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A theistic evolutionist claims that AiG is hindering the spread of the gospel by rejecting evolution. Bodie Hodge responds.
I am a Christian, and so I do not mislead you I disagree scientifically with your beliefs. However, I don't care if you think the earth is a few thousand years old. I don't care if you reject evolution. We are both saved by the grace of God. However, I cannot help but feel that this movement is based on one giant sin. It is clear, very clear, especially in Paul's epistles, that the entire purpose of the Church is to spread the word, to bring people to God, to give Him glory. First, who gets glory out of this grand theory? Not God. No, rejecting evolution does not give glory to God, because evolution IS COMPATIBLE with God, even if you believe it to be wrong. Secondly, I am witnessing to people in pain, people who NEED Christ, but these people are thinkers, and they have been presented the face of Christianity that YOU PRESENT. They are disgusted! Why should we be hindering the spread of the Gospel over a LESS THAN FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH? Teach God's love, the cross, mercy- those are TRUE
I am a Christian, and so I do not mislead you I disagree scientifically with your beliefs.
Thanks for being up front about your belief system (i.e., theistic evolution as can be determined below). Please see my comments done by point-by-point style below. I pray this response will help you realize the importance of accepting all of God’s Word—including the book of Genesis. My comments are said with sincerity.
However, I don't care if you think the earth is a few thousand years old. I don't care if you reject evolution. We are both saved by the grace of God.
Of course we are both saved if we’ve called upon Christ to be our Savior. But what are you saved from? I assume you would say “sin.” But what is sin? The book of Genesis provides the definition: disobedience to God’s commands. A literal man (Adam) disobeyed a literal command of God (Genesis 2:15–17) and suffered the consequences (Genesis 3).
Within your evolutionary, millions-of-years paradigm, there is no Adam and thus no first sin. Death is not the punishment for sin (contrary to Genesis 3:19), but has existed for millions of years. In this scenario, why do you need Christ to save you from sin and death? Such a position undermines the gospel. Even atheists understand this point:
“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.”1
However, I cannot help but feel that this movement is based on one giant sin.
Feelings are not the measure of truth or the standard that determines what sin is. God’s Word is.
It is clear, very clear, especially in Paul's epistles, that the entire purpose of the Church
But these three purposes mentioned below do not comprise the entire purpose of the Church. I suggest a search for the word “church” in the Bible to give you an idea of a few other important roles. For example, the church is to pray (Acts 12:5), settle disputes (Matthew 18:17, 1 Corinthians 6:4), etc.
is to spread the word,
Why spread the Word if you don't even believe it in the first place?
Since you brought up Paul, then consider that he used a creation-evangelism message when he preached on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22–31). The concept isn’t original to AiG: we follow his example and spread God’s Word and the good news of Jesus Christ beginning in Genesis. If you are familiar with our museum, you know that the whole experience culminates in presenting the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ first (the Creator—Colossians 1:16); Christ last and throughout (Savior, Ruler and Sustainer of His creation).
A theistic evolutionist has no choice but to reject the plain teachings in Genesis 1–11, as these chapters clearly stand opposed to molecules-to-man evolution. When Genesis 1–11 is deemed myth or allegorized, what happens? In addition to there being no basis for the gospel, there is also no basis for clothing (Genesis 3), for death being an enemy, for marriage, and so on.
If we are being chastised for preaching the Word in Genesis and not going along with the world, when it rejects Genesis, well, then, thanks for the compliment! We would rather trust what God said He did and encourage others to do the same.
to bring people to God,
One thing should be noted—we at AiG don’t bring people to the Lord. In fact, no human does. We provide witness, testimonies, and answers, but only the Spirit can convict and regenerate the sinner. We are working to help people come to know the Lord—it is the first point in our Statement of Faith:
The scientific aspects of creation are important, but are secondary in importance to the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
So there is a difference, we can’t force people into believing (John 6:44). The gospel is the primary reason for why we minister as we do. And we have seen many people come to Christ because they discover that the Bible can be trusted from the very first verse.
I am writing to express my immense thanks and appreciation for Ken Ham and the AIG website. By my freshman year of college I had serious doubts about God and heavily questioned the religion I had always known to be true. This change of thought and values was a direct result of secular evolutionary teachings i was exposed to on tv and in the classroom. It saddens my heart to admit these Godless ideas and so called scientific facts had impacted my life and altered my view of thinking. Thankfully i had a copy of Ken's book The Lie: Evolution. This book triggered the change in my life and led me to the website. Not a day goes by that I dont thank God for Ken Ham and the AIG articles I read on a daily basis. If it werent for Ken and AIG, Godless evolutionary thinking would have eventually led to my immoral self destruction. I cannot begin to express my appreciation for Ken Ham and AIG, not only do I have 0 doubts of who the TRUE creator is I now can defend the Word of God as literal truth
Thank you so much for your new Kid’s Website! My husband and I run our Church’s Kids Group (Navigators) from first grade—5th grade and are so excited to use your new material. We have already watched your kids movies for our movie nights! They were a big success! Thank you for all you do!
I just wanted to compliment you on your excellent website. The design is extremely professional—one of the best sites I've seen from a conservative Christian organization. So many sites look low budget and shoddy—which is often due to lack of funds or expertise. It is refreshing to see a professional looking site.
I am the webmaster for the VCY America network, and I have put a lot of work into our own site. I think it is important to have make the site look good, but also make the information accessible. Your site does that well. I think that a website is really a testimony to your visitors, and yours certainly is a good testitmony. I love your 1:1 logo as well. Keep up the good work.
to give Him glory.
Our hope is to always give glory to God in all that we do. We would not do what we do if that weren't our goal.
First, who gets glory out of this grand theory? Not God.
I take it that this “grand theory” that you are referring to is biblical creation (God created supernaturally, made man from dust, made woman from man, made a “very good” world without death or suffering; man sins, and death and suffering enter the creation [hence we need a Savior]; a worldwide Flood destroys the wicked, and Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives were saved on an Ark to repopulate the earth, etc.). Such teachings simply come from Genesis, God’s Word. This is not a theory; this is what God said happened, an eyewitness account. Who are we to question what God said and put our trust in speculation about the past?
Certainly there are creationist models that we base on the biblical account, such as catastrophic plate tectonics, but you'll notice that we don't take a firm stance on any model—even creationist ones. The only thing we stand on is the account (not theory) of Genesis 1–11, and the authority of Scripture in general.
How can teaching others to trust God’s Word not be honoring to Him and bring Him glory?
No, rejecting evolution does not give glory to God,
Perhaps I don’t follow your logic: telling people that God was wrong in Genesis somehow gives God glory but telling people that God is correct in Genesis doesn’t give Him glory? This is illogical. David presented this psalm:
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. (1 Chronicles 16:24)
Declaring God’s glory and His marvelous deeds doesn’t entail pretending God did something other than what He recorded in Genesis. God is correct in all things that He speaks, including origins. In fact, throughout the psalms David worshipped God and gave Him glory specifically because of His deeds of creation (as Job did).
because evolution IS COMPATIBLE with God,
Which “god” are you referring to here? The God of the Bible, who says what He did in Genesis, which disagrees with molecules-to-man evolution. A god of a millions-of-years-old earth is a god of death, not the God of life and God of love that Scripture teaches. Applying attributes of such a false god to the God of the Bible demeans the character and nature of God. It would also mean that an all-good, all-powerful, truthful God deceived Israelites and Christians, who loved and trusted Him for thousands of years, all the while waiting for atheists to “interpret” Genesis properly for us.
I understand that you, like most of us at AiG have been taught evolution, whether in public schools or the media. But holding it in such high regard over the Word of God is not good theology. The false belief system of evolution that has been promoted for 150 years has subtly crept into many Christians’ thinking, and it is time to get back to God’s Word and not be deceived. God's Word is sufficient. In the past 150 years, many once-Christian universities become atheistic upon the acceptance of evolution; public schools have become atheistic upon acceptance of evolution with prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Bible removed from the classroom; nations that were largely Christian have become largely atheistic upon acceptance of evolution (England for example); evolution was a driving force in the actions of Hitler, Stalin, and other mass murderers. After such a history what would possibly make someone think that evolution provides a foundation to lead people to Christ?
even if you believe it to be wrong.
It is not a matter of what I believe, but a matter of what God says.
Secondly, I am witnessing to people in pain, people who NEED Christ,
As do we. And we have many resources on the subject to give people answers. In an evolutionary perspective, death, pain, and suffering existed long before man, was a tool God used, and was something God would have called “very good” (if one allegorizes Genesis): so God would be responsible for it or perhaps powerless to do anything about it.
God is not to blame but man’s actions are.
However, in Genesis 3, we find that man’s sin is responsible for death entering the creation (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12). God is not to blame but man’s actions are. Death (and all that accompanies it—pain, suffering, disease, sickness, cancer, tears, heartbreak) is an intrusion into God’s creation; death is described as an enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26) that will be removed (Revelation 21:4).
This is all the more reason to realize that Jesus came to save us from the problem we, as mankind, caused in the first place. The beautiful hope is that through receiving the free gift of eternal life provided for by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (our Creator!), we can look forward to a time when the curse God placed on His creation (Genesis 3; Romans 8:18–21) is no more. To a time when there will be no more pain, tears, heartbreak, death (Revelation 21:1–5, 22:3), as it was in the beginning.
If Genesis isn’t true, then what answers can you give them for their pain? “That's the way God created things”? “Pain is a part of the process that God used to bring about His creation”? “Death is a very natural and good part of God’s creation”? “Tears are part of the evolutionary process as we struggle to survive in this dog-eat-dog world that God created”? If you’re consistent with the “millions of years” mindset, this is what you must say to them. How sad and hurtful.
but these people are thinkers,
What do you mean by “thinkers”? As opposed to our scientists and those with advanced degrees? Or general creationists, which, statistically speaking, run the gamut of intellectual prowess, as any subset of society does? The Bible says all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Colossians 2:2–3). Jesus quoted Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 when explaining the basis of marriage (Mathew 19 and Mark 10). Jesus pointed out that marriage between a male and female has been around since the beginning of creation. This is obviously in contradiction with theistic evolution that doesn’t have man on the scene until billions of years after “the beginning.” Have these “thinkers” thought through that?
and they have been presented the face of Christianity that YOU PRESENT.
So, they’ve been presented with the biblical view that an all-good God made everything “very good” (Genesis 1:3; Deuteronomy 32:4) and justly cursed His creation as He said He would because of man’s sin (Genesis 3), which caused death and suffering to come into the world (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22). And that a loving Savior stepped into history to save us from that sin, death, and suffering (John 3:16; Revelation 21:4)? Good. This is the gospel.
They are disgusted!
What face of Christianity would they like, then? One that isn't real? One with a sadistic, sloppy god who uses the process that kills the undesirables, helpless, old, and feeble? And what of those who have been presented with theistic evolution who have thereafter left the church? Compromising the Word of God to try to win the unsaved is a dangerous way to go. They are being sold, not converted, by tickling ears (2 Timothy 4:3). Paul became all things to all people, but he did not give up his foundation, rooted in the Old Testament.
Why would they be disgusted with a perfect God who loves us enough to take the punishment we deserve upon Himself and who offers a free gift of salvation? One reason they are disgusted may be because the gospel doesn’t “fit” with their current preconceived belief system. They are challenged. They would have to repent and change their beliefs and possibly their way of life. Although they may believe they would be committing intellectual suicide, that simply is not so. Paul often encountered people who also didn’t like biblical teachings, but he didn’t water down or change his message. For example, he didn’t tell the Greeks to just add Christ to the multitudes of mythological gods they worshipped . On the contrary, Paul said:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:5–6)
Why should we be hindering the spread of the Gospel over a LESS THAN FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH?
You have it the wrong way around. You are telling people that God is wrong in Genesis and that God is a god of death with tumors, carnivory, thorns, pain, and suffering in the fossil record, and then you try to tell people that God is love? This is inconsistent within itself, and certainly with Scripture, and is, in fact, hindering the gospel, since billions-of-years thinking is a stumbling block for many.
You completely remove the foundation for the gospel and want people to believe it anyway.
You completely remove the foundation for the gospel and want people to believe it anyway. If a builder came to me and tried to get me buy a house, and I asked, “What foundation does the house have, brick or block?” How do you think I would react if the builder said: “Neither, I’ll build it on sand on the beach for you.” This is essentially the warning that Jesus gave in the parable of the man building a house on shifting sand. If we don't put our trust in God's Word—all of it—what basis do we have for our belief? Man's ideas about the past are shifting sand. They have changed. God’s Word has not. And as the church has moved with the shifting sand, it has lost its credibility. That is a face of Christianity that is harmful.
The foundation for the gospel is Genesis. The good news of Jesus Christ goes back to the bad news in Genesis. This is why Paul, when discussing the gospel, relates Christ as the Last Adam, comparing Him to the first Adam in Genesis:
So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
This is why Paul relates the doctrine of the sin-death relationship back to the first man in Genesis:
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)
Teach God's love, the cross, mercy- those are TRUE
Yes, those are. But are you saying that the rest of God’s Word isn’t true or worthwhile? God is the truth (John 14:6), and His Word is truth (John 17:17). If you really love God, then love His Word. When you love His Word, then you have a basis for the cross and for mercy. God mercifully offers us what we don’t deserve: salvation through His Son Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice for sin, and the hope that our bodies will be glorified and curse-free in the future.
What basis do you use for deciding which part is to be read as is and which part is to be glossed over? If that is what you teach others, I would expect them to further question the parts that you say are essential. For example, why believe in the virginal conception? Or the sinless life of Christ? Or His resurrection? After all, any “thinking” person knows these things can’t happen. And down the slippery slope we continue.
There is no need to combine the false religion of evolution with God’s Word. Was Aaron praised for making a calf that was intended to represent the true God? Did Paul allow the early church to enforce the Hebrew practice of circumcision? Were the Israelites praised for worshipping Baal rather than or even in addition to God? I see the same relationship here. You are holding on to the false religion of our day (molecules-to-man evolution), and then you are disbelieving or trying to add to what God says in Genesis. It is time to return to the authority of the Word of God:
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four–footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:22–25)
In kindness in Christ,