In The Lutheran (the magazine of the largest U.S. Lutheran denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), William Jennings visits the Creation Museum and Big Bone Lick State Park (down the road from the Creation Museum). “Two museums, two viewpoints of creation,” Jennings writes. “Visiting both, I considered what are the questions for Lutheran scholars to consider.” The questions he asks (with excerpts from his answers) are in the full version of the article, which is only available to subscribers:
Jennings sadly sidesteps the entire scientific debate.
- How do we interpret the Bible? “It isn’t all to be taken literally, and the use of terms like ‘legend’ or ‘myth’ may be helpful.”
- Is Christian faith compatible with evolution? “Since the Genesis stories don’t present a factual account of creation, they also don’t contradict scientific views of how the world evolved.”
- How are our children taught? “[A]lmost a thousand scientists from the three states nearest the Creation Museum signed a petition objecting to the misinformation being presented by the museum[.]”
- Are there social implications in this disagreement? “The social implication [that the acceptance of evolution is behind abortion, drugs, pornography, etc.] isn’t what the museum claims—but rather a recognition that knowledge of science is essential if Christians are to use their God-given abilities to face so many of today’s challenges.”
Jennings sadly sidesteps the entire scientific debate, apparently either having missed—or ignored—the museum’s crucial presentation of how presuppositions influence scientific “evidence.” Furthermore, he is apparently unaware that accepting evolution is a far bigger issue for Christians than whether Genesis is myth; it devalues God’s character and adulterates Christian doctrine. Even many non-Christians are aware of the fatal blow the millions of years of death and suffering of evolution (if true) would deal to Christianity.
If anything, the Lutheran piece shows once again the fundamental importance of presuppositions. If you reject the inerrancy of God’s Word from the beginning, you can make nearly any doctrine “compatible” with Christianity.
(One last note: a reader prompted us to clarify that not all Lutheran denominations believe as the ELCA does; the Missouri Synod, for example, espouses a literal, six-day creation.)
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