Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
First Published 25 July 2005
MacArthur starts this chapter with a listing of questions for the naturalist about the beginnings. His intent is to show the foolishness of believing in the big bang and evolution, due to its numerous unanswered questions. The opening statements have no impact upon the old earth creationist. They are addressed to show that there are too many questions if you take God out of the beginning. They have no relevance with old earth creation, because we recognize God's part in creation.
Evolution is Degrading to Humanity (Page 32)
MacArthur starts by listing society's problems, such as crime, drug abuse, sexual perversion, suicide, and abortion, and then he makes the claim "These trends are directly traceable to the ascent of evolutionary theory." In the following pages, he fails to back it up with any statistics. He merely uses examples to emotionally charge the reader. (This tactic of tying evolution to societies' problems is also used by the major creation science organizations.)
True, abortion is mostly a product of our generation, but the others...crime, drug abuse, sexual sin, suicide, have all been with humanity for thousands of years. Since the theory of evolution was only developed in the 1800s, it cannot be responsible for these sins. All MacArthur is left with is empty emotional rhetoric with no facts to substantiate his claims.
To back up his "degrading" claim, he next uses People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). He lists some of their statements, to show how radical they are. In reality, he is playing on the emotions of the reader by using an extremist position that is not held by most people. PETA does not reflect the attitudes of society as a whole, therefore they cannot be characterized as showing that humanity as a whole, through belief in evolution, is leading to a degrading of humanity.
To PETA he adds material from Wild Earth magazine, and then the Church of Euthanasia, which is just as wild and does not represent society as a whole. Then he says "That sort of lunacy is rooted in the belief that humanity is simply the product of evolution." All throughout history, mankind has been plagued by lunatics professing many unusual ideas...they are not unique to our day, and they are not the result of evolution. Just as PETA worships animals (idol worship), the Bible itself is full of examples of idol worship. MacArthur gives no data to support this claim, other than emotional words.
Evolution is Hostile to Reason (Page 35)
He begins this section talking about the probability of life starting by itself. Evolution could not just happen by chance...there had to be a catalyst to start each part of the process. While this reasoning applies to atheistic evolution, it has no bearing on theistic evolution...God started the process of life, including the Big Bang, and guided the process.
He carries this a step further, stating that since evolution is a theory based on mere chance, and since chance cannot be accounted for scientifically, then scientists who study evolution have "left the realm of reason, they have left the domain of science." He goes on to say "evolution does not deserve to be deemed true science; it is nothing more than an irrational religion--the religion of those who want to sin without guilt." While I agree that evolution by chance is impossible, that does not make it non-scientific. De-valuing evolution by claiming it is a religion is a long-standing claim by young earth creation science proponents, one which serves its purpose (to energize the masses), but which is empty rhetoric. Also, claiming that it is the religion of those who want to sin without guilt...if that were true, then all scientists who are evolutionists must be murderers, thieves, etc. This is similar to Answers in Genesis claim a few months ago about evolution and sin.
He then states "...the absurdity of naturalism goes largely unchallenged today in universities and colleges." On this, we can agree. However, the young earth community is unable to mount a challenge to naturalism. As long as they attach the absurdity of a young earth to their message of hope in Jesus Christ, they will continue to be scoffed at by the academic community, and rightly so. Yes, Jesus is the answer, but in promoting Jesus with a young earth, they are combining truth and fiction, thus they will never be taken seriously.
Evolution is Antithetical to the Truth God Has Revealed (Page 40)
This section mainly addresses the statement "either you believe Genesis 1-2 or you don't." It has little if any impact upon old earth belief, because most of what he says is applicable to old earth and young earth believers. Only a few minor comments are in order.
"...the text of Genesis 1-2 stands for all practical purposes unchallenged as the only divinely revealed description of creation." True, it is the only written description, however the creation itself was divinely created, and God's creation is itself a "divinely revealed description" of creation.
"After all, the notion that the universe is billions of years old is based on naturalistic presuppositions that (if held consistently) would rule out all miracles." In reality, the billions of years old universe is not based on naturalistic presuppositions, but upon God's own creation, which testifies to its own age. There is also no evidence to show any relation between the age of the universe and miracles. Using this notion, he uses this final idea to fuel an emotion-filled conclusion to his chapter. It is obviously meant to stir the reader, but it is again nothing but statements that are empty.
This chapter drips with emotional rhetoric and contains no basis in fact. Unfortunately, most of his audience, young earth creation science believers, will swallow this emotional nonsense without so much as giving a critical thought to its truth. For the old earth creationist, there is nothing to worry about in this chapter. It fails completely to provide any evidence against an old earth.
If you are not a Christian, and you have been holding out on making a decision for Christ because the Church always preached a message that was contrary to what you saw in the scientific world, then rest assured that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and you can believe in Christ and receive salvation, while still believing in an old earth. Click here for more.
Are you a Christian who believes in young earth creationism? Now that we have shown the many difficulties of the young earth creation science model in this and many other articles, how does this impact your Christian life? If you are a young earth creationism believer, click here.
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