Homeschooling parents demand evolutionary textbooks
What’s in your child’s science textbook?
Children who go to public or government schools are expected to learn evolution as part of their science education. So, a major reason why Christian parents may decide to homeschool is so that they can educate their children consistently with their beliefs, including in biblical creation. In recognition that a majority of Christian homeschoolers are biblical creationists, a lot of the homeschool science curriculum has been dominated by biblical creation (see the Education Resources section of our site). However, it is important for parents to exercise discernment.
The allegedly Christian publication Christianity Today featured a story entitled “A New Creation Story”1 which reported on a growing number of parents who apparently want to teach their homeschooled children evolution. Until recently, some of these parents reported difficulty finding Christian curricula that presented evolution, but with grants from the theistic evolution organization BioLogos, several teams of university lecturers and professors are writing textbooks that present evolution as a possible Christian approach to origins.
The article even presents anecdotes about biblical creationist parents who are desperate for a curriculum that is less ‘strident’ in its creationism. In a sense, it’s hard to believe that anyone would have trouble finding sufficient sources explaining evolution—everything from video games to TV shows to children’s literature presents evolution as fact 24/7, and now thanks to BioLogos, this view is even more prevalent in Christian circles. Rather, biblical creationist parents are likely to find that there are limited options, if they want curricula that exclusively present a biblical worldview. And by definition ‘biblical creation’ is one that takes the Genesis account at face value and does not apply eisegesis to insert millions of years of evolutionary processes in there.
Christianity Today continues a trend of popular-level Christian articles that present more ‘tolerant-minded’ Christians who accept evolution in a conundrum created by ‘strident, narrow’ Christians who hold to a historical interpretation of Genesis. BioLogos and those who are using their grants to create evolutionary textbooks are presented as individuals committed to a broader understanding of Scripture.
But what isn’t featured is what evolution removes from Christian theology. The Bible is primarily a book of history, from beginning to end. And the history of Adam, Eve, and Noah, is not so much tied to the history of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as much as tangled up in it. Jesus was ‘the seed’ promised to Eve, “born of woman” (Galatians 4:4). But He was much more; in fact, He was nothing less than the agent of creation Himself (John 1:1–3). His death is able to bring life to those who believe in Him in the same way that Adam’s sin brought death to mankind (Romans 5:12–21), and because He is the Last Adam, those who believe in Him can be sure that we will be raised, just as He was (1 Corinthians 15). His coming will be swift and unexpected, just like the Flood, and at that time (Matthew 24:37–39), ‘the restoring of all things’ (Acts 3:21) will occur, and there will be a ‘new heavens and earth’ (Revelation 21), complete with the Tree of Life brought back (Revelation 22:2), and immediate access to God, just as it was in Eden.
An evolutionary scenario as promoted by Biologos claims that Adam (who never existed) never fell, and Eve (who never existed) was never promised a ‘Seed’. Death didn’t come from the (nonexistent) Fall, because it preceded humans for billions of years. The Flood, if it happened at all, was at most a local catastrophe which falls far short of the cosmic-level judgment that the Bible depicts. So evolution amputates the entire historical precedent from the Gospel.
The evolutionists are right?
It might be a surprise to hear that real biblical creationists and atheistic evolutionists agree about one point—theistic evolution doesn’t work. Richard Dawkins says:
“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they’re deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity … ”2
Atheist Frank Zindler says:
“The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution absolutely is the death knell of Christianity.”3
In fact, they’re right—if evolution is true, Christianity isn’t, because Christianity presupposes a history that is fundamentally at odds with evolution.
Teach your kids evolution!
Education is not neutral. It shapes a person’s worldview. One of the most serious responsibilities of a parent is to evangelize his or her children. In many cases this has not been happening, so a major part of a child’s education (whether the parent is homeschooling, or supplementing public or Christian school), should be to learn to trust the Bible as God’s word. When parents endorse statements that allow Genesis to be taken ‘nonliterally’, too often children simply hear, “You don’t need to believe the Bible.” And is it surprising that many children heed that message and leave the church altogether?
In light of the above, it may seem surprising that creationists would advise you: make sure your kids know about evolution! But teach them more than they would learn in public school—teach them the problems the Big Bang and evolution, and prepare them to ‘be able to give an answer’ when they encounter evolution being taught as fact, as they inevitably will.
- Zylstra, S.E., A new creation story, Christianity Today, 29 April 2013; christianitytoday.com, accessed 30 April 2013. Return to text.
- Video available at https://creation.com/creation-videos?fileID=BAbpfn9QgGA. Return to text.
- Frank Zindler, American atheist, in a debate with William Craig, Atheism vs Christianity video, 1996. Return to text.