Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Christian Evolutionist: Oxymoron?


8 Reasons Why A True Christian Should Not Be An Evolutionist.

In honor of the Creation Museum, which is located in Northern Kentucky and is set to open this month, this article details all the reasons (that I could think of) why true Christians, for logic and the Bible's sake, should not--even cannot--be theistic evolutionists, at least once they have the knowledge revealed in this post.

Answers in Genesis, (to the best of my knowledge) the largest Christian apologetics organization in the world, is behind this museum. They believe in "Upholding the authority of the Bible from the very first verse." Other Christians, however, don't take such a hard stance. They think they can re-interpret (twist) portions of the Bible and reconcile God's Word with man's science; or perhaps they simply believe that man's say takes precedence. When their theories say "Adam and Eve is just a parable/figure" or something else, that's essentially what they're saying.

Theistic evolutionism has become more common than it used to be. And, while theism is not directly at odds with Evolution, the God of the Bible is. It makes one wonder: are many on the liberal and theistic evolutionist side of the coin even serving the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

Of course, the Theory of Evolution has crept into many churches to one extent or another. The devil has been effective and comprehensive in his exploits. Like his first conversation with a human, when he questioned some of God's first words, he is still placing doubt in the hearts and minds of people about the first words of God--the first Written Words of God. Satan is tearing at the foundation, trying to get Christians to "...exchange the truth of God for a lie..." and to worship man's widsom--in fact, man's fallable, preposterous, problematic, hypothetical folly--instead of God's wisdom. (Romans 1:25) What a blunder, as 1 Corinthians 1 states, "...Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?...the foolishness of God is wiser than men..." (vs. 20, 25)

But fortunately, for me and my readers, the buck stops here. Here are the nine reasons why Christians who are evolutionists "ought not be":


1.) God's Image.
The Bible tells us that man is made in God's image. (Genesis 1:26, 27 ; 9:6) If mankind evolved from the lowest of life forms, when did human beings attain "image of God status"? When was that last step taken, that last stage developed? And, what of those "missing links," those "before pictures" of the "God Image Product"?

2.) Soul and Stewardship.
In the same sense, if man is a highly-evolved animal, when did God endow him with a soul? When was he separated from and given stewardship over the animals? After all, he was just an animal. What of the predecessors of the "soul-bearers"?
Likewise...

3.) Sin and Death.
Romans 5:12 says, "...through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin..." Romans 8:20-22 adds onto that, stating, "For the creation was subjected to futility...in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." These two passages, paired with the apparent first shedding of blood in Genesis 3:21, clearly shows that Adam brought death and suffering to the whole of creation.
This is problematic on a couple of fronts for the Christian who would be an evolutionist.
First of all, the Theory of Evolution at ist core, subsisting on the "survival of the fittest," lives on death (pardon the pun). Death and suffering are vital components of the evolutionary process. But the Bible informs us that creation was "good," and, as I said, death didn't come till sin entered through Adam. How could Evolution take place without man, and therefore without sin, and therefore without death?
The second problem that is encountered is this: along the lines of my first points, if human beings evolved, when did they "evolve" the "capacity" to sin? If humans evolved, when did they become "human enough" for God to hold them accountable for their actions?

4. Adam's Descendants.
If Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden are just mythological, legendary, figurative, or parabolic, it can be concluded that their offspring weren't real people either. Then, one can easily deduce that their children's children didn't exist either...and so on... and so on. Eventually, the whole book of Genesis is discredited, and ultimately, the entire Bible's historical record and geneaology, with it being determined that Jesus Himself was not an actual person. Christians who claim that Adam was not real do not realize that their beliefs would cause Christianity to crumble upon itself.

5. Jesus, the Last Adam.
1 Corinthians 15:45 states, "...'The first man, Adam, became a living soul.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit." Then, "The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven." (v.47) Romans 5:14 calls Adam a "type" or "foreshadowing" of Christ. Other parts of the chapter also make such comparisons. If Adam was not a living, breathing, real man, the implication about the Messiah is obvious. Once again, we see, that Adam's existence is intrical to Jesus'.

6. After Their Kind.
The Genesis account mentions numerous times that God created creatures "after their kind." (Genesis 1:21, 24, 25) Since Evolution requires a drawn-out, trial-and-error, improbable (to say the least), unproven procedure of one kind of animal (or life-form) transforming into another kind, this repeated biblical phrase appears to speak firmly to the issue of Evolution. Fish didn't evolve into reptiles and amphibians which evolved into mammalls...and on and on. No, it didn't happen that way according to the Bible. It says, "God created the sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed AFTER THEIR KIND, and every winged bird AFTER ITS KIND... Let the earth bring forth living creatures AFTER THEIR KIND: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth AFTER THEIR KINDS... God made the beasts of the earth AFTER THEIR KINDS, and the cattle AFTER THEIR KIND, and everything that creeps on the ground AFTER ITS KIND." (Emphasis mine)

7. The Flood Conundrum.
Answers in Genesis dedicates a significant portion of its ministry to defending the Great Flood and to demonstrating that much of the erosion and fossilization we see today could have occurred--and likely did--during a catastrophic disaster like the Flood. In fact, the entire last issue of Answers Magazine was about the Flood and Noah's Ark.
But those who would mix the Bible with secular textbooks remove the necessity of the Flood. In actuality, it is unlikely that the earth has experienced millions (even billions) of years of corrosive elements (and localized catastrophes) IN ADDITION to the worldwide Flood. Six to ten thousand years of existence with some natural disasters (including the Flood) is a more plausible scenario. Moreover, God simply could have created the world with some of its natural wonders already partially or fully intact.
So, as we repeatedly see, denying the literal, Genesis account of Creation introduces difficulties outside the realm of the first few chapters of God's Word.

8. Illogical.
A deistic god could put in motion a process lilke Macro-Evolution, because the case could be made that a deistic god wouldn't really care what the result was, and wouldn't really be involved. An impersonal god could start such a process, because the logic could be presented that that this type of god didn't plan on making humans or having a relationship with them; or that, being impersonal, an impersonal god couldn't directly create personal beings. A god who was not omnipotent or omniscient could initiate natural selection, because it could be said that such a god would not be powerful or knowledgeable enough to create extremely complex life forms from the get-go, but rather only the simplest, most miniscule types. An unholy, imperfect god could utilize Evolution, because one could say that death and suffering didn't bother him/her/it. The case could be made that all of the aforementioned gods could/would be "laissez-faire," and therefore Evolution would be an acceptable tool for them.
But we serve a God Who is hands-on, holy, perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, personal, and involved.
He created the universe with a distinct purpose and plan, and the unfolding of that plan, as well as His sovereign control and intervention, continues today.

"...He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world... He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will...we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counself of His will..." (Ephesians 1:4, 5, 11)

" 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope..." (Jeremiah 29:11)

"...we know that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose... If God is for us, who is against us?..." (Romans 8:28, 31)

"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:35-39)

"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:17)

"O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness." (Isaiah 25:1)


Job 38-39 demonstrates God's omniscience of and omnipotence over nature.

Considering all these things, it is preposterous to think that God would leave His handiwork, for which He had/has plans, to a chance process. Furthermore, the idea of God "directing" a CHANCE process is ridiculous. Though this is not to say that God doesn't use and direct micro-evolution. But, if he designed creatures, including humans, with genetic potential and variation, that is not really chance at all.

And that leads to the conclusion, established by the previous eight points, that the Genesis Record is not a parable, an analogy, or a legend. It is God's truth in the way He decided to reveal it to us, and our choice is simply to accept it...or not. When Jesus says, "There was a man who had two sons," we know it is a story with a moral, a lesson. When Jesus says, "I am the door," we know it is figurative, analogical. All it takes is a little contextual reading of Scripture to determine this. But, when the Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," and the verses thereafter, we are left with only one determination.

So, does that mean theistic evolutionists are not true Christians? Well, I would be more inclined to call them "uninformed" or "misinformed" Christians. That is, unless, their view of origins is an indicator of their overall worldview--their overall level of faith. This is likely what it often is. The Bible tells us, "All Scripture is inspired by God..." (2 Timothy 3:17) Hebrews 11:6 states, "...without faith it is impossible to please Him..."
If someone can't have faith in the first chapters of His Story, they likely have a substantial, deep issue in their heart.

~Kingdom Advancer

26 comments:

kingdavid said...

Great post; of course, you're preaching to the choir in my case. I've put the Answers in Genesis on my favorites. I'm looking forward to delving deeper when I have time. I also need more time to delve deeper into your other posts, my appetite has been whet.

Steve said...

AiG is okay, but they hold to a strong "literal 24-hour day" creation. Any believer that holds to a long-day creation is by their definition not a believer. Accuracy in Genesis is a good, well-grounded alternative.

nayrb said...

I'm playing devil's advocate here, I don't support evolution, but I feel like you are assuming that the evolutionary stance a Christian accepts has to be the same as an atheist's. Obviously they shouldn't, but a Christian could support evolution but one where God does not play a passive role. Also, a Christian doesn't have to accept the idea that life formed from goop and completely reject evolution. At some point God could have created a organism form which others would evolve.

I disagree particularly with point 8 of your post. A God who allowed a n evolutionary process, seemingly guided by chance, doesn't mean he is not omnipotent. I find that a very weak argument. God has complete control, he created the whole universe, so anything that happens in it is under his control. It may look like chance to us, but there may be some underlying principle that God placed. Actually, God and chance don't go together. But I don't think a Christian view of evolution necessitates that it works on chance. That's buying into an atheistic argument.

The theory of evolution is destructive because atheists place it under the guise of "scientific proof" and use it to suggest in a seemingly legitimate way that there is no God. I think it is more important that people understand that God, by some mysterious and awesome way, created the world. We have to remember, we weren't around when everything started.

Sorry this is so long. I appreciate your blog even though I have some disagreements with your post.

under_the_mercy said...

nayrb, I would say a thiest can be an evolutionist, but not a Christian. Evolution simply states how we evolved, Christianity directly opposes that.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thank you, KING DAVID. Please feel free to delve to your heart's desire. Just let me know if you comment on an old post.

STEVE, I think the question lies within one's motivation for not believing in six literal days of creation.

Is it because one believes that the evidence or experts have proven that God MUST have used Evolution or that the earth must be really, really old? If so, then my post applies directly to this; and these people have the wrong motivation for such a belief--a wrong alternative belief. Is it because one believes that God is not powerful enough to create the universe and all it contains in just six days? Again, if that's the reasoning, that's a problem for a Christian.

However, if you simply say, "I don't know whether it took literally 24-hour days or not because I do not think the biblical text is definitive enough," I don't see a problem with that position.

UNDER_THE_MERCY, I agree:

"...while theism is not directly at odds with Evolution, the God of the Bible is."

Kingdom Advancer said...

NAYRB, I'm glad you are thinking about this. Although conciseness is good, don't worry about your comment being too long. After all, my posts are not always (or ever) the shortest out there.

Now, let me address your comment:

First, note that I am referring to a Macro-Evolutionary process. As I noted, most Christians should (and do) accept micro-evolution.

Second, let's note that at least six of the points don't rely on an individual's personal interpretation of Evolution.

Evolution HAS to have death as part of the process. It's intrical. Yet the Bible makes clear that death did not occur until sin entered through Adam.

God's image, souls, and stewardship over animals all pose problems for the Christian evolutionist. One might try to say that God created humans complete while allowing the rest of creation to evolve, but that's really twisting things to fit what you want to believe.

If one decides not to accept the first few chapters of Genesis as literal history, it raises questions of the literal truth of the whole Old Testament, and even the existence of Jesus.

The statement "After their kind" is pretty straightforward in contrast to Macro-Evolution.

These aforementioned points are sufficient to prove my point. (Sorry for rehashing my post, but I thought I should re-word it.)

The two that possibly don't apply to someone with a different interpretation of Evolution are numbers 7 and 8 (which you pointed out). Obviously, if someone, for instance, were to shorten the length of the evolutionary process, an old earth theory and the Flood would likely be more compatible.

Now, for your particular disagreement--number 8.

I apologize if I worded this ambiguously, but I didn't mean to say that a god who used Macro-Evolution couldn't be omnipotent. What I meant is that the case could be made that a god who was not omnipotent would necessarily be required to enact a macro-evolutionary process. My point here was this: we need not limit God. We need not think he HAD to use Evolution, because God IS omnipotent and omniscient. He was not dumb, or weak, so that he had to "start with small things."

I think your statement that there "may be some underlying principle" is a virtual definition of micro-evolution--a true form of evolution that God has utilized to diversify His Creation. But, the Theory of Evolution is defined as "random mutations," "random genetic drifts," etc. Basically, that changes keep randomly occurring until one sticks. Of course, this is ridiculous because some functioning elements are so complex that they would take a long, long time to be completed. Yet, they would never be completed because natural selection would disregard them since they weren't functioning.

Anyways, if you want to change that definition of Evolution, then essentially you're creating your own theory and no longer relying on the main reason most people believe it--because the "science" supposedly backs it up.

Steve said...

STEVE, I think the question lies within one's motivation for not believing in six literal days of creation.

Why do you say that there has to be a motivation for 'not believing' in six literal days of creation'? I do believe in six literal days of Creation, just that the six days were very long periods, not 24-hour days. My 'motivation' is reading and trusting Genesis and then seeing how the physical world confirms that.

Is it because one believes that the evidence or experts have proven that God MUST have used Evolution [NO] or that the earth must be really, really old? [YES]

Who said anything about evolution? From all evidence I've seen, theories of macro-evolution are nonsense. YEC-ers typically equate 'long-day' creation with evolution, but the two issues are completely distinct. You don't have to accept evolution to accept an old earth.

Is it because one believes that God is not powerful enough to create the universe and all it contains in just six days? Again, if that's the reasoning, that's a problem for a Christian.

Again, who said that? God is omnipotent, but because he can do a thing doesn't mean He did do that thing. He can heal every disease and immediately eradicate evil, but he doesn't, because He chooses to let us live in a world tainted by Adam's (and our) sin.

I use the cake mix analogy: if you want cake, you don't eat the mix right out of the box, but instead you take time to prepare it and bake it. You eat it when it's ready. Likewise, God prepared the earth according to the Genesis account (starting 6 billion years ago, or so) and when it was ready (6-10 thousand years ago) He created Adam in the garden.

Could He have created the earth to look old? Sure, but why would He. I think it would violate His nature to do so.

Kingdom Advancer said...

The physical world confirms what? That the earth is "6 billion years or so" old? How so? No dating method to date (pardon the pun) can accurately or authoritatively claim that.

I understand that you don't have to accept Evolution to accept an old earth. What I don't understand is WHY. Did you read what I said about death? What was God doing preparing the earth for so long, with no death, and no macro-evolution?
The reason "YEC-ers typically equate 'long-day' creation with evolution" is because the two beliefs are usually interconnected. You are an exception to the norm. And, I have to wonder: if you were not aware of all the science and evolutionary theories floating around, is there anything in the Bible that would lead you to the natural conclusion that the earth is six billion years old?

I also understand that just because God can do a thing doesn't mean He has to do it. But, I want to know why a person would want to believe that God took so long, when He didn't need to, and when (you are implying) He didn't use macro-evolution either.
As I said, I don't have a problem with someone saying that they don't think the Bible is clear enough to know whether God created the universe in six 24-hour days or not. But when that statement turns to actually believing that God took billions of years, the question again is: why? Because some scientists tell you so?

I'm sure you like the verse in Peter that says a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to God. But I don't think that should be applied to the Genesis account of creation. That account is history, not an explanation of God being outside of time. The Bible never says that Jesus rose from the dead on the 3,000th year or that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for .040 of a day. Yet, you stretch the use of that verse to say that the day in Genesis means not just a thousand years, but a billion or more years.

You say you don't think that God would've created the earth to look old. So, did God create Adam as a second-old newborn, or as an adult? According to you, wouldn't it violate His nature to create Adam and Eve as young adults, "looking old"?

Steve said...

This is an issue for which we will probably have to agree to disagree.

The reason "YEC-ers typically equate 'long-day' creation with evolution" is because the two beliefs are usually interconnected. You are an exception to the norm.

If it's your contention that I'm an 'exception to the norm,' then you probably haven't done much serious reading about the the issue beyond AiG. Do a quick search on 'progressive creation' and you'll find a raft of resources for old earth creation.

And, I have to wonder: if you were not aware of all the science and evolutionary theories floating around, is there anything in the Bible that would lead you to the natural conclusion that the earth is six billion years old?

Again, you can leave the evolution nonsense out of the equation.

If you go into a room and seal the doors and windows, plug up the vents, turn off all electronic media and sit in a corner blidndfolded, then no, you probably wouldn't be aware of what's happening outside your isolated room, either. The good news is that all that evil science that God invented actually proclaims His hand in creation. You can pretend that it's not there, but it doesn't change the fact. From molecular biology to geology to astrophysics and cosmology, it all points to Him. There are certainly those in the science community that would deny it, but all truth is God's truth.

The physical evidence from the sciences certainly points to an older earth.

As to death, I assume you're talking about death before Adam's sin, and my view is that "no death before sin" applies to humans only. A plain reading of Genesis (and later OT and NT references) makes that pretty clear. Animals can't sin and therefore they are irrelevant to the discussion. Animals lived and died for a long time before Adam. (This also gets you around the YEC-ers' sticky problem of what to do with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and other inconvenient creatures.)

You can take that to an extreme and say that if there was no death at all, then nothing could live, because even plants die when eaten.

The single most extreme argument for this was someone who tried to make the point that carbon dating couldn't work because carbon atoms can't have decayed before sin. Then the sun wouldn't work before sin, either, because the energy given off in fusion reactions is a form of decay. How far do you take it?

nayrb said...

Kingdom Advancer,

I can give objections to all the points you gave. I have and can say a lot more. If you prefer, we could trade emails and continue the discussion by those such means. (Actually, I lost my first comment witch contained several more points).

For now, I’ll reply to your reply to my comment.

“First, note that I am referring to a Macro-Evolutionary process. As I noted, most Christians should (and do) accept micro-evolution.”

Yes, I understand that we are referring to macroevolution. Just curious, why must a Christian believe in macroevolution?

“Second, let's note that at least six of the points don't rely on an individual's personal interpretation of Evolution.”

I disagree. That was the point of my last comment. You seem, to me, to be approaching the evolutionary standpoint which includes atheistic ideas and then showing how it does not work with Christianity. I think, though, we could define macroevolution simply as animals changing from different species. This contains no philosophical aspects, compared to what atheists claim evolution is.

“Evolution HAS to have death as part of the process. It's intrical. Yet the Bible makes clear that death did not occur until sin entered through Adam.”

Why do tigers have sharp teeth? Did God make them to kill? Also, is the death the Bible refers to Spiritual death, or physical death? The fall brought at least spiritual death, and at least physical death for humans, but what about animals?

“God's image, souls, and stewardship over animals all pose problems for the Christian evolutionist. One might try to say that God created humans complete while allowing the rest of creation to evolve, but that's really twisting things to fit what you want to believe.”

I fear most people who make claims about how God created the earth are in the dark. I might suggest, though, that God could have set things up to run in an evolutionary manner, and then set man apart and made him different.

“My point here was this: we need not limit God. We need not think he HAD to use Evolution, because God IS omnipotent and omniscient. He was not dumb, or weak, so that he had to "start with small things."“

I think God would be far from limited. In fact, it would be amazing that we could set up a system, and without any intervention, where new species, which he could conceive of, though, forming and populating the earth. I agree that we need not think he had to use evolution, yet can we ask the same of a six literal day creation?


Again, just so you know, as a Christian, I do not support any aspect of evolution. I’m hoping to strengthen arguments through discussion. Also again, I could say more, so don’t think I’m trying to avoid any points you’ve made.

Austin said...

Steve,

Please don't misrepresent Answers in Genesis. You stated that they did not consider a long-day creationist a true believer. This is false. They specifically state that a Christian can certainly believe in non-24 hour days and still be a Christian. Tell the truth, or you'll hurt your case.

Also, evolution and long days are not mutually exclusive because the only reason evolutionists decide the earth must be much older than thousands of years is because it is necessary for evolution to have occurred. They then interpret the evidence (which actually stands against them) to support their old-earth belief. Then innocent Christians (like yourself), have no means of arguing the date they give the earth, so you accept it, even though you rightfully deny evolution. I don't blame you, because you haven't been shown the flaws in their so-called "evidence" for an old earth. However, the two views are not separate from each other. Old age came from evolution. The Bible certainly doesn't mention or support it.

Also, for clarification, Kingdom Advancer and others aren't opposed to geology and other sciences (as you implied), but rather recognize that many false assumptions have been used to twist the evidence into false conclusions. Plenty of geologists use geology to defend a young earth, without sitting in any corners and ignoring evidence. On the contrary, evolutionts have to accept an old earth even without evidence because nothing else would be consistent with an evolutionary timescale. Thus, you must acknowledge that if the earth were 6000-something years old (which it is), then the evolutionists would never be capable of admitting it. So what would they do? They would pretend that evidence supports their views, but that doesn't mean that it does. The Flat Earth Society thinks that evidence supports their views too, but it certainly doesn't. The fact is, evolutions assume that the earth is old to fit their framework, then they interpret all evidence to the contrary to support their position, and eventually even some non-evolutionists (like yourself) accept it uncritically.

Once again, this does not affect anyone's status a believer. Not even close. An AiG never says so. Quite the contrary, if you were being honest.

I hope that helps. Perhaps you should read AiG's geology section under the tab "Get Answers". Then you would see that young-earthers don't ignore geology, they just come to more rational conclusions.

I know that this issue isn't all-important, but since it was brought up, I've stated the facts.

Austin said...

Kingdom Advancer,

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Point 2. The Bible says that animals have souls (Hebrew: nephesh), though plants don't. Animals also have spirits (Hebrew: ruach). Answers in Genesis agrees with me - go ahead and check.

Steve said...

Austin/KingAdv,
The condescension is getting a bit thick in here, so I'll drop it. It's pretty clear on the AiG, ICR, and other similar sites that believers in an old earth are misguided by the evil evolutionists and are probably in league with them.

Your words and assumptions tell me you're probably in agreement.

evolution and long days are not mutually exclusive because the only reason evolutionists decide the earth must be much older than thousands of years is because it is necessary for evolution to have occurred.

You're close here, but be careful how you argue. Evolution requires a long time (longer than the 14 billion year age of the universe), but an old earth certainly does not require evolution.

I've never heard any evolution supporter argue that the reason they know the earth is old is because evolution requires it. That's a nonsense argument.

People know it's old because the geologic record and physical evidences from other branches of science reveal it - just as it reveals His hand in creation.

Trust in God and His Holy Spirit. If you put your trust in Kent Hovind or Ken Hamm or the like you can be misled.

I believe every word of Scripture, as written. It takes precedence over any other revelation of God's will, but the secondary revelation - His creation - will confirm what's written in Scripture, every time.

Austin said...

"I've never heard any evolution supporter argue that the reason they know the earth is old is because evolution requires it. That's a nonsense argument."

You're right. But here's why: Evolution has been around for long enough that the evolutionists have had time to make it look like the earth fits their timescale. But those evolutionists are dead! The modern ones don't believe in long ages because of evolution, they believe because they thought the issue was settled by their predecessors, and they've learned how to interpret evidence to fit that.

"People know it's old because the geologic record and physical evidences from other branches of science reveal it - just as it reveals His hand in creation."

To interpret the geologic record in this way requires a major assumption - it's called uniformitarianism. Uniformitarianism states that the same processes that we see occuring in the earth today have always occured in exactly that way with no other conditions infinitely back into the past. But how do they know this? They don't! It is a recognized fact (yes, by evolutionists too) that catastrophes such as volcanoes and floods lay down "millions of years" worth of geologic layers. Under uniformitarianism, it would take millions of years to make the same geologic layers. But here's the catch: Since this catastrophes haven't occured everywhere in the world (assumption), then most layers can still be dated by uniformitarian assumptions! Here's the other catch: There was a global catastrophe!!! And do you know what that catastrophe (Noah's flood) would have done to the geologic record! Wonders! It would have piled up so many "layers" that if they were dated by uniformitarian assumptions (i.e. that the layers were slowly built up over the same amount of time that dirt builds up today without a catastrophe), it would give a date, in an evolutionary framework, of "millions of years"! This is, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. You should really read the articles on AiG about radiometric dating. Fascinating stuff.

"Trust in God and His Holy Spirit. If you put your trust in Kent Hovind or Ken Hamm or the like you can be misled."

I read critically, and there are things they have written that I didn't agree with, but very few. It has usually been scientific either, but rather theological.

And besides, couldn't I just say the same to you: If you trust the evolutionists' date of the earth (and those who accept that date because they think it's established but aren't evolutionists), then you will be misled! But one of us may not be misled. So the point is, we must both make sure that whatever we read on the subject, from whatever source, is accurate. It's useless for us both just to say, "If you trust that source, you'll be misled!" We must simply evaluate sources, not throw them out uncritically.

"It's pretty clear on the AiG, ICR, and other similar sites that believers in an old earth are misguided by the evil evolutionists and are probably in league with them.

Your words and assumptions tell me you're probably in agreement."

As for the last statement, it's an unfounded assumption. As for AiG and ICR, the old-earthers they say such things about are the ones who go public and attack their ministry, then write books about how stupid AiG is (without, of course, writing anything scientific).

Your everyday laymen who thinks the earth is old is not viewed the way you say by these ministries. But when some guy joins up with some humanist organization, and starts shouting threats at AiG and ICR, and says they're a Christian, is it wrong for those ministries to say that that person is both misguided and in league with the enemy? These things really happen. But it has nothing to do with you. They say no such things about you.

"The condescension is getting a bit thick in here, so I'll drop it. "

Not really, I was just telling you what I know on the subject, no condescension here. The subject was brought up, so I contributed some useful food for thought. I must say though, you have a gift for imagining condescension where there is none - first you said it about two non-condescending ministries, and now about me and Kingdom Advancer. But this is just a discussion.

Austin said...

"Animals can't sin and therefore they are irrelevant to the discussion"

God said that they would be held accountable. What does that mean?

"Animals lived and died for a long time before Adam. (This also gets you around the YEC-ers' sticky problem of what to do with dinosaurs, woolly mammoths and other inconvenient creatures.)"

It's not a problem for us. They were created at the same time as the rest of the land animals, of course. This does, however, create an extremely sticky problem for old-earthers - Dinosaurs have been discovered with unfossolized tissue and red blood cells in their bones. T-rex to be more specific. Would you like to know the odds of red blood cells being preserved for 65 million years? Too bad, because there aren't any odds. It's impossible. Period. This is scientific proof that these dinos can't be more than a few thousand years old. You're right - this is a sticky problem, but not for us.

By the way, just in case you would try to think that I consider people less of Christians for believing anything else, you should know that I have been a progressive creationist, a day-age creationist, and even almost an evolutionist, while still being an evolutionists. So don't accuse me of thinking of old-earthers as "the enemy" - that's nonsense. I've held false beliefs too. They're weren't that important, except that they had the potential to one day undermine my belief in the Bible, if I had ever connected A with B.

Austin said...

I said: "while still being an evolutionists."

I meant" "while still being a Christian." Sorry 'bout that.

"You can take that to an extreme and say that if there was no death at all, then nothing could live, because even plants die when eaten."

This is a semantics argument because it all depends on your definition of "life". Plants do not have souls (Hebrew nephesh), therefore they do not fit the Biblical definition for life. Animals do have souls (the Bible specifically says so), so they are life. So are humans. That's not to say that humans have no advantage - we're the only ones in the image of God. But animals are still "life" and they have souls - plants, in the Biblical definition, are not living because they don't have nephesh.

The Biblical definition for life requires a respiratory and circulatory system. God breathed, and man became a living being. And it is also written that life is in the blood.

"The single most extreme argument for this was someone who tried to make the point that carbon dating couldn't work because carbon atoms can't have decayed before sin. Then the sun wouldn't work before sin, either, because the energy given off in fusion reactions is a form of decay. How far do you take it? "

The Bible says nothing about carbon atoms not decaying before sin. This is speculation. Answers in Genesis specifically refutes this ridiculous argument, which almost nobody makes. Is the only way you can argue your point to attack arguments we don't present?

"The physical evidence from the sciences certainly points to an older earth."

The earth is very old - over 6000 years! But I could make a similar statement to yours like this:

"The physical evidence from the sciences certainly points to a younger earth."

There - I said it, so it must be true.

Um, the point I'm getting at is that you must provide proof if you hope to convince anyone. Please be specific - what physical evidence shows this?

Kingdom Advancer said...

Thank you all for all of your contributions to the discussion.

AUSTIN:
Points 1 through 3 are very closely connected. I know you have very strong suspicions about ideas of "eternal souls" and such things, but that was kind of what I meant. What I was saying was, if humans evolved, then when did they have the "responsibility," if you will, of a soul? When could they sin? When could they fall? When could they send themselves to hell? You know what I'm saying? I guess it was kind of an unnecessary point because point 3 expounds upon it.

Thanks for getting me to clarify.

Also, thank you for doing such a good job of expounding on what I was trying to get across about the Flood and about the interconnected nature of the earth being old and Evolution.

Kingdom Advancer said...

NAYRB:

"Just curious, why must a Christian believe in macroevolution?"

I think you meant to say microevolution, so I'll address it that way.

Micro-evolution can be clearly seen, and it does not violate the biblical account of creation. In fact, while Evolutionists may try to group in microevolution with macro- in order to illustrate their case, microevolution simply demonstrates the genious of God which goes beyond the six days of creation.

"Why do tigers have sharp teeth? Did God make them to kill?"

Yes or no. Perhaps tigers (micro-)evolved sharp teeth after the fall so that they could kill, and perhaps the genetic information for another type of teeth has been lost.
The other potential answer is "yes," He did. And in comes the foreknowledge of God. That, while the Creation was "good," God knew that Adam would fall, and He created tigers, for example, with capabilities for a fallen world.

"The fall brought at least spiritual death, and at least physical death for humans, but what about animals?"

God called the Creation "good." Romans 8:21 states "...the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God." SLAVERY TO CORRUPTION! Did God create a "good," yet corrupt enslaving creation? Yes, creation is still good today, but is it to the same extent?

Isaiah 11 states, "...the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together...Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den..."

Then, Isaiah 65:25 states, "The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox..."

Lion eat straw? Wolf and lamb graze together? Calves and cubs lying together? Why? If God made the earth, from the beginning, before the fall, before the corruption, so that animals died and were eaten by each other and were hostile toward each other, why would He change the way things work after the Restoration? If, in the beginning, with lions tearing the throats out of cows, God thought it was good, why should He fix something that isn't broken?
If only physical and spiritual human death were caused by the fall (other deaths were already happening), then why does God have to restore the earth and heavens? Maybe the fall has caused more death and damage to creation (than already was happening), but I don't think that is a sufficient answer.

"I agree that we need not think he had to use evolution, yet can we ask the same of a six literal day creation?"

Phew! We agree on something. ;) Anyways... I have said that, if you do not think the Bible is clear enough to believe with all your heart that God took six 24-hour days to create the universe and all it contains, that's okay. It's when you start stretching things, to billions of years (because "we know the earth is that old"), to Evolution (because "we know it happened"), etc., is when you are on dangerous ground, especially if you think that the story of the Garden of Eden is not literal.

So, in conclusion, I think that you will have to define a little further for me what you think a Christian version of Evolutionism would be. In addition, though I know you said you weren't avoiding any of my points, could you explain an Christian, evolutionary definition of "after their kind." (Re-read that point in the post.)

Kingdom Advancer said...

STEVE:

We're condescending, Steve, when you say stuff like "all that evil science that God invented"? I have no problem with science--GOOD science. I do know that it just proves God all the more. But you seem willing to accept some of the unreliable, insufficient, lacking, BAD science out there.

------------

Anyways, most of what you said is covered by Austin's comments. However, for some stuff on death, read what I said to NAYRB.

The definition of life and death is somewhat philosophical, but one thing I would recommend reading is an article in Answers Magazine an issue or two back that demonstrates that trees dropping their leavings isn't really "death."

--------------

No, an old earth doesn't require Evolution. But, having an old earth without Evolution is kind of like waiting a long time for your car to warm up when it doesn't need to warm up. Just, why?

---------------

"Trust in God and His Holy Spirit. If you put your trust in Kent Hovind or Ken Hamm or the like you can be misled.

I believe every word of Scripture, as written. It takes precedence over any other revelation of God's will, but the secondary revelation - His creation - will confirm what's written in Scripture, every time. "

All that sounds great. In fact, I could repeat your last paragraph word for word coming from a totally different perspective. At least it seems that you are trying to have the right foundation. But if I replace "Kent Hovind and Ken Ham" with the secular science that you seem to be relying on, it turns the spotlight back on you.

I find it interesting that you started out by saying that "AiG is okay," and since then you have been insulting, condescending, and mocking them (or your impression of them).

Moriah said...

Hey Kingdom Advancer, Awesome post! Very well written. I have written a post on creationism vs. evolution if you or anyone else reading this would like to check it out. Here's the link... http://revitalizeouryouth.blogspot.com/2006/12/genesis-vs-evolution.html
God bless and take care!!

nayrb said...

“Micro-evolution can be clearly seen, and it does not violate the biblical account of creation. In fact, while Evolutionists may try to group in microevolution with macro- in order to illustrate their case, microevolution simply demonstrates the genious of God which goes beyond the six days of creation.”

My point in asking the question was to say that as a Christian, you should not accept microevolution. That is, based on your Christian faith. As a rational, logical, thoughtful human, you understand that many people attest to there being microevolution.


"Then, Isaiah 65:25 states, "The wolf and the lamb will graze together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox..."

Lion eat straw? Wolf and lamb graze together? Calves and cubs lying together? Why? If God made the earth, from the beginning, before the fall, before the corruption, so that animals died and were eaten by each other and were hostile toward each other, why would He change the way things work after the Restoration?"

Thank you very much for strengthening your argument (for this point). You have given it some more substance. I'll still be playing devil's advocate, because its fun, I'm glad you're improving your arguments (I'm truly interested in them), I think I can still challenge it more, and I wish to better form my opinion.

You gave a very good passage. But, can we take it literally, or metaphorically. Let's look at the context. First, it is coming from Isaiah, from a prophet, which contains many metaphors. Second, the passage saying, "And the weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den." would not seem to make sense if we are talking about heaven, as there are no children in heaven.

In reference to your point about lion’s teeth, I’ll say that neither your argument nor mine is substantiated in that case. They are both suppositions. You give a hypothetical case which follows from a philosophical idea. Neither of know what really happened.

"Phew! We agree on something. ;) Anyways... I have said that, if you do not think the Bible is clear enough to believe with all your heart that God took six 24-hour days to create the universe and all it contains, that's okay. It's when you start stretching things, to billions of years (because "we know the earth is that old"), to Evolution (because "we know it happened"), etc., is when you are on dangerous ground, especially if you think that the story of the Garden of Eden is not literal."

Not criticizing you, but I think people can stretch what's in the Bible for a literal six day creation and for an evolutionary viewpoint. I could go on, giving points on ways I think you should and or can interpret the Bible. You obviously have your opinions, which I’d be interested in hearing. Perhaps a blog post?

In reference to point six, God could have made “basic” types of animals, which evolved to other animals. For instance, we could have made a water creature, a bird-like creature, a cattle like creature, a reptile like creature, etc., from which all other species evolved from. You understand my point how the Christians can reject certain elements of “evolution” that atheists hold, yet not change the (core, or rather real) idea of evolution.

I’ve been enjoying this debate. :-)

(BTW, I’ve been thinking of starting a “real” blog. You’ve probably seen my personal one, where I post random things, but I want to start a deeper, more thoughtful blog. Any suggestions, advice?)

Kingdom Advancer said...

NAYRB:

"That is, based on your Christian faith. As a rational, logical, thoughtful human, you understand that many people attest to there being microevolution."

I don't have a problem with being rational, logical, and thoughtful. The problem lies in interpreting God's Word THROUGH man's sciences, rather than vice versa. I don't have to re-interpret, twist, or shake God's Word so that it fits in with what I want to believe about micro-evolution. There's nothing to it. However, when macro-evolution comes into play, it's a different story.

"Thank you very much for strengthening your argument (for this point). You have given it some more substance. I'll still be playing devil's advocate, because its fun, I'm glad you're improving your arguments (I'm truly interested in them), I think I can still challenge it more, and I wish to better form my opinion.
You gave a very good passage. But, can we take it literally, or metaphorically. Let's look at the context. First, it is coming from Isaiah, from a prophet, which contains many metaphors. Second, the passage saying, "And the weaned child will put his hand in the viper's den." would not seem to make sense if we are talking about heaven, as there are no children in heaven."

Well, thank you for making me strengthen it. When I have time, I might go back and edit the actual post.
I don't think that this is metaphorical. First off, this might not be referring to heaven. It could be speaking of the New, Restored Earth, the Millenial Reign, etc.
Secondly, if it were using animals as an analogy to humans, that would really, REALLY be metaphorical, with "grazing together" and "fatlings" and such. If there were NO animals in the restored earth, this passage could be easily accepted as metaphorical. However, if there ARE animals, and lions AREN'T eating straw, etc., there would be a problem.

"In reference to your point about lion’s teeth, I’ll say that neither your argument nor mine is substantiated in that case. They are both suppositions. You give a hypothetical case which follows from a philosophical idea. Neither of know what really happened."

Um...no, I can't really back that up with Scripture, at least off the top of my head. However, I think my "philosophical idea" from which a "hypothetical case" follows is substantiated by God's Word. Steve may wish to disagree--and you may question my points, but I don't think them to be mere opinions.

"Not criticizing you, but I think people can stretch what's in the Bible for a literal six day creation and for an evolutionary viewpoint. I could go on, giving points on ways I think you should and or can interpret the Bible."

You have to be very careful when going in this direction. To say "I could go on, giving points on ways I think you should or can interpret the Bible," implying that would be arrogant or wrong, comes dangerously close to a relatavistic viewpoint. The Bible is true, and therefore it has a true interpretation. Sure, while there are some issues that cannot be CLEARLY interpreted as assuredly, demonstrably truth, many other issues (like Christ's Deity, Christ as the only way to salvation, sin, etc.) are not only clear but also essential. Then again, though, two can disagree on what those issues are.

As for your interpretation of point six:

First of all, the Bible says, "God created the sea monsterS(!) and EVERY living creature that moves...after their kind...and EVERY winged bird after its kind...God made the beastS(!) of the earth after their kind: cattle and creeping thingS(!) and beastS(!) of the earth after their kind...and EVERYTHING that creeps on the ground after its kind..." (Genesis 1:24-26; emphasis mine)

This doesn't sound like creating "basic" creatures. Yet, this is where the term "after its/their kind" can have its emphasis reversed. Rather than defeating macro-evolution in this case, it supports micro-evolution, so that, though it says "EVERY" it also says "after its kind," thereby leaving room for micro-evolution.
Besides, accepting macro-evolution would be making an unnecessary and unsubstantiated concession to atheists. Macro-evolution, at its core, is built in such a way to remove the necessity of a Divine Hand. (Although, in fact, even it doesn't.)

"(BTW, I’ve been thinking of starting a “real” blog. You’ve probably seen my personal one, where I post random things, but I want to start a deeper, more thoughtful blog. Any suggestions, advice?)"

I think that would be a good idea.

As for advice:
Patience is definitely a key, if you put a premium on actually having readers. Also, you have to remember to still get around the blogosphere, or else you won't have any readers (or friends).
Other than that, I'd just say to take your time to try to polish and write complete posts, try to come up with a [relatively] unique blog name and style, and try to keep your blog's range from being too broad. Mine is kind of too wide-spanning, so there are some times when I don't get a chance to post about things I would like to.

Kingdom Advancer said...

NAYRB:

One other thing: as a Christian, I think it would be appropriate for you to have something on your profile so that people will know that you are a Christ-follower.

MORIAH:

Thanks for the encouraging word.

nayrb said...

Kingdom Advancer,

This discussion is getting disoriented (since there are a large number of points) and hard to respond to. Do you want to trade email addresses and continue there? If you'd rather not, I understand.

Kingdom Advancer said...

Well, I can't guarantee that I'll be able to discuss this as regularly as we have been, but I'll e-mail you with my e-mail address.

Austin said...

Kingdom Advancer,

Whether it's eternal or not, the Hebrew word for soul is still nephesh, which animals are stated to have. AiG says so too (not that I'm arguing from authority - that would be a logical fallacy).

Also, let me clarify that I do believe that souls are meant to be immortal. However, we ceased to be immortal at the Fall. So did animals. The atonement undoes the fall's effect on us. I can't speak for animals, though such verses as Romans 8:22 might be considered hints.