Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment (James 3:1).
This book really began with a hunch—one of those hunches that comes from repeated observation over 30 years—but nothing that you can objectively put your finger on. As part of my ministry through Answers in Genesis, I travel extensively, meeting with families, churches, and educators.
When the topic of parents’ and students’ experiences in colleges and universities comes up, I hear a lot of good; and I also hear a lot of bad. I hear far too many stories of well-meaning parents who have sent their children off to college with the highest of hopes, only to have them return skeptical, disillusioned, and uncertain about their former faith. Many of them leave the faith of their family altogether. I have also met with students at Christian institutions where I have spoken, and I hear from their own mouths what certain professors teach them and which books they are encouraged to study.
At one Christian college, I met with the chaplain before I was to speak at chapel. The chaplain told me, “We aren’t narrow-minded like you young earth creationists at this college—we allow all views here.”
I said to him, “Oh, I consider the view of taking a strong stand on six literal days and a young earth as the correct biblical view, and the other views are incorrect. Do you allow that view?”
The man replied, “No, because we allow all views.” Of course, he didn’t realize he was actually saying they do not allow all views, as they didn’t allow mine. He thought they were being neutral, but as we will discuss, there is no neutral position.
Before speaking at another well-known conservative college, a person high up in the administration spoke to the students—basically giving them a disclaimer in regard to what I was going to teach them. I found out later from the students that, to their knowledge, I was the first person ever to be given a disclaimer in chapel—even though there had been speakers who would be considered somewhat liberal in their theology!
At another (what is considered to be) conservative Christian college, I was ushered into the president’s office, where he began to “dress me down” in regard to our stand on six literal days and a young earth. He wanted me to know he did not approve of what I believed and was upset with my being at the college. (There were other reasons why I was actually invited to speak.)
At a conservative Bible college in Australia, the president asked me into his office, where he proceeded to admonish me because I had spoken against the gap theory and millions of years.
Yes, I knew that something was happening out there. Over the years I’ve been engaging in an increasingly heated debate not only with secularists, but also with Christian brothers and sisters involved in Christian higher education. . . . Those were the administrators and professors at respected and trusted Christian colleges and universities. My concerns continued to grow, but before I spoke too “loudly” I wanted to make sure that I could prove it. When we produced the book Already Gone, we were simply verifying what everyone was already experiencing: Christian students, who grew up in evangelical churches, are leaving the church at an astounding rate. We had some ideas from experience as to why this was happening, but we set out to use statistically valid, professionally conducted research to determine what was happening. Our findings were very controversial.
I expect that this study will be far more shocking because people don’t know that in most cases, their child’s education at Christian institutions is “already compromised.” Sometimes parents aren’t even aware of this until their student’s junior or senior year—when the discussion around the dinner table during the holidays reveals that there have been problems from the very beginning. What is the core of that problem?
A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:39–40).
When parents and students willingly submit themselves to a teacher, accepting him or her as authoritative, accepting what he or she says as truth, they will become like that teacher. Because of that, we felt strongly compelled to find out what is really being taught in colleges and universities today. Our primary focus of study, however, was not secular institutions. For the most part, secular institutions are rather upfront and honest about what they teach. As you will see, their goals and objectives have been clearly stated.
But this is not often the case in the Christian institutions. Because parents and students make assumptions about the beliefs of their Christian teachers that may or may not be true, we wanted to get an objective, quantifiable picture of what is really being taught in the classrooms. And, as we will show, we can’t accept that the terminology being used by administrators and professors at such institutions means the same to us as it does to them! That is scary!
Review of the Survey
The goal of the survey conducted by America’s Research Group and Britt Beemer was to survey 200 different Christian institutions of higher learning through interviews with people in four different positions:
- the president of the university
- the academic dean/vice president
- the head of the science department
- the head of the theology/religion department
Not every school used the same titles to describe these positions;1 however, we are able to easily categorize them appropriately by their function. In a perfect world, we would have interviewed 800 people. Virtually everyone that we could reach wanted to answer the questions. The problem was getting to them—some were on sabbatical and some of their staffers filtered us. But once we actually got through to them, we had less than 40 people turn down the opportunity to be interviewed.
In the end, we were able to interview 312 people. Of these, 223 were from schools associated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a group of over 90 colleges that require all of their professors to sign a personal statement of faith. The other 89 respondents were from schools that were “religiously affiliated” through an association with a religious denomination.2 (These two groups responded in very similar ways to survey questions, by the way.) The only real difference in their demographics is that Catholics labeled themselves as being religiously affiliated and Baptist colleges tended to be members of the CCCU. Other than that, these two distinctions simply confirm that we have a good cross section here of a number of different denominations from different backgrounds—more than plenty to make generalized considerations according to the data.
So out of a potential of 800 people, we had a sample size right at 40 percent. That was much higher than anyone expected we would be able to get. This response rate gives us an error factor of about +/- 2.5 percent. (Statistically, that means that if we say “50 percent,” the actual number across the whole country is somewhere between 47.5 percent and 52.5 percent. Because of this small error factor, we will be rounding all of our results to a 10th of a percent.)
Many of our questions required simple yes or no responses. Others were more open-ended and each person was allowed to give one response to the question, their number-one answer. So the data you see on the open-ended questions is not word-for-word, but rather grouped together with other similar responses.
The survey went very well. We were allowed to get not only a big picture view of what’s happening on the Christian college campus, but also insights into specific issues that should be of concern for everyone involved. Let’s take a quick look at the big picture responses. In upcoming chapters, we will dissect them in much more detail.
New Testament Agreement/Old Testament Dividing Lines
We were pleased to find nearly 100 percent agreement on some important New Testament issues:
- Do you believe in the virgin birth of Christ? Yes: 99.0%
- Do you believe in Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross? Yes: 99.0%
- Do you believe in a literal heaven and hell? Yes: 96.5%
- Do you believe in Christ’s Second Coming? Yes: 99.0%
- Do you believe in the bodily Resurrection of Christ? Yes: 99.0%
But the minute we stepped into the Old Testament, division began to arise. The more detailed the question, the clearer it became that there were serious problems.
Immediately we see a rift forming over the historical account of Noah and the Flood, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. When we started to look at issues regarding creation and evolution, the issues became more pronounced. Once more, the more detailed our questions became, the deeper the division became.
Q13: Do you believe the Genesis 1–2 account of creation is literally true?
- Yes: 83.0%
- No: 14.7%
- Don’t know: 2.2%
It’s clear that we have some confusion here. We are beginning to see a trend that concerned us throughout the entire survey: people didn’t always mean what they said. For example, 83 percent said that they believe Genesis 1 and 2 are literally true. But when we asked whether they believe God created in six literal days, only 59.6 percent answered yes. That means about 23 percent are either confused, wrong, or just haven’t thought this through. Or it could also be how people in a postmodern culture determine the meaning of words. I have realized over the years that many professors will sound like they believe in a literal Genesis, but what they mean by the words is not what I (and many others) understand them to mean. This is a major issue we will deal with in this study.
Questions 16 and 17 are virtually the opposites of each other (with 16 being positive and 17 being negative), but almost 10 percent of the people answered yes to both questions, indicating that they believe in six literal days of creation and they don’t believe in six literal days of creation! These concerns continued to grow as we gathered data about what they teach about evolution.
This was an open-ended question. These five answers accounted for 95 percent of all the respondents, with more saying that they “teach and dissect” evolution. That word “dissect” is interesting and requires some further investigation (9 percent of them used the same word when describing how they teach the Bible!). I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt. We hope they mean that they (1) explain the idea, (2) give an accurate critique of the idea’s strengths and weaknesses, and (3) show how it is absolutely contrary to the authoritative account in God’s Word. At least I hope so—but the further we look into the answers to the questions, the more I have my doubts.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all with “teaching evolution” as long as it is put under the same scientific and biblical scrutiny that any idea would be. On the other hand, “dissect” might mean “we teach and let them decide.” That is a big concern. Are they presenting the issues loosely and just letting students decide what is true? Or are they explaining all the facts and pointing to the definitive conclusion that evolution is false and creation is true? That’s a big question, and the answer hinges on the fundamental difference between relativism (no absolute truth, i.e., people decide their own truth) and the biblical worldview: is there absolute truth or is there not?
Twenty-four percent said that they teach evolution to be false. Not a lot. In the next two responses, we see that at least 20 percent of Christian colleges are teaching evolution as a viable option and another 11 percent admit to teaching evolution as truth. That’s more than 30 percent. If we add to that a portion of those who are in the “we dissect it” category (who probably aren’t taking any sort of stand in favor of creation), this number could be much, much higher. The answer “nothing” is a concern as well. To teach nothing about evolution, when it is the dominant worldview theme in our culture that is in opposition to biblical creation, leaves students vulnerable and ignorant.
This number turned out to be quite a bit bigger than we had expected—42 percent say that the earth is young. I’m actually fairly encouraged by that because it doesn’t seem like that many people are taking a stand on the issue publicly. My guess is that many of them feel intimidated because of academic peer pressure and are “closet” young-earth creationists. If the system is already compromised, individuals within the system will feel pressure to compromise or hide their position in order to keep their jobs and advance their careers. One continually risks rejection when taking a stand on this issue (as has been documented by others).
They also need to be published in academic journals to have respect in the community. By taking a stand on the age of the earth (and evolution) one can “slit his or her own throat” when it comes to advancement. Tragically, in both secular and Christian institutions, people will be more dedicated to their academic discipline in order to get published in the journals than they are to the institution and its beliefs. They have to look good within their field of study, even if it doesn’t reflect the values of the school.
At one seminary where I spoke, I asked the head of the seminary (who invited me because he had the same view of Genesis as I do) why so many professors in such institutions would not take a stand on six literal days (no death before sin, young earth, etc.). He told me that a lot of it had to do with peer pressure and being published in the academic journals. He said if someone is labeled as a literal six-day, young-earth creationist, they basically could not get published in such journals.
Still, we were encouraged by the number of people who said they believed in a young earth.3 But as we evaluated the survey as a whole, another “hunch” was clearly confirmed . . . and when it comes to Christian colleges, this clearly has become one of our greatest concerns.
“Newspeak” and the Old Testament
In his stunning book 1984, George Orwell introduced a concept called “newspeak,” in which characters in positions of power began using terms and phrases that sounded right to the masses—when in fact, they meant something very, very different. I’ve been concerned that the same sort of thing is happening in Christianity, so we began comparing what teachers claimed they believe about the Bible, and tried to determine what they actually mean by what they teach.
These first four responses accounted for 92.3 percent of all the answers. What was the fifth most popular answer? Five people, or 1.6 percent, made it clear that they teach the Bible to be false. At least they are honest about it! And further, this is supposed to be a Christian college!
Our question is this: what do they mean when they say “true”? Because when you correlate these answers with the answers they gave on other questions, you quickly find out that people don’t necessarily believe the Bible is “literally” true.
There’s a postmodern influence here about what “true” means. Unfortunately, many people believe something is “true if it works for you.” This allows the speaker to put a spin on his or her words, making them sound acceptable even though they really mean something totally different. Politicians do this all the time. When forced to explain what they really mean, they will dodge the truth by saying things like “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.”
The cults do this as well. The Mormons, for example, have become masters at using words that sound like Christian terminology, even though they mean something entirely different. And the masses (most Christians included) think their usage of these words means the same thing the Bible does. For example, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, said:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea. . . . He was once a man like us. . . . ere, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you.4
So when a Mormon says “God,” he is really talking about one of thousands of gods that were once men and earned their way to be gods just as you or I can! Their definitions of “Jesus,” “grace,” “atonement,” and “heaven” are equally different from the biblical view. This “newspeak” has allowed them entrance into mainline evangelical Christian circles, even though what they mean by what they say is absolute heresy according to the Bible.
Similar word-twisting, truth-skewing “newspeak” is going on in the debate over the creation account in Genesis. Dr. William Dembski is a research professor in philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a senior fellow with the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. He says that he believes in the inspired, inerrant Word of God and in a literal Adam and Eve. But what does he really mean by this? By scrutinizing his own words from one of his latest books (The End of Christianity) we quickly discover that he believes in billions of years, evolution, and Adam and Eve. The mental gymnastics used are dizzying. Consider this one quote: “For the theodicy I am proposing to be compatible with evolution, God must not merely introduce existing human-like beings from outside the Garden. In addition, when they enter the Garden, God must transform their consciousness so that they become rational moral agents made in God’s image.”5
I go into much, much more detail on Dr. Dembski and others in appendix A: “Speaking of Newspeak.” Please take the time to read it. There are many other inconsistencies in Dr. Dembski’s beliefs, but what they show are the outrageous lengths some Christian academics will go to in order to try to reconcile billions of years and evolutionary ideas with the Scriptures, all the while trying to keep their belief in a literal Adam and Eve and the original sin while telling unsuspecting parents and prospective students that they believe in inerrancy.
Another example is Professor Bruce Waltke, acknowledged to be a world-renowned Old Testament scholar and considered to be a “conservative evangelical.” But even this label, “conservative evangelical,” is an example of “newspeak,” for it just doesn’t mean what it used to. He resigned his position at a “conservative evangelical” seminary (Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando) in 2010 over the issue of his public endorsement of evolution.
Dr. Waltke made statements that became very public, especially through a video that had appeared on a theologically liberal website: The BioLogos Foundation. He subsequently asked for the video to be removed from the site, but not before his pro-evolution statement had become widely known. It helped lead to his resignation from the seminary. So what did Dr. Waltke say in that video? Well, here is one quote:
I think that if the data is overwhelming in favor, favor, of evolution, [then] to deny that reality will make us a cult, some odd group that’s not really interacting with the real world, and rightly so.6
As of the writing of this book, Dr. Waltke had a teaching position at what is considered to be a conservative evangelical seminary—Knox Theological Seminary in Florida.
So, what does “conservative evangelical” really mean?
In the end, we discovered from the research that it really doesn’t matter what people say, it’s what they mean by what they say that needs to be discerned.
Defining Terms Practically
In order to determine what people really mean by what they say, we used open-ended and closed-ended questions so we could compare answers.
The remaining 10 percent used words like “priority,” “inerrant,” or “expertise.” Most of the answers sounded good, but very few, if any, of the 312 respondents had a clear definition of what they meant by “authority of the Bible.”
Do you see why this is so important? I mean, these phrases sound right, but what do people mean when they use words like “foundational”? When they say the Bible is a book of “guidelines” are they really saying that it’s just a general list of suggestions? When they say that the Bible is “inspired,” do they mean it in the same way that Rembrandt or Michelangelo were inspired? Do they simply mean God’s Word is “inspirational”?
Our definitions of the key biblical terms must be both clear and practical. When I speak of the authority of the Bible, what I mean is this:
The Bible is the absolute standard for life and practice and everything it touches upon. It is the foundation for all of my thinking in every area.
A definition like that helps to rule out liberal interpretations that mean something different. It’s important to have clear definitions like that for all of the important words we use in Christianity. However, as careful as we can be, this research has found that even the very best of words and definitions can’t necessarily be trusted to mean the same things to good Christian people. One will have to go far beyond the words and definitions and delve deeply with very specific and detailed questions to really discern what someone believes and teaches.
Let me give an example to help further explain.
On October 26–28, 1978, the first summit of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) took place in Chicago. This was “for the purpose of affirming afresh the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture, making clear the understanding of it and warning against its denial.”
If you have never read this document,7 I urge you to do so. It covers in detail definitions of inspiration, infallibility, and inerrancy. There were around 300 signers of this document, including Dr. Henry Morris (president and founder of the Institute for Creation Research, and co-author of famed book The Genesis Flood), Dr. John Whitcomb (theologian and co-author of The Genesis Flood), and Dr. Duane Gish (who was vice president of the Institute for Creation Research when Dr. Henry Morris was president). There is no doubt the authors of this current book could sign this document. However, I want to bring your attention to Article XII from the 1978 document:
We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.
And I would say AMEN to that. Nonetheless, Dr. Henry Morris said this of the document and the ICBI:
The leadership of this group includes many who accept theistic evolution or progressive creation, as well as many who prefer to ignore the creation issue altogether. Consequently, unless the ICBI can somehow become convinced of the foundational importance of strict creationism for maintaining a consistent belief in inerrancy, its efforts will likely prove of only ephemeral effectiveness. The writer and others were able to persuade the ICBI to incorporate a brief article on creation and the flood into its “Chicago Statement on Inerrancy,” but the Council leadership felt it could not stand on literal-day creationism and a worldwide flood, so the article was mostly innocuous.8
Note that although Dr. Morris (and myself) agree with the definitions of inerrancy, inspiration, and infallibility in this document, Dr. Morris understood that did not stop many who believed in millions of years and even evolution from signing it. Obviously, what a number of these scholars understood by these terms was not how Dr. Morris understood the same terms! This is a major problem in modern Christianity.
Interestingly, the ICBI conducted a second summit in 1982. Dr. Henry Morris, in writing about this summit and the papers presented concerning how to interpret the Genesis record of creation, stated: “Dr. Bradley presented the only full-length paper. The presentations by Dr. Archer and myself were merely discussions of Bradley’s paper. The ‘stacking’ of the ICBI program was evident in that both Dr. Bradley and Dr. Archer were known to be opposed to the literal-day record of Genesis. The statement finally adopted by the council was so innocuous on the subject of origins that it would not even exclude evolution as an acceptable interpretation. That was the reason I could not sign their statement on biblical hermeneutics.”9
Dr. Henry Morris would not sign this second ICBI document called “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics” because he understood it really did not stand on an inerrant, infallible Scripture—even though those signing it would all say they believed such.
Keeping all this in mind, now consider these questions asked as part of our research project:
The percentage of no answers is in itself a great concern, but what do those who answered yes really mean? That is one of the major problems our research has once again brought to light.
Clearing Things Up
I began looking at various statements of faith from churches, Christian colleges, etc., on the Internet. I found that most statements of faith had a very general statement (if any) on creation. They were so general, in fact, that they could certainly allow for billions of years and evolution. Such general statements can sadly lead to the door of compromise being opened and eventually lead a college, church, etc., down the liberal path.
One can’t just accept what one is told from a college as it may not mean what we think it means (infallible and inerrant mean something different to some of these professors than it would to you). We need to understand that many colleges are actually destructive because of their compromise/liberalism/ belief in millions of years.
It was thrilling to read this creation statement from Appalachian Bible College (located in Beckley, West Virginia, in the beautiful Appalachian mountains):
We believe that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are the literal history of the early Earth (Matthew 19:4, 24:37).
We believe that this material universe is the result of a sequence of unique creative acts of God the Son, accomplished with the aid of God the Holy Spirit and directed by God the Father (Genesis 1:1, 2; Colossians 1:16). We believe these creative acts were ex nihilo, completed by the mere spoken commands of God (2 Peter 3:5). We further believe that these creative acts were accomplished in six literal twenty-four hour days (Exodus 20:11). Therefore we hold to a young earth view supported by the genealogies and other time information provided in the Word of God. We also believe that the material universe was created in total perfection (Genesis 1:31) but subsequently was sentenced to a slow decay and eventual destruction by the Curse (binding), which was part of the penalty for the disobedience of the parents of all mankind, Adam and Eve, whom we view as real, literal people, created on the sixth day of Creation (Genesis 1:27, 2:7–3:19). We reject all concepts of a pre-Adamic race. We believe that the biblical Noahic Flood (Genesis 6–8) was a real, yearlong global event, the result of the judgment of God on the hopelessly rebellious descendants of Adam and Eve (Genesis 6:5, 1 Peter 3:6), and resulted in much of the present geology of the Earth, including most of the fossil graveyards of myriads of plants and animals then living. We believe that only eight human souls, Noah and his family, survived the Flood (Genesis 7:13 and 8:18) and that all mankind now living are descended from this family, dispersed over the face of the Earth by the confusion of tongues described in Genesis 11.
Now that’s the type of strong statement we need to have in our Christian institutions. How refreshing to find a Christian college that is prepared to make such a statement with such detail to do their best to not allow the secular religion of this age (humanism, which encompasses millions of years/ evolution) to in any way infiltrate the college and undermine the authority of God’s Word—and lead young people down the path of doubt to unbelief! I challenge Christian colleges, churches, etc., to begin to reconsider their statements of faith to see how they can be strengthened in this area that has involved so much compromise in today’s world.
Just as an encouragement, here is the text of a letter I received from the president of Northland International University (one of the few Christian universities that stands on a literal Genesis):
Dear Friends at Answers in Genesis,
Thank you for the incredible support you have been to Northland International University. As we prepare this next generation of leaders, we do it in a postmodern era where God has been left out, the idea of absolute truth has been jettisoned, and society has been thrown into a moral free fall.
You have rightly identified this battle as a battle for the authority of the Word of God. If we cannot believe what God has clearly stated in Genesis 1–11, how can we trust the rest of the Bible? We fully concur with your doctrinal statement and in this foundation: God’s Word is inspired, infallible, inerrant, and sufficient. It is trustworthy in every way. We also believe that true science confirms what God has said.
Thank you for the investment you have made in our undergraduate and graduate programs, for the exceptional teaching, and abundant resources. We hope to build stronger ties with AIG and give our full support.
Matt Olson, President, Northland International University
There are very few well-known Christian leaders who are willing to take a vocal stand on taking the Book of Genesis as literal history. Thankfully, there are some leaders who have the boldness to make such an uncompromising stand, such as Pastor Johnny Hunt, Reverend Brian Edwards (UK), Dr. John MacArthur, and Dr. Albert Mohler, as well as a number of others.
Dr. Mohler is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. At the 2010 Ligonier Ministries/Christianity.com conference “Tough Questions Christians Face,” Dr. Mohler gave a presentation entitled “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?” In his conclusion, he declared:
I would suggest to you that in our effort to be most faithful to the Scriptures and most accountable to the grand narrative of the gospel, an understanding of creation in terms of 24-hour calendar days and a young earth entails far fewer complications, far fewer theological problems, and actually is the most straightforward and uncomplicated reading of the text as we come to understand God telling us how the universe came to be and what it means and why it matters.”10
President Greg Hall was recently teaching a class at Warner University on the topic of the authority of Scripture. During the discussion, he posed the question, “Do you believe the Bible is true?” Almost everyone in the class agreed that it is true but not everyone. A few found the question impossible to deal with. One student said, “It depends what you mean by ‘truth.’”
Greg said, “Truth is that which corresponds to reality.”
The students brought up the so-called errors and contradictions in the Bible—and the need to be able to interpret the text given the cultural setting, etc. They said the Scripture is “true in what it affirms” (a statement that is, in and of itself, almost completely meaningless). Greg publicly defended the Scripture in front of the whole class, affirming that the Bible does correspond to objective reality, that it is a book that accurately describes life as we experience it, that it tells the truth about historical events, and is reliable in every issue that it speaks to.
Then Greg pulled the students aside privately into his office for deeper discussion. He took a stand, being concerned not only for the students’ wellbeing but for the possible compromise that their influence would have on the class and the school. The compromise that we’re seeing in Christian colleges always centers on this: what we believe about the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture. This is the issue. The authority of Scripture is a central point of faith. If you don’t get the first two chapters of the sacred text right, you cannot get the rest right either.
Unfortunately, the survey revealed little consistency in these issues, showing the great number of people in Christian institutions who are conflicted about what they truly mean by what they say.
What is the truth? That depends on who you ask and their particular viewpoint or interpretation of the Scripture. In the above table, note virtually all young-earth believers, 93.9%, believe the Bible is literally true. It is surprising this number is not higher. Also, nearly four in five who adhere to an old-earth theory believe the Bible is literally true. Keep in mind these two concepts are polar opposites. These findings quickly reveal the large number of Christian leaders who are mistaken and hold a biblical position contrary to the literal interpretation of God’s Holy Word. This is extremely important to understand because once Christians accept a non-biblical view, they must then accept other non-biblical ideas to fulfill the logic of their error.
The so-called gap theory is a great example of this. Many great Christian leaders of the past 200 years have been gap theorists. They thought fitting the millions of years into a supposed gap in Genesis 1 was a way of dealing with the issue. In that sense, I have a much greater respect for such people than I do for those proposing theistic evolution or other old-earth views that reinterpret much of the Bible to mean something other than what it says. Theistic evolutionists, day-agers, advocates of the framework hypothesis, etc., are reinterpreting the clear teaching of Scripture to fit millions of years, and often Darwinian-type evolution, into the Bible (be it geological, astronomical, or biological evolution).
I say that the gap theory does (in spite of contrary intentions of godly men) “unlock a door” to allow a “crack” to undermine Scripture, and thus even great men (who were head and shoulders above people like me theologically) were inconsistent in this area. If one allows a crack in the door (as we would see the gap theory doing), then the next generation will open it further. It usually doesn’t get shut by the next generation.
In chapters 3 and 5, we will look more closely at the results of this survey. The news does not get better. As we look into the issues more deeply, you’ll see reasons to become more and more concerned about what is happening—and it’s not just about secular campuses but about the infiltration that is taking place in Christian institutions. We have nearly 100 percent agreement on New Testament issues, but when we get back to Genesis, we can clearly see that changes. They don’t typically discuss different “theories” about the virgin birth or the Resurrection, but they definitely discuss different “theories” about how things came into being in Genesis!
Overall, we found that only 24 percent of the 312 people surveyed answered every question correctly . . . and these are the “good guys”! These are the institutions that require testimonies of faith from their professors or have strong religious affiliations. Please understand this: if you send your students to a Christian college or institution, three out of four times they will stand in front of teachers who have a degraded view and interpretation of Scripture.
We do understand the “world” is the enemy and what those in the world say doesn’t surprise us. But we should be dismayed and shocked at what is happening in the Church. A trumpet is making an uncertain sound—and our children are increasingly becoming the casualties.
Like it or not, we are at war—“a war of worldviews,” as Greg Hall will describe in the next chapter. We’ve been fairly aware of our fight with the secularists who deny God and adhere to humanism where man’s thinking rules. What most families are not aware of, however, is the depths to which these influences have infiltrated Christian institutions.
And most parents aren’t finding out until it’s too late.