Is creation apologetics a problem?
Published: 5 January 2014 (GMT+10)
“The PROBLEM is that ministries such as this that spend so much time and money trying to prove their interpretation of the Bible…”
Not just our interpretation of the Bible; that makes us sound idiosyncratic at best, like a denominational issue. It’s the interpretation of the Bible that most Christians have had throughout history. Think of the apostles, church fathers and various heroes of the faith; if they lived before 1800, chances are they believed in what we call today young-earth creation, or biblical creation. This supports our assertion that ‘our interpretation’ of Genesis is the plain reading and what God intended to communicate.
And it’s far more foundational than ‘denominational’ issues. See End-times and early-times for more information.
“…and God’s gift of “real” science is wrong, resulting in replacing real science with pseudoscience,…”
CMI employs more Ph.D. scientists internationally than any other Christian ministry that we know of, and they have published dozens of scientific papers. There are also creation scientists who make real advances in science. For instance, Dr. John Hartnett, a biblical creationist, helped to develop clocks so precise that they might gain or lose about a second every 400 million years. Dr. John Sanford helped to develop the gene gun. Dr. Raymond Damadian was one of the pioneers of MRI technology.
And we oppose all sorts of pseudoscience as well; part of that is our arguments creationists should not use.
“is that the Bible is inherently the inerrant Word of God and final authority, therefore the only problem is in the interpretation, not the science.”
Your sentence became an ungrammatical run-on here, resulting in some ambiguity. But any way you read this, you’re simply wrong. If the only place creation, the fall, and the flood were important was in the beginning part of Genesis, you might be able to make that argument. But it is literally all over Scripture. The Old Testament uses creation, the fall, and the Flood in all sorts of places, and it even builds a full theology of Yahweh based on His creative work. The New Testament follows the OT’s example. When Jesus wants to tell the disciples what His coming is going to be like, He says, “Look at what Noah’s Flood was like! It came so suddenly that no one expected it.” When Paul wants to explain how Jesus’ death saves us, he says, “You know how Adam’s sin condemned everyone after him? Just like that—Jesus’ death results in life for everyone who believes!” When God gives John a vision of the New Jerusalem, it is filled with Edenic imagery. This isn’t accidental, it’s not peripheral; it’s intentional, all the way through Scripture, and the only way it works is if the first chapters of Genesis were history. It’s not a matter of simply interpreting Genesis to allow for billions of years, because there’s no way to introduce billions of years without introducing death before sin. And that leads to all sorts of problems. I would go so far as to say that if I were convinced that evolution and billions of years were true, I would throw my Bible away, because it’s all based in the foundation of those first several chapters of Genesis. If they’re wrong, the whole thing is wrong.
What do you mean by “the science”? (There is a huge difference between operational and historical science.) This is an important point, because the Big Bang of 20 years ago bears little resemblance to the Big Bang of today. 20 years ago, ‘junk DNA’ was an important argument for evolutionists, today the consensus is there is no such thing. We know that today there is an unprecedented level of fraud in science, meaning you might be basing your interpretation of the Bible on something that’s not only wrong, but intentionally misleading!
“The danger here is that the Biblical plan of salvation is lost in these satanic distractions.”
David, this is where I begin to have a real problem with your email. Because up until now, you’re a concerned brother addressing other brothers and sisters whom you believe to be misled regarding the importance of creation. And I can respect that. But now you’re basically saying we’re being distracted and directed by Satan rather than following Scripture, which is clearly a serious charge to bring up against Christian brothers and sisters. I don’t think you meant it that way, but that’s the logical conclusion.
But the Lord Jesus said that you can judge a tree by its fruit; a good tree will bear good fruit, a bad tree will bear bad fruit, and it will never work vice versa. So what is the fruit of creation ministry? Every week I get to read testimonies of people who now take their faith more seriously because they ‘get’ that Christianity is real-world stuff. Accepting the truth of biblical creation leads to people being more confident in sharing their faith. I’ve personally talked to people after a relevance talk whose whole face was ‘lit up’ with excitement, because they get it now. And we receive not just responses from Christians but also testimonies from many who were non-believers that have come to Christ because of how God used the information our ministry produces.
Conversely, evolution makes atheists out of people; it’s indisputable. Some people can reconcile Christianity and evolution, but they have to give up so much. One Biologos author went so far as to say that Jesus and Paul erred!
“The ONLY Biblical plan for man’s salvation is preaching the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is the Blood of Jesus that save…PERIOD.. NOT trying to prove the Bible is true.”
I agree—belief in Jesus alone saves. It is absolutely useless to have a completely biblical view of creation if that view is divorced from the saving belief that Jesus, the incarnate divine Son of God, came to earth, lived a perfect life of obedience to the Father, and died to pay the penalty our sins incurred, and was raised on the third day. You are absolutely correct there.
But which Jesus saves? Because we know there are false Christs; the real one warned us about them. So how do we know we believe in the real Jesus? Well, our Jesus has to be the same as the one taught in the Scriptures. And we know that the real Jesus is the One who created everything. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1–3). “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:15–17). And when we look at how He created, we need to look at what the Bible says about creation, and the plainest statements about creation (though certainly not the only ones) are at the beginning of Genesis. If your Jesus did not create the heavens and earth over 6 days and rest on the seventh, you run the real risk of worshiping a false Jesus.
And as Christians, we definitely need to be able to trust that the Bible is true. Because if the Bible is not true, how can we trust it regarding salvation? Jesus said, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). Hebrews 11 actually makes belief in creation a result or an evidence of faith, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (11:3). And Romans 1:20 says that the evidence of God’s existence is clearly seen because of what He created.
David, I’ve spent this much time on a response because I believe that you’re genuine, and I think that you really have zeal for Jesus. I would just ask you to read the links I’ve provided that explain why my colleagues and I believe this is such a crucial issue for the church.
" It's either secular science or pseudo-science", is a popular false dichotomy. There is no logical law that defines two categories, they are simply human systems, defined by semantics. Creationists are apologists because secular science rejects them. They are still scientists.
So if you call us, "pseudo-scientists", then that is an EPITHET because if our arguments are sound, then logically we are of the TRUTH, yet you use the epithet, "pseudo", David, which means, "false".
David B, like many others seems to think that we can define the world any way we like, and then 'attach' the gospel to it. This would be obviously pointless if, say, Christians adopted the Buddhist world view, then attached the gospel; but it is as pointless when the materialist world view is adopted. The point of the creation account is that it is definitional of God, us and the way the world is: loving relationship is basic to reality, not material; intelligence, intention, will...all fundamental in the world; but materialists and their world is utterly different, with these things mere outworkings of random material conjunctions.
I very much liked reading this article and I going to show it to my new Christian friends to make sure they are on the right track with the young Earth faith, as I have been talking to them about it recently but I am not very good at explaining things or remembering facts.
But I have one negative comment and it is against what you said about the clocks that a scientist has perfected and that they are so precise that they won't loose a second in 400 million years. You sound like a evolutionist talking there, and how can they know the clock won't loose time over that ridiculous amount of time. It is like saying they can tell a rock is millions of years old. I think you or they would have been better to say they believe they will never loose time ever. Maybe I am wrong but it just seemed to contradict what you were proving, even if in a very small way. Please forgive me for my lack of intelligence in my reply here but I am sure you will get the idea of what occurred to me when I read your very excellent reply to David.
I am going to go on and read the added links now, which I am very excited you have put there in order so my very good friends can also read them. Thankyou and God Bless in the Light of Jesus.
The statement about the clock wasn't evolutionary, because I was referring to an estimate of the accuracy of a clock, not extrapolating into the past. Another way of making the same point would be to say that the clocks are so precise that they might gain or lose one four- hundred-millionth of a second per year.
Thanks for all the CMI work. This article in particular shows how to answer with love, gentleness and respect, and why the answers are important. Much is on the line in how we read Genesis, not only in time, but in eternity. Stay the course!
Great article,great and important ministry. Evolutionary teachings have infultrated everywhere, including our bible colleges. As you best know, there is no proof for the lies and bad sciense of evolutionary beliefs. Many have gone to hell because they falsely thought evolutionary science was fact. Your ministry must hve saved many, many souls. Keep up the good, well balanced ministry. God bless
I'll try to answer the question asked with my own story:
About a week and a half ago, I was of the mindset that either a 6,000 year old Earth was *possible*, or that the "days" of Creation Week could be metaphorical and an old Earth theory was correct. I thought that the difference was ultimately trivial and the focus should be on Salvation. Once we are in Heaven, then we'll concretely know everything.
However, since being referred to this site, I've begun to think of that logic as flawed. Here's my thought process:
Of course, we start in faith that Jesus did exist, fully God and fully man and died for my sins. By accepting His sacrifice, I will live forever.
The logic of why we would live forever is in the repeated Biblical language about how Jesus is the second Adam and how death is the ultimate enemy to be defeated.
Therefore, the FIRST Adam must be responsible for death.
Thus death could have only come after Adam's creation and sin.
Any old Earth theory, theistic or not, demands that death happen as long as life does. Without death, all members of a gene pool survive and assumedly breed. Thus, natural selection cannot happen, and thus "evolution" cannot happen.
Therefore, since evolution demands that death must have been existent before the Fall, it cannot be a result of the Fall. It must be something natural.
But if that is the case, why would Christ's sacrifice save us from it?
The only way around this is to start assuming that parts of the Bible must be metaphorical despite all appearances to the contrary. Once you take that line of reasoning, the first things to assume are metaphors are that Jesus is the Son of God (and IS God), and that He died for our sins.
Consider me chastened. A Young Earth is necessary for Salvation to even exist.
Indeed, which Jesus Christ is the church to proclaim to the world?
Is it the Jesus Christ who, as Creator, used a means of creating which, over a long period of time, was replete with mutations, genetic dead ends, struggle, survival of the fittest, death and extinction of species?
Or is it the Jesus Christ who as Creator made all things good, even very good, but when the creation rebelled against Him (bringing suffering and death into the world) was determined give up His position in heaven to suffer abuse, ignorance and death at the hands of those who hated Him only to save them from eternal judgment?
He who said "Blessed are the meek", "Do not resist an evil person", "Love your enemies", "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" is He who is great yet humbled Himself and suffered for the weak.
This Jesus Christ is the antithesis of a Creator who would create by means of "survival of the fittest".
The Jesus Christ I read being presented by Creation Ministries International is He who is to be identified with statement "every good tree bears good fruit".
David B., I implore you consider very carefully which Jesus Christ you proclaim to the world. Be very, very careful not to depreciate the glory due to Jesus Christ for his creative works and be equally careful not ascribe to Him acts which are the product of man's sin and nothing of His nature.
Lita, I found your response excellent both in content and genuine concern. Thanks for the example.
Wow! I will pray for David and I hope that he sees the truth. Thank you for responding so graciously to his serious accusations.
The Bible begins with 'Bereshit bara' elohim et ha-shamayim we-et ha-arets'. This is a grand and beautiful opening of the very Word of God to Mankind, but also a factual description of a historical reality, like the birth of Jesus. Throughout the time of what now is recorded in the OT, believing God to be The Creator was all- important in order to understand Who was speaking.Throughout the history of the Church, believing and confessing God to be The Creator was often a guard against heresies of certain gnosticisms, which either downplayed or denied God as Creator. Defending Creation would as such be a hall mark of true Christian doctrine. Very sad, and very disturbing to read people who have come to take offence at defending what in many traditions has been called the first article of faith. The liberal theology of the eighteenth and nineteeth centuries, was based upon the idea that the Bible was to be treated as a purely manmade writing, and also an notions of 'saving a core of truth of Christianity'; resulting in Europe being speedily de-christianized. Standing up ,uncompromizingly, for the clear Word of God, against the tide of evolutionary secularism and manmade religious ideas, is of course(!) a part of fighting the good fight.
No more satanic than Jesus being called Beelzebub, or was Jesus wrong when He said man shall not live by bread alone. Better to be blinded by the light than be blinded by the ever shifting "facts" of the secular science story.
It's almost unbelievable that anyone can honestly write "The ONLY Biblical plan for man’s salvation is preaching the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is the Blood of Jesus that save…PERIOD.. NOT trying to prove the Bible is true." and apparently not realise the sheer illogic of this statement.
Yes, sir, you are correct that the Blood of Jesus saves. So, how do we KNOW that the Blood of Jesus saves... yes, that's right, from the Word of God, which from start to finish points to Him and His salvation. If the Word of God is not true, then what possible reason do we have to believe that the contention contained in it about the salvation offered by the Blood of Jesus is true?
I have still yet to meet a theistic evolutionist who appears to know even basic logic. That's OK - I didn't know basic logic once either, all of us have only learnt it by, well... learning. But making accusations of Satanic distraction - does this David chap actually realise what a serious charge this is?
Strikes me as yet another emotional response by a theistic evolutionist who has taken offence at the highlighting of their unwillingness to trust the Lord completely... I guess you guys are used to it by now at least! Keep up the good work.
Keep up the GOOD work - The Salvation message and Apologetics go hand-in-hand - Onward Together in CHRIST -Be BEST- Jim Bailey
Wile in the market or at Summer events with my evangleistic stall I hear over and over again from some Christians words such as. "I just give them the Gospel." What they mean is they try to tell Post Modernists that "all have sinned" Then they explain how the Lord Jesus was crucified, died and rose again. All very well but the people we are witnessing to speak a different language. The eyes glaze over and they either make rude remarks, think we are mad or they escape quickly.
God says "come now let us reason together". Wherever they are coming from they do need the Gospel but as respondents above have argued the Gospel is the whole Bible and not just John 3:16. If we cannot answer people's questions then we have failed. And most of those questions are concerning evolution. The theological colleges and the Universities take a Darwinist approach. Religion is understood in Darsinist terms (after Tylor) We cannot get away from this 'false science'. It is part of the culture of the society we live among. So therefore people like cmi, Creation Science, Answers in Genesis are doing us all a big favour in showing us that Dawkins and his ilk do not have a leg to stand on. If we are going to be effective Gospel witnesses then we need to be able to argue scientifically about these things. Any preaching that does not tackle this problem is bound to fail among the folowers of Sartre, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and the deconstructers.
Thank God for CMI. I do thank him for you, every time I read one of your articles, like this one!
If it was not for this sort of ministry I would still be clinging to the Gap Theory. I believed completely in Creation but as I believed the "scientists" who "prove" the earth is billions of years old I needed the Gap Thoery. I did not understand the suppositions that were used and that would not be explained in a Bible study alone. We are constantly bombarded by "hath God said?" and that genuinely causes doubts and what's worse steels God's praise for ALL He has made. I don't know another way except through ministries like this. I don't know if David knows that even professors have been kicked out of universities for suggesting that the university should allow the creation question (not even that they held to it). How are we to know the truth of what has been undermined? Thank you CMI and others that are sacrificing your time and life to helping people like me.
My comment is that I thank God for every creationist or IDist ministry and organization out there that is fighting Darwinism and materialism.
You're doing a great job for sure!! So Thank you very much!!
I fail to grasp how any Christian can fail to see the absolute necessity of this kind of apologetic ministry or group.
The modern church is being inundated with so much false information on the "Truth vs Darwinism" issue, its amazing any genuine creationist church still exists in the West!
People that think we can dispense with creationist apologetics do not think. Creation vs Evolution is the major fundamental issue in the world now and is a main source of mockery of Christians for our alleged "backwards ways".
Darwinists have learned that they simply need to convince a Christian of their own foolhardy view to destroy a person's faith. And this is exactly what they do!!
Through the institutions of so-called "higher learning"; the modern temples of materialism, where the lies of secular humanism are so well dressed up in costumes that look like truth, that 1000s of unsuspecting Christian suckers are drawn into their web of lies every year. Including 100s of pastors! Do the math!
I'm always appalled when I hear some Christian complaining of the waste of time of creation apologetics groups. These people are clueless as to the wiles of Satan and the importance of this singular issue!! It is not secondary but fundamental!!
If Christ is really just the descendant of an ancient ape, then the church is in serious trouble! Its astounding when alleged Christians do not see this!
So please keep it up!!! Never back down.
Why does anyone need to limit God regarding evolution? Darwin did not invent it! He just discovered that God invented and uses it! But, He is not limited to evolution to update existing species; he can also use its structures to invent new species! Or do we have to tell God he lost that power after a six day sojourn?
If we believe that Scripture communicates anything about how God actually created, it absolutely rules out any sort of evolution. It's not us putting God in a box, it's taking God at His word. I invite you to search creation.com for literally dozens of articles on the theological dangers of theistic evolution.
I would've asked him this:
Does “God’s gift of “real” science” in your view include the current godless and ungodly “consensus” that a most significant “mission” for genuine scientists is creating an atheistic scenario for the origin of universe, life, and humanity? Is not that the “gift” of the god of this present evil world, the god of those whose understanding has been darkened, Worthlessness? Is not our own mission task as “Christian soldiers” the “overthrowing of strongholds, casting down vain imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ”? (II Corinthians 10:4-5, Coulter, second edition).
This article was well put and a good rebuke.
I believe creation apologetics is in line with:
2 Corinthians 10:5 "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (NASB). Historical science = lofty things and speculation. When we build worldviews based on our fallen interpretation of so called historical scientific evidence we have a serious problem when it conflicts with the Word of God. The primary source of the "knowledge of God" comes from the scripture. Historical science has been indisputably used to build world views that deny "our knowledge of God" given to us through His inspired scripture. The word "every" in the above passage would most certainly include world views generated by evolution, historical science, other religious idolatry, psychology, philosophy, or any other speculation generated by the fallen mind.
We know that God in Psalm 138:2 has exalted his word and his name to equality: "I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." (ESV) Not to defend the Word of God is to not defend the name of God Himself. Creation apologetics is the proper outworking of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Attacks on the Word remind me of what the snake said in the garden "Did God actually say". God's Word has always been under attack.
Salvation isn't the issue here but defending God Name and His Word is something we are called to do.
Thank you CMI for all your work in up holding the truth of God's Word!
This is one great article. We would publish this kind of work on our site anytime.
Rev Michael Bresciani
Creation is where God begins His account of imparting His Word to us. Sprinkled throughout His Word are the proofs of creation by He, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit. In that He specifically directed the prophets and apostles to teach Biblical creation accounts, and knowing that "man shall not live by bread alone, by by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God", only a resounding "NO" can be given to answer the question: "Is creation apologetics a problem?" it is a priveledge to teach Biblical Creation.
Thank you for your article and emails. I think creationism may be better served if it was fully biblical creationism: God loving his good creation and restoring it. If it was seen that the gospel is about restoring God's creation through Christ and his people, and not just throwing it away through the "end-times", I think the visions may hold more consistency and inspiration. Here we have a full creationist vision, God doing in Christ what he set out to do at creation, the vision of Isaiah and the other Prophets. This gives creationism a much more full message and makes, I think, a lot more sense. It could also help steer us away from a more stringent fundamentalism, to a more disciple orientated people in line with the Sermon on the Mount: a kingdom church restoring community and creation through Christ. A much more holistic vision I think. I think this fuller gospel would really help give the creationist movement more significance in the gospel and in discipleship. Blessings.
Thanks for writing in. Of course, the restoration of the creation has always been part of what we've taught.
The problem with creation apologetics is when the apologist makes absurd statements like: "Even if I could travel back in time and see it I still wouldn't believe." We need to be aware that our interpretation of the bible is not inerrant and that our interpretation may need to change if the evidence shows us otherwise. I believe that we are on safe ground although some of our theories may require a bit of correction so it is embarrassing when apologists dismiss the evidence when I am asking people to consider all of the evidence not just those parts that seem to support evoloution. If we dismiss the evidence that goes against our theories then we are not acting in good faith when we ask evoloutionsist not to dismiss evidence that goes against their theories.
Mark, the question is not whether our interpretation is inerrant, but "Has God revealed Scripture in such a way that we can have certainty regarding key events of history such as creation, the Incarnation, and so on?" I think the answer is "yes".
We certainly do not dismiss evidence; we show how it can be interpreted in a creation framework in a way that does not contradict Scripture. But it is not surprising, given the Bible's repeated and plain statements about events such as creation, the Fall, and the Flood, that we take strong stances on it. The surprising thing is that Christians, who are supposed to believe the Bible, are so ready to give up on it.
In my opinion the real "issue" here is why we want to make the bible agree with evolution? Are we concerned as to what people will think ? It has been demonstrated over and over that evolutionary thinking has no real logic and is not backed up by the facts and yet some want to appease those who disagree. The gospel has always and always will be "foolishness to those who are perishing" . This modern naturalistic view
is dangerous because it gives credence to a lie.
You are absolutely right in exposing the danger of a world view that puts the word of God in place second.
Reading what is recorded in both the Old and New Testaments from Jesus and other biblical authors regarding a literal " interruption " of Genesis .. and you get a 6 literal days interruption !!!
1. The Word is the only proper starting point to interrupt the bible .. not secular science.
2 You will find at least 6 biblical writers and Jesus supporting the 6 literal days just as is written in Genesis.
3. By the way some food for thought .. Create , Created , Creator and Creation is used 65 times in both O.T. and N.T
evolve and evolution is not recorded at all !!
Lita, Thank you for publishing Davids email and your response. David's charge against CMI that its people have been distracted by Satan is paradoxically good reason for celebration. Jesus, when sending out the twelve apostles reminded them that,
"It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household." (Matt. 10:25)
As a fellow Young Earth Creationist, I am honoured to be considered such a disciple by having such a charge levelled against me for upholding the authority of Scripture.
It would seem that poor David on the other hand, has inadvertently been used for purposes of which he accuses CMI...
Since Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), we, as Christians, have a great advantage. Truth does not change, it just IS. It is not malleable, flexible, nor does it ever go through an evolutionary process. It may be revealed to us in bits and pieces (or huge chunks), like hidden gold, but all that Truth must do is wait to be discovered. The Holy Trinity is the fount of ALL TRUTH, and the Son of God is the embodiment of it, the Living Word. We know and believe that "holy men of God spake (and wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2nd Peter 1:21)." We also believe that "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)." We can be secure in the knowledge, and wisdom, that God, who CANNOT lie, has provided, through His Word, and through His Spirit. We can be bold and unflinching, because the Truth has set us free. Now consider the evolutionist (& theistic evolutionist). Their "doctrine" changes by the minute. A continual flood of theories, increasing in ridiculousness, comes forth, from their darkened minds. The textbooks change every year, and they have no stability in their thinking. They're ever learning, and NEVER able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Of this they are proud, claiming that their model is superior, by mere virtue of the fact that they continue to strive for truth, and are open-minded, yet they are only striving against God and His Word, and are quite close-minded. They will mock, and make sport of us, but we can handle it. The Truth is on our side, but let's not use that fact as a means to discredit our Lord and Saviour, with an attitude of arrogance and superiority. We must study and pray to be God's vessels.