Over the past 200 years, since Charles Darwin brought the theory of evolution into the mainstream scientific thought, our culture and curriculum have undergone a drastic change.
We’ve gone from a schoolteacher being prosecuted for teaching evolution to evolution becoming the only accepted viewpoint for schoolteachers and textbooks. The theory of evolution has become the law of evolution, as clear-cut as the law of gravity and Newton’s Laws of Physics.
Today, too many pastors fail to speak about the origins of the earth from the pulpit, even though the Bible speaks clearly on this topic. I regularly read theologians who accept Darwin’s theory and try to squeeze the Bible into the box of evolution.
Over the years, people have wondered aloud why I believe an understanding of biblical creation is so important, or why I spend time defending something they feel has no bearing on the Christian’s life. There are several reasons, which I’d like to present to you.
We cannot trust the rest of the Bible if we cannot trust the first 11 chapters.
The Bible is a beautiful work of literature, that changes authors, genres, tones, and interpretations. It includes literal descriptions of historical events, prophetic interpretations of the future, and exquisite poetry filled with imagery and metaphor.
The Hebrew language clearly delineates between historical narrative and poetic symbolism. With that in mind, the language of Genesis 1 through 11 is filled with words used for literal events. For example, the Hebrew word yom, which means day, is used to describe the days of creation in Genesis 1. That same word is used 19 other times in the Old Testament, and every time, it refers to a literal, 24-hour day.
If we can’t trust the literal events that took place in six literal days— on “the first day,” “the second day,” and so on—how can we trust the literal events of the cross? The resurrection? The second coming of Christ? Are those spiritual images or literal events?
The apostle Paul told Timothy that all of the Bible was inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) and when we compromise the account of creation, we open the door for other compromises.
The evidence of creation eliminates any excuse to not believe in God.
Maybe you’ve memorized the famous passage, written by King David: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).
Just like a painter will put their signature on their paintings, or a baseball player will autograph a ball he hit for a home run, the world around us is God’s signature of His creative handiwork.
The apostle Paul continues this theme in his letter to the Romans, writing, “For [God’s] invisible attributes … have been perceived … in the things that have been made. So they (unbelievers) are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
One of the most difficult questions people grapple with is “How can God judge the remote people who live and die without ever hearing about God or the gospel?” The truth is millions of people die without ever hearing the gospel of Christ. The answer is sad, but it is simple: the gospel of creation was all around them.
When they stand before God and say “God, we never even knew about you,” God will say: “The evidence of Me surrounded you; from your mental capacity to see the design of the human body to the inch-perfect balance I placed between the earth, sun and moon, the evidence of a Creator was declared to you each day from the magnificence of creation.”
Mainstream culture may choose to ignore the evidence; they may deceive themselves into believing strange theories of evolution— from apes to aliens—but the bold evidence remains. When the world stands before God in judgment, the apostle Paul writes, “they will be without excuse.”
The creation account has gospel implications.
You may believe that the literal six-day creation and the age of the earth has no relevance concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Or, you may have heard a theologian or scientist argue that the theory of evolution is compatible with the rest of the Bible.
This simply isn’t true. The gospel that we believe—the truth of our sin and Jesus’ redemptive work on our behalf—depends on the fact that all mankind are sinners, in need of a savior, and that death is a consequence of sin.
Death is a consequence of sin and Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross was required to pay the penalty for our sins. Death is the punishment of sin.
The theory of evolution, in particular the idea of natural selection creating mutations leading to human existence, involves millions of years of death before humanity even existed.
If the dinosaurs went completely extinct before humans “evolved,” if weaker mammals died so that monkeys could eventually mutate into human beings, then death wasn’t the consequence of man’s sin.
Don’t let anyone tell you that your defense of creation is irrelevant to the Christian faith. The truth is, beloved, without a perfect, sinless, deathless creation that was ruined by Adam’s sin, there would be no need for Jesus.
Without a Creator, there would be no hope of salvation.