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Bodie Hodge responds to Steve from the USA regarding evidence and presuppositions.
Evolution does not PRESUPPOSE no God. It merely attempts to discern the mechanisms of God’s universe. What you are saying is that you find it believable that God created a universe filled with evidence to teach us about how the world works. But that evidence shouldn’t be believed. Instead, we should believe a book written by primitive people with one foot still in a cave dwelling, rather than everything our God-given human abilities can see in God’s universe around us every day.
First of all, evolution is simply a collection of observations. If you prefer, you can see the hand of God in action within evolution. I do. I don’t see your problem.
Evolution does not PRESUPPOSE no God.
Strangely, Darwin, the father of the modern evolutionary models, disagrees with you in his book The Descent of Man. He makes it clear that man invented the concept of a God/spiritual realm. He even said:
The same high mental faculties which first led man to believe in unseen spiritual agencies, then in fetishism, polytheism, and ultimately in monotheism, would infallibly lead him, as long as his reasoning powers remained poorly developed, to various strange superstitions and customs.1
The idea of a universal and beneficent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture.2
Claiming that man invented God makes this a godless philosophy from the start and clarifies what Darwin’s position was.
It merely attempts to discern the mechanisms of God’s universe.
Actually, that is what experimental science does (as opposed to historical science). Most fields of experimental science were developed by Bible-believing Christians, like us, to understand the laws of science God created.
What you are saying is that you find it believable that God created a universe filled with evidence to teach us about how the world works. But that evidence shouldn’t be believed.
Not so. We believe the evidence. We all have the same evidence but it doesn’t speak for itself. All evidence must be interpreted based on a belief system. As a Christian, I use the Bible to explain the evidence.
It would be illogical to think that God, who is perfect and who eyewitnessed His creation, wouldn’t know how to explain it and that imperfect men who weren’t there would know more than God.
So when it comes to evidence, one needs to place their faith in a perfect God or imperfect men to interpret it. I simply don’t have the faith in fallible men that some do.
Instead, we should believe a book written by primitive people
Primitive? I don’t accept your presupposition that man was originally primitive. I accept the Bible as my presupposition, and it makes Adam out to be very intelligent. Adam had perfect DNA (‘very good’ in Genesis 1:31) and God programmed him with perfect knowledge so as to communicate with him right from the start. For more on Adam’s characteristics please see “What Was Adam Like?”
Even looking into the past, there is evidence to confirm the biblical account that man has always been intelligent, not primitive. For example, please see “Ancient Civilizations & the Bible.”
with one foot still in a cave dwelling,
Again, I don’t accept your presupposition that man was primitive but as you probably know there are still people today living in caves and that doesn’t make them primitive—some have cable TV!
rather than everything our God-given human abilities can see in God’s universe around us every day.
I agree with the observations. In fact, Romans 1:20 makes it clear that God’s attributes can be seen in what is made so we are without excuse.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 (NASB))
In essence, it is enough to condemn, but not enough to save. We all still need Jesus Christ.
First of all, evolution is simply a collection of observations.
Then why haven’t we observed these:
If you prefer, you can see the hand of God in action within evolution. I do.
You are confusing natural selection with evolution. Natural selection is good, observable science. In fact, natural selection was developed by Ed Blyth, a creationist, about 25 years before Darwin and is an excellent confirmation of God’s created kinds in Genesis.
Natural selection clearly shows dogs making dogs, cats making cats, weasels making weasels, etc. This is biblical. However, we don’t observe dogs giving rise to horses or mice giving rise to cats. Natural selection is not goo-to-you evolution.
I don’t see your problem.
The issue is simple—you can either trust God’s Word or trust man’s ideas about the past. Choose whom you will place your faith in. God says:
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 (NASB)).
It is better to trust in God than to trust in men (Psalm 118:8).
A great article on this is A Young Earth—It’s Not the Issue!
Our goal here isn’t to win or lose an argument, but to get people thinking, help people get saved and then disciple them as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28. I’m sure you’ve heard the “good news” of Jesus Christ before, but I’m not sure if you understand what this means.
The “good news” of being saved goes back to the “bad news” in Genesis. God originally created a perfect world (Genesis 1:31); there was no death and suffering (Genesis 1:29–30). Then man sinned against a perfect and holy God (Genesis 3). God cursed the animals and the ground because of man and sentenced them to die (Genesis 3). It is due to man’s actions that sin and death entered the world. Now we are all sinners as a result and in need of a Savior.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned . . . (Romans 5:12 (NIV)).
When man sinned, God sacrificed animals (Genesis 3:21—coats of skins) to cover their sin because God commanded that sin is punishable by death (Genesis 2:17). This covering could only cover, not forgive.
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Hebrews 9:22 (NIV))
But God loved us enough to take that punishment upon Himself. He stepped into His creation as a perfect man, Jesus Christ, to live and suffer and die a painful death—to be the final sacrifice to cover our sins for good and offer forgiveness.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 (NIV)).
For those who accept Jesus Christ, there will be salvation and a new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1). They will one day see a perfect world again with no pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4)—the curse will be removed (Revelation 22:3). When you remove the reason for the gospel and replace it with goo-to-you evolution, it undermines the reason to accept Christ.
I want to encourage you to consider this.
Kind regards in Christ,
Bodie Hodge, AiG–USA