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Feedback archiveFeedback 2014

Why is theistic evolution so problematic?

Published: 4 May 2014 (GMT+10)

sxc.hu/asifthebes

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Richard M. is a theistic evolutionist who has often emailed CMI over the years, passionately, even at times angrily, railing against the aims of our ministry, at other times seeking to dissuade us with reasoned argument. These exchanges have, not surprisingly, ‘gone nowhere’, and so we often do not engage anymore with his objections. However, recently he wrote objecting strongly to Bill Johnson’s November 2013 article German imperialism and the African Holocaust. Dr Carl Wieland responded to him, and he wrote again, which we publish below, along with Carl’s further comments. This is published in the hope that it will provide useful teaching and other points to use in discussions with similar theistic evolutionary objectors.

We first reproduce Richard M.’s letter in full, followed by the same letter with Carl’s responses interspersed.

Dear Carl
Thank you for your direct and prompt reply to my concerns, which I expressed rather forcefully. I do fear, however, that you have for many years mis-characterized what you call my “track record of hostility to biblical creation”, despite my several attempts to explain myself. My objections to the creation account in Genesis are not based on a hostility to Christianity. They are based on your persistent insistence that these verses must be taken literally (or ‘plainly’, as you all like to say). This point of view, which flies in the face of centuries of hard-won scientific knowledge, has led creationists to erect a framework (façade?) of scientific inconsistencies, contradictions, and special pleadings that has given YEC a deservedly low (virtually zero) level of influence in the scientific community and in the community of thoughtful lay-people. I, like millions of Christians (including those who share my denominational affiliation), see the early chapters of Genesis as laying the foundation of the Scriptures by informing us of the particular underlying patterns of thought and explanation that the Hebrew people used as their shared explanation of how things came to be. This clearly distinguishes our bible from the mythological foundations of the many other ancient civilizations, and some more recent ones. It marks the Judeo-Christian approach to the universe as being distinct from the many competing viewpoints. But to pretend that it also describes the physical events of our origins in terms that are consistent with modern science does an injustice to the reasons for its inclusion in the canon of scripture. Surely the moral and spiritual messages of parables such as The Prodigal Son, or the Good Samaritan do not rise or fall on the question of whether the characters in these stories actually existed. Or do you claim that they do?
I also have something to say regarding the Nazi motif that permeates much of the (your)creationist literature. A simple search of your website, using the single term ‘Nazi’, yields at least 80 articles that attempt to link evolution with the activities of the Third Reich. As a scientist who has been following the topic of evolution for over 50 years and finds (as do the vast majority of my colleagues) that the evidence is compelling, I feel a personal insult in having my views conflated with the philosophy of Nazism. That CMI and others do this on a regular basis indicates that they find that ‘guilt by association’ is a tactic that will further their aims. And the further implication (as often expressed by J.S. of your organization) that Christians who accept evolutionary theory are unwitting tools of the devil has gone a long way to characterize the ethical structure of CMI and other like ‘ministries.’ Do you really think that this kind of calumny is an effective evangelistic tool to use with those who don’t hold with your minority viewpoint? Or does the widespread rejection by the scientific community that your ideas encounter serve as some sort of vindication of your particular interpretation of Scripture?
Please do communicate with Mr. Johnson [article author—Ed.] that ‘plausible deniability’ of his motives requires a more subtle expression of his implications than his tired ‘Blame Darwin for the evils of the Nazis’ approach to Christian apologetics.
Regards, Richard
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Dear Richard,

You wrote:

Thank you for your direct and prompt reply to my concerns, which I expressed rather forcefully. I do fear, however, that you have for many years mischaracterized what you call my “track record of hostility to biblical creation”, despite my several attempts to explain myself.

CW: I have not overlooked those attempts by any means, but none of them have ever altered the basic facts concerning your campaign. As I seek to explain in responding herewith to your comments, one more time, but without committing to reopening the many long and fruitless exchanges between CMI folk and yourself.

My objections to the creation account in Genesis

CW: Richard, your own words confirm exactly what you quoted from me above, i.e. a “hostility [aka ‘objections’] to biblical creation” (aka ‘the creation account in Genesis’]”

are not based on a hostility to Christianity.

CW: I didn’t ever claim they were based on that, of course, since I know you claim to be a Christian. I am referring to your (repeatedly demonstrated) hostility to attempts to affirm biblical creation as truth. By that I mean the history of creation as recorded in the Torah, and as clearly understood by

  1. The average 10-yr-old.
  2. The overwhelming majority of scholars, church leaders and Christians in the pew prior to the advent of long-agism in the Enlightenment. Plus orthodox Jews.
  3. A virtual unanimity among Hebrew professors (heads of dept) at leading universities today. Despite their not believing it as history, they know from the language itself that this is what the writers intended to convey. See creation.com/barr.
  4. The NT writers and the Lord Jesus Christ, surely the ultimate arbiter. He saw Genesis and its characters as real history, and people as present at the beginning of creation, not towards the end. See Jesus and the Age of the Earth. How does it make sense to claim to be His follower but to deny what He affirmed?

Furthermore, and importantly, Gospel-critical doctrines depend on this history for their logical consistency and coherence.

Gospel-critical doctrines depend on [Genesis] history for their logical consistency and coherence.
They are based on your persistent insistence that these verses must be taken literally (or ‘plainly’, as you all like to say). This point of view, which flies in the face of centuries of hard-won scientific knowledge,

CW: First, if it were the case that the biblical framework (a good world, ruined by sin, to be restored through Christ with the lifting of the Curse) were contradicted by facts, which this handy sound bite of yours implies, then an intellectually honest position would be to abandon any pretence at Christianity. Because of the way in which the entire logic of the Gospel (God’s solution to sin and death) depends on that history (of how sin and death entered the universe).

Second, you clearly are not up with the way in which long-agism was established. Neither Huttonian ‘cycles’ nor Lyellian uniformitarianism were based on either experiment or observation in the first instance. Gould for example admits that Hutton’s hagiographers have falsified history in this regard, and that Lyell was less empirical than the catastrophists of his day. Dr Terry Mortenson has a PhD in the history of geology. His book The Great Turning Point is a very important and worthwhile read in this regard. You would see that the issue centuries ago was not ‘scientific knowledge’ at all. [Rather it was philosophical rejection of biblical history.]

has led creationists to erect a framework (façade?) of scientific inconsistencies, contradictions, and special pleadings that has given YEC a deservedly low (virtually zero) level of influence in the scientific community and in the community of thoughtful lay-people. I, like millions of Christians (including those who share my denominational affiliation), see the early chapters of Genesis as laying the foundation of the Scriptures by informing us of the particular underlying patterns of thought and explanation that the Hebrew people used as their shared explanation of how things came to be.

CW: In other words, weasel words to one side, it is supposedly the ‘creation myth’ of the Hebrews. You are clearly saying that things did not happen in this way, hence what purports to be history, and what Jesus took as history (and what every reasonable person has the right and mandate to take as intended to be historical) is not actually that. So Jesus’ endorsement of the OT as the actual words of God makes your stance a very serious thing indeed.

This clearly distinguishes our bible from the mythological foundations of the many other ancient civilizations, and some more recent ones. It marks the Judeo-Christian approach to the universe as being distinct from the many competing viewpoints.

CW: Ah, you mean it is a superior non-historical origins myth to the other non-historical origins myths? Whether so or not, this evades the real issue, that early Genesis is presented as history, and as foundational to much of NT doctrine. When I was an atheist and evolutionist associating with the Young Humanists, we regarded your sort of positions as deserving of mirth and contempt. At least those we disparaged as ‘fundamentalists’ were being consistent and intellectually honest within what we regarded as their ‘scientifically ignorant’ framework.

But to pretend that it also describes the physical events of our origins in terms that are consistent with modern science

CW: What you obviously mean, but it’s worth spelling out, is ‘But to pretend that Genesis describes things that really happened’ …

This theological/spiritual significance is not in spite of, but precisely because of, the fact that these events truly took place. Both in Exodus and Genesis.
does an injustice to the reasons for its inclusion in the canon of scripture.

CW: Amazing. Can you see that you are in effect claiming to be able to discern that it was included for reasons other than what the Hebrew professors of today and the majority of the church always gleaned from the text itself (how else?)—namely that this is an accurate, historical origins account. The fact that it has theological significance is no more an issue than that the history of what happened at the Exodus (including that first Passover) has huge theological significance. This theological/spiritual significance is not in spite of, but precisely because of, the fact that these events truly took place. Both in Exodus and Genesis.

Surely the moral and spiritual messages of parables such as The Prodigal Son, or the Good Samaritan do not rise or fall on the question of whether the characters in these stories actually existed. Or do you claim that they do?

CW: Again I would call you to both exegetical rigour and intellectual honesty. This attempted conflation could not be more wide of the mark, and surely you must know it. As Prof. Barr’s statement (linked to earlier) makes clear, the writers of Genesis “intended to convey” things they claimed really happened, i.e. history. The parables were [in contrast] not presented as real events at all, but as parables, openly and clearly stated.

I also have something to say regarding the Nazi motif that permeates much of the (your) creationist literature. A simple search of your website, using the single term ‘Nazi’, yields at least 80 articles

CW: I.e. assuming this is an accurate report, less than 1% of the website’s thousands of articles contain that term.

that attempt to link evolution with the activities of the Third Reich. As a scientist who has been following the topic of evolution for over 50 years and finds (as do the vast majority of my colleagues) that the evidence is compelling, I feel a personal insult in having my views conflated with the philosophy of Nazism.
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CW: Respectfully, whether you feel personally insulted (even though you or any other present-day evolutionist are not attacked, even by implication, in such articles) is beside the point. The question is again a factual and historical one. I.e. whether it is true or not that the entire philosophy of Nazism was ‘applied evolution’. As one whose mother was raised under Hitler and told me much of what went on, the suggestion that it was anything else is just laughable, even if there were no academic works to show this, like Prof. Richard Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler. See CMI’s cogent review here.

That CMI and others do this on a regular basis indicates that they find that ‘guilt by association’ is a tactic that will further their aims.

CW: This is, frankly, nonsense. We have never claimed this, even indirectly, as a smear against present-day evolutionists. It is trying to show the dangers of a philosophy which leads naturally to such things in sinful man, as it acts as an excuse and undermines the teachings of the Gospel in most consistent thinkers. To see how we properly nuance such things, and how we definitely do not apply Hitlerian racism to the bulk of today’s evolutionists, I refer you to my recent thoroughly documented book One Human Family.

And the further implication (as often expressed by J.S. of your organization) that Christians who accept evolutionary theory are unwitting tools of the devil has gone a long way to characterize the ethical structure of CMI and other like ‘ministries.’

CW: Again, the real issue is whether this is true or not. All of us are capable of being so used, and the very term you correctly use, i.e. ‘unwitting’, belies your attempt to turn this into a smear against the ethics of creation ministries. But I can’t help being reminded of a saying in German: ‘Getroffene Hunde bellen’. The word picture is a pack of dogs into which someone throws a stone. ‘The one that yelps is likely the one that has been struck’. (Given your sensitivities, I hasten to add that nothing personal is intended in the use of this cultural metaphor. It might though help you to consider whence your easily aroused passions, which have led you to write to us repeatedly over the years, denouncing everything we do and stand for, come from. Could it be that at one level, you really know the extent to which your compromise damages and logically undermines the faith you profess, yet would prefer not to believe this or face up to it? I pray that you might reconsider that your allegiance as a Christian should be to Christ and His Word, not to whatever the current worldly wisdom might be).

Do you really think that this kind of calumny is an effective evangelistic tool to use with those who don’t hold with your minority viewpoint?

CW: Well, actually, we are encouraged by the fact that there is seldom a week that goes by where we don’t have some email testimony from around the globe of someone brought to Christ through this ministry, especially its resources. I have just come from a seminar at which one of the attendees was an Associate Prof. and told me how my presentation a few years ago in his city was key to moving him from agnosticism to faith. One of the helpers was a PhD biologist drawn to CMI’s ministry by a recognition of how vital it is to the penetration of the Gospel. And a few weeks before that I was told by a young PhD student in zoology that he had been a card-carrying atheist who came to a CMI seminar to mock and was converted as a result. So, yes, we do think it is effective. I will cite one here still in my Inbox, and as you read it (remember that you were the one who brought up the issue of evangelism) please consider soberly and carefully what it is that you are so vigorously and passionately opposing. Peter W. wrote:

“[I] wish to take the opportunity to thank you all at CMI for your ministry. Before having contact with your ministry, I realise now, that Jesus had been knocking at my door, so to speak, but I had been reluctant to welcome him into my life. As much as I had wanted to fling open the door, I was trapped by the confusion of long age theories and evolution and poor biblical teaching from a previous church.
“With your help and a church that believes and teaches a literal understanding of the Bible, Jesus, I am proud to say, is alive in me. Now I am able to say with pride, ‘’thank God for our ministry," as I now have the confidence to call myself a Christian and be prepared to proclaim the Gospel. Jesus died on the cross. Why did Jesus die on the cross?. With a literal understanding of the Bible, starting with Genesis, it and God’s incredible creation, all makes sense. In saying that, I realise my faith journey has only just begun, but now I can embrace it fully.”
Or does the widespread rejection by the scientific community that your ideas encounter serve as some sort of vindication of your particular interpretation of Scripture?
Remember that CMI is not on about some nuances of doctrine, but rather the ‘Gospel big picture’.

CW: Hardly, and I don’t recall us ever making this sort of claim. But speaking of that majority rejection (and remember too that the majority also hounded the father of antisepsis, laughing soundly at the idea that germs could cause disease, plus countless other examples of overwhelming majorities being wrong in the history of science), I would say the following. Namely, that given the Apostle Paul’s comments in Romans 1 of fallen humanity’s natural tendency to reject God, and give worship and glory to the created things rather than the Creator, (whom they do not like to retain in their knowledge, he writes), what we see happening should not be surprising. Especially the lack of open-mindedness, even vindictiveness, demonstrated as even those who merely believe in a vague sort of ‘Intelligent Design’ are professionally persecuted. Nor, perhaps, should one be surprised that many in the church will be misled into seeking favour from those in ‘cultural power’ rather than remaining faithful to the obvious intent of His Word. Remember that CMI is not on about some nuances of doctrine, but rather the ‘Gospel big picture’ as I often call it; the history of the entry of sin and death into a once-perfect world through the first Adam, thus leading to the need for redemption (of the individual as well as ultimately the entire Creation) through the last Adam, Jesus Christ. Please consider prayerfully where your long-age views and mythologizing of early Genesis (which includes the ancestry of our Lord Jesus as traced also in the NT) consistently leads to. There are many warnings in Scripture of holding to ‘another Gospel’. Whether you are or are not is not for me to determine, but your approach to the Bible leaves a lot of room for concern. We regularly pray for our opponents, and sadly a number of them, like yourself, profess Christian faith.

Please do communicate with Mr. Johnson that ‘plausible deniability’ of his motives requires a more subtle expression of his implications than his tired ‘Blame Darwin for the evils of the Nazis’ approach to Christian apologetics.

CW: I’m not sure what you are referring to here; the article was a soberly written, if shocking, historical account. It documented the horrors that have happened repeatedly when a philosophy substitutes for the social restraint given by the belief that there is a Creator and we will have to give an account. Particularly when the logical corollary of that philosophy gives an excuse for believing that some people are more highly evolved and otherwise biologically superior as a group. That Darwin himself, despite being a gentle (perhaps squeamish even) person, knew of and shared the racist/eugenicist implications of his theory is so well documented by now as to be beyond doubt by any reasonable person. You should know this from having obviously combed through our site for years, driven by goodness knows what. If not, I recommend again my thoroughly documented book One Human Family. In it you will see evolutionist SJ Gould point out that after Darwin’s book was published, biological arguments for racism (which had long been around, and all of which sought to undermine the Bible’s anti-racist history of humanity as closely related) increased by “orders of magnitude”—i.e. 100, 1,000, 10,000-fold.

Sincerely,

Carl W.

Postscript: Following Richard’s initial objections to the article, we did tweak the wording of the article’s last sentence to avoid anyone else being able to misunderstand it. The author was not meaning to imply that Darwin specifically conceived of floggings, etc. only that his philosophy gave an ‘open slather’ to an excuse for the sin of perceiving other people as ‘subhuman’ and that the Nazis were not the first to apply this concept in post-Darwin German history.

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Readers’ comments
Sally H., Australia, 4 May 2014

Dear Dr Wieland,

As a subscriber of your magazine now for some 20 plus years, I clearly see how The Lord Jesus has blessed your ministry and others like it. As a Bible believing Christian, I am not ashamed to say that I personally believe that the bible is the Inspired Word of God and believe it from the first verse to the last, and that anyone who doesn't is calling God a liar. If you can't believe Genesis, then the rest is useless. God is infinite and can do anything.

May continue to God Bless you all.

Steve G., New Zealand, 4 May 2014

A Christian is one who not only believes in Jesus Christ but actually believes what He said. As the creator of all things,as the inspirer of the Holy Bible and as very God, where does it leave us if we don't believe Him when He says Genesis is true history and which is the foundation for all doctrine relating to salvation? Are we going to call the sinless Son of God a liar, or mistaken, and still claim to be His children? "He that has the Son has life and he that does not have the Son of God dos not have life." So obviously if you claim to be one of His followers but call Him a liar then you are not one of His.

Marc K., Australia, 4 May 2014

Richard Dawkins stated on Sydney radio, “Yes, in its most naive form you will get [Christians] who say that the story of Genesis, that the creation took 6 days to accomplish, you simply have to read each of those days as, whatever it is, 100 million years or a thousand million years, you get the right answer. I mean that's very, very naive, of course. You are absolutely right that there is this tendency to resort to metaphor. Which maddens me because I suspect that the original authors of, for example, the book of Genesis, in no sense thought of it as a metaphor. I suggest that they thought that they were probably writing down folk-tales that had been handed down by word of mouth. But they believed them to be factually true, and the vast majority of people in history have believed them to be factually true. So I think that to reinterpret them as metaphor is a kind of evasion.”

Atheist Richard Kilty, writing in a Sydney atheist journal, asks if evolution and religion are reconcilable, complementary or both: “We are not dealing on this amorphous level, instead we want to know about the antithesis of man in evolution and man in Christianity. And we do have an anti-thesis: Acceptance of evolution precludes the fundamentals of Christianity, to wit, Garden, Adam and Eve, Fall, Redeemer, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Acceptance of evolution requires the concatenation: fish-amphibians-reptiles-mammals-apeman-man with all transformations occurring naturally. This dichotomy is irreconcilable.”

If Dawkins and Kilty get it how can a supposed Christian not?

Joseph M., United Kingdom, 4 May 2014

The two statements that destroys this objectors arguments are, “…How does it make sense to claim to be His follower but to deny what He affirmed? …“ and “…your allegiance as a Christian should be to Christ and His Word...”. A person who professes to be a follower of Christ whose worldview is inconsistent with Christ’s words should reconsider the presuppositions of their fundamental starting points.

As for the objectors use of the majority with science, the error is that the “majority” and “science” don’t comport. Science has nothing to do with a majority vote. It’s a fallacy (i.e. an appeal to majority) compounded by another fallacy (i.e. equivocation).

Finally, Nazism is history. Darwinism is history. Nazism used terminology found in Darwinism and acted on it, that’s history.

Jack L., United States, 4 May 2014

What many theistic evolutionists fail to realize is the "science of men" is primitive. We are the incompetent quacks compared to GOD, who invented science. For example:

Genesis: 2:21 So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.

22 The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man.

Everyone knows that part of the Bible were Eve was created. But look how it's done. General anesthesia using the "science" of men wasn't available until the American Civil War but the Bible reported it 6,000 years ago.

And the best source for stem cells to make things? Why the rib is a prime source, if not the best source. Recent science of the past 20 years, although we are still unclear what is the best source. In time, I suspect the Biblical account will be confirmed.

The Bible is so far ahead of science, it only appears primitive to the naive.

George J., Canada, 4 May 2014

The place where I almost stopped reading Richard's letter was when he wrote, "This clearly distinguishes our bible from the mythological foundations of the many other ancient civilizations, and some more recent ones. It marks the Judeo-Christian approach to the universe as being distinct from the many competing viewpoints. " I wondered whether it was worth reading further from a man who was so blind in his perception of reality. How can one put the Bible above Gilgamesh, if one considers both a myth; i.e., if one considers both start out with a lie, is one a better lie?

I admire Carl's patience in answering the letter. May God richly bless you all.

Terry P., Australia, 4 May 2014

Who is pretending here?

“…But to pretend that it [Scripture/Bible] also describes the physical events of our origins in terms that are consistent with modern science does an injustice to the reasons for its inclusion in the canon of scripture. … — R.M.”

        CMI has never claimed that the Bible’s account of the origin of the universe and all life on earth is consistent with “modern evolutionary thinking”, aka “modern science”. Quite the opposite, in fact.

        For in (Gn2§4b-9) it says that in the beginning “…there was neither shrub nor plant growing wild upon the earth…nor was there any man to till the ground.…Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus the man became a living creature.… Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden away to the east…The LORD God made trees spring from the ground, all trees pleasant to look at and good for food…”. So, we infer from (Gn§1:9-3) that God must have created the man Adam on day three of creation, after dry land appeared, but before all trees good for food had sprung from the ground.

        On day five of creation in (Gn§1:20-23) God created all the sea creatures and all the birds of the air. Then on day six of creation in (Gn§1:24-31): “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures, according to their kind: cattle, reptiles, and wild animals, all according to their kind…”. Then in (Gn§2:18-22) it asserts the female was created last on day six, after every other living thing, both flora and fauna.

        But, we know Darwin imagined that Adam and Eve co-evolved from wild animals over millions of years. Curiously, R.M. seems to be one who is pretending that there are no contradictions in his myth of “theistic evolution”.

Shaun Doyle responds

Thank you for your encouraging comments, but we must respectfully disagree with your proposed harmony between Genesis 1 and 2 because Genesis 1:26–27 places the creation of both the man and the woman on Day 6 of Creation Week. On harmonizing Genesis 1 and 2, please see Genesis contradictions?

john P., Australia, 4 May 2014

One wonders what hope these theistic evolutionists can possibly offer to fellow Christians when they follow such a hopeless and atheistic philosophy instead of believing what God tells us. This is part of what Peter meant when he wrote of scoffers and even the elect being led astray.

I suggest R.M. humble himself, accept he is human and not God, and ask Jesus to help him overcome any unbelief or doubts he might have.

Some people who are in a human sense widely studied are too proud to admit they are wrong, and it is better they humble themselves rather than leave it up to God to do so

Don J., United States, 4 May 2014

As a young-earth creationist who was once "asked to leave" a Baptist congregation that embraced theistic evolution, I am all too familiar with the "Richards" in today's church. They seem more interested in the approval of men rather than standing for the truth. Interestingly, I have always found atheists a lot easier to debate since they seem more open to an honest evaluation of Darwinism and its implications.

When I first became a Christian around 1980, evolution, and its bazillions of years, was the biggest stumbling block I had to accepting Biblical inerrancy. My discovery and reading of "The Troubled Waters of Evolution" by Dr. Morris was like a breath of fresh air. I devoured everything I could find on creationism after that. The existence of the Internet as it is today would have made my search an order of magnitude easier. I would like to thank Dr. Wieland for his excellent response. And I would also like to thank CMI for the wonderful resource they provide online.

Eileen T., United Kingdom, 4 May 2014

Like all unbelievers, I believed evolution was proven fact before turning from my atheism and becoming a Christian and for a while I believed everything in the Bible except the creation story .... that was like a fairy story to me. It was only when I left the CofE and joined a Bible believing church that I was challenged to admit that if the Bible is indeed God's word, then the Creation account must be true. I struggled to get my head around that fact and it was only by taking a step of faith to believe it that the scales fell from my eyes. What was once laughable to me, now became so precious and the good Lord satisfied my intellectual inquiries afterwards. If we claim to be a Christian we walk by faith (not blind faith) and if we don't do that then the Lord gives us over to whatever it is we freely choose to believe. Faced with a choice of any kind, It is so important for us to believe and trust God's word and not sinful, foolish man 's.

Mike J., Canada, 4 May 2014

"But to pretend that it also describes the physical events of our origins in terms that are consistent with modern science."

- What modern science? The MS of 200 years ago? of 100 years ago? of today? of 100 years from now? The trouble with this hermeneutic is that the consensus keeps changing, often in radical ways. e.g. At one point scientists claimed an eternal universe and creationists were scolded for not accepting it... and Einstein once believed in a non-expanding universe. CMI doesn't claim that Genesis describes physical events in terms that are consistent with modern science... but in terms consistent with history and reality.

- The pretense behind Richard's remarks is that the consensus of our day equals objective and final truth. (Even Steven Goldman in his TTC lecture series on 20th century science admits that the consensus of our day might be all wrong... though he thinks it looks pretty good.)

- The atheist will say to the creationist; ''if, as you say, I merely believe in evolution because as a materialist I must... why do so many Christians believe in evolution?" The answer is naturalism. The Christian who professes a belief in evolution does so because he has adopted the method of naturalism (i.e. all things must be explained solely in terms of matter in motion) ... the same method the atheist has adopted. (Worst of all; he's applied this method to God's word as well.)

Robert B., United States, 4 May 2014

Viewing Genesis as history wasn't automatic upon my conversion but occurred somewhat later after I was exposed to Creationist ideas at a debate featuring the late Henry Morris. It was as if scales fell from my eyes and I could suddenly see a new reality.

Of late, I struggled to understand people like Richard M., those who say they are Christian but are hostile to YEC. While I don't think that belief in the literal truth of Genesis can save you, perhaps the inability to SEE the truth may indicate that you need to BE saved.

This article now causes me to regard the persistent failure of those unable to see the literal truth of Genesis as a symptom. The scales haven't fallen from R.M.'s eyes because he doesn't know Jesus. He may be a nominal and cultural Christian but when Jesus stood at the door to his heart and knocked, Richard didn't open the door and invite Jesus in.

We should tell these people this most important truth about themselves.

Terry F., United States, 4 May 2014

It is hard to believe that someone who claims to be an expert in science could support the ideas of evolution for 50 years and still call himself a Christian.

First of all, anyone who would take the time to examine the claims of evolution placed against the scientific evidence inside each of our cells in the form of DNA and its incredibly complex and obviously orchestrated by an intelligent agent construction has got to be either incredibly biased or simply not very intelligent. The scientific evidence for evolution simply vanishes when one applies logic and common sense to their claims.

Secondly, the Bible is the basis for Christianity, not a religion, not science. If one claims to be a Christian and rejects the Bible as allegorical with no real basis in fact, how can one call themselves a Christian? They are placing themselves egotistically above the accepted inspired word of God. Perhaps it is that egotism that allows this person to continue to support a story that in reality has no empirical proof whatsoever while rejecting the very text upon which his faith is based. Obviously, this person enjoys living in contradiction and deception.

The Nazi connection to evolution is obvious and easily confirmed with even a little research and common sense. The "master race" claim alone betrays their philosophical leanings.

This person seems to be one of the fools spoken of in the Bible and is most certainly either deluding himself or is not the Christian that he claims to be. Still, 50 years supporting evolution? Wow, what a waste of time and intellect!

Dean D., United States, 4 May 2014

Excellent article! This exchange reminds me of a point I've recently shared with my Sunday morning class on the book of Matthew.

In Chapter 16, the Pharisees along with the Sadducees come to Jesus again, not to learn from him but to test him. Jesus responds to their request for a sign by stating they can see the obvious signs of the weather yet, being spiritual leaders of Israel, they cannot see the spiritual signs he has done. He has just completed a multitude of miracles in their presence and of the Jews yet they cannot see what is obviously before them. The question arises, why can they not see? I believe there are three reasons:

1. They are in love with their sin. In the case of the Pharisees and Sadducees, they were in love with their status, power and influence over the people. Their acceptance of Jesus would have required they give that up and they didn't want to.

2. Satan and his army continually work to undermine the work of the Holy Spirit, acting to blind the world from seeing Jesus and the truth of his gospel.

3. Finally and sadly as Romans 1 states, God gives them over to their sinful desires and blinds them from being able to see him just as he did Pharaoh in Exodus.

The point of teaching I shared with my Matthew class; we are all blind. Some of us will eventually see while some of us will never see. The choice is ours to make.

Michael S., United Kingdom, 4 May 2014

Dr Carl Wieland, it takes a lot of patience what you have done here! As a person of the, "minority" it seems to me that for every elephant the opposition hurls, we have to go several extra miles to explain why that soundbite is wrong. The burden of proof is forever upon us as the "minority", even though logically, and ironically, the burden of proof is never upon the person claiming humans have always begotten humans, as this is inductively evidenced as 100% induced thus far.

But those that think trees, fleas, bees, peas and hairy knees are related, seem to think that because they are the "majority", we are the ones with the explaining to do. But as you can see, their claims are far greater, and their induction is 0% because a phylo-tree only exists on paper.

CMI is the epitome of excellence, as it takes God's word as truth, which is why it has paid off. No wonder you are getting on evolutionists' nerves, it's because such truth can only grow! The Lord won't let you down, He always blesses obedience.

Bernis R., United States, 5 May 2014

I am so glad that God led me to such an awesome website! This article is another excellent refutation of theistic evolution. When I was in college I bought the lie of evolution and held onto it until I inductively studied Romans. I realized that I could not hold Rom 5:12 in one hand and evolution in the other. To do so is to deny that death entered when Adam sinned, not before. Sadly, many Christians have been deceived as I was by the lie of evolution because they do not know the truth for themselves. Thank you CMI for upholding the truth of the Scriptures! I am always encouraged by the godly and skillful wisdom pouring forth from this ministry.

Matt M., Canada, 5 May 2014

To me you either accept the Bible or you don't; if you are questioning one part, does not that bring the whole into question? It is either the inspired word of God or it isn't; it really boils down to who you are going to believe, fallible men or God Almighty!

Denise P., United States, 5 May 2014

Thank you for taking the time to refute this point by point, & patiently: with good will toward men. 2 Tim 2 :-).

It is a very common compromise leading to vain moralism (the Samaritan&Prodigal...out of full counsel gospel context—Acts 20) & to sophist political 'overcoming' through illegitimate dialectical manipulation, censorship, & finally open force because it ends in the acceptance & justification of crass pagan pragmatism & compromise relative only to power & force.

Nazism, is of course, one of the historical examples; Romanism another: & it certainly is a prevalent philosophy today in the 'new' unity bogus hope of man-manipulated, consensus 'revival' emerging from ancient vomit to ooze back to illegitimate fornicating spiritual union&authority.

The emphasis on Truth & scripture, is very helpful & instructive for the rest of us out here as we seek to live lives faithful to God, & without being taken captive or leavened, while also seeking to obediently fulfill the commission to seek & to save the lost: offering God's goodwill salvation toward men in the spirit of Christ Who knew what was in a man.

He has left us here in the midst of struggle against sin& death meant of Satan for destruction,but used of God for His glory,for salvation, & for our testing & proving. What a freedom & joy & privilege it is to pursue truth & the pattern of fulfilled prophecy with you! & to claim the promises of God as written—untangled, unwrested! Seeing the truth of scripture confirmed & defended, & coming to hold it more firmly & surely ourselves in growing knowledge & grace!

No longer unaware of the devil's schemes of 'non-resistance, 'but taking up the legitimate sword of the word & truth to resist the devil, & to spoil him of his plunder of deluded human souls won thru seductive deceit & slander of God.

Gerry T., Canada, 5 May 2014

I recently spent a few days exchanging emails with an individual aspiring to become recognized as a Christian apologist. He runs his own blog through which he professes to practice his defense of the faith. He is aggressive in his promotion of theistic evolution almost to the point of being obnoxious.

What struck me the most was the reason he presented as to why he became a theistic evolutionist. He claims he sees so many people leaving the church because of the supposed conflict between science and scripture that he can no longer support the claims of the Bible, and that it is better to conform to the claims of theistic evolution than stand behind the clear word of God.

Though he truly believes he is correct in his attempts to reconcile evolutionary thought with clear Biblical teaching, the damage he, and others of like mind inflict on sound Biblical exegesis is considerable.

Kenneth K., United States, 8 May 2014

Your site has been a cornerstone for my transformation from an atheist evolutionist to a believing Christian. Evolution is taught as "fact" when not a single fact actually supports evolution. The old earth myth is also supported by nothing but supposition. Thank you for this particular article as it really demonstrates how a belief in evolution is nothing more than...a religion with few supporting ideas that are based in fact.

Jack K., Australia, 8 May 2014

As a former teacher of evolution at the college level, and a former outspoken and aggressive agnostic, I once reveled in tearing apart Christian beliefs and Christians who were brave enough to stand up to my religion, evolutionism. If one does not think evolutionism is a religion, then he does not fully understand evolutionary theory. It's protagonists have far more faith in their religion than does the average ill-prepared Christian. Yet, distilled to its essence, Christianity is incredibly simple. I finally came to Jesus after almost a half century of emptiness. Through my bible, ultimately, the entire world finally fell into place. My intellectual yearning and searching finally was fulfilled.

Juan M., Canada, 8 May 2014

Richard Dawkins stated on Sydney radio, “Yes, in its most naive form you will get [Christians] who say that the story of Genesis, that the creation took 6 days to accomplish, you simply have to read each of those days as, whatever it is, 100 million years or a thousand million years, you get the right answer. I mean that's very, very naive, of course. You are absolutely right that there is this tendency to resort to metaphor. Which maddens me because I suspect that the original authors of, for example, the book of Genesis, in no sense thought of it as a metaphor. I suggest that they thought that they were probably writing down folk-tales that had been handed down by word of mouth. But they believed them to be factually true, and the vast majority of people in history have believed them to be factually true. So I think that to reinterpret them as metaphor is a kind of evasion.”

Richard Dawkins has forgotten the most important element of the Bible, "It is inspired by the Holy Spirit." (2 Timothy 3:16)

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