2/5/14 Brandon, Ryan, and friend all about 20
On the evening of the Evolution/Creation debate I had an interesting conversation with some students on the campus of IIT. They were aware that the debate was going on, so I asked how they felt about matters of faith as students of a secular and science-based university. Brandon, Ryan, and another student all had very similar ideas – they agreed that their studies of science and the nature of the universe – how vast and complex it is – leads them to belief in a Creator God, but they just can’t get past the specifics of the Bible which go against their science-based understanding of the origins of the world. “What does it matter whether we were made in six days or in six billion years?” they asked. “What really matters is how we treat other people here and now”. Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum and the creationist in the debate, was right when he said that salvation doesn’t require belief in a young earth, only faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of one’s sins. Yet our beliefs in origins are important for a variety of reasons I can’t cover in a paragraph or two. But one reason – that the issue is whether the Bible can be trusted as divine revelation or is manmade and subject to the whims of our interpretation – became very evident as I talked with these three students. We talked about origins for a while after I answered their assertion with a question of my own – “If God made the Earth in six days, I have to wonder, why did He take so long? After all, this is the God of the universe we are talking about. He could have made it in an instant if He wanted to” They were comfortable talking about this, trying to fit in scientific theories for biblical events that really are meant to be seen as miraculous evidence for God’s existence and power. Then I moved on to ask them about their views on God Himself. Two of them view God as a sort of an impersonal “life force” like the Force on Star Wars, while the third believes in a more Biblical view of God as a personality who has preferences and makes choices, yet he held the unbiblical view that one’s good works can automatically earn him salvation. I see a connection between their views of origins in Genesis and their overall views of God. They all feel free to pick and choose what they like and don’t like from the Bible, rejecting what they don’t understand or can’t explain and inserting their own imagined or alternative explanation in its place. The Bible isn’t their authority, but just a supplement to their man-centered “wisdom”. I explained to them that when we construct an imaginery God in our minds that we are more comfortable with rather than relying on the Bible, we are just as guilty of breaking the 2nd commandment against false images as the makers of the golden calf were in Moses’ day. This lack of respect for biblical authority begins, I believe, with a lack of respect for the accounts of origins found in Genesis.
For a very good analysis of the debate, go to a post by Albert Mohler