Apprising Ministries has shown you recently in Tim Keller Doesn’t Believe In Young Earth Or Six 24-Hour Day Creation and Book On Old Earth View Influences Dr. John Piper that capitulations to the musings of the science of man are going to make some otherwise fragile associations even a bit more fragile within the Reformed camp.
With all due resepct, I believe I must say that Dr. Piper’s position, which he says he derives from John Sailhamer, seems to be especially squishy:
In verse 1, “In the beginning he made the heavens and the earth,” he makes everything. And then you go day by day and he’s preparing the land. He’s not bringing new things into existence; he’s preparing the land and causing things to grow and separating out water and earth. And then, when it’s all set and prepared, he creates and puts man there.
So that has the advantage of saying that the earth is billions of years old if it wants to be—whatever science says it is, it is—but man is young, and he was good and he sinned.
Apparently Dr. Piper holds a position where we can have our spiritual cake, so to speak, and eat it too: We can agree with the “wisdom” of worldly science concerning the alleged age of the universe, and we can also hold to a (literal?) six day creation by God at some point during one of the billions of years afterward. Macro-evolution and creation too.
Here I recall a certain church-related television character who would often say, “How convenient.” I also remember what the great Church Reformer Martin Luther once said in relation to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation that Jesus raised up; and which, I quoted e.g. in Southern Baptist Pastor Rick Warren Corrects Martin Luther:
The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise.
(What Luther Says, II: 1019, as cited at Online source)
Jesus really has never been big on compromise; as in, I can retain my stature within the academic community with such a hybrid view of evolu-creation as expressed above. With this in mind then, the piece below from Dr. John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research, addresses the critical issue of proof for the theory of evolution.
A couple of years ago Dr. Morris, who is a geologist by trade, made the interesting obeservation that most “evolutionists I have met have something in their own past that has turned them away from ‘religion.'” Of course we as Christians know that religion really isn’t the point; but rather, a relationship with our Creator is what evolutionists actually need.
Dr. Morris also points out another key reason why so many turn to evolution, in spite of the evidence for intelligent design within this world, “Without a God to whom we are accountable, we are free to live as we choose”; direct hit on target:
Recently I was a guest on CNN’s Lou Dobbs program, discussing the difference between evolution, intelligent design, and creation. The other two guests were well- known ID spokesmen, Dr. Jon Wells, and famous evolutionist, Dr. Michael Ruse.
In the middle of the discussion, Dr. Ruse claimed that evolution is a proven fact, just as “proven” as 2+2=4. When challenged, he insisted the two statements are equivalently true. Is this so? If not, what is the difference?
Here’s a simple experiment to verify one of the statements. Extend two fingers on your left hand, and then extend two on your right hand. Lay them all on the table in front of you, and count them. You should get four. If you are careful, every time you count them, you will get four. It’s an observational fact.
Now devise an experiment to verify evolution. Keep trying. There must be one. I suspect even Dr. Ruse would be unable to propose an experiment to verify evolution like we verified our mathematical equation. Even if both statements are facts, obviously they are not the same kind of facts.
That’s because evolution is not something we can observe. If it’s happening today, it’s going too slow to observe. If it happened in the past, we can’t return to the past to see. It may be a fact of history, but how would we know? Certainly not in the same way we know 2+2=4.
Evolution, at the most, is an idea about history, not observational science. There may be inferences we can make about the past based on modern observations, and these may or may not be true, but don’t bother claiming that ideas about history are the same as repeatable observations in the present. And don’t insult us by thinking that we will believe that they are.
It makes you wonder if evolutionists really believe what they say or if they are purposively trying to mislead. I suspect there are some of both.
Many evolutionists I have met have something in their own past that has turned them away from “religion.” Maybe it was legalistic parents or abuse by a respected figure. Maybe it was the insistence that we should “avoid science because it contradicts the Bible,” leaving them without answers to historical claims made in the name of science. A bitter hatred of God and Biblical truth developed, leading them to a life dedicated to freeing others from the shackles of Scripture, justifying the wrong use of evolutionary claims.
However, most evolutionists are evolutionists because they are victims of the wrong teaching of others. Naturalism (i.e., naturalistic evolution) is often desirable, for it seemingly frees us from the authority of a Creator God. Without a God to whom we are accountable, we are free to live as we choose. College students, often surrounded by hedonism are particularly ripe for wrong thinking, and many never recover. Either way, it can lead to ludicrous statements, such as “evolution is as true as 2+2=4.”
Thankfully, most people are not hopelessly deceived. Polls in America show that the majority believes in creation, and many more want it taught. Less than 10% are confirmed evolutionists, yet they seemingly control education. They may teach that evolution is well proven, but we don’t have to believe them.