Recap: In part 1 I stated the thesis of the essay was to see if there is any room in Scripture to include Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. First evolution was defined in its strict sense and the consequences of this ideology/worldview were studied in depth–how did it affect Hitler? Stalin? Freud? and et cetera. The point was to assert the dangerous qualities which this theory carries. Next several scientists and thinkers (including Sire in the starting paragraph) say evolution is an empirical fact of science. I asked if there was an alternative. This section deals with what the Bible says about itself and about this crucial event, namely our origins. Let me be clear though, that this in no way is a complete work, it only takes samples from the Bible. This concept applies to the entire essay–it is a mere overlooking of a very deep and intricate discussion.
Now in response to Sire it must be said that evolution, strictly defined, must exclude God. Evolution is based on this fact; it was the purpose of its making—to let man intellectually depart from God. About half of the churches today tell you it is acceptable to believe in Theistic Evolution and most of them say it doesn’t matter. Don’t be fooled, this is not a small or minimal question—the question of evolution is foundational to the way modern science works. If God is to remain outside of the equation, as he has been for a century in modern science, then Christians must attack such an idea with force.
Even great scientists have an issue with excluding God, and seven-hundred scientists (Christian and non-Christian) have stepped up to the plate to side with the Christians against evolution. Consequently, many have lost their job and have lost tenure. This is the statement they have signed on and agree with: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for the Darwinian theory should be encouraged” (A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism). Fifty more scientists go even further in Ashton’s book and state clearly and evidentially why Darwin’s theory should be displaced and replaced with the historical record of God’s six-day creation. This is likely only a small percentage of those who believe in this—the rest are afraid to lose their jobs! And this is is absolutely necessary to understand, because if one ventures to put God in science, one becomes an absolute outcast in modern society.
In the 1500’s Galileo Galilei dared to oppose the absolutist theory of that day based on the empirical findings of Aristotle. In fact it was a papal decree that stated that the earth was the center of our galaxy, and not the sun. This accords with Dr. T Schirrmacher’s statement, that “contrary to legend, Galileo…was [actually] the victim of his own arrogance, the envy of his colleagues, and the politics of Pope Urban VIII. He was not accused of criticizing the Bible, but disobeying a papal decree” (Sarfati 53). Being the minority or majority has nothing to do with being right. For the Theory of Evolution to claim itself as the only explanation is outrageous and it goes against the basic teachings of science. I applaud the scientists who will question the authority of Naturalism.
In light of this, what is a Christian to do? Sire argues that as Christians we must try and find a way to harmonize Scripture and science. But I must restate the bold purpose of evolution—to be able to get rid of God from society on intellectual terms by natural means (random chance). Science doesn’t want God! Huxley, an agnostic, stated that he was “at a loss to comprehend how anyone, for a moment, can doubt that Christian theology must stand or fall with the historical trustworthiness of the Jewish Scriptures…” and he explains that if the record of the “deluge [is] a fiction; that of the Fall a legend; and that of [c]reation the dream of a seer…[then] what is to be said about the Messianic doctrine?” (Ham, The New Answers Book 32). He argues that if evolution is true then these narratives are but “legendary quicksand” it compromises the entire Scripture’s authority (32). Additionally Nobel winner and biologist Monod doesn’t beat around the bush: “Chance alone is at the source of every innovation…Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, [is] at the root of the stupendous edifice of evolution” (Hanegraaff 41).
When a pastor asked John MacArthur if he thought Genesis 1-3 could be taken non-literally, he answered boldly: “No, I do not…Nothing about the Genesis text itself suggests that the biblical creation is merely symbolic, poetical, allegorical, or mythical…And I don’t believe that a faithful handling of the biblical text, by any acceptable principles of hermeneutics, can possibly reconcile these chapters with the theory of evolution of any of the other allegedly scientific theories about the origin of the universe” (MacArthur 18). This Professor, a renowned Theologian, says it is impossible to reconcile the Genesis story with the Theory of Evolution and so does R.C. Sproul who adamantly warns us: “[I]f chance exists in any size, shape, or form, God cannot exist. The two are mutually exclusive. If chance existed it would destroy God’s sovereignty. If God is not sovereign, he is not God…If chance is, God is not. If God is, chance is not” (Hanegraaff 41-42, emphasis added). This argument should not escape us—it is absolute truth.
It is said that Einstein himself came to this conclusion: “God did not create by chance, but rather that he worked according to planned, mathematical, teleonomic, and therefore—to him—rational guidelines” (MacArthur 78).This must rule out the idea of God having used evolution to accomplish his purposes, as MacArthur states: “Not only is theistic evolution a contradiction in terms—like the phrase ‘flaming snowflakes’—but as we have seen, it is also the cruelest most inefficient system for creation imaginable […] Rather he can create humans in a microsecond” (78-79).
Here is where the battle gets underway. Here is where two unstoppable forces meet and one must overturn the other: inspired Scripture vs. Naturalism. No Christian, if he is to believe in an omnipotent God and in his infallible Word, can take Naturalism as the way of explaining the world’s origins. So we are left with one alternative: to see if the Word of God can step-up to the plate and stand-up for itself. Do not be surprised by the outcome; it has been the same outcome for the past 3,500 years. The first century Rabbi Gamaliel gave good advice to the people of his day on how to tell if something was made of truth: “If this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourself opposing God!” (Acts 5:38b-39, ESV).
First of all it must be made clear that the Bible attests to its own inerrancy and infallibility. No Biblical Christian can question this fact, or else man is without hope and God is a liar and is therefore not God. The Bible speaks only truth. So what does the Bible say about our origins? Genesis 1-11 clearly, in narrative format, explains that God created ex-nihilo (out of nothing) everything there is in the world in its completed form in the span of six, 24-hour days. The narrative then goes on to give a foundation for marriage, an understanding of roles among people and roles in consideration to created things. It also describes where sin originated—man’s Fall, which is the foundation of the Gospel. Then comes the first age of mankind before the flood (an Ice Age may fit in here, by using good hermeneutics) that narrates the slow degeneration of mankind that is stopped (but not ultimately) by the flood of Noah that covered the entire world and killed all living creatures except for those spared in the ark.
The place where the most debate happens is in Genesis 1 where the attempt is to compromise Scripture’s natural reading and to insert the possibility of Naturalism (the Gap Theory, Day-Age-Theory, etc.). The word in question is yom, which is Hebrew for “day.” This word is used 2,301 times in the Old Testament and it always means a literal 24-hour day, and the only exceptions are clearly interpreted otherwise through context. Ultimately though, the greatest authority may be Dr. James Barr, the Hebrew professor at Oxford University. He himself does not believe in the Bible as true history, but has to admit, “There is no professor of Hebrew or Old Testament at any world-class university who does not believe that the writer(s) of the Genesis 1-11 intended to convey their readers the ideas that (a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience… (c) Noah’s Flood was understood to be worldwide and extinguish all human and animal life except for those in the ark” (Ham, The New Answers Book 94, emphasis added). Liberal Professor M. Dods, as a literary-critic states emphatically that “[i]f, for example, the word ‘day’ in these chapters does not mean a period of twenty-four hours, the interpretation of Scripture is hopeless” (94-95).
An endless amount of quotations from liberals, skeptics, and theologians alike can be given to attest to these very statements. Truly, if the word “day” is not taken literally, then the foundation of the entire Bible must be put under serious question. Its reliability as a historical document is absolutely mute, unless what it says is true. This would be a direct contradiction to Naturalism, and that is the ultimate fear, because evolution carries an immense authority; it is called the foundation of modern science. But if the Bible is right, the very core of modern science should be absolutely undone.
Luther, who coined the idea sola Scriptura, puts up a good basis for good, Biblical hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible): “Whoever would study Holy Scripture should be sure to see to it that he stays with the simple words as long as he can and by no means departs from them unless an article of faith compels him to understand them differently. For of this we must remain certain: no clearer speech has been heard on Earth than what God has spoken” (Ham, The New Answers Book 111). This rule should always be applied to our study of the Bible. So what does the rest of the Bible say about creation?
Exodus 20 accounts for the Ten Commandments that God wrote out with his very finger and gave to Moses. The fourth commandment explains the Sabbath: six days should be used to work while the seventh for rest because “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day”(Exodus 20:9-11). As for those who allegorize the first eleven chapters of God’s Word, it makes God a liar (or a deceiver at the least). In Mark 10:6 Jesus backs up the Biblical idea of marriage by stating as fact the narrative in Genesis 1-2, “From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.” Paul also attests to the literal, historical six-day creation in I Timothy 2:13-14, using it as grounds for family roles: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” Neither Moses, nor Paul, nor Jesus could be understood correctly unless the creation actually happened the way it said it did.
But many will say, ‘Should one blindly take God’s Word on this old story?’ A question must follow, ‘Should one blindly believe that Christ died for the world’s sins in order to bring it salvation and eternity with God?’ If one believes in the Red Sea Crossing, the account of David and Goliath, and the Resurrection of Jesus, then what hinders that person from believing in God’s literal explanation for the world’s creation? Is God short on words or can he not express himself without hidden deceit?
If it were not for evolution, this would be a non-issue. The theory causes the issue because it causes us to have to choose between the authorities, between God and Science. Put in this light, the answer is simple—God is and always will be right. But no one likes to look stupid, because there is no evidence to prove the creation. There is evidence for the miracle of the resurrection and for the Red Sea crossing, yet none for Biblical creation. Or is there?
Note: Part 3 to be continued in a few days. I welcome any comments or ideas relating to the essay. I hope you enjoyed it!