I was thumbing through my Twitter feed today and saw that AiG had just put out an article attacking NT Wright. In his book, Surprised by Scripture, Wright had mentioned that young earth creationism is a false teaching, not a viable scientific claim, and it actually makes it harder for Christians to be taken seriously by the world, because YEC tells everyone that their position is the Christian position, when in reality it’s not. Earlier this year I did a book review on Surprised by Scripture, and reviewed the chapter that AiG took issue with.
In any case, reading articles like “What Motivates Christians like N.T. Wright to Accept Evolution,” quite frankly makes me want to scream. It is so dishonest and judgmental that it shameful. Let me just comment on a few things in the article:
“What Christians face today is a choice between earning the respect of the secular, unbelieving world by accepting evolution, or being faithful to Scripture.” Hence, the article is clear: N.T. Wright is not faithful to Scripture, and just wants to suck up to the “secular academy.”
N.T. Wright is the leading New Testament scholar of our day, who has done more to illuminate and teach Scripture than AiG ever will—but instead of actually engaging with what Wright actually says, AiG resorts to what it always does: flat out slander. How dare they accuse N.T. Wright of not being faithful to Scripture. Tell him that he could use an editor to trim down some of his insanely long books, sure–but accuse him of being a sell-out to the “secular academy”? That makes my blood boil.
“What Christians, like Wright, who accept evolution need to realise is that theistic evolution is neither biblical orthodoxy, nor does it win the respect of the world (not that the Christian should be looking for the respect of the world) nor is it good science, for it is just as scientifically flawed as is atheistic evolution.”
Let’s be clear: everything in the above quote is 100% wrong. To say that theistic evolution is not biblical orthodoxy is the equivalent of saying that Einstein’s theory of relativity is not biblical orthodoxy—such a statement is inherently nonsensical. What AiG is really trying to claim is that their young earth creationism is “biblical orthodoxy”—and that is a historically-provable, flat out lie. YEC has never been the universally held view of the Church. The Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church, and most Protestant churches reject YEC. YEC is a novel teaching that sprang up in the 20th Century—therefore it is a historical fact that for the first 1900 years of the Church, such a view did not even exist. Sure, Christians had varying ideas regarding that age of the earth, but no view was ever held as orthodoxy.
Also, to say that evolution is not “good science” and then to essentially say it’s the same thing as “atheistic evolution” is again, pure slander. The fact is, it is good science. That doesn’t mean there are unanswered components to it, but the scientific theory of evolution is science, and it is pretty solid. And here’s another point: nothing in the theory is “anti-God,” or “anti-biblical,” or “anti-Christian.” Again, to give you an idea as to how deceptive AiG’s accusation is, it would be like me saying, “Einstein’s theory of relativity isn’t ‘good science,’ and it is just as flawed as ‘atheistic relativity.’”
You see? That statement is trying to give the impression that the theory of relativity is some sort of attack on God; and I’m sure everyone can see just how ridiculous such a statement is. You can’t say that the theory of relativity is not “good science” on the grounds that it is some sort of “anti-biblical philosophy”—when it is obvious to everyone that it isn’t a philosophy in the first place.
Yet that is the heart and soul of what AiG does: it lies to people when it says that evolution is an anti-God philosophy/worldview, and then it claims it isn’t “real science” because it is an anti-God philosophy…but it isn’t a philosophy in the first place, and to discredit it as such by claiming it isn’t really science—well, that just doesn’t make sense.
Here’s a third quote: “Belief in supernatural creation stands against a dominant intellectual system that establishes what is called ‘credibility’ in the secular academy.”
Here’s the bait and switch often done at AiG: belief in YEC is not the same as creationism, or supernatural creation, or belief that God is the ultimate creator. Simply put, YEC is not biblical creationism. The extent of true biblical creationism is this: there is one God, He is good, He is a God of order, therefore His creation is good and ordered for a purpose. If you understand that, then every Christian is a “biblical creationist.”
AiG, though, has high-jacked the true biblical statement about creation, has injected into it loads of pseudo-scientific garbage that is not found anywhere in the Bible, and then has the gall to not only label itself as “biblical creationists,” but also to accuse any Christian who doesn’t adhere to their unbiblical view as being unfaithful to Scripture. Such deception should be obvious to anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear.
“Wright’s view of Genesis is not based upon credible exegetical conclusions but is the result of abandoning the authority of Scripture for the praise of the academy.”
As a biblical scholar, this one makes me want to scream. Again, everything in the above quote is slander and a lie. Proper exegesis makes is abundantly clear that AiG’s interpretation of Genesis 1-11 is utterly unbiblical, and would have been completely incomprehensible to the original audience. To claim that Genesis 1-11 is God’s hand-written modern science textbook is to completely reject the inspiration of the Bible, pure and simple. God inspired a message that the original audience would have understood. AiG’s interpretation of Genesis 1-11, therefore, is not biblical—it is, by definition, heretical.
“Satan’s method of deception with Eve was to get her to question God’s Word (Genesis 3:1). Unfortunately, many scholars and Christian lay people today have had their minds corrupted by evolutionary teaching and are falling for this deception and are questioning the authority of God’s Word when it comes to Genesis 1–11.”
No AiG article would be complete without accusing Christians who don’t agree with their heretical interpretation of Genesis 1-11 of being “deceived by the serpent.” The only deception going on is coming from AiG. Anyone who continual presents evolution as either a philosophy or religion or worldview is a deceiver and a liar. Evolution is a scientific explanation for the variety of life in the natural world, nothing more, nothing less. You can be convinced by it, you can be not convinced by it, you can be convinced by parts of it but not others—it’s just science, and it has nothing, absolutely nothing to the Christian faith, any more than the theory of relativity does.
The theory of evolution is not “anti-biblical” and it does not question the authority of God’s Word because the Bible does not attempt to give a modern scientific explanation of exactly how God created the world. It’s addressing a completely different topic.
A Final Thought…
To claim that evolution is an attack on the Bible has about as much sense as saying, “The theory of relativity contradicts God’s Word, because God’s not relative! He doesn’t change! Psalm 110:4 says He doesn’t change His mind! Einstein has been deceived by Satan!” Or it would be like saying, “Don’t believe those scientists who say black holes exist! God is light! Jesus is the light of the world, and he has shone into the darkness, and darkness cannot overcome it (John 1:5)! Therefore, to say that there exists ‘black holes’ that swallow up light is a denial of Jesus and undermines biblical authority!”
Both of these examples are so obviously nonsensical that if anyone actually claimed that, we would laugh that person into oblivion. The same holds true for YEC…yet somehow it has gained a following in part of the Evangelical world. That should frighten every thinking Christian.
So next time you come across Ken Ham and AiG, and you hear them spout of about how evolution is anti-God and anti-Bible, just remember this: that has as much sense as denying the existence of black holes because Jesus is the light of the world.
Now, I’m sure N.T. Wright believes black holes exist, and I’m sure he believes Jesus is the light of the world. And I’m pretty sure he knows the difference between the two kinds of statements. So do I.
Unfortunately, that is something AiG cannot claim.