Since Charles Darwin the book of Genesis has been attacked by critics because its first eleven chapters present a supernatural origin and accountability. This particular attack on Christianity, which attempts to turn its historical foundation into mythology, is relatively new.
Long before the attack on the Biblical account of origins, it was the book of Daniel that critics tried to discredit. As early as the third century the neo-Platonist Porphyry denied Daniel’s claim of a 6th century B.C. origin and instead claimed it was written in the middle of the forth century B.C. Porphyry’s fifteen-volume work was, not surprisingly, called Against the Christians.
Porphyry’s argument was not with the accuracy of Daniel. It was that very precision of historical detail in the prophecy that he used to argue against it. He claimed that is was written after the facts it claimed to predict.
Such claims are often made when Scripture proves true. Modernists follow in the footsteps of Porphyry when they make the Bible a very human expression of religious sentiment rather than the Word of God. In short, they make the Scriptures to be fraudulent by making their claims forgeries. They treat it as a work to be viewed in terms of anthropology (the study of men) rather than theology (the study of God through His Word).
Their assumptions (presuppositions in the Van Tillian perspective) are taken to be facts, while orthodox faith is derided as myth based on their own supposedly objective perspective.
The reason for Porphyry’s rejection of Daniel as true prophecy, and the reason for all modernist rejections of the inspiration and authority of the Bible is because such a view is necessary in order to re-interpret the Bible in anthropological rather than theological terms. Their determination is to place the Bible not only in the realm of temporal literature, but to place it beneath themselves who then stand above it as the real voice of authority.
Chalcedon’s work is in the context of this battle, and much of our need is to get Christians to see the conflict for what it is.