Allen Marshall O'Brien wrote an article on Irenicon titled, 5 Ways Creationism Is Bad For Christianity. Most of it is the same weak arguments I've heard before but, since theistic evolutionists keep trotting out these tired points, I have to keep answering them. Before I get into the points, though, let me just say I'm really getting tired of having to confront other Christians about what should be a non-issue. Evolution is a waste of time in science and, frankly, while many people may believe in evolution, the majority of those don't really give a whit about it. They're not “evolutionists.” I only discuss the issue because there are militant critics out there that use evolution to attack the credibility of the Bible. It's sad that some Christians feel it's important to “reconcile the Bible” with such a useless and godless theory. Evolution is an obstacle to the Faith and the time I spend addressing stupid points like the following is time I could have spent reaching lost people with the truth.
//Sigh// Anyway, here we go.
1. It suppresses critical thinking. Demanding conclusions which rise from evidence is part and parcel of human reasoning. If Christians say, along with Ken Ham, that no evidence could ever change their mind about Genesis 1-3 (or anything else for that matter), then they turn off the only function by which we arrive at logical thought and rational conversation.
There's an old Abbott and Costello skit where Lou “proves” to Bud that 7 x 13 = 28. Obviously, he's wrong but he reaches the same answer by adding, multiplying, and dividing and completely stymies Bud. I see evolution in much that same light. It's a clever explanation of the “facts” and some people have fallen for it completely. It's still absolutely wrong.
If something is true, then it's true regardless of how persuasively anyone might argue to contrary. God created the world miraculously. That's the truth. I will never let someone use clever stories like evolution to make me to believe in a lie.
I would like to ask Mr. O'Brien if he believes the Bible or not? I mean, what sort of evidence might convince him that Jesus isn't Lord? Might he ever change his mind about the resurrection? I admit that I believe the Bible. I believe that Jesus is the Risen Savior. I believe these things for the same reason people believe anything – I'm convinced it's the truth. Now that I've accepted Jesus as my Savior, no criticism will ever make me stop believing. For some reason, O'Brien thinks that's a bad thing.
2. It consciously promotes a lying God. The creation of a “mature” Earth is one way creationists attempt to explain a whole host of scientific evidence. But isn’t it troubling to think that God should make a universe which only looks old and life that looks evolved, then bequeath humanity a contradictory account of the real “truth” on the situation?
On the day that God made Adam, I wonder how old Adam “looked”? Obviously, God created Adam as a mature man who was able to walk and talk and speak. He commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply meaning they were post-pubescent. Was God being deceitful making a man fully-grown even though he was only 1 day old? God made trees with fruit on them ready to eat. Just imagine Adam questioning God saying, “Lord, trees this big with fruit take years to grow so, when you say you made them in a day, I know you mean many years because You're not a deceiver.”
This argument is absolutely ridiculous. If God created a working universe in six days and told us that He did it in 6 days, that's not being deceitful. The irony is that if God did create the universe over billions of years but said He did it in six days, then He really would be a deceiver. Theistic evolutionists believe in a lying god!
3. It disrespects the legitimacy of human culture and the meaning-making power of literature. Ken Ham has said time and again that the Bible rises and falls with the scientific viability of Genesis. In fact, I’d venture to guess that most avid creationists feel this way; they deny that God could/would speak to humankind through ancient, scientifically inaccurate, mythology.
Jesus often taught using parables. When He did this, it was clear that He was not speaking something that was literally true. The Psalms are a collection of poetry that teach spiritual, though not necessarily, literal truths. The Bible uses many literary devices like metaphor, simile, and personification. However, the Bible also talks about historical facts like the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In Luke's chronology from Adam to Jesus, at what point do the people stop becoming myth and start becoming real? At Adam? Noah? Abraham? David? Jesus? How do I know Jesus wasn't a literary device? If we begin assigning the genre of “figurative” to passages that are intended to be literal, then the entire Bible becomes suspect. When we read the Bible, we understand it like we would any other written work – the way the author intended it. Some parts are figurative, some parts are literal, and it's not really that hard to tell the difference.
And by the way, I'm not that concerned with respecting the legitimacy of human culture. I am much more concerned with correctly understanding the revealed word of the Creator.
4. It hinders our vision of Jesus. Tethering creationism to Christianity places an unnecessary obstacle between us and Christ. The slippery-slope rhetoric of creationist pastors and theologians has regrettably set up a false dichotomy between evolution and “true” Christianity.
Jesus believed in the creation and the Flood. When asked about marriage, He cited the creation of Adam and Eve. He mentioned Abel by name in Luke 11:51. He compared His second coming to Flood of Noah. He talks about the events of Genesis as though they were historical events. Conversely, He never suggested even once that the books of Moses were meant to be figurative. At times, He confronted the Pharisees on their abuse of the Law. When He cited Old Testament passages to them, He always relied on a clear understanding of the text and never once appealed to some figurative meaning.
If Jesus treated Genesis as history, what does it say about Him when theistic evolutionists say none of it happened? Why would anyone need the last Adam if there never really was a first Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)? If His return shall happen suddenly, like the Flood of Noah, what does it mean if there wasn't a Flood?
Theistic evolution destroys the gospel.
5. And yeah, it makes us look really, really silly. The silliest (read: saddest) part of fighting, speaking, preaching, and spending millions of dollars touting creationism is that our fights, speeches, sermons, and millions of dollars are needed elsewhere.
The risk of looking silly is hardly a reason to compromise on God's word. Indeed, Matthew 5:11-12 says that we should rejoice when people mock, insult, and persecute us because we will have a great reward in heaven. I guess that means Christians always have the last laugh.
What else in the Bible might make us look silly for believing it? Are we silly to believe Jesus turned water into wine? Could a person believe it didn't happen and still be a Christian? Maybe. What about feeding the crowd or healing the sick or walking on water? What if I believed in a Jesus that did NO miracles? A Jesus that did no miracles is not the Son of God revealed in Scripture but is just an insane, lying rabbi who was executed along with a couple of thieves and is still buried somewhere. Likewise, the god of evolution is an impotent god who is bound by the physical laws he supposedly created and is indistinguishable from dumb luck. I will not let scoffers shame me into believing in some farce of a god.
Regardless, O'Brien is missing a major point. Richard Dawkins once said that Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist. The rate of atheism among scientists is greater than the general population. Secular theories of origins are obstacles that hinder people from coming to the faith. Theistic evolution and theories that compromise the Bible to make it “compatible with science,” do harm to those people who don't think God is necessary to explain the origin of the universe, of life, or of man. Telling them that God guides evolution sounds as compelling as saying gravity is accomplished by angels dragging the planets in their course. Theistic evolutionists should stop wasting their time trying to explain how “six days” (as in Exodus 20:11) really means billions of years. It makes them look silly.