“Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age?” (1 Corinthians 1:20a).
I am not young, but I have a young family, and family vacations revolve around my four daughters’ interests. In August, we rode “the City of New Orleans” to Chicago and toured some museums, and we have just returned from eight wonderful days at Walt Disney World. Rattling around in first one roller coaster and then another I discovered my error in thinking daughters would be different than my son who has a taste for all things fast and furious. Proving the law of diminishing returns, one night at WDW, my daughters debated where we might go “next time.” Ignoring my wife’s observation that I am a home body, the girls were of one accord we must visit “another country.” Since I am a home body, no final decision was reached, but Germany is now a front runner.
Yet later that I night it occurred to me I am already a stranger in a strange land, the root cause: public affirmations of God and His glory are now verboten. I have witnessed amazing technological advancements (man on the moon, microwaves, Silicon Valley, and intelligently designed and fuel efficient cars and light bulbs), and also the systematic removal of God from everything except church and an occasional movie.
This change has taken years; its pace slow but inexorable—so slow we don’t need seatbelts. Yet sometimes, I am jarred by how far apart the world view and my personal beliefs are from each other. My last two vacations bare witness to that separation.
In Chicago at the Field Museum, hundreds of animal species are stuffed and on display (apparently collected before killing animals for sport went out of fashion), yet not one placard, not one display, attributes glory to God for His handiwork. The theory of evolution is alive and well, however.
I wasn’t surprised that the Field Museum reports evolution and is silent about creation. Although some school systems teach Creation alongside evolution, America is resolute in its educational system that evolution is no longer even a “theory.”
Shortly before we left for WDW, I read an account of a debate between Dr. Kenneth Ham (Creation Museum) and Bill Nye (the Science Guy) about creationism and evolution. The article was slanted entirely towards evolution and it reminded me of our visit to the Field Museum. A few days later I was surprised to see a rebroadcast of the debate in its entirety on CSPAN, and was encouraged by the boldness and cogent conversation Dr. Ham offered. With this fresh in my mind, we drove to WDW.
My daughters had prepared “bucket lists” of things they wanted to see and do; at Animal Kingdom, the Dinosaur attraction was near the top of the list. Waiting in line, I was struck by the mural on the wall that asked the question, “What caused the dinosaurs to become extinct?” The Flood was not among the theories offered. Then I heard Bill Nye over the audio system explaining the accepted theories and knew why a Flood conversation was not to be.
The human condition desires to make sense of our world and ourselves as sentient beings. Why am I here and does my life really matter are questions of everyone. But the bedrock question that precedes these is how did “we” come to be at all?
Evolution believes chance is at work; although the progression since chance first occurred seems to follow “laws” that are discoverable (go figure how that works when you are next at the Roulette Wheel). Creation says God is at work. These two different starting points lead to remarkably different philosophies about life and its meaning. On the one hand “chance” yields randomness, uncertainty, chaos, and injustice, but God offers us a plan, a purpose, justice, and order.
Some Christians believe debating the merits of Creation and evolution are quibbling over details that are unimportant. They point to Christ and say knowledge of Him is all we should be worried about. After all, we weren’t there when God created everything, so we really don’t know what happened. We believe God is behind it all anyway, so who cares if He used evolution?
Bill Nye, in the debate, made a similar appeal, arguing that many people of various religions also see the truth of evolution. Perhaps the “religious” should pause upon hearing such an assertion from an atheist. The Bible states very clearly that God is Creator and nothing in the Scriptures gives any credence to His using evolution to do the work. If the Bible is inaccurate with respect to Creation (“In the beginning God”), can any of it be trustworthy?
How does anyone build a life of faith in God if His word is doubtful? Creation, Adam and Eve and the Fall; sin and the consequences of sin (death); Noah and the Flood; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Moses, the deliverance from Egypt, and the Ten Commandments; Jesus’ virgin birth, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection from the dead; our need for a Savior because we, like Adam and Eve, are fallen and sinful and deeply troubled: are these truths or fiction? Is God’s message a smorgasbord we can pick and choose from?
In a few weeks we will celebrate Easter, the day that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. That day is foundational to everything we believe as Christians, and it is a miracle unlike anything in history. The next time you bump up against the theory of evolution and wonder how it relates to the biblical account of creation, take a different paradigm to reflect upon its true message. Rather than start at a big bang, start at the empty tomb and work backwards to God’s Spirit hovering over the waters. What truly is beyond our God’s power? Can you not sense His love and His purpose for His Creation?
If you have an interest in learning more about creationism and arguments against evolution, there are a number of books on the subject. One I recommend is by Walt Brown, PhD. entitled In the Beginning, Compelling evidence for Creation and the Flood.