Yesterday, I presented part one of a two-part presentation called “Already Compromised” at AiG’s “Apologetics Mega Conference” here in northern Kentucky. In part one of this talk, I gave (what shocked many people) specific examples of how evolution and millions of years are permeating the Christian leadership in this nation.
Well-known Christian leader and TV broadcaster, John Ankerberg, posted a blog item by Bill Pratt on his Facebook page. John apparently agrees with this blog item—considering he posted it on his Facebook page. I have reprinted the post below and placed comments at various spots:
What Is the One True Christian View on Evolution?
Post Author: Bill Pratt
Trick question! There isn’t one, despite what some people will tell you. You see, the issue of exactly how God brought forth life on earth is just not something that is part of the essential teachings of Christianity.
Comment: But how God created, as outlined in Genesis 1 and 2, is part of the Word of God. Jesus is the Word and the truth, and every Word of this revelation is God-breathed; therefore, we need to treat God’s Word in Genesis as we treat it anywhere else in the Bible. And all the “essential teachings” of Christianity come from the Word of God. The matter is not one of “how” God created but one of authority. Is God’s Word beginning in Genesis the authoritative Word of God, or is it not?
What are the essential teachings of Christianity? Those doctrines that were elucidated by the creeds and councils of the first five centuries of the church. The question of how life formed was never a central part of these creeds and councils, so we can safely assume that the apostolic tradition was not particularly concerned with it.
Comment: But the “essential teachings of Christianity” as written in the creeds, councils, etc. are themselves not the Word of God but based on the Word of God. The point is, those who wrote the creeds understood they could take God’s Word as authoritative. We need to remember that the creeds were written by fallible men—the words in the Bible are the God-breathed words of our Creator, Jesus Christ. There is sadly an emphasis in the church today to take man’s word as infallible but treat God’s Word as fallible. We need to have unity around the Words of Jesus, not around the words of fallible man.
Furthermore, it states that creeds and councils for the first five centuries didn’t address creation. That’s not a compelling argument because at that time, a young-earth, six-day creation as told in Genesis 1 and 2 was generally accepted as truth and wasn’t under the assault of molecules-to-man evolution like it is today. It’s only been in the past century that the legitimacy of Genesis 1 and 2 as history has come under widespread, consistent assault, and many within the church have compromised the doctrine of creation.
Today, there are a great variety of views on the formation of life within orthodox Christianity. Tim Keller gives a nice survey of the wide spectrum of views.
Comment: Before you read the rest of his quote, I assert there is only one view of Genesis—it means what it says. It is written as history and is meant to be taken as history (as the New Testament writers do time and time again). The main reason for different views (as is obvious in this quote) is because he is being influenced by man’s ideas outside the Bible—particularly regarding the supposed millions of years for the age of the earth and the idea of evolution. The quote below is a classic illustration of first, stating what the Bible obviously teaches (“God created all life-forms in a period of six twenty-four hour days” etc.), but then, second, trying to reinterpret this to fit in man’s religion of evolution and millions of years.
We continue this blog item with Dr. Keller’s quote:
Some Christians in the highly publicized Creation Science movement . . . insist that Genesis 1 teaches that God created all life-forms in a period of six twenty-four-hour days just several thousand years ago. At the other end of the spectrum are Christians who take the independence model and simply say that God was the primary cause in beginning the world and after that natural causes took over. Other thinkers occupy the central positions. Some hold that God created life and then guided natural selection to develop all complex life-forms from simpler ones. In this view, God acts as a top-down cause without violating the process of evolution. Others, believing there are gaps in the fossil record and claiming that species seem to “appear” rather than develop from simpler forms, believe that God performed large-scale creative acts at different points over longer periods of time.
The blog item continues with the following:
I tend to lean toward the last view Keller mentions, but I am not completely certain and stand ready to hear differing points of view.
Comment: The “last view” is one that accepts the “longer periods of time” (presumably millions of years). I assume this to be an argument in favor of the position of “progressive creation” (similar to the beliefs of Dr. Hugh Ross—that God created over millions of years). This is one of a number of compromise views that permeate the church today, but all have one basic common factor: attempting to fit long periods of time (millions of years) into Genesis.
Why am I bringing this up? Because there are too many non-Christians who are letting the question of evolution get in the way of their turning to Christ.
Comment: Actually, the real scientific research conducted for our book Already Gone clearly illustrates that generations of young people brought up in the church are leaving the church, and one of the main reasons is the hypocrisy of being told to believe the Bible but also told to reinterpret the Bible particularly in Genesis because of millions of years. The point is that non-Christians do see evolution and millions of years as getting “in the way of their turning to Christ,” as for them, it means they can’t trust the Word—from which the message of the gospel comes.
My plea is simple. Focus on the central teachings of Christianity first. Take a good look at Jesus Christ – who he is and what he accomplished.
Comment: But who is Jesus? He is the Word. He is the Creator. He is the Savior. So many Christian leaders just seem to gloss over the fact that Jesus is the Word (John 1), and His Word is truth! We need to take the Words of Jesus as He has revealed them to us. After all, the message of salvation comes from the Word, and if the Word can’t be trusted in its account of origins, how can it be trusted anywhere else? Where do we learn who Jesus is and ”what he accomplished”? We learn it from the Word of God. But if that Word is not trustworthy, why will people take it seriously?
After getting those things straight, you may want to investigate the origins of life to try and figure out how God created all the organisms we see around us. Please put first things first and don’t let the debates over evolution divert you from the most important decision you’ll ever make.
Comment: We could never figure out the “origins of life” unless someone we can trust, who knows everything, who doesn’t tell a lie, and revealed to us what happened. Jesus—the Word, the truth, the all-knowing Creator—has revealed to us what happened. It is plainly written down for us in Genesis. Let us take God at His Word. Read the following passages of Scripture:
. . . let God be true but every man a liar (Romans 3:4).
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
Christian leaders need to wake up and understand that adding man’s ideas (really, man’s religion) of millions of years and evolution to the Bible is to undermine the authority of the Word of God.
You can see the post on John Ankerberg’s Facebook page.
This Friday morning, my brother Steve will close out our Apologetics Mega Conference here in northern Kentucky with a talk on the fullness of Christ and the fullness of His Word, the Bible—and the unity we need to have in Christ. See the event page for more information.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,