Why does CMI focus on creation?
Published: 28 December 2014 (GMT+10)
ZL from the US writes:
I am a Christian who has a strong background in science. It seems to me that whenever a new scientific discovery is made which pokes holes in the 6 day creation idea, Creation.com struggles to find any rationale to support its interpretation of the Bible. However, they are very vocal and assertive toward both scientists and non-six day creationist Christians. Why is creation.com so active in promoting the six day creation worldview when it causes both separation in the Church and reduces the Christian reputation to actively anti-science? I definitely understand the importance of sticking to the Bible and not changing our beliefs due to agnostic and athiest pressure, but it seems to me that creation.com forces unbelievers to choose belief in the Bible or belief in science. Wouldn’t the effort involved in promoting 6 day creation be more in line with the Bible if it were to instead focus on bringing people to Christ rather than harboring bitter debates inside and outside the church?
Lita Sanders, CMI-US, replies,
Your question is actually a good opportunity for us to explain why we do what we do, yet again, and I would encourage you to read the links contained in this article as they will provide a fuller picture. Simply put, we are so active in promoting biblical creation because we believe it is truly foundational to the Gospel. While it is not a salvation issue (i.e., people can be Christians without holding the biblical creation view), compromising on creation leaves one with an impoverished theology. Our ‘young earth’ view (we prefer the term ‘biblical creationist’), is not just some interpretation as some like to say. It is clearly the most straightforward view derived from Scripture that has been the major view throughout church history, and it only started to be questioned due to the advent of modern uniformitarian interpretations about the earth’s geology (see Did God create over billions of years?) Previous creation.com articles have established that the Old Testament authors drew heavily from Genesis, to the extent that their whole theology of Yahweh was built on creation. The New Testament uses creation to build important precedents for how salvation in Christ works, and to provide analogies for eschatological events. In other words, a serious reading of Scripture combined with our view of inerrancy demands that we defend creation in six ordinary-length days, around 6,000 years ago. This issue is really what is going to be your authority? Secular interpretations of science or biblical ones?
Now, you say this is a divisive issue, and we would agree. But we would argue that the divisive ones are the ones who are bringing unbiblical doctrines into the church and trying to convince Christians to reinterpret the Bible; see ‘But it’s divisive!’. We are simply defending the biblical understanding of creation.
Your next charge is that we are forcing unbelievers to choose either believing the Bible or science. You seem awfully sure that evolution has scientific evidence behind it. But in fact, you seem to be overestimating what science can actually tell us about the past: see ‘It’s not science!.’ But in fact, most atheists know that if you remove the history of Genesis, you have no foundation for understanding the Gospel. For instance, see this video where Richard Dawkins says theistic evolutionists are ‘deluded’.
You also ignore the other side of the equation: when believers are convinced that Genesis can’t mean what the plain meaning clearly says, they tend to be a lot less sure about what the Bible teaches about salvation—and they are being consistent. In contrast, we see over and over again that when people are convinced they can believe the Bible on origins, they become a lot more confident about the rest of what they believe, and a lot more excited about sharing their faith too. And that’s not really surprising when you think about it, because we are teaching people to be confident in Scripture’s teaching, all of it, from Genesis to Revelation. CMI’s CEO, Gary Bates, has been involved in the creation/evolution issue for 25 years now and in all that time he has never heard or been made aware of a single example where anyone came to Christ because they discovered they could add evolution to the Bible. Of course, why would they? You are asking them to believe the Bible but then point out that it doesn’t really mean what it says.
Bringing people to Christ is important, and we have shown how creation apologetics can be a critical tool in evangelism. But surely it is just as important to teach people after they come to Christ so our thinking can be more conformed to what Jesus means us to think.
You’ll notice I didn’t address the science part very much. First, I would contest your idea that evolution has tons of scientific evidence behind it; see our 15 Questions for Evolutionists, for one thing, and our Evolution’s Achilles Heels, for another. But more important than that, Christians should have Scripture as their authority, not a particular interpretation of scientific evidence. If Scripture isn’t your starting point for your thinking, then it really falls short of what Christians should be aiming for. I recommend reading the recommended articles below as we’ve dealt with these sorts of claims before.