In a world where evolution has become a foundational way of thinking, students – even students from solid Christian homes – struggle to reconcile the Genesis account of this world’s origins with the information bombarding them everywhere else. Were Adam and Eve real? Did a worldwide biblical flood actually occur? Did God really create the earth in six days? How can the Genesis record stand against “evidence” showing the world to be millions upon millions of years old?
In an effort to help students and their parents answer these questions, filmmaker and homeschool dad Thomas Purifoy has created the film Is Genesis History? In anticipation of the film’s release in select theaters nationwide for a one night event, I recently caught up with Thomas to ask him about the driving force behind this brave new film.
The Inciting Incident
“I had the idea originally for doing this film as the result of a conversation with my then ten-year-old daughter who had been watching an online interview with a creationist and an evolutionist.
“I realized some of the comments made by the evolutionist were starting to trouble her. In some cases, this was her first interaction with someone who didn’t hold the Bible to be true and held to something completely different.
“What I was reminded of was that sense of cognitive dissonance – that sense of tension – that comes on when you’re realizing that, if what this person says is accurate, it means the Bible is not accurate.”
As Thomas interacted with his daughter, he realized these were the same questions he’d had as a 15-year-old – questions he had wrestled through and researched on his own some twenty years before.
Another thought also struck him. “I realized it wasn’t just my daughter. There were a lot of kids – and there continue to be kids – who are in the exact same spot. They hear these comments and are taught certain things in school, and they intrinsically know that these ideas are creating a history that is not compatible with the biblical history. And they get it.”
Building a Film
Because it had been so long since he’d processed through his own questions, Thomas knew that much of the evidence he’d gathered as a questioning teenager was now dated. He began to wonder if there was a way to talk to the scientists he knew were out there, look into the data he knew to exist, and create a resource to help parents and students answer these powerful questions.
To tackle this complex topic, one must first evaluate the paradigm, the worldview, through which all data is processed. And that is where Is Genesis History? begins. Thomas explains, “I realized my passion was to say that the Bible is a good book of history first. And on a simple level, Genesis is recording real events.
“We know this because Jesus and Peter and Paul and Isaiah all refer to these events, not just as names, but they qualify them. They talk about the extent of them. They talk about the importance of them. Paul talks about the importance of Adam. Peter talks about the importance of the flood and creation. Jesus talks about Noah. And Jesus talks about Adam in the context of marriage. So, what I realized is that the historical veracity of these people and events was basically the foundation of the entire Bible.”
This passion, spurred by the questions of a ten-year-old child, has resulted in the creation of a resource that will help parents and students alike process through this important topic themselves.
Is Genesis History? dives into the data and interacts with scientists who have the answers needed to resolve the tension between what is read in Genesis and what is evident in the world around us.