Many claim, “It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation.” But is this a proper use of the word faith?
Many Christians with the best of intentions make the claim, “It takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in creation.” On the surface, this sounds like a plausible argument. But how does it correspond to the teaching of Scripture? How does the Bible define the word faith?
The book of Hebrews offers a definition of faith that most believers should be familiar with:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
substance” relates to the essence of truth (“what really is”). The Greek word pictures something that “stands fast under,” such as a foundation or substructure, which provides a firm support for what we think and do. “
Evidence of things not seen” refers to an assurance or conviction not based primarily on personal experience or empirical evidence but upon the character and purposes of God. This definition characterizes the lives of the believers mentioned in Hebrews 11, who relied on nothing but the promises of God without any visible evidence that the promises would be fulfilled (e.g., Hebrews 11:10, 11, 13, 39–40).
Faith, then, generally involves trust or belief in someone or something—in this case, God—that is faithful:
“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
Scripture teaches that God is true (John 3:33) and cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He has communicated His truth through the apostles and prophets:
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
Let’s apply this biblical definition of faith to the claims of John 3:16, where it is written:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Here we see that the eternal, transcendent God took on the form of human flesh, Jesus Christ. He came to earth to live a perfect life, to die a criminal’s death, and to rise again three days later—all because “
God so loved the world.” Furthermore, anyone who believes that Christ is Lord and that He was raised from the dead will have “
everlasting life” (cf. Romans 10:9). These are some extravagant claims! But we believe them. Why? We believe because we have faith in a God who is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23; 11:11; Revelation 3:14).
We as believers can have faith in God’s Word because God is who He claims to be (Hebrews 11:6), and He has given us His revelation through His Word so we can know about Him. He promised that His words would never pass away (Matthew 24:35), and we know that God never fails (Joshua 21:45). Therefore we regard Scripture as the reliable and sufficient revelation of the one true God.
Moreover, God has proven Himself true over and over again. We expect this since He is the standard of proof and truth! We read eyewitness accounts and fulfilled prophecy recorded in the Word of God. We also find that operational science (observable, testable, and repeatable experimentation) is consistent with Scripture. The basis for our faith comes from God and His Word, as Romans 10:17 says, “
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” However, things like fulfilled prophecy and eyewitness accounts help show that our faith is not blind.
Based on the Bible’s description of faith, it does not seem accurate to say that it takes more faith to believe in evolution and millions of years. In fact, it’s not likely that it takes any faith at all. Biblical faith is based on a someone or something that is faithful, but evolutionary ideas are anything but faithful. Additionally, Romans 10:17 clearly indicates that evolution—which does not come from Scripture—is not based on biblical faith.
There is a definition of faith that does describe the evolutionists: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary has multiple definitions for faith, but we have given one definition that originates with Scripture. But there is a definition of faith that does describe the evolutionists: “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”1 Clearly, this definition of “blind faith” has a much different meaning than biblical faith.
Unlike biblical faith, blind faith has no substance, and there is no evidence or assurance of things “
not seen.” Blind faith is not based on a someone or something that is faithful and has revealed itself, and therefore, blind faith is not defensible, as it relies of the ever-changing ideas and opinions of mankind who are their own authority. It is simply a willingness to believe something for which there is no revelation or proof at all! Many secularists and even Christians have used the word faith to describe evolution, but a better choice would be to use blind faith.
Biblical faith is defensible because our Creator is faithful. Using God’s infallible and inerrant Word as our starting point, we can teach the truth about the world around us and show how the evidence we see is consistent with His Word. As Scripture states, we must “
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” (1 Peter 3:15, emphasis added). In other words, we must be prepared to defend the substance of things in which we have hope.
Of course, we all have a limit to what we will believe. In other words, every person is willing to accept some things based solely on the word of another. For example, a stranger might tell you that he flipped a coin three times and that it came up heads all three times. Would you believe him? Most likely—it does not take much convincing to believe such a claim.
But what if the same person then told you that he flipped a coin 100 times, and it came up heads every time? Would you believe him then? Because of the improbability that what he is saying is true, it’s unlikely that anyone would believe the coin came up heads 100 times in a row by chance. You might suspect that he somehow rigged the coin toss, or that he was lying to you. At that point, you have reached your limit of blind faith.
The above example, however, only demonstrates a very small amount of chance. If a person is not convinced that a coin could come up heads 100 times in a row (for which the chance is 1 in 2100, or 1 followed by 30 zeros), then how then could he possibly believe in the evolutionary idea that the entire universe came about by chance? If we’re disinclined to accept even a small amount of chance, then we can forget about evolution entirely.
Even some evolutionists are willing to admit that their ideas about origins depend almost exclusively on chance. Jacques Monod, a Nobel Prize-winning biologist, once admitted as much in his book Chance and Necessity:
Chance alone is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.2
While it takes a blind faith to believe in evolution, what does it take to believe in the creation account given in Genesis? For example, look at the human body. We know it did not come about by chance, or at least, it should be beyond our limit of blind faith. So, chance fails to provide a sufficient ground of faith in that it bears no authority, personhood, or purpose.
Scripture gives us the best evidence for creation—an eyewitness account from the Creator Himself. Furthermore, the Bible tells us that the experiential evidence for God’s handiwork has been made plain to man, so that he is without excuse:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18–20)
Not only do we have the Word of God, but we also can see and experience the evidence for creation all around us, from the birds of the air to the fish of the sea. So the next time you hear someone say, “It takes more faith to believe in evolution than creation,” remember that biblical faith is based on the faithfulness of someone or something—specifically, the Creator God and His Word—and without that, all you have is blind faith.