Compromising Nazarene Professor Wants Unity around Man’s Word Not God’s Word
Karl Giberson, professor at Eastern Nazarene College and vice president of the extremely liberal BioLogos Foundation has written an article on the BioLogos website about the new book he and Francis Collins co-authored, entitled, The Language of Science and Faith.
In this article he states that he has been “uncharitably maligned by Ken Ham, Al Mohler . . .” and others.
He states this because those he accuses of maligning him have publicly challenged him concerning his compromise of God’s Word with man’s fallible word concerning the history of the universe. But it goes much further than that.
Giberson is one of the leaders of the BioLogos Foundation. I have written previous blogs about what this organization teaches, and clearly they undermine the authority of God’s Word. See my previous blog post (and there are others—just do a search on my blog for “BioLogos”).
One of the quotes from BioLogos in this particular post states the following:
We cannot know the exact time that humans attained God’s image. In fact, it may be that the image of God emerged gradually over a period of time. Estimates of the historical time of Adam and Eve are varied . . . . While some literalist interpreters of Genesis argue that God created Adam and Eve in their present form, the evidence of DNA and the fossil record establishes that humans were also participants in the long evolutionary continuum, and God used this process as his means of creation . . . .
We also do not know if humanity received the image of God by the immediate onset of a relationship with God or by a slower evolutionary process. In either case, this development occurred before the fall of Adam and Eve, since moral responsibility and a broken relationship with God are both involved in the story of the fall. Perhaps God used the evolutionary process to equip humankind with language, free will and culture, and then revealed God’s will to individuals or a community so that they might then enter into meaningful relationship with God through obedience, prayer and worship. In this scenario, the evolutionary process is necessary but not sufficient to encompass the biblical teaching on the image of God . . .
This is certainly unorthodox teaching concerning how God created man in His image.
In regard to the Fall of man—when the first man Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45) rebelled by eating the forbidden fruit—there is a discussion on the BioLogos website of various views about the Fall, but it is so obvious when you read them that those leading BioLogos come out strongly against the literal history of one man and one woman:
How does the Fall fit into an evolutionary history, where the Earth is billions of years old, and humans originated hundreds of thousands of years ago most likely in Africa? Is the story of Adam and Eve actual history, or is something else going on here? Christians over the centuries have held many positions on this, ranging from straightforward literalist interpretations of the texts to readings that emphasize the theological content . . . The scientific evidence suggests a dramatically larger population at this point in history. Recently acquired genetic evidence also points to a population of several thousand people from whom all humans have descended, not just two. Finally, fossil and DNA records point strongly to a more unified creation reflected in the relatedness of humans and other animals. The comparison of human and chimp chromosomes provides one of many compelling pieces of evidence for this unity. The chromosomes of the two species match up almost exactly, except for human chromosome 2, which appears to be a fusion of two chromosomes that were distinct in a primate ancestor of our species. This remarkable claim was confirmed when sequences that are normally found only at the ends of chromosomes were discovered in the middle of human chromosome 2, right where the fusion was thought to have taken place. Today, we carry in our bodies this evidence of our relatedness to other species. The evidence argues strongly against a literalist interpretation of the Genesis creation account of humans.
Read the whole article for yourself at: http://biologos.org/questions/evolution-and-the-fall/
If there was not one man Adam and one woman Eve, and a literal event of the one man Adam taking the fruit in rebellion and thus bringing sin and death into world, then one may as well throw the rest of the Bible away. It would mean what God wrote through Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 5 for instance is plain wrong. If we are not all descendants of one man who sinned, then who are we, and why are we sinners?
Of course, people like me, Al Mohler, and others have publicly challenged Karl Giberson (as well as others like him such as Darrel Falk from Point Loma Nazarene University, and of course, Francis Collins—the founder of the BioLogos Foundation). What Giberson et al. are doing is demanding that we accept the secular beliefs of evolution and millions of years and reinterpret God’s clear Word. This undermines the gospel, and all Christian doctrine. Most of all, it undermines the authority of the Word of God. And, as Christ is the Word, it is an attack on person of Christ.
In his latest article, Giberson is in essence calling for unity instead of division. However, in reality, he wants unity around man’s fallible word (and thus division over God’s Word), whereas we at Answers in Genesis are calling for unity on God’s Word and division over man’s fallible word. He states this in his article:
The most discouraging aspect of the discussion in this book and at BioLogos is that it is, for the most part, between fellow Christians—a sort of civil war pitting brother against brother, and sister against sister. If Christians of all stripes were united against poverty or sickness, that would be a glorious war, as they set aside their small—and even large—differences to do battle with and ultimately defeat a genuine enemy. There was something grand in that. But there is something sad when Christians at Answers in Genesis and Al Mohler’s seminary, at the Discovery Institute, and even at BioLogos attack each other over the topic of origins. And, although nobody loses their lives in this war, there are real casualties, like Bruce Waltke, who lost his job last year for suggesting that evangelicals needed to take evolution seriously, or the faculty members at Calvin College on the hot seat now for their publications about Adam.
Intramural quarreling is a great embarrassment to Christianity. The clearest marker of the Christian, according to Jesus, who should know, is supposed to be love: “By this all men shall know you are my disciples,” said Jesus in John 13:35, “if you have love for one another.” Unfortunately, our love for each other is often set aside as we quarrel about evolution. I have been uncharitably maligned by Ken Ham, Al Mohler, William Dembski and other fellow Christians—all of whom I could easily imagine joining for a service project to Haiti, or communion in any local church. I would love to say that I have consistently responded to them with only the most gracious love but, given that another Christian virtue is honesty, I dare not put such an obvious falsehood in print. I, like them, am only too eager to leap into the fray and use whatever weapons I have at my disposal against my fellow Christians when I disagree with them. It would be nice to say that I do this because I am young and foolish and will eventually grow out of it. But, alas, my youth has long since departed without taking my foolishness with it.
Actually, in a previous blog post of mine, I could claim that it is Giberson who continues to malign Answers in Genesis by accusing us of teaching and believing things that are simply not true. Of course, saddest of all, he really maligns our Creator God—the Lord Jesus Christ—because of his attack on God’s Word. Compromising God’s Word is an attack on the Son of God.
In this article on his new book, Giberson states, “No belief about the actual teachings of Jesus is threatened, and certainly not his most important command that we should be known by our love.”
Well, I thought Jesus identified another command as the most important: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment.’” (Matthew 22:36–38 NKJV). This also means to honor and believe God’s Word. Changing God’s Word to fit man’s fallible beliefs (such as millions of years and evolution, which are really man’s pagan religion to explain life without God) is not loving God, but loving man instead.
As you read his article, you will see that Giberson seems to be asserting that this is a “feud” over our personal opinions, using Freud as his support. If we were like that, God should judge us harshly. He fails to see this as an issue of biblical authority—at least from our position.
In Giberson’s article, we read the following:
Almost none of these young people are enthusiastic about their own denominational traditions. They want to be known simply as “followers of Jesus.” They are far more concerned about the plight of Haitians than the age of the earth. They want to talk about social justice, not the parameters of biblical inspiration.
Well, that’s because they don’t understand the Bible in the first place, so they misplace the focus.
Then we read this statement commenting on an author they endorse:
If you read between the lines you can see that she shares our vision for the purpose of The Language of Science and Faith—namely to bring Christians to the point where they can accept modern science and stop arguing over whether that science threatens their faith.
This is it in a nutshell. Their goal is to accept what they call “modern science” (what they mean by that is man’s beliefs about the past concerning origins—fallible man’s historical science) and reinterpret God’s Word accordingly.
In the book, The Language of Science and Faith (which Giberson’s article is all about), we read this statement:
The leading YEC proponents are not, in fact, biblical scholars and have limited training in the relevant biblical scholarship. Their expositions of Genesis are almost entirely based on English translations of Genesis with little consideration of what the words and concepts meant in the original Hebrew.
First of all, Answers in Genesis has a number of staff who have advanced degrees in theology, and we also work with a number of highly qualified theologians and Christian scholars who take God’s Word in Genesis as they should—as literal history. For instance, at our upcoming Apologetics Mega Conference, one of our guest speakers is Dr. Steven Boyd, a Hebrew scholar and Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, California.
In essence, Giberson is promoting an elitism—acting as a pope: The average person can’t understand the Bible, God couldn’t communicate to the average person. No, you have to trust the academics of this age! We will tell you what to believe—and by the way, basically, what sinful fallible man believes concerning the origin of the universe, you can accept that and change God’s Word accordingly!
But Karl Giberson, and Francis Collins are awfully uncharitable in their book in implying that none of the authors of the book Coming to Grips with Genesis (published by Master Books) or John Whitcomb, John MacArthur, and Douglass Kelly have adequate training in Biblical scholarship and in Greek and Hebrew to exegete Genesis properly. Also, their statement would seem to imply that the Hebrew says something significantly different than our English Bibles say, which then implies that the translators of our various trusted English translations were totally incompetent in their work—at least in Genesis. But wait a minute; what qualifies this biologist and this geneticist to make such a statement about the Hebrew text, since they are not trained at a scholarly level in either Genesis, Hebrew, or theology?
In the book, they give a typical example of what they have to do to compromise man’s beliefs about billions of years of history with the Bible. Consider what he says about the Fall:
Some Christians try to wiggle off this particular hook by arguing that the unpleasant aspects of the world are the consequences of human sin: byproducts of the Fall. This is an appealing argument in which all good things in nature—the song of the birds and the beauty of the flower—can be attributed to God, and all the bad things in nature—the poison of the snake and the sting of the bee—can be attributed to human sin. This intriguing point of view, unfortunately, cannot be reconciled with what we know about the history of life.
What does he mean by “what we know about the history of life”? What he means is that God got it wrong in the Bible, but fallible man got it right.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. (Psalm 118:8, NKJV)
It comes down to this: Giberson, and those like him, make man’s word infallible and God’s Word fallible! And because Answers in Genesis and others stand on God’s Word and “contend for the faith” publicly (as we need to), we are accused of maligning this liberal compromiser. His plea is basically, “Can’t we all just get along?” But the author goes after those who don’t get along or agree with him!
Pray for our Christian colleges! Pray for the Church leaders. Pray for the Christian scholars.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,