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Does the Creation/Evolution Debate Hurt the Gospel?

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The Christian Post recently reported on a podcast that featured GodofEvolution.com creator Tyler Francke. (Please note the first eight minutes of the podcast are extremely vulgar and the entire podcast contains offensive language. Because this podcast received exposure in Christian media, I had one of our researchers listen to it. After receiving a report on the vulgar nature of part of the discussion, I would not advise any of you to actually listen to this podcast. The fact that we have to give such a warning speaks volumes about the attitudes of those involved in this podcast.) During the podcast, Francke claimed that the creation/evolution debate is a “non-central,” “very-external-fringe issue” that actually hurts the spread of the gospel message.

The three hosts of the Bad Christian podcast set the tone for their almost two-hour long discussion by making disparaging remarks about Scripture’s value in understanding our origins. They also confuse historical science and observational science. For example, one of the hosts stated,

The problem we have is when we have religious stuff or the Bible, and it makes people say that science is wrong or disprove it. But it doesn’t offer anything useful or to do any science with. . . . There is no issue at all with people who completely day in and day out do evolutionary science, and believe in evolutionary science as far as that’s the best way to study genetics, to study stuff, to make predictions, to do cancer research, and to be a seven-day creationist at the same time. Those things are not even opposed to each other. One is a useful tool, and the other is your faith. There’s not another model that will help you do cancer research than the evolutionary theory.

Evolution Is an Attack on God’s Word

Tyler Francke explains that he considers himself to be an “evangelical, born-again Christian” and that he believes the Bible is true. He and the podcast hosts make the point that biblical creation is not a salvation issue. Now, I would like to point out that I agree with Francke that the creation/evolution debate is not a salvation issue. Like I’ve said before, salvation is dependent on faith in Christ Jesus alone and not on your view of origins. But this doesn’t mean that the debate is a “non-central issue.” It’s an issue that is central to the very gospel because it’s an attack on the authority of God’s Word—from which we get the gospel message! It’s a question of whose authority you’re going to accept: man’s ever-changing opinions or God’s authoritative Word? Now, Francke claims to be a Christian, and I have no reason to doubt his testimony, but, in the area of origins, he clearly has chosen to accept fallible man over God’s infallible Word. That’s the real issue in the debate!

Evolution Contradicts the Biblical Account of Creation

Francke stated, “Evolution can be everything that the scientific evidence indicates that it is and that Christianity can be everything that the Bible says it is and should be and that those two do not need to come into any kind of conflict.” But what he failed to tell his listeners is that evolution and the account of creation in Genesis are completely and utterly in conflict with one another. Evolution teaches that all life evolved slowly over millions of years; Genesis teaches everything was created in six, literal 24-hour days. Evolution has one kind of organism giving rise to another kind, but Genesis states everything was created to reproduce “according to its kind.” Evolution requires death and disease being around for millions of years, but according to Genesis death arrived after the Fall as a punishment for sin. Evolution places certain land animals before birds; Genesis has birds before land animals. Evolution describes mankind as the descendant of an ape-like creature, whereas in Genesis man was specially created by God from the dust and woman from his side (as referred to in the New Testament also). Despite saying multiple times that there is no conflict between evolution and the Bible, Francke did not address even one of these theological problems!

Failing to Understand Science

Now, when Francke was asked to provide scientific evidence for evolution he brought up the same “evidence” that has been answered on our site for years: homology, DNA similarities, order in the fossil record and the newer argument of “endogenous retroviruses.” Moreover, he claims that science has disproven the idea that the earth is young:

[Science] can’t necessarily prove something, but it’s very good at disproving things. . . . It’s a very difficult thing to say that the earth is only a few thousand years old. There’s a lot of evidence that’s sort of disproven that idea. And I think that’s kind of the perspective that scientists are coming from, where they feel . . . a little irritated that this keeps coming up, that people are challenging them not based on the scientific evidence but based on a religious view.

What he fails to understand is the difference between two kinds of science: observational and historical. Observational science is the kind of science that we can test, observe, and repeat—its what gives us space shuttles and medical advancements. Historical science deals with the past and cannot be tested, repeated, or observed. Because of this, your starting point will determine how you see the evidence. It isn’t that creationists have this pile of evidence and evolutionists have that pile of evidence. We both have the same evidence—we just have different starting points. My starting point is God’s infallible Word; Francke’s starting point (in this area at least) is man’s opinions. Therefore we are both going to interpret the evidence very differently. That’s why I see DNA similarities as evidence of a common Designer who made everything to live in the same world, while Francke sees it as evidence of a common ancestor. It all depends on your starting point.

The Bible Can Be Trusted

My debate with Bill Nye this past February was briefly mentioned during the podcast, and I would like to point out that we have received numerous testimonies from people who were able to strike up gospel-centered conversations with coworkers, friends, classmates, and family members because of the debate. Contrary to being hurtful to the gospel, we are constantly hearing about hearts and lives that were changed for Christ because of our stand on the authority of God’s Word. We live in a culture that, by and large, no longer accepts the authority or truth of the Bible. For them to accept the message of Christ, many people need to be shown that the Bible can be trusted. If the Bible can be trusted when it speaks on Creation, the age of the earth, or the Flood, then surely it can be trusted when it talks about Jesus.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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