This objection has
two fundamental problems. The first problem is it begs the question. The flood
is God’s judgment. To argue that salvation would come to those
outside the ark simply assumes the flood covered the entire globe. This would
be a valid objection to anyone who claimed the flood was global and
there were survivors. Those who argue for a local flood related to a covenant
context do not destroy the type of Christ because it applies contextually. All
those in this covenant context except
Noah and his family were destroyed. Put another way, the flood is a true
picture of Christ without being a globally comprehensive picture of Christ.
Consider the passover.
Only those who had the blood of the lamb on the doorpost were “passed
over” by the angel of death. Does this mean the firstborn, both man and beast,
was slain in every household on planet Earth which did not have blood on the
doorpost? No, the passover picture of Christ is true, even though it is limited
to the Egyptian context. The same principle
applies to the flood event.
The second problem
with this objection is much more serious. The argument rests on the premise
that a type must be physically perfect in a scientifically precise and
comprehensive way in order to be true. What would this requirement mean for
all the other pictures and types of Christ?
Consider another picture
of Christ in Genesis. Abraham offered his son, Isaac, as sacrifice to God on Mount Moriah. This event pictured God the Father’s
offering of his Son as a sacrifice for sin – the Lamb of God. Yet Isaac didn’t
die in a physical, scientifically precise way. Does this lead to the heretical
notion Jesus didn’t really die on the cross? Do types have to be
comprehensive in a scientifically precise way in order to be true?
David’s life is also
a type of Christ. We read about the sin David committed (2 Sam. 11). Using the
assumption of the argument in question, that types must be scientifically
precise and complete in order to be true, we would arrive at the heretical view
that Jesus was a sinner, also.
Added to these
examples is the problem of types and pictures in regard to Jesus Christ
himself. Does the fact Jesus was circumcised or that he was baptized teach he
was in need of the removal of sin? Or does his observance of Passover teach he
needed a blood-guilt offering before God? Types and pictures of Christ are not
required to be scientifically precise in order to be true.
arguments similar to this objection as a scare tactic to ward off open inquiry
into the scope of the flood. It is easy to scare someone looking into a local
flood by saying any local reading of the flood ruins biblical Christology. But
the demand of this objection is a precision of biblical types that is plainly
The nature of
communication in the Bible follows a general metaphorical rather than a
scientific precisionist method. Metaphors are not based on precision. They
function by analogy. Pictures of Christ in the Bible are not syllogisms from
which to formulate the doctrine of Christ. Pictures and types are true without
being comprehensive in every detail. According to the logic of this
rationalistic objection against a local flood, every type or picture of
Christ would teach heresy. After all, Noah and his sons built the ark with their
own hands; it did not come down out of heaven.