Has science proved that the earth and the stars and all of us evolved without any supernatural help? If so, how should we think about the Bible?
I’m always amazed at how little interest people show in anything I write about the creation/evolution issue. It’s actually vitally important, because if it’s not God who endowed us with the right to pursue “life, liberty and happiness”, then humans have no rights at all apart from the mercies of their fellow human masters, which are at best unreliable. Communist dictators such as Stalin and tyrants such as Hitler were no more “wrong” than you or I, because the only standards of right and wrong, and liberty, are those which man imagines or decides to trash.
This post isn’t intended to be a scientific comparison of the two main options: divine Creation and the evolution of life from non-matter (though I will touch on it). Instead I want to offer a few thoughts for the professing believer-and also for any interested seeker-who may be wondering how to read the Bible in light of secular explanations of our beginnings. I’ve touched on the subject before several times, particularly in my post, “Why I believe in God”.
GETTING IT RIGHT FROM THE START
The Bible states that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). But is the account of creation recorded in Genesis just “poetic language” for evolution as some claim? Is it the imagination of ignorant men who didn’t know much but thought the earth was flat, and was it somehow tacked onto later scriptures?
If we really want to take any notice of the Bible’s ultimate focus-Jesus Christ- we need to consider that the Bible claims in many places to be the inspired Word of God. The words of Jesus, the account of his life, death and resurrection, and all his promises of an eternal future for us are bound together in this idea that the Bible is the message of God to humanity. It’s impossible to separate those two things: Jesus Christ and the divine inspiration of Scripture. Try it, and you’ll find yourself removing more and more, until there’s really nothing left but a sad story of a warring tribe attempting to make its way in the world, and an uppity young carpenter, opposing the traditions of his day, and getting himself executed by Roman governors anxious to avoid a rebellion.
Take away the miracles, the prophecies, the divine plan, the claims to direct contact with and descent from the Creator, and you will have very little left: you may as well take to some totally fictional classical literature such as Homer’s Iliad, because it will have no less relevance to your life or to our time or the future.
The Bible-written by many different authors over many hundreds of years-tells a unified story, from the creation to the promises and predictions of Revelation. The genealogy of Jesus Christ’s earthly descent begins with Adam and progresses through Noah, Shem, Abraham, Jacob, Judah, and all the way up to Mary and Joseph in the gospel of Matthew. The overriding theme is of the redemption of man, from his Fall in Genesis 3 to the end of Revelation. Jesus Christ quoted frequently from several Old Testament books, as did the apostles: it’s all interrelated.
What I’m saying is that if you want to believe that a large part of it is untrue and unreliable, you’re close to believing that it’s all untrue and unreliable. Just suppose for a moment that the Bible is in fact the inspired word of God: who are we to pick and choose which parts are the inspired parts? How will we do it without risking calling God a liar, or accusing him of being unable to protect and preserve his message?
If you remove some of it-the parts of your choosing-you may as well forget it all, because it’s all linked and intertwined, moving forward with the same story. It’s all true, or it’s all insignificant at best. At worst it’s a despicable deception.
The claims that the Bible has “all been changed hundreds of times” or that it’s plagiarized from other more ancient beliefs don’t stand up to the facts. It hasn’t been changed (see my post https://nickyfisher.com/2015/06/14/a-spiritual-defense-strategy-acronym-2/ ) and the Creation and the following genealogy is as ancient as you can get.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Here we all are, living, breathing and loving. Either we were created, or we evolved from nothing, or perhaps we only think we’re here. Those are the only alternatives, and it’s my conviction that the latter deserves no consideration at all. So how did we get here?
The evolutionist and all his spokespersons currently in the media and education establishments, anxious to hang on to their funding, their jobs, their friends, and to promote their godless philosophies, are determined to convince us that we arrived via an expansion of nothing or next to nothing, followed by an incredibly fortuitous event which turned non-life into mind-bogglingly complex living systems, an occurrence only real in the minds of men and has never been observed; countless more incredibly lucky and complex events including mutations which haven’t been observed, until finally, here we are, with billions of brain cells and trillions of connections communicating at the speed of light while we consider where we came from.
I have to ask you this: what evidence have you seen of that evolution? I don’t mean, “Have you read Stephen Hawkin’s remarkable book?” or “Did you see that National Geographic special on evolution?”: I’m asking you what have you personally seen taking place with your very own eyes which could be evidence for all of us descending from non-living molecules?” What animal or plant have you seen turning into something else? Yes, there are different breeds of cats and dogs, but they’re still cats and dogs. That’s not evolution, that’s the outworking of variation within DNA.
Not wanting this post to be a zillion words long, I need to get to the point(s) a little more quickly. I’ll offer here my own favorite observation in relation to this question. A wonderful creationist once explained at a seminar I attended that despite all the billions of fossils in the world, you can’t go to any museum anywhere and see a series of fossils clearly demonstrating, for example, legs gradually getting shorter until they disappear, showing cows turning into whales. I’ve tested that assertion at the Natural History Museum in London: there were no fossil series at all displaying anything close to macro-evolution. And considering that evolutionists would be deliriously happy to display such a series if they had one, (one!) the most logical explanation for that fact is that it never really happened: it’s a story. It’s a story of beginnings contrived and massaged by people who are convinced or want to be convinced that there’s no God and that there is an alternative explanation for everything.
So I repeat my question: what evidence have you seen for evolution? Is it possible that the same kind of experts who assured you that Donald Trump has “no path to 270” are also wrong in their nightly documentaries about your origins?
DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT THE EARTH IS FLAT?
Nowhere in the Bible do we read that the earth is flat. That may have been the teaching of a certain world-wide church organization for hundreds of years , but they didn’t get that idea from the Bible. And in any case-isn’t that forgivable, considering how little understanding and experience of the universe they had? They didn’t need any more knowledge of the universe: they weren’t going anywhere. All we find in the Bible are similar metaphors to the ones we use today. We speak of the sun “coming up” and “going down”, when we know all along that it doesn’t-it just appears to. In the book of Job, recognized to have been written long before Galileo or Kepler or any of the other pioneers of knowledge came along, we read of God that:
“He hangs the earth on nothing” (Job 26:7);
“He sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22).
READING SCRIPTURE AS WRITTEN
If you believe that Jesus turned water to wine, ask yourself how many millions of years it took him to do it. How long did it take for water and whatever else may have been floating around in those pots to evolve into wine? Since it must have taken at least many thousands of years, weren’t the guests of the party all gone by the time the transformation was complete?
No, Jesus turned the water into wine instantly (John 2:1-11). Similarly, other miracles Jesus performed were no less than that: miracles. They were signs, confirmation that he was the manifestation of God on the earth. They were evidence that God has power over all things that he created.
Revelation tells us that there will be a “new heavens and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). I’d like to ask the Bible reader, How many billions of years will it take for the new heavens and the new earth to evolve? Where will we wait in the mean-time? If they’re evolving now, where are they, and how the Dickens will we get there or how will they get to us? Doesn’t a more logical interpretation of this promise tell us that the new heavens and earth will be put together pretty quickly: perhaps, say, in six days?
NO CREATOR, NO GOD
Those who’ve decided that science (actually science is observable, empirical and repeatable: this is evolution) has proved the earth to be billions of years old and was formed by natural processes, may as well forget all about the Bible and any hope of eternal life. They may as well forget any idea they some things are right and some things are wrong, and that God has endowed us with anything at all, because “science” also concluded long ago that there is no God! Ask Stephen Hawking, after reading his book as though it were gospel truth, if there is a God, and he will answer in the negative. If “science” is true as it relates to the theory of evolution there is no spiritual entity at all of any merit, but only what you can see with your eyes and put under a microscope.
In fact, if you so relegate God and elevate science, science has become your god, and now has free reign to decide how you live your life, and whether you live, and how and when you should die.
BELIEVING WHAT JESUS CHRIST BELIEVES
Most importantly, scripture stands or falls as a unified account of the beginning and the end of the universe, and of everything in between. Jesus, the apostles, and all the prophets all told the same story. That is, that God created the heavens and the earth, and nothing that exists came about but by God’s miraculous power. There are numerous indications that what we read in Genesis about the creation was taken seriously by the prophets, by the apostles, and by Jesus Christ himself. Jesus frequently quoted Pentateuch books and those of the prophets, stating his belief that they were factual. For example, to those questioning him about marriage, he answered:
“Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female..?” (Matthew 19:4 NIV).
“Haven’t you read…” Genesis was important reading to Jesus. He expected that any professing child of God should know it and base his or her view of the world on it;
“At the beginning…” Jesus here identified when God made humans;
“God made them male and female…” It was God who created men and women-they didn’t evolve.
I’ll be considering relevant scripture as the second part of this post…
Thanks for reading…