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If you were to get out on the road and ask people what their biggest questions about the Bible are, what would they say? Well, Dr. Tommy Mitchell does just that. A veteran Answers in Genesis speaker, he welcomes questions and enjoys pointing people to God’s Word for the answers.
I travel all over the country—and the world—speaking about creation/ evolution and the authority of the Bible, and I get asked a lot of questions. Of course some people just refuse to believe the Bible no matter what and are unhappy with the message. Other people ask me about arguments creationists shouldn’t use. They ask questions about Noah’s Ark, distant starlight, and cavemen.
I love answering these questions and encourage people to ask about things they don’t understand. I tell folks there isn’t a question they could ask that I have not asked myself. After all, for many years I was a theistic evolutionist. As I came to understand God’s Word was true and completely inconsistent with that position, I needed answers to many questions.
I still remember my excitement at discovering that God’s Word provided what I needed to know. And I want others to feel this excitement also.
I’ve noticed a pattern. Deep down, many people are afraid to trust the Bible’s history because it contradicts the prevailing evolutionary view. I suppose the most common question I get is “Dr. Tommy, why do you say Christians can’t believe the earth is millions of years old?”
I explain that I never say Christians can’t believe in millions of years but that they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, in my experience, many Christians do accept millions of years. I often point out that once I thought the earth was billions of years old, although I obviously now know I was wrong!
What I do say is this: Christians who accept this view are inconsistent! By rejecting the plain meaning of Genesis and replacing it with the secular teaching of millions of years, Christians actually undermine the message of the Cross.
Genesis is real history. God created everything in six ordinary days and called all He had made “very good.” In that perfect creation there was no animal or human death. But Adam and Eve were real people who disobeyed God. Because their rebellion brought suffering into this world and death to all their descendants, Jesus Christ—as “the Last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45)—died on the Cross, conquering death by His Resurrection.
If death has been here for millions of years, then it was not the result of the first Adam’s sin. The death of the Last Adam—Jesus—makes no sense. What did Jesus die for, if not to pay for the consequences of man’s sin? If a Christian believes in evolution and thinks millions of years of death are recorded in the fossil record, how can he explain the meaning of the Cross?
After I point out that millions of years requires death before sin, most people say, “Wow, I never thought about that before!” I have even gotten this response from solid Bible-teaching pastors who had just never considered the age-of-the-earth issue in that light. At one time in my life, neither had I.
Kids love dinosaurs. But most parents don’t have biblical answers about dinosaurs. So parents and kids come to me with all kinds of questions: Are there dinosaurs in the Bible? Did people and dinosaurs walk the earth together? Were there dinosaurs on the Ark? What happened to the dinosaurs?
I guess you can see why I try always to have a dinosaur talk at my conferences.
Sure dinosaurs were real. They were created on the sixth day of Creation Week along with man, so men and dinosaurs walked the earth together. Noah took representatives of each kind of air-breathing land animal on board the Ark, so dinosaurs were on the boat.
I then quickly review all the physical evidence of men and dinosaurs existing together. If there is time, I point out many of the historical references to dinosaurs. (But in these older historical documents the creatures are not referred to as dinosaurs because the word dinosaur did not exist until 1841.) The parents usually say, “Man, I wish I had these answers when I was a kid!”
On the flip side, people often share “sure-fire” proofs of the Bible that don’t stand up under scrutiny. I call these “urban legends in the church.” Many Christians accept these proofs but, as appealing as they are to some, the proofs have no basis in history or science.
Lots of folks come to me excited “how wonderful it is that NASA proved the Bible to be true!” Then they tell me about how NASA was doing some calculations during the Apollo program and found the missing time from the sun standing still for Joshua and going backward for Hezekiah. They are so disappointed (and sometimes annoyed) when I tell them it isn’t true.
I point out that there is no mathematical way to discover missing time solely by calculating backward. There must be a fixed point of reference before the “missing time” to detect any supposed discrepancy.
Another legend bites the dust. Another “legend” that comes up all the time is the story that Charles Darwin recanted on his deathbed. Supposedly Darwin felt so great a remorse about his awful ideas that he renounced evolution and became a Christian. So evolution can’t be true, right?
Well, it never happened. Darwin never recanted. He never renounced evolution, and he never came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Darwin supposedly survived several months after this rejection of his own ideas, but he never wrote of this. He never spoke with his family about this, and after his death his family continually denied it. While it would be nice if it were true, we must acknowledge history.
Amazingly, many Christians get mad at me when I point out flaws in their beliefs or give evidence that their favorite hobby horse is not true. If they have heard these things for years, who am I to correct them?
Well, we must always strive to be as accurate as we can. We don’t need to shore up our faith in the Bible with faulty arguments. God’s Word is truth, and every fact from history and science will be consistent with God’s Word. We can bank on that.
Lives change when people finally get answers to their questions.
Everywhere I go people seek answers. And it is life changing when people finally get answers to their questions. It was true for me years ago. I struggled with many of these same issues.
That is why all of us at Answers in Genesis—the parent organization behind Answers magazine—work to provide answers to questions that cause people to doubt God’s Word. Whether going to a conference a thousand miles from home, preparing new articles for our website, making a new DVD, speaking to patrons at the Creation Museum, or writing for Answers magazine, our mission is to be a source for sound biblical answers to the questions of the day.
As for me, all I can say is, “Boy, I wish I had these answers when I was a kid!”