defgenbookcoverYesterday, we happily supported Question Evolution Day in lieu of Darwin Day, as we have for the past few years. Of course, Biblical Creation has never been simply about questioning evolution; rather it has been about affirming the historical veracity of Genesis. Oh yes, we definitely fight against the influence of microbes-to-man evolution in our culture and, therefore, we point out the mortal flaws in the theory, so questioning evolution is a part of establishing a case for creationism; however, creationism isn’t merely a reaction against evolution.

The problem with microbes-to-man evolution is that it is the product of science chained to pure naturalism. The Biblicist recognizes the truth of God’s Word when it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. The Biblicist likewise notes that we may expect the present world to be uniform because it is upheld by God’s will and He has promised it will continue according to the processes we observe [Genesis 8:22]. Thus we may accept the assumption of uniformitarianism except where Biblical revelation reveals that these uniform processes were not the causes of past events [ie, the Creation Week, the Fall, the Flood, the origin of differing languages at babel, the miracles of the Bible, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection of Christ, etc]. We reject microbes-to-man common descent evolution because the Bible makes a positive declaration in the Creation account, the Flood account and in passages dealing with Levitical law that plants and animals were created after their kind, which implies a limit to the amount of variation an organism can undergo. In the interests of full disclosure (and to silence those who claim that creation science isn’t really a science since our science never changes in regard to new observations), one should know that creationists once supposed that a created kind was analogous to a species, but further observation has caused us to realize that this assumption was incorrect; yet we still note that a dog remains a dog, whether a wolf, English bulldog or an Australian shepherd, and recognizably so, so some level of limitation to the amount of change an organism is capable of is evident (which limitation is also implicit in the Biblical phrase “after their kind” and “according to their kind”). Creationists affirm observable speciation, mutation, adaptation and natural selection [though we affirm the latter as a preservative mechanism against the deleterious effects of the Fall (i.e., mutations) rather than the creative mechanism Darwin proposed] as variation within created kinds, and we now propose that the created kind is generally found at the family taxon.

If we begin with the fear of the Lord, we start with His Word as our ultimate authority and calibrate our observations according to its superior witness. Darwin didn’t start with the fear of the Lord. He began with the geology of Charles Lyell, whose book, Principles of Geology, Darwin brought along on his historic voyage aboard the H. M. S. Beagle. Darwin comments in his autobiography how he came to shed his Christian faith during this voyage:

“During these two years I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian…

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,–that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,–that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,–that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events,–that they differ in many important details, far too important as it seemed to me to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses;–by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.”

We see that the reason for his loss of faith began with his rejection of Biblical history.

Darwin himself noted that the concept of theistic evolution carries with it the problem of theodicy: how can a benevolent God create through a process involving multiple mass extinction events and a process of death, mutation, suffering and more death? As Darwin objected in his autobiography:

“A being so powerful and so full of knowledge as a God who could create the universe, is to our finite minds omnipotent and omniscient, and it revolts our understanding to suppose that his benevolence is not unbounded, for what advantage can there be in the sufferings of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time? This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent first cause seems to me a strong one; whereas, as just remarked, the presence of much suffering agrees well with the view that all organic beings have been developed through variation and natural selection.”

By all accounts, Darwin died in his unbelief.

According to Charles Darwin’s autobiography, he was an a “theist.” The term in Darwin’s day meant someone who believed that a supernatural deity had created nature or the universe but did not intervene in the course of history, which is analogous to the modern sense of the word ‘deist.’

Darwin used the term in one famous passage in the autobiography:

“… the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species; and it is since that time that it has very gradually with many fluctuations become weaker.”

In an 1879 letter, written around the same time as the autobiography and first published in Life and Letters, he writes:

“In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”

Since Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” we must conclude that neither the modern-day equivalent of a deist nor an agnostic qualifies as an authentic Christian.

It didn’t have to be that way. Millions of years of molecules-to-man evolution was never a necessary interpretation of the evidence. For example, people most often recall that Robert Fitzroy and Darwin journeyed together aboard the Beagle and perhaps even that the captain gave Darwin a copy of Lyell’s Principles of Geology and just sort of assume they agreed on the matter of evolution, but when you compare the spiritual journeys of Fitzroy and Darwin, they couldn’t be more different. Thanks to Lyell’s book, Darwin saw uniformitarian geology everywhere he looked; in Fitzroy’s later journeys, he began to see the hallmarks of the Deluge in the geology he surveyed. He later denounced Darwin’s theory publicly, on numerous occasions, and begged people to believe God rather than man.

Facts are not self-explanatory. Facts must be interpreted and we generally interpret evidence according to our presuppositions. We either presuppose pure naturalism consistent with processes we observe today or supernatural agency consistent with the record of supernatural revelation found in God’s Word.

I hope you will begin with the fear of the Lord as you search out the matter. I urge you to celebrate a Creation Sunday this February 15, 2015 rather than atheist Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s proposed Evolution Sunday. If you’re still undecided, we hope you’ll take a moment to view a short video we’ve prepared called “A Tale of Two Churches.” This cautionary tale shows how abandoning a historical Genesis undermines the Gospel itself. The video can be found at http://youtu.be/SmA_SHctzI0

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