A Pandemic in Christendom

Calling out evangelical compromise in the church that questions the existence of a literal Adam, the virgin birth of Jesus, and the truthfulness of the Bible

by Ken Ham on December 21, 2021
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As we started the year with the theme, “Waking up the Church,” I want to end the year with some shocking quotes that one would think would help wake up the church! Consider this question: are you totally sure of the virgin birth?

Did you know one well-known academic in the Christian world is only “reasonably confident” that Jesus was born of a virgin? This same person rejects a literal Adam and Eve, that Adam was made from dust, that Eve was made from Adam, that there was a literal tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a literal fruit, and a literal serpent. He also says it’s not important to insist on the inerrancy of Scripture! Oh, and yes, this person believes in millions of years and evolutionary ideas. Yet he is considered by many to be in the mainstream of evangelical Christianity! Would you consider this person to be in the mainstream of evangelical orthodoxy?

Well, I certainly don’t. In fact, what this person believes and disseminates throughout the Christian world is false teaching that undermines the authority of the Word of God. Yet many in the church highly respect him as a supposed orthodox Christian. Sadly, he has great impact on Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches. Such shocking compromise is rampant throughout Christian academia and is a major contributing factor to why there is an exodus of the younger generations from the church. I will share some exact quotes from this person later on.

Discipled to reject compromise

I hate compromise in regard to God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the prophets called God’s people out time and time again for compromising God’s Word with the pagan religion of the age. And we read how God judged them because of this compromise.

Ken Ham: I hate compromise in regard to God’s Word

My father set the example for our family. He would never knowingly compromise God’s Word. He hated such compromise. When I was a teenager, the church we were attending distributed a daily devotional book to the congregation. One of the devotions was on Noah’s flood, and the writer stated the flood was just a local event. My father met with the pastor and elders and told them firmly they should not be distributing this booklet because it undermined the Word of God. While many in the church and in leadership didn’t want to “rock the boat,” my father was always willing to call out error and stand up for what was right and do his best to stop the authority of God’s Word from being undermined. For those who know me and the AiG ministry, you can see how this greatly impacted my life and the ministry God called me to.

My father also taught me to look out for those who take man’s fallible ideas and use them to reinterpret Scripture. He taught me the difference between eisegesis and exegesis. I learned from him how to “smell liberal theology a million miles away.”

I learned that Genesis 1–11 is literal history (after all, Jesus and various writers through the Old and New Testaments quoted from or referred to Genesis as literal history!). I also learned that all the different positions on Genesis (other than the position of taking it as written) have one thing in common—trying to fit millions of years into the Bible. And such compromise with millions of years undermines biblical authority and unlocks a door to place those doing this on a slippery slide of unbelief. There is no doubt one can see this has happened to the academic I referenced above. Years ago, this person was adamant one has to accept what he called “mainstream science” in reference to supposed billions of years for the age of the earth. And now consider where he is.

Craig: “I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to be true”!

The person I am referring to is William Lane Craig. He heads up his own ministry called Reasonable Faith, is a visiting professor at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, and is a Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He is considered by many to be a great apologist because of his defense of the existence of the Creator God and the resurrection.

Now read the following quotes and weep. I think you will be shocked at not only what Craig says but also how he says it.

“Now, I would be disingenuous, Sean, if I were to say that I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to come out true. To me that is a nightmare, my greatest fear is that the young earth creationist might be right in his hermeneutical claim that Genesis does teach those things that I described earlier. And I say that would be a nightmare because if that’s what the Bible teaches, it puts the Bible into massive, I think irredeemable, conflict with modern science, history and linguistics and I don’t want that to happen.”

William Lane Craig: “Now, I would be disingenuous, Sean, if I were to say that I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to come out true. To me that is a nightmare, my greatest fear is that the young earth creationist might be right in his hermeneutical claim that Genesis does teach those things that I described earlier. ”

“I think it should prompt us not to be over literalistic in the way we read these narratives. And once you begin to look at them in terms of mytho-history, it’s difficult to look at them any other way. I mean, when you read a story about two people in an arboretum with these magical trees whose fruit, if you eat it, will grant you immortality or the knowledge of good and evil, and then there is this talking snake who comes along and tempts them into sin, and then you have this anthropomorphic God walking in the cool of the garden, calling out audibly to Adam in his hideout, you think, well, of course, this is figurative and metaphorical language. This isn’t meant to be read in this sort of literalistic fashion. And so once you begin to see these narratives this way, you begin to think, how can I have read them any other way? It would be like reading Aesop’s fables literalistically as really about talking animals, for example, rather than as figurative or metaphorical in order to teach some moral lesson.”

“Assuming then, for the sake of argument, the truth of evolutionary biology concerning human origins, we can imagine sometime prior to 750,000 years ago a group of hominins, maybe a few thousand, and through a biological and spiritual renovation, perhaps divinely induced, a miracle that caused a genetic regulatory mutation in a pair of these hominins, they were lifted to fully human status and capable of supporting a rational soul through their brain and nervous system. And they would then begin to have children, and I think given their full humanity, they would naturally tend to isolate themselves from their nonhuman contemporaries. In time they and their descendants would supersede all of the nonhuman descendants and eventually give rise to different species of human beings like Neanderthals, Homo sapiens, and Denisovans.”1

Licona [interviewer]: “What about the matter of Adam being made from dirt and Eve being formed from one of Adam’s ribs? Are those elements part of the myth in the mytho-history or do you think they are historical?”

Craig: “I think that is part of the figurative language of myth. I have long been suspicious of things such as the creation of Eve from a rib out of Adam’s side as though God performed some sort of literal surgery on the man and built a woman out of it or that God shaped this figurine out of dirt and breathed into its nose the breath of life and the statue came alive. It seemed to me that this was clearly figurative language, but I didn’t have a reason for thinking that until I became acquainted with this genre called mytho-history.”2

“Did God stoop so low in condescending to become a man that he took on such cognitive limitations that Jesus shared false beliefs typically held by other ordinary first century Jews? Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.”3

In answer to the question, “Are you actually confident that Jesus was born to a virgin?” Craig’s answer: “I’m reasonably confident.”

“I don’t insist on the inerrancy of Scripture.”4

“It really is true that a solid, persuasive case for Jesus’ resurrection can be made without any assumption of the Gospels’ inerrancy. By contrast, the case for Jesus’ belief that the Old Testament Scriptures are inerrant is much weaker.”5

You can view the video clips where Craig made some of these statements and more at this link: Answers.tv/lane. It’s important for you to watch the videos if you can (they are all short clips).

Craig vs New Testament authors

William Lane Craig mocked the idea that the first man was made from dust. But what does the apostle Paul state? “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Paul obviously took the account in Genesis as literal history. God himself in Genesis said to the man, “till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

William Lane Craig mocked the idea that the first man was made from dust. But what does the apostle Paul state? “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust” (1 Corinthians 15:47).

Craig mocked at the first woman being made from the first man.

What does the apostle Paul state? “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man” (1 Corinthians 11:8).

When Craig was asked if he believed Jesus was born of a virgin, he said, “I’m reasonably confident.”

Matthew records the following: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’” (Matthew 1:22–23).

We need your support to answer creation compromises!

Now there are many Christian academics and leaders who compromise Genesis, not just William Lane Craig. And why do they do this? Well, as we sinned in Adam, Genesis 3:1 really sums up the problem we have. We would rather believe man’s fallible word than the Word of the infallible God. To put it another way, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).

Hearing some of these latest statements from Craig burdened me greatly. The ministry of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter could never compromise God’s Word with man’s fallible beliefs like the religion of millions of years/evolution. As my father taught me, a Christian should never put fallible man’s word in authority over God’s infallible Word.

More than ever, we need to challenge people with the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. As we celebrate the birth of the God-man Jesus at this Christmas time, let’s remember that it was in Genesis 3:15 that God first promised the Savior. Yes, the account of a literal Adam, a literal tree, a literal fruit, a literal serpent, and a literal fall is why Adam’s race needed a Savior, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), to save us from our sin.

Thank you for being one of our AiG family. As we approach the end of 2021, would you consider a generous gift to our ministry to help us reach our end-of-year fundraising challenge and take advantage of the $8.5 million matching gift offer God has blessed us with? This will enable us to expand and upgrade a number of areas at the Ark and Creation Museum. As a result, we will be able to impact more people and, we trust, wake up more of the church to stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the very first verse. Double your gift today at AnswersinGenesis.org/donate.

Footnotes

  1. Sean McDowell, “A Quest for the Historical Adam: A Conversation with William Lane Craig”, September 22, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TQ8w_9qN4Q
  2. Mike Licona, “William Lane Craig on the Historical Adam”, September 28, 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc1ekr03KVA.
  3. William Lane Craig, “#522 Should OT Difficulties be an Obstacle to Christian Belief?” Reasonable Faith, April 16, 2017, https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/should-ot-difficulties-be-an-obstacle-to-christian-belief.
  4. Nicholas Kristof, “Professor, Was Jesus Really Born to a Virgin?”, The New York Times, December 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/21/opinion/sunday/christmas-christian-craig.html.
  5. William Lane Craig, “#11 What Price Biblical Errancy?” Reasonable Faith, July 2, 2007, https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/what-price-biblical-errancy.

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