Posts Tagged ‘creation vs. evolution’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 2]:

Greetings Soldier,

I see that you took to heart the information in our last correspondence. I commend you for your courage in challenging your uncle’s philosophy and attempting to enlighten him as to the difference between blind and justified faith. Although his attitude was less than receptive, this is a great start for future discussions with him. Remember, the idea is not necessarily to have him admit defeat of his arguments all at once, but to begin to get him to think critically and honestly about his own position of atheism. For instance, consider where his faith really lies when it is all said and done—-it is in the unobserved (and unobservable) ‘phenomenon’ of evolution. Not only has he never seen one kind or species of animal becoming another kind or species over millions/billions of years, he has to assume at the present that those things which allegedly ‘evolved’ into what we see now originally came from nothing, which somehow turned into something, which then somehow blew up and became everything.

A great victory is won whenever the unbeliever is made to consider the ultimate consequences of their professed beliefs, as the God-sanctioned rational aspect of their nature will not allow them to be at peace once made aware that they are holding to such irreconcilable, contradictory thoughts about the world and reality in general. The subsequent struggle that arises within them is most certainly in our favor and, more often than not, signifies the beginnings of spiritual life awakening within the unbeliever (remember, darkness is never so restless as when the light is present). May the Lord use you and your words as the means to accomplish that blessed result. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

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(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 4]:

Greetings Soldier,

I appreciate very much your enthusiastic questions! I see a hunger for truth and understanding in you that the Father finds most pleasing. It is His great delight to ‘pull back the veil’ and reward those who seek truth with the answers that they desire as they ask, seek, and knock with confidence in Christ. It is my great pleasure to be the means by which this treasure is conveyed to you, as the only thing more joyful than receiving knowledge is imparting it to those who sincerely desire it. Indeed, the acceptance and appreciation of truth by those who gladly receive it is its own reward to those from whom it is imparted. With that in mind, let’s attend to that very thing.

First, you asked specifically for ways to convey to unbelievers how Creation itself demonstrates the existence of God. One very simple, yet powerful, way to convey this truth is to simply point out the obvious—that just as paintings don’t paint themselves and buildings don’t build themselves, creation cannot have ‘created’ itself. To assert that it has done so (and without having observed it or anything else ever having done so) is to abandon a stance of rationality and good sense in exchange for blind faith and wishful thinking. After all, who but a fool would attempt to argue that natural laws (such as thermodynamics, gravity, physics, etc.) can exist without a Lawgiver? No doubt, you have already noticed that many times, when in the midst of discussing these issues with unbelievers, they will often appeal to what they have read in science books or atheistic literature in order to try to support their faith in evolution—-in other words, they ultimately are asking you to join them in exercising blind faith in something they have only read about in a book—-how ironic indeed!!  Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

 

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 6]:

Greetings Soldier,

You do not have to apologize for the feeling of disappointment you are feeling now. After all, a sense of frustration is only natural when good evidence is given to support your case, but then dismissed out of hand due to the hostile bias of the one examining the evidence. It is very important to understand what is going on here with your brother and it is time that you were granted insight into the nature of ‘presuppositions’ and the effect they have on one’s reasoning and conclusions about the world around them. You see, everyone has a worldview—a view of the world founded upon certain tightly held beliefs that are assumed to be true and through which they interpret all of their observations and experiences (including any and all evidence presented to them for consideration). Because of this, it is impossible to convince someone of something they do not wish to be convinced of since they will interpret any evidence via the lens of those tightly held, most foundational assumptions that are already present. Confused yet? Perhaps this illustration might help:

Once upon a time, a young man believed he was dead. For months, his friends and family tried desperately to convince him that this was not the case, but to no avail. Finally, at their wits end, they decided to take him to see the family doctor in hopes that he could offer some sort of medical counsel to help the young man come to his senses. After two unproductive hours of talking with the young man and reasoning with him using the latest medical journals, charts, and photos, the good doctor had an idea! “Son, do dead men bleed?” He asked. The young man thought for a moment and then responded, “well, if a person is dead, there is no heartbeat to pump the blood and, therefore, no blood pressure to force the blood out of the body, so, no, dead men do not bleed.” Upon hearing this, the doctor took a needle and pricked the young man’s index finger. As the blood began to ooze from the small wound, the young man grabbed his finger and cried with great excitement, “well, what do you know! Dead men DO bleed after all!

See the point (pardon the pun)? The young man in the story had a predetermined belief which he was unwilling to surrender, despite being shown ample proof that it was false. The overwhelming evidence given to him did not change his mind, but, rather, his mind changed the interpretation of the evidence to make it agree with what he already assumed to be true (his ‘presuppositional bias’). Perhaps this makes it easier now to understand how and why many of the people who actually witnessed Jesus’ most notable miracles were the same ones who demanded His crucifixion. Why do you suppose they were not convinced of His Divinity by the marvelous feats of the dead being raised and the blinded eyes receiving sight in their presence? It was simply because they did not WANT to be. In fact, this is nothing new, as many today would simply rather be their own god instead of bowing the knee to God and surrendering to His authority. It has been rightly stated that the atheist cannot find God for the same reason a criminal can’t find a policeman—-they simply aren’t looking. The unbeliever chooses to live in willful denial of what they know to be true about God’s existence in order to avoid accountability to Him. You will do well to keep this in mind in your evangelism endeavors. At your service,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

(A series of scripted correspondences from a ‘Heavenly helper’ to a Christian Soldier)

[Letter 10]:

Greetings Soldier,

You do not disappoint! I thought that you might ask for some practical examples of how to put this information into use when dealing with objections and/or arguments against, God, the Bible, or Christianity in general. Well, here you go! Let’s look at some scenarios you likely have or will encounter in your evangelistic endeavors:

First, suppose the unbeliever’s argument against God is presented in the form of a moral objection (e.g. claiming that He is evil, that certain acts in the Bible are immoral, etc.).  Now, you could spend a lot of time and energy providing evidence as to why that is not the case (only to likely have your evidence discarded or dismissed due the presuppositional bias of the unbeliever), or you could (and should) simply challenge their foundational assumption here and ask them how they arrive at absolute, objective standards of behavior in a universe without God in the first place.  After all, if God does not exist, there could be no absolute moral Authority and, therefore, no binding standard of behavior by which anyone (least of all, God) SHOULD conduct themselves.  If moral standards are arbitrarily stipulated, then the unbeliever loses any rational foundation for their complaint against God, since anyone is free to stipulate their own standard of morality in such a universe and no behavior could ever be truly ‘right’ or ‘wrong’–just ‘different’ from someone else’s personal preference.  The very argument itself reveals the internal inconsistency and contradictory nature of the unbeliever’s position and, as a result, makes this objection AGAINST God’s existence a valid proof FOR His existence!

Now, let’s suppose the argument comes in the form of a ‘logical’ complaint against God (e.g. the Bible is illogical, Christianity is nonsense, etc.).  Again, much time and energy could be spent providing ample, solid evidence to the contrary, only to likely be told “well that doesn’t prove anything.”  Instead of putting God on trial before the unbeliever, the more effective (and Biblical) approach would be to expose the self-defeating nature of such an argument by simply asking how there can exist any meaningful, objective, universal standard of logic and reasoning in a world without God.  Obviously, if there is no true Ultimate Authority, then there can be no absolute standard by which human beings should conduct their thinking and reasoning.  Therefore, no thinking or reasoning could ever truly be said to be ‘incorrect’ or ‘illogical’—just ‘different’ from the thinking and reasoning of someone else.  This internal inconsistency in the unbeliever’s position yet again testifies to the inescapable, self-evident truth of God’s existence and Authority. It also adequately demonstrates that, like the air, one must assume His existence to even begin to argue against it (which makes that position the very epitome of ‘foolishness’). That is why when the Bible refers to those who deny the existence of God as ‘fools’ (Psalms 14:1), it is not merely engaging in name calling.  This is the proper term for someone who willfully refuses to acknowledge that which has been so plainly and openly revealed. Here to serve,

Your Heavenly ‘Angent’

It’s no secret that the foundational truths of the Christian Faith are under intense attack today, with the primary target being the credibility and authority of the very Word of God.  Nowhere is this more evident than with regards to the very first book of the Bible–Genesis.  Due to widespread acceptance of evolution as a proven fact (which it is not), many Christians have been made to believe that it is necessary to reinterpret Genesis 1:1-2 in a myriad of different ways to allow for millions or billions of years in the Creation account.  What most do not realize, however, is that, in doing so, they are unwittingly abandoning the authority and truth of the Bible in favor of the opinions and ideas of fallible man (yes, scientists are human too and are not unbiased in their reasoning about these issues!) in the process.

This compromise leads to a whole host of problems, as once the door is opened, the opening never gets smaller—only larger. After all, if Genesis can be reinterpreted to fit the beliefs of man, why not reinterpret other areas of Scripture as well (such as those which forbid homosexuality, for instance) if that’s what people want to do to fit their personal preferences, lifestyles, or individual bias?  The results of abandoning God’s Word as one’s Ultimate Authority are devastating, as we are witnessing in our culture today.  Remove the foundation of any structure, and you can be sure that it will ultimately collapse.  This is the reason that there is such pressure today from the world to force these secular philosophies (or dare I say, religions?) upon people in general, and especially Christians.  Once an evolutionary mindset is adopted (even inadvertently), one must forsake a straightforward, literal approach to the Scriptures and the game begins of trying to make the Word of God fit our beliefs, rather than adjusting our beliefs to fit the revealed Words of Almighty God.  This is the same tactic satan introduced in the garden of Eden (also in Genesis….!), when he subtly said to Eve: “Yea, hath God said…?“.   Once we lay aside God’s Word as our final Authority, we (like Adam and Eve) become highly susceptible to the pervasive lies and deceptions that permeate the world today.  Consider the very relevant question posed by the psalmist in Psalms 11:3.  He asks:

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

Our only hope is to unapologetically return to the Romans 3 verse 4 mentality of ‘let God be true, but every man a liar’.  That is, letting God’s Word have the final say in all areas of our lives including how we interpret the world around us.  I’d like to show you what that looks like.  A while back, I came across an article on a Christian website which was authored by a well-meaning, professing Christian named Brandon.  In his article, he argues for the position that the earth is indeed billions of years old and even cited several Biblical references (out of context ) to support his position that a large gap of time should be inserted between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 (commonly referred to as the ‘gap theory’), in order to make the Bible harmonize with ‘scientific’ (read: evolutionary) theory.  I posted a response to him back then in hopes of gently exposing and correcting the error of this line of reasoning.  I am reposting that response here in hopes that this may also serve to aid others as they prayerfully consider and think through this crucial issue.  Here is my response to Brandon (with minor alterations for better readability):


Hi Brandon! I am new to this site and just ran across your article. You have certainly done a lot of work and research in compiling the information you have posted. I commend you for your desire for truth, as that is the mark of a Christian and is something that should grow more intense in us as we grow in the Lord. With that said, I am a born again Christian who happens to hold to the position that the earth is indeed around 6,000 years old based upon God’s revelation of the Creation account in Genesis and elsewhere in the Bible. For many years, I believed and even taught that the earth was millions/billions of years old based upon my erroneous understanding of the Scriptures which resulted from attempting to force my own (and others’) preconceived notions about this subject on various texts (including many of the same ones that you listed above) to make them fit my belief, rather than allowing the Bible to dictate to me what my belief(s) should be regarding this issue. I have come to realize that this is a terrible mistake to make, as doing so only results in the compromising of the Authority of Scripture (often inadvertently) in the process. Please consider the following:

1)  In your article, you cite 2 Peter 3:6 as evidence of an old earth, and the existence of a race of humans prior to Adam and Eve, due to Peter’s usage of the phrase ‘the world that then was’. However, just before this in 2 Peter 2:5, we see that Peter’s reference to an ‘old world’ (same meaning) directly alludes to that which was destroyed at the time of Noah’s flood and we are told that God ‘spared’ it not (i.e. he destroyed it), but saved Noah. There is no logical (or Biblical) basis for attempting to force a different meaning upon the phrase ‘the world that then was’ in 2 Peter 3:6, as this is simply a reiteration of what Peter was just speaking about (i.e. the race of humans and the societal structure destroyed by Noah’s flood) a few verses before, with the fact that Noah and his family survived being a given.  

2)  Exodus 20:11 plainly tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas, ‘and all that in them is’ in 6 literal days. We know the days were literal days, because each day consisted of a morning and an evening (Genesis Chapter 1). I am aware of the arguments which try to make the Hebrew word for day (i.e. yom) mean ‘an indefinite amount of time’. However, those arguments are easily refuted in that Adam was created on day 6 and lived through the remainder of that day and then all of day 7 (and beyond). If the word ‘yom’ means millions or billions of years here, then Adam would have to have been muuuuuuuch older when he died than the 930 years of age the Bible tells us he was.  Also, it is inconsistent to try to force this meaning upon the word ‘yom’ in Genesis, but then interpret the same word to mean a literal day elsewhere in the Bible (such as in the book of Joshua when we are told that Israel marched around the city of Jericho for 7 ‘yoms’). No one interprets this to mean anything other than literal days, yet many do so with the passages in Genesis describing the days of creation in order to ‘make’ it mean something different than what it says due to their presuppositions (i.e. already held beliefs) about the age of the earth.  

3)  Your arguments using Jeremiah Chapter 4 would be invalidated by Exodus 20:11, since we know that ALL of creation took place in just 6 days, with no ‘Gap’ in between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 to allow for a separate ‘age’ or race of humans prior to Adam and Eve. When Jeremiah speaks of there being no man present, it is a description of what one would have seen during Noah’s flood. At this point, it is already understood and is taken for granted (based upon earlier revelation) that Noah and his family survived IN the ark, but the rest of humanity was completely destroyed OUTSIDE of the ark, which is clearly what is being described here (if we take the text at face value).  Jeremiah’s vision is entirely consistent with the promised and fulfilled aftermath of Noah’s flood described in Genesis 6:13, 6:17, 7:4, & 7:22-23, as these verses repeatedly use the imagery of total destruction in their description of that event.  

4)  In order for there to have existed cities before Adam and Eve, there would have also had to have existed people before them as well. This means that death would have also existed prior to Adam and Eve if God destroyed the ‘first world’ and everyone in it. This is contrary to what the Bible clearly teaches about the existence of death and its origin through Adam (Rom. 5:12-17, 1 Cor. 15:21-22). There is no Biblical basis whatsoever for assuming that death existed before Adam sinned and brought God’s curse upon the earth and humanity.  

5) You said in your article: “In closing, I hope it has become apparent to you that the earth is not merely 6,000 years old, but that it is billions of years old as science tells us.”

This is a very telling statement, and is really the crux of the issue at hand. One of the primary reasons that I have seen for people teaching an ‘old’ earth is to somehow try to make the Bible conform to what scientists tell us about the age of the earth. In other words, the word of scientists is held above the authority of Scripture, which is reinterpreted (again, often inadvertently) to fit man’s opinion of what happened in the unobserved and unobservable past, rather than taking the text at face value as an eyewitness account from the One who was there—God. This is very dangerous, as many of those scientists who advocate an old earth do so due to their presuppositions that God’s Word is not true and that God doesn’t exist. Instead, they begin with a purely naturalistic/ evolutionary worldview and then interpret all evidence via that worldview, which leads them to faulty conclusions based upon faulty assumptions (e.g. no global flood ever happened during the time of Noah, etc.). These faulty assumptions are also present in many of the dating methods (i.e. radiometric and Carbon-14 dating) used to ‘prove’ that the earth is very old. Since the data is interpreted through faulty assumptions, the conclusions about the data are also faulty.

You see, if we should reinterpret the Creation account in Genesis based upon the word of fallible scientists and their beliefs about the past, then should we also reinterpret the resurrection account of Jesus as well, since these same people would also tell us that men do not rise from the dead after three days and then walk through walls? What about the other accounts in the Bible which they would reject, such as Balaam’s talking donkey, the floating ax head, the parting of the Red Sea, the talking serpent, etc.–should we reinterpret those texts as well to mean something different than what they say if the consensus is that they are impossible due to the naturalistic worldview held by certain scientists? Of course not!

When we begin with the Word of God as our ultimate authority and base our interpretation of evidence and our subsequent conclusions about the world around us solely on the revealed truths of Scripture, we find that there is overwhelming evidence to support a young earth (especially in light of the knowledge of a global flood during Noah’s day which caused drastic change to the face of the earth via rapid erosion and geological processes in just a short amount of time). Brandon, I understand the extreme pressures to conform to the majority’s way of thinking on these issues so that we can avoid potential ridicule for holding to what amounts to a highly unpopular position (mostly because of the widespread acceptance of evolution as a proven fact, which it is not), but we must remember that Christianity itself is an unpopular position in the world. Jesus told us that we can expect the world to hate us because of our allegiance to Him and to the Word of God as our ultimate authority. In other words, we shouldn’t be expecting to win any popularity contests when we stand for Christ and the truth of the Bible.

I encourage you to give these issues some serious thought and to realize that, as Christians, we need not compromise the Word of God based upon the opinions and erroneous thinking of man. Instead, the Word of God must have the final say in every area of our lives, with regards to our thinking, and how we view the world around us (Rom. 3:4). When we begin with God’s Word as our sole foundation, we will always be on the side of truth and need not be concerned about being in the minority. There are numerous resources available that you can take a look at if you’d like. I for one have found the Answers in Genesis website to be extremely informative and helpful in thinking through these issues. Take care and God Bless!

I was recently engaged in a very lively debate, regarding the validity of the Christian worldview vs. non-Christian worldviews, over at Debate.org.  Believe it or not, a very simple challenge, put forth to those who hold to worldviews which deny the God of the Bible, turned into a discussion thread of over 800 comments (well above the norm)!  I have included the link to the discussion for anyone who is interested in seeing how non-Christians fared when asked to account for the most basic, fundamental concepts (i.e. logic, truth, knowledge, the foundation of the scientific method, etc.), required for making sense of the world around us, in their worldview.  Warning: it ain’t pretty!

http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

NOTE: What you’ll notice in these types of discussions is that those who deny God and the truth of the Bible will always ultimately be reduced to ‘vain and foolish’ reasoning, just like Scripture states (Romans 1:18-22, I Corinthians 1:19-20).  In particular, notice how the unbelievers’ positions are always shown to be based upon nothing more than blind-faith and mere opinion, having no logical foundation whatsoever upon which to rest.  As I always enjoy pointing out, that is the very definition of an irrational (and, therefore, untrue) position.  The more familiar Christians become with these arguments, the easier it is to then (hopefully gently) expose the errors in the unbeliever’s reasoning and to pull down the ‘intellectual strongholds’ that prevent them from considering and, subsequently, receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Remember, no one will receive with their heart what their mind rejects as false, making the mandate of 2 Corinthians 10:5 especially relevant to us today:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

I welcome your thoughts.