"GOD’S WILL FOR YOU" Do Good INTRODUCTION 1. Topics covered thus far in this series... a. Rejoice always b. Pray without ceasing c. Give thanks in everything d. Your sanctification 2. In 1Pe 2:11-15, we read that God’s will for you includes doing good... a. That some might glorify God in the day of visitation - 1Pe 2:12 b. That others in their ignorance might be silenced - 1Pe 2:15 [Let’s take a closer look at the idea of doing good, beginning with...] I. THE PURPOSE OF DOING GOOD A. WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GOOD WORKS... 1. Good works cannot buy or earn our way into heaven 2. God saves us by His grace and mercy, not our works - Ep 2:8-9; Tit 3:4-7 -- We should be very clear on this point! B. WE ARE SAVED TO DO GOOD WORKS... 1. We have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works! - Ep 2:10 2. We have been redeemed and purified to be zealous for good works! - Tit 2:11-14 3. Thus it is the will of God that we: a. Be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1 b. Be careful to maintain good works - Tit 3:8 c. Learn to maintain good works - Tit 3:14 -- We need to understand the role of good works! C. WE ARE TO DO GOOD WORKS... 1. Because they bring glory to God - Mt 5:14-16; 1Pe 2:12 2. Because they are necessary to be like Jesus - Lk 6:40; cf. Ac 10:38 3. Because they demonstrate the living nature of our faith - Jm 2:14-17,20,26 4. Because they prepare unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel - 1Pe 2:12; 3:1-2 5. Because they help silence ignorant critics of our faith - 1Pe 2:15 6. Because they meet urgent needs of those around us - Tit 3:14 -- We must appreciate the importance of good works! [With an appreciation of the role of doing good in the life of the Christian, let’s look at some...] II. EXAMPLES OF DOING GOOD A. CARING FOR WIDOWS AND ORPHANS... 1. An indicator of pure and undefiled religion before God - Jm 1:27; cf. Ps 68:5 2. Two good role models are Job and Tabitha (Dorcas) - Job 29:12-13; Ac 9:36-39 -- Are we practicing pure and undefiled religion before God? B. SUPPORTING THE WEAK... 1. As exemplified by Paul, in keeping with Jesus’ dictum - Ac 20:35 2. As commanded by Paul, to support and bear their burdens - 1Th 5:14; Ga 6:1-2 -- Are we fulfilling the law of Christ? C. VISITING THE SICK... 1. Jesus and His apostles cared for the sick during their ministry - Lk 4:40; 9:2; 10:9 2. Elders are to pray for the sick - Jm 5:14-15 -- Do we care for the sick? D. ENTERTAINING STRANGERS... 1. To show hospitality, which literally means "love of strangers" - He 13:2; Ro 12:13 2. Required of elders, and widows taken into the number - 1Ti 3:2;5:9-10 -- Do we show kindness to strangers? E. REMEMBERING THE PRISONERS... 1. Especially those who are brethren - He 13:3; 10:34 2. Like those who visited Paul in prison, or sent him supplies - Ac 24:23; Php 4:14,18 -- Do we remember our brethren who are in prison? F. SHARING OUR WEALTH... 1. Affluent brethren are to be ready to give, willing to share - 1Ti 6:17-19 2. Sharing with others is a form of spiritual sacrifice that pleases God - He 13:16 -- Do we stand ready to offer such spiritual sacrifices? CONCLUSION 1. As we have ability and opportunity... a. We are to do good to all men, especially our brethren - Ga 6:10 b. We are not to grow weary in doing good - Ga 6:9; 2Th 3:13 2. Begin where you live... a. At home, do good for your family and neighbors b. At school, do good for your friends and those not your friends c. At work, do good for your employers, employees, fellow-workers d. At church, do good for your brothers and sisters in Christ e. In your community, do good for the poor, homeless, even your enemies Doing good can lead to praising God on one hand, and silencing critics of our faith on the other; so let us not grow weary in doing good to all...! "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." - Ga 6:9-10
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011
"GOD’S WILL FOR YOU" Your Sanctification INTRODUCTION 1. From 1Th 5:16-18, we learn that it is God’s will for you to... a. Rejoice always b. Pray without ceasing c. Give thanks in everything 2. Turning to 1Th 4:3, we learn that God’s will includes your sanctification... a. The words sanctify and sanctification are translated from the Greek hagiazo b. It means to make holy, to set apart for a special purpose c. Related words include holiness, consecration, saint [Sanctification is a term that is often misunderstood. As we reflect on God’s will for us related to sanctification, let’s start with...] I. OUR NEED FOR SANCTIFICATION A. GOD IS HOLY... 1. God who called us into His grace is holy - cf. Lev 11:44 2. Thus we are to be holy - 1Pe 1:14-16 B. WE ARE GOD’S SPECIAL PEOPLE... 1. Like Israel of old, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation - Exo 19:5-6 2. Thus we are in Christ today - 1Pe 2:9-10 [Because God is holy, we are to be holy (sanctified). Now let’s consider what is taught concerning...] II. OUR STATE OF SANCTIFICATION A. CHRISTIANS ARE SANCTIFIED... 1. Consider the church at Corinth: a. The church was made of people who were sanctified - 1Co 1:2; 6:11 b. Yet many of them were still babes in Christ and carnal - 1Co 3:1-3 2. Thus, while Christians are not perfect, they are called "saints" a. Note the use of "saint" in addressing all Christians- Ro1:7; 1Co 1:2; Php 1:1; Col 1:2 b. Because they had been "set apart", it was appropriate to be called "saints" -- This has been called "positional sanctification" B. CHRISTIANS ARE BEING SANCTIFIED... 1. Sanctification is also referred to as an on-going process a. Those in Christ are "being sanctified" - He 2:11 (NKJV) b. It begins at conversion, and continues as we grow in the faith c. As Paul prayed for the Thessalonians: "may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely" - 1Th 5:23 2. Thus Christians are to pursue sanctification (holiness) a. As the Hebrews were admonished - He 12:14 b. As Paul commanded the Corinthians - 2Co 7:1 -- This has been called "practical sanctification" [Now let’s look at...] III. OUR PRACTICE OF SANCTIFICATION A. IN GENERAL TERMS... 1. We are to be separate from the world - 2Co 6:14-18; 7:1 2. Which involves conduct different from the world - 1Pe 4:1-4 B. ACCORDING TO OUR TEXT... 1. Sanctification involves sexual morality - 1Th 4:3 a. Abstaining from sexual immorality b. I.e., any sexual activity outside the bond of heterosexual marriage 2. We are to possess our "vessel" in sanctification and honor - 1Th 4:4 a. Vessel likely refers to one’s body - cf. 2Co 4:7 b. Vessel possibly refers to one’s wife - cf. 1Pe 3:7 3. Not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who don’t know God - 1Th 4:5 a. Who in their ignorance are given over to lewdness - cf. Ep 4:17-19 b. We are not give opportunity for the lusts of the flesh - cf. Ro 13:13-14 4. We are not to defraud our brother in such matters - 1Th 4:6 a. E.g., committing adultery with a man’s wife b. E.g., committing fornication with a man’s daughter or sister 5. God will avenge those who practice immorality - 1Th 4:6; cf. He 13:4 a. Both in this life (STDs) - cf. Pro 5:7-14; Ro 1:27 b. And in the life to come (eternal condemnation) - cf. 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21 6. For God has called us to holiness, not uncleanness - 1Th 4:7 a. To be His chosen people - cf. 1Th 1:4 b. To walk worthy of His kingdom and glory - cf. 1Th 2:12 7. Reject this teaching is to reject God and the gift of His Spirit - 1Th 4:8 a. The Spirit who is promised to all who obey - cf. Ac 2:38-39;5:32; Ga 4:6 b. The Spirit who indwells our bodies - cf. 1Co 6:18-20 c. Who empowers us to control the flesh - cf. Ro 8:12-13; Ep 3:16,20; Ga 5:22-23 CONCLUSION 1. God’s will for you is to be sanctified in body and in spirit... a. You are to "flee immorality" - 1Co 6:18 b. For your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit - 1Co 6:19 c. And your body belongs to the Lord - 1Co 6:20 2. By the grace of God, such sanctification is possible... a. First, through the blood of Christ that cleanses from all sin! b. Then, with the aid of the Spirit to empower us in our struggle against sin! If you are a Christian, are you taking sanctification seriously? It is God’s will for you...!
|by||Brad Bromling, D.Min.|
One of the most amazing things about the Bible is that it contains information that could not have been known by its human authors. A perfect example of this is seen in the prophecy concerning the city of Tyre. At least six specific predictions were recorded in Ezekiel 26: (1) King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon would destroy the city (vss. 7-8); (2) Many nations would come against Tyre (vs. 3); (3) The city would be leveled and scraped clean—like a bare rock (vs. 4); (4) The city’s stones, timber, and soil would be cast into the sea (vs. 12); (5) The area would become a place for the spreading of nets (vs. 5); and (6) The city never would be rebuilt (vs. 14).
Each of these items came to pass exactly as Ezekiel said. Tyre, a coastal city of ancient times, had an island about one-half mile offshore. Within a few years of Ezekiel’s oracle, Nebuchadnezzar besieged the mainland city (586 B.C.). When he finally defeated Tyre 13 years later, the city was deserted—most of the inhabitants already had moved to the island. Things remained that way for about 241 years. Then in 332 B.C., Alexander the Great took the island city for Greece. This was accomplished by scraping clean the mainland city of its debris and using those materials to build a land-bridge to the island. Although Alexander brought much damage to the city, it still stood. Tyre persisted for the next 1,600 years. Finally, in A.D. 1291, the Muslims thoroughly crushed Tyre, and the city has remained in ruins ever since. Aside from a small fishing community, nothing is left.
How can we account for Ezekiel’s precision regarding the history of this city? We cannot—apart from a miracle. How could he look almost 1,900 years into the future and predict that Tyre would be a bald rock where fishermen would spread their nets? God must have told him!
Prophecies--True and False
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
There is some controversy among Bible scholars relative to the etymology of the term “prophet,” as that word is employed in the Scriptures. Perhaps the best way to determine the meaning of this expression is to observe the contextual usage that is reflected in the biblical record. A good example is found in the case of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron was appointed by God to be a “prophet” for Moses (Exodus 7:1). Elsewhere, Aaron’s role is described as that of a “spokesman” (Exodus 4:16). A prophet is thus one who speaks for another.
One aspect of prophecy is that of “prediction,” i.e., the ability to speak precisely beforehand of events that later are to be realized factually. Predictive prophecy, therefore, has great evidential value in establishing the divine authenticity of the biblical documents (see Jackson, 1988). Consider the following factors.
First, only God knows the future. He is able to “call the things that are not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17). He declares “the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10; cf. Acts 15:18). In fact, the prophets of biblical history challenged their pagan contemporaries to demonstrate their predictive prowess so as to establish their spiritual credibility. Isaiah charged the heathen seers of his day: “Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods” (41:23).
Second, if one can demonstrate the ability to declare future things that find exact fulfillment, it would follow logically that such a person, in possession of this gift, would be speaking on behalf of God. His message, therefore, would be valid. On the other hand, if one attempts to foretell the future, and his prophecy fails, the error provides clear evidence that the “prophet” is false. “[W]hen a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, if the thing follows not, nor comes to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken: the prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22).
- National Prophecies. There are prophecies that detail, centuries in advance, the fortunes and fates of nations. When the Babylonian empire was at its zenith, with utterly no military/political weakness apparent, Daniel foretold its demise, along with the subsequent rise of the Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Romans (see Daniel 2, 7). No one could have dreamed that these international events would occur. And yet they did, as every student of history knows. The prophecies are so astounding that radical critics have felt compelled to re-date the book of Daniel (placing it in the second century B.C.), so as to suggest “history” instead of “prophecy.”
- Personal Prophecies. Some Old Testament prophecies deal specifically with individual persons. The role of Josiah (cf. 1 Kings 13, 2 Kings 23) was prophesied three centuries before the king’s birth. The mission of Cyrus, King of Persia (to deliver Judah from Babylonian Captivity), also was described 150 years before the illustrious ruler came to the throne (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1-7).
- Messianic Prophecies. The Old Testament contains more than 300 prophecies that focus upon the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth (Collett, n.d., p. 84). He was to be the woman’s seed (Genesis 3:15), from the lineage of Abraham (Genesis 22:17-18), born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), to the virgin (Isaiah 7:14), etc. Mathematician Peter Stoner estimated that the odds of one person accidentally fulfilling just eight of the many Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah is on the order of 1 in 1017—a figure far beyond circumstantial possibility (1963, p. 107).
In the balance of this discussion, I will call attention to some of the people, in relatively modern times who have attracted attention to themselves by their claim of being able to predict the future either by exercising the gift of prophecy, or by purporting to have special insight into the Bible so as to foretell such matters as “the end of time,” etc. The glaring relief between these pretenders, and the great prophets of the Bible, will be shocking.
Nostradamus“Nostradamus” was the pseudonym of Michel de Notredame, a French physician/astrologer of the sixteenth century A.D. In 1555, he published a book of rhymed prophecies, which secured for him a considerable reputation in an age of gross superstition. Though his utterances were woefully obscure, and the interpretations hotly debated by his most devoted followers, some have alleged that his prophetic declarations were as impressive as those of the biblical prophets. Dan Barker, a Pentecostal-turned-atheist, states that if Ezekiel was a prophet, so was Nostradamus (1992, p. 192).
The claim is ludicrous. But see for yourself. Here is one of the prophecies of Nostradamus:
To maintain the great troubled cloak
The reds march to clear it.
A family almost ruined by death,
The red reds strike down the red one.
The most famous oracle of Nostradamus—supposedly the best evidence for his “gift”—reads as follows:
The young lion will overcome the old one,
On the field of war in single combat:
He will burst his eyes in a cage of gold,
Two fleets one, then to die, a cruel death.
Edgar CayceEdgar Cayce (1877-1945) has been applauded as one of the most impressive prophets of modern times. At the age of six or seven he was seeing “visions.” Cayce claimed that by sleeping with his head on his school books, he could absorb knowledge, which enabled him to advance rapidly in his education. He claimed psychic healing powers (three almonds a day is a cure for cancer!), taught the doctrine of reincarnation, and advocated a number of bizarre theological doctrines (e.g., Jesus and Adam were the same person), and said that he (Cayce) wrote the Gospel of Luke in a previous life. As a prophet, Cayce was a catastrophic failure. For instance, he prophesied that during the early portion of a forty-year span (1958-98) a tilting of the Earth’s axis would produce drastic physical alterations of our planet. “The earth will be broken up in the western portion of America. The greater portion of Japan must go into the sea,” etc. (Stern, 1967, p. 37). Cayce’s apologists claim that he predicted World War II. And yet, Jess Stern, who did more to popularize Cayce than any other writer, wrote: “Edgar Cayce was as stunned as anybody else when the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor” (1967, p. 16).
Jeane DixonJeane Dixon, a Roman Catholic matron who claims to be inspired with the gift of prophecy, says that she began peering into the future when she was about five years of age. She has thousands of followers throughout the country who believe her claims. But what do the following Dixon prophecies have in common? Russia would be the first nation to land a man on the Moon. World War III was to break out in October 1958. Walter Reuther would be a Democratic candidate for President in 1964. There would be no significant legislation passed by Congress in 1965 (the year of the Medicare and Civil Rights Bills). The common thread in all these prophecies is that they all proved false! These are but a fraction of the failed oracles that Dixon viewed in her $8,000 crystal ball (Davidson, 1965, p. 139). On one occasion she predicted that John F. Kennedy would be elected President in 1960. She apparently forgot about that prophecy though, because in 1960 she declared that Nixon would be the election victor. Moreover, Ms. Dixon once prophesied that Nixon had “excellent vibrations for the good of America” and would “serve [his] country well” (Time, 1965, p. 59). How curious that her crystal ball never previewed the disgrace that would befall the 37th President (the only one ever to resign). But “the most significant and soul-stirring” vision she ever received asserts that: “A child, born somewhere in the Middle East shortly after 7 a.m (EST) on February 5, 1962, will revolutionize the world. Before the end of 1999 he will bring together all mankind in one all-embracing faith. This will be the foundation of a new Christianity, with every sect and creed united through this man who will walk among the people to spread the wisdom of the Almighty Power” (Montgomery, 1965, p. 171). This new “Messiah” better get busy, for the century is almost gone!
Joseph SmithThe Mormon Church was founded by Joseph Smith Jr., who claimed to be a prophet of God. Mormons are thus required to “give heed unto all his words and commandments” (Doctrine & Covenants, 21:4-5). It is, of course, a matter of historical record that many of Smith’s prophecies proved false. For example, the “seer” prophesied that the American Civil War of the mid-1800s would become so intense that “war shall be poured out upon all nations” (D&C, 87:1-3), resulting ultimately in the “full end of all nations” (87:6). In 1835 he declared that the “coming of the Lord” would “wind up the scene” within fifty-six years (Roberts, 1950, 2:182). Smith foretold that the Mormon temple would be erected in Independence, Missouri (D&C, 57:1-3). None of these prophecies was fulfilled, and they have been a source of humiliation to Mormon leaders.
Occasionally, a Mormon writer will attempt to justify Smith’s prophetic blunders. One such effort is reflected in a book titled, A Ready Reply, by Michael T. Griffith. Griffith contends that after “studying prophecy for several years” he “deduced” that there are certain rules that must be considered in evaluating this topic. One of these rules is: “A prophet can be mistaken about certain details of a prophecy but correct with regard to its central message” (1994, p. 23). Mr. Griffith’s “deducer” is in need of repair. There is a logical axiom which affirms that the total of a thing is equal to the sum of its parts. In other words, if the details of a prophecy are incorrect, the prophecy per se cannot be correct.
William Miller and Ellen G. WhiteWilliam Miller (1782-1849) was the driving force behind the movement that eventually became the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Miller was a Baptist minister initially. He developed an interest in prophecy and, after a two-year study, claimed that he had determined the precise time of the Lord’s return to Earth. It would occur on March 21, 1843. When this date came, and Miller’s prophecy was not fulfilled, he revised his calculations, and reset the date at October 22, 1844. When that prediction likewise proved false, thousands abandoned the Millerite movement.
Later, however, Ellen G. White would breathe new life into the disillusioned remnant. She, too, would accept the designation “prophetess.” “Almost every aspect of belief and activity of the Seventh-day Adventists was encouraged or inspired by a vision or word from Mrs. White” (Hoekema, 1963, p. 97). Adventists claim that between 1844 and 1915, Ellen White had more than 2,000 visions. An Adventist writer says that: “Some [of these] are in the process of being fulfilled, while others still await fulfillment” (Damsteegt, 1988, p. 225).
Hal LindseyIn the early 1970s, Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth, became a runaway best seller in religious circles. Like many others, Lindsey also tried his hand as a prognosticator—especially with reference to the return of Christ. He suggested that the “generation” witnessing the rebirth of Israel as an independent nation (which occurred May 14, 1948) would be that generation alive at the Second Coming of Christ. Hear him comment on Matthew 24:34: “What generation? Obviously, in context, the generation that would see the signs—chief among them the rebirth of Israel. A generation in the Bible is something like forty years. If this is a correct deduction, then within forty years or so of 1948, all these things could take place” (1970, p. 43). What was “obvious” in 1970, was not so obvious later. In an article published in Eternity magazine, January 1977, Lindsey waffled, and stretched his forty-year span to perhaps a century!
Harold CampingHarold Camping has a nationally syndicated television program out of Oakland, California. His greatest claim to fame is a book that he produced in 1992. It was titled 1994? Perhaps the most telling portion of the title is that question mark. The massive volume of more than 550 pages concludes in this unimpressive fashion: “The results of this study indicate that the month of September of the year 1994 is to be the time for the end of history” (1992, p. 531). September of 1994 should have been the end of Mr. Camping’s career as a teacher, but it wasn’t because in their own blindness, people continue to follow the blind.
Camping, Harold (1992), 1994? (New York: Vantage).
Collett, Sidney (n.d.), All About the Bible (London: Revell).
Damsteegt, P.G., editor (1988), Seventh-Day Adventists Believe... (Washington, D.C.: Ministerial Association General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists).
Davidson, Bill (1965), “Jeane Dixon Predicts the Future,” Ladies Home Journal, 82:74.
Doctrine & Covenants (1952), (Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
Griffith, Michael (1994), A Ready Reply (Bountiful, UT: Horizon).
Hoekema, Anthony A. (1963), The Four Major Cults (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Jackson, Wayne (1988), “Principles of Bible Prophecy,” Reason & Revelation, 8:27-30, July.
Lindsey, Hal (1970), The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Montgomery, Ruth (1965), A Gift of Prophecy—The Phenomenal Jeane Dixon (New York: William Morrow).
Randi, James (1990), The Mask of Nostradamus (New York: Charles Scribners Sons).
Roberts, B.H. (1950), History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret).
Stern, Jess (1967), Edgar Cayce—The Sleeping Prophet (New York: Bantam).
Stoner, Peter W., and R.C. Newman (1963), Science Speaks (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Time (1965), “Seer in Washington,” 86:59-60, August 13.
Vine, W.E. (1951), I Corinthians—Local Church Problems (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
[See related articles on Charles Taze Russell and Fred W. Franz]
Ideas Have Consequences
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
Some of you might be thinking to yourselves, “What does it matter if I believe in God, the Bible, and creation, or a concept such as organic evolution?” You might be thinking that it is just a belief—a bunch of words and arguments that have very little to do with real life. If you are thinking that, let me politely suggest that such is not the case. What you believe is the driving force behind how you behave. If you believe that man is created in the image of God, then you place a very high value on human life. But if you believe that man is just another animal that has evolved from a primordial soup in the distant past, then human life loses its uniqueness and value. After all, if man were just a “glorified animal,” what would be wrong with ridding ourselves of those who we view as nuisances—unwanted (unborn) children, the retarded, the handicapped, or the infirm elderly? If man is just a “naked ape,” then “putting him out of his misery” would be no sin. After all, we shoot horses when they break their legs, don’t we?
“No”, you say, “surely belief in the theory of evolution would not offer any encouragement for someone to commit such crimes against humanity.” First, let’s look at the principles upon which evolution is based. Take “survival of the fittest,” for example. This principle stands at the very foundation of evolution, and basically claims that the stronger ("more fit") succeed by out-surviving, and sometimes even by destroying, the weak. If we follow this principle to its logical conclusion, it means that stronger humans could kill and destroy weaker humans, all the while remaining in total harmony with the “natural order of things.” If you don’t believe that someone might carry the theory of evolution to its logical conclusion, keep reading.
ADOLF HITLER—A TEST CASEAdolf Hitler claims his rightful place as possibly the most infamous villain of all time. Children of all ages, and the adults who teach them, history shudder at the deeds done by this criminal mastermind. His vicious atrocities claimed the lives of over 6 million Jews and over 4 million other ethnic groups such as the polish, blacks, and gypsies. Gruesome stories of gas chambers, concentration camps, heinous human experiments, heartless starvation, and forced labor are but a few of the mental pictures that come to mind upon hearing the name “Hitler.”
One question immediately presents itself to anyone contemplating Hitler’s actions: Why? What could allow a man to think that such acts of injustice ever could be justified? Simply put, the answer is—the theory of evolution. Hitler believed that the German Aryan race was superior to all other races. He believed that this superior Aryan race had the right to exterminate all inferior races since, according to evolution, the “natural order of things” is for the strong to survive. To use the words of Charles Darwin, Hitler viewed his murderous plans as nothing more than “the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.”
A serious study of Hitler’s life and actions, one can easily shows conclusively that the theory of evolution played a major role in his atrocious acts. But many evolutionists object to such an idea. They claim instead that it was not the theory of evolution that perverted Hitler, but Hitler who perverted the theory of evolution.
The problem with this line of thinking is that Hitler did not pervert, or even alter, the theory of evolution in order to use it to support his deeds. He simply followed it to its logical conclusion. According to the theory of evolution, nature has no conscience that distinguishes between what is right and what is wrong. Where would “nature” get such an awareness of morals? Such morals certainly could not evolve from lifeless, matter. No chemical soup could progress by evolution into a being with a conscience. The most evolution could produce would be the idea that “might makes right.” When Hitler exterminated approximately 10 million innocent men, women, and children, he acted in complete agreement with the theory of evolution—and in complete disagreement with everything humans know to be right and wrong.
Still many evolutionists object and suggest that using Hitler’s actions to show the terrible effects of evolution would be like using the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, or the Salem “witch trials” to show the terrible effects of Christianity. The difference lies in the fact that the Crusades, witch trials, and Spanish Inquisition were perversions of Christianity’s teachings. Christ taught His followers to turn the other cheek, to pray for their enemies, and to love their neighbors as themselves. It is true that many people in history have committed terrible crimes “in the name of Christianity.” But it is not true that they were following Christ’s principles. In fact, they were perverting Christ’s teachings, and twisting them to say things that Christ did not say. On the other hand, the deeds performed by Hitler in the name of evolution were not a perversion of the theory. Rather, he understood perfectly the principles of evolution and attempted to apply them consistently.
One writer said: “If you teach children that they evolved from monkeys, then they will act like monkeys.” How true. On the other hand, if you teach children that they were made in the image of the holy God, then we can expect them to be holy as He is.
I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist—Really?
|by||Kyle Butt, M.A.|
As I travel around the country delivering seminars on God’s existence, I am frequently engaged in conversations with people who understand that atheism is founded on many disproven assumptions. In the course of the discussion, the person will often say, “Atheism is founded on so many unproven assumptions. It takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian. I just don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.” This sentiment was explicitly expressed by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek in the title of their book I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (2004). While I understand and appreciate the motivation behind such a statement, I would like to suggest that it is ill-advised, and would urge Christians to reconsider framing the discussion in such terms. Here is why.
It is unfortunate for Christianity that numerous people misunderstand the basic concept of faith. For many in Christendom, faith is a warm feeling in their hearts when they have failed to find adequate evidence to justify their beliefs. Dictionaries have done much to ingrain this false definition of faith into modern Christianity. For instance, Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary states that faith is “a firm belief in something for which there is no proof” (1988). The American Heritage Dictionary gives as a primary definition of faith: “belief that does not rest on logical or material evidence” (2000, p. 636). The idea that faith is a fuzzy, emotional feeling that is divorced from logical thinking and “material evidence” does not coincide with what the Bible actually says about faith (cf. Sztanyo, 1996). As Sztanyo correctly noted: “There is not a single item in Christianity, upon which our souls’ salvation depends, that is only ‘probably’ true. In each case, the evidence supplied is sufficient to establish conclusive proof regarding the truth of the Christian faith” (1996, p. 7).
The false view that faith is “a leap in the dark” without adequate evidence is the concept that Christians have in mind when they say that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian. According to a proper definition of biblical faith, however, it is only because of the rational justification and logical evidence available that true Christians hold to their beliefs (see Miller, 2003). What it takes to be an atheist is not biblical faith. To be an atheist, a person must choose to completely deny the concept of biblical faith and adopt an irrational allegiance to that which has been repeatedly disproven.
When Richard Dawkins states, “Christianity, just as much as Islam, teaches children that unquestioned faith is a virtue. You don’t have to make the case for what you believe” (p. 306), he manifests his lack of knowledge of what biblical faith is. Biblical faith is based on truth and reason, as the apostle Paul succinctly stated in Acts 26:25. The prophet Isaiah underscored this fundamental fact about biblical faith when He recorded God’s invitation to the Israelites: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord” (1:18). Luke, in his introduction to the book of Acts, pressed the point that Jesus’ resurrection was attested by “many infallible proofs.” For one to believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the resurrection requires faith—based on infallible proofs.
Throughout the Bible those who had great faith were commended (Luke 7:9), and those who had little or no faith were sharply rebuked (Matthew 8:26; Mark 16:14). In fact, the Hebrews writer clearly stated that “without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (11:6). Faith is a desirable characteristic by which a person assesses the available evidence and comes to a valid conclusion based on that evidence. By allowing the greater religious world and the skeptical community to redefine faith as something negative, we have done a serious disservice to the biblical concept of faith.
If atheists truly have faith, they should be commended for it; but they do not have faith. Instead, atheism is a failure to assess the evidence correctly and come to the proper conclusion. It is the exact opposite of true faith. Romans 1:20 shows the contrast between biblical faith and atheism. That verse says: “For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” In this passage, faith means coming to the proper, rational conclusion that there is a God based on the evidence of His creation. Irrational belief in spite of the evidence leads one to conclude that there is no God. To arrive at this atheistic conclusion is to kick evidence, reason, and faith to the curb and adopt a baseless form of improper reasoning supported only by subjective human whim—an approach that, sadly, will leave atheists “without excuse” on the Day of Judgment.
The philosophy of atheism is fraught with logical inconsistency and error. It cannot account for the beginning of the Universe (Miller, 2011); it cannot give an adequate explanation for the obvious design in our world (Fausz, 2007); atheism completely fails to offer a satisfactory explanation of human morality (Lyons, 2011); and human freewill defies an atheistic explanation (Butt, 2010). To cling to atheism in the face of such overwhelming evidence takes an irrational belief that is motivated by something other than a sincere quest for truth and knowledge—it certainly is not true faith. So, in order to help the greater religious world and the skeptical community to understand what true faith is, let’s not misuse the word or attribute to atheism something it cannot rightly claim to have.
REFERENCESAmerican Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Butt, Kyle (2010), “Biologist Uses His Free Will To Reject Free Will,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2855.
Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin).
Fausz, Jerry (2007), “Design Rules,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=591.
Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek (2004), I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books).
Lyons, Eric (2011), “The Moral Argument for God’s Existence,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101&topic=95.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Blind Faith,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=444.
Miller, Jeff (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716.
Sztanyo, Dick (1996), Faith and Reason (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/far.pdf.
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1988), (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster).
Creation's Critics Countered
|by||Bert Thompson, Ph.D.|
There is clear evidence that these combined efforts are having a serious impact. Consider, for example, the following. In a center-column, front-page article in the June 15, 1979 issue of the Wall Street Journal, there appeared an article by one of the Journal’s staff writers commenting on how creationists, when engaging in debates with evolutionists, “tend to win” the debates, and that creationism was “making progress.” In 1979, Gallup pollsters conducted a random survey, inquiring about belief in creation versus evolution. The poll had been commissioned by Christianity Today magazine, and was reported in its December 21, 1979 issue. This poll found that 51% of Americans believe in the special creation of a literal Adam and Eve as the starting place of human life. In the March 1980 issue of the American School Board Journal (p. 52), it was reported that 67% of its readers (most of whom were school board members and school administrators) favored the teaching of the scientific evidence for creation in public schools. Glamour magazine conducted a poll of its own and reported the results in its August 1982 issue (p. 28). The magazine found that 74% of its readers favored teaching the scientific evidence for creation in public schools. One of the most authoritative polls was conducted in October 1981 by the Associated Press/NBCNews polling organization. The results were as follows:
|Only evolution should be taught||8%|
|Only creation should be taught||10%|
|Both creation and evolution should be taught||76%|
|Not sure which should be taught||6%|
On November 28, 1991 results were released from yet another Gallup poll regarding the biblical account of origins. The results may be summarized as follows. On origins: 47% believed God created man within the last 10,000 years (up 3% from the 1982 poll mentioned above); 40% believed man evolved over millions of years, but that God guided the process; 9% believed man evolved over millions of years without God; 4% were “other/don’t know.” On the Bible: 32% believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, and that it should be taken literally; 49% believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, but that it should not always be taken literally; 16% believed the Bible to be entirely the product of men; 3% were “other/don’t know” (see Major, 1991, 11:48; John Morris, 1992, p. d). Two years later, a Gallup poll carried out in 1993 produced almost the same results. Of those responding, 47% stated that they believed in a recent creation of man; 11% expressed their belief in a strictly naturalistic form of evolution (see Newport, 1993, p. A-22). Four years after that poll, a 1997 Gallup survey found that 44% of Americans (including 31% who were college graduates) subscribed to a fairly literal reading of the Genesis account of creation, while another 39% (53% of whom were college graduates) believed God played at least some part in creating the Universe. Only 10% (17% college graduates) embraced a purely naturalistic, evolutionary view (see Bishop, 1998, pp. 39-48; Sheler, 1999, pp. 48-49). The results of a Gallup poll released in August 1999 were practically identical: 47% stated that they believed in a recent creation of man; 9% expressed belief in strictly naturalistic evolution (see Moore, 1999).
In its March 11, 2000 issue, the New York Times ran a story titled “Survey Finds Support is Strong for Teaching 2 Origin Theories,” which reported on a poll commissioned by the liberal civil rights group, People for the American Way, and conducted by the prestigious polling/public research firm, DYG, of Danbury, Connecticut. According to the report, 79% of the people polled felt that the scientific evidence for creation should be included in the curriculum of public schools (see Glanz, 2000, p. A-1).
The amazing thing about all of this, of course, is that these results are being achieved after more than a century of evolutionary indoctrination. Evolutionists, needless to say, have not been pleased with the obvious failure of their efforts at indoctrinating the American public. As a result, an “anti-creationist hysteria” is in full-swing. Resolutions against creationism are being passed, pro-evolution pamphlets are being distributed, “committees of correspondence” are being formed, debates with creationists are being scorned (so that the creationists no longer can “tend to win” and make evolutionists look bad), and anti-creationist books are issuing from the presses at an unprecedented rate. For example, in 1977 the American Humanist Association fired a major salvo by publishing a Manifesto affirming evolution as “firmly established in the view of the modern scientific community” (see The Humanist, 1977, 37:4-5). Following that, Dorothy Nelkin, a professor of sociology at Cornell University, published the first of what became a series of anti-creationist books when she wrote Science Textbook Controversies and the Politics of Equal Time (1977).
Since then, a lengthy list of such books can be documented. As samples, I might list such volumes as: (1) The Darwinian Revolution by Michael Ruse (1979); (2) Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism by Philip Kitcher (1982); (3) The Monkey Business by Niles Eldredge (1982); (4) Scientists Confront Creationism, edited by Laurie Godfrey (1983); (5) Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution by Douglas J. Futuyma (1983); (6) Science and Creationism, edited by Ashley Montagu (1984); (7) Creation and Evolution: Myth or Reality? by Norman D. Newell (1985) (8) The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins (1986); (9) Science and Creation by Robert W. Hanson (1986); (10) Cult Archaeology and Creationism by Francis B. Harrold and Raymond A. Eve (1987); (11) Anti-Evolution Bibliography by Tom McIver (1988); (12) Evolution—The Great Debate by Vernon Blackmore and Andrew Page (1989); (13) Evolution and the Myth of Creationism by Tim Berra (1990); (14) The Creationist Movement in Modern America by Raymond A. Eve and Francis B. Harrold (1991); (15) The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism by Ronald L. Numbers (1992); (16) The Myth-Maker’s Magic—Behind the Illusion of “Creation Science” by Delos B. McKown; (17) Creationism’s Upside-Down Pyramid: How Science Refutes Fundamentalism by Lee Tiffin (1994); (18) Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy by Arthur N. Strahler (1999); and (19) The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism [the sequel to his 1982 volume, The Monkey Business] by Niles Eldredge (2000).
This list could be lengthened considerably, but I think the point is clear. Creation no longer is being taken lightly. A “call to arms” has been made by the evolutionary establishment, and is being answered by many in the evolutionary community. Creationism is enjoying renewed popularity. Were that not the case, evolutionists would not be so busily engaged in meeting what they perceive as a very real threat to the status quo that they have enjoyed for so long.
Argument #1: Creation is not scientific, because creation is not testable, reproducible, or repeatable. Evolution, on the other hand, is scientific, and should be taught in science curricula, while creation should not.
Response: For a theory to qualify as a scientific theory, it must be supported by events, processes, or properties that can be observed, and the theory must be useful in predicting the outcome of future natural phenomena or laboratory experiments. In addition, the theory must be capable of falsification. That is, it must be possible to conceive of some experiment, the failure of which would disprove the theory. It is on the basis of such criteria that most evolutionists insist creation be denied respectability as a potential scientific explanation of origins. Creation has not been witnessed by human observers, it cannot be tested experimentally, and as a theory it is nonfalsifiable. Notice, however, that the General Theory of Evolution (organic evolution) also fails to meet all three of these criteria. No one observed the origin of the Universe or the origin of life. Similarly, no one has observed the conversion of a fish into an amphibian or an ape-like creature into a man. Paul Ehrlich and L.C. Birch, both evolutionists, have stated:
Our theory of evolution has become...one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science” but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training (1967, 214:349).In a symposium at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia (on the mathematical probabilities of evolution actually having occurred), Murray Eden, in speaking about the falsifiability of evolution, said:
This cannot be done in evolution, taking it in its broad sense, and this is really all I meant when I called it tautologous in the first place. It can, indeed, explain anything. You may be ingenious or not in proposing a mechanism which looks plausible to human beings and mechanisms which are consistent with other mechanisms which you have discovered, but it is still an unfalsifiable theory (1967, p. 71).Neither creation nor evolution is testable, in the sense of being observable experimentally. Both, however, can be stated as scientific models. It is poor science, and even poorer science education, to restrict instruction solely to the evolution model. When evolutionists attempt to depict evolution as the only scientific model, they are no longer speaking in the context of scientific truth. Either they do not know what the data actually reveal, or they are deliberately attempting to deceive. Evolution fails to answer more questions than it purports to answer, and the creation model certainly has as much (and often more) to offer as an alternative model. It is not within the domain of science to prove any concept regarding ultimate origins. The best one can hope for in this area is an adequate model to explain circumstantial evidence at hand. When one observes the undeniable design of every living thing, the complexity of the Universe itself, and the intricate nature of life, the creation model becomes quite attractive. It at least possesses a potential explanation for such attributes. The evolution model does not, but instead asks us to believe that design, inherent complexity, and intricateness are all the result of chance processes operating over eons of time.
Argument #2: Even though it may be true to say that evolution cannot be demonstrated, at least it is based on natural processes, whereas creation is based on supernatural processes. This, in and of itself, proves that creation is intrinsically unscientific.
Response: Actually this argument is intended to be two-fold in its thrust. First, it is intended to convey the idea that since “creation” occurred in the distant past as the result of events not now able to be studied in the laboratory, it is outside the realm of empirical science. Second, it is intended to convey the idea that only those things that are purely naturalistic are of a scientific nature and therefore can be studied scientifically. Let us examine these two concepts.
First, creation and evolution both share one fundamental similarity—the idea that the Universe and life are the products of one or more unique events. Evolutionists speak of such things as the Big Bang and the origin of living from nonliving. Neither of these events, however, is occurring today. In a similar fashion, creationists speak of the Universe and life as the products of divine creative acts, and of a worldwide Flood that helped shape the present Earth. These events also are unique.
Science (in the sense that most people understand the word) normally deals with empirical events and processes—things that can be observed with the five senses. Furthermore, science usually concerns itself with those things that are universal, dependable, timeless, and repeatable. That is to say, a scientist in China can use the same methodology as a scientist in America and obtain the same results today, tomorrow, next year, or at any time in the future.
It should be obvious to all concerned that neither evolution nor creation falls into such a category. Certain of the basic concepts involved (the Big Bang, the creation of man, etc.) cannot be tested using these criteria. Yet there are certain things about both creation and evolution that can be tested. In order to distinguish the things within each model that can be tested from those that cannot, some authors have suggested that science itself be divided into two distinct categories. For example, in their 1984 book, The Mystery of Life’s Origin, Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and Roger Olsen recommended separating operation science from origin science. Others (e.g., Geisler and Anderson, 1987) have followed suit.
Operation science deals with regular, recurring events in nature that require natural causes (eclipses, volcanoes, reproduction, etc.), while origin science deals with singularities that may or may not require a natural cause (the Big Bang, creation, etc.). The term “origin science” may be new but, in fact, it works by the time-honored, standard principles of causality and uniformity. The principle of causality says that every material effect must have a prior, necessary, and adequate cause. The principle of uniformity (or analogy) says that similar effects have similar causes. In other words, the kinds of causes that we observe producing effects today can be counted on to have produced similar effects in the past. What we see as an adequate cause in the present, we assume to have been an adequate cause in the past; what we see as an inadequate cause in the present, we assume to have been an inadequate cause in the past.
None of us denies that creation occurred in the distant past as the results of events that now are unable to be studied experimentally in the laboratory. In this sense, creation is no more a “fact” of science than evolution. But the same limitations are inherent in evolutionary scenarios. Anyone familiar with the works of evolutionists like Robert Jastrow and Fred Hoyle is aware of the fact that these scientists, and others, have pointed out that the origin of the Universe, and of life itself, occurred in the distant past under conditions not necessarily experimentally reproducible and therefore not able to be studied in a strictly scientific manner. Paul Ehrlich and L.C. Birch, both evolutionists, also have addressed these issues.
Our theory of evolution has become...one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus “outside empirical science” but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training (1967, 214:349).The origin of the Universe (and evolution, which is linked inextricably to it) is alleged to have begun in the pre-human past under conditions that are not now reproducible. That, it would seem to the unbiased observer, would put both creation and evolution on equal footing. It will not suffice to simply say that “creation is based on supernatural processes in the past” and is therefore not scientific. The “supernatural” beginnings of creation are no less available for scientific examination than are the “unique” (though allegedly “natural”) beginnings of evolution.
That would seem, to the unbiased observer, to put creation and evolution on equal footing. Evolutionists likely will disagree, as Trevor Major has observed:
Still, evolutionists may argue that creationists have done themselves no service by making a separate science out of singularities. Defining a nonempirical science is one thing; proposing supernatural causes is quite another. For this reason, they will always view creationism as unscientific. But the idea that history consists of an unbroken stream of natural causes and effects is merely a presumption on their part. Perhaps they fear a new generation of doctoral students invoking God when they cannot explain something in their research projects. Yet this fear is unfounded. As stated earlier, most scientists of the past had no problem with divine intervention. Indeed, one of the driving forces of early Western science was the idea that the Universe, as God’s creation, was open to rational investigation. In doing good operation science, these scientists would seek natural causes for regularly occurring events. Many of them recognized, however, that unique events may require a cause beyond nature. Only analogy with the present can determine whether the cause is miraculous or naturalistic (1994, 14:21, emp. in orig.).It is not a justifiable criticism to say simply that “creation” is based on supernatural processes in the distant past” and therefore is not scientific. The “supernatural” beginnings of creation are no less available for scientific examination than are the “unique” (though allegedly natural) beginnings of evolution.
Second, whoever defined science as “naturalism”? The word “science” derives from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge.” Scientists are supposed to be men and women who are on a lifelong search for truth and knowledge, regardless of where that search may lead. Science is based on an observation of the facts and is directed at finding patterns of order in the observed data.” There is nothing about true science that excludes the study of created objects and order!
To assume that knowledge can be acquired solely on the basis of naturalism, and that only those items that might have come about “naturally” may be studied, is to beg the question entirely. It is at least possible that creation could be the true explanation of origins, and thus it is premature and bigoted for certain scientists to exclude it from the domain of science by definition, all the while leaving the theory of evolution within that domain.
Argument #3: Creationists actually are nothing more than pseudo-scientists, and should not be regarded as “real” scientists like evolutionists.
Response: This charge, which is becoming increasingly common, is nothing more than anti-creationist, humanistic propaganda intended as a “scare tactic.” However, it is easily refuted. First, many of the great scientists of the past were creationists. Men like Kepler, Boyle, Pascal, Newton, Faraday, Pasteur, Maxwell, Kelvin, and a score of others who founded the various disciplines of science, were creationists, not evolutionists (see Morris, 1982). Second, all real scientists are not necessarily evolutionists. There are thousands of bona fide scientists today who are creationists, not evolutionists. They have graduate degrees from accredited institutions of higher learning, and have records and credentials comparable to those of any other segment of the scientific community. There are creationist Ph.D.s, M.D.s, Sc.D.s, etc. in every branch of the pure and applied sciences—biology, geology, physics, engineering, medicine, and so on.
While it is true that the names of evolutionists such as the late Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, Robert Jastrow, and many others have become household words, it likewise is true that there are thousands of creation scientists at work in the scientific community today who are equally as good at their jobs as men of somewhat greater public stature. The fact that a man is a creationist, and therefore does not agree with evolution, does not make him by definition a “pseudo-scientist.” Evolutionists admittedly are upset by the recent popularity of creation, and thus have resorted to this sort of name-calling in an attempt to undermine the credibility of some creation scientists. But when such men as the late Wernher von Braun, the late A.E. Wilder-Smith, Walter Lammerts, Dean Kenyon, and others like them step forward to espouse creationism, the argument that creation scientists are nothing but “pseudo-scientists” suddenly pales into insignificance, and easily is seen to be devoid of any truth whatsoever.
Argument #4: The creationists’ “ulterior motive” is simply to be able to get their own religious views taught in public schools, under the guise of “creation science.”
Response: This is yet another of the scare tactics offered by evolutionary humanists, and again, easily is shown to be false. Anyone who has examined books on creation written by creationists for use in public school classrooms quickly will notice the conspicuous absence of any religious overtones. There is no mention of God, there are no quotations from religious literature (including the Bible), and there are no references to religion in general. It is going to be a bit difficult for evolutionists to convince the public that creationists simply want to get “religion into the public schools” when some of the most outspoken critics of religion in the public schools (e.g., religions like secular humanism, etc.) are creationists.
Argument #5: The creationists are unable to support their own case with scientific evidence. All they can do is attack the evolutionist’s case with “negative evidence.” Why don’t creationists have any scientific evidence to support their case?
Response: This argument is parroted carelessly by evolutionists who ought to know better. In multiple debates with evolutionists, creation scientists have affirmed piece after piece of positive evidence for the creation model. Evidences from the various fields of science are piled one on top of the other to make the strongest possible case for creation. In fact, entire books have been written on the subject. Creationists continually point out to evolutionists that the Law of Biogenesis states explicitly that life comes only from life of its kind, and that this law is the cornerstone of all biology. Creationists continually point out that the fossil record is replete with gaps, and is devoid of the transitional forms that evolution must have if it is to preserve its case. Creationists continually point out that there are a multitude of evidences pointing to a young Earth (e.g.: oil well fluid pressures, the helium inventory in the atmosphere, population kinetics, the Earth’s rapid magnetic decay, polonium halos in the “oldest” rocks, etc.) that by definition would preclude evolution. Creationists continually point out that genetic mutations reduce viability, rather than changing one species into another. Creationists continually point out that natural selection preserves the status quo and eliminates those organisms that are “changed” from the norm. Creationists continually point out that the laws of thermodynamics clearly indicate that the Universe: (a) could not have created itself; and (b) is running down and becoming less ordered, not building up and becoming more ordered. Creationists continually point out that the Universe is contingent, and that contingent entities ultimately are dependent upon a non-contingent entity—a concept that fits the creation model perfectly, but that is something the evolution model cannot explain.
One by one the arguments of the evolutionist can be, and have been, answered. Name-calling, special-pleading, begging the question, and other such tactics ultimately are inadequate in responding to the scientific evidences presented by creationists. Eventually the subterfuge employed by evolutionists is seen to be both illogical and meritless. The arguments offered by creationists remain unrefuted.
REFERENCESBerra, Tim M. (1990), Evolution and the Myth of Creationism (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press).
Bishop, George (1998), “The Religious Worldview and American Beliefs about Human Origins,” The Public Perspective, pp. 39-48, August/September.
Blackmore, Vernon and Andrews Page (1989), Evolution—The Great Debate (Oxford, England: Lion).
Dawkins, Richard (1986), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton).
Eden, Murray (1967), in Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Philadelphia, PA: Wistar Press).
Ehrlich, Paul and L.C. Birch (1967), “Evolutionary History and Population Biology,” Nature, 214:349-352, April 22.
Eldredge, Niles (1982), The Monkey Business (New York: Pocket Books).
Eldredge, Niles (2000), The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism (New York: W.H. Freeman).
Eve, Raymond A. and Francis B. Harrold (1991), The Creationist Movement in Modern America (Boston, MA: G.K. Hall).
Futuyma, Douglas J. (1983), Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution (New York: Pantheon).
Geisler, Norman L. and J. Kerby Anderson (1987), Origin Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Glanz, James (2000), “Survey Finds Support is Strong for Teaching 2 Origin Theories,” The New York Times, p. A-1, March 11.
Godfrey, Laurie R. (1983), Scientists Against Creationism (New York: W.W. Norton).
Hanson, Robert W. (1986), Science and Creation (New York: Macmillan).
Harrold, Francis B. and Raymond A. Eve (1987), Cult Archaeology and Creationism (Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press).
The Humanist (1977), “A Statement Affirming Evolution as a Principle of Science,” 37:4-5, January/February.
Kitcher, Philip (1982), Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press).
Major, Trevor J. (1991), “In the News—National Beliefs Polled,” Reason & Revelation, 11:48, December.
Major, Trevor J. (1994), “Is Creation Science?,” Reason & Revelation, 14:17-23, March.
McIver, Tom (1988), Anti-Evolution Bibliography (Jefferson, NC: McFarland).
McKown, Delos B. (1993), The Myth-Maker’s Magic—Behind the Illusion of “Creation Science” (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Montagu, Ashley (1984), Science and Creationism (New York: Oxford University Press).
Moore, David W. (1999), “Americans Support Teaching Creationism as Well as Evolution in Public Schools,” [On-line], URL http://www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr990830.asp (Princeton, NJ: Gallup News Service).
Morris, Henry M. (1982), Men of Science: Men of God, San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers, San).
Morris, John D. (1992), “Do Americans Believe in Creation?,” Acts and Facts, 21:d, February.
Nelkin, Dorothy (1977), Science Textbook Controversies and the Politics of Equal Time (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press).
Newell, Norman D. (1985), Creation and Evolution: Myth or Reality? (New York: Praeger).
Newport, Frank (1993), “God Created Humankind, Most Believe,” Sunday Oklahoman, A-22.
Numbers, Ronald L. (1992), The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism (New York: Alfred A. Knopf).
Ruse, Michael (1979), The Darwinian Revolution (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
San Diego Union (1982), “44% Believe God Created Mankind 10,000 Years Ago,” August 30.
Sheler, Jeffery L. (1999), Is the Bible True? (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins).
Strahler, Arthur N. (1999), Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus), second edition.
Thaxton, Charles B., Walter L. Bradley, and Roger L. Olsen (1984), The Mystery of Life’s Origin (New York: Philosophical Library).
Tiffin, Lee (1994), Creationism’s Upside-Down Pyramid: How Science Refutes Fundamentalism (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Young, Willard (1985), Fallacies of Creationism (Calgary, Canada: Detselig Enterprises).
Creationism and Academia: Mutually Exclusive?
|by||Will Brooks, Ph.D.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by one of A.P.’s auxiliary staff scientists. Dr. Brooks holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Having served previously as a Research Assistant in Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology in the Medical School at the University of Alabama, Dr. Brooks presently serves as Assistant Professor of Biology at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.]We are truly a blessed people to live in a nation founded on Christian principles. Indeed, our religious freedom today is protected by a law that was established over 200 years ago. The first amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” (U.S. Bill of Rights, 1791). In addition to this fundamental law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly prevents employers from discriminating against individuals based on religion. Section 703 states:
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin... (1964).These documents protect millions of individuals across the United States from religious persecution, but they are ignored by academia with little or no reprise. In particular, the sciences blatantly and arrogantly discriminate against any person not holding an evolutionary view of the origins of life and the Universe. The problem is widespread in American universities. Many examples of scientist-educators, who have been fired, denied tenure, or simply not hired solely because they hold a creationist view rather than an evolutionary one, have surfaced in the past 20 years.
At one time during my own academic career, I was oblivious to this phenomenon, but then was made painfully aware of it at a recent job interview when I, too, faced this form of persecution. After a day of interviews and a teaching seminar, I met with the biology department chair of a state-funded university in Tennessee. He, with at least some tact, told me that I possessed all of the qualifications to teach for this department but would not be hired because of a statement that I made: “I am a creationist.” This university’s biology faculty as a collective agreed that no one with this particular belief should be allowed in an undergraduate classroom to teach the biological sciences.
This opinion is not held by these individuals alone. In a survey conducted by Dr. Jerry Bergman, 28 university professors (out of 28 surveyed) agreed with this stance. Bergman wrote:
All those interviewed stated that they doubted very much if their department would ever hire an out-of-the-closet creationist for a faculty position. Some claimed that they themselves were not opposed, but felt that because a creationist would likely encounter serious problems in their department, it would be best if they not support their hiring. One added that it would not be objectionable to defend creationism on philosophical grounds, but an attempt to do so using biology would preclude hiring (1995).Are creationism and academia mutually exclusive? Not at Christian universities, where the majority of faculty hold a creationist’s view regarding the origins of life. But, this answer is different when applied to state-funded universities, where I dare say that the minority consider themselves creationists, even in the broadest sense. This number drops even more with a more conservative definition of creation. Is it possible for a creationist to teach basic biological concepts to undergraduate or even graduate students in the setting of a state university? The answer is yes!
From high school to graduate school, Darwinian evolution is taught as fact, when, in reality, it is little more than a hypothesis. A hypothesis is defined as a reasonable explanation for an observed phenomenon. Evolution is just that—although not so “reasonable.” Why must we limit education by teaching only evolution to the complete dismissal of creationism? What’s more, it is possible to teach such concepts as human anatomy and disease, among other subjects, without ever mentioning evolution or creation. Even in subject matter such as genetics and biochemistry, concepts can simply be given to students in an unbiased manner, leaving each student to determine what to believe by way of his or her own independent thought. After all, independent and critical thinking skills are key objectives for students to master.
As citizens of the United States, we each have the right to freedom from religious discrimination in every form. No institution, no matter how many terminal degrees its employees hold, has the right to deny any individual this right. Academia allegedly promotes “diversity” of culture and thought. Unfortunately, however, this claim does not hold true for the study of origins. In this area, evolution holds absolute dominance, and diversity is suppressed, to the detriment of all those seeking education.
Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1964), The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, [On-line], URL: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/civil-rights-act/#documents.
United States Bill of Rights (1791), The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, [On-line], URL: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights.html.