What Is Happening at Bryan College?

Actually, I don’t really know what’s going on at Bryan College regarding the book of Genesis—but I wanted to comment on a recent news report that stated, “Bryan College takes stand on creation that has professors worried for their jobs.”

The report continues with the following: “The board of trustees is requiring professors and staff to sign a statement saying that they believe Adam and Eve were created in an instant by God and that humans shared no ancestry with other life forms. If they don’t sign, they fear that jobs could be on the line.”
(http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/mar/02/bryan-college-draws-takes-stand-creation-has-profe/)

Now, I have read other reports stating that the administration of Bryan College (located in Tennessee) has not changed the Statement of Faith of the college but have clarified they do believe in a literal Adam and Eve.

Obviously, if you don’t believe in a literal Adam and a literal Fall, then the whole foundation of the gospel is gone, as there would be no original sin. Also, if there were no literal Adam, then why are all people sinners? Where did sin come from, and what does it mean when the Bible states, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)?

I suspect the administration of Bryan College does what we at Answers in Genesis do when we read news reports like this—they groan and shake their heads at the misinformation. Now, I am actually cited accurately in this article. The reporter quoted from a blog post I wrote a few years ago. The article states the following:

In 2010, Ken Ham, a nationally known creationist who runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., wrote a scathing article criticizing Bryan College because of a graduate’s book. The graduate, Rachel Held Evans, wrote about how she had questioned the nuances of her evangelical upbringing and had come to new realizations about the world, including the belief that evolution was part of God’s creation plan.

Ham also criticized biology professor Brian Eisenback, who was quoted in USA Today saying that he taught all origin views and theories — including Genesis and evolution — without revealing his own beliefs.

“There are many colleges/seminaries — like Bryan College — across the nation with professors who compromise God’s word in Genesis and/or will not teach the authority of God’s Word in Genesis as they should. It’s about time that these colleges were held accountable for allowing such undermining of the authority of Scripture to the coming generation,” Ham wrote in a 2010 blog post.

I also suspect that the reporter who wrote this news report did what many in the media do when they hear that Christians are trying to urge teachers to have the freedom to teach students critical thinking about evolution. What we see is the secular press here claiming that creationists want the teaching of creation mandated in schools, and that Answers in Genesis is behind it. When creation/evolution is involved, the misinformation and downright untruths that are propagated by the secular media is mind-boggling! We do not want to force instructors to teach creation.

Now let me make a few comments on this article about Bryan College.

  1. Just because a college states it believes in a literal Adam and Eve (or believes in creation for that matter), it doesn’t mean the college has also stated its position is to be against the biological evolution of animals, or an old earth/universe. I suspect any clarification statement by the college has nothing to do with such topics.
  2. Contrary to what this article seems to imply, William Jennings Bryan did not believe in six literal days of creation, and he allowed for a belief in millions of years. Also, Bryan was not against the biological evolution of animals but only against the evolution of man. In fact, the Scopes trial was only about Tennessee’s Butler Act, which had to do with preventing the teaching of the evolution of man—it did not outlaw animals evolving. It did not forbid the teaching of an old age of the earth.
  3. This article, as is often the case for the secular media, attempts to pit what they call “science” against “faith.” That’s the issue I hammered on in my recent debate with Bill Nye. I try to help people understand that biblical creationists love science. But there is a big difference between beliefs about the past that one cannot observe and directly test (historical science) and knowledge gained by direct observation and repeated testing (observational science). Even since the debate, most of the secular media will not acknowledge that issue, as secularists refuse to accept they have beliefs about the past! They want to indoctrinate students in their beliefs based on naturalism.

This piece may have been written to try to stir up trouble, as we find some of the media will often do with AiG. But if, as this article implies, there is a massive reaction at the college because the administration has said that the college takes a stand on a literal Adam and a literal Eve, then the article only shows how far from God’s Word certain Christian academics are going—including many instructors at Bryan College. Once you give up a literal Adam and Eve—and thus reject a literal Fall—then you may as well throw the Bible away.

And, as I’ve said before, believing in six literal days and a young universe is not a salvation issue—but it is an authority issue. I refer you to this recent article I wrote about this topic in Answers magazine.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

Ken