referenced in the Bible”. H

  14. Forget what the Book of Enoch says — what are the pillars of heaven in Job 26:11? That isn’t clear at all. First, note that God isn’t speaking in Job 26, but rather it is the beginning of Job’s long response (Job 26–31) to Bildad’s comments in Job 25. Therefore, the thoughts expressed here are those of Job’s, and may not necessarily reflect God’s truth. Furthermore, since Job is a poetic book, we ought to be very careful about reading this too literally.

    In other words, the Bible is to be read as the literal truth, every word the Word of God, except when it isn’t. Which is to say, except for when it’s just too embarrassing to do so, even for creationists.

  15. I recommend this book
    James L. Kugel
    The Bible as it was
    Belnap Press Harvard 1997

    It presents many examples of how the Bible was read in the culture in which it was written. A couple of centuries before and after the BC-AD divide.

  16. Michael Fugate

    If DI, AiG, and ICR tell everyone to ignore scientific experts because science is fallible, then why wouldn’t their followers take it to heart and ignore all individuals calling themselves scientific experts – even if employed at DI, AiG, and ICR?

  17. Another theological argument about the shape of the earth? Where will these denominational disputes stop? Civil war ? Religious war ? Violent church schisms? Burning heretics? Oh wait, those already do happen. Why not just use logic and stop all the mambo jahambo?

  18. Draken, you’re not far off when it comes to the first account of creation in Genesis – it’s definitely poetic. The second account, the one that doesn’t give any real division of time and contradicts the first, is more prosaic.