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Originally published in Creation 2(3):13-16, July 1979
Many Christians and churches cannot see the relevance of creation science. This article is available as a reprint from Australian H.Q., and is useful for explaining the relevance of this work to Christians who may or may not have a great background in science.
The teaching of evolution, despite many theologians claim to the contrary, is a major reason preventing people being receptive to the gospel of Christ. Evolutionary thought is so entrenched in the minds of most people today that they will not consider the Bible or the Gospel since they believe it is unscientific, false and irrelevant. For them science has proved there is no God—no need for a God.
For too long individual Christians and church denominations have either ignored the problem (if they realized there was a problem) or compromised between the evolutionary theory and what the Bible teaches, not knowing or ignoring the philosophical, theological and scientific problems associated with such positions. This article was written to show briefly the importance and relevance of the Creation Science Ministry in relation to the effect acceptance of evolutionary teaching has had on non-Christians, Christians and Evangelism.
One of the early church fathers, Thomas Aquinas, said this: ‘We must be on our guard against giving interpretations which are hazardous or opposed to science and so exposing the Word of God to ridicule of unbelievers.’ Unfortunately many Christians have only been too willing to take this stand when it comes to ‘what Genesis says’ and ‘what evolution says,’ without understanding the implications of such a position.
Historically man has been only too willing to ‘interpret’ the Bible in the light of the accepted beliefs of the day instead of understanding the accepted beliefs and the reasons behind them in the light of Scripture. To such people, where there is conflict between popular beliefs and Scripture, it is the interpretation of the Scripture that is wrong. Such people suffer from what I call the “Aquinas Syndrome”.
What about the day-age theory (the belief that the days in Genesis are long periods of time equated with Geologic Ages), theistic evolution (the belief that God used evolution to bring all plant and animal life forms into being), or the gap theory (the belief that the geologic ages and the billions of years ascribed to the age of the Earth fit in a ‘gap’ between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1 :2)? These re-interpretations of Genesis arose at the same time as the popularization of a long age for the Earth and the acceptance of the assumptions underlying uniformitarianism. In no western Bible commentaries before this time is there any mention of such ideas. Thus these views are an endeavor to harmonize Scripture with the ‘accepted beliefs’ of the day so as to avoid intellectual conflict and persecution.
The evolutionary theory proposes that millions of years of death and struggle finally brought man into existence.
The Bible teaches that death (both spiritual and physical) resulted from man’s actions. According to Paul in Romans 5:12, when Adam introduced sin, death came as a consequence. This death was both spiritual and physical as is illustrated by Genesis 3:22,23, where Adam is put out of the Garden of Eden so that he cannot eat from the Tree of Life and live forever.
These two opposing views are obviously irreconcilable.
The evolutionary theory states that man, physically, mentally, socially and spiritually is advancing with time. Evolution has no logical origin for the sin nature. Theistic evolutionists must resort to a non-scientific and non-Biblical cause for the origin of sin.
The Bible says man was created morally good in a perfect environment with a special relationship to God but that by disobedience he sinned and deserved death. Christ was born, lived, died and was resurrected to bring man back into a right standing with God. If the first Adam was a myth, then by all logic so is the last Adam, who is Christ. If there was nothing forfeited, then there was nothing to be redeemed and so Christ’s work was in vain. The basis of the Gospel message is then destroyed.
The Biblical doctrine of origins is foundational to all other doctrines. Without this doctrine all other doctrines of Biblical theology are meaningless. For example the doctrine of Creation is important for Christians for their view of marriage, society and relations with fellow men; for the distinction between the sexes; for the structure of the family; the need for work in society as a balance to leisure; for a proper world view. All teaching by Christ or the Apostles on these subjects are derived from Genesis and are meaningless if the Genesis account is not factual.
Evolution is taught as fact in most schools in nearly every subject and grade level—Primary, High School and Tertiary.
The following is a quote from Sir Julian Huxley from a Web of Life biology film which many secondary biology students see and sums up the the attitude of most teachers in schools today:
‘Every biologist accepts the fact of evolution just as every astronomer and physicist accepts the fact that the Earth goes round the Sun and not vice versa.’
Evolution is taught or implied to be true in most churches.
Non-Christians: Typical response to evangelism from people today: ‘How can anyone possibly believe the Bible when it says God created Adam and Eve and we know that it isn’t true? Evolution has been proven by science to be fact.’
The teaching of atheistic evolution is a major reason preventing people being receptive to the Gospel of Christ. Evolutionary thought is so entrenched in the minds of most people today that they will not consider the Bible or the Gospel, since, they believe, it is unscientific, false and irrelevant. For them science has proved there is no God—no need for a God.
Christians: Non-acceptance of a literal interpretation of Genesis leads logically to a denial of the authority of the rest of Scripture. Many Christians have lost their faith in the Scripture as a result of believing they cannot trust Genesis.
For non-Christians: The most important thing is to preach the Gospel, because the scientific aspects of creation are secondary importance to the Gospel of Christ. But what can be done when people won’t listen to the Gospel because for them the evolutionary theory is a ‘fact which explains all’? We must teach creation—both Biblical and scientific aspects and show how it is related to the Gospel and basic to the truth of fallen man.
If we want to convince others, whether through preaching or writing or counselling, it has to be through the Word of God.
The scientific aspects, in association with the Gospel, do get the attention of many. There is much scientific evidence easily understood by laymen which supports the creation explanation of origins as given in Genesis. There are also many easily explained problems with the evolutionary concept of beginnings that are unknown to the public and will open the eyes of many. Some of these can be summarized as follows:
Radioactive dating of rocks does not give consistent results despite the often-heard claim that it does. Suitable results are usually selected to ‘fit the theory’ whereas ‘not fit’ results are discarded.
There are many dating methods which provide results consistent with a young age for the Earth.
Non-Christians come to listen to the Gospel whereas previously they wouldn‘t. There are many testimonies from those who thought science had proved there was no God, and who as a result of the teaching of both the scientific and Biblical aspects of creation, were convicted by the Holy Spirit and received Christ as Saviour. Religious Education classes that previously would only mock their R.E. teacher listen with interest and think deeply about Christian things after a course in Biblical Creation Science.
It pays to remember that through history as long as the Christian churches retained the simplicity of the early Gospel, the world witnessed a revival of morality and religious fervour beyond anything ever known. But when Christianity becomes popular, the spirit of critical enquiry and the study of philosophy leads scholars to organize and codify Christian teachings. In order to be considered intellectual, they turn to secular wisdom to interpret theological principles and as a result there develops the ‘falling away’ that Paul warned against in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.