“Hey, how are you? Can I ask you a question? Do your origins matter?” This is the typical way in which I would begin a conversation at last week’s event. Then, I would go on to ask “do you believe that people evolved from some ape-like ancestor or are we created by God?” The answers to this question varied significantly from student to student. I do however remember at least three young men answer the question this way, “I hold to both - I’m a creation evolutionist!”
How would you respond to an answer like that? I have to admit that I don’t often hear it stated quite like that, especially from high school and college students. So, my response was one of surprise, “Really! Don’t you know that evolution and creation are telling two different stories? Evolution teaches that man evolved from an ape like ancestor over millions of years, and the Bible tells us that Adam was created from dust and Eve from his side.”
Today, there are many who are attempting to juggle what they remember hearing at church and what they are now being taught in school. Some are left thinking that maybe church is the place to hear moral stories and schools are places to hear real truth. How do we reconcile these two positions?
Evolution says there was a big bang, everything came into being over billions of years, there was no global flood, death has always been around, and there is no real purpose or meaning to our existence. The Bible, on the other hand, claims to be the Word of God over 3,000 times and makes many all-or-nothing Truth statements. It says that in the beginning God created in six literal days, there was a worldwide flood, death is an enemy and came after Adam was created and sinned, and that God created us with purpose and meaning to glorify Him.
Do you believe that creation and evolution can both be true at the same time? What do you think the Bible’s first book, Genesis, is all about?
Michelle, good observation about death and biblical teaching. I run into Christians who are old earth advocates and they claim death operated outside the Garden of Eden in the plant and animal world, seeing no problem with this doctrine. The other twist, death operated for long periods of time before Adam and Eve, after the Fall God simply applied a spiritual meaning and use to death, possibly like God did to the rainbow after the Flood.
People who say they believe in both evolution and creation attempt to connect the two by saying that God used evolution. Beyond the obvious issue of the literal 6 day creation, I believe the major issue that needs to be addressed is death. The bible teaches us that death is the result of sin. If God used evolution, there was death before sin. The bible has many passages, both in the Old and New Testament, talking about how death came as a result of sin. It does not say anywhere that it existed before sin. Finally, if death came before sin, that fact would negate Christ's sacrifice to conquer death and sin. If that were so we are sorely lost.
Before answering the question of whether or not creation and evolution can both be true, one must determine upon what or whom the answer should be based. Of necessity, we all much base what we believe upon the foundation of some ultimate standard or our beliefs with crumble like a sand castle overtaken by a rising tide. What constitutes the foundation of your belief system? Is it solid enough to support what you believe?
Caleb R. says:
Evolution, as an ideology encompassing both biological and geological history, develops, almost by necessity, from the preclusion of any supernatural control over the empirically verifiable laws of nature. If there is no loving, purposeful, and sovereign God, than nature is alone to explain for its own existence and aim, being itself eternal and supreme. The very word evolution describes a self-development.
Evolution, then, was invented specifically to fill, if possible, the mental vacuum left from the removal of God, and is essentially opposite of creationism, which presupposes the blessed Creator, Who is good and absolute in all things, and creates and disposes for His own glory.
Faith, the acknowledgement of God's word, must be independent of the claimed wisdom of humanistic Man, who has no coherent alternative to God's word.
Therefore, and relevant to Rod's comment, there can be no external confirmation of God's word. He is self-existent, and His word, the communication of His mouth, bears all necessary authority by virtue of His unquestionable supremacy. Whether Man rejects or affirms it makes no difference. God authenticates His word, and His word Him. Therefore, if I see an account affirming the holy word, I say, "God has revealed Himself to the author," or if an account rejects it, "the author is an enemy of God."
My answer to YOM question - the Bible is a book of history, not just a collection of religious stories. This does not get into the debate whether the Bible is the revealed Word of God or just the writings of men. If we find other ancient historical witnesses that parallel and support the Bible history, why should science throw the Biblical record out, especially the history of origins in Genesis 1-11? We find much support for the Biblical record in Genesis 1-11 in archaeology. We have the monotheistic Ebla creation account, “Ebla Update Ebla and the Bible—Observations on the New Epigrapher’s Analysis”, BAR 06:06, 1980 and ancient Sumerian tablets, “Two Ancient Sumerian Tablets Saying NO-O-O-O to Paganism”, Bible and Spade 23(4):88-94, 2010 (Fall 2010). As Bible and Spade reported, early in Sumerian history they believed that An, the heaven-god existed before all the other gods as well as the earth and sun, and considered that An, the heaven-god was supreme ruler of the universe. An in Sumerian means heaven and An was considered the god of the sky. The Ebla creation account and these 2 Sumerian tablets support the history of Genesis 1-11. This is just a short example of what we do find in archaeology and know about that point to ancient civilizations retaining the belief in a Creator, very early in written records from the beginning of civilization. What we do not find in Sumer or Ebla for example, stories that these people descended from a stone age or lived as apes but we find plenty of evidence that they lived previously in a pre-Flood world and developed civilization after the great Flood, e.g. the Sumerian Weld-Blundell Prism from about 2200 BC. This list is similar to the Babylonian king list recording pre-Flood rulers who lived for very long lifetimes. After the Flood, cities were established and the list of rulers show decreasing life spans in the post-Flood world. Taking historical witnesses like these and tossing them out is not science, especially when the ancient records have so many parallels to the Biblical record in Genesis 1-11 concerning the origin of mankind.
Ann, those are great points. Thank you for posting!
This is a photo of one of our YOM team members at Creation 2012 in Enumclaw, WA. We spoke to so many people at this event! Several worldviews were represented at this Christian music festival. We were blessed to put into practice what we have been commanded to do in the Bible: to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and to give a reason for the hope within us, with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
I have another question for you: In a conversation with atheists, how would you respond to their objection that the Bible is a religious book and, therefore, has no place in the scientific community?
- Michael (from YOM)
I do not believe one can believe in creation and in evolution at the same time. As has already been established, creation and evolution tell different stories. The person who claims to believe in both had not made up is mind about the Word of God. Until he or she does that the person will not stand for anything. James 1:8 says: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Scripture says in Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. God says He cannot lie. Scripture further says in Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. God says that man can and does lie. That is why the Ten Commandments say: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neigbour, (Exodus 20:16) The Bible states in Romans 3:4 ...yea, let God be true, but every man a liar,... . God says every man is a liar. A person must first be convinced in his own mind that Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God. He or she must decide first if he or she will put his faith in a God that cannot lie or in man that can and does lie and can be mistaken. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1 Kings 18:21
[Do you believe that creation and evolution can both be true at the same time? What do you think the Bible’s first book, Genesis, is all about?]
This is a great question raised by YOM. Q: How do we define ‘creation’ and ‘evolution’? I suspect for many individuals who lean towards some type of theistic evolution view, creation is a process that occurs over millions of years and may involve a deity adjusting events along the way, e.g. tweaking something(s) after the big bang to evolve people. The problem is definitions and how we define creation and evolution. The history presented in secular science for the origin of the Earth and life is dramatically different than the history recorded in Genesis 1-11 prior to the time of Abraham. So concerning defining creation I will point to this view:
[Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) 1646/1647
CHAPTER IV. Of Creation.
I. It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
II. After God had made all other creatures, He created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, endued with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness, after His own image; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject unto change. Beside this law written in their hearts, they received a command, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; which while they kept, they were happy in their communion with God, and had dominion over the creatures.
The WCF definition of creation does not allow for compromise with the scientific definition of evolution and earth history as taught throughout the State run K-12 public schools or universities. Using this standard and answering YOM, creation and evolution cannot both be true at the same time.
You cannot have creation and evolution both be true.
Genesis is God's description of how He started everything. It is easy to
understand but atheists just don't want to believe it - they don't want to
admit that the Bible is true. It is good you reach out to people at these
events. Is this a photo of you talking to the guys?