During the 1800s, England hosted three major “Trojan horse” attacks on the Genesis account of the worldwide Flood. The first one was especially influential, opening the door for the others. Each attack was hospitably “invited” into Christian circles and produced ruinous corruptions to the worldviews of those who unsuspectingly played “host” to such visitors.
Originally, Christian scientists and leaders treated the Biblical account in the book of Genesis as a literal record of a global deluge. "Throughout the entire eighteenth century [i.e., 1700s], and well into the nineteenth [i.e., 1800s], an imposing list of scientists and theologians produced works in support of the Flood…. That the Flood was universal and that it was responsible for the major geologic formation of the earth was accepted almost without question in the western world during that period."1
The first such Trojan horse was introduced, ironically, by a French Protestant creationist, Baron Georges Cuvier. Cuvier proposed a theory of “multiple catastrophes” that treated the Genesis record as mostly irrelevant (if not misleading) for understanding the natural world and its catastrophic past.2 Cuvier’s theory was employed in 1814 by Thomas Chalmers for his ruin-and-reconstruction “gap theory,” an unequal and humanistic yoking of unbiblical “science” notions with the early chapters of Genesis.
The next breed of Trojan horse involved in the assault on the Genesis account of the Flood was grounded upon the anti-catastrophist uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell, Darwin’s ideological mentor. As Lyell’s old-earth uniformitarian theory gained popularity, catastrophist views of geologic history (including Cuvier’s) lost popularity. Consequently, efforts to preserve academic “respectability” led some Christians to mix Lyell’s anti-catastrophist dogma with a non-catastrophist view of the Genesis Flood, the so-called “tranquil flood” theory promoted by the likes of Carolus Linnaeus and John Fleming.3
Another Trojan horse was welcomed during the 1800s, the “local flood” theory of John Pye Smith.4 Thus, long before Charles Darwin published his atheistic concept of “natural selection” (a bait and switch metaphor that arbitrarily replaced the all-wise and all-powerful Creator with a magic force called “nature”), many of the leaders in Christian circles, both scientists and church leaders, had already closed the book of Genesis—at least as to what it teaches about the global Flood.
Today Christendom faces new breeds of Trojan horses (e.g., BioLogos, Intelligent Design deism, day-age “progressive creation,” framework hypothesis, etc.), which lie in wait to attack our understanding of Genesis and what it teaches about the Flood. Beware—and keep your Bible open!
(excerpted from Johnson, J. J. S. 2011. Just Say No to Trojan Horses. Acts & Facts. 40 (2): 17-18.)
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1. Morris, H. M. and J. C. Whitcomb. 1961. The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 91.
2. Ibid, 92.
3. Ibid, 95-99.
4. Ibid, 107-113.