Followers of Jesus ought not to reject his teachings

This was said by someone who follows Jesus—yet rejects some of his teachings on the Old Testament:

When I was studying to be a minister, a friend once confided in me that he did not believe in creation in 6 days. I was horrified, not because he didn’t believe this, but because he thought that I did believe this, and he thought that this was what Christian faith is about.

The sacred texts of Christian—and Jewish—faith are complex, difficult and beautiful but it is clear that the creation accounts are not meant to be read literally.

I think the word “literally” is used as an out clause for deferring to scientism. Now compare that with someone who follows Jesus—and accepts his teachings on the Old Testament:

After this, God chose to deal specially with only one man of His sovereign choosing, Abraham, and a people group descended from him. Genesis 12–50 explains their origin. However, this is linked with the first 11 chapters of Genesis. It is inconsistent for professing evangelical colleges to claim that real history begins only with Abraham, because Genesis 11 traces his ancestry back to Shem, the son of Noah, and Luke 3 traces it all the way back to Adam. It’s strange to think that a man could be real if his father was mythological!

Quote sources

  1. Douglas, S. (2015). Life, the Universe and Everything. Richmond Uniting Church. Available http://richmond.unitingchurch.org.au/2015/01/life-the-universe-and-everything/. Last accessed 1 Aug 2015.
  2. Sarfati, J. (2000). Genesis correctly predicts Y-Chromosome pattern: Jews and Arabs shown to be descendants of one man! Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/genesis-correctly-predicts-y-chromosome-pattern. Last accessed 1 Aug 2015.
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Theistic evolution: leading the blind into a ditch

Michael Zimmerman’s theology goes like this:

Ray [Comfort]’s second problem is even more important. From the title of his new film [Evolution Vs. God] to virtually everything he ever says about evolution, he asserts that a choice has to be made between God and evolution. But the simple fact is that no such choice has to be made.

The Clergy Letter Project, which I founded and direct, demonstrates this simple point elegantly. Indeed, more than 13,600 clergy from all across the United States have come together to assert that not only are they in favor evolution being taught in our schools but that such a position in no way challenges their religious beliefs. These clergy members represent congregations large and small, conservative and liberal, evangelical and mainstream. They are as diverse as you can imagine with respect to race, age, gender, ethnicity and any other characteristic you might examine. What they all have in common, however, is the simple belief that a choice does not have to be made between God and evolution.

Now watch David Hull push Zimmerman’s theology to its logical conclusion:

The problem that biological evolution poses for natural theologians is the sort of God that a Darwinian version of evolution implies…The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror …

Whatever the God implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history may be like, He is not the Protestant God of waste not, want not. He is also not a loving God who cares about His productions. He is not even the awful God portrayed in the book of Job. The God of the Galápagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.

Quote sources

  1. Zimmerman, M. (2013). Evolution vs. God: Not a Choice Most of Us Have to Make. Huffington Post. Available http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/evolution-vs-god-not-a-ch_b_3530509.html. Last accessed 18th Jul 2015.
  2. Hull, D. cited in Anon. (n.d.). Hull: Evolution’s God diabolical. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/god-of-evolution-diabolical. Last accessed 18th Jul 2015.

Evolution: a good fit with bad theology

This from Michael Shermer:

Can one be a conservative Christian and a Darwinian? Yes. Here’s how. Evolution fits well with good theology. Christians believe in an omniscient and omnipotent God. What difference does it make when God created the universe—10,000 years ago or 10,000,000,000 years ago? The glory of the creation commands reverence regardless of how many zeroes in the date. And what difference does it make how God created life—spoken word or natural forces? The grandeur of life’s complexity elicits awe regardless of what creative processes were employed. Christians (indeed, all faiths) should embrace modern science for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divine in a depth and detail unmatched by ancient texts.

But Jonathan Sarfati (and Jacques Monod) beg to differ:

We easily forget the warning of people like the late leading biologist Jacques Monod. He said that evolution is the cruellest, most wasteful, and inefficient way that anyone could imagine of creating the world. I think Monod is right. Evolution leaves us with a supposed God of love who uses a cruel and wasteful process to eliminate the unfit.

Quote sources

  1. Shermer, M. (2006). Darwin on the Right: Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution. Scientific American. Available http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/darwin-on-the-right/. Last accessed 11th Jul 2015.
  2. Sarfati, J. (2014). The Greatest Hoax: Evolutionary Theory is Riddled with Contradictions. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/greatest-hoax. Last accessed 11th Jul 2015.

Carl Kerby’s rejection of theistic evolution

As an air traffic controller in the military in the late 1980s and a “baby Christian,” Carl happened to take a flight to Portland, Oregon to visit his father. He rode in the cockpit of a civilian airline. During a conversation with the pilots, the Creation/evolution issue came up. Carl indicated that you could take evolution and add it to the Bible and there wouldn’t be a problem. Well, the co-pilot sat up straight and looked over at the pilot and then looked back at Carl and said: “I’m sorry Carl, but that’s incorrect!”

Now, the pilot wasn’t trying to shove his opinion down Carl’s throat. He simply showed him from the Bible that evolution was a completely different worldview and could not be found in Scripture. He introduced Carl to Ken Ham’s book “The Lie: Evolution.” After reading it, Carl’s faith was totally changed. He now knew that God’s Word is true from the beginning (Psalm 119:160).

Quote source

Anon (n.d.). Worldview Weekend Speaker Carl Kerby. Worldview Weekend. Available http://old.worldviewweekend.com/conferences/bio.php?ID=34. Last accessed 9th Mar 2015.

Theistic evolution: believed by clowns

Theistic evolutionists argue that evangelicals must accept the theory of evolution in order to be taken seriously by the scientific community, but R. Albert Mohler Jr. says that even perhaps the most prominent theistic evolutionist finds it hard to gain acceptance among his scientific peers.

Since last summer Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been engaged in a debate over the origin of the universe and mankind, and those who oppose him say Christians risk being intellectually marginalized in the larger culture if they hold to a young earth and creationist view…

“Even with all of Francis Collins’ achievements, qualifications, and experience, the bare fact that he is a ‘believing Christian’ is enough to draw the active opposition of many in the scientific establishment,” Mohler wrote…

When President Obama appointed Collins to lead the National Institutes of Health, evolutionary scientist P.Z. Myers said, “I don’t want American science to be represented by a clown.”

“This is the predicament of those who argue that evangelicals must accept some form of theistic evolution—the guardians of evolution still consider them clowns,” Mohler wrote.

Quote source

Roach, E. (2011). Theistic evolutionists, too, face ‘suspicion, condescension,’ Mohler observes. Baptist Press. Available http://www.bpnews.net/34515/theistic-evolutionists-too-face-suspicion-condescension-mohler-observes. Last accessed 28th Feb 2015.

Theistic evolutionism’s bad approach to regeneration

Christians who believe in evolution also have to face the problem of restoration. If Christ is going to restore or “regenerate” the world, what will He restore it to? Will we simply experience millions more years of death, suffering and disease? Once Christians accept an evolutionary hypothesis they are buying into a worldview that not only denies just a few verses in Genesis; in fact, evolution is opposed to the biblical ideas of creation, fall and redemption. We undermine the entire message of Scripture if we try to introduce the idea of evolution into it.

Quote source

Sarfati, J. cited in Hastie, P. (2012). “The Greatest Hoax: Evolutionary Theory is Riddled with Contradictions” in Australian Presbyterian Magazine. Available http://creation.com/greatest-hoax. Last accessed 31st Jan 2015.

Jesus vs. BioLogos and Christianity Today magazine

Peter Enns, the Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies for BioLogos, argues that “a literal Adam as a special creation without evolutionary forebears is ‘at odds with everything else we know about the past from the natural sciences and cultural remains. … The Bible itself invites a symbolic reading by using cosmic battle imagery and by drawing parallels between Adam and Israel” (p. 26). Dennis Lamoureux goes farther, saying, “Adam never existed, and this fact has no impact whatsoever on the foundational beliefs of Christianity … the Holy Spirit descended to the level of the biblical author of Genesis 1 and used his incidental ancient science regarding biological origins’ to reveal ‘infallible messages of faith about the human spiritual condition’” (p. 26).

But as Jesus said in John 3:12: “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Quote source

Cosner, L. (2011). Christianity Today? Promotes No Basis for Christianity at All. Creation Ministries International. Available http://creation.com/christianity-today-historical-adam. Last accessed 27th Sep 2014.