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.
Why is the creation science ministry important?
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.
Why creation 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.
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.
Evolution-Creation: Two Conflicting Faiths
- 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.
Why then is creation evangelism important?
- 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.
- Whatever our belief concerning our origins will inevitably determine our belief concerning men’s purposes and destiny.
- If you believe in an evolutionary concept of beginnings, this necessarily specifies an evolutionary program for the future.
- If on the other hand you believe in an origin at the hand of an omnipotent, holy, loving God, this necessarily predicts a divine purpose in history and an assurance of the fulfillment of that purpose.
Effects of acceptance of evolution
- 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.
What can be done to rectify this situation?
- 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.
- For Christians:
- Since all lasting faith is founded on the Word of God, Christians must be thoroughly grounded in the theological and philosophical implications of accepting evolution, and of the many inconsistencies associated with holding such beliefs as Theistic Evolution, Day Age theories etc.
- In order to give a reason for the hope which lies within, Christians should be familiar with the Biblical teaching on creation and the scientific cases in favour of creation, since a believing understanding in the book of Genesis is pre-requisite to an understanding of God and His meaning to man.
What about the scientific aspects of creation?
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:
Problems with the Evolutionary Theory
- 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.
- The sequences in the fossil record do not show the necessary forms to establish any more variation than exists at present. Evolution from simple to complex cannot be seen in the fossil record.
- Observed mechanisms for change do not provide evolutionary theory with a basis for the huge amount of change required to turn chemicals into man.
- The systematic nature of the fossil gaps or so-called “missing links” cannot be explained by a random process of fossilization in association with the random process of evolution.
Positive Evidences for Creation
- There are many dating methods which provide results consistent with a young age for the Earth.
- The variations observed in the fossil record are similar to the limited variation observed in present living organisms. These variations fit the description of fixed kinds far better than an evolutionary arrangement.
- Observed mechanisms for change (recombination and mutation) enable organisms only to maintain their complexity, or degenerate. This is consistent only with the creation of separate kinds, and the degeneration accompanying the curse.
- A major part of the fossil record is more easily explained on the basis of a single catastrophe consistent with the Flood described in Genesis.
Results of teaching creation science
- 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.
- Christians typically respond with, “My faith has been restored in the Scriptures. God is so much more personal and near and concerned with every moment of my life. No longer do I have to be concerned about intellectual conflict or persecution. Thy Word is Truth. True science supports exactly what the Scriptures say.” (This type of response has been observed in university lecturers, pastors, teachers and students.)
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.