The majority of this post originally appeared as comments on Eric Kemp’s Intelligence Science blog. I highly recommend that you read the post in question: Theistic Evolutionists and the Truth of Jesus: The Two Don’t Mix.
I’ve been meaning to address the contradiction of their particular submission of the Bible to the authority of the reasonings of men.
I’m always interested in how theistic evolutionists, or progressive creationists or whatever-the-devil they care to call themselves, whose Biblically inconsistent views often make her bedfellows with openly atheistic bloggers, propose to handle verses that claim that Christ was the Creator and verses that note that we all sinned in Adam, but are saved in the Last Adam. If the Genesis Creation record is figurative or allegorical, what does this do to the claim that “by Him and for Him were all things made, visible and invisible, and without Him was not anything made [paraphrased from memory]” if Christ was not the Creator, but merely a product of evolution? What does it do to the incarnantion? In what way have we sinned if the Genesis account is allegorical? Why wouldn’t God relate the real incident upon which our sin nature is actually based? Jesus validated Noah [“as in the days of Noah…”], but if the world-wide flood was only local, God has broken His promise innumerable times not to judge the world by water in like manner again and the rainbow is the symbol of a God who breaks his oaths!
This sort of judging the Bible by the knowledge of men [the magisterial approach] makes a shipwreck of Christian doctrine and swiss cheese of the reliability of the Bible, particularly passages foundational to the Gospel message and Christology. Far preferred is the ministerial appraoch, whereby we judge the suppositions of men by the sure word of God.
Let’s get down to the knuckles here. The following quote is from the book Refuting Compromise by Jonathan Sarfati [page 55 – I just like the way he words this argument]:
“If an old earth were really the teaching of Scripture, then one claim is glaringly conspicuous by its absence, that is, any claim in commentaries that the Bible unambiguously teaches long ages. Rather, usual claim is that the biblical text appears on the surface to teach a young earth but may allow for an old earth. We never hear something like, ‘Yes, the decay of the earth’s magnetic field and rapid reversals seem to provide irrefutable proof of a young earth. But we mustn’t allow even the strongest science to overrule the clear teaching of the Word of God that the earth is billions of years old.’” [Emphasis in original text]
He makes an excellent point. The plain meaning of these passages is a young earth created by the word of God in six literal 24-hour days. An old earth is only supported biblically by a long string of ad hoc arguments meant to try to harmonize Scripture with the interpretation of long-age uniformitarianism.
I should also like to make a comment about people who say they don’t personally have a strong opinion one way or the other on whether Adam and Eve are literal or figurative people.” Don’t you think the answer to that question is important?? The Bible plainly teaches that they were literal people. We’ve noted that Jesus mentioned them as historical without qualification. He noted that they were made “from the beginning of creation, male and female.”
Consider the judment of atheist Frank Zindler:
“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 saviour. 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.” [given in a debate with William Craig, Atheism vs Christianity video, Zondervan, 1996.]
He has a point. The Last Adam’s remedy for sin, the need for salvation itself, is based upon the historicity of the First Adam.
Here is where I get preachy.
The central question of Eve’s Temptation and Man’s Fall is this: “Did God really say?” And this is the primary problem of old earth creationism. They have judged the Bible by the opinions of fallible men [rather than the other way around – the way that they should!]. In essence, when confronted with the Genesis account of origins they are merely repeating the Serpent’s question:
“Did God really say?”
But they’re straining at gnats while swallowing camels! If science is their ultimate authority and the Bible must be re-interpreted to accomodate the latest ever-evolving notions and theories of academia, then they have just as many problems to mend in the Gospels. Does science allow for men walking on water? Instantaneous healing? Water turning into wine? Multiplying a kid’s meal to feed multitudes? Dead men coming back to life? Bad weather vanishing at a spoken command? Where does naturalistic science allow for a post-resurrection Jesus suddenly appearing in a room or ascending [flying? levitating?] into the heavens? Oh, wait. Naturalism precludes all supernatural possibilities. Naturalistic science such as evolutionism insists that there must always be “a natural explanation.” No miracles allowed! [Except something springing from nothing at the beginning of the cosmos and the origin of life itself, of course. ]
Can you think of anything more inconsistent than demanding we capitulate to naturalism when we read Genesis, but allow the Bible a plain reading when we interpret the Gospels?
And what has come of this sort of compromise creationism? Historically, the Church accomodated Ptolemaic astronomy [geocentrism] because it was the scientific notion of the day. They even found verses to support it, before a young earth creationist put forth the notion of heliocentrism. More to the point, by Charles Darwin’s time the Church had compromised the plain teaching of six literal days of Creation to accomodate the long ages proposed by Lyell’s uniformitarian geology. As a result, they also did away with the global Noachim flood and proposed a series of small local catastrophes instead. They also proposed that God had created each animal for its current ecological niche, which the Bible does not teach. Darwin rightly rejected this distortion of truth, but proposed an utter rejection of a Creator God in favor of a purely naturalistic theory: evolutionism. This is the legacy of the magisterial use of science.
The alternative to this approach is non-overlapping magisteria or NOMA, which is a logical contradiction. It states that science is science and religion is religion and never the twain shall meet. Science described the real world, while religion is allowed supernatural stuff. Yet Christianity is a religion based on historical events. You can’t compartmentalize it away like that. Though NOMA advocates, like the proponents of the Clergy Letter Project, claim that “Bible stories” did not actually happen but still “convey timeless truths,” the traditional view of Christendom is that the Bible conveys historical events from which we glean timeless truths. They’re not parables, allegories or fables. They give no such impression, except to someone who cannot accept their plain meaning and so seeks a different interpretation. As far as I’m concerned the Clergy Letter Project and like-minded NOMA compromisers are implying that God has decieved man, for He gave us “Bible stories” but did not bother to tell us they were teaching fictions!
Think about it.
“Did God really say?” You bet He did!