Creation vs Evolution: Impact on Witness and Faith
September 30, 2011
Updated June 28, 2018
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Evolutionary theory has apparently encouraged many people to separate themselves from God. Darwin and Dawkins and Templeton are some prominent examples. Part of our global mission is how we interact with science and culture within our own context, and how do we respond to it. So what is the best direction for us as Christians to pursue when we deal with this very volatile and pertinent issue, especially with non-Christians?
As a starting point, I would insert a link here which shows how a half-dozen scientists who originally were raised in the evolutionary paradigm have been persuaded by the evidence that the evidence for evolution is lacking.
Persuaded by the Evidence, Part I, Volume I
http://persuadedthemovie.com/ Part I of Volume I in this series, Creation speaker Ian Juby interviews six scientists who abandoned the evolutionary dogma.
What do you think?
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As Michael Roberts pointed out, the influence of fundamentalism in developing nations evidenced in South America, Africa and Asia spells trouble for the future of global scientific endeavours. Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is an increasingly popular belief in this burgeoning segment of Christianity as it distinguishes its legacy from a waning western/scientific intellectual legacy. Catholic and Muslim communities in the southern hemisphere are also marshalling themselves against the influences of Darwin and Einstein, for the same purpose and often with identical tactics and hermeneutics.
I, for one, don’t want to be part of any effort to lead my brothers and sisters astray. It is certain that as much as they believed they have honoured God’s Word they will one day realize they have been hoodwinked.
Summary of global shifts in Christianity:
Hanna Rosen 2007 NY Times article “Rock of Ages-- Ages of Rock”:
“We don’t subscribe to this idea of the ‘God of gaps,’ meaning if you can’t explain something, then blame God,” Whitmore told me before describing a method that hardly seemed more scientific. “Instead, we think: ‘Here’s what the Bible says. Now let’s go to the rocks and see if we find the evidence for it.’ ”
Ian Juby, a YEC, fellow Canadian and Christian (I trust), presents science questions in a form of video entertainment aimed at those uncomfortable with conclusions science seems to have drawn from the evidence. He uses humour, personal swagger, and a persona which is a cross between Indiana Jones and Bill Nye. He is similar to Bill Nye in that he has never received a formally earned PhD in science or scientific accreditation. Nye has received honourary degrees from John Hopkins and Willemette (Juby likes to remind us he is a member of Mensa). Juby is different than Nye in that he has not admitted to significant misrepresentations of scientific work, method and fact to his followers. His Youtube episodes (Genesis Week) are rife with them.
He is known in secular academic and scientific circles as a buffoon and a chronic liar. An example:
His errors and misrespresentations are regularly chronicled in various blogs and public message boards devoted to science. In this post I have deleted the link to one such site not because his critique of Juby episodes weren't scientifically valid (they certainly were) but because ln a few his articles he uses pretty rough language. I apologize for any offense.
I, for one, am not impressed by the way Christian scientists are being caricatured by my brother Ian Juby. Bearing false witness is not funny nor should it be profitable. He is bringing the Way into disrepute.
He is known in secular academic and scientific circles as a buffoon and a chronic liar.
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Thanks for noticing I did not personally accuse my brother of promoting falsehood or buffoonery. I hope you can allow me my opinion that my brother is hurting the name of Christ and the cause of science.
In this thread secular scientists and non-YEC Christian thinkers have been accused of lying, twisting the evidence, denying Christ, compromising their faith, creating outlandish myths, and destroying the minds and souls of young people. Individuals like Ian Juby are being put forward as examples of confronting such persons with the light.
So how are we supposed to talk about our brothers who happen to use public podiums and publications to promote more confusion? I would happy to speak with people on that score because it's on point in this thread -- "Creation vs Evolution: impact on witness and faith".
In a Genesis Week video, Ian Juby called into question Pat Robertson's commitment to Christ. At the very least, he gives Robertson an opportunity to fall in line before he proves himself an apostate. Juby used a saying of Jesus in Mark 10:6 to correct Robertson for not believing people lived with the dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. He's my comment on that text and how it's used by YEC.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ (NIV)
A "test" of orthodoxy among young earth creationists is pointing out how Jesus himself believed human beings existed from the very beginning of earth's history. That is, the Son of God believed the first chapters of Genesis should be taken as for a literal, scientifically feasible account of exactly how the universe began. Confronting old earth notions with Jesus' inerrant literalism would crush further argument, after all. We are told we have only two choices: accepting Jesus' view of a young creation or rejecting Christ as a reliable guide to truth.
Great care is needed when pressing a sacred text into service as the last word on questions which were not part of the text's original situation. For example, when the apostle Paul instructed husbands to love and wives to submit, did he really intend anything more for gender roles than that all God's children need to submit to one another for Christ's sake and to submit to his peace in all things? Was Saint Peter intending to be dismissive of democracy when he said, "Fear God. Honour the king"? Many Christian monarchists have thought so in the past. Simply put, people sometimes make too much of a text -- ignoring its context, commonsense, and sound theology -- so that it can be conscripted into some agenda.
Let's set aside for a moment the idea of kenosis (Philippians 2:5-8) and how Christ's incarnation limited his knowledge before his eventual ascension. When our Lord pointed to the "beginning of creation", were questions of paleontology and geology at the center of his attention? From the context it appears they were not. He was responding to test questions pertaining to matters of marriage and divorce. He isn't entertaining questions of natural science but reminding his inquisitors of Moses' precise instructions and what the Creator originally intended for married living.
If we insist Jesus answer questions about science and the age of the earth, we might find him actually contradicting the creation account. Literally speaking, male and female are the beginning of God's creation according to our Lord. This makes Adam and Eve creatures of the First Day of God's creative work -- not the Sixth, the Day it was ending.
But that's only if Mark 10:6 actually portrays Jesus as a YEC.
Norman, now you are at least addressing some discussable points, rather than vague generalities and ad hominems. Thankyou for that. When Jesus said, in the beginning (of time) it was not so, for God created them male and female, and the two shall become one, he was refering to the Genesis event, right? In the beginning. Yes, the entire week of creation was part of that beginning, the beginning of how the earth operates and is maintained. You could argue that the beginning was before the week of creation, but then you are misappropriating the meaning of the word in order to argue with Jesus, right? And you would seem to be using the word very specifically not to refer to the creation week at all, which does not make much sense in the context. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Then we get a description of how that happened. We get the beginning of everything, of separation of earth and water, of light, of stars, plants, animals, fish, and humans. All of that week was a beginning, according to scripture.
The other point was made in Rom 5:12, "as by one man sin came into the world, and death by sin ..." You must admit it is difficult to reconcile this with a whole bunch of animal or human death before the fall of man.
Your other example about what Paul said about marriage... yes, Paul did intend, by the Spirit of God, a mutual submission of all of us to each other under the grace of God. But he also intended to recognize a difference between men and women, which was explicitly explained in the difference between the instructions to respect vs love, and also in the example he used of Eve falling into disobedience first, and in men loving wives as Christ loved the church, and wives respecting their husband as the church submits to Christ. Mutual love does not rule out specific roles, but puts those roles into perspective, as Paul pointed out.
You say that Jesus knowledge was limited, including about the process of creation. But this contradicts what John 1 says about Jesus being there in the beginning, with God. That Jesus himself was the Word by which the creation happened. Now yes, Jesus did indicate sometimes that somethings related to judgement and his own return were known to the Father only. But this doesn't mean that therefore He had to forget what He was involved in before.
You can speculate on things, but the weight of the evidence seems to lean in a different direction. I would say that Ian Juby is entitled to disagree with Pat Robertson, and he raises many valid points about fossils, rock layers, and rock dating, that Pat Robertson might be interested in thinking about.
I'm surprised that you didn't really deal with any of these vaguenesses . It would have been so easy for you. Now you want to get to the real tough stuff. I feel flattered. BTW I encourage you to rethink your definition of ad hominem. You are making it seem that it's unethical to call someone on deliberate misrepresentations of subjects we are presently discussing. If you want some examples of real ad hominem attacks, I know exactly where I can find them.
"...he was refering to the Genesis event, right? In the beginning. Yes, the entire week of creation was part of that beginning, the beginning of how the earth operates and is maintained."
No. Jesus wasn't referring to an event. They were not discussing events. Jesus was referring to the Torah, specifically the Book of Beginnings and the Book of Deuteronomy. Jesus was referring to Moses, as mentioned in the context, as opposed to various Jewish schools of thought about divorce. By referring to "the beginning of creation" Jesus is lifting the question of divorce to matters of Torah and the beginnings of marriage. Torah trumps Mishna.
"You could argue that the beginning was before the week of creation, but then you are misappropriating the meaning of the word in order to argue with Jesus, right?"
No. I am not trying to misappropriate the word nor am I trying to argue with Jesus. I'm arguing with YEC's use of Jesus. When you make a saying of Jesus a matter of science and the age of the earth (as if these are the point of what he is saying), it's youself and YEC who misappropriate his words. I pushed the science/literalism angle to absurdity to make this point. If Jesus is literally talking about the scientific timing of male and female creation, then the logical conclusion is that male and female were created at the "beginning of creation". Again, if the literal sense of the creation story is the real issue, then the story itself has a literal sequence -- beginning with the first day and ending on the sixth. I don't mind Jesus correcting the order a little. What's a few days? Jesus is the living Torah, afterall, and the living Torah trumps Moses. But do remember this is a reductio ad absurdum designed to keep you honest about Jesus and his supposed literalism.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Then we get a description of how that happened. We get the beginning of everything, of separation of earth and water, of light, of stars, plants, animals, fish, and humans. All of that week was a beginning, according to scripture."
None of this is what the rabbis were discussing. In fact you have hijacked their discussion. Perhaps you wish Jesus would have expounded a little more on the days of creation in the gospels but he didn't. Doesn't this give you any pause?
"You say that Jesus knowledge was limited, including about the process of creation. But this contradicts what John 1 says about Jesus being there in the beginning, with God. That Jesus himself was the Word by which the creation happened. Now yes, Jesus did indicate sometimes that somethings related to judgement and his own return were known to the Father only. But this doesn't mean that therefore He had to forget what He was involved in before."
Actually I set that idea aside for the moment. Instead I encourage you to learn the meaning of kenosis, the well-attested notion in Scripture that the Son of God voluntarily stripped himself of his omniscience and omnipotence in order to become the suffering servant of redemption. It might open up a whole new world of understanding about his incarnation for you. To sully this with our present debate would be a shame.
I really don't want to argue every text raised in this discussion, though it is tempting. I'm just concerned that our Lord is made out to be the posterboy for today's Young Earth Creationism. I also don't object to Juby's right to disagree. I object to his hermeneutics as well as his "science".
Norm, two short points. Creation is often used for our present world or universe, as in "Creation Care", or caring for creation.
That Jesus became human, and said he didn't know when the end of the world would come, is not evidence that he "forgot" or didn't understand how he participated in how it began.
In keeping with the thought of His incarnation:
a joyful, safe, worshipful Christmas to you.
my deepest condolences to Americans presently grieving the tragedy at Sandy Hook.
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