Earlier this year, BioLogos published the transcript of a conversation that took place between Dr. Hugh Ross, the president of Reasons to Believe, and Dr. Deborah Haarsma, the president of BioLogos, as well as several other theologians and scientists. We’ve written about these compromising organizations before; Reasons to Believe holds to an old-earth, to cosmological and geological evolution, and to progressive creation (which is, in essence, not really much different than theistic evolution), and BioLogos completely accepts secular ideas about the origins of the universe but just says that God used cosmological, geological, and biological evolution to create.
During their discussion, the two they mention the evolution/creation debate I had with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” last year and implied that it was a “knock-out argument where one is banished and defeated.” Dr. Ross also implied that in contrast to us at Answers in Genesis, Reasons to Believe and BioLogos try to avoid “vindictive language” and “ad hominems” in their conversations on origins. Now, I want to point out that right after the debate, we got dozens of emails thanking me for being kind and gracious to Bill Nye during the debate. You see, I wasn’t out to crush Bill Nye or win the debate. We didn’t want the event to be a “knock-out.” I simply wanted to show people that God’s Word can be trusted from the very beginning and I wanted to present the gospel—something I got to do three times! I also wanted to teach people how to think correctly about science—and I believe that’s why BioLogos and Hugh Ross were actually upset with me and wanted to undermine what I said.
You see, 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” At Answers in Genesis we try to provide the church with solid answers from God’s Word so that Christians can stand boldly on God’s Word while providing answers to the questions the world has. We want the church to “always be ready.” But it’s equally important that all Christians remember the second half of 1 Peter 3:15, “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (emphasis added). As believers, we need to be careful that our attitude reflects our message. We need to speak in a loving and gracious manner, which was my goal during the debate with Bill Nye. Actually, don’t take my word for it—if you haven’t watched the debate, then view it here and see for yourself if my approach/attitude was anything like Ross and BioLogos claimed.
When we’re speaking with unbelievers we need to remember that they are lost and blinded (2 Corinthians 4:4). They can’t understand the message of Scripture because it’s a spiritual truth, and they don’t have the Holy Spirit in them.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13–14)
Although we need to be careful to be loving and gracious, this does not mean that we can compromise on truth. We need to boldly stand against false teaching and deceptive philosophies and teach the truth of God’s Word from the very beginning. We can (and should) speak authoritatively. This means exposing false teaching, like that of Hugh Ross and Deborah Haarsma, and urging them to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) by standing on the authority of God’s Word and not compromising with man’s ideas about origins.
Now, in the conversation on the BioLogos’ website, Ross also said we should be “really looking at Scripture to guide how we should disagree with one another.” Certainly we should. All of our actions and attitudes should be guided by Scripture. But it’s equally important for us to be “really looking at Scripture to guide” what we believe about origins! Actually, I don’t like to use the word guide as Hugh Ross has done, as some people use the term to be able to then interpret the Bible however they want. God’s Word should be the foundation for our worldview. Each of us should let God’s Word speak to us (according to the type of literature, context, and so on—known as the grammatical-historical interpretative approach), and we should not impose our ideas on God’s Word (as Hugh Ross and BioLogos continually do). We shouldn’t let the fallible, sinful world dictate what we believe about the past any more than we should let the sinful ways of the world dictate our attitudes! Ross is really being inconsistent in insisting that Scripture guide our discussions, but then he basically argues that secular science (and by that he really means his beliefs, or “historical science”), not Scripture, should guide how we understand the history of the universe. Instead, we need to stand on the authority of all of God’s Word—right from the very beginning!
I encourage you to pray for teachers like Haarsma and Ross who are leading Christians astray with their false teaching. Pray that they will repent and return to the authority of God’s Word as the foundation for their thinking in every area! And by urging this, we are not attacking them personally, but are being “watchmen” as we boldly warn the church about their false teaching.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.