O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

A Local Flood??? But What About the TSUNAMI??? (Gotcha? Think Again.)

I saw this quote recently, and then I saw someone respond with the typical "amen, exactly, we got 'em now, etc," and I have seen something similar many times before:

" The local flood interpretation implies that God will never destroy local areas with floods. Not to appeal to experience, but destructive local floods are regular phenomenon."

Folks, this is a prime example of the way people continue to interchange the words "local" and "covenantal" as if they are synonomous, when many of us who maintain that Noah's flood was a covenantal judgment have repeatedly pointed out that "local" and "covenantal" are not synonomous terms, and we are certainly not using them synonomously. We point it out, they ignore, and continue to misrepresent what has been said by advocates of a local Genesis flood. Of course they have to misrepresent, and distort, or they wouldn't be able to continue with their ridiculous reasoning which goes something like this: "aha! What about the tsunami??? Don't you people watch the news?! If Noah's flood was local, then God's promise to Noah was that He would never send a local flood again, and look at all the floods there have been in the world?!"

As Tim Martin explained in an interview I did with him for NCMI, Noah's flood was a covenantal judgment, and was geographically local, as a result of it being a specific judgment on God's covenant people. It is very comparable to God's AD 70 judgment on Jerusalem. Both of these judgments (which are compared and paralelled in Scripture) were covenantally universal, and incidentally, geographically local. The point being, that they were primarily covenant judgments, and the geography they encompassed was merely incidental.

I also wrote an article, part of which deals with this same distinction (again, we have stated it and restated it, they continue to ignore our statements and misrepresent our view). Here is an excerpt from that article, which refers to assertions by two different people (Sam Frost and Roderick Edwards), reflective of their deliberate distortions of what we have said:

But some will say in response (and this is a charge which has actually been voiced): “In your view, the Bible has nothing to say to Chinese people, so why would we preach the gospel to them?” Another distortion has been expressed this way: “If Genesis is about covenant creation, and not the creation of the world, then the god of the Bible is not the God of the universe, but merely a tribal god.” I hope the reader will see clearly that what has happened in both of these cases is that what we have expressed as a “covenant creation” has been arbitrarily redefined as a “local creation.” A spiritual creation has been given geographical boundaries. Furthermore, a spiritual new creation, in which there is neither Jew nor gentile according to the scriptures, has been erroneously defined not just spatially, but also racially. We reject both of these adulterations of God’s covenant creation. And as we shall see, they lead to some rather problematic theological ramifications.

At the beginning of the Bible, the creation of “the heaven and the earth” refers to the beginning of God’s covenant relationship with His people. At the end of the Bible, the creation of “the new heavens and the new earth” refers to the restoration and renewal—the recreation or regeneration--of that covenant relationship. Neither the beginning of the Bible nor the end of the Bible refers to the creation of a geographic location or a biological race. It’s about a covenant people, not a cosmological race or place.

It would sure be nice if when discussing these issues, people would respond to what has actually been said, rather than to their own deliberate distortions of what has been said.

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Thanks for posting this,You really make some excellent points for anyone who is truly interested in the truth.Here is a link to a list of scriptures that show Genesis Finds its Complement in the Apocalypse.I found it very helpful and interesting.

That is a remarkable listing. Thanks for that...

Tim Martin
Wow, John, what a great chart! It emphasizes that the "book of the beginning" and the "book of the end" are actually related! (ie, they are about the beginning and the end of the same story, respectively) While it may seem I am stating the obvious, "preterists" who maintain Genesis is about a cosmological creation, whereas Revelation is about a covenantal new creation, do not agree.
Yes Tami, this should be so obvious to preterists who all understand that there are no more covenant judgments. Jerusalem was the last.


Do our critics really want to say that the peace covenant was universal? What is the peace covenant with Noah all about?

We dealt with this objection explicitly on pp. 163-166 of Beyond Creation Science. Still waiting for our critics to interact with the details of our arguments there, as well as the Tower of Babel connection to the flood.

Working on this issue within preterism has been like a throwback to the days when I challenged futurists around me about preterism. At least now I know what to expect! There is a reason why misrepresentation and straw-man attacks backfire. Bad arguments reveal ignorance and mental insincerity. People who actually read both sides can see the reality of the situation.


Tim Martin
Great point about the covenant with Noah and its application.

Do you suppose there is a reason why a lot of universalists tend to reject covenant creation?

I also agree completely Tim, that what we see revealed by these deliberate misrepresentations and straw-man attacks is "mental insincerity," although I have no problem coming right out and calling it intellectual dishonesty.
Do you suppose there is a reason why a lot of universalists tend to reject covenant creation?

Yes, that is interesting.

I think there is a reason, but I'm not quite ready to nail down all the theological detail behind the tendency. I will say that a physical-universe creation fits a physical-universe redemption pretty well. Covenant Creation is inherently defined by living covenant relationship between God and his people. That might be a problem for universalists on the other end of the Bible.

Hope that answers your question.


Tim Martin

Though this is not the determining factor (Scripture alone is our standard), I do believe we should consider the theological source and context for that argument.

That argument was developed by Seventh Day Adventists who matched up Noah's flood with the supposed fiery destruction of the physical universe to come.

Look at the explanation given here of the Adventist background of the argument and how the author was impacted by reading Adventist work on Genesis:

Thanks for raising this point for those honestly investigating this issue.


Tim Martin
Thanks for posting that link, Tim. I remember seeing that before, but I had forgotten that it referred specifically to the "tsunami argument." Here is what Sam said about the "argument" we have shown to be a blatant straw-man:

"...the Tsunami in the east, which killed over 150,000, was just as destructive as Noah's, and yet, God promised [not] to bring a "local flood" like that ever again! I have yet to hear of an argument that would mitigate against the power of this one."

What is fascinating to me, is that the same futurists who put forth that argument view "the great tribulation" of Matthew 24 as comparable in scope to Noah's flood. And yet, YEC "preterists" break form and understand the global language of the tribulation to be referring to the covenantal (and geographically local in scope) judgment on Jerusalem.

Compare the language in these two passages. The first is God's promise to Noah that he would never again destroy "all flesh" and "the earth" with a flood; the second describes the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 as the greatest tribulation that had ever been in the world, or ever would be:

Genesis 9: 11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

Matthew 24: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Futurists always jump on a preterist interpretation of Matthew 24 with examples of other world events which surpass AD 70 in both scope and devastation. Surely this is proof that "the great tribulation" of Matthew 24 cannot be referring to AD 70. Sound familiar?

"...the Tsunami in the east, which killed over 150,000, was just as destructive as Noah's, and yet, God promised [not] to bring a "local flood" like that ever again! I have yet to hear of an argument that would mitigate against the power of this one."
Was that Tsunami argument based on empiricism, dogmatism, or irrationalism?
No Sam,

Your quote referenced above demonstrates that you have no clue (or at least didn't then). You are blind to the covenant context of Scripture.
That is, the Tsunami in the east, which killed over 150,000, was just as destructive as Noah's, and yet, God promised to bring a "local flood" like that ever again! I have yet to hear of an argument that would mitigate against the power of this one.

You've been given the argument several times. Not once have you responded to it or acknowledged it. You said yourself that you ignore everything from those without appropriate credentials. I'm going to explain it for you one last time.

Was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, the greatest tribulation, "unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again?"

WW1 and WW2 both surpassed it. The killing fields of Cambodia and the famines in the Ukraine and Africa surpassed it.

Only in a covenant context, was the destruction of Jerusalem the greatest.

Daniel called the AD 70 destruction a flood. Josephus called it a flood after he witnessed it. Got that? Josephus did. Jerusalem was destroyed in a flood.

So where was the water?

Have you counted the number of OT biblical cities that were destroyed by floods? There are quite a few. Not one was by water.

Covenant judgments are floods. There has not been a covenant judgment by water since Noah's flood. Just as God promised Noah. All covenant judgments since have been floods of another sort.

The recent tsunami was not a covenant judgment. It is irrelevant to the discussion.
My two cents—

These YECs also commit a variation of the particular-to-the general fallacy when they argue this. They infer that if what God promised not to flood was a local area, as local-flooders contend, then He promised not to flood any local area, making any local flood nowadays either a violation of the covenant or proof that the flood was global. We know of course that the text of Genesis 9:11 uses the definite article to denote that only a particular land, "eretz", was covered in God's covenantal promise, not all.
I haven't read all of Tim and Jeff's book, but their contention that the eretz here was determined covenantally, rather than geographically, sounds very plausible.


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