Stephen Lloyd on “Flood Theology: why does Noah’s flood matter?”
The flood doesn’t get much of a mention within Christianity. We think it’s not that important. Often seen as a children’s story. Adults see it as just a judgement story. That’s true, but there’s more to it. Some find it embarrassing due to scientific concerns.
Creation science is focused on the flood, as the original creation was destroyed by it. However we often miss the theological side of it. As creationists focus on scientific arguments, they are ignored as they don’t seem to have theological consequences.
The flood is part of the storyline of the whole Bible – 2 Peter 3:5-7. Flood is divider between past and present. Second coming is divider between present and future. Creation then destruction of that creation then re-creation. Noah preserved through judgment event just as Christians will be preserved through next judgment event. Noah is like a second Adam. Father of all. Has a “fall” in a garden.
Matthew 24:37-39. Flood is the pattern for 2nd coming.
Size of the flood – same as world of creation. Just as 2nd coming relates to the whole world.
Evangelism – flood is used in NT as a warning.
The flood brings about an era of abundant grace. Before the flood, only 8 believers were left in the world. After the flood, God brings a new family which spreads across the world. The church today isn’t small!
2 Peter 3:9. Delay in 2nd coming is due to grace.
Post flood world is precursor to new creation. Made of same stuff.
Period of abundant grace includes all people. Covenant to Noah is for all his descendants and the animals. If local flood, covenant wouldn’t apply to others outside flood region. Same with promise to Abraham – applies to all nations (i.e. from Babel, and before from Noah due to context).
Flood covered the globe. The gospel includes the whole of creation. Colossians 1:20. Salvation not just about individual sinners repenting – it’s about the whole creation. Flood affects more than just people – God judges whole creation. Something was wrong with creation itself. Genesis 6 – the earth was corrupt, “all flesh” includes animals, who had also been corrupted. Contrast with all very good (not just people) at original creation. Similarly, new creation covers whole creation, not just mankind. Man’s state affects state of whole creation. Romans 8:19-21.
Noah means comfort/rest/relief. Relief from the curse. Parallels between Noah and Jesus.
Big danger of Christianity losing its connection with the physical world.
The flood does matter theologically. (Therefore we should also address the scientific aspects.)