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It is sad to see that as the ministry of AiG has grown in influence and the plethora of creation apologetics resources has grown and been blessed by God, we have also seen an increase in the number of leaders from within the church who are actively promoting compromise positions of evolution and millions of years. Unfortunately, there are many church leaders who are very active in trying to counter the biblical creation movement, which has positively influenced so many lives in this nation. In fact, a big part of our mission is to bring reformation to the church, so of course we expect opposition to our efforts. Sadly, the worst opposition from my perspective is from within the church, since we should expect opposition from the world.
Here is another example.
“Stand to Reason” is an organization that has been around for many years, and their speakers include Gregory Koukl, a graduate of Talbot School of Theology, and Brett Kunkle, a graduate student at Talbot. Stand to Reason states its mission as teaching people “not just what to think, but how to think.” While I have been informed that many of Stand to Reason’s web articles are biblically sound (including those on the question of the sanctity of life), when it comes to Genesis, that is another matter. Sadly, their supposed teaching people “how to think” is actually teaching them to think in terms of millions of years and evolutionary ideas.
In some recent posts on the Stand to Reason blog, Melinda Penner, one of the organization’s writers, wrote a post about the idea of theistic evolution (that God supposedly used evolution). She distinguishes theistic evolution from Darwinism, writing, “TE does allow for other miraculous events and God's sustaining power, but not God’s intervention for creative purposes once the natural process has begun.” From what she writes, she seems to be rejecting theistic evolution. In fact, some people would say that since Stand to Reason doesn’t believe in evolution, they must be a creationist group. But this is where God’s people need to analyze what is actually being stated by Stand to Reason very carefully, or one could easily be led astray. In many ways it becomes a semantics battle.
So what does Stand to Reason really teach in regard to the Genesis account of creation? Penner wrote in a recent blog post, “The data of human origins, archaeology and molecular chemistry all harmonizes with the literal Biblical account of God's special creation and intervention.” At this point, Penner links readers to a book by Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana titled Who Was Adam? Hugh Ross believes in an old earth and promotes the day-age and progressive theories of creation. He says God created over millions of years in the same basic order as the secularists claim life evolved (in reality, this is a form of theistic evolution). Now, we all need to understand that there are three main types of evolutionary ideas: biological, geological, and cosmological. Stand to Reason blatantly accepts geological and cosmological evolutionary ideas, but tries to reject and modify parts of the biological ideas of evolution to fit God in as Creator—but really it is just another form of theistic evolution.
First, the old earth and universe (geological and cosmological evolution) belief:
Stand to Reason’s president, Gregory Koukl, agrees with the old-earth position. He discusses the issue of distant starlight, arguing that young-earth creationists who believe in distant starlight believe in a deceptive God:
Koukl writes in another post, “As an old-earther, I'm going to say that evidence for an ancient universe is in the heavens because scientific testing shows us that these stars are far away and their light takes a long time to reach us. Therefore, if we're seeing light from those stars, and they're a billion light years away, then those stars must have existed for at least a billion years.” (http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5639)
The young-universe creationist is in an untenable spot. If the earth is six to ten thousand years old, then virtually nothing we see outside of our solar system is real. . . . God has fabricated images of events that never happened, but passes them off as if they did. The Bible deceives us. (http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5613)
Frankly, he is not representing many of the young-earth/universe creation scientists correctly. Not every young-earth creationist believes that God created starlight in transit. In fact, we have a number of articles by Dr. Jason Lisle on our website that address this issue, using scientific models to explain how starlight could have traveled to earth in the short amount of time required by the Genesis account. See Does Distant Starlight Prove the Universe Is Old? for more information on distant starlight.
Brett Kunkle, another writer for Stand to Reason, writes about the supposed big bang:
There are problems with Kunkle’s assertions as well. First, Dr. Lisle addresses in the link above a major problem with the big bang model regarding distant starlight. Using evolutionary assumptions, even 12 billion years is not enough time for the starlight to travel the required distances in the big bang model!
First, scientific discoveries of the last century provide strong evidence the universe exploded into existence in the Big Bang. Yes, I said the Big Bang. And no, if you accept the Big Bang it does not mean you accept evolution. This is an unfortunate myth Christians sometimes believe. If Big Bang evidence is persuasive to you, then you must also accept an old universe (approximately 12 billions [sic] years old). (http://www.str.org/site/PageServer?pagename=PL_article_intelligent_design)
Second, the big bang is part of a belief in cosmological evolution. What’s more, there is not “strong evidence” to support a big bang. All of this “strong evidence” for the big bang is being interpreted through an old-universe worldview, but the same “strong evidence” can be explained from a young-universe perspective too. In fact, the inflationary model of the big bang is based entirely on speculation! (See Dr. Lisle’s article for more.)
So this organization certainly believes in cosmological and geological evolution, but they claim they reject theistic evolution. But do they really? What they seem to mean is that some ideas of evolution are okay, as long as God remains necessary to the process. Penner explains, “If God intervenes at all then it’s not evolution; it’s some form of intelligent design.”
I’ve had many people say to me over the years that it doesn’t matter if God created over millions of years—just as long as God did it. My answer is always the same: “It is not what God said He did!” Even though this organization doesn’t believe in Darwinian evolution per se, its leaders do believe God created (in much the same order as evolutionists discuss the evolution of life) over millions of years. They can try to modify things all they want, but what they are doing is compromising man’s ideas of millions of years with the Bible and reinterpreting the clear text of Scripture, thus undermining the authority of the Word of God. They do believe in evolution—it’s just that they just don’t accept the naturalistic neo-Darwinian view but modify their beliefs to suit their purposes of having God create but over millions of years.
This is one of the reasons the church is losing its effectiveness in the culture and why we are losing two thirds of our generations from the church. I encourage you to read the two books: Already Gone and Already Compromised. Both of these essential resources deal with the compromise with evolution and millions of years in the church (including Christian schools) and the terrible consequences of such compromise.
Over time, we will warn you about other organizations that are teaching compromise within the church and are undermining the authority of the Bible.
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.