some Christians - the most notable being Dr. Hugh Ross, who is a regular
guest on TBN - are saying that Genesis, in fact, does teach
evolution. This is in opposition to the plain reading of the text of the
Listed here are many of the common arguments used by theistic evolutionists to prove that evolution is in the Bible. Below each claim is a biblical rebuttal.
Claim: The age of the earth is a trivial doctrinal point.
Rebuttal: The most successful tactic theistic evolutionists have
used to win the hearts and minds of evangelicals is this claim: the
age question is a "trivial" and "peripheral" issue - the important thing
is that God is the Creator, not when He did it. Many Christians have
thus been misled into believing that the young-earth debate is a side issue
and not relevant to everyday Christian life or the salvation message.
One must realize first of all that the issue is deeper than merely a young vs. old earth issue. If evolution is true, then you have death before sin in the world. Therefore, God is the author of all death, disease, bloodshed, and suffering for billions of years. So why did Jesus die on the cross? Didn't He die to pay our penalty for sin and death? Didn't God call His creation "very good" in Gen. 1:31? Earth began as a paradise, not a world of travail and tooth and claw.
Theistic evolutionists would be forced to say that thorns and thistles (and all other weeds) did not begin with the Fall, for they are found deep in the fossil record (millions of years before Adam, according to their theory - but buried by the Flood or later, according to creationists).
One day the Creator is going "to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets" (Acts 3:21). Restore to what? To a survival of the fittest world, where death and disease are the norm? Rather, restored to a world where the lion will lie down with the lamb, as it was in the beginning before sin entered creation.
If the evolutionary theory is true, then the Creator used a slow process rife with dead ends (repeated animal extinctions) and new starts. Why stretch the process over the lifetimes of millions of generations of animals - all this before ever getting to the point, the creation of man?
If the Bible is God's Word, and if theistic evolutionists are correct, then God's Word is deceptive. For thousands of years, a literal, straightforward, common-sense reading of Genesis and the rest of Scripture has led millions of intelligent Christians and Jews to believe that: (a) the universe was created in six literal days, (b) the earth is only thousands of years old, (c) animals were not originally carnivores, (d) the earth was created before the stars, (e) the plants were created before the sun, (f) man was created in the beginning (not as the last tiny link in an enormous timeline of earth history), and (g) the Flood was global, not merely local.
Theistic evolution contradicts all these beliefs, and claims it has finally discovered how to correctly interpret Genesis - after thousands of years of misunderstanding. That claim should immediately sound suspicious. If this is true, then one wonders what else Christians have seriously misunderstood.
Considering Hugh Ross' own ministry, it is ironic that he calls the age issue trivial. If so, why has he committed so much time and money to writing and speaking on this very subject? Based upon his own actions, it is doubtful that he really believes this issue is "trivial."
Claim: The universe is billions of years old.
Rebuttal: The Scriptures contradict such a teaching. Also, not all scientific evidences lead to the conclusion that the universe is billions of years old. Nor does the universe's vastness neessarily mean that it is of great age.
New scientific theories exist which explain the size of the universe in agreement with the biblical timescale. One example is the young-earth relativistic cosmology formulated by physicist Dr. Russsell Humphreys, based on Einstein's general theory of relativity. This alternative to the "Big Bang" has been well-received by scientists trained in relativity (see "Starlight And Time" by Russell Humphreys). Dr. Ross' bias is apparent in his willingness to accept only those scientific methods that agree with his belief in billions of years. In the final analysis, none of man's scientific age estimation methods can be considered foolproof, young or old. Views that reigned for decades have often been quickly discarded upon the discovery of unexpected, new evidence or upon finding a new way of looking at an old question. I would prefer to stick with the testiony of the only eyewitness to those ancient events - God.
Claim: Plants were killed before Adam's sin, so there clearly was death before the Fall.
Rebuttal: Who really believes that plants suffer - perhaps people who think they must talk to their plants or people that hug trees? Certainly, animal rights groups don't protest the mowing of lawns or pruning of trees. There is no evidence that plants have minds or self-consciousness. They don't have brains by which they are able to interpret nerve or tissue damage as "pain." From a biblical point of view, they are evidently not alive in the same sense as humans and animals. The Word of God makes a theological distinction between the life of animate beings (animals and man) and plants.
There is no instance in Scripture where life is attributed to plants. The Hebrew word "nephesh" is one of the most commonly used words for life. It is never used in connection with plants. Plants are never said to contain "the breath of life", ("chay" or "chayyah") or "spirit" ("ruwach"). The Bible certainly never speaks of plants as having minds or emotions. The Bible tells us that the life of a creature is in the blood (Lev. 17:11-14). Plants do not have a true blood system. Plants are not classified as having muscle and flesh ("basar"), as are animals and men.
This smokescreen argument should divert no one from the heart of the matter: God created a wonderful paradise without death, suffering, oppression and bloodshed.
Claim: The death that came through sin was spiritual, not physical.
Rebuttal: Lest there be any mistake about what God meant when He said that Adam would die, God declared to him, "By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen. 3:19).
Where in the Old Testament does any writer ever speak of spiritul death? Each time the Hebrew word for "death" ("muwth") is used in the Old Testament (791 times), it always deals with physical death.
Claim: The Flood was local, not global.
Rebuttal: The Bible is abundantly clear that the Flood was global and that every land animal and bird on the face of the earth was wiped out (Gen. 6:7, 7:21-23).
No serious Hebrew scholar would respect the strange interpretations of theistic evolutionists. Even theistic evolutionist Dr. Gleason Archer - to whom Hugh Ross often appeals - conclusively demonstrates that the Bible describes a universal, global flood ("A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, 1979, pp. 202-211). Even secular scholars know that the Bible definitely describes a global Flood. The Genesis account could hardly be more clear.
Theistic evolutionists reject a global Flood with massive geologic effects because it conflicts with their beliefs in a billions-of-years old earth with sediments and fossils laid down over millions and billions of years. Such a global Flood would have washed away any vestiges of evolutionary gradual deposition.
Following their rather bizarre scenario, after thousands of years every human being still remained in the relatively small Mesopotamian region. Then, for no apparent reason, God required Noah to consume almost a century of his life building a huge boat to save representative animals which really didn't need to be saved. Most, if not all, of these animals were alive and well in other parts of the world. Dry land was just over the horizon all along. Despite the lack of necessity, God kept Noah trapped in this boat full of animals under these strange circumstances for over a year!
Why stay in the Ark for a year? Noah was in the Ark for more than a year, not just 40 days. 53 weeks is absurdly long to stay in a boat for a local flood, but it makes perfect sense if the Flood was global.
After the water had been going down for four months, the dove could still find no suitable ground (Gen. 8:9). This does not describe a local flood.
Peter delivered a clear global warning, confirming that God created the earth, devastated it by the Flood, and will one day destroy it again by fire (II Pet. 3:5-7). Peter certainly did not mean that just a local area on earth would be burned at judgement!
Claim: God's days are not our days - Psalm 90:4 and II Peter 3:8.
Rebuttal: Quotes from Scripture such as "For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night" (Psa. 90:4) are used by theistic evolutionists to show that the days in Genesis 1 aren't really 24-hour days.
It's clear that the intended meaning of the authors (Moses and Peter) had nothing to do with the measurement of time, but with God's nature. II Pet. 3:8 says, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." The point made by both Moses and Peter is that God is beyond time limitations; He is timeless! Peter is not claiming that there is some special time zone called "God Standard Time" where one God-day equals 1,000 human-years. If this were true, then it would also be fair to say that 1,000 God-years are equal to one human-day. The result is absurd and meaningless. Peter and Moses are simply using figurative language to make the point that God is not limited by time. Since God's nature, and not time, is emphasized in these verses, they add nothing to the discussion about the age of the earth.
Additionally, if the absurd God\man time equation by theistic evolutionists is accurate, then Jonah spent 3,000 years in the belly of the great fish. Not only that, but Jesus is still in the tomb!
Claim: Young-earth creationists are "Ussherites".
Rebuttal: Archbishop James Ussher is recognized today as the man who took the biblical geneologies and calculated what the date of creation might have been - 4004 B.C. However, not all creationists accept his date, since some of the geneologies in Scripture delete or add individuals.
To accept an approximate 6,000 year date does not make one an "Ussherite." The thing that makes Ussher's views distinct from the views of his predecessors is his attempt to give a precise point in time for the Creation event. Since most creationists do not believe a specific Creation date can be ascertained, it is not correct to use the term "Ussherite." Theistic evolutionists such as Hugh Ross have used a broad brush to unfairly label and ridicule Christian brothers in a derogatory manner
Claim: Young-earth creationists are divisive.
Rebuttal: Creationists are not proposing some new and far-out theory (like evolution); they are holding to the position of historic Christianity. It seems to me that it is theistic evolution that has stepped away from the historic Judeo-Christian position.
Creationist ministries have been formed all over the world for the express purpose of evangelism. We realize that one way of introducing people to Jesus Christ is to help them understand the love He showed in His act of creation.
Although theistic evolutionists such as Hugh Ross attempt to anwer the problem of evil and suffering in this world, their answers are terribly unsatisfying. He denies original paradise, a global Flood, and downplays the suffering of animals and man (animals don't really suffer, and man's suffering is only for a short time)! In reality, poeple need to understand that God created a wonderful paradise, and that suffering, death, and evil came into the world through Adam's sin.
Those who spread the good news of God's recent, loving
Creation are not hampering evangelism, they are helping to bring understanding
to the world and glory to the Creator.
[My appreciation to Van Bebber and Taylor and their book
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