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Compromising chaplain castigates creation

Published: 24 September 2010(GMT+10)

When CMI approached a prominent grammar school in Albany, Western Australia, about a visit from Rod and Nancy Walsh and their Ark Van, the liberal chaplain’s replies revealed considerable hostility to creationist science and theology. First we print his main letter in full, as well as his earlier correspondence, as he requested, then a point-by-point response by New Testament scholar Lita Cosner and Ph.D. scientist Jonathan Sarfati.

I have been asked about your ark van visiting our school. I am trusting that your van explores both the judgment and faithfulness of God to all creation which are the lessons of the Noah story. However I must explain why I have hesitancy about inviting your van.
I have a deep seated opposition to so called “Creation Science”, which I believe is neither faithful to the Bible nor the nature of God’s world investigated by Science. I think the Creationist movement’s misinterpretation of the Bible and misrepresentation of science does great damage to the Christian Faith. In my experience as a Chaplain I believe that it is not “godless” Science that breeds atheism amongst students, but a non Scriptural opposition to Evolution which puts students off putting their faith in Christ. That is what students tell me.
Because your ark van appears to be sponsored by Creation ministry, I am hesitant to ask you to visit. If there is any promotion of the ideas that either evolution is inherently godless or a six day creation is Biblically faithful, I would not want you to visit. I trust you won’t find any of my blunt speaking offensive, but rather a way of avoiding either offence or difficulties in our school.
Yours sincerely
Rodney M.

One of our Ministry Co-ordinators, Ross Dennett, responded, making it clear that CMI is a biblical creationist organization. Rev. M replied:

Thank you for your email. It clarifies your position greatly. I appreciate this because I think that without making yourself clear about your stand on Creationism, you could be adding an accusation of entering a school under false pretences-which would certainly damage our Christian stance.

Image from wikipedia

Physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne basically has God’s only role as lighting the fuse for the big bang.

Physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne basically has God’s only role as lighting the fuse for the big bang.

I myself, regretfully, cannot see myself sponsoring a visit. This is because of my considered views on Science and Christianity. My views are roughly in line with John Polkinghorne’s books if you are interested. After much thought and prayer, I have reached the position that Creationism [is] one of the major factors for the ridicule in which the Christian Faith is held in many secondary schools and Tertiary Institutions. No one has provided more ammunition for Richard Dawkins’s views than Creation Science. Students know that a six day creation is a ludicrous, ridiculous idea and therefore they think that to believe in the Bible or a Creator (as I do) is just not tenable (This is a church—please leave your brains at the door). I think this is a tragedy which can only be remedied by Creation Scientists (so called) backing down from their misinterpretation of the Bible and their opposition to Science.
I think “young earth Creationists” have to believe that:
1. There is a giant conspiracy of scientists aiming to interpret evidence and data to conclude that evolution is true (and so Gen 1–11 is false). This is false, there is no giant conspiracy, we are just discovering more wonderful things about God’s great universe.
2. The overwhelming evidence for evolution (see Dawkins’ book “The Greatest Show on Earth”) is false. In the light of the real evidence this is just not tenable. If you don’t like to read Dawkins read Francis Collins (a Christian & Head of the Human Genome Project) The Language of God, for irrefutable genetic evidence for evolution.
3. God has left a great trail of evidence with the purpose of misleading people away from believing in a Creator and in evolution. ie: In my opinion Creation Scientists are forced to proclaim that God is the Great Deceiver, who has deliberately laid a trail leading people away from him and his truth. The opposite is true. God still bears witness to all through what he has made. It is a false blasphemy to think that God uses nature to ensure scientists believe he doesn’t exist. It is equally untrue to imply that “real believers” believe in a six day creation.
I myself, like most other Christian scientists, see no conflict in believing in a loving Creator God and evolution.

Image from wikipedia

Now a luminary in the theistic evolutionary organization BioLogos.

Francis Collins: now a luminary in the theistic evolutionary organization BioLogos

I also believe that “young earth Creationists” also are anti Biblical because:
1. To read Gen 1–11 as history and or science is to miss entirely the reason why God breathed this portion of Scripture for us (neither history nor science can tell us about God who breathes his Spirit into all life, nor about the love and evil that lies in people’s hearts, nor about how God cares for his world, nor about justice, ambition, sex, and the manifold other messages of Genesis).
2. I know Creation Scientists support many of these ideas in Genesis, but because they are arguing these events happened in history, and many people conclude that a six day creation is neither historical nor scientific, then people proceed to throw out the baby (the true reasons why Gen 1–11 was written) with the bath water (Genesis 1–11 as history or science). Hence I firmly and strongly believe that an immense and incalculable amount of harm is being done to the Gospel and the Church by sincerely minded, but greatly deceived people in the Creation Science (whether they have PhDs or not).
3. I wrote “I am trusting that your van explores both the judgment and faithfulness of God to all creation which are the lessons of the Noah story” because I think that emphasizing “this is history”, Creation Scientists actually destroy the God intended idea of the story, and give people “an out” so they need not trust the faithfulness of God nor worry about the judgment of God.
I am sorry, but neither my beliefs nor my conscience are compatible with a visit to a Christian School by Creation Science. Creation Science badly distorts the Bible, and how and why God made the universe and humans. Creation Science teaching flouts my conscience because, as I have said, it leads students away from Christ and faith in him. To use the “Kansas” defense “education is about exposing students to different ways of looking at the world”, does not change my mind, because, as a teacher, I do not have any responsibility to teach, when teaching sexuality, things like “the stork brings babies” or “you were found under a cabbage patch”, and I must admit, I regard Creation Science as having as much credence as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas (these analogies supply the very reason why Dawkins is an atheist and the reason why Creation Science is causing such disregard for faith in Christ). I trust for the good of the Gospel and the Church you will prayerfully consider what I have written.
yours in the fellowship of Jesus Christ,
Rodney M.

And when asked for permission to reproduce his letter with a response from one of our scientists, he wrote:

You are welcome to use my letter on your website, but
1. I suggest that the issues are not primarily about Science, but about how we interpret the Bible (in particular Genesis) and how (or it) the nature of God is to be seen in the examination of the natural world, and perhaps a theologian of some sort ought respond.
2. I ask also that the letter be reproduced in full so the context of my statements can be seen.
Cheers
Rod

Dear Rodney,

Ross Dennett asked us to respond, along the lines of your request that a theologian respond (the first author (LC) is in the final stages of receiving an M.A. in New Testament; the second author (JS) is a Ph.D. scientist as our Ministry Coordinator suggested, and is relevant since objections to a straightforward understanding of Genesis have been the result of intimidation by ‘science’). Of course, as above, your letter is printed in full; we (unlike many of our opponents) believe accurate representation is important.

I myself, regretfully, cannot see myself sponsoring a visit. This is because of my considered views on Science and Christianity.

But what formed these “considered views”? Evidently, as will be shown, neither the Bible nor real science, as opposed to a materialistic philosophy masquerading as science.

My views are roughly in line with John Polkinghorne’s books if you are interested.

You’re not winning atheists over by abandoning Genesis; they have already largely won you over! They can hold out and wait for you to throw out more and more of the Bible, while they haven’t moved an inch.

But his theistic evolutionary stance has considerable problems. For instance, how does one reconcile death and suffering for billions of years before man was ever around to sin, if God declared His creation to be“very good”? This is one of the key problems with all compromise views, and you made not the slightest attempt to address this. See for example Why would a loving God allow death and suffering?—this is one of the commonest questions raised, but the long-age view entails that these were always with us, and God called them “very good”.

Another baneful effect of evolutionary/uniformitarian compromise is making God’s inspired Word subject to man’s ever-changing fallible opinions. See for example Some questions for theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists .

After much thought and prayer, I have reached the position that Creationism one of the major factors for the ridicule in which the Christian Faith is held in many secondary schools and Tertiary Institutions.

There is no point praying for confirmation about something that God has already written against in Scripture. E.g. there is no point praying, “May I commit adultery?”, when God has clearly commanded us not to. We do not have to be emotionally blackmailed by Mormons asking “Have you prayed about the truth of Mormonism?”, since the Bible entails that it’s false. Similarly, God would not answer you in prayer in a way that contradicts what He has already revealed. So, if in your praying you found confirmation that you should disbelieve the Bible, that confirmation did not come from God who inspired the words of the Bible.

As the example of BioLogos (founded by the Francis Collins you cite) shows, seeking the esteem of academia leads to compromising on more than creation. They might tolerate you a bit more for throwing out the miraculous stuff in Genesis, but still regard you as an idiot for believing the miraculous stuff in the rest of the book. You’re not winning atheists over by abandoning Genesis; they have already largely won you over! They can hold out and wait for you to throw out more and more of the Bible, while they haven’t moved an inch. Could it be that the ridicule is a symptom of a larger problem—that large sections of academia are actively hostile to Christian faith, and that they will not be happy until one discards that faith entirely?

No one has provided more ammunition for Richard Dawkins’s views than Creation Science.

Most biblical scholars before the rise of long-age geology accepted Genesis as written, including Josephus and later Jewish scholars, most church fathers including Basil the Great, the medieval philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas, and all the Reformers including Luther and Calvin.

Yet Dawkins is no authority on theology—even many atheists were embarrassed by his forays into this and philosophy. He’s not written in his very narrow area of specialty for decades. And he does not view compromisers kindly—see what Dawkins really thinks of people like you who deny a historical first man Adam against what the text so plainly teaches—“barking mad” was his verdict.

Students know that a six day creation is a ludicrous, ridiculous idea and therefore they think that to believe in the Bible or a Creator (as I do) is just not tenable

Students only think that six-day creation is a ludicrous, ridiculous idea because they’ve been taught over and over that billions of years is a fact, and that evolution is more than a hypothesis, it’s a reality. After hearing it over and over in school, in movies, even in advertizing, and sadly often from the pulpits of compromising churches (or compromising chaplains in schools), of course they’re going to dismiss six-day creation.

(This is a church—please leave your brains at the door).

You really ought to check out our DVD called Leaving Your Brains at the Church Door? The power of logic in defending your faith. The real problem is that the compromising church leaders tell people that they can throw out or ‘re-interpret’ any part of the Bible that conflicts with modern uniformitarian/evolutionary ‘science’.

I think this is a tragedy which can only be remedied by Creation Scientists (so called) backing down from their misinterpretation of the Bible and their opposition to Science.

Most biblical scholars before the rise of long-age geology accepted Genesis as written, including Josephus and later Jewish scholars, most church fathers including Basil the Great, the medieval philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas, and all the Reformers including Luther and Calvin. You have yet to offer an argument from hermeneutics, or from logic for that matter, to show that we and they were wrong.

I think “young earth Creationists” have to believe that:
1. There is a giant conspiracy of scientists aiming to interpret evidence and data to conclude that evolution is true (and so Gen 1–11 is false). This is false, there is no giant conspiracy, we are just discovering more wonderful things about God’s great universe.

This is one of the many places in which you make false claims about us, as our readily available writings make plain over and over. If you were bearing such false witness knowingly, it would be a breach of one of the 10 Commandments. But then, what would that matter, logically, given that the Fourth one explicitly cites the Creation Week in Genesis 1 as its reason (Exodus 20:8–11)? Your evolution-champion Dawkins admitted that if evolution were true, there is “a moral vacuum, in which [our] best impulses have no basis in nature.”

As indicated above, we don’t believe that there is a conspiracy, rather, that evolution has simply become entrenched as holy writ within the scientific community, despite the fact that real science is performed happily without it. To question it means risking one’s scientific career, so people just don’t (see for example Not too old to be Expelled.)

We agree that science is about “discovering more wonderful things about God’s great universe”; these discoveries point even more to a Master Designer.

2. The overwhelming evidence for evolution (see Dawkin’s book “The Greatest Show on Earth”) is false. In the light of the real evidence this is just not tenable. If you don’t like to read Dawkins read Francis Collins (a Christian & Head of the Human Genome Project) The Language of God, for irrefutable genetic evidence for evolution.

Actually, the second author (JS), not only read Dawkins’s book, but refuted it in detail in his book, The Greatest Hoax on Earth? including on genetics. We commend it to you. We have also reviewed the Collins book, showing the pretzelization of Scripture and weak science to support his theistic evolutionary faith. To see how this biblical compromise leads to an emasculated Christianity, see our article on his beloved Biologos.

3. God has left a great trail of evidence with the purpose of misleading people away from believing in a Creator and in evolution. ie: In my opinion Creation Scientists are forced to proclaim that God is the Great Deceiver, who has deliberately laid a trail leading people away from him and his truth.

Many atheists … argued that it was absurd that a loving God would use such a wasteful and cruel process as evolution, with its death of the unfit, as His means of bringing about a ‘very good’ creation (Genesis 1:31).

But theistic evolutionists have to say that God chose the most oblique (even seriously misleading) way possible to proclaim the way He actually created, and that Jesus and Paul were actually wrong when they referred back to Genesis and a 6-day creation as historically true. They also have to affirm that God’s revelation is dependent on scientific sophistication, because no one saw these long ages before science proclaimed that the earth was billions of years old. Furthermore, as we have pointed out, the earth does not ’look old’, since it didn’t before the rise of modern uniformitarianism caused this interpretation of the data. See The earth: how old does it look? Even many of those who believe that the earth is young think that it looks old. But does it? Nor does life look evolved; rather, it looks like it has been designed by a master Designer, just as Romans 1 tells us.

The opposite is true. God still bears witness to all through what he has made.

We believe this, but creation does not consist of objective statements which can be said to be true or false. If you and I have a dinosaur bone in front of us, you might interpret it as a relic, millions of years old, which was slowly buried and fossilized, while I might interpret it as evidence of a catastrophe which buried it quickly before it could undergo the normal process of decay. The dino bone doesn’t tell us who is correct, although the existence of blood cells, blood vessels, soft tissue and collagen in a T. rex thigh bone are strong evidences against millions of years. That is why we argue that we must interpret God’s general revelation revealed through creation in light of the special revelation that is given to us in the Bible.

It is a false blasphemy to think that God uses nature to ensure scientists believe he doesn’t exist. It is equally untrue to imply that “real believers” believe in a six day creation.

Nature reveals God’s power (Romans 1), but in such a way that it condemns people. Saving knowledge can only come through Scripture (see also Design is not enough! and Caged Lions). It’s more blasphemous to assert that God couldn’t get His story straight in His written Word, so that the church was misled for 1800 years, until the rise of deistic uniformitarians and atheistic evolutionists taught them the truth. We’ve affirmed over and over that someone can be an evolutionist and a Christian; they are saved through ‘blessed inconsistency’. E.g. see:

I myself, like most other Christian scientists, see no conflict in believing in a loving Creator God and evolution.

How is death the last enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) that will be destroyed at the Restoration if it was present from the beginning of creation? The Restoration will be the return to the Edenic state of things (with some important differences—i.e. we won’t be able to sin, and we won’t reproduce); if death and disease was in Eden and/or preceded Eden, will there be death (and cancer) in the New Heavens and Earth? Many atheists, such as philosopher David Hull and biologist Jacques Monod, have likewise argued that it was absurd that a loving God would use such a wasteful and cruel process as evolution, with its death of the unfit, as His means of bringing about a “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31).

I also believe that “young earth Creationists” also are anti Biblical because:
1. To read Gen 1–11 as history and or science is to miss entirely the reason why God breathed this portion of Scripture for us (neither history nor science can tell us about God who breathes his Spirit into all life, nor about the love and evil that lies in people’s hearts, nor about how God cares for his world, nor about justice, ambition, sex, and the manifold other messages of Genesis).

We believe that Scripture is primarily God’s revelation to us about Himself and His actions. But God’s actions take place within history. So God’s revelation has to touch on the area of history, and when it does, we believe that it is accurate. We believe Genesis is primarily history, by the way, not science; it doesn’t attempt to tell us the precise scientific details of creation, rather, it tells us that God created and the time frame (and sequence of events) for creation. See “But Genesis is not a science textbook”.

But if we ‘miss entirely the reason’, then the same charge must be laid against the other Biblical writers who did take it as history: the events including the creation of Adam and Eve, the Fall, and the globe-covering Flood; timeframe, people; and even the order of events. In fact, The New Testament has a total of 60 allusions to Genesis 1-11 specifically, and when we widen the search to include all of Genesis, the number grows to 103—see The Use of Genesis in the New Testament.

2. I know Creation Scientists support many of these ideas in Genesis, but because they are arguing these events happened in history, and many people conclude that a six day creation is neither historical nor scientific, then people proceed to throw out the baby (the true reasons why Gen 1–11 was written) with the bath water (Genesis 1–11 as history or science).

Yet apparently we had to wait for people like you to explain what these “true reasons” were, since the New Testament authors, the Lord Jesus Himself, and most of the Church through the centuries obviously missed them. Those who are throwing out the whole Bible are just treating it in the same way as you treat Genesis. After all, ‘science’ shows that virgins don’t conceive and dead men don’t rise …

Hence I firmly and strongly believe that an immense and incalculable amount of harm is being done to the Gospel and the Church by sincerely minded, but greatly deceived people in the Creation Science (whether they have PhDs or not).

The letters on our file show the opposite: that much damage is caused by church leaders who don’t believe their own book, since they wonder at which point in the Bible they can remove their magic decoders. See for example:

3. I wrote “I am trusting that your van explores both the judgment and faithfulness of God to all creation which are the lessons of the Noah story” because I think that emphasizing “this is history”, Creation Scientists actually destroy the God intended idea of the story, and give people “an out” so they need not trust the faithfulness of God nor worry about the judgment of God.

Under your theory, why should they? All doctrines of Scripture, including judgment of sin, began in the very book you tell them they can’t believe as written. It’s all very well to say that Noah’s Ark illustrates certain truths about God, but does it really if it never happened? Can a fairy story tell us about what God is really like?

I am sorry, but neither my beliefs nor my conscience are compatible with a visit to a Christian School by Creation Science.

One’s conscience is useful only if properly informed. 1 Timothy 4:2 warns of people “having their conscience seared with a hot iron”. It seems pious to reject a visit from us on grounds of conscience, but by doing so you are actually denying at least some parents the education they want for their children, since you indicated you initially contacted us because a parent asked you to do so. Do these parents know how strongly you object to creation science?

Creation Science badly distorts the Bible,

Yet you’ve not produced one argument so far to defend that statement.

and how and why God made the universe and humans. Creation Science teaching flouts my conscience because, as I have said, it leads students away from Christ and faith in him. To use the “Kansas” defense “education is about exposing students to different ways of looking at the world”, does not change my mind, because, as a teacher, I do not have any responsibility to teach, when teaching sexuality, things like “the stork brings babies” or “you were found under a cabbage patch”,

Of course: they go against actual observation and eye-witness reports—like certain people who refuse to believe God’s eye-witness report of His creation, in favour of circumstantial evidence interpreted under a materialistic philosophy.

and I must admit, I regard Creation Science as having as much credence as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas (these analogies supply the very reason why Dawkins is an atheist

Dawkins hates creationism, but he also has contempt for compromisers.

and the reason why Creation Science is causing such disregard for faith in Christ).

What really causes “such disregard for faith in Christ” is the existence of priests and chaplains who don’t even believe their own book! See also Who has an answer? Providing real answers may arrest the hemorrhage of young people from the church once they leave home and Why is the church losing its young people?

I trust for the good of the Gospel and the Church you will prayerfully consider what I have written.

Again, there is no need to pray to God for confirmation about what He has plainly revealed in Scripture; the Bible testifies to the truth of God as Creator, and tells when He created and in what order.

In Christ Jesus, through whom all things were made (John 1:3)

Lita Cosner and Jonathan Sarfati

CMI

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Readers’ comments
Les M., Australia

As always, I find your replies to liberal / compromising Christians just terrific. I used to be one once, and your uncompromising material finally knocked some sense into me. Perhaps this Chaplain should sit down and seriously consider his Christian philosophy. If he is really concerned about God’s judgement as told in the Noah’s ark ‘story’, where does Jesus Christ fit into God’s judgement? Why would God bother to send Jesus to take our sin and be judged guilty in our place, and restore us to a Father / son relationship with God? Surely it is because man was once in that relationship and lost it, just like Genesis says. And, because of our fallen state, we do not have the ability to restore ourselves, hence the reason for Jesus. Evolution has no possibility of explaining this.

Regards,

Les M.

John A., Albany (Western Australia)

I would just like to commend CMI on its unfaultering stance on what the Bible actually states, and for exposing evolution for the nonsense it is. And well done Lita and Jonathan on your reply to the chaplain at the grammar school in Albany. My view is that this man and many like him really need to look seriously at their personal faith if it is to match that of the God of the Bible.

Yours in Christian faith

John A.

Julian A., Switzerland

LC and JS,

Well argued. I appreciated reading your point by point refutation of the letter. I must say that the reference to the “tooth fairy” and “Father Christmas” are not at all what I would expect from a Minister of the Faith.

Thank you both,

Julian

Annette H., Australia

As a teacher in secondary schools I think I can confidently say that I am 100% certain that there is no valid evidence for evolution theory. It makes me sad top see the theory of evolution touted as a fact and I would love to discuss this matter with the chaplain concerned. Also, my recent conversation with the Dr selected by the CSIRO to speak on Big Bang theory to the Australian Science Festival makes me convinced that there is a huge need for redress in the way we view scientists and their thinking. The facts are that creation is touted as unscientific while evolution and Big Bang theories are touted as fact. Both are world-views which need to be looked at in light of the common evidence. Then we need to decide which theories are best supported by the evidence. I have a double degree in science/education and teach Biology and Science.

Chandrasekaran M., Australia

Hello CMI team,

If one has to leave the brain at the door of a church, what is the point of me leaving illusion (maya), reincarnations of the world view of Hinduism? Assuming the church where one has to leave the brain at the door is for Jesus, yet Jesus himself said the following of the great and foremost commandment:

And He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37).
The Greek word that is used for mind here means deep thought which is performed by mind. Actually Jesus does not want us to leave our brains behind to seek HIM. After all, HE created our brains and all our five senses. We do not have to leave any of these behind to seek Jesus. Regards Chandrasekaran Michael

Jonathan Sarfati responds

Thank you for your comments. You are right about the meaning of mind (Greek διανοια dianoia) which means “understanding” . We agree with you, of course, that it is important to show that believing the Bible and logical thinking are not mutually exclusive. We show this in our articles Loving God with all your mind and What? A Christian mind?, as well as our DVD which is titled very appropriately for your comments: Leaving Your Brains at the Church Door? The power of logic in defending your faith.

Robert P., Australia

Well done guys with your response.

I really do find the views of such people in positions of Christian trust, quite sad, distressing and angering.

I am currently reading a book from PTC Media, by Gregory Goswell, entitled BEGINNINGS —The early chapters of Genesis, which discusses Genesis chapters 1–11. It’s published by the Presbyterian Theological College Vic. While Gregory’s treatment is not as blatantly anti as the WA Grammar School Chaplain, his use of words show him to be less than sympathetic to the Biblical Creationist viewpoint. For example, this is what he says regarding chapter 1: “Too often the theology of Genesis 1 as a ‘sanctuary’ is overlooked because of a focus on the science versus Bible debate.” While his thesis on Earth as a sanctuary is interesting and even edifying, to make out those attempting to defend the veracity of Genesis and stop the haemorrhaging in the Church as some sort of annoyance, I think reveals where is main focus lies. Also, on P16 he makes reference to the Westminster Confession Chapter IV, saying that its reference to the six days of creation is a “use of scriptural phraseology rather than mandating a particular interpretation of the days within Genesis 1.” He then goes on to say therefore: “This means a theistic evolutionary view is not outside the proper bounds of Reformed orthodoxy.” That he should use the words “Theistic evolution” and “orthodoxy” in the same sentence, I find quite distressing. Gregory then totally failed to deal with the millions of years of death & suffering resulting from such a theistic evolutionary view and how this eviscerates the Gospel Message. He then delivers his “coup de grace” when he says: “though it is not the position that I hold, the example of Warfield shows that it is indeed possible to have a high view of scripture and be a theistic evolutionist.” One wonders what his view is, as I have not been able to find it clearly stated anywhere.

This is coming out of the Presbyterian Theological College! As a member of Melton Presbyterian Church, I have brought this to the attention of my Minister and his response was to suggest I write to the Author which I will probably do. However, if you guys are interested, you should get a copy and critic it and put it online. Its only 92 pages, so it’s not that in depth, but what it does say will cause damage.

Regards

Robert P.

Jonathan Sarfati responds

One thing that concerned us is that parents who send their children to this ostensibly school likely have no idea that their children are being taught an essentially secular view of origins. This is especially concerning since the chaplain felt free to override the wishes of at least some parents that their children be exposed to biblical teaching on creation via the Ark Van.

The book Refuting Compromise refutes the dodge about the Westminster Confession, showing that it followed the phrasing of Calvin, who unambiguously taught YEC (see Calvin said: Genesis means what it says). The book also documents the views of the framers of the Confession, who probably had a better idea of what they meant by what they wrote than this Goswell does. The Westminster Annotations, a five-volume set of Annotations on the Scriptures, first printed in 1645—right in the middle of the sitting of the Westminster Assembly itself, which shows that they believed that Creation Week comprised six normal-length days:

[Commentary on Genesis 1:5]. God called (Or, decreed it to be so called: for contrary things must be called by contrary names, Isai. 5:20, the light, Day) The word Day, in the former part of the verse, noteth the day artificial from morning till night, Exod. 16:12,13, which is the time of light, measured out to twelve hours, Joh. 11. 9. …
This first day consisting of twenty four hours had (as some think) for the first half of it the precedent darknesse, and for the other the light newly created: the night they take to be meant by evening a part of it, and the day by the morning, which is a part of it also: and according to this the Sabbath, (being as large a day as any of the rest, and so containing twenty four hours) is measured from even to even, Levit. 23:32, the Romans, and other Western Nations, reckon the twenty four hours from mid-night to mid-night; the Egyptians contrariwise from mid-day to mid-day.

This suggests that this Goswell book is just more of the same old compromise already refuted in Refuting Compromise.

Zoe K., Australia

Wow! This article is everything I love about Creation Ministries: It is (a) biblical (b) represents God’s true science (c) grasps the whole argument logically [God gave us a logical brain] (d) it confronts opponents head-on and tackles all the elements knowledgeably and (e) is more than current, it is cutting-edge in its understanding of the theological and scientific arguments presented (e) most importantly, it manages to do all this without resorting to the same demeaning spirit of its critics (Prov 15:1).

CMI’s ministry is not only a wonderful inspiration to those who believe in the authority of Scripture, it also leads the way in how to respond when challenged on our faith. I can’t imagine Christianity today without your ministry, as it would be an onerous (yet not impossible) task for those of us who actually believe the biblical account in its plain historical/grammatical setting against those who believe they know better (1 Cor 1:20). Most of us are not scientists and theologians, nevertheless we are called to be students of God’s Word.

I have no doubt that there are theistic evolutionists who are wonderful Christians. The evolution-creation debate does not represent the unpardonable sin. But when a theology erodes Scripture, the dangers this direction represents are significant.

What this article has shown is the inability for some Genesis critics to seriously look at the evidence or follow the science. How sad that some people choose to be so ignorant.

Richard B., Canada

This liberal theology only solidifies confusion within young people. It also proves that liberal theology spends less time studying the Bible, and more time studying evolution. Whenever someone passionately develops a theory outside of the Bible and then seeks the Bible for providing evidence to support their extra-Biblical theory, they will find a way to take selected Biblical references out of context to validate their extra-Biblical theories. Alternatively, CMI seeks the Bible first, and develops theories based on the Bible’s contextual teachings. Truth will only be understood by God’s revelation through his Word (pray all you want, but without God’s Word, prayer is unfounded). Young people (and people of all ages) will only worship God with their whole heart, soul, and mind if they are being taught consistent, uncompromising Biblical truth. I am elated that God has stirred up people’s souls enough to create and maintain CMI.

Joe J., USA

Intelligently written with a cutting edge. Thanks!

Simone B., Australia

Beautifully written argument.Using this man’s own words point by point to show him and others how sadly brainwashed we can all become.

Matthew P., Canada

I can’t imagine it’s intellectually satisfying or much fun to start by building a Christian world view on materialistic naturalism AND then claim Christian doctrine is somehow still applicable to and descriptive of reality. I don’t think these fellas enjoy being reminded of the glaring contradictions they accept out of hand. Perhaps this dissatisfaction accounts for some of the hostility?

Jonathan Sarfati responds

Thank you for your comments.

We’ve pointed out before how evolution makes God at best unnecessary, as the whole purpose of evolution is to give an entirely naturalistic account of the origin of life. See The horse and the tractor. Also, the evolutionist has major problems when it comes to explaining the origin of death and suffering, as they precede mankind by millions of years in the evolutionary scenario. Conversely, when one accepts the Bible’s history, it makes sense out of the rest of Scripture.

Basil B., Australia

I am eternally in debt to the God-fearing people in organisations such as CMI. In the early 90s my shaky faith in God’s Word was going nowhere fast— that is until Carl Wieland from CMI came to town! What a giant of a Swordsman.

The only logical conclusion that I can reach, as to why anyone would want to compromise with God’s Word, is that they fear man more than their Creator. For example, Rodney M wrote in his above letter, that Creationism is one of the major factors for the ridicule in which the Christian Faith is held in many secondary schools and Tertiary Institutions.

I plead with the parents of the above mentioned Christian school in Albany WA, to stand up against this very destructive and anti-Biblical teaching to their children, by the school Chaplain. The end result is, more often than not, a complete rejection of Jesus Christ, our Creator—that is no side-issue.

Thanks and God bless you all at CMI.

Basil B.

Jonathan Sarfati responds

Thank you for your comments; it’s encouraging for us to hear when God uses CMI’s ministry to strengthen Christians’ faith.

You are correct that the parents in that school need to stand up to the compromising chaplain and demand that their children be taught biblical creation. The concerning thing is that many of them likely do not even know that their children, who they likely sent to this school to avoid evolutionary indoctrination, are being taught an essentially secular worldview.

John D., Australia

Dear CMI,

As a long supporter of the Creation Science and Biblical Creation, I have often found that “liberal ministers” are more likely to be the cause of the current unbelief of many people "under their care”. You’ve have always upheld that God’s Word is true from the very first verse in Genesis to the very last one in Revelations.

What struck me about Rodney’s correspondence is his “Pontius Pilate act” of washing his hands of the responsibility he has to the parents and the students! If I was one of those parents I would take my children out and we would leave that church and school.

Secondly, Rodney does not provide one stitch of evidence for all the statements he makes. He simply "parrots" interpretations of his own selection of authors.

The NT states quite explicitly (plainly):

  1. that Adam (& Eve) sinned,
  2. that death entered the world (creation) because of man’s sin,
  3. that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world to save man from his sin.

The Epistle to the Romans (chapters 1–16) is constantly referring to Genesis 1–11 and the above 3 points are a summary of the message of Romans.

So in the "Gospel according to Rodney” when did death enter the creation? Why believe that Jesus Christ died for our sin? If sin and death is the result of our ancestor Adam (ie. the first Adam) and it is all “a myth and fairy tales” then believing in the redemption brought about by the second Adam (Jesus Christ) must be “a fairy tale" as well. And what about sin? Is that a myth as well? If that is so, why believe in Jesus Christ? Why believe the Bible at all? This is the logical outcome of Rodney’s belief system and the damage that Rodney's Gospel is doing.

Dawkins may hate Creationists but he castigates, and laughs at, liberal theologians/ministers like Rodney who are so inconsistent that they do not know their left hand from their right (like the inhabitants of Nineveh).

In the "Gospel” according Rodney, it is evident that there is no absolutes but only confusion.

What are the “lessons of the Noah story?” I would like to know! I’m outraged that Rodney calls the FLOOD a story. Why stop at the end of Chapter 11 of Genesis and call the rest “fact”. After all we told in that chapter that “Sarai was barren” (11:30)—or maybe this was "a myth/fairy tale” too.

So by his own statements and logical outcome, he must regard his own belief the same credence as the "tooth fairy."

I, as a believer and a parent, would not let Rodney anywhere NEAR my children. I’d rather have 10 Dawkins (because I know where he is at) than 1 Rodney (quicksand —even he doesn’t know where he himself is at). Or to use the Scriptural expression “Lukewarm” (neither cold nor hot).

Keep up the good work CMI. May the Lord continue to bless you in the work that you are doing in equipping HIS People with wisdom.

In Christ’s Love,

JD

Lita Cosner responds

We agree with you, of course, and found it troubling that the chaplain felt so free to contradict the wishes of at least one parent that his children be taught biblical creation via the Ark Van. Many of these parents likely have no idea that this school, which they likely chose to avoid evolutionary indoctrination, is teaching their children an essentially secular view of origins.

YPK ., Australia

This is truly bizarre, sad and annoying to hear a so-called pastor or chaplain making such big compromises without even realising it and without giving any real good reasons. I wonder if he has prayed for understanding of the Bible. Obviously, he cannot answer the student’s doubts about the Bible caused by evolutionary ideas. So, he blamed CMI for refuting Evolution Theory. Recently, I’ve come across several people who chose to believe in Evolutionary theory rather than God. As soon as I explained to them what is mutation and natural selection, they shy away from their stand. I believe that is the first time they heard that. So, how can this Chaplain blame CMI for pushing people away from the Bible when it is people like him who do not help them to see the awesomeness and power of God. It is really hard to believe a pastor chose to put more faith in evolution theory than CMI that is doing so well in helping people to truly appreciate God’s Word. I can only pray that God will open his eyes and grant him wisdom and clarity of his mind to discern the Bible. It is only because of CMI materials that I have the confidence to bring up the subject of Christianity at every opportunity I can get and I am no longer intimidated by people who believe in Evolution Theory. This means a lot to me and I have CMI to thank.

Lita Cosner responds

Thank you for your kind comments. You made a lot of good points. We are very glad that CMI’s ministry has helped you to be more confident about sharing your faith.

Kimbal B., USA

Thank you for this point-by-point dissection of this unfortunately misled “Chaplain’s” illogical and ungodly worldview. Compromising faith to fit in with the ruling Darwinist paradigm needs to be exposed and challenged directly and logically. JS and LC have managed to meet this compromise head-on while remaining civil. This compromise within the Church is what drives young people away. No one is comfortable for long with hypocrisy. How can one claim to promote Christ while denying Biblical inerrancy and Jesus’ very words?

Daiv F., USA

Are we now trying to please man or God? There is so much concern over what Richard Dawkins thinks! When it comes to scripture, his opinion is one of the last ones that I care about. Furthermore, I’d be more concerned if Dawkins didn’t hate the creation message in light of 2 Cor. 2 and endless other scripture. When the world hates us, that reaffirms that the Bible is true, because that is what the Bible says will happen to anyone who adhears to it without compromise.

Jonathan Sarfati responds

We agree about Dawkins of course; why should we try to appease known God-haters? It’s good to see some Christian scholars stand up for the truth against the craving for academic respectability:

On the other hand, it’s good to know what Dawkins thinks in another aspect that we pointed out: while he can’t stand biblical creationists, he even more strongly despises the compromise of church leaders who don’t believe their own book. See Dawkins on compromising churchians. Rather, appeasement is committing the same grievous error as Neville Chamberlain at Munich 1938—see Chamberlain and the Church.

Bruce B., UK

Thank you CMI for an excellent article. Thanks to Lita and Jonathan for such a lucid and authoritative refutation. Thanks also to Rodney M. for being prepared to state his views so firmly. That he is terribly misled is made perfectly clear but this wouldn’t have happened had he not been prepared to publicly state his opinion. When we, as individuals, meet similar opinions we’ll be much better prepared to challenge them with God's truth.

Occam’s Razor would come in handy here. The biblical account of creation is so clear, so straightforward and simple in its statement of the truth that it has to be a better answer than any esegesis man is going to dream up.

Sadly Rodney M. is surely only the tip of the iceberg. The Director of Studies at one of the primary Pentecostal Bible Colleges in the UK is a proponent of the gap theory. One can only pray that his students will have the discernment to recognise the error of his ways in this particular matter.

Thank you CMI that you provide such an excellent source of information, and encouragement for Christians to stand on the inerrancy of God’s Word. May He continue to bless and empower you.

Lita Cosner responds

We agree that the chaplain was admirably honest with us (even if his views were less than admirable), but we can only wonder if he is as honest with the parents who entrust their children to him for their Christian education. Indeed, one of the concerns was whether the parents were aware that their children were being taught an essentially secular view of origins in this Christian school. As for the Bible Colleges, this problem is unfortunately not unique to that one—see Crisis in the colleges: A call for reformation. As cited in this article, even the apostate anti-creationist historian Ron Numbers exposes what can only be called the deceit of some theistic evolutionary college professors “[s]tretching the truth to the breaking point” when trying to hide what they really believe from conservative (that is, Bible-believing) parents and donors.

derek B., Australia, 27 November 2012

I cannot for the life of me comprehend the mindset of this 'Christian' chaplain. His reason and his logic seems to be so totally unreasonable and illogical - how can he possibly believe himself to be Christian with viewpoints such as these? this mindset is utterly astounding to me

Denis W., Australia, 21 January 2013

Wow , with '' friends '' like this who needs enemies . This guy could be no better ally to Richard Dawkins @ Co . Being older generation christian and one of group in our church that call themselves Prime Timers I have come in contact with at least one ex teacher who believes in old Earth , that I suspect has been fueled over many years in his profession and his love of touring our country taking in the obliquetry speel of tour guides . While I see him as not a bad bloke this belief does reflect in his service of God and his desire to purse his other love eg . seeing as much of the world he can in the time left to live. Keep up the good work for you have more than agressive atheists to counter but agressive theistic christian teachers , pastors etc .

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