Review by Greg Neyman
© Old Earth Ministries
This is a very good question, and it is impossible to answer this correctly if one accepts the young earth creation science position, as this author does. The author, J. Rendle-Short, states up front that he used to be a theistic evolutionist, but he never quite felt comfortable with this position (no doubt due to his upbringing). There lies the main problem facing Christians today...they have been taught from an early age that the earth is young, and evolution is wrong, and this presents them with a stumbling block in their Christian walk. A proper understanding of how evolution and creation can fit together removes this stumbling block.
Unfortunately, many come under the influence of a young earth teacher, who reinforces the idea that the two are incompatible. It is only when one steps back, away from young earth creationist arguments, that the problems fall away. The problem is not in integrating science and the Bible, its in the way that some Christians interpret the Bible to only reflect their particular beliefs.
Randle says that he is a creationist (young earth is implied) because that is the only way Scripture makes sense. Within the young earth framework, he is correct...and there lies his problem.
In this article, he gives several things to consider.
1. Genesis 1-9 is history, not poetry or mythology. I agree, and so do many theistic evolutionists. We all can accept the Bible as history, even with evolution.
2. The world was created 'good' so that Adam could 'fall.' Again, this presents no problems for the theistic evolutionist. The world was created good, and Adam fell.
3. Death before sin. Adam's sin brought death, but this is contrary to the fossil record. Not so. Adam's sin did bring eventual physical death, but this has nothing to do with death prior to Adam. He claims that death before sin negates the Gospel...not so. There were no humans with eternal souls prior to Adam...just animals. Unless animals are able to receive salvation, this has nothing to do with the Gospel.
4. The death of so many creatures is contrary to the character of God. The author says God is a God of joy, peace, and love. Again, animal death is not a significant event for God. I'm sure that God loves His creation, but He also has a proper understanding of it. He created a fully functioning ecosystem, which renews itself through death and decay.
5. Altruism. Not much different than the death argument above. He says theistic evolutionists have a problem, because in their system God is the author of pain and suffering and evil. Yes, God created pain, and thus suffering, but not evil. He did create his creatures with a free will to choose evil. Also, even though pain is not a good thing at the moment of suffering, it is required for life. How else are we to know the boundaries. Otherwise, we would be able to stick our hands in a campfire until they are charred black, and we wouldn't care. Although pain is not joyful, it teaches us our boundaries, and therefore pain is a wonderful creation of God.
6. The origin of many doctrines are tied to the first chapters of Genesis. I agree, and so do many theistic evolutionists. It does appear that they have a problem with the way Eve was created. The Bible is specific on her creation, and it definitely appears she was not born of some pre-existing soulless human. This does not have any impact upon progressive creationists, though.
7. The pattern for our work week. The pattern is the same, whether they were 24-hour days, or days that lasted millions of years (Day Seven is still ongoing).
8. Evolution is evil (gave rise to Marxism, fascism, racism, apartheid, and "unbridled capitalism," Evolution may have given these people excuses for these beliefs, but evolution itself is free of moral implications. This is similar to creationist claims that evolution is responsible for the Columbine murders and others, as claimed by Answers in Genesis.
9. Evolution lowers man from the image of God to that of an animal. Only pre-Adam, soulless hominids would fit this description. The image of God is that of an eternal being. Man has an eternal soul, unlike the animals.
10. Primative man rarely lived beyond 40 years. This is contrary to Adam, Seth, and Methuseleh, who lived 900+ years. Again, this is comparing pre-Adam, soulless hominids, with hominids that are eternal, with an eternal soul. It is comparing a "rough draft" (pre-Adam) with the finished product (Adam).
In conclusion, the author gives four options for the Christian. In his final one, he says accepting the Biblical account is the only way to "find release from the tensions of the conflict." The only true way to find release is to avoid young earth teachings. Without the influence of them, theistic evolutionists would see no conflict between the Bible and evolution. Thus, this "tensions of the conflict" are self-inflicted when one strays into the teachings of young earth creationism.
This article is on the web at answersingenesis.org/creation/v3/i1/evolution.asp
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.
To learn more
about old earth creationism, see
Old Earth Belief,
or check out the article
Can You Be A
Christian and Believe in an Old Earth?
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