Sleeping with the enemy
Is teaching theistic evolution the solution?
Published: 2 May 2013 (GMT+10)
CMI has long pointed to the connection between atheism and evolutionary teaching. By definition all thinking atheists must believe in evolution of some sort (and its co-joined concept of millions of years of earth history) to explain their existence without a creator. F. Sherwood Taylor (former Curator of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford) summarized his belief about his country’s general apostasy this way; ‘ … I myself have little doubt that in England it was [uniformitarian, long-ages] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.’1
And as street preacher/evangelist Mark Cahill stated; “I think the real issue is if people know that evolution is true, they then know that the Bible would not be true and that then leads to the conclusion of atheism.”2 From their universities’ inner halls to their wide open streets, evolution’s effect on the western nations has been the same. The obvious implication is that if the Bible cannot be accepted as plainly read then why trust it at all?
The blame game
… some Christians claim it is Bible believing creationists that are the cause of people rejecting the Christian faith. They declare that once youngsters get older and learn ‘real science’ then they reject all of Christianity, not just the Genesis account.
Of late, some Christians have added a new slant to this by claiming it is Bible believing creationists that are actually the cause of people rejecting the Christian faith. The twist is this. They say that when Christians affirm a plain reading of the Bible and teach it to young people they are setting them up for apostasy. Why? They declare that once youngsters get older and learn ‘real science’ (which is often stated as millions of years and evolution) then they reject all of Christianity, not just the Genesis account.
Typical of this type of attack is Karl Giberson’s article in the Huffington Post titled; “Creationists Drive Young People Out Of The Church”.3 In it he cites studies by Barna pointing out the alarming defection of young people from the church and points to a tension between Christianity and science as a major culprit.
In his online Christianity Today article “Young Earth Creationism Makes Life Difficult for Everyone” author Rob Moll bashes biblical creationists and then quotes Stephen Moshier (department chair of Wheaton Christian College) saying; “Many of us at Christian colleges really grieve at what a problem this young-earth creationism makes for the Christian witness.”4
And these views are making inroads. CMI Canada’s ministry dept recently received an email communication from a supporter attending one of the largest churches in Western Canada who confessed his Senior Pastor had declared from the pulpit that biblical creationists are “ … responsible for the spiritual demise of millions of discouraged Canadian church youth … ” and that the literal biblical creation account is outdated and that those who hold to it “ … show disgusting pride”. (An interesting note is that this supporter is a physician with extensive training in zoology, psychology, theology and ancient history with earned degrees in all of these areas.)
Points of agreement/disagreement
Biblical creationists agree that young people are abandoning the faith because of a perceived discrepancy between the plain reading of the Scripture and what they are being taught is the ‘fact’ of evolution. However, we disagree that attempting to perform highly specious theological gymnastics with the plain reading of the biblical text is the best approach. Teaching Christians to reinterpret biblical revelation based on (ultimately atheistic) evolutionary presuppositions is illogical and leads to a lack of biblical authority.
Rather, we believe showing them that the creation/evolution debate is not a science vs faith debate but rather a faith vs faith debate based on the same facts is the best way to defend their beliefs.
By showing them—
- The difference between operational and historical science,
- That the facts that evolutionists hold up to support evolution can be better interpreted as evidence in support of the Bible and,
- By compromising in one area you give up biblical authority in all areas,
—the faith of many has been fortified.
Who is right?
Various creation ministries worldwide have received hundreds of testimonies from people describing their shipwrecked faith being reignited, new boldness when witnessing and salvation moments occurring through their teaching that God’s Word can be trusted from the very first verse. But what about Theistic Evolution (TE)? (Not simply having someone come to Christ while still holding to evolutionary beliefs, but actively teaching theistic evolution to people in a Christian context?) How effective has that been?
Perhaps a good way to gauge the effectiveness of the theistic evolutionary approach is to examine the views and faith claims of those that espouse this approach most strongly.
From the horse’s mouth
Biologos is a Christian ministry that promotes the synthesis of evolutionary teaching with the Christian faith. Where did their leader Francis Collins get his ideas about such things to begin with?
“I couldn’t take Genesis literally because I had come to the scientific worldview before I came to the spiritual worldview … When I read Genesis, I had to say ‘I don’t know what this means here’ … ”5
So clearly it was not Scripture that shaped Collins’ view regarding Genesis. If asked why he believed in a virginal conception or a dead person coming back to life after three days when science clearly denies that, he would be forced to say, ‘Revelation from God’. But to believe the clear historical revelation from Scripture in one area and disregard other areas as unscientific is arbitrary and illogical. Atheists commenting on Biologos’ website have noticed …
The real issue is that BioLogos doesn’t have a bright line stance on science versus religion, saying that science and sound and tested evidence trump religion where the two conflict … it puts both biblical literalists and ‘moderates’ in the same basket, since it opposes impossible virgin births and impossible re-revivification of corpses as much as it opposes a 6,000 year-old earth. Thus BioLogos has no actual principle to stand on when they oppose a literal reading of Genesis but support a literal reading of a story of a virgin birth.6
… yeah, somehow not buying it. And I would have noted the blatant contradiction even in my bible-believing days as well … Do you ever get tired of tying yourself into a pretzel trying to ignore obvious logical implications, and to keep others from noting them?7
One of Biologos’s main contributors is Karl Giberson (mentioned above). A former professor at Eastern Nazarene College, he’s received numerous recognitions including three Master Teacher and several Professional Achievement awards.
In his book ‘Saving Darwin; How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution’ he expounds as to why he feels Christians should embrace evolution. As one of his main messages is that accepting evolution will prevent young people from losing their faith, it is revealing to hear what he has to say about his own faith.
[M]y belief in God is tinged with doubts … I sometimes wonder if I am perhaps simply continuing along the trajectory of a childhood faith that should be abandoned.8
He describes how evolution changed his entire perspective on God’s word:
It etched holes in those parts of Christianity connected to these stories—the fall, ‘Christ as second Adam’, the origins of sin, and nearly everything else that I counted sacred.9
As to why he still believes in God even though he cannot take major parts of it as plainly written he states;
As a purely practical matter, I have compelling reasons to believe in God. My parents are deeply committed Christians and would be devastated, were I to reject my faith. My wife and children believe in God, and we attend church together regularly. Most of my friends are believers. I have a job I love at a Christian college that would be forced to dismiss me if I were to reject the faith that underpins the mission of the college. Abandoning belief in God would be disruptive, sending my life completely off the rails.10
Of course CMI recognizes that one can believe in evolution and be born again due to blessed inconsistency. But if one were to receive that answer from a friend at church about why they call themselves a Christian, would you consider this person to be a saved believer?
And it’s not as if atheists are embracing the faith because of such compromise positions. Look at what atheist Jerry Coyne said in a review of Giberson and Kenneth Miller (another theistic evolutionist).
Like Giberson, Miller rejects a literal interpretation of the Bible. … But this leads to a conundrum. Why reject the story of creation and Noah’s Ark because we know that animals evolved, but nevertheless accept the reality of the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ, which are equally at odds with science? After all, biological research suggests the impossibility of human females reproducing asexually, or of anyone reawakening three days after death.11
… Christians can discern for themselves if teaching TE is the best way to help Christians fortify their faith. But ultimately such things should be decided less pragmatically, because the real issue is whether Christians should teach God’s word as plainly written or not!’
Not only do atheists like Coyne reject such compromise views, they clearly understand how they can use them to their own advantage.
This disharmony [between science and religion] is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel.
This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict. But their main evidence—the existence of religious scientists—is wearing thin as scientists grow ever more vociferous about their lack of faith. … we can expect more books like those by Kenneth Miller and Karl Giberson. Attempts to reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the reconciliation never works.12
Is it helping?
So Christians can discern for themselves if teaching TE is the best way to help Christians fortify their faith in Scripture. But ultimately such things should be decided less pragmatically, because the real issue is whether Christians should teach God’s word as plainly written or not!
Far from fortifying a Christian’s faith, TE actually disconnects it from real history and weakens it immeasurably. A belief in an evolutionary history destroys the ability to answer even the simplest and most common objections to faith like; “If you have such a loving God, why is there so much death, pain and suffering in the world?” (If millions of years of earth history and/or evolution is true then He must be fine with pain, death and suffering as part of the creative process rather than a consequence of sin).
Once again the crux of the creation/evolution debate is highlighted, as both biblical creationists and evolutionist (in this case TEs) agree with the facts they are observing (an exodus of young people from Christian homes due to challenges with ‘science’ and faith). But because of different starting beliefs, they are coming to different conclusions as to ‘why’ this is happening.
- F. Sherwood Taylor, ‘Geology changes the outlook’, in Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians, Sylvan Press Ltd, London, p. 195, 1949 (one of a series of talks broadcast on BBC radio). Return to text.
- Personal correspondence from Mark Cahill, evangelist and author of the book One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven. A special feature on Mark will appear in the next issue of Creation magazine: A watchman for the Lord—Gary Bates and Scott Gillis interview well-known US evangelist Mark Cahill, Creation 35(3):41–43, 2013. To subscribe, click here. Return to text.
- Karl Giberson, Ph.D, Posted: 11/19/2011, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karl-giberson-phd/creationists-and-young-christians_b_1096839.html. Return to text.
- Rob Moll, Young Earth Creationism Makes Life Difficult for Everyone, http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2007/12/young_earth_cre.html. Return to text.
- Biologos Forum, March 5 2011, Francis Collins and Karl Giberson Talk about Evolution and the Church, http://biologos.org/blog/francis-collins-and-karl-giberson-talk-about-evolution-and-the-church. Return to text.
- Atheists comment from blog “After Inerrancy, Evangelicals and the Bible in the Postmodern Age, part 4” Biologos Forum, 26 June 2010. Return to text.
- Ref 6. Return to text.
- Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution by Karl W. Giberson Harper One, New York, 2008. See review by Jerry Bergman, The tragic toll of toxic teaching, J. Creation 25(3):33–36, 2011. Return to text.
- Giberson, Ref 8 (p. 10). Return to text.
- Giberson, Ref 8 (pages155–156). Return to text.
- Web Article: Seeing and Believing (The never-ending attempt to reconcile science and religion, and why it is doomed to fail) by Jerry A. Coyne—A review of the books Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution By Karl W. Giberson and Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul By Kenneth R. Miller, The New Republic—A Journal of Politics and the Arts (February 04, 2009), tnr.com/booksarts/story.html?id=1e3851a3-bdf7-438a-ac2a-a5e381a70472. See also CMI’s review of the Miller book, by John Woodmorappe, Miller’s meanderings: only the same bogus contentions, J. Creation 23(1):19–23, 2009. Return to text.
- Coyne, Ref 11. Return to text.
Me thinks the maiden squeals too much. For decades you have attacked every one elses point of view, you rally around the mantra of "otherwise there would have been billions of years of death and suffering" Now there is a backlash and you wont even examine your own position. In fact you cant! Otherwise your jobs and your livelihoods would disappear, in the same way as you attack scientists who accept grants. You can see that Genesis is a song, enabling simple people to "understand" and be able to relay the begining....and who are the simple people...they are the people of God who the story is about. Genesis fills in the gap leading up to Abraham, then the word of God develops from there. What you promote and believe in is very interesting but it is never any more than a support that may help others to believe. It will never save any one, only a revelation from God and a need to get close to Him will save you. You have to be careful that you dont turn CMI into God and spend your time defending that position and not promoting the faith.
Ian, please look at your letter and imagine what you are saying from an atheists point of view rather than from a fellow believer for a moment…
So Genesis is a 'song' that relays the beginning (What beginning, the Big Bang or what it actually says?) to the 'simple people' (What simple people? Moses and the Israelites, Jesus, the disciples, church fathers, reformers etc?) so that they can 'understand' (Understand what? That Genesis is wrong so Christ's death makes no sense?) that fully 50% of the time recorded in the Bible (Genesis 1-11 that Jesus Himself quoted as history) is false?
Do you really think this type of ‘reasoning’ will assist in tearing down strongholds against God's Word the skeptic might have? Is it honoring to God and His word?
Methinks your types of comments make the atheists lick their chops in anticipation of yet another ally to their cause. As I have mentioned elsewhere (http://creation.com/enemy-revealed), so effective has evolution been in converting people to atheism that skeptics boldly promote using compromising Christians in their anti-God agenda!
An article on skeptic.com an author lists ‘105 Ways To Promote Skeptical Activism.’ In their ‘Quick Reference Guide’, point number 20 reads as follows;
20. Make allies. Be cooperative … We need help. Build bridges.
Work with religious groups. (Our best allies for defending evolution are members of the mainstream clergy groups.)
So (according to the skeptics) the best allies for promoting atheism are collaborators in the church that promote evolution. Little wonder the compromising Churches are bleeding their young people (particularly the intelligent ones) out of their congregations at an alarming rate.
Atheists are quick to draw Christians into an evolutionary world view because they know where it leads. Jerry Coyne’s review I quoted in my article also had the following;
“This disharmony [between science and religion] is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict…”8
Militant atheist Eugenie Scott has said;
“I have found that the most effective allies for evolution are people of the faith community. One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school board meeting any day! … What we [such clergy and atheists] have in common is that we want to see evolution taught in the public schools … ”9
Why do atheists want religious people to promote evolution? Atheist Bill Provine says:
‘One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.’10
So the strategy is simple. It’s like getting people to dig their own graves. Suck Christians into believing in evolution then attack them on their intellectual inconsistency. The aggressive atheist Dawkins does this very well.
“Oh but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic?! Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual. Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than barking mad!”11
So although everyone here at CMI understands that God is the one who saves and not us, I would respectfully ask you to consider whether you are aiding the cause of Christ or aiding those against God and His word. Why would a Christian want to promote what all atheists have to believe (http://creation.com/what-all-atheists-have-to-believe)?
As for your comments about us having to stick to our position because we would ‘lose our jobs’ etc (making it sound like we have insincere motives) I found them very uncharitable coming from another Christian. Have you sent letters to Hugh Ross or Biologos for holding onto their particular views as well or have you only targeted us for your unfounded accusations?
If you had a good argument against the “otherwise there would be billions of years of death and suffering” line of reasoning rather than an ad hominem attack against us it would be more helpful in moving the debate forward.
Starting with a blank sheet of paper, I began searching for the most plausible explanation for any and all existence. Pursuing science, I concluded that it could not explain itself, nor could it explain the existence of space and time, and most particularly energy and matter. It seemed logical to assume some non-material eternal existence, and I began investigating the nature of such an existence. I concluded that there could be but one infinite entity, and that entity must be one. This led me to accept the Judaeo-Christian narrative as the most plausible. With a background in Information Technology, I began investigating evolution theory from an information perspective, and concluded that no organic process could develop the conceptual and contextual information that are essential prerequisites for processing sensory data from our eyes and ears. I am convinced that the General Theory of Evolution cannot possibly be true. Having convinced myself on these matters, I then tried, with the assistance of CMI, to understand the world as we see it from a biblical perspective, but still have more questions than answers. However both Scriptural and experiential data, coupled with scientific research, allow me to be totally comfortable with not knowing many things. Theistic evolution / evolutionary creationism compromises both science and the bible, particularly the latter, but having total faith in God and little if any confidence in atheistic scientists who attempt to show God as being redundant or anachronistic, I have little regard for their intellectual integrity. I am sure that many truly believe what they proclaim, but I am equally sure that just as many have an agenda formulated by the evil powers against which we struggle.
"buddying up with those who are trying to destroy the faith?" I get that titles need to attract attention, and I think the article explains it, but I don't like the implication entirely. Of course it is true that we cannot win anyone to the faith by offering them a compromised version of it. On the other hand, the faith is not compromised simply because it agrees with atheists on some point. For example, we are not sleeping with the enemy if we concede that the natural world is a brutal place and that it is difficult to understand how a good and all-powerful God allows it. That is a fact we agree on but approach differently. Similarly, you don't oppose theistic evolution simply because it agrees with atheists about evolution; if evolution were true, then it would not be compromise to admit it. Better in my mind, then, to focus on the biblical arguments they are making and graciously consider and respond to them. I realize you have done so elsewhere... just sayin'
CS- Hi Andrew, my comments below…
"buddying up with those who are trying to destroy the faith?" I get that titles need to attract attention, and I think the article explains it, but I don't like the implication entirely.
CS- If the article explains it, what is the objection then?
Of course it is true that we cannot win anyone to the faith by offering them a compromised version of it.
CS- I agree, but Theistic Evolutionists do not so they would disagree with you (which is one of the main points in the article).
On the other hand, the faith is not compromised simply because it agrees with atheists on some point.
CS- I was not arguing for ‘some point’. I was arguing about evolution, which was abundantly clear in the article. And it depends on the classification of what you are saying we agree with (facts or the origins of them) and by what authority we use to determine which story of origins is correct (God's Word or man's fallible interpretations) as to whether we are compromising with atheism, see below.
For example, we are not sleeping with the enemy if we concede that the natural world is a brutal place
CS- Although this observation is a point of commonality between the atheist and the believer (general revelation) it is not the same as an origin for the phenomenon. So even though atheists and Christians may agree about ‘facts’ so to speak, they should disagree on the cause (origins) of such things because of their differing starting beliefs. Theistic Evolutionists however are agreeing with large portions of the atheistic explanation of the origin of why the world is a brutal place, which is the evolutionary process.
and that it is difficult to understand how a good and all-powerful God allows it.
CS- Respectfully this cannot be used as an example of agreement between atheists and believers as the atheist doesn't agree with the concept that God 'allows' death and suffering to occur (as they profess that God does not exist) so it is not 'difficult for them to understand' the phenomenon whatsoever (survival of the fittest etc).
However I have an answer for why a good and all powerful God allows death and suffering in the world based on scripture which is not difficult to understand at all based on the written Word.
For Theistic Evolutionists it is very difficult to explain, for they have abandoned the Biblical answer by buying into the evolutionary origin of death and suffering which is why we believe they are compromising (which is again covered in the article).
That is a fact we agree on but approach differently.
CS- Again, the fact of something and the origin of it are two different things. Theistic evolutionists smear the two which is the point of contention.
Similarly, you don't oppose theistic evolution simply because it agrees with atheists about evolution; if evolution were true, then it would not be compromise to admit it.
CS- You are missing the point. If evolution contradicts the word of God (which it does) then it is a compromise to believe in Theistic Evolution whether evolution were true or not. Here you are actually buying into the TE evolutionists reasoning. They believe evolution IS true which is why they compromise on what the Bible plainly says.
Better in my mind, then, to focus on the biblical arguments they are making and graciously consider and respond to them. I realize you have done so elsewhere... just sayin'
CS- Respectfully, you may want to make sure you understand the point of an article and understand the arguments within before criticizing it. Just sayin’… :)
The argument for Darwinian Evolution hinges on an errant bible. The doctrine of inerrancy is what needs to be defended, alongside with a doctrine of hermenutics that is faithful to the original intent. Nowhere is the attack on scripture seen more evidently than in the attacks on the book of Genesis.
This site is doing an excellent job of arming Christians on how to defend scripture and their faith. Sadly, I see some Christians whom I admire turning to a long-age view. Greg Koukl seems to be headed in that direction. Alas, another one lost...
Other than seekingout old literature, as I have done for a Biblical creationist view, this site is a goldmine of resources for the Biblical Creationist. Thank you for all your work, may God continue to bless your efforts.
Since theistic evolutionists are afraid of the enemies of God and his word, they should remove themselves from the battle altogether, as per God’s instructions.
“What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.” Deuteronomy 20:8
That's funny, because the only people I ever met that told me biblical creationism caused them to doubt were avid supporters of Biologos, on their Facebook page. Perhaps it should be called "Biased-Logos." It should really cause people to doubt who they serving when they say that taking the Bible for what it says causes them to doubt. As you pointed out, it has more to do with believing in secular evolutionist/old earth that anything. I just hope and pray that God would open their eyes to the truth. Keep up the great articles!
I was struck how many times, in the Gospels, Christ would ask the scribes "Have you not read..." (ex. Mat 19:4). What did Christ meant by this? To me it seemed as if He said: "You should have taken the meaning in Scripture as plainly written and meant to be understood, and secondly, believed that it is what God wanted to communicate". Maybe we should heed Christ's warning.
The creation problem could be greatly reduced, or even solved, by allowing no life on earth before creation of life as outlined by Genesis, but allowing the earth and heavens to be very old (prior and during Genesis 1:1). Here we could consider Genesis 1:1 as a very important paragraph describing God"s creation of a very old earth without life. I believe that a case could be made for an old earth mixing, at the time of the flood+, with new life creation to give a potential illusion of old life evolution. This would make any macro evolution impossible and allow for intelligent aided micro evolution. Naturally ones assumptions about our Creator will bias conclusions, but theistic evolution does not provide any real answers. I believe such an approach has enough merit to allow serious scientific study of diffusion of old earth elements into new earth fossils.
Curt, how much easier to simply take God at His word and understand the difference between 'facts' and interpretations. There are no 'old earth elements' that need mixing etc. Such approaches invite scorn from skeptics because of the obvious mental and theological gymnastics needed to be performed to propose such ideas. It also encourages them by the supposed 'admission' from Christians that there is evidence for their position that needs to be conformed to scripture when in fact there isn't.
I encourage you to go to our Q&A area and see how the facts that evolutionists interpret for evidence of evolution are actually much better interpreted according to scripture.
As we all know evolution is a contributing factor for the fall in church numbers in all ages groups. Another is the fear of God. What used to be taboo in those days are perfectly acceptable in today's society
Peter D., Australia - Amen brother!! I see the same thing creeping into Canada. We have to keep pushing.
My question to a Theistic Evolutionist would be to ask: At what point in T.E. did God create man in His image and likeness? (Genesis 1:26-27). Was there a very man-like ape that God chose, and into which he breathed spiritual life? Or did He, having waited the billions of years necessary for all pre-human creatures to develop, take some of the dust of the earth and miraculously form Adam and breathe into him life? I cannot see any other “evolutionary” alternative.
On the first theory, how ape-like was Adam? Have we evolved since then to the humanity we know? And on the second, why believe in a miraculous creation of a man but refuse to believe what the Bible consistently reveals – a special creation of a man just six days after the beginning of the creation of the universe? Finally, of course, as your articles have often pointed out, the gospel is completely undermined if we sever the connection between the work of the “first Adam (Adam) and the “much more” reversing work of the “last Adam”, Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 5:12-19).
You are doing a good work, about which I am convinced Christ will say on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”
And how do we arrive at our stating beliefs?
Romans 1:20-21 sounds like it is a choice to reject the obvious because we do not want to be responsible to the creator God.
Great article! Praise God for the few who stand on solid ground like CMI while every where else " Christians" are compromising. The truth always has been the indicator for who loves God or who loves the world. God bless CMI to continue to stand on Truth instead of mans foolish attempt to bring evidence for a creation without a creator, it truly is silly.
thoughtful stuff...oil & water don't mix, one brings life, the other doesn't
Excellent article and one that deserves wider exposure in the general Christian press. We (Christians) do not believe in six-day creation because it can be proved - but because it is what the Bible says! It is "by faith we believe". As Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, Faith is believing God! Many leaders of so-called evangelical churches are quick to say they believe in, and stand firmly on the Word of God yet when the clear and straightforward revelation of God conflicts with the wisdom of man, those same Bible-believing leaders search for any way they can to re-interpret the Word of God to make it fit with man's limited and understanding. Call it what they will, that is not Faith - and without faith there is no pleasing God.
I don't accept that creationism is driving young people away from Christianity because I haven't met anybody yet who said it did. But I have met plenty of people who reject Christianity because it doesn't fit with the way they want to live their lives. I was an atheist for most of my life and it had nothing to do with creationism but everything to do with rebellion against God. The question that some Christians should be asking themselves is this, "Do you reject creationism because you genuinely believe that it drives people away from God or do you reject it because you fear that people will ridicule you?" Personally, I couldn't care less what the world think about me because my loyalty is to God not the world.
Just suppose that one day, at the end of my time on earth, when I stand before God and must give an account of my belief system - which of these two options would be preferable? To be chided by the Lord for BELIEVING what He plainly inspired in His Word (and in the following Scripture, even wrote with His own hand: see Exodus 20:11 which clearly teaches Creation in six days!)? Or ... to be chided for NOT having believed Him?
What a ridiculous question - as if our Lord would rebuke His children for believing what He has so plainly stated! And it seems that this is what some evolutionists and compromisers are doing their best to imply. But I'd tremble to stand before Almighty God and have to try (hopelessly) to explain why I chose not to believe Him! (This applies to long-age compromisers, as well as to theistic evolutionists.)
Thank you, Calvin, and thank you, CMI, for the splendid work you do in giving us sound reasons to make the right choice. Keep up the good work in His strength!
Starting with the assumption that the Bible is true is as bad as starting with the assumption that a current science theory is true. The Bible even tells us to test everything, that logically includes testing the Bible. I believe that we can only hold that those things that can stand up to testing are true. We cannot condemn those who will not test evolution if we ourselves start with an assumption, or we come across as doing so.
So the question is not "what will fortify our faith in scripture" but what is acually true. The problem is not those who question the Bible, the problem is those who will not test the things they proclaim as truth. I believe we are in danger of undermining our own argument.
If we are working from the basis that the Bible has been found to be accurate in it's history from archeological evidence, in it's future predictions from historical fulfulments and it's life changing power from personal experience then we need to state that and keep stating it. "Be prepared to give a REASON for your faith" .
We don't need to defend the Bible, we need to shine a light on it, and on evolution.
James, do you not see what you have just done? By quoting the scripture (out of context) from 1 Thessalonians 5:20 to 'test everything' you have assumed the scripture is true, which is the very thing you are saying not to do! By what else but God's word can we 'test things' if we do not assume as Christians that it is true? What 'standard' of truth do we use if not God's word?
All belief systems start with an ultimate belief which is an unproven assumption that cannot be verified by anything else (otherwise whatever else you use to justify that starting belief becomes more authoritative than what you are trying to prove).
I suggest you do a Bible study on 'testing God' (simply go to BibleGateway and type in keyword 'test') and you will find that unless God actually allows you permission to test Him the results are not very positive. God expects His children to trust His word as it declares to be God breathed, true in every area. The very minimalist definition of a believer is one who believes in their heart that Jesus died and rose again from the grave to conquer sin and death for those who put their faith and trust in Him, by faith.
If you are questioning that then you do not have faith that it is true which is very dangerous, and if you do trust that by faith then why not trust all of God's word which He says is true?
I hope this helps,
Creation Ministries International
Great article, Calvin. And as you reference F. Sherwood Taylor...
You would have thought that these brilliant North American liberal theologians might have glanced across the Atlantic and noticed that this theistic evolution nonsense has been a strategic disaster on the Continent. The Catholics of Europe, doubtless in a misguided attempt to appear “smart” and “progressive”, embraced evolution and rendered the Bible and themselves weak and irrelevant in the process, with Christianity having been virtually eradicated from some cultures; With perhaps the most harrowing example actually being across the Channel in the United Kingdom; with a witless Church of England seemingly more comfortable in recent times sharing a cup of tea with Richard Dawkins than with a Bible believing creationist. Well played, Archbishop, your Island has been systematically transformed from a once glorious Christian nation into a now morally and financially bankrupt cesspit.
Theistic evolution is a silly, cowardly idea, that has done absolutely nothing to stop the relentless, catastrophic replacement of Judeo-Christianity with secular humanism.