googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: An Enemy Has Done This!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

An Enemy Has Done This!

If you've read my blog for a while, you will know that I talk a lot about the creation account in Genesis. I do this because I think it's important. It's important in a lot of different ways but perhaps it's most important to understand how Genesis is foundational to the gospel. There are some compromising Christians who “reconcile” their interpretation of Genesis to fit with secular science. This usually takes the form of theistic evolution. That is, they say God created us via evolution. He also created the universe over billions of years via the Big Bang. Now, since these interpretations aren't compatible with a plain reading of Genesis, the genre of Genesis is assigned to the category of metaphor or – even worse – to myth.

One problem that I see with theistic evolution is that it would mean the world is the way that God intended it to be. Death, therefore, is not the judgment for sin; it is the tool by which natural selection drives a species to evolve. Millions of years of struggle and death and struggle and death is how God turned microbes into men. It was His plan all along.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that theistic evolutionists see death as part of God's plan. Here's a quote I've used before made by a self-proclaimed theistic evolutionist who used to frequent my blog. While commenting on John 12:24, The Paleobabbler said:

Jesus describes a process of change, the bringing about of something new. This can be applied to Christ himself, where his death on the cross changed everything and brought about new life - this alone should be ample reading for seeing the death in the John verse as intended. Evolution by natural selection is a process which involves death, but it does not stop there. The death is instrumental in bringing about change, in bringing about new life. It is an act of redemption, which is small in scale compared to Christ on the cross, yet large in scale with regards to cosmic history. Many scientifically minded theologians have noted that evolution is a cruciform process. It redeems death into new life. What better way for Christ to create?

Now, I must say that I rejoice in knowing that Jesus died to give us life. However, when I look around at the world we live in, I see hunger, famine, disease, and misery everywhere. When tragedies like tsunamis or earthquakes kill thousands of people, it's sad. Yet theistic evolutionists would have us believe these things have been happening for millions of years and it's how God intended it! How awful it is that they would malign the character of God this way. Such a view of God seems ineffective in winning people to Christ. It seems to me that a skeptic would rightly ask, “if there is a God, then why are these bad things happening?” As I was doing a Bible study on the Wheat and the Tares (Matthew 13:24-30), I saw that Jesus has already brought up that question and answered it.

I strongly encourage you to read the parable for yourself (of course, I strongly encourage everyone to read all of the Bible. Often). Here's the dilemma: a landowner sowed wheat in his field. When his workers were sleeping, an enemy sowed tares (weeds) among the wheat seed. When the plants began to bear seed, the tares became apparent. Then the workers asked the landowner the million dollar question (v. 27):

Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’

Wow! That's the same question everyone asks God now. “God, if you made everything, where do the bad things come from?” It's a legitimate question. I believe it's perhaps among the most important questions Christians must be prepared to answer if they seek to evangelize in this modern world. The “problem” of evil is a major stumbling block preventing people from coming to a saving knowledge of Christ.

How does theistic evolution answer that question? Very poorly, I think. People who subscribe to TE would have to say that the bad things happen because God always intended them to happen. Death was the plan all along. But the landowner in the parable correctly pointed out that this wasn't the plan. He didn't want there to be tares in his good field of wheat. He explained to the workers, “An enemy has done this!”

When God created everything, it was all “very good” (Genesis 1:31). There was no death and God never intended for things to die. It was only through Adam's disobedience that death entered into the world. And now, death has also passed on to all men because all have sinned (Romans 5:12). Death is the penalty for sin (Romans 6:23). Death is an enemy that God will abolish when He restores His creation (1 Cor 15:26).

Our beliefs have consequences. The understanding of our origins directly impacts our understanding of the gospel. The word translated as “gospel” in the Bible literally means, “good news.” What is the good news? When someone dies, do we comfort their loved ones by saying, “Sorry for your loss but that's just the way God made things”? That doesn't sound like good news. This is not how God intended it.

God intended there to be no death. We have brought His judgment through our own disobedience.  But God is not only just but He is also merciful.  When men disobey God and earn death, God has sent His Son to pay the penalty for our disobedience.  Finally, God also has a plan to fix everything that sin has spoiled and in the new creation, there will be no more death or curse or tears.

Now that sounds like good news!

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