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Is creation apologetics a problem?

Published: 5 January 2014 (GMT+10)

David B wrote in response to An entire universe … wasted on us? His entire email is reproduced below, interspersed with response from Lita Sanders:

sxc.hu/Conrados 7778-eye

Dear David,

“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.”
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.

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.

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.

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.

Sincerely,

Lita Sanders

Helpful Resources

15 Reasons to Take Genesis as History
by Dr Don Batten, Dr Jonathan D Sarfati
US $3.50
Soft Cover
Refuting Compromise, updated & expanded
by Dr Jonathan Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover