Should Biblical Creation Become More Like Evolution?

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Think for a moment about an important biblical doctrine that you are very passionate about. Now imagine that someone has come into your church and has fundamentally changed the interpretation of that doctrine. They tell you they believe the same doctrine you do, but they constantly agree with theologians on the other side of the debate, with some of those theologians even being openly apostate. They also bring those interpretations into your youth groups, Sunday schools, and maybe even your church school. Many of them are openly praised by these same theologians who oppose your views. If you criticize or call them out on their anti-biblical stances, some would say you are divisive, in sin, making ad hominem attacks, and other concerning statements. Yet many would still say they agree with you. Welcome to what we claim has been happening within young-earth creationism for the last two decades or more.

I can certainly understand if the above paragraph shocks and disturbs you. There is a group within young-earth creationism that has subtly been trying to push models based on Genesis to be more like evolution in a number of ways. Because of this high reliance on evolutionary ideas and presuppositions, this group has been termed by some as “young-earth evolutionists.”1

Damage Control

The average man in the pew, hearing these words said by someone who calls himself a creationist, assumes they must be true.

Individuals involved in this loosely organized group include some professors at creationist colleges. While these people may not be ill-intentioned, the result of their work (perhaps unwittingly for some) has been moving the church toward evolutionary ideas that are incompatible with Scripture. This adoption of a number of evolutionary ideas, like linking birds with dinosaurs for example, with improper biblical and scientific discernment, is a big problem for the church. The average man in the pew, hearing these words said by someone who calls himself a creationist, assumes they must be true. Weighing these views against Scripture ultimately creates cognitive dissonance that can lead (and we have testimony that it has led) to someone abandoning the faith.

This series will discuss several of these problematic claims, such as Dr. Ken Coulson’s claim that God used evolution and the big bang in his mind to create the universe2 and Dr. Kurt Wise’s claim that whales walked off the ark as four-legged animals.3 In Coulson’s case, he tries to accommodate supposed evidence for the big bang and evolution into the biblical model. Dr. Wise tries to accommodate the evolutionary whale series into the post-flood narrative. Both claims represent the mindset of these so-called “young-earth evolutionists”: in essence they are saying these pronouncements of evolutionists are true, and creationists must somehow accommodate them.

Not Again

The mindset of the “young-earth evolutionists” resembles that of the church from the seventeenth century and onward. When “science” came to the church and told it that the earth was millions of years old, many church leaders changed the church’s 1600-year-old teaching of a young universe based on God’s Word. When “science” came to the church and said that humans evolved by natural processes over those millions of years, many church leaders accommodated that too. Now “young-earth evolutionists” come to the church and say that it must accommodate more modern pronouncements of “science” regarding the origins subject in a number of areas as well. The saying “learn from history or be doomed to repeat it” comes to mind.

Accompanying the poor understanding of church history and imbibing antibiblical scientific propositions is the theme that there is not enough evidence to demonstrate that God created. In fact, many young-earth evolutionists believe it is remarkably reasonable to believe in evolution. Ken Coulson argues that ambiguity is built into creation4 contra Romans 1, and Todd Wood has repeatedly said that there is “gobs and gobs” of evidence for evolution.5

Dr. Wood’s repeated insistence of this claim and others has led to a theistic evolutionist blogger praising him as “insightful” and “effective.”6 While Wood may be sincere in making his claim, that does not mean he is correct. The fact that a theistic evolutionist, who has been caught by Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson committing scientific misconduct, is praising Wood, should lead to serious red flags about how accurate his statements are. These statements reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of what evidence is, as well as a fundamental misunderstanding of who God is and how he reveals himself in the world.

Still an Issue of Authority

The issues do undermine the authority of the Word of God, give credence to fallible man’s evolutionary assumptions, and open the door for doubt in God’s Word to lead to unbelief.

Answers in Genesis has been monitoring this movement for some time, and based on the above information, as well as other issues addressed, we have determined that now is the time to speak publicly about this issue to warn God’s people. Understand, the issues we will be pointing out from this group are much more subtle than those like theistic evolutionists, progressive creationists, gap theorists, etc., who compromise Genesis. But the issues do undermine the authority of the Word of God, give credence to fallible man’s evolutionary assumptions, and open the door for doubt in God’s Word to lead to unbelief.

We will be addressing both the poor theology and the unacceptable “science” in a forthcoming series addressing young-earth evolutionist ideas. Undoubtedly, some will cry foul. Indeed, one of their acolytes has already published at least one YouTube video accusing us of being liars (later made private).7 Since we will directly quote from their own published works throughout this series to show that they are making the claims and advancing the arguments that we claim they are, we will let you, the reader, decide.

Over the next few months, we will be releasing roughly an article a week on this issue. We hope to both edify the body of Christ and remove the error that has crept in over the last few years.

Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:6)

Footnotes

1. Jake Hebert, “Is Creation Evidence Ambiguous?” Institute for Creation Research, July 31, 2020, accessed December 28, 2022, https://www.icr.org/article/is-creation-evidence-ambiguous.

2. Ken Coulson, Creation Unfolding (Coppell, Texas: Phaneros Press, 2020).

3. Kurt Wise, “Mammal Kinds: How many were on the Ark?” in Genesis Kinds: Creationism and the Origin of Species, eds. Todd Charles Wood and Paul A. Garner (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2009).

4. Coulson, Creation Unfolding.

5. Todd Charles Wood, “The truth about evolution,” Todd’s Blog, September 30, 2009, accessed December 28, 2022, https://toddcwood.blogspot.com/2009/09/truth-about-evolution.html.

6. Joel Duff, “A Challenge to Ken Ham: Send Your Employees to Professional Science Conferences,” Naturalis Historia, August 13, 2019, accessed December 28, 2022, https://thenaturalhistorian.com/2019/08/13/a-challenge-to-ken-ham-send-your-employees-to-professional-science-conferences/.

7. “Answers in Genesis Misleads Children About Hominins,” Paleologos, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RQsGW7jjj8.

 

Editor’s note: This article was mistakenly attributed to a single author upon initial publication. It is, however, a ministry statement and not the work of any single individual, as will be this entire series. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

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