Compromising chaplain castigates creation, round 2
Published: 27 November 2010 (GMT+10)
Anyone who does not take the chronology of Genesis as history cannot call themselves a biblical creationist.
(Click image for larger view).
Rodney M., the chaplain of a prominent grammar school in Albany, Western Australia, wrote in reply to our first response to him published on our site. His letters are printed in their entirety with interspersed responses from Lita Cosner, Jonathan Sarfati and Gary Bates.
Come let us contend together…
Dear Rev. M.,
Nice little allusion to Isaiah 43:26. Yet any real contention should be based on what God has revealed propositionally in Scripture.
I am the infamous author of the letter attacking CMI.
We wouldn’t call you ‘infamous’; that indicates a degree of notoriety that you simply don’t have. For example, as we asked before, how many parents at your school know that you dogmatically reject biblical creation?
May I make the following points:
1. I believe in God is the Creator of all, and I am not a naturalist. There is only one source and upholder of all things.
Many religions believe that God is the Creator and upholder of all things. There is nothing distinctly Christian about that. The demons also believe in one God—and tremble (James 2:19).
2. Science, evolution are not necessarily materialistic naturalistic understandings of Creation, though Dawkins (speaking as a naturalist) would like us to think so.
But evolution was explicitly an attempt to explain origins without appealing to a divine Creator. Darwin himself—the father of modern evolutionary theory—rejected the idea that evolution and the Bible were compatible. Like Darwin before them, this is what all leading evolutionists believe (see A Who’s Who of evolutionists), we find it therefore paradoxical that Christians, thinking that the science of evolution is so strong, need to find a way to ‘squeeze’ it into the Scriptures. Theistic evolution is like having a horse pull a tractor, and most evolutionists know it, as we documented!
But real science doesn’t use evolution, as we have amply documented. In fact, most of the theories of real (operational) science were invented by creationist scientists trying to “think God’s thoughts after Him” (see The biblical roots of modern science: A Christian world view, and in particular a plain understanding of Scripture and Adam’s Fall, was essential for the rise of modern science).
3. I believe God reveals his nature as creator and sustainer of all though a correct understanding of science (Rom 1:19)
We agree, as did the creationist founders of science. What we disagree about is what constitutes a correct understanding of science. For us, anything which contradicts the Bible (as reasonably interpreted by its original audience) by definition cannot be correct, because we believe that the Bible is inerrant. This is called presuppositionalism.
4. I believe the Bible is the word of God, authoritative in all it asserts.
But you disbelieve that the earth was created in six ordinary-length days; you disbelieve the chronogenealogies which give an age of the earth of around 6,000 years; and you disbelieve the testimony of Jesus Christ and the apostles in the New Testament regarding the historicity of the Old Testament’s account of creation.
You would never derive millions of years and goo-to-you evolution if the Bible, rather than ‘science’, really were authoritative. Respectfully, sir, secular science appears to be your authority as you are placing more store in a materialistic interpretation of the world, rather than a biblical one. Creationists and evolutionists have the same facts and the same world to discover. We come to different conclusions because of our starting assumptions. Please read It’s not science. As Old Testament scholar E.J. Young put it:
“Whenever ‘science’ and the Bible are in conflict, it is always the Bible that, in one manner or another, must give way. We are not told that ‘science’ should correct its answers in light of Scripture. Always it is the other way around. Yet this is really surprising, for the answers which scientists have provided have frequently changed with the passing of time. The ‘authoritative’ answers of pre-Copernican scientists are no longer acceptable; nor, for that matter, are many of the views of twenty-five years ago.”
5. I think that ‘evolution’ is no longer a ‘theory’ but a fact about how the world came into being. I mean by a ‘fact’ a view that best explains observations in the same way the model of the atom best explains matter.
You are using theory in a way for which creationists have been castigated by evolutionists (although we have advised against it in our most-read web page Arguments we think creationists should NOT use—an article praised by Dawkins of all people). In science, a “theory” is a very well-attested model, like the atomic theory of matter, while a less sure model is called a hypothesis.
We find it curious that you proclaim evolution to be a fact at just the point when genetics is showing life to be so much more complicated than we thought it was (see Splicing and dicing the human genome: Scientists begin to unravel the splicing code by Ph.D. geneticist Robert W. Carter). Indeed, at just the point when more and more scientists are abandoning the idea, and at just the point when more and more people are seeing that the Bible and evolution really are fundamentally incompatible.
6. I think “evolution” is no more or less godly or ungodly than other well accepted scientific models.
But evolution, unlike most other scientific theories, was a specific attempt to explain the origin of life without God’s involvement. This is directly contrary to Genesis which shows God to be directly involved in every stage of creation—by means that He is not using currently to uphold His creation. Moreover, we fail to comprehend how you can think that evolution would be a godly process. Would a moral and just God used a wasteful, and cruel mechanism of death and suffering, survival of the fittest over millions of years to create. This would have included some sort of humanoid-type creatures that supposedly pre-dated human beings. This doesn’t quite sound like the “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the world” dissertation that was given on the mount by Jesus (the Creator).
7. Genesis 1–11 was not written to give modern believers a model for belief in how Creation was made, but to teach us that God is the author of all and humans are responsible to God.
Genesis 1–11 was not written to modern believers at all (although it is for all believers, and is useful for teaching, exhorting etc as is all of Scripture); it was written to the Jews at the time of Moses (or at least Moses acted as the editor of pre-existing documents to give us what we now call Genesis or the first book of the Torah or Pentateuch). You put the two purposes at odds with each other, but we fail to see how they are mutually exclusive. Indeed, we can’t see how Genesis could teach the latter if it wasn’t correct about the former. As we put it in Genesis: Bible authors believed it to be history: ‘The important thing is that God created, isn’t it?’:
Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”‘ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.
An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?
The Church didn’t go far wrong over thousands of years believing in a six day creation or a flat earth (on the basis of their interpretation of revelation), but now we have more information we dare not separate what God has joined (viz. what we learn about God through nature and the Bible).
We are not sure if you are aware of what you just said, but this comes across as a very arrogant statement, reeking of chronological snobbery and bigotry toward some of the greatest minds of the last two millennia that we have yet read—and it actually comes from a Christian minister!
It is not only the Church that believed in six day creation; Jesus did too, as did Paul and Peter and John and the rest of the New Testament authors, as cited above in the article. Are you going to claim that they were only men of their day, too? See The use of Genesis in the New Testament.
You vastly over-estimate the evidence in favor of evolution, and too quickly give up on the Bible’s accuracy, and are obviously not aware of the wealth of scientific evidence that supports the Bible’s account of origins. This site contains over 32 years worth of such research and much of it by creationists scientists who as just as highly qualified as the evolutionists.
And you should be embarrassed that you’re propagating the long-debunked flat-earth myth, promulgated by discredited 19th century antitheists, and by Washington Irving’s fable that Christopher Columbus fought flat earth belief. In reality, all the leading church writers who mentioned the shape of the earth asserted its roundness, including Augustine, Bede and Aquinas. Medieval kings were presented with an orb, representing the earth, as a symbol of their power, which shows that they believed the earth was round. All the skeptics find is a handful of obscure writers who state the contrary, e.g. Cosmas Indicopleustes (the last name means “voyager to India”). This myth should have been put to a long-deserved rest when historian Jeffrey Burton Russell published Inventing the Flat Earth in 1991, especially as none other than even the late atheist and Marxist Stephen Jay Gould (who, having died, actually now knows there is a God) reviewed it so favorably, saying:
“There never was a period of ‘flat earth darkness’ among scholars (regardless of how the public at large may have conceptualized our planet both then and now). Greek knowledge of sphericity never faded, and all major medieval scholars accepted the earth’s roundness as an established fact of cosmology.”
Another relevant article comes from a historian specializing in the Ancient Near East, Dr Noel Weeks, Does the Bible really teach a three-storey cosmology?
8. Clearly you are not going to convince me (nor I you probably), but I think CMI is whole bunch of people talking to themselves and not the world whom God loves.
This is somewhat hypocritical from one who denies us the chance to talk to the students, who God also loves, at his ostensibly Christian school. It is also very ignorant, as mentioned before, of what CMI does, represents, and has produced. And given the wealth of information that is available these days, ignorance, quite frankly, is no excuse. You are actually censoring the flow of information and do not trust your own students’ judgment enough to make a fully informed decision after hearing both sides of the argument. If you think the evidence for evolution is so strong then you should have nothing to worry about. But I suspect that you’re like the atheistic anticreationist activist Eugenie Scott, who admitted that hearing our side might cause students to reject evolution! In fact, the overwhelming majority of scientists at CMI were former evolutionists who became convinced about the truth of biblical creation after hearing arguments for both sides, something that you are not allowing to happen.
Of course, many of the great tragedies and dictatorial regimes in human history came about because leaders wanted people only to think the way that they wanted them to think. See Genocide, evolution and the Bible on how evolution turned people into atheistic killers. We actually believe they were being consistent with their belief system whereas you are not.
CMI “talks” primarily to the Church, as the function of apologetics is to strengthen the faith of those who already believe, and as the “immune system” to defend the Church from the attacks of non-believers (and non-believing believers such as yourself). But God has also used our ministry to convert unbelievers who saw evolution as a stumbling block to faith, until they heard the evidence for creation. Here is an example resulting from Refuting Compromise, even though that was a book addressed to Christians.
9. I further think that CMI continues to unnecessarily create a stumbling block for little ones, and subject the faith in Christ to ridicule.
This is an old and long refuted canard. Our years in ministry have shown that creation teaching is actually one of the most effective methods of reaching people with the Gospel, because it actually removes the stumbling blocks that people have about the authority of the Bible. If people are confused about origins then we should engage the culture and answer the questions they are asking. What you are suggesting is actually a watering down of the Gospel, which means that people are free to decide which parts to believe or not. Such a tactic can lead people to a slippery slope of unbelief. It is very rare that someone comes to faith because they think the Bible supports evolution, for example.
There will always be people who ridicule and reject the Gospel of Christ. The answer is not to keep watering it down in hopes that the mockers will be satisfied. As our response to BioLogos shows, the atheists often have a keener sense of what compromise does to the Christian faith than the compromisers themselves realize. The compromise creates a stumbling block, because if the miraculous stuff in Genesis 1–11 can’t be trusted, why trust the miraculous stuff in the Gospels, and if the Bible gets it wrong on earthly things which can be verified, who in their right mind would believe it when it tells us how to be saved (John 3:12)? For example, BioLogos’ leader Francis Collins ardently supports the fraud of embryonic stem cell research, although that destroys innocent human embryos and has yet to produce a single cure, and despite the many proven treatments from somatic (‘adult’) stem cell research.
10. I am a Biblical Creationist.
No, you’re demonstrably not, and we say this without malice as simply a statement of fact. But it does demonstrate a huge ignorance of the subject matter, which is all the more reason why you should allow a specialist organization like ours a hearing so you can actually find out what it is creationists believe and why. You are a theistic evolutionist. If Jesus and Paul were biblical creationists, then you’re not one. They believed in six days and a short timescale. They believed in a literal Adam who was literally the first human being, created from actual dust by the hand of God (and Eve from his rib as the “mother of all living”). This Adam’s actual sin was the basis for the introduction of physical death, disease, and all types of suffering, which did not exist in “soulish” creatures (Hebrew נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה (nephesh chayyāh)), whether in man or beast, before Adam’s sin. You cannot be an evolutionist and believe this; therefore you are not a biblical creationist.
It is essential that true faith says “I believe in God, creator of heaven and earth”
Muslims and Jews also say that God created, and even Aristotelianism says that there is an unmoved mover. What makes your creationism Christian?
but those who align that with a six day creation cannot claim to be Biblical Creationists, because they do not believe what God has revealed through science.
How ironic: a biblical creationist according to you is one who rejects the Bible’s teaching about creation!
You glorify science too much, and you beg the question that God has revealed the truth of evolution, in contrast with the propositional revelation of the Bible. This means that we need to rely upon a mechanism or interpretation that is derived by mainly secular atheists (who need evolution to help them explain the world without a creator) to help us interpret God’s Word. Evolution in any case is not science, but one interpretation of the scientific evidence, which after all is not propositional (see also Scripture and general revelation). The Ph.D. scientists at CMI and other places develop models interpreting the same evidence within a creationist framework. If you look at the evidence with an open mind we think you would be surprised to see how much better the data fit with a creationist interpretation. E.g. instead of reading only the side of the rabid atheist Dawkins in The Greatest Show on Earth, read the response, The Greatest Hoax on Earth?
11. Nothing can refute my experience that Creationism is a barrier to faith in many young people. I think it is an irrational and unnecessary barrier, you, a true necessary barrier. My conscience and mind are clear that I stand in the better place.
The argument from experience is notoriously weak; we have exactly the opposite experience in our ministry. We would suggest that you see it as a barrier, because of your overconfidence in the science, and that you have not taken the time to avail yourself of necessary answers to show that the Bible’s history can actually be supported by true science. That's why specialist organizations like CMI exist. We could reword your paragraph to assert that we stand in the better place, and it would have exactly the same validity or lack thereof and the debate would not progress one bit. In reality, experience must be judged by Scripture, not vice versa. We encourage you to open your mind and enquire more about this subject. Researching and understanding the philosophical nature of evolution would be a good place to start.
Lita Cosner, Jonathan Sarfati, and Gary Bates.
Creation Ministries International
Rev. M. also sent the following comments in:
The articles does not deal with the main issues:
1. What justifies insisting on a literal, “historical” and “scientific” interpretation of Genesis 1–11, when the Bible itself does not require or even allow such an interpretation for that genre of Biblical writing (cf Gen 12:1–4 which does require a “space time” approach).
The break between Genesis 1–11 and 12–50 is entirely arbitrary. Genesis itself shows no such clear break in style. Furthermore, passages such as 1 Chronicles 1, Luke 3 and Hebrews 11 cite individuals from both sections without the slightest hint of “now the characters after this point, but not before, were real people.” Genesis 1–11 uses grammatical constructs that are indicative of historical narrative, as we have explained in detail.
2. Why, in just one area of science (viz. evolution) do almost all scientists (Christians or not) interpret the data to strongly imply evolution as the most satisfactory model about how what is came to be? Can all be deceived? Why aren’t all scientists just as deceived about other areas (eg: the structure of the solar system)?
If you were familiar with our materials, you would know that we differentiate between origins and operational science. And of course, it is certainly possible for a majority to be deceived, which is why Jesus spoke of the broad way that leads to destruction.
3. The observations of life in genetics, paleontology, geology, biology, embryology all appear to support the idea that all life is connected and humans came to be as part of this connection.
That’s quite an assertion, but you’ve given no evidence. We believe they support the creation model better.
If a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1 were correct, then those who believe in a literal six day creation must also believe that their god is also the great deceiver who has cleverly laid out this trail in nature with the intention of deceiving humans into believing the lie of “evolution” and so disbelieving in him. I do not believe in such a God and I accept no division in believing in a loving Creator and an evolutionary interpretation of how life came to be.
The natural evidence must be interpreted. You cannot accuse God of deceiving when He has told us, in His inspired Word, how He created! Indeed, if the earth is billions of years old, He must be deceiving when He tells us that He created in six days only thousands of years ago. It’s hard to think of something more diametrically opposed to goo-to-you evolution than the straightforward teaching of Genesis 1. So in reality, people are deceiving themselves by ignoring this clear eye-witness teaching, much like Lucy in the Parable of the Candle.
And once again, you fail to address the biggest problem of long ages: that they place death before sin, contra the biblical teaching that death is “the last enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26) and “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23).
4. I repeat, why do CMI insist on alienating millions of young people by a belief that is not part of the Gospel? Don’t misunderstand me, belief in God as creator is part of the Gospel, but a literal interpretation of Genesis is NOT. This is just a human and totally unnecessary stumbling block.
Why do you insist on asking such leading questions? If you’ve listened to us at all, you will know that we don’t say that a straightforward interpretation of Genesis is essential for salvation. But we do point out that the Apostle Paul’s teaching of the Gospel, the good news , was predicated on the bad news of a literal Fall of a literal first man, Adam.
Lita Cosner, Jonathan Sarfati and Gary Bates
This man appears to contradict himself in practically every statement he makes. He seems to have no real idea what he actually does believe. What of the Bible does he actually believe? If this man is a CHAPLAIN - what on earth is he chaplain for? His statements are illogical, inconsistent and irrational. He sounds to me like an absolute lunatic and I have to wonder how he could be a chaplain - unless if the whole purpose of this school is to leave students in a thorough state of confusion through his teaching.
I feel sorry for this gentleman as he cannot see his own foundational blindness.
I pray that he will allow CMI to speak, and that God will open his mind, along with all those others who don’t believe God’s word for what it says.
The idea that God could have used evolution as his ‘means’ of creation is quite absurd given the biblical data: I think particularly of the ‘word’ being given as the ‘method’ of creation, and I think of Hebrews 11:3, where the creation was not of things visible; whereas evolution holds the very opposite: that what we have in the cosmos was mode of things that were visible!
I always enjoy reading the letters to CMI and the responses. They are fantastic examples of effective apologetics in action. I enjoy the respectful, yet cut’n dry tone applied to CMI’s response. Its a model I try to use when I’m “defending the faith”.
Well done guys.
The article mentions New Testament belief but there is also reinforcement of the literal 6 days and this not being a dream or poem. Numbers 12:
When there is a prophet amongst you I the LORD reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to them in dreams not so my servant Moses … with him I speak face to face and not in riddles. … why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses.
A warning to all those who say it was a poem or a dream.
Rev. Rodney M. says,
If a literalistic interpretation of Genesis 1 were correct, then those who believe in a literal six day creation must also believe that their god is also the great deceiver who has cleverly laid out this trail in nature with the intention of deceiving humans into believing the lie of “evolution” and so disbelieving in him.
I personally think that the “trail in nature” supports the YEC view. Have you seen a picture of a fossil coelacanth and a modern coelacanth [yes: here—Ed.]. There is no evolution occurring in supposedly 360 million years. And this is just one of a vast array of living fossils.
So it makes more sense to say that the theistic evolutionists god must have deceived people into thinking he created recently (when he really didn’t) by interspersing the fossil record with such living fossils that show no evidence of evolution!
The fossil record IMHO is extremely compatible with the six day biblical creation account that happenned only a few thousand years ago.
It is genuinely tragic that a man who stands in the ministry of chaplain at a Christian school should at the same time unwittingly (I hope) stand in the camp of the enemy. However, I do understand his arrogance and combativeness because that’s where I was myself until about 21 years ago. While I did serve, as a stealth unbeliever, in various undiscerning churches as a lay youth leader, I did not teach them evolution. By the grace of God the subject never came up. But at the same time given the circumstance I would have argued just as angrily (again, I speak from my own experience which probably was not unique, but I would guess Rodney M was hitting the computer keys with strong emotion) against the historicity of Genesis 1–11. I am certainly glad that I will not have to stand before God having taught children to believe a doctrine that contradicts and undermines the gospel of Jesus Christ and may well lead them to the point of atheism as it would have me without God’s intervention.
It’s pretty simple really, at least for me, if I can’t believe one part of the bible, literally i can’t believe any of it. I take literally, including the genesis account, and the attitude of the good chaplain, in not allowing people to make up there own minds is appalling. I’m not convinced that his agenda is one of compassion but rather one of control. Thank CMI for your intelligent replies to his criticisms and please keep up the good work.
Creation creates a stumbling block to young people? As a ‘young person’ of 19, I can say this: Only if someone who is totally ignorant of the evidence is presenting it!
Also, contrary to his assertion, evolution is a far greater barrier to belief. Theologians faithful to the text have shown that Genesis 1–11 is a historical narrative, and when someone without an agenda reads it, they think the same!
This man twists Scripture, ignores the evidence, and leads young people down a path to unbelief. He ought to be ashamed!
A small improvement this time: the Rev. Rodney has quoted one specific bible reference in contention of his case!
Seriously, though, I urge all readers to pray for this man and his workplace.
I was an atheist and evolutionist for fifty years. It amazes me how many Christians think that evolution is compatible with Christianity. If I was still an evolutionist then I would still be an atheist. I know from years of experience that belief in evolution is one of the main reasons why people reject Christianity. CMI is not a stumbling block; it is a life saver.
We asked Mr M. to explain more, because this is a very good answer to those who claim that creation/evolution “is just a side issue”. This sort of experience is one of the main reasons CMI exists. Mike replied:
My conversion from atheism to Christianity was almost instant. The Holy Spirit (I didn’t know it was the Holy Spirit at the time) showed me that God is real. I began reading the Bible but I ignored Genesis because I thought the story of Adam and Eve was just poetry or myth. However, after some time studying the Bible I came to realise that it only makes sense if there was a real Adam and a real Fall. Was the Bible wrong? Could evolution be true after all?
I needed an answer from God because decades of secular indoctrination is hard to shake off. The answer came in a way I didn’t expect. I was watching Christian TV when a program came on about creation. I was very impressed with the arguments that were put forward. I had never heard anything like it before. But it wasn’t just the strength of the arguments that impressed me; the Holy Spirit was also working in me. I had a hunger to learn more about creation and to pass that knowledge on to others, and this I have done. Some people have been blessed by what I have told them but some have reacted strongly against it.
I could understand why atheists (I was one for many years) didn’t want to listen to my arguments in favour of creation but I was puzzled as to why some Christians were equally resistant. It took me a while to get used this fact. I discovered that one of the reasons why some Christians reject the Biblical account of creation is because of pride; they fear the opinions of men. There is another group of Christians who are simply ignorant of the facts. They think that the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that there is no point in discussing it. This is where organisations like CMI are invaluable.
Thanks to CMI, I have no worries when faced with questions about suffering and death; in fact I welcome such questions because it gives me the opportunity to tell people about creation, the fall, and salvation through the second Adam—Jesus Christ. Only when we compromise on God’s word do we struggle to answer the skeptics.
When I look back over the years, I can think of many people I knew, including family members, who rejected Christianity because they believed we evolved from apes. I know of others whose faith was so weakened that they eventually gave up and became atheists/agnostics. Anybody who thinks that belief in evolution has no effect on a person’s faith is not facing up to reality.
After reading this article I thought of how one day this Christian teacher will have to eat his words. I, too, am a passionately driven and vocal person and I can think back to instances when I have “lashed out” in the past(hopefully I am overcoming this) when I felt threatened or angry. And you know what … later I found out to my shame that I was wrong. Just imagine how exciting it will be when the veil lifts and this man becomes aware of his faulty presuppostion and embraces God’s version of events! My guess is he will become a passionate, vocal biblical creationist—in the truest sense!
I thank CMI for being prepared to be “salt” and “light” in our world , informing, challenging and encouraging fellow Christians to uphold the authority of God’s word (Bible) from the very first verse.
Sadly many Christian ministers and leaders who would boldy preach God’s word as authoratative (either because they are ignorant or intimidated by Origins Science) show their lack of confidence (though they would not admit it) by avoiding or stopping short in affirming the historical truth of Genesis (eg they would rightly argue as significant—Jesus being a descendent of David or Abraham (in Luke’s genealogy of Jesus) but not mention or trace the significance right back to Adam). Similarly theological implications of creation week, the Global flood etc are superficially treated and /or insights to be gained by the historicity of the events is equally compromised.
Even sadder is that they implant doubts in children which would not normally be there when the Genesis accounts are read straight forwardly as intended and do not allow the internal evidence of Scriptures to speak for itself.
When I read the Bible, I still have many questions but the clarity and understanding the Lord has given to me (on Creation/Evolution) through the ministry of CMI on Genesis has given me a confidence and love of God’s word in that I can approach it knowing that God is true, God’s word is true and in him there is no “lie”.
I once had a passionate evolutions essentially say to me:
“Moses’ only intention was to just teach the theological truth of ‘Who?’ and ‘Why?’, not about the ‘How?’ and ‘When?’”.
“How do you know that was his only intention?”, I asked.
“You just look at what he wrote and you can see his intention.”
They replied, “Well, in Gen. 1:1 Moses clearly states the ‘who’ (God), and in Gen. 2:3 he says ‘why’ (to sanctify and enjoy it). Therefore Moses’ intention was just to teach us about the who and the why.”
I then asked, “And what about from Gen. 1:2 to Gen. 2:3 where he writes all those lengthy statements about the how and when?”
“What about them?”
“Could it be he wrote that because he ‘intended’ also to talk about … the how and when?"
“How do you figure? …”
It was late, we slept on that thought.
I was an unbeliever searching for truth, and I could tell if people were twisting it. Making the Bible fit in the framework of evolution is pathetic from the viewpoint of someone looking for truth. I am glad that there are unashamed Christians such as those who lead Creation Ministries, providing honest answers to difficult questions.
It is the truth that sets you free. A diluted Gospel (or twisted truth) is worthless, except to be used by the evil one to destroy.
I’ve been reading your articles for years. This one had some excellent information in it and I appreciate it. But I must say it was suprisingly harsh in its approach.
Thanks for your comments. We agree that the tone is a bit harsher than we would normally use. This is for two reasons. First, this person is in a position of influence, and he is using that position to block creation ministry against the wishes of at least some parents in the school. Second, he showed a complete disregard of anything we said in the first email. We felt that in light of this our tone was justified. The goal was to hopefully get through to him in a way that a gentler tone failed to do, and to also teach others who come across the article. A strong defense of biblical creation also proves very encouraging to some who face similar attacks as they try to teach biblically.
Overall, this is great work guys. But I must say that we should at all times avoid language that could be perceived as aggressive, whether they are intended as such or not. The comment that the author should be “embarrassed” for his ‘flat earth’ comment is somewhat embarrassing in itself. Other comments such as “very ignorant” which purposely embellish the insults are just plain wrong.
As Christians we really need to pick our words carefully to reflect our humble and loving mission of spreading God’s true word.
A less arrogant statement would have been something like “I am disappointed that you’re propagating the long-debunked …”
My experience in apologetics is that even the most subtle of sneering comments will instantly turn away people who are otherwise open to be proven wrong.
Thanks for your comments; we’re always glad when readers challenge us, because it gives us a chance to re-examine ourselves to make sure that we’re conducting ourselves properly. While we understand that it is commonly used as an insulting term, we simply meant ‘ignorant’ in its ‘lexical sense’ as meaning uninformed or badly informed. Our tone in this response was harsher in general because this individual is in a position of authority which he is using to block creation ministry, against the wishes of at least some of the parents of the children in his school. Also, he completely ignored the points we made in our first response to him. The goal of the tone was to hopefully get through to him, and to encourage and teach other readers, who may have come across similar arguments against creation in their own efforts to defend the faith.
An ingrained evolution mind-set seems to be a hard thing to change sometimes. I believed evolution when I was saved, but soon realised it was not compatible with being a "new creation". I reconciled my long-ages belief by adopting the gap theory, as expounded in the Dake’s bible. Some 10 years later I visited what was then an AiG bookstore and asked for some books about the gap theory, and, to my surprise, they disagreed with it. Now, after a regular diet of Creation Ministries publications, I can call myself a Young Earth Creationist. Now when I read things about Jesus turning water into good quality wine, or feeding thousands with a few loaves and fishes, I see God doing what He does best; creating things, not just letting them evolve.
James 3:1 comes to mind.
As a teen student I would have loved to have had the CMI resources available to me. As it happened, I only had two ministers like Rodney M. The experience left me floundering in my faith.
Well answered, CMI!
“…those who believe in a literal six day creation must also believe that their god is also the great deceiver who has cleverly laid out this trail in nature with the intention of deceiving humans into believing the lie of “evolution” and so disbelieving in him. I do not believe in such a God…”
Setting aside the complete absence of ANY ‘trail in nature’ that supposedly leads to belief in the lie of evolution, it is amazing that this chaplain cannot see the contradiction of his assertion. The theory of evolution only came to popular acceptance a couple of centuries ago. Up until then, the vast majority of believers accepted the historicity of the Bible-including the Genesis account of the origin of the universe. Christians who now believe that God used evolution to create must, therefore, believe that God deliberately allowed his followers to be deceived for thousands of years, until modern science could come along to ‘enlighten’ them. Now, THAT is a God that we should not believe in—and happily, do not.
Thank you for posting this. The objections were typical and are considered, in the circles that the chaplain mixes, to be erudite and informed. Your responses were brilliant and very helpful.
I disagree with some of the comments that the tone was harsh at times. Forthright and confronting, yes, but harsh,no. I have always valued the people at CMI for their grace and humility.
It is disturbing that a man who teaches about Christ elevates appeals to the authority of Scientists above the scripture (Origins science relies on forensic and circumstantial evidence leading to opinions). Experiments on the past cant be done. Even Dating methods have inherent problems and dont give accurate results for known rock ages).
Is it because he is afraid of the simplified scientific content displayed on the CMI site? Has he heard other ministers flounder when confronted by the jargon of stronger academics? I hope and pray he realises that CMI is rarely debated nowadays because the scientists know that they will flounder when confronted by a creationist with a comparable scientific background. God has equipped some scientists to defend his Word against others who want to promote their own pet hypotheses-like evolution (a doctrine of demons if I ever heard one-as the atheists excuse for unbelief and immorality it is without peer-no wonder it is a popular opinion among scientists).
Christians working as scientists have reason to fear accepting creationist’s reasoning as they could be persecuted for such beliefs and forced to defend them.
As a teacher who will be judged harder this chaplain has risked a great deal on the opinion of Scientists (opinion which by their own admission changes on a constant basis). We should all pray that he reads the CMI material and begins to understand that scientist’s are led astray by a non-biblical worldview that filters the evidence (they often ignore inconvenient facts)
Ignorance like this is a choice. A teacher will endanger whole families by omitting clear and easily understood evidence that undermines evolutionary philosophy and I fear God will not hold him blameless if he ignores such warnings by using a “head in the sand” approach. When we have learned something God expects us to act on it.
Well done CMI, what I really enjoy about your works is you do take time to provide lengthy explanations of the Y.E. view and not just a few words.
I have used the work from here many times in forums to support the Y.E view e.g links etc.
Keep up the good work, I praise God for your efforts, Wayne
I think our good compromising friend needs a basis course on theological and scientific discernment. I’s pretty scary that this supposed ‘Christian educator’ is in charge of a school, supposedly teaching Biblical truth, when in fact origins by special creation cannot be taught, nor the Biblical view of origins to be presented. Just reading what he has written tells me that this guy is up to his ears in the unsustainable “scientism” of philosophical naturalism and Darwinism. Someone, from the school board should take him aside and remind him of what Christianity is really all about, and stand at the gate handing out leaflets of CMI’s refutation letting parents know what’s actually going on, and what the issues are.
I notice that some Christians are becoming uncomfortable with the tone taken by CMI in its replies. But there is a wonderful precedent. Most Christians would be aware that Jesus was often gentle and sometimes harsh. Condider to whom he was gentle, and to whom he was harsh. And let us be the same.
In regards to the comment about CMI being too harsh on the reply to this letter, I disagree the time is short and the need is now, sometimes we put a gag on the Holy SPIRIT because we believe we should not offend, defend the truth. (that can certainly get things stirred up).What about the young students that are influenced by the teacher to think of their parents as fools (for lack of any other word ) because they believe in creation ? No! If people like CMI don’t stand up and be bold and speak the Truth in love who else then? How many new scientists can we afford to lose if they are turned away from learning the Truth? Where is the next generation of Creation Scientists coming from?. On the point of being meek in speaking to people that are supposed to be guardians of our young students I was reminded that Paul filled with the Holy Spirit looked intently at him and said” O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” Acts 13:9–10. Sure sounds like strong language to me.
May I respectfully ask that Chaplain Rod M allow this biblical ministry into “his” school, even though he feels CMI are too literal. Perhaps he could introduce the presenters by saying he does not believe what they say, but is open enough to allow students to hear this material, backed as it is by people highly educated in science & theology.
Until I went to Uni & met some creationists, my Christian faith was (genuine but) waffly, & I think it would have crumbled from trying to make the theology fit the “facts”. Now, as a medical doctor, & CMI supporter, I rejoice with scientific discoveries; they give me more reason to praise God.
We ran a coffee shop years ago and talking to some young people I started to talk about the deception of evolution. That night they accepted Christ. From my limited experience, evolution is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to young people becoming Christians.
Wow! I can’t see how this guy can call himself a Christian when he doesn’t believe the authority of the Bible; or a scientist when he wilfully ignores evidence that negates his evolutionary beliefs.
If you believe in evolution and the Christian God then you must believe that some ape like beast slowly mutated into the human form over millions of years of death and suffering. (And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good)
I would just like to ask him: when was the cut off point when we could definitely say that they were no longer ape but truly human? As nothing is too difficult for God wouldn’t it have been easier to just make man out of the dust of the earth all in one go just like the Bible says?
Truly amazing!!! superb responses, well done!
Well thought out, well said. And, I disagree with the other comments that thought they detected a harsh tone. On the contrary, you stayed cool, stuck to the facts and the issues at hand, and avoided invective and polemic. After all you ARE properly telling the chaplain that he is WRONG, and it is pretty sure that he will not like it. But that does not make you “harsh”.
A very interesting exposure of the reverend’s beliefs. One is frequently told that certain specific denominational bible colleges tend to destroy candidates’ beliefs, and one is concerned that this is what may have happened.
For the benefit of parents, potential parents, students and potential students of Christian secondary schools, it might be useful to discover the school’s identity, so that their website’s stated beliefs and aims may be compared with their chaplain’s… Not for name-calling.
Well done Guys, Thanks for sharing this article with us the readers as it gives us ideas how to put forward creation points with confidence to our misguided brothers in Christ.
I have been teaching Science for 45 years. I find evolution and evolutionary dating unconvincing on Scientific grounds.
- So called evidence is often no more than a narrow appeal to a "find" that turns out to be no more than a fragment that has been reconstructed along preconceived evolutionary lines.
- Every other day there is a newspaper clipping about a supposed new find that "completely changes our views of the course of evolution" but turns out to be no more than an individual’s hope for recognition.
- Radioactive Dating gives widely differing results and is often redone with new assumptions to give the result desired. In addition,it assumes that radioactive decay rates are constant because of the assumed age of the material. Measures of daily background radiation vary according to the weather due probably to variations in solar radiation. I have had my students check this over a lengthy period of time. Studies of isotopic ratios in radiactive deposits indicate considerable variation in decay rates despite assumptions to the contrary. It is hardly ‘scientific’ to change the assumptions to give the result desired to fit in with preconceived beliefs about the supposed age of fossils. But it happens!
- With regard to students in the school situation, evolution is taught as fact and examined accordingly and is widely used by members of the public (from Darwin onwards) as a bulwark against belief in God. In other words belief in Evolution is seen as necessary to avoid facing the biblical doctines of sin, guilt and redemption. Non-believers cling to evolutionary ideas like a drowning man to a floating log.
- The doctoring of scientific evidence using the principle of uniformitarianism is demonstrably contrary to reason and leads to convoluted attempts to explain facts about rock strata, fossil graveyards, coal deposits, volcanic events (eg Mt St Helen’s).
- Any scientific paper that challenges evolutionary ideas just doesn’t get published. Who is afraid of what?
Concerning the comments of C.M.I. being “too harsh”, we need to remember that Jesus was never “politically correct”. He was a friend of “publicans and sinners” but he tore strips off the pharisees at times. He was even short with the disciples on several occasions and yet WITHOUT sin, (Mark 4:40; 9:19; Matthew 16:23)
A person is not saved by how nice they are, we are all sinners saved by grace, and this is NOT an excuse for being rude or harsh. There are many unsaved people that are really nice people BUT when you have a chaplain who doesn’t believe the Word of God leading children into doubting the Word of God then this needs to be addressed by a prophetic voice teaching clearly what the Word of God states.
Paul NAMES apostates that have strayed from the Truth in the Epistles and gives grave warnings to anyone who desires to teach, about what is required and the greater rewards and judgements that will be merited them.
Jesus warned of false prophets and teachers and the deception that will abound in the last days, and God forbid that anyone be deceived, THAT is why we need to know His Word so as to judge what is taught.
Thank you again Lita, Jonathan, Gary and the rest of the C.M.I. staff for being faithful to God’s call!