After a recent, televised, creation/evolution debate with a well-known evolutionist, a scientist who has written several particularly venomous articles against Christianity in the journal, American Atheist, I asked him why he opposes Christianity and creationism so fervently? Having asked this same question to a number of such persons, I was not surprised by his reply.
He had grown up in a very religious Christian home and church, and throughout his teen years had accepted Scripture in its entirety and had intended to become a minister. Yet, he did not get answers to a number of questions. All it took was one course in evolution at a nearby formerly Christian college to cause him to abandon Christianity and adopt atheism, not only as his own view, but also as his life's message.
His testimony is far from unique. A surprising number of this country's leading atheists, humanists, and evolutionists are from evangelical Christian homes, but almost none were ever taught how to defend their faith in a confrontational environment, nor were they taught how to think along Biblical lines.
Our ICR books and messages have shown that creationism is foundational to all Christian doctrine and living. Neither Christianity as a whole nor individual Christians can remain strong against frontal attacks without a firm belief in supernatural creation. Until we understand that Jesus Christ is the Creator, we can never fully grasp the significance of His work of redemption. Unless we understand that He created the world in a sinless state, and that this state was lost by the rebellion of Adam, we can never understand our need for a Savior.
How did we get into such a situation? With few exceptions, today's public high schools and state universities are confrontational to the creationist student. I have counseled with students and wept with heartbroken parents over this issue. The creationist perspective is simply not tolerated by many teachers or professors, who take it upon themselves to ridicule Christianity and belittle and intimidate creationist students. When I was on the faculty of a major university, my outspoken creationist testimony was strongly resented, and a number of efforts were made to silence me.
The problem extends to Christian schools, as well. Recently, a creationist science professor at Baylor University (Southern Baptist) was warned by the faculty and by a national atheistic organization never to identify himself with creationism again on that campus. Many professors at Wheaton College, Calvin College, and other schools with strong Biblical roots, are now among the most outspoken critics and bitter opponents of a return to creationist thinking.
Perhaps the greatest responsibility, however, is reserved for evangelical churches and homes. Many pastors have: been trained in theistic evolution (sometimes even in leading evangelical seminaries) or else taught to ignore "controversial issues." Likewise, parents have neglected to get good reading material into the hands of their children, and have not monitored their input from TV, schools, etc.
Today we can expect at best only tolerance of the Christian worldview in the public schools. Our only hope is to return, in our own churches, schools, seminaries, and hearts, to the infallible Word of God, especially its foundational principles in the early chapters of Genesis.
*Dr. John Morris is President of ICR.