A Personal Word
Ed. note: Dr Batten wrote this testimony in 1985, nine years before he joined Creation Science Foundation, now Creation Ministries International (CMI). Today, he would not change any of the basic thrust of his testimony, but would recommend up-to-date creationist literature (such as The Creation Answers Book, Refuting Evolution and Refuting Compromise).
I am a professional scientist. I work in the field of agriculture and tropical plants in particular. All my science training was ‘evolution’. Soon after I became a Christian I read a book which advocated ideas such as theistic evolution and a localized Deluge. In deference to the impressive academic qualifications of the author, Dr James Jauncey, I adopted these ideas. The thrust of Dr Jauncey’s argument, as I recall it, was that ‘science’ says … and therefore the Bible must be made to fit, for both are ‘true’. Unfortunately both science and the Bible lost out, with the latter suffering the most.
Thus, as a young Christian, I had my feet knocked out from under me. As an ‘evangelical’ I believed the Bible was the Word of God and the authority over my faith and life. I wanted to believe the Bible was infallible but in the back of my mind were those ever-present doubts about (especially) those first 11 chapters. The Bible certainly seemed to speak historically—Creation, The Deluge, The Tower of Babel—and yet the theologians said these things were myth, or poetry, or allegory. What should I believe?
These doubts about the reliability of Scripture effectively silenced my witness. How could I evangelize boldly and confidently when filled with doubts about the very Bible that was the basis of my faith? How indeed could a strong, persevering faith be built when the very foundations were riddled with termites?
Praise God, all this has changed! It has taken some ten years for the Lord to re-educate me, to undo a lifetime of humanist brainwashing in the name of ‘science’, but praise Him, He has done it! I can now speak with conviction because I trust His Word (Psalm 119:42) and I have reasons for the hope that is within me (1 Pet 3:15).
And how has my re-education come about? Firstly, about ten years ago, a non-Christian biochemistry lecturer at university said that, with what was then known about the biochemistry of enzyme/protein synthesis, it was clear there is no process by which evolution could occur. That opened my mind to consider what Dr Duane Gish had to say in his lectures at the university soon thereafter. Then came much reading of literature on the subject. The Genesis Flood by Drs Whitcomb and Morris helped me to begin to see things through very different eyes. Although this book is somewhat old now (published in 1961) its scientific and theological arguments are still compelling. These authors confronted me with the grave theological problems associated with theistic evolution—for example, if evolution was the ‘how’ of God’s creation then He used a process at odds with His character; a process of struggle for survival and death (that is, natural selection)—and all this before Adam sinned and brought death and corruption to God’s ‘very good’ creation (Gen 1:31, 3:17–19, Rom 8:18–22, 1 Cor 15:20–26).
I also began to see the domino-like effects of accepting the evolutionary view, for herein is no room for the world-wide Deluge which obliterated all mankind and land-dwelling animals not on the ark (Gen. 6:7,17; 7:22), and covered all the high mountains (Gen. 7:19,20); or the descent of all people now existing from Noah’s sons (Gen 9:1,19), or the origin of languages from the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:7,8), or the long ages of the patriarchs, etc. What about Jonah being swallowed by a great fish? Or the sun standing still (Josh 10:13,14)? Where does one stop in bending the Bible to satisfy humanistic ‘science’?
Josh McDowell (Evidence that demands a Verdict) also helped me to gain a correct perspective on God’s Word and in more recent times Dr Clifford Wilson (Ebla Tablets … and other books and lectures), Barry Setterfield (Speed of light research, astronomy insights), Prof. John Rendle-Short (Man: Ape or Image?), Ken Ham, and Dr Andrew Snelling of the Creation Science Foundation (booklets, articles, tapes and the magazine [Creation] Ex Nihilo, and many others have been used of God in my re-education
I can now accept God’s written Word, the Bible, as inerrant, without ifs and buts (see Charles C. Ryrie’s What You Should Know About Inerrancy, Moody Press). And my boldness in witnessing has abounded. I can hardly believe the change this has made in my life! And I can understand why Dr Francis Schaeffer ascribed the demise of the Christian consensus to the failure of evangelicals to embrace the inerrancy of God's Word.
I have also found that publications such as the Casebook (published by Creation Science Foundation) help greatly in challenging non-Christians to be willing to consider the Gospel message. Many young people today regard the Bible as disproved by science. Not for them the smug clichés about evolution being the ‘how’ and the Bible the ‘why’! The verbal contortions of the theologians who try to marry evolution and Genesis are unintelligible to them and only serve to confirm their skepticism.
As one trained in the biological sciences, I find the willingness of theologians to bow down to the modern golden calf of ‘science’ somewhat perplexing. It seems that many regard the pronouncements of men (and especially atheistic men) in white laboratory coats as wholly objective, even infallible! ‘Science says so it must be so …’ Such faith in the thoughts of men is hardly Biblical, or rational. Scientists are just as much fallen, fallible, ‘desperately wicked’ as anyone else. Science can be used by satan as much as any other human activity. Science, and especially the pseudo-sciences of historical geology and evolutionary biology, are not above and beyond the depravity of the human heart. Scripture should sit in judgement upon such ‘science’ and not vice versa.
I have seen the ministry of the Creation Science Foundation [now CMI] instrumental in transforming ineffective Christians into bold witnesses, willing to ‘stand up for Jesus’. I have also seen skeptical young people made willing to listen to the Gospel and accept God’s love in Christ Jesus. I praise God for their faithful ministry.