No fence to sit on
Neutrality is impossible in the creation/evolution debate
Published: 2 August 2012 (GMT+10)
The pastor addressing his large church congregation in Australia was holding two books. He lifted the first up for all to see, saying, “This is one extreme.”
“And this is the other extreme,” he said, raising his other hand to show CMI’s The Creation Answers Book.
His subsequent words made it clear that he thought the best way is ‘somewhere in the middle’. The implication was that if you are a biblical creationist, believing in the Genesis account of six-day creation and a global Flood, then you are an extremist, as much as Richard Dawkins is an extremist. Far better to choose the moderate option.
But is there really such a thing as a ‘moderate’ option? Or similarly a ‘fence’ to sit on until the creation/evolution debate becomes clearer or (as some Christians have said to me) until ‘God tells us face-to-face how He really did it’? (I.e. after they’ve died.)
There’s no ‘moderate’ or ‘fence’ option according to Jesus, who made it clear that a person is either for or against Him (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23). And via Moses and the other prophets, God has indeed already told us ‘how He really did it’ (Genesis 1ff.).
Jesus’ own words (which we are not to be ashamed of—Luke 9:26) showed He accepted the Genesis timeline of man’s origin. That is, man has indeed been around “from the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6), cf. the evolutionary or other long-age view that humans have only existed for the ‘merest blink of a geological eye’, billions of years after the universe supposedly came into being.1
So there’s no ‘fence’ to sit on, but rather, dare I say it, the demarcation between believers and the godless is more like a ravine (Luke 16:26).
Indeed, we are both amazed and dismayed that any believer in Christ would put rank-and-file biblical creationists and Christian ministries such as CMI on par with outspoken atheists such as Richard Dawkins. Jesus said, “He who is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:40) and “Do not hinder him, for he who is not against you is for you” (Luke 9:50). Even a superficial analysis of Dawkins’ outpourings against God, compared with the whole equipping-and-training-in-Christ thrust of CMI, would surely reveal that CMI is for the Church, for the people in the pews, and for the pastors of churches. CMI is here to help, not to hinder—yet when misguided pastors speak against CMI and its resources as being ‘extreme’, they are, in effect, hindering our work in Christ. By casting a slur on publications such as The Creation Answers Book, Christians who might otherwise have been helped by it, are in fact hindered from being strengthened in their faith (presuming the slur dissuaded them from obtaining the book).
Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them.” (Matthew 7:16–20) The tragic fruit of Dawkins’ books is doubt and unbelief (and worse, e.g. suicide2). In stark contrast, here’s some fruit from The Creation Answers Book:—a testimony of a young man who attended a CMI presentation at his church:
“[A]fter sitting on the edge of my seat with my jaw to the floor …, I found the pot of gold I was sure I’d been looking for … The Creation Answers Book where Cain found his wife, how long the days in Genesis were, how all the animals fit on the ark, and the elusive dinosaur question!
“The week I bought that book was one of the most exciting weeks of my life. What I read changed my entire perspective of Christianity. I’d finally realised that I didn’t have to abandon reason to have faith in Christ, and that I could take my brain with me into church.
“More than that, I realised that what I once thought was the biggest stumbling block for any Western Christian was in fact one of the greatest witnessing tools available to our generation!”
Kurt M., Australia
Note Kurt’s rejoicing because he “didn’t have to abandon reason to have faith in Christ”.3 That’s a typical fruit of CMI books and other resources. Contrast that with Dawkins’ books, which result in Christians either coming to the opposite conclusion, or worse—abandoning Christ altogether. God willing, we at CMI will continue to do what we can to counter the anti-God teachings of Dawkins4 and others of his ilk—and thus help the churches to do the same.
- Wieland, C., Jesus on the age of the earth, Creation 34(2):51–53, 2012. Return to text.
- The God Delusion and evolutionary teaching linked to tragedies, Creation 33(2):11, 2011. Return to text.
- We see such joy again and again as we minister to the churches that invite us to address their congregations, and as the resources they purchase both strengthen their own faith and others they witness to or pass the resources on to. If your church is interested in exploring what CMI has to offer them specifically, see Ministry programs for your church. Return to text.
- For example, Dawkins’ book The Greatest Show on Earth: The evidence for evolution is beautifully rebutted by Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Refuting Dawkins on evolution. And there are several online reviews of Dawkins’ earlier books, e.g. The God Delusion, A Devil’s Chaplain and The Ancestor’s Tale. Return to text.