The Whole Counsel of God
by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. *
We live in a time when science and scientists have seemed to take on the role of the ultimate authority for mankind. Christian leaders must either refute the false science of evolutionary philosophy or forfeit their responsibility to refute heresies that challenge the accuracy and authority of God’s Word (2 Peter 2:1). Satan’s great lie of evolution twists even the creation record (2 Peter 3:4) and corrupts all biblical doctrine by undermining the need for redemption in the first place.
No Facts, No Trust
The book of Genesis was obviously written as a historical narrative. The plain reading of the text presents a recent creation, spoken into existence by an omnipotent and omniscient eternal being. Yet many biblical scholars sweep the entirety of the first 11 chapters into the bin of mystical allegory, twisting and spinning the words, interpreting the text into manmade philosophical theories that conform to atheistic evolutionary thinking.
Some insert a gap between the words of verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 1 to allow for all the long ages demanded by “science.” Others would argue that the differences between chapters 1 and 2 show that the ancients could not get their stories straight and that we, the more enlightened world of the later centuries, should essentially discard those “stories” for the “facts” of modern science.
But here’s the problem: Jesus quoted from both Genesis 1 and 2, and He treated those passages as actual history. If this portion of Genesis is not historical narrative, that would mean Jesus was either deluded or lying. Most of the writers of the New Testament also quoted from the early chapters of Genesis, and all of them treated those words as real, literal events of history. Many of the Old Testament writers (including Moses and the words of the Pentateuch) either quoted from or referred to the creation week, and all of them acknowledged those events as actual history. God frequently spoke of Himself as the Creator when He addressed the prophets and kings of history. Everywhere, up and down and throughout the entirety of the 66 books of the Bible, the creation week is presented as fact—as the foundational event of reality.
If the creation account is not actual history, then either the whole of Scripture is wrong about creation or the God who is said to have inspired the words of Scripture is inaccurate. Neither position argues very well for the trustworthiness of any part of the Bible.
Death: Good or Evil?
In the billions of years required for all evolutionary theories and woven into all of the various hybrid models of creation, death is a normal and necessary part of life. Throughout the evolutionary story, death is the “good and natural” way of weeding out the unfit so that the “fittest” can flourish. Death is an absolutely necessary tool of the “natural selection” that ultimately produced the greatest of all animals—man.
The Bible’s message is vastly different.
Death is the sentence declared on everyone and everything because of the sin of Adam, humanity’s progenitor (Romans 5:12). Death is the “last enemy that will be destroyed” when the Lord Jesus Christ makes the “new heaven and a new earth” (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 21:1). All students of Scripture know that death is never treated as a good thing in the Bible but always as an insatiable enemy, brought into this universe by the open rebellion and conscious violation by Adam of God’s one restriction, as recorded for us in Genesis 3.
All of Scripture changes tone in Genesis 3. After the events in the Garden, the rest of the story centers on redemption. Over and over again our Creator presents the gospel in a vast array of historical implementations so that death could be defeated by the substitutionary act of His beloved Son on Calvary. If the events recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis are nothing more than allegorical myth, then the rest of Scripture is a mere collection of interesting stories with some moral implications that can be taken or left at the whim of the reader.
There can be no hybrid solution because a hybrid solution is a half-truth, and a half-truth, when presented as the truth, is a non-truth! Death must either be the normal, natural condition and the means whereby evolutionary development can operate over eons—a “good” mechanism —or death must be the sentence handed down by the Creator God on His rebellious subjects—an “evil” consequence of man’s actions. Naturalistic philosophy insists that death is the ordinary process of nature that has operated incessantly for billions of years. The Bible insists that death is the “last enemy” that the Creator Himself will destroy when He will “reconcile all things to Himself” (Colossians 1:20).
No God vs. All God
Unfortunately, there is no middle ground. Either the atheist is right—“the universe is all there is or ever will be”—or a transcendent, omnipotent, and omniscient eternal being exists who “works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Ephesians 1:11). These two polar opposite positions are not a newly discovered dichotomy. Nearly 15 years ago, Michael Ruse insisted:
Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality….Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true still today.1
The battle between evolutionary scientists and Christian academics who attempt to synthesize the evolutionary theories with the biblical message has been going on since the early part of the 20th century. Various forms of theistic evolution or the day-age theory became popular among Christian academia—but were never embraced by evolutionists.
The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror….[Theistic evolution’s version of God] is not a loving God who cares about His productions. [He] is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray.2
Fortunately, God’s Word does not lend itself to compromise. Even the atheists appear to know that.
Divine Nature or Natural Selection?
This glaring contradiction has been clear for a long time. The God who is revealed in the Bible does not exhibit the nebulous character required for evolutionary development. Holiness is the foundational nature of God. The very first structure the Creator imposed on His universe was the holiness of the rest day—He worked for six days and rested on the seventh. His holy nature was bound up in the way He worked, and that foundational nature is so significant that the beings He brought into existence to rule over the creation were designed to function in the same way (Mark 2:27). That’s one of the reasons that one of the Ten Commandments insisted that all humanity should hallow the rest day (Exodus 20:11).
Although God “so loved the world” (John 3:16), His holy nature requires punishment for all humans who violate that holiness. Thus, a completely holy man was necessary to substitute for sinners before the holy God could forgive their sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). No matter how you look at it, God’s holy nature rules what He does and how He relates to His creation.
God must reveal truth in the created “things” (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:20). The creation cannot distort anything about God—or about the creation itself. God could not make anything that would inexorably lead us to a wrong conclusion, nor could He create processes that would counter His own nature—or that would lead us to conclude something untrue about Him.
The horrific processes of random forces spitting out death and damage for eons, with blind and bungling nature “selecting” the “fittest,” most certainly do not fit the character of the Creator described in the Bible.
God cannot be the Evolver.
Flawless Function or Apparent Age?
Some would suggest that the text of Genesis 1 and 2 presents an “apparent age” of everything that was made, thus forcing the Creator into a distortion of truth—lying, if you will, about the reality of the condition. They would say that if, indeed, Adam were only a few seconds old but is presented to us as a full-grown man, then God is deceiving us about His work—that the very word choices suggest a deceptive agenda on the part of the Creator.
Omniscience requires that the Creator produce that which is flawless in design, and omnipotence requires that the Creator produce that which functions perfectly according to that design. Holiness requires that the Creator not deceive anyone or anything, from the interworking of the universe itself to the billions of progeny that would follow in the centuries to come. Irreducible complexity is not just a biological term—it is an absolute demand of the divine nature. Everything must work, and everything must work according to the design and purpose of the One who brought it into existence.
All forms of hybrid theory twist or ignore the clear words of Scripture and make a story with a naturalistic message that excludes an omnipotent and omniscient creator entirely. All of these hybrid theories capitulate to the determined anti-god efforts that “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). All of these theories insist that physical death is a normal part of creation and that slow evolutionary development of life is simply the way it is. Some might suggest that Adam was created a few thousand years ago from the diverse population of pre-human hominids, but all of the various hybrids give modern, naturalistic, evolutionary, atheistic science the last word in “interpreting” Scripture.
Evolutionists never yield. They may well eventually become converted, but while they remain evolutionists, they do not compromise their position. It is sad that the ones who try to “harmonize’ the Bible’s message with what are essentially godless theories claim to be upholding Christian truths.
May God forgive them.
Having Done All, Stand!
After describing the vital importance of God’s armor that has been provided for the Christian, after making us aware that our battle is a spiritual one against “principalities and powers,” after insisting that our strength and power do not come from our humanity, experience, training, or station in life, Paul simply tells us: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
As the great reformer Martin Luther once said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” So ICR stands committed to the absolute authority and integrity of the Scriptures. The whole counsel of God must be declared. Our particular battle lies in the defense of the historicity and accuracy of the first 11 chapters of Genesis. If these foundational truths are negated or spurned, then the rest of Scripture falls like a row of dominoes.
Stand with us. Pray for us. Share some of your resources with us. There is much to do, and the heat of the battle is increasing. Thank you for helping.
- Ruse, M. Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians. National Post, May 13, 2000, B-3.
- Hull, D. L. 1991. The God of the Galápagos. Nature. 352 (6335): 485-486.
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris III, D.Min. 2015. The Whole Counsel of God. Acts & Facts. 44 (1).