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Evolution, the age of the earth and blasphemy

Yes, they are directly connected!

by 

Published: 7 August 2018 (GMT+10)
123rf.comblasphemy

The title of this article seems provocative doesn’t it? Maybe even a little extreme. For most Christians, to suggest such a connection would seem shocking, and maybe even offensive. However, there is a link from evolution and the age of the earth to blasphemy, and when seen will, I trust, be very clear.1

Unfortunately, many Christians and churches in the western world are compromised by holding some form of ancient earth view in order to be ‘progressive’, ‘scientifically relevant’, and to accommodate the Bible to evolution and/or billions of years. In the thinking of those who hold these views, such accommodation preserves the Church from becoming irrelevant. In this thinking, the ‘young earth’ creationists are seen to be the problem, holding back the church with an outdated, outmoded, ‘fundamentalist’, and frankly embarrassing view of the world. Surely then, to accuse those who hold to an old earth position of ‘blasphemy’ is an extreme position to take? But when this subject is brought into the light of Scripture, the link between the evolutionary, ‘old earth’ world-view and blasphemy becomes stark and clear.

Joining the dots from evolution to blasphemy

Something happened recently that crystallized the issue for me and enabled me to see the link more clearly than I had ever seen before. The realization came when I attended a church meeting where a medical doctor was giving a talk titled, ‘Are Science and Christianity in Conflict?’ It was divided into two parts, the first dealing with science (which I broadly agreed with) and the second half on the perceived ‘conflicts’ of ‘science’ with Christianity, which I strongly disagreed with.

Questioning the Bible and Jesus

The second half of his talk was highly problematic. The same scientists and the same scientific process that, in the first half of his talk, he had so eloquently described as fallible and capable of manipulation, were now being held up as the ultimate arbiters of truth by which we should measure Scripture! Without even going into any evidence, he simply stated the earth was billions of years old, that the fossils proved this, and that evolution had occurred (conflating natural selection with evolution). There was not even a mention of how the investigators’ world-view affects how they interpret the data they are investigating. Six-day creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Flood, he said, were to be understood merely as Old Testament parables, there to teach us moral truth. Otherwise, so the doctor argued, how could Noah fit all the “millions of species on the ark?” (but see here).2 In the same way, he reasoned, Jesus taught using parables which, according to the speaker, were non-historical and non-literal, and were told purely for the purpose of presenting ‘theological truths’. So if Jesus could do it, why couldn’t the Old Testament writers? (See here)3

recycle-old-errors

During the question time, I asked the speaker how he could accommodate millions of years of death before Adam’s sin when the Apostle Paul makes it clear that, before Adam sinned there was no death, bloodshed, or suffering.4 He gave no clear answer. In fact, he said, “I don’t know”. I also asked him where he drew the line with biblical authority—because modern scientists tell us that six-day creation and Noah’s Flood are all physical impossibilities, and the same scientists and their methods will also tell us virgins don’t give birth, water can’t be turned into wine and dead men don’t rise? Again, these simple questions seemed to blind-side him.

At the end of the meeting, I approached the speaker one-to-one and asked him several direct questions, which served to crystallize the whole issue in my mind (and possibly his). I pointed out that when Jesus discussed the creation of man (Matthew 19:4–5) and Noah’s Flood (Matthew 24:37–39; Luke 17:26–27), He clearly spoke of them all as historical events, not parables.5 If modern science tells us these events didn’t happen, then don’t we have a problem with the reliability of Jesus’ teaching? His answer was that Jesus was “speaking from the knowledge of His time”. I asked, “Was Jesus in error then?” That seemed to cause him some embarrassment because he answered, “Well, if you think that then you didn’t understand a word I said!”

The realization

Then it dawned on me: if people are consistent in their thinking, a belief in an ancient earth and evolution ultimately forces them to say Jesus was in error! Jesus believed in a historical Adam and Eve, created at the beginning (Mark 10:6) on day six of creation week and not at the end of a multi-billion-year period of evolution involving death before Adam’s creation and fall into sin. And Jesus believed in a global Flood and a historical figure called Noah. If these were only mythical as the speaker suggested, then Jesus was wrong in His teaching! But, some may argue,6 Jesus ‘emptied Himself’ of His deity, and therefore was limited to the knowledge of His time? However, Jesus clearly stated, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:16, cf. John 14:24).

If any doubt remains, this is what Jesus said in John 12:49: “For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” In other words, if Jesus was in error, so was God the Father, and to suggest this is blasphemous, pure and simple! To say God is capable of error, or can tell untruths is an act of blasphemy, and to say Jesus taught error or untruths is also blasphemous. Scripture clearly declares that “God cannot lie” (see Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2).

So, accommodating the Bible to ‘science’ (i.e. methodological naturalism) is a dangerous compromise. Trying to force-fit the message of the Bible’s history with the claims of naturalistic science is basically to say God has lied and Jesus was in error. Frankly, it matters not how many letters a person may have after his/her name (and CMI does not decry good scholarship and qualifications), it doesn’t qualify someone to blaspheme!

Nothing new under the sun

The idea of Jesus as a ‘man of His time’, and therefore capable of being mistaken, is first seen in the teachings of Arius in the 4th century (termed by theologians the Kenotic heresy).7 This is based on a misunderstanding of the Greek word ekenōsen, which describes Jesus as ‘emptying’ Himself, found in Philippians 2:6–7. The context of that verse is clear though. It refers to Christ’s attitude of humility regarding His place and authority in heaven as something not to be used to His own advantage—as our exemplar of humility. When Jesus took on human nature he humbled Himself even to the death of the cross. Jesus emptied Himself of His heavenly glory by taking on human flesh. We must keep John 1:1–14 in mind, as it was the Word who became flesh, and the Word was God—in all His fullness! It was not the case that the ‘Word divested of Divine attributes became flesh’ (see this discussion).

However, the clincher in the argument is what the resurrected Christ said, and no one would argue that after His resurrection Jesus continued to be limited, because He had already returned to His Father. And on the road to Emmaus it was the resurrected Christ who in unqualified terms confirmed the writings of Moses (Luke 24:27), the same Moses who wrote of the six-day creation, Adam and Eve, and Noah and the global Flood.8

Steve Chalke’s ‘New Reformation’, recycling old errors

en.wikipedia.orgSteve-Chalke
 British Baptist minister and founder of Oasis Charitable Trust, Steve Chalke

Lately, the idea of Jesus as a ‘man of his time’ along with the other biblical writers, and the Bible as fallible, has been much promoted by Steve Chalke in his new ‘95 Theses’, posted to YouTube. Referring to genocide, he calls Moses “a Late Bronze Age thinker [who] puts late Bronze Age words and morality into God’s mouth.”9 For Chalke, the Bible contains “conflicting and even contradictory views”. He goes on to say that, “to take the Bible seriously is not always the same thing as taking it literally [and that a] failure to be clear about this has led to some huge confusions around all sorts of passages, for instance, the Genesis creation stories or Noah and his Ark”. Chalke reasons, “none of the Bible writers took direct dictation from God; at the same moment their writing bears both the hallmarks of some of the limitations and preconceptions of their times and cultures.”10

So here we have it: biblical authority has been made subservient to the thinking of men when it comes to ‘science’. If the biblical writers, especially Moses, were incorrect in their views of history—specifically the events and figures of creation and the Flood—then by extension Jesus was also incorrect because He upheld those same teachings about Earth’s history. Not only that, but Jesus’ Heavenly Father would be implicated in falsehood for allowing His Son to teach untruths. This is blasphemy. Jesus Himself anticipated the unbelief of those who did not accept His word when He stated, “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12) and, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46–47). The implication is clear, a failure to believe Moses implies that Jesus is in error and so is His Heavenly Father. And if Jesus’ earthly teachings are unreliable, so are His heavenly teachings which centre on salvation and eternity. These are very serious and weighty issues indeed.

Conclusion

Ever since Arius questioned the deity of Jesus Christ in the 4th century, the Church has faced constant challenges to its understanding of the Bible as God’s inerrant Word. The fundamental teachings, that Jesus is God Incarnate and that the biblical writers were inspired of God to write without error, have likewise been challenged by such heresies. Ever since the Enlightenment and particularly since Darwin published his Origin of Species, theories have multiplied in an attempt to further challenge and weaken the Church in its stand on biblical inerrancy and authority. My experience speaking to the medical doctor—who described Jesus as “speaking from the cultural knowledge of His time” (regarding creation and the Flood)—joined-the-dots for me. It was suddenly obvious that viewing the events Jesus spoke of as ‘mythical’, implicated both Him and His Heavenly Father as guilty of error. Accusing Jesus or the Father of accommodation (which is tantamount to deliberate deception) or of factual inaccuracies is a blasphemous position to take. Lying or inaccuracy are impossible for a morally perfect Being whose attributes include omniscience (i.e. to be all-knowing).

So, am I accusing every Christian who holds to a theistic evolutionary/old earth position of directly blaspheming Jesus and God the Father? No, because the fact is, most Christians don’t join-the-dots when they accommodate evolution and long ages into their understanding of the Bible. However, what I am saying is that to attribute error (and by extension) falsehood to Jesus and God is blasphemy. The evolution-creation debate is certainly no side issue—it strikes right to the heart of the Divinity of Christ, right to the heart of the righteousness of God, and right to the heart of our understanding of biblical inerrancy and authority. Simply put, evolution and an ancient earth force those who hold those views to say, in effect, God and His Son are wrong or have lied about history, and that is to commit blasphemy. The link between evolution, the age of the earth and blasphemy is now clear.

References

  1. I am not suggesting that Christians who hold to evolutionary and/or old earth views are not saved. However, this issue is certainly a biblical authority issue, if not always directly a salvation issue—see Can Christians believe in evolution? Return to text.
  2. This is a very careless conflation of modern species with original Biblical kinds. Noah wouldn’t have needed to put ‘millions of species’ on the ark, most of which are sea creatures or microbes to boot. Return to text.
  3. This is a fallacy because the genre of Genesis is not parable, but historical narrative. Besides it is merely an assumption to believe the parables of Jesus were non-historical—they may well have been actual events, but told in parable fashion so as to illustrate spiritual truths. Return to text.
  4. See Romans 5:12–19; 8:19–23a; 1 Corinthians 15:21–22, 45–47. Genesis refers to nephesh-chayyah; only higher animal orders are considered alive in the biblical definition; see creation.com/nephesh-chayyah. Return to text.
  5. This doesn’t discount parables as having historical bases. Return to text.
  6. See an article written by the Biologos foundation which was later taken down; but see discourse.biologos.org/t/how-human-was-jesus-was-he-omniscient/35976 Return to text.
  7. See the box by Jonathan Sarfati, ‘Theistic Evolution and the Kenotic Heresy’, in: Wieland, C., Jesus on the age of the earth, Creation 34(2):51–54, April 2012; creation.com/jesus-age-earth. Return to text.
  8. See the excellent discussion, ‘A Man of His time?’ in: Bell, P., Evolution and the Christian Faith, Day One Publications, pp. 59–96, 2018. Return to text.
  9. Chalke Talk 8 (04:06-04:16), www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0aGvt_znqA&t=184s Return to text.
  10. Chalke Talk 12 (02:58-03:43), www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY1bRmXTb-Q&t=146s Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Roger G.
These are fighting words, Mr Cox! This is like throwing a fox in among the church chickens and by doing that action church chicken feathers will surely fly! However, don't worry about what you have written because it may help shock some readers to see the reality, the consequences when there is disbelief in the literal historical stories of the Bible from its beginning. Then there should come true enlightenment, plus an uplift of faith about what the book, and what the backer of the book promises for the future. I am cheering these written words of yours Mr Cox, and request that you keep on throwing foxes!
Graham P.
Excellent piece. When dealing with intellectuals it becomes hard to even categorize their position.

For example, since about 1890, western intellectuals have operated outside of classical logic: to explain, we traditional Bible believers hold to the idea that something is either A or B, never both. A thing is either true or it's not. But since the late 1800's intellectuals have claimed that it can be both true and untrue. Thus, church liberalism can smile and say that Jesus is truly the Son of God, then the next day say that He is merely a convenient concept for the uneducated to grasp. To the liberals everything is relative: nothing needs to be absolute (except relativism).

To have a discussion with such a person it is necessary to address their view of the world: for example Jesus Himself said to Pilate that He came to bear witness to the truth, to which Pilate said 'what is truth?'
For Jesus to go any further would require a discussion of the concept of truth: is it an absolute thing? Can the universe sustain exclusive positions like that?
To the liberal, God is polymorphic, appearing as a different deity to different peoples.
The doctor in the article seems to claim that two mutually exclusive positions are true, meaning he is a liberal, a relativist. One needs to address his relativism to make progress.
How does one do that? I can't claim to know, sadly, but if they suffer enough they usually give up their silly ideas.
Likely, though, our Christ-like love for each other will impact them and they'll want to find out what we have that makes us different.
DAVID L.
An excellent rebuttal to the "old earth" ect, blasphemous theory. And to suggest that to believe in the theory as set out in your article, is to believe in a different Jesus to that described in the Bible, is also blasphemous, is, whilst correct, not providing the reader with the full implications of such belief. To believe in a different Jesus to that described in the Bible, is to condemn oneself to an eternity in hell, regardless of what else one believes. This is what people need to be told, and need to understand. Whilst your article is beautifully presented, it falls short of telling readers the end result of believing such nonsense. We are living in the end times. There is little time left. this is why Jesus over and over admonishes us "not to be deceived. The uninformed could read your article but miss entirely the most critical of issues. That issue is "where they are going to spend eternity", simply because they don't believe in Jesus in accordance with scripture. We do not have time to pussy-foot around the tough things to say. Jesus would expect nothing less from us. Nevertheless, great article, and may our Father in Heaven truly bless you and your team.

Bless His holy name,

David.
Gavin Cox
Thanks David for your feedback and encouragement. Though I have no doubt as to the spiritually fatal fruits of TE, my position would be that a Christian can still be a TE and be saved (see this article: https://creation.com/can-christians-believe-evolution). Our salvation is by faith in Christ's atoning work and confession of that, (Romans 10:9) we are not saved through confessing 6 day creation. However, TE has opened the floodgates that are sweeping away the foundations of biblical authority, and that certainly does have eternal consequences, if not in the life of the believer who is compromised by TE beliefs, certainly in the lives of the next generation believers, and those turned away from believing the gospel by those who compromise. I certainly agree that the implications of TE portrays a 'different Jesus' than the One we know in the gospels. The Jesus of the doctrine of TE is one that is compromised either by His own ignorance, or compromised by His Father's deceit regarding the true nature of the universe. That is a very serious charge that TEs need to repent of.
Enoch V.
“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” [John 3:12]
Or, to put it another way:
‘If I told you earthly things and got it blatantly wrong, why should you trust me if I tell you about heavenly things?’
Wayne O.
Let me say at the outset that I am a much failed man most needful of the Lord Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice for my sins and failings. I ought to be very reluctant to criticise others but then I need to point out dangers in words and actions when I see the potential for people to fall into serious error.

Gavin Cox accurately describes the potential for people, including Christians, to commit blasphemy. I was considering the very same yesterday when re-reading the incident of the golden calf recorded in Exodus 32.

It prompted me to recall an occasion more than a decade ago when a man called John Dickson, an ordained Minister in the Sydney Diocese of the Anglican (Episcopal) Church and alleged Evangelical, gave a talk on "The Genesis of Everything". The takeaway of his message was that Genesis 1 was so full of repetition, number significance, literary devices etc that it ought not be taken as Historical Narrative.

In the following Q & A I asked him how he reconciled his view of Genesis 1 with the clear utterance of God about the six days of Creation as recorded in Exodus 20:11. Mr Dickson's reply was to say that he believed that in that utterance of God recorded in Exodus 20:11 God was using a literary device.

Mr Dickson's response then was disappointing to me but only yesterday it occurred to me that he very dangerously walked the line of blaspheming God by attributing to Him the use of an alternative means of language so as to conceal His intent and disguise the truth of His creative activity.

Gavin Cox is correct to sound the warning he has in this important article.
Gabriel S.
BRAVO!
Aiden B.
Mournful to witness the Biblical authority and inerrancy under attack even by our brothers and sisters. Is it not written that we should not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2)! How can we be effective if we do not tell the truth? We need to present the gospel in truth and not blend the holy scriptures with the conventional wisdom of man which we know is fallible because we are a fallible creation now (Romans 3:23)! But God is not the author of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).

Hopefully we never forget that the Lord is good to all and his tender mercies are all over his works (Psalms 145:9)! It is never too late to turn from compromise and get right with the one true God who created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). So theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists, what are you waiting for?
Steve H.
Indeed - we could go further.

Speaking of Jesus, Peter said, quoting Isaiah (1 Pet 2:22): “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” So unlike Satan (who is the Father of Lies, Jn 8:44), Jesus committed no sin and never spoke deceitfully.

But if Jesus HAD sinned by telling lies, untruths, or speaking deceitfully, then he was a sinner like the rest of humanity, and under sentence of death for his own sins. And if he was a sinner then his death could not atone for our sins, which means that faith in Jesus cannot bring us salvation.

What does Paul say about God (Acts 17:31): "For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."

Jesus is no sinner; death had no hold on him; God raised him from the dead - the only perfect man who has ever lived - the only man equipped to be God's perfect judge of all men.

Claiming that Jesus was in error isn't just a blasphemy, it destroys the Gospel: that the perfect God took flesh, lived the perfect life that we couldn't live, and died the death that we deserved, to re-unite us to himself.

A Jesus who has lied cannot be God the Son, cannot be our Creator, and cannot be our Redeemer.

Thankfully, this is NOT what the Bible teaches.

Those who speak deceitfully of him, and stand in judgement of him, had better watch out because he's coming back to judge them!
Gavin Cox
You make an excellent point Steve! The 1 Peter 2:22 reference you quote is very powerful in this debate, and if the TEs take their thinking to the logical conclusion, then there really was deceit in Jesus mouth! The idea of God's 'accommodation' to our ignorance regarding the origin and creation of the universe involves a grand fraud, if evolution really was the modusoperandi that God used, because TE is so far removed from the Biblical account in terms of major details. Most importantly it makes God the author of death, suffering and bloodshed, (which He declared "very good" at the end of creation week!?), rather than the consequence of Adam's rebellion and sin against his Creator. Even if we grant Jesus was somehow 'limited' in His humanity, He still stated that His teaching was NOT His, but His Father's! So the buck stopped with God the Father and if He is implicated in deceit then as you rightly point out God sinned, so nullifying our salvation! However the Scriptures tell us clearly that it is impossible for God to lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). How the doctrine of theistic evolution is fatal to the gospel, creation is no side issue! Evangelicals who hold to TE or old earth ideas are playing with fire, and seem to be unwilling to follow through with the consequences and implications of their compromise. If the TEs don't listen to their biblical creationist brethren, then it will take the evolutionists to correct their theology- take this famous quote from atheist writer Richard Bozarth as a potent example, and there are many others I could quote...

‘Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science [naturalism] to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.’

Reference: G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist, p. 30, February 1978.
Neil O.
Good article, prompted by the Author's attendance at a church lecture by a Compromised speaker (albeit an 'MD') pontificating on 'science' and the Bible.

It would be a very safe wager that the first half of that lecture, the part dealing with "science", must have been seriously deficient in its 'examination' of what "science" is and what it isn't. On that issue alone, the MD's thesis would surely have been open to fatal challenge.

There is an excellent short paragraph in their book 'Dismantling The Big Bang', in which Authors Alex Williams & John Hartnett very succinctly encapsulate the limitations of science under the heading, "Science cannot produce any final answers on the subject of origins."
The (superb) paragraph (page 14) continues, "Science works in the present, by observation and experiment; it has no direct access to the past. We cannot directly observe the past, we cannot revisit it in a time machine, nor can we repeat it (as an experiment would require), so anything scientists say about the past has to be based on extrapolation from present day observations. These extrapolation have, in turn, to be based on assumptions. Those assumptions are necessarily constructed within the framework of a belief system about the nature of the universe and how it came to be the way it is. Christians therefore need to study the universe within a Christian (i.e. biblical) belief system, and not think they must rely on the beliefs of Atheistic naturalism. The purpose of this book is to help Christians do just that."

THAT says much in ten lines, that might have steered the wordy MD away from his futile position of Compromise (which btw, is despised by staunch atheists).
Don V.
Is it possible for a true believer to reject the things that "are clearly seen" as stated in Romans 1:18-23?
Gavin Cox
Hi Don, thanks for this, as we've said before (www.creation.com/can-christians-believe-evolution) it is possible to be saved and yet still believe in evolution. I think most Christians who hold to some form of evolutionary, old earth view are confused as to how that fits in with the Bible. Yes they believe God created, but that His method is different to that revealed in the plain text of Scripture, and so has to be interpreted to fit the Bible. So for the believer in TE they are not rejecting things that are clearly seen. So how do we get TEs to view creation not in terms of evolution and millions of years? I think the conversation stopper is what Jesus believed, plain and simple. And if Jesus was mistaken about Moses, either He was a fallible human being, or His Heavenly Father allowed Him to teach error- which as I follow through in my article is tantamount to blasphemy. Its not that I am saying TEs in general are blaspheming God, but their belief system when carried through to the logical conclusion is blasphemous. another point to take into consideration is that creation is fallen, and is therefore a faulty witness. It can get us to God, but it is the revealed Words of Scripture that bring revelation. If a TE can be brought face to face with accusing Jesus of error and God the Father with falsehood, then that should give them pause for thought and hopefully lead to repentance. I can recommend my colleague Philip Bell's excellent new book in this regards as it has 2 chapters on the whole concept of Jesus as a 'man of His time', really worth the read! (https://usstore.creation.com/evolution-and-the-christian-faith).
Harold B.
This article connecting dismissing the words of Christ as being from "a man of his time" to blasphemy is well thought out, Thank you.

As I re-read the article on Nephesh chayyāh (from the link in this article) I had a thought: When someone asks me questions like, "who was Cain's wife? Where did she come from?" I am considering asking, "since a natural part of the life cycle is eating things to provide energy for continued growth, what did the original life that was formed by a chance combination of molecules, eat?"

If non-believers can start asking those sorts of "aha! gotcha!" questions, should we respond in kind?
Gavin Cox
Thanks for your thoughts. My colleague Philip Bell has just written an excellent book and two of his chapters deal with the concept of Jesus as a 'man of His time' (https://usstore.creation.com/evolution-and-the-christian-faith). Regarding your question, I would just answer the question directly from the biblical data in front of us, i.e. Genesis 5:4 states that "After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters". In other words Cain must have taken a close relative as a wife. It was only 2000 years later that the law of incest was enshrined in the Mosaic law due to two millennia of accumulated genetic mutations.
GEORGE J.
During talks on Creation, I will often point out that children's books saying that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago are making a religious statement that contradicts the Bible.
Gavin Cox
That's great, and here at CMI we recognise dinosaurs are a creationists best friend, because the Bible makes most sense of their history and fossil evidence suggesting they died out recently, not 65 plus million years ago. Here is an excellent article about how dinosaurs can be used in evangelism: www.creation.com/prehistoric-preachers

Mike M.
"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Children today are being taught to think like the White Queen, that the impossible can be true. Evolution (spontaneous generation of new genetic information from nothing) is impossible, but the majority of the world accept it without question. It is Satan's work to destroy truth, to destroy clarity of thought, and to destroy logic. It is not surprising that so many Christians, brought up within this framework, struggle to see the issues. That is why articles and books like this are so vital: and so is Christian education.
Aiden B.
Some points should be brought out concerning Christians being ‘scientifically relevant’ as stated in this excellent article because it is the fear of man that has caused compromise in the name of science which is actually science falsely so called (1 Timothy 6:20)! Are we not urged to utilize to let our conversation be without covertousness and be content with what we have, which we have the word of God, and we may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do to me (Hebrews 13:5-6)!

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man (Psalms 118:8). If we say Jesus was not telling the truth, we make him a liar as in the same way if we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar (1 John 1:10). Thankfully, his compassions fail not and they are new every morning, great is his faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23)!
Billy L.
Mr. Cox, you need to consider putting your presentation together in a study format that could be used in Churches so that others can see with greater clarity how the dots are joined. I believe it would be most beneficial. Bravo on a most engaging and gripping article! I only found one issue with it . . . I'm not the one who wrote it.
Gavin Cox
Thanks Billy for your encouragement! Yes, I think this issue has to be visited again - implicating Jesus and His Father in falsehood is blasphemous. As one of CMI's speakers I have to be able to present what we call a 'relevance' message, usually to a church who has CMI for the first time, and I will certainly be using this way of engaging believers with why creation is relevant - because Jesus believed it! Creation is of central importance then, because Jesus cannot be wrong about earth history as presented by Moses, neither can His heavenly Father be implicated in falsehood- and that is what is at stake here if Christians believe in evolution and millions of years. Also one of our new resources has 2 excellent chapters on the fact that TEs are really saying Jesus was wrong about history and just a 'man of his time', you can find it here: https://usstore.creation.com/evolution-and-the-christian-faith
Blessings,
Gavin
Robert P.
Well written Gavin, blasphemy indeed. And also employing a similar form of logic, an equally blasphemous outcome of a belief in evolution and millions of years results when one considers that in Genesis 1:31 it is written: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day".

If one accepts millions of years of death and suffering before Adam, then a most repugnant and blasphemous attribution is necessarily implied by Genesis 1:31 upon Gods very character!!! (by calling death and suffering "very good").

Perhaps God may excuse the ignorance of babes in the faith. However, I am not sure he would afford the same grace to so called ministers of the Gospel who say "I see" and lead others astray to believe such putrid rubbish......

Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." Some of the Pharisees near him heard this, and they said to him, "Are we also blind?" Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains.
(Joh 9:39-41 RSV)

May God Almighty, who is jealous for his glory and who is most gracious and merciful, have mercy upon them and open their eyes, so they may really see!!
Gavin Cox
Thanks Robert for your feedback. Paleopathology is the study of ancient diseases, and this is very much applied to fossils including hominids and dinosaurs. There are many examples of cancer, brain tumours and carnivory in the fossil record. If all this is placed before the Fall and sin, then as you rightly point out, we are accusing God of saying this is all "very good" at the end of creation week (Genesis 1:31). That doesn't sound like the God I worship, indeed it is a blasphemous position to take. TEs seem to remain blissfully unaware, (wilful ignorance I call it), that to accuse God of defining suffering, death and bloodshed as "very good", is tantamount to blasphemy. Such an inversion of truth! I am reminded of what a famous British atheist and actor (Stephen Fry) said when asked why he didn't believe in God, and what he would say to God if He met Him(!), his reply was this-

“I would say bone cancer in children. What’s that about? How dare you, how dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault. It’s not right, it’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?” (Stephen Fry on God: The meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, RTE One, 1 February 2015).

The atheists get it, TEs don't and that's the really worrying thing.
Yours,
Gavin
Seth C.
Enoch V's paraphrase of John 3:12 really hit the nail on the head for me. Evolutionary science has failed in its predictions and the secular establishment has proven itself untrustworthy all too often. The fact that such an institution goes to such lengths to undermine the Christian faith to such psychotic extremes while giving a free pass to every other culture has only helped galvanize my desire to increase my understanding of scriptural truth. Therefore, this I hold to be true: Darwin will never save anyone, but it is Jesus Christ who speaks the words of eternal life.
Fel B.
So first of all I can't believe your church or senior pastor can let such a person speak or teach in the church without being scrutinized first about his world view. Secondly, this serves as a wake up call for fundamental creationist to be a lot more.vocal.than the voice of heresy. Thanks for sharing.
Tommy S.
One thing that "professing" Christians who accommodate TE never seem to realize is that big bang/evolutionary scientists whom they are drawing their knowledge from have by default rejected God and the supernatural as any possible answer. Therefore, their observations and conclusions about everything are in the context of "there is no God and there can't possibly be a God." In other words, they assume they are correct to begin with and, no matter how ridiculous their theories are, they have no choice but to accept them. They are not looking for evidence that could contradict their theories and they won't under any circumstance accept any evidence that contradicts their theories. One wonders why these "professing" Christians don't realize that they have put their trust in such people. To put it another way, it's like trusting in the theories of a scientist who has rejected the fact that people build cars in factories and listening to their theories of how cars came into existence without man. And knowing full well that these car-builder deniers will never look at evidence that shows that cars were created by man.
Mark E.
Thanks for such a clear and hard-hitting article. For me this entire debate comes down to just one thing...If there truly is a God (by which we mean an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, all-wise and all-loving being), can this God communicate with His creation in such a manner as to leave a reliable, unambiguous, truthful and consistent message about His purposes, plans and process of creation in order for us to come to a saving knowledge of this one true God? If God can't communicate in this way, then He isn't God and we are alone in the universe to figure stuff out for ourselves. If God can communicate in this way, then the next question is, via what mechanism has He communicated with His creation? For Christians, this just has to be via the recordings of people through the ages of their experiences and knowledge of this one-true God as He inspired them to write, namely the Bible. And whilst we don't have the original, first-order texts available to us, we know that what we do have is superior in every way to any other texts of antiquity and we can have full and complete confidence in what they convey regarding God and His character and will for us, His creation. So, God could have used evolution (microbes to man), He could have used words to say the earth is billions of years old. He could have created in 6 nano-seconds. He could have forgiven all creation for Adam's sin without requiring the death of a sinless man. But He didn't and He couldn't because He is Holy, Righteous and sets the rules as our Creator, Saviour and Lord. It's time we set aside what WE want the Scriptures to say because we actually trust secular science above God's Word, and allow God to communication with us on His terms...then we can go about understanding the world accordingly
Gavin Cox
Thanks Mark for your response. Whenever a TE says to me God 'could have' created in any way He chose I ask but what did God say? That brings them to a choice- believe God's Word who was there and told us truthfully about what He did, or believe the word of fallible man who wasn't there to see what happened. This becomes especially prescient when we are dealing with the words of Jesus. The TE will be much more guarded about attributing error to Jesus (and by extension His heavenly Father), it will feel like heresy to them, and we need to call it out for what it is- blasphemy.
Richard D.
Excellent article.
I have questions. Since the modern culture we all live in has presented to us all in many ways, the theory of evolution so that all of us that have had ample opportunity to know what the theory says and why secular scientists think it is valid.
Have the Christian apologists who hold to an old earth view, what ever it may entail (theistic evolution, progressive creation, etc.), truly sat down with you guys at CMI and seriously tried to understand why you believe what you believe? Have they really tried to understand and ask the why questions with an open mind and heart?
It seems one Christian apologist who has openly/publicly expressed embarrassment regarding creation science demonstrates by his writing and public statements little clear understanding of what your arguments are regarding the evidence for a young earth as well as the scriptural narrative of creation and why that is essential in guiding research and the understanding of the evidence.
And as I look at other old earth Christian apologists, a similar fault seem present in their take on young earth creationists view.
These men are intelligent, and should be able to at least understand what and why you are young earth, yet they clearly, often, misrepresent or distort what you are saying, even to the point of scoffing and saying young earth creationist are an embarrassment to the faith or worse divisive. To me, these reactions do not appear to be an intellectual or rational or logical based response Rather they appears to be a more a willful choice character based response. (Ps. 1:1-2 and Eph. 4:17-18)
So back to the question- do you get a feel they are even trying, to connect, and listen, and understand why?
If they are not..., this truly is a reason for much prayer and fasting.
Gavin Cox
Dear Richard, many thanks for your feedback and encouragement. I asked our UK/ European CEO Philip Bell your question and he gave me a quotable quote. I think he is better placed to answer you with his years of experience in creation speaking world-wide, he said
“Very few theistic evolutionists ever engage us biblical creationists, with or without integrity. In my experience they’re deeply uncomfortable once they realise they are in the presence of people like us and can’t get away fast enough. However gently and respectfully we engage, they still have to come to terms with the fact that they’re on the wrong side of the truth—or at least, they suspect deep down that their position doesn’t bear out any rigorous testing against the words of Christ and the NT writers generally. They just don’t want to ‘go there’ and explore the issues. For many, I suspect that there’s a real intellectual pride issue—simply put, to change one’s mind will mean losing face among one’s peers. It comes down to whether the Christian is prepared to be ‘a fool for Christ’. As the introduction to my new book Evolution and the Christian Faith explains, it is a serious attempt to engage with fellow believers who, like I used to be, are theistic evolutionists.”
I think that sums it up nicely- no they don't engage. Thanks again.
Jason C.
Christians who compromise on the creation/evolution question fail to see the larger theological implications of their position. They feel that they’re skillfully navigating the rough seas of modernity—proud (with an air of snobbery) to have found a way to be Christian and “scientific” at the same time—but they’re unknowingly implying one of two things about God:

1) He’s not all-powerful, because if He was, and if He in fact created via evolutionary processes, He would’ve created humans with the capacity to understand our evolutionary heritage from the very beginning of our existence, yet He clearly didn’t do that; or

2) He’s a deceiver, because instead of telling us in plain language that He created us via evolution, He spoke to us in language that makes it sound as though He engaged in special creation over a 6-day period, and let us His people (Jews and Christians) go around for thousands of years believing—and telling others—something that wasn’t true.

So, TEs: Which is it? Is God a weakling, or a deceiver? Or maybe just a bad communicator?

TEs are missing the forest for the trees: Sure, God "could have" created using any means He wanted, using any length of time He wanted, but that's not a logical reason for thinking that He DID create via evolution. I've heard some TE people say, "Well why would God choose 6 days in which to create? Why not 6 seconds?", but a similar question could easily be asked of them: Why would God create via evolution, and why would He take billions of years to do it? The fact is, God chose how He chose because that's what He WANTED to choose. Period. What remains for us is to believe what He said, and to recognize that IF He had created differently, He would have told us so. He is God. He speaks the truth. It's that simple.
Gavin Cox
Thanks Jason, you make some good points!
Mike S.
Gavin, thank you so much for presenting with such clarity this reality concerning our ultimate authority for believing in a six day creation, literal Adam and Eve, fall, flood etc. As so clearly stated and Scripturally substantiated, to attribute error or deceit to God the Father or God the Son is indeed blasphemy. The feedback comments and your responses where given add significant weight to a timely and vitally important area of contention. Another factor to consider may be this - if the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then to fail to give glory to Him in this whole area of creation is actually to denigrate Him, to rob Him of His rightful credit. I agree strongly with Billy L from the US and his suggestion that your presentation could perhaps be reworked, including relevant points from feedback comments and made available as a tract. I would love to have something along those lines to help wavering believers understand the picture presented once the dots are joined. Thank you so much. Mike S
Gavin Cox
Dear Mike, many thanks for your encouragement! I am amazed at the response my article has generated, it seems I have touched a nerve with people and maybe crystallised their thinking over a very important issue, which as you rightly state robs God of His glory. I think this issue of blasphemy does need to be emphasised further in some format, a tract could be a good idea, I'll give it some thought!

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