In the article last month, we discussed the fact that many (in fact most) Christian colleges do not teach a literal Genesis, and compromise with evolution in some way. Many people send their children to such colleges, not realizing that their faith will be weakened and even destroyed. We looked at testimonies from some who had amended such colleges.
How can parents determine just what a college teaches, particularly if they have what looks like a creationist statement? For instance, in a personal letter to me from Dr. Pattle Pun, Professor of Biology at Wheaton College in Illinois, Dr. Pun stated: “I want to emphasize that Wheaton College historically for over 40 years has been committed to the statement that we ‘affirm our belief that man was created by direct act of God in His Image, not from previously existing creatures.’”
However, in a radio dialogue on Moody radio which featured Dr. Pun and me, Dr. Pun stated: I am a member of a group called American Scientific Affiliation, which comprises about 2500 or so scientists who at least have a Bachelor's Degree, and most of us have Ph.D.'s and are working in the area, also. And they never had a stand on evolution or creation. I would say most people are in the middle position like myself, not being a strict, seven-day, twenty-four-hour-day creationist and not being a totally evolutionary professional, either--having reservation in both camps."
Dr. Pun went on to defend the Big Bang theory, as well as the days of creation being long periods, the earth being billions of years old, and that Noah's Flood was only a local event. For instance, he stated: “... Let me first emphasize, I do believe that all humans were wiped out in the local flood, because all humans were originating from that particular part, so God's purpose of punishing human kind was achieved in the local flood....”
So what does the creationist statement from Wheaton College really mean? In their own alumni magazine, Wheaton Alumni, April/May 1990, we read on Page 4: “For at least six decades, Wheaton's faculty have supported our Statement of Faith, affirmed the truthfulness of the Genesis account (including the historicity of Adam and Eve as the first persons, created in the image of God), and have held that the 'days' of Genesis are most, likely to have been extended periods of time. Further, they have also noted that the Bible does not comment on the exact origin of species as described today.... Historically, evangelicals have held various views on questions of the origin and age of the earth and the origin of the human race, but all agree that God created everything that is: that he created human beings uniquely in His own image; and that He sustains and, in His providence, rules the universe."
It is easy to see how anyone taking a cursory glance at their statements might think they taught a literal Genesis. One has to research what is really meant by the statements very carefully.
Another Christian college that has made public statements concerning what they teach about Genesis is the well-known Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I will let the professors' statements speak for them, as taken from a report of the Study Committee appointed by the Christian Reformed Church:
Professor Menninga: “I have become convinced by many persuasive evidences that the Earth is very old and that the rock layers which contain fossil remains of living organisms were deposited on Earth during thousands of millions of years of Earth's history. Those fossil remains, coupled with the measurement of their ages by radioactivity, represent the history of living organisms on Earth and they provide information about the sequence of the existence of those living organisms on Earth.
I think that the concept of biological evolution is the most plausible explanation for that sequence of living organisms on earth, and for the similarities and diversity among living organisms. There may be other explanations which are faithful to the data.
I think that the concept of biological evolution under the direction and governance of the Almighty God is not inconsistent with the teachings of Scripture."
Howard J. Van Till, Professor of Physics, Calvin College, stated in a ‘praise hymn’ based on Psalm 8: “... At your faithful and effective direction we have been formed from creation's dust, formed from atoms fused in the searing hot cores of stellar furnaces that blazed eons ago with the Galaxy, formed from the growing diversity of molecular colonies assembled on our planet's surface busy in purposeful preparation for our appearance."
Professor Davis Young: “My assertion that there is no definitive geological evidence for the flood must not be construed as a denial of the historicity of the flood. Although I do not favor a global flood, I have never denied that the flood occurred. But in favoring a localized flood, I am in the company of a vast array of orthodox commentators, Reformed and otherwise.... My suggestion that Genesis 1 should not be interpreted in the "traditional" manner must not be construed as a denial of the truth of that chapter, of divine creation, or of the historical character of creation. Again, I have always insisted on divine creation and the infallibility of Genesis 1. Again, I am in the company of a vast array of Reformed commentators who did not favor the 'traditional' six 24-hour day interpretation of Genesis 1."
You will see that the words Creationist, "infallibility of Genesis," etc., do not necessarily mean what many think the people stating these words mean. Many young minds are being indoctrinated in evolutionary ideas at Christian colleges, but their parents don't realize it, because all the words told to them sound just fine!
The Scripture states, in Malachi 2:7, “For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” The prophet then goes on, in verse 28 to say, “But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law.”
How well these statements apply to many of today's Christian colleges. And how well Jesus' statement to Peter in Matthew 16:23 also applies: “... for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”
But be warned! When you do try to determine what these colleges teach, you must know how to ask the right questions. For instance, you can see from the above that you could ask questions such as: “Do you teach the Flood was worldwide? Is Genesis infallible? Did God create in six days?" They can answer, “Yes. Yes. Yes,” but actually mean the flood was local, Genesis is allegorical, and that God evolved life over millions of years. You must get very, very specific.
The Bible teaches: “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). They are entrusted to us from the Lord to train for Him. When you think about it, you cannot take any material possessions to heaven with you, but you can take your children to heaven with you, if they have been trained in the ways of the Lord and they trust the Creator as they ought.
PLEASE! Do NOT entrust your children to those who teach in a way that could very easily become a stumbling block to them.
Have you checked out your Christian college lately?
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6).