The hardest ones to reach …
Educating against the Gospel
Published: 3 November 2015 (GMT+10)
Many in the Western church lament how reaching the world for Christ is getting more difficult all the time. The soil where the seed of the Gospel is sown continues to grow harder, overgrown with weeds of doubt and confusion, with a resultant diminishing of the Christian faith across the board.
On the front lines
Those that do open air preaching and street evangelism will be among the first to tell you how western culture is rejecting the Gospel more so now than even a few years ago. They are on the front lines so to speak, and interact with large numbers of people across the entire range of society.
A few hours of street witnessing can bring you in contact with a wide variety of people. From painters to professors, secretaries to stock brokers, bouncers to businessmen, loggers to lawyers. Those who evangelize on a regular basis are in a much better position to comment on the professed reasons as to why people claim not to believe in God, the Bible, need for salvation etc because of the sheer numbers they interact with. They can also tell you who (in general) are less willing to dialogue about spiritual things.
Who isn’t listening?
Edin Azabagic1 is a Training & Research Associate with an evangelistic ministry called The Cross Current (TCC) in London, Canada. He heads up street teams that participate in one on one evangelism and is also engaged in studies working towards a PhD (focusing on evangelism). He says:
"One of the areas in which TCC serves is public evangelism. We share the truth of the Gospel with strangers who are willing to dialogue. Of the various people groups we encounter, students are most likely to stop and talk. The most difficult populace to engage publicly are the middle-aged, middle-income, university educated, second or third generation Canadians. Their attitude is one of disdain toward anyone who would dare to challenge their deep-seated non-Christian beliefs."
Why aren’t they listening?
And Pastor Cory McKenna (Pastor of Local Missions at a church in London ON and founder of TCC) describes why he believes this certain demographic is less open to even hear the ‘good news’:
"God has graciously allowed me to share Christ with thousands of homegrown, garden-variety Canadians. Over the years I have experienced an escalating disinterest among those most fervently worshiping at the altar of ‘higher education’. Sadly, it seems that the longer they have been systematically spoon-fed false knowledge of God through secular indoctrination, the less willing and able they are to intelligently dialogue about all matters of truth and reality. Today, the ‘point and click’ correspondence between education and approachability in the West seems quite that simple."
So even though many students are willing to discuss spiritual matters, once they have completed a typical western under graduate degree they seem, in a sense, immunized to the Gospel. Why?
In Luke 6:40 we read:
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher (emphasis mine).
The simple fact is that the vast majority of children (even children from Christian homes) are educated in state run schools. Who is teaching them? Vox Day’s 2008 study on atheism contains the following quotes;
“A 2006 paper by Neil Gross of Harvard and Solon Simmons of George Mason University reported that 72.9 percent of the Professors they polled described the Bible as ‘an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts’ … ”
“The fact is that a professor at an elite university is as likely to be an atheist as a suicide bomber is to be a Muslim.”2
All thinking atheists are evolutionists of course (because they have to have a way to explain their existence without God), and evolution is taught as fact in all western state run school systems. So the bedrock of atheism is taught as fact/science and the majority of ‘higher’ educators are themselves atheists. So the result is atheists teaching atheism to produce more atheists.
This has made it increasingly difficult to reach people because they have literally been taught a materialistic apologetic outlook that is diametrically opposed to the Christian worldview. The two viewpoints couldn’t be further apart! No wonder it is hard to share the Gospel.
I distinctly remember two incidents in my own life that highlighted this. The first was when I was out with one of Edin’s teams evangelizing on the streets of London Ontario. The group of four I was with were passing out tracts when we came upon two men at a bus stop (because they were catching their bus it was easier to speak with them as they weren’t ‘moving targets’). Edin began to share the Gospel with one of them. I vividly remember the variety of expressions and contortions that crossed the fellow’s face as he listened impatiently to the most important message any human could ever hear.
With a bored expression his eyes wandered up and down, side to side, and he was constantly trying to interject something as Edin boldly proclaimed Christ as Creator, Saviour and Redeemer. Finally when he could get a word in edgewise he blurted out “OK! What do you people believe about dinosaurs!?”
Our group seemed a little dumbfounded for a second, and then Edin (knowing I worked with CMI) simply pointed both hands towards me. I started to explain that dinosaurs were a great way of confirming the truth of the Bible. I explained soft tissue, red blood cells and even fragments of DNA had been found in dinosaur bones, which was strong evidence that they died just a short while ago, not millions of years ago. His demeanor changed, he looked puzzled and he started to comment when unfortunately his bus came and our conversation ended.
Now think about it. Why was this person impatient and not listening to the Gospel message? Why was his ‘big question’ about dinosaurs when the topic being discussed was sin, salvation etc? Likely because he had been taught about evolution occurring over millions of years. This is a replacement for the Creator God of the Bible, so all of the words seemed meaningless to him in light of what he had come to believe. Dinosaurs are evolution’s poster boys and so he brought up what he thought was an ace card to trump the Christians, probably believing that we wouldn’t have cogent answers so he wouldn’t have to listen to all of that religious ‘mumbo jumbo’.
The other incident took place years before that when I was meeting a pastor friend of mine at a coffee shop. I had arrived early and so was working on my laptop when a well-dressed gentlemen approached me and asked if I was so and so (he was meeting a client he had never seen face to face before). I explained I wasn’t the person he was meeting and we struck up a conversation. He asked me what I did and I told him I was a youth pastor. He never blinked an eye and said that was great. He was very friendly and we continued talking about various subjects until finally he asked what I was working at on my computer. I told him I was working on an article debunking the theory of evolution.
All of a sudden he sat very upright, his expression became very serious (almost hostile) and he challenged “Well what about carbon dating!?” I have to admit I was taken aback at his change in his countenance and attitude, as well as the specificity and choice of question to lead with. Why had he not reacted when I told him I was a youth pastor? Likely because it didn’t overly challenge his belief system. He knew there were ‘religious people’ in the world and probably thought that I was helping young people with moral teaching etc.
But when I told him I did not believe in evolution it challenged his worldview directly and he responded with something he thought was solid evidence that backed his position; C14 dating (supposedly showing the earth is older than the Bible says it is).
Many say He doesn’t exist
Hebrews 11:6 says; And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Many profess God does not exist because of the materialistic worldview they were taught in school. Evolution is a shield which many hide behind to protect themselves from the idea of a Creator God which they would then have to be accountable to. It is also used to launch attacks against the word of God and is a huge stumbling block for almost everyone in the Western World, because most people attend state run school systems where the teaching of evolution is mandatory.
This worldview is taught almost universally in a slick, professional format (museums, documentaries, books etc) that is promoted as trustworthy and dignified because it is supposedly a scientifically based system of thought. Because it is equated with the same type of science that gives us computers and jet planes it seems modern, non-religious and therefore more legitimate than alleged arcane, ‘faith based’ ideas.
So much so that some act as if it’s embarrassing or ‘taboo’ to talk about religion, as if it were akin to talking about childish fairy tales seriously. But they feel comfortable talking about evolution because they think it’s about ‘science’. Arming yourself in this area of apologetics is a way to help promote the Gospel, as often that wall of evolution needs to be shattered before people’s ears become open to the good news.
Using tools to break down the walls
So how do you reach that family member, friend or co-worker that typically will not even discuss religious topics? Using resources that will challenge them is often a good non-threatening approach. Once the subject has been broached through a DVD, book or even a small booklet and they have had the chance to see that there are intelligent rebuttals to evolutionary ideas they may come to see that the conversation can be intellectual rather than what they simply see as ‘religious’.
Unfortunately many believers are hesitant to give out Christian material to a non-believer because the product is ‘cheesy’ and not well done. It may contain truth but may be seen as a little ‘hokey’ and dismissed. This is to be expected as Christian organizations are often underfunded, and it is hard to compete with the world’s budget (especially when they use public funding) to produce their materials. This is a major reason CMI is committed to producing top quality resources.
Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels
An excellent new DVD resource to get into people’s hands is Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. Its high quality production, excellent graphics and cutting edge scientific information is sure to shake up an evolutionist’s worldview. It is a great way to remove that barrier of intellectualism that many put up as their defence against the Gospel message.
One approach is to lend DVDs to people while reading the book yourself (which is much more comprehensive). In this way when you follow up with them you will be much better equipped to dialog with them when they have questions or objections (the book contains much more information than the DVD covers).
We are receiving many testimonies from people now who are getting multiple copies and lending them out to people they know as a way to consider the truth claims of the Bible. Here are just a few;
Just got through today watching the Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. I'm so inspired to reach the lost through the creation story. I have used brokenness of man as a therapist but this seems to penetrate to a deeper level … I now have the answers to go back to my atheist friends … Vontice H, USA
Mr John T from Taiwan, ordered 11 EAH DVDs and made the following comment:
This is a great film and will have a big impact in TAIWAN. Another group I showed it to is ordering 26 copies! Thank you!
And Jonathan H said;
I thought it was the best defense of the Bible and Creation I have ever seen. I am a Christian and frequently debate with evolutionary friends. This film and the book are two resources I have been after for a very long time … Best of all it is even understandable by anyone.
A grassroots approach
For the most part the western world’s centres of higher learning are cut off from the influence of the church. But everyone knows someone personally that has been influenced by evolutionary teaching (whether Christian or non-believer) who could benefit from being shown the truth of God’s word and His message of salvation. Many of these people will be among that group that seem the hardest to reach, but no one is beyond God’s reach. Please continue to pray that CMI and like-minded ministries will continue to help believers share the Gospel by producing faith building and Bible affirming information that God will use to open the eyes of even the most hardened of hearts.
References and notes
- Edin holds a BA in Philosophy and is currently finishing his Masters of Theological Studies. Return to text.
- Day, V., The Irrational Atheist, Benbella Books, Dallas, TX, 2008. Return to text.
I'd like to share a few points on this artice.
Firstly, I don't think people's reluctance to engage in a discussion of Christianity can be reduced mainly to the effects teaching evolution. I am an atheist but I am only minimally interested in the details of evolution, and feel similarly about physics, astronomy etc. For me personally then, evolution is not central to my disbelief in the Christian god (or any god). You may find others are the same - so why you might be able to engage someone in a conversation about this, attempting to cast doubt on soft tissue findings or whatever won't be persuasive in many cases.
Also, in terms of schooling - I would say it is not evolution specifically, but more likely a teaching of the scientific method and critical thinking skills, and the increased general awareness of the world around them that leads to many people leaving a faith or religion once they graduate (i.e. children are naturally more impressionable).
Also, I realise that you believe "No one is beyond God's reach", and I am unlikely to dissuade you, but think of it like this. How likely am I (or anyone else) to pursuade you that God does not exist? Or that in fact the god of another religion exists but yours does not? What evidence or proof would you need, to discard your faith?.... I imagine you believe yourself to be impervious to pursuasion. Well I and many other atheists feel just as strongly about our own conclusions. I base my disbelief on scientific, but also logical, moral, and philosophical grounds.
One last thought - if you want to engage atheists or agnostics, you can't just talk about salvation and quote the bible. We don't believe the bible, so if you approach people like this, expect the walls to come up.
Hi Meg, thanks for your email.
All thinking atheists must believe in evolution to explain how they got here without God (there is no 3rd option for origins). So evolution is the central belief of all atheists.
Not being interested in the details of evolution, it sounds like you are an example of someone that believes in evolution simply on faith (likely faith that others have shown it to be intellectually sound etc). You'd believe it regardless of whether it has good evidence or not.
Much like many Christians who simply believe what they believe but can't defend or explain it etc. Most people believe their faith position that way.
That's why showing many atheists soft tissue etc won't cause them to change their minds etc because they don't care what the evidence shows, they are committed to their faith position and aren't open minded to changing their position.
As for schooling, if it were the scientific method and critical thinking that persuaded people as to their faith position (rather than indoctrination) then showing people that evolution is not derived from the scientific method (what repeatable, observable test can you set up in a lab showing me ape-like creatures turning into people for example) and that critical thinkers should be able to determine that soft tissue doesn't last for 70 million years or that coded language systems cannot arise from inanimate matter would cause people to reject evolution.
It is because schools constantly indoctrinate students to believe unscientific things like living things just 'make themselves' (that hydrogen gas turns into people if you give it enough time) that children accept it.
The chance of you being persuaded away from atheism is likely quite low, as people have a natural inclination against God. But I was once an atheist, and we know it happens all of the time. Atheists typically describe themselves as 'free thinkers' and people who are 'open minded' (although I find most are not) so one can only pray that God will open their eyes to the truth.
On one hand you say you aren't interested in the particulars of science and then say you base your belief on scientific grounds. What scientific grounds?
And logic isn't being used if you don't examine the particulars of the arguments either. Actually, atheists can't account for logic in their worldview. Where does a universal, unchanging, immaterial entity like logic come from in a universe that is supposed to be derived from matter and energy that is constantly changing?
Atheists also cannot account for morality, as determining right and wrong requires a standard on which to judge why something is more or less 'right' or 'wrong' than something else. What is your standard for right and wrong in an atheistic worldview? (Note that I am not saying an atheist cannot live a moral life without God, I am just saying the morality they live by is not derived from their 'might makes right'/survival of the fittest evolutionary worldview).
And philosophy requires one to account for knowledge. How do you know what you know (epistemology)? Atheists cannot account for knowledge in their worldview because there could always be something they don't know that could overturn what they think they do know.
One last thought, the gospel is the only thing that matters, otherwise who cares. That is why we talk about things like science, logic, critical thinking, philosophy etc. Because we pray that God would show non-believers that their worldview makes no sense under the very framework they live by, and that salvation through Christ can save them from eternity in hell because of their rejection of their Creator.
For I.F., it isn't merely we creationists who have articles of faith, and a statement of faith to the effect that the Bible contains the divinely inspired essential knowledge of the nature of the universe, God, and salvation. Richard Lewontin prepared a similar statement of faith for Evolutionists, containing
> "It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation ... we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes ... that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."
Here he is expressing a faith in the absence of God every bit as strong as our faith in God! CMI has a page on it here:
Hopefully, they'll make an exception the link policy for a moment so I may head off an argument that he is being misquoted or taken out of context. Here is an anti-creationist page about this quote:
[link deleted per feedback rules]Lewontin_on_materialism
If you read it, you can easily see that no amount of context or explanation can weaken these words of faith. In fact, if you read all of EvoWiki's text around the quote, these words of faith are made stronger (i.e. the dual nature of light speaks against the triune nature of God being as absurd as he claims, yet he asserts otherwise on the basis of his materialist faith.)
> I prefer to go back to the first edition, the raw materials and forces of Everything, without preconceptions
I have some news that may surprise you: Science was invented by creationists because they went back to the zeroth edition, God. They assumed that a consistent God would create a consistent universe governed by consistent rules. Here's CMI's page on that:
Thanks, I don't think it helps though, your answer. I am sure that you all believe that your mission is one with kindness at its heart, but I suggest that by the promotion of scientific illiteracy, that much of what creationist ministries do is, in fact, not kind. I also grew up in a secular household, religion of any kind was not on the radar. My father was a scientist, a physicist, agnostic, from whom I learned plenty about the scientific method. I know that you take the Bible as the inerrant word of God. I prefer to go back to the first edition, the raw materials and forces of Everything, without preconceptions, which is also what the scientific endeavour has been doing, scientists of all faiths, and none. Treating the Bible as a science book is a fundamental error, a category mistake.
I., if you believe that people examine facts without preconceptions you are obviously mistaken.
And since you offered no evidence to counter even the 3 cursory arguments I referenced (soft tissue in dinosaur bones, DNA language impossible without a mind and how could a mindless process create micro technology like kinesin existing in living things) it is easy to see you simply believe evolution without answers to fundamental questions the theory should be able to explain.
Evolution is now your bias with which you fit all facts into.Your preconceived notion is that evolution is correct. You are just as biased as I am. The difference is creationists admit they are biased, evolutionists usually don't.
The real problem is with the De-education which flies under the guise of "education" in the matter of origins. Our publicly funded education systems are so out of date on the scientific facts pertaining to origins that students come out dummed down by beliefs from 150 years ago which have been totally refuted by ongoing science since that time. Educators themselves are so behind the times in the matters pertaining to origins that they cannot teach anything except the outdated notions about the age of the universe and the earth, how life "might have begun", and how one kind of life "might have "Evolved" into a different kind.
While science in most areas has moved onward from the ideas of the mid nineteenth century, in the matter of origins "science" has been frozen in the long outdated ideas of that era because of the worship of Lyell and Darwin who were merely people of their time but for some weird reason are still regarded as infallible.
It is possible to keep people in the dark regarding origins science because no one can revisit origins to repeat and test them. Origins are thus in the same category as future events. You can make people believe many things about the future which are scientifically impossible, such as dematerialization and re-materialization of people without killing them ("Beam me up, Scotty"). In the same way you can teach people many scientifically impossible things about the imaginary past such as "abiogenesis", the origin of life from lifeless matter. People believe what they are taught in the education system without question. Very few will ever research it for themselves because they believe that if it is taught, the ubiquitous "THEY" must know what they are talking about.
I had to find out by my own study "Evolution" is mere fantasy.
The indoctrination and manipulation starts before university. In public High school, the top student in my grade let it be known he was a Catholic creationist. Believing he was talking to a fellow atheist (because my father was a known scientist with a PhD), our biology teacher once bragged to my father that he had "put that creationist in his place" by unfairly docking him points from his term mark.
Four years later, my younger sister was initially unfairly denied a 20,000 scholarship because my father had "blown the whistle". The university had offered big scholarships to the top 3 students in our school, and my sister (ranked second) was "mysteriously" not on the school's top 3 list and was offered nothing until the University President was contacted, investigated and awarded her the money.
I myself completed a science degree in a secular university and watched friends in every Christian denomination lose their faith as they went through their science degree. I alone was immune to the atheist indoctrination largely because I had a Christian father with a PhD in science. I wish I had been armed with the CMI materials in university.
Most people are unwilling to read a book or engage in a discussion around evolution. However, I find some are willing to watch a DVD (which often leads to a discussion). As an adult and father I have acquired most of CMI's videos. I have been sharing them with my children, siblings, and my siblings children. I have been sharing them at work (I work in a public school) and by the fifth video one of our teachers said (referring to evolution) "I can't believe I used to teach that crap". So, my advice is to arm yourself and look for opportunities to share- beginning with your own family.
To reply to Mike M question “why do so many Christians send their children to Public funded schools and not a Christian based school”? Unfortunately this is not necessarily the answer as even though here in Australia we have many Christian based schools, for many of these schools it appears their ability to pass on the Christian Faith has been a dismal failure, as for the Christian based school I attended, approximately only 3% actually ended up practicing the Christian Faith after they had left that intuitions.
I can still remember their approach of trying to pass on the Faith. They would openly state in the religious class that many of the characters and events narrated in the Old Testament were only made up stories that expressed some vague religious truth and then we would go to the science class and we were told that it was a scientific fact that reality was a product of time and chance and that the earth was millions of years old. No wonder most students gave little credence to Biblical revelations.
To give an example why this is not a side issue as some Christians would argue. Last year as a volunteer Scripture teacher in a public funded school, on 3 separate occasions’ a number of students came up to me and said, “such and such teacher said there is no God because the Big Bang and Evolution scientifically proves there is no God”.
Sorry, it didn't help. Our job as Christians is to win souls as directed in The Manufacturers Handbook.
Disagreements within the body of Christ are the prime reason the world is in the mess it's in. God is not the author of confusion leaving only the OTHER spiritual force as the driver for the present evils.
Evolution or not has little if anything to do with winning souls. We are told to avoid foolish questions that engender strife. The moment something causes strife it becomes foolish by definition and is to be avoided.
My children hear my voice and the voice of another they will not follow.
The most important words the Mother Mary said was to the servants at a wedding having run out of wine and about Jesus. These words were: Whatever he says to you; do it.
Jesus said, I only say what I hear my Father say and I only do what I see my Father do. That is our directive as members of the body of Christ.
The face of God is the Father.
The heart of God is his son Jesus.
The voice of God is the Holy Spirit and,
The hands of God is the church.
Whatever he says to you; do it. Lets learn to listen to the Master. Much love, Mel
Disagreements within the body are indeed a problem. But what as believers are we to agree with? God's word as plainly written.
You see, you disagree with our position and you took the time to write (twice) to let us know you disagree. So why are you doing the very thing you are criticising? I presume because you believe truth matters.
God is indeed not the author of confusion. For almost 2000 years Christians have been in almost unanimous agreement on what Genesis says (6 day young earth creation). No Bible commentaries produced during that time told any concept of 'gap theories', or 'day age theories' etc. Then in the 1800's the idea of millions of years began to be popularized from secular interpretations of facts observed in science.
It was only then that ideas like 'gap theories' became known, which is a clear indication the ideas came from outside of scripture, not within. So it is indeed the enemy that caused the disagreement, not what God's word plainly says.
You are incorrect believing evolution has nothing to do with winning souls. As a former atheist I can tell you it had a huge impact on my coming to Christ as I was steeped in evolution and used it as a barrier to belief in God. http://creation.com/atheism-needs-evolution
By the way it wasn't/isn't just me. All atheists have to believe in evolution so many are affected http://creation.com/what-all-atheists-have-to-believe
I met many Christians that wouldn't answer my questions and they did not help. But the scripture says they should have-Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:5)
Note that in order to confront my false ideas and correct them they had to disagree with me and point out my errors. But it was the Christians that wanted to avoid my questions that I held in contempt as I became 'wise in my own eyes' thinking Christians were just little dum dums that didn't understand 'science' etc. It was those who were bold in their profession of faith and could give me solid answers I respected and listened to.
You say that anything that causes strife is foolish and is to be avoided. But Jesus causes strife. His name, His teachings, His message all cause strife but He is Truth not foolishness.
34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. (Mathew 10)
Paul indeed told Timothy to avoid 'foolish arguments', but he also 'argued persuasively' in the Areopagus. So the believer must have discernment as to what they argue about, but arguing itself is not to be avoided. And trying to avoid evolution in a culture steeped in it doesn't work http://creation.com/relentless-dragon
1 Peter 3:15 says we are to have answers for our faith and to give a defense-
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
and 2 Corinthians 10:5 says
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
Evolution and 'millions of years' is a huge barrier to faith for many, so if we encounter questions in this area (which we will) we should have answers. This will cause conflict, but we must speak the truth in grace.
I am a "garden variety Canadian" who benefited from a fantastic and high quality public education at the schools in London, Ontario. For this I am deeply grateful. I think the problem creationists have in getting their gospel message across is that they are trying, and failing, to promote a very limited view of the world, and the universe, by dressing it up with bits of science to make it look as though the bible is a science book. It isn't. This is unfortunate because the gospel messages are very relevant to people's lives. Creationists view of how life arose, and the time taken for it do so, and the means, do not stack up to the evidence, no matter what you say or promote here. It is not rational. That is the problem, and educated (often secularly, but that is by no means essential), well-rounded, people see through this very quickly. If someone is not rational on such a fundamental basis then it calls into question just about everything they believe, promote, say, whatever, in the minds of those I referred to as secularly educated (and I apologise if anybody takes offence, I do not mean any), those who you say you cannot reach. You are very unlikely to change these people's views. Moreover, I know people here where I live now in the UK, who grew up in creationist believing households, believing it all, who no longer do so as a result of their education. One of them in fact now delivers natural history workshops that support the National Curriculum to schools in England.
I too am a garden variety Canadian that grew up receiving a public education. My parents were not Christians so I grew up believing the standard evolutionary explanation for existence.
The 'narrow view' we promote is simply what the Bible says. To tell people they must believe in Jesus to be saved from their sin and then that they do not need to believe other parts of the Bible is totally inconsistent. What you are proposing is simply compromise and as you mentioned 'well-rounded, people see through this very quickly'. An example would be Peter Bowler, Darwin Historian and anti-Christian, anti- creationist who said this;
If Christians accepted that humanity was the product of evolution— even assuming the process could be seen as an expression of the Creator’s will—then the whole idea of Original Sin would have to be reinterpreted.
Far from falling from an original state of grace in the Garden of Eden, we have risen gradually from our animal origins. And if there was no Sin from which we needed salvation, what was the purpose of Christ’s agony on the cross?
Can you see how easy it is for intelligent people to reject the Gospel if they don't believe the history in Genesis?
Any kind of compromise with a plain reading of God's word in Genesis that introduces millions of years of supposed history impugns God's character. Millions of years cannot be added in the Bible anywhere but in the six days of creation. But Adam sinned and the creation fell after the 7th day. So to say that the supposed millions of years occurred before Adam sinned means that what is recorded in the rock layers that were laid down during that period occurred before the Fall. What we see in the rock layers is a record of death and disease.
An intelligent person, when confronted with the Gospel of Jesus (but told they may believe in MOY) may simply ask "Are you telling me that God used millions of years of death, suffering, pain and disease (all recorded in the rock layers around the world) to create the world and called it 'very good'? Why would I want to worship a God of death!?"
There is cancer in the fossil record. Cancer is the result of a defective genetic code. To say God produced defective creatures (including people) from the beginning also brings God's character into question. Why pray for someone with cancer if that's just the way God created things from the beginning?
God also says He will restore the creation in the future. To what? MOY of death and suffering? See http://creation.com/is-cancer-very-good
You see a compromised Gospel is internally inconsistent. Intelligent people recognize this and many who used to declare themselves Christians point to issues like this as a reason for their apostasy.
So your message here only confirms what the article stated. People get educated with facts (the same facts creationists point to) that have been interpreted from an evolutionary point of view and then think what the Bible plainly says is foolish and cannot be trusted. http://creation.com/compromise-fails
But creationist explanations of the facts are far more compelling than evolutionary ones. http://creation.com/creation-the-better-explanation
For example, are intelligent people really supposed to swallow the evolutionary story that dinosaurs existed 65 MY ago when soft tissue (including DNA and unfossilized dinosaur bones) have been found now in creatures that supposedly existed 65 million years ago over 30 times?
Are we to believe the most sophisticated coded language system we have ever seen (DNA) was produced by random processes with no intelligent agent when all of our observational experience (science) shows that language only comes from a mind?
Are we to accept evolutionary tales describing biological machines found in living things as the result of random chance mutations?
I could go on and on but the information is on our website for all to see. I can tell you from my own experience growing up as an atheist that when I encountered compromising Christians I made minced meat out of them.
Q - ‘So you believe the Bible?’
A – ‘Yes!’
Q - ‘You believe some guy put two of every animal on a big boat, and there are millions of animals in the world?’
A – ‘Uhhh … ’
Q - ‘You believe the Bible?’
A – ‘Yes!’
Q - ‘You believe some lady talked to a snake?’
A – ‘Uhhh … ’
It seemed like I almost always got one of two responses. Either the person had no reasonable answer, or they tried convincing me what I was referring to didn’t necessarily mean what the Bible plainly said. Either way, their answers were illogical.
How so? Logically if there was no reasonable defence of Scripture or it could be ‘reinterpreted’ to mean whatever you wanted it to mean, why should any portion of it be considered authoritative? This helped justify my sin and disbelief.
It was only when I had someone take an uncompromising stand on God's word and present the Gospel did I accept Christ.
I hope this helps.
Evolution is a pariah. Darwin himself said as much before he died.
Christians who insist that the earth is only 6000 years old because that's what the Bible says do not understand the Bible. Genesis 1:1 says in the beginning God created... Everything that God created was and is good. By the time we get to Genesis 1:2, something had obviously happened because now the earth was without form and void and darkness covered the face of the earth.
The Bible tells us what happened... It was the fall of Satan, his kingdom on earth, and it's udder destruction at the hand of God. Get a Dakes Bible, all the scripture references are there. It's called the Pre-Adamite or Antechaotic Age, Notes on Page 1
Now, Satan is still the god of this world. His job is to steal, kill and destroy AND he's very good at it.
His first option is to convince mankind that there is no God. Our colleges are full of his professors teaching that to our children. These are our atheists, Then come the agnostics from the doubt sown in their hearts and minds.
If those don't work, he will use his ability as an
angel of light to deceive those who do believe. That's how he works. He a liar and the father of it.
He works in the battlefield of the mind, he whispers in your ear and then waits to see if you went for it by your words or your actions. If you go for it, you give him permission to try and to destroy your life.
If you are called of God to work with the masses
I pray for and admire you. If not, you still have the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony which is more than enough. Scripture gives you the lives of your family and maybe your friends. That requires your faith. You MUST believe.
Atheists will only be swayed by the life you live and want what you have.
Although some have said he did before he died, Darwin never recanted his position on evolution. See
As for the Gap Theory you mentioned from Dake's Bible, see here for why that idea is not theologically sound.
I hope this helps.
'The majority of children -even from Christian homes - are educated in state-run schools'. If that is the case, why is it? Do Christians believe that atheistic indoctrination is preferable to biblical truth? There is no excuse for children from Christian homes being taught in atheistic institutions, in countries where there is freedom to choose. By doing so, we are not shooting ourselves in the foot, but shooting ourselves in the head.
It think he left out a major reason that nonbelievers think that evolution is true. Christians are a major part of the problem. Many Christians are not even sure about evolution(this includes pastors). Those that know it is false are often afraid to bring up the subject, either because they are afraid of being ridiculed or they are afraid they cannot defend their position. In both cases, fear rules. The admonition to be always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us seems to end when material science enters the picture. Paul's declaration that we can know about God by studying His creation is almost totally ignored.....and then there is the old standby, "You've just got to have faith." that many Christians use to justify not looking into the things God has revealed in the world around them. Faith is necessary, but as James pointed out works come in handy........and one of those works, I believe, should be equipping ourselves to attack a major component of the underlying basis for denying God, the idea that we evolved from a bunch of stuff in some puddle. As a little arrow for anyone who might want to use it. I ask evolutionists if they really believe we evolved from a single celled organism into what we are today. Usually the answer is yes. I then ask them how we got to a genome with 3 billion base pairs and they go on about how the genome gets larger as things get more and more complicated. When I ask they to explain the evolution of the Amoeba dubia, a single celled organism that has about 670 base pairs in its genome, they usually just stare blankly, then I can point out other genomic anomalies......like Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said the lilies, with 30 billion base pairs, were arrayed greater than Solomon
Thank you for this article. You have articulated the front-line dynamics of the clashing worldviews very well.
Excellent article! I have an atheist friend and his attitude towards things 'religious' is of ridicule or something seeing as foolish. I also encounter a couple of atheists who misrepresent ministries like yours with no substance and use the generic fallacy to justify why they won't accept creation resources. The attitude is pretty much common as you determined, evolution. He himself believes in evolution as well. He believes in the ape-men, although I got plenty of info. to refute such. Thanks to your resources.
Keep up the good work CMI, I am also looking forward to your new episodes of CML, especially one attributing Sarfati's Logic and Creation.