One Bankruptcy, Many Adversaries
by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. *
Theistic evolution is like a mega-bankruptcy case containing an almost countless number of adversaries and contests, like piecemeal mini-lawsuits that in aggregate address smaller conflicts within a large-scale mess.1 Within this big picture it’s important to keep in mind that every small-scale “contested matter” and every “adversary” conflict is an important opportunity to advocate for truth.2
Imagine the component problems involved in these famous bankruptcies: Texaco, Chrysler, Enron, CIT Group, Worldcom, General Motors, Washington Mutual, and Lehman Brothers.1
Let’s quickly review some federal bankruptcy law. The American Constitution authorizes Congress to “establish uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies.”3 Congress has provided statutory frameworks for private-sector debtors to process their insolvency problems, including Chapter 7 liquidations, Chapter 11 reorganizations, Chapter 12 proceedings, and Chapter 13 debt adjustment proceedings for individual debtors. Of these, the Chapter 11 reorganization proceeding is the framework used for mega-bankruptcies. Literally billions of dollars in business assets, indebtedness (taxes, trade debt, investment debt, etc.), and contractual relationships are processed in such mega-bankruptcies.
Each mega-case is a mess but with a method to its madness. Particular asset disposition problems, as well as specific unfulfilled contract and debtor-creditor relationship problems, are routinely processed via detail-specific contested matters and adversary proceedings.
This is comparable to a long-drawn-out war composed of many component battles, each of which involves smaller skirmishes and localized individual conflicts. All the details add up to produce the results, when “all the dust (and debt) settles.” Any one contested matter or adversary proceeding appears small when compared to the whole mega-case, yet every such mini-lawsuit is important enough to require due process.4
The same is true in adversarial dealings with the gargantuan and popular (yet unbiblical) theistic evolution enterprise.
Christians who strive for the faith like Paul (Philippians 1:7, 17, 27) will repeatedly face “many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9) and “contested matters,” because biblical truth is not popular. But contending for the faith (Jude 1:3) is worth fighting “the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12) piecemeal, one contested skirmish or conversation or email at a time.
A long war is composed of several strategically influential battles, connected to a network of contributory skirmishes. Likewise, countering the anti-Genesis teachings of theistic evolution involves a complex combination of small-scale opportunities to promote the Genesis record as part of the defense of the faith.
Yet Christ Himself promised that one day we would be held accountable for how we have treated the books of Moses, which begin with Genesis (John 5:45-47). So when all the dust of this temporal world settles, and it is no more, we will see the wisdom of having contended—while we had daily opportunities to do so—for the precious truths that God reported to us in Genesis.
Theistic evolution, which fails to authoritatively embrace Genesis, is a mega-bankruptcy.5 Let us be faithful in how we each interact with the specific adversaries and contested matters we are faced with, knowing that God’s truth ultimately stands at the close of the case.
- For example, imagine the component problems involved in these famous Chapter 11 bankruptcies: Texaco ($35+ billion pre-filing assets involved), TXU / Energy Future ($36+ billion in pre-filing assets), Chrysler ($39+ billion pre-filing assets involved), Enron ($101 billion in income claimed before fraudulent accounting practices buried this energy “giant”; $63+ billion pre-filing assets involved), CIT Group ($71+ billion in pre-filing assets), General Motors ($82+ billion pre-filing assets involved), Worldcom Inc. ($103+ billion in pre-filing assets), Washington Mutual ($327+ billion in pre-filing assets involved), and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. ($639+ billion in pre-filing assets involved, the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history).
- According to Rule 7001 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, an “adversary proceeding” is a bankruptcy-related mini-lawsuit initiated by an adversary complaint, whereas “contested matters” are initiated by a motion or objection.
- U.S. Constitution, article I, section 8, clause 4.
- Due process is implemented by 11 U.S.C. § 102 and the Bankruptcy Rules.
- See Morris III, H. M. et al. 2013. Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 13-102.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2014. One Bankruptcy, Many Adversaries. Acts & Facts. 43 (8).