December 5, 2020

Is Genesis History?

Is Genesis History?

On the August 4th BioLogos Forum, commentator “o9rady” gives a lengthy defense of the 2017 movie “Is Genesis History” and a lengthy critique of the BioLogos response to that movie, “A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?”. From the Wikipedia entry on the movie:

The film was written, directed, and produced by Thomas Purifoy Jr., who said he was inspired to make it after his daughter watched the Bill Nye–Ken Ham debate in 2014 and began asking him questions about the creation–evolution controversy.  Del Tackett, the creator of Focus on the Family’s “The Truth Project”, narrates the film.   Interviewing thirteen creationists, the narrator of the film argues that Genesis portrays real historical events.

I have not seen the movie, but by all accounts, it is a well-produced, well-filmed, and the cinematography is excellent, with creative artwork at each transition, beautiful landscapes, and technical prowess. The movie is probably the single most compellingly presented argument for the Young Earth Creationist (YEC) viewpoint of earth history.  I won’t use the term “propaganda” because I believe that term implies a willingness on the advocate’s part to knowingly deceive the target public.  I don’t believe Del Tackett et al are trying to deceive—they are, in fact, true believers of what they present.

Although commentator “o9rady” tries to pass off his remarks as irenic, and ends his comment with, “Y’all have a great day and I hope that you don’t take my little post in the wrong light. I love you, I really do”, his comment really implies bad faith on the part of the BioLogos response.  Which I totally understand.  If I read the “A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?” as a YEC I would likely feel there is a condescending tone.  And there kind of is—because the BioLogos responders don’t take the YEC argument seriously—and that is offensive to the YEC.

If you read into the August 4th Forum, you can see several BioLogos responders try to interact with “o9rady” in a tone of reasoned response.  To which “o9rady” keeps shoveling out the YEC rhetoric which he thinks is “scientific” and purports to present himself as a “math guy” who understands all too well the science of evolution, DNA, and so forth—as if the BioLogos responders were all high-schoolers and not the credentialed experts they are.

Finally, Moderator Christy Hemphill gives “o9rady” a point by point response, which sails right over his head.  It’s all a distressingly familiar exercise in frustration.  So why do you keep at it, Mike?  The film spends most of its time in the Grand Canyon trying to make the case that the formation of that feature, from initial deposition to final form, has its only reasonable explanation as a “catastrophic flood”.  The Grand Canyon is a well-known feature of the American landscape—practically iconic.  So my problem is well expressed in this quote from “A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?” –

This film will undoubtedly make its way into church libraries, homeschooling and Christian school curriculums, and youth group movie nights, convincing Christian youth that they can safely reject “secular” notions of deep time and evolution. When they go to college or start investigating the evidence themselves and discover they have been misled, the natural tendency is to assume that it is Christianity itself that has failed them. Unbelieving seekers who see this film will likewise be confronted with the confounding association of the truth of Christ with massive misrepresentations about natural history. An enormous stumbling block to faith is laid at the feet of these poor souls, standing between them and the cross.

I did a series blogging through the book, The Grand Canyon, Monument to an Ancient Earth: Can Noah’s Flood Explain the Grand Canyon? By Gregg Davidson, Joel Duff, David Elliott, Tim Helble, Carol Hill, Stephen Moshier, Wayne Ranney, Ralph Stearley, Bryan Tapp, Roger Wiens, and Ken Wolgemuth.  That book conclusively and in great detail lays to rest the YEC argument for the Grand Canyon’s formation.  I’m not going to recount all the evidence, read my series, or better yet, buy the book.  You can get a nice capsule summary in the BioLogos article, ““A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?

Christians who are scientists have a responsibility and a duty to remove the enormous stumbling block to faith that is laid at the feet of these poor souls, standing between them and the cross, by the movie “Is Genesis History”.  As the book that I based the series on put it — the Grand Canyon is a monument to an ancient earth.  As Joel Duff, one of the author’s said in the introduction about the need to propagate this truth among Christians (particularly evangelicals):

“I believe that there is such a need because there is an audience which needs to hear the testimony of the Grand Canyon: much of the modern Christian church.  That audience has different concerns than many that peer into the canyon.  The Grand Canyon forces Christians to confront questions of the age of the Earth and biblical authority…”

And as the “A Geological Response to the Movie “Is Genesis History?” article concludes:

We long for the day when the church will realize that the gospel and the authority of Scripture do not need to be propped up with convoluted arguments and misrepresentations of the natural world. When nature is allowed to proclaim its message without preconceived notions of its history, it declares the glory of God just fine (Ps 19:1, Rom 1:20).


  1. “(A) YEC I would likely feel there is a condescending tone. And there kind of is—because the BioLogos responders don’t take the YEC argument seriously—and that is offensive to the YEC.”

    As one of my old pastors would say, “Respect is earned.” Silly ideas deserve to be treated as such.

    • It would be equally hard to take someone seriously while they were articulating QAnon beliefs, or something else outrageous and/or absurd. Yesterday I had a physician, a specialist whom I visit once a year, tell me that the coronavirus crisis is essentially a hoax to beat Trump in the election. I won’t bother to relate the whole story, but I’ll tell you this, the fact that I can’t take him seriously regarding a public health matter made me wonder if I should trust any of his competence as a physician.

      • Nope

      • David Cornwell says

        I have a NP who is my primary care practitioner. She is a Wheaton grad, probably in her early 60’s. I like her a lot and we have a lot of fun when I visit her. But I’m finding out that she is probably somewhere more on the right, and basically questioned COVID-19 as overblown. I haven’t been to her office recently and have only used video visits the last couple of appointments. Her offfice is within walking distance of my home, so very handy. I don’t know if she has had an attitude adjustment since their offices have been shut down. But if not then I’ll give serious consideration to making a change.

      • Christiane says

        Robert, you should check his ‘physician’ credentials.

        sometimes a good brain surgeon can believe that the Egyptian pyramids were built to hold grain, as did the infamous republican Dr. Ben Carson . . . .

        as to trumpism and QANON, this stuff is growing progressively cultic and more malevolent as the days approach November,
        so many of the people of such persuasions will begin to come out of the woodwork, you bet, thinking that trump will win and they now have credibility

        My family are medical doctors, pediatricians, a Navy doctor, an oncologist, a child psychiatrist . . . not one of them would make such a statement to you, no . . . not even all the nurse practitioners in my family would tell you such things as your doctor did
        . . . . they come out of major medical schools such a the University of Virginia and they ethically are bound to ‘at least do no harm’,
        so I think your doctor has some kind of agenda he is telling you that is untrue and may lead you to ignore common sense precautions as a result which DOES put you badly at risk

        I would find a doctor who respects the oath he took not to do harm at least. I would not trust your doctor to care for your welfare, having heard that this ‘opinion’ is being given to the patients in his care. Bad news.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          sometimes a good brain surgeon can believe that the Egyptian pyramids were built to hold grain, as did the infamous republican Dr. Ben Carson . . . .

          How about the dimensions of the Great Pyramid (when measured in “Pyramid Inches”) foretelling the future in detailed Bible Prophecy?

          so many of the people of such persuasions will begin to come out of the woodwork, you bet, thinking that trump will win and they now have credibility

          They are already strutting around crowing and gloating in triumph on YouTube comment threads and livestream chat logs. Some are even working themselves into orgasms bragging what they’re going to do to the rest of us after November. “My MAGA coffee cup all ready to catch and drink ALL your Librul tears. MAGA!”

          • It will be interesting to see how many stroke out and die when Trump gets crushed in the election.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Assuming there’ll be an election.

              “President for Life… We really need to try that here.”
              And the Christians will chorus “AAAAAAA-MENNNNN! AND HIS KINGDOM SHALL HAVE NO END!”

              • thatotherjean says

                We need a postal strike, NOW, so it can be sorted out before November. Not getting mail will cause even Trump cultists to complain, and, with luck, want to restore service. Trump’s pet Postmaster is clearly trying to slow postal deliveries in order to affect what was to have been a mostly-mail-in election. Strikers need to demand the restoration of overtime, proper funding,and the return of sorting machines that have been quietly disappearing. Nobody in charge seems to care about the people who are having vital medications, or bills for which they will be charged late fees. It needs to be stopped, as near to now as possible.

                • Christiane says

                  “Nobody in charge seems to care about the people who are having vital medications, or bills for which they will be charged late fees.”

                  Hello thatotherjean,

                  if the powers that be don’t care about the health of our school children, you can bet your boots that they could care less about us old timers on Express Scripts meds who get snail mail bills.

                  The Senate? they are no more ‘the Senate’ of the US Congress, no;
                  they (the majority are just trumpists-lackeys) are not to be counted on for help for any American other than the trump

                  strange days but November is coming

                • It is almost beyond comprehension that a president of the U.S. is having his minions intentionally slow down mail service in order to sabotage mail-in voting in the upcoming election, AND THAT HE IS ADMITTING THAT HE’S DOING IT. He’s the enemy of democracy and of decency in the U.S. If he’s allowed to continue this for much longer, there will be no getting back from the place that he’s taking the country.

                  • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                    And the Christians chorus “AAAAAAA-MENNNNN!!!!! HE IS LOOOOOOORD!!!!!” every step of the way.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              They seem Supremely Confident.
              Totally, Utterly Secure in their FAITH FAITH FAITH.

            • “Crushed” seems to be wishful thinking. The fact that Trump won when I didn’t think he had a chance last time means I’ll NEVER count him out this time, regardless of polling numbers. Until he’s defeated, he’s still viable.

      • It’s a mistake to think that physicians are more educated outside their specialty than the general run of the population. I once asked a physician a question about human evolution naively thinking he would have some special insight and he didn’t know anything more than me. And I once heard a relative who is a RN at one of the most prestigious hospitals in Atlanta (Emory U) seriously discussing whether or not Obama was the Anti-Christ.

        • I suppose that’s true, but I just might not get on a plane if I knew its pilot was a QAnon believer.

  2. Actually this ties into Covid-19 and other issues.

    The entire support of YEC by the church (define as you will) gives cover to the “faithful” to reject all kinds of science. Which gets us to masking wearing, vaccines, and all kinds of conspiracies.

    YEC is making the “faithful” choose between their pastor and science. And we are living in the result of this in our churches, faith, politics, and now our health.

    Since I’m not in agreement with YEC, QANON, Dem are pedophiles, a Christian would only vote GOP, etc…. I’m now rejected by larger and larger swaths of my family tree.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > support of YEC by the church gives cover to the “faithful”

      Yes. And trains them into very had intellectual habits.

    • This is the key point. YEC is not a harmless intellectual quirk.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The entire support of YEC by the church (define as you will) gives cover to the “faithful” to reject all kinds of science. Which gets us to masking wearing, vaccines, and all kinds of conspiracies.

      Which become Litmus Tests of Salvation.

      YEC is making the “faithful” choose between their pastor and science.

      That’s “Science” falsely so-called or WORD! OF! GAWD!

    • perhaps the professed belief of what is obviously untrue IS a requirement for entry into a cult

      giving up one’s own integrity to gain entry?

      showing ‘loyalty’ to the cult by way-laying your brains in favor of their mantras?

      once you indicate how low you will go, they know you will be useful

      we didn’t get a ‘trump the anointed one’ from any sane group, did we?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        perhaps the professed belief of what is obviously untrue IS a requirement for entry into a cult

        AKA the “Two Plus Two Equals Five” Loyalty Test.

        we didn’t get a ‘trump the anointed one’ from any sane group, did we?

        Only from the CHRISTIANS(TM) as a Litmus Test of your Salvation.
        (“WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?????????”)

    • thatotherjean says

      I’m sorry that’s happening to you. Keep the faith in science and democracy, despite your family. They’ve been given an impossible choice between, apparently, going to hell and believing in science. It’s a false choice, but they’re likely too scared to see that it’s false.

      • thatotherjean says

        We need an edit button: Make that “between staying out of hell, and believing in Science.”

  3. the latest Qanon ‘revelation’:
    all dems and them what oppose Trump will be herded into Guantanamo and executed for trafficking children and cannibalism (they eat children’s bodies) so all Trump opponents will be killed

    this is a weird group and is reported to be in the millions

    • My fear is what this group will do if Trump doesn’t win in November. Will they march on DC like Mussolini’s black shirts did in 1922, forcing Victor Emmanuel to name him Prime Minister?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Into the street with Tacticool-blinged AR-15s.
        And the Christians will chorus “AAAAAAA-MENNNN!!!!!”

        • And they will run away like scared little girls when The Shit Gets Real.

          • you better believe the Pentagon cannot wait to have a real American President who doesn’t worship Putin and cozies up to Erdogan and to K. Jong Un

            something tells me that there are patriots in the Pentagon who will protect our nation from this crazy if push comes to shove,
            not as a ‘revolution’, no

            but in the way that Nixon was guarded when he said he had the power to kill millions of people with a nuclear weapon in a matter of minutes during the Watergate days – there was someone over-heard Nixon and a watch was places on him by responsible people because he was coming unglued

            • thatotherjean says

              Considering that it’s Trump, I profoundly hope the nuclear “football” has codes that do nothing but alert the military brass that he’s trying to do something destructive, so they can ignore him and send in somebody with a strait-jacket.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                “IF I CAN’T GET MY WAY, NOBODY CAN!!!!!”
                Toddler reaction, toddler logic.

    • I think no one really knows how many QAnon devotees there are. QAnon is internet centered, and it’s hard to determine from activity on QAnon sites if there are many believers, or just a relative few doing a lot of talking.

      • One thing is for sure, though. Several QAnon believers have been elected to state political offices in the last year.

      • Non trivial numbers. My brother, his kids and spouses. Plus I assume at least some of that extended family.

        Several people I graduated high school with. (1972)

        And my mother would be a card carrying member. She was there with any conspiracy mag back before the internet / Facebook took off.

  4. Iain Lovejoy says

    YEC is parasitic. They are notorious for telling little lies to support their case, but the big lie is not YEC itself, but that the alternatives to YEC is atheism. They know perfectly well that many, indeed quite possibly most Christians think YEC is a nonsense but tell their followers that to deny YEC is to deny God and deny Christ. They rely on people’s faith in God to peddle their nonsense, and people who believe do so not because they are convinced by any of the YEC pseudoscience, but because they are told it is necessary of their faith is to be true.

    • Yes. They make it an all or nothing proposition. Either the Bible is literally scientifically, historically true in every detail or it’s all false. It creates a house-of-cards faith. As the quote Mike noted from Biologos says, when those kids get to university their whole faith collapses because if isn’t all true (the way they were taught it) then none of it is. It is certainly not an innocuous little belief. And, of course, for many (including many I know) it is the ultimate test of faith – more so that believing in Jesus!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        They make it an all or nothing proposition. Either the Bible is literally scientifically, historically true in every detail or it’s all false.

        Boolean Binary Logic.
        “US or THEM?”

    • Agreed. Apparently OEC (or other theories) is a non-starter to these folks. It is a choice between YEC or atheism, a choice between a Giant Douche or a Turd Sandwich.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Again, Boolean Binary Logic.
        With a side of Loyalty Test.

        • Of course I am never one to be Boolean (which was I could never be a software guy), which explains I have not voted for either R or D for POTUS in several election cycles. Last time I voted for one of the 2 major parties for POTUS was in 2004.

          Of course there are 10 types of people: Those who understand binary and those who don’t.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I work in IT.
            I’m very familiar with Boolean IF/THEN/ELSE logic.

            And how (like Darwin 100 years ago) it’s been spread into the underlying foundational TRVTH! applied to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

  5. Clay Crouch says

    And we wonder why evangelicals have supported Trump. 6000 year old earth. QAnon conspiracy. What’s next, the earth is flat, under a dome, and held up on pillars?

    • Burro (Mule) says

      My favorite, Donald Trump and Steve Bannon are being controlled by beautiful 140 year old Moon Nazi women from their secret base in Antarctica, preparing for an invasion from the Pleiades.

      The explanatory power is incredible. Oh yeah, Cate Blanchett’s Irina Spanko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom fo the Crystal Skull is obviously Gudrun.

      • Thank you Burro. Reading the sentence

        Tila Tequila is a Hip Hop generation CIA MK ULTRA/MONARCH Luciferian Sex Kitten

        will keep me cheerful for a week.

      • Clay Crouch says

        Where’s Lt. Aldo “The Apache” Raine when we really need him?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      What’s next, the earth is flat, under a dome, and held up on pillars?


      Remember their Salvation and Where They Will Spend ETERNITY is at stake.

      • Iain Lovejoy says

        That’s not “next”: Flat Earthers are already here.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Flat Earthers have been there since Victorian times.

          The modern Flat Earth movement started back then as “Zetetic Astronomy”, whose avowed purpose in their own words was to “Defend SCRIPTURE against Godless ‘Science’ Falsely So-Called”.

          • That sounds like an organization from the tabletop roleplaying game Space: 1889 (an early steampunk genre game).

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Except the Zetetics were for real.

              I’m also familiar with Space: 1889, one of GDW’s last gasps before the Magic Card Extinction Event. How they managed to do a space-opera game and stay consistent with Victorian-era science — like The Expanse as written by Jules Verne or his contemporaries.

              Speaking of Victorian-era RPGs, have you ever heard of Castle Falkenstein? Victorian steampunk fantasy (including Fae) done well.

              • Space:1889 was executed well I agree.

                The game name Castle Falkenstein rings a bell, but I am not familiar with it any more than that.

                GDW also did Twilight 2000, which was very detailed on modern weapons systems and the combat system was very detailed. It had good run for several years (it was published in 1984), but then the Cold War ended.

                Cadillacs and Dinosaurs was also published by GDW. That was amusing. I put that in the tongue and cheek RPG genre (Like SJW Toon). Something to play as one-off game night as “something different” rather than any sort of campaign game.

                GDW did quite a bit of board games, of which Harpoon is perhaps the most famous (again very realistic and detailed – think ASL but for modern naval combat).

        • David Greene says

          Apparently the folks at Ham’s AIG have a real problem with the unscientific flat Earthers. The lack of self_awareness and the irony is delicious…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Judean Peoples’ Front and People’s Front of Judea, at each other’s throats.

        • Clay Crouch says

          There is a Netflix documentary, Behind the Curve, that explores the current resurgence of flat earthers in the US. It’s frustrating and fascinating.

    • I was thinking of a bowl held up by elephants standing on an infinite stack of Giant Turtles myself….

    • Burro (Mule) says

      Moon Nazi girls in moderation :]

      • As opposed to “Surf Nazis Must Die” a fine gem from Troma pictures.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Don’t forget “Iron Sky”:

          And its sequel (introducing Reptioid Nazis from the Hollow Earth) “Iron Sky: The Coming Race”:

          (What can I say? Secret Nazi bases, Hollow Earth, David Icke, and President Sarah Palin all in one. The title may even hark back to Bulwer-Lytton’s novella “The Coming Race” which originated the term “Vril”.)

          • HUG,

            Those hit the trifecta of B movie and penny SF tropes. Well done.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Many-many years ago, I was doing some late-night bad movie crawls on TNT table and got Deathstalker II and The Barbarians back to back. With Nympho Barbarians in Dinosaur Hell as a chaser — tuned in to the last one to see if it was as bad as the title suggested. It was.

              Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, however, was actually pretty clever.

              • I remember seeing Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (another fine Troma production) it stars a then unknown Billy Bob Thornton.

                From the Wikipedia about Troma:

                Troma produced or acquired early films featuring several rising talents, such as Carmen Electra (The Chosen One), Billy Bob Thornton (Chopper Chicks in Zombietown), Vanna White (Graduation Day), Kevin Costner (Sizzle Beach, U.S.A.), J. J. Abrams (Nightbeast), Samuel L. Jackson (Def by Temptation), Marisa Tomei (The Toxic Avenger), Michael Jai White (The Toxic Avenger Part II), Vincent D’Onofrio (The First Turn-On!), David Boreanaz (Macabre Pair of Shorts), Paul Sorvino (Cry Uncle!), James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet), Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Cannibal! The Musical), before they were discovered. Another Academy Award-winning director, Oliver Stone, made his debut as an actor in The Battle of Love’s Return.

  6. “I have not seen the movie, but…”. In order to be able to give an educated and fair criticism of the movie then it seems fair and reasonable to at least watch the movie. I cannot entertain any points made in a a critique of a movie or book by anyone who has not read a book or watched a movie. For instance, there are already plenty of critics that are very outspoken about the Bible itself having never read it.
    I have seen the movie and found it to be very interesting and well presented especially in light of a very good class called Science and the Bible.

    • “Triumph of the Will” is a supposedly well-made movie. I won’t watch it, because the position it defends is already established to be indefensible. Same principle applies here.

      • The point is, if it was a movie defending a new idea – sure, it deserves a viewing. If it were a film taking a fresh look at an old or controversial idea, sure. But YEC fits none of those categories. It is not new, there have been no miraculous discoveries that have given it newfound credibility – it’s a bad idea, with bad defenses – and no amount of high-quality window dressing can alter that.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          It is a historical curiosity.

          But still said to be VERY persuasive for it’s Cause.
          (Incidentally, according to the 1943 OSS analysis, many foreign witnesses of Nuremberg Rallies described them as “revival meetings”.)

      • I did watch it, Eeyore. I wanted to educate myself on what true propaganda looked like. I majored in German, and when one of the departments at my university showed the film, I took the opportunity. It was a given that nobody in the audience would ascribe to anything extolled by that film. (Ah, the good old days…)

        Would I watch it again? No. But I’m glad I had the chance to see it, and on a big screen at that.


      • Burro (Mule) says

        Yet, Battleship Potemkin continues to get a pass.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          That’s because it’s about The People’s Progressives, not Those Nazis.
          (All Genuflect with dewy eyes and trembling lips…)
          Why the Paris Hiltons of the world even name their yappy lapdogs after them! Tres Chic!

          Soviet Sh*t Never Stinks.
          And the Mad as Hell pushback against that Fashion was one of the factors animating Trump’s Base.

          • Considering all the dark rye bread and Vodka, I would dispute that about their Sh*t. :-D.

            Of course I am reminded of this Wendy’s commercial when it came to Soviet fashion:


          • Burro (Mule) says

            I’m so susceptible to propaganda it’s pathetic.

            Let me watch Battleship Potemkin with Adrian Von Ziegler’s music in the background, and I’m ready to steamroll a village of kulaks.

            Not to mention I’m always daydreaming about the wrong guys winning; Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale, President Lindbergh in The Plot Against America.

            I’m a piece of work.

            • I dream about Walter White winning in Breaking Bad.

              Oh, wait, he did win, didn’t he? Just before he died…

              • Speaking of Breaking Bad, did you see the alternate of Breaking Bad that Bryan Cranston filmed?

                Here is a clip about it:


                • Not familiar with Malcolm in the Middle, but this seems amusing.

                  • Before Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston was the goofy dad in the comedy Malcolm in the Middle. Which is why this alternate ending of Breaking Bad is so funny (and it pays homage to the ending of Newhart, where Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette and telling her he had a dream that he was an innkeeper in Vermont.

      • Triumph of the Will is a brilliant film which of course makes it doubly appalling. I have a copy on DVD like I own a copy of Mein Kampf. Sometimes you have to stare into the abyss so as to recognize it when it tries to sneak up on you. And of course there’s zero chance I will be attracted. And HUG’s comment about it being the study of a “revival” meeting is spot on.

        There has been lots of commentary over the years about Hitler’s speaking style. If you read his comments on paper they are disjointed rather innocuous sentences strung together without rhyme or reason. But when he speaks it’s like he is possessed (maybe he was) and the look on the faces of the crowd. It was a form of religious ecstasy. Chilling.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          It was the conclusion of the 1943 OSS psych profile that “The Invincible Fuehrer” you see in Triumph of the Will was originally an artificial public persona. And like “The Tragedian” in The Great Divorce, it ended up taking over its creator and wearer. “He wore the mask so long that one day it became his face.”

          And the guy could work an audience like a Pentecostal Preacher. The “Possessed” could just as easily have been possessed by his own hype and frenzy. Also according to the OSS profile, the official footage was cherry-picked; he actually would start out slow and uncharacteristically quiet for the first few minutes, getting the “feel” of his audience before the frenzy started to build; at which point he started reacting to his audience as much as they reacted to him and the Zeitgeist just built synergistically. (I think you can name preachers/evangelists with similar Enthusiastic style.) It was only when things were really going Holy Roller that the official footage was taken.

          “Mark Felton Productions”, a YouTube channel specializing in WW2 history, has a compilation of video/audio clips (of which there are very few) of “Hitler’s Everyday Voice”. It is far different from the Public Speaking Voice normally associated with him:

      • thatotherjean says

        Really, you should find it and watch it. “Triumph of the Will” is a highly effective, persuasive piece of propaganda, using a variety of film techniques that were new in their time. They worked, and you can still see them in some political advertising today.

    • Clay Crouch says

      Larry I,

      Did it convince you or confirm for you that the earth is indeed 6,000 years old?

  7. Eeyore,

    That movie is the penultimate advocate for the “Myth of the Lost Cause” if there ever was one. And a favorite of Woodrow Wilson.

    • Correction. I am confusing that with “The Birth of the Nation.” Need coffee.

      • Replies crossed paths.

        *Hands CM a cup of yirgacheffe*

        • Danke. Truly one of the finest coffees on the planet. As an aside, when I was in grad school, one of my neighbors was a Jamaican woman getting her MS in Agricultural Sciences (her family owned a coffee plantation). I helped with some fix-it stuff in her apartment and she gave me a 1 kg bag of Blue Mountain coffee beans from her family’s farm. The coffee was nice, but if I had a choice, I would have preferred to date her (we never did).

          • Christiane says

            can offer only Folger’s Columbian these days
            and glad to have that

            • I drink Chock Full o Nuts. And I like it — hot, cold, or room temperature — black, strong, and unsweetened. Comes in a big steel can.

              • Christiane says

                is that the coffee with chicory in it?

                • God no.

                  • Chock Full O Nuts is pretty good coffee. I usually drink that or Maxwell House. The 1 kg of Blue Mountain was exhausted long long ago.

                    • The CFON company has an interesting history. Started out selling nuts in NYC sometime in the 1910s or 20s, converted to a luncheonette selling coffee and sandwiches, ended up focusing on coffee and lost the nuts but had a small chain of luncheonettes in NYC and its environs right up to the time I was a kid in the 1960s/70s, and you could buy their pound cakes in the freezer section of the grocery store. I don’t know if any of the luncheonettes exist now, but if they do, I think they would be revivals rather than chronologically continuous with the original chain.

                    • I’m late to the coffee party, but if you want THE BEST coffee that I’ve found, try “Cowboy Mud” from Lariat Roasters from Winthrop, WA. I serve this in my church’s coffee house and EVERYONE who enjoys coffee has agreed… best they’ve had.


    • That’s “Birth of a Nation”. “Triumph of the Will” is a German propaganda film extolling the virtues of [GODWIN’S LAW].

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “Triumph of the Will”, “Birth of a Nation”, and “Aleksandr Nevsky” are considered the three best propaganda films ever made. All three were high quality and innovative, which made them even more effective.

        • Prokofiev’s score for Nevsky is top notch, I’ll grant.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Sergei Eisenstein (director of Aleksandr Nevsky) is credited with “inventing the music video” with some of the scenes from that movie. He was the first director to completely integrate musical score and visuals.

            D.W.Griffith (Birth of a Nation, among others) was also an innovator, inventing many of the scene cuts and camera shots used since. Birth of a Nation plus its Presidental Endorsement from Wilson (most white supremacist president since Andrew Johnson) was responsible for resurrecting the Ku Klux Klan into its most widespread and powerful incarnation.

  8. Tom Parker says

    I do not care anymore if Genesis is history or not. I wonder in how many denominations that makes me a Heretic?

    • Yeah, that’s my sentiment, too.

    • thatotherjean says

      Only the more fundamentalist ones. Genesis is poetry, mythology, origin stories, and a bunch of other things that the writers may not have had definitions for, but we would now call literary genres. History isn’t one of them.

  9. Tom,

    The problem is many Christians use the Bible for outside it’s purpose:

    “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

    Notice it does not say to use it as a textbook on history, astronomy, geology, biology, physics, etc. Does it mean that Scriptures does not contain historical or scientific facts? No. But that was not the intended purpose. The YEC crowd misses this point completely.

    • Tom Parker says

      So many folks want to chase rabbits IMO instead of living out Jesus’ principles in our lives. I have come to the point in my journey that I am more concerned about what I knowingly do not do, as compared to chasing more rabbits. It sure leaves me many days outside of the “group.”

    • THIS!

      And sadly, virtually all of the churches in my area consider this viewpoint heresy. Which is why I am stuck wandering in the wilderness….

      • When you say all of the churches, I wonder, are there no mainline Protestant churches in your area? Or do you exclude them from consideration for some reason?

        • Michael Bell says

          She did say “vitually all”. I had the same issue, especially as a non-liturgical type of guy.

          • There’s no such thing as a non-liturgical church. There are just different styles of liturgy. My own Lutheran parish only practices Communion once a month — in normal times! — and has a service of Scripture readings, hymns, anthems, sermon and prayers the other Sundays. You could say our service pattern is rigid, but is your church’s pattern less rigid, or is it just that the sermon is longer and the readings selected at the whim of the pastor rather than appointed by a lectionary? Perhaps we are in times when, for a variety of reasons, God is asking us all to be less rigid, less defined by our own preferences, and more open to change. If there is a community of Christians nearby who have a different style of liturgy, but believe in the risen Lord Jesus and won’t label you as a heretic for your views about the relationship of science to the Bible, maybe it’s time to be open to the possibility that God is calling you into a new orientation regarding liturgical style.

  10. The controversy is more fallout from out whole culture embracing scientism because of 1) a lack of understanding of what Science is about and 2) the Nominalism handed down to us from the Enlightenment. It’s a cultural thing, and it’s hard to overcome culture even among people who we assume can otherwise think well (Robert’s doctor, for example). This is our inheritance as 21st century Americans; it gets expressed in a certain segment of Christians as YEC vs OE.

    One of the best things about eastern Christianity is that the greatest theologians had no problem with the text of Scripture – AND (what we would call) a “literal” interpretation of the text had the least value for them. It was much more important that the text be interpreted in such a way that we can understand the deepest Spirit-breathed thing that God wants us to take away from it, particularly how the text reveals the meaning of who Jesus is and what he has done. They didn’t feel the need to defend God, and they also didn’t see every scriptural text as holding equal weight. All inspired, yes – and some parts more important than others.

    Of note, Basil the Great was probably the most brilliant man of his day. He had the best education one could get in Athens, probably lasting about 10 years, from his mid-teens on. Not only did he study literature and rhetoric, but also law and medicine and other sciences as they were known then. If any of the Fathers could have made a case for “young earth”, it would have been him. Nothing of that ilk came from his pen, that I have ever seen. Other things were more important.


    • Tom Parker says

      I guess for these folks this a Hill they are willing to die own. Seems like “christian” folk have chosen so many different hills to die on.

      • Christiane says

        this time, some Christian folk have chosen to die on a hill of their ‘freedom’ from being ordered to wear a mask, but the ‘hill’ seems to have become a ‘mountain’ of the corpses of their dead countrymen lately, over 160,000 corpses by now. . . .

        how can they not realize what they do???
        does trump have that kind of hold on them??

        it’s painful to see this happening

        • Makes me think of the line in the Gospels about how all but the very elect will be deceived…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Scratch the “all but” to that statement.
            It IS The Very Elect (who know they are and are always reminding you of that Fact) who are the most deceived these days.

            Promise of overtuning Roe v Wade, Prayer in Schools, Restoing a Christian Nation… Christians come cheap.

    • Dana,

      Basil the Great and other church patriarchs had bigger fish to fry (like dealing with the heresies of Arianism for example). The nature of Christ and getting the correct Christology was far more important than how the earth was created).

      • Sure. And that interpretive model was also the tack the fathers before, and also after, Nicea/Constantinople, took. It’s really consistent in the East, all of a piece. Genesis records certain things, but it’s really about other things, and those other things are much more important to understand.


        • Dana,

          As I said earlier, the Creation verses were not meant to be a textbook or technical manual on all the sciences contained and nuts and bolts of the Creation sequence. One of the main takeaways are that there is an order and structure which reveal characteristics of the Triiune God (all member of the Godhead were involved in Creation). Going into all minute details of the Creation sequences causes folks to miss the forest for the trees.

  11. Michael Bell says

    This film will undoubtedly make its way into church libraries, homeschooling and Christian school curriculums, and youth group movie nights, convincing Christian youth that they can safely reject “secular” notions of deep time and evolution. When they go to college or start investigating the evidence themselves and discover they have been misled, the natural tendency is to assume that it is Christianity itself that has failed them. Unbelieving seekers who see this film will likewise be confronted with the confounding association of the truth of Christ with massive misrepresentations about natural history. An enormous stumbling block to faith is laid at the feet of these poor souls, standing between them and the cross.

    I have been thinking about this all day.

    This used to be the most important argument for me, but the more I think about it, the less likely I am to believe it. I saw a study a while back that showed that the more dogmatically one holds to one’s beliefs, the more likely that the next generation will follow in those beliefs.

    So when we as parents say “there are options to YEC” that you heard about in Sunday School, it is the opening up of these options that may ultimately lead to rejection of faith.

    I don’t know if I am making myself clear here, but it is the availability of options, rather than the rejection of propositions that lead to changes in the next generation.

    In my own observations, the families where issues are black/white seem to be better in successive generational belief that those families where there are shades of grey.

    I am speaking as a shades of grey type of Dad.

    Am I making sense, could someone else maybe paraphrase this for me?

    • I think it might have more to do with the surrounding support structure, and the consequences of those beliefs. If you have a hermetically sealed culture backing up your absolutist claims, it’s easier for them to stick. OTOH, if those claims lead to massive cognitive dissonance (and bloodshed and poverty), you’ll have a harder time holding onto successive generations. The stridence of the Wars of Religion led to the Enlightenment, the coziness of the ROC and the Tsars helped stoke the Russian Revolutions, and the youth of Iran chafe under the restrictions of the Islamists (necessitating provocations to make the Great Satan into the villain). And God never lets His people go totally into such territories before He lets the consequences come crashing down on our heads.

    • I dono.

      In the church where my kids grew up we basically left over many reasons. One was that they KNEW how we should raise out kids. YEC, GKGW, TULIP (but on the qt), etc…

      A LOT of the kids of the church leaders have totally rejected the faith they were raised in.

      My wife and I are really glad we were outliers during out time there and made out kids think and give a reason when they would state sometime as a fact with no foundation.

    • Knowing one has options, that the world is pluralistic in terms of choice of beliefs, naturally makes it more likely that one will choose a different belief than the one was born into. One is conscious of oneself as a chooser, and the more one engages in choosing, the more likely one’s choices will not follow preexisting patterns. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. Why would it be better to be successfully pre-programmed by not being taught that one has the right to choose among multiple options? Is that really belief, or faith?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I am speaking as a shades of grey type of Dad.

      As long as your Shades of Grey DON’T number 50.

  12. David Greene says

    Let me just say that the concepts of deep time and of evolution bring me a deep sense of comfort. To me they speak of an eternity of growth, change and beauty in the arms of a big God.

  13. Norma Cenva says

    I think that both Science and the Bible suffer from the same two ills.
    Not giving them the credence they deserve at one extreme, and making way too much of them at the other.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Similar to what Lewis wrote in his Preface to Screwtape Letters:

      “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”