googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: May 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 5, Conclusion

5) Evolution is just bad science

Let me just start by saying that I'm surprised evolution is even given the time of day by anyone other than evolutionary biologists. It is a useless theory. It makes no predictions, has led to no advances in technology, and has zero impact on any other branch of science. I'm trying to find something just as useless to which I can compare it but I really can't think of any other trivia that's quite as useless. Maybe if someone studied the relationship between the names given to frogs in jumping contests and their number of wins, you might find something close except that there would at least be value to the owners of frogs if a correlation were found. He he he.

Remember too that most scientists who believe in evolution practice a brand of science where only natural explanations are ever considered for any phenomenon. According to them, miracles cannot happen. Period. This doesn't include just the creation, it also means there was no virgin birth, no healing of the sick, no feeding of the multitudes, no walking on water, no calming a storm, and no resurrection! Christians who compromise on Genesis often believe they are making Christianity more appealing to the masses. Maybe it does – but only by removing the omnipotent God who is the object of our worship and replacing Him with an impotent god who is a slave to the physical laws he supposedly created and is indistinguishable from dumb luck. To an evolutionist, believing God guides evolution is akin to saying gravity is accomplished by angels dragging the planets in their courses. Christians gain no credibility with unbelievers by trying to impose godless theories onto the Scriptures.

I know that people cannot ordinarily walk on water. When Jesus walked on water, it demonstrated that even physical laws like gravity are subject to His will. Miracles are evidence that there is a God and I know when a miracle has occurred precisely because I understand science. All secular explanations of our origins are simply feeble attempts to mask the obvious miracle of the creation. The supposed billions of years, the Big Bang, and biological evolution are fraught with difficulties – so much so that if any theory in a different field of science had similar problems, it would be laughed at.

I wrote a series a few months back where I detailed 10 observations that are best explained by a miraculous creation. I highly encourage you to read those but, for the sake of brevity, I'm going to borrow just a few points from there and offer some examples of where secular theories fail miserably to explain what we observe.

According to evolution, all the different species on earth have a common ancestor. In other words, people, parrots, palm trees, and piranha are all descended from the same, single-celled creature that allegedly lived 3.5 billion years ago. Darwin supposed this “simple” cell was little more than a gelatinous blob of amino acids. For a single-celled creature to evolve into something else, it must acquire novel traits. To turn a dinosaur into a bird, you would have to add feathers. Get it? To turn a molecule into a man, you would have to add new features, generation after generation for millions of generations: skin, blood, bones, organs, hair, etc. For evolution to even be possible, we should see new traits arise in populations fairly often. We don't. It's been more than a century since Darwin and evolutionists have less than a handful of questionable examples. A theory which requires creatures to acquire novel traits flies in the face of what we actually observe happening.

Next, there is the appendix. Though it's often cited as evidence for evolution, I believe the appendix is strong evidence against common descent. If the appendix were leftover from some distant ancestor, we would expect all mammals who have an appendix to also have a common ancestor. The truth is that the appendix exists in about 60 species of mammals with no discernible pattern. It appears in some species of primates, rodents, and even marsupials, but is absent from the intermediate groups that supposedly link these species. It's not at all what we would expect if comment descent were true.

Among secular scientists, the Big Bang is the commonly accepted explanation of the universe's origin. However, the theory is so plagued with difficulties that physicists have to constantly invent incredible stories to even make it work. They propose things like dark matter, dark energy, multiple universes, a finite universe with no center, and a period of hyper-inflation where the universe expanded million of times faster than the speed of light. Many of these are things that we cannot observe or test with the scientific method; they are merely hashed out in peer-reviewed journals where scientists expended great effort showing how such things could work on paper.

These are just a handful of examples of how secular theories of our origins simply fail to explain the evidence. Biological evolution and Big Bang cosmology are plausible sounding theories at first but they cannot bear scrutiny and so are constantly being propped up with ad hoc sub-theories. Unbelievers cling blindly to them not because they are so compelling but rather that the only alternative – special creation – doesn't fit in their there-is-no-god paradigm.

I wrote a while back about a website called Genesis Veracity Foundation. It attempts to defend the Bible but it has a peculiar characteristic of constantly referring to Atlantis. Yes, I mean the lost city mentioned by Plato. I can't figure out why anyone would think it was necessary to defend the Bible with such dubious evidence when the existence of the thing in question isn't really relevant to the Bible anyway. That's the same way I feel about theistic evolution. Why would anyone want to reinterpret the Bible to make it compatible with such an irrelevant and unscientific theory?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 4

4) It gives the wrong impression of death

The Bible is very clear that death is the judgment for sin. There are several passages that illustrate this: For the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, Romans 5:12. He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, James 5:20, et al. We die physically because we are descended from Adam (1 Corinthians 15:22) but, after we die, the lost will be judged for their own sins before the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-14). At that Judgment, everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life, is cast into the Lake of Fire; this is called, the second death (Revelation 20:14-15).

When we are born again, the Bible says we pass from death into life (John 5:24). The gospel is the good news that we can have life in Christ. As Christians, our sins are forgiven by Christ's blood. Our physical death becomes that time when we are rid of these vessels of clay and enter into eternity knowing that we will have no part in the second death. In 1 Corinthians 15:55, Paul rejoices, saying, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Christ conquered death for Christians but, for the lost, death still holds sway. We seldom know when death will overtake us so we need to make a decision for Jesus while we have the opportunity. If a person dies before he has repented, he has forever lost the opportunity for salvation. Ezekiel 18:21-23 says, “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” God wants all people to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

In an interview with the NY Times, Bill Nye made these following comments:

NYE: I think the fear of death figures prominently in creationist thought. That the promise of eternal life is reassuring to people who are deeply troubled by the troubling fact that we’re all going to die. And it bugs me, too. But I press forward rather than running in circles screaming.

NY TIMES: And ultimately, death is a part of evolution.

NYE: It’s the key. The key is that you can pass on improvements by having kids. And there aren’t enough resources for any population to go completely unchecked, whether the population is humans or crickets. There isn’t enough for everybody, so you compete. And this is one of Darwin’s enormous insights.

According to Nye, death is the key to evolution. You see, it's not just that death happens during evolution, death is prerequisite to evolution. It's the hero of the story. It's the champion of the theory. Yet in spite of this, I still think that most of the people who believe in evolution never fully grasp exactly how critical a role death plays.

Natural selection is sometimes described as the “survival of the fittest.” Of course, this must also mean the demise of the unfit. According to the theory, a creature is born with some unusual trait (either through a fortunate combination of existing genes or through random mutation). On rare occasions, this unusual trait conveys some advantage to its host – perhaps the host can run faster, see keener, or jump higher. Because of this advantage, the host will hopefully live longer and leave more offspring than its neighbors without the trait. The offspring that inherit the advantage will likewise tend to have more offspring and eventually, the creatures having the trait will replace the entire population. The more fit live, the less fit die, and the entire population evolves. That is how it is supposed to work. If the less fit did not die, then the more fit really have no advantage to select.

Because it plays such a key role in evolution, some people almost regard death as noble. Biologos, a group that identifies itself as Christian, has an article titled, Death and Rebirth: The Role of Extinction in Evolution. Wow, “death and rebirth”! It almost seems to put evolution on equal footing with the Resurrection! In the article, the author makes this claim:

Extinction is actually a common feature of life on earth when viewed over long (e.g. geological) timescales. By some estimates, over 99% of the species that have ever lived have gone extinct [this is a lie, by the way].... Such an extinction event (of a single species, or perhaps a handful of species) alters the environment of other remaining species in an ecosystem. This, in turn, may influence the ability of some of these remaining species to reproduce compared to other species.... As the ecosystem landscape shifts due to loss of species, new biological opportunities, or niches, might arise. These new niches are then available to support new species to fill them.

There you go. Animals go extinct but that makes way for new animals to evolve. It's the circle of life. Some things live and some things die and it's good. When a tsunami or earthquake kills thousands of people, critics often say that such tragedies are evidence there is no God. They also say that such events have happened frequently in the world's history and that they are mechanisms that give some species the opportunity to evolve.

The role of death in evolution is the complete opposite of what death truly is. Death is an intruder into the creation. It is the consequence of Adam's sin and later, of our own sins. It is an enemy that will one day be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). Death should be dreaded by the lost and they should seek a way to avoid it. The gospel – the good news – is that there is life in Jesus!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 3

3) It diminishes the Person of Jesus

One reason so many Christians are ready to embrace evolution is that they don't see it as an important issue. It's the Old Testament, they will say, and we live in the New Testament era. It is the opinion of many that our belief on origins is not relevant to our salvation so let's not worry about that and just tell people about Jesus. What these same people don't realize is that our understanding of our origins has a direct effect on our understanding of Jesus.

Jesus came to fulfill the law. He said this overtly in Matthew 5:17, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. But what does it mean to “fulfill” the law? He accomplished this in several ways. A Savior was necessitated by Adam's sin in the garden. When Adam fell, he brought death into the world and death has passed on to all men because all have sinned (Romans 5:12). But even as God judged with the Curse, He also promised a Redeemer, the Seed of the woman who would crush the head of the Serpent (Genesis 3:15). Jesus fulfilled that promise.

When Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible says their eyes were opened and they saw that they were naked (Genesis 3:7). They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves but God killed an animal and made skins to cover their nakedness. This is the first recorded death in the Bible and ushered in an era of sacrifices where the followers of God would sacrifice animals as a covering for their sins. Hebrews 9:22 says that without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. But the system of sacrifices proscribed in the Old Testament was only temporary; they were pictures of the ultimate sacrifice that would come: Jesus, the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The death of Jesus did away with the need for animal sacrifices. He fulfilled the Law by covering our sins permanently with His own blood.

But what if there was no Adam? No first sin? No Fall? According to theistic evolution, death is just the way it's always been and not the judgment for sin. Then what did Jesus fulfill? It would be like having the answer to a question that was never asked. 1 Corinthians 15:45 says, And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” If the first Adam never lived, what need is there for a second Adam to quicken us? The Incarnation of Jesus was only necessary because there was a literal Adam; if you remove a real Adam, you diminish the need for Jesus. One, outspoken atheist, Frank Zindler, described it this way (as quoted by William Debski):

The most devastating thing, though, that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people, the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve, there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin, there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation, there is no need of a savior. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.

This atheist seems to understand the incompatibility of evolution and Christianity better than most Christians.

The other way theistic evolution diminishes the Person of Jesus regards how Jesus viewed Genesis. Jesus is Creator (John 1:3), therefore, we would expect anything He says about the creation to be accurate.

Jesus quoted from Genesis often. When asked about marriage, for example, Jesus said, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4-5). In this passage, Jesus is quoting from both Genesis chapters 1 & 2. He speaks of Adam and Eve as though they were real people. He also said they were created at the beginning of creation – not billions of years after the alleged Big Bang. On another occasion, Jesus mentioned Abel, saying that he'd been murdered (Luke 11:51). In still another passage, He compares the world at His return to the world just before the Flood (Matthew 24:38).

If Jesus spoke about all these things as though they were history, what does it say about His authority when people who claim to be Christians say none of it ever happened? According to theistic evolution, there was no Adam, no Abel, and no Flood. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12). Christian evolutionists say we don't have to believe what Jesus said about the creation or Flood, but we need to trust Him for salvation? It doesn't make any sense.

Finally, Jesus did not mince words when He condemned the Pharisees in John 5:46-47, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Jesus says it plainly; the Pharisees, who claim to be disciples of Moses, did not believe in Him because they really didn't believe in Moses. It is a simple matter of cause and effect and I believe it applies even today. People who do not believe in the creation also tend to not believe in Jesus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 2

2) It diminishes the character of God

I used to have a frequent visitor to my blog who went by the screen name, The Paleobabbler (let's call him, PB). PB had his own blog and described himself as a theistic evolutionist. In one post, when commenting on John 12:24, he said this about theistic evolution:

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?

According to PB, death is good. Death brings life. Death was the best way God could have used to create us. Unbelievable!

Do people really see beauty in death? Perhaps. Proverbs 8:36 says that all who hate God love death. If they love death, the theory of evolution has it in abundance. Evolution, of course, is a very slow, cruel process. Richard Dawkins describes nature this way:
The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives whimpering with fear, others are slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there is ever a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored.

An often spoken criticism used by atheists is, if God is good, why do bad things happen? To believe in evolution is to believe God intended the world to be full of death, disease, and suffering. It is saying that bad things happen because God wants them to happen and the bleak picture Dawkins paints of nature is exactly how God planned things to be. It would be a very capricious god who would waste billions of years of pain and extinction only to look back on everything he had made and describe it all as “very good” (Genesis 1:34). What's more, God would pause at the end of each day, look at what He had done, and each time would say it was good. So God describes creation as good, good, good, then very good. Theistic evolution says the creation was a billions-of-years long process of bad, bad, and more bad leading up to the moment where God says everything He had created was “very good.”

There is also the fact that God said He made everything in six days. Theistic evolutionists often claim God simply explained the creation in terms that an unscientific people could understand. In other words, God is a liar and an imbecile, who couldn't figure out how to explain “billions” to uneducated readers so He just said, “six days.”

To say God used evolution to create us in an insult to who God is. I believe in the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving God of the Bible who spoke the universe into existence. How dare people make Him into the clumsy, cruel, and deceitful god of evolution!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Five Reasons Why I Reject Theistic Evolution: Part 1

Too many Christians have fallen for the idea that evolution is a fact. It's the result of a concerted effort by many secular educators who tirelessly work to conflate “evolution” with “science,” loudly proclaim “the science is settled,” use legal maneuverings to squash any discussion in the classroom not helpful to the theory, then mock and ridicule anyone who doesn't get in line. Unfortunately, in some cases, these tactics have worked and some Christians, who otherwise profess to believe the Bible, are convinced the Bible can't be correct about a six day creation.

In an effort to protect the inerrancy of the Bible, these same Christians have adopted a compromising position, saying that both the Bible and evolution are true. Through much mental gymnastics and questionable hermeneutics, they have developed a theory of origins called “theistic evolution” which basically says that everything secular scientists believe about our origins – the Big Bang, the millions of years, the gradual deposition of the geological column – are all true. The only difference is that theistic evolutionists add the qualifier, “God-did-it.”

In a discussion about kids leaving the Church, a theistic evolutionist, who claims to be a former youth leader, made these comments:

Believe me, I know; kids aren't stupid, and know a specious argument when they hear it. If (in essence) they're being told that "The Flintstones" represents real and true history (that is, dinosaur/human cohabitation, etc), and that all they are watching on the History or Discovery channels is a sinister secular conspiracy to do away with God, then it's no wonder they fall away from the faith. I see (and have involved myself in) a Church and a Christian School which take a line which would be anathema to Ken Ham, freely endorsing a harmony between modern Science and a grounded Christian faith.

I was educated in public schools where I was taught evolution and I believed what the textbooks taught. Even after becoming a Christian, I continued for a while believing in evolution. There was even a brief time where thought I had invented the idea of theistic evolution. After that, I entered in another brief period where I just ignored the subject altogether. Eventually, of course, I came to completely reject evolution and became a full-blown, young-earth creationist. There are several reasons I reject theistic evolution. I thought I'd make a short series and talk about five of them.

1) It is contrary to a plain reading of the Scriptures

One way to “reconcile” the Bible with evolution is to claim the creation account isn't meant to be understood “literally” but rather as a poem or a parable. Genesis, they will say, only tells us that God created everything but science tells us how. I beg to differ. The Bible very clearly tells us how; God spoke and it happened. Genesis 1 offers a detailed account of the creation week. It's very specific, detailing the events of each day: on the first day, evening and morning, God did this; on the second day, evening and morning, God did this; etc.

Furthermore, the Bible says that God created Adam from the dust of the earth. These passages are not ambiguous. There is nothing in them to suggest we need to look somewhere else to determine how long “six days” or that suggest Adam evolved from some non-human primate.

What other parts of the Bible do we read in the same way some Christians read Genesis? Think about these questions:

How many days was Jonah in the whale?
How many days was Lazarus dead?
How many days did Joshua march around Jericho?
How many days did God take to create the universe?

It's easy to answer the first three questions. It should be just as easy to answer the fourth. Yet, because some Christians put their faith in science above the revealed word of God, they get confused over what should be an easy question. How many days was Jonah in the whale? “Three,” they answer. How many days did God take to create the universe? “We don't know,” they answer. What? Um, yes, we do know!

A usual argument employed is to say that the word “day” can mean something other than a day. True, but it can also mean a day. In fact, it usually means a single day. The meaning is always determined by context. When God commanded the Jews to work six days and rest the seventh (Exodus 20:8-10), do you think they asked themselves, “I wonder how long the Lord means by 'six days'?” In the same commandment (v. 11), the Bible says, For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them. In that context, how can anyone seriously suggest that “six days” really means “millions of years.”  Genesis 1 modifies each use of the word "day" with the modifier, "1st day," "2nd day," etc.  It also modifies each use with the phrase "morning and evening."  When Genesis 1 so emphatically uses the word "day" in the same way we would describe an ordinary day, why should I even bother to consider that it means something other than a 24-hour day?

Another characteristic of theistic evolution is that, if the secular scientists are right about the geological column, there is no room in the rock strata for a global flood. So, Christian evolutionists must also compromise when reading those chapters of Genesis that describe the Flood. They say Noah's flood was a local catastrophe limited to the Mesopotamia valley. So when God said, Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish, it can't mean under the whole heaven or everything on the earth or all flesh shall be destroyed.

The Bible clearly describes a world-wide deluge. Genesis 7:20 says that mountains were buried under 15 cubits of water which is not possible if the flood were limited to a single valley (how can a mountain be 15 cubits underwater without both sides of the mountain being covered?). Furthermore, God's covenant of the rainbow says there will never be a flood like that one – a promise He didn't keep if the Bible only meant a local flood.

Genesis cannot be reconciled with a belief in evolution or a local flood. The theory is contrary to the clear words of the Bible. Does the Bible ever use parables or figures of speech? Yes, it does, but when it does, it is easily understood from the context. There is nothing about the early chapters of Genesis that suggest they are meant to be anything other than history. 2 Peter 1:20 says, no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. There is no hidden meaning. There is no obscure understanding that has only been recently brought to light through scientific discovery. Just like any other written work, the most ordinary reading of the text is usually its intended meaning and when the plain meaning is clear, there is no reason to seek any other meaning.

The Bible tells us the correct accounts of the creation and the judgment in no uncertain terms. I trust the easily understood words of the Bible far above the flawed opinions of secular scientists who proudly boast they will never accept a supernatural explanation for any event. This is the first reason why I reject theistic evolution.