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I am continually amazed at the poor research skills seen in many academics who rail against the Creation Museum. In the latest of attacks on those who believe in a literal Adam and Eve and a literal Genesis (as does Jesus according to Matthew 19 and as we find in 1 Corinthians 15, Romans 5, Ephesians 5, and many other passages), theology professor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite of Chicago Theological Seminary wrote an article for The Washington Post titled, “The theological case for evolution.”
At the outset, let me make just a few comments on this commentary.
1. The title claims that the piece presents the “theological case for evolution.” That’s interesting; not one passage of the Bible is quoted in the entire article. Where is the theology? Remarkable! How does that makes a convincing theological case? Railing against those who believe the Bible’s account in Genesis and then quoting a fallible scientist is not enough to convince people not to believe Genesis.
How about the following Scriptures?
A. Jesus quoted from Genesis: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?’” (Matthew 19:4–5).
B. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11).
C. “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45). “Threfore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
These are just a few of the many references to and quotes from Genesis throughout the Scripture clearly illustrating that Jesus, who is the Word, teaches us that Genesis is to be taken as literal history.
2. The theology professor states in the article, “I have visited the Creation Museum. The brochure explains that ‘Children play and dinosaurs roam near Eden’s rivers. The serpent coils cunningly in the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil . . . Enter the Cave of Sorrows and see the horrific effects of the Fall.’ As I entered the first exhibit and looked at the animatronic Garden of Eden, I wondered who these children could be, since the Bible does not say that Adam and Eve had children in the Garden of Eden. Of course, the Bible also does not mention dinosaurs roaming the Garden of Eden. So what’s going on?”
My comments are as follows:
A. Actually, the brochure doesn’t say that children are in the Garden of Eden. The animatronic children are not in the Garden of Eden exhibit; they are in the Main Hall at the waterfall. This is not a teaching exhibit as such, but is intended to introduce the idea that people and the creatures we today called dinosaurs lived at the same time. The water feature could be illustrating one of the rivers that flowed from Eden. Children were not born until after the Fall of man. Clothing (worn by the animatronic children) wasn’t given until after the Fall. God killed an animal—the first blood sacrifice as a picture of what was to come in Christ—and He clothed Adam and Eve. They were then driven from the Garden. So the children in the Main Hall are meant to illustrate a post-Fall situation after Adam and Eve had left the Garden.
B. Of course the “Bible does not mention dinosaurs roaming the Garden of Eden” because the word “dinosaur” was not invented until 1841 by Sir Richard Owen. The Bible doesn’t name the specific families of land animals God made; it mentions particular groupings (beasts of the earth, creeping things, etc.). All the land animals were made on day six. Since dinosaurs were land animals, they would have been made on day six alongside Adam and Eve.
3. The author stated, “So, what do you think? Is God infinite or not? And if God is infinite, there’s nothing in science but a method for documenting how the enormous dynamism of this creation is happening all the time.” And I would answer that of course I believe in an infinite God. And because He is infinite (as the Bible makes clear), He can provide for us an infallible Word—a revelation with no mistakes so we can understand the true history of the universe and our need for salvation.
4. She also claims the Creation Museum has “extreme views” because we stand on a literal Genesis: “Creationism means the belief in a literal creation by God of everything in this world exactly as it is today. The most extreme of these views is the ‘young earth’ movement represented by the Creation Museum—the earth, indeed the whole universe, they believe, is only 6,000 years old—a biblically derived number.”
A. Again, she has totally misrepresented the position we take at the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis. She claims we believe “in a literal creation by God of everything in this world exactly as it is today.” This is simply not true. We most definitely do not believe God created the world “exactly as it is today.” Just a cursory reading of a few articles on our website would show this to be false. In fact, just a quick walk through the Creation Museum would show the falsity of this ridiculous claim.
Man’s sin has affected the world. The Flood of Noah’s time affected the whole earth. All the land animal kinds were represented on Noah’s Ark and then came out of the Ark and formed many different species after the Flood. The Tower of Babel resulted in humans having different languages and thus the formation of distinct cultures and people groups. The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the whole world groans now because of sin!
Either this seminary professor is making a false claim to deliberately mislead, or she has never really researched what those who take God at His Word believe and teach. She needs to read some good commentaries like those of John Gill, John Calvin, and others on this topic. I have found that people who make this false claim that we supposedly believe that God created “everything in this world exactly as it is today” do so in an attempt to claim we deny the observable facts.
Usually I find such people think that natural selection and speciation is evolution. And because we do not believe in molecules-to-man evolution, they therefore wrongly think we don’t believe in natural selection or speciation. Actually, we have many articles on our website covering such topics. Natural selection and speciation, when properly understood, illustrate evidence against molecules-to-man evolution! Such changes occur within a created kind because of the immense genetic variability God built into each created Kind.
Taking Genesis as literal history is not an extreme view at all. We at Answers in Genesis take God’s Word in Genesis the way it is meant to be taken (as literal history) and the same way that the writers do in the rest of Scripture. It is also the way the vast majority of Christians took Genesis for the first 1800 years of church history and the way a growing number of Christians around the world take it today. On the basis of her statement, she would have to say that Jesus, the apostles, and the majority of Christians since their day have had “extreme views” on Genesis!
5. The last paragraph of this article seems to be a theme in the article itself: “Worry about something that really matters, like the fact that if the Environmental Protection Agency is destroyed your children won’t be able to breathe in a few years.” No, I worry that people like this seminary professor will keep instructing generations of seminarians to trust man’s fallible ideas—to put one’s trust in man’s anti-God religion of evolution—and that she will drive them away from a true understanding of their sin nature and their desperate need of salvation.
Also, God is the one who is going to put an end to the pollution on this earth (the pollution from sin is, of course, the worst pollution of all). God is going to judge this earth with fire and make a “new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13).
We are certainly seeing an upsurge in attacks on God’s Word from academics in seminaries and Christian colleges, and in theology blogs, etc. Of course, this just burdens me to be even more active in countering these enemies of God’s Word!
You can read this seminary professor’s sad, Scripture-less article (that exalts fallible man’s reasoning) at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/the-theological-case-for-evolution/2011/08/23/gIQAdp7rZJ_blog.html.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.