Comments on “Exploring the Extent of the Flood: Part Three”

Part Three of Ross’s apologetic for a Local Flood appears in the third issue of Volume 1 of the “New Reasons to Believe”.  Ross gives us the theological reasons why the flood must have been local not global as the Bible describes.  Ross starts out with an analogy to sin as a cancer and God as the Great Physician removing a tumor from the patient.

“God… works with perfect precision to cut away the malignancy, leaving the healthy or reparable tissue in place.”

Ross describes sin as a localized phenomenon in the earth, limited in range to the limited extent that people had migrated from where God first placed them in the garden.  So only a limited area of the earth must be covered with water to cleanse the earth of the malignancy.  How does this line up with what we read in Genesis?

Gen 6:11  Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.Gen 6:12  God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.Gen 6:13  Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.Gen 6:19  “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.Gen 7:4  “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.”Gen 7:19  The water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.Gen 7:20  The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered.Gen 7:21  All flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind;Gen 7:22  of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died.Gen 7:23  Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark.

If God were trying to tell us that the extent of the flood included the whole earth and every living creature on it, how else would He say it than how He says it here?  Just the sheer number of times He repeats the concept of “all” and “every” leaves the reader with no doubt that God meant “all” and “every”.  God is not presented as the exact physician delicately excising just the malignancy and preserving the healthy tissue.  He is portrayed and the great judge of the earth, cleansing his whole creation.  Does it make sense that God could even extract sin from the earth?  Paul says the whole of creation groans, not just a small contaminated part:

Rom 8:19  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.Rom 8:20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hopeRom 8:21  that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

It is the whole of creation that suffers under sin.Ross expands his surgical analogy into what he calls a theological appeal, that turns out to be faulty logic:

“According to this theological perspective, the geographical extent of Noah’s Flood can be determined by the geographical extent of the human community and the soulish animals associated with it.  The basis for interpreting Noah’s Flood as an event of less than global geographical proportions is that human civilization at that time lacked the motivation and the means (economic, technical, and otherwise) to colonize distant regions of the planet.  Archeological evidence indicates that human habitation had not yet spread beyond the area in and around the juncture of three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe.”

Ross assumes a local flood, interprets the limited range of archeological relics in terms of a local flood, then claims to have shown that the flood was local based on the limited range of the relics.  We can take the same relics, assume a global flood, interpret the limited range of the relics based on the global flood, and so “prove” the global flood.  The limited range of the relics proves nothing.  It may be a necessary condition for his theory to work, but it is not sufficient.Not only is it not sufficient, it doesn’t line up with scripture.  Genesis 4 describes the descendants of Adam as musicians, metal workers, and shepherds, not poor and lazy.Ross concludes with the statement:”From a theological standpoint, no reason existed for God to deluge the whole of the planet earth. …  Such an interpretation holds true to the text and true to the revealed character of our Creator and Savior.”It is true that we cannot come up with a reason for God to deluge the whole of the planet.  We cannot come up with a reason to deluge even a part of the planet.  He could have sent a plague to wipe out man and animals.  He could have sent a meteor to blast them away.  He could have done it any number of ways, so we are forced to accept God’s account of how it happened because we were not there.  God said “all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered.” and they were.

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