Becoming relevant

Editorial

by , Australia

‘How can you believe that stuff?  Science has proved the Bible isn’t true.’  A young lady was confronted in her workplace about her Christian faith.  Sound familiar?  She lived in Hungary during the communist years and was one of very few people who grew up in a Christian home.  Most people in Hungary were secular. 

She remembers with embarrassment how she meekly responded to these challenges with, ‘Well, that’s what I believe.’  End of discussion.  She provided no answers.  She did not engage any of the issues.  Secretly she wished the topic would not keep coming up. 

In the Western world this experience is common.  A doctor told how his Christian faith was fiercely attacked when he started at university.  In his first year, one lecturer would put up overheads of the time line of the Genesis creation account and laugh and scoff at it.  Then the lecturer would put up the evolution time line and say how obvious it was that this was the more logical and reasonable proposal. 

He joined a Christian group on campus, part of a national Christian fellowship of academics, looking for support.  To his surprise he found no-one believed in creation in six days as recorded in the Bible.  They all believed in some form of theistic evolution over millions of years or they refused to take a stand on either side.  In fact, it’s the policy of that Christian group to avoid the issue. 

How can Christian academics think they can impact the intellectual halls of learning if they won’t answer the challenges that people are hurling at the Christian faith?  No wonder a leading Anglican Archbishop in Australia laments: ‘One of the most notable features of the Christian churches in Australia today is our almost total lack of intellectual significance.’1  In fact, the problem is symptomatic of the Western world.  He explained: ‘There are certainly significant Christian poets, novelists and artists.  But no one in their wildest imaginings would say that the churches are in the forefront of intellectual endeavour.’ 

If we as Christians are to impact the culture (instead of being impacted by the culture) then we need to answer the questions people are asking.  We don’t tolerate evasive behaviour in any other sphere of life.  Imagine you’re looking to buy a used car and the salesman avoids all your questions.  ‘Don’t worry about that.  It’s not important.  Trust me.’  That salesman wouldn’t last long.  We think even less of politicians who behave that way.  They are either sidelined or voted out.  So how can we expect people to make the most important decision in their lives if we won’t answer their questions?  ‘Don’t worry about that—just believe.’

But there is a simple remedy, as my friend from Hungary discovered when she first encountered Creation magazine.  The answer is in Genesis.  The secret is to start at the beginning with creation and to appreciate the real events of world history as recorded in the Bible.  That way we become relevant.  We are able to engage the issues in the real world—issues like biology, astronomy, geology, anthropology, morality, etc.  And when we can give answers, we challenge the alternative religion of the culture—evolutionary naturalism.

Not only did creation materials answer her questions, but my Hungarian friend found the backbone and courage to witness—to take the offensive (2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Peter 3:15).  Instead of being timid, she is now confident in the Bible and in her Christian faith.  She has been sending Creation magazine and other material to her family and friends.  And instead of being cynical, disinterested or scoffing, they have been paying attention. 

For example, her atheist uncle and his wife have been eagerly and methodically devouring the material she sent.  In fact, they have also dug out the old family Bible to check that what was being said was accurate.  On another occasion she invited a friend to a creation seminar.  He obtained lots of materials, and after carefully reading them he has become a Christian.

The Genesis account is the key to being relevant in today’s world, because the meaning of anything is tied up in its origin.  If we abandon the true history of the universe as set out in the Bible and adopt the evolutionary, godless, materialistic worldview of evolution, we lose our intellectual foundation.  Then we can’t answer even the most basic questions.  But when we start from the biblical history of Creation / Fall / Flood / Migration, we have a natural and logical progression to Christ.  Not only does the Genesis foundation provide a logical defense to our faith, it provides an irresistible beachhead for the Gospel.

The creationist movement is having a large and dramatic effect on Western culture, more than many people realize.  Why else would some evolutionists be so militantly concerned about what’s going on?  Even major scientific journals are now routinely attacking creationists; like Scientific American and their ‘15 answers to creationist nonsense’.  They are alarmed: ‘Unfortunately, scepticism of evolution is more rampant than might be supposed.’2

This issue of Creation again shows scientifically that the Bible offers the best explanation for the origin of humanity and the universe.  In fact, the scientific evidence increasingly undercuts the theory of evolution.  We feature research biochemists John and Sally McEwen, despatching the myth that no scientist believes the Bible.  We report exciting breakthroughs supporting a young earth and show how a breeding program to restore a ‘prehistoric’ horse undermines grand-scale evolution.  The material in this issue will strengthen your faith and give relevant ammunition to share with friends, workmates and loved ones.

References and notes

  1. Jensen, P., Speaking the Truth in Love, Halifax-Portal Lecture, The Role of the Churches in Australia Today, Lecture I, <www.philosophy-religion.org/criticism/speaking.htm>, 7 May 2002.
  2. The Editors, Bad science and false facts, Scientific American 287(1):3, 2002.  This poorly researched article has been thoroughly refuted in Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution 2, Master Books, Arkansas, USA, 2002.