In 2009, much of the world celebrated the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist who popularized the notion of evolution through natural selection. Darwinism has been a belief system for the past 150 years, providing a seemingly convenient way for scientists to explain their observations about life on earth without the need to consider a Creator. Darwin’s idea of natural selection was a push to substitute God with “nature,” something that real scientists throughout history—the fathers of modern science—would never have done.
And yet, most scientists today refuse to acknowledge God as Creator, or even that the overwhelming evidence of design in the world around us points to any kind of Designer. Admitting that there exists some sort of supernatural intelligence—a Creator—logically leads us to confront a Judge, and most people in the world are reluctant to face the One who will judge the intents of their hearts and punish their bad behavior. Darwinism has thus given a scientifically sounding “out” to those who want to avoid confrontation with the eternal.
The influence of Darwin’s “molecules-to-man” philosophy has led to a push of the evolutionary message in education, in government affairs, and even in the entertainment world. Children are confronted with Darwin’s anti-God ideas from the earliest ages and learn the mantra of “millions and billions of years” even as toddlers. And most parents aren’t even aware of the harm being perpetrated on their kids.
However, what is most disturbing in our culture today is the way in which the Darwinian belief system—the “religion” of Darwin—has influenced those who name the name of Christ, even those calling themselves “evangelicals.” For instance, two or three decades ago there were dozens of private Christian colleges that maintained a biblical doctrine of creation. Today, only a handful have resisted compromise.
Evangelical seminaries today are filled with professors who have compromised the biblical text and train pastors that it’s okay to teach evolutionary ideas—the Big Bang, millions and billions of years, common ancestry, etc.—to their congregations. Leaning on the understanding of men (who happen to wear lab coats and have impressive letters behind their names), these professors and pastors have opted not to lean on the understanding of God, placing science over Scripture when they open the book of Genesis.
The Bible is clear that in the last days we will see a falling away from sound doctrine. Paul’s charge to Timothy reveals the seriousness of compromise.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5, NKJV)
The creation-evolution debate is, in fact, rooting out those so-called evangelicals who have essentially abandoned God’s truth for man’s lies. Placing man’s thoughts above God’s thoughts is nothing more than idolatry. And God never took idolatry lightly.
Throughout 2010, the Institute for Creation Research witnessed the aggressive and growing push of evolutionary ideas by those who teach at “evangelical” institutions—such as flagship Nazarene colleges—or who pastor evangelical churches. Abhorrent ideas such as the retroactive effect of Adam and Eve’s sin or the outright denial that Adam and Eve ever actually existed are being promulgated by professional thinkers and educators who promote their theories as sophisticated and harmonizing—all in an attempt to bring God and His Word down to the level of man’s finite thoughts.
A plain reading of the Genesis record and an honest evaluation of the evidence of science do not lead to the understanding of the Big Bang, millions and billions of years, common ancestry, and other evolutionary ideas. That a majority of the science establishment—most of them atheists—believes these evolutionary ideas does not provide a sound basis for Christian doctrine. And yet, a growing number of Christians are content to allow atheistic, naturalistic ideas and people to govern their view of the Bible, and thus, their view of God our Creator.
Of particular note is the BioLogos Forum, founded by Dr. Francis Collins (President Obama’s pick to head the National Institutes of Health), which is aggressively leading the charge into biblical compromise, teaching that the Bible is not completely without error, that the biblical writers just didn’t get it right, that Adam was symbolic and not real, that Genesis does not teach the creation of the material world, and many more aberrant ideas that run counter to sound doctrine. They have had the audacity to publish on their website that if Christians today do not accept the theory of evolution, the Church will die off in the form of an insignificant cult!
Additionally, BioLogos is conducting workshops for Christian school science teachers in order to train them how to teach evolution to their students—to supposedly harmonize the Bible and Darwinian evolution in the classroom. They are also developing evolution-based science curriculum for use in homeschools and Christian schools. One of the BioLogos teachers, Dr. Peter Enns, is even developing a Bible story curriculum for children! Anticipated to release in February, this material is being published by homeschool guru Susan Wise Bauer. Parents, beware! BioLogos is also leading and participating in Christian conferences to influence pastors and other Christian leaders with the message that the Bible and evolution are compatible.
For more than 40 years, ICR has been maintaining its stand on sound doctrine, communicating to Christians in churches and schools, in seminars and conferences, through radio and educational programs that we can have complete confidence in the Bible—there is no need to compromise with Darwinism, with evolution, or with any of evolution’s fundamental ideas such as the Big Bang, descent from a common ancestor, and millions and billions of years.
And last year, ICR was not the lone voice in this battle for truth. Dr. John MacArthur and his ministry Grace to You had several months of teaching on the creation-evolution issue, handily demonstrating the error of “theistic evolution” and those who would compromise the Scriptures. Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and ICR’s 40th anniversary banquet keynote speaker, has gone head-to-head with the leaders of BioLogos in order to expose their aberrant theological views. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, has been warning his followers about the need to maintain sound biblical doctrine. Dr. Carl Wieland, head of Creation Ministries International in Australia, has been taking on the compromisers at BioLogos and other errant organizations that are pushing the evolution message on Christians.
ICR leaders and scientists have participated in new films and numerous national conferences that tackle the issues of science and the Bible, helping Christians to remain steadfast in their faith. ICR’s citywide Demand the Evidence conferences, begun in 2009, continued throughout 2010, offering thousands of Christians the opportunity to study the truths of Scripture that relate to scientific evidence.
In the fall, ICR launched Science Education Essentials, a new line of science curriculum supplements that cover topics with a crucial bearing on creation and evolution. Five modules are now available:
Each module includes a Teacher Content Book that allows K-12 science teachers to absorb the facts related to the topic, as well as a Resources CD-ROM that contains activity sheets, reproducible lab experiments, and PowerPoint presentations ready for teachers to use in the classroom. Each educational level was pilot tested with real teachers and their students on every science topic, allowing ICR’s faculty to fine-tune these materials for maximum impact. Teachers may visit icr.org/essentials to learn more about this exciting new resource.
All of these efforts have sought to come alongside pastors, teachers, and Christians everywhere, providing insights and resources that will help all of us maintain sound doctrine and acquire the apologetic skills necessary to respond to and confront those who would lead the Church into compromise.
But this battle continues, and ICR continues to expand its efforts in biological research, graduate school and professional education, and the publishing of solid Kingdom resources. More than the evolutionist can understand, thinking Christians seek God and know that real truth is revealed in the Word of God.
* Mr. Ford is Executive Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Ford, L. 2011. Confronting Evolutionary Ideas. Acts & Facts. 40 (1): 4-5.