“The Bible is a bunch of cute stories and fairy tales—no one really believes what it says.”
That’s what a lot of kids and teachers are saying today. Where do they get that notion? And why do students abandon their faith in droves, as recent studies suggest? There are many reasons for this spiritual exodus, but the hypothesis of evolution is a major force that lures students away from what they have been taught.
At the Teen Convention, the Institute for Creation Research’s “Creation Science Investigation: Uncovering the Evidence about the Bible, Science, and the Creation Worldview” sessions were geared to counter this attack with solid evidence from science and Scripture that supports the Genesis record of supernatural creation 6,000 years ago in order to equip your teens to stay believing in an unbelieving world.
A Dangerous Hazard
Why is evolution such a dangerous hazard to our students? Shouldn’t Jesus be enough? The origins issue is crucial for parents and teens to nail down because the Bible and evolution are in direct and irreconcilable conflict. A commonsense and straightforward reading of Scripture teaches that God created all that there is in six 24-hour days about 6,000–10,000 years ago. Nothing in Scripture remotely suggests that God used evolution to create the life forms we see, and Scripture is especially explicit in describing the creation of man—we are God’s image-bearers, not the descendents of an extinct monkey.
Furthermore, the order of the appearance of life forms in Genesis contradicts the order of emerging life forms touted by evolution. Finally, from a biblical perspective, it is unthinkable that God could declare each day of creation “good” if evolutionary processes were operating to form life out of repeated cycles of death, bloodshed, and suffering. Clearly, the Bible and evolution cannot both be true. If evolution is correct, then the Bible is wrong, and if the Bible is wrong in Genesis, then it should be obvious why students would want to abandon the rest of Scripture as well.
“So what if the first eleven chapters of the Bible disagree with evolution? Isn’t the gospel the main issue?”
Unified Book, One Author
Without question, the gospel is the most important issue for us and for all who have ever lived (Hebrews 4:2). Yet the gospel is contained in a Bible that is not simply a collection of random stories but is rather a single unified book with one Author who reveals Himself in history. If you throw out the beginning of the book, it’s hard to make sense of the rest of the story.
Furthermore, the gospel is grounded in the character of God, and Genesis reveals fundamental aspects of His character. The wrath of God against men (Romans 1:18) is provoked by two fundamental sins of mankind: Failure to glorify God as God, and failure to give Him thanks (Romans 1:21)—both the result of a failure to comprehend the nature of God as revealed in Genesis. Removing Genesis from the biblical storyline cuts to the heart of the gospel itself.
Genesis is also critical due to the negative consequences of compromise. First, many Christians have attempted to “harmonize” creation and evolution by re-interpreting Scripture. Nearly every one of these “compromise” views embraces an extremely dangerous form of biblical interpretation. When science is used to interpret the Bible, a very subtle but profound change in authority happens. If the interpretation of Scripture depends on some truth claim outside of Scripture (like “science”), the truth of Scripture is then made inferior to the extra-biblical claim.
If we place science over Scripture, forcing the Bible to pass through the “filter” of science or anthropology or some idea about local ancient history, then we are essentially elevating something other than the Bible as the final rule for life and practice. Left unchecked, this type of biblical interpretation can easily undermine other passages, including those that contain explicit presentations of the gospel.
Second, nearly every “compromise” view inevitably forces parts of Scripture to contradict themselves. Creation and evolution simply cannot be harmonized. For example, any attempt to make Genesis 1 a description of long ages rather than six days immediately contradicts the meaning of Exodus 20:11—how can a Sabbath rest mean anything if it is based on a “week” that consists of six long “ages” rather than six 24-hour days?
Conversely, any attempt to put the fossil record—a record of death and suffering—before mankind’s Fall in Genesis 3 forces an immediate reinterpretation of Romans 5:12, which teaches that death is the result of man’s sin, not the process leading up to it. Compromise in Genesis inevitably leads to rampant compromise elsewhere in Scripture in order to maintain at least a semblance of biblical unity.
Genesis is also important to believers because of its wider apologetic implications. The Bible teaches that the believer is engaged in a daily battle against unseen spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12-13); the devil himself prowls around looking for believers to attack (1 Peter 5:8). Yet we know that Satan is shrewd (2 Corinthians 11:14). Surely he is smart enough to know that one of the best strategies to undermine the gospel is not a direct attack on the gospel but rather a subtle attack on the authority of Scripture that contains the gospel. Indirect attacks are much harder to combat than direct ones.
Conversely, the creation-evolution debate is a major cultural flash point and one on which Christians are increasingly being forced to take a stand. It is not hard to see how eroding the foundation of Genesis would be an effective and devious strategy to eventually undermine all of Scripture. Clearly, Satan’s strategy is already taking its toll. Consider the number of students who have fallen away over the evolution question. Taking a stand on Genesis is critical because this is where the battle currently rages.
The question of origins is of paramount importance to students because this question is virtually unavoidable in college, as I experienced myself as soon as I took freshman biology. That was ten years ago, but it appears that professors are becoming more aggressive—not less—in their zeal for pushing evolution on impressionable students. Evolution is not simply a biology issue at college. It permeates the fields of geology, astronomy, anthropology, and even sociology and history. For teens headed off to school, avoiding the origins question is nearly impossible—which makes the need for equipping them with truth all the more pressing.
During our C.S.I. sessions, we answered these main questions students will be facing in school:
- Where do dinosaurs fit in the creation account?
- What is radiometric dating and why does it matter?
- Isn’t the earth millions of years old, like “science” says?
- Has modern genetics proven that all creatures descended from a common ancestor?
- Isn’t evolution a fact we can observe?
- Don’t fossils tell the story of evolution?
- Why are humans so similar to chimpanzees?
- Does the formation of new species refute Genesis?
Our talks provided not only a scientific and biblical refutation of evolution, but they also reinforce the scientific and biblical evidence for creation. We presented clear evidence for a young world and a recent creation, the evidence for Noah’s Flood, and the scientific basis for design and limited common ancestry. We intended for students to leave the convention equipped not only to dissect and contradict evolution, but also to defend God’s account of creation with clear and persuasive evidence.
The harmony between the Bible and science is a critical issue of our day. I faced evolution in college and survived in part because of the training I received from organizations like the Institute for Creation Research when I was homeschooled and attended Christian high school. We want your teens to walk away from ICR’s “Creation Science Investigation” equipped to survive, too.
After receiving his Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from Harvard Medical School in 2009, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson joined the Institute for Creation Research as a Research Associate. He also serves as a member of the Master Faculty of ICR’s School of Biblical Apologetics.
If you wish to listen to Nathaniel’s workshops mentioned in this article they are available in the CHEA Audio store.