The importance of foundations


Castle solution

Real estate agents often say kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. But even the most beautiful home from the ground up will languish on the market if it has a crumbling foundation. Why? Sooner or later that exquisite kitchen will come crashing down.

Imagine you are looking to buy a home. You see one that has all the features you’re looking for, and it feels like home. You even checked the foundation outside before you went in—it looked fine. Then down in the basement, you notice the foundation is cracking and crumbling. Would you still buy the house? It would be a big risk unless you were willing to spend a great deal of time and money fixing the foundation, because you can see the previous owner didn’t correct the problem. He only glossed over it with a pretty covering.

Jesus Himself spoke of the dangers of a house built on an unstable foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). We see elsewhere in Scripture a similar emphasis on foundations, such as in Psalm 11:3.

Our creation foundation

CMI has spoken and written extensively on the importance of the foundation of our Christian faith—the plain understanding of the creation account in Genesis being the bedrock of our theology of a Holy God, sinful man, the need for a Savior, and that Savior needing to be God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.1 Many churches and people that have drifted from teaching this fundamental Christian truth have either begun sliding (or are well on their way) down the slippery slope towards rejecting the essentials of Christianity.2

The plain understanding of the creation account in Genesis [is] the bedrock of our theology of a Holy God, sinful man, the need for a Savior, and that Savior needing to be God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God.

To this end, CMI has also pointed out how certain “evangelists for atheism” in Western culture have deliberately attacked our creation foundation, knowing that the entire “house of cards” of Christianity,3 or even any system of absolute ethics, collapses if the foundation is destroyed. CMI has even shown how various skeptics and skeptic organizations attack that foundation by distinctly advocating the involvement of pastors and clergy as “useful idiots” to convince religious students that they really can mix the Bible and evolution.4

When I speak, both formally and informally, about the importance of Christianity’s creation foundation, I detail how illogical it is for Christians who would never accept biological evolution to insist on borrowing from the atheistic foundation of history. That atheistic foundation includes stellar evolution, geological evolution, and chemical evolution, which all underpin the concepts of biological and human evolution.5 Christians, churches and seminaries borrowing the first two or three blocks from the atheistic foundation have led many intelligent people to reject the need for a Savior because the church in that instance has already logically (though unwittingly) rejected the need for a Holy Creator God and a history of sinful man.

Why are atheists so angry with young earth creationists?

Consequently, while reflecting upon my own dealings with atheists,6 I pondered why they tend to get so verbally violent when confronted with a theologically consistent Christian regarding the earliest chapters of Genesis. Why don’t they feel such animosity towards a true Christian who espouses theistic evolution or progressive creation or some other compromise position on creation? I agree, atheists often scoff or deride such Christians for being inconsistent, but why unleash the unbridled vitriol specifically on “young earth” creationists?

It can’t just be the presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer, if all the above Christians are true believers. CMI has always affirmed that it’s possible to be a Christian and believe evolution, but that it’s a profoundly inconsistent position to take. So if it’s not just the presence of the Holy Spirit that evokes such verbally violent responses from atheists, what is it?

The real reason

A presentation of the Gospel that neglects demolishing an atheist’s most basic historical foundation can come across as silly or misguided but is generally not considered threatening to the atheist’s entire belief system.

In my opinion, the reason atheists reserve their most venomous attacks for young earth creationists is that a plain reading of the Genesis creation account is the most damaging to an atheist’s own historical foundation. The importance of a foundation is clear not only in terms of real houses but also in the realm of logic. While atheists often take an illogical position regarding the very existence of an orderly universe from chance random processes,7 many still consciously operate in a distinctly rational, logical manner (in dealing with day-to-day activities, for example). A presentation of the Gospel that neglects demolishing an atheist’s most basic historical foundation can come across as silly or misguided but is generally not considered threatening to the atheist’s entire belief system.

In fact, the contemporary American philosopher Richard Rorty wrote not long before he died that his desire to discredit Christians and their foundation in the eyes of young people is explicitly to make Christianity seem silly:

“The fundamentalist parents of our fundamentalist students think that the entire ‘American liberal establishment’ is engaged in a conspiracy. The parents have a point … we do our best to convince these students of the benefits of secularization. So we are going to go right on trying to discredit you in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable (emphases mine).”8

Christians that are considered silly are not likely to seem threatening and will therefore not likely raise much ire in an unbeliever. They may just seem more of a nuisance than anything else. However, once a Christian can cast down every argument raised against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5) by gently and respectfully giving Scriptural answers to questions and supposed biblical contradictions (1 Peter 3:15), the atheist has only two choices—renounce his position and repent or try to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). What better way to suppress the truth than by vitriolic accusations and ad hominem attacks? Such attacks can serve not only to scare the believer away from proclaiming the truth but also to instigate the believer into sinful behavior, thus diluting the Gospel message just proclaimed.

Equip yourself!

Do you want to feel confident in evangelizing the lost around you? Why not equip yourself with the numerous resources available on this website to learn how to effectively demolish the false historical foundation supporting the entire atheistic subculture? Some will attack you, others will scoff, but still others are likely to repent and believe in their only hope, the Creator, Judge, Redeemer, and Lord—Jesus Christ.

Published: 30 December 2010


  1. See CMI speaker/writer and former atheist David Catchpoole’s How to build a bomb in the public school system. See also Jesus teaching the ‘big picture’ from Genesis. Return to text.
  2. See What’s wrong with Bishop Spong? and The slippery slide to unbelief. Return to text.
  3. See H.G. Wells, evolution and the Gospel and Atheists to do religious education in schools. Return to text.
  4. See The Skeptics and their ‘Churchian’ Allies and The enemy revealed. Return to text.
  5. See CMI speaker/writer and former atheist Calvin Smith’s Genesis: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle. Return to text.
  6. For example, see P.Z. Myers’ evolutionary equivocation. Return to text.
  7. See The biblical roots of modern science. Return to text.
  8. Richard Rorty, quoted in Brandom, Robert B. (ed.), Rorty and His Critics (Philosophers and their Critics), Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2000, pp. 21–22. Return to text.

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