I spotted a trend in the earliest days of this campaign season. You may have noticed it, too.
Throughout the debates and interviews, the news media kept raising questions designed to shame and embarrass candidates who self-identify as Christians, often leading to some awkward moments. The “gotcha” questions go something like this:
Do you believe that God created humans and other animals in their present form, or do you believe that humans and other animals evolved biologically over time?
Do you believe the earth is 5,000 years old?
Do you believe the Bible story of Adam and Eve is literally true?
The point of that sort of question is clear. Those asking it want to make public whether the candidate thinks scientifically, or submits his or her reason to theology. That’s precisely how the world distinguishes itself from Christianity: You can either be reasonable and think scientifically, or (if you are woefully behind the times) you can do what biblically minded Christians do and cling to doctrine and theology. The assumption is that Christian belief is unreasonable, irrational, and unscientific—a relic of the Dark Ages.
That is the dominant, dogmatic position held today by a large portion of our population, including those in influential fields such as entertainment, business, the news media, and education. As a result, if it becomes known that you believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, you’re likely to be subjected to some questions. Questions perhaps prompted by genuine curiosity—but perhaps motivated by straight-up hostility. You may encounter coworkers, friends, family members—maybe even members of your congregation—who embrace evolutionary theory and relish challenging your beliefs. Or perhaps you or someone you know has been intimidated into silence, convinced that Scripture doesn’t have adequate answers and can’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Either way, the questions are myriad and not always easy to answer.
Yet what we believe about creation—how we answer those questions—matters a great deal.
If you deny the literal interpretation of the Genesis account of creation, you’ve undermined every major doctrine of the Bible, including the sovereignty of God, the inerrancy of Scripture, the depravity of man, and the gospel itself. If Genesis is not divinely, authoritatively, and inerrantly true and sufficient, all moral obligations to God are null and void. It’s no coincidence that fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are being celebrated today. We live in a Romans 1 world where people have suppressed the evident truth about God’s reign as Creator. The result is that God has given them over to their lusts. The unrestrained, disastrous plunge into sin we’re witnessing is both the cause and result of God’s judgment.
Back in 2014, I was invited to preach on the pivotal issue of origins at a conference hosted by a highly respected, Christian-led creationist organization. Because the issues at stake are so monumental, I want to share with you the message I gave.
“Straight Answers About Creation” is a timely lesson that gets to the theological, doctrinal foundation of the creation-evolution question. It will help firm up your confidence in Scripture and your convictions about its veracity, giving you a bold, clear approach to answering the skeptics. I know you’re going to find it encouraging and helpful.