One of the most common misconceptions about the book of Genesis is a shift in genre. Theological liberals have posited in theologically conservative circles that the Genesis 1 is poetry. Unfortunately many well believing Christians have bought into this notion, being taught this, as it is an unnatural reading of the text. William Lane Craig famously teaches that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are poetry, and when Abraham comes along, then Genesis becomes narrative. This too is an unnatural reading of the text.
When asked about this teaching, Dr. Russell Fuller, an Ancient Hebrew expert and Old Testament scholar, offered sound rebuke to this errant teaching. He insisted that Genesis 1-11 were not poetry, nor were they intended to be poetic. He cited several instances in Scripture, even the New Testament, where the early chapters of Genesis are cited as historical fact.
Fuller begins by stating that the lineage of Abraham is in chapter 11. Hebrews 11, the faith “Hall of Fame” as it’s called, not only cites Noah but also Abel. The Gospel of Luke has the genealogy of Jesus going back to Adam. Paul talks about Adam being the first man. Fuller also cites 2 Peter 3 where Peter cites Genesis 6 as historical narrative.
3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:3-7 NASB95
Then he shifts the conversations from William Lane Craig who he agrees is a false teacher to Al Mohler. He claims that Al Mohler was describing Genesis 1 as “mythopoetic language.” This, he says is a direction that many seminary professors are going in.
Dr. Russell Fuller was fired from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2020 and has since come out ousting the theological liberalism behind the scenes. Underlying context for this part of the conversation was Dr. Dominic Hernandez and his dissertation which asserts that the Book of Job teaches mythology. Dr. Hernandez was a professor at SBTS.